Monday, August 30, 2004

Plumpernickel Recipe

I gather there are many people (er... 2 or 3?) who visit my blog and desperately seek an "About Me" section. To satisfy all the curious folk, here's the plumpernickel recipe...

I will be 28 in 2 weeks time and am not sore or worried about it. I am however worried about my boobs falling to the floor, which is why I have planned to have a breast reduction at age 30. I am a girl, hence the boobs. I have been hard working all my life, except during my masters degree. I flunked a course - functional analysis to be precise (whew! I've finally got it out of my system), and that was the lowest I have ever hit. The failure hit me very badly and since then I swore that I would be a success at whatever I did next. I started working as a web designer, moved over to developing, then project management and am finally a mid-level manager now. Nothing has ever come easy to me. I've always needed to work very hard for it. I have no social life because of work. Thats the kind of loser I am. I am very competitive and I try and play fair most of the times, but if I want something really badly, I am not averse to bending the rules.

I am now hoping to be a legal consultant or attorney, though only the prosecuting kinds. I am also trying to learn German. It is not easy. I excel when I have multiple projects to work on. I also am good at identifying opportunities. I come up with a brilliant idea every week, though my ideas do not always work. I think too much and I also worry too much. I keep worrying that I will die alone, but now I know I wont, or atleast I am not scared of it.

I have one sister, one brother, and fun parents. My sister is married and has a darling son, the inheritor of my future millions, provided he keeps kissing my feet every now and then. Heh! I get along very well with my brother, I actually browbeat him into submission and still fight a lot with my sister. We do not see eye to eye on anything, but I will do anything in this world for her. Sadly she knows this and takes advantage of it. Still, I forgive her because of my darling nephew. My brother-in-law is a cool dude and I have my eye on his humongous CD collection. Oops! Now the secret is out.

I do not make friends easily. Varsha is my closest friend, conspirator and confessor. He is the only person in this world who has never annoyed me so much that I have stopped talking with him. Apart from that, I think the world of Ponappa, Balti and Madder, though at some point in the past all of them individually have driven me up the wall, but I guess all girlfriends do that at some point or the other. I also get along with men much better than I do with women, but have discovered that when it comes to being assholes, men outdo the women all the time.

I love good food, music, art, literature and travelling. I loved New York to bits and like Paris second best out of all the cities I have been to. I have been to the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay and I cried like a baby at the latter. I think I can walk all day long in New York all my life and never get bored. I will never ever forget my first New York visit. I have started buying art recently. The first painting that I bought was from Montmarte, off a ragged pseudo artist - it has no artistic value whatsoever but I love it all the same. I also have loads of prints that I bought from Paris and New York. I think I should stop talking about art now.

I love good food and cooking. I like to think I cook well. My repertoire consists of fusion vegetarian food and it is actually lip-smackin' good. My parents, madder and my brother can swear on that. I also can whip up interesting fish and seafood meals and nobody has ever hated my chicken qorma. I love to cook for other people and watch them eat well. I want to learn how to bake and when I have a bigger kitchen, I know I shall perfect that too. I can never stick to a recipe and I always detract from recipes and mostly do not make a mess of them. My mother makes very tasty kebabs and I plan to swipe all her recipes.

I have learnt Indian classical music for a number of years, though I did not keep up with my lessons. I like classic and folk rock, though I can listen to anything but techno and trance. I also love jazz. I love to dance, but I dance horribly. If I really want to dance, I dont care about that. I love to read. I buy horrible numbers of books. Last year I bought 42. This year, I have already bought 32, no 35 counting the 3 that are already enroute. I have read over 50 books this year. I have many favourites when it comes to literature, but I especially like Margaret Atwood, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Haruki Murakami. I love South American literature. I wanted to read Marquez in the original spanish, but I now acknowledge the fact that I never will. German is hard enough to learn. I like to do crosswords and my literati ranking is 2185.

I am plump, though I am working on the plump part now and hope to be in shape in a year's time. I'm tall by Indian standards and I love that, though I wish I was taller. So, I buy shoes with heels to make me feel taller. Atleast 5 people have called me babyface and I think there is some truth in that. People have also told me that I am very intimidating, though I really do not understand why. I want to own a restaurant, an art gallery and I have grand plans of world domination, though I might just give it all up on a whim. I also want to see the entire world, even countries like Eritrea, Tonga and Haiti.

I congratulate all the people who have read through this self-obssessed monologue. I don't think I can make myself read all of it, so if there are any grammatical or spelling errors, forgive me.

The Hep Bengali Miss fashions 2004

  1. Mandatory Platform heels
  2. Some weird shade of nail polish on the toes, often totally clashing with the footwear or clothes
  3. Lots of eye make-up including kohl and all applied with a very garish hand
  4. Tight short tanktops or peasant blouses
  5. low-riding pants, often bootcuts and totally covered with embroidery or sequins or worse still, both. Sometimes these are capris.
  6. One footband or anklet.
  7. Lots of arty junk around wrists.
  8. Lots of arty junk in ears, often sourced from Chamba Lamba New Market or Metro Plaza - Ho Chi Minh Sarani.

Bad fashion trends rule in Calcutta. Soon to come: The Hep Marwari Miss fashions 2004

Madame loudmouth

Some women should know when to shut the fuck up. Yesterday, I had to go to the gym to check out my new membership and for some complimentary spa treatments. I was given a walking tour of the premises and the gym manager was a nice, friendly woman. While she was showing me around the steam chambers and sauna rooms, we bumped into this other new member who claimed to be a dermatologist and who was rather eager to just talk. I didn't know her from adam and a total loudmouth.

She practically held us both at ransom and started this diatribe on how Indians and Asians have lovely skin and how Europeans do not. It was reverse racism at its best. Anyhow. I made unintelligible sounds and I wanted to just escape. In real life, I sometimes find it very hard to be rude. Anyway, then this woman in her crass, loud voice says, " Oh! Europeans stink so much!" and other totally embarassing things. I wanted her to stop and I just wanted her to go away. Finally I told the gym manager that I thought I would miss my treatments if we didnt hurry and she took the hint. Both of us turned towards the massage rooms and to our horror we see this white-skinned lady, obviously either European or American right ahead sitting on the sofas and sipping lime juice with a grim look on her face. I could have died at that moment. I wish I could throttle that stupid, racist bitch. I went red and the manager apologised to the lady for the noise. At moments like this, I know there are racist bastards all over the world and I seriously wonder how people grow up to be so offensive. That is one dermatologist I am never ever going to! I just wish I could jam that stupid woman in a Delhi State Transport bus on a June afternoon, then we'd see if she still thinks Indians don't smell. I hope to God, I never bump into both those women ever agian. With my luck, I know I am going to bump into her again and agian.

Confessions of a shopaholic

I have re-discovered shopping on the Internet. I now see the point to it. Since my life has started resembling a mad-cap circus, I have no time to go shopping. Isnt that sad? I dont even have the time to do grocery or food shopping and that sucks. So, I mostly end up ordering it to be delivered at home. I think some Indian shopping sites, namely rediff and Indiatimes, have shaped up pretty well. They deliver on time and most of the stuff is not excellent, but will do. The best deals though, are usually the flowers, sweets and books. It is a huge plus for a forgetful person like me. Now, I make the purchase whenever I remember anyone's birthday or festivals, and schedule the delivery date accordingly. Since all my friends and family stay in other cities, no one can complain that I have forgotten important dates, thus making me seem Godlike and blessed with superhuman memory. All the brownie points are now mine! Heh!

Now, I have finally started buying stuff for myself too. Stuff that normally I would have to go shopping for - like books, music and kitchenware. I have ordered a set of three books by Alexander McCall Smith - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Tears of the Giraffe and Morality for Beautiful Girls. I read the reviews in the Asian Age many, many moons back and am now finally close to reading the books. Is it just me or does anyone else feel excited at the thought of goodies in the mail? I just can't wait for the books to be delivered.

And no, I am not being paid for all the gratuituous links, though I wish I was.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

What's that they say about necessity and invention?

Last night I watched The Banger Sisters. It was quite a disappointment. It started off promisingly, but ended in typical American 'everything's right with the world' fashion. How sad. Anyhow, thanks to the movie, that for some reason I wanted to watch really badly, I finally learnt to program my television. Now, I have all the channels I thought my cable provider did not provide - HBO, Star Movies, The History Channel and Cartoon Network. I'm like a child in a candy store. I watched a lot of trash after 4 months of not watching TV at all.

Mandatory weekly whine

The past few days have been like being in a labour camp. I am so stressed out I can't sleep. Since I can't sleep, I get more tired than I should, and that increases my stress. Its a never-ending repetitive cycle. God, to sleep for eight complete non-interrupted hours I will do anything, ANYTHING. I need to get away. I need a goddamn fuckin' vacation. I need a holiday. I can't afford (Not moneywise, just time and circumstances-wise) one till December and that is how the story goes.

Now that I am done with the bad news, the good news. The past week has been surprisingly good workwise despite the overload. Also, I now have a club membership. Was offered two, but have opted for the one where I am liable to meet lesser people and where I can swim, play tennis, use the gym, get spa treatments and get really yummy food at huge discounts. Hehehe! I plan to go to every single evening after work. I'm a sucker for spa treatments.

I have just decided that I need some retail therapy. Afterall, I must be dressed right at the gym, non?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Google Adsense Rocks!

My blog has been approved for Google's adsense! Yipppeeeee!!!! Thanks Google! Thank you! I love you very, very much!

I thought that since I do waste a lot of time because of my blog, I must get something out of it, atleast for charity. Now, my friend Varsha is in a tight spot. His PhD is ending, he doesn't have a job yet and no postdoc has been confirmed. So effectively by the end of this month he will have no means to support himself and he cannot work in the USA since his visa is only a student's visa. His advisor has cut off his funding and is not being very nice. So, the revenue that I get from Google will go to Varsha. When he gets a job, I will donate these earnings to charity or to people in need. I will never keep these earnings for myself.

So please people keep clicking on the ads you see on my site. They are all for a good cause.

Just in case, anyone wants to know how my blog got approved, I have realised that writing to the Google guys helps. This is the letter I wrote begging for approval:

Dear Google-Adsense,

These are the reasons why I feel you should NOT reject my blog for adsense:

1) My blog is probably the only Indian independent blog that is freefrom cliques, original in thought and much more wittier than the rest.
2) My blog has visitors from all parts of the world and not just fromIndia. I do not have any site stats right now, but I know for a factthat I have visitors from all over.
3) I am planning to change my blog from a personal one into a foodblog though it will always retain its personal character.
4) The earnings from my blog will not line my deep pockets but will beused to help my friend who is in between jobs right now.
5) If adsense can be seen on extreme right-wing blogs, simply becausethey gather a lot of traffic, why not on my pacifist and sensible one?
6) When my friend does find a job and no longer requires funding, Iplan to donate the earnings to charity. I earn enough for myself to not need these earnings.

Thanks and hope you do not reject my blog.


Seems like it worked. I am happy!

Surviving 2004 - With food!

Tha all new series of Amateur Gourmet's Survivor 2004 is on its way. I want to be a contestant too and have put up my name. Lets see whether I make it to the list of final survivors or not!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

My nephew - Judas Iscariot

The best part about being multilingual is that one can bitch about anything without fearing any reprisals, provided you are sure that no one understands the language you are speaking in. It so happens that my siblings and I, speak 2 Indian languages fluently. So, sometimes in company that is not multilingual, we switch over smoothly from one language to another based on what we want to discuss privately and what we can discuss with everyone.

This move is however, thwarted by the nephew who is also multilingual (he understands and speaks 3 Indian languages) and promptly translates whatever is being spoken, into English just at the times when a translation is not required. That enough, is reason enough to consider a different heir to my future-millions.


I've signed up for adsense. I hope the occassional umm... strong language doesn't make them turn me down. Lets see....

Monday, August 23, 2004

Food blog anyone?

I want this blog to be a food blog. Is anyone interested in Indian recipes with a heavy focus on East and North Indian food? Right now, I do not have a digital camera, but soon I shall have one. Until then, I can post none of my pictures. Still, I think this problem will be solved very soon. I plan to include:
  1. Recipes
  2. Restaurant reviews
  3. Random trivia mostly on the different styles of Indian cooking

Another thing, I can't stick to recipes. I always make innovations, so my recipes in all probability, will not be totally authentic, but will display the nuances of Indian cooking the way it is done in Indian homes and not in odious Indian restaurants you find abroad where the staples are naan and tandoori chicken.

Khichuri - Manna in the Monsoons

I have been very unwell for the past few days. I had a slight temperature, a bad tummy upset and was feeling very, very tired. I had a bad taste in my mouth and yesterday's overabundance of chicken soup did not make it any better. I wanted to eat something tasty, hot but not overtly rich. I thought today was ideal for Khichuri - Khichdi or Kedgeree Bengali style.

Khichudi, or khichdi done the bengali way with rice, lentils and veggies is popular during the monsoons, especially when accompanied with some deep fried goodies like brinjals or even fish. Traditionally, khichudi is offered to the Goddess Saraswati during Saraswati puja and that is how I was introduced to it as a little child. I have early memories of hot, steaming khichudi being served on pattals or banana leaves after the puja was over. It was often accompanied with deep fried brinjal (or aubergine) slices, tomato chutney, papads and ended with rice kheer (pudding).

Today, I rummaged about in my kitchen and found that I had everything I needed. I did not even need to chop vegetables up because I had a huge bag of frozen mixed vegetables. All I needed to do was temper the veggies, dal (lentils) and rice and let it cook in the pressure cooker. I started off with preparing the spices for tempering, namely cummin, bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods. Then, I chopped up the onions and green chillies and then diced the potatoes. I did not need to prep the other veggies because they were already precut. I just thawed them well. Once the veggies were done, I heated some oil in a pressure cooker, added the spices to the oil and then the onions and green chillies, then I threw in the dal (lentils) and the veggies and then the rice. Then I added salt, a little turmeric powder, a teaspoon of sugar, some coriander powder, water and closed the pressure cooker. In ten minutes, my fragrant, mouth-watering khichudi was ready. This was the best meal I could have had today. I did not make any accompaniments to the khichudi today because of my upset tummy, but next time I plan to have it with fried brinjals.

The Recipe: Serves 1

Ingredients: Rice (preferably small grained rice like gobindobhog) - 3/4 cup, masoor dal (lentils) - 1/4 cup, 2 medium sized potatoes - diced, a handful of french beans - diced, 1 carrot - diced, green peas - 1 fistful, cauliflower florets - abt 1/4 cup, 1 big onion - sliced thinly lengthwise, 2 green chillies - deseeded, 1 tsp sugar, salt to taste, 1/4th tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tbsp cooking oil.

For the tempering: cummin - 1 1/2tsp, bay leaf - 3, cinnamon sticks - 1/2 inch and cardamom pods - 2

Method - In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add the spices for tempering, when the cummin and other spices start sizzling, add the chopped onion and green chillies, when the onion gets transparent, add the dal and keep stirring, add the veggies and the rice, stir for 2 minutes, add the sugar, salt, turmeric and coriander powder and mix, add 2 cups of water and close the pressure cooker. Turn off or take off the heat after a whistle or two. You can do this in a rice cooker too, if you do not have a pressure cooker. If you do not have a pressure cooker, do everything as described in a wok or heavy bottomed pan, then before adding water, transfer contents to a rice cooker, add the water and let it cook.

To serve, just transfer contents to your plate and dig in. This is a filling meal and you dont really need to have anything else alongwith it. However, the traditional way to enjoy khichudi is with deep fried or batter fried brinjals, hilsa fish and other veggies, papads and a chutney or two. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Calcutta chatter

In the recent past (last five years or so), the communist state government in West Bengal has started changing names of prominent streets, in Calcutta. I haven't a clue why. In my opinion, the older names have historical significance and are nicer. I dont mind the new names, but they will take time getting used to and I just think there was no real need for the name-changes. I have listed all the ones I could find/ remember. You decide for yourself...
  1. Ballygunge Circular Road1 - Promotesh Barua Sarani
  2. Ballygunge Road - Ashutosh Chowdhury Avenue
  3. Beadon Street - Abhedananda Road
  4. Camac Street - Abanindranath Tagore Sarani
  5. CIT Road - Acharya Satyen Bose Road
  6. Grey Street - Arabinda Sarani
  7. Lower Circular Road - AJC Bose Road
  8. Russel Street - Anandi Lal Poddar Sarani
  9. Swinhoe Street - Anil Moitra Road
  10. Kyd Street - Dr. MD Isak Road
  11. Palm Avenue - Bibhuti Bandopadhyay Street
  12. Woodburn Park - Bibhabati Bose Sarani
  13. Brabourne Road - Biplabi Trailokya Maharaja Road
  14. Upper Circular Road - APC Road
  15. Kasba Road - Banku Bahari Chatterjee Road
  16. Ultadanga Main Road - Bidhannagar Road
  17. Auckland Square - Benjamin Molaeir Square
  18. Bowbazar Street - BB Ganguly Street
  19. Russa Road - Chinmoyee Chattopadhyay Sarani
  20. Dalhousie Square - BBD Bag
  21. Canning Street - Biplabi Rash Behari Road

1 Old Names

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Even more melancholia

Oh! I forgot to add that I also have a hangover. I drank 3/4ths of a bottle of red wine yesterday night. Is that it? Somehow red wine does not make me happy the way white wine, vodka or liquers do. Why? Yesterday, after work, I had sushi and wine. Maybe red wine with sushi was not a bright idea afterall, but I've never been a food purist. After that I returned home and chatted with the mater for an hour, and then sat down to study. Three hours later, I dozed off on my table and early in the morning I got up, removed my lenses and crashed on the bed. I think I must have slept for 4 hours. Moral: Excess booze, less sleep and loads of studying does not make a happy plumpernickel. Sigh!

Another dank, dismal post

WTF!! PMS should happen before the er... flow not after. I do not know whether I am depressed or just very, very tired. Right now, I just want to go home and sleep, but I have meetings, interviews, handovers, 4 hour long classes scheduled AND I am bleeding like a slaughtered pig AND its a bleeding Saturday. Sometimes, I wish I could just run away from my life. Come to think about it, it wouldnt really make a bleeding difference to anyone. Oh! And it's raining and gray today. Could it get any worse?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Big fish in a small pond

I am guilty of starting awful fashion trends at my place of work. When I say awful I mean really, really awful, horrifying actually.

I stay very close to my work place and have never been particularly careful about what I wear, apart from being slightly finicky about footwear. I am also insomniac and I am often up till late in the night. As a result, I need to make a mad dash to work and I rarely put in much thought about what to wear to work. Apparently most women put in a lot of thought about workplace clothes.

In the recent past, I have been guilty of starting these fashion blunders:
  1. Red, deep red nailpaint on the toes. I wear deep red nailpaint one day and the next day I notice not 1, not 2 but 7 women wearing similar hues.
  2. Tying my hair in barettes. I have shoulder length wavy (irritating to me) hair and I tie them back with barettes at work. All of a sudden there is an explosion of barette-using women at my workplace.
  3. Wearing pink lipstick. I have an awful dusty pink shade and I wear it only if my lips are really, really chapped since it gives excellent protection. Suddenly, I find pink being the popular colour for lipsticks.
  4. Wearing pearls. I love pearls, I have every colour, but I normally wear white pearl earrings, and suddenly women all over wear very similar earrings.
  5. Wearing churidaars instead of salwars or those awful trouser/ pajamas like things that are popular in India these days. This makes me laugh. I hate salwars. I find them baggy and irritating, so I wear churidaars with everything. Previously I remember, no woman wore churidaars, now after I have been doing so for the past 2 years, everyone is a churidaar fan. Bizarre.

Heh! They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but somehow, I'd rather people not follow horrible fashion ideas. I should be the last person anyone should er... be inspired from, I am too lazy to be a fashion icon.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Things every single woman should know *

* Most of the points are local in nature, and I can't be pushed into explaining what they actually mean.
  1. How to change bulbs, fuse wires, and other assorted electrical stuff.
  2. How to change tyres.
  3. When to say "No!".
  4. That most Indian men are pariah dogs, especially the married ones. Beware of married men, unless you want a no-strings attached fling, in which case, seek a man who is afraid to death of his wife. For some strange reason most men are, and thats not always a good thing. Then refer to the previous point. Thats not a good idea at all.
  5. ANY man over the age of 25 is, in all probability married. Since Indian men do not wear wedding bands or any other external signs of marriage (though I can spot a married man from 5 miles away) ASK before assuming the contrary. No, it is not pushy or rude. You have the right to know.
  6. To be confident and to have atleast one friend to depend on through thick and thin.
  7. To always have a spare set of keys at that friend's house.
  8. How to NOT max credit cards.
  9. That being healthy and fit is a very good idea and that you owe it to yourself.
  10. That being alone does not mean being lonely, and just translates to more time, in which you can do much more than your non-single sisters.
  11. The phone numbers of your doctor and gynaecologist. It is a good idea to find a good gynaecologist and dentist. Look up point 9.
  12. That regular pedicures, manicures etc not only keep you looking swell, they are also uber relaxing.
  13. That arming yourself with pepper spray is a good idea. However, every person who asks you for directions is not out to get you.
  14. That having friends and family visit you regularly at home is safer for you.
  15. Not dressing like a total slut helps. That midriff baring top looks sexy alright but need you wear it everywhere?
  16. That it is safe to have a cellphone and a landline and NEVER to give your cellphone number to people you do not trust. For that matter, you don't need to fill in feedback forms everywhere.
  17. How to do your taxes and to know just how much you actually earn.
  18. That having 2 photo identification proofs (eg. Passport, PAN card, voter's identity card, driving license) cuts out a lot of future headaches and heartburns.
  19. That coming back to a nice and tidy home, is magically relaxing. It does not require too much effort to achieve that.
  20. Keep your paperwork (passports, tax forms etc.) updated. Our friend Varsha, learnt this the hard way.
  21. Bitterness is best left alone. Seriously. Enjoy life, afterall, you have the time and space to actually do it.

Most of these points actually apply to everyone, but from what I see, most single women seem to ignore good sense. All the important points, like proper paperwork and documents, I learnt from bitter experience. I *should* have known, but I did not. I think along with morals, values and all the baggage parents saddle kids with, they miss out the most important bits, namely, how to manage money and how to be careful about paperwork.

Greedy Hands

I was all charged up yesterday. I completed all the paperwork required for my taxes. Phew! After I completed it, I realised that not living on a shoe-string budget makes doing taxes easier. I don't feel the cold, clammy hand of horror wrap itself around my heart any longer, now that I am no longer hand-to-mouth. I realised that if I don't pay taxes, I would be able to holiday every month in Goa, Sri Lanka or Bangkok or every two months in Europe. Sigh! They better make good use of my hard earned money.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Its that time of the year again! I have to go to another birthday party. Last year, I gifted the tyke a mathematics game. I can't stand the kid, but I work with her mother. So, this year, it shall be 'The Pickwick Papers' or maybe another mathematics or science based game? I have this policy of gifting all annoying tykes really awful games, if I am ever invited to their birthday parties, so that I am never invited again. It seems as if my ploy did not work last year. This year, I will ensure the birthday gift is truly revolting.


My toenails will be Mulberry this week. You could also call them bitch red or burgundy. They match my extremely catty behaviour. Yes, my good people, the PMS has struck again. Beware!


An Indian has *finally* won a medal at the Olympics, AND its not a bronze one! Good for India. So, Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore needs to be looked into. Ewww.... What do I find? Such a bangworthy name and such a revolting mug? Why? Why? Why? See for yourself. What India needs is a sexy, good-looking sportsperson who does NOT play cricket. The good major, sadly, does not fill that slot.

My revised birthday list

For those who have been gifting me stuff for my birthday (Yes, Bets dear that includes you too from this year onwards) and for those who might feel like making me very, very happy. Heh!
  1. Lots of flowers
  2. CK One
  3. DVD/ VCD - The entire Harry potter trilogy, Super size me, Fahrenheit 9/11
  4. CD - Anything goes as long as it is not trance, techno, world or pop
  5. Books - Anything goes, but the following will be much appreciated
    (i) Hotel Babylon - Imogen Edward-Jones & Anonymous
    (ii) Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
    (iii) The murder room - P. D. James
    (iv) Spinsters in Jeopardy - Ngaio Marsh
    (v) Asterix and the class act
    (vi) Bangla Ranna - The Bengal cookbook - Meenakshi Dasgupta (One of my colleagues swiped my copy and I can't muster enough guts to go and ask for it)
  6. Chocolate - Mmmm... I shall be your slave for life
  7. One of those travelling neck cushions/ pillows
  8. A mortar and a pestle
  9. Table lamp - trendy and not utilitarian (added for the brother's benefit who can be irritatingly dumb about certain stuff)

The iPod and digital camera I shall get myself and I'm already gloating at the thought of both. The moment I get my digital camera, I promise to turn this blog into a blog that focuses mainly on food.

If I get even one thing on this list I shall be very, very happy. My luck with gifts borders on the bizarre. I get horrendous stuff from people and I mostly give it all away. Among the horrors I have got as gifts the most striking one was a plaster of paris dolphin. I still shudder when I think about it.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Meme time - Virgo

I am at work, tired and bleary-eyed. So I shall meme.

Found at Mac's who found it HERE. You need to copy the text of your birth month and cross out all that does not apply to you. This makes me sound like such a freak! Sigh!

Suave and compromising. Careful, cautious and organized. Likes to point out people's mistakes. Likes to criticize. Stubborn. Quiet but able to talk well. Calm and cool. Kind and sympathetic. Concerned and detailed. Loyal but not always honest. Does work well. Very confident. Sensitive.Thinking generous. Good memory. Clever and knowledgeable. Loves to look for information. Must control oneself when criticizing. Able to motivate oneself. Understanding. Fun to be around. Secretive. Loves sports, leisure and traveling. Hardly shows emotions. Tends to bottle up feelings. Very choosy, especially in relationships. Systematic.

Spreading myself thin

This weekend was tiring. Nothing new there, my weekends are always tiring. My German classes have started again and this time I notice that I am coping much better. I don't stammer when I am asked to speak and words come back to me much quicker. I am not confused between "fallen" and "gefallen". I dont use one in place of the other anymore. I can do my assignments independently without cheating. Phew!

My GMAT score sucked. Am taking it again. My other two diploma courses have started and right now, I feel a bit overwhelmed. The more I read, the more I realise how much I didnt know. Is anyone interested in cyber crimes? Anyone? Anyone?

The only horrible thing was that I had a huge argument with Dad. Anyhow, since he is being such a sweetheart and is actually doing what I wanted him to do, I guess I will apologise and eat humble pie. Mom, dad and my parent's household help cleaned up my apartment and organised it in a manner that I would never have been able to do. After all that hard work, we went to Tamarind, the new South Indian restaurant in town. Details about that to follow in the next post.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Spring cleaning in monsoon

Mom's here (with help and vaccum cleaner) to help me spring clean my apartment. It has been long overdue and I'm happy. Mom also got loads of yummy food - bhuna chicken, shammi kebabs, moong sprout salad, stuffed aubergines and loads of greens from my mom's kitchen garden back home. Dad's here but, thats another story....

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The pressures of looking good

I take care to be well-groomed. To ensure that I look like a woman and not a hairy monster that I actually am or can turn into, my weekly routine consists of a weekly trudge to the salon to get my eyebrows and upperlip threaded. The entire procedure is painful to say the least. Then, every fortnight I get my hair trimmed and shampooed. Every month I get a pedicure and a manicure so that my toenails and nails look good. Every month I get my hands and legs waxed. I cannot even say how horrible and painful the procedure is. I suppose apart from the waxing and threading I could do it all myself, but manicures and pedicures are very relaxing as I have discovered. I think that would pretty much cover the beauty regimen of any woman my age.

Left to myself I wouldn't bother with anything. However I know the untended weedy look in women is not appreciated. I realise that I take pains to appear well-groomed to blend-in. Sometimes, I feel like stopping it all and going all natural, but I am scared of bucking the trend. I am scared of being laughed or sniggered at. I am afraid of being told to appear well-groomed by HR. I am scared of losing my job just because I don't hate body hair and take a stand to be pro-body hair. It is all horribly unfair.

What I really, really want for my birthday

  1. An Ipod
  2. A huge bunch of cream coloured roses or orchids
  3. CK One
  4. CDs - Open to experimentation as long as it is not world music or pop
  5. DVDs - Anything goes
  6. Books - Same as above
  7. Digital Camera
  8. Chocolate
  9. Sleep
  10. A laugh or two

Did the people who should take hints get any hints?

There is hope

For the likes of me who are er.. "Big". Read THIS. Except there are no potential mates in sight. Sad!

Cast Away

Everybody should have a friend they can call at midnight, wake up from sleep and chat for hours. I have 3 friends who I can disturb at any point of time and I can cry and wail to them and who comfort me immensely when I am down and out. One is of course Varsha, but since the bitch decided to live across many oceans, talking often just does not happen. So, I rely on Ponappa and Madder to hang on to sanity. Mostly it is Ponappa since we go back a long way. She probably knows me better than anyone else in this world, with the possible exception of Varsha.

Yesterday, I felt a bout of depression and I called up Ponappa at midnight hoping she would pick up her cell. I was lucky, she did. After abusing me with choice invectives, we settled down for a long talk. My depression just disappeared! So, now I shall treat my depression with catching up with friends. Let the huge phone bills happen.

Ponappa is now Dr. Ponappa and just started working. Her dad bought her a car. The reasons were (a) Obviously to avoid public transport (b) To better her chances at marriage - by adding 'Can Drive' to her list of merits. I collapsed, when Ponappa told me this with a straight face and we both couldnt stop laughing for 5 minutes.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Milk of Human Kindness...

has always eluded me. I suppose I am unkind and insensitive. You could call me an asshole and a bitch. I firmly believe that every sob story has a flip side. Things are never what they seem and most people who paint themselves as victims offer only one version of a story. I know this because I have successfully pulled off many bluffs and got off the hook by fantastic excuses banking on one thing - Milk of Human Kindness. In fact I find, the huger a victim you pretend to be, the more elaborate scams you can pull off. A case in point being Odin Soli and Plain Layne. But, I digress. Since I have been such an effective puller-of-scams I can see through bluffs and sob stories.

I was told about this babe who's marriage was on the rocks and who's husband beat her black and blue. Everyone sympathised with the babe, but I had my doubts. For the simple reason that despite her stories of being a victim, her actions were anything but. For one, her stories had different versions, one for the menfolk and one for the womenfolk. To the women she said that she was rejected because she got fat. Oh yes, that one ALWAYS gets instant sympathy from ALL women. To the men her story consisted of her being married against her wishes and a previous lover. Now, suddenly she is back with her husband and they are a happily married couple again. People are confounded by her behaviour because she had painted her husband to be a class 1 asshole and a brute and people now say she is a wonderful woman to put up with everything and forgive her husband. I am like, WTF? I do not think her husband was that much of an asshole to begin with and I think there is more to the tale. But do you think anyone believes me? No. They like to think that women are victims and ever-suffering and that the classic man-asshole-beats-up-wife saga when related by a woman has to hold true. I however always have my doubts, for the simple reason that most women who are really victims do not tell their tales to all and sundry and their stories can be mind-numbing and horrific.

Caveat Emptor - boring, inward-looking, self glorifying, narcissist post

I had to go for the workplace annual dinner yesterday. I was wearing what I thought was a smart outfit - black silk kurta, black churidar, beige and olive moonga silk dupatta, my pearl strands and earrings and beige stilettoes. I had planned to add a dash of colour by wearing a red stole and red stilettoes instead, but Varsha pointed out that it might look sluttish. I think he had a point.

Yesterday I also went and pampered myself, actually tortured myself, I got waxing done and it was sheer torture. The other stuff was bliss though. I've been losing weight and am happy, happy, happy. It feels nice to wear high heels and not have the knees aching because of the excess weight being carried.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Things I never thought I would enjoy

I shall turn 28 soon, in about a month's time and I discovered that I am increasingly enjoying things that I never thought I would enjoy. So here comes another list from the plumpernickel stable called 'Things I never thought I would enjoy'.

  1. Non-fiction
  2. Bitter foods - Bitter gourd, neem, bitter chocolate
  3. Alcohol
  4. Men
  5. Business Magazines
  6. Work
  7. Legal issues
  8. Working out
  9. Being alone
  10. Designer labels
  11. Stillettoes
  12. Joni Mitchell
  13. iPod - I am saving up for one
  14. Sushi
  15. Caviar
  16. Cities
  17. Buying Art
  18. Diamonds
  19. Winters
  20. Spas
  21. Fish
  22. Milk
  23. Calcutta
  24. Kohl
  25. Tea without milk and sugar
  26. Coffee without milk and loads of sugar
  27. Beaches
  28. Jazz

Thats it for now. You all are welcome to mail or make your own lists in the comments' box.

Thursday, August 05, 2004


I should know better by now. When things are going well, it usually means that there is something really bad going to happen. Right now, things at work are uber stressful so posting maybe light. On the other hand, maybe it will increase dramamtically, posting on my blog relaxes me, but the content might be inflammatory to say the least. Gah! Now I return to face the havoc.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Why I hate large Indian IT companies

Wouldn't you if in the past 3 months they poached 3/4th of your programmers? That when they are apparently your clients. I hate them very, very much today.

Looking down on creation

My machinations worked! I finally managed to send my sister and brother on a massive guilt trip by whining endlessly on ze blog and BOTH of them called me up yesterday and I had long conversations with both. BOTH were loathe to admit that it was because of my endless complaining on my blog, but I know better!

I am feeling much, much better now, reasons being:
  • More attention being paid to me by people (so what if I have to browbeat them into it?)
  • Bailey's Irish cream (Really a worthy buy)
  • Varsha emailing regularly
  • Having my own wicked way at work
  • Losing a bit of weight (my clothes are marginally fitting better and one roll has reduced by 2 cms)
  • The possibility of travelling to either Finland or Italy later this month - aaah!
  • The epiphany that I have started 2 fashion trends at work - more about this later!

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Month's worst

The worst thing I heard this month: Jessica Simpson singing 'Take my breath away'.

Pointers to women to deal with Indian men

Most Indian single women of my age would not need this unless they are really really stupid. This is meant for those women, who are yet to get where I am (and its not an entirely unhappy place) so listen up!
  1. Do not expect adult behaviour from any Indian man below 75 years of age. Most Indian men might look like adults, behave like adults but are NOT adults. They are maa ka munnas (momma's boys) and will expect mothering and not wifing (er.... ok, I just made that word up) or partnership from you. You are just a human shaped teat and have to feed their egos, their wants and their needs. So get set to mother your man if you are planning a long term relationship with an Indian man.
  2. Nobody can be better than mum. So don't even get there. If you are like me and do not think mum knows best, woe betide you!
  3. Most men have important careers while you are just a showpiece at your workplace and do something to keep yourself occupied, or should.
  4. If men help at all at home, their aunts, their bais and the bai's donkeys will all know about it. It does not matter that you slave all day, it is your work!
  5. The women are always at fault in relationship problems, since you see men are all hard-working innocents. If any woman dares to be her own person, she is a bitch, slut or should be propositioned by every tom, dick and harry. So, watch out and don't raise your voice with your man unless you want to be branded a harpy.
  6. It is ok for men to be wholly controlling. You should understand this.
  7. It is ok if men lech at other women, they are being just men. If you do the same, you are a cheap slut.
  8. It is ok for other women to wear high hemlines and low necklines. You should be dressed 'properly' and 'decently' which loosely translated means covered from neck to toe.

Heh! For anymore help/ suggestions/ advice mail me!


I wish people wouldnt help me. I hate asking people for favors and when people do me favors, it usually backfires and I am faced with a situation that is often worse than before. Madder got me a TOEFL book to "help" me, I didnt need it, but she practically forced it on me and I thought she didnt need it. Now, Madder's gone to Bombay and her brother rang me up yesterday and told me that the book belonged to one of his friends. Well! As I said, I dont need help, don't force things down, please!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bollywood boos

Someone should tell Mahima Chaudhury to stop being so silly. As it is, her taste in men runs to men like Leander Paes, what else did she expect? I think I should make this a gossip blog considering the fact that I can gossip about most of Calcutta, if not anyone else. As for Mr. Paes, well, his circle in Calcutta (or the people who claim to be his friends, atleast) are sleazy jerks that abound in Calcutta clubs, each slimier than the next. As A puts it aptly, "I never know what they actually do. If you ask around, you are told that their family used to own jute mills or some bicycle parts factory or something equally ancient of that sort. Observe the 'used to'. All you see them doing, is loitering in clubs, playing around and being pseudo intellectual." To Leander Paes' credit, he actually does have a profession. Why can't these idiot actresses have a spine and quit being so dependent on silly men? There's Nafisa Joseph who killed herself over some fellow, in all probability a slimeball and now Mahima is boo-hooing all over the place. Is Leander even worth crying over? I don't think so.

Ewww... I just discovered, I share a birthday with Mahima Chaudhury. Puke! Double Puke!