Monday, December 20, 2010

Idli Dosa

Hmmm. Tuesday afternoon. 12 pm. Surviving on a meager breakfast of omelette and buttermilk. Hmmm. Both me and my husband have heard of ID at Sathyam Theatre for a while now, and everytime we landed up there at the weekend meant no place to sit and long queues. Tuesday was perfect. It was tough to choose between Sathyam's ID and Blur, but my tongue wanted to taste some lovely Sambar Rice.

SO, although the decor is all black, white and grey and the menu card is something that fits in your palm, it does disappoint with the fact that it does not serve Sambhar Rice or meals. However, it is definitely a place to check out since their chutneys are amazing. Though I had only the Appam Kurma, it was accompanied by Sambar. And IT WAS YUMM!

So while you can keep your elaborate meals to Saravana Bhavan, you can go and enjoy the Idli and Dosa which is what ID stands for. The kitchen is right in the centre and its open, so if you like you can go and look :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Conquering the Mudighonto!

Having expressed my love for fish, I am down to business - and that is "I have conquered Mudighonto!!" For all those who are clueless it is somewhat like a biriyani cooked with the head of a fish.

This feat is very simple. It is something I have relished for many years and my mom knew this was a quick fix to any rotten mood that I might have. This magic however might not work on everybody.

STEP 1 - Fry the fish head
1 Fish head cut up and cleaned
2 Turmeric powder
3 Chilly powder
4 Salt

Mix 2,3 and 4 with the head and leave aside for a while. Then deep fry in hot oil. Note: There will be a lot of hot oil sputtering, so fry with lid on.

STEP 2 - Soak the rice
Take about 1 cup of rice and pre soak it for at least 10 minutes before cooking. Wash and drain the water while adding it.

STEP 3 - Make the dish
You will need:
1 - Garlic crushed
2 - 3 onions chopped
3 - 2 tomatoes
4 - 1/2 Green chillies
5 - Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tsps
6 - Turmeric powder
7 - Chilly Powder
8 - Salt
9 - Oil to fry
10 - Pinch of sugar
11 - Curd - 2tbsps
12 - Garam Masala powder

1. You can use the oil used to fry the fish. To it add the pinch of salt, the crushed garlic, onions and fry. After a while add the ginger garlic paste and fry longer. Finally add the tomatoes. Fry further. This whole process would take about 5 minutes.
2. Now add the rice(uncooked) and gently fry the entire mix together. Add the turmeric and chilly powder. To this add the fried fish and fry for about 2 -5 minutes. At this point add the curd and about 2 cups of water.
Add half a teaspoon of garam masala, close the lid and pressure cook it.
3. Let it whistle once and keep it on sim for about 5 minutes. Do not force the pressure cooker to open.
Your Mudighonto is ready to be gobbled.

NOTE: Fish head is very good for the human species. Fish is good, even fish oil. Imagine we love frying the fat and eating it. If you do not believe me, just Google it. Arthritis, blood pressure, heart problems-- so many things can be taken care of with the consumption of fish! Here's to us fishy people!

Love thy fish, love thee life

If there is one thing I love, as would any self respecting Bengali, it is fish! Rui, Katla, Pomfret, Prawn and their various forms which include Jhol, Jhal, Kalia, Tel bhaja, fry, cutlets, Moilee, Macher Tok, Doi Mach and the lesser known Mudighonto!

Till date I haven't been able to decide what I love most - but if I had to choose, it would be fish! And the fattier the fish, the better. Atleast that is exactly how it works for me. Of the many reasons I said Yes to my husband was that he and me both love fish, but when it comes to the piece of the fish as such, I love the fattier bits, and he just loves the meat (and trust me, thats a boring piece). Then of course, I love the fish head of Rohu/Katla prepared in only 2 forms - Jhal or Mudighonto. If you try to feed me the head of any other fish in any other form, I am probably gonna poke your eyes out. After that comes a piece that is reserved only for me in the Bose household - and that is the tail.  To know how much I love fish, read the next post!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quick prawn fry with mint chutney

What do you do when you have a lazy Sunday evening to spend at home and it is pouring outside? Well, you make sure you have a freezer stocked with prawns of course. And you can make a quick mint chutney to go with Prawn fry.

So, while we tuned in to some music and my husband was fixing some Bacardi and Coke, I quickly marinated the prawns with pepper, salt, lemon juice and turmeric powder. If you wish you could also use gram flour batter to fry the prawns.

I also deep fried some appalams while I dipped the mushrooms and brinjal in besan (gram flour) batter before doing the same.

For the besan batter:
Gram flour
Turmeric Powder

Method: Mix the above ingredients and make a thick batter. Salt would be about 1 tsp.

Needless to say, my Sunday was a very good one:p

Cafe Shiraz - Connect with Persia

Our second Sunday in Chennai as a married couple and we decide to have Persian food for lunch at this lovely little place called Cafe Shiraz. Located in the Cholamandal Artists Village. It has a lovely ambiance and we went on this rainy day and thus were made to wait for a while before they could make some space outdoors which would be the ideal place to sit at. However, it took longer and since hunger was eating away the insides of my stomach, we decided to sit inside (not at a table, but on two chairs). 

Green soup
The spread was more than just good and for starters we had an amazing green soup. Since I have forgotten what the soup was, I have photo proof. Needless to say, it was amazing! There was corn and I think Leek. 

Next we decided not to waste much time. There was excellent hummus with Pita bread. Unlike other Pita breads that I have had before, this seemed like it was either baked/fried a wee bit. It felt like the crust of a puff. And the fried chicken was out of this world. Simple, but unlike my hesitation with fried chicken I have had before, it wasn't chewy or chunky. This I had with two varieties of rice - one seemed like coriander/leek rice and the other was a mixed preparation. 

For the vegetarians, there was dall, potato with peas and brinjal. This was along with baked potatoes (seemed like a small version of hashbrowns), falafel and salad. Not to mention boiled seasoned beans. For the meat eaters, there was the fried chicken, chicken with okra, another Chicken korma and Mutton. Needless to say, I dumped my spoon and fork soon and dug at it with my fingers. 
1st helping - Potato, rice, chicken and brinjal curry

At the end of the meal, we had some falafel and those hashbrowny stuff. This we downed with some brilliant Guava pulp which was mixed with barley water. Also we had a piece of cake. 

Farhad, who owns this place shared with me a quick secret - that students from Iran seldom bring the batches of rose water extract which they use in some of their recipes. Also, Iran has the biggest Rose valley and one of the biggest exporters of many types of flowers. (And of Saffron!)

When we were leaving the place, we didn't know if we should say Thank You to Farhad, as one would normally to a host. At Cafe Shiraz, it doesn't feel like you are in a restaurant but very much feels like you have been invited to someone's home for lunch. We will definitely go back there again. You should too.

Cafe Shiraz, Cholamandal Artists Village, Injambakkam (long before toll, 2 mins after Food Village)
98405 72126
Meal for two - Rs 900
Open only for lunch on Sundays - 1 pm onwards

More pictures:
The meats
the spread
seating arrangement
seating arrangement outdoor

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Masoor Dal - As simple as it gets

Dal is lentils and is very much a part of an Indian meal, and in various forms. Not just is it used in proper dal form, but is used in making Sambar, Vada, and even in something as insane as mutton. And its oh so tasty!

I remember assuming it was inferior to meat as a kid.. but as I grew older, not only did I develop a fondness for it, it became almost mandatory on the dinner table. Moreover, my dad, brother and husband --all share their love for dal. So, though my first dal attempts were terrible to speak of, here is a very simple recipe to make Masoor Dal, and I am sure I will improvise in the future.

Masoor Dal - This was the second dal I ever made after Moong Dal. Recipe shall follow in the forthcoming blog posts as it is a Bengali's favourite dal. Mine is Toor Dal though!

Masoor Dal is a salmon-pink coloured dal which turns goldenish after cooking, so don't be fooled by its exterior.

Note: Pre soak the dal half hour before you pressure cook it.

Step 1

Ingredients for boiled dal

  1. Masoor Dal - 1 cup
  2. Heeng- Asafoetida (1 pinch powder)
  3. Salt - 1tsp
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Green Chilly - 1

Step 2For the tadka:

  1. Ghee - 2 tsps
  2. Kalo Jeera - 1 tsp
  3. Green Chilly
  4. Onion - 1 finely chopped
  5. Garlic - 2 cloves mashed or chopped. 
  6. You can even substitute it with Garlic paste

1 - To the 1 cup dal, add 3 cups water, 1 chilly, 2 pinches of Heeng, 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp Salt. Pressure cook it till you get the fragrance of dal.. Approximately 2 whistles on high flame and 10 minutes on low heat.
2 - Take a pan/kadai  and heat it. To it add the ghee and when its hot enough, add the Kalo Jeera (Black Cumin), another sliced green chilly,
the garlic and the onion.
3- After stirring it for a while on high flame (when the onion turns a crispy pink, add the boiled dal. Add salt to taste if required.
4 - Garnish with juice of half a lemon and fresh coriander.

Serve with rice or roti, preferably with some sabji or fry:)
All done:) 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Success follows- Chicken curry and Masoor Dal

The Bhindi post was a hit. I instantly had two guests come home last night - my husband's friends, one being Bengali and the other Malayalee, and both Bongs and Mallus love fish, did you know? (Note: Should feed them fish in the near future)

So, Parth accepts an invitation on chat, and thats the thing I love about Bengalis - their spontaneity and the shameless love for food. Having drifted from thoughts of Briyani and egg curry, my husband helped me settle for Chicken curry & Masoor Dal. To this I added some Chicken Keema Tikki, Pumpkin Curry and Appalams (Ambika brand), just to be on the safe side.

Chicken Curry
Cooking time - Approx 45 minutes

For the marinate:

  • 500 g cut chicken
  • Turmeric powder
  • Chilly powder
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cooking oil.
  • Curd to coat all the chicken 

Cooking instructions:
In a thick bottomed pressure cooker, heat 1 tbsp oil and add Garam Masalas (Bay leaf, cardamom - 6, Cinnamon sticks - 1, Cloves - 6). To that add 2 sliced green chillis. Adding a pinch of sugar is optional.
After about 10 seconds or so, add 3 onions (sliced). Cook on high flame for about 5 minutes before adding 2 tsps of Ginger garlic paste (again) and continue to fry. After a while, make sure that the mix doesnt burn, and add 1-2 cut tomatoes. Fry this paste well and add a tsp of salt. Fry further.

After this mix is ready, take it out of the heat and into a mixer. Make a puree.. You might have to add some water.

Once the paste is ready.. reheat your pressure cooker and add a dollop of ghee/ oil. The spicier the dish, so to your discretion you can add 2 more green chillies if you wish to. Add the mixed puree into the cooker and fry it for a few minutes and pay attention so that it doesnt get stuck or burnt, if need be add a little water. To this mix add the chicken and fry in high flame for 2 minutes. Add more turmeric powder and chilly powder and be at it. Add a dash of water again, mix well, cover the lid in low flame and forget about it for some good 10 minutes, checking occasionally.

One could add a few curry leaves to add a southern flavour to the dish and the juice of one lemon. After this add about 2 cups of water and add salt to taste. Simmer the mix until the gravy cooks and the chicken is done. To this what I did was add about half a cup of coconut milk (hommade brand) and bring it to a boil. This is optional. Garnish with garam masala powder (wee bit) and coriander leaves.

-- Note: This was purely experimental, but a wee bit how my mom makes it. Only she doesn't puree the initial masalas with onion, tomato. She proceeds to add the chicken and cook it. You can do the same if you do not have a mixie at your disposal :) Only hers is better though :(

Friday, November 26, 2010

Love for Bhindi

Bhindi aka Okra aka Ladies Finger.

The earliest memory draws back to art classes wherein the art teacher would ask you to dip the end of a cut bhindi and make patterns on a sheet of paper. Using food for art is interesting but I prefer to use a different palette to appreciate the vegetable -- and that would be the tongue.

Bhindi appeals to me in all shapes, sizes and gravies. In a Bengali household, and as it happened with me, Bhindi Bhaja is a great accompaniment for lentils of any sort - Masoor, Toor. Bhendi Bhaja is however the poorer cousin of Aloo (potato) Bhaja, but it is best served crispy. Apart from that my memory also involves a territory where not many of you will wander..and that is of Bhindi Bhate (translates to in rice). 

The preparation for Bhindi Bhaate is simple and hardly requires any preparation.
You will need
Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Okra - 6 to 7 nos (whole)
Kerchief - 1

Additional: Salt to taste, teaspoonful of Mustard oil.

Note:The recipe is for making rice. Just add the Okra wrapped in a kerchief and wait till the rice is done.
Recipe: Once the rice is cooked, remove the kerchief and remove the boiled Okra. Place it on a bowl or plate and cut the ends. Mash it with a teaspoonful of mustard oil and salt to taste. Mix it with the hot rice and enjoy!

Welcome Home

2nd November, Tuesday changed the course of my life, or just steered it a bit. After my wedding, it was a new beginning, a new home with a new person to share it with. And the best thing about it -- we love the same food!

Now, in India the wife is someone who makes sure the husband is well fed. Which is why you see very few 'fit' husbands. You see them with a round belly which could also be due to their beer-drinking or their unfit lifestyle habits, but coupled with the fact that the wifes always offer the extra helping and make sure that the meal is topped up with a 'sweet dish', it just adds to the rotund character of a husband and that of a loving wife.

Now, I have one problem. Though my husband is three years older than I am, he has an advantage over me. His metabolism kicks all the food out of his body, and unlike me he has no belly to tag along with him. So, herein lies my task list
1 - Be a loving, dutiful wife
2 - Learn to cook all the food that I love to eat
3 - Feed the ones I love, and hope they will eat it
4 - Learn to cook awesome stuff.
5 - Hope that my husband gains some weight and makes me look slimmer compared to him, some day

So, after entering the new house I had a task -- which was made easy by both set of parents (his and mine) who had already stocked up my husband's place with cooking utensils and most of the masalas, lentils and other ingredients that I might need to cook.

Day 1 was fairly memorable since I didn't cook. My husband cooked Khichdi is less than 1 hour while I was cleaning the house. (I would love to mention the number of hours I spent doing that, but it would seem like boasting).

Since then, I haven't repeated any recipe (save I fed him cornflakes and buttermilk twice, but that doesn't count as cooking.) So do keep checking this blog for more of my love for food and my experiments with the kitchen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Of birthdays and anniversaries

If I wish you at the very beginning of the year, inspite of the fact that Vodafone charges me big bucks for the messages I send on so called special occasions, stop expecting any further from me. An old gentlemen, a senior political correspondent tortured me no end to find out all the Bengali holidays of the year so that he could do some 'PR' with some ex army officials he knows.

'You should learn to do some PR talli', says this proud Telugu. Sweet he is nevertheless.

But I wonder, why would I want to wish these  people I don't remember on a regular basis. If I wish someone on some XXX jayanthi, will that translate to me thinking of them? Some would say 'yes', I am sure. But think about it, Birthdays are understandable, but why wish a person especially considering they are never going to regain their youth. Anniversaries are nevertheless something worth celebrating - it means you have high levels of tolerance.

For those whom I haven't wished in a long time 'Happy Happy to you'.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fish yes, genetically modified no please

I am not particularly fond of salmon. Yes, I am sure I prefer my Rohu or Hilsa to it, but then again, Salmon seems to be a favourite among many, including bears. But what I am going to talk about wouldn’t really bother vegetarians, who have their own genetically modified brinjals to worry about.

So yes, genetically modified. It is a big word especially when it is applied to something like salmon. Soon to hit the supermarkets or not, is a decision that the US FDA will have to take, to introduce these modified salmon which seem to grow at twice the normal growth rate. Not only that, it seems a gene that has been introduced will ensure that it keep producing growth hormone even in cold, winter months, unlike its original cousin. Aqua Bounty technologies has developed this fish and most of the paper work and testing seems to be ready.

I wish I could eat good food, not something genetically modified, though am not really betting on the taste. After all, who cares about the nutrition content when eating fish?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Buy 1, Get 3 free lifestyle

The other day I went to a store where I was kicked to see this offer where with a washing machine, a microwave oven came free, and the total offer price was not so bad either. This got me thinking that we have entered the age of 'Buy 1, get 1 free'.

Though this has been around for quite a few many years, everyone works on an incentive basis. Buy a mobile phone and get accessories free, buy a computer and get UPS free, buy a flat and get furniture free, buy a honeymoon package and get champagne free.

The list is endless. And to top it off, though monthly expenses are actually sky rocketing, people are able to afford it, thanks to the easy EMI scheme that several banks provide. Not just that, enroute to Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai, I saw a hoarding in which a bank offered gold loan in easy EMIs.

This easy EMI options can be quite addictive. I remember trying to apply for a Kotak xxxx card, where any purchase above Rs 5000 automatically gets converted into a 6 months, 0 interest EMI. Now how's that for modern comfort living. My application was however rejected because the firm I work with was not registered.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tamizh Vazhga

Tamil is a classical language, no doubt, as its history can be traced back to 300 BC. Now, in a recent news report I read that the AIADMK has appealed to Indian President Pratibha Patil to use the language as an official language in Madras High Court.

Now, in my visit to Singapore, I found that announcements are made in Tamil (in addition to English, Chinese and Malay), so why is it so difficult to give the go-green for the same here. As long as there is an understanding that in a country like India, a state does not consist of only regional language speaking population, and also that Tamil cannot be forced upon non-Tamils like me.

So, a non-Tamil who feels at home in Tamil Nadu, my only request is that in all official exchanges, forms, there should be a translator and also the documents should also contain English translations.

In a way, we should all be thankful that the local transportation in Tamil Nadu does not contain Tamil numerals (yes, did you know that Tamil has its own numerals that you can never decode unless you are one, or are an expert on the subject?). But what I found funny today was – I had called the Aircel customer care, and after a long long process of punching 1 and 3 and what not, and requesting for English, the customer care executive spoke to me in Tamil, and fast. Unable to comprehend what she was saying, I asked to my surprise “Neenge English le pesaringala?” translated “Can you please speak in English?” in Tamil!!!

Tamizh Vazhga! (Long live Tamil)

And oh! Not to be missed -At 27, Sandhosh Kumar became the first Tamil to conquer Mount Everest, the world’s tallest peak on May 22nd (I think). At the summit, he unfurled a banner that apparently read Thamizh Vazhgha. Now, that is heights!!! 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Please quit smoking

31st May marked one whole month since Sohan Kumar*, a manager at a multi-national company had quit smoking, or tried for the nth time in his life. But atleast for the first time in his life, he has reached the one month mark.
With a cigarette in his hands for the past 11 years, he has never gone more than a few days without a smoke. Infact he would smoke even before he brushed his teeth as well. So, why is he trying so hard to give it up?

Five years after his marriage, and after several unsuccessful attempts and two miscarriages, his wife finally conceived. After completing a full term, a day before the delivery, the baby had given up on life. The reason: Placental abruption, wherein oxygen was denied to the baby, thanks to second hand smoking that his wife has been subject to.

An apology will not bring back the baby they lost, but he is finally making an attempt to regain his life. If you can’t learn from your own lessons, learn from others. After all, not all of us can afford to make mistakes.

You do not have to wait for 2011 to take a pledge. Take one today. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Facebook women

First it was the two girls from Bulandshahr (UP, India) who boarded a bus to meet two men in Greater Noida, men they befriended over the Internet, to get raped. The audacity of the girls should not go unquestioned as they went in the pretext to write an exam. Men will be men. If the women suggest that they would lie at home and come to spend the evening with them, men will turn predators and turn these women to prey.

Who would have thought that they would open their mouths, especially since they already lied at home?
But sadly, the women were raped throughout the night, by not two, but four men.

Another 15th May report by IANS from Sydney suggests that Nona Belomesoff from the Cecil Hills area - who disappeared after going to meet two men she befriended on Facebook. She is believed to have been murdered by her Facebook friends.

How naive are we? Women are supposed to have a greater sense of intution.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Finding Marsh

How many women have grown up with the idea of the TYPICAL guy we would want to settle down with? Tall, not-so-dark in my case, handsome; someone right out of a Mills & Boon.

I fell in love with Marsh Endicott in 2005. He is your typical stubborn, drop dead gorgeous and in one word 'irresistible'. So An Uncommon Affair it was, that opened my world to imagination running wild.

And then I began looking - here, there and everywhere to figure out that guys like that exist only in between the pages of a M&B. Sadly, thats not true.

On a very sunny afternoon of February, I met my Marsh Endicott, only he isnt Marsh and thankfully he is alive, and not a mere character from a book. And even ours is nothing less than an Uncommon Affair.

So, women who have been jilted or haven't found your Marsh, don't lose hope, cos unless you close your eyes, and your doors to him, he is going to walk into your life, and make it beautiful. Hang on!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When the world stops talking

And a dark cloud made it impossible to look beyond, making it difficult to breathe.
There was no rhythm in the night,
the tinkling of the chime didn't make music either.

Still. Waiting for a shriek to break the silence.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hippo's in the month of May

5 steps forward, three steps to your left and charge ahead. No! Stop, come back and go round the block.
Thats a message from my brain to every nerve ending, anything to keep me from yawning like a bored hippopotamus in the middle of the afternoon.

May has never been my favourite month - even though a lot of people connected with my life are taureans, there is no reason particular reason why May should be loved. Perhaps, that's why the term 'May be' was coined. Just let May be. Hottest month of the year (in almost all parts of the globe) is, like I emphasized in the above few lines, is not my favourite.

The heat saps not only my energy, but also the life from everything green and serene that surrounds me. I hate the fact that I am not in school any longer. Perhaps, I would have slept in deep comfort while the heat threatens to kill several organisms in the world I would not like to be a part of (in the month of May). And of course, now the soaring temperatures (52 degrees in Delhi last month), have slowed me down, and even the yawn that I try hard to suppress feels like a 10-sec ad commercial. I am not sure I like the comparison of my well received lips and mouth to be compared to that of a hippo, but atleast I must be an interesting sight to a child who has never been to a zoo before.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I am a Bose, and I like it. Here's why

Ralph Rueben LifsWHAT?
Lifshitz. That is Ralph Lauren’s real name. I don’t even know how to pronounce it. And who would know that Madonna’s full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone. It is a good thing that the world knows of only one Madonna, like there is only one Michael Jackson. If there were more than one, like Hugh, several names come to the mind – Hugh Jackman, Hugh Grant, Hugh Dancy… all charming, making-me-weak-at-my-knees kinda men. DROOL!

So yea, names. Names are very important for our identity. If Ralph went about with a Ralph Lifshitz on his visiting card (which he might have, who knows), he would be the laughing stock of the block.

Like Elton John. Elegant. And that name is synonymous with the image of Princess Diana and Lion king, and of course, candle in the wind. Imagine ‘Reginald Dwight’, for that is his real name :D

There are names and then there are names. I am not even going to bother accounting for Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood, Mollywood.. and I don’t know what wood names here. Like did you know Michael Keaton of Batman fame is not actually Michael Keaton. He decided to change his name because there was already a Michael Douglas in movies and a Mike Douglas in broadcasting.

When he realized he needed to change his name, he remembered an article he had read with a nice picture of Diane Keaton. He chose her last name with the intention of changing it later. However, the name stuck. Years later, he phoned her and thanked her. The two have never actually met. While he uses this stage name, he has never legally changed his name to Michael Keaton.

So here it is… to names and to names.. having a good name in showbiz seems to matter. Perhaps Lady GaGa wouldn’t have made it so big if she went by the name Lady Stefani or Lady Joanne, or worse, Lady Germanotta. But those who cut her cheque must go mad writing ‘Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta’. No?

Of love, lost and found

“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things…

.. When the dog bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.”

Blessed are those who can think of their favourite things and not have to worry about anything else – just a dreamy future to look forward to, and a man who will take you over the hills. For some the favourite thing might be a huge profit at the stock market, and for some it could be the stork carrying good news home.

But that was not the case for Nirupama Pathak, whose life was mercilessly taken away from her. Who knew that those who create life, could take it away as well; or did the 22-year-old really take her own life?
Even if proved right, could we believe that her mother took her daughters life. Unsuspecting. Cold Blooded. Or did Nirupama know what her fate was to be. Her last call suggested that leaving home so soon was not going to be an option. The mental trauma.. the horror of it all...

I cannot imagine how it must feel, to have your baby and lose it too. With dreams in her eyes and a baby in her womb, she lost what we all yearn for – a future ahead, nice and bright, with someone to have and to hold. She had what she wanted – a budding career as a journalist, a man who loved her, but for the light glitch that threatened to take her life away – that Priyabhanshu, whom she met during the course of her study, belonged to a lower caste. And who knew that a trip home could cost her her life, her future and her dreams.

Fingers would be pointed at many now, brothers, uncles, boyfriend, mother and perhaps even a jealous friend could come into the picture. Conspiracy. What were her dreams, her aspirations?

In India LOVE is still taboo. Moral policing is high and age old customs and traditions hold value. Honour killing – one after another. Young couples in love torn apart on the basis of a caste bestowed upon them. Traditions based out of practise. But finally, their applications have threatened to take young life away, and love takes the backseat. Forced into marriage, forced for divorce, trauma of domestic violence and finally the finale Death! The word love can still bring a frown upon many faces, and young couples like Nirupama and Priyabhanshu are kept waiting – to meet in an abode above – till death do we part.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


“Most of the time
He's the lord of the jungle
Everyone grins while he gripes
Usually he's found just
Lounging around in his stripes"

Michael Franks - Tiger in the Rain

A visit to China’s Wenzhou Zoo, in Zhejiang province might just guarantee a photograph with the dwindling beast. Here visitors are invited to come up close, touch a tamed tiger and pose for pictures as they pretend to ride the animal. This could mean that the picture might be framed and hung on the wall for years, and you could actually tell your friends, “the fur was so soft, and he didn’t even growl.”

It just might mean the survival of the tiger, in pictures. At the rate at which the tigers are disappearing from the face of the earth, we might just have to be satisfied browsing for images on Google and saving it as a desktop image. That is probably the only way your children might get to see a tiger. Ever.

The WWF has released on their website ‘Top 10 Tiger Trouble Spots in 2010’. The map clearly shows why tigers are dwindling day by day. In India, various factors such as an ever-shrinking area due to an ever growing human population has let to the conflict between the man and the tiger.
However there seems to be no conflict between man and the cat in Thailand. Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, or the Tiger Temple was founded in 1994 as a forest monastery and sanctuary for numerous wild animals. The Buddhist forest temple is located in the Saiyok district of the Kanchanaburi province in western Thailand.

The 50 odd tigers that have found the sanctuary in the tiger temple are washed and handled by Thai monks, international volunteers and local staff. Once a day they are walked on leashes to a nearby quarry. Originally they would roam around freely in this area but now, with the increase in visitors and the amount of tigers who sit in the canyon, they are chained for safety reasons. Under guidance, the visitors as can greet, sit with, and pet the cats.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, of the 3,500 tigers around the world, 1,400 are found in India. But our Indian tigers are being threatened. Like many other animals, they are highly territorial. Even the weather now is not on their side. A study predicts that the rising sea level may cause the remaining tiger habitat in Bangladesh's Sundarbans mangrove forest to decline by 96 percent this century. Additionally, poachers are everywhere, and our national animal has lost its pride.

“… He is just a tiger in the rain
who’s frightened..”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

India - and how you want it to be

I recently read this in an article posted online at the Asia Times ... "How on earth are these countries still considered "developing" when their standards of living and technology are barely available in the Western world?
That's when you remember India. "Ah!," you say, believing that here is a country that will perpetually disappoint on itsinfrastructure. Abysmal roads, gridlocked traffic, poor sanitation and those positively lethal curries."  

And not surprisingly this was being discussed in an Afghanistan forum which stated something on the lines of 'oh look! while our country has been investing in arms and ammunition, these countries have actually done something good', and then I read about India. 

With a not-so-favourable beginning, it ended well.. and you can read it here.

But seriously, I am torn apart when I have to decide if the country is progressing. It surely has, at many levels. My family doesn't throw up a hue and cry if I come back late, my brother is very protective about me but will never resort to any measure that will hurt me and I live in a colony where I feel safe, even if the watchmen are falling asleep every half hour. 

But there is still discrimination, a bias that exists when it comes to the so called 'weaker sex', and I am saying this only out of experience. Touchwood, I have never been raped, or tortured at knife point, or threatened, but I had a stalker I dealt with, a crazy boss I have learnt to deal with, but whatever said and done, I ride by 21 year old Kinetic Honda at 1 am in the morning and have never been pursued, chased or stopped by drunk cops. 

I only wish my fellow countrymen had a better sense of rules and regulations and had a civic sense. If only they would stop honking so much, that even my uterus feels troubled. If only the roads weren't so bad that I come back with a back ache every second day and if only more people were educated, with the basics atleast. 

There is trouble in every nook and cranny of our universe, our country, our state and our homes. I am not sure if we should look at the bigger picture first or look at the details. What are the things that trouble you? I have an endless list, what about you?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Crying over chocolate

Everything is interlinked. I breathe the air you do, though pollution levels may differ; we spot the same moon, but perhaps at different time zones. My side of the sky may have more clouds, your may be more polluted; but all in all, me and you are so similar, yet so different.

Same goes for Chocolate. The effects on chocolate on me could be different from the effect it has on you. I have realized one thing – never trust research when it comes to chocolate. It may be true that too much chocolate can kill your dog (no kidding), but its effect on us humans, is something neither you, nor scientists can ever predict.

I am happy I am not too fond of chocolates – the occasional bingeing suits me just fine. Yesterday, reports claimed that scientists have linked chocolates to depression. The more clinically depressed you are, the more likely you’re to eat chocolate, concludes the new study which has been published in the April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Earlier, in an article in Men’s health it said that chocolate is a source of anadamide, a neurotransmitter that targets the same parts of the brain as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. But chocolate contains such minuscule levels of anadamide, you'd need to eat kilos of it in order to make any impact on the amount that's circulating in the brain naturally. Scientists believe(d) other chemicals in chocolate cause anadamide to hang around in the brain for longer, enhancing its stimulant effect. The sweet stuff also boosts our levels of endorphins, the brain's natural happy hormones.

So hmm. Should one consume chocolate before sex? The Mayans believed that chocolate has a euphoric effect on the body’s senses. But now, well you start crying when you are on to having a good time? I’d prefer not listening to anyone in this regard. And for all you chocolate lovers out there – ignorance is bliss, so just don’t listen to what research has to say. 

And as for being interlinked – I guess sex should give you a good enough high, and chocolate you probably don’t need to get you there.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Disaster in Hell

Venue : Red Fort Restaurant, Nandanam , Chennai
Event: Disaster

I cannot describe the experience as anything else but  'disastrous'. Even an earthquake would have felt better compared to the rumbling and tumbling my poor lil tummy had to experience after saturday lunch at Red Fort, Nandanam.

Here are the reasons why Red Fort does not belong to the present:
1 - The cutlery, cane furniture is so unfriendly that a journey to your seat can take ages.
2 - The air freshener is located right above your table and for a moment you feel like you are eating soap.
3 - The paneer achari is unedible panner laced with a lot of turmeric powder
4 - The waiters not only take ages to bring the food, but also give you the wrong dish.
5 - The mutton is from the time of the Moghuls. Please refrain from ordering any briyani, for its the last thing that will arrive at your table.
6 - Hold your breath when you go to the wash area, and please avoid using your hands to eat, for there is no soap and the wash area stinks.
7 - Do not. Repeat. Do not look at the faces around you, there is no one with a smile on their lips or a sparkle in their eye.

Red Fort in Chennai is meant to reform prisoners. And the experience is nothing less than disaster in hell. Going here once will not only make you feel like a reformed person, but you will never again complain what your mom feeds you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let's not wake up 6 feet under

It rings constantly in your ear, “this has been the worst hurricane, worst flood, or worst tidal wave on record.”

With more damage around the world and ecosystems going haywire, we see that many people have joined the bandwagon in a bid to protect Earth. Earlier, initiatives were taken mostly by the Government and NGO’s, but today we see people around the world waking up. But the question is, are we waking up too late?

In 2010, the world woke up to a very different weather in many parts of the world. The cold winter not only disrupted commute but also claimed several lives, not only in India, but all over the world. That apart, deforestation, illegal wildlife trade and encroachment into forest protected areas, has leads to a severe loss of natural resources, wild plants and animals; adding many species on the endangered list.

So what is it that we must tap on? Advertising, of course! The only resource that one seems to use up in this communication is the resource of money, but atleast we have companies the world over spreading the message of saving the ecosystem, before marketing themselves. Frankly, I don’t remember that it cellular company promotes the recycle of cellular phones using children, or which promoted the ‘wastepaper bin game’ in an effort to promote ‘Do not waste paper’. Lately I saw ‘Stop messing with Nature, I inherit it’ - a slogan on a leading shoe brand’s advertising posters. These advertisements however reinforce one thing – the Earth’s natural resources are dwindling and we need to do something about it.

Celebrity endorsements seem to work wonders. In the past we saw Elle Macpherson and Stephen Fry threaten to boycott the restaurant ‘Nobu’ for continuing to serve ‘Bluefin Tuna’, a fish on the endangered list. Abhishek Bachchan, the Indian brand ambassador for 2010’s WWF Earth Hour campaign pledged his support stating “I will, in my power, do whatever to save electricity and will request my friends in the film industry to shut down shootings in studios during the Earth Hour." Other Bollywood celebrities like Shahrukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Priyanka Chopra, Ranbir Kapoor; Arshad Warsi and Dia Mirza joined in, in a bid to provide solar power to villages across India through TERI's Lighting a Billion Lives initiative, by raising money and adopting villages.

So let’s stop messing with nature. Saving Earth has more to do with just turning off lights or lighting candles. Drive more efficiently. Turn off your engines at traffic lights. Re-use. Carpool. Eat organic food. Ride a bicycle. Conserve energy. Plant more trees. Start saving ‘The Earth’. Where I live, I still see greenery. So, before the colours begin to fade, lets save some for the future to inherit, ‘something green, and something natural’.

Monday, March 8, 2010

No walls.

Nothing compares to you.... a song by Sinead O connor.

Its been a song I like for a godforsaken length of time.

"I went to the doctor n'guess what he told me
Guess what he told me
He said girl u better try to have fun
No matter what you'll do
But he's a fool
`Cause nothing compares
Nothing compares to you"

Somebody asked me the other day, why am I always so defensive, why do I have a wall around me. I cant see any walls I said.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

James Bose 007?

If I was born Aparajit Bose, without the extra 'a' at the end of my name, I would have seriously considered changing my name to something like James. To come to think of it, I would have gone around calling myself "Bose. James Bose." Then again, I dont think I would have been anything half as famous as James Bond.

Not a big fan of James Earl or James Steward, the only "James" I think is kinda cool is James Franko. Finding a famous gaga James is like finding Neverland.
Seriously. Do you think 7 is a cool number? James Bond and his 007. Why not 8 or 9 or any of the other numbers. I am keen on figuring out why the '7'. I am a no.11, and 011 doesn't seem half as cool as 007, no?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Disrespectful to say the least

Unanimously, we would all point a finger at the ones who govern the country, make rules and laws and burn down their effigies in our mind, all because we think our Government has a lot of criminals and cheats who take a lot of bribe and run a school of 'corruption'.

I will not entirely dismiss it, for corruption lies at every level. Even I am nicer to my mother on the days I want my favourite fish curry and rice, but thats not the issue here. My (growing) concern is that although rules and regulations exist, we blame the govt for not overlooking its implementation, while we, the so called 'aam janta' don't make the least effort to follow it.

If we believe in 'Of The People, By The People, For The People', then WE, the people, have to take a stand for justice and for what is TRUE. But then there are many, who completely disrespect law makers, and become law breakers themselves. We may blame SPS Rathore for being one, and he deserves to rot in hell in any case, but then there are people who have given their whole life to the service of protecting our country and its functions.

What I am coming to is, today, a car 8686 something jumped a light. The traffic constable was right in front of him and asked him to come to the side of the road. Our man did too, only to run away as soon as he got to the side, accelerating away.

The other scenario is that perhaps, perhaps he might have to lanjam kooduthify (fill the pockets) and go scot-free, or perhaps he would have gotten a ticket. Whatever be the outcome, he would have thought twice next time he jumped a signal.

India has a long way to go, but we all need to make a change, however small they may be. Like little drops make a mighty ocean, good citizens will make a good country.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dreaming of Mercy

There are two things powerful enough to zap you out of your present state and pull you into a black hole- a dimension old, yet familiar. The stay there isn't always present, but it is a time that has definitely seeped deep into your emotions.

Those two things are memories and music. Triggered, heard, spoken or sung, whichever it be, if it strikes the right chord, its bound to take you to your wonderland, and your name doesn't even have to be Alice.

I heard this while I was watching a movie - Life or something like it. And I watched it soon after I watched the movie August Rush. I am not a musician, and music is not in my blood, nor in my veins, but I do love listening to some good music. August Rush made me feel like there was something missing in my life. What it is exactly, I havent been able to figure out. Whatever it be, the movie has definitely made a difference in my life, even if the effect lasts only the night. After that I began watching 'Life or something like it', with a blonde Angelina Jolie, and I paused and wondered for a moment if this movie could surpass the experience of 'August Rush'.

Undoubtedly both movies are different and have strikingly different impressions on you. But what Life or.. gave me was a ride down nostalgic lane when Peter Gabriel's 'Mercy Street' began playing in the background. It flooded me with memories of my childhood. I grew up listening to some very different numbers and Mercy Street was definitely one of them. So Here I am, sharing the lyrics of Mercy Street with you.

looking down on empty streets, all she can see
are the dreams all made solid
are the dreams all made real

all of the buildings, all of those cars
were once just a dream
in somebody's head

she pictures the broken glass, she pictures the steam
she pictures a soul
with no leak at the seam

lets take the boat out
wait until darkness
let's take the boat out
wait until darkness comes

nowhere in the corridors of pale green and grey
nowhere in the suburbs
in the cold light of day

there in the midst of it so alive and alone
words support like bone

dreaming of mercy st.
wear your inside out
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy('s arms again
dreaming of mercy st.
'swear they moved that sign
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy's arms

pulling out the papers from the drawers that slide smooth
tugging at the darkness, word upon word

confessing all the secret things in the warm velvet box
to the priest-he's the doctor
he can handle the shocks

dreaming of the tenderness-the tremble in the hips
of kissing Mary's lips

dreaming of mercy st.
wear your insides out
dreaming of mercy
in your daddy's arms again
dreaming of mercy st.
'swear they moved that sign
looking for mercy
in your daddy's arms

mercy, mercy, looking for mercy
mercy, mercy, looking for mercy

Anne, with her father is out in the boat
riding the water
riding the waves on the sea

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Why is the man such a worried lot today? There is only one answer and that is

Many of us have grown us listening to this song written by Chuck Berry. I grew up listening to Elvis singing his version, which I must add, is a sazzy snazzy number.
I bring this up because we, the world as an unit are celebrating World Health Day this year. An event which focuses on urbanisation and health. But then, we celebrate this day because there are issues ailing us, man and woman. From tensions and work to terror attacks, there is a lot we have to watch out for.

Everyone must agree when I say this, there are more chances for us to die of a terrorist attack that a car crash. Even if you don’t agree, at least you could do me a favour and acknowledge that yes, the danger does exist. Probably not as much in a city like Chennai, as Mumbai, but I am sure the terrorist will catch up soon.

So before I fray any further, ask yourself, for me, how many of us have actually paid attention to our neighbourhood. Forget the neighbourhood, how many of us have turned off our engines in a traffic light, or decided to give the horn a break?

I think that is probably because we are inherently apes, or shall I say, monkeys.
No wonder the song was written. There is no hope for man. The only hope is that perhaps one day, soon, the world will come to an end and start afresh again.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Angered by TN10U 8778

Who doesn’t love peace? But I don’t have Bose blood flowing in my veins for no apparent reason. I prefer collecting my thoughts after a day’s work when I am on my way back home – doesn’t matter if I’m on my bike, being picked up or walking to the bus stop.
It is not impossible to train your mind into thinking in traffic, esp in an Indian city, amidst the cows crossing the road, the short green lights, the no-lane traffic rules, BUT, it doesn’t help when there is a mofuba* (translate yourself), honking at the back of your neck, expecting you to miraculously fly through traffic and give him space to drive.

What happened yesterday left me flabbergasted. It wasn’t the first time a crazy commuter honked thoughout in mad traffic, but a red TN10 U 8778, threatened to hit me when I told him “yaarum paraka po mudiyadhu, ipidi horn adhicha enne panna mudiyam (no one can fly through this traffic, whats the use of honking like this). Bloody Hell, I say. I mean really, what nonsense.

I have decided to make a note of every car / bike number which annoys me. If I had superhuman powers, I would drill a hole right through their tyre’s. I wish I had em. A hole through the tyre of anyone who breaks any traffic code too. I wish Anniyan was more than a character in a movie. I wish I was Anniyan myself.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

An original VerBose quote

"There are no favourites in the world, only could be’s and would be’s. It is upto you to choose which path you want to take."

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Dearest all,

I have entered a contest and the first prize winner goes to the CANADIAN ROCKIES!!!!
Please click on the link below and vote for me please. The person with the max number of entries wins.

So please please dont hesitate, send it to all your friends too.

Loads and Loads of love,
Aparajita urf Tini urf Appu Urf Bose

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shahrukh and the Sena

I wonder what will happen to bollywood now. With Bollywood capital, Mumbai making a huge hue and cry over the Marathi language, have you wondered what terror and tension the huge non-marathi population in Maharashtra probably undergoes on a daily basis, especially when Mumbai strives on its movie industry.

So now, with “Marathi” gaining centre stage, will Shiv Sena also have a problem with the screening of hindi movies and existence of production houses which focus on bollywood hindi blockbusters.

With the recent attack on Shahrukh Khan’s statement expressing his view on the unchosen Pakistani IPL cricketers and tagging him a traitor, will Shahrukh Khan now have to shift base from Mumbai. He might be a muslim by religion, but he is an Indian at heart, and India being a democratic country should give people the right to express their opinion.

While his statement was not against political parties, the one who should have had their thick skins pricked remained unstirred. You very well know what I mean, the entire IPL cricket federation who tried a very old stale tit for tat tactic. Imagine if we get the same treatment in Australia. Not that I don’t condemn the attacks on Indians, but where are the voices and condemnation against the numerous murders and corruption takes place on numerous accounts, sometimes openly, robbing the citizens of their hard earned money.

Why is there no voice raised against the citizens who don’t follow rules and regulations, against those who don’t pay their taxes and against those who make controversies against someone’s personal lives?

When there are so many better issues to focus on, I would request the Shiv Sena to focus on things that make sense, and leave innocent people behind. If you have any other reason to attack Shahrukh, make it known, but try to whats right. Deploy your Sainiks to protect our borders perhaps, after all, they do like fighting for a cause.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bigger. Brighter. Closer. Did Horlicks work its magic on the moon?

Clear starless sky with a bright moon shining right on top of you. That was 30th Jan 2010, where the moon was its biggest and brightest in a long time to come. 
The moon was only 3,56,566 kms away. In fact it was about 13 % bigger and 30% brighter. 
Photo : As seen from K.K Nagar, Chennai. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Im feeling very Blah today

Ive got a very very bad cold. It comes coupled with extreme hunger. The human body sometimes amuses me. No. Let me rephrase, almost all the time. Its the world's greatest marvel, but if you think in human terms, your body reacts to your mood, your frame of mind. Mine always does. Atleast the number of times I have noticed.

So right now, I have a lot of preconcieved notions about life that I need to let go off, fears I have to shed and yet, look forward to a whole lot that life has to offer, or that I have to make of it. Thus the link with the cold where stuff is trying to get out, and hunger - the thirst for knowledge.