Thursday, July 22, 2010

How much pain I had to go through to get my driving license -

I'm talking about the phase between when I arrived at the court and when I actually gave the test. It was torture, trust me. I arrived at sharp 12:30PM at the court as instructed by the person from Taraknath Driving School who taught me to drive all these days to find a huge crowd, waiting. I asked one of the instructors from the driving school, "When will our test start?", after half an hour of waiting in the sun. He told me that the people giving the test for the bike's license will start and finish off soon. So I waited & so did everyone else. After another half an hour, the bike test started & around 120 men and women with their respective bikes gave the test. Another hour passed and we stood, waiting. Right then, it started raining & right then they said the 'ladies' will give the car-driving test first. So, few of the the ladies jumped into the a common car which would be the vehicle on which our skills would be tested. And I, with one more girl, waited in the rain, thinking that it'll be our turn next, while the examiner disappeared somewhere.

When one and a half hour had passed and there was no sign of the examiner, off we all went to his office to protest only to find him peacefully having lunch while we were waiting for almost 4 hours. While others revolted, I went back to the venue of the exam and rushed to a Chaat stall with only ten bucks to spare and bought something and was on the verge of gobbling the whole thing up when the examiner called the 'ladies'(I had to throw one-fourth of the Chaat) and started asking them questions whose answers they had no clue about and the examiner failed most of them (including me) (Nobody had taught me or told me to learn HAND SIGNALS!). Actually, he was angry about the fact that we protested about standing for four hours in the sun and then in the rain while he ate lunch in his comfortable office.

In the meantime the men giving the test quickly learned the hand signals from an instructor and after a while the examiner stopped asking questions altogether and passed whoever could drive a bit. So again we went and requested him to let us give our tests and told him about how unfair he had been. Finally, he let us take the test which turned out to be nothing but pressing and releasing the accelerator and pretending to look backward when in reverse gear. Relieved, exhausted, wet, slightly embarrassed & hungry, we thanked him for giving us a second chance and finally left the court, pledging not to come back for a long time.

Well, I haven't got my license yet nor will I get it until mid-September! So until then I can't drive as they've taken away our learner's licenses as well. Let's just hope for the best.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This time for Africa

This was my first visit to Africa and I instantly fell in love with it (& no I didn't go to South Africa to watch the world cup, I went to Kenya for a safari). One word is enough to describe my trip- amazing! Well, it was not perfect (keeping in mind the mega-fight between me and my dad and the almost inedible food at Masai Mara and the broken aeroplane which we traveled in), but who pays much attention to these when you are lucky enough to see the Cheetah and the Leopard and when you can ogle at the king of the jungle for as long as you want to without fearing that he'll attack you.

During the trip, we got to see millions of animals, birds and flora. On the first day, in Nairobi, we went crazy when we set eyes upon the Malibu stork and crazier when we could feed the giraffes. Ben, our driver and tour guide assured us, the next day, that this was just the beginning. And truly it was. The next day was in Mount Kenya Safari Club which used to be a getaway for many well-known Hollywood stars. There, we saw two zebras and started clicking pictures vigorously, only to discover later that zebras were as common in Kenya as cows are in India. The third day, when we went to Lake Nakuru, I was bewildered to see what lay in front of me. Trillions of flamingos which had migrated earlier made the whole lake look pink, and there were several wild buffaloes(one of the big five), zebras, storks, cranes, ibises and others birds which enhanced the beauty of the surroundings of the lake. Later, that day we saw the rhinoceros(two-horned white) and a leopard (which made it three out of the big five). According to the guide this was the 'day of action' and rightly said so. Off we went to Masai Mara the next day and spent the next two days either in a modern tent or safariing on the 'Safari Trails' jeep. Excitement is what it was when we went in search for the other two among the Big Five and complete satisfaction is what it was when we got to see the whole silhouette of big-eared African elephants and the Lion (and his wives and kids), completing the quest for the big five. I also won't forget to mention the numerous hippos with their ears and nose sticking out of water that we saw or the ostriches, vultures, hyenas, jackals, hyraxes and various kinds of bovines(Wildebeests, Hartebeests, topis, elands, antelopes, gazelles, impalas, black bucks, etc.)

I love Africa's wildlife!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photography



Photography is not just an interest, it is a skill. Not everyone is blessed with it. Fortunately, I am, to an extent and that is why I like it. Whenever I get hold of a camera, I feel like clicking away. Photographs not only capture objects, places and people; it captures thousand and one memories. It captures people’s souls. It creates nostalgia, after years of having been to a lovely place or having clicked a snap with your then best friend. That is why I like it even more. And the most important reason for me loving photography is that I’m not photogenic, so I like to click others’ photographs but don’t line it have my picture taken.

It’s become a hobby lately, since my parents bought me a new camera and I love it. Photo-editing may sound more interesting, but photography is more thrilling. Therefore I have vowed to keep clicking until and unless the camera stops functioning. Photography is my passion!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Tomato-basil fish curry


Ingredients:
4 piece any firm fish
1 and a half cup tomato puree
6-7 garlic cloves
1 onion(small)
4 basil leaves
1/2 tsp. carom seeds(ajwain)
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 chillies(slit into two)
salt and sugar to taste
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 cup coriander leaves
water

Method:
Heat 1tbsp oil in a saucepan and fry the finely chopped garlic and onion till brown. Add the tomato puree and stir for a while. Add carom seeds, chillies, basil leaves, salt and sugar and mix well. Add about 1 cup of water and let the sauce boil for 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, the fish should be marinated in lemon juice and salt for about 15minutes. Heat a tbsp. of oil in a frying pan and place the fish pieces after the pan in heated and fry till both sides are golden brown. Now, the fish pieces are placed in the sauce and cooked for 2-3minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with boiled rice.

Bon App├ętit.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Driving Lessons

DAY 2: Yay! I'm learning to drive. In another 13days, I'll get my license. Now, I know what a clutch does and what the different gears mean! The clutch provides driving force to the driving mechanism. In other words, its just the antonym of a brake, which inhibits motion. And gears change the speed, magnitude, and direction of the power source.
Today was my second day and I did pretty well, I guess, because an auntie sitting on the backseat (who is a co-learner) was telling her son, "Yo baini le kya majja le gaari chalaaunchha." ("This girl drives so well.")...Hehe! Well, though it requires a lot of concentration while driving and I have to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to go for the driving sessions, I'm loving it! In few days presumably I will be an acceptable car-driver! After all, all that's left is to master reverse driving :D

DAY 3:
Yesterday was a Sunday and I had no idea that we don't have classes on Sundays. So, I went carrying my brand new polka-dotted umbrella at 6 in the morning to the pick-up place and stood like an idiot and came back after waiting for half an hour! Today, I was taught by a different instructor and hated him because I figured that he's the 'interfering' kind! He grabbed my hands many a time to show me how the gears are moved and I hated that! Plus, he interfered with the steering wheel. I didn't like driving today!

DAY 4 & 5: Day 4 and 5 were uneventful except the fact that I almost hit a bus on day 4.

DAY 6: Yay! The instructor praised me. He said, "You're driving well today!!"

DAY 7: Well, the session didn't go all that well because it was raining cats & dogs that day! To top it all, I got wet head to toe!

DAY 8: That stupid kid aged 14 whose is a co-learner hit a Bolero. Thankfully, nobody was hurt!