Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Good old days

I have many great memories associated with this song...The male actor truly represents my dad and the female actress my mum. No wonder all of my dad's friends came back watching this movie back in 1993 and told us "This is your family story". I cannot imagine a couple to be so understanding in this day and age. Touch wood, My folks were!!! Imagine a man having to be a Househusband owing to bad circumstances and the lady taking up his share of responsibility as well as making sure we all were well fed and lived in a tidy home. My mum still has the diary which had all the details of our family's monthly income and expenses. She, the elegant Leo, was good at managing a happy home with just 1000 rupees each month. My dad who is now 56 years old (i guess this age was in 2011, he never ages lol) does not know much about cooking other than managing to make coffee, tea and Omelette. Both me and my brother were below 10 years of age and unlike this super fast generation never had much high demands nor understood the complexities that such difficult times brought. I can never remember seeing my parents having a fight in my 20 years of life that I lived with them. Not only was my dad an easy-going person (but again no one is perfect in this world), but my mum is a very understanding and forgiving person. No matter how much I adore my dad the adult me now realizes that he should have pitched in to make my mum's life easy a bit. But I am sure my Gemini dad always made my mum's mental life easier using his great sense of humor. Also, they never had any difference of opinion even in the case of my dad's parents.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Thanks to Sandeep Gadila

For helping me explore the world of fusion...These two stand out from the rest in my opinion

Note: Ear/Head-phones Highly Recommended

Friday, 5 April 2013

Almost Ladakh

Easter long Weekend getaway - Spent 5 hours behind the wheel driving to Gwynedd...The snow-capped mountains made me disregard the SatNav's instructions quite a lot of times but eventually I made it back home safe and sound...

p.s. Do not try this while driving (Taking pictures the way I did)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Resisting temptation

I have developed a very bad habit of reading the movie plots prior to watching them. This habit certainly saved me from watching some creepy movies like "Case 39" and "When a stranger Calls". I have been maintaining a track record of successfully staying away from horror movies for almost five years, all Thanks to Wiki.

But, I really did a huge mistake by reading the entire plot of this must-watch film named "EXAM". My god!!! British brains are freakishly good. You can go ahead and watch this one as it's not a horror movie but DO NOT!!!! DO NOT!!!! DO NOT!!!! read the plot before you watch it, as this movie is best served thrilled.....

Sunday, 24 March 2013

First lesson of cooking

This is my all time favourite curry, so it is quite obvious that I chose to learn this first. The person who taught me this curry made sure I remembered every detail of it's preparation by testing my memory with sudden oral tests. It was not until I cooked the curry all on my own without any guidance that this person, who happens to be my mum, got convinced that I had finally mastered her recipe.

Don't worry I won't be pestering you all with tests after you finish reading this post. But you can use this as a helpful recipe if you share the same love for this curry as me.

The below picture would give away the name of the curry which is actually pretty famous in South India.

Now for the ingredients, you will need,

  1. Small brinjals - 1 Kg
  2. Peanuts - A handful of them or slightly more
  3. Coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons (In the absence of whole seeds, use a table spoon of ground coriander powder)
  4. Sesame Seeds - 2 tablespoons
  5. Poppy Seeds - 1 tablespoon
  6. Whole spices - 2 or 3 cloves, 1 Star Anise
  7. Dessicated coconut powder - 2 tablespoons
  8. Onion - Half (Diced into 4-6 chunks)
  9. Butter - One tablespoon (Optional)
  10. Turmeric - Quarter teaspoon
  11. Salt - 3/4 teaspoon (Adjust quantity as per taste)
  12. Red Chilli Powder - 3/4 teaspoon (Adjust quantity as per taste)
  13. Cooking oil - 4 table spoons (Adjust quantity as per preference, this can be substituted with water)
  14. Coriander - For garnishing
  1. Dry roast the peanuts, Coriander seeds, Sesame seeds, Poppy seeds and the whole spices. I was taught to roast them one after the other, preferably, in the order listed
  2. Cool the seeds in preparation for grinding

  3. Start by grinding the roasted ingredients first. No need to add water.

  4. To the ground powder, add the diced onion chunks and butter. Grind to a paste by adding water if required. Limit the usage of water to 2 tablespoons
  5. Once the paste is ready, get it out of the grinder jar (Add little water to any paste remaining in the jar, this water can be used for the curry preparation) . Add turmeric, salt and Chilli powder. Mix well and set aside
  6. Slit each brinjal twice, to make a cross-cut as shown in the picture below. The slit brinjals need to be dropped into water to prevent them from changing colour. 

  7. Stuff the slit brinjals with the paste prepared in Step 5. The picture below was taken particularly to show the snow outside

  8. Once all the brinjals are stuffed, heat a wok and add Oil
  9. Cook the stuffed brinjals on medium flame. Mix in regular intervals. Add water or oil if the curry tends to stick to the wok's base. Cover the wok with a lid for ensure proper cooking of the brinjals
  10. Add any paste left over (After stuffing all the brinjals) to the wok half way through the cooking
  11. Continue cooking until the brinjals turn soft and tender and the oil starts oozing out at the corners of the wok
  12. Finish off by garnishing with coriander. This is optional unless you love coriander like me

Saturday, 16 March 2013

5th of July

From the makers of Udaan and Dev D comes another audio-visual treat.....

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Shubhaarambh to the fresh face of cinema

This post seems to be sidetracking from the theme of my blog which happens to be all about Enjoying England, but the inspiration for this post comes from watching a movie at the Trafford centre.

Kai Po Che - A movie overflowing with the essence of Gujarat. The movie tries to shed some light to the myth that Gujaratis are good businessmen. I term it is a myth because, according to me Gujaratis are good at minding their own business, which makes them succeed in whatever they pursue. I surely did not come across a lot of Gujaratis in my lifetime but I know this good friend Mr.Doshi (The Gujju Mahesh babu, as I named him) from whom I can infer that Gujaratis are the sweetest people you can meet in India. They like the good things about other parts of our country and are never envious of other's well-being.

Typical Gujarati men start really young. When I was happy about earning my first salary after finishing my degree, a Gujarati of the same age would have already made more than my first salary in stock market trading. This is what I really meant by starting young. One of the main characters plays this role very aptly. I liked this character the most, Raj Kumar Yadav was the best choice. I walked out of the movie convinced that he is a Gujarati by birth. I could not believe my eyes when a quick google revealed that Ragini MMS was his previous project and he hails from Haryana.

Typical Gujarati girls are very light-skinned. The bright coloured, tight-fitted, mirror-worked dresses make them look gorgeous. And not to forget their skill of applying henna, they actually make it look so easy. The cute Amrita Puri plays the typical Gujarati girl in this movie.

Mr. Doshi and I never discussed cricket. So Ishan, sorry mate. I was comparing Sushant who played Ishaan in this movie to Ranveer Singh all the way. They both look the same and strangely have the same voice, but I personally like the energy displayed by Ranveer Singh more.

Omi, the last character played by Amit is basically a pawn in the hands of a manipulative politician. I couldn't believe the film makers actually named the party that Omi supports as "Bharatiya Janahith Sangh". Its not much of a secret, who the manipulative politician in the movie is trying to represent from the real world. Again me and Mr. Doshi never discussed politics, so I am ignorant about the facts behind Sabarmathi massacre but if the allegations are true, I hope Mr.M does not punish innocents in the future if he ever did so in the past. Nevertheless here's wishing Shubhaarambh to Mr.M. Make it happen to the hot seat next year dear Mr.M.

Cute moment - Govi, saying Chi and turning his head away...
Shocker moment - Govi introduces Ishaan to Omi at the end of the movie

Amit Trivedi - he pulled me to the movie using Manja. He totally deserves a separate post.

Amit Trivedi, YOU ROCK!!!. Rehman ji, a page for you in the Social Studies text-book....

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Odeon Trafford Centre Screen 1 - Kai Po Che

This weekend was pretty bad as it was pouring down but I had my share of fun midweek. This time it was a solitary movie experience. One hell of a nightmare experience it is to be the only spectator in the entire screen. It was Thursday afternoon and I chose a Bollywood flick and there was no turn-up except me. All through the movie I was making sure that I had no other un-expected company. I could feel what Revathi experienced in the movie Raathri. Once the movie started it kept my mind occupied. When the movie paused for intermission there was killing silence all around me. I went out and saw that there was a CCTV capturing every moment in the screen. The theatre staff were monitoring it. This gave a sense of security for the second half of the movie. I finished my job at Trafford centre and was heading back.

Now, it was the turn of my second nightmare. It was pouring down heavily and the Apple maps were not picking up signal in the parking lot. I decided to get out to catch signals but it turned out that the phone needed a re-start to sort the apple maps issue. I had no option to stop and sort the phone so I continued driving by following the road signs. Thanks to H's advice, I studied the whole area in Google maps before my journey so I knew how to get to M60. The traffic was crawling on the motorway and as soon as I entered I had to take the right lane to go home, which I did not learn from Google, I was in a desperate rush to get into the right lane and no body was letting me in. I risked it totally and got into the right route and thanks to the 20 MPH traffic I restarted my phone and set the maps all while driving carefully. Thanks to the man up above the sky for taking care of me and getting me home. Trafford centre, Never again I shall see you.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Solitary Sunday

West Kirby beach - A scenic promenade on a sunny day. Walking with a steady glance at the waves was today's high point. Went round the town of Wallasey in search of coffee and two take-away menus. Mission Accomplished successfully without any traffic offences. A Sunday put to good use.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Steamy Vintage journey - 24 Feb 2013

Me and H decided to visit East Lancashire railway this weekend. Thankfully there were no Liverpool and Everton matches that day so my task of picking up H was easy. We reached Ramsbottom at 12 PM and we struggled to find a parking space but eventually we did succeed. The train station had a vintage feel as there were old luggage carts, soft-toys and milk-cans scattered on the platform to re-create the Victorian era. There was quite a turn-out of train enthusiasts that day as it was a steam Engine on display. There were many photography enthusiasts to get a show of the steam Engine. H certainly belonged to the latter group. The chilly wind did not stop H from baring the hands and standing at the window to take the perfect photograph. The train journey took almost 3 hours to complete. I would have rather sat inside the not so warm train if H did not drag me out. I got to see the engine getting separated from the wagons from one end, re-filling with water and then re-connecting with the wagons at the other end. Overall it was a Sunday well spent but this place needs another visit probably on a day when the Sun-God is kind to us.

Monday, 25 February 2013

What the Fright

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Close Encounters

A laid-back and lazy Friday night means the Saturday gets a late start. So did the Saturday on the 17th of February. H got up and got ready as per our plan of meeting at 10 and then shooting off to Knowsley Safari and I actually turned up at 10 past 12. Should have reached a lot earlier but missing a right turn cost me fifteen minutes and left me roaming around the complex streets of Liverpool. When I was at H's doorstep, the sun decided to hide away for a while. This was not good as he was shining away brightly when I was tucked in a cardigan which I so wanted to get rid off as it was getting really hot in the car. H arrived and we started the 24 minute drive to Knowsley.

So here we arrive, I know what to expect cause this is my fourth time. But H was seeing it for the first time. The entry ticket was 16£ for an adult. The ticket counter was slightly downhill and the car decided to roll down just when I decided to take my feet off the clutch and get some rest. No sooner did I close an eye that H informed that "Your car is rolling forward" and I woke up startled and quickly rushed to deal with the situation before the passengers in the front car start filing Whiplash injury claims. This was just the start for H before more of my great driving skills were put to display.

Ok, now we actually enter the safari and there were Antelopes and Ostriches to welcome us. Next came the enclosure of Richard Parker. He did not make an appearance as it was too cold for him. While in summer he is always busy napping. I never got to see him active in all my 5 trips. Next were foxes and then we approached the 10 MPH zone and there were warning signs to properly lock our doors and not to lower the windows. I knew why, but H got really excited when she learnt that she was in the Big Boy zone. I expected to see a large group of them sat at one place and not giving a damn about all the attention given to them. But man, they actually gave us a proper show this time.

There was this hill that we were supposed to ascend. Hill-starts are always a nightmare to me. But this time I managed well. But the lady in front of me din't move for 10 minutes and I needed to rest my feet. So again I put the hand brake on, set the gear to neutral and took my feet of the clutch and decided to rest. H now announced that we were rolling back. Had to deal with the situation before we stopped (this time properly) and had a great laugh.

Right after the lion zone,  there was another danger zone. This time it was the baboons. I really din't wish to take the car-friendly route but I dint want to disappoint H. I entered the zone praying that none of them wreck my car. But this one took fancy to the mini mouse ball that was stuck to the radio antennae on my car. This one jumped onto the windscreen  left a mark on it. But thank god, that was the only thing we had to put up with. I did not like that Mini-Mouse Blob sticking out on top of the car anyway. Thanks to the Baboon I got rid of it effortlessly. They try their best to sneak out along with the cars but the Zoo-Keepers know how to get them back in.

To end the comfortable Safari, we drove past the remaining harmless animals like this one.Kids were actually taking kisses of this one. We parked the car outside the safari drive-zone and H bought some stuff from the shops. We caught a kid chasing this beautiful peacock. He was just hell-bent to get hold of it. His mum evaded his evil intentions though. And everyone around stopped by to have a good laugh at the kid's expense but he was too young to take notice cause he was merely 2.

Well that almost sums up our Knowsley experience. It was still very cold but overall it was a great day after about 3 months of harsh winter.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Different Strokes

I would love to have a kid like Arnold in my home. He is absolutely adorable. I like the way he says Noooooo with the cute face. This show was aired on SONY in the 90's and I always had remote-fights with my grandmother to see this show. I vaguely remember Arnold through an episode where he makes (Or eats) Banana Split. Based on my great memory I googled "A black kid tv series Sony" and  I am so glad I re-discovered Different Strokes.

For anyone who missed watching this series here is the link, the video may not play instantly and the solution is to right-click and select Pop-Out to watch the video...

Starting off by sharing smiles

This is my first ever post after creating my blogger account just five minutes ago. It so happened that I received this E-mail from Emirates with the Subject "Share a Smile" today afternoon. Here is one video that compliments my blog's theme.

There were some more but the next one made me thinking.....How can a person's goodness be compared with bread?

The next one is a very good pick-up line, Barney Style ;-)

Spanish Flower (YouTube Link)

The last one is dedicated to all the ladies who read my post....So you better open it sorry but YouTube doesn't let me embed it in my post for some odd reason