June 29, 2002

i saw a giggly two-year-old

i saw a giggly two-year-old run all over the place without his shoes. those are the softest little pinkies i’ve ever seen!




June 17, 2002

so many times…

broken conversations

loud whispers

drunken ramblings

high-pitched, deep-throated

voices that nights carry

so many times.

voices that prick

the ear

before sleep

pulls shut the eye

voices that have no language

only volumes

night winds magnify

nerul, thane

bangalore, uxbridge

when sleep mixes

with travelling voices

by strangers

in the night

someone

tell me why

i always think

it’s the street below

my window at home

so many times.




June 12, 2002

cookbooks are not for editors…

in spite of all my endeavours as a wannabe culinary perfectionist, there are many times when i have gone OOPS!!

like when i burnt rice in the cooker, ran the blender without the blade in, used sugar instead of salt in something as unassuming as rice khichadi, blackened potatoes and carrots, almost turned my dry grinder into a spinach-sprinkler with the green paste flying all over the splashback tiles; i’ve even have had to boldly convert many of my would-be-pasta or noodle experiments into exotic cuisine tasted by no human before.

we all have our unique behaviour in the kitchen. as i have observed is with most people, i like to cook alone, and also take it seriously. even with my limited exposure to cooking during home-science classes at school, i preferred no helping hands. i guess i’ve always liked to think of myself as a neat cook, with all the ingredients arranged at-hands’-distance in their separate bowls, the frying pan ready only when i am.

i wouldn’t like to change that habit, especially because i’m extremely prone to the slightest distraction when i’m cooking, and as you can see when i’m distracted i can be really clumsy :-)

during the initial months of my newly-married life, my only pastime, apart from experimenting with the interiors of our little home (like hanging floor-mats on the wall and bells on the staircase), was pestering my sister back home — who by the way, is a great cook herself — to mail me *practical recipes, or being heavily reliant on the world wide web for the same.

(*practical = very edible, tasty no-frills-dishes, best cooked by all mothers)

i have seen that the tastiest cookbook experiments are those that are also well-written. however, with my six-year-trained eyes of a copy editor, it has almost become impossible for me to get past to the end of a recipe, without having to spot a typo here, or catch a mismatched sentence or funny phrase there. to my surprise and often, disappointment, i even came across recipes that lose the main ingredient somewhere along the cooking procedure.

here are some classic examples: (represented as is in the original recipes)

a) add the salt according to the salt (go here, step #8, to check for yourself)
b) …then add the green leafy paste to the the pan,mix well,allow it to cook for few minutes until the boils appear. (ugh! :-o)
c) wash bitter gourd into small pieces (huh?)

tch tch, no doubt, for someone like me who’s learning to cook, the recipes i’ve found online so far have really been *face-savers*, but someone out there definitely needs to do some serious re-writing.

according to me, every ingredient is sacred to a dish, and contributes to the complete sensory eating experience. perhaps an ideal recipe is that which is …well, very cook-friendly, and takes you through the entire procedure visually in your head, before you actually get down to cooking it yourself.

hmm, i feel like toying with some recipe-writing myself. but boy, am i glad that i did not have to find my way to praveen‘s heart through his stomach ;-)