Diary of Hobbitt

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Kissa Baal ka !

Yesterday evening when the doorbell rang and I opened the door, I saw a smart young woman standing , beaming at me ! I am not used to strangers smiling at me -anyway I smiled back, puzzled , thinking the young lady had come to the wrong address and was about to say so ,when a closer look revealed her identity -it was my daughter ! What with the world changing so fast , ab yeh din aa gaye, ki ma apne beti ko pehachan nahi sakthi ! The reason for my confusion was the new haircut which she sported !
Perched smartly on her head was her crowning glory cut short ( somehow I was reminded of Jane Fonda) and shining with streaks of red ! "Oh amma , don't say red, the colour is burgundy"she remarked . The overall effort did look nice but still I was skeptical about colour being used for hair.Did'nt want my daughter to get grey hair so early in life ! Kyunki beti ke haath peeley karney hain , aur ladki ko is umar me safed baal achey nahi lagte !

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Punjab da Puttar da Kamaal !

An international alcohol company recently held a workshop in the city The event ,being one of its kind ,drew a considerable number of people . The workshop conducted demonstrations on how to mix cocktails , what type of glasses to be served for which drinks and other such matters
The event aroused quite a bit of interest among a select few -in this case the select few being the desi alcohol company owners, one among them being Mr. Jatinder Singh - the owner of " Piyo aur Jiyo " company which makes whiskey & beer ( since I am no expert on alcohol, I cannot comment on the quality though I am sure the quality is not on par with Kingfisher or Johnny Walker !) . Anyway Mr.Jatinder Singhji decided that if foreign companies could conduct workshops in India so could desi Piyo aur Jiyo do it, and do it equally well !
A couple of months passed with PJ's (short for Piyo aur Jiyo !) research department actively working to come up with cocktails suited to the Indian taste !
The much publicized "Desi Daru Chakko " workshop (keeping in mind the national sentiment the workshop was also given a desi name ! Having started his business in Mumbai and not back home in Bhatinda from where he comes, in Mr Jatinder Singhji was of the opinion that it was only fair that Mumbaiya Hindi should be used .Hence the name Daru and not sharab !) was finally held on a Sunday morning at Sardarji Da Dhabba at Koliwada.
At the reception lounge the visitors were welcomed by robust Bhangra dancers, served cold lassi and taken to the hall where the workshop was to be held. Mr Jatinder Sighji personally welcomed everyone . After an introductory speech he withdrew , leaving the centre stage to experts ,who, he said, would introduce them to the art of mixing cocktails so unique that nowhere in the world could they be found . Thus began a marathon session of this workshop - each cocktail having its own name. thus the visitors were treated to art of making "Balle Balle Bhatinda "(made of lassi and vodka !), " Jullender de Jaan " ( made of watermelon juice and whiskey ), Naach Mumbai (made of toddy and rum) , Soni kudi Pinky (made of whisky and sugarcane juice), Ludhiana di bhangra (made of rum, whiskey and guava juice ) and finally Punjab da Munda ( a rather potent mixture of whiskey, beer , rum and lime juice !).

Needless to say, Mr Jatinder Singhji being a true Punjabi thought it fit to give Punjabi names. Not that anyone complained , far from it ! Most of the visitors were anyway Punjabis ! The workshop ended amidst loud cheering ( not surprising-if Punjabis are present can liveliness be far behind ?) and praises for Mr Singh for having come up with such wonderful concoctions.
Back home in Punjab, Mr Singh's name and fame is growing by leaps and bounds and all are proud of this Punjab da puttar , even though the average hatta khatta Punjab da munda likes his drinks on the rocks ,afterall , yeh andar ki baat nahin , yeh to mardonwalli baat hai !
In Mumbai Mr Jatinder Singh ji has been awarded the Most Innovative Businessman Of The Year Award, and his company Piyo aur Jiyo is rocking !
PS- This is purely a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental !

Tele Trauma !

Who said only drug addicts and smokers have withdrawl symptoms- that was in the olden days. With the advent of tele serials into our living rooms and in some cases the bedrooms too ,( the more the number of TV sets , with one each in every room, the happier the family, the less the number fights within the family. Gone are the days when the general belief was 'the family that eats together , stays together". The new order of the day is the family that stays together is the one that watches TV not together but separately, which , has made it necessary for multiple TV sets in the house with each member watching what he or she fancies ! ) a new species has emerged. A species which by its loyaly to these serials can send the TRP rating either spiralling up or plummeting down ! Joining the ranks of smokers and drug addicts are these serial watchers when forced to quit watching tele serials also suffer from withdrawl symptoms !
Mrs Khanna is an avid watcher of roughly about 12-15 saas-bahu serials and spends most of the time sitting with her eyes glued to the TV during the major part of the day.Her schedule ,( kitty parties, beauty parlour visits , shopping for designer clothes,jewellery , etc. etc..) is carefully planned in such a way that she does'nt miss her favourite serial ! Everything went on fine till one day Mrs Khanna fell ill and a series of tests revealed a visitor within her generously proportioned body _ Diabetes ! A trip to the Diabetologist brought an end to her carefully structured day to day routine ! "Mrs Khanna , diabetes is not a disease but a condition which if carefully attended to with strict discipline in your daily regimen, can enable you to live a normal life. You have to adhere to three important rules -medicine , diet and exercise , only then can you lead a healthy life" pronounced the doctor solemnly. Even if lightening had struck her she would not have been more shocked ! What was to become of her TV serials - Bhagwan tuney mujhe yeh din kyun dikhlaya ? cried her heart ! Anyway man proposes and the Guy above disposes !
If you happen to visit the joggers park at Lokhandwala early in the morning or in the evening and see a short plump lady struggling to walk briskly,be sure it is none other than Mrs Khanna ! While efforts are being made to battle this new enemy , Mrs Khanna is also going through withdrawl symptoms that any serial watcher goes through if deprived of regular watching of teleserials ! Mrs Khanna's dose of serials have been drastically reduced to a couple of serials thanks to her yoga classes , walks and other exercises which leave her with comparatively little time to watch TV ! Her symptoms include among other things , restlessness, almost going crazy trying to imagine what is happening to her favourite character in such and such a serial , stiffness in the fingers ( not getting the regular dose of exercise operating the remote,) , headaches (thinking too much about the serials) , irritability and depression !

Mr Khanna is frantically looking out for a good psychiatrist who can help his wife battle her withdrawl symptoms ! Suggestions anybody ?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dessert Deserted !

Yesterday I made vanilla cusatard for the umpteenth time, with full confidence . After all , even a novice ( in the field of cuisine delights) can't go wrong making custard, thanks to brands like Brown & Polson, Bluebird, Weikfield , which give specific instructions on how to go about it-and here I was , a veteran in cooking (thanks to constant boost to my confidence , generously doled out , in ample proportions by my daughter who thinks I am the best cook in the world !) for whom custard preparation was as easy as breathing . Reading instructions ? Not for me such unnecessary efforts ! How wrong I was !
Armed with all the necessary ingredients and misplaced confidence (which I was very soon going to realize ) I set about the task - boiled the milk, added sugar and finally added the cornflour-custard powder mix into the milk and kept it on slow fire and watched with great satisfaction as it became thick & creamy. Voila ! the pudding was ready ! Without a thought I cooled it and in , it went into the fridge. The thought of my family relishing this favourite dessert after dinner pleased me and I was quite elated even though I knew I would not be having it myself because of my "sweet" problem.
Dinnertime- The look on the face of my daughter was one of pure delight as the pudding was served along with her favourite jelly. As for my husband who belongs to the species of the "strong silent type" , not a single expression flitted across the face !
The proof of the taste of the pudding was soon revealed as both of them tried to eat the pudding- the custard had solidified into a thick lumpy mass ( which, had it been pelted at some unsuspecting victim would have caused serious injury) on which were precariously balanced jelly, biscuits and bananas ! Not only was the custard lumpy ,but , was also flat in taste as I had made an error in judgement while adding sugar ! While my husband finished it without a murmer( he always does that ,unless asked for an opinion! )-on this occasion a feedback about the taste was helpfully given whenI asked him for his opinion , after seeing the painful expression on my daughter's face ! Poor thing , what a let down it must have been for her,seeing the blunder made by the best cook (her opinion ) in the world ! I did'nt have the heart the to torture her further by insisting that she finish her dessert . On her part , she must have heaved a sigh of relief to escape from the torture !
My confidence has taken beating and the idea of preparing even rice leave alone custard scares me ! So much for being an expert !

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Oh Bai !

A week has passed since my maid went on leave to her village,leaving me with fatigue, and sore hands ( washing vessels can be such a pain ). All efforts to get a partime maid, in her absence, have been in vain.
Realization has hit me like a place hit by a tornado - life can be thrown totally out of gear when the maid goes on leave . Today the smooth running of the house is dependant entirely on the "bai' ! She is indispensable to the efficient running of the household, so much so that the lady of the house would rather turn a blind eye to sloppy work than face the risk of the maid leaving- in her opinion , most of the maids (barring a few) do sloppy work anyway. Hence if goodnatured Kantabai leaves, along may come Sakubai who also will do sloppy work and in addition may be of an undesirable temperament and make life more miserable for the mistress . There follows a verbal tussle over the issue of Kantabai, with the lady of the house insisting that Kantabai continue, and the other members of the house insisting that Kantabai be sacked for her sloppy work and for taking too many holidays . Much to the chargin of the majority of the family members, Kantabai retains her job , thanks to the mistress ! Kantabai also knows this and carries on merrily as before, in full confidence that come what may, "sethani" will never sack her since she cannot do without her .The mistress's peace of mind depends on her working here , since she (Kantabai) is goodnatured and does not talk back even when she is scolded for not doing her work properly .
Last week I had to plan a dinner a week before it was scheduled because my maid was going on leave two days later !