January 4, 2017

How I like my beans.


Parents had few guests coming from native and mom wasn’t keeping too well. So I decided to go there and be of some help. I prepared and served the lunch, chopped onions, marinated chicken and was ready for my next task for the dinner.

 

For me, beans are the regular French beans and I never dwell into the cousins of a known accustomed vegetables. I may have tried, but I don’t think I have ever accepted the taste and feel of a new vegetable post my teens, except for Zucchini. I usually prefer good old familiar vegetables and meats that I was fed during my childhood and I guess it has something to do with my taste buds and loyal nature that is one of my core characteristics, as I like to believe.  

 

Mom, on the other hand, is always excited to put our palate to test. She brings out a bag of weirdly wild broad beans, which I am sure I have never seen before. The procedure to chop it is similar to French beans but these beans are flat, wide and have the biggest bean seeds I have ever seen.

 

She hands me over the bag of beans and I reluctantly spread it out on the kitchen slab. Mom told me to peel the strings from the sides like we usually do for any beans, and then thinly slice the remaining. I started de-stringing one by one and separating them from others. As I started slicing, big chunks of seeds came rolling out of the beans. The seeds were so thick and big in diameter that if you pick up and stare at a slice, you would mostly be looking at the seed and very less of the outer green layer. I know the seeds are part of the whole vegetable, but the sheer size of it made me feel it did not belong there. It was ruining the texture which was otherwise nice flaky and even slices of freshly cut beans.

 

I started removing the seeds from the sliced section, even the pieces that were still attached to the slices. I was almost through with half an hour of slicing 250gram beans, when my mom came back and placed a tight slap on my hand. I was so engrossed in carefully completing my task that I don’t know what shook me the most. My mom slapping me after ages or the sudden noise caused because of the slap. She was staring at the pile of seeds next to the collection of beautifully crafted slices. I knew she had caught me in my act of separating the seeds and from the looks of it, she was pissed. My weapon was taken from me and I was asked to leave the kitchen so she could finish the remaining 500gms in 5 minutes.

 

At the dinner table, I served myself a generous portion of the greens but as I ate, I started feeling restless. The seeds were there in the dish and it looked like a mess. It shouldn’t have been there. It did not belong there. I don’t know if it was my OCD compulsion that was provoked on seeing inconsistency in the dish or my natural aversion towards certain seeds. I don’t eat Peas. I spend good 10 minutes to carefully remove them from Mattar Paneer and Pulao. I have even removed a Pulao Rice stuck on a pea; such is the dislike. My husband and I have one major point of argument. Okra or Ladies Finger. I detest the vegetable only because of the slimy seeds inside.  

 

I looked at my mom who was talking to my dad but quickly shifted her glance on me. I guess she knew what I was going to do as she shook her head with disbelief and closed her eyes to control her anger towards me. The next 5 minutes, I just sat and finished the incomplete task. Towards the end I was satisfied and smiling, admiring my plate with beans on one side and seeds on the other. Now it was time to eat.


January 4, 2017

Things to resolve this New Year


On New Year’s Eve, we look back at the past, and more importantly, look forward to the coming year. It’s that time of the year when we seriously consider bringing in few changes in our lives just after we open our zonked eyes next morning. You welcome the new year and shamelessly say, “I’ll act like a crazy person just this once and then I’ll resolve to do great things henceforth.”

Every year people come up with weird and “obviously-not-going-to-happen” new-year resolutions. Like for instance, a man swearing on his life that every 29th Feb will be made special for his wife. How difficult can it be to remember something once in four years?

Resolutions are meant to be broken like rules but it feels good to say that you have one.every year

 

My list of Top New Year’s Resolutions and how you can keep it.

 

Spend More Time with Family & Friends

Well, who wouldn’t want that now! The real question is – HOW in this career focused superficial world where we are forced to address our co-workers as family and workspace as a second home. Chetan Bhagat once said: “Work Hard, but spare time for your family and friends. Nobody remembers power point presentations on your dying day” Though I am not a fan of Mr.Bhagat, I do still agree with what he says here. So this New Year, spend quality time with your family and friends, go for a vacation, throw a party, have at least one meal together or just take them out for a nice dinner.

Fit in Fitness

“This will be the last piece of chocolate cake. Tomorrow I eat salads.” Remember saying that to yourself? Must have been a million times. Accept it. We not only love food but we passionately adore it. How can we stop eating those delicious fries and tempting brownies when that exactly is the purpose of life!! Eat Drink Pray and Love. Of Course, with eating comes the calories and the fat it creates that denies leaving our body and affects our mind and soul. So what do we do? What may work perhaps is to eat slow and walk fast when a strict diet and workout regime fail.

Quit Smoking

If you have resolved to make this the year you stamp out your smoking habit, I bow down my head with respect. I have smoked and I know how good it feels. I stay away from smokers to avoid the temptation. This is one problem that can be dealt only with self-control. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. Read somewhere that on an average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. In case you hit the nail and finally come out 100% clean, please share. There are many who wants your support to enjoy a smoke-free life and breathe the fresh air they have been missing for ages.

Quit Drinking

Many, a lot of us, use the New Year as a milestone to finally stop drinking. Funny that we resolve to quit drinking when we are 4 pegs down. If you have decided to call it quits and would like to do a favor to your kidney and liver, do not hesitate to seek help when you desperately need one. For some this could be a serious addiction that has almost ruined their personal relationships and health. Do not be shy to consider a rehabilitation center if you are an addict. a step forward would help you eventually run the marathon. For the social drinkers- a) learn to say NO. b) fall in love with the 2 W’s- Water and Wine. 

Get Out of Debt

Your job was taken away in a jiffy and you were left crying like a baby, not only because you are unemployed but you are jobless and in debt. We all go through tough times and sometimes we need more than what we have. When cash is in less supply and needs are surplus, we all tend to borrow. I am myself not the wealthiest of all, or else charity is something I always hope to do. In case you are a spendthrift and perfect for a role in “Confession of the Shopaholic part-2”, let your first spend of the month be on your investments and saving accounts. Plan and have a percentage fixed on what needs to be saved and what needs to be spent.

Learn Something New

Have you vowed to learn something new? Perhaps you are want to enroll in a new course, want to learn a new language or just salsa and jive. Nice.What is the probability that you will stick to it? You know, we have become so accustomed to witnessing changes occurring regularly around us that to continue doing the same thing for more than a month actually leaves, me at least, *sigh* with boredom. Have variations and most importantly, do not follow the crowd. We were made not alike for a reason. We do not have same likes and dislikes or interests. One thing I learned last year and now cherish was to create this website. In today’s DNA, YouTubers are beyond doubt the best teachers. If it weren’t for Tylre Moore and Greg Narayan, alternatecosmos.com would not have come alive. 

Help Others

Awww..! You are my angel. Please stick to this one. Don’t you think our world actually need people like you? A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can have many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at an NGO or just helping out a dear friend, remember, what goes around comes around. Be confident, go ahead and help the society. I know its easy said than done to take time out and work with NGO, but even a small step like opening a bank account for your maid or donating old clothes, vessels and books will give huge relief to those who need it. If you think you went overboard shopping for perishable items, share it with your cook. Do one good deed every day.

Only date the right person

Well, how would you know it’s not the right person until you date them? Stupid Resolution. You cannot plan love. It is supposed to happen and not implement.When you are with the right person, you will know it without a doubt in mind. I won’t discuss this resolution in detail but wish you luck and my best wishes. Just do not regret anything. For the ones looking for casual datings, like how the saying goes- “Save a boyfriend for a rainy day- and another, in case it doesn’t rain.” 

Enjoy Life More

Given the hectic stressful lifestyle, it is no wonder that “enjoying life more” has become a popular resolution in recent years. It is an important step to a happier and healthier you! My tip- you see all the above-mentioned resolutions? Stick to them. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


December 26, 2016

3 Idiots


This is a real life story from my hotel management days. Section D was in kitchen class. All three subjects of this episode were in rice preparation team. The day’s student head chef told them to fill a vessel with water to cook the rice. Three of them took the task upon them and selected a vessel which they then kept underneath the water tap. The tap was turned opened to its maximum capacity to ensure the water came with maximum force.

 

Time was precious so all of them felt this was the best time to speak about their favorite star-Arnold. Good 15 minutes over and the Head chef (after washing the heap of rice all by himself), looked around for the boiling water. Failed to find the water boiling in any of the burner he starts searching for the 3 idiots. There he finds them near the pot wash area, leaning against each other, coolly talking and laughing. The chef storms towards their direction and asks, “evide aada *@&@^@ vellam??” (translation- where the f*** is the water?)

 

One of them barks out: “can’t you see the vessel is still getting filled. What can we do if it takes so much time!!!”

 

Chef looks down and yes indeed the water was pouring, vessel was kept underneath the tap, yet the vessel was empty. He bends down a little and looks closely at the vessel.

Suddenly the class heard the loudest squeal of laughter and everyone starts moving towards the source. Head Chef is sitting down on the wet pot wash, holding his stomach and laughing his heart out. We looked clueless at each other as no one could really figure out what happened and neither would the head chef stop his laughter and say what it was.

After good 5 minutes later, the Head Chef picks the vessel from underneath the tap and hands it over to me.

“Go keep this vessel back on the shelf and get another one. Just make sure this time it is NOT a colander”, said he.


December 26, 2016

DD-Dazzling Diva


In one of my previous organizations I took the liberty to do a write-up on all my colleagues. These are instances in life you seldom or never come across when you are praised for creatively pulling someone’s leg and actually sharing your opinion about them. Yes! That even included my reporting boss and her reporting boss. Some may say it is too cool to be true; I would like to just give credits to my sheer luck.Today I am sharing my views about a person named DD (can’t risk disclosing her name). She is every reason I regret not acing my exams and really ignoring anything which was part of my school curriculum. As she walks down the long stretch in her usual tantalizing way, judgments are passed as to how much this spoiled brat must have spent her dad’s money over saloons and designer wear. Not until you know more about her, your assumptions may take you to places which are far from where she really belongs. Someone rightly said “don’t go by the cover of the book”; however in this case the results are surprisingly pleasant.

 

My first interaction with her wasn’t that memorable. {Mine mostly are never. I am best when I am silent and but ironically in my profession, I am required to talk.} She was in-charge of my induction and I was juggling with the thoughts of whether to open my mouth and act interested or to stare at nowhere and nod as I follow her steps. Within the first fifteen minutes I had already stamped her as “TDSO-Typical.Delhi.Show.Off”. Ironically within the next twenty minutes I lost my jaw as it fell down when she said “I graduated from St.Stephens”. When I finally I found my jaw I realized that the tooth came off as she continued “..and I am a passed out from IIM”. Since I was still recovering from the sudden shock, I could faintly hear the rest “..post which I got into the TAS”.

 

I tried to hide my sudden state of stupor as best as I could but with those three names in her resume, I bet she was smart enough to figure it out. Show off- Duh!!!Yeah Why Not!

 

I think that was the longest interaction that I ever had with her. Sometimes I have nothing to say, most of the time I mind my own business and at other times I just feel observing from a distance is always a far better option than being part of everything. Here is what I observed about her:

 

So we are looking at a woman who is well aware of her worth. She is in love with herself, no two doubts about it.

 

My boss once asked me “Whom do you love the most?”

Me: My Husband.

My boss: Liar. We only love ourselves the most.

 

I was puzzled. I wanted to retaliate and place a valid argument. However as my Libran mind began to fight my own belief, I realized that somewhere he was right. We are the ones we truly deeply really love. If I love my husband the most then it is because he married ME.

 

So if DD is sometimes labeled to be a “smug” & “arrogantly self assured”, I will give her points for being straightforward and real.

 

There is this shield she carries along to challenge anyone who does not know her well. Surprisingly if you win her attention for good reasons, she transforms-from sultry mysterious siren at the bar to a funky tomboy. An adept in numbers and its analysis, this Sagi lass is down to core “desi” with her love for Honey Singh and certain “I take my shirt off no matter what” Khan. Look further and you will see that she has consideration for other’s emotions, a strong belief in facts than fiction and an exceptional focus on what she wants.

 

A Love Fool like yours truly..DD is best when left to be herself and not be judged. I think we all are.