Month: August 2005 Page 1 of 3



The morning kiss that makes my day a bliss,
The goodnight kiss to ease a bad day with a loving mist,

The smile that melts my heart,
The words that light up a spark,

The hug that comforts me,
The eyes that mirror the love for me,

The mischievous pranks that give me the laugh,
The pecks on the cheek that make me blush,

Every little gesture, so true and full of love,
You, and you, and only you forever.

Linking Love…

As I joined this huge wide world of blogging, I wondered where to look for some good reads in the Indian blogsphere. I chanced upon Desipundit and I found the answer to all my questions:-) It is a daily blog mela.

The bloggers who run this blog are doing a fine job. The nicest thing though I feel, is that they are great sports in accepting the brickbats that come their way.

So here is spreading their word, logon and go blog-hunting. It’s a blog that ought to figure on your blogroll.

Keep up the good work and I must say thanks for mentioning me. Never thought my teeny-weeny contribution would be figured. Little things in life bring a smile on your face, and folks this was surely one of them 🙂

Trent Bridge Did Not Fall Down…

The Brits are thinking of changing the nursery rhyme ‘London Bridge is falling down’ to ‘Sydney Harbour came crashing down’. If England does not lose the battle in the last test, they will seriously consider that change.

  • For the first time in16 years they became the first team to enforce a follow-on on the Aussies
  • For the first time in 8 years they are leading the Ashes.
  • For the first time in 16 years they look good enough to win the Ashes.

This series is not for the weak-hearted. Just when you thought England had it all easy when they kept the target to 129, the Aussie bowling lead by Warne produced a fantastic effort. His yesterday’s spell was another proof of the great bowler he is!

I missed Flintoff’s century, the innings that probably swung the match England’s way. At 229-4 it was anyone’s game. Jones produced another fiver. Aus’s batting order has never looked so vulnerable before. 4 LBWs in first innings among top 5! Hayden, Martyn and Gilchrist’s sorry run continued into the second innings, just when you hoped they would produce something magical. Alas , it was not to be! It will be sad if this fantastic hard fought series goes away without an attacking trademark Gilchrist innings.

Ponting, Langer, Katich and Clarke all played well but none held out to produce a long knock. It is extremely tough to do that when you are following on. Just about why Laxman’s 281 @ Kolkatta Vs Aus 2001 and Botham’s 149* @ Headingley, Ashes ’81 will always be on the top of every list. Only three teams have won following on, all victories have come against Aus, sadly yesterday Australia could not change the history their way.

The chase was tense very tense, and I think England lost the wickets they did due to nervousness. At 57-4 when Pietersen and Flinotff came together they took the attack to the Aussies. When in Rome do as the Romans do, when playing against Aus, attack the way the Aussies do. Simple rule! The duo was going well till one over from Warne had Pietersen playing all over and in a horrible mess, and he got out to Brett Lee the very next over.

Flintoff looked still good to take England home, when Brett Lee’s place had his stumps rattled. It was sheer pace! Geraint Jones’s shot reminded me of the one Mongia had played against Pak in ’99 in Chennai after Sachin had got out. We had gone on to lose that match. Oh, that defeat still hurts! Over here though, the England tail was much more determined than we were and they did not let go of their chance.

Hoggard played a gem of an innings, only 8 but they were worth a hundred! He tackled Lee’s yorkers pretty well and when one was over pitched, he was quick to pounce on the full-toss opportunity and slam it on the off-side for four. Giles too hung around and did not panic. It was a fine effort in the end.

We are not celebrating Australia’s loss we are simply celebrating cricket’s victory. Truly none can be greater than the game, it is indeed a great leveler!!

What a setting for the final test! All that England has to do is NOT LOSE. All that Australia has to do is to GO ALL OUT AND WIN. It cannot get better than this!

You cannot afford to miss the FINAL BATTLE. Prepare yourself as the WAR nears its end!!!

How and Why?

How and why do we do this so convincingly?

First I’m not trying to be a cynic. I’m anything but that when it comes to cricket and India.
We have NZ reeling @ 36-5 and let them end the innings at 215 in 43 overs @ run-rate close to 5!
From 36-5 we should have made them slog and earn every run. Not gifted easy runs. I have no clue how the pitch is. But it is not devilish from the way the New Zealand’s bottom half played.

India might go on to win this one considering 215 is hardly a total to defend these days. (I won’t be surprised if NZ does defend it! Shane Bond is back!)

My Mumbai star refuses to learn!
Match Figures: 7.1-0-45-2
Runs/Over: 6.28

Why? How long? How long are we going to defend your comebacks? Only you have an answer and the answer has to come on the field, none other will do.

This is dismal:
Match Figures:
Runs/Over: 6.11

Bhajji, please do justice to the fact that you are chosen over Kumble.

Impressive as usual:
Irfan Pathan
Match Figures: 8-1-34-3
Runs/Over: 6.11

Ashish Nehra
Match Figures: 8-3-22-2
Runs/Over: 6.11

But why dear captain, when NZ is losing wickets was their quota not utilized, not even after 8 wickets were down? You were expecting the last two pairs to last till 50 overs? Nice confidence in your bowlers! Was it not a risk worth taking?

Send some aggressive signals to the opposite camp, see how Stephen Fleming is constantly at you and your team?

What happened to you? You were the one guy who stood up to Steve and his Aussies and retorted in their own words? You had them perplexed!
Come on we want the old Ganguly back!

Battle @ Bridge

It’s been a frustrating England summer for me. Flintoff and Pietersen are playing havoc with the Aussie bowling. I’m all excited to get home and rest on the couch glued to the TV set; only to find them off the field after battering the Aussie bowlers all over the ground. I manage to catch their innings only during the highlights post-match!

Finally, yesterday I was all upbeat that I was home just in time to see Pietersen bat and later Flintoff walk in. Only to see rain play spoil-sport as it had throughout the day! I did not get to see any fireworks live! Everyone knows the charm of catching a match live and the frustration of viewing the moments in highlights later, when the whole world has already seen it!

Today again they will kick off the day’s proceedings and I’ll see my woes continue!

England rains are weird as my sister aptly describes them. She has been there for 5 years and she craves for a rainy season like that in Mumbai (No not the sorts that happened on 26th July). One moment it was all dark and the rain pouring, the very next moment sun was shining brightly and none would believe that it had rained just a second before on the ground!

Day 1:
Aus will miss McGrath. They have not lost the two matches he played in. Psychologically, one point to England before the game began. England looked good to take hold of the match. I saw the wickets Shaun Tait grabbed on his debut and Trescothick’s bowled dismissal was what every fast bowler strives for.

Tell me if I’m wrong but for the first time I’m seeing a hint of worry, a trifle sense of loss and confused expression on the Aussie faces. So not them, so not the team I’ve been fascinated by in the last decade. Signs of mortality, old age creeping in?

Ponting, I think is getting sleepless nights. To go down in history as “That man, that captain, who surrendered the Ashes.”
Oh, how I would hate to be in his shoes right now!

P.S: I’ m waiting for the amazing comebacks they have shown time and again in the past, the will to rise from the dead. That’s what made them the greatest of the greats.
Come on Aussies Fight Back!

Give a Thought?

  • Just when I was getting used to yesterday along came today!
  • It should be easier to make a honest living-There is so little competition.
  • It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial charges and blamed it on the cost of living.
  • The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.
  • Everybody is somebody else’s weirdo.

P.S: From the graffiti collected over a period of time from newspapers.

Ad & Trailer

As far as my best friend and I can remember we have been absolute TV buffs. We could watch TV endlessly without budging which could drive our mothers crazy. We would tip each other off on the new ads to hit the TV, new songs, and new film promos to hit the small screen. What’s so cool about that, nothing, but we just enjoyed being the first ones to see it before others did and the first to pass our views on it.

Some advertisements made their mark. I loved all the Dairy-Milk ads. The first which used the ‘Don’t worry Be Happy’, song in the background, whistling to that tune. I was so kicked about the fact that I had got the whistle right. I showed off every now and then, only to be reminded by my dear mumma, ‘Minal young ladies do not whistle’. Whenever she told me that I’d remind her that her younger sister, my mausi (maternal aunt) had taught me how to. She had given up!

One of my top favourites was that of the girl dancing on the cricket field. Kuch Khaas Hain
Indeed, those ads were really ‘Kuch Khaas’ (Special!)

Raymond & Titan Ads were another favourites. The background tunes are stored in my head forever. The ‘My Papa Strongest’ advertisement and the ‘Pespsodent’ Ads which featured kids describing why having two coloured toothpaste was special to them. The kids were just too cute!

Though I do not propagate soft drinks, the ‘Nothing Official About It’ campaign from Pepsi really rocked. Sad they don’t make those anymore! I also loved the ‘Doodh Doodh, wonderful Doodh, Piyo Glassful Doodh’ jingle. That should’ve got everyone hooked onto drinking milk!

These are just to name a few. There would be tons. Maybe that should be another blog chapter, the best advertisements. Nice topic to take up:-)

As for new film promos. Oh how we would await those! I remember how I was not so taken in by Kaho Na Pyar Hai trailers. My pal insisted I watch the Ek Pal Ka Jeena number more often and bang we were hit by the Hrithik Mania! He is no doubt the best dancer around in Bollywood, the craze has died down though.
We were also taken in by Abhishek in Refugee (Why? Please do not ask me? At times like this, 20 year old crazy girls lack rationale to prove their likes-dislikes. I guess we both were a little too foresighted) and how right we are proved today;-)

The advertisements and songs just stuck in your head for that period. Here are few doing the rounds currently:

Hats Off To:
The Maruti Alto Advt
Shubha Mudggal’s voice in the background singing “Boondon Mein Jane Kya Naya Hain”. The jingle brings back the memories of some of her fine numbers like Ab Ke Sawaan, Seekho Na. The picturisation too is beautiful. A drive in the rains along the tea-gardens, soothing, pleasant, blissful, hmmmmmmm just peaceful!

Thumbs Down To:

Salaam Namaste Trailer:
Saif & Preity dancing(??), as much as she is cute and adorable, she can’t dance! Neither can he! Both are so awkward in their movements. Above that, Saif shirtless, low-waist jeans with red underpants showing, so not happening!!

The Recipes: Part 1

Taking the cooking post ahead; I’m putting up the recipes for Chicken Gravy and Fried Rice. I call this gravy Chicken Moghlai-Mom’s Special. There could be number of variants to this Moghlai dish, so please don’t crucify me for it 🙂 It’s a home-made recipe. Mum often used variety of names to please me so that I ate the dish. I was way too fussy and loved eating out. This was her way of making me love home food better 🙂
Chicken: 1 Kg
Kashmiri Dry Red Mirchi (Red Chillies): 15 *
Dhana(whole)(Coriander seeds): 1 tablespoon
Jeera(whole)(Cumin): 1 tablespoon
Onions(Medium–sized): 6
Curd: 6 Tablespoons
Ginger-Garlic Paste: 2 Tablespoons
Garam Masala Powder*: 11/2 Tablespoon
Salt: As per taste

* Any kind of red mirchi would do, but Kashmiri mirchi is preferred as it is less spicy and gives lovely red colour to the gravy. If any other kind of mirchi is taken depending on how spicy it is cut down the no. to 10-12.

*Garam Masala Powder is available readymade in the market. It is basically a powder that is mixture of the following spices: Kali Miri (Pepper), Lavang (Clove), Elaichi ( Cardamom), Dalchini (Cinamon), TamalPatra( Bay Leaf)

Red Mirchi Paste:
Soak the 15 dry red chillies in water for 15 minutes. Chop 3 onions vertically, thin and long. Take dhana (not grounded, but whole as mentioned above) and jeera (not grounded, but whole as mentioned above) and along with the soaked chillies and chopped onions put the ingredients in a mixer. Grind it and add little water to get paste, then grind it again till you get a fine thick paste with no particles left.

Ginger-Garlic Paste:
You get this readymade these days, or else take an entire garlic flower, heat it in microwave for a minute, it’s easier to take off the coverings. Then add ginger(around half a piece) along with garlic in the mixer, grind it and add water and grind it further till you get fine paste.

Chop the remaining 3 onions again vertically, long and thin and deep fry them in oil in the vessel you will cook the chicken in or in a kadai. Fry till they turn brown. Remove once they are done. Crush them into finer particles. (Marathit you say “kuskarne”)

Wash the chicken clean and add to it curd, ginger-garlic paste, the red mirchi paste (entire), haldi, crushed brown onions and salt(as per taste, ideally 11/2 teaspoons would suffice) in the proportion mentioned above. Mix properly and leave the chicken to marinate for an hour.

Add the entire marinated chicken to the oil in a vessel. Add just a couple of tablespoons of water to prevent it from sticking to the vessel. Keep a lid on the mixture and let it cook. Keep it on medium gas initially till it boils. When you first see the bubbles; add 11/2 tablespoons of garam masala powder. Then slowly keep mild gas. Leave it on till chicken is cooked properly and gravy is thick.

Once the chicken is done, garnish it with finely chopped coriander leaves and add a tablespoon of pure ghee from above. Serve along with hot parathas, vegetable raita & fried rice:-) Your Sunday treat is ready.

Basmati rice: 2 small bowls (300-350 gms)
Kali Miri (Pepper): 16
Lavang (Clove): 12
Elaichi ( Cardamom): 15
Dalchini (Cinamon): 5-6 small sticks
TamalPatra( Bay Leaf): 3-4 leaves
Onion (medium-sized): 2
Salt: As per taste
Boiled Water: 4 small bowls (Double the amount of rice)
Kesar(Saffron): For taste

Soak rice in water for 1/2 hour. Then rinse the water form the rice.

Take 4 tablespoons of pure ghee and heat. Add Kali Miri (Pepper), wait till it sizzles. Then add Clove, wait till it sizzles, add entire Elaichi(pound it slightly, add along with leaves) wait till it sizzles, add Dalchini, wait till it sizzles, then lastly add Tamal Patra, wait till it sizzles. Once you get the smell of the masala, the seasoning is done and add finely chopped onions in it. Add a pinch of salt to the onions, keep frying till onion turns brown. Add ghee if you think a little more will be needed.

Add rice to this mixture. Mix properly till the rice gets dry i.e. the wetness goes. Then add 4 small bowls (same size as the ones you took for measuring rice) of boiled water. Stir properly. Add salt. Around 2 teaspoons should suffice. Add a bit of Kesar. Make the gas high and let the rice boil. Once all water evaporates and rice settles, turn the gas mild, and put a lid on top and let it cook for 15 minutes. If vessel is not non-stick keep a plate below the vessel as well.

Once the rice is done garnish it with finely chopped coriander. Serve along with Dal Fry/Chicken Gravy and Vegetable Raita.

Try these and let me know. More will follow 🙂 And why don’t you all put up your recipes on your blog as well. It would be really nice to share such stuff. Sujatha shared the same view 🙂 So Sujatha I’m waiting 🙂

Mumbai’s Environment Man???

It’s been only 3 weeks since Mumbai faced its worst ever natural disaster. The city is still recovering with aids yet to reach many. People and organizations are on full swing in their operations to send out the aid. Environmentalists have explained why the disaster happened, and we must build more green spaces in the city.

Yet our brilliant,” Environment Minister” comes up with a fantastic suggestion to save Maharashtra from the 1 Lakh crore debt. How do we do it? Sell off the open spaces, and pay off the debt and whatever remains use it for ‘building infrastructure’ in this city. Wow hasn’t he got the finest brains in the world?

He made some ridiculous statements yesterday! And today he has backtracked on his words. It’s a shame we have such people in the power. It’s a shame we do nothing about it!

And why are we taking this crap from him? Can’t we finally speak out? Why are the “builders” and politicians ruling this city? Do we citizens not have a say?

A nice editorial piece here.(It’s in Marathi).

My Experiments with Cooking…

Having the best cook in the world as your mother (Every child feels that no doubt, but seriously she is awesome!) and a house full of great cooks in aunties & granny who all had their specialties; isn’t an easy thing to live upto! The task toughens further when you have a mother-in-law who too comes in the same league as your own family! Not easy at all 🙂

I had my first tryst with cooking when I tried my hand at tea! The simplest, I’ve kind of mastered it now, but mum’s tea still rakes in more compliments. However, I did get one up on her when papa began to prefer mine to hers. I think he was just playing the idle dad:-)

I then learnt the most basic things, the dal and the rice. Today I experiment with new kinds of dal with different seasonings and with every try it only gets better. No doubt they say practice makes you perfect.

The most important thing my mom always told me was enjoy your cooking. Don’t treat it as a burden, remember if not for anyone else you’ll have to cook for yourself, I’m not going to be there to feed you all your life!

True and when I lived on my own for little time, I learnt to do it and not be dependant on outside food. It’s only then that I realized why home food is home food! Though my husband and I love to go out often, both of us still prefer our home food!

Then I tried experimenting with rice. Now what is there to experiment in that you say? It is so simple to cook and so bland a dish! But even that can be made interesting, tried steam rice, jeera rice, plain fried rice, chinese fried rice, biryani rice, famous maharastrian “masala bhath” and “ fodnicha bhaat” ( you season the previous day’s leftover rice and the taste is super!!)

I love non-veg, I’m not so much a sea-food lover but I absolutely relish chicken and mutton dishes. So more than veg I first learnt to cook non-veg. I learnt super short-cut methods from my mum (a working woman) as I knew with my kind of work-life I wouldn’t have all the time in the world like my mom-in-law(housewife). I don’t like spending hours in the kitchen, I hate that, it has to be quick, with minimum fuss and the result should be delicious 🙂

Another part of the course meal is the salads & the raitas. They just make your meal complete. You can try corn salad, veg raita, cucumber raita, and plain onion-tomato-carrot-beet salad. For more taste try seasoning it too.

My mumma taught me another important lesson, a lesson we all tend to ignore when we cook at home. Have you observed how yummy the dishes in hotels look, why can’t we do the same at home?

Garnish plays a big role in triggering the appetite of the eater. A fact we so conveniently neglect at home. It doesn’t take much to garnish and make a dish look yummy. Corriander, grated coconut, tomatoes, onions and cucumber is all it takes. They don’t cost much and it doesn’t take much effort to decorate your dish with them. Also use some nice vessels to spruce up the dish.

If you take so much effort to be presentable in public and at work, why can’t you take minimum required effort to make your food presentable to your loved ones.

Follow the golden rule in cooking is what my mum told me and the rule was “KISS”: Keep It Simple Stupid 🙂

I don’t cook regularly, my work timings don’t permit me too, but I do enjoy it on the weekends. I’ve yet to scale the heights that my mumma, aunty and granny have scaled. I’ve just started my journey and going by their judgement they have the confidence I’ll get there:-)

I used to smirk when mumma used to tell me nothing beats the joy when your loved ones relish your cooking. I realize it only today, she thinks I’m finally turning into a woman:-) She has lived with a tomboy all her life and is pleasantly surprised by the little changes:-)

As she says cooking and having others savour it is just one of those little joys in life! 🙂 I couldn’t agree more with her 🙂

P.S: I’m no Sanjeev Kapoor but a lot of my friends and my sister have been asking me for recipes for some of the dishes I have cooked. What better way than to share it along on my blog. So watch this space for more and tell me how they turn out:-)

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