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Sammir Dattani - BEST FRIEND

These days, it is rather rare for one to hear the phrase, ‘he is my best friend’ simply because those aren’t being crafted by God as often as we want them to – he too has adapted to suit the current frothy times you see.

Then again, like in the rare of the rarest cases, God does end up instilling such merits in some, and these rare human beings bring life by being themselves.

To Sammir Dattani who has been my BEST FRIEND, and the BEST FRIEND to each of us in our group. He loves us like no other, and we love him like we love nobody else.

Happy Birthday, Sammie!

To today, and to many more mad times in the future!


Bedroom Bookcase By Rahul Karnani

Last night Chotu presented me a photograph he said he captured rather casually whilst toying about with his iPhone 6s Plus. What I saw seemed most splendid. The composition. The natural light. The atmosphere. It was as if it contained within it a distinctive vestige of the everlasting charm one was quite accustomed to witnessing, say at a heritage home in England, and via the lens of an accomplished photographer. My showering him with the fittest compliments elicited in him a reaction of embarrassed awe. 

In more ways than one, the image also jogged my memory to the words of Albert Einstein, who had said – The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library. In this case the bedroom at home. 

Sharing the original snap (sans any editing, filters or touchups) for the enchantment of the connoisseurs of superior taste.


Dahi Ki Kadhi

I made Dahi Ki Kadhi (spicy dish whose thick gravy is based on chickpea flour) today using the recipe that my mother uses. And, yes, my attempt was rather successful considering that it did quite taste similar to what she prepares. I only wish I could have invited all of you over for a meal, and since that were not to be possible, I did take a photograph of the finished kadhi above for those who could not make it. Most unfortunately, I did not have sufficient time to make vegetable fritters, (commonly called as pakoras) with the kadhi. Vegetable fritters taste delicious as a dry accompaniment, or when dunked into the kadhi which helps them absorb the flavour of the gravy. 


Wet Masala

Dahi (Curds also known as Yoghurt) – 500 Grams (½ Litre)
Chana Atta (Also known as Besan or Gram Flour or Chickpea) – 2 Table Spoons
Garlic (Crushed or Coarsely Ground) – 1 Full Tea Spoon
Coconut Milk – 100 Millilitres

Dry Masala

Dhania (Coriander) Powder – 1 Table Spoon
Chilli Powder – As Per Taste
Haldi (Turmeric) Powder – ¼ (Quarter) Tea Spoon
Roasted Jeera Powder – ½ Tea Spoon
Jeera Methi (Fenugreek) Powder – ½ Tea Spoon 
Curry Leaves – 2 Sprigs
Green Chilli – 2 Full (Or As Per Taste)
Coriander Leaves – As Per Taste
Oil – 2 Table Spoon
Rai Dana (Mustard) – ½ Tea Spoon
Jeera – ½ Tea Spoon
Salt – As Per Taste


- Heat oil in a pan
- Add mustard, jeera and sauté until it spurts
- Add curry leaves/chilli/garlic and stir-fry till it changes colour
- Add the dry powders, dhania/chilli/haldi/roasted jeera powder/jeera methi powder/chana atta and fry-up until it turns brown and the roasted aroma starts to waft in the air
- Add curds (beaten lightly in a hand blender) to the mixture along with coconut milk
- Add salt to taste
- Allow it to cook until the chana atta is well cooked
- Sprinkle coriander and let it simmer on low flame for a while and turn out the flame

Serve with slightly soft, steamed rice. 


Why I Read

Let books be your dining table,

And you shall be full of delights

Let them be your mattress –
And you shall sleep restful nights.

I would say that I am rather old-fashioned, and think that retiring with a book is one of the most gloriously charming occupations that the human mind can indulge in when in need of entertaining company.

Except in the case of a knowledgeable living woman or man, I feel that there is nothing more absorbing than an able book. It carries messages to us from the dead; souls we have never seen, souls who have lived in an era long before us, and yet, they come alive on these little sheets of paper, where they connect with us, tender us their wisdom, cheer and console us by opening up their hearts just as a friend would do – that is the comfort of books; the finest antidote against the vagaries of the human mind, of boredom and brainlessness. 

I read because I love the grogginess of sleep depravation from staying up late due to a book I just could not put down. It is what I call a perfect book hangover.

I read because it is an addiction and not all addictions are bad.

I read because I cannot help myself from not reading.

I read to learn, to grow, to laugh, to motivate, be motivated, shriek, waltz with mirth, and feel everything that the characters are feeling.

I read to understand things I have not been exposed to.

I read to find hope and light.

I read because I am not merely made up of skin and bones, of sights and sounds, of food and chocolate, but because I am also made up of words: words that best describe my state of mind. What is hidden within the alleyways of my thoughts, and the corners of my heart.

I read because a book is no less than a magic portal into another dimension that quite simply provides a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and a life to everything.


He Was My Cream And I Was His Coffee

He was my cream, and I was his coffee –
And when you poured us together, it was something.
~ Josephine Baker

The bouquet of coffee is something that the majority of us just cannot seem to resist when we catch it wafting in the air – we are each drawn to it just as we are each drawn to the pheromones of our partners. Bangalore, over the last decade, has seen an unprecedented shift in weather; the seasons do not season like they once did, yet, what remains is the pleasantness in the air, and come December, one begins to bite one’s lips (not in the carnal manner that you seem to be imagining it in) but with the nippiness, and one aches to enfold one’s fingers around a steamy cup of coffee or tea based on the fondness of one’s taste palate.

So what does the expression ‘body of the coffee’ actually mean. It simply means the physical properties, the sensation that is produced as coffee settles on your tongue, rolls about while coating it with its grainy, heavy, oily or watery flavour. This sensation is achieved by the strength of the coffee beans and the oils that are extracted from it during the brewing procedure. The drip, or filter-brewing custom, creates a lighter coffee with lesser oils, while the French Press, or an espresso shot will consist of a macho body, because the vital oils tend to linger in the brew lending it a full (Sumatra), medium (Yemen Mocha) or light (Mexican) viscosity.

Aroma, mouth feel, bitterness, sweetness, acidity and aftertaste are the significant traits of coffee, and when they come together do we feel that the sweetest thing to have is the bitterest coffee, or that coffee is ground heaven, and more such.

I do concur with the staunch believers that one cannot, and should not, tamper with the taste of coffee made in the conventional style, mainly for the fear of squandering the central qualities listed above, but then, come on people, how would you discover the addictiveness of the butterfly, if it is constantly the reliable missionary that you have been practising up until now. For those who are adventurous enough to embrace a newer experience, you shall find below a holiday coffee recipe a friend shared when I was at her place. For it you will need –

1 pound of medium-bodied coffee (I prefer the Colombian which is low on acidity, carries a strong caramel sweetness and a dash of nutty undertones)
2 teaspoons finely ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon dry ground ginger
1 teaspoon delicately crushed nutmeg
1 vanilla bean (preferably split lengthwise)


Bring together the coffee, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl. Scrape the vanilla beans from the pod thereafter into the mixture and blend well. When done, stock the crush in an airtight bottle and pamper yourself, as well as your loved ones, to an excellent fusion of the ever-rejuvenating coffee, soaked with the sensuality of the spices.

Whilst sipping on your cheerful cup, do enjoy these befitting words from The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee by Honoré de Balzac:

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.”

Images are free wallpapers from the Internet