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… 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… 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… 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… 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… 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)… 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 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


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… 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