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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Travelling by taste-bud

In Culture, Food, Musings on March 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

One of the nicer perks of being in, or having a parent or spouse in academia is the opportunity to meet and befriend people from cultures, ethnicities and nationalities very different from your own. If a major purpose of university education is to ‘open up’ a person’s mind to possibilities hitherto unexplored –  whether in the realm of subatomic particles, or the reinterpretation of obscure pre-modern philosophy (take your pick really! Its all there, mostly funded by your tax money thank you 🙂 ) – then, being part of a really diverse mix of people really aids that process in subtle and beautiful ways.

The icing on this knowing-diverse-people cake has to be the part where you get invited to someone’s house for a meal to taste ‘their’ cuisine, or when they bring you back a little something from their trips back home.

A quick example of how this process has worked to make the grey matter swell in our crania : Rosolje (ROS-OL-YE — ‘Ros’- like Rose, the flower; ‘ol’- like ‘ole’ in ‘hole’; and’ je’ like ‘ye’ in ‘yesterday’)

Pretty Pink!

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Should you flip a frittata?

In Food, Musings on December 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

This cold and lazy (cozy?) winter’s morning, found us waking up to New-Year’s-eve pressure, not having any exciting plans for the last day of 2010.  By the time noon came around, we had resigned to the prospect of watching fireworks at midnight with a friendly hand-out of oliebollen at the town square. But getting to that conclusion had us ravenously hungry. Which is when we decided on making a frittata for brunch. What is a frittata you ask? Like all good bloggers, we could link you to wikipedia, but will suffice by saying that its a ginormous omelette with stuff in it!

The recipe we decided to adopt is this one for a spinach and potato frittata. Every thing proceeded according to plan more or less (the potatoes cooked readily, the spinach and garlic additions added wonderful aroma and texture, and the eggs and milk made a fluffy cloud of appetizing goodness – the latter a sight I had never seen before). And then popped the question – which will surely bother you too if you enter the frittata fray – should I flip the darn thing? If yes, HOW??

Frittata : Flipped, and Un-flipped

Frittata : Flipped, and Un-flipped

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Songs of the season

In Music, Musings on December 24, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Seasons Greetings!

I never quite understood that term as a child.

Since I was one of those shut-brain dufuses who put what the ‘teacher’ at ‘school’ said above my own thoughts and ideas – ‘season’ meant Summer, Winter and Monsoon (“India has three seasons”) or Rabi and Kharif (“India has two growing seasons”) — and now that I think back, I feel insanely thankful that my childhood predates IPL (“Dhoni is the guy to watch out for this season”) and the Fashion weeks,  (“Cerulean is the colour this season daahling”) not to mention my obsession with watching food television (“we’ll season this with a dry jamaican jerk rub”)

In any case, even with the first of those interpretations of ‘season’, I was always a bit at sea…because December weather where I lived, was a hint of winter in the morning and night, blazing summer for the rest of the day, and if the rain-bearing clouds blowing over Chennai came farther than their intended destination,  a little bit of monsoon once in a while.

I actually understood the term ‘Holiday Season’ only a couple of years ago, when an (american) friend was explaining it to his 6 year old. Read the rest of this entry »

What do I think of the Indian media?

In corporate greed, India, Musings, Politics, South Asia on November 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Well … I wouldn’t even piss on it, if it was on fire !

(courtesy: A gentleman we bumped into at our favourite watering-hole in Delft who described the city of his birth, Southampton, in such glowing terms!)

[Update: And here’s another reason why? ]


Random Acts

In General, Musings, Urban Life on February 12, 2010 at 6:10 pm

This morning, as I took a fresh pot off coffee of the stove, and sat down to sip some, this young man – a volunteer for the Youth Services Initiative randomly showed up at our door, selling some very pretty easter eggs for 5 euro apiece, as a fundraiser for a project in Ghana. Not needing any eggs really, besides the kind you can make omelettes with, and not having any cash on hand, I said “No, thank you.”

…..and then randomly, it struck me that the fellow was lugging his tray of eggs around on a very cold day….

…..and randomly, I asked him if he wanted something warm to drink…

“Oh Yes!”, he smiled, exhaling a misty whiff.

…not so randomly, I also realized that I wasn’t about to let a stranger in the house, so I asked him to wait outside.

…I came back into the kitchen, and then went back to the door to ask what kind of tea he’d like….oolong? lapsang souchong? or maybe some ginger-tulsi tea from India??….

“Nothing too crazy”, he said…

..”Hmmm…I just brewed some coffee…care for some?”

“Sure”, he said

So I came back in and looked for a paper cup….  didn’t find one, because we don’t buy any… (mental note: buy some disposable cups!)

…and randomly, I remembered, I hadn’t asked..so I went back out again… “would you like some milk and sugar in your coffee?”

“yes please”, he said Read the rest of this entry »

Bunions and all!

In Images, Musings, photos, Wildlife on June 5, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Random buniony thoughts and images by Arun Agnihotri

pt_sep3

“The real voyage of discovery consists in not seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Unknown

Still find it difficult to ‘mail’, sitting in a cyber-café trying to shut-out the noises! Nothing like putting pen to paper – a hardcopy – something that I can hold in my hands and savour; allowing a slow release of images, trying to process the experiences, letting the mind go for a walk. Being able to reach for the pages without hesitation and scrolling. Somehow, I have never really enjoyed sending long electronically sterile mail!

*

Coppersmith Barbet-2

Have just returned from Binsar to ‘civilization’ and as usual finding it tough.

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