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Kuppies it is- For the Love of Brownies

Kuppies it is- For the Love of Brownies

“Fabulous is health, happiness, home and cake….”

Childhood memories are some of the most precious keepsakes to hold dear to your heart—especially as you grow up. And I feel that one of the best thing, to tie up our past- the dear sweet memories, is food.

A few weeks ago I attended a birthday party of a friend. Noticing the brownies that were displayed on the table, my hostess – a woman in her late thirties- and I suddenly launched into reminiscences about the cakes that we ate in our childhood. They were those yummy brownies that were baked by an Anglo-Indian neighbour of ours, in a traditional home oven. Those were the days in the eighties, when cakes would seldom be available in stores, except for a few local bakeries of course. And brownies- well they just had to be made at home. You wouldn’t find them at all.

Mrs. D’Cruz, whose generosity filled our childhood days with fond memories, used to have an old fashioned oven in her kitchen that could produce over a dozen odd brownies at a go. Moist and soft, these brownies would be a favorite of almost all the children in the colony. I still remember the aroma that wafted through her kitchen window, as we eager kids hung outside. And at first call we would line up inside. Within minutes her entire tray would be gone in a jiffy. As my friend and I sat recalling at least there different types of brownies made by Mrs. D’Cruz, our face expressions bore a strange look of dismay. Clearly, at the moment my friend (a great cook herself) was missing the experience of not only seeing such brownies, but also their taste. We hadn’t even started the meal, yet we were having a “mouth-feel memory”.

Cake is a powerful tool for memory, especially if it is a brownie. The sight of the brownie transported us back to our past. It was a complex physiological process of appetite fuelled by the anticipation of tasting its sugar- and fat-rich deliciousness, a yearning for a long gone home. Alas, nor do we have our Mrs. D’Cruz around, nor did we possess the skill to bake something like that. The store bought ones too lacked the desired texture and taste sought. We did find a few in some obscure niche bakery in Delhi, but we had to shell out an exorbitant amount to dig our teeth into it.

It kind-off seemed to me that my next gen may hardly get to indulge in this divine sweetness, of a rich fudgy chocolate brownie. Until the day I spotted Kuppies!

It was a visit to the largest hypermarket chain in India- Bigbaazar, that first introduced me to Kuppies. It was an attractive red box, that was hygienecially packed, each containing twelve yummy chocolate brownies. The brownies were wrapped in a single-serve package, which I quite liked as it gave the flexibility to enjoy the Brownie as per my convenience. Soft to feel, the first bite of the brownie, gave me this intense chocolate burst in my mouth Ah! It was divine. It was fudgy, moist and was loaded with choco chips. I was transported back in an instant to my child hood days. I checked the pack to see if probably it was Mrs. Dcruz making them. But how could I forget it’s been a decade since she was dead and gone.

Genie in The Box????? OH NO! They are Brownies in a Box

I did my study to understand the marvel behind the brownies. Kuppies is a Dessert Brand based in Delhi/NCR, India, which sells packaged snack cakes & similar desserts.  The packaging was hygienic and manufactured under hygienic conditions. They are 100% vegetarian and could be consumed by one and all.  Nitrogen is flushed into each Brownie pouch before sealing it to ensure freshness and longer shelf life. The three-layer packaging protects the Brownie from contaminants. Each wrapper is labeled with complete ingredients and nutrition facts all as per FSSAI guidelines.  It guarantees you freshness for sixty days. But the flavor that lingers in your mouth- well that would be for a lifetime.

I did crave for more. Kuppies brownies seemed to be the missing link to my childhood. I could now relive every bit of those days, as I bite into its soft fudgy texture. So the next time I would be at my local store or hyepermart in Delhi/NCR I would be picking up more for sure. What about you?

Why Do We Use a Handkerchief?

Why Do We Use a Handkerchief?

If you thought handkerchiefs are used for personal hygiene reasons and, well,  it is sort of unsightly to wipe your nose on your sleeve, then you do need to think again. This morning Delhi taught me otherwise. Sitting in an autorikshaw and travelling from RK Puram to Paharganj I learnt the greatness of this tiny piece of cloth that stays in our pockets through the day.

A handkerchief is surely an indispensible tool, being a part and parcel of us, wherever we go daily. No wonder I noticed sellers in Paharganj market seated with their baskets loaded with them. You could easily afford a dozen, beautiful ones, the plain whites, or checkered for the men and, lovely floral prints for the lady. In my one hour of commute, I noticed multiple uses of this cotton cloth. You could randomly throw it through the window of a slow moving bus, to secure a comfortable seat for your journey. For those who intend to be the “Goonda”, secure it around your neck to intimidate people.  Want to send a message to your beloved? Simply write a letter or a song, and wrap it in a stone and fling it to them. These are uses we all are already aware of, right? But what about these two?

For here was a gentleman I encountered-  Ihe traffic police at the circle. Dressed in his customary full sleeve white shirt and blue trousers, he took a break from the continuous stream of traffic to blow his nose in full public. Where was his hankie? Oh wait I did spot it come out, right after the deed was done to wipe his hands of the remains. Ah! The hankie put to good use. For all other things, the Indian roads are always there.

At the next turn, I spotted a young college kid at the bus stand. I saw her mouth move in motion,  chewing probably what was once a juicy gum. As a shiny red bus approached , I noticed her quickly pick up her hankie and place it on her mouth. The chewing had stopped. Hankies as storage containers?

The hankie is surely a vital tool with multiple utilities. It is a small thing that easily fits into any pocket. So why really soil them with something as silly as nasal discharges, right?

Featured Image: For representation purpose only(Source: thehindu.com)

 

When in Delhi, Mehendi the Dilli Way

When in Delhi, Mehendi the Dilli Way

There’s something about these Mehendiwalas in Delhi. With a fabulous imagination of dazzling designs, and dexterity in skills, they are surely unmatched. 

WP_20160526_003Generally migrants from nearby places such as Rajasthan, Varanasi or Agra, all that these guys need to invest in are a couple of cones containing the mehendi mixture, two low lying stools/moda and try to manage a bit of space in a bustling market place. And it would be business time for them. However harsh the weather is- well Delhi could touch 45 degrees centigrade in summer and drop as low as 5 degrees centigrade in winters- these guys could always be spotted, calling out to you to get your hands and legs adorned. Arabic, Bombay, South Indian, pots and peacocks, these form the main feature of ethnico designs. You express your desire and in a matter of minutes mehendi designs would be laid out on your palms or feet.

From the plethora of mehendiwalas across the city, I handpicked a few spots that gave me the best feel of the art on my hands. 

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  • Central Market, Lajpat Nagar- This is considered a one-stop shop in Delhi. You could practically get anything under the sun here. From home décor to clothes, to appliances to beauty products. Amidst the chaotic atmosphere of this market, you could spot Mehendiwalas or ‘Henna appliers’ seated along the pathways. Most of them offer a number of exquisite designs. I did a bit of haggling here and managed to get a single floral pattern hand mehendi design for Rs. 50. It was a pretty neatly done job I must say, without any overlapping or smudges.
  • Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh Market- This is a popular destination for very-affordable but high quality garments.  I spotted a couple of mehendiwalas near the Karol Bagh Metro station and asked them what their specialty was. He thrust a few laminated photographs into my hand and told me to choose from the Kundan mehendi design and the Zardozi mehendi. I gave it a shot and ended up spending around a 1000 bucks. If you are in Delhi to attend a wedding, these guys could well do the job of adorning your hands with perfection.
  • Dilli Haat- where the class crowd goes to shop. Lined with cottage emporium natured shops, this is a place where you could find handicrafts, handlooms and art from across every state in India. It surely is a visual delight and a cultural epicenter in Delhi. I found the mehendiwalas in Dilli Haat way too expensive though, thanks to the influx of international tourists here. I haggled a bit but could not come bring it down to a reasonable amount. But if you do want to soak in the cultural atmosphere, and don’t mind spending, do stretch your hand out to him.
  • Rajouri Gardens- Probably one of the most expensive mehendiwalas I encountered. He claimed to be a specialist in Bridal Henna and could adorn two hands till the elbow and your legs till the knees in an hour.
  • Paharganj- The earliest of mehendiwalas exist in this area, probably due to the proximity to the station. I found them to be the most cost effective. Charges were nominal from 100 to 1500 as per the design you choose.

So the next time you are in Delhi, take a pick and do try these out.

Patriotism On Republic Day #AtoZChallenge

Patriotism On Republic Day #AtoZChallenge

pPatriotism is not just the proud feeling for your country. Patriotism is not just supporting your country in cricket. Patriotism is not just about, a day. It is all this and much more. When the feeling of patriotism encompasses you, you realize it is also all about doing your bit in your day to day living for the land you belong to, for the country that gave you your identity. That’s my take.

Lucky was I last year, to witness the 66th Republic Day parade. “A” managed to get some passes for the parade. My initial reaction was, “Do I really need to attend?” I mean, of course it’s a lovely affair and there would be a VVIP chief guest too. But I could still watch it from the comforts of my home feeling all warm and sipping coffee. But “A” convinced me saying not always do you get VIP passes. You shouldn’t really give this a miss. So braving the cold windy weather, I was all up and ready on 26th morning to witness the parade.

My first reaction when I reached Rajpath on 26th was- “Oh My God”. Is this the same Rajpath, we have driven by umpteen number of times? A beautiful sight indeed welcomed me. Ah… so it looks like I am going to like this. I soon realized there was more in store for me that day. The parade was lovely, and words aren’t really enough to describe the color and splendor. It was wonderful to see this “live”. Definitely the television fails to capture all the beauty around. The marching contingents, dances and tableaus sure left me spell bound. Aircrafts MIG29s, Sukhois, whizzed over my head.

Being there and seeing it all on 26th Jan, I actually felt the fragrance of patriotism. It was all around me. And I felt good and refreshed. I am now glad I attended the event, instead of being lazy in front of the television.

 

Driving in Delhi- My Tryst #AtoZChallenge

Driving in Delhi- My Tryst #AtoZChallenge

dDriving on the roads in India surely requires some sort of a supreme skill. And I simply just don’t seem to get this. My sense of the road and geography is generally pretty poor. So recently dear Hubby (whom I shall refer to as “A”) was most kind to give me the much needed driving lessons in the morning on the streets of Delhi. The regime was to drive my elder kiddo to school, with “A” guiding me through the roads. The route isn’t very complicated or difficult. A straight road with minimal turnings, all across Shanti path, till we hit school on Malcha Maarg near the Chinese Embassy. So off we all get ready, including my little one, in A’s prized car on a warm summer morning in Delhi.

Everything through the way seems ok to me except when I encounter these big circles with 3-4 exit points. And then all hell breaks loose. How the hell am I supposed to navigate and give indicators here? Panic stricken I randomly switch the left and then the right, much to A’s frustration and irritation. He is generally a pretty cool person, except when it comes to teaching me driving. I get paranoid when I encounter another vehicle cutting lanes. I profusely sweat, not knowing how to handle the situation.

I wonder what it is with driving for me. Why do I fear it so much? Maybe it is something to do with the fact that, I have never driven any vehicle (yes… not even a cycle) for the first 25 year of my life. And here I am now stuck on Delhi roads, trying to still get confident behind the wheel.

Temple Under The Filth

Temple Under The Filth

I drove slowly into the street, searching for the little Ram Mandir I had heard about from Mrs. Kumar. She had said, “Though it is a small temple, it is clean and pious. You get a calm feeling here.” As I had some time at hand this evening, I decided to explore this little temple I had never visited, though it existed in my neighborhood.

My car inched its way up the street. I followed the directions Mrs. Kumar had given me, yet I could not locate the temple. The only thing that I noticed was the stench. Where was the temple? I drove till the end of the road, turned around and re-did the whole route. But nowhere was a little temple in sight. Was I missing something? That’s when I noticed the tree. It had sacred bits of thread and cloth wound around it. The temple was beside.

I had found it at last… and was I happy? NO!

There below the holy tree lay strewn, garbage in polythene.

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The Holy Tree Outside the temple

Braving myself after what I saw around the temple, I walked inside. The white marble floor felt cool in the evening chill of Delhi. I spotted the priest and asked him why the filth lay around. He said they were the offering that was made the previous day to the deity on the occasion of Chhath puja. I closed my eyes and walked out. There wasn’t an aorta of piousness there.

Celebrations and festivities are something we all look forward to. There are traditionally followed rituals and customs that are adhered to. It sure is the time to pray, eat, and celebrate with family and friends. But why is it that after every festival day, we are unable to cope with the garbage we generate?

This was especially noticeable the day after Diwali. My morning walk was a nightmare that day. I saw strewn all across the pavement and road, in affluent colonies, packets and boxes discarded after the fireworks inside were consumed.

We Indians are very particular about our traditional practices and customary rituals. How I wish we were equally particular in clearing up the muck we generate.

Back From a Break… Back With a Bang

Back From a Break… Back With a Bang

So it was a week-long break for me and the kids… A week cut off from the world of the internet, social media and blogging. How hooked we are to this virtual world. I have spent the entire morning clearing emails, replying to comments on my blogs, tweeting and scrolling through Facebook. Phew!!! A good two hours gone by!!

And it was just a week of absence. The first few days of this holiday, made me feel jittery. I havent blogged, I hadn’t replied to mails. As the week slowly progressed, I kind off got used to it. I actually didnt really seem to miss anything… until this morning. S back i am at my desk. A lovely spring morning in Delhi. My gardens full a bloom with the most beautiful Dalias. My minds fresh with ideas. I so look forward to the next few weeks of my life. …

Linking with  http://www.writetribe.com/write-tribe-pro-blogger-challenge/
A visit, a carnival and ….

A visit, a carnival and ….

Oh what a weekend !!! Ofcourse it’s just Saturday night and already an action packed weekend.

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Yesterday being Friday, I visited an aunt of mine at CP (Connaught Place) with my two girls. CP- what a place. A walk on Janpath and a visit to Shankar Market, two musts if you are in Connaught Place. Shankar Market probably houses any kind of material you can even think of. Great bargains, loads of kurtis, salwars, stoles and dupattas. Coulorful apparels that would make your eyes pop out. Loved every bit of it. And Janpath- the Tibetan shops are good, but you sure have to bargain and haggle a bit. Nevertheless a must visit.

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Dont forget the famous Saravana Bhavan in CP. On a weekend, ensure you reach there early, or you’d have to wait outside for a minimum of an hour. The crowd is maddening and the food…. is awesoooooomme. You simply shouldn’t give it a miss when in CP.

Had a lazy Saturday morning start. My elder ones school had a Christmas Carnival. Kids had a blast. They love these silly trinkets and junk toys( i call them so) with light and cute little snowman.  With the winter setting in Delhi this is the best time of the year in Delhi,

WP_20141213_025 Tomorrow is the Sunday when “A” would be back from Russia after a two week trip. The girls are already super excited that Dad would be back. Happy to have hubby home, and it would be such a lovely sight to see the girls dig into his baggage for gifts and jumping all over him. These are life’s simple pleasures I love to experience. I don’t want these kind of moments to skip away. Want to hold them on and cling on to them….

But I know time will slowly pass by.