A Slice of Lemon Heaven

A few weeks back my best friend and I were having one of our never ending chats on the phone( she and I go waay back to early school .Im the talker and she’s the listener). She happened to mention that schooldays were the happiest time of her life so far and asked me when was I most happiest. My answer surprised her. And me.

Now.

Yes, that’s what I said . Im the happiest I’ve ever been right now. Truly enjoying myself and my life. And it’s surprising really. I’m the fattest I’ve ever been, mostly unemployed and on the wrong side of 30!

Who would’ve thought!

But the thing is my life is simpler and Im guessing thats why Im happier.

Another friend of mine..who claims to know me ‘better than I know myself’ says its just a phase. Split-personality is the term he uses to describe me. My wild side is dormant now, ready to break free and let hell loose but until then peace and happiness remains….

Hmmmm..We’ll see about that!

Actually the point of all that blah was to tell you that I have a list of things I wanna do…. ‘goals’ , if I may . And one of the items on that list was to take my art a wee bit more seriously. Working to that end, surely you’ve heard of my Mumbai exhibition, …which I so shamelessly publicized…

Mumbai was fun…Stayed with an awesome family friend ,met a whole lot of my relatives (most of whom I haven’t seen in …well..ever!) also met a few friends ..and re-lived many wonderful memories..

Met 2 wonderful and inspiring fellow-bloggers..Harini and Simran for a cuppa coffee.

And yes..sold many many paintings…..

In celebration here is a wonderful Lemon Cake…its delicious ..esp if , like me, your heart sings at the sight of all things lemony….

Lemon Yogurt CakeFor the cake:

Adapted from Oragette

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. grated lemon zest

1/2 cup canola oil

For the glaze:

Juice from 2 lemons

1/2 jar powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yogurt, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. Stil until it combines to a smooth batter.Pour into a greased and lined 9-inch round cake pan

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.Cool completely and then spoon the lemon glaze( just combine the lemon juice and the powdered sugar).

Lemon on Foodista

Yipeeeeee!!!

Im sure many of you know…nevertheless am still going to shout it out again. I ecstatic to announce my very first exhibition. Although I’ve been making Tanjore paintings for over 5 years now the thought of having an exhibition never crossed my mind. I’m grateful to have found some wonderful artist friends with whom I can now showcase my talent.

Anyway here are the details of the exhibition.

Little Miss Cruise- Spoilt Little Rich Girl


I know its none of my business…
Im also aware that little girls are entitled to their share of fun…

BUT I still need to comment on Suri Cruise.


The little attitude ridden diva with her extremely enviable stash of $850 Ferragamo bags , $650 dresses and a jet setting lifestyle sure seems to have it all. Not to forget her amazingly rich and famous parents.

Yeah I’m jealous. But I’m also appalled at the over indulgence she seems to revel in. I mean isn’t she the most spoilt 4 year old you know.

Of course she is. But she is also the cutest spoilt little girl.

Bad Cake Gone Good

I was recently trying out a new chocolate cake recipe that I had been meaning to try for a while now. Alas! To say the cake fell apart would be a gross understatement; it’s a pity I couldn’t take a picture of the disastrous cake….but rather than throwing the whole thing away eating my mistake here’s what I did…..

Take about 5 cups chocolate cake crumbs (though I’m sure they will taste swell with any other cake as well)
1/2 cup cream
100gms dark/bittersweet chocolate (chopped into large chunks)
1 tbsp instant coffee(opt)
3 tbsp brandy
¼ cup chopped almonds(opt)

You can add or reduce ingredients as you wish…..

Put all ingredients in a mixer and mix until they come together to form a ball. If you think the mixture is too dry, add more cream or even milk or brandy to moisten it and form smooth even sized balls.

Now chill them and the cover with melted dark chocolate(hmmm heavenly) or just dust cocoa powder and you are done. Absolutely delectable truffles that look gourmet, like you’ve slogged for hours when in reality its just add few ingredients to leftovers.

So go on mess up that cake and turn it into these….you can thank me later!

Restaurant Review Soul Souffle


We just drove and drove and drove…a looong way until we finally reached Soul Souffle, a restaurant we had heard so much about.
Although situated in the middle of nowhere- It did seem that way to us, but then we were tired- we’d spent the entire blazing morning at Valsao Beach and were ravenous and tired- not a good condition to go driving around looking for a place to eat.

After asking the few people we found loitering around the area( surprising they were ALL drunk but gave us right directions) we found the place. Its a beautiful place run by a lovely couple who ensure that the service is great.


The interior decor is simple yet tastefully done and overlooks a picturesque landscape and adds a relaxing touch to the comfortable environment.

A great place to enjoy a romantic evening…or afternoon as we did.The food was GOOD! especially if you are into continental fare….

We would attempt to go again so that I don’t gorge myself and i can try other things on the menu.
For starters we just stuck to chicken lollipops @Rs 90 per plate.

For the main course we just went berserk and ordered a whole lot of things…A Fisherman’s pie( M liked it,…but too bland for my taste) @190

Chicken fried rice @90

Chicken Hyderabadi @ 150..it was really ok though we weren’t expecting a green gravy!

Chicken Cordon Bleu @ 185..this was good..not too white saucy as I feared it would be…

and rotis as well. Whew!
Now that’s a LOT of chicken………
As you can see it was all also wallet friendly…..and delicious!

We finished the meal with a chocolate thingy…not sure what it was called…..but it was OK.

Soul Souffle
Uddear Springs
Verna

Maid Matters

Hiring a maid aka Domestic help is no big deal in India. The reasons are obvious- labour is inexpensive and widely available here , unlike in many other countries. It is even more so here in the Navy as we are provided attached ‘servant quarters’( I hate the word servant, don’t you?) hence help is rather easy to come by. So many of us here employ a plethora of help- cooks, cleaning lady, baby sitters, ironing lady, gardeners at our beck and call. In short many of us are uhm…..I guess the word I’m looking for is SPOILT!

So when my maid a few weeks earlier I was devastated. I was continuously weepy and irritable. M couldn’t fathom why I was “overreacting”!

But now I must admit that I rather enjoy doing some chores around the house. Its a LOT more satisfying to do things the way I want , rather than giving out a million instructions before it gets done the way I want it done…


But the thing is, it’s all I seem to be doing….I barely get time for my music lessons or my painting..or even to watch my kids fight it out:)….so am contemplating hiring help again…

My dilemma( based on a moral lecture my cousins in Australia gave me) is this..
Do I need to feel guilty about hiring help to do jobs that I can obviously do. Am I an exploiter?..I cant bring myself to feel that way…it is developmental aid applied directly , right?There is room today for the Saki lifestyle, no?
hhhmmmm Am I lazy? Obviously it takes very little effort to go around the house with a hoover and a damp cloth atleast once a week,,,Just because there are people willing to do those jobs for money do I need to use them? I’m sure there will be people willing to carry me around all day in a fluff of cushions but does their willingness to do the job make me any less lazy?Isn’t it just the nature of privilege?
Obviously there are so many things that I hire help for although I could do it myself…I use caterers for Birthday parties, I use the services of a milkman although it is possible to go get the milk for the store directly…I do it either because I can afford it, or I would just rather not do these jobs…But is the idea that it is definitionally wrong to pay for something that you can very well do yourself is almost impossible to contain to maids..it has a blanket morality that intrinsically spreads to every aspect of our life..
What do you think?

My maid woes aside here’s an absolutely super delicious pudding I tried from here one of my all time fav blogs……This pudding is simple, chocolaty and delicious at the same time a perfect comfort dessert.

Chocolate Custard Biscuit pudding

Condensed Milk 3/4th of a 400g tin
Milk 400 ml
Chocolate pieces 150 grams
Egg yolks 4
Biscuits 10
Strong Black coffee as required
Fresh Cream for decoration

Working quickly dip the biscuits in the coffee and line a pudding dish/ bowl.
Using the double boiler method melt the chocolate and let cool.
Mix all the other ingredients and the melted chocolate( except the cream ).
Now carefully cook it over low flame, stirring continuously .If you do have a LOT of time at hand you could take the safer route and just double boil it. I used a double boiler to make the custard and it took FOREVER so the last few minutes I just transferred the contents to a thick bottomed pan and heated on low flame.Voila! it thickened in a flash!
Once thick pour the custard over the biscuits. Leave to set in the refrigerator.
Pipe cream over it.

Look elsewhere if its a recipe you are looking for……

The only thing constant in life is change they say. Think about it…is there a truer thing?

Days , nay, months shift by so fast. It already the end of March..yet I (and I’m pretty sure most of you too) still feel like the New Year Party was just a few night ago)

Where does the time go?

Most of my blog posts are almost always lamenting my lack of time ..Maybe its me. Perhaps I need to rearrange my day and eh..smell the roses..and I mean that literally. I would love to go on long walks on the beach and see the sunset, watch the clouds roll by and listen to the wind.

How many of us do any of these?

So where does time go? Where do these
wondrous time capsules go when the next one arrives to take
its place?
Maybe we need to slow down and savour the day…..

When I see signs of aging in my parents and in- it upsets me to tears… Everything is changing..

Then there is the story told of King Solomon.
He once called his wise men together and presented them with a challenge. “Find me a cure for depression.” After much thought they gave him a ring on which the words “This too shall pass” was engraved. The King wore the ring constantly and every time he was depressed he looked at the inscription which always made him feel better.
Yes, this too shall pass…..because change is constant.

What propelled my emotional harangue, you ask.
Well last week…last Wednesday to be exact I lost two of my friends in an aircraft crash. They were amazing people , passionate fliers and wonderful officers . But seeing death at such close quarters and having to endure watching their loved ones grapple with sorrow makes me wonder at the hopelessness of death…and sometimes of life too…

Thanks to all who enquired why I was off blogging for this long…will post something real soon….

The Disgusting and The Delicious

Use your kitchen sponge to clean your toilet.

Wait! Did u read that right? Yes you did because with the way many of us live we could do this and be none the dirtier. So read on for a few tips to get you going to a healthier, cleaner life…

Let’s start with the Kitchen Sponge; that innocent looking green scrub that no kitchen can do without.
(image courtesy offthemark.com)
Did you know that it carries more than 134000 bacteria per square inch …Horrible isn’t it.
Sponges are a popular party venue for bacteria and the moist environment is a total bacteria magnet. Often people use the sponge to wipe up raw meat or fish from the sink counter and then use the same sponge to clean their baby’s bowl. Nice huh!!
So what can we do, you ask?

For one you could disinfect them, or better still stock up on a few and REPLACE them every week or so. Also leave them to dry in-between every few uses as most bacteria can only survive a few hours on dry surfaces.

Your Cutting Board is also a hot bed for germs. Don’t believe me? Read on.
It is said that there could be more that 200 times fecal bacteria on your seemingly innocuous cutting board than your toilet seat..YUK YUK YUK!
So what can you do? Divide and Rule, I say! Use separate cutting boards for vegetables and non vegetarian food items. That solves a lot of issues.
Clean your board using hot water and detergent and the wash using a chlorine bleach-water mixture. Do this often (and I don’t mean once a month!)

Another potential bacteria breeding ground is the Kitchen Sink. Full or empty, the sink is housekeepers sink of woe, as germs tend to LOVE to live here. Keep baking soda and an old tooth brush near the sink at all times and clean using hot water as and when possible including the tap and tap handle as well.
Now that’s wasn’t too difficult was it? A few extra minutes is all it takes and you have a cleaner home and life!

After that bit of kitchen gyaan let me share with you a delightful cake that I made using the recipe that I found on the Purple Foodies blog..


Chocolate Walnut Marbled Cake

2 ½ cups flour
½ cup coarsely ground walnuts
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
9oz. / 250g. butter
3oz./ 85g. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/4th cup hot milk
1 3/4th cup sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350F/160C. Butter and dust a loaf pan.Use a loaf pan..I didn’t have one at the moment so used a regular cake dish…thats why they dont look so good…The marbled effect comes out beautifully in a loaf tin.
2. Whisk together the flour, ground walnuts, baking powder and salt.
3. In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt 2 tbsp butter with cocoa and chocolate. Heat until the chocolate and butter have melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside.
4. Mix together the butter and sugar for about 3-4 minutes .
5. Beat the eggs in one at a time, until the mixture looks smooth. Add the vanilla extract.
6. Now either on a reduced speed, or by folding in by hand, add the flour and hot milk alternately.
7. Now take a little less than half the flour and mix it with the chocolate mixture that you set aside earlier. Stir till it is thoroughly blended – don’t overmix.
8. Pour in the white mixture into the pan then the chocolate mixture and then the white mixture again into the bundt pan without stirring and then run a knife through it once or twice for very visibly distinct two layers. For a pronounced marbled look, stir the knife through the batter a few more times.
9. Bake for 55-65 minutes or until the knife comes out clean. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so before unmoulding.
Hope you enjoy it…

Fort Aguada and some Desi Food at Fidalgo

One of the touristy things to do when in Goa is to visit the splendid Fort Aguada, located in North Goa.
And although we have lived in Goa for 8 years in total, I’ve been to this fort just twice.
It’s a don’t-value-what-you-have syndrome which I’m sure many of us suffer from.
Take the Jewish Synagogue in Kochi for instance. I’ve lived in Kochi most of my student life and I’ve been there-ONCE!! Now how AWFUL is that!

One of my many resolutions for this year was to explore places around me (as opposed holidaying to distant places).
Here are a few glimpses of the Fort as I saw it a few weeks earlier.

The fort, situated at the mouth of the Mandovi River was built by the Portuguese in 1612 to protect old Goa against the Dutch and Marathas and check access of enemies into the River Mandovi. It is home to several natural springs and that’s how it got its name-Aguada meaning Water in Portuguese.

The beaches of North Goa extend from Fort Aguada, in an almost uninterrupted 30 km sandy stretch ,to the border of Maharashtra.

The fort now houses the central jail and has one of Asia’s oldest lighthouses, a four-storied structure looking over a vast expanse of sea, sand and palm trees.


Whenever we do eat-out here in Goa we always prefer to eat at the beach side shacks instead of the usual restaurants in the city. The only time I do relent is when Hotel Fidalgo is one of the options.

The food is EXCELLENT and the hotel looks real nice post-renovation. It is situated right in the heart of Panjim on 18th june Road and has 6 restaurants to chose from( Bhojan, Legacy of bombay, Mirch masala ,Chilli n Spice amongst others).

The last time we went we decided to eat at Mirch Masala, which serves Indian food.

We started off with a chicken clear soup ( as I was supposed to be on a diet).It was delicious and I could have had buckets of this soup.

For starters we had the Chicken Pahadi Kebab(Rs 220) and the

Delhi chaat(Rs 95).
The Kebab was mouthwatering and its something Im looking forwad to ordering next time too.

The main course was just some Butter Naan, a mughlai chicken(240) and a paneer dish(130) and a chicken dum biriyani(Rs 270).

Everything was yummy and I hope to try the other restaurants in there too…

Avatar

Here’s the thing; I LOVE going out to the movies; but with a 2 year old its been rather difficult lately.
It was after much hesitation that we finally decided to watch Avatar. And its been the highlight of my weekA fabulous visual treat.

Have you watched it…not yet? Well you absolutely must.

James Cameron spent a good amount of the last 15 years trying to make a film that would elevate him from the “king of the world” level….presumptuous as it sounds. But with Avatar , I think he does just that.

The story follows paraplegic Marine Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) to planet Pandora , where his consciousness controls an avatar, a clone of Pandora’s local humanoid Na’vi people.

Apparently the local Na’vi people do not take too kindly to human visitors , which is pretty unfortunate because their “home-tree” is sitting right on top of a rare mineral “unobtainium” which the humans need to resolve a staggering energy crisis back home(ya guys, its 2145 but we are still at it!!). It helps that this mineral sells for 20 million a kilo !!!
So the scientists use genetically engineered Na’vi look-alikes that they can mind-control while the human body is in a kind of deeply-claustrophobic space craft.

Sully( in his blue pointy-eared ,cat-eyed avatar body) falls in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), the Na’vi warrior princess with whom he explores the wondrous Pandora.
And its from here that the movie explodes into life. It proves wrong the main antagonist Col. Quaritch’s words that “if there is a hell, you might want to go there for a little R&R after Pandora”.On the contrary Pandora is a dream come true…..

The visual effects are eye-popping optical candy
The landscape of the forests, cliffs, waterfalls , floating mountains.. The animals on Pandora are incredible too, weird and fascinating hybrids of dinosaurs and devilish imagination. Cameron just pushes the boundaries of technology and we are drawn into this mind-boggling alternate reality!!!

The CGI fantasy world will take your breath away….literally for some. I read here that some people were so enamored by the make believe world that they were feeling depressed AND SUICIDAL!!!

“After I watched Avatar at the first time, I truly felt depressed as I “wake” up in this world again” said someone of the site….
Anyway, in the end Jake is torn between his military orders to infiltrate the Na’vi and his understanding and love for the blue”tree-hugging” people. Yes, it’s nature versus machine again, and well you know what happens next….

While the plot-line was really “formulaic” and well, even cheesy at times….but there are some metaphors to look out for.
You cannot miss the film’s obvious reference to white guilt- America’s wrongful invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, or the wrongful atrocities committed against Native Americans and during the slave trade years. The pro-environmental message is also loud and clear.


The acting was spectacular especially Zoë Saldana .Terrific.


All in all a great movie, especially if you love(d) Star Trek.

The original images are here

Lofty Heights

Just wanted to share few pics of the New Tallest Building in the World- Dubai’s Burj Khalifa . The building is more than twice the height of the Empire State Building in New York City and almost twice the height of Chicago ‘s Sears Tower .

Point to ponder
Does this help man reach new heights or does it dwarf him???

Another high( for me) is this lovely award conferred upon me by PJ of seduce your tastebuds fame….

Thanks a lot Daahling!!

Now as the rule book says i need to REVEAL 7 things that people don’t know about me….so here goes..

1. I have studied Carnatic vocal music for 15 years but I have never given a public performance.

2. I am a compulsive planner. I NEED to meticulously plan my entire day…right down to if I’m going to oil my hair or run the washing machine.

3.I can be the WILDEST person you know(I have lived some PRETTY WILD days during my college days in Paris)but I can also be your quintessential Good religious girl( I know the VishnuSahasranamam, Lalitha Sahasranamam and many chapters of the Bagavath Gita by heart), when I used to live in Kochi I would visit the nearby Shiv Temple everyday at 5 in the morning.

4. I used to be a HUGE fan of NKOTB during my school days. In fact i even wrote to them saying I was a dying fan and that my last wish was to see them….(well, they did send me a letter!!!!)

5.I get a pedicure done every week….but I can sometimes go for DAYS without even combing my hair after a bath.

6.I have a deviated septum.

7. I have an AWFUL memory….I forget peoples faces almost as soon as they are out of sight!!!!!

Well, there ya go….7 SECRET ME things!

And I’m giving this award to 7 Lovely Bloggers and going to put them through the same quandary!!!

They have fabulous blogs and i love all of them….

Sayantani of A Home Makers Diary
Sheetal Kiran of Eats Eats and Eats
Sarah Naveen of Vazhayila
Sunita&Namita of Collaborative Curry
sig of Live to Eat
Roma of Roma’s Space
Farida of AZ Cookbooks

The Future Beckons

Here’s wishing EVERYONE a fun and love filled 2010……

The Ugliest Cakes ..and a Book Review…

Margaret Shanti’s husband Ebenezer Paulraj is a pompous conniving selfish narcissistic man who attempts to destroy her self-confidence and reduces her to nothing more than his slave/cook. She decides to get back at him through COOKING!
Yes! you read right.
She feeds him delicious fat-filled food and makes him fat and sluggish and breaks him down. A teacher of chemistry, she sees life as a combination of acids, alkalines and gases.
Love” she says “ is a colourless, volatile liquid Love ignites and burns. Love leaves no residue — neither smoke nor ash. Love is a poison masquerading as the spirit of wine.
Although I first read Anita Nair’s Ladies Coupe many years ago( 2005 I think) it was only Margaret’s story that I continued to remember.
But I re-discovered the novel again when I read it again recently .I was amazed at the authors ability to weave an interesting story at the same time throw up some poignant questions on gender, family , societal hypocrisy and life in South-India of the 80’s.
Can a woman stay single and be happy at the same time?Is a woman’s life worthless unless she is a mother and a wife?
Unmarried Akhila,the 45 years old protagonist of the novel struggles with these questions.
During her train journey to Kanyakumari , aboard the Ladies Coupe of the train she meets 5 other women , each with problems agonies and issues of their own. Akhila’s life-story is thus contrasted with theirs.
Akhila has spent most of her life looking after her family, sacrificing her dreams for theirs. Even while she does finally fall in love-with someone many years younger to her, she has to sacrifice this too.
The other woman too share their life-stories , their anguishes and how they deal with what life and society throws at them. It seemed to me like these 5 women represented the 5 stages of womanhood and even belonged to widely different social classes.Jaanki, Sheela, Margaret, Prabhadevi, Mary –all of them have a story to narrate…some realistic, some too fantastical and far-fetched but nevertheless all interesting to read.
I loved how Anita, drew up the characters. The author managed to remain detached throughout the whole novel; never preaching but just narrating the facts as they are. Her portrayal of the Indian Woman of the 80’s- closeted by society yet pushing the walls to as Akhila put it “ find a place that was her own. To do as she pleased. To live as she chose with neither restraint nor fear of censure” was very realistic and inspiring.
The men however left a LOT to be desired. Every one of them was spineless and insensitive.
Where were the ‘good’ men ??
Still Ladies Coupe was an interesting,inspiring read.

Before I leave you here are some pics a friend send me….(don’t I club the unlikeliest things?)
Aren’t they simply the ugliest cakes you have ever seen…I wonder who ate them!!!

“When you have brought up kids, there are memories you store directly in your tear ducts”

Raising kids is part joy and part guerrilla warfare said some bloke named Ed Asner -though I tend to agree with this for most part ,motherhood does have some exciting and wonderful wonderful moments.

Its my oldest sons 6th birthday tomorrow and I lay in bed this morning wondering how fast time is FLYING. I mean I’ve heard the clichés: “They grow up so fast!” “Where does the time go?” And so on, but I truly didn’t get it, until now.

Although everything seems the same and normal the sudden epiphany reminds me that a lot has changed. I realize that Daksh is only 6, but already it feels like there’s this giant Wizard of Oz hourglass with sand just pouring through…time is zooming, he’s changing and growing, and becoming so independent. He doesn’t need my help for most things now and probably will need me less as the years go by. Of course I’m glad he’s smart and independent but it really is an odd day when you realize that your son is a ‘big boy’. Of course there are days when his attitude exasperates me but those days are easily forgotten. As someone said A child is a handful sometimes; a heartful at all times!

Each stage of his development process is etched and celebrated so clearly in my heart and mind and now a feeling of something eluding me overwhelms just as I also realize that the babyhood of the past is now a permanently carved memory. And this little beautiful person, so sure of himself and so full of hope and smiles lets me know that it’s the same new world for both of us.

I do hope that his memories of childhood are happy and that he grows up to be a wonderful human being. I know that every day cannot be exciting and big but I realize that it’s the small gestures, heartwarming memories and times of togetherness that make life a life worth living…

Anyway here’s something I got as a forward which I kinda liked….

Kids Are Like Kites

Kids
are like
kites. You
spend a lifetime
trying to get them
off the ground. You
run with them until you
are both breathless ~ they
crash ~ You add a larger tail
~ they lift the rooftop. ~ You
pluck them out of the spout ~ you
patch and comfort, assure them that
someday they will fly! ~ Finally they
are airborne, but they need more string.
~ You keep letting the string out but
with each twist of the ball of twine
there is some sadness along with
the joy. The kite becomes more
distant and somehow you know
it will not be long before
your beautiful child will
snap the life line that
bound you together
and soar as he
was meant to
soar…
Free
and
alone.

 

http://forkbootsandapalette.wordpress.com/

Paa-The Baritone-voiced Legend at work again

Do you remember the scene in Slumdog Millionaire where the slum kid, Jamal, locked in a makeshift toilet jumps into a pile of shit just so that he can get to meet his favourite superstar Amitabh Bachchan and get his autograph. He stands there covered in a poop suit, next to the iconic superstar who signs his dog-eared photograph.

Big B
I am a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan(i know, i know who isn’t?) and while I wouldn’t go to these extreme measures, I sure do wish I can get to meet him someday.

I grew up watching him make even incredulous scenes credible, and listening to his wonderfully deep baritone voice threatening the bad guys. He has such a massive and unique repertoire of work and even today continues to astound us with his performances. Amar Akbar Antony, Sholey, Chini Kum, Don, Satte pe Satta…I mean ,you name it and his performance is just outstanding.

paaAB
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS HIM???

When I saw this promo picture from his latest movie paa I was speechless. It’s tremendous don’t you think. He plays the character of ‘Auro, a 13 year old child suffering from progeria. Progeria is a terminal disease; a rarest of rare genetic disorder in which a child begins to age at a rapid pace and dies before hitting teens.

Amitabh Bachchan will be playing son to parents Abhishek Bachchan and Vidya Balan in the Balki directed Paa. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

paa

My In-Laws Garden – A Flowery Feast

Took a quick(couple of days) trip to Kochi to visit my in-laws and to meet my parents who were returning from a LONG holiday to the UK and US…
as you can imagine i’ve been – as the bokononist tenet goes busy busy busy

anyway for now here are some pics from my father-in-laws beautiful garden…
flower4
flower1
flower2
flower3

jasmine

Blame it on the Flu

Hmmm...
The fear of swine is almost palpable in Goa. It’s the new big thing…It’s the subject of conversations; it’s on everyone’s mind. It’s everywhere. After Pune and Mumbai it’s obvious that Goa is next. Given that swine flu is flu with just a low rate of mortality, I feel that this fear is needless, ok let me rephrase that, this palaver and panic everyone is making about swine flu is unnecessary. I’ve read the real dope from survivors and I’m close to believing
that this is more of an information overdose pandemic.

I’m not saying I’m not scared. Scared for myself. Scared for my children, my family, and my friends’ .But one is more likely to die of sheer worry than of the flu. The virus is nasty, I’ve no doubt about that and painful I’m sure. But don’t think that anti-virals like Tamilflu are preventives. Don’t just pop ‘em just because you have them. They have to be taken in exactly the first 48 hours after getting the infection, else it is pretty useless. Its side-effects may be worse than the flu itself. Especially in children.

Anyway here are a general set of guidelines:

The US recommends maintaining 6 ft distance from infected persons. Infected persons should use hankies while coughing and sneezing. These viruses can survive on normal surfaces up to 8 hrs. Pregnant women, infants and children as well as those with some major illness are at high risk. So keeping household surfaces clean is imperative.

The established protocol is: visit your GP. If s/he thinks you are an H1Ni suspect he will send you to the nearest hospital. In Goa it is either GMC or Cottage Hospital in Chicalim.
If the hospital thinks you have H1Ni, they will take a throat swab. If a sample is taken Tamilflu will be administered.
Serious cases will be quarantined immediately. Those in contact with you will also be tested.

Treatment Options: paracetamol is the most useful to alleviate symptoms. Globally two vaccines are in the pipeline and are in the final stages of testing. Hopefully they should be ready by the end of they year. In India, Union Health Minister has promised an indigenous vaccine by Jan of next year.

It is impossible to predict when this pandemic will end, and there is real danger only if the virus mutates, but examples from the past tell us that this pandemic might go on for another 6 months to a year after which the virus will circulate as any regular flu. Even if the flu scare abates, the media-enabled panic will certainly be seen again in the times to come. Don’t you think we are moving into a world where panic can be fueled for the tiniest of reasons?

I know swine flu is not a joke, but I couldn’t help telling you about something I just read. . According to the Chicago Tribune, Ilana Jackson and Jeremy Fierstien got married in surgical masks and latex gloves less than 48 hours after they learned they had swine flu. It was a wedding to remember;They didn’t dance, they didn’t walk down the aisle, nor were they able to interact with any of the guests. Rather than feel depressed about what had happened they chose to laugh about it. The guests told them to give it a few years and they’d laugh about it ‘I’m, like, give me a few weeks,’ they replied.” For those who were brave enough to show up, masks and gloves were available to anybody who was so inclined, but the bride and groom were just about the only ones wearing them. Really testing that whole “Till death do us part.” thing huh? Where do you think they’d go on their honeymoon? Mexico?

Swine Flu Wedding

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