MONDAY is my new Shopping day!

Have you ever tried shopping on a Monday? HOW… you ask? When you buy jeans which fit your hips but are 5 inches long for you, you have to wait for a Monday to get it back after alterations. Hence, the Monday. You send a woman to a mall that isn’t even crowded to deter her resolve, won’t she swipe her way on the linoleum floor with her debit card?

Whenever I’ve shopped on a Sunday, I’ve had to rub hands and bums with other fellow shopping women and how many ever studies show that all women are bi-sexual, it’s not a very pleasant way to test that! Have you ever noticed how on a Sunday, all the trial rooms smell weird and look like a battlefield abandoned by soldiers who just didn’t find the perfect AK-47 in that special shade of black!

Just the last Sunday, as I skimmed through tops on a rack, and turned around to check the other one, I, apparently, almost punched a pregnant lady on her tummy. That’s what I was told by a very irritated, crowd hating and sleepy husband who accompanied me shopping. I know… I know… it’s my mistake. How did I expect to enjoy shopping when I have a husband in tow?!?!

Monday was a revelation! Just enough people in the mall to not make me feel like a compulsive shopper or Lara Croft raiding a tomb but no bummy scraping at all! I found a free trial room immediately. I found my size, not on the rack, but a shop helper was actually free to search for it at the back! That never happens on a Sunday! I didn’t have to go hunting for a top in my size that I found on the floor in some corner of the shop. There weren’t any people I wanted to hurl off the escalator because they were out sight seeing THE MALL!

On Sunday, all I did was buy two jeans from the same shop and on a Monday… picked up two jeans after alterations, bought six shirts/tops from 3 different shops and even window shopped for cuff links!! All of this in half the time I took to buy two jeans on Sunday!

Last but not the least, sure cure for the Monday Blues!!!

Haggis or Have it?!?!

There are two ways of trying Scotland’s national dish – The Haggis. You just jump in the deep end without any prior reading about it or just gulp it down when you put a spoonful in your mouth. Alternatively, like a faux gourmet, you can try to identify the subtle nutty flavour with over tones of nicely cooked fat or you can be me & just hate it.

Like an eternal foodie who loves to try new food, the most exciting part of my trip to Edinburgh was trying Haggis. I went through a roller coaster of emotional highs & lows on my journey towards Haggis. I wanted to have it for my first night dinner, but unfortunately, Nair (the boy) wanted to have steak- LOW. Then in the ‘FREE’ hot breakfast buffet I see Haggis- HIGH & FIST PUMP. I tasted it- LOWWWWWW.

I must confess that I got Nair to read about what goes into a Haggis. It didn’t sound very appetising. It could sound salivating for some, if sheep stomach, sheep dripping, sheep heart & sheep liver gets your juices going. I still put unwarranted faith in Scottish sense of flavouring & helped myself to a huge dollop for breakfast. The result- part slimy, part grainy semi solid kind of thing with just the taste of animal fat in my mouth making me imagine all the sheep organs that went into this in vivid clarity.

Cutting the long story short – I personally thought it was unpalatable. Just in case you want to inflict it upon yourself, here’s a Scottish poster doubling up as the recipe for the damn thing!

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To Be or Not To Be… Accent-uated

Bugger Off!… Dear oh dear!… What a twit!… I’ve been introduced to all these new phrases since my move to the Queen’s United Kingdom. That was quite a change from my regular ‘Hinglish’ that’s characteristic of Mumbai. Thanks to globalisation & English channels, having a conversation here was not different at all, it was all rather charming! I just imagined having a conversation with a Harry Potter down my lane & LOVED IT!. However, many friends have had strange experiences where they said they weren’t understood. Is the Indian accent really that incomprehensible? I always thought the Indian accent was the most neutral. So when I moved here, my first week went acting like that guy from the Sunday deaf & dumb news where I would enact everything I said with huge hand gestures while having a conversation. Finally one good man at my regular Tesco put me in place saying, “I’m not deaf, I can hear you & by the way I understand English!” How ashamed I was!

So do I need to adopt their accent? After a year & half here, OF COURSE NOT! You have grown up speaking in a certain way, why should you have to change that to legally live in another country. It’s not like they take a verbal test before issuing your visa. The immigration officer standing in front of you, “How do you pronounce S-O-U-T-H-W-A-R-K?” If you say it as ‘southark’- Welcome to this great country, but if you say it the way it is – Get back to our ex-colony! No such thing happens! Why in the world then do I find immigrants suddenly taking on the accent by just living here for a couple of years?!?! Do you see any of the foreigners in India taking on our accent? Let me know if you do, I’ll recommend a wax statue of them at Madam Tussauds!

Candy Crushed & look what I found!

Believe it or not.. but today Candy Crush taught me something! I don’t think the makers intend to have a ‘moral of the story’ at the end of each level, but it was a moment of enlightenment for me when I passed level 60. Yeah, I’m unemployed, living in a new country, movies on Megashare (where I don’t have to create an id to watch a movie) & Candy Crush are my two companions!

Once you cross level 50, there are these menacing new candies that come into the picture. The brown chocolate squares which multiply everytime you don’t break one of them. Sick!

So on level 60 you are expected to bring all the ingredients – those damn apples & cherries- to the bottom until they slide away like a piece of shit from the bottom of the table. So when I started off I was too irritated with these ‘Mercury Man’ type squares & spent all my moves breaking them till there weren’t any left on the table which left me with no moves to actually get the ingredients down. When I cleared level 60 on attempt No. 3, I realised what I had actually done was ignore the chocolate squares & just try to get those damn apples & cherries to the bottom. The squares just burst on the way!

And that’s how am gonna take things from now on. No am not gonna keep buying apples & cherries. I am gonna stop focussing on the damn multiplying issues & petty problems & mental blocks while I actually focus on the tasks at hand & what I actually want to do! How about that!

Is that Grass on the other side Greener than mine?

Why is the grass always greener on the other side? Why is the opposite chick’s boyfriend is always hotter? Why is it that other’s dabbas are always yummier? We say it out loud, but never actually think about it.

We are never really satisfied with what we have. Am sure all of us have a lot, but its never ever enough. On working Saturdays when I get back home, when I get lunch ready without having to scourge around the fridge, its bliss! When I think about it, how many of you wives get that? I should be thanking my stars, but I mope around about why he never wants to get outta the house on the weekend.

I don’t have to wake up in the morning to make a lavish breakfast, he manages breakfast himself. He doesn’t even insist on me packing him lunch, but all I crib about it how he never surprises me with flowers. But isn’t that half an hour of sleep each day so much more fulfilling than the 2 minutes thrill of flowers?

We take so many things for granted that we never learn to value them. To think how would life be if he refused to enter the kitchen or created a tantrum about breakfast each day. Yes it would be lot more annoying. It doesn’t stop me from gazing at the greener grass or other’s boyfriends, but it doesn’t make me feel any lesser than the others!

A Gluttony Comeback

It’s been a long hiatus from blogging & I realise I miss it. It’s kind of soothing to see your thoughts panned out in this green & red background. Strangely, that’s the feeling I also get when I get a recipe right. Yes, I do my own cooking & quite un-modestly, I’m proud of it. I could even gloat about it. Today was the mother of all cooking days. My first formal lunch spread at home & that too for the most celebrated cook from the hubby’s family. It was critic’s night or shall I say critic’s afternoon.

So you expect to be all ready with your cutlery & kitchen finery when your guests arrive. What do you do, if they arrive just half an hour after you’ve woken up? Run? Scram? Hide all the scandalous things lying around? Let’s mark a check against all of that! So am in my night suit, trying to cook up a storm when i know that my guests are standing in the parking, on their way up. After the initial shock, I surprised myself with my uncharacteristic calm with which I welcomed them.

The darling people had come to help me in case I died of stress with my first formal lunch.

The menu for the afternoon – Lady’s Finger Sambar, Pindi Chole, Surmai Fry, Pepper Chicken & Semia Payasam (Kheer).

When a Masterchef is standing next to you saying, “I want to see how you make Chole. I don’t know that authentic one”, you’re wrestling between the feeling of dread, suspicion & pride. When you start with the Pepper Chicken & she asks, “What all do you put in this?”, you just wish you don’t say anything stupid like maida or honey. You’re praying to the food gods, that whatever is boiling under those lids, please make up their minds to put their best foot forward notwithstanding if it’s chicken or chana.

Then came the burst of jubilation when these dishes started a marathon with all their best feet & I saw vessels getting wiped clean. It’s that same soothing feeling that I’m talking about. So now I stretch my right hand forward, bend it, take it backwards & pat a pat on my back.

Well done me!

That Drop of Unadulterated Happiness

I can guarantee that 90% of us would agree that our job makes us unhappy. Another, say, 75% would agree with me that our love-life makes us unhappy lots of times, which might be a by-product of the unhappiness at work. So if 6 days a week you are unhappy at work for 12 hours a day & on weekends, your love life/married life keeps you unhappy for, say, 5 hours, where is there place for unadulterated happiness?

Last evening, as I wallowed in self pity on how much unhappiness I have around me, I ended up being even meaner & added to the unhappiness by doing something like giving someone an ultimatum that they better be happy in a week or else… who does that? I was just so sick of all the cribbing, bitching abusing, frustration around me, I just missed that spark of happiness that draws genuine pleasure straight from your heart.

Suddenly a vision of my mom popped into my head – a vision of her smiling face. I realized that this is the face my whole family will remember whenever they think of her. Always smiling. Always radiating that unadulterated happiness that we all sorely miss. She is & will always be my HAPPY PERSON. Whenever I was sad, depressed, worried, tensed she would come to me with that eternal calm & peace, make my problem seem like a 2+2 =4 problem. She had, oh, she had a truck load to be upset about, but I have never seen her wallow like how I was & it suddenly dawned on me.

If she can be the happy person for my whole family, can’t I be the HAPPY PERSON for one person? I might not realize it now, but maybe, just maybe, being that person’s HAPPY PERSON does actually make that person feel better. It sure made me feel a lot better. It doesn’t matter who makes you happy, what matters is whom you make happy, who remembers your smiling happy face in sadness & gloom. I want to be that person for a lot of people.

I want to be that drop of unadulterated happiness that we all miss!