If you wanna kno something interesting about yourself, send me a sample of your handwriting (a page at least) and allow me to tell you what I see-as in, pieces of your personality maybe.

27 May 2010


Observing the future based on horoscope signs, having my palm read, gazing at the stars and seeing the future, boiling tea leaves and finding out what destiny has in store according to the pattern formed and any other form of superstitious beliefs do not shake me (except when Christian religious say that ‘God has a plan for me’ – that gives me the quivers!) I used to scoff on it so much that I wrote an entire article on horoscopes and how I thought it was fake during college days and had to continuously argue about it with the editor of the magazine who said that there just might be a possibility that it is true after all.

I never changed my mind about that. Doubting your own belief system can make your very foundations shake. That reminds me of a scene in F.R.I.E.N.D.S in which Phoebe says that she doesn’t believe in evolution and Ross persistently tries to persuade her. Phoebe is irritated by his persistence and here is how she deals with it:

ROSS: Ok, Phoebe, this is it. In this briefcase I carry actual scientific facts. A briefcase of facts, if you will. Some of these fossils are over 200 million years old.

PHOEBE: Ok, look, before you even start, I'm not denying evolution, ok, I'm just saying that it's one of the possibilities.

ROSS: It's the only possibility, Phoebe.

PHOEBE: Ok, Ross, could you just open your mind like this much, ok? Wasn't there a time when the brightest minds in the world believed that the world was flat? And, up until like what, 50 years ago, you all thought the atom was the smallest thing, until you split it open, and this like, whole mess of crap came out. Now, are you telling me that you are so unbelievably arrogant that you can't admit that there's a teeny tiny possibility that you could be wrong about this?

ROSS: There might be, a teeny, tiny, possibility.

PHOEBE: I can't believe you caved.

ROSS: What?

PHOEBE: You just abandoned your whole belief system. I mean, before, I didn't agree with you, but at least I respected you. How, how, how are you going to go into work tomorrow? How, how are you going to face the other science guys? How, how are you going to face yourself? Oh!

Well, this post is not written to discuss any of the beliefs I just mentioned in the first paragraph. It’s about handwriting analysis or what one might technically call graphology. Some people may be skeptical about it but skepticism is good provided you have a broad mind too. At first it was instinct which made me believe in graphology. It seemed like pure common sense to me because it’s quite obvious that we all have our own unique handwritings and there is always a slight change in them according to the mood we sport at the moment. So it’s a huge possibility that one can be judged by their handwritings. Moreover, when we grow our handwritings look more mature and ‘experienced’ of some sort. I was first introduced to graphology by a very charming senior in college. She had initially started reading it from books and then completed her quest by going for graphology classes. We asked her, just for the fun of it what she could see from our handwritings and it all turned out to be freakingly quite close to the truth. There were certain things we had in us and we never realized it until she told us that. I clearly remember one comment she made. She exclaimed, “WHAT are you hiding form the rest of us Reni?” I was obviously a little confused and surprised because I’ve always considered myself as a frank and open person and so did everyone else. I just replied, “Wah?” and stopped there while my mind started to rewind and look back. It was quite true that I didn’t go around blabbering exactly what I felt or thought since I thought that either it wasn’t important or they’d get bored or it’s not safe enough to. All that did make me a secretive person and that revelation made me sigh.

At an international level I’d declare Bart Bagget one of the best graphologist walking this earth. Not only is he good at deciphering and interpreting from a small sample of a person’s handwriting, but he can relate with almost anyone he meets. While he takes classes he explains everything in a simple way connecting psychology with the art of graphology. Moreover, it’s impossible to forget what he says because he’s got a very admirable sense of humour and can say very ordinary things in a very interesting way somehow. Ok, I guess that’ll be enough drooling over Mr.Baggett!

11 May 2010




I saw this on TV while I was having breakfast today morning and I thought the recipe is worth a try. It's suppossed to be a Gujurati preparation of mutton. I started salivating (although I had food in front of me) when the host mentioned mutton.

Step 1: Boil the mutton and allow it to cook.

Step 2: Prepare the paste from the following items:
Garam masala: grind the wholesome ingredients on the stone grinder so that the pieces show.
Add a cup and a half of curd
One teaspoon of chilli powder
Eeeeh, there was something else too!

Step 3: Add in another "red powder" which adds a little flavour and a lot of colour.

Step 4: Mix everything together. And oh! after straining the mutton or something like that. But then the broth was added on later on. What's after that?

AAAaaah!!! I don't REMEMBER anything now!!! Phew!

Sheesh! I got it all mixed up! Maybe if you follow the following link you'll get an alternative recipe I'm planning to try out myself:

10 May 2010


I was always crazy about mangoes. I don't remember the very first time I had this delicious fruit but I believe that if I knew about mangoes right after I came out of my mother's womb I would've whined for mango milk shake. One of those wonderful experiences I remember of my childhood years are those in which my Mum would peel and cut delicious, big, yellow mangoes while the three of us would sit around her with our mouths watering. It was understood among us that the one peeling gets to lick the skin of the mango, the rest of us gets an equal share of the pieces (not more or less) and the one who does the major sacrifice of having a slightly lesser share gets the seed to lick. It was always my Sis who'd do that since I was always too greedy for my rightful share and my Bro was always too lazy to lick.
As we grew up we were ready to take up our share of responsibilities and it was Sis who'd do the peeling and cutting when Mum was busy (since she's a girl and I was not really good with the knife). Being the "peeler" she had the right to lick the skin and I'd say, "hey, you are not being careful! There's a lot of pulp on that skin your peeling. Be more CAREFUL!!!"

08 May 2010


I remember a time when I was too little to know the meaning of being jealous. It used to be an uneasy feeling at the gut level that made it difficult for me to sleep without having dreams and difficult for me to understand. When you grow up it's easier to understand what's going on and you have control over it. A piece of advice: don't practice too much or you'll end up being just like me - I don't seem to feel a twinge of jealousy any more. I clearly remember a conversation I had with my best friend in high school (with whom I had to break up twice, no thrice, only to become the best of friends later on).

We are sitting in the canteen area and munching on the meager amount of chips left in the Lays packet. While we savor each bite we amuse ourselves with our passive observations of the senior boys who claim to have basket ball practice, flirting with the gang of girls in front of the canteen. Skirts seem shorter, shirts are no longer tucked in, ties and belts are loosened and other subtle differences can be noted if you know where to look out for it.

Best Friend: Hump! Just coz she's got it all she does not have to give a display of her "attitude"!

Me: That's a lot of pressure she's under. I mean, look at us! We don't have to stand there trying to impress those jerks and end up looking like jerks ourselves. Trust me, we are better off sitting here, talking to each other and completely at ease with ourselves.

Best Friend No.2 walks in the picture. She was the one among us trio who was street smart and acts tough and may be a little 'unconventional'.

Best Friend No. 2: Oh, well! I wouldn't mind being pretty and the Head Girl and under that kind of pressure.

BF1: Cut it out! We've got exams coming up and I want to get a 80% this time for the terminal exams! Want to beat the topper of the class if possible, too.

BF2: Ooooh, yes, yes! I want to prove the fact that I'm the best among my siblings.

Me: Pshak!!! You're siblings are several years younger than you. What's the point dudette! And just because you get the 1st rank once, doesn't mean you're the best in everything. I mean, most of those nerds out there don't seem to have that little thing we call common sense or genuine friends around them.

BF1: Reni, the grapes are sore, are they not? (BF2 giggles). You won't get anywhere if your not competitive, you bitch! (Being called "bitch" means BF1 is very fond of you).

I grin at them and I sit back because I feel all is good the way it is although my young teen spirit yearns for more freedom.


My previous posts may lead you to the wrong concept that one can be a cook overnight but boy, you couldn’t be more wrong! There were a few instances in which I made non-edible food items and had to make a few compromises. If you are a good learner, you’ll have to know how to improvise with what is around and make do with it.

One day after I came back from church, I declared that I’d make payasam. We bought Vermicelli and I was all set. After all, how tough is it to boil some milk and add a little cooked Vermicelli, cashewnuts and dried raisins in it? This is how I went about doing it – Heat a little (1 teaspoon) ghee in a non-sticky frying pan and cooked the Vermicelli until it is soft and a little translucent. Boil a packet (500ml) of milk and add 4 tablespoons of sugar in it. Heat and cook the cashew nuts and dried raisins in another pan. Mix the milk, Vermicelli and nuts and raisins and allow it to cook for some time while stirring it continuously. Add a little condensed milk and a spoon of butter for extra taste.

The result? The payasam was too sticky because I didn’t add enough extra water and it tasted like nothing in particular because I didn’t add enough sugar, nuts and raisins and I completely forgot to add the cardamon too (an essential ingredient). I guess I was too tired with all that walking and got it all wrong.

The solution - (The next day) Since neither I nor anyone else were interested in consuming the payasam, I was the object of my Mum’s wrath. Determined not to lose this battle, I improvised. I heated another packet of milk (500ml), roasted more cashew nuts and raisins in a little oil and added 6 tablespoons of sugar as well as three crushed cardamon pieces and finally added the previous day’s failure to the new mixture. It turned out ok although it wasn’t irresistibly delicious and I was ok with that. After all, it was my first try.

I made the noodles the same way I had made the pasta except for the fact that I made tomato juice with a tomato and poured it in after having added the powders and also added a spoon of pepper (I hate the taste of pepper but it can be interesting sometimes and even tasty when not added too much). Another one difference is that I added too much chilli powder. And oh, I almost forgot, instead of adding scraps of beef, I added in slices of boiled egg because I was making egg noodles.

The result? The noodles was tasty alright but extra spicy and when bro (I guess, he’s a kind of guinea pig in all my cooking experiments) became hungry he had it with lots of cold sweet curd.

The solution - The next day I made some more noodles (sausage noodles) and mixed it with the remains of the previous batch and it solved the problem.

Note: Another little difference regarding preparation of noodles is the part in which we prepare the raw noodles. It’s a little more complicated. Once you’re done boiling the noodles in water for a min or 2, you have to rinse it with cool water, drain it and then shallow fry it in a little oil. You wash it with cool water to prevent the noodles from cooking by itself with the remaining heat. That’s a scientific fact my Sis told me. She every time has logical explanations even if it’s about cooking.

The pasta ingredients are my Sis’. It’s easy if you follow it step by step and if someone tells it to you in a matter-of-fact way. It was on a Sunday (noon time) when I was stretching and yawning in bed, lazy to get up when Sis called me to catch up with the recent happenings in my life and one conversation led to another and ended in the preparation of pasta. The only reason we kept down the phone after that was because my head was going to explode due to information overload. So here goes:
Step 1: Preparation of the pasta and potato – Boil water and turn off the stove, after which you put in the raw pasta and allow it to cook for around 10 mins. Drain the pasta. Peel, cut (in pieces) and boil the potato. Keep both the potato and pasta aside.
Step 2: Cut onion and capsicum in square pieces and fry it in a spoonful of oil till it becomes translucent. Cook tomatoes in a spoonful of oil (in a separate pan) till it becomes pasty and starts shimmering. Add the onion, capsicum and tomato in the larger pan, a spoon of ginger garlic paste (made from a piece of ginger and 2-3 cloves of garlic) and add the four essential powders -2 tspns chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, 3 tspns coriander powder and garam masala. Add enough soya sauce to the mix and allow to cook (“Oh, you HAVE to buy soya sauce if you don’t have any. That’s what makes the pasta Mmmmmm!”).
Step 3: Add salt, the pasta and potato into the mix and add chunks of cheese while the pan is still over the stove.

The result? The pasta didn’t taste like anything in particular and I had an instinctive feeling that once it cooled down it wouldn’t taste so good.

The solution - I let the siren go and Mum came to my rescue. “It doesn’t taste like anything Mum!” and like the skilled soldier in the battlefield she ordered, “Add some more soya sauce!”. I still thought it didn’t taste as good as I expected it to turn out and so I added shreds of the previous day’s beef.

I saw it being made and I thought to myself, “Boy, is that the easiest thing to do or what?!!!”
Step 1: Spread a lot of tomato ketchup on the pizza base, spread the cut vegetables (or pieces of sausage or meat), scrap out some cheese and spread it on the top. There are certain powders (pizza mix) sold in the market which can make it more delicious.
Step 2: Spread a little oil/ghee on the frying pan and put the dressed pizza base on it. Keep the fire burning low and cover it with a vessel (aluminium or steel) and wait for it to cook.

The result? When I made it, the base got burnt and I placed the pan in a vessel filled with cold water to cool it down. The pizza still tasted burnt though.

The solution – I ate the pizza anyways and made up my mind to bake it in an oven the next time.

06 May 2010


I scratched my head and wondered what I should make today. According to me, anything enjoyably eatable is worth making. My Mum of course does not agree with me (which is not unusual). She believes anything "healthy" but not necessarily tasty is worth eating. I asked Mum before she left how I'd make chaat and she ranted away the instructions. It's easy, really. If I can do it, anyone can. The only tricky and time consuming part is the cooking of the chana and the green peas.

Step 1 - Preparing the green peas and chana masala - Both have to be soaked in water for a night and cooked in a pressure cooker. There's this one difference though - for chana, after the first whistle you have to continue cooking it over a low flame for another 20mins, while for the green peas you've got to wait for the 2nd whistle before you decide to turn off the flame. That's the only tricky part.

Step 2 - Next, prepare the masala for the chana and green peas. Cook sliced onions and garlic in a little oil, add the four main powders - red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala.Then add the chana and green peas and pour in a little boiled water and allow it to cook for awhile.

Step 3 - While that is being cooked over the stove, cut a few tomatoes, onion and coriander leaves. Squeeze some lemon over the veggy mix and add salt to taste. Take some yummy curd and add lots of sugar to make it more yummy.

Step 4 - Now all you have to do is set the dish. Take out the dish in which you mean to serve the chaat and put in the cooked green peas and chana. Sprinkle a little aloo bhujia and tiny poori pieces over it and the mixed vegetables over it. Around the entire prepared chaat pour the sweetened curd. You could add a little sweetened tamarind juice too.

02 May 2010

Mum's secret beef curry recipe

I stretch my back as I stand up after saying the family prayer. Mum sighs (and I suppose she's praying that we all convert)and complains about her sore ankles and Big bro stretches his legs only to sit back and put them on the table in front of the sofa. I yawn as I know exactly what I have to do next - heat the food and set the table for dinner. That's when Mum asks the most fateful question which means more work: "Do you want beef curry for dinner?"

Me: Naaaaaa!!!
Big bro: I wouldn't mind!
Me: (Groan!)

I settle down to peel and cut the onion and ginger as Mum rants away the instructions, "A little turmeric powder, two spoons green - coloured powder and a little chilli powder and a little of those garam masala you unnecessarily bought the other day. Add a few pieces of tomato to make it more tasty". I nod and say "huh!" at all the right intervals. When she starts putting the powders aside in a small plate I wish to say, "MUM, I'm not a RETARD!!!" but instead I simply say, "Harump!!! If Mum's doin that, Mum might as well make it Mumself!"
Amazingly, the curry came out fine. Not an amazing thing considering the fact that I didn't do any different than instructed by the chef of my life - Super Mum!
And here's how I made it:
Step 1: Heat a little oil and fry the onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli and later on a few curry leaves.
Step 2: a little turmeric powder, two spoons green powder, a spoon red chilli powder and garam masala.
Step 3: Add the cooked beef.
Step 4: Add a few big cut pieces of tomato (not necessary, but it does reduce the curry's spiciness). If necessary, add a little boiled water. Add salt to taste and voila, your curry is ready!

P.S.: You could prepare chicken the same way too. It tastes yummy!