Guess what!!

Have an interesting update from the last post.
The news is that as soon as KSEB were winding up their work, the Kerala Water Authority started digging the portion of the road which was left untouched.
And when I asked them about using the same one dug by others, they say that KWA cant use the portion dug by KSEB !!

Well.. last week, everybody finally finished their work and left the place.
What is remaining is a muddy road (somehow rains come on time when roads are damaged) and a leaking water pipe.
Result- we dont have water in the mornings as whole water wd have leaked through the pipes,people continue slipping and falling as the roads are all muddy, sticky and also dark at nights, sandals get broken, people cant hurry and end up missing the bus,and on and on ......

Hmph!! yeh mera India ..


It happens only in India !!!

Do you see this??

Can you believe this is part of Trivandrum city – the capital of God’s own country!!
Yesterday morning I went to office and on the way I saw some workers aiming our roads. I was wondering, whatz up now! The water authority has just finished digging half the roads as part of the Japan water project.
But later I received a call from dad that I need to be very careful when I come back to home. He said that there is no more road left to ride a two wheeler. Also, he mentioned that the power is off for whole day. Honestly I couldn’t believe that they would have broken the roads which hundreds of people use daily.
But when I came home night what I see, err ddn’t exactly see… Thanks again to KSEB, not even a single street light works! Well.. they were working without any trouble. But a couple of months back , the authorities came and replaced them with so-called new lamps. Everything continued fine for a month. Then Whooosh.. one by one, all lights went off forever. So, where was I.. reaching home ne?
The shopkeeper on the way warns me to switch on some torch or any source of light and take each step carefully. I cdn’t see any roads and I almost fell down. Water was overflowing everywhere. They have broken the water pipes also as part of the digging. Finally somehow I managed to reach home. I was shocked to see that they haven’t even left a walking space for crossing the gate. As expected, there was no water supply.
Today morning, they have circulated a notice to every house that work has commenced (as if nobody noticed yet!) and it will continue for more than 2 weeks. They have no answers for questions like why couldn’t you inform us earlier ? Or why are so less people working on this project and why can’t they try to do it without causing so much inconvenience ? And what happens to people who have left their vehicles in office? As for the question on roads, the repairing is not the responsibility of the electricity board!
It’s just that government knows public will endure all the difficulties imposed on them. Yesterday people were scared to even walk through these roads and now they have found enough courage to drive their bikes through whatever portion of the road is left. Don’t know whom to blame .. the government or the people who go through everything without any formal complaints ?
Or can there be progress only in such an inconvenient way?

A few more snaps taken in front of my home ..

Heard that KSEB has announced special prize for people who identify the road and the gutter and the drain!


Cake Time !!!!

My cooking experiments continue ...
Wish to make a cake and dont have an oven ??
Here comes the simplest recipe ..

1) 4 cups all purpose flour (maida)
2) 4 cups sugar
3) 400 gm unsalted butter
4) 4 tsp vanilla essence
5) 4 tsp baking powder
6) 1 – 1 ½ cups of milk
7) 8 eggs
Note: If you need chocolate cake, then take 3 cups of maida and1 cup of coco powder instead of #1.
Dissolve the butter in milk
Make fine Powder of the sugar (a mixer ll be of help here).
Beat together 2, 3, 4, 6, 7
Sieve 1 and 5 atleast three times to evenly mix the baking powder with maida.
Beat this also with the previous mixture
Take the vessel that fits in your pressure cooker and spread butter on all sides to avoid sticking (if possible use butter paper…that is better…then it wont stick at all)
Place the ring at the bottom of the pressure cooker and put the vessel on top of the ring. This is to prevent the cake from getting burnt !
(NOTE: Not even a drop of water in the pressure cooker)
Put on highest flame for abt 7 mnts. Then low the flame to least and keep for arnd 25 – 30 mnts.
CAKE IS READY !!!!!!! N’JOY !!!!!
Dont you want a chocolate frosting on top of the cake ?

1) 2 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2) 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3) 6 tablespoons butter
4) 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
5) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners' sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture
alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla.
Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar

And the final result is ...


A Thousand Splendid Suns

This is the book, which shifted my level of reading to the next level.
And I have this feeling that it would always remain in my all time faves list.

In this novel, the autor Mr.Khaled Hosseini, focuses on mothers and daughters, and friendships between women. The story starts off programmatically and gains speed and emotional power as it slowly unfurls.

Let me take the description from the book itself to summarize it :

"A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -- that puts the violence, fear, hope, and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives -- the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness -- are inextricable from the history playing out around them..."

Quoting a few notable words from the book ..

"Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting."
"A man's heart is a wretched, wretched thing. It isn't like a mother's womb. It won't bleed. It won't stretch to make room for you."
"A society has no chance of success if its women are uneducated..."
"Like a compass needle that points north, a man's accusing finger always finds a woman. Always."
"Boys treated friendship the way they treated the sun: its existence undisputed; its radiance best enjoyed, not beheld directly."
"Behind every trial and sorrow that He makes us shoulder, God has a reason."
"And the past held only this wisdom: that love was a damaging mistake, and its accomplice, hope, a treacherous illusion. And whenever those twin poisonous flowers began to sprout in the parched land of that field, Mariam uprooted them."
"One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.”


Jamuns ....

I always loved Gulab jamuns .. and its so easy to make too :)
Nothing more to say.. here comes the result of my efforts !!


ASEAN agreement .. what happens now ?

If you are an Indian, you might have heard that few months back our government signed an agreement with ASEAN nations permitting them to export their goods to India. This was done to be part of the ongoing globalization.
Have you given a thought on what all ways would it affect the common-man? The farmers of our country?
Our beautiful state Kerala, is going to see the worst effects of it, since a number of products produced in Kerala feature on the list of the ASEAN agreement - these items include pepper, rubber and coffee.
Will the farmers who already face hardships, be able to withstand the competition from ASEAN countries?

The CPIM had launched a protest against this agreement.
They organized a state-wide human chain on Oct 2nd. Needless to say, it was a huge success. Despite the rain, almost 30 lakh common people participated along with leaders including our CM and CPIM party general secretary.
Myself and dad also formed links of the chain & together We all took oath against the agreement and to protect our farmers. The main slogan was ‘ASEAN trade agreement to be dumped in Arabian Sea’.

But, then is anybody bothering to follow up on the same?

Well .. after that, one day, I read in news paper that central government have agreed to provide compensation to all farmers , for any loss incurred due to the agreement.
With the current state of affairs, would the needy people receive the well deserved reimbursement?
Would the central or state government including the leaders of the human chain take any measures to ensure it ?
Does the public who affirmed the protest be sincere to the pledge we have taken?

Finally, after all the hype and publicity, what does the poor farmer gain?
Let us see wait and watch the effects of the treaty which will be effective from Jan 2010!!


To be or not to be !!

To be or not to be in love is the very thought which complicates the human mind.Here , by love, I mean love not only between a man and woman, but also between siblings, parent & child, friends etcetera ..
To be in love .. I mean truly in love with a person, naturally brings some expectations.And believe me when I say this, in most circumstances, a person without expectations is much happier and peaceful than a person with them.
For eg: when I am sick, I will expect a person who truly loves and cares for me and whom I too love and look forward to be with,to call me or pay me a visit or assure me. It doesn't physically help much in the recovery.But, then it makes some good sort of ruffling inside, which makes us feel better.Well ... these are things everybody knows. But, then I cant still decide to be or not to be in love.I have been in and out of love ..
case 1 : When I am a simple stupid person believing in the small and big things in life and have a lot of expectations from self and from others, the sadness is too hard to bear and the happiness (which comes after a lot of pain) just gets better of all other feelings I have felt till then.
case 2 : When I am a level headed independent person with no expectations, I cant truly feel the love or happiness. But there is the advantage that no one can make me sad too.I am the master of the feelings where I can chose whom to let me feel what, and upto what extend !!!But then, thats not natural rite ? Its like deciding out of free will.So, why the heck be in love and feel all the complications around ?
And, to chose to be case 1 or case 2 is totally upto a person and it is not uncontrollable. All habits, traits and behaviours can be altered by human mind.
Is the momentary feel of pure happiness worth the loads of pain and sometimes humiliation that it brings along ?
I wonder who are the turly successful people in this world-
The ones who are innocent enough to feel the true love ??
Or the ones who have mastered the emotions and their mind ??
Should the case 1 & case 2 be addressed as 'sincere' & 'fake' ?
And, surprisingly I am a person who was in Case 1, and somehow travelled and reached case 2 , where the intensity of emotions are near zero, then coming back again to case 1.But, as I am nearing the case 1 state where I feel myself more sincere and committed to the relations around me, I have started feeling the pain.Is it really worth it ??? If I chose case 2, will I miss out what is called 'life' ? Or does 'life' means enlightment that case 2 is the way to see and master our world ?
OR are the real winners, the persons who know the perfect position to take between case 1 & 2 ??
PS : Yet another blabber of a sleepless mind !


Happy Diwali ...

Wish you all a very happy diwali. As usual, my day began little late.
I lost my interest in fire-crackers long back. Brings back a bit of distateful memories ....
So, no fire-works from me on Diwali-day. But then, very surprisingly I decided to make some sweets !! Well.. believe me! I made halwa .. :-) My dad was also surprised by such a move from my side. Hi hi.
And here is the proof. I ddnt have a square plate to spread it.. Thats y in such a shape ;)

Sharing the Wheat Halwa recipe which I got from my colleague Dhanya
Whole wheat (wheat grains) – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 and 1/2 cups (You can increase to suit your taste)
Cardamom – 4 nos
Ghee – 4 tablespoons (You can increase if you like)
Saffron colour – 1 pinch
For garnishing – 1/2 cup chopped dry fruits like cashew, badam and pista lightly fried in 2 teaspoon gheeMethod
1. Wash and soak the wheat for 12 hours.
2. Grind in a mixie adding 1 cup water. Strain through a seive to get a thick milk. Grind again adding 1 more cup of water and strain again. You will be left out with only the husk in the seive. Add enough water to squeeze out all the milk.
3. Pour the milk in to a thick bottomed pan, add sugar and cook on a low flame. Keep stirring continously.
4. Add the ghee when the halwa starts thickenng. Add the cardamom powder and the saffron colour. Mix well.
5. Cook till you can roll the halwa into a ball with your fingers.
6. Add chopped dryfruits sauted in ghee. Spread on a greased plate. allow to cool and cut into desired shape.
TipsIf you want a thick halwa like what we get in sweet shops, add 2 cups sugar in place of 1 and 1/2 cups.
You can add 2 cups chopped dry fruits to get the dryfruit halwa we get in sweet shops.


Back to the city

Once the aim I set for myself for the Japan travel was accomplished, I had so much wanted to return to India to work out the rest of my life plan.When I was leaving Japan, I was not feeling so very comfortable or excited as I thought i would. I acknowledged to myself that I am gonna miss my apratment which had been my home for 2 years now and then the wonderful couple over there who were always there for me.And the worst thing was life is never gonna get so much comfortable in India. So, when I came back, I have this high prio tasks of finding a good abode, set up the basic living infrastucture, get used to the dead slow procedures and unruly traffic.And the well pronounced quality of India and our citizens and sytem : tardiness !!
I had to endure the struggle of so called settling for more than a month. After hunting down some 15-20 houses, I could finally place my eyes on the perfect place I was looking for and there came the YES from my mind.A fully furnished 2 bedroom neat independent home. Its some 4 kms from office and is well connected.Then the internet connection !! Aisanet dataline, which usually offers connections for 2 days. U know, I have this special luck with things And my connection came through after 15 days of follow up !
Well.. U must be thinking where did she suddenly bounce up from ?Sorry my dear page .. I have been off for so long now .. At times, the thought of writing used to come to my mind .. And there were lot of "write-worthy" events in this period. Guess what ..I even ditched my Diary !What deprived me of the time and mood to write was the hectic schedule of 8.30 to 24.00 daily work. But then, it has been far easier for some 5-6 months now. But then, being a human I had this inertia and I am well known for my laziness.Between I had stumbled upon a lot more interesting ( and beautiful) medium for expressing ideas. I got interseted in photography and bagged my first kiss ;) he hee .. thats the SLR Canon EOS Kiss X2 (Caught Ya !!) .
But then, now back in India I miss Japan a lot and I regret the fact that I never penned anything about the life there.It would be fun to read all those after a couple of decades .. And then suddenly a pal of mine asks me about my blog and that i should try a bit of writing.Then I also started thinking.. Anyways .. Got lot of time at hand. Y not fill the web space with my rubbish .. So, here I am .. with a self promise to continue writing .. even some boring stuff .. Jee !!