Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The art of eating Pani-puris

Stautory warning: Panipuri consumption does not enhance one's physique nor does it help in increasing one's I.Q. Panipuri consumption is just about having fun eating junk. In better words, Panipuri delaaye sirf mazaa baaki sab bakhwaas.

As a kid, I hated Panipuris ( Gol-gappas or water balls or what ever you call them). The water always seemed murky and the taste just about ok. After having it for the first time, I felt I would do well avoiding it. But being the "chat" lover that I am, it was impossible for me to stay away from this kind of junk food. As the years passed, I explored and now finally I have come to the conclusion that Panipuri eating is a one of the most delightful activities that one can ever engage oneself in. Of course Panipuri consumption is not just about having a Ping pong size Puri with a mix of salty water. On the contrary it is an art. This post goes to all those who still haven't discovered its taste and for those who hesitate before having a gulp of this delicacy.

The place:

First things first. It is important that you choose the right place. As per my experience, the place has to be slightly above the standards of the normal road side chats.Just a bit bigger and cleaner.( I am talking about the standards in Hyderabad. It might be otherwise in Nagpur or Mumbai).There are lot of such stalls coming up in Hyderabad these days. If you are in a fix to decide the place, I suggest you go by the price. A good Panipuri usually costs something like Rs 5 for 8/10 pieces ( or more). Don't opt for places where you get 3 Panipuris for Re.1. They usually don't taste good.

The company:

Hmmm.. I am not going to talk about the kind of company that you need to have while having a Pani-puri instead let me tell you the fact that "Panipuri" should be accompanied by "Onions" ( In fact my first line before I start eating would be "Thoda Pyaaz (onions) dallo Bhayya"). These onions should be sliced into small pieces and should be present even before you gulp the first Pani puri. Munching the onions after each gulp of Pani-puri is real fun.

The Size of the Puri:

The bigger the better. Ideally the Pani-puri size( fully filled with the Pani) should make you open your mouth to the maximum possible extent. Once you have it in your mouth, it should give you the "I have done it" feeling. This happens in the maximum mouth stretch case.

The turn-around time:

Turn-around time, ( not the Opearating Systems one :D ) is the difference in time that an individiual takes between the consumption of two panipuris. Ideally, when you finish one Pani-puri, the next should be ready to land in your mouth. This means that gulp time( time taken to gulp a pani-Puri) should be equal to the turn-around time.

There are many places where about 10 Pani-puris are served on the plate along the Pani( in a cup). This really takes the charm away from the Pani-puri-eating. ( Pani-puris served in plate look good only in pictures like the one above)Trying to stuff the Panipuri ( while you eat them) will increase the turn-around time and as the TAT( turn-around time) increases, the fun is lost. So let the pani-puris be served by a professional. In case the place doesnt serve you that way, look around for other eatables . Home made Pani puris might be good but it takes time to achieve the professional efficiency.

Count per cycle:

The count per cycle is the number of people who are served Panipuri in a sequential order. I have seen places where the count is 6-8 . This again results in a lag of TAT. The ideal count-per cycle is 3-4.(certainly not more than 4 and you also need to ensure that the Pani-puri wallah does it fast). If one is alone, the TAT might be too short and this might result in one concentrating on the pace rather thn relishing the taste which is not desirable. ( Now you need "company" when you eat Panipuri)

The chat temperature:

By chat temperature, I mean the degree of hotness or coldness of the chat or whatever that is stuffed into the Panipuri. If this is hot,( as hot as the other dishes like samosa chat that are on the menu), then nothing to beat that. However a good Pani-puri tastes fine irrespective of the chat temperature. In other words, an optimum temperature is just an add on and not a necessity. Don't let the "hot' factor fool you.( Tasteless things are sometimes made "hot" just to make the "sale" happen.)

The Pani:

The water used in the Puri may be sweet( meetha) or sour(khatta). One needs to ensure that water is meetha or khatta to the right extent. It might not be a great idea of mix both the flavours( it doesn't leave a distinct taste in the mouth). Have just the flavour you prefer and in case you want have both, have 5 Puris of one flavour and then 5 of the other.(Don't alternate).

So then,I guess this is lots of Gyan for folks who are yet to start/or about to start as far as Panipuris are concerned. Members of the farier sex usually love Pani-puris( I mean.. if they are junkies) because it perfectly suits their diet and appetite. The best thing about "Pani-puris" is you can have them anytime ( before/in between/after the main meal). After all it is just about making that small space in your tummy. Happy eating!!! Just make sure you don't do the Don'ts.

The Don'ts:

* Don't eat Panipuri at a place where it is served in a plate.
* Don't exceed the ideal count per cycle.(4)
* Never forget the onions.
* Don't eat Pani-puris when the stall is just about to close shop (the size of the left over Pani-puris is usually small).
* Don't take health and diet freaks along for a Pani-puri snack. (Drink mineral water with them :D)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of Hari Sadu and the Best Entertainer

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet." I thought almost all believed this just the way Shakespeare and I did. But I was in for a suprise last week when I saw a parent filing a case against( or may be planning to) against for the Hari Sadu ad. The parent alleged that his child "Hari" was being teased and ridiculed by his school mates who started calling him names like "Hitler" "Idiot" "Arrogant". The parent was upset due to the fact that his child "Hari" was being subjected to a trauma.

I feel the guy did what he was supposed to do when he made the ad. If not "Hari" he had to use some name that was popular enough and could be associated by the viewers. In that case some other child in India had to bear the truama and that parent had to be offended. But does one need to be offended? Of course children do get offended, but in that case wasn't it the duty of the parent to correct them? It is the parent's responsibilty to help a child to overcome things like this. I wonder what would have happened if Verappan's parents named him Hari instead of Verappan.

Meanwhile Indian politics continues to provide wholesome entertainment. Currently it is the office of profit issue rocking the nation's politicians. The BJP made it an issue and pressurized the Government for trying to pass in ordinance and modify the existing law. The moment Sonia Gandhi resgined, the hunter became the hunted. It was now facing BJP's turn to face the music since many of the MPs in the state government had other posts( office of profit). I thought of posting exclusively on the issue but lack of complete knowledge( research required) made me think otherwise. I regret missing Barkha Dutt's "We the People" episode on the "Office of Profit" issue yesterday. The sight of the politicians mudslinging in the midst of audience across the nation really gives me the kick. ( and of course the entertainment!!!). Hail the News channels!!!

Indian cricket meanwhile, I feel has dropped down the entertainment list after India was defeated by a fledgling England side in the Mumbai side. I don't want to take the cliched path of blaming the Indian team but the English team did not deserve to lose the series for the sheer magnitude of their effort and committment. "We don't deserve to lose the series " was what the English captain Andrew Flintoff said after his team suffered a reverse at Mohali. Any team or individual with this kind of self belief doesn't deserve to lose and that's what finally happened.

With the one-dayers coming up, the Indian politicians will need to compete hard against the Indian cricketers for the tag of the "Best entertainer". Let us sit back and enjoy the fun!!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

What's in a speling?

What's in a speling? That which meant spelling when spelt "spelling" would mean the same even when spelt "speling".( Oops....The absence of "l" is more conspicious than I thought it would be). The same image of the great English play writer strikes my mind whether you spell it "Shakesphere" or "Shakespeare". ( That's better now .. the wrong spelling is less consipicious). Anyway my reason for saying this is simple. "Kiddo" has been wrongly spelt as "Kido" in my blog name. Even the redo, seems to convey the meaning of doing something again instead of souding as a proper noun "Redo" (read it as Red followed by o).

I have given this a thought. I was thinking if I should go ahead and change the name to "KiddoReddo". But even the sight of it seems to be too intimidating unlike the more mortal and simpler name "Kidoredo". After the blog-name should convey certain characteristics of it's writer. I usually hate when it people add letters to their names in order to lucky. I believe you make your own luck and not the spelling or the pronunciation of your name. So the name remains Kidoredo( and this post is a justification for the spelling cynics.)

I used the word "Kidobhai" in my last post and I realized that I have stumbled upon an oxymoron. Kido is a "kid" and can never be a mature "bhai" (and thus the oxymoron "Kidobhai).

Reel n Real

Sand!!! That is supposed to be on the beach. What the hell was it doing on the roads of Hyderabad? I am cribbing now because very recently my bike skid on the road courtesy the sand. Nothing serious except for a bruise on the elbow and the knee. But my left shoulder still finds the fall painful. When I told my cousin about this skid incident, she asked me if I was trying to perform any kind of "feats" on my bike like a filmi hero. Feats?? My foot!!! My bike, now automatically starts walking ( slows down like hell) when encountered with anything that remotely resembles sand or gravel on the road. And yeah I would never imitate a filmi hero while driving atleast.

Now then, there are so many things that you find in films ( especially the Bollywood and the regional lot) that are in no way realistic. How I wish college was something like what it was in "Kuch Kuch Hota Hain"? I wish I could do a Munnabhai and do a Journalism course in a good institute. ( It would be Kiddobhai, the journo instead Munnabhai MBBS :D). How I wish I had gals fighting for me just beacause it is me, the Hero. That reminds me of something. This happened just a few days ago when my latest blush( my equivalent of Sigmund Frued's Crush) told me that she is enagaged and will soon get married. This is what I had to say in a La Shahrukh Khan manner

Romeo( me me me):Did you ever love me? Atleast for a day? Atleast for an hour? Atleast for a minute? Atleast for a second? Atleast for a fleeting moment? ( Try to read this in hindi, "Kya tune kabhi mujhse pyar kiya hain, ek din ke liye, ek pal ke liye " and I guess you will have the sense of Dejavu)

Juliet: Yeah, I loved you for a moment, but I thought it was a "passing phase".

And that brought me dowwn crashing to the real world. Haa.haa!!! But then this is life and no cinema. Of course, there is always chance of her going for me just as her fiancee is about to tie the knot.( aaah.. many movies running in front of my eyes). But then it would be my turn to use the "passing phase" phrase. Biddu.. Life mein Aisa each hota hain!!!

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Kabhi Kabhi

There are situations in life where nothing works for you. It is as if the world has conspired to make sure that you are doomed for that moment. I have just faced one such instance where I thought Life was laughing at me. Left with no other option I joined the laughter.

I was responsible for monitoring the batch tonight. For the non-mainframers, a batch is a set of programs( around 1000-1500 in my case) that need to be executed in a sequence. Mainframes has this tendency or more appropriately the capability to make an ass out of you and mock at you. Space problems, CPU allocation and the Mainframe getting slow.. all these are problems that make you pay for no fault of yours. Today has been a eventful day and all the three problems decided to strike me together. First the mainframe was pretty slow. I thought it couldn't get any slower than that. The space-problem is an evergreen problem and today ( err tonight) was no different. The space problem can be tackled by migrating the datasets( read files). The mainframe getting slow will frustrate you to no end but finally you can do the work ( it's only that the pace or rather the lack of it irritates you). The CPU problem is different. There is not much you can do when the CPU is not allocating time for your jobs other than just stare into the screen and expect that the job gets a share of the time soon.

That's what happened to me. I was staring into the screen with 3 jobs running for well over an hour and the CPU% besides them showing 0. Why did this happen to me? What am I doing here in font of this screen? Is this work really worth it? All these thoughts flashed across my mind as the song in the background played( you need songs to work in the the late hours)

"Kabhi, Kabhi .. mera dil mein .. khayal aata hain".
Aaah.. How true I thought..

Suddenly the male voice stopped and the female voice started...

"Kabhi, Kabhi .. mera dil mein .. khayal aata hain".

Bloody hell now I felt as if the 3 jobs on the screen staring into my face and singing the song.. "Kabhi Kabhi..." ( there were no females in the office around :D)

The song continued..

"Ki Jaise tujh ko bulaaya gaya hain mere liye.."

How true I thought. The jobs needed me to run them. They needed me to be there in the late night when no else was there to do the job.

"Tu ab se pehle Sitaaron mein bas rahi thi pehele kabhi..."

I dont know what this exactly meant. But to me it translated to the jobs telling me that I was enjoying office before this without any kind of work pressure leading a life devoid of any hassles.Life seemed to be such a bliss.

"Tujhe Zameen pe bulaaya gaya hain meere liye"

"Now you have been brought crashing down to earth to do this job" the mainframe beings seemed to mock at me.

Hmmmmm... Life has come a full cycle I thought. It's not my boss but a non-living mainframe being that is mocking at me. Huh!! I gave a wry smile with one hand on my head lamenting it's fate and other moving the mouse to play the song again. It happens sometimes.. Kabhi Kabhi!!!

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

The Wait

Have you ever waited for someone( need not be your boy or your girl) in a cafe or a restuarant or a Pizza Hut for more than half an hour? Have you ever waited for anyone at any place for that matter idling your precious time ? If you have, I guess you will agree with me that "The Wait" is not a amusing thing. Try to recollect carefully what you did during "the wait" and you might find that you thought crazy and acted crazier.

For all the reasons the person who made you wait could be blamed for ,I don't think even he or she finds it too amusing ( unless of course you have this habit of befriending psychos/sadists). The waitee ( my name for the person who makes one wait) would have been delayed by a genuine reason like office work landing all of sudden or the tyre going flat without any prior notice. The waiter ( yeah you are right the person who waits) turns hyper the moment he/she lands at the place of appointment. This happens even if the waiter had played the waitee just the previous day and was late by a good half an hour . "Oh... this guy has no time sense" would be a common thought after 5 minutes of wait.

Cometh the moment, cometh the mobile. Probably this is one instance where the mobile comes in very handy. "Hello.. Are you coming? I am already here waiting for you" goes the first call. Now the waiter, normally a person of normal eye-sight starts seeing the waitee in almost every person reaching that venue. The common comments being..

Oh.. I thought that was Abhishek( let's give the waitee a name instead of calling him a waitee always).He wore a half-sleeves shirt today.( Now all of the guys in half sleeves cannot be Abhishek. Isn't it???)

Oh.. I thought that was Abhishek's Blue Hero-Honda ( Hero-Honda does sell blue bikes to people other than Abhishek)

All the people except Abhishek seem to be making their way to this place( ???????... This is not your country-side farmhouse but a restaurant in a densely populated area)

Now the waiter runs out of patience.It's almost 15 minutes since "the wait" has started. It's the mobile again.

Waiter: "Hey, are you coming at all?"
Waitee: "I have just started.Actually... I had just started..."
Waiter: "Oh.. make it fast."

The waiting continues for the waiter. The eyes continue to deceive the waiter. Every now and then Abhishek seems to appear only to disappear again. The watch hardly moves it's hands but finds the most minute of its moments being observed by the waiter. The waiter's namesake ... I mean the waiter( in the normal "restuarant" sense) in the restaurant/cafe keeps now starts getting hyper and gets on to the already saturated waiter( in the context of the blog ). It's not even 5 minutes but the waiter now picks up the mobile again and gives a call to the waitee who replies that he is on his way. Someone please tell the waiter that mobile is a device that is used to communicate. It isn't any kind of accelerator and hence any number of calls to the other person will not make him/her come faster than normal. Visualize all this and try to look into the eyes of the waiter and you will find a couple of watches instead of the eyes.

Finally the waitee arrives and waiter is relieved. Just relieved and not pleased. The phrase " Huh.. All because you are late, this happened..". is used not less than 10 times in the next 1 hour. At the end, both are left with the feeling that having this "meeting/dinner" today was not a great idea at all. You see "the wait" is not such a pleasant thing after all.

P.S: This post has been waiting in the draft section for a while now. I have started hating the word "wait" after completing this post. Don't you feel the same???