Saturday, 27 December 2008

Is There Plastic In Kurkure?

Is there plastic in kurkure? Kurkure is a highly popular Indian snack liked by young and old alike. In fact its got a pretty heavily devoted following amongst the children. Its a Pepsico product. Lately there has been an email circulating that there is plastic in kurkure and if you burn kurkure you can see the plastic melting. For mothers with an addicted brood of kurkure eaters and followers thats tough news (or welcome news, if thats your cue to start the kurkure de-addiction process, whichever way you tend to look into it). Kurkure of course has responded with an ad "No Plastic in Kurkure," which means the allegation has found a response amongst kurkure users and maybe also has affected sales.

We have known for long that Pepsi and Coca Cola and maybe other MNCs take the lives of Indians lightly and dont really follow the same stringent rules they follow in Europe, USA and Australia when they manufacture their products here. There are enough loopholes in our processes to enable them to get away with it. And why blame them. Our system co-operates with them, as it co-operates with all big business that provides revenue.

It upto us the end users to discriminate and turn back to home-made products for "health"

Here's Kurkure's side of the story.

Barack The Magic Negro

Here is the "Barack The Magic Negro" song from youtube. The song was first aired at a Rush Limbaugh talk show in 2007. A Republican Party major operative and a Republican National Committee member, Chip Saltsman, has distributed the song in a CD to colleagues in what is being described as a "joke". The song is to the tune of a song "Puff the Magic Dragon".

Friday, 26 December 2008

Dostana Hindi Movie Review

Main gay hoon, Main gay nahin hun, Main gay hun kya? Kya tum gay ho? This sums up the story of Dostana – a story of two young men over confused about their sexuality. Well the plot is thin – So thin in fact it loses itself many a times in the tangle of legs and hormones - of Priyanka Cho. and John Abe. And the cute one day stubble of Abe babe. What was Bobby Deol doing with those three? The Deol Baba was such a let-down. I was really thankful to Bobby for providing some relief in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom (The worst ever movie I have ever watched) – I guess the Director too thought of Bobby’s role in a similar way – to provide plenty of back-up to the Bachchan Baba. But here’s news for you – Abhisekh Bachchan was outstanding – Bobby Deol was a dead bore. Dostana really has brought the term gay out of the closet, in India amongst the masses. There are some thoughts that the movie would throw the fragile gay rights movement in this country decades behind. I tend to disagree – bringing such a theme into open and into the mainstream was necessary in India.

Coming to the (non-existent) script, Abhisekh Bachchan and John Abraham decide to project a homosexual relationship in order to get accepted into a PG accommodation. As the third occupant was a young pretty babe, the niece of the house-owner, young males were not allowed. However the two decided to prolong the acting in order to get a faster visa too. In the meantime, they both fall in love with the niece (Priyanka Chopra) and the three become fast friends. Priyanka, meanwhile, is in love with her Boss, Bobby Deol. The two John Abe and Abe Babe do everything their power to thwart that relationship, even going as far as to poisoning Deol’s young son’s mind against Priyanka.

There are lots of comic encounters, climaxes in the script. The scene where Priyanka’s gay Boss Boman Irani tries to make a play for the duo with a Visa officer looking on was hilarious and exasperating at the same time. In fact, that sums up the whole movie – funny and exasperating in turns. I feel John Abraham doesn’t deserve such a huge part in any script – one does tire of the biceps and looks for some expressions at times. Sigh. Too much to expect. Kiron Kher does a gem of a job as a gay person’s mother – a traditional mother trying to come to terms with her son’s sexual orientation. Susmita Mukherjee overacts. Irani does his bit convincingly. There's Shilpa Shetty in a wee bit role too. But the movie belongs to Abhisekh and Priyanka. Priyanka was outstandingly gorgeous. Actually the three of them (Priyanka, John, Abe) in their scenes together make the movie paisa wasool. One does exit the theatre with a goofy smile – so that makes the movie worth watching!

I do know it’s too late for a Dostana review – but what the heck – I watched movie now and couldn’t help writing about it! Dostana is apparently faring very well at the Box Office too.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Santa Claus Story

Here is the Santa Claus story. A story made by poems, love, hope, benevolence and moreover a story which has possibly brought smiles and cheers to more children than anything else combined.

St. Nicholas lived in what is South of Turkey now. He was a benevolent cleric, a patron of the poor, with some noble deeds which made him a "Saint" in the eyes of the common people. He even withstood Roman persecution as did many clerics of those times. However nothing would have prepared even him to be the Santa Claus of today, driving his sleigh loaded with gifts!!!

The elvish twinkle eyed and twinkle toed Santa with his "Ho Ho Ho" can truly be attributed to cinema, literature, folklore and largely a poem by Clement Clark Moore "Twas The Night Before Christmas".

In the poem "Twas The Night Before Christmas", Clement Clark Moore first gave the names to the reindeers which drove Santa's Sleigh and made an image of a twinkle-eyed, pot bellied jovial gift giver. Santa and his reindeers have since been part of folk-lore being there to wash away trouble and sadness and bring joys to the lives of rich and poor children alike! How they came from the North pole is another story!

Here's more on Santa!

Thursday, 4 December 2008

How To Make Pasta

I guess how I made Pasta would be a more appropriate title for this post! Anyways, here it goes...

I was having a small get-together, a kind of mini kitty party a few days back and I decided to make pasta (with sauce and all of course). For some unknown reason (after all I had never tried to make pasta before), I decided it was the easiest thing to prepare. So, I went about shopping the evening before.


I picked up the best-looking packet of macaroni, a can of baked beans, a tinned mushroom, a tin of tomato puree. Then I looked at the cheese available and found just the right thing, a packet of grated cheese. See, I had done my research on the net. I had found a dozen recipe of pasta. Its another matter that none of them advised putting all these stuff together. I also picked up bottles of garlic salt and white pepper.

Just as I was leaving, I was suddenly assailed by doubts (a rare thing, but there…) I got a packet of noodles and some perfectly cut frozen vegetables as well as a bottle of soya sauce – to make noodles if worse came to worst!

I started my pasta at midnight after bundling off the kids to bed, the party being scheduled for the morning.

Cooking The Perfect Pasta

As per instructions on the net, I would need 5 liters of water to boil 500g of Pasta. I found my biggest pan could hold just 3 litres. I made do. The water had to boil first. That went fine. Then sidle in the macaroni into the boiling water. Yes, please don’t throw it in, the water’s boiling, the pan’s full, just coax in the pasta, unless you have a preference for getting scalded! Keep mixing it, so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom. One really has to be careful. The best instruction I found online said that, take a bite and remove the pasta just when you feel the softness is as you would like to eat it. There is some philosophy somewhere here. So many things in life are that simple!

I removed and drained the the macaroni onto a colander. I kept aside some of the liquid to use in the sauce. You will find there is very little liquid left when 500gms pasta is boiled in 3 ltrs of water!

Pasta Sauce

Next step was to prepare the pasta sauce. I put two tbs of butter into a pan, then scraped some garlic cloves into the pan. Then I sprinked garlic salt and white pepper. I added the mushrooms from the can (drained), then emptied a 200 gm tin of tomato puree. The paste seemed to be very very thick. So I added the reserve water I had kept aside and let the mixture simmer. It was a real pungent taste. I realized too late that the tomato puree was really thick and just 3-4 spoons would have sufficed. So I had to keep on adding water to get the right consistency! So I had a huge pan full of pasta sauce. I made some white sauce next. I am not going to describe the process. Oh, well. I boiled some milk (200 ml), added some butter and mixed in 2 tsp of white flour. Is that white sauce? Well, I always prepare it that way…

Final Dressing

Now for the finale. I mashed 3 medium sized potoes which I had previously boiled. I brought out my largest casserole (I was not really prepared for the huge quantity). Then I poured in the macaroni. Added the mashed potatoes, the baked beans (with the juice), the white sauce. The pasta was still dry. I added the sauce I had prepared. I realized I needed just one-fifth of the prepared quantity! But I strained out all the mushroom from the sauce to add to the pasta. I mixed in all the contents, cooled it and stored it away. I entire process lasted one and half hours, including preparation time.

Just before serving the next day, I took out the amount needed onto another much smaller carsserole, sprinkled the grated parmesan cheese on top and heat it in the microwave till the cheese melted.

So there, I had my pasta ready (so what if we all had to eat pasta for 3 days!) and it really, surprisingly tasted good!

Try it, and tell me the results! Just remember 500 gm pasta would maybe feed around 15 persons as a snack, and my party was just for 5 people.

And now the family has started on the noodles (remember the packet I got as back-up)!!! But that recipe is another story.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Weight Loss Through Wuyi Tea - A Magic Diet!

Is Wuyi tea truly a magic diet weight loss formula? Looking for slimming plans (as I usually do at least once a month :-) I came across what is being claimed as a magic weight loss plan, the Wu Yi diet tea. The plan is simple. Just two cups of Wuyi tea a day, 30 minutes of walking, normal balanced diet.

What exactly is Wuyi tea? It’s the tea grown in the volcanic Wuyi mountain region. Wuyi Mountain is located in Southeast China. It is a Unesco heritage site and the cradle of neoconfucianism. The setting of Wuyi mountains, the nutrient rich trapped soil, the high humidity and provide the perfect environment for tea from that region. Tea from the Wuyi Mountains is being exported for centuries. The Chinese take their tea seriously. Drinking tea is almost a spiritual act. The tea is savoured and taken in small clay thimbles with both hands in the traditional Chinese way. The ancient Chinese believed this tea to be a cure for many ailments.

The most famous Wuyi Tea, Da Hong Pao is grown in only three bushes which accounts for its exhorbitant price (if its available!) Xing Hong Pao is grown from the branches of the smaller red robe trees which are descents of the original three red robe trees.

So why is the Wuyi tea believed to be a diet tea? Possibly because the caffeine in the tea raises the body’s metabolic rate? The tea in itself contains very little calories and should be taken in lukewarm water. Wuyi tea, in addition contains higher levels of polyphenols and thus has high antioxidant properties which are attributed to protect from a variety of diseases (the ancient Chinese medics prescribed them often). It also is supposed to be responsible for increasing body metabolism, which may account for the weight loss properties.

There are many resources on Wuyi tea on the Net. Here is one.

Play Escape The Hotel Online

Here is a free online game Escape The Hotel. Play Escape the Hotel online and Enjoy!

Play Games at AddictingGames