Monday, February 18, 2013

himalayan apple cider

a story if i may.

years back i lived in the city of dehradun off and on for about ten months.  it was a difficult year where the extremes of life and living were more plentiful than any i've ever experienced or hope to ever experience again the future.

to put it lightly, it was a year of struggle.

i was, however, grateful to have spent a good majority of those months in the magnificent city of dehradun, the capital of the indian state of uttarakhand (at that time it was called uttaranchal).  i sometimes refer to dehradun as the boulder, colorado of india because it truly is one of the last towns on the plains. on a clear morning if you reach the tops of those mountains you get a massive visit of plenty of mountains over 6000 metres, yes the himalayas, young and epic.

so i returned here on saturday morning, starting out before dawn on a rainy and cold new delhi morning, hopped a ride in an old and bulbously decades transcendent ambassador taxi and caught the 6:50am dehradun shatabdi up north (a great and smooth and comfy train), i got to dehradun in time for lunch, the air was biting and fresh, the mountains a hop, skip and a jump up rajpur road.

the next morning i woke up in dehradun and the 24 hours of rain had put a blanket dusting on the tops of a few mountains near the hill station of musoorie, in all my time here i'd never seen that, but these himalayas are special and that's the kind of magic they offer and they only just start just on the outskirts of dehradun city.

ah yes, let me get to the apple cider part.  when i lived in dehradun, them years long back, i ate a lot of fruit. you and i, yeah, i mean you and i, i'm talking to you, love fruit, love fruits. who doesn't?

well i used to collect fruit stickers. someone gave me the idea long ago and for many years fruit stickers dotted cabinets of our kitchen, like coloured bindis on mirrors. so one day in dehradun back in the day, i bought a bunch of apples and remember seeing a fruit sticker that said something like, "royal kashmir apples."

something about that fruit sticker spoke to me and i've thought of it often since then.  a land that for me, conjours up connotions of struggle, thoughts of conflict, perhaps led zeppelin, but usually not. i often think of the line of control, kargil, war and warring.

but that fruit sticker was special because it made me think of apples.  importantly, that moment re-appropriated a place mired in conflict for generations, since partition, into something positive, something beautiful and people do tell me that state is beautiful...

i might mention, i've spoken to many about wanting to find that fruit sticket again. i always wished i had saved it and i've even dug around old year diaries looking for it, but to no avail. but yesterday, i stopped at every fruit vendor and voila, there is was (or one like the one i remembered) and i bought two apples and with them came two free fruit stickers.

i have plans for these fruit stickers and look forward to the creation that will ensue and hopefully will be one small simple little itty bitty step towards positive vibrations.

that crunch into an apple, that brown is beautiful jug of cider!

love and health to all...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

taj ice cream

reading time out mumbai, i came across an article about an area called bhendi bazaar.  it was the cover article in fact, about how the neighborhood is due to be completely re-zoned and that the vibe, energy and soul of the place would inevitable be changed in many ways with new buildings that are due to go up in the next few years.

the neighborhood is old and later in the issue, a two page spread highlighted some of the culinary treats available, including wonderfully fat and brown and slightly burned jalebis and taj ice cream, a 130 or so year old establishment that makes fresh fruit ice cream out of magnificent fruit of the season.

the adventure seemed too good to be true and i navigated my way, about a 45 minute walk, on my lonesome, through wide hectic streets and somewhat industrial areas as the day turned to night, the sound of the call to prayer punctuating the car honks and dogs barking.

eventually i made it to bhendi bazaar and taj ice cream. i told the owner, whose name i wrote down, but the paper on which i wrote it i have now misplaced, that i had come because of time out mumbai.

he told me to have a seat and i was treated to a cup of sitaphal (sugar apple or custard apple) ice cream and another of strawberry, both in season.  i even got to go into the kitchen and see where the ice cream gets churned.

it was a great evening.  burnt jalebis soon...

love and health to all...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

said who? the people? the networks? google? or the word on the street?

good question. not sure. interesting statement up there in the sky.

content creation is everywhere, hot damn.

but what the deal with it and all our silly gadgets?

maybe some of the people of this spinning duniya know?

love and health to all...

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

memos from mumbai...

scenes from a big city full of emotion, energy and much more...

love and health to all...