Tag Archives: Childhood

156: Another Holiday Monday

5 Jun


What if I become broke? But oh my darling, what if you become rich?

I couldn’t help adapt the popular quote to this bookshop that I first visited as a child. It was a new experience because this was a bookshop of a different kind; one where they sold old books that smelt the best and even took back books you’d finished reading. 

It was just normal instinct to walk into a bookstore enroute the restaurant my friend A and I were heading to, to stuff our face with Mangalorean ghee roast crab. 

Our afternoon was delectable, to say the least. 

153: The Thrill In The Uexpected

2 Jun

Ever since I got here, I’ve experienced a series of unexpected joys. As I was very matter-of-factly walking towards the bus shuttle after exiting the airport, I chanced upon the first bus in line, which was relatively empty, that I decided to get home by. On approaching the bus, there she was sitting right in the front seat in direct sight – my first ever psychology teacher from back in the day. One really finds it difficult to sum up all the feelings that bubble and gurgle within you…a fine blend of shock, excitement, confusion, joy, thrill, all woven into a fabric of beautiful memories put together. We couldn’t believe our chance meeting – on a bus out of so many buses, at an airport of all places; and after what’s soon going to be 15 years. Of course this count was meant to highlight just how long it’s been, except it also reminds me just how long ago I finished my 10th board exams. It goes without saying that we spent the rest of the bus ride seated next to each other, sharing titbits from our life and experiences, and how the journey has been so far. To say that the ride was too short would fall short of how I felt; where’s that traffic jam when you really need it?!

In-keeping with this, and as if I hadn’t walked back in time enough, I passed my school during functional school hours yesterday for the first time since I’d left it. As I drove past it, I couldn’t resist the urge to get off the car and walk right in, to just perhaps see if I could meet the teachers I’d once spent every single day of my life with. And I did. I still cannot describe the feeling; perhaps the connections run so deep that they’ve remained embedded somewhere within me in a place that’s hard to access. Time really isn’t enough when you’re walking down memory lane. Sometimes words aren’t, either.

It’s a strange feeling, this. There’s always been an indefinable friction within me to go back to where I came from. Notwithstanding the trying times that they were, and not discounting the amazing things that were also happening back then, it really isn’t a road I like to walk down. Things change, people change, everything changes. Apart from this insecurity of not being remembered or being acknowledged like you perhaps once were, it’s this strange tug of war stepping back in time versus watching your memories from the safety of disconnected distance. As I walked away from these two episodes, it only reminded me that as the years pile up, so do our own thoughts and perceptions of the whats and hows. To say I didn’t take away so much from these experiences and in turn give so much to these experiences as well, would negate the actual power of reminiscence, time, and life itself.

87: Noon-time Nostalgia

28 Mar

He smelt of a heady yet comforting combination of old clothes which he refused to give away, asafoetida, mildew-y papers whose stacks never receded, mustard oil, Ponds talcum powder, and tea. He wore what were huge holes put together by what was once, I presume, a perfectly white cotton vest. His holy thread, too worn yet intact, always ridged through all that melted cotton, while his skin sagged and revealed the telling of being a grandparent.

He never married but lived close enough to become my maternal granduncle, and therefore my nana, by default. Many of my memories of him halt at his insolence; towards the maid, the handyman, and even towards the ones I held dearest to me. He demarcated his boundaries in a house that was otherwise not in his reign of control, for he had two spots that were his and his alone – one by the door in the corner of my grandmother’s puja room, and the other which was his makeshift bed in the drawing room.

His spot in the puja room was where our curiosities germinated, bubbled, and stayed. On his stool were clustered together papers, Hanumanji stickers and prayer books (he was a faithful devotee), lawyer collars (he was one), files (but of course), his aluminium tea kettle, herbs, threads, nails and screws, perhaps a couple of pens…but that’s all my memory now allows me to recollect. It didn’t even strike the child in me to ever ask him about his worldly belongings…because how can an adult life be judged with just some paraphernalia on a wooden stool? I never asked and he never said.

But more than all these myriad smells and belongings put together, it was the fragrance of a summery musk melon we’d avidly huddle over while it was being cut and sprinkled with sugar, that I somehow attached to him. Memories of him always come rushing back as if he were handing me this sublime scoop of melon while standing right next to me as I cut the fruit and bit into it today.

The Weird Thing Is

13 Jan

…I don’t seem to be lactose intolerant any more. And with that definitive statement, I shall begin this rather random post about rather intriguing observations I’ve made over the last couple of weeks. Having hated milk all my childhood because really, the stench of plain hot milk is incomparable to anything else; forget something a child likes waking up to and having to force down their throat. But it was something I woke up to every.single.day what with having a mom who didn’t let even the last drop pass without a glare and a threat, much to my despair and anguish. These sentiments are very real, and not as dramatic as they sound. The drama that unfolded every morning as mom brought me that dreaded mug (and not cup, mind you) of horridness was another thing altogether. Of course my pleas and threats and tears and wails and sulk sessions fell on deaf ears, but I did try my very best every single day. I really did hate milk. And if it was milk that had even the tiniest flecks of malai (cream) floating about that my myopic but supersonic-when-it-comes-to-scanning-things-I-hate eyes caught, then the drama was just more than two-fold.

Making it easy for my mom to force-feed me something I despised just wasn’t something I was willing to do. So I had decided that if I had to have that ghastly stuff, it had to be of a certain temperature – not too hot that I couldn’t gulp it down in one shot, not luke warm which left clumps of any additive flowing up against my teeth thus making me gag, not that hot where malai would form easily, not too cold where the said additive wouldn’t dissolve easily – and of a certain colour – not too diluted in nature to indicate that enough of the additive had been added – and so on. My, the list was endless. And I’m sure my mom hated me every morning but I couldn’t care less because I really wanted her to feel the hate I felt for doing something so painful to me. You know?

Talking about additives, there had to be Bournvita or Boost. Milo and Complan were the last resorts. Horlicks wouldn’t do because it didn’t change the colour of the milk. Anything chocolate-y in milk was not entertained; therefore out went drinking chocolate, chocolate Horlicks (if it existed back then) and the rest. Tea and coffee were forbidden and there was no point going down that road. So Bournvita had to work just fine, except I expected it to make the colour of milk a nice, dark, rich brown; which it never did no matter how much mom insisted she’d put those two spoons in my mug. I began despising Bournvita because how could something taste so nice by itself (and something I could have so many spoons of) and so horrid with milk? Milk was the ultimate culprit. I even began trying to throw milk into the kitchen drain when mom wasn’t watching me but then guess who got caught almost instantly? It was all a scheme, a lie, a trap that I couldn’t find a way out of. Growing up has its difficulties if you’re the fussy type, you know? If you hate/hated milk or something else just as much, you’d agree.

But because this routine of having a glass of milk before leaving for school had become the norm, it soon became a habit that fell into place almost automatically and without much fuss as my school years melted into college years. The mother had succeeded and something I had once hated with all my might and still cannot have by itself, was now a supplement I couldn’t do without. Leaving home without that mug of milk made my day feel incomplete and so the tradition continued till a few years ago when I realised that I couldn’t digest the stuff any more. I must admit I was heartbroken. The turns that life takes are also very intriguing. I couldn’t have milk any longer and there really was no other substitute in my mind. Also, having grown up on dairy made soy products feel almost fake; and they still do. Soy milk may be a healthier option but it’s not the same as dairy milk.

Milk was now consumed sneakily in the form of filter coffee and tea. Of course curd wasn’t a problem at all, so it was all sorted; though incompletely so. And then this happened; as is my Instagram feed proof of:

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Hot Chocolate

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Chocolate Horlicks

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Hot Chocolate Again!

I’ve been having milk all over again once I moved cities; something I’ve never heard of within the same country and something I embraced with my arms wide open. The joy of being able to have a mug of delightful hot chocolate is just unparalleled. I’m not really sure how this happened but of course the obvious answer lies in the fact that either whatever’s being added to the milk in Bangalore has made it unsuitable for consumption to many or that the folks here are doing something that isn’t making milk difficult to digest. I’m not sure; but this was a shocker! I never imagined that this could even be. Of course I immediately called mom and told her of this; much to our delight. Do note though that plain hot milk is still not being consumed because that is still some horribly obnoxious stuff. Also notice the piles of additives so there’s not even the slightest hints of white. Haha!

So mothers, do not give in to your kids who hate milk. The child in me has begun screaming at my hypocritical self, but what has to be done must be done and without much attention. After having successfully vomited the milk I was given one morning and having feigned sickness, I was still made to have another mug to compensate for what I had done. So may the force be with you, unless of course your baby cannot digest or tolerate the stuff medically. The rest are all excuses to get away from something that is essential; even kids know that. The silver lining does show up eventually; even if it’s decades later! Hahaha.

As for the hot chocolate that I make; I’ve been asked about its recipe more than once. Here it is, though I promise it’s the simplest and most fuss-free preparation ever.

To every mug of milk (yes, I can’t have anything lesser than a mug), I add a generous heap of cocoa powder because I genuinely believe that the drinking chocolate we get here is a) fake and b) too sweet for my liking. So heat that portion of milk to which you add as much cocoa powder as you deem fit. Add sugar to your preference and a slight scattering of salt. Mix and you’re set. I do not prefer sweet hot chocolates, but if you do, then you’re good to go with drinking chocolate. Also, if you’re feeling particularly indulgent, you can add a touch of cream or liqueur or marshmallows or whatever it is that floats your boat. I don’t add any of these because I love my hot chocolate to taste of pure chocolate and not of anything else.

And if you’re feeling wicked, try some dark rum. :) Plus cookies are always, always welcome. It’s hot chocolate, after all. :)

Inspiration

8 Jun

I oftentimes wonder why or how writing went from being so easy and spontaneous to an act that needed more than just an impulse. There are times when you know you need absolutely nothing to write and all those words flow out in a congruous whole as if you’d spent hours stringing them together in your head; except you never did. And there are times when you try and try and you’re left saving yet another draft. I haven’t tried. I haven’t fought myself to sit down and write. It was something new I was trying out with pretty much everything — to stop fighting and wanting to control everything. I’ve been successful at times, and that’s what has brought about some peace in knowing that sometimes it just doesn’t matter. Those words will flow when they will. But that didn’t have to necessarily imply my putting everything else to a stop just so I could write or read or do whatever I had planned on doing.

One of the things I’m growing to learn is the importance of time and how, while it continues to do its own thing in its own manner, it can never ever be rushed. It’s almost like that beautiful cake you’re eyeing rise in the oven…open the door midway and it wouldn’t be close to what we imagined or toiled for. Everything has its time and its place…its right to bloom just when it is ready to. Everything else can be so premature and bitter…or less valuable. So yes, time… I’m growing to let go of it. In a world filled with shoulds and musts and existential labels, it’s hard to close yourself off without branding yourself in ways you never intended to. You needn’t be a rebel, a castaway, a slowcoach just because your clock didn’t match up to the pace of somebody else’s.

With half the year over, I reflect back only to find reassurance in the fact that there is an insurmountable inner peace in the act of just letting go. Letting go to thrive, to feel, to understand…to just live. It’s overwhelming just how difficult and simple it really is.

And from nowhere, I find myself back here…because I know, like I said earlier, that my words will flow when they are ready to. They will speak and my silence will feel content. The year so far has been jam-packed with that sort of craziness that I’ve never experienced before – it’s been trying, testing, overwhelming, rewarding, exhilarating… I see a part of me I have never seen before… it’s taking me some time to familiarize myself with her… to understand her… and I like what I see.

I’m finding my peace in the catharsis of food and cooking all over again… it’s that kind of therapy which needs no words, no explanations… no taking… just giving. It gives me a sense of time, patience, love and peace like nothing else. So you can imagine the magic I’m surrounding myself with because who can ever have enough of magic? And when it tastes good, if I may say so, then really, why not?

I’ve been on a baking spree trying to concoct things I imagine in my head. Sometimes it turns out top notch and sometimes I ask myself what I was thinking! This year round, I decided on walking the icing route and baking mom a cake for her birthday because homemade chocolate birthday cakes are one of those things that make a birthday, in my honest opinion, complete. Tell me you haven’t felt as close to perfect with that large chunk of beautiful chocolate cake in your mouth only to be too satisfied to even speak? Admit it. There is nothing like a homemade chocolate cake to get you going and also make you feel masterchef-like. Of course it takes more than that, but a good chocolate cake speaks. So here’s what I put up. It was comforting, warm, dense, light, healthily unhealthy and felt like home. That’s all one ever needs. :)

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Of course it’s also that time of the year when you let go of all your ladylike mannerisms and your appropriate, society-preferred prim properness to sink your teeth into the magic of what can only be a mango on a hot summer’s day. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can ever come close to spelling or feeling like summer than this gorgeous, gorgeous creation. Thank you, God. You’re more magical than I can fathom.

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Here’s also why I never bothered to do much. Because when the weather is languorous and sort of rainy and pretty, it makes best sense to let go, put those feet up, preferably with a parent or a loved one, and just allow the aromas of freshly brewed coffee take over.

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And bake olive bread to be had hot from the oven. And imagine for some time that your home has been ported to, let’s say, Italy, shall we?

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Or when you’re feeling rather adventurous, do you go and bake a lemon pound cake and try your hand at icing. I’m not a fan of icing. But sometimes, you might want to hop over to the other side.

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And if it’s not rainy and pretty, you speed things up with a cold coffee that reminds you of summers spent in the wait of that prized beverage right off the hands of your grandmum. Topped with crushed ice. And maybe ice cream. And accompanied by cold coffee moustaches.

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And here’s one that literally took the cake! I do dream of getting that cookbook in place and hopefully I will drink as many cold coffees as it takes to get my ass moving on it. But in the mean time, I have to take a step back and marvel at this beauty which I can gorge on minus wondering which part of my butt it went to. No yolks, no oil, no butter, a fraction of the flour one would normally use — now isn’t that just the best thing ever? It’s like telling a person who gets fat quick (me) that they could eat all they want and never get fat. Woot! Except I may want to omit the “you’ll never get fat” bit when I speak to myself. Bite into your reality and cake, will you?

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And then this. What stands between that marvelous poached egg and crisp toast? My teeth. And a million disastrous trials, of course. Next up, hollandaise, let’s touch baze!

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So yes, I’m getting fat on some kitchen experiments and essentials. Because, that my friends, is where my inspiration’s rolling from. Except, I wish, the fat would stay away. Gosh darn it!

Konverted

23 Jan

Last year was definitive when it came to reading. What I thought was an almost extinct habit, turned out to be just a phase of “not wanting to read”. As blasphemous as that sounds to a reader, it isn’t something that doesn’t happen. Because it does, no matter how astonishing. And it differs from person to person and from time to time, as everything else also does. It’s either a phase of not being able to read or not being able to start a book or not being able to see a book through…you name it and its there. And I think I suffered from all of it because there was a time when books could be read as frequently as well…one checks their phone these days. Of course that is a slight exaggeration because I’m a phone addict wherein I think my phone is (by the laws of being a phone slut) always attached to my hand. It isn’t really the same with books unless carrying a book or having a book by one’s pillow at all times, counts.

When I talk to friends about this, it starts to feel more like an age related thing. We more or less seem to be in a similar boat when we look back over the years. Back then it really didn’t take that long to finish a book and pick the next one up by default, unless you picked multiple books at once if you were that voracious a reader. And if you were a library member, then there was a definite timeline you ensured your reading took place under. I remember my library (which I ought to pay a visit sometime) gave us a period of two weeks from the date of borrowing a book. Whether you read one or ten, whether you read magazines, novels or comics, didn’t matter. Two weeks was it. And reading happened. Then you’d go back like clockwork and get yourself more books. And let’s not talk about holiday time. I just remember hoping so bad that the books I’d dreamed of reading would be around; that the library had had enough funds to buy as many copies of that book because really! everyone wanted that book, and now. It makes me sigh.

I remember the trend changing as the time to “grow up” made its way closer to my languorous life of pages and stories and characters. Books of a different kind took over and what you learnt from those books and how you produced your learnings on paper, gathered more steam. And it sort of remained like that till I finished my 12th grade. It’s not to say I didn’t read, but when I look back, I cannot remember much of what I read…except that it was the age of Potter, if I’m not mistaken. Reading came by force, quickly after, because I had chosen to study English Literature. It was the kind of reading I had never engaged in or dreamed of dabbling with; because Classics intimidate me. I must say I didn’t take Lit. by choice; that it was part and parcel of the combination of subjects that came along with what I wanted to study. Of course I hold no regrets; a book-lover can only ever be glad.

As my academic life progressed, my reading chapter dwindled. And then the world of work made its grand entry. You know what happens when that happens. And so it went. But all throughout, they stayed in touch…they were always there on the side, should I find the need to deep-dive into their pages and lose myself all over again. And somewhere along the way, they made a more definitive re-appearance in my life. Last year was one such. And I couldn’t have been happier. I cannot ever exit a bookshop empty handed. And so I’ve been gathering books I think may like to read, someday. I like the option of having choices…of being able to choose what I feel like reading and exploring. It’s comforting. And so I’ve been doing that. Last year was a good year where the drought seemed to slowly but surely fade away. I think.

And quite unexpectedly, a Kindle came my way. I’ve always stayed on the frays of this argument between the traditionalists and the not-so-traditionalists because I had no opinion. I never really thought of myself as a Kindle user or lover but now that I have one, I can’t seem to stop using it. For one, I’ve read more books in the last few months than I have in so many months collectively. Also, God is it an ease when you’re on the move? And let’s not get started about just how awesome it is to not have your hands/fingers/arms fall asleep as you prop a book up and read in bed. What works for me is that I don’t get to see the size of the book and imagine just how cumbersome a read it could possibly be; because that does affect my capacity to read and complete a book. It helps to not know. I think I’m addicted because while I’d finished the books loaded on my Kindle (barring one), I figured I’d return back to the ones I’d hoarded from before. It was (initially) a bit hard to get back to holding a physical book, flipping through its pages and propping it up in bed (it is a large book).

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At the end of the day, I do truly believe that it’s reading and the love for reading that counts, really. I wouldn’t be able to stand in favour of either side because I’m just happy to be able to read again and see a book through. And through all this reading, I am not ashamed to admit that I have been konverted with no regrets whatsoever. It’s a good thing. It’s those small joys that’s part of the larger joy only a book-lover can comprehend; because really, what better thing is there than to be able to just plain and simple, read?

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Summer Treats

26 Mar

It’s hot. It’s bloody, bloody hot. My weather app told me it was 38 degrees yesterday. 38 degrees centigrade at 4pm is insane. But as dumbfounded as I was at seeing the weather update, I was also told to not rely entirely on it since it isn’t always accurate. But give or take a few degrees, it’s still shocking to see the city reach such scary levels. I know I talked about it in my last post, but evidentally, I’m still not quite over it.

Having said that, I don’t quite feel the summer (or any season) that much during the day thanks to the sterility of a concrete and glass airconditioned building. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or not, but I’m sure as hell blessed in many ways because there are so, so many people out there who’re exposed to the rather harsh elements of nature, when she decides to be at her harshest, and otherwise. So I cannot complain. Not just yet.

I can, however, get back home and throw my bag and rush to the fridge to see what I can wrangle out to take on the weather. More often than not, that would indicate getting my hands on a cold bottle of water I can have the pleasure of sipping till my teeth go numb or hurt. To digress ever so slightly, do you also think that cold water doesn’t really really quench your thirst as much as regular temperature water does? I love cold water, I do. But I think it’s that perfect mix of regular and cold temperature water that hits the spot. That’s all one really ever needs.

But today, I decided I wanted this.

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Banana milkshake.

Of course, I’m never really just satisfied by adding two and two together to get what I want. When it comes to food, I like it all. And I don’t believe in ever holding back. I frankly find it most (almost) apalling (if I may use the word) when I’m told I “shouldn’t” have a certain thing. It’s like not knowing what “little butter on my toast” ever means. Smidgens of melted butter on your fingers while you eat buttered toast, now that I know. :D In this case, I’ve heard a million times over that bananas and green grapes are perhaps the most avoided fruits if you wish to lose weight. I’m sure there are reasons why such nasty things are said about these fruits.

But today warranted a banana milkshake and so nothing but a banana milkshake would do. Also, much to my horror (or fortune), I happened to open the freezer (in retrospect, I wonder why) and find and almost empty pack of ice cream that was left open. Now we know what happens to ice cream in open packs in freezers. So, I took it as a sign and emptied that into my blender jar as well. There. I’d done it. In there was banana, milk and now ice cream…watcha gonna do now calorie killer?

Needless to say, I added that chocolate sauce on it because I wanted it to look purrrty. I have absolutely no regrets. I feel most refreshed, alive and recharged. I think my body needed that and so it had that. I figure I could, if I ever decide to have the K words, keep small little surprises waiting for them in the fridge when they get back from school. This is perhaps the one and only time I’d think of something like this not because I’m dying to have them or get married or what have you, but because banana milkshakes always, always remind me of summer mornings we’d be served large glasses of them by my masi (aunt) back in Delhi. Summer treats. Special summer treats, always.

In this case, I’ll assume the K is my K brother for now. Because I know he’d whoop around on finding his share in the fridge, this evening. Small joys.

Holi

17 Mar

Today is Holi and I came to know that it’s one of the biggest festivals of the year, today. It’s strange when you stay so far away from a place that’s home, in the root sense of the word. I still haven’t discerned which is home; whether I’m from the north or south, but I’d like to believe that I’m an awesome mix of both, with a lot of me leaning towards the North-Indian side, in the root sense of the word, like I said earlier. I don’t know if that made any sense, because it sure as hell didn’t make any sense to me.

So today is Holi, one of those festivals we usher spring and summer (I guess) in with. There’s a lot of colour, water and food involved, of course. Memories of Holi, back when I lived in the north, were laden with it all beginning with that essence of it in the air. One just knew Holi was around the corner. And then we had quite obvious (and most often obnoxious) signs of a festival with loud speakers everywhere, with an effigy erected at almost every junction, to be lit at the eve of Holi to signify the triumph of good over evil. I don’t know much about the mythological aspect of this festival and maybe it’s time I read up about it. But since I’m so far removed from it, I feel like I’ll be excused for not knowing. :D

Holi was always welcomed in by our verandahs stocked with cans of oil, bags of ingredients and a large stove at the corner where I remember my paternal grandmother spending almost all her time, dishing out magical goodies after magical goodies. I don’t remember seeing her get up from there as she produced sweet and savory treats for the entire household, family, friends and neighbours, perhaps. That was a lot of cooking. It wasn’t me, it’s my genes. I blame my family. I blame them for throwing me head-on into this blissful world that completes my life so beautifully.

We’d always wake up before the sun to get an oil bath before we head out to watch the effigy ignite. And once the sun was up, we’d be out, laden with powdered colours, water guns, water balloons and buckets that didn’t ever speak of drying up. Balloons got thrown at each other, colour got splashed when you weren’t looking and there was never really a sign of stopping. We’d go back in to recharge with all that had been prepared over the days that led up to Holi, unwashed hands, too nonchalant because we’d race to go back to the terrace and keep the spirit of the festival going. The baths thereafter were painful, except we got bathed by our mothers, or aunts. So it wasn’t half bad.

The last time I celebrated Holi, if I can call that a celebration, because I stayed cooped up inside the grilled balcony of my uncle’s friend’s house, was in 2011. Here’s the thing with Holi; the more you hide or act coy about not “getting dirty”, the dirtier you’re bound to get. So you might as well throw your hands up in the air and ring in the spirit of this festival, with fists full of colour, while you’re at it. The great thing about Holi is the bhaang, a preparation made from cannabis leaves, that one gets to have, if you’re old enough to do so. I’ve never given it a try but rest assured, if I do get the chance to celebrate Holi back up north again, I will give that more than just a try. :) Why must one stray from the norm, right?

Here, in Bangalore, there are almost no signs of Holi. We had work as well, today. So, there’s no wonder I was oblivious of its arrival. Perhaps it’s a good thing because the festival really has begun to become dirty over the years and I’m quite glad to be away from it. As time progressed, Holi took a back-seat and wasn’t one of those festivals I really looked forward to. It’s not Diwali and only Diwali that I love so dearly. But, having said that, and keeping in mind the gene pool that I’m blessed with, I came back home to get a few things ready for Holi, because it’s the done thing. In my head, at least.

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I managed to make namkeen mathri (savory crisps), shakkar paare (sugar crisps) and gudd chawal ki kheer (rice and milk pudding seasoned with palm sugar), which was a first since I’ve never really ventured into the territory of rice kheer before. I feel happy. Because no matter what or where I’ll be or under what circumstances, it’s heartening to know that certain things remain the same. And that’s the beauty of tradition I thrive on because it happens, almost unknowingly. Things get passed on, unconsciously.

Holi will always remind me of sitting with my grandmothers and watching them cook. Sometimes, all you need is to just be there. The rest sort of takes care of itself. It really does. And memories supersede religion. Almost invariably. And so comfortably. There’s no doubting the power of associations, memories and experiences. They catapult us to places we’d never dream of. In the best ways possible, in this context. :)

I hope you have a lovely festival and a beautiful year ahead.

And here’s what I would dance to, today, even though this isn’t a track pictured on Holi. Turn it up, as always. :) ;)

Sinful Saturday

16 Mar

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Adrak chai (ginger milk tea) on a Friday and Saturday are much savoured by the over sensitive caffeine me. It’s something I look forward to minus the worry of having to toss and turn in bed for most of the night. But, as much as I love the idea of it, I think the turn in weather has brought about some changes as well. It’s slowly time to keep them hot beverages aside for a summer afternoon and reign in that blessed cold coffee. Well, that is what I’ve been craving for, for a bit now.

In between catching up on Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Downton Abbey, the craving made me head all the way to the grocery store in order to get whatever I needed my dose of weekend cold coffee to have. It was sumptuous and a tad bit sinful as well. I’m not complaining. I never really complain about sinning over food, really. What can I say, I’ve been converted and have moved over to the other side before I even knew it.

So there it was, and it was quite the welcome break from that cup of hot tea. Of course, this can only ever be a weekend affair thanks to that over-sensitivity I was talking about. Also, I don’t think I can afford to sin on an everyday basis. :D Plus it was pasghetti time again this weekend, so it was sin written all over my Saturday. Sumptuous sinning. :)

The visit to the grocery store also had me pick up this new series of ice cream bars called Magnum that I’ve been hearing the rounds of. Have you had them before? They’re supposed to be more chocolatey and rich, is what I heard. I gave them a try. And I don’t think I’ll be trying them anytime soon again. For one, a single bar cost me 85 bucks. It was a chocobar. After having paid anywhere between 5-25 bucks on a chocobar all my life, I think this was too rude a shock to me. Why was it 85 bucks? Because the chocolate coating around the vanilla bar is thicker, for sure. Also, the vanilla bar in itself is so much more rich and creamier and therefore, thicker.

My brother tried the chocolate truffle one and said it was all chocolate and lots of it. If that’s your bar of chocolate, then go for it. Having grown up on chocobar and having so many associations with it, I wouldn’t rate this one too high. It’s like paying excessively for something you’re so fond of, except it isn’t really the thing you’re so fond of. Toying with a consumer’s idea of associations and concept of brand is quite a tricky lane to go down on. For the company that tried doing it, I hope it works for them because really, nothing for me could ever beat a simple chocobar. I really could do without the richness. I’d save that for a more sumptuous dessert than a bar of ice cream. Besides, the vanilla bar inside tasted more milky than vanilla-y to me. Fail.

Give it a try. Maybe I ought to try the other flavours as well. But if the simplest of them all made me feel this burdened with unnecessary richness in a time when I would like lighter dessert options, I’m a bit wary of trying the more decadent ones. After all, chocobars and their other counterparts always bring back memories of waiting to hear the ringing bell of the mobile ice cream cart on your street, of running over to the ice cream guy and buying whatever your mind fancied, even if it was that orange/mango iced candy bar that so sealed the deal almost every summer afternoon. It’s hard for anyone to replace that which is so etched in one’s memories of something as deeply set as childhood.