From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Friday, October 28, 2011

P.S.I LOVE PARIS.....















And so I actually acted on impulse and took that train to Paris ...
Frankly, I have wanted to go there for some time now , but it always seemed too far away , or then I was going off in some other direction...
And never really reached there ...
So about 4 weeks ago , while studying at Tante Marie, I ,at some point of time decided in my head that, I'm going to this city , by hook or by crook ...
Because felt like I was ready for this city and had decided that would go alone if I had to ...
But did not like the idea too much ....
I love to be on my own and do what I want , but I am also a little "darpok"if I have to go off alone into some city ...

Well it's not like I have never done that...
When I was hosting the telecast of the MTV Music Awards in 2000 , I went off to New York on my own a week prior to the function , and travelled on my own and just hung at the Village, China Town and the Italian side , and frankly it felt like home , but with better weather ... Ha ha ha ...
London , I love, it's the first city I travelled to for work and I love that place , it's always welcoming and though I never had friends here, but one...Lorraine.. ...I was fine, the underground, the theatres and the shopping ...always kept me happy ...

So during lunch break one day , I just randomly said that I'm going to Paris , anyone wants to join ?
And Mya from Korea, says , yes!!!!
Really , I was thinking ...
Just like that ....
Wow !!!
And so then , outta the blue , we were both going off in about two and a half weeks ...
Mya did all the train and hotel bookings ...
She was all sorted and every thing in order and xeroxed ...
Hmmmm....
And so Friday after the essentials finished their 4weeks , took their certificates of attendance and left...
Mya and me met at the train station, all ready to go off to Paris...
we travelled by the Eurostar...
It was easy and comfortable ...
I could not help but think about Mini, Jaya, Sandy and me and Spain...
And was thinking , Gosh...wish they were there too...

Mya is an amazing girl, she is bold and is an easy traveller and game for almost everything on a travellers menu ...
We were in our hotel 10 minutes after reaching the Gare Du Nord...
and then we spread out on the floor , armed with maps, tube station maps , and a list of places we wanted to visit and chalked it all out...
Slept late , but as we had just till Sunday afternoon, we wanted to do as much as we comfortably could ...
Yes we took the tourist's route and thanks to Shaheen 'the purple foodie' , I was well informed about where to go and what to do , where to eat etc...
Shaheen , is someone I have never met, but think I found her because of our common love for baking ...
She just moved to Paris and was the only person I knew there, even though I don't know her , and she was in London...
Yes , my life is not fun, unless it's complicated ...
Yup that me ...

So Mya and me started with the obvious..

The Louvre..
We saw beautiful paintings and sculptures of artists from the world over, but I think for me, I loved the sculptures done by the Italians ...
The figures were powerful and spoke of history that was filled with a lust for life...
There was movement and poetry and sheer animal magnetism in their art, not raw but still exuded chemistry that was unfathomable...
We were lucky to catch a temporary exhibit of Alexander the great ...
his wreath was so beautiful and delicate and intricate , and he was a very handsome man , with beautiful lips...
Yup spoken like a woman...
Yes , travelled and won the world , and can just fathom what a fantastic mind he had ....

French sculptures are beautiful and fluid ...
And so we ambled from hall to hall
We saw the entire Egyptian exhibit ....
Which exudes a secrecy about it,Its noble and subtle, poised , yet demure and earthy, and a sense of languidity and calm and a feeling of being indulged ...

Well I could go on about various exhibits...
But let me get straight to the "Mona-Lisa" and not amble along the wide and tall corridors, steeped in an age that is in comparable and a life-style that is in a class of it's own...

So we walk into this huge hall, and saw a crowd of people...clicking pictures, talking , and basically buzzing and scurrying about ...
Yup there she was ...
The lady of the castle...
Mrs.Louvre her-self ...
Mona-Lisa....
Well there is nothing really extraordinary about her...
She is just a simple lady and not really a stunner like the Helen of Troy...
Or anyone else in the living world who takes your breath away ....
BUT....
She takes your breath away ...
I just stood there and stared and first , like any normal person , thought , Big -Deal...
But would never dare to say this aloud...
But you know what she is a Big-Deal...
I stared at her for soooo long, got pushed around, jostled , moved away , and also found my way back ....
She is lovely..
She looks calm, warm , happy and welcoming ...
And then when you spend time with her, you feel like her eyes are sad, and she is not telling you what's really in her heart and is being secretive...
She makes you smile back...
And looks into you , with eyes that say , I know what's going on , inside you ...
And it's fine ...
She confuses you ...you never really know what is going on with her ..
Guess, she is a woman and changes her mind often...
I loved her...could stand and look at her happy , warm , mysterious , sad , shy, teasing, secretive , coy smile for a long time ...
I finally understood Nat King Cole's song , "Mona-Lisa"
Gosh , incredible in a soul touching confusing way...
She is addictive and mesmerising ...and I had to pry myself away from that soft gaze and knowing smile ...

Post Mona-Lisa....
Needed to sit and just be ....
So we found our way to "Angelina" the oldest tea house , in Paris , right opposite the Tuileries Gardens....
Had the most amazing meringue with a roasted hazelnut topping and the most chocolateee hot chocolate I have had ....
Hmmm , well " chocolate by the Bald Man" in New York , near the Union Square is frankly as good...
Sat there and indulged in pure French art on a platter...
I was so stuffed with chocolate , that after devouring it...
I walked out and bang !!! Straight into the arms of Pierre Hermes's Macaroon shop...
Black sleek and filled with these delicious colourful beauties...
Gosh I have never been able to say no to food ....
But ME, the eternal hungry person...
I was so stuffed with chocolate , that I could not bring myself to bite into any more sweet ...
We continued walking ...
To Champs Élysées ..
And suddenly , we look up and in the distance...
The Eiffel Tower...
Ha ha ha
It finally hit me...
Blistering barnacles ( sorry I just watched Tin Tin in 3d last night and just could not resist this ..ha ha ha )
I was in Paris !!!
Gosh think even Mya felt the same ...
We continued walking ..and it was beautiful, the sun was out, yet it was nippy, the streets were full of people ,all talking in different languages and the trees were getting ready for winter and the leaves were a beautiful rusty orange...
Gosh this is the city for romance ...
So with a big sigh!!! and a naughty smile , I continued ...
It was a long ambling walk, filled with some more food and sitting in a park ......and also got our profiles done on paper from this paper artist ...
And from Champs Élysées ...

Then went to Notre-Dam...
It was not as beautiful or magnificent as the Duomo in Milan....
But it made a statement ...
The gargoyles looked down at you , with indifference ..
It was a little scary and yet , it called out to you ...
And as soon as I walked into the enclosure...
Felt peace and calm...
I love old churches ...I do ...
Said a big Thank-you to the creator, for giving me all that he has and giving me a brand new life and for helping me discover who I am....and still know that I will be walking and finding who I am ,and what I am ,as my life enfolds ...
Stuffed our faces with cheesy-chicken crepes and hazelnut-banana crepes and ....
French-fries...ha ha ha ...
We had to eat fries in France ...had to ...where else...???
French fries in France...with lots of ketchup ....
Yummy ....

From here ,we went to the Eiffel Tower, was sitting in the train....
Looking out , with a million thoughts running through the beautiful, cobbled streets in my head....
When I saw through buildings, the whole Eiffel Tower twinkling away ...like it was the biggest Christmas tree I had ever seen....
Went walking to it, like a moth to a flame ....
There it was this magnificent piece of architecture , lit up in all it's blazing glory....
Just sat underneath it ...and could not believe ...
Yup I'm actually in Paris .....
Paris ha ha ha ...I was giggling , as the wind blew around me, laughing ...
I know this is not the last time I'm coming to Paris ...I'm gonna be back ...just know that ...

Last stop for the day...
Moulin Rouge ...
So touristy some may say ...
But ! Duh ! Yes I am a tourist ....
So Mya and me reached, Blanche station, followed the " Sortie" sign , which means , exit, and we walked into ...
Big red rights, a lit up windmill... Yup ...this is it ....
But we were two hours early...
But the very nice gentleman we met, told us where we should be having dinner, so we dragged ourselves in that direction, it was filled with little bars and small French restaurants... Ha ha ha naturally because we were in France ....
We decided ...skip the food ...let's sit at these cute road side bars....
Which was amazing ...cold...loads of people and happy smiling faces...
We had the must amazing Millie-feuille ...I have ever tasted...thanks to the bartender who was absolutely nice , friendly and was sweet enough to order our meal and dessert for the evening ...
Must say this,,,,French men are very helpful and charming ....
Heard so much about , them being snooty and really not helpful...
But , "parlez vous Anglaise " smeared with a smile, does work wonders ....
Oh ! How I love being a girl ....ha ha ha ...

The Moulin Rouge was fantastic ... And truth be told ...
I did not even look at the guys ...
The women were freaking, hot , awesome and beautiful...and had bodies that would make you hide in a sack cloth, in the furthest and the darkest corner of your closet for at least a year ....
The show, the dancing , the costumes and our champagne was absolutely "Purrrrrfect"
Our day ended on a bubbly happy note ...
Slept like a baby in her mama's arms....
Content...

Sunday...we went around , doing bits and pieces...
Went to Sacre Coeur and just hung at Montmartre
I loved that part of Paris ....
Beautiful streets , quaint shops and after some more crepes ....we walked from street to street and looked over the city from the cathedral steps ....
But how can we leave a city , without visiting their flea Market ...
So we trapezed into the flea Market, bargained like fiends with this Morrocan guy and got out with two crazy bags ....

Hungry with our travel pursuits, we went to rue de Martyres....
Back to Mont matre...
Found Rose bakery...
That I immediately fell in love with....
A cafe , small, warm , simple and filled with freshly made food...
I loved the ambience, the crockery, the tables, the flooring , the casualness of the place and the people who work there....
If ever in life , I ever do open a food place, this is what it will be like ....
Casual and welcoming with tasty , fresh , simple good quality food ...
I'm actually satiated ....
Not just my tummy but my heart and soul ...
I bought their recipe book, had to have it...
(read it on the train back )....

I know I talk a lot and once I start writing, I just go on sometimes....

So yes ...
In short ha ha ha ...
I love Paris...
It's my city of impulse and indulgence ....
And I want to come back , with no agenda.....but to walk on streets I have not yet been to , to walk on paths seldom traversed to sit and whisper sweet nothings...
To sit at cafe's lined along the foot paths and look up at the Parisian moon....
It could be with someone special ....
And it could be just me and myself...
Paris .....
Think I have like a massive crush on you .....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

TANTE MARIE: WEEK 4...

Day 1...
It's really become cold, so wore my new sweater and walked to class as usual....
Made sone nice food today and the "lemon meringue pie" is going to be on my Christmas menu....
My new partner ...Ally...
She is very sweet and, we cooked well and in tandem with each other ...
Today we did not really get time for anything fun...
Was a full , action packed day ...
Came home tired, did not run ...
Music , reading and sleeping ...
Craving chocolate ...
But the Gods above have decided ..... NO!!!
And then my lovely land-lady gives me chocolate , saying ,"I know you're craving for it "... Ha ha ha ...heaven in a little bite ...

Day 2..
Could not get outa bed...
It was sooooo cold and I was so warm snuggled in my over-sized duvet...
Class today was all about cold food ....
Not my cup of tea.... At all...warm ...warm...warm...hearted and food and alll...
But the demonstration was great ...
Pigged out ...ok this has to stop ....
Went home and just felt like a run ...needed those endorphins ....happy hormones...
So changed and got out and found the most wonderful trail along a stream....
Yeah ! Yeah! Yeah!
Got home and had a big salad ...

Day 3...
Woke up at 6.15 and just had to go running ...
Because I had nearly given up , looking after what I eat because it's really difficult, you cook till 12.30 and then you are ravenous , and though most of the food is really rich , I'm not concerned any more ... I'm enjoying it all ..
and going running is a pain because it's really cold ...
But yesterday I found a beautiful trail by a flowing stream ... Serendipity I say ...
So went running this morning again ...
Today we had a Mexican menu ..
The Mexican palate is very like the Indian  palate, it's robust , colorful , spicy and really tasty ..
So we all buzzed about , and now after 3 weeks together , all of us have gotten into the groove of helping one another ...
So by 12.45pm , we were sitting waiting to jump into the food we so heartily cooked ...
Dessert was hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies ...

That were yummy and I did not even think twice , before dunking my cookie into the hot chocolate and devouring it ..
Calories and fat , you thinking ... Right ...
Well NO ... Because I'm thinking " THIN "... And that normally works ...ha ha ha ...
I can see my friends , shaking their hands...and saying , "there some more rubbish " ha ha ha but it works ...
When you enjoy your food and savor it without any guilt ... 
Your gastric juices, digest it even better , because they feel that more is gonna come ... 
And so they don't really hang on to the extra calories and fat ...
Yup .. 
That's my theory and I'm sticking to it ..

After lunch, we had a long break and had to have a double espresso shot , so that I don't feel sleepy during demonstration after my gastronomical affair at lunch ...
Met Yeisil, Georgia and Maya , and we hung in the sun and played cards ..
Well just two more days for Yeisil and Georgia and their 4 weeks are over and they will be off ..
Will miss them , because really connected with them and had a lovely time getting to know them ..
So today after class I left for london , for a macaroon class with Ed Kimber of the Boy who Bakes ...
and a few retail moments, later armed with boots made my way to class...
Was talking-to Eve my landlady who is a real spirited doll .. 
She was dropping me off to the station and asked me if I knew where I was going ..
Si , señora, I said ..., 
"theoretically".. Yes... 
And she laughed and said , but in real life ??
And I said ... NO !!! Ha ha ...
Well I guess thats why ,H my life is an adventure and I'm trying to live it as fun as possible ..
Sometimes .. I find fantastic places ..
And sometimes , though the path is beautiful .. I reach a dead-end and have to journey back ..
Well that's life ...
And then sometimes ... I walk to fast and cross something that catches my attention and so take a U-Turn ...
Well frankly my life , so yes I can change my mind ...
Sometimes I do stupid , immature things enroute ..and make crazy decisions when I don't understand stuff ..
But guess , I will have to live and learn 
Lost a ear-ring today .. Something that I have had on for years ...
But then again ... Could have lost something more precious than Gold .. 
So I'm Ok ...
And the macron class was great , learnt a lot and made a nice batch , they were not perfect and frankly that's ok , because you learn from your mistakes ...
Met a whole lot of people who were there because they love macarons ..
Met a lady Sadia from Pakistan , who is a GP, and has been in London for the past ten years , and she looks at me and says she knows my face ...
Ha ha ha really felt nice and funny to be recognized ..
Yup she used to watch me on MTV ...
And I was so worried about going back from Central London late ..
But providence has a way of working in mysterious ways ..
My partner Zoe.. 
(Zoe is also my little girls name )
So Zoe my partner stays two stops ahead of Woking ...
And I have company to go back ...

Angels ....Do you believe in them ....I do ...
Someone up there really does love me ..

Think I'm gonna call it a night now ..
Hope to wake up early Tom or may just stay awake and listen to music for a bit ... Because tomorrow is a light fun day ...
Wine course ... From 9.30 am to 4pm ...
Ha ha ha ...
I know what you thinking...
But it could well be only theory ...
Hmmmmm to another beautiful day ....salute...

Day 4
Did not sleep , till 1am, last night and woke up at 5am ...
Could not sleep ..
So decided to google Paris ...
And sat making an itenary for Maya and me ....
So yup .... Sat on my bed, cuddled in my duvet...
Trying to figure a plan of action , for two girls from Asia , who don't know a word of French...
Except of course a few food words that I'm still learning for my theory exam....so "parlez  vous anglaise " is something I'm gonna be saying a lot ..
This morning I was in a bit of a destructive mode ...
I did not run and breakfast was , chocolate chip cookies, grapes, berries , yoghurt and galaxy chocolate milk ....
I liked my lips like the cat that got the cream ...
And made it to class in the freezing cold , running late ...
What's wrong with me .....
Today was our "Wine lecture"...
Which was fun...
Realised , for the first time , that being an Indian is tough sometimes ....
John Downes M.W was simply fantastic ....
He was a treasure trove of knowledge about wines , and the whole day was fascinating and intriguing and so lightly intense ...
We were introduced to wines and regions and the various modalities that go into wine making ...
He said something that has now stuck in my head, 
"Crushing grapes with your feet in Portugal to make Portu wine , should be on your , 'to do' list , before you die "
I don't know about Portugal , but this happens in wineries in India too, and now I really want to do this ...
And I'm hoping that I do get a chance ......
Hmmmm ...it just feels like so much fun...
Ended our day with bubbly...
Amanda from class is really sweet, she is an upfront, talented chef and a lovely person...
I like hanging with her...
She has positive energy emanating from her...
Sam is sweet and shy ...
The restof the boys ...well , probably need to understand their groove ...
Georgina from Australia is leaving on Wednesday , really gonna miss her, she is absolutely adorable...pixie like and very cute ...
Maya is also finishing this week, she is a fire-cracker , that girl , and need to learn how to live for the day , like she does ...she is amazing and need to get over my shyness , now that I see her ...
So she is also leaving soon....
Don't like loosing people I have grown to love ...
Not the best week in that sense ...
But you know what...
Some people will continue living in a warm corner of your heart , even if they are not in your life ...
Gosh !!!! Yup!
But thankfully , Maja is with me till the end of the course, she is just beautiful , with a wonderful heart ...
A beautiful person....
Got to know Katie a little more this week and she is very sweet...
She rides horses and on weekends, has beautiful curly hair and has a very easy going personality ...she takes part in competitions for her club, how very cool is that , she has invited me over, I really hope that I can go, I have never really ridden a horse ...except on Juhu beach as a kid ...ha ha ha ...
So yup ... Hope this happens...
And I really like my land-lady Eve.....
She is adorable ...
And happy that I live with her...
Today ...really needed a hug ...
A good day..

Day 5

Woke up super super early ...
And was wondering why...
So went back to sleep ...
Class today was nice ...last night was wondering if we ever gonna get to cook alone ...
Just for a day....
because was not feeling very very sociable...
Come to class , and the menu was delectable...
Seared scallops on a bed of baby spinach, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and topped with pancetta and Parmesan shavings ...
Pasta from scratch with a mixed pepper sauce...
And Ally my partner , did not come , because she is unwell...
Missed her , but , I got to cook alone ....
Damn...if I knew I was gonna get what I wished for ...would have asked for something more exciting ...
Like for instance ....ya right , I'm gonna tell you ..ha ha ha ...
So I had a wonderful schizophrenic day with all my split personalities, all 7 of them .. 
We discussed a whole lot of stuff, ranging from food  ,to music ,to travel ,to love, friendships and everything in- between ...
I don't think , I was as ravenous as I was today , I think we all were..
Lunch as usual , always starts in a bit of silence...
Paying respect to the food we cooked ....
Nah ! Nah !
It's because we all got food stuffed in our mouth and that's that..
I have gotten so used to having desert with every meal , that if we don't make our own , then we all ask if , some other class is sending us desert...
Today was the last day of the essential course...
So yup,  Maya and Georgia , will not be in school on Monday ...
Damn... We had such a lovely time together...
Will really miss these girls ...

After we finished for the day, went to the 4week essential class, hugged Georgia, ate a chocolate eclair made by Maya and hugged Ryan .....
Good bye guys....
It was nice breaking bread with you ..

Today the 6 month course made an amazing wedding spread...
We went in to take a look...
Gosh ...I so love good food and the spread was , "edible art"... Nothing less..
Can't believe that 4weeks has just sped by...
Guess time flies when you are doing what you love ....

So till next week ..

Au revoir ....



Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NO END...

So how do I define what I cannot understand..
Do I have to put a name to every emotion ..
Like we all have names that seperate us from one another..
Who we are ,where we come from ...

But emotions and feelings ...They are not people or things...
They are like a seamless story..
There is no beginning no end ...
Why do we have to categorize what we feel ..
Feelings are free flowing ..
Like the water of a gushing river from the mountains ..
Full of energy , shiny ripples and babbling laughter ...
Going through forests and plains and playing in the mid-summers rains ..

So why oh why can't I ...

This life was meant to be lived .. With love and joy ...
With laughter and pain ..
All entwined together like an endless tight embrace....
A hug.....
Can you really describe a hug ...
No....
But....even the thought...
Makes you feel warm .. It makes you feel loved ..
So yup !!!
Life is meant to be lived and experienced and felt from the bottom of your heart to the tip of your nose..
To the sparkle in your eye and your smile all coy ..
Yes we all come into this world alone ..
And that's exactly how we will return ...
But in this journey to the rainbows end ..
We do meet many an acquaintance and many a friend ..
We also find love ..
Which to me is all above ..
Everything and all..
It's what keeps me warm ..
When I'm alone at night ...
It makes me smile at silly things ...
And makes me dream of meandering paths..
Bathed is sunlight where horses run wild ...
Where it's always twilight ...
And the sea is blue ....
And as I run over the soft sands..
My hair blowing in the cool breeze ...
I stop and smile ,at that smile ...
That I know is sitting there on the ocean shore...
Don't really need to say much ...
Because what is felt , does not ever need to be explained by mortal souls ..
Who are sitting together in their own warm cocoon ..
Alone ...
Separated from all the din of the world ..
They may just smile, or hold hands for a while, look into each others brown eyes..
And get lost in the magic for a while ...
It maybe for a minute or for a bit more ...
But that time is precious ...
And that's all mine ..
Never to be given back ...
Or taken away ...
Will be held with great care in the warmth of my every breath...
And with every waft of the summer breeze...
It's sweet fragrance will be spread every where...
And so let it be told ...
When you love, you love with all your might...
If it's anything less, it's not worth it ...Right ?







Sent from my iPhone

Monday, October 17, 2011

TANTE MARIE : WEEK 3....

Week 3

This week started off with a bang ,
 Monday was fantastic...
Tuesday like you read Was an awesome fun day ...

Wednesday was a day where I did not really enjoy the menu ....
But we had a demonstration for Indian cuisine that afternoon , and I was really excited ...
It's wonderful to see my cuisine as part of what is  taught on a cordon Bleu course ...
Well it was a bit different ...
But I was really looking forward to getting into the kitchen the next day and making everything that was on the menu ...
Thursday beamed early and bright, I took all my recipes and was too happy to cook ..
I don't really cook a lot of traditional indian food at home , but was feeling very very patriotic and proud of us as Indians ...
That's something I'm super happy being ...
"I'm Indian , I live in Bombay " ...gosh does it not sound lovely, so my partner Joe and me started our day....
I was on a curry high ...ha ha ha ...
Made Masoor dal , aloo bhaji,peas pulau and good Indian chicken curry ....
It all turned out really well...
Felt fantastic and was really close to singing the national anthem ...
I think we Indians are a proud colourful people, have hospitality and vibrancy oozing out of our pores ...and I'm just really proud to be Indian ....
Every time I cook kind of Indian food,  all my friends say that's it's very very " Kischan"", but I swear on the "Garam masala".... This was fully Indian , tadka lagake ....Mini, Jaya and Sandy , if you guys were here you would have given me a tight hug ...
Short of jumping on the table and waving the national flag ....think it was a super after-noon, there was so much of food on the table, there was tandoori chicken, spicy mushroom curry, naans , papads...it was a full on feast ....
Really felt super ....
I have decided that when I go home am going to learn how to make good yummy Punjabi food...yup ...
Went home a happy bunny...

Friday made some awesome food again ...
But what I loved most is Canadian wild rice , it's just beautiful...
It's slimmer and thinner and longer than our basmati rice...
But it's brown and looks a bit like really thick , rosemary sticks...
And it's awesome, tastes wild like it's name and looks beautifully rustic...
Made honeyed wild rice , which is a combination of , wild , brown and White rice....
Need to buy some of this and take it back home ....

Friday night went out with Maya and Maja to a local disco , because it was Maya from Korea.'s birthday ...
It was fun and got to know, a little more about Maya and Maja ....

Saturday I spent shopping and drinking hot chocolate , with my friend Lorraine from college ....
Think I'm a little addicted to hot chocolate ....
It's so nice to hang with Lorraine and her family ....
And her little boy Isaac wanted me to stay and have a sleep over , and was willing to share his toothbrush with me , if I forgot mine at home ...
Just how cute is he ....
Retail therapy always makes the day a better day ha ha ha ...
So yes addded to my collection of sweaters ...
Did I tell you I'm moving to the north pole.....ha ha ha 
Came back tired and happy....

Sunday .....hmmmmm...
Well spent Sunday soul searching, and got my boots yeah! Yeah ! Yeah!
Realised that when I like something , I have to have it, I procrastinated and drove my friends mad asking for advice and sending them different angles of the same shoe...
And today just walked in looked at them and swiped my card and walked out looking like Pocahontas  , on her way into the forest to meet Captain John ....
Gosh ...

Spent the afternoon, having lunch at 45 Park Lane , a  brand new restaurant, with my ex-boss Rachana , who is now my friend ....
The food was lovely , fresh and the flavours subtle ...
And had beautiful fresh mint tea...

It's weird , but something's really make an impact on your life and stays in your system , till it's ready to surface again ...
I worked for Rachna,,  when I was really young  , "Croissants etc"..because  I love love love food ...
She is one of the first persons , who clicked a photo of me to use for publicity and told me that I should be doing modelling .....
And all these years later, we were sitting together , in a restaurant in London, discussing , food, life, entertainment and life  in general...
Rachna is an amazing person , when she set up Croissants , she was so involved with every tiny detail and so enthusiastic and ran her business like a mother runs her home ...
Full of love and passion ....
She has impeccable and real classic and refined  taste in  interiors and is just fabulous ....

Realised that in all the years that I worked...
It's the women who have been instrumental in shaping my life ....
Have had only women bosses...
And though they are tougher than guys , and expect only the best and are not willing to take anything less and excuses don't work...
I'm happy that I was pushed to realise what I am really made of ...
Yup I'm made of sugar and spice and all things nice ...
But I'm also made of fire and forest and the deep blue sea and stars of the sky ...

And I thank-you Rachna Narang, Natasha Malhotra(MTV), Sneha Rajani (Sony) and Monica Nirula (NDTV Good Times)...
For believing in me and tapping stuff that I probably did not know existed ...
To all the women in my life and the boys on the side ....Ha ha ha ...
This week to you ....

And in other news ....
Was wondering about life in general , since I'm sooooo far from home ....
Home is where the heart is .....
And my heart at the moment is in different parts of the world ...
And so technically , I have homes all over the world ....
Lucky me I say ...
So catch you all next week ...
It's gonna be fantabulous ....yup .....!!!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

JUST LOVE AND ME ....

When I think of you , my heart breaks into a smile ...
And it reaches my lips and my eyes ...
You make me happy..
You do ..
I don't know why ..
But even if we talk a while ..
It brightens my day even more ..
I dont know about you ..
But hope ...
Im able to reach in deep , where your smile you keep ...
They say 'distance makes the heart grow fonder '
Well is that really true ..
Because that can't really be the only reason why , I love you '..
I think it's the sun , the moon and the stars above , they have conspired , to do this to us...
Well frankly, I can only talk for myself ..
But at this point of time ..
I'm happy and willing to walk a mile ...
It could be anywhere ... I don't really care ..
I'm not really fussy ..
But as long as I can hear you and your mad laugh .. And you don't leave me alone in the dark ..
I think we will both be fine ..
To sit by a Bon- fire and laugh and smile ..
I really don't know what else to say ..
Because I have said what's in my heart ..
Don't want to sound like someone escaped from a hall-mark card ...
But it's true...
I'm happy when I spend time with you ...
How ever it may be ...
It makes no difference to me ...feel like laughing , talking, smiling , giggling, hugging , kissing , cuddling ...
Ha ha ha crazy me .....




Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 13, 2011

MISSING ....

Missing
I'm so far away from home ...
From everyone that I can call my own...
From my towel to my pillow..
From my kitchen to Taz my puppy  lying in his own space...
There are no pictures on the wall...
No phone calls buzzing at all..
No kids to hug ...
And nothing to scream about...
No tantrums to throw , with the people I know...
No door bells ringing, no Pav-walla bringing,
warm hot breads that I love to have with Amul butter, sitting on my bed....
Have a few friends that keep in touch ...
And wait for my phone to beep...
To  see their name light up my screen, is just so awesome ,I feel....
I know each one has their own life to lead...
And they still make time ...
They are my pieces of gold...
All encrusted with diamonds and rubies and other pretty shining things...
But I miss them , all these wonderful pieces of my life...
And when one goes missing ...
Feel like ,"Mary , who lost her little lamb...
And I can't seem to rest , till I know where is my pet ...
Is this good , is this bad, I don't know and don't really care...
I'm me ...
And if in life any of you do decide, to never stay in touch ...
Please just leave a note or text saying Good-bye ...
Yes I will cry , but what the he'll...
We live on earth , here is where we dwell...
And will meet at some point of time ...
And when that happens , let me say this ....
After I hug you and kiss you tight and give you my biggest and brightest smile ...
 I will punch you , with all my might, not because you went away, but because you wasted precious time...where we could have, laughed, giggled, travelled , sipped wine, watched sunsets and slept with a smile !!!!!
So at the end all I wanna do is live like a butterfly, travel from flower to flower , flutter and make you smile , every time I cross you by.....
To the ones who bring me love , it does not matter where you are, when I close my eyes...
You are smiling back at me ...
And in my heart, you will always stay ...
Till all my breath is taken away ,,,,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WEEK 3: DAY 1 & 2...

Week 3

Day 1...
Well it started just like the way I hoped...
With a bang...
Woke up early , did not go running, because now have an excuse, "it's getting cold , what if I fall ill ,blah ! Blah ! Blah!
So listened to music, whatsapp 'd my friends in Bombay and suddenly I was rushing to make it in time to class...
Me who can get ready with shower , blow-dry and make up in 15 minutes, now gets late to leave at 9am , even after waking up at 6,15 am...
I have not had so much of time to myself in a very long time...
First it was lack of sleep and early morning shoots with MTV...
Then cricket in Sri LAnka and South Africa with Sony..
And life was one big shoot , with wonderful moments thrown in...
Where all I wanted was a few extra hours in the day , just to be but it never happened...
So lived life in speed mode...
Well I throughly enjoyed every minuscule moment of it...and could not have asked for a better time... 
Then came Zeke and Zene...
And I love running after them ...
I love kids and would gladly have at least two more ...

And so , now all of a sudden , I wake up and have no one too run after, and nothing to do , except pander to my own needs...
And how delightful is that ...

Get to class, and get a new partner for the week ...
Joe...who is not in class....OUCH....
Bloody hell.. And we had lots to do ...
So I started with prepping the food and getting ready to cook alone , but thankfully was informed that he will be coming in later ...
Which Joe did, and we whizzed around like bees and finished all our food on time ...whew..
Have decided that at least for this week , I'm his alarm clock ...ha ha ha ...
Have not washed so many utensils in a very long time ...
The afternoon, was for baking with Nick, soft -spoken and absolutely lovely to learn from, he is always there to answer questions and help and encourage you , he just has a very calming demeanour , and its wonderful to cook with him ...
and all of us made the softest loveliest lemon cake...
And prepped for the mutton carbonnade ....which is mutton , onions , butter , ale etc cooked in the oven...for a long time..
We learnt the carbonnade from Ally, who is just one of the nicest teachers , I have, she Ooohs and Aaaahs when she talks about food and is never to shy to add an extra dollop of butter, and says " ummmmm deeeelicious " and makes the class salivate and extremely eager to make what she has demonstrated , a lovely smiling face and a fantastic teacher..
Day done...
Happy tummies and happy faces...
Came back and just sat and listened to music and did a bit of reading ,
Wrote a bit and slept like a baby...

Day 2
 This had to be a wonderful day , because woke up with the sound of my whatsapp beeper , buzzing in full frantic mode, so knew that ,Mini, Jaya and Sandy were all chatting...
Woke up and got into chatter mode..
Got ready for class...20 degrees..just perfect...
Class today was quizzing with excitement over lunch ..we were all waiting for our carbonnade..
Made lovely fluffy cheese cake ...
And broccoli and leek puree...that looked like something Shrek and Princess Fiona would feed their kids ...ha ha ha ...but it was really tasty....
We all sat and had a great lunch together with much laughter and camaraderie ...
Had a long break ...
 I shared with all my new cooking friends a glimpse of my life in Mumbai...
Think they had fun...
And introduced them to "Bollywood", though I can't stand the name , much prefer the Indian Film Industry ...well ..well..it's here to stay...
The afternoon session was fantastic...
We had Al doing a Breakfast demonstration ....
That was filled with eggs, pancakes, herrings, haddock, muesli, porridge, kippers, banana muffins , bacon et all ...
In the break Maya, Maja, Ryan, Georgia , Tom and me played cards...
I'm beginning to get the hang of it now...
Oh have I told you about Ryan from, my favourite city in the world New York..
Well he is really nice, sweet , shy , good looking and is going off to South freaking Africa to work as a ranger....I'm so so jealous...but in a good way...
Well he is your all American boy , who loves his foot-ball on weekends...and is good with making pan cakes too...

Al continued cooking post our little break, and it was a fun session..
Ryan helped making pancakes and so did Tom...
The class was filled with infectious energy...
And then Al taught us how to make "poached eggs"
Now this is truly an art form and he said, "I'm absolutely amazing at poaching eggs" ..I swear he did...
And right there in front of us, in a swirling dervish of vinegar water, he made beautiful poached eggs...
If I were the Queen of England , swear, I would Knight him, "Sir Master Poacher" ...
 Well on a more serious note, he is a very good chef and teacher,  the ease with which he talks and cooks and gives out information, answers us , makes it fun and lively and allows us to be ...makes for a very interesting class...
Food cooked..we all tasted everything..and with bellies full of various breakfast goodies at 4pm in the evening , we all sauntered out of Tante Marie , in the direction of our respective homes...
Missed having Amanda in class...she went of for an interview..well hope she does get the job, because she is really amazing ....
Must say that in these 2 weeks and 2 days , this has been the best day for me ,so far...
Had a blast , also because I made many more friends...
I'm a happy bunny...

SOMEDAYS...

Somedays ...
When I sit alone...
There is a stirring in my soul ...
Of thoughts so deep ..
That I never thought I keep ...
But they are me too ....
They make me ponder and wonder ...
Of life and what's yonder ...
Is what I have all I want ..
Or is there more that my heart thirsts for ..
Sometimes feel like I'm walking in a desert with just the stars at night that lead my way ...
And I feel beautiful inside ...
To be bathed in moon lite
To have the cold nights wind blow through my hair ..
And have to pull my shawl over my shoulders bare ...
To walk on cool sands..
That reach beautiful new lands ...
To meet people I may love and meet strangers sent ...
Just to tell me ..
There is more to life and this is just the beginning of all that I have dreamt...
Sometimes I know what's in store , feel like I have been to this place before ...
The abode of my dreams ...
Is a reality it seems ..
Now all I have to do is walk through that open door ...
Into lush green fields and skies azure..
Of blue birds singing in the sky ..
And daisies and buttercups smiling by...
Fish swimming in the lake ..
And children laughing and tumbling near-by...
It's always spring here ..
And can feel immense love out of every pore ...
Feel warm eyes looking at me ..
I walk towards the love I feel...
And this is no longer a dream ...
I smile and look up to the sun ..
And thank God for all he has done ...
For all the ones ...
I love forever more...
And for giving me this heart ..
That sometimes gets broken and sometimes cries ..
But always has a new sun -rise ...
And is able to live and feel...
Love that is immense ..
That sometimes frankly ..
Does not make sense ...
But who am I to choose ..
It's not me ..
This is between two hearts ..
That make one another happy ..
So with this I end my day ..
Until tomorrow...
I can feel it in my toes and can feel a big broad smile as I crinkle my nose...
And snuggle into the warmth of my bed...
It's gonna be a darn good day ahead ...







Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 9, 2011

TANTE MARIE: WEEK 2...

Week 2

And this week flew like a jet to a holiday destination...
This whole week just whizzed ....
We started the week with ,again new partners...

This week I worked with Olly...
Lovely, bright, fun and a voracious appetite for food like me...
She loves Sushi and has lived in Hong Kong , so yes loves oriental food...
She was real fun, we tasted more food than we ate , actually no we ate more ha ha ha and had a blast ...
Will miss cooking with  her ..

Started the first day but burning my hand with with hot water, fortunately, it was not very very bad...It got ok in a day...
So lesson to remember , "You play with Hot-Stuff , you can get burnt ...

So this week was great , because we did have a  good menu of oriental food...
We did everything, from sesame chicken to wantons, to ice-cream, scones, learnt how to make pasta, made and ate sticky pudding that I loved..
Did a hygiene course and an exam ...
And ended the week with a fun menu....

Met a few more teachers this week...
I think our class has a whole bunch of really talented and fun guys...

Amanda -who has worked in a kitchen for some time, you can see her ease as she preps and chops, and is always ready to help, she is lovely ...

Thomas or Tom- he has a natural affinity to food and loves to sing, frankly so do I ,  think he he is gonna be a travelling singing chef , and is quite a a charmer ...

Sam- he is quiet and shy , but is always at the sink to help with wiping or anything else...and works quietly and efficiently..and is very sweet and friendly...

Joseph or Joe- he loves to cook , but think at his own time and pace , and loves to chew on plastic glasses, for some reason.... he loves food and loves cooking for his family and with friends ...

Maya- she is lovely, beautiful, good at her work , kind and fun, and lovely to hang with ...
We play cards , and hang in our breaks, she is beautiful inside out...

Martin - he reminds me of a young Justin Timberlake ....he cooks well ... good with his food , and very sincere...

Katie- well she knows what she is doing, don't know her very well yet ,but will know her sooner than later, she is friendly and sweet , and wears glasses like me...

Ally- she is pretty has big eyes and is cute, she does her work quietly and sincerely...

Well then there is Maya from Korea , Georgia from Australia and Ryan from New York , who are doing the4 week essential course, and I meet them during break everyday ,,,they are lovely...
Last week we played cards during one of our breaks...i'm terrible at cards...
Then there  is Maria from the 6 month course from Columbia...
She is a doll and so friendly , and welcoming , have to go live with her at least once before I go back home ....

Then there is Kejanne, who is from my most favourite part of the world , South Africa, she is lovely, friendly warm and just has such great energy ...

I also went for a ballet with my land-lady  Eve... My first ever..
Cleopatra-it was riveting , mesmerising , passionate , heart breaking and simply the most beautiful dancing I have seen ...
When I see dancing like this ...I really feel jealous, but a good wow , you are amazing kinda jealous ...
Gosh ! Dancing is the only thing I truly miss...

Anyway, this week was fabulous and learnt tons of stuff, some I knew some i was taught...

I love cooking with Ally, Al , Vera, Nick, Tim and Kate....
Not only because they are fantastic teachers ...but because I'm in love with food and how it touches the people we feed...

I think the amount of love you put into your food is directly proportionate  to the smiles of satisfaction on the faces of the ones you feed....
Yup that's my theory and I'm sticking to it...

When I go back , what I will miss most is sitting together all the ten of us and the ten more students we cook for, all eating together , sometimes in silence , sometimes in laughter, sometimes in questions...
I love that part of the day the most...
Pure simple hunger and food ...
So so basic and so real ...

Just wonderful is how I would describe my second week here ...
The temperature has dropped by 10 degrees, so for a Bombay girl like me, this is heaven ....
Today I went off to London to indulge in some retail therapy, need to still buy my boots, which are made for walking and dancing , well I found four pairs I like, 1 from Uggs, the furry kind that I love very pocahontas ,and a brown leather too,   then a black from Aldo and a black from Ecco...well will buy at least one tomorrow...
 Went and watched, "Phantom of the opera", because I'm a succour for love stories...
It was goose-flesh amazing....
God the power and intensity of their voices and the emotions that's flowed , just kept me enthralled...
Unrequited love...that's what it was about....it made me cry...which was very embarrassing , because I was the only one wiping my tears while everyone else was clapping....

Went and sat at St.James Park, I love sitting there watching the ducks and geese...and people pass by...
I thought of Zeke so much, because I used to take him there every day to feed him his break-fast ...and play and run..
Was pregnant with Zene at that time....
Well , the park was full of kids running and people hugging and kissing ...
Hmmmm ....You can feel love around you , like the sky round the moon.....not my words, they are from my favourite song from my favourite film, "serendipity "....
So I decided retail therapy is what I need....ha ha ha 
So went and bought more sweaters and jackets that I will never need once I go back to India, and so may have to migrate to a very cold place just to wear my new winter wardrobe....ha ha ha ....

Well tomorrow I'm off to Covent garden...
Did I hear a "why"...
Well because Wagamamma  is calling out to me ...
I'm sure you guys must think I'm crazy .... And maybe you are absolutely right ...
Oh by the way this course is for 9  1/2 weeks like the movie , not 11 weeks, like it was supposed to be ....

But , I'm looking forward to Monday , spending time in the Tante Marie kitchens , with people who are there because of only one reason ...
They love food.....

So till next week ...
Bye ..
Keep in touch ...by writing back ....

P.s.Will load photos as soon as I down load some new programme for uploading photographs onto my blog, after down-loading them from my iPhone on to the iPad ...
So I hope you all understand my plight ...ha ha  ...really wish I was tech savvy or at least had friends who were tech savvy here...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

TIME.....


Just wanna say.....
Thank you ..
You opened my heart..
My mind and soul .
So I guess thats your path
And I know we all walk alone..
But i know you will think of me..
And this passage in time...
To you, to me and what we share...
Laughter,stupidness, craziness , still moments ,sleepy breaths and photographs across miles..
I'm letting this out into the universe ...
Into the open air...
To the stars above and the sea's below..
And when in time our paths do cross..
Whether we shake hands..
Or just smile...
we walked together for a bit in time...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MY HEART AND ME ....

My mind is bursting ..
I don't know what I feel..
I think I'm in a dream...
A thousand questions are running a marathon in my mind..
What if this ...?
What if that...?
Why..?
When .. ?
How..?
And how about now...!!!
I'm happy ,and I know ..
I have sooooo much love and some more...
Feel like my heart is a well so deep..
And it's there ...my all I keep...
Memories...
People...
Conversations..
Days..
Stories I have been told ..
And hysterical moments replayed..
I have stories stored for every day of the year..
Of moments I will always hold dear...
I'm like an elephant with a memory sublime..
Some moments I always remember ..
Some I definitely want to forget in time..
Trying to sleep , trying to rest ..
Good-Night....
And God Bless....
Hugs and misses too......
From me to you ...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

TANTE MARIE : WEEK 1

Well what can I say , I'm extremely happy and fortunate to have come to Tante Marie, because it's lovely....
The teachers are fantastic , the teaching method is actually quiet simply put forward and I'm thinking that by the time I have finished with this course , I will have acquired a new skill for life...
Everyone keeps asking me what I'm gonna do with this, the answer, very plain and simply is ,"I really don't know"...
I just love cooking and feeding people ,and my family and friends love food and so , just feel blessed that I could come here for two and a half months...

Now let me tell you about my first day...
Well if you want to know how it felt...
Hmmmm ...well it felt like a first date with the guy you have had a crush on ,for the longest time...
You know that feeling in your stomach where you are excited and nervous all together...
And wondering what to wear, how to do your hair ....etc etc...

That's exactly how it was for me...
I woke up went for a run...and then..got ready and walked to Tante Marie,which is 10 minutes away from my home stay...
We were all given a basic introduction and were given our uniforms and knives, and a set of rules...and the day began...

Lunch on that day was made by the 1 years..
Well there are 64 students in all , and various batches...
Some doing the 4week essential, where you just enjoy cooking, you don't cover the entire recipe book, and you are not marked or graded , you just get certificate of attendance...

Then there is the Cordon Bleu Certificate course, which is what i'm doing , where you get the same book as the essential course but , learn all the recipes with the chefs from Tante Marie..and get a certificate after you pass the , budget meal, theory and the practical exam..

Then there is the 6month Cordon Bleu Diploma course , that ideally I would have wanted to do , but another life-time I guess..

And finally the one year, Intensive Cordon Bleu Diploma......wow

And so the first day, the 6 month class made lunch and we joined them to eat....
Awesome herbed stuffed chicken and roasted potatoes...
They were all so cool as they discussed what each one did and tasted each others food...
Gosh I was in Food Heaven ...

And from the next day we got into our kitchen
And made lunch and some other class who had theory , came and joined us...
It's just awesome meeting so many people in a room who all love "FOOD"....
And we all sit and eat together sometimes with lots of chatter and sometimes like today ,very quietly , because we were all so hungry ...
The 4 Week Essential class does not get to do this, feel bad for them.....

And after a big lunch, we normally start the next session at 2 , and invariably , If its a theory os a demonstration , I doze like crazy , because I'm full and want to actually lie in the lawn and snooze a bit...ha ha ha ...
Made my first friend, "Kejen", a lovely girl from South Africa...
And Maria..from ...I forgot where...

Well my colleagues are all very interesting ...
Still getting to know all of them , every week we get a new partner to cook with, this week I had Maja from Denmark, lovely , very pretty and very talented, we worked well together, without taking one another for granted and still having our own opinion...will miss cooking with her...
But it's nice that I will get a chance to work with all the 9 in class...
We all get a whole lot of chores...
I cut my little finger on the left hand twice....bloody hell....
But all in all a fantastic week...

Made a whole lot of French sounding food...
Which is yummy and very fatty...
Oh ..and I have to learn French vocabulary as part of my syllabus for my theory exams...only problem is I'm learning it with a Indian-Spanish accent ha ha ha ....
I really hope to get it right...
Because this time for me is never coming back ....

Miss my family at home too much ...miss my friends, my blanket , my toilet, my bathroom,
my car, my driver, my help at home, my pillow, my nariyal-walla, my dhobi, the screaming, the noise , the crowded roads , my plants, my pillow, my masseur,my beetle,all the daily banter with my girls on the phone,the radio, my mummy and daddy, paani-puri at appointment , coffee at Costa with Sandy, Sunday brunch with Mini and the kids, soul-chats with Jaya, Arshad coming in and out to pack for the next destination that he has to shoot in, my Zeke and Zene , all the tumbling, refusing to brush their teeth, bargaining for for tv time, cuddles before they sleep.....and even my 10 yr old puppy Taz ....
Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh .....I miss home.....

But it's a good missing , I'm not pining for them just missing all the moments I'm used to....
So will continue learning and spending time with myself here in Tante Marie...
Oh and forgot to tell you, I have the sweetest land lady Eve, she is a doll and absolutely adorable...
She is one of the friendliest souls and feel at home at her home, she walks as fast as me and is just too sweet...
So you see, all is good...
There is a full moon tonight and in the quiet cold night , I'm sipping on a glass of merlot..and wishing on stars...

My first week here...AWESOME...

p.s. I'm writing from my iPad and have no clue how to load pictures ...