Cooking – The constants and the variables

Cooking is not magic. Especially Indian food cooking. It is just frying and mixing anonymous colorful powders and steaming some vegetables or chicken.That’s it. If you add more water, that would be your Gravy,Kuzhambu or Pulusu or Subji or whatever. If you don’t add a lot of water, that would be your dry side dish.If someone tells you Cooking is the hardest job in the whole planet..prove them wrong.

Cooking is simple mathematics of some constants and some variables. Like 1 + 2 = ???? And if you are a bachelor and wants to get married just for getting some flavory masala stinking food in the hungry evenings, seriously reconsider. I am not going to comment if your needs are much more than that and you are just using food as an excuse. I always wanted to explore faster, simpler, healthier and tastier food. After years of research, found a perfect formula that would work for anyone. You always wondered where from this aroma of masala originates when you pass Tatum Road / Bell Road intersection..now, you know who is cooking.

Constants are Tomatoes , Onions and Chilly power and Of course salt.

Variables are any vegetables, or meat/poultry products

In two lines –

  1. Steam the Variables.
  2. Fry the Constants

Mix them ..viola, Dinner Reddieee

Some tips here

  1. Use Plum Tomatoes
  2. Use Red Onions – Soak the onion in the water for sometime before cutting that would help contain propanethiol S- oxide and help you to cry less.
  3. Use Himalayan Salt
  4. Use Green Chillies or Green Chilly Paste

Now you can add more to your constants list if you want..let me list the constants

  1. Mustard (for tadka)
  2. Jeera (for tadka)
  3. Urad dal (little for tadka)
  4. Ginger Garlic Paste
  5. Some Tamarind extract
  6. Half Teaspoon of every colorful powder you have in the kitchen cabinet or the Masala Box
  7. Some Turmeric
  8. Some Asafoetida

The variables

  1. Any vegetable
  2. Any meat/Poultry/Egg products even fish.
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Bent Mind….!

57 years of married life……………………65 years of married life.

In a country where too much sneezing and loud snoring can become a reason for divorce, I have interacted with two people, one of them was married for 65 years. She was 84 when I happened to interact with her. She sent me a handwritten note. She had the small gift I sent to her by her bedside in the old age home in Oklahoma. This was about 7 or 8 years back. I know I have kept the card somewhere safe. I kept it too safe that I have to search for it now. But I do remember some of the heart touching statements from that note. One was ” My hands do not go where I my mind wants it to go”. She was not keeping  well and she was 85. She  lived with her husband for 65 years. His son is a CEO of a multimillion dollar company. I think he must be in his 60s or more. I happened to meet him for lunch with his wife. When I asked him how many children he has, his answer was, “between me and her we have 11 kids” which is a clear indication that both of them were married after a failed marriage with someone else.His mom, the 85 years old lady died within two years of losing her husband. I never spoke to her. But I used to e mail her son which will be sent to her. Everytime I read that letter from her, that gave a new meaning to life’s lessons….Looking back, I feel bad for not writing many letters. I think that is the last handwritten letter I received after a very very long time.

This person, Gildo, is another person whom I met where I go to play PingPong. The first time I happened to see him, I was playing with someone else.When I saw Gildo walking with a slight hunchback I was making some not so good comments, to another person who was playing with me. I said” we should not be surprised if he comes to play ping pong “with a smirk on my face. Because the way he was walking the way he looked, made me feel that he could never be a PingPong player which demands your lightning responses in a good game. To my surprise within few minutes, he opened the small pouch he had and took his paddle and started waiting for his turn. When he walked in everybody in the community center greeted him.I was wondering who he could be.When his turn came, I had to play against him.We started playing within few minutes he made me feel how bad I am inside and outside. His returns were pretty fast. Between shots he would bend down and rest his hands on his knees. His backhand was amazing. His smash was great. Every smash and every return by him was a slap on a face. I enjoyed each of them like the beatings I miss from my dad now for decades. I lost my game. I felt so good losing against him. That taught me again the lessons I had forgotten . I was ashamed for having commented about him based on the looks and age.

I did not meet him  for another 2 months. I played with again last week.

After the games we just sat together had a nice conversation. He must be in his high 70’s or may be early 80’s. Lost his wife of 55 years last Oct 13.He loves his wife so much still, that he could not complete the sentence about his wife and had to stop, wipe his tears..correct his breaking voice…take a few seconds before proceeding. He told me he just wants to get out of his house as much as possible. Because whenever he is there, he sees her and he misses her and ends up crying and getting depressed. He said “When we lived together for 55 years, we just became one”.

It may not be new to many of us. Many Indian couple live together for much longer time than the couple in US. But the social atmosphere makes a big difference. One is a society where divorce is considered a taboo. The other is a society where 50% of the marriages end up in divorce. I am not discussing about divorce here but about the couple who live together. I don’t know how many of them will miss their spouse like this man does. The abyss of his love for his wife.That’s what was astonishing to me. Every word he speaks of the loss of his wife shows the affliction he has every single minute of this life. His only prayer to god today is to take him to her.

It was painful to understand the thoughts that went through his mind when his wife was in death bed. She suffered a lot it seems. She had to be on strong  Antibiotics which affected her Kidney and heart. Gil has a gun. He told me that he even thought of taking the gun to the hospital where his wife was admitted, to end her life and his ,and end the sufferings of both altogether.His religious faith did not let him do that. Such unfathomable depths of pain cannot be described here in words.  There are few questions I asked him and he explained. I wanted to know what was that binding them together for 55 years or than the 55 years of life together, I wanted him to explain what she did  to make him miss her every single minute long after she is gone. He said,” we just led a simple life. Whatever I got from her was a gift to me. I never expected anything from her. She did the same. We never had expectation from each other. As a man I brought money to run the family. She took care of the family.” and some more. We had a nice chat. He is one person who can understand people little more easily I think. I am sure I will meet him again and will talk to him more. Sure I have a lot to learn from him.

We have all read the quotes that goes around…” If you get an opportunity to rewind your life, will you choose the same person as your spouse again?”…..If one has to think here….Sorry……!!!! But after talking this great man, I had a little different thought…”If you get an opportunity to rewind your life,will you take every effort to be the right spouse this time?”

You might know….!


I have the same pen
I had a month ago…
It has the same ink
It had a month ago

I do not know
where the thinking
and the inking gone?
You might know
Please let me know.

I had a bunch of whitesheets
filled with words that made a poem
a month ago..
I have a bunch of whitesheets
waiting for words now

I do not know
where those words are lost.
You might know
Please let me know.

every word you typed
gave birth to a new world
and I was reborn in those worlds.

even your silence
gave birth to a new language
which became my mother tongue
in those worlds.

I don’t know
where those worlds vanished
You might know
Because you made them
Please let me know.

The end drove the beginnings.
The rivers of my words
found their ways to the
ocean of your eyes.

Today,
the words are wandering
without direction….
Don’t let them dry and die
They come from too far
and too deep and
They belong to you..!

Just let me know..!

No One…..!

I am no one to you,
to tell you things…!

I am no one to you,
but will do a few things
to spread a smile on your face…!

I am no one to you,
but will stretch a hand
to wipe the tears off your eyes…!

I am no one to you,
but will remove those thorns away
from the path you walk home…!

I am no one to you.
but will raise my hands
over your head
when it rains and
when it shines hot…!

I am no one to you.
but will walk behind you
during the darker evenings…!

I am no one to you,
but will tell you
not just what you like to hear
but what you have to listen…!

I do not hope to become
some one to you some day
But
will be there
when you need someone,
and when everyone is
too busy to listen….!

Life – as a Leftist…!!

Me  , The sports warrior –  With Tennis Elbow (If I say Lateral Epicondylitis , you all will understand easier), Basket ball Ankle, Ping Pong Knee, Volleyball Waist etc etc etc…!!!

Sports Injury in every joint with too much and too many games.I would rather call it Sport INCHury… since it hurts every inch of the body…!!! Anyway playing tennis  with Knee Pad,Elbow Pad, Ankle Splinter, Shoulder pad, will make me look like a Mummified  player .With so called Tennis Elbow in the right arm….even typing became too difficult.

We always have a back up…Right? …..wrooong…Left…. Yes, the Left Hand…!

So.. started doing stuff with the left hand.. Things like using the mouse with left hand..using the touch pad with left fingers, brushing with left hand, shaving with left hand, playing  badminton with left hand, playing ping pong with left hand….and so on…! when your left eye can do what your right eye does, why not???  we have our heart in the left side of our body too…(?!!???!)

It was so interesting to understand the power of left hand. The left hand has its own brain. We never understood and we use it for the wrong reasons and insult them. It was an eye opener when I tried to use the razor on my face with left hand.The first few times, the right hand was not doing anything, rather did not know what to do.Without the support of the other hand the face becomes a battlefield . So I had to keep changing hands to make the right hand understand what the left hand does..how  nicely it supports the right hand….how nicely it helps the right hand to glide and guide for a clean shave.It takes a while for the right hand to understand how the left hand functions guided by its own brain….!

Coming to PingPong, the left hand slices and spins definitely match the right hand.I really started thinking we are not even using our own self  fully, forget the rest. Why can’t we develop the left hand as good and as strong as the right hand. It just needs a little practice.

So I became a leftist now and soon an  Ambidextrous 😉 (See ,even this smiley uses left eye to wink…..;-p . I will try to play tennis with my left hand. Improve my PingPong with left hand.Continue to run the razor on my face with my left hand…..And write with my left hand….hopefully write in a different language with my left hand. (Atleast it will make the reader think it is a language he does not know to read… 😉 ) use the knife with my left hand.. hold the coffee cup with my left hand.. drive with my left hand…I feel like apologizing to my left hand…sorry left hand for using you to pick  @#$%^….I am really sorry…!!!! (ok guys..enough…don’t go there…nope…!!!!)

Few years back , while playing  Racquetball, I was injured in the eye. Those were difficult moments I feared I might lose an eye.Then the worries n thoughts poured in…First one being, how do I drive with one eye. Eventually I was fine and did not have to learn driving with one eye. But I was curious to know can an one eyed person drive a car and here is the answer. But I have to tell that I or none of ever think about the plight of the people with one part of the body not functioning, since we have a fully functioning body parts.

Just try to live one day a year with both eyes tied.(please don’t sleep all day long – I said live – Sleep is a temporary death). Live one day with one eye. Live one day just using one arm….and so many things to try. That would open up the eyes in brain to see/ understand and feel the pains of the ones who have no other choice.

This one from Yahoo answers.

Can a person that is legally blind in one eye get a driver’s license? if so, then why?

Yes they can. Being blind in 1 eye really doesn’t have anything to to with a persons ability to drive a car. I’ve pulled over many people who shouldn’t have a license & both of their eyes are good.

I’m a Deputy Sheriff
Posted by Muthuraman

You were there Jenny.! (Mama always said – II)

Whenever Jenny asked Forrest to run away, Forrest ran away from troubles. But every time he ran away he ran closer to Jenny – every single time. When Jenny tells Forrest he does not know what love is, It is she who does not know what love is. She did not know she loved him. Like all of us once thought we were the only ones who knew what love was, just to realize later that no one knew what love was.Some had and did not know. The ones thought they had, did not have…….!!!

Forrest , as a boy, had crooked legs but not thoughts. He had a heart like a clean sky after a downpour. Not a single shadow of a cloud. All through his life. We all have straight legs but thoughts that are not always straight. (I have no problem replacing the “We” with “I”).

Forrest let his Jenny to be Jenny. He never tried to transform the Jenny to his girl. Dont know it is right or wrong. I only know we all want to transform our Jennies/Forrests. Plan on that. Build our expectations and love on that. When it does not happen, everything vanishes…. The love we thought was there, has no trace there……There is no Forrest if you make him an intelligent and matured. There is no Jenny if you take her out of her…..We want an intelligent Forrest and Homely Jenny………..And Jennies of present,make the Forrests of today, run…not from troubles but make them run away from them, knowingly or unknowingly…! and the Forrests of today wait for every single opportunity to run away!

What Jenny wanted was already with her in Greenbow, Alabama, with Forrest – Love and Peace. Jenny did not know that.Like many of us, she also searched for the one which she already had for a long time, outside.

Is it true that we don’t realize the value of something just because it is with us for sometime? just because it is available anytime? just because we did not struggle to get it? just because it came to us and not we went to them? just because we accept it since something is better than nothing? just because we could not get what we wanted to get and settled for what we get? just because we want to keep it until we find something better?……………..don’t know.I Just know that I am no exception.

As a kid Jenny prays ” Oh God , make me a bird , so that I can fly far far away” . I would pray to be a breeze, that gently carries the feather to Forrest. Reach things where they belong to …where they want to be…..or just carry them gently if they don’t know where they belong or where they want to go……Just to help those little Jennies, those became birds to fly more easier……………be a breeze………. fill their feathers…….be a music…….be a song…. be a meaningless sound……just be there….!

……………Muthuraman