Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Trepidation... and Resolution!!

The only constant is change...
After four brilliant, beautiful years full of Tech City's amazing weather, Serenity and Calamity are returning to the City-that-wakes-up-early. So now you know what the title of this post is all about (It was just called 'Trepidation' initially!!)

I'm thinking there will be more writing and venting once more - Such optimism, I tell you!
So my first innings with the city was an unmitigated disaster... Two and a half really REALLY miserable years - though towards the end, I had learned to suck it up and deal with it (or take it in my stride, if you prefer the sugar coating!)... the bad weather, the fighting with rickshaw guys, the being language impaired... all of it! I was a newly-wed, alone in a city with no family, no friends and not enough work to keep me happy. Freelancing meant working from home, and working from home meant being really really lonely... If I had friends, I think it wouldn't have been half bad.... and I did have the time we were leaving! But for the most part, it was lonely and sad....

This I began when the move was finalized, but I never got to complete it....
But so much has happened since I last wrote (many many moons ago!!) - Serenity and Calamity acquired a new family member (feline!!!) who we shall refer to as Hilarity - for all the laughs she provides every day! 

Hilarity as a kitten.... Such a pretty girl!

Hilarity today.... Throwing a princess tantrum!

She's a strange girl, loves company, but hates being handled. 
She's happiest sitting around people, but god help you if you approach her! 

So we moved, and Hilarity moved here with us (of course she did!! She's family!)

My second innings in the City-that-wakes-up-early is going a lot better... I have my own friends, I have a better grasp on the language, we live in a beautiful house by the sea, I have work, I have Serenity and Hilarity.... and I am finally happy here. 

The trepidation has been resolved... though it's early days yet, I think it'll be just fine!
....and so will I !!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Summer Hits.... HARD!

Serenity and I have this conversation on pretty much a daily basis over text:
Him: What are we doing for dinner?
Me: I dunno.... what do you want to do?
Him: I asked you first.....
etc etc.... and so it goes on.... 

So one day, I just lost the plot and told him that I had been planning "what we'll do for dinner" for quite a major part of the six years we've been together... Soooooo..... He had to plan our dinners (and therefore what we'd do for lunch the next day!!) for a whole month without asking me that one question which annoys the daylights out of me!! 

HE DID!! (Most ably, I must add!!)
And now, this month, its my turn! (aargh! the pressure!!)

Summer's come in a big way to Tech City - its unbearably hot these days..... and I can be (incredibly!) lazy sometimes!! So starting yesterday, we are beginning soup week! (We both love soup....) But the HEAT! Oh the heat!! .... Ergo, I will be covering chilled soups... ALL THIS WEEK! What could be better than dishes that only need blending and refrigerating?? (Told you I was lazy!!) 

To start with, I made the Gazpacho last night (alongside our dinner of Artichoke, Spinach and Feta Cheese Pizza - which was the result of one of my happy experiments in the kitchen - its our go-to gourmet pizza now!! I still haven't ended up taking a picture, we end up scarfing it down!!). 

Gazpacho needs to "sit" overnight to bring out the flavours, so that's what we're having for lunch today. 

Chilled Gazpacho
3 - 4 cups of tomato juice 
5 - 6 tomatoes chopped
1 stalk of celery (chopped fine)
1 cucumber (de-seeded and chopped fine)
1 red pepper (de-seeded and chopped fine)
1/4 cup Olive Oil (extra virgin always!!)
1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
Fresh Parsley
Garlic (and you know how much I love garlic!!)
1/2 Onion (chopped fine) 
Juice of 1 lemon 
Salt and Pepper

- Keep a little of the chopped red pepper, cucumber and celery aside.
- Toss everything else in the blender.
- Mix in the chopped stuff (I dont blend all of it because we like the bite of fresh veggies)
- Refrigerate.
- Serve with croutons fried in olive oil and ice-cubes in the soup. 

Super healthy, tastes sooooo good and its THE perfect way to beat the heat!! 
So watch this space, I'm thinking of a BLT soup next!! :D  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Larb Gai (Minced Chicken Salad)

Made this last night.... Its a simple, healthy weeknight meal and it's absolutely bursting with flavours of thai basil, lemongrass and mint. We spun these slightly differently - filling them in rice paper sheets to make rolls. 

Larb Gai (Thai Minched Chicken Salad)
Minced chicken - 1/2 kg
Thai Basil
Lemongrass (cut fine)
Fresh Coriander leaves
Fresh Mint leaves
Birds eye Chillies - 3 nos
Spring onions
Lemon juice 
Galangal / Ginger
Kafir Lime leaves (cut fine)

Now this is the cool bit, all you need to do is saute the chicken mince. Season with salt.
When the mince is cooked, add to the tossed green ingredients and the other ingredients.
Season with lemon juice and a little demerara sugar.
** We rolled this into Thai Rice Paper rolls and served it with a lemongrass dipping sauce and Sriracha.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Kitchen Cheat Sheet!

Stumbled this a couple of days ago.... MIND. BLOWN! SO useful!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Me, the Thrill Seeker.

Yes, I know its been a while. 
No, I'm not dead yet. 
Yes, I'm back home in Tech City. 
The Big Apple was a looooong time ago (and I'm planning another trip!!)

So, like I said before (here) .... I'm a thrill seeker. Serenity doesn't understand or share my love for being scared to death - but he accepts it and even encourages it. This, then, is the story of how I walked off into empty space 150' above the ground (that's the height of a 10 storey building!!) with a rubber band tied to my legs! Not a mob hit, but pretty much walking the plank..... also called Bungee Jumping.

Oh wait! Did I just let you think I did that peacefully and calmly with no hysteria whatsoever?? You're in for a BIG disappointment! :D 

I was part of this event conducted at a popular mall in Tech City, and the Event Manager told me to come and have a shot at it (with Serenity and whoever else I wanted to invite!). The event was being setup with the guidance of one of the best Bungee Jumpers in the world, he's done stunts for 007 !! So I went. Serenity did not accompany me. A visiting friend did. He resolutely decided to stay on the ground though! So I get all geared up, kitted out, take many brave pictures going up etc etc.. and then I'm in a cage with one side open, hanging at 150' from a crane and looking out on building tops and skyline.......

THIS is the point where my legs turned to water, my blood ran cold, and I almost S#@& my pants. Yeah, you can laugh now. I had a death grip on the cage.... got till the edge with pretty much only my heels resting on the platform..... but could I "Conquer my fear" (as I had so snidely put on all the artworks!) and let go off the damn cage and step off? I'd also like to clarify that at this point, it had gotten dark, so I could only see the little lit circle of the landing area..... and lights..... "Dont look down, look straight ahead at that tower over there!" didn't help either!!! The guys in the cage did the count for me..... MANY times! 1, 2, 3... GO!! 

ummmm..... I didn't. 

I just clung to the cage, stood there and pondered my life for a while..... begged them to give me a little push.... which they will NOT do. So I figured, if they're not going to push me, I'm not going to jump. After over 10 minutes up there in that swaying monstrosity and hearing everyone yelling "jump, jump, JUMPPPP!!!!" from way up there, I came down. And didn't do it. I chickened out. 

You haven't seen a Walk of Shame like that one, believe me!! I felt about 2 inches tall. 

I squirmed every time I thought of it. Had difficulty sleeping that night, picturing myself on the edge of that cage over and over. Just the thought of it had my palms going cold and clammy again!


I DID JUMP!! A whole month later, but I did. TWICE!  So now, I can take that off the Bucket List! :D The Event Manager, he's done a ton of jumps. He told me they'd never push me.... but they COULD let go! 
So that's what I did this time..... 

They held on to my harness while i leeeeeeaned out..... and let go on the count of 3 (I had to give verbal agreement, though talking was the last thing I felt like doing)!!! I was FALLING!!! And yowling! .... and then the yowling turned to squealing once I opened my eyes and started enjoying it! All too quickly (read a minute and a half) I was being lowered to the landing bed. Over? Already??? And because they saw how much I enjoyed it, they asked if I wanted to go again!! SO I DID!!! Two back-to-back jumps!! 


Would I do I again? HELL YEAH! 
Am I feeling like the bee's knees? OH YES!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mad Mallu goes to the Big Apple!!

 So, after long LONG hiatus, here I am again.... and writing in from the Big Apple!! Calamity is on a walking and eating tour of the city - exploring the Upper East side on foot - eating and walking .... and then eating some more! So far, I've done the Guggenheim and the New York City Museum, a part of Central Park, lots of window (and real!) shopping. I LOVE reading the inscriptions on the benches in Central Park... even shot a couple!! Walked into a frame shop because the display was so colourful, the proprietor turned out to be Bangladeshi! The picture below the frames is of the Rotunda, the atrium in the Guggenheim.... and the last picture is of a couple of my nieces' snowglobes...

Yesterday, I walked into this quaint little shop which had the COOLEST stuff.... and the friendliest shop-owner....She was TALL!! Her shop had these cushions and plaques on the wall with the coolest sayings! And Oh yes! Indian shopkeepers!!  I've made friends with a LOT of Indian shopkeepers! Seems like a lot of the hotdog vendors are Bangladeshi, and the convenience store guys are Indian.... The bagel shop I go to is owned by a guy from Delhi, who was SO thrilled to talk in Hindi with me!!

Today was absolutely magical... ended up near Central Park and walked into a church - which had THE most gorgeous stained glass windows.... went and sat in the chapel, I was alone... and then this gent came along and sat down at the piano and just played.... and played.... and all I could do was stay... and listen. Walked through Central Park and was lured by the sound of a violin.... there was a wedding happening near one of the fountains (small, intimate, beautiful little wedding..... sighhhhh!!) and this lady was playing the violin... again, stayed for a while, listened and left..... Walked around the rest of the day with the happiest smile on my face, only to have a cabbie smile and wave, and when I waved back, he said "Te quiero!" I must have looked baffled, because he said "I love you!" and drove away!! 

New York's been great so far, hotdogs, sushi, super salads and cheesecake all the way!!
I'm loving this, but I miss my Serenity....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Cooker Monsters!

Another one of Mimi's brilliant ideas (no, I'm not being sarcastic!) that I actually bought into is this one - 
A cooking blog..... She cooks, I cook, we put up pictures and recipes! And its gone LIVE today!!
And so, ladies and gentlemen...... presenting.... *cue fanfare*.......