Monday, July 19, 2010

Do hotels serve love with food?

Why do people eat? To live, to gain weight, to grow taller… stronger, to develop brain, to avoid being ill, increase immunity power, to look handsome/beautiful… and so on there are many answers. When I was small, my mother used to tell me that if I eat well I would become more intelligent (more because I was already intelligent yaar… when I was born) and grow taller. She used different tricks to feed me, making small balls of rice and say that they were the eggs of a bird and I should eat it before she comes. The most commonly seen among the parents is the third-party trick (Please eat fast or your aunt will be the first to eat this). So in short, we all grow after experiencing these tricks from our mother.

(photo credits - Bits n Bytes of Life)

Mother is the most loveable living thing everyone has in his or her life. We cannot compare her love, affection and food with anyone in this world. Do hotel servers love with food? I hope no.

We often let unnoticed the valuables we have and complain. When I was at home, I used to say “amma! Is this the only thing I have for the day? I am fed up of eating the same thing again and again.” She always tries to satisfy the needs of the family. I knew she prepares the best but I always tried to get new dishes every day. Ah, every kid tries the same, I know. ;)

It was Saturday night when I reached home at Cochin. Jk went home to meet his wife and I alone felt bored to cook. I understand why my mother feels happy when we are there to eat food together at home. Sharing and enjoying is of course a different feeling. I searched the shelf and found two pieces of the four packed “Horlicks foodles” (these are the noodles from horlicks). I used beans, carrots and tomatoes as extra ingredients for the noodle. My mother uses five to six vegetables when she cooks noodles. She said noodles alone do not give you any value, it matters on how much vegetables you consume with it.

Talking about the noodles, I remember when I was a child I was fond of Chinese movies and often saw people eating long noodles with the sticks. I always ask my mother why the noodles we prepare are short and why not to use sticks for them. She never gets irritated with my questions and somehow finds answers to them.

I started Sunday by preparing chapattis and beans sabzi. I never tried a sabzi out of beans however; I thought to eat something different. I used onions, beans, carrots, tomatoes and few masalas for preparation. It was not a grand food but digestive and tasty. When I prepare sabzi I always make them juicy. When at home, my mother prepares methi ki sabzi and chappaties for dinner and I love them. However, mine was not good as her but it at least made me remember her.

In the evening, I had some aero root chips. My mother brought it the last time she visited Cochin. I fried them, spread some chilli powder and salt on it and enjoyed them with Jana. Jana lives besides my room, always busy with his computer or National Geographic. His full name is Janardhanan and he is native to Tanjavore. He told me about a lady who used to bring aero root chips to their house. When I was studying in the fifth standard we had a babaji(old man) selling aero rot chips in front of the school. We used to purchase them and put them on all the fingers. It was fun eating them while attached to the fingers. Being kids is fun and you can never get those days back. My sister and I used to play battles placing the aero root chips on the fingers making them act as swords.

The day started with chapattis and chana curry. This time I did not go for a chana masala and tried chana curry. I like a variety when I am alone. I am afraid to try new recipes on Jk. Jk lives with me and he is fond of experimenting dishes. He recently tied to prepare puttu (a dish in Kerala made of rice and wheat in a steam vessel. It is also called a steam cake and is found mostly in south India) using jaggery and coconut and ended in a hard ball like structure. He gave some to Jana to try the taste and asked the feedback. Jana was mum for some minutes and Jk was eager to know the feedback. Jk insisted jana to speak and he shouted at Jk saying “your puttu got stuck in my mouth. What is this you prepared, Is it some kind of revenge?”... ha ha Jk always faces such incidents. Today he spoke to me about trying his new invention and hardly had I made him convince to try it for next week.

I watched Avatar - the last air bender few days ago and liked the movie. While searching for the movie I found that it was from a famous animated serial broadcasted in America and later in India. I downloaded all the 63 episodes of the cartoon and completed watching 13 of them. It is a cartoon serial but funny. I am trying to finish them as it is making me feel anxious as what will happen next.

Cartoons make us laugh and at least for some time make us forget the tensions and worries we have in life. Therefore, I say good-bye and I am waiting to see how Aang the avatar wins the story defeating the fire lord. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Is there anyone for a strike?

I wrote the previous post on the way people have changed and their impatience causing accidents. While I was completing the article, I got a call from Dileep that his wife is hospitalised and going through an operation. The phone call was not clear and we were not able to know the cause of the accident. Jk and I rushed to the hospital as Dileep was alone and none of his relatives lived nearby. We figured the hospital and found Dileep with his son waiting for his wife to shift to the general ward.

We asked Dileep about the whereabouts of the accident and the cause. His wife was travelling in a bus to home. She enquired with the conductor about its stop at the Tripunithura bus stand and found that she has to be out at the next stop. Bus stopped and she was getting out through the exit door. Her leg was on the bus, and the vehicle started to move with a fast pace making her thrown to the other side. The rear wheel of the bus was soon on her legs and she was badly injured.

Kerala private bus

Dileep’s son Parthan is a naughty boy who was jumping on the bed and running on the floor. He was small enough to understand the situation. Dileep told me that his son has a habit of reading books and often writes stories. He has also started writing poems. Jk took Parthan and started chatting with him asking about his school and his daily life. I saw the boy, repeated the same set of questions unknowingly about his conversation, and got a reply “please ask others, this is repeated”. Children are smart!

Dileep’s wife was now in the general ward. Jk and I bought some food and water for her. She was explaining the tragedy and the careless behaviour of the bus drivers. She is an Ayurvedic doctor and it happened while she was returning from the hospital. A junior doctor accompanying her saw the incident and took her to the nearby hospital. She was pleased that the injuries were limited to her legs and that she was god gifted to escape from injuries in the head.

We came outside the room and Dileep narrated about his encounter with a reporter from a well-known newspaper. Dileep got a call about the incident from the junior doctor accompanying his wife and he rushed to the hospital. After arranging the operation, he was waiting outside the operation theatre when he heard a sound “tell me whatever you know”. Dileep moved his eyes towards the point from where the sound came and could see a man, drunk with a white mundu(dhoti) and a foul smelling shirt. He introduced himself as the reporter for x newspaper and started asking weird questions. Dileep told him that this is not the right time and he is not interested to talk with someone drunk. The man replied that they have the rights to ask anyone and at anytime and that does not matter whether he is drunk. Dileep said that it was hard to get rid of him.

Someone standing besides narrated a similar incident that happened few weeks ago when a child died due to a private bus. It is a serious issue and people should react against such incidents. We can see regular nonsense strikes that cause problems to everyone and that do not have a proper cause neither solution. There is no strike against these rash and irresponsible drivers.

Are people sleeping? Is there anyone for the strike?

I saw news coverage in several newspapers mentioning the incident with Dileep’ S wife who tried to make the issue big but I am not sure whether this gets a result.

Earlier when we used to leave home, our parents used to say please ride carefully but now they say, “Please be careful of the fellow riders”.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Is waiting a problem for you and sometimes a necessity

I hope no one likes waiting, be it for a train ticket, exam hall ticket, collecting results, waiting for a movie to start, passing the time watching advertisements or waiting for someone expected. I do not like waiting even for 5 minutes. If I were the only creature in this world to have this habit, then earth would be the best places to live in; however, things are not as I expect. Today everyone is in the middle of a competition where he wants to be the forerunner than other by an advance step. Even in a competition, one can win only if the other loses. Accidents are reported regularly in newspapers and one of the reasons is people want to be faster, not even waiting for the regulatory traffic signals. Even if we try to be faster, there are times when we have to wait and the story starts here.

I reached Tripunithura railway station 15 minutes ago and was waiting for the train to arrive. It was Saturday and people filled the railway station. It appeared as if the entire town was there. I was expecting the train in 10 minutes when crashing my dream comes a message from the old broken loudspeaker, “We are expecting Venad express to be late by 75 minutes”. I thought that it would be better to visit my grandparents by tomorrow morning. While I was planning to leave home, it started raining unexpectedly. I had no raincoat, neither an umbrella and the only option left for me was to wait until the train arrives or the rain is over, whichever happens first.

People were busy chatting in the railway station and soon the roof started leaking with small droplets piercing the steel sheets. The gaps started increasing and soon the droplets changed to a bigger waterfall model. I saw a woman sitting on a bench in the platform besides the place where the water was showering with its full power. Everyone started moving away from the waterfalls except her.

Soon the rain becomes heavy and she left her position. I still remember her face that turned red watching the water touching her saree. I took my camera and shot several pictures of the roof leaking and the woman waiting besides it. As I said, people are always competing. As soon as they saw me taking photos a series of Sony, Samsung and Lg cameras were out. The woman was the topic of interest than the leaking roof of railway station. Roofs follow a rhythm and soon all of them imitated each other like companions leaking themselves more heavily than the latter.

I was in Mavellikkara as my sister was there with Aunt. We left for grandmother’s home in the morning. I received a call from another Aunt that her children will be waiting in the bus stop and I will have to pick them to home. Anju and I reached the bus stop and saw no one there. We came to know that the bus expected to reach was unavailable and the kids will be travelling after half an hour in another bus. We have no option other than waiting, as the kids were not able to figure the home by themselves.

Now I realise that waiting could be so boring. Anju do not speak much as I do and I had to bring new topics for discussion. Even though there was neither music system nor the laptop but the nature had enough to go through and spend the time. The light travelling across the trees appeared beautiful and worth watching.

After waiting for one hour, the kids showed their faces and then we decided to walk home. My grandparents live in a village that does not have regular service of transportation and legs are the best friends during such times. Ajay had his pocket filled with chewing gums and he shared them with us. Soon started the competitions to see who blows the bigger. I often find myself smaller when I am with the kids. They have a lot to say and to ask.

The day we visited the temple and as usual, I prayed and was soon outside. My sisters were busy inside the temple and Aunt chatting with some relatives whom she met in the temple. There was again no option for me rather than to wait for the entire family members to say “good bye” to the god.

This Sunday I was at Noufals marriage. Noufal lives with me in Ernakulam and his 2x7-love service ended in a marriage. We reached the auditorium by 12 Pm with no food from the morning. The stomach was crying for food and thus we greeted Noufal quickly and planned to head towards the lunch hall. Noufal’s brother asked us to wait as the hall was already fill with the people. They served us juice and we had to wait another 25 minutes. Waiting for the food to arrive, imagining its existence is interesting.

As soon as the hall was free, we headed towards the dining table and saw ghee rice and fried-roasted chicken. We attacked the food with eyes open and stomach empty. Soon the stomach filled its dark rooms and we felt tired. Though waiting was tiresome, the result was fantastic.

We were too tired to drive the car and thought to take rest before leaving the auditorium. I passed the time taking photographs. Gopika is Kavitas daughter who was dressed in red and had several matching colours to fill the background. She was happy to travel so long not bothered about the time she spent waiting in the auditorium.

As mentioned, there are instances where one is forced to wait. It is good to be fast but at the same time, it is always recommended to avoid damages.
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