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Thursday, 17 May 2012


This particular piece is dedicated to all the apathetic,insensitive and indifferent people who take their partners/spouses completely for granted and couldn't care less!! Wake up and smell the coffee you cruel jerks-there is nothing worse in life than treating the ones closest to you as objects of convenience and facilitators,as things rather than thinking and feeling human beings!! Another clarification-this is not a personal referendum on my marriage, so please no panicky,concerned messages from my family or closest friends commiserating with me.

I am commenting about the general state of affairs and what i see happening around me ,more and more as a rule nowadays rather than an exception!!! Indifference and apathy especially in a marriage has become a malaise, a disease afflicting all of us to some degree or the other and which needs to be tackled at the very base level if we are to preserve the relationships closest to our hearts..
So here goes...quoting from my favourite authors...highlighting how much indifference wounds,damages and actually destroys people and relationships!
  • "At the bottom of enmity between strangers lies indifference."
  • "Because of indifference,one dies before one actually dies. "
  • "Forgiveness is indifference.Forgiveness is impossible while love lasts." 
  • "I regard you with an indifference closely bordering on aversion."
  • "Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike."
  • "Indifference may not wreck a mans life at any one turn,but it will destroy him with a kind of dry rot in the long run."
  • "People are what you make of them.A scornful look turns into a complete fool  a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy, a devil, a woman,who well treated might have been an angel."
  • "The most destructive criticism is indifference."
  • "There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference."
  • "Most of us have no real loves or real hatreds. Blessed is love,less blessed is hatred,but thrice accursed is that indifference which is neither one nor the other." 
Therefore, the above leads me to conclude that the true opposite of love is not hate but indifference.Hate, bad as it is, at least treats you like a human being,whereas indifference turns you into an "it",a thing. This is why we may say that there is actually one thing worse than evil itself and that is indifference to evil. In human relationships the nadir of morality,the lowest point as far as ethics are concerned,is manifest in the phrase, "i couldn't care less".

Hate is the other side of love and shows at least energy,passion,effort and commitment. Probably most of us feel surges of hate at some time or another,especially towards those that we love most. We can deal with this if we realise that these moments will pass and be forgiven. But indifference and apathy can become a disease of the spirit so pervasive that their darkness envelops everything. Then life is stifled and throttled at the root. If we don't value the people around us,they will feel our lack of caring as striking at the very heart of their humanity. If we have no time for life,then life and those close to us will have no time for us and will eventually drift away.

People often assume that extreme anger,frustration,jealousy or even hate are the emotions that are the most worrisome in a relationship. But i feel this is not the case. Strong reactions are more positive signs than indifference or apathy because even when negative emotions are involved,at least you know that the marriage is still bringing about strong emotions and reactions and strong emotions are only evoked when the other person matters or makes a difference to your life.

If the spouse did not care or were not still invested, you would not see the anger,fear or jealousy. Indifference is an indication that a spouse has almost completely withdrawn or checked out of the marriage. This often means that they are no longer listening,participating or engaging in response to the relationship. This usually spells the death knell for your relationship and you should immediately begin some steps to rehabilitate it before the apathy deepens and it becomes too late. It's so sad to see when marital responsibilities are carried out only due to a sense of duty and obligation and not due to desire,when there is no passion or motivation and communication is restricted to a bare minimum.
"Hating requires caring. In which case,i couldn't possibly hate you because i don't care." That my dear friends is a sad,unsaid and eloquent truth!!

At the risk of repetition....the opposite of love is not's apathy. It's not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must "feel" something....or they couldn't possibly hate. Therefore ,there is some way in which i can get to them. But when there's nothingness...there's just a black hole and whatever you do or say just gets sucked in and lost in that never ending abyss!!!
Always remember that love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish it's source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayal.It dies of illness and wounds.It dies of weariness,of witherings,of tarnishings. It dies when its existence ceases to matter.
I would rather a romantic relationship turn into contempt than turn into apathy. The passion in the extremities make it appear as though it once meant something. We grow from hot to cold,but lukewarm,to my mind,is the biggest insult.
Apathy,unconcern,indifference,lack of interest,lack of emotion-it's what creeps into the marriage when one or both spouses aren't watchful. It happens when they allow the fire for each other to go out. It happens when couples fill their individual lives with other people,events,interests and pursuits to the point that the otherness is preferred over togetherness.It's when your husband stops chasing you. It happens when a couple shares a bed and not much else. It's when you look at him and wonder where your husband went. It's when he looks at you and he is too exhausted to try anymore.

So my darlings, the moral of the story is that never let your relationship with your partner turn lukewarm!! If there can't be abiding love all the time and there can never be then go ahead ,fight,argue,debate,discuss...if need be even shout,scream,abuse,yell at each other,tear each others hair and eyes out,break the china,scandalise your neighbours...let your frustrations,irritations and anger be known and expressed...please don't bottle them up all costs, guard against the surly silences,denial and disinterest!! Tackle it head on..nip the wretched thing in the bud...confront it head on...don't let it manifest itself in your relationship otherwise it will spread like a malignant cancer and destroy everything closest to your heart and kill your spirit!!

Monday, 14 May 2012


Everyone who knows me even vaguely, knows what a die hard foodie i am!! Most people eat to live, in my case its exactly the reverse-i live to eat!! I dream about food,i fantasise about food, i barely finish one meal and i am planning the next, my book shelves are crammed with recipe books and magazines and most of the "to record" list on my Tata Sky plus set top box are foodie programmes!! Nigella Lawson,Donna Hay,Toni Baxton,Gordon Ramsay,Kylie Kwong,Madhur Jaffrey are demi gods and goddesses in my eyes because you guessed it-they are all chefs and make the most awesome,yummiest food ever!! I can just sit and drool and salivate for hours over the amazing stuff that they concoct on my television screen!!!

But alas! Loving food and knowing how to cook it, so that you love to eat it are two very different stories altogether!! I have tried in vain to learn how to cook for so many years but every sincere and diligent effort on my part is met with disaster, to put it mildly!! The moment i mention the word cooking (as in, that i would like to cook) my poor Santosh-our family cook,turns pale and breaks out in a cold sweat and now promptly requests for a leave under some pretext or the other!! He just can't see me decimate/destroy his beloved kitchen and his fav non-stick pots/ pans and mess up his superbly organised spice cupboard and fridge!! It's just too painful for him to watch and he believes in the age old adage, of "ignorance is bliss" so just disappears into thin air!! I mention the word cooking and poof!! he's gone! Magic mantra for vanishing Santosh!!
So then after Santosh's hasty,disappearing act, i am left alone in his intimidating,cold kitchen  with tens of bottles of masalas, pastes, whole spices and gleaming pots and pans glowering disapprovingly at me and almost mocking me in a very life like manner!!! Scary stuff!! Suffice to say that in spite of my best efforts-the end result of hours of chopping,peeling, pouring over recipe books and "bhunaoing" is not even worth my beloved Romeo's time and effort! Romeo is my adorable Labrador and  my most stoic,steadfast,loyal and loving fan but even his non discerning doggy palate can't take the stodgy,usually burnt mess that i produce before him after hours of patient and loving labour!!!
So demotivating and demoralising!! So now have decided, much to the relief of everyone in my household that i will not attempt to cook!! Will only attempt to eat!! Ha!Ha! That's a laugh! As if i need to attempt to eat! I am a natural at that! I was born to eat and eat I will till my poor, long suffering tummy can't take it anymore! Anyway Pudin Hara and Digene zindabad!! They have been my life long and very steadfast friends and have seen me through all kinds of adventurous and sometimes dangerous culinary journeys!!
I find this predicament of mine pretty fascinating-not being able to cook, to save my life as my dad was an awesome cook as is my mom.I remember as a child, on the weekends the whole house would be fragrant with the smell of garam masala , sauteed ginger-garlic paste and browned onions etc as "papa" would be conjuring up some magic in the kitchen. He was a Pathan and a die hard foodie just like me and so would make the most awesome and melt in the mouth shammi kebabs ,bhuna gosht ,Sikandari raan, kacchey keema koftas and biryanis. You can guess now why we were so popular in our neighbourhood with everyone vying for a place on our dinner table!!
My mom is still a pretty good cook and her specialities include Muslim delicacies like haleem,nihari,paya, aloo gosht, sheer maal etc. Pretty mouth watering and complicated stuff so i can't understand as to how i haven't inherited some of their talent and just fall so miserably short where my culinary abilities are concerned!!
My father passed away when i was thirteen but even now when my mom cooks,however much she cooks poor lady,it always falls short because we all hog so much and are literally licking the bowls clean!!! In fact, i set a record the other day when i actually polished off eight ghee-wali chapatti's (yes, eight!!) with her gobhi and shalgam (beetroot) gosht in one sitting!
Was quite taken aback and guilt ridden myself afterwards!! Couldn't believe it-i mean there has to be a limit to greed!! And predictably so, had the runs and literally didn't have a proper meal for the next two days!! What to do?! Was in a state of shock and disbelief- and with the dreaded  forty loomimg large-don't want my "qamar" becoming a "qamra" with my frequent eating binges!! So it's a torrid love affair on the dining table and a total nightmare on the treadmill as you might have guessed! 
 I try and work out pretty religiously-go to a fancy gym,have a personal trainer but it's a losing battle as the math just doesn't add up where intake and burning off calories are concerned!! So have finally given up-love food too much to ever give up on that so have given up hopes of ever being waif thin and pixie like!! Will always have chubby cheeks and a full, ahem! figure and a growling,insatiable tummy always wanting to be fed-so might as well accept it and smile!!
And by the way, read a very interesting article in Reader's Digest the other day that people who like to eat and enjoy food are most likely happy,satisfied souls and usually live longer and healthier than people who were not good eaters and who worry about every mouthful that they put in their mouths!! So there!! Now it's a proven fact that people who enjoy food, enjoy life and what else can one ask for from life other than to enjoy it and treat it like a blessing and live it as fully as one can!!! Bon appetit everyone!!

Saturday, 12 May 2012


Hi folks! What's happening! I know i have again dropped off the radar-was first getting ready to travel which meant packing a suitcase which i am truly lousy at!!! Just that one suitcase gives me nightmares -i pack and repack it at least twenty times because i am so indecisive-want to cater for everything-casual wear,formal wear,party wear,rain wear-since was going to wet and miserable London!!
So that took all of one week and everyone in my house was truly fed up of my  clothes woe and ran for cover every time i wailed about something, be that my four pair of boots were not fitting into my sorry suitcase or my new leather jacket was getting all squished or my conditioner bottle was leaking and so on and so forth! Then i was actually travelling -was in London for a week and the weather was awful-it was wet,wetter and wettest and i ran woefully short of all my rain wear and completely spoilt my tan,suede boots!

But in spite of the weather playing such a dampener-literally-had quite a ball! Mr. C was very busy,working as usual,poor chap! Didn't even have time for a proper breakfast and was just rushing around consulting maps and catching one tube after the next because his hoity toity and utterly selfish wife refused to stay anywhere else but central London because that's where her shopping havens and all the 'IT' places were!!! So while i was five minutes away from Oxford street and ten minutes away from Harrods-poor Mr C had to commute forty mins one way to work and back!! Talk about true love!!
Anyway so once my darling hubby departed for his long and arduous day, i would have another cuppa of Earl Grey and go for a leisurely,fragrant soak in my ample bath . Once that hard task was accomplished, would breeze down to the hotel coffee shop and have a grand,traditional English breakfast of buttery,scrambled eggs,golden hash,grilled fat,juicy mushrooms, blackened tomatoes,  tender,pale green asparagus, plump,perfectly browned, split in the middle chicken sausages ,crisp turkey bacon and toasted brown bread spread with clotted cream and the most divine and heavenly jams-raspberry,blueberry,strawberry,plum!! Aaahhhh! Heaven!!
It would take me a good hour to polish off this spread and my server would just gawk in utter astonishment at my humongous breakfast platter and give me polite smiles and make even politer enquiries if i needed anything else!! As if there was anything else that was needed and could be squeezed into my petite five feet three AND A HALF inch frame!!! Please note the "and a half inch" in capitals!!! That half inch is vital to my being!!!

 Once i was done nourishing or let's say over nourishing my slender (I WISH) body, would step out to start my day. However much people may crib and bitch about the unpredictable weather in London, one thing that we have to acknowledge, is that it sure spoils you for choice. There's just so much to do there-the museums,the art galleries,the theatre-Oh! I love the theatre! Watched "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables" this time round. Awesome experience and would recommend it to all my friends.
 Other than that, love the sheer variety of restaurants and cuisines on offer and the shopping is a different story altogether!! Mr. C dreads this aspect and keeps reminding me that we are middle class folk and that the Pound is worth eighty five rupees!!! In fact he says it so many times that it reverberates in my brain non stop and i am even chanting it in my sleep!! Eighty five Rupees to one Pound,eighty five Rupees to one Pound. I am sure you folks get the drift.
I then just spend the entire day getting lost in Harrods or Selfridges or Harvey Nichols. Just find it such a calming,soothing experience-wandering around by myself-browsing through the aisles,trying out the stuff i want to with no one breathing down my neck and yelling at me to move my fat arse !(By the way just to get our facts straight, my arse is not fat at all-and that's the only body part that i can comment on with such brazen confidence!!) Now to get back to the topic at hand-no annoying,over zealous sales person following me around bothering me,hankering after me or being obtrusive and then when i am are tired, just sitting down for coffee and scones in the magnificent food halls and ruminating!! A verrrry relaxing and holistic experience for the spirit-at least for me! 

Other than that, would really recommend the bus tours of London-they are fab and most of their guides are treasure troves of information with a great sense of humour. So, you start your sojourn from Green Park and the bus takes you to all the important land marks of London and how many of them there are! While you enjoy the scenery,the guide prattles on about the history and culture and throws in a little anecdote here and there about how it was in the days of yore. Thoroughly enjoyable if you are a history buff, like me!
All in all, a great week and it passed in the blink of an eye. Now i am back and firmly entrenched in my 'gharelu' routine of yelling at the brats, unpacking my four suitcases-remember i started off with just one,firing the staff,watering my "mariyal" plants, working off the zillion calories that i ingested under the excuse of being on holiday and most importantly pampering and pandering to the rather sullen and sulky hubby (understandably so) since the shameful American express and Citibank credit card bills just arrived telling sordid tales of my wasteful extravagances!!

 Aah!! The ups and downs of my life!! They would put a roller coaster to shame!! Anyway, roaming around with a rather sad ,contrite ,suitably admonished and woe begone expression these days-trying to elicit as much sympathy and compassion for my spend thrift habits and shopaholic ways !! After all, i was in London! The shopping mecca of the world and a little bit of indulgence once in a while is permitted!!! Wink! Wink!