#pullapartbuns

There was this one visit home, I think I was returning from a conference in Pune or was it Nasik, I’m not sure, I craved making bread. All through my flight the only thought that crossed my mind was the oven, the baking, and the bread. The yearning for bread was so much I thought I’d collapse if I didn’t make any asap I reached home. I hoped there would be packets of active yeast at home, and there was. 4 days at home, 4 days of baking bread, my folks were fed up with my bread mania.

In the picture is a batch of garlic pull apart buns, almost ready to go into the oven. I used the Halogen Oven, the latest addition to the kitchen, and quite surprisingly the results were goody good in spite of my doubts. I added a few last minute additions — a handful of hard boiled quail eggs… when it reached the table, I called it the eggy garlic pull apart buns.

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#53

Another year, yet another Maundy Thursday ..

A blessed week to those who celebrate, a long weekend to the rest .. ☺️

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#51

Raid is a 2018 Hindi language film directed by Raj Kumar Gupta with Ajay Devgan and Saurab Shukla playing the leads.

Though he has doned different roles, to me Saurab Shukla will always remain Gopi from Tehkikaat. That funny assistant who looks up to his detective friend, Sam (Vijay Anand). In this film in the role of the villain, Thauji, the landlord who is raided, he has the maximum scope of emotions.

Turns out, I don’t remember the last film I stepped into a theatre to watch Ajay Devgan act. It could be as long as more than 10 years with Bhagat Singh or his home production, Raju Chacha. Was he a part of that political drama based on the Mahabharata starring Ranbhir Kapoor & Katrina Kaif with a mother who couldn’t act – Rajneeti. Even that film seems to be a long time ago. You get the point don’t you?

Here, he plays this ‘ultra’ honest ‘patriotic’ officer (you should here his lines about nationalism and mother India) who is also shown to be madly deeply in love with his (newly wedded) wife (Ileana D’Cruz). If their romance was the so called comic relief in this terse drama — it turns out to be more of an irritation, incumbrance & subversion to the plot!

Picture this, Devgan as Amay Patnaik, 10-15 of his department colleagues, with a blue bus full of police troops (think guns, helmets, troops running out to make a boundary line) is at the house of this (most) powerful man, Thauji (Shukla), searching his haveli (mansion like house) for the black money and the records he has kept hidden. Apparently, this is a secret operation so that nobody in high places can tip off this influential man, also a politician, also a member of the parliament to hide his illegal assets elsewhere!

The ‘beautiful’ dainty wife walks in with a tiffin box at lunch time for her IRS officer husband saying, you’d be tired, or the wife knows everything!!!! Comic relief, absolutely. Initially I was horrified, the emotion turned to irritation and finally sarcasm! πŸ˜‰

The film would have retained its seriousness without this couple angle! Nevertheless, the wives and the kids (when they are present) is the pawn to coerce the honest officers into succumbing to the corrupt villain!

The plot is based on true events about the longest recorded raid in the history of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) – roughly 2 days in 1981. The ending is inspired from a couple of incidents from real life, the aftermath of raids in these towns.

I agree that more films should be made on the stories of these honest officers who dared to enter the lion’s den to thwart corruption under unfavourable circumstances of liaison between the rich, the police, judiciary and the politicians. However, it can be done with a seriousness it requires to get the message across, not resort to unwanted drama like the romance and presence of Dcruz in this film.

#46

“I hate endings. The truth is I hate beginnings, too. I like middles, the steady sameness, comfortable forever.” Korsak

Like almost every other day, somebody in my book group had put up a question, “what’s everyone reading today?” Somebody said Tess Gerristen. I was curious, googled her, and found her books. In a week’s time I was reading one of her thrillers with Detective Jane Rizzoli and the Medical Examiner Maura Isles. As I warmed up to them google told me there is a tv series by their name. I started watching them an episode a day after a day’s work, and steadily, the actors became part of my life. To the point whereI was shocked to learn that the actor playing Detective Barry Frost was no more one day.. one needs to live with a character in a book or/and a film to go through the cycle of grief and loss.

This line from the last episode of the series, is one of my favourites. Season 6 & 7 were so so, but I enjoy watching them once in a while.

I like beginnings, and endings, and most often even though middles are comfortable, I kind of am bored soon. What about you ..

#44

A couple of my friends have this condition called flat foot/feet or fallen arches, where the entire sole of their feet touches the ground/floor while they are standing. That is, they don’t have that arch in between, like most of us do, or the arch isn’t pronounced.

This in turn causes a lot of pain in the feet, heels, soles, calves, hips and back, many times it leads of the swelling of the foot while standing/sitting for long. We all have that one friend in our group whose feet swells up after a long car/bus/flight journey.

It is a condition that goes undetected in children and adults alike until it is brought to the patient’s attention as a result of constant pain, swelling or wear & tear of the footwear!

Most of these people feel comfortable walking in heels rather than flats as it helps them to even out the pressure of the body.

There isn’t any known cure for this condition, however, a corrective measure is to use customised insoles to reduce the discomfort! If anybody has an experience, please share. It will be useful to know in case

Check your feet!

Trivia: a podiatrist is a doctor who specialises in foot problems!

#43

Ferdinand is a 2017 animation film about a big bull who loves to smell flowers & has a big heart, that the descriptor. It starts off well in a farm, a calf growing up among other calfs bred to compete with matadors in the Spanish bullfighting ring. But this little guy doesn’t want to be a fighting bull like his father or the fathers of his friends or his friends at this stable. He wants to grow and smell flowers, roll around mountains and hills, spread love … etc etc. The humour of the film also comes from this disconnected image of a fully grown up bull rolling down a hill of flowers like he used to when he was a calf..

Ferdinand runs away from the stable/farm after he witnessed his father’s death. He is found by a flower farmer, daughter and their dog in a ditch/well who rear him like their own. Amidst them he grows up to be a gentle bull running after butterflies, and being the best friend to the farmer’s daughter until one day .. as fate would have it, he ends up at the farm he ran away from, to be taken back to the bull fighting ring.

A so-so story, it is cute at some level, but it does not sustain. Then there are these oft repeated stereotypes. It almost seemed like a bull replaced the dragon in how to train your dragon story Unlike the dragon, the bull has no popular bull qualities. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Coco.

In compariaon, Coco, which as you know won the Oscar for the best animation this year, is a story of Mexican boy who loves to sing, but is born into a family that hates the sound of it! This is because his great great grandfather, the musician, left his wife and daughter to pursue to his music to never return. The story is seeped in familial and kinship traditions, of remembering and honouring the dead, steeped in Mexican myths with Christian undertones .. on one such day, similar to the all souls day in the Mexican calendar, Miguel finds himself accidently in the world of the dead. He needs to get a blessing from an ancestor who loves music to return to the land of the living if he has to pursue music again, so the goes in search of his great great grand father ..

#41

One of the first things I do these days is make a bottle of tang/Glucon D/Rasna/Nestea with a few cubes of ice in it.

Then I move on to cut my water & musk melons, & guavas to make separate juices, pour them into my milkshake bottles and store them in the refrigerator. Then I move on to make a bottle of butter milk with curd, crushed ginger, curry leaves and green chillies. My refrigerator now has a lot of bottles, and I have one too many options to choose from when it comes to quench my thirst these summer days!

How do you welcome the summer heat?

#39

I made my first proper bruschetta inspired from Julie & Julia. Until then I never realised that the open sandwiches I was making lazily with bread and whatever I found as toppings mixed together with a few herbs and oils can also be categorised as a bruschetta.. πŸ˜‰

A few pictures from quick snack last month, I used a rye loaf, and mixed together whaterever I could find in my refrigerator! I used an app to cut the picture into 6 parts to make one of those jumbled pictures ….. πŸ˜‰

Another person inspired from the film ..

#38

On Fridays, I don’t get the bus striaght after work but instead I go to the Tesco Metro around the corner from the office and buy a Margherita pizza, some Chianti and two big bottles of Glen’s vodka. When I get home, ineat the pizza and drink the wine. I have some vodka afterwards. I don’t need much in a Friday, just a few big swigs. I usually wake up on the sofa at 3 am, and I stumble off to bed … (5, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine)

Since I was with Eleanor even before I called it a night, I felt like eating a pizza for breakfast this morning. Do you feel like tasting the food the characters of a book have while reading it? If it is available, what’s the harm in giving them a try. This is not my first time, but I do, I have cravings πŸ˜‹

Oh oh not a Margherita of course, I’m not into just the cheese and tomato as such in a pizza, I need some more spice and heat, a few pieces of shredded chicken I ordered a chicken BBQ with extra jalapeno delivered before the scheduled time. My breakfast was my cup of bru gold instant coffee, slices of pizza and a green pear. (What was your last meal like?)

It is nearly summer here in India. The day grows hotter as the sun passes over to its position overhead at noon. My daily intake of coffee has reduced significantly. There are days in this past week I didn’t drink even a single cup on a given day! Coffee, and jalapenos they are making me sweat today!

Dreading the hotter summer days ahead! Be kind, April & May, be kind.

PS: the hyperlinks on Eleanora will lead you to a few reviews I’ve read – good, bad, incomplete, half read, it is always a good practice to know a n all round review than mere glowing ones!

#36

The world celebrates Womens day today! They’d be discount sales, special offers, free health check ups focussing on women’s health, body, meditation classes and the works, a few awards given, a few women recognised, a few films with women characters, and cast highlighted, a more than few talk shows, debates, discussions .. and the day would one to an end.

It will be redundant to even begin to ask why.

Like after the birthday is over, people get back to being their everyday selves… They may even be the same on this day, just that a few of them get a high out of feeling special as the world is celebrating them! True there will be a small change, one or two reforms, bills passed in favour of the woman, at least it gives the the world an opportunity to discuss women and their issues!however I’d love to see a change in attitude towards women by them and from others with with each passing women’s day!

I’ll give you the example of my househelp who comes to mop and sweep the floors. She refused to take her salary for the previous month with her on the day of Holi (2 March). Holi is a harvest festival celebrated in some parts of India. She was scared her husband who was at home on a holiday from his work for the festival would snatch the money to by bottles of booze, return home and beat her up!!! This isn’t just her case! She is one out of many.

As far as I know, this woman works in 16 houses, earns around 15k a month. Her regular working day starts at 7 in the morning, by the time she is at my door at 10.30 she’d have finished 10 homes. She wakes up at 5 every morning, preps breakfast, packs lunch boxes for her grown up children, gets breakfast ready for her husband –he works a night watchman in a nearby factory– who is back home as she leaves for work. She goes home to prep for supper for her family in the evening, sends her husband to work… gets to bed around midnight after all her household chores are done to wake up at 5 the next day.

This could be an extreme case of the lower rung. I have a peer who is an associate prof in a college in the city. She wakes up at around 4, sends her kids to school, husband to work, heads to college which is like an hour and half by train one way, gets to the department at 1 to attend lectures as part of our course. She gets back home, does her assignments for her course, preps for her classes in colleges, gets to bed around 12 after supper. In her case, travelling itself takes a bulk of her time!

What is it that keeps these women going? I could say, they chose a life, especially my colleague who chose to pursue a course while she was working, which makes her see half of the city on any given day, spend time in public transport on the road and rails more than resting her back on her cosy bed! What about my househelp.

However, in doing all the work without involving their kids and their husbands both of them aren’t making life any better for the next generation of women or for themselves. Their sons would grow up to not help their women, and their daughters would grow up to be burdened with all the extra work..

I’m not saying there aren’t men who aren’t different. There are. Now the trouble here is many of them, or at least a few end up with –I’m a feminist kind of woman, can’t do traditional work, I will concentrate on my career kind of new woman — the men take over from their women but in the process are tired from all the work at home and office, like the women are in most of the other relationships..

a balance seems to be missing in both the cases! but there are relationships that run beautifully as well..

And this is just once instance of the entire anti-women, pro women conditioning campaign! I haven’t even begun to discuss the glass ceilings at work, or inside homes..