Monday, December 16, 2013

Jab We Met

It all happened with a simple post on the FB page of "our Group". Our group is the IITTM 2002-03 batch group. IITTM - Indian Institute of  Tourism and Travel Management. We all were in the Gwalior branch of the Institute. The main branch. Our course PG Diploma in Tourism Management (PGDTM)

It was a year that all of us love to call " A year long package tour". Yes we had fun, went to 2 Major trips and few small trips. We studied about Tourism, tours, packages, cargo! Not to forget a foreign language. I took French; and during the 10 long years, never used once. Well I donot blame the teacher. She was a wonderful lady. Its just that I never had to use French in my professional life.

It seems like yesterday at times. We all were in Gwalior, in the sprawling campus; fortress like hostels, classrooms,a mess, a lawn. We even had our own Marine Drive. During the unbearable summers, all the girls had to sit inside the rooms when all the boys would loiter around the campus (some out of it) like free birds. We would be jealous. Icing on the cake was those hours and hours of power cuts. The deadline for girls' to enter the hostel was 9pm. Believe me there was a whistle which the hostel warden Sushma Ma'm would blow sharp at 9pm All of us would run back to the hostel.

Honestly dont exactly remember studying hard during that year. Only may be during the 2 semesters, had to go through the notes, the books. In second semester, I had to take up "extra classes" for Accountancy as I was and still am really bad with numbers. Thanks to Ruchira, Nitya and Sushmita, I managed to score the passing marks. In that one whole year, I was the one who spent most of the time in the Girls' Common room; watching TV or talking on phone. Yeah; even would talk on "wrong numbers"...those were the days.

The campus selection placed all of us in different places. Most of us landed in Delhi. After 3years in Delhi, I moved back to Guwahati, my hometown. Then in 2010 I reached Mumbai. All these years never really stayed in touched with each one of the batchmates. But trust me even though we hardly met, all of us surely remained connectoed somehow. After all how do you not think of that One Year of Packaged tour that we all had spent together in Gwalior.

We all had gone our own ways. But on 14th Dec, many of us managed to come and meet at Nehru Place. It was a simple affair. Nothing fancy. But meeting whosoever could come was so wonderful. So glad to know what the other was doing or who is where.

We all have changed. Grown up, mature, more cautious with our words, appearances changed. Have become wife, husband, father, mother. But I am sure when we sit down and look back, there will always be a year which all of us had spent in Gwalior;just being us. Simple as that.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Holiday Cooking : Sardine in Tamarind and Coconut curry

A holiday in the middle of the week is so welcome and ofcourse so awesome. But spending that holiday alone sitting at home, browsing through TV channels can be really boring. Whenever I get such holidays I mostly try and do something soul satisfying. 

Today I woke up early, went to the fish market with a super enthusiastic and energetic friend and bought lots of sardines. Lots meaning since it was a wholesale fish market, the vendor wont give half and even after both she and I shared, it was still lot for me.

So here's what I did with my first set from the LOT of Sardines. 

Washed and cleaned them properly.
Took 4 Sardines, rubbed some turmeric and salt on them and kept aside.
I dry roasted small tea spoonfulls of cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds and a dry red chilli. 
Till the time these dry roasted masala cooled down, I shallow fried one small onion, cut into small pieces; some fresh coconut pieces and a medium tomato again cut into small pieces.

In the meantime I put some dried tamarind in the water so that they become soft and juicy.
Let the onion, coconut and tomato cool a bit. Now grind the dry roasted masala. After that grind/ blend the fried coconut, onion and tomato to a smooth paste.
Heat little oil in a kadahi. Let some mustard seeds and curry leaves crackle. Add a pinch of turmeric and pour the coconut, onion and tomato paste. Fry this till the cooked smell starts coming. I added a little water while frying. Once done, paste the tamarind in the grinder and add in the kadahi. Put salt as per your taste and add atleast 2 cups of water. Let this come to a boil. Now add the fishes. 
Put a lid. Let it boil and the fishes to get cooked. Once the gravy is reduced to your choice switch off the gas.

Serve hot with plain rice. 

Trust me, its simple easy and tastes really good.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mary had a little lamb


         At the stroke of midnight, I woke up with a startle. Oh God, I have fallen asleep while reading this book and with lights on. I got down from the bed to go to the bathroom before switching off the light and going back to sleep. As I entered the bathroom, a little voice came drifting from downstairs..

   "Mary had a little lamb, Its fleece was white as snow. 
    And everywhere that Mary went, Mary went, Mary went, 
    Everywhere that Mary went.
    The lamb was sure to go."

               Must be some parents coming from some weekend party and making their child recite the nursery rhyme while they park their car. What the hell, now this is taking things too far. You are making your child practicing her nursery rhymes in the middle of the night. I will check with the watchman tomorrow morning I thought.

               I went to back my bedroom, turned off the light and lie down on the bed. Then I realised that I stay in the 13th Floor and there is no way I could hear sound from parking lot. Also the flat exactly below my flat is unoccupied.

            I froze.

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

Saturday, August 10, 2013

This EID , it's Khubani Ka Phirni

Consider yourself lucky if you have someone at home who loves to cook. Since I cannot claim to be “in love” with the kitchen as much, I consider myself really blessed to have an “other half” who is actually a “betterinkitchen half”! This EID he came up with Khubani Ka Phirni. 

It tasted really awesome. Here goes the recipe for those who loves experimenting in their kitchens.


Half litre Milk
One fistful of Basmati or any fragrant Rice
Sugar as per your taste. ( We used Sugar Free)
8-10 Dried Apricots aka Khubani
Some Almonds
Some Pistachios

How to prepare

Wash the Rice and soak for 30minutes in warm Water. Drain and grind coarsely. You can add very little water too.
Wash and soak the Dried Apricots for 10 minutes in half cup warm Water. Simmer these in the Water till cooked on low flame. When it is cool, make a puree and set aside.
Soak the Almonds and Pistachios in warm water.


Heat the Milk till it boils. Lower the flame and add the coarsely ground Rice. Cook for 5-7 minutes, keep stirring constantly. Add Sugar and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Remove from fire and let it cool completely. Stir in the Apricot Puree and mix well.

Garnish with Almonds and Pistachios / Nutmeg.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Phone and I

Tring  - Tring , the phone rang...I woke up with a startle. Blinking for few seconds I tried to realise what was going on. First I thought I was hallucinating. After all I was forced to open my eyes right in the middle of my afternoon siesta. Not just any siesta but my hard earned Sunday afternoon siesta ; a luxury for us office going people.

Irritated I picked it up and spat " Yeah".
From the other end a female voice asked " Mangal hai kya?" ( Is Mangal there?)
"Who Mangal? Wrong number." I disconnected.

Tring - Tring , the phone rang again after 15 - 20 minutes. 

"Hello" I didnt even bother opening my eyes.
" Mira road se bol rahe hai na." ( You are speaking from Mira Road, right?) the same voice.
" Ji nahin Aunty, main Mira Road se nahin, apni muh se bol rahi hoon. Aap please number check kijiye dial karne se pehle." ( No Aunty, I am speaking from my mouth not Mira Road. Please check the number before dialing.)
 Few moments of stunned silence before the call was disconnected.

And I went back to my sleep before the Sunday afternoon turned to evening and night and then the " Khooni Monday morning".

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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

And thus we met..:)

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

Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest... It's about who came, and never left your side..

It was one of those regular days at work. One “passenger” walked in and sat in the chair infront. He wanted to know about the airfare to Mumbai after one week or so. As I checked all the options and dates, we started chatting casually. He said he was from the same town that I grew up in; Dibrugarh. We found out that we were actually batch mates! He was in Don Bosco and I was in Govt. Girls School. I gave him all the fares on all the dates he was asking for. He said he would take a call by evening and let me know. He came the next day to get his ticket. We talked some more and found out that we infact went to same teachers for tuitions; had some common friends too. How come we never met! It was a Saturday and half day at work; so we decided to meet for a cup of coffee after work. That meeting proved that “ a lot can happen over a cup of coffee” and we became friends. Those were the days of yahoo messenger and we added each other and started chatting and talking in emails. Talkative I was and talked about everything under the sun. He mostly listened and then slowly opened up. We became best friends and confidants. As they say nothing like getting a friend as your life partner. So we decided to take this friendship to a different level and took the plunge 2 years back. We still are the friends we started off as and hope continue be. Amen.