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Thursday, 19 December 2013

Veppilaikkatti a.k.a. South Indian Behuwa

Today I made Veppilaikkatti. It's a South Indian savoury side dish, somewhat similar to behuwa (Assamese dish). But it has a hot and tangy taste to it. It goes well with curd rice or rice dal. I made it without the red chilli on request. Contact me for the recipe. The basic ingredient of this dish is lemon/lime leaves.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Night Out in Mumbai

I had a great night out tonight. First stop was the IMAX Dome for a movie, followed by 2 ice tea and paneer kebab. Then a drive around to reach our favourite hangout place for dinner. A Cosmopolitan, some Risotto Siciliano and some talk and laughter at the Pizza by the Bay followed.

Then some dessert.

Then a walk on the Marine Drive. Here is a pic of the necklace of Necklace Road, Mumbai, India.

The night is still young and the journey continues... 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013


Finally I managed go and watch the much-hyped (because it was released in PVRs and outside Assam) Assamese movie Baandhon by Jahnu Barua. Thanks to my brother +Hiranya Deka! Here is what I felt about the movie:

  • The first concept of the love and hate relationship between the old couple was refreshing. 
  • Acting by Bishnu Kharghoria, Bina Patangia, Jatin Bora, Zerifa Wahid and others were above ordinary. They are actors in the true sense of the term. Excellent job done! 
  • The feel of the movie was good as well. Good DoP.
  • Excluding the first few minutes of the movie, the entire movie was a desperate attempt to make the audience cry. But none did.  
  • Two absolutely beautiful story ideas got wasted in the movie. The first idea of the small-fights between the couple itself could have made a beautiful movie. 
  • The second idea of their grandson getting killed in the Mumbai blast of November 2011 makes you feel as if it was aiming for an award. But the plot felt stale. Because it is too late to dedicate it to that incident in Mumbai. Yes, it was brutal and heart-aching. But we do not want to be reminded of the pain now. We are trying to move on. 
  • The idea of killing the grandson in the Mumbai blast and the following rona-dhona (excessive crying) made me sick. It was not necessary.

The last Assamese movie I went to watch in a movie hall was Kokadeutar Ghor Juwain. It was fun! Wish I didn’t spoilt my palate by watching Bandhon! Overall, the movie was an emotional atyaachaar (torture)!

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Rape and India

There is something seriously wrong about some Indian men. It is becoming scarier by the day as more ghastly incidences of rape are coming out in the open. I do not understand why this is happening! (Or is it that such incidences are getting reported now!) What has changed that these perverts are losing complete conscience and raping baby girls? The rage, regret and disgust are too much to take for me and I really want to know the reason for this shameless inhuman act. I can’t fathom if knowing the reason could help us find a solution or whether this is only an unrealistic wishful thinking! Also, could the reasons lie in our society or the way we handle the topic of sex? Here’s what I think could be the probable reasons:
  • Thinking of sex as taboo and not talking about it openly,
  • Population explosion leading people to hide behind the crowd and do ghastly deeds,
  • Complete absence of morality in men, as men are treated as Gods in Hindu society and hence never preached on morality by their parents the way they preach to the girl sibling,
  • Illiteracy leading to animalistic instinct (by the way, even animals don’t mate with small ones),
  • Alcohol and drug abuse leading to loss of judgement and loss of reasoning, sense etc.,
  • Too much importance to the male species by the family,
  • Female foeticide, leading to absence of a compatible sexual partner,
  • Mental illness of these men, which is supressed and hidden due to societal pressure,
  • Lack of civic education,
  • Illiterate and unreasonable parents,
  • Family background and culture during their formative years…
In any case none of the above statements can justify any of such horrendous crimes. Human beings are called the most evolved and best species of all. But I see that even the animals follow rules, culture and have principles. Men have completely lost it.
I have many examples when Indian men made me feel really uncomfortable while travelling alone. To cite a few, let me tell you about the Indian men and how they behave in international flights, especially the ones going to Thailand. Indian male’s behaviour really makes me feel ashamed and very insecure. Once you enter the aircraft, you would see, huge bellied Indian men shoving up the oversized luggage into the overhead cabinets of the flight. Then they won’t sit down on their respective seats. They are always accompanied by loud and talkative “friends” with whom they would talk endlessly till the aircraft moves. The air hostess would request them to take their seats so that other passengers can get in and take their seats. But who would listen to them? God forbid, if it is a return flight from Bangkok, these smelly Indian men think of themselves as the kings of India!
Then the time to serve alcohol and beverages comes! Can anybody be as greedy them? There should be a different word for these alcohol crazy men! They would always request the airhostess to pour them more alcohol than the allowed limit. If she doesn’t, they pester the air hostess so much that she avoids coming towards that aisle altogether till food is served. They wouldn’t attend to me or any other passenger in that area even if I need a glass of plain water. I don’t blame these airhostesses. If I was in their place, I would have done the same. But what a shame!
Post these drinks, they would lose some sense and start talking aloud or snore. Indians are becoming the butt of ridicule in all international flights mostly owing to their lack of manners. More so in the South East Asian sectors.
Why are these men so barbaric? Don’t they know how to behave in a civilized manner? Why can’t they just have one drink, have their food and shut up and let others also enjoy the flight? Why can’t they be at the least a little considerate of the fellow female passengers?
Ironically, when these same men are posted in a foreign land, they behave themselves, because they are scared of the law and order, police and rules abroad. Almost one third of Singapore’s population is Indian. They are following rules (so I have observed) and they behave themselves there. Why can’t they do the same here in India? Why can’t they respect women back home?
I wonder if the following measures can solve this problem of Indian men and bring down the increased crime rate on women in India:
  • Legalise prostitution,
  • Take serious measures not to control but to stop population explosion,
  • Let people talk about sex openly,
  • Reduce airfares to Bangkok,
  • Have bars or pubs where they can pick willing women for sex for whom they don’t have to pay,
  • Eradicate poverty by generating more employment opportunities,
  • Focus on vocational education for men,
  • Education for expecting parents on how to bring up their children,
  • Compulsory television programmes on every channel on civic sense and responsibility of citizens,
  • Limit on alcohol consumption and sale,
  • Extreme exemplary punishments to offenders,
  • Education for men on cultural values and how women are treated worldwide.
The list can go on. We all know we can stop these incidences if we sincerely try. A little alertness, cooperation from police, the government and social institutions can bring a change in the situation. Let us try.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Birthday Gift from Google

Google never stops surprising me! Pleasant surprises of course! First it has given me my own google background. Then, it gave me this (mind the display near the cakes): looked like this on my birthday today :) Click on the image to zoom in
Thank you google!

Monday, 25 March 2013

French Lover by Taslima Nasrin

The book French Lover by Taslima Nasrin speaks more than just about French lovers. It actually speaks the mind of a contemporary, educated and independent Indian girl desperately seeking her place in the world. A female reader will definitely be able to relate to the thoughts of the protagonist Nila’s feelings regarding household chores, financial independence, marriage and childbearing. 
Nila's journey and bold moves on one hand make you feel very liberated but on the other, I found her unreasonable at times. Even though she seemed very highly learned, some of her moves defied reasoning altogether. Seeking independence is good, but knowing where to draw the line for one’s own good is also important. No intelligent person would compromise that. The end of the story could have been better and more positive. 
Overall, I would sum it up as a liberating book to read. It is highly recommended for all the male readers who want to know what goes on in a woman’s mind.

Where should one use perfume? Click to find out ;)

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

the other song

What was your immediate thought when you read the name of this blog? Chances are, you thought or assumed that this blog would be on a particular song, right? Interestingly, it isn't. It's about an international institute of Homoeopathy. Yes, obviously it is different - and that is the reason it finds a  place in my blog.
My best buddy visited this institute and insisted that I must go too for any problem I think I have. I took his advice. I went to visit the institute by taking prior appointment with a specialist Homoeopathic doctor. ...and yes, it has touched me just the way a different song would touch or grab my attention. It indeed was like... the other song.
It was a Monday morning. I took a bath and got ready for my early morning appointment. On reaching the building of the International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy, I headed towards the elevators to go to the suggested floor. But a group of 12 girls from a foreign country, a boy and an elderly lady were already in wait.. So, I waited for them to take the lifts first and took the next one.
After the initial formality, I waited to be called by the doctors. While taking this appointment, I was given a questionnaire to be answered at home. I gave back the filled up questionnaire today. I assumed they were reading it. Meanwhile, I saw a tiny bookshelf in the waiting area and it evoked my curiosity. A little browsing later, I picked up a book on acupressure and whoa, was it interesting or what! Such amazing case studies and pressure points! I noted down a few. Wish I could borrow the book or get a copy! Minutes later, I was called for. I went to the chamber and the interrogation began. It started with a very simple, "Tell us about yourself" routine. I obviously won't/can't and shouldn't reveal what happened inside, but in general, it was all about me.
After an hour and half it was over. I came out of the chamber wondering what would be my next to do. I was given some medicine and I returned home. As advised, I took one dose of a powdered medicine and by the time I reached home, I felt absolutely calm. It felt as if, all my anxieties were gone and nothing else mattered in the whole wide world. It was a different experience.
Later I came to know that the girls in the elevators were all trainees and students from Russia who were studying advanced homoeopathy in the institute. There was a reason why the questions were so detailed. The experts believe that the cause of your health concern is in the details. The reason you are allowed to speak is to help you let go of thoughts that were bugging you. Overall, it was an experience to ponder upon. I didn't have any physical problem as such. I just wanted to experience that consultation as it was highly praised and recommended. I am glad I did.
Now, for some, Homoeopathy equals humbugpathy. For me, it is good if it works for you and it isn’t if it doesn’t work for you. I have seen many people going to Homoeopathy even before contemplating visiting a general physician. For most of them, Homoeopathy itself worked. I have seen parents of new born babies going to Homoeopathy first thinking it is the safest bet for the child. But when there are advocates ridiculing Homoeopathy, their logic also makes me rethink the entire belief system on Homoeopathy. Recently, I asked a doctor friend of mine what was his take on Homoeopathy. He said people should avoid it like the plague. His logic was, to study medical they take years of rigorous studies and practice, whereas a Homoeopathy course can be done through distance education. So, it is not to be even considered for treating anything. I couldn’t agree more. But what happens to all those examples in front of me where Homoeopathy actually worked better. I think this conflict inside me will go on till someone from both the fields of treatments come together and argue in front of me. Till then, with the contentment of that experience in “the other song”, I rest my case.


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