A video that is not letting me sleep!

It is nearly eleven in the night. I have finished my dinner and watched my singing reality show. Now I am lying in my king size bed with two soft pillows to support my neck and trying to sleep. I am tired , turning and tossing but I am not getting any sleep. I query, I dig and I realise I am stuck in that last 5 minutes video on Facebook about the dirt cookies in Haiti. 

  

Photo :http://shareably.net/haitians-eat-dirt-cookies-to-survive/

On every other normal day, I proudly say that I am a foodie. It is the only thing that brings an instant smile on my face. I love to be in my kitchen experimenting with the flavours. I often click some colourful pictures,photoshop them and add them on my Facebook page. This is followed by an all applause day -discussion,queries and comments. I feel so good not only because I had the yummiest meal but also because my FB mates crowned me as one of those brilliant cooks. My satiety ends here and I go to sleep. This is all so easy for me.

 The days that  go wrong , I curse my fate. I curse the time I am going through. I curse not having a decent job and not having my  favourite pani poori (an Indian snack). I curse being away from family and I curse the fact why am I dentist with no bright future. I fuss around food. If I don’t get ingredients of my choice I decide to order food from a take away or visit a restaurant for a twenty quid meal. I have choices and I have the right to curse.

The day I go to a posh restaurant,I order some of the finest wine and food, I eat a bit and my hypothalamus says ,”Not a spoon more!” I leave it all and walk out. Then I go for a mile’s walk to settle this portion  and I curse again ,” It was too cheesy ,makes me feel sick.” Like I said, I have choices and I have the right to curse.

While I have this all, why am I not able to sleep tonight? Why I am stuck at Haiti and that video? Why am I thanking God every second? What was the video about? 

  
A freelance journalist visited Haiti to see what are dirt cookies. These are cookies and muffins made out of fuller’s earth,dirt,water and whatever that can be considered filth to feed those stomachs which do not know what food looks like. The dirt cookies are occasionally mixed with salt or sugar to give them a flavour. They are made in big vessels and the dirt batter is shaped in form of pies,cookies,scones and muffins and dried on the basketball grounds of the school which is right across an open sewage drain. If there is no rain the cookies dry and are sold to the children. These kids enjoy these cookies because they don’t have a palate for what we call food. The pregnant women feed on them too to curb their hunger. The pregnant  ladies say ,”They are a good source of calcium and they curb their hunger too besides giving them constipation and zero nutrition for the baby in the womb !” This is the story of dirt cookies.

Please see the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/deepti.jain.9237/posts/1026256167392888

‘Dirt cookies-a magic potion that suppress not only hunger but the desire for actual food.’

My heart had an immediate guilt. I was  quiet. I was thinking about all the tantrums I throw every now and then,the pounds that I spend in satisfying my tastebuds and that every moment that I have cursed so far for not being  my way. I am not sure if I can thank Khuda enough for that every grain in my stomach. I am not sure if I can show my gratitude to my parents for not keeping me hungry even for a single meal. I am not sure if I can thank my mates for putting up with all my food drama. I am not sure if I will ever be able to feed someone like those on dirt cookies some food. But I hope,pray and wish they  get a living that they are worthy of and I someday make a difference somewhere.

I don’t know still if I will be able to sleep tonight but tonight’s prayers go those brave hearts who are fighting it with a smile and a hope to taste something richer than the dirt cookies!! 

 
Photo credit:-http://robmacpherson1.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/on-why-i-appear-to-be-feminist.html?m=1

Mr. X vs Mr. India!!

I am passionate follower of Bollywood. Despite all the comments that I hear about Bollywood being unrealistic , I believe that Bollywood has a colossal capacity to entertain any Indian and most of us can relate ourselves to those projected emotions,relationships,ideas and attitudes. Bollywood in every era has shown some remarkable performances and has set benchmarks for next generations in terms of technology,story,script,performance and conviction.

This week I had been on a Bollywood marathon,watching back to back classic movies from 1970s till date. Last night, we ended up watching three of them including Piku. What a quintessential performance by Mr. Bachchan!! Be it him suffering from lymphosarcoma of intestine( a cancer that cannot exist 😝) in Anand, progeria in Paa or constipation in Piku his emotions loosen on his face like motion. Jokes apart the message is conveyed subtly and the audience is convinced. I cannot admire the Khans any less when it comes to on screen romance or social awareness issues and nor can I say that Mr.Anil Kapoor can act only as a father these days( some formula that is keeping him young and I need to know it😐) . This is what Bollywood has gifted us with -‘classic entertainment.‘ Melodious songs, out of the world lyrics,dialogues that can give one goosebumps,grandeur of the sets, fashion icons, technology and idea behind a story that doesn’t let you move out of that couch!!

But sometimes as an admirer you are let down and you think that may be I am into it far too much and it is time to switch. 

This week started with watching  Mr. India, a Shekhar Kapoor direction and end with Mr.X -a Vishesh films film.  Both stories run around an invisible man but the motives are so different and by the weekend I was despondent. 

  
Mr. India takes birth from research and science, a gadget that makes him invisible and the refraction principle and prism is explained well whilst Mr. X looks like the Thing from fantastic four and undergoes into metamorphosis after a severe a radiation burn and with anti-radiation remedy, visible in UV radiation. Argh!! I wish a better use of science was discovered in 2015. 

The reason of revenge for Mr. X is so personal and trivial , being a super cop he is fighting the monsters for the cause that he can’t enjoy the material pleasures like sex and marriage and can’t have a family because he is only seen in sunlight(honestly,can we think beyond it😈) whereas Mr. India is a hope for those million Indians who feed on  adulterated food, are burnt and killed in bomb blasts and are turned into terrorists and drug addicts. The very claim of acquiring of such a power is demeaned in Mr.X!! Isn’t it unfortunate??

Mr. India is the masiha of masses who fights against the devious Mogambo ( hail Mogambo!! , do you remember it?😜), with sprinkles of a humour all round the three hours that keeps the mood light yet brings on a hope in every Indian heart while Mr. X is so busy in his invisible kisses and  love making that he fails to show any extra skill in killing his three silly opponents.

Mr. India talks about a power of a common man, his intentions and his virgin attempt to save the country from getting into wrong hands but Mr. X being a trained security official is full of himself and  his girlfriend, makes me think of a despo official who is love ke liye kuch bhi karega types, then why be Mr. X and dishearten the viewers.

Besides all, the music and the sensous number ‘I love you ‘cannot be forgotten as it leaves such an impact that the song is replayed in Maine pyar kiya’s antakshree .The blue saree on Sridevi keeps the audience involved and romance in the movie is displayed so gracefully. However the blue waters of the swimming pool and the kissing scene with those outlined invisible lips make me think ,” Is there a point in kissing a man with no identity?”

http://youtu.be/vhZCBTx-SfM
  
The worst bit is the climax of Mr. X where the lady cop is taking a shower and says ,” I was just wondering how does an invisible man takes a bath?” Hahahaa!! That is the only dialogue that made me laugh in two hours. Grow up😂😂.

Mr. X is a clear slap in the face,especially when one has watched both movies with not much gap. It makes you question your honest love for Bollywood. This is what you don’t expect from Emran Hashmi after some good roles in movies like Dirty picture and Shanghai. I did not bother to see who the other characters were as the villain was some random high official with no army and befriended  a democrat with no opinion and acting skills. Then why have Mr. X and the anti- radiation syrup for a simple one to one!!

With stories being spun around normal lives and brilliantly put together,one is happy with less drama. However, this deterioration of Indian cinema questions the fanship. And now I am thinking the only good out of it was something to write!!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._India_(1987_film)

Tick tock tick tock!!

Congratulations on the half century! How the time has passed in a wink?  

 
A little of me, a little of you,

Let me once again embrace that time,

when we were one and not two..

In your arms, I melted, I froze,

spun my moments to keep you close!

I rustled ,” I would walk by you,for you ,with you!”

You held me high in your arms and the clock ticked no more.

Time froze, I froze and you kissed my eyes to whisper back,

“My love, you are in me and I am in you!”

My eyes still glitter and drops trickle down,

when I miss the times that together we spent.

You left me,never to come back but you reside in me as my moment!

https://aprompteachday.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/prompt-50-wordplay-8/

Hold BACK those HANDS🍰🍫🍟🍲

What is wrong with me today? Someone who is always typing on her WordPress address is asking you to hold back those hands. Folks this is for myself, in fact for foodies like me! My palate is highly skilled in verifying different flavours and my nose specialises in aroma checks with the only limitation that I am vegetarian. My mantra is simple,”I live to eat.”Be it an evening when I am through random emotions or a weekend when I am chilling with some likeminded peeps, every moment becomes cheerful with the tadka (flavour)of the right food. The pot full of a well cooked curry and a piece of naan can sparkle me easily after a long day.

This Friday after making a failed attempt to find a company for the yummilicious adventure, I decided to treat my senses all by myself. Instantly my fingers looked for Google and fired commands to see the best buffet restaurants in the UK. Jimmy’s, Cook and indi’s, the Red hot buffet and few more had the best reviews. Some Asian gourmands recommended the vegetarian stuff at the Red Hot Buffet,further it was the closest possible for me as I am yet to drive independently on the roads of the UK .

Mersey rails; my dearest friend wherever and whenever, transported me from the peninsula to the heart of Liverpool City and with a very warm welcome I was soon seated on a two chaired table facing a tower clock. It was 1:00 pm and my tummy alarm was already ringing. I said,” Snooze you! Behave. We are the posh guests.” I ordered a cola to show that my belly rats were  not squeaky yet. But with every sip, when I turned here and there, I talked to myself,” Dude,when it is food, it is only food. Splurge!” 

  

I have two favourite counters in buffets-salad and dessert, I am generally a good girl. The spread here covered all the spicy cusines of the world,from Mexican to pan Asian and live counters to buffer the appetite . I being a child of nature started with greens,leafs,tomatoes and my joy doubled to see a veg sushi with thick soya sauce! It took me a quarter to gobble the salad range-Greek,Mediterranean,Srilankan,Mexican,Japanese and Italian. 

  

A beautiful lady came to my table seeing me,only me and inquired,”If I was okay?” I was muddled but replied with all my humility,” In heavens!!”

The second round began-live counters-a veg pizza slice,mango salsa,fajitas,quesadillas,potato wedges,salsa,sour cream,nachos ,some pasta and olives. I kept looking at the clock and decided to take my own sweet time. I was nearly full but my hands were just not agreeing to hold back. There was an out break of my inner voice,” How can you not try Indian and Chinese,how can you ignore your roots?” 

The third round started with the smallest portions and only tasters-half a spoon daal,Bombay potato,saag paneer,popadam,mango chutney,Hakka noodles and sweet and sour vegetables with garlic naan. Believe me,I was going to just check if the food was nearly Asian for my fellow gastronomes. I was obviously not disappointed😜 but my efforts just won it for the Indian chefs. The clock was ticking and it was nearly two,an hour had passed in curbing my hankering and I was almost successful until I saw the dessert gourmet.

“Fourth round toh banta hai!”, I hailed. It was a small round white plate with something of everything (cakes,pastries,panacotta,crumble and fruits). In India the meal only finishes with meetha (sweet) so here I was ending the pampering of my soul,mind and body !! 

I called for the check and picked up my phone to ask my BFF and my best food  mate in the world,” Gabbu, I had a smorgasbord now, how do I get up?” He encouraged me and said,” Muster the courage DJ, a walk ,and  the exaltation of the merry meal will make up for everything.”

  
Photo:http://quotesnsmiles.com/picture-quotes/images-17-delightful-picture-quotes-for-food-lovers/

Somewhere,I am all about food. It is a source of instant rapture that transports me to a world where company or no company doesn’t matter and only by the sight of that appealing,colourful,sizzling spread ,a smile glitters and those hands don’t hold back!! Call me a hedonist but here I am and it is all about food for me:)))

Enough or not enough!!

  My aunt’s daughter cleared her charted accountancy exam this morning. What a great news! I always knew she carried shear brilliance and dedication to do it all in less time comparatively. Perhaps , I can count the genetics too! Now she will be applying for all the top listed companies and giving those intricate job interviews. With her wit I am sure one of those fussy GMs would hire her. Then will start the real examination and scrutiny!

Someone asked me ,”She had already made through finals,why another one.” I could not resist my laughter and replied,” It is the dulha (bridegroom)hunt that she has to go through now.” The very idea of showing off such a talented lady to those lads puts me off. I went through the same and trust me you feel like rejecting them on their first look. This is such a routine. School,college,apprenticeship,job,arrange marriage,kids,old age and it goes on!

 They check an advert in the matrimonial or someone’s  aunt’s sister in law mentions,” Mr. Singh’s son is the most eligible bachelor of the town.”

 Biodatas are exchanged,a meeting in a five star is arranged, shopping is done,a visit to a saloon is prebooked  and a series of questions are encountered. The queries range from whether she knows to cook or not, whether she wants to work in future, whether she knows their language and how about being religious? Phew!! Is that what one needs to know for a lasting companionship?Was that piece of paper not enough to state all of that? B.A./C.A.,height-5 feet 4 inch, color- a lighter shade of brown,hobbies-cooking, painting,singing,ready to be a mother or maid- this information is updated with every email that is sent out!

Rejection is a common phenomenon on both sides and sometimes,it is heart breaking. “He was nearly my Mr. Right but he thought I was too old fashioned! ” I am not sure why is there a survey for finding a lifetime mate. Why the qualifications,hobbies,skin color,and other physical attributes decide whether two hearts will tune for life? In the name of arrange marriage,the individuality is put to stake and every dream of flying high is fenced around the sacred vows!

Eventually the sense of achievement of clearing a national level merit examination becomes a thing of past with no relevance to the present situation. Now I am eagerly waiting to see what will she choose for herself. Will she wait and realise her achievements for a while before she gets into the roller coaster? Will she end up enrolling on Shaadi.com?Or,will she find her own companion?

  
Photocredit:http://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-an-arranged-marriage-and-love-marriage

The system and the culture often lead us to inquisitions with no means developed and no ends reached. It is a pure gamble with no gaurentee. If all is okay then all is well!! If not you are stuck for some good years ahead. I always challenged it until I rolled on with it. I was fortunate in this speculation but what if I had not been???

College Diaries-chapter 2- The Canteen!

  MSRDC had a distinctive appearance to it , as if it was going through a metamorphosis. Tattered and tethered yet it belonged to all of us, from BDS 1st year students to all those who fitted into the office on the first floor. An integral part of the building was GANESHA, the canteen. The busiest joint in the whole campus,be it winters or springs. A joint that was primarily an adda( meeting place) for a hot cup of filter coffee, meduvada and flippant talks. 

The peak hours were the breakfast and lunch times, when the pupils not only from the dental college but all sister colleges queued for the yummy dosas, variety rice and summer coolers! Every corner was so loud that one could barely hear what two closely seated mates were talking. 

The Chai and rava dosas were speciality of the evening. The college monotony would end by four and then we fountained as though we were freed out of a prison to occupy the cramped up eating area and order a plate of rava dosa,coffee,Chai and sometimes the little coke bottles out of the red coca cola fridge- all was well within the budget. The beauty of Ganesha was a tremendous turnover and reasonable prices. Three years and I don’t remember a stomach upset that I could trace to the bubbling  ,buzzing canteen.

Often  the PGs sneaked out for some onion bhajis as their patients’ would delay their follow up visit and took a hot sip. Of course that was time to see a lot more😂😂.Whereas the juniors bunked there classes and gossiped about every thing else but dentistry. Flooded with white coats every now and then, and the Annas(chefs) working relentlessly with the hot frying oil and jumbo dosa tawa, was the Ganesha-the MSRDC canteen.

In a moment of Medical emergency like syncope or hypoglycaemia during the open flap surgery( like open heart surgery😛) we  rushed to procure an extra sugar melon crush from the Ganesha . It was a life saving one too, not to miss it saved us from our hunger pangs in the tight lunch breaks,especially Gabbu’s( my orthodontics friend).

 

When we first joined as the first yearites we tried our best to abscond from the Ganesha after four in the evening. Our senior batches watched us like hawks and grabbed their prey once in a while to entertain them. Singing, dancing, proposing, offering to oneself to get hoaxed has been an era old way of breaking the ice in colleges in India.MSRDC seniors were little too nice to call it ragging ! This was a way to mix the shades and pick your pet. Unfortunately, I never got there. Perhaps I had an attitude problem always. 

The trend passed on year after year but the coffee smelt the same.

Later,down the months it became my gang’s favourite morning catch up point. Two bikes would stop by in the parking , I would enter the entrance from the other side,a hi – five and then,”Chal DJ chai peete hai(DJ  let us have a tea) .” The sun shined right up there and we four never missed a chance to belly laugh over that Chai !!

My favourite food was single idli vada and butter fruit juice, which was actually ‘an avocado milkshake’- one amazing and healthy combo to keep me going all day.

  
The Ganesha had an instant service and served more than just food. It served a few relaxed hours after messed up days, ganging up,probing in biographies , giggles and tears-all at the same time. A quarter of a dosa ,sizzling poories,chappati  curry, curd vada, idli and chutney shared between all of us only made us grow fonder of each other and closer to each other. All of it bonded us and spiced up our lives!!

  

College Diaries- chapter 1 -Welcome!!

  
Photo credit: http://blogs.ac-amiens.fr/3pprolpmontaigne2014/index.php?

They say in the total life cycle there are a few imprints that last forever. I think for most of us one lasting memory is from school and college days. I and my few friends have been no different.  I had a total of 12 years of school and 8 years of college. The last 3 years of my post graduation gifted me a few shining diamonds and a log of beautiful memories !! 

Last few days I have been pondering over those times and flipping over some of the coolest pictures ever taken. So I decided to dedicate a section in my blog to those who made life LIFE for me from the year 2009 to 2012 and continued to be an inseparable part of my life thereafter. 

When I brush through the pages and look back, I think of my orientation day at MSRDC.We had joined the college on 9 th May 2009 . New faces,new departments,new colleagues and new subjects. Nothing from the past except the gums,teeth and jaws. Here we were at Ramaiah Dental College ,Bangalore.  

This is the new college building
After a few routine days at the new college, there was circular that was through all the specialities and it read that the orientation day is through 5th-7th August 2009. We had already made the initiative to know each other at the canteen, library and corridors but this was to formally know each other and engage with the post graduate curriculum. We newbies were excited not for seeing the strange faces but for the break from mundane dentistry. Woohoo!! no classes, no opds, no mouth mirrors and probes! 

We all wore our best outfits and the white coats symbolic of us being the future doctors, precisely tooth doctors. Sharp at nine in the morning the auditorium was swarming with some strange faces and then started the Chinese whispers( she is from ortho, he is from Nair,Bombay and she is married😳😳) . Soon we heard an announcement,” Please settle down.”Hustle bustle and then pin drop silence, twenty seven of us found a place. We were the PG batch 2009- the proud batch ! Inauguration, invocation,introduction. Phew!! Guest lectures talking about thesis, statistics,numbers, patient care, curriculum,and our pale faces watching each other and thinking –we thought we were here for fun?

It was all the same, what our seniors would haunt us about and our staff would daunt us about. And then an old physiology professor took the microphone and said ,” Hello my budding dentists!” The crowd cheered,”Hello.” She continued,” I am here to tell you the latest version of the rabbit and the tortoise story,which I tell to my grand children.” We listened, laughed and admired the climax. The climax was rabbit crosses the river while he sits on the back of tortoise and the moral was teamwork is crucial to your success! 

As if the idea streamed through all of us at the same time and we exploded. We started smiling at each other on the second day and chose our teammates . We were settling as post graduates. We were making friends. Which college are you from? Which city in India do you belong to? Have you been to Bangalore before? Which is your room number? Do you know Kannada? What rank did you get?Let us go out for dinner and how about a coffee!!  This was the beginning of a brand new chapter in our lives.

The last day stood distinctive for me. It was 7th of August , my 26th birthday. I was in a pink embroidered Chudidar and may be it was the way I dressed, one amongst us thought it was my birthday. The yet getting to know each other crowd made a quick contribution and two death by chocolates were soon sitting on the desks at the back . One of them was marked with fresh cream ‘ happy birthday DJ!’ More than the cake , I was glad for the gesture and my self created name on it! I was to mingle with some real people in my life soon very soon!! The program ended with a fresh inception that day. 

  
What a welcome it was! A welcome that gave me a spell of laughter after every hectic day,a welcome that never failed to bring a smile on my face, a welcome that gave me hands to hold for life,a welcome that inspired me to write years later!! A true welcome in every sense. College diaries had begun already:)