Sunday, December 19, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Monday, November 01, 2010
STAGE 1: OPTIMISM
I have short hair in this stage. I get my mom to massage oil into my scalp every time before I shampoo it, which is twice a week. It's really shiny, healthy, glossy. No hairfall or anything. At this stage, I'm convinced that my hair will be able to grow long and strong.
I have great hopes for you, hair :D
STAGE 2: COMPLACENCY
My hair's grown a little longer, so it needs more care. I really should oil and shampoo as regularly as I did when it was short, BUT I've grown lazy :(
Plus, somehow in this stage, there's usually some kind of distraction like an upcoming exam, for which I need to study furiously 3 weeks in advance, or a trip outside Mumbai to a place that doesn't have hot water or enough time for mum to sit and massage oil into my scalp. So I skip the coconut oil and shampoo directly. Sometimes I don't even use conditioner. :O
This happens a few times, but I tell myself "You've been very regular with the oil upto now, it's ok if you miss it this time." (Big mistake, btw.)
I can't really focus on my hair HERE, can I?
STAGE 3: DESPERATION
My hair decides it's payback time and revolts. Hairfall, split ends, general destruction. I desperately get my mum to massage coconut oil into it every 3 days, but it's too late.
STAGE 4: GIVING UP (OR A NEW BEGINNING)
I hate my hair. I'ts thin and shapeless. I have to get it cut.
I give up! Time to head for the salon.
I get it cut short, and then I'm back at Stage 1!
This four stage cycle thing has happened to me thrice. :| Wow.
This time I swear I will take care of you, hair. I would have been at Stage 3 (desperation) right now, but thankfully, stage 2 (complacency + lack of time/energy to oil stage) wasn't as bad as the previous times. So I'm going to get it cut, but only to shape it a bit so I can grow it long. This is a whole new Stage for me B-)
Anyway, a bit about hair oil:
I use Parachute coconut oil sometimes, and sometimes I use a special ayurvedic oil prescribed by a Vaidyan (ayurvedic doc). No idea what's in it - medicinal plants I guess.
Every time before I shampoo, I sit down on the floor with a book while my mom (or if my mom's busy, the maid) sits on a chair behind me and massages the oil into my scalp for 15 - 20 minutes. I sit with the oil in my hair for an icky hour, then I shampoo and condition. The cleanliness feels good after the oil.
I'm convinced that the secret to good hair is regular use of coconut oil. It's supposed to be very good for hair (and skin). I really think that if I ever have healthy long hair, it will be thanks to coconut oil. And lots of it, regularly.
My weapon of choice!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
There's also a photo of me in a red saree, looking like a little blimp. I swear I am not this fat! It's the *others* who were tall and slim, dammit!
Hungry Kya? Take a Walk!
by Mahafreed Irani
Sep 25, 2010
Times of India
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Have you tried sharing a paper dosa? That first crumbling of the perfect cylinder shape, the vain attempts to preserve some semblance of orderly eating...until chaos descends and everyone is just eating whatever crumbs they can find? What fun :)
Ordering four separate dosas just isn't the same, is it?
Sunders is a regular stop on my forays to King's Circle market. Apart from the paper dosa, they serve a wacky menu with several different dosa varieties (including a schezwan dosa).
They do a decent masala-dosa as well. I'm not a big fan of the masala-dosa. But it does seem to have found its place under the sun. Food writer Nilanjana Roy gave the masala dosa her vote for "national dish of India" in an article in Outlook earlier this year. She says: The dosa has crept into our lives in a quiet revolution, a stealthy and entirely bloodless coup. It can be found in dhabas in the Himalayas, stuffed with exotic ingredients in five-star restaurants...It can be stuffed with paneer, or with chicken and keema fillings for the unregenerate carnivore, but it’s the masala dosa that flies its flag across India. You can even, experimenting with spinach and carrot fillings, create a suitably tricolour masala dosa, while retaining the potato stuffing that is the trademark of the true Udupi stalwart. We can continue to argue over the rest of the menu for a genuinely nationalist Indian banquet, but for the moment, the dosa gets my vote."
So what say? The masala-dosa as a national dish? Sacrilege? :)
If I were to think about Bombay, instead of the whole country, then here's my list of the top three popular eats in the city:
- Vada pav
(Yep, the dosa, gets *my* vote too)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So I open it, and ta-da! It's a Bindi Wallet, with a little mirror on top for me to admire my forehead.
Body art in every colour you can dream of
There are new designs every couple of months.
Photo of me which appeared in HT Brunch - at Tanvi Bindi Shop.
P.S. If you want to read the full article then it is here, with many interesting other tidbits about Bhuleshwar.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
What is it, I asked him, what did you buy?
It's a SIGMA something something, he said.
Actually, that's not what he said. He correctly named the exact model. But I usually get a dazed look whenever anyone reels off any numbers. So only the Sigma registered and I kinda lost the rest of the plot there :)
Anyway, Derek is off happily experimenting with this new super-zoom lens.
For two years now, I've been wanting something better than my point-and-shoot. But I haven't gotten around to buying it.
It's not that I cannot afford it.
As I was chatting today, I finally realised the real reason I haven't bought a camera in two years.
Guilt. With a capital G.
My ultra-conservative-about-money upbringing doesn't allow me to spend a hundred thousand rupees on a gadget.
And it's more than that. I also realise the real problem is that I'm unwilling to spend on a gadget that is purely for me. No one else in the family will use that camera. It's going to be just my own personal toy.
An expensive toy. That will lead to further expenses as I get into accessories, more lenses, photography lessons...
Guilt, guilt, guilt.
A peculiarly female thing? I guess a sociologist would have a field day over this. After all, this is a country where women eat last, after they have fed the rest of the household. Where women consistently undervalue themselves and their interests.
But is my guilt over an expensive purchase a female thing? I know many women who indulge themselves to death; usually in the form of jewellery or clothes or shoes or purses. They're buying fancy mobile phones these days as well; and cars and laptops. Many of these are women who don't have careers; it is the husband who brings home the bacon, so to speak. There is no guilt over these purchases - instead there is just pride and vanity, blessed by social sanction. Clothing and jewellery are a woman's way of telling another woman how rich she really is.
Unfortunately, that logic doesn't extend to womens' cameras. You can't show them off to other women, you see? :) Fancy mobile phones, even laptops and cars, you can show off. But the only people who seem to really understand cameras are men :)
Men really understand expensive toys, don't they? My male friends almost always egg me on to buy that new camera, and most of them offer advice on what model to buy.
My husband definitely has fewer qualms about expensive toys than I do. As I type this, the Bose he bought sits there twinkling at me. Before that, there was the custom-configured Wharfedale. But hey - to be fair to him, it's just two things in all our years together. So does he have guilt too? I *think* so. He certainly has the same ultra-conservative-about-money upbringing! Maybe that's why we don't squabble about money matters :)
Anyway, I think my camera story is drawing to an end. Why? Two things have happened - first, a new Croma store just opened near my house. Which means I am just ten minutes away from my camera. And second, we finally exchanged our credit card points for 35,000 rupees of Croma vouchers. Which means my guilt trip just substantially lessened :) Watch this space!
P.S. All advice welcome! Budget is anything upto Rs 100,000 for relatively light camera and decent zoom lens.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Strangely, I totally *suck* at it, producing a gooey mess every single time, instead of a happy light breakfast. It's a complete mystery, because I am otherwise a competent and creative cook.
Thankfully, with the arrival of my new maid, the sabudana khichdi in our household has morphed into a work of art. Since Shravan is here, in all its supposed holiness, and people are buying sabudana by the kilo, I thought this a good time to produce this Sabudana Khichdi for Dummies.
Note that I am merely recording what my maid is doing, I'm not cooking. I'm convinced I'm jinxed when it comes to this sabudana thing :)
And the best way to eat it is plain. Maharashtrians ruin it, according to me, with a ridiculous sweet yoghurt dip to go with it. But hey. Whatever floats your boat.
And now to breakfast....
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Women, according to that article, bond by talking. They share personal information, ups-and-downs and relationship difficulties, bonding over long conversations with their female friends.
Men, according to the same article, prefer to "do" rather than talk; playing sports together, or going on adventure treks and so on.
The article primarily refers to an American population. But I'm wondering if it applies to Indian men and women as well.
My husband doesn't have a all-male buddy gang that takes off for the hills once a year in macho style, but he definitely likes "doing". His idea of a fun day with a friend is "Let's go to the club and play tennis." Or scuba-dive. Or try para-gliding. Or some such thing. We went to Greece on holiday; and all he wanted to do was the 17-kilometer Samaria Gorge trek. Thankfully, he's blessed with a sporty daughter; so the two of them went for a whole day's grueling trek, while I spent the day snorkeling and taking a boat cruise around the island.
We often holiday together with my sister's family. Somehow in these holidays we're always "doing" things. Whether it's Borneo, or Africa or Ranthambhore, we always seem to be up and on the go. This suits the men quite well, although they'd really like to do less wimpy things than shepherd us around in "safe" activities.
But in spite of all the sporty stuff, my husband isn't averse to "talking" either. He certainly is loads better at talking than I am. I don't really talk to anyone about my personal relationships, or any problems / difficulties that I might have. When I have trouble at work, or want to vent, I call my husband :) But mostly I just think about how to fix the problem, or - if I think it can't be fixed - how to cope with it. If I'm exceptionally hassled, I go to sleep and hope the next day will be better. Or I go off and shed a few private tears in the bathroom. I usually don't call up other women and talk about it.
Maybe I just haven't had a bad enough crisis in life, eh? Or maybe my regular weekly Sunday sessions with mom and sis are already quite enough of a release valve :) This morning the three of us sat around and did the usual laments about maids, traffic, and the lack of civic sense in the city. We discussed exams, children, new recipes and upcoming family weddings. Dad wandered in and out of the room; half chatting, half supervising some masonry work.
None of us did any soul-baring, but this sort of idle morning chat is enough to recharge batteries and let you get on with the week ahead. Quite therapeutic! Can women bond over trivia, then? It would seem so, at least with family.
P.S. My cousin Satish wrote this piece today called Male Bonding (curious co-incidence, both of us writing about the same stuff!!)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I couldn't identify several things in it, so I asked the lady and she told me. The long maize-like thing is actually kewra. Who knew?
Anyway, I'm inspired by this kewra photo to go see more new things in Bhuleshwar, so I'm organising a walk this Saturday.
Does anyone want to come?
The Invite for the walk is here: Mumbai Magic on Facebook
Sunday, June 27, 2010
You guys simply *have* to read this review that just appeared in the latest Frommers India guide!!
According their website: "the Frommer's star rating is meant to quantify the kind of intangible, experiential elements that help travelers make informed decisions.