Monday, December 10, 2007
I was telling a friend about my plans of my 9imaginary) London trip, and she tells me this. 'Do what ever else you want. Do NOT miss is washrooms at Harrods.'
And no, my friend is not a curator at this museum. Perhaps a good career plan B?
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
RF 1) I dont have precious goals. And that's why I am stuck in grad school. Trying to buy some time before I figure what that precious goal I am not going to achieve anyway is. (Come to think of it, why bother now).
RF 2) I am going to leave all this and go become a housewife right after I finish this post.
RF 3) I am your rodent expert. You need to catch a rat by its tail and fling it into space, call me.
RF 4) My sister has a little mouse in her house.. ( is it just me or does this line have 'innuendo' potential?)
RF 5) I was never good at English comprehension. So RF about me can sometimes change to RF about others.
RF 6) I have a moustache which I have to 'remove' every few weeks. I also have super bushy eyebrows. But I don't care. I keep them that way as a style statement. (HA!)
RF 7) Right now, there's a frog on my desk
RF 8) I lie. Sometimes/often/frequently. Especially on my blog.
Eight people to tag, eh?
RF 9 : I dont know more than 4 people in the blog world.
So let me tag them.
Psychopaths on my blogroll, kindly do the needful.
And if you do,
Here are the rules for the Eight Random Fact Tag game:
- Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
- People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
- At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
- If you fail to do this within eight hours, you will not reach Third Series or attain your most precious goals for at least two more lifetimes.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
Anyway, the rabbit stealthily moved across the patch where I keep my potted plants, inspected most of them and turned them down... what do you expect, he's American.. won't eat a mirchi plant..
He finally zoned into one spinach plant which I had planted into the ground.. A was about to shoo him away, but bunny-ji took a bite at one of the leaves, turned his nose up..(I think he made a face too) and ran away out into the yard, probably looking for some chips.
Maybe I should grow some lentils for him..and chase him around the yard a little more..proteins zindabad.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Even though A and I come from the same kinds of background and we are almost related, the differences between his family and mine are shocking. Not to say that one is better than the other, but both are well, different.
On paper, the only difference between his family and mine, is that his parents have two sons, while mine have two daughters. Now I know what you might be thinking, yes, the sons must be spoilt brats, and we girls must be the angels.. well, thats hardly the case.
My family is full of drama. We scream, shout, argue, even threaten to kill each other every few hours. I was the island of peace in my family, but I too, would flare up every once in a while. Mostly, I would resort to whining and crying. Mincing words is not our forte. We tell it like it is. And did we mention we fight? yeah. A lot.
A's family on the other hand...well, when I was at his place in India right after our wedding, that was probably the first time I saw such a family.. no one argued, no one fought, everyone was lovey dovey to each other. Someone raised his voice, but that was because the mixer was running and the others couldn't hear him. It was like I was in the families you would see in your community living books when you were a kid.
As wonderful as they are, they are surely making it hard for me to adjust. Good gosh..this is just too hard. I need to vent, I need to pick a fight...
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Perhaps,writing it might be a better idea than writing 'about' it. No?
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
I think Urmila has a voice. She can match steps with Asha Bhosle, and has a voice that actually matches her persona. And well, she' is doing something besides her patented scared kitten act.
So enjoy this piece, as I continue trawling youtube.
Friday, May 11, 2007
I wonder if the confused ParleG tot's picture was taken when she walked in on the workers in the factory in Parle (E)... now it does make sense to me...
Incidentally, the real thing is seriously yummy...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Anyone who has owned a fish tank knows that it is extremely unhygienic to throw water from that bowl into someone's face ( that too, when the persons mouth is slightly open). I mean, where do you think the fish do their 'business'? Right in the tank itself! And its one thing when the fish are in lakes rivers etc, where water continuously flows somewhere, diluting the crapand breaking it down. In here, its just sitting there.. decaying.
Moreover, given the small size of that tank and the overcrowding by those helpless little fish, the tank is probably more shit-filled than any other tank on the planet.
Sheesh! And we are supposed to think this is romantic. How about putting your lovers face down in a toilet bowl for romance's sake?
Well, if you think I'm paranoid, I wonder what you'll have to say about the man who threw out one full gallon of freshly boiled water because he saw an ant floating in it...
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Disclaimers: This is a completely materialistic piece. I am in no place to give you 'shaadi ek samjhauta hota hai advice.. more experienced people like your parents, I am sure, are drilling it into your heads already.
A was equally, if not more involved in the wedding preparations when it came to things like the decorations, the menu the invitation colours, and the words that go into the cards. While I am writing about it, he deserves more credit for doing some of these things, and therefore helping me keep a cool head, and enjoy the whole thing a little more..
So here goes..
One year before the wedding happened, the planning began, I told my parents that I wanted a small wedding, with just a few close relatives. Well.. that is possible if your parents are hermits. But if your mom's contacts are so far and wide that she 'randomly' meets someone she knows and with whom talks for an hour, not only in the local vegetable and fish market but also at Niagara Falls and on the train going from Philly to New York, the head count of your 'close relatives and friends' easily tops 400.
At first, a June wedding was planned, but then hacked down thanks to the fear of monsoons ruining the wedding and the guests outfit. The only time we could mark out of our busy schedules was December, and I wanted the wedding to be as late in December as possible. So the last 'auspicious' day in Dec was picked as our wedding date.
The venue, was one thing I was adamant about. I did not care about anything else in the wedding (well, except who would be the groom) . Not my clothes, not the food, not 'how long the ritual should be'. But I wanted to get married close to my house. Why? Well,because its convenient. The bride has to do more make up and things than anyone else at the wedding, so it is better that the venue is close to the bride's place.
Hiring people for the wedding arrangements:
Also, we could pick and choose whichever beautician that was close to the venue, and that way, I could get ready at her salon than at the wedding hall, where invariably something or the other is either forgotten or misplaced. Also, since the beautician was in the same locality as we lived in, we knew her and 'had seen her work' at other weddings. In fact, I decided up on my make-up lady by chance. My cousin looked fabulous in her wedding and I told my mom that I'd like to have the same lady do my make up. No surprises here, the lady turned out to be someone my mom knew personally, and readily agreed to do it ( at full price of course). Book your people well in advance. Since Dec is a rush hour for weddings of people who live abroad, these people get booked really fast. If you have a December wedding, I would say, get everyone in line by September.
A note on hiring 'friends and relatives' to do your make up, mehendi and other arrangements. NO. NEVER. Unless you know that they are completely professional, and will charge you the full amount for the work they do. Don't let the budding make up waali in the family take over your wedding and ruin it for you. You don't want to look like a pie has been thrown at your face right before the wedding ( Thanks to the fair is beautiful notion, 200 layers of talcum powder is sometimes the choice of some 'budding' artists). AVOID.
While on make-up. If possible, go to the department stores or your local CVS, and pick up the foundation that is the correct shade for you. Brands like L'oreal etc have a wide range of shades in their foundations and you are sure to find the one that is best for you. They are generally at the same price in India, and so buying them here and then taking them to your makeup lady is a good idea. Consult her and your mom and if you think that is a good match for you, use it. Often the makeup ladies have the perfect shade for you..(Mine did) but it never hurts to go prepared.
While I was in the US, I spent days looking at pretty outfits from Benzer and Seasons , and decided that I'd be buying at least one of my outfits from one of these two. Decide what you want to wear at your wedding. IMHO, a saree is better than a lehenga ( if lehenga isn't your traditional wedding outfit) because it lasts for ages longer and is a lot more easier to fold and keep away. It does not require specific alterations and can be handed down from generation to generation, and will still fit you even if you get fat. ( not that that should ever be the reason why you pick it.) However, I still wanted a lehenga type outfit for one of the wedding days, and that's why I used to surf the two websites endlessly.
Next came the wedding cards. If someone in your family is good at pataoing people, you can actually get sample wedding cards from the potential card makers you are going to engage for the wedding. My MIL, the queen of negotiations, had about 10 samples sent to us in the US. From these we picked the one we liked. However, the card inserts for those particular cards weren't of good quality. So we got the cards printed from another place, which could offer us a huge discount on them.
The unexpected 'event' you think is going to fall flat on its face..but doesn't:
Of course, I wanted a get together with all my family members, so we would not have to go out and meet each and every one before the wedding. My mom conveniently converted it into a 'sangeet' . Now a Maharashtrian sangeet is something I had never ever thought would be possible. My mom 'recruited' a budding Saroj Khan in the family, and then promptly fired her because she was getting pushy.(ref: note about hiring relatives..) She then hired a 'band' , which was essentially the kinds that plays 'bhaavgeete' and 80s Hindi music in an attempt to be hip. I was scared, but didn't tell my mom that.. she had way to many things on her mind already, and she was just following tips people were telling her..
The shopping for relatives' gifts, parents outfits etc was going to be done by the parents. My sister went to India 10 days before I did so that she could help out, while we were busy enjoying our lives in the US. (whatever that meant)
When we finally boarded our flight to go to India to get married.. it felt weird, since we already knew each other so well, that we had become each others' support when either would get jittery about the wedding.. ( well, mainly I was the one who'd tend to go jittery, but that is the way I am.)
In flight, and on the airport, I typed away at something, I was expected to submit before returning to the US, and all the wedding things completely escaped me. But it finally hit home when we landed in Mumbai, and were welcomed by the parents. The minute I landed, my mom pulled out all the shopping she had done...and went over it..as I saw her it struck me. I was going to be married, and there was no time to be the coy bride. (thank god for that) Things needed to be done. Outfits needed to be bought, and accessorised. The biggest advantage I had was that I lived in the middle of the city that had become India's largest shopping mall.
And so the journey began..
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
If you are a CNN junkie like I am, you know by now the latest weird news getting a lot of coverage...is about no coverage. Specifically with America's favorite Chinese Import after Yao Ming...Pandas. Exposed. Uncovered. Its...
Yes you read right, Panda P0rn. Apparently male pandas do not give any bhaav to their doting female counterparts. The females too, are horny just 3 days in a year. So there is a very very short window of time for anything really to happen. I cannot believe how boring their lives must be 362 days of the year.Well, since we all want the adorable beings around, a LOT of effort is put into getting them to get it on. Kaya Kalp Sex clinics were considered as an option. Even the famed diamond shaped blue pills were used. But those, ( truth) actually kept them aroused TOO long.
Finally the fine doctors at the Zoo have 'nailed it' with Panda P0rn.
Apparently, screening videos of 'how-to-do-it' complete with sound actually got the Pandas to do their stuff and the Zoo has had one the most successful breeding programs in history. What's next...simple videos of other pandas getting it on will soon bore the discerning pandas and they will demand more risque fare with perhaps a storyline. Here are some plots / ideas that were discussed.
1) A campaign with girl pandas pandering to boy pandas basic fantasies with a montage of several furry ones dressed in Victoria's Secrets' latest line " Bare-y Beary Sexy" lingerie.
2) " Girls Gone Domesticated"...girl pandas on spring break flash their paws and what not under the influence of drugged dumplings.
3) Finally - featuring porn superstar Chunky Panda. A collection of movies with lots of sexual innuendo and 'sarkaaylo khatiya' type songs. Sample movie lines, (bowchickabowwow music in the background) Girl Panda : " I just want to chew on your bamboo...your loooong, haaaarddd bamboo..."
Hahhaha...I wish I could see your expression as you read that...
New Update: Our source in LA...Agent Sue reports: "There is this new 'escort service' for pandas looking for a quick ... err...quick Duck..."Panda Express"
* nudge-nudge-wink-wink* .
Monday, April 30, 2007
put quadrupled as a 'increased big time' kind of a figure)
I couldnt figure out why. My darkest fear is that my secret identity has been discovered and all the people whom I have ever bitched about here are looking through my blog for incriminating evidence.. well, my fears were calmed and then calmness turned to ecstacy as I discovered I had been linked by none other than Desipundit.
Ohhh the delight. I felt like I was on top of the earth. Better yet, I felt like Rakhi Sawant who was wearing a Manish Malhotra creation reserved only for the likes of Rani Mukherjee and Kajol. I could not contain my emotions, I too, shed bucketloads of tears.
After struggling for ages, writing trite posts about making Sabudaana khichdi, and disappearing men, and some undiscovered gems ( in my opinion) like the Avastin Lucentis debate, it was finally Bigg Boss ki Rani Rakhi Sawant who helped me climb the ladder of blogging success.. being linked on Desipundit.
Of course, fame hasn't gone to my head, and I will still remain married, and I still want to have kids.. but thanks sweetie, you made me realise what Rakhi really felt when she got that fateful call from Kjo.
There were three reasons why we chose DirecTV and the Star line-up against the Dish and Sony etc line up.
Well, MTV Desi is now dying a deserving death, and KBC is all wrapped up for now. So all I was left watching was KWK. Well, after show after show of boring, diplomatic, mutual admiration club sessions,ALL my money put into getting DirecTV was finally redeemed by none other than Rakhi Sawant.
I did not know much about Rakhi Sawant, except for the Mika issue, and his wierdly catchy 'Pappi' song, and of course, her countless mentions on the show itself. But this fantastic interview of Rakhi and her mother was enough background information to get me interested in Rakhi's interview with Kjo.
As expected, Rakhi delivered the most entertaining shows of all time. KWK 1 included. This was probably the only show where tears were shed.. in bucketloads. Rakhi admitted to having several personal problems, and was unable to contain her emotions about the recognition she received after 'Bigg Boss' and her KWK appearance..Though the rona dhona wasn't the entertaining part, it surely made the show more credible and real than Rani Mukherjee's diplomatic bullshit.
Revelations like 'I have experienced the casting couch' , and priceless statements like ' jo bhagwaan nahi deta, woh doctor dete hai' ( in a reference to plastic surgery and Botox) were made. At the same time though she was respectful and grateful to Kjo for having her over and showed a lot of class and honesty by stating that she admired Mallika Sherawat not once, but twice.
She even admitted that she has a music album out in spite of lacking a half decent voice. Surprisingly, she even had a few good things to say about Mika.. ' he has a good voice, he makes good music.. why does he need to resort to the 'kiss' for generating publicity'? Makes sense to me.
Her answers did not look fake or rehearsed. And Rani and Kareena have made it so easy to spot those kinds. (Though she should really drop the main sach hi bolti hoon crap.. theek hai, aage bolo types..we don't need it to be hammered into our heads constantly.)
As Sakshi said, Rakhi was the only reason Rahul Roy and Carol,who? got to 'park their lame butts' on Kjo's couch. (And hey, she already has her own review up.. a fellow fan I see..) And rightfully, Kjo did not give them too much time on his coveted couch. For the first time, there was only one contestant in the rapid fire round, and there were two rapid fire rounds, one janta ki adaalat and the other Kjo's own homegrown questions.
The best part was that Kjo himself seemed to be enjoying the show after a long time. I don't think the man has laughed so heartily ( non-cattily) on any other shows so far. And wierdly enough, there wasn't a single bitchy remark. All of Rakhi's humor was self deprecating, which showed that it was possible to be entertaining without being personal to anyone. Of course, Rakhi had to add a some 'raunch' to the interview. For example, when asked which men she will take on a deserted island , and what she will do to them, she named them and just said.. aur kehne ki zarurat hai kya? (wink wink). Which sent darling Kjo into peals of laughter. I don't think any of Kjo's other guests might have had the guts to say something like that.
Well, I hope Kjo helps Rakhi find a good PR person, and introduces her to the word diplomacy, which does become important after you have scaled the first fews steps on the success ladder. But for now, I sincerely thank Rakhi for delivering an entertaining no hold barred interview that made Kjo's show worth watching once more. Perhaps Kjo's other guests should learn from her and find humor in their own lives than take pot shots at others. ( I'm talking to you, Jaya Bachchan..Man on a mission Vivek Oberoi, it seems. The statement was fine,lady.. if only you hadn't smirked at the end. hmph. Thoda to restrain dikhao.)
Oh well, next week we are back to goody goody John and Bips. Well, they are a sweet couple, and 'edgy' compared to vanilla Rani, so I guess it shouldn't be so bad.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Review Express(Updated) : 10/10 . The best Indian restaurant in Buffalo.
Update: May 2 2007.
After reading this post, I started craving a good dosa myself, and decided to give Palace of Dosas another chance. And boy, am I glad I did.
Palace of Dosas has improved by leaps and bounds. When we visited the place today, we were seated almost immediately, handed the menus at the same time AND had glasses of water from the start..The food is now so good, that it can easily call itself the best Indian restaurant in Buffalo.
The food actually tastes like its 'homemade', unlike the chicken pieces in Campbell's soup that are passed off as 'Chicken Tikka Masala' and deep fried drumsticks that are called 'Chicken Tandoori' by some other restaurants.
A certain Tamilian had once told me that their sambar was 'awful' as it had too much daal in it. Looks like they listened to that lady. The sambar today was a lot better. ( Even though I had liked the sambar last time too..) and actually had drumsticks! (The vegetarian kind). I don't even know what drumsticks are called in the US, and where you get them.
The service this time around was a LOT better than last time, in fact it was better than any other Indian restaurant in Buffalo, except probably 'my friend Jalandar..same Jalandar' at Taste of India on Sheridan.
So, Go to Palace of Dosas, and eat healthy (?!) vegetarian food.
हम बेचारे Buffalo वासी have been waiting for a good dosa place for a long time. So far only one place in the whole town offered dosas, and they weren't good ones.
So finally when Palace of Dosas put up its sign, everyone in town was very excited about it . People talked about the place over brunches(?), in the local Indian store, and on campus.
But of course, anything Indian has to work on IST. So about 7 days after the 'grand opening' sign went up, PD opened its doors to customers.
We visited the restaurant on Thursday, and as expected it was crowded. And understaffed.
When we go in, there is no sign at the entrance of the place if we should grab a table or wait to be seated, so we wait. And wait.
( Now there is a lot of waiting in this post, so if you dont have the patience to go through it, I dont think you are going to be able to stand PD either)
After a while, the waitress finally comes to us and flicks her hand in the direction of the worst table available. Of course, we don't want to sit there, so we ask if there is another table. She scowls and tells us that's where her boss told her to put us. We decide that that lady is a little crazy, and wait anyway.(At this point, we were a little shocked by how much we wanted those dosas.) We wait another 5 minutes before she waves her hand towards another table. And of course, forgets to give us the menus.
Another 20 minutes pass. A guy with a smile brighter than Sanjaya Malakar's asks us if we are ready to order. Blood boils. Voices rise. ' We have been here for 20 minutes and we don't even have a menu. How do you expect us to order?!' 'Oh sir, sorry sir', says Malakar. And gets us the menus.
Since we know exactly what to order, (One medu vada, one plain dosa, one mysore masala dosa, and two lassis) , things become a lot smoother hence forth. Our orders arrive in less than 5 minutes of ordering.
Surprise Surprise. The food is good. I have never seen an oil soaked dosa before, and the sambar has more daal than regular sambar, and it a little sweet, but tastes good. And the chutney is yum. It is the green coconut chutney, which I love. And the right amount of spicy, balancing the sambar. The vadas are fresh and not bad either.
The food is also inexpensive. The vadas cost us $3.25, the plain dosa $4.95, and the lassis $1.95 each. I cannot remember the Mysore Masala Dosa price, but its in the same range. Total bill for 2 : $ 20.40..
M and A, I would certainly recommend going to this place, but please keep your expectations a little low, and order the very basic things, and you wont be disappointed. I think the owners weren't expecting so many dosa crazy people in Buffalo, and so are short on staff, and believe it or not, potatoes. Needless to say, please don't order Navratan Korma and Alu Palak there.
( Side Note: I have always wondered why South Indian places have North Indian dishes and vice versa...its like having Chinese dishes on the menu of an Italian restaurant.
Palace of Dosas is located at 656 Millesport Highway in Amherst,NY )
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Well I like to play by the book. Especially when cooking. And there are a few books whose recipes I never ever mess with. One of them is 'Perfect Recipes'. The recipes in this book aren't exactly perfect, but is an encyclopedia for me. It is a book my grandfather gave me when I first came to the US, and I use it almost everyday. More than for new and exotic recipes, I refer to it mainly for the age old tried and tested recipes, just to check if I am missing out any ingredients as I cook.
So today I made sabudanaa khichdi. I used only the ingredients specified, though probably not in the same proportions. ( For me, cooking has never been about proportions, but more about timing and figuring out what to do next based on the smell and appearance of whats cooking)
The recipe called for the following ingredients
Sabudaana 200 gms
Jeera 1 teaspoon
4 hot chillies, chopped finely
1 small potato, finely sliced, such that each slice is almost translucent
1 palm full of peanuts. The original recipe uses ground peanuts, but since my mixer was in the dishwasher, I used peanuts coarsely smashed by my cutting board.
Things to be done beforehand:
Wash the Sabudaana and leave them aside for 5-6 hours before actually starting to cook.
Once that's done:
Heat 1 capful of oil in a pot
Add the chillies and jeera and keep turning them around in the pot till you can smell the roasted jeera.
Add the potatoes and keep occasionally turning till you can see that the potatoes have softened and become translucent.
Add the peanuts and keep going for a couple of minutes.
Then add the star of the dish, the saabudana.
Turn, turn turn. Occasionally.
If you think it's too dry sprinkle some oil, but no water please!
Add salt and sugar.
Garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot. Eat. Appreciate.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I cannot believe it. Just at the start of this week I was happy for no reason after my return from Florida. The sunny weather had made me irrationally upbeat. Like corn popping in the popcorn machine I was jumping about at work and at home, ready to take on anything thrown my way.
But today...I am back to the slow, feet dragging, pachydermish pace of doing things that I dread. How do I accomplish the emotional equivalent of kicking myself in the butt?
Options presented:1) Kick myself in the butt. Not very tempting. Would rather kick someone else. Not viable.
2) 10 Minute Yoga....
oh gawd...I cannot even complete a simple blog post. Something is really wrong with me.
This takes place between Lunch Time and Go Home Time.
Chumky Monkey Stares at screen.Chumky Monkey stalks people on Orkut.Chumky Monkey chatters with colleagues. Chumky Monkey gets minimal work accomplished.
Chumky Monkey is certain there is a terrorist in our group. That could be the only explanation for the extreme boredom and laziness she feels.
Chumky Monkey decides to take things in her own hands. She drives to QuickChek. Browses numerous aisles...ah there it is....right by Mikes Hard Lemonade. BLAK. Fusion Carbonated Coffee Drink. Yum.
The following takes place between QuickChek and Back to Work.
Chumky Monkey kills terrorists in the brain by gulping entire bottle of Blak in one shot. Parking Lot bevdagiri. Sort of. Uhm...weird.caffeine.takes.over...
Chumky Monkey cuts off evil 16 yr old kid who didn't hold door open for her in the shop. Laffs in his face. Accelerates to 25 mph ( Chumky Monkey is just high, not stupid so will not push the limits).
Back at work.Types out most random blog entry at a break neck speed. Bitch slaps colleague who dares enter her cubicle territory. Takes a moment to think of her Heros - Hanuman & MONKEY.
Back to being productive!!! I hope it lasts for a minute atleast.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
As I'm pret sure most of u r 2, d sms style o ritin gets 2 me. I cant even do it really. I take a min at least 2 send Sqrl a txt msg and 5 secs after hitting 'send' i get a reply frm her. Since Sqrl has free txting, she does not think 2wice b 4 making me pay cents on every incoming and outgoing msg. Well in India whr ppl r butbutbuting on d r phones all d time, the abbrevs r worse.
I don't mind a few abbrevs. But PLEASE. CUM is NOT an acceptable substitute for come. No. It. Will. Not. Do. As disgustingly hilarious the outcomes are, it is just wrong and you end up making a fool of yourself. ACTUAL Samples :
" wen r u cumin?"
" Let me take taxi so dat I can cum faster"
" cum on""cum fast"
" hey am working 4 news channel dats y it cums naturally"
Sqrl tries to censor me when I post such stuff, but hey...cum on!!!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
In any case, the conversation that leads up to the vanishing, is sometimes interesting, and reveals a part of my personality unknown until now ( Oh well, not to me, but you) .
So I'd like to share, ever so often, my conversations with vanishing people.
At the supermarket:
I am walking in an aisle, looking for the best cereal General Mills has to offer.
A booming voice asks me: 'What are you so angry about?'
I look up, the voice belongs to a surprisingly small man, who looks even smaller in the North Face laadi paav jacket he's wearing.
'Who me?' I ask in my most surprised tone.
Petite man with woofer in throat surprises me even more.
'Hey, hey! Don't get mad. Don't beat me up. I'm leaving', he says.
And then vanishes into thin air.
(Well, he actually moved on to the next aisle.)
Part of personality revealed: The lack of choice in breakfast cereal make me hopping mad. Don't mess with me in the cereal aisle.
He was holding something in his huge hands. I could not see what it was.
He asked me in a deep, calm voice. 'Are you really happy with your life?'
My own reaction surprised me. Without missing a beat, I answered with a big beaming smile," Yes, actually I am.'
And the man's smile quivered. I thought I saw a tear drop, but it could have been sweat. In any case, I was breaking this man. Recomposing himself, he asked me, 'Are you sure? Is there nothing in your life that is making you unhappy?'
'No, there isn't! I am completely satisfied with the way my life has turned out until now, and I dont have any regrets. In fact, today might just be the happiest day in my life so far!'
(Confession: Making his smile droop like that made me a little happier than I was before..)
Poof! First the smile disappeared and then the man vanished into thin air. I don't know who he was or even if he was real, but all I know is that I will remember that day, as a day when I realised I was truly happy, and there wasnt anything to worry about.
(Confession: Ok, he didn't really disappear into thin air, he was just trying to sell me some Scientology, but making him vanish made my life sound more interesting.)
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Now while this is indeed an efficient technique to kill all the offensive buggers hiding in your sponges, it is also a fire hazard if the sponge dries while you are nuking it. (Thus warn the people who did the study)
So, is there an alternative way of killing those offensive critters?
Yes, there is.
The answer is your generic pressure cooker.Yes, I know it is a more labor intensive and time consuming method than simply nuking your sponge, but at the same time you can sterilize it without using any chemicals that might be harmful if not completely removed from the sponges before using them in the kitchen.
I am certainly not saying its an amazing thing you should do regularly (while I will), but hey, its a fun way to apply lab know how in the kitchen.
I got the obvious idea while stocking my labware into the autoclave, which works in the exact same principle as the pressure cooker. (ie: 15 psi pressure causes steam to reach 121 C, which sterilizes lab ware efficiently/cooks food much faster)
So I tried this technique on 3 handi wipes and 2 sponges, all put together in a pressure cooker with enough water to submerge the items. Ek seeti bajaao and you are done. As proven in my lab ( kitchen) the items do survive the cooker seeti, and can be successfully re-used after pressure cooking This can be a problem in certain plastics which are heat sensitive. However handi wipes and regular sponges do pass the test. That the sterilization was achieved is of course, assumed, as I don't have a petri dish and an incubator to perform the test at home.
I believe the pressure cooker is also used by several doctors in India to sterilize equipment in places where an autoclave is not accessible and disposable equipment is not easy to obtain.So I don't see why critters in sponges will be able to survive the heat.
Ah.. the joys of balancing homemaking and research..
Friday, March 02, 2007
The one thing I like is that his accents dont sound fake. Apparently he grew up in India, and in fact probably went to the same school as SRK (random gossip insert #1), thus the normal accents.
Hope to see more clips his on youtube...
Yes I still pretend to watch related news, and I know some names, but I cannot tell the difference between irfan pathan and 'i-forgot-his-name-he-looks-like-akshay kumar and (arbit gossip insert #1) apparently is/was dating kami kapde kim sharma.(YES! Yuvraj singh!) In any case, vengsarkar totally looks like a school principal who would love to cane his kids if he had the chance. Apparently his wife recently launched a jewelry store (arbit gossip insert #2). And then there is that speed petrol guy who I'd love to give a haircut (dhoni?). And not to forget Mr.Patil who thinks his beard looks so cool.(he hosts some silly show called wah cricket, which loves to make some random comments about complete non issues) I know dravid, sachin and ganguly, not from their cricket, but from a long time ago, and TV ads.
But now all that might have to change. The maniac in the household has decided to spend some of the hard earned money ($199.95 to be precise) on the world cup package. So I am going to be left with no option but to watch it. Negotiations led to the Thurday 8-10 pm slot still being devoted to ABC, but I might still call another meeting to bargain for CBS Mondays as well. But the maniac has also found a local cricket team, and is actually excited about playing cricket in April ( 40F is not a bad temperature to play cricket, it seems). I am dreading the impending matches during which wives get together and make pav bhaaji while their husbands play cricket..I dont know whats giving me more nightmares. That image or the fact that I will have to go back into the 'i like criket' pretense mode, in front of people.
On the bright side, what is warming me up to the whole cricket jhamela, is this ad.
Even in the ad, its not the cricket, but the song thats doing the job.:) I cant get the words, because the singer gets really garbled once the action starts: but what I get is enough for me to sing it. And it's been my pep song for some very important events that occured in the past week. So I am going to make it my anthem for the coming few months. And who knows, maybe I might genuinely end up liking cricket. (pray pray pray)
The song actually also reminds me of an extremely explosive and bitter debate a few people , regarding the language. Perhaps I shall write more on that later. Benji, are you listening?
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
As a monkey, I have many stupid quirks and irrational thoughts - and I will be the first one to admit that. But this fine Saturday morning I had to face one of my biggest fears and disliked activities - washing plastic containers. This following post has some disturbing 'washing' incidents.
I hate washing plastic. If I had it my way, I would not use plastic containers at all...but it's like an addiction. Its so easy to USE and KEEP stuff in that people forget what happens to it after and abuse it - much like a rental car or a single serving dinner set. What about recycling? What about the poor cows that choke on plastic bags in India? And what about ME who has to wash these containers?!?!?!?You may not agree, but no matter how hard I scrub these things, they always feel slimy. With steel, you can scrub the hell out of the pot to get out the grime stuck on it, but if you do that with plastic, it will only put new grooves in the surface that will hold even more germs and god knows what else. And they won't even clean in that blessing of a device - Dishwashers!!!!
I am a paradox in cleanliness. Over the past few days ( I have lost count ) - I wash the porcelain cups, steel/nonstick pots and pans, glasses and what have you that keep piling in my sink regularly. But today I finally had the courage to tackle the 5 plastic dabbas. Why didn't I clean them? Because I can never really clean them. What kind of stupid logic is that? But that's me.Plus plastic catches the color of the last food item in it - which makes me believe even more that it is a vile vile container. Haldi tinted pasta holders? Hmph!!!
So this is the fate of a plastic container that enters my house. They come through two avenues. 1) Yogurt, etc containers 2) Home cooked food generously and lovingly sent in by my aunts.In the case of 1) these are commercially made cheap dabbas which I do think of saving them for a while and then they lie in the sink for ages and then I finally throw them away because I DO NOT WANT TO WASH THEM!!!
But case 2) is not so easy. These are expensive Tupperware types which the aunts certainly expect me to return if I have to have any hopes of getting any good food from them again. Or I will be subjected to 'Seems like your kitchen is full of our utensils' comments for the rest of time. So I get to washing these after a lot of mental preparation. I put the tap to the hottest possible water temperature, blast the plastic with full force, fill it with enough soap to kill 10 cockroaches ( survive a nuclear attack, ha!) and then let it sit ... to get the dirt loose.Then after even more mental preparation ( more than I need to muster in the dentist's chair before that siiiuuiiiiiinnnnn sound making machine comes on ) I get to scrubbing with so much anger that you can hear the plastic cry for mercy.And then again I blast it with hot water. Chkkachakkk....:D...At the end of all this, if there is still even a line of dirt left, I get so distressed...but at this point, I leave it to my aunts;)
I leave you with a sad riddle:
1) There was a tempting bunch of bananas on the dining table of Patel Auntie the other day. But even as a particularly greedy chumky monkey, I did not eat them. Why?
BECAUSE THEY WERE MADE OF PLASTIC!!!!!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Yes, I am indeed a trendsetter.
Of course, this had to be on an orkut community...and it's a bunch of people deriding each other's English.
A few people 'debating' about an English school play.
a: u did nt understood bcoz it was in english n u ppl don't understand english tats proved....
b: hey u idiots u will not even understand it cauz it was of higher level english u see........
u'll r pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!
c: u ppl think v dunno english, but i felt dat d actrs had 2 catch a train.ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!
My computer crashed as I was spell checking this post...
These people are from my school, which used to be pretty lenient compared to other convent schools when it came to enforcing speaking English during school hours.. but looks like it's time to get the cane out of the cupboard one more time..
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
There is also another reason. I need to see people around me. If people around me seem happy with what they are doing, it makes me feel better, and work better. So the cafeteria/Starbucks become the best options, where people are either stuffing their faces and talking loudly or are busy studying just like me.
As I was thinking of the reason why I find crowds peaceful, I realised that, the reason for this could be the fact that I got most of my undergrad cramming done in a crowded ladies compartment of a Harbour Line local. The chakkas and the fisherwomen are hard to replace, but for now, hyper excited college kids seem to do the job just fine.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
But well, I forgot I married an Indian prince. Well, the prince isn't all that princely except when it comes to the way his T shirts are folded. Apparently the new style I was adopting make the T shirts 'occupy to much space' and so we must now go back to the way our prince likes them folded. So this weekend I was given a tutorial on 'how the T shirt should be folded'. Grudgingly I decided to accept the old way, and so today I folded the T shirts exactly the way I thought the prince liked them.
When the prince came home, I asked him to inspect the pile of shirts I had folded. He took one look and said 'acceptable'. And that's when I knew it wasn't good enough.. the 'acceptable' was followed with, 'but you know how I like it??' and an unfolding and re-folding of the same T shirt.
But it was conceded that I have worked hard enough on the pile and that the T shirts can go in to the drawer for now.. Thank God for small mercies..
Disclaimer: Things aren't that bad.. :) though this is a true account, I must say the prince cooked for me and 4 of my friends this weekend, AND then loaded the dishwasher.. :) As part of my side of the contract I had to fold the T shirts the way HE wanted.. Alas.. I failed :( ( correction.. the post was read by the prince and the failed was converted to 'passing marks'.. aah I am now in heaven)
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
But I wonder: is working in a lab like I do, more physically exerting than a regular 'desk job'? The mental level of exertion is probably the same, but I spend most of the time in the lab standing at the bench, running from room to room for instruments and bench space, lifting huge chunks of ice, (well, did that today, defrosting the stupid old fridge in the lab) and struggling with squeaking wriggling rats that are out to bite me, given the things I do to them. And thus lose more calories 9-5 than he does.
Perhaps I should make a 'the scientist's workout program' DVD and sell it online.. probably will make enough money to buy me lunch for a week.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
There is this road in Edison right...nicely named Mt Pleasant Rd...so since it is a residential area, they have what I call speed breakers - atleast 6 on that one stretch.
Well, you know how in India we have these boards " Drive Slowly. Speed Breakers Ahead."...I guess here the terms change.
So speed breakers are speed bumps.
And since on this road they are not really Bumps, but more flattish elongated elevations on the path, some wise person decided to call them Humps.
EVERY time I go down this road, EVERY time I see the road sign I giggle. Six times in that small path.
*Speed Hump* ( giggle giggle )
Speed Hump /`````\ ( giggle giggle )
Speed Hump /`````\( giggle giggle )
Speed Hump /`````\( giggle giggle )
Aunt to me : What IS wrong with you!!!!!
You dont have to like everything he likes and vice versa. Stop whining and let him enjoy what he enjoys, and use that time to do what you enjoy.
One year and I am already sounding like a veteran of marraige..
Saturday, January 27, 2007
To use these scanners, you have to sign up for one of these scanners and borrow one each time you shop. As you shop, you can scan each item before you place it in your cart and the scanner records the price and amount for the item. When you are done, you go to a special checkout stand where you scan your scanner, and your total bill for the trip is displayed. Pay it as you would normally pay for your bills and you are done!
Almost everything has been thought of. How to scan produce, coffee and other loose items. An audit is built into the system where one of the employees will 'audit' your shopping and help you re-bag your stuff.
I think it is a fantastic idea, which will cut down having to master the task of identifying 'which line moves fastest' at the checkout counter. We signed up for our scanner right away, ( Though after we were done shopping for today, so no review here) and got a cloth bag which fits in the shopping cart free. This can also help eliminate all the plastic bags which litter my kitchen after every shopping trip.
Monday, January 22, 2007
SRK was his usual bubbly self, generally appearing to be friendly with the contestants, until one of them said that he will make a movie with George Clooney with his prize money and that his fav Indian actor is Mahesh Babu. That's when SRK's gigantic ego raised its ugly head. But it was okay as soon as the contestant hastily added that he liked SRK too..
In all, a watchable show,more multi-lingual, interactive and less formal than the original Don's KBC.
But of course, my old grouse with KBC still remained. How the HELL do religious questions feature in a quiz show? Why should anyone be expected to know what form Mahalaxmi took when Vishnu was meditating somewhere as someone else?
In all, nice. enough to make me want to tune in twice a week.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
The story of Don gets justice in Farhan Akhtar's update of the version, thanks to the availibility of a strong base to work on, probaby more cashflow, and most importantly the remarkable strides technology has made in the the nearly three decades that passed. And Farhan Akhtar deserves all the credit for harnessing the potential these three factors had to offer.
So does Kareena, who in my honest opinion does a better job than Helen in 'Yeh Mera Dil'. ( I might be buried alive for saying this.)
Out of the other girls, Isha Koppikar would have been the best jungli billi, but she lacks the billi part.. she's more of a sher. I am sure she can kick Shahrukh's ass for real. I dont think it was the kicking, but the ineffective batting of eyelids that cost her the role.
But what could not be replaced were Pran's desperation and Amitabh's coolness. Sorry Arjun, you're no Pran. And well, Shahrukh you knew you aren't Amitabh, so why bother.
Well, congratulations to the couple I guess, but some people have predicted that the dude's career is going to bomb the way it never has.
Somewhere in a flat in Mumbai, Vivek and Salman are opening a bottle of champagne together...
Knights of Prosperity: Any series that has the words 'randi ka baccha' in its first episode is worth watching once more.
Beauty and the Geek: Clashed with knights this week, but still was curious thanks to the 'BnG' marathon I sat through during thanksgiving break. The annoying desi was kicked out of the show in the first airing itself, but frankly I am quite happy.. I get to see enough of those on campus anyway...
Happy new season:
Ugly Betty. The best persons on this show are Vanessa Williams and her assistant Mark. Total over the top, bad acting eybrow raising. But fun nevertheless.
Waiting with bated breath for:
Grey's Anatomy. WEEHEE! After watching silly fan-vids on Addex and Mizzie I am really looking forward to the real thing.
Update : Good thing I waited, the first episode was good. Especially the say 'uncle' part.
Will have to stay home for :
DirecTV! Like all good desis, we are getting the Hindi programming from DirecTV starting Jan 15. Which means KWK and KBC will then become an integral part of my life.
YaY! It comes today.
Have a feeling that: MTV desi sux big time. Will report on Jan 15th ;)
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Very good performances by all the 5 leads, can be attributed to the director I guess. They all, except Urmila who seems to be repetitive as hell,( I think she has only two looks, sexy babe and scared kitten) actually look like normal manipulative people you would encounter every day. (Though you wouldnt want to..)
The whole movie is shot partly in darkness which adds to the whole depressing/ melancholy mood.
Liked the whole permutations idea and especially the last scene between a Juhi and Sanjay.
Of course, could have done without the pretentious hiphop and salsa dancing, but I guess that would be nit-picking.
Verdict : Loved it.
Up NExt: The original Don
Friday, January 12, 2007
From Ultrabrown , I found a link to the you tube clip of a hit song by Brett Lee and Asha Bhosle... now since the cricket fever hasn't hit me, I have only a faint idea of who the Lee guy is (Persistent attempts at 'enlightenment' by a cricket fanatic). So when I saw this video I couldn't help but laugh my guts out for the whole hour. I sent the link to a girl cricket fan, and she found the video cute, so I guess u have to go in with some background.
The acting seems out of a 5th standard play. ( the guy actually pulls at his hair when he's indicating he's blond :-S) But he IS cute..:) and he actually sings a few Hindi lines too, which makes him cuter, AND apparently bowls at >100 kps. ( Cricket fan input)
Perhaps I should pay more attention to this cricket business..
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Kudos to the man for getting the names (almost) right . Maybe Amitabh Bachchan should walk barefoot AND backwards to Siddhivinayak to pray for Colbert's recovery.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
It is the word Britisher: How is that a word? Apparently it is, because a google search does give its meaning as 'Somone who inhabits Britain'. But if you break it up, it's 'British' with a -'er' suffix. So then is Indianer a word? Or Americaner?
Interestingly, my spellcheck says Britisher is not an error. Perhaps any reader who comes across this word via google knows the origin of the word? Kindly oblige me by informing me the meaning of this word. ( ideal material for another rant)
Friday, January 05, 2007
The top reason is that I fear someone is going to call me and leave me a message saying there's going to be a meteor strike right next to my house and by the time I listen to the voicemail I wont have enough time to save myself.
Another fear is that it's my mom calling and giving me major emo blackmail about not answering her phone calls. (She does it every time, so it isn't really an unwarranted fear)
Maybe it's someone in my lab calling to let me know that my samples have been sitting on the bench for four hours and will be destroyed if I don't freeze them immediately.
It might be someone who loves to drone about what they did today, and asking me to call them back for more.
Well, thankfully, so far I haven't received voicemails for reasons 1 3 and 5, but I am so paranoid that it's going to happen anytime soon that I still fear voicemails.