Friday, October 31, 2008

And another one

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Mood of the moment

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Before and After

This picture, courtesy J, happened before I started my lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in the neighbourhood. Chicken noodle soup is always a trusted thing to order, but I was not prepared for a whole of lot of vermicelli floating in water with a few strands of chicken. The menu described it as chicken noodle soup with basil and bean sprouts. Well, they did keep their word, in the plate next to the bowl is what they call bean sprouts. The basil, well I had to put the leaves on my soup myself.
The only thing that I would say for the soup is that it hardly has any oil, so I ate without any guilt, but then it hardly had anything more than hot water smelling of basil.
An hour later, the keen stubborness and soy sauce which had kept me going admitted defeat. The final outcome is below. Thanks again J.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkins Ugh!

I have an aversion for pumpkins and I am seeing too many of them around these days. Those orange, tasteless, easily spoilt, strange smelling things are not in my favorites list.

Unless ofcourse if they are made a part of chocchori - that delightful Bengali preparation of potatoes, pumpkin, brinjals (okay, eggplant), drumsticks (not chicken silly - shojne data or saragawa) cooked slowly on fire with green chilies and corainder powder with tumeric, and a dash of mustard paste. Aah what a delight to eat hot chocchori with rice.

But pumkpin other wise is something I stay away from. I once made the mistake of ordering a pumpkin spice flavoured coffee and the taste of it still brings a shudder. I refuse to believe that to the Harry Potters et al, pumpkin juice was something they loved to drink at Hogwarts.

And if people like to carve horrible faces with pumpkins and hang them out in their backdoor to scare little children, they have my heartiest wishes. Pumpkins deserve no better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Much as I may cringe my eyes, shake my head in disbelief and deny, for most of my life, I have been the quintessential late-latif. My record does not merely say it, it blares it over a loud speaker. At the age of five, I used to swallow food because we folks who were going to walk together to the bus stand got tired of calling out my name. When I went to hostel, I was always the first one to be up and invariably the last one to be ready because I would loiter about the hostel with sleepy eyes not knowing what to do. When we wrote exams, I always panicked in the last five minutes because even though I had run out of answers almost thirty minutes ago, I had been daydreaming for the last twenty five minutes under the pretext of revising my paper. When I started traveling by train, folks in my father's office often complained to him that they had seen me on the platform, mouth full of food, heavy bag in tow, running faster than the train which had just left. And in the evenings, when I had to catch the bus, I was always one of the last few people, once again running and at the same time requesting people over the phone to stop the bus from leaving without me.

Those were the days when I was supposed to be leave home at 7 in the morning. With a pampering mother who would insist on my eating rice, daal and fish curry at 6:45 in the morning, it wasn't difficult to guess why I was getting late every day. I thought to myself, that if I ever got to leave home an hour later, I'd never be late. These are the day when I am expected to leave home at 8:45 in the morning. Most days I wake up at 9. My alarm dutifully reminds me that I have a job to keep, but my brain which usually does not function in the morning finds such comprehension difficult. It only knows to shut the alarm at 7:30. I have spent hours meticulously calculating my optimal time schedule. The last train I can afford to catch, so that I may not be late. The last bus I can catch, so that I reach my classroom a millionth second before my teacher does. The latest time at which I can afford to leave home (traffic delays not included) so that I can reach office just in time for that meeting. I have even calculated which breakfast will take the least time to swallow. The clear winner is no-breakfast. All in vain, I always miss the deadlines.

In the end, I console myself by saying,

"What is this life, if full of care
We have no time to stand and stare"

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The lights in the restroom are fitted with intelligent sensors which diminish the brightness when no one is using the restroom. And when I walk inside like an explorer discovering a virgin land, the lights brighten one by one as if to celebrate the homecoming of a king after fourteen years of exile.