Monday, October 29, 2007

Meal combos

No no. I ain’t talking about McDdonald’s. Over the years I have come across the strangest meal combinations people have invented. Some have intrigued me, some delighted me beyond imagination and some have simply blown me out of my mind.
Some of these inventions have stories, while some are deliberate, premeditated experiments.
There’s a friend of mine who eats roti with pakodas and says it’s the healthier version of ‘bhajiya pav’. Another one has invented this absolutely lip-smacking sandwich. It’s essentially plain bread, butter and chutney, but it’s got Lays (potato chips) in it. She recommends the Mexican masala flavoured chips. I second that whole-heartedly.
My dear friend, Karan Amin, invented this finger-licking sandwich, which is popular till date. Walk into the JWT office and ask for the Karan sandwich. It’s sure to sock you in the palate. I dunno exactly what it's got, but it seems like finely chopped onions and tomatoes, grated cheese, green chillies and a liberal coat of green chutney. Try it some day, and you’ll love Karan for it.
Then again, I’ve heard of some combinations I haven’t tried as yet. See if they work for you. This guy I know dips buttered bread in nimbu-pani (lemon juice). He says he did it accidentally while reading a book, and got hooked to it. I’m a little wary of trying it, though. I like to down my nimbu-pani at one go, like a tequila shot. Not sure I could glug the concoction with breadcrumbs floating in it.
Yet another friend swears by the combo of rice and grapes. Yup, you heard that right. Rice, the cooked, white food grain. Grapes, meaning green grapes. The ones the fox couldn’t reach. Apparently she rummaged through the refrigerator one hungry night, found the two bowls juxtaposed, and the rest is history. Yummy – that’s the word she used for it. I guess I’ll just take her word.
Then there’s this guy who sprinkles sugar liberally over puris, and rolls them up. I tried that one myself. Sinful and delicious!
But I’ll hand it to my Gujarati friend who really tops it all. She mixed the Gujju Chewda in salted dahi-chawal (curds n rice). It’s a strange sweet-salty combination, which works best when the dahi is real chilled. Kinda crunchy!
Then again there are much-used combos like aloo ka paratha with ketchup, cheese with magi noodles etc.
But before I wind up, I simply have to tell you about this cousin of mine. I offered him pepsi and he asked for nimbu (lemon). He squeezed it over the glass of pepsi and added salt to it. Believe it or not, all his family followed suit. They swear by the taste!
Do you know of such combinations? Whether you’ve seen it somewhere or invented it yourself, tell me your combo.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No violence for kids

My son is soon gonna be two years old. He’s started mimicking sentences now. The hubby and I sat down and started making rules. Never mind what the rules are, but on the top of the list is – no violence.
Strictly adhering to the rule, we dutifully change the channel every time something violent appears on TV. The hubby aint allowed to lose his temper while driving. You get the picture.
I sat back and sank into the couch thinking how successfully we’ve got violence out of our child’s life. Just as I was mentally patting myself on the back, my glance rested on the television (playing cartoons, of course).
And suddenly, I did a double take. There was Tom and Jerry beating the shit outta each other. Hitting with iron rods and fly swatters. Throwing live firecrackers. Banging, punching, kicking, beating to pulp and jumping on the remains. No form of violence was spared.
Switch to animal planet, the safest bet. Or is it? Lion pouncing on deer. Jackals devouring dead animal. Animal mating rituals. There. We now have violence and sex!
Okay wifey, hubby declares. No TV for him till he’s 18. Get him comics. Yeah right! Know what words you see at a glance in a comic? Pow, aargh, splat, splutter, bang-bang, boom. You know what I mean?
Never mind, hubby; I suggest. Forget comics. Let him stick to school and studies. Phew. Tough decision but we took it.
Okay then, let’s play him the nursery rhymes CD. Here, dear reader, are some of the nursery rhymes.
Jack n Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

Piggy on the railway, picking up stones.
Down came an engine and broke piggy’s bones.
Ah, said the piggy, that’s not fair.
Oh, said the engine driver, I don’t care.

Humpty dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men couldn’t put humpty together again.

And the list goes on. The soul mate and I sat gloomily, hands to cheeks. Fine. If you can’t beat 'em, join 'em. Here’s what we finally decided. We sign him up for karate lessons as soon as he reaches the minimum age required!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What is your good name?

I simply love it when somebody says this. The English language has grabbed so many words from India, we might as well Indianise it completely. Good name comes from Shubh naam. Aapka shubh naam kya hai?
There’s so much of angrezi we hear every day that comes from Indian phrases and sentences. Don’t eat my head comes from mera sar mat khao. My all-time favourite is ‘remove my photo’. This one has roots in Maharashtra, where they say ‘photo kadha’. Kadha literally means to remove. You’ll find Marathi tourists all over India requesting you to remove their photo.
Then there’s the irate North Indian who accuses you of sitting on his head. He generally means you’re getting on his nerves. Alternatively he could also say you’ve fallen on his neck. Galey padna being hindi for forcing your company on someone.
This famous line even found its way to a tv channel – we are like that only. The frequently heard cousin of this line is – I also am telling that only. Then of course there is the all-time ‘morning morning’ – subah subah. What are you doing here morning morning? I am bored sitting sitting. You have to eat standing standing.
Besides all this, what I love the most is the way my cousins write letters. Down South where I come from, most letters begin like this - I hope all is well at your end. By the grace of the good God and your blessings, all is well here at my end too. I pray to God that you and your family always remain well.
The current bout of conjunctivitis reigning at office takes me back to the days of Chimanrao, the protagonist of a Marathi comedy series. He wrote to his boss – I can’t come to office as my eyes have come. I will report as soon as they go away!