February 28, 2010
February 27, 2010
February 26, 2010
February 25, 2010
If anyone ever offers you lemonade, now you know what you have to say...
This tricycle usually takes on people its own size, but the temptation of the safely locked gate was too much!
One of them was allowed to wear it on Mondays and Wednesdays, the other on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Nobody said anything about Friday...
Iske papa kehtey hain bada naam karega....
While I was uploading the pictures, a mosquito bit me and then perched on the keyboard. I must go now, and let her use twitter to tell her friends all about it!
February 24, 2010
"Nothing new is happening in this movie. Let's watch the match instead."
These would have been the final words of Mr Husband Man had there not been other people in the room that day. Three minutes into a film, he was bored beyond endurance , and itching to get back to the edge-of-the-seat, nail-biting, handkerchief-strangling, abuse-yelling and chair-smashing action of…… a test match.
With every ounce of self control in my voluminous body, I channelized my murderous age into an animated performance of "WHAT THE BEJEESUS DO YOU THINK IS NEW IN A TEST MATCH???? ONE GUY IS THROWING A BALL, ONE GUY IS HITTING IT WITH A BLEDDY STICK AND EVERYONE IS RUNNING AROUND OVER AND OVER AND OVER, OVER AFTER OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" All this was enacted with violent yelling, arm flailing, and crazy hair flying. That was better than the movie and the match, performance-wise.
Many people who are not cricket buffs share homes with those who love the game. Even TV series wrap up before the IPL and new ones tempt you in the ad breaks to become addicts when your evenings become meaningless after the league matches. The folks in office follow every ODI on cricket websites and yell each time something happens, causing you to spill coffee on your keyboard. All that is fine. But a test match? Even Sachin's wife does not have to watch a test match instead of a George Clooney film! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! (Ok, the last test was kinda fun when we whooped SA and retained the ICC ranking, but that's RARE)
Meanwhile, if you want to know the latest score of a Lahore Zoo vs. Amritsar Zoo match, ask my husband. If you want to know who's the 21st man for the Kolkata Knight Riders, ask my husband. If you want to know who's playing Hong Kong and Holland in their March 2052 triseries, ask my husband. If you want to know any of this, however, you are probably a test-match watcher, and WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??
February 23, 2010
Please leave your housekeeping standards at the doorstep if you enter the Inkspill household, dear people. You will be made to sit uncomfortably on a pile of mattresses while your hosts type away silently at their computer keyboards. You will be fed basic food served directly from pressure cookers and kadhais, and neither the plates, nor the bowls, nor yet the spoons will match, even if there are just 3 people at the table. The rotis will be all shapes and sizes, and each roti will demonstrate varying thickness in its various "corners". If you stay long enough, I will have no option but to hang laundry about the house, and you will have to walk through a moist and fragrant curtain of kurtas and shirts as you pass from one room to another. You will get a mismatched set of pillowcase and sheets at night, and your morning tea will be made with ours, no matter when you actually wake up. We will love you, but we will be unable to express our love too much, just like Mr Khan in his movie, and just like him, we will probably not look at you when we talk to you (because we're reading our twitter feed), but we promise not to repeat words twice, or bring 500 people to restore your village of 200 while a hurricane is still on, instead of just carrying you out of there for the time being.
Now I guess the "matching towels in the guest bathroom" ideal is quite impossible to maintain for most, at least I hope nobody has the time for that anymore. But there's surely a decent standard that you can maintain as a host? Does it come naturally or is it a cultivated art? Would subscribing to Good Housekeeping help? Or can we just expect to bumble our way through life with our disgusting attitude?
Meanwhile, please oblige me by answering three questions in the comments box if you have a moment.
1. How many people in your household?
2. How many people can you host overnight (with a single or half a double mattress under them)?
3. How many people can you have over for a meal (space-wise/plates-wise, if that number is more than seating-wise)?
Don't worry, we're not going to come over. We're too busy making polygonal rotis and tweeting about them.
February 22, 2010
February 19, 2010
1. When I was up-setting (the opposite of setting up) my house in Pune, I offered to sell my TV to a guy who wanted one. He thought the offer price was steep, so I invited him home to lunch and to check out the TV for himself. After a hearty meal of Rajma Chawal, gujjubhai took the TV at offer price and carried it home the same day. RP, if you're reading this, I hope the TV is still working. It was practically brand new!
2.I was sick with jaundice when the then-friend-now-husband came to see me for the first time. Despite being restricted to a lauki diet, I was fit enough to cook. One Rajma lunch, and we were unofficially betrothed.
3. I had the whole Banneghatta Butterfly Park in my stomach as my parents and I went to be introduced to my in-laws-to-be. One spoonful of mom-in-law's 10/10 rajma, and my parents were sure I was going into the right family.
4.Whenever any guests are coming and I am even a little nervous, I turn to rajma for assistance. Except for my extremely hard-to-please-in-the-rajma-department sister, most everyone likes it, and things go smoothly.
Yes, someone is visiting today. Yes, there pressure cooker is singing "don't worry, be happy" as I type this.
The best thing is that you don't even have to try hard to get it right, since the rajma itself does all the work of being tasty. All the guys who eat it are just grateful for a hot and fresh meal, and the women like to say it tastes just like the rajma they make, which is a compliment in women-world.
So now you know. The Punjabi weapon of mass destruction. The next time it's unleashed upon you, be careful and look out for hidden agendas. And if I invite you over with a Rajma offer, submit without resistance. I know other ways of getting my job done, but you might miss a treat if you refuse.
- Aamir Khan says that lyrics are not important to a song? It's officially over now, dude. Your Name is Khan, and you are an Idiot.
- The IT department sends you a mail asking for your phone number when you leave a message on their site saying your email is not working?
- The saleswoman says that the emergency light you are buying needs to be charged for 24 straight hours before it can be used? If I had 24 hours of power…
February 18, 2010
Anyway, the shot did nothing to numb the troublesome nerve, and I jumped three feet into the air when the doc drilled it.
Let's skip over the gory bits and totter home, where the main tooth kept giving me 140-character pain as it tweeted its woes to its friends and neighbors. I was ok, till the neighbors started retweeting. Ow Ow Ow!
As you can see, the spiritual effects of the anesthetic have not yet worn off, and I should stop blogging for the day, because when I wake up all hung over tomorrow morning, I will regret this.
Keep smiling! It might improve your face value. (The poster in the dentist's office has this very tentative message)
February 17, 2010
February 16, 2010
The head, it aches dully for the same reason.
The teeth, they chatter in fear at what the dentist said today. It's time for some road repair work in there.
Must go to sleep. Have nothing cheerful to say today. Apologies.
February 15, 2010
- At myself again for having switched on the geyser when it's so hot outside.
- At the autowallahs whose meters are tampered. I feel like yanking the cord off while they are driving.
- At Windows XP and HP nx6115 for being a lazy old couple that takes five hours to answer my doorbell!
- At the weather. Stupid Stupid heat wave.
- At people who hit me on the head for no reason. Ok I'm irritating, but you're grown up, control your emotions. Do you see me yanking your aorta out, even though I want to? So, so badly?
- At the shady gas agency which is so reluctant to repay half the deposit they took from me. May everyone see Ishqiya and your fly-by-night business go bust!
-At the residents of my 3 flats in my building which have 20 kids between them, and who are causing a major water shortage without helping pay for a new motor. May you get tampered-meter autos for the rest of your life!
-At myself again, for letting all this get to me, but hey! it's Monday as it is!!!!
February 14, 2010
So despite the best efforts of some people, Feb 14 is here and love is (or at least heart-shaped gas-filled escapee balloons are) in the air. It's on air too in Bengaluru, where romantic ditties from the Waheeda-Guru Dutt days are playing alternately with the Karan Johar mushies on radio. I am glad I am not in Pune, where there was devotional music on the radio on V-Day when I was there last, not to mention the fact that yesterday there was some horrible, horrible non-vegetarian action at my beloved German Bakery by people who have an agenda against peace.
There was a lovely lady at my second office who had left a newspaper job to work at an E-learning company as an editor. She'd been married for 20 years, and said that she spent delightful hours at home with her husband, each of them just reading their own books in silence. That's what my Valentine's evening was like. Coffee, sandwich, apple pie, E.M. Forster's the Longest Journey and my best friend and darling boy by my side. Blissful!
Two "foreigner" girls took the table to my left and immediately yelled "OH MY GOD BARNES AND NOBLE!!!!" when they saw our canvas bag. Is there a Barnes and Noble here???? It broke my heart to tell them that there wasn't any, but I directed them to Blossom, which can kick any bookshop's dog-eared ass from halfway across the globe. We discussed Forster, and out respective teachers' love for him, and they told me that after losing their English teaching jobs in the US in the recession, they were taking a year off to find Jesus and live as he had lived. I have my doubts that Jesus visited swank coffee shops in Bangalore, but hey, at least they were on Church Street!
And oh! I wore my new Valentine's Day shoes and he wore his new Valentine's day Kurta, which was such amazing progress from last year's probiotic capsules and unisex deodorant!
Dedicating this song from Silk Route's Boondein to my precioussssss on Valentine's Day:
Hum jo chaley, to tum bhi chalo saath
Phir kya khabar, ke din hai ya raat
Here's to miles and miles of walking together on the pavements of the world, as one pair of Bata shoes after another collapses under the torture. Dearest, I'm not crazy about you; I'm (lock-up-ably) crazy without you!
February 13, 2010
In a sincere attempt to reduce our carbon footprint, we're looking for CFL bulbs for the house, and are unable to find any in yellow. Does anyone know where these can be purchased in Bangalore? Pray tell me!
The parents walked out of My Name is Khan in the intermission. Whoa! This is the same mom who was so mesmerized by Shahrukh Khan in Darr that she made an omelet with sugar instead of salt, right after she came back from seeing the movie a second time. The same mom who saw Kuchh Kuchh Hota hai five times before she realized it was a stupid film. The same mom who watches K3G four times a month and cries into a hankie! And yes, I am not going non-anonymous so that I can poke fun at my family! J
February 12, 2010
It's a rare day when my office is shut and the husband's is not, which means the day is reserved for the (many) activities he's not interested in. Started the day bright and early with a morning show of Ishqiya, for which I'd booked the middle seat in the first row, well aware that only the last 3-4 rows would fill up on a Friday morning, since everyone who had time was watching "My Name is Kaan," as they call it in Namma Bengaluru.
So while Mr Ambani is still building his palatial home, I already have a personal theatre, where I cannot see or hear another soul, and can lean back and enjoy a film on a huuuuuuge screen by myself! For 120 rupees! Happy Valentine's Day advance party to me! The film was quite nice, by the way, and Vidyaji can still act, which is a big relief. I'm a huge fan of Naseer and Arshad, and, the way they are, they'd have to work hard to disappoint anyone! Also heard my 4 favorite songs of the season on the huge speakers, and that itself was worth the ticket money!! As they say, Ab mujhe koi intezaar kahan!
Also got the first facial of my life, and now I know why people like these things. It's easy to get used to something like this! Mine was a quickie by the standards of their "menu", but the only one whose price I could justify to my conscience! I still look like a cow, but a clean cow, and that's something. And oh! The gal who gave me the facial? Her name was Facie! When I read the name tag, I thought that must be a quirky code name, and Pedi, Cutty, Waxy, and Chocolate Body Wrappy must be busy with their respective clients. But no! The receptionist's name was not Up-Sellie! It was Vasundhara!
February 11, 2010
A cup of tea is unacceptable to me unless the water has been just shy of boiled,a pinch of long-leafed Darjeeling tea added, and the infusion steeped for exactly three minutes (timed with a proper kitchen timer) before being strained into a large cup in which I want to be able to see both each molecule of the liquid and the bottom of the cup, after which one may add two teaspoons of milk and one spoon of sugar. That is the Perfect Cup of Tea, and the only one I will drink.
We have 2 red and 2 yellow cups in our austere kitchen. During IPL days, I always drink in a red cup and the dude in a yellow one, to show our loyalty to the Delhi Daredevils and the Chennai Super Kings respectively. I'm not naming names, but some of us (ok, I) are not above hexing the other's cup in case the two teams are clashing on the field.
This morning tea serves many wonderful purposes, not the least of which is transforming me from a ghost into a person (or as close to it as possible). There's even a song about the kind of thing I am when I get out of bed:
Pre-tea woman, walking down the street:
February 10, 2010
February 09, 2010
February 08, 2010
February 07, 2010
February 06, 2010
2 bunches of spinach. Depending on the season and your geographical location, the size of these bunches will vary, but a good recipe writer never worries about such trivialities
2 medium sized onions. 2 and a half if anyone on the table is a Punjabi. Oh did I say? This recipe serves four.
1 tissue paper
2 large tomatoes
1 tsp Desi ghee. Oil will also do, but don’t blame me if the dish is not tasty.
1 banana, ripe
2 oranges, medium sized
1 green chili with character, or 2 characterless ones
half an inch of ginger
4 cloves of garlic
A cellphone with a functional SIM, on which you can call your sister and ask her to bring 350 grams paneer if she wants to be fed. If you don’t have a sister in town, make aloo palak. Just use 3 boiled potatoes instead of the paneer.
1. Wash and boil the palak in minimal water for 5 mins. Set aside to cool.
2. Chop the onions finely
3. Wipe your eyes and nose with the tissue paper and discard it.
4. Heat the ghee in a kadhai
5. Drop half a tablespoon of jeera into it
6. When the jeera is brown, add the onions.
7. Stir the onions with one hand as they transition to transluscent and then to brown, and with the other hand, puree the tomatoes in the mixie.
8. Add the tomatoes to the kadhai, add a bit of salt (palak adds to the saltiness of the food, so keep the salt lower than usual). Cover and simmer.
9. Your palak is probably still not cooled down, and the onions and tomatoes will simmer for some time. Use this break to get 3 of your 5-a-day. Eat the banana and the oranges.
10. Pick out the palak and transfer to mixie. Let the water be, we’ll use it later.
11. Grind the palak, add to the well-cooked tomato and onion, and stir.
12. Grate the ginger and garlic and put it into the kadhai.
13. Stir it all, and add the palak water. Add the chopped green chili.
14. Call your sister and bug her in the supermarket. Or chop the potatoes into 8 pieces each and dunk into the palak.
15. Chop and dunk paneer into the palak, and add 50 ml of milk. Because you’ve already used ghee, you should not use cream; since your health insurance cover per annum is 4 lakhs only, and will not cover open heart surgery.
16. Heat it all up and eat with chapatis.
The husband must have liked the palak paneer, because he bought me my Valentine’s day gift in advance! A nice pair of Bata shoes!
February 05, 2010
I am now a freelance writer, which means I have lots of time on hand, and being of the undisciplined variety, most of it is spent thinking idle thoughts (and idli thoughts, which, by the way are the healthiest thoughts I've had in a long time).
So one way or another, I ended up listening to some Bhojpuri devotional music set to the tune of Bollywood hits, and not only is Bhakti remix insanely cool, it is apparently a very profitable industry as well! Since I have time + access to songs + the illusion that I can write, you have to suffer this:
Ram Bhakti meets Beedi Jalayile
Dhanuswa chalayike…… Chhuda li Siyaa!!!!
Lanka maan lagi aag hai!!!
Jai SiyaRam Jai SiyaRaam Jai Siyaaam
In other news Satan ke rishteydaar Airtel have tempted my bhola bhala pati into upgrading the home Internet connection. Soon I will be able to see Youtube videos even before they are uploaded!
February 04, 2010
The other day Lakdi ki kaathi (that cute little song from the 80's that duped many people to take their kids to the theatre to see Masoom and regret their decision bitterly) was playing on radio, and as I was dancing along in my kitchen, one line made me remember a ludicrous thing.
Charta hai Mehrauli mein, par ghoda apna Arbi hai!
Now as a kid, this song was fun to sing, but definitely not easy to understand! Arbi had nothing to do with Arabia in my little head, but everything to do with the slimy veggie colocasia, which I've never had any fondness for. A horse made of colocasia? What kind of bizarre slippery ride would that be? Grown ups were crazy!
Which brings me to another children's song I sang enthusiastically but never understood: Nanhe munne bachchey teri mutthi mein kya hai…especially the line: Humne kismat ko bas mein kiya hai! The "control" version of bas was 100% alien to me, but the DTC version was part of my daily life! For the longest time, I thought a bunch of kids had accompanied someone called Kismat to the bus stop and successfully ensured he/she had boarded the correct bus on time! When you're five years old, that seems like an achievement you would be singing about on TV and radio!
Now I happily phodo raat ki matkis, but I would not be surprised if there are kids out there who are holding beedis to their jigars to see if they light up!
P.S.: And oh! It's Zeenat Aman and not Zeena Tamaan… can never forget the day I lost that illusion!
February 03, 2010
February 02, 2010
The headline is from the last rediff comment I read before I remembered I am supposed to write a post. It has nothing to do with you personally, unless of course, your dad is a mafia don, in which case please leave your email ID in the comments section, so that I can send you the list of people I want bumped off.
So the other day I was in Coorg (again) and on a solitary walk, taking normal-human sized steps. That is a rarity. The thing with having a tall dark and handsome husband is that your shoes break every 6 months trying to keep pace with him. Being 8 inches taller, he takes steps many inches longer than me, thanks to the cruel workings of trigonometry. Even with as many steps per minute, I fall wayyyy behind. A small step for man(si), a giant leap for husbandkind. Couple this with his passion for brisk walking, and you have a huffing and puffing bundle of flesh running for dear life in broken shoes on the pavements of Bangalore!
Back to Coorg and my solitary walk. There was a family (complete with a little kid) standing a little way ahead of me when I decided to turn about and go back to the homestay. As I turned, a little kid started shouting: left right left! Left right left! I did not turn back to see if he was marching, or if he was yelling for my benefit. Either way, I perversely tried to avoid falling in step with his orders, but guess what? My feet refused to listen to me, and followed his leftrighting as if hypnotized! What fun he must have had seeing my dutiful obedience! Grrr! Looks like I am destined to march to the tune of others!!!
February 01, 2010
If you have to choose a month in which you intend to post everyday, you've gotta choose February if you're as lazy as I am!
So Happy February people, and you who send my paycheck, hello! It's the first! Please prod the bank into making my phone ring-a-ding with the SMS of Good Hope!
In other news, there is now an official main road under my house, and my laundry officially smells of exhaust fumes half an hour after it is lovingly spread out in the sunny balcony. Something must be done! Considering plastic clothing. I have heard there are industrial bin liners that might fit me.
In yet another news, I've had to delete Shahrukh Khan from my Twitter feed, because his verbal diarrhea prolific musing on life eclipsed all other updates by everyone else, and I need my fix of PJs from people who have a real sense of humor.
Also, I've given up Farmville after a recent perspective-correction week in January. I was at level 49, and if that means anything to you, you should seriously consider giving up too!
So that's the writer's block (writers' block? Is it common property?) out of the way. Hopefully something sensible will get posted tomorrow.