Friday, 24 January 2014


Just another one of those days I don't feel like doing anything, and am pissed off at everything and craving things I can't have and trying to write for days and days but not being able to make much sense. And then the moments of creative inspiration have been done to death, in trying to create something out of a random web of ideas, phrases, images, feelings and words.

I sometimes feel like I'm switching off from everything and everyone, one by one. It does scare me a little. But not a lot. I don't really mind switching off. That again, is a little scary. But from what I've seen, life is made of these different phases which are often disjointed, and you might as well accept that you can't have everything at once. So it's nice enough looking back at moments that were, knowing you enjoyed them, but that they are over and can't come back. If they did, they wouldn't be the same, and that would depress you even more. That's how time works. Goes forward, never back. And even if you could time travel, you would still be a passive observer.

I think writing spontaneously works out best. Have an idea, write it down. It's happened too many times that in the attempt to make something beautiful and perfect, I lose interest in the actual idea and it just gets wasted. And later attempts don't do justice to the original spark of enthusiasm.

Maybe I should just go back to reading Harry Potter. That works as a cure for everything.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Happy things.

I'm thinking of starting the 100happydays project. I'm already a pretty optimistic person, and usually always manage to find something little to be happy about. It just means I have to take a photo of something I'm happy about every day and post it. A bit of work, but I like the idea. I have a suspicion most of the things that make me happy will be food.

I finished Catcher in The Rye. Some parts are quite nice, but overall I just didn't get it. I'm also reading The Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose. It is really brilliant. I should also probably start watching Sherlock. I just don't particularly like remakes of classics but this one is supposed to be very good as an independant series, so I should probably just forget about the Sherlock Holmes I read. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Cooks and books.

I'm currently reading The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger. It's supposed to be a terrific classic but the language is really getting on my nerves. Sort of the complete opposite of the last book I read, Wuthering Heights. If it hadn't been a famous book and all I wouldn't have read beyond the first few pages. Anyway, it's a small book so I should probably plough through and finish it. I love reading and I love literature but honestly, I'm not some great literary critic. I don't like all the classics. I hated Pride and Prejudice. Actually, it got on my nerves so much, the most I managed to read was 5 chapters, in 5 attempts. And I tried it that many times only because it's proclaimed to be one of the greatest books of all time. But it's just not my type.

I've also started making some food. Not cooking exactly. I made begun pora (or baigan bharta, whatever you call it) a few times, I make raitas and the old scrambled eggs. My whole diet plan is not going great (not surprising!). I don't seem to be able to stay off either chocolates or coffee(which obviously needs a lot of sugar). Well, once the supply of chocolates at home is exhausted it might help! And I had coffee because I had a bad cold. I'm liking yoga, it actually feels quite good and contrary to what I thought before, it's great for toning up. It's not very easy.

It's dinnertime, and I'm going to bake some fish today and make more begun pora. I love that stuff. Goodnight! 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Woes of an idli-dosa-sambar craving Calcuttan.

One thing I don't understand is why Bengalis hate South Indian food. Also there are very very few places that serve authentic South Indian food in Calcutta, and even most of those who claim to be authentic have no idea what sambar tastes like (they assume they can get away with serving daal) , make strange half-cooked stuff they call idlis and dosas and not a trace of coconut is to be found in their chutney.

And this is incredibly sad for a person who has grown up in Bangalore, surrounded by beautiful crisp masala dosas, fluffy idlis and utthapams and fragrant rasam. And unfortunately, I have dosa cravings like I have chocolate cravings, and have NOWHERE to go.

Once I ended up trying to satisfy this craving at one of the mall food courts, after which I vowed never to try South Indian food in Calcutta ever again and I'm still looking for something to neutralize the taste it left in my mouth.

So really, why do people here hate South Indian food? Even if I find a place, I can't find a single person who will go there with me. Is it because Bengalis have a deep dislike for anything vegetarian, or they simply haven't tasted the real thing? I think it's some combination of both. But then, even all my friends and relatives in Bangalore/Hyderabad/Chennai complain about the food. All the time. I guess the palate is just not something they are used to.

Anyway, I don't mind going anywhere alone, strictly, but it's no fun eating in a restaurant alone and not have anyone to gossip with over it and talk about the food and the flavours and appreciate the beauty of it. There are 2 new restaurants I found out about, one is Sambhar on CIT Road, and the other is The Chennai Restaurant, on Prince Anwar Shah connector. I can't wait to try them.

I really must visit Bangalore soon, and when I do, I will make sure I stick to a strictly local diet. Idlis, dosas, vadas and utthapams ALL DAY.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Reflections and resolutions

 The usual new-year stuff of course. The cliched 'another year gone by, a new one to face'.

Well, 2013 was a blur for me. For half the year I oscillated between very happy and very sad. Which eventually gravitated exclusively to extremely depressed. But then, I did what I thought was right, I got myself back on the track I believed I was meant to follow without wasting any more time, and so, without sustaining much damage. I took some major risks and in the end they did pay off. And of course, in the process, I gifted myself something I always wanted more of but never really had : time. I would say it was not an extremely eventful year, but eventful enough for some things to last.

And I realized that this gift of time is really the best I could have. So I think I've been extremely lucky. We never get a break. Like a real break. It's always a continuous one thing to another - hardly any holidays or holidays spent cramming or preparing for the next thing you have to do. I mean, I know that's how life is, but being free is such a blessing. I have time to read books, something I hadn't really done for a long time. Write, cook, watch sunset, learn music, read about random things. Just let the world soak in. Learn because I wanted to and not because I had to learn it for an exam. It's quite refreshing to do that.

I do admit I've mostly been a recluse all this time. Even more reclusive than I used to be. It might sound scary that I love to live in total isolation for very very long periods of time. It probably borders on sociophobia, but I just need that peace. I can't stand crowds, I don't particularly like talking to people, I hate telephones, large groups of people completely freak me out and even TV noise with too many people talking makes me want to scream. Parties and loud music get on my nerves. I need quiet. I don't even particularly like the idea of going out to meet my friends (not that I actually have many) if I'm not really close to them or it's someone I don't know very well, but am interested in getting to know. That way there are new things to talk about and that's exciting. Otherwise, it feels like a waste of time I could be spending on my own. Science is very social though, I'll have to find a way to deal with that. Though of course, discussions on something you like and know about is certainly different from awkward silences while meeting people normally.

My resolutions for this year are simple. Take good care of myself, mind and body. Sort out all the health issues. Follow 'early to bed and early to rise'. I don't care if I sound old, an unhealthy lifestyle is certainly not cool. I want to learn and expand my knowledge. Read more, write more. Be happy. Get fitter and lead a healthy life in general. Go organic - cut out as much as possible on nasty chemicals and try to use completely natural products as much as possible. Sounds funny I know, being a chemist and all, but I also know how bad these chemicals are - the stuff we use in cleansers and shampoos and food with preservatives. I've always had a fetish for bath products (no, actually I have a fetish for anything that smells nice, like shampoos, soaps, lip balms and perfumes) so as usual, I will go around trying new things, but stick to the natural stuff this time.

 I also should learn to drive though I'm not that crazy about it. I'd rather cycle. I've started yoga classes and will start meditating and working out too. I really have to. Unfortunately, I've crossed the age where I could eat anything and not get fat and boast about it. Well, I guess I'm paying for that now, all that carbohydrate and fat had to go somewhere over these years! :P The only problem is that I love food too much. Anyway, there has to be a trade-off somewhere. And I think I actually don't mind the idea of eating healthy. It's not that hard.

I also updated my flickr photostream and hope to take more photos when I feel like it. You can find the link on the right side of the blog in the links section. Have a look! I'm not an obsessive photographer unless I'm on a trip somewhere so it might not be very often. But I hope I will blog more, if I'm not too lazy and if I don't feel too cringy about expressing myself. Also, I gave the blog another makeover. It's serene enough but not boring, and bright enough without being overbearing. I love green. I think it looks good enough to eat, candy colours and all!

Well, goodbye for now, Happy New Year and good luck with everything you wish to achieve this year! :-)