Skip to content

Meeting Anthony Bourdain

When a random groupon showed up on my computer screen on yet another lazy afternoon of aimless internet surfing, I couldn’t believe my eyes for a few seconds. Anthony Bourdain is coming to a nearby town. Living in a small town in America means all the big events, personalities are reserved for those times when I travel to the so-called big cities. So I didn’t bait an eyelid before snatching tickets for Anthony Bourdain’s show ‘Guts and Glory’. I am huge fan of his show ‘No Reservations’ through which I get to know the exotic cuisines of various countries across the world. The show was still a month away and in the meanwhile, I read a couple of books authored by him and waited like an anxious teenager about to meet her favorite rockstar/band.

bourdain-tour-poster-5001gutsnglory

Then the day arrived. I wrapped up my work as soon as possible, drove 30 miles and reached quite early for the event. The excitement was quite palpable in the auditorium the minutes before he walked in. He walked in to a crowded auditorium with people cheering on loudly.

Then in this usual no-nonsense way, he effortlessly took over the stage. He started by making fun of Paula Deen, a chef in food network who purportedly gave a twist to the southern food by making delicacies like double-cheese burger between two Krispy Kreme donuts, while silently suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. She then signed a $10,000,000 endorsement deal with big pharma company to push Diabetes medication. When he first criticized her, he got a lot of flak from NewYork Times and the like, but in hindsight he was spot on. He goes on to comment on TV personalities like Adam Ritchman of Man vs. Food show, who even though makes a show that is quite entertaining; Bourdain wonders what message does this give out to people in other parts of the world? When a farmer/goat rearer from the opposite side of the world comes home after a day of hard work and have his measly meal in front of the TV, he sees an American shoving down unnecessary and large amounts of food down his throat with beefy white guys cheering him on in the background. He says “America is bad. I am going to join Al-Qeada”. Anthony Bourdain points out the necessity of sending out the right message to the people through our shows.

Being in a show as good and glamorous as ‘No Reservations’ means he constantly gets enquires about any vacancies in his crew to work on the show. He proceeds to show a number of videos to demonstrate his line of work. He shows on hilarious video of him removing a leech from the thigh of a female camera crew member only to show the tag on her underwear inside out, which proves that it is her second day on his particular piece of clothing ! He goes ahead and narrates another story in which he had to eat half-cooked meat (sourced by questionable means) covered in dirt; because the ethinic tribe in one of the remote areas that he visited had gone to such lengths to source it for him. Sometimes, you have to take one for the team. He says that no matter how horrible you think the food is, if somebody cooks something for you in their home, you eat it and you ask for seconds. He also narrates an incident in which the crew wasn’t allowed to shoot a simple meal of beans and bread in Egypt because the food wasn’t available to many of the local people. He isn’t saying that he started the Egyptian uprising, but you never know 😉

He brings out the importance of respecting the local culture no matter which part of this world you are visiting. This is a point which is very close to my heart. There is a reason factored in by age old beliefs, financial, geographical and sociological factors because of which people of a certain region live/eat/cook they way they do. You don’t have any right to comment or disrespect it. Period. You are the visitor and this is your learning opportunity. He tells that sometimes in order to shoot a 4 minute clip at someones home; his crew arrives atleast five hours early to interact with the family, make them comfortable, understand the culture and their way of living. I believe that is what makes his shows what they are. Totally transparent and informative.

He mocks Olive Garden, P.F. Changs and the like which dishes out really bad ethnic cuisine. “How hard is it to make good pasta?” He asks. He has equal contempt for vegetarians.

He professes that being a father to a five year old means he is constantly worried about the stuff his girl eats and the fast food industry across the globe. He is worried about “the King, the Clown and the Colonel” and the lengths to which they go to entice our children. But he is equally proud of the adventurous eater his daughter is.

The show ended with questions from audience. When asked which is a place that he would recommend to travel to and eat; he answers ‘Beirut, Lebanon’. He exclaims that the complexity of the culture and food would excite anybody. If not a chef, he answered he would have become a drug dealer and a really bad one at that.  His favourite book to write was ‘Get Jiro!’, his latest graphic novel. And he considers his worst show to be the one on Romania.

Even though we talk went on for about one and a half hours, it still felt short when you are hearing someone as amazing as him. I came home with two of his books autographed by him and was happy to have met him. It was an evening well spend.

book

Do you like Anthony Bourdain or his show ‘No Reservations’? Which is an episode that you remember or close to your heart?

The weekend that involved

A winery

IMG_0601

A Beautiful Tasting Room

IMG_0570

Two wine glasses

IMG_0600

A cheese platter

IMG_0598

Well informed sommeliers

IMG_0599

A long list of wines to choose from

IMG_0583

and an evening by the lakeside

IMG_0603[1]IMG_0611[1]

Now you can’t go wrong with this combination, can you?

Hope all of you had peaceful and well rested weekends.

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

For the last few nights, I had been skipping my social commitments and concentrating all of my attention on a book – Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg. Several times while reading this book I was vigorously nodding my head and exclaiming ‘Oh Yeah, so true’; several other times, it made me think and reflect upon all the choices I had made and in more ways than one, this book has taught me to lean in and “sit at the table”.

LeanIn

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of the Facebook notes that even thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. Through a series of anecdotes, research findings and her own experience in the corporate world, she analyses the reasons for his disparity and discusses how we can bridge this gap.

The Leadership Ambition Gap

Sheryl discusses the fact that inspite of having several intelligent and smart women graduating out of the top universities, how is it possible that many women drop out of the workforce and most importantly, how do we have so few women in the senior managerial positions? Many a time, I have wondered about the limited representation of women in the consulting company I work for; as you go up the ladder.

Professional ambition is expected of men but is optional-or worse, sometimes even a negative-for women. “She is very ambitious” is not a compliment in any culture. And for all the progress, there is still societal pressure for women to keep an eye on marriage from a young age. I can totally relate to this. No matter how many degrees a woman earns or how good a job she holds, she is never considered successful until she has a husband to boot.

Sheryl asks “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”. Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter. At Facebook, the people are encouraged to take risks. The posters all over the office reads “Fortune favors the bold”, “Proceed and be bold”, etc. So keep away your fears and proceed ahead fearlessly.

Sit at the table

In her senior year of college, Sheryl was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and in the ceremony for women the keynote speaker gave a talk called “Feeling like a fraud”. She explained that many people, especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserved and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Women feel that it is only a matter of time until they found out for who they really are – impostors with limited skills and abilities. For women, feeling like a fraud is a symptom of a greater problem, we consistenly underestimate ourselves. It is not just women who are tough on themselves. Colleagues and the media are quick to credit external factors for a woman’s achievements. “Lucky to be at the right place”/”Had powerful mentors along the way” were few of things attributed to Sheryl when Facebook went public the first time.

Sherly mentions that even research backs up the idea of “Fake it till you feel it” strategy. In order to continue to grow and challenge yourself, you have to believe in your own abilities. And learn to sit at the table, not at a corner of the conference room where you can be easily ignored.

Success and Likeability

This is a section I enjoyed reading a lot. As and when a woman becomes more successful, her ‘likeability’ is reduced nearly to a naught. I have noticed many people commenting about  women in higher positions with remarks like “She is such a b*t*h” or “She is very aggressive and nobody likes her”. Many a time, the reasons attributed to these kind of comments sound totally lame to me and the same reasons would have been totally acceptable had a male boss behaved in the same way. One of the things Mark Zuckerberg(her immediate supervisor and founder of Facebook) told Sheryl in her first formal review at Facebook was that when you want to change things, you can’t please everyone. If you do please everyone, you aren’t making progress. Can he be any more right?

Seek and Speak Your Truth

Authentic communication is not always easy, but it is the basis for successful relationships at home and real effectiveness at work. Yet people constantly back away from honesty to protect themselves and others; for the fear of being judged or marginalized. Sheryl mentions that effective communication where opinions are not brutally honest but delicately honest is the way to go. When you give honest feedback and talk openly about what is holding you back, you are paving the way for improvement.

Sheryl also mentions that most women believe that it is not a good idea to cry at work. She recalls an incident when she learned that someone had said something about her that was not just false, but cruel. She started telling Mark Zuckerberg about it and, despite her best efforts, started to cry. Mark consoled her that the accusation is so untrue and asked her “Do you want a hug?”. She says that it was a breakthrough moment for them. She felt closer to him than ever before. She expressed her feelings and Mark responded with compassion. Now I am not saying that each one of our bosses will react the same way if we happen to cry infront of them. What brought a huge smile to my face was the fact that even Sheryl had a meltdown in her office; which made a small emotional moment that happened with me in the office look so much more salvageable. I have recounted this particular story to many of my girlfriends in the last couple of days so that they will feel better about similar incidents that occurred in their own worklife. My respect for Sheryl Sandberg grew several notches just because she was brave enough to speak out about this.

Don’t leave before you leave

This is my favourite section in the entire book because I could relate so much to this. Working on a demanding job with lots of travel and constant change of locations means people find it so easy to give me “free” advice. “How long will you go on like this”, “You will have to settle down one day”, “Quit this job so that you can start thinking about a family” or “You can’t stay away from your husband; What will he eat? He can’t cook”(Believe me, I have heard that too). And I would be lying if I say these words/thoughts haven’t affected me. I have several times thought about my demanding job which I enjoy; juxtaposed my future life with this and felt clueless. But now I realize I had been doing it all wrong. Sheryl mentions that one of the mistakes women do in their careers right from the beginning is jumping the gun. From an early age, girls get the message that they will have to choose between succeeding at work and being a good mother. Sheryl tells that when it comes to integrating career and family, planning too far in advance can close doors rather open them. Women rarely make one big decision to leave the workforce. Instead, they make a lot of small decisions along the way, making accommodations and sacrifices that they believe will be required to have a family. Of all the ways women hold themselves back; perhaps the most pervasive is that they leave before they leave.

Sheryl advises that anyone lucky enough to have options should keep them open. Don’t enter the workforce already looking for the exit. Don’t put on the brakes. Accelerate. Keep a foot on the gas pedal until a decision must be made. That’s the only way to ensure that when that day comes, there will be a real decision to make.

There are several other sections in the book which addresses topics like ‘Make your partner a real partner’, ‘The Myth of doing it all’, ‘Working together for equality’, ’It’s a Jungle Gym and not a ladder’ and such. Each of these sections is as insightful as the five sections I mentioned above with interesting anecdotes from Sheryl’s corporate life thrown into them.

I have heard many criticisms about this book with several people mentioning that Sheryl Sandberg is too privileged – born to a wealthy family in USA and one of those rare people who can afford high quality childcare; to understand the problems which real women faces in this world. I found these criticisms to her book quite baseless because she does portray a real picture of the experiences that a woman goes through in her working life. Sheryl may be privileged, but that doesn’t mean that her core concerns are different. She is a true role model and we can learn a lot from her.

‘Lean In’ is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. ‘Lean In’ is not applicable only to those who work in corporates, it is applicable to every woman no matter in which form you contribute to the society, be it as a social worker/volunteer, entrepreneur, services professional or stay-at-home mom.This book will be an interesting read for a man too, because it throws light into the real problems women face at the work environment and how a male boss/colleague can be more helpful and compassionate. Because, as Sheryl quips, won’t the world be a better place if half of our countries were run by women and half of our homes by men?

Current Love

owl

The owl earrings. My sister has an owl necklace. A few days back, I chanced upon these owl earrings in a random jewellery shop. Since then, I am hooked. I find them way too fun that I wish I could pair them up with every outfit.

Fifty hours and five flights

Have you ever experienced a jittery feeling when you are about to embark on a new journey/task? Something that tries to tell you that this is not going to happen in the way that you had planned. That is exactly what I felt three weeks back.

“I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen”, I told my husband while we were on our way to the airport. He was dropping me off in the airport at midnight so that I can take my 2.30 AM flight to United States. I had chosen an itinerary which was a perfect combination of the least amount of travel time, least number of the flights and a convenient landing time. Bangalore – Paris – Detroit by Air France in a total 20 hours and I was expected to land at a convenient 2.30 PM with enough time to get to the hotel, rest and report to office the next day.

Least did I know that the universe is going to throw a curve ball at me in less than 15 hours. That jittery feeling, your intuition – well, they know it even before it happens.

With an easy immigration and security check, I settled into my (very uncomfortable) seat in the AirFrance flight and fell asleep as soon the dinner service was complete. I slept through most of my flight, however was woken up in between by a small squabble in our aisle. For the first time in my life, I was seeing an airline personnel actually getting into a fight with a customer. After a heated exchange of words, the airline personnel noted down the seat number of the passenger (?!) to complain to the captain. Since, I was a witness to what happened in that aisle, I can vouch for the fact that it was of no fault of the passenger and the airline personnel was absolutely rude to the passenger. All those bad reviews I read about AirFrance were playing out in my head but little did I know what was in store for me later.

Paris Local Time: 8.00 AM

The flight is supposed to land in Paris Charles De Gaulle airport in 40 minutes. I am happy half of the journey is over and with one more flight, I will be in Detroit. I look out of the window. All I see is fog and nothing else. Oh well, the winter is still quite harsh in Europe.

Paris Local Time: 8.30 AM

Captain announces that due to the heavy snow storm in Paris, we won’t be landing in Paris and the flight would be taken to Lyon. The passengers who have connection flights starts panicking about the mere thought of being stuck in Paris. Some others with Indian Passports like me know very well that we won’t be able to even get out of any of these airports.

Paris Local Time: 10.30 AM

The flight landed in Lyon an hour back and we were made to sit in the flight itself. I try to sleep, but being in the sitting position for so long, I am almost finding it impossible to rest. I am sure of the fact that I am missing my connection flight to Detroit because it is taking off from Paris in another 20 minutes. I am hoping I will get another flight on the same day.

Paris Local Time: 12.30PM

The flight from Lyon is brought back to Paris and I rush out of the flight. I start running towards the customer service desk in another terminal to get my flight rescheduled. I rush towards the customer service area and there are atleast 300 people in front of me to get the flights re-scheduled. I check out the ‘Sky Priority’ line for the priority customers and knowing that it is just 40 people in front of me gives me a little hope. Almost all the flights on the monitors shows the status as ‘Cancelled’. I understand that this is going to taking time. I call my parents, husband in India and my boss in USA to let them know that I am stuck in Paris.

Paris Local Time: 5.30PM

I am still standing in the line to get my tickets re-scheduled. Meanwhile, the AirFrance personnel have gone out for lunch, smoke and I-don’t-know-what-all-breaks; leaving hundreds of passengers in line. At times, there was only one customer service personnel in the entire ticket re-scheduling area with all the other desks empty. There are no meal vouchers distributed or even a consolation word from any of the personnel. They seem to be least bothered about what is happening to the passengers and kept leaving the premises stating bad weather. In between, there are people whose travel insurances are getting expired, who are travelling with sick children and need to get out of the country as soon as possible.  ‘Sky Priority’ seems to be a joke. After a 16 hour flight and 5 hours standing in the line, I am so tired.

Paris Local Time: 6PM

I finally get my flight re-scheduled. I don’t have a Paris-Detroit flight until next day and because I don’t have a Schengen visa, they can’t arrange accommodation for me in Paris. So I have to take the 7PM flight to JFK which is supposed to land in JFK, NewYork at midnight and flight to Detroit will be next day morning at 8AM. AirFrance can’t arrange an accomodation for me in NY because it is NewYork and not Paris! (I don’t understand the logic either). I book an accomodation at one of the airport hotels at JFK myself, online.

Paris Local Time: 8PM

I am sitting at the departure gate and looking at the monitor in front of me as my flight to JFK is getting delayed by every half an hour.

Paris Local Time: 10PM

My flight to JFK finally takes off at 10PM. I sleep off as soon as I am seated. I am so exhausted. I miss all the meals except the last one.

NY Local Time: 3.30AM

I reach JFK, NY and pass through long immigration lines, customs and hand over my bags to the Delta personnel at JFK. I am at two minds whether to use my hotel reservation at this point because I have my next flight at 8AM and would have to be in airport in the next 3.5 hours. Then I came to know that I can’t enter the domestic terminal until 6AM and so decide to use it anyway.

NY Local Time: 4.30AM

I take the AirTran to the last terminal and take the shuttle to the hotel. I check-in and take a bath. I had never been so thankful for hot water in my lifetime.

NY Local Time: 5AM

I lie down in my bed with lights on. I am too afraid whether I will sleep off and miss my final flight to Detroit. I get up at 6AM, get dressed, take the hotel shuttle to the airport.

NY Local Time: 6.45AM

I am waiting at the security check lines. I am trying to console myself that this will be the final flight and I will be in Detroit in another 2 hours. I will be able to get some rest finally. Well, looks like universe have other plans for me.

NY Local Time: 7:05AM

I complete the security check and get to the monitor showing the departure gates. While all the other flights have clearly specified the gates of departure, mine shows a big red ‘CANCELLED’. I could hardly believe my eyes that this is happening.

NY Local Time: 7.30 AM

The nice Hispanic lady at the Delta terminal politely informs me that the JFK-Detroit flight is cancelled and now they are re-directing me to Virginia and then to Detroit. I helplessly nod and sigh. There are no other direct flights until next day.

NY Local Time: 8.00AM

Waiting at the departure gate for the flight to Virginia to take off. I am drawing in all the patience I have with me to go through the journey for a few more hours that started more than 40 hours back.

Virginia Local Time: 10.30 AM

A hungry me is hunting for some food in the Virginia airport. Granola bars, bottled coconut water, chips satiate my hunger for some time. The flight to Detroit is getting delayed by hours. I look at the airport monitors helplessly.

Virginia Local Time: 2PM

I finally board the flight to Detroit. Knowing that atleast this flight has the destination as ‘Detroit’ makes me feel relieved beyond measure. Unless and until something happens mid air, I will be landing in Detroit soon.

Detroit Local Time: 4PM

Landed in Detroit finally. I rush towards the baggage lines to get my luggage and get going. A long wait and the baggage hasn’t yet arrived. I talk to a Delta personnel about the baggage and get re-directed to their helpdesk. The lady at the counter looks at my boarding passes and exclaims “Oh my, you have had a really long journey”. Yes, you bet I had. They tell me that my baggage hasn’t yet arrived in Detroit and when it arrives, they will drop it off to my location as soon as they can. Even though the fact that all my formal clothes are in my checked-in luggage and I need to report to office tomorrow morning is not too appealing; I believe I am too exhausted to think of a back-up plan or make some other arrangements. I give them my address and go out in search of a cab.

Detroit Local Time: 4.30PM

I am inside a cab driven by a Pakistani driver. He is rendering his life story and asking me about my job, hometown, etc. I try to give illegible answers; but most of time, just nod or utter a meek ‘yes’ or ‘no’. I am feeling dizzy, nauseous and tired. I dream of that bed which awaits me at the end of this cab drive.

Finally after an hour, I am check-in to the hotel. Not soon after I enter the room, I regulate the temperature and fall into the bed. Never have I been more thankful for a bed and warm blankets. I drift off to sleep almost immediately.

That is how my friends I endured 50 hours, five flights and still came out alive at the other end.

Lessons learnt from this experience:

1. Never ever ever fly AirFrance. The customer service is the worst I have experienced in all of my air travels.

2. Keep your international credit cards activated and talk to the customer care department of the credit card to authorize your purchases in foreign locations, before you travel. You never know which adverse situation you will find yourself in.

3. Always take travel insurance for an additional couple of days. You don’t want to be stranded in alien countries without a travel insurance, having a medical emergency.

4. Airports can be daunting and at the same time fascinating places to spend time in. Check out the local food, shops, etc. One of the saving grace points for me in Paris airport was sampling the Laudree macarons at the airport shop.

5. When you read reviews from other passengers about a airline service, BELIEVE IT. Experience matters above all.

6. Most importantly, when things happen over which you don’t have any control over, breathe. Don’t fret and just go with the flow. Atleast you will have an adventure to narrate for years to come.

Chanakya’s New Manifesto

WP_000148

 

India, a young republic with a 500 year old civilization is at crossroads: Between stagnation and growth; between the hopes of 1947 and the challenges of 21st century. Inorder to get out of this plateau and give itself a final push, some significant change has to happen. What changes should India bring about to push forward in this century forms the basis of Pavan K. Varma’s book: ‘Chanakya’s New Manifesto – To resolve the crisis within India’.

The author bases his suggestions on Chanakya’s principles. Chanakya, a thinker and scholar wrote one of the world’s most incisive treatises on statecraft on 4th century BC, called the Arthashastra. The Arthashastra consists of about 6,000 shlokas and sutras. It deals systematically with the subjects of effective governance, welfare of people, economic prosperity, the conduct of foreign policy, war planning and preparedness and such. The author identifies these precisely the areas in which India, seems to have lost its way. But the hope is not lost yet. If more than 2000 years ago a person like Chanakya could, in a similar situation, bring about change and articulate a new vision of governance, there is no reason why we can’t do the same. Hence, the author states his suggestions for the overhaul of India under five broad categories:

Governance:

The people of the nation have a fundamental right – those whom they elect must govern. Hence governance must be an overriding priority of any country. The author brings to our notice the importance of infusion of technology and infrastructure in agriculture; consequences of governance deficit on power generation; poor crude oil exploration; importance of investment in education with India being one of the youngest countries in the world; setting up of Governance Appraisal Panel (GAP) and steps to curb the corruption. He implores that governance reform, which will directly impact the quality of life of every citizen, cannot be postponed or avoided.

Democracy:

In the years leading up from 1947,we have exulted in being labeled as the world’s largest democracy and have stopped noticing many serious distortions that had gradually become and inherent part of our democratic  functioning. Criminal records of our politicians and dynasty politics now prevalent within parties are things worth condemning. Chanakya’s New Manifesto states the importance of an Apex Committee to review proposals of electoral reform; transparency in party funding; an IT monitoring system to record all the transactions; a ceiling on the campaign expenditures; screening of electoral candidates contesting in elections; creation of negative or neutral voting options; maintaining decorum of the house during parliamentary proceedings and several other suggestions to improve the democratic framework of India.

Corruption:

An interesting fact that the author suggests in this section is that corruption is not unique to India. What is unique is the level of acceptance, and the ‘creative’ ways in which it is sustained. Author points out that in our country, a breach of morality is linked to circumstance, and certain deviations are considered acceptable if the circumstances so dictate. At least in Hinduism, there is no binding or universal code of conduct that gives unequivocal primacy to moral dimension. This ingrained mindset along with the fact that in India, an average businessman will consider a bribe as a fixed cost to circumvent the tapes of bureaucracy, makes everyone take corruption as a way of life. Chanakya’s New Manifesto states that all states must mandatorily adopt a Right to Public Services (RTPS) act which will state the timeframe and ways in which an ordinary citizen can apply for or avail a certain service in interaction with the government. M.P and Bihar have found considerable success with the adoption of this act. Use of technology to monitor the funds, effective punishment, fast-track courts and transparency in the government transactions is the way forward.

Security:

The principal components that make up an effective security doctrine: foreign policy, defence preparedness and an intelligence gathering apparatus. India must forge a foreign policy where security becomes a core concern – Period. This is one of my primary concerns too because I feel as a country, India is not taking strong measures to combat terrorism and to ensure the safety for all its citizens. Overhauling DRDO, increasing the cap on FDI on defence production and incubation of a Border Infrastructure Cell (BIC) are some of the recommendations put forward by Chanakya’s New Manifesto. Police reforms inorder to protect honest policemen from corrupt politicians is also the call of the time.

The Creation of the Inclusive Society:

With a gap between poor and rich ever increasing and problems like poverty, malnourishment, high infant mortality rate glaring at our collective psyche, it is important that concrete measures be taken to create a more inclusive society. Policy of State Altruism should ensure money from subsidies reaches the deserved people. Education and Health are two vital components of the inclusionary agenda. Creating partnerships with NGOs, focusing on health education, encouraging voluntary and charity groups, utilizing corporate social responsibility are some of the factor to consider, according to Chanakya’s New Manifesto.

This book was in no means an easy read. Nevertheless, it is an excellent read which makes one ponder about the current deficiencies in our system and ways to overcome them. The book made me realize that there is a need for change and more than that, it is possible to make it happen. It is up to us how we tap into the suggestions set forth by the book. The author says that all the suggestions are open to debate and this book is only a blueprint. The book will make an interesting and eye-opening read for anyone living in India currently.

Love in small bites

She wrote about Dharwad Peda two days back. I hadn’t ever tasted one and I am sucker for the salt and sugar combination. One of my favourite flavours is Salted Caramel. So I thought a peda with the salt and sugar flavours would be tasting spectacular.

Yesterday morning I sent a text to my husband. The conversation went something like this.

Me: I want to have Dharwad Peda.

Hubby: Where can we get it?

Me: Well, any good sweet shop I believe

Hubby: If not Dharwad Peda, any peda will do?

Me: No 😦

Hubby: Ok

Then I forgot about the conversation entirely and went on with my day of meetings, deadlines, tasks and such.

Imagine my surprise when I reached home in the evening and within an hour, a person hand-delivered the Dharwad Peda to me. Ah, don’t I love little surprises. Ofcourse, the peda lived up to its expectations – salt and sweet combination with a lingering caramel aftertaste.
Dharwad Peda with a breakfast of cheese omelette cooked by husband sums up my Valentine’s Day morning.

cheese

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Though I don’t believe that you need a specific day to express your love to someone, small gestures go a long way in making someone feel special. Here is to more love, red and happiness in this world.