Sunday, July 27, 2008

Jalsa Chhe

Dalwada ane majja boss,
Amdawad, O Amdawad...
Cutting ane jalsa boss...
Amdawad, O Amdawad...

Nothing can deter the Amdawadi spirit from swinging back to life. Not even this

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dark Comedy- UPA wins the trust vote

Just seeing the parliament proceedings live.

I so feel like mollycoddling them and planting a kiss on their cheeks. Don't they seem like unruly first standard kids? The way the honourable speaker has to repeat-- "Go back to your seats, behave, sit down, stop this noise, quiet..." O, I so remember my school...

Coming to think of it, many of our respectable members of parliament are illiterate and some have come straight from prison to cast life-saving votes.

The cash for vote allegations by BJP were a fascinating thrill but this failed to ruffle the UPA. SP leader Amar Singh though used many a words to show his displeasure.

The UPA won the trust vote a few seconds back with 275 votes...

8.25 PM, July 22

Related: Cash in the well and UPA wins

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stop Senseless Slander

Just read the article on Aarushi written by Masooma Ranalvi in Outlook dated July 28, 2008. Masooma, mother of Aarushi's close friend has voiced with precision and passion the serious pitfalls of scandalising media coverage.

The callous depiction of the Aarushi murder case brings to light how the police and the media have become hand-in-glove accomplices in the road to slander.

Repetitions in the form of the same visuals, leading questions, questions that encourage drama and speculation, sexed-up discussions and debates about murders and crimes on prime time news- we seem to be blood-sucking vampires drooling on the gory and the obscene to a majority of production houses today, isn’t it?

And then there’s this angle about the callousness of police.

What kind of investigation is it that fails to find a dead body from the crime scene and discovers it the next day. (The first short brief I read in The Telegraph was that the girl was found murdered and police suspected the house-help, assumed he had fled after committing the crime)

I fail to see the reason why the police feel compelled to hold press conferences and shed light on what they think would have been the modus operandi, speculate about alleged killers on air? Why they can't mind their own business without light, cameras and action.

Gone are the days when the crime departments did their own work and the reporters did their own news briefs that were small, crisp reports and nothing more.

As of this date, there still isn't a set of laws framed expressly to control the audio-visual media. Could this be the reason why nonsense goes on the Indian television so effortlessly?

Talking about censure, yes I do feel very strongly that a free press that head bangs callously in each and every aspect of personal life need not be applauded and celebrated as the living symbol of 'freedom of speech'. Of late, hasn't the Indian television gotten a bit too free? A section of it needs to be leashed, and leashed firm and proper. And soon.

We need news to keep informed. For thrills and frills, we might as well read cheap detective novels, thank you.

We attended this guest lecture from a person from CNN-IBM. I still remember his sly smile when Jyoti asked him 'Sir, do you seriously think there is a need for 24 hour news channels?'

I guess that question sums it up all.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tagged-- again :)

Dharma has tagged me this time. And if I remember well, this is the same tag that Gaurav forwarded a long time back. So now, given the power of meme with the same tag landing up twice from two people located at two distant corners of the world, I feel I really must keep the game going and do what is asked of me right away.

I did a recap of some of my favourite posts, and this tag is somewhat similar.

What you have to do is simple: Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given : family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like. Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

Family--- I don't think I have talked a lot of my family here. Of course, references could have come up in other posts (for the influence of baba and aaji on me is more than I would like to acknowledge :) but there are no posts in which I have actually, consciously talked about them. Except in this one, the post that happened in an impulsive, nostalgic moment. This post will give you a glimpse about my baba. I have wanted to, thought of and many a times willed myself to sit and write about what I remember of growing up. But my mind evades the pen, the pen the paper. Some memories are so beautiful and so sad, I dare not freeze them, not just yet.

Friends-- I have less than ten friends whom I really call 'friends'. (Dharma's musings about the randomness of categories and stuff often perplexes me too, but then, I believe if you know where you and others stand in your life, so much the easier) These are the few people I have tagged along with since kinder garten, a few whom I began to love for no special reason along the way in high school and college. Though I am not regularly in touch with them, it's with a fierce Virgo trait that I keep thinking of them, remembering them and bitterly missing them without letting them know I do. I wish I were a little more open with the best of my friends and reach out more often... :) Here's what I have written about my friends.

But then there's one person who hears my rants day in and day out, who takes pains to make meaning of my random blabber and who even tolerates the songs I sing just before falling off to sleep. My best friend...

And my ever loving sis, who tolerated the late night lullabies I sang for me before the task was transferred to M, who I always pushed off a gathering of friends out of insecurity and jealousy. (My friends always had nice things to say about 'Didi' and that irritated me no end) With time, I have realised what a great fool I have been all along. Whom I strictly classified as 'family' , 'sister' and such stuff, was after all the most constant, most un-judging, most tolerant friend I ever had. My friend who reminds me of the most hilarious times of growing up together... The four year gap never made itself felt between us.

Yourself--- How dumb! All that you read on this blog takes you an inch closer to confusion of knowing who I am, who I am not. Pick what you choose of these writings and see if you think you know me.

Love--- Ah!! Hop on to the other blog that has most of the little scribbles born out of love, longing and happiness. Or let me narrow things down- you may want to read this, this and this...

Anything you like--- The most direct way of getting in a trap is giving me a choice- A question like "This or That?" leads me to a labyrinth of confusion, nerve-wracking moments and leaves me with a simplistic solution and twinkling eyes: "Both!!" This fifth point comes with a similar rider... Anything I like??? I adore this entire blog of mine, how unfair to ask me to choose... If you have read till this line, I say, cheers! You are what an ideal reader should be like... :D

The tag goes to

True fiction (Glad you took the earlier one.. I know another comes too soon, but would be great if you do this too!)
Void ( " " " " too!)

Also, Apu and Sudhanshu, do take this tag up and keep coming here more often!

The conditions once more-- Tag five or more people, two of whom should be new acquaintances you have made...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gerald Durrell: The one author I adore

It's after a long, long time after which I am reading Gerald Durrell. I find myself curled up somewhere cosy, smiling, nodding, moving my lips silently to read some lines I like the sound of and letting out shrill laughs every few pages or so. These bursts of mirth startle Mitrajit from his single-minded dedication to television and my complete oblivion to all things else puts a faint pout on his face at times.

Gerald Durrell, after all, means you keep turning one page after the other laughing out loud at Larry's audacity, his parade of friends who turn up announced, their endearing 'Mother' and Gerry's endless collection of animals- from frogs to owls to baby terrapins.

His role as a crusader for wildlife conservation slightly sidelines Durrell’s recognition as an accomplished author with an impeccable, original writing style. His proficiency with the written word per say is not as thoroughly acknowledged. I, for one, love Durrell not only for his wonderful tales on Corfu, but for his much extensive vocabulary and his power of description.

If you can dissect the sentences from the story, you will see just to what heights can Durrel take the art of description to. Even if you don't fancy reading about a battalion of animals, read Durrell as an exercise in writing, to read about how refreshingly can one use colours, smells and the most unlikely similies to describe people, places and situations. I feel his works, especially the Corfu Trilogies, should be made a compulsory reading for students learning how to write features.

The Corfu trilogy (My Family and other animals followed by Birds, Beasts and Relatives and finally The Garden of the Gods) fills up the most fun within the pages. I still remember that chapter in 'My Family...' when Mr. Kralefsky, his tutor takes him to meet his ancient mother. The description of the room full of flowers left my head spinning in admiration and happiness. I lingered on that chapter for a long time, making notes, copying beautiful sentences and generally awestruck by such beauty on paper...

I am truly grateful to Rani maushi who gifted me with a copy of My family and other animals some five years back. Since then, our love affair with the Durrell family began. However when we got enthralled by his writing, we discovered his books were really hard to find and were very atrociously priced, as is with all good books. It’s at the British Council here that I discovered a wealth of his books after a long hiatus.

I have only about ten pages left to finish The Garden of Gods. I feel slightly sorry when any good book is about to come an end. It's a silly, eccentric quirk, but then finishing a lovely book means being no longer able to turn the pages in anticipation...

A delightful read.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Atul has tagged me. And this is one very interesting: list at least five things that have changed in you thanks to your better half (or any one person who has influenced you).

This tag calls for more than just a list. So let me expand.

Given that he says I am the most stubborn person on earth who is immune to change, this is some challenge. We often have arguments that go something like this:
M: "I have changed this, this, this..... that... for you. Tell me the one thing you have changed for me"...
Me: "Ummmm... ummm" (I attribute the ummm to my poor memory and the long list to his sharp ability to remember almost anything)

On serious notes, earlier, before getting married, or even before meeting him, I was averse to the idea of changing to adjust in a relationship. I reasoned that if things are worth it between the two, the need for 'change' won't arise. And then I met him. I changed without my realising it and for the good. Same with him. I know now how silly my assumptions against change were.

The far-fetched idea that things should fit in like a jigsaw has now gone. Small things here and there make all the difference. I repeat, small things- for we don't find ourselves bitterly fighting on leftist or rightist theories than we find ourselves shouting about insisting on changing attitudes and habits that call for putting the bin out in the morning, the wet towel on the bed, replacing missing caps on water-bottles, the cell that is allowed to intrude at all times...

I am essentially the same person. So is he. But with time, I feel the following has changed in me thanks to him:

1) I am not as slow as I was before. My sis said I did everything in slow motion for the first hour after waking up. My husband said he had never seen someone so frustratingly laid-back. I think have changed a bit on this front.
2) See more movies than ever before.
3) I try to see people as he does, he doesn't judge. I have started keeping a tab on my Virgo traits.
4) Try to watch what I speak when I am angry.
5) I cool off much faster, have chucked pulling arguments out of spite than reason.
6) I have started cooking more often
7) Lose things a little less now.
8) His idea 'Why pay to eat veg?' means I eat more n-veg than I have done in my entire lifetime. These bong food traits scare baba no end though...
9) I try not to stuff my bags, pull the straps rashly and damage an item before its time has come.

You can also do this tag by mentioning how the influence of any one person has changed you. Remember, list five or more points and don't forget to pass the tag on.

I request
True fiction
The alphabet makes stories
to do this tag...

Monday, July 07, 2008

100th post

I realised last night that the last post was the hundredth on this blog. Felt good!
In the process of writing these hundred posts, I have met many new people whom I am glad to know through their words.
Each post happens to be a little expectation, waiting to hear what others think of the writing and the thought. I have not been disappointed so far. Thanking all those who come and read... And hoping I have your company in the posts to come.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Less is More!

I spend most of my time longingly lingering at some delicious food blogs I have listed in the Yumm Corner.

Nupur is hosting a Monthly Blog Patrol (MBP) on her blog One hot stove on behalf of Coffee (who initially came with MBP). The idea behind MBP is that participants must cook some of recipes they have come across some interesting food blogs and present the preparation with due credits at MBP. Each month follows a different theme and the theme this month is 'Less is more'. Participants will have to cook and then post those recipes that include five, or less ingredients.

Now it so happened that today, on a very hungry impulse, I made something that fits the 'Less is more' bill completely.

I realised this after I finished off more than half of the piping hot pasta. So I again peeled and cut one cucumber, peeled garlic, got a tea spoon of black pepper, scooped spoonfuls of butter and arranged all the ingredients neatly to take a photo to accompany the post. (Signs I am getting blogaholic.. :()

The problem is, in my drooling phase, I focus more on the wonderful food pics.(And on Nupur's hot stove- her neat collection of crochet purses, gloves) So to my disappointment, it occurred that my recipe doesn't follow the basic MBP rules (i.e. you should cook someone else's recipe and not your own). Here's the recipe anyway, for the pasta turned out pretty well and you can count the ingredients on the tip of your fingers...

Pepper-garlic pasta

Pepper-Garlic Pasta


Garlic- One small pod (Or about 15-20 cloves)

Whole black pepper- One teaspoonful

Kheera i.e. cucumber- Two, medium sized

Amul Lite- Two tablespoonfuls
(Or normal butter-- More, but not less, in this case though!)

Granora Penne Rigate Pasta no.26- About 200 gm

Salt to taste


Pressure cook the pasta for ten minutes, this boils the pasta just right, al dente. Don't forget to add a little oil before putting the pasta to boil, and do not over-do the ten minutes time. If you choose to boil in a vessel, may take slightly more than ten minutes.
While the pasta is getting cooked, peel the cucumbers and slice in rings, like you would do for a salad. Also peel garlic cloves. (This apparently tedious job is done in a jiffy if you wet the garlic cloves first, slice in half with a knife and then peel) Grind pepper and garlic in the chutney jar (or using a mortar) to a fine paste.
Exactly in ten minutes, take the cooker off the gas. Drain the pasta completely.

Heat butter well in a heavy-bottomed pan and then add the garlic pepper paste. Once the butter starts leaving sides, and the pepper-garlic paste gets a light reddish tinge, add the cucumber slices. Saute for 2-3 minutes, till the cucumber slices change colour and are cooked. Now add pasta. Sprinkle salt to taste and mix well.
Just don't be stingy with the pepper, garlic and butter and the outcome will surprise you. Tastes as delicious as it is easy to make!

Go to Nupur's blog to see the simple, wholesome recipes she has posted as a part of Coffee's Monthly Blog Patrol...