Tag Archives: Memories

200 Posts, 4 Years, Story of G&C

November 16, is a very important date in my life. A birthday of two people who matter a lot in my life, My Mom and My Blog.

Happy Birthday Mom, Happy Birthday G&C

Happy Birthday Mom, Happy Birthday G&C


Image Courtesy: Google Images
It was a mere coincidence that I started blogging on the same day as my mom’s birthday. And now it’s been 200 Posts and 4 years since I started blogging. At an average of 50 posts a year, I almost managed a post a week on an average basis. This has been one long journey with loads of up and downs, a lot of writers blocks, lazy times, National Blog Posting Month Blogathon, Awards, mentions and more.
Bogging used to be very different when I started on November 16, 2005, It actually took me hours to come up with the name Ginger & Cardamom (more about it later in the post).
Though somehow none of my real life friends were much into blogging and were hardly interested in what I wrote. But I made new friends and connected with a lot of people through blogs, and I have seen a lot during these 4 years. A lot of blogs dying over the years and that too of some people who I thought were better writers than I was. Somehow they didn’t survived in this world and I still pity for those dead blogs and I am so grateful to the almighty that I did survive. There were a lot of times when I felt letting it go but somehow I stick to it and glad that I did.

So on the fourth birthday of Ginger & Cardamom, I have decided to share with all of you the story of how I named my blog.
I was always an obsessive competitor by nature, especially more when I was a kid (you know something like Monica Geller in Friends). So I had this need to be acknowledged as the best or the winner every time. So when we were kids me and my cousin Ekta used to come to stay at my place. We were both small studying in 4th and 5th standards. She had recently learned how to make tea, and would do it for elders in the house and was appreciated a lot for that. Me being the snob I am couldn’t digest it too much, so I learned making tea too, to get into the competition. Now we took turns in making tea and the idea was who makes the better tea. Now I took a great lead by discovering two secret ingredients (I don’t remember from where may be heard two elders talking or something) that made my tea near perfect. I would crush a few cut pieces of ginger & mash it with a couple of cardamoms and add to the water while boiling for the tea. I know this is not something rocket science but for 10 years old it wasn’t exactly expected to be known and my tea was always better until Ekta discovered the art. But somehow the pieces of Ginger & Cardamom actually added spice & aroma to my life as a kid. Though I don’t consume tea at all and do not prefer pieced/shredded ginger in my food but the still the pieces of Ginger & Cardamom mattered to me, for it was a part of my childhood, my eccentricities and more than that it was a lesson that sometimes small things like pieces of Ginger & Cardamom add all the spice and zing needed to the tea and your life.

Since that day, have loved the Ginger & Cardamom the spice & aroma of my own life.

Hope the Ginger & Cardamom of our lives never die.

10 Notes to My 17 Year Self

Amidst quarter life crisis and struggling to find my own self, I read this tag on Surya’s blog. The idea behind this tag is If I could revisit my past and give 10 pieces of advice I would give to myself.

No matter how interesting this tag seems, right now what I need is some tag being done by 10 years older me in an alternate universe and give me 10 sensible advices, well that doesn’t seem to be happening, does it? So I will do it for the benefit of a younger me living in a different space time continuum.

10 years and I agree I have changed evolved as a very different person. So my 2 cents for the 17 years old Kanpuriya I was (they call it Kanpurite these days. Its sophisticated, but you know those days it was Kanpuriya from Kanpur)-

1- Stop having those Soft Drinks, they are going to haunt your physique and health for your entire life. They seem to be fun and people cheer when you finish a 300 ml bottle of Thums Up in a single breath but trust me it is not worth it.

2- Always stick to your philosophy of belief and abstinence; you would face doubts a lot of time. You would like to indulge the others, and would be mocked at by a lot of people. But eventually its going to get you self respect that you saw through your own beliefs not failing yourself.

3- The people all around you jeer you for being a nerd and a geek, no matter how they treat you now, would change with the way your status does. When they change you would realize they were not important then and not important now. Your true friends would always stay by you.

4- You suck at balancing time between personal and professional. Ration your time and you would go places.

5- Never ditch a friend for a girl you want to go out with. Dates are easier to get (way easier than you think they are) than good friends.

6- It’s always better to apologies and patch things up. Carrying the baggage is useless most of the time.

7- Winning is easy, losing graciously is not. Accept the defeat, and respect your opponents for their efforts only to try harder the next time.

8- Respect the people who criticize you and are brutally honest with you. Deep down they are the ones who really care for you and would stand by you in thick and thin.

9- Start playing a sport with the advantage of hindsight may be squash. Though you think that you suck at everything which is a sport but you would really enjoy the act of playing.

10- Don’t call everyone 5 years elder to you, uncle or aunty. It hurts big time when the same comes back to haunt you.

So these are the 10 advices I had, what about you? If you could go back ten years, what are the 10 things that you would tell your younger self?

Happy Diwali

Last year I wrote a post on Diwali which is one of my favorites, you can read it here. But somehow this year I could not come up with something as meaningful as last year so this time its an odd limerick coming your way for Diwali wishes instead.

I woke up this morning and the festivities were on my mind,
The sounds of celebrations, never hard to find,
Diwali wishes for everyone was the order of the day,
and I was unable to produce any rhyme to my own dismay.

Nothing to write, and no new idea anywhere in near vision,
All I am going to do is a past & present’s comparison.
Diwali from the memories and the look into the past,
Diwali today and wondering how long will the traditions last

Times have past and all the world is so different,
Festivities of Diwali stood the test of time, retained it’s scent,
The legend of yesteryears, and the festivity today,
The reasons have changed but the spirit does stay.

The prince on exile coming back to his people and Kingdom,
Now is the return of the lights, fireworks and Bombs,
The era of washing, painting and getting away with stuff too old,
Only to be survived by the glitters, dry fruits, and Gold.

A Time for being together, pray eat and set the crackers on fire,
This time its the recession in the backyards and prices just going higher,
Diwali Wishes everywhere for friends, family and everyone dear & sweets,
Hiked SMS tariffs this Diwali, I guess it’s gonna be only 140 Character Tweets.

Recession, Price Hikes and a million other problems bray,
The festivities of Diwali together the country Prays,
The reasons have changed but the spirit still stays,
The Zing to shout “Happy Diwali” never does faze.

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali



Wishing a very happy and prosperous Diwali to all my readers.

An Abode

There was a scene in the movie Bluffmaster where Boman Irani tells Abhishek Bachan about how moments define the life. You can watch the scene here . He points out the life is not measured in the days we breath, life is measured in the moments that take our breath away, like first car, first kiss, first time you touch a girl. It was a really powerful dialogue and quite true.

This year I made two huge decisions which would mark as life changing moments for me, some moments I would always remember. The most important one being this and the second important one is the one which I am talking about here.

I have been waiting to write this post since quite a few days but somehow one thing or the other kept coming in between. More than that somehow I didn’t felt so strongly as I thought I should have or I would have. But a few days back when I came back home there was a slight change near the entrance. I saw this and I felt a strange kind of rush in me. It was such a sight for me which was an indication of I have achieved something in my life.

My Name on the Plate

My Name on the Plate


Yes, yours truly managed to obtain a “Chat” (roof) over his head by committing next 20 mortgage paying years of his life to the State Bank of India. Yeah it is the banker to this Indian too, and now I can relax at least someone does care I am alive (and yes making my home loan payments too).
So I finally managed to get a decent roof spread over three room and not spread across the two terrace balcony in the city of Pune. It was tough ordeal in a new city (though I have spent couple of years here but still buying a house is a lot different) which involved doing background searches, haggling with builders, spending countless Saturdays and Sundays zeroing down on the exact place which you would like to make your home.
One of the most beautiful moments and most significant moment of my life was on July 1st 2009 when I came to the house with all the Pooja related stuff for the moving in Puja which i did myself as I still was a 27 year old single bachelor staying far away from his parents. My hands were trembling when I found this door closed on my face and my name written on it and the keys of the lock to it in my pocket. I am not sure what my story would be with this house and how good or how bad it would be. But I know one thing for sure I have made my second most important commitment with this place. And this place belongs to me.

The Door of my house

The Door of my house

Somethings in life make it worthwhile, because they are the milestones of your journey. The milestones through which you would recall your memories and this very same journey asking the most important question of my life “I gave my life to become the person I am right now, Was it worth it” and something deep within tell me that the key to this answer might be kept in my pocket like the key of the door above.

Haal Chaal Theek Thaak Hai

I wrote a post on Gulzaar Sahab some time back here. Undoubtedly Gulzaar Sahab has been a master of poetry & lyrics of our time. You know I can proudly said I lived in the times of the great poet Gulzaar.
I am sure a lot of people would be familiar with the serious and in-depth writings of Gulzaar Sahab on human nature, love, emotions etc.

Somehow you don’t find the sarcastic sides in the poets too often and then finding a sarcastic side to such a deep poet is something beyond imagination. Now here I got a song which captures his hold on sarcasm current issues and problems of the society and how beautifully he has imbibed in a poetry and then the lyrics of the song. Kishore Kumar has done a fabulous job with Mukesh singing it in such a mood that is so relevant to the depth of the song.

The movie is a 1971 movie when the country was struggling with problems like Corruption, Unemployment, Quota Raj or License Regime, spiraling high prices. And Gulzaar captures them so well making it funny yet deep. Sarcastic and absolutely true.
For those who haven’t heard this song before or got the lyrics completely I have compiled both of them below. Enjoy another beauty by Gulzaar Sahab.


Haal Chaal Theek Thaak hai
Sab Kuch Theek Thaak hai
Kaam nahi hai warna yahaan
aapki dua se sab theek thaak hai

Aab-o-hawa
Aab-o-hawa desh ki bahot saaf hai
kaayda hai, kanoon hai, insaaf hai,
Allah Jaane Koi Jiye Ya Mare
aadmi ko khoon voon sab maaf hai

Aur Kya Kahoon, Choti Moti Chori
Rishwat Khori Deti Hai Apna Guzara yahaan
aapki dua se baaki theek thaak hai

Gol Mol Roti ka Pahiya Chala-2
Peeche Peeche Chaandi ka rupaiya Chala
Roti Ko Bechaari Ko cheel le gayi
Chandi Leke munh kala Kauwa Chala

Aur Kya Kahoon, Maut Ka Tamaasha
chalaa Hai Betahaasha,
Jeene Ki Fursat Nahi Hai Yahaan
Aap Ki Dua Se Baaki Theek Thaak Hai.

A Promise & Taj Heritage

It was evening around a year back on the fateful evening of November 26, 2008. I logged in to twitter and there was something about an attack on Mumbai all over my timeline. When I switched on the television there were live feeds about how ten terrorists brought intense pain and suffering to the entire country. It was a moment where you feel the pain for the country, the system, the traffic, nothing was relevant. All that was relevant there were some intruders who had captured hostages and were killing people who were so related to me by my nationality. I can never forget the tragic event, though I was at a distance away and in oblivion but still something was boiling inside, something wanted to react.
When finally the whole ordeal ended I was looking into the TV how the things have ended. One of the most prime hotels in India The Taj Heritage was still smoking fire and things seemed so bad. It felt so sad and connected. I promised myself that I am going to visit this place as soon as possible. This was a very emotional reaction and an illogical one too but somehow it did mean a lot to me. It was my way of belonging to the country, associating myself with the legendary history of a place which set examples in crisis. A place where the general manager was on duty the next day even when his family passed away in the tragic incident and I feel so proud to say that I belong to the same alma mater as him. A place where the staff was still there to help the guests when the bullets were being fired and people were dying and we thought it was Vijay Malya who treated customers as guest.
So a fortnight ago I visited Mumbai and as I had promised myself, I went to the Taj Heritage. The place simply took me by awe, though I had been there around 5-6 years back but that was a quick visit and it was just another hotel but this time it was different. I actually cruised around the hotel could see the wooden planks in the heritage building which were made to cover the previous entrance for renovation after the terrorist attacks. I could close my eyes and relive the scenes of disaster. I gave my car to the valet, I felt an immense respect for the people out there. They might have been the same guys who put up the brave face that day. I went inside the restaurant, they had closed the entire Heritage building for renovation but still I felt so proud to be at that place and it felt so being an Indian.
It was such an amazing experience, we did click some pictures will be updating them with the post here very soon. I was so encompassed on the greatness of the place and the legend it would be that I was totally lost in it. When I stepped out there were only two things in my mind “I will come here again, I promise.” and “F**K the god damn terrorists just hang them in public”.

Rakhi (No Not Sawant)

Winners and losers are more often than not a matter of perspectives. When I was in school we used to have holiday on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. The day before the Rakshabandhan used to be a happening one. The teachers used to give us the last period off, where the girls would get Rakhis and would tie to the guys and we would carry chocolates for them. It used to be a fun filled day, though the last period was specifically for this purpose, but the Rakhi tying would continue the whole day in recess and between periods.
Now there used to be an unsaid race, competition between the boys as who gets more Rakhis. So we used fight for the coveted post plying all sorts of tactics. The girls whom we generally used to make fun of were treated extra nicely just a week before Rakhi (Nicely= Giving Away Sharing our Lunch Boxes). The hints were dropped the kind of chocolates (Amul, Dairy Milk or 5 Star). I even went to customize my chocolate assortment in preference to the choice of individual and keep an estimate of the number of chocolates I would buy aka number of Rakhis. With all the cautious planning and strategizing on the D-day the war got hotter, results were consistently been updated like any live match on arms of the every guy around.
The real time strategizing used to happen when you used to pass the girls who have not tied you Rakhi repeatedly so she remembers that you are left. Beg, borrow and beg more to get more Rakhis, when the prospective sisters exhausted in our own sections the new Rakhi tying prospects were scouted from other sections and a class senior and a class junior to you. Towards the end of it the both the hands had Rakhis all over it like the Banyan tree outside the temple is wrapped in the sacred thread. In all hot & humid weather and hand wrapped in thread which used it itch. Nothing mattered then, I had the most Rakhis on my hand.
Now you get it, making every girl possible around me my sister and I thought I was a winner. I mean people pay cover charges to get into clubs where they can ogle/approach/hit on girls. And I was at a place where the gender ratio was far more balanced than a government engineering college and all I did was to catch hold of every girl in and around my age and made her my sister. Now this is called a perfect Loser, ain’t so people? Well a lot of mistakes are forgiven when you are 10 years old.
It’s been so many years what used to be being Winners is now being a loser. But invariably the day never lost its significance, if anything it gained it further. It’s been almost 10 years since I have stepped out of home and had missed most of the Rakshabandhan. But this can neither stop me from remembering my sisters and feeling good about them nor can it stop me from tying all the Rakhi love they send me every year on my hand.
So this day for the Sisters!!! Happy Rakhi !!!!

Walk in the By-lanes of Yesterdays

Sri tagged me with this tag about how I actually spent holidays, and had gala times during my good Old-Days. My holidays have never been very happening, I was way different from the normal kids of my age (not that I was any abnormal, just that I had different interests). I was never too much into sports until a year back when I discovered my love for Squash; I particularly sucked at playing cricket which rest of my friends thoroughly enjoyed. Being an only child, and no people in the neighborhood of my age,  so my holidays were mostly alone and self indulging. I would categorize my holidays into five different phases in life.

1- Books, Television and Some more– The earliest phase of my life the holidays were primarily concentrated with visits of cousins either me visiting them or they visiting my place for some days. Apart from the time when they were here and I had company to play all sorts of games etc, I used to watch television most of the time. Specially the DD was the only channel available an it used to specially telecast a holiday special series for children (I think it was called Chutti Chutti, the title score went something like Ha Ha Hi Hi aa gayi Chutti….). A huge part of my holidays went into reading and every year in holidays my reading lists included all the literature (Hindi & English) prescribed in my syllabus for the coming year, Misha, Suman Saurabh, Chacha Choudhary, Billu, Pinki, Nagraj, Dhruva, and sometime Enid Blyton, Nancy Drew or Agatha Christie.

2- Life of a Samurai– Then came the advent of Video Games, I was first exposed to video games through some shop which used to give out the 16 & 32 bit video games on rent which could be connected to TV and played with the joysticks. We used to rent that console for overnight and used play the whole night just to ensure not a single penny of the rent is not wasted.  The video games came big time in my life when I got my first Samurai video game and the trade of 64-KB cartridges 64-in-one, 1200-in-One started. The holidays were spent on the countless hours of practice of Mario Bros., Contra, Arkanoid, Bomber Man, Load Runner, Tetris.

3- C for Coding & C for Computers– Then after that I got my favorite toy, My first computer which was an age old 386 and I developed a keen interest in programming and computer hardware. After that most of my holidays were spent sitting glued to the computer screen or reading something on the topic and trying out things I had learnt. I learnt Gwbasic (if people still remember what it as), Dbase 3 plus and databases,  C, C++, HTML by myself (this is till year 1999, and Web was not evident in India, only a lucky few had access to what websites are, and Java was a distant dream).

4- End of Holidays– Once I got into engineering Holidays became more of Internships, preparing for CAT and other serious stuff. The only fun part we did in holidays was preparing ideas for the organizing the Fests in the college. We started making biking trips to whatever nearby areas we got near Jhansi. After coming to MBA there was hardly a thing called holidays in a span of two years. But whatever small breaks we got we totally explored areas and weekend hangouts in and around Pune.

5- Holidays Now– Sometimes I wish that even work had a concept of long summer holidays where you can take a month off just without any agenda. The only holidays I get now are in terms of leaves and they are availed in case of sickness or visiting family. The weekends are consumed in an endless struggle to get some rest and manage the chores. Sometimes when I look back, I think there were a lot of things I should have done when I had a chance and I had holidays but something deep down tells me the holidays are not coming back any soon.

So friends this was my take on how I had good times on my holidays, now comes my turn to tag people and I tag-

Serendipity– Would like to know how she spent her holidays
Meera– I am sure she would come up with Hillarious Cartoons on Holidays
Thenewbnb– Well Holiday Breakfasts were one things I wanted to mention but let the Breakfast specialist do it .

Domestic Disasters: Mosquito Bytes

Monika tagged me to write about the domestic horrors. Well I have been a very civilized kid throughout. My lazy self and averseness to do anything in the kitchen which includes lighting the gas stove, they are really complicated procedure and should be done only by the trained professionals (Read: Mom). Then upholding of family tradition in taking laziness to new levels, I never experimented with Ironing of clothes or anything of the sorts. Even all the electrical circuitry experiments which was the most I did along the house were carefully handled.

So I have not involved in major domestic disasters, except for a fact where I almost try to burned the house down by leaving a switch open for a fan which had its coils burning or the other time when I burnt down the Hostel room with the incense sticks (Agarbatti) which I left burning on my room after the prayers. But there is one disaster I managed which was not very deadly, but yeah it’s a paramount display of my care and concern for the family, health and hygiene, despite that I got thrashed badly by my mom Hitler V6.0 22nd Reprint. So here is how the story goes-

I was a kid then you know something like 8-9 years old. The time around May used to be a happening time in the house, as my holidays would have been going on and my cousins Ekta & Shweta would come to live at our place and I used to get someone to play with me and boss around for some time. This was also the time when my Mom used to prepare a lot of delicacies, specially different kind of Achars (pickles). Now my mom is an amazing cook and she puts in lot of effort to ensure that whatever we eat is home made this generalizes from daily meals to sweets to ghee to pickles to papad. As a matter of fact I have hardly seen any of these being ever bought in my home.

Getting back to the story, so this may the mango produces were good and my mom decided that she would prepare aam ka achar (mango pickle) for everyone in the family. Undertaking this mammoth feat she actually put in pickles in a tub must have been around 10 kgs of kacha aam ka achar. I don’t know where and why, but during some part of her preparation this pickle needs to be left out in the air for drying or fermenting. I don’t really know why, so mom actually made place for the huge tub which had all 10 Kgs of Achar on the table and then she left for some work outside home. At this time me and Shweta were at home playing around the house and having fun, when my sharp eye for details noticed the biggest fallacy done by my mom. She left had left the tub with all the Achar open, and there were mosquitoes all over the achar.

Being a diligent student that I was, I remembered my teachers telling me that mosquito bites can cause malaria. Well and I didn’t wanted everyone eating the achar to be sick, so I we decided that we would set it right. So we got which was proclaimed to be the best solution for mosquitoes on national television aka doordarshan, the Odomos and with all due diligence we applied odomos on the achar where the mosquitoes were sitting.

Being the humble person I am, I forgot to report this incident to mom, No point making her feel guilty her responsible son had covered her tracks and the achar was good to go. When my mom saw the achar she tried to figure out what went wrong. She also thought if butter had fallen into the achar. Then finally she asked me, if I knew what happened. Well I surely did and I being a true gentleman, I obliged and narrated the story in full detail. Man what happened after that was real disaster, I got a well deserved thrashing and mom had to throw away a lot of her achar.

Everyone in the family including my sis & mom we still laugh like crazy, over this incident. But deep down I just thank god, the hit & baygon Sprays of the world were not invented, and bombarded from the TV at that time. God knows what would have happened then.

Examinations

I have reached way past my student life (way as in read 2 years) but the student life leaves such highlights on you that they are imbibed on our minds. Examinations are one such phenomenon that they can generate extreme ends of feelings in a human being. I thought that I would write this post on LES but I got a midway riff of my old time memories. So here I convey the emotions I felt during different examinations in the entire span of life-

1- Joy- When you get your examination paper, and you find out it is the same version for which you paid the clerk last night. The feeling first smile on your face yes that’s what you call Joy.

2- Disgust- When you sit for an examination for engineering entrance and you get question for a 8th Grader. (It happened to me when I gave the University Engineering college Entrance Exam). The feeling you want me to answer Kiddo questions, I want to be an engineer dude. That’s Disgusting isn’t it?

3- Acceptance- When you know you are anyways going to Flunk the examinations and stop trying.

4- Fear- When you never studied Accounts or Fin-101 or Electrical Machines & Measuring Instruments, the damn subjects are so drag that you feel sleepy deciding that you will study in the morning. Only to find you woke up 15 mins before the examination starts.

5- Surprise- When you open the question paper, only to find that you were reading the Theory of Automata whole day yesterday and they by mistake gave you the paper of Discrete Mathematics

6- Sadness- Well by default Exams are a sad phenomenon until you are Monica Geller.

7- Anger- When you realize the question paper you paid for yesterday night was Fluid Mechanics for 4th Semester Civil Engg. and you are supposed to appear for Engg. Mechanics 2nd Semester. Damn would have been better if you knew what subjects you were opting for.

8- Anticipation- When the papers like Theory of Automata, Compiler Design, Macro-Economics, Accounts are on the Exam list. The shivering you get is often out of anticipation

9- Empathy- When your Juniors in engineering college flunk the same subject you did and tell you how the entire paper was out of course. At that point of time what shows on your face is empathy

10- Worry- When you realize that you have to give exams this semester, and it would have been a lot better if you wouldn’t have just relied on proxies the entire semester

11- Regret- The feeling when you stand outside the dean’s office explaining why you couldn’t maintain 75% 60% 50% even 15% attendance in the class. The odds are 6 to 4 that he would give you the hall ticket to sit in the examination.

12- Curiosity- When you don’t know a thing asked in the question paper, and the person sitting front/back/ left/right/diagonally to you is writing profoundly as if he has to finish the legend of Mhabharata faster than Ved Vyas could have recited it. The feeling right inside you which makes you lean forward and sneak into his notebook is called Curiosity. No I don’t call it cheating; Curiosity is human instinct right?

13- Desire- When you write on small chits of paper on your hands covered inside full shirts, at the back of calculators and rulers and pencil box and even admit card and its envelope. That’s what is the desire to succeed.

14- Envy- The little emotion you get when the most seriously studying girl (yeah its always a girl who would complete all her homework in time, do all assignments, read two chapters in advance from 5 different books, She’s always a girl) would tell which question was from which book, on what page and how many times she had done it prior to the exams.

15- Pressure- When you step out of your hostel room in the
night before going to sleep, to find lights in all the rooms are on. You come back switch on your table lamp and then go to sleep.

That’s all about the Emotions and Exams. To come back to LES as I had already promised Reema, who is having her last exam tomorrow, that I will write about it on my blog today. I had a term defined especially for an occurrence in behavior prior to the last Exam. I like to call it as Last Exam Syndrome (LES). LES as I called it, is the euphoria because of the realization that you are going to be the free bird after the next exam. The joy of anticipation is so unparalleled that you actually start enjoying and feeling relaxed and happy. As a matter of fact you don’t even feel the same emotions when exams actually do get over, that would match the happiness quotient of time between the second last and last exams. So Reema enjoy your LES and Best of Luck for your exams tomorrow.