I already had a tentative membership into the P.A League, but this week-end my membership was confirmed. Yoohoo! Can you all cheer with me?

The P.A.League confirms membership when the following conditions have been achieved
1) Look dashed silly (in public of course) There isn’t much point in being silly with only the walls as an audience.
2) Do things that sane men and women scowl upon in real life, but would perfectly enjoy on reel.
3) Have a bunch of folks point their fingers at you, and make little effort to hide their glee.

I must tell you achieving the third is the roughest. If you think having a couple of folks who barely know how to eat out of their own plates jeer at you is easy, I’d have to suggest some classes for you. I suspect it would be harder for a stiff upper lip kind of person I assure you.

I realise I have gone on just needling your interest in the P.A. League, and you brain is now aching to know what it is. Is it the Personal Assistants Club, or the Polymath Agrarian League?

I’ll feel cruel if I withhold any longer. So here goes. It is called the Prized Asses League. To feel like  a prized ass, you can either do things like this:


Or, take up the daunting task of engaging children at the Kitchen Khiladi fest. I cannot say the whole event was like this. I wasn’t feeling like a P.A member for 90% of the activities I indulged in with the children, but towards the very end, I was running out of options, and started a freeze dance program. In hindsight, that did not seem like such a good idea. For one, I went in with the assumption that all I had to do was stand in the sidelines and start and stop the music. This game is a sophisticated one where children are supposed to dance when the music is on and freeze when it stops. I obviously thought that they would dance and they would freeze. Turns out, I had to lead them. I am not sure how Goliath felt when he was swinging in with the Davids, but I felt close. At one point, I froze in a funny posture to induce some fun and giggling into the proceedings, and two of them pointed at me and started howling (with laughter thankfully, I can’t tell you how bad it would have been if the children cried on seeing me dance)

Every once in a while, letting my inhibitions go with children is refreshing. It teaches me the importance of having a sense of humor and taking life lightly. I am thinking that would immensely help these folks too.


CIF Kitchen Khiladi

I had a unique culinary experience recently. I made something (food presumably) that has very little semblance to what one actually eats as food. I tried a combination of speed, innovation, novel ingredients and completely wrong ratios.

The evening tugged at me – the weather was bright, and the daughter and I wanted to play football with our hands. Perfectly normal so far you’ll agree. The evening however hard you try to stop it, marches on into the night with a steady trumpet blow. Then one is left with dirty football hands and a hungry stomach. So, I figured I will just make something that smacks of speed, health and aroma. A touch of Thai and Chinese would not hurt, I added as a mental note to myself. A smear of turmeric here, a touch of soy sauce there, and a whisp of basil.

I don’t know if there are competitions for the greatest flops. But that dish with the Indo-Chinese-Thai-Italian flavor just smacked of failure – on a colossal level. I think it even smelt Mediterrnean when the winds blew in a south westerly direction.

Given this performance, it is almost impertinent that I should be hustling you all to a cooking competition. But, I would like to salvage my position by saying it is for a good cause, and the important thing is to try something new.

So here goes. Cancer Institute Foundation is conducting Kitchen Khiladi – the brave, the creative, the explorers of unchartered soups and medleys, gather ye. Make a difference to cancer care while having fun.

Limbo between Roti Land, Poori Land and Parotta Land

I tend to agree with Vasundhara Chauhan. Who is Vasundhara Chauhan? Why would I agree with her? These are valid questions and deserve to be addressed. V.Chauhan penned this article in the Hindu where she deplores the flood of standard dal makhani, butter chicken, and naan wherever one looks for good indian food.


Imagine my surprise therefore when I stepped into an Indian restaurant, and they asked me whether I wanted Naan or Chappati to go with dal makhani and mutter panneer. I went in for the Chappati – the old jaws need a break sometimes and soft chappatis would fit the bill nicely. The chappatis arrived, and if anything, they were worse for the jaws than a bunch of sugarcane chunks.

The chappatis did not stop me from taking a mental trip down the Cauvery river, however. Yes, the chappatis were a sturdy breed that is the hallmark of the South Indian Chappati Making Foundation. You see the folks of the S.I.C-M-Foundation have a process:

1) You first sit on the floor with a huge bowl of flour, and one leg outstretched from beneath the saree.
2) You tip a generous serving of oil in the flour.
3) You knead it to a rubbery consistency that is bordering on hard. Sort of like those mock cork balls.
4)  You take up approx 323 sq ft with spread out magazines, and flour and generally shoo the crows and children wanting to play with the flour away.
5) Then, you proceed to roll out triangular chappatis that have a tendency to shine with oil
6) Once this arduous process is done, you can proceed to the actual task of putting them on the tava. Oil should be used again and poor triangular blighters have to be flipped back and forth till you have a coloration that tells you not to expect something soft.

The SICMF does not like to see soft chapatis without oil. The chaps have to be mid way into being poories, stop short and decide in the last minute to become parottas, and stay in the limbo between Roti Land, Poori Land and Parotta Land.

The process takes a brisk 58 minutes for 15 chappatis, and is usually served with ‘Gurma’.

For the records, I was not scarred excessively with the chappati-poori-parotta treatment, since my mother broke her ties with SICMF early in her career, and we had fantastic, soft rotis instead of chappatis.

Is there a gene for this?

I honestly try to keep my nose down and go about my own sincere business. Everytime, I do that, I swear that some guy makes it a point to throw something like this at me and taunt me, just for the sake of it.

So, here goes. Apparently, a bunch of drunk humor challenged drunkards(did I call them drunk already? I must have.) So, where was I? Yes, humor challenged drunkards, did this to a fellow human being. They shoved an eel up a person’s a** as a joke.


I am not one for macabre scenes, and take this opportunity to express my disapproval. But seriously, how does one think of these things? Forget all the negative psychological effects on the eel for a moment, and ponder on the sickening psychological workings of these men.

I grew up in a boarding school where ragging was rampant. I never understood the bullying mentality. I’ve read books and listened to spirited discourses from the father, who particularly disliked bullies.

Coming back to the eel episode, I think the fact that they were drunk was not the cause. I’ve seen drunk men doubling up as mild entertainment for the sober ones. For being able to hurt someone, the instinct may have nothing to do with being drunk. In this case, being drunk is an attribute. There must be a gene that wants to hurt people, and that is the gene to be squashed for all of mankind. Yet for all the advances we have made, we have not been able to isolate this intent to hurt and treat it.

Is there a gene for this?

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