Saturday, September 24, 2011

I live in the City, an area that is dominated by Asians (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese). I work in the rich and very White neighbourhood of North Sydney, and the only suburbs I have explored uptil now have mainly been affluent ones such as Manly, Mosman, Balmoral, Bondi etc. But of course any big city that has centuries of history behind it has a variety of neighbourhoods ranging from affluent to grungy to trendy to quirky to cosmopolitan to the 'underbelly'. Take London, New York, Paris, Mumbai for example. Sydney is no different.

I went to an inner city suburb called Newtown today. I'd heard a lot about this suburb from friends and people of work who live in and around there. About how cool and hip and bustling it is. It's a suburb that used to be working class but has now evolved into a grunge-trendy place dotted with vintage shops, cafes from all cultures, artists, writers, musicians, goths, punks, migrants, and Victorian terrace houses.

As I said it's grunge - the buildings look like warehouses. They are run down and in need of renovation. There's graffiti art on the walls. But the vintage shops, cafes, bookshops, music stores and antique stores give Newtown a very trendy feel. The Victorian terrace houses have been there since the early 1900s and remind of the cottages and villas of Goa.

I didn't have my camera on me but I'll leave you with some pictures of Newtown from the net that will give you a feel of what I'm talking about.

King Street, Newtown

Victorian Terrace House

Photo courtesy: / / /

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Post Office

You read it right. I am blogging about a post office. Oh dear...

I haven't lost it. If you can ignore the fact that I get inside the lift and forget to press my floor. The reason I'm blogging about a post office is because today I saw the cutest post office ever!

You're thinking 'post office and cute?' Right? Post offices aren't supposed to be cute. They're supposed to be these bare-bone quiet places with grumpy clerks (what are they called again?) that you go in & out of.

This is the post office near my office in Sydney. From the outside it looks like one of those post-colonial buildings that's trying to be a colonial building. Once you climb up those stairs and enter through those brown doors, you'll be in the cutest room ever!

This post office sells greeting cards and stationery! And other things that don't excite me such as comics and video games. But let's talk about stationery...this post office has the cutest pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pens, note books, stickers and other knick knacks on display! All brightly coloured from pink to magenta to yellow to purple to green and aqua blue. Oh it's beeeeeeautiful in there! Unfortunately I couldn't take a picture of the inside but I felt like a kid in a toy shop surrounded by all that adorable stationery.

You know what, Aussies are fun loving people. It takes people with a fun mindset and who don't take life too seriously to come up with the idea of making a place as functional and morose as a post office a place that makes you smile :)

Image courtesy:

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Can I start by saying that Salman Khan is THE Dude?

Well, I just did.

No other actor can get away with the inanity that he does, even though he can't "act" to save his life. But I still like him. I like him because he doesn't give a damn about what people think/say about him, and goes on doing what he wants to do. That takes courage in an industry where image is everything and people pay a good amount of money to project the right image.

Anyway, on to the movie. Lovely Singh is a bodyguard who gives "guarantee along with warranty" and treats "royalty with loyalty", or some shit like that. He's assigned to protect the daughter of a very powerful man living in an obscure little town somewhere between Mumbai and Pune (don't ask questions), who faces a threat to her life from some of her dad's enemies. The girl is embarassed to be escorted by a bodyguard to college everyday (she studies Management at Symbiosis apparently), and so to get rid of him she starts distracting him by giving him blank calls from a 'private number' and claiming to be some Chhaya who is in love with him.

She does fall in love with him in due course, while he sees her as someone way beyond his league. Two hours of cat and mouse games between them and a couple of attempts on the girl's life later, the villains are dead, the father thinks the bodyguard is trying to elope with his daughter, and there's a twist in the story.

Like all of Salman Khan's movies these days, this movie too is full TP. A continuation of Dabangg if you will. Salman Khan is in his element (mujhpe ek ehsaan karna, ki mujhpe koi ehsaan na karna is priceless!), the villians come across looking like jokers, and the only person who appears to be acting is Kareena Kapoor (within the limitations of her role). The music by Himesh Reshammiya is forgettable. BUT there is actually a story in the movie! Hallelujah!

I heard some people in the theater cribbing about how they should've trusted the review that gave the movie 2.5 stars and stayed away. Like dude, who goes to watch a Salman Khan movie based on reviews?!! You KNOW what a Salman Khan movie is going to be like. People who watch his movies don't read the reviews. You've missed the whole point, mate.

Anyway, while we're on the topic of people who go to watch movies in theaters...why are Indian kids the most misbehaved of the lot? They'll be the ones throwing tantrums, wailing, running helter skelter, and being a nuisance to everybody in the theater. And their stupid parents, instead of disciplining them, will look at them adoringly as if they're doing something worthy of winning the Nobel Prize. Seriously, you'll never find non-Indian kids behaving so atrociously in public.

And then the mothers, to get rid of the kid, will send him/her to say hi to some random "aunty" or "uncle" in the theater. Whenever such kids come towards me at theaters or restaurants, I just glare at them because all I want to do is give them one tight slap and send them crying back home, and then glare at his/her parents too. Seriously, when will Indians learn not to be a nuisance to others?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What can be the most frustrating thing if you're not a cook and you're trying to cook something to satisfy your craving?

The thing you're cooking turning out a big flop or not working out at all!!

I've been craving kadhi for quite a few days. Not the Punjabi kadhi with gram flour pakoras but the Gujrati one...lighter yellow in colour, thinner consistency (like soup) and flavoured with curry leaves and green chillies!

Guess what happened once I started cooking it...the curd curdled!!! Grrrrrrrrr.....

I ran out of yogurt and curry leaves so couldn't give it another go. Then I went online and figured out my mistake. 1) I was using low fat yogurt which does not have the emulsifiers of full-fat/regular yogurt and tends to curdle when cooked, 2) I took yogurt straight out of the fridge and started cooking it whereas I should've used yogurt at room temperature.

The recipe I was referring to used low fat yogurt and didn't mention anything about the possibility it could curdle, but I'm asuming the woman is a domestic Goddess that can make the impossible possible, I'm totally not. So I will be wiser tomorrow (hopefully) and give it another shot because I really really want to have goddamn kadhi. Oh, how I miss my cook from back home :((

Life sucks. Thank God there's chocolate.

And Happy Father's Day, Daddy.