The Mouse AND We!

Ok so now that we have been in U.K for a few months, My husband is under the illusion that he is a Brit and he behaves like one, one of the annoying aspects of this new false identity he has is that he think the OLD VICTORIAN building in which we have rented a one bedroom kitchen flat, is that he feels the house is “IDEAL” .Now which self respecting married woman who wants to start a family in the near future wants to continue living in a tiny matchbox house?

Well, luckily for him I am a Bombayite which means I have spent most of my life is a tiny flat crammed floor to ceiling with “ESSENTIAL” things ,lovingly hoarded by mother who best pal for many years was the “raddiwala”( Hindi word for one who collects all recycylable material from Indian homes in return for handsome money as he’s in turn make money re-selling to god knows who , wonder if these people still do the rounds in India ).

Coming from such a life we moved to a LARGE 3 bedroom airy flat at Powai Hiranandani and my bedroom then faced a lovely garden located at a mezzanine level and used regularly by my then boyfriend to secretly communicate with me using bizarre methods like flashing the light function on his nokia phones and feeling proud that having found a “parent proof “ way of communicating with me !No wonder we didn’t last long , anyway he one day found himself being tapped on teh shoulder by my father who has smelt a rat and unfortunately for the BF found it too !

Gawd , we had quite a family drama event then ! Personally I feel Hindi movies have largely influenced such over melodramatic performances from my mother and sister. My dad, a man of few words (naturally , with 3 very vocal women in his life , had not much of a choice , unfortunately for him , the first grandchild is also a very talkative girl! Now a teenager and generally getting under EVERYONE’S skin , especially MINE !) is probably the only one who manages to remain calm but then as he is a fan of westerns and war movies he make his move only towards the high point in teh argument which by then has reached peak crescendo , the tissue box is almost ripped open and all the used tissues are getting mixed up –BLAGCH…DATS a new word for eeks only bearable !

He then makes a statement or passes a judegemnt which makes my mother stop sobbing , my sister quite and I am left wondering whether I want to run away or faint !

Anyway , the reason I have told all of you a bit about my very talented family is that it will prepare you to believe that such families exist and even manage to sustain over years and actually progress too, how astonishing isn’t it ?

Now can you imagine how embarrassing it was for me when my mother in law who by nature of being highly educated , very well read and extremely soft spoken very enthusiastically came to visit us in London and the next day our potty seat gave away. She in her rather diplomatic way stayed quite , but am sure suspected that it was because my husband and me together now weigh a massive 180 kilos ! Jesus ! Lard ,us !I mean Lord save us Lards!

Gawd !

And then 2 days after this the hand shower gives way too . After one week of following up I decided it was time to make my house agent have a little taste of some of my melodramatic genetically inspired fare ups which resulted in both issues being promptly solved !

Now as if to ensure that I continued to be embarrassed even further my parents are visiting and the NEW hand shower starts to leak and the start of winter is ushered in with the news that the hot water and central heating have gone KAPUT !

Gawd !

What now!

Anyway, this time around, after having seen me in my KAALI MA avatar , the letting agent is weary and sends for a technician to do the job , only to discover that this rapidly deteriorating flat now needs a new boiler as well ! Jesus God!

Anyway , whilst replacing the faulty pump with a brand new one , the technician huuumss so many times I almost start to run a high fever in fear of what he might have to say , luckily for him , he sees that am going to faint and informs me with a rather solemn face “ Luks ‘ike yous fellows might have a mouse in yer house ,I ‘say !”

I turn pale and need to sit down immediately!

Imagine!

A mouse!

Now that’s solves the mystery of the hurried scuffling I have been hearing past few nights as hubby n me sleep outside in the hall on make shift beds to ensure my now old but still very dramatic mum has a rested sleep and dad who isn’t much of a cribber but very old now also is comfortable .

And here I was, thinking that this house is HAUNTED! I mean anything from the late 1800’s can easily be right ??

OMG ! After he left I had to clear the mess of papers strewn here and there and throw away ,finally , all broken and useless objects left behind by the previous tenant ! All the while ensuring , praying real hard that the MOUSE was asleep or AWAY and didn’t come to scare me !

Well, all went until NIGHT befell ….I could hear my parents gently snoring in succession , dad’s heavy snores thanks to now not very functional lungs and mom’s gentler but audible ones thanks to having caught a nasty chill, why ? well, she can chat nineteen to the dozen ,and chatting while walking and sightseeing in almost winter temperatures with cold winds blowing isn’t going to help is it ?!

My husband on the other has developed a new rather scary habit of muttering inane things while sleeping and vehemently denying any of it on waking up.

It was his blabbering that woke me up and I decided to take a loo and water break till he stopped muttering and then return to bed !

As I walked out of the bathroom , I heard tiny feet scurrying here n there , it was the MOUSE !

HALLPPP!

I somehow managed to stop myself from screaming out aloud and could hear my heart beating fast and hard against my chest .What is a girl to do ? Women and Mice, not very nice!

Well, I crept out as quite as well “a mouse” and tip toed to the dining table. As i heaved a sigh of relief at not having actually come face to afce with the menacing rodent, there it was THE MOUSE , staring right at me with dark ,beady eyes , CRASHHHHHH, the water and the glass containing it dropped to the wooden flooring with a cloud noise .

Hubby and parents woke up with a shock and came rushing out only to be greeted by the MOUSE , who by now was so frightened that it was trying it’s BEST to scurry back into the dark hole that it came from !

Unfortunately thanks to so many feet in its way it was LOST and scared and my mother then threw one of her classic FITS and stood atop a chair n shrieked as loud as she could!

Urgent knocking on the door happened, meaning we had managed to wake up half the neighbourhood and all of the Queens guards were probably galloping fast as they could to our house

Such Bedlam, I’d say! And that too over a tiny furry animal which was much more frightened than all of us put together. The neighbour who knocked being a woman didn’t help much and further added to the entire confusion!

Finally after much of angry sshhhsss and “be quiet” warnings from my husband and my dad we women managed to breathe normally and after a mid night cup of Adrak Wali chai,(Ginger =Adrak, wali=with…. atleast I think so ) finally decided to retire for the night, leaving one night lamp on, hoping it would prevent any further disasters like this one !

Come morning and we managed to smile weakly at each other, still fearing that the creature might return to seek revenge at the most unexpected of times .

Thankfully nothing of the sort occurred, in my filmy mind I imagine it making a run for its life when the neighbour knocked n we opened the door . If it did, good for the Mouse as now we are armed with all possible mouse traps, old and new and so scare dis my neighbour that even she has done the same. Prevention is better than cure I’d say!

By M of P,M &S

MOUSE in my HOUSE !

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What is the BIG deal ?

i logged onto this space after many days (after my last yellow to be precise 🙂 ) and found this awesome post on being a ‘Religious Nomad’  by M !

and God, wasn’t that what i was thinking the entire day ? and i will tell you why…

 

I am a maharashtrian Brahmin (A Hindu class-considered to be the top most in the Hindu heirarchy), and have been bought in that cultural background in the last 27 years of my life..aaah, well, lets say from the last 20 years of my life as after i crossed 20,i started living on my own, made friends from all walks of life,met new weird different people…developed my own world vision, an understanding or maybe the confusion of an understanding of this strange world we lived in…

and that’s when Religion started to pinch me..i  could never ever understand the big deal about it..on why would people kill each other on its name  ? why would people not sit,eat,socialise with people from other religions ? why are the lines so rigid, the boundaries so thick amongst religions…

 

and then i met this wonderful human being, instantly fell in love and could not imagine a life ahead without him…But there was a problem, a BIG problem…the guy was a Catholic

for years we could not gather the courage to tell our parents because we knew the reactions that would follow, but then all fails in front of the yearnings of the heart..

one day, we dropped the bomb and God, all hell broke loose…

our parents cried, cursed,pleaded,threatened suicide,threatened to throw us out of their lives, cried…these were the most miserable 3 years of my life, but they passed..our strong resolve , our steady love finally won and 3 months ago we got married…

 

and why am i boring you with this ‘dukhi kahani of mine’ ?

Today is DASARA(marathi) or DUSSHERA(hindi) : the beautiful festival of victory of good over evil, of Ram over Ravana ! it is a Hindu festival but…

 

my catholic husband heard in office and hence got me a 24karat Gold leaf (aapta che paan- which are exchnaged among maharashtrians on dasara day), as thats the custom apparently (to give ur wife a real gold leaf for your first dasara)..

my Catholic Mother in Law made kheer/payasam and kept the menu Vegetarian today..

my Catholic Father in Law-an everyday non-veg eater happily ate the vegetarian meal without a complaint only coz it was dasara !

so again, what is the big deal about religion ?

-P

 

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Religious Nomad

I would like myself to believe that I am a religious Nomad , embracing the good from religions and not subscribing to extremes ,whether the extremes maybe in the form of a practice or may take any other form .

Religion is necessary, I think . Why ? Because there is a supreme power, a creator ,the one who I pray to often and I know he is listening for sure .
There’s only so much that Science can explain but a divine presence which I choose to just call GOD exists in my world , in my mind , in my heart. I pray to him whenever and wherever I am .
I don’t need a temple , a church , a gurudwara or a masjid to go to , though I love going to all these places .

I find extreme peace of mind sitting on one of the back benches on a quite afternoon at Mount Mary’s in Bandra . I then walk to the beach and listen to the waves crashing on the rocks and I feel god’s presence just as strongly as I felt it inside the church .

I go often to Haji Ali , the walk to the Darga is beautiful , the sea surrounds it and when inside I know ALLAH is listening , he is there , for his children , he knows all ,he sees all, he dries wet eyes , he comforts troubled souls.His soft wife whispers it seems to those who have faith.

I sit inside Siddhivinayak Temple , close my eyes and I feel Ganpati Bappa is listening intently to what I am saying , he is there , his divine presence envelops me .

I go often to a Gurudwara now in London , as I climb the steps to go inside , the atmosphere seems to change into a calm ,quiet and beautiful world , as God welcomes me into one of his lovely homes. If one sits there quietly and looks around ,one knows God is here .

If I was 3 I would be allowed to ask , if God is everywhere and God is one , why then do we fight each other claiming to be following his words. Can’t we see that selfish people use common people as pawns to fight their wars under the cloak of religion . They use us , they manipulate our people and pit us against each other , we loose loved ones , we loose faith in each other , only the bad guys win .
But I am not 3 .I do not ask such questions to anyone. I only pity herd mentalities and extremists of all sorts.If nothing GOD yearns us to have TOLERANCE of each other at least.
I am who I am …Just a religious nomad , all I know is GOD EXISTS .

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Observation and Musings

We have created many categories under which we post our blog articles and I have decided that I shall now be doing most of my posting under the category of “Observation and Musings”.

Why ? Well there are so many thoughts that come and go, though I cannot write pages about many of interesting ones , I at least would like to state them and not them loose their way in the labyrinth of conversations that my mind has with itself about what affects me , what I dream of , what I wonder about , what I crave for …..

M of P,M and S

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yellow !

Yellow !!! (is my Hello !)

i am not going to say I am back and all that related crap coz i had gone nowhere . Been buried in work DOES NOT count as been away…
Been away should mean gone for a vacation, or taking a break to produce kids or get married…errr, not in that order though ;p
or been away should be taking a sabbatical, following a passion, chasing a dream…

so, in short : i was here only,gone nowhere 😦

but i missed you my lovely blog (and the invisible readers i imagine !)
and so the minute i could lay my hands on my hubby’s laptop, thought would say a quick hello and assure you am around. kicking some serious ass at work (and sometimes getting kicked right back.. ;p)

so have been busy, but will be back, and back for more…have a dozen things to say to you 🙂

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Cook , who me, you must be joking !

My first ever Roast Chicken made during the long Easter weekend !

My first ever PROMFRET fish curry made in London !

ok, so why have I shared all these pictures before I started writing , because it is to prove that even I do now manage to somehow come up with food that looks GREAT , there was a time when I was a complete and total disaster in the kitchen and all my close friends and family secretly saved a whole list of excuses to use when I offered them anything that I had cooked !

To be honest I end up making the best food when I cook for people I really like having over as guests or when I am inspired to conjure up something new . After having move dto London early this year in February and having to face the hard facts that there is no way I can have someone come and cook HOT Roti’s for me or chop vegetables which I then just throw into a pan and rustle up a quick meal , I had to start cooking . I did make some initial huge errors but then with the help of a very sweet husband who encouraged me , a pal who started her own food blog recently to stay sane in all the loneliness that surrounds one’s new life in a new city with few pals and no job(She is a Jain and all her recipes are JAIN but she has a way of making YUMMY food from innocent and unusual ingredients,trust me I have eaten many of her creations! and yes she is an artist she does what I call Food ART and her husband who is great friends with my hubby and me is an awesome photographer and helps her with her blog – so check out her blog by going here – http://www.jainfoodie.com/) and also of course the many brilliant and talented cooks out there in the blogosphere who not only can cook awesome food but also share their secrets on the web . One such fav is this famous blog run by 2 very savvy Gujrati ladies in “AMRIKA ” . Please check out the link as they have amazing videos to help you save money by storing expensive herbs and condiments which Indian cooking needs ALWAYS and is not so easily available as it is in India.
http://showmethecurry.com/
Kudos Ladies , keep the good work going !

Hell yeah there is even a blog written by a Maharashtrian lady living abroad about how to make SOFT CHAPATIS , I almost fell off my chair as that was exactly my search string on Google ! Imagine my surprise and guess what her tips really worked , for all the spoilt girls like me whose mums don’t let them enter the kitchen and then have loving mother in laws like mine who are so sweet about having a daughter in law who is an absolute lost case in the kitchen !Her blog has pictures and step wise instructions , thanks to her my chapatis are now not only soft , I don’t fret over making them and of course they are a light and filling alternative to eating rice daily which honestly makes me feel very stodgy and podgy ,though don’t get me wrong , am a RICE LOVER and can make one helluva Chicken Biryani !
http://www.aayisrecipes.com/2006/07/30/chapathi-and-phulkas/

Of course my obsession with cookery shows and being in a family where my mother,my mother in law and her mother my ONLY favourite grandmother with whom I have spent the happiest times in my life , I am not new to watching cookery shows , but food blogs is taking it to the next level I’d say !
There was a Marathi cookery show that aired in the afternoon ,I loved watching it with “aaji” -Marathi for grandmother , especially after having greedily gobbled copious amounts of prawn khichadi made by her ,she is 80 plus and a superb cook, I hug her fragile frame and while trying hard not to doze off we used to stay glued to the telly and try and watch this show , now why is that at such apt times I conveniently forget which channel and what was the show called , aah! wait wait I do remember after all , it was called “AMHI SARV KHAVAYE” and aired on ZEE MARATHI !

I am a mental fan of Nigella Lawson , she looks a million bucks and cooks like a dreamboat . I love Jamie Oliver and cannot wait to purchase his books , he is charming , makes cooking look easy which is why I love his 30 minute meal shows , he once said ,”if you have rubbish knife skills,like me , just chop the ginger and roughly get the skin , don’t worry about how it looks ” Oh God after that day I always always think of him every time I see GINGER OR CHOP IT !!!! He is a FOOD GOD and with a passion so deep it’s infectious .

I watched Anthony Bourdain purely for his drool value , he has that face which makes me swoon ,something like my favourite older men fantasy guy George Clooney ,sigh sigh ,double sighhh !

Chinese food , who doesn’t love Chinese food , so Australian born Chinese origin Kylie Kwong’s show is pure viewing delight ! I could almost smell the aroma of her food wafting out of the television screen and assaulting my olfactory system mercilessly causing me to make a mad dash for the phone and order some chinese from my fav take away place back home in Pune ! Those were the days when I didn’t worry about if a place home delivered and Indian style chinese was what I thought was the eral deal . But not anymore no sir , after coming to London , I have eaten chinese food made by restaurants run by Chinese , Thai and Hongkong immigrants who make AUTHENTIC finger licking food , My current favourites are steamed dim-sums …..oooo la la and of course SUSHI !

Speaking of SUSHI so inspired was I by it that I can safely say it was LOVE AT FIRST BITE my friends ! I am now the proud owner of a sushi rolling mat – sounds sinister doesn’t it cause when I’d say I rolled my FIRST sushi …my mind automatically takes me to a clip of the original Dum maro dum song of Zeenat Aman looking sexy and doped in an orange Hare Rama Hare Krishna garb and lying blissfully lost with a group of junkies high on grass or whatever else it was ! (She was a bold and hot lady who revolutionized the concept of western clothes in Bollywood Movies in the 70’s as she romanced the hottest leading male stars and held her own space and how , she was and still is extremely beautiful , elegant and pretty and carries her self with a class that very few heroines of her day could boast of !)
But no this is just an innocent straw mat which will enable me to roll out SUSHI like a pro well at least am hoping it does and yes the credit for this goes to these 3 enthu bloggers and their articles which I read , thanks folks !!
http://www.diy-sushi-recipes.com/sushi-for-beginners.html
http://www.sushi-guide.co.uk/sushi-seaweed-nori.aspx
http://www.imakesushi.com/ (THIS ONE IS MY FAV !)

I must admit here though that in spite of all these new obsessions and many great cooks who I love to bits my original favourites will always be TARLA DALAL and SANJEEV KAPPOR ,why ? Because Tarla Dalal’s books were precious hand me downs years ago and she made it big in an era where blogs, Facebook and Twitter did not exist. Sanjeev Kapoor is the original INDIAN pioneer in the world of popularising Indian Cusine by his awesome telly show – KHANA KHAZANA – which had housewives across every vilage , town , district , state , city and household in India stay glued to the television and participate in SMS and call back cookery competition quizzes with a frenzy only equaled or out done probably by the great KBC- Kaun Banega Crorepati – the Indian version of the popular WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE , the show that caused MASS HYSTERIA and enjoyed the highest T.R.P ratings ever all thanks to the dynamic,charismatic and superbly talented AMITABH BACCHAN , his baritone can keep a nation of billions mesmerized from the very first word ! I am a fan of Shahrukh Khan too but he simply couldn’t match up to what the BIG B did for the KBC , in the 3rd season when KBC was back I vividly recollect seeing several episodes of teary eyed participants and audience literally worshiping the ground he walks on such is the start power of the great Mr.Bacchan . sigh…. I am mentally seeing him sitting majestically like a wise old lion on the KBC chair and his intelligent eyes sparkling and his slow smile on his handsome face with the salt and pepper beard as he speaks HINDI so lucidly that it sounds like he is reciting poetry . His is articulate , has an amazing command over both Hindi and English and has that special quality which makes people tell him all their secrets on national television LIVE !

Well, well after all this talk about food , I had to take a small lunch break and am back ! I had some soft home made chapatis with a watery cauliflower and green pea curry and some awesomely soft potato sabji ,simple as hell ,not too HOT just right .
Yawnnnnnnn, no no , cannot afford to feel sleepy even if I haven’t slept too well last night , my dear pal Insomnia is visiting again, I went to bed at the unearthly hour of 3 am and woke up at 8:30 am …zzzzzzzzzzzz, huh wazzat , gosh ooooo, was I writing a blog , time to sign off folks …THUD …loud sound follows me crashing on nose down on my laptop,ooooo ouch , where is the damned bedroom door I say …..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

signed by a fast asleep M of PMS ….gentle snoring follows 🙂

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Secrets !

Want to let all of you in on some new things – My Travelogue of 6 days of SCOTTISH bliss is to follow soon . I also have just got done with 2 short stories for kids aged 3-6. S of PMS is going to finally start writing , it’s all about how is feels to be pregnant and much much more !

If all this isn’t enough I am now in love with a new ANIMAL ,it’s called a Highland COW and looks so cute it’s unbelievable , I saw this exotic looking variation to the domestic cow that I am so used to seeing in India ,lazily crossing busy roads outside the gates of I.I.T -Mumbai –Powai ,which is supremely traffic logged road and a HUGE bottleneck and a pain in the a*% ! Also my version of what a COW should look like was totally blown away when I saw this cute creature !sigh…. yes yes I have also got a soft toy with a cute Scottish hat but will upload that picture later as the ignoramus that I am I cannot yet figure out how to convert a 2 MB picture taken form my new camera purchased at Edinburgh a few seconds after reaching ,more out of necessity than anything !
So for now please make do with this picture I surfed off the net .

By M of PMS 🙂

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