Saturday, October 28, 2006

What a Movie !!

I have been down with viral fever since Tuesday. Today's the 6th day and I hope to join office from tomorrow. But in these days, I watched a lot of movies on TV - "The Mummy Returns", "Zinda", "Bride and Prejudice", "Gladiator", "Airplanes II : The Sequel" etc. I watched most of these movies for the first time, since I have been quite irregular at catching up with movies for the last two years.

Of all these movies, I enjoyed Zinda the most. Though the dark and gruesome story might not appeal to everyone, I recommend it for its gripping storyline and realistic picturisation. Zinda stands apart when compared with other Bollywood fare.

PS : The songs of Zinda are haunting... Anyone would enjoy them... especially the songs Yeh Hai Meri Kahani (Strings) and Zinda Hoon Main (by Shibani Kashyap)

I did it... I did it... I did it...

Those are lines from "My Fair Lady", a movie that I recently watched and loved.

The reason why I am uttering the same lines, is that I finished clearing the backlog at Orkut. Ever since my birthday went by, there were umpteen number of scraps to which I had not replied. Finally, with great grit, resolve and physical resilience, yesterday, I managed to reply to each of those scraps.. Phew!!!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Recipe : Pai’s Corn Toast

6 pieces


2 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon Maida
1 glass Milk
Salt and Pepper - to taste
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Capsicum diced into small bits - 1/3rd cup
Sweet Corn Kernels – 1 200gm can
Bread – 12 slices

[For the uninitiated, Sweet Corn Kernels are the type of corn, which have become the rage with cinemagoers at multiplexes across India. I used a 200g can of Green Giant Niblets, which you can get for Rs. 49/- but there are equally good cheaper packs available. ]


  • Firstly put the Kernels (about 3/4ths of the can will do) in the pressure cooker and cook till two whistles. Basically you need to bring it just to a boil so that it still retains it crispiness. (Microwave directions are also provided on the wrapper.) Drain the water and place the corn aside.
  • Saute the capsicum in a little butter and place aside. It should also be crunchy.

    For the White Sauce
  • Heat the butter in the kadhai and add the maida just when it starts to brown.
  • Mix the two well and heat till the maida is cooked.
  • Then add the milk. Add salt, pepper to taste and the sugar. Cook till it becomes a thick but flowing paste.
    (This white sauce is a basic sauce in so many dishes that every self-respecting cook should have it in his/her repertoire. For our preparation, we should also add the capsicum along with the milk so that it also simultaneously gets cooked.)

  • When the white sauce is ready, add the corn. Stir for a minute and your spread is ready.

    The final step
  • Toast 2 bread slices. Butter them. Apply the spread on the bread. Spread some cheese and pepper, cover with the other slice and serve. Yum!!!

PS : This sandwich is served in Coffee Pai, a coffee parlour near my house. My mom replicated it at home after having had it over there. Hence the name. Like before, the photo will come soon.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Recipe : D Chowmein

Serves 4 people

  • Vermicelli (1 packet) - not the one which has long strands but the one which is broken into small bits
  • Onions
  • Vegetables : Tomato, Beans, Capsicum, Potato, Carrot - diced into cubes as for chowmein
  • Spices : Heeng (Asaphoetida), Ajwain, Haldi (Turmeric), Chilli Powder
  • First heat some oil in a kadhai and fry the Vermicelli till golden brown
  • Separately boil some water. In the boiling water add the fried Vermicelli after it has cooled down a bit. Add salt to taste. (Measure of water is 1 cup of water per cup of vermicelli. This is important as this determines the texture of the Vermicelli. After soaking in the water, it should not become too soggy.)
  • Now fry the onions. Add the spices. After the onions have cooked a bit, add the diced vegetables. Fry till they are cooked, but only so much that they remain crunchy.
  • Finally add the Vermicelli and toss around a bit. D chowmein is ready to serve.

Final suggestions : You may serve with chaat masala sprinkled on top, or with tomato sauce. Whichever way, it tastes yummy!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dream Theatre : 3D

I am going to relate to you a dream that I recently had. At the end of the dream, I was put in a sticky situation. I will request my readers to suggest ways by which I might have got out of that situation.

At the end, I shall also relate the solution that I conceived in the somnolent state I was in when I woke up.

Scene 1
The dream starts an I find myself in a park with some small kids. All of us are playing with a Frisbee. Suddenly one of the kids throws the Frisbee wildly and it whizzes past all of our heads and lands in a drain.

I go over and look into the drain. To my surprise I find the Frisbee resembling an upturned dinner plate. Anyway, as the drain is full of muddy dirty water, I refrain from picking it up.

Scene 2
To my utter surprise, I find out that one of the kids playing with me in the park is actually my son. Presently I am in a room with him. I am getting ready for a party and he is jumping all over me. As I wear my tie, I promise him that I shall fight the goons to bring back his Frisbee. To add to the weight of the promise, I fire a few weighty punches in the air. My son is suitably impressed, and starts to envision me as his superhero. Leaving my son with his illusions (true or false) I leave for the party along with my wife.

Scene 3
Now I am at the party with my wife. She is presently in my arms and we are doing a slow ball-dance. I notice that she is tall, slim, dark and attractive. She is tipsy after a few drinks. However, I am totally in my senses. My mind is occupied by thoughts of the Herculean task before me.

Retrieving a Frisbee from a drain should not be a formidable task. However, the drain and its periphery have undergone a drastic transformation from one dream scene to another. I visualise the area while dancing, and I see visions of a dark and formidable street. On one side of it, there is the canal (the erstwhile drain) in which my son's Frisbee is lying. A series of workshops lie on the other side of the street and its' inhabitants look like goons coming straight out of prison. They wear dirty cargos and rag-like vests, and they seem to have muscles popping out from all over their body. In each of their faces, I see scars, pockmarks and the same lecherous and trouble-mongering expression.

If only our city had been better developed, I think to myself. Then this canal-side road would have become a beautiful promenade lined with elegant skyscrapers, much like the waterfronts of many US cities.

But for now, it is through this haven of ruffians that I have to venture to retrieve my son's Frisbee. And on top of that, I have to take my wife along with me.

Last Scene
Now I find myself driving my car at almost zero speed through that narrow lane. My wife is on the seat beside me and is sleeping as peacefully as a kitten. The car lights are on and the scumbags outside can see her. As my car inches along at snail's pace, a crowd of leering ruffians forms outside. Now I am almost at the end of the road. Soon I must stop my car. And to retrieve my son's Frisbee, I have to go some distance, leaving my sleeping wife in such contemptible and dangerous company.

There is no turning back. What do I do?

Please suggest some solutions…

The solution that I got in the semi-conscious state I found myself in, when I woke up from this bad dream......
As I near the end of the road, I spot a small door leading into a mosque. Having stayed beside a devout Muslim at hostel, I know that a prayer session must be concluding around this time. I stop the car, lock it from outside and rush inside the mosque. As soon as the prayers get over, I drag the Maulvi outside. On seeing him, the ruffians who have by now almost clambered on to my car, shy away like naughty boys caught red-handed. I request the Maulvi to guard my wife and dash off to retrieve the Frisbee. Soon I bring it back (by now, it is no more a Frisbee; it is a dinner plate) and find my wife sleeping in ignorant bliss.

Mission executed....

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Simple Experiment

By means of this blog, I request you to participate in a simple experiment. I shall outline the procedure here.

First, I shall describe a few situations that I have encountered in my personal life. Then, I shall ask you a few questions regarding the described situations. Your role would be to honestly answer those questions.

Here and there, I might put forward some of my views regarding the described situations. I would request you to patiently hear me out. Pretty simple experiment, isn’t it? Then, let’s go ahead.

Situation 1: As I was waiting for the lift in my office building, I noticed a beautiful girl coming along. Being an early hour of the day, there was no one else nearby. As our eyes met, I noticed a hint of interest in her eyes. I was dying to start talking with the girl. I could feel the palpitations in my heart …

Question: I felt the urge to talk to this beautiful specimen from the opposite gender. Have you, in a similar situation in your life, felt a similar urge? Answer in Yes or No.

Situation 2: A (female) friend and I had visited a coffee shop recently. We struck up an interesting conversation. Flitting from one topic to another, the conversation landed on the topic of my friend’s boyfriend. She started by describing the time when they had started going around, and then talked about a bad patch in their relationship. Then, she went on to describe how they had made up. I could notice a glow of happiness in her face, as she talked about him. As I listened to her monologue, my feelings changed from one of pleasant curiousness to slight jealousy. How could these people be so happy? Must you have a love-partner to be in such a state of bliss?

Question: Have you been faced with a similar situation? Have you, at one point or another in your life, felt a similar need to have a partner? Answer in Yes or No.

My views : Now, here are my views on the situations described above. Some of you, having faced similar situations in the past, might have already found your life-partner. I believe that these ‘needs’ of mine will be fulfilled in the future. It may be in the form of marriage, or in the form of a girlfriend. My point is that there is no need for me to despair. A positive solution lies in the future.

Now, let me describe a few more situations.

Situation 3: While going for my morning walk, I pass this eating joint beside my house. If I pass it around 7 o’clock, I find boys, much younger than me, huddled together, peeling potatoes. Every day of the week, barring Sundays, they peel potatoes. During my walk, I think about my career, about the rising pollution in the city, and other such issues. I wonder what those kids think about.

Question: Have you seen small kids, slaving away at menial tasks, wasting the best years of their lives? Have you ever been worried for them? Answer in Yes or No.

Situation 4: One day, I was running a few chores during the daytime. As I was passing Minto Park, I noticed a small kid defecating behind a tree. It was a busy time of the day, and hundreds of cars were whizzing past that site. Quite a few pedestrians, like me, were also using that footpath. The kid was in full public view, but obviously he had more pressing things to attend to. Initially amazed by the sight, I noticed that this footpath had been used for similar purposes quite regularly. Unlike this child, the others had probably been careful to control their bowel movements to less busier hours of the day.

Question: Have you seen a similar pitiable sight? Have you felt injustice over the fact that some people do not get even their basic needs attended to? Answer in Yes or No.

My views : Well, I keep feeling sad when I come across these sights. I wonder why there is no natural social mechanism for alleviating these inequalities. A natural mechanism like the one that gets people married. Why isn’t there a natural movement towards addressing such social injustice?

Initially, when I set out to write this piece, I started on a pessimistic note. But since then, I think I have found a positive answer. Like my views expressed earlier, I think the solution for this injustice lies in the future.

After all, I cannot help each and every child in the streets. Much like the fact that I cannot marry each and every pretty girl that I come across in a lift. I hope I shall be able to help at least one needy child in my life. That, I think, will be similar to remaining happily married with the love of my life.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

D Sandwich

I'm learning a bit of cooking. I make the breakfast every Saturday. I recently learned to make this sandwich, and it tastes great. So I thought I'd share it here. Some friends in the US, who are having to cook on their own, can easily try it out.


1. Bread – 2 slices
2. Butter
3. Oil
4. 1 Cucumber – sliced into round discs
5. 1 Tomato – sliced into round discs
6. Cheese

Butter 2 slices of bread. Heat a very little amount of oil in a non-stick fry pan. (You can also use some butter for this). Lightly fry the non-buttered side of one slice till it starts appearing brown. This forms the outer side of the sandwich.

Take the browned bread slice off the pan. Arrange the sliced cucumber and tomato on the buttered inner side. Then add a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Cover this with the buttered side of the other bread slice.

The outer side of the top slice of bread has still not been fried. Now gently pick up the whole sandwich and place it top down on the frying pan. That means the yet-to-be browned side of bread now gets browned. This also results in the grated cheese melting a bit, giving the sandwich its characteristic taste.

After the bread has become adequately brown, gently pick up the whole sandwich from the frying pan. Halve the sandwich diagonally.Your sandwich is now ready.

NOTE : 1 cucumber, 1 tomato and 1 Amul cheese cube usually suffice for 6 slices of bread (i.e. 3 sandwiches)

[Unfortunately, I don't have a DigiCam. But the above photo from this wonderful site at least shows almost all the ingredients required. (Except the strawberries!!)]

[Edit 11/6/2006] : Now, I have a DigiCam. The above photo is of the actual D-Sandwich.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Interim Period

It has been quite some time since I posted something on my blog. Here are some things that I did during that time.

  • Created an e-tutorial about my final year B. Tech project. Had been thinking about making one for a long time. Finally, was able to implement it in the last month. (Thanks a lot to BSNL Broadband connection at home). You can check it out here. Even if TI DSP’s are not what you usually fascinate about, you will be able to appreciate the introduction written for me, by my friend Atul Narayan. I asked him to put all his marketing skills into the introduction.

  • Thought of a PJ. It goes like this:

    One day, a convoy of black Hyundai Sonata-s was proceeding along a highway. Suddenly, the first Hyundai Sonata broke down. And as a result, the whole convoy had to stop till the problem was fixed.

    Now, try to remember that old blind man from Sholay… At that time, he was on the way to his daily numaaz. As he was trying to cross the road, he was hindered by the serpentine queue of Sonata-s. My question is, what did the blind man from Sholay say at that time?

    Read on


    ”Itna Sonata Kyon hai, Bhai !!!”

Saturday, January 07, 2006

“Nirjon Saikat-e” Film Review

The Sunday started by watching ‘Shaadi No. 1’ at Inox multiplex. As to how much I liked the movie, the lesser said – the better. Back home, I saw ‘Shrimaan Prithviraj’ on the computer. It’s an acknowledged Bengali classic and I saw it for the first time. Needless to say, it was highly entertaining.

After this, I found my parents watching another Bengali movie on the telly. The movie was called ‘Nirjon Saikat-e’ and my parents said that it was a famous oldie. Once I started watching it, I could not pull myself away. Since I liked it so much, I shall write about it here. Also, many people have not heard about it, and I would suggest them to definitely put this on top of their viewing list.

Cinema ta 30-40 bochor purono. Aar saikat ta holo Puri’r saikat. Tokhon kaar kale lokera Puri-turi gele mash-du ek katiyei ashto. Aaj kaal eto boro chuti bhaba-o jaay na. Jaai hok, shei Puri-te chuti kataate geche emon lokjoneder niyei cinema. Lokjoner moddhye ache ek-jot bidhoba buri. Shombhoboto tara ek-ee poribaar-er shodoshyo – ek sathe ghurte esechen. Taader moddhye du-jon buri non – ekjon hocche Ruma Guha Thakurta, olpo boyeshe bidhoba hoyechen. Aar ekjon hocche Sharmila Thakur, shey to bidhoba-i noy, pseudo bidhoba. Taar premik taake ekebaare biye-r mondop porjontyo giye ditch koreche – taai opomaan, betrayal-er jaala etc etc-te aajkaal shey bidhobar motoi thaake.

Aar aache Anil Chatterjee - film-er prodhaan nayok. Taar life ta ekebaare ‘mast’. Kormo khetrer dik theke shey artist ba author. Ekaai eseche Puri - shombhoboto inspiration-er jonne. Puri-te oi bidhoba buri-der sathe taar alaap hoy, taader sathe khub bondhutto hoy. Taara deke deke artist chokra-ke aador kore khawaay. Ruma ke Anil didi bole daake. Aar Sharmila to kaar-o sathe kothai bole na.

Jaai hok, ekdin enara shob shomudre chaan korte jaan. Sharmila’r to kichu tei spriha nei. Aar Anup o generally khub lazy – shey beach-ei boshe thakte chaay. Taader ke chere baaki-ra shomudre nemey pore. Tokhon Anup aar Sharmila kotha bolte arombho kore. Sharmila je khub depressed taa-i kothaay kothaay bojha jaay. Tokhon Anup suggest kore je shomudre chaan korle taar mon ta halka hoye jaabe. Sharmila gele shey-o jaabe. Sheshe anil-er onek onurodhe aar nuliya’r sahajye Sharmila jol-e naame. Kichu khon-er moddhei taar sundor mukhe ekta haashi phutey othe. Shob duhkho bisorjon diye shey ekebaare metey othey shomudre-r sathe.

Scene-ta dekhe amaar Puri’r jonne prochur mon kemon korchilo. Amaar mone aache je Puri-te giye amaar kono kaaron-e khub mon kharaap chilo. Aar shomudre chaan korte korte amaar mon-taao shob koshto bhuley gelo. 30-40 bochor aage-o loker taa hole emon-ee mone hoto. Raag hole joto chaao shomudre ke maaro; kanna pele joto chaao kaado – shomudro shob kichu-ke nijer moddhye grohon kore nebe. 30 bochor aageo je bhaabe nito, ekhono temon bhaabei nebe.

Accha ei holo shomudro-chaan er brittanto. Porey shei bidhoba-buri’r dol Konarak jaatra koren. Onek onurodh aar abdaar koraa-te bhoboghure Anil-o taader sathe jete badhyo hoy. Jaatra-ta abaar goru’r gaarite. Amra jokhon Puri theke Konarak gechilam, tokhon amader goru’r naam chilo Tata Sumo.

Konarak pouchey shekhaan-e aar ek mojaar kaando ghote. Konarak-er Sun Temple-er dewaal-e karukarjo dekhle ekta bishoye besh gyaan orjon kora jaay. Bishoy-ta holo Kamasutra. Emon kichu gyaan orjon kora-r por amaader bidhoba buri-ra Anil ke gaalagaal korte thaken. Bolen “Hotochaara! Kemon jaygay niye esechis. Sharmila jeno oi dikey ekebaare na jaay.”

Mojaar kotha ei je ami jokhon ma-baba-mashi-didi-jamaibabu-bhagne niye Konarak giyechilam amaar-o thik ek-ee experience hoyechilo. Mashi-ra ek ekta karukarjo dekhe amader bolchilo “Khobordaar oi dike takaabi na.” Ami to mukh tipey tipey heshe phelchilam. Aar amaar theke choto amaar bhagne-o chilo. Konarak jatraa-r por olpo boyoshe-ee shey onek gyaani hoye gechilo.

Finally, aar ekta scene-er kotha boli. Konarak-er surjo mondir dekhe buri-ra pherot gechen. Baaki ache shudhu Sharmila aar Anup – puro mondir-e ekaa tarai ache. Kichu ekta kothaay Sharmila khub depressed hoye jaay, bole “Beche theke ki laabh.”. Tokhon Anup taake bole, “Ki bolchen aapni? Beche to amader thaktei hobe. Ami nije onek kichui maani na, kintu ekta jinish shotyi - je ami atheist noi. Ami bhogobaan-e bishhash kori. Ami moni kori kothaao kono ekta force ache je protyek muhurte amaader jibon-ke gorche, bhangche, abaar gorche, abaar bhangche. Aar amader kaaj hocche - ei je jogot-e amader pathaano hoyeche, shekhane mon khule baacha.”

Kotha gulo amake prochur touch korlo. Ei byapaare amar feelings-tao kichuta similar.

Byaas, “Nirjon Saikat-e” niye eto-taai. Tapan Sinha’r direction-er movie. Na dekhe thakle dekhe phelun.

[Most of this blog is in Bengali. I started writing it in English, but found the feelings flowing better in Bengali. Inspired by .]