Friday, August 27, 2010


I guess the burden that is relieved when magazine goes to press
translates to verbal diahorrea. (The shift from a daily news channel
to a monthly magazine was once refreshing but am completely spoiled
now and all the other stresses in my life plus working on Saturdays
doesn't help.)

Anyway,one thing is to write on the blog but another thing is to write
in my journal to scrape out all those little thoughts and ideas from
deep within and find vent. When one doesn't do it, thoughts reproduce
and blend and merge when ultimately all you have is a tangled mess
that you quickly wrap and put in the closet so you can have guests
over, have a daily life, come to work,sip cocktails sociably etc. Yet,
there are so many questions, so many unforumulated plans for living
that are stifled in the process just because they haven't had the
chance to be privately and shamelessly vomitted on anonymous paper.

I miss paper and being alone .
What would really help though
is having a home.

:Want to have nothing on my mind.

Photo by Mark Edwards

I haven't blogged in ever so long even though lines have been coming
to me in auto rides and most of my blog posts are actually never
posted, but imagined passionately, with the new enthu cutlet monsoon
blowing its nose on my clothes.It has been such an hectic month, and
now I am homeless soon in like three days with no confirmed place to
move into. As my friends say though, my life is always up in the air
and somehow I do , last minute, manage to scramble it all in one place
and grow root tips.Although, I feel like there are all these balls in
the air and if I miss one catch, it's all going to be in shambles ,
like this complicated dance sequence with lots of dancers. And the
need to be alert is so stressful.Better to eat Sambar Rice and lounge
in Banashankari.(I hope you heard my accent there.)

Anyway, as always, house hunting is a moral challenge in Delhi. More
about that later. Initially the plan was to live with pahadi phool and
stem. So we went to this super white fresh apartment, opposite the
lovely Hauz Khas monument and amidst a leaking, stinking slum.

Living in Hauz Khas Village was my aim actually but then, politics, or
not, I have to say living in that slum just wasn't given my psychotic
(and new )OCD. The apartment was modern , airy, had a good energy
except that there was a slaughter house behind. Waking up to the sound
of dying goats is not every vegetarian's dream. The owners tried
convincing me that the slums will be gone in while. That made my heart
flinch but also consider at the same time how long it will take.

Later at home, C , told me that it is because I am the market and the
world moves as the market wants.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conspiracy Morning

List of possible conspiracy theories.
1)The piece was paid for by the government. (The Public Health Foundation of India is also represented by government officials)
2)The superbug was invented by these firangs who are threatened by the potential of medical tourism in India- no takers for Western specialty health care by 2020. Stuff of their nightmares but given the rat population in our average hospital, I can hardly imagine Sweden coming down to get their eyes largened or their bum cut and replaced.
3)Devi Shetty in article two is alarmed by the potential loss of revenue this could mean and is doing all that he can to say that he "sees a change in the way some companies perceive research."They use it as a means to "maximize profits."He thinks it should be about "alleviating suffering."

I most positively believe that the Swine Flu was over marketed and almost made up. Compare H1N1 global death tolls to number of people who die of hunger each day. 

These pharma companies should find something else to do . Sell Teddy Bears maybe. 

The point of this post actually was to illustrate my bad doubting mind. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People who Cook.

Anthony Bourdain

Bloomsbury, Rs. 599

Rating: **1/2



If you are a vegetarian animal lover, your introduction to taste Bourdain's Medium Raw is painful, but that's why you want to sort of devour masochistically. Why? It starts like a suspense novel, where the greatest chefs of America gather, shrouded, to eat an illegal meal of orlaton : sublime dribbles of varied and wondrous ancient flavours- figs, Armagnac, dark flesh slightly infused with the salty taste of ( the author's )own blood.(The hunting of the orlaton bird is banned.)                                                                               


The thrill of all this exquisiteness wears off when you find Bourdain in the Caribbean

with his vulgarly rich drug addict girlfriend. A lot of personal mean rants-more appropriate as facebook statuses of exhibitionists. A pinch or two of gyan on spaghetti and we're done.


Thankfully, Bourdain the man of culinary excess, gastronomic bizarreness returns. In this sequel to much loved Kitchen Confidential, he's over heroin, has wandered the Caribbean and remarried. The world has changed personally and in culinary terms.  Food to Bourdain alternates between unconditional love and raw sex, enlightenment and nirvana.  Describing pho (Vietnamese noodles) as more like love than sex will be more appropriate…Sometimes I think I should feel guilty about writing stuff like the above. It's porn. Albeit food and travel porn.  Apparently his parents taught him not to show off.

We assure you he slips and mostly we are glad he does. One day he is eating from the Taco lady in Puebla and on another he is gorging on roast goose in Hong Kong and then living it up in Paris with pearls of tapioca with oysters and caviar, you know.



Food of every imaginable kind remains his passion, not the show around it, just what's on the plate. In an interview to First City in December 2008, he said "Context is so important to the perfect meal.  I think a Bombay Burger (Vada Pao) is just as likely to be a perfect meal as a meal at the best restaurant in Paris."


You learn that the recession made foodies of the world more equal. CEOs didn't want to be seen dining openly at fancy restaurants. Tables were suddenly freed for those who deemed it unthinkable to dine at a Masa or something equally intimidating. So, he is being analytical about the world that has changed since Kitchen Confidential, about how food is the new music for the young, on a quest for exceptional box sized eating joints in downtowns across the world. He is being weird in a fun way. He meanders too, sometimes too much. But it's Bourdain. We sort of forgive him.



 First City Magazine, July 2010. 

Monday, August 09, 2010


It is just one of those days when bright wounds resurface and every stimulus seems like an invitation to tears.

Friday, August 06, 2010


One doesn't know how tobe oblivious to irony. On the front page, of The Indian Express. the headlines tell us that after 49 deaths and much unrest, Omar Abdullah flew to visit the injured in hospital. And just there , below, is an ad that screams DHANTENAN , introducing Alto K 10.
Although, advertising is the bread and butter of journalism , I cannot help that jarring feeling I get.
Anyhow, everytime I read about a rape in Delhi, I am going to post it here. So here goes.

A 17-year-old Delhi University student was allegedly raped by a 50-year-old businessman in his car in West Delhi's Moti Nagar on Wednesday evening. The girl had accepted a lift from the accused, Mukesh Kumar, outside her college in Janakpuri, but the man took her to a secluded spot and forced himself on her, said the police. Mukesh was arrested after a passerby heard the girl's screams and informed a beat constable.

"She did not doubt his intentions as he was middle-aged and it was raining. He told her that he was going towards her locality," said an officer, adding that the accused, a resident of Ashok Vihar, runs a cardboard factory in Hari Nagar. Mukesh reportedly turned the car on to a secluded road near a petrol pump in Moti Nagar's Bali Nagar area. "The girl asked Kumar why he was stopping. He raped her despite her protests. Nobody could see inside the car as it had tinted glass," said the officer.

But a passerby heard the girl scream and informed a beat constable a few metres away. "When the policeman checked the car, he saw the girl crying," said the officer, adding that locals soon gathered at the spot and thrashed the accused.

The girl was taken to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital for a medical examination, which confirmed rape. Mukesh was placed under arrest and the girl's statement recorded.

DCP Sharad Aggarwal confirmed the arrest and said Mukesh has been booked under Section 376 for rape at the Moti Nagar police station.


Read more at link given above.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ambrosia - a new series on Delhi restaurants

 Ambrosia- the name means food for the gods. When you are in the Sunday evening clutter of the West Gate mall, you want to rush right in.

Dim lighting, grey comfortable chairs, beige wallpaper - d├ęcor that goes by the book but is still a relief from the migraine of the mall.

The menu promises Greek, Oriental and Indian. For starters, the murg malai kabab (Rs.280)-tender chicken pieces marinated with cheese and cashew nut paste was flavourful. The hara kabab

(Rs.180) is a good choice for vegetarians, paneer and spinach kababs with an almost reluctant undertone of dry fruits.


 In the oriental section, the rice noodle salad with crunchy peppers was light and refreshing if you don't mind what tasted like off the shelf sweet chilly dressing.

We decided to take a Grecian turn with Tiropetes (Rs.180). It was supposed to be parcels with feta cheese, hung curd, jalapeno, bell pepper, parsley and lemon. . It tasted like cheese samosas with a hint of lemon. Excellent, but not particularly Greek.


They have a big selection of liqueurs and cocktails.  Noteworthy are Rumtini (rum and sweet vermouth at Rs.230)

and Exotica (vodka, gin & tequila with pineapple and cranberry juice at Rs.250).


For the main course, try the sliced lamb with oyster sauce (Rs.350) with steamed rice, it is subtly spiced and makes for a hearty meal. If you insist on Greek, the chicken and tomato curry with red wine flavoured tomato sauce (Rs.310) is Arrabbiata well done but with the consistency of curry. Have it with steamed rice. The cucumber with hung yoghurt and herbs (Rs.120) is a good summer salad for the vegetarians. Avoid the Lahana Marinata (Rs.250) - grilled vegetables with barbeque sauce. Makes you feel like eating sides served as an afterthought with sandwiches.



The mutter mushroom and kaju  (Rs.250) with sweet saffron gravy is a safe bet for a side dish.


If you happen to be in this side of town, try them out. North Indian and Chinese is what they do best. We know it now so it is not Greek to us.



AMBROSIA , West Gate Mall, 3rd Floor, Rajouri Garden , Ph: 43742244

Meal for two: Rs. 1,500 to 2,500

Food and drinks : **1/2

Ambience: ***
(First published in First City Magazine)