Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Summer 2010

So yeah Skeety is back... And yo! it is summer...Maybe she was in hibernation or whatever...
It has been a nice break and Skeety might jsut be back to posting more often...What makes her pick up the pen..oops keryboard today is the fact that with the arrival of summer her theory 'There are two kinds of people on earth' those who stink and those who are capable of combatting body odour... This post is for the benefit of the former and those (like Skeety) who suffer alongwith:
Never wear the same clothes daily
Smell you armpits atleast once a day and before doing eeeeeeeeeyu think about those who die daily thanks to you
Ask office/home/temples for donation if you cannot afford a nice deo or a thanda thanda cool cool talc
Seek help from dadi ke nuskhey or home remedy tips like dipping feet in light tea water...wear cotton socks only yada yada...
And if you cannot do any of the above keep your goddamn arms down and feet on earth rather than raising them for the world to smell and die...
Save us from the ordeal God

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Empty spaces...

...are meant for scribbling :D
Hence, we meet again.
Skeety has found a new shack where she has her evening tea these days. The tea is reasonably good, and is customised for Skeety (green cardamom instead of the ususal ginger, less sugar and so on). But what really attracts Skeets to this shack is a gulmohar tree that so generously parts with its red flower petals and lets them grace the earth below. These petals are what makes the tea time even memorable.
Armed with one of her most cherished gadgets, the camera phone, Skeety walks towards the shack (or the tree?), slides down the cover that safeguards the carl zeiss lens, switches to the close-up mode and clicks the red beauties, while the tea vendor makes the tea.
And yeah Skeety suspects that the tea wala thinks she is mad sitting down in the middle of the road, looking at one petal from different angles before clicking. Perhaps that is why he speaks very nicely to her and makes her tea super fast (ofcourse kidding)... Skeety being the nice, benevolent girl has forgiven the tea wala as he knows not the love for those bewitching beauties..
Here are few of the shots from two different walks to the same place:

Adios till we meet again :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Caught Candid with the Camera

and not by the Camera :P
Skeets holds a sort of a record for being the most silent person...in the house..among friends...in office and everywhere else (except on gtalk).
An insane number of thoughts do swim in the mind but are shared with a selected few.
It is her own quietness that often misleads Skeety to think she is wearing an invisible cloak while she is clicking around town and won't ever be seen.
Time and again she has been proved wrong. Here's how:
*Discovered lying flat on the floor in the corridor of the house experimenting with light, olives, thermocol...
*Spotted squatting near India gate while clicking these pretty things (pic below). The strangers who spotted Skeety giggled. Perhaps they thought she was either insane or plucking flowers or digging bugs from the mud, but their expressions went even funnier when they saw the Camera in Skeety's hands. *Who cares* The love for the Camera transcends all else...

Golgappas can make for Skeeter's breakfast, lunch, evening snack and even dinner. Nothing wrong about that. Till the day she was caught standing on a cane stool (so as to get the black granite shelf in the backdrop) tripod stationed ahead of her...clicking them before digging in.
Ma enters the kitchen and wide-mouthedly stares, laughs and goes off to tell others what she saw. Grrrrr. And Skeets thought the folks were watching TV and she's be done clicking before anyone comes in. *Invi cloak... where art thou?*
Then comes the compulsive obssession to click while the car moves or when it is stuck in jams. While Skeety was clicking the autorickshaw's number plate reading "DL" (the sign that makes Skeety feel happy on roads, the sign which makes her thankful to be living in her beloved city) she notices a man on a two-wheeler who gave Skeety a 'get-a-life dudette' look...
Skeety grinned at the man on the two-wheeler so that he gets to read her mind... THIS IS MY LIFE DUDE :D My Cam... :-) Kat le ab

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Punjabiness in Dilli

*The title of this post may or may not be directly or indirectly related to the text that follows
**Read at your own peril, don't crib if it doesn't make no sense to you
***A note of thanks and a pocketful of Macadamias to the Nuttiest Nut for triggering the thoughts that led to this post...May your hair shine and glow and become black again :P

We were celebrating the birthday of a gangster (no no don't take that otherwise, Skeety means to say one of the friendly gang members) and another gangster reads the menu and says very cutely 'Ye dimsum kya hota hai'.
Skeets wanted to hide under the table. No Skeets is not making fun here, rather, just thinking of the various Punjabis she knows and how they react to 'alien' food. This gangsta is known to make peculiar faces at the sight of alien - meaning Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese or Mexican menus. He needs Punjabi food for surival. Dal, Paneer and the likes work best.
Moving on to the Nuttiest Nut.
Staying in London for about three years now, while talking to Skeety on the phone the Nuttiest Nut refers to Mozzarella in Carrozza as 'wo jo cheese ki tikki si thi na'. Skeety fell off the stairs on hearing that. Grr...
Also remembering a handful of other people who brand sauces or dips as 'chutneys'.
*Where's the wall
*Bangs head!
*OUCH that hurts :(
Okay all the above were Dilliwalas and walis and Punjabis in particular.
The Punjabi league is like that.
They love their gobhi alu, rajma chawal, dal makhani and so on.
*Breaks the rhythm
Skeety is yet again wondering WHY is she writing about food HERE.
*Stares into the abyss
*Starts scribbling again
Skeets was putting a lot of thought into food per se and here's the outcome:
Vada pao and burgers are similar...
Rajma is eaten in many forms, they become baked beans on toast as they transcend boundaries...
Rice becomes Risotto in Italy and Biryani in Pakistan (ok for that matter India too)
Pasta, Maggi and Noodles are shadows of each other...They dance around and change forms...Add/Substract various spices and lo! You have a different dish each time.
Back to POP (point of post): It is amazing to note how baked beans on toast will leave a punjabi unsatisfied (almost as if he/she has not had a meal) while rajma chawal will act like ambrosia.
Same ingredients, same earth, different tastes and reactions.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Delhi Diaries- A hazy morning, a very warm afternoon and a wonderful evening...

Delhi, Skeeter's city (ok ok yours too) can churn up the most surprising moods. Skeeter was going through the archives and found these pictures. Reflected back on when and why these were shot. The answer are here.
One morning, Skeeter woke up to a hazy sky. It'd rain soon. This happens many a times...The weather goes bad and you are cribbing and cribbing and some more when one morning you wake up to this:

A dhaba near the old office in central Delhi served AWESOME alu paranthas. With mixed achar (pickle they call it), makhan (Skeeter won't call it butter here) and a big dollop of dahi (yoghurt you know it as :P )An evening when you can have elaichi chai with the self would find you somewhere near a nice bamboo swing when the rays of the sun bid adieu to you by kissing the cuppa with their warm glow.
They say Delhi is rough. They say the people are ruthless. They say Delhi is this. They say Delhi is that.To Skeeter Delhi is warm, caring and a lot more. It is her beloved city.
P.S.: Work's getting crazier but Skeeter is fighting for the time to write here...She wins!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

T-ea and words bind the world...

Activity has seen a slump following the footsteps of recession...
Brush, bathe drink, eat, work, surf, eat, drink sleep and again...
This mantra is being chanted in the strictest meaning of the word 'rhythm' everyday...
The cycle was broken this morning as Skeets sat down to read blogs with sips from a cup of Elaichi T-ea held between her palms...
There had been a slump in blogsville as well or so Skeets thinks...
Today it was noticed that most blogs on the blogroll are brimming with activity again...
There are friends who like to share about daily happenings in their lives and those around, about life as they see it, about cribs, about happiness, about their travails...
The one thing that is common in all blogs is words...
It took Skeeter those words from ALL of YOUR blogs to write here...
Skeeter is happiest when she scribbles...
She is also a very happy girl when she sips T-ea...
If beverages could be called enticing, T-ea would top the list...
Delhi is burning, what with the mercury crossing the dreaded 40-degrees mark...
It also means even less of the solo sojourns on foot to the places in Delhi where Skeeter finds her peace...
Those walks around the Kuchas and Gallis of Chandni Chowk are missed...
Those conversations with random Delhiites selling street food on how they make the stuff they sell are being fondly remembered...
Skeeter will not let the heat tie her down...
She MUST start visiting her beloved places again..SOON!
Also, Skeeter would like to introduce you to 30on30.net, an initiative by a friend who is trying to make a difference to a few lives around us...Skeeter had been meaning to put this link up here since long...But then it is never too late...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Kasauli-Chail diary dusted, unwrapped...

Underneath piles of pending work, sat calmly, a pretty little diary, waiting patiently to be unwrapped...
In it, were etched in ink, the memoirs of Skeeter's travails to Kasauli and Chail from the tenth month of the year two thousand and eight.
This was a three-day family trip with the base of stay being Kasauli, which is a cantonment town located in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
The journey was completed in approximately 6-7 hours from Delhi via car enroute Chandigarh-Kalka-Shimla.
Having passed through these busy towns, reaching Kasauli was a welcome relief. From the moment, the road-sign 'Kasauli' was read, there was a dramatic fall in the number of homo sapiens seen around. It does good to the soul at times :-)
Day 1 was dedicated to saying friendly hullos to the cold air, a climb to the manki point and a stroll down the tibetan market. A hearty and filling evening spread followed.
Legend goes that Kasauli came into being when Hanumanji, on his way to getting the life-saving Sanjivani booti for Lakshman, stepped here for jumping on to the Sanjeevani hill. And the place where Lord Hanuman is rested his feet came to be known as Manki point (also called monkey point). The point is situated on a hillock, and is quite a climb for those who are not in good form :P
Skeets or for that matter nobody was allowed to take their cameras or cellphones to the Manki point as there is an airforce station just below the manki point. Initially Skeets was sad. But when Skeets reached atop the hillock she was glad. For now she could concentrate on enjoying the super cool breeze :-) It cleansed the mind of any and every trace of stress.
Day 2 was marked for a luncheon at Chail Palace which is downtown. Thank to Pa's pro hill-driving skills, the car and the family returned without any scratches, for the roads that led to Chail were so narrow that Skeets is amazed till date, how all that tricky driving was managed.
The picturesque drive lasted 1.5 hours.
Deodars, pines and rhododendron trees make the drive majestic.
The palace was eerily calm. One keeper of the gate, no visitors in vicinity and sprawling but silent lawns greeted us.
The entrance to the palace donned a grand chandelier and the reception was unmanned.
The Palace now owned by the HPTDC, was once the residence of Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, who had made Chail his summer capital.
It was a relief to see the dining hall filled with few guests.A Himachali lunch was called for. Himachali kadi, chole, some greens with himachali wadiyan, prefectly boiled rice and a few more dishes that Skeeter is forgetting.
A very satiating meal it was. Dessert followed.
What we missed: visiting the Chail cricket ground which is touted to be the highest in the world and doubles up as a polo ground as well.
Then the drive back to Kasauli began. The trees had the most vividly coloured climbers which almost made the entire valley look as if it was an illustration straight out of a fairy tale book. Barely five minutes after the drive started we were greeted by a gang of Langoors. Sigh* couldn't click them.
On way back Skeets noticed the following population density signs of towns that fell on the way from Chail to Shimla. Just imagine if you live in such low-density place. I'd call it heaven :-)
Mahog - 74
Sakori - 136
Dinit - 29
Shilru - 408
Machine- 234 (Yes that is the name of a place)
Sainj -146
Kotla -84
Enroute we noticed the Kasauli Brewery touted to be the world's highest again. Also saw the mushroom farming area. These two along with a ride on the Kalka-Shimla toy-train (world heritage) remain on the top of the agenda for the next visit whenever it happens.
Day 3: To Chandigarh briefly and back.
Enjoyed the evening in the Kasauli tibetan market eating corn on cob, noodles and what not :-)