Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Policy

You know what's kadi-er than attending a wedding ceremony ? The thought of attending a series of functions that follow a wedding in the coming months - seemandham, valaikaappu (both, forms of Godhbharai) punyavajanam (naming ceremony of a baby), Ayush homam (baby's first birthday), then baby no.2's naming ceremony, birthdays and so on.

Here's a little secret that even husband does not know (Now he will when he reads this post). Was a happy independent professional for almost 7 years doing some vetti freelance work. That also meant representing the family (that is the spouse and I ) for all functions of the extended family on week days. Spouse was travelling a lot on work and to his luck all these mega boring functions would happen only on week days. Since I was a 'freelancer' and could decide when I wanted to work, I had to be there at Vashi, Thane and other parts of the world that required a minimum two hours of travel for these 'functions' sitting there putting one smile waiting for the food to be served. And unfortunately as Tamizh culture demands, in these smaller functions, the ladies always eat after the first pandhi & second pandhi are over when maamas, extended mamaas and neighborhood thathas eat for a minimum 1 hour. What a bore to wait for your turn and what a bore-est to help people serve when you are bleddy hungry yourself! 

Anyway, that's when I decided to take up something full time. No jokes. Really was tired of going for the 'functions'. And a full-time job in media meant giving the best excuse possible - "Recording on Sunday" "Shoot on Saturday" and so on. And since the extended family even now has no clue on what I do at work (neither do I), it became semma easy for me to bunk.

The mega bore function and the mother of all Kadis  is the wedding. Given a chance, the husb would happily bunk off . But ha ha vidhi vilayadifyes always and the Seniorest citizen of his family would call him a dozen times reminding re-reminding, putting letter and couriering invite for the function. Bwahahaha! Thankfully food is never a problem at these marriage functions. You sit off in the first pandhi itself. The aruvai bit is sitting around doing polite conversation with people on the same old topic of What I do (in life), the weather in Bombay, questions on Madhavan's next film (who is bothered?) and so on till the Taali is kattufyed. A couple of wedding ceremonies happened on week days and I was thrilled! Bunking was never a problem. But people are getting smarter and smarter. A couple just like us in the family I guess also started giving similar excuses bunking these wedding functions. So, the Seniorest Citizen mama took a stand and ended up fixing wedding dates on Sundays. Baah! That means putting full attendance for Saturday and Sunday. And it is increasingly becoming difficult to give those "working on both days" excuse for me.

Met a Delhi-based friend recently and he too has this problem of attending weddings of extended family and friends. But pal is super smart. According to him, whoever pressurizes him to attend a wedding, he announces his "policy" to them, the policy being he never attends weddings. Recently his wife travelled from Delhi to Gwalior for a wedding. He did travel with her but didn't go for the wedding. Opted to stay at the hotel, do some good bit of site seeing at Gwalior and drove her back to Delhi. 

Think it's a fantastic idea to make a list of policies for one self and publish online. My draft (work in progress) reads

-> Won't attend Weddings, Valakappus, Seemandhams, Gruhapraveshams, Ayush homams of ex..tended families.
-> Will avoid picnics / trips / movie outings where friends insist on bringing their mothers, school-time friends, twitter pals and kids.
-> Won't wait for the first and second pandhi to be over at functions (if at all I attend) and then have food
-> Will put #onetightslap to all those asking questions on "Starting a family" 

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Glossary

1. Kadi - Aruvai, Blade, Bore to the power of 100
2. Vashi, Thane - 'Oragadam' of Bombay
3. Vidhi Vilayadifies - Fate plays game
4. Taali - The one the wife worships everyday taking His blessings. No, not huspand.. It is the Mangalsutra
5. Seniorest Mama- The one who says "Enna late-a?" when you attend a Vashi based function at 7.30 am on a Sunday.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Samayal Sodappal

Somehow, cooking has never interested me. May be because it needs a lot of patience, waiting at the stove, kinding, keLaring and before all that cutting the damn vegetables, which takes forever.

The one person I cannot live without in my life is my cook (Ayyo, I am not like 'that' variety please). Given a chance I'd play the 'cook' version of 'ManamagaLe marumagaLe vaa vaa' every morning and evening when she comes (Again, ayyo not to be taking in any 'other' sense. I am sincere and 'straight') . No jokes, but the highest point of my day is when I see the cooks reporting to duty. Yes, I said cooks because there is one in the morning and the other in the evening so that we are not dependent on one person since these Pohe, Upme peoples always have 'Ganpati festival' for 10 days, 'Tulsi ki shaadi' (not the TV serial one, this is the deity), 'Choti holi, badi Holi,' excuses to bunk. Have moved homes some 7-8 times and hence had to put up with atleast 10-12 of these Pohe, Upme peoples , in the last 15 years. The cook is an indispensable part of my life because of my hatred towards this thing called samayal.

There are a lot of blogs around us that have simple, complicated, super confusing recipes with wonderful pictures. I guess that that person, that that interest. All I can do is put clap on the super duper cooking blogs. 

Thought, why not talk about things that I am good at? Like Samayalil Sodappuvadu eppadi? It is not that I get to cook very often (Thank God!). Even the smallest of 'tadka' / 'taalichal' annoys me since the Urad dal / Ulutham paruppu always turns black. Eyyuck! Yesterday was Holi-p-pandigai and the evening cook bunked and the morning cook refused to come in the evening may be 'coz she wanted to put one number Bhaang and relax.

It was too late when we realized the evening cook had ditched us. Was too tired to eat out and both husband and I aren't great fans of Pizzas. There aren't decent restaurants around that deliver good food. The local departmental store too failed to deliver a loaf of bread ("Holi" it seems. Deei! Niruthunga da!) . The husband made maggi which I was told was terrible and hence I didn't want to taste it. Decided to sleep off after a glass of milk. No that was not helping. Semma pasi happened at 10 pm and I decided to make the world famous MTR Readymade Upma. Simple you may think. Not for me. Here you go.

Samayal Sodappal - Recipe for Upma from MTR Breakfast mix packet

Step 1 - Take the MTR breakfast mix packet . Mine was one kasangina packet stuffed inside a big dubba squeezed amidst a million other ready to mix packets.


Step 2- Ignore all the stupid instructions in the packet of cutting onions-u, boiling peas-u, mannangatti and terupuzhudi. In my opinion, ready made means ready made. You put in water, it should apdiye come like Upma. What's the use of promoting these are ready to eat etc when you end up wasting your precious energy cutting veggies?

Step 3 - Boil water (sorry no picture) in a kadai, add a spoon of oil or ghee.

Step 4- Put this MTR breakfast mix in water. Mix well. 

Step 5 - Try and eat. If you are a believer of your own work - a person of self confidence - an epitome of self righteousness etc. you will eat .. eat atleast half of what you have made, with a great smile and a sense of pride and contentment on your face.

Step 6 - This is what it looks like when you chuck most of what you have made after all the build-up of pride, self righteousness, epitome, contentment etc.... THE REMAINS IN THE DAMN SINK!



I hope I don't get to update more on this 'Samayal Sodappal' series since that would mean both cooks mattam pottufying which will be doomsday for me. But yes, if you my dear readers encourage me by liking this post, posting on fb, RT-ing on twitter etc, I may look at a you tube channel exclusively for Samayal Sodappal and you never know, I just may get spotted by some producer, actor and could be offered (ahem!) to write and direct a movie that'll obviously be titled 'Samayalil Sodappuvadu Eppadi?' Help pannunga please!