Monday, June 30, 2014

Food makes me happy

             I was on the 9th episode of House M.D, when the phone rang. I jumped to get the phone. For last 2 weeks, I was waiting for a call from the company. Days rolled by, but there was no news about the joining date. I had decided to divert my attention from the whole issue by watching TV series one after the other.
             The number flashing on the screen was unknown. I picked it up, hoping it was THE CALL.

            "Hello" I said calmly.
            "Hey! What's up?" said the female voice on the other side.
            "Who's this?" I said in a disappointed tone. I knew this was not the call I was waiting for.
            "This is Shruthi, you idiot! I m calling from Mom's phone. No balance in mine, as usual."

            The plan was made. I did not want to talk about all that was happening. I simply wanted to take my mind off it. She suggested we all meet for pot lunch.
            "What is a pot lunch?" I asked ignorantly.
            "Well, pot lunch means we all get food from our homes and meet for lunch. Each one brings a special dish and we all finish it up."
            "Oh! Well, I will do the baking stuff. Who else is coming?"

             It was too humid for June. With our food bags, we walked gingerly down the narrow lane that took us to Dalia's apartment. Our clothes stuck to our backs. Malavika, Shruthi and I were too fatigued by the time we were at her door. We had been up early to get the dishes ready.

            We settled on the sofa as soon as we entered. The air condition seemed like a divine blessing. Dalia's parents were away so it was just the four of us. Dalia, who had disappeared into the kitchen, came back with a tray containing four glasses and large jug.
           The jug was crystal clear and the sparkling drink inside was making me even more thirsty. The mint leaves and lemon slices had settled at the bottom of the jug and ice cubes were melting away. The vision was refreshing.
          "I tried to make virgin mojito at home" Dalia said gleefully.
           I offered to pour the drink. I was surprised by the lightness of the jug. It looked heavier that it was!
          As the flavor of mint and lime made us cool and relaxed, the fatigue was getting away. She had even added a little jaljira.
          "Wow, this is just like the one we get at KFC!" remarked Shruthi.

         When the four of us meet, there is no limitation to what we talk of. Weird facts, movies, clothes, lingerie, actors, college romance, tv series, books and everything under the sun is discussed. Time just flies!
         " I m hungry. Let's get the dishes out." Malavika said.
         "Oh crap.. I had kept the pizza out like that. The cheese must have melted away" Shruthi panicked.
         "Don't worry. I put it in the fridge" Dalia said, as we followed her into the kitchen.

          The kitchen was spic and span. Definitely her mother's work! A clear glass gourmet, containing biryani ,was on the counter. Dalia put the gas on and placed the gourmet on it.
          "Dalia!!! Are you supposed to heat that way?" Malavika shrieked.
          "Don't worry. This wont break or anything. It is borosil."
          "What? You mean borosilicate? Type 1 glass that we use for injectibles!" I was amused.
          "Yea, yea I know you know pharmaceutics. This is that type 1 glass. Can withstand temperature and won't leach. Totally safe." she added.
           "Duh! I know type 1 glass is safe. That is why we use it for injectibles!" Shruthi said.
           "Enough of pharmaceutics guys! This thing is just so convenient! You can cook in it and heat in it and best thing is that you can see what is in it from outside. I can see all the layers of biryani! Looks yummmy!" said Malavika.

           Malavika had brought pasta. Dalia put it in a set of bowls and put it in the microwave. Out came the pasta, hot and delicious. It was fusilli pasta, spiral and in colors of green, red, and white. It looked mouth-watering. Malavika grated cheese to use it as a topping.

           Dalia retrieved the pizza from fridge. She had put the 2 pizzas in plates.
           " Put it in the microwave pan for sometime." Shruthi suggested.
           " These are microwavable plates. I will put these directly in the microwave and we are ready to eat!" Dalia quipped.
           "This is superb! I made the dough myself. I think this plate can be used to make even the pizza dough, right?" Shruthi was in awe of the pizza plate.
           "Yes. You can make the dough in the plate, use the plate to serve and even reheat in the same plate."
            "Saves a lot of dish washing!" joked Malavika.

            My stomach was grumbling already. The food looked so irresistible, adorned in those beautiful crockery. Borosil was adding on to the aesthetic value of food.
            The tangy, saucy, savory pasta was finished effortlessly. The rich flavors of biryani was relished slowly. The biryani was exotic with the right amount of spice and tender meat and served with raita. The scrumptious pizza, with cheese dripping through it, was ambrosial. The virgin mojito kept company throughout the meal. It was a good thing that she had made it in excess because we were totally mad over it!

            After the meal, I took out my special dish. Brownies! I had made it a little hard with walnut in it. We ordered vanilla ice cream from a nearby shop. Dalia had chocolate sauce in the house.
            We put the brownies in the little katories and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped it with chocolate sauce. It was heaven for the sweet tooth! The brownie had turned out rich and chocolaty. A little coffee powder, that I had used, had given it a great aroma and the vanilla and chocolate sauce were a great combination with brownies. Those little katories were the cutest of the borosil variety I had seen that day!

           Great company, delicious food and beautiful crockery had made it  an awesome pot lunch.

           "We should do it again!" Malavika said.
           "Definitely. Before that, I want to know where you got this mind blowing crockery from?" I asked.
           " Ordered it online! Go to and you can get a range of microwavable, trendsetting utensils and also appliances." Dalia said.

           I came home that day, a lot happier and full. I checked out the site and indeed it was tempting to purchase all of their products!

          Won't you love it if you got your virgin mojito in a jug like this?


          What could make a biryani even more sumptuous? Maybe a gourmet like this?

           Can pizza seduce the taste buds more? Maybe a pizza plate could! 


           I would love my desserts in this. Won't you?


               Bon appetit says the bowl

This post is written for My beautiful food contest held by Indiblogger and Borosil

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My father, my role model

             From the time I have been able to comprehend speech, I have been told that I am his carbon copy. I would take great pride in being my father's replica. Of course, he was the cutest person in the family and his complexion was unmatched. Short necked, dimple chinned, chubby and fair, I had his features to the T. He is the first person I ever tried to emulate.
            A role model is someone who constantly makes you want to keep your standards high. My father is that person for me. I could never bear to be bad in front of him. From Monday to Friday, I would be in care of my grandparents. My father would come to pick me up on his way home. He would carry me in his arms, be it rain or storm, and listen to my endless chatters and answer my unending questions. Sometimes my grandparents would complain to him about how naughty I have been through the day, but he would never believe it. In his care on Saturdays, I would be the most well behaved and disciplined kid ever!
            On Saturdays, he would take me to a restaurant and make me eat dosa with spoon and fork. It was my first lesson on table manners. Saturdays were also the days when he himself cooked, bitter-gourd being the vegetable of the day. Of course, wasting food was the biggest No in his presence. I gulped down even bitter-gourd. I would get rewarded in the evening, when he would take me to see an elephant or take me to the park and let me play to my heart's content. I learnt to respect food early in my childhood due his rules.

            If it were left to me, I would have never opened a book. It was he who made me sit and study for the spelling test. I was so petrified of being asked questions that I would sometimes hide in the bathroom. He would know my tricks and get me back to study. Those forceful hours seemed too less when I would come back home with a 10/10 in my spelling test. The red stars along with the 'very good' written by my teacher would make my father so happy. Soon I developed a liking for praise and the zeal to excel in studies. The coming years saw me as a topper in most subjects. All through the years, one thing would ring in my ears. My father's words- "You can create miracles if you put your heart to it."

           My father personifies perseverance for me. For about a decade he gave exam for promotion but when you are from general category and not in the fittest form, you can give up hope. He tried every year with equal interest. Sometimes we would get fed up of him spreading his books around and trying to read every holiday. His patience paid off and today when I flash my white pass while travelling, it fills me with pride and respect. It is the fruit of his hard work that today he is a gazetted officer with the railways, and every time I say that my father is a law officer, I think of all those years he tried!

          I get often teased for being too sincere and not being the one to bend rules. My father had instilled a deep sense of responsibility for duty and civic behavior in me. His dedication to work has rubbed on to me. He is a man of honor. Never in his years of service has he been tempted to take to unlawful ways. He often tells," It is easy to make money through wrong means and then lose it all through bad karma."

         My father has always given importance to the upbringing of me and my brother. Both of us owe our humility and manners to him. If it hadn't been his fear in us, we would have not been the way we are. No matter how much he loves us, he would never let go of his principles and never spare us the rod. His stare would be enough to have us correct ourselves.
shades darker now :P 

         Role models have a considerable effect on self-confidence. My father inculcated in me a feeling of self-worth. He encouraged me to form my own views and voice them without fear. He taught me to be an independent thinker and not give in to pressure. My choice was always given importance and because of that, today, when I stand in front of people and speak, I do not fear the eyes that bore into mine. I can look people straight in the eye and talk. It is now that I have joined the corporate world that I realize the importance of this trait.

        Role models give you strength and courage. They have your back even when they aren't always supportive. My career choices have been like that. I have erred, I have faltered, I have given in to depression, I have fought back and stood strong. I can proudly say that I held strong when the temptations were too forceful. I have held on to my integrity and individuality when the pressure to mix was too high. It was all because I knew that no matter what happened, he would be on my side.

       He has a few mantras which he always follows.

       1. A family that eats together, stays together.
       2. No matter how late you get, always come back home.
       3. Talk to the family.
       4. Be there to listen to your loved ones.
       5. Don't be in a hurry to get anywhere.

      There is a reason why role models are called role models. They actually shape us into what we are. They give us dreams and aspirations and hope. It is everything that my Father contributed in my life and continues to do.
     I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with