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Poet Of The Day @

Just take a look below.

I am a Poet of The Day Today on with my poem ‘Stars In My Eyes!’

I feel absolutely thrilled!! ☺️☺️☺️☺️

Thanks PH!


A View Through The Iron Bars


Iron bars don’t always have nasty things behind them. Take this pic for example. It is of a Semal tree that has its roots inside the Uttam Nagar police Station and stretches its long, slender branches all over the place. Isn’t it beautiful?

Well, it is Spring time now and Uttam Nagar East Metro Station has this flower-laden tree as its latest attraction.

Every year, this Semal tree celebrates the onset of spring by bedecking itself with huge bright red flowers and bedazzles everyone who cares to look at it for a while…

A sight of this peeping tree during spring fills me with great joy every morning as I climb upwards on the escalator towards the platform on my way to work. In about 2 months, hot, blazing summer would take over and these gorgeous flowers would disappear. Green, commonplace leaves would quietly take their place and become the new tenants of this tree…just like the constantly changing face of our city Delhi…

Leftovers from Valentine’s Day

Whether you like it or not, Valentine’s Day is here to stay in India. Though it is an imported festival, this, by itself, should not stop ultra-conservatives from savoring the wonderfully delicious feelings and sentiments it arouses. The idea of being the occupant of a special place in someone’s heart makes you feel tremendously valued. It makes you feel good, positive and the sheer joy of this feeling percolates into the other aspects of your life too…

If you haven’t already, just try giving a rose to someone you fancy and watch how that person’s face lights up with a huge smile or a naughty grin…

The Lot Of A Freelance Writer

I recently landed upon a writing assignment for a relationship website. This article is now published and my payment is expected to come this week. The photograh you see there is from my own collection, which  makes me feel really proud. Click on the link below and read on…

The money that I am going to get from this is not much, but I consider it a small step forward in making writing my career at the fag end of my present one…

Litti Kachoris

My introduction to the pleasures of Bihari cuisine happened recently in January 2018 through Litti Kachoris, thanks to Phulwanti, a tea-shop owner in Okhla.

A few days ago, as I walked briskly to my office, my gaze fell on this plateful of kachoris at a roadside stall (pic on the top). It was a chilly, wet morning of late December 2017 and the idea of munching them with a hot cup of tea felt irresistible…With great difficulty, however, I resisted the temptation and carried on…I couldn’t afford to fall sick, I reminded myself…Street food, especially the deep fried type, is a very risky thing.

But the sight of those kachoris refused to leave my mind. So, a couple of days later, I walked to that shop shortly after settling down in office. The utensils looked clean and the place had a quaintly pleasant, earthy feel to it, especially because of an adjoining huge tree spreading its protective branches over it. The woman at the counter looked up from the karahi she was busy with. She was stirring something and seemed to be enjoying what she was doing. The newspaper that the kachoris were sitting on, I noticed, was dry and not soggy with oil, which was quite intriguing…

I began by asking, “What kind of kachoris are these?”

She replied patiently, in a soft spoken manner, “These are litti kachoris. They are filled with sattu, onions, green pepper, and garlic.”

“How much are they for?”

“Two for Rs.10.”

That sounded quite reasonable.

“Today I will buy just one. If I like it, I will return for more.” Mentally, I added to myself, if my stomach remains okay, I might eat them again.”

She smiled and nodded her head. She quickly tore off a piece of newspaper and wrapped a kachori in it for me. I was again pleasantly surprised to see that it did not leave behind any oil stains on the newspaper.

Eating that kachori that morning made me feel sinfully fulfilled. My feel-good feeling continued the following week too, so I kept the promise that I had made to myself and treated myself to those kachoris again; this time it was two at one go, not just one…

I am now a frequent visitor to this shop. While talking to the lady the other day, I learnt that her name is Phulwanti. She hails from Gaya, Bihar, and she lives in a settlement in Okhla, Phase 1. The sabji, she said, she cooks everyday and it varies, depending on availabilty of ingredients. People who work in adjoining offices often order for it. That day, she was making aloo-tamatar. The smell of spices wafting outside from the karahi seemed quite familiar. Out of curiosity, I asked her in Hindi, “Kitne ki deti ho?” Meaning: How much is it for?

Her reply in a typical Bihari accent was, “Dus ki deta hoon, bees ki bhi deta hun.” Meaning: For Rs.10 and Rs.20.

Her way of mixing up the gender and her manner of stirring inside the karahi suddenly reminded me of my late mother-in-law…She always preferred the slow cooking of a karahi to a pressure cooker. That way, she insisted, the spices and the ingredients get a better chance to assimilate with each other. She always looked at cooking as an art and she was well-known in her family as a great cook. My relatives used to keep advising me to learn all I could from her regarding cooking at least!

Well, one of these days, I think, when I am unable to pack my lunch for office, I will try out her sabji.

See her pic below…Her shop is next to A-271, Okhla, Phase 1, opposite to Intex Service Center.