5 Search Terms That Made My Saturday

The internet is really the biggest human museum of our times. It allows you deep insight into the functioning of the human brain (and a bundle of giggles while you’re at it). As I randomly sat analyzing the kind of search terms that have led people here, I came across a few which deserve wider discussion and acclaim:

I write a poem about food paneer: Oh, you do? Why, that’s what I spend all my weekends doing! Here’s one dedicated especially to you lest you come scouting for odes to paneer again:

Dear paneer, why are you at a boil?
Is it because we fried you in hot oil?
But when we bake you, if you recall –
you are usually not pleased at all!
I suggest you put on a smile, there!
After all, you must have your share –
of worldly rules, of water and fire,
you can’t always have what you desire!

List of Punjabi gaalis: I have utterly failed at eradicating foul gaalis/swear words here. Punjabi gaalis, it seems, are the flavour of the season and (shame, shame) my blog is where they are being sourced from. You wait, seeker of gaalis. I will put up a gigantic gaali repellent that will fill your mind with the kind of mantras on Aastha channel in the mornings.

How to hack DMRC Metro Card: Are you listening, Delhi police? Rush! I am sure you can still catch these scoundrels who are trying to mess up the brilliant Delhi Metro rail system. And I was only giving some harmless tips on managing the massive crowds! *weeps big tears*

Maggi noodles ban not Maggi tomato ketchup: Big hug to you my man, or my lady! Here’s someone who finally understands this judgment for what it is. Dear grocery stores in Pune, it is only Maggi noodles that has been banned and you’ve removed Maggi Pasta, Maggi Tomato Ketchup and Maggi masala from the shelves! Please spare us the overdose of love and protection and do only what is required.

Most expensive flour: If you haven’t come across this 180 crore variant of flour available in Delhi, you are blessed. While price rise is certainly in our face, when something as everyday as flour becomes SO out of reach, it sure is the end of the world! I sympathize with whoever drew some comfort here. Yes, the expensive flour you use is nowhere close to what some people in “Gorgon” have to “parchice”.

Do not love: Dear searcher, is everything alright? While I admit love can sometimes leave you with a broken heart, please do not make this your mantra! Not unless you are talking about staying away from toxic things like a car whose price is always accelerating or a job that requires you to give up living. If you’re looking to lighten up the load in your heart, may I suggest this, this and this?

All this talk about people and search terms has given me an idea. I will go search for “how to make Sunday be here faster and stay here longer”. So long then!

Thank you for the inspiration behind this post, Shailaja.

Too Chicken In Love

Chicken

*Picture from thegastronomicbong.com

I have been sitting at my desk in office utterly perturbed. It is a Wednesday that isn’t a mid-week (which other country still has working Saturdays?!) and there has been a lot of work through the day. But this is not why I have been perturbed.

The truth is, I have been facing severe withdrawal symptoms. It has been a whole four days since I had chicken and my self-control is fraying even as I blink! Back in Delhi, Mom and Grandpa knew about my condition and always ensured I got my dose. After all, it was an infinitely better prospect than being around a listless, disinterested individual who lacks concentration and drive. But here in Pune, I have difficulty in finding a supplier near my place. I need to walk down quite a bit or worse, hire an auto-rickshaw (please see this to know why this is doomsday!). R often tries to help me out but his late working hours interfere with our best laid plans.

Tell me now, isn’t the mere aroma, the distinct flavour and the spiciness of the chicken gravy enough to enthrall all five – or six – senses? How do I draw a parallel for the vegetarians? Let’s just say, it’s better (okay, I will change this to “as good”) than the most delectable paneer, the most succulent soya or the tangiest veggies you can think of. I have a torrid love affair with chicken that doesn’t let me focus on worldly matters if we are apart too long.

Growing up in a Bengali household, we had non vegetarian dishes at least four times a week. Fish was almost a staple but pity I never developed a taste for it. I ate my chicken sitting quietly in my place at the dining table. I worked my way neatly through the flesh and bones and dipped my rice in the gravy only after my nose had had its fill of smelling it.

I was initially very disappointed with the chicken in Pune. The cuisine didn’t appeal to me – it was either too bland or too spicy and red! That was before I discovered Good Luck Cafe, Adda, German Bakery and Olive Bistro. Although nothing quite compares to the chicken my Granny cooks at home, my taste buds have warmed to these places. My chicken and I are no longer long-distance.

Anyhow, the good news is that my workday is now over and when I get home, I have a date. Wednesday is when R gets me some chicken from that faraway shop I told you about and cooks it in our kitchen – my new favourite restaurant. The two of us will crunch and munch and, along with the chicken, all my life’s blues will disappear in gastronomic heaven!

Fifth!

The clock struck midnight. There was victory in his eyes. On the bed were remnants of his night’s hunt – the Scrabble letters I scattered after he had defeated me yet again! The man who can beat me at Scrabble is a man I respect.

On weekday nights, R and I whip up (not so) simple dinners so we are all sorted for making our way through the bedside books. They have been taking longer to get through, I have noticed. I swear this is because of how beautiful Pune night rain looks from our bedroom window. Golden, quiet and melodious! It looks different over the weekend though – more intrusive than beautiful, more irritating than romantic. We still trudge out, braving the mighty raindrops and squealing over the puddles.

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The Woman In My Window

Woman in the Window

*Picture from http://www.123rf.com

I love sitting by the window when it rains, dilly dallying over my bowl of soup or cup of coffee. I strain my nose to catch a whiff of wet earth and stretch my ears to listen to the distant song of the birds in their nests. It is then that I spot the woman in my window, quietly boring her eyes into me as if she can look right through me and to the other side.

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The New Age Male Chauvinist

Calvin

Before you put me down as another fanatical feminist, I have some concrete reasons to believe male chauvinism isn’t a thing of the past. It’s just that they now come in new packages and try hard to hide among the sheep.

There are men who expect their wives to wait interminably for that one weekend they will spend together. Life, after all, is not rushing by and she MUST understand how every weekend is meant for earning extra money, spending time with friends or worse, inviting them all home. In any case, she has had the entire week to relax when he was busy at work. Even if she has a career, her workplace couldn’t dream of being as tiring as his! These are the men who think nothing of adoring other women (we can tell when it’s “platonic”, please) and filling their home with bottle openers and corkscrews shaped like a woman’s (sexy, of course) torso. Perfect pigs!

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Spare Me the Selfies

Selfie

*Picture from http://www.zazzle.com

The world has become more self-assured. We are all convinced we are beautiful. While I think this is great, I would love it we weren’t quite so assertive about it. I mean, I so can do without those gigantic close shots of your torso on my social media timelines with enigmatic Mona Lisa expressions on your faces. Often, all I get to see is a medley of magnified eyes, lips and eyelashes – scares me out, really.

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Steaming Things Up This Monsoon

*Picture from http://www.self.com

*Picture from http://www.self.com

It’s only June but mornings in Pune have started to bring rain. I woke up to the music of raindrops last night and stopped short of spooking R out by walking to the bedroom all drenched, holding a flashlight. Things got dreamier when sweet, fragrant winds blew in from the window at dawn and I couldn’t believe the world could be cruel enough to expect me to work (turns out it could!). This was when I decided on an evening treat. 

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Of Watch-Men Who Give You Headaches

*Picture from www.yorkshireclockrepairer.co.uk

I committed a grave mistake the other evening; I went to get the battery in my watch replaced. Turns out this can be as dangerous as playing with fire.

The watch repair guy sat busily doing nothing behind the counter and said to me: “What’s wrong with your watch?”

“I think the – “ I ventured to reply, when he hushed me and continued. “You don’t really need to tell me. I can figure it out in a second just by holding your watch. I have been in this business for twenty years and this shop of mine is frequented by any knowledgeable Pune-ikar.” He turned to a tea-seller who had his little pop-up shop next door and called out. “What say, mate?”

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