Monday, May 31, 2010

So this is what it feels like to finally get the to the other side of the weighing scale. I've been getting numerous calls following a recent photograph uploaded on Facebook telling me I've grown chubby. Whatever that's supposed to mean. I was wearing white too. People ought to be a little considerate and realise that white makes one look fat.

I've started eating only boiled food from today. No oil. No junk. Exercise. And even if I forget for one moment about my diet, I'll immediately be reminded about the "sorry state of affairs" by my brother aka broken record going "61...61...61". Loser.

Ugh. This means I have to reduce watching FRIENDS (because I feel like eating whenever they eat and they eat pizza all the time) and Travel and Living.

Bye bye binges. Hello pressure cooker :'(

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Laboni used to tell me that after someone dies, the soul will hang around to see what is being done with their bodies. If, for instance, a Christian, that too someone as staunch as Armi was burnt instead of buried in a coffin, her soul would haunt her offenders for the rest of their lives. Now there's little to be done after the ashes land up in a tiny kolshi, so what if she was married to a Hindu man.

Don't chickens and goats have souls too? When we eat them (Armi wouldn't want to be eaten for sure. Her reaction is incomprehendable then), don't their souls feel angry too? I'm making sure the chilli powder reaches the depths of their epidermis!

They've never come to haunt me!

Am I questioning your existence, you great big forces of life death and beyond?

I'll still sleep hard tonight.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My passion for food is inexplicable. This passion sometimes borders on fanaticism too, but that's only fair when you love something. From here springs up my spite for vegetarians. True, any sort of food, when prepared with a hint of creativity and a dash of magic can taste just as wonderful. I've almost been weaned on meat. I'm a non vegetarian,heart and soul and can only imagine my plate to be complete when there's everything on it.
What I persistently hate about vegetarian food is Paneer. It's possible because of the kind of place I live in where there's so much importance given to fish and mangsho. At special ocassions, in most cases, if one of our vegetarian friends ask for the vegetarian section, all they end up with is a preparation of paneer. It's impossible to sometimes surviv only on daal and rice when the others at the party maybe devouring their meats voraciously.
Bengali vegetarian preparations are tasty , though lesser known. Authentically Bengali cuisine boasts of some of the best vegetarian dishes and luchi-aloor dom is just the beginning to the long list of vegetarian delicacies.
People are often surprised when they meet me and discuss my food habits. Being a south Indian Brahmin, it's almost a sin talking about meat as passionately as I do. Then again, people know little about madrasis except the usual idlis, dosas and sambaar. Delving a little deeper into the cuisine of the south will reveal more than just appams and aviyals.
When I'm out having lunch at some fancy place, I'd ideally opt for non vegetarian food sonce I'll be paying anyway. The worst kind of experience I was faced with was a few months ago when I dragged my family for dinner to Little Italy on Camac Street. It was a vegetarian restaurant and rather expensive and at the end of the day, the pocket pinch was harder to get over for my father because, in his opinion, he had effectively spent only on cereals and a few green leaves.
Last week I was out to lunch with my friend who's now turned vegetarian keeping in view the ecosystem and the many animals that are having to sacrifice their lives just for the sake of pleasing our tastebuds. I've tried many times to tempt her into eating chicken but wow her determination. For someone who was a big fan of the English breakfast at Flury's I found it hard to believe she had turned a complete vegetarian only for the sake of saving a few poultry lives, which were probably raised only to be eaten for a meal and forgotten.
This friend of mine confessed, though, that she misses the taste of meat. This probably led her to discover a substitute for meats. It's something called "mock meat" she explained. No, this isn't what we Indians eat as the soya nuggets or granules that are apparently as similar in taste to chicken as possible. Two days back when my mom was in her rare creative moods, she made us Spaghetti Bolognaise with soya granules instead of minced chicken. It's best forgotten. This "mock meat" concept though reminds me only of the "mocklate" and "fishtachios" from FRIENDS. My friend claimed, though, that mock meat tastes just like real meat and it's like salvation for vegetarians.
I took my animal lover friend to this place called Govinda's. It's a restaurant run by the Iskcon community, who are devout followers of Krsna. On entering the place I remembered how as a child I used to create a ruckus to go to Mayapur because they served food which did not have onions or garlic. The lobby to the place had a smell (my mom says it's the smell of their incense sticks) which nauseated me. It was like the smell of purity.
The menu card took me by surprise. They claimed they made vegetarian chinese without using onions or garlic. I was my usual condescending self but because I was feeling adventurous that day, I dared to order a crispy chilli potato. What landed up on my plate baffled me. The potato tasted good despite the use of the staple chinese ingredients. I was stumped but really enjoyed it. This little meal brought down the walls yet again. That there IS a life for a vegetarian and there are substitutes for virtually everything. It's not like I didn't know this, but the reminder was timed well.
That evening, though, I dug into two pieces of fried fish heartily and forgot the world around me existed temporarily.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's been two painful, disillusioning and personally unfruitful long months since my last post. There's a very nice phrase I always think of whenever I'm faced with such phases of disconnection and discontituity : twenty years later, you'll look back at all of this and laugh. For now, I'm already laughing at how I've gotten nowhere. There will be a couple more prints on a piece of paper that'll declare that officially I've gotten somewhere in my so called career and that I should be given the accolades (really?) and opportunities I deserve. 18 years I've subjected myself to restrictions, confining myself to solitude (well it's not as morbid and as true-to-the-core as that sounds, but for a chanchal and onnomonoshko girl like me, it's like shredding me into bits). The last two months especially have been extremely stressful. I'm hardly the sort of person who sacrifices sleep. This time, though, I saw where I was headed. I had sleepless nights and OH the heat. God is punishing us for all our wrongdoings.

Sometimes I wish I could escape to Italy, learn the tricks of the trade and open a restaurant here and make whopping profits (people eat any food they're given. My good!). I don't want to study anymore. I want to be like Natasha Agarwal.

If the facebook "dragon year" predictions are anything to go by, I was also told I will bury relationships I'm no longer benefitting from and move ahead instead of thinking about what it used to be like and keep mooning and whining. Thank goodness for the reassurance. I realised one fine day the word "acceptance" had gone missing from my dictionary for a while.

Whatever the past few months may have been like, I'm here again. "This too shall pass..." I keep telling myself.

P.S. I tried the Black Forest ice cream yesterday at The Cream And Fudge Factory. For all you chocoholics, PLEASE go and try it. It's divine! The Fro Yo! comes a close second from the outlet Mamma Mia!, which is healthy ( : ) and tastes as authentic as any frozen yoghurt you might've tried abroad. Try the mixed fruit version with a helping of strawberry. Yummm!