The dilemma of my vegetarian better half

Most of us would have had at least one ghastly dining experience in our lives… Before you start guessing, let me tell you that this blog is not about one of my dining disasters; it is about my super finicky pure vegetarian husband’s (Pulkit)! :P Last night, we went out for a nice dinner at this local restaurant. We had planned to have an especially elaborate dinner. So I quickly ordered some starters and soup as my better half was busy on the phone. Everything was pure pure (read again) vegetarian.

Bite by bite, we finished our veg platter… After we finished our soups, I started going through the menu all over again to order the main course. I was quite stuffed by this time, but Pulkit wanted to have another round of soup. So, he ordered one. He said, “Please get me one manchow soup.” The guy at the restaurant replied, “Okay Sir.” The soup was on our table within 5 minutes. My better half had it. I ordered the main course and we hogged like there’s no tomorrow.

Our tummy was stuffed, taste buds were contented, senses satiated and, we were waiting for our restaurant bill… The bill arrived. My better half went through everything on the bill. And, BOOOOOM…! “WHAT!!” That is all he managed to say. The bill loudly, clearly and hilariously said, “Non-veg Soup.” That was it! Pulkit called the manager at the restaurant to check. They were not sure what was served but when they saw Pulkit getting a little nervous they said it was vegetarian. But I still have my doubts… And so does my better half. From the moment we left the restaurant he is describing to me what he had and trying to check with me if that could be non-vegetarian :P How does chicken soup look like? Does it taste any different? How can you differentiate between the two? Lol… I just can’t stop laughing. My poor poor hubby! Mind you… We can’t do anything about it now… Even if it was non-vegetarian. :D By the way, did you like it hubby? Haa haa haa… It seems to me the vegetable family too is having some fun discussing this. :P

A super little visit to the city I love

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a very small bite of the city I love – Aamchi Mumbai. :) I was in Mumbai last week for 2 days to attend one of my friend’s wedding…

I shopped, ate, wandered about… And, yes, I did attend the pre-wedding sangeet and the big fat shaadi!

Believe me, I just blinked and it was all over.

Walking through the malls, buildings, cafes, local railway stations, travelling in buses, trains, being the part of the CROWD, being at my home in Mumbai, meeting siblings (Poonam Di and Abhay) and Mumma, sharing and discussing the CURRENT events and secrets in our lives… All of it now seems like a book that I just read. :) I wish it was that… A book… I would read it over and over again… :)

I’ve added a few photographs. In one of the photographs, I have captured my hairstylist at work. Hee hee… Just take a look.

Back in Kandla now…

Rendezvous with god’s own country: Kerala

Bewitching backwaters, relaxing ayurvedic massage, beautiful foggy mountains, tea gardens, brilliantly coloured birds, beaches, coconut water… Kerala is all this and much, much more. Clicked some 700+ photographs. We (me and my better half) started our trip from Trivandrum to finish in Kochi (August 15 – 21). Here a brief round-up on the same. :)

At Trivandrum Airport, our chauffeur-cum-guide Manikandan (21, an automobile diploma holder) received us. He made sure we visited every place possible in Kerala. :) After some rest at the hotel, we made our way towards Kovalam beach. It was totally awesome. So clean, so fresh… The beach sports a lighthouse, a few shacks, seafood stalls and some art jewellery shops.

The next day we left for sightseeing in Trivandrum. Padmanabhaswamy temple, Zoo, Napier Museum, Poovar Island were all on the list. Loved the Zoo… Got some banana chips for family from a stall near Padmanabhaswamy temple.

Out of all the places, Poovar Island (which is engulfed by the tranquil backwaters opening out into the Arabian Sea) left me speechless. It was an indelible experience of colorful sights and exotic sounds. Poovar Island was not mentioned in our itinerary but Mani said we shouldn’t be missing it! :-)

On the 17th, we drove to our next destination Kumarakom. Did not have much to do here except some bird watching and houseboat cruise. We left that for the next day. Me and better half decided to have a full-body warm oil ayurvedic massage. It was luxuriously relaxing and blissfully comforting. :-) Wow!

Our next destination was Munnar or should I say a paradise? On the way to Munnar, we stopped at the roaring Cheeyappara Waterfalls.

Munnar, the picturesque hill station, was among one of the most extraordinary encounters we had with nature! The foggy mountain tops, tea gardens, spice plantations added up to a breathtaking scenery. Our itinerary had quite a few things on its mind but we managed to skip a few. We ditched Rajamala Hills, Blossom Park & spices garden but did not miss the tea museum, Echo Point and Madupetty Dam… Beautiful is an understatement to describe the Echo Point. It was simply drop-dead gorgeous! In fact, the drive from Munnar town to Echo Point itself gives you a blissful scenic treat! I shopped a little more here… Filled my greedy bag with some special Munnar tea, spices and hand-made chocolates… :-)

We left for Kochi on the 21st. On reaching Kochi, we had our quick south-indian breakfast – idli sambhar, masala dosa & tea or chaaya as they call it ;) Went for a little walk on Marine Drive and left for the airport. With heavy hearts and a lump in our throats we said, “Bye Mani. Thank you for making our trip so special. We will miss you.” Teary-eyed Mani barely managed to say – Thank you Ma’am, thank you Sir… Bye!

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is one book that I never wanted to end; it stirred my mind and soul. Instead of walking you through the plot of the book, I’ve compiled some of my favourite quotes that will give you a glimpse into Shantaram:

  • “Sometimes we love with nothing more then hope. Sometimes we cry with everything except tears. In the end that’s all we have to hold on tight until dawn.”
  • “The truth is that there are no good men, or bad men, he said. It is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them. There are good deeds, and bad deeds. Men are just men it is what they do, or refuse to do, that links them to good and evil. The truth is that an instant of real love, in the heart of anyone the noblest man alive or the wicked has the whole purpose and process and meaning of life within the lotus-folds of its passion. The truth is that we are all, every one of us, every atom, every galaxy, and every particle of matter in the universe, moving toward god.”
  • “Lovers find their way by insights and confidences; they are the stars they use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those stars are the heartbreaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.”
  • “I pressed my lips against the sky, and licked the stars into my mouth. She took my body into hers, and every moment was an incantation. Our breathing was like the whole world chanting prayers. Sweat ran in rivulets to ravines of pleasure. Every moment was a satin skin cascade. Within the velvet cloaks of tenderness, our backs convulsed in quivering heat, pushing heat, pushing muscles to complete what minds begin and bodies always win. I was hers. She was mine. My body was her chariot, and she drove it into the sun. Her body was my river, and I became the sea. And the wailing moan that drove our lips together, at the end, was the world of hope and sorrow that ecstasy wrings from lovers as it floods their souls with bliss. The still and softly breathing silence that suffused and submerged us, afterwards, was emptied of need, and want, and hunger, and pain, and everything else except pure, ineffable exquisiteness of love.”
  • “My heart broke on its shame and sorrow. I suddenly knew how much crying there was in me, and how little love. I knew, at last, how lonely I was. But I couldn’t respond. My culture had taught me all the wrong things well. So I lay completely still, and gave no reaction at all. But the soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no colour or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”
  • “I clenched my teeth against the stars. I closed my eyes. I surrendered to sleep. One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.”
  • “I was thinking about another kind of river, one that runs through every one of us, no matter where we come from, all over the world. It’s the river of the heart, and the heart’s desire. It’s the pure, essential truth of what each one of us is, and can achieve. Shantaram, which means man of peace, or man of God’s peace. They nailed their stakes into the earth of my life, those farmers. They knew the place in me where the river stopped, and they marked it with a new name. Shantaram Kishan Kharre. I don’t know if they found that name in the heart of the man they believed me to be, or if they planted it there, like a whishing tree, to bloom and grow. Whatever the case, whether they discovered that peace or created it, the truth is that the man I am was born in those moments, as I stood near the flood sticks with my face lifted to the chrismal rain. Shantaram. The better man that, slowly, and much to late, I began to be.”