Monthly Archives: December 2012

breaking bad

glass kettleSilica and boron oxide make the two main glass-forming consituents of borosilicate glass. With a very low coefficient of thermal expansion, borosilicate glass is less subject to thermal stress and resistant to thermal shock. Otto Schott discovered the magic in the late 19th century and has allowed the world to even use high heat-resistant marijuana and tobacco pipes.

I asked each of the 3 attendants 3 times each and raised my eyebrows a total of 9 times. “Yes! This handmade and delicate glass kettle can be put on a stove!” They graciously provided an answer to my follow-up question – “Yes! You can even light up the stove.” Unfortunately, it was too late for me – the seed of doubt had already been planted and my stubborn eyebrows chose not to relax. I may have irritated at least 9 human beings on this day of Dec 28, 2012.

I poured water into the kettle and hesitated to turn on the stove. While I was carefully rotating the knob clockwise, I tried to remember where the broom is located, in case of an evening full of breaking bad. I watched baby bubbles defy gravity and travel upwards. They moved in a zig zag motion – they were either trying to dodge the enemy or simply rejoicing.

This kettle is not just any kettle – it is a clearance badge to my personal top-secret chemistry lab. Instead of teaspoons and tablespoons, I now see moles and kilomoles. Bowls have turned into petri dishes and spoons now have titration skills. Adding sugar balances the equation and cooking is nothing but a chemical reaction. With the power vested in me by this glass kettle, I now declare myself Walter White.

I gazed at the entire phenomenon. I caught the German rock sugar crystals hit the bottom and splatter happiness around. I witnessed the clear water lose its clarity. I followed the tea exploding in each of the 3 dimensions. I saw the dried pineapple chunks reach an optimal osmotic pressure. I watched the tea grow grumpy and boil with rage. I observed how the glass kettle was on fire but remained calm.

This kettle is not just any kettle – It hides a treasure. It has a purpose. It is here to teach.

On fire but calm.” – Roohism

dark chocolate raspberry truffle

  • A taste and the news channel just decided that the world will still be here on Dec 22nd, 2012.
  • A taste and I fall in love with the worst of my enemies.
  • A taste and my Julia-Roberts smile can stretch like a bubblegum.
  • A taste and the heart catches a beat and the blood, once again, reflows.
  • A taste and worries take a break and doubts dissappear.
  • A taste and nothing else on the planet really matters.

dark chocolate raspberry truffle

We all need a few things that can change the route and cover the pain, a little something that switches off the panic button, a source of an instant smile, and a shortcut to short-lived satisfaction. We all need to find our 2-minute recipe, a secret to fulfilling a quick desire. We all need to identify a flavor, own a favorite, mark a special liqueur, and create that list.

Let some calories in. Let the rain moisten your face. Let the flowers make you smile.

Just let some things be.

phir le aaya dil

phir le aaya dil, majboor kya kijiye – my helpless heart brings me here again, what to do… raas na aaya, rehna door kya kijiye – staying away didn’t really work, distance didn’t satisfy, what to do… dil keh raha, usse muqammal kar bhi aao – the heart says, go and complete that which is incomplete… wo jo adhoori si baat baaki hai – that half talk that remains still pending… wo jo adhoori si yaad baaki hai – that half memory that remains still faded.

karte hai hum, aaj qabool kya kijiye – today, I accept, I give in, I admit, what to do… ho gayi thi jo, humse bhool kya kijiye – the mistake that I made, what to do… dil keh raha, use mayassar kar bhi aao – the heart says, there’s a window, there’s an opportunity, go and get it… woh jo dabi si aas baaki hai – that wish that remains still suppressed, still contained… woh jo dabi si aanch baaki hai – that spark that still has fire but remains still restrained.

kismat ko hai, yeh manzoor kya kijiye – destiny agrees with this, fate has accepted this, what to do… milte rahe hum, badastoor kya kijiye – that we keep meeting as we do, like a tradition, like an indomitable habit, what to do… dil keh raha hai, usse musalsar kar bhi aao – the heart says, go and make it forever… woh jo ruki si raah baaki hai – that path that remains still blocked… woh jo ruki si chaah baaki hai – that yearning that remains still frozen, still a yearning.

I let go every day

third eyeI let go every day and every day I have to learn how to let go. With all this time devoted in practice, I still find myself at the start line every morning.

I’m an Aries and like to orchestrate my entire world and yet, I’m struggling with controlling my own self. I close my eyes and try to concentrate on the eye between the two eyes but the murphy law defeats me. Every useless and unnecessary thought enters when I’m trying to let go. It’s as if all the forces are scheming against me. I try to focus on one particular sound but in those few seconds, I can somehow hear every doubt, every sigh and every cry. Deep breathing is supposed to soothe me but it does quite the opposite. Where am I to deposit all the doubts? How do I handle the stubborn questions? What do I do to quieten my mind?

Perhaps, I need to start small; let go of the tangible; the cravings, the urges, and the desires.

For 40 days starting Jan 1st, I’m letting go of cheese. No bruschetta napoletana, no pizza with stuffed crust, and no cheesecake. I’m also giving you full authority on using a stick if you ever catch me sneaking in on a slice of margarita.

I let go every day and every day I have to learn how to let go.” – Roohism

hot & cold

flowersFlowers lent their color and the flame was left confused with hot & cold.

spice trayTwelve spices filled my ceramic egg tray and fooled the guests. The challenge was to guess the spices but no one asked if I knew any.

3gThe decoration included the 3G’s – green chilly, ginger, & garlic.

peppersThe tri-colored peppers didn’t add to the magic but sure did illuminate the dinner table.

rangoliThe mixing of colors signified the mixing of races, religions, and cultures.

ganesh laxmiGanesh promised to remove all obstacles and Laxmi has committed wealth and prosperity.

Rumor has it that 2 ladies are now the latest bff’s in town. Somebody appreciated the gingin more than it deserved. Loud laughter bothered the entire Middle East. A man was caught circling the table 17 times.  A few fake traditions were invented & discovered. Fruit tart dissappeared right in front of multiple eyes. The cheesecake eventually found its way into my belly.

Still looking for a bottle cover, still blowing out the light, still washing the wine glasses, still wishing no end to the night.

One

Ekam sad vipra vahudha vadanti. That which exists is One; men call it by various names. That One is not far from us. It is in us and outside of us.

upside down smile

sadToday was a dull day… five of my friends wore an upside-down smile and it killed me. At times like these, I have baked a chocolate strawberry cake, I have Googled dumb jokes, I have made some very funny faces and I have even hidden funny cards.

The first one didn’t share and wanted time to spring life back. The second one didn’t talk and so no one knows what and how. The third one smiled with painful eyes and would just keep smiling. The fourth one expressed missing me and wanted me to come back. The fifth one let it all out and shared the tears. Usually I can get them to smile within 2 minutes but I have to learn to respect their individual styles. It’s hard to tell whether someone wants space or extended attention, a bear hug or some time away from the known.

I wish I could ease their pain or get them to look at the bright side. I wish I could sacrifice some of my strength or sing a lullaby. It itches when a friend is hurting. It’s awful when you feel helpless.

If I’m ever sad, please know that I never want you to leave me alone, not for an hour, not even for a minute. Yellow flowers will brighten up the day, godiva dark chocolate truffle with raspberry will have me drooling and a little teasing would undo the upside down.

osmosis

mendel2

A day to ease the tummy, a day to scrub the taste bud, a day to clear the bloodstream and a day to remember that old thirst.

  • Forget the oven, let go of the microwave.
  • Purge all cans and go a bit insane.
  • Hide the fryer and throw the juicer.
  • Wear an apron and beat the biggest loser.
  • Put tomato in mouth, apply pressure till it bursts.
  • Sacrifice that coke and experience an authentic thirst.
  • Take a big knife and cut the skin off a pineapple.
  • Keep the doctor away and slice up that gala apple.
  • Sit outside in the sun and peel off a sugarcane.
  • Try different olives, especially the ones from dear Spain.
  • Go and grow some basil in your backyard.
  • Fear saturated fats and say no to any lard.
  • Watch couscous and learn osmosis.
  • Teach your neighbor and even your bosses.
  • Dare to eat a chili and run to the water.
  • Multicolored fingerling potatoes, each of them matter.
  • Make yourself a boiling lemon & ginger & honey tea.
  • Say ‘thank you Mendel’ and appreciate the pod & pea.

lord of the senses

On one side was the lit up bazaar with merchants selling rudraksh, sculptures of the goddesses and pirated copies of the chants. However, as soon as I stepped onto the Lakshman jhula, I was on top of the river Ganges, surrounded by the schools for yoga and meditation and magnetized towards the glorious chants. Monkeys dangled on the wires, scooters crossed the bridge and tourists utilized full capacity on their SLR’s.

I crossed the jhula and was welcomed by a colorful sculpture of Lord Vishnu. Strangely, amidst the crowd, there was a silence; silence of the senses. The background score was the synergized and rhythmic chanting by the pundits and yet it quietened the mind. Inhaling the fragrance of chandan purified the lungs. Looking at the devotees who are in love with the Brahman or wanting to fall in love brought an indefinite smile.

rishi9I climbed down some very narrow stairs and found myself in a little café abundant of colors, mainly shades of yellow, orange and red. It required of me to take off my sandals and sit in a lotus position. To my left was a group of Israelites who I could tell were there to stay for a while and to my right was the flowing water. The epiphany lay in the tea. I usually paid dollars to go buy a lemon ginger honey teabag and realized what a fool I’d been! They brought me boiling water with long strands of ginger, a saucer of honey and a slice of lemon. I am not sure if it was the blissful state of my senses or the organic ingredients but it was the best tea of my life.

rishi8My mind can’t comprehend what it is but there’s something soothing about Hrishikesh. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, it is known as the gateway to the Himalayas. Wikipedia dissects it beautifully – ‘Hrishik’ means senses and ‘Ish’ means Lord.

rishi4To attain the Brahman or become the lord, one has to practice control over the senses. I may resist a slice of cheesecake but it is to control my taste buds. I may take a deep breath but it is to kill the root of anger. I may filter my words but it is to take charge of my thoughts. I need to go back and cross the Lakshman jhula. I need to bury myself into the chants and drink that tea. I need to contemplate and I need to argue. I need to become the lord of my senses.

haldi is healthy

Turmeric

Gobhi-aloo and marriages in India are doomed if someone hides this marvel spice. When it’s missing, all you have to do is get a warrant to search the totes of all grandmothers. Not only will you find the wonder spice, you will also be surprised with a long list of its unending benefits. Apply a paste to minor cuts, bruises and bumps, and observe its antiseptic properties. Mix it with aloe gel and it becomes a quick remedy to ease a skin burn. It helps reduce pigmentation and evens out the skin tone. On the morning of the marriage, each loved one applies a bit on the bride and groom’s body as a symbol of purity. It marks the beginning of decorating the bride and groom, and brings out the subconscious glow. I call turmeric ‘the auspicious spice’ and have it all over my face as I type.