Friday, October 28, 2005

Breakfast Menu

I got a forward in the morning from someone about different Indian Breakfasts. It must have been written by a Mallu, coz the first Breakfast mentioned is the Kerala Breakfast and it starts like this

‘Kerala breakfast is adjudged as the 'best breakfast of the world' by some. ’

There were only a couple of items mentioned there, but when you have not had breakfast and read about some of your favorite dishes, it sure makes your mouth water. Being a Mallu myself, and since I am going home on a vacation for a week I thought I’d list out some of the things I’d like to have when I am home this time. My breakfast menu is influenced by me being a Christian and a Kochi /Trissur family.

‘Puttu with Kadala curry’ I have Puttu with Beef Curry, Papadam, and Banana, but Kadala Curry is my favorite.

Appam with Chicken/Mutton stew If you are in Trissur and it is a Sunday, do not miss out on this, you will find ladies outside their houses making and selling Appam (you have to make your own curry) for the early-morning Church goers on their way back home.

Idiyappam is another type of appam, and I like it with coconut milk and sugar.

Kappa, Meen Curry (Tapioca and Fish Curry), this is a bit too spicy to be having early in the morning, but it’s just too good to pass.

Kappa Biriyani, I have no idea how the name came around. It is just a Kappa and Beef cooked together. I had actually not heard about it when I was in Kerala, and got to know about it only after coming to Bangalore. But everyone else from Kerala seems to have had it before.

I remember eating ‘Muthira , Thenga peera’ ( Muthira is some kind of gram that you give horses and grated coconut), I love it and that would definitely be in my list.

And now for my all time favorite
‘Kanji’ even thought ‘Kanji and payar’ is a hot favorite, Kanji with Porkum Kaaya ( Pork and plantain) wins hands down. I guess it comes from my mother’s side; it is a must if you go to Trissur during the ‘Perunal’ season.

Now that the breakfast menu for the week is set, I have to call up mom and send it over to her. I don’t know about the Kappa breakfasts because the breakfast is not made only for me. It might be the usual Uppuma, Idili, Dosa, vada, chapatti or if dad had gone on one of his shopping ‘Explorations’, egg, Bacon and sausages for breakfast.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Cost Cutting

Like most of my friends I too find myself broke by the end of every month. With most of the salary gone on paying off loans, rent, and food (I eat out). And after spending most of what is left on Eating out (on a grander scale), shopping, movies and having the weekly quota of beer, I end up with not much of a balance in my bank account by the end of the month.

Some months back, I was talking abut this with my roomie – Shenoy, we decided that the loans, and rent are things that we can’t do much about, so the only thing that was left was the food and other expenses. We decided to introduce drastic cost cutting schemes. We started with movies, It costs 130/- to watch a movie in PVR on a weekend, and 100/- on a weekday after 1 Pm. But it costs only 50/- to watch a movie if the show is before 1. so we decided that we will only watch movies before 1 on weekdays. I get days off on every alternate Thursdays and Fridays. So for the past one or 2 months we have been regulars in PVR on alternate Thursdays (saving 50 – 80 per movie depending on when we would have seen it otherwise). The other cost cutting plan was with out daily expenditure on food. We eat out daily and we are both Non-veggies, the plan was to cut down on the non-veg food, buy only half plate of chicken, fish or beef when we want to have non-veg.

The schemes looked all good when we started off. But by the end on the month, we realized we broke again; and that too with a week to spare!! Where the hell did we go wrong?

We used to watch movies once in a month or 2 in PVR or in some local theater, but now we watch movies every alternate Thursdays, movies means the accompanying snacks and drinks, and at PVR it costs us more than the amount needed to get by for a couple of days at out local mess. And with the introduction of the half-plate policy we have become very devoted non-vegetarians, instead of the thrice a week non-veg menu, it is a 7 day a week non veg menu now.

So much for cost cutting!

Monday, October 10, 2005

What’s in a name?

My name is Varkey, people ask me what it means. Depending on the person I am talking to I give different interpretations, I am a techi, and most of my friends are techis ,so I usually go with ‘The Variable Key’. Well what the heck does that mean? …seriously, I don’t know, but that seems to satisfy most of them. And why does it matter what it means, I know of ‘Santosh’ who is not really Happy, I know ‘Shanti’ who is not really very Peacful, after all it is not like choosing a Screen name for yourself where you try to project yourself… (Or what ever you want others to believe you to be), It is just a random name that your parents liked, it does not reflect on what you are or what you will be in any way.

There was a time when I used to wonder why my parents chose to name me Varkey officially, instead of my baptismal name Joseph. It was mostly because all my class mates used to find my name funny and pull my leg about it, giving it slight modifications in the process.And guess why my parents named me Varkey - ‘coz my grandpa was know as Varkey, and it is a custom among us Mallu Catholics to name the first son after the dad’s father. All my elder cousins escaped being named after our grandpa, coz he was alive when they were born, and he wouldn’t allow any of his grandsons to be named Varkey.

Being the only ‘Varkey’ in the family had its advantages; I was always my grandma’s favorite. And everyone keeps telling that I am exactly like him…. I don’t believe any of them. Though I have no clue what kind of a person my grandpa was, I have this feeling that other than the name being the same, and of course being Grandma’s Fav we are no way similar.

I feel good about my name, It is a rather old fashioned name, but it is so old that most of the younger crowd haven’t heard it, and if you are not a mallu then I don’t think none of your ancestors would have heard it either! And what does it mean? I still don’t know and neither does any one else… so now the purpose of ‘Varkey’ is exactly what it was meant to be in the first place, it is just a NAME.

I am Varkey and am known as Varkey and not ‘ABC’ which means ‘Just another name for Lord XYZ’ or ‘DEF’ which means ‘ man strong as n tigers’. Am I happy with my name, hell yeah. Will I allow my grandson to be named Varkey? … Naw...just like my Grandpa I rather like being the only Varkey in the family :)