The Aladdin's Cave

Hi, thanks for stopping by! The dictionary defines the idiom “The Aladdin’s Cave” as “a collection of interesting and beautiful objects”. Likewise, my website is a potpourri where you can browse and read from a variegated collection of articles on sundry subjects. Be prepared to stumble upon pieces ranging from noodles to analytics and from novels to friendships. Like what you read? Thanks a ton for being such a sweetheart. Don’t find it up to the mark? Well, blame it on back-breaking expectations ;) Jolly Reading!

Tag: India

The Exotic Tadka!

Hello People!

Two to three months back, I started to draft this article dealing with the topical subject of the monotonically increasing prices of tomatoes. Totally flabbergasted by the high headedness of tomatoes, I had titled the article ‘The Tomato Exoticism’. Since it lay in my draft folder for quite some time, I had feared that this one too would lose relevance and share its fate with the other members of the sad group of expired articles. But thanks to our very dependable government and the inexplicable mayhem of inflation and wroth economics, this article still stands relevant! And at the risk of sounding cruel, one could almost say that the article even got a shot in the arm because the onions joined the tomatoes in an expensive game of one-upmanship. Yes, and that’s how the humble, commonplace, unsung ‘Tadka‘ acquired its nouveau exoticism!  (For the uninitiated, a ‘tadka’ is an amalgam of tomatoes, onions and a few spices added in oil and is imperative to a plethora of Indian/Indianized dishes.)

Since childhood, we have heard and read about weird things breaking long standing curses (e.g. a kiss from a princess has been known to turn a frog into a prince!!). Hence, I’m doing my bit here. Since the government seems to be in no hurry to rein in the runaway prices of the tomatoes and the onions, I think it’s only fair that I should take a chance and and see if this post can break the curse.

My dadi (paternal grandmom) was a beautiful, rosy, chirpy woman who doted on the whole family, more so on her grandchildren. She loved nibbling on sugar-sprinkled tomatoes or on tomatoes roasted over charcoals and would invite us all to share. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about it then but in retrospect, I realize how stupid I was! Yes, I should have had my fill of tomatoes and onions while I still had the chance!

Given the current state of things, you stand the danger of being labelled a snob if you discuss more than three tadka-based recipes at a go. Yes, I even heard about the addition of a new filter (viz. ‘Sans Tadka’) to some recipe-sharing blogs and websites. The ‘haut monde’ has deigned to include this topic in their chit-chat and the freeloaders have found a new zeal to look for their next free meal. Visiting the vegetable market no more remains a quotidian activity. You don’t just stroll in with a friend and pick this and that, not caring twopence about the pennies and dimes jingling in your pockets. No, Sir! This undistinguished chore has lately been exalted and now demands respect, inspires anxiety and even extorts a prayer or two!

With these staple items acquiring the status of edible gems, we have taken another giant leap towards anarchy. And I hope I have not disappointed you by not providing a solution to this problem because no, this one does not have a happy ending. Let’s just pull off what we’re best at – making peace with things.

So what is it gonna be this time? This time, it’s gonna be unsavory Arrabbiattas and insipid Rajmas!

Hang in there and take care!

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A Night to Remember – 2nd April, 2011!

A week’s gone by since the night the whole nation was thrown in a state of euphoric excitement, when the Indian Team gave us all the joy of our lives with that magnificent World Cup win over Sri Lanka… but the jubilation continues still…
The whole affair has been extensively covered by the media, in every possible way! So, obviously, you won’t find any novel piece of information here…Just a few pithy proverbs to sum it all up!
Just wanted to post something about our super-awesome cricket team…so that many years down the line, I can read this post and relive some of the moments that are so, so hard to come by! 
Winners make it happen, losers let it happen!
World Cup, 2011: Some people dream of success while others wake up and achieve it! 
Indian Team:- Putting your best foot forward!
Batting:- The whole is greater than the sum of its parts!
Bowling:- A problem shared is a problem halved!
Fielding:- Many hands make light work!
Gary Kirsten:- He doesn’t boast who does the most!
Sachin Tendulkar:- Ability can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there! / Nothing succeeds like success!
MS Dhoni:- Nothing ventured. nothing gained! / There’s a method in his madness!

Yuvraj Singh:- Cometh the hour, cometh the man! (in almost every game!)
Virendra Sehwag:- Well begun is half done!
Zaheer Khan:- What can’t be cured must be endured..(by the other teams!)

Harbhajan Singn:- Prior preparation prevents poor performance!
Munaf Patel:- All’s well that ends well!
Suresh Raina:- Mighty oaks from little acorns grow!
Virat Kohli:- It is through the small things we do that we learn, not the big things!

Ashwin:- The key to all action lies in belief!

Gautam Gambhir:- In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity!
Ashish Nehra:- Some days you get the bear, other days the bear gets you!

Piyush Chawla:- If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!
Yusuf Pathan:- All sizzle and no steak!

Sreesanth:- There’s none so deaf as those who will not hear!

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Balmy Bangalore!

The country’s all hotted up these days, speaking both literally and figuratively, what with the steadily rising mercury and the numerous piping hot news doing the rounds (the sordid IPL episode with all its muck and the melodramatic Shoaib-Sania affair-to name a few)!
These (metaphorically) boiling issues are obviously over-hyped and blown horribly out of proportions so that the paparazzi can earn a lot more than their usual bread ‘n’ butter. Unfortunate as it is, these so-called breaking ‘n’ shaking news are far too frequent to be paid much attention to.

But the sultry weather…God! you simply can’t ignore it.
It’s oppressive and sweltering and makes you feel so very hot under the collar (pun intended). Blame it on global warming (which, by the way, happens to be one of the favourites in the latest breaking news series!) or the zero tolerance and the whining nature of our generation or whatever, the fact remains that when it scalds, it burns…and it burn like hell…and it burns like it has never burnt before!

Having stayed in Vellore for the last three and a half years, I know only too well how it feels to be baked in a kiln. I guess people there should come with the label “sun-dried” or “to be stored above 43 degree Celsius”. It’s only April and the Sun God is already playing havoc in His little people’s lives and the horrendous conditions are likely to worsen during the forthcoming days. My friends and relatives residing in the different parts of the country have all become a harried lot – and I can’t blame them for their incessant cribbing. It isn’t pleasant being roasted alive.

During these torrid times, I just want to deliver a “Thank You” note to “Balmy Bangalore”…straight from my heart!
Sorry folks, it’s not to make you jealous or mock your plight. Having seen the worst of all, I wouldn’t even think of doing that. It’s just that it would be dashed too ungrateful on my part to not even acknowledge this rare and much-coveted gift.

Here, in Bangalore, it’s reasonably hot during the daytime and you wouldn’t venture out in the heat just like that. But once you step out of your office, you find that a fresh and breezy evening eagerly awaits you!
It blows away all your fatigue and troubles and makes you feel so light and perky!

The Wind God sends his dark and heavy clouds your way, with His best compliments, almost every evening and they are not of the type that just titillates and pass through, No, they are the promising ones that never disappoint. Be it a quick shower or a gale, they never fail! The fragrance of wet and soaked earth fills your nostrils and the upshot of it all is that the “dull-you” miraculously gets transformed into a totally-revived-and-galvanized-you!
And not to mention, an ultra-grateful-you too!

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