Friday, March 30, 2007

Nilaa Sadham..

Yesterday I had my all time favourite dinner.. thair sadham and urugai (for the uninitiated, yogurt on rice with spicy Indian pickle). It made me think of those happy childhood days long gone..

Me, Anuj and Vats would be vacationing at our grandparents place during yet another summer holiday. A summer with my cousins always meant tons of fun! Starting from the long walk early in the morning to see the new railroad, to the castles we built on the pile of construction sand from the beach and whole cities with roads and rail tracks meticulously drawn by us with chalk, we were always on the out look for the most creative thing to do. Our grandparents encouraged us so much that we even had drawing classes, dance classes and music classes every day! Of course the tomboyish me and Anuj used to smuggle out instead of singing, while Vats was always the model student!

Thatha would take us to the stationery store, to buy the crayons and pencils we needed to create our artwork. I remember him urging us to try hard. He got us all the things we wanted, even as much as getting a carpenter to make us our very own set of wooden toy trains!

I can never recall calling my grandma "patti". To me she was always "Ambu" (a short form of her name), a name that I innocently gave her, and it stuck on, so that every one of my cousins and my brother would call her that.

Evenings meant dinner in the moonlight. Ambu would get a large bowlful of delectable thair sadham, and we would pick our favorite pickles. Lemon, Mango, Tomato, Neem leaf, Raw mango.. the list was endless. One variety was never good enough. Ambu would bring a plateful of all the pickles and would dole out small mouthfuls into each of our outstretched little hands..

Then it would be bedtime, which meant us cuddling together in the hand stitched quilts, and whispering conversations as Ambu urged us to sleep.

Even today, as I sit in my apartment eating my plateful of rice and pickle ( alas, I am old enough to be happy with one variety), my mind goes back to those wonderful days of infinite joy and not a care in the world. I realize that it was the infinite love that our grandparents showered on us that made those summer days even more sunny and beautiful..adding to our kaleidoscope of happy memories for years to come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A cup of Java, or hot chocolate maybe?

I am one of the several million coffee lovers in the world; the kind that takes great pain to buy an espresso machine and brew that perfect cup of coffee. And yes, I am one of the several Starbucks lovers who loves the smell of perfectly roasted coffee beans wafting up as you walk into the shop, the extremely pleasant ambiance where its' always great to chit chat over coffee with friends. Sometimes I just crave the caffeine, like many others do; but even then no bad coffee please!

The other Java is something I work with a lot, and get engrossed in :)

Today, I went to a sweet little chocolate shop called Leonidas, in the heart of the financial district. My colleague got a cup of coffee there on our way to an investment seminar. I love Belgian pralines (Cream filled delights), and I decided to come back to get some. On our way out, however I saw a sign advertising hot chocolate. I was intrigued. What better place to try hot chocolate than a chocolate shop?

On my way back home I decided to make a little stop. At $4, the drink was pricey, but it did come with a Belgian praline! and the store claimed that the hot chocolate was made from melted chocolate!

I walked out of the store, cup in hand, eager to taste that first sip, though it burnt my tongue. It was probably the best cup of chocolate I had ever had; a creamy delight straight from heaven! As I made my way back home, I contemplated several future my new found culinary crush!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I was reading a very interesting post written by my friend Divya. You can find it here. The post reminded me of something Carrie said in Sex and the city..

"Are women just waiting to be rescued? If prince charming had never come by to kiss her, would snow white still be lying there? Or would she have eventually woken up, got a job, a baby with the help of her local sperm bank and moved on

Power and Glory

Last weekend, I did something that several of my friends did as well.. I watched the movie 300. Despite the terrible New York times review, the movie was not "gorier than Apocalypto". I did enjoy it very much, along with a very enthused crowd, who applauded several times.

We are not even sure if the battle of Thermopylae happened as it was screened, and definitely there were no giant rhino like creatures involved, nor did King Xerxes have so many piercings, but the quest for power has been a true rage, right from those times.

We all long for power and recognition. Right from school where we compete for grades, or when we compete for that promotion, that chance to lead a project or make that acquisition. In days B.C. the quest for power was perhaps too straightforward.. it was decided on battlefields and courts of counsel and law. These days, it is anything but.

To be known, to be a someone for generations to come; to make use of this chance called life bestowed upon us.. is what would be wonderful. Sadly, not everyone of us can make it.. only when there are several stars, do we name one the brightest.. but to try we must, all we can.. in whatever ways we can..

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Code, Party, Cold and the like

I guess the title kinda sums it up. I have been doing a lot of the first, attended the second today and have been tolerating the third (if not yelling back at it) for a week. I went to Ikea last weekend with my friend Jayshree. It could only be described as a perfect day.. Shopping with a friend.. We spent five (yes five) hours at the store! It was chilly that day, but I have learned to like chilly thanks to Boston. But what came later; to say the least, was not pleasant stuff.

Later on Sunday, me and my friends went to this very good Indian restaurant (If they have masala dosa and mango ice cream on the buffet, then hell yeah, it's good). Then we wanted to check out Zodiac, but we went to Wild Hogs instead. It was silly, but funny.

Back to the work week, I guess the cold has given me the flu.. The illness sucks, but at least you eat less ;-)

Looking back to this time last year, in Amsterdam.. It was cold but we were too exited to notice. The canal tours, The Anne Frank house that I wanted to see since I was a little girl, and tours to places known and unknown..

Have you ever noticed that a perfect day is more perfect when you rethink it? It may have been but a run of the mill ordinary day, but the people that enriched it and the lights and the sounds make you want to hold on to it forever? If we only chose to rethink every day as a tranquil one, does it just require a strong mind and nothing else? Sure a day with friends beats everything, but sitting on sateen sheets and thinking of life and everything about it is not too bad either!

Company of course rocks, but spending time with your own self is not too bad either! As you are with someone whom you understand the most :)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Corporate life

It is so tough to digest that you are not a student anymore, getting up when you please and working late into the night and watching the crack of dawn beckon to you from your windowsill. These days my alarm is set to early morn, and yet I always get up before it rings. Then comes the obsession to clean everything in the apartment before I jump in the shower; a few minutes checking messages and then setting off to work.. a crowded PATH train, where it has never been possible to read the book that I carry.. unlike the typical New Yorker who balances his paper so perfectly as he checks the headlines. Ten minutes and the train sails into the World trade center, and up the flights of stairs along with a thousand others, who are in such a hurry that they push past you. Then comes the ten minute walk to work.. and then a busy day that goes on until six for me, mostly later for the rest.

The sun has set when I step out in the evening. As I pass the church and the Borders store, it is so tempting to just step into a blissful world of books and silent readers, but I hurry on, back to the PATH and then home. Then it's a quickly made meal, which just suits my taste, unlike the ones I made in Boston, according to my friends preferences.

I switch on the DVD player & TV and get into bed with F.R.I.E.N.D.S, until I get my comcast connection. Then sleep takes over, until tomorrow.

Life is so fast, and the days are short. A month has gone by before I realize it. Time moved faster in Boston as well, but over there it was measured by company and never ending trips and laughter over Poker.

I have been visiting Boston for the past two weekends, to catch up with my friends and Gala night at the ISSI. It always feels great to be back there, as the city is filled with the most wonderful memories of beautiful days and happy faces.