Letter to My Best Friend

Dear Best Friend,

Life is different now.  Every morning I dress up in a business attire and walk wearing high heels with a coffee cup in my hand to that shiny corporate office where the whole day  I pretend to be all knowledgeable and sincere. A few times, though, in those dull, monotonous, long running meetings I imagine bright, colorful, heart-printed socks hanging on the presenter’s ears and have a hard time suppressing my laughter. Just like you and I used to do in boring lectures in school.

I miss those days. I miss the playground where we used to make plans for our future. I miss the times we used to laugh incessantly for no reason whatsoever. I miss bitching about the other girls in school. I miss fixing your misplaced contact lens in class every now and then. I miss how you used to hate peas. I miss giving you the minutest details of proposals, crushes and heart breaks. I miss fighting with you for no reason. I miss looking at you and knowing exactly what you were thinking.  I miss being apathetic towards everyone just because I had you and I needed no one else.

Life is different now. When I look back, I realize through all these years everything has changed. Except that I still laugh imagining socks on people’s ears. Except that you still don’t like peas. Except that we are still best friends. And will always be.


Your best friend forever and ever and ever.


Everyone can cook !

She turned and looked at me with a startled look on her face.  My mom.   The look on her face reminded me of a scene from a recent bollywood movie in which this Indian girl reveals to her mom that the guy she is in love with is a Pakistani.

Still from the movie “Total Siyapaa”


Okay, being the filmy types I might have exaggerated a little bit. But she was definitely taken aback. This happened when I told her that I wanted to help her  in cooking Chhole (indian curry made with chick peas) that day.

I receive the same reaction from the people who know me well when I tell them  I want to/plan to cook. When my friends visit me they do all the cooking because (1) they love me that much 🙂 (2) they know it well that cooking is – to put it in better words – “not one of my strengths” and (3) they are afraid I might burn the kitchen down.

Being an Indian and a girl, I am expected to be “Paak Kala Me Nipun” (Well versed in the art of cooking) or atleast be able to prepare an edible meal other than 2 min noodles. Legend has it that the less you know about cooking the less eligible you are to get married. I have seen the “Beta, khana banana nahi sikhogi to tumhari shaadi kaise hogi ? “ (How will you get married if you don’t learn how to cook) too many times on TV to not to believe the legend.

It’s not that I can’t cook. Of course I can, give me the right tools and I can cook up a pretty nice piece of code with finesse like Gordon Ramsey and skills like Sanjeev Kapoor. 😉 In a way don’t we all do a different kind of cooking outside our kitchens, involving different kind of  ingredients, recipes and creativity ? I cook code for a living, some of us cook up business proposals or project plans, and all of us cook up excuses to take a day off from work every once in a while. 😉 I could also cook up a nice little blog for you if I have the right proportions of focus and  inspiration. But tell me to make a cup of tea and oh boy, that is where hell breaks loose.

Coming back to the momentous event of my cooking life – “Chhole day” as I like to call it, my mom did let me cook with her when she recovered from the shock. She had tears of joy (well, almost!) when she saw me chopping vegetables and prepping ingredients to cook the chhole curry.Such complicated combination of ingredients, proportions, timing  – cooking chhole from scratch for a newbie like me is like attempting a large scale ERP  implementation by a programmer who is still learning to write “Hello World” programs. Okay, another exaggeration but I guess you get the point.

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I did not take a picture of the finished product on the Chhole day. But I am proud to announce that everyone who tasted the food did not make a visit to the ER with an upset stomach. 🙂 It was a leap of faith for me to (co)cook something that not many people attempt to do early on but of course I had the support (and expertise) of my loving mom to guide me through it to end up with a lip-smacking curry !  Still no where  near being Paak Kala Me Nipun, but I guess its a good start. And trust me, if I can cook, everyone can 🙂

Do give a try to “Chhole” when you visit an Indian restaurant and let me know how you liked it with a comment below.




My love affair … with nature

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Overwhelmed, stupefied, awe-struck  are just a few adjectives that I can conjure up in my mind every time I see this natural wonder, just like it was the very first time a few years ago when I first visited Mt Rainier. I felt overwhelmed with the breath-taking scenery. Overwhelmed with the serenity of the sound of the waterfalls. Overwhelmed with the beauty of the valleys and cascades surrounding the mountain, meandering and making it’s way around the tall and majestic structure. Overwhelmed with the sheer grandeur of Mt Rainier itself.

Over the course of three years I have visited Mt Rainier three times, and each experience has been equally exhilarating. Having visited for a third time recently,  it was only natural that with my first post I wanted to share my experiences at Mt Rainier when I decided to start blogging again (Blame one of my closest friends for that). Surprisingly, when I started writing I went completely blank -not because of the lack of content to write, but on the contrary, due to the abundance of thoughts and inexplicable feelings attached with my experiences at Mt Rainier. Overwhelmed with inexplicable feelings.

I guess I can write pages and pages on the splendor and austerity of Mt Rainier, but lets save that for some time later. This is about what makes Mount Rainier a special place to me, draws me towards it again and again and why I am in love … yes love….with Mt Rainier!!

With every visit I get transported into a different time, a time before the advancement of technology when there were no cell phones, email messages, chats or any means of digital communications. Life seemed so simple!  In nature’s lap, cut off from any distractions, I get to spend the “me” time that I otherwise can’t in the cacophony of daily hustle bustle. No rush, no calls to answer, no emails or messages to reply to, just soak in nature’s beauty. Hearing my own heartbeat in the dense silence of the wilderness makes me feel more alive than ever. Amongst the peace, calmness and austerity of the mountains, there are moments in which the past and the future become non-existent. Sheer bliss and freedom.

The majestic aura of the mountains are awe inspiring and I cannot help but wonder at the magnanimity and the creative genius of the Almighty. At the risk of sounding cheesy, these remind me of some of the best Indian movies (popularly known as Bollywood movies) that were shot in such wonderful locales. Google “DDLJ Switzerland shooting locations” and you’ll know what I am referring to here provided you understand the context! 😉

My love affair with the majestic mountain is just the beginning and is not going to go away anytime soon but just grow over time.

Have you visited the mountain yet and what has been your experience? If you haven’t yet, time to pack your bags and go on an exciting randezvous with the awesomeness – Mount Rainier.