Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Being My Father's Daughter

I have seen the difference in the expressions. When I say IIT-IIM, the eyes and mouth open wide in wonder, and a “WOW” escapes the lips. And when I say IBS, the forehead creases into a frown, and a clueless “Where is it?” is what I invariably hear.

Some weeks ago, I met a girl from another branch of my college. She was also interning at L & T, so we just got talking. Among other things, we discussed our families, and the moment I told her that my Dad is an IIT - IIM, she said, “What?? And you are in IBS? You should be ashamed of yourself!!”

I laughed it away then, but right now, even as I put it down, I can feel tears springing up in my eyes.

Okay, so my father is an IIT - IIM. And any guy with even half a brain can say just how smashingly brilliant that combination is. Even as I speak of it to someone, I can sense the admiration in the listener’s eyes. And simultaneously, I can see this hint of disbelief, probably of mockery even, that someone like me is my father’s daughter.

Unlike my father, I did not like Maths and Physics in school. I was, still am, petrified of those subjects. It was probably this fear that prevented me from scoring well in them. But I loved the languages that we were taught, and was very keen on pursuing literature post school. Somehow, commerce seemed to be a more “lucrative” option then, and so I took it up. The outcome was disastrous – I could NOT take those dry, tasteless, juiceless subjects. Over the years, I have seen that commerce students and engineers possess a certain aptitude for logic and analysis – I lacked that totally. To make matters worse, because I had a good score in my ICSE, I got through to Podar, supposedly the “best college for commerce”. And I was disgusted with the professors and the dilapidated infrastructure there. I remember sitting up at nights, crying away, because I hated what I had to study. I wanted to drop a year and take up Arts just so that I could go to a better college and study language and literature. But I stayed put.

Finally, when I was in Class 12, I went in for an aptitude test. And it showed, not surprisingly, that I had tremendous inclination for the arts – media, literature and language. I put in all I could and finished off with my final exams, and succeeded in scoring an 81%. Okay, so that isn’t an amazing score, but it was a massive uphill task for me, what with subjects I can still puke on.

Mass Media was the most enjoyable part of my education ever. I loved every minute of what we were taught. We had subjects like Creative Writing, Cinema, Photography and everything else that I could positively gorge on. And so it’s no surprise that I scored well throughout.

But then, graduation came to an end and MBA seemed to be the most ‘suitable’ course. Honestly, I was never very sure of it – but because I did not know what else I could do here in India, I started with the coaching classes.

I don’t know if this makes me sound like a loser, but I felt like I was back to being seventeen again, where I just did not enjoy what I was studying. Apart from having Maths to deal with, I also had to study English - something that I had loved throughout - in a very different, very uninteresting manner. But I kept at it. Ultimately, after long months of struggle and frustration, I got accepted at IBS Mumbai.

I know that IBS - M is not even in the same orbit as IIM – B. Sometimes, when I compare myself with my father, I feel ashamed. And embarrassed. I could never have the same perseverance, the same go-getter attitude that is so characteristic of him. He is a workaholic; I work just as much as necessary. He has happily sacrificed a lot to be where he is today and to give me such a comfortable life; I find it extremely difficult to give up things I love. He is exceptionally organised; I am just the opposite. He is a perfectionist; I am laidback. He is an accomplished artist; I draw like a four-year old.

But sometimes when I ponder over how I have always been so different from my father, I think of all the good things I have inherited from him. To begin with, it is from him that I have learnt to have a drive, a passion for executing all my responsibilities sincerely, regardless of whether I like them or not. (At the cost of sounding immodest, I’ll say that I wouldn’t have been a good student throughout, if I had just given up). My love for languages has been his other gift to me. My love for books is a third. My love for animals, a fourth. A liberated attitude, the need to be extremely clear and precise in expression, and emotions towards inanimate objects like old writing pads and letters are some more. Most of all, it is his simplicity, his sense of humility that I find in myself. And there is so much more than I can enlist.

For all that I am, weaknesses, radically different interests et al., my father has accepted me and cherished me. When he is strict, I know it is because he wants only the best for me. So no matter what happens, to me, my father will always remain a Legend. I can say effortlessly, that I am the luckiest daughter in the world, to have been born as my father’s only child. I don’t think anything I ever say can explain how much he amazes me, and how much I respect him and admire him. To me, he will forever be the benchmark – I will always measure any man who is important enough to me, against my father.

And you know what? Honestly, the mockery, shame and embarrassment that I have had to deal with because I am not an IIT-IIM, or even remotely close, is an incredibly small price to pay for being the daughter of the wonderful man, the phenomenon that is MY father. I Love you, Papa, and I am SO proud to be YOUR daughter.

Monday, April 13, 2009

How I changed one of 'Those' Days to one of 'These'...

Strangely, cooking always stirs me up a great deal. I can’t really understand how and why, but the thrill it gives me is reason enough to put these questions at bay.

So today, after enough of fretting and feeling jobless, I decided to make something. Or, rather, BAKE something. And within minutes of writing the previous blog, I had started my research. I found a recipe online for a different type of chocolate cake -‘Molten Chocolate’, it was called - and decided, on the basis of the easy availability of its ingredients, that I would try it out.

And so we began. Here’s how to go about it, just for your reference:

You will require:

3 eggs
• 170 g of bittersweet chocolate [even regular chocolate will do]
• 1.5 cups granulated white sugar
• 125 g unsalted butter
• 1/8 tsp white vinegar [or cream of tartar]
• 1 tsp pure vanilla essence

If you have the ingredients in place, it shouldn’t take you more than 45 minutes to an hour.

1) First separate the eggs – yolk from white.
2) Mix 1/3 cup of the sugar with the yolk. Preferably, beat it in a mixer.
3) Add the vanilla essence to the sugar-yolk mixture, then beat it again.
4) Take the egg white and whip it gently till it becomes frothy. Then add the vinegar to it and whip it up again.
5) Heat the chocolate and the unsalted butter together till they melt, then mix them well.
6) Add the sugar-yolk-vanilla essence mixture to the chocolate-butter mixture.
7) Add the egg white – vinegar mixture to the above mixture.
8) Take small moulds (to make small pies) or a big dish (for one big cake) and butter the rim and bottom.
9) Sprinkle the remaining sugar on the sides and bottom of the buttered moulds / dish.
10) Pour the molten mixture into the dish, and place it in the microwave for about 10 minutes.
11) The sides will swell up and become crusty, while the centre remains soft.
12) Test with a knife to ensure the cake isn’t sticking to it. If it isn’t, your cake is ready!! Yay!
13) You can top it up with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. But it tastes great even minus the toppings.

Mine turned out to be slightly different from the picture, (it turned out to be a really soft cake instead of one with a molten centre) probably because I used a microwave and not an oven. But it still tasted really nice. Personally, I think if you are making one single cake instead of many small pies, slicing it will be really difficult if the inside is gooey.

So, this is how I turned an ‘almost-wasted’ day into a really happening, productive one. Wonder what I’ll try the next time I’m bored and lazy!!

Much Love,


There are days when I am raring to go, all ready to face the world. And then there are those days when I feel totally jobless. Even when I have plenty of jobs to do, that is. Today is one of those days. I feel like doing absolutely nothing. Nothing at all.

I need something that zaps me up and gets my creative juices flowing!!!Pronto!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Moonlight Mischief"

At about 4 a.m. this morning, I woke up for some reason, and felt this really strong bright light straight in my eye. Who in the right mind, I thought, would switch on a light so strong at this hour??

And then I realized. It was no light; it was the full moon, in all its shining glory. I jumped out of bed, hunted in the dark for my spectacles, found them surprisingly soon (I can’t manage to locate them even in broad daylight) and put them on. Aah, what a lovely sight. So beautiful, so serene and so mesmerizing. I could just keep looking.

I wanted to take a picture, but I knew my camera wasn’t good enough to capture the magnificence of the scenery. I really wanted to wake Mamma up to share my moment of delight but I knew that she would have trouble falling asleep again, if she was woken up in between. So I kept looking at the moon, specs on my eyes, till I drifted off to sleep.

I still don’t know how or why I woke up at that precise moment, to find the moon saying hello with that mischievous brilliance – but I’ll tell you this much, I’m a complete sucker for all things natural – skies, clouds, rains, greenery, sunsets and sunrises…you get the drift. For some reason, I think God decided to wake me up to involve me in one of his creative moods. I am so grateful to Him for that. And I’m still smiling.

Much Love,


Saturday, April 4, 2009


Silver wisps of dreams in my eyes
Smooth sunshine on my face
Thick, white and blue waters alongside
Cold, wet grass beneath my feet
Cotton clouds up in the sky
A rainbow smiling from above
The breeze tousling my hair
Half a cube of chocolate melting in my mouth

On Expectations...

Expectations. Keep away from them. They’ll beckon you sweetly, even seductively, sometimes, and then throw you from an allegorical altitude in such a way that you crash. HARRRD.

Expectations. Keep away from them.