Archive for October, 2009

Food memories


I have been reading this tag all over the blog world about memories associated with food.
Five memorable meals ever eaten: It could be anything that makes the meal memorable – the food, the place, the place you were in your life when you ate, the company, the weather, the ambiance – heck, the guy who served the food
Now I cannot be silent where there is food in question. So I voluntarily decided to take up the tag. Here are my 5 best memories associated with food. More than the actual food in question, it was the people around, the beautiful time I had that makes these moments precious:
  • Growing up we used to rush to my Ammamma’s (my maternal grandmother’s) place every summer vacation. I and my sister would ¬†join 3 more of our cousins in 60 days of revelry, fun and frolic in the sun. Ammamma was super cool about kids playing for as long as they want and eat what they want. She would assemble us kids in the courtyard everyday at around 3:00pm and feed us some pappu-annam and perugu-annam and tell us tales from the Chandamama. It was the whole package of annam muddalu(round balls of yummy food) and Chandamama kathalu(stories) that made it all so wonderful. We could have read the chandamama ourselves(those of us who could read Telugu) but the way she narrated them made them all the more interesting. Unfortunately, this art of feeding yummy food and telling wonderful tales died with her ūüė¶
  • My mom is a great cook(of course all kids say that about their mammas) and we loved to eat what she cooked, but there was this one dish that she cooked when we had relatives over that made us drool. Whenever we expected my aunts and cousins home on a sunday my mom would start the preparations for lunch early. The smell of pudina and adrak would infuse the air with expectations. Me, my sister and my cousins would then wait for the signal for us to come to the dining room to eat! The very first spoonful of the masale masale “>bhat was heavenly and we would eat till our little stomachs burst, and then go out to play. Sunday night I and my sister would have leftover masale bhat again, after the guests had left. I remember we would be talking about what good time we had playing while dad would be feeding us spoonfuls!
  • Now this is a fairly new and ongoing memory. The husband does cook once in a blue moon. When he does, it is dhaba-style rajma. I just sit in front of the TV and watch food network/TLC or whatever pleases me, and he creates his rajma magic in the kitchen. Then we both sit down to a wonderful meal of rajma-chawal, after which¬†¬†I retire to a long long nap. Bliss!
  • Dal-roti-subji with the EMP(Evershine Millenium Paradise) gang. When I was working in Mumbai I had 7 roommates(yeah that’s right, 8 of us lived in a 3 bedroom apartment) and at least 5 of us would assemble each night to have dinner together. One of us used to make a dal/subji and one would get rotis from the roti-aunty and we would sit in a circle on the floor of the hall and eat. Tarana would be yapping away to glory on the radio and we would talk more and eat less and the dinner would extend to hours sometimes. Most days the topic of conversation would be errant boyfriends, weird bosses and other girl troubles. If any of my EMP roomies are reading this…love you girls!
  • The one memory associated with food that will be with me forever is that of my undergrad days. We were a gang of 6 who used to hang out everyday and talk a dime a dozen, and then get home and call each other and talk again! Anyway, coming back to food, one place we used to hand out most at was this bakery aptly called Friends. We would go there during lunch sometimes, or sometimes after classes, and eat burgers and dosas and bajjis and whatever caught our fancy, and talk till the cows came home! The food wasn’t spectacular but the company was and I made some of my closest friends(including the husband) there.

Ahh this tag has left me all nostalgic and hungry. So while I wait for lunch, you guys should take up this tag.



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Midweek Masala

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  • The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is apparently not happy with Bigg Boss 3 due to its vulgar language and obscene visuals and the channel Colours has been asked to show cause for it or face being taken off air! Some of the scenes have reportedly offended the sesibilities of the viewers. Well, many shows offend my sensibilities too!
  • Shilpa Shetty and longtime boyfriend Raj Kundra got engaged last week and Shilpa is trying to get sister Shamita out of the Big Boss house so she can attend their wedding. Shilpa was already unhappy that she had to get engaged without Shamita being there and wants her to be there for the wedding, but wants to marry before december(that is when Shamita gets out of the BB3 hosue)!
  • Ahh Midweek Masala has been taken over by Bigg Boss! Rajesh Khanna will be a part of Bigg Boss now as a wild card entry(what is this a soccer game? Man they take Bigg Boss so seriously). The only kink is that Akshay doesn’t want his FIL to participate in the show. Well, what do you know Akshay, Kaka does what he wants!
  • A new hollywood movie on the cqrds, Three Kings is reportedly the true life story of Parveen Babi and has characters that resemble AB, Mahesh Bhatt and Kabir Bedi!
  • This one is silly. Pictures have surfaced that show Ritesh Deshmukh wearing the same shoes over and over again! He likes his shoes, doesn’t he?
  • For some reason, I love this guy. Ritesh Deshmukh is opening a chain of tea-stores all across Mumbai, called Chai Piyo Ji. THese stores will sell tea from all parts of the world, including out own masala chai. Ahh gotta have some chai!




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The last few hours I have been engrossed in reading articles from bellbajao.org. In addition to heart-rending domestic violence stories, the site has numerous success stories of women dealing with their abusers, various non-profit organization and their initiatives to help victims, inspiring stories of people having surmounted all odds and resources to help people recognize they are being victims of DV and how to break free of the cycle of violence.

Story after story on their blog illustrates how regressive some families are in their treatment of women and how some of these well-educated women were quiet for years, while they were being abused, until their patience bottomed out and they broke free. The site also has a page that gives pointers to interfere if they spot any domestic violence. What amazes me about this site is the way all information is organized in a manner that is easy to search and retrieve.

The Bellbajao campaign is funded by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and has extensive funding from the government as well as private donors. The government should have paid such attention to Domestic Violence a few decades earliler, but well, better late than never, right?

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I had written this post and thought I posted on Wednesday but found it in drafts and was surprised! Did wordpress fool me into believing I had posted?

20080319102144_Bollywood Camera Silhouette (Medium)

  • You remember that Neil Nitin Mukesh went to a real prison to get some real experience for his upcoming movie Jail? But do you know that he also had his friends beat him to achieve the jail-beaten look! Well, perfection takes people so far away from common-sense!
  • Apparently Salman wanted an explanation from his brother Sohail why his latest movie Main Aur Mrs Khanna had a poor opening. He was furious that the movie was promoted as a Salman starrer when he only had a supporting role. Well, someone had a change of heart after seeing the performance, it seems like.
  • In a shocking turn of events for Salman, UTV allowed MAMK to be telecast on all DTH channels barely days after the release. Now we know what movie to NOT watch this holiday season!
  • No sooner did they finish shooting for Blue, the makers are ready for Blue 2. Apparently 2 will have great white and bull sharks as against the ‘regular’ sharks in Blue! Well, lets see what happens to Blue first before we commit to the Great White.
  • So Himesh-bhai’s latest blockbuster movie is ready to be released and he is busy furiously consulting astrologers all over the country for an auspicious time to do so! Apparently he wanted to do the same for Karzzzzz(how many Z’s does this one have?) but T-Series did not let him do his own thing, and the movie bombed. Well Himesh-bhai, we think the movie would have bombed anyway…..did you see Karzzzz at all after you released it?
  • It has been heard that Farhan books himself in a neighborhood five star whenever he works on a script and needs some alone time, even though he has a home and an office close by. The director-actor(-singer?) does this to isolate himself from all distractions and concentrate on the script!
  • Chota AB has tantrums of his own! At a press conference, the actor did not like a particular question from a female journo and had her thrown out. A few hours after that, the journalist received a call from AB’s office asking her to issue a written statement that she had been rude to the actor and it was all her fault she was thrown out!

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Let it out.

I saw this post at IHM’s today and I knew I had to post. October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and even though it is almost coming to a close, I have to have my 2 cents on the issue. I have seen domestic violence from quarters close enough to understand the plight of the victim. Two parallel stories of women from different backgrounds, who handled their abusers in different ways, and who are now leading similarly happy lives.

One is a maid who was married to a man 10 years her senior, and who used to drink and come back home ready to thrash the living daylights out of her.Initially she thought it was because he was drunk, and so she stopped giving him money to drink(he did not work, but demanded money from her), that made him more angry and he started beating her when he was not drunk. They had 3 children in quick succession and she thought he would change now. But he only got angrier and more useless with each passing day.¬†That made her realise he would never change, and she threw him out of the house and threatened to kill him if he came back or tried to get in touch with her again. Now her oldest is married and happy, her 2nd one is a petty contractor who is earning a decent wage and is independent, and her youngest managed to secure a seat in college and is studying hard so that he gets a job and relieves his ¬†mother from having to work in houses as a maid to earn a ¬†living. Who knows what would have happened if she hadn’t thrown him out!

Another¬†woman, a relative, whose marriage was ‘arranged’ to the oldest son of a well-to-do couple. The groom in question had no job, whereas all his siblings had one. The match was approved because he was from a wealthy family and they all lived in the same building(in separate apartments) and her parents thought she would be happy and wouldn’t need to work. Right from day one he started taunting her about small things. How she brought no dowry(his parents did not ask for one, and her parents weren’t wealthy enough to provide), how she has an attitude because she thinks she is smarter than him(she WAS smarter than him), how she is not good looking, ¬†how she cannot cook ‘his’ style food etc. These taunts became insults in time, and these insults transformed into slaps and burns. She came home to her parents for festivals etc, but never uttered a peep about what was going on. She thought it was all her karma and she had to bear it all and it will go away when she has children. She had a son and a daughter, and her husband started abusing them as well. All these things were kept under wraps, until her daughter(who is my age) told me while playing how her father beats them everyday and sometimes keeps her mother locked in the bathroom. I promptly let my parents know this. Swift actions were taken, and the mother and her children were brought back to her parents’ house and legal action was initiated against the husband. The woman, all this while, maintained that she wanted to go back o her husband, and no amount of explaining to her helped. As luck would have it, the husband, in a fit of temper and madness, got himself involved in a situation that led to his death, and the kids breathed a sigh of relief. They had never been cared for by their father, and had no emotional attachment towards him.¬†Today, the kids are all grown up, and have kids of their own, and they love their families to bits. The mother is independent and self-sufficient, and is living a full life.¬†If the little girl hadn’t told me, and if I hadnt¬†spilled¬†it to my parents, god knows how much longer the abuse would have continued, and to what end.

It only takes one person to know that you are a victim, to stop the abuse. It takes that one phone call, that one message, that one meeting to talk to someone you trust, to get out of an abusive relationship. And it only takes one question from neighbors and concerned people, to stop the abuser. There are a lot of resources on the internet to help people in need. Please visit http://dvam.vawnet.org/tips.php for information on how and where to report abuse.

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Thief 55er

Take 1:
They got home tired, happy to be back after a wonderful vacation to see their daughter. As soon as he opened the door she let out a shriek. They walked into the computer room to see what was stolen. Both came out laughing…..stupid thief…..tried to cut open the inverter (and failed) to steal copper inside!

Take 2:
They got home tired, happy to be back after a wonderful vacation to see their daughter. As soon as he opened the door there was a voice alert from the anti-theft shock fence. There was an attempted burglary. Both laughed…poor thief….might have gotten the (electric) shock of his life, trying to scale the walls!

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Thinner and prettier!

A few weeks back this picture was in the news.

The model Filippa Hamilton was retouched beyond belief by the Ralph Lauren designers. The model’s hips and waist are way narrower than her shoulders in this and it all looks very repulsive, does it not? Well, Ralph Lauren apologized for this mistake and said:

After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.
‘We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.’

After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body.

‘We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the calibre of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.’

The model herself was all over the news channels giving interviews. She alleges that she did not know about the¬†retouching¬†and says she was fired by RL for being too fat. She is 5′ 10″ and weighs 120 lbs. Any sane person with an iota of commonsense would immediately calculate her BMI, which is 17.2 and say she is way below the¬†healthy¬†weight range and is categorized as underweight(BMI<18.5 is underweight). Now in what universe is underweight too fat? Apparently in the Ralph Lauren universe it is.¬†Ralph¬†Lauren has said that she was fired for breaking the terms of the contract. Now legally I have no problems if the contract stated she should not exceed 110 pounds and was fired because she did, I have a problem with the way women are¬†portrayed¬†by these high-end fashion designers. What I don’t understand is that who looks at these disgustingly thin magazine spread models and says ‘wow she looks nice, nice body’? Isn’t fashion driven by the customer? Why then are we not opposing such distorted body images?¬†If one observes carefully, one thing about what RL wants from his models is clear. A well-developed upper body but lower body of an adolescent boy! What else explains the¬†existence¬†of breasts but not of hips?

I was also appalled when I saw the photos of the high heels Alexander¬†Mac Queen¬†had his models wear at a recent fashion show. Shouldn’t there be health guidelines for each profession? If so, isn’t modeling a part of those professions that the guidelines should cover? I am always appalled at how impossibly thin most models are and how the clothes wear them rather than the other way around. Wouldn’t the same clothes look gorgeous on someone with a body so that the clothes ‘fit’ rather than hang? Who likes these emaciated models? Since when did the death camp look became so appealing? Guess when I was sleeping? That is why I might be morbidly obese if I was in the RL camp.

PS: Another¬†picture of another Ralph Lauren model ran on a website where the model was also¬†photo shopped¬†to impossible thinness and the hips-narrower-than-shoulders syndrome!¬†This time there is no word from RL yet. I am sure this new model was also too fat and broke the ‘terms’ of the contract with the devil!

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