Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cooking is no rocket science!

Until I moved to Kochi in January 2010, my attempts at cooking have failed miserably. I was always happy just to taste the dishes and even write on them as I did in The Hindu MetroPlus.
At best I could cook rice, uppuma, good tea and maybe a potato curry. I love yam and cooks something that is edible but not very tasty.
When it came to my turn to cook when I was living in New Delhi’s Mayur Vihar with a paragraph of journalists and software engineers it was always green gram and rice porridge – easy to cook, anyone can do it.
Even in Chennai and later in Bangalore my culinary skills were not something I was proud of. My wife refused to even taste the stuff I would cook whenever it fancies me.
In Kochi, from March when I moved to stay in a two-roomed flat close to my office at Kaloor, I made sure that I learnt to cook at least, one tasty dish.
My first attempt at cooking non-vegetarian food was beef curry, which my wife was surprised to find was tasty. In fact, she reached the city hungry and dreading to cook as she was tired from the six-hour journey after a morning duty at Doordarshan for which she had to get up at 5 am.
After her ‘good’ marks for the dish, I have dared to cook fish curry and fish fry.
This week I even tried cooking ‘cheera,’ my favourite vegetarian dish, successfully. Last Saturday, on my way back from Trivandrum, I bought one of those Rs10 cook books they sell in the train hoping to learn a thing or two. I am yet to try out any of the dishes described in it.
Smitha Sad, I can see you smiling, thinking it can never be that good. Well, next time you are here I am going to serve you something I cooked.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Grand wedding, people suffer

Marriages are made in heaven they say, but why invite so many friends and relatives and make them suffer, almost humilating them?
India is known for its ostentatious weddings but those that take place in God's Own Country have traditionally been simple affairs with a good feast laid out for those close family members and friends invited.
Today weddings in the long strip of land that Kerala is are being some sort of electronic and visual exercises with the photographers deciding the muhurthms and some even asking for a retying of the thali if they have not got it right the first time.10k White Gold 5mm Traditional Men's Wedding Band
I accept that a Hindu wedding is a complicated affair. But customs have to be observed in a traditional wedding. The incident that triggered this post is the wedding of a cousin's daughter's I attended on Sunday, which was nothing short of a video album being shot for a possible future use. The guest were completly ignored. This in a place where their comforts should be the top priority. Run and controlled by two brothers who have little idea of what Athithi devo bhava means, the guests were literally treated shabbily.
On a hot day arriving for a wedding at 11 am sweating profusely what one first looks for is a cool drink. Crane 2.3 Gallon COOL Mist humidifierOn this particular day that was missing, at least for the first one hour. Next, guests who arrived late had no place to sit. The seating arrangements were very haphazardly done leading to a confusion, and as soon as the wedding function was over guests started leaving as there was no sign of a lunch being served. And there was no one to stop people from leaving.
Another finicky thing about Indian marriages is the protocols to be observed. It maybe quite outdated but in the absence of the father of the bride, uncles and granduncles are to be invited and their blessings and presence are essential. The new generation, with their 'chalta hai' attitude, may find such things remanants of a feudal past, but it would do them good to remember that it is these fast-disappearing customs that still have as moored to a unique culture that is the envy of the world.
High time wedding managers and event organisers with knowledge of customs and rituals of various Hindu and Christian sects took over the conduct of weddings.
One more thing. Those two guys did a tremendous job of fulfilling their duty as brothers of a girl whose father who died just a year ago.
John Tavener: A Portrait