I cooked something delicious today!

Capsicum and Peas Egg BhurjeeToday afternoon, after coming back home from a 15 hour journey, I wanted to get myself something to eat. But, a trip in the hot sun rendered all restaurants usless and overpriced. Besides, I was sick of eating restaurant food every day. Also, I can use that money to buy beer!

So, I decided, like an evolved human being to take on the challenge of cooking rice and gravy. Just to add flavour to the whole thing, I picked up two eggs to fry and put in the gravy. And make Anda Curry!.

I also picked up a bread in case the curry fails.

I have cooked rice and chapatis before, but never a gravy. (Maybe once, but  with mother’s running commentary) I didn’t know how much oil, vegetables or water to put. But, why fear when internet is there. I thought I’d look it up online and try. I did look up, but with limited vegetables – I thought I’d just read the beginning few steps and take it from there. (If I was going to learn, it was important to pay attention to the process.)

Here is a timeline of what I did:

1. I chop some Onions. No tomato. Oh no! Nevermind, I’ll just use onions.

2. I heat oil in a pan.

3. I pour a bit too much, I think.

4. I put the onions in the oil. Carefully. (I don’t want to burn my face.)

5.  I add jeera, turmeric, salt, and some other similar looking stuff to it.

6. ‘Ah! This is looking good. Not a bad start my boy!’, I tell myself.

7. Now what? How to make gravy?

8. Water? Maybe. How else do you make liquid?

9. But water if I put in burning oil, won’t it come to my face?

10. I can only experiment and learn! (*shivers*)

11. I cover my face with cloth, and put two three spoons of water.

12. Nothing happens.

13. I pour an entire cup.

14. Eeeewww!

15. This doesn’t look good.

(15 1/2). It didn’t strike me that I could have tried putting a combination of masalas to it.

16. I put peas and capsicum. They are the only ones left besides pumpkin which looked like it had to be boiled before being cooked.

17. The capsicum occupies space and soaks up a lot of water and oil, making the broth look less hideous.

18. Also, the capsicum seeds makes the dish look Chinese.

19.  I feel proud again.

20. Maybe, I can cook an omelette and put this broth in between two sandwiches with a lot of mayonnaise?

21. Sounds like a good idea.

22. I crush two eggs and have a brainwave.

23. What if I put these eggs into the gravy?

24. It’ll make an amazing omelette if I can turn the whole thing down too.

25. From gravy to omelette, classic improvisation Sameer! What a job well done! I congratulate myself.

26. The appearence of  the whole dish changes, and I can’t wait to gobble it up.

27. I try to turn it upside down but screw it up.

28. No problem. Anda Bhurjee is made like this only.

29.  I crush everything. Mix, twist and swing the whole thing in the pan.

30. The dish is ready. I add coriander and mayonnaise for seasoning. I can’t believe this. OMG I AM SO HAPPY!!

Not that I had any doubt, it tasted great too! And the eggs, peas and capsicum make it healthy too.

Now I am having a beer. Cheers!

4 quotes by Jerome K Jerome on Being in Love

Jerome K Jerome

Here are a five quotes from Jerome Klapka Jerome on Love that I would like to publish on this blog.

Fortunately, it is available online and you could read the whole essay online.

1.

No, we never sicken with love twice. Cupid spends no second arrow on the same heart. Love’s handmaids are our life-long friends. Respect, and admiration, and affection, our doors may always be left open for, but their great celestial master, in his royal progress, pays but one visit and departs. We like, we cherish, we are very, very fond of—but we never love again. A man’s heart is a firework that once in its time flashes heavenward.

2.

But, there, of what use is it to preach? Who that feels the rush of young love through his veins can think it will ever flow feeble and slow! To the boy of twenty it seems impossible that he will not love as wildly at sixty as he does then. He cannot call to mind any middle-aged or elderly gentleman of his acquaintance who is known to exhibit symptoms of frantic attachment, but that does not interfere in his belief in himself. His love will never fall, whoever else’s may. Nobody ever loved as he loves, and so, of course, the rest of the world’s experience can be no guide in his case. Alas! alas! ere thirty he has joined the ranks of the sneerers. It is not his fault.

3.

It is just at the very age when a man’s character is forming that he tumbles into love, and then the lass he loves has the making or marring of him. Unconsciously he molds himself to what she would have him, good or bad. I am sorry to have to be ungallant enough to say that I do not think they always use their influence for the best. Too often the female world is bounded hard and fast within the limits of the commonplace. Their ideal hero is a prince of littleness, and to become that many a powerful mind, enchanted by love, is “lost to life and use and name and fame.”

4.

And how madly we did worship! And how sweet it was to worship! Ah, lad, cherish love’s young dream while it lasts!

I hope you enjoyed reading them. You can also read Jerome K Jerome On Being Shy. 

23!

7th November was my birthday

I just turned 23. There are so many years ahead of me. But, do I look forward to them? Not one bit. As life is passing by, the noose is being tightened and happiness is harder to come by.

Yet, despite all that. A change in age should also coincide with change in perception. And boy! Has my perception changed from last year?

How I looked down upon hardwork? And, how I look up to it now.

Still, there is a sadness. Hard to explain why. I feel very strongly that my best years are behind me, and what beholds is pressure, pressure and pressure.

Also read: Influenced

 

 

On self-consciousness and confidence

confidence

In order to kill time, post more and improve as an individual- I have decided to do an exercise. Every now and then, I’ll answer a few questions posted in the exercise section of this book that I am reading – The Art of Public Speaking. 

I’ll remove one or two questions, depending on my convenience. 

What is the cause of self-consciousness?

Personally, whenever I speak something lame or inappropriate, I punish myself by being silent. It seems better than speaking scrambled sentences or appearing like a salivating wolf.

“It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.” 
― Maurice Switzer

What is your observation regarding self-consciousness in children?

Children are very uninhibited in their dealings. Yet, whenever they go to a new place or setting- they feel very uncomfortable. Still, it is very difficult to say as all children are different, and some express themselves well, while others remain in their world.

Why are you free from it under the stress of unusual excitement?

Whenever I enjoy myself, I am not self conscious at all. My excitement could arise from receiving respect (both from within and from others) or simply a few pegs of good rum and good company.

How does moderate excitement affect you?

It gives a pring to my step, a song to my lips and a general feeling that things are going to turn out well.

What are the two fundamental requisites for the acquiring of self-confidence? Which is the more important?

In my opinion, two prerequisites are superiority and speaking skills. Superiority is more important to me because I have never felt awkward or self conscious speaking to an autowallah or a street vendor. It has always been someone of a higher or an equal stature.

Good speaking skills is equally important, as someone who communicates well gains the respect of the listener and that makes you respect yourself too.

What effect does confidence on the part of the speaker have on the audience?

One of the best speeches I had heard was by a female Bharat Natyam dancer from China. His story was so compelling and it was evident he wanted to inspire others. And, why not! To be a success in a field doomed so unsuitable for you gives you confidence. And, the audience can see that the person is speaking from his heart. (Read: Seeing and Winning)

Write out a two-minute speech on “Confidence and Cowardice”.

Dear readers of this humble blog,

If I speak about confidence, it would be a disservice to the word. But, if I have to speak about Confidence and Cowardice, I might just make some sense.

Heaven knows, like a coward I have left many things unsaid. What harm could have come out of saying them. Nothing much, but maybe- just maybe- something good might have happened. My career, my romantic life, and maybe even my health has suffered the brunt of this cowardice. If people in the audience feel the same, please raise your hands so that I don’t feel alone.

(I see raised hands. This is my blog.)

So today- On this platform- We make a pledge! A pledge to root out our cowardness, like a surgeon pulls out a bullet out of a wounded leg. A pledge to forget all the poor things we might have done, like an adult forgets half the things he learnt at school. A pledge to shower ourself with confidence, as if it was like the water running from our taps.

And this is not a pledge we make today, we will make it whenever we feel self-conscious. I’ll end this speech with a few lines of a poem called Speak by Faiz Ahmed Faiz,

Speak, this brief hour is long enough
Before the death of body and tongue: 
Speak, ’cause the truth is not dead yet, 
Speak, speak, whatever you must speak.

If you have anything to add on the topic, or want me to discuss a point I made in more detail- please feel free to use the comments section. For similar posts on the blog, you could read:

Image source: Confidence

4 funny things I did in school

schoolboy image

Like everyone, I too look back at my school days with a lot of fond memories. Even though, when I was in school I mostly felt tortured by the ‘system’, saddened by the workload and relieved by excessive escapism. It was like that for me in college too, and will remain to be for the rest of my life.

But, with time comes good wisdom

and I have now realised

the importance of working hard

and giving in to the system. 

That said, it never hurts to indulge in mild to moderate escapism. Which is why, today on a weekend I’ll open the clogged pipelines of my memory and relive those days by sharing 4 funny things I did in school.

1. Effortless wit

A lot of times I cracked jokes without even intending to do it, i.e. I would be completely honest and say what I feel and the whole class would erupt with laughter. An example,

There was this time when I was made to stand outside the school, as punishment for coming late. I was totally chilled about it because humans get used to things. The head boy, who was a classmate looked at me and said with a heavy dose of authority, “Sameer, this is the third time you are coming late!” I merely corrected him saying, ”Fourth time.” With this remark, the entire prefectorial body and other late comers giggled making me feel like a dude.

2. The Lunchbox

Extremely embarrassing when it happened, this incident is extremely funny in recollection. What happened was, I had bought chicken for lunch and considering I usually got bland food I thought I’d eat it up in the first period itself. (This thought was encouraged by my partner, who too had a growing boy’s appetite.) Slowly and slyly, me and my partner finished the lunch even though the teacher was teaching Geography. The plan was executed and I was happy.

But, alas. Just as I was packing everything up to keep in my lunch bag, the entire paraphernalia fell and I felt as if I had dropped the secret cure that will save the world. The whole class burst laughing, and I had given entertainment to everyone as people like to see someone being made a fool of by the teacher.

3. Answer sheet

Not being a good student, has many undesirable side effects. One of them, is being extremely bored while writing exams. And, you just have to subject a creative guy to boredom and see him weave his magic.

Among the many goofy things I have written in my answer sheets, my short description of a road accident takes the cake. (It was slightly inspired from a Radio Mirchi ad. :P)

“One day, a red indigo and a black indica were driving on the road. Suddenly, they both banged into each other. The driver of the Indica came out and instead of scolding the Indigo driver sang, ‘Naa tune signal dekha, naa maine signal dekha! Accident ho gaya, rabba rabba!‘ I was watching all this from the footpath and couldn’t control my laughter. The police came and seeing me laugh, thought I was responsible. I am writing this from jail.”

Probably, this isn’t funny but to write it in a serious answer paper felt funny. And, I boasted about to everyone I could set my eyes on and they too found it funny. Sadly, the teacher didn’t.

4. Mimicry

Anyone whom I have known after leaving school, is unaware of this. It’s a well guarded secret. But, in school days (11th standard) it was my claim to fame.

The Great Indian Laughter Challenge was really popular during that time, and taking inspiration from it I mimicked everyone from the scary fellow in Sansani, to a depressed person speaking in a Telebrands ad to Saif Ali Khan. What more? I performed in front of the whole school on Teacher’s day and it was really popular.

Girls started hitting on me after this, little children complimented me on the stairs, classmates looked at me with awe and suddenly, I was as popular as the athletes. Sadly, I couldn’t sustain this popularity and soon saw my world crashing down because my strength had become my weakness – I had started cracking bad jokes.

So that’s it. If you have a funny incident from school, that you’d like to recollect then you are most welcome to use the comments section.

For more articles on school, you could read:

1. The Farewell Day

2. Annual Day in School

3. Make Hay While The Sun Shines (Recommended)

Image Source: Flickr/spaztacular

6 things I miss about going to sleep at 6 am

6 things I miss about

Taking inspiration from great literary men, has been a favorite passtime of mine since a long time. And while looking for quotes to put at the beginning of this post, I found four lines by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that captures the essence of everything that I’ll try to say in this post.

“And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
and silently steal away.”
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 What a way of looking at life. I thought such things too, once upon a time. In fact, I was so in love with the night, that my newspaper was called ‘The Moon’. Here are 6 things I miss about those times I spent being awake in the dark.

1. You skip the day

I have always fancied an existence that is different from the usual society, and there are few things that make you feel more unique and special than being awake at 5 am.

And, not only it makes you unique it makes you feel really sleepy during the day and when everyone else is bearing the heat, or braving the rains in the name of education- I am seeing strange and weird things in my dreams.

2. Far fetched daydreaming and intense involvement with art-

Not only did I unconsciously and subconsciously dream while sleeping, my nights too were filled by intensely engaging ideas like the idea of one day being a personality giving interviews on TV and eating prawns at a five star. Also, most of these nights, I’d spend watching a movie, or reading something online or listening to music. It felt nice.

3, You have given up on life

At times, you dream of glory. At times, you dream of shame. And, since this society isn’t meant for you- what pain can its constructed markers for failure and success bring?

4. Lots of intoxication

Oftentimes, I’d not spend the night alone, but with friends drinking and smoking and getting higher until it was morning. Which is when, we’d say our goodbyes and go to our sweet beds. Once there, it’d get too dark for our eyes to see, and we’d feel like we were knocking on heaven’s door.

5. 3 am dinner

Easily, the highest point of the night would be the dinner. Mostly had with a spirit of celebration these dinners would range from Chicken Schezwan Rice to Chicken Tikka Masala with Ghee Rice depending on what day of the month it was and how much money we had in our ATMs.

6. Lots of GUILT!

I was rebellious, but not a fool. I knew the toll breaking norms were taking on my body and career, and often felt guilty and vowed to not repeat it. Yet, being the incompetent human being that I always was, I’d not stay true to my resolve and repeat my mistakes the very same night!

So yes, that is it. If you enjoyed reading this, also read my short story on an idle night.

5 Filmstars that have used my name!

Male or female, if my name were either Don or Dawn, I’d be up at sunrise to celebrate the glory that is me.
 -Jarod Kintz

There’s a scene in Shahid Kapoor’s upcoming Phata Poster Nikla Hero’s trailer (I am not sure if it’s a good movie), where a nurse comes up to him and says- “Dr. Vinod Khanna aapse milna chahte hai!”. Shahid Kapoor, depressed but suddenly enervated by the name’s mention asks- “Yeh Vinod Khanna doctor kabse ban gaye.” It’s a great scene, whose humor wouldn’t be lost on people who have seen umpteen films on Zee Cinema and Sony Max.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of seeing my name used several times! (As I am sure every Raj, Rahul and Rohit has too!) Here is a collection of some of the roles that have made me glad about being named Sameer. :)

1. Sameer (Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Salman Khan)-

salman hum dil de chuke sanam

“Sameeer! Hawa ka jhonka!”, there’s a scene in the movie where an old lady says this to Salman Khan and Aishwarya Rai blushes and runs. I love that scene! Also, the fact that Salman Khan, doesn’t get his ladylove till the end of this movie makes it all the more personally relatable.

2. Sameer (Dil Chahta Hai, Saif Ali Khan)-

saifalikhandch

This is a role that along with Kal Ho Naa Ho’s Rohit, shot back Saif Ali Khan into reckoning. Deservedly so because he was at the top of his comic game in this movie. (Much like me after a couple of pegs. :P)

3. Sameer (Mohabbatein, Jugal Hansraj)-

jugal hansraj mohabbatein

Comparatively, a low key role- but I like Jugal Hansraj.  Not because he looks like a nice guy, which he does but because this song sung sweetly by Udit Narayan was a childhood favorite.

Also, I loved the movie too when I first saw it. Now, though I think such movies propagate wrong ideas.

4. Sameer (Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Salman Khan again!)-

In-Mujhse-Shaadi-Karogi-Images-of-Salman-Khan

If Shah Rukh can nominate himself twice in a Best Actor category, why can’t I do the same for Salman in this one. Another very successful usage of my name, I found this a passably funny movie. The best thing about it was Akshay Kumar’s ‘Wicked Sunny‘ walk, which was hilarious and effortless. (So what if this list reads till 6, and my headline says 5. Salman Khan is a repeat!)

5. Sameer (New York, John Abraham!)-

john-abraham-newyork

John Abraham is a nice superstar to see your name being used by. That he plays a terrorist in this movie only adds to the charm. Can’t say why though.

6. Sameer (Chance pe Dance, Shahid Kapoor)-

chance-pe-dance-shahid-kapoor

The first time I had heard the phrase ‘Chance pe Dance’ which was in 11th I think, I thought it was pretty witty. Some years later, there was a Shahid Kapoor movie of that name, and the main character was called Sameer.

This is also the only film on this list, that I have not seen.

So yeah that is it. Next time, I’ll write a better post.

5 stories from when I was 5

Pic for representational purpose only

Pic for representational purpose only

 

It’s funny how some of the greatest virtues that a man could have, is already there in him when he was 5. For example, that of living in the moment. While it may seem incredibly tough at 22, (tougher at 33, maybe?) it comes as naturally as an early morning craving for a smoke when you are just 5.

I can’t remember much of my life when I was 5. Still, a few hazy experiences do come to mind. Hopefully, they’ll shed some light on my glorious childhood (I didn’t win any awards, alas) which was pretty ordinary, but at least it was mine.

1. Clinging to the teacher’s sari

No no, my testosterone levels weren’t as high then as they are now. I was clinging on to the teacher’s sari because there was some function at school, and I being a new entrant didn’t have any friends to play with. So, in order to feel secure I clutched a teacher’s sari and was crying. She was visibly irritated by this, and made me stand alone.

2. Being carried around on shoulders

From what I hear, I was a very loved kid when I was small. (I am sure you were too. :) ) And, even though being 5 makes you heavy. I would still ask to be carried around on shoulders when my legs started to pain. At times, I would give in to scolding and walk. At times, they would pick me up.

 3. Coming to Mumbai

I remember coming to Mumbai, from Jamshedpur after my father had been transferred. Interestingly, I don’t have much memory of my life in Jamshedpur but the names of the places in the city have always been in my memory.

I also remember coming to Mumbai, with my parents and uncles carrying a load of luggage. My brother hadn’t accompanied me then, as he was still living with his grandparents.  Our house was a small 1BHK house, with no beds or sofa, in initially. The kitchen didn’t have a slab and the gas was kept on the floor. I can also remember an old women who worked as a maid, and spoke only Marathi.

4. Dancing to songs

I was a filmy kid. Not just at 5, but even at 15. A film that I can remember watching then, was Karan Arjun. And, the song that I would keep singing all the time (without knowing it’s meaning) much to the glee and delight of everyone was this one. I am sure, that after many of my performances, some Aunty would place me on her lap. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen now.

5. Receiving letters and going to STD booths

1995 was a time when letters were very common, and STD calls were expensive. Still, I can remember my maternal grandfather writing to me and my mom at least once every month. Once or twice, even my brother would send letters with all kinds of drawings and craft work. He was a good at it too.

So yeah, that’s it. I had a nice time scratching my memory.

 

5 ways to be a cold person

ryangoslingcold

Being a cold person isn’t easy. At times though, we might come across phases where we have no option but to be cold. Avoiding people’s eyes, ignoring them online, replying to them days later, aligning with their enemies (haha) are some things we do rather organically and naturally. We don’t need any training for it (which this title claims to profer). However, certain mental tweaks can make the experience a pleasurable one.

Here are some ways in which you too can be cold:

1. Be proud of it-

Half the battle is won, if you are proud of being cold and antisocial. Think of it as a gift that not everyone has, the ability to be this cold. Start working on your very own ‘go-to’ cold expression by looking into the mirror. An expression that you would use in all the photographs that would be clicked of you, all the glances that you’ll share with people you don’t want to be friendly with, etc. If you’ve perfected it well, it can work fine as your Facebook display pic too!

2. Look towards some idols-

Many people who have contributed to the society, were personally very cold in their behavior. While, popular media may label them as reclusive, shy, etc. they did appear to the society as cold. In fact, people idolizing these people are often cold too. As such a strong influence is held over them. Also, being obsessive about some great person will make you respect mere mortals of the society lesser, and thus add to your cold quotient.

“They’re so cold, these scholars!
May lightning strike their food
so that their mouths learn how
to eat fire!”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

I had once read in my facebook feed, how a child does not have just two parents. Every musician they admire, every film star they aspire to be, every book they read- all have a strong influence on them. So strong, that it can suppress whatever the child’s parents are teaching.

3. Never give up on your resolve. Don’t initiate anything, whatever your mood.-

If you want to learn how to be cold, it is best to practice it through thick and thin. Sometimes, our mood might be jovial and we may crumble and initiate a conversation with someone we ought not to – but it is imperative to control such urges. Make a resolve, and imagine that you have written it somewhere in blood.

4. Be prepared to face the chill-

Being a cold person is contagious. Just like smiling. Cold people receive cold behavior. If you are cold in your first meeting with someone, it may be difficult to establish a rapport later. But your life’s philosophy should be to do unto others what you would want to be done to yourself. Think of this as your choice, and be convinced that it is the best way to spend one’s life.

5. Listen to cold music-

I had once heard Aamir Khan say in an interview, that he would set his mood for a scene by listening to songs. If he needed to appear angry, he’d listen to an angry song. For a sad scene, a sad song. Similarly, a lot of artists have written songs that promote coldness. Both abroad and in India.

That’s it for now. I am sure many of my readers are experts at cold behavior themselves. Even though, they may give it names like shyness, etc. Please do not keep your wonderful knowledge to yourself and share it with a few people.

Picture courtesy: The Ides Of March

A comedian in a train

Nasir did like doing what he was doing. He had come up some distance to get to that railway station, and was a success in his own eyes.

Once, out of frustration of not selling enough tea cups to make a profit, he tried a chant and it worked. Early in  the morning, when the passengers would be sleepy but on the verge of waking up, he’d rush into the bogey with the slogan, “Kharaab se kharaab chai, pilo ji!”

And even if people did not buy any tea from Nasir, (and a lot of them did) they’d joke about it or express astonishment with the other members of the compartment.