Monday, April 1, 2013

Love, Love me do



Love, love me do.
You know I love you,
I'll always be true,
So please, love me do.

The Beatles sang about love very often, and even though (or maybe because) they were doped up for most of their lives, they nailed it every single time.

I am constantly amazed by the sheer power of love to alter and define our lives. Shakespeare said “love is blind”. Now that is something I (and everyone who’s ever been in a relationship with me) know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But of course love can also be found, even if just for one night.

And then, there’s another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost (but not quite) kills its victims, it’s called unrequited love.

Cruel yet delightful, Painful yet Intoxicating, How many of us know that feeling, when every compliment is magnified and every criticism however slight is enough to send us into a depression for weeks?

The Great poet Robert Frost once said "Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." These poets write some good stuff, I wonder why so many of them are only famous after they die.

The most wonderful thing about love is, we can find it in the strangest places, like hanging on the door of a virar fast with the wind blowing in your hair, rushing through the stations of Bombay, a beautiful sunset walk, a quiet dinner with a loved one, a noisy evening in your favorite bar or even watching your favorite football team winning a trophy (again) in the company of your friends.

"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it". – John Lennon, a poet who perhaps should have taken his own advice more often.

Love however, is not for the faint of heart! You only have to read the Agony Aunt columns in the papers to know that, the problems range from “we’re 17 and want to get married but our parents don’t approve” to “my fiance and I had oral sex, will she get pregnant!” the answer to that by the way is a resounding NO. (Thank you, Dr Watsa)

And of course there’s my personal favorite, the most COMMON one – “I’m in love with this girl but I’m scared of asking her because I don’t want to break our friendship”

What’s all this nonsense of "losing friendship" anyway? Who says if you’re rejected, you've lost a friend? Sure it’s awkward for a bit, but only if you don’t use your brains and insist on sulking about it. If someone isn't attracted to you, then that's that.

What we don’t realize is, we have been handed a GIFT, it’s not everyone who gets to love someone as much as you do, if it’s unrequited then so be it. A guy with a really long nose once said “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” And he was right.

Anyway you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Eventually you’ll get what you want, even if what you want changes.

I think it’s actually a little scary, we all SAY we’re in love, but how many of us are actually willing to give up all that we hold dear and plunge headfirst into love like the heroes of yore?  Young Lochinvar would be turning in his grave right now.

For that matter how many of us are willing to give up ANYTHING for love? We all think we don't have too, but sometimes we do

I'm no different,  in fact as an ex girlfriend brutally pointed out when I was writing this, I’m probably the last person who should talk or write about love.

But I do know what love is, in a vague sort of way,  love is when you can't stop thinking about someone, when they walk into a room, your mood lightens and you can't stop yourself from smiling, you make a fool of yourself around her and when you feel a bit weird in your stomach (no it’s not gas!)

There are so many different kinds of love in this world, Love for parents, love for children, love for friends, girlfriends wives etc etc. Oh and love for food! Specifically steak!

Love is a confusing emotion, it makes fools of us all, we don’t know exactly when we love or why we love, sometimes we don’t even know who we love. All we know is that we can’t live without the person we love, for however long we love them, and yet, we don’t tell them enough.

Sometimes we say and do things we regret very bitterly, but we cant undo them. So we pay the price and try and act snarky about it. But at the end of the day guilt fades, but love is forever.

This article has been written to make people laugh, I hope I succeeded in that, but I also hope that you all think about whom you love most and tell them. Because communication is basically what it’s all about. 

So many fights can be stopped with those three little words “You were right”

I meant "I love you"

I did!

Shakespeare also said “Such is my love, to thee I so belong, that for thy right myself will bear all wrong.”

Now that’s a showstopper.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Marriage

Wake me up when December ends!

Yes, I know the song says September, but I'm honestly dreading December. I know December usually means Christmas, presents, parties, New Years, and more partying! So you're probably wondering what's to dread.

 In India, December brings with it the onslaught of the wedding season.  And honestly I don’t like weddings, they make me feel old and too many people ask me when I plan to get married.

Now one of the very few advantages of being the eldest grandchild/child/cousin is that people rarely tell you what to do, maybe they would do it more often but they’re all scared of my reaction, I’m not exactly known for my polite, diplomatic refusals to do things and I AM known for my complete inability to care about people I don’t like.

So it came as something of a surprise to me the other day when my grandmother (Bengali side) told me I should get married. 

You see almost everyone who knows me agrees that my marriage (always assuming I could find someone insane enough to marry me) would be a bad idea – I have so many bad habits! The drinking and the overeating can be taken as read of course but then there is also my large assorted collection of friends who show up at odd hours, not exactly the cornerstone of a stable relationship, let alone marriage.

I managed to convince my grandmother that I would be unfaithful (a lie) and that I enjoyed being single (the truth. Kinda) and then moved on to concoct a fictional girlfriend who was half Muslim and half Nepali (she detests both, the racist) 
By the time I was done she was begging me to do nothing rash and trying desperately to find out if I was a) sleeping with my girlfriend and b) using protection. Perhaps unwisely I reassured her on both points; she seemed somewhat perturbed when I left.

This brings to mind another story, many years ago when I was at the same grandmother’s house I was getting ready to go for a party with a friend. My friend (just friend thankyouverymuch) was helping me roll up my sleeves when my grandmother (bless her) walked in on this cozy domestic scene, did a double take and asked me when I was coming home and did not seem to happy when I told her I wasn’t.

This might have had something to do with the fact that my friend was wearing a halter and a mini skirt but I wouldn’t want to be judgmental about my own grandmother. Although it is worthwhile to point out that I came to her house a week later with two friends who were helping me on a college project (by helping I mean they were doing it and I was providing my grandmothers printer) and she welcomed them like they were long lost children. Again, I don’t want to be judgmental but it might have had something to do with the fact that they were both in salwars.

Weddings by themselves are not that despicable. I mean they have really amazingly delicious food and free alcohol (No wedding crashers was fantasy, don’t try that in India). What I despise is the very idea of marriage. It all seems so sad for me, why do you want to get married? So you can have sex without old aunties judging you? They’ll judge you anyway. Financial security? Get a JOB. Emotional security? Friends are all the security you'll ever need.

Two people, who love each other, should get married. But how often do people marry for love? The first reason you should get married is so often the last reason people in India get married. The pressure starts young, for girls their parents start saving things for them from the time they're born.

I don’t like change, and marriage invariably changes things, if I like you enough I might make friends with your fiancĂ©; I might even show up sober for your wedding. But what happens after that?

The happy couple becomes just that, you have an extra person at group dinners, late nights just won’t happen and you can forget about sleepovers. If that’s a part of growing up I think I can do without it.

OR

You could make an effort, you could try and make it work, you could accept the fact that your extended family just got a little bit bigger. And you can accept that, while everything changes, it’s how we react to change that defines happy endings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dining Companions - Insiya Nasrulla

Most of my favorite dining companions are men, that’s not because I’m sexist or anything but that’s because I can enjoy the food without worrying about neglecting/entertaining my fair (sometimes) companion

But there is a devastatingly beautiful lady who is both excellent company and a gourmet herself

Meet Insiya Nasrulla, she’s smoking hot and she loves rare steak (unbeatable combination)

My (repeated) advances aside we enjoy brilliant dinners, where we eat steak and drink wine or beer if we’re broke. 

She’s fantastic company, so much so that I enjoy her companionship as much as I enjoy the food we eat. (true story)

We’ve been to restaurants ranging from the very posh but disappointing Le Pain Quotidien to the really down market and still disappointing Smokin Lee’s.

What was not disappointing however was the sparkling company of one of the most charming people I have ever met.

The best time we’ve had has probably been in HRC Mumbai where we were given complimentary shots (of lemon juice!) by the obliging servers there.

All this apart, my favorite memory of our dinners is not the food on the table but the dancing eyes across the table, laughing at my lame jokes and adroitly spurning my advances.

Our friendship is dearer to me than all the food and flirting in the world.

Though I’d never admit it.

Steak Salad

So steak is something we both love, and I couldn't get her to send me a recipe, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite recipes which I'm sure she'd love.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 pounds beef sirloin steak
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 8 cups romaine lettuce - rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives

Directions

  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. Lightly oil grate. Place steak on grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached. Remove from heat and let sit until cool enough to handle. Slice steak into bite size pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Mix in the cheese. Cover and place dressing in refrigerator.
  4. Onto chilled plates arrange the lettuce, tomato, pepper, onion and olives. Top with steak and drizzle with dressing. Serve with crusty grilled French bread. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Party Tips - Be a good guest

The last post had my tips for throwing a good party, this one has tips for being a good guest at someone else’s party.

Of course how you behave at a party depends on how well you know the person but there are some general do’s and don’ts

Please Note: I have not always been anyone’s idea of the ideal guest and at some point or the other done most of things I've said not to do.

I realize that and I’m trying to improve.

Ok I lied about the second part. I just don’t want to be accused of hypocrisy.

  1. When someone invites you to a party it’s REALLY rude to ask who else is coming, you are going because you like the host/hostess/food/free booze/whatever. Asking is always a little insulting. You’re bound to meet people you know there and if you don’t it isn't really hard to make friends
  2. If you are lucky(?) enough to have a significant other who isn't invited then please don’t force the issue. Couples who refuse to go anywhere without their better halves are a bore in my opinion. (This might cause a few problems)
  3. Always carry something, if only a bottle of wine. If you don’t drink (or your host doesn't  get juice or chocolate.
  4. One hour after the invite time is the acceptable time for coming for a party. Two hours later is NOT and if you are going to be late then at least have the decency to claim that work delayed you.
  5. Having reached the party don’t stick to the host. They will have a million things to do so let them do it. They will introduce you to a group of (hopefully) like minded people/mutual friends.
  6. Don’t hog the conversation. Let it flow (guilty)
  7. DON’T BLATANTLY LECH AT PEOPLE! IT IS LAME!
  8. If you must hit on people at parties, please have the decency to do it well and with SUBTLETY (I name no names) And for god's sake stop if its clear your attentions are unwelcome.
  9. While you may or may not “hook up” at a party it is a really sad reason for going to a party. *Instantly loses half my guest list*
  10. PDA at parties with hook up/ significant other are generally frowned upon at houses which do not belong to me. Get a room for god’s sake
  11. Here is where I might get accused of hypocrisy. Don’t get drunk and don’t make a scene. Parties are meant to be fun and if you’re lying on the floor passed out (without someone next to you) you can’t really have fun. You probably won’t remember it the next day anyway.
Parties are for meeting people you miss and having fun. There's no need to get drunk and act stupid.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Party Tips

I like parties, they’re a fun way to meet people, I don’t really like parties in nightclubs (can’t talk to anyone and I hate the music most of the time)
House parties on the other hand are always fun You can talk, dance, eat, drink, joke, make out, fight, make up, make out again (Ok the last 4 only happen at my parties)

So here are some tips for a fun house party.


Have a BlackBerry to help you with sending invites NO FB EVENTS! THAT IS LAME though I have done that before (sorry)

BAN people from messing with the music. (Avik this means you)

Invest in a decent pair of speakers

Google easy cocktail recipes (I’ve given some below) and make pitchers of cocktails

Theme parties are fun, but keep the theme simple so everyone can dress the part, e.g. Shorts and T-shirts

Keep small buckets around for people to puke in.

Plastic cups and plates ONLY

Have the local wine store’s number handy when you run out of booze

Make sure you talk to everyone, it can be a little weird going to someone’s house for the first time

Get simple finger food. Wafers and dip are a cheap way to go. Chicken tikkas by the kilo works too.

Don’t be too rigid about the guest list, if your friends want to bring someone, let them. It makes them more comfortable and you get to meet someone new. I know this can go horribly wrong (been there) but give it a chance.

Most importantly, remember the Idea of a party is to have fun. You don’t need to spend too much money (BYOB).Just some nice food and good friends.

And I have the best friends 

Easy drinks

Vodka Tang

The name says it all. You put (orange) tang inside a jug, add liberal amounts of Vodka and a tiny amount of water and ice and you’re good to go.

TIP: Adding some limbu to the pitcher really improves the taste

Love potion

Ingredients


Baccardi
Vodka
Gin
Sula Rose wine
Cranberry juice
Orange Juice
Old monk (just a little)

WARNING This is a potent drink that tastes surprisingly good.

Method:

You take baccardi, vodka and gin and mix them together in a pitcher till it is half full

Add the wine and cranberry juice till the pitcher is nearly full.

Add old monk and orange juice.

Get Drunk