Buying Chicken

**** No advice or helpful suggestion included in below article ( Sorry about that )

There’s a conversation between Ewan Mcgregor and Charley Boorman in Long way round or Long way down where they debate if kids know where meat comes from. One of them had the idea that kids assume meat comes from supermarket, and they wonder if they knew that the kids knew animals had to slaughtered and it doesn’t just appear on supermarket shelves.  At one point, this used to be my favourite series, its funny how I don’t quite remember the exact details now. But they had a point, and thats what I used to think too.

I am a cradle carnivorous person and I don’t think that’s ever going to change – unless it meatless Fridays or Lent – but I did come close to changing my preferences when I went to get chicken the other day

The concept of Fresh chicken here implies a live chicken slaughtered in front of you, something I am not quite used to — but that’s exactly what it is .. the only way it can get fresher than that is if you grow it yourself.

The stores here, have live chicken waiting for the slaughter, once you have made your choice , you get to make more choices – very much like how you get subway ( Oh the absolute torture!! ) . The butcher asks you questions you never thought he’d ask, questions you’d never think you’d ever think to have to ever answer .

The conversation goes something like this

Butcher Person: Skin? or Skinless

Me : Skinless ( Confidently)

Butcher Person: You want Kidneys?

Me : No ( Grossed Out)

Butcher Person: Feet

Me : Eww No.. I like the ones I have on right now

Butcher Person: Liver ? ( frowning at this point )

Me : Na… you keep it ( gagging)

Butcher Person: Bones

Me : Whaaat? (  Strongly reconsidering whether I want this chicken or not)

Butcher Person : I am guessing that’s a no… Young people these days – When I was your age….. ( he then proceeded to tell me the things he did when he was my age, I am guessing he thought i was 35 or something… so that didnt quite tally)

Weeks of eating just vegetables and the green stuff had my system begging for some form of protein not found in milk alone, so for the sake of desperation I humoured the butcher person, answered all his questions, ended up with a chicken removed off alll the unnessecary accessories – and walked home, happy for my small accomplishment

It got me thinking though we are so sensitized, so far removed from things come to be, we find it weird, and strange when we don’t have things the way we are used to. Something I admire and wondering where this path is going to lead me – Whatta Life

I do hope the butcher person saved my preferences, so we won’t have this conversation again.


Here’s to Chicken and new experiences

edited Robin




Moving Places

Sometimes in life you are forced to leave your place of comfort for another place, hopefully also of comfort ( fingers crossed, if you’re lucky ) . In my case, moving places happened because I reached that point in my life, where  I had to take a husband.

And a Husband I have taken ( Smiles )

The Husband is good, the place is good too, I have a place for my toothbrush and shoes- space he has so willingly surrendered ( in case you are reading this, Husband, see I make the compliments )

In a space of 2 months I went from Engaged, Employed, self driving  & aware to Married, ,have had an additional name added to my existing name, unemployed, pedestrian and completely at a loss of how numbers work –  but it is exciting. Moving  across two vastly Countries was quite a task is what I’ve learned – also a bit of a sacrifice, turns out you can’t really take 2 wardrobe full of clothes with you and you have to learn how to survive on a capsule wardrobe –  something  I am still coming to terms with ( I still miss you, my pink pants)

Moving brings out the survivor in you – it makes you tough and a discoverer and makes you walk a whole lot more than you planned to ( which is good for all the fitness apps on my phone)  its true though you see more of a place on your feet, rather than in a car or on a bike.Bangalore is great for walking, the streets are lined with these old and arching trees, its green, and its not even monsoon as yet, the houses have this quaint and old homely feel to it, small but not boxy, not squared or boring – I imagine it must be a great place to be an architect or an urban sketcher here- something  I am going to take advantage of. The city seems old and new at the same time – there are hints of age where it is required and then there are all these new experimental restaurants and places ,which is great – I am beginning to appreciate the balance between the two.

Three weeks in and I have a good feeling about this place, its been long since I’ve done something big and scary and new and this is all of that a hundred times over. Moving seems to have solved that, every day there is something to discover, new people to meet, funny and strange experiences to have had and more plants to buy .

I think I am going to like it here.

Here’s to new changes, a new roommate and a new city to be discovered



If you are tired, Rest

The heat is back, and back in force. Funnily enough we are blaming the Feb- March rainfall for it. Weather predictions are all crazy these days, with sandstorms and high temperatures and we are even expecting some rain, which is weird at this time of the year, but its not something we will refuse. We could do with some rain, a lot of rain would be even better ( last time it rained, work was cancelled.. so you know why its a welcome prediction )

But its the vacation I am waiting for. Vacations  starts from the day you submit your leave application, and continues all the way you are back from your said vacation and have to return to work and start planning for the next one. Truth – The anticipation of vacation is always greater than the actual vacation, and you plan to do so many things, as though there are a 1000 days in a single day, sadly, the number of hours in a day remain the same throughout the year, vacation or not.

I read somewhere

” If you are Hungry, eat; if you are tired, Don’t complain, Rest and Pray always” .

Rest seems like such a simple thing to do, when its probably more satisfying to complain and whine and groan and cry about how tired you are, but there’s only so much your system can take, before you have a “check engine’ light going off on your body . With all this crazy technology, there’s no escape from work, someone is always calling about something, there’s always that email you have to answer and there’s always something pressing that needs your attention. I used to look at people carrying their laptop suitcase things to work and return late in the night and I used to take, what is this madness driving them, until  I realized that it was the same madness driving me.. the urgency of the moment, never having a cleared desk or an unread inbox. Dad and I did the calculation, of the 168 hours in a week, we work around 50 hours, and the rest 118 hours is just preparation and recovery for the hours worked, and that’s just a weeks calculation.

That’s crazy.

So rest, and go on vacation and talk about the weather, because sometimes you need to do crazy mundane things like that and turn your car into an art studio, cause its toooo hot to stand outside and draw

MAMZZAR 2016 2

Here’s to vacations ( 3 weeks to go)




Letter to the littlest of boys

To our Nathan,
With your tiny feet and ridiculous energy, you have become the darling of our family. We love you more than you love Tic Tac and neeenos. It’s been a long time we had someone who has exhausted us, our energy, our patience and logical thinking abilities, but you have done that and more.
You are a boy through and through and a very good one at that just like the other boys in the family. You are messy, and naughty, you are boisterous and can be quite a handful, but its your innocence that’s endearing. It’s the innocence we have sort of forgotten, the one where you jump into the ocean without worrying about anything, the innocence of making friends without second guessing, the innocence of trusting  people, knowing that everyone you see has God in them. Not to forget your love for sand and all that can be done with it



I pray you grow up to a world that helps you as well as holds you to the ground. I pray you know that happiness is fleeting, but to be content is what we live for. I pray that you know pain and disappointment, along with immeasurable Joy and everlasting Love and I pray that God gives you his Strength and guards you and protects you, guides you and uses you so that you may fulfil your purpose here, may he protect your heart from corruption and spoil and keep it as innocent and as beautiful as it is now.

For now, you are only 2 and a half years old, and your 1000 year old cousin sister, as old as she is,doesn’t know all that much about your ambulance neenos, but she knows what a blessing you are to all of us us how grateful we are to have you.
God Bless you

Here’s to the tiny brother



The only way to eat Crabs *

*With your hands..

Sometimes, when we eat, we eat for the energy and the nutrition, other times we eat, because we have a hunger of the soul, of imagination and of memory. Food is a great carrier of memory, imagination, a binder of relations, a cure for the broken heart, and strength for the body and the soul, a ritual and tradition.

In our home, we eat crabs maybe only just twice a year, but when we do, its feels like a festival, and you look forward to it every year, just like you do your birthday.

The best way to eat crabs is whole, cooked in richly spiced curry, just the way Ma makes it, the only real way to enjoy it, is with your hands, and fingers, with messy plates and messy shirts. It’s like a celebration, there are no side dishes, just plain steamed rice, and your giant humongous vessel of  big traditional Goan crabs, and a table full of your family. And After you’re done, you feel like you’ve just spent in the afternoon in the Goa,with its coconut trees, and the hot summer, just before the monsoon season, and you realize that even if you are far away from Home, Home has never really left you, and you can’t help but be thankful, and happy.

Here’s to life and a vessel full of crabs.



Traveling through the pages

When I was in school, I had this friend who had this fancy family that would tour all around the world every holiday, and I remember thinking to myself, when I got bigger – bigger than 12, I would make a lot of money and go see the world too, it seemed like the cool thing to do.
What we didnt’t have in money, we were blessed with books and imagination. Every occasion called for gifts that were stories bound by covers and had a lot of words in them, words that would take you to different worlds, and sometimes take you around this world.
That was the gift of reading, of imagining, of traveling without leaving home. My parents gave us books, by authors like Enid Blyton, Francis Hodgson, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne and story compilations- those 365 stories series, 365 fairy tales, 365 nature tales, 365 inventions… one story for every day, one adventure for every day, one unforgettable experience for every day.

My most favourite book, beside the giant Peter Pan book that I still have was 365 nature stories.
It was a journal of the world, filled with illustrations of birds and animals, seasons in countries I had never seen, of creatures I had never heard of.

My goodness how I miss illustrated books..

But it was where my fascination for drawing and of illustrations were born, and at the heart of it all, it still seems to inspire me today.

Time is always short when you have a book adventure you are have to go on, and time sure seemed short then, it seems so far away now.

Just 2 weeks ago, we packed all our Harry Potter books, gave it away to my Mother’s friends children, and I couldn’t help thinking that’s one  childhood being passed on to another. In those books, they will find their favourite parts, and they will discuss them, they will learn new words, and travel to different places, and those worn out pages will be the vehicle for someone else’s adventure… that’s the beauty of reading.

That makes me happy, for what is life without great stories

I may not have traveled or have any foreign country stamps in my passport, but I think I have already seen some of the world, and now that I am bigger than 12, I hope I get to see this wonderful world and write my own stories about it.

Here’s to stories, and illustrated books.


Blue Jay singature


Cycles and A Childhood

Childhood memories always always have a bicycle in them, mine’s no different

The first bicycle I ever consciously remember riding was called StreetCat, it was a black and yellow bike which obviously should have been called a bumblebee or a wiz khalifa song, but this was way back in the 00’s, and songs made a little more sense then than they do now

Anywhoo, streetcat belonged to my aunt and sat in my grandma’s tool shed/scary room for a very long time, covered by co-webs and kept warm by chickens that made their home in that shady place. When I was 10, on vacation and a bother to all the adults , who didn’t know how to keep me occupied, I was sent to check on the chickens every half an hour. The chickens annoyed as they were, had no option but to accommodate me in their little world, but my attention was always on Streetcat.

It wasn’t long before my grandma saw the yearning and after much negotiations with the chickens and a not so delighted mother Hen, we managed to free streetcat from the clutches of the crazy chicks. StreetCat was not necessarily the most glamorous cycle, nor was it in the greatest shape, it was but a dream in the eyes of a 10 year old.

After a thorough cleaning, some chain fixing and greasing, convinced by my grandma, I climbed on that monster of a bike. As big as the bike the fishmonger rode, I couldn’t even touch my feet to the ground, which didn’t seem to worry any of my family members, but she took the time to teach me, holding me on one side and balancing on the red rock wall  or “durig” as we call it, afternoon after afternoon my grandma and I kept at it, until I could ride. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but  at that time, it meant the world to me, and a way to see the world around me.

If in this life, if I ever achieve anything, if I do end up doing anything worthwhile it wouldn’t compare with that first feeling of riding that cycle, with my grandma watching me disappear down the road, a smile on her face.


Streetcat is in someone else’s custody now, it has become someone else companion, but for a brief 2 months, it was mine, and I don’t think anything can replace that. A dear friend asked my what was my childhood dream and I immediately said ” to have a cycle” when I asked him what his was, he replied the same thing. We are all the same, and all our memories seem to be the same, small and very very simple.

Thank goodness for the little things in life.

To Chickens, StreetCat, Childhood and my Grandma

edited Robin