Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
What a morning it was today. I don't know should I say Adventurous or Funny but was quite something. As usual after completing my morning chores, I walked down my apartment building for office and had my car keys and small trash bag in my hand. It was 30 Degree Fahrenheit (-0.5 Degree C approx) outside and as usual I was lightly dressed with a thin inner and a hoodie sweater. Bag on one shoulder, phone next to my ears talking to mom and another hand holding the car keys and trash bag. As I approached the trash bin area under my building, I noticed that it wasn't a good idea to go close and better throw the trash bag inside from distance so I did exactly the same. Who knew what would happen next. My car keys got stuck in the trash bag handle and went along with it.
Damn it man, this is not happening. Had no choice but to walk close to the trash bin and peek inside to see what the damage is. Luckily the trash bin was emptied by the Municipal/Community Department yesterday and luckily no one actually trashed their trash so it was all empty. I stared at my keys for couple of minutes and then thought how to take them out. One option was to grab some stick or something long enough to grab it and get it out and the 2nd option was to get messy and jump inside and work out. Yikes, definitely didn't want to do the 2nd way.
Well, I walked back to my apartment, grabbed my 2nd pair of keys just in case and grabbed my golf umbrella. That was the only nearest long and pointed thing I had in my home to be of some use. As I walked down, I thought again and wished that this umbrella does the trick or else it's gonna be a 2nd shower of the morning and an embarrassment if someone finds me out inside a trash bin LOL.
Anyways, I was at the edge of the trash bin and showed my umbrella down inside and tried to hook it up somehow inside the keychain and after various unsuccessful attempts, finally I managed to take it out. Cleaned my keys with tissue and washed my hands and sprayed a lot of Deo on myself and applied some sanitizer and finally made to the office.
OMG, what a way to start the day. Let's see what else has to happen rest of the day.
Friday, November 25, 2011
I was amongst family and friends last month in India and it was a very special trip for me and my brother (read my previous post if curious to know why it was so special). One of the reasons was this old Indian tradition of Tonsuring. My younger nephew was due for this ritual so everyone in the family was excited about it.
Usually kids cry a lot when Tonsuring is done and I remember when my elder nephew had his, he cried like hell and I was so scared that I even at one point of time asked the priest to stop and take him to a Salon to get head shaved with electric machine but couldn't have done that, could I? Tradition is tradition and I don't dare to go against it. We went to our family temple in Rajasthan for his Mundan. All males in our family have had their Mundan there and there's a book in that temple in which there is a record of every member by date, day, name, father's name and family name.
But for my younger nephew we went to Hardwar where my grandfather was trusty in the new Jain temple when he was alive and it was very close to his heart. Now my father attends the trusties meetings as just a member of the group but not a trusty.
My younger nephew had a gala time with his Mundan because he didn't had to go through the torture of manual machine, courtesy me who specifically asked for an electric machine for him and he got a VIP attention in the temple by the whole management and staff.
It's funny that many religions do the same ritual and they do at different times for almost similar reasons. In Hindus, Tonsuring or Mundan as Indians know, is a ritual performed on boys either when they turn 1 or 3. The belief is that shaving off the head at a Holy premise or shine by a priest or under proper guidance and per tradition, takes off all the negative thoughts and sins of the past life of the baby. After the head is shaved, baby is given a head shower by holy water (similar to Baptism in Christians) and then taken in front of God's idol in a temple to get his blessings. Not in all Hindus but some sects, the tradition is that baby's aunt (paternal aunt) gets the baby's hair tied in a red or saffron colored cloth and then she disposes them off in a Holy river. I haven't found the reason for this custom yet but this is something not everyone does.
There are various other beliefs too behind Mundan like some believes that this ritual protects the baby from evil spirits, one theory brings in some sort of scientific logic saying that the process is done at or around the age of 1 when babies start have teething and Tonsuring process helps in easing that out (I don't get it how a hair cut could relieve the teething pain) and then there is another theory that says that since it is the 1st hair cut to the scalp level, it helps in better blood circulation as it gives a massage to baby's soft head.
Anyways, whatever the belief is, this is a ritual commonly performed worldwide. In Roman Catholics, Buddhism and Jainism, the same process is done amongst adults when they become monks. Tonsuring is also performed amongst various Hindu sects at the time of father's death. Amongst Muslims, it is done (don't know if all do or not these days) when men completes Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
Isn't it funny that all religions at the core talk about the same thing and believes in almost the same teachings, yet they are so apart from each other.
Friday, November 4, 2011
One of my cousins from Mumbai is so tempted by Delhi food especially the Chaats that he visits us only to enjoy the food. I will probably never forget his visit to Delhi this time because I was the one who was dragged to the Bazaars (Market) of Delhi every evening to munch and hog on the Chaats and Pakodas, Naans and Bhatooras, Daals and Sabzis and not to forget the giant glass of Fruit Beer.
Our trip to the local bazaar always scared me of the high possibility of stomach upset but at the same time, I didn't want to miss this chance of enjoying North Indian delicacies. What surprised me the most this time was that every single menu item at any restaurant was well equipped with Paneer (cottage cheese). Even a simple dish like Daal (lentils) will have fine chopped Paneer as dressing.
Pakodas will be stuffed with a slice of Paneer, a menu of 20 items would have at least 10 items with Paneer in it, Naans and Rotis (Indian breads) will have crushed Paneer stuffed in. You name a dish and you can customize it with Paneer, this is what Delhi restaurants are today.
Meal without Paneer is probably not a complete meal as if Paneer is the salad for the modern Delhi. I was just getting used to this new meal structure when I was hit by another shock. Delhi is not the only city that is hit by Paneeria (imaginary disease of Paneer like Malaria) but all of the North India is under the clutches of Paneer.
It is so amazing to see how people can be so innovative and creative with vegetables and vegetables substitutes, Paneer being one of the many options, and people on the other side of the globe wonder, "what do you vegetarians have to eat if you don't eat Stake, Chicken, Meat"?
Friday, October 28, 2011
2011 Deepawali became a memorable day for our family. We all were under the same roof after 10 longs years to celebrate this auspicious day. Ladies decorated the house with oil filled clay lamps, flowers and garlands, made delicious sweets, dressed up in traditional dresses like sarees and lehanga, gold jewellery, kids had fun with crackers and fireworks, elders performed rituals and prayers in old forgotten traditional ways, taught and explained the little ones what each ritual meant and why ancestors did them and then everyone filled their tummies with delicious authentic Indian food.
This day will be remembered by all for years and years to come. Here are some of the pictures that I managed to capture with my small lenses.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Me: I sat down and started to eat my sandwich when I found that despite the fact that I asked her to add light cheese, the sandwich had lot of it.
Over the years, I learned that with Americans you have to be very clear and use the words they usually understand. Like instead of saying "light cheese", you should rather say "easy cheese or easy on cheese", instead of saying "water without ice" you should say "water no ice".
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Apparently, in last 2 years of my life, I have seen myself growing old in front of mirror, watching my hair get gray, eyes dark and sunk and slowness in overall me. Surprisingly one fact that came out of me is that as I am getting old I feel like aging not only forward but backward too, as if every year added to life adds 5-6 years prior to my birth. My thinking is getting over matured, body ofcourse old, taste for things like music and lifestyle is stepping backward, I'm starting to get consumed by 60s and 70s which is way before my birth.
I wonder If I'm an old soul locked up in a new body who is finding it's way out or the so called Karma Chakra is bouncing back and forth oscillating my age meter in a bizzare way.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Anyways, I drove back immediately, parked my car, ran upstairs and got my tiny-miny point and shoot Canon camera and without any further delay clicked some pretty decent pictures. I must admit that standing outside wearing shorts and half t-shirt in 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius, unusually cold at this time of the month) is no fun but I can't miss this opportunity, can I? Couple of residents peeking out of their windows and trying to figure out who the hell is this guy and what is he doing so late in night, is he spying, trespassing or a thief? Trust me, I was as frightened as they might have been, but what I had to do, I had to do. Every time someone walked behind me, I turned back to see if that person was looking at me in suspicion or what. Thankfully, none of them objected me from what I was doing and simply walked away.
So here are some of the shots from a scintillating night.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Tip - Bok choy is slightly spicy in taste, kind of mustard leaves so keep that in mind while cooking to have an idea as to how the dish would taste like.
2 fresh Bok Choys
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1 inch thin slice of fresh ginger
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon salt
Pinch of red chilli powder
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 Indian egg plant (thin and long) (optional)
Wash and rinse Bok choys under cold tap water. Cut the bok choys in 2 parts separating leaves and white root. Cut the leaves in small pieces and root in small pieces and slices. Mince or fine chop garlic and ginger. If you want to add egg plant, cut that into small ring size pieces.
Add oil to a deep base pan and warm it for couple of minutes. Now add the minced garlic and ginger to the oil and cook till it turns light brown. Make sure it doesn't get burnt (dark brown). Add Bok choy roots to the pan as soon as garlic and ginger starts getting brown/golden. Mix bok choy roots well with oil and cook for about 4-6 minutes. Bok choy roots are hard so it takes around 4-5 minutes to get soften and brown. Once bok choy roots starts getting crisp and brown add sliced egg plant and cook for another 2 minutes. Now add the cut leaves to the pan and mix them well for about 1 minute. Add the pinch of red chilli powder and just a little more than a pinch of salt. Mix it well and cook for another minute. Now add Soy sauce and water to the pan and mix it well. Remember if Soy sauce contains more sodium, add less salt. Cook for another 3-5 minutes. Keep stirring every minute so that the bok choy roots gets mixed well with Soy sauce and gets the flavor.
Ginger garlic Bok Choy is now ready to be served with steamed rice.
I guess it would taste best with white rice.
To add the twist, I added fresh watermelon with a sprinkle of salt and crushed black pepper as a side to the dish
and served myself a cool Margarita.
Added 200 ml Sprite to 1 shot of Tequila and 2 shots of Margarita with 4 ice cubes and mixed it well.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Everything around is so unexpected, unimaginable and so unpredictable. People say that's the thrill of life, that's what keeps a motion in us to keep moving. I wonder if that's the truth then why it all seems so complicated. I don't know if all this makes any sense or not but whatever it is, I am still alive and moving...
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Hazaar koshishon ke bawjood bhi najaane kyon main mere ateet se door nahi ho pa raha hoon. Kisi na kisi baat aur kisi na kisi mod per zindagi firse mujhe usi chaurahe per laa khada kar deti hai jaha se main badi mushkilo ke baad aage bada hota hoon. Ya to ye meri kamzori hai ki main apne ateet se peecha chuda hi nahi pata, ya fir mera durbhagya ki main ateet ki chaya mein hi apne vartamaan aur bhavishya ko banane aur jeene ki koshish karta rehta hoon. Humesha sochta hoon ki peeche palat kar nahi dekhunga, guzare raasto ki taraf nahi paltunga per fir bhi koi na koi choti si baat ateet mein kheech hi leti hai aur vartamaan ko jhanjod kar rakh deti hai. Kya ye meri galti hai ki mera ateet taqleefo bhara hai ya ye ki meri zindagi mein log hi aise aaye jinhone meri shiddat aur sharafat ka najayaz fayda uthaya? kyon main hi humesha duniya ke samne jhukoo aur kyon main hi is samaaj ke banaye qaayde kanoon ke saamne ghutne tekoo? kya mujhe meri zindagi jeene ka adhikar nahi, ya meri ye zindagi samaaj ke banaye niyamo ki karzdaar hai jise jab chahe jo chahe jaise chahe ghuma sakta hai?
samaaj ke vipreet jake kuch karta hoon to samaaj ninda karta hai, samaaj ke anusaar kuch karta hoon to dil aur dimag jhanjhod daalte hain, main karoo to kya karoo? apno ki sunta hoon ya apno ke sukh aur khushi ki sochta hoon to khud se dhoka karta hoon aur chit ko dukh deta hoon, apne chit ke sukh ki karta hoon to apno ko dukh deta hoon, aakhir aisa samaaj banaya hi kyon humne jisme hum apni bhi na kar sake aur apno ki bhi na kar sake?