Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Of Silly Juniors and Romantic Dinners!

The heat is on... as is the alumni season. Summer trainees have been calling up to enquire if one would attend meets or not. Someone I know is expecting a baby shortly, as early as the first week of June. A junior called her and asked her if she would be attending their campus's alumni meet scheduled on the 31st of May. So she replied that she was expecting a baby in the first week of June and would therefore 'try' to attend! This guy apparently giggles and then stumps her with his next question "Ma'am should I put your status as 'confirmed' or 'unconfirmed'?" To paraphrase my grandfather, back in 2001, a smart aleck B school student in a seemingly decent B school would never be this dumb. Where is the world going to? :)

Now to 'ME' time... my husband decided to surprise me last Sunday and HOW! He said we were going to the temple and that I should dress smartly. I was puzzled, but pati being parameshwar etc. I just complied. We did go to the temple. Then he said he wanted to go for a movie in South Bombay. This was also not unusual. I agreed. Then in South Bombay he said he wanted to use a loo, so he wanted to go to the Taj Mahal hotel. I was really puzzled (movie theatres also have decent loos!) but I still agreed (wah mom! good training!!) We went to the hotel, he gave the car to the valet, I saw Rahul Bose get out his white Merc with an anaemic sleep-deprived young "chick" and opened my mouth wide. Forgot to check where I was going as I saw Gautam Singhania and the Punjab Lions IPL team... just held on to dear hubby's hand as he whisked me into an elevator... to the 20th floor... to 'Souk', a wonderful middle-eastern restaurant that overlooks the Gateway of India and the bay behind. You can see the twinkling lights of Navi Mumbai in the distance and several boats. The decor was simple and you can call it middle-eastern. He had booked a lovely table by the window. (ummmmmmmm!)

We tried the quaintest dishes, this being my first experience with middle-eastern cuisine (although I’ve had Greek, Turkish , Lebanese and Ethiopian food before). I felt like Padma Lakshmi in 'Top Chef' commenting on each dish as we were served by the steward who explained the dishes with words like 'crudette' (which apparently means raw cut veggies!) and 'white yoghurt sauce with sesame seeds, tahini and a hint of lemon and parsley' (aye yum luvving eet!) We ordered 'Bamiya Makli' for starters (not to be sampled if you are watching your middle!) Its bhindi in the white sauce I just described. For the main course, the man ordered 'Batata Charp'... obviously a potato dish as you may have 'intelligently' guessed! It was layers of potato, spinach and aubergine, with some strange but yummy cheese, some white sauce and pomegranate seeds. Lovely, but heavy! I ordered a 'Vegetarian Tagine', a dish that has couscous as its base, with a tomato sauce and lots of veggies (incl delightful zucchini, sun dried tomtaoes and roma tomatoes). Finally, the dessert...he had 'B'stilla Au Lait' - a dish with egg, layers and cream in it. Don't remember much of the dish as I was in ninth heaven savouring my rose flavoured ice cream. I recommend my choice strongly. It had authentic rose petal pieces and the stewards pleased with my oohing and aahing earlier had given me an extra scoop.

Much as I groaned later at the bill (which I surreptitiously pulled out of the husband's wallet later to check) and the overdose of food (I pigged out completely), I was totally touched. We didn't discuss work or life or the future or finances or family... instead it was 'giggle' time again with silly jokes, wisecracks about world politics and lines like "your eyes are brown" (We burst out laughing at this one, after all we've been married for 3 years now). Still feeling moony about the lovely pre-anniversary dinner! I think couples should do this once every quarter....

Mr.Davies said and I quote his poem ‘Leisure’ partially -
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare
. “

Friday, May 09, 2008

Saas, Sister and other Sagas!

My mother-in-law has been here for the last couple of weeks (henceforth referred to as 'm-i-l' in true 'Woman's Era' ishtyle! "http://www.womansera.com"). My husband has a brother, so she is an m-i-l twice over. While my mom is my mom, “ she” treats us(certainly me) as a much loved niece at least (tough to use the word 'daughter'!)I wonder how clich├ęd the saas-bahu serials get in their depiction of the m-i-l, no better are the ones in the average Hindi and Tamil movies and Woman's Era type magazines and books. I am genuinely concerned about human adaptability to 'conditioning'. How easily is this cross section of society bad mouthed! I get pampered, sometimes rapped (but gently) and mostly loved and treated like an equal adult. Yes, there are times when am mad at her, or my husband (usually for taking her side unconditionally!) but usually the feelings are soothed by discussion, some adjustment (on my part) good food and presents for me :) While it is tough to replace the security and comfort of one's own mom, I believe it is necessary to work out at least a amicable relationship with one’s 'm-i-l'.... what is the point in strife, when we have just a few more years of life? (Did you notice the rhyme?!)

My sis is a madcap... she decided last Wednesday that she WANTED to see me... her poor husband doesn't have a choice, but to pander to her wishes (unfortunately that is how our family 'brought' her up!!)She also had an important meeting on Friday that she couldn't miss.. so she flew into Bombay from Chennai on Thursday morning and flew back on the same evening... by Jet Airways... on her own cost! But we had a blast! Lovefool :)

My mom is coming over next week to spend a few weeks with me..Summer holidays for her...yippeee! Good food and great company.

I dunno if any of you have this voyeuristic tendency to secretly watch a saas-bahu serial. I have one such secret... (one misdemeanour is maaf!) I watch this one soap called 'Banoo Mein Teri Dulhan' about 2 - 3 times a week. It used to be bad, it is now ROTTEN! What with the villain skipping a generation with nary a grey, or wrinkle! Should I bemoan the reincarnation or the hideous filmy song-n'-dance routines or the constant scenes centred around the dinner table?! Nahinnnnnnnn :)

Finally, I think poor Bhajji has had enough with his burst of temper... Amul said it best "Pow Bhajji.... Amul Butter: Slap it on"