Behind Bars


A cocktail party inspired me to write a blog about some of the fantastic drinks which can be easily made at home .many of these are our own innovations or rather experimentation ,rest ,the usual mind blowing ones , a hit at every get together .

so here is a famous toast
Here’s to the men that we love
Here’s to the men that love us
But the men that we love ARE’NT the men that love us
So to hell with the men, here’s to us.

1. Brandy blazer

Add the following to an Old Fashioned glass –

two small (30ml) shots of cognac,

one sugar cube,

an orange twist and a lemon twist.

Flambe the mixture, stir well with a long bar spoon,

extinguish the flame and strain into a snifter glass.

**********

3.Cape Codler

Pour in ice cubes with 8 small measures of Vodka.

pour in 300 ml cranberry juice.

a little lime juice.

Stir well.

place a lime wedge in the drink.

********

4.Leechee Oasis

Large Vodka
Dash of Litchee crush or to taste ( for those who need it a tad bit sweet )
lots of crushed ice
soda

shaken………..

******

5.Long Island Iced Tea

1 part vodka
1 part tequila
1 part rum
1 part gin
1 part triple sec
1 1/2 parts sweet and sour mix
1 splash Coca-Cola
Mix ingredients together over ice in a glass. Pour into a shaker and give one brisk shake. Pour back into the glass and make sure there is a touch of fizz at the top. Garnish with lemon wedge .

******
6.Screwdriver

2 oz vodka
5 oz orange juice

Put 3 ice cubes into a glass. Pour in vodka. Fill the glass with orange juice, stir, and serve.

****

7.Spicy Winters

Red wine – 1 bootle , Brandi—3tsp – Fresh orange juice -1litre Cinnamon – 2 sticks Cloves -8 Nutmeg powder – 1tsp Honey -3tsp Orange slices Pour wine into saucepan &warm gently , add brandy , orange juice,all above spices &honey, keep stirring until mixture gethot &honney melts. Add orange slices , turn down heat, simmeringslowly for 10-15 min.Serve immediately

******

8.BAY BREEZE

vodka-60ml.
orange juice-60ml.
cranberry juice-60ml
top them with soda or 7up

**********

9.Margrita

taquila-60ml
lime juice -30ml
dash of pine apple juice
shaken in blender with ice
gives best results
**************
10.Planter’s punch (all time fav)tall whiskey glass

orange juice-120ml
pineapple juice-30ml
topped with dark rum
float the rum ..method- place the spoon so that the back of spoon is on top slowly por rum on that

********

11. Lipstick on your collar

orange juice-90ml
cranberry juice-50ml
top it with limca or seven up in a tall glass

******

12&13.TWO PEACHY COCKTAILS i LOVE

peach schnapps-30ml
vodka-30ml
top with seven up

PACK IT WITH LOTSA ICE AND ENJOY

shooter
peach schnapps-30ml
vodka -40ml
3-4 cubes of ice (shaken)
take it in one shot

*********

14.ROCKET FUEL…..shooter
whisky-20ml
vodka-20ml
gin-20ml
dark rum-20ml
dash of lime
shaken with ice and taken at one shot.

shooters are great for parties .they save your drink consumption 😀

*****

15.BAT Bite

11/4oz.Dark Rum
4oz.cranberry juice

combine in an ice cube filled highball glass .drop a lime wedge into the drink …enjoy d bite .

******

16.Baby Eskimo (Ritu’s pick)

2 oz kahlua coffee liquer
8 oz milk
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Thaw ice cream a little, mix all the stuff with a wooden spoon
Serve in a tall slim glass

***********

17.Lemonade slushie
1 part Malibu coconut rum
1 part frozen lemonade concentrate
1 part ice

Blend into slush.

18.Purple Passion

1 1/4oz vodka
6oz. grapejuice

pour vodka over ice cubes in a highball glas.fill with grape juice .stir.

*********

19.Captain’s Tropical spiced Tea

1 1/4 Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
5oz iced Tea
1/2tsp lemon juice

combine all ingredients over ice in a highball glass .stir .garnish with lemon wedge.

*********

20.Hawaiian Lemonade

1 1/4 vodka
4oz Lemonade
2oz pineapple juice

put everything in a shaker .shake well. .serve in a crushed ice filled collins .garnish with lemon wedge .

**********

21.cool breezer

creme de ment-15ml

vodka -45ml
seven up

take a tall glass .fill it up with lots of ice .put creme de ment ,vodka n topup with chilled seven up…serve

22.Blow Job

* 3/4 oz. Irish Cream (Bailey’s)
* 3/4 oz. Kahlua
* Top with Whipped cream

Glass to Use
Shot glass
Mixing Instructions

Combine Kahlua and Bailey’s in a shot glass, and top with a puff of whipped cream. It must be shot without using your hands!

********

23.MATADOR

11/4- TEQUILA
2oz-pineapple juice
1/20z.lime juice

shake with ice .strainover ice cubes in a goblet..garnish with lime wheel

********

Many more to come ..will keep on adding ….till then ..cheers ..Rock On

Advertisements

In Love With……..SnAkEs


My love for snakes began in early childhood and continued to grow over the years .I would watch the documentaries on these awe-inspiring creations of nature and hope to see each one in their own habitat ,be it the Black Mamba of Africa or the Anaconda.

I would keep my eyes open for snake charmer and leave no opportunity to go and handle the snakes they had.

Not all snake charmers are cruel to their snakes, many worship the creäture and care for it as they would, for a child of their own.

Snakes are extremely enigmatic and fascinating creatures and have been unnecessarily labeled with bad reputation due to misconceptions arising from superstitions and religious dogmas. Majority of these opinions are formed out of fear and sheer ignorance. Snakes have been misunderstood for too long, and their role in nature is too little appreciated.


Due to lack of proper information, disbelieves and fears, many important species of snakes have become rare and are threatened with extinction; so, disturbing the natural cycle of coexistence.


Rampant killing of the snake has led to enormous increase in the number of rodents, which in turn destroy food grain.


People who are unfamiliar with snakes assume them to be poisonous and dangerous, they also view them as a slimy, ugly and hostile species, where as the skin of a snake is actually dry and scaly and in many cases even smooth to touch.


One commonly held misconception is that snakes are aggressive and chase people whereas when confronted by a human, a snake is more likely to attempt to escape and not attack or defend itself .They are not at all revengeful as many people think, they don’t hypnotize ,it’s just that they don’t have eyelids so can’t blink.


Not all snakes are venomous; there are over 270 species of snakes in India out of which only about 60 are venomous. Only four snakes in India are deathly for humans.


Cobra, Russell’s viper, Saw-scaled viper, and, the most dangerous of them  – the common krait.


Snakes are shy creatures and avoid humans unless provoked.
It is just a phobia with people that the very thought of a snake, which they have not even seen, creates panic and fear.

 

During my training at National Museum of Natural History I learnt a lot about handling snakes and found them to be very docile n friendly. So all those who are afraid of snakes should at least once, hold one in their hands and then decide if they are worth all the fear.I handled a venomous cobra once without knowing that the poison was still there. Just picked it up from a snake charmer’s basket and as I held its head down, I saw the fangs .They scared me so much but I was also at the same time, mesmerized by them .That was a mistake I made because the venomous snakes should never be held by their heads. The five feet beauty coiled around me and would have been picture perfect, but my hubby was unable to hold the camera still and couldn’t take one pix… loll.


The snake charmer slowly kept the hand on mine and made me slip the snake into his hand.That’s one moment I will never forget.

 

Me with a Cobra

Me with a Cobra

I let the snake smell me with its tongue. It’s their way of “tasting” you and recognizing you.

My elder son takes after me I guess and loves the snakes .He was never afraid to handle them even as kid ,which I think is very good because that’s one more person who can educate many others about this lovely creäture.


 

Adi getting a cobra kiss

Adi getting a cobra kiss

 

Snakes are generally always panicky; it’s just their natural instincts. They are usually harmless.

I too learned venom collection and trust me it’s a bit scary when you do it yourself, even if you are aided by an expert. ..But I did enjoy the process. We were also told that there are different ways of handling different kind of venomous snakes. it was truly fascinating …I hope more people are educated on this issue as there is a definite need for such info .

Technically the term venomous and non venomous snakes rightly define whether these snakes secrete venom… however, even today, the terminology used widely (even by wildlife organizations) to describe snakes is poisonous and non poisonous…


http://icwdm.org/handbook/reptiles/repf15.pdf


Not because they seek to poison others, but because their venom is poisonous to man/ other creatures.

Snakes are a very vital part of our ecosystem… they play a vital role in vermin control and in maintaining  balance of various life forms… it is their land and burrows that are being encroached upon by human habitation today… we must be extra watchful in ensuring that they do not get killed just because we are wary or scared of them…


Continuous coming up of residential areas and the rains bring out many lovely snakes into the open and due to fear and lack of knowledge, the poor creatures are killed .There are snake handlers available and they have a help line too but people don’t seen to know much about it .I think one should hold a workshop sometime during the monsoon to educate the masses about it.

In the Race Course area near the Air Force station in Delhi, I have seen kids put burning wood into the burrow to make the snake come out and then kill it with stones and stick. It’s sad that the elders too don’t understand the need to protect the helpless creatures …

Pythons are my favorites. Unlike cobras they are more majestic and maybe due to their size and bulk, very eye catching…..


Reticulated Python and Spitting Cobra.

 

The Reticulated Python is one I like most ,with its lovely markings and sheer strength ,this regal snake is just awesome .One of the rarest of the snakes, it can measure up to 49 feet easily ,which is an amazing length, and can weigh up to 983 pounds but that’s rare ,normally they range from 1 to 10 m (3 to 33 ft) long and weigh up to 140 kg (300 lb).The pythons are part of the Boa family.


http://www.bluechameleon.org/Photo%20&%20Image%20Stockpile%20-%20BCV/Python%20reticulatus.jpg


yesterday I saw a show on Nat Geo called Dangerous Encounters ,where the presenter went to the dark dingy ancient caves in Indonesia (the largest of Reticulated Pythons are found here ) and showed how important was the role of such places in the Eco system for these lovely serpents ..It was a life time thing to watch. An amazing experience.

Pythons are large and muscular, and kill their prey by squeezing, or constricting, until it suffocates.


The speed with which the coils are applied is impressive and the force they exert may be significant. They sink their sharp teeth into the pray and rapidly coil to crush them .Though non venomous , this is one of the most feared snakes .they use their infra-red signals to catch the pray and that’s the reason they can hunt easily in darkest of places .

The spitting cobra is the most deadly of the venomous snakes and the largest, mainly found in Kenya, measures up to 9 feet. It’s a nocturnal snake.

They spray the neurotoxin venom into the eyes of the predator, causing, chemosis and corneal swelling, when sensing danger to a max distance of 2mtrs.The bite however is fatal. The neurotoxin bite of either can cause pain and swelling with general muscle weakness following and eventual respiratory paralysis.

Do watch the video if the link opens.

http://videos.howstuffworks.com/howstuffworks/3935-spitting-cobra-video.htm

Snake Charming is an art, perfected in countries like India, Pakistan and the neighboring countries.

 

Snake Charmer in Rishikesh

Snake Charmer in Rishikesh

They play the musical instrument called Been and open the dark case in which the snake is kept .mostly people think it’s due to the music the snake sways but in reality standing erect and extending the hood is a normal defensive reaction for a cobra and simply indicates the snake’s startled reaction to losing its darkened environment.The animal cannot actually hear the tune being played, though it can perhaps feel some of the sound vibrations as well as those from any tapping by the charmer. The swaying instrument in the charmer’s hand is mistaken for another snake and hence the defensive approach .

Snake charming is an inherited profession and most of the time their only source of income.

Now with the new laws, the saperas or the snake charmers are loosing their source of living and slowly this art is vanishing from the land of snake charmers.

All links credited to rightful owners 

tALONS aND wEBS


Am the eagle, I live in high country,
In rocky cathedrals that reach to the sky,
I am the hawk and there’s blood on my feathers,
But time is still turning, they soon will be dry,
And all those who see me, and all who believe in me,
Share in the freedom I feel when I fly!
Come dance with the west wind,
And touch all the mountain tops,
Sail o’er the canyons, and up to the stars,
And reach for the heavens, and hope for the future,
And all that we can be, not what we are
 
 
 
 

 

 

 This post is about some of the creatures I am very fond of .Raptors, Arachnids and Snakes .Sounds strange but I have always been fascinated by them.All pix courtsey internet .

 

Raptors are Birds of prey. Eagles,Hawks,Kites,Owls,Falcons and their likes.

They are the Hunters of the skies… with sharp unerring eyesight and a mastery over air currents.They are the unhurried skimmers, over the up surging drafts,cool divers with the down surges. They are the “Smart conservers” of energy. Raptors have strong feet and sharp talons that enable them to curve into, grip and pick up their prey (rodents, other small mammals usually). They have Sharp curving bills that can rip into and eat meat off their live prey… and yet, great nurturers of their young ones… most of the Raptors usually lay just a few eggs.

 Unfortunately many species are facing difficult times today. Their habitats are under threat. Pesticides have entered their food chain through their prey species. Many are killed by humans due to ignorance or for selling purposes. 95% of vulture population has been lost in just 15 years, in India.

 The Indian skies wear a vacant, if not gloomy, look without these master- flyers.

 There is a great need to educate people about these birds .I saw some big vultures during my trip to khajjiar. It was a rare and wonderful experience, unfortunately it was raining heavily and we were unable to take pictures at that point of time.

 I love the owls and the eagles most and wish to be reborn as an eagle .Fearless, solitary and on my own in the great open sky. This is what freedom is all about.

 

 

It is a joy to watch an eagle exploring the vast blue above and many a times lying back on grass, during my journeys I have watched these magnificent birds in complete admiration.

 

These days even finding a kite or a house crow, jungle crow or raven has become difficult. Sometimes a lonesome falcon comes and sits on high Neem tree in a park near my home, wondering in which alien world has it landed …

 

 

Arachnophobic… then this post is not for you

 

Spiders

 
Spiders and scorpions are my favorites. I love the way the spider weaves its web .A wonder of nature absolute delight. I often search for spider webs whenever we go for nature trails .the sunlight passing through a web is a magnificent sight. Spiders are one of the most misunderstood creatures and every important to our eco system. I, for one, would love to keep one as a pet .maybe a Black Widow or a Tarantula.

 

Arachnid’s world is full of colors.

 

Dark grey or brown spiders are usually nocturnal, since their drab colors serve to reduce their visibility during the day. However, many spiders have different patterns and colors on their abdomen or neck area.
Mostly the colorization is for camouflage or to lure the pray, maybe bright colors indicate to enemies to stay away as they are venomous.

This is a beautiful picture from the Internet.

 

Thousands of spiders from 12 different species have built a web stretching for 200 yards in Texas’ Lake Tawakoni State Park,

spider


http://www.thespidershop.co.uk/insect/im…

 

The Blue Cobalt Tarantula comes from Asia, and is the most poisonous, aggressive tarantula in the world, but mind you, most Tarantulas hare harmless to humans.

 

 

We are notorious for our tolerance of spiders and insects. But I respect their role in our daily life. They fascinate me and freak me out too at times.  

Some day I wish to do a lot of photo sessions with these lovely little master weavers of nature.

 

stop and watch .


When on some gilded cloud, or flower,

My gazing soul would dwell an hour,

And in those weaker glories spy

Some shadows of eternity

-Henry Vaughan

Sometimes the small little wondrous beauties of nature make our heart swell in awe of the creator …Early morning today as I went out for my Pranayam, I chanced upon a lovely sight .On the Poplar tree, with fresh new leaves  shining in the early sunshine ,were huddled together, a family of green pigeons ..Two small babies n mum. It was a sight I will cherish for a long time .She kept feeding the little ones beak to beak.a fluffy proud mom. It was a picture perfect family..Green pigeons are rare and hardly seen these day in Delhi .Mostly we find them camouflaged in thick light green foliage of huge trees in district parks here, so it was a very refreshing surprise for me.
Delhi is home for many such rare birds at this time of the year and we are fortunate to live in an area frequented by them..It’s a lovely day here and the place is full of mynas, squirrels, pigeons, parrots,Koels  and all kind of birds, unseen among the foliage but heard very clearly …
these are the joys of nature…

one does not have to go far or use special equipment to see the glories of nature .I have always enjoyed the little bundles of joy that the nature scatters all around us ..a ladybird sitting on a leaf ,a line of ants working day in n day out ,the changing colours of the sky ,a solitary Eagle soaring up in the sky , a delicate little flower growing from a crack in  rock or a sidewalk ,a drop of dew on fresh green leaves or on some vibrant flower petal ,a spider weaving a  web or a tiny bird building a pretty nest ..one can go on for hours talking about these things ..

As a poet said

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
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 if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies

Some time back a pair of sun birds made a lovely love nest in my balcony,on clothes line .One is filled with immense peace and joy just spending sometime looking closely at nature around us ..

These little wonders are also called   Honey Suckers …..The breeding male is black with high metallic sheen of green and purple .the bill is curved to probe into the corolla of the flowers for nectar, the female is greenish black and even smaller than the male .the nest is oblong hanging pouch ..made of soft grass ,rubbish ,cobwebs and many such things .normally there are3-4 grayish or greenish eggs with brown n white spots ..the pair started weaving the nest by 7 in the morning till about 6 in the evening …their wings vibrated rapidly while they hovered around the nest …..it was such a  beautiful feeling to be so close to nature and watch these architects at work .unfortunately ,even after constant vigil ,the eggs were eaten by some predator ,maybe a mangoes ,who are in abundance near my home .here are some pix that I took .

Dilli KI Sardi


Come October and there is that slight chill in the air …winter is just round the corner…

Evenings become shorter, nights, long and cooler. Fans run on number 2/3 and one feels good, wrapped in a light khes (warm sheet).

Mornings start at about 5:40 and the nip in the morning air is a great welcome as I step out for my morning walk.

I simply love dilli ki sardi (Delhi winter).I love bright colors, textures,

And most of all change .That’s the reason, that, despite of all the hassles and inconveniences, I love Delhi and its glorious change of seasons.

October is when Delhi starts its romance with winter .Dim sunlight, nip in the air, perfect for love to blossom .The temperatures soar oops dip. The winter rains spread the green carpet and the roses and other seasonal flowers fill the entire landscape of the capital, all through the five months of winter.

The parks and the roundabouts are a riot of colors .one can see every shade of every color in the flowers that adorn these lovely places.

It is the time when the famous Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhawan (president’s house) also open for public.

The India Gate lawns are heaven on earth during warm winter days. Perfect place for picnics.

One can also take walks around old city and all the other historical sites in the capital .The fun never end.

This is also the migratory season. Lakes, water-bodies, parks and gardens are full of feathered visitors from abroad. The Okhla Barrage, the Delhi zoo are some places which are a heaven for bird lovers. It’s time to watch the Siberian Cranes make their nests and breed. White storks, black-necked storks, white ibises, spot-billed ducks and little cormorants are some of the other birds to look for. A drive to the nearby Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is a perfect weekend getaway in winters.

And, it is not just the change in weather that makes us dilliwalas so fond of winter; there are other things as well.


I love the amazing choice I get in casual and formal wear. As the temperature dips, and fog starts to engulf the city, the lovely colorful quilts, blankets, shawls, muffler, caps, sweaters and jackets, leg warmers, fill the white canvas of the city.


I love winter wear and experiment every year, with a lot of bright colors. The fashion scene in Delhi winter is breathtakingly lovely.

Winter in Delhi can never be complete without FOOD.


The fruits and vegetable markets are a must visit places, in winter.


The markets are flooded with winter greens, and veggies of practically every shape n color .cooking become fun with such a wide variety. The healthy Amla, methi ka sag, sarson ka sag, peas, carrots, tender radishes, cauliflowers, baby corns, are some of my favorites. One can dish out amazing stuff with these good for health wonders. Bake, grill, make a broth, or simply cook them in any way you like. Winter is great time for fresh salads too.


I love fruits, and Delhi in winter, is a Mecca for fruit lovers .I love the delicious red apples and the golden ones, the custard apple is a special favorite, then there are guavas, ripe ber, oranges, tangerines, Water chestnut ,grapes, strawberries and a lot more .


The local popcorn, peanuts and shakarkandi (roasted sweet potato) vender is a welcome sight on cold winter days. my mouth waters just thinking about the dry fruits, gajak, rewari, till ki patti, gur (Jaggary molasses) and shakkar with oodles of hot ghee on top of a rich hot paratha. Some delights only winter can offer.


The sinful aroma of hot samosas, aloo tikkis, kachoris and other scrumptious street food delicacies are hot choice in winters.

Delhi’s Fairs and festival calendar starts from October and ends in February. Dushehra ,Deepawali, x-Mas ,Lohri, Baisakhi are some of the major festivals .Then there are Surajkund crafts Mela ,winter carnivals ,International Trade fair ,International Book Fair and many music festivals which add to the winter magic of the city . Phulwalon-ki-Sair or the Flower Sellers Procession, which originated in the 16th century is worth watching.

It is a joy to watch the fluffy Angora fog sitting on its haunches over the roof tops and then slowly enveloping the entire city.

A cup of hot chocolate, strong coffee or the good old tea, a nice book, warm cozy brilliantly colored quilt is all it takes to make a perfect winter day if you are at home.

And if out in the streets, you can do a lot to enjoy dilli ki sardi. Just let your imagination run wild…

Light a camp fire, start a Bar-B-Que, go on a long drive on a sunny winter day, or just take a walk in the nearby park letting the morning mist kiss your face.

Highway On My Plate


 

 

DHABA…… The very word is enough to make the mouth water.

 

A dhaba conjures up an image of a rustic eatery with a charpoy( cot made with woven ropes) and  platefuls of fresh scrumptious dishes which  scores of itinerant truck drivers  enjoy..

Traditionally Dhabas were made of mud structures and a wooden plank was placed across the width of the cot(charpai) to keep the dishes.

The dhabas with time have become more comfortable and cater to all kinds of people, who look out for low cost food with no overhead costs . There are no constraints, no dress codes or fine dining rules, one can lick the fingers and belch ,with no one objecting. It is basically a no frills eating joint  for the common man .

 

A dhaba can be a simple shack which sells two three dishes like dal (lentil), rice ,rotis(Indian bread) and a seasonal veggie ,or it can have a large menu which can consist of various cottage cheese preparations like Kadhai paneer ,matar panner ,shahi paneer ,Kadhi chawal  seasonal green vegies like sarson(mustard) ka sag and makki ki roti (in winter) ,scrambled egg or egg curry , butter chicken ,or kadhai chicken etc. One can sum up the Dhaba food in three words :Buttery, spicy and hot.

 

Almost all the dhabas, especially the highway Dhabas serve large glasses of lassi (sweet n salted), curds, onion slices and pickles which are part of all dhaba meals.

Most of the dhabas serve Panjabi cuisine, as the Dhaba culture has originated from Punjab.

The mouth-watering rich aroma rising from the cauldron full of boiling mah ki dal (black lentil), the freshly made hot rotis straight from the tandoor(clay oven), oodles of butter on stuffed parathas and strong Adrak wali 500 miles chai(strong ,sweet tea), malaidar lassi (thick creamy curds drink), and, if you are a non vegetation, then there is no end to what Dhabas can offer you .All this, combined with the Panjabi warmth of the owner, is enough to lure any hard core foodie to the roadside dhaba.

 

Eating out in a dhaba can be a heart-warming experience. Usually dotted along the highways, dhabas dole out hearty rustic fare. They are  India’s Mecca for food lovers, and equivalent to the British transport café. This place is the true example of national integration and cross cultural exchange.

 

To watch the sweet smiling person in a string vest, artistically churn out rotis from the tandoor with his bare hands, is a sight to enjoy.

 They make a great show working their trade, kneading and slapping fist sized balls of dough with pomp and flair, churning out dozens of flat chapatis(breads) in a blur of motion. In fact the whole process of dishing out food from the containers into the plates in remarkable .It just adds to your hunger and makes the wait impossible.

 

The moment the car hits the national highway, dhabas decorated with colourful signboards, lights, flags and mouth-watering specialties are the first sights one notices. . It’s an amazing glimpse into the world of entrepreneurs who have created a food cult with quality & hygiene.

 

The Dhabas on highways, generally have a small pan n cigarette shop nearby or a local liquor shop called Theka , selling chilled bear sometimes written as ‘child bear’. With huge signs all along the highway .That attracts a large number of  travellers and drivers .

 

On our various trips, we discovered some of the finest dhabas strategically located on G.T.Road. Most of the Dhaba’s have their secret recipes to attract customers. These dhabas may look rustic, but as far as the menu is concerned they are at par with any other multi-cuisine restaurant in the city. Though Tandoori and Punjabi menus are the hot favourites, they also serve Chinese dishes like noodles and chilli chicken.

Some of our favourite stopping joints are Puran ka dhaba near Ambala cant. A must stop for all who love their food.

There is one on way to Mandi, which takes pride in having catered to the likes of Bollywood  actor Salman Khan and some film unit members. They even have pictures and autograph comment book to prove it .The food is excellent and the ambience very good. It is worth a stop.

There are many others on way to Shimla, Mussourie and Manali.

 

On our  way to Ranikhet , we discovered Amritsariya dhaba .What made this place special was, the location .Just ahead of Rudrapur, comes a green and not so congested Bilaspur and this dhaba is in the very beginning .Owned by an old sardarji, the place is dotted with plastic chairs, wooden tables, a tube well and a hand pump which doles out chilled clean water at all times. Surrounded by paddy fields this place is one of our favourite places.

The old man is a perfect example of Indian hospitality and friendliness .The staff, very efficient and clean.

As our visit became regular, the old man became a part of our family, he would ask for our wellbeing and, about my elder one, who was studding in a residential school, way up in Ranikhet .He would always wrap up some parathas for us in nice packs with pickles and, never charge for them. They were a part of his blessings for the kid and our safe journey. He even shared the magic masala of his delicious pepper chicken, with me and packed a generous amount, in a small plastic bag for us along with the recipe. Now that our visits have become rare, we recommend all our friends going that way, to stop there and darji always remember us fondly.

 

Murthal is a Mecca for Dhabas lovers .located on NH-1 near Sonepat; this place has a vast variety of delicious food. People especially go to eat food there during weekends.

The city Dhabas are not as colourful as the highway ones and each one has its own specialty. Most of the Dhaba workers stay, in and around the joint, so they are able to keep up with the odd working hours. Many of them are open from early morning till very late in the night.

 

In Delhi also we have some of the best known dhabas like, Kake ka dhaba in Chandni Chawk. The owner Mr. Lovely Singh is a foodie himself and has tremendous knowledge about the stuff .He has gone for a number of food fests in India and abroad.

 

Rajender da dhaba in Safdarjang Enclave is one of my favourites. If looking for great food in the middle of the night; this place is where one should go.

The Delhi – Gurgaon border and the Kapashera border are also two great places for authentic dhaba food .Most of the places are open throughout the night and a hub for all the young people working late nights.

 

 Dhabas have undergone a makeover and the complexion of the clientele has also changed. It is no longer a roadside pit stop where truckers can fill their tummies.

One can see the hep call center and BPO crowd and the night revellers frequenting these places very often.

 Unfortunately most of these eating joints have lost their charm of traditional dhabas and have become a roadside restaurant for the youth. Gone are the fried parathas , there place has been taken by tandoori parathas .

The new health conscious generation prefers fat-free food and dhabas which were never known for this variety of food are now giving in to the whims of customers. The young new owners want their swanky young “always in a hurry young customers” to be happy , and, gladly serve, anything from chowmein and chilly cheese to fruit juices, coke etc .These hybrid dhabas have mushroomed all over the city. Even the highway dhabas have become modern in more than one ways .Some of them have mobile charging facilities ,A small T.V. set or a S.T.D. calling facility .Some have small but clean restrooms to attract more travellers .

 People travel short distances from Delhi just to eat at their favourite highway dhaba.

WE often drive down to moolchand’s paranthewala or the Jain’s dhaba in Connaught Place for a late night binge.

 

A few friends, winter nights, dhaba food, a  lot of laughter and chit chat and the warmth and joy of being together …..

 

 

There are some things that money can’t buy.

Let Me Rant …….


 Yesterday was a day which should go down in the history of my life as a Black Day . A day when it seems that the entire universe is conspiring against you .when unusual number of bad things happen .

Boy!! the day started on wrong foot I guess .

I felt tired, cranky, down right grumpy.

I was in one of my “do not mess with me ” moods and that made things even worse for me and for those who came anywhere near me even the workers .

And to top it all ,my 17year old boy decided to argue on some issue which we both knew will add fuel to the already raging fire within .

Gosh ! How do these kids behave !!1. Unbelievable . Ungrateful buggers …

I often feel raising two teenage boys is experiencing Hell on earth .The cute bundles of joy sometimes turn into dementors ,sucking the soul out of your body .Yesterday was such a day .

Was I being overtly critical and over reacting to little things ???    Absolutely not .

Thought a cup of strong Black coffee will make some difference but found the bottle almost empty .

I hit the roof   …

By the evening  I felt spent . I had done my share of yelling ,accusing,criticising ,everything that was against my inherent nature  and now came the time to wallow in self pity .

Trying to hold back the tears swelling up in my lovely eyes , I went into a soliloquy .

Now when I think of it ,it looks like the best theatrical performance I must have given .

words like ..inadequate mom ,looser to the core ,life sucks ,enough is enough blended with the choicest of cuss words , came easily to a person who is normally just the opposite to this .

The water had really gone over my head .

But , at that time, I was completely pissed off and needed to let the steam off .

The amazing thing is that during such times the entire past opens in front of you like a slide show and you remember all the hurt and pain and every wrong done to you knowingly or unknowingly .Even the ones you made up yourself .

I guess the deadly PMS virus had stuck me resulting in my grouchy mood swings lately.The monthly blood donation got a bit too much to handle  ..that’s one donation I  HATE .

Slowly I slipped into silent mode and heated all the leftovers made some rice and after making myself a huge mug of camomile tea ,locked myself from the world .

Today is a happy day .

Life goes on ……

I want to break free ..


Time :5 in the morning ..

 I try to locate the vibrating mobile somewhere under my pile of pillows .Manage to find it and switch the darn thing off ..Though I would  love to snooze for a while but the luck is not on my side today .. dragging myself out from the comfort of my bed , I look around my once neat n cozy home ,which resembles an ancient  ruin these days .

 Bricks, bottles ,boxes ,ladder ,all kinds of construction material and an eye sore of a platform staring  back at me from the window of the kid’s room.

I notice that the night breeze has settled  another fine layer of dust over everything …Sigh !!!! 😦

I have been eating more dust than food these days I feel . 😦

Taking my tea , I step out carefully, in the remains of what used to be a balcony and stand looking at the refreshing green of the swaying Neem tree ..It is breezy n nice .There is a slight nip in the air .. and I take a deep breath .The fragrance of roses , fill my entire being and I feel blessed .I smile at the little beauties and thank the universe for these little bundles of joy .The sky is turning into a shade of pink behind the matchbox like buildings and it feels great . My morning  friends are around, busy with their stuff .

The group of around  eight squirrels are scurrying  around gathering the bits n pieces of the leftover  bread someone has thrown .It is  a joy to watch these furry wonders and their gymnastics  ..  🙂

The pigeons ,mynas and other birds have gathered, to a feast of bajra and water at the edge of the park . The noise they all make is deafening but somehow today it doesn’t bother me much . At Least it is better than the thak thak that goes on all day at my place .

Thinking of that , I realise that  the workers are due by 10 and I have a lot to do .

Unwillingly, I walk back in and wonder from where I should start .The house is uncannily silent .I decide to setup a good working environment and put on the radio at a little higher than usual  volume .It blares the latest Himesh Reshmya song and  I curse under my breath at the choice of Radio Mirchi . Certainly not a good way to start but anyways .. 😦 

I begin  the cleaning routine, knowing it is a waste of time n energy ,as within no time the things will be back to square one.But the habit to clean n scrub is a little difficult to let go ..Am I getting obsessed with “wash ’em clean ” thing ???..   Guess I am  😦

By the time I am through, it is around 9:30 and a quick look in the mirror tells me  that it’s time for a  bath,before the door bell starts ringing .15 minutes and I am out ,fresh and ready for another challenging day .

This is the 5th day since the work started and I feel as if  I am also a part of the Thekedar’s gang .At least by the end of the day my face n clothes looks exactly like them .And I am sure, I work as much as they do .

I wonder what will happen when I start building my dream home ..Did I tell you about it ?? …  NO….well ! maybe I should .Later .

Just now my mind is filled with just one thought “God ,give these men more strength to finish the work as soon as possible “.

NETADDICTION


When I started my journey into the virtual world, I had no idea how addictive it was going to be. At first it was limited to just simple emailing ,then the whole new world of e-cards opened up and as I explored the endless possibilities of the internet ,I  simply kept getting more n more  entangled into the web .

Slowly I discovered chat sites, social networking sites, and the tremendous desire to have more n more gripped me.I couldn’t stay away from the computer .I realized at that time that I was completely powerless in front of the magical web.

Whatever spare time that we used to spend meeting old pals, reading books, playing family games, going out to parks and various other places, including just simply walking down to the library or a theater, took a backseat. Making beautiful birthday greeting, anniversary cards seemed like a thing of past as the entire collection of what you wanted was available at a click.

A call from an old friend ,made me realize ,I had not spoken to her in ages ,not even remembered her birthday because she unfortunately was not it my computer birthday reminder list .

Is it a mental need or a want to be accepted in the new world known as the internet?  To escape the sometimes cold realities that surrounds us on a daily basis? We feel inclined to share our feelings with thousands of people we don’t know, and drift away from those we’ve known all our lives.

 

Sad 😦 , but true. Made me feel guilty, but then the craving to write a blog about it brought me back to the good old PC .The day I demanded that I needed a laptop I was rebuked in chorus by all the elders.

“You will then hang it around your neck and cook with one hand and chat with other”, was my hubby’s remark.

So a laptop became a complete NO NO.

 

I love my computer because I have all my friends in it … So true …  🙂

 

Then came the worse part

 

As if Orkut , Facebook ,Hi5 were not enough, the blogging bug also bit me and the in curable  itch to write that it caused, was too much for the family to handle .

 

One day after spending an entire day online I was forced to call me quits .cursing under my breath, I slumped myself in the bed ,dreaming of what to do next and where .. When, a kick on my butt made me jump. 😦

“What the F**k   !!!!!,” I shouted in half awakened  state .

“You crazy or what,”yelled my hubby,”you think my hand is F***ing   key board?” “You wanna go back to your bloody computer, GO .Let me sleep in peace for God’s sake “.

I looked at the man apologetically .Muttering a quick sorry I realized it was time to take a break from the virtual world.

 

So ,first thing in the morn at 6 O’clock ,I, along with my freshly made green tea, parked myself in front of the comp ,to send scraps to all ,saying ,I will be away for a while .

On opening my mail account I found game, scraps, blog comments

Notifications smiling at me, and I started to open them one by one.

 

By the time I was through, my remaining half cup of tea had become cold; I was past breakfast time and missed my morning exercise routine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am too sexy for my ….


Day ..Sunday October 12….time …2:30PM

Kid 1 had a worried look on his face .Something was bothering this young man.He had been in and out of the room twenty times ,sometimes stopping to examine his reflection in the mirror in a very critical manner .I looked up from my Ghost Stories and asked Kid 2 what was biting his elder bro .

He shrugged and showed no desire to speak any further,but when he saw that I would not budge without an answer ,he said with a bored expression ,”School reopens tomorrow .”

I did not get it . “so?  I asked .

HE was exasperated .”Mom ,YOU ARE SO DUMB AT TIMES ..SCHOOL REOPENS TOMORROW …School =Girls .. there must be something wrong and that’s why he is bugged ,Big deal .Don’t worry “.And with that he buried himself back into his book .

I couldn’t resist myself .

“Maybe you should go for a hair cut today , ” I said to Kid 1,as he walked into the room.

“Hmmm..I know ,will go in a while “. “Dad can take you when he goes for work “I offered .”NO WAY “He suddenly came into action ..”Mom ,I don’t wanna go with him ,he always goes to that f###kng TOUCH N FEEL” .

Kid 2 fell off the bed, laughing .

Kid 1 looked pained ..I assured  him and requested my hubby to take him somewhere he wanted . After a little argument about how low the pant should be , they went and I confronted the younger one ,”Now tell me what’s this all about ?,I demanded .

After some persuasion and a little bribe ,I knew the reason .

An hour later Kid 1 was back looking more civilised than he ever looked in his whole life .Hair trimmed short ,nice clean shave and a glowing face .      But he was still brooding .

I looked lovingly at my first born . At 17 he looked just great .

I remarked casually ,”you look kinda tanned Adi ,how about putting a face mask or something ,that will cut some of the tan and maybe help heal that pimple “.

Am sure he did not expect this.

“Sorry”??

“you can use the face mask” I said .

“So ,you too noticed “, He remarked .

Within minutes he was gone and I could hear the cabinet door open n close ..

“Beauty queen ” 

Said Kid 2 with disgust .”I don’t know why he is so into impressing girls .Mad .”

At13 Kid 2 also had a lot of girls drooling over him .I smiled ,He was cute and had lovely dimples .

But unlike his elder ,he was not obssesed with beauty regime and looks ,clothes etc .

He had that I AM COOL air around him .

“Wait till you are his age,buddy,” I thought .

I found Kid 1 spread over the bed ,eyes closed ,his arms ,face neck ,sh older all covered with the fragrant sandelwood mask .

He opened his eyes and gave a dimpled smile .I smiled back .

One hour later ,all fresh after a bath, he emerged with styled hair and ,low waist denims and his black tee.

There was a glow of happiness on his face .

I remembered the time he was a small cuddly baby  and now ,a smart teenager .No wonder he has such a lovely GF .How time flies ..kids growup and before you know they have their own little world .