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Sunday, 16 December 2012

A Rocky Honeymoon and a Shortcut Chicken Bake

Every husband unfailingly is an accomplished architect of his wife’s monument of grouses.
My husband is certainly one. He has a large number of such creations to his credit.  Fortunately for him and unfortunately for myself, inundated by the large numbers of such creations – I have lost count.
Not every husband is that lucky however. My Dad certainly isn’t.
My Mom has only one lasting protest to date and it occupies a place of pride in her museum. Forty years later she still lights a lamp to it every wedding anniversary. My Dad knows he will never be forgiven that one grievous offence.
It was an ill timed offence. It happened on their honeymoon when they were on the Scan Tour.
 When I first mentioned the Scan Tour to my own husband he instantly assumed it had something to do with the interpretation of CT Scans. He imagined it would be a heritage walk through a jungle of CT scans and he was instantly hooked. When he found out that it was a tour of the Scandinavian countries of course he instantly acquired partial deafness and I added a storey to my latest magnificent monument of complains.
The straight forward X rays of the seventies fortunately did not have much room for sightseeing. So unlike my prosaic husband, my gynaecologist father remained a poet at heart.
His romantic wedding gift to his bride was a poem. The verse waxed eloquent about how they would now always sip their morning cups of tea together. The poem ended with the surprise he had planned - a trip to a place where the sun did not set.
They landed in Helsinki in Finland.
Early the next morning, they rang for bed tea.
Tea what tea? This was the land of Coffee drinkers. There was no tea here - bed or otherwise.
A chaste Calcuttan who had to be kissed awake every morning by her cup of tea, Mother was scandalised.
The exploration of the new land soon morphed into a quest for the elusive cuppa, as a splitting headache followed her around.
Finally as she relented and sipped the coffee she looked daggers at her new husband. His promises in his elaborate poetry were already coming apart.
Not Sweden, not Denmark, not Finland and not Iceland. No one in the peninsula served tea.
The incident scarred my Mom forever.
She replaced her tea cup with a beer mug.
 She still drinks beer mugs full of tea every morning to make up for the tea she didn’t drink that week.
Happy anniversary Mom and Dad!
Chicken Bake
There is something about December. Maybe it’s the chill in the air (though it is almost imperceptible in Mumbai) but it makes me want to bake. I would gladly join my husband in the category of people who only like to eat bakes but if I did who would bake? So I bake – but of course I cheat there as well.
1.    Open a packet of boneless breast of chicken.
2.    Chop it up into small pieces (as small as you have the patience for – is all I’m going to say). Then wash it well.
3.    Peel a good number of potatoes. I used five. Chop them up as well.
4.    In a pressure cooker, add two tablespoons of oil.
5.    Tip the chopped chicken in and then add some pepper and salt to it. If you like masaledar continental khana go ahead and add some garam masala as well.
6.    The chicken tends to stick to the pan and so you need to stir.
7.    Then tip in the chopped potatoes. Fry for a few seconds and then add about 1 and a half glasses of water. The water should just submerge the potatoes.
8.    Now close the cooker. Give it one whistle at full flame and then another four at minimum flame. Keep the cooker closed for a while even after you turn off the gas.
9.    Now open the cooker and find that the potatoes are over cooked and crumbly. Be cruel just pick up the nearest spatula and murder them. Stab until they turn into a kind of a mash. Since I am taking a shortcut I forgive myself even if the potatoes are not uniformly mashed.
10.                       Now sprinkle two tablespoons of maida over the contents of the cooker and mix it in vigorously.
11.                       Then add half a glass of milk. You will find the mixture coming together and the water disappearing. This is a time to be really cautious so spend those 2-3 minutes stirring.
12.                       Now you should have a gooey mixture. Tip it out into a baking dish. Grease the dish for easy washing later.
13.                       Just before you want to eat it put it into the microwave and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes.
14.                       Aaaaand.........your bake is ready!
15.                       Admittedly it is not golden on the top but to get that golden effect you need to put in butter or cheese. I settle for this version because I am unable to afford a new wardrobe.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Scheming Wives and Deadly Egg Scrambles

The moon I’m certain would be meekly handed over to me by my husband if I were to ask.
Of course there would be some scheming involved - like there was some eleven years ago.
One August day my husband was embarking alone on a fun trip to Kolkata. A blushing bride then, all I diffidently asked my departing husband to bring back with him from there was -the Joy Nagar’er Moa.
This Moa is an exquisite sweet. Made of date jaggery and puffed rice, its existence is a closely guarded secret that only true blue Bengalis know of.  
Classically Fauji, my husband of course is not privy to such secrets. He was delighted at my innocent request. Secretly congratulating himself on finding a bride with such meagre demands he flew away, happy enough to comply.
The suitcase was large and the sweet shops were within easy reach. So the holidaying man decided to pursue the promised gift only on the last day of his weeklong trip.
On the morning of that day, he strode into the nearest shop and nonchalantly asked for the Moa. They politely said it wasn’t ready yet. He missed their amused tones and twinkling eyes as they replied and assumed that the sweet would be prepared a little later in the day.
He made several trips to the neighbouring shops that day, but every time was met with the same answer.
As his train’s departure began looming large, the vision of an innocent young bride waiting hungrily at the other end of the journey began to plague him. The Moa however was nowhere in sight.     
 His brewing tantrum spewed. What was taking them so long he demanded?
The reply was politely Kolkatan. “I sympathise with your desire to please your new wife Moshai,” said the shopkeeper.”Date jaggery unfortunately is not that considerate. It still insists on arriving only in winter. The Moas will be ready only in December”
Going back from his weeklong gastronomic orgy of a holiday empty handed was unthinkable. Desperate measures were called for. The space in the suitcase for the large box of Moa was taken up by a tiny box with a gift that was not subject to climatic disposition.
I loved the little box and its exquisite diamond ring.
Egg and Sausage Scramble
The worst thing about going on vacation, is knowing that one day the good time is definitely going to end.
 Coming back and unlocking the door, opening the windows to let out the musty smell and plonking down on the dusty sofa are visions that plague me on the flight back. Club that with an empty stomach and it makes for a sure shot nightmare.
Then eggs jump in to brighten the scene. I always leave eggs in the fridge and some frozen delights in the freezer before I leave.
1.    Crack and beat as many eggs as you think will be enough. With the voracious egg eaters in my family I never take less than eight.
2.    Add a pinch of salt to the egg. Not too much. You’re going to add more salt to the other ingredients later.
3.     Chop up a few sausages into small pieces. About half of what could be considered bite sized.
4.    Heat oil in a non stick frying pan.
5.    On a regular day when the kitchen is well stocked, fry a chopped onion and a chopped tomato in the oil. In emergencies skip this step.
6.    Add the chopped sausages to the oil and sauté until they are cooked. They swell once they are done.
7.    Sprinkle some salt if you’ve added onions and tomatoes, if not don’t because sausages are salty anyway.
8.    Now add the beaten egg to the pan. Beat while adding otherwise the salt tends to sit in one place.
9.    Once the egg is in - scramble it around in the pan with a spatula for a minute or two. Don’t overdo it – allow the eggs to be fluffy.
10.                     Take the scramble off the fire, toast a few slices of bread (if available) layer the eggs on the toast and take a bite.
A sure shot remedy for the blues!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Shopping and Shrikhand

The news paper is my husband’s shield and ally.
It is his armour against the torrents of words that are often directed at him and he gratefully hides behind it. He reads most of its contents with a cursory dispassionate interest, but an inexplicable agitation grips him when he reads reports of festivities in the farthest and most inaccessible parts of the city.
I sometimes think my determination to attend all these events as soon as I read about them, may have something to do with his strange behaviour - but I always dismiss this thought as soon as it occurs to me.
An exciting and agitating news report about a Diwali Bazaar once appeared at the beginning of the century, and it landed us in Pune’s Budhwar Peth.
After, we had bowed our heads in reverence at the Daghdusheth Halwai Ganpati temple there I launched myself on the scattered shops and their potential bargains.
Arrogant in my prowess at sniffing out the best bargains, I rapidly moved from the crowd of shops selling diyas, earthen ware toys and coloured animal shaped candy in an open area, to the shops in the surrounding alleys. Icy courtesy and reluctance met me there, but I put it down to the unwillingness of the shopkeepers to part with their wares at a bargain. Excitedly I persisted in dodging and ducking into the maze of shops there in a semi trance.
 As I waltzed down a certain lane, too busy to notice that courtesy had been replaced by curiosity and then by downright questioning gestures, my phone rang.
Annoyed at being interrupted in my dogged pursuit of bargains; especially since the caller was the man I imagined was just a few steps behind me –my husband, I turned around with a deadly frown.
And then my jaw dropped.
In my excitement I had failed to notice that I had walked into a lane populated exclusively by women. In their garish clothes and make up, they were standing around in suggestive postures and looking expectantly at my poor husband who stood awkwardly at the entrance of the lane stoically staring at his toes.
I beat a hasty retreat and asserted my claim on the distressed man.
The ladies were kind enough to refrain from laughing out aloud.
Shrikhand
A mad frenzy usually grips me on Diwali. There is so much to do on that one day that I am left twirling on my toes. The house must be neat (impossible when the husband and daughter are around), the decorations have to be hung up, rangolis have to be made, diyas have to be lit, dishes that I never otherwise attempt have to turn out perfect and of course I have to wear my best outfit and ensure that it doesn’t catch fire.
A certain fail safe recipe then usually rescues me and here it is.
1.     Set a big bowl of curd.
2.     I usually use my biggest Borosil dish and set as much curd as it will hold. To set curd, take some readymade curd and spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons on all the walls of the bowl. Now pour in milk at room temperature and mix. Leave the bowl in a slightly warm area in the kitchen until it sets.
3.     Once the curd has set, take a large sieve and cover it on the inside with a muslin cloth (or a handkerchief).
4.     Place this over a bowl that can hold it and pour all the curd into the sieve.
5.     Cover the sieve with the curd in it with a plate and place the whole contraption in the fridge overnight or for a whole day. The water from the curd drips out of it into the bowl below and you get hung curd.
6.     On Diwali day, put the hung curd into another bowl. Mix in four or five tablespoons of Complan in the Kesar Badam flavour. Add some milk if the curd is too dry. Taste it and add more Complan if you like.
7.     If it is not sweet enough for you, add some powdered sugar and mix it in. Taste again.
8.     Chill the dish and garnish with a few strands of Kesar and a few slivers of almonds if you like.

Stand around and bask in the glory of your dish as it is devoured.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A sleepless husband and Baingan ka Bharta

My husband loves Saturday afternoons. Weeklong he dreams about that delicious half an hour of sleep on that half day.
I love sleeping too, but for me afternoons spent lazing in the winter sunshine of Assam always won hands down when pitted against slumbers on full stomachs at the forbidden hour.
I would have loved my husband's company in the garden, but I knew I had an invincible opponent in “Siesta”.
I had reluctantly resigned myself to spending the delightful afternoons in the garden alone, but Ramlal changed it all.
He was short, plump and dark. He had a sing-song nasal voice and wore a soiled kurta, and he had all the ladies on campus vying for his attention.
I never imagined that tall ENT surgeons, proud Officers of the Indian Air Force, would feel threatened by Ramlal – but that is just what happened.
A few weeks into our stay in Assam, I was curious and baffled when my husband started suggesting going out for lunch and doing a host of other things on his precious afternoons. Then, I realized with devilish delight that his sleepless afternoons were engendered by envy for Ramlal.
As Ramlal breezed in with his bicycle load of the fresh and juicy home grown vegetables – he was almost like the Pied Piper in his ability to attract the ladies. A scuffle inevitably ensued over his cauliflowers and radishes as he smiled complacently.
As ladies indulged in closely contested matches to place one of the ten cauliflowers from his garden that week on their tables, even cauliflower worshipping husbands (like mine) were jealous.
A sigh of relief always followed his receding form as he departed having peddled his produce, and contented burps always followed the Gobhi parathas the next day.
 Ramlal was then forgiven, forgotten and even reluctantly blessed until the next Saturday afternoon.
 The relinquished Saturday siestas led to football matches in the lawn and I had several reasons to thank Ramlal.
Baingan Ka Bharta
I hate to admit this but cooking vegetables flawlessly has always flummoxed me. I was delighted when I learnt to make Baingan ka Bharta because it was the one dish that uncomplainingly turned to pulp and still tasted good. Until then I had been turning everything else into pulp with my cooking endeavours as well but they were just silently making their way into the dustbin.
Anyway now the Baingan ka Bharta has made me the invincible queen of the kitchen. The best part of it is, that the baingan can be roasted in advance and converted to bharta in a few minutes at a later time, tasting as fresh as ever and making you look like a magician.
1.    Take a nice big fat baingan (brinjal).
2.    Take a handful of cloves (laung) and pierce the baingan with their pointed ends and leave the cloves there. In effect studding the entire surface of the baingan with cloves.
3.    Now turn on the gas and place the clove studded baingan on the hob on the naked flame. Go about other work as it roasts. Whenever you remember next, walk over and turn the baingan slightly so that by the end all the sides have been roasted.
4.    Check that the whole baingan has been done by inserting a knife into it from various angles (much like you’ve seen magicians piercing their wives at magic shows). If you find no resistance to your knife, you’re good to go.
5.    Let the baingan cool for a bit and then remove the skin by dipping your fingers into a bowl of water at frequent intervals.
6.    This peeled baingan can be left in the fridge for whenever you want to exhibit your skills as a magician in the kitchen.
7.    For the tadka. Peel and roughly chop an onion and wash and roughly chop a tomato. Also chop up some ginger.
8.    Heat oil 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadhai, add chopped ginger followed by the onion and tomato simultaneously.
9.    Sprinkle salt so that they cook really fast.
10.                       Add a chopped green chilli and then put the baingan in.
11.                       Break the baingan with the ladle and mix in the masala. Don’t mix too much.
12.                       Generously sprinkle as much fresh dhania (coriander) as you like into the baingan
And ta-daaaa your bharta is ready. Dig in!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

A Three Letter Word and Moghlai Paratha

Hop was a three letter word that I learnt to spell with nonchalant ease very early in life. 
I imagined I was the master of the word – until - it decided to challenge me.
 It made me puff, pant and stumble as it showed its true colours. I was compelled to retire an entire foot, in some foolish games and convert my easy amble into an uncomfortable jump in others.
The scornful disdain I harboured, for the easily spelt word was replaced with disgust, for the action it implied.
Fortunately, successive birthdays added years to my life and saved me. They liberated me from the silly games and that hateful word. Relieved, I lived the next several years unburdened by the intolerable word - or so I thought.
Then in college, this most hated word in my vocabulary acquired extremely likeable connotations. Hopping stopped associating itself with uncomfortable balancing and began to imply moving from one happy place to another and having a whale of a time.
There was pub hopping and party hopping and I hopped uncomplainingly.
Then I discovered I had been hopping all along.
 Every year in the Autumn months I had hopped until my feet were bruised and bleeding - as I moved from one Durga Puja Pandal to another. The much detested word in my vocabulary had been my most favourite annual event all the while!
Now I hop with a vengeance. As I hop, I also pop (food into my mouth) and shop till I drop.
De- addicting Moghlai Parathas
The day after Dashami is invariably haunted by the ghosts of Moghlai Parathas, Kathi rolls and Egg Devils. Plump well fed faces, wince visibly as Dal Chawal is placed in front of them. Urgent de-addiction is required and this is my recipe for it.
1.    Make a  large roti (with whole-wheat or multigrain atta) or use a left over roti
2.    Place a tawa on the gas. I like to use the Dosa tawa.
3.    Heat a tablespoon of oil on it.
4.    Beat an egg with a little salt and pour it on the tawa.
5.    Scramble the egg until it is cooked and then take it off the tawa.
6.    Beat another egg for the next roti in another bowl and keep it aside.
7.    Spread a tablespoon of oil on the tawa and place a roti on it. Keep the flame low. Brush the surface of the roti facing you with the beaten egg.
8.    Place the scrambled egg in the center of the roti and then fold the roti from all four sides as if you are wrapping the scrambled egg in the roti.
9.    Since the roti has been brushed with egg the folds will stick easily.
10.                       Once you have a parcel turn it over and cook the other side. Add oil if required.
11.                       Press the parcel so that any liquid egg comes out and solidifies on the surface of the parcel as it cooks.
You get scrambled egg parcelled in a whole-wheat roti coated with a crisp layer of egg.

No maida or ghee like the original Moghlai Paratha - but Hey! this is de-addiction!


This is how it appeared

And then disappeared.......



Friday, 28 September 2012

Korean Kimchi and Chocolate Pudding

It was easy to dislike the new Korean neighbours.
He was an engineer with two adorable children on a yearlong deputation to the Tata Motors factory in Jamshedpur – and his wife was far too slim and stunning.
Inexcusably – they did not socialize. So what if they spoke only Korean.
Impertinently – they were managing without maids as the rest of us were held to ransom by our household helps.
And worst of all – they had dug up the smooth green carpet grass on their front lawn.
Heads were shaken collectively – grim and unforgiving.
Until – Korean brisk walks slowed into leisurely strolls preceded and succeeded by  pakoda and puri parties at the neighbour’s houses; slender faces became round,  maids were employed who proceeded to victimise them and their front lawn started sprouting napa cabbage that promised to turn into Kimchi.
Dreams of tasting the delectable Mainland China Kimchi (which also turned out to be the national dish of Korea) in the rigid confines of the Steel city dominated minds and everything was forgiven and forgotten.
Salivation threatened to create a mini flood on the Sunday that the jar of Kimchi was finally brought forth.
 Apparently dainty fingers (used to stuffing pakodas by the dozens into their respective mouths) lifted the first bits of Kimchi in a show of restraint and popped them into their mouths.
An almost collective scream followed.
Kimchi was supposed to tickle our taste buds with its mildly sweet flavour and lull us into complacently polishing off the whole jar - but the Korean version was spicy enough to call for the fire brigade.
Coughing, spitting, gulping water and fighting over the sugar jar erupted, much to the bewildered unhappiness of Thong-Mei who thought that Indians were the lords of spicy food and so had spiced her Kimchi to please us.

Chocolate Pudding
Today’s recipe is a dessert designed to end spice feasts on a sweet note. It is incredibly easy, is ready in jiffy and allows you to bask in the glory of the hard work that you must certainly have put in (never let the people at the table in on kitchen secrets). Try it instantly.
1.     Take 1 ½  glasses of milk. Pour it into a bowl.
2.     Beat two eggs in another bowl and then mix it into the milk.
3.     Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to the mixture.
4.     Add 2 tablespoons of Cocoa powder to the mixture. I like my pudding to be intensely chocolatey so I add more and more cocoa until the mixture becomes dark brown. Add cocoa as per your preference of chocolatiness.
5.     Taste the mixture. Add more sugar or cocoa if you like.
6.     Pour the mixture into a steel tiffin box which has a tight lid. Put on the lid.
7.     In a pressure cooker fill water to the depth of about 2 cms. Actually the depth of water would vary depending on the steel box you are using. Basically the water level should be below the level of the rim of the lid.
8.     Close the cooker (without the whistle) and heat the water. When steam starts coming out lower the flame and steam for another 15 minutes.
9.     Turn off the flame cool the cooker and open the box.
10.                        Chill the pudding in the refrigerator and dig in.
Mmmmmmmm..........

Monday, 17 September 2012

On the Whypoll blog again - Part II

This time its about public transport.
After living in several cities and towns all over India - this is my verdict -

India: Moving, shaking

and its on the Whypoll trust blog
This is the link-
http://whypoll.blogspot.in/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=5#!/2012/09/india-moving-shaking.html

About the recipe - yes I haven't uploaded one in the previous post but here is a fabulous Cabbage recipe.
It takes no time at all - is effortless and a sure shot winner.
My husband is CRAZY about it.

Sweet and sour cabbage

  1. Chop up some cabbage. I like to do long shreds but squares are ok as well. In fact just lunge at the vegetable with a knife and whatever emerges out of it is fine really.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a kadhai.
  3. Add 1 tsp of garlic paste to it. Be careful not to burn it.
  4. Then add  the shredded cabbage to it.
  5. Cook it for a while tossing it around in the kadhai so that the whole mass gets cooked and you dont end up with bottom burnt special.
  6. Allow the cabbage to wilt a little in the heat so that it attains its final volume which is going to be much less than the original volume.
  7. Now add a tablespoon of soya sauce, a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of vinegar and 1/4 tablespoon of chilli sauce.
  8. Mix well
  9. Add some salt. be careful here because Soya sauce is already salty.
  10. Mix well and cook until all the water in the kadhai has evaporated and the vegetable looks glossy.
  11. Serve hot (or cold). I sometimes wrap it in a paratha and make it into a quick tiffin box special.
ENJOY!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

I am on the Whypoll Trust Blog!

Hi everybody
I am writing a guest blog for The Whypoll Trust which is India's only open government platform that strives to link citizens and government using technology

The post is called "Whats in a Garment?" and this is the link
http://whypoll.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/whats-in-a-garment/

Check it out!!!

Monday, 3 September 2012

"The Liberals" - with a cup of coffee

On a dark rainy Mumbai evening, dishevelled and dripping after a two hour commute, we were pushing open the doors to Kitaab Khana to attend the launch of “The Liberals” when suddenly - the question popped into my head.
What was I doing at the launch of a book on the post liberalisation era?
 I am numerically challenged! And since numbers make no sense to me I have never understood economics and do not relish politics.
Then what was I doing here?
The question had no answer and I sat cowering in the last row, anticipating a barrage of unfamiliar technical terms.
To my amazement however, the discussion emerged as a nostalgic trip into the past two decades, and excitement rapidly replaced trepidation.
 I started reading - on the commute home.  
I loved the book from the very first chapter.
It read like a heart to heart with an old friend who had led an exotic life in the world of fashion, television and politics.
 With his hilarious irreverence, candid admissions, insightful introspection and amazing ability to refrain from sounding condescending, Hindol Sengupta in his book, comes across as the boy next door.
In his story of growing up and finding his identity in a changing liberal India, he splits open middle class life in Calcutta, Delhi and Mumbai and lays bare desires and fears without sparking animosity or shame.
Objective, compassionate and most importantly relatable this is a fabulous book after reading which I found myself revelling once more in the joys of liberalisation with the brief look at the gloomy past that this book afforded me.
In the book, I found a confidant.
It made my weekend!
Choca Mocha
This recipe today is just like “The Liberals”. The name sounds intimidating – but the recipe is extremely simple.
1.     In a small bowl (katori)  mix together 1 heaped tablespoon of drinking chocolate with ½ a teaspoon of coffee powder and 1 tsp of sugar.
2.     Add a few drops of hot water to this and mix.
3.     Put the mixture in a glass and top it up with hot or cold milk mixing all the while.
4.     Taste it and add more sugar if you like.
5.     Sprinkle cinnamon powder before serving.
I always like to drink this cold and my husband likes it hot. It is easy enough to make both simultaneously. The hot milk dissolves the mixture instantly. Cold milk is sometimes problematic. If you think you may not be able to dissolve the mixture in cold milk – add a quarter glass of hot milk initially. Mix well to dissolve and then add chilled milk followed by ice.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The "Just Married - Please Excuse" Contest

In the year 2001 we were impoverished newlyweds. We had just squandered whatever little wealth we had amassed as singles on our wedding and honey moon and in our attempt at lavishing away the little that still remained in our banks, we were holidaying in Mumbai.
Riding high on romance, we decided to travel the length and breadth of the city by local trains. My newly acquired husband was a little wary but I overthrew his doubts with my enthusiasm.
My travel apparel drew a hesitant murmured protest from Mr Tactful as my white T-shirt and blue jeans clashed violently with my glittering chuda, excessive sindoor and bright red lipstick, but I breezed past him.
The crowd in the train allowed us to stand at a decorous distance when we boarded. In a few stations time we were romantically close and then we were claustrophobically wedged. I was on the verge of breathing my last when a considerate co-passenger announced that we were near our destination and we began inching our way towards the door.
As I moved, I was thrown forward by a sudden jerk.  As fellow passengers steadied me, I was horrified to see my lips imprinted in stark red on a sparkling white shirt. Time stood still and luckily the train stopped as well.
Sandwiched between the glares of the new legal claimant of my kiss and its latest inadvertent recipient – I sheepishly stumbled out onto the platform. A steady stream of our hurried apologies followed the receding train and we then burst into laughter. 
 Wordlessly -I retired my bridal facade that day in deference to the uncomfortable questions my victim may have had to endure.
Cold coffee with ice cream
This can also be called the life saver shake. When I was the shy young bride who managed to successfully burn dinner beyond recognition – this drink would double up as dinner and save the day.
1.     Pour a glass of chilled water and a glass of chilled milk into the blender jar of the mixie.
2.     Add 2 teaspoons full of coffee powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar to it.
3.     Blend well. If you don’t have a mixie just go for the blending with your bare hands. It works just as well.
4.     Taste once and add more coffee or sugar as required. Blend again.
5.     Take 2 tall glasses and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to each.
6.     Pour the blended cold coffee to the glasses.
7.     Serve with a stirrer or spoon
ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Speechlessly in love : My entry for the get published contest

The idea - Introducing the protagonists, the theme and a bit about the story

Eleven years into marriage and I am still unsure whether love really exists. I am happily married yes – but I do wonder sometimes if I am in love. Was I ever in love? What is love anyway?
If love is the giddy feeling that smothered me several times before I decided to get married – then I am certainly not in love with this man. If however, it is the feeling that even though I may detest the sight of this fellow human being at times, I just cannot imagine life without him – then I would say I have been in love ever since I ran into this awkward man eleven years ago.
Ours is the most unlikely combination. He is reticent and prosaic. I am vivacious and romantic. If love stories are about communicating – ours was one where despite the profusion of communicating devices, we had nothing to say. In retrospect it was probably just as well - considering how little my husband has to say (at least we had something to talk about after we were married).
Ours is a love story that needs to be told - if only to dissuade the love struck from hankering after fairytale romances. An arranged marriage, a mini swayamvar, a fauji who shocked everyone with his inane practicality, a girl who insisted on a fairytale wedding and a comedy of errors that ended in - happily ever after.
What makes the story real

It is a story that convinces you that marriages are scripted in heaven and do work even though they look slightly unreal when they are played out in 3-D on earth.
I am inspired to strike the keys on my keyboard - by my beautiful marriage, my comical wedding and the desire to dispel the myth of the much hyped fairytale romances.

This is my entry for the Harper Collins Indiblogger Get Published Contest which is run with inputs from Yashodhara Lal and Harper Collins India