Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unmatched Flavors of Street.

A man stands before a shaded cart, finely chopping onions, as he needs more of the diced vegetable- other vegetables; tomatoes, boiled potatoes, etc. (both whole and cut) all kept aside on trays for each... papri and sev stacked in big plastic bags either hanging from his cart or placed beside him along with variety of chutneys and sauces... A large hot griddle over a stove is right in front of him.
Image : google
A look at his hair and you know pollution and dust didn't show their mercy to his mane... a thin layer of dirt and perspiration on face exhibits how hard he has been working ... his clothes sticking to his body in a few places due to sweat... a piece of not-so-clean cloth is at his disposal, to wipe his hands... one tub filled with water to dip the used dishes into it for a few times (that's his way washing the dishes), stands beside the cart on his side... a small stainless steel tank of drinking water, with a couple of glasses (washing procedure is same) kept on its lid.

That's our man--- the chaat wala (chaat man) and his small and super hit business of street food.

He represents the whole big bunch of chaat walas, across the country who serve us with those, oh! so De-licious street food, we crave for.
Indulging in these heavenly snacks, we pamper our taste buds every now and then.
And I am no exception (though I am not a junk food lover, I savor these once in a while) but it is always a herculean task for me to indulge in street food, without hygiene concerns hovering over my head. (Errr.. yeah.. OCD). 

Mom being "Mom", couldn't see my plight, had a simple and logical solution- she prepared my favorite chaats at home *I love you Mom*. 
But..But..But ---- it was nowhere near to my chaat wala's divinely bites (Its still isn't). What Mom makes is tasty - really it is - but what it lacks are the "quintessential" flavors of street. 
Even after getting the right ingredients and right proportions and other foody elements correct, the zing is always missing. 5 star restaurants too, can't get "that" taste.
So, where do we go wrong? what is missing ? -- According to my Mom ...the answer lies in the sweat, dirt and unhygienic conditions.....hmmm... I second her.

Hence, sacrificing my OCD, once in a while, for the pleasures of chaats to dance on my tongue is justifiable, isn't it ? "pst...I do make sure to eat at a cleaner, more hygienic stall... you see I can definitely make do with some lesser amount of mouth watering taste producing germs----*winks* ".

Recipe Time :
I am sharing this Video, I found on Youtube; how to make Pav Bhaji (famous street food) from a stall at Juhu Beach. Enjoy !

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Monsoon, where art thou ??

The other day I was told about this interesting thing about ants and monsoon.
Apparently, ants come out to collect food 12-14 days prior to the onset of the monsoon...I also came to know about a man from Thailand who could (and I am guessing, he still can) always tell the arrival date of the monsoon just by observing the ants....veeeery interesting... isn't it ?
(& DO I believe in it...? I believe in the person who told me and Nature never ceases to surprise me.)

Now, when I heard this, it simply came back to me, that I was enlightened by this "phenomenon" in the past as well, though could not place my finger on - how?, by whom ? or when ? .. but I knew this before and had simply forgotten about it.

Anyway, since then, i.e. since Friday, I have been looking for the marching ants at home and other places *yeah yeah... I am eagerly waiting for a good downpour* .. but no luck.
Either the pesticide has worked really well ...or its still not the time for the sky to go dark ... or the ants, from where I live, have supplies stuffed in their kitchen. *sigh*

Well, talking of Monsoon, rain, downpour, dark clouds... there is this one song that comes to my mind, which I find so apt for the season ... the song has two versions... one- sung by a male (Kishore Kumar) and the other ..the female version (by Lata Mangeshkar)... and though I love to listen to the male version more... I find the female version more appealing to my eyes, the picturization is perfect... just like it should be... it has purity, innocence, romance; and not just between the actors but also between the rain and the city (Mumbai) too... you can feel the showers romancing the city from late 70s... *smiles*

I am sharing the song here .. I hope you will love it, just the way I do :)

Here is --Rim Jhim Gire Sawan, from Manzil... Enjoy !! :)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Fun personified ..!

Sunday was special... Mom - Dad celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. *smiles*
Settling for a 'small' celebration this year (we had a good reason for it... don't ask), a nice spread, for three of us (yes a spread for only three, we bongs take our food pretty seriously), with some mouth wattering desserts for lunch, was laid, followed by an old Bollywood comic flick.."Chameli Ki Shaadi" *what an apt movie for anniversary :P *, at home. A similar spread was laid for supper as well, which we gorged on with BIG smiles on our faces.

Happiness can be gathered in so many little/simple things - Being together with your loved ones, relishing home food... listening to your folks remembering their days of youth...teasing each other.. watching classic movies, all this with so much of laughter and giggles... is FUN personified ;)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cold coffee anyone ??

After a somewhat tiring day, I sat down for a tall glass of cold coffee. I am not a coffee person, certainly not a tall glass of coffee person; no way. Chilled lemonade is what works for me *smiles*, specially during this time of the year, when the sun is trying its best to scorch you.
But today was different, I just felt that I should get some cold coffee, to cool myself in this burning heat, with no whipped cream of course (my cheating weekend of the month got covered last week, rememmmmmberrr).

So, here I was in a coffee shop, by myself, placing my order and secretly wishing if I could cheat. *sigh*
While waiting for my refreshment, thoughts of this week kept flashing by; thoughts of my accomplishments (small...big), but, mostly thoughts of how in no time my plans got cancelled, and I was left with a few sad faces, including mine.

My cold coffee arrived -Oh my... what a delicious sight it was- the caramel hued drink just looked like the path to heaven... ice cubes smirking at me through the froth tempting me to polish it off within a minute... the white bendy straw made sure I did not have second thoughts of leaving the beverage... I needed no more cues, taking the straw in my mouth, I sipped on the drink. The moment the cold liquid went in, there was a feeling of relief; relief from the heat, relief from the not so good thoughts, I was having till now. The more I savored it, the more I felt perked up. My day was made. Not sure, how this worked, but it did. 

I made sure to finish it up till the last drop, after all a girl needs to have a happy weekend  *Winks*
Will Cold Coffee make it to my must have list ?...I don't know. 

Well, with this anecdote I leave you, my friends, with happy weekend wishes. 

Oh! I totally forgot... Cold coffee anyone ? 

                                                 Images : www.inmagine.com

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fun filled Weekend !!

Family, Friends & Food --- what else do you need for a perfect weekend. For me its the best recipe for FUN!

Saturday :
It began by visiting one of my close friends (friends since we were 15), around noon. Seeing each other, after almost 6 months, made us a couple of chatting machines, both trying to give away so many details on so many topics... We just had to cover everything that happened in those months.
Phew! Catching up can be so tiring...  *giggles*.

The food we enjoyed : 
            Dhokla -- An Indian snack made with a fermented batter of chickpea flour. Served with Green chutney and garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

Images : Inmagine

                       Jalebis -- An Indian sweet, which is deep fried and then dipped in sugar syrup.

The Evening :
The fun continued in the evening, with 2 good friend. It wasn't a planned one.
The get together was filled with laughter, smirks, serious looks, giggles, gossips, rolling of eyes and loads of chit-chats. I thank my friends and their impulsive arrangement :D

We polished of these :
Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji -- A fast food dish. Pav = Bread/ bun....bhaji = vegetable dish. The bhaji is mashed, the pav is buttered on all the sides and is served with chopped onions and a wedge of lemon.
Mango Lassi

  Mango Lassi -- Is a savory drink made of yogurt and mango pulp. Lassi is also flavored with various other fruits and dry fruits.

Friends who joined us later.. :P
Images : By Friend.

And this is how you make your friends, who aren't present, to join the fun... Take a napkin, get a pen (beg, borrow, steal) and sketch your friends, whom you are missing...and then, of course.. *click*
Please note : DO NOT .. I repeat .. DO NOT  exhibit your drawing skills here.. save them for the galleries.

Sunday : Happy Mother's Day .. !!

The day was wonderfully spent with two mothers.. my Mom and Aunty... and my gift to both of them was a bowl of Kheer, which I made for the first time.. and I did a fantastic job *smiles*.

                    Kheer -  Rice pudding...a sweet dish prepared with rice, milk, sugar and dry fruits.

Don't I love just Looooooove weekends .. Can't wait for the next one *Winks*
P.S.  1 weekend a month is reserved for cheating on my diet schedule..... *puppy eyes*.


                                                        Images : www.inmagine.com

Friday, May 11, 2012


We often witness ourselves in a situation where we just want to run...or...hide.. or want the earth to open its mouth and swallow us...but none of these happen... and we are stuck in the moment, the awkward moment.

A few years ago, at a mall, a girl walked up to me, greeting me with a warm smile, asked after my family and my life...& I had no idea what her name was... who she was... I just carried on with the conversation, matching her enthusiasm of meeting after so many years, while at the same time, I was asking my brain to activate my memory cells and save me.
Then suddenly, she gave me a *I heard what you just said to your brain* look, and said, "You don't remember me, do you ?"-----*awkwaaaaaaard* 

There I was, standing saucer-eyed, not knowing what to do?....Someone inside me started screaming, "RUN....RUN" and after a few seconds which seemed like eternity, I found myself muttering the famous word *sorry* ... confessing my goof up. Clearly, by now I was a puppy eyed girl, trying my best to fix the situation.
----Did it work ? Of course it did. *SMILES* 

A few Awkward situation I found to be a common phenomenon  :

  • Something serious is being said, and you laugh and everyone looks at you. Ooppss ...*awkwaaaaard*  ---Fix it : Say "Sorry, please continue".
  • You try to open a door by pulling it and then realize it has a sign that clearly says "push". Okay !!* awkwaaaaard* ---Fix it : Don't react, be nonchalant.
  • You ask a lady, when is she due...and you come to know, she is not pregnant.
    Soooooooo *
    awkwaaaaard*.---Fix it : Apologize and walk away, in case she is less acquainted with you, to save yourself from further embarrassment.
  • You are giving a presentation and you mess up with a word. Even worse, if the word now sounds something related to sex. (Excellently, captured in the movie, 3 Idiots) Definitely * awkwaaaaard*.
    Fix it : Relax.... rephrase your sentence using the correct word and continue.
  • You are talking not so nice things about someone and you realize the person is right behind you. Ouch !! *awkwaaaaaaaard*---Fix it : Give it some time and make a genuine apology, as it did a good damage. 

Go ahead add to the list and let me know what was your top Awkward moment *winks*.
Oh !! Btw, that girl from the mall, was a school mate, same grade, different division.

Happy weekend...!! 

                                                  Image :  TV show "Awkward"

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Morning Person ...!!

Most of my life I have been a morning person... almost my entire childhood (baring the vacations, when I could pamper myself into my beloved slumber world, for a good couple of hours more) was spent waking up early with a grunt and asking for more 5 minutes of sleep, tooth brush hanging from the mouth with a face, that would say, "life sucks". The shower did the impossible task of waking me up enough to get dressed...then came the dreaded thing---Breakfast, "seriously, who eats at this hour".

Well, all that changed, as I am a grown up girl now or is it my body that has become accustomed to the torture, errr...lets just stick to the grown up thing *smirks*.

Yes, I wake at 6.00 am & have I benefited anything from it ? You bet, I have :D

Benefits of waking up early :

  1. I have enough time to do some stretches and a few workouts. Though, some days, I stick to only stretches and leave the workouts for the evening.   "Have to leave some thign for the evening too".
  2. I get to have my Tea and breakfast, and enjoy them at a relaxed pace. "Yes, I eventually did fall in love with my breakfast".
  3. The tick-tock of Mr. clock doesn't panic me while I get ready for work, as loads of time in hand. I do my hair, my make-up (whatever little that I do,as I am not much of a pancake person) without giving the horrified look to Mr. clock, every 2 minutes. "I put together my clothes the night before to make it easier in the morning".  
  4. I don't rush to take a rickshaw, rather I walk to the railway station (thus, getting a good round of walk of 15 mins) and reach in time. "I have a particular train to catch, remember !!".
  5. My day begins early, so I can wrap up early and have more free time for "Me". I spend time more with my family and sometimes get to that store with a big board that says, "SALE". *smug look* 
And ..ahem! I did become a night owl a few years ago, for some time...my body began to revolt & I had to give up to its demand. 
So, are you a morning person or a night owl?

P.S.  Now, I brush my teeth with a face, that says.......-nothing. 

                                                         Image : www.inmagine.com

The Dangerous Word... !!

"Someday... that's a Dangerous word, its really just a code for never "
--A quote from the movie "Knight and Day".

Today, some time in the evening, I was relishing my cup of green tea (sounds good to mention the G word here *winks*), staring into oblivion, when this quote, out of no where, just popped into my head.
We keep saying, someday I will do this, someday I will do that...someday I will go there, someday I will try this new recipe..etc etc ... & how many of us turn that "Someday" into "Today", for every thing we wish for ?- not many. *Knits Eyebrows*

But then, sometimes, we DO get what we want. How ?--Magic Potion/ Magic Wand/Harry Potter? NO..then ?
--Well, I was instantly able to place my finger on the answer *eyebrows back to there places* (and I am sure many of you already know this), which I gathered from my experience, the Magic lies in our approach. (No need for any wizards/witches or their antics here; no offense to Mr. Potter and et al).

When we wish for something without worrying about, hows..whens..what ifs..., there is no extra burden to our goal/s ..the 'focus' is on just our wish/es...& we work on it with full zeal. On the other hand, when we feed our wishes/wants with, 'I don't have the means to..' OR 'I don't know how to..' OR even worse 'what would people say'... the "S" word, "someday' becomes a code for never. Definitely dangerous.

So, lets just keep our Approaches right...are YOU game, my friend... *smiles*.

Just listing a few quotes I like :
  • I am ten years old, TV is my life. --- Home Alone 2 : Lost in New York. (English)
  • I am also a girl, standing before a boy, asking him to love her. --- Notting Hill. (English)
  • When you first entered the restaurant, I thought you were handsome... and then, of course, you spoke.--- As Good As It Gets. (English)
  • Paani ka kam toh Paani hi karta hai. --- Jab We Met (Hindi ; Translation Only Water can quench a thirst).
  • [After Evy kicks a snake out of her way] Rick : Those things are poisonous, you know.
    Evy : *smiles* Only if they bite you. ----
     The Mummy Returns. (English)
  • Bachho, Kabil bano Kabil, Kamyaabi toh saali jhak maarke peechhe ayegi. ---(Hindi; Translation: Pursue Excellence, success will follow).

                                                              Image : Google (random)

Finally !!

Finally, the writer has decided to take the plunge and go public.

Procrastination, is the term that personifies me here ... *Sigh*

"Oh, I will do it tomorrow.".."Hmm..1st Jan, perfect day to start (New Year resolution, never meant to be followed, so, for the past couple of years, have given up on making them.)"..."I will surely write something, at least a line to get started".. Blah blah blah...*Rolling my eyes*.

These and more cliched (the creative side was in its own dreamland) excuses were created by my mind for all these years, making me no more than a school girl running away from homework.

So, what inspired me to do it ? - Mmm.. I don't know. 
Why am I smiling ? Well, I like the feeling of not knowing the reason....and that's soooooo not me... I am always looking for answers to what? why?when? how?...Mystery is poison for me... so, when I found myself not curious enough to know the reason behind my finally taking up blogging...I smiled at myself...I am a more balanced person now. 

Or, maybe the poison is adulterated  ;-)

                                                      Image : Google (Random)

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