Simply Me

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birthday - special delivery...

My birthday after our engagement was special. My mhanthu, mhava, anna, vanni, akka and her twins had all come for my birthday - a weeklong stay. It was not exactly planned as a visit for my last birthday before marriage. They had booked a Pune vacation to coincide with my birthday - a birthday gift in itself. But when I met R a month and a half prior and we got engaged on September 11th and with the wedding in December, the trip became an even more special event.

I was obviously over the moon to have my family for my birthday. But on the eve of the birthday, while I SHOULD have been happy, I wasn't. I was physically present there, but was mentally in a different place... Wishing R was here for my birthday... It is strange isn't it? Less than two months ago, I didn't know this person existed... And now, I was in anguish and close to tears as I replied in monosyllables when I locked myself in amma's room to talk to him. I had thought in my heart-of-hearts that he would come. But the eve was Saturday. If he were to come, wouldn't he come on Saturday? But... No. That didn't happen... And depressed doesn't begin to tell how I was feeling that night.

Midnight and everyone had stayed awake to wish me... The first call was from R, but it amounted to little more than a happy birthday wish. After all we had spoken an hour ago and with my friends calling and family around, there was little chance of saying any more.

I slept at around 1am, the last call being from Siddhi. I was woken at 4:30 by Sujay calling to wish me. He's my best buddy and I could definitely forgive him for that wake-up call. With the whole family there, I was sleeping on the divan in the hall. (Of course, that way I wasn't disturbing anyone with R's and my phone conversation.)

The calls again began by 6: 30-7. Suddenly my phone buzzes with a message - from R - Reached Pune safely. It took less than a few seconds to process that and I am sure everyone wonder why I suddenly jumped off to brush when till then I was lazing around not ready to budge.

By the time I had washed up and brushed, everyone was in the living room and the bell rang. There was an exclamation of surprise as the door was opened and a flurry of conversation - my heart sang. He WAS here...

Before our wedding, R visited again every month after that. The first time was of course the best... 
posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 11:47 AM 1 comments

Saturday, October 6, 2012

In the kitchen...


Some consider cooking a necessary evil while some consider it the best way to relax. For me, I love cooking assuming I have enough time and a recipe to do it. Obviously, the most important step is gathering the ingredients. I loved going to Big Bazaar with amma in Pune – we used to go every weekend or at least every other weekend (and enough friends have teased me about it. When R had visited, the first thing Sujay asked the next day was... Oh you took him sightseeing, obviously Big Bazaar was sightseeing spot No. 1) and here obviously closest to my home is Royal Meenakshi Mall... an easy 2 KM from home.  So getting back to the ingredients, the sight of all those vegetables and fruits makes my mouth water... And I have found that the cut veggies section is probably the biggest ally when it comes to fast cooking.

In Pune, for all the potluck lunches at office, when I asked amma, how about I make this or make that... and her answer always was... Oh that, that is so simple. It can be made really quickly... and what do you know it REALLY was!!! Cooking hardly ever took more than half an hour whatever be it. But, what the cooking excluded was the cutting of vegetables. Amma would keep everything ready before I woke up and once it came to cooking she’d say, ok put this, put that and zip-zap-zoom, it’s done. I was a little wary about getting the cutting right, but how correct my fear was I was not to know until the first time I cooked independently at home.

Needless to say, my first cooking in Bangalore was a huge question mark right from the point when R asked me, so how do you want these vegetables cut? Making noodles and Manchurian... Now that is a combo I have done so often, I can make it in my sleep (assuming I have the recipe) but really, how fine do I want the vegetables? Umm, thin and long... I said. OK this thin, he asks. Ummm, you can make it a little fatter... Of course when it comes to the cutting, R is an expert and I really should have taken his advice. The veggies took a million years to cook.

But apart from Chinese, most other recipes I have made have a straightforward recipe where amma had dictated – cut babycorn in one inch pieces or break mushroom head and cut in 4 pieces. Simple, right? The other time consuming task is peeling garlic. R and I pick up a nicely cellophane wrapped peeled garlic box along with other vegetables. It’s not that we can’t do it, but why unnecessarily waste, ahem spend energy peeling garlic, right? 

Now tomorrow, we are making Chinese again. We thought of experimenting with some Schezwan noodles, but as luck would have it, no noodles in the market (That is like the strangest thing possible, isn’t it? But it really wasn’t there – spaghetti, macaroni available; but no noodles).  This time, seeing the cut vegetables, I beelined for that – not necessarily because of the cutting but also because we only need so much carrot, capsicum and cabbage for the recipe – why buy the whole kilo of vegetable. Now we still have to cut them up a little finely tomorrow, but it does make life simple.

 I asked R, what he thought about it. Do they have the cut veggies for the ‘busy professional’ or the ‘lazy bum’? He replied, whichever way you look at it, that’s being an entrepreneur. If there is a market for something, there’s someone to make it available. 

 Well, I am not sure which category I fall into, but I’d say, if there are cut vegetables, ‘Majja ni life.’

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posted by Tejaswini Shenoy at 9:40 PM 0 comments