Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Dharwad Peda

The Dharwad Peda is one of my favorites I discovered later in life, but its unique and I think what makes it also special is its unlikely to be available outside some parts of India.

Curiously, I had it first when I was a kid and didn't like it. But then I didn't pretty much like anything when I was a sickly skinny kid who could barely eat much food and was too tired most of the time.  

“Freedom At Midnight” and “The Men Who Killed Gandhi”

I am lumping these two books together as they are on the same subject and I thought offered a different perspective from what I knew about or was taught about history.  Both were great reads - only I read them nearly two decades apart.

India & Indians are quite open about hypocrisy in our lives, inevitable since the system is geared up towards that.  A honest discussion is almost rare and shied upon - we are more queasy than the Brits on a lot of subject.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Simply divine Jayanagarer Moa

I love Bengalis (Bongs) and feel particularly blessed to have known quite a few of them well and they enriched my life in so many many ways that a simple ‘thanks’ does not even moderately convey the gratitude I need to express.  (but this blog should do).

One of the most divine man-made creations or should I say bong-made creations is their sweet MOA (pronounced MOE-WA).  Here’s the fun fact I have eaten exactly three pieces of these in my life-time and yet each one of them have such a distinct place in my heart they easily make it to my all-time favorite lists.  I personally think every Indian should eat it and be familiar with it, as its one of the most superlative creations I have had the privilege of experiencing.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Musical Great - Vanraj Bhatia

Vanraj Bhatia is one of the most prolific music director of the Indian film & advertising industry and chances, are very few know or have heard of him.

But in terms of music he, IMHO would be there among the top, and I loved his music and found it superlative and on par with the best in the world.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The Humble n very very Healthy Paav Bhaaji

Possibly one of the healthiest snacks you can make at home is the Paav Bhaji 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wake Up Sid - the cult movie

Wake Up Sid to me was a nice wake up call of the kind of great movies being made in India that were more edgy and closer to urban reality, but done in an engaging commercial format without being arthouse.

In the case of Wake Up Sid (WUS), I can safely say that I am not the only one but nearly everyone I know saw the movie much much later after it was released, and all of them had the same reaction. They absolutely loved it - pretty much like everyone & I did. Pity it wasn't a superhit when it was released, as it rightfully should have been.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My love for cooking - Assembly Jobs

I have been unsuccessful at cooking as a kid, and young adult and only after getting married did I manage to launch into making food that usually resulted in some edible success.

But for me the joy is in the journey, the process where I visualize how I am gonna go about the dish (as much as a vegetarian can make) and then start doing it. The result is usually very far from what I had initially planned to do but all the sweat, elbow grease and passion result in making it far far more tastier than it actually is.

I like mostly making North Indian curries - the Chhole, Rajma, Dal makhni etc. but what I absolutely love making are the dishes that involve “assembly jobs”.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Kerala Sadhya - the Kerala meal

Onam just got over last week and it brought back a lot of memories - mainly of food and the Onam Sadhya meal served on that day.

It is very very unlikely that most folk have ever had the authentic kerala Sadhya, but its gaining in popularity nationwide and internationally of course.

Friday, 16 September 2016

BAD EDUCATION by Pedro Almodovar

Bad Education by Pedro Almodovar is such a fine masterpiece, it needs a few fully dedicated sessions to fully absorb and appreciate the various textures, layers and sheer efforts that have gone into it.

But first the important disclaimer.  This movie is suitable for mature audiences and strictly not for those uncomfortable with LGTBQ or queasy discussing issues related to the Catholic church etc.

Monday, 29 August 2016

The Andhra Bhojanam

How much do I love you Rice? Let me count the ways…
This might be an apt summation of how Andhra Meals go.  It’s a never ending stream of coupling rice with different accompaniments, followed by… more rice and more accompaniments. 

The result is this supremely satisfying affair of a meal that has provided you with a varied array of spicy tastes.  You can never imagine rice and spice could have so many varied combinations.

Presenting the Andhra Meal.

Monday, 15 August 2016

The food served at Temple festivals

Each temple in the South Kanara district of Karnataka has its own annual festival that usually involves some festivities and popular customs & rituals.  This usually lasts for a couple of days and sometimes up to a week. What is notable is that meals are served to all devotees attending this festivities usually in the evenings, but in some temples also during afternoons.

What I have found very distinct is the food served at these temple festivals (and I can only talk about the temples thronged by the GSB community).  This food is treated as offerings to the Deity and taken as blessed ‘Prasad’ by the community.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The chutney sandwich

My visits to NCPA Mumbai to watch plays early evening were always marked by having a chutney sandwich and a hot steaming glass of syrupy sweet milky tea. This would be a light snack that was just such a perfect way to meet your evening pangs while not spoiling your appetite for dinner, and giving you enough sustenance to last through the play.

When I think about it the humble chutney sandwich has been a significant accompaniment in my life and also a reminder of how lucky I was to meet some really generous souls. The chutney seemed to be a common factor across all of them

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

RIVER – BBC TV Series, possibly the best cop drama

I have just completed watching the entire six episodes of the BBC  TV series River and was just blown by how superlative this series was.

TV series are the new addiction replacing books and cinema (and also given that for me, good or actually any theatre is not easy to access right now). TV series are easily accessible and every episode not just one as the earlier appointment viewing format did. Thus binge watching is more the norm and can be satiating too.  

The craze nowadays is to find out a TV series that’s good - Kind of like waiting for the next book from a renowned author.  You are on the lookout for a series that one can watch over the weekend or savour over a few days, say, while travelling. So one is following opinion leaders for ‘leads’ – mine include folks like Poonam Saxena, Vir Sanghvi, and of course Twitter where the new young  millennials initiate the trend on the latest TV series craze.

The reason for this ambling is to highlight the fact that despite this being a past time for the last few years, I have missed the RIVER TV series, and a search in my social media also suggests most haven’t seen it.

Which is a pity, because RIVER  beats them all and IMHO one of the best well produced series that I have had the pleasure of viewing.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

The beauty of Malleswaram in Bangalore

I have retreated for two weeks of relative solitude at my brother’s home in Malleswaram Bengaluru and discovered this neighbourhood that’s a unique microcosm reflecting south India.

And it’s a wonderful way to discover some of things I quite like about Bengaluru and the potential the city had.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister series

There are very very few books converted into TV series or films where you can say the TV series/ film was as good or better than the book. 

IMO the Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister TV series is one such rare example.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Sai Paranjpye and her “Jaadu ka Shankh”

If you belong to my generation or the prevous, there’s a good chance that you have seen and enjoyed the works of Sai Paranjpye but an equally good chance that you barely knew who she was. Since DoorDarshan was the only channel available those days, and Sai Paranjpye somehow had cracked how to deal with bureaucrats from both the films division departments as well as the Doordarshan, she did a lot of work with them which we got to see on television and boy was it good!.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Coffee, Tea or Me?

You need to be of a certain age to know this phrase – and also to have to know that this is the title of an absolutely wonderful book (for adults and mature audiences).

It also belongs to a different era and unlikely to be popular or even relate-able – seriously in terms of the advances and fast pace of change we are witnessing, it truly is a snapshot of the glorious past.

There are several reasons I liked it, one of them primarily because it was written in the glory days of airline travel when it still was a luxury and for the privileged few.  In fact when I read it, it already was two decades old.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Food Coma from A Gujarati Thaali and my favourite restaurants

I now this might sound a little simplistic overclaim (possibly even pathetic), but perhaps some of my happiest times have been over a Gujarati Thaali. 

Yes, its true.  I have had the pleasure of eating some of the most amazing Gujarati Thaalis in India and enjoyed each one of them, and the food coma that follows – where if you are lucky you can just crash and spend this blissfully in a siesta crashing at home.  The entire experience is simply to die for… I know I am exaggerating, but its an absolutely lovely package.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Not judging a book by its cover – Ronin and Narcos

Two of my favourites Ronin the movie and the TV series NARCO Swere ones I had a chance to see early but missed, because the posters and communication didn’t appeal to me.

But finally when I did see them, each one was a superior pearl that was not to be missed.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Pedro Almodovar’s TALK TO HER

Pedro Almodovar ‘s one of the best film makers of modern times, and put Spain and its films and industry right in the spotlight.    

The first film of his that I saw was TALK TO HER, and one viewing of this (of several many times) and I fell in love.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

ETV Marathi, ZEE Marathi and Home Minister

The language Marathi is part of my culture and something I am immensely fond of, even though I cant speak it. My mom’s from Aurangabad, and this was the lingua franca at her home, even though Konkani was our mother tongue (Konkani, which is very very very similar to Marathi)

But the influence of Marathi was everywhere. Most of the best Bhajans (IMO) are in Marathi.  I have spent a lot of time in Maharashtra, and the neighbouring Goa has similar cultures to my community of the GSBs

Michael crichton’s books and Disclosure the movie

For my generation Michael Crichton was a genius who made science and its latest developments accessible.  (Sorry couldn’t get Asimov – plus his books were not easily available).

Crichton’s genius was making Science easily understood as well as marketing this suitably.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Golden Girls – an absolute delight

I had first seen an  episode of the Golden Girls at my colleague’s home when we were doing some project work outside office and she invited us home. The TV series used to come on daytime, and I got to see it, and loved the episode and remember all of us laughing out loud, though almost all of us were seeing this for the first time.  I promptly forgot about this as I didn’t have access to TV those days

Image result for Golden Girls

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Bhajans – devotional music

Singing Bhajans – devotional songs, have been an integral part of my family.  It was a ritual, a daily practice even, when we were kids.  In my community (the GSB – Gowd Saraswat Brahmans) this used to be a common practice in my father’s generations.  In the evening when the lamps were lit, there would be a short session of Bhajans.
For me, it started off as an unwanted discipline and chore that I couldn’t avoid, to now something I genuinely enjoy and is one of my favourite things to do.
Image result for bhajan