Monday, December 31, 2007

The year that was………..

Its almost the end of the year 2007….i am reluctant to let it go….. but I will…in the hope that the one that takes its place will have very large shoes to fill…I hope 2008 will be all this and much more…..

2007 began very small key….. K and I were in Gandhidham…. With his parents and we watched TV till before midnight and went to bed…2007 began quietly… partly because we rang it in, in small town India…and it was 3 degrees Celsius……I realized how little I had seen of this magnificent country of ours….i reveled in the small and simple joys of that trip…and thus began this roller coaster of a year….of which i had absolutely no expectations from it….

The trip back to Hyderabad was filled with tension that I didn't think I could survive….in bangalore, my niece Rachel Aradhana was being born, while her mother, my SIL C went through what only mothers go thru to bring life into this world…I was filled with fear and joy and everything else mixed up….a hope of a new tomorrow…the first of the next generation coming into the family… I cried and rejoiced at the same time….and for reasons beyond everyone else's control, I became surrogate mother to a baby so reluctantly that I had no time to protest…..the next few months were filled with what only babies can teach you……I realized that any illusions I had about motherhood just evaporated…..a person not more than 14 inches ruled our lives and had full control over us…we were hapless beings….fear and sleeplessness were my constants….i didn't know if I was doing anything right at all….i saw a mother unable to cope with her haplessness…that the mind is willing but the flesh is weak….her two bouts of hospitalization left her with little option but to be patient enough to just recover and take motherhood by its horns….. Rachel has continued to rule our lives…my mother can talk of nothing more than her…and everything else takes a backseat….she will turn one on the 5th of Jan and I wish upon the stars for a life that is filled with health and happiness for her…

K and I spent valentines weekend amidst a congregation of people at a socio-religious body….he was on work and I tagged along…what I saw terrified me like nothing else….the mahasabha on an auspicious occasion was like an orgy and Woodstock rolled into one….i saw people whipped into a frenzy of delirium, and realized that that state of being is so potentially dangerous to themselves and others that it was surreal……….i saw firsthand how the minds of others can be controlled……….

The next couple of months saw the dream of the coffee plantations and the restaurant die a slow but inevitable death….i was heartbroken to say the least and took some time to gather myself together…..meanwhile K and I took off to idyllic Varkala…that's not yet very touristy, but getting there….we had a fabulous time and were reluctant to get back….just as I was willing to submit myself to irrationality, it ended and we got back to the concrete jungle we call home….

This summer marked the first visit of K's parents into our marital home….the best part of this being that we spent time as family and I got to learn a very different cuisine from my MIL…she was the master chef and I the willing apprentice….

Around this time….i went through a very trying phase of not knowing where I was going…professionally I realized that I didn't want to work in a full time job anymore….but letting go of an income isn't that easy…plus the fact that I have always been financially independent and that is a big part of who I am was something I had to deal on my own…..these were demons that I had to exorcise myself….no amount of K holding my hand as I crossed the threshold would help…….in not so much an act of courage, but as a final resort, with my friends and K rooting for me….. I took the leap of faith and began my handmade chocolate classes…I called it Culinary Escapades….. who would have known that it would open up something totally new, unique and all my own doing for me?? I cant believe where I have come from that first class with 3 people in it….. I did 3 classes per week, took them out of home, offered them at two locations and still the calls kept coming…… this time, everything was all mine…the heart thumps, the success and the lack of it too….. it boosted my self belief like nothing else has….it made me happy and brought back so many things that I feared I had lost…. It also added a uselessly exotic tag to me….the raised eyebrows and glassy eyes that I almost unfailingly get is to be seen to be believed!! Ofcourse no one believes it is hard work….but what the hell!! This is something that I do for myself, and I am very happy….. infact I have been featured on TV and in a couple of articles in the newspapers….. so much for the trepidation I suffered….. in the new year, I hope to take this further, consolidate and add on the repertoire that I have gathered so far….. wish me luck…..

Around the same time I entered the world of food blogging….i always was a lurker…. Who trawled the internet food blogs with wonder and admiration….and then one day, I took the plunge…. I could never have imagined that there was a whole world out there who shared my obsessive love and nasha for all things food….. Today, my days are incomplete without my daily dose of food blogs…. It has made me more conscious of ingredients, methods, tastes and cuisines……it has made me explore things I never would have otherwise….and best of all, it even made me overcome my fear of baking!! Hurrah for food blogs…..and what they do to me….. never mind K's complaints that I don't cook for him anymore…. So 15000 hits and counting Escapades has become an extension of myself…..

The last quarter of the year just whizzed past….K began consulting…..in between writing his book….we took a family vacation after 21 years….rachel consolidated herself as the ringmaster in complete control of our lives…..i began to enjoy the success of the chocolate classes…..diwali was a test by fire of sorts, with the many orders that made chocolate part of my dreams (or nightmares??) too….amma spent the longest time of a couple of months with me….we could have done without her falling sick though…..K and I completed 4 years of marriage…..and we celebrated the fact that we found each other….

This year liberated me in many ways…. I turned another year older without going as crazy as I did the last year…or the one before…. I came into my own and truly did things only that I wanted to…I got in touch and stayed in touch with people who mattered….i think I have calmed down and reached another level as a person…. I don't hide from demons anymore….. I fight them…head on….i've kicked some serious butt this year and I am proud of it…..

I just hope and wish that the new year will be all this and much more….i pray for health, happiness and contentment….. I wish us all a fabulous new year!!


 


 


 

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas and the week before…..

Am wondering what I am doing sitting at my laptop a few days after Christmas….. tis the season to be jolly! La la la la….and all that….fact is, I am vegetating right now…and this inertia is something I am not able to shake off….i don’t feel like doing anything, for no apparent reason…I mean I don’t even want to watch TV (well the TV hardly gets switched on in my house anyways)

Lets see….Christmas countdown began for real after the tree went up on the 15th…I spent a couple of hours fretting as always about whether it was looking allright, if the top was bent slightly and comparing it to pictures in the dec edition of good housekeeping…..the tree lights gave me grief as usual and it took one kick to the extension cord to get them all to twinkle at the same time…. I baked and baked for two days…of course just a couple of hours each, but I will exaggerate…the vegan date cake turned out better than I expected and I had to stop myself from eating it all up….the Viennese pressed cookies were divine…and I was almost doing cartwheels in the kitchen…. Then realized that I didn’t collect my murukku press from a friend and I had to buy that…..also some plum cake which I wanted to make but didn’t……went visiting with U&A and that took care of a whole day and a massive headache……

We caught OSO on 22nd night and it was fantastic…I will write a whole post about that later….it was K’s bday on the 23rd…and we had a quiet lunch …just the two of us…..i finally had my hair trimmed and resolved to never have anything other than my hair done at f’s….. they were painstakingly slow and sloppy and the rooms had paint peeling from everywhere…I don’t like being in places that are kept badly…..came back looking like a million bucks (always do after a hair trim)….K’s friends decided to drop in for drinks…I warned I wouldn’t be slaving over the stove and ordered in pizza, but made some pasta for the foster son and K…..oh yeah we gorged on chat before reaching home….so the snacks came out and the drinks flowed till the wee hours and everyone went to bed, happy and high…… K suffered a relapse of the flu…what with continuous exposure to the elements and spirits since his early recovery last week…and I knew that Christmas wouldn’t be quiet the jamboree we’d planned…..i was just concerned with his incessant nose bleeding which would have sent me reeling if I was faint hearted…..

U&A to the rescue….i went to church with them on Christmas eve…and came back at 2 a.m…K was down with really high fever and I was at my wits end…the next morning was a late and heavy breakfast and no lunch…put K to bed with some paracetamol…..we’d called off the dinner party and I nevertheless wanted to try my hand at hyderabadi vegetable biryani…. Pat on the back it was smashing despite many hiccups and nervous checks…. Infact at one point I had dialed for home delivery and then stopped myself….. b&J came and spent the quiet evening with us…we had some wine, cake and dinner, while K nursed his Haldi and Milk.…wound up at midnight…..calls flew fast and furiously between here and Bangalore and comparing notes on how the day went…. I missed not being around amma, but I was actually not as sad as I imagined I’d be….

I hope the new year brings us better health…actually that’s all I hope for now…apart from wanting to live a healthier life and exercise a little…and keep track of my finance..and….ok this is going to be another post…..

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

happenings in my part of the world

after a long time i sit here past midnight with my computer...just the nerve racking and brain numbing sound of the machine dumping earth in the plot next to our apartment to keep me company.....k is in slumber land....he's hit the sack earlier than usual today...has it got something to do with the fact that his daily nocturnal talking companion is busy packing for a train he has to catch early tomorrow morning?? i dont know... and if its true i dont grudge them or their conversations..... i mean i hardly expect K to spend hours discussing the nuances of organic cereals with me...or the difference between unbleached flour and maida..... when i know that i cant even spell some of the things K talks to SRK about, who am i to grudge?

the chill has ebbed a bit, but my ice cold feet remind me i am sitting in a good hyderabadi winter this year..... i have spent the day well today.......infact one of the nicest things said to me today was by V my driving instructor, who said "actual mein aap join karna hi nahin tha, bilkul smooth aur cool chalarey aap tho.... no tension" i cant tell you how happy that made me feel....was a big boost to my driving confidence..... considering the fact that i waited this long to do it!! then i wondered if he was just soaping my ego...and decided to leave it for what it was worth....

i was chatting online with an old colleague this afternoon and i mentioned my driving classes...he asked me " what are you learning to drive? a plane?" most people cant actually believe that i haven't driven a car all this while... i mean technically i have a few times, but not with the intent of driving...i have always been given the steering wheel because i was just being indulged in.....

i had lunch with S today and we got into a chatty zone when she suddenly jumped up because it was precariously close to the time her daughter comes home from school and before i realised what was happening, she was gone!! it reinforced to me that parents always live their life by the time tables of their kids!! its nerve racking and very humbling, somehow both together................... tomorrow i will have lunch with a few other friends.....cook them idiappam and ishtu..... yum yum!! cant wait for tomorrow!!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Where has the year gone?

suddenly i am all sad that this year is almost at its end.....its been a good year for us...both k and i have been able to exorcise personal and professional ghosts.... i am so happy and proud of all his achievements....i'm happy that workwise he is in a zone he wants to be in and is happy touchwood....

i have bravely begun to shake off the lethargy of diwali...yeah i know it was a looong time ago...but hey that's why its called lethargy!! i put myself on a healthier food plan from today.....binging as i did the past few weeks, it was becoming difficult to live with myself.....each weekend for the last 4, we have been eating out.... at first it is nice...especially since we went out to new places that we've not tried out before....then it began to tempt me and the icing on the cake was lunch buffet with a friend....while i was there at the buffet table, i could sense my system recoiling at the thought (and sight) of food.....so i will go back to my rice only on weekends....lots of fruit and juices and k has surprisingly asked for sprouts so that should be a welcome change..... i have already shed a kilo, so that is encouraging.........

Sunday, December 2, 2007

updates on life in general

I just can’t figure out how to activate a header on this site...I don’t know if i have missed something very obvious or what...it irritates me that the entire first sentence gets picked up as a header.... if someone can help me on this, please do so.....

I had my midweek chocolate making class at a friend’s place in secbad.....partly because I couldn’t get out of commitments made to people who'd called and enquired....(there was a misprint in the Advt about the location) and more cos I thought this was possibly the only way I would honor a long standing invite to lunch at this friend’s place….we had a great time….she has a lovely home….her taste and eye for detailing shows in everything…. I’d also told her that almost everything had a story to tell…from the vases to the knick knacks….fabulous food, girlie talk and a round of shopping to complete your day…what more can a girl ask for…. Btw every time I go to general bazaar to shop, I end up buying what looks like half of the street….i am surprised that a goods carrier didn’t stop by when we called out for an auto!!
The first day of the last month of 2007 has come and gone and I did something very significant personally that I am very proud of……….at the start of this year, there were many things that I wanted to do and achieve, I am quite a sucker for resolutions (of course I never keep them…. Kind of explains how “lose weight” has been on the list forever)…..but its my way of keeping things on my mind and reminding me that I have “miles to go before I sleep”………mostly, by the time we finish half a year, my conscience begins to prick me and I usually succeed in stifling and drowning the irritating thing…this year, very importantly I needed to venture into an activity that would give me something to do that I enjoyed, bring in some cash so I didn’t have a helplessly financially dependent look on my face all the time….drive a car ( you hardly call driving on traffic free roads driving………….), get a driver’s license and get a passport (!! Yes I still don’t have one!!)
Of these, the first one I have conquered to some extent…. I finally ran out of excuses and started my chocolate making class……….. its kept me busy, given me some earnings and most importantly helped me get over my abnormal fear of failure and rejection…..i now have had a fabulous second half of the year, and have some ideas for more stuff that I want to do………..on the last day of nov, I finally enrolled myself in a driving school…its just been 2 days but I am doing well…..before the end of the year I will hopefully be able to drive on my own and get a license as well…………as for the passport, I have yet to apply…………….
something that wasnt on my 'to-do' list, but what i did anyways to great personal satisfaction, has been the writing of my cooking blog....... i began this one last year, but the cooking blog i began around the same time as my classes....its done pretty well for itself... it gives me better motivation to do lots of innovative things and i have had the opportunity to find similarly minded people...........
It makes me happy and I am glad that for once I am not berating or flagellating myself….. I feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence…I am not as crabby as I used to be…. I love my life this year…..
Losing weight…I shall leave for next year!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Domestic Goddess!!



domesticity can sometimes get the best or the worst of us....and it has nothing to you with your marital status or the lack of it......its just that sometimes domesticity is like a canvas of an artist and something that we are in complete control of.... we do up our homes and maintain them the best we can, establish systems to run them smoothly...cook, clean and basically never grown up from our favourite childhood game of "playing house" .... we love it when people pay us compliments and tell us that we keep it well... we love it, bask in it and our cup runneth over!! i'm no different i guess...this morning's rant is because there is a fly in my overflowing cup......my cell phone weilding maid is as integral to my domestic pride as my ego!! she's the one who executes all that i cant.... i especially hate doing house work....i wash clothes and neaten up after she leaves, i also love pottering in the kitchen...hey i am a food blogger!!....but give me one too many days of vessel washing and you've gotten yourself one crabby woman!! boy!! god really must love you to see you through this all!! ask K, somedays he wont even know what's hit him when the crab in me takes over like a mutant.....i just wonder just sometimes as to what i would do if i didnt have devi(current one), or padma, rama or the scores of other women who have restored my pride ....ofcourse if i know there wont be anyone to clean the plates and the pressure cooker after me.... my use of them would change drastically..... with the dredging going on in the 9 acre plot next door, it hasnt helped the dust that settles on everything.....those are the two vital things that can absolutely propel me into a foul mood.... coming back to cell phone weilding Devi, she took leave for a few days because she wanted to go see her mother who wasnt well, when i inquired as to what had happened, she said her mother had been under the influence of "black magic"........this meant travel back to her native place and she brought in a temporary replacement....for which i was sooooo thankful, because this seldom happens.....i cant ask for the moon and was happy for this much...yes i believe in counting my blessings..... but over the weekend we didnt have much for her to do so i sent her away, on sunday she saw the house locked as we stayed over at S's....which meant that i have a sinkful of dirty dishes and an unswept floor that are both staring at me.....telling me to do something..... else all the tall claims that i have silently made will be crushed to death.... it begins to deplete your self worth and then everything you have identified with comes to a naught....

there's this unexplained trait we have...we take pride in doing what we're doing at home....like i said before it is our canvas...yet when things as mundane as the maid not turning up happens, it can send you into a tizzy...suddenly you begin to measure yourself against soiled dishes.....you begin to think that you are the only one slaving around the house while the better half prefers to plaster himself in front of the TV (no matter if he's put it on a few seconds ago) , that you've given up everything to take care of the home and hearth and here you stand, unappreciated infront of a sinkfull of dirty dishes.... you try silent forms of protest....like sulking...and banging things on the countertop a little more than usual......hoping that the one growing roots on the couch with notice.... he doesn't ....(haven't we been told that men can never understand anything unless it is as subtle as a sledgehammer??)...and we sulk some more.....

we think of all the missed opportunities...all that we've given up for where we choose to be....generally feel like the martyr...and oh boy, revel in this.....we feel taken for granted by everyone at every stage of life...and the final nail in the coffin being taken for a royal ride by the maid.....the fact of the matter being, most often when the maid is back and you've screamed at her...and the housework is done and everything on your canvas is back in shining order..... we're still sulking.....and still being crabby....

P.S: this happens to me....i generally vent on K, poor baby...cant understand why i am so agitated about domestic mundaneness.... but i thought i'd spare him since i had the blog..... the replacement temp maid is back while i type this and i can hear her washing the vessels.... my ego and sanity are slowly being restored

P.S: no in my sanity i dont measure myself against the dust on the curios......but well....i sometimes love to sulk....its like meditation....

Monday, November 26, 2007

a short stop to say hello

its been ten days since my last post and since this isnt necessarily a chronicle of my life, i havent felt compelled to write.....the fact remains though that i have limited access to the one computer K and i jointly own....in a few days though, that's all going to change....a brand new addition that can launch a rocket is expected...
temperatures in hyderabad dipped to 11 Celsius and its getting increasingly difficult to tell myself to get out of bed....no i dont want to be in a hill station, i love the hyderabadi weather....actually i love the fact that we dont have extremities of anything, but a little sneak peak...its like an assorted bread basket at a restaurant....i'm loving almost everything except having to anoint myself atleast twice a day with vaseline and body lotion...sometimes the dry skin causes me to wake in the middle of a cosy nap and slap on some moisturiser....
watched bluff master of the recent movie fame on tv this evening.....i think the script of this movie and the screenplay are near perfect.....i also think priyanka chopra is a darn good actress.....apart from the fact that abhishek bachchan with his then new stubble looked his smashing best...i just think i'd rather see him without it for now...its beginning to grate my nerves...not to mention give me an eyesore...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reminiscing


its the day after our wedding anniversary...we were four yesterday....today's the day of our reception...the one that many friends contributed to because we weren't able to access the money that was supposed to pay for the reception...so the day we married in court, we drove from friend to friend, collecting as much as they could spare...i remember thinking why in blooming heaven's name I'd insisted on the reception.....today's the day K and i spent at the wedding hall overseeing every arrangement till 5 pm before we rushed off to our respective homes to get dressed....around this time, we were tiredly posing for the photographer with fake smiles and K spewing expletives and me thinking "oh god he's ruining my wedding photos".... we got to take off my heels and his suit jacket only another hour later.... we began eating without the customary feeding each other, because K was too hungry and hated the smell of henna on my hands....

K's been so busy with a project that i am just thankful he comes home at all....even if it is at 3 a.m, so it would have been the worst thing i could have done to nag him and make him pick out a celebration....yesterday was D day for his project....he was thankful that i didn't pout and simper ...i was just grateful that he didn't forget and go out of town like the year before....he came home quite early and spent till the early morning on the phone and on the computer....

for all those who asked me what the celebrations were, i said "we had a quiet time together" ...which we did....chatted for a while before i went to bed, leaving him with his work....

celebrations can wait for every day of our life that we spend together.... i am just grateful for finding him....... for it was so easy not to see him beneath the friend I'd known for so long.....i am just grateful for the love that we share.... for the time we spend together... and apart.....i am thankful that he never wants to see another place in this world without me by his side.... i am thankful that his love encompasses me at all times..... i am thankful that we let each other be the person that we are and haven't suffocated each other..... i am grateful that we are able to really talk to each other....i am thankful that he is my best friend..... i am thankful that we don't always agree...but agree to disagree.....when all else around me is crazy and doesn't make sense...when i am tired and scared, frustrated, angry or sad...i am happy, delirious and totally mad....K is by my side....everything looks less daunting when he is around...and he says that of me too......i know when he says that he cant do without me, he means it.....i am just thankful that we found each other..... in this day and age, when somethings don't make sense...when tempers fly and everything including relationships and marriage are fleeting, when a reducing threshold of tolerance is making everything disposable.....i look forward to growing old with K by my side...and i celebrate everyday i have with him, because i know it is something so precious...and that i have been blessed, because not everyone can celebrate the way i do......Amen!!

the aftermath of celebrations

diwali was this year quite a blast....literally.... i had as much fun as hardwork...making up those tonnes of chocolates was thrilling and tiring at the same go.... those of you who have been reading this blog know that i went through an emotional roller coaster with amma being sick in the last few weeks... but once she recovered and was ok again, i was able to plunge headlong into all the stuff that i needed to do, guiltfree..... last tuesday, i went headed off to the coffee shop of a mall to wait for a freind who was to meet me there and i'd also to deliver some chocolate she'd ordered....so i waited and waited and as always ( i should know, i worked for the same company) the meeting she was in overshot by a good two hours...so i decided to forget the coffee, drop the chocolates over enroute and go home...it was already dark and i was hungry and needed to get home so i could get on with the other work lying waiting.... i never take the lift if i can help it and began to climb down the 4 flights of stairs.... on the third floor, there was an elderly lady climbing up so i moved to my left to make way for her....big mistake... the stairs are winding and tapered, and my foot being longer than the width of the stair...needless to say, i tripped and went hurtling down the entire flight of stairs...i was only aware of the fact that my precious ( and expensive) cell phone was flying to my right and my handbag to my left..... and the bag i carried in another direction... plus that i wasn't able to break my fall...trying to do that was vain....i think i blanked out at this point... went all the way down trying to avoid falling on my face and breaking my teeth.....i got up when i realized that there were no more steps to fall over…and that atleast 50pairs of diwali shopping eyes were on me…..dusted myself and as bravely as I could I began to look for the stuff that had flown off me….it took three very chivalrous men to gather my stuff and ask me if I was ok before giving it to me…I looked up smiled and said yeah I am fine…just totally embarrassed, but I will be ok…thanks very much…checked my precious cell phone which had weathered the fall with none of the embarrassment I was going thru….i could imagine people pointing at my “as dignified as I can after a full flight tumble exiting back” andsaying…”whoa some tumble she took!!”.... the next two days I walked around like a chicken from the deep freezer!! Thankfully no broken bones and I live to tell the tale!!

The day before diwali I was overwhelmed with wanting to join the festivities….i’d already bought these awesome diyas from shilparamam…so I did some festive cooking and we had a blast…. Lit up as best as we could…. The house looked lovely with the lamps….K and I are both house proud and it’s the only thing he likes doing…helping me doing up the house….for the both of us, festivals are a cultural thing and for the first time in years we bought some firecrackers…. All stuff that went into the air and bursts into a zillion stars….we doubled our celebrations by teaming up with a couple from next door and their little son, dinner too albeit at 2.30am was together…..weekend saw us spend it with some more friends…. Food and fellowship is such a lovely thing…. needs to be indulged in at the right time and surely with the right people…..i think this is the best holiday that we’ve had….i think I’ll take a while to recover from all of this……

Thursday, November 1, 2007

scared as hell

its amazing how easily life gets derailed....the last few weeks have been so hectic, tension ridden and sometimes lunatic that i have craved a "normal job, with normal work hours and a normal life" mom's been unwell and that has driven me up the wall...i have fluctuated nauseatingly between guilt, anger and helplessness...... guilt for i wondered if i was'nt sensitive to amma's low back pain for the two days before the full blown urinary infection hit her.....guilt because i wondered if somehow i had caused her to fall sick, because she wasnt in bangalore close to where her doc could see her and guilt that i had somehow not taken care of her....... anger because i didnt know which doctor, hospital and diagnostic centre to trust...didnt know if the reports had been fudged so we would be compelled to admit her to hospital as they had recommended.....anger because i was scared shit....and at my wits end..... helpless because i had so much work and deadlines that i was feeling dead at the end of each day, that i could get a full night's sleep cos i would get up to check on her several times a night...and helpless because its the only was i feel watching a parent be sick.... i mean they are the ones who look after us when we're sick as kids, they're the ones who know how to right every wrong...we believe they can make anything work, no matter how unrealistic the expectation is (rational thinking is something that age and wisdom gave me and i hate it.... i want to go back to thinking that my mom can make everything allright and fix anything...from a science project to a broken heart)

so when i was suddenly incharge of her and her health and well being, it was a responsibility that freaked me out....was i doing the right thing...was i taking care of her...was there something i had forgotten...is she getting better.,..why can't the phone stop ringing....why cant people get off my back and give me a rest...why cant amma get better and give me some respite!!

she got better...she had to....she's been singing my praises to anyone with half an ear...but i am just so glad that she's recovered...infact she's back in her element and her usual self...i am just to glad that she's well enough to resume her nagging!! hurrah!! just so grateful for the health she's been blessed with and so aware more than anything of these delicately intricate things called out bodies that we take so much for granted....love you amma....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Considering i took such a long time to respond to the tag by nags, i am surprised myself that i picked this one in all consciousness to do........i found it on roshan's blog...i stumbled on it today and quite liked what he wrote....i also liked the tag...since he said its open to anyone who wants to do it.....i'm tagging myself...

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it?
I have a scar on my right wrist, towards the base of my thumb…at 12, in a cousins house, I was asked to retrieve a bottle of beer from the freezer…. The sudden change in temp broke the bottle while I held it and I ended up with a godawful cut……I was scared I’d be yelled at for breaking a precious bottle of beer, than that my hand was bleeding like hell!!

2. What does your phone look like?

It’s a Nokia N70, got it this year as a bday gift from K, because he couldn’t deal with not knowing where I was when I was out of the house and on my own...totally freaks him out. It’s the first phone I have owned personally cos all the rest I’ve had have been given to me by my employers

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?

Nothing…I have bare walls in every room of the house…have’nt been able to get a carpenter to put some pictures on the wall.

4. What is your current desktop picture?

I have a standard blue ms office desktop

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?

I believe in love………and in this world where we hate each other so much, if it takes the same sex to spread love (sic) then so be it………so I guess yes….. but I think it is unnatural

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

To have a bath and comb my unruly hair…..really…..more seriously, for the business plan I have up my sleeve to work out…..

7. What time were you born?

3.45 p.m in the afternoon

8. Are your parents still together?

No, I lost my dad a couple of years ago

9. Last person who made you cry?

K, I hate it when I am not the center of his attention….actually he is the only one who can make me cry…out of happiness and otherwise…….

10. What is your favorite perfume/cologne?

Calvin Klein’s Eternity, Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Girl and Coty Vitacare’s Body mist in Moonshine musk

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?

Black…for hair and eyes…anything lighter makes me feel creepy

12. What are you listening to?

Right now?? To the hacking of the trees in the plot next to my apartment….currently a 60 year old eucalyptus tree is being done to death

13. Do you get scared of the dark?

Yes…….i am terrified of the dark…and of being alone in a house..even my own….i have spoken on the phone for hours with family and friends with the TV on waiting for K to get back home…and when I leave a room after switching off the lights at night, I always walk much quicker than I usually do.

14. Do you like pain killers?

No, but I take them when its unavoidable

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

Yeah I guess romantically I have never asked anyone out…but socially I am not shy to ask someone over

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

Sitaphal….i have a dozen waiting in the fruit bowl…but they’re too raw to be eaten just yet…..waiting for them to ripen is more frustrating than getting the seeds out

17. Who was the last person you made mad?

My neighbour’s one year old grandson who insists on plucking the leaves from my plants that are outside my door….i feel like wringing his neck..and his parents too…I wonder how they’d feel if a bunch of their hair was pulled out……….

18. Is anyone in love with you?

Yes………K ….totally and hopelessly ……

i loved doing this......leaving it open to anyone who feels like doing this......

tagged!!

i’m not the most happy person when I know I have left something undone…..the nagging feeling that I have something I haven’t taken care of is just too overwhelming sometimes…..so its been difficult to live with this tag….for more than a respectable period of time…..but oh nags!! Believe me when I say that it has been on my mind all the time!! Plus the shame of having waited this long and not had anything spectacular to say…..i always wonder why I cant be as witty or interesting or even sarcastic sometimes…when I read other’s blogs…but then hey…this is me….. so here goes the me me….it comes with a set of rules…. Which I have just copied and pasted from Nags post….

Here are the rules:
* Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
* When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
* At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
* Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

i don’t have a first / middle name…I just have one name…somehow two names sounded so much more exotic…till people told me my own name was pretty exotic too….so for want of another option, I choose Beulah, which is my mother’s maiden name……but i am choosing BEULAH - my mother's first name.....

B: believer – lets make that “blind believer” in love, in the good in people and in the wings that are spread over me…yeah go on…laugh all you agnostics….i believe in the hand that protects and provides…

E: Enthusiastic – err, that I was called Enthu Cutlet during college should account for something…. Excite able also quite closely fits as a description for me….. infact K tells me that I should show more restraint….the high pitched voice, twinkling eyes and barely concealed smile is a dead give away…but what the hell!!

U: underrated – am a big fan of underrated stuff….sort of put in my two cents and spread the word….from a book to an actor I love to follow things that receive less attention than they deserve….i revel in their talent and rejoice in their successes…they’re so much more than they are made out to be….more power to them

L: Laugh – there are few things that I like better than a good laugh…..i can do it alone with a book that sends me into raptures or a FRIENDS rerun….i can do it in small groups and part of a melee …at movies and otherwise….sometimes quietly reminiscing over the past …its easy to laugh…now that it has passed….

A: avoidables – anger ….. this one I used to easily fall prey to….now I am older and hopefully wiser….aggressive / arrogant – I know I can come on as both….used to bother me more than I liked…now I take it in my stride…cant please everyone at all times…and I am not going to bleed myself by attempting to do it….but confidence most of the times is mistaken as arrogance and to hell with all those who make that error…..

H: Happy: that’s what I feel most of the times…. And I am thankful for all the things that happen to make me feel this way…..for the good times and the bad and all the times in between….. I just sometimes can’t deal with people who grudge other’s happiness…. Make them feel they are undeserving of it and hope that their life looks better through another mans misery…..also homesick…somehow….memories always take me back…to the home I grew up in…the family that was…and without things like attached bathrooms and marbled floors and modular kitchens…we still had the best times….sometimes I feel homesick for the home of my childhood and youth….thats where I became most of what I am today….

And now I tag………umm…no one actually…. This is open to anyone who wants to do this…. Whew!! Thank god I’ve done this finally!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

My classes got on TV

i've had mind numbing internet issues the past two weeks..... my computer refuses to have anything to do with the remote server after about 30 minutes and i have to reboot...sometimes lose all my work...cos i am working without the powercord which is in the guest room, where i have my home office and now i dont use it cos amma is here and having her nap...then tata indicom my internet service provider cuts my connection...this is done without ensuring i have received my bill....also i dont understand why i have to be disconnected if i have an outstanding of Rs. 446 against a credit limit of Rs 1000 and a security deposit of rs. 2000......just beats me...... if all of this wasnt enough....two posts i typed on a friends computer got lost thanks to YSR and the power failure....so all in all i have had one lousy fortnight....

added to which i have just recovered from a nasty flu but am still coughing like the TB patients in movies.....but i am glad that this time i got better with just paracetamol and home grown remedies of ginger juice with honey and another concoction MIL II gave me and i'd rather not know what it contained!!

i had my 5 minutes of fame on TV...the telecast happened on 3rd of oct..... it was a 5 minute capsule on chocolate making and a Q&A session......K missed it both on telecast and on the repeat...amma was terribly excited and got atleast 10 of her friends to watch...a friend has kindly recorded it and i will get the cd in a couple of days......i didnt know how excited people would be for me.... the circulating library guy was thrilled and mentioned it to me shyly a few days later..... the guy at the shop from where i buy my chocolate supplies also asked "how was the response after TV prog??" ..... so that was that.....

the classes are going well.... my writing could do with some dedication..... i am a little antsy about the upcoming festive season.....its going to take a lot of planning if i want things to go as planned from now till new years....... i'm nervous cos i know i am not the sort to keep the best laid plans....throws up possibilities for so much excitement, work and fraught nerves!! mine and others!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Culinary Escapades on TV!!

I get a lot of calls to enquire about the chocolate making classes that I conduct…averaging about 12 per weekday and double on the weekend, I have difficulty in placing people when they begin a conversation with “hi I am mallika, remember I called you 5 days ago about the chocolate making class??” so in this state of mind and a perfectly rehearsed script like fashion, I spoke to someone who claimed to be a TV journalist and asked if she can come to my class….i said yes….turned around and told K that I think some crank caller called….so imagine my surprise and slight panic attack, when I get a call at 10.15 a.m on Saturday from a person who began the conversation as mentioned above and simply added “we want directions from so and so point, I and my team are coming to cover your event for our entertainment and local events section …..” my session was to begin at 10.30 a.m

TV is’nt new to me…as part of my “jill of all trades” resume, I have had my share of time under the arc lights as an anchor for film based programs on local TV….. I spent some forgettable months mugging my Telugu lines written in English at a time when I couldn’t speak my mother tongue in the “acceptable” accent…..i also like every other person imagine I am the heroine each time I see chiffon, flower fields, beautiful hair and make up and the whole nine yards….I’ve harbored celluloid fantasies as much as I dare to admit and think and I am not ashamed to admit that I luuurve hindi films!! Okay now that I have admitted as much….. as much as it began, TV ended for me with an entrance into a prestigious college for a much more bankable degree in business administration……yeah I have digressed, but I know that already…..

So having said all that I have, the panic attack was because I wondered what the reactions from those who’d registered for the class would be like….i mean I myself have shied away and requested not to be photographed at public places when the press has been around….for the simple fact that I am shy….. and being told something like this at such short notice …… I wondered if they’d be angry….or worse…. I need not have worried…despite one person telling me quite dramatically “oh I am not at all camera friendly” I must say they put up quite a show!!

The 3 member team from the Telugu Channel TV 9 arrived and set up shop….filming most of the class and all the while I was worried that the chocolate would melt under the hot lights….long shot, close up shots, funny twisting shots of the class at work, me talking and explaining and the stuff we were doing…..it was funny to see people huddling to a spot where they’d get good coverage and chirpily asking ‘intelligent’ questions!! My family, mom, adoptive mother in law, K, adoptive brother in law and his wife……stood around….watching from behind the camera…smiling, rolling eyes and giving me a thumbs up or a wink once in a while….this drama went on for the full duration of the class…….when I entered the kitchen at some point during the session, K accosted me and said I was doing a good job….i asked why they hadn’t left yet….he said that they wanted to do an exclusive with me!! My first thought was…oh gosh….i am really tired….(3 hours of non stop chocolate making can sap you of your life’s blood) and my mouth is dry and I haven’t had breakfast and was really looking forward to lunch at Nanking’s……he glared at me and asked me to shut up…..so we finished the session on time….and I must say this batch as all the others…wasn’t ready to leave!! By the time they did, I had to get to work again…….

Face washed and powdered, some lipstick and a brush through my hair….i did a demonstration of two kinds of chocolate for the camera….i must say I was trying my best not to grin cos I was living a childhood fantasy….of cooking for the camera a la sanjeev kapoor …. I’d do the “adha kata hua pyaz, thodi si haldi aur namak swad anusar” when I began helping in the kitchen as a young adult……. After the demonstration, they did a 10 minute interview with me…how I got into this and when I started etc….. I wrapped up and gift packed the chocolates I made for the camera and gave it to the team…thanked them and they left telling me they’d let me know when it would be telecast….. not before they asked me to inform them if I was starting any other kinds of classes….though I was tired, I was happy….amma said I was very natural an spoke well in telugu…. (natural!! Yeah didn’t I tell you I wanted to be an actress??) and all my years as a trainer has made me overcome the fear of standing in front of people you don’t know, and talking, training and expressing an opinion…..

We then went to Nanking and had a late but sumptuous lunch…..later while K and D got back home to watch the cricket match, the four of us women went to General bazaar to do some essential shopping…with the chocolate making classes, I need to make a trip once a month to stock up on my supplies…..i needed all four of us to carry my bags as a result!! By the time we got back home, I was sufficiently drained out and rather happy at the day’s outcome….

Thursday, September 27, 2007

make way for the concrete jungle....













It had to happen…..someday the land sharks were bound to smell blood….infact I am surprised that it lasted this long…… what gibberish am I spouting?? The felling of the trees in my beloved forest, that’s going to make way for perhaps another specimen in this concrete jungle……. When K and I moved here 3 years ago, one of the things that attracted us to our “at the end of the corridor 4th floor apartment” was the open piece of land on the other side……it’s a wide expanse of land….about 8 acres…..in the most sought after business / residential area of Hyderabad….hitech city……it was just too much to last….many evenings have been spent standing at the balcony of our corridor, watching the rain come down…..feeling the breeze….watching the birds, butterflies and the dragon flies swarm up….and its all going to be in the past now….. just a few weeks ago K had taken some pictures of the greenery….all lush and rain washed ….it was too beautiful even for him to resist and he snapped up a few….and I think in a few months that will be all that will serve as a reminder of this green lung….there is an eucalyptus tree that comes all the way to the fourth floor and on windy rainy nights, sways to the rhythm of nature…a sight to behold….i guess it will take a few men and a couple of days to get the better of it…..like a little child, I hope against hope that some thing will happen to stop this imminent construction…..i’m also wondering if it is “nazar” or the evil eye…because there hasn’t been a single person who has visited our home and exclaimed how lucky we were to have a green space like that near us….. I wonder what’s going to be built…..an apartment complex or a commercial space….how close will it get to our home……how many matchboxes will be made….and how much of our privacy will we lose…..K is actually quite seriously thinking of giving up this house and going elsewhere…..but where does he have in mind is my question?? After all every nook and cranny of this city is being “developed”…..i know for sure, that I will not linger in the corridor anymore…I will unlock the door as quickly as I can and duck inside….shutting the gory scene happening outside…out of my sight…and hopefully out of my mind…

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why cant we respect out heroes??


Last evening, I caught the India – Pakistan T 20 match towards the end…the really exciting part, when I was pretending to read the latest issue of Femina (cos I cant watch india play….i have a superstition that they lose when I watch them play…its crazy, but its there)…..it was fantastic and we won and I am very happy for this young energetic team and all praise for the young captain Dhoni who I always felt had fire in him….the point of this post isn’t the post match analysis….god knows we’ve had enough of this on tv the whole of last night……I cant get over this prostitution racket that the media is running……I am so upset that I can use expletives and forget that this is a public forum……

Firstly, all and sundry people have an opinion…..makes me remember something a senior of mine said at the farewell we gave them when I was doing my MBA….(I don’t know if this was his original ) “opinions are like a#^ holes....everyone has one” …..i am quoting this because I am sick of the unintelligent people on TV who have opinions on Indian Sports….(yes Sports and not just cricket, because post Chak De! India, hockey has been on TV too…and there was a full blown debate on NDTV on how to better the lot of women’s hockey and the panelists were the full crew of the said movie!! Way to go PR people, good job!! And news channels I hope you get to sleep at night cos you just outdid yourselves and pimped fantastically) …..ok I am digressing…but that’s the angst I feel

Don’t get me wrong……I am not a great sports enthusiast, but even I can see that these “experts” are obscure people who comment on the players and team who have been out there in the field and given it their all…and the ones back in the studio have’nt even played 4 test matches straight….

Last night, a few things were very clear…..

  • The team played well
  • Battled odds, came together and schumcked the opponent team
  • We clinched a nail biting finish and we deserved all the congratulations
  • There was enough excitement to rake in the TRP’s for all the news channels

What I don’t understand is

  • Why should sachin, saurav and rahul be brought into this
  • After playing for the country for 15 odd years, is this the respect we have for them
  • How can obscure people talk about the changing times and the fact that this team did it without the triumvirate when the trio in question isn’t even asking for any of your attention??
  • How can we forget what these players collectively and individually have given the game??
  • How are we equating their contribution with what the younger players are doing??
  • And lastly why is the media prostituting itself when it had enough excitement for the viewers to be brought in anyway??
  • And why is shah rukh khan’s view on taking of his shirt in his upcoming movie a comparison with Dhoni’s taking his shirt off breaking news?? (good job again PR guys of Om Shanti Om)
  • Doesn’t the media have any respect for itself??

I was so disgusted….there was absolutely no need for sachin tendulkar, rahul dravid and saurav ganguly’s names to be dragged into the analysis of this win….discussions galore on changing of the old guard...go ahead, do it if you have the B@!!$.....send an inexperienced team for a really crucial series.....dont have anyone to guide the team and dont fall back on the genious or skill of the same people you are crucifying.....how can dhoni's team's performance, be anywhere connected to the trio who were'nt even present?? why cant we congratulate the team for what they have achieved and celebrate that……leave our heroes alone…they deserve that much respect……




Saturday, September 15, 2007

Has anyone ever been a compulsive anything?? I think I am….a compulsive many things….freecell player….movie advertisement watcher….shopper……unable to resist crockery of any kind…..handicrafts and procrastinator of useful and productive tasks……writing (of the professional kind) has been nearly suffocated to death…because I find a hundred different bahanas not to do “work” and to do everything else….like surfing the net for useless information….am I an internet addict?? Do I lack “real” wholesome relationships so much that I am spending more and more time online?? Am I hiding?? I’m also not particularly interested in the answers…as long as I don’t screw up further…I think I can get a hold on this….

Yesterday I took amma to Shilparamam…this is the crafts village on the lines of Dilli Haat….i love anything hand made and think of myriad excuses to buy stuff…..i think of it as my humble way of encouraging and supporting artisans of this country…..for the nth time, I had to pull myself away from all the handmade madhubani paintings…if I ever bought another one, what face would I show to the many unframed ones languishing in one of the cupboards at home?? So I was pretty impressed with my steely resolve…..picked up a cute lehenga choli made of mangalagiri cotton with some hand embroidery for the darling niece / proxy daughter that I couldn’t resist….and I was complimenting myself on my restraint…….a tad bit soon I guess….cos less than a few metres away were piled neatly on the grounds hundreds of Khurja Pottery ware…..cups and saucers, mugs, plates, bowls of different sizes, planters and much more…..crockery is my weakness….i can develop a need for it when I have no place to keep them….i have two cabinets full of the stuff…most still in their packing boxes, I don’t ever think I will use all of them in this lifetime….but I still want more….i just want to look if they have anything nice…I tell amma innocently…secretly she too wants to look at them cos she suffers from the same malady…so we pretend like we are indulging the other person and walk towards the shops……let me see if they have plates I say….for the blog…to take pictures…..we spend a little time…eager like kids….and make a getaway with two bags….4 sets of serving bowls!! We tell each other what a good deal we got and I begin to imagine how I am going to use them at the next party that I have…..

When we got back home, I promptly climbed onto a chair to look through all the stuff I have at home…..reorganise the cabinets and make place for the new purchases…..i am awaiting the festival which will begin around dusshera because then it is a mega festival at shilparamam with more than 5000 stalls….till then let me pretend to practice restraint….

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

insomniac

Its 2.44 am and I haven’t been able to go to sleep…..the after effects of a fabulous afternoon siesta…post my chocolate making class today….so here I am, sitting at the table with the laptop, cursing the speed of the internet, because everything that I am trying to browse is timing out because it is crawling…..for the nth time I think I should get broadband….and what a con job this Tata Indicom internet card is…..i also discovered that the lizard K and I famously chased out of the house, is back, or that this is some other lizzie….when I switched on the light in the dining room, he / she ducked behind the crockery cupboard…..yikes!! K has been unwell…for the nth time these last couple of months…..it all begins the same way, fever, cold…not to mention the restlessness and the lousy feeling that goes with it…both for him and me….the doctor said that there is an allergy in his body which is getting triggered because of the frequent changes in weather / rain and pollen…..i hope he gets better soon…its miserable to see him sick…..amma has been here for a week now…she’s trying her best to kick me out of the kitchen and I am resisting…I want her to rest, she says she’s bored….need to get her a magnifying glass so she can read the headlines and also a pair of bathroom slippers….other random things going thru my mind…wondering how would Saturday’s class will go…the people who’ve registered are too many for one batch so I am planning two…..i need to call and remind them, post any cancellations decide on scheduling the session and the weekend after that…..we’ve been wanting to take amma for Chak de! But with the bridge collapse and virtually every weekend there being a bomb scare, I wonder when that will happen……after the flyover collapse on Sunday which killed many people in Hyderabad, I was wondering where this is leading to…..its scary to say the least….corruption has no value for human life….actually the life of an average man in our country has next to nothing in value….i believe the cops didn’t arrive quickly enough (and there’s a police station less than 200 metres away), when they did, they were’nt of much help, crowds and traffic severely hampered any meek attempts at rescue…and many people perished under the rubble…….to think that every time we pass by the under construction flyover, I used to wonder how many crores were pocketed ……now I’ll add lives to it…..

i was looking at my diary (real not virtual one) and pondering over the hazaar lists i have made....from getting someone to drill holes on the walls to getting the paperwork to process my passport!! it sets me off on a train of thought that has me berating myself for being lazy and disorganised and totally ineffective......before this launches full scale, i shut the diary!!
on a happier note, i've found a maid...after a week of terror (imagining life without one!!), maid interviews and trials......(one lady even stood against the wall repeating "ducting" in a sing song manner, like it would disappear from the job profile if she said it long enough....) actually not so happy cos after just 2 days of work, she's taken "leave for 2 days" it should be seen whether she'll return......
its 3.22 am the battery's running dangerously low and i have to shut this off before it dies on me....i hope i will be able to put myself to sleep....amen


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gardener by accident



Earlier this year I wrote about how I killed off nearly every plant that I had…and only the ones more stubborn than me survived….the death toll included a coffee plant that was growing rather well in a pot, a pepper creeper and a table lime that I had brought from yercaud….not to mention the orchids, but they were the non edible bit of the massacre…when I revamped my modest collection of about 70 pots (small and medium) on the balcony the only thing I really wanted for the kitchen was a curry leaf plant….then I added some dying ginger that is so luxuriant right now that I cant believe a few months ago was a shriveled up piece in my fridge for many weeks…. And a kind of green that’s called bachili in Telugu and I don’t know what its called in english….makes yummy stir fry, is great in dal, but best as a bajji (bhajiya) …… about a month ago cleaning out the masala box used for tadka (the round tiffin with many small katoris holding dry red chillies, methi, etc) I dumped some of the debris that was at the bottom of the tiffin box into a pot on my kitchen balcony….not realizing that it would be crowded with saplings that I couldn’t even recognize in a few weeks…that’s exactly what happened…I had about 20 odd chilly seedlings (transferred and now prospering in 3 pots), some dhania and methi that I have long used up, some urad dal saplings, and a lime sapling (transferred into a medium pot and doing very well…about 6 inches with 12-13 leaves) …the only mystery plant was something that looked like amaranth…the leaves were very much like amaranth, only much larger with a different odor….intrigued I let it grow…and one morning some pods began to grow…..my maid then said it was sesame….. I somehow never imagined this!! I know its just one plant and it will not be enough for anything …but I haven’t the heart to pull it out!! Now the leaves have fallen and I think the pods will ripen or dry….i just want to see what happens next….. as for the chilly plants….i don’t think I will need to buy chillies this month

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

home front.....

there are so many things going thru my head.....be warned that this is one of those darned random posts.....

i was reading a few blogs yesterday...personal ones as opposed to the usual cooking ones that i read....i wonder now if voyeurism is officially acceptable now...i mean these are personal diaries right?? so what makes us want to publish them in cyber space?? what makes us want people to come and read it and what takes us to other blogs?? the same questions go thru my head when i browse through orkut and the other social networking sites....K has deleted his id from orkut because he said that it was unnecessarily artificial and he didnt want to be a part of it anymore...very brave...and very clear thoughts...that 's K for you.....very clear in what he thinks and not afraid to own those thoughts....am nothing like he is....orkut has brought me in touch with so many people that i lost touch with ...i like that....i'd like to keep in touch with them....and i still have reservations about posting personal pics on it......

when i read these blogs, i try and put a personality together, what they'd look like, where they'd live, what'd they read......

i hate the "i want to make friendship with you types" ..... why do these people do it? i feel abusive...but restrain myself.....low life children of you know who....yesterday i registered on a local Hyderabadi portal to make a listing for my chocolate making classes...by the evening i had vague people sending me requests for friendship....i wish i could give them one tight slap....

K has been saying that i am spending too much time online....i wonder if i am.....yeah i am on the internet about 3 hours a day...because i work online no....and plus what do i do when he is fast asleep....?? and i dont particularly like watching TV......

for the past few weeks, i was cringing each time i walked through the door...the look of the house was getting stale...i like to change the colours and the soft furnishings atleast every alternate month....my short span of attention applies to every aspect of my life...living space included and i need something to keep me from growing bored of everything thats around me.....K and i spent a good part of saturday (before the blasts happened and we stuck to the TV) changing the soft furnishings at home...i now have a turquoise themed drawing room...with the early morning light filtering through the aqua curtains...it looks ethereal.....we have mehndi green (dry mehndi powder) in our bedroom...i know, stand alone, i'd have barfed at the colour, but its come alive with a coordinated vertical stripes bedspread.....it makes the room look so alive and cozy.........for the first guest bedroom (which is officially amma's room) i departed from the till now blue look and gave it a dark onion pink curtains on one set of windows, light blue and pink striped ones on the other set of windows and a beautiful pink and white bedspread,......am not particularly fond of pink...hated it while growing up...possibly because of the girlie stereotype....but it is increasingly creeping up into my life....around the house and into my wardrobe.....for the third bedroom we chose a blue grey spread for the low lying bed, brown and white floor cushions, beige curtains with specks of blue and brown....its picking up all the colours of the bedspread and cushions and giving it a superb finish.....for the drawing room, (into which all the bedroom doors, kitchen and french windows open) we've finally put up the clotted cream sheers with orange and aqua horizontal woven lines...we picked this set up from a lady in banjara hills...she gets all this material from erode and tirrupur and will mix and match for you...she'll also custom make...she's also got loads of readymade stuff...curtains, cushions, bedspreads, dhurries....at very good prices...the way i shopped the first time i went there, she told me she'd call me whenever she gets new stock and i should drop in!!

my balcony boxes are flourishing...i just called amma this morning to report that i had a gerbera with a bud!! after killing off 9 of its cousins and friends that we got from yercaud last august, this is the lone survivor..... i also almost killed off the african violet amma gave me...was able to nurture it back in the nick of time and now she's putting out leaves like crazy......the emptying of masala box in the nearest empty pot resulted in 20 odd chilli plants(which i dutifully transplanted into 4 pots) that are now in bloom and 3 chillies are ready to be plucked i think... i wonder if i can grow capsicum like this.....i am looking forward to the tomato saplings taking shape...

we finally got the plumber today and he's fixing the tap in the bathroom.....after weeks of procrastination...all it took was one bloody phone call......now to get hold of a carpenter......

i'd better stop before this unfolds like a litany of domestic woes......

Sunday, August 26, 2007

bomb blasts

Hyderabad is reeling under the blasts which took place loast evening at Lumbini Park (a major tourist attraction) and Gokul Chaat (another packed place because it is the best place for chaat in hyd)……I was blissfully unaware and only a frantic phone call from appa appraised me of what had happened….K was on his way back home and he too got a similar call, he was on his way back and not too far from home so I was relieved…..called some friends and checked on their whereabouts…….

I switched on the TV, to see what was going on……. The targets of both the places were extremely public….it was the weekend, and hardly any security……I mean these days guards are there more to open doors and issue baggage tokens….i doubt if both lumbini park and gokul had any kind of security in place…..the cops are saying that gokul could be a gas cylinder blast….that’s where several people died……the place is always packed and supposed to be the best place for chaat…its very popular with college kids and is in one of the busiest shopping areas in Hyderabad……

They’re still trying to figure out the number of people who lost their lives…i’m skeptical of the ‘official’ figures and what the news channels are saying….also cant get over how all these news channels showed uncensored footage of the blast sites, it was like a blood and gore show…I have nothing against it, but for some dignity to those who lost their lives…..where is your responsible journalism?? as expected, instead of pooling resources to provide relief – fast and effective, our politicians were busy settling scores and making statements…..

It’s the most traumatic thing for the families of those who lost their loved ones……I just hope they are able to complete the tedious formalities, get closure and grieve in private….my heart goes out to them……

Friday, August 24, 2007

weekend update

Its always surprising how fast time flies when you aren’t employed. I haven’t yet gotten over the weekend and its Friday again!! Yay!! Not that I am complaining….i love it….especially when every day is the weekend for me….. a few days ago I had a comment from Advaita Kala….the lady who’s written the book Almost Single that I finished a few days ago….pretty good…the ending was abrupt and a let down…it had much more promise than what ended like an M&B……but I loved the quirkiness of the lead character….it gave me quite a few smiles and I think was a good effort for a non writer type person’s first book………

Wednesday was such a full day….it was a total roller coaster ride….woke up early to make a batch of chocolates for U to take back to Syracuse….that’s the day the maid decides to come in late and hey imagine her thrill when I ask her to just do the dishes and leave!! Went over to U’s, she was getting the last things done….spent some time with her, got into an argument which led to a fight, hot words, and lots of tears……of course we hugged and made up because there can be no other end can there?? I guess the heightened emotions brought it on……no sooner had we bid goodbye for another year that K and I decided to have lunch and catch a movie…..Chak De! India……to say that I was looking forward to this movie is correct if only for that one scene that I have been watching on the promos, of shah rukh running with the 16 girls behind him…in slo mo…..hair, beard and the fantastic at forty khan having the kind of screen presence that has made him what he is…..i am no fan of SRK, I admire him for something else….he’s hammed in all movies but one, one of my most favorite movies of all time Swades…..he seduced me in that one…. I never wanted to be Simran to his Raj, but wanted to be Geeta to his Mohan Bhargav in Swades…….

According to me, and this is my personal belief and a long digression….. SRK is what he is today because of his insecurity and intelligence……his rise in filmdom is unbelievable with a man of his talent (or the lack of it)…..all his roles have been extensions of each other….the persona is bigger than the actor of course, but he took what he had and made himself into what he has become with his astute business sense…..i cant sit through most of his movies, quivering lips and flaying arms et al…..but he has calculated and plotted his ascent and has stayed there…is till remember more than a decade and a half ago, at the film fare awards when he received the promising newcomer award, he said that he was waiting for a time when people would quit asking “for the way Amitabh Bachchan does it and ask for the SRK way”…I was appalled and never thought this bow lipped, arched eyebrow, shaggy haired youngster with his hands all over the place would survive, but survive he did…with his outrageous comment, horrendous clothes and hair…..he became the icon of the people…it amazes me…..even if all this is just media created, kudos to the PR agency that works for Shah Rukh Khan……what they made of him, is phenomenal……..

That he is intelligent, is a reflection of his success…..he isn’t the best actor around, but he is super successful and no one can grudge him that success……I have never seen him atleast in the last five odd years, making a fool of himself in public, you will find him making a controversial statement, I’ve never seen him drunk / misbehave, he’s always so well behaved and has said the same boring things in zillions of interviews with more enthusiasm than the interviewer……..if not for anything, for this he deserves his success…..and he has said so himself that he is insecure about losing all he has and hence works non stop round the clock and has become an insomniac…and no, I am not on his or his PR agency’s payroll……I’ve never met him…nothing….I just respect him for the success he has made of his life…..there will still be the rumours of his bisexuality, being on drugs and thwarting the budding careers of other actors…. but who cares!! You rock dude!! And I think he’s never looked better than he does in Chak De….beard and all…….Fabulous at forty!! now if only i can watch it again without K to tell me to stop drooling.....i mean, i am the same person who is disgusted when people think SRK looks good......ooo but you should see him with that beard....its salt and pepper...the stylists sure missed many spots....and he looks so fit....there are scenes where you can make out his toned body through his clothes...and yeah the white shirt, beige trousers look better on him than any of those fancy armani clothes he's worn.....plus there he is running in the front in his track suit!! totally worth the miserable traffic....

Ok, back to the movie now……its possibly the best sports movie made in india….not that we have many, but counting all the ones that have been made….the script is king…the nuances, characters, etc have been worked out well….and SRK has only been used to get the audiences into the theatres…it could be anyone else in his place….he had less than quarter of the duration of the movie as footage and is just the character Kabir Khan……and it’s a treat to watch him become the character and not the star……the girls surprise you, with the realism and credit to Shimit Amin…who’d have thought he’d pull this off after Ab Tak Chappan?? Infact what I loved was how stereotypes were brought in and then conquered……for instance the regionality of the players……. The lady who plays bindiya(Shilpa Shukla) is a great find….she’s cocky and makes you want to give her a nice tight slap…..the pretty Segarika Ghatge who plays Preeti is a pretty good actress too and handles her scenes with finesse…..i loved the Punjabi Balbir (Tanya Abrol); and of course the pint-sized, defiant Komal (Chitrashi Rawat) takes the cake, the accent, the lisp and the devil may care attitude, so well captured on screen…..its a hockey flick from the beginning to the end…..it keeps you gripped and proof of the pudding was that the audience in the theatre exploded when goals were being scored like they were in a stadium!! It isn’t without fault…..There are a couple of trite dialogues….and very obvious scenes…but he’s allowed all of this for the net result of the movie….bottom line….Watch it!!

But it didn’t end there!! Post the movie we partied till 3 a.m cos it was our friend S’s birthday…we went out for dinner and she invited us up to her place…she shouldn’t have….cos we stayed till the wee hours of the morning!! Well….looks like I’ll have to spend the weekend recovering from this!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weekend update................


While I am very happy with the way blogosphere has enriched my life, so many people, so many facets of their personality, so much camaraderie and the sheer joy of realizing that it can be fun to be a voyeur….. I am also pretty confused with the way its taking the joy out of the act in the first place….hit counters, stat analysis, visitor maps, blogrolls, unique visitors……… yesterday I got caught up in this maze….. on one of my daily trawlings yesterday I chanced upon some tool that could be added to the html code to track and trace the number of hits and give you a ranking….intrigued and interested I went to the site, registered, explored and then couldn’t add the code…..spent more time trying to figure out how to do it….. I am technologically challenged and need the most user friendly stuff available….this didn’t work for me….then I wondered why I was bothered at all…..this is my personal blog and if people chanced upon and read it great, if not it still serves the purpose I began this for…..so I logged out and rested well!!

It has been a fabulous week for me…..i came back from Bangalore, began my chocolate making classes in Secunderabad as well, it was a good start. Ended up spending 3 days at D’s place. I was a little selfish I must admit…….the lure of free food, that too cooked by someone else waiting on you hand and foot is simply irresistible…..for the most part, K and I live a good life, our home, our work, our passions and the lovely times we spend together….every once in a while I wonder if we are cutting ourselves out of the social world…..we like spending time with each other…this I am thankful for….approaching 4 yrs of married life we still haven’t felt the need to murder each other is a reason to celebrate…..but I love going out and meeting friends……given that Hyderabad traffic is a nightmare, we don’t brave it very often and have friends over at our place to compensate…..but like Thursday, when I went over to D’s for my class and they insisted on us staying back, we indulged and gave in….. 3 days of someone else being bothered about what to serve for breakfast, lunch and dinner and me lolling around!! I made use of the time to finish stocking upon supplies for my class. Got to know from the shop guy that Ms. Czarina of chocolate making is as insecure as hell and actually enquired into my shopping list to gauge how Culinary Escapades was doing!! Insecure little daughter of a you know who!! Picked up some fabulous books from the new branch of Odyssey that’s opened at Vikrampuri….. 3 Sexy books on baking and one author signed copy of Almost Single by Advaita Kala which despite the smirks from K I picked up…..shopped for a barbeque which ended up in the microwave – griller in D’s place and had a fabulous time till 3.00 A.M. the next morning, made a batch of chocolates exclusively for D while giving his wife R a special class. Finally got home in the evening. Yesterday went to Church, during which K to amuse himself stopped at a bookshop and picked up a leather bound collectors copy of the complete works of James Joyce. Stopped over at S and R’s for drinks, dinner and a huge dose of Gulzar’s Ijazzat. Fabulous week by far, I think I can adjust to something quiet this week to compensate the giddy spell.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

airline food anyone.....

On Saturday as I sat between two gentlemen enroute Bangalore aboard the jet airways flight, I wondered what was in store as the snack they’d serve……considering the stray dogs outside a few airports in india almost wag their tails when they spot me and the bouquet of airlines I travel by, I know what to expect…and I surely am not in the least bit expectant of good food on a domestic airline, I know that for the 40-80 rupees that the airline pays the five star kitchen for the meal, there is painfully little you can actually buy in the said hotel coffee shop… considering the food is cooked at least 24 hours earlier, there’s little the staff can do except reheat it to death before they smile their plastic with too much blusher induced cheekbones smile, pleasantly asking you as they roll the cart down the aisle, (they cant help it, I am not judging them….i am merely making an observation)…what can I serve you sir / ma’am, veg or non veg? here you go sir / ma’am, enjoy your meal sir / ma’am…..

I get airsick behind the wing, so the only seat as far in front as I could get on the stopover flight was the one that had me sandwiched between a man blissfully asleep, spilling out of his seat onto mine and hogging all of the armrest to my right with a man warned not to sleep during landing and take off on my left because we were in the emergency exit……

I’d just had time to eat some breakfast and apology of a sandwich for lunch and was famished enough to look forward to the food on an airplane by the time I was seated in it at 4 pm. I’d spent the previous few hours booking the ticket, closing up the house and packing for this surprise trip. I don’t miss an opportunity to pop by to see my mother, that this flu induced trip made me pine for her some more was making the plane fly too slowly……. both the gentlemen on either side of me refused the food and I looked like the glutton who wanted to eat so as to tell the story when I reached home…every bit desperately hungry I couldn’t care about public opinion…... I asked for the veg meal and carefully untied the complicated knot on the cutlery, spread the napkin on my lap and pulled back the foil…….with as less movement as I could….didnt want to wake my right side neighbour and the leftie was finding solace in the clouds so I could have some privacy with the meal

The snack menu usually has a sandwich / idly/ vada/ cut pieces of dosa / uttapam or similar savoury snack, some fruit and a dessert of some sort….i was horrified…at first glance…..it looked like atleast a few day old idly, dried, revived and fried with some onions and something unfathomable in the way of a spice powder….i forked some into my mouth and wasn’t disappointed….it was tasteless and so I let it be….moved onto what looked like two pieces of white tyre….it was…..flubbery paneer…half cooked and tasted like what I think rubber tastes like…I was ready to burst into tears…..the aloo bonda that sat next to these two albinos was the only thing I could swallow……before I had time to react, I told myself that this wasn’t in the least tough, was warm enough and I had to eat lest my head pounds me to death…..almost tasted gourmet after the first two encounters with the food…….i tried my best to precariously open the little dish which I thought would have the fruit….. it contained something chopped and brown with what looked like a tadka….actually it looked like pieces of wood…..it tasted pretty close to wood too…what I suspect spent its life thinking it was dhokla, only it was wood in disguise drenched in chutney…..i closed the coffin…oops lid and let it lie….by now the lumpy excuse for chocolate mousse tasted divine….i sipped the packaged orange juice which I thankfully saved for the last to wash everything down, folded back the offending food in the foil and sat back hoping they’d clear the tray faster than I could cry……when the lady politely remarked “you’ve hardly eaten anything” I couldn’t hold back and said in my most solemn voice “I tried my best”. It wasn’t her fault…but it wasn’t mine either….i mean I know its precariously placed to serve a decent meal when you’re bleeding revenues, but serving cut wood is hardly the option…I mean a chutney sandwich would’ve been fine in place of the dead idly…..i have rarely been so scathing of my observations…mostly I refuse food…and I realized that I was doing the right thing….but what if you are really hungry?? And hey…I was paying for this wasn’t I ?? So I wonder if anyone reads the feedback forms that are filled and does it make any difference…..i don’t know…..what I know is I will continue to refuse food on this airline….i’d rather allow my head to pound me to death till I reach a place I know wont make me cry because of what they serve…..

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I have been very step motherly with my randomness of thoughts here!! Not because I haven’t much to say (that my friends will never happen!!). Its just that I haven’t enough time. The classes are going well. The writing’s going great and so is life in general. Yet the step motherly treatment!! Well am about to remedy it now with this post. The dash to Bangalore last week still lingers on in my head. The relief of seeing amma after what seemed like eternity but was only 2 months, Rachel having really grown and getting to display some of my stuff for amma to praise as only she can!!

Rachel’s quite the little energetic 7 month old. She’s got everyone including Cindy the dog wrapped around her little fingers. Infact poor Cindy gets to feel her vice like grip around her floppy ears more than we’d like to imagine. She grins and whines and hopes that we notice she isn’t growling!! Rachel also has quite the sweet jaw. With no teeth, I guess that’s what you should call it……I found out when I tried feeding her some yet unfrozen roasted banana ice-cream I made. She wanted the bowl in her hand to make sure I was going to feed her all of it; you should have seen that mouth opening for the spoon!! If that wasn’t the most desperate baby I have seen, then what is?? Feeding her non sweet stuff needs the patience of an angel! She’s also at the stage where everything gets to meet her mouth first. So she gurgled with joy at the cat shaped cushion I made for her (of which I haven’t any pictures). She was good behavior personified all through her dedication tho. All dolled up in a little gown and matching shoes, she looked nothing like the mischievous little toddler she is. Am posting pics of the baby beds with pillows that I made for her. The pink one took me more time and patience than I had imagined. All my fault because my technique (which like murphy’s law I realized after I messed up) was wrong. It’s a nightmare to stitch cloth on four sides. The blue one is the one I made after wizening up. Attached vertical and alternate panels, then cut again to stitch them into a patchwork. I was dilly dallying over doing something handmade, then thought, more than Rachel it will be my gift to amma. She hasn’t been able to make her dream patchwork quilt because of her failed eyesight. And this was my humble offering to her. She was so happy, so is the little one, imagine sucking on all that lace!! It turned out better than I imagined. K says I can think of selling the stuff now!!

The gift of the hand mixer has been inaugurated yesterday. I made chocolate chip cookies. The rechargeable batteries of the camera refused to work and I haven’t any pictures of them for Escapades. I’ll just have to make another batch!!

While I type up this post, K is going around the house zapping mosquitoes with the new mosquito zapper. It looks like a badminton racquet but works like a barbeque of sorts. When on, whatever flies into it gets charred!! With the rains cometh the mosquitoes and this for the last few days since we bought it at a traffic signal, is K’s favourite sport!! I think this is the closest he will come to hunting!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

i'm listening to a song from the hindi movie Holiday which was a rip off on dirty dancing. one of my all time favourite movies....the romantic junkie that i am i own the dvd and on the first day watched it repeatedly 12 times. it went on from the morning to the evening. i was / am so in love with the patrick swayze of dirty dancing...i think the next two days after i marathon watched this movie, i googled him out and read and digested every bit of information i could lay my hands on......anyways, i haven't watched holiday and though i know it was a big flop and can never be even a patch on the original...i mean dino morea and anjolie.....pardon me but much as i think that dino deserves as much success as a certain john abraham is enjoying right now......it still doesnt make the cut for me....anyways back to the song ....aashiyan ban gaya....is a great song......has fantastic words and a lovely tune....ranjit barot rocks!! i mean had this song been released minus the flop film, am sure it would have become a rage............especially on the dance floor with a remix version....maybe.......

i am very excited about a book i picked for myself....i cant remember the last time i bought a book....but when i saw it on the shelves of Landmark in blore i knew i had to have it....i have Anthony bourdain on my nightstand...no it isn't Kitchen Confidential, but it is the one called 'nasty bits' it'll do for now.....when you look at those dreamy eyes looking at you from the cover of the book...you'll know i am saying the truth when i think he is one of the sexiest 50 yr olds i have ever seen......all 6ft 4 of him and more!! am i gushing already?? i'd better stop!!

just back from bangalore...rachel's doing great and effortlessly made K and me baby talk and was just so pleased with herself at having lorded it over two otherwise sane human beings.....she's just so perceptive and observant...i wonder what would happen if there was a scrolling marquee on her forehead to capture her thoughts.....and boy does she have a mind of her own....i also think that in the not so very distant future, she'll be ready to effortlessly take over the actress mantle from your truly!! she was delighted with the cat cushion i made for her...the two ears are so convenient for her to suck on...its a sight to see her go into raptures when you show it to her in mock surprise!!

the days before we left for bangalore were such a daze......with the chocolate classes, shopping (of course at general bazar)...... sewing the two baby beds and pillows for rachel......i was up till 1.00 am, i also had to wind up a class on saturday that i finally cancelled...dealt with a truant maid, packed and had to clean up .... but it wasnt over when we left home, cos we had a few errands to run including buying some prized cuts for my brother who still cant come to terms with whats available in bangalore....... i was so relieved to be led to my seat on the plane....all i needed was bad weather to stall our landing and go on a merry go around 30000 feet above sea level watching in horror as lightening bounced off the wings of the plane!! i was so happy to finally be 'driven' home!!

i came back with a gift of a hand mixer and am gonna hit the baking books soon!! the only ill of this enthusiasm is that neither K or i need the extra pounds that baking so freely offers.......am also thinking that i should finally get my hair trimmed......its all the way down my back now but could sure do with a couple of snips.....i know i have rambled on and on...but it is my blog isnt it??