Monday, June 30, 2008

Sardine Sambal


Looks yummy right. It's very simple. I had my sardine sambal with an omelette and some cut cucumbers as can be seen below. The sambal is very simple to make:

Soak about 20 red dried chillies after deseeding in hot water and then blend in a blender with tomato, onion, 2 pod of garlic and a dash of soya sauce with some salt to taste with 2 teaspoon of oil.

In a wok with some oil, add green chillies, tomato(like in the pic) and fry the sambal paste until it is fragrant and then empty the sardine and then put in the onions which is cut into wedges. Don't forget to add salt. Cook for sometime on high flame and after that simmer until the oil comes out. Garnish with corriander.

Voila and it's ready.

Simple right, food for the God's or lazy humans like us. Serve it with steamed rice and the omelette( see my blog on steamed omelette). I love basmati, the aromatic rice from India. It is heavenly and words just can't describe it...it melts in your mouth.....

Like they say, cheap and best...........except for the basmati...but you can use any other variety of rice...
P.S Jean this recipe is for you............


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy Birthday son

Well my boy has turned 18 today and I spoke to him this morning and what a sad feeling as I couldn't be there with him. He would be cutting his cake in the church this evening and I wonder what would be going through his mind. Daddy has always been away from home because of his work (for his well being). I hope he understands that he is always in my heart especially on this special day for him. I told him that he is no more a "boy" now but a man and this little man would leave for Moscow in September 2008 to pursue his studies to become a Doctor.

How I remember him from the time he was born, he was a C-section birth and what a little bundle of joy,who was very inquisitive and loving, oh how time flies.

Happy Birthday Son with lots of love from your dad.

Tagged by Jean

5 Annoying things + 8 Habits + 6 Quirks

Well I was tagged by Jean on 23rd June 2008 and I was contemplating on when to do it and I thought to myself I might as well get over with it even though I don’t really have that many people to tag. So here it goes:

5 Annoying things

1. Waiting for someone who is never punctual.

2. Inconsiderate drivers on Hyderabad roads who stop anywhere they want.

3. When someone can’t say no on my face but say yes and does the opposite or never fulfil his/her promise.

4. Getting calls from tele-marketers at odd time and especially on a Sunday afternoon when I am having my nap.

5. Frequent power cuts in Hyderabad

8 Habits

1. Reaching for the cigarette when I am tensed.

2. Having a drink to kill boredom (only in Hyderabad).

3. Checking on the emails by the minute.

4. I like to stick to routine.

5. I trust people easily and empathize easily later get hurt.

6. I like to make my own tea first thing in the morning.

7. Listen to ipod when I am travelling in Hyderabad (my driver does the driving).

8. I like my salad without any dressing.

Here are the rules:

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment on their blog and tell them they’ve been tagged, and to come back and read your blog for the whole story.

For this 6 Quirks meme, I was tagged by my newly found good friend, Jean

1. I love people watching when I am travelling in Hyderabad and wonder what they are thinking at that precise moment and it gets better in the airports.

2. I like my Big Mac, without the sauce/mayo, just the meat patty with the vege and cheese.

3. I am fuzzy on the brand, strength and the amount of milk in my tea and it should be with Natura sweetener which naturally has to be brewed by me.

4. I prefer to serve myself in the restaurant instead of the waiter waiting on the table.

5. I like my beer chilled and alive with the bubbles and if I get a flat/dead beer, either I ask for a change or won’t drink it.

6. I love to cook my own food in Hyderabad and use the curry powder from home as I am fuzzy about taste and cleanliness about the food served outside unless it is in a five star hotel or a reputed eatery (out of desperation).


The Rules:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about
6 unspectacular quirks of yours...
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them…
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

Now that I have completed my 5 Annoying things + 8 Habits + 6 Quirks, I would like to include the following persons on the list :

1. Angeliki

2. Sucharita Sarkar

3. Ugich Konitari

4. Shree

5. Huang Lan

6. Piscean angel

7. Aleta

8. Linh

Well I have tagged 8 and I leave the option up to you (is that allowed) and I will inform you individually.

Have fun.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rising Oil prices?

The price of oil has touched the USD 140/barrel mark and what is next in store for us? Do you think that speculators are up to their tricks again? I guess most of the countries which had subsidised petrol has decided not to do so and this definetly has a spiralling effect on the cost of consumer goods which in turn has brought inflation to an all time high in most of the countries. Strikes and agitations are organised everywhere instead of focussing their energy on other important issues (not to say that this is not an issue).

Maybe this effect is irreversible but what does it mean for ordinary citizens like you and me? Can we really make ends meet now or tomorrow? We know for a fact that developing economies from China and India are consuming a lot of oil but wasn't this anticipated by the major oil producing nations as this didn't happen overnight.

Why can't we be prudent in our requirements for oil? With the increase in oil prices, even electricity goes up and I believe that we should look into other means of generating electricity, maybe nuclear, wind etc.

I saw on TV today Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, pleading with the public to conserve or save on oil, electricity, water and to stop wastage per se (in otherwords improve on efficiency). I think this is the right step to take and once there is less demand on oil, maybe the oil prices would stabilize or come down. But then again I believe, whatever the prices of essential commodities that has gone up would take a longer period to come down as profiteers would like to cream the situation.

I believe the Opec nations have told that there is no shortage of oil, and if that is the case, then there must an invisible hand behind all this, causing chaos and I am sure some of the Governments that are going in for election are going to lose due to a phenomenon which is not of their making.

Does the weakening of the US Dollar has an impact on all this? If so why can't trading be done with Euro dollars?

Do you think that the rising of the oil prices is really a blessing in disguise for us so that we can look at the other renewable sources of energy? What we know for sure is that one day oil would deplete and we have to wake up to that reality sooner then later.

Do let me know about your views on this matter and what are your suggestions in improving this grim situation.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Haircut revisited

Yes such a sport span of time and I had to go for another haircut, the last was in Kuala Lumpur and the barber was from India and here in India I got the real deal with the full package, the barber with the bad B.O but I can't complain as he is a very good barber. He skillfully searched for my hair and also suggested that I should dye my hair with natural colour so that the volume increases maybe to give an illusion that I have a full crop of hair. I turned him down as I am happy with whatever I am having now, it's thinning on the top and back and maybe give that wise look.

The reason why I go to the barber is to actually get my grey hairs reduced, as you see I am getting my greys only at the sideburns and when they grow, they seem to be having an unruly growth. Then there are a few strands of grey in my moustache which I would also like to remove and trim my moustache otherwise I would look like the fiery Hyderabad constable. I tried shaving it 5 months back and I have taken a photo of myself and boy I couldn't recognise myself so I let it grow and maybe when it really turns grey then I might reconsider removing it.

Well the trip to barber shop cost me Rs 90(USD 2.25) and I leave a tip of Rs 20(USD 0.50) and the barber saloon is in uptown Banjara Hills with air-condition and a clean environment. I bet you won't get your haircut any cheaper than this in a five star environment. Ah...the little pleasures of Hyderabad.

The rains are here in Hyderabad


It just started to rain for 10 minutes and there goes the power at 10.31 p.m, what the hell do they expect us to do... sit in the dark...it really cheeses me off. I not only hear the raindrops but also the buzzing of the mosquitoes...even typing this blog is so difficult. Lucky for me I had just finished my dinner otherwise I would have to share my food along with the mosquitoes who succk on my blood. Well this blog is written under protest.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There goes my early exit

Thought I was leaving by 04.07.2008 from Hyderabad but I guess that has to change now. Now I have to be in Hyderabad to conduct some interview on the potential candidates for our overseas project and also interviews of some potential lawyers as my company boss is making his trip here.

So looks like I am going to spend maybe another extra week here and that really upset my other plans. I am going to be in Hyderabad right smack in the monsoon rains because so far it has not arrived yet. Monsoon in Hyderabad means many things but the most significant one is that there would be frequent power cuts, pre-emptive cuts so that the electrical cables do not get short circuits because of the way the electrical wires are hanging on the poles, you would get scared if it happens to touch you (the dangling cables).

I hope my buddy, the rat snake don't get flushed out by the rains as their homes will be flooded and they would look for food in my kitchen,like the 6 footer did last time. I hope the cable TV doesn't get distrupted due to bad weather.

Now what am I writing, deviating from my original topic, yes my exit is delayed. So I guess this would give me some more time for me to finish my new book which I bought yesterday, titled Brida by Paulo Coelho.

Now thanks to Jean, since I am tagged, I have to go through the formality of posting a blog on that, still haven't started working on that.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My journal entry

I would like to share what I wrote on 22.10.2006, which was my journal entry and I was feeling nostalgic about it. Infact this was my last entry in my journal after I had gone through a spell of rather difficult times here in Hyderabad. I just wanted to share it with you what I felt then after clearing my problems. I am not altering anything from my entry and God only knows what I had gone through.
Dear Journal,

Ah! the number 22 that is 2 + 2 will always ring a bell. Maybe the bell of awakening. I am sitting here in my room in Hyderabad (from yesterday evening the cable went off - cut off from the external world, no TV, no internet).

What is running in my mind - greatness(it's because I'm reading Robin Sharma's book).

How long will I have this leisure of being with myself. No phone calls and no one to disturb me - not even my loved ones. Loneliness is sometimes a blessing in disguise.

I was sitting on the balcony watching nature from 5.00 p.m to 6.00 p.m. It was getting dark and also the mosquitoes would be out in full force for their share of blood.

How am I going to spend the night, should I read my other books that I have already read. Should I listen to my Ipod or maybe watch DVD.

So many shoulds but there is only one thing that I can do at a time.

I think I would let my mind do the wondering and be thankful to God for letting me be just as I am.

sukku

Monday, June 23, 2008

Charminar


I guess being in Hyderabad and not displaying it's iconic image would be a sin. I know it is an old structure, that's why upto now I haven't taken the stairs up to the gallery (don't get me wrong). Anyway it is located in the old city and the place is like a huge market with I guess from bangles to pearls are being sold dirt cheap and maybe a lot more of other stuffs too. I have been here only a couple of times and that also to show my friends what "Charminar" looks like and below is an extract of what Charminar is from the net, however the photo was taken by me:

Hyderabad's most popular landmark Charminar is located at the center of the old city and surround by lively bazaars. It was built by Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 in honour of his wife Bhagmati, shortly after he had shifted his capital from Golconda to what now is known as Hyderabad. It is popular as the Arc de Triomphe of the East and considered as the legendary masterpiece of Qutub Shahi's.

Charming structure define as its name from four intricately carved minarets, the four graceful minarets which means 'Four Minars'. Charminar is in square shape with four towers in the four corners of the square, each side is 20 metres long. Every side opens into a plaza through giant arches, which overlook four major thoroughfares and dwarf other features of the building except the minarets. Each arch is 11 metres wide and rises 20 metres to the pinnacle from the plinth. The minarets soar skywards by 24 metres from the roof of Charminar. Each minaret has four storeys, each looking like a delicately carved ring around the minaret. From the ground to the apex, the minarets cover a length of 48.7 metres.

Charminar is surrounded by markets and many other structures which adds to its grace. It boasts Chow Mohalla palace, Shahali Banda, Laad Bazar, Kali Kaman and Patthar Gatti and Mecca Masjid. The structure of Charminar show both Indian and Mughal architectural styles. You can see good views of all over the old city from the top of the minarets.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday blues

Well it's one of those Sundays where things don't move at all. I had to clean the dishes in the sink today as my servant didn't turn up and boy how I hate doing that. After that I made my lunch and had some beer to cheer me up but I guess it didn't as I was watching Euro2008 game between Holland and Russia and that disappointed me. My favourite team Holland lost, how could they torture me this way on Sunday when I am drinking beer. I slept in the afternoon and I got up at 4 p.m. but my body just didn't want to get up and so I slept until 5.30 p.m. and it was too late to make it to the evening mass (Did I sin?)

And so I am sitting on my computer and reading the blogs that I frequent and dutifully commented on them and now I am writing a blog on what I did on this Sunday which was pretty depressing anyway.

I have a book next to me by PG Wodehouse, maybe I will read that for the night and laugh a little.

Chicken sambal


Doesn't it look yummy but it is really potent (pungent). The redness is due to the chillies but as they say, chillies makes you lose weight, so the more the merrier. Seriously, it was yummy what I cooked, chicken sambal and I was sweating profusely from my head and that is an indicator that it was hot. If you want the recipe, please let me know and I will post it in my next posting as it is one of the simplest recipe there is.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tank you!

Lovely tank right? Well I stay near the Indian Army base at Sainikpuri in Secunderabad cantonment and I always wanted to pose next to the tank. But since it is an Army base I really don't feel like doing it as I don't want to be shot in the process. So what I did was the next best thing, I took the snap shot from my car. I guess the tank must be a stripped down version of the real thing otherwise God only knows what would happen, if someone decides to take the tank for a joy ride(just a thought). I hope you like the picture and don't worry I am not in a war zone. There are actually a couple of tanks and each time I pass this area, I can feel the discipline that surrounds this location and how things are kept spick and span.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Want to join the force?

Look at the ancient dumb bell and it looks pretty heavy right? I tried lifting it and it didn't budge an inch. This is what you see in Golconda Fort in Hyderabad which was built in the 13th century by the Kakatiya Kings and the existing structure was built by Qutub Shahi Kings into a massive fort with granite walls having eight gates and 87 bastions spread upto 7 kms, in circumference over a span of 62 years. Golconda Fort, popularly known in Telugu as "Golla Konda", which means "Shepherd's Hill", has an exotic story behind it.

What I was impressed with was when the guide told me regarding the criteria those days in joining the guards or sentry, you have to lift the dumb bells and I hope you don't have to run with it too (they would die of hernia). If only they had this same kind of qualifying exercise now I guess the Hyderabad police force would really be a super fit crime fighting force to reckon with and not with their pot belly and scary looking moustaches. You don't need guns and all you have to do is stare at the criminals and they would surrender or crumble in fear. God only knows what sort of diet they had to be on (just a thought). Below is a section of the fort taken from one of the Towers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Detachment?

Being familiar with a place for quite some time I am sure we would get attached to it. I have been in India for fairly a good of life, it started off when I came to this country in 1979 for my pre-university with ideas of doing medical studies but things didn’t work the way I wanted and after my higher secondary exams and based on that results I was nominated by the Central Government of India under the Foreigners quota to do my Engineering at a place called Warangal in Andhra Pradesh at Regional Engineering College. During my year admission to IIT’s was through our Government and I was very reluctant to do Civil Engineering and thought of joining the college and maybe try for medicine. But things don’t work out that way and I ended up graduating with a B.Tech degree in Civil Engineering. So I had spent a great deal of time in India then, say 7 years (2 in Chennai and 5 in Warangal) and I was happy to head home but with a sad heart as the best part of life was in campus and I was worried whether I could fit into the Malaysian society.

I did just fine, started working in Singapore for 3 years and after that in Malaysia and I was not destined to be stationed at home. I was in the East Coast for 3 years and then in North Malaysia for 1 year and even when I was in Kuala Lumpur, my working hours were crazy. I get in to work by 8.00 a.m. and sometimes finish off by midnight. During the boom time in Kuala Lumpur work was on a hectic pace and everything had to be finished like yesterday. And for 2 years of my life in Kuala Lumpur I was busy with my M.B.A and I lock myself up at home after work so that I can complete my studies and I am glad that I got my degree but then again it was like being at home spiritually and not physically.

Then in October 2002, I was posted to Hyderabad, a place in India from the state where I had graduated my Engineering. Now after about nearly 5 years plus and I am heading for home and I would be running down to another continent altogether, Africa.
So I guess attachment is a loose term for me, I was never really attached anywhere and I know it would be difficult to leave Hyderabad as I have spent nearly 12 years of my life in India. Is it Karma or something that is attracting me to India, I know my great grandfather was from India.

Over the years I have seen my children growing up and before I could realize it my first boy would be leaving for his further studies to Russia and what would his conception of his father be. The reason why I am away from home is for a better living standard so that I could afford sending my children overseas for their further studies. I only hope that they do understand that my detachment is actually my way of securing a better future for them.

©sukku2008

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Standing in queue (Is it that difficult?)

Yesterday I was at the Food World chain of supermarkets near the place where in live. I saw they had Alfonso mangoes and I took 2 mangoes and some tomatoes and I was standing in line to get the items weighed and a lady was doing that, she writes the weight on the plastic bag with a permanent marker and in front of me was a guy with quite a lot of stuff. I was waiting patiently for my turn. Out of nowhere an elderly person butts in with his stuff and wanted the lady to weigh it and his excuse was “I have only one item”. I am sick of this line used by people here, I had two items and I was waiting patiently and I told him whether it is one or more item, please stand in line but he just ignored me and he looked educated. What is education if it can’t instill simple civic sense in you?

I told the lady who was weighing that she should not have entertained him but she had a dumb look on her face as I guess the managed hadn’t trained her. This is not the first time I had encountered this, it happens at the checkout counters too. Where someone just walks in with an item and demands that they have to be billed first as they have an item. I did walk out of a supermarket in Banjara Hills and left all the items that I had in my basket worth maybe nearly Rs 1,000 (USD 25) because of this incident and after that I never went to that supermarket again. I did inform the counter girl on what she did was wrong as she told me that the guy had only one item (is it a magic password). She didn’t realize that I too had so many “one” items too.

Sometimes I feel that the counter guys got to educate the customers by asking them to stand in queue and if the supermarket can’t train their staff to do that, what kind of employees do they hire. This to me has a larger implication on the society at large as what had education really imparted to them.

Did anyone of you encounter these problems from where you come from? Do let me know.

©sukku2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Steamed Omelette


Steamed omelette, what in the heavens is that? Well that is how I like to make my omelette. The recipe is very simple. Let me give it to you.

Ingredients

1. Cut a medium size onion into tiny pieces
2. Cut a green chilli into tiny pieces
3. 1/2 tsp salt
4. 1 or 2 eggs beaten in a small bowl with a folk or egg beater until it is fluffy (then add item 1, 2 & 3)
5. Oil (2 tsp)
6. Black pepper powder
7. Red chilli powder (optional)


Cooking process

In a non-stick frying pan, add oil and let it get heated up, then on a slow flame, add the beaten egg (with onions and chilli)and cover it up with a lid as shown in the picture above (after a few minutes, you can open the lid and sprinkle some black pepper powder and chilli powder). Let it cook over the slow flame and when it starts to brown lightly, flip the omelette over and close the lid. After a few minutes remove the omelette from the pan. The picture below shows the omelette made with one egg.


Bon App├ętit.

©sukku2008