Saturday, August 5, 2017

Monsoon Potluck

“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” 
― Mark Twain

Meeting friends for a potluck during monsoon or Bihu or any special occasion has become a ritual since last few years now. This year was no exception; but this year we decided to get surprised items but surely "not desi"  but try to keep it as Asian as possible. 
Of course we decided on who was getting starters or main course or dessert. The result and the spread was simply super. 
Bonding over good food with varied conversation with good company make all the difference. 
Here are the photos of what we ate..

Starters : 

We had Devilled Eggs with a Mayo and Tuna twist.
Noodles with stir fried vegetables and chicken in orange juice.
Grilled Chicken with Kaffir Lime
Garlic and Orange Mint prawns with Avocado and Wasabi Guacamole.

My plate of Starters

Main Course :

Main Course
Chicken Rendang
Nasi Lemak
Malaysian Sambal
Roasted peanuts, salads and boiled egg.

Dessert :

No bake cake with Icecream and Mascarpone Cheese
Coconut Macaroons


Every dish was simply delectable and the love that had gone behind preparing and presenting shone through each one. 

One Confession : Both the starters; Grilled chicken and Prawn with Guacamole were prepared by my better in kitchen half. I just ate. 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Being an Assamese outside North East India

The other day someone told me that she thought I was from the same family who owns Choi Kim. Choi Kim is a Chinese Restaurant in the neighbourhood and it is run by a family whose ancestral origins can be traced to China! So you can imagine what she was referring to. I look different. No I wasn't offended. I am too used to this now and I just laughed it off saying  " No I am completely Desi".

You see I come from Assam which is in the North East of India. People in these 7 sisters of North East India, actually 8 including Sikkim, look little different. For rest of the country we look like Chinese, Japanese, Nepali but NOT Indian. Can someone please tell me How does an Indian look?

Little Bihu Dancers

This HUGE country with so many regions distinctly divided geographically and culturally how can one have a common Indian look? Who came up with that idea of "typically Indian look" in the first place? What is typically Indian? I donot have any problem with any part of the country. I am as much as an Indian as the girl in Lakshadweep or the boy in the last village of Ladakh.

Since I do not fall into the "typical Indian looking" category, there are certain things that I get to hear too often. While some are hilarious, there are some which are plain stupid and sure make me go " HUH!"

1. When I say I am from Guwahati, Assam they ask "It's somewhere in North India right?" What can I do if you did not study Geography properly at school. At times I so want to ask " What do you think about that part of India hanging at the Eastern most side?" "What do you think that state /s is/are called?"

2. There are those who say " Your accent say you are Bengali but you look like a Nepali." Well can't even blame them. They never realised there is India beyond West Bengal and there "Indians" look different and speak different languages. 

3. Do you have malls in Guwahati? Dudes it is the biggest city of North East India. ALL the domestic airlines fly there. And if one judges a place by the number of malls and showrooms, Guwahati will appear in "top 5 tier 2 cities suddenly got big" for sure.

4. Then there are some who say "Assam is totally hilly area. The weather all year round must be so good." No it is not and no to both.

5. "Is it safe to go to Assam?" a big resounding YES to this one. Come once and see for yourself. Like every other place, Assam and whole of North East also have seasons and off seasons. Come during Spring or Winter and you will understand.  

Noh Kalikai Fall, Meghalaya

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Quote I live by

WOW Post May 7 2017

I have never really given a thought on what is the “One Quote that I live by”. But thanks to the WOW (Write Over The Weekend) prompt I am here sitting down and trying to figure out that one special quote that I live my life by and the realization is quite an eye opener for me too.

At different stage of my life I have been inspired by different ideologies and thus must have tried to live my life that way. Why “must have”? Because I am also not quite sure. While trying to be the good daughter, good student, good sister my life revolved around just being that – “Good”. Yes in my teens I rebelled too. Wrong move. But that’s one learning phase of life.

Now finally I can say I have found the “One quote” for me and this is it.

I have come to believe in that. While I cannot claim to be extremely non materialistic; however I am trying to be a reasonable one. In life it’s all about finding the balance, isn’t it?

I have to admit my other half has a very important role in it. Being an extremely non materialistic person, some of his traits have also rubbed off to me. There was a time when the word “Sale” would excite me. Now I shrug it off. Not every sale I have to land in the nearest super store or mall. I don’t mind people seeing me over and over again in same clothes. I don’t care if I do not have the latest phone or any gizmo for that matter. I now look forward to spending time with the people I love in the cozy warmth of someone’s or my home rather than partying in some loud over crowded place. I love it when people share their stories ; talk and laugh. I cherish the moments I spend with my other half.
I now know where to draw the line in my professional front too. Once upon a time I was too engrossed in my work and did not realize that I was giving it more attention than needed. Now I am out of that zone. After all you only need “this much” to be happy and I am glad I have realized that at the right time. “This much” may vary from person to person and I have found my “this much”.

We have started to print photographs rather than posting on Instagram or Facebook. Sometimes we sit and look at those albums. Unknowingly I find myself smiling as I flip through the pages of our photo albums. This is one thing we have stopped doing completely till few years ago. Digital cameras smart phones social media – who prints photographs anymore! We do; now.

This is what I have come to live by and I hope to do so for the rest of my life. 

 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’ 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Food story of a different kind

I am a foodie. Everyone knows that. I love to eat. And I
also hope to lose weight.

Now this is a strange situation. I can’t hope to get into a
size 8 pair of jeans if I continue to eat the way I do. Remember those motivational
(?) line “ If you continue to eat the way you do; you will always weigh the way
you do” or something similar. So am I doing something about it? Well I am
actually. Trying to give up some food what everybody say unhealthy, totally
avoid etc. And am I successful in that. That’s what I am trying to find out

This prompt about a “Half relationship” made me think and I realized
I share kind of a “Half relationship” with certain food. “Certain” food because
these are the food items that everyone warns you about. Don’t , No, No way, You
should not, Run away – that’s the advisory.

One such food is Samosa. I was always so in love with it.
Ask my mother and she will tell you. I just loved it. I would never have one
samosa, always 2 and sometimes 3 depending on the size. That love now shows in
my waist and I lived with it for many years. ( I still am actually). But now as
I am moving towards the right side of forty, I am trying to be conscious of
what I eat. As a result I have given up my love for Samosa. Yes. I have. There
were days when I would have a samosa almost every next day as with my evening
cuppa. Now I try not to even look at one.

We have this Vada pavwala who comes to our neighborhood in
the evening and makes fresh vadas, samosas and pakodas. When I come from work,
that tentalising aroma of Spicy samosas getting fried in boiling oil automatically
makes me stop and walk towards his makeshift stall. That does not happen every day.
But when this happens, I feel as if the universe is conspiring against me! I
can totally relate to the “Samosa samosa kahan ja rahe ho..” girl at that very

I am well aware that fried food are bad for me and my
health. That too roadside ones. Still I continue be “in love” with them. I
pretend that I have given up. But when the “lure of love” is too strong I give
up on my pretension.

To sum up this “Half relationship” with fried Samosas is
like “Give up se thoda jyada aur complete give up se bahut kam” – “ Slightly
more than give up and a lot less than complete giving up”. 

Come to think of it ; does this make me a "Half Foodie"? 

“I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend

Friday, April 21, 2017

Not Love But Half Story

"I have a boy friend already you know."

"Yeah. I too have a girl friend."

"Yes you told me that. By the way what are we doing here?"

"I don't know. May be discussing on how to save the world!"

They laughed together and next moment they were kissing each other.

Both did not know how they got close to each other. They were not even in the same department in college. Few common friends introduced them and they got talking casually.

They became friends. They found out they could talk endlessly for hours. May be that's what drew them to each other. 

Do they have names? Of course they do.
Do I want to mention them? No I don't. 
So what should we call them? He and She. 
Cliched? I can live with it!

What He and She shared was something strange. Friends they were for sure. No they were not in any kind of "serious going steady" kind of relationship. Both had come to a third city for higher studies leaving their respective small towns and a girl/boy friend behind. 

Their common friends raised eyebrows. He and She was aware how odd they looked together. He with his six feet and lean frame. She with her hardly Five feet and broad frame. When they met they told each other what His/Her friends were telling about this strange relationship or "Time Pass" that they were doing. They would laugh it off. No silly; not every laughter followed by a kiss. It just happened once. Yeah once or may be twice. Who cares! No one remembers now.

There were endless hours of silence between them. They would sit together in some corner of the campus and just sit for hours. No one ever uttered the "L" word. There was no commitment; no promise. They just were! And now they no longer are. 

Their paths changed long back. He is a happily married man with two beautiful children. She doesn't have any child; but she is madly in love with her husband. They are complete now. Not in any kind of "half relationship" anymore. 

Years later when their paths crossed; did they look the other way? Again no silly; He and She weren't shy of their "Half relationship". They hugged and greeted each other like long lost buddies. They introduced each other to their "other halves". Both were genuinely happy for each other.

Those silences remained; between them ; like some kind of treasure. 

All stories of He and She are not "Love Stories". Some are " Half Stories" too. 

“I am sharing a Half relationship story at BlogAdda in association with #HalfGirlfriend