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Rambles, Rhymes and Tales


Wherefore Art Thou Bollywood

bollywood love

This Uber driver counselled me today on the importance of having children. With a rather disconcerting directness, he asked me whether I was married. Then went on to inquire if I had kids, planned to have kids and then explained, “Continuity of life. That’s what I tell my daughter too.” I didn’t need to know why he assumed I would have a similar outlook, as his family, to starting a family. He knew me, just as so many of my…

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the queue

you are green bamboo forests bending in the evening as i fear its creatures and shiver to its call you are the wide surging river, sand banks ever stretching the long bridge crosses and takes me to the other side you are the three cornered toy in moghalserai station and the sound of a coal engine screaming in the night you are the twisting grey road up the steepening mountain rhododendrons fiery by its side, my breath held tight you…

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durga Festive Specials food

Have you ever had Pesarattu Upma?

Pesarattu, it’s been a personal favourite since my childhood. Pesarattu is a dosa made from moong dal where pesara means moong and attu means dosa. Yes, that is what a dosa is called in the local regions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In fact the regular dosa which is made from urad dal is called minappattu, where minapa is urad. Actually a festival involving the attus is also celebrated. It is called Atlataddi where young girls and women do Puja…

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a sycamore in the garden… bahceda yesil cinar : song review

it’s a beautiful song. her voice is mellow and smooth and has a reach in it. it calls without being maudlin. i don’t understand a word of it, but this morning i heard it in a loop. a story of love, of the sycamore and the rose and na na nay. a young and lovely turkish actress called fahriye evcen sings the song. i get the feeling, it’s an old lyric, a love song that’s close to the heart. there…

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talking about the good old days

oh no, do i have the word “old” in the title? that’s it. no one is going to read this. anyway, let me carry on. no idea how the years passed by, i noticed though, they have a way of doing so without any effort whatsoever (something to learn in that, i’m sure, especially for my knees), and suddenly i was on the other side of the story. i was no longer the one rolling my eyes and throwing fits…

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indi Poetry

when i see flowers i think of you

when i see flowers i think of you purse your lips and perhaps you smile there is no distance beyond the hour the hour that comes unmindful of season and time   this flower whose name i do not know yet it sits right by my sitting room’s window and amid its cloak of silken unbending leaves bursts forth in colour of hue intense and pure there is no uncertainty in its lines no murmur of may i or if…

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aarwen Festive Specials food

Have you ever served Dhabhe wali Dal at Home?

dhabha wali dal at home recipe

I have always dreaded day 2 or 3 of having house guests. I have already served them paneer or chole (substitute chicken curry if you are a non-vegetarian host), we have gone out to an expensive popular restaurant in town and we have approached what I fondly call the “home cooked food craving” day. These guests say things like, “My stomach is full” or “am feeling heavy” or “let’s have something simple“. Years of conditioning as a conscientious host doesn’t…

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aarwen Poetry

A spell under the Rainbow

Spell under the Rainbow

This old wizened witch sat by the window Her black pointy hat had a wide gaping hole She was busy with her spell to steal a perfect rainbow. A croaking toad disturbed her evil reverie She squashed the busy spider with the tiny insect he stole. A bat came falling right through the chimney With soot all over the witch did look terribly funny. Into the cauldron went a fat rat’s tail, The clove of garlic was nice and horribly stale. A…

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durga Poetry

Life’s Perils – A poem

There’s something ’bout life’s perils They keep coming back, of course they will But each time, the roles are changed With much diversity, experience gained Treading on, on the path of hope Steering clear of the surrendering  slope A strong resolve to withstand the gale Rough weather, but the ship has to sail An excruciating task, a test of patience Giving every progress, a touch of exuberance Drop by drop, the pot will fill Inch by inch, the soil will…

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Festive Specials food indi

fish kochuri… a halloween recipe

i was sitting in front of my computer, working and completely absorbed, when it came out of nowhere and spooked me. i suddenly had to make fish kochuri. i don’t know how to make these delicious pastries with fish stuffed in it. this was a fiend though that was hellbent on scaring me into submission. think the only time i’ve had fish kochuri or maachher kochuri, as we call it in bengali, was almost ten years ago. maybe more. it…

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