Friday, February 24, 2012

Love of Food!

I never label myself as a foodie. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being highest (just to be clear!) I'd rate myself a 4.5-5 when it comes to food and eating. Its not that I don't enjoy food. For all you know, I spend forty-five minutes per meal in a day and I am mostly known as that kid in the family who when made to sit with all the other kids and served first, will still finish eating with all the oldies in the final round! I am not proud of it, but it is one of those facts of life! 

Yet, I have unfailingly opened myself to the idea expanding the horizon of my taste buds, of late. Yep, you can blame London for it. Me, the new London-o-phile you see!

And the Food God has been quite nice to me so far. I have tried Mediterranean, Italian (not Pizzas!), Mexican, Thai, a few Salads and Soups, and a bit of Japanese, Korean & Chinese (yumm dumplings!) and of course, I do try out the Englishised Indian food (as my colleague ASP puts it!) from time to time.

I think food really opens you up to a new culture. And learning about food habits, trying out the cuisine of a new place tells a great deal about the people and the traditions there. Of course I must admit I have had the English breakfast, per se, only once, hence I cannot claim I have understood England and its eccentricities all very well, however, I would definitely say food is one magical element in life that can break all barriers, quite effortlessly!

Oh btw, I find fried mushrooms and hash browns with Heinz the best parts of an English breakfast and I love the fact that almost all of an English breakfast is fried even more! Quite unlike land of healthy-steamy-Idly-breakfast that I belong to!    

The chewy Tofu Yakisoba:

The Grand Thai Buffet:

The so-called English Breakfast:
Someday, I will order a Full Monty to claim I have understood England!

Chinese - Dumplings are really nice, esp the steamed ones! 

Mexican - Las Iguanas' Mushroom Fajitas are the best! You must try when you get a chance.

And oh, Fruits are delightful - esp when used to flavour yoghurts! I clicked this at a restaurant while waiting for my order.

Well, so I will just leave you with one thought: Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Of Dreams

I have resisted moving places since childhood; and the more I resisted the more we moved around! And after all these years, I am so glad I have become used to Change. I spent my early childhood in complete wilderness, then became a teenager in the crowded city of Calcutta, post which I went to the land of study-o-holics and slowly turned into one as well! After that, life came a full circle again - carefully avoiding the details of which I will come straight to the point now. Experiencing newness in life is important; and it makes life even richer if we remember to embrace the newness with our whole heart. For, every new leaf has a story to tell of its own, and our life will be as vibrant as the number of new leaves we collect through our journey! As I look back now, I am glad I had the chance of living and growing up in different parts of my country. If I can handle the spice of Andhra, I can also handle as many Sandesh as any friend from Bengal can; and I enjoy Pilani's extreme weather as much as Hyderabad's pleasantness through the year!

And now, as my work brings me to the beautiful city of London, a second time in less than a year. A completely different set-up, new people, new lifestyle and surprisingly new manners as well. But, there is no resistance anymore. I am very excited about living the life of a Londoner here. For, I can already see the beautiful story that this new leaf is slowly unfolding...  

These are some pictures clicked over the weekend gone by, of my new home here. I am in love with the beautiful crockery set at home, and candle holders lined up on our window sill. My new housemate loves to listen to the Radio - look at how vintage the Radio set looks! Living in a Victorian-style house is a dream come true - and an old favorite rings in my ears now, "Dream, when the day is through; Dream, and they might come true!" Dream!

Sunday, February 05, 2012

White Bright Morning

I still have a hangover from last night. Of the snow and the snowfall! The confession here is I have never seen snowfall in my life, and that is what makes night of 4th February 2012 so much more exciting. I watched one of my favorite cities in the world get covered under a layer of snow, with flakes the shape of bullet rosettes (I google-d that out to spell the exact shape!) falling from the sky; as if each one of them was a wish granted to all who looked up at the sepia-lit sky.

As I woke up this morning, the view outside my bedroom window has cajoled me to dress up in my warm coat and trainers, and get myself out on the snowy (perhaps even slippery) roads to view London in all its whiteness!

I plan to indulge myself with some winter shopping, click some pictures and be back in the duvet with lots more thoughts to pen down.

And it snowed!


I was snuggling up in my duvet, watching the cloudy sky from my window all of my morning. And I thought that in a nut-shell would describe my Saturday. Then it stretched a bit. I went on to do a light and healthy breakfast, took a long warm shower, cooked a spicy lunch with my colleagues and and just when post lunch was beginning to get drowsy and lazier, I sat upright and played a few episodes of HIMYM. However, the day's mood had not changed much - I was still snuggling up comfortably in the my duvet! It was only around 6pm that my colleagues convinced me to step out with them.

East Ham (in East London, easy to guess I believe!) is the place to do your shopping for Indian groceries. And so that's where we headed straight. I was happy to walk through the small aisles in this shop filled with Indian cosmetics, spices, cereals and pulses, and all the possible varieties of Priya and Mother's Recipe pickles! I picked a few packets of spices - cinnamon sticks, grounded coriander powder, til seeds and asafoetida among some of the important ones. I also saw baskets full of Maggi there! And well, my fifteen pounds felt good.

And then it happened. Snow!

It started to excite me the minute the tiniest snowflake placed itself on my cheeks, almost like a sweet peck! As my colleagues and I finished dinner and stepped back onto the streets of East Ham, the city was beginning to get covered under a snowy white layer. The sky turned an adorable sepia and the hues were breathtaking at places with the combination of neon lights and snow's reflection causing that vibrant mix we only see in paintings! We spent a good one hour playing about with the tiny layer of snow; but by the time we got home in Stratford we had a thicker layer of snow waiting for us.

I am so happy it snowed in London! I had been waiting for it to snow. The winter of 2011-12 has just got its meaning, for me, and I hope the day's ahead are as white and bright as they can be!

I pulled out my camera immediately after reaching my apartment and these are some quick clicks. Enjoy these for now, while I step out to click and play a little more!