Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Other Woman

And by that I mean my new design blog. Got you there for a moment, didn't I?
Yes, I have, after a lot of deliberation, started the other blog namely She is the reason this blog has been receiving the first wife treatment. I suck at updating one, let alone two, blogs. Only time will tell how all of this will work out. But if you are a design freak like I am I do hope to see you there as well :)
Hope to be back with more, until then, so long!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A little less of me to love...

A pregnancy, three years, thirty bloody pounds, a closet full of fat pants, some obnoxious cellulite, a group of berzerk homones and a perpetual diet attempt later, I have decided to jump start my efforts at becoming a little less of me by going viral. Although "viral" is probably too strong a word in my case. It wasn't an easy decision, mind you. It comes with its gliches. I will have to grow immune to the dreaded "Soooooo; how's the whole weight loss thing coming along (snicker, snicker)?" question, that's bound to hit me at every party. And learn to deal with that constant "what if I fail after all this hype?" voice in my head - (worst place to be in, trust me). But, I plan to take one day at a time.

To begin with, I will be going on a juice cleanse diet for a week (baby steps). I find this is essential to shock my body which has now grown used to a somewhat perpetual low carb diet.
I shall treat this like a journal and shall record the entire process, including my "cheat" moments (if there are any). Feel free to join me in my journey. Please make sure you consult with your physician before you decide to do so.

I will need:
  • A juicer (you could use your blender and strain the juice, but I find that cumbersome).
  • To load up on fresh veggies and fruits. I prefer shopping at the local farmers market (Stiles- on Oakland Park Blvd). Yes, veggies, you will be juicing them too.
  • To ease into the diet by eating as many raw veggies and fruits with whole grain. That way it will be less of an adjustment for the body.*
*The following website is where I found all my info regarding the juice cleanse diet process:

Once I am done preparing for the cleanse, hopefully today, I shall begin by recording Day 1 on this blog. Until then, so long.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A man, a blue bike and two pigtails in Love-in-Tokyos

As rewarding as motherhood can be, I have my moments.
Moments when all I could care about is to hand over the job of entertaining my little one to my husband and have nothing at all to do with the kid for a while.
On one such occasion, I left the father daughter duo unto themselves as I did my thing.
What started off with blocks, and went on to the tea set, eventually turned into a wrestling match of sorts which caught my divided attention for just a bit. Here's how it all went. As daddy sat down, firmly grounded (or so he made it seem), daughty, standing in front of him, would  push daddy with all her might  till he fell back onto the ground. Quite simple, really.
I sat there watching my husband resist her initial attempts to take him down, in order to convince the little one of the magnitude of the feat he was about to let her accomplish. He would then give in to her herculean strength and fall back, defeated, secretly rejoicing at the peel of laughter she would let out after every victory.
Yes, it was happening all over again......
A good twenty five years ago, on a quiet, moon lit spring night, a man, a blue bike and two pigtails (in love-in-Tokyos) went through the exact same set of emotions.
Amma had just had the baby and  was at home, resting. It had been this way for a few months now.
Appa and I would go to Ammamma's house for dinner and bring back food for Amma, which meant we would get to ride the bike (yay!) since it was just the two of us.
That night, as we got ready for our ride back home together, Appa said " Bubblyappan, Nee bike e ottariya?" as the pigtails (in love-in-Tokyos) nodded a... puzzled yes.

Appa's strong arms picked me up to safely seat me atop the petrol tank of the bike, all snuggled up against his solar plexus. He then urged me to hold on to the handles of the bike. Just as those hesitant little hands tightened their grip around the cold metal some where mid-span, as they weren't long enough to reach the black, spiky, rubbery ends Appa held on to, the bike zoomed out onto a very quite road. And the wind blew those pigtails... this way and that!
Then, clearly sensing the make  believe-"ness" of it all, I said "but Appa, you are riding the bike, not me". Completely aware of my secret hope, he asked me to push at the handle a little harder. And I did, with all my might. Then, as if by magic, the bike went faster. I repeated the action a couple of times, just to make sure and oddly enough, the bike responded, every single time!!
The pair of eyes that shone bright with glee in the darkness of the night,  in a fleeting moment of doubt, glanced over at Appa's hands to see if it was him after all. As if on cue, he let one hand effortlessly slide off of the handle. "Yes! " I remember thinking, exhilarated...."It is me after all!"
I let out an excited peel of laughter, as the wind blew those pigtails this way and that!
My first ever make-believe yet "Oh! so real" bike ride, that made me in some small way believe in myself a little more. And after all those years it was happening all over again...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

If Walls Could Speak........


There is something mesmerizing about a blank wall.
All the more so if it happens to be an accent wall, aloof from the other run of the mill ones that safely merge with their perpendicular friends to form a boring corner.
"I can carry off a bold shade of red with utmost ease, but don't you dare push it!; it warns when you try to hang a piece of unnecessary art off of it. "I am art" the snob quips.
Come wall decals, and it's a whole other story! The snob all weak kneed tries hard to maintain decorum....."Ahem, Ahem!".

An accent wall with the right decal - "A sight for sore eyes!"
The key word here is "right",  for in the decal world, it's a thin line that separates classy from corny.
If you didn't already know, Wall Decals are vinyl stickers that go up on the wall  directly.
Hmmm...I know what you're thinking...don't you worry, they come off clean. If that doesn't convince you enough, may I add that "They Are In". Fine! I agree that was a bit of a stretch, but how about this one -"It won't break your bank!" (Look for group coupon / deal of the day websites).
Oh! And they are pretty :)
And  since a picture is worth a thousand words, I shall let them do the talking...

A great way to add a touch of  "baroque" ( yes, baroque is back) to your interiors:


For those of you that harbor a fascination for cityscapes, "I hear ya!"...                                                                                                                               

Told ya! The snob caved in.......                                                                                                             

                  Source :

                  Happy "Decal-ing" people!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A little bit of this.....A little bit of that .........

Its been a terribly, terribly long time since I penned anything down, well, not technically, I did have a couple o' "I don't care who reads this, I'm gonna say forbidden things" moments that safely got stowed away as drafts......
And since filling in on the gaps seems painfully tedious at this hour when I'm surprisingly chirpy in temperament, I'm going to tell you about this other blog I meandered into....
About which I have three words to say " Oh! so refreshing!". Despite all of that training I received to make things look beautiful, I still harbor a deep fear of making myriad different things work well together beautifully. My right brain isn't yet all that at ease with stretching its limbs beyond clean lines..... and for that very reason I heart the eclecticism this blog so effortlessly features ........

All the more so, since I've been attempting to make my family room "familial" shall we say, .... by covering up in crisp linen (since I'm going for the summer chic feel n all), the ugly, taupe micro fiber monstrosity that  has turned itself and endearingly so, into the one thing that shall silently endure anything that is spewed upon it, right from gray sooty foot prints, to blotches of apparently washable paint, to smidgens of pro-biotic yogurt........ and also, am FINALLY trying to put together a frame collage of art that I now have manned up to try my hand at.....thanks to a friend that inspired me with her version of it and a good one, I must say.
The results shall be posted for your viewing, if it all turns out well, that is......
So long, until then ........

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Knock - offs

A bright sunny mid morning, an odd early shopper, the obvious out of towner, unaware of the lazy rythm of the city dawdles along the narrow, unplanned road, flanked on either sides by the three storey yet to open shops.
The sound of swift, rhythmic strokes from coconut fibre brooms sweeping the footpath outside select stores punctuates the silence, pregnant with anticipation of a busy day ahead..... while whipping up in its wake, localized clouds of dust........

"Dejyner hend baegs, Maydam?" a voice from behind the cloud suggests, with an accustomed ease of  a voracious sales person.
"Aaiye aaiye..... burrbary, coach, trussadi.......sab hain......baest daaam mein"
I hesitate as I look at the semi basement store, with its trainee of a young lad briskly dusting with a rag, the myriad couture impostors that line the walls.
The boisterous one quickly ushers me in, where a thick smell of rexine welcomes me.
I stare at the cream, black and red checkered ones arranged meticulously into one section, by the label they carry, only, in this case, the cream is paler and the red, redder.
Neighboring which, are ones  with the exaggerated Cs , which on close inspection prove to be ovals.... Then comes the turn of the brown ones with LV written all over, some even reversed, interspersed with florals that seem somewhat more flowery than they are supposed to be.

 I scan through the hypnotizing patterns that encrust the yellowing wall, straining my eyes on their individual identity that seems lost among the glut of its clones.
My eye spots a slick little one, a snake boat with a pronounced strap, vanity written all over it, for all it would have helped carry around  is a cellphone and a teeny bit  of a  wallet at the most.....stylish nevertheless.
"If I were to buy an original, I certainly wouldn't spend on something as useless as this one, I  justify my kitsch to myself.
Convinced, I order with fake, boorish confidence "Yeh wala dikhao, Bhaiyya", lest my inexperience as a haggler should come through. The bully in turn orders his trainee through his zarda spittle, to pull out the piece from the stack. He then snatches it from the lad's hand, wipes it with his hand that had previously wiped off some of that icky brown juice from the corners of his mouth, works the zip on the bag back and forth with a rough, brisk expertise, pulls out  crinkled masses of news paper that previously were stuffed within to give the bag some body, flexes and stretches the poor faux skin in an effort to demonstrate it's durability and hands it out for me to inspect.

I meekly hold the bag by its strap considering all that it had just been through , and ask "Kitne ka hai?" He impatiently replies "Dhai sow(Rs250)".......I mull over the bag's worth and decide "Do sow se zyada nahin" (not a penny more than 200)...... He frowns, mumbling under his breath, turns to me saying "Nahin price".
I look at the piece again hoping to find something to haggle about. I notice the bag is exactly what it's worth.... what should've been a shiny metallic zip is but a kitschy painted one with a hole at the top, the seams, visible and shoddy. I point out the imperfections in an effort to make my point and he mumbles again and adds with a smirk " Maydam ab dhai hazar ka maal dhai sow mein milega to yehi sab hoga na!"....... his dwindling patience giving his underlying uncouthness away....

Just then,  the swift click of heels interrupts the negotiations. I look up at the stairs leading into the store and see a pair of  neatly manicured feet donning some expensive stilettos descending.
The guy drops the handbag to the floor as he rushes over to greet the stylish woman clad in a designer salwar kameez. She would've made the cover if there existed a vogue for Desi clothes and rounded women, I think to myself.
She slides her Dolce Gabbana glares over her face to rest on her head. She enquires, through her painted auburn lips, about an order referring to it as "Maal". The man signals the trainee to go fetch the needful. He then offers her a seat, enquiring after her well being "Sab Quairiyat, Maydam?".....offers her Chai /Thanda which she carelessly dismisses with a slight wave. As all this transpires right in front me, I am as good as invisible at the scene.

The boy emerges from behind the store hidden entirely by an assorted bouquet of bags.. The woman quickly examines the lot with acquired expertise. Much to my dismay, I spot a shimmering piece of metal on a couple of them, the kind you find on the originals.....The reds as red as they are supposed to be and the exaggerated Cs refrain from merging their arms into an oval. She then pulls out a bundle of hundreds and slightly plops it onto the cashier's desk. The man, unable to contain himself goes over the bundle and smiles ....a glint in his eyes........ "Phir Aaiyega Madam" he  beams signaling the boy to carry her purchases to her waiting sedan outside the store.
"To?" he says counting his newly acquired bundle of currency, "Aapko chahiye ki nahin?" he threatens me insolently. Humiliated, I drop the bad on the chair and prepare to dash out of the store, the sound of finger flicking notes comes to a halt. Startled, as if noticing something horrible, he pulls out  a note from the bundle to hold it up against the the flickering light. His face hardens.... "Sali! nakli note de gayee " he scowls grinding his stained teeth and runs toward the stairs, shouting out to the boy to stop the car, as the engine roars pulling away. He tries chasing after the car for a short distance before he gives up and returns..... furious, red, defeated.
I smirk at him, rubbing it in, seeking cheap revenge for the way I was treated earlier. Feeling clearly exalted, I bring out from my purse two hundred rupee notes and a fifty to go with it, hand it over to him, pull out a fresh bag off of the stack, exactly like the one I had chosen before and strut right out of there as he stood lowering his head, unable to meet my gaze.

The same evening, at a friend's party, the hostess walks up to me making small talk, notices my hand bag and exclaims "Nice bag! Coach?" I reply with a seemingly modest  smile of acknowledgment as my hand glides over the kitschy zip, to cover it up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

American Chop Suey and its namesake

If you were to walk up to a local in cosmopolitan India, and ask for a description of the American Chop suey, this is what you are likely to hear:
A plate of crispy deep-fried noodles topped with a hot, velvety, sweet sour egg drop gravy showcasing its stir fried vegetables, and sometimes chicken.Ok, not so much the egg drop part maybe.
Being an ardent fan of "rasta" Indo Chinese food myself, specifically the ones the ubiquitous Sagars in Bangalore churn out, this was my definition of the dish too, till I set foot on American soil. Given its name and all, I seriously thought in all my naivety, that even if the dish did not have anything to do with the US of A, it would surely be available around here, only to realize otherwise.
The American "greasy" Chinese restaurants here don't seem to have even heard of, let alone carry the A.Chop Suey. And yes, I did try explaining it to them in the hopes of the dish having multiple nomenclature.

The rare Indian restaurant that dots the typical American city, and invariably sees including Gobi Manchurian and Veg. noodles/fried rice on its firangi version of an Indian menu as being worth its while, unfortunately chooses to neglect its less famous country cousin.

In a fit of deep craving for the dish during pregnancy, I did manage to whip up my own version of it to temporarily satisfy my palate. But, nothing.....I shall repeat, nothing comes close to the unhealthy, quick, wok fried version we usually get, back home. Specifically the ones the "Home Delivery Only" Chinese places, that solely depend on tacky florescent pamphlets for their existence usually make.
It took me a while to realize that the "nicer" Japanese places around here do carry a variation of the dish that goes by the name Yaki Sobe. Well at least the fried noodles part makes for a commonality among both dishes.

Interestingly enough, when I Wikied the dish up to check if it is after all uniquely Desi in its origins (another one of our fancy whip-ups masquerading around as Chinese Cuisine),this is what I found.

American Chop Suey (also sometimes known as American Goulash or Macaroni and Beef) is an American pasta dish. The preferred name and recipe varies by region: for example, the name American chop suey is most prevalent in New England. Commercial preparations of this dish are commonly marketed as Macaroni and Beef.

So in short , American Chop Suey is a macaroni and beef dish.
Why am I not surprised.
I beam, yet another addition to our feathered cap of borrowed, morphed, hybridized and patented (in that order) things, bollywood music notwithstanding.
The dish to me now seems like the lust child of Yaki Sobe or some Chinese variation I am unfamiliar with and its Italian-American sugar daddy - The "American" American Chop Suey!
Its ambiguous origins aside, I maintain that, to me, the American Chop Suey is and shall continue to remain a major Indo Chinese favourite and shall be missed dearly. To those that share my opinion here's a quick link to the recipe I followed, from another blog: