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February 15, 2017

Delhi Memory Trail

When the most awaited Delhi trip was about to get kicked off- I was buried in my laptop - struggling to make things work at office. To my dismay, I had to carry my laptop. No regrets, I could tick of the tasks on time, even when on trip. I wish my next vacation in Delhi to be laptop-less. (Mr.ISB can be seen rolling his eyes now)

I do not really like winters in Mumbai as it hardly makes you wear jackets, or go under-cover..uhmm under blanket, but when we landed, my winter deprived (Read: Real Winter Deprived) soul just jumped with joy - or partly it was shivering! Don't really think that it was easy- I had conveniently forgotten the Chudidar I was suppose to change to, on the airport and our luggage came after an hour of landing,which had anyway caused a delay of an hour. In short when we reached our friend's place (or should I say, the bride-to-be) - I was looking as shabby as I could with dead appetite- which I had not dreamed of. I meant, who the hell in Delhi can ignore the yummy food. Anyway, we were overjoyed chitchatting with the family hosting us and Mr.ISB's ISB friends (?) whom we were meeting after ages.

I can not skip mentioning the beautiful guesthouse, where we were graciously put to stay. Not in my life I have seen such a beautiful guest house- needless to say it was a Navy Guest House- full of flowers, plants and facilities. Sad, we could not use all of them but a walk in this place, next morning- made it up a bit in a way. Our small trip to my dad's favourite place - Khan market, a bit of shopping and lunch with friends - Delhi trip became a bit too difficult to balance at that point.

The subdued and classy Punjabi wedding can not be complete without delicious food and alcohol and that is what welcomed us both days. Those informal simple functions and a classy open farm wedding in Delhi winter- is something I can not describe in words. I was so excited that the undigested lunch in my stomach when created acidity and headache, and later made me vomit- could not hold me back. Once I puked, I was back in the enjoyment mode and oh boy, from decor to food to atmosphere to classy Delhi attire - I had it all around me. Before I forget the highlight of the wedding for me was flaunting the Haldi colored Banglore Silk gifted by my Kaki- such a gorgeous piece of fabric. (Just added in my to do list: Get a fancy blouse for it. Now!) I can not wait to flaunt other two sarees as well, if you are reading this, Kaki.

And the last day was completely given to my Frock Buddy N and our adventures while Mr.ISB left the city. Right from having my style of Adarakhwali chai, shopping, chit chatting, gossiping, laughing, forgetting wallet at home, metro rides, wine, food and Golgappa. It could not have been better. Well, it was not that easy again! The morning I had a flight appeared with an Uber strike and hence the whole wait-for-the-cab-and-then-get-the-cancellation mode,a kind Autowale chacha dropped me to the airport.

Even when I could hardly keep my eyes open in the office I went to, directly after landing in Mumbai- I was smiling from ear to ear.

Delhi, Bye till next time. Kohl laden eyes, Tangy Golgappa, Ethnic clothes and everything around. I would miss you.

February 8, 2017

Chaitime Chitchat #7

In case you are wondering how am I getting my daily evening dose of chai after our canteen stopped working one day? Well,you guessed it right. I have done the Jugaad  of having the best of all the instant tea I could hunt for, in the office where we have a small pantry corner (which has the electric kettle). And no, I am not too sad about it as I have developed the taste for it. This happened ,after I had to drink the cutting chai mixed with kachcha milk on the near by tapari, just because I told him to make tea with less sugar. 'Yuck' was an understatement about what my taste buds had to go through and I could not drink tea any where except home for a week. I've finally started the instant tea and proudly call it  my savior. So, you enjoy your boiling hot tea- while I am done with preparing the instant tea. Shall we sit and talk?

Last few weekends for me were very very busy. Either with weddings or with short trips- which were fulfilling yet tiring. Hence when this Saturday I worked till 6 pm, I had reached the saturation point. I was exhausted beyond my limits and the head was throbbing with pain which ultimately led me to force my self to take a break on Sunday. I decided to do zero work. No cooking, No dusting, No helping any one - contrary to my habit of lending a hand, when any elderly person at home is working- come what may. I decided to really do what I wanted and which meant attending Kala Ghoda Festival. Yey!

KalaGhoda was a nice experience if not great. A super healthy lunch outside, shopping  at the festival and day dreaming about designing my garden window - Sunday was good. Of course, it ended with a shitty cup of coffee. I wish some day, I would get a real coffee when I really want it! Phew.

I have been lately suffering from stiff shoulder and neck spasm. Something in me says if this does not get resolved I should reach out to the doctor.  My touch-me-not nature every morning rejects the idea of going to the body spa while my fatigued-self in the evenings plans for the Spa session every day. In between my practical-self is planning to send my husband to learn back and shoulder massage. Well, kidding. He is already good at it, if he starts believing me that my back is not the punching back! I think I need to laugh more, on those 'Move- Aha se Aha tak' ads where husband softly massages wife's aching back.

I'm also planning to re-start my DIY drive and many more stuff. Apart from looking forward to my food & shopping filled upcoming Delhi trip (which is happening thanks to a friend getting married!)

Only if I've not jinxed it yet!

:-)

How are you guys doing?

January 25, 2017

Home (Town) is ....

Where winters are gorgeous and pink.
Where one has to wear slippers even at home.
Where I can get over flowing supplies of curd and butter milk, even in winters!
Where I get forced to apply lip balm every now and then. Winters are still lovely.
Where everything around is in order and beautiful done,thanks to my mommy dearest.
Where no one can sleep till even 9am. Again thanks to mommy but with a bit of support of our irregular maids!
Where I can get all the delicious heritage food dishes to hog on to.
Where I can just lie down in peace because hey, there is no noise at 12 am like Mumbai.
Where I shop shop shop and shop and never drop. Specially fabric! No town in the world can weave cotton thread, the way my home town does.
Where I can talk talk talk and talk with my entire clan because we all share the same frequency.
Where I can meet my bestie - Frock Buddy N( provided she is in the town) and chat, laugh, eat, laugh and chat.
Where I can open my mother's wardrobe and grab any saree from her beautiful collection, just for the sake of it.
Where my brother eats whatever I cook.Only if we have not had an argument before the dish got cooked!
Where I can get all my ID proofs' photocopies with lamination, tucked in my folder. In Mr.ISB's language, 'Isn't your mom awesome!'

Home (town) is really where that part of my heart is.

Even after so many years, the remaining part of my heart sinks when I leave the town.

January 18, 2017

S-tresses

I'm never surprised when some one comments on my hair calling it a big chunk of wires or 'Satya Saibaba'  or even 'Jatadhari'. Yes, I was christened 'Jatadhari' only because my hair could drink away a big bottle of coconut oil in a few minutes. I may be exaggerating but this is the only way one can understand what I'm trying to convey -the exponential growth over scalp and fizzy hair.

I've had my share of bad hair days or say years, but after I got myself a short hair-cut to flaunt, I was into a perpetual state of 'Happy Hair'. At least that is what I believed. Till today.

My director who is young (at heart) enough to get shooed away by me (thankfully), started laughing seeing me.

"How come your hair looks combed today", he said.

No, my friends. Neither I was not into a new swag nor I had invented a chemical to control my hair growth. 

I was wearing a scarf! 

:|

January 16, 2017

'Priceless' couple

I've got almost detached from the television. Just to get addicted to Netflix and Hot star. We watch movies and different series almost every day on either of these 'channels'.

So, one day it happened that we got glued to Koffee with Karan's 2nd episode of the 5th Season. None other than the dashing couple - Akshay and Twinkle, were the guests.

I being a very shy personality in terms of public display of affection, over lovey dovey couple sometimes make me sick. Hence, for me getting impressed by most of the Bollywood couples who come to this show, is a bit difficult. But....

Akshay, for being the straight forward, hard working guy. *(Not to forget his physique at this age)*Twinkle with her charming dress and glamorous stones along with her wit,wisdom and authority in whatever she does. Everything about them seemed mind blowing.It was amazing to see such contrasting personalities (as Karan puts rightly, 'He is lull and she is the storm') tied up in the marital knot, living 'happily (and always progressive) ever after'.

Some of the fun and witty moments with notes....

***

Akshay kumar stole a part of my heart by showing epitome of honestly and transparency on the show when Karan Johar asked,what would that be when Twinkle says 'We need to talk'.

"It means, I would have forgotten to flush" (After visiting the loo), Akshay said.
 
***

Twinkle stole the other piece of my heart by showing her wit,almost all over the episode.

Karan: Isn't it weird that your real name is Twinkle and the nickname is  Tina?
Twinkle: My grandfather wanted my name to rhyme with my Mom's amd Masi's names. So other options were Sprinkle and Sparkle. Twinkle is much much better!

***

"I wanted to know exactly why am I getting married to him and where am I getting into", when she was explaining why did she made those two list out of one showed pros and cons of marrying Akshay. (Speechless at her clarity, if true!)

***

I don't even want to pen down how many times and how she whacked Karan without an ounce of diplomacy and a bag full of satire.

***

"The worst thing critique has to say about you", Karan asked Twinkle.

"They don't have to write, they have to just sing 'Mela dilon ka'..", Giggles Twinkle

***

"For a very small period of time I thought I was in love with Twinkle (The only female he had a crush on), I wonder how."

Twinkle without even blinking her eyes for a moment, "Because my testosterone levels are 11, which is almost as much as a man's and I had mustaches at that time"! 

***

When they realized that none from the couple has got an award for acting in a film,
Karan puts aptly that they are indeed a 'Priceless' couple.

Certainly

January 13, 2017

Chill Pill

If you are thinking that I'm going bonkers over what happened in the Cold Play concert in Mumbai last year,well you are wrong.

Mumbai has been performing beyond expectations this new year and has dropped its temperature to 19 degree Celsius at some points in last five days. (Yes, apart from my family,I miss winters the most in Mumbai) *Grinning at all friends back in Singapore*

....And I've got reasons to celebrate this season every day by...

-Indulging into Teh Halia. Yes the Malaysian (Singaporean) equivalent of Adarakh wali chai. Sayesha Didi is not here to make it for me (And how she has mastered the art!) and so I've finally acquired the skill to make Teh Halia using her recipe, albeit with a bit of change. A big piece of ginger in the mixture of water-let it boil (because hey, Indian Ginger can spoil the milk if we don't follow this step), add milk and let it boil, add spices (if you want to), sugar and chai, let it boil and viola, be ready to devour the tea. Didi, this is for you!

-By opening the big box of woolen clothes. (and omit wearing jackets but,use all the stoles and shrugs) How I miss wearing over sized pull overs. Hands-me-downs of my younger brother (Yes). I can go on and on about winter wears back in my home town but lets not open the Pandora's box.

-Going under cover. Ah,I meant under light Rajais. Mumbai needs to be more chilled to fulfill my dream of getting wrapped up in the thickest Rajai one can get ever. For now, light ones would do.

-By munching more on home made TilGud laddus, Methipaak, Khajurpak and what not. The so called winter in Mumbai never gives that appetite to enjoy such goodies, but this time- well, Bhagwan ke ghar der hai, Andher nahi. Of course, the season makes you a bit more energetic so you don't miss the work out. So, fayada hi fayada.

-By rubbing some ghee on soles of the feet, before sleeping. Now, don't ask me the logic but I like to do it  because it makes my skin supple and it reminds me of my grand mother every time I do it. It is one of the home remedies she used to swear by, to protect us from cold.

-By laughing on (in my head) people, going all mad due to the sudden chill, Mumbai is experiencing. I meant, come one. Ahmedabad stays on the terrace from early morning to late night on 14th and 15th of January, in around 7-10 degree Celsius. No, not to play Garba but do the second most favourite activity -Kite Flying. Lets not even talk about northern parts of India!

Do you guys like winter??





-


January 9, 2017

Gingered Up

I'm picky about drinks I devour. Well, if you are thinking about alcohol, today I am talking about Tea.When it comes to tea, I become a typical Virgo. (I'm an Arian other wise)

I generally don't drink tea out side. Not even in the office from the day our canteen contractor has been changed to some one who does not know how to make a little less sugary tea than what he serves. The reason is my phobia of tasting the tea which would be too sweet or won't have ginger in it at all. I do not compromise with the taste of tea at all. Only a couple of people (My Singapore roomie and our uncle from USA) can make tea for me.

It is not that simple. Nobody at home apart from my Dad-in-law likes my kind of tea. (Did I mention that Mr ISB does not have tea at all? Perhaps the reason he does not get my pain related to tea, is quite obvious ) Hence when my MIL makes it early in the morning, we get a little less stronger tea flavored with green tea leaves. Only Green tea leaves. Ginger does not appear at all as my SIL and MIL herself can not even stand one mm square piece of it. I being a bit in hurry (and lazy at the same time), do the Jugad of adding masala and warm it up to make it gulp-able for me. Things suddenly changed within a week at home last month. After this at-home-vacation, I stopped compromising on my morning tea. I started developing the skill set to make two types of tea in separate pots early in the morning.(and to wake up really early)

It was a win-win decision I could made.I'd designed the mental flow chart with timing calculations for the  dual-tea-making-process to achieve optimized timing. What do you expect from a nerd in the kitchen, hah? (My mother calls it Usual multi-tasking ladies develop to save time and efforts in the kitchen. Blah!)

From that week, I have been indulging into some brilliant tea early in the morning. (And there is one more person happy with my newly acquired skill set- my Dad-in-Law)


So it happened that yesterday morning, I was all excited to cook up a storm. Ages I have been cooking all alone (no,making tea is not cooking) and when my MIL and SIL decided to go to Rajasthan for a small break, I planned my own mini kitchen exploration during weekends. 

Now, it is not that I can not cook when they are home.It is just that both are very helpful and curious which does not go really well with my Pseudo-Virgo-Soul. I like to be in my own flow while I cook. I don't want to get judged for my 'it needs to be one more degree hot' method of cooking. Hence,I avoid such kitchen sessions when all are at home. (Our cook and mom collaborates better than my let-me-be-alone-cooking-sessions, anyway!)

So coming back to the Sunday morning, I had a list of recipes to dish out and one of the main dishes I wanted to cook up was 'Undhiyu'. The mixed vegetable sabji with only two table spoons oil, the way my mother cooks. Now it is no child's play. You have more than half a dozen winter vegetables to prepare in different ways, Masala out of six seven ingredients to be prepared and steam cook it in layers,such that vegetable chunks don't get soggy. 

I was quite nervous and hand called mom already thrice for small queries even when she had sent me the photo of the hand written recipe. Suddenly, I realized that coriander stocked in the fridge might not be sufficient. So, Mr.ISB came forward and went to buy another bunch while I prepared other vegetables for the dish. 

When he returned I suspected something else with the coriander bunch in the bag he was holding.

"What all things have you got? There is something else."

"I've got Ginger for you.", showing some dozen pieces of Ginger in the bag, Mr.ISB answered.

"But,we already have them in plenty!!", my mind was trying to calculate how many months do we need to finish the total supply of ginger we have got.

"Keep them, So that you don't run out of ginger for your tea"

Irrespective of our difference in personalities, you get me every single time. Reasons I've got married to you, Mr.ISB.