Monday, February 28, 2011

Politics – A Joke in India

Recently Indian politics is so overflowing with scams & that too big ones. Like there is no need to compare anymore which fraud or scam is the biggest in the history; they are all huge & it more often looks like every “fraud-er” is trying to make his fraud bigger than others. A competition of corruption!!! The politicians are such shameless liars, right out in the open! In spite of very OBVIOUS proof of corruption, the politicians, like little kids have to say – I DID NOT DO THIS, ALL ALLEGATIONS ON ME ARE FALSE!! Duhoode!!!! IT’S SO OBVIOUS! I feel like shouting it out loud! How dumb the politicians take the public to be? Or they now know that the junta really doesn’t care anymore about anything! To mention a few:
1)      The commonwealth games scam – Organizing Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi has caused corruption of millions, yet as the investigation started he had to say that all the allegations were false and that he was deeply pained by these baseless allegations!! REALLY??? AWWW….Didn’t know you were so sensitive!!!
2)      One of the latest big scams is of the 2G Spectrum Scam – In which the Minister of communications & IT A. Raja is heavily involved. As the investigation is proceeding, the central government is involved, pretty much the current Govt. of the country is involved and as the lens goes over the Prime Minister of India Mr. Manmohan Singh, his reply was beyond any comments. All he had to say was “He appointed the minister out of pressure. It wasn’t his decision”. The fact that you are the PM of India, whatever decisions you make in your tenure, you have to stick to them. It is normal human lifestyle. Even a common man has to stick by his day-to-day decisions. At what age do we pass such blames saying “I don’t know, I just did what I was told to do”! Shouldn’t he be stepping down already from his position? How are we letting him run the country still, now that we know he is not taking his own decisions!
3)      Child Labor Law – The Labor Minister last year announced to eradicate child labor by 2012 and apparently last week at his son’s wedding, the Banglore Mirror reported witnessing a dozen under 14 years children working in the kitchen at the wedding!!! They have pictures from the occasion and yet the labor minister has to say its false!
(These are just off the top of my head. We have tons of other scams. The labor minister news actually made me laugh & write about it.)
So, politics has become a joke here now and the dramatic replies the politicians give can only make you laugh in disgust! The politicians think we are too dumb to not see the obvious things or the fact that yes, everyone is just ignoring them. But someday the bubble has to burst. I hopefully wait for that time!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quick earning employment in a over-populated India!

My brother was to travel in train today from Bangalore. As he was travelling in a general compartment, where you buy a general seat ticket & find a seat (if lucky) & sit till your destination! We reached the railway station in time & the train was arriving at the station. A guy came to us asking, if we had to catch a seat in the arriving train & that he would do that for a sum of 30/- ($0.75). Now that is something very new I have come across recently. Coolies or help guys are common in India, who carry your baggage to the taxi stand outside the station. But this kind of earning money was surprising, weirdly innovative & kinda funny after a while. As my uncle and I discussed about it later, we thought with the population we have in India & the percentage of people getting quality education being less, men like our "seat-catcher", have to find new ways of earning their livelihoods. For us, he found a good seat & we paid him his well-earned 30/-. I hope he found more customers like us. Very few Indians would pay for a seat catcher! My uncle should have just thought of the comfort of his son's travel & hence he must have agreed to pay for a seat catcher! And how often do we come across such service! But, it has a chance of becoming a good profession! Good luck "Seat-Catcher" J

Azan @ Sachin's 100 - Coincidence or United India!

We were watching the worldcup game today happening here in Bangalore, India vs England; Indian team was at the crease batting very well with the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, batting to hit his century. Batting at 98 runs and hitting the boundary for a 4, at the strike of the bat, as the ball was going for the boundary I heard the Azan from the neighboring Mosque. I noticed the coincidence so instantly, it brought a big smile to my face. Whether it was deliberate or a coincidence, it was great feeling! I want to believe it was deliberate!
No discrimination intended! Infact, only a united sense! :)

Au Bon Pain

I finally visited the Boston based French café Au Bon Pain here in Bangalore today. Au Bon Pain (O Bo Pe) means 'The Place of Good Bread' in French. I had seen the Indian menu before. When I went to the place, it was like a regular American bakery with all the baked goodies I saw there. I am not a fan of sweet baked food items though. My brother and I tried a variety of food. Here is the break up with prices:
Brother’s Order –
Spicy Chicken soup – 65/- ($1.50)
Sourdough bowl – 30/- ($.75)
Tandoori Spiced Chicken – 109/- ($2.40)
My Order –
Mushroom Cheese Sandwich – 109/- ($2.40)
Mocha Blast (drink)- 65/- ($1.50)
All this food cost us 378/- ($8.40). We also tasted Crostinis, that I had known as Bruschetta before; they were delicious – Jalapeño Corn Crostini. I was also happy to see the Baguette bread. Reminded me of my cooking trials in Spokane! The food was delicious but still the prices could be a little lower for the quantity of the food. And I loved my drink. Although, I would prefer it to be served with ice. The ambience is full of picture frames of their outlets around the world. It’s pretty much a self-service place. I would definitely like to go back again and try some other dishes.
Indian Menu:


Bakery Puffs and Cakes:
Danish:


Pastries:

Desserts:

 The Ambience:
 Spicy Chicken Soup:


 Mushroom Cheese Sandwich, Mocha Blast and Tandoori Spiced Chicken Sandwich:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I will always be a little GIRL!

I have been staying with my grandparents over a week now, to take care of my unwell grandma; just helping her around the kitchen & other chores. Over these days, many of my other relatives like other grandparents, uncles & aunts have been visiting my grandma. From my childhood we have been coming to Bangalore, Mysore to visit my mom’s relatives every year.  So all my relatives here have seen me grow from a new baby to a toddler to a kid to a girl to a woman now! But to them I am still a little girl in their minds. They are very surprised to see me taking care of my grandma, cooking good food and handling other chores. To them it’s a topic of discussion as to how mature and understanding & responsible I have become! But to me its normal & natural indeed, I believe we all turn out to be like this, seeing our parents do these same things when we grew. We observe & we learn naturally. But I guess, our image of our childhood just stays in our grandparents minds. We’ll always remain as kids in their hearts. For now, I am enjoying helping them and they have a mental comfort to have me around J
All is well!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Surprise!!! Huge shower for all

It’s 25th Feb and it’s raining!!!! Summer in India starts from Feb until May! Did we just decide to skip Summer & go to Monsoon directly this year? I know it’s a super HOT country, but we still need our season cycle! The Rain God is sweating it out…and too early in time. We were sitting watching Top Chef, when it started to get dark with the grey clouds and in no time it all started to pour down! I just blogged the other day saying that summer had started here and today we have surprise rains! The scent of the wet soil was amazing and the streets look so clean & washed up. It’s all cool now and we’ll have a cool night too. Not to mention how hot it will get after this first rain now! I hope the sudden random downpour does not cause much loss to the farmers! My grandma was saying how cycles and seasons have changed so much in recent years! For that matter it was still raining here until Dec last year! She is just glad that her patio railing is all clean and that her plants got their water from the heavy showers! Pleasant cool evening to all here in Bangalore J

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rasna for the summer

I made my first batch of Rasna drink this summer. Somethings don't changes even after ages. Growing up we'd wait for summers to arrive when you get to drink Rasna to beat the heat; times when Pepsi or Coke were not part of the summer drink market. Actually I remember Limca and Gold Spot. At home Rasna was a perfect replacement of Frooti, that we'd drink in the trains!!! At this age, I still enjoy my Mango flavored Rasna. Although I miss the old packaging which used to have a tiny glass bottle containing the fruit concentrate. We'd collect those unique tiny bottles.
"I love you Rasna" - the punch line!

Reminiscing the old commercial - Rasna:

And the good old Gold Spot commercial:

US Pizza Outlet

We have tried the regular Pizza Hut & Dominoes many times, enough to be bored of them. Frankly, I don’t even like what Pizza Hut serves in their menu! A few weeks ago, as we were driving through the city, we saw this Pizza outlet: U.S. Pizza. I am not sure if it’s a common chain, as I heard it for the first time; so we decided that we’d try it sometime. I have already been there twice. They have a different menu from the regular outlets. And interestingly, I also liked the “Meal for 2” offer that includes 4 slices of cheese garlic bread (thin slices), a Medium pizza (serves 2), 2 drinks and 2 slices of Brownie, all for 299/- ($6). They also have a variety of Jain Pizza’s J I have decided to try each of the vegetarian at every visit. Until now we’ve tried the Mexican Delight and Balle Balle LOL
The place is also well set with wall hangings sharing information of Pizza and its history. The waiters are very polite and serve you with a smile, unlike most Indian restaurants. It could be a great hang out to watch the world cup finals, if India makes it to the finals! J


Why Differentiate amongst us???

My husband and I talk in Hindi, because our mother tongues are different. But when we go out for shopping, we generally try to stick to Kannada, the local language. My husband thinks it’s necessary or the vendors here take you for a ride. So every time we go shopping, if I am asked in Hindi, I reply right away in Kannada, to show I am Local. I am local anyways, I was born in Mysore. J
Over the weekend, we went shopping for vegetables in the big fresh market, in the center of the Mysore city. We were buying fruits and we stopped at this vendor to buy Chikoo. The vendor was a typical villager, uneducated farmer. I asked him the price in Kannada. And my husband and I talked in Hindi..almost whispered. The vendor still caught that and asked right away, “Doesn’t he know Kannada?”. I replied positively, that he does know, but he’s not fluent and that he didn’t catch your dialect correct. I asked him, “Why, SHOULD he know Kannada?”. The vendor was quick in saying “Yes, of course he should know Kannada, he is living here!”My husband obviously did not like that and told me to tell him, ‘Had he not come here to Mysore and made better money than others, he would not have a customer like him buying his fruit’. I gave the vendor an earful that it is incorrect to distinguish amongst us. We all belong to this 1 country and that there a so many languages in our country that he doesn’t know of! Of course, he accepted that I was right and he was wrong; eventually I was going buy his fruits right!
My husband had a different point of view though, ‘the vendor was not that bothered about we speaking Hindi, but more that a north Indian guy got to marry a Kannada girl (me)’. FYI: My husband is more south Indian than me! LOL  - still the same issue of differentiating based on language!!!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tender Coconut drink

The summer has officially started in India now. Suddenly it is very hot here in Mysore and Bangalore. Just a week ago, it was pretty cold in the evenings and early mornings. Now I feel my ceiling fan is not as fast as we feel hot!
One the best things about living in South India are the coconuts. In South India, Coconut is a very integral part of cooking or living in general. Growing up here, I have always seen coconut trees in every yard. People here have all the tools to maintain a tree in their yard. We’ve studied how a coconut tree is called a Kalpataru (wish-fullfilling tree) because the whole tree can be used to make infinite range of things of daily use.
Anyways, the reason what I like about South India & coconuts is of the Tender Coconut drink. You will find vendors every few blocks selling tender coconut drinks. And we can ask for the kind of coconut we want. There a different coconuts such as only water coconuts, coconuts with slight tender coconut flesh and coconuts with a little crisp coconut flesh. And the art they have to recognize exactly what you want, it is amusing. Like my husband prefers asking for only water coconut whereas, I like to enjoy the tender slimy coconut flesh.
The vendor very skillfully shaves the coconut to drink and then again break it into 2 halves & give you the tender coconut to eat with a scooper made from the coconut shell itself J
It isn’t a cool drink like other sodas like Coke or Pepsi; yet it is a pleasant drink in these hot summers. And it is a good health drink to drink one each day. Benefits of the drink are here.
Coconuts arranged:

My Coconut drink: 

And the delicious tender coconut:

Indian origins competing each other

I started to watch today’s cricket match between Canada and Sri Lanka. I had never before taken a close look at the Canadian team before. As I saw couple of familiar Indian names, I thought of course, there will be a few Indian origin players, considering the number of Indian immigrants Canada has! So I googled for the Canadian team and out of 15 players (including extras) only 4 were non-Indian names. LOL
That’s when I realized that it is so funny when we play against our own people, who were a part of India sometime in the past. Playing against teams like Pakistan, Canada, Bangladesh.  We’ve seen an Indian player in other teams in the past like West Indies and Kenya etc but 1 name against most of the team being Indian, I find a little more humorous! For now, Canada is struggling big time with Sri Lanka. What could the player be feeling when they know they are going to lose, BIG TIME; yet that have to play until they are on the pitch!

7 Khoon Maaf

I watched the movie today. The movie is based on Ruskin Bond's book, Susanna's Seven Husbands. The movie is a dark comedy, where the lead actress Priyanka is looking for love and always marries a man with a flaw. The story is of how she kills each of her 6 husbands and marries the 7th one. The meaning of the movie title “7 Khoon Maaf” is understood only at the end of the movie. The title and the ending are so perfect! It’s a good movie to watch, with fine actors playing the husband roles. All the actors have acted well, especially Priyanka Chopra. The movie is well directed. And for the first time I have seen the famous singer Usha Uthup act in a movie. One of the dialogues that struck to me was in the end, "Every woman in this world wishes at least once, to get freedom from her husband"! LOL!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nanjanagud Temple

Today, we visited the temple in Nanjanagud.
From Wiki - The main temple at Nanjangud is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, also called Sri Nanjundeshwara, "The God who drank poison" to save the earth. In Hindu mythology, there is the event of Samudra Manthan, where the Gods and demons churned the ocean in search of the ambrosia. During this churning, poison emanated first, followed by ambrosia. To prevent the poison from spreading across the universe and to destroy it, Shiva came to the rescue and drank it up. His wife Parvati then held his throat tightly to prevent the poison from spreading to the rest of his body and killing him. Narada held his mouth so that he did not vomit it out. The poison remained in his throat, making it blue in colour. For this reason, Shiva is also called Neelakantha, or "the blue-throated one". Nanjanagud literally means "the place where Nanjundeshwara resides."
The temple is very big inside, with architecture from the 9th century. Around the periphery of the temple there are numerous sculptures of gods and goddesses. I asked a couple of priests who they were and I got varied answeres; one was that they all were avatars of Lord Shiva and the other was they are different gods attending the assembly of Gods.
As the temple is situated at the banks of River Kapila, there are large numbers of devotees dipping in the water. They also have a large new Shiva statue outside the premises of the temple. It’s a beautiful statue, yet looks a bit animated.
Temple from outside:

The Gopuram:

Devotee rolling on the floor around the entire temple:

Statues:





Pillar structure inside the temple:

Lord Shiva statue:

Mini Kitchen

I got a mail today about compact kitchen design. This mini kitchen created by the New Zealand Company, Compact Concepts. It occupies area of only 1.8 square meters and includes everything you might need in the kitchen – refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave oven, coffee maker, electric stove and sink. Also there is a great choice of colors and additional accessories. It has different shapes & design as per your need & can be placed in small place.
All that was product informationJ! To me, it looks really good although not enough for an Indian family. In fact, it looks good for 1 person. But still it is a good idea and design. I would love to have such a compact kitchen; in an unrealistic single-life situation where I won’t have to cook for more than 2 people. Oh, I love the sliding door to it J




















Friday, February 18, 2011

Funny English Boards in India

We mean "No Spitting" !!!. Found it at the 18th Floor of the Murudeshwar Temple.


Cricket world cup …Starting tomorrow!

Cricket is the national game for Indians, mentally, spiritually!!! Factually, it is Field Hockey J The popularity of cricket would make the world think it’s our national game.  We all grow up with the cricket passion in India. Cricket and Bollywood rule our country, no doubt about it. I remember how crazy we were about cricket matches when we were kids. My father, not a great fan of cricket, would be very annoyed that all the matches would be scheduled exactly around our final exams of the school year. We would adjust our study schedule to not miss matches; study ahead of time, convince parents we are done preparing, just watch the Indian batting innings, last 5 overssss…endless excuses eh! When I got a job, the websites would be blocked in our companies, but they had the new age desktop scorecards to keep track of the latest score every second. That helped a lot, than not knowing anything about the ongoing match. People actually skip work, school for those really crucial matches!
I was really into watching cricket matches before, especially India-Pakistan matches, and those are the real thing for us!! High tension, emotion matches. Personally, I watch matches only if India is playing. I feel it’s a waste of time watching other countries play! Already the sport takes infinite time! There was time when I knew so much of every Indian cricketer, foreign team players, but after I moved out of India, it was difficult to track & watch cricket matches in the US. Moreover, they came up with the 20-20 matches, the cricket leagues and now I have no idea of who is who in any of the cricket teams.
But I still look forward to the current world cup, may be catch up with what’s new in cricket. In India, it’s good to know cricket. Here is a good website to check the world cup schedule. And like all Indians, I too wish that we win the world cup this year! Good Luck Team India J

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Aero India 2011

I finally made it to the air show in Bangalore this weekend. The banaglore bus transport has arranged special buses to the venue, so getting there was pretty easy. Once we reached the crowd was enormous. I probably have never been to such a hugely crowded event ever. I said to my husband, it feels like the entire Indian population is right here, and yet this was just ONE Indian city. We luckily were intercepted by a woman who wanted to sell away her 2 extra guest passes. So the hunting for tickets or standing in line job was taken care off. 500/- each ticket!
Once we entered it was quite a walk…like 15 mins to actually get into the audience area. REALLY unbelievable crowd size! Kids, women, men…all ages!!! It was super hot with the sun high in the sky at 1.30pm. The next show was about to start at 2pm. We till then took a walk to all the aircrafts on display. It was really a fun day for my husband. To me they were just planes!!!! Once the show started it was little more fun, but the real fun was to see the aerial acrobatics of the Indian Surya Kirans; they are similar to the Blue Angels in the US. Nine aircrafts doing acrobatics in the sky….was an amazing show!  It was a fantabulous show of excellent aerial acrobatics performed by the Indian pilots. We saw a variety of planes such as the Mirage,  Tejas, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Super Hornet, C-17 Globemaster III, C-130J Hercules and KC-135 Stratotanker, US Lockheed Martin’s F-16s, Boeing’s F/A-18s, Saab’s Gripen, the Dassault’s Rafale, Russian Sukhoi, Brazilian Embraer and Ukranian Antonov. These are a few I can recollect.
There are excellent professional pictures at: http://ibnlive.in.com/photogallery/3308.html#view_start
Surya Kiran Manoeuvres:





A T for Thank your for all the support:


A lovely heart for Valentine's Day:

Bangalore Times

This week I am visiting my grandma in Bangalore, so I will be having some stories from here. Bangalore has changed so vastly over these years. Growing up, I visited here twice a year! And what I liked about Bangalore/Mysore then, was the independent houses. Like, there was no apartment system. Everyone had their own house, own compound, own little garden or garage or parking, their own gate! Living in apartments, made me think, this is life king size; to you have your own compound, gate & stuff.
But now Bangalore has lots of apartments, typical concrete jungle like other big cities in India. Just like the article in TOI the other day, “There is so little space in India, we can only move upwards.” It is an excellent statement with so many levels to it, right!
And back then it was called garden city, with lots of greenery around. I vividly remember wide streets, with huge, thick, dense trees on both sides of the roads, stretching across the road above, almost not letting the sun rays through. And now, believe me, today I was hunting for an INCH of shade, be it from the leafless trees or a lamp post! It’s so sunny out there!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bizzare news

Before I sleep tonight, I just ran into this bizzare news. An Iraqi artist who implanted a WEBCAM to the back of his head, now has to remove it, since his body is rejecting it! Really, WHY I wonder!!!! 

BIZZAAAREEE!!!! I dont even want to watch the video in the news!

News: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-12429353

Top Chef - For Cooking Lover

I never did full-fledged cooking before, until I got married. When I moved to US, I used to spend my time watching the exclusive FOOD channel. Being a vegetarian, unable to even take a glance at a piece of meat; I got used to the shows and loved watching the different methods, styles & science of cooking. Then I started watching the American food show Top Chef. A cooking competition, with a variety of creativity of cooking methods, ideas, presentation, everything! Contestants are supposed to develop a recipe on the spot based on the challenge they have, their knowledge of taste & flavor of the ingredients to be used. Watching the show, I realized how perfectly you should know the tastes & flavors, how each will compliment another. Growing up here in India, eating out has never been a great example of presentation. Frankly speaking, I was amazed at how much importance they gave for presentation!
I also watched the Indian version of Top chef - Master Chef India, hosted by actor Akshay Kumar. To me it was one of the most annoying shows, where the judges are constantly talking to the contestants while they cook, they scream & yell at them, constantly commenting on their work; it’s a whole Indian drama in the kitchen. Talk about PRESENTATION!!! I had actually thought about writing to the channel about the whole drama & tension they create, never did that though! Watch a sample video of the show at minute 2.10

In regard to this, Top Chef is a calm & quite show with Judges appearing only to taste the food when it is ready & give their verdict accordingly. And for those who like watching cooking, you can watch the repeat telecast of Top Chef on AXN channel at 5pm every day. Today they started showing Season 5 J; exactly where I had stopped watching the show when it came live. Yay!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ratha Saptami

Ratha Saptami is symbolic of the change of season to spring and the start of the harvesting season. For most Indian farmers, it is an auspicious beginning of the New Year. The festival is observed by all Hindus in their houses and in innumerable temples dedicated to Surya (Sun God), across India. Ratha Saptami also marks the birth of Surya to sage Kashyapa and his wife Aditi and hence celebrated as Surya Jayanti (the Sun-god’s birthday). And I luckily have the picture of Sun god with his Ratha (chariot) from my visit to Murudeshwar temple this new year.


Significance to me: My mother called me a while ago to mention today’s festival and that I should wear a ‘new dress’. Doing so, will bring me many more new clothes in future! Indian festivals come with their own personal, profitable beliefs!

For now, luckily I have a brand new dress ready and I am going to wear it! Which girl doesn’t like new dresses eh? Nevertheless, I can celebrate Sun god’s birthday, I belong to the Sun dynasty – Shilpa Suryavanshi!!!! Happy Birthday Sun God J Keep Shining!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Air Show in Bangalore

Starting from today, 9th Feb to 13th Feb is the Air show in Bangalore. It occurs every 2 years. It is supposedly Asia’s largest air show. About 30 countries are participating in the air show. And for the first time, two Eurofighter Typhoons are going be displayed. I have seen an air show in Spokane WA before, but never before in India. My husband has a great review of the ones held in Bangalore. If I manage to go to this one, I will bring up more information. For detailed information of the event, here is the link.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Miscreants in our developing society

As I read through the Indian news websites this morning, it’s all very depressing & discouraging. All the websites have different articles of rape & molest cases. 3 yr old, 16 yrs old…there is no age limit for these heinous acts. THREE years old????? Really!!! When we were growing up parents would be worried when their daughter was a teenager but what is a 3 yrs old parent supposed to worry about now?  What comes across my mind is, what are these men thinking when they do such acts??? In a country where women are treated as goddesses, we have such men who do not think even once before putting their hand on women! On one hand they still want to divide the society based on Dalits (lower caste/untouchables), yet they don’t mind raping a Dalit girl. Such hypocrites!!!! Why doesn’t the law come up with such strict punishments that, these men will never look up at another woman with a dirty mind!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Breakfast at Hotel Regaalis

Sunday morning, we were in mood for some continental American style breakfast today. So we drove out looking for it. On our second search itself, we got we were looking for at a 4-star hotel, Regaalis. They had a regular breakfast buffet and a stand menu to order from. I ordered a “Three egg fluffy omelet” with stuffed veggies like onions, tomatoes, spinach & mushroom served with roasted Potato wedges and roasted bread. The texture of the omelet was a little soggy, perhaps from the onion. The only spoiler about the omelet was small bits of super spicy green chillies which kinda choked me a couple of times.

The second order was for the buffet, in which my husband had a variety of French toast, scrambled eggs, baked beans in sauce, roasted mushrooms, roasted potato wedges. In his second serving he tried the Indian items they had like Pongal with two kinds of chutneys, and Aloo Paratha (Potato stuffed Indian bread). The foreign crowd also seemed to enjoy the Indian items like Idli, Vada and Pongal J
In the end it was a pretty descent Sunday breakfast. Happy Weekend everyone!!!

Ban for Pakistani cricketers!!!!

A few days ago I had mentioned about spot fixing in my blog. The three accused Pakistani players have finally been punished by ICC board. The captain Salman Butt aged 26 has been banned for 10 years, pretty much an end to his career. Bowlers Asif aged 28 with 7 years ban and Amir aged 18 with 5 years ban respectively. One of the players should have received a life ban, to set a lesson for the entire cricket world. The Pakistani media thinks the youngest player Amir should have received less punishment. In my view, he should have received the toughest punishment like a life ban. Being the youngest, his aim should have been to excel & play a fair game. At such a small age he wants to corrupt the game, if he has no respect for the sport he should not be allowed to play. Cricket in countries like India & Pakistan is a big big deal. The players, who luckily make it into the national team, should have the highest level of honesty for the game. Moreover, many world class cricketers Muralidharan, have come ahead demanding the toughest punishments for players who cause fraud in the game. This punishment is quite expensive at the moment for the Pakistani team, with the world cup round the corner. Nevertheless, a good lesson for one & all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Austrian Café – Edelweiss in Mysore

Today, when I wanted a quick snack & some cold coffee, we ran into this Austrian Café called Edelweiss. The menus had a collection of hot & cold coffees, burgers, burritos, breakfast omelets, Salads and Pasta’s . They had pretty good western menu that consisted of Ham & sausages. Being a vegetarian Indian, the concept of beef & pork in India even to this date surprises me. I know we are a big part of the globalized world today, but my old upbringing still makes surprises me at these very normal things in today’s times. So they have pretty good collection of food for the foreign population in Mysore. They also have Pancakes – American style J with a wide variety of syrups, but no hash brownsL. I am still hunting for a place that would serve me good hash browns. They take orders for multi-grain breads too.
I tried Viennese cold coffee with Vanilla and a veg burger. The texture of Burger bread more like bun, was not what it should have been, hence I had difficulty chewing into it. The veggie pattie was good as compared to the one I ate in the US. Of course there, meat cooks & sells easily than veggie. Cost wise the place is pricey, considering they target mostly the foreigners. The small burger that seemed to be worth 35-40Rs was actually priced at 65Rs. But I would go again to try some other items on their menu to check how authentic Austrian their food is, as of course the cooks there were regular Mysorians.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Yogurt – The traditional way of making

Yogurt or as we call it CURD commonly in India, is a very important part of south Indian diet. The south Indian meal is not complete without at least a morsel of curd-rice. Personally, I am not a fan of it but, if I have relatives coming over I have to make sure I have enough of curd. It would almost be disrespectful to not serve curd.
The procedure of making curd is very simple, just a spoon of curd & freshly boiled & cooled milk; but the timing is important; when I need it, I should have kept it 8 hours ago. There are a bunch of factors I need to keep in mind such as when do it need it, do I have enough milk ready to make it, if its set and not being eaten then do not forget to refrigerate or it will go sour. After being used to the boxed yogurt in the US, I am still trying to get used to making curd here.

Hachiko

I watched this movie on the cable. It’s an incredible true story, about a Dog waiting for his deceased Master. The true story happened in Japan in 1923 when a Japanese professor took this dog of Akita breed as a pet. The dog routinely waited for his master at the station everyday to greet his returning master. And this continued even after the day his master didn’t return as he died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The faithful dog continued to wait for his mater each day for 9 years until it died. A statue of the dog has been installed at the same place where he waited for his master. The movie is made beautifully and the dog is really very tempting to keep. It of course gets very sad & emotional after the master is dead. You feel sorry for the dog, who is not tired of waiting for his master endlessly. NINE years!!!!! It’s way too much in human years to wait for someone. I totally loved the movie and it made me think how deeply these speechless animals get attached to us. I hate to see people, who keep such pets but have no time for them to walk or play or talk to them. It’s a great story of a faithful dog. Do try to watch it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A day in life of India

I recieved this excellent depiction on a "Day in life of India" from Times of India - Hilarious, yet touching the reality - amazing points noted. Munni ki Jawani starring Badnaam Sheila, love this cross connection. Tantrik baba solving VISA problems-  HA HA. If only the US consulate knew of this. The gully cricket with hockey stick, Child beer available, Message Parlour (for massages) and the best one of the recent rail accident of the passengers who brilliantly chose to sit over the top on the train to get crushed to death under the tunnel on their way!!! Kudos to the creator of this cartoon. Laugh with me!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Growing beautifully...


Couple of pictures from my nursery of plants. These bright colorful flowers bring a smile to our faces. Enjoy.