MasterChef hangovers

Television is not for me. There is a reason why a) it is called an Idiot box and b) the people who sit in front of it are called couch potatoes. Considering the fact that the whole concept of cable television works in India because of over dramatized revenge soaps where mother-in-law and daughter-in-law fight it out like angry birds and because news channels have the capability to freak you out for even the most mundane of headlines like a cat stuck on a roof, I prefer to keep my television switched off.

A few days back Geet was off to her mother’s house for a few days as my sister-in-law is here. I had ample time to stare at walls when I realized that the flat screen in my room was buried under a pile of dust due to lack of attention. You see I have three flat screens at home. Two of them are very happy as my mom, dad and sis are always keeping them busy. Dad watches Discovery channel (he loves to watch deer torn apart by all those lions), Food Food (so that he could justify that excessive red chillies in food is good for health), movies (Singham, Ready, Housefull); mom watches her daily soaps (and then complains that they are really irritating), Hindi news channels (especially the ones which show horoscope and Feng shui. She has a diary in which she keeps notes to experiment on us later); sister watches Hollywood movies of any kind. And they all watch Dance India Dance Little Masters, where Mithun Da makes faces as if he really needs to go to the loo and has been forced to sit and comment. That is why he has no words most of the time and all he does is get up and salute which is basically a way to pass out some gases.

So one day as I was following the trajectory of a mosquito in my room, my eyes accidentally went on my TV as the mosquito flew near it. I reluctantly opened the drawers and dug out the remote. I almost gave up as it was taking too much time. Archeologists dig out lost cities more quickly. Anyways, I switched on the television and went through some random channels –

  • A guy was selling shoes. He was holding them in his hands and telling about their advantages. He sounded desperate. And I went – the recession has been really bad this time.
  • A Bollywood song where the actors were gyrating and semi copulating as they expressed their feelings.
  • A random snake killing a random frog
  • A news anchor having intense debate with six important people and all of them speaking at once like kids in a play school.

It was something like-ish this

Then I switched to Star Plus where MasterChef Australia had just started. They had already selected their top 24 and were into the real game. I gave it a try and I have been hooked from two weeks now. Sometimes I find it a bit over dramatized but what I really like is what they cook. Let me confess that I cannot place 90% of the ingredients, but the technique, plating and the colors of the dish are amazing. By the time it ends, my room has almost drowned in my drool.

The other day, I got up really late and went in the kitchen to cook my breakfast. I had this huge MasterChef hangover and started behaving as if I was cooking for immunity. I took out onions (already sliced and kept in the refrigerator by the maid), 1 tomato and 1 potato (already boiled by mom) and two eggs. I sliced everything which was not already sliced and put it in the pan with a dash (chef-ish language here) of oil. Then after a few minutes when I was very sure that everything was on the verge of burning, I added the eggs and made a circular thing. I broke the formation when I tried to flip it but then I told the cameras that I have to re-style the dish a bit because the circle was not perfect and i was not happy with it.

Finally I got crispy scrambled eggs with a bit of fried onions, tomatoes and potatoes. I imagined the judges tasting it and hugging me with tears in their eyes.

I would like to watch this season but I am not sure. Monsoon has started and the shithole that Gurgaon is, we have horrible traffic jams here and I might not reach home by 9 pm most of the times. I hope my television is praying hard and god loves him enough. I don’t want him to wither away and fall off the wall.

Severn Suzuki and THE One tight slap

It was the year 1992 and Severn Suzuki was a 12 year old kid. She raised money with the members of the Environmental Children’s organization (ECO) and attended the United Nation’s Earth Summit in Rio De Janeiro. She gave a six minutes speech there which received a standing ovation from the delegates of the various countries. According to her, a few of them cried too. Her speech was nothing less than a one tight slap on the face of all the “Adults” who think that spending money on War related activities and developing new weapons is more important than spending it to remove poverty and illiteracy and on environmental Issues. Her speech was hard hitting but whether it lead to some action or not was something Severn herself wrote 10 years later in a Special Report in the TIME called “The young can’t wait”. An excerpt –

I spoke for six minutes and received a standing ovation. Some of the delegates even cried. I thought that maybe I had reached some of them, that my speech might actually spur action. Now, a decade from Rio, after I’ve sat through many more conferences, I’m not sure what has been accomplished. My confidence in the people in power and in the power of an individual’s voice to reach them has been deeply shaken.

You can read the full report here.

This is the video of the speech. Don’t miss the expressions on the faces of the delegates.

You can read her speech here.

Since her bold foray in the UN Summit, Severn has been an active environmental activist, speaker, television host and an author. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Ethnoecology.

(The photograph is taken from Wikipedia)

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Dinner at Eight : The twin tag saga

Meme – Table Talk

Pr3rna tagged me for this meme and I can say this very confidently because I confirmed it with her. 😀 Here goes.

What’s your favourite table?

The table at my home would be my favourite. It sounds cliched but all the people who are staying away from home and who miss all the mommy made food, know what I am talking about.

What would you have for your last supper?

Aaloo parantha with Kheer, Rajma Chawal, Chicken and rice and finally some gajar ka halwa, all homemade of-course. 😀

What’s your poison?

Aaloo ki chaat (yes, I am quite an “aaloo” guy), Ice-creams and anything remotely non vegetarian.

Name your three desert island ingredients.

Al Kabeer’s ready to eat Aaloo paranthas(I hope creating fire won’t be a problem), Desi Ghee and lots of Chocolate milk. I guess I am going to return back like a stuffed pig rather than a starved cow(read Chuck Noland). 😉

What would you put in Room 101?

The food cooked in the canteen of my recent office(pathetic is an understatement) and the vegetarian lunch at Sanjeevanam (This is a restaurant in Chennai and I took a burning-candle-oath that I would never ever eat lunch there again). Other than that I don’t think I have much of a problem with things I chew and bite.;)

Which book gets you cooking?

Book??? I generally call up my mom and she is then constantly at the call instructing me what to put and how much to put. That is the way I have learnt most of my cooking.

What’s your dream dinner party line-up?

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Khaled Hosseini, Amitabh Bachchan, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Madhuri Dixit, Michael Crichton, Julia Roberts, Steven Spielberg….now its getting all to filmy, but then what the heck…SRK, Rowan Atkinson, Meg Ryan, Cate blanchett, Judi Dench, Peter Jackson, Laloo Prasad Yadav, Shreya Ghosal, Gulzar, Lata Mangeshkar and Kareena Kapoor. I guess that is enough for the first party although I can go on and on. 🙂

What was your childhood teatime treat?

Parle G biscuits(I loved to dip them in the milk), Aaloo n paneer’s pakaude.

What was your most memorable meal?

In January this year, I went home after almost a year. My flight reached at 12 am and I reached home by 12.45 am. The food which I ate that night will remain with me forever. Although it was the regular mommy made food, but its hard to make someone understand the way you feel when you eat it after a year. *sigh*

What was your biggest food disaster?

Well, I am a natural cook, so I have to really think about this one. Recently I was making tea for four of my friends and the final result tasted like a lot of hot and sweet water. That is the worst I have done.

What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

The lunch offered at my office on the occasion of Valentine’s Day last year. I took a non-veg dish which had a very atrocious name and equally atrocious taste. I don’t know what it was because it all went down the drain after the first bite.

Who’s your food hero/food villain?

My food heroine is of-course my Mom

and food villain would be one of my roommates, not because he cooks bad. Although he can’t cook anything beyond eggs and sandwiches, but he would drive you crazy by asking you all the minute details about how to cook such simple things. He can write a 1000 page book on how to make scrambled eggs. 😐

Nigella or Delia?

Nigella certainly looks more sexy. 😉

Vegetarians: genius or madness?

I think being vegetarian is a state of mind. Nature works by one rule – You have to kill someone to be alive. I don’t understand the difference between killing a plant or an animal. In the end, you are killing someone to fill your stomach. So, I guess, its ok to be a vegetarian as well as a non-vegetarian.

Fast food or fresh food?

Depends on my mood. An insatiable, piggish appetite would be quenched by Fast food while a more sober, art-of-living sort of an appetite would just require some fresh, non calorie food.

Who would you most like to cook for?

My family I think. Although I haven’t got a chance yet but I would love to experiment a few things on my family’s taste buds.

What would you cook to impress a date?

Why do I need to cook to impress a date? All I need is some chocolates, honey and ice-creams. 😀

Make a wish.

No matter how much I eat, my weight shall remain constant. Amen.

Meme – Eight Bait

Now another one. I was tagged by Arvind to do this meme.

Eight things I am passionate about :

1. Watching movies

2. Reading

3. Traveling

4. Blogging

5. Eating (something new every time)

6. Buying clothes

7. Listening to music

8. Computer games

Eight things I want to do before I die:

1. Loose my virginity.

2. Try out all the adventure sports.

3. Go on a world tour.

4. Set foot on the moon.

5. Fall in love.

6. Write a book.

7. Learn to play Guitar and the piano.

8. Learn to sing.

Eight things I say often:

1. Shit.

2. As*ho*e.

3. Ab iska kya matlab hai(Now what does this mean???)

4. Aur kya(That’s what)

5. Wohi to(That’s what)

6. Sahi hai(Good)

7. You have gone mad.

8. Sorry I am not interested. (to the please-sir-have-our-credit-cards executives)

Eight books I have read recently:

1. P.S. I love you by Cecelia Ahern.

2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

3. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann.

4. Snow by Orhan Pamuk.

5. The French Leutinent’s woman by John Fowles.

6. Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle.

7. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell.

Eight songs I could listen to over and over

1. Show me the meaning ( Backstreet boys )

2. Dil-e-Nadaan ( Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh, Album – Mirza Ghalib )

3. In the end ( Linkin Park )

4. Escape ( Enrique Iglesias)

5. Tujhe Dekha to ye jana sanam ( Kumar Sanu & Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – DDLJ)

6. Ye na thi hamari kismat ( Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh, Album – Mirza Ghalib )

7. Raina beeti jaaye ( Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – Amar Prem)

8. Iss mod se jate hain ( Kishore Kumar & Lata Mangeshkar, Movie – Aandhi)

I am not tagging anyone else because I don’t think anyone is left to tag. Thats it for the day people. I am out of here. Sayonara.