Miracle Dip on a Starry Night

Credits: here

Credits: this guy

Imagine this: a chilly weather, a clear night’s sky with twinkling stars, hills, meadows and forests surrounding you and nothing but time to waste… seems like something out a story book, right?

I was fortunate enough to experience this! It was a night I remember fondly. Maybe it was the fancy things that stands sharp in my memory – like the peace and quiet that the small town I was visiting brought with it. Or perhaps, it was the close-knit group of friends who sat with me on the terrace on that cold night, sharing and caring. Who knows! But one thing is for sure: it was something fantastical.

You see, when you are one of those typical students in India aspiring to be an engineer (in IT, no less), you need a break. Break from all the routine stress, from the mediocre life you think you are leading whilst you try to figure out what ‘Encapsulation and Polymorphism’ is exactly and from the pressure that’s building around you in the form of tests, exams and of course, your parents. In such a perilous time, you need fun. You need excitement. You need something different. In my case, I needed chip and dip.

And so, barely a week after my exams were over, I found myself huddled around a stove. With me were a few of my closest friends. It was not only a great night, but a messy one as well. We were preparing to face the pure tranquillity of the small but delightful village we were visiting. The cold was still sharp like daggers. And the thing we were trying to create would cut through this cold. Supposedly.

The cooks in my group were the forerunners of our little “project”. Experimentation and making a tasty mess of what we call food was something they were adept at. The rest of us were just there, hovering in the background pretending to help. Desperately cold and hungry, but also a little excited about it being past midnight and the fact that we were all awake for something other than studies, we clanked and clunked around the kitchen, fumbling for something to make. The five of us ran around, hunting for logical ingredients to put in our cooking pan, while the other two stood around the stove, trying to light it whilst yelling orders. I grabbed the cheese, someone else grabbed the sauces from the fridge and another grabbed the garlic butter. And so, the miracle dip was born. In no time, the stove was on, searing the pan. The garlic butter was bubbling on the pan’s surface as it sent wafts of smells around the house. Added to the fact that the house was a packed box of us seven, to stop the cold from entering inside, everything aromatic in no time! With extreme clumsiness and hurry, we added the ingredients one by one to the butter, whilst the two – ahem – chefs stirred.

I have never been excited about cooking food. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating food, but actual cooking it is something that does not tickle my fancy. However, that night, it was like seeing magic. Maybe that was just my hunger making me see things but when the cheese had melted, when the garlic had infused with everything else, when the sauces had turned from white and yellow to a burning orange, my stomach grumbled.

The seven of us raced upstairs, carrying the rest of the stuff in our hands. It was like a synchronized mechanism: two of us stood upstairs, ready to take the stuff and keep it on the terrace; three more stood below, passing the stuff upstairs, while the remaining brought the stuff from the kitchen. We had drinks (soft, of course because we don’t drink alcohol. No, we seriously don’t. Mummy promise), we had food, we had sweaters for warmth, we had music…

And later, we found ourselves huddled around the dip on the terrace, below the sky, drinking soft drinks and ready to attack the bowl with three huge packets of chips. The fire this dip had awoken in us roared. Our hungry stomachs were holding their breaths, waiting for the onslaught of awesomeness. Our minds were sceptical: would the dip even be good?

It didn’t matter, as we each took a chip and dipped it in the liquidy-goodness. It smelt, looked amazing and turns out – as I bit the chip hungrily – it tasted amazing, too!

And thus began a campfire-like night, dotted with stories, secrets, selfies and music. The dip was consumed entirely in no time, and we lay on the cold floor of the terrace, star-gazing through the cold night, with one hand rubbing our full stomachs, contemplating if every night could be like this: eternally fulfilling and blissful.


Hello Bleedsters!
I hope you are having a great time! This is another one of my favourite write-ups and I sincerely hope you enjoy it! Comment with any similar experiences you might have had!

Love,
Kunal


As always, if any of it made you smile, laugh, frown or giggle like a little baby, comment share and like! To be up-to-date with my other posts, give a like to my Facebook page and follow on Twitter if you use it! Any images used are either taken from Google Images or from my own personal collection or other sources which will be mentioned if and when, unless stated otherwise. Contact me if you want it removed.

The Night of Happenings

Credits: Siddhant Rajadhyaksha NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

Credits: Siddhant Rajadhyaksha
NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

The Night of Happenings

There was a sharp sound in the dead of the night. The wind chime sounded melodious. A swift breeze had set it in motion. The chime’s melody bounced around the extremely spacious hall of the house. It was chilly.

I got up and checked outside. It was a starry night. It was a cold night. It was a clear, pure and heavenly night. And we were right in the middle of it.

So I suggested my friends, the Mansion Man, the Train Fanatic and Mr Sherlock X to head up to the terrace to look at the sky. That beautiful, star-spangled and clear sky. Its vastness looming overhead.

The four of us climbed the steps, the excitement palpable. The house, this beautiful house owned by Mansion Man’s parents, was an architectural beauty. It had big, airy rooms (yes, multiple), its location was perfection, it had two terraces and multiple bathrooms too and most of all, it was situated facing a fantastic scenery. We passed the two bedrooms on the next floor (it was a one storeyed house) and we picked up our coverings. I needed two jackets and socks because of the extreme temperatures. My fellow friends were fine with just one hoodie. I still can’t wonder how they can stand that cold.

But we finally ascended the flimsy ladder and climbed onto the best part of the house: the upper terrace.

The terrace was big and had a small rectangular wall which served as a skylight for the house underneath. And over the terrace, it stood vast and beautiful. It was something I had never seen.

A long ago, I had dreamed of this. My friend, the Train Fanatic, had suggested to go to a faraway hill station for a vacation at night and just stare at the skies all night long. He had said how the stars shone more fully without the artificial lights and how the sky looked complete without the polluted clouds. Since then, a dream had been formed inside my head, of this unseen nature’s beauty. And it had been fulfilled, finally.

The sky was truly spectacular. An inky black canvas, sporting tiny white dots in a specific pattern that Mr Sherlock X rambled on about. It turned out that stars fascinated him as much as trains fascinated my Train Fanatic friend. He showed us the Orion Belt and pointed out some other constellations that were clearly visible from this wonderful town of Vadgaon.

The chilly air was no longer a concern. The numbing feet and hands lay forgotten behind my head. I lay down on the cold, tiled floor, with my eyes fixated on the stars and the moon. How shiny.

It was an experience of a lifetime. A perfect way to spend the nights in a hill-station in winter.

The house we were living in was also near to the town of Talegaon and had a train station in the distance. So of course, we could see and hear the trains pass by. The happiness of Mr Train Fanatic knew no bounds. Different types of engines and routes were explained enthusiastically by him to us. Meanwhile, Mr Mansion Man and Sherlock X took copious amounts of pictures using DSLR cameras of the vastness above. They tried and tried but did not come remotely close to artificially replicating the nature’s beauty. But that is how Nature is. Irreplaceable and untouched.

The night continued, paired with a cup of hot and spicy noodles. It was a perfect combination which went hand in hand with the borderline unbearable, but otherwise cosy cold atmosphere. We slurped those ramen noodles in one go (okay, that is exaggeration, but still!) and the warmth they provided was amazing. It was one of those moments where everything fits.

We proceeded to take pics of each other with something called Light Painting. We posed in a funny way, made patterns and signs using a torch light and did all kinds of crazy stuff on that cold terrace that added to the effect of the night. And it only helped that Mr Sherlock X was a great guitar player. His strumming in the background provided a different, sort of warm melody to our hearts.

Credits: Siddhant Rajadhyaksha NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

Credits: Siddhant Rajadhyaksha
NOT FOR REPRODUCTION

We further climbed down, after lots of pictures and talks, some exciting, other time passing ones, and finally decided to have some dinner. Mr Sherlock X, being Sherlock X, declared that he wanted to make the dinner. And what better dinner in a cold temperature than Maggi noodles.

But of course life isn’t a straight path. It is a winded road. And the Maggi Noodles failed. Miserably. From a bowl of wonder, it turned into a bowl of porridge. It was tasteless, un-eatable and smelt horrible. Mr Sherlock X joked that the thing he had created was perhaps even radioactive.

We made some more, this time I made it correctly, and ate it and Mr Sherlock X and I headed into the chilling night to dispose of the mess.

The night was colder outside than it was on the terrace. Chilling to the bone, the wind swept my hair back. I shivered, but my thin friend Sherlock X was somehow immune to the cold. We dumped the “radioactive waste” in the wastebasket a few metres away from the house and ran back inside, before I turned blue from the cold.

But the initially planned normal night was turning into more of an adventure. And it continued.

Apparently, Mr Mansion Man had forgotten to notice the frigging ARMY of ANTS that was covering the door to the house. And without that knowledge, I had merrily stepped inside the house, scraping my sides on the door.

I jumped in horror, shedding my coat faster than light and screamed in awe. I swear the screams were manly! But my heart left my body and leapt out of my mouth. THOUSANDS of ANTS were dancing and running on my coat, now spreading on the floor, covering the whole house. I yelled to my friends and they looked surprised too. That is when we noticed the Army of Ants on the door and quickly closed it.

Mr Mansion Man turned out to be an efficient one too. And Mr Sherlock X, though not a very great cook, was a big bowl of CALM! They both extinguished the army with one blow of Bug Spray and the brave ants died, one by one. We swept them off the floor and into the night. My coat was finally ANT-free.

We sat on the floor a few minutes later, breathing a sigh of relief, whilst laughing over it. We mused on about the twinkling stars, the radioactive Maggi Noodles Porridge, the Army of Ants and of course my “Super Manly” screams (I swear, they were!). We headed upstairs and sat cosily in one of the rooms, playing Scotland Yard and Poker. Why do you think we call Mr Sherlock X just that? Because he is a very good Scotland Yard player and as Mr X is very chalu (clever).

So the night seemingly came to an end and we stowed ourselves between the deep bowels of blankets, finally closing our eyes. The night was at an end, and the new day would bring us new adventures.

NOPE.

A rooster. That fucking rooster. I don’t usually swear in my blog posts, but this one rooster deserves the worst of the worst. It was nearly 4, for god’s sakes! This rooster cawed (or cried or roosted or whatever it is called) so loudly that the whole house shook. It kept crying out loud, telling us to wake up. It had no freaking business cawing at 4 in the morning. And that is how I nearly stayed up all night, for the first time.

The next morning, we woke up groggily, groaning. Because the rooster, that fucking rooster, still was cawing.

It was a night full of things. A Night of Happenings.

Heya, Bleedsters!
Just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Have a great one and enjoy…
Kunal

As always, if any of it made you smile, laugh, frown or giggle like a little baby, comment share and like! To be up-to-date with my other posts, give a like to my Facebook page and follow onTwitter if you use it! Any images used are either taken from Google Images or from my own personal collection or other sources which will be mentioned if and when, unless stated otherwise. Contact me if you want it removed.

The Fondest Mango Memories!

Copyright© AllCanCook

Mango Pieces Copyright© AllCanCook

Hey Bleedsters!
Here is a post about mangoes and all my childhood memories related to them. Seeing that Summer is already here, it seemed fitting to write about one of the best fruits on this planet!!!

Hope you enjoy this one! Write down in the comments below, if you have YOUR own mango memories! 😀
Love,
Kunal

The moment I saw the crate of mangoes, my mind dived into the hitherto unknown realm of memories.

It is funny how a simple image or the thing you see can trigger an onslaught of memories, good or bad. And that crate of mangoes, that particular one exactly, reminded me one of the fondest memories of my childhood. Funnily enough though, this memory in particular had been deeply suppressed in the back of my mind because of my busy schedule of exams. And that crate had brought it all out.

I remember stepping inside the apartment, that beautiful and wide apartment in Goa that my granny lived in, in which had been most of my childhood vacations. It always used to be the same way: I would step in and would immediately be met with the sweet relish of the fragrance from those mangoes. Then I would proceed to dump my bags in that room after the exhausting flight and immediately spot the crate of–you, guessed it right– mangoes laying in the corner. These were not any mangoes, these were mangoes either handpicked by my dozens of relatives (bless them!) from the personal backyards of their homes or bought freshly from the farmer’s market by my gran!

Then would start a vacation filled with Mango Sasav (a very innovative curry dish), the famous Aamras, Mango Lassi, Raw Mango Udad Methi and more! (Source: AllCanCook)

Aamras- Copyright© AllCanCook

Aamras– Copyright© AllCanCook

 

And let me tell you one thing, I NEVER GREW TIRED OF THOSE MANGOES! It was one thing to see the mangoes, smell the mangoes, a whole other to experience them through taste and touch.

When, as a little kid, I would ask her how these Mango dishes would turn out to be so great, everyone would always voice the typical (and partially truthful) reason: Because Granny made it with love. But I knew that my granny (and my mom, because of that) was a great cook. And still is. She is the most amazing cook I have ever met in my life!

And another thing that made the Mango Feast special was the ambiance. Heat, coupled with the casually random breezes and the vast openness of the city of Panjim was a pleasant place to feast on some mangoes! Having lived in the busiest, most crowded and noisy cities in India (Mumbai), Panjim seems like a peaceful, ‘collect-your-thoughts’ kind of place. The change in scenery of people and places out of my window after coming to Goa was always enough to please me!

And finally, there was the company. Having mangoes is incomplete without your brothers and sisters. Cousins, a whole army of them, would gather around the table and fight over who gets the largest mangoes. I, being one of the youngest, would always be left with the small ones. But it was fun. The best thing about eating mangoes with them was that you could eat them anyhow. You didn’t need a fork or a spoon (God knows who eats mangoes with a spoon and fork but its not unheard of). My mum always warned us to not spill a drop of awesomeness from the mangoes on our attires. Of course, that never turned out to be so.

As I sit here, all these years later, I realize how times have changed. Cousins have grown up, brothers have left for jobs, engineering exams are an obstacle for my visit to Goa in this Summer…… But the one thing that has remained constant is that crate of mangoes, freshly delivered from Goa by my granny.

I love you, my dear Mummy Aji. You rock!

Mangoes, mangoes everywhere!

So before I go, let me ask you, DO YOU LIKE MANGOES? VOTE DOWN BELOW!!

Please leave a comment and share this post if it brought a smile, frown or laughter to your face! Images used in this particular post are under the copyright of AllCanCook