Monday, November 09, 2009

Omelets Crêpe (serves one)

After a long time, I made something new - i.e., made it up myself. I was pretty happy with the result, so here goes! Happy cooking!


  1. Butter (preferably unsalted) – 3 spoons
  2. Mushrooms – 2 medium sized buttons, thinly sliced
  3. Onions – ½ medium sized, finely chopped
  4. Capsicum – ¼ large size, chopped
  5. Cheese Spread – two spoons. Slices / Cubes can be used too.
  6. Mayonnaise – two spoons
  7. Chicken / Lamb Salami – 2 slices
  8. Eggs – 2
  9. Milk – 2 spoons
  10. Salt, Ground Pepper and Oregano (ground / flakes) – to taste


  1. Place a non-stick frying pan on a medium flame, and add ¼ spoon of butter into it.
  2. When the butter heats up, place the salami slices on the pan and fry for one minute. Then flip the slices over and fry for another minute.
  3. Remove the salami slices from heat, chop them up and keep the frying pan aside.
  4. Now place a cooking pan on a medium flame, add two spoons of butter and heat.
  5. When the butter heats up and begins to foam, add chopped mushrooms, onions & capsicum, in that order, and sauté till cooked. Take care to maintain at least a minute’s gap between adding the three ingredients.
  6. Add the cheese, mayonnaise & chopped salami slices, sprinkle some ground pepper and oregano and mix well.
  7. Remove the mixture from heat and keep aside.
  8. Now add the eggs, milk, salt and ground pepper in a bowl, and whisk them together.
  9. Place the non-stick frying pan again on a medium flame, and add ¾ spoon of butter into it.
  10. Once the butter heats up and foams, add the egg mixture to the pan, and lower the flame. Make sure the egg mixture spreads evenly over the surface of the pan. You can either use a flat ladle to do that, or if you are experienced enough, simply tilt the frying pan so that the whole surface is covered.
  11. When the mixture settles down, and the moistness of the top surface evaporates, add the pre-cooked filling in the middle of the omelette. If the cheese has hardened by now, heat the mixture in an oven for a short while before adding it, so that the cheese has a thick consistency.
  12. Carefully fold the four sides of the omelette inwards, so as to cover the filling completely within the folds.
  13. Remove the omelette from the frying pan, taking care not to break it.
  14. Serve immediately, with tomato sauce if you like, else the cheese will harden.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Devil’s Snare

Tuesday, 24th Jan. ’07

I have done it! I have finally broken the ice with Manish – just some inconsequential small talk, albeit with some flirtatious hints thrown in, but yes, we have started talking!!! Or rather, I have started talking to him.

I should perhaps fill in the details about the past few days before ploughing on with the day’s events. So, here goes.

Ever since I resolved to ensnare Manish, I have been returning his flirtatious signals with signals of my own – a gaze with a naughty stare, a slight smirk with a barely concealed femme fatale shy grin! But all of these, like him, well concealed from the public eye! Quite naturally, his shocked reactions to these are not quite concealed – and people are noticing! People other than my gal pals, I mean…

But it was only actions and no talk… and without smooth talking, how could I ever get closer?! So I stayed on the lookout, meaning to break the ice with a cool, witty conversation. But my over enthusiastic colleagues got… well, over enthusiastic. They staged quite a disaster for me the other day, trying to get the two of us talking. Some weird thing about him wanting chocolates and me coincidentally having some – honest to God, it was actually that lame. Thank goodness he was equally abashed and realized that both of us had been tricked, else it would’ve been really difficult to get my footing back as the deceptive flirt!

So, I stayed put on the lookout, and finally got the chance to have our little chit chat today. He was wearing a moss green polo neck sweater, and I noticed it. And the first time we crossed each other in the lobby, I asked him with a naughty smile, “Is it that cold in Kolkata?!”

I am sure he caught on to the double meaning of my words, and blushed – but he had no ready reply for me. That disappointed me a bit. I somehow thought he’d be a smooth talker, but well… unlucky me! Or may be my attack was unexpected. Either ways, we’ll have to wait and watch!

Things have started to look up anyway… at least the phase of “ensnaring” has begun.

I have another bright idea though – it’ll do me a world of good if I get to know more about the guy. And what better way to do that than to befriend some of his department people? I will have to be on a lookout for that too – may be I will get lucky and get to charm some other eligible bachelors as well!!!

Well, well, well… the Devil is indeed at work! Wish me luck with the Devil’s Snare!

Is This Love? Is This Life?

The ranting mood has returned. The bottled words and mottled feelings make their way onto the paper – to be heard and felt… not to be dismissed.

There is so much to talk about. There is so much to be resolved. But the words don’t come… somehow, the two worlds separate, and the language of one is unintelligible to the other.

Moods contrast… feelings clash…

There is so much anger… but when sleep steals over the anger-distorted features, somehow they become baby-like. And the baby craves to be held close… when the hug is withdrawn, the baby makes those teensy restless moves and coos, as if begging for the hug to come back… and it does, and the baby sleeps peacefully again. And then suddenly, the anger-monster wakes him up, and he is no longer a baby, and no longer wants to be held. Caresses enrage him, empathy disgusts him…

I get angry… I get upset… I get sad… I get despondent…

But then I remember the baby’s teensy restless moves, and the barely audible cooing that begged to be hugged… and a sudden ache fills my heart…

Such is love.

I remember the way strong hands hold me when I shiver and tremble, the way a cocoon shields me from the harsh sunrays and the cold monsoon sprays and the ashen winters… and I know what compassion is like…

A hope flares, filling me with a bright rainbow. The language of the two worlds is not different after all – it is but the same… the language of love… the paths of the two worlds have separated, but they will wind their way through until they criss-cross to meet once again…

Such is life.

An Example Set By KFC

A few days back, I witnessed an incident that made me want to write again (and between you and me, that means quite a thing – since these days I feel too lazy to wield the pen!) and here I am, relating it to you.

My mom and I had some errands to run, and in between working them out, we stopped at KFC, City Center for a snack. We ordered our usual and sat around for some time. When we were just about to leave, I noticed we had some unused ketchup sachets. I waved to the nearest person, and handed them over, saying we didn’t need them. The person didn’t quite understand my words and was about to tear the sachets open, evidently under the impression that we couldn’t get it open and wanted his help. I immediately stopped him and repeated my words – but to my extreme surprise, the guy indicated that his hearing and speech were impaired. After that, I had to gesture to him that we didn’t need the condiments, and he could take it away, and he did.

My mom and I stared after him, our hearts filled with admiration and hope. So far, we had never come across a restaurant which employed such people. We couldn’t resist appreciating the effort to the restaurant manager. He told us that the guy was in charge of managing the stock, clearing away used trays, etc. He also informed us that as a policy, in almost all KFC outlets, physically challenged persons are employed in an effort to let them lead a normal life. I was too impressed for words. And then, I resolved to write about it.

What we witnessed that day wasn’t an Indian act. We Indians, and I will not mince my words here, don’t have the guts or backbone to take such a step. But KFC is truly American in its ways, and what they are doing is something that only an American / European establishment would dare to do. This may hurt the sentiments of many a conscientious Indian, but that really will not change the facts.

I would truly love to claim, as an Indian, that Indian establishments are equally gutsy – but the fact is that we have never, ever come across any such efforts on the part of any of the high flying indigenous restaurants. They want physically fit persons to serve them, because, of course, they are worried that a person who is unable to hear or speak will piss the customers off, and that in turn would reduce their profits. A good many of them also think that such people would be of no use to the establishment. And hence, the typical Indian glam restaurant will only hire the glam girls and hunky chaps, and not even spare a glance towards the less fortunate.

Honestly, I am concerned. We Indians, while claiming to be the best in Heaven-Knows-What, actually do nothing about taking a step towards real progress. We want “equality” in everything, and yet we don’t ever really do what is required to bring about true equality. We scream for opportunities to be given to the less fortunate, and when the opportunity is really given, we scream about how inefficient the less fortunate are. We forget that that is why they are less fortunate. We forget all about equality and opportunities. We become downright selfish.

And then we say our culture has no place for vices like selfishness!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Sight to Behold

Yesterday, while on my way back from office, I watched something amazing happen in the skies above me. I wish to hell I had my camera on me, so that I could’ve taken a few pictures of the incident. But since I did not manage to get any picture, I’m trying to recapture the scene in words.

My attention was first attracted by a supersonic airplane (the kind that leaves a trail of white smoke behind) flying from the western horizon – the smoke trail was tinged bright orange against the backdrop of the setting sun. Quite by chance, I happened to look at the eastern horizon at the same time – but to my surprise, I saw another supersonic airplane approaching the west.

At that point, I had to turn my head towards the west to see the first plane, and to the east to see the second one. But within minutes, they closed in upon each other, and I could see both airplanes together. Soon, I could see the two tiny specks, which actually were two supersonic airplanes full of passengers, hurtling towards each other.

Down below, my heart skipped a beat. Although my rational sense told me that the two airplanes must be at different altitudes, I could not stop the trepidation in my heart – what if they collided? But before I could even start imagining the consequences, the two airplanes (as it appeared to me) came within a meter of each other, then a foot and then within a centimeter of each other… And then, miraculously, they crossed each other – making a perfect ‘X’ across the sky!

Grounded on firm terrain below, two unconnected thoughts crossed my mind. One, that the ones sitting in those two aircrafts were not even aware that at that moment, they crossed another aircraft mid-air, so precariously. And secondly, at that particular moment, those people were perhaps admiring from up there how beautiful (or ugly, depending upon the individual’s viewpoint) our planet looks!

Although I missed the major moments, I managed to take the following picture a few minutes later, while the ‘X’ was still inscribed across the sky. The sight of that ‘X’ still makes my back tingle… What if…???

The Flirtatious Colleague!

Thursday, 11th Jan. ‘07

My colleagues are working overtime these days. In fact, I should say, their match-making brains are! And all because of a handsome young guy who has recently been deputed to our office from another branch. True to their nature, my colleagues have immediately started plotting about how best to set him up with me – because I’m the only “single-ready-to-mingle” girl in the office! Their zeal is almost embarrassing.

Manish (that’s his name) has also realized something’s going on. It was only a matter of time anyway, given the fact that my darling colleagues start sniggering and nudging me every time they see him pass by. A few days back, the buffoons created such a ruckus that he stopped in his tracks, turned around and stared at us for one whole minute, and then gave me a smirk that clearly said, “well, lady, I know what’s going on!” I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was after that!

What’s worse, he’s started flirting with me in such a way that is quite unobtrusive to others, but is very evident to me! His demeanour has changed very subtly – as if to dare me to come up and confess my feelings to him. His confidence of having gained a female fan is so strong that it evokes an equally strong desire in me to show him his true place. It’s just my “female chivalry” that’s stopping me from doing so!

But of course, nothing escapes my colleagues’ attention, so they’ve caught on. In fact, they’ve now irritated me so much that I’ve got a good mind to have a fling with him just to shut these girls up! After all, that’s what they are after – some harmless fun! And harmless fun it shall be. It’s quite evident that Manish is one helluva play boy – so, a no expectations, no commitments, just for fun relationship will be perfectly ok with him! And it will be good fun for me too – it’s been quite some time since I’ve dumped guys like him!

Say, I am actually excited now… from tomorrow, I think I really will teach Manish a lesson in flirting! He thinks he can flirt without the world knowing what a hypocrite he is?! Well, I’ll show him how to flirt, and also let the world know that he isn’t as innocent as he looks! My, my – what a nasty girl I’m going to be from tomorrow! First I’ll ensnare him, and then I’ll disillusion him – oh, what fun!!! It’s been so long since I’ve played with a guy so! Devils bless me, and God help him!!!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Kudos to the Fire of Brisingr

I’ve just finished reading the third book of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini – Brisingr. In Paolini’s world, Brisingr means “Fire”. In some ways, the book does evoke a fire from within the reader. But for my part, I didn’t like the book as much as I had liked its predecessors.

But that’s not the point of this post.

I took precisely two days to read the book. And I formed my opinion of the book within two minutes of finishing it, perhaps. What struck me was, the author had spent three years to write this huge thing. And I have to admit, it is brilliant in its own way. But I (and many other readers like me), who have read almost all of the famous magical sequences (like the epic
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, the exceptional Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling, the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud) lose no time whatsoever in comparing the work of Paolini to the already established ones.

I did so myself when I said to myself, “well, I think Bartimaeus Trilogy was better than this…” and a moment later, I hated myself for it.

You may well ask, what’s wrong with the comparison? To that I would answer, would you compare a duck to a hen, or a cat to a dog? Just like these belong to different species altogether, so is the Inheritance Cycle different from all other works! There can’t be, and shouldn’t be, any comparison among them.

There are different genres of literature – tragedy & comedy, fiction & non-fiction, prose & poetry. In the same way, different genres can be detected even in the writings of what appears to be upon the same subject. The magical worlds highlighted in each of the works I’ve mentioned differ from each other quite starkly. There is some overlapping, surely, but that is only to be expected! After all, dwarves and elves and djinnis and spirits and spells are all, in our opinion, residents of the magical world! How can any magical world be complete without them? It is akin to asking two chemists to prepare the same drug using different compositions, when we all know that any change in the composition would change the drug itself!

This post is an official apology to Cristopher Paolini, for comparing his work to the works of others, even though it was just the once, only to myself. I think it is an insult to an author, who spends so much of his time, energy and skills in writing something so beautiful, to unthinkingly dismiss the work since it is, in someone’s opinion, “not as good as so-and-so book”.

I think Paolini has done brilliantly. I might like LotR or Harry Potter more, but I think Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle also deserve a special position among the literatures of magical worlds. Kudos to you, Christopher Paolini!

Randon Ramblings

Life is strange.

A few days back there were forty of us – now there are just 15 left.

The real estate baron… the largest in the industry… oh, cut the crap out! DLF should be named the most politically correct company.

When Jet Airways terminated their employees, there was outrage – 2000 people sacked, without any reason except their own profits, in one day? Humanitarians, politicians, high fliers from every corner lost no time in “condemn”ing themsleves hoarse.

But not so for DLF. Oh no, because DLF played their politics very well indeed. They picked on the employees one by one – or maybe two or three at a time – and asked them to “resign”. No, they were NOT terminated. And certainly not in a bulk. No one can term it a lay-off – not when they had the resignations of the employees, put in “willingly”!

Oh, how clever of them… employees were told that DLF did not want to tarnish their careers by terminating them, and the world was told that there were no terminations.

The ones being asked to leave did not get the support of the fellow members of the team, because they feared for their own jobs. The ones who left had nothing to base their allegations on – showing off their resignation letters, the company distressfully declared to the world at large, “what can we do if anyone wants to quit?”

The once bustling office now lies empty, forsaken. The ones who remain feel guilty and indecent to have survived, and the memory of the ones who were not so lucky haunts them every moment. The spirit lies broken.

This post does not make sense. Working in DLF does not make sense. The fact that I survived when almost my entire group was done away with does not make sense too. These days, nothing makes sense... and yet I have to go on living, working and trying to see sense where none exist.