Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big City Bustle

The week before last, I was travelling to see my mamaji's family for Thanksgiving. I took a bus from Boston to New York and another from New York to Allentown. I was in New York City for about half an hour on both days, going over there and coming back.

It's been a while since I've been into a big city like that. And at a bus terminal, no less. There are just so many people everywhere. People, buses, trains, lots of available options for public transport including the subway - we don't have any of that in the suburbs. It reminds me of Delhi. Delhi is a place where you will find people from all over the country, trying to achieve something or the other that they believe they can achieve by being in the city. New York is just so, except that it attracts people from all over the world.

My bus into New York, against all odds, seemed to be entering the city about half an hour early. I looked out of the window and kind of thought we were nearly there, but I didn't really believe it. (Thanksgiving is a time when everyone travels to see their families, so there's a lot of traffic. Plus, there's the big Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, because of which there are a lot of street closures. I'd read that traffic is rather crazy in or near the city because of all that. But it wasn't quite as crazy as I'd thought, though the bus terminal was quite crowded.) But then I saw a billboard. McDonald's McCafe coffee, $1.99 for a small cup. That coffee is $1 for any size out here. Then I knew I was in the city, because that's the kind of price you'd find only in a place like New York.

There's just something about a city like that which draws me to it. It's the kind of place I've lived in for the first almost twenty seven years of my life. I am big fan of the wide open spaces and the green leaves that we see around here where we live, but a city like that is just something else.

In The Kitchen

You know how some people say that they find cooking relaxing? That it's their hobby? I used to find remarks like that rather weird, and I saw it as more of a chore that my mother did because she had to do it, and skipped every so often when she was too tired.

That was before I actually tried to cook on my own.

There are certainly days when I am tired after work and maybe feeling a little sick and wish that my husband would come home before I did and make me a nice bowl of soup. But when I am well, and only mentally tired from work, I love to experiment in the kitchen. Try things that I haven't tried before. Change some ingredients around in a recipe. Of course, once every week or so, I do make something standard like a simple yellow dal (which I don't really like all that much but my husband can't go without it for too long) or aloo gobi (actually it's aloo broccoli for us, more often than not), but the rest of the time, I make something at least a little differently. Add a little lemon juice to my pasta. Chop some cubanelle peppers into my rajma. Bake my own bread. (I haven't done a regular bread, but I have tried my hand at pumpkin bread from a mix and cranberry orange bread from scratch. Both turned out pretty good.) It's fun. It's satisfying. It gives me a feeling of having created something on my own. And that is a feeling to be savored.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Tangled from Disney is a comic yet heartwarming take on the classic story of Rapunzel. It sees the princess trapped in a tower, not even knowing that she is a princess. She's never stepped out into the sunshine and she is led to believe that her captor is her mother. The king and queen, meanwhile, yearning for their lost daughter, release hundreds of floating lanterns into the sky each year on the princess's birthday.

The princess's way out of the tower turns out to be a bandit the royal guards are chasing, who is actually about as charming as a prince would have been. She discovers with him a whole new world with birds, butterflies, dangerous adventures, and, of course, love (It's a fairytale, what did you expect?).

The funniest part is that after the princess hits the bandit on the head with a frying pan (in self defence), the bandit also discovers the utility of a frying pan as a weapon. You have to see it for it to be funny. But it's an extremely cute and funny movie that touches the hearts of audiences of all ages. Definitely worth a watch.