Life and a Glass of Wine

wine

The radiant amber and true timber and tone of wine is difficult to catch in a photographic shot and that too with the perfect lighting. To lead a life as radiant as wine one has to unravel the happiness. Jerry Pinto who is one of the leading Indian writers in English wrote a book called Em and the big Hoom which is mostly autobiographical. Pinto says his mother suffered from bipolar disorder. His classmates called him ‘wedi ka bachcha’ meaning ‘mad woman’s son’. How tormenting it would have been for a child to hear that his mother was mad. Jerry Pinto asserts his family was unconventional. Instead of complaining it was the writer’s father who kept the family going in crisis. He cooked meals, made kids do their regular studies and home works. He took up his wife’s job as a mother without any regret. Jerry Pinto’s mother Em though manic was an effortless writer. Her unusual comments, idiosyncratic gesticulations made them all chuckle. She mangled and changed stories of her young and jubilant days which made them all forget the trauma. The unending excruciating pains of her electro convulsive therapies were all forgotten by her resonant laughter. Pinto’s family lead a happy life despite the financial crisis which added to their misery.

There are celebrated writers like Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf who killed themselves. Plath was betrayed by her husband and Woolf whose sorrow of losing parents early was aggravated by her sexual abuse in the hands of half brothers. There are situations in life where we are unable to think further. We must always open up and resolve to help seeking behaviour.

Sartre who is known for his philosophical concept of Existentialism says that human beings are responsible for their own lives in a way they themselves are responsible for their happiness as well as unhappiness. We must learn to confront life as it is without adding expectations.

Wine which looks alluring in a martini glass takes years to get processed for refined taste and consumption. In the same way we should possess perseverance and work hard to achieve transcendence. We must enjoy life as it comes to us without over analyzing while enjoying wine sip by sip getting absorbed in its mild aroma and sweet taste.

Hijra- The Third Sex

www.refinery29.com.jpg

 

Image credit: http://www.refinery29.com

I remember I was in class two when the word ‘Hijra’ entered my vocabulary. They came in my uncle’s wedding. I can recall how I saw them curiously as they were men dressed as women. They sang, danced and clapped which was quite unusual. Their brassy sound was horrific for a child as young as I was then. I remember having asked my mother, “Who is a Hijra?” Mother reluctantly answered, “They are men who like to appear as women.” She further added, “They visit wedding ceremonies or households where there is a child birth. They ask for grocery and money and we somehow bargain and fulfil their demands fearing their curse.”

The day after the wedding reception was over I went to my school. I was soo keen at unravelling the mystery of Hijras that I asked my friends. “Have you ever seen a Hijra?” My friends came up with a new set of terminology calling them ‘Chhakka’, ‘Eunuch’ and ‘Kinnar’ which was followed by a giggle.

I was confused by the usage of the term ‘Chhakka’ as they used it when they fought amongst each other as well as when somebody had thrown a six in a cricket match.

While travelling in general class from Lucknow to Kolkata, I saw a group of Hijras walking in coaches with their faces made up, swaying their shimmery sarees asking for money, “Array e Chikne chal paisa nikal…Nikal jaldi.” It took me a couple of years to realise that they were deprived of education and employment, knowing their condition everyone should help them with money for their survival. Hijras are the victims of discrimination and sexual abuse. Historically speaking we find their presence in epics like Mahabharata where they were mainstream and were treated with dignity. They can be found in Puranas and Vedas too. Ardhanari-nateshwara the benign commingling of God Shankar and Goddess Parvati is a strong evidence in favour of the third sex and yet we deny their presence and of course their rights. We consider them as lucky charm and seek their blessings and on the other hand we consider them as outcasts. How ironic isn’t it.

Supreme Court’s verdict of April 15, 2014 was a milestone in Indian constitution as it recognized Hijras as the third gender of the country. This proved as a major step in restoring the dignity of the third gender. Still they are not treated as mainstream. A lot of stigma is associated with them.

We need to accept them as one of us. Make efforts to help them with whatever you have to keep their flesh and soul together. Pay them the moment you spot them on traffic signals regardless of them calling you Ajay Devgan or Sunil Shetty and let’s not forget they too are human beings.

‘Wonderstruck’ Waffles!

PicsArt_1470370126516

 

 

All pictures are from http://picturesofwaffles.tumblr.com/

Jane Austen famously said, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a food not waffled is a less tasty food.

My mother’s milestone 50th birthday celebrations couldn’t exclude my favourite Chocolate Waffle. Life just keeps getting better with every bite of Waffle. This English dessert is liked by you, your parents and even your grandparents. This sugary, sticky dish is made out of flour and water, heated between two iron plates are now popular the world over, produced in sweet and savoury varieties, in myriad shapes and size.  Apple Cider Waffles, Banana Waffles, Cinnamon flavoured Waffles, Nutella Waffles are healthy breakfasts whereas Berry Syrup Waffles, Ice cream Sandwich Waffles, Blueberry Waffles and Red Velvet Waffles are the one mostly enjoyed as desserts.

Can Waffles be served as main course?

If Yes, Then How?

A new Avatar to your favourite Waffles which are likely to replace your lunch and dinner.

  • TATER TOT WAFFLE GRILLED CHEESE Recipe

This Waffle is a sublime combination of cheese, cheddar, bacon and jalapenos. The crisp cheesy spread will melt on your taste buds ushering your lifelong fondness for this delicacy.

  • Total Time:  30 minutes
  • Yield:  4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 (2lb) bag frozen tater tots
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4-6 slices bacon
  • 1 large jalapeño, de-seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 8 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 6 1/2-inch round waffle iron

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat waffle iron to the highest setting.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave tater tots for 4 minutes. Spread half the tots in an even layer on the waffle iron, but really crowd them in there. Sprinkle with half the salt. Close the iron and cook until crisp, following the manufacturer’s instructions for timing, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer waffle to a wire rack and make the other waffle with the remaining tots and salt.
  • While the second waffle cooks, place bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add jalapeño to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes in the rendered bacon fat. Transfer jalapeño to the bacon plate.
  • Don’t remove the second waffle from the iron when it’s done. Evenly arrange half the cheese on the waffle and top with bacon and jalapeño. Layer remaining cheese over that and place the first waffle on top. Gently press the waffle iron lid down but not all the way closed. Wait until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes and then flip the whole waffle sandwich over onto a plate.
  • Cut into four and share. Or eat the whole thing yourself.

Source- https://www.thrillist.com/recipe/nation/tater-tot-waffle-grilled-cheese

  • WAFFLE IRON RAMEN RECIPE

Waffles made out of noodles are such an innovative idea. I am sure you would like to try this instant recipe when you have nothing but a packet of noodles left in the drawer.

  • YIELD: Serves 1
  • TOTAL TIME:10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus more for serving
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 1 packet instant ramen noodles (about 100 grams), soaked in hot water for 3 minutes and drained
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat waffle iron. (If it has temperature adjustment, set it to medium.)
  2. In a medium bowl, beat egg with soy sauce, sesame seeds, and a few drops of sesame oil. Add prepared noodles and stir to coat noodles evenly with egg mixture.
  3. Place noodle mixture in waffle iron and close lid. Cook until golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from waffle iron and serve hot, garnished with chopped green onions, sesame seeds and soy sauce.

Source: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/10/waffle-iron-ramen-recipe.html

  • MOONG DAL WAFFLES/GREEN GRAM WAFFLES WITH GREEN AND RED CHUTNEY

This dish is a perfect blend of nutrition and taste.  This comfort food will make you lick your fingers and you will be amazed to see no leftovers at all.

  • YIELD: Serves 2 to 3
  • TOTAL TIME:40 minutes+ 2 to 4 hours for preparations

Ingredients:

  • 220 gm (1 cup) whole green gram dal or unsplit whole green moong dal
  • 105 gm (1/2 cup) rice
  • 1 green chili
  • water for grinding
  • 3/4 tsp asafetida
  • 3 tbsp besan flour or gram flour
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate or eating soda
  • Vegetable oil for greasing

Method:

Clean, wash and soak the green gram and the rice for 2 to 4 hours or overnight if you wish to make this in the morning.

Discard the water and grind into a smooth paste along with the green chili.

Put in the asafetida, gram flour, salt and the soda. Adjust the consistency of the batter which should me medium smooth, of the consistency of pancake batter, with extra water if required.

Heat the waffle iron or waffle griddle and grease it with oil using a silicon brush. Pour the batter. Flip and cook on the other side till done.

Serve with red or green chutney.

Green Chutney

You could use more of cilantro or mint to suit your taste

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup coriander or cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint or pudina leaves
  • 1 green chili
  • 4 tbsp yogurt or juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala

Method:

Grind everything together using a little water if required.

Red Chutney

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 2 tbsp roasted gram dal or dalia or phutana
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida or hing
  • 3/4 to 1 tsp salt
  • water for grinding

Seasoning

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • a sprig of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida

 

Method:

Grind all the ingredients together using a little water to a smooth paste. In a seasoning wok, put in the oil, stir in the mustard seeds and when they pop, put in the curry leaves and asafetida. Pour over the chutney and give it a stir.

Source: http://www.divinetaste.com/archives/moong-dal-wafflesgreen-gram-waffles-with-green-and-red-chutney/

  • MASHED POTATO, CHEDDAR AND CHIVE WAFFLES

A dish appreciated by vegetarian Waffle lovers. Leftover mashed potatoes can be easily transformed into this sumptuous delicacy.

  • YIELD: Serves 4
  • TOTAL TIME: 40 to 50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups mashed potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

 

METHOD

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  As the butter melts it will begin to crackle and pop.  That’s the water evaporating out of the butter.  Continue to cook the butter until the crackling subsides and the butter begins to brown a bit.  The butter will smell nutty.  Immediately transfer the browned butter into a medium bowl. Whisk in buttermilk and eggs until thoroughly combined.  Add the mashed potatoes and 2 tablespoons chives and gently stir to combine.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Use a spoon to mix until all of the flour is thoroughly combined.  Try not to overmix the batter.  Just stir it until the flour is combined.
  • Heat a waffle iron and grease if necessary.
  • Dollop batter (about 1/4 cup per waffle) into the waffle iron.  Cook until golden on each side.  The amount of time depends on your waffle iron.  Remove waffles from  the iron and place on a cooling rack to rest.  The cooling rack will keep the waffles from getting soggy on the bottom as they cool.
  • Just before serving the waffles, turn oven to the broiler setting.  Place waffles on a baking sheet and top with cheddar cheese.  Place waffles under the broiler until cheese is melted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove from the oven, sprinkle with remaining chives and serve warm

 

Source- http://joythebaker.com/2013/09/mashed-potato-cheddar-and-chive-waffles/

  • KIMCHI FRIED RICE WAFFLES

How about waffling some rice. Kimchi (a Korean dish of spicy pickled cabbage) flavoured fried rice waffles taste delicious with fried eggs. Let’s try this drool-worthy Waffle recipe.

  • MAKES- 2 large Waffles
  • TOTAL TIME: 30 to 40 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup kimchi chopped into bits (use cabbage kimchi centers and not the leaves)
    1/4 cup kimchi juice
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 1-2 tbsp gochujang/Korean chili paste (according to taste)
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 2-3 cups day-old rice, cold
    sesame seed, dried nori, green onion (optional)
  • fried egg

METHOD

  • Fry garlic until fragrant, add onions and jalapeño and let it sweat a little (~2 mins)
  • Add kimchi and saute until softened (2-3 mins). Add gochujang and mix until homogenous
  • Add cold rice and break it up thoroughly. Drizzle in kimchi juice
  • Saute and toss frequently for 5 mins. Adding sesame oil and a handful of chopped green onion at the last minute (you want your rice to be a little more dry than usual – for waffling)
  • Let it cool or stick it in the fridge for a while (skipping this step is fine but waffles are more to fall apart)
  • Preheat waffle machine. I don’t have fancy one so it is all 1 heat setting. Stuff the machine with more kimchi fried rice waffle “batter” than usual. You will squish it all down and the outside will crisp up. I kept it in my waffle maker for 3-4 minutes.

 

Source- http://www.misshangrypants.com/2014/10/kimchi-fried-rice-waffles.html

 

Try out your own version of Waffle. Till then, Happy WAFFLING!

Wintry Afternoon Siesta

picto.jpgHe was the artist of the art of life. He blossomed out, in limitless profusion, in form and in thoughts. He is not for rejection, for he is the lightning which gleams within the massed clouds of July.

Regardless of revilement of stranger and kindred alike, she loved him with all her might. He made her chuckle and taught her to write. He was the sunshine and tremolo of cicadas which filled her life with colour soo bright.

Despite his coarse baritone and thick beard, he was commingling of gentleness and intellect that itself was the heaven where emotions were truly sublime.

And then his threatening impositions began and the pious ritual of exorcism, in all its cruelty, continued to be practised in order to rid her individuality of its mundane affections and desires till her youthful countenance transformed into a featureless profile.

Their relationship ended and that was not the respite as his unfaithful moorings of love continued to rule over her mind. One fine day the traces of his thoughts were suddenly arrested at the threshold of her mind, fortunately his presence was reduced down to wintry afternoon siestas which could no more curtail her mind.

Hello Guys!

Hi guys, it’s an incredible thing to be on wordpress. I am awestruck by all the blog posts here. Love to read and loved to be ‘read’.

My blog posts are on:

1.Social Dilemmas

2.Food

3.Relationships

4. Abstract Ideas

5.Travel Narratives

Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy reading yours.

Wish everyone a great weekend!