Have you noticed how fearful we (people in North America) have become of our food in the past few years?
Sexy carbs, innocent looking trans-fats, and cute little fat molecules have been taking the fast train down our esophagus for centuries and suddenly now all they hear are shrieks of -
"Run away" "Run away"!
The bunny rabbit has turned into "the most foul,cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on". (shameless plug of my current obsession with Monty Python)
Don't believe me?
Fine. Think back to what you had yesterday.
White bread? - forget it... its bleached
Margarine?- yeah they did say hydrogentated stuff was better for you 20 years ago...but now transfats are the new 'weapons of mass destruction'. Time for you to go back to cholesterol rich butter again, unless ofcourse you worry about things like clogged arteries in which case you are doomed anyway.
Pasta?- oh far too carby and calorie rich...and don't even utter the word 'rice'
Tempura veggies?- oh too much oil. you are better off having locusts....atleast they have proteins!
Proteins are everyone's new mistress now. People are cuddling up to proteins like soldiers on a weekend's leave at home from Iraq.
Sure I love a grilled/baked/curried chicken like any poultry-worshipper, but what is up with this fear of having the same chicken shamelessly slathered in batter, deep fried and served with some spicy fried rice. (oh is that your stomach I hear growling like an encaged lion surrounded by pesky kids throwing peanuts at it? no? must be mine then.)
But if the thought of chicken everyday grosses you out- you are weird and you should go shag, i mean eat some fish....but know that you'll be dealing with the unearthly beauties called PCB, mercury, bullshitium etc.
Fresh fruits and vegetables?- Not unless they were washed in 'The Vegetable Washing Fluid' of your choice to remove all the wax and pesticide residues, 'cause you know water is just not enough!
I'm telling you, there is no escape.
And I'm not even going to start on the crazy-beef-syndrome, soon to be in a chicken near you.
So where does it all leave us?
Should we chew on some fungi while we sell our pesticide-laden blood and toxic organs to buy some organic grains and free-range chicken?
Do you think we were better off not knowing about the artificial plutonium flavour bits in our cheese rings?
Where do we draw the f-ing line?
I don't know about you, but already I've caught myself checking the fat content of Turtles (pecan-caramel chocolate) ......and get this- I don't even like Turtles.
Okay, while you all think of the answers to these very important questions of this decade, I'll go put some spicy curly fries in the oven :)
I wonder what Ketchup is made of- European or African swallows? (there I go with the MP references again...someone stop me)
See what I mean?
Goodbye Eid! Eidees recived= $0, Servings of Beef consumed = a whole cow, stunning saree worn= one.
Goodbye Nanu (my grandmother).....who is going back to visit Bangladesh. We'd like to think she will return when her papers come through, but I can tell she's thinking ' sure, when Bangladesh freezes over!'.
She has jotted down details of my occupation to create a 'biodata' for when she will 'find me a suitable boy' in bangladesh - a real maulana(religious) type with a long beard and downcast eyes.
lol . Yes, I do love her to bits :D
In optimistic times, I like to believe I have inherited her social skills and wit.....though she is more pure-of-heart (can you believe she gave up tea, when at 18, she learned that her prospective in-laws didn't follow the 'Tea- thrice a day' custom?!!! ultimate sacrifice in my books. hehe). I'm gonna miss her something terrible.
Know that warm feeling in your heart? ....watch out...it's the 'fire of freedom'
George W. Bush was officially sworn in to begin his second term as president of the United States Thursday, promising to pursue "the expansion of freedom for the peoples of the world."
(You think Papa bought him a brand new grammar book?)
Bush then went on to call freedom a fire that "burns those who fight its progress. And one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."
(Yes lets 'expand' the freedome. Someone give him the franchise hotline for McDonalds. Oh he go it already.)
He especially warmed the hearts of everyone by appealing directly to young Americans watching the ceremony, asking them to take inspiration from soldiers serving overseas and consider enlisting to boost the country's severely strapped military forces.
"You have seen that life is fragile and evil is real and courage triumphs," he said. "Make the choice to serve the cause... You will add not just to the wealth of our country but to its character."
(The man has to be an expert in doublethink if he can call life fragile and then ask 18year olds to go out there and die for his company. )
At this point, a 15 year old Iraqi boy has set himself on fire and last seen running down the streets of Bagdad screaming 'I'm free I'm free. Free atlast' .
Rereading Jingo and came across this quote....almost died laughing.
"They say they want a soulmate and helpmeet but sooner or later the list would include a skin like silk and a chest fit for a herd of cows."-- (Terry Pratchett, Jingo)
Its true. Talk to somone over the age of 20 for five minutes and invariably you find yourself talking about the qualities about his/her partners/future or prospective partners. If its someone of southasian origin and going the 'arranged way' - this basically means the 'boy/girl' his/her parent's think will qualify as a 'catch'. Much as they like to huff and argue otherwise, men out there have it easy. They have simple requirements- if the girl is good looking and/or she is giving some out (don't deny it, a guy will follow a girl to any alter with 'the possibility of s_x in near future' dangled as a carrot/celery etc). Its more complicated for girls...or we deliberately make it so. Quite fascinating to hear are all the requirements we girls try to put forth for prospective life partners....much of which are self contradictory. Some of the ones I've heard so far-
"He has to be bangali and good looking" - eenggggh. bengali guys are not good looking
"He has to be extremely rich and educated" - umm a degree is not necessarily the path to riches or vice versa
"He has to be western enough to not embarress me in front of my friends but eastern enough to pay for everything/get along with my family etc"- this is a biggie for most.........and equaly impossible to detect in the first 10 meetings.
Many people (read mothers/aunties) will tell you that finding a combination of all of the above, is next to impossible and accuse you of being too damn picky.
Excuse me! Its not a piece of furtuniture I'm picking; its choosing a someone who'll share your house, your bathroom and if he is good at it- your bed, FOR LIFE , not to mention will contribute to the genes of your future kids. You have every right to take your time.
What's sad is when people don't. From many of the relationship I have seen start and end, its seems, to me atleast, that people don't really weigh in their decision to date/or even marry someone. They let their hormones and/or need for a companion/security/freedom take over, proclaim 'oh I'm in love' and pick/shack up with someone that they are clearly at odds with to begin with.
If I could, on hand, count the number of times I've heard people cite the excuse of ' religions/cultural/economic differences' for a break-up, I would have to grow extra limbs.
For gawd sake why did you choose him/her in the first place!
If you hate smoking, don't date a smoker and expect him/her to give it up for you just because they love you.
If you don't have the courage to cross barriers or stand up to your parents, don't waste your friend's time, moaning about unrelinquished love.
Love is not fucking blind- you are....not you, the person behind you. :)
Now before you all (and i know the ones who will) rush to comment on how 'bitter' all of this makes me sound, hear me out. Ready?
I'M NOT BITTER.
Naively optimistic perhaps, not bitter.
I don't hate all men. I hate a lot of women too! lol....... like the stupid ones who want to be lead around by their men and the scary ones who string men along with games and false hopes.
I'm not shopping around waiting for the 'perfect man' either- only because there is nothing called perfect.
I've met reasonably compatible men (okay fine, two of them, but still) , you know the quiet-honest-smart-interesting sort with (as my friend Ayesha would say) definite 'possibilities of progress' . And I'm not talking crushes. I'm talking about the real deal. eeeek not the sexual kind either.
Anyway as I was saying, the fact that they happen to be committed ..to someone else...when I met them, is obviously not my fault or bad karma.
We women outnumber men these days after all. :)
The point is.......fuck whats the point again?
ahem......surely being 26 and single doesn't mean I'm 'on the shelf' , on the counter maybe, not shelf. hehe.
PS: update on last post, no accidents on the salsa floor......serious crush on two of the guys there though. :D
Weekly update from the floors
The past week has been busy and mostly fluid in nature.
I spilled things everywhere I went.
First at the office: spilled water one day all over my just-out-of-the-printer-abstracts, barely missing the computer and the thousand dollar BV USB key. Then next day to the immense relief of everyone at the office, I managed to knock over left-over-whiskeyfilledchocolates-from-christmas right into the recycle bin.
Dinner with Sophie: nudged the ginger ale can over and dropped the 'Pani' (water) of the 'Pani puri' in shock of knocking the gingerale can....both right on my jeans. Tried to wipe as much as possibly and proceed with dinner (side note: never order kebabs at Motimahal in Gerrard India Bazaar, its *gag* microwaved). Then, if you can believe it, I knocked over the gingare ale can AGAIN! WTF. I'm sure my jeans are forever bleached from the effect. And then I had to walk, 'a few blocks' (make that 'too fucking long' soph!), in what felt like -20 degrees, to the TTC stop, in my by-then-frozen-solid pants. Thank god my dad picked me up when I reached Mississauga.
Weekend at my sister's: tried to open the 'chitay pitha(basically dough) soaked in sugared creamy milk' dish that my mother made for them and spilled the milk(the best part) all over the counter,floor,myself. my sister wasn't amused. but then she doesn't know my weeks history.
And just today: spilled my whole month's supply of iron pills in my bag and made it worse by tring to pick them up. I'm sure I'll find those pesky red pills under the table months later.
Hold on! Those weren't liquid! Me worried about this week now. You just know I'll be slipping and landing on my much-solid ass right in the middle of a salsa lesson.
Will keep yall posted.
*goes grudignly back to work*
Movie List 2004
Just because it was a particularly good year for movies, here is my own list of Best movies of 2004.
in no particular order, Serious ones :
- Swades (hindi, for being far far better than Lagaan and making me fall in love with Shah Rukh all over again)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (for their innovative take on romance, hair colour and MRI)
- Mr. and Mrs. Iyer (for Rahul Bose+ Konkona Sen + excellent story and direction)
- Garden State (two words- Zach Braff)
- Fahrenheit 911 (for putting the word out there for the kids and frogs-living-in-wells)
- Chokher Bali, bengali, even though I had originally seen it at the TIFF 2003 (for renewing my faith in Bengali movies post S. Ray)
- Motorcycle Diaries (for introducing me to Che and Latin America)
- Main Hoon Na (hindi, for making me laugh ever after the 8th time) - Shrek2 (for not being better than Shrek but being an excellent sequel)
- Hum Tum (hindi, for being the first from-beginning-to-end-cutest Bollywood romantic comedy)
- Dhoom (hindi, for pinching off every Hollywood action movie under the studio skies and actually pulling it off with style)
- Series of Unfortunate Events (for shaking me out of the slumber of the last movie version of 'Harry Potter')
- my 2004 introduction to Monty Python series, notably the Holy Grail (for commiting me to the MP world and making me laugh so hard that I fell off the bed and choked on some coconuts..kidding; for those who don't get it I say "Ni!")
Movies on the 'Must Watch' List for 2005:
- Hotel Rwanda (released) --update: it was even sadder and more compelling than I had thought
- Finding Neverland (released) --update: movie: arright, Depp and the kid playing Peter: awesome
- Closer (released)
- Raincoat (released) ----update: it was very artsy and good
- Ray (released) ----update: Great acting my Jamie Fox
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (not yet)
- Black (not yet)
Mirror mirror on the wall
Were you ever stuck in a room with really gogeous, fit and beautiful people, a room that has mirrors all around it just to point out how glaringly fat and ugly you are?
You are lucky.
I chose this punishment for myself today......infact paid for it too- Salsa classes.
Okay people can I tell you how incredibly beautiful my Salsa teacher is ? Think of a latina version of Juliette Binoche- only ever more sexy.
If I can look like her by the end of the next 2 months, I'd be okay :D
The other students were not bad either- no drunk middle aged creep like the last place M and I checked out...and its only two TTC stops away from my place.
NEWS: Mugambo has left the building
Aww. I can recall quite clearly how much the Mugambo character of Amresh Puri in 'Mr. India' scared me. He was just so evil. A great actor. He was particularly good I thought in more recent 'Shararat', I just laughed at 'Temple of Doom' . Adios sir.
Trying to get back on the wagon....of eating right and some form of excercise to lose weight.
Its tough I tell ya - my mother's biriyani or cabbage soup ?! For now... both :D
Oh and forget climbing stairs, I've got a better idea.....walking to work.
Takes 20 minutes.
Both ways. (it IS!)
Started last week.
Hmm I noticed everytime I write down my methods here, I stop following them. So I've resorted to tricking myself. I got 5 TTC tickets for the week instead of the monthly pass. This way I'm forced to walk the times I don't have tickets. Though after only two days, I'm already nursing cramps. Pathetic. Just pathetic.
This is not a topic
They split !
They actually did!
I know I shouldn't be affected by this considering all the other far greater everyday tragedies of the world, nor should I still be expecting 'happy endings' but I guess I'm still a hopeless romantic as ever and here I was priding myself on being years past being jaded.
I'm hungry.....lemme check if any of the 'gurer payesh' stuff is left.
Religion for people?
Incredible isn't it?! Not a peep out of the oil-rich Arab countries, the so-called-representatives of the Muslim Ummah, about sending relief funds for the Tsunami victims. But they have sent 200 radical group members to Indonasia to 'protect the muslim masses from the 'kafir' influence of the western relief organizations'! Ofcourse funding continues for the 'madrasas'(religious school) and supporting fundamentalist groups around South East Asia. Such is the state of Islamic world.
Only ISNA is doing their part in raising funds at all local mosques across NA.
Interestingly their flier mentions Tsunami affected countries in the following order: Indonasia, Bangladesh, Malayasia, India, Sri Lanka. Those of you following the news will note that is NOT the order of countries with most loses of life and property. Ahem- only 2 people(thankfully) died in Bangladesh! Even in helping people they would rank Muslim majority countries as more 'deserving' somehow of receiving help.
How can we ever expect the non-muslim people of the world to ever believe in the peaceful nature of Islam and our compassionate Prophet?
Good news about the Ahmadiya situation in Bangladesh: Ahmediyas are a branch of Muslims who follow a self-proclaimed prophet and consider him as the last prophet and not Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Sure their ideology is different, but considering history of any major religion of the world, it was inevitable that there will be branching out of Islam as well. Now the extremists Muslims in the world have taken it a step further and passed state laws denouncing these followers from the Muslim world, confiscated their books, refused building of their mosque and where ever possible driving them out of their homes, even killing them. That this law was passed in Pakistan does not surprise me the least- its only the second nation in the world built around a religion (the other being Israel). What saddened me is to know the same movement was occuring in Bangladesh, a secular nation built on a common ground of language and culture. But then the germ of extemist ideology had taken hold of Bangladesh for a while. Bombings at various cultural events that are deemed 'Hindu' by extremists, curtailing press-freedom etc are only one of the many examples of this expanding ideology. There were mass protests and even documentaries made on this issue. The latest news is that the Supreme Court has overturned the government's decision to ban Ahmadiya publications. Yey. We showed them. I'm so proud to be Bangali :D
Unity among the people of the world might be a foolish hope or a myth, but increasingly I am having trouble resolving any religion as an unifying force for human beings. If there is ever going to be anything that won't set up walls between people, it has to be Arts and Science. More on that another day.
Ideology of a Cat
Why humans like cats -
Consider the situation. There you are, forehead like a set of balconies, worrying about the long-term effects of all this new 'fire' stuff on the environment, you're being chased and eaten by most of the planet's large animals, and suddenly tiny versions of one of the worst of them wanders into the cave and starts to purr.
-- (from The Unadulterated Cat, a book I am unable find anywhere, by Terry Pratchett)
Here is the problem. Humans dont really understand cats. Specially the people sitting in their airconditioned-cat-free-rooms-with leather chairs, designing toys and accessories for cats, who are to put it bluntly- blithering IDIOTS because these things are bloody well not meant for any real cat. Its incredible how you get suckered in with the pictures of happy animated cats and claims of 'keeping your cat occupied for hours'. Hours my foot. These people won't know a real cat if it bit them on their pudgy noses.
Real cats (Tusch increasingly showing signs of being one), don't chew on stuffed cotton mice or chase bells or scratch a designatied inexpensive cardboard box/carpet piece or eat their own food or even sleep in their own bed.
They are happy gumming leaves/wires/really thick X-Box controller wires, chasing sticks, stratching the most expensive piece of furniture in the room, running through old boxes, nibbling on anything laid out on the table/countertop or dropped on the floor and claiming your pillows as their royal cushions to lay around 12 hours a day.
I've come to realize it too late. Now if I add up the cost for the great number of toys, scratchposts, beds etc I have bought for my cat over a year period, I would have been able to support two little kids and their entire army of relatives over in the Third World.
'Zut'* makers-of-stuff-for-cats! Well, no more toys.
The only thing they got right from the commercials are the purring and the head-butting that cats do, affectionately ofcourse. What missing is the biting :D
Also, as Pratchett puts it, real cats don't need names. But they often get called them. "Yaargeroffoutofityarbastard" does nicely. It's an interesting fact that fewer than 17 % of Real cats end their lives with the same name they started with. Much family effort goes into selecting one at the start ("She looks like a Winnifred to me"), and the as the years roll by it suddenly finds itself being called Meepo or Ratbag...(or Tushie, Tushpush, Kutush lol).
Oh and for those already busy thinking of what to get me for Eid/Valentines/your own birthday/my birthday/and just because, this post should be hint enough :D . Wuv you.
*'Zut' is supposed to be a French exclamation, meaning Damn or "drop dead" and my swear word for 2005.
Happy New Year everyone and all that gooey stuff!
Good to know I'm not the only one who thinks the earth is spinng a lot faster than it used to which is why 'it feels like it was only yesterday' etc.
I'm a little sad though.
It was a good year: Found my second home (ie New Zealand), started a new job and got my own place(can't describe how wonderful it feels to see your own name on the board). As a plus, didn't get any fatter or skinnier than I was last January. Oh and got my wish to bungee jump fulfilled too! YEY! okay so it wasn't off a bridge but trust me it was scary enough.
Yep. Good times. So since I've been flying high all this time, logic or Murphy will say 2005 is going to be a 'not so good' year . Gng. Even saying 2005 seems weird. Fine. Bring it on :D
Resolutions for the new year, coz saying 'my resolution for the year is not to make any coz I never keep them' is so cliche, are:
-Do something new....Salsa classes would be a start
-Try to turn some 'ideas' into reality even if on an experimental basis
- Watch all of the Satyajeet Ray movies ever made. My sister was wonderful enough to bring quite a few back from Bangladesh. I'll have to go hunting for the rest.
-Ofcourse must include this one or I wont't be a woman of the 21st century. Yep, lose enough weight (read 15 pounds), anytime in the next 4 months, to pull off the gorgeous super-thin-mughal-princess-style saree my sis got me. I dont care if I gain it all back, as long as its after I wear the saree :D Has to be a BIG occassion though... yes, its that pretty.
Maybe one of my few remaining single friends(you know who you are) will find someone great soon and get married....*nudge nudge*. lol.
Have a great year!