Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It's official

Cheese is my official favourite food. Chicken comes a close second. And the combination of the two is almost as good as chocolate - every woman's guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Speeches and Scream

It's amazing how language has the potential to be a primary means of communication to a trained tongue and ear, while still sounding like gibberish to foreign ones. Perhaps music and love really are the only universal languages.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Principles above Petty

Holding the door open for the next person is important.
Your clothes being perfectly matched or impeccably pressed isn't. It doesn't matter if your hair is messy or just been unbrushed for the past three days. I really don't care.

You must show up on time but it isn't necessary that you address me by a title. First names are fine. Most of the time

I'll treat you like an adult if you behave like one. I'll take you seriously if you take yourself seriously. And as long as your work is in order, with regard to the rest of your life, frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.

Cutting in line is unacceptable. Walking across the street a few seconds before the pedestrian sign comes on, isn't. After all, the pedestrian does have the right of way. Heck, you can even walk across the street where there is no zebra crossing. Once in a while.

Don't push while entering the trolley. And it's impolite to speak too loudly on your phone in public. But you don't have to carry your shopping in a plastic bag. I'll understand if you carry your bare merchandise in your hands because you care about the environment. In fact, it'll probably make me respect you more.

Don't burp at the table. But it's OK to slurp your drink loudly. Seriously. I'll just think that you're really enjoying it :) As for that Sloppy Joe, go ahead and dribble. The ketchup stains only add character to that T-shirt.

It's OK to leave your unmade bed in the morning. Just make sure the volume of your television doesn't bother your neighbour.

Learn to let the little things go. And know what the bigger issues are that are worth holding on to.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Shut up and Clean up your Act

No, your jokes about women aren't funny. What, no one's ever told you that before?

Racial slurs, fat jokes and making fun of others - I don't know who's laughing but I as sure as hell am not.

Your brazen use of 'f%&k', 'wh%re' and 'sl%t' doesn't impress anyone. It just says that you need to expand your vocabulary.

Body noises, references to feces and bad bathroom habits just mean social decorum or public regard are not your forte. It doesn't paint a pretty picture about your personal hygiene either.

Being mean to children, the elderly or the disabled is not cool. It makes me pity you for being so void - emotionally and intellectually.

The world seems to have forgotten to be nice. Well, the majority. Let's not generalize here. Suddenly, getting 'piss drunk and 'high' are the only phrases that catch anyone's attention along with the usual sex, boobs, booze and drugs banter. A boob in your booze? Perfect. Gives a whole new meaning to coke float.

Grow up. The world won't be nice to those who walk around with hay between their ears.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I Live to Eat

So what's the point of a blog if you can't document your culinary escapades :)

I've been on a bit of a gourmandising adventure and thought that the delicacies that I've had the good fortune of sampling deserve a mention. Here goes:

The first was a vegetarian sub that I tried. A far cry from my usual order but we were tired, hungry and totally unfamiliar in a new land. It turned into a modest dinner that filled us and without being boring owing to the black olives and cheese it contained. A tertiary introduction to what was to follow.

The next day was marked by good old Mcdonald's. Those golden arches have a way of luring people on whatever part of the globe they're on. So the Big Mac, it was. The inspiration for the McMaharaja on native soil. Double beef patties sandwiched between tomatoes, onions and lettuce, with a side order of Pepsi and fries. Mighty good!

After that we decided to be a little more adventurous and behave like real tourists explroing a new city. There was plenty of time to turn into a local and bite down into a burger later!

Initially the adventure didn't go too far. It began with the newly introduced flatbread sanwiches at Dunkin' Donuts. A low fate breakfast option who's value can be lost when washed down with a tall glass of hot white chocolate. Frothy, sweetened milk - liquid goodness. The plain crossiants weren't bad either.

And then special occasions arrived that needed to be marked. What better way than to head to a seafood open cafe by the ocean. Tia's served up a super jumbo shrimp salad. Charbroiled prawns the size of tequila glasses accompanied by fresh lettuce, finished off with a gentle garnishing of parmesan cheese. Exquisite. The fish and chips were impressive as well as the fresh cod broke into perfect flakes when broken into.

But the fireworks began the day we discovered the International Food Hall. World cusine under one roof! A foodie's dream come true.

Clams Casino - still encased in their shell and the buttery meat dredged in spices and seasoning, a halthy slice of salmon - the pink meat gently cooked and flavoured. Both were accompanied by lightly buttered rice. Smack!

Once we entered the food hall, the memories are a little fuzzy. They got lost somewhere in the milieu of crumb-fried crabcakes, a slice of beef and spinach pie, summer pizza complete with shrimp and pineapple, Japanese Teriyaki chicken with rice, chicken fingers and potato wedges, an extremely rich, creamy lobster pie and the all-time favourite clam chowder in a bread bowl. Throw in a massive slice of chocolate mouse cake. Phew!

All of the above was periodically punctuated with cheese pizza, a Mediterranean platter, buffalo chicken on bread and an authentic Mediterranean meal of chicken, kous kous and fallafel that was enjoyed on the MIT campus. Sigh...

And tonight, Kheema Naan with Raita was joined the list. An Indian meal after a while and the best that can be found away from the land of the original. The tea that followed wasn't the best. Too strong for my taste and I ended up with the tea leaves at the end. But the underlying taste of cinnamon was interesting.

All in all, it's been a very filling month!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Facts

Journalism is not just a profession. It's a way of life.

Between Two Worlds

I'm in the new city and I can't find better words to decribe my situation: I feel like a fish out of water.

It's a great place, really clean, friendly people and the weather has been great since I got here, except I'm warned of a rather snowy winter.

I've spent two weeks exploring the city, so I know some of the really great places to eat (more on that later), I've seen some of the attractions and now I'm really comfortable where I'm at.

But nothing beats home.

I craved to be here for close two years. And now that I am, I want to go home. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful. Neither am I serious about throwing in the towel and returning or anything of the sort. It's just the intense pangs of homesickness speaking.

I miss the pulse of my city, its heartbeat, its soul.

I honestly did think that America would be like th emovies. I blame the steady diet of Karan Johar movies we're fed as children.

So while it looks like it does on screen, clean roads, diciplined traffic and fresh air, I miss the chaos of my city. I never thought I'd find myself saying that.

I'll be back soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For my Baba

So the saying is true. "You win some, you lose some."

I won the two-year battle with myself, family, everyone important and frustrating factors beyond my control to study in a foreign country. I packed my bags and moved to a new land, determined to blaze my own trail. And the timing coincided with another monumental change in my life.

The day I left, I also lost a friend. A mentor, my hero, my best friend. After a two-week hospital battle with painful medical odds, my Baba breathed his last.

With the people that I'm close with, a part of me becomes firmly associated with. It's a bond in which I don't want to ever forget them and don't ever want them to ever forget me. So when I lose such a person, temporariliy or permanently, I break off a large piece of that bond and send it with them. While I do lose a large part of myself with their absence, I like to believe it's like a souvenier that they can remember me by. And I have the other half, or part at least, to remember them by. Kind of like best friend hearts where two best friends have either halves of a heart that becomes whole when joined together. It's my way of ensuring their immortality. Even if they leave, they live on inside me. That way, I never really lose them.

I miss my Baba. There's no doubt about it. This was only the second man to have ever carried me as a baby, after my father. To have cherished me growing up. And to have supported me as an adult. He always made me smile, his laugh was contagious and I loved the way he smelled.

I'll never forget his penchant for ties or the fact that he never needed an excuse to be in full suit. Most importantly, his fiery spirit is seared in me. His fearless attitude, his bold decisions and his ultimate disregard for authority. The rebellion appealed to the rebel in me.

Home will miss your sparkling personality. Our larger social circle will miss its leader.

And strangely, I don't feel the need to grieve such a loss. I questioned why my eyes were dry at the funeral. I expected to be torn and inconsolable. I felt nothing of sort.

More thinking made it evident to me that perhaps this was because his life needn't be mourned. It needed to be celebrated. Because that's what he brought into our lives everyday that he was a part of it. A celebration.

That's how I've decided to remember him. As someone who made a real effort at ensuring I was happy. As someone who fought against the world to find his place in the sun and who left it having touched so many lives.

Baba, you make me proud. You always have.

I am grateful that you are in a safe and comfortable place where you can look down and see how much your children love you.

For all the greatness that you were during your time with us, for all the memories you built with us, for all the dreams you made come true - Baba we love you for all of it and so much more.

You are not lost. You live on inside my heart, my soul, my mind. You are a part of me, just as you always were. And you always will be.

May your soul rest in peace.