Monday, 29 August 2011

R.I.P Crayons...

Remember the Crayons from my second post? Yup. They're no more. All gone. My dogs found the box on my dresser and devoured every bit of my beautiful pastel crayons. His Majesty was very concerned about how 'toxic' my crayons were. I tried to tell him how crayons are meant for kids, who often put stuff in their mouths. So there was nothing to be worried about. Nevertheless, he paid close attention to their poop the next day and needless to say, the poop was very colourful. Turns out, our Labrador likes the colours, Green, Red and Blue while our Mongrel is rather partial to Pink, White and Purple. 

Saturday, 27 August 2011


I often wonder how man used to season his food before salt was discovered or how long it took to discover the exact use of salt. It must have been an accidental discovery, I’m sure. Some Neanderthal idiot went to the beach and brought back some white salty grains to show his fellow Neanderthals. Those people didn’t know garbage from food and were in the process of tasting just about everything so that they could sort out the edible from the inedible. (They made some grave mistakes. They added bitter gourd and basically every other type of gourd to the ‘edible’ list.) So one of them put some grains in his mouth and spat it out because it tasted funny. But his female counterpart tried it with a piece of roasted root or roasted Dodo and found out that it enhanced the flavor of food. (Yes. The ladies were the smarter lot even back then.) This is my version of the discovery of salt. My younger college going sister still thinks it was Mahatma Gandhi who discovered salt (My sincere apologies to Mr. M.K. Gandhi. You see what this generation has become?) In case you think I’ve tried to correct her, I haven’t. I’m looking for the right family function when I can ask her about the discovery of salt in front of a good (and large) audience and have fun at her expense. I can be mean that way.
Coming to the main point, I am STILL trying to discover the exact and ideal amount of salt that when added to my painstakingly prepared delicacies, will make them taste the way they were meant to. Before you start questioning my culinary skills, let me tell you that I am a reasonably good cook and my dogs and His Majesty (aka my Husband) will vouch for it. His Majesty will also add for good measure that he is usually a very non fussy eater and eats anything that is served to him, at which point I will glare at him. Yes, it helps that he is not interested in food, but I am and I like making nice things. But I often end up adding too much or too little salt to the food and this messes it up. His majesty is very kind and never complains. He just comes up with his empty plate and gently informs me about it at which point I slap my forehead and get extremely angry at myself and apologize to him. He smiles. His Majesty likes my cutlets and curries and is offended if I add to many spices to his food. He likes it simple and healthy. He must have been a Mother’s Delight, eating all his veggies and clearing up his plate of everything that is served. I was my Mother’s worst nightmare when it came to food. I refused to eat most vegetables and had to be force fed almost every day. I hope my kids take after His Majesty. I also hope someone invents some sort of exact salt input measuring device so I can know how much salt has to be added to what dish. Till then, I can continue making occasional mistakes as long as His Majesty keeps smiling. :)

Monday, 1 August 2011

7 Easy ways to be a monk in the material world

Kindly ignore my inclination to turn into a hermit. It is a feeling that comes and goes like a rain cloud. I have no idea why I have a fondness for reclusive life.  But it might have something to do with the fact that I often get immensely annoyed at my fellow human beings and have a tough time trying to detach myself from the absurdity of it all. I’m sure a lot of people feel that way. So for their benefit and mine, I tried to create a list of ways in which one can be a monk in the material world and achieve some much needed ‘inner peace’ while at it.
Some of these ways might actually work. The others are…well, funny. So here goes:

1. Enroll in a law school and complete the course. By the time you’re
done studying the various laws of our country and how blatantly   most of them are disregarded, you’ll have achieved a wonderful sense of enforced optimism that is so essential in life.

2. Get a dog and potty-train it. Try not to get mad at it if it continues
to poop indoors. Persuade it into obeying you with kind gestures and sweet words. This way, you have a dual accomplishment. A well trained dog and superb tolerance for shit. You’ll get a lot of the latter all throughout life.

3. Get married. Yes, as ironic as it sounds, there is no better way to
learn patience and understanding. The downside is that only one of you will learn it. The other will act as the subject of your patience and understanding. Oh, and don’t forget love. Coz as they say, love makes all things possible. (I am trying hard to stifle a giggle as I type this out)

4. Work for little or no remuneration. Because, almost all holy
scriptures (and your parents and elders) will teach you to work hard without expecting returns. The Gita says, ‘Karmanye vadhika raste maa faleshu kadachana’. For the uninitiated, it means, Work without expecting your efforts to bear fruit. This also has a dual purpose. But not for the one practicing it. His/her boss though shall rejoice forever. And HR departments will have a field day.

5. Write a last will and testament and bequeath all your material
belongings to whoever you want to. Relax. Your stuff is not going to be taken away from you unless you die. But you’ll have a chance to enjoy the fleeting sentiment of renouncing material pleasures without actually giving them away. (Try and keep things within the family. You don’t want a stranger using your prized Tag Heur)

6. Give up social networking. Voila! Instant detachment.

7. Eat fruits, berries, nuts and other natural foods. (Yes. exotic and
expensive fruits are fine. Stock up on Kiwi fruits, Blue berries, Mangosteen, Durians and the like. Eat Walnuts, Almonds and Apricots. Side effects shall include constant nagging by your family as you will have slowly driven them to the financial drycleaners with your ‘healthy’ eating habits. But health comes at a cost, no?)

So while the above may or may not work, it is essential to just keep trying. Perseverance pays, you know. And for the record, I am trying or have already tried the above and I hereby pronounce the methods as highly effective. Good luck to you though! Its easier said than done.

Pastel Crayons

I went to Crosswords to buy a Wren and Martin for my grammatically challenged colleague and came back with a box of Pastel Crayons. Don’t ask me why. I just could not resist the intense urge to buy a piece of my childhood. I still recall hours spent in Art Class creating amateur masterpieces that had no takers and were used to adorn the classroom walls or Maa’s fridge at home. So I came back to work with the box of pastel crayons and sat back to admire them. I took out a Red crayon and tried to draw something. I drew red clouds, red houses and red animals. Pleased with my artistic handiwork, I began to wonder what else I could do with the crayons. I highlighted my case files with Green, Blue and Yellow. I now have a large number of legal papers with bright pastel crayon highlights in them. I’m glad I put my pastel crayons to good use.