Monday, 31 October 2011

What's in a name????

How many of you have seen this fruit??? Eaten this fruit????

I had some for the 1st time a week back and it tasted terrible. Then I had some from the same basket around 2 days back and it tasted quite good.

What’s with the change of heart you are wondering????
Even if you are not…wondering I mean, I simply have to tell you.

I’ll start at the beginning.
A very good place to start.
When you read you begin you begin with ABC….

Fine, fine I’ll get on with it.

Every year our church celebrates something called the Harvest Festival. Back in the olden days when our forefathers were farmers and grew everything they needed from the earth they dedicated a day at church where they would give to God a portion of their fruits of labour. The Harvest Festival reminds Christians of all the blessings God gives them. And the idea is to share them with others who are not so fortunate. The day was also spent singing, prayer and giving thanks to God.

Cut to the present. All the above still happens but there is a carnival-like touch to the whole thing. The fruits of labour which we give the church is generally picked up from the supermarket and auctioned off at 3-4 times the actual price & the proceeds go to charity. The women organise the food stalls & the delicacies sell like hot cakes & the money goes to the needy. Not to be left out the youth install game-booths which again makes a lot of money and the proceeds….you get the drift, right.

Coming back to what I wanted to talk about…..the fruit in the picture. The auctioner holds a crate of this fruit high for everybody to take a good look at it & announces the fruit name & price & I was like what fruit did he say it was????

“Its called the kaaka fruit!!!” says cousin who was with me, very helpfully.

“What kind of fruit is that??? ” I ask.

“It’s very different, very tasty” she tempts me.

I had already picked up boxes of blackberries and mangosteen & thought I was done. Curiousity won.

So we join the circle of bidders once again. After some good-natured competitive bidding we bag the crate of kaaka fruit. They were bright orange in colour and looked just like tomatoes but with a thicker stem.

"Kaaka fruit, what a funny name Mama" say the kids eyeing the fruit doubtfully. I so badly wanted to agree with them.

When we reached home I cut a bowl of fruit and placed it on the table. The blackberries & mangosteen were so delicious it disappeared off the plate within minutes but the kaaka fruit remained. The kids made  faces when asked the reason. I tentatively tasted it. On the surface it tasted okay but a sort of bitter taste  followed & filled my mouth.

I went back to the kitchen and looked mournfully at the rest of the kaaka fruit. There were atleast 3kgs of it. How on earth was I going finish the rest of it? I muttered uncomplimentary stuff about my cousin’s taste in general, planning to call her & give her an earful.

I couldn’t bear to throw it out & so it languished in the fridge for around 1 week. Every time I saw it I kicked myself for being so impulsive. But I still didn’t throw it out. I couldn’t bear to….it didn’t look the least spoilt…infact it was a bright red now.

This weekend when I went grocery shopping I caught sight of a familiar fruit piled up high in the fruit section. I went across to check it out. Oh yes it was the very same kaaka fruit.

The board read:

Khaki fruit
[works out to rs.420/kg]

I’m not sure how long I stood there. I had never seen it before in the supermarket. Or maybe I never noticed it. A lot of people were standing around and buying them. Seemed like it was a seasonal fruit & not found all year long like the others and quite popular too.

Came back home & googled it.

Persimmon also known as the Kaki fruit is a deep orange, waxy fruit which is similar to a tomato in shape. Persimmons with light-colored flesh have astringent taste until they soften. The astringent taste is due to the presence of a large amount of tannin, the same substance found in tea. As the fruit ripens and sweetens the tannin disappears.
It is advisable to remove the skin before eating the flesh which, too, is bright orange. The best way to remove the thin skin of this fruit is by placing it under running water while scraping off the skin.

Health Benefits of Persimmon:

* Persimmons can help prevent cancer because it is high in vitamin A.

* Astingent taste of persimmon can help stops diarrhea, reduces sweating, and slows or stops bleeding.

* It is use as a traditional Chinese remedy for hiccups. Take 9 grams of calyx of the persimmon fruit and 3 grams of fresh ginger. Add water and steam for a few minutes and eat.

*It contain compounds known as shibuol and betulinic acid that are thought to have anti-cancer properties.

* A study conducted in Japan showed that the peel of the persimmon contains phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins which may protect cells against oxidative damage associated with aging.

Buying Tip: When choosing persimmons look for ones that have a deep red color, plump and without blemishes. Avoid ones that are hard if you plan on eating them immediately since the immature persimmon has a bitter taste. Ripeness is usually indicated by softness.

So yeah I’m eating them everyday. They are actually quite tasty……honest.

And I'm sure there is a lesson in it for me somewhere.

*I got the info about the fruit from here.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

She's all mine

We brought the new laptop home last weekend and I am soooo busy nowadays. I'm spending all my time caressing it lovingly and admiring it from every angle. I just dont have time to do anything else. Every time I look at it which is all the time, a beautific smile fills my face and my hands keep making these multiple namaste motions upwards. Looks like Khushi and her Devi maiyya movements are contagious. Ignore previous sentence if you don't watch Star Plus. Every morning my 1st thought is of my new laptop. The 1st two days I wasted so much time opening the laptop bag at the crack of dawn to check if it was still there.

It was;-D.

But the school bus wasn't;-(.

So now I content myself by blowing a quick kiss in its general direction before rushing off to attend to worldly matters. All through the day I'm preoccupied with the laptop or thoughts of it. At nights I carefully pack my heart’s desire into the neat looking bag they gave me and carry into the bedroom with me.

The old Compaq was everybodys. It still is.
But this baby....she's mine, only ma-ma-ma mine;-D.

I clean my new laptop like every 20 seconds. Nope I don’t do any other work. I have made other arrangements for that. No dust or germ is going to get a chance to sit on my precious. I have already kept aside a special scrap of cloth[umm…the soft cloth you get from the opticians for your glasses] for the same. So when I'm not admiring the features I'm gently dusting away non-existent dirt from its body. I used to smirk at the better-half when he forbade all of us from touching his new 42 inch LCD & would clean it all by himself. Now I know exactly how he must have felt. I have my heart in my mouth when the kids are man-handling my dil ka tukda[piece of my heart]. I have given them the strictest instructions...

* no carrying the laptop from one room to the other.

* no eating or drinking allowed when you are using it

* no laughing loudly and passing envious comments

* You will get the laptop only after u finish your studies, keep your time-table, clean your room, clean the house and the bathrooms, water the plants, feed the dog........

Whaaat...we dont have a dog???

Okay then feed the fish, have your bath and finish your dinner. By which time I'm fervently hoping that they are exhausted and just want to crash into bed.

You think I'm over-reacting.....huh if only you knew. When we did the initial rounds to check out the range of laptops I had no particular brand in mind. I just wanted a something, anything which was faster than the one we had at home. And yeah I wanted a windows OS, thats it. Gradually the sales-pitch started making sense to me and I was now very keenly observing all brands. One brand stood out; both looks and features-wise. And the price reflected it;-(. The more we checked all of them out the more I kept loitering around this particular model.

The better-half by now had it all planned; a Toshiba was a good buy he said. Seems like it was the Nokia of Laptops; it had a good lifespan, even if it fell somwhere it will not affect the working of the system. And the price was so reasonable that we could also pick up an ipad2 and still not cause any undue stress on our budget.

The kids whooped in delight. And I had to agree reluctantly. I didn’t have anything concrete against the model except that it looked big & bulky & the colours were not really attractive.

Alright so I was biased.

My eyes kept turning to the other corner where my heart’s desire was beckoning me. The better-half took one look at my expression and knew. In hindsight now I realise how badly he wanted to pick up the ipad. He tried his luck one last time; took me all around the room asking me to pick any other brand. We saw Dell, HP, Packard Bell, Samsung, so many others in the same range. They all looked good; I knew he was talking sense & finally told him to pick up what he thought was the best. Nope not bitter or anything, just resigned, disappointed and a little sad.

And just like that the better-half gave up and soon we were back at the counter where the one I wanted was displayed. The sales guy at that counter grinned knowingly. My hero doesn’t know it but I had very James Bondishly told the guy 'I'll be back' earlier. Or was it Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator who said that. Anyways…

I was now feeling all guilty and wrestling with my conscience....

Good Nancy [dressed in white flowing gown & with beautiful wings]: Listen to him, he is right.....Toshiba is sturdier, even if it falls there is no lasting damage.

Wicked Nancy[robed in black, bald with red horns]: So??? You are not going to be making a habit of throwing your laptop around the place are you????

Good Nancy: If you buy this the ipad won’t happen.

Wicked Nancy: Studies are priority, an ipad will only distract the children. Not buying it is not the end of the world.

Good Nancy: They'll be disappointed.

Wicked Nancy: Ohhhh yes that they will be and they won’t let you forget it anytime soon and I'm soo going to enjoy that buahahahaaaaaaa.......

Was jerked back to earth when I felt the kids pulling at my hands & jumping excitedly....

Huh...what the….

Seems like the laptop came with a free MP3 player, a Cross Pen, a 16GB vault and 1 yr free McAfee anti-virus + a neat looking bag for the laptop…..courtesy GITEX.

You are not going to believe this but the kids forgot all about the ipad when they heard about the MP3 player. I know, I know. They are weird. Just like me. Whoever chooses a music player ahead of an IPAD. The thing is...the kids have been asking of an MP3 player for a long time now because all their friends have it. So the thought of getting their dream gadget completely obliterated thoughts of the ipad. The better-half’s heaven-ward look of disbelief was hilarious.

So it was one happy family which trooped back home that night. Oh yes even better-half was. His funda is simple; if family happy, he also happy.

Yup thats my funda too....if I'm happy, my family also happy.

Here’s a glimpse of my beautiful, beautiful ……machine.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

No particular reason

Feeling very sad.

No particular reason.


Wandering room to room.

It’s so quiet.

Feel like having Bebinca*.

Ages since I had some.

Laptop is sooo slow.

Have nothing much to say anyway.

Nobody called me today.

Better-half did though

for some mundane detail.

Ate a squishy kiwi.

I want to climb a mountain.


Breathe in pure, unpolluted air.

He called again.

Asked me to check out laptops.

I sat upright.

Sometimes I think he can read my mind.

Gitex** or not,

He’s the best, the better-half.

Mamma mia played in the background.

Sang along.

Loaded washing machine.



Calms the soul.

Jagjit Singh, we’ll miss u.


Changing weather.

Must start going for walks.


And evenings,

maybe some skipping too.

Yeah right;-S.

The Phone.

It was my Friend.

Laughed together.

Rebooted laptop.


Dare I pass it off as a post.

[if anybody is looking for rhyme or reason in the above post let me assure you there is none. Just told u about my morning, the short-cut way].

*goan delicacy

** GITEX is an annual consumer computer & electronics trade show[read massive discounts & freebies] which takes place in Dubai

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

TP, CT & PT*

Dear Manu,
Hope u guys enjoyed dinner at our place!!!! I'm sorry I didnt serve too many snacks as I was afraid you'll be stuffed and won't eat the dinner I slaved over. From where I stand I pronounce it a success...well the kids didn’t approach us with their grievances even once;-o.

Dear Baskin Robbins,
What is the neccessity to set up shop in every corner???? At any given location the kids sniff you out and then proceed to make my life miserable until I agree to get some.

Dear Jigsaw puzzle makers,
I've completed 80% of your puzzle but am going all crossed eyed trying to piece the sky together. There simply has got to be an easier way.

Dear mama,
Do your exam well. Don’t waste time looking here & there. Answer every question whether u know it or not. Dont forget to recheck your paper to see if u've missed anything. If u come back with less than 80% I'll not be very pleased.
[My mother was attempting an exam in church....I got the CT's repeating the same dialogues I heard all my life;-D]

Dear Pineapples,
I know I got you for a very low price but that doesn’t mean you have to all ripen at the same time;-/. My fingers are bone tired googling for all kinds of recipes.

Dear Maid,
Lifting the mats and vacuuming underneath will cost you only an extra minute of your time. What do you mean How???? Just bend, pick up mat, shake it, vacuum underneath, put mat back and vacuum over it.
Seeee it's so simple isn’t it. What???? Yes you have to do that way with all the 15 mats around the house. YES that will be 15 minutes.

Dear Blogger creators,
When are you going to settle all my complaints???? There are too many issues to mention, though for a start you could offer us a facility wherein we can respond to each comment individually.

Dear School authorities,
You guys are the best. Thanks for the tracking device which helps us follow the school bus all the way home. Now I don’t have to wait endlessly in the HOT sun for the bus to arrive.

Dear God,
You know me, a regular complaint box………..was just airing out a few of my grouses, and entertaining my blog friends with the weekly update. Thank You for all the blessings you have bestowed on me. Amen

Errr....Pineapple Trifle anyone???

* Title of the post : Time-pass, Cheap Thrills & Pineapple Trifle