Saturday, August 21, 2010


        So, the festive season is open officially, so to speak.  Time when expenses skyrocket, when every purse seems shallow.  No wonder our poor MPs are fighting tooth and nail for their pay hike.  The festive season is when I can pack my guilt in a big iron box, lock it up, throw the keys away and merrily binge on every imaginable variety of sweetmeats for the rest of the year.
            But the dampener is the preparation part of it.  The adventurous lot try the extreme stuff for their adrenaline rush.  Some set out on long voyages across the oceans, some trek through dense jungles crawling with the man-eaters, some others scale the tallest mountains, while I choose to make sweets.  That is the biggest adventure of all.   I may set out to make “X”, end up with “Y” which looks like “Z” but tastes like none of the above!  My sweet-making sessions can beat even the most action-packed, adventure-filled, nail-biting, edge-of-the-seat thriller by its sheer unpredictability.  Over the years, these sessions have taught me one valuable lesson-NEVER to announce my plans in advance.  That saves me from a lot of ribbing from family and friends for my serendipitous results.
            But my dish would definitely have a fancy, catchy name like Jilpa Jelly or Modak Medley.  Not bad, huh?  Guess, it’s guys with a scientific bent of mind that lack imagination.  Want proof?  Just look at those lab guys in London who’ve named the Super bug as “New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase 1 (NDM-1)”.  In the process, they have unintentionally provided   fodder for our news-starved 24 x 7 news channels to debate their hearts out all through the day and night at the audacity of these ‘goras’ to dare name the Super bug after our beloved capital city.
            It’s an entirely different matter altogether that New Delhi is now synonymous with the loot and plunder going on in the name of Common Wealth Games.  Our politicos and babus took the Common Wealth Games too literally and walked away with the wealth thinking it was common to all!  Forget about naming my sweet, we’d better rename the Common Wealth Games as the Common Games as the wealth is already gone!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Anyone who has had to move homes need not be told what an absolutely tiresome experience it is.  And the more frequently it is done, the more horrific, even the mere thought of it, turns out to be.  I’m yet to recover from the last move and am still having nightmares!

Packing up is when we know how much clutter we have accumulated over the years and the unnecessary baggage that we carry, both physically and emotionally.  Letting go of both needs a lot of maturity and will power.  But more than that, it calls for some sleight of  hand and hoodwinking other members of the family to retain our stuff and throw out theirs.

None can probably beat us in hoarding things.  While sorting out the stuff in the boxes, these are some of the things I've discovered that hubby actually packed:
  • Notes taken down in class-circa 1975.
  • Old telephone directories.
  • Two carrier bags full of scraps of material.
  • Obsolete Computer magazines.
Well, I’ve listed below the things which hubby feels are redundant, but which after a prolonged argument (which you know who won), I managed to squeeze into Box No. 151:
  • Those little sachets of salt and sugar you get with your meal on planes.
  • Unopened, still gift-wrapped dinner/tea sets.
  • Collection of comics which I probably read as a pre-schooler.
  • My size 26 jeans which I optimistically save for future use.
We have been lugging around all this stuff untiringly for quite a few years now.  But when I think of the cradle that I used as a child still lying in my parents’ home, I feel a lot better!  Atleast I’m not that bad a hoarder!

Monday, July 26, 2010


            The other day my friend and I had been to a restaurant.  The seats were rather low–almost touching the floor, with bamboo slats lined up and bound together which made an uneasy backrest and seat.   My friend, unaccustomed to the seating arrangement had to struggle a wee bit to squat cross-legged on the low seat.  He realized how unwieldy his legs were-they just refused to remain tucked up!  To add to his woes was his slight paunch, which was getting in the way and jammed too much for comfort in the yogic posture that he was bravely trying to adopt.  I am sure he would have, or rather, could have only half-filled his stomach that day.
            That made me wonder about the vast variety of chairs that are available in the market these days.  Earlier, the types of chairs could probably be counted on the fingers of a single hand.  A few rattan (cane) chairs, wire chairs, steel chairs, wooden chairs were all that you could choose from.  But these days in the name of ergonomic designs, we get to see metals, fibre, plastic and many such stuff twisted into all shapes imaginable, not always easy on the eye (and the behind too, at times)!
         Mention chairs and it immediately brings to mind my father’s armchair.  During my childhood, father’s armchair was the centre of attraction in our sit-out.  It is a family heirloom beautifully carved out of shining teak wood.  I would wait for father to finish his morning papers accompanied by piping hot tea.  When he left for his bath, it would be my turn to enjoy the comfort of the armchair.  Even now, it is a different experience altogether to relax on that chair.  It lulls me to sleep in no time!  It is not just about ergonomics, it has a lot to do with nostalgia, probably.