Assamese Food Festival. Part Two - During my growing up days, going to a restaurant was a treat, most days we ate at home, a traditional Sindhi meal- Curry Chawal, Sai Bhajji or simple veg...
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
There is a news article about a British Muslim woman who feels that veil is simply a tool of oppression which is used to alienate and control women under the guise of religious freedom and is calling on the government to follow the lead of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and ban burkha in the country. She feels that the veil restricts women. It stops them achieving their full potential in all areas of their life, and it stops them from communication. It sends out a clear message: 'I do not want to be part of your society.' This reminds me of my trip to Kuwait some years ago. While in Kuwait, I saw many women in burkhas. I knew that they were fashionable from their selection of high heeled shoes and their beautiful, smooth white skin that was laced with crystal bracelets and diamond rings. The eyes that peeped through that slit also had mascara and eye make-up. The women moved in groups and I would see them in malls shopping for branded clothes. On my way back to Mumbai, I was wheeled to my seat before the other passengers. I saw many women in burkha board the aircraft. But this particular woman had left a lasting impression on me. She had approached my seat, and confirmed it to be next to mine. Before sitting, she went to cloakroom. When she came back, she had burkha under her arm. The woman who sat next to me was chirpy teenager with a sweet smile and was dressed in branded jeans and noodle-strapped blouse.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Whenever I visit my friends I am surprised by the number of dishes that are served on a dining table, there will be great assortments like Rice, Chappatis, two starter, dhal, two different vegetables, yogurt, aachar and papad. One big Thali!!!!How can we eat so many things? I am always confused if my plate is filled up with so many different delicacies. Should I eat Rice first or should it be Chappati? And Indians feel insulted if you don’t eat what they have so lovingly cooked for you, so you have to stuff yourself and that is not all, after lunch comes a bowl of fruits and then deserts like ice-cream or kulfi and finally Paan…..gosh how do they do it? I am beginning to hate masalas in food that means that I am not enjoying outside food and would like to cook all my meals with as little masalas as possible. That’s the reason I like Chinese…it takes so little time to cook and yet so tasty. Like today I made this shredded chicken, Chinese style. I had marinated chicken in garlic, chicken cube and soya sauce for half an hour. On a very high flame I stir-fried the marinated chicken, added spring onion, green chilies, red/green/yellow capsicum, and the dish was ready in just ten minutes. Had it with rice and the little empty space in my stomach I filled it up with orange juice. See, so easy? It is better than preparing Indian dishes where we keep stirring and stirring till the arms get sore. If it takes just ten minutes to eat the food, why should it take two hours to cook it? We just have to fill stomach, we must eat to live and not live to eat. Feasting on food should be reserved only during festivals when burping is the sign of enjoyment. Right?
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Every news channel in India is talking about Shiney Ahuja…(see, I can remember his name, for otherwise, I am lousy at remembering names,.) Well, this Shiney looked like a nice guy in movies.(.but then, most of the heroes in the film do look good, what with all that make-up et-al)…but, he turned out to be such a big goonda…raping a maid? Bollywood is filled up with people who could have readily quenched his libido, free of charge, why go and rape a helpless minor? Is he really ‘Bai-sexual’ (like my friend commented on her FB status.) And, his wife comes to his rescue… “Anupam Ahuja on Wednesday mounted a spirited defense of her husband Shiney Ahuja who has been accused of raping their maid in their Oshiwara home.” Screamed the paper headlines today. Now, that is strange! I am sure his wife knows him well, why is she defending him,and blaming the maid of raping her husband?? At a press conference, she said her ‘soulmate’ and ‘doting father to our daughter’ was innocent and was being framed. “Rape is a very heinous crime and in these times, rape can be committed not just by a man; we all know that even a woman can do it,” she said, adding that her husband was being framed “possibly because he is a celebrity and all celebrities are soft targets’’. And I want to ask her as to how will she explain the blood on the scene of crime (bed) and the brutal marks on her body? There are clear evidences that the girl has been abused by her hubby, her dearest hubby, Ahem! Come on! Be practical Anupam. You must know your husband well. ….let him rot in jail for seven years, let his career be doomed for ever This will be a good lesson for all men who take poor people for granted and believe that they can freely abuse anyone.. arrey.. Media is strong now-a-days. Don’t you know that? You really cannot fool around… Very powerful I say, and very strong… and the media's verdict is 'GUILTY' NOW, BUT, PARANTU, KINTU, over to justice, law and police...proof, money, witness, believers, nonbelivers...Fate will be decided by luck alone.... Prayers might also help Understand?
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
I have travelled to Pune from Mumbai four times during these last two months, visiting my family again and again. Although it is just four hours ride by Volvo, I want a break of journey. I eagerly wait for bowel relief at Lonavala. Can’t help it, every time I see a service room I want to oblige. \ During these stops, I rush off to a rest room before I can even think of cup-a- coffee, or bite of batatawadas. (Lonavala is known for its hot and spicy Vada-Pav) But, when I enter a loo, I am always disappointed. My stomach goes somersaulting into its customary grip. However beautiful the bathroom may be constructed with Formica doors, shiny tiles and steel taps, the bathrooms are always wet and dirty. The stink over-powers the air from ventilation, seems like some decaying corpse is behind one of those doors. The attendants are either fast asleep or you have them staring at you, begging for some tip. “Clean this darn toilet puleeeej” I want to scream at them, but looking at their bored expression, I just wrap my nose with my scarf and finish my job in a jiffy. There is overwhelming sense of annoyance and frustration followed instantly by depression. Wat-d-heck?? Don’t people in India know to use western toilets????? Come on!!!! How do they make the toilets wet? Why are there no toilet tissue rolls in there? Why are the taps always leaking?? Must we carry our own toilet tissue rolls everywhere? Most of the Indians are used to squat toilets and therefore must be confused when they see western toilets. I believe, they must not be using the seats, but sitting on the floor instead and throwing gallons of water on the floor after use. Or maybe they are squatting on the top of the bidet. It is important to educate them as to how they must use it. Something should be done. I am really fed up of all this stink and dirt. Thinking of some solutions? Thinking, thinking, thinking,,,Got it!!! Maybe, tiles of this kind can be installed in every public toilet that will guarantee the right way to sit on the toilet seat... Better still, a cleansing jet of water designed to wash the anus of the user of this bidet-style toilet should be installed at every toilet. That way, they won’t play with water to pass time or splash water on the walls and door. Or maybe a coin operated toilet? Isn’t that a good idea? If such facilities are available to Indians, they might forfeit the idea of urinating on the walls or carry their tin mugs to the nearest fields to relieve themselves and they may even help keep our toilets clean!! Air fresheners will not be a problem; I am willing to invent some creative ideas to sell them commercially.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Each time I receive a wedding invitation, I get worried…No, I am not unhappy that one more couple is getting married. Actually I have nothing against any one getting married, it’s okay for me if they want to start a new life together but why give me an invitation to attend their marriage? What work do I have? I am not required to perform any rites, nor do I enjoy dancing or singing loudly at the weddings. I don’t even drink any hard/soft drinks nor eat those oily foodstuffs with dripping mayonnaise. So what do I do at these weddings? Just dress up and keep a smile? Dressing up? Now that’s another headache! I am worried about what shall I wear? The other day, I went with the groom’s mother for her shopping and I was shocked. Each outfit was costing her around 80-90 grand! Then there were solitaires and fancy footwear. During the wedding she will be worth more than 2 lakhs at each occasion. And there are four such occasions before and after the wedding. I asked her as to why would she spend so much money in doling herself, when it is not even her wedding and she said that she was groom’s mom, the centre of attraction, and would want to look good in photographs. The hostess should be well dressed. Okay! So where do I fit in? Whatever I wear, it will look cheap even if it costs me 10 grand. (Not that I will spend so much money on one outfit.. Nah! not me) And why must I invest so much money for somebody else’s wedding? And what do I do with that outfit after the wedding is over, can I repeat it? I could, only if there are different set of people but if there are same group of people at another wedding then repeating is a sin. They might say ”Oh this outfit., I remember. You still have it? You also wore it at XYZ’s wedding. Hai na??” Come on, you don’t expect me to throw away my expensive clothes after just one wash, do you? Gimme a break!!! So, the second best thing is not to attend the wedding at all. I will bless the couple online maybe in my night suit. Who care!
I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...