Friday, October 11, 2013

Yes It is .. Earth Quake




EARTH QUAKE

     During his birth, little was the probability with her mother, to know that her son will have a long health disability.  The son Henry de Toulouse Lautrec fractured his right thigh bone at the age of thirteen and at fourteen his left thigh bone, the fractures forgot to heal and left the physicians bewildered, the scratched their medical knowledge and gave a name to the no to be healing syndrome as pycnodysotosis syndrome, with the troubling and twisting of tongue, it became Toulouse – Lautrec syndrome. Henrys leg failed to grow leaving him to be extremely short in his adulthood. To be precise -  it’s a body of an adult and legs of a child.

    With not able to participate in physical activities, art became Henrys only solace. His solace being a permanent one led him to be an important post impressionist and lithographer. His career in art spanned for twenty years, in which he has created more than six thousand works. The best skill in him is to capturing people in their work environment and a master in capturing crowd scenes.

    At the circus Fernando, The laundress, Ball at the Moulin de la galette, portrait of grabrielle, At the Moulin Rouge , In bed, Le coucher are few of his works, His portrait of Vincent Van gogh may have been his secret love to alcohol. With lot of mockery for his physical appearance and short stature, Henry drowned his sorrows and sadness in alcohol,

       Beer and wine were his first love, and it kept expanding in bounds and leaps, the love of alcohol continued throughout his adulthood. He never failed to treat his friends on Friday nights and made them try new variety of cocktails and then came the strong of Invention – The Earthquake , a cocktail made with the world’s strongest liquor Absinthe and the worlds best brandy cognac. This cocktail is part of Henry and is related to him, three parts of Absinthe and three parts of cognac sometime with ice mixed in a cocktail shaker.
      The death was visible, but Henry never gave up his love, he used a cane in his hand to hide the alcohol, and the cane was always with him as was the alcohol. In 1893, the time was fixed and Henry left his body to the other world with him were his cane and his alcohol love. 

EST! EST!EST!
“Est” – Latin Name for “It is”
NO one will call the bishop Johannes Fugger a drunkard, but then the time took his toll to Rome for the coronation of King Henry IV , the bishop with his other name Wine lover , send his servant Mr. Martin to find the best wines around the city. On finding the best one’s the servant scribbled Est (It is) in the front wall of the wine place, for the bishops eyes.

The Bishop with a renowned reputation never visited the wine Inns during the day time, for the fear of getting attention from the locals and spoiling his reputation. And he never wanted to take chance visiting an Inn which served a poor quality wine, for he has taken meticulous plan to enter the place. That made him to assign his servant with the Est (It is). Which means the Inn served good wines.
 
With the expedition for drinking, it took the bishop by surprise, The Est written three times in front of a wine Inn(Est ! Est!Est!). The overwhelmed Bishop, couldn’t resist his eagerness and forced himself in to witness the best white wine made from Trebhiano grape variety, the mildly aromatic wine with apple note and high acidity made him to spend his rest of his life in the Montefiasco wine Inn in Italy.

It didn’t took much time for his servant Mr. Martin to write”here in lies my master who died drinking too much” on the bishops tombstone. From that day on the village in Italy never failed to pour a barrel of Wine on his tombstone on every anniversary of his death. How many will have this kind of mourning for their death anniversary?



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

James hadley Chase

    The department released a E journal, as a new activity from this lucky year -twenty 13, as part of second issue, I was asked to write an article on the Onam fest we conducted. It is an annual event, and I was pondering what to impregnate with the existing one. As i closed my eyes , the drumming of chenda kept my mind and ears occupied. On the day of the event , the chenda continued for a prolonged time which occupied the space of the whole event. There was a prayer song, followed by Skit and group songs.

    The audience was really attracted, by the flavors from our kitchen than the event. The Ada pradaman was double sweet, which went for double servings for many guest. The Sadya of avial, thoran, erussery, etc was really delicious and tasty, but then a hungry stomach doesn't mind tasteless food. The real joy happens when there is music which accompanies food, here in our event the music alone made the stomach and heart filled.

Even its a team work or an effort from few, any event will happen. The individual make no sense in it. How well the effect of the event affect is only through commitment and hard work. Here in our case our students has both (commitment and hard work ) in ample amount. Many a times I have wondered what happens to the commitment and hard work when it comes to academics. I can boast by saying Mr.X a student get 90% , and I really don't care whether Mr.Y& Mr. Z gets a mark or not. But Mr.X is studious from his school, he doesn't require you for the 90%. my other part keep telling me.

  Its my duty to make the average and below average students to excel, how long can I keep repeating the dialogue, that I can only lead a horse to water, but can't make it drink.My tongues are tired repeating ,it lose strength in replacing donkey with the horse. A decade has passed since I started delivering my so called lectures. and a decade has passed with inconsistent satisfaction level. 

   An occasional telephone calls from, passed out students will increase the confident level, some with a best employee award, some as managers in leading properties, this give me a happy sleep, the happiness inside me bursting with proud. how happy if every one of my students excel. I love selfishness.

  Now a days , I my objective is to make the maximum level of students t\in to reading habits, even in this all days are not Sundays. Tests , assignments, and what not everything has its own course. and I lost a dozen of books lending to somebody. and the online shopping charges fifty rupees for shipment, Fifty may sound simple, for me its two James Hadley chase in the second hand book market. 
    

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Ba Va

      There are reasons for seperation, a long seperation from my writing. All this time , pages and pages of words were written on food, food and food,laid ideal in my table piled with academics. but then I curse myself for the poor time management and being lazy. In view with the academics,  our students did a great job with their Inagural of department activities, The General Manager of The residency Coimbatore, gave a good speech , a talk of motivation. I prayed those words went into the deep part of our students. On the other side, the confidence level of the students community is high at present. its not that they don't analyse things at deep and stumble with the inception,  they just go for it, one such activity is the Snack Kiosk for an entreprenuership programme.They did a great job

My long time dream of making atleast ten percent of my students to get into reading habits is getting shaped. and here my confidence level is increased. I myself getting more sincere in my love towards reading. to list a few, Gabrial Garcia Marcus , Ba Va chelladurais works, La sa ra, and many added to my shelf, With Maximum city by Sukethu Mehta in my hand, Im touring Mumbai lost and found. Thanks to Dr. Rangarajan sir, a real inspiration.


It started months ago, when Dr.Ramraj gave me 'Ella Nalum Karthikai written by Ba Va, Those powerful words, its like knowing him for ages, one among my family , how do I name it, Lost for words.  I have never spoke with him, but then I feel I'm  always with him. Ba va .Fortune has palyed its role, Happen to speak with Wideangle Ravishanker, Ba Va's Friend - again a fell of knowing him for long time.Thank you Wideangle Ravishankar, A person with human touch, the feel you get only when you experience. 

 Do read Ba Va's works Ella Nalum Karthikai, 19 Dm saronilirunthu,  Last week read a short story in Uir eluthu, Kaal by Ba va. I never wanted to be quite still . Last night I spoke with Ba va, The precise word which suits is veritable Love. Want to meet you , one HUG ... Im done .

HAPPY REDAING


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A long time.

            Long time since I posted anything, long time since I have seen something worth of posting. Here it goes the last things happened in those times between the last blog and this. An annual food festival which had Mangalorean, Gujarathi and Madurai food, Its worth mentioning the efforts of students, for those who observed the culinary its a lifetime treat, and for others, its a memory with a fading effect. The elite crown didn't bothered the finishing food nor the authentic taste. The dishes summed to one hundred, with a real visual treat. It would be an injustice if I fail to mention the cuisine of Mangalore. Let it be the DAL TOVI or the Mangalorean style fried fish. The taste just lingers in you for a long time. The dishes proved that name doesn't matter compared to the taste of the dish.

            I do not know how many gastronomes witnessed the need of change in their palate. There is a change in all our activities but then the taste to our tongue is almost the same. We never try to change the taste nor experiment with new taste foods. The foods of Mangalore gave a chance to change in the palate. The errors and failures in the other cuisine (Madurai) were compensated by this Mangalorean cuisine. More on the Mangalorean food in the coming post.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

With JOY..... (Marina Guest House Vizhinjam)

Two nights at Marina guest house, Trivandrum , is a wonderful and memorable stay, the credit goes to the hospitality of Joy david. We landed in a wrong place with the same name, but then its time which took us to this wonderful place, (Marina Guest house)
       The first day breakfast was a local delight, puttu with red plantains and lunch the traditional kerala way. For dinner we ended up in Sea rock where they deceived us with vegetable pulao mixed with prawn and Chicken, to be honest the food was awful . I ended giving the waiter a thirty minutes lecture on prawn biriyani and chichen biriyani.

Coming back to joys hospitality its worth mentioning, The room facing the sea , the lone standing light house , the sound of silence and a pleasant feel.  A good stay comprises not only the room and its view but also the person taking care of you, in our case its simply perfect. There is also a book shop with wonderful reads. with his friends suggestion , the second  night dinner was at the Crab Club, the food turned out to be a real delicacy, and the taste still lingers in me.

Back in the room its always filled with sound of the waves and smell of the sea, its so joyful the Joy Davids hospitality adds an extra Joy to it. Its not that I stayed there and complementing the stay. the fact is there is no compromise for hospitality and happiness. If u visit Trivandrum , do not miss a wonderful stay at the Marina guest house,
for more details
Marina Guest house
Light House Beach,Vizhinjam Po | KovalamTrivandrum 695521
 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Marina-Guest-house/110171739008094

HAPPY KERALA........

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

For PONCH


Three together from the college days , Ponch number one is elder by three years than the remaining two Ponchs’s  who were of the same age , if Alexander Dumas had penned, he would have christened Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. I do not have a time machine to go back to France of 17th century and in this twenty first century , the more appropriate will be Ponch number one , two and three.
Ponch one was and is always an inspiration for the second two, let it be in terms of academics, alcohol or all arounds, he is everything for us. Before our eighteen year old brain got a chance to  know what ragging is, we both were suspended from hostel for interacting with the first years, we were just asking names and interests, a mere induction to new environment. If only these kind of rules were implemented a year before I wouldn’t have removed my moustache, or torn my only shirt into sleeveless or hidden the ten rupee pocket money in my socks.  Those were the years gone
.
Coming back to the suspension part, we poncho two and three were helpless and nowhere to go, It was fifteen minutes past one in midnight ,we walked past the hostel gate carrying the confident that  elder ponch is there for us. Indeed it was he who made us survive those suspended days.
Let it be three meals a day or just one meal a day, three right hands share a single plate. The exception is only when there is a meat in the menu, where ponch One is a non meat eater. All those  eyes on us were full of envy. In fact we did not knew the meaning of friendship, all we knew was  "all for one, one for all

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Green Fairy



In the year 1894 a man from France with the name Paul verlaine was elected as "Prince of Poets" by his peers,a great French poet, with a sad end. His last years were of slum, alcoholism and poverty,and spent most of his days drinking Absinthe,

The Absinthe drinker is considered one of the greatest representatives of the fin de siècle in international and French poetry. the expression fin de siècle usually refers to the end of the 19th century, in Europe...Might be Alcohol for all the up's and down's ,but not certainly ABSINTHE. oh Absinthe How unfortunate to get the blame of all times

The humble Absinthe getting the blame at all times, it happened nine years after Verlaine death, again a man carrying the name Jean lanfray, not a poet though, consumed seven glasses of wine, forgetting its brand name he added Six glasses of Cognac to it, with belly full of Thirteen glasses, he added One glass of coffee glazed with brandy and Two crème de menthes which summed up Sixteen glass. With much hunger he ate One sandwich , after gulping in two glass of Absinthe.This mad man with Sixteen glass plus Two glass of Absinthe, Shot his pregnant wife and his two kids for an argument with his wife,and Six months later he was convicted and received thirty years imprisonment ,

And then It was argued by his attorneys that the two ounces of absinthe he consumed prior to the murders were solely to blame for his actions , Dr. Albert Mahaim, a leading Swiss psychologist, testified that Lanfray suffered from "a classic case of absinthe madness", the result was more of a moral panic against absinthe in Switzerland and other countries. A petition to ban absinthe in Switzerland received 82,000 signatures, and on May 15, 1906, the Vaud legislature voted to ban absinthe , again an unfortunate thing.



And then in eighteen ninety nine , in the month and date of October 29th, he got out of bed and had dinner in his room before going to a café with Robert Ross, one-time lover and devoted supporter. They drank absinthe. Warned that it was poison to him, he replied, "And what have I to live for?" Thtas what he said and that "HE" was OSCAR WILDE

Is that what Absinthe make/bring out of you, uttering "what have I to live for? with a Question in the end? and the untold answers were this , This King of spirits "Absinthe" made the best out of Vincent Van gogh , the great painter who made more than twenty one hundred art works, He was an Alcohol lover, more precisely an Absinthe lover, forget how his life ended, but then the notable work of his is always awesome.

Every positive value has its price in negative terms... the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima.said Pablo Picasso, a great Spanish painter, sculptor, stage designer and an influential artist, who is noted for his painting the Absinthe drinker, On 23 June 2010, the painting was sold at auction for £34.7 million. Money may not be a thing to consider . But then, what here matter is the essence of Art and Absinthe.

I missed out, These great people, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Baudelaire, Arthur Rimbaud, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Aleister Crowley and Alfred Jarry were all known drinkers of absinthe. great and successful .

There is more to continue , The drink is like an open book , you cannot find an end, where is the end? So here without ending the Absinthe and To close this post , I leave it to you judge what is good and what is not good? to me nothing is bad and nothing is not bad, Its just Different.... If a chance comes on your way leave not, HAPPY ABSINTHE


photo:unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com, wikipedia.com

Monday, December 26, 2011

love love ,,,,, Absinthe....



I do not have a slotted spoon , nor a cube of sugar.I do not have a reservoir glass nor a French climate. All I have is a bottle of Absinthe and a sober mind to drink. I write this with a large , sorry extra large of Absinthe in me,. wonder what Absinthe is ?Historically defined as a distilled highly alcoholic beverage around 45 to 70 % proof. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from herbs (wormwood), including the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium(worm wood), commonly referred to as "grande wormwood", together with green anise and sweet fennel. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but can also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as "la fée verte" (the "green fairy" in French).

Worm wood a herb which gives color and flavor to Absinthe, has an essential oil called 'Thujone' which can bring your mind to a peculiar state of heightened awareness, its like a kind of open it up to new ideas, thoughts, concepts, and no wonder a favorite drink of Van gogh, Hemingway, Picasso and Oscar wilde.They called it the green fairy. and I call it the Green green fairy, after a drink everything is green, what i look, the fan, the refrigerator, the mirror and I in the mirror.

I started with my dinner, cutting green onions and green tomatoes, the green chili looked more green and my fried eggs almost green.Van gogh a painter whose work, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty, and bold color cut off his ear for different reason but then he was under the influence of absinthe all his life, perhaps an extra large of Absinthe cold have been in him when his ear came off. Today here I am happy looking at the silver knife with black handle with a faded green in it.

A critic said that Absinthe makes you crazy and criminal, provokes epilepsy and tuberculosis, and has killed thousands of French people. It makes a ferocious beast of man, a martyr of woman, and a degenerate of the infant, it disorganizes and ruins the family and menaces the future of the country.and many countries banned it .. oh what a unfortunate thing to happen.

But then, here I am very much fortunate enough to have a student from France , remembering and bringing me absinthe , A simple word of 'thanks' is not Enough for you Sow for the Mighty Green drink, and to the readers the Brand what I drank is ABSENTE a refined Absinthe with slightly lower concentration of Thujone and the legend Van gogh self portrait on it, ABSENTE is a French word , Translates to ABSENT in English but here I am very much present with the Green Fairy.....

to be continued.....................

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sweet... and the sour Thirteen


So many things happening,and I am combining everything together, My my brother in law got a gift of baked cookies for this Diwali, every year they get a pack of sweets which will be sweet, and this year its something ironic the Cookies(tough it had sweet in it), and the best part is, its we who baked it. I didn't really knew it will end up in all government office for this Diwali as a token of gift from my school.

While pondering on why Cookies this year, rather than some sweets, which was the classical tradition of my school as well as the society,it took just an instance for the answer,its not only the way of being unique but also the price/cost of sweets , which is exaggerating.

Last week I was in Annapoorna Sweets looking at the photograph of Diwali sweets, with Amaravishy, I didn't know that the photograph will deceive you that easily with reality, I took four ladoos with rupees thirteen for each and its , not even an one mouth bite.What to call it, Entrements? or Hors d oeuvre?. That made a real sense why my school gifted Cookies in place of sweet as a substitute.(not the price tough)

The Cookies here is worth mentioning ,taking its name from the Dutch word koekje or koekie which means little cake,Its commonly baked until crisp enough that they remain soft, but some kinds of cookies are not baked at all. Cookies are made in a wide variety of styles, using an array of ingredients including sugars, spices, chocolate, butter, peanut butter, nuts or dried fruits. The softness of the cookie may depend on how long it is baked.With the ranging variety from dropped , pressed, refrigerated molded, bar and sandwiched, one will never say a no to cookie.

Later , which was three days before Diwali, I was all ready for the preparation of our annual ladoos for Diwali, The sleepy eyes after the chicken lunch, judged the quality of syrup with preciseness, and indeed the final consistency is one hundred percent perfect. Looking the frying boondis through a perforated spoon, one would easily forget the tiring legs and the hand of clock. After Six sweet hours of preparation the result counted to almost two hundred ladoos,

The sumptuous and wonderful sweet came out so well, that I would call the ladoo is Amaravishy place as magnificent ,but with the thirteen rupees one,which lacks the basic characteristics of sweet, do not even deserve the place/position to be called a so called sweet.So the next time when I come across a Thirteen rupees sweet(ladoo), I'll just avoid it as the numeral thirteen.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Between the five years




When I was a little boy say around five, every thing which comes out of oven in round crisp consistency is Biscuits to me, I have never come across the word Cookies for another fifteen years. Later in my under graduation during a training time with a popular bakery in Coimbatore, I had my first encounter with cookies, The variety in preparing and the different styles of it made more lavish, I would call it a Sumptuous bake. I practiced the art of rounding the dough and piping the batter for the umpteenth time, forgetting that the measurement is the main soul of baking.Then my twenty year old mind didn't care much about recording the recipe in a written form and... that was then.

Much later, that is after another five years, I had the best opportunity to record the recipe, that was when the tsunami came in Chennai, Unexpected , same like our unexpected time in a very popular bakery in Chennai, Say our work starts at midnight and winds early morning, then the twenty five old mind of mine looked the commercial part of baking, forgetting the inner soul - the measurement.

Today after Five year, witnessing batches of batches of cookies prepared in our department for the Diwali fest, is a kind of nostalgia. wondering what relation between cookies and Diwali, there are too many answers , but the best thing is to keep wondering. We had five varieties of cookies, starting from Choco chip, choco nut, cherry, Masala and the last Salt. Everything has its own character, and texture. I happily saw the students of the final year working with the dough, without any resentment . I saw great master chefs in them , and Wonderful team leaders in them.

wishing them good luck, I pestered them to make note of the measurement, because I don't want them to wait another five days or five years. If measurement seems very complicated , its simple to use the bakers percentage, that will make things easier, to remembered or at least to record.


Bakers percentage = total weight of Ingredient/ total wt of flour X 100

The weight of flour in all the recipe is 100%

For example a recipe calls for
Flour = 200 gms = 200/200X100 = 100 %
sugar= 30 gms = 30/200X100 = 15%
Butter= 50 gms =
salt 10 gms=


more on cookies in the next post..
happy baking,