Of iPad and ice sticks

Yesterday, my niece was literally eating her dad’s head to get her an iPad.

I did a double-take on hearing that. I am sure her grandma found it Greek, instead of geek 😀

Me: ”  Why do you need an iPad. What will you do with it  “

She: ”  I will play games in it  “

Me: ”  Play outside with your friends  ” 

She: ”  I am bored, I want to play games in iPad  “

Me: ”  Play in the laptop  “

She: ”  It is too heavy, I cannot carry it around. I will get tired. I want iPad “

I was too stunned to hear that. Somehow her dad pacified her saying it is too late and he will get it for her the next day.

What did I wish when I was a kid? More time to play in the sand outside 😛

That made me nostalgic about what all would make me happy and content when I was a child. Here’s a list of things which I would cherish even now, if only I had them *sigh*

This ‘pilot-pen’ was in vogue when I was 10. It came in blue, green, black and red ink. To own this in red ink was a pride amongst us students. It used to be very smooth and sharp and the guys in our class used to hit each other with its nib 😛

Used to bug my mummy for this rubbery+juicy candy till she got this for me every other day. It came in two flavours – strawberry and orange. The school canteen used to stock up this in huge quantities, since this used to be the default sweet you give during birthdays.

I still do not know what is this officially called – we used it say it ‘Pepsi’ 😛
It was flavoured ice sticks, sold for a rupee each. Invariably it was the ‘drink’ we had when we were in school 😀

My cousin after returning from the US gifted this address book to my father. My brother and I used to fight for it – just to see how it worked. I wished someone would gift me this on my birthday – it was the geekiest thing to own 😛


If the address book was the geekiest, the walkman would be the coolest 🙂


About a decade ago, these kind of use-and-throw pens became a rage. Every second kid in the school used to have them. I found them to be super comfortable, more than the known brands like Reynolds and Cello. I used to get them in bunches, in different colours – a colour for a subject 😛

I am damn sure if I get any of these things and hand it over to my niece, she will throw it over my head to the window behind me. Maybe, she will have the ice-stick – nobody can resist that 😛


Special days

Special days like anniversaries and birthdays paint a bright picture which includes celebrations, laughter and of course food 😉

I was accustomed to seeing this image when I was single. Agreed – it would be simple, without much fan-fare and parties, there would be no cake cutting when I was with my parents – birthdays were still special – awesome food the whole day, outing and pampering the whole day long 😀

But thanks to my erratic family-in-law, discussing about this picture or implementing this makes me an outcast and a laughing-stock in my family.

How you ask?

On any special day like a birthday or someone’s anniversary, I will be very happy, visualising everyone discussing the ‘special’ day. When I see no one even mentioning the event, I will ask out aloud, it’s so and so’s birthday/anniversary, have you all forgotten or what. I will get bewildered looks and an answer nevertheless, Oh is it, we forgot about it completely, good that we have you who has a good memory. Zack will be beaming seeing his wife getting complimented while I will be at loss of words. I wont get the gist and continue foolishly, So what is the gift and where is the party. There will be laughter echoing throughout the house. What are we, little kids? No party and all, we will go to the temple and that’s it. 

Now don’t get me wrong, folks who are over 50 telling this to me is completely understandable. But I had to hear this from

  • my brother-in-law on his 8th marriage anniversary ( I’ll be honest – this is somewhat acceptable since he is 35)
  •  from my dear hubby on his 28th birthday ( I had married him exactly 18 days ago, so I thought for my sake he is willing to keep it simple, since I was new to the city and he did not wish to have me wander off to buy a surprise gift or arrange a get-together and get lost)
  • from my niece on her 11th birthday.This was a true face-palm event for me. While I asked her mom as to why she is acting like a 65-year-old granny, I was told they had celebrated the 10th birthday in a grand way and they are now waiting for another 7 years to make her 18th year a special one. Small joy indeed – said my mind 🙂

So after a lot of observations and permutations/combinations of the ages,I came to this conclusion. With my family-in-law, days like birthdays and anniversaries of over 25’s are strictly restricted to a visit to the temple early in the morning. For under 10’s, it is a cake cutting ceremony and a dinner on a weekend irrespective of which day the birthday falls. For the rest of the souls, that is over 10’s and under 25’s – it is either a mix of both or one or the other.

I do not have any grudge against getting up early and going to the temple, but on special days, there should be something which is out of routine. Like a movie or shopping or an elaborate dinner at home. My family-in-law did not see a radical nutcase like me with them for a long time. Hence when I brought about some changes in the way special days are celebrated, it was not met with appreciation at first, but slowly it was accepted 🙂

Zack’s 29th birthday was celebrated with a visit to the temple early in the morning (  the family will ostracize me if this is avoided ), since it was a working day – what all I had planned had to be done in the night only. So we cut a nice cake at about 10 in the night, followed by gifts and yummy dinner.

Pineapple flavour

Pineapple and litchi cake

Now it also does not help when yours truly has a number of special days apart from birthdays and anniversaries. I am such a weirdo that I will go on looking for something notable which is worth celebrating on any given day. In my defence, I would say since it is already a hectic life, why not go out looking for small joys and bring out some cheer.

Did I hear someone say – typical girlie stuff  ? You bet 😛

When I gifted Zack a huge rose on the morning of our first-meet-anniversary, he was shocked beyond words.

( what-the-hell-is today look )  “What is this Visha”

( beaming to the core )  “Happy meet anniversary Zack”

Is she out-of-her-mind look )  “Happy whaatt??”

( as if I am explaining him the obvious )  “Meet anniversary dear..today is the day we met for the first time”

struck by a hammer look )  “Is it..ok ok..”

And so it has been for a number of small anniversaries. The day I came to his house, the day I wrote him the first email, etc..etc..

Zack: How come you manage to remember all those dates?

Me: Dunno how, it just stays. Something special to celebrate on a seemingly routine and normal day. What say?

Zack: Haha, that’s so true dear.

Incidentally, today is also an anniversary. This day, two years ago, he called me for the first time. When I wrote to him about this in his daily morning email, this is his reply – Happy talking anniversary… 🙂

Culinary tales

Time9 months before marriage

Characters: Visha and Zack

“So what are your specialities in the kitchen?”

(Umm..eating?) Oh, nothing great..am not much of a cook, dont get the time anyways”

“Yeah, yeah that is understandable. My mom and sister are awesome cooks. They usually compete with each other.”

“Um hmm”

“Do you know how to cook?”

Oh yeah, I cook pretty good. My friends will vouch for my chicken roast at any time

“Anything in vegetarian?”

“I can make sambar and potato fry”

“Thats my favourite combination”

“Oh is it, then deal – I will make it for you after marriage”



“You will make the same dish everyday?”

“No, you learn cooking something different than this. Then we will make a chart for the week. 3 days we will have potato fry and the rest of the days you cook whatever you know”

“Why only 3 days?”

“You are not going to cook at all or what”

“Of course I will, but not sure if anybody would want to taste it. I made rasam a couple of years ago. When I tasted it, it was worse than plain water. Dont want to make your family go through similar trauma you see”

“Hmm, things will work out, don’t worry”


Timemy first day in the kitchen after marriage

Characters: Sister-in-law, Visha and Zack

“Lets have a hot cup of tea from the new lady in the house”

Sure, would you like to have elaichi tea? You will love the aroma and the taste of it

“But nobody here have tried anything apart from the normal tea. We all would rather have the normal one dear”

No, you should try it at least once, everyone will like it

(Smiling) Ok dear, go ahead”

(after 15 minutes)

Here you go

“That looks good Visha, it should taste good as well, everybody is going to ask you to make tea from now onwards”

(Thrilled) Oh that would be my pleasure

(no reaction for 1 minute from anyone. There are 5 people in the room and each one is giving the other dubious looks)

Dear, are you sure this is tea?

“Oh yeah, maybe nobody liked the elachi in it”

“No dear, what you have done is you have made us elaichi coffee instead of elaichi tea”

After few months down the line, I started cooking stuff that was at least edible (not sure if it was eatable). Nobody had the need to rush to a hospital after eating my food. That is how I judge between good food and bad food 😛

Somewhere after about 6 months, I was blessed by Goddess Annapoorna Devi and a recipe came into my mind. I had come from office and most of the family members were out on a family function. It was just me, Zack and my father-in-law. So taking a chance I implemented what all I had in my mind. And viola, a new recipe was born. Till date, I am asked how do I make such a dish – which is so easy to make but a pure delight to the taste buds.

What is it you ask? I do not know actually. The core ingredients are rice and red chilli powder, with some onions and whatever vegetables are available. According to the ladies of my house, it is neither fried rice nor biryani. No, not pulao too.

Even though I had this path breaking achievement, I could not satisfactorily dish up a decent meal. Something or the other would be amiss. Sometimes the salt, sometimes the masala. To put it in Zack’s words – ” Everything is perfect Visha, but I am unable to relish the dish “.

14 months down the line, I can declare that I can cook up the perfect meal – starters, main course and dessert. What brought about the change? No special ingredient nor any secret masala. I found out that when I cook without the burden of expectations in my heart, every single thing comes out well. When I am trying to please someone or someone is trying to judge my cooking I tend to make mistakes.

On an afterthought, that’s how ‘ Visha’s rice ‘ was born( yes, that is how the above mentioned rice recipe is known in my family ).