Thursday, February 21, 2008

Confused!!

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Warning:: This is a slightly heavy post(see how confused I am. I can't even make out if this is a heavy post or not!). So, readers beware, and get a cup of coffee before you even start.

Let me tell you the reasons for my confusion.
Basically every person has some balance in life, in their physical life, mental life, emotional life, spiritual life and all other lives that you want to categorize normal life into. I too had the same normal "balanced" life at the beginning of last before week. Little did I know that I would be changed forever in these three weeks(come to think of it, all of us change irrevocibly all the time, but these three weeks made me realize them more so). Last monday, my mental life did a take off because I fed it information... no, its knowledge that I fed it(a rare thing.. because, a human usually feeds in information and by continual thinking, it becomes knowledge). Knowledge, by itself, is very potent and taken without careful consideration, is dangerous to handle. There has been only a few other times when I've fed knowledge directly to my brain and in lesser quantities. But last before monday, I fed it a large dose and it was reeling with that effect for a few days. So much for the mental balance being affected!

Then came my emotional balance. I am, usually, a stable person(amen!). I try to analyze things a bit before flying off the handle. But there were quite a few incidents that made me fume and my roommate bore the brunt of it(thanks P! for being there :)). She toned it down and was my sounding board for a few days(a thankless job! but these cases are rare and I don't let someone do it for me unless 1)they are clear about things 2) I know that they can handle and process complex scenarios and emotions 3) I find a certain sense of bonding with them). Also there were a few cases where I was ecstatic and happy. To confound the issue, all this happened in the past two weeks.

Onto my spiritual balance. I had some soul searching talks with a kindred spirit and got a totally new perspective about life. I also read a few books that changed my way of thinking about life in general and my future, in particular. The main gain from it all was that I could easily remove the wheat from the chaff, the good from the useless and the needed info against the trash. But my spiritual contour took a brow beating and now its in a completely different shape.

Finally my physical balance. I had two weeks of assignments and projects and work that I had to do everyday lacking sleep. Thanks to all my friends(esp, SG! I've lost count of the times I've pinged you with my doubts! The explanation about threads, processes and processors was amazing!!), I somehow managed to move away from it all. But my body didn't take kindly to it at all. I was in a daze through these two weeks and this weekend helped me start my recovery journey.

Now, onto this weekend. I had an amazing time after a really long time. Though it didn't go as I had planned earlier, it was fun all the same. I had really good time, felt very independent and got time and money to spend with my friends without feeling guilty. And I got to drive a really stylish car!! The Pontiac G6 GT Coupe!! I just loved it! This weekend was my gift to myself for going through one of the most difficult times of this semester. I've heard one of my married friends say that the best vacations are the ones taken where your mind can completely relax and you can have most fun, not the ones where you need a vacation to recoup from the after effects of this one. I had such a break this weekend. All my balances seem to have been restored after this break :) More on that in the next post!

However, there are a few questions that I have after these three weeks:
1) Why are people not clear as to what they want? I understand that not knowing one's needs is possible, but not knowing one's wants stumps me.
2) N,D,P were there and I was so confused because of them. Though I thank life and God for giving me the choice, I was scared to take the decision because I know that the decision that I take now would affect my life in a much bigger way compared to all other decisions that I have taken so far. Why was I scared when I knew I had the knowledge and intelligence to use that knowledge wisely? Was it because of uncertain future? Or is it because I'm still not a fully grown up person? I've seen people take life changing decisions effortlessly, but I've never been able to do so. This is one thing that I have to work on.
3) Does my indecision stem from the fact that I have not been worldly wise, didn't have a mentor(all my mentors that were there so far have diverged and I'm left standing on a lonely path that I have to cut with my sickle, I can't see a mentor for miles around me and that is scary! or am I of the stage where mentors are no more possible? Now that is another question!), was too playful and forgot to consider all the choices seriously as a grown up person should?
4) Does not my education and the qualities that I developed so far count to anything or is it this that finally pushed me to make a decision?
5) The world seems to have lots of people with contrasting behaviors. I know I have to answer some of the serious issues of life soon. But till then, I have time to mold myself to be better equipped to face the questions. Where do I start and what do I do?
6) How come jealousy cuts through all, even love, friendship and life?
7) Why is unrequited desire so dangerous? yet people covet it? Can't they see that they can't handle it and would do a bad job of it, hurting everyone, especially themselves? Is the desire for power, position and money that strong?

I know, all these questions are difficult to answer. But I'd love to know the opinions of you all, my dear readers! Because, sometimes, a single word or a single comment can throw light on a totally different perspective, the perspective that I'm searching for and have truly missed so far!

PS: This post might sound like an account of my life in the past few weeks for some of you. If that is so, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more. But if you found the connection behind them all and the questions that I have raised, then welcome! You have lots to say on this post then! I'm certainly looking forward to your comments. And regarding the information that I have said in the post, if you already know of it, that's good... you can make a better analysis of the post! But if you don't, then please don't ask as it is on a strictly need-to-know basis and if I have not told you already, then you don't need to know of it. And I hope this explains my disappearance from the blogosphere for the past three weeks, V! :)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Oh! What is it to

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What is it to

1) meet the person whom you've always wanted to meet but never got to? (I've always wanted to meet my great granny, Anne Shirley and Alan Turing)
2) see your favorite movie being screened and you have time to enjoy it with a big gang of friends and popcorn?
3) get a hot cup of chocolate made just for you when its raining outside?
4) get a milaga bhajji(a hot snack) when it is a cold evening?
5) go for a movie expecting it to be "just so" and it turns out to be great?
6) get a call from a friend with whom you have not been in touch for a long time?
7) get to eat all your favorite flavors of icecream?
8) get to win in the exhibition games at the first go?
9) be woken up from bed with your favorite song and drink?
10) be woken up from bed by your favorite person?
11) get dressed warmly and go out in biting cold and feel as warm as a toast?
12) try out different cuisines in the same day?
13) the book that you came in search of is the first book in the pile that you have to search through?
14) wish for a day of perfect sunshine the previous night and it is as you wished the next day?
15) the weather happens to be the same as in your hometown?(one evening, weather at B was just like that in C and I dragged my friend through half the drillfield just to enjoy the weather :) I felt as if the entire C came to visit me!)
16) get a mysterious parcel and it turns out to come from a relative with all the goodies in it?
17) expect a book to end in one way and it has a totally unexpected and better ending?
18) dance all night and yet go to school/work the next day without any fatigue?
19) walk slowly to the bus stop and still the bus waits for you?
20) lose something in a big city only to come back home and see it returned by a considerate stranger?
21) struggle with a load of work/things and someone unexpectedly comes to help you?
22) turn the radio on and your favorite song is on the air?
23) go to the shop and find the perfect top at the perfect price?
24) open your birthday gift and receive the gift that you most wanted?
25) sleep in the night with so many worries and get up in the morning to find that all your worries have got solved in the meantime?
26) go to an exam expecting a hard paper but it turns out to be very easy?
27) do a not-so-perfect work and still it saves the day?
28) be sick and friends come home with a big pot of soup for you?
29) step out of your room only to see the cutest of plants kept for you?
30) get up one icy day and find that someone has cleaned your car and that its all ready for you to drive?
31) go on a long drive right into the sunset?
32) go on a long drive with perfect company?
33) go on a long drive with perfect company right into the sunset?
34) play all day with your kid and he/she puts their arms around you and say "I love you, Mom!"?
35) make something nice for someone and they appreciate its worth?
36) give up something for your friend only to see that your friend has given it up for you?
37) see your great grand-daughter say "I do"?
38) walk in the rain without worries of getting a flu?
39) go around the campus and have everyone you meet say a hi?
40) cuddle your favorite teddy bear all you want?
41) think about a candle-lit dinner and go home and find one just for you?
42) get back home after a tiring day and have a bubble bath?
43) plan a week and everything follows your plan?
44) wake up monday morning to find that you got an extra day off?(this is definitely not for the workaholics :))
45) come to office and find a dozen red roses delivered by a mysterious friend?
46) talk to your favorite cousins for some time and it ends up being a night out?(trust me, it is loads of fun!)
47) get up one day to find a world devoid of insects(flies and mosquitos) and your least favorite animal.
48) eat all you want and still not put on weight?
49) lose all hope in life only to find that you've achieved your most cherished dream?
50) meet the person of your dreams in the place of your dreams and live a life of your dreams?

This post is a counter measure to my other post Well, when life has got its downs and we crib about it, we certainly have to appreciate all the ups of life, right? Ok! Here comes the Libra alive and kicking in me. Never mind! Do check out the little pleasures of life. They make life beautiful. Its my opinion that great ideas and work make life worth living but its only the little pleasures that pull us through periods of darkness.

Come folks, lets live life king-size! What are you waiting for?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Cauliflower curry.... Yum!!

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I got up this morning and had an inexplicable craving for cauliflower curry. Mind you, not the cauliflower manchurian(the reddish looking cauliflowers which the Indians all over the world are acquainted with and love) or the cauliflower sambhar(my mom did this! She just put a whole bunch of seasoned cauliflowers in a special kind of sambhar and hey presto! Here came the cauliflower sambhar) but the cauliflower curry. I have not eaten cauliflower curry before(or if I had, atleast not by that name). So, here I got up, all fresh and ready to have fun on a normal sunday and sit in front of the computer when I suddenly wanted to have cauliflower curry. I have no idea whis this thought popped up but once it did, I had no other go but to figure out how to satisfy this craving.


So, I went to the two tried and tested methods: the cookbook(my roomie brought a bunch of these from India, bless her!) and the Internet. After searching for nearly half an hour, I found a simple, easy-to-do recipe(some parts of which I concocted because I didn't have the required ingredients). Here is the recipe:

oil/ghee - 2 tbsp
ginger paste - as needed
garlic paste - as needed(I used chopped garlic that is sold at Krogers)
cauliflower - mid-size
garam masala, turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt - to taste
[some more ingredients which I didn't have and so didn't bother to put in]

1) Cut the cauliflowers and take only the florets.
2) Heat the oil/ghee in a kadai, put the pastes and stir for a minute
3) Put all the powders and stir for another minute
[some more steps using ingredients I didn't have... so I didn't even bother to read them]
4) Put the cauliflower florets and stir them in low flames until they turn pink or light brown.
5) Garnish and eat!

This was the recipe given. But for people like me who can't stand for more than five minutes at the cooking range, this was a challenge as I had to keep stirring the contents until they turned pink/light brown. So, here was my procedure.

1) Boil the cauliflowers in the microwave(10 minutes would be fine) (whoever found Microwave gets my heartfelt thanks! I do most of my cooking with it. No waiting at the cooking range, no cleaning up the mess if it boils over and most importantly, no worry of it charring off!! The last one is especially helpful if you are a person who wants to read 'just one more page' when the cooking got done :D Half my cooking would be done with Michael Crichtons and Robin Cooks :D)
2) Put the oil in and put the ginger paste and chopped garlic(thanks P & GC for doing awesome shopping this week! Our fridge is well stocked now :))
3) Now, take all the flavoring powders in the kitchen shelf and put them in(this was where I was a bit concerned. I was worried about underdoing or overdoing it! I put everything in except rasam powder, vaangi baath powder and dhaniya powder. And the final result tasted so yummy!! Now I know all the powders I need to put this special kind of flavor!! Yay! I'm patenting this flavor!)
4) Put the microwaved cauliflowers and stir them for a minute(so that all the florets get properly coated)
5) Now, put them in high for a minute or two more(as long as you need to reply to two mails and attend a call).
6) Then switch the range off and cover it up with a lid. (we have an electric range. So, the cauliflowers got cooked for some more time in the heat of the range itself).
7) Eat the curry!
Here is a picture of the yummy curry:


Doesn't it look the right shade of golden brown as given in the hotels? And its so yummy! Look at all the florets at the right color all going well with one another and completing the entire picture. Ok! I'll stop here or I'll keep on going!

Do share your favorite recipes and secret tips in cooking. Its loads of fun. I do accept, the fun that you get when a program of yours works after days of work is different from the kick that you get when you eat the food that you made with the recipe that you made up on the fly and it turns out real yummy. But I'm thankful to God for giving so many different kinds of pleasures to mankind in day-to-day life.

Now, I've got more confidence in my own cooking. Earlier, I used to follow the recipes given by my mom, aunts, sisters and friends. This was the first time I came up with a recipe of my own(ok! more a mix and match) and it turned out really good. Yay! Now everyone is invited to my place. A new cook is born!