Thursday, September 25, 2008

Salman Ka Dum

"Shahrukh ya Aamir? " asked my friend angesh. This was way back when i was in 9th standard. Another friend of mine Ashish was looking at me with curious eyes. I knew this could be another chapter of groupism in the class like "Sachin or Azhar", "Mohanlal or Mammootty", "Aishwarya ya Sushmitha". This time i did not wanted to be pulled into another verbal-assault and point proving. I thought for a while and answered "Salman Khan". Both of them gave me a puzzled look, I continued "I like Shahrukh for his energy and he is from delhi, aamir is like everybody's heartthrob and extremely chullan (mallu lingo for handsome)". My diplomatic answer would have pleased them, ashish said to me "Correct, salman is good too. He is like gym of the world". I think he meant salmans extreme good physique.
After that though not with a big backing up i silently followed salman. Those endless hours in the gym and dum-bells at home hoping to be like salman. But salman is salman, from one controversy to other he maintained his cult through out. But every once in a while, there was this one movie of his which kept him close to me. I virtually cried when he bid farewell to Ash in HDDCS. The other khan's meanwhile had become giants of indian movies though by different means. Salman kept going on relentlessly the way he had started.

Recently i saw Salman's "Dus Ka Dum" episode video in internet. My general perception was this would be like any other show trying to copy KBC-Bachan version. And in the end he would join the almost band of SRK,Govinda,Manoj Bajpai, Madhavan, SarathKumar(tamil),Mukesh(malayalam). But here he proved me wrong, he was stylish, he was himself and ravishingly different. When other stars are posing a media friendly always smiling faces with a grin inside, salman was refreshingly frank. One episode where he frankly tells about hus life in jail, his fight with SRK etc. Above all the dancing rikshawala's. The show is an absolute cracker and the creators have used salman's image in a well polished manner. KBC rejuvenated Amitabh Bachan's dented personal and film life. May be 'DKD' turns out to be the lucky mascot for Sallu Bhai.

Now he has been issued a 'fatwa' for performing ganesh pooja. To hell with them, salman you are our modern day icon "Karo jo Dil Kahe". Crazy hair style or Six pack abs or Singh-Is-King keep coming but dudes like you rock in our hearts.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mr.Sambhar

If you ask me what is my favourite dish?. Well its a tough question to ask an epicure, but after analysing hundreds of dishes my answer would be 'Sambhar'. Though chicken curry is a happy runner-up. Sambhar wins it coz of the aroma and the 'X' factor which am yet to understand.I always liked sambhar from childhood days especially the one amma makes. She used to say proudly that'Sabari just needs Ulli-Sambhar(onemade with small onions) to keep him happy".I still remember my grandmother, grandfather all cook sambhar when we come from delhi on vacations. In palakkad where i grew up our food constituted Idlis, Rice or Chappathi's and all 3 and many others went well with Sambhar....Bingo!!There are times when i go to my aunts house to escape from my mom made idli's.Such was the frequency that i was a bit fed up of idlis. But any number of times i could take sambhar, some times i drink it in a glass.Now you would have understood, sambhar is my close ally in food department.

When i was posted in chennai, for a few days we tried out all the near by hotels. Ofcourse 'Sambhar Saadham' was the primary in my hitlist.Gradulally we decided to cook ourselves.Which i would say is a big challenge, as all of us were damn lazy and with '0' experience in cooking. My roomies Jabri, Sree and Nallapa had a faint idea of cooking though atleast to turn on the gas stove. And we always had 'phone a friend' option, usually my mom or sree's mom/sister. First time i tried cooking Sambhar it turned out to be rasam. I still remember nallapa laughing his gut out and asking me in a telugu-dipped accent."Arre what man, how can you call this Sambhar?"But i was not the one to give up, next time i went back home for vacation. I took short notes from amma and she also gave me some powders she used for cooking. Hmmm may be that was missing all this time..Next 3-4 times the story was same, it turned out to be a disaster and we used to order food from the nearest hotel everytime.Then my roomie termed my sambhar as Sa-Rasam. As it was now an eclectic mix of Sambhar and Rasam. But still more of Rasam though.

The week i started for US, every hotel we go acha will say 'Order sambhar you wont get it there'. For first time in my life, my mind agreed to him.Once i came to columbus, it was like i almost bid adieu to sambhar in my mind.From whatever i heard and read about US. Sambhar and US ...no way, its like Mohanlal dating Angelina Jolie.But irony being that my first day in columbus, Deepa gave me Sambhar for lunch. Wow did i enjoy that!! Then most of the days deepa made sambhar and i used to stand next to her and try to learn it.My first attempt in columbus is a very famous one as its called the one and only 'Carrot-Rasam'. Maman and SreejithEttan still make fun of me with that. After so many trial and error, now a days i can make an 'OK' Sambhar. For a bachelor may be its a good sambhar, but if you compare it to stalwarts of sambhar i know in my life..its a good head start.Guess what tonight again it was sambhar for dinner....My roomies brene and dev are gonna have tough times ahead for sure..its gonna overflow Sambhar in 8249, Gradington Drive.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Terrorism is it an Islam-INC brainchild??

After 911 bombings, Muslims around the world are having a tough time. That i would say is a 'public secret'. For a cruel act by a set of irrational terrorists world looks at a 'follower of islam' with a shadow of doubt in his mind. In my personal experience i see most of us asians screened at airport for security measures. Though sometimes its uncomfortable for the end result called'Security' its a welcome act. But recent bombings in india by a chapter of terrorist wing called 'Indian Mujahuddin' has cast a shodow on us Indians too. Every time a bomb is burst a few muslim clerics are questionned and a few muslims are arrested(after which they are released with no evidence). People like us and the media agree to it, its the trained mind that acts during those junctures. Are we travelling through the same lines as in US where security classified as red,amber and green?

As an eye opener here is a small statistics for you, there have been 11 bombings altogether since 2001. The butterfly effect of such cynical act is that a common musalman has to go through all the pains. I have a lot of muslim friends both in india and US. Sitting in a same couch watching a telivision programme, where everyone(as in media and newspaper) questions the integrity and patriotism of my friend. The perperators of bombings talk about(e-mail) revenge, opportunity and what not. But is this what father of our nation dreamt of? Thousands of muslims believed in secularism and decided to stay in our country. Ram-Rahim could stay together, it was the so called dream. But the tribulent acts of cowardice has brought government under huge pressure to bring an Anti-Terrorist act. Which in turn will be virtually like burning your house to kill a few rats.

If the so called islamic-jihadi's could use a bit of common sense above their religious spirits and intelligence, on a long run they are defaming their religion, their own country and their brothers more than ever. Government needs to be stringent in action as well not alone in media interviews (like our home minister). I cannot understand why people like Mohammed Afzal still not hanged for the parliament attacks in 2001. A clear message need to be sent to all those who dare to denounce themselve for 'jihadi acts'. Or else you would see a deluge of terrorist activities in hot spots around india. But blaming everything on them will be sheepishly ineffective. Lot of changes needs to happen from top to bottom of our democratic setup. Ministers with vast history in bloodshedding and killings are in pivotal positions in the government(like shibu soren).
Every government plays the caste and religion politics and further divides the society into millions of pieces.

And to my heading of this topic "Terrorism is it an Islam-INC brainchild??". My heartfelt answer is "Hell-No". Two hands join together for a clap, similarly hundreds of reasons that have happened and are happening in india which now is instigates a ravaged group of youngsters attacking parliaments, capitals and common men. These men cannot be classified under any religion or caste. Prophet Mohammed's beautiful religion is now misused by a few hell-broke extremists even around the holy month of ramadan. What more can we say?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Columbus Pillars

What on earth is he talking?
Is it some kinda architectural wonder in columbus. Here the pillar i mean is in line of support and a bit of guidance too. In our software industry one of the upbeat part of our career is onsite. The reason being economic and social freedom. But altogether for most of us the reason is economic. Some say it is the best time to make money, some see it as a best opportunity to look around the world and gain more mileage. Me being one among those N1000 software engineers vying for an onsite, but did not think it as a recipe for success. Its just you get a chance to move on in life and open up another dimension. So my travel date was fixed, december 31st night i am to travel to columbus from chennai. I was asked a million questions by my parents, sister, family and friends. And the most common was food and accomodation. But was i worried? Hell no!! I had a number (6144323859) this was like answer to any question asked. It was sreejithettans number. No matter what i knew he will be there at onsite to pick me up at airport. A blind faith or its more like a confidence on a person.

Yes so he is the first pillar i am speaking about, Sreejith. We were team mates at offshore. A workaholic to core and a person who finds inerests in most wierder things of life. I cant imagine me getting acclimatised to columbus without Sreejithettan (thats how i call him) and deepa. They were more like my dad and mom columbus version. Dont try to read between the lines its just that they took care of me so well. I mean getting rice and sambhar daily with one sidedish is a luxury any bachelor cant say NO to. Also the initial days of pick up and drop to office, to football ground. '592 Stransberry Ct' the house i stayed with sreejithettan and rohit was like battle of wits day-in-day-out.

Then comes a person who is one of a kind , yes the second pillar by any means Rohit (or maman as we all call him). We both have similar interests from movies to cricket to you-say-it. So there was a big frequency match there and a big-big comfort zone which you are waiting for away from your friends and family back at home. Anybody here knows the maman-shabbu battles at playfield it doesnt matter the sport we are playing either of us will pick up a fight. Some scientists said, like poles repel in our case it was like explosion. But somewhere there was a big brother in him guarding me and giving wisdom lessons on life (especially love life...ooh i must admit i am way back to him at this subject at least).

Then there was Alibhai, popularly known as Neaz. I call him Alibhai coz he is like somebody out of a mumbaiyya-apun-ka-bhai movies. He is there for everyone for everything from buying groceries to chosing the right attire on a plane journey to argue with the bowling arena waitresses. You get lost somewhere in columbus, call@neaz he will guide you back to polaris. And the best part comes at farewells where he gives this long speech about 'THE' person.

But now theres a brief hiatus, one by one each one of them have left to india. There is a popular saying in polaris that, 'neaz takes everybody to walmart, and rohit takes everybody to ballmart'. After them nobody has replaced these two gentlemen so effectively. After all everyone is making their move on with their life. In the extrapolation of the cycles of life i am sure some where our paths are meant intersect. On that day it transcends down to the good time we all had with these awesome people, till then let there be a short memoir on them in my blog.