Sunday, March 14, 2010

Summer Storms

It really tipped a few days back. I was immediately transported to childhood- getting wet, eating the raw mangoes that obligingly fall down, putting hailstones in your mouth, and paradoxically, eating ice-cream. (sometimes pot ice-cream- that's heaven)

Before air-conditioning became the norm, it was the night when you could sleep really well. Also, when it really becomes dark and monsoon-like, you get a glimpse of the beautiful season that awaits you after the mangoes get finally over.

Of course, these rains had to be in April or May, unlike the downpour we had yesterday. As a school going child, I would have been grumpy to miss all the fun. Which parent is going to send the kid out when - I still get a shudder- exams beckon?

The next day, you are always a bit let down- the summer sun reminds you who the boss is. But at least when you wake up, the dust has settled down a bit, and your memory has sharpened up about the really small and delicious things in life.

I'm waiting for the next summer storm.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

About Turn

I heard this little nugget from an old friend I caught up with yesterday. The story is about the Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi. It's a Marathi story, I hope the essence ain't lost with my translation. Here goes:

A devotee of Laxmi's prays long and hard for wealth, success and pots of it in front of a Laxmi statuette in his little home-temple. And lo and behold, Laxmi appears in his dream and tells him to forge ahead in whatever he's doing and she'll be behind his efforts all the way (mi tuzhya pathishi ahe!)

So the devotee wakes up, thanks her, and every single day prays even longer and harder in front of the statuette from then on. However, six months downstream, nothing much has changed in his life, and the guy gets frustrated. So he asks Laxmi again: why is she not fulfilling her promise?

He has a dream again that night, as Laxmi answers him: "I'd said that I'd be right behind you, my son. Why aren't you forging ahead, instead of facing me all the time with your prayers? See what happens when you turn your back on me- I'll follow you all the way!" (tu path tar dakhav mala; bagh ma kay hote!)

I loved the story. To make your dream real, you need to roll up your sleeves and turn your back on the Goddess of Wealth. She recommends it as well.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Virtual Chemistry

I love watching "Bones". It isn't the most intelligent police-detective serial ever (in fact, it can get quite gross at times). However, what I like viewing is the amazing chemistry between the lead pair of Brennan and Booth. You know, the man's man cop and the unemotional lady scientist are quite a packet on screen.

You never know whether there is anything more than a deep platonic friendship between them. In fact, there are times when I've found myself wishing they'd get together, and times when I'm quite happy that they aren't.

This kind of chemistry is often the thing that saves many a film, serial or book becoming very blah. It need not be the opposite sex all the time- I thought Jude Law and Robert Downey Junior's wisecracks between themselves were the high point of "Holmes". I still love the old Erle Stanley Gardner books, where Della Street and Perry Mason flirt lightly with each other without things evolving.

I guess, in real life, relationships evolve, and people behave differently with each other as life changes. That's why "virtual chemistry" works in serials like Bones. I'm not complaining at all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Attention to Detail

Over the weekend, I was treated to a superb meal at Zafran (courtesy my brother). Highlights: New Zealand Lamb Chops, and Blueberry Cheesecake.

I've seen a lot of pricey, themed, fine dining restaurants crop up in the past few years, but this was the first time that I have been completely delighted with a place. I tried to figure out why this was the case, and I don't think I had that answer mapped out till the weekend got over. It was more a feeling, as if something wasn't quite right with all the restaurants that I'd tried out before that was so right in Zafran. Sure, the food in most places was alright, and of course the ambience and view was great- after all you are paying through your nose for that aren't you!

Then I figured that the only difference in this dining experience and the others was the loving attention to detail that was omnipresent- whether it was the chilled grape- white chocolate nibbles, or the waiter politely but firmly advising on which sauce would go with our selection. Mind you, it wasn't at all formulaic and running to process. It was more than that, and it seemed that the staff enjoyed what they were doing over there- whether they were waiting tables or making food, or anything else. I hope it doesn't change there!

The difference between a reasonable eating experience at an expensive restaurant and a fine dining one. God lies in the details, and you pay attention to them details when you enjoy what you do.