Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry X'Mas!

Merry Christmas!

A couple of funny Christmas Messages ...

"Dear Lord, I've been asked, nay commanded, to thank Thee for the Christmas turkey before us... a turkey which was no doubt a lively, intelligent bird... a social being... capable of actual affection... nuzzling its young with almost human- like compassion. Anyway, it's dead and we're gonna eat it. Please give our respects to its family... "

"I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white man would be coming into my neighborhood after dark."

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, He must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, Must be a pacifist. What's in that pipe that he's smoking?"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God's Own Curry v1.2: Kerala - Welcome to the Jungle, We got Fun & Games...

Picture Courtesy: Malayala Manorama

Most of us in literate Kerala must have seen the above picture early morning today in the leading Malayalam newspaper, the Malayala Manorama (not just read by people in Kottayam, Ernakulam & Thrissur)...

This is a scene from the 3-day old strike by auto/taxi drivers in search of "greener" fortunes.

A lady carrying an infant to hospital in a rickshaw is stopped by another rickshaw driver who again tries to deflate the vehicle's tire so that they are forced to take part in the 'strike' - something which has not changed anything one bit...This little comrade who obviously is a product of Kerala's left-over politics which believes in 'if you can have it, why not me (but with no effort)...I wonder if this energetic little fella ever has had a wife or kids - to start with. Ever wondered why a lot (a lot!!!) of sensible people are trying a way out of this mess which still claims to be owned by the Gods!? Ahem!

Oh well, good to see a law-abiding citizen wearing a helmet in the background ;)!! That is the only positive thing you see in the picture! Lol! Welcome to the Jungle, ha?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Curry: Beef Madras

Beef Madras

I was getting dinner at a restaurant the other day and noticed something like Chicken Steak (steeeek) on the menu. I always thought Steak had everything to do with Beef and nothing to do with Chicken. Maybe (maybe!) I am terribly wrong!

Wonder how many of you ever heard of Beef Madras? Hmmm, Madras & Beef?

Walk into any food court in the City of Sails - Auckland in Middle Earth and you will find Beef Madras to be one of the hottest selling dishes. Madras is a city that prides on its vegetarian cuisine, at least as far as I know. The last time I was there, I had to walk nearly a mile on Mt. Road braving the summer heat before I could find myself a Non-Veg lunch, that too Chettinad! If I had known better I would have taken a cab. Oh Well!

Auckland has its own bunch of Indians from India and other parts of the world like Fiji, a country which always had a huge Indian diaspora. Most of them are from AP, Gujarat and UP. And, I am not too sure they are beef-eaters like the average Malayali. But they sure know that the best Beef recipes are available somewhere down south. The South generally referred to as Madras even in Mumbai is probably the only reason I can think of why Madras got tagged along with Beef.

Just like Schezwan Chicken which no authentic Chinese restaurant will ever sell. Even the BBC has a recipe for Beef Madras.

That is some beef you get everywhere but Madras.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Memories: The Day After

It was a winter morning in the charming Bangalore of those days. We, a group of 4 classmates were riding our usual route to college down Hosur Rd. The traffic those days was negligible. Stray dogs would jump the walls of the Military School and cross the road with ease. Students at the nearby Baldwins College would play their guitars on the sidewalk. The air was fresh, the grass was green and the girls were pretty.

So, again, it was just another winter morning in Bangalore. We were heading to college and were surprised to see Trucks entering the city with graffiti scribbled on their windscreens. Things like "Fu*k Advan**" "Suck Advan*".

Ignorant as we were, we entered our large campus to find more people leaving the campus than enter it. Someone told us "go back home before everything shuts down. there are riots all over, the Babri Masjid was razed to ground yesterday".

Yes, the Babri Masjid, an ancient mosque in the North was pulled down to ground by so-called "religious fanatics" and your local rickshaw driver was charging you 4 times more to get you home.

We did not realise the seriousness of the developments and all of us ended up in my flat in cosy Richmond Town. We sat through the day indulging in usual teenager activities. It was late afternoon when we heard a mob in the nearby street bordering the local market where there was a huge Muslim majority. We walked out of our daze and realized that many parts of the city just like all over the country were on Fire. Muslims in the nearby market rushed to shut their own shops while ordering the few Hindu shops shut. Your neighbor suddenly turned your enemy. Buses were stoned, people were thrashed. I rushed to my aunt's house on Cunningham Road just to be in a safer part of town. We watched TV as mobs all over the country turned violent.

India was never gonna be the same again. This was probably gonna be the darkest day in modern Indian history.  Schools and colleges were declared shut for nearly two weeks. It was the second December riot for Bangaloreans after the Cauvery riots of December 1991.

I boarded a bus home on a seat while many others sat on their suitcases for the 12 hour ride across borders...The youngster in me smiled secretly at the thought of the 2 week holiday ahead...not realizing that India's secular credentials were gonna take a beating in the years to come...