Saturday, December 29, 2007

Life and Times of an Eggless Cake

We are born in Aden [through no fault of our own :-) ]
We live, we die, we bake cakes,
and someone blogs about it.

When you bake a cake you have a recipe, you have ingredients and you have good intentions. You put them all in a container and you mix them up, but this does not make a cake. This just makes a gooey glob of glutinous gastronomy. You then put the concoction into an oven, savour obscurity for an ephemeral moment, and apply energy to transform it into a cake, which looks nothing like the original ingredients. In a sense that is what baking is all about. Amen. But then again this world cannot survive on 'Amens' alone, especially when you are trying to make an eggless cake for the first time.

"AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH", unable to decipher if it was a prayer or an expletive, I turned my attention to the Woman, who seemed to be going through a mid life crisis. It was 1900 hours to be precise, and like clockwork chocolate, accompanied with that confident whiff of her hair, she decided to test if the cake was baked in the center by using a baking needle. What unfolded before us will go down in the annals of baking history as the sinking of 'Le Gateau au chocolat'. In other words, 'Haava hi nikal gayi'. We then put it back into the oven and were hoping for a miracle, waiting for that resurrection. However it refused to rise again. We then made plans about how to cut it so that the crator doesn't show. But to add to proceedings the extra heating left remnants of soot at the sides... yes it got burnt. The final nail on the coffin was when we tasted it; it didn't taste of chocolate, it tasted more of maida. A postmortem analysis of the subject, and we couldn't say it was too chicken to come out well, cause it didn't even contain eggs!!

Anyways, so we attempted another one the next morning. This time the baking powder was put at the end. Not sure if that made the difference, but we put more milk this time around. And it didn't sink and it smelt chocolaty. And the People Rejoiced!!

"Should we taste it", I queried. "NO", came the premeditated reply, "We don't have time for a third attempt. It smells ok but if I taste it and errrrr", there was a pause, followed by a shiver (for dramatic effect and since I have the poetic license to claim so) and finally more words, "errrr and if it doesn't meet the cut then I wouldn't want anyone to eat it". "Seriously". So we decided that we would just take feedback from the end consumers since its about the thought anyway.

Well what can I say....
We live, we bake, we're just getting started.
And someone always blogs about it.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Every Photograph makes a promise

Every photograph makes a promise.
But the promise is never kept ...
And that's what makes the photo great.

-- some photographer

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Pick-Up Story

Its not just a pick up line. Its a pick up story. The stuff fairytales are made of.

This friend had been to Hongkong recently where he came across this girl named Fiona in office. He is always generally happy, cracking jokes, doing weird funny things and is forever up to something. So in order not to waste his God gifted talent whenever he would pass that girl's place he would sing/tease her, "Princess Fiona... wanna go for coffee..." etc etc. The girl would take it in the right spirit and go along. After a couple of days of singing,"Princess Fiona", our very own Shrek found out that Princess Fiona had not yet seen the movie.

So yeah its not just a pick up line. Its a pick up story. The stuff fairytales are made of !!!!!

PS: He attributes the debacle to his missing sidekick... 'Donkey' !!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Is this your Core Value and Mission ?

"To ensure the growth of the organization, at any cost, by dedicated effort, commitment to goals, distinguished performance at all times, whilst being resourceful at work, innovative in methods and flexible in approach."

- Is this your Core Value and Mission?
{else don't talk too much}

The statement in quotes was part of the 'Objective' of the resume of a 'fresher' which we had received in Impulsesoft three years back. We had the above printed on a paper and posted on our team's notice board; laughter and sarcasm spilling over for anyone to consume. Maybe we put that up to remind ourselves of our choice of words and actions as a means to an end.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paper Monster

Paper Monsters, inside your head,
As darkness lurks, beneath the bed,

Decisions to make, beliefs to probe,
A guarded response, the monsters adobe,

The Folded Paper, the creases they tell,
Of a soul in doubt, a license to sell,

Same is the cross, different the nails,
A runaway train, on imaginary rails,

From resonant whispers, from silence et al,
Resilience beckons; legends, they fall,

Wounded soldier, a deceptive heart,
Begin at the beginning, stand up apart,

Paper Monsters, to burn or tear,
A return to innocence, an attempt to bare,

A blank canvas, that gaping void,
Those dreamy strokes, retracing Freud,

The yellow brick road; a vision; depart,
In search of courage, some wisdom, some heart,

The recurring bout, that clairvoyant call,
Apocalypse now, let sixth sense befall.

------ Alistair D'souza Dec 17th 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Promise

Every photograph makes a promise.
But the promise is never kept ...
And that's what makes the photo great.

-- anonymous

Monday, December 10, 2007

Before Sunrise Before Sunset

The sun sets and the sun rises again;
a mirthful reversal in forward motion.

You look at Chembra peak in the distance as it towers over the clouds; flickering in vaporous winds its greyness takes shape; tiny by perception its enormity grapples a subconscious. Dawn subsides the remnants of intentions which voiced themselves together as a plan of action sometime in the foreseeable past; when intentions were charged so as to eclipse reality in itself. "We might not be allowed to camp up there", adding a faint possibility to what was a definite no; interpreting the obvious to satiate a nerve. The backup plan was not sumptuous dinner and so swayed by whim, fancies took flight; voicing tones to finally decend; fluidity taking form; plans; and ones to back them up, like reinforcements that are not required.

Overnight the tribe increased and we brokeaway from social responsibilities the next morning to partake of the mountain. Its angles and inclinations grew more intriguing as we were transported to the alpha of our climb. The 11 person alpine attack on the peak comprised a 7 year old girl who was pretty enthusiastic about climbing a mountain. 10 minutes and the incline takes its toll, perspiration and exhaustion pulling you down. A brief halt and we were on our way again. After an hour and a half, two inclines and a plateau we pit-stopped to refuel our engines; where we heard hearts beat; the mountain in sync with ours; a heart shaped water body that hinted that the mountain was indeed alive, breathing life into all of us.

Vagrancy of spirit was a disposition that overwhelmed us and another four steep climbs, three ephemeral plateaus, and three hours later we reached the top to breathe in the panorama. A couple of meters below the peak on the other side we spotted an ideal camping ground. After a brief reconnaissance mission in the forested vicinity to decipher animal marking and their intentions, time paused. Neurosis and the unknown that lay in the bushes was a demeanor that was unanimously overthrown and the spot was deemed camp able.

Before Sunset, the elements set us in forward motion; the cold winds, the painted horizon displaying its artistic persona, the silhouettes that ticked to the warmth of the last rays that waned like clockwork orange; as our temporary abode took shape. The performance continued as one act led to the next; star gazing; as we floated in a reverie with a blanket of grass below us and a blanket of stars above. The winds of change let loose and we took refuge in our tents wondering when we would be carried away. We held tight to whatever we could. Two hours of sleep and an eerie calm befell nostalgia; like a storm negotiating a truce. Embattled and brave, in a state or heightened concentration, we caught on to sporadic winks and vagrant thoughts; remembering the sunrise that was on its way, enticing and piercing in all its imaginative glory.

Before Sunrise, the elements set us in reverse motion; the calm winds, the first brushes of the refracted light over the horizon as orange mingled with purple on a blue canvas, the silhouettes that refuelled and scurried around reverse engineering the camp; as that fiery ball of physics prepared for its grand entry, like the coronation of an emperor laying siege to his throne. Packed with all my worldly belongings I am the first to set out to the peak above, and stand there mesmerised with the scene of grandeur; a pearly blanket of clouds covered the living that slept below it, illuminated by the brilliance of the golden rays that emanated from alpha; Midas' golden touch, turning everything to gold that wished to bathe in its synonyms. Others come up and move ahead until you are left behind, with your thoughts and insights, a nostalgic sojourn. Inspite of all those muscle pulls in various parts of your anatomy, that rough going against nature's afflictions, all that remains is the sunrise and the sunset, that walk in the clouds; and then you set out on your journey.

The sun rises and the sun sets again;
Before Sunrise Before Sunset;
a blithe validation in reverse motion.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Mechanics of Running a Marathon

Melody sent me a link to a marathon documentary shown a few weeks ago on Nova. Here's the link. It is interesting, especially the scientific analysis on how the body changes during training.