February 27, 2011

Living in a self-spun web...

"The one complaint against both of you is that you are too sensitive", said a well-meaning friend, about Vijay and me, and advised that we become a little thick-skinned. When I heard this, I was embarrassed and felt somewhat stupid. Then I felt that perhaps it would good to be different from what we were. Perhaps we had indeed been too sensitive about issues around us. Perhaps it was time we changed our attitude towards the world, and turned into more 'bindaas' type of people...like, maybe, politicians? It would be nice not to be able to care a damn about the bits of injustice doled out to us everyday. It would be nice to ignore the mental, physical and spiritual filth; it would be great to be able to live for ourselves, and not bother about people around (and not feel guilty!). These things do bog you down...I think I would give anything to be able to do bring down the level of my sensitivity.

I came home after meeting this friend feeling rather light-headed, with a resolve to re-invent myself. Actually, Vijay and I have questioned this aspect of ourselves several times. Why are we like this? Why are we so obsessed with peace, rather than things like wealth and property that most people give value to? Why are we not ambitious for ourselves and for our children the way many people are? Why this care and concern, attachment and sentimentality?

But we seem helpless, for our sensibility seems to surround us like a giant spider web. The threads are soft, fine and comfortable, and it seems to have become our comfort zone. What's worse, we have passed this on to our children, as well. (Of course...how can they be otherwise?) Yet it feels many a time, very difficult and tiring being us, and maybe that's why it felt good when someone said, "be different".

But how should we get out of that web, which I have a feeling we have spun ourselves, just by being what we naturally can be? Is it possible to be different? If yes, is that difference for the better? Are we doomed to live with our sensibility? Or is 'doom' the wrong word in this context after all?

February 14, 2011

A stroll around good old numaish

Hyderabad has ever so many exhibitions happening through the year, but nothing beats the numaish. It has shopping, entertainment, plenty of eats--from all-time favourites like popcorn and cotton candy--to chat, tikkas, mirchi bajjis and now, Chinese fast food. The numaish has truly become a classic of our times, and certainly has character. Despite the same stalls being in the same place year after year, there still is a newness about it.

This year we tried a dish we hadn't eaten before--called mutabbaq ( the word means 'folded'), an Arabian snack. A mutabbaq can have many kinds of stuffings, but the one we had was stuffed with egg, veggies and lots of coriander. We had to wait for a long time before it was cooked to the satisfaction of the chap making it, but it was well worth the wait...it turned out to be a just-crisp-just-soft, almost-melt-in-the-mouth, hot and very tasty snack that one thinks about long after the eating has been done!

The numaish having become the subject of photographic interest for Ragini, who has been playing around with her camera, we wandered around for much longer than usual. I was inspired to take my Kodak along too. Here are some pictures (The really good photos, of course, will be among the daughter's FB collection!).

It cooks and cooks and cooks...but the mutabbaq is well worth the wait!

Why does this popcorn always taste better than any other popcorn?

Plenty of these

Cycles and flowers...

...and lots of chappals!

The banner outside the exhibition...who are they saying this to, I wonder

Sorry...came backwards...this is the entrance.

Note that this is the 71st edition...it certainly deserves the classic label!