“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
Lavender, vetiver, jasmine, herbal soap
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
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?
Eggs over easy or sunny side up?
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.
Red chilli/Pandumirpakaya pachadi Curds/Yoghurt Meme Onion Humour