Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thought for food.....

You never know where pictures posted on blogs may lead you.

From his blog he appears to be someone who likes to announce it to the world when he has enjoyed something. Be it a play, a garden, a person, sometimes even a particular dish. He always posts the relevant graphics. With a pithy comment. He posted one such mouth watering graphic, about a sizzler dish, that was cooked over a weekend in Pune , and almost immediately in Mumbai, several eyes widened, and minds buzzed with the prospect of a lunch. He'd been actually hinting that a bloggers' lunch was long overdue, and now that I look back, I can see his master strategy in making it all happen.......

And so the five of them met again. For sizzlers.

One , who delayed his weekend trip to his family in Pune by a day, and arrived at the lunch with his luggage.

Another , who left her two princesses at home, and braved the Mumbai public transport to travel a long way , to meet folks she had seen only once; of course the long ride was utilised two study the Mumbai election supervisors manual, which she needed for her assigned duties as an election officer around the month end; and never mind that she almost used her red pen to tick off grammatical mistakes, and deadly imperatives as her bus kept her awake bouncing through the potholes.

Another , probably looked upon this as a great way to escape anxieties and formalities associated with career and life stages; a couple of hours away from it all, with lots of laughs, and conversation, and missing cell phone contact numbers. Technology has advanced, but not so far as to have a robotic voice warn you that you are carrying the wrong phone.

Of course, there was also one who cannot resist carrying tote bags, in anticipation of meeting in a Mall type environment. She stayed the closest, and came by a three wheeler, whose driver was a bit upset about the fare remaining in single digits, despite him revving up the accelerator and making darting stops here and there, trying to overtake an open truck carrying huge boulders. But he had a nice look at her bandaged hand, and decided not to show his displeasure to someone who was already hurting (!)....

And finally, there is this guy who is probably the fittest of the lot. Lives fairly close by. He has been off rice recently, twitters occasionally when he hits the gym, and for a while one thought that he was going to arrive , say, jogging , since the mid-day sun was today being occasionally snubbed by a few clouds doing their thing.

The place had all these columns, balconies, and balustrades, where you could stand and watch the hoi-polloi traipsing by, and there was a suggestion that the four of them stand there, waiting for the fittest fifth. They would all applaud and wave at him as he came puffing by, and everyone, including the general public would have a great time. Then someone mentioned his camera. You'd never know when he clicked. And the next thing , all four would appear on his blog waving to no one in particular, a la folks in Buckingham Palace. The waving plan was hastily abandoned, and we proceeded to the sizzler place , where we would meet him in a short while.

The place is a branch of a well known sizzler restaurant. But we were unfashionably early. And the staff was suitably startled by a bunch of middle and senior citizen types arriving with luggage, pickles, several tote bags, election manuals and the works. A bit of a change for a place which has raucous fashionable young peoples groups, fellows calling themselves "dudes" having late lunches. The staff was so smitten they forgot to switch on the AC.

By and by , folks recovered. The staff, that is. Menus were perused. Lips, pursed on noticing the outrageous prices, relaxed on realizing that sizzler meals were not likely to be getting the government's special attention, as a possible sop during election time. And the country was not yet ready for the stimulating policies of Kevin Rudd. (Hi Lilly!)...

The stuff arrived, one sizzling plate at a time, suitably obscuring everyone's vision with the sizzling vapour, and fogging the spectacles of two oldies and one of the younger fittest.....And ice arrived in irregular shapes, to fog the water glassses, so necessary in the Mumbai summer......

Five sizzling dishes later, it has occurred to me, that there can be smoke of different types.

There are some smokes that need a fire at one end and a fool at the other. These harm.

Then there are some smokes that happen because of a little water sprinkled on a heap of delicious pasta/rice and veggies sizzling on a hot iron serving skillet. These are great.

Lots of laughs and good conversation and ribbing amidst flavoured steam rising from sizzling cutlets, green beans, rice, lightly heat-scarred cabbage,cauliflower,tomatoes, and the eternal favourite, french-fries. The fittest one was secretly noticed smiling to himself over the french fries, after he publicly opted for pasta after his recent anti-rice blog, read by the world.

Folks went home , mostly all having overeaten. One went off with another to catch a transport to Pune, discussing technicalities of retirement. Another went off, seriously calculating the number of years he would have to swear off his wife's delicious rice and sambhar, now that he had this sizzling forbidden meal. The two ladies, wandered off to look at some nice shops, and do some shopping. The country doesn't believe in stimulus payments . But still we spend. Amazing, isn't it ?

We have really all met only once. In December. Except for those who work in the same organization , we hardly talk, even on the phone. In real life.

But thanks to our black and white , electronic life, it feels like we meet often. We share in everyone's ups and downs. We sense things unwritten in blogs, because we can now visualize the persona.

Its a great way to be friends.


  1. You have just been awarded the "Honest Scrap" award.
    To claim your badge and pass it on, go to
    I know I am a stranger to you as I was a silent reader all these days. I like your detailed and well researched posts. I always got something to take away from here. It's always a pleasure to read you. Again, Congratulations on a wonderful blog!

  2. A nice read. Interesting and explained well without mentioning names.I liked the description of different types of smoke.

  3. Excellent post. I enjoyed it more than Yoko and sizzles.

  4. All I can do is Siiiigh! at one more missed chance...

  5. The so called fittest one, bows in awe ! And in friendship.

    And he hastens to add, that the french fries and whatever else that went in, are now in his head.

    He means...they are part of his nightmares ! :)

    And he salutes this blog for the fantastic last line.

    What a way to be friends !!

  6. The still-to-be Election Supervisor (technically called Presiding Officer) guiltily confesses that she is once again keeping her manual open in front of her as if she's reading it, while she is actually reading this wonderful post and limericking about it elsewhere....

  7. Lovely post! And the occasional meets of these electronically connected friends seem to be 'sizzling' with camaraderie and warmth!

  8. How wonderful that you were able to meet fellow bloggers in person. I have met one blogger face to face. It was Rain of RAINY DAY THOUGHTS, and it was a pleasure not to be forgotten.

    We have a Sizzler here, but I have not eaten there. I assume it is the same chain of restaurants. It's a small world after all.

  9. Oh that sounded like a lot of fun :) And yeah, my eternal favorite? French fries...:)))

  10. Dhanya Welcome. Thank you. And the award is gratefully accepted. I have a friend's sister in Thrissur, and I used to always think it is her reading....:-) ; now I know....

    nsiyer Thank you. I had to mention the bad smoke, although no one bothered us with it there. And your name did crop up amidst the many bloggers names that were mentioned....

    harekrishnaji Thank you. And I am simply amazed at your energy. You left us to travel to Pune, faced a cross examination about sizzling lunches on arrival, took your family for a great lunch on Sunday, and blogged about it , with aamras pictures by Sunday ....

    Vinita Saglya mejwanya virtually enjoy karawya lagteel. harekrishnjinchya blog war gelees tar amras milel....enjoy!

    Rajk De-sigh. There will be other times. Other blogger lunches. Its good you havent seen any of us, or you wouldnt recognize us again after all that eating.......

    Kavi Notwithstanding the fact that this is election season, I think there is too much of bowing and saluting happening. (On second thoughts maybe it apart of your exercises....). And I have a great title for your next post : "RICE is just a four letter word !" ( and I am not using it as a gymming acronym)......:-)

    Sucharita Sarkar Presiding Officer sounds so much nicer. Sorry about that. And you certainly had a Mumbai Suburbs Darshan trip that day.....

    SGD Thank you. let us know if you plan to be in Mumbai. We'd love to have you join us....

    Darlene I did read your post about meeting Rain during her Tucson trip , and also saw her posting about it as well. Its fun isnt it ?

    And no, the sizzler place we have here is probably not part of the US chain. Its a local chain restaurant called YOKO Sizzlers.

    Braja Thank you. Actually, for me, curd-rice and pickle as comfort food gives French fries a run for money...but you know how it is; we indulge the children in the French fries !

    By the way, we did talk about various blogger folks we read, and some who are busy folks professionally, enquired as to whether anyone had news about you. And how those of us who've been reading your recent posts, actually nodded our heads with great confidence, and said you were OK now, as if we'd actually met you etc....I hope all these good wishes reach you...

  11. Could you arrange for one when I come to mumbai next??I seem to have missed so much fun.

  12. HHG Sure. Let us know as much in advance as possible. Since all the others work, and can then organize their time accordingly....But we'd love to meet!

  13. that sounded so much fun and your last line summed it up well!

    just voted for your entry for ndus ladies...

    its such a lovely entry...touched my heart as most of your writings are prone to do :)

  14. You say well known BBay sizzler joint, please say its Kobe's??? (I prefer it to Yoko's!).

  15. Wow, thats exciting! Imagine your group will grow as more people hear about it. I so want to come and visit some time so I will be letting you know well in advance so I can catch a lunch!!! And hopefully some of those pickles! did you do any shopping in the mall?

  16. Isn't it wonderful? :) 15 years ago we used to hang out on this virtual place called #pune on IRC, when internet was fairly new to a bunch of us. That was the very first thrill of having actually met "virtual" friends.

    Online life is so big a part of real life now, I can barely distinguish the two. Don't know if that's good or bad.

    Thanks for making me revisit wonderful times :)


  17. Sumayes we hada lot of fun, and thanks for voting for me. We'd love to have other folks from the blogs (who we read) join us, so do let us know when you come this way....

    SSQuo Hmm. It was a new location of Yokos...

    Lilly Actually, this time it was planned a bit fast, as May is vacation time hear, and people would be out of town, visiting their parents, going on holiday, etc etc. We did contact two others in Mumbai, but they were not free. Let us know when you come. December/Jan is a nice to time in Mumbai. Some other blogging types from overseas, may also be here in Dec. I hear Pearl is to come in Jan. Maybe you need to plan things fast to get good deals....And yes, we ladies did manage a bit of shopping ....

    gauri Thank you. ani ikde alees tar kalav. Amchyatle ek jan punyache ahet, tewha punyala pan blog lunch asoo shakta :-)

  18. Dudes and Dudettes... me wanna come tooo... !!!

    this is sizzling !

  19. Hitch writer I suppose we are no competition for Baroda, but get in touch with us when you plan to be in Mumbai next, and we will plan a bloggers lunch. There is something being planned for December, but one can also plan earlier stuff. You r most welcome....

  20. Thats great !!! I can come to Mumbai in December specially for the meet !! lets keep fingers crossed.. !!!

    you know what there is a shop San's Sizzlers in Baroda... !!! geee.... they make fantastic sizzlers !!! i m sure you will be able to google them tooo !!!

  21. Loved the way you described everybody. Lovely, lovely write- up and I can smell the sizzlers too:)