Friday, October 27, 2006

Cuisines and I

This is probably something that no one expected from me, including myself, but I thought it was about time I wrote about it anyway.

As a rule I believe in the phrase "Eat to live". Except for a craving for a pasta or dosa or pizza now and then, food had never interested me, Neither cooking (Shudder!) nor eating.

Since I landed here though, I find myself obsessed with trying out cuisines from different parts of the world. It is a new and very enjoyable facet about myself that I have recently discovered. I

It all started when I was in SFO, cribbing about having had nothing but Indian food for almost 3 months and heartily sick of it... my friends therefore fed me different types of food and I was hooked. It is especially challenging for a veggie.

So here is a list of different cuisines I have tried so far

Thai - Pad Thai, Panang tofu, Red curry and a Thai ice tea - It was different. They seem to use a lot of coconut milk and tofu in their dishes to make up for the loss of meat

American – I am calling this American for the lack of name to call it by. But we had soup and sandwich… would that be English cuisine? ? I have also tried doughnuts, bagels (this is actually mid-European) , burgers, onion rings, French fries etc.

Mexican – Enchiladas, Burritos, Tacos, Tostada, Quesillada (have I got the spelling right?) and the all-important tortilla

Italian – Of course the Pasta and its different varieties like Penne, Spaghetti, Fusilli which when mixed with the olive oil and freshly ground pepper is perfecto and do not forget the Pizza (even if it is not exactly the Italian version of it. I hear the bread used in Italian Pizza is much thinner than what is generally used world around)…On a side note, the restaurant I went to, taught Italian in its rest rooms :-p

Chinese – Noodles and fried rice and Boy!!! They had this lovely chilli sauce that promises to blister the tongue… ummm!!!
情人 (thats chinese for yummy heheh)

South African – Sambusa (Samosa basically), Chapathi and Dengu (a dal of sorts and some salad ) and South African Vegetable Biriyani (almost like our chapathi and biriyani)

French – Baguette, Croissants, pastries, Soufflé ...ummm délicieux

English – Custard, Pudding (desserts but nevertheles…)

Indian – Nothing needs to be said here.

The stuff that I plan to eat in the very near future include

French – I hear there is something called a crepe that tastes good and gotta check it out

Mediterranean – My friend has told me Cous Cous and Falafel are good.
Singapore - Zi Cha, Tim Sum (was told to try it but not sure what they are… will let you know once I try)
Ethiopian and Vegan – have been hearing a lot about it
Russian – I hear they sweeten all their dishes.

Turkish - No idea what it will have :-)
English – Kedgeree (something like our kichdi)

I have found a place where they have all these different food… and looking forward to go there soon…But my very next place to visit is the Taco bell :-p

Anyone with other ideas on vegetarian Cuisines... Do feel free to let me know. :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sigh!!! Some days it is just not worth the effort to get out of bed... :-(

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Diwali without firecrackers?

Should India ban firecrackers?

Oh my! God!!! Its bad enough that I cannot be around in India, during the most festive, colourful and enjoyable of festivals. Now they want to ban firecrackers in India and that too during Diwali… Aargh!!! Why don’t these people put all this energy in doing something really useful like saving the world? Can one even imagine a diwali without crackers? But sadly there has been a lessening of the bursting of firecrackers over the years… or am I just growing up and do not burst them as much as I used to…. Naaahhh!!!

People have just become more worried about the environment and society. Good! but not at the cost of diwali… no sireee..
Another reason I heard for not bursting crackers was that the firecrackers factories use maximum of child labour. Horrible thing, no doubt.

When the parents of such children were interviewed though, they gave an answer that was absolutely irrefutable. They said, that much as they would love to have their children go to school and study, this kind of labour at least keeps the children (if not the whole family) in food. What use, they ask, would education be when their children are not even getting the 2 meals per day, this way at least they do not go hungry. :-(

I tell myself, every time I burst a cracker, that maybe a child was able to eat today.

So have a Safe and Colourful Diwali!!! :-)


Art thou abroad on this stormy night
on thy journey of love, my friend?
The sky groans like one in despair.
I have no sleep tonight.
Ever and again I open my door and look out on
the darkness, my friend!
I can see nothing before me.
I wonder where lies thy path!
By what dim shore of the ink-black river,
by what far edge of the frowning forest,
through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading
thy course to come to me, my friend?

Recognise the above poem? No! How about this one?

Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Yeah! I have been reading Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore. Its kewl! I didn't realise he was such a! Guess!! A poet has to be little bit of everything

Monday, October 09, 2006

Me Thinks...

Was just chatting with a buddy about having a writer's block and not able to think of anything to write when suddenly I had all these thoughts I just had to share. But you know how it is with the idea deluges, they leave as fast as the come.. But here are some of them that I still remember.

=> It pleased my feminist senses to learn that the President of my company is a Dynamic lady. It reminded me of a time not so long ago, in India when someone I knew (a man, of course) was thinking of getting a transfer, as his new boss was a lady. Me thinks the ego of the men in India have been pandered to, for far too long. In fact a friend of mine advised me that to win a man's heart, a woman has to be ready to be submissive and soothe his all important ego at all times. (my reply to this comment would obviously not be suitable in the blog). Now then, before all the men get up in the arms... I am not trying to generalize... I am sure there are a rare few of you who do not think along these lines. (In fact the men who raise their voice against what I have just written will not be the rare good guys ..heheheh)

=>I see so many women here in US, who have resigned from great jobs in India, changed and adapted to new lifestyles to be with their husbands and are feeling bored beyond words as their capabilities are going waste... Me thinks, why is it women who are always doing the sacrifices and are they appreciated for it or just taken for granted just as ever

=> On the lighter side, visited the downtown in my city. Its supposed to be one of the most dangerous areas with routine mugging etc. So was expecting it to be dark, with lotsa empty alleys and dangerous looking people hanging around... Me thinks, I was almost disappointed to find it look like parrys corner with loads of decent looking people shopping and a rather festive air around the whole place... and no alleys... just wide well lit roads.

=> Me thinks, after all the places I visited both inside and outside India, that Home is where the heart is and Heart is firmly lodged in Chennai... a friend reminded me that I sounded like the frog in the well story, where the frog concludes that the well is more beautiful than the sea. Yeah my Chennai is more beautiful than all the places I visited and my memory seems to keep embellishing it in to a more and more beautiful place with time.

=> Me thinks it is astonishing how many old acquaintances and friends I have found in US. it seems like most of my school, college and other varied friends have all settled right here... US seems to have become an extension of India.

=> Finally me thinks, making a guest welcome, at home and so very comfy is an art very few people can master. P and K you rock!!!

PS: I had this cute pic to upload... but for some reason blogger is not letting me upload the pic.. :-(