Introducing: For the love of FOOD.

Basically, a friend and I, love food. (who doesn’t? I know, but we kind of take it to the extreme sometimes). So as I was saying, we love food, we love talking about and we love cooking food (recent discovery), so we thought, why not make a food blog? (another to add to the list of blogs I have  :P). And so we did. Please take a look! 🙂

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I typed all of this on my phone

—It’s my first time at a wedding of someone who im not related to. A neighbour’s. Didn’t know her name until I saw it on her wedding card. Didn’t know that, that bald uncle was her father until I saw him here, at the wedding. I’d lived in the same flat for over a year, and in the same building for over two years. And if I open my door, and the neighbour’s door is open, I can literally see everything that goes on in their house. But I still dunno anything about them. Except that there always seem to be hordes of guys in their house. One of whom is supposed to be my direct senior in college. The reception was supposed to start at 8. Arrived to find the groom in the middle of a photo op in the corner.”Hit” Telugu  songs playing in the background. Old and young aunties dressed in shades of gold invariably seated everywhere. Snagged a spot under the fan in the back. Spent some time ogling the groom, who, to my surprise was good-looking. Turns out HE used to live in their house too. And I don’t remember seeing him! : O
Also, they’re apparently related. The bride and the groom. He’s her uncle by relation. And yes, you CAN get married to uncles. But who the hell’d WANT to? Damn. The groom just went off. No sign of the bride yet. *15 minutes later, nothing eventful happens, except that I don’t get a single reply to the five messages that I’d sent to people saying “boooooored.. Sapp?” and spotting a wart the size of a small lemon on the back of a woman  in front of me.

*Bride and groom appear on stage*

The guy’s not good-looking. But the girl, who I actually had seen many times and never thought was exceptionally pretty, IS. Except for the noodly worm curly-haired wig she’s got on, that is.
We sat under a fan. But it’s also very close to the bajantri’s. I HATE bajantrilu. Yeah, I know they’re the wedding orchestra, play auspicious sounds.. Blah..blah..blah… But DAMN!  Did I tell you I hate them?
Goody! The reception’s underway. I hate receptions too. Something about waiting in line to go on stage to wish someone you barely know ‘a happy married life’ and then posing for the camera with a fake smile, thereby captured for eternity in the happy couple’s album, when you know and so do they that you’re not really important to them. Mum suggests we go on stage just as I’m typing this and when I pass om the offer, she doesn’t say anything much. I’m happy at first. Then I feel guilty. I’m being a bitch. Yes.

Aunt and Uncle argue about whether we ought to head towards the dinner area which is currently empty. I spot the senior neighbour guy. Ah. So, he’s not a figment of my imagination after all. I’m too stuck-up/shy to say hello. He lingers in my area along with the hordes of guys usually in my neighbour’s apartment, but I pretend as if I’m texting and stare into my phone the entire time. It’s not that I don’t want to acknowledge him. I just.. Can’t. It hits me all over again how socially inept I am. Especially when I realise that the neighbour in question, getting married has a brother, who, again,until today I thought was one guy who I used to see in the mornings, but it turns out that was her cousin, and her brother was the ‘hushaaaaaru* pilladu’ my mom was talking about a few days ago. My mom luuuuuuurves these husharu type people. Like, so much that I can’t even tell you how much. She wishes that I was at least a smidgen like them. A smidgen. That’s not too much to ask for, right?  Right. except that I’m not. Even though I want to. All this + the humongous crowd+the fact that I already ate some avakai** at home, resulted in my dinner being a jalebi, a gulab jamun and 4 glasses of mineral water, even though it actually looked quite yummy with fried aloo and all sorts of coloured fryums and basically fried everything.

After the ordeal that was dinner, we were heading out when another neighbour insisted that we say “bye” to the aunty (neighbour who’s getting married’s mom) And so we did. When I finally said Hi to the senior neighbour. I remember seeing HIM before. Only I’d always thought he was some 8th class kid. : / He asked me if my exams were over when I nodded and shook my head simultaneously and walked off.
=|

Thanked my phone profusely and went to sleep after being yelled at by the mother when I asked her to give me something to eat after coming home.

*Husharu means active.

** Avakai is a type of mango pickle.

All And Nothing – Review.

Review of All And Nothing by Raksha Bharadia

-Sadhana Chathurvedula.

 

Raksha Bharadia is the author of Me: A Handbook for Life and Roots and Wings: A Handbook for Parents . Raksha has co-authored Chicken Soup for the Indian Soul series. Perhaps it is the latter’s influence that has led to her writing, All and Nothing, her latest book about the troubled lives of five individuals and she does so with remarkable ease and understanding of the various problems that daunt the characters.

 

*spoilers alert

All and nothing revolves around Tina, who gave up her profession to get married to Aditya, a charming business person who woo’s her after only a week of courtship. She believes that he loves her as much as she does, only to be proven wrong soon, as she realises that Aditya never let go of his past and his ex- Antara’s memories. To cement their relationship, they decide to have kids, and even though Aditya loves his kids deeply, Tina is left with a void inside her. Slowly over the years, she builds up her life with new friends and activities but her depression’s always under the surface.

 

All and Nothing starts off from the present, where Tina and Aditya are separated and continously goes back in the narrative to tell their tale. The story starts with Tina’s friends receiving similar envelopes telling them to meet her at her Mahabaleshwar farmhouse. They all do so, only to find that she isn’t there, and to their suprise, find Aditya there too. They discover that Tina was walking among the hills to discover herself and urges her friends to do the same. Thus we meet Manas, a freelance writer and her co-worker,the man who cannot get over his true love Gayatri, Upasana, her cousin, who willingly puts up with constant domestic abuse, Kriya, a fashion mogul’s heir who doesn’t have the spark of creativity and is hiding a dark secret, Poorvi, a rich socialite and a feminist who still wants a boy.

 

That’s about the gist of it. Coming to the writing, the actual writing in itself, is good. I like the way Bharadia describes the characters and some situations. I have a major problem with the Plot. WHY would anyone tell their friends to go a cottage in Mahabaleshwar and sort out their problems? The friends don’t even know each other. They only know Tina. So it seems like the author threw them all under one roof so that she can happily fill pages about the various problems they have, PLUS the main story. It just doesn’t make sense in my opinion. I think it would have been far better to just have concentrated on the main story. I didn’t connect with the characters much. There’s a lot of telling and not showing, and as everyone knows, the first rule of good story writing is, show, not tell.

Like I said before, Bharadia shows a remarkable understanding off the various problems everyone faces but they’re just not dealt with enough. All the four different stories of Tina’s friends could be made into four different novels. If not novels, then at least perhaps novellas. That way, justice would be done to all the characters, and Bharadia herself.

 

All in all, All And Nothing, is not a bad book, that’s for sure, but it’s not a very good book either and the thing that saddens me, is that it could have been. The thing that I like the most about the book is that everyone finds closure, even Aditya. And I love a book with a, if not happy, at least a not un-happy ending. Maybe a sequel detailing how one of Tina’s friends evolves after dealing with their problems would be good. Brilliant, in fact. Raksha Bharadia, are you listening?

Book Review-Confessions Of A Listmaniac by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan.

Book Review-

Confessions Of A Listmaniac by Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan.

-Sadhana Chathurvedula.

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan is a graduate of English Literature from LSR, Delhi and has worked as a journalist for many years. She writes under the pseudonym eM on the hugely popular blog, The Compulsive Confessor. Although her first book, a semi-autobiography, You Are Here might have disappointed ardent reader’s of her blog, her second book, Confessions Of A Listmaniac does not disappoint.

This is a young adult book about Layla, an ordinary 17-year-old who loves to make lists and even though journal writing is considered ‘retro’ in this day and age of the internet, she decides to give it a try and re-create the whole blog thing in a book. She has always been on the fringes of popularity and wonders what it would be like to be a part of the ‘in’ crowd, like her older brother, who she adores. Like any other typical upper middle class teenager in a cosmopolitan city with liberal parents, Layla loves hanging out with her best friend, tries out the world of online friendships, and wonders what it would be like to have a boy friend and go to all night parties. When, suddenly, one day, the most popular boy in school takes a fancy to her, she finds herself thrown into the world she always longed to be a part of. A chance encounter with a cute diplomat’s son and a major fight with her best-friend make Layla question her new life.

Was being popular all that it was cracked up to be?”

It’s a fairly simple and straight forward coming of age story. Madhavan’s writing is lucid and witty and she does a good job of delivering a simple story with style. She stands out because of this, among the new generation of Indian authors churning out books by the dozens because of what I’d like to call “The Chetan Bhagat effect.”

Any parent or adult looking to delve into what teenagers of today are like, can get a glimpse through this book. It’s a perfect light, summer read when you’re too hot and bothered to take up a bulky book, and makes for a safe-bet gift for that adolescent sister or cousin’s birthday for which you have no idea what to get them.

All in all, even though it is a bit clichéd, but clichés exist for a good reason I suppose, this book leaves you satisfied, with a couple of hours, well spent. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Why college is *kinda* amusing.

 

 

I’m just in my first semester of college and despite this being one of the strict(er?)(est?) colleges in the entire district of Hyderabad, college is kind of amusing. I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes and dismissing me as a crazy, psychotic person(which, I don’t deny, I slightly am) but wait, hear me out.

 

Essentially, what makes the college sort of amusing for me is the people I’ve encountered or heard of so far. We’ve got our nerds who think that people who score less than them are very inferior and feel that only they can score well. (Also, total teachers maska-fiers). We’ve got our sport fanatics-footballers, cricketers, basket ball players who seem to eat, breathe, sleep the games. Wev’e got “so and so music” lovers who think that only the music they listen to is cool and anything else is ‘gay’. We’ve got our set of narcissists who ALL seem to think that the world revolves around them. We’ve got a set of college bunkers who you actually see more on social networking sites, than in college. We’ve got our very own wannabes, pseudo-thopes, who think they’re very cool and “all that”. We’ve got our gossip machines whose main aim in life seems to be to find out what’s going on in other people’s lives. Ooh, don’t forget! We’ve also got our very own ‘Goonda gang/s’ who apparently beat up people they dislike. ( Whether or not these gangs are just a rumour, shall remain a mystery). We’ve got our ‘bird-watchers’ who seem to think their only duty is to comment on the people(girls) walking by. We’ve got our ‘secret-couples’ who think the fact that they’re an item is *secret* and keep disappearing into mysterious places, unaware that it’s only as secret as the fact that the sky is blue. We’ve got our loners, who are well, pretty much alone. We’ve got our very own set of people who behave like they’re high. All. The. Time. ( though they’re not) We’ve also got our very own set of people who ARE high, almost all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not de-meaning the people who fall into the above category/ies, I’m very partial to one genre of music and not above gossiping my self.

 

Then there are some of the teachers. They make every caricature anyone could dream of true! Ooh and where else do you see/hear of a snake sighting per week IN college? (I think that snakes are awesome!) Oh and we’ve got brand new buses that break down twice in their first week of operation! The anticipation of coming to college and not knowing who you’ll see/meet that day- your arch nemesis or future best friends also makes college partly amusing. Yeah, I get it, these are in no way “amusing” to most of you who don’t know WHY you ended up in this college (neither do I), but since we’re all anyway here and will be for the next FOUR years, why not make the most of it and have fun?

 

>             And I’m done with the first two internals of my Engineering life. How were they, you ask? Epic, epic EPIC bad. Especially Math. I could see the entire intergalactic system in front my eyes when I saw the objective paper. And  after coming out from the hall, I went about telling everyone “The paper totally raped me” Yeah, go on, accuse me of being a perv. or whatever. I don’t care. That was the worst exam of my life. I was aghast for an entire hour after writing the test. On the *slightly* brighter side, almost everyone didn’t do that well, so yeah.

              Physics, which was the other exam of the day ( yes, we have TWO in a day) wasn’t so bad but like all the other Physics tests I’ve written, I could’ve done MUCH better. I forgot  an answer which I’ve been learning for over two years. Bragg’s Law, if anyone knows it.

              And that was how it was on the first day of internals. I wanted this to be recorded for posterity, or well as long as this blog stays. Good times y’know?