Cooking Diaries: The disaster

Weekends are generally my turn to surprise my wife and daughter. Today, this is what I made. Khaman Dhokla. Here’s a picture of what was expected and what the outcome was. It spoiled my years of reputation as a cook in my house. This is the worst disaster ever in the kitchen for me.

Cooking Disaster: Khaman Dhokla
Cooking Disaster: Khaman Dhokla

I was trying to multitask, entertain the kid and make lunch as well. And I lost track of time, till I saw smoke coming out of the microwave. The wife burst out in anger, which quickly turned into laughter, when my 2-year-old daughter asked, “Papa, Ye Dhokla Tha?”

This wasn’t the second batch of Dhokla. My wife made the first ones, and my daughter knew what a Dhokla looked and tasted like. It was yummy. Unfortunately, I didn’t click a picture of it.

30 Days of being a father

fatherShe came into my arms a few days before I was expecting her. And the first time, I was very scared to hold her. She was probably fast asleep, and I didn’t want to wake her up. May be she would cry out loud if I disturbed her, and I still didn’t know how to soothe a crying baby. Although I wanted to hold her, I wasn’t sure if I was ready yet.

My wife asked me to bring the baby nearer to her. I was scared, and I tried not to let anyone else know. I hesitated. She smiled and said, “It’s OK. Even I am scared”. And then I picked her up, as slowly as I could, trying my best not to wake her up. And after a few seconds, she was in my arms, still asleep, and that was a feeling which I would never be able to express. And from then on, I realized, I was already ready to be a father.

It’s been a month now. She is doing great. So is her mom. And I am doing great as well, as a father. 🙂

Flower chor!! Flower chor!!

Ah!!! I thought things would have changed. It’s been a long long time that I heard such tales from my Mom. Let’s ponder over the background of the story.

Every Indian house does some form of Pooja, every morning, for which one of the most important ingredient is “Flowers”. The flowers have to be fresh, i.e, freshly plucked. And the most important part is, the collected lot should at-least have 2 varieties of flowers (varying by color or species). The fun starts every morning. If you could fix a big camera over my colony, one could see people getting out of their houses just before the sunrise, with small bags, determined…

Their mission: Collect flowers for Pooja.

Target: Everyone else’s garden.

We also have a few flowering plants inside our compound, and Mom recently noticed that everyday the number of flowers on our plants kept diminishing. And, on other days, she failed to find a single flower for our Pooja on our plants. It was obvious that someone was stealing our flowers. Although we somehow managed to get our share of flowers from other sources, Mom took up the responsibility to catch the erring neighbor and confront them, or may be teach them a lesson.

She needed a partner. And who else would be a better accomplish other than Auntie who was a close friend of Mom. She was on the ground floor, and Mom on the second floor. The plan was chalked out. Everyday, Auntie would try to wake up early in the morning, hoping that she would wake up before the THIEF reached our compound, watch the plants for a few minutes and alert Mom if she saw anything suspicious.

Everyday, Auntie and Mom used to wake up early in the morning, and kept an eye on our plants. Mom, from the terrace, and Auntie through the windows. For the first few days, the thief was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps, he made his errands too early in the morning. After a few watchful days, the thief was finally caught. They were actually two (From the same house, Husband and Wife). To be sure enough before deciding on their punishments, Mom and Auntie wanted to be check that the culprits came and assaulted our plants daily. So, they continued for a few more days, and it was established that the THIEVES actually came everyday and robbed us of our flowers.

The plan: The next time when Mom would see them getting their hands dirty, they would be washed off by a bucket of cold water from the terrace.

But, the idea was finally dropped, considering…

  • The culprits were from our own colony, and we knew them.
  • It was winter time and Mom felt that the punishment would be a bit harsh.
  • We also used to collect our flower lot for the Pooja from our neighbors few years back when we were not the proud owners of a few flowering plants.

Let bygones be bygones

I stay in Bangalore, a thousand miles away from my home, where I spent my childhood. When my mind is blank, and I am not thinking about work or anything else, I ponder over the past. I know those days will never come back, but to even re-live those moments with memories is truly nostalgic.

Recently, there have been a series of power failures in my area. “Damn it!!! @$#%3 @##@$ @#@$”. No other thoughts come to my mind when the lights go off. When it starts raining, I curse the rain gods for the untimely downpours. Everything seems to have changed now.

We used to wait for the power cuts everyday when I was a child. Just before the scheduled power cuts, everyone could be seen getting ready with their snacks, water-bottles and other paraphernalia and walk up to the terrace. Those were the days when I learnt and actually saw the Pole star, the other constellations that we read in our Geography books. We talked about a lot of other things. About animals, birds, the moon and the sky. We talked about school. I miss those conversations. And I am sure that my parents miss that too.

When I was a child, I used to love the rains. I loved getting wet. Everytime it started raining, I made it a point that I had a good excuse before walking upto my Mom, for not using my raincoat. I enjoyed those summer days when it was a routine exercise for everyone to get rid of the mosquitoes every evening by burning mosquito repellants.

We also used to go for a walk after dinner, or played badminton right after our dinner during the winters. The Saturdays and the Sundays had a host of TV programs lined up for us, and everyone had a reserved place for him/her and nobody was late. We had only 1 television set and only 1 channel.

Sundays were really fun, when each vehicle in the house, including my bicycle had their weekly bath.

And now, I let my bike collect all the dust and mud until I give it away for servicing. I curse the mud and the overflowing drains when it rains. I use All-Out/Good Night to drive away those irritating mosquitoes. Even if it’s not raining, I put on my jacket, just in case. I don’t even remember when was the last time I looked up into the sky. I don’t play badminton anymore. I keep on switching from channel to channel and end up watching nothing at all.

Sometimes, I feel sad about all these changes. But, you know what? There’s an saying for everything.

“Let bygones be bygones”

Twenty 10 >>>>>> Twenty 11

YEAR

A few minutes… All those tweets and facebook status updates will become a thing of the past. 2011 is already knocking. I can hear people bursting crackers outside. My phone is already busy beeping. And there’s a lot of noise outside. There’s one guy, who pinged me exactly at 12:00, to wish me. His message read: “HNY”. And somebody is sending me an e-greeting and forcing me view it right away. Mom and Dad called us on my sister’s phone from upstairs to wish us both a Happy New Year. I can see so many people online on Gtalk and Facebook, just like I me, everyone changing their status messages to wish the world. Wow, That’s a great beginning, I guess.

Had I been in Bangalore when the calendars changed, the atmosphere would have been completely different. At-least, it would have been far more noisier than here in Bhubaneswar, though I can hear a few people outside, wishing the world, at their loudest. I would have been among friends. We would also have celebrated yesterday in office. But, being at home, on such occasions is quite a different experience, among the people you have know since you were born.

Remembering the past 2010, it wasn’t actually long for me. Oh, And if I remember correctly, I was in Bhubaneswar 3 years back, celebrating my new year in a similar fashion. I guess, that was in, 2008, Jan 1st. For the 2009, 1st Jan, I was in Chennai. For 2010, I was in Bangalore. Hmmm, That’s strange, seems, like my next new year is designed to be celebrated in Chennai again. 🙁

Well, let’s not think anything about the future yet. It’s party time, enjoy, have fun, get ready to start afresh and be happy. Wish you all, a very very Happy New Year, and may all your wishes be fulfilled.

Talking about resolutions, Ummm….. I don’t have one. If anyone of you already has one, believe me, it never works!!!! So, go ahead, and have a blast. And since it’s a holiday(for most of us), I will enjoy even more. By the way, I am on leave till 12th of January, 2011. YIPEEEE!!!!!