To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Friday, October 28, 2005
We're planning a Potluck dinner tomorrow in celebration of Diwali! The plan was hatched almost two weeks back and since then there has been much excitement and much exchange of recipes, menus, and the like. Happily, I have acquired some little proficiency in this department since last I wrote about these matters, and now even have special requests from my office junta for batata vadas, bhajjias and what not (not so happily, of course!).

At first I made a list of choices of what I would like to make for the potluck. One spicy item and one sweet item is what I had in mind -- and the more traditional, as in Mangalore-specific -- the better. After much ado, I zeroed in on Chana-Tendli Sukhen and Besan Ladoos. Chana-Tendli is a proper traditional Mangalorean delicacy (very spicy and slightly sweet in flavour), served during special occasions including weddings, and also a personal favourite. For the sweet, I initially wanted to go for Payasam, which would have been traditional, but since the number of people joining in the potluck was increasing by the day, it didn't seem a wise choice (not less so because I haven't made it before!). Besan ka Ladoo is not a traditional sweet (infact, many South Indians haven't even heard of it). I have had them in Bombay, mostly during the Diwali season, and I absolutely love them! (umm, there aren't too many sweets I don't love, but that's another matter). I decided it was well worth risking some Ghee, Sugar, Besan and what's more, as the Ladoos can be stored for some time, I could try it out a week before, and if Project Success wasn't accomplished, could go back to making something else. I'm proud to say that last Sunday's experiment churned out good enough results to be presented for tomorrow's potluck!

Now remains the Chana-Tendli. Planning to make it tonight -- the Chana's soaked, the recipe and instructions taken down minutely from Mom -- apart from breaking the coconut (which by the way, was never my scene; even in cooking projects at home, somebody or the other used to break it for me...ah, home, sweet home!), I'm looking forward to it!

I have been tempted to post pictures for sometime now; after the DigiCam, taking pictures has never been so spontaneous and easy. I haven't done so till now because: a. I somehow felt it would change the tone of this blog. b. I felt the template of this blog (especially the white background) didn't lend itself to pictures. c. I am technically-challenged enough to think it was tricky stuff.

So, I have finally gone and got myself another blog just for pictures. Am not sure if I will be able to maintain it considering that once am back home, I might not find anything new to capture -- but let me take this as far as it goes...Presenting the Besan ka Ladoos, for your drooling pleasure!

Wish everyone a very Happy Diwali, in advance! :)
Monday, October 03, 2005
Given a choice between an extremely stingy (someone who spends too little) person and extremely generous (someone who spends too much) person, whom would you choose? (I do know that people needn't be either extreme and a healthy balance is possible and desirable, but here my motive is not to preach on the advisability of striking a balance in one's spending/saving habits but to force a choice in favour of one or the other trait). This question, naturally, assumes that both the stingy and heavy-spender earn equally and are well off.

For myself, I would go for the over-generous person than the over-stingy. It might be taking the analogy a bit too far, but I've noticed that one who is extremely stingy with his/her money is stingy with his/her affections as well. In any case, I never seem to strike a rapport with the overly-stingy -- when every little pleasure or amusement they can give to their loved ones weighed in a scale with money, where every Paise counts... the pleasure or amusement is lost. In contrast, show me the person who'd even blow everything they have just to make their loved ones happy ...not practical, yes...but the gesture says something about the person to me!