Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Say Cheese...!

Year 2000 : the one and only cheese that I knew of was AMUL CHEESE. Brought on special occasions when we made pizza at home. This day the entire house would gather to eat the melting cheese put on a flat pizza base above the vegetables.

Year 2001 : Dominoes was first introduced to my taste buds. I could hardly get myself into liking the chewy mozerella cheese. To be very honest – I was not a big fan of it then.

Year 2002 : I go on a student exchange program to Belgium. It was one of those moments that define you for the rest of your life. I walked into a table full of an assortment of bread and a whole bunch of other butter and cheese look alikes. It was a welcome to Belgium party my host mother had thrown me. She had invited the guests @ 4 on a Sunday evening – which is basically the Indian equivalent for Chai Nashta. Only here it was Wine and Cheese.

I reluctantly took a plate with many hollow dents – where we were to lay the different sorts of cheese. So she meant – make your own cheese sandwich party – I thought to myself. I took the least smelly and amul cheese imposter from the tray and a big piece of bread. I saw the others cutting through the different cheese and savouring it one by one.

The day was also a first of the many things – including the first time I came to know that Cheese like Butter had its own knife with a twisted end. It was the very first time I got introduced to white wine – something I liked instantly…
Since then… year 2010 – I can tell atleast 5 different variety of cheese. I have been to 1 cheese farm in the united stated of America and another one in France. I have also acquired the taste for many a cheese – my favourite one being BRIE – and a FONDUE in a Brule form – I could kill to have it @ Indigo Deli. Since then I have been tracking the various packagings of my favourite cheese. It has only increased my love for cheese. Or the VACHE QUI RIT… which is basically a brilliant cheese spread for wheat and multigrain bread. Or the Garlic and Onion cheese of BOURSIN

No prises for guessing why I am called healthy, plump and every other word in thesaurus which means FAT. But my heart still goes out to apna AMUL Cheese each time it melts slowly in the Pav Bhaji @ Amar Juice Center or when it is put in the Schzewaan, Onion, Cheese Capsicum Dosa… whats your favourite Cheese ??

Zucchini, sour cream and cheese soup

The whole point of doing a DIET is that you should not look at food. Contorary to popular mindsets - I find myself time and again logging onto websites to find receipes of what I can eat. So, as a rule I should Ideally be putting up a receipe that I would be eating. But yet again... I am posting something I would so want to relish - especially looking at the sour cream melting away in the picture into a thick hot soup. But, ahh well. I am def going to make this one when I have friends over the next time.

the recipe itself is pretty simple. The key is the cute presentation – here ladled into a hollowed out pumpkin and garnished with a dollop of sour cream and some dill.
2 pounds zucchini, cubed

1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Place zucchini and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil – reduce heat to medium and simmer until zucchini is very tender.

Pour into a large bowl, and when cooled to workable temperature use an immersion blender (hand held) to puree soup until almost smooth. Return soup to saucepan and add remaining ingredients. Stir over medium heat until warm.

Try it out and let me know how it taste. so what if i cannot, you are going to be my tastebud for a while.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FunFair and an Affair to remember

A Chance encounter with an old classmate at a coffee shop transported me to the Anand Mela of school days. He was my childhood crush ! So much so that I believed him, when he asked me to go to the fair with him. He was cute, he was charming, he was a talker. But above all he was manipulative. When I think about it today – I admire his guts for asking 3 girls out when he was all but 13 years old. He started young. Even yesterday it seemed from far off from the same situation of a decade ago - that he was arguing about the other girl in his life with what looked like his girl friend.

It was strange to see him there – while I was sitting alone. Rejoicing my achievement of yesterday for having found myself on . things have changed so much, what seemed like a day when the earth had shattered looking at him holding the other girls hand beside the moon-walker and buying her cupcakes is now a day whose memory makes me laugh. At that point in time I he was the apple of every girl’s eye of our class. He was not only good looking, but was intelligent and witty. A Lethal combination. And I had fallen for him.

While I waited patiently for the girls to arrive, I couldn’t help but wonder of the many things that seemed to important only months ago and have today lost their importance all together. I had a few depressing days this month – and to get over them, seemed impossible. But to relive the contrast of my crying face in the happy fair made me realise that stressing over something or someone is not worth the exercise.

Today… My life is enviable to most people around me… And yet I am always striving for something unachievable. I am known for setting unrealistic goals and marching towards them blindly – like the hottest boy of my class – when I was a bespectacled fat girl of my class… wanting to achieve the status of a writer of a series of books with Harper Collins or Penguin or their likes – when I can enjoy being a blogger for the moment… !! Today is a PARADIGM SHIFT. Tomorrow onwards will be beautiful.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Do what you Love

I used to eat my lunch box in the first quarter of my lunch break in school. Then i would walk into the library and head straight for that shelf where I would have hidden the book my eyes had caught fancy. I had got into the habit of reading some great works thanks to my mother – who still remains an avid reader. The few minutes in this library introduced me at first to the colourful world of Noddy and then the adventurous world of Nancy Drew, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, Lewis Caroll and Famous Five. It was later that Rudyard Kipling caught onto to me. Through these times it was the Librarian Parsi aunty who chose my books and guided me through the authors.

Then came a lady who changed my life – My teacher, my friend, my philosopher and my guide... Naina Sanghavi. To most students she was a horror movie – but behind all that spankings and anger was a fine lady who wanted to bring out the craft in us. she taught me some real literature – Maupassant, Oscar Wilde Charles Dickens, Shakespear, . Through her story telling, she encouraged us to write. The topics discussed ranged from writing fiction to autobiographies, to short stories, poems. She literally got me into the habbit of not only reading but also helping me pen my thoughts. Today I owe a lot to her.

And then one by one, every person who recommended a book became my inspiration. For most of you who know me – I’m an all weather reader. I read just about anything. My cooking inspiration is my sister – Dhwani Doshi. Read her on My fiction is dedicated to a big list of people. My love stories are from my younger cousin Aneri. I also like a lot of management and self help books for they inspire me to achieve my monetary purpose of life.
Dan Brown, Khalid Hooseni, Paulo cohelo, Leo Tolstoy, Mario Puzo, Eric Sehgal, Mitch Albom, Pinky virani... those whose writings inspire me strive for my creative passion.

But the whole reason I started blogging was because of this terrific blogger – her name is Amisha Gurbani. i have never met her, but she has an amazingly cute daughter. She cooks from her heart, and fuels her blogs with some mouth watering receipes. It is from her that i have learnt how to love my blog.

Today, i got featured on It is where a list of celebrities are featured ! and to be amongst them is truly an honour. There is nothing more than a bloggist in me wants. And lastly all the followers, the non-follwers who read occasionally and send a message, email, tweet, BB, Facebook, Chance encounters - A Big big thank you to everyone

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Eureka moment !

So, Yesterday I had a Eureka Moment while writing the most crucial turning point of the love story I am currently working on. Yes ! i have completed the very first draft of my story !! It makes me excited. It's the only thing that has helped me survive these last few torturous days. Okay, i did not run aound naked screaming Eureka, but it surely helped me eleviate from the dull soddy mood I have been in.

Maybe I started believing the character I was writing about... and I was jealous of her and her lovely life. all the boys and the drama surrounding her. when did Fiction become so interchangeable with real life ?? Is this even possible ? It is said that good writers emerge from the miseries of their personal life - I cannot understand
1. Whether or not i will ever get into the big league of Writers
2. Even if my dream comes true - Do I have to live in the misery ? Such unbearable pain? so many mind games ? such hatred !

Why do good things in life come after a big personal sacrifice ? Whether or not a publisher fairy will come my way ? whether or not reader well-wishers will push my fancy lofty ideas of being in the big league ahead...Only time will tell... whether all this will prove its worth.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fighting Depression

It starts with heart-ache. Mind you – this is different than heart-attack. The similarity one may argue is that they are both caused my lifestyles. But when Heart-attack happens everything happens all of a sudden. There is shooting pain, followed by you collapsing on the ground and you need to be rushed in the hospital. One very painful – but almost always successful operation later you are fit as a fiddle. You make the necessary changes prescribed by your doctor – and you are up and running.

Are you DEPRESSED ? How would you know you are ? It's when your heart aches – it’s a slow deathly process. It starts with a fight with someone near and dear – and with increasing frequency, it leads you to fight more and more. Until it balloons into something huge and out of proportion. The thoughts no longer find their words. The words often come out wrong. The wrongs become the further point of argument. And that’s it. What started as a war or words becomes a world war in your mind. Your nerves tense up each time and you feel like first punching into the wall and then the person itself. Then the thought of hurting the person you love immediately sends you into a fury and you feel like doing something DRASTIC. Something bigger than what you are already feeling. Something to hurt yourself so much - so that you no longer have to blame your opposition. Something that will reduce the pain of your heart-ache. This is called DEPRESSION !!!

Depression is a self destructing MODE that you go in. This MODE makes the world from under your feet collapse. It reduces you to crying and hurting yourself every moment of your life. You feel like giving up. Your happy self becomes a crying, crappy feeling. People no longer want to be around you. Those you thought are you near and dear ones start quitting on you. This will make you feel like you are spiralling at whirlwind speed. Downwards... until you feel the ground itself is a bottomless pit. You will feel like trying to cling onto people... and you will also feel that they are letting you go. This is the lowest of all low points in your life. For you thought they are going to stand by you. They are going to be the ones who would be helping you out. BUT YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF ALONE.

DEPRESSION is a DISEASE – and it will kill you. Find your solace in things that are self made.

My biggest vent is GOD. He will listen. He will guide you freely. Forgive you easily. But the point is – have you forgiven yourself first ?
Everyone will say take up a hobby – mine I thought was colouring and painting. But when you feel depression your life loses its colour. You will hate the very thing you loved so much. I was a writer – on love and sunshine. Brighter things in life – I covered my blog with Socialist messages. I was in denial mode. But today I accept – I am DEPRESSED.

But today is the beginning. I am going to actively do something about Fighting this !! No longer clinging onto people. No more unhappy days. I am going to go back to the days when I was the centre of any party. When people qued up to meet me. When I thought I looked beautiful in my own little way. When I had time for everything. When I gave myself priority. To be very honest I am sick of crying and wailing. It’s time to MOVE into A HAPPY SPACE. I deserve to be HAPPY ! I want my SUNSHINE Back.

I lost a piece of my heart today

There is no happily ever after,
If someone asks me I am reduced to laughter.
They have still to understand this world, I say,
It is full of mistrust, stealing, hatred and dismay.
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

Its more than a bruise and feels more than when I was stabbed,
Now I know what people feel when they are jabbed.
It is not the feeling of what has already happened,
It is the fear of the future in anticipation
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

They warned me, and all of them
why do you give someone your heart ?
I told them, why fear when it’s given to someone so dear ?
And one day, unknowingly the distances grew, and so did the tears.
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

It came as a sudden blow,
Did not give me a chance to hold the reigns to this show.
My world started falling apart,
and all I could do was feel the pointed darts.
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

They pierced me one by one,
Until there was nothing left to be won
What started in a friendly name,
Was reduced to a hurling of abuses game.
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

Today I stand there with all this within me,
I wish I had just let things be.
why did I ever put myself into this fight ?
Did i never not know the enemy and my plight ?
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

I wish the enemy knows someday,
that it is not ever about winning.
And even though it’s won, everything is lost
I did not know this would carry such a heavy cost
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !

I wish not to recover from this pain,
And let my tears merge with the rain.
for if these feelings of love ever dry,
The enemy and I will never stop to cry.
.......................................................................I lost a piece of my heart today !


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Spit and Tell !

I was racing towards the traffic lights, hoping I would cross this signal.. I prayed for Krupalu Dev to let me pass. But the White Honda City in front of me screeched and came to a halt and so I was forced to slam the brakes and wait behind him. This is Andheri East’s longest wait signal. The timer showed 110 seconds. That is close to 2 minutes. Now if you were watching mindless T.V. at night – 110 seconds goes by in no time. But if you are impatient to make it to your 9 30 a.m appointment like me – 110 seconds is long enough time.

So I put my car on neutral gear and turned off my car engine. I checked myself in the mirror – its a GIRL thing to do. If you are a boy you will never understand. A quick look and a few strokes later I decided my hair was in perfect shape. Then I started changing the radio channels – when the white Honda city in front of me – the driver’s seat opened. A Man with a long beard, wearing a stark white kurta ducked. He then bent down and in no time he was spraying fresh RED, saliva smeared Beetle nut juice on the road. If that was not enough, he then spat the chewed out stuff as well. It was a disgusting sight.

I started honking. Trying to get his attention ! Had it not been for my automatic window mis-function I would have rolled down my window and given him a peace of my mind. He looked back – for my horn was loud and constant. He threw an angry glance at me. I showed my disgusted face. Then I pointed out my index finger at him and then started swaying it from left to right, indicating don’t do it. Disgusting glances are a universal heart touching emotion. He just smiled in embarrassment and then He immediately shut his door and started talking to the others in the car.
This had left a bad after taste in my mouth. I managed to scrape my car a little bit on the right but I pulled up next to him. I asked my co-passenger to bang on his window. He shamefully rolled it down. I asked him a simple question – “Aapko Gandaki Felanesay Sharam Natthi Aati ??” He looked ashamed. He was still chewing on the remains clearly wanting to gulp everything down. He smiled again and then said “Sorry Madam !”

By then all the Rickshaw Drivers were looking at this 23 year old giving a lecture to a 50 year old. Everyone was probably thanking their stars for them not being in his place. The man was praying for the 110 seconds to get over. These were probably the longest 110 seconds of his life !! These 110 seconds made me feel like a ROCK-STAR.

I made it in Indian standard time to my meeting. I rocked it as well !
I may not be a Gandhi Bappu leading a quit India movement – but I am surely happy to rock at the quit chewing tobacco and spitting movement !!

What is your Religious Tolerance Level ?

Micchami Dukdam !! Half an hour later, Eid Mubarak.. and then Ganpati Bappa Moriya !! This week was a triple whammy when it comes to Religious Diversity especially in Mumbai. Every street has some sort of decoration for festivities.. ! There are colours everywhere. People are greeting each other. Houses are filled with sweets. Children are dancing. There is loud music. This is colourful India. And then there is a stark contrast in the coloured pages of Mumbai Mirror – where they have posted some terrorist activity or rather in activity near Lal Baug Cha Raja Ganesh Pandal.

It is very dis-heartening to see such a news. And then there are the CWG In Delhi – which are also attracting some RED ALERT Situations. My India and It’s people are silent observers to these things. So on one hand we are wishing to the almighty for everyone’s’ health and wealth and on the other hand we are praying that the next victim should not be me but someone else.

It is shattering to see this and It makes my heart bleed. When will all this end ? Will I spend an Eid at a muslim friend’s house without anyone raising an eye-brow ? Will my kith and kiln every learn how to not comment every year on Eid – when they see a rise in the muslim population praying near a Masjid ? Will a muslim every be looked upon by fellow muslims for taking an active role in his Hindu friend’s ganpati festivities ? Will he ever be allowed to hold the Ganpati Idol during Visarjan ?

These are questions which still give rise to murmurs in the background. When it comes to religious diversity – India and its people will always be talking about tolerance levels. When will they ever talk The happy level ?? why is it that we are stuck to the lowest possible level. Why can’t we rise above this ? Why can’t we raise the bar for ourselves ?

This post is a mere observation... But this can be your observation. Are you giving it a thought ? I wish my words could have touched you slightly more. I wish I could push you into thinking. Not only thinking but also acting !!

Friday, September 3, 2010

We are Family - Review

I walked into the theatre and sat next to my mother. Now for those of you who know my mother would agree – and for those who don’t know anything about her – here’s the thing. She is a lovely lady. She be-friends the ugliest person on the road. She is not god fearing – she is rather god loving. She believes in destiny and her favourite dialogue of all times is, “If it’s written in your destiny.. it will happen !” She has some solid children in us. When I say solid – I mean highly opinionated, strong headed, fiercely competitive and street smart individuals and above everything God Loving like her. But – she knows and the whole world knows that when it comes to Love – her ways are different. She is not the mother who will feed you when you are ill by your bedside – she would rather ask you to pull yourself together and come to the table. When you fall, she will not come running to your rescue, she will wait for your to respond. And if you cannot manage, she will give advice – but would let us make our own decisions. It’s not that she lacks the basic emotion of LOVE, she is rather full of it. She has other ways of showering LOVE – which only us being her children understand.

So – when we walked into the movie – WE are FAMILY she was sure it’s going to be a hell of a drama teary eyed type of a movie – she had already written it off. My sister was not feeling well – and my mother did her thing – gave her a medicine and asked her to rest – for she had movie tickets for us, lest she would have to sell them if she decided not to come. Throughout the afternoon we kept harrowing her and told her she didn’t love us so she talked about how she does not need to show us she loves us – but she loves us.

I on the other hand was so sure of myself.. that I am going to cry. So sitting next to a strong mother would prove better than sitting next to my brother – who against all his machismo at home cries at a drop of a hat in the Movies. I was careful enough to not put any eye-liner – I did not want to look like a horror movie character (something I learnt after watching In Pursuit of Happiness) The movie is not pretentious. This is what I liked about the film – in the beginning itself it said – it proclaims - Inspired by the movie STEP-MOM. I had seen that movie – Julia Roberts being my favourite Hollywood actress and all ! Kajol being my Indian Julia – ofcourse I was going to watch the movie on the day of its release.

The film is very predictable – Happy modern lives – father photographer loves a designer. Single divorced mother with 3 loving kids, who hug her every possible moment. Everything is okay until the kids know about the other woman in the father’s life. Of course there is going to be some resistance on the part of the kids and the single mother – but obviously poor her is stricken by cancer one day and then the bitch becomes the saviour – and that’s the happy family we are going to talk about. Straight out of its Hollywood counterpart.

What I love about the film is.. That Kareena Kapoor for the first time in my eyes, plays a dignified role. The simplicity of her character makes the audience in me love her. By the way I have never been a big fan of hers. Never say never I suppose. Next up is Arjun Rampal. Totally daddy material. At one point in time we could even see a white hair in his head. A believable character. Could have done with some more screen space – but the movie is short – which works in the positive – and the movie is but of course all about the mothers. Then are those kids ! The 2 little ones are cute to the core – the eldest girl could have been a more tyrant.

And then comes the gorgeous Kajol. I cannot see 1 person in the entire industry who could have replaced her. Being my favourite actress – maybe I am biased towards her... but I absolutely adore her !! Brilliant dialogues, excellent expressions, no long shots – making her look absolutely gorgeous – I would say even if she put of another 100 kilo’s – she would still be my favourite – do hell with people who shun her weight.. her craft is precious !!! Every emotion strikes the right chord with me – and the general audience. The mothers – especially the one sitting next to me is now relating to the character. No one in the entire movie theatre is left behind – the movie takes everyone ahead with them. Everyone weeps in unison.

Even those heartless little college brats - the biker types are reduced to seriousness when Kajol collapses on the kitchen floor. These are signs of how gripping the story is. Hats off the Director Siddharth Malhotra – for having made such a strong film that grips you till the end. The sets are fantastic. The music and the background score are in tune. The costumes are neither over the top, nor are there any signs of them not being a Dharma Productions movie – Top Notch I would say !

The only thing I had hoped for is for the movie to have ended with Kajol’s death. I love the fact that there is no atim sanskar – else it would have been more crying than actually feeling the pain and the sadness and a void. I understand the whole Aliya marriage dialogue... to have a happy ending – but a not-aged Kareena leaves the audience wondering of the time period lapse..!

But the movie has a strong message – that of LOVE. We are Family can be anyone’s Family. My mother left the theatre’s teary eyed. The film had touched the mother in her. The movie left me teary-eyed... ! All in all, I absolutely loved the film.


Related Posts with Thumbnails