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Monday, 20 April 2009

Hottie Companions

I have tried many different types of chilies during my globe trotting although I cannot remember their names… The hottest variety of chilies that I have ever had is orange habanero which has a heat unit of 210,000, its heat much, much higher as compared to other variety such as: tabasco: 120,000 jalapeno M: 25,000 Long Slim cayenne: 23,000 pasilla: 5,500 serrano: 4,000 bell: 0 Chilies are quite useful especially as thug-repelling pepper spray and there is also an ointment that contains the active ingredient in chili peppers is used to soothe sore muscles. Another good use: Chili powder is fed to captive flamingoes to keep their feathers pink. But the most popular reason that I love them is for their flavor and my food is never complete without chilies. While in Suriname, we would get orange habanero (which were yellowish in color and had peculiar taste) so hot, that it would burn the fingers that held it, my mom would use gloves to cut it but I used to eat it raw, till I started developing painful infection in my ears. (may be, its’ fumes were developing the fungus in my ears) My favorite meal was Surinamese style ‘Chicken Roti’, which was white flour roti, stuffed with chicken, string beans and lots of red chutney made from these hot peppers…hmmn…I m still drooling….. But when I migrated to Canary Island, I was surprised with the bland food…the hottest sauce that one can get in Tenerife is Tabasco….I found food so tasteless that I would carry a small bottle of home-made chilly paste in my hang-bag all the time…. I also enjoy the food in Bangkok, which is not only hot and spicy but very, very delicious. Now that I am back home in Mumbai, I enjoy the wicket chilies, which are mild and yet so tasty to eat. I am so popular for my inventive chillie cutney recipes that many times, I may meet an acquaintance on the road and she will immediately ask me the recipe of the chutney that she had tasted in my house. Cannot write more about chilies on empty stomach, You.know what I mean?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Invisible soulmates on facebook

Face is potholed by too many pokes Of friends and families of every nook Vampires’ fights, somersaulting quizzes Dearest friends’ shadows, hugs and looks I enjoy playing Lexulous, and visiting links, Love reading their notes from their profile winks Many summers ago, on a lazy day like this Like a couch potato I would just gape at a book

Monday, 13 April 2009

Approaching Frowns

"A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles."-- Washington Irving In India, I have noticed that people, especially writers will never smile unless they want to interview you. They are compatible only in books, where they will take you through strange cities, make you experience the most exotic places, stir you with their romantic adventures and amuse you with their rib tickling tales but meet them face-to-face, and you will be lucky if you even get a smile. On social networks you will get smiles, hugs, gifts and even kisses from the friends whom you have never ever met, but offline? Meet them randomly and see them squirm. Smile is reserved only for those who are close friends. In a group of good writers, if you are shy then you will be a lone ranger. Unless, of course, if you are a successful writer or one with great looks! But, is smile an expensive commodity only in India? During my recent visit to China, my smile froze on Chinese plastered face, nobody was smiling, neither anyone at the customs nor at the immigration office - same reason- I was a stranger who had neither great looks nor any achievements to boast about, although, like Indians, Chinese too, smile for more reasons than Americans. A smile can mean the person is embarrassed, trying to be helpful, curious, happy or friendly. In the middle of an argument, it may mean that it is nothing personal. When all else fails, their smile shows you have no ill feelings and can work wonders in getting better service. The smile is the near universal gesture of friendliness, and in America, its meaning is usually clear. While in America, everywhere I went, be it supermarket, mall or public library, I found every American smiling and wishing me the hour of the day. But, there too, Asian reserved this smiling gesture for informal occasions, and smiling while being formally introduced was considered disrespectful. In Spain, where I lived for several years, smiling faces surrounded me everywhere. It comes natural to them, they don’t stare, but smile instead. They are so friendly, that many times they will come across the street to greet you with a peck on your cheek. In Spain, I learnt to smile at every stranger, whenever there was an eye contact. But now, I am back in Mumbai. When I see cold eyes, tight closed lips, I am confused. I am learning that I can only return a smile for a smile, in an elitist society, it will be misunderstood.

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