Cooking Kofta

Kofta has been a long standing demand at home but I am a lazy cook, if not lousy. Since I am counting the last few days of vacation, I am particular of how I spend my time.

The vacation gave me enough and more time to ponder and play the victim and wallow in self-pity.

I also embarked into doing the undoable i.e. of raking up non-existent affections and sympathies maybe, quite decidedly,in a rather unjust manner!

It was like this,

Hey, you are my friend.

Sorry, I am not.

Hey, but be my friend.

Sorry, I do not want to!

Truth be told, I was definitely being the spoilsport and was the drum-beater of ‘take note-I am here syndrome’.  Hmmm… and I got a royal snub in return! Been there???

I quickly realized the stupidity of my behaviour and felt terribly ashamed.

Before I plunged into despair, Elizabeth Gilbert came to my rescue. I was listening to the audio version of her book Big Magic.

She remarked of how we can never choose someone’s reaction to our work, written or otherwise. Having chosen to write or express our opinions, it is necessary that we have the good will to allow others to express their opinion of ‘our work’. ( Ok, so you know how to excuse yourself for poor results!)

Again, there is nothing like ‘your work’, according to her. Creative artists are only conduits for ideas which are like ‘ghosts/spirits’ trying to be housed or given a shape to.  This the writer says is true of any creative energy be it in business, arts, literature, cinema or more.

It got me thinking, really! like, if there is no way we can decide how our work is perceived, there should be no way we can decide how we are perceived, how our words, thoughts and actions are interpreted.

Then perhaps, it is ok for me to extend a hand in friendship and for the other person to turn it down. It is the same for me too,right!

Sometimes we hang on tenaciously to certain ideas and try hard to make it true. Like a friend of mine who believed that only a wise, sagely person could save his life. To this day, he is in search of superior wisdom from saints.

Everything apparently happens in its own good time.So then what is to be done?

Keep at your work, keep doing what you are trying to do, make it better while graciously acknowledging the infinite energies that surround and support you. Mostly believe in who you are and be kind to those around you.

Remember that the world sees you as you see it.

Oh! I almost forgot the kofta. Here is how I made it.

Aloo Kofta

Grind the customary paste of onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. In a pan, heat a spoon full of oil and add the finely ground paste. As the water dries up, add a spoonful each of coriander powder, jeera powder, chilli powder, garam masala, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Toss in some butter or ghee for added taste.

While the paste is getting ready for the curry base, you can peel and grate potatoes. Add a pinch of salt, garam masala, chilli powder, jeera powder, coriander powder etc. as per your taste to the grated potatoes. Add the necessary amount of besan  or chickpea powder ( 1 to 2 tsp) or corn flour to roll the grated potatoes into small not very tight balls. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes till light brown.

To the gravy, you may now add water little by little. Simmer the paste for some time and then toss in the fried potato balls into it. Let it boil some more and you can garnish the curry with chopped coriander, a dash of lemon and may be another dollop of butter or ghee. Your kofta is ready! Adding  a paste of finely ground cashew nuts while the paste is simmering makes the curry creamier.

Life is a bit kofta like, you put in your best and hope for a good taste. Sometimes you feel satisfied, at other times, you wish you had done something better, or may be the ingredients could have been better. But you just have to keep at it hoping for a better taste/tomorrow and that my friend is living!

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Simbly sitting

Simbly sitting

in the first bench

looking at the teacher

not following anything

just staring at everyone

not writing notes even

dozing off in history lessons

confused in maths

yem or yen

what do you know?

average in English

spelling mistakes everytime

what a waste

father’s money

mother’s hopes

you will never make it

I will give it in writing

you dreamer

you immature girl

looking like a fool

forever stupid

ok, keep looking out

I am talking to you only

boyfriends must be there

they will never marry you

I tell you

just for fun they will look at you

stay away or ruin your life

waste fellows

anyways whom to tell

no one can escape karma

children these days!

Ps: Convents, simbly saying! Miss Pushpa TS!

കുത്തി കുറി

ചിലർ
അങ്ങിനെയാണ്
അവർ നമ്മളിൽ
വളരുന്നു

ഓർമകളിൽ
സ്വപ്നങ്ങളിൽ
ജീവിതം പ്രായത്തിന്റെ പടി കേറുമ്പോൾ
അവർ കു‌ടെ കയറുന്നു

ഒരു മിന്നലാട്ടം
ഒരു പുഞ്ചിരി
നിങ്ങളെ
അവരുടെ സാന്നിധ്യം അറിയിക്കുന്നു

കാലത്തിന്റെ പഴക്കം അവർക്കു മാത്രം
പുതുമയേകുന്നതെന്തുകൊണ്ടാണ്
ജീർണിച്ചു വീണു പോകേണ്ടത്
ശക്തിയോടെ വേരുറപ്പിക്കുന്നതു എന്ത് കൊണ്ടാണ്

മലവെള്ളം പോലെ ഇറങ്ങി വന്നു
പാടങ്ങൾ പൂഴ്ത്തി വയലുകളെ ആറാക്കി മാറ്റി
സ്നേഹം കൊണ്ട്
മനസ്സ് മൂടുന്നത് എന്തിനാണ്

ഞാൻ കണക്കപിള്ള അല്ലെന്നു ജീവിതം
കണക്കു ചോദിക്കാതെ വയ്യെന്ന് ഞാനും

Ps: What makes memories?

Memory and I

‘Stay’, I said to a memory

‘stay still you grow old

and ripen

to morph

into an experience’.

I added

‘then you would have done yourself right

been to me just

and made this world better’

‘But I gotta go’

said the memory floating away

‘those hearts are more inviting

some others are lacking

so many are forever wallowing

I need to fill their minds

feed them delights

make them believe

that’s my job, you see.’

‘You’ she said turning away

accusingly

‘cling to what is not

fake what never was

hoping to turn it into reality

and accuse me of indifference!

Sorry,I am with those who turn sunwards.’

Then there was nothing!

 

 

 

 

 

Of cooking it right

Sometimes the mind, so it seems to me, is like a pressure cooker.

You put ideas, thoughts, images into it, set the time and then allow the ingredients to cook. After the customary cooking time, the result stands in front of you. Yes, of course, the cooking time varies, depending on the ingredients, the external factors, the fuel, the quality of input and a lot of other things. But cook it will.

You could cook anything. It could a dream or an idea or a vision that you see for yourself or someone you love or a cause you deeply care about.

Little things that you do on a daily basis will add up to bring your vision or dream to its fruition.

The vision again could be for anything for example ,the locality you stay in, like say,  for me ,seeing R.T. Nagar here in Bangalore, all so spic and span some time, or the idea of my little girl revelling in what she loves to do her best, or me being able to plan a trip abroad for my parents, or setting up a centre for learning at Kopparambil or travelling the world or meeting the people I love to meet and being able to be loved and listened to and understood, or just being able to write, read, listen, speak and repeat…ah! visions so colourful and dramatic and almost impossible, maybe, maybe not! After all, its about the cooking time!

I do believe that ideas and thoughts are very organic. When you think of something, you tend to start a process, and somehow the universe, sets in motion a variety of realities to get you closer to what you want. That’s one reason why you should be careful of self-fulfilling prophecies, but that I leave for some time later.

The organic evolution of ideas to reality is an interesting concept. It’s nothing short of a miracle. It is so powerful that it can change your life forever.

Recently Ranbir Kapoor famously said of his love for Alia Bhat, ‘It’s new. Let it cook for sometime’ . What he said of love holds true for writing, for passion, for dreams, for relationships, for projects and for many other things.

So if you have a dream, a desire, a wish, an ambition, think about it over and over, develop your vision of it in your mind, write about it, read about it, talk about it only to those who care for you, because your idea/dream/desire/ambition is yet so delicate, so just foster it, nourish it, sort of allow it to incubate.

Meanwhile trust the universe to turn the things around for you, slowly making it possible for you to reach your goal.

It was last year, a friend remarked, ‘so you are a trainer now , aren’t you? You wanted to do it for long, right?’ I was amazed at this observation and indeed, it was true.

I had mentioned how I wanted to work with young people and try and make a difference a few years back even when I was working as a Manager and here I am today living my dream!

I know I can do more in terms of reaching out to more young people in many better ways, hmm…perhaps with the right cooking time, I will be able to do that too!

Just don’t give up on your wish, dream, desire, obsession yet, perhaps it needs to be cooked a little more.

Focus on good things in your life and keep yourself upbeat.

Try and conquer your fears of failure and incompetency with more and more self love and a bit of self indulgence and be tenacious enough to hang on, not give up, not yet, not now, not ever…

Coz it is about the cooking time, right?

I am convinced about the need to cook an idea to fruition, are you?

After the rescue

edwardeveretthale1-2xThe rescue mission of the ‘Wild Boar’ football team and their coach had unfailing media attention from across the world. Together the world pooled in resources, followed eagerly, came together, volunteered day and night and made the mission a success.

For the first time, it did seem like ‘vasudaiva kudumbakam’ ‘the world is one big family’ is a reality, not just a distant, impossible myth. The boys, their coach, seemed close to each one of us.

Cutting across various boundaries be it geographical, religious, political, regional, linguistic, people put their energies together for a great cause and the result is for the world to see.

Some truths just got reinforced

  • Human lives matter everywhere.
  • We just need to stand up for what we believe in and plunge into action.
  • Nature needs to be respected and treated with care.
  • Staying calm in danger helps.
  • Maturity is not about age, it is a mindset.
  • Technology is a boon, use it wisely.
  • We should care for others, they will care for us too.
  • The combination of western technical skills and the eastern meditation is a potent winner.
  • Everyone can contribute to the success of a mission.

If this seemingly impossible rescue happened successfully, so can various other missions for the world at large, like alleviating poverty, basic amenities for all people, safety of children, better living for animals and putting an end to child marriage, abuse and …..

Receding ground water tables, recurring floods,disappearing forests, rising pollution, dumping of waste can all be combated if we as a people approach it with a mindset to find a solution and find it soon.

We can definitely forget minute differences for a greater goal.Surely the future generations will thank us for it. The world will be a better place for each one of us.

Let’s take up  a cause bigger than our immediate life goals, the EMI and the family, the religion or the party we are bound to.

Let’s contribute to the larger good in whichever way we can. Together we can make a difference!

Coz you live on brother

Brother

you live on

in my heart

when searching for courage

and looking for succour

I have always found you near

sometimes a rare blinkless star

sometimes a rare fragrance

sometimes a rare piece of goodwill

knowing you

receiving your love

has been the greatest achievement so far

how I wish the tide was different

how I wish the current could change

how I wish I could hear your

‘how are you?’

‘are you preparing for NET’?

funny how the most mundane

hurts more

you are a kind soul

loving and giving

those who knew you well

knew your worth

how you fought with a smile

cheered others even through your tears

you taught me much

you gave me more than I could ever return

brother

forgive me for what I could not do

love I did and still do

proud I felt and still do

know that you are missed

everyday every minute

know that much has changed

for the better or worse

since you left

yet the love is the same

always the same

we talk of you a lot

could there be a simpler soul than you

could someone love as selflessly as you did

sending you hugs and kisses

across the universe

on the other side

when we meet

we shall sit down

and talk our heart’s fill

till then love for ever

now and evermore

Love Lekha Chechi

Ps: Balraj.K