From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Friday, December 30, 2011

MY WAY.......


Thought I should end this year..
With a few thoughts ...
Since the New Year is around the corner ..
And it always brings good cheer..
Thought I should say hi to all who made my days full of smiles..
Even if it were for a while ..
Or forever more..
Year 2011.. I love you ..like no other year..
You found me friends..
You filled me with laughter...
You got me to travel to places far and wide..
You opened my heart..
You made me swallow my pride..
You made me sing..
About beautiful things..
You smiled down blessings from above..
Felt peace and joy..
Smiled from every corner of my heart and soul ..
It was wonderful even when I was all alone ...
Learned to laugh till tears rolled down my cheeks..
Also fell down and cracked my rib..
Which hurt pretty deep..
And am learning to love ..
Deeper ...without holding back..
Without trying to hold and keep like gold ..

Yes I'm impulsive..
Yes sometimes I'm bold..
And sometimes I cry like Mary who lost her little lamb in the biting cold ..
But learned to say sorry ..
When my sharp tongue takes over..
It's not nice .. And I must agree..
My temper is no friend of mine ..
But like a bottle of soda..
I pop I fizz
And then settle down ..
And feel amiss..

But know most times..
I have gone ahead and said things I should never have said ...
Stupid idiotic foolish me..
But I am learning from my mistakes..

But then again in retrospect ...
I have just this one life ..
And want to live it well ..
Stare each day in his face ..
Look into his brown eyes ..
Run and hug him tight..
And laugh with him in all his throaty space ..

I want to be me ..
And it's OK to be imperfect ...
It's all right to make mistakes..
Its all right to do silly things..
It's fine to say what your heart wants to say ...
To make random calls to people you love....
To have more than the proper amount of champagne..
To share stuff with your girl-friends most of the time ..
To have babies... Hug and cuddle them ,till their eyes sparkle and shine ..
To fall deep into an abyss ..
And stay there for a while ..

Have now understood that some people in my life..
Don't want to stay..
I realized that what I thought IS, is not, and what is not , is, so WHAT IS NOT, ACTUALLY IS ...
Hope this makes sense..
Because frankly it confused the daylights out of me..

I love 2011...
Like no other year before...
Cannot explain in mere words ...
But my heart visited the moon and back ..
I understood the meaning of soul-mate...
And still probably did not...
My soul sang, it soared, it ran through fields, it sat near lakes..
It swam in the ocean and squinted at the rising sun , it listened to Buble in the moon lite
when the day was done ..

I travelled this year...
I learned to cook..
I learned to sleep alone in the dark ..
Just me and me Che Guevara book..
I learned patience..a bit by bit ..
I learned to listen ..
I learned to smile..
I learned that I need to at least count at least till 9....

What I have to really learn in the coming year..
Is to SHUT up ..
Instead of blurting everything out..
To try and remember more, than I have said ..
To be a little less transparent ..
To exercise..
And do Yoga for my heart ,soul and mind ..
To travel some more..
To laugh with fate..
To bungee jump once more..
To sky dive, into the open space..
And last but not the least ..
To climb Machu Pichu..
It's the one place I really want to be ..

To all my loved ones..
Thank you for this year..
For bearing with my madness, sulking and fears..
For always being there while I was plagued with doubts and even while I walked on clouds ..
For spending time with me..
Virtually... while I was cooking my heart off at Tante Marie..
I grew up this year..
Not just a year older..
But my heart understood love ..
And no it's not only about beautiful words ,music or flowers..

It's about basic stuff..
Like being there without really making a big show ..
That special hi or hello ..
It's that little message that beeps on your phone..
That says I can feel you near, when you are sitting alone ..
It about arms that hold you tight , when you crying with all your might..
It's the kind of love that helps you soar.. When you think your wings are not as strong as before ..
It's straight..
It's kind ..
It's the one that laughs at your silly jokes..
And calls you funny names..
The one that will not run away on a rainy day ..

So dear Ms. Love..
Thank you for being my friend..
And please go around blowing warm kisses ..
To all the ones I will hold dear..
No matter where they are..
Happy happy 2012...

Thank you Amito for capturing me in this moment in time...

p.s. "I've loved, I've laughed and cried,
I've had my fill, my share of losing,
And now,as tears subside,I FIND IT ALL SO AMUSING,
To think, I did all that,
And I may say not in a shy way,
Oh no, Oh no , not me....
I DID IT MY WAY"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MR.CHRISTMAS TREE AND ME...





So I'm sitting with my Christmas tree all alone ..
With little fairy lights twinkling at me but seeming a little forlorn ..
My babies and Taz have gone to sleep ..
Dreaming and snoring and all snuggled in bed ..
I look at my tree..
It tells a tale..
of stories I had forgotten ..
And ornaments older than my babies and all the puppies I have run with through fields and shores..
This tree of mine has seen a lot..
Happiness..
Friends..
Dinners..
Lunches..
Puppies stealing stuff..
Children scrambling for their gifts..

And he looks at me and feel like he is waving his laden arms ..
Saying to me ..
"Come closer ..
Come closer ..
Know you need not a smile but a tight hug instead "..
I feel all warm ..
I feel oh soooo nice ..
I look him, all laden with such pretty ornaments ..
That's my old Mr.Christmas tree , looking all spiffy and nice ..
I pull him out every year before my birthday ..
And tug and pull him out of his hibernation ..
He yawns and greets me with a sleepy hello..
And then I entice him with music and pretty ornaments , I have collected from all the new places I have met ..
He looks at me and says, "Maria .. You did it again .. You never fail to surprise me with all that you bribing me with ...
But when I look into your eyes.. I know you mean well "
I clap my hands with glee ..
And brush his leaves till he is all shiny and new ..
And my hands are coarse and blue ..

This year I had great company..
Mr.Christmas Tree, Michael Buble and me ..
We sang and hummed and went mad with all that Jazz..
And at the end of about 4 hours..
I was happy and glad..
Mr.Chris looked lovely ,all adorned ..
In red, blue, green , yellow , silver and gold ..
The fairy lights just lit up with his charm ..
And the angels , hummed a lovely song..
They have come from all over the world, just for me..
I love Angels and butterflies and shiny hearts that do not get broken...
But my favorite Angels are from Africa..
They are tiny and made with beads ....
I bought them from little children with curly hair and big black eyes, and smiles that lit up for miles and miles....
I love Christmas and all the promises it brings ..
Love, peace and happiness..
Laughter and craziness too..
It's this month of December ,
It does strange things...
To you..
I'm sure you would all agree..
It has a lot to do with a certain Mr.Christmas Tree..
I know I should go to sleep ..
But he thinks I should stay and play him one last song ..
"Oh no Mr. Chris..no no , not at all"
He looks at me with that warm comfy gaze..
And says ," I know you want to listen to your favorite song before you go to bed"..
I look at my IPad and my fingers just know what to do...
And before we both can say anything ..
Buble in his honey voice is serenading me ..
I melt, I twirl, I dance with my eyes closed, all alone ..
Mystical, magical, memories and words..
The sky is filled with stars and all the flowers on my terrace nod along with me.. With their sleep heads..
I'm their mistress and they know I love them so ..
So they indulge me with their company and bob in the starry warm glow..
And slowly the song ends..
I'm sitting again..
Just my Mr.Christmas Tree and me ..
"What are you thinking " he asks..
I just smile..
I don't say a word..
I bid him good night ..
I bid him adieu..
And twirl around smiling , I softly sing, "but baby all I want for Christmas is you "..

Monday, December 12, 2011

TANTE MARIE : WEEK 10...GRADUATION AND GOOD-BYE..





















SUNDAY
Wanted to cry was so so homesick , so I went to my friend Lorraine's house just to sleep ..
As soon as I walked into her car from the cold, just felt all warm and at home ..
She is just all heart and knows me for most of my adult life ..
Was so happy inside ..

Dear Lorraine,
Thank you and love you for everything ...
For sharing your home and your beautiful children ..
And Allan who just welcomed me like family ..
Always ..


MONDAY ...
Travelled early in the morning back to Monday morning, took a train back to Woking..
Was not feeling too good , and by the time I was getting ready for class..
Was just feeling like a wave of low blood pressure....
So called the college and stayed home ...
Went for the second half of the day , had a demonstration ...
Finished class and decided I needed to go to Knightsbridge to buy Nespresso pods...
So walked into Harrods and was immediately embraced by the wonderful Christmas spirit at Harrods...
I just sat in there and was getting all set for my big indulgence at the chocolate bar...
And to my good or bad luck ..the chocolate bar was closed and due to open soon ..
Damn..damn...damn..
so needed my happy hormone fix..

So walked around.. Took in the freezing cold ..and was thinking ..
Next Monday I will be in Mumbai ..

TUESDAY...
Went to class and then to a Fashion show with Eve in Guilford , I fell asleep was soooo tired , and she was too cute, she said , i should continue as i was not missing much..
She took me to her favorite haunts and i bought myself a lovely gown..
was very very thrilled...
and then I walk straight into, Wagamamma...
aaaaaaah...it could not get better than that...quickly ordered my take away...
and got home, gobbled it up ..and sat very happy with all the rice in my tummy...

WEDNESDAY..
Well today was definitely not like any other normal day ...
Today was our graduation ..
And yesterday Al told us
that we could come in or not , he had everything under control , so our choice ..
Well frankly I would not miss a minute working for Al, because he is an awesome chef , completely sure of his craft and he knows it ..
Walks around with an easy swagger of someone easy and completely secure in his skin
Working with him is always fantastic , because he is completely no nonsense and yet is a very open and accommodating teacher ..
And this morning learned to make beautiful looking mushrooms ..
Well from now on every time I look at a mushroom I will always want to present it the way Al taught me ..
So thank you Al you have your name written on every mushroom I make your way ..ha ha ha ..

The morning was filled with an energy I have not experienced , we were all there because we wanted to be part of the whole graduation meal and partake in the preparation ..
So amongst much ease and laughter and under the capable broad shoulders of Al , we finished all our chores and left for home or wherever to while away time and dress up for our graduation ..
I have never done this before..
So it just felt awesome to dress up and go and be part of a celebration that you have been preparing for the past 9 weeks ..
Eve my lovely land-lady came with me , she approved of what I was wearing , and came with me for one of the most important mornings I have been looking forward too ..
It was beautiful walking into a place that was so familiar and yet everybody looked so shiny new ..
All our teachers Ally, Al, Nick , Vera, Kate and Tim looked fantastic and glam and festive ..
Also they wore a celebratory welcoming energy that was completely infectious ...
They all looked so beautiful and handsome ..
And we looked oh so nervous ..
We all sat down in our assigned seats and then Andrew our principal .. Opened with wonderful words of wisdom .. That we will all take home and ponder upon ..
We were all then given our results ..
And amongst many claps and an uneasy or confident walks ,to the all familiar kitchen podium , we received our certificates..
At the end of it all we all heaved a sigh of relief and were happy with our results ...
We all got what we deserved ..
With Sam topping class ..

Well I'm absolutely thrilled to bits for him , because his work is impeccable and the pastry he makes is absolutely awesome ..

Felt really nice to be served food by the ones that taught us how to prepare it ..
And we all sat down and ate and smiled and giggled and laughed ..
Gosh this was so so worth all the time I spent here ..
Post our lunch we were all to go to a pub at Horsell..

So I went back to now what I call home ..
Eve's place ..
And Maya and me chilled a bit , had green tea and just spent a few minutes together ..
Went off then to join all the revelers at the pub in Horsell called .. I forgot the name ..
It was truly a fun filled evening , probably the last I will spend with all these wonderful new friends of mine ..

Then I went off to London to meet my friend Tosh , who is just one of the most wonderful guys I have met in a long time ..
A gentleman , funny, witty and a warm heart ..
I know I have made a friend ..
We celebrated my results and good news that he shared ..
And after tons of laughs and more hearty laughs ..
Such a mad mad wonderful bright , laughing evening I went home to Woking ..

THURSDAY
Think I just needed to do bits and ends of shopping and so spent the entire day just choosing two warm jackets for Zeke and Zene...
Sat at Starbucks and had a leisurely hot chocolate ..
Whatsapped my friends ..
Banter and more photos exchanged ..
Oh by the way I love "whatsapp"

Then met my dear friend Lorraine , who refused to send me home and thank God I listened to her because it was wonderful spending time with her family ..
She stuffed me with home made goodies and I went off to sleep in her jammies in her warm beautiful room ..
I don't know when I'm gonna see her again , but she has been my family in London and knew that no matter what ,I had her just a phone call away ..Bless her and her family..

FRIDAY
Think in my 11 weeks here this was the coldest day ever..
I was just frozen and felt that if it snowed it would be just the cherry on the cake ..
I needed to pack , had tons of stuff that I had bought and tons of kitchen stuff and God , really was cringing at the sight of all my stuff that I now had to take back home ...
But Friday evening wanted to go meet Rachna and say bye..
So did just that...
She is a beautiful person and have got to know her as a friend in these past weeks ..
She has a calm peacefulness that she carries and yet is full of adventure and yet is satiated with what life offers her ..
We went for a long walk in the cold and then , had a lovely dinner and then , hugged her tight said good-bye...

It's funny how life sometimes brings people you have known back into your life , but makes you feel completely different about them ..
you get to know them..
Some become friends ..
SOME MORE THAN JUST FRIENDS..
Some still stay exactly where you met last ..

It's a very nice feeling..
This year 2011, has been a beautiful year ..
I have actually connected with people I have known and have formed deeper bonds ..
I have been a little more accepting and forgiving ..
I am not flawless and so hope that people are more accepting and forgiving with my mistakes ..

I went back to Eve's, this would be my last night there ..
I sat on my bed for the longest time..
This was my home for the past 11 weeks..
I have gone through so much and have grown up ..

I learned to sleep alone ..
I realised that I love early mornings ..
I like to take my time to drink my green tea, listen to music and then go about my day..
I learned to tell the people I love that 'I love them immensely' regardless of what they felt ..
I realised that I love the cold as much as I love the warmth..
I love healthy food as much as I love chocolate ..
I love Soya milk as much as I love champagne ..
I like people .. But am very happy being alone, this is something I discovered that was new to me ..
I still get hurt ..
I'm still impulsive..
I still cry like a baby ..

But there is something different about me ..
And I can't put my finger on it, but I feel loved and beautiful ...
And with all this I thank God and go to sleep ..

SATURDAY
I wake up early as usual ..
And Eve my lovely land-lady , dropped me off into Woking..
Where I just spent the next few hours walking through familiar lanes , just saying silent good-byes..
Then with my favorite hot chocolate from Starbucks .. I just sat on the floor of the packed food court and listened to this brass band play wonderful Christmas carols ..
I love Christmas..
I love December...
Think I could not have asked for a better good bye..

Came back to Eve's and said my final good-byes..
Gonna really miss Eve..
She was much more than just a land-lady to me ..
And I was lucky that I lived with her ...
Hugged her and Ralph tight..
Think if it lasted a little longer I would cry...
Will miss you both very very much ...

Took my cab checked into Kingfisher ...
And must say they were absolutely fantastic ...
Mr.Inderjeet thank you for all your help ..
My kitchen is always open to you ...

Reached Mumbai ...
Heat, traffic, and all the other craziness..
But it's home and that's all that really matters ..
E.T. GONE HOME ...



Sent from my iPhone ..
One fantastic moment is worth a hundred average hours ...

Dew drops...



Always knew right from the start ..
That this may probably break my heart..
Knew you would one day walk away without a good bye and leave me standing by the door wondering why ...
So then it's true ..
There was never much love in your heart ,that I thought was so true...
I could see you walking away ..
Much before you really did..
Is it what I said ..
Because I don't really remember you know ..
I have searched the chambers in my heart and soul ..
And looked high and low ..
But could not find our conversation no more ..
Looked at the sea and had conversations alone with me ...
There is not a moment that passes through the day that I don't remember ...
The crazy laughing, giggling, stupid conversations , plans to traverse over valley and hill, the music , and silence across the ocean ..
Somewhere in the sky..
A shooting star just sped away..
And broke into a million shiny pieces..
Just like my heart ..
But know that the joy it felt ,before it broke ,is something that no one can replace ...
So armed with my favorite big broad smile ..
I'm ready to walk this day ...
I feel like my life is like that of a butterfly and so want to smile at the garden that I was born in ..
And then fly off to meet places I can only dream off..
I sit by this lake ..
And look at the girl looking back at me ..
Shiny glistening eyes.. Tousled hair ...
And as the dew drops from my eyes fall into the beautiful water..
Tiny ripples stir the calm ..
I have become one with nature..
And will forever be part of the soil..
And every time the wind blows and the water languidly meets the green grass of the land ...
My name will be whispered by the trees and will remind you of me ..
Just like my smile reminds me of you ..
Because somethings were meant to be ...
Why I don't know ..
Just feel so ...
Some souls were meant to meet ..
And brighten each other lives if even for just a moment in time ..
And so with this I listen to the music playing in my head...
And smile ...
Because this passage of time ,was ,and is only mine ...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

MY LOVE AFFAIR ....


How did it start...
Did I know from the start that this was how it would be ...not really you know..
Because this is not someone new...we found each other...purely by chance I think ..
And in the bargain, just found myself..I think ..
My beginning , a brand new me...
I found traits I never knew existed ...
I felt all different, and a little bold..Shiny and raring to go ...
I found peace , love and happiness...that I could finally feel and hold ...
Everyone kept saying ...
You will never go through with it ...
Deep inside I was frightened , I was scared , but something inside me knew..
It's now or never...
I either go with what I love ..or then forever wonder..
How my life would be ...so I took those steps ...one ..two ..three...
And kaboom...it's like I have never felt before...
I smiled and laughed and talked like I have never done...
I walked miles in the cold and in the hiding sun..
My walk had a spring in it's step...
My eyes looked different and luminous , even if I had not slept...
It's like I needed nothing ...
Music made me happy ..
I sat alone for hours , drinking green tea and making plans , that maybe would not walk with me ...
But I was afraid no more...
I had found a little light inside me...
I could actually live alone and travel without a soul...
I ran in the cold and would wake up even before my alarm would ring...
Is life not wonderful when it's just about simple things ...
It does not really matter anymore what will be...
Because my heart is moving at a pace , where I'm happy and it's started a fire , that will roar for quite a while, maybe the flames will die out...
But the embers are going to stay warm forever more...
When I think of this and how I feel...
I wish that everyone has one little chance to feel ...
This special , this loved...
To feel like you have grown wings and are encased in your own little world..
Where the weather is perfect and the fields glow like gold..
Where everyone is safe...
And you have to search no more..
Because your heart is filled with all you ever wanted and more...
To every day there is a night...
To every ocean a shore...
Love is a two-way street ..
It does not pass with time , if it's true..
It make you smile...when you may feel , oh so blue ..
And warms your heart...even if you ,not feeling like you want a part ..
Of whatever is coming your way ...
So with my love I walk ahead ...
I have learnt a few valuable lessons in life this year...
That if you want something with your whole heart and soul ...
You may get it if it's going to be good for you ...and sometimes you may make plans that will never come true...
Know that does not feel too nice...but think it's the universe 's way of protecting you ...
And keeping you true to yourself....
Sometimes you are very sure of something and it just goes all wrong at the very end ...
I wish everyone has a chance to go with what they truly love ...
Sometimes, what we love and what is right may differ like chalk and cheese..but if the twain does meet ...
I think we would all agree...
It could not get better that what true happiness and wonderment could be ....
And so today I thank the One above , for introducing me to my "love" ...
To find something I never really went looking for..
But apparently was knocking on my door...
And so I dived right in and put my all...
I realise that it's my passion , something that is one with my soul...
And maybe it will grow into something fantastic or always stay right where it's been ...
Part of my being ...under my skin ...

I love cooking and feeding people I love ...
I want to envelope all and share what I have learnt..
Every time I see someone enjoy what I make ...
I feel a deep sense of content and pure happiness..there is nothing to lose, nothing at stake ,,but hated exams, they gave me a head-ache ..
It's never to late to walk on a new road...
Take that step...
Take a chance...
How wrong can you go ...
Life is always full of romance...when you are at the right time in the right place ....

My time here at Tante Marie has nearly come to an end...
This part of my life I will never forget...
To walk in the cold, hang with friends and learn food together , gave me joy to no end...
I cherish all the days I spent here...
And will remember everyone with kindness ...
All the wonderful moments that were made mine...
All the people who helped me walk the line ...

We are all now going our separate ways, never to meet again I think ...
But this time ,has just been imprinted in my heart and soul...
In this lifetime of mine...

This is my little love affair, that I'm never letting go ...
And going to stay with me till the very end of my time ...

Of finding out new things and finding joy in little things...
Of music and sitting alone..
And dreaming of mountains so high and paths unwalked..hearing pretty birds sing , of flowers smiling in spring ...of rusty orange leaves falling..
And smiling and laughing ...
Of long fun lunches and playing cards in the sun..
Of us girls giggling in our changing rooms and discussing what's to be done..
Of exams and deep stress...
Of losing and winning ..
Of drinking espresso shots to keep awake . after we had stuffed our faces during lunch, with huge amounts of cake ...
Of deep connections and budget calculations ...
Met wonderful beings ...all under one roof..whose sole purpose was to learn food , so that they could go out and feed ...
One and all , till the break of Dawn...

Dear Andrew and Mrs.A..
Dear Vera, Ally, Kate, Nick, Tim and Al...
You have given me much more than you know...
And thank you for all you have done for me , from the bottom of my heart..
Maybe I'm not good with saying this to your face, but ...
The time I have spent with you , will always be among the most interesting and fun phases of my life...and in my heart will always have a very special place..

And will always look back at Tante Marie , with a great sense of pride and love...
And thank God for making it possible for me to follow my dream ...With a suitcase full of blessings from above ...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

GOOD-BYE AND HELLO DECEMBER....

Sitting today early morning in the dark ..
A million faces cross my heart..
Some smile , some I don't know, some walked away, some I love , some I have had to let go ..
Have been told that when I love , I don't know where to stop..
I'm like a retriever that pounces with so much love that it frightens people off ..
Guess ..
I need to mature ..
And be more sedate and keep my thoughts safe and my mouth in a silent space
Say too much too fast and then feel like an ass...
But will live and learn and every little experience makes me a better urn ...
Filled with more understanding , more patience and definitely more mature than before..
So there is no real reason why I love like I do ..
Maybe that's just how I am ..
All complicated and extreme..
I'm not able to do things in small doses..
Life is too short to hold back or pretend ..
That's how I feel, I maybe totally wrong , but then that's me ...
I dont want to wait till the sun has set....
Because when that happens ..
You miss the day ..
Carpedium.... That's what I believe ..
Grab the sunshine, dance in the rain , twirl with the orange leaves in autumn and make snow angels in the cold ...
So today ..
This Sunday..
I'm gonna ..
Sift through the photo albums in my mind ..
And rearrange it all .. And leave nothing behind that wants to hold my hand....
Gonna fill my heart with all that's good ..
And say bye to those who probably just never understood ..
I want to welcome my birthday that's coming soon with everyone I love, have no regrets and walk ahead..
I love December and all it brings..
My birthday .. Yeah ..
Christmas ..
And that fuzzy feeling ..
In my heart and head..
Wanna wrap presents for the ones I love ..
And cook up a feast for all to eat ..
Will spend today and look ahead and say bye to all these wonderful months gone by, that brought me so much of joy and changed my life inside out..
Touched my soul and made me whole again ..
And released chemicals that somewhere tweaked my DNA, made me feel like a brand new me ..
I walk ahead with my heart bursting with love , that I will shower on the ones I meet ..
It maybe too much ..
But let's see ..
I don't know what tomorrow brings...
I'm just gonna continue walking with shiny stars in my heart and mistletoes in my hair ...
Hug myself with the wind tossling my hair...
I'm waiting for December ..
That's all I know ..
And am sure that I will be enveloped in love like never before ..
So good bye beautiful months..
And hugs again for so much peace, love , joy and moments I will cherish forever ..
Till we meet again ..
this year has been a wonderful loving caring friend ...





Sent from my iPhone ..
One fantastic moment is worth a hundred average hours ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

TANTE MARIE- WEEK 9..A BITTER SWEET WEEK ...











Tante Marie -week 9

Tuesday
After a Monday that I wanted to forget, Tuesday was a wonderful day , filled with my favourite cuisine...Italian ...
We made spaghetti , gnocchi , cannelloni, ravioli, panzerotti. Canoli ....
Well am sure you can imagine what our kitchen felt like, it was buzzing with activity under the precise guidance of Kate...
Who is someone I have come to respect and admire, she is very straight jacketed about her work and very gently insists we do things her way , and frankly , that's why she is teaching us , because she is fantastic ....
We all buzzed about like bees, this is nearly our last week ..and it was a week of lots of pressure and tension and tears...
Because of exams and results ...
But lunch was fantastic..it was nice to spend time laughing and stuffing our faces...
We have stopped counting calories completely at least I have ..
Katie and me were fantastic together and did things in tandem , she is very very good and is very precise and works really fast ...and very adorable...

We were stuffed like Christmas stockings by the fire-side...
And all I wanted to do , was sleep by the warmth of a log fire and eat marsh-mallows ...

Walked out of my class and into Kejanne..who was in tears...
She is South African and is in the 1year course and is a wonderful talented and spirited girl, and exudes an energy which is infectious..she did not finish her exam on time ...
Gosh ...exams...I just hugged her tight, knew exactly how she was feeling ..she was so broken ..and there is nothing anyone can do post an exam ..not gone to well. But pray and let it go ...she sobbed and know she must have sobbed some more when she was alone ..
I could feel her pain ...
And just wanted her to feel better , which eventually , we all get over ..And do ...

We had a demonstration post lunch , which post a fantastic meal , is just impossible to stay awake for, so dozed like a falling daisy and then just went for double shots of espresso..that always works ...

Wednesday
Exam time in our class again ...
So while one group cooked and another cleaned for them ...
Ally and me spent the morning cooking with Nick ...
Twice baked fish souffle..
Beer bread, oven roasted ratatouille ..etc..
We were done really early and I loved our morning together, ally is this pretty girl , with big brown eyes and very sweet..
We arranged the food in plates and it all looked so pretty and inviting and then sat down and ate together, the results of our entire morning sitting happy in our tummy 's ...
Amanda, Tom, Sam and Joe ..
Finished their exams and came and joined us...not every one had the perfect time ..
Guess ..exams are stressful for all, but think Sam and Katie were calm and made no mistakes..neither did Maja...
Well we all have to wait ...
And that's that ...

Thursday
Today flew, like a swan migrating to warmer lands...
It just zipped...
I decided to go watch "breaking Dawn" alone ...
I don't like scary movies ...but it was nice, filled with love, romance, and vampires who fall in love, werewolves and babies ...
And I liked the thought of imprinting ...like finding someone who is your protector and will love you and look out for you ..
And little " renesme"don't know if that's the right spelling ...
But love babies ...
But I was ...I love , love stories...
And so shopped for my weekly groceries and sat and watched the movie, well what can I say , I liked it..
But think I liked Jacob most of all...
He has eyes that I completely love ..
Slightly slanting but not slits...
Very very Peter Pan ....who I completely love ....

Friday
Well today was cooking with Tim...
I really like working with Tim, he is absolutely chilled and very brilliant as a chef and a cool guide...
We finished lots of food very very quickly and for the first time had a break in the middle of our cooking ..
Made " eggs benedict"and we all sat together and devoured our mid-morning snack ...
This is one of our few last meals together...
Seriously gonna miss all of this...
Sat with Maja talking till really late, drank hot chocolate and walked back in the cold ...
It has been an amazing two and a half months

Don't even remember the last time , I set out to do something I love doing..
Learned so so so much , and met amazing people..
Connected deeply , laughed, sang, sulked, giggled, stuffed my face, travelled, got upset, cried, howled, listened to music , shopped, got lost , found my way and found my happy place inside me ....

Now to another week and I'm home-bound ...
Happy and full of new things....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

THIS FUNNY GIRL CALLED "LOVE"





Today as I walked away from class..I felt a little tug in my heart ..
The winds were blowing cold and though the skies were not grey , it was dark..

I was thinking of love ,life and other simple things ..

Men have walked on the moon but still cannot figure how not to get a broken heart ...
Don't do this , don't do that,maybe all you have to do is say the right things , or behave in a certain way ...I don't know ...if someone has a solution ..pray will you tell me so...

Some say , have no expectations ..because that is definitely a bringer of doom...
But I'm sorry after you have had a glimpse of the beautiful moon and the stars above..
You want to zoom around the milky way...
That's only human I say ..

Can anyone of us really live without expecting ...
Well in my opinion it only comes when love has flown and there is just a sharing ..

Im sure there are people in this world who live life in a very different space ...
Who can be in the moment and still walk away, like it makes no difference ...
Are they the ones who are actually content and are searching no more ..
I wonder how it works ..to be in a space , where you can feel so deep and yet walk away in a heart beat ...
Are they callous or just in a place sublime ..

Will someone please explain this , to this wondering heart of mine ...
How to love without expecting ...
How to let go without hurting ...
How to smile without pretending ..
How to laugh without choking ...
How to hold tight without holding ..

No man is an island that is something I truly believe ...
So then how come some of us can be so detached from all life's bringing ..
And some are so attached that it becomes heart-breaking ...

So how do you live ...how do you choose ...
Am I chemically imbalanced or am I a foolish goose.....
We all want the same things in life ...
And there is no difference you see...
Love, happiness , babies all in varying degrees...

We all want to wake up to the sun shining in the eyes of the one we love ..
To walk into the sunset to the songs we love humming in our head ..
To hold hands and say nothing at all..
To hear someone's heart beat till the break of Dawn..
To laugh at silly things...
To dance in the rain..
To have tears of joy and not pain ...

So what do you do with the memories you make...
Do you chuck them and walk away , like it was not a very tasty cake ?

Try and live each day like it were our last , some people say ...
But don't you think , we would all be a little selfish and uncaring ..
Parents, family and a few friends..
That's what makes life wonderful till the end ...

Love is ...
I really don't know ..
Sometimes, she is there, sometimes hovers around and sometimes leaves through the back door ..without even leaving a note..like she don't care...

But if you find, your soul-mate , if such a thing exists...
I'm sure it will be complete bliss..
There would not even have to be an exchange of rings ..
Because if that's an assurance that it won't go away ..
It's a silly way to live ...

Love should be imprinted in your heart not stamped in ink..
It should be able to transcend and meet above the clouds ...
To be felt without a sound ..

If you wake up in the morning and break into a smile , while snuggling in your bed..
I think you have found love ..
Even if you don't know it yet...

Because that's what she does..
This funny girl calked love ...
She makes you laugh , she makes you sing, she makes you do unbelievably stupid things ...
She makes you talk like you never ever have and whispers in your ears..things that you would never have heard..
She sits and flits around and disturbs you when you are working ..
And stands at traffic lights and winks at you when you driving ...
And steals your food when you not looking ..
And runs around the garden tossing maple leaves , when you are mowing ..
She hides in closets and messes your clothes...
And sometimes leaves you little notes..
And jumps on your back when you were least expecting ...
And when she Stares into your brown eyes and smiles , you are promised a thousand things ...
And then she runs away laughing...
So all you have to do is wake up and start believing ...

I like her this funny girl called "love"...
And when she comes visiting ...
I welcome her with open arms and a cup of rich dark hot chocolate ..
And that's the only way I know ...because she never asks my permission, but jumps through the window, or barges through the door ...
And when she leaves, yes it's heart-breaking ..
But know , she will be back again ...
Because frankly, I am and will always be ..
Her best friend ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TANTE MARIE - WEEK 9-FINAL EXAMS..21st NOV 2011....

Week 9 -EXAMS...21st nov 2011

Sunday was really fantastic, Olly and Ally picked me up and we headed to their place in Guilford..
It was a lovely day and they have a beautiful family and a pretty home, two dogs running around , wonderful friendly warm parents...
And there was one path that we were passing that was so beautiful , and then Olly says that "the holiday " was shot there...
No wonder it was gorgeous ...
We made a list of what we wanted to make for the day and then went shopping for all the ingredients...
And because we could not find our "chined rack of lamb", we went in search of it and came across this beautiful place called " secrets" that was having this Christmas fair, so Olly and me sauntered around , tasted all the free pies and cakes and some mulled wine and did a bit of shopping and then went back ...
Love hanging with her, she is adorable and eats as much as me and is sweet and so much fun ..
Post our little escapade, we cooked like Santas elves, we made, rack of lamb, coq au vin, profiteroles , tart aux fruits and cheese cake, we finished ,famished in the evening and happy that we have practiced enough ...
I was happy to have spent the day with them , it was fun and relaxing and I was waiting for my practical exams ....
Then before I went to sleep , I was introduced to a song I love , by my at the moment favourite singer Michael Buble, singing , " all I want for Christmas"....
My day just could not get better than this, went off to sleep with a big fat smile..

Day 1-final practical exams ...

Monday could not have broken better than this, I woke up really early, listened to music, went through all my recipes and got ready for class , with my uniform all ironed and raring to go ...
Exams ...gosh I really detest exams, and realised I'm no longer good at them ...
But I was happy cooking and so was waiting for this ...
Went to class, met Ally and Olly and we giggled and were so happy to have practiced all our stuff...

Andrew our principal came in and gave us our menu for the day ..
Baked chicken, potato, leek and broccoli mash and cheese cake ...

Not bad at all...
So within some time we were ready in our kitchens cooking away ..
Baked chicken is something I have done so many times..that it's not even funny...
Think it's the first dish I learnt from my mum, it's something I make when I'm in doubt...or suddenly have guests over and need to whip up something...

I prepped and stuffed and trussed, the damn bird and put it in the oven at 190 degrees...
Was feeling good , but utterly stressed, another reason why I cook for pleasure and leisure and would die of stress if I had to cook on a competition , where you have to prove a point ...
Well, to make a long story short...
My exam dish did not go as well as I thought it would ..
Baked chicken , something I have done for most of my life , went all wrong , if you ask me what went wrong , well , at this point of time , frankly , I don't want to talk about it ...
But I was a mess post my exams ..
I was in utter shock and on the verge of tears...
Something that I completely love and do because I love cooking so much , was just not as fantastic as I expected ..
Today was the day that I had to prove a point and I was a mess..
Guess it's also a big lesson in life ..
Don't be too sure of anything , because even stuff that you are completely familiar with , can suddenly go all wrong and different ...
Post my exams, I went out of the kitchen and onto the road outside and cried my eyes out...
I cried so much that I thought I would never stop...sobbed till I choked,, my glasses were blurred and I was just back to being a little girl in a chef uniform in a complete mess..
Baked Chicken...I got it wrong ...and the most perfect day for a complete disaster, my final exams...
If my mum knew . I think she would laugh in disbelief...
But ...I messed up my exams ... And then instead of serving 4 little cheese cakes, I for some reason served three little circles, because it looked better, don't know what I was thinking ..
I am not good with exams , I have realised , they stress me out, cut the blood supply to my brain and make me paranoid ..
I'm no longer the girl that used to max my exams ..
I'm no longer the class topper ...
And guess that's how it's meant to be ...
I have not been sadder or more upset in these two months like I was today...have cried sooooo much that my eyes are swollen and red ...
This is what I was here for and I mucked up the most important day in these two months ...
Why ? Why?why?
But I must say, today when I was down , I saw friends in my class rally around me ...
Sweet cute Katie, came and gave me a tight hug ...she was such a doll...felt so nice and warm ..
Amanda...ate the chicken when it was rectified and said she liked it , it was good..she just kept telling me that it's gonna be ok ...
Joe was so sweet and encouraging ...
Ally and Olly were sooo sweet and kept encouraging me and all the three of us laughed and told one another all the stuff we messed up with...
Tom gave me a tight hug ...that boy is too cute, warm , helpful and friendly and just felt like I was amongst people I could be at home with ..
Never felt so nice with all of my colleagues like I felt today ..
Felt so good today , not been hugged and felt so close to all like I felt today ..
They all rallied around ...
Felt so nice inspite of how €$¥%#^* I was feeling ...
It's only when you are down that you can actually know, who are the people who care for you ...
Then came back home to Eve's and called Maja who was not well, she is a complete doll...she Said ," Maria I feel for you " and that's all I needed, someone to be there...
We can't always be perfect, I went all wrong today, the day I was to go all right ...
I don't know why ..would have liked to present the perfect meal , but did not ...
I'm upset, horribly upset, I have cried so much , but know my tears cannot rectify anything ..
And so I have to let this go ...I would like to have this day again , so that I could be perfect, but guess it was not mention to be ...
I need to live a bit in doubt, like a dear friend once told me, if you live your life comfortably, with no insecurity it's like being dead , there is nothing to do or make better...
I'm upset...very very...
But today was a bad day...
I know I cook from my heart..with lots of love and make good food ...and enjoy cooking and will not stop...
Am going to put today's disaster behind me and walk on..
Yes I wish I made the perfect meal for my Cordon Bleu Exams , but I did not...I DID NOT..there I said it aloud , but I'm not going to let it get my spirit down, a bad day does not make your life all awry..
You get up and walk and make it better, you learn from your mistakes.. And I'm sure something fantastic will happen out of today's disaster in the kitchen...
Just want to rewind the clock but cannot ...
So am going to make the most of my remaining days here @Tante Marie...
And cook my heart out and have fun ....
And will remember not to do anything that has exams involved anymore , because I'm not good with them anymore...
But thank God for today,because found people that care for me and happy about that...
Yes would love to be the best at what I do, but a bad day does not make all I have put into this all bad...

Just wanna say..
Dear Chicken,
I'm sorry that I had to cook you, nothing personal about you, just wish you cooked like I expected you to ...
Was so upset with you, that did not want to bite into you and was seriously thinking of turning vegetarian ...

But in hindsight .....guess what you put down on paper, does not always happen in real life ...
I came back to Eve , and poured my heart out to her and Ralph ...
She could not believe I messed my exams ...
Have cooked for them quite a lot ...
And they were too cute and supportive ..

Anyway made plans with Maja to watch "Twilight "and taking Eve and Ralph for an Indian meal..
As for me , today I'm gonna be spending time with the man I'm completely addicted to ...
"Michael Buble"... I have fallen hook , line and sinker for his song , "all I want for Christmas " have been listening to it since yesterday ..
So guys, we all mess up ,I messed up big big big time, but I know, that what I'm taking back from Tante Marie is more than anyone can imagine...
I love cooking and food and experimenting and am not going to let this " very big set-back" get me down ...no not me ...
I'm gonna use this experience, to know not take anything for granted ...
Anything and everything could change without a warning ..
Just know, in life have faced bigger problems than "perfectly baking a chicken...."
So will walk on ...and keep doing what I love...
Making yummy food and feeding people and feeling fantastic , every time I see their faces breaking into smiles...
And know, too err is human , but to leave your past behind is divine ...
I can't undo today...
But can make the most of my tomorrow and the rest of my days here at the wonderful and fantastic Tante Marie ...looking forward to spending time with Maja, Katie, Olly, Ally, Amanda, Tom, Sam , Joe and Martin ...
And all our wonderful Chefs Nick, Vera, Kate, Tim, Al and Ally ....
I thank you for all that I have learned from you , And never going to forget my time here at Tante Marie ...
Andrew and Mrs.A...you have been wonderful ...

Like my friend Sambo wrote to me this morning, "Listen Maria, u know passing & failing have absolutely no relevance. Its the journey to your goal that really matters. How and with what intention you travel. This is a lesson for u to learn that perfection doesn't exist!!! WE STILL LOVE U & ABOVE ALL LOVE YOUR COOKING.....SO GET YOUR ASS BACK & START COOKING...HERE'S TO LOTS OF HAPPINESS INDULGENCE FRIENDS PARTIES & CELEBRATION"

Well I could cry some more or then like Ritambhara said "This was a beautiful experience so treat it like that,you are better for having gone through this,not many people can truly follow their dreams like you have, so be proud of that, and the experience and fun cannot be matched" .

And like my friend Mini said to me,"Haaahaaa , I can't wait for your food , even if it's not cooked on time , you serve food in your house at 3.30 am, we never complain, we give you distinction na "

And then Warsi said," do you think we won't eat your food, just because you did not do well in your final exams, do we go to a restaurant and ask for the report card of the chef, before we eat his meal....ha ha ha ..."
Well I cannot argue with that ..

Thank you all...you made me feel better on a day that I have not felt worse ...
Needed the biggest, tightest, bone-crunching hug....
And felt it from all of you ...felt surrounded by love and care...
Know that when you down, you know who really cares for you ...
And know when you down the only way is up ...

So with yesterday behind me , and so much love and everyone back home waiting for me and all eager to taste the feast that I'm waiting to prepare...
I say hello to a brand new day ...,
Now how many are blessed enough to follow their dream ...
Well thank you God !!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TANTE MARIE-WEEK 8
















Week 8

Cannot believe I have just two weeks left.
It has just gotten over too fast .

Woke up this morning , with Rihanna singing "only girl in the world"...
Yup , that's our Spain anthem, so was full of beans and really excited about the day..went to class...
And walked into Andrew our principal, who was in our class, giving us the barging of our life , for trying to bunk Friday morning ....
Well it's not a nice feeling at all...

My partner this week..Sam..
He is a quiet , shy boy, who communicates very little and is excellent at pastry...
We got down to cooking for the day.
In silence, think it was the first time ever, because we were pulled up ...
The food was really nice, duck and various other stuff...
In the afternoon, we baked...
And all that was going through my mind was RIHANNA....
Why ????
Seriously , you can't be asking me why....????
Because I'm going to watch Rihanna in concert in the evening ...
How did I get to go ..
Well because Rachna, very sweetly , decided not to go, and let me have her pass...
Of course now, I have to find the recipe of the best scone in the world and make it for her back home , or she is going to make me her "Cinders " for life ...
Ha ha ha ...
Rachna....thank you for this, it was really large hearted of you ...
I had a blast ...

So Monday after class, I ran back , and I mean literally, ran , with my Ugg boots, haversack going wobble wobble and cake box in hand...
7 minutes I was at Eve's , had a shower, slathered on some kohl and lip- balm and , the sweet-heart that Eve is, she was driving me like evil-knievel to the train station...
I was super excited...
Reached Sanjay and Rachna's , and left in some time for the O2...
Which is just such an awesome place...
We waited there for a very long time...
And final the gates opened and everybody walked in without pushing or yelling and without any chaos...
Something that me being Indian is not really used to seeing ...
We are always in a rush in India, even while getting into an airplane, where our seats were allotted ..ha ha ha ...
Calvin Harris the dj, who is quite hot at the moment in the world of discos , opened the show, he played a fantastic , high energy set...and the entire stadium were hypnotised with the display of light entwined with his skill with vinyl ...
Sanjay was dancing ...
I was in shock...well he did eat an entire pizza , so that explains why...ha ha ha
But seriously , Sanjay, it was fantastic and fun watching Rihanna with you..
By the way , he has a photo with her and has been to her earlier concert ..
So yup big Rihanna fan...sang, jumped screamed and was happily exhausted ...

Well Rihanna did not get on stage for really long ...
10.45... The lights go dim, the music starts ...
And Rihanna has walked on stage , sexy toned legs in beautiful neon green shoes...
And for the next two hours, she sang , danced and covered the stage with her energy and innate sexiness ...
Oh my God , she is hot...
And sings in that raspy beautiful voice...that just mesmerises you...
The show was fantastic...
Everything, from , lights, sound, music, costumes, dancers was just fantastic...
I have been to a whole lot of concerts , thanks to MTV, and this came an easy second to the MTV music awards 2000...
She was all I expected her to be and more ...
At 12 past, we left the stadium , jumped into a train that was packed like sardines and headed back to Woking ...
The last train back was filled with people who had just come back from the concert.
There was singing and sharing of videos and excitement and laughter emitting from the train ...
I reached and passed out a very happy bunny...
Thank you Rachna for sitting home ...
And thank you Sanjay , for being such fun company ...

The rest of the week went at great speed ...time is really moving very very fast...
Guess because we are cooking a lot , and also eating like crazy, feeling a bit rounder , need to go running...
Wednesday evening, went back into London, for the Marlebone Christmas street fair...
It was just too lovely...
There was a choir of people singing carols, lots of food stalls, all the shops on that street were giving discounts the lights were up, there was the lovely aroma of mulled wine, which is a must have on an evening like this ...
Had such a beautiful time...Sanjay , Rachna and me , hung there and just absorbed it all ...
And then went to RotiChai, Rachna's favourite place for dinner, excellent food...after a lovely evening filled with tons of great conversation and laughter..
I went back to my place in Woking...
Cannot believe what a wonderful time I'm having ...

Thursday evening, Olly from class was going to Bond Street to see the lights, and asked if i would like to come along...
(She is great fun, and eats a lot , like me ...)
And after really long, I actually have started getting up and going , and doing what I want ,if I feel like it ...
It's very very liberating and in a weird way , kind of surreal...
So we drove to London and realised that nothing was really happening ...
So asked Olly what time we driving back...
Well after some silence from her and shocking silence from me ...
We both realised that I did not know that we not driving back to Woking , and she did not know, that I did not know that , I was staying at her place ....
Ha ha ha chaos...and confusion and amongst peals of disbelief and laughter...
We went up to her apartment and then decided to make a night of it, we went to Bennyhana 's for dinner, which is a really cool food joint, live tables of food and super funny chefs making food and chucking bowls n rice and tossing bottles of oil and soya , with funny lines thrown in..
We stuffed our faces and headed back to Ollys apartment ...
Which by the way she and her cousin Paschal are doing up together...
So after YouTube'g a few songs...in a bit I was fast asleep in Olly's apartment in her clothes..tucked comfortably in a lovely warm White duvet...
Can't believe I had a sleep over ...ha ha ha ...unbelievable....
I slept like a baby and woke up to my alarm..
Half an hour later, she was zooming through London traffic towards Tante Marie in Woking ...
We kept awake to "moves like jagger" and reached early...
I went home , to realise Eve was not there...
God....I was so happy that I was out that night ...
I'm so not good staying alone...
I would have died...Of fright ...and please don't laugh ....
Realised for the umpteenth time, that when something untoward happens, it happens for the best..
If I was to spend the night alone , I would have been awake ...

Spent Friday washing vessels all morning for the group that is doing their final exams...
Gosh...it's mine on Monday and then , I'm done...really done ...
I liked today , it was a good Friday...came home happy and full of beans..
Got home the "extremely naughty chocolate cake" I baked in class...
My fat is gonna get fed some cake today ...
Somebody please stop me ...

Came home to be greeted by Eve...
And very quickly we made a little shopping plan and in less than half an hour , we were out shopping, bought tons of baking stuff, ice-cream making machine and tons of fruit and salad in the hope that I will eat healthy...
Came home and went to sleep early ...
Not because I was sleepy , but did not feel like staying awake...just one of those days , when you feel better going to sleep ..
Bad idea, because I was up at 3 ...
And actually had a very nice early morning and went off to sleep with voices in my head ....6.15to be precise..., had a class in London at 10...God I have lost it ...

Saturday
Was up and at class at 10 sharp...
Caldesi..the Italian cooking school...
Katie Caldesi and Stefano Borella were fantastic ...
I love Italian food...
And I love how they cook ...
Katie said the food is made with tons of AMORE ...
Which means the food is well looked after and pampered with tons of olive oil...
So 3 hours later, we were all sitting together, all 20 of us, eating what we cooked ...
Was so happy I came for this class..
Because it was so different from school..it was like a holiday...
It was relaxed and full of funny jokes from chef Stefano, and the banter between Katie and him was lovely...
So some White wine later, armed with my pasta maker, I walked into shopping paradise, Bond Street ...and spent the day, buying things for my little Zeke and Zene ....
I miss them tooooooooo much ...
And thank Warsi for making this possible for me ...and both Zeke and Zene , for being so supportive of what I'm doing, that I can concentrate on my work ...Zeke and Zene have been fine, which is why I'm fine...
Thanks to everyone who has rallied around them ...

I sleep in peace , and immense love in my heart ..
Sometimes feel like I will burst into a million shiny stars...
What a fantastic week...
Just two weeks more ...and I'm back home...
This feels like a dream , with an expiry date and time , attached to it...
Cinderella at the ball, just about to swirl around with Prince Charming, and poof the clock strikes 12...
But I'm happy that I got to the ball and had such a blast ...no regrets, none whatsoever....

In my heart , I'm at the ball in my prettiest yellow BCBG gown and daisies in my hair ,dancing in the moonlite to Andrea Bocelli singing Con Te Partiro....
The stars are shinning and there is a fragrance of Kenzo in the air...
Candles hanging from the trees and the shadow of the moonlight on the lake...
And after it's all over and the music has ceased, I sit on the grass and look up to the stars in the sky...
It's perfect...would not change anyone or anything ....

So me and my supremely fertile imagination are calling it a night ...
My pillow is missing me ...
See you all soon ...