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Monday, November 22, 2010

The Death of Longer format

Watching the current India-NZ series made me think a bit. Gone are the awesome days of test cricket when there was a patient build up to the innings, each ball was played on its merit and there was a healthy competition between bat and ball. God, Dravid and Laxman are probably the last generation in World Cricket who can play the classical game the way it was played. So what has changed apart from the ho-hullah of T20 cricket, the flatness of the pitch, short grounds and lesser number of test matches due to jam packed T20 seasons.

I feel test cricket's biggest change has been the role of opening batsman. Where a Gavaskar or a Boycott labored for the entire morning session without a helmet to take the shine off the new ball, the likes of Sehwag, Smith, Gayle hit it all across the park to take the shine off the new ball. Opening batsman of the past were patient enough to see the new ball off, and pass on the responsibility to the middle order to accumulate the runs. Not that they were not scoring runs, but they usually used to stick around, anchoring the innings. A modern day Test opener wants to unsettle the opposition by thrashing him all around the park, then let the captain spread the field and then accumulate singles. They are fearless (given all the modern day equipment, and the lack of awesome fast bowlers). They want quick runs, so that there isn't much pressure on the middle order.

If we look at it both had similar intentions, but the way of achieving it was different.

Now think about how life has changed around you. Well the pitch has changed, there are lot of opportunities, life is faster now. You want to a good opening in life. Everyone wants quick success. Ask any MBA who has recently passed out and they will say, well I will work till I am 40, and then become a consultant, or work with NGO or do something on my own. Till then I want to earn. Everyone wants quick bucks, quick success. Everyone is secure financially, still they want more of it, and maybe few years from now give their children an awesome playschool so that he /she can enter a good school. Be it career, relationships, friendships, everyone wants to keep things short and uncomplicated.

Think of the previous generation, they used to labor it for years for getting things in place and give their next generation a better life. They would face the balls coming their way with courage despite much cover, lesser security, play off the new ball and then pass on the innings to their children to take it forward. It was all so courageous but brilliantly simple and happy.

And I think in between these two generations separating the Test Cricket generation and the T20 generation, we are stuck, the One Day generation- confused and unsure about our existence!

Monday, November 15, 2010

[SCM]: Baigun Bhaja

[My fascination with Bong food goes back to my good old childhood days, where Durga Puja and Navratri used to be my favorite festival. Khichdi at Durga Puja has no match, and the amazing chutney served with it, ahaa. Also my pados ki aunty used to make amazing fish for me. My liking for bong food has been well documented earlier. This recipe is dedicated to kharagpuriya bong at whose home I made this last week, the to be bong bahu who will eat a fish-head during her wedding, and my poor friend who spends nights in shady bengal hotels traveling on thelas, eats jhal mudi and sells tide:). And haan to the Amdavadi Bahu who loves cooking :)]

Baigun Bhaja (Serves 3)

  • Big Fat Brinjal (One or two, depends how hungry you are, please check for small pores in the Brinjal, if they are there be careful, isme keeda lag jaata hai kai baar]
  • Mustard Oil or Sarso ka Tel (extremely high on calories, superb on taste, if you don't have this, please don't try this dish)
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • Turmeric and Red Chillies powder

Wash the Brinjal (they use the max pesticides on poor Brinjal, wash it properly, and then wipe it with a dry cloth). Cut it into slices, slices shouldn't be wafer thin, nor they should be very thick. Medium thickness slices. Cut them but don't leave them for long, Brinjal has Iron in it, so like Apple, it oxidizes and turns dark. Its very high on Vitamins and Iron, but don't worry, we will kill it all :).

Take a bowl, put 2 Tb Spoons of Ginger-Garlic paste in it. Add a tea spoon of mustard oil, half tea spoon of turmeric and hald tea spoon of chillies powder. Mix it well. Remember its not like pakode ka batter, it shouldn't be too much, you just need to put that masala on the slices.

Take a pan, heat it, put mustard oil in it. Remember less oil and Brinjal might burn, or turn dry, a nice bhaja is always soaked with oil. Put the Brinjal slices in the bowl with paste in it, coat it evenly and shallow fry it in the pan.

While frying notice the sides, they will turn crisp, the center soft and yellow, fry evenly on both sides. Don't fry it too much, otherwise it will be too oily, just the right amount. The center should taste like oily bharta, and you know its done.

Goes well with Khichdi, simple Daal-Rice and even as a starter with alcohol. Yes after a long time I have found new company for alcohol :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

[SCM]: Desi's Mashy Mayo Wich and Thakela Sunrise

[Through Simple Cooking for MBAs or SCM I want to share a bit of whatever I try out in kitchen, you can ping my roomie, it tastes decent :), and its easy to make. For all my friends, living on those lonely sales stints, or sitting in distant plants, girls who always have wanted to cook but then finally don't, guys who think they can cook if they make maggi, those who are bored of their cooks, or thinking of throwing a home party, you can try a few out. Didn't take any pics today, will put them up next time around.]

Desi's Mashy Mayo Wich (serves 3)


  • Vegetables: 3 Potatoes, 2 Tomatoes (1 tomato diced, 1 sliced), 1 Onion (diced), 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • Brown / White bread: 9 Slices
  • 1 Tea spoon oil (use Saffola, good for heart, and would help increase my friend's sales)
  • Butter / Amul Lite (based on what mood you are in, nothing tastes like Butter, but I think Lite is Ok)
  • Masala: Jeera whole (1 tea spoon), Red Chilli powder, Chat Masala, Salt, Pepper
  • Mayonnaise (take the veggie one, its tastier, there is healthy option available too, fat-free one in stores, made of mostly milk solids)

Boil the potatoes (wash them, put them in a cooker, now handling a cooker totally depends on you, my cooker is awesome, and I am comfortable with its setting, Apeksha's cooker behaves differently, totally your call. For me I sink them around 3-4th in water, put 6-7 whistles as I want to mash them, Jeera-Aloo would require 4-5 whistles). Then mash them.

Heat a bit of oil in pan, now crack Jeera in it. Now Jeera cracks earlier than Rai (mustard does) so don't heat it too much or you risk burning the Jeera. Best way is to heat it, then sim the gas a bit, then add couple of Jeera seeds, if it cracks put the rest.

The sugandh / khushboo / fragrance which follows is better than your Chanel's and Boss's. Its mahaan (most prominent places where you find the smell, Jeera rice, Dal Fry made with Jeera ghee and aloo jeera).

Put in the mash potatoes, mix chat masala and red chillies powder. Slightly heat it and mix it well. Take it off the flame, add diced tomatoes and onions. Cool it a bit (the sandwich mix is ready). Put salt and pepper to taste (remember you have added Chat Masala which has tonnes of Salt, so be careful while adding salt)

Heating the bread is not a simple act, there are multiple variations to how you can do it. The most boring is the videshi method of putting it in a toaster or microwave. Boring!!!

Best is the desi tarika, put them in a pan / tawa, put Lite / Butter, let it slightly melt add Jeera powder in Butter (you can add Red Chillies Powder too), put the Bread on Top, nicely butter it with Amul Lite (remember not that many calories, you can add your bit:)) and heat it. Let it be nicely brown (slightly soft or crunchy, whichever way you like it).

For the wich to be ready now, keep a slice of heated bread on a plate, put the potato as one of the layers. Close it with a slice, put mayo on it. If you are cal-conscious use a knife to spread it, otherwise use a spoon :). Remember even this has salt (so keep this in mind while using salt earlier). Now put the tomato slices on this layer and close it.

Its a fact that Sandwiches cut diagonally taste better than stand alone or beech se cut sandwiches.

Btw it's ready, eat it :). You can add cucumber to it, might go well. Goes well with Thakela Sunrise.

Thakela Sunrise (Serves 3)

  • 350 ml Minute Maid Pulpy Orange
  • Ice Cubes 12
  • 5 Tea Spoons Glucon D (preferably Orange flavor)
  • Bacardi White Rum (90 ml) (depends if you want a mocktail or a cocktail)
The objective of this drink is to energize you on a boring day, and its amazingly refreshing. A sunrise for the thakela :)

Remember cocktails are all about measures, you won't get the right feel if the measures are not right.


Mix it, if you have a cocktail mixer, shake it. And its ready.

Let me know if you try something out, in case you don't be happy to know that your friend keeps on trying things out :)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Main meebo hoon... hurts. Its so strong, so bright, so yellow. And he closed the eyes. He tried again.

Ufff...too much. I will wait.

He was sitting, he had opened his eyes for the first time and found it difficult to just keep it like them. The sun was just too strong for him.

He opened them again, it was beautiful, it was all green now, all that was yellow had turned into a deep orange hanging somewhere on top. He felt happy. He tried to stand, he fell. He couldn't stand, his legs were just too weak. But he sat there, he felt comfortable in the greens around him. He was sitting next to two white long rods, on the other ends he saw some beautiful colors dancing around, blue, red, pink, black, lots of colors. A little later they all went away, and it started turning black, the beautiful orange amongst the blue was gone. He was scared and he closed his eyes again.

He woke again, too tired, his throat was dry, he needed something, he tried to stand again and this time he stood, and stood there for sometime. He started moving away from the pole and he fell. He tried again and it worked this time. He was walking.

He started walking, he saw a spray in the middle of the green, he went towards it, a bit of that went into his mouth. He felt good. He had more of it, and he felt even better. He felt he was ready to move. All this time he was missing something, he didn't know what, but he was missing something for sure.

There was a pool of that liquid created on the ground, and the sun was shining brightly on top of it. And he saw someone in it. He was scared, so he walked away, and so did the someone. He realized that it was him, he had seen himself for the first time, pale, four legs, weak, two ears which stood up, and slightly yellow as that light which he had first seen. But not that bright.

He started walking towards the end of the grass, there were green trees on top he crossed a sort of a mound and heard a few screechy sounds..."bow, bow, eeeeeeee...." suddenly a similar voice burst out of him, maybe they were the ones he was looking for, they were the ones missing. He started running towards the sound. He saw two of them much larger than him being dragged into a wooden box, and there two more, exactly looking like him being dragged into a wooden box by two tall brown people. They were shouting, but they moved inside a blue big box which whizzed away on the clean grey roads.

It all seemed grey, maybe he knew who they were, but maybe he will never know them, and he didn't know who he was, all that he saw was grey in front of him and he felt a growing heat under his feet so he started walking. He found trees around him and on his left he found a path which was white he moved onto it.

It was nice and cool there, there large white and cream colored structures on both his sides, and pavement which was fitted with white and brick red tiles, on the three way he took a right and walked. There were tow large buildings on both his sides and he saw green again in front of him, he jumped there again and he closed his eyes.

" Dekh dekh, waha amisha aur uska boyfriend hai, arre unhone dekh liya, bhaago"

This noise woke him up, it was dark already and there bright lights all over him. The trees were hardly visible, he saw three guys running from there, and then he saw two people sitting on bench, one with long beautiful hair and the second, a tall guy. Both of them were very close.

He thought he will walk so he started going ahead on the pavement and took a right, he thought he again came back on the greys, he was tired and weak again, so he slept.

Thuck. He woke up.

It was bright again and someone had thrown a yellow long something at him, it smelled good, he licked it, he felt a nice sensation in his mouth he saw lot of beautiful bright colored people walking around. On top they were black and light brown, below they were of multiple colors, as he had seen earlier on the greens. People with long hair, people with short, both distinctly different.

He was still missing something.

And then he started walking along with them, he was not scared, but all of sudden he thought were they the same people who had taken those who were similar along. As he was thinking someone threw things at him, he felt a pain and they started making loud sounds, he was scared. But then he felt something on his back. It was that thing which was missing, it was the touch of someone who cared.

He looked at her, he felt amazing, she was so nice. He started walking with her, and kept walking. And then she picked him up and took him to a huge hall. It was huge and bright and there lot of brightly colored people. One of them in blue with shiny black hair came and sat next to her and asked "Who's this?". She told " He's nice na, think of a name". The guy told "Meebo".

"Meebo!!!". He smiled and felt happy, he knew what he had missed, he had seen all colors and smelled beautiful things and tasted some nice stuff, but he had missed the sense of being with someone who cared. And he had finally got it.

He looked at both of them, they were looking in front now, and she gently patted her back. He finally knew who he was.

"Main Meebo hoon..."