Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paneer selling on 50% sale, A disaster in the lab while conducting experiment

So it were a hot sunny day and I was travelling on my bike at 50 km/hour (They say it gives a mileage of 90 Km/liter at that speed) which is less than my acceptable speed limits and more than what the vehicle could handle without vibration. The streets were filled with vehicles, small and big, inside of them were the drivers who think these streets were gifted to their grandfather as a dowry. Trainers say that we must be thinking positively when a bike rider or a car approaches us without following the common traffic rules; they say we must think they are in a hurry to rush and we are offering them a help. God knows how a trainer might react in reality when a compromised driver hits their vehicle hard in the rear; "think positively"!

So we were on the streets where this was happening?

Kunjunni Nair's Tattu kada was still having the crowd enough to eat their doshas as they arrive. A wise man, old enough to beat my great grandfather in his age was driving a Maruti Alto without a learners lisence; as it appears from his driving, blocked the "world's smallest road" from SN junction to Vadakke kotta. It took the traffic policeman 5 minutes to regain control over the street and I moved towards the supermarket 15 meters on the left from where I was then.

As always, I took a basket and started picking up the eatables in random without a shopping list. I took a packet of chana dal, Roasted rava, maggie noodles, aata, bhel puri pack and so on until I reached the last section where I normally pick a plastic glass packed with Lassi in Mango and sweetened flavors. I picked a pack named lassi and my eyes saw another packet within a small fridge called Paneer. Fascinated by the Paneer recipes in Sushma's blog (Authentic food delights), I decided to purchase it.

I once bookmarked a recipe from a blog, here's the link http://www.cookingandme.com/2009/10/paneer-butter-masala-restaurant-style.html for Paneer Butter Masala(the Restaurant style) and thought to try this. Read all the ingredients and made rough calculations. I find that I have everything else except the nestle milkmaid bottle in the photograph. I went to a nearby store and purchased the milkmaid.

I followed the instructions of the blogger and started the preparation. I being fond of sauss, used a little more than 1 table spoon. It all went fine and tasted good. At last was the turn of the nestle bottle and I poured milkmaid as instructed. Rather I used a little more so that I could taste the sweetness . Finally the dish was ready and I kept it to cool.

I shared the paneer with my friend along with chapatti. It tasted much different than a restaurant bought paneer butter masala. He ate a few pieces and then commented on it "Abhilash, it appears good when we eat such dishes... good to taste though it has a lot of sugar and spice. I wonder how my stomach reacts to your dish 'the so called paneer butter masala" :-p

I spoke to Priya Sreeram last week and shared this recipe with her. That is when she pointed out it were not a milkmaid that should be used but a nestle cream. I went through the blog again and realized I made a blunder. This experiment end in a disaster, but I should say the dish was quiet sweet and tasty ;)

That's when I understand that, no matter whether you purchase Paneer for 10% higher rate or on a sale of 50%, you have invested some amount and whatever you prepare has to be good; at least for you :)

Did such disasters happen to you?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Kochi was in camouflage, a Man was sweating like a Pig!

I was sweating like a pig; In front of me was a white paper with something written in black letters. I could remember nothing, not even my name or where I was. I looked closely to the paper and started reading it. The paper had questions written on it for which I had no answers; no clue! I started reading 2,3,4, and so on until the paper ends. Most of the questions were familiar but I could not remember the answers. I started cursing me for not studying in time and for wasting the time playing. Then I started cursing the god for making my brain erase its data!

Soon my vision was blurred and I could feel the room filling with darkness. I rubbed my eyes and opened them with force by my fingers. I looked around and saw boys and girls writing with a passion and interest. Soon a bell rang and the woman standing at the corner of the room screamed "Hurry! it's going to end in 15 minutes". My heart started beating faster; I could not answer a single question. I am going to fail in the exams and shall regret for the rest of my life.

It is better that I die rather than being alive with my family and friends scolding me. A woman approached me, wrapped in a red sari long enough to encapsulate 5 buffaloes; she asked me to handover the papers! I cannot leave it, not when I have nothing written on it, I thought. I tighten my grip on the paper struggling with the force exerted by the woman who was trying to get the papers from my hand. The paper escaped my hands as a harder object hit my cheeks with a force; it were her hands.

"Amme!!!", I shouted in pain and saw a tall figure looking angrily at me; It was Jk. He shouted "It is 8:30, aren't you getting ready for the office? My heart was still beating faster, I felt as if I were thrown from a skyscraper.

I discussed this dream with Dileep. He says that each dream signals a happening in life. He feels that my dream were a signal that I was not able to fulfill something I wanted badly. I am not sure!

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

"Ingane nadanoda"... a journey to eternity with a kid living in Kochi

I think my life has come to an end (a correction here... bachelor life)and the stopwatch is nearing to zero. My parents are working hard to find a woman with whom I can share my cooking experiments. My sisters have taken it as a hobby; they 'express an interest' on profiles in the matrimony websites every day, and comment on their beauty when we talk on the mobile. They have complaints with the hair of woman, the height, educational background, names and so goes their list.

Everyone around the globe is now interested to see me cry ;) kidding...

Here is what people say and suggest...

I visited my grandmother last week and she says

"I am really worried about you Abhilash;... Gopi,the son of Madhu, Kannan the grandson of my brother, nandu the son of gauriamma's nephews daughter, unni, chicku, vishnu, latha, chinnu"

...so goes her list

"are all married. When are you going to have one?" ... "Would I be able to witness your marriage before I die"

Is she interested to see me married or to compete against others in the diary?

My Aunt says...

"ingane nadanoda, taadiyum meeshayum valarthi... ninte kude padicha kuttikalku ellam kuttikal aayi"(ah! are you not serious; just spending your life casually like this with a grown beard and mustache, the kids you were studying with, now have their own kids)

... I dont understand what the kids have to do with this, if she has a problem with my beard the better way is asking me to have a clean shave.

Mayank says...

"Bhai, shaadi nahi kar raha hai kya?, kab tak aise hi bhacelor life kaatega"(Are you not planning to get married, are you still planning to be a bachelor)... "Dont go for a love marriage, though I and Atul have chosen this path..."

...was he warning me against their decisions on Love marriage, or did he expect me to do things in a different manner?

A relative says...(An Aunt)

"Abhi, select anyone in your office or a neighbor company and propose a girl, it is so easy. Dont wait for your mother and father to start searching. And don't worry as I have asked my contacts to search one for you, at least I care for you. Also ask your friends to refer you to other people for finding a better alliance"...

..."enta amme", am I so old that I should hurry this way, and is this any networking opportunity I should be exploring...

Amma asked me to go through some profiles they have shortlisted and to select some that I find better.

To speak the truth, you cannot match the looks of the woman on the portal by their age... some look more aged than what they display... and my selection when it is for me, was never any good so I do not give it a try...

Let me take you to an interesting profile sample...

This profile is created for my daughter. She is very loving, simple ,homely,god-fearing girl hailing from an aristocratic Nair family. She is a positive-natured girl ,posessing modern outlook & at the same time firmly rooted in our traditional culture, believes in morals, and values family relationships more than anything else.

I have seen at least 15-20 profiles using the same content. Are they hailing from the same aristocratic family or "copy cat"... No offense...but Atleast write your profile on your own...

My brother has prepared a list that I should be asking the ladies I give a visit for pennukaanal(seeing the bride-to-be for the first time)...

1.Have you heard about Facebook and twitter? how often do you use them... what is your opinion on this social networking culture?

2. Do you play PC or console games? which is your favorite game?

3. How often do you watch movies? When comparing serials VS movies which one you watch the most?

4. Did you have a love affair in the past, if yes how long did it last. Were you the one who proposed or the other way? ..."My brother says, if the girl was the one who proposed, dont think for a second just marry her.. he has his own explanations for this..."

5. where do you want to see yourself after 10 years? Do you love trekking? ..."though both the questions have nothing in similar, he has his logic behind this"

6. Why do you want to marry? Are you fed up being with your parents or are you are looking for a change?

I am sure the girl would be beating me after I complete the Q&A session. My brother has a long list and explanation for each question that certain, I make a right decision.

He asks me to conduct a GD round followed by a debate... ha ha... He is a Next Gen guy!!!

Life at Abhi... now continues with such inspiring suggestions and thoughts.

I am sure I should be laughing when reading this after some years...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mere 10 Anmol Ratan, Headlines for 2012

Yesterday my friend came online unexpected and she asks me “Karthik ke pachas bille, robin ke kanche and ravi ki video game... yaad hai?” For one moment, I had nothing to say and started searching the database as fast as possible. I had implemented a dual buffer in cache memory synchronization technique (good sleep with regular clean diet) few days ago and thus collecting data from my memory is faster. I could recollect that the lines were from a comment I posted on her blog a long time ago. We went through a few blog posts I wrote and I was able to understand how happy I was at that time when I used to write those posts. From my experience, I have indentified that it is not that a person is busy and so he cannot attend his activities. It is because a person has made new priorities in his life.

Who is this?

I have not registered any incidents that happened this year and that were important to me in my life. Thus providing headlines should serve the purpose to remember what had happened when I check this post many years later.

1. Hanish got a job: My friend Hanish got a job this year in USA. He was very close and one among them who I remember every moment. You can read more about Hanish in the post http://abhilifelapazzo.blogspot.in/2010/01/effort-to-kill-mental-illness.html. He was studying in USA for MS and got a job this year.

Photo credits: Hanish Patel

2. Atul blessed with a Baby: Atul is my schoolmate and a close friend. He lives in Pune and works on ‘memory calculations, interpreting unambiguous interchange of data back and forth a LIVE console exempted from the in humanitarian mechanism’(in simple words he is an engineer). He blessed with a baby this year is as happy as a clam. I promised him that I should be visiting him when I become a chacha and now I am tangled with my promise. You can read about Atul from the post http://abhilifelapazzo.blogspot.in/2009/09/atul-sadhus-love-story-to-conclude-in.html

Photo Credits: Atul Sadhu

3. Vinay Nandanwar is married: My College mate, elder to me than 3 year, friend and ‘full time semi-cracked, full of foolish questions’, he is a gem among men. I remember him asking me once, a serious question which he thinks “Abhi, you know when we travel in train our visit to the toilet make things disappear on the tracks. I wonder what happens when people visit toilet in the plane. The plane often flies above my home”. :) He was married to a beautiful girl this year. I wonder how she shall handle his humorous questions.

Photo credits: Vinay Nandanwar

4. A handsome son to Vijo: Blessed with a beautiful child, Vijo is enjoying this season in Cochin. Vijo is a nice friend and a close ally. He was married to a woman he chose among many during a party. His fall in love sequence ended with a marriage in Delhi when both of them decided to go against their families and tie a bond. They often pay a close visit to their parents on weekends.

5. Sanjeev flew to Dubai: When I call him Sanjeev, don’t misunderstand him with my college mates. Living in the 50’s, Sanjeev Kumar Raja is still a young chap in his mind and attitude. A cool and simple person, adjusting to his friends and their interests; he was a loving and a caring person I had as a housemate. He went to Dubai this year further to a job he received that he could not refuse due to his interest in visiting Dubai. Gifted with a hefty package, he is enjoying the hot weather as chilled ice. He came to Tripunithura yesterday and I need to give him a visit.

At Alapuzha beach during a journey to Cochin
With Sanjeev and Vijo

6. Onam with Parents: This year, I celebrated my Onam with my parents. It has been long since we had an Onam together. They came to Kerala on 29 August and went on September 5. It was a short break but was energetic and enjoying. I drank a lot of Payasam last weekend with Amma accompanying me who loves sweets more than I do.

7. Athachamayam 2012 in Tripunithura: This year the Athachamayam was beautiful than the last year. The previous year, Athachamayam was in rains. Many tableus and dance forms filled the heart with colors.

A kathakali actor with Mustache

8. Akash back to Social networking: My friend Akash who was missing for many years came to the limelight this August. He was away from the Social networking websites and continued to be active this season. Hope he was able to surpass the sluggish IT life with exception. I remember he changed his name to AAkash further to some advice from a numerologist. He is back as Akash :)

Photo Credits: Aakash

9. Biga’s marriage: Our Harry Potter got married this year. Wondering why I referred him as Harry Potter, read this post http://abhilifelapazzo.blogspot.in/2009/07/ernakulam-police-searching-for-harry.html. After his travel to Singapore and Dubai, long lasting business ventures, he was back to Kerala to get married. He after his brothers referred as ‘B’. They form a sequence in their names A, B, C… Abga, Biga, Ciga. Wondering, why they have these names? I too was surprised. For a friend the name is not important, so I did not go deep finding the secrets behind the naming conventions.

Photo Credits: Biga

10. Ps3 and Gaming: I forget to mention that I purchased a PS3 last season. I was always a game freak from within and my hunt for an adventure within my so-called busy life ended with this console. The graphics are mind blowing and the time moves faster than it does when with this gadget. Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 were the best games I like in my collection.

I believe that 10 should be an end to a blog count. I shall try to write to keep my dairy filling.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mundu for Onam, my D Day is today

Today is the Onam celebration and we are asked to wear traditional dress. In Kerala, the traditional dress for man is Mundu(dhoti) and shirt. My friend Hanish had a bad experience with Mundu on his visit to Kerala. He visited Padmanabhaswami temple in Trivandrum and was asked to wear a mundu that is mandatory, to enter the temple. My Guajarati friend did not try this Kerala dress before and decided to wear and see the 'lord sleeping on the lotus'. He managed to get someone help him wearing a mundu that was rented. He was happy to wear a mundu and with devotion and belief in god, he entered the temple.

It took no longer for the men and women to understand that he is wearing it for the first time.

Today is my 'D Day'.

I purchased a grey silk shirt with pattern of Khadi and a mundu with the border in light black and box pattern. The next task is to understand how wear it. I tried searching google for 'how to wear a mundu' and landed on youtube.com. The first video was on 'how to wear a mundu in Kerala style' which the creator has portrayed in a better way. The problem is he uses a single mundu for demonstration and I have a double mundu(long mundu which we wear with a fold that makes two layers).

I tried the next video 'How to wear a dhoti in Kshatriya style'. I understand that it is a good style to try for Tripunithura, being a land of Kings and queen. The man narrating it says that this style is used during fights and I am for no fight. He mentions further that this style has no chances of leaving the waist once it is tied. I am not sure if this can be used as a traditional dress, so I planned to skip.

The third video says, how to wear a mundu for Onam. Now that is interesting. The video was about two men who were trying to teach their friend wear a mundu. I watched the video carefully until the end which was around 5-6 minutes long. I thought I should now be ready for wearing a mundu. There were few seconds left for the video to complete and I decided to see it completely to witness the happiness in the face of the friend. It was about to end when a guy watching this said "eda ithu penungal settu saari udukunathu pole aayi poyada"(I think this looks like the pattern of settu sari worn by woman). "Happy Birthday", was that something an enthusiast should have heard at the end?

It is 7 Am in the morning and Lord Indra's son is pouring water in his water bottle on Cochin. It appears he did not drink the water at school and wants to escape the scolding from his father. The time difference between Devlok and India makes a lot of problems. The last time a cow suffering from wateromania in Indralok showered a lot of salty water to fill the holes in the roads built specifically by Kerala government to feed the animals. Not sure how I am going to wear a mundu in this climate.

Yesterday few people from the area where I stay came asking my whereabouts. They say it is some committee they work for in the locality and they have never seen anyone in the hose when they come. I said I leave the house by 8 and return by 6.30 and it isn't possible to find me on weekends which is time to travel. One from three asked me what I do when I am free, to which I replied, I watch movies or am on Internet. He says if I am interested I can join them in 'creative activities'. I decided to see what creative activities they do and nodded with acceptance. Let us hope that cleaning the garbage on the road sides or moving goods out of the truck isn't their creative activity.

I think I should ask my brush to clean my teeth and water to make me fresh, but I doubt they will listen to me. The last time the brush asked me for 'Colgate with active salts', I denied the request. I think he still has that in mind and it makes him not listen. You see... advertisements are creating all these issues. Provided they won't do their job, let me move ahead and do mine.

Wishing you all a Happy Onam.

Please pray that I do not come across the incident as Hanish.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Koooi! I am back to the rebellion with Rebel T2i

Hai Friends,

There is an 'a' extra in my 'hi' to make you remember that I have logged into this blog after a long time and I should be shouting to get your attention. When we need people to notice us within a crowd, we call them by their name or use different accent like "koooi", "shh", "oye!", "chetta", "aunty", "hello", "oh! Mr.,".

I purchased a SLR last week, Canon EOS 550D(Rebel T2i). It has always been a dream to have a camera and learn the skills that photographers use to capture stunning moments in life. I was not interested in the photographs with water falling from mountains or the people jumping in the sky; all that interests me were the colors and their representation. Believe me! when you shift from a mobile camera to a DSLR, you can realize how real the photographs can appear.

The advantage you get using a DSLR is that

1. The people assume you might be a press photographer.

2. People pose more seriously than they did for a mobile camera or a digital point and shoot Camera.

3. Carrying an extra 500 gms on your neck makes it stronger over a period.

4. You can also capture the girl in the background who earlier appeared blurred, when zoom. ;)

5. You can be back to blogging and write a post.

I was reading a photography blog few days ago, where the author asks to move around with the camera and shoot whatever you can. He says this will enable to explore the different modes and unlimited features your DSLR has in its assembly.

I went to visit my grandparents last weekend. Soon after the breakfast, I took the camera out of its bag and started searching for possible subjects(as they refer in photography). A cat appeared near the swimming pool and I ran to capture its details. Oh my!, it ran faster than I approached...making me understand that I have to be calm and quiet while approaching a subject. I managed with the ant's, butterflies, flowers and the fruits in the garden. The camera offers a lot of options for your photography, all you have to understand is some 'aperture', 'shutter speed', 'exposure' etc. that the handbook explains while you read through. My grandmother and the kids at home were really impressed by the output of the camera; might be they have not seen any photographer in the past or the DSLR output.

{ In the center is my Father's mother(Ammumma), to her left is my sister(uncle's daughter), to Grandmothers right is my brother(uncle's son)}

Today I and some friends decided to try the DSLR inside the temple and its surroundings in Tripunithura ( a place in Cochin where I stay). We understood how not to capture some specific shots and who should not be handling camera for capturing the photographs in the days to come. Unlike a normal camera, the DSLR functions different when out of the Automatic mode. You need to be well verse with the functions and its uses if you have to shoot using the camera capabilities.

Arun was more interested in understanding the camera and I tried explaining him with my experience gathered during the week. We were speaking about the close-up shots where an object that is out of focus can blur to enhance the projection of the object in focus. To demonstrate its effect, I searched and found a road-side footwear counter with the footwear collection spread on the floor. I bent and zoomed the camera on a group of footwear.

Within seconds we saw the shopkeeper running out of his seat and shouting "Onnu paranjittu edukende"(You could have asked before taking a photograph). He thought we were taking a photograph to display in the newspaper and his appearance at that moment would be boring. Ah! he was more beauty conscious than the women staring on the footpath.

Was this a review for canon or DSLR manufacturers?; I hope no. Feel free to drop in any suggestions you may have to help me learn this gear fast.

That's all for this day. Wishing you all a great day ahead!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Men transformed to Woman in Kollam, Kerala – Operation a Miracle!

It is raining heavily outside. I have closed the doors through which the dry leaves were trying to intrude into my privacy. It appeared as if they were finding a place to hide until rain stops. I picked the leaves and threw them to where they came from before shutting the door against them. The electricity department behaved as cowards, fearing the lighting and rain, and stopping the function of fan and tube lights. Sitting in the room writing this post and having no supply of cool air forced me to open the doors. I had accepted the risk of allowing the leaves into my home that was clean since the morning. This made me think,not torestrict the flow of ideas and to let them flow.

It has been a long time since I wrote and the incidents accumulated in the corner of my mind have filled the space throwing the vacuum that was occupying their territory.

It was the month of March, marking its end when my friends asked me to visit Kollam. They said I have to attend a celebration that I have not witnessed in my life, man transformed to woman. It would indeed be a miracle to witness the operation making this possible. Life is short and you cannot be sure of your lifeline. I thus decided to witness it.

Sanjeev and I travelled on a bike to Kollam as per the guidelines from my friend Sreekumar. Following the information, the celebration would commence in a temple named kottankulangara Devi temple that was on the left side of the highway. We could see woman dressed with beautiful dress and jewellery on bike and inside the car. It resembles a good celebration I said and even women are going to see this with new attire. Sreekumar joined us at the temple and was the narrator of the show ahead. He resides near Kollam and is well verse with the places and celebrations.

We kept the bike at a place few meters away from the temple entrance and started walking. While we were in front of the entrance, we could see many boys gathered around a girl taking photos with her. I enquired the reason and Sreekumar said that it was a boy and not a girl. It was hard to believe that it was a boy. Go through the image below and let me know if you believe it would be a boy (I am sure the photograph won’t give a real look)

Now see this one… She seems to be in love with me. LOL

We went further and met a group of umm… let us call them y-woman. So these Y-women were dressed stylish but some had looks of a mixed variation of man and woman. I managed to capture a few shots but somehow was in a feeling that they are woman :)

See the girl in the white saree, doesn't she looks cute ?

I took a closeup photograph with the girl ;)

It appears they are the celebrities this day.

Near the temple, we met the boy who Sreekumar says was Mr. Kollam. It appeared as if he had all the veins pasted to his body using a Fevi quick. He was more masculine than feminine. One of my friends asked how this guy managed to wear the blouse, he could have stitched it over his arms.

We moved towards a house where Sreekumar’s brother was dressed as woman. He did not have a clean makeup or appearance as the other men in the queue. Sreekumar participated last year in this celebration as a woman and he says the appreciation was good. He says his wifetook almost 3-4 hours to select a salwar that he wore during that time.

We marched back and met two Y categories who were almost cute women dressed in Saree. Gash! We need to make a check before getting married. It is indeed hard to determine the difference. ;)

Near the banyan tree stood another group who appeared as the figures in the movies when I was in 5th standard.

Sreekumar says that at the end of the session, belief is that Devi comes, blesses all the men who are dressed as woman, and makes their wish real. For more information on this celebration, you can go through the detailed post written by Anu from Sincerely yours.

Thanks friends!

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