Of this and that

** Have you tried out Paper Boat’s Jal Jeera and Aamras? I did. I didn’t like the Aamras much, but I fell for the Jal Jeera totally. It reminded me of Ahmedabad and brought back a lot of fond memories. Highly recommended. Also, you should visit Paper Boat’s Facebook page. I am sure it will take you to Nostalgia Land.

** It was cloudy when I woke up today morning. Please note that I slept late last night and woke up with the aid of an alarm, specially to go for a morning walk. I was in no mood to go, and all I wanted to do was curl up again in my warm bed and go back to sleep. Instead of doing that, though, I pushed myself to go for a walk, only to get caught in a torrent of rain. The OH had to come and get me back home from under a tree where I was all drenched, shivering, trying to shelter from the rain, near the park a 12-minute walk away from our house that I usually go to. I came home and was just beginning to enjoy some aimless Internet surfing when the sun began shining brightly. Gah! Is the Universe conspiring against my morning walks? 😉

** I have been reading Karen Harper’s Mistress Shakespeare, which has proved to be riveting so far. It is about why famous author and playwright William Shakespeare went on to marry an Anne Hathaway and have children with her, instead of the Anne Whateley he was engaged to, according to government records that survive till date. The author has beautifully spun this little historical fact into an enchanting and much believable tale, and I can’t get my hands and eyes off the book. It makes me realise how little we actually know about the real lives of celebrities. We wouldn’t see their writing/acting the same way if we knew all the sordid details of their personal lives, would we? That said, I am all for viewing a person’s art as separate from his/her personal life.

** There has been no luck in finding a suitable house for my parents in Bangalore, yet. Property rates in certain areas are astronomical, making it impossible for us to even think of buying a house there. Most small builders, whose houses are affordable, have deviated from the original government-approved plan of construction, as a consequence of which the residents cannot get an Occupancy Certificate, a crucial document for future governmental purposes. The big, renowned builders have no such deviations and all their documents are in order, but their prices and maintenance costs are high enough to put off anyone who is not a millionaire. How is a middle-class person to buy a house legally, without any gol-maal in the documents, I ask?

** While we are on the subject of houses, what is with the disappearance of good balconies? Most houses by small builders we visited have no balconies at all, or a balcony that looks into the neighbour’s bathroom or laundry room or whatever, or at the adjacent apartment’s drainage pipes. So not a view you would want to gaze at with a cup of coffee in your hands every morning, right? I am the kind of person who needs proper windows and balconies with a decent view, if not a great one, and am appalled to see houses that have none at all. In other cases, the houses are so tiny that a family of four would have to struggle not to bump into each other as they went about their daily chores, but have clubhouses and gyms running into thousands of square feet? Am I missing something here? Am I the only person who thinks this way?

** One of my cousins had a baby boy yesterday, after 9 years of marriage and several disappointments later. We haven’t known a couple who have wanted a child as badly as this one. Needless to say, they are incredibly happy. It feels good to know they are finally holding their son in their hands, nursing him and singing lullabies to him. 🙂

** Zucchinis would probably start committing suicide when they come to know of what my Amma calls them – ‘vezhumoona peerkangai’ or ‘smooth ridge gourds’ or ‘that variety of ridge gourds without the ridges’. We had a couple of zucchini lying around unused in our refrigerator, in sore danger of wasting away, with no idea of what to do with them. So, we Tam-Brahmized them and converted them into zucchini thair kootu. It tasted good, but I am guessing we should now call those zucchinis Zucchini Iyer, like Nandini does. 🙂

21 thoughts on “Of this and that

  1. Murphy is working with ur morning walks!! Lol 🙂 Real estate is so expensive in Gurgaon as well.House rents are rocket high though they do not possess good facilities. Balconies seems to be a luxury in such a situation…Sometimes I feel that in a city we rather exist then live, chasing some invisible dead line which has now become a kind of necessity to survive. As per wikipedia “In India, Zucchini is called as ‘Seemai Sorakkai’. Thayir kootu recipe please!!


    1. @Paatiamma

      “Sometimes I feel that in a city we rather exist then live, chasing some invisible dead line which has now become a kind of necessity to survive. “- so true!

      From what I saw in Delhi, the balconies there are much better than those in some of the apartments coming up in Bangalore. 😦 Yes, I know property prices are sky-high in Delhi, too.

      So, my mom was not all that far off in her naming of the zucchini, eh? 🙂

      Thayir kootu – I made it the same way we make other kootus with curd re. Cut the zucchini into cubes. Grind fresh grated coconut, a little coriander seeds, 2 or 3 red chillies and some jeera into a paste with a bit of water. In a pressure cooker, let some mustard seeds and jeera splutter in a tablespoon of oil. Add asafoetida, the zucchini pieces, curry leaves, salt to taste and a handful of moong dal. Let it cook for about 4 whistles. Just before serving, mix curd in it as per taste. That’s it!


  2. Their Facebook page looks lovely! Such good old memories. 🙂

    Now you can tell people you never miss your walks be it rain or sunshine. 😛

    I know! The houses and plots have become so unbelievably expensive! Everything seems out of reach and meant for the rich. Totally agree with you on the balcony thing too. For a long time now, I have longed for an open balcony with a swing chair and a book in hand. But even in the new house we are constructing, they are planning to grill up the whole thing for safety. Gone are those lovely, safe days! 😦

    Nice post! 🙂


    1. @Arch

      Good to know you liked the FB page, too. 🙂

      I hate balconies with grills, too. 😦 Feel like I am inside a jail. Balconies are meant for looking out the house, when you are tired of being inside all day. The whole point of having a balcony is lost if it becomes just another room, grilled in with iron bars. Of course, just my two cents.

      Some of the flats we have been seeing of late have had no balconies at all, just a utility for the washing machine and similar stuff. The few ones that had balconies look out somewhere you don’t want to gaze at every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah.. you don’t know how much I have argued with my husband about the no grill thingy. 😦 The plan is to have a sliding full length window cum huge door. Hence he says no grill is out of question! 😦


  3. Loved the Paper Boat FB page, so many things to remember 🙂

    Rain Gods are working with you on your walks, what fun. You need to tell me your secret mantra on how you make them do this. 😀

    Is the book good? I am on a hunt to find one good book to read. Will pick this up then 🙂

    Houses these days, lesser said the better 😦


  4. LOL on the rains and the sun..and the last one had me laughing aloud..your Amma is super cute 🙂

    House rates are really really high in Mumbai as well..a friend of mine is searching for a house in the suburbs and nothing less than 60 lakhs for a 1 Bedroom kitchen hall..how do middle class people buy houses seriously?

    I want that Mistress Shakespeare now..searching searching!


  5. Hey TGND.. coming into WP after a long long time. Loved to read your post on this and that 🙂

    I always liked the Paper Boat’s design, but I have never tasted one. I am one person, who doesnt like drinking packaged juices, with or without soda. S on the otherhand can dwell on them. I will get him to try this out 🙂

    Looks like nature is trying to give you a day’s rest! 🙂

    I prefer not to know about the personal lives of the celebrities I love! Somehow I cant help keep their artistic and personal lives apart. I know, I should change!

    You know what.. you can use Zuchhinis in pastas. I love Mushroom Zucchini pasta (goes really well with the red as well as while sauce). If you are not a fan of mushrooms, replace them with redpeppers and sweetcorn – tastes like heaven. I am sure you would love it 🙂

    And who know? May be Zucchinis are called that in tamil 🙂 🙂


    1. @Greenboochi

      I love the packaging of the Paper Boat drinks, too. 🙂 BTW, Paper Boat claims that their products do not contain any preservatives or added flavours, and that they are as natural as possible. I am not a big fan of bottled drinks, too, and I bought these just because I wanted to try them out. The jal jeera is definitely worth a try, I tell you! 🙂

      I know you can use zucchini in pasta re… but I suck at making pasta. I have tried several times, and have come up with horrible-tasting concoctions. So, I have given up. Please do share the recipes for mushroom zucchini pasta… it sounds interesting and I think I will try it out. I like mushrooms, too.


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