....and all that jazZ

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My two cents - I

On Reservations
I agree that there are people with vested political interests who are using the issue to garner votes. I agree that it is poorly implemented in India. I agree that a lot of times the people who use it are not the truly downtrodden or deserving. I agree that premier institues bringing some of Indias brightest minds together should not have reservations- not because it would dilute the equality, but simply because in principle the "best" has nothing to do with caste. I believe post graduate programs should not have reservations.

India is a new country with a history of several years of oppression of the backward castes. Without a doubt caste-ism of some form or the other stll exisits. Affirmative action has to be present in some way or the other to ensure that people who were denied opportunities can come up to a level where their children wont be - for after all doesnt all caste issue simply evolve into a class issue ?

I dont understand why it cannot be enforced and implemented in more logical fashion. It has to have a time frame. It has to have economic power based implementation. It has to be there.

Standing up for affirmative action is standing up for social reforms. Stand up for it. Just because it is badly abused in India does not make it bad and doing away with it is not the solution. We need more schools providing quality primary and scondary care and education no doubt. But we need to own up to the bias the existed and take responsibility for it. we cannot let a wrong done go uncorrected. Its your and my moral responsibility

Think about the colleges in India that have reservations not based on any form of affirmative action, but based on Language or Religion. How biased is that ? It says that you could be a rich spoilt brat who didnt study enough, but you have this opportunity simply because you are gujrati or sindhi or muslim or whatever. It has neither a purpose nor a benefit. That in my opinion breeds mediocrity.

So before ou send lengthy emails and post long posts about how reservations suck, think about it. Can you say with a clear conscience that there is not a job that is denied to someone because he comes from abackward community? I cant. As long as that remains a fact i will support affirmative action.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Mushroom Broccoli Au Gratin

Ingredients (Serves 4)

3 Cup nicely chopped Broccoli (i used the frozen one)
1/2 Onion sliced thinly
1 packet of mushrooms chopped
1 Cup grated cheese (Optional)
1 Cup bread crumbs
5 tbsp butter/margarine
4 Cups milk
4 lg tbsp all purpose flour
Salt and ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat 1 tbp of butter in a pan. Add onions and sautee till translucent. Add mushroom and broccoli. Add sat and pepper to taste and sautee for a minute or so. Add 2 cups of water, cover the pan and cook till tender.

2. Now while that is cooking ,heat 4tbsp of butter in a pan. Mix in the flour and add salt and pepper to taste. Now add the milk and bring to boil on low flame. It will thicken into a paste/thick sauce. As you take it off the heat, mix in the cheese if you are making the sauce with cheese in it.

3. Drain the vegetables well and layer the greased baking dish with the white sauce and the vegetables. First and last layer should be the sauce. Cover with the breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes.

4. Serve with Warm Bread, Salad and Wine to make it a fine meal :) !

Bon Apetit !

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Saw this on HBO last night. Inspired and adapted from Homer's lliad, the movie depicts the well known story (of which there are multiple versions) of the great Trojan war and its greatest hero Achilles. Its a perfect "masala movie". The poor acting, corny dialogues and a not so beautiful really Helen, notwithstanding the movie is entertaining all the same.

Greek mythology is beautiful. Like our Indian mythology it beautifully weaves men and Gods together in an inextricable web. They are incomplete without each other. And reflections of each other. There is great poetry in those stories of yore. Fantasy spun with the threads of reality - it does not really matter whether they really happened or not.

This movie completely kills that spirit. Men are men- mean as ever. The boon that was given to Paris and vulnerability of Achilles are made into some silly lovestory.

But as much as it tried the plot in itself has all the ingredients essential to a potboiler - action, emotions, drama, sex, violence.

Perfect watch for a brain dead evening after a great weekend. To sum it in a word - "Time Pass"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

May Gray

Its May and its still far from the San Diego that I know. A strange conflict. I love the gray but I miss the sun.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Swedish Apple Cake

5 Apples
4 c Dry bread crumbs (not seasoned)
1 c Butter (softened)
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 c Granulated white sugar
Boil apples in minimal water till they soften. Add 2 spoons of sugar to boiling water to sweeten. Melt butter in pan; add crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Butter deep cake pan well. Put crumbs and apples in layers, crumbs on bottom and top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.

Trust me its YUMMMMMMM !!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006


Hello Hollywood !
Come sunday and coolboy and I dragged our lazy butts up to LA because I had not yet seen Universal Studios inspite of having lived in SoCal. Imagine this coolboy and I - sitting in the Shrek 4D show. I am super excited - its new and fascinating and I am a kid at heart. Coolboy is seeing this for the 4th time and he is just as excited as I am !!!. A place that appeals to all ages and sorts. Thats universal studios.

There is the Mummy Ride thats just awesome. And the Jurassic park is soo beautiful. The fake mechanical dinosaurs are soo adorable :-D !!! Thats the thing you see. These people are so good at detailing that they make you love fake things. Take a picture with King Kong, or walk through the scary castle of Van Helsing ( I was too chicken to do this), see how special effects are created, take a tour of the famed studios or be part of the Waterworld adventure (this one is coolboy's favourite). All in a days work!

I have moved again. This time I have moved office. I now am the proud and happy occupant of a window office. Being spring and days streching out till 7:30 ish, i bask in natural sunlight all day. A great source of Vitamin D :) Remember 6th std science ?? I dont have to turn on the lights at all. It is the single biggets reason never to quit this place. Engineers are rarely awarded this luxury and I do feel blessed. Oh to stare out at the tree outside and day dream waiting for simulations to finish.. what bliss !!!!


Saw Rang de basanti. Really liked it. I heard a lot of arguments bothe ways before watching it, about how it ended - too simplistic, not realistic, justification of violence by youth, violence as a solution, the transformation bla bla. I agree with some but all the same i think the whole analogy between the past and present was wonderfully done. The message to me was loud and clear - Either you shut up and dont complain or you get up and do something about things that bother you.

Also saw Water. Thought it was a big disappointment following Earth. But as a friend and co-blogger said - The whole difference was that Earth was based on a book. A wonderful and strong story. Water's biggest flaw though was its cardboard characters essayed by the worst actors one can find - John Abraham and Lisa Ray. More seasoned actors might have given the part some credibility but one cant deny that the movie touched the problem only at its surface. One must give the two points for being extremely good looking. The little kid and Seema Biswas save the movie some face and had the movie not ended at least the way it had I would have been damn pissed. :).

TV,Books etc

I have a new apt with a nice big TV in it. But I hardlt watch any TV. I used to look forward to "Rome" on HBO. But apparantly the new season wont be out until 07. I used to like the "Actors" as well. But thats over for this year too. Occasionally "Scrubs" if I remember. But this is the last season of "Sopranos" and I am hooked. I havent watched any of the previous ones but like any soap drama - it's not that hard to follow.

Book Club pick of the month is "Grapes of Wrath". It was sitting on my shelf waiting its turn. And boy is it a slow depressing read !! :) Only 50 pages into the book . Ploughing through it one page at a time.


Its sunny again. Not very warm,but atleast it sunny :). As I was driving to work this morning, I noticed the hillocks on my way. All the rainy days, dull days had quenched the thirst of a parched earth. A otherwise dry and barren land was covered in green and as a sign of spring wild wild bright yellow flowers had sprung from within. I thought it was a sign of good things to come. Life sure has a way of making every dull day into a bright one.