June 16, 2008

Bhubaneswar diary

I love cycling around Bhubaneswar. It feels so liberating. Nowadays, I feel uncomfortable when I have to take an auto somewhere. With my bicycle, I am the queen of the roads.

It's been raining all day. And quite heavily at that. I had been planning a trip to Bhubaneswar station for a while. Since I couldn't put off cancelling that ticket for the 18th anymore, I bicycled there today - autorickshaws take away all the fun. I had to pull my pants all the way above my knee. Only one side was partially protected by the raincoat. I've prayed to all the Gods I know - I shouldn't end up with a cold.

Gupchup is going strong - the rains do not deter my hardy stomach. Only malpuas do. Even the sight of them makes me want to puke. The gupchup vendor near Market Building now recognises me. They cleared out all the hawkers from the interior and opened the road to two-wheelers. I miss my "Bhubaneswar Gupchup". Narula's Kulfi has diversified to include Badam Milkshake on the menu.

I watched Sarkar Raj with Sujata Apa and Amanda a few days ago. It was an interesting film and it was interesting to observe the theatre. The electricity was cut during the movie and while they switched to an inverter, people kept yelling their heads off and booing the theatre management. There was claps and whistles from the stalls when Abhishek held Aishwarya's hand, but that happens at Alfred too. What was most intriguing was the way the lights went out...almost funny.

I had a very bad experience at an ATM that very day. It has again reminded me there are some idiots in this world. And I am not one of them. How narcissistic!

I'm happy I went today - I got one of the last tickets for that date. Since its just a few days after Rath Yatra, there are probably a lot of people going back. I hope it doesn't turn out to be a very bad idea though...I have a middle berth...that's shitty...but it's at least a berth. Poor Amanda travelled SITTING...sharing the ticket collector's seat with others. She says there was stuff even in the loos...I hope it's not that bad when I go.

I've been cooking! My first attempt was upma - a fortnight ago. That very night, I made some biryani. I must have asked a hundred people how to cook rice. I added some paneer and carrots. And biryani masala. And it turned out perfect. Satchita came that night. I went to Sangita Apa's house with a small sample. Though I landed up at 10 pm without any notice, they were quite nice to me. She tasted the biryani and approved of my culinary expertise.

The next day, I went bonkers. Sabudana khichdi. A jinxed dish that our family has been unable to perfect over decades. Since Sangita Apa had returned my tiffin with peanuts in them, I roasted them and Satchita crushed them. I soaked the sabudana, cut potatoes and chillies...my fingers burned for the rest of the day. I used a really tiny kadhai and burnt it a bit, made it slightly soggy, but I think the effort was commendable.

Now I feel like I can give any five-star chef a run for his money, but psst psst, whenever I make khichdi Sangita Apa has to measure the stuff...so you know where I stand...

I love the view from the terrace. My favourite occupation is - standing on the terrace and staring out into the vast open field that borders Ekamra College and faces our house.

Too much khichdi. Time for a menu change. The downside is we have no gas.

Time to go. This cafe's closing. To "Benasin". For dinner. Am tired of bread and cornflakes.

2 comments:

AKSHAY BHAT said...

What is gupchup?
something like paanipuri i guess?

but still i would never imagine eating 57 of them.

Ranjana Dave said...

yes its like panipuri...but its diff...with potato stuffing...n the pani is not very complicated..