Sunday, December 25, 2011
She was standing besides the far most pillar at the end of the hall that could be easily visualized by any person non anemic in his physical characteristics. The environment and the surroundings were a proof that it is evening with exposure dim and below 50% of the acceptable limits. I started to move ahead visualizing her in the center of my eyes, as if an image was registered in the ROM (Read Only Memory) connected to the processing unit controlling the eyes. The kolhapuri chappal(sandles that are made with their sole hard and creating a rough sound while someone wearing them walks) spurred the effects across the hall but the swish was limited in decibels to reach less than 1 meter to any object sensible to sound and within reach.
Moving ahead made the image transfer itself to the RAM (Random Access Memory) and was clearer with the distance becoming less to the target. The long hairs were in contact with the green colored shawl and soft enough to resemble silk when the brightness from the CFL touched its edges. The white colored salwar recited the lines sung during the washing powder Nirma advertisements. The physical representation was like the ones mentioned about women by boys dreaming during day in college canteens. I was eager to see the face that was hidden in front of her back, visible to my eyes.
“inikyada”(get up) came a voice from the 5.1 channel speaker in the atmosphere and the sun started approaching me with speeds hardly imaginable. It touched me so bright that I closed my eyes. It took me 30 seconds to open them again and I see my mother standing in front of me. Ah! It was a beautiful dream I exclaimed in anger less than 0.012 in the ritcher scale and made my legs touch the floor that have become cold due to the 8 degree climate, the day.
I am in Nagpur since a week now and everyone is busy behind the renovation activities happening in the house. We are extending the house by two stories and furnishing the entire home to create a new look. Amma has her vastu plans and father his arrangement, tactics for the new house. However, I am busy celebrating the holidays I have obtained for three weeks.
It will not be any party time this season as most of the occasions I will be busy behind the house and its supervision. The good aspect would be I am at home and would enjoy the recipes of Amma. We prepared Semiya payasam and Gajar ka halva yesterday and I tasted, rather ate everything without worrying of the extra fat it would add to my waist and stomach. I have decided that I shall work on the physical appearance after I am back to Cochin; until then I shall enjoy Amma’s food.
It is Christmas tomorrow and I don’t think there would be something special to enjoy. I expect some sweets to arrive from Mercy aunty’s home. Amma and sisters are planning to visit Ayyappa temple tomorrow. I met Samir, Mahesh and Atul while my stay at Nagpur that I shall be scribbling soon in the days to come and posts to appear online. Life at Abhi have started moving and I expect the lost joy to return and so shall my lost writing habits.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I purchased a chapatti maker few years ago and from then I have been using it to prepare the chapattis. Preparing them using the standard chakla belan way was tiresome and I did not have so much time to wait and see them become eatables. I have been asked by several blog readers and colleagues as to how I prepare it and that they find it very difficult. Neighbors say that they tried it many a times but it either tears apart or becomes a lost island. I thought they would be either bluffing or they never tried it before, and why would they invest a 2k grand on a chapatti maker. Few days ago the cook (mini chichi) who prepares food for us asked me if she could try the chapatti maker. She tried it many times but it either gets shooed or torn. I made her learn the way and then I thought why not to post it online as many may have the same problems preparing it the chapatti maker way.
So here come the steps to preparing a perfect fluffy chapatti, directly from the Master Chef’s kitchen:
Prepare a normal dough as you prepare for chapaties the standard way. Increase the water percentage than the normal dough but make sure it does not sticks and is soft.
Make small bolls and dip them in the wheat flour.
Switch on the chapatti maker and keep for 5 minutes until the indicator goes off indicating it is hot enough to prepare chapaties. Place the chapatti ball on the maker and close the lid.
While closing the lid, make sure you don’t press tightly and that the pressure and duration is enough to make the dough spread on the non stick surface.
If done in a better way, you could see the chapatti become perfect round shape. Slide the chapatti to the other side to cook.
Let both the sides cook until it reaches the stage you need them to appear. I prefer the ones that are cooked well.
Close the lid when you are fine with the outer texture and you would see the chapatti lid rising on its own with a fluffy chapatti coming out.
A closeup view of the chapati is below.
I hope this helps. If you have any doubts, do write through your comments or email me on email@example.com
Monday, October 31, 2011
I shifted to the new home in Ernakulam few months ago. Silent walls, clean furniture, modern kitchen, big hall, brilliant antiques that resemble the art during the Mouryan Empire are few additions, leaving me in a big home alone. I did QUIT a lot of important things in my life but couldn’t leave cooking behind, as someone once said “roti kapda aur makan”. I am not prepared to start writing long articles or to finish blog extends by expressing everything I have in mind; think it may take some time.
Let’s start today’s post with a tour of the house.
This is my kitchen where I prepare the so called “delicious recipes”. Blogs are my reference and bloggers are the cooking gurus. Something I could observe as an advantage in this house is the Microwave oven that helped me bake some cake and disadvantage is the loneliness.
I was taught to pray daily to god for the life he has given and for the wellness of others. This is the small puja room/ space where I could at least discuss the whereabouts of the gods who sleep on snakes and travel on rats. I am not a yougic person but try to find at least 5 minutes in the day and night to thank for what I receive, good or bad.
Though I have left peeping into the tear flooding serials that amma watch at home; I gaze at the Television in the hall daily for the latest songs and news. This is the only TV in the house to have a cable connection and is almost useless to me as I don’t spend much time at home and not before this TV set.
Youngsters should workout daily, was the slogan Suriya teaches in the movie vaaranam aayiram. I try to utilize some time at least for a pushup. This is the hall where this is possible.
Someone asked me to eat tidy and behave properly while I am eating; oh! Yes that was amma. This is the dining table where I often consume my food.
Last but not the least, I am a movie freak. This is the theatre setup at home that I could manage to adjust with the money I save annually.
With a short post, praying for a continuous post… departing for the day and that closes the diary with Life at Abhi.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
These are few of my findings that I consider affects life at Abhi. I posted the last article on August 19, 2011 and that was also the last day I read any blog. Anu asked me to start with some short articles so I would try a return to blogging.
To see the sunshine at 8 Am, running for toothbrush, towel, food, and iron clothes has become a habit these days. I am trying to finish my jobs early, trying to decide to go to bed before 11.30 Pm but still I find I have no time for the activities I miss the most, not even the time for blogging.
It has become a karma yoga, sitting for more than 12 hours in front of the computer, trying to complete my tasks, making sure I adhere to the slogan “Kaal Karai So aaj Kar, Aaj Karai so ab, Pal mein Parlai Hoyegi, tab bahuri karega kab”.
Following are the five things I learnt during my hunt for what Abhi is supposed to do to achieve peace, to work productively, function at an average basis.
1. Get early and sleep early: I understand that it is most important for me to complete my sleep; the symptoms of insufficient sleep become visible as time heads to its predefined cycle.
2. Be happy and think positive: I have learnt that no matter whom so ever I deal with and whatever influence they bring in my daily life, I should always remain positive. It brings no good to me at accumulating negative thoughts and being sad. Practice pranayama for 15 minutes a day.
3. Exercise daily: It is not necessary you go to gym daily, but keep yourself moving by giving a muscular workout. The more you burn your fat, more you sweat, and more are the chances to stay active.
4. Keep writing or reading: I have become a victim of the entertainment industry. I assume my life starts with a video song and ends with a movie. I understand that written communication provides information that movies don’t.
5. Remember what you are: I am not Shaktimaan and nor can I become one by imitating others. Understand that we are the best at we are. God has gifted us with something precious but we keep on thinking towards what he has gifted others with.
I would not include the most important point within the five mentioned above, rather I would like it to be quoted as the ending line of this post.
“Keep in touch with the people you love and the ones who love you.”
Friday, August 19, 2011
“Hello, how may I assist you? Ok, Ok, Yes, Correct, Please come before 11 AM” came a melodious sound from a Heavenly engineered speaker attached to the portion below the nose of a woman sitting behind a wooden platform. I went to the reception and asked the woman to book an appointment with the Physician. She said that I should deposit 200 rupees and it is the standard amount ‘Medical centre Ernakulam’ charges from its customers. She gave me a card with inscription in blue colored ink that could be read as ‘Doctor Monita’, Junior Physician and asked to meet the doctor on the first floor. I was not satisfied with the medication prescribed by the duty doctors at the Lakshmi hospital though the fever was almost out of the body with minor cough causing irritation. Thus I decided to visit another hospital and have a check done.
Doctor Monita was busy in maintaining a personal relationship with the patients and thus each patient entering her cabin returned after 15-20 minutes. I waited for my turn and was called by a nurse after the fifth patient left the cabin. “Good Morning Doctor” were the three words that came out of my mouth and I was asked to sit on a chair by a smiling face who was sitting adjacent to me on a chair taller than the others in the room. She said I should breathe when the stethoscope touches my body and I followed her like an obedient child.
Oh my god! Said the doctor when my breathing became normal, “This is not a simple situation as I doubt you might be suffering from a bacterial Bronchitis or a Viral Bronchitis”. I was given few medicines and asked to come after three days for her to confirm the doubts. I was riding in the adventurous rides of Veega land (An amusement park in Cochin) few minutes ago and I could notice myself falling from one of them upon hearing her words.”Humpty dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall, all the king’s men and all the kings soldiers failed to get humpty dumpty back again” was the poem thought by my teacher who used to give me similar shocks.
It was the D day, the day I had to visit the hospital. Doctor Monita greeted me with a smile and I was prepared to hear her findings after my homework as a result of the research conducted during nights on Bronchitis after the office hours. “You are perfectly fit and there is no Bronchitis that I feared few days ago”. I was surprised to hear this. The doctor mentioned that I remind her cousin brother for which I have no clues to satisfy her comment. Either her doubts on her brother failed this way or he was as handsome as me ;) ‘Doubtful’.
Modern ways of living, improper or not so scheduled intake of food, seasonal changes are causing fever a common body behavior today. As always I again decide to join the Gym continuously ;)
Sunday, July 31, 2011
It was on this dark day, when the clock in the hall was dead, tube light was blinking as never before, insects, cockroach, and ants were running as if they had participated in a marathon and my head was loaded with 100 kg, temperature at 110 degrees. I was feeling weak and was advised to visit a doctor at the earliest. It was 14.7.2011, a Thursday at 7 Pm when I took my bike and rushed to a nearby hospital. I pronounced my name to the woman who was accounted to enlist the patients visiting the hospital and issuing them unique identification cards, “Abhilash Mohan Pillai”. She then enquired my address to which I said “Palace No. X, Tripunithura” and she looked at my face as if I was an antique piece released from the ancient palace, hmm... it was a house registered under palace no. x and not a museum! She charged me 80 rupees and issued a white colored plastic card with top and bottom borders in blue that had my credentials engraved in black. She said that the physician isn’t available and I should meet the duty doctor (they are normal doctors holding/ not holding any accredited degrees and prescribing medicines to common illness). I moved towards the casualty wearing a green jacket, black pants and kolhapuri chappals(Kolhapuri chappals are prepared in Kolhapur and popular in India for their toughness).
My name was called by a male nurse and I was asked to sit on a chair. He then pointed a thermometer and kept it in between my arms. After few seconds he took the device and said that it is an alarming situation and my temperature is very high. I visited the doctor and he started to press on different parts of my face, stomach enquiring if I am feeling pain. He prescribed a long list of medicines and asks me to take them and see if I could notice any difference. If I feel no progress I could consult the physician the next day. The doctor asked me to take an injection and I was said to be in the casualty room. A group of female nurse was murmuring looking suspiciously or rather adorably at me; I am doubtful what their expressions were. Some among the group passed a comment to which others smiled but were scolded by the male nurse to leave the room. The nurse who was a male took an injection without letting me know that he pierced some unused needle (I always personally make sure the needle is unused ;)) into my flesh. I was given a shopping bag full of different colored medicines in various sizes having logo of the hospital in big, clear fonts.
I was feeling better and the symptoms of the fever were gone leaving tiredness as a side effect of the medicines. I was resting at home when on 16/7/2011 afternoon I felt cool and suddenly the water and liquid inside my stomach started to erupt from the mouth. I rushed into the bathroom and soon the stomach was empty leaving me restless. I called Jinu and went to see the doctor, forget to mention that I did a vomiting thrice before Jinu reached.
We reached Lakshmi hospital and found another duty doctor there. I was not sad taking into account that I always reach hospitals when the consultation time of physicians are over. He asked the nurse to inject an injection for my vomiting tendency. This time it was arms that were used for injecting the medicine named “ini Emset”. A female nurse was holding my hands and the male nurse pricked the injection in my hand. I was advised by the doctor to have some medicines.
While I was at the pharmacy, I saw swelling around the area where I was injected. I rushed to the doctor and he advised me to be in the casualty. This time it was the turn of “Adrenaline” to enter my body. The male nurse asked me to loosen my pants and injected a big needle into my waist. He did not take the needle out and dropped another injection pump into the same needle making me yell twice. This was not over yet, and the nurse said me to relax as I have to be given two doses of glucose bottle. The nurse took my hand and started searching for the veins. He injected once into my hand, then pulled it back and inserted again. He tried it three times with each time injecting and taking the needle out. Ultimately he figured out the veins in my body. The liquid inside the glucose bottle was entering my body making me colder and appear blood free.
Soon the doctor came and asked me to be in a room that they have arranged for me. I stood up and while I started walking, a woman asked me to sit on the wheelchair. I said I was fine and could walk to the room but she insisted I should sit. I made her happy, maybe she will get an extra for taking me to the room or maybe she was making her position ascertain.
A nurse came, now this time a female and again the liquid started to flow through my veins. Jinu went outside and came with a magazine and started reading. He waited for 40 minutes to get the bottle empty. The nurse came and replaced the empty bottle with a new one and I was to wait until this is vacant. I manually made the flow increase and the new bottle was empty early than the latter.
The doctor asked me to have some food and if I still feel vomiting he need to examine me in detail. I ate few bread pieces and was feeling better. I left the hospital with a bunch of medicines.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Cochin is surrounded by water bodies, and that is a known fact. Cochin is now within water and that is an unknown known fact. You get up each morning, brush your teeth, bath and when you step outside the gate, the shower starts though you have already completed a bath. This isn’t a small shower that can be adjusted using your hand but a shower that is a property of the god’s. I was as lazy as the laziest person you might have seen in your life, and my not so washed, dirty bike was an indication of this. Owing to the fact that I am lazy and could not be corrected, the god’s decided to shower and clean my vehicle… that could be a thought right? But I do wash my clothes daily so there isn’t a point in making them wet. It is not as funny as it is to read since you never expect the water and it all happens suddenly.
Yesterday I was happier that I am and I selected special red colored shirt and black trousers for the office. The boots purchased from Mochi, Mumbai were shining as if I applied the complete camel bottle on them. The day was pleasant and I decided to go to office by bike. I had hardly crossed the bridge on seaport airport road, when suddenly the rain started. I had no shelters anywhere around the street. I decided to be beneath a tree on the left side of the road. In no time I was wet from head to legs not even leaving a single portion dry. I went home and then used the car for travel.
After a long tsunami there was a break and I was at Tripunithura to purchase onion, potatoes, Brinjal, tomatoes for preparation of a mixed vegetable recipe. On my return I took the path that cuts right from statue junction leading towards the icici ATM. I could notice people moving slowly and thus it took long to reach near the ATM. I tried to take a look and see what’s happening ahead causing the road block. This is what I saw…
The road was filled with water and people were finding it difficult to cross it with their vehicles. The shower two hours ago was severe enough to cause this calamity. Some police vehicles with fat uncles were seen jumbled and unknown as what to do in the situation. Big holes were covered by water that was another problem for the people who happened to be a victim of them. Children were having fun splashing water on each other. I saw a person carrying an umbrella while riding a cycle, this could be a measure to tackle unexpected rains avoiding rain coats.
It appears this would continue for another two-three months and a kit with raincoat, series of socks, shoes and clothes would be required. Using cars for short distances won’t be economical and when the traffic is in its severity. Let us hope for the best.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
I stared blogging a year ago with the intention of recording each and every moment of my life, happiness, sadness, friendship, experience, mistakes etc. It was not long for me to enter the stage where I had a lot of people expressing their views on the writing, way of writing. I thought it instills happiness in people when they read it. I was interested in some blogs for which I was a regular user to get updates. My interests were cooking at a stage and thus I referred some food blogs. It was later like a game in which you write a comment, you get one back… someone writes you a comment and you reply them back. A question for all would be that how many of you read the articles completely? Most often seen comments are oh nice!, very good post, was interesting, some even wrote about hotels in Dubai and PHD degrees. This isn’t about all but the minority/ majority who also play their part in the game for better performance. You see blogs getting 120, 150 comments… ah! Are they all reading your posts, hmm...? They need a favor in return. Is this what we intend by blogging or we all wish to receive guanine comments.
I am not interested in passing statements but you never expect your friends to ask you to read their blogs and not to forget in leaving comments. I apologize for being part of the group that I had to satisfy with an intention that they would be happy to receive a comment. But for them as I understand the concern is not receiving better comments but more comments. Someone said to me that their friend, a fellow blogger receives 60 comments recently which is much higher than her/his count and intends to increase it to 120. I won’t comment as everyone has a goal that is associated with their blogging.
More than a means of making friends and sharing experiences, blogging has become a market place to sell products. Is it a status symbol to show to your friends/colleagues? I hope no, I see many bloggers holding blogger meet and yes it is an act of sharing joy and meeting the ones you see online… this indeed has some good aspects but isn’t used by everyone as expected. You expect sincere responses, not a lot of responses… ok that’s what I intend. To be precise you even don’t expect responses if people aren’t able to conceive your thoughts or they aren’t interested.
I have seen many people leaving their blogging because they are no longer interested in passing false comments or don’t get time to carry the normal activity of writing blogs as they have to write comment on others. Hmm… This isn’t focused on anyone but me who has experienced the unexpected aspects of blogs.
Facebook is indeed a book exposing your face. Surpassing Orkut it has emerged to gather your lost ones, to build a stronger bond. People use it as a means of sharing their photographs, memorizing moments, tying a knot of friendship virtually, staying connected. Now another aspect is that this is an amphitheatre where you get a lot of people gathered at a single place not physically. You distribute promotional materials, introduce yourselves and sell an opportunity. Not all but some use it for attracting more users to their blogs/profession. I aint speaking a lot on this as I hope my intention to make one think; are we using it “a better” is conveyed.
I thought to share some views on Twitter but I hope that is not required. Everyone can ask why they are on twitter and you have the answer.
We all intend to express, kindly don’t sell.
Note: This post is a personal opinion from a blogger and please don’t consider it as a means of criticism.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
It is 11 PM and I am tired to write a post. However, I feel that this has been in the mind since weeks and should be on the blog. Let’s keep this post simple as I have a video that would explain most of the details. As always, I used my mobile for a video capture and thus there would be problems with hearing the sound. Please use your headphones or a speaker for a better performance. A CAUTION is always better before an initiative. I was with my grandparents on the day after vishu (the new year of Kerala) and it was long since we had a day together. We were in Aunt’s home when my taste buds sent messages in ‘Morse code’ to my brain and as always it responded slowly indicating my mouth to request grandfather for the preparation of Aval vilayikyuka. This was said to be his special recipe and I planned to have this in bulk for Ernakulam. I took a bus that cost me 8 rupees up and down to reach the market and purchased all the ingredients. By 12 we were ready for the preparation.
It was not possible to have a small vessel for bulk preparation and thus we opted for a large vessel (we call it charuvam in Malayalam). Keeping the vessel on the stove and depending on the LPG made no sense and thus grandfather suggested using the bricks to create the old age stove. With Grandmothers calculations and comments coming from across the fence somehow made me arrange the bricks to enable placing the vessel.
Ammuma (Muttashi) grated the coconut and friend them in a vessel. Appuppan(grandfather) was busy preparing the jaggery. I shot some parts of the video while others were by my first and second brothers. Aunt helped stirring the final preparation. In simple words, we all were involved in the activities. So that was a group effort ;)
Beaten Rice: 4 KG
Jaggery: 3 kg
Sesame seeds(white): 100 gm
Curry leaves(Karivepella): 10-15
Kismis: 500 gms
Gram(kadala parippu): 250 gms
Ghee: as required
1. Heat the jaggery in some water and keep stirring until it becomes a stage where it turns like thread.
2. Clean beaten rice and put in a vessel.
3. Fry cashew nuts, sesame seeds, kismis in ghee.
4. Pour hot jiggery into the beaten rice and keep stirring until it sticks on each piece of beaten rice.
5. Then drop the entire ingredients one after the other and keep stirring.
6. Last and most important step. Take some in a plate and enjoy eating.
Some flaws with the video:
1. I did not remember the English names for most of the ingredients and thus used Malayalam words for them.
2. Voice was not clear and had to amplify it. Used some open source video editing software.
3. I forget to wear a pant and was wearing a dhoti
4. My non-technical, no sense, no photo expert brother took some parts of the video that made it appear dark and not so clear.
5. I did not ate the final preparation to tell you the taste.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Last week my cousins came to Ernakulam. The royal land of Tripunithura was burning in the sun and that was when we decided to visit Hill Palace. Hill palace is located two kilometers from my house. It was once the administrative office of the King of Cochin. It is converted into a museum where the artifacts used by the king and his family are displayed. Continuous buses are available from Tripunithura to Hill palace within duration of five minutes. It is said to be the biggest archaeological museum in Kerala. ‘Manichitrathazhu’, a famous Malayalam movie has some of its scenes videographed here.
We took a bus from Tripunithura to Hill palace and had the breakfast from a nearby hotel. It was a small hotel with a table and 8 chairs. We had ‘undan pori’ and tea for the breakfast and headed towards the Hill palace entrance. We were five grown up and a child. The ticket rates are 20 rupees for adults and 10 rupees for children. I asked the woman distributing the tickets to provide 5 adult and one child ticket. I was thinking whether the usage of adult ticket was proper and smiled as if it would be my mistake.
Hill palace main museum is situated on top of a hill with series of stairs leading to the structure. People could be seen gathered on the stairs taking pictures. We reached the top surpassing the hot weather and cream applied in the morning was the only protection against the ultraviolet rays. Arun says nothing to worry “they show in the advertisement that the cream could fight against the rays entering multiple layers of the skin”. His funda’s are only known to him, that’s what we believe. We used sandles and chappals instead of shoes as everyone feared the theft. It is common to see the footwear’s vanishing in temples and public places. We use a technique to deal with such thieves where we invert the chappals and keep the pairs far from each other. The question is what one would do with a single chappal.
A woman came and asked us to keep the footwear inside the tent where we have to pay a fixed amount for the protection they would ensure. We were not willing and thus we refused to keep our chappals. She says it is mandatory and we should not leave the chappals on the sides of the museum. Different comments came from among the group like “entha chechi… pote, pullarude kash thane adichumatano” (kindly leave it Aunty, are you interested to rob the money from children like us) however, the women went finally with 10 rupees and curse.
We have to submit the mobiles and cameras at the entrance of the museum before we are allowed to view the antiques. The museum consists of different sections from the old age utensils to the jewellery used by the king and queen. Two among the group were insisting to see the room where nagavalli (a character in the movie manichitrathazhu in Malayalam, chandramukhi in Tamil and Telugu, apthamitra in kannada, rajmohol in bengali and bhul bhulaiya in hindi) was dancing and to see the pool where Mohanlal(Malayalam Actor in manichitrathazhu) was swimming.
A lady explained that a golden pen used by the king was the one seen in front of us, to which my cousin asked why he had to invest money building a golden pen when he could have purchased thousands of them with the same price. The woman did not have a answer to his question and thus skipped with a smile.
The museum was full of Chinese vessels and European artifacts. Furniture’s and decorations during the Cochin rule were worth watching. Though it was not as interesting to us as it would have been for any historian or a scholar interested in learning old age civilizations. We were busy relating the old against the new, rating the king’s choice etc.
We completed the museum in an hour’s time and then moved to explore the surroundings of the palace. We could see the gardens and the well used during king’s rule. They are a masterpiece and depict featured work and craftsmanship. Not to mention in a separate Para, they are also the shelters for the love birds that resemble the human enclosure.
Behind the museum is a way to the temple and pool. The pool is big with partitions for women and men. The walls surrounding the hill palace from the pool, lead to the structure of a dinosaur. It appears to be created using plaster of Paris and most of its nails and fingers appear stolen.
It was hot outside and we managed the thirst and hunger with an ice-cream that was available within the campus. The visit to hill palace though was tired due to the hot weather but was interesting and enjoyable. At least we were able to capture some good moments for our future.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Ok let us start this thought process with a topic that I am planning to share since long. Hey! Starting with a disclaimer: “All the characters in this thought process are imaginary or rather are the models of real-time scenarios. If this has anything to do with the people you know, then it is purely coincidental”. I will narrate a story and then we will jump to the topic.
Once upon a time (... normally stories begin this way, that is why) my amma, the all time neat and tidy, hygiene-oriented woman, who teaches her children to keep their bags, books, at a common place, use them when required was sitting on her.. Hm... Our sofa, reading newspaper when Krimi aunty... che! Simi aunty came with her children. It was not a bright day as I had a quarrel the morning with amma for watching movies and not reading newspapers or watch “speak wale uncle’s” (an uncle wearing specs) bonvita quiz contest.
Monty and Bunty, the commandoes of the Gupta family jumped onto the bed and sofas, threw everything they could with the tiny hands of the seventh class kid’s. I noticed my amma’s face changing red when the children did not listen to their mother who asked them to stop their mischief. They then moved towards the remote and other well-arranged items in the house. After some time Simi aunty finished her chitchat and went with the children. Amma was now angrier than she was when we had a quarrel. She said that during her time the children never misbehaved in front of their parents or elders and now things have changed so much that they even don’t listen to their parents.
According to amma, the children should be mentored in a better way. She says that children should be given freedom of thought and life but behavior and discipline is the responsibility of the parents. She has a regular dialogue “njangalude ammavande mumbil njangal chi po ennu polum parasparam samsarikillarunnu, atrekyum bahumanam aayirunnu adehathe”(even in presence of our uncle we never used to quarrel with our brothers and sisters, that was the respect we had for him). I am happy that no one ever complained about my behavior to amma. My sister was always the first in complaints from teachers and friends. Teachers would always complain about her chit chat in the class.
I have seen many of my friends speaking in louder voices to their parents while others politely and respectfully. It shows the way they are grown. There is a usual talk in Malayalam, people say “avante ammyem achanem paranjal mathi, valathu dosham”(his parents are the culprits and they should be questioned, it is the way he is grown that made him act bitter).
Earlier there were four to five children in a family and parents would not get much time to take special care for the children and thus they are grown strictly. Now a day the children are limited to maximum two for a family and thus the care and freedom has increased causing adverse effects. I think parents should take special care to correct their children when they are wrong and to appreciate them when they act mature.
Friday, March 25, 2011
It has been long since we had an adventure or did something crazy. The people who steal from others are called thieves but what would you call the people who try to steal from their home? It was Sunday and we were bored, watching movies and playing caroms. Oh! I forget to tell you about our caroms game mania. It was four years ago that I and some of the friends purchased a big carom board and that was kept for long in the store room. We recently discovered it and then started the round of competitions. Anup suggested playing cricket and we defined the rules for the game with one tip out, direct shot out, bounce to neighbor’s boundary out and four over’s match. We played two times with four of us one after the other. Finally, with a bouncer from Anup; the ball went to the roof top from where the return was impossible. We thus decided to drop the play.
In Ernakulam I haven’t seen children playing cricket or other outdoor games on the streets. Tripunithura has a cricket ground where Sreeshanth often comes to play cricket. He lives near to my home. Most of the Malayalam actors can be noticed in this locality who either come for a movie or for visiting temples. During the last Thripunithura ulsavam, Malayalam actor Jayasurya was seen sitting on a ground inside the temple. I also took couple of photos along with him.
It was evening and we started feeling hungry. Arun gave a suggestion to eat mangoes and he said that the tree behind our home has juicy mangoes. We decided that we would have mangoes to satisfy the stomach, at least for an hour.
The mango tree was high and we did not have a wooden stick to drop them, which was the safest way. There were two methods left; either to throw stones on the tree or to jump on the roof of the bathroom attached to the neighbor’s house. Throwing stones could result in hitting the glass window of the neighbor and thus we had to climb the roof.
(A video demonstrating the attempt of mango theft)
Arun is an expert in jumping and climbing… Seems he had some commando training in his dreams :). My friend Mayank used to jump the similar way on the balconies and roof tops like an athlete whenever our ball was stuck and we were unable to take it. Arun took a step back and with a jerk started running towards the roof. With a one meter gap between the wall and him, he jumped liked a Complan boy, placed his hands on roof top, swing his body “U shape” and he was on the roof, standing cool.
Though we were trying to grab mangoes from the mango tree within our premises but we were on the roof attached to neighbors. It was similar to a thief robbing his assets. Melvin referred us, ‘the mango thieves’.
Arun’s performance was interesting and thus I decided to try jumping. This was my first attempt and I was not sure to make it the “Arun way”. I ran and jumped to hold the roof but was unable to move forward due to the fear of falling down. Then Anup gave it a try and succeeded. He even placed his goggles as soon as he reached the top.
Hmm... It became a prestige issue for me, guy with gym body, six wala pack and no athlete… “thu hain tujhpar”(arnt you ashamed) said my andar wala Abhilash(the abhilash hidden deep inside me). Now I had to reach the top and at least get a mango. I folded my shirt, collected the confidence I had kept aside for the PMP exam and jumped like a tortoise and somehow managed to get on the roof. Hurray! “Abhi, now you are a star”
I waved my hands against the invisible audience and bowed to welcome their claps. I grabbed a mango from the tree. Putting your efforts for a mango make it taste more than anything in the world. The taste is still in my taste buds… “mmm…”
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
It is 6 Am and as usual, I was on the streets with a brush in my mouth searching for my friends to discuss the dreams I saw at night. The streets were empty and the atmosphere was cool with mild air passing, touching my ears and chin. I was studying in third standard and we were staying in Sangole’s house for rent. Sangole was a old Appuppan(Grandfather) who had a kutoosan(a villain character in Malayalam comic series mayavi) look with each of his sentences resembling Gabbar(Villain in movie Sholay). Sangole’s grandson rakesh was my good friend at that age and we used to do all the mischief together. I could not find any of my friends on the street and was worried as to what could have happened to them. Soon I could sense something happening around me and in few minutes, I was in a pool of coloured water.
I understood it was holi and that was the reason for none to be on the streets. My attire was full of colours and I was drinking the coloured solution. My teeth and brush were all red in colour. It all happened in few minutes and was shocking but I enjoyed the morning bath once I regained the details of the situation. Rakesh, Golu, Monu and Chinu all were the same colour as me. The big boy gang of Anshul, Munna, Gopi were picking people from the streets and dipping them in the coloured water. As you might know that, it is not pleasant to see ourselves being dirty but was enjoying watching others dropped in the tank. It was the first holi I could remember.
I was in Modern school Civil Lines and we would travel by auto. The auto wala bhaiya would come in front of the house and call “abhileesh”; he would always pronounce it wrong. Celebrations would start a day before the holi and we would be wet when we reach home. Children in auto rickshaw would use the water bottle and pour water onto the children in other autos. Most of the times this would happen on Saturdays when we wear white dress.
The holi when I was in fifth was a bit different. Now we were in our house in Wardhaman nagar and the locality was full of children. We would fill balloons with water, colours and would aim on the travellers. I remember the action sequence that occurred in front of the hospital with me chased by a gang of boys in a jeep. I was on a cycle and they were throwing balloons on me. I luckily escaped them and thus was happy on my driving skills. It was when I got my bicycle and we used to do all the action and stunts the machine could handle.
I would often visit my friends with their mothers serving chana and aalo poha on the holi day. We had big syringe shaped devices that required filling the colours with a pull and would shower the colourful water when pushed. Amma would not entertain people using colours or friends inside the house during the holi celebrations. She was not used to colours, liked enjoying it watching us play, and eat. The difficult part of any holi celebration was the evenings when we would try to remove the colours applied on the body. They would hardly leave the body and amma would put her complete effort to help us get rid of them.
Years passed and holi changed its nature from dry and medium allergic colours to varnishes and clay. People changed the meaning of the celebration using awkward ways and alcohols. Holi celebration was no good when I reached engineering and left with namesake. I am missing holi since few years after I come to kerala. My father called me on the day of the holi celebrations of 2011 and said that it is not LIVE as it was years ago but still they gather in gang and celebrate their way.
I was planning this for the day of Holi but you know this lazy jack will not do this when required :)
Monday, March 21, 2011
I am trying to write a post and read a blog but all tries and no success. I open the compose window of blog and close it, start browsing blogs, reach them, read them and never post comments. Last week I decided to wake up daily at 6 Am regardless of when I sleep. I continued this and I could notice insufficient sleep as a reason to my hesitation in reading/ writing. I believe sticking to this schedule for long would enable to manage the “signals to mind,” indicating they need no sleep. I understand that a predefined schedule/ routine are necessary to lead a better life and thus I am working on it. I did no phone call to my father, did not attend Mayank’s call, did not buy new toothpaste :) though I bought three different types of “Pears soap”, and attended the gymnasium once or twice this week.
12 March 2011 made me one year older than the age I had before that day. Phone call from friends followed by Facebook messages and mobile SMS started my day. I did not inform the roommates about my birthday and skipped the party and celebrations. Anjali and Anju were the second to wish me with Atul being the first. I was conversing with Atul at 12 AM discussing their after marriage life in Pune and new food habits. I was surprised to hear that Aditi would prepare food for him and they would take dabbas (Tiffin) to the office. He used to eat outside even when he was with parents.
Amma called me to wish, followed by a loudspeaker session with wishes from her students and the neighbours who gathered at home. It was the best gift I could receive for the day. My eyes were filled with tears (khushi ke aasu – tears of happiness) and I responded to their wishes with a thousand thanks. It is on your birthday that you realize of getting older... but not that old to be worried. I grew moustache to create an effect of getting older but friends asked me to remove it as it looks odd and I am not too old to grow it “their comment”.
When I was with parents, the birthday would start with visiting temples and payasam. It has been months since the gods saw me in their pavilion or I wished them a morning. I have some idols here at the home in Ernakulam and I worship them daily and apply the bhasm considering it as a Prasad by the temple. You will not believe that this post is in the draft zone for nine days with me deciding whether to post. Laziness has no medicine though baldness could have one.
At 9 Pm, my friends asked me to come in the hall and I saw a big black coloured cake with writings in white “Happy Birthday Abhi”... They somehow came to know about my birthday and gathered to celebrate it. They concluded the day with celebrations that I would remember for years to come. Followed by video sessions ended the day.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
5 March 1992, was the day when my sister was born. That was a nice morning and I was too small to express joy the way elders did with hugs, shaking hands, laughs etc. I could only show a mere smile on my face watching my sister in the hands of nurse. I was alone at home and it was good to have a partner in creating disasters. I have seen her grow from the day she was small as a mouse until today when she has reached my shoulders. I called her on Saturday night at 12 to wish her birthday. She was very angry last year for me forgetting to wish her. History is the subject that I hate the most and so are dates, which I never remember or say do not wish to remember. Not a big gift this time, she requested a headphone for her nokia mobile. “She never demanded any gifts and I have never given any” that would be an apt description for the birthday synopsis.
Ah! I forget to tell you her name... she is Anjali. She is fond of colourful clothes and travelling. She would never be satisfied even if she buys the costliest attire in the city. The moment she sees anyone wearing a dress being admired then she starts realising hers as a wrong selection. I hope this would be applicable to majority of women. When she sees a new movie, the actor becomes her favourite. She would change favourites every day. :) Oh! That is my favourite song, that is my favourite cake and so on...
We would do everything from stealing the dishes prepared by Amma to destroying house with drawings and scattering things. She would break glass, remote, toys and parents will reproach me. I was happy at not letting her have the scolding though I was never in the background where the incidents would happen. During celebrations, many sweets are prepared and packed in big boxes, hidden to avoid children reaching them to finish. We would plan on strategies to acquire them. We would take turns and move in and out of the rooms with pockets filled with sweets and nankeens. Amma always complain about the “till ke laddu” vanishing from the day they are prepared.
Not everything was a laugh and play. We would fight for television as my interests were action movies and hers were cartoons and serials. The cartoons I hate the most were “dora” and “shin chan” (I do not remember the complete name). I still remember the girl with bob cut and small hairband always murmuring “hamne kia.. hamne kia...” she was called Dora. Shin Chan was a boy whose mother would always scold him. Our Quarrel would start with words and end in fight. Amma later implemented timings that we have to follow where each one would get schedule for watching his favourites.
I was asked to teach her and clear doubts. I would always hit her with a scale or hand (gently) to make her concentrate and study. She would react to this with long hourly cries and decision on quitting my classes. We were not the study maniacs and thus most of our time would be spent in games, mine with cricket and outdoor games whereas hers with hide and seek, lagori etc.
With food and eating habits, we both are opposite. I like crispy and sweet recipes whereas she likes salty and spicy dishes. We would always exchange samosas for gulab jamun and jalebis. Amma would equally distribute the dishes on celebrations and she would look for the portion that has more volume. It is nostalgic to remember our childhood fights and quarrels.
Amma was always complaining about both of us being together at one place but now she misses me at home. Now a day I feel hard to find words for writing and thus am away from blogging... small or large post does not matter right? What matters is expressing feelings :)
Friday, February 25, 2011
Let us fly to the top where we could see people from a bird’s eye perspective with features to zoom in, zoom out, changing angles, and identify entities. I am 150 feet higher to where I was standing few minutes ago, everything happened so fast that I could not remember the motion. I can see birds flying below me, passing strange glances, worrying whether we have cage for them in the air. Let us take a closer look at the people on the ground and see how they differ from their predecessors. Here, it is dark above with the smoke emitted from the vehicles and factories. I wonder how the aerial beings adjust to such environment.
Look there is a group that resembles schoolchildren from the attire walking on the streets. It is not possible to view them perfectly so let us zoom in and inspect. Boys have military cut with some bunch of hairs left unattended on the forehead and the back, close to neck. I hope the barber forget to cut their hairs, or oh! This is the new fashion. They have lean body structure... seems mothers do not feed children or that too is part of the fashion, mm... It is hard to identify the gender when far away. They have bags that touch their legs at the back, resembling a new outlook to the traditional tight fit bags. The shirts are waist fit with broader stylish collars. Girls have hairs with small ponytails and others with rat-eaten designs. They have loose frock sized attire with traditional lowers cut-short in height. Most of them have earrings pierced at many ends in the ear, I doubt their hearing ability... kidding : )
Do you see the young boy standing near the Yadav bhel puri thela? How can you..., as I am the one at the top. He may be 23-25 in age, wearing jeans that resemble the chudidaar pattern of girl’s salwar. His t-shirt fits best to my five-year-old cousin brother, exposes his waist, and even lowers on minor turns. His hairs are cut to medium with some in the front long pointed like a porcupine (they call this as spike cut). He wears shoes that are similar to the ones in the Cinderella movies.
These are all part of a lower fashion trend, the higher being the exposed ones I can see in the market opposite to the bus stand. Fellow travellers with a smile on their face are worshipping a boy. Let us see what is so special with him. He is selecting vegetables to purchase and... ha ha ... haha... another fashion miracle :) He wears a jean that is loose enough to encapsulate two equal sized people of his weight. His fashion sense skips his pants off his waist exposing the valuables (oh! let us make it clear, the undergarments). This is not a very new trend but an amusement to the public.
Fashion trends for the bulgan (German beard) and twisted moustaches were in practice since decades but the one I see near the ATM is unique antique required for Indian museums. The man (aged 28) has a beard that starts after his chin and does touch neither the lower lips nor the ends to the ears. Moustache is neither visible nor could be thought was existing. He has his pants folded to three times at the bottom with shoes worn by Aladdin in the cartoon series. He should be termed a maestro.
The women near the NM restaurant has her hairs bob cut and windows attached at the back, upper top of the attire. She wears a red coloured sari with minimum pallu and blouse sleeveless. She is thin at the feet and fat until then. Her heels could have enabled the shoemaker to make two separate shoes. She has an iphone and a bag decorated with shells. The man near to her might be her husband or colleague wears a straight striped shirt with portions bulging outside near the tummy so strong that it has moulded his belt to u-v shapes creating a new fashion. He has no hairs left to create any fashion. :(
The woman waking at the sides of Bismi electronics wears a jeans and T-shirt. She has a goggle on her head and phone in her ears. She is yellow-pinkish white in skin and black in attire. A carrying case attached to her shoulders hold a small baby, a new version of the corporate, high class, mother-baby relationship. She wears a so-called slipper (for high-class women it is branded sandals) red in colour, thin and no heels; almost similar to the paragon chappals I use at home.
Fashion trends keep changing but I think they should be comfortable for the ones who wear them and the ones who watch. We can be fashion sensitive or intensive, differs. I am not against any of the above mentioned trends.
It is getting hot here, so let me come down and have limejuice. Do you have similar experiences that I have not mentioned in the post? It would be informative to read them.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
It is Sunday 20th January 2011 and we are in front of Veegaland amusement park. It is hardly 15 minutes journey from home and there is not much traffic on the streets. I could see people walking into the park wearing Bermudas and t-shirts. Arun and I were on a bike whereas Melvin and Anup on another. We parked the vehicles and moved towards the ticket counters. The security guard said that the counters would open for distribution by 10 Am and park expects more people on weekends. We had to wait for another 2 hours and thus decided to conduct a photo session.
The entrance to Veegaland has a big dragon with face green and mouth wide open that showers water. There are small red coloured flowers on both sides with an elephant attached veegaland logo on centre top. We had dosa and parota as the breakfast from a hotel near the park. I tried sambhar and it tasted like age-old tomato ketchup. I kept the sambhar as it is and adjusted with coconut chutney. I assume the hotel uses the same sambhar for years adding vegetable to it daily.
The campus has trees cut in different shapes and plants grown around rocks. There are small shelters constructed over wooden structures that span around the verandas surrounding the entrance. A group of people arrived on a mini bus with registration Karnataka. It had few girls in “kutti chaddi’s” and T-shirts, boys in undergarment exposed jeans and jackets. The so-called fashion keeps changing with people wearing less each day, might be a step towards expense reduction or attraction. I am planning to write a post on this topic. I remember amma and I travelling on bike when she saw a boy with hair grown like girls and beard without a moustache, jeans torn to the lower edge and exposed garments. Her dialogue was, “itinonum veetil chodikyanum parayanum aarum ille?”(Don’t they have anyone at home to see and shout)? : ) I remember amma asked me to remove the “kada”(a bangle shaped accessory wore by panjabi’smade of steel, silver or gold) on my right hand when she met me at the railway station saying”ithu enthada cheenachatiyude pidi kaiyil itekunne, remove it”(why are you wearing the handle of frying pan).
The ticket counters are closed and we were waiting in front of it to collect tickets and be the first one to enter the park. Anup and Melvin were busy teasing a friend who said that there would be long queues for tickets and we need to be early to confirm our entry. LED was arranged on a wooden base that indicated the rates and the start timings as moving text. “Welcome to veegaland” was the text that keeps on appearing after regular interval. A small television was placed above counter number five that featured the slides and rides inside the park. People started arriving by 9.50 AM and soon it was a queue. Around 10.30 AM opened the shutter of counter number four with an uncle asking the quantity of tickets we had to buy. The tickets cost 500 rupees for adults on weekends and 380 rupees on weekdays.
We started with a twisting flip ride that rotated and revolved with us like a ball. I could see my legs above and head below that used to move faster imitating a feeling of being hit on the poles places around the ride. I closed my eyes and waited for the ride to stop. Finally, we were on the ground with eyes popped out and forehead sweating heavily. I decided not to take a second chance for the ride. The last time, almost two years ago, I was on a similar ride and I had everything on the floor that I consumed in the morning.
The most interesting ride was with small cars that moved using the steering and we had to hit each other in force. We made several turns on the ride and it was fun. We decided not to stay for long on the rides and moved towards the water section of the amusement park. Several slides ended inside water with people sliding on a slanting surface using a rubber mat. We organized competitions as to who would be the first to arrive and who will be the one to reach far. Some people joined us for the competitions and it was like remembering the old childhood days. Balloons filled with air capable to handle four people at a time moved around slides filled with water and dropped in a pool. There were numerous slides and not sufficient time to try them repeatedly. However, we managed to try the ones that were very interesting.
At 1.30 PM, we moved towards the pool where artificial tides were created that were high and covered the head. I drank water many times due to improper jump timings on the arrival of the tide. We were in the pool for an hour and then moved towards the locker room to change the dress. I could not capture the photos in the pool as it was prohibited and we were almost wet to try a mobile capture.
We ate chicken biriyani in the lunch and then moved to the other interesting rides. Laser light show and waterfall dance were worth a watch. They lasted for 15 minutes inside a big theatre with surround sound. 4D studios were featuring a show and we rushed to attend it. We were provided glasses and the seat moved along with the movie. It was a nice experience and we enjoyed a lot.
We ended the show with snacks and photo session. The trip was enjoying and we spent a complete day without a moment feeling bored or irritated.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I was suffering from heavy cold, sneezing continuously at five SIPM (Sneezing Instances Per Minute) and decided to take rest. Prepared Chana Curry and chappatties for the BrUnch(Breakfast + Lunch). I purchased a thick woollen Jacket with a cap attached when I was at home and wore that to create a warm effect. I think you know more about me than my mother, updated about things happening in my life and my friends.
(Besides me is Mayank)
Mayank Patel; Complete name is Mayank Prakash Patel who was with me since fifth standard, a smart and handsome personality who strives to take care of his friends and loved ones. He is working in Hyderabad and recently called me to update his marriage. He calls me and says that he is planning to get married soon though the dates are not declared. It is an inter caste marriage and the families agreed for a peaceful celebration. He is Gujrati and the girl is Sindhi named Bhakti Kalyani, a citizen of Nagpur working in Pune who resembles her twin sister (Bhavana, if I recall the name) in appearance, tall to 5 feet 4 inches(uh! might be high heels), fair in complexion.
I remember the days when Mayank would come in front of my house always wearing clean jeans, T-shirt, sporty shoes, a cream coloured jacket, a handkerchief tied on his forehead with helmet above it and few books in his small twisted bag making him resemble the secret agents in English movies. He had a CD 100 Bike that perfectly adjusts him for short tours. His pouch inside the bag has everything from comb, nail cutter, blades to multi coloured pens. He was a movie database that has the latest updates on actors, actresses, directors and their latest ventures. He could speak non-stop for a day without letting us feel bored.
Atul Sadhu is the person who started these twisting stories of love marriage. He has injected the love fundas in the minds of polite and humble Indian Citizens. I hope you remember Atul on whom I wrote a long post on December 2009, whose marriage was one among the biggest 2009 marriages for me. He is referred as Love-guru by Mayank and married the most intelligent girl in his college, though no one knew about this, at least not me. Atul is settled happily in Pune and often calls me to shift my location to Pune and marry a girl; he needs a high dose of scoldings.
It is 11 AM and I received a call on my mobile. The women introduced her from “More” (A supermarket owned by Birla) and started reciting the rates of potato, cucumber, carrots and tomatoes. I heard her politely and she ended the call asking “won’t you come here sir” and I disconnected replying “yes sure why not”. Companies have started marketing their products with rates and offers updated to customers 24X7.
We were sitting in the benches that were the centre of the sixth standard classroom when the principal twisted Mayank’s ears as if he was stuffed in cotton making the hands feels better. Ear twists, slaps, head shots, chock assassinations were all some minor dosages for improvement that we used to get on a daily basis. Mayank was talkative from the moment I met him though we came closer during the engineering days. His favourite actor was Shahrukh khan and most of his early attires reflected the actor.
Mayank said that Bhakti Mayank (ok later, the so referred woman) would be shifting to Hyderabad soon. Atul updated me on the recent happenings on mayank and said that he never expected Mayank would be married because of love. However, I certainly that doubt it would be Atul whose footwears were left for Mayank to wear.
I am happy the day, I see my friends happy, sharing the joy they experience in life, the plans they make for life. I am happier to attend another marriage and witness the inter-caste rituals; provided they happen on the same day and at a distance, I am reachable.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
I am a person who likes to read recipes and adventures that others come across while an attempt to cook. I started cooking few years ago and since then I am a constant reader of several blogs and magazines. I see many recipes in blogs with beautiful pictures that appear tasty and delicious. It is hard to imagine how they would taste until you prepare them or someone prepares it for you. I used to comment in many blogs that their recipes appear tasty though there is no reference on the taste or their voice mentioning the popularity of the dish.
Either the cooks or their husbands might know whether the dish is tasty. I was at Nagpur when my mother prepared my favourite Payasam(porridge) for me and I thought why not to start a kind of testimonial video explaining the taste of the dish. The thought appeared logical to my sister and she shot a video starring the payasam and me with my comments on the payasam “dal payasam”.
It appeared funny to me when my sister captured the video testimonial idea but I enjoyed watching it after I reached Cochin. I think it would be a variety for the wives/ unmarried women/ boys”who cook” to get a testimonial from their husband/ parents/ friends either video or text to showcase what they prepare is 100% consumable, “ha ha” like an ISI mark. : )
What do you think, Is it logical?