January 22, 2009

Right Choice?

January 20, 2009
2230 hours

Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.
Getting to bed early or watching history unfold.

It's never easy to choose...especially when its between two men!

January 20, 2009

I am ...

Doordarshan (DD) has been repeatedly playing 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhaara' now that its close to Republic Day. Having lived outside India, I've always explained to my 'foreign' friends that India is like Europe in that there are so many different languages and cultures but all within one country. What I didn't go on to add was that heart of hearts though, most Indians do not think of themselves as Indian, rather South Indian, North Indian or whatever else. Yes, we should be proud of our heritage and culture but not to the point of thinking that one is terribly superior to the other. It irritates me that even among my generation (given the education and exposure that we have), there are still people who have pre-conceived notions about how you will be based on where you're from even before they've gotten to know you.

How unfortunate that what most people remember about this DD classic once its off-air is only its tune.

Read Atma Gyan's latest for her thoughts on this.

January 13, 2009

Festivals, fun and food! - Pongal

This year I've decided to blog about the million-odd (exaggeration...) festivals that are celebrated in India starting with Pongal. Not like an informative blog about the significance or anything (Wikipedia will have that) but about the different food that is cooked and eaten on those special days. And a little about my experiences cooking them.

Pongal is just about coming to an end. I don't think any other festival has this much food, especially the different dishes made with rice. I feel like I'm about to burst and we still have one more day to go. I've successfully (even if I say so myself) made vadai, semiya payasam, venn pongal, chakra pongal, avial and gotsu. Tomorrow's menu is thenga saadam and thakali sadam.
Reads like a whole host of dishes, but all very simple and easy.

Here are the lessons learnt from my experiment:
  • Pressure cooking jaggery with rice, milk and water is not good. It alters the taste of jaggery as well as lengthens the cooking time (Read tart chakra pongal and complete waste of gas).
  • Always put in a small 'blob' of whatever you're trying to fry in the hot oil and NOT a whole batch so that a quick taste and texture check can be done. (Luckily the first few pieces were used for the pooja so not eaten by us. Sorry God!)
  • Anything that needs to be stirred should NOT be in the back-burner especially when there is something in the front burner also. (Burn marks...duh)!
  • The pressure cooker must be closed tight. (It isn't really pressure cooking otherwise).
  • All ingredients should be kept ready so nothing is left out in dish. (Raisins went missing in chakra pongal)

This post is a day too early you might wonder...we still have the last day of Pongal left and two more dishes to be made. The expert cook that I am, I'm supremely confident that nothing will go wrong with those. Maybe I'll post some pics to prove it.

January 10, 2009

Look who's texting / The Text Nazi

I've received a whole bunch of random texts in the past couple of years including notifications of already-approved loans, jobs promising great pay working from home, random advertisements etc. Today was a first though. Early in the morning, my phone buzzed to indicate a new text; Sender name: CHANDRABABU. In my sleepy state I figured it came to me by mistake and I was about to delete it but opened it by mistake. It was some mumbo jambo about Sankranthi and New year wishes to all proud Telugu people from Nara Chandrababu Naidu. After a second, I realised that it was a message from the ex-chief minister of Andhra Pradesh probably hoping to accumulate some goodwill and get some votes in the upcoming election.

Too bad it came at the crack of dawn and woke me and a bunch of other people up. No vote for you...NEXT!

January 6, 2009


Tees with lace and frills and pants so tight that the seam is bordering on bursting through. Shoes costing 6000 rupees and only designer socks. The latest and greatest Bollywood tracks blaring...and then there's me with my fish out of water look...old tracks, comfy (old) tee, oooooooold comfy shoes and socks wishing for some quiet else some bearable music.

The joys of working out at a supposedly hip gym where the city's who's who work out. Thank God (or at least Apple and of course, you Shobs) for my Ipod.