Monday, July 21, 2008

Hail the Snail!

This week's secret: I simply adore snails. Not all of them, mind you, but to be precise, freshwater snails. Not as pets in my aquarium (I have one back in Imphal). You guessed right (or didn't?) I adore them on my dinner plate! That's right dearies! Did I hear a yechhh! and a yuuckkk!? Lemme tell you, before you curl up your nose in disgust, that the French consider snails to be one of the ultimate delicacies. They have them cooked with a variety of condiments, picked out of their shells with a special fork...but I like snails cooked the Meitei way--stir fried in their shells with potatoes, seasoned with herbs and red chili peppers--chewy and yet succulent. Yummm. The other recipe is equally tantalizing: herbs, chili, onions, garlic, potatoes and peas all cooked with the snails in their shells to a gravy like consistency...Another yummm. Pick out the snail, scoop up some gravy, and suck out the flesh...quite a task, but entirely worth the effort.

The recipe is of course a secret known only to Meitei moms. Not a mom yet, though I am a Meitei, so I cannot tell you yet! But if you are lucky enough to be visiting Imphal, do visit the local rice hotel and ask for tharoi thongba. Who knows, even if you have been to Paris and tasted escargot, you might want tharoi more!

...Hail the snail
Without fail...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Boredom 2: Secrets to Snapping Out of the 'Talle' Moment

Yeah...Talle...but it's better not to be, as any of you will attest. I have tried on occasion and succeeded (yippee!!) at beating boredom. To be honest, I have to keep up with the momentum by distracting myself from time to time. But yes, it works.

Here are some secrets (or non-secrets) to snapping out of the talle moment:
  1. Make sure that your brain isn't idle when you are free. This is an old one, but the adage, 'an idle mind is the devil's workshop' is indeed true. What this means is that you need to have a hobby, or many hobbies--something you are really passionate about--so that you aren't bored when you have free time.
  2. If you find that you become restless very soon while doing, make a list of the steps involved in the tasks at hand. Then look for the obvious ways to sort the problem out. Most likely, if the solution is an obvious one, it can bore you. The trick is in making it challenging by approaching it from a different angle. Think out of the box.
  3. Meet friends and see if they need help with something. This will not only make you feel good about yourself but also give you a chance to catch up. Of course, the bonding comes as a bonus.
  4. Learn something new--a foreign language, sign language, knitting, origami, whatever! The sky is the limit!
  5. Volunteer for social work: you could spare some time to mentor neighbors' kids, your nephew or cousins, or you could spend some time at an old age home. It's very rewarding.
  6. If you like animals, offer to look after your friends' pets.
  7. Surf the net, try out Google's free products.
  8. Build your aunt a website or blog.
  9. Paint/doodle.
  10. Tell someone a story. That someone could be you. Or listen (I mean really listen) to someone's story. It could be inspiring and it will make the other person feel good too.
  11. Learn math. Maybe teach math.
  12. Use the time to sort out your finances and keep track of your investments.
If all these fail, and you are still bored, take a walk. It doesn't matter where. But do stop to smell the flowers and enjoy the sights and smells around you.

Happy snapping out of the talle moment! If you have more to add to this list, do write in.

On Boredom

"Talle"-- that's the word a Meitei would use to say they were bored. It can mean I feel lazy, I don't wanna do it, I am bored, or it can even refer to the state of inertia. Nice... one word for all these states of being...not too different from one another, but that subtle difference is captured in just one word. Is it economy or being lexically-challenged? Who knows? Who cares?

All I wanna say is, "Talle."

Friday, July 11, 2008

Secrets be damned!!! Gonna spill them here!

I have a secret...that's gonna be out now...I love cheese and crackers, fruit, and nuts...and the diet bar too...certainly.