The Foodie Meme!

The word “food” evokes in me a primal instinct to mark my territory on the table, crouch in a corner with my plate of food and growl at anyone who comes near. I devour my food quickly lest someone steals it from me and smack my lips and return to my normal state of mind. I black out when eating, and sometimes, don’t remember what happened. I once came out of such a black out with the thumb of my left hand in my mouth, my white shirt covered in chocolate sauce and my hair smelling of onions. It remains a mystery till today! :D

Shefaly tagged me with this very interesting food meme, and finally, I get to show off my love for all things edible. I would best describe my culinary afflictions as: “I am, therefore I eat!” :D

Now, lets get down to the meme, shall we!

1. What’s your favorite table?

I wouldn’t want to go over the edge and make a big cliché of myself by saying “Any table with food on it!” or something on similar, drab lines. Actually, my favorite table happens to be in the corner of a cafe called Barista, on MG Road in Bangalore. It was at this table that I was sitting when I realized that my life was going in no particular direction (but down) and that I had to do something about it. So, I ordered a cold chocolate, went home and got a haircut.

2. What would you have for your last supper?

I am going to die on November 4th, 2078 at 3.49 in the evening, while walking down the road after my routine sessions in the local laughter club, where I will perform for free, just to get rid of the boredom. My heart will have weakened enough for me to say my last goodbyes that day in the club, and that afternoon, my last meal will comprise of two chicken sizzlers on BBQ sauce and a portion of potatoes. I will drink half a glass of wine and choke on the other half, and finally, realize that its time to walk out of the club one last time…

3. What’s your poison?

Keeps changing with my mood and the season, and right now, it has to be roadside Dahi Puri with extra sweet on it. For more information on Dahi Puri, take a deep breath, smack your lips in anticipation and please click here. :)

4. Name your three desert island ingredients.

Imagination, Perseverance and the ability to eat anything remotely edible! (PS: Cast Away was supposed to feature me, but they chose some guy who was a lot thinner than me and a disgrace to foodies all over!)

5. What would you put in Room 101?

Leftovers! :D

6. Which book gets you cooking?

No book can get me to cook! God forbid, if I cook, I shall be responsible for mass hysteria and will be arrested for intentional food poisoning! :)

7. What’s your dream dinner party line up?

Me..! :D

Ok, I was kidding… Dream dinner party would consist of… um… uh… let’s see… no, I think it would still be me!

8. What was your childhood teatime treat?

Tomato juice, followed by salted biscuits and half a potato bun! Sometimes, when I’m feeling a bit nostalgic, I still follow this ritual. :)

9. What was your most memorable meal?

December 2008, New York City, Lexington Avenue, Shravana Bhavan – That meal was perhaps the best because the whole day had been spent walking around the city and my feet were aching so badly and my insignificant breakfast had long been digested! :D

10. What was your biggest food disaster?

My roomies and I once decided to cook a South Indian delicacy called Bisi Bele Bath. Its a concoction of rice, dal and lots of spices. We called everyone over and were so proud of ourselves, when we realized that we had forgotten to add the dal…

We made up a story that we got the recipe from MySpace, and that the dish was called Ranatunga! :D

Some people actually bought the story and liked the dish. Never been near the kitchen since!

11. What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

My very own insipid version of chicken soup! :D

12. Your food hero/food villian?

The food in my hand is the damsel in distress. She cries out for help and begs for mercy from the huge villain, who wants to eat her alive. The hero is no where to be seen. The villain lifts the helpless damsel and brings her close to his mouth. She can smell the foul breath and see the remains of her brothers and sisters sticking to the villain’s teeth. “Hero! Where are you?” she screams. Her screams are in vain. The villain devours her.

13. Nigella or Delia?

I don’t know what either mean and as long as they’re not some exotic, tasty food items, I don’t really care! :D

14. Vegetarians: genius or madness?

Paranoid and morally confused! Plants have life too, you freaks! :D

15. Fast food or fresh food?

Edible food!! :D

16. Who would you most like to cook for?

I can’t think of anyone who has a death wish! :D

17. What would you cook to impress a date?

Hmmm…

18. Make a wish.

I wish every living being in this world can taste Tiramisu before he/she/it expires.

19. I tag…

Namrata, who would be doing her first tag with this one! I wish her all the best! :D

Fruity, who seems to be bored enough and senile enough to be tagged! :D

Suda, who seems to have gotten all techie all of a sudden! :D

Meghana, who would be doing this as her first tag on wordpress! :D

Rekha, who is, like me, from South India and her answers would give me a clue to my sanity! :D

Virginia Tobacco :)

Note: The following post is protected under strict copyright laws, owned by Nam and her Nandu Mama. Copying this material or using it in any context without the explicit written and/or verbal permission of both the owners is punishable by the just laws of the glorious country of Sheikla Abbu. The following is not a true story, however, any resemblance to any person or animal, living or dead, has been included deliberately after a great deal of procrastination. Thanks to Nam for keeping me awake last night with this fascinating tale of deception, treachery and greed. I would have dozed off if it weren’t for her. :)

Once upon a time, in an imagination far, far colorful, lived a Sheik who ruled over the glorious country of Sheikla Abbu. He had a thousand camels and a thousand horses and a thousand elephants and a thousand ten wives. He had an enormous palace, where he used to spend time with his wives and eat the best food in all of Abbu, drink the finest wine, listen to the best music and dance to the best tunes. He was also a bit greedy.

The Sheik was an accomplished warrior, who had conquered his enemies far and wide and wanted to expand his kingdom even more. So, against the wishes of his wives and wise men, he set out, leading his huge army south, to the kingdom of Virginia. This name is not to be confused with its namesake in the USA. He led the army through blistering deserts and freezing nights, and finally reached the doors of the castle in Virginia. They had been traveling for a thousand days and all were tired, including the Sheik.

He knew that if he declared war in his state of fatigue, he would lose terribly. So, he extended a hand of friendship to the ruler of Virginia, who gave the Sheik a pack of Virginia Tobacco, as a gesture of good faith. This is where our story kicks off into a bizarre world of madness. For two years he completely forgot about this packet of cigarettes in his possession, and went about his daily routines. Once, while cleaning out his writing desk, he found the unopened pack of Virginia Tobacco lying there, under a heap of death warrants.

Curious to try it out, the Sheik took out a cigarette from the pack and took a drag from the sweet tobacco, he could hear someone counting – “One, Two, Three, Four, Five…” in his ear, loudly. He looked around him, astonished at seeing no one, and yet, the voice was very clear in his mind. Someone had counted loudly and he had heard them! So, in his confused rage, he ordered the heads of all his guards to be chopped off.

The next day, when he was sitting on the banks of the river, he took out another cigarette and started smoking it. As soon as he took the first drag, he could bear someone counting again – “Five, Six, Seven, Eight…” and this time, the voice seemed to be very near to him. He looked around, and finding no one, ordered all his animals to be beheaded. No one dared to question his madness when he was in one of his rages. He sat back down and took another drag of the cigarette. Again, as before, he heard counting in his head - “Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen…” and he got really really freaked!

He started stripping down his robes, thinking that there could have been some sort of black magic going on. As he removed his shirt, something fell down to the ground. It was the pack of Virginia Tobacco. He picked it up and for the first time, read what was written on the pack.

“Virginia Tobacco: The Tobacco That Counts!” :D

Letter to Cupid :)

Dear Asshole Cupid,

When you first met me, you chose a lovely, red, pointy arrow and shot it right through my heart. I bled and bled but you didn’t really care. You moved on to your next victim, impaling everyone you met! I so hate you for pulling that arrow out forcefully and hurting me more! When you did that to me, you not only ensured that two lives would never be the same again, but you also made sure that I can never be affected by your childish charms and sharp arrows again!

Just because you’re a child with wings and you carry around a bow and arrow, you think you can play around with people’s lives and emotions and feelings? Who gave you that right, you idiot child? Just because you are written about in books and sung about in stupid love songs, you think that you are the ultimate puppet master, making your victims dance to your tunes? You’re nothing but a spoiled brat, you hear me? Your curly, blonde hair, your red and rosy cheeks and those brilliant blue (apparently) innocent eyes may fool others but not me! I think I know what you’re planning for me!

You want me to take the tried and tested path of begging for your arrow to be impaled again in my heart, drinking myself silly in filthy places and in my stupor, calling out for that cardiac pain again and stabbing myself with chemicals in the hope of seeing your bright wings again – think again, asshole Cupid! I am not going to give you that pleasure. I am well and truly in control of my emotions and for all I care, you can take those arrows of yours and thrust it up your ass. I don’t really care how you do it, but given a chance, I’d do it for you myself! I dare you to come before me again, as you did last time! Stand before me like a man and face me!

Oh, I forgot – you’re a child! :D

So, here’s what I really had to say to you, Cupid. Drop Dead! :D

Yours sincerely,
Nikhil

Inspire…

in·spi·ra·tion [in-spuh-rey-shuhn]:

–noun

– a thing or person that inspires.

Vishesh tagged me, and this time, its an interesting one:

Think of THE song that most inspires you to write, whether it gives you an idea for a story, script or just puts you into a better frame of mind AND/OR peek into the lyrics and find a verse that sums up the theme of whatever project it is you’re working on. If possible, post a video of the song to convey to readers the full context of the song and the mood it puts you into. Finally, send the assignment to five other writers to do as well.

There’s this tiny, weird-looking, double-chinned, mousy-haired, tinny-voiced, dark-skinned, blue-eyed, long-eared man with unclean nails and long, spindly legs, wearing tattered white clothes and sporting a toothless grin and a mega-halitosis, and he resides inside my head and is responsible for everything I write. He sleeps in a bug-infested mattress that’s in a bad shape with lots of holes. He has a tattoo on his right arm, near the shoulder, which reads, “I write, therefore I am!” – a tattoo he got while partying in Bali, a few years ago.

There’re very specific things that inspire this gentleman, and music is one of them. Music of any kind sets him off, and if I had to pick one, then it has to be INXS’s Afterglow. The lyrics speak to him directly, reminds him of someone special, and he dedicates all the things he writes to that person. He loses control of himself while listening to this song, and for hours together, he sits and listens to this song over and over again. The youtube link for this song is here below:

The lyrics are, I must agree with this gentleman, somewhat inspiring. I like this song a lot myself.

At the tiny, weird-looking, double-chinned, mousy-haired, tinny-voiced, dark-skinned, blue-eyed, long-eared gentleman’s request, I have withheld his name.

Now, I need to tag five other writers, but since writers aren’t the only ones who need inspiration, I am going to tag a few poets and rockstars too: They are: Mariacristina, Fruity, Priya, Shiwani and Balu.

Anyone else who feels the need to share their inner creative selves with the world, are, of course, free to pick up this tag and do it. From the shabby gentleman inside me and from myself, I raise a toast to you, dear accomplished reader!

Cheers! :)

Cover me up, Scotty!

OutlookIndia has always been a very conservatively-confused country. No, that didn’t sound right. Let me try that again. India has always been a country with conservatively-confused people in power. Yeah, that sounds about right. Don’t get me wrong – I’m a politically-neutral, wardrobe-indifferent, optically-challenged, mentally-blessed, verbally-strong guy – but some things that these politicians do just baffles me and makes me want to stand them in the middle of a crowd, strip them naked and laugh at them all day long, like Nelson in the Simpsons, “Haw! Haw!”

Every sport needs cheerleaders – not only to please the weary sportsmens’ eyes, but also to appease the gawkers and the single men (and certain women!) in the crowd. Indian politics is very insecure when it comes to scantily dressed cheerleaders waving away those frillies in the air and showing off their generously endowed ..er.. wardrobe! (Does that sound right!?)

They allow these lovely cheerleaders to flaunt themselves one day and the next, they are banned and are ordered to “Cover up or Pack up!” The next day, they’re back, doing what they do best! Isn’t this a bit insane? Sticking to a decision is the hardest thing any Indian politician can do, and especially when it comes to near-naked dancing beauties, I’m not surprised by the vacillation! :D

After all, who wants to watch a game of football or cricket without the goddesses of ..er.. (F)rock dancing and cheering the home side on? No wonder they charge entertainment taxes on game tickets nowadays! :D

I know a lot of people wouldn’t have an opinion on this issue, but I just had to get it out – can’t hold back political jokes anymore! We’ve crossed the line! :)

Haw! Haw!

Blog Talk!!

Yaake in Bangalore Mirror!My blog was featured in Bangalore Mirror, an English daily, yesterday!!

There’s a column called “Blog Talk,” where geeky posts that deal with “All Things Bangalore” are published! And mine got picked up and printed!! All thanks to Balu, who’s a journalist with Bangalore Mirror. I was surprised and shocked when he told me he wants to use my blog for that column. In a daze, I said Yes, and the next day, there it was – in black-and-white and a few other colors – my blog, specifically my post about being cursed again and again!

Thanks so much, Balu! I owe you one, macha! :D

I scanned it and sent it to all my friends! Apart from people calling me up out of the blue to tell me that it’s been published, my biggest shock was when Dad read the article, looked at me and said, “Tell me the truth – was that incident with the mother and her kid an accident or did you do smack your lips intentionally?”

“Dad!” I protested, “you must be kidding me, right?”

He looked at me strangely and said, “No, I’m not.”

Now, I don’t really know what to say in situations like this. The whole thing was one big misunderstanding and when people don’t trust me, I really don’t know what to say or do. I can’t deny anything too vehemently, because it may appear fake, and for obvious reasons I can’t accept any charges.

On the other hand, it seems my life is a constant punching bag of abuses. Some guy called me a “Loafer!” today because I drove my bike over his laptop bag and heard a distinctive crunch as I did it and roared away from the scene… :D

Cursed! Again and again…

…and again!! I don’t know which side of the bed I woke up yesterday, but I’m never going to do it again, hopefully! My day wasn’t all that bad, actually, but for some reason or the other, I got cursed seven times!! Seven different people in seven different situations cursed me with some unspeakable pejoratives! There was a movie, where someone asks, “If you are called a jerk seven times, do you actually become a jerk?”

If the answer to this question is true, then I don’t know what I’ve become now!! Here’re the situations, as best as I can remember them, and I’ll let you decide whether I deserved all the colorful language hurled at me.

1. Late afternoon, I was riding my bike in heavy traffic and singing a romantic song, thinking of my girlfriend, and gleefully unaware of the honking and tensions all around, when all of a sudden, a lunatic auto rickshaw careened out of the corner and scraped my front fender. I’m not a person who loses his temper, and as long as I’m not hurt or my wallet is not hurt (read as, bike screwed) I don’t care. So, I just whipped out my middle finger at the auto driver and continued my singing. This guy, I don’t know why, he popped his head out the vehicle and screamed, “Ninakkan!” and drove off. This word, in my language, has something to do with elder sisters and incest. I don’t have an elder sister, but still, I was kind of annoyed. I hadn’t raised my voice, only my finger, and I don’t think I deserved this insult!!

2. The second incident occurred when I was walking down the road from my office, with a breath mint in my mouth. I was rolling the piece of mint in my tongue, when I passed a mother and her small girl walk past me. Just then, my tongue made a smacking sort of a noise because of the piece of candy, which the mother mistook for something else. She turned around and glared at me and called me a pervert! I knew there was no point trying to reconcile. I just shrugged and moved on.

3, 4, 5. The next three instances happened almost simultaneously. I was in my friend’s place in the evening, watching the cricket match and munching some peanuts, when three of my other friends walked in. They said the following things to me:
Friend 1: “Hey asshole! How’s it hanging?”
Friend 2: “You bastard! How’re you man!?”
Friend 3: “Fucking moron! Long time no see!!”

6. Just when I was about to sigh and resign to my fate of being cursed all day long, there was an ad running on TV, which screamed out, “Nikhil’s a loser!” I mean, why couldn’t the ad feature some other name? If they wanted to portray a loser, then why choose a name like Nikhil?? Not fair!! :(

7. Lastly, when I realized that my day had been extremely weird and that I’d been cursed enough number of times, things just got worse. While driving back home from my friend’s place, late at night, I was whistling to myself, when I stopped at a red light. I was still whistling, when I heard a scream of anger from next to me. There was a couple on a bike, the man driving and the woman sitting behind him, and both of them glaring at me and the guy was about to take his helmet off. He said, “You pervert! Stop eying my girl!”

I lost my temper a bit. Just a bit. I was about to open my mouth to retort when the lights changed and the guy flipped a finger at me and drove off at full speed.

I started thinking on my way back, that maybe its not a good idea to sing or whistle when driving. Maybe its something else altogether.  I don’t know. I’ve been wronged and I demand justice!! :D