Sunday, October 26, 2008

Getting it just right!

If you are a sloppy cook like me, you would probably relate to this post a little more on a personal level. By sloppy, I do not mean the messy kitchen you leave behind, I mean the I-will-be-there-but-just-not-yet stage your dish ends up in!

There are many ways in which my food doesn't exactly end up tasting as good as it should...or at least smells! Gran ma would say, make sure the onions are fried till they turn golden brown. I will get them to turn golden and impatiently put the next seasoning in, and then wonder why my food doesn't taste like gran ma's! You see, the magic taste was in the onion turning that slight tinge of brown! Problem no.1- diagnosed as impatience!

Then there are times when I carefully note down every step in a certain recipe, including cut bell peppers lengthwise or cut them into square pieces. Recipes collected from known and experienced sources like gran ma and unknown, inexperienced sources like acquaintances in a party! I do exactly what I write down, to the punctuation mark..and yet it turns out either a disaster or a shade brighter than a disaster! When I discussed this with mom..she said, cooking is not in getting things perfectly, sometimes it is the imperfection that gives that extra tease to the palate! problem no.2-diagnosed as perfectionist! But..the last time I din't turn the onion to golden brown,it was imperfection. But that din't amuse my taste buds at all!

I always seem to add less of the seasoning than too much. So, now no one who eats my dish can figure what I had tried to make....n that includes me. Considering my extraordinary culinary skills, there aren't many who venture trying out anything I dish out!

But then..there come some days when you do everything just the way you are used to doing...sloppily, and the dish comes out as perfect as you had imagined. That one day...actually..the only one day was today for me! Tried making one of my favourite dishes with mom telling me the stepwise recipe a hundred times over phone and me having it written from the scriptures of gran ma! Have attempted this particular project umpteen number of times before, but have never until today got it right! When, I finally garnished it and it looked, felt and tasted exactly like what I am used to seeing,feeling and eating it as, there is just nothing that can express my ecstasy! It was purely exhilarating. I mailed mom.(she would freak out if I had called her this excited in the middle of her night). I told my friends of my great achievement, which they very casually let go.You see they are not as sloppy.

You know it's the sloppiness that actually lets you feel this extreme pride and joy of that achievement! If you are the kinds that gets just about every dish perfect, i know you feel the pride too, but you wouldn't understand the extent of thrill that comes with getting it just right!

Sunday, October 05, 2008


I am one of those type of gals who has everything any other gal would die to have and yet feel powerless. I cannot reveal everything i have, coz in simple terms they call it boasting and if you understand complexities more than I do, you'll probably understand teh phrase 'blowing your own trumpet'. But, why do I feel powerless?

1. Every time in school, teacher asked us to write an essay on my favorite festival, the gal who read hers out just before I did, wrote and read out so beautifully, that the whole class and my teacher would still be drowning in her voice while I finished reading mine. N thus, noone heard.So, whether it was good or bad, it was not registered.

2. Maths is not every gal's forte and neither is it mine. The gals that could juggle with numbers better than Ronaldo can juggle with the soccer ball were more popular.

3. The day I wore that pink frilly dress most boys claim to despise but secretly like to see gals in, another gal would wear pink frilly dress with pink ribbons and lace lined socks.

Basically, there was someone always better than me. Now you'll tell me, why do you look at who is better than whom and who is not? Every individual has his own niche or creates one. Now tell you remember that gal with the skirt that was just above her knee and sat right at her tiny waist, wore a crisp shirt, rose her creamy hand in air every time the chemistry prof asked to solve an equation, smartly walked up to the black board, elegantly picked up a chalk and wrote with the most beautiful handwriting you have ever seen the entire equation completely balanced? You do? Great..your memory is something I tell you! But that was not me. I was that healthy gal sitting next to her,engrossed inside the notebook trying to solve the equation before I confidently can raise my hand and write it on the blackboard. Now do you remember me? NO!!!!! But I thought your memory was good!

Now...if you are that tall,dark, handsome, broad shouldered,chiseled mandible guy every gal in the entire school drooled on, I am appalled that you don't remember me. But can't expect much from you, you were dumb to begin with. Now you'll ask me if I remember that tiny scrawny fellow that shared the desk with you and for the most part was engrossed in his notebook as much as i was and my answer would be yes..i do. Today he is in that MNC drawing a handsome salary and we still keep in touch.
I know, I was in a better position than the gal who was baffled just looking at the equation. At least I knew how to attempt it, so what if i was not quick enough.

My late granpa always told my mom that not all fingers on your hand are of the same size, but not one of them can undermine the importance of the other. And mom passed this saying on to me. But Granpa also said, always compare yourself with the person better than you. He said that so mom could better herself. But granpa.... that comparison thing makes me feel like a hapless baby turtle held by it's shell, frantically flapping it's paddles in air trying to move ahead.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

How and Why?

It's amazing how everything you do everyday in life grabs your attention and excites you only when you are preparing for this life and death deciding exam.. I know most people after having lived 50 years of post exam phase think there is no exam that can be life defining and death defying. But, with all due respect, right now my entire universe depends on that exam I have on Monday morning. Forget the cliche of "i don't know why exams exist?" and all that. I just want to ask myself a few questions....

How come you find every single atom of dust on yourself when you take a bath the day before your exam and hence spend an extra half an hour, despite knowing that time is a crucial commodity?
How come that speck of dust escapes your vision other days?

How come Mamta Banerjee's strike in Singur strikes so much interest in you on the Saturday when bleeding disorders is going to be on the exam on Monday and the answer to those questions will not involve any of the blood, shed from beating up the security guard of the nano factory?

How come some of the most interesting blogs pop up on a blog hopping spree just before the exam?

Why do you get sudden hunger pangs that involve a certain craving for paani puris, aloo tikki and the likes....basically stuff that was available with mom around and right now only in your dreams?

Why does the dusk and the view of the financial district with the fading sun fancy your interest and lure your thoughts in the direction of the special someone you had, have or are waiting for? He is not going to help you answer any questions on chest pains and failing hearts. Oh..yes..that topic is also on the exam for monday....CVS..(student term)

How come you suddenly remember the entire list of songs,that you wanted to download onto your i-pod in the order that you wrote them on the back of that grocery bill that you accidentally threw into the dustbin...all before the exam?

Why does the irritation of sitting in a moderately messy room annoy the wits out of you and you set upon mission wipe-out-every square mm and do a neater job than your immune system does trying to wipe out the virus you caught, coz you did not listen to mom and went out in the cold without a sweater?

And when you know, that all your achieving by writing this post is losing another few precious minutes..the minutes that would writhe you with pain when a question from that one slide you could not read, just as you were entering the hall ,coz the proctor snatched away your ppt appears and decides whether you pass or fail .....why are you still at it?

So..lesson learnt...action planned..execution still under contemplation..but soon to be implemented.