Thursday, February 24, 2011


Things I miss the most about India (not necessarily in the order of priority)
  1. The food (and who doesn't!): But these are some things I particularly crave for - chaat from Ganesh Bhel/Bheleshwar, idli-chatni from Udupi, Sujata chi Mango mastani, Roadside A1 sandwiches and kachhi dabeli, lokhandachya kadhait banavleli kali matki, misal, spicy cheese chilly dosa, shrikhand, masal paav, indianized chinese, all kinds of mithai..
  2. Being able to talk to relatives and friends at normal times - I almost never manage to talk with my family aramat unless its a weekend.
  3. People on the road: It's so strange walking back from college and seeing very few people around - and yet I stay in Atlanta!
  4. Being able to drive a 2 wheeler. I miss my activa!
  5. Public transport: There's simply no way to reach the suburbs unless you have your own vehicle
  6. Being able to come back home as late as 10:30-11, peacefully. The less said about Atlanta in matters of safety, the better!
  7. The grocery store right down the road!

I might have missed a few more, but these are the ones at the top of my mind right now!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It's strange what new places away from home can do to you. Take me for instance - I never in my life as much as entered the kitchen while I was in Pune, and stuff like gulpoli and puranpoli? I couldn't even attempt to dream about preparing such delicacies!

Here in Bangalore though, me and my friend Neha got super enthusiastic during the 10 day Ganpati festival this year. Oh yeah thats another thing - all Maharashtrian traditions suddenly feel so amazing and so comforting when you are 800km away from home! But thats for entirely another blogpost...
So me n Neha : Day one, on Ganesh chaturthi, we just decided to go for the simple "tallele" variety of the traditional prasad for Ganpati - Modak. They turned out well enough, and we were suddenly struck by how much fun it would be to prepare a different sweet every day for 10 days as Ganpati sathi naivedya! With overflowing enthusiasm, even after coming home from office as late as 9, we made it a point to prepare one sweet, and do the arti. Here's what we managed during the week : Shira, khobryachya vadya, fruit salad in shrikhand (yes, that is a dish and its called burani :P ), karanji and one day just fruits.
Over the weekend we became more ambitious, and on Saturday we painstakingly removed the seeds from sitafal and boiled 2 litres of milk for close to 2 hrs and prepared sitafal rabdi. Yum! On Sunday, we attempted the insurmountable - ukdiche modak! Saran banavna tar enough soppa asta, but neither of us had even seen our moms prepare the ukad before. With the phone in one hand and a ladle in the other, we proceeded to prepare the ukad. Next problem - amchyakade modak patra vagaire kuthe asta! So we tried to find the smallest possible flat bottomed vessel, so that we could invert it in the cooker, and place the modak on it. Needless to say, the first batch went horrible wrong and the 2 modak fell in to the water inside the cooker. Now don't get me wrong - that did not spoil its taste one bit - but they turned all soggy and refused to stay together as one piece! We then changed cookers, changed the vessel, placed a plate on top of the vessel and what not! But it yielded results when we had a finished product that we could atleast claim was an "ukdicha modak" !!
This victory gave us added confidence - and we bravely attempted gulpoli on one weekday, and puranpoli for anant chaturdashi - another weekday. The gulpoli turned out ok in the end, but we went through a lot of stupidities and (as a result) hardships to get there! Puran poli was awesome, and anant chaturdashi was so much fun! We had invited over a few friends (Yes, we prepared almost 10 puranpolis :P ), we sang artis, and decided that in order for it to be a proper anant chaturdashi, dancing was inevitable :P

It was 10 days of eating entirely too much sweet, and ten days of nostalgia for the Ganesh festival back home :)

Monday, November 2, 2009


Finally found an English word that means "mrudgandh" - petrichor ( , )

Apparently comes from petros = stone and ichor = the fluid that is supposed to flow in the veins of the gods in Greek mythology. It was coined by two Australian researchers for an article in the journal Nature.

But it doesn't sound anywhere as good mrudgandh does. "Mrudgandh" sounds beautiful, poetic even, conjuring up an image of the first rains of the season on dry parched soil and bringing a waft of that sweet smell to your mind.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My cooking escapades - Part 2

I can finally write a longer post about my cooking skills, now that I have been living in Bangalore for a full 4 months. Now, that does not mean I have started cooking on a daily basis etc, but still, as they say, something's better than nothing, right? :P

We got a gas in our house within 2 weeks of shifting in. That happened basically because my mother had come to visit us! We had expected that whenever we get a gas, the first thing that we would mostly prepare would be maggi, however, (again since my mother was around), it happened to be kheer.

After mom left we stuck to the basics - maggi, omelette and the occassional aloo ki sabji. In fact even this was restricted to weekends - weekdays, we used to get a dabba! Then suddenly one day, we got absolutely bugged with eating potatoes for 5 straight days in our dabba, and decided to discontinue it. Then started our real tryst with cooking!

Here's a list of what all we experimented with - aloo parathe (for first timers, they turned out real well), pav bhaji (all time favourite), pulav, regular varan-bhat-batatyachi bhaji (yum!! i miss that!!! ), pasta (that was Manasi's culinary expertise!), modak (for ganesh chaturthi - that gave a real shock to my mom - that I even thought of attempting something like that :P ), chhan garam garam kanda bhaji (and we ate them with coffee on a rainy evening on our terrace - perfect :D ), multiple types of sandwhiches (when I say multiple, I mean multiple - right from butter-sauce-lays, to cheese-chilli-garlic, to veg-cheese), manchurian with fried rice (courtesy Ashoo), green curry chicken (that turned out awesome too - I guess beginners luck counts :P ), etc etc. (Ok the etc was just to give an impression that the list is much longer than it seems!!

We have also managed to actually cook food for as many as 8-10 people atleast 3-4 times, and we even made 2.5l of masala doodh for kojagiri!

Anyways, done for the day, more on this (and Bangalore), later..

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'v been reading LOTR (finally) since the past few days. Lots of people love all the songs in there. But there's one song which is probably an uncommon favourite - atleast I love it! Just copy-pasting it here...

Sing hey! For the bath at close of day,
that washes the weary mud away!
A loon is he that will not sing:
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!

O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
But better than rain or rippling stream,
is Water Hot that smokes and steams.

O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat, and be glad indeed;
but better is Beer, if we drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.

O! Water is fair that leaps on high,
in a fountain white beneath the sky;
but never did fountain sound so sweet,
as splashing Hot Water with my feet!

Probably not a song many will state as one of their favourites from the book, but I can totally identify with the sentiments!!
[Notice the capitalization he's done everywhere, as if the hobbits really revere Hot Water!!]

Bangalore.. Finally

Finally - net at home and all that, so even though I do not own a laptop yet, am going to post about Bangalore from my roommates'.

I reached here about 5 weeks ago, stayed at a place called diamond district for a fortnight, searched and searched and searched for apartments and finally found something we liked. About this place...

--> Bangalore is very green, but definitely NOT clean. There's a lot of garbage generally lying around on the raods, there are open nalas which stink, and I'v even seen a couple of cockroaches and rats on the footpath :|

--> There's a CCD every 500m. Seriously.

--> Girls get looks from passers-by as early as 9-930. Being from A city like Pune, I never thought 9 could be late for going home.

--> I don't even want to get started on the auto drivers. They blantantly ask for anything between 100-150 bucks for 5-8 km, and actually expect you to pay!! The bus drivers also happily charge more if u ask them for the actual ticket. Blatant corruption.

--> There are a lot of malls here.. and all of them are really huge. And movie tickets will cost you a fortune!

--> The best thing about this place is surely the weather! Its been pleasant all throughout. Light drizzles, always a cool wind, great atmosphere in general.

--> These guys build houses and even building which have no space in between. In fact, a lot of these have common walls. Even though I live in a apartment, our wall is directly connected to our neighbour's terrace!

More later..

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My cooking escapades

This time when my holidays started, my mother was very sure about one thing she wanted to accomplish over the hols - get me to learn some cooking!So it was decided (by mutual convenience) that I should take the "responsibility" for dinner, every night. (Breakfast, which she suggested before dinner, was out of question - I can't wake up that early, everyday in the hols!)

There is always that novelty factor in everything we do - and so it was, for me, before i embarked on this journey! The first day, I was super-enthusiastic, envisioning how I would prepare something novel everyday, make all the preparations, right from the shopping stage, all by myself, etc. etc. :P

That first day, I did act on the above - I prepared anda bhurji, and it turned out awesome. (That's one of those few things I've been preparing for a few years now, so it seemed like a reliable thing to begin with!) Here, I should mention that while I'm not exactly about to starve when it comes to surviving on my self-prepared food, I'm not a cooking enthusiast either. I can just about prepare basic stuff - batatyachi bhaji, pohe, chapatya, dal, bhat, and of course , if you count it in this list, omelette and maggi!

So it started well enough on day one, but here is how i have progressed, over the past 8 days or so -

Day 2: There was leftover flower-batata bhaji from the morning, so I converted it into prepared pavbhaji, making use of it! To my credit, I had to add potatoes, tomatoes, onion, etc (which basically means I did do some work :P ), not to mention, preparing chapatis.

Day 3: I got bored, so we ate out!

Day 4: There was matki usal, again leftover from lunch. So I followed the easiest way out - bought farsan, shev, etc, cut some onions and tomatoes, and we had misal ready!

Day 5: I was busy cutting watermelon for a long time(read- watching tv), so we had some food delivered, and watermelon, for dessert!

Day 6: Prepared sandwhiches from lunch ki remaining bhaji - cant really let that go waste, can I? (Think my mum had started preparing extra bhaji everyday, with the hope that I would atleast prepare chapatis, if nothing else!)

Day 7: I had amazing plans for dinner (mhanayla kay jatay :P ) but we'd all gone out, and we decided to eat out n come home!

Day 8: I decided enough of slacking, and with great foresight, bought paneer, masala, the mixed cut sabji packets that we get nowadays, etc. Prepared awesome paneer bhurji, something I love preparing! Also prepared chapatis, as usual (Thats one thing I'm getting lots of practice for - so this whole charade will help in some way, atleast!) .

That day 8, was today. Lets see how this thing comes along, later this month, when I start getting really bored of it!

Another thing I learned was how mom must be feeling, when we eat half-heartedly, after her calling us n number of times, when we are busy doing something else - like talking on the phone, reading books, etc. - It's so irritating! I ended up shouting at my sis twice when she did that :P

It's also amazing how mom can stand being the last one to eat, all the time, while she prepares hot chapatis for us. I had to exercise all my will power today to not let mom take over the chapatis, and start eating myself, when I was very hungry and I could smell the paneer bhurji! Maybe it gets easier (and a routine thing :| ) with time!