Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New beginnings

It's been more than 4 years that I've starting blogging. From mood swings to breaks from my blog to blogging almost everyday. From writer's block to blogging challenges. It's been a hell of a journey and I have learnt a lot.

But now it's time to move on! No, I am not leaving the blogging world. Just shifting my blog to a new home. 

I am feeling sentimental about leaving blogger behind but C. S Lewis has summed it up perfectly for me.

So if you know me and are wondering where to find me now, just click on the link below. 


Cheers, and loads of love

Monday, April 21, 2014

You know what harassment looks like?

You know what harassment looks like?

A 13 year old girl followed home from the rickshaw stand by a labourer on a cycle.

You know what harassment looks like?

A 14 year old girl followed from her home to her tuition by a fat man making lewd gestures with his fingers near his crotch. 

You know what harassment looks like?

A 14 year old girl too scared to go back to her tuition. 

You know what harassment looks like?

A man trying to get a feel of a teen's breasts in a 5 minutes auto ride after dark.

You know what harassment looks like?

Not having the option of getting down from the auto because you're too scared about not getting any other transportation back home.

You know what harassment looks like?

 Having your breasts compared to melons

You know what harassment looks like?

Having to hear young boys sing "pee loon " as you walk down the road.

You know what harassment looks like?

Hating the songs for ages after that

You know what harassment looks like?

Having to change routes because it's dark and you're walking home alone. 

You know what harassment looks like?

Feeling unsafe in your lane when one of the street lights breaks down. 

You know what harassment looks like?

 Men and women staring at your cleavage

You know what harassment looks like?

Feeling the need to cover up  your cleavage.

You know what harassment looks like?

Covering your face with your bag because some random guys have started clicking pictures of your girls with their phones at your bus stand.

You know what harassment looks like?

Having to do that everyday.

You know what harassment looks like?

Knowing your sister will be harassed and she's barely 10.

You know what harassment looks like?

Coming back home to hear your 11 year old sister recount her scary story of how she was followed home from the bus stand. 

You know what harassment looks like?

Witnessing the same fat guy that followed you ages ago, masturbating outside your house.

You know what harassment looks like?

Instinctively knowing that the fat guy probably harasses the students of the all girls school opposite your home. 

You know what harassment looks like?

Having to explain what harassment looks like.

You know what harassment looks like?

The fatigue from the countless times you've explained what harassment looks like. 

Street harassment is something all women are handed on a ready plate and told to deal with. Because, "men will be men" and "such is a women's life"; so on and so forth. 

This post is completely based on my and my sister's experiences. 

Most women will relate. A few men will try to imagine. Some will understand. Most men will dismiss it as another write up by a bitchy, whining women who thinks her life sucks.


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Perplexing painters

We have painters working in the house. And it's pretty weird and awkward. They are working on the exterior right now but will move in pretty soon.  I can hear them work, I can hear their comments. It reminds me of the time a a labourer suffered from mistaken identity because of me. I am a bit disconcerted and a bit flustered by the possible lack of privacy. It's going to be a long month.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Street food at Lord Sinha road,

Lord Sinha Road near Exide crossing is one of my favourite streets in Calcutta. For three years, I walked from Exide to Lord Sinha Road in the morning. It houses my college and just walking through it brings back so many memories. I adore the location of my college, with a mall right opposite ( Emami market) and another 2 minutes away ( Metro plaza) and one more just 7 minutes away (Forum) we had loads of places to hang out when we bunked classes. ( ah, 2nd year!) And if you don't like shopping and ACs, there is food! So many outlets and so many hawkers. You are literally spoiled for choice. 

Calcutta ofcourse has no competition when it comes to street food. And I am not being biased. We have so many options at such pocket friendly prices. And Lord Sinha  is a thriving destination for hawkers with street food; what with a couple of schools and colleges around and a couple of malls; add to that the numerous offices! There is bound to be business.

So today I decided it's time re-discover the road and see what has changed.  

At the mouth of the street is a tea stall, a muri wala and a guy who sells  standard dal and rice at very affordable prices. Offic-goers and labourers are alike at front of this stall. I got my first shock when I tried looking out for my favourite marwari snack shop. My friends I used to depend on that shop for lunch on many occasions. Khasta, kachori, puri and alu, samosas- yum! And guess what I saw today? The shope had been replaced by a parlour. Very disappointing; I would choose food over make up any day.

Anyway, I kept walking further down, towards all  the hawkers lined up.  First the achar wala, I bought achar ( not exactly pickle but a concoction of tangy tamarind and spices) for old times sake. ( I still have half of it in my bag) The guy remembered me! That made me smile. Right next to him was the puchka wala. ( There are 3 puchka walas on this road!) I felt like having puchka but I didn't coz I was aiming for something else. I moved on and spotted a new hawker- selling chaat and corn. Well, new guy so a no. 

There is pure veg restaurant called Ridhi Sidhi at the entrance of Emami market. It's pretty good and does great business. The 2nd puchka wala is also located outside the restaurant and gets paid by the restaurant owner. Further down the street there is a outlet famous for it's pau bhaji. It's called Mayaram's and my aunts gave me rave reviews. It's not a personal favourite since my mom makes absolutely wonderful pau bhaji but it's popular, so there you have it. Outside the shop there is a guy who sells lassi, soda sikanji ( fresh lime soda, duh!) sherbbat and masala coke. I made a mental note of coming back once I had eaten something.

Next in line was a guy selling puri chane. I have had his fare during my college time and he is good. Then I saw a guy selling veg momos. Now, I 'm a big fan of momos but no veg momos for me, thanks. After him the chilla guy was standing. If you don't know what chilla is please ask a Punjabi friend ( ok since I'm Punjabi and very nice I will tell you. It's a flat pancake made of either besan or dal, sprinkled with chopped onions, tomatoes and chillis. We often make it for breakfast. It's the north version of uttapam. ) His chillas are yum but  didn't want to spend my money on something I can easily get at home. ( By now you must be thinking I'm fussy and not easily please and why the heck am I not eating already!) 

And now my current favourite- tikki chana. This snack is very common in Delhi but a rare sight here in Calcutta where streets are lined with puchkwalas and muriwalas and roll stalls. And the guy knows me. He remembers that I had to go back disappointed one day because hw had just wrapped up. Imagine, deep fried alu tikkis ( please don't tell me to explain tikkis...) topped with tangy chole, imli, spices and onions. Delicious. Mouth watering. 

I talked to the tikki wala while he was making them. He has been selling tikkis for more than 25 years he said. and so many others like him have been standing, selling their fare for years and years. When his next customer came, he asked the hawker if the price was same. He answered in the affirmative and then added- " Prices badenge iss baar, abhki baar modi sarkar ( Ok, he didn't say that but he did say that the prices may increase. ) Anyway, after I was finished I praised his food and moved towards the shikanji wala for a drink and then walked back to Exide to go back home.  I must mention that there are three more hawkers on this street- another puchka wala, another shikanji wala and another guy who sells chana. 

If you're craving Calcutta street food and want a huge variety, you must come to Lord Sinha road. It's a busy street with loads of cars and pedestrians and ofcourse street food hawkers.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Food, foodies and my babies

I invited a bunch of my friends over to my place yesterday for food trials or taste tests. I had made two things- creamy baked veggies and lemon pudding. And I got a lot of compliments. One of them even said that I should start a food blog. 

Well, well well. Maybe I will. Maybe not a separate blog but a separate feature to this blog. One of my goals for 2014 is to have a better blog, write everyday and start  the process of getting published ( don't know if the getting published bit can happen, but I am trying. ) I don't know if I am good enough to get published but I can hope, can't I?

Anyway, back to food. I still am an amateur at the food thingy but well keep the compliments coming. This girl needs it. 

A food feature huh? Where I talk about food and how it excites me and I try out new recipes. The problem is eating food does not excite me as much as cooking does. I am not a foodie. I won't try weird food. ( So don't offer me sushi. ) I hardly try new meat(though I am open to trying veggies.).

Maybe I will be qualified to start a feature once I am married and cook more regularly. Right now I focused on trials for my business . ( I make chocolates and bake. )  Looking for recipes, modifying them, avoiding eating too much of what I make ( I am dieting ) and looking for feedback from people.

I want to try a lot of things with my blog. I like the way it's shaping up. A little of this, a little of that. Not focused on one thing. Just like me. This blog is very me. Mostly. I have two babies- my business and my blog. I want both to be reflections of who I am. And even though it's taking a little time, it's happening. That makes me really happy.

P. S. I have a driving test tomorrow. And I' m starting swimming again!