Monday, 4 August 2014

mundane monday - # 41


India should probably be called the fried snack capital of the world. There are so many varieties of fried sweets and savoury snacks, that even if you have been living in india your whole life, you probably wouldnt have tasted them all. each state and region has so many varieties of its own. 

the photo below is an old one i took in 2012. it is a brass mould which is used to make different varieties of savoury snacks. it is in two cylindrical parts, with 4-5 changeable discs that go in the bottom cylinder. much like a piping/icing bag with different shaped nozzles for frosting cakes, the discs are of different shapes, with a star, small rounds, rectangle, etc. the dough in the bottom cylinder is pressed by the top cylinder into hot oil, to be fried. there are so many different varieties of snacks, like 'omapodi, thenkuzhal, mullu murukku/mullu thenkuzhal, ribbon pakoda' in tamil and 'chakli' in north india...

the moulds/press come in many variants these days, and more commonly in stainless steel, but i just have a major crush on brass :) 

the beginning of august generally marks the advent of the indian festival calendar, with summer fading away and the rainy months ahead. a steady stream of festivals begin from mid-or-end august usually, and everyone is in the mood for the aroma of a lot of fried oil and bubbling jaggery syrup :) thats one thing about traditional indian sweets - since most of them use jaggery instead of refined sugar, they are a much better option if you have a sweet-tooth. there should seriously be a movement for the revival of these sweets like kozhukkatai (modak), appam, adhirasam, seeyam (or suzhiyan), vella seedai, sojji appam, pori urundai, poli, etc etc. the only downside being many of these have to be fried. 

still, the months from august to december are the best time to be part of an indian household - it'll soon be time for the murukku mould to come out of hiding :)




murukku achu - murukku chakli mould - savoury mould - india

Monday, 28 July 2014

what was airtel thinking ?

whats up with ad film makers these days ? between a guy riding a bike across polar ice caps to catch the northern lights, and a woman who cooks a four course meal on a weeknight after coming home from work - i dont know which one is more improbable. in case you havent seen it yet, i'll let you have the epic-facepalm-experience without further spoilers. we'll catch up below the video.



yeah. that totally unexpected twist in the climax where the boss is the wife - i bet you did not see that coming. there are so many things that bother me about this that i dont know where to begin.

  • here is an indian couple where both obviously have well paying jobs, who have a driver but no cook at home.
  • ok, she decides to make it up to the husband for the extra work he is doing. the only way to do it is through food - because, you know, the usual heart-through-the-stomach thing. it never gets old. not even if you could afford to try sexy lingerie or expensive booze. all that is, ofcourse, against our 'kulchar'. 
  • so food it is. but it doesnt occur to her on a weeknight to get take-out on the way home. or order pizza. seriously, who made her the boss ?
  • goes home. doesnt pick something from the freezer and heat it up. not even a packet of MTR instant-something. nope. peeling, cutting, chopping, stirring, straining, steaming, all from scratch. oh, the lengths to which she goes for her man. on a weeknight. hence proving that she has lived up to the description her parents gave in her matrimonial ad, of being professionally qualified and domestically accomplished.
  • she video calls the poor fellow slogging away at work and asks him to come soon, when she knows very well that she was the one who insisted on getting things done just a short while ago. this woman seriously has some issues. or she takes the word 'bossy wife' very seriously.  
  • lastly, i hope the other guys working for her also have wives who are equally good cooks, since she has no plans of ordering the rest of her team food, despite having asked them to stay late. ( i dont know who'll do the work if all the guys in the team leave early, enticed by home-cooked food. i am bothered that that doesnt bother her as a boss.)
i fail to see the moral of the story here. what exactly were they trying to convey ? that if you have a smartphone, you can be/should be slipping effortlessly from devil-wears-prada to domestic-goddess mode ?



Sunday, 20 July 2014

how to while away a weekend...


its a crying shame how weekends always go by in a flash. im sure all of us agree that time travels fastest between friday evening and sunday night, regardless of what physicists around the world may say.

nevertheless, if your day feels a little slow, nothing better than to get on pinterest, and before you know, several hours would have gone down the drain. but its the best addiction to have, and one that has no cure.

and this weekend i indulged myself with - my new " i ♥ ikea " board on pinterest - :) i hope to keep adding more ikea products that i like, as well as ikea hacks, and spaces with ikea decor. so keep peeping in every now and then or follow the board if you are on pinterest !




Monday, 14 July 2014

mundane monday - # 40

its my belief that theres a bit of a francophile deep inside everyone. consciously or subconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly. it just varies by degree, in my opinion. if anyone claims that they have no interest in visiting france, well, they are just living life wrong.

today's  mundane monday pic is a mug from paris, because today, of course, is bastille day !

14th of july is bastille day, or the french national day. in 1790, it was a day which became a turning point in french history.
the french people had long been suffering under an unjust reign that burdened them with unfair taxes and left them starving, while the royalty and nobility were living off their labour.
resentment due to their grievances going unheard reached boiling point, and a group of people was formed to fight back, and to arm themselves, they decided to attack the prison of bastille. bastille was a prison in a fortress - it was a symbol of the monarchy's power, and had a large store of ammunition and gun powder. the group gathered outside and stormed the prison - starting a revolution that would result in overthrowing the reign of monarchy and establishing a republic of the people.

though the storming resulted in a lot of lives lost, the prison itself had only 7 inmates housed in it at the time.

bastille prison was later demolished and the unpopular king louis xvi and his wife marie antoinette were excecuted on the guillotine.



coming to the mug, i had bought it in paris airport when i had a connecting flight from there. i have always wanted to go to paris (and france in general) and ironically, paris-cdg was the first international airport i set foot in, outside india ! (sadly, i have not been inside the country yet. )
im pretty sure i was staring wide eyed at the sprawling airport and the never ending line of perfume shops - (no smartphone back then, and no selfies, so i just assume i was wide-eyed, anyway.) but i dont really care for expensive perfume, so settled on a mug instead. 
someday, though, i hope i eat my way through the numerous patisseries of the country and have my fill of buttery croissants and sinful macaroons. 

read more on the bastille day here and more on the background of the events leading to it, here .

Saturday, 12 July 2014

On Thoreau...

I learned that today (July 12th) is the birthday of Henry David Thoreau .Thoreau was an american author and philosopher, a lover of nature and a believer in simple living.



Thoreau is a name that should be of special significance to Indians, since it is by him that Gandhi was influenced in his civil disobedience movement. Gandhi read Thoreau's writing when he was imprisoned in south africa, and it strengthened his resolve to adopt the strategy of civil disobedience -  against the government there, and later in India, where he gave it the indian name of 'satyagraha'.

Gandhiji wrote to Roosevelt, "I have profited greatly by the writings of Thoreau and Emerson" .


read an excerpt from Throeau's writing here, which offers a glimpse into his philosophy. more on Gandhi and civil disobedience here.


Monday, 7 July 2014

mundane monday # 39


i dont get sports. i have no clue about most sports, and least of all football. but seeing this mug on my shelf just reminded me that this is the one opportunity i have, to write something using the words 'sao paulo' or 'brazil' in a sentence.


i received this mug from sao paulo, brazil, last year - and its apparently from a chocolate shop called cacau show and it came filled with truffle like chocolates.

the words on the mug 'pra vida ficar mais show' roughly mean 'let there be more show to life' - if google's portuguese translation skills are to be trusted. cant argue with that philosophy though, especially when it comes to chocolate. and if you are a sports fan, i do hope you are enjoying all the show thats going on in brazil right now, and having a great time.

so there, i made a topical post, and managed to bring in football, brazil, sao paolo and chocolate, all into a couple of sentences. everything sounds better when chocolate is involved, of course.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

from 'powerless' to 'empowered', in 3 weeks.

i had ended up spending three whole weeks being 'powerless' - as a result of the power adapter of the laptop deciding to give up its life without any prior indication whatsoever of the impending horror. and owing to one thing or the other, somehow getting a new one had taken three weeks (rounding off to the nearest whole week).

considering that i am someone who likes to be left to my own devices, literally and otherwise, i feel like i should pat myself in the back for surviving three weeks or so without throwing a fit. it certainly feels good to have your own device back.

i did have a tab in the meanwhile, which i used for checking mails and a quick browse now and then, but its not something that i am comfortable with for extended periods of time. especially to write or create something - hugely annoying, to hold it in one hand and poke on the screen with another, all the time going back and forth to correct typos. it could come in handy for those looking to make brevity a habit though - you cant really keep typing long sentences without getting annoyed. at least, i cant. 

if there is one thing that such long breaks away from my pc make me do, its contemplate. i am always amazed by how so many people go about life being satisfied with just basic stuff like food, a roof, clothes and such... without the need for anything that is intellectual, artistic or even just plain fun. 
how do people survive on food alone, day in and day out, without feeding the brain anything ? it baffles me. im not a genius or a nerd by any stretch of imagination, but i just dont get how one can be educated and yet not have a curiosity to know new things, a craving to seek new experiences, or an urge to see new places. well, it does take all sorts to make the world. 

coming to other things, its june 21st already, the official beginning of summer. (though if you have lived in a country like india, you know that summer has practically ended in most places.) the longest day of the year, hmmm. and thats a reminder that half the year has sped by and you wonder what the other half has in store. 

you know i like to go through old pics - i happened to fish out this one taken on june 21st 2009. thats the apartment where i was that year. seems like it was a beautiful golden day :)

this was taken from a panasonic lumix i had back then.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...