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Showing posts from December, 2007

Biriyani Chaya

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Brown ring test – How many of you remember this from Chemistry class? I still remember fellow blogger and friend Pradeep’s dad N Balakrishnan Nair teaching me the basics of testing for nitrates in chemistry class. Add ferrous sulphate solution followed by concentrated sulphuric acid to the nitrate. A brown ring forms at the junction of the two liquids. Positive ID.

How many of you have seen, ordered or drunk a Biryani Chaya? You get this only in certain hotels at Calicut, one of them being the old Sagar, next to the KSRTC stand. Well, you get a glass with three layers, the dark tea layer, the mixed lighter colored layer & the milk froth layer on top, each separate from the other. Sometimes you can also discern the faint sugar layer at the bottom. You look at it, marvel at the technique of the tea man and then put in the spoon that is provided, to stir and complete the regular glass of tea….Soon these are going to be things of the past!!! The trick is somewhat like this. Pour milk i…

Burgers oursourced

Normally I don’t think too much about outsourcing, mainly because it is a fact of today’s life. If you can’t do it efficiently at the right price, find somebody else who can. Then again, man has always wanted to profit from life and will take every short cut possible. Some gain and some will lose at the end of the day, whatever said & done. That’s it in a nut shell. Also, I agree, I have also been prey to some real terrible call centre support staff (they didn’t solve the issue at hand in those cases or wasted a lot of my time) out there in my mater-land, but it is ok with me, these things would & should take a while to stabilize.

But some days ago, when my wife told me that the drive in lane of burger outlets was getting outsourced, it was a revelation. I have always avoided drive in ordering, my 2nd son says it is cool to order drive-in, but I find it better to walk up to the counter and explain what I want. In any case, I always do better, face to face, without the American…

Backyard cricket

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Watching Yuvraj hit six sixers was fascinating. Even though it was a so-so TUV online view, it exhilarated me, got the blood coursing through the old and brittle tubes, through those walls scaled with I am sure, plaques from all the cholesterol deposits…

I learnt the first cricket lessons from my dad in Koduvayur – Palakkad. Dad used to play for Madras Presidency College in his heydays and he taught us batting & bowling in the longish front yard that served as our makeshift cricket pitch. The first cricket bat was fashioned out of a reaper – plank from some packing material by our ‘karyasthan’ Eecharan who had come from Pallavur for some work. Thus we crafted our front foot drives up the slope in front of the house. One had to be careful bowling out there, behind the batsman was the front portico of the house and a number of windows that just cried out to be broken. From the beginning we were warned that should a window get broken, we would get grounded…Actually I can’t remember br…

Finding ‘Nemo’ - Lost in translation

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No, this is not about Nemo the fish or the movie ‘Finding Nemo’ though I enjoyed that animated movie very much…As usual, at certain moments I felt sad for the Nemo family and my son was making fun of my teary eyes, ah ! Well, I am one of those sentimental guys – not much that can be done about it!!

Verne’s ‘20000 leagues under the sea’ written in 1869 has a special corner in my heart. This was the book that I read many a time to my second son when he was a child. At that time, the story was paramount, not the characters or the politics. Indeed, I never even sensed the messages, simply because I read the ‘English’ version (based on Leiws P Mercier’s ‘orribly tainted translation) of the story that deliberately took away a good amount of what Verne had written in the original French. In the latter book The Mysterious Island written in 1875, where the Indian connections of Capt. Nemo are established, the WHG Kingston translation removed all negative (from British eyes) connections, because…