Happy New Year!!!

1 day to the new year eve and 2 days to a brand new year!! The countdown to a new year begins...........

But before the spark works begin its time to get into a contemplate mode. A quick review of 2008!

2008 has been so to say a 'landmark' year....A new job, bought our first 'home' together n of course the big fat Goa Vacation! Hmm so shouldnt the year go right up there in 'good years of my life'.........but but (isn’t there a But always!!) there is this thing tht still pricks me n until that is done(a headstart has been made but) all these so called achievements just fade away! Now Now this a too personal thingy to be discussed here or else where. So sorry no questions entertained)!! But what the heck.....There are still 2 days left and may be it'll be done by then(yeah right!!!).So please join in wishing me a dose of good luck next year.........

N to top this mood of melancholy was the New Year horoscope.....ok now an interesting snippet here! My b'day falls on April 22nd n for the first 24years I was a happy taurean until i met my dearest hubbs who is true blood Leo! So whats the problem u say?? Supposedly Taurus - Leo are the worst possible combo....ho ho!! But Do I accept defeat so soon? (If u thinking what crap…. I can be illogical like that) Not me!! So my mind n heart go into a overdrive and come up with a workaround......"I am a Cusp".....A cusp of Taurus n Aries!! A very amicable solution to the heart n mind.....Mind cause 22nd is ideally a cusp(Now dont ask me if this mind of mine was sleeping for all the 25 years) n heart cause supposedly Aries-Leo is the best possible combo  N post this Daily horoscope is something I stopped reading for obvious reasons.....Aries n Taurus most probably than not would hv conflicting versions. So based on my frame of mind I hon a Aries or Turus cap for the day :)

N now to our yearly prediction..... This weekend the jobless me was going thru thye yearly predictions....N for Taurus it said "Extreme Caution required in first 15 days......You can land up in some trouble and a theft, visit to hospital or even a court are all a possibility"!! Well butterflies started fluttering but wait till you her Leos Prediction "Caution required in first 15 days! Chance of you borrowing money or facing money crunch is high"...sob sob! Now butterflies are doing a somersault!!! While I hope all this is crap do wish me a dose of good luck in sailing thru this 15 days!!

The hubbs of mine thinks this is one big joke!!!!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

N with this post I sign off for this year!! But before that (The below section is been copied from a Forward but suits what I wanna say so well tht I hv used it here) ……….

I am taking this opportunity to thank everyone , I mean EVERYONE , who made 2009 a fabulous year.........Hoping 2010 will be even better.

• For all those I've made promises to and never kept - it was not deliberate but I will "improve" in 2010.

• Those that I owe lunches, movies, night out , etc..., I'll fix that as well, I'll make time . For sure.

• For those that have supported me and made me smile through all my hardships...I salute you! halaala.

• For those I've disagreed with, argued with and just never got along with......well, I'm Sorry!!!!!!! Let's try again next year.

• Those that I've hurt.....unintentionally/intentionally....I've already apologized "I'm Sorry" again...

• For those that stuck a knife in my back the past is all forgotten.... forgiveness is the best revenge MAYBE!!!

• For those that have let me down.....oh well.... I should have known better

• All the true friends that I have: you ROCK!!..Awesome! N this holds true for all my Blogger friends too….

Congratulations to all the new mommies & fathers, newly weds etc..., no funerals please guys

But all in all, you guys have made 2009 a great year; I wish you and your loved ones prosperity, good health, wealth, happiness, greener pastures, abundant blessings,

• And Oh!! a wonderful festive season.

May 2010 be the year you achieve wonderful things in God's guidance and strength.


Goa: Untouched

Waana Sample a piece of Goa untouchedv by all touristy things?? Waana sample the good old Goan village style? How abt visiting a few archeologically protected Hindu temples??

Then  head striaght to Divar Islands. N how do you get onto Divar Island?? Hop onto a ferry from Old Goa...N the Ferry here is more than a touristy thing...it is the only means of transport for the islanders......n so it ferries not just u n me n loads of fsih but also ur bike, cycle car or lets say a lorry! N once there you are magicallly taken transported to another world....far away from all the maddening tourist crowd! N what a place it is...filled with old Portugese home(most of them deserted) and life moving in its own idylic pace....Life in its purest form! Make sure u visit the old church there...n the caretaker there will let u explore the entire place all the way upto the clock tower...n all u hv for company upthere are the Bats!!

Dont miss the vehicles on the ferry

The church at Divar Island

An Old Portugese - Goan Home

Khelo Khoodo - Goa Isshtyle!

A trip to Goa with no water sports - unimaginable!!! It was a dose of these watrer sports that was the biggest lure for the hubbs of mine........ N the nightmare for me!! Me n all the topsy turvy rides just dont go together!! But being the Indian wife silently accompnied my hubbs :-D

The only thing tht i was ready to bet on was a Paragliding n man was I glad I did that!!! Oosh you go up in the air above the waters with feet dangling n u are almost flying up there.................... but but if its gotta 'us' in the story then there gonna be a twist!! The hubbs of mine had generously tippred the boatman to take us all the way and then dip us to right into the water!! N all this without realizing that moi is in my trademark specs..yeah yeah the intelligent me decided to go in with specs...hello how do you expect me to enjoy the view minus specs!!! N then as you must have guessed to the debris of Goan Beach is added my poor colorful specs!! Which mean the rest of the trip was minus my specs...OMG!! On a brighter side, the lazy me was forced to hon my lens n tht meant bette rpics with my goggles :-D...Isnth there a silver lining after all!!

Ofcourse there are other rides...Jet skiing, Banana rides n all which my hubbs was hopping on n off like a kiddo...n your truly has better sense than to try all of these!!

Imagine jumping up above the waves in a scooter...Yeah right!!!

N now for some interesting Observations:

  1. Only Indian tourist seem to be trying their hands at these water sports(for obvious reasons??)
  2. The facilities at Baga Beach seem not-very-indian complete with booze n food served in deck beds, sun-bathing tourists etc while Calangute has hardly any of these facilities......its more like your other indian beach with shore side peppered with peannut sellers n oglers and ! But the rates at Calangute are way cheaper than Baga!!

Quill(a) time in Goa!!!

Title coutesy mu hubs!! N its meant to  translate to Forts(Qilla ~~ Fort in Hindi) in Goa

Goa N forts!! Now Now if u hv this sardonic expression on ur face imaging that its one of the many run down forts that every city in India...lemme give u this piece of info that may just catch your interest!! Remember the scene below from Dil Chatha he??Yeah yeah am talking of the same fort here.....The chapora fort. Ok now to be fair the fort owes its fame to the movie....the scene from there if not breathtaking is still beautiful!

To the left is the scene from DCH N to thew right is my hubbs...proof tht we been there n done that :-D

But something tht is more wort the time will be a visit to Fort Tiracol! Accessible again by jumping into a ferry....but but may I suggest a more laid back n a beautiful way to approach this place! Ditch the ferry n hire a boat across the river and if you are lucky you'll get a boatman who'll entertain with a fishing expedition n some interesting snippets - and grabbing by Russian Mafia in Goa!!!! N u'll believe it once u see the number of sign boards in goa in Russian; And ofcourse a dose of gyann about how Indian women should break free of inhibitions n fears......N when it comes from a seasoned fisherman it hits you hard :). N after the delightful ride acroos you reach the Tiracol fort which is now converted into a super uber luxury hotel! But itsnt this place that impresses you as much as the sunset view from the barren lands alongside this hotel........n topping on cake its deserted n you enjoy the most romantic sunset :-p.

Sunset from Tiracol

The crimson Sky

Yet another Traveller on this Lonely Planet

Eat, Drink N Make Merry - The Goan Style!

Now now this space seems to be being flooded with posts on Goa....But writing one big travelogue and getting with it is just not me....so please bear with me and read on....
This post is dedicated to one topic that very often graces this space - Food and hotel reviews!! Yeah yeah my fav of all :)
Goan food and what pops up in mind is endless booze n sea food....... here are a a few hangouts that I found in the short 5 days I was there...

Start ur day with a dip in the almost deserted Anjuna Beach(the beaches almost look deserted early in the morn)! After a strenuous workout in the beach (translates to sitting on the beach and baby-watching the tintin of my hubbs) stomach grumbles for a hearty breakfast?? Then head straight to Martha's breakfast. N what a spread they hv ...a full 172 items on menu(n they are open only for breakfast)......complete with waffles, crepes, bacons.......

N after this filling breakfast head straight to Baga Beach...... Catch up on the different water sports there.....Para Gliding, jet Skiing, Banana Boat ride or hop on for a dolphin ride(the best time to view dolphins is early in the morning).......N after all this ur hearty breakfast is washed off n ur stomach is roaring for hearty meals again?? Head straight to the famous Bistros right on the beach side.... Get a deck bed with a umbrella above, lay back relax, sip on beer, order in Prawn Vindallo from Bistros even as you get a tattoo done! The one on left is moi's n the other is the hubb's...yeah yeah they are temp tatoos...so no worries there!

After all this head back to your base camp(Anjuna beach in our case)and go straight upto Avalon Sunset -Supposedly the word 'Avalon' means 'Heavenly' and this is the place to catch a gr8 sunset view on the Anjuna beach (Now now I was never there for the sunset)! But this place earns all its brownie points for its quaint decor...... nothing elaborate but imagine this............. A neatly (actually not so very neat) spread out ground level seating .....Translates to a very thin mattress with bolsters on both sides! N now as you lie down puffing out on hookah with your head resting on the bolster wht do you get to see but a wonderful view of the sea!! A treat to my city-tired eyes......

Have more time in your hands?? Go north upto Arambol Beach........ N u c the entire beach stretch filled with candle lit tables...Ho yeah imagine luxury of having a candle light dinner, by the beach side with sand between your legs and the sound of waves hitting the shore...Bliss hey!!! Sip on fenny, munch on Goan sausages or Prawn masala, have Rice with Prawn curry........

N if the shack you choose is government shack then the nearer your are to the beach......hmmm looks like our govt is getting smart too!

Check out the innumerable sea side shacks littering the beach…. Good food at throw away prices n to get a slice of the Goa of the bygone hippie days head curlies…a shack by the Anjuna beach!

Also do check the Goan sweets - Bibica(in the pic) is my fav! Head to Mr. Bakers in Panjim for a slice of it. N do stock upon Goan stuffed sausages from Aggasim village....

N ofcourse in a tourist swamped places like Goa you have a lot of hotels offering you international cusines...do check them out!

While in Goa - Eat, Drink N make Merry!

Best things in life come in small packages....

....n its so very true about Goa! Now now am not raving abt the beaches or the night life.....But its abt the freedom to be! Wondering wht freedom we are referring to??

Well this may sound funny..... its the freedom to dress in the skimpiest of dresses n not have men ogle at you :-D. Didn’t I tell u its gonna be funny...But trust me it gives you a big liberal feeling...imagine lying down on a beach(mind u not a private beach) dressed in skimpiest of clothes n boozing away ala ur hubbs.....almost impossible to imagine it happening in India hey! U almost feel like a free bird again n tht heady feeling is hard to describe........

Indeed good things in life comes in small packages: Skimpiest clothes in the skimpiest state of India!

And we're Back....

.....from a holliday in Goa:).

After a long hiatus we're back in the holidaying circuit n what a come back it was......A road trip via B'lore - Gokarana - Goa - Hubli - B'lore spanning 1600 KM, 8 days, 3 hotels, endless bottles of beer(yeah yeah I hv graduated from Breezer),  sumptuous sea food ........

But as they say all things come back to an end and here I am back to the everyday grind....But then thats life...beautiful life....N isnt it the nitti griitties of everyday living that makes life the most beautiful!

Vachchuneta(good bye in konkani) till I get back with the tales of sun n sand........

Do ping in at 'Ping'!

If u were reading a blog atleast once a blue moon chnaces are u know tht me n hubbs are big time foodies! Afterall Whats life minus good food!! N eating out is a regular happening! Come any occasion n days before u'll find me looking out\reading up reviews for hotels to eat out(today almost loioked up a hotel review for newyear :-p). This one is a review about a cute small place in Koramngala...'Ping'\'Dessert Bay'!!

The word 'Ping' supposedly means 'the best\The highest standard' in Chinese...so doe sthe experience there match upto its name?? Read on and decide for urself....

Now I wouldnt say that the food is out of the world or something....but again as with all these 'Happening' places they know how to target the Single and DINK crowd (DINK - Double Income No Child Couple -- A Lingo I just heard)!

Now to be fair the variety of dimsums - spicy soya and Basil Dimsum, Prawn Tail Dimsum  - they serve there is mind boggling . But its the presentation and the service that takes the cake here! Look at this pic and you'll know whhat am talking........A steward walking up to you with all desserts of the day....mouth watering ha! Now now who wouldnt fall to this...I ofcourse did n our group ended up tasting most of them!

N now to the location - their indoor seating thou pleasing isnt anything to write home about but they have this cute seating arrangement 'Dessert Bay' outside with a small water body.....imagine a pleasent night licking neat your tiramissu with the pleasent air blowing in your face...Heaven I tell you!!

Check the collage for th outdoor seating pic and te clean-wiped plates talk for the food here :)

May be the next time I go there I can do a better review on the food...was too busy taking in the place that the foood just didnt sink in!

N talking of Tiramissu, to taste the best Tiramissu in B'lore head to this place called 'BLliss' - In forum Value Mall, Whitefield! Its more like a choco Pub and the Tiramissu there I tell u is real 'Bliss'....


                                                     Indeed life is yummm yummm!

For reviews on other places in B'lore drop in here!

26\11 Mayhem - A true story!

A young girl fresh out of college, working in a top notch IT company, drawing a heavy 6 digit salary ~~ falls head over heels in love with a colleague of hers - from different state, religion. Blessed with level-headed parents, the couple settle into a 'happily ever after' married life.

A few years into the marriage the guy is transferred to our own amchi mumbai and the girl was to follow soon! The boy with stars-in-eyes books a flat and was zipping away on his bike to the new abode....and it is at this point the entire story goes hay-wire!

This my dear friends happened exactly a year ago...on 26\11 the poor boy fell victim to the mindless 26\11 mayhem in mumbai! Sample the remaining story to know how rude fate can get...

Meanwhile the girl was awaiting to hear back from the guy! The network was all jammed and this she thot was why she hasnt heard from him! The harsh truth isnt something she had even thot of in her distant dreams! A fear started dawning in only when the hours tickled by and she hadnt yet heard anything from him even the next day. She lands in mumbai all alone to search for him...she goes searching in his office, neighbourhood, hospitals,approaches newspaper, TV channels in hope of finding him but all efforts draws a null! At the end of massive hunting all that the girl gets is his bike n ID card at the shooting point but no trace of the body...possibly burnt away in a mass graveyard!

This is no piece of fiction...its the true story of my colleague's cousin! The poor girl almost on to become a psychiatric patient but was thankfully pulled out there by my colleague! She had to leave her family, job back in hyd and rushed to this girl's rescue.......

Today after a year the poor girl still refuses to remove her Mangalsutra and believes that he must be still alive somewhere.

Terrorism until I heard this was just another headline for me! But its only when you hear these stories striking your near and dear ones that you realize how irreversibly life can be altered...wasn't that girl cruising in a same boat like me and you until a rude jolt of terrorism drowned her boat!

                    "There is no way to Peace,
                                  PEACE IS THE WAY"

A Sen'TEA'mental Evening....

What better way to mark 'Jab-we-met' anniv but do things that we love the most - Hanging out n having yum yum food!! N tht is exactly what we did...

Started off with catching the evening show of 2012. The movie is based on mayan calendar which predicts that the world will come to an end on ...an horryfying aspect indeed! A graphically brilliant movie with again right dose of sentiments involved!Make sure you catch this movie on the big screen.

But whats a celebration without yummy food! SO headed straight to Infinitea - a tea bar, a place we have heard quite a bit bit never got around to try! Hmmm the decor was a bit let down...was expecting to find a more chic n happening place...happening it is but wouldnt really call it chic! But man, they know their stuff....mind boggling variety of Tea ~~ the usual suspects Assam, Darjeeling, Niligri, Earl Grey, Green, Black are ofcourse there peppered with a few others tht I havent heard of yet ~~ Oolong,Engime, Euphoria, silver blossoms N each of this comes with their own brewing time.....See the sand timer in the pic?? Wondering if its a piece of the decorum there! Well I wouldnt blame you cause I thot the same.... turned out that its a stop-clock so that you get the brewing time right! N different sand timer for different varieties ~~ 4 mins for 'Orient Pearl' Tea, 5 mins for 'DJ Gold Oolong' Tea(These are the ones which we sampled)!

N if u are wondering if all that we had for our 'Romantic dinner' were 'infini'teas ...well well these people dish out some really yum items too! The one we sampled were 'parmisan fritters', 'Mousha la limosi'(Fish in the Italian style)......N a'fishy' person that I am, I rate this dish a full 9out of 10!!

So the next time u in a mood for some 'TEA' u know where to head to!! N when you are there check out their walls peppered with some neat pics!

All in all indeed a Sen'TEA'mental Evening to remember :)

'Jab We Met' - 3 Year and running

Trying to make sense out of the title?? Strain no more...hop here to know what am referring to!

Ho yeah its the time of the year...3 years as on tommo since we first met :).

So wht plans for tommo?? well the not-so-romantic hubbs of mine has shot down the gifting idea with a very unromantic "Lets stop this gifting mumbo-jumbo"..grrrrr!! But do I accept defeat so soon?? No way!! I hv v slyly convinced to buy me goggles today (so tht will be my gift of the day) n as for his gift.....well am clueless :-p. Thankfully he is game for eating ouut anyday..so that takes care of the dinner plan(romantic???)!!

So please join in wishingus many such years of happy-togetherness(hopefully peppered with more gifts, dinners n vacations)!!

Book Review: "Two States ~~ The story of my Marriage" - Chatan Bhagat-

Yeap Yeap this is the latest from Chetan Bhagat - Two States! Finished reading this book a good month back...grabbed it almost as soon as it was out... not cause am a hardcore fan of Chetan Bhagat but well it just happened

The first thing tht stuck me about the novel is the back cover page that so well enumerates the rules of marriage in India:

Love marriages around the world are simple:
Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy.
They get married.

In India, there are a few more steps:
Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy.
Girl's family has to love boy. Boy's family has to love girl.
Girl's Family has to love Boy's Family. Boy's family has to love girl's family.
Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.

Simple hey... Thou it sounds hilarious THE TRUTH........n u better get this straight! Sabi, this one is just for u :)

N now back to the book! Like his other novels this is a easy read. Tak, tak tak it makes u turn he pages......Simple yet engrossing! Brings about the south vs north divide beautifully.....sample this.... while IITs, IIMs sell in south Indian Matrimonial markets its Fair skins n Petrol bunks that sell up north! Hilarious but the truth again!

So any of u there deciding to have this south-north wedding, gift urself this book n u can pick a few handy tips......n sorry Ms.Dark-skinned-Southie, the only tip there if u gotta impress your fair skinned northie in-laws is to rush to the nearest beauty parlour :)

Have a blast this diwali by not having a blast!

As again with other festivals diwali doesnt really figure in mallu's list of festivals......but what the hell, from the time I remember Diwali was one festival celebrated celebrated with greater pomp than our own vishu or onam!! Possibly as children it was our version of "keeping up with Jones"! N then once into late teens the magic of crackers kinda fizzled out causing tantrums n outbursts from my sis as there was nobody else to indulge her!!

Now now before I go n take a nostalgic trip down the memory lane here's a glimpse of our diwali together....actually post marriage this is kinda our first diwali together!! On previous occasions either we were at my place or my in-laws place so never got to indulge together in diya lighting - cracker bursting ritual!!! So heres a pictorial walk thru of our diwali:

The simple pooja thali
yeap yeap i made the payasam.....yeap again its tht ready made kheer mix :)

Yummy pooris n baaji for lunch
N u Mr.Div I made almost all of this(:-P) by myself
Also on menu was yummy bella payasam(jaggery payasam)

A collage of all Diyas I picked up
Folding hands diya, Om diya, Conch Diya, Sun Flower diya, Leaf Diya, Flower Diya

The Urli Diya

Diya at Sabi's Place
From the famous Sabi-Binoy duo who pop into my post
Simple yet elegant like her

Ho yeap!! thts our lit up apartment

N of course the crackers!!!

But whats diwali with no booze.....so me being the stickler to traditions ensured that we got drunk (I on ofcourse breezer :( ) and topped it up with a late night drive!!

As my hubbs Diwali SMS said "Have a blast this diwali by not having a blast" ...well that was indeed the essence of our diwali too :)

The Lost Symbol - Tick

Yeap the latest "Tick" in my "To-Do" reading list was against "The Lost Symbol"...Actually the tick mark was put a good 2 weeks back...But the lazy bum that I am decided to blog it now! Before I go onto the review on it....lets take a small detour on how I landed up with this book....
The book was a gift from a friend of mine...Actually friend should have been an exaggeration considering its the first time am meeting her up!! But isnt the ways of friendship funny.....u meet a few people for 'n' no. of times but never forge a friendship with them n then there are others whom u meet for the first time n click like u hv known each other since ages!! This friendship is one of those rare ones tht falls under latter category! N yeap as u must have guessed this book was a gift of hers....beautiful gift I say! Makes me realize tht books should fall right on top of Gifting options especially when u know tht the other party is a book lover! Here truth be tod, my hubbs is a bigger book enthusiast than me..n tht was some revelation considering pre-marriage I had these two horns on me thinking tht I must be the biggest book enthusiast around!

N now back to our book....... lemme tel u this! Read the book with no expectations...dont compare it with 'Da Vinci Code' and then you wouldnt be disappointed! I did the mistake of reading the book with big expectations only to realize tht while it doesnt really fall under the league of Da Vinci Code' n such its a good book worth reading! N as with other Dan Brown books a lot of research has gone into this - Noetic Science, Free masons n rituals and makes you wonder is there any hidden secrets right under my foot too :)

N now to the best part of the book......its cover page.......N for those of you(lemme make it all of u) for whom it doesnt make sense lemme explain...As u may know the surname tht we are known with is 'Menon'...but the Peter Pan of my hubbs likes to improvise on it and make it 'Pheno-Menon'.....N the sweet friends that they are, decided to indulge us!! Thank U guys - for the book n the great company!!

So are we really the 'pheno-menons'...lemme leave tht for u to guess!!

What's cooking doc??

No no no...the post isnt abt any doc trying his hands at cooking. Actually it has nothing to do with a doc at all!! The title is a cartoon from the Bugs Bunny series. Incase u r rolling ur eyes n thinking "Ofcourse I know wht the title is abt" lemme clarify I am one of these cartoon-ignorant mortals who still exist on earth and this title is courtesy my hubbs!! So the post is abt a cartoon review??? Ha sorry but u got it wrong!! Its but a simple post on wht was cooked in my kitchen today......now please stop rolling ur eyes again n thinking "All drama for nothing"!!
Whts so spl abt it u say?? U wouldnt believe it but I cooked 3 complete meals on saturday....dosa with chutney(nee leftover of friday's chutney), complete lunch n dinner!!! OMG!! Guess in my 25+ years of existence its the first time this unimaginable feat has been achieved!! Yeap yeap a round of applause for me please :)

So without any further deviations lemme get straight into the subject...wht was on lunch today... Chinese potato fry, tomato pachadi (google it in case u havent heard of it), pavvakya fry(dried karela bought from shop n all u gotta do is deep fry it) n ofcourse rice...A full fledged meal u agree!!(please stop rolling ur eyes...its more than full fledged in my standards)!!

So whts the big deal u ask...please go back to the first item in the menu....chinese potato fry!! No no no itsnt ur regular potato neither is it a exotic vegetable! Incase u r from some part of God's own country u'll know it as 'Koorka'!! Ho yeap yeap this is abt the simple - earthly(literally earthly cause its coated with mud when u buy it) koorka!! N for the non mallu readers am afraid I couldnt come up with any other colloquial term...but may be the below pic(courtesy google ofcourse)will help!!

The amazing(or not so amazing aspects) of these eartly - vegatebles are how they require you to go back to basics- ur vegtable processors, mocrowaves are no help here!! The basic cleaning of this in itself is a amusing(yeap yeap amusing is the word) - Bundle up the koorka into a cloth (or a sack...well sack is no option in ma home. so I restored to a almost tattered bedsheet) and hit it hard against a concrete surface....This helps in separating the mud out!! N if u think now ur vegetable is ready to be used u cant be more mistaken - U need to wash them under running water unteem number of times before the original colors of koorka show up(The pic comparisions of above n below talks for itslef)!!

Now u pressure cook, peel the skin(ala boiled potato) and at last its ready to be used into a stir fry ....Into basic tadka add red chutney(red chilly-onion chutney) n dump the boiled koorka...Cook it up n yummy koorka is ready to eat!!

So am I gonna try this again?? I doubt it cause getting my hubbs to do the cleaning part of it next time around is gonna be no joke!! This is the first time around we tried it n the peter pan tht he is, he was more than happy to oblige but the next time am not so sure!!!

Ha n with this comes the first ever cookery post of mine(one in 50+)...Ha did somebody rightly say tht blog is a true reflection of the blogger!!! So wht made me blog thisWell should be the 'amusing' cleaning!!!

Did I celebrate karwa chauth?

Ofcourse I didnt!!! In the part of India that am from Karwa Chauth is almost unknown...I would love to believe tht its cause my ancestors come from the proud Nair lineage who strongly believe in equality...Did u know tht Nairs are traditionally matrilineal! N before u think its a thing of past lemme clarify tht my official surname 'Mullath' comes from my mom's side of family (thou I sign as 'Meena Menon'...Menon after my hubb's surname n it does sound more stylish :-p) !!! Ho yeapam a proud matrilineal nair woman !!!

So why the hell am I blogging about karwa chauth? Caue am a feminist who is here to preach equality??? LOL!! Na re baba na re baba na...rather hats of to the women who religiously follow it !! N a double salute if u r happen to be a working women!! N why this generous salutes?? Here is the story...

I cut my hair short as its easier to manage. shhh...dont Tell anybody but the truth is few days as I rush to office I hardly brush it.....but nobody notices the diff thnx to the hardly shoulder length hair...n isnt it the 'In-Thingy' now??? Any day am happier in my jeans-tee attire cause its much more comfortable...replace the tee with a cotton-lycra material n am the happiest!! N on the rare occasion when i decide to wear a bindi.....its more possibly than not a tweeny dot tht u gotta strain ur eyes to see. So much so that now when am almost in my late 20's n after 2 good years of marriage I can hardly manage to drape a sari.......So what the big deal u ask......afterall arent u a woman of today?

Big deal is now-a-days I crave to dress up like a Indian woman.....In a crisp starched cotton sari with loads of bangles, chunky silver jewellery, a big bindi n hair adorned with chamelis!! So much more sexier than a off-shoulder dress...wouldnt u agree!! I dont remember the last time I had put mehendi in these hands!!

N other thing tht I seem to be recently craving of is celebrating our festivals without losing out the finer traditional nuances associated with it!! I hardly have the energy or the patience to prepare an elaborate meal so forget traditional nitti-gritties.

Wondering why this nostalgic walk all of a sudden?? Remember the title ...it supposedly was karwa chauth yesterday n the newspapers were full of pics of beautifully decked women making the effort to celebrate a beautiful sentiment (fasting for ur hubbs longevity is a beautiful thot dont u agree)!! Hats off ladies!!

Ending this post with this beautiful painting of Ravi Varma tht captures the beauty of a Nair women(dont miss the 'operational' word Nair :) )!! Pic courtesy Google

A petition for way of life!

This heading is a direct lift from a post of a blog tht I am a secret follower of! N the subject is something close to my heart.....

I hv a similar story with the twist being tht am at the receiving end.....ho yeah ladies n gentleman I work odd hours ~~ 12:30 pm to 9:30 pm which means leaving home at 11:30 in morn n reaching well after 10 in the night...sad dont u agree?? N this too is gonna look like luxury soon since my timings will change from 1:30 pm to 10:30 pm in the night which means I gonna reach home almost at midnight...sob sob sob! N does my misery end there.... no dear no! Thnx to my so called "lead" role...I would have to reach home n login for an hour at the minimum!!!

To be fair I know I shouldn't be complaining....I hv a job tht pays me well n thank my stars tht I need not work in night shifts or more odd hours! I console myself at times saying unlike a 9-6 time I dont hv rushed mornings........But I know at the bottom of my heart its just to console myself! N ofcourse the bigest lure of all..... the extra money tht u r paid for these odd hours (Should it have a happy or a sad ???)! But the things tht hits me the most...On most of the days u r too tired to think of even having s** (wondering why stars n why dont I spell out the word?? Just in interest of a few of my readers)

What wouldn't I give to get out of office when there is still light, reach home at sane hours n spend some quality time with my hubbs!!

So here I join Tharini in submitting a petition to God for thiss dream of mine to come true soon........N this requires nothing lesser than God to intervene considering am just months old in this role n organization! But again as with evrything els ein my life nithing has ever fallen into my lap directly whether be it my marraige, job...I crave for it n gotta submite multiple petitions to God before my prayers are answered! May be its his way to make me realize the worth of things in life :)

Chitthi Aayi He.....

On a recent visit to my in-laws place, my FIL had bought down a file in which he had religiously stored the letters sent by his mother decades ago. My hubbs grandmother(from his father's side) had expired long before we got married...so thou I have heard people singing praises of her generosity, intelligence I could never relate to her. But this time as I read those letters I discovered a selfless, brave, practical woman....... a firm mother who advices her son to mend his ways so that he is no trouble to his wife (Her DIL), a warm n affectionate MIL who doesn’t differentiate between her Daughter n Daughter-in-Law, who believes that the maids should be given a weekly off (like any other profession)! N the thing tht impressed me the most??? The pride with which she signed each of her letter as "Mrs.P.N.Menon"..... A simple act but doesnt it show how proud she was of her husband...This is saying something considering her husbad was dead decades ago!!

But \ this post isn’t abt her...its abt the beauty of letters! The emotions that a letter brings about can it be bought out in am email?? Coming to that when was the last time we wrote down a lengthy email to your family\friend ...isnt it much easier to pick up your mobile or hop onto skype n talk for ages!! Yeap it makes the communication easier...we need not wait for ages to pass a news around! Can a email replace the good old inland letter? Well for all practical purposes it has but wht abt emotional purposes..... How many of us would preserve these emails?? Once read n replied staright they go into trash box..... n with it goes the memmories!! My mom still has the first letter tht dad had written to her.....A wonderful n invaluable relic isnt it!! Do I have the first email hubbs has written to me????

Today when my dad is no more all the memories tht I hv is all in my mind n may be a few pics! Isn’t it sad tht my child will never have a chance of knowing him better! Sad considering what a beautiful writer my dad was!

The best find in the lot of letters my FIL preserved...A letter written to my FIL on the eve of his marriage by his mother.......!!Imagine 40 years down the line when am well into my 60's...what bliss it would be to sit down n read a letter tht my dad had written to me on my graduation or wedding eve........ooph tht would be some trip down the memory line! Sad isn’t it tht we are depriving ourselves of these small pleasures in life!!

Here is bidding a sad good bye to our very beloved Inland Letter

N as with all things our own bollywood songs - Chitti Aayi He, sandesha aate hai capture the spirit of chitti beautifully.....
PS: The smart husband of mine reads the blog n here is his comment "Gmail is gonna replace your inalnd letter soon"......hmph Mr.Hubbs I dont think so......lets imagine the remotest of possibilities tht u dont delete mails(like tht is possible) would u share ur password with gen-next for them to read n relish the mails(Fat chance tht considering he doesnt share it even with me)!!

Happy Duserra All!

Here is wishing you all a v happy Dussera!

This pic is of a small statue tht I picked up 2 years back on a trip to Kolakatta....isnt she a beauty :)

Onam Visheshangal.....Onam 2009!

As promised in previous posts here I come to flood this space....Lemme start off with the easiest of the ones to capture...... Onam at our new home!

Onam was just one day after we landed at new home....so any before hand preperation was completely ruled out! The day before was spent in makinbg the house hospitable\livable......thou it seems mundane, today as I look back it has left me with a few sweet memmories of the time spent my mom...who else can u shout at just cause u r felling cranky n expect the person to take it in stride....who else but your own pyaari maa!!

The onam day started with poor m having to wake up at 4!! Ho yeah I was awake n kicking at tht time of the day.........Wht all things do parents make their litlle girls do....sob sob! But having a hot cup of tea sitting put on your bed this early in the morning is just pure bliss....hmmmmmmmmmmmm !Thnx to mom ofcourse....its again after 2 years tht am being pampered with a bed tea(save for the occasional short trips to hyd)! The other enticing propspect to waking up tht early was the early morning drive....the joy of having pleasent cold air blowing on your face as you zip along traffic free roads is just uncomaprable! N after reading the above few linesif u think am gonna get converted to an early bird...sorry no luck there! Am much happier sleeping away cosying up to my hubbs :-D

After this long sojourn a quick recap of the day...woke up early morn to a cup of hote tea(yeah tht is all we hv read uptill now in this long sriteup) n yeap yeap I had mentioned of a long romantic drive.....so now lemme break the bubble n confess that the drive was no romantic long drive....we were headed to the vegetable market.....ho ho ho!!! But again there is something soothing about the site of a buzzing market of fresh vegetables, fruits n flowers after being subjected day in n out to the neon-lit shopping malls!!

So after this vegetable-fruits-flowers-shopping we head back home after picking up my little niece n her mom!! Ho yeah nothing like a small girl to make ur celebration complete.....N drive u mad too especially in the chaos tht the house was :)

After this so-very-ordinary things of everyday we now get into the 'onam-mode',...of putting up a pookalam (Coutesy my cousin....much better than the amateurish work of last time hey).... n getting a yummy sadhya ready....My conributiond to Sadhya?? Made a yummy kheer couurtesy 'Ready-to-Cook' MTR kheer mix....hmm n for all of u laughing at this come on now its the spirit tht matters......

So this in a gist is wht Onam this year was abt......simple but warm n loving symobilc of the life we gonna start at our new home(hopefully)!!

The pookalam!

The yummy Sadhya

N the best part of Onam!!

Onam 2008...A quick Recap!!

Ho yeap u read the subject line rt.....This post is a recap of the last Onam...a good one year gone by now! But the magic of the first onam we spent together is so special (n so silly) tht it gotta be captured for posterity sakes :)

Before we dive into the subject a brief decko of us an year back(not that we are any better now)......We were this still-newly-married :-p couple both with no sense of responsibility or a Trace of domesticity.....cooking(at least the kerala.....not tht am good at any kinda cooking), traditions, poojas were all geek n Latin to us...But wht the hell we wernt gonna accet defeat for such a small hurdle!

Onam started the day before with us going flower-vegetable shopping. A word(or rather line) of praise for my hubbs here....In those days I was working in electronic city while my hubbs office was on banergatta road n poor fella drove all the way to my office to pick me upn then we drove back all the way to banergatta road n beyond for the shopping......those of u who know the distance n the chaos during peak hours will know wht am speaking of!! Now before u go "So sweet" I guess it was the prospect of my tantrums tht made him do it...Ho yeap it seems like am being this one big bully of a wife....huh huh!

So back to the subject we reach back home loaded with kilos of vegetables(ho ho didnt i tell u we were clueless). N then of course the hubbs of mine had to drive me around to different shops before I picked up a dress well after 10 in the night(after coaxing the shop keeper to keep it open for just a few more mins)......
Back at home it was time for pookalam......huh huh confession time again! Its the first time both of us were getting a hands on in putting up pookalam!! But of course the enthusiast in us start it up with lots of gesto n energy n after a lot of error n trial we came up with this! Pretty amateurish hey!!

N now comes the D-day...but D-day or not we wake up at our own Sweet time..... N before we realize its temple time which meant dressing up in 'Kasuvu-Sari'....n those of u who know me must be wondering 'Kausuvu Sari N u'...ho yeah the same thot ran thru mine!! But thank heavens I did a cover-up job which stood the test of time(referring to a period of 1 hour to visit the temple n get back :))

Ha tht accomplished it was time for some kerala cooking......ha ha h!! N tht meant frantic calls to mummies back home n of course recipes courtesy good old google! The end result...we came up with a full fledged menu starting from sambar, olan, erisheri, cabbage thoran, poolinji, payam, ooperi.....but was it palatable........lemme leave tht to u to guess!! N dont miss the beer mugs in the pic.....now tht made sadhya complete :)
So tht was was our first onam together.....clueless, amateur but complete...in a sense tht is exactly wht we are :)
PS: The bakras for the day were good old sabs-bins! But I gotta confess again...after this flurry of activity we were so drained tht we had no energy to play good hosts :)

The 'Great August Rush'

Ha n there goes the month of August.....N what a month it has been!! Starting off with the hubbs birthday, chasing against time to get our new flat ready , the hoard of relatives n guests, the much -looked forward to house warming, the anniversary and what better way to end it but with moving in into the new abode.....ho yeap thts some month!

N not to be left behind comes the month of September...Our first Onam together at the new home - pookalam, sadhya, Birthday of my sis(sad thing being she couldn't make it here thnx ????) and the short but beautiful trip to Nandi hills (N for those of u from B'lore wondering wht could be so gr8 about a trip to Nandi hills of all the places plz watch this space)!!

N the best of all is tht after 2 good long years of marriage I got to spend some quality time with my mom...well doesnt distance make your heart go fonder...

N but of course each of these deserve a blog in themselves...at least for posterity sake...so hopefully u gonna c a flutter of activity in this space....... The other thing tht strikes me as I writ this post is the fact tht when u hv so many things cramped into such a short frame of time the result is chaos...you cannot afford to sit back n relish each momment...its but a mad rush from one event to other!!

PS1: N for those who spoilt these beautiful moments in my life...just remember wht goes around comes around too (Did I get the line rt :) )

PS2: I know the post would have been complete if it had been sprinkled with a pic or two but the lazy buggers tht we are, we havent yet got around to do it!

Happy B'day Lion!!

Dearest Pravinaa,

Many Many happy returns of the day! What better time than now to tell you how special you indeed are.....

The best thing I love about you is the independence you give me.....The freedom to be what I want to be with no strings attached! Be it the freedom to cut my hair .... yeah tht means somethinggg BIG for me to picking me up from oddest of places to oddest of times (which translates to driving 15 KM to pick me up to go back to the place from where he started), to n but of course the yummiest of yummiest food u make :)

N not to forget your trademark one-liners n the 'Peter-Pan' in you...The kid in in you who refuses to grow up! (Sample this to relate to wht am speaking.....I happened to address him as "Man of the house"...yeah yeah must hv been to get some stupid thing done....n the instant reply he gives is "Ho no there is no man in this house"...Flabbergasted??? Well even I was n he replies in his typical goofy style "Am the BOY of the house not the man"!!!!). N of course the 'peter Pan' u hv in ur face when u lie or hv goofed up on something....

N yeap this year is all the more special considering we are starting a new phase in our lives as we enter our new home....... Here is hoping that this year holds many pleasant surprises n happiness for us!!!


PS: For the uninitiated Pravinaaa is my hubbs.....N the name Lion is inferred but of course from his sun-sign. N the lines within bracket is for the you reader's benefit!!

The story of a 'T(ee)'!!

Ha I know whts running in your mind..."ooph!!! Are u in dearth of subject Add Videothat u write a blog on T-shirt .....Come on Get a Life"!! Now before u make such unfair comments please read on......

No No No.....The post is indeed abt one of the many 'T' of my hubbs(for those who ha after reading above few lines must hv mustered some hope) n here is the pic on the 'T'...Not v impressed.....all tht I can say is read on.......... !

Hmm lemme start this one with a v interesting observation.....At our home my wardrobe is much smaller than hubbs.....I know, I know this is heights of injustice......N i deserve to take much more than a bow here...How abt a round of shopping...wht say???

Hmm so back to our subject, this T-shirt was picked up on one of our jobless weekends when we decided to go shopping.....picked up from one of these page 3 kind of exhibitions...Ho yeah there are 2 kinds of exhibitions...One visited by me kind of aam janataa n the other are the exclusive page 3 kinds!! N how do u pick out a Page3 exhibitions....v v simple!! One its location - either in a swanky 5-Star place which is ofcourse not frequented by aam-jantaas or its in a remote location accessible to only the chauffeur driven kinds n now for another hint .....U r bound to find people in 'funny' attires(Note the operational word is 'Funny' not Beautiful' or 'Flimsy') ofcourse the best of all hints...the 'price'!! Now having done this unrequited abusing let me tell you a few good things about this one we attended ~~ We got to see a few non-run-of-mill stuff (check this pic of a ash-tray we picked up from there...funky hey) and the best of all...we were treated to a odissi dance recital.....The grace of few ladies who must be in late 50's has to be seen to be believed!! Time 4 another confession.....I hv two left legs n cant dance for my life :(

Hmm now after all these diversions lets get back into our subject.......Here is this pic of the 'T' in discussion...BTW let me a confession...we(ho yeah i seem to be rubbing off on my hubbs too) picked this up thinking the pic is of buddha......N to imagine my hubbs(who is with all modesty v well read n knows the oddest of the things) too goofed up on it!!N so we go about convincing everybody .......all this untill he decides to wear this to office...BTW his office attire deserves a blog in itself.....Just to give u a sample.....U'll u c him attending a board meeting with a 'Hawaii' kinda shirt!

But courtesy my hubb's colleague we were enlightened abt this pic !! The pic is of Mahaveer Jain and each line is a mantra collectively called "Maha Namokar Mantra"written in 'Prakrit' language ! N to say I was touched, delighted is an understatement!! N for english speaking -writing here is the translation....try matching lines below to the pic!!

Namo Arihantaram

Namo Siddharam

Namo Airiaram

Namo Uvajhayaram

Namo Loe Savvasahuram

Aiso Panch Namokaro

Savva Paavpadasado

Manglaran Ch Savvesim

Padvam Havai Mangalam

Padvam Havai Mangalam

PS: Caption on yet another 'T' of my hubbs ~~ "Never argue with an idiot, they will pull you down to their level and beat you with experience"

Koshy's koshis kijiye

Koshy's needs no introduction for any true blue Banglorean. N for rest of the janata here is Koshy's for you...Wind back your memories to say a decade or two. How did the hotels then look like...More like current day Udupi hotels........Rows of straight backed chair n tables laid with the sole purpose of 100% space utilization.......with no concessions for comfort or aesthetics!! Add staid, plain looking walls n waiters dressed for the Raj era and we have just described the most happening n buzzing joint in Bangalore!!

Surprise huh?? So what makes this the hottest place? Food?? Well I wouldnt think so.....you hv 'n' no of other joints in city serving better value-for-money food!!

So whats the magic tht makes this place click?? Some (Like our dearest friend Mr.Binoy) believes tht its just over-hyped!! But well I dont think so...I hv been there twice n theres something abt this place tht drags you there! N if u ask me why.....the answer lies in in its magic to attract all kinds of junta - arty, intellectual, Page 3, tech junkies n the typical middle class!!! No other joint in the city will u c this mix-n-match of people.......restaurants usually tend to fall into two categories ~~ One where u go n hv a relaxed three course meal(the only catch being the wallet factor) n the other value-for-food joints generously peppered around the city!

But not at Koshy's ~~ Here u literally c the chapraasi rubbing shoulders with the page 3's!! Go on a evening when u hv nothing much to do n just observe the people around n trust me you wouldnt be disappointed! On one side you'll find a prim n proper elderly couple while on the very next chair you would fine a couple of 'stoned' teens n on the next you'll find a group of the 'Intellectual-NGO types' having a heated debate on the problems of the world n ofcourse in some corner you'll find somebody wearing a bemused expression lapping up all the happenings around :).

So next time you're in a mood for 'people watching' you know where to head to!!

ps: A few suggestions if u r heading to Koshy's ~~do not miss the photographs that adorn the wall....You'll get to c a few rare photographers of Good-old Bangalore! N dont forget to take along somebody who is from the inner circles of academic-NGO world n you can treat yourself to a live commendatory of the secret lives of people you'll meet at Koshy's!

A flavorable Memory

Confusing title hey?? Ok go on n read the next line below n u are all set to go:

We (Me n my hubbs of course) found this quaint, small, new eatery in Koramangala called '64 Flavours' n when we landed there(a little more than 3 weeks now) it was just 5 days old...so yeap we were treated like royalty! The place has this cool chic look abt it........stylish, minimal, contemporary!! (I loved their bathrooms) A brief deco on the place....I was given a lot of gyaan by their manager, so may as well pass it along! Place is run by 2 IT professionals with an aim to promote local music, art n food(they have these cool paintings by few local unknown artists)! N the significance of '64' in the name ~~ Well the year 64(1964) was significant in world of Rock Music plus the plot no of this place is 64 (anti -Climax hey)!!

Now to the crux of the place ~~ the food of course!! You are given a complimentary welcome drink which is supposedly an exotic concoction of their bartender......well if u ask my opinion it wasn't anything to write home abt......But my taste buds cant be trusted in all cases! We started with ordering a bottle of the favourite 'Corona' for my hubbs n a 'Bartender Spl' Cocktail' for me. But hey did I get lucky....... The bartender was supposedly waiting to show off his cocktail-mocktail skills an to be fair he did a very good job at it! N to nibble along, had ordered 'Mutton Dukkah' (simply translates to grilled mutton.......Ok may be am doing a gross gastronomic injustice here but well that is how it tasted) ...n the portion served was just sufficient enuf to nibble!! But Ofcourse they were exactly on mark as far as its effect on mouth n senses(eyes including) is considered! N then the main course.....we decided to share a plate of 'Prawns Mango Salsa' (Rice served with Prawns n a bowl of something like mango-chutney to go along with)...... N man were they yummy! Proof needed?? My hubbs loved the prawns...n this is saying something considering he just about tolerates sea food!

Hmm N didnt I mention something abt me getting lucky~~ well at the end of all this, the bartender brings along another concoction of his ~~ A strawberry with Basil leaf. The drink so well made tht each sip bought out the fine lingering taste n smell of Basil n man did I love it!!

All that was missing to make the experience complete is but ofcourse my favourite dessert section!! But I was in for a big disappointment as they havn't yet started dishing out dessert...their funda being they'll start on it once they are confident of doing a good (or make it lip-smacking) job there! Fair enuf...but v v unfair to me I tell you! (But considering I am not someone who would put up with such injustice in my life, ensured tht my hubbs treated me to a Corner House Ice cream )

So to sum it all up: a purrfect goal for ambiance, decor, music. A can-do-better goalie as far as food is concerned ~ cocktails n main course is purrfect goal but the starters portion can be bit more generous n ofcourse eating out is never complete without desserts. N to the big question of the wallet factor~~ well we were the early birds so with the inaugural discount the bill came upto 800 odd rupees!!

So in case u r in this part of town n waana chk out something new, drop into 64 Flavours for a A flavorable Memory!!
~~Happy eating~~

Another weekend passes by....

So there comes to end another weekend........last few weekends seem to be falling under a completely different bracket! While the weekends till last year would start as early as friday afternoon......googling to find the next dest'n around B'lore to be explore, a 2nd show and hitting the road on saturday! A constant fix on our bed-side table during those days were 'Times Good Food Guide', '52 Weekend get-aways from Bangalore" :). So much so that the weekends would be more straining than the weekdays......while my friends at work would be fresh n full of energy (if not excited) on monday morn I would be ready to hit the bed!! My energy then had a different curve low on monday and slowly raising till it hits the peak on a friday...he he he!! N not to mention the liberal dose of vacations tht were thrown in once in 2-3 months!! Actually we would hv been the perfect ambasadors for 'Alto'..."Next is what"(which incidentally is wht we own) n the perfect reviewers for Good Food Guide', '52 Weekend get-aways from Bangalore" :)
But surprisingly the last few weekends were different.......caught up on a 2nd show last week after ages!!! Its more about catching upon some movie on TV over a glass of wine(n a whisky\beer for my hubbs) and of course spring cleaning the house....U C we hv no maid now (Yeah guys u heard it right....me doing the household cleaning, sweeping all by myself...of course due credit given to my hubbs!!!) n the outing is limited to say a visit to shop to stock up groceries or at the max a visit to Brigade road!!! Yeap its relaxing in a way n am 'ready~ to~ go' on mondays!! N talking of 'Times Good Food Guide', '52 Weekend get-aways from Bangalore"...well gotta hunt for those books!

So whats happening? We getting matured n settling down or is it the wallet!! I hope not!! Me craving for one of those relaxing vacations where its just both of us far away from here.........

I know another of my 'Life is not so rosy Blogs' :(