Saturday, November 4, 2017

Childhood Memory: Pizza

Sometimes, a pizza joint near your house is a life saver in situations when you don't wanna cook anything et al. Or when you are low in energy over all, but there is some energy left just to chew and chomp.

So pizza is nothing new even when you are on vacations, it becomes a "REAL" meal and a really hearty one :D I miss surviving on vegetarian pizza eating days while on vacation in Vegas. And, it was the first time I ever ate spinach in my pizza in 2015. I am big spinach fan but NO, that pizza was absolutely one of the worst tasting things in Vegas :) Sorry spinach-on-pizza-lovers.

So eating a pizza tonight takes me back to two childhood and a decade old memory about my first ever pizza tasting.

In India, pizza (not in the original form) entered few popular joints in the 1980's and in New Delhi we came to know the word like a snack of a dried wheat bread with ketchup topped with diced tomatoes, onions and some shredded green peppers. The size was like  6 inches and that was it with some white sauce dripped on it. (I am sure it was not cheese, because in 90's cheese was very expensive in Delhi).

The first time I ever tasted it, was in 1997, when my papa's coaching classes were on the floor above the local pizza-snack joint! He used to get us one pizza daily which was a little larger, say 8 inches. And he paid around Rs. 60 (Approx 90 cents now)! But we used to wait for him eagerly to return from his classes in the evening so we could feast on the pizza :)

This continued for a month, before the local pizza joint shut down. Or it as was papa's way of restricting us from the pizza we started to love!

In 2000's Dominoes entered the Indian market and it was monopoly time for this international giant, (so came McDonalds and our love for fries).

I remember, my papa ALWAYS wearing his blue cap with Dominoes logo, given to him as an endorsement for the first customers for trying their special (international & and expensive) Dominoes pizza. I believe it is my father who loved the pizza more than us.

Now when pizza's taste became set on taste buds,then again for the first time I tasted something very different and UNUSUAL. My sister, my then boyfriend (now husband) and me went to a mall in 2007 (in Delhi) and ate an actual Italian pizza at an Italian joint. 

On tasting it, we found that that pizza bread, sauce and toppings were pretty different then what is offered at Dominoes or Pizza Hut! And it was the first time we tasted EGGPLANTS on a pizza! For us it was pretty shocking back then. It was a true Sicilian Pizza and cost us a fortune when we paid the bill in 2007. 

I just checked on the pizza hut Indian menu, and they are adding toppings like garbanzo beans, minced spicy beef, cottage cheese and whatever Indians love on their pizza. Surprising! But never an eggplant!

For us, Pizza is still savored and relished like a "treat" and we try to save a wedge or two to eat later :D

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The woman called ->Hello


How strange is the word 'hello'? It can be a cheerful greeting or can be a question as Hello? 
But whatever it is, my experience starts from a Hello, a gentle and kind hello. 

This fellow lady standing in a plant shop gathers my attention. She was carrying so many flowers, flower pots and pot soil that I wondered where will she arrange all of them??

I kept looking for some flowers and seeds for our flower bed, but whenever I picked up a seed or plant pot and kept it back, I noticed that lady picked it up after me as if to buy it. But, she will put it back after frowning upon it.

This kept happening for another 10-15 minutes and I felt as if she was tailing on my choice but maybe I was finding some fault in them so that's why I was not buying them. She too, I felt, tried to look up and find some sort of trouble and put them back right away!

I got amused and as soon as she looked up at me, we exchanged "Hello".

But what got me, was that she didn't smile, she was just plain blank. For a second or two, I felt strange and that woman, left all the flowers, seeds and whatever she had in her trolley, I am repeating, she left everything and darted out of the shop in a hurry, as if she saw a ghost talk!!

I am still amused.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Intellectually Yours

            Maintaining “friends forever” by 
              sharing insightful experiences

Friend, such a kind word in our vocabulary, that we often use but, never mean it. Only if we stopped taking this word for granted, we will in reality have many powerful friendships that will last eternally. The only thing we are missing right now is to how to gain such powerful friendship of such magical sort?

After wondering and stumbling through my own experiences with friends, I realized that one never meets a friend by Luck, though you may meet your love by luck! So how we actually meet one person that day who turns into a good friend in few days is simply a matter of circumstances.

Our circumstances force us to become friends from mere acquaintances. Some times we seek (deliberately) a person to become a friend like at school, gym or work. Reason being, it becomes boring if we don’t have someone to share our “life” with. But, we have also witnessed that a large percentage of these Friendships get over when we either change or move away and can no longer remain in touch with those friends. Communication gap meanwhile works like the last nail in the coffin. And the friendship is over!

But other times we become friends with people without any effort to be anything. Like sharing a bus route daily, spending time with neighbors, going to club regularly for a game or so and meeting new people whom you don’t have to share anything personal with. However a large percentage of people end up having better Friendships in such circumstance based meetups. Reason being, you are not forced by yourself deliberately. It just happened. You end up having the most insightful experience sharing interaction with a stranger and there you go. You look forward to meet such person/s again. And that's where real “friends forever” philosophy begin.

Living and re-living by sharing experiences with the people we call friends help to maintain good level of relationships.

Circumstances bring us together and we can take a flight from there. We know the ins and outs of such circumstances but when we talk about it, when we unload our feelings that’s when the real “us” meets the real “they”.

Just share a personal experience and see how many similar will come up.
From happy to depressed, just lucky to just unlucky, good days to bad days, from advises to suggestions! Anything that STARTs a real and genuine conversation can make you a person a genuinely worthy friend and deep down nobody wants to lose such a resourceful person. Your resource is your way of looking at life and sharing it with others, what you have learned!

Therefore, a mere hello and plus few sentences (for the sake of keeping in touch) can never mean that you know that person very well though at a time you knew them in middle school. Now it doesn’t count to be included in anything because the relationship has changed from friendship to acquaintance! And that change came because the experience sharing interaction has come to a halt. We just catch up in the most casual way but nothing is real deal.

However, the more insightful and true you become to yourself, and the more you practice an interaction based on your experience, and by listening up the other side as well, the more people will join you as friends and will be there with you forever.

Just be sure a good friend is also a good and patient listener. That’s the key to unlock the door of maintaining Friendships, the door is though made up of sharing insightful experiences and asking them to indulge as well.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spring is here, cheer up!

I feel happy, hungry, energetic and out of the bed! 
This is the power of spring. 
So finally the winters (never my favorite month) are way behind us and this gives me a mood to ponder.
Whenever Spring comes, I get into this thinking-mode. What did I do last Spring, places I was at and people I was with? 
I just imagine how things will turn out this time? Curious!
It's just one positive power shot I wish to give every spring. How Optimistic am I?
That's the power of Spring!

Happy Power-ups to all of you!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Amid the Sea of People

In December, 2014 I was a first timer at the Airports of the world and that too, a loner :)

My first ever flight that was a long haul from New Delhi(India) via Heathrow(UK) to San Francisco(US) ended up being a 22 hour journey!

The lesser amount of time and additional 5 hours of layover at Heathrow while returning (FYI).

Well, throughout my stay at the airports and observing eyes and Curious-George attitude I collected enough time to think and view that enormous sea of People which was present there ALWAYS waving, chattering, humming, raising eyebrows, mailing, yawning and smiling!

I could see every different yet similar face present on the Earth at that particular airport of Heathrow. The only thing I could feel was how God made everyone and then their DNA replicas and then theirs?

There was not a single moment when I never wondered why humans were so good at travelling? Was it because of our hunter-gatherer yet moving past as cavemen? Or its just another tendency of human nature, to never stop for a single day?

And I mostly liked that combined attitude of people esp. when they are at airports that they are so courteous and humble. Another point that amazed me! Was there love of belonging to each other, overwhelmed like me to see so many people at once or was it just plain fear to not be rude to our likes? Or was it because we were all lonely in the crowd?

The courteousness of fellow travellers from lifting/carrying my hand carrier through escalators (as I had a non-wheeled 8 Kg cabin bag moreover I looked exhausted) or just plain funny chit chats about flight delays as well as sharing seats and paces at airport kiosks.

Remembering the chats, I bartered a brownie for a plain bagel with an 11 year old Australian girl who sat with her mother, and we talked for about 2 hours. And she kept telling me about the last christmas's presents she gave and received from her family and one Dave?

Next, the airports are so full of Duty-free shops and mall-like buzz. That gives such "places of anxiety" a calm feeling where we can smile at the glitter and prices of stuff :) I liked the presence of Toy shops, PERFUMES and plain fragrance shops, and wondered why Liquor shops's salesmen were unhappy at every airport?

After viewing people cashing up, I reckon Airports are "currency magnets". So much currency travels through them, it's like a hub of every currency.

And Lastly the so-many eating joints at one place, each next to each, tasting better than the previous one. Though I am a scared eater, I got suggestions from fellow travellers about what I wanted to eat and which joint serves better taste.

I took chances to eat Lebanese veg-wraps at Comptoir Libanais, had my coffee & brownie (same I bartered) at Apostrophe, Pizza at Strada, Baked Potatoes at Giraffe all at Heathrow (in 5 hours) !

Chocolate Salad at Firewood Cafe (SF Airport) and plain Coffee flavoured Ice cream at Haagen-Dazs (IGI Airport). All of these were suggested and tasted good.

All in all, I am amazed at human tendencies! 

IGI Airport, New Delhi

Monday, April 13, 2015

To Get Lost & found again

In 1998 when I just got in 6th grade and my sister in 11th grade (at 15 she skipped 1 class because she was awesome), our father thought to get us enrolled in a new and better school. 
Leaving behind all my favorite teachers and single good friend was not only painful journey but a cry of a child who never wanted to detach from his/her safe harbor. 

The formalities to get admission in a new school were not such a headache then and my parents always thought that it was as easy as 1-2-3 to make new friends and become a teacher's pet if you are good in their eyes. Since my sister gave them the impression of being confident, capable, responsible and intelligent and I was just 10% of the whole matter I knew I will do just average.

My first day in that enormous new school happened to be a week before the beginning of 2 long months (May and June) summer vacation. The 4 days passed equally okay nevertheless, monotonous. However, P.E. was the best. 
The 5th Day being a Friday was easy as a pie because all the teacher's were in good mood and nobody wanted to spoil the spirit of the vacations. To add to the frolic, our headmistress announced that the school is about to be closed at 11:30 am after the fifth period. 

Since I didn't know whether my sister knows (we used to walk together to home)  that our class was off at 11:30am and I will have to wait for her somewhere outside the school she can tell, so when she was off, we could walk together to home.
My intelligence made me rush to my sister's section on an altogether senior's floor and I had no idea that there were 6 sections of each grade and I forgot/got confused in which section my own sister studied?

I did not know it was off for every class while students gathered in hordes wished to reach the exits first, shoving away lots of little people like me. 

After rushing here and there berserk I lost the way to my own classroom where I had left my school bag and I was so anxious and nervous I forgot my own section!I didn't know which way was my class room and no body was helping me, I did not remember any face from my 4 day old class mates whom I never bothered to talk to. 

I figured out how the school appeared to my mind, I think It was made in the shape of letter or  H as there were crossing/intersection and there were four exits on each end point of the building. But on which end was I standing I just could not figure it out! 

I couldn't find the staff room and I was panicky. The whole school got emptied in minutes and there I was rushing corridor to corridor, holding back my tears, appearing brave, and running back and forth to find my sister maybe or my class room which ever was first!

No sign of any teacher or staff room could be seen, no student was hearing to me, everyone was cheering and calling out "Happy Holidays!" to each other, some said to me as well and ran off. How could I run out of school or say happy holidays when I am not happy specially when I did not know where the junior's exit was, I was not even near to my corridor or water cooler. Was I thirsty suddenly? Have I been crying? I was sweaty maybe!

I looked at my wrist watch it was 12:30 noon in a blink and I was still standing. But why? I think I was hearing a voice coming closer to me and was echoing. Some one was calling my name? Or maybe I didn't know until after an hour I could see my sister rushing to me and saying that all this time she was waiting for me in front of junior's exit and why wasn't I there? She asked repeatedly where did I go? Was I stuck in the children's toilet? Did some body lock me or tricked me? I was crying all through this time. I just could not utter a single word except that I was sweaty and crying and happy that my sister found me!  

I could not say anything but she kept asking me what happened and where was my school bag and I just said it's in the class. She asked me about the section as my name starts with a G so maybe I was about to be shifted in another section than the one I was admitted in, and that I didn't remember. We went to the part where the junior's area was from the high school part. I didn't get that how I ended up in high school part of the building when I was on the senior level?

We went to 6A then to 6B and then to 6C and there was my blue school bag waiting to be picked by me. My sister collected my stuff and shoved them into the bag and we moved out as the school appeared creepy to us. 

As soon as we got home, I made a promise that I won't say anything upsetting about getting lost in the school and that my sister was very fond of the new school but I can tell that I got lost today. But, as my father turned up in the evening from work and mother started to tell my day at school I cried as if I was abducted my creeps and ghosts.

I just cried and cried saying that I won't go to that school ever again and so my father promised me that at every cost he will move me back to my old school where I felt safe and happy.

This is what I felt when I got lost and found again. Has anybody been lost and found in an unlikely manner?

Monday, April 6, 2015

A wedding to remember!

When we think about weddings------> lacy gowns, Veils, tuxedos and happy gatherings come into mind!

But when I think about weddings, each is a unique experience to remember. Here I share some of mine!

I wonder about such events in life that happen and we become a part of it. We were/are a part of it as it was/is meant to be us to give that event that special touch or take away all the glitter from it!!! 

And then you say, OH yeah I was there.. Or You say.. I was not there and I still don't regret it!

Many a times I think about my one of the best friend's valentine themed (14th February) wedding where she kept calling me and I could not attend the celebration! I still don't remember why, was I busy? However, within a year I witnessed her marriage falling apart. She went through a terrible divorce and I happened to be with her at the time of her nervous breakdown. The saddest time of her life's history. One sad event ever to witness!

However, I still chuckle at the wedding of my university friend who's ex turned up at her wedding fully drunk..and she kept messaging me so that I can discreetly tell her mother to wrap up the event fast as the bride's feeling disoriented, low, dizzy and exhausted due to CEREMONY excitement which actually was nothing of that sort!!

Then a very good friend of mine, on whose wedding I could not reach as I was stuck in a 3 hour long traffic jam at night before we got lost and could never find our way to home (no GPS).  My Dad recalls that night as horrific as we came back at 2 am after all that dawdling when we took off merrily at 8 pm for "Dinner at the wedding"! 

And when I got married in the same month and same year, we were on such bad terms that I merely informed her and never invited her to my wedding. Yet, she is the first friend whom I missed bitterly when I moved away from my country and often talk to her about marital woes and bliss! 

I have to recall another dear friend's wedding for sure, who actually took 9 months' worth planning with me for her wedding to happen in December. And I was the one whom (1) she FORGOT to invite and (2) I did not know the exact address where she chose to keep her wedding so I kept calling her THAT DAY and she kept disconnecting the call, since she was (after all) busy getting married!!!    EPIC

LASTLY it is my own Weekday W

edding where My (now) husband was hurrying through the process of getting married as he had to leave for office. Mind you, he did not take a day off for his own wedding and everyone was acting haphazardly as he was getting LATE for office. 

Our wedding had to happen that day as we waited for 12 LONG years and 10 months for that day TO OCCUR.  
Hilarious!! BTW I am married to a workaholic ! 

At last we got married.. and He went to office... Mission Accomplished.    



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