Monday, December 26, 2011

More Catholic than the Pope

One day I happened to see two youngsters in the bus shelter I was at , swearing at each other at the top of their voices. The girl was wearing a skimpy dress leaving very less to imagination and the guy , a fashionably disgusting low waist apparel.They were having a really loud competition on who knew more swear words and didn't care that they were probably attracting miffed glares from minority of people who were not tuned into their smart phone head sets. I was unfortunately seated quite close to them and to avoid the embarrassment of having to listen to them, I hurriedly took out a bunch of leaflets of bus time tables that was the only thing I could find to pretend to read in a bus shelter. Just then , I felt a soft voice behind me
"Do you think we are stupid?".

I was about to blurt out that I wasn't pretending to read and that I actually needed to check out route #449, but was surprised to see an old lady behind me, equally miffed at the swearing game going on.

"Look at the state of our youth. Our children are just wasting away their valuable time for school and college and look what they have grown up into. You come from such a rich culture. Do you , like , look at us and think how stupid we are ?"

I was totally taken aback and had no I idea what to answer. I flashed a smile , nodded in negative and quickly made my way to my bus which thankfully had just arrived.

On the way home , I though long and hard.

Is Indian youth really any better than them? Do I have the moral right to point fingers  or look down upon the youth of the west , when ironically, the very same culture is revered by and imitated to exaggeration by the Yo generation of my very own country?

  1. When I have never heard a swear word uttered in front of me in Minneapolis other than by the odd youngsters in the buses or bus shelters, but  facebook statuses and twitter updates of Indian youngsters I know without F*** word are rare ?
  2. When rupee will not be called anything other than a buck though rupee was never made of buckskin like the dollar originally was? 
  3. When a blog without faaying , frigging , sucking friiking and other similar words is just not good enough?
  4. When my nephew living in a remote village in Kerala has the full music collection of Justin Beiber and knows all about Kim Kardahsian's divorce?
  5. When people in India know more about all the sitcoms being aired in the US and most Indian TV programs other than the daily Soaps are cheap copies of hit American TV shows and having porn stars in reality TV shows has become acceptable?
  6. When spelling my and moi  and ma is you and yua  and umma and muah is mandatory learning for every Indian teenager?
  7. When pizza and McDonald's and KFC , the cheapest and unhealthiest foods available in US are considered as the height of posh and elegance in India?
  8. When skirts are getting shorter, jeans are going lower, tops have glaring holes at conspicuous locations and dating and premarital sex are part of urban living?
  9. When there is a marked difference between provocative dressing and stylish dressing , while in India , the former is equated with the latter?
  10. While we take the slightest opportunity to make fun of foreigners in our land and stare at them like zoo animals , they show the dignity to treat us with respect in their land , even when we take their jobs away from them?
  11. While we take all the liberty to become westernized, buy stylish vehicles , only to disregard traffic rules completely, talk like a F**** foreigner , but ogle at every woman in sight and in turn look down on the lower classes who talk the equivalent language in the local tongue(!), drink and go to discotheques, drive insanely , even kill a few, but bribe the police to get out of sticky situations?
  12. When the world of Internet has opened a whole new window of westernization to this generation of role-model zapped youngsters , that has somehow zoomed in on the wild and the crude side of the American Pie ?
  13. When India is getting more Americanized than America itself.?

I realise that the world is shrinking and we are all embracing the same global culture. But I do so wish , India would get the best out of both worlds, rather than the other way round, May be , I'm growing old, maybe the next time I see that lady, I should talk to her and tell her that there is nothing Indian about the youth in my country anymore. They are all part of the same global brotherhood brought up by the Internet.

P.S :No offence meant to anyone and the views are completely personal.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Already posted it atDarlings of Venus, the group blog, but posting it here for my reference.

He walked slowly to the bus stop, treading carefully over the inches of snow that had accumulated all around him.Damn winter. "This Winter had been a grouchy old man with no sense of humour. He had just dumped 10 inches of snow on my driveway that I had worked so hard to clean yesterday." He thought angrily.He looked back at the empty house and stifled the loneliness that was creeping into his heart.

Heart..His wounded,sutured, weak heart. He often wondered that it still pumped blood after all that it had gone through.

He covered his face with his gloved hand to protect himself from the cold wind that was blowing as he waited for the bus to show up.He thought his plans over. First of all, he needed a drink and some Italian food. Yesterday's bus driver had told him of a nice Italian family restaurant in this route that he wanted to try.

"I need to get down at the Italian restaurant near Normandale Lake .". He told the driver who was a nice lady who agreed to help him find the right place to get down. Normally, he would have made an effort at pleasant conversation , but lately, he always felt weak. Increasingly conversations had become time- fillers with little purpose and even less meaning.He even ignored the amused smiles of co-passengers as he misheard Computer Ave as Suture ave .His hearing hadn't been the same after the surgery. Who was he kidding, nothing was the same anymore. His thoughts re winded themselves into the past and he dozed off exhausted.

It was already dark when he got out of the bus. It was only a short walk. But out of sheer habit, he checked his pocket for his gun.It was there and he felt safe.He had promised himself that he would never be caught unawares. Never again.

He walked into the restaurant and was struck by a wave of nostalgia.It was a small family run place with lots of food and drinks and fun.There weren't any customers yet and the place looked empty.

As he slowly sipped his drink, the sadness and loneliness that he had been trying to bury resurfaced , like it always did, after a few drinks.But now,it seemed more bearable like the bitter sweet taste of tears unlike the blinding pain that would often come to him when he was sober.He could accept that he was all alone in this world.That he did not belong here any more. That he had no purpose on this earth. Nobody waited for him. If he died just now, nobody would miss him. But may be somebody would be waiting for him up there.. He looked out of the glass window into the star studded skies that seemed to be calling out to him.

He was startled into reality by a harsh voice and the screams of people. There was a man with a gun . "It is a hold up.Give me all you have or I'll shoot you". The guy with the gun was holding it straight to the cashier's forehead". The lady behind the counter was screaming and the restaurant owner was pleading "Please don't shoot my son . I'll do anything you say.Please..."

Suddenly a shot ran out. The gun-man had fallen down in a pool of blood. Some one called 911.There was a crowd near the counter now.

He slowly put the gun back into his pocket and walked out of the door oblivious of the family that was thanking him, oblivious of the blaring police sirens and ambulance and oblivious to the people watching . For the first time in ten years he felt at peace. Vindicated.

If only there was someone to do what he did tonight on that fateful day when three of them walked into his restaurant, killed his family and left him for dead.He looked at the sky and felt that the stars were shining down on him.

N.B :Dedicated to the old man I saw in the bus , whose story it partly is.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Puttu Experiment

At home , I was always a lazy girl and would spend all my time sleeping or reading and kitchen was place I came down only when mom would call me to come and get my food. All my mom's talks of other girls of my age knowing cooking and housework usually got transmitted straight over my head , hit the thick walls of the dining room , got lost in the deafening noise of the TV and died. Getting a job in a company that had a canteen and moving in with friends in Bangalore did precious little to improve my house-wifely skills. It didn't help , that I continued to stay with friends for almost a year after my wedding , before flying to America to start my family life.

To cut a long story short, my culinary skills included  just a little more than Maggi , tea and coffee.And I was stuck in a place where maids/cooks/Indian restaurants were not an option and my 2 helplines (Mom and mother in law) were half way across the globe.With frequent telephone calls to India and continuous reference to cookery blogs , we managed to survive. Then one day , my husband came with a packet of Double horse Puttu podi.

"Let us have some puttu this weekend ". He said.
I had never made puttu in my life and told him in so  many words that it was probably good to have some back up plan. But hubby dear was insistent. "It is really simple and easy. How many times have I seen
my mom make it.You just put a few drops of water in the puttu powder , put it in the kudam (vessel for steaming puttu) and steam it."

Saturday came and we woke up somewhere close to 11:00 AM and I followed his instructions one by one

1)Took one glass of putto powder.
2)Sprinkled water on it.
3)Added water in a pressure cooker and closed it with the puttu kudam as its weight.

(5 Min's of steam and the puttu should be ready. I thought happily).

After 5 Min's , I opened the vessel, and scraped a bit off the top to taste . It tasted just like heated rice powder.I decided to give it a benefit of the doubt and kept it back on stove on for 5 more minutes.

Result: super heater rice powder.

Puttu we hoped to make.
[Image is not mine. Copied from Google]
I woke up my husband who was still sleeping in anticipation of waking up to a sumptuous breakfast.