Wednesday, 26 November, 2008

First vada pav, then kanda poha; Next is what?

The Shiv Sena is going to launch Shiv brand of vada pav, a common snack in Maharashtra. This is supposedly aimed at countering the sons-of-the-soil campaign by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Very funny, I feel. A panel of 3 chefs will select the best recipe for the brand from 27 vada pav vendors. The launch is planned on January 23, 2009, Bal Thackeray’s birthday.

So what did the Congress do? They decided to promote the ‘cause’ of ‘kanda poha’ (a breakfast dish made of rice flakes and onions. The Congress claims kanda poha is truly Maharashtrian as the rice and onions come from Maharashtra’s farms, whereas the ingredients of vada pav – potatoes and gramflour – come from UP and Bihar. Kanda poha festival will be taking palace in the next fortnight, where various kanda poha specialists will display their culinary skills.

The Shiv Sena considers Congress’s move as a political gimmick. What about theirs? Oh! I forgot. Shiv vada pav will provide jobs for Marathi manoos!

I personally support Congress as kanda poha is healthier than vada pav, though I eat both when I travel. Uddhav Thackeray reportedly not tasting vada pav at the recently held ‘vada pav sammelan’ might be because it’s not healthy. A wild guess! But, I must admit that when one is time-starved, it’s the best choice to grab and eat on the way. A typical Mumbai scene this is!

Now, what will the MNS support? Hindustan Times guesses it to be missal pav. It also suggests the NCP to support kanda bhajjiya, the Samajwadi Party to go after ussal pav, the Republican Party of India to take up bhel’s cause, and the BJP to embrace sev puri.

Hilarious! Isn’t it so?

All these made me think what would Kerala’s political parties support, in a similar fashion. Which party will support porotta? It’s like vada pav. Not healthy. Unlike Maharashtra, Kerala need more options as we have more parties. We can’t make our claims on idli and dosa. We have puttu, palappam, vellayappam, idiyappam, kappa, etc. But we need to ascertain their lineage first. I remember reading somewhere that puttu, palappam, and idiyappam have Sri Lankan origins. If this is true, we’ve only vellayappam and kappa to choose from. Or should we include unniyappam, pazhampori, sukhiyan, avalosunda, churuttu, kuzhalappam, etc? J

On a serious note…

Just now heard the news on Mumbai blasts and shootings. Will these politicians do something productive to prevent such terrible incidents? Terrorists do not consider whether the victims are sons-of-the-soil or not.

Tuesday, 25 November, 2008

Snake charmer

Recession monster is here. Jobs are getting cut left, right, and centre. It’s good to update skills and learn new ones. See my choice …

Monday, 24 November, 2008

Too lazy to be an addict …

When Dhanya tagged me to do this post on Addictions, I thought it’s too easy. But it’s not! When I started thinking about my addictions, I realized I am too lazy to be an addict. Nevertheless, there are passing crazes. Maybe one can call it short-term addictions (an oxymoron, right?). There are quite a few of them. I keep shifting from one craze to another. The trigger comes out of no where, and it can last for a day or two, or a few weeks. Not more than that.

So this should be good for me. But when I am addicted to something, I postpone many other things – even the routine work. I’ll find a way not to do them. For instance, buying vegetables – a quick look at the stock of pulses, potatoes, and onions, and the problem is solved; vegetables can wait for one more day.

When I am crazy about blogging, there’ll be regular posts on my blogs. I’ll be gleefully checking various aggregators and bookmarked blogs, dropping my precious (?) comments all over. But all these seem so unappealing sometimes. And some blogger friends have to tag me to keep my blog alive!

If I get bitten by bookworm, I devour all unread books that had got piled up (when I was drowned in other crazes). Then it's time for more book shopping. And there are days when even the newspaper remains unopened (if Unny’s not at home)

When cooking catches my fancy, out come the old recipe books. A cookery show on TV could trigger this. It’s fun to shop for new ingredients, try out new recipes, re-work recipes to suit my taste, and such. My latest contribution to cookery world is an energy bar made of oats, jaggery, dates, raisins, cashew nuts, and almonds. I'll be taking it for the next trek.

Another TV show or getting a fancy box/paper/bottle could lead to a bout of craft-making, especially from waste. I’ll be at my creative best then!

Talking about TV, while on most days it remains switched off or only tuned to news channels, on some days I lap up any remotely interesting program on those ‘n’ number of channels. Braving the long ad breaks, I’ve watched many a Hindi/English movie during these crazy phases.

All these crazes had taken leave of absence while I was working full-time. But not reading! I used to carry books to read during lunch breaks in office! Now that I am at home full-time, they have slowly started raising their heads.

The latest one is sewing - from which I took a break (with a lot of effort) and writing this post. It’s time to brush up my sewing skills and create great outfits. The old notebook and patterns were hunted out; sewing machine got a thorough overhaul. The patterns were those of the 1990s. Reverse engineering helped – unstitch old clothes, take measurements, cut out new patterns. Old bed sheets got furiously converted into tops, salwar-kameezes, and capris. Learning from mistakes, I perfected the patterns, and tried my skills on a new cloth. And wore the result recently for a wedding reception. Alas! Friends were impressed.

Excited and inspired, I will be sewing new outfits for ‘God knows how long’! :-)

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