Friday, December 9, 2011

Five reasons why travelling should be my To – Do in 2012

This part of the post is the TO – DO in 2011. December is going to be pretty awesome,packed and fun. For the first time, my family is visiting me here and I havecharted a TEN day Singapore (with a two day KL - Genting) trip for them. Before you pounce and comment on the lack ofstuff to do here for eight days, let me assure you – my schedule for them is pretty packed.

It is the first out-of-home long vacation for both, so I am really going to stop my nutcase antics, be responsible and act grown up with amma. But not to the absolute extent that she thinks I am ready for…you know what…

I have a strange and raising love for hearing stories and wish to travel across countries, meeting people and listening to stories. And someday, I want to learn photography so well that I can capture all my stories into pictures.

For now, I am not yet really there. One thing, I can certainly do is to blog about it. That is for 2011.

The plan for 2012 includes mostly SE Asia – Langkawi, Nikoi Islands, Sabah (or some partof western Malaysia), Cameron Highlands, Nepal and Kerala (mostly Cochin, or Wayanad). I would love to add Bali or Phuket, but really not too sure!

Apart from a multitude of reasons, this is why I MUST do all this in 2012 :

·   It is the last year. Sincerely hope, you all know the world is ending in 2012.

·   It is not exactly costing me a lot. It does cost, but thankfully affordable.

·   These places are great culture/food spots. Read my low profile stories on Thirucherai and Kumbakonam.I am sure; Langkawi will be a better story. Trust me, on this!

·   It is my futile hope that someone somewhere will see me moving around with a book,pen and crazy clothes and offer me a job in TLC Asia. Okay, just kidding. 

·   I want to be photographed in short hair. That lame, I am. I have got my first after-ten-years old short hair do now. Also, want to track the hair length in pictures :)

·   Because 2011, is ending on a great note. I am at Siem Reap, Cambodia as this post goes up live.

I wrote six. Okay, I am now lazy to change the title. Sorry!

Note to the world : I do not believe in buying you back a souvenir, but yea – leave a comment if you need me to own something. And yes, if you know of a great thing I MUST do in any of these places, let me know!

Note to self: Come back and read this post, every month in 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 the name!

                                                                        Source: via Brie on Pinterest

This post has been picked up for BlogAdda's Spicy Saturday Picks. Whatte surprise!

At one point of time in my life, I was declared to be on dangerously low weight. Though it was not for long, I have had serious eating problems as a child. Always raised a demur against food, I was not exactly amma’s favourite activity.

The early years were not very exciting too, as for more than ten years – my family never ordered anything specifically for me. Thus was my tryst with food, ordering and eating out. The last four years have been a pleasant reversal, though. A lot of my friends know I love food – both to cook and to eat. It surprises so many when I say, that I cook! Interestingly, no one really expects a single 24 year old to be able to cook different things, and hate instant noodles.

What is particularly funny is how the exact same people have already determined I should be married by now. If I have no ability to fetch myself a decent, healthy meal, how exactly should I do/handle a marriage? Yea, I do know many women get married without an idea of cooking  and that cooking is not exactly organic chemistry. But, the determination baffles me. Totally.

As always, I digress. This post is not on my take on cooking/marriage but on how this change over has made life different today. I have certainly become a much responsible eater.  I was never really into making my own cup of tea before 2008, but yea – I was barely 22 then. What started as a learning curve, has become a way of exploring, experimenting and enjoying food. As a bonus, I have qualified to be called as a foodie!
Now, I have serious issues with this word. For one, it conjures the image of someone who hogs meals and searches for expensive options. For another, it is directly seen in relation with my waistline. I detest my own line there, but it is true. Promise.

The word foodie hardly represents what fellow people like me think about food. We are not eaters.  It is very hard to find a so called foodie who will eat anything on the plate. As a matter, most people are good cooks.  A few things, I have to say on being a foodie -

·        A foodie or whatever the person is called,  has a passionate interest on food and participates enthusiastically in the preparation and consumption of good food.  The act is not merely a means of survival ( as some chronic diet freaks do ) nor is an act of necessity ( as some really really busy people call it). 
·        We do eat out, at least I do – but love our food. It is savoured, tasted well and time/efforts are invested to find the best place, pay the best value and be mindful.
·        There is this charm about eating for pleasure. Biting into a pannacotta when the world is trying to stick to guts with roti- chawal, or wiping up a rasam-curry meal after a long day at 11pm when you may crash with maggi noodles. 
·        Then, there is this thing about exploring. We normally love to walk around food markets, click pictures, taste stuff, peep and see new cuisines being cooked, read memoirs, talk to people etc. And yes, IKEA is a great time pass place.

And yes, after we are done with our meal, we do go ahead with other things in life – like a full time job, or an intolerable kid or an almost there deadline (!). Like me. Like now. I have earlier written on food, places, philosophy with food ( I know ! ) etc. Click here to read/see/ogle at them!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Anonymity and things as such...

There is no real reason why anonymity is not glamorous. This post is not to quote how many people have roamed under the magical invisible cloak but on how so low standards our integrity has gone.

There are many reasons why this blog does not see regular posts and one of it is certainly the fear of being identified with the personal posts that go up here. I have had random ( really, random) people come and ask me about things I wrote. Now, I am not even a famous or a good one. Yet, this happens! And trust me, being a single girl in a lonely city comes with its own set of rules and issues. And one of it, is the trouble with how easily people use anonymity.

From crazy mails, to stupid comments and now - recently, a msg on FB, all has occured here. It is seriously sick, to see a message from a fake profile chiding a post I wrote more than a year back. The message went on to say, that my new haircut does not suit me. :(

And then there are anon people who seem to have an air over them. I do not understand what exactly is there to be proud about being unable to show an identity, esp on comments. It is an entirely different case with anonymous/partial anonymous bloggers. It is kind of sensible, esp if you are going to use a blog to vent out all kinds of emotions. I am not denying it is not exciting. A secret : I did try anonymity, and realized I was only pouring crazy mood swings down there. Then, I suspended the blog. Even now, I feel I should write down anonymously somewhere and store it for my own eyes.

It does cause me to worry, only a bit. Should just push it off, along with a million other things in my head now.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Mosaic Tag

When you are terribly stuck at work with no mood to finish anything, and all the priorities madeare totally screwed up, I try and pick up some tag and do justice to this blog.

The last week has been crazy. Juggling between deadlines, that never seem to meet. Friday comes, and I have happily scheduled my next week as I type this out.

The Mosaic Tag is very famous in flickr. And though I dont click, nor have a flickr account, I do gawk at photos. Infact, I have a brave thing for gawking at anything/anyone. Not any more on that.

The rules are pretty simple:
  • Type your answer on Flickr search
  • Pick an image, from the first page
  • Form a mosaic with the images.
I have slightly tweaked the questions, here it goes
  1. What is your alter name? Archie
  2. What is your favourite food? Brinjal curries and Curd Rice
  3. What high school did you go to ? Adarsh Vidyalaya
  4. What is your favourite colour ? Blue. But, Black in Clothes.
  5. Who is your celebrity crush? Certainly Prithviraj.
  6. What is your favourite drink? Masala Tea
  7. What is your dream vacation? Santorini, Greece
  8. What is the most beautiful place you have lived? Nanyang Valley Apartments @ NTU.
  9. What do you love most in life? Books
  10. Favorite Dessert? Chocolate Trifles
  11. What do you want to be when you grow up? A writer in any form
  12. One word to describe you ? Cranky
and here is the picture :)

This post took so much time to go up because I kept changing the pictures. I chose the pig for Archie because the rest were all images of people, and prithviraj is so cute as a caricature. A little dorky, but I dont care!

It is surprising that my answer for what I love most, came as books on my mind. I have always loved reading, but never owned too many books after school. And now, NLB is there and I still do not own too much. I should start buying good ones, but yea...sometime.

Photo Credits from Flickr

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Singapore Veg Healthy Frankie: The Flyin' Bread Review

Note: This place has been closed down.

If you are from Chennai, or actually from Bombay - you will know Tibbs Frankie. It is this awesome bite meal with a tangy, spicy, evil taste that lingers for a while. For long, a trip to besant nagar beach was NEVER complete without a paneer frankie. It is clearly not a healthy meal, with a maida ( plain flour ) based paratha, rolled and served hot with a oily gravy ( not tandoor cooked) filling. Yet, like all unhealthy stuff, it was pretty awesome.

And it was only 35 rupees. Or may be 40. Does not matter.

Come to Singapore,and I forget the frankie. This one is the closest resemblant one can find here. The rolls we get in sandwich stores here are mundane, boring and very sloppy in taste. And yea, i do like subway stuff, but anyone who has had a frankie will find it blasphemous to compare. A random late evening post walk work inside Plaza Singapura got me to The Flyin' Bread.

From the outside, the store looks like any other kiosk.
Image Source here

I noticed a live grill pan and loads of chicken around, and quietly asked if there are any veg options. The man at the counter probably understood I was a lost vegetarian roaming around, and immediately suggested a paneer flyer. I chose a medium one for two reasons - I did not exactly want to hog at 7pm, and later spend the night thinking if I should have dinner or not. Two - I was not prepared for a spit away tofu roll with laden mayo.

Big mistake. The roll was stupendously good. You either make good, soft, delectable paneer or you serve leather shoes. This one was fantastic. It seemed correctly spiced and was rolled well with lots of lettuce ( salad, whatever) and had mint chutney, a dash of something like imli chutney and wrapped in a roomali roti. Yes, not a prata. A roomali.
Image Sources - mailed by Vikram ( the one who owns this place). First pic - Potato Flyer. Second pic - Grilled panneer :)

They also serve set meals with avacado milkshake ( once again, same BIG mistake!) with chocolate on it. The best part is the BBQ idea and indianizing it beautifully with chutneys and flavours. The menu had a lot of offers, I did not bother to look beyond anything when he said paneer. A look on their website also shows this interesting video on how the chef makes the roomali. I did not see the act, but it sure looks nice. That is also why the rolls are called flyers.

Going with the final say,

Excellent branding. I have always loved, loved when small things are told well. Esp, in the food business. A good mix of taste, some neat package deals, convinient location and a great name. Who could have christened it better!

The medium roll costs $6.90. It is not exactly cheap, but it is not expensive either. Would not call it a whole meal as it is a mere binge.

The portions are generous, which makes up for the money in my opinion.

They should consider giving a fork/spoon along with the meal. It is not easy to really bite into the meal, especially for clumsy, multi tasking eaters, like yours truly.

The paper cover got very soggy and dripped along, and hence I had to throw away some sauce. Though it is nice to give in paper, some skill is needed in eating this :)

They have two stalls - one at Plaza Singapura, and another at Somerset. For the complete menu, offers, check here.

P.S :Apparently, their beef and chicken flyer is really nice as well. Do try!

Special thanks to Vikram for being absolutely sweet and mailing the pics, along with the permission to use material from his site.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hello, Newly Married Friend...

No major offence to anyone who is married. But I cant fathom the sciences behind your obsession to being aunty. And talking to me about marriage. Go away, all of you. The whole full stop you put when you are married pisses me off. Yes, it is that annoying. So what if marriage is the single most defining point in your life? It is not in mine. It will never be in mine, even if I get to marry the cho chweet sweetheart of my life. Live with your munchkin happily, but for sake of my swear words, do not bother naive (!) singles like me.

What is even worse is that you go around telling stories to people on why no one above the age of 24 should be single. Did you just forget that the day before your wedding, you came and stood like a fool about tying that saree? Damn, no one learns to master wearing the saree even for eons after marriage. I am yet to learn manage a duapatta. But at least, I do not sit like a doll when I dress up.

Have i told you how much fun it is to have own reading time? Or own walking time? Just because a truck load of girls have decided to hand over the remote control of their lives to their munchkins, it does not mean womanhood has lost powers of self existence.

Though, I have a bunch of best friends who are married and yet cool. Or, to be married and even cool about it. That is the way to live. This business of two bodies one heart is filmy. Get over it. It is filmy even for me.

Marriage is important, its fun and probably everyone (including me) will enjoy it.But to go one step ahead and act like it is the coolest thing to do at 24 is no joke. It is annoying to everyone, even to your families.

Grumpy post, bear with me. My vent blog :P

What to eat when in North India!

I think the headline is pretty lame. I mean, the entire world knows about Chicken Tikka and Naan. What am I going to write about here? I now think this whole series is a pretty weird idea because it is all about stuff I have no idea on. I really wish I get a job in the India version of TLC and get a chance to go on a culinary journey. Me and my job aspirations, always!

The series started here, and is not here. I hope it does end soon :)

Anyways, here it goes - Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh,Chandigarh, Harayana,Punjab and Uttar Pradesh!

Kashmir - Dum Aloo is one of the few things that has been heavily roaming in abridged versions. I am sure the authentic version has more rich stuff - cream, nuts and such waistline damaging evilness. The versions that I have had are only the ones from Amma's kitchen or from some NI restaurant, where it is mostly a plomp of tomato-onion gravy and potatoes. The rest, I have not even heard about. Searches reveal Gustaba is a lamb balls in gravy dish, Hak ka saag is a spinach dish.

Chandigarh - has the most yummiest stuff. I have eaten the veg versions of all of those:) Yea, we love cloning!

Himachal Pradesh - As a kid, I was so fascinated by the name of this place. No clue why, though. I have not been anywhere close or eaten the mid-day brahmin meals there.

Haryana - Yumville again. Check, check :)

Punjab - Isnt channa batura the NI version of Masala Dosa? Not quite literally, but in royalty and popularity - yes!

Uttar Pradesh - Kebabs. That is enough to love this place.

This exercise is no means going to make my already famished brain work better to get this day over at work. This post is not at all complete, or descriptive because most of the food here is deemed so all over Indian already!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Being here..

Being a serious blogger is out of my reach.

1. I cannot commit myself to writing regularly. Laziness precedes me everywhere.

2.I do not know to be bothered about SEO, pagerank, buttons, pink colour, girl talk though hits and comments make my day nice.

3. I am too random. The Day Series does not work with me, because I do not like answering personal questions. Asking me on what are the five things that will make me happy, will require a dynamic post. It keeps changing every hour.

4. I do not know what my favourite colour is. That is why I chose Myriad Hues as the name for this blog. It is important to know this, trust me.

Gah! what a waste of a post!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


A friend like Phoebe Buffay. I love her. The way she handles things, and her absolute wit. I would straight go on my knees and ask her to be my friend, my buddy and my roomie. I can even make breakfast everyday. The wishlist goes like this..

- Preferably be within 25 years of age, and definitely unmarried.
- A BF is absolutely fine. However, BF's with clingy tendencies, or ones with the absolute need to be on the phone all night are frowned upon.
- Must have the ability to whack my back when I am down.
- Must have unmanageable hair.
- Must have had at least one scary experience in life.No, losing a phone and being stranded for 15 minutes is not counted as scary.
- Should know to live on street food, drink orange juice instead of water, cross roads on a rainy day without an umbrella, walk barefooted in beaches.
- Strict no for girls who act like daddy's princesses. (or mommy's girls)
- Should be nocturnal. I roast corn at 4am. Can be shared, though.
- Wit or Sarcasm should be her middle name. Esp, in dealing with people I hate. That is a lot of people.
- Must be able to dress up and leave home in 15 minutes.

I can go on and on. There are some friends to talk, some to hang out with and a bunch of absolute awesome girls I have. I was watching 'The One with Baby Shower' where Monica apologises to Sandra Green ( Rachel's mom) many times for not inviting her and she acts like she has not noticed at all. If you have ever been where Monica is, you will know the need for a Phoebe. The way she puts a stop to things. I louueee it!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On how Facebook is a Pain- Thursday Thirteen #4

13 ways how Facebook has made life tougher - Thursday Thirteen #4

1.It keeps changing. This is a big rant, especially for someone who is technically challenged. There is a new way the photos show. The next day, there is timeline. It is way too clumsy.

2.You are forced to see ‘report cards’, ‘friendship tree’ and such random places tagging you. I was hanging in the highest branch of a tree near a banana.

3.The pictures we see on a mother protecting her baby in Japan Earthquake, a dying child buried alive in Uganda – all in 920P. I fail to understand how I can help by clicking a ‘Like’ or Sharing it!

4.The coverage of micro details in status messages truly pisses me off. I do not have to know which NH you took to reach the lake you are holidaying now in your new icy-blue capris with your munchkin husband. Argh is an understatement.

5.There is ZERO originality in status messages, if it does not fall in the above category. It is ripped off from just about anywhere, and that is only fine if one person on your feed has it. I cannot bring it to see twenty stories on one quote talking about how happiness resides in some unknown place, etc. Or, like this one - “Woman reaches love through friendship; man reaches friendship through love"

6.The applications – did I already speak about it? Ah, worth it again , the ones with ‘Get your finger print’, ‘write your names in letters’ (!) , or the X-Men characters, whatever!

7.All aunts, uncles are there. I do not have too many issues with my elders and love some of their wit on Facebook, but most of the time, they use it for matrimony and its allied purposes. OMG! (runs away)

8.There are some people who were friends, and are not now. And then there are some who are friends but not really close. You really do not know who should be in which group. The task of putting 526 people in groups is tougher than going off Facebook ( if I could)

9.There are weightloss ads on the sidebar. I get depressed when I see them.

10.I watched Disney Series when I was 9. When I saw a page for Minnie Mouse, I liked it. Now, I see posts daily on the new construction material Mickey has bought to upgrade its (or his) house.

11.We can have 31 mutual friends. Still, I wont accept you on my list if I do not know you. It is a stalker’s haven. Yuck!

12.The torture of the DSLR maniacs flooding my pages with pictures of trees, cars and shoes. Painful.

13.It is making people turn narcissist. I am particularly scared of this one.I am not kidding at all. Do watch this video to know more about it.

I know of at least 5 reasons on my mind on why one cannot quit facebook. One is certainly on how photo sharing has been made so much easier! Google+ is better, though :). I am too bitchy, love the idea of people ( even if i dont talk to any of them) to quit it. That's it! Pardon me for the lack of better ideas for T13. Promise to make it more lively in the next. Mean while, if by random chance any of you decide to quit Facebook, lemme know. Will send you some ballons!

P.S : Post updated to add video link.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Problems of This Day - Thursday Thirteen #3

13 problems of this day, this age( in no order)

I am on an amazing day off and been watching season after season of FRIENDS. The kind of problems we have today is an idea that stayed on my head. I intend to make it partly funny - lemme try. Humour has never been me.

1. I will show love for my community by purchasing an over-priced shampoo that apparently has community trade olives from Siberia.

2.I have three hearing devices. One headphones for my laptop. One handsfree. One more while I travel to work. And some songs are nice only in one of them. What a headache!

3.Putting pictures on Facebook means I cant wear the same kurta twice for a trip.

4. I am in search of a hairdresser who understands when I say 'do something with it, you must know, right?'.

5. I have over 50 different outfits but have no clue what to wear because its too cold for a kurta and too warm to carry a jacket.

6.I wanted a McDonalds Oreo Milkshake. The machine is broken. I just tweeted about it.

7. There is way too much low-cal feta cheese in my salad.

8. My pillows are too soft, that I wake up with a neck ache.

9. I have too much ketchup packets left after the million takeaways.

10. My neighbour's eight year old son called me and asked how 3G works.

11. I am too worried if the picture of my to-be groom is true or photoshopped.

12. I want to buy a DSLR. But hate to be one more of those who torture us, or be a feed for sarcastic bloggers.

13. I have been planning to go running. The gear, headphones, meter, shorts are all too expensive. Every month.

Whattay fun post to write! Loads of inspiration on this topic in web - looks like everyone seems to have problems with this world, anyways. Might as well get back to watching FRIENDS.

'I' does not necessarily mean yours truly :)Yea, I do love the community trade olive shampoo of mine.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Namma Chennai Rocks - Thursday Thirteen # 2

13 reasons why Madras aka Chennai rocks!

Having lived all my life ( barring the pre-KG years ) in Chennai, it is no surprise I am in love with it. I have travelled and lived for short durations in other main metros, but somehow the quintessential charm of the city fails to be replicated.

I rarely hate cities. I loved the bustling Hyderabad, the antique vintage charms of Calcutta and the smart chic Delhi I met. Trichy, Coimbotre are simply the most heart warming places for me to visit. The former because of my childhood love, and the later because of Isha, friends and simplicity. Ah, and the food in both places :)

Now on Chennai - the autos, the maniac driving and sticky sweat included(absolutely in my own perspective, I will try not to repeat food often)

1. The People and Jobs. We are a very cultural,educated lot. I say that, with a certain sense of pride. From the auto annae, the keerai kaari and the cobbler - everyone has an opinion on politics. People may not be the best to you, but we love our place. I have hardly heard of people from chennai migrating for jobs, except for a promotion or if they work with Google :) There are so many jobs available. Especially, on an entry level.

2. Beaches. I am a sucker at beaches. I love the winds, the sand and the messiness. Irrespective of whatever happens ( rains, sun or tsunami ), I love the beach. Had I been raised in Trichy or even Singapore, I would have missed this. No, Singapore does not have chennai or even remotely close beaches. Marina is now photogenic after the makeover. Elliots has long been my favourite kadalai beach for knowing the hep and cool chennai. We have one more beach, the Thiruvanmiyur one for amateur '8' design car rounds. Beat that, 3 beaches!

3. Food. Name it, we have it. I am not elaborating more on this. Tried the woodfired pizzas at Blur, or the Paneer Kheema dosais ? Yumville! Like every other Indian city, the street food in Chennai is brilliant. Thanks to migratory folks, we have bajjis, sundal and chaat sitting on the same counter. The under-rated son-papris and the over-rated milagai bajjis, we have it all.

4. Tanglish The most elite convent educated girls speak it here. We love our tamil. We love english. So we kalakify it and serve it with a smile. It works like a charm if you want to do shopping in chennai.

5. Pondy Bazar. A reason for anyone to visit my city atleast once. It should be a part of the tourism programmes there. The sheer colours and variety will bowl you over. To me, reminds of college time kurta walks and earring bargains.

6. Sowcarpet. If you have been raised in chennai and never gone shopping ( alone!) to Sowcarpet, you have missed it. The murukku sandwiches, the golas, designer sarees and awesome jewellery. Its our own mini version of Paris for fashion and Italy for food. And its an inspiring place for any juvenile entrepreneur (like me!)

7. Hop-On - Hop-Off buses. I am not sure if any other Indian city has this service. But chennai's AC Hop-On Hop-Off bus services are by far the best ways to go on ECR, if you do not have a car. Great views, and an excellent suspension on these buses.

8.Music Season . I am internally weeping at missing this. The smells, sights, colours and the sheer love for art my city has. The silk cotton crowds, beaded jewellery and south indain chic. The steaming coffees, kasi halwas and vazhaipoo vadais - A feast to all six senses. A place for celebrity spotting - do not be surprised if you find an yesteryear heroine (or a still-young Shobana) sitting next to you :)

9. Satyam Cinemas. Name me a place that offers an equivalent movie experience, steaming dosas on a bar stool and an unparalleled, creamy cold coffee. Simply the best place to watch movies. Even better than IMAX, trust me.

10. The Scene Colleges Stella, Ethi and MOP. Yeah, we are that awesome that we ought to be on this list. The tip of tongue tamil, the kurta-jean costume and the scooty whizzing around Nungambakkam. A treat. MOP is the best, though :P

11. Mount Road. We have one major road that connects you from one end to another - quite literally. Like the PIE here. And if you miss a right,you dont have to go all the way to another corner to get back, like in Banglore.

12. Traditional'a Moderna ? Have a vazhai elai sapadu and shop for ESPRIT clothes. Smoke on a hookah and head off to AF for a play. Nibble on a frankie and shop at Sundari Silks. Chennai is somewhere in between. It does not have the ultra cool post 11PM places to hang out and has a sense of laid back attitude in almost everything, but it suits fine for us. It is safe, spread out well, relatively organised (area wise) and has a blend of tanjavur to mexican food :)

13. We do know Hindi Chennai has got mostly a settled down crowd. The natives do not know hindi. We never had a need to know, because our marwari seths speak tamil. When someone says, abbey yaar, autowalahs do not speak hindi, I am fumed. Why would they expect a native nagapatinam born, educated chennai living autoguy to speak hindi? Walk into Tidel or Ascendas. I bet, 1/5 are from the aloo land.

This post has re-kindled so many happy memories. There is one more point, a very personal one that did not make it to the list. Chennai is the closest city to reach from Singapore. Takes me only 3.5 hours :) and we have budget flights that take for less than 100 dollars. Beat that!

Okay, I am in glee. This post was published on the most amazing fan page "I love Chennai "on Facebook. It is right here and no wonder, I am jumping up and down because of it :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That's the way it is

Things have a way of working out. Friends turning into non-friends and tasty morsels turning into porridge.

People are not like preserves. They almost always come with an expiry date. Or at least a 'best before' date. The sick thing is that you get so used to them, that the taste still lingers. One familiar place, a taste, a song almost instantly turns time back and leaves it static for me to jolt out of it. To top it all, you now also know that the so called people never considered you important. It pains because you also know how you treat the people you do not consider important. Oh, the pains of knowing, realizing hard stuff.

If all this was too complicated to wonder, I turn to simpler(!) stuff. Like having a good hair style - and hell, it does not work out. My hair is the most untameable element I have ever seen. Too short may not really suit me, or so I think. Long is terrible, especially with crazy fungi and sweat residing. BodyShop, FaceShop and Garnier - I would like to divorce all of you. Even the shihakai podi that worked back home makes hair feel like hay here. Its the climate, the lack of proper rest, food and all that jazz. All I need is a smart, manageable hair. And yea, I suck at maintenance and upkeep. I do not like combing, taming and spend hours bothering about it. Neither do I think it looks nice always.

As I told, I need balance. In everything - from my head to my heels. Oh, the story of my chapped heals. That's the way it is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What to eat when in Central India!

Central India ? I don't even know if it is a term to be used. Nevertheless, resuming my new found zest for being regular here, I am once again revisiting this part. Please dont disown me, if I discontinue now. I meant, I wont. Or I decided to build some defence in my case. Whatever..

The series started here, and is not here. I hope it does end soon :)

P.S - As always, click on the image to view larger.

Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh - are you okay with being called Central India? I think it is pretty okay. The only catch is Orissa - but I would have a lot of places in East.

Of these, I have not been to Maharashtra. Yup, 24 years in India and not been to Mumbai once. Not even on transit.

Orissa - Fish Orly, Khirmohan, Rasabali, Chhenapodapitha. So tough to spell these stuff. Khirmohan is similar to Rasgulla. I may have had it in a 'bengali sweetbox'. Not sure at all. Fish Orly - :P, Rasabali, yup. I have done this one with khoa. Rasabali is the Rasmalai version of a Gulabjamun - well, sort off. I made this as a part of a sweets class, sometime when I was in college. Chhenapodapitha is the 'cheesecake' from Orissa. Wow, never knew about this. Must check out, and try sometime.

Trivia : Visited Puri when I was 10 years old. I remember eating Poori at Puri :) and talking about it in school.

Maharashtra - Shrikand, Thalipeeth, Vada Pao, Modak. All tasted. Have tried to make only vada pao from this, but I dont know if mine was authentic. I should go to Bombay and try it sometime. Thalipeeth is the NI version of Adai made with different flours. The version I had contained even ragi. Not a fan, but was nice.

Madhya Pradhesh - Lapsi, Bafla, Bhutte ki Khees, Bhopali Kebabs. Lapsi is a sweet dish made with godumai ravai. Amma makes it often. She even calls the upma from it s Lapsi Upma :)Bafla Bati and Bhopali Kebabs - Nope. Bhutte Ka Kees seems very interesting, a mix of upma and dhokla. Sometime.

Gujarat - Thepla, Dhokla and Khandvi - Love. Handvo - May be second love. Panki - A elai adai version of NI, probably. Never heard before.

Rajasthan - Dal Baati Churma, Ker Sangri, Lal Maas Gatte, Pyaaz ki Kachori. Dal Baati, I have had, but did not like it too much. May be I have not had the best versions. Lal Mass and Ker Sangri is saved :) Kachoris, only from local chaat shops.

Chattisgarh - Bafauri, Kusli and Red ant chutney. Geez, whats this ant chutney supossed to be? Ahem!

East and Rest Later :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

16 year old Talks - Thursday Thirteen #1

I am sick of my lethargy in posting here. If I hate anything about myself at the moment, this is it - the inability to write regularly. So, I spent half of a monday :P morning browsing through ideas to keep my blog going. One of my favourite is tags. In case you still do not know what tags are, just go away to this post by Nags.

So yeah,be all ready to find me tagging myself. I am that shameless to keep this blog going :)

Another major idea ( yea, thts how I call anything I think of ) was to do regular lists like some kind of a series. I know it is not exactly saving the world, but it gives some kind of a pattern to posts (whatever!). One of it is Thursday Thirteen.

So what I will do is to post a list of 13 things every Thursday. And on what I will post will depend on my silly head. This week, I planned to post the top 13 foods I have cooked. But I wanted to add photos. And I wanted to link it to the recipe, if online. And I wanted to do this, that. So it is not happening for this week. It would be a nice separate post, than this list.

So here it is, all grand music and wild entry - My Thursday Thirteen #1

13 things I should tell to the 16 year old me : (or to any 16 year old)

1. Be proud of your choice to take commerce. You did the right thing.

2. Do not stop that meditation you do now. You will learn about Isha and get involved in it, later.

3. Get used to wearing sleeveless.

4. Learn about what 'taking backup' is. Do not lose any photos.

5. Start liking 2 minute maggi noodles. Its now or never. The 24 year old me still does not.

6. Join a dance class. You will regret you did not do it, later.

7. Continue with the diary. Do it in pencil, so that you can erase stuff.

8. Her hate for you is plain jealousy. It will come back as FB request years later.

9. Start washing your tiffin boxes. It is seriously sick to start doing it at 24.

10. The annual holidays you get now, is practically unheard of for the rest of your life. Sleep well. Please.

11. Learn to manage a dupatta, properly. The girl way.

12. Stop answering back amma for everything. Years later, you will sit miles away missing her.

13. DO NOT bother about your 10th marks. The world does not care anyway.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


And yes, as Anu puts it, KPMG stole it away. The 30 day challenge ( do I even call it now, that way) stopped because I managed to get a job, in 9 days of starting this challenge.

Truth be spoken, the 30 day challenge was born out a lonely desperate afternoon. I was internally feeling rotten, and badly wanted to stop the bitch in me from taking control. In miraculous ways, it helped. I started getting ideas on writing about the place I lived, the kind of food I ate or hoped to eat and unearthing drafts. Kind of upset the plan was left off, ironically because I am now in a job.

Earning in dollars :) Someone I dearly know in Chennai told me to be a disciplined spender. Never had the word 'discipline' made more sense than my absolute lack of control at the recent BodyShop sale. I had to remove at least four different bottles, simply to teach myself some discipline.

Absolute lack of enthusiasm :) For the first two weeks, I moved like a kid. I loved the trains, the job, the food - everything about it. I still do, but my enthusiasm levels are sunk. Most times, it is the moment around that influences (read DECIDES) my mood. As one of Sadhguru's quotes go ( unable to recollect fully )- we pick pieces from people, and make us. It is so true. And I warn you, when you pick it from the wrong person, it lingers for a really long time.

Yet, Yet - I leave the post with this note. And look forward to be here really soon.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lapse of the 30-day challenge, and hello, home post.

The 30 day challenge is getting royally screwed up with such changes in life. I started the thirty day story on a frustrated, 'i-am-feeling-lonely' afternoon after a messed up lunch. Whoever would have thought that in 15 days, things would radically change and I would be typing across sitting in my swing :) Oh, I love this swing - will take a picture of it.

There are very few things I do not love about my home. Everything else,from my small room to the guava tree with a 100 fruits, I love it all. We live in an apartment where I have birds to wake me up to. No big royal kerala palace house, or even a city place I live in. But a real simple place to sleep and eat. As a matter, that is the only thing I do here.

In a matter of two weeks, things moved so fast - an interview, an offer, papers, tests and last minute tickets. Absolute no time for shopping, and certainly none for treatment. Sitting with a cold in India is like traveling all the way to Disneyland and then getting a leg sprain! After a bout of antibiotics, the cold refuses to leave. The fever is just bidding a bye.

Honestly, with such pampering and hour-to-hour meals, except if one had return tickets, none would leave. I will have to, coming weekend :(

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Day Eight - Rajni Mania and some India :)

Last minute tickets to India - Expensive. Frenzy shopping with a fever - Chaos. Morning rides to airport - Tiresome. A Rajni Fan as a Driver - Awesomeness :)

It is one part of the news that I am in India, it is another that I had a Rajni fan driving me. And here is the tail piece, our man is a Malay born, Philippines raised young man. The conversation started with him asking why Mumbai is often attacked and on why Indian women like fair skin. And then our convo shifted to movies - it went something like this.

TG - " I like one man in India.His name is Rajni. He is a philanthropist"

SM - Hmmm (mindvoice - is that all he is? Aha)

TG - He is from South India.

SM - Me too, I am from Chennai

TG - (turns back, looks at me with wide eyes) you see Rajni'ah?

SM - ( now wakeful me) - Yeah, I do see. He lives in Chennai, not close to my place but I know where he is.

TG - Oh, very good. He..very nice man..i likes his movies, the dance (!), the style..All very good. If you see Rajni, then I see you , tht is like I am seeing Rajni'ah! He is very dark, but Indians like that man.

SM - (actually smiling wide) yea, we love him. you saw his recent movie ROBO?

TG - 3 times la. He, better than Aishwarya!

SM - (WOW)

Never did I think a ride would get this peppy. I quietly slipped out my headphones, played Kilimanjaro and spent the rest of the ride thanking stars :) It is no big news he spoke on million other things, dropped me off at Changi, charged me 20 cents less and helped to offload luggage and wished me luck!

TG - Taxi Guy. SM - Sleepy Me (@6.30 am)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day Six - What to eat when in South India :)

P.S: Click on image to view larger!

I found this image when I was doing some random browsing, over a year ago. After various futile attempts on trying to taste all the vegetarian dishes on the list, here comes my 'tasted' list from it. We will go by the states, for easier navigation!

South India - The Food Connoisseur's heaven

Tamilnadu - Obviously, done. Aapam, Dosa, Idli, Sambar and Rasam. Live a day in chennai and you will have all of that, except may be aapam!

Kerala - I have had the best sadya meals for onam with friends. Ente Keralam also serves an amazing Sadya meal. Dont miss it, if you like mallu land food. Avial is a part of sadya.Parotas- the malabar thattukada ones are to die for. The most authentic place in chennai is kumarkom, to my knowledge. Payasam, their vella-paripu ones, though not my favourite is also tasted.

Karnataka - Bisibele Bhaat, Kesari Bhaat, Mysore Pak and Chirotis - Done! Infact, I have made my own chirotis. They are a very unique tasting, semi-sweet dish, not really my favourite. Dharwad Peda, i have no clue on what it is!

Pondicherry - Vendakkai Patchaddy is not really from Pondy! So yea, I have done it.

Andhra Pradesh - The Biriyani, an authentic dum version from a wedding kitchen was once ransacked by me. I almost sat in the kitchen and licked it up, yum! I did not know Mirchi ka Salan is Andhra special, but yea tasted it somewhere. Gongurra pickle, licked it as well!

I am skipping Goa, bcos it has got nothing for the herbivore in me. Goa is not exactly SI too:)

Check here on Central India here. North, East and Rest next week or whenever :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day Four - The Rava Dosa Story

Dear peepls,

My excuse post should also explain I was voraciously hungry, having missed lunch! The kid who wrote that tromped her way to catch lunch-dinner at Anjappar.

I am never a fan of this place, especially because of the wait area and the continous plates of chicken flowing out. But, you see the finicky nose has a stomach and it does feel hungry. So, after an expert's ( more on the expert later) view - ordered a rava dosa and a ginger tea. With specific instructions to bring the tea after the dosa.

6 minutes later ( one time of Usure Poguthey) later, the tea arrived. It was truly ginger tea - with only ginger and no sugar. I politely asked for sugar with my 'i-am-not-mad smile" and added it. My already tired mind decided to stop the debate to wait for the dosa or not, and gulped the tea down.

7 minutes later ( one time on of Kilimanjaro later), the dosa arrives. By now, I am done with Aishwarya Rai and literally start drooling at Rava Dosa ( the comparison, I know is the result of a hungry tummy). Now, imagine the song goes on slow mood and changes to some soga illayaraaja song when I notice there are no chutneys in the plate. One kara kuzhumbu. One veg gravy! What kind of a combination is that!

The decent 'i am in singapore' part of me called the waiter and explained how I cannot fathom the idea of having dosa with kaara kuzhumbu and silently hinting that they should stop calling themselves chettinaad. The violent ' hey, i am from chennai ' part of me jumped up when he said, "Sorry madam, you never asked" ! WOW, are we in Uganda to ask for chutney with dosa, or is this a Chowmein place?

Horridness apart, I returned the dosa. I did bite into two've two crisp pieces ( thts a secret, bcos I DO NOT know if he gave it to someone else) and paid for my tea. Had this been chennai, I would have got the manager, spoken to the chef and given a lecture on the importance of customer service. AND NOT PAID FOR THE TEA!

I simply was not up for a fight! I see a lot of non-indian folks eating there. Dear Peepls, This is not how Indian food is. Visit a better place, or better yet ask me. I will tell you where to go :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day Three - The American/Indian Dream!

Day Three is an absolute blah day. I am lethargic and tired, and too mentally unstable to write on amazing videos, but simply cant miss this one.

The video on how India is exciting, and how opportunities and jobs are burgeoning in India is so wonderful to wake up to. I so really do not want to make this a serious post, and here are some absolute tit-for-tat things we can do for this situation! Some of these are inspired from a FB post. Check the video out - " Top American Graduates heading to India for Employment "

- Serve upmas only for breakfast. I am aghast at the idea of waking up to orange juice, so yes folks - time for some kaafeee.

- Teach Indian History in international schools. I can already hear the kids talk on Jalianwalla bagh, in that firangi accent.

- Have at least five different visas. Make people wait for it and issue only limited numbers.

- Create problems for people who want to bring spouses. Tell them to show the wedding photo, the ring, the gown, have testaments from three non-related guests and also submit copies of certificates.

- India can have PR Ration Cards. This is a real WOW. I mean, how awesome it would be to have two people fight for a pink cover, or a yellow cover.

- Say it is ZED. And not ZEE

- Have talk shows on the great American Brain Drain!

This post could be slightly over the board, but honestly I am personally feeling elated at this turn around of situations. As Narayana Murthy aptly points out in the video - people will flock and congregate wherever there are economic opportunities, irrespective of power outages, monsoons and screaming dogs. Hey, you guys do have spoilt teens and horrible lifestyles!

It is time to let go of certain dreams, to look for places unexplored and set foot. I have all due respects for the millions of Indians who have set foot bravely outside and created a global identity, but this trend means a pay off for such efforts.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day Two - The unique'st dish I have cooked - Murukku Sandwich

has to be Murukku Sandwich. I heard this first during a conversation with my MOP friends. I imagined it to be a stuffing of murukku inside two slices of bread, but on one of the 100 visits to sowcarpet, knew it was a sandwich of two murukkus! How awesome, I say. Sowcarpet is the most innovative shopping place I ever know of. The people there, are naturally gifted to convert the most ordinary of things to exotic items - food, clothes, accesories!

These murukus are unique to sowcarpet and are small, very crispy and spicy. A thin layer of red chutney, a piece of cucumber, a tiny onion and a tomato followed by a thin layer of green chutney makes the sandwich. It is served on a plate with ten pieces, topped with lots of sev and coriander. The tomato can also be replaced with a piece of boiled potato. Clearly, I was out of cucumber when this was made!

Now, sowcarpet is a place I go to SHOP and cant really eat much. So, we usually buy two packets of murukku and make these at home. This was the last dish I cooked, before I came to Singapore. Amma's most favourite with tea!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day One - The things I cant do..

I give up, in entirety to do these things in my life. I mean, they are seemingly simple that anyone raises an eyebrow when I struggle but honestly put, I can solve math than doing these.

The biggest and the most embarrassing is my inborn inability to open a simple plastic cover. The ones that come in rolls and are kept at supermarket vegetable aisles and expect us to tear along the perforation - I cant do it. I do most shopping alone, and it is highly annoying to be not able to do this. With a bag of onions in hand ( prepacked, thankfully), I sometimes sigh in exasperation to do this! Honestly, who ever invented such things? Why cant they just kept torn covers? Or, like my good old hometown, have stores where people will pack it after I ONLY pick it up! The whole idea of being called a 'super' market, with me having to do all the picking, packing, weighing is outrageous to me. Hail local veggie shops in India! Free curry leaves, too!

The next most toughest thing to the idiot in me is to poke a straw in a plastic takeaway cup. I prefer paper cups, tins and what else! This is a wonderful idea to carry a milo into a meeting, but I simply cannot poke it unless i spend 20 full seconds developing a strategy to attack it. The reality is that I simply dont care and flip the lid open to sip!

Temme, what fun is it to simplify things and make it so difficult? I know I probably have a queer disease, but simply my fingers are better solving valuations :) using excel!

P.S : And this my friends, is the first post of the 30 day blogger challenge. To make myself snap out of the 'head blogger'

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Head Blogger!

I am an officially screwed up blogger in my head. I cant stop thinking in reported speech or stop rhyming metaphors in my already rumbled brain. If there was any mechanism to directly transform a train of thoughts to a blog post here, then I am pretty sure I would jump at it. Also, that would give you a idea on what I am up to in the last one month.

I am hunting, searching and looking out for jobs. I am not desperate yet, but I know I will pretty sure be there. In between a couple of 'oh-you-are-not-a-PR' jobs and 'you-are-so-awesome,but we-cant-take you' and thankfully only one 'ok-we dont-like you', i am still hanging on.

I am resume wise potential, friends (and non-friends) wise searching, family wise paavam-kuzhandhai but I know, i know I am a total, absolute maniac. I keep blogging in my head when making dinner, crossing roads, billing groceries and buying books.

I need to get out of my head, open the laptop and log into this page to type.

And yes, I did the first draft in my head @4.25am today!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

I say so..

No cooking show ever shows behind the scenes. It is such a pain to wash vessels. I feel like the housemaid already!

Student life is fun - only if you stay at home and amma cooks meals for you. Not so much, when you are to do it yourself.

Friendship is not having a cup of coffee or talking heart to heart for a hour.

I believe the only thing that life has missing is a pause button.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Noises from Window

I live in an amazing apartment that has a view which can send a chemist to write poems. This picture was taken a few months back by my then roomie, a self-taught photographer, the computer software writer, and a walking body shop advert. With such a view to wake up almost every morning it would be gross injustice if I don’t blog about it.

And yet, the inclination to blog came in a step-up conversation (quite literally, on the steps from the bus stand to valley) with the next block model, info - techie Nadia. Considering this place is home only for another fortnight, I am tempted to write this.

I am no poetess so this is not a poem. And there are no men, or bad people so it is not one of my “I will crib, it’s my blog” posts too. I hear noises from the window. The beautiful window and the out of notes noises. Of course, jazzed with humor for you.

Noise from the Window – 1
Random chatters in mandarin, hinglish, tanglish and screams, squeals always in mandarin. To me honestly – mandarin, cantanese, chinese sound the same. I can vaguely distinguish bahasa, but I don’t hear much of it here. We have amazing experiences of hearing a language and I have played this little game with myself to guess what it is. After a minute of intent listening ( read : turning off laptop volume, stopping dreaming and listening), I realize it is a faint mix of tamil and english with a garnish of Malayalam in it. I have no offences, but this game is very time consuming. Especially if it is an Indian language.

Noise from the Window – 2
Loud Vehicles, not like the ones in this pic. The yellow fellow seems to be a quiet little thing, but actually there is a lot of vehicle noise here. It starts by 6 am ( thank for not asking when I woke up so early), and goes on at least till about 11 pm. Its 2.52 am now, and I hear a car speed by. Got no clue on who goes around in this forest area, but yea we hear noises.

Noises from the Window – 3
This one is a Sunday special. Thts when NTU decides to mow the lawns. Honestly, almost every day is like a post 11am wake up here. So, a 8 am manual mowing noise uproar is criminal. It hurts kids. I am hurt with it.

Noises from the Window – 4
Fights – all types of them. I know how chinese couple fight and make up, I know that indian girl who walks in tall skirts with her flowery guy ( intentionally messed up) and talks in coconut languages. And of course, the friendly Big Indian fight. Actually, we are not fighting. Just talking. Mostly on how the chicken gravy was uncooked at Can 1. It just sounds talibanish.

This is where He does the jing chak( Nunchaku) thing!

Noises from the Window – 5
Numchuks. It was about three months ago when I first heard this on one of my night alones here. It scared the wits out of me. I heard the sounds, and immediately asked Aunty Google - “ whts a jingchak” and got some quirky results. Two dinners later, as I was rambling on it – a friend LOL’ed and said thts a “nunchaku”. Whatever. We do not like the jing chak sound it makes. Not even if Bruce Lee used it, or it is the Kung Fu thing. Did I mention, I have a thing for Kung Fu..more on it, later.

Noise from the Window – 6
This could land me in trouble if the girls one floor below get to know I am sitting above their head and hearing their sagas. I better, not write on it.

And you thought, I live in a tranquil place, din’t you?

Photos from Revathi Kanduri and the Idea from Nadia, both linked on this post.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


In the history books of 2030, a line will go like this.

Between the years of 1995 and 2010, there were a lot of women bloggers who wrote on topics like sensitivity, food, arbitness, world,men and their awesomeness( or sometimes, the lack of it) and on over all randomness.  A common problem faced by most women of this genre were "frieanship" requests from people all over the solar system. Most women received anonymous comments on their looks, and some brave(!) souls mailed them asking for making some friendship.

Yes, and I am living it now. I have received requests of making some friendship with me from people i did not even know existed. It is okay to have cyber friends, do virtual arattais and vaarify legs. But the heights of desperation in this attempt leaves me in giggles.

These people kind of scout of all information on the writer. A blogger friend receives mails in green colour fonts( nah, pachai pachai'ya illa) because she mentioned in some 1987 post that she liked green!

Damn. May malaria filled mosquitoes teach you to comment and not mail bloggers.


arattai means a chat. Mostly accompanied with masala tea.
vaarify literally means to comb, but here you can say pull down ( with a comb ?)
pachai'ya pachai ya - This is tough. Pachai means green. And Green talk means blue films, yellow magazines.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Drops of rain platter on my window
The sounds, the sights and the splatters in a row
Makes me fill a page with letters
Hear me out, write as earth smiles, as a pond bathes

Seeing it all, my heart glows in thrust
As it fills up a dying thirst
If seeing can make it shine
Will living in it make it rain

Oh screen of waters, the shower of poems
The smile of clouds, and scarf of drops
As the bridge connects skies and earth
My heart connects with its warmth
I hear her fill my heart, with drops
Not of tears, but to drown my fears
Came down as a loan from the skies
I feel with it my sadness flies
May be a short moment, until the rays pierce
But I live with the hope, thou shall wet me again/img/blank.gif
Until then, I write her praise
And wait for a drizzle so benign

Extremely inspired from - here and here and ofcourse, this! Photo Courtesy - The Roomie

Akshay Vohra made my day, by reblogging this poem on his blog. Lots of untitled poems on his blog too! You can find it here. Random acts of Kindness :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Awrite, my muse. Take it on.

This post is random. Skip it if you have something very important. I know, you don't.

I want to shake hands with Celine Dion and thank her for doing the world so much good with music. "A new day has come" is like glucose injected through ear lobes. I have to start this much closer home. I have too many people to begin with in India.

I have not seen a butterfly in Singapore. A rare crow around. It is amazing the kind of things we miss once we leave home. The humble kakha! Listening to "Oh!Butterfly" now.

Cooking brinjals can be a witchy experience. I almost feel like a "kolakaari" when I throw them in hot oil. And i think of someone when they fry. I am becoming a bitchy witch.

Flying to India next month. Cant wait for sem break. I say that home, and paati "vayiru pozhaikum". This love stays.

My muse loves randomness. Did I say that, already?