28.7.08

O sylph dear, where art thou?

Though I have been faced with my share of fat luck, I think two huge thaalis of Benarasi food made up for it. If it can be considered as some kind of making up for having one's mobile phone stolen.

Life and it's small ways of making you feel better.

The afternoon started off with me sitting at a table in a hotel with this food critic. In a way it was fun (moments when she bitched about a person not very close to my heart either) and informative (she had a lot of little tid bits on different kinds of spices, different ways of cooking and the like), but then it went on forever. I thought at one point that I would fall asleep on the table. Which was also probably because all the dishes with the exclusion of none were cooked in desi ghee.

We were supposed to guzzle on Banarasi Lassi and Godaulia ki Thandai to begin our lunch with. But I am glad I resisted. Or I would not have been able to nibble on anything that followed. We thought we were clever and ordered a tasting menu kind of a thali even for the starters which promised us Kaashi Ki Chaat. In it came a whole lot of chaats. Dahi Palak Ki Chaat, Matar Tamatar Chaat, Chidwa Mattar, Khasta Matar Chaat, Makuni Bhaji and Hari Matar ki Chaat. Lipsmacking!

Next came another thaali of supposedly tasting menu samples of the main courses. It was of course Indian-style tasting menus. Large bowls with generous portions of Punchmel ki Daal, Aloo Dum Banarasi, Konhara Channa, Besan ka Khadra and Nimona. As I dabbed and dipped my puri and crisp Sattu ka Parantha in the bowls, I marvelled at the taste of home-cooked food. They were made without garlic and onions by this maharaj from Benaras. I have never had Satvik food . So consider me a convert.

There was quite a bit of similarity in the kind of dishes that they served with those from Bengal and Bihar. The Besan ka Khadra was ala my Bengali favourite of Dhokar Dalna. The other interesting items were the Konhara Channa that was a preparation of kaashiphal with black channa and put me in mind of my ma's kumro with kalo chhola (mashed pumpkin with black channa). The Nimona sounded like a sultry piece of thing/a medicinal thing (take your pick) but turned out to be a dish of greenpeas simmered to a thick daal-like consistency, with little cubes of potatoes and daal vadis peeking out.

At the end of it, when we were served the syrupy and crumbly Kheer Mohan (a close cousin of the Bengali Raj Bhog), the crisp Laung Lata (Bengali Mohan Bhog counterpart) and the Kamal Gatte ka Halwa (quite as delicious as Moong Dal ka Halwa, but made from lotus seeds), I realised that however clever I think I am being when it comes to asking for small portions, my pit-like stomach always gets the better of me. Always.

And to go back to my bit of bad/good luck. I choose to see it as a piece of good luck now because it gives me the chance to go for a better, new one. Bad luck to the one who stole it. May he experience the devilry of my phone*evil cackle*

It happened yesterday after an evening of loitering around with friend S in a mall. I was particularly enjoying my stint in a small Miss Jo shop trying out different kinds of wigs. And craving for an electric blue, waist length one which I would have definitely bought had it not been the end of the month. I could visualise shocking the wits out of my bugging relatives during the pujas three months away besides of course making my boss's eyes bulge out. After some clowning around, a lot of window shopping, we -- S and me -- got down to a spot of serious expensive shopping at the FCUK store.

It was only when I was seated at a coffeeshop and rummaging in my bag for it that I realised it was in the changing room of the store. So therein lies the story of the stolen phone. That has gone away for good. And in the aftermath of which I have been lying awake all night trying to figure out when it would turn 6 so that I could rush to the gym. I woke up at 10.

42 comments:

Divya said...

Electric blue wig? Really.... ok im sorry... i will have to insist on a picture if u actually do get that one... :D

Candid Confessions said...

Wow, all that chat! Sounds like a feast! Sorry about your phone, as you said, you get a better one though! Make sure you get a really good one that doesn't have you miss the old one!

AB said...

divya: Yes missy I have to tell you it looked super! S please vouch for me!!! (And I tried taking a pic, the store lady bit out, 'Not allowed')

candid confessions: I can tons of chaat at a go. Imagine that too in desi ghee *sigh*

I will. For sure. I am waiting for next month to start. In the mean time, I get some respite from PR calls.

Toe Knee said...

hey did u try going back 2 the store - Delhi has a very bad reputation but u never know - someone might have kept the mobile in Lost and Found

AB said...

toe knee: I did! I also gave them a piece of my mind which was quite an earful. I know that the guy at the changing room whacked it. He had the most smug grin when I asked about it. Said if it is switched off, then it's gone!

AB said...
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avaran said...

oh iv been waiting for th iphone to come before i finally dispose of with my old old 1100.. but then i hav a feeling ill be quite broke by then...

SMM said...

Sounds yummmm...btw what is hair matar ki chat?

AB said...

avaran: The iphone is here already dude!

smm: Err...:D

*scampers off*

check now!

Avaran said...

huh? i think yr wrong... for one, it wasn released in india on july 11th.. and secondly, iv never seen an ad for it in chennai.. i mean, u think something lik an iphone can stay unnoticed by the ad ppl?
(of course, we're not talking abt the dup one u get at national market)

sayoni said...

NO the blue wig did not look good! Unless you're heading to Mardi Gras :-) And what happened to your alarm clock? Or was that E's? Or mine? Shit... I think it was mine

AB said...

avaran: But I saw several people here with the iphone:-X


sayoni: Since the chances of me landing up for Mardi Gras are highly unlikely, at least year, I think I would like to celebrate our pujo with it:D

NO. The alarm clock is mine. Only I cannot find it:(

avaran said...

ah well, in january a friend bought an iphone for abt 1500 bucks at Richie street here (which is wer u get th pirated goods here)
and noone's even denying the possibility of someone buying it, unlocking and bringing it to india, na?
gosh, its gonna be a mojor embarrassment to my ego if after this, it really is sold properly in India!

AB said...

avaran: :Dbut really don't go by me. I am ignoramus personified.

Avaran said...

oh AB dear, where art thou :D

i guess ull probably asking me th same thing.. im right now at home.. kerala home.. and blogging doesn really happen to be on my priority list... wat with mom's food and all.. is it online?

btw, wer's yr dhoni interview?

zombie said...

All that talk about Benarsi food has got me reallllly hungry now and that too for some nice chattoree chaat!!

Sad to hear about your phone though :(

..but u know what even I think I phone is available in India now. And it looks neat! Try n get it if you can..

AB said...

avaran: AB is recouping. Don't ask from what. Dhoni interview is in a mag:-)

So mom's pampering you crazy huh? Good good lap it up:-)

zombie: Apparently the iphone is in for a formal launch in Sept. I am waiting. It is quite a thing huh? I got up and close with it recently and fell for it hook, line and sinker!

Avaran said...

oh well, like they say abt devil and hell, 'touring is something, immigration is another'... so, suffice it to say that im not pampered lik a baby this time! :(

and ya, yest even i got up close and personal with an iphone.... a friend from dubai let me use it... boy, isnt it sexy!!!!

AB said...

avaran: Oh completely. I so want it now.

zombie said...

yes that's right! Infact I think it will be priced around 16k which is cheaper than what you get it for, in the grey market.

AB said...

zombie: I have to save up though. Poor journo after all:-X

AB said...
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Avaran said...

heyy, only yesterday did i notice that 'sylph' was a word with a meaning of its own!!! (i jus thought u went a littl creative on 'self'!!!!

so, too busy these days? wer do u get ideas for your magazine stuff? or does someone jus tell u to cover something, and u head off there? i mean, im jus wondering wat itll take to be a freelancer!!!!!

Avaran said...

heyy, only yesterday did i notice that 'sylph' was a word with a meaning of its own!!! (i jus thought u went a littl creative on 'self'!!!!

so, too busy these days? wer do u get ideas for your magazine stuff? or does someone jus tell u to cover something, and u head off there? i mean, im jus wondering wat itll take to be a freelancer!!!!!

AB said...

avaran: The sylph:-) Rape of the Lock. It's quite funny. Give it a shot...

Well busy over the weekends for once downing drinks and dancing the nights away. Sleeping the mornings away.

Over the week, dredging up story ideas:( Well, that does happen when I cover events and come up with ideas I pick up there. Or at other times come up with ideas on my own. Keeping my eyes and ears open. So I am ever the story seeking missile even when I am on a fun evening out!

Avaran said...

never heard of that rape!!!! anyways... ah well... im jus all so confused about wat im gonna do after my exams in nov.... maybe ill dash u a mail or something later... jus for advice... i mean, im in lik th most peculiar of situations.... anyways..

Avaran said...

http://www.business-standard.com/india/storypage.php?autono=331955

i guess poor souls s will hav to julike us wait... but yeah, even in th US it wwas initially priced around this, and they drastically cut it to a third.... so we'll wait for 10k, eh?

AB said...

avaran: 10k is going to be some time away dude! I know I was very taken aback to hear that it is NOT 16K. I have to beat up my friends for misinforming me:(

And do feel free to mail me. I love givibng advise, though they may not be the 'soundest' one in town!:)

SIM said...

Ooh you had the Benarasi meal... Me too and I swear I could feel my jeans getting snugger with every extra bite of that meal :P But it was heavenly!
Sorry to hear about your cell... But guess its time to get a new one. And not the overpriced iPhone that only has half its features working.

AB said...

sim: :D

Got a pretty blue one. Though I know now why it has been discontinued!:-\

*SIGH* that iphone that was supposed to be available at 16 grand!

Avaran said...

hey... u jus read my blog once, na? there's something i put in ther that i want feedback on...

vivglobal@gmail.com said...

Hi,

My name is Vivek and I came across your blog through a friend's recommendation. I have recently released a book, a collection of 23 short stories calles "To catch a smile". Currently it is selling online at Indiaplaza and publicity is mostly word by mouth (Though have had couple of articles in newspapers and web-magazines covering the book).Would you be interested in reviewing my book at your blog? let me know and I could provide you a copy. Below am providing some links which can help you know a bit more about the book and me.

book website: www.tocatchasmile.com
my blog: www.dreamlimited.blogspot.com
article: http://www.itgo.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6398&sectionid=1&secid=6&Itemid=1
available at: http://www.indiaplaza.in/books/all/9788190585811/all/To-Catch-A-Smile.htm

Brief about me: I did my mba from iima in 2005 and am currently based in Gurgaon. My mail id is vivglobal@gmail.com
Looking forward to your response.

Regards,
Vivek

Free in India said...

Hello AB,
I liked your blog very much. You write very well. I am giving you a tip. I have created a new website (http://www.freeinindia.com) for free things in India. The site contains genuine things that are free in India. It may be anything like- Free accommodation, Photo Prints, SMS, DVD rental etc (I do not put any adult material).

Please have a look. I hope you will find it interesting enough to mention on your site.

thanks,
Gautam

AB said...

avaran: I just did.

vivek: Hi there, thanks! The thing is I do not use my blog for such things. I mean, I write strictly about trivial things:D Are you sure still that you want me to review your book here? I could read it and say what I feel, but it wouldn't be diplomatic. Fair?

free in india: Will I get anything free:D

Free in India said...

Pls let me know what are you looking for free. I will find it for you :)
My site has numerous genuine free things in India.

Avaran said...

yeah thx.....

and hey, i think its high time u moved yr bottom to change my name to anything other than ABY on yr blogroll!

AB said...

free in india: A sponsor for my shack in Goa/ Shack Land in Goa pls.

avaran: I will I will!

Anonymous said...

hey ab yr email address was on here.. now i cant find0 it! can u let me know?

th other ab

AB said...

caramelcustard.ab@gmail.com.

.mis-T. said...

I envy you....all those dishes sound so delicious....I wanna have'em all....NOW
Sorry for the mobile phone though.

AB said...

:-) Now it's okay. Have a new mobile phone which is completely a duh!

30in2005 said...

Any chance you could leave me a message on my blog or a one line email to say where this fabulous Banarsi thali was had? Most grateful....