Cooking Does Take Time

It’s mostly the women who cook, at least in all major Indian households. It’s like their duty, their work, only thing is they are not paid for it, they are not recognized for the effort they put into it, they are looked upon with a scorn when the food for some damn reason turns out to be a little below standard.

Cooking is not easy and not everyone can cook and not every woman can cook. It’s a talent like coding or drawing or singing or dancing, not possible for everyone. We often complain about our coworkers, ” he doesn’t know to speak well” or ” he doesn’t know to code well” etc. It’s the same thing with cooking too. Not everyone can cook the same way. So it makes no sense in telling someone, “your food doesn’t taste as good as my mom”, my answer is ” your mom has been cooking for 30-40 years, I might improve given the time”.

A hell lot of time is spent on any recipe. I consider each recipe to be a project in itself. There are different stages through which I have to go through to complete any recipe project. I start with initiating – what should I cook? Are there any videos, sample recipe I can follow? Will it take a lot of time? Will the ingredients cost a lot? These thoughts fill my mind at least a day in advance. Next comes planning – Do I have all the necessary ingredients? If not, how am I going to procure it, through Big Basket or through ZopNow or directly from the shop? How much time would it take me? What time should I start to complete in time for office? What is the sequence I have to follow? Next comes the execution –  I have to cut, peel, slice, cook, boil and all activities necessary to make the recipe, lot of work. I need to constantly monitor the flame and control it between high, medium and low so that my recipe doesn’t turn out to be bad. When I feel the recipe is done, I do my project closure by turning off the flame and transferring the dish to the tiffin boxes.

When we go to some hotel and eat very costly food, we say, ” awesome taste”. There we are paying money and enjoying the food. But the thing is we can’t have the same hotel food every day. We will get bored of it. Homemade food, even if it is just curd and rice with a little pickle is better on the long run than expensive biryani from a hotel.

When your mother or wife is in the kitchen and the food is taking time to get prepared, understand one thing, cooking does take its own time. Masalas have to be cooked, water has to be boiled, gravy has to be thickened, everything takes time, just like you writing a piece of code or drawing a painting, or watering some plants. With experience, time might reduce, but its no way becoming 0 minutes or 0 seconds.

I urge you to accept the imperfections in the food that someone makes for you with all their love and affection. Even if it isn’t good enough, do not deny them the well-deserved appreciation. Pointing out flaws alone hurts any human, for all human are bound to err. Say a big thank you to everyone who cooks for you, let’s make the world a better place to live in. Let’s bring happiness into the lives of people who make our bodies healthier.


Only for You

I want to sing a song

A song so sweet

A song so cute

A song that’s written

Only for you.

I want to write a song

A song of love

A song of trust

A song that will be sung

Only for you.

I want to write a book

A book of romance

A book of suspense

A book that will be read out

Only for you.

I want to read a book

A book about life

A book about death

A book that will be written

Only for you.

Smile An Everlasting Smile!

SO this song was written and first sung by The Bee Gees and the name of the song is ‘Words’!!! That’s something new to me. I had always thought the name of this song was “Smile An Everlasting Smile!”. How many times have I just hummed this song over and over again! I have lost count of it. I had never dared to look it up anytime, my bad.

The first time I heard this song was in some kind of a concert organized during my school days, decades ago. There were this girl and 2 boys, I vaguely remember, holding wired microphones close to their mouths and walking from side to side on the raised platform/ stage and singing like pros. The music was catchy, the beats were awesome and I loved the English words. English songs have always been a weakness for me, the older the better. Old is gold!

After the event, I started my humming of the song with the very little lyrics that I assimilated from the event and thought to be true. I don’t remember looking up the lyrics or video or anything, just pure humming. Those weren’t the days when you would stick your hands into the pocket, pull out an android, and do a search for each and everything. Those weren’t the days when you had access to fast internet or youtube to buffer songs or download. Those were the days my friend…

This song keeps resurfacing in my mind once a while and then it fades and disappears without me even noticing it. Most of the time, when someone smiles, I remember this song and lyrics. I might sound like a hypocrite here, but I keep asking myself, “was that smile genuine? was that smile everlasting?”. I don’t think I have ever seen a genuine or a true smile in these years that have passed by, a smile I can cherish, a smile that can make me smile, a smile that can make me happy, a smile that I can remember! And with each day that passes, the smiles lack in warmth and comfort, all smiles have become fake, a plastic one which even a Barbie doll can imitate better. Has this world truly lost its glory, I wonder!

Morning drives to the office during peak hours is really hectic with all the vehicles honking, drivers shouting, commotions, traffic jams and to add to that cow blocks! Am not kidding here, cows do block the roads in Bangalore for hours! Something that I have noticed while driving/ riding in Bangalore at least is ‘ no one smiles at any time’. All drive/  ride with a grumpy face, probably thinking of those deadlines at the office or cursing the damn traffic. I have literally heard people complaining about traffic every day. People curse the other drivers for overtaking through left, right and wherever there is space. Some people park their vehicles such that others shouldn’t pass ahead of them. Some people honk so much that you lose your confidence to drive and end up cursing them. It’s such a busy world and people are all in a rush.

On one of such days, a day when I was expecting the regular drama to repeat at its theatre, a new drama was accidentally played. There were 3 small girls, aged 4-5, in their school uniforms standing on the right side of the road with a grown-up woman who seemingly looked like a nanny. They were waiting to cross the road to walk to their school on the right side, a government school. I had hardly noticed a school in that area before. Traffic moves in both directions on that road and no one was slowing down for them. I don’t know how long they were waiting. I could see from a distance that they attempted multiple times to cross the road, by moving a bit forward and then backward when vehicles don’t slow down or look like will blow them down.

When it was my turn to pass,  I slowed down and asked them to cross. I ignored the honkings of the cars and bikes behind me. They started to cross, the girls holding out their little hands like a stop symbol, expecting it to save them from rushing vehicles. Their faces were brimming with gratitude and they were smiling at me. A genuine smile, a smile in which I felt the warmth. I smiled back and went ahead with my journey. Even though this new drama lasted for less than a minute, its effects still linger in my mind. And cherishing it still after a month of its occurrence makes me feel it was an everlasting smile.

I urge each of you to smile an everlasting smile. Let’s prove that the world has still not lost its glory completely and there is still hope left in this world. Let’s be that hope for someone else. Always make an everlasting impression through your words and deeds 🙂




A Day Gone Bad!


Every morning is a plight for me. I need to start as early as 6 am from my home. Catch the first bus I see. Reach Majestic and then catch the train to Hoodi. From there walk to my office. This has become my daily routine and I have got adjusted to it more or less. I travel alone, no one in my office comes from my area. I try to find happiness by observing the people around me, listening to their talks and watching them smile.

On February 01, 2018 around 6:25 AM I was standing alone in Basaveswaranagar, water tank bus stop. I was late. The morning cold made me sleep for a while more. Who doesn’t like to snooze alarm for 10 minutes? No buses were coming my way and I was getting frustrated. If I don’t get a bus in 5 minutes, I won’t reach Majestic on time. If I don’t reach Majestic on time, I won’t get my train. If I don’t get my train, then I won’t reach office on time. If I don’t reach office on time, I won’t be attending an important meeting. If I don’t attend the meeting, I won’t …..

When I was thinking through all these consequences,  all of a sudden, I saw bus route number 96. I thanked all Gods and waited for the bus to stop. But the driver did not stop at the bus stop, maybe he did not notice me or thought I was not waiting for the bus. So I gathered all my strength and ran towards the bus waving my hand in desperation to stop the bus and get into it. The driver slowed the bus and I got onto the first step of the bus. The driver speeded the bus and I was about to lose my balance and fall down. I looked inside the bus. There were only 3 people on the bus – the driver, the conductor and a lucky passenger. I agree that if a bus was crowded, it is not necessary to stop a bus, but when it is empty, isn’t the driver supposed to stop at bus stops for people? Doesn’t the driver know he is supposed to pick up passengers and not drive an empty bus around?

After seeing me, the driver mouthed foul words at me in Kannada, roughly translated as “Go and die somewhere else”. On an early morning, hearing those filthy words, made me cry. It spoiled my day from that moment. I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the day. I couldn’t find happiness in anything around me, I couldn’t concentrate on anyone’s talks and I couldn’t smile back at some innocent smiles.

A Day gone bad is gone forever!

A Pain Story

It’s almost 10 am and I am still lying in my bed

The bed is shimmering with the sun’s golden rays

The golden rays are streaming in through the windows

The windows that I accidentally left open yesterday

The yesterday from when I am wriggling in pain,

The pain in my body has made me so weak

So weak that my body doesn’t let me wake

Wake up and the need to have something hot

Something hot like a tea is all I want now

Now, to lift even my head I am struggling

Struggling to lift the rest of my wearied body

My wearied body desperately need a helping hand

A hand strong enough to lift me up from my bed

My bed is surrounded by the four walls of my room

My room or the next will offer me no helping hand

Hand I lift to support my slightly lifted head

The head unable to lift slides right back into the bed

The bed on which I snuggle my body in thick blanket

The thick blanket provides me with warmth

The warmth my body desired from a hot cup of tea

The hot cup of tea was made by no one

No one is there to make and serve it hot





The journey continues.

Such a confusing airport, am talking about CDG now. So many flights, so much to walk. Climate was chill. I regretted not wearing a jacket. To board the flight DL 141 to MSP (Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport) operated by Delta, I had to go to a different Gate. The flight takes off at 10:20 am (local time) to reach MSP at 1:05 pm (local time). Someone read and told the gate is L and so like a goat following the master, I decided to go to gate L. It is required to take a train to different gates. I reached near the train and boarded it. It stops only for a certain time, beeps and then door shuts. Similarly to open.

When I reached gate L, they scanned my ticket and said “no, gate M”. I was so frustrated with so less time left. I didn’t even get time to look around and see Paris airport or the shops. I didn’t even eat anything at the airport. Again boarded train and reached and completed scan. Too much stress and strain. On top of that, no network coverage, so no way to communicate my whereabouts to people back home. Luckily used the free wifi to send a message. Advantages of free wifi 🙂

The only picture I have of CDG is this. See the clouds, feel the freshness…


I just paused in front of the boarding counter where again I was asked some basic questions of where I am going, how many days etc. Then had to swipe the boarding pass in a machine which didn’t allow me, so had to be manually checked in the system. I noticed the machine didn’t allow anyone who didn’t possess US or Canada passport, so much of partiality 🙂

In this flight, I had a middle seat. Seating on delta is 3-3-3. Headphones were provided and I started watching movies. Once in the air, food was being served. My HNML sucked. There was no non veg, just veg sandwiches and stuff. I was irritated. Then and there I decided, no more selecting HNML.


Meals were pathetic. Atleast the drinks will be better, I thought. I gathered all courage and asked for a glass of red wine. A whole glass was served. First sip and I knew ‘this is not what I asked for’. The wines I had tasted, barely once or twice, were sweet. This was so bitter and so strong. Since I didn’t want to waste it, I started gulping the black liquid down my throat. It went inside with a burning sensation down my food pipe. I started feeling heavy head and that I was floating. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, forget the movie. When next meal was served, I couldn’t even understand how to open the package. My first black drink on the Delta truly sucked.

I tried to sleep, no use. Then the air hostess passed again and I asked for a cup of coffee. ‘Coffee should help go off the hangover of wine’, I thought. Well I was wrong. The dark roasted coffee without an iota of sweetening or milk made me nauseous. I felt like I would throw up any moment. I tried to sleep again and again covering my eyes, adjusting the blanket and the pillows etc. The second black drink also sucked.

When the air hostess passed again, I asked for a well known drink. I didn’t want to take risks again at all. ‘A glass of coke please’. I sipped and to my dismay, it didn’t taste anywhere near to the coke I knew. It was horrible and terrible. I felt Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied. My third and last black drink aboard Delta sucked.

After a long uneventful flight, landed at MSP, my first time in the United States of America.

Deep Fried Indian Street Food – Oh Wow!

I love deep fried foods – french fries, nuggets, gobi fry etc. Name any deep fried food, home made or otherwise, and I am in for it, it tastes so good and when it is hot and crispy, water starts filling in my mouth. And there is this guy who knows my love for deep fried foods and starts his lectures, “deep fried foods aren’t good for health. They have high calorie content, and blah blah blah!”. I always refused to believe/ accept the truth but then it seems like there’s more truth to the facts.

1) I think this point might not be applicable for home made fried items provided the oil is changed after each frying. Who does that anyway! In case of street foods, I am sure that the food is deep fried in oil that is used for days at a go until maybe it turns dark black. Oil naturally has high saturated fat. When the oil is heated multiple times, the trans-fatty acid content in the food increases. These trans fatty acids enter the blood stream, clogging arteries, leading to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many chronic diseases.

2) Not something new, a known fact, Indian snacks are very very dense (148-603kcal/100g) in calories and trans-fat varies from 0.1 to 19.8g/100g.

3) Street foods are fried at high temperatures, for quick frying, to produce large quantities. We usually see smokes from the oil. Free radicals present causes cancer.

4) Who doesn’t love food that have a yummy cover of maida? Maida has a high glycemic index, that spikes blood sugar, and promotes fat storage, besides increasing risk of diabetes & heart disease.

5) To increase shelf life, and flavour, street foods are loaded with salt (one chicken burger or one small french fries pack can contain more than 1000 milligrams of sodium). This high consumption of salt can lead to hypertension and to water retention.

6) How clean do you think street food is? From sweat to other bodily fluids, you really can’t be sure what is reaching your plates. The unhygienic handling of street foods , use of unsafe water and exposure to street pollution, are just few of the things that increases the number of  bacteria in the plate.

Are you still willing to take a risk





Simplified Guest additions setup on Linux

Fullscreen virtualbox debian

The VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux are a set of device drivers and system applications which may be installed in the guest operating system.

I was looking for ways to scale the screen geometry to enable virtual box take full-screen. To make this happen I had to setup VirtualBox Guest Additions, which provide many other features, it’s a tedious task to install on Debian. So, I went through below setup process:

In the guest Debian system, insert Guest Additions image by selecting
Devices->Insert Guest Additions CD Image from VirtualBox menu. This will mount the VirtualBox image into the guest machine. mostly in /media/cdrom0
I was able to see all the setup related files, that was easy. Let’s try running it
as root user,
>> su –
/media/cdrom0 >> ./
then came error message
./ Permission denied
Seriously!! for root user permission is denied. Ufff
Lets dig deeper to see whats happening here:
>> mount | grep cdrom0
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro, nosuid, nodev, noexec, relatime, user)
There you go! Guest Additions ISO image has been mounted as non-executable, noexec flag is set,. Cool, one more thing to fix
What now? Let’s mount again as executable, I mean without noexec flag


firstthing >> umount /media/cdrom0


>>  mount -t iso9660 /dev/sr0 /media/cdrom0
mount: /dev/sr0 is write-protected, mounting read-only

lets check the properties just in case,
>> mount | grep cdrom0
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro,relatime)

Cool. The Guest Additions image has been mounted successfully.
Let’s run the install script;
>> /media/cdrom/
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 5.1.8 Guest Additions for Linux………..
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Copying additional installer modules …
Installing additional modules … Building Guest Additions kernel modules.
Failed to set up service vboxadd, please check the log file
/var/log/VBoxGuestAdditions.log for details.
Again failed!! Ewwwwww
Well, let’s examine the log file:
# cat /var/log/VBoxGuestAdditions.log failed: Look at /var/log/vboxadd-install.log to find out what went wrong. failed: Please check that you have gcc, make, the header files for your Linux kernel and possibly perl installed..
As the log file states, we need to install some necessary packages first, because it needs to compile the Guest Additions from sources.
# apt-get update
# apt-get install gcc make linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Finally, we are ready to install Guest Additions:
# /media/cdrom/
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 5.1.8 Guest Additions for Linux………..
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Removing installed version 5.1.8 of VirtualBox Guest Additions…
Copying additional installer modules …
Installing additional modules … Building Guest Additions kernel modules. Starting the VirtualBox Guest Additions.
It may be required to restart the the Window System to enable the Guest Additions.
# reboot
Finally, I am able to see FULLSCREEN 🙂
Fullscreen virtualbox debian

Making my first Waffles

Do you know what a waffle is? Seriously I am yearning to hear a NO. It’s a breakfast dish that originated in France but eaten all over the world. But I had no fucking clue about it all these many years. I didn’t know how a Waffle tasted like until today; I didn’t even know what a Waffle was until yesterday. Am I dumb? Am I so ignorant about the world? Holy crap! So for the uninitiated like me, a waffle is a dish made from leavened batter or dough that is cooked between two plates of a Waffle iron and the dish has a peculiar honey comb pattern. The waffle iron looks something like this.

Cuisinart® Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker

Let me explain my first waffle making experience, this is hilarious. I had seen this Waffle iron placed at a corner of the pantry and being used by one or two people before. I had seen a woman pouring something onto the pan and I thought she is making a bull’s eye or something. Anyway I didn’t want to make a bull’s eye when an omelette is readily available, so I didn’t give it much importance.

When someone at office asked me whether I have tried a waffle, I was baffled, I didn’t even know what it was to say I like it or I don’t like it. When I was assured that waffle would be there in my pantry, I went to the corner of the pantry where I had seen the lady earlier. Well, this was yesterday. I went close to the waffle iron and started reading the instructions written on it. The instructions were pretty basic, anyone could follow it. 1) Pour the batter on the iron 2) Close and Flip it 3) When beeping sound is heard, flip and open. Well that’s it, very simple. I was hesitant to even give it a try. I waited a while hoping that someone nice would turn up and ask me ‘ do you need a help’ or something but no one did, so I cleared off the place.

Back in my room, I started watching YouTube on how to make this waffle, what this waffle is etc. For some strange reasons I still cannot explain, I feel waffles have a strong resemblance to rose cookies that have their origins in India and which also happens to be my favorite sweet dish. Anyway, after watching a couple of times, I gathered courage to give waffle a try.

Today is my waffle creativity day. So there is this vending machine kind of thing that has 2 taps and a ‘push’ adjacent to it. It is from this that the batter comes out. There were 2 variants – one is original and the other blueberry. I decided to make blueberry waffles. I took a small cup which was kept adjacent and filled it with blue berry batter. Opened the waffle iron and poured it in. A sizzling sound started coming. The iron was really hot. I followed the instructions and did the flipping. Now am waiting for the beep sound. I didn’t know how long I had to wait. I started getting impatient and worried and panicky, what if I have done it wrong? what if it burns out and starts to burn the entire place down? What ifs filled my head when a continuous beeping sound alerted me. I flipped as instructed and opened the lid. Using a spatula, I removed my first ever waffle from the hot iron to a serving dish.

Well here it is, my first blueberry waffle, not bad I guess. My first taste experience, it tastes pretty good, it was soft, I think it might become more crispier if I use more dough, I am not quite sure though but I would definitely want to improve on the shape of it. The dough needs to be spread a bit more to cover the entire mold surface.


I went on to make a waffle out of the original too,  I guess I have improved a bit with my second waffle.


The small squares you see, they can be filled with honey or butter or fruit or any toppings of your choice.

Past Midnight Coffee

Oh, it’s 3.30 am and I need something to drink

I search in my room, and there isn’t any liquid

Should I ignore my thirst or should I find a solution?

I need to go down to the pantry to see what I can do.

Of yes, coffee jugs are there, only coffee though, no tea

Coffees of different types – regular, decaf, this and that

No water to be found, so I decide to make a coffee

Making coffee is really a tedious task though

Grabbed the cup and obviously its cover, I don’t wanna spill

Pressed for regular, filled up half a glass

I can’t drink it this way, I can’t bear any bitter

Now begins the exercise, adding half and half

A simple blend in between cream and milk

I keep adding, I want the coffee colour to fade

3, 4 close to 5 small packets and there it is

A colour I can relate to, my favorite coffee colour

Oh next comes the sweetener, I can’t bear any bitter

Adding sugar, that too close to 5 small packets

Use the stirrer, and taste the fruits of my efforts

Delicious, put on the cap of the coffee cup

And there I go back to my room to drink

Oh, it’s 3.45 am and I am having my Past Midnight Coffee.