Sunday, July 15, 2007

Me, At Random


That’s me.


It was a certain boredom that drew me into cuisine’s fold. A break of several months between an MA and an M. Phil found me discovering a few cookbooks lying around the house and trying my hand at the recipes.
Seeing my enthusiasm, my father repaired an old oven that his sister had owned. I only made ‘high-class’ foods – cakes, puddings and such. Who was interested in rice and dal? Certainly not me!
The folks at home were anything but thrilled – my grandparents thought I was wasting my time but were reluctantly indulgent and my mother always feared the mess that would confront her later in the kitchen.
There were other successes but what stood out was a savarin that rose splendidly and soaked up the syrup brilliantly.


A friend told me I was considered a snob, and someone who didn’t offer acquaintances more than a reserved smile. I was overjoyed! For someone who is beset with doubts about whether she’s being over-friendly and eager to please, this was reassurance.


In Standard I, a classmate told my cousin and me the secret of making rubber. Here it is: Scribble something with a pencil on a piece of paper, then erase it really hard with an eraser. Gather those grey bits that come off the paper, mix them with wood shavings that come from sharpening pencils, put them into some milk and refrigerate overnight. The rubber will be ready in the morning. (No, I don’t know whether the milk was to be boiled or left raw.)
I still remember the light of the fridge underlining the disgusted look on my grandmother’s face as she opened it to put in not one but two cups of this formula!


Years ago, a friend insisted I taste the delicious tea at an Irani café deep in Secunderabad. Though I didn’t drink tea and wasn’t used to it, had no standards to judge it by, I acquiesced because her enthusiasm was infectious.
There we were finally, getting off my bike after a long ride through the city and going into this dingy little café with blue-green walls on a dark and cold evening, full of men staring at us as if we had come off an alien spaceship! I don’t remember the taste anymore, but my friend does. That was an adventure!


I am not good at repartee. My presence of mind is absent. So it was a notable victory when someone tried to do me out of the computer I routinely used for that hour of class. She refused to yield it to me. “I’ll continue to practise on this machine, but come, use this,” she said, patting the seat next to her, “it’s very good.” “If that is so good, why don’t you use it yourself?” I asked her, riled by her manner. Scowling, she picked up her stuff and huffed out and away. Petty, maybe, but I was oh so thrilled that I could retort as I had!


I had to attend a conference and report on the proceedings. At the end of it, I was depressed – I didn’t understand what the point of the meeting was. Why didn't I get it, had I chosen the right profession, should I consider doing something else, how would I handle bigger challenges?
Slowly, I picked myself out of my seat and made my way out. There were two very senior and accomplished colleagues there, one younger than the other.
The younger man asks, with a totally bewildered expression on his face, “But what was the conference about?” And the older man bursts into laughter … I’ve even forgotten his reply but gathered he didn’t think much of it either, but needless to say, that boosted my morale no end!

Thank you, Sunita and Sharmi, for tagging me. I read somewhere that one's required to say seven things about themselves and tag seven others. Most people I know have been tagged. I’m tagging Santhi of Writing on the Mirror, Pooja of My Creative Ideas, Sreelu of Sreelu's Tasty Travels, Prema of My Cookbook and Jyothi of Andhra Spicy for this meme. Only if you're interested, of course, but I'd love to know more about you.


  1. LOL @ *I only made ‘high-class’ foods – cakes, puddings and such!*
    It's true that "baking" was considered as "posh" when we were young!!I baked few and was popular for it!:D
    Very nice knowing you sra.I am labeled as a snob too by ppl who don't me very well.I just DO NOT want to make small talks with shallow minded people.There are very few I LOVE and cherish!! Can you believe it? Hahaha!!
    You write beautifully sra,I love reading it.It's Sunday afternoon,sleepy but your post perked me right up. Great to see lil you there.Nice legs!;D

  2. With two plaits and leaning on a coconut tree... wow sra i love that pose of urs!!!
    "I only made high class foods, who would make rice and dal" , this phrase and the rubber making recipe was hilarious..
    Nice to know abt u and enjoyed reading ur meme.
    Thanks for tagging me and u will know abt me in a couple of days..

  3. i love that saucy li'l pic. and your MeMe was a great read.

    did you make any erasers?

  4. Sra, Starting with a 'then' photo, your meme sounded fun till the end....:) Are you still a chubby face ? :)


  5. hey It was a great MEME. when I first moved to hyderabad I wondered why all the small cafes were so much dominated by men only because in Tamilnadu, it is not like that. you can enter any restaurant if you are starving. but in hyderabad it was very different, all men, smoking and all halal. if you starve you got to get into these posh hifi restaurants and spend a minimum of 500INR for just quenching your thirst.
    you look cute in that pic.

  6. Hahaha... rubber making recipe!!! Now that was too much! Is it coming on the blog? ;)

    Very cute pic Sra! IT was so nice knowing about you. :)

  7. Sra,

    your meme is something I imagined of you, a stong willed women with a excellent sense of humor.
    Love your cute photograph.Thanks for tagging me ,will post my meme on my blog in few days

  8. wow u look pretty.nice me me.
    ur write up is very hillarious and good.

  9. Hi Sra, I liked your post under the tree. Photo is very beautiful. That rubber making process was very funny. Really enjoyed reading your meme.

    BTW thanks for dropping by at my blog and tagging me. Keep on visiting friend.

  10. reading it first thing on monday morn, in my office..and i am reeling in laughter are too good..and that pic of yours..simply loved it :-) ...thanks for tagging me ;-)

  11. Hi Sra, nice to see you and to know more about. Very nice. After seeing the first snap very curious to see the present one really :). Its really interesting sra to write about us. Just a flash back. Correct ? Enjoy your life. Viji

  12. its so wonderful to read your meme!!
    Now i know you more Sra!!
    BTW you look so cute in the picture

  13. excellent meme...loved reading all of them...


  14. Sra I love the way you write. Enjoyed reading the meme. You are looking so sweet in the picture :)High class food I like that. Even I baked only cakes.
    So how was the rubber ? Very hilarious , too good :)

  15. did the eraser formula work well for you after all the trouble u went thru...LOL
    hey, liked ur side parting in that pic ;)

  16. That's a rally cute meme! Loving the pigtails...

  17. Enjoyed reading your meme! your photo is absolutely adorable...
    i once had tea at an irani cafe and all i can say is i couldn't even bring the cup close to my lips...had a very strong (not so good) smell :))

  18. Asha, LOL! I knew someone would say something about those legs! Thanks, and am glad my post perked you up!
    Prema, thanks. Will look forward to reading yours.
    Bee, thanks. Just some precious milk down the drain, but you couldn't blame us for not trying!
    Shn, you say the nicest things. I am a chubby everything! Actually, I lost a lot of weight a few years ago, but I am still plump!
    Sharmi, I haven't noticed the difference between TN and AP re: these small restaurants but this particular cafe is not the type women generally go to.
    Thanks, Coffee, maybe I'll post a photo of it for a gag someday!

  19. Sreelu, thanks. Will look out for your meme! I can't help feeling I know you from somewhere.
    Ramya, you're one of the few to say I'm pretty - I'll love you forever!
    Jyothi, thank you very much.
    Santhi, glad to have brightened your work day! Waiting to read yours.

  20. Nice and interesting MEME, a very good effort, I donno who initiated this random musings (as I am a new blogger on your list ;)But I feel MEME has brought us(bloggers) more closer and one can get to know each other in those 7 MEME things..

    Thanks for hopping into my blog, nice to know you. Yeah even I was not aware of Doasakai pachadi with chintakai thokku, Daz my MIL's secret recipe and believe me, you will lick you fingers till the last grain of rice on your plate. My MIL is from Ongole, so this is a recipe from that region....

  21. Viji, thanks. Yes, a flashback, sometimes flashbacks are nice.
    Padmaja, thank you. That was a spontaneous comment!
    Srivalli, thanks, I just visited yours.
    Archana, thankyouthankyou!
    Richa, ha ha, my own eraser diminished in size - that's all! I too noticed the side parting just now.
    Mallika, thank you.
    Tee, thank you. I simply don't remember it now, even tho' I drink tea a little more now it doesn't bring back any memories.

  22. Aha, so you are a straight-forward, upfront gal! I admire that quality in people.

  23. Sra, a very interesting read.
    It is nice knowing about you.
    Those little chubby cheeks...cute.
    Rubber making story made me laugh :)

  24. That was a lovely read...and a lovely photograph :)...earlier,I too belonged to that category of making 'high class' food only...and yes, I was and am still a bit out of sorts at making small for the rubber making, you had my sides splitting :D

  25. Sra that was a delightful read. Did we go to the same school? I too vaguley remember the recipe for making rubber, forgot the rest of the ingredients but I sure remember the pencil shavings and freezing part.

  26. wow!!!excellent to know about sweet write up .Today i have also mentioned about my self ..:)

  27. Cynthia, it's a mixed bag - being straightforward. I think I end up chasing more people away than I really want to!
    Seec, thanks! Thanks for visiting!
    Shyam, thanks!
    Sunita, thanks! Even now I laugh when I remember my granny's expression!
    Indo, a lot of these myths are common to schools. Do you know the one about how to see the face of your future (unknown) husband?
    Deepa, you may not believe me but I just came here from your blog.

  28. Enjoyable meme, Sra. Cute little girl, with a strong mind already; you can see it in your countenance.
    I know the snobbery accusations very well. Some people WILL judge a book by a cover, won't they?

  29. A very nice and interesting MEME, nice ones, to get to know abt each other more closely :)
    And the write up is very nice! You look cute with the two plaits :)

  30. LOL sra...u really have amazing sense of humour and its the highest compliment i give to others;)
    so cakes are high class food acc to u? he he he....
    hey join the snob gang:) i am supossed to be the snob leader;) its true. i tried to understand why people thought that way abt me but now i dont give a damn;) he he he... as long the my dear ones understands me i dont have to worry abt what others call me:) so a tight hug from one snob to another:)
    that rubber making thing is hilarious:) ha ha ha...ROFL:)
    girl, u do know how much i love reading ur posts right? if not i am saying it again:)

  31. and i love that cute pic of urs:) u look adorable in that pic

  32. Nice to read ur meme.....that is a cute looking picture...

  33. Susan, yep. I was actually flattered, you know, for once!
    Cinnamon, thanks a lot!
    Sia, snob babe, thanks for the lovely compliments. That will keep me going ........................................... till the next one! You've made my day!
    Sukanya, thank you.

  34. This was very nice MeMe to read, like a story unfolding..very differently done. Would love to get a closer look of the cute pic though.

    And "rubber"...ahem

  35. Thanks, Sandeepa. Did you notice the red bindi in this picture too? It's there :)

  36. Nice write-up Sra....enjoyed reading it.

  37. look at the princess. cutie pie.
    i make the rubber the same way btw. good use of pencil right?
    luv ur post....
    finally last..haha

  38. Jayashree, Thank you.
    Raji, thanks. You make rubber the same way? LOL!

  39. rubber.......tell me abt it.....
    i literally know nothing to write in teh exam.....thats some rubber time....i used to take 1 hr to draw lines....tie teh sheet....write the questions(who knows answers)......dont ask me what i did next 1hour :(

  40. Sra, u get more and more interesting with each of your posts... :) what a nice read:) And look at you in that pic, a sexy little thing, nice legs... :D

  41. great post...always lovely to read memes...thanks forsharing a bit about you...

  42. What an adorable girl you are, Sra! Enjoyed your meme :)

  43. Hiya. Thanks for dropping by my blog! Oh and thanks for also sharing the secret as to how rubber is made! ;-)

  44. Raji, think I should have tagged YOU too for the meme - your comment is quite funny.
    Sig, what a very nice thing to say, hope I never get boring!
    Dilipji, thanks. I too like reading memes.
    Linda, thank you. If only I could have remained so! :)
    Evolving, thank you!
    Wokandspoon,glad to share, as always ;) Thanks for stopping by!

  45. this has to be the cutest meme i have read.. i always think u have a very dry sense of humor.. the kind that stand up comedians have..keepa a straight face when the audience is roliing with laughter!

  46. Mallugirl, those are great compliments, thanks.

  47. hmm, that's strange, i thought i'd left comment about your rubber "formula".. it was so funny! :)

  48. Shilpa, that went into another post! And I thought this came into the latest, but realised it was in this!

  49. Looking soo cute in the pic.Even i tried making rubber by keeping the mixture in the sun.:) I love your blog.

  50. Usha, thanks a lot! Could we have been classmates? ;)

  51. That's a uber cute pic.... This is a unique blog and we would love to work with you :) head over here to know more

  52. You know, my parents had the same worry as your grandparents. While mine were suitably indulgent abd impressed, they kept telling me cooking was for after marriage and there were better things to do. I think they were worried I wouldn't want to study or have a career.
    You'll get a nice Irani tea at Teavilla Cafe. We'll have to locate your cafe and go there some time.

    1. Yeah, same worries here for them. Why don't your write something or read something, they'd say. Esp as my grandmom wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer but couldn't study beyond preparing for a Benares Matric due to familiar pressure.


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