Monday, August 14, 2006

Chronicles of an unemployed explorer

Yup, here I go again. Blabbing some more about Boston. Last week was fun, discovered a couple of things about this place
1. Bostonians have devised zillions of ways to soak up the sun. Sunbathing by the Charles, watching free movies by the river, wathcing free plays at the Commons or sun bathing at beaches in the middle of the week. (you can check my travel blog for this one - but for some reason haven't been able to post pics of the glorious Atlantic)

2. There is a REALLY cheap and moderately decent Punjabi food place at Inman Square (very simply named Punjabi Dhaba) which is going to be our fav joint for cheap weekend lunches. I recommend going to the place if not for the food then for the surreal experience. It really feels like the owner imported the whole room straight from Ludhiana, the decor, the people, the clocks (which show India time), the golden elephants on the mantelpiece, the Guru Nanak pics and the steel Indian railway type plates. And ofcourse the Tv , a broken down panasonic that plays the most titillating Bollywood videos non stop at FULL volume. So while you munch your reshmi Kebabs, you get to watch Mallika Sherawat smooch the Gorilla man 100 times!!

3. My latest love - the Mexican chocolate ice cream at Christina (home made ice cream place at Inman again). They also serve "Khulfi" and ginger ice creams - for the more adventurous.

4. And the last foodie tip - NEVER eat the Matcha shake at Tealuxe - it tastes like green soap and is excessivley traumatising esp if you drink it at 12 am...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Four things

Got one of these "Girly" fwds ( I say girly cos somehow only women bother responding to these ones) and it was fun. So replicating it with some additions here

Four things you didn't know about me

Four songs I have to sing along with
1. Linger: Cranberries
2. By your Side: Sade
3. Fields of Gold:Sting
4. Couldn't cause me any harm: Beth Orton

Four of my favorite foods (apart from ice creams)
1. Ma's Shorshe Ilish (a day old)
2. Gustaba at Adus (Srinagar) or the lil Dhaba name unknown in Leh
3. Shirmal and kabab and phirni at Karim (and beef kabab at the less known dhaba near the qawali place in Niazamuddin)
4. Moong ki dal ka halwa/Gur Sondesh

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Chandratal lake, Himachal Pradesh, India
2. Bagha Beach, Goa
3. At Anand doing my field work
4. Eating ice cream

Four people I regret losing touch with
1. Ambu - my closest friend at SPV, my class bunking, boy friend (or lack of it) counselling mate and partner in sin
2. Pranav - ah well, that's too long a story
3. Merlin - my soul mate at Asian Age. She was the only reason I didn't kill my boss
4. Deba - my off and on, hot and cold friend from school, college and etc. Maybe I'll bump into him some day again.

Four things I regret not doing

1. Not eating Haggis in Scotland (yayay I know what the ingredients are)
2. Not taking a swim in Chandratal lake
3. Not going to Catalina island
4. (This one for my more secret blog, WINK WINK)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

posto-baata tales

On Mass. Av, between Harvard and MIT lies this ordinary looking restaurant "Royal Bengal". Run by a typical Bong looking aunty in a typical "I've never worn it before I came here but it seems so practical that I'll try fit into it" looking Salwar Kameez (Most Bong ma- variety look slightly out of place in Salwar Kameezs. Used to saris since very young, they all suddenly discover salwar kameez at a late age, feel too comfy to give it up, treat it the way we treat torn jeans, hurriedly changing out of it whenever someone comes visiting) .

I had heard a lot about this place from P and had given it a shot last time I came to MIT. Unfortunately, I was too greedy for my own good and ordered a shorshe ilish (hilsa fish in a mustard curry) for lunch. As my smarty boy friend says "The real cooks come only at night" and I got this half cooked bitter fish - very tempting looking but quite sad. Left in a huff, grumbling "Ma makes it 1000 times better". But yesterday was a better experience.

After preventing each other from going out for dinners (we are both temporarily unemployed) for more than 10 days, we found an excuse to go out yesterday. I was practically salivating by the time I reached the place and on N's suggestions ordered the Kausha mangsho (spicy curried goat), posto baata (unarguably my veggie favorite - potatoes and poppy seeds), bhindi (sacrilegous to order those but then had a sworn veggie punjabi with us!) and rice. N has been with a bengali for the past 12 years and has been forced into appreciating posto baatas and such! Apparently her partner comes all the way from NYC and rushes into Royal Bengal, and orders everything possible. We suspect one reason why he is planning on doing a PhD from MIT and not Columbia is proximity to RB!

Anyhow, it was quite an expereince to have papad and tomato chutney with Chardonnay. The manksho was SO hot that I had to have one (burnt and super thick) chapati with just chunks of sugar, the posto baata had green pepper in it so I was annoyed and the bhindis were bhindis. Overall, however, I cannot complain. The food was good considering I was getting it sitting zillion miles away from Ma's kitchen!

BTW, that made me realize, have you ever met a person who DOESN"T say Ma cooks best? I wd love to meet someone who says "Oh my Ma can't cook for nuts!".. Wouldn't that sound WRONG?? Ah well, maybe my kids will be the first :)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

And when I am 64...

1105 Mass. Av, August 1, 2006.
Room: Almost bare. No furniture except a mattress (which will be taken away in 20 days), a suitcase converted into a dressing table, a box with a Naga Shawl pretending to be a table. And the floor a picture of disarray.
Time: 15:01. Temperature: 101 F
I am melting. I am crabby. And I am losing in the zillionth inane game of scrabble. I start a conversation to distract the second player.
SP: You know this is the kind of life my Ma baba (and probably many Ma babas) love talking about to their kids. "When we started off we had nothing in the house except a pressure cooker and a ceiling fan."
"When we started off we lived in a one room barsati on one person's income"...
(Hmmm. Sure. With a slight difference. I am living in HS, in an apartment that costs more than 2 round trips to india. Ok got a huge discount but still. The apartment comes with a dishwasher and microwave. Ok. I never use those but still. There is an AC. Yups and you guessed right I almost never use that either. Hence the melting part in the beginning of the story. But still.
But still. When I am 64 I'll tell my kids "You know when we started off we didn't have the comforts YOUR generation can't even dream of living without... )
A: Shit. I scored just 43 on that one. Your turn.

web hit counters
Office Deals