Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Plain old me(me)

Janani has tagged me for this me-me. She wants me to write about 6 quirks of mine. I don't even know where to start. The fear really is that if I start, will I be able to stop?

I have to think really hard to figure out what is really "quirky" about me. Everything that seems like a quirk to someone else must seem perfectly normal to me. Else, why would I be doing it? Anyway, here goes:

  1. I hate brushing my teeth. I still do it everyday, but I can put it off until the very last minute when I just "have" to. To distract myself, I stand at my window and brush my teeth.
  2. I wear a bindi at all times. Doesn't matter if I am in a saree or jeans. The size of the bindi may vary, but it will always be there.
  3. I can ride a bicycle for any distance without feeling fatigued, but find walking for more than 3 km draining.
  4. If I set my mind on something, I will find a way to do it. It could be jumping off a cliff into the Ganges or just sitting at home and doing nothing at all, all day long. If my heart's set on it, it shall be done.
  5. I am not remotely religious, but I have done the angapradakshanam at Tirupati. (I was just there to help my mother and ended up doing it.) That's how impulsive I can be.
  6. I hate hate hate when my name is misspelt or (worse still) mispronounced. I can be extremely sarcastic when someone calls me Anuriti, Anudati etc and teach them the spelling of my name.

The Meme rules --

Link the person who tagged you.
Mention the rules in your blog.
Describe 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs to inform them of having tagged them.

For this, I tag:
Rajitha, Sig, Kalai, Goutham, Divya, A-Kay.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I’ve noticed that…

  • The seat next to mine in a bus/plane is almost always empty.
  • The window seat is always taken by people who have no interest in looking out the window.
  • Courtesy and chivalry aren’t exactly dead.
  • A smile and some meaningless banter can really make someone’s day.
  • At times a smile is all there is between a complete stranger and a new friend.
  • Despite all the hullaballoo over the new international airports, the Chennai airport rocks.
  • However independent or grown up I might be, it still takes oodles of courage to say bye to my parents without crying.
  • I'd give anything to spend a quiet hour with my parents, my head resting on my mother's lap.
  • People you've never met can become good friends in just a day.
  • Regardless of how long I've been out, it feels great to be back home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

All things bright and beautiful

I never thought that a bottle of Evian could be the cause of so much heartburn. I never thought that a dinner party could leave so many people angry.

People seem to be slowly losing their sense of humour or misplacing it at the very least. I see a growing number that fails to see the humour, the real meaning behind the post, or the lighter side of things. Folks come here, read my posts, criticize, call me a cynic, take anything I say in my defence as proof that I cannot take criticism. Folks, who refuse to reveal who they are lest they should be traced, tell me that they fear meeting me because I may "find fault" with them. These people seem to pick on some one thing and beat it to death. They also say my posts say a lot about me. I'd expect they should, wouldn't you?

I am thankful for some friends I've made through this medium. I'm thankful for those who are able to see the lighter side of life because in my opinion (and that is really what this blog is about) that is the only way one can go through life without going insane. I laugh at situations and not at people. I vent out my frustrations and angst. Yes, I write a lot about people. It is the single most interesting subject to me apart from food. If I were to only write about all things bright and beautiful, my memoirs would be terribly lopsided, not to mention false. Yet, I look on the brighter side of things and am thankful for the readers that I have. You never know when a stranger can become a friend.

I hope that the folks out there who think I am judgmental and cynical would rediscover their sense of humour. I don't expect that everyone will find everything that happens in my life funny. But I do hope they allow themselves a good laugh every once in a while. To folks who take offence at just about everything I write, I can only say, "If the cap fits, wear it". In the words of Bugs Bunny, "Don't take life too seriously, no one gets out alive".

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Talk

Continuing with the series of writing me-mes and completing tags, here's the second.

A-Kay from Lemon & Chillies tagged me this time. And true to the essence of the tag, I picked up a book (that my English teacher in school highly recommended) that I'd even forgotten I had.

The rules:

  • Pick up the nearest book.
  • Open to page 123.
  • Find the fifth sentence.
  • Post the next three sentences.
  • Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

This passage is from Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham.

"I don't know what we shall do without you," said Mrs. Driffield. "We shall have to play dummy." I was glad that my going would break up the game.

Thanks A-Kay for making me get this book out of its slumber. I will read it when I'm done with my current read.

I'd like to tag Arundati, Nandita, Wooster, Janani and Pritika. I hope this makes you pick up a forgotten book and read it all over again.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Table Talk Me-me

I have been tagged for countless me-mes over the past few months and I didn’t ever get down to looking at them, let alone do anything about them.

I’m going to start clearing the huge pile by taking one baby step at a time. I was tagged by Nandita of Saffron Trail sometime in May and so here goes:

What’s your favourite table?
The two's table! Or is it 5? No, 10. Oh, you mean that table. I think it must be that study table I have had for ages now.

What would you have for your last supper?

My mother’s pizza with all the toppings.

What’s your poison?

Water. I think I can drown in the amount I drink!

Name your three desert island ingredients.

Lots of water
Maggi Noodles with a stove and vessel
Britannia Bourbon (a girl’s got to have her dessert, you know!)

What would you put in Room 101?

Nothing really. It does have its own occasional visitors, but no permanent residents.

Which book gets you cooking?

Of late, it has been a book called “Favorite Vegetarian Dishes”. But any book with great pictures is enough to get me started.

What’s your dream dinner party line-up?

Friends & family.

What was your childhood teatime treat?

Amma’s Rava Vadai

What was your most memorable meal?
Eating rasam rice and potato curry with Sachin at home the day after he proposed to me. My apartment felt like “home” and we truly felt like a couple, sitting at the dining table and eating home cooked tambram food.

What was your biggest food disaster?

Attempting to make fruit buns from a Dalda Cook Book when I was in class 4 and making chikkis from some random cookbook in class 5.

What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

I was to meet a friend at a restaurant for lunch in Hyderabad but she insisted I come to her aunt’s place as the aunt had cooked her favourite dishes. The menu had mor kuzhambu, rasam, beans paruppu usli, potato curry and rice. Each dish was worse than the one that preceded it and what I was able to eat and “enjoy” was the curd rice with Priya pickles and the custard apple that we ended the meal with. (If people can’t cook, they shouldn’t invite others over.)

Who’s your food hero/food villain?

My mom and Tarla Dalal: biggest heroes.

Nigella or Delia?

Haven’t watched/read Delia. Have watched Nigella’s shows and bought her book recently. So, there’s no comparison really. I’ll update this after I’ve watched Delia’s show.

Vegetarians: genius or madness?

Depends on the circumstances.

Fast food or fresh food?

Fresh and fast. That's my mantra.

Who would you most like to cook for?
My family and friends.

What would you cook to impress a date?

Pasta and apple pie.

Make a wish.

May everyone in this world eat well and live well. Life is so short to suffer it through.

Let me tag some girls that went on a virtual marathon with me recently:

1. Srivalli of Cooking 4 all Seasons

2. Bhags of Crazy Curry

3. Ranji of Ranji's Kitchen Corner

4. DK of Culinary Bazaar

5. Lakshmi of The Yum Blog

6. Siri of Siri's Corner

7. Swati of Chat Khor

8. Divya Vikram of Dil Se

9. Arundathi of Arundathi's Food Blog.

Monday, June 09, 2008


Standing in supermarket queues is something my husband and I find very amusing. Last night, we were waiting in line at the local hypermarket and there were two girls standing right in front of us. From the things in their shopping cart and their general demeanour, I could tell that they were single and probably living together. As the billing commenced, one of the girls told the guy at the counter that she was going to open one of the items and that he should bill it nonetheless. She pulled out a bottle of Evian and opened it. I noticed another bottle of Evian and 4 bottles of Bisleri. I looked at my husband and raised my eyebrows. I mean, it was EVIAN. Then the girl took a sip and looked our way. We noticed that were spectacle frame had the words “Giorgio Armani” written on them. S and I began our “gossip” about single people, disposable income and how some people are so brand conscious that they’d pick Evian when they were thirsty.

Then while they were getting ready to make way for us, the other girl looked at the bill and told the guy there was a mistake. She’d bought water and two bottles of water couldn’t cost her Rs. 180, could they? The guy looked at her and said, “This is Evian, it is Rs. 90 per bottle ma’m.” She said, “Then I want to return it.” And the look on her face was almost as thought she’d drunk liquor by mistake or something. Of course, that meant another wait of 10 minutes as their items were rebilled.

The way the girl reached out for the bottle of Evian and gulped it down made me think that these two knew what Evian was (I mean, why else would you even pick a bottle?) and their reaction on knowing the price were so contrasting that I wish I’d been able to take pictures. In their hurry, they left the opened bottle of Evian on the counter. As we got ready to pay, one of them came running back and picked up her bottle. She must have wanted “rejuevianation”.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Idle Minds - Do they really exist?

I was at this potluck party recently. I only knew the hosts and none of the other guests. Since the host is someone who’d always been telling me that I always talk about cooking but that the proof of the pudding was really in the eating, I decided to take some baked goodies. Once there, I wondered how at all we fit in. We were the only working couple. In all the other couples, the men ran businesses of some sort and the women stayed home. I have nothing against women who stay home (or even men who stay home) but I wonder what they do with their time. My cousin was a stay at home mom or a housewife as we called them. But she took great pride in keeping a neat and clean house. She also cooked all meals everyday and dished out one delicacy after another. So, I somehow never wondered about what she did with her time. But these women I met stayed home all day and did nothing. They had maids to do the cleaning and cooks to take care of the cooking. I was the only one there who had bothered to make something by myself. The others either asked their cooks to prepare a dish or brought food from outside. During some conversations, I figured they didn’t even read. Their kids were all grown up and didn't seem to make any demands on the parents. These people didn't talk of any hobbies even when I uthe topic up. It got me wondering: what exactly do these people do all day? They were not doing social work of any sort. I stayed at home for 3 weeks without a job and it killed me. But I managed to do a lot. I cooked, I embroidered, I read (and I job hunted). I was newly married and most women I know even take a year off from work.

I digress. The point of this rant is to understand what these people do all day? I am extremely lazy. Left to myself, I’d do nothing at all. Believe me when I say I can vegetate in front of a TV or computer if I want to. But I doubt I can do it all the time. Actually I know I can’t. So I’m very curious to know what people do with plenty of time on their hands. (I’m not being judgmental here, I’m just being curious.) I'd imagine everyone would have to do something. Our minds can't really be idle, can they?

I found the evening amusing to say the very least. A couple of the ladies asked me if I could start baking classes. Some asked me when I planned to quit working. (I have no idea why!) One lady told me it was high time I had a baby! (She didn’t know me 60 minutes prior to making this statement.) Then there were the usual regionalistic statements.
“You’re a south Indian? But you don’t look so.”
“Your husband is a Punjabi for sure.”
“How come your Hindi is accentless?”
“All south Indians I have met are well baked.”
“Arundhati is a Bengali name.” (I can’t tell you how sick of this I am!)

I digressed again. All in all, the evening left me with just one question. When I would do anything to sneak in an extra hour or two in my day, what do these people do all day? Someone please write a book for me. “A day in the life of…”