Punju Wedding

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I attended my first Punjabi wedding. Technically, I did not. I left before the wedding started but after dinner was served.
A friend (who used to be close) got married. We (me and another common friend) along with KC were invited for the engagement and wedding/reception. This common friend- lets call him D, is also a Punjabi. The three of us have worked together and now are in separate companies. Like D said, “you are my friends from work”. Yeah, he has a lot of categorizations- friends from school, college, work, current work, family friends, relatives etc…. too many compartments to fit all the friends in his life.
But before I get to the wedding, I need to talk about what I wore… or what I did not wear.
In 2008, when I had just moved to Gurgaon I was invited to the wedding of the brother of a colleague. I had no intention of attending but a call in the evening from a senior made me change my mind. I had just moved from sales to the HQ and my clothes reflected that- daily wear, semi formals, comfy clothes and nothing for a party/wedding. With no time to shop I pulled on trousers and a top which would fit party wear. Big mistake. I was mortified when I saw the turnout. Colleagues who looked drab at work had transformed into swans. So, when another colleague was getting married a year later I took the time and money to buy a wedding dress. That is the only dress I have worn to ALL weddings. It has been 4 years. 1.5 years back I had to attend KC’s friend’s engagement. I bought a sober dress to wear there. After that, I wore it at the office Diwali celebrations. Taking all this into consideration, I decided not to buy anything new for the friend’s wedding. But I did not feel like wearing the same clothes. I decided to wear western outfits. The only people I knew at the wedding were the friend, D, KC and maybe 1-2 batchmates from B school. I didn’t care what they thought.
Coming back… the engagement was at Pitampura which is in extreme North Delhi. I have been there a few times and regretted it. On Friday evening/night, I reached Pitampura at 9 pm. The time on the card was 8 pm. I was late… or so I thought. The friend- lets call him A, was waiting for the to-be bride… food had not been served… 50% of the people had not arrived. WTF!!! At 10 pm, the bride-to be arrived and by 10.30 pm they were engaged. We reached for the dinner and left by 11 pm. There was a DJ and I assume the party actually started at 11.30 pm and went on till wee hours.
The wedding was on Sunday night in some godforsaken farmhouse in Chattarpur… there were no street lights and the road was bumpy. I told KC if we have come to the wrong address, we will head back home and go to sleep. We arrived at 9.30 pm and I thought we are late. Guess, who meets us at the gate? The groom… in the car… with the baraat around him. He had not yet entered the venue. Finally, after all the dancing and insane noise he entered the venue at 10.30 pm. By then, KC and I had eaten dinner and were planning to leave. At 11 pm, we left just as the bride was arriving. The wedding probably started by midnight.
In all my life, below are the different kind of weddings I have attended:

  • Family friends: Since I was in the boarding, I did not know most of my parents’ friends. So, these weddings were a pain. My sis and I would plead with our parents to let us stay home but 9 out of 10 times we had to attend. Who was going to cook dinner for us? It was a quick outing… enter, meet the couple, smile, get pics clicked, rush for dinner, eat, leave. Done- by 9-10 pm max. By 11 pm even the couple would have left for home. Btw, this is in Gujarat… so, no liquor
  • Family- Sister: Sis’s wedding was different… weddings at home are different… the time and day does not matter. It is an entire week of celebrations. We had a sangeet along with mehendi, janoi (my brother’s), garba night, engagement (along with DJ night), wedding and reception. People turned up for whatever functions they wanted to. Relatives and close friends attended the sangeet… everyone attended garba and janoi… engagement and wedding were at Indore so it was just close relatives.
  • Relatives: I do not remember the actual wedding because I was not there… I was probably gossiping with cousins or playing badminton (no kidding… we did that… played badminton at the other end of the ground), playing with cousins or out frolicking with my cousin brothers. Time did not matter. It was an entire week of celebrations for family and there was the reception for outsiders.
  • Close friends: Umm… except one, all the other friends are single. I chose not to attend the wedding since I am not into it. If I had a choice, I would not have turned up for my own wedding… actually, if we had a choice KC and I would have had a live in relationship all our life.
Punjabi (or is in Delhi) weddings are notorious for starting late… the invitation says 8 pm but the wedding starts at 11 pm. Thats how it is- I was told. Different… very different from Gujarat weddings.
Few months back my sis was in town and I had taken her shopping. We came across gaudy bling in most of the shops and my sis wondered what happened to the fashion conscious Delhi people. I guess, at a wedding it all goes out of window. Being a Sindhi, I am no stranger to bling… but the bling of this level was beyond my imagination. There was a lady dressed in a blingy saree, with a bling blouse, gaudy jewellery, bling on her eyes and the blingy footwear. For a moment I thought she is the bride to be (I have met her only once and was blinded momentarily by the bling) until I spotted the chudas and realized she is a newly wed.
I am glad its over and will be avoiding any future weddings. Requesting my friends not to invite me. I think RT is the only friend whose wedding I am looking forward to… the wedding will be in MP and we can go to Bandhavgarh from there.


Life revolves around food

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Hiya. I am sitting in the bedroom after watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory Season 5. KC is sleeping and there is silence. It is cold but bearable. Last night’s howling breeze is silent right now. Winter is saying goodbye and I couldn’t be happier.

This week has been hectic and I have not been getting enough sleep. No, its not work… its never work. On Thursday, my colleague gave me a free pass for the movie ‘Chronicle’ playing at Vasant Kunj Mall. I invited D, AB and KC. AB couldn’t make ‘coz he had to “sleep early”. KC was quite busy at work and we had to leave quite late. The traffic on Mehrauli road did not help and we reached half an hour after the movie started. Disappointed, we headed for a quick drink and dinner at Taman Gang. I had not heard about it but D had come for dinner with his family. He did mention that it is expensive but I did not realize then that our definitions differ. Anyway, since we were in a hurry D ordered for us. We did not even look at the menu. There was some chicken starter which was quite good. The chicken red Thai curry was yummy. The chicken was so so so soft. And rice was good. We had 4 drinks in all. The bill came to 5k. I was a little zapped. We have not done the whole get together with friends in a while and was not sure how much it is supposed to cost. Even then, it seemed on the expensive side. On checking the bill, I realized main course and starter cost 650 bucks each. KC and I do not have a budget but generally, anything above 350 bucks is expensive for us. I read the reviews on zomato.com and check the prices before going to a place. The prices are so high only in a 5 star. The food was good but quite expensive.
We then headed for The Descendants. I will write a review in my next post.
KC was working late on Friday night and we came home at 10.30 pm. I was in no mood to go out and we ordered in (with great difficulty since everything closes at 11 pm in Gurgaon).
Last night was great. We headed to Select Citywalk since KC wanted to shop. Dinner was at The Big Chill Cafe, as always. We visit it every month and love the food there. My only grouse is the waiting time. The first time we went there on a Sunday afternoon, we got a table at 3 pm (after more than an hour of waiting). At Khan Market, D had booked a table on phone an hour earlier. We were made to wait for another 45 mins. Last night was the same. 60 mins of wait and we finally got a table at 10 pm. Thankfully, the service was quick. Their Vanilla Oreo shake is to die for.
Last weekend was the workshop. I was happy to have no class on a Sunday and just wanted to stay in and do nothing. At 12 noon- after finishing all the chores, we were about to start watching TBBT when a friend R called. R and me live within 5 mins of each other and were together in engg college. Our friendship has lagged over the years and neither has made an effort to revive it. All my invitations to movies or dinner have mostly been turned down by him- for one reason or the other in the last few months. And I have basically given up. Anyway, he asked me to bring him some food since he is very ill and has nothing at home. I guessed he was in dire need of help to have called me. I packed some food and took it to him. He had been running a fever for 3-4 days and was surviving of D Cold and Crocin. His sister was away at a weeding out of town and parents had gone back to their home 2 days back. Basically, he was alone and there was nobody to look after him. After feeding him soup, I took him to the hospital. He had to be given a drip to bring down the fever. I brought him home, fed him lunch and returned home to a Sunday that was almost over. Sigh!!! I do not understand the reluctance of people to see a doctor. My father is a doc so advice is always available and I am quite used to it. For me it is very natural to see a doc when I am unwell. Most people wait and wait and wait till they are pushed by someone to see a doc. KC is like that. So, is R. Any symptom which lasts more than a week should be diagnosed by a doc; 2 days if it is fever.
And today I plan to do nothing. Just sit home and lounge around. I need to.


The Week that was…

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Hiya. This week has been nice. I love mid week holidays. They are non chore days. I cannot wake up on Thursday with a list in my head. The lists are for the weekend. We had nothing to do on Republic day since we could not get passes for the parade. I was told tickets are for losers. Anyway, 26th Jan’12 bright, early and sunny. The day was beautiful. My friend AB told me he was going for a picnic to Lodi Gardens. I decided to head there as well. We had planned to go to the garden last month but it didn’t work out. To avoid checking, we took the metro to Jor Bagh. The garden was crowded… all the Delhi families had come there to soak in the sun. And they had come with preparation- home made food, cards, cricket gear, badminton rackets, liqour, floor mats etc. I got to know later that Lodi gardens and India Gate are a draw during the winters. It is the ideal place to hang out. It was quite nice. We walked around the garden and visited the monuments. I was shocked to see people drinking liqour. Lodi Gardens is the most posh place in Delhi. Dignitaries live around there. If decent families can drink liqour in the open on Republic day, anything can happen. I mean, what are we teaching our kids? Sigh!!!

After an hour, we met up with D who lives near Khan Market. After a Vanilla Oreo shake (please try it) and pasta at Big Chill we tried to get tickets for a movie, any movie but were unsuccessful. It was a day well spent.
Yesterday was the Winter Workshop at Sirifort Auditorium. My day was filled with “to-do” items- buy shoes from Sohna Road Bata showroom (the only store in Gurgaon which stocks shoes worth 250 bucks), go to the bank, buy groceries, go to the parlour, have lunch, leave for workshop. The workshop was fine. Our performance lasted for barely 1.5 mins. We went on stage, did our stuff and came out. It was unbelievable- 2 months practice for only 1.5 mins. During classes, I don’t interact much with anyone. I dance and leave- like everyone else. Anyway, 90% of the class has school going teenagers. During the workshop, I had the misfortune of interacting with them. We had to wear checked skirts given by the company. They were knee length skirts. ALL the girls found them TOO long. And then, they proceeded to fold them to less than half their length. For some reason, most of them have accents. I do not understand this. They don’t look like NRIs. Where do they get accents from?
Lesson learned- Have kids but do not educate them in Delhi.


Its been a good day… good, good day

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It has been a good Sunday. The morning was a rush. I could not wake up early enough to go to the gym. The plan was to finish all chores in the morning and meet some friends for lunch at Khan Market. We rushed to Galleria to buy groceries, veggies/fruits and a b’days gift for the friend. We had to meet A and D. It was D’s b’day yesterday and I wanted to get him a gift even thought A asked me not to. It is so difficult to buy something for someone who can afford┬áeverything… what can you gift a guy? With KC, its different… I spend enough time to notice what he is drooling after and what he needs… but for friends, it becomes difficult… specially guys. I got a cologne from Body Shop. We rushed home… I got dressed while KC napped. After a very long time, I wore my heels. I am not comfy in heels and do not like it when my legs ache. Also, work involves travelling, walking and standing around… so I avoid heels. Today was the perfect day for it… since the only walking would be from my car to the restaurant.
Lunch was at Big Chill where we had to wait for 45 mins even though a table had been booked in advance. When I gave D the gift, he looked quite embarrassed and told me it was unnecessary since now he will have to remember my b’day and then buy a gift and finding a gift for females can be a drag. Wow!!! I never thought of it that way… I mean, I had to meet up with girlfriends a day before or after my b’day… a gift would be given to the b’day girl. No questions about it… its taken for granted. I guess, men are different… very different.
A complained that I not gifted him anything for his b’day. Well, when I called to wish him… he
had denied that it was his b’day and that facebook was lying. No kidding.
After the crazy lunch, we dropped in at L’Opera… A and D wanted to see what the big deal about the macaroons is… what is it that costs 130 bucks. They were unimpressed.
We headed home soon after. Rest of the day was spent lazing around.
Some pics of my fav heels… I don’t remember when I bought them…. its been more than 2 years.


Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey

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I read bad reviews of this one and Dhruv warned us… but KC and I watched it anyway. As a rule Dhruv and our tastes differ as far as movies are concerned. When it began I thought; “How bad can it get?” Really, really, really bad.

There are a few rules to be followed while making patriotic movies:
  • Always make a movie about a widely known incident … instead of something that happened ages ago and is not even covered by history textbooks
  • The movie should end on a happy note… imagine watching the violence, torture and realizing nothing actually came of it… absolute waste of time
  • Don’t add romance if not required… every Bollywood movie does need to have a romantic angle
  • Have good actors in the main leads… and not Abhishek and Deepika who can’t act to save their lives
There… please don’t watch it.
KC beat me to the review… and has already used my views in his post.


Bengaluru

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I hope I spelt it correct. The trip was damn good. On Saturday I visited the salon and rushed to the airport. My flight was from the new terminal. I was thirsty and hungry but guess what… none of the 5-6 outlets had bottled water. There were taps around but no glasses. Anyone know taps for drinking water in USA… where you have to place your mouth above the tap and open it? The water flows into your mouth… well, they were definitely there. I do not understand the logic… after all, 90% people using the domestic airport are Indians and would we drink water like that??? Never!!!

Anyway, KC picked me up and we headed to his guesthouse in Ulsoor. I had asked him; “Is it cold in B’glore?” and he said; “No”.
Me: Will I feel cold there?
Him: It is neither cold nor hot. It is pleasant.
I decided to carry my stole anyway… since I am more sensitive to cold climate.
We walked around 1 km to the guesthouse. The plan was to meet Dhruv for dinner at Spiga.
Spiga is a nice lounge in the Crossword building on MG road. It is a rooftop restaurant with lots of lights. I loved it. There are not many options in food but I liked my red thai curry and chicken satay. Dhruv booked us for dinner on all days thereafter.
On day 2 we met RT, Appu and Arjun for lunch at Hotel Richmond on Richmond road. I had my fill of sambhar rice. After watching Khelein Jee Jaan se we headed to Mainland China for dinner with Dhruv. The night ended with chocolate fudge at Corner House. KC and I walked in the winter hand in hand. What a night!!!
I was in no mood to socialise on day 3 and cancelled plans. We had lunch at Ente Keralam (don’t remember the exact name) near Manipal Center. The food was superb… appam, chicken curry and chicken briyani. They served us coconut water in actual coconuts. It was also reasonably priced. Yum!!! After spending a few hours at Forum we watched Social Network and ended the day with dinner at Nagarjuna on M G road.
KC was working on day 4 and I met Sinha and Sahana at Barista in Leela Palace. Time flew as they shared details of their life in Sweden. I got many many many stares and looks while waiting for them to pick me up at Manipal Center. After lunch at Nandhini I headed back to wait for KC. The flight was at night… I wanted to spend 2-3 hours with KC even though that would mean reaching home after midnight.
It was a good trip and here are my thoughts:
  • I miss winters…. B’glore winter was so good.
  • I loved walking in B’glore… there is space to walk… unlike in Mumbai… where we have to walk on the roads and jostle for space among vehicles
  • B’glore has many rooftop pubs/restaurants due to the awesome weather… Mumbai lacks those
  • I love South Indian food… and finally I managed to have a meal at Nandini
  • I bought KC a new perfume to replace the one I broke
I am feeling extremely tired today… managed to finish a lot of chores- unpack, wash clothes, grocery shopping, tailor etc
I was afraid of travelling alone at midnight but there was enough traffic and police on the road. The biggest advantage of Mumbai- safety.


Comfort Zone

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I travelled to Pune yesterday by bus. I got onto a bus after almost a year and had forgotten how pleasant the journey can be. There was also the fear which made me realize I have entered a comfort zone. The thought of getting out of the cocoon is so tiring that I have stopped making efforts. I love to travel…. entering a new terrain gladdens my heart… whether it is the ghats near Lonavala or the stone houses at Saurashtra or dry land at Kutch… it is a new experience with new possibilities. Bus journeys have the maximum scope for imagination. Another great part is that travelling cuts me off from people… there cannot be long conversations on the phone (atleast not throughout the journey). All I can do is read and listen to music. I get the “Me” time. And since there are no distractions the thoughts come unbidden.

I wondered why I have not taken my car and driven to Lonavala. It would be extremely refreshing.
Through FB I realized an old friend is in Pune. I wondered if I should give him a call. We did not part on good terms. On reaching Pune I decided to throw caution to the winds and made the call (God bless FB… anyone contact is available there). He didn’t answer. “Oh well!!! What would I have said anyway.”; I thought. But he called back and sounded happy to hear from me. The meeting in Pune stretched till 7 pm and there was no time to meet up which was disappointing. There are some people we can call even after 10 years of not staying in touch. I have quite a few such friends.
On the journey I thought about my “happy places”… places in my mind/memories where I turn when life gets too much:
  • My bed at home. I dream of going home and sleeping on that bed. Everytime an opportunity to go home comes I somehow shirk it. If things didn’t go well there, the happy place will not give me happy thoughts. I am just keeping the door open.
  • Taking walks at Manipal. You never knew where it would take you. Every path (even the well trodden one) managed to surprise me. The best place was “the hillside”.
  • My trip to Corbett. I had the best time with Abhinav and Dhruv – specially our all night talking and drinking.
  • My trip to Bangkok- again with Abhinav and Dhruv. Those were good times and I am lucky to have such friends.
  • The time with RT and Appu at CCD in Manipal…. dinners of paratha and khichdi at Sheela (did I get the name right?) with them
  • Bike rides with KC when we started dating… I wish I had a bike instead of the car and he would still take me around everywhere

And this is probably the most “open”, “frank” post of 2009. Savour it…

The reason I have not been writing anything with “substance” is I am so distracted I don’t have a heart to heart with myself. I need to travel more… much much much more.


Shutter Island

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Dhruv and I watched this one on my b’day after reading the positive reviews. Till the interval we were wondering what the hell is going on. It was kind of confusing. Thankfully, at the end we know… and that makes it worth it. I should have guessed the movie would be like this… after all it has been directed by Martin Scorsese.

Worth one watch.


Sambhar Rice

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I headed to B’glore over the weekend. It was very difficult to work on Thursday… I kept thinking about the flight on Friday. I am very bad with packing… usually, end up packing too much.

Here is the excess that was packed:
  • All the clothes I bought in Globus… to show KC. I don’t have the patience to wait for a week when he comes home
  • An extra pair of formal footwear since I had to go to office on Monday morning from the airport
  • Extra pair of formals… incase I am not in the mood to wear what I plan to wear
  • Extra pair of casuals… incase I am not in the mood to wear what I plan to wear
  • Jewellery… even though I will wear only 2-3 pairs of earrings
  • Toiletries… I prefer to stick to my preferred brands and don’t like sharing KC’s… though he is free to share mine
  • CDs with all the downloaded “stuff”.. for KC
  • 3 flavours of Smint… lemon is my fav

You get the picture.

KC and I rushed to 13th floor on Friday night to meet Dhruv. We met after 6 months (Dhruv and me… not KC and me). Unfortunately, it was dry weekend and 13th floor was closed. We had an Italian dinner at a restaurant on the same floor. It was fun… I missed Abhinav a lot. It is so strange… three of us are in different regions again.
I headed to RT’s home on Sat while KC was at work. We chatted lazily in her room. Appu joined us for lunch. The plan was to go to Medichee (hope I spelt it right) but it was closed (damn.. the dry weekend). We had no option but to go to ‘100 feet’… very expensive and not so great. KC joined us for lunch. And then… it was shopping time.
I wanted to watch ‘LSD’ but KC was exhausted… or maybe he wanted to watch the match. For dinner he took me to a chettinad restaurant. I was super excited about eating sambhar rice… the sambhar is Mumbai is so pathetic… it is sweet and tastes like piss. I craved for some authentic sambhar. The sambhar cooked in the cafeteria of Taj Coromandel is the best I have had… they add loads and loads of baby onions. Yum!!! It is almost orgasmic.
Anyway… the restaurant had run out of rice. I was devastated… we inquired at Nandini, they refused to deliver if the bill was less than 200 bucks… and sambhar rice costs only 38 bucks. I ordered food worth 200 bucks and viola, had my fill of sambhar.
The next night I wanted to eat sambhar rice again. The chettinad restaurant didn’t have sambhar. I convinced them to give me “tiffin sambhar” (sambhar served with idli/dosa) with rice. Yum, again!!!
Guess, whats for dinner tonight? Sambhar rice… ­čÖé


Orgasmic Daal

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Hiya. I cooked the most amazing toor daal today. It was a basic daal with the usual…

  • Boil daal in pressure cooker. Once the cooker cools down whisk it with a blender
  • Put it on the gas, add water if required.. add salt, green chillies, tomato, haldi, red chilli powder and bring to a boil
  • Add Maggi’s bhuna masala and Maggi masala cubes (available everywhere)
  • Bring to a boil
  • Once done… heat oil in another small pan… add rai and jeera.Once they splutter add hing. Switch off the gas and add whole red chillies
  • Add this mixture to the daal and bring to boil
  • Serve with rice

I think the bhuna masala did the trick. KC seconded my opinion.

My best friend is back in India… she will shift to Mumbai soon. I am soooo excited.
Last night KC and I went to Pizza Hut for dinner. I prefer Dominoes for its garlic breadsticks but Pizza Hut is better for dining out. Few years back Dhruv and I had gone for lunch to PH. We ordered tomato soup which tasted like piss… and the pasta was the worst.
Anyway… I obviously expected PH to have learned to cook proper pasta… specially now that they are advertising their 30 new menu options. We were sorely disappointed. One bite of the pasta and we rushed for the bill. The stupid waiter didn’t charge for the drinks on realizing we didn’t like the pasta. Yes… I am complaining ‘coz he didn’t let us pay… Reasons are these:
  • We ordered pasta ‘coz we were hungry. He should have given us a pizza free instead… after all, we were still hungry but pissed
  • The drinks and pasta cost the same… why charge for pasta and not drinks? Strange!!! He should have given discount on pasta… not drinks

Screwing up a pasta is quite difficult….

My 32 inch LCD TV is installed and mounted on the wall. The problem is… it does not fit into the TV unit… since it is wall mounted watching it is difficult from the side. I have to sit right in front of the TV to watch it properly.
The 21 inch TV is mounted in the bedroom. Thankfully, there is an active cable connection there. Its a strange building I live in… the newspaper guy did not take his money for 5 months. I gave up after calling 4-5 times… and now the cable… we are getting free cable.
There are very few movies which deserve any awards this year… there were too many flops. I liked Dev D, Luck By chance, Kaminey… Wake Up Sid was bearable… songs of Love Aaj Kal were good… thats about it… Every award function has a favourite movie and most awards go to it. Politics everywhere!!!