Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Maximum Convexity of the Butt

Is this the maximum convexity of your butt?” she questioned, holding measuring tape around such named part.
“Eh?” was my response.
“Is this the maximum convexity of your butt?” she repeated.
I confessed I did not understand. (Physics (and Chem, and Maths) left me scarred and I gave up ‘convex’ and ‘concave’ soon as I left school, and hearing those words after all these years set off those familiar, unwelcome palpitations.)
“I mean, is this where your butt is the most … how to put it, standing out?” she said.
“Judge for yourself,” I said, turning away to give her a better view.

I didn’t make up that question – those were her exact words. I was in the gym, an agonised weightwatcher going back to those confines after a break of more than six months. Other than the fact that most of me is at its maximum convex now, what struck me was how a simple question was rendered rather baffling because it was put across so bookishly.

People seem to have forgotten simple English, methinks. The need to appear oh so smart and polished, business-like and tech-savvy, and Westernised, too, is what drives this painful turn of phrase.

The other day, I got an e-mail from someone from whom I needed information, saying, “Get in touch with so-and-so – he will give you a good download.” Really?
And then there was the person who called and asked if he could “have access” to so-and-so. As if so-and-so was a vault and you could turn a key in his back and open him up!
There are the publicists who urge you to meet so-and-so “just for a relationship meeting, Madam” – their way of saying that it’s just a preliminary meeting, and that there are no expectations lurking anywhere. And the newbie, fresh out of college, who obviously had not mastered how, when and where to say “Fair enough.” To everything I said, he kept saying “Fairly good” with a wise and understanding expression on his face and never was I more tempted to correct a total stranger!

Rant over, I now focus on a recipe that hasn’t got much to do with any maximum convexity, unless you drench it in ghee and bury it in a mound of rice to get rid of the sting.

But before that, some acknowledgements. The blog header you’re seeing is courtesy Sandeepa. Thank You, Sandeepa.

Then, Nirmala gave this blog the Yummy Blog Award and Kalai gave me the You Make My Day award. Thank you both.

Now the Yummy Blog Award mandates that I reveal the desserts I like the most. Here they are:

Angoori Rabdi (At a restaurant, as part of a Gujarati thali)

Bread pudding (my own, that’s right, no humility!)

Khubani ka Meetha with cream, in a Hyderabad restaurant

One grandma’s laddu, another’s palatalikalu

Panna cotta with vanilla bean

Then, Lavi tagged me for a meme – I told her I’d do a truncated version. Here goes:

Last movie you saw in a theatre
Taare Zameen Par

What book(s) are you reading?
A Prisoner of Birth

Favourite board game

Favourite smells
Lavender, vetiver, jasmine, herbal soap

Favourite sounds
Birds chirping in the morning

Worst feeling in the world

First thing I think of when I wake
Did I have to wake up already?

Storms – cool or scary?
A nuisance, at the very least

Favourite drink?

Finish the statement – If I had the time, I would …
Look for ways to spend it!

One nice thing about the person who sent it to you.
She has big, beautiful eyes.

Morning person or night owl?
Night owl.

Eggs over easy or sunny side up?
Over easy

Favourite pie?

Favourite ice-cream
Vanilla choco-chip

The recipe I have today is a fiery and simple one. I received a present of ripe red chillies and didn’t know what to do with them for two weeks. Finally, I used them for a chutney.

Ripe red chillies: 200-250 gm, chopped
White onions (or any colour): 3, quartered or cut into eight pieces each
Tamarind – lime-sized (Wet in a little water much ahead, no need to soak it in a lot of water)
Salt, to taste
Garlic – 5-6 cloves, skinned

Mustard seed – 1-1/2 tsp
Cumin seed – 1 tsp
Hulled, husked and split urad/black gram dal – 2 tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Oil – 2 tsp

Heat oil, temper with the black gram. As it begins to turn brown, add the mustard, cumin and curry leaves.

When they pop and the gram turns a nutty brown, add the chillies, garlic and onion. Fry them till they become glossy and onions become translucent.

Cool, add salt, tamarind and grind in a mixer. Beware, it’s really hot.

For a variation, you can mix a bit of this well with some curds/yoghurt, temper this again and eat it with rice or use it for idlis, dosas and the like.

I have since been enlightened about how chillis and raspberries belong to the same family, so this is my submission to Dee for AFAM-Raspberry.


  1. I am ROTFL picturing that scene... So, was the convexity of your buttocks within the acceptable limit? :P

  2. sra, you are enough to save the soul off the sole!..hehheehh...had great time controlling the burst out!.. and nice header!..sandy has a great creativity going around!...

    nice spicy chutney will try for hubby dear soon!

  3. you should have said that the convexity is directly proportional to the proximity of her face to your buttocks! I'm LMAO! or should I say LMBO? lol!!

    Thats a great chutney - send it in for the AFAM Raspberries - since we can do chillies if we can't find raspberries!

  4. So you had a 'relationship meeting' to 'appraise' your 'lovely lady bumps' ;)

  5. It is very great time controlling the burst out of limit. I can save the sole time.

  6. LOL.....convexity of the butt??? Why do people have to speak like that??? It's kind of like calling Pizza Hut for home delivery and they give you the most convoluted sentence you've ever heared just to let you know they don't have something in stock....You say huh??? and hear the same thing again...no changes at all...and start wondering if u r talking to a real person or a recording.....

  7. Oh...and just looking at that chutney makes me want to drink some cold water....

  8. Sig, no, of course not. Everyday she wants to know how much weight I've lost (how many hundred grams), what I've eaten at each meal, I finally told her it wasn't even a week since I joined and that I'd weigh in once a week.
    Valli, :-D Yes, she's good. I quite like the new look of my blog (hint, hint;)
    Arundathi, if only I could LMAO, or LMBO, how easy it would be, instead of having to heft my great limbs over this machine and that! :-D
    Suganya, you said it! :)
    Lastminute, er ...?
    Jayashree, exactly, I wonder why they talk like this. My guess is that they are trained this way and they either know no more or knew v little to begin with. Yeah, and stinging ice-cold water will go well with this chutney, LOL!

  9. Love the fiery chutney...and the first pic with the chillis in the colander...

    Love the new look.......

    Lol at the convexity part..Wish I could have see your expression then...

  10. I LOVE your new header! Also love this post! :) Dont you just wish that people would stop with the malapropisms and the pompous language, written or spoken? They make me squirm with embarrassment for them!

    PS. I wish I could complain about the concavity of MY butt... but... Sighhhhh

  11. i dont mind abt convexity of the butt buts its my tummy which needs to be fixed!!!

  12. thats hilarious! I wonder she didnt get a compass out and measure :):) Just pure red chillies- baap re- sra are those the hot ones or relatively mild ones? I am a scrabble fiend too on yahoo literati.

    Love the new look.

  13. LOL...loved the post, agree completely with you Sra! The complex language that people love to flaunt!! Why don't u gift her this lovely fiery chutney...?? EH??

  14. Hey lovely dish! the colour of the chutney looks amazing and your list was a great read.

  15. That was really funny! Your chutney looks delicious!

  16. Sra, I "totally get" what you are saying ;) Oh the fiery chutney is posing a different sort of threat now :)

  17. Sra,OMG, how in the world do they come up with such expressions (ROTFL)...I can't imagine how the lady herself kept a straight face when she said that:-DDDD...I am literally picturing the scene :-DDDD

    ...The chutney looks good,and so does the new look :-)

  18. Rachel, thank you. I also liked the chillis pic. That question really threw me.
    Shyam, yeah, Sandeepa did a v good job with the header. I could go on and on with a list of such English. Either t's "aspirational" and pompous or it's "hip" (or so they think) and horrible.
    Sia, my tummy's the most concave part of me!
    Ms, :). These are hot. We even pickle these red chillis - it's one of my most favourite pickles, eaten with rice and ghee.
    Purnima, actually the poor thing was just rattling off what she read in the textbooks, I think. I wasn't irritated so much as amused but the other phrases really get my goat.
    Homecooked, thank you!
    Indo, ah, one more for the list - but this is the opposite kind of language - casual chic! :)
    Sunita, like I was telling Purnima, she didn't realise it was bookish or extra formal - that's all she knew. She's actually a sweet thing when she's not being a slavedriver!

  19. First time commenting in ur blog.Love the color in chutney.

  20. I am laughing my heart out picturing the scene Sra.. *loud laugh(ing)*...thanks to ur meme, mee gurinchi inkoncham telisindi..and the korivikharam looks so fiery and yumm sra.. ma amma chese pachadi gurtuku vachindi... the template is cool Sra.. just like u.. esp the last pic in the header.. its hypnotizing to me.. I wonder y..:D


  21. forgot to ask..I was looking for ur blog's recipe index..but couldn't find it..


  22. now, i'm itching to give you the shrinking convexity award. love the new look of your site.

  23. "Is this the maximum convexity of your butt?” - see this is why I don't ever go to the gym!.;D

    The header looks lovely, Sandeepa has done a good job.

    Chillies and raspberries belong to the same family?! I had no idea!

  24. Hilarious post, sra! Loved reading each and every word of it! Wonderful chutney too. My mom used to make it. Such a lovely color!

  25. wow, this chutney is a must try !
    Oh oh convexity of the butt? May be jealousy...
    Love the header :)

  26. Hey, nice look Sra! I've need to fix my header as well.... This was funny!!! So how many milligrams have you lost yet:)

  27. Must've been difficult to keep a straight face!

    The header looks beautiful.

  28. lol...but, i can't blv someone can really say that ;)

  29. nice to read your meme, that chilli chutney looks just amazing

  30. The new header is lovely, and this made me laugh out loud!

  31. Sra - neeku na blog lo oka chinna surprise!


  32. how did she come up with that whacky expression !Makes one sound like a combo of cylinders and spheres!

    The chutney is so hot ! Love the colour.

  33. so does ur gym instructor know about ur angoori rabdi and panna cotta.....

  34. HeHe!! I would rather have convex butt than concave butt!!

    What? Raspberry and chilies!! VERY CLEVER! Love the chutney. HOT!!

    Enjoy the award!:)

  35. I simply cannot believe that question!! Gosh! It was so funny picturing the scenario..
    I'm with you on the vetiver... heavenly smell.
    That chutney looks so fiery - would love to sop it up with some idlis...

  36. Convex ..concave ...remember talking abt mirror in school days..now butt huh?..after two kids..it really deosn't matter much to me..:(

    Nice and clever entry for AFAM.Loved the color of the chutney...

  37. sra..the header is cute...and everyone in India thinks that people in the West use fancy words in English when they talk...actually it is just the opposite!..but seriously!! how rude of her to ask this personal question...

  38. Kamala, welcome. After reading your comment, I've been admiring the chutney's colour more!
    Siri, yeah, it was funny, tho' I was just mystified when it happened.
    Bee, LOL! Nice ring about it 'Shrinking Convexity Award'. Thanks.
    TBC, :) That was news to me too!
    Uma, thank you, that's a v nice thing to say.
    Cham, thank you. If anyone's jealous, it's gotta be me - she's v slim.
    Jyothsna, I'ven't lost a single mg yet - she even begged me not to eat anything but fruit for dinner today so that the weighing machine would show some movement!
    TC, I sincerely didn't understand, and then spent the rest of the day planning this post ;)
    Richa, believe me you, she said those very words!
    Sagari, hi, thank you.
    Divya, thank you.
    Kalyn, yes, Sandeepa's v talented. And each and every instance is true, I have many more examples, these are just a smattering!
    Siri, thank you.
    Delhibelle, welcome. She must have been taught that in training - and well, the similarities to cylinders and spheres are hard to miss :-D
    Asha, would you really? I want everything to be concave, I've never been concave, my belly is the only concave part of me!
    Laavanya, unbelievable, isn't it? But true.
    Maheswari, good for you!
    Rajitha, no, really, I was measured all over with a tape - she was just doing her job as she'd been taught - that was the first day of class, hopefully they'll shrink when she measures me a month later!

  39. hahaha.. I was in splits!!! so is the convexity within the acceptable limits ??? thanks for participating!!! love the pachadi!! As simple english I totally agree with you!

  40. Wow...Its looking nice.I am going to prepare it.Thanks for sharing its detail.

  41. Ha ha. That made me laugh. If only you worked in PR - some of the English we use is totally nonsensical!!

  42. ROFLMAO ...er, ROFLMBO. Your rant-y posts are the best. Am reminded of your France fry post ... speaking of which, I'd anyday take France fry over Gopi fry (seen on a menu somewhere). We need more such posts Sra. To be honest, I have mentally listed your blog under humour blogs and not food blogs.


  43. Someone who measured your curves had the audacity to ask if the measure she took was your true convexity? She's the one who took the measure, after all - shouldn't she have known? How rude.

    Love the new header and your hot cha-cha chili chutney.

  44. very nice post..btw ur title of this blog is very catchy and creative :)

  45. I wanted to read more examples in your rant as I was having a good laugh :)

    I like the header very much, Sandeepa is really good at those things.

    Love, love, love the firey chutney!

  46. Thanks for sharing this pretty nice post.I like all post about Ice cream.

  47. Convexity of the butt, indeed!! That was hilarious! :)
    That chutney must've been one fiery one!

  48. You totally had me cracking up with that title and opening!! Glad that you're enjoying a raining of awards here! Love that chutney. :)

  49. Sra..iam finally here in 47th (comment's count)place..

    Starting With the Header..its very cool and I like the Lttle Girl's Smile:) Good One By Sandeepa!!

    By the way Who Employed a Physics graduate at a gym?

    Anxiety is the worst feeling..its really true..
    and my hubby is searching you...to ask that do really my wife have Beautifull eyes:)

    Chutney is really fiery..would love to have with hot idly.

  50. Dee, of course it's not within limits - why would I need a gym otherwise ;)
    KFZ, thanks.
    Mallika, I know, I work with a lot of PR people and most of the examples are from there!
    Mamatha, thanks. I'm a rather peaceful {bats eyelids modestly} person so my rants seem to be few and far between ;)
    Susan, oh well, I don't think she was rude, just gauche.
    Sangeeth, welcome, and thank you.
    Cynthia, yeah, I'm collecting more examples. Watch out!
    Krank, you're in the wrong post - no ice cream here!
    Vani, hi, how are you? Glad you found it funny!
    Kalai, thanks, it WAS funny, listening to all those things.
    Lavi, glad you could make it at last!

  51. Kindly click on the link below. There is something for you there, a way to express our appreciation.


    Once more, you make someone's day. Isnt is nice to know more than one person think of you like this?

  52. WOW... Good recipe... I love it. Thanks for sharing with us.

  53. That was fun!
    My two favorites to hate are: calling a car a vehicle and a gun a weapon... 2 simple, 1 syllable, perfectly adequate words.

  54. Pedatha, sure is, have linked to you in the latest post!
    Veri, tks.
    Kate, LOL! I didn't think of syllables yet, but you are right!

  55. Hahahaha..i cant stop laughing...what a hilarious post.

  56. Glad you enjoyed it, Shilpa!

  57. OHHH,want to have some rice with it..
    beautiful chillies! :)

  58. This deserves a bouquet..

    Very rarely one comes across Andhra speciality of Red chilli chutney.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  59. Great post!! I am sure the convexity must have reduced by now:) Chutney looks delicious too!


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