My World

Just a place for my thoughts and views…..

Wandering Taste Buds – New Blog

leave a comment »

I would like to tell my readers that we have started a blog exclusively on travel and Food. Please checkout our new blog “Wandering Taste Buds”. Visit http://wanderingtastebuds.com . Do give your feedback on the posts. Happy Reading 🙂

Advertisements

Written by Priyanka Varma

August 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Posted in travel

Tagged with

Good Old Summer Days!!!

with 5 comments

Last Sunday I was at one of my friend’s place and was just peeping through the small window in his apartment. It was a sunny day just like any other scorching summer day. I stood for an hour staring at a small old-designed house with an open verandah with around 5-6 kids sitting and playing carrom. Even the parents were sitting besides them and watching them play. As soon as the sun started setting, the kids came out of the house and started playing cricket.

That scene took me back to my childhood – Myself and my 2 younger brothers sitting on the floor around the carom-board with my dad and mom inside the house. All doors and windows closed with curtains pulled to not let the hot air into the house or even a ray of the sun. You could hear the strong hot winds blowing outside. Sipping chilled lassi in the glass we would play for hours and also talk about our friends, school and studies. This was a regular scene each and every day of our Summer holidays.

The only difference would be that carom would sometimes be replaced with Chess, Ludo, Snake and Ladder, Monopoly, Checkers, Scrabble or Brainvita. And instead of cold lassi we might be relishing nimbu pani or sattu mixed in water with salt and lemon or the evergreen ruhafza or Rasna or watermelon or some sharbat, custard or icecream.

As the sun would start setting we would be allowed to sneak out of the house to the big playground in front of the house or to the terrace. And then would start the evening outdoor game either cricket or badminton with my dad , brothers and the friends in our neighborhood. Those were one of the real moments that we enjoyed in our life and thinking about them really took me back to the good childhood days.

The days when only people that meant to us was our parents and our brothers and sisters. And there’s so much to remember about.

Written by Priyanka Varma

March 1, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Posted in General

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Pani Puri, Golgappa, Phuchka – Memories around it !!!

with 12 comments

I was sitting at my home flipping through a book and enjoying the nice rain when suddenly a temptation to eat something ‘chatpata‘ made my taste buds restless. Keeping the book aside my foodie soul woke up and placed floating images of ‘garam pakoda‘, ‘samosa‘ in front of my eyes. Seeing those mouth watering images the eyes gleamed, but I was in no mood to cook for myself. So I consoled my foodie soul and was back to my book.

But the taste buds were really getting restless and again a sudden temptation arose to have the ‘pani puris’. Waited for the rain to stop and stepped out of the house in search of the ‘panipuriwaala’. Just next to my street on the main road are 2-3 of them. Circling around the stand were 4 of us with our plates. Gulping one paani puri, waiting for another round I savoured them. My soul was filled with the satisfaction after gulping 10 of those and then one “Churmur Chaat“.

While having those pani puris, I was remembering the paani puri bhaiya who used to have stall at our school. I know him for now 21 long years. Still his face is fresh in my mind and the speed with which he used to serve those pani puris.

Flashback…

A man with his thela( its a vehicle with four wheels and gets pushed to move) which carried a box full of paani puri and few other vessels enters the main gate of the school. Pushes his vehicle till the big playground under a tree and places his gaadi with other gaadi of Dosa/Idli and icecream waala. Little girls playing in the playground turn their faces as if waiting for him, runs towards him and stands around the gaadi in a circle. Atleast 20 of them around the gaadi and bhaiya in the center with his fast moving hands serving one by one. You will not believe but by the time you are still relishing the first paani puri, he would have placed the second one. The fast moving hands were so good at their work.

Enjoyed the 10 years of his paani puri when I was in school. Seen the price rise from 4 pieces for 25 paise to 2 pieces for 2 rupees but he continued serving with the same speed and same taste. In those days there was not much concept of  pocket money. I used to cycle to school , so I used to get some money for the puncture , air filling etc. Saving from those or sometimes faking a puncture would arrange for the pani puri.

Till 2 years back I met him and tasted his pani puris. We knew the place where he used to place his gaadi in the evening after school. Whenever we went back from our college we used to visit him and he would also recognize our faces with his old eyes. And still served with the same dedication.

I am sure all the Notre Dame Students from Patna would remember him. Sometimes people who might not be anything to us might be something and we might have lots of memories around them. I know you will not read this but we really enjoyed your pani puri :). Your memories dominates a great part of our school life. And now I realize that whenever I have gone with any of my friends to have pani puri at other places I have always mentioned about you telling I have never  tasted the ones by you and the speed with which you served.

Back to the Present…

Oh that was only the first pani puri that I gulped. It got digested too and now the time for the second piece. Another customer standing there says “Sir mere ko akele alag se khilao. Mazaa nahi aa raha hai. Wo jaldi jaldi khilao to mazaa aata hai.” (Sir please serve me separately. I am not able to enjoy. If you serve fast then it is fun). I give him a smile and walk away.

Just a post remembering someone. 🙂

Written by Priyanka Varma

October 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Life Story of a Eunuch through a Book !!!

with 10 comments

Stopping at the traffic signals I had always wanted to know more about them. I watched them walk and approaching the male riders and drivers, clapping hands and asking for money. I often had discussion with my bus mate or bike mate keeping me perplexed about them. I always had this question in mind -who are they how they are like this,  how difficult their life would be , whether to give them money or not when they are begging. I had wanted to read more about them.

It was one of those usual days when all the books that I had was read and wanted to get few  more. I was browsing through Flipkart.com for buying few books. My friend had generously parted away with his parting gift of the Flipkart gift coupon of 2000 INR . Thanks to the Kindle that he owns that I got those gift coupons 🙂 . Browsing through the list of books on flipkart, I got few interesting books related to travel, non -fictions and classics. One of the books which caught my attention was an autobiography “The Truth About Me – A Hijra Life Story by A. Revathi “. Finally I got something to read about them. I added it to cart. Due to Flipkart fast delivery all my book were there in next 48 hours.

I started reading “The Great Railway Bazar by Paul Theroux” – another interesting book on travel journey. Meanwhile another friend who doesn’t have much inclination towards reading wanted to read a book. I have a collection of few books. I asked him to select and he picked the autobiography of Eunuchs(Hijra). As I was reading another book, I let myself part with the book.  He finished reading the book in 2 days. Imagine a non lover of books finishing the book in 2 nights 🙂 – Must be really a book which would keep you fully engrossed.

He started discussing what he read about the eunuchs. I got the book from him and started reading. The way it has been written you feel the images/pictures moving in front of your eyes. The ordeal which she had to go through which make you shiver while reading the book. The book is all about the author’s first hand experience of her life and her fellow hijra friends. Its all about from her childhood till date. She says “she felt like a woman captured in the body of a man” . And its all about the small desires and feelings she had and all the ordeals she had to go through in her home and outside. A very moving autobiography which gives you insights about how a hijra(eunuch) life is. There are only very very few happy moments and most of others are depressing and sad.

Here are few excerpts from the book:

This confused me – I was a boy and yet I felt I could love other boys. Was this right or wrong? I could not talk to anyone about my confusions. Not to my brothers, or my parents. Nor could I stop my heart from wandering and so I went about as if crazed. I was fed up of being teased

We got stared at a lot. People asked out loudly- some out of curiosity, others out of malice- whether we were men or women or “number nines” or devadasis. Several men made bold to touch us, on our backs, on our shoulders. Some attempted to grab our breasts. “Original or Duplicate?” they shouted and hooted. At such moments I felt despair and wondered if there would ever be  a way for us to live with dignity and make a decent living

We want to live as women, and if we are granted the facilities that enable us to do so, we’ll live as other women do. We were not born to beg or do sex work. Circumstances, family laws and social hatred have left us with no course but to beg and do sex work. Our parents begot us like they did other children. We are also human.”

The author A. Revathi is currently a writer , actor and activist based in Bangalore. She works with Sangama – NGO which works for the human rights of sexual minorities. I guess our government needs to come up with programmes for them and also have them come to mainstream society and work as normal similar to the other countries. This would also bring a change in attitude of people towards them.

Must Read book to know about the other community of people living with us. If we know about them, then we know to respect them. I really recommend this book to all so that we know how we as a society has added pains and difficulties to their life. Hats off to the author !!!

The Truth About Me

The Truth About Me

Written by Priyanka Varma

September 25, 2011 at 3:54 am

Posted in Society

Tagged with , , , ,

The Gift !!!

with 12 comments

“Thank you Sister” were the words of an 11 year old girl named Abhirami.  I couldn’t guess what the words were for and asked her. “I got an A grade and my sister got A+ grade in English. Thank you Sister!!! “. And just a day before that I was pondering on the question “Is it really helping with what or how we are doing with the kids “. I am not sure whether her grade was a direct result of our teaching as I am not even aware of last year result. But the words were enough to motivate you.

And 2 days after that when I went to the place (Desire Society) she was again there telling me in Kannada ” Sister I want to learn more and more English. Also teach me Hindi” and there she came with an English story book and Hindi notebook ready to learn everything. The way she told reflected her crave for learning.

The change might be slow and gradual but there was a change – an interest kindling to learn something, a curiosity to know more about things around them.

This gift was not enough for the day. There was another gift also which I received from a 4-year old girl Ganga. As soon as I had entered the gate she seemed to be waiting for me and called me “Sister Banni(Kannada word for Come)”. I followed her small footsteps and she sat on the stairs asking me to sit. And gave me a flower carefully wrapped in a piece of paper and an Eclairs with a white piece of cloth calling it a handkerchief. Another Smile for the day :).

🙂

May be I am not able to express my feelings in my words. But sometimes when not everything is going good with you or you are not satisfied with what you are doing the small things like this give you a smile on your face and the motivation which you need to move ahead.

Written by Priyanka Varma

April 18, 2011 at 6:33 am

2010 – Moments, Memories, Friends !!!!

with 8 comments

2010 just passed a few hours ago. Time to reminisce the year. This was one of the most eventful year with

Few friends, moments 2010

Few friends, moments 2010

ups and downs to the extremes. Lots of ups and downs, lots of activities, new friends, old friends, new people, good moments with few hitches.  Reminiscing only the good moments but the hitches and tough moments were also in one way good ones adding different colours to life and teaching few things. All is a sweet memory now.  Biding  2010 a farewell with a video with few good moments which I was part of and people who were there throughout the journey in 2010.

Wishing myself and you all a very happy new year 2011 !!!! 🙂

Written by Priyanka Varma

January 1, 2011 at 6:02 am

Posted in General, life

Tagged with , , , ,

Is it a Miracle?

with one comment

The heartbeat stopped , the pulses dropped, the body becomes blue. The doctor declares that the person is no more. 10 minutes later some movement observed as if struggling back to life. Doctors in action but still having no hopes and says “Only a miracle can happen”.  2 days without much hopes and now after 2 days a ray of hope. Is it a miracle or medical expertise or the person willpower. Whatever it is I pray for your well being.

Though I am not there with you but for last 2 days I have been feeling restless and worried getting the updates on phone only.  I don’t believe in God worship but somehow it naturally happened that I was just praying that you be all well. Some people  need you, need you to be with them.

Written by Priyanka Varma

November 25, 2010 at 6:52 am

Posted in Feelings

Tagged with ,