ghee unites india

Divided by cultures, united by ghee. When I was young, I was given bowls of ghee to fatten up. Lanky kids are bad brand ambassadors of motherly love and generosity. The early training led to turning me into a ruthless ghee raider by the time I was an adolescent. And, I am from the east. The punjabis love their ghee and makkhan. Kashmir uses ghee as a cooking medium. States in the south have a whole range of ghee dishes, from ghee roasts to dosas…Continue Reading “The crux of Indian culture is ghee”

moonrakers mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram. It’s a big name. Its other name mamallapuram is as big, just one character less. You can walk through the whole town in less time than it would take to say the name ten times. The legends about the town are so massive that your expectations in terms of scale become a little biased. Anyway the naam bade aur darshan chote town is small but not disappointing. There is enough to see and keep busy for a whole day. The few hotels in the…Continue Reading “Moonrakers, Mahabalipuram”

coconut sprout chennai

Have you ever tasted these? These are coconut sprouts. I don’t know how to grow these. I have seen coconuts fresh of the trees which have these and then there were a few that were plucked and stores and grew sprouts. I am from the coastal belt but have no idea how to cultivate this. Leaving the coconut on the tree until it matures may be the way. The point being if you don’t see it on a cart like I did, I don’t know…Continue Reading “Tasted a coconut sprout?”

kiran bedi in pondicherry

Don’t worry about Kiran Bedi. She alright. The house is massive, there is an awesome park in front of the house. The beach is in walking distance. And, every evening, before the guards close the gates, they have these trumpets that they blow, loud and in rhythm. So, it draws you from far and keeps you standing as you watch the opulence. And, then you realise inside there is a political opportunist who is trying to run down an elected govt, just like her counterpart…Continue Reading “Kiran Bedi is alright.”

There have been a few cheese posts lately. I could write this as a comment but this is not about cheese. This is about cheese and wine and anything that is seen as high brow. I usually stay away from all such posts as my experience with both cheese and wine is like less than 2 years old. Never had too much money or inclination for either and both were paraded as such high trends that people like me stayed out because of reverse-disdain. But…Continue Reading “About wine, cheese and food snobs”

The guy who gives me a haircut spends 45 excruciating minutes on how to hide the whites and the bald. The salon, yes I go to a salon, has never slid a line in the bill or winked at me for a tip. But since morning most restaurateurs have come out saying how if you don’t pay service charge, you are robbing poor dish washers and service staff of their due. Imagine the owner of a for-profit enterprise saying his staff needs public charity to…Continue Reading “Service charge is in restaurants is a giant scam”

women municipality staff pondicherry

Women are unsafe in public places. What makes them safe? More women in public places. 12am: MG Road, Pondicherry – a lone woman selling food from a cart is done for the day and starts folding up 8 am: Auroville beach – a single woman on the beach, setting up her stall, chopping pineapples 9 am: Pondy Marina – after 2 kms of empty roads, a single woman walks down the road and signals that my bike headlight is turned on. 1 am: Promenade –…Continue Reading “Women in public places. Pondicherry”

PVR Anupam is. It’s still the old theater with no legroom, the size of a drawing room. Just that the sounds is too loud for a small room and that is good at some times. The loos are clean and the food counters are decent too. But, more than the theater, I thought the PVR Anupam complex was dead, way past its glory days. I expected a crematorium type of scene there. But on a weekday, at 11 in the night, it was more like…Continue Reading “PVR Anupam complex is not dead”

coconut grating korana odia

This is called a korana in Odia. Koriba, the verb, would roughly translate to grating. So, a korana, theoretically, can grate anything. But, in practice, it is a single purpose tool – grating coconuts. I am not claiming this is an Odia innovation, but I am sure non-coastal folks would rarely have seen it. Once you know how to use it, it looks deceptively easy to handle. When you don’t, you call it what we call all things we don’t understand – art. In my…Continue Reading “Grating coconuts and adulthood”

If I needed friends for advices, I would have got a book of old sayings. If I needed friends for support, the corner pole would be my best pal. If I needed friends for love, I would have got a dog. If I needed friends for company, I would have got a…….friend. So company, it is. Is it ?  

puchka gupchup golgappa

There is nothing new about calls to prove your patriotism. Before all these idiotic new ones, there was the original, primal one that every east Indian would know. If you are from Bengal or Odisha and had moved to Delhi, no matter how many lifetimes back, you will walk into this question so many times that they can act as milestones for your life. Do you love puchka/gupchup or have you converted to golgappas? You see, if your answer is in favour of the first,…Continue Reading “Puchka / Gupchup or Golgappa?”

odia bengali singara

      This is the most dominant streetfood in Odisha. The vendors are everywhere, under every tree, at every bus stop, in front of every school. Everywhere. It is a breakfast item, a preferred lunch dish for some and is eaten at all hours of the day. Quite a lot goes into this too – there is the vada soaked in dahi, matar ghugni, dum alu, sev bhujia, onions and coriander for garnish and some sprinkle a spice powder. There is also a sweet…Continue Reading “Streetfood of Odisha”

vada pav delhi

The problem with delhi streetfood is that we have too much of alu chaats and too less of vada pavs and pohas and dabelis etc. We can all add items from our home states that we don’t find here. If you are in Malviya Nagar, there is this vada pav vendor, across the road from Moti Sweets. The classic vada pav in the photo came for just 35 bucks and the pav bhaji for 65. They also have a dabeli on the menu. The vada pav…Continue Reading “Vada Pav Junction, Malviya Nagar”

We are in a democracy. The parliament is called the temple of democracy. We can talk day and night about farmers and soldiers and common man and bharat mata etc. But once the parliament falls, there is no country, no nation, no Hinduism. All that would be left is a wasteland. Whether you are a right winger, left winger, centrist wingless or just scum, this is one line that you must never cross. It’s like the dining table of a family, marital bed of a…Continue Reading “Why the PM must not avoid the parliament”

I don’t remember if I heard it from a friend or read it in a study. Memory being inversely proportional to age. Anyway, the point being how so many children in the west thought milk came from cartons. No concept of a cow.   Similarly, if you ask these days, most will say that black money comes from swiss accounts or mattresses or benami properties. The same confusion, you see. Where it is is not where it came from. Black money is generated relentlessly by a…Continue Reading “Why demonetization won’t hurt black money generation”

gourmet passport

In all these years, I had never been to Social, until this weekend. The place has always been the cards but seemed too cafe-ish for a full meal. Good thing is it is not. There are items on the menu that will do well even in a proper restaurant. Though there was loads to order from, I went for the laska curry. The curry was too mild for a laska, was more like a Thai green curry with noodles. But I did not mind because…Continue Reading “Social, Defence Colony”

We, the privileged assholes should stop cribbing. Many have said that. We should only talk about bad service at five stars, no? By that logic, many should stop talking about soldiers, unless they are a soldier or a father, son or husband is a soldier. Crib only about what you have experienced, no ? But today, we should focus on the other soldier. Jai jawan, jai kisan, remember ?? These days, it is all jawan, no kisan. While I agreed to the demonetization in the…Continue Reading “Demonetization: Jai jawan, jai kisan, remember ?”