Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Double Life

I love biographies- auto or otherwise and pick it up whenever I come across one. Alque Padamsee is the most famous face in advertising. The book is about his double life- in theatre and advertising. It must be a different feeling when your passion is your work... and overshadows everything else- even family. It must be a good feeling.
He is a lucky lucky man to have pursued his passion.
A damn good book.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recent Trend

There we were... a group of 4 women and 2 men. All are married except one. One of us- R has shifted to Mumbai from Kolkata, her hubby is still in Kolkata trying to shift here. She is living alone with her kid and has no friends or family. J's hubby works in Merchant Navy. He spends 6 months travelling the world and she lives with her son. Thankfully, her parents are in Mumbai. And you know my status.
There is another female I know- M who is at a senior position... very senior. Her hubby was given an excellent opportunity in Kolkata. He couldn't refuse it... she couldn't leave her position. They have been staying apart for a year.
It is a recent trend... I had read about it.. I am meeting the people now. I thought such compromises have to be made only in the beginning of the career. It is not always possible to quit your job to change locations. It is easier to move ahead in the same organization than move and quitting work is not an option. And yet there is no life without the family.

Sigh!!! I hope... for us this is the end of the long road.. I know I don't want to stay away from KC ever again... even if it kills him (:P).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Perfect Sunday

What a relaxing Sunday... I am loving it. I managed to finish ALL the cleaning on Saturday and most of the washing.
Sunday began with KC's call at 6 am... I picked him up from the bus... the maid turned up at 7 am... the car washer at 7.30 am... and then I snoozed till 10.30 am when the cook arrived. After b'fast and lunch it is snooze time again... for KC while I am online.
Wish all Sundays were like this...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday night fever

Its been a frustrating few hours. The first half of the day passed by peacefully... the upheavals happened in the 2nd half. Sometimes I like to look back to the year past and see how far I have come professionally... how much I have learned and how much I have contributed. There are some things which make me happy and contented and many others which make me feel helpless and frustrated. I wish there would have been progress in some of the important things. I hate to be standing at the same junction after a year. Sigh!!!

Note- Above reference to professional life and not personal

Friday night is special but I end up doing un-special things like watching Project Runway while eating KFC chicken. Today is a day I just want to sip coffee with a friend and de-stress.... but not at home... and not on the phone.

The plan for Diwali is to go to Goa. We cancelled the trip in April on our anniversary and we are making it up now. I am looking forward to the break... THAT and Khushi's arrival to Mumbai on Sunday (for a week) and Diwali gifts.

There are good and bad American reality shows. The bad ones can be VERY, VERY, VERY cheesy with unimaginable drama and the good ones are a class apart- So you think you can dance, Project Runway, Masterchef Australia (yes, yes, it is Australian). They focus on the content- dance, food, fashion etc and not on the drama. Unfortunately in India, Indian TV industry only includes the negatives in reality shows... Masterchef India focuses on Akshay's star power. There was this guy who gifted him a kirpan, there were close ups of them and lot of emotional drama. Why can't they just focus on the content instead of the celebrity?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Minor Update

When I go to the gym there are few things which pep me up:
  • Fast music. The pace picks up with a hep, fast song and it drops with a slow song. I have not yet made a list specific to my gym routine 'coz this is the only time of the say I listen to music and I don't want to miss out on any song
  • If my neighbour on the treadmill is working out at a fast pace. I guess it is the competitive spirit... or maybe not. If my neighbour is running I am motivated to run and if he/she is striding along my pace drops.
The only high points this month will be- Diwali gift from the company and some products I have ordered. Thats it!!! I will be more than happy when it ends.

Yesterday, I could not move out of bed... I called in sick. I just wanted a day off... off from the work, the cleaning, the driving etc etc.
It helped me refresh a bit.

Yawn... Good night.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On my lust list

  • A white Swatch watch for 7k. It looked fabulous on my wrist. Sigh!!! I have never ever spent money on buying a watch. Till college my parents bought them for me. The most expensive one was a Fastrack watch for 1k. It lasted a year. My sis gifted me a Skagen, then KC gifted a red Tommy Hilfiger and KC's friends gifted an Esprit. Unfortunately, the Skagen's belt and glass needs replacement, Tommy needs a new original belt and Esprit needs a new battery. The problem is the belts and glass are stocked out. I have contacted many many shops. And thats why I am reluctant to blow money on an expensive watch and then watch it rot away for months. But.... the white Swatch is calling me from the showroom. Everytime I close my eyes I can see it floating around beckoning me.
  • Orra platinum and white gold earrings with diamonds. I purchased gold jewellery from Tanishq in March but have not worn it even once. After seeing the beautiful pieces in Orra I don't like the jewellery I bought. All I want to do is sell it and buy the exquisite pieces. The white gold earrings will make me seem richer, more pretty and make my day... everyday. I can't live without it now...
Dussehra and Durga Puja on the same day has given me a headache. The usual traffic snarls, selfish people blocking the road while dancing and noise levels at their peak characterised the day.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another trial

I cooked Thai red curry today. Its was ok kinds. I do like Thai food as a variation but would not be able to survive on it. I remember eating authentic Thai food in Bangkok and not liking it too much.
But... Thai food is quite healthy except for the coconut milk since coconut has a lot of calories.

Here is the recipe taken from Tarla Dalal's website:
- Red curry paste- Ching's has launched a readymade red curry paste... available in hypermarkets. In case you cannot find it, the recipe is below
- Coconut milk- readymade available of various brands- 200 ml
- Cornflour- 1 tbsp mixed in water
- 1/2 tbsp soya sauce
- basil leaves, chopped
- vegetables- mushrooms, corn, zuchini, capsicum, broccoli- whatever takes your fancy

Heat oil. Fry the red curry paste. Mix coconut milk and corn flour and add it to the paste. Add soya sauce, basil leaves. Microwave the vegetables in water to make them tender. Alternatively, you can add them to the coconut milk and mixture and simmer for 10 mins. Add salt and Thai seasoning (optional if you can find it in the market). Boil till curry thickens.
Serve with rice.

Recipe for red paste:
- 10 red chillies, soaked in warm water for 10 mins and drained
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 2 lemongrass stalks
- 6 stalks of coriander
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp jeera powder
- 1/2 tsp white peppercorn
- 1/2 tsp salt
Grind above ingredients to a paste with a little water.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shobha at Sixty

I picked up this book and put it down 50 pages later. I don't understand why she wrote this one... she has written fiction... puts her views in columns... has written a book on letters to her kids... and another book on India at 60 which parallels her life.
She has nothing new to say.

Not worth it. Thank god I didn't spend money on it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Do dooni chaar

For lack of other movies and a good review in the paper KC and I headed for this one. It is a simple, good, time pass movie about a middle class family. Rishi Kapoor is a teacher in a private school and gives coaching after school. Neetu Singh is his sacrificing, cheerful, loving wife with 2 kids- typical teenagers.
The movie is about how and why they get a car.
The first half is very interesting and fun... 2nd half is ok types... kind of predictable and during the climax everything magically turns out right.
But thats ok... it is better than most movies releasing these days. All actors are great. Neetu Singh could not get the Punjabi accent completely right... but it was a pleasure to watch her.

Old Melodies

I spent Friday night downloading English music... not new songs... but old melodies which are stuck in my head... which bring back memories. Here are my favourites:
  • Part time lovers by Stewie Wonder- This is song is very special. At home we have owned only 2 tapes/music systems. The 1st one portable and played cassettes. It had orange buttons. In those days, English music tapes were expensive and my sis saved money to buy them as a teenager. I loved this song but over the years the cassette was lost. I have been looking for it since then. Btw, the song 'Na jaane kahan se aayi hai' in Chaalbaaz is inspired from this one
  • I love you from 'Runaway bride': This was the first movie we watched in a multiplex in A'bad. My mama had taken us. I love this song....
  • Dr Jones by Aqua: Aqua was a fun band and we played its songs over and over and over as a teenager. Dr Jones is the best one out of all their songs... even better than 'Barbie girl'
  • Desert Rose by Sting: What a classic... it never goes out of fashion. The perfect travel song
  • The Real Slim Shady by Eminem: The best one from him... the video is hilarious. I have spent a lot of nights watching late night MTV when this song was released...
  • Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz: Listen it once and you will get addicted
  • Mysterious Girl by Peter Andre: Tacky but loved it as a teen... Peter is soooo hot
  • Smack my bitch up by Prodigy: Everyone should watch the video once...
  • Du Hast by Ramstein: This was the theme song in TAPMI- my B school. It was played in all functions- informal ones.
  • I want you by Savage Garden: A good boy band... this one is my fav
  • Others: Pretty Fly by Offsprings, Fast car by Tracy Chapman, 5678 by Steps, Unbreak my heart by Toni Braxton, Heal the world by Michael Jackson
I managed to revamp my balcony this weekend. It was overdue for a month. I was tired of the boring, plastic, monochromatic pots. I purchased colorful pots and new plants. It looks much better now.

My successful recipe for the weekend is pizza.
  • Pizza base- available in all bakeries and supermarkets
  • Pizza sauce- you can prepare this but why bother when readymade is available. I liked the one by Nestle of the brand Maggi. It will be available where imported items are sold
  • Oregano- available in all supermarkets
  • Cheese cubes
  • Mozzarella cheese- Amul brand
  • Veggies for toppings- chopped tomato, onion, capsicum, corn, mushrooms, olives, jalapenos- anything and everything you like
  • Pepper
Apply Pizza sauce on the pizza base. Do not apply till the edges else it will spill over in the oven. Grate cheese cubes on it and place the veggies. Sprinkle pepper and oregano. Top with grated mozzarella cheese. Place on the wire rack in the microwave oven on 200-360 degrees for 10 mins. Remove when the cheese melts. Cut into slices and serve.

It may not turn out perfect the first time since everyone has preferences. The best part is it can be customised.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Comfort Zone

I travelled to Pune yesterday by bus. I got onto a bus after almost a year and had forgotten how pleasant the journey can be. There was also the fear which made me realize I have entered a comfort zone. The thought of getting out of the cocoon is so tiring that I have stopped making efforts. I love to travel.... entering a new terrain gladdens my heart... whether it is the ghats near Lonavala or the stone houses at Saurashtra or dry land at Kutch... it is a new experience with new possibilities. Bus journeys have the maximum scope for imagination. Another great part is that travelling cuts me off from people... there cannot be long conversations on the phone (atleast not throughout the journey). All I can do is read and listen to music. I get the "Me" time. And since there are no distractions the thoughts come unbidden.
I wondered why I have not taken my car and driven to Lonavala. It would be extremely refreshing.

Through FB I realized an old friend is in Pune. I wondered if I should give him a call. We did not part on good terms. On reaching Pune I decided to throw caution to the winds and made the call (God bless FB... anyone contact is available there). He didn't answer. "Oh well!!! What would I have said anyway."; I thought. But he called back and sounded happy to hear from me. The meeting in Pune stretched till 7 pm and there was no time to meet up which was disappointing. There are some people we can call even after 10 years of not staying in touch. I have quite a few such friends.

On the journey I thought about my "happy places"... places in my mind/memories where I turn when life gets too much:
  • My bed at home. I dream of going home and sleeping on that bed. Everytime an opportunity to go home comes I somehow shirk it. If things didn't go well there, the happy place will not give me happy thoughts. I am just keeping the door open.
  • Taking walks at Manipal. You never knew where it would take you. Every path (even the well trodden one) managed to surprise me. The best place was "the hillside".
  • My trip to Corbett. I had the best time with Abhinav and Dhruv - specially our all night talking and drinking.
  • My trip to Bangkok- again with Abhinav and Dhruv. Those were good times and I am lucky to have such friends.
  • The time with RT and Appu at CCD in Manipal.... dinners of paratha and khichdi at Sheela (did I get the name right?) with them
  • Bike rides with KC when we started dating... I wish I had a bike instead of the car and he would still take me around everywhere
And this is probably the most "open", "frank" post of 2009. Savour it...

The reason I have not been writing anything with "substance" is I am so distracted I don't have a heart to heart with myself. I need to travel more... much much much more.

Monday, October 4, 2010


What a movie!!! I was laughing my ass off in EVERY scene. 2010 is the year for the underdogs. (LSD, Tere bin laden, Udaan etc). I am a big fan of the series and the movie is a very good extension of it. The best part is the characters and actors are the same (except for Jayshri). Picking Khichdi over Anjaana Anjaani was a very obvious decision.
Do not miss this one.

Everytime I watch Khichdi I remember Diya... my batchmate from engineering college. This bubbly girl would discuss the episodes of Khichdi in college with other females and it got me very curious. I did not access to TV in the hostel but watched it when I went home and loved the show.

Show Business

After reading 'Great Indian Novel' by Shashi Tharoor I was looking forward to reading another one by him.
Show Business is a book about life in Bollywood. Shashi traces the life of an actor while he is in coma. The actor's extra marital affair sounds suspiciously like the love triangle of Amitabh, Rekha and Jaya.
There are many chapters on film stories- as in an entire film story is narrated in the chapter which gets quite boring.
The book is strictly ok. I am kind of reluctant to read 'Riot'- another book by him.

The weekend gone by

Hiya. I just returned home... this week is hectic... this month is hectic. Festival season means loads of work. The weekend was tranquil. On Friday I rushed to Hypercity Vashi for weekly grocery shopping from office... finally, I could use my Sodexho vouchers. There are very few outlets which accept them. After that KC and I headed to his friend's treat at Zodiac Cafe in Fortune. Amazing buffet. The desserts were awesome. I woke up at 7 am on Saturday to supervise the maid's cleaning and cook. I have decided to cook something new every week... all by myself.
This weekend it was Pilsbury ka chocolate cake. Ok... ok... it is not technically a cake from scratch but why do I need to go through the trouble when packaged mix is available? I also tried saucy baby corn. It is actually a recipe for saucy paneer by Nita Mehta.
--- Baby corn or paneer or any other vegetable
--- Corn flour 1.5 tbsp
--- Maida 1.5 tbsp
--- Soya sauce
--- Tomato ketchup
--- Chilli sauce
--- Tobasco chilli sauce (optional)
--- Capsicum
--- Onions (optional)
--- Black Pepper
--- White Pepper
--- Salt (to taste)
--- Ajinomoto (available in all provision stores)

1. Cut the vegetables in smaller pieces. Mix corn flour and maida with water. Add some salt and make a batter. Dip the vegetables in the batter such that it is completely coated. Fry (I prefer shallow fry to deep fry) to a brown color. The baby corn will still be soft from inside which I think is fine
2. Heat oil. Add onions and then capsicum after 2 mins. Add ajinomoto, salt, black pepper and white pepper
3. Add soya sauce, ketchup and tobasco sauce. Tobasco is very spicy so add it judiciously. Also do not add too much salt since soya sauce has a salty taste
4. Add vegetables/baby corn/paneer. Serve immediately. It does not taste as good if it is not served hot

The agenda for this week and weekend is to get pest control done and give the balcony a new look. I am looking for new colorful pots for the plants. I hate the monotonous plastic ones. Finding cheap pots is very difficult.

Ciao... I will spend time in researching a new recipe.