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Showing posts from August, 2009

Breakfast at Changi

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Changi airport is a personal favorite of mine. I have seen a large number of airports, but I must say this is one of the best run and homely airports ever. It does not signal aggression like American airports nor does it seem cold and aloof like the European ones. It is not chaotic like the Indian ones nor is it noisy like the Korean or Thai or other Asian airports. To put it all simply, I like it. And so after a long long flight from LAX, via Narita in Japan, yea! Finally I stepped foot on Japanese soil, if only for an hour, and then again it was another long leg to Singapore, the old colonial watering hole. After a short rest, I went up to the Kaveri for breakfast. I knew that it was the confluence of all Indian visitors to the airport, it was where I assume they met kindred souls, smelt home and felt like at home. This time, there was a huge hoarding on the way announcing that Chutney Mary was on her way to compete with Kaveri. But she had not arrived yet and was expected by late f…

A list of 15 memorable books

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Jina Joan DCruz with the sizzling mind and fiery brain cells recently tagged me on a favorite subject, reading books - Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you! Now this put me into a quandary. There is always a top list in everybody’s mind, the top favorites. But what if the list is well over 15 and you cannot decide? So as I was thinking and thinking about it, I decided instead to just make a list of 15 ‘relatively good and memorable reads’ and not the usual all time greats. Some of these books are rather unique and are listed as they caught my fancy. Many of these have been covered in detailed blogs by me previously so I will summarize and link up to them, as for the others provide a short set of comments. Hope those who enjoy reading give at least some of these a try, they may turn out to be equally interesting to them. Readers may note something strange here – many of the books seem to be accounts of young guys in bewildering situations. Now I wonder after ma…

The cookers

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No, I am not writing about the prestige or the Hawkins varieties or the newfound space age stuff which one sees these days. I wanted to actually introduce to you a very special variety of people, the ‘Dahannakkaran pattar’ of Palakkad. Of course many know of them after the lovely Kamal Hassan movie Michael Madana Kamarajan where he and his father represent one such cooking team. Here is a small youtube video (The Palakkad pattar enters the scene after 1’30”) to introduce their special Malayalam and mannerisms, half Tamil, half Malayalam.

We see movies of Malabar weddings, we see movies of North Indian weddings, but a real Palakkad wedding is incomplete without this cooking team, and I myself cannot forget Parthan Pattar and his entourage. When a festivity was planned in our Nair Tharavad, our family matriarch, i.e. my grandma fondly called Amma, a slightly stentorian person herself, would send the Karyasthan to summon Parthan the cook, the previous morning. Parthan would then be seen h…