Category After R2I – Daily life

Home food and cooking after R2I

Home food cooking in India after R2I

Please address me as Maharaja Jeloka. Organic this and sautéed that, whole grain something with Spanish something, and a drink that’s got New Orleans and Assam!

Our R2I home meals are indeed more lavish than in Boston.

The good

Meenal calls ahead so the cook can have most things prepared. The first time, she shows him how its done. Every time after that, dinner takes 15 Meenal minutes! I make the cocktails.

Continue reading: Home food and cooking after R2I

Comment


90 F in March. F for Fahrenheit or ****?

New Delhi weather in MarchMumbai weather in March

In Delhi’s defense, the heat is dry – no humidity. It doesn’t feel half as bad as Boston’s humid 90 degrees F days.

But summer is almost here. I won’t be defending anything in a few weeks.

Comment


India in pictures: An Indian night

India in pictures: Ajmer, Rajasthan. 2001.Ajmer, Rajasthan. 2011.

Comment


Quality of life after returning to India is challenging outside our bubble

Quality of life in India after R2IPHOTO: Driving in India’s capital after R2I Delhi. Usually, there is no caution tape.

Today is Sunday. That means that the driver is off and we need to drive everywhere. The romance of the great quality of life after moving to India seems naïve today, even foolish. What if that guy had run into me? What if I hadn’t seen that pile of concrete in the middle of the highway? We can’t dial 911. The rawness of the Delhi experience outside of our bubble is dangerous and I am feeling scared. I miss safety. After re-entering the bubble of our new Gurgaon home, I sought intellectual solace on the New York Times – where wise people talk about wise things. And I found Mr. Joseph.

Continue reading: Quality of life after returning to India is challenging outside our bubble

Comment


Quality of life is good inside our bubble after our return to India (R2I), January – March 2011

Waiting to enter the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival in Humayun's Tomb PHOTO: Waiting to enter the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival in Humayun’s Tomb

I’m going to do something in this paragraph that’s a strict no-no for husbands. But I’m going to break the code. I have to – she was always less skeptical than me but I had stuck to my guns before moving to India. So here goes – I was wrong Meenal. You were right.

What did I do so wrong that I feel compelled to ruin it for all husbands? Before shipping out, I was convinced that our quality of life after returning to India was going to suck. In fact, I was so convinced that I bought the best noise cancelling headphones that money could by. I was naïve, what can I say?

Here are some of the things of 2011 that makes our quality of life not just better than crap, but pretty darn good.

Music, art and theatre after we R2I Delhi

  • We watched 8 plays and enjoyed 4.5 of them. All of them were screened in the central Delhi area, about an hour from our home in Gurgaon.
  • The idea of attending a real Sufi Qawwali concert in a Darga has always sounded very cool to me. So 10 days ago, we left our expensive shoes at Meenal’s parents house and wore cheaper footwear through the depths Nizamuddin. Attending the qawwali concert at the Nizamuddin darga was fantastic and we are planning to go again in 2 weeks. Watch the audio slideshow of our visit.
  • We attended the Jahan-e-Khusrau outdoor music festival for 2 evenings in the beautiful Humayun’s tomb. The yearly festival celebrated the 14th century poet Amir Khusrow and featured some of the best Sufi artists from India and Pakistan!
  • I found myself thoroughly moved by the Anish Kapoor exhibit at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. I’d never seen anything like it before – accessible, clever and scientific art. A business idea for Mr. Kapoor – please mass produce your smaller sized works and sell them to poor souls (like me).

Continue reading: Quality of life is good inside our bubble after our return to India (R2I), January – March 2011

Comments (3)


Romance, the Indian way

It was 7 am on a chilly Friday morning and I hadn’t seen Meenal all week. As her taxi pulled into the apartment complex, I was loading my bag into another cab to catch my flight to Kolkata.

In the 1 minute that we had to meet and greet before parting again, I uttered these romantic words in her ears:

I left the geyser on for you baby.

Geyser: Water heater for taking hot showers in India. If you forget to turn it on a couple of hours in advance, ouch.

Comments (2)


Barbecuing successfully after returning to India (2nd try)

Building a barbecue in India - making holesBuilding a barbecue in India - welding the legsBuilding a barbecue in India - welding the grill Building a barbecue in India - behold man's will
Barbecuing in India - Vegetables20110203-IMG_8110-2Barbecuing in India - Garlicy tomatoes with goat cheese

Last week, I headed to a local metal shop to construct a grill from scratch – armed with metal bowls called ‘Tasla’ (otherwise used by construction labor to carry cement), metal beams (otherwise used to make bookshelves) and a lot of enthusiasm. My last try at barbecuing with a gas tandoor didn’t make my heart sing but this time it was going to be different.

3 hours of welding and 2 cups of sweat later, I had 4 spanking new barbecue grills – ghetto style!

Continue reading: Barbecuing successfully after returning to India (2nd try)

Comments (5)


R2I highlights – 60 days after moving to India from USA

  • I bribed a traffic official $2.13 (Rs.100) at the airport to watch my car so I could run into the terminal and fetch my lost American friend
  • Meenal watched and graded the delivery of a baby (failing grade) as well as a sterilization (near perfect score) in a government hospital in rural Rajasthan
  • A grandmother in the labor room wished that her newborn granddaughter die leaving Meenal speechless. This was the fifth girl in the family as they had been trying to get a son.
  • Our $4000 car needed $650 (Rs.30,000) in major repairs due to a missing drain cover inside our apartment complex
  • We’ve visited family and friends in Mumbai (Bombay), Kolkata (Calcutta), Ajmer (Rajasthan) and several parts of Delhi and enjoyed most of it
  • We’ve learnt to drive on Delhi roads – send a confident ‘don’t cross’ message when you spot pedestrians, beware of vehicles bigger than you, and don’t take people cutting you off personally
  • When I want a glass of water, I have caught myself looking around for the housekeeper
  • We’ve attended several weddings – an experience so boring that I’m contemplating a complete ban on all future attendance
  • After we caught 2 rats in the air conditioning ducts, we’ve experienced no further visits a revisit from the rodent
  • We came very close to fatal traffic accident and each of the 5 passengers treated the incident as a minor annoyance

Comments (6)


Delhi Winters – sunny and balmy or cold and foggy

Sunny and balmy

  • Show some skin while sitting in the sun (guys only please)
  • Sun yourself some more
  • Feel guilty about the giddy happiness and drag yourself to work

Delhi Winters: When there is no fog, the sun is beautiful

Continue reading: Delhi Winters – sunny and balmy or cold and foggy

Comment


Tweets R2I tweets on January 15th

Driver driving, NPR Tiny Desk Concert playing – Meenal complaining about volume, 2 laptops online with Tata Photon data card. Life in the motherland. #

Comment


Terry Gross, Ira Glass and Peter Sagal – my car in India has NPR!

National Public Radio in IndiaPHOTO: Prashant Jeloka worships these NPR shows, even in India!

I can say with confidence that I will give up many food items before I give up NPR. Thankfully, my lean (and sexy) body will not need to become leaner (and sexier). My car in India now plays National Public Radio!

How can you do the same (even though World Space went bankrupt)?

Continue reading: Terry Gross, Ira Glass and Peter Sagal – my car in India has NPR!

Comment (1)


Motor bikes can transport anything on Indian Roads!

20101206-IMG_7192-3 Motor bike carrying 2 large pieces of glass in Gurgaon, India Scooter carrying man and kid with lots of wood in Amjer, Rajasthan, India Carrying a rolled up mattress on a motor bike in Gurgaon, India Motor bike with 2 large boxes on Jaipur - Delhi highway

Continue reading: Motor bikes can transport anything on Indian Roads!

Comment


Playing Ultimate Frisbee in New Delhi, India

Returning to India makes you miss public facilities like the Boston Commons and the State Parks. Parks in Delhi, where available, aren’t well maintained. You can’t walk (let alone run looking up for a disk) without looking down all the time to avoid bricks, dogs, debris, etc.

Thankfully, Saumya Kanoria organizes Ultimate Frisbee on Sundays in his beautiful farm – green everywhere you look, 6-10 players, and a lot of running. It’s my favorite afternoon of the week!

Sunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya'sSunday Frisbee at Saumya's

Continue reading: Playing Ultimate Frisbee in New Delhi, India

Comments (5)


Delhi Airport has the best restroom signs in the world

New Delhi has a fantastic new airport. And someone there has a sense of humor (or a funny non-humor personality). I love it!

4 FUNNY pictures of the Delhi airport restrooms

Restroom picture of New Delhi airportRestroom picture of New Delhi airportRestroom picture of New Delhi airportRestroom picture of New Delhi airport

Comments (2)


Defeating the rats of Mahabharata

A few years ago, Surya of New Hampshire had done a business out of India. He had many tales, one of which included an army of rats, his cables and Surya shouting with such frustration that you could see his blood red esophagus (Surya likes to use fancy words). Such a tale would have awed anyone, and it made me fear for my internet kingdom.

Since I am softer spoken than Surya and too modest to show my esophagus in public, I have encased my internet in 2000 pounds of pure stainless steel. If the rat armies manage to break my defenses, it will be the crowning achievement of their civilization and deserve a movie to celebrate it: The Rats of Mahabharata versus the cunning defenses of Jeloka ji.

A new stainless steel boxMy equipment and the perforated boxThe equipment insideOnly rats with balls of steel beyond this point

See BIG pictures of my kingdom’s defenses

Comments (2)


Gingery Daap (Coconut) cocktail

These cocktails are made keeping in mind the high cost and limited availability of alcohol in India and the luxurious access to freshly squeezed juices. So far, I’ve found Vodka (several brands), Rum (Bacardi) and Gin to be decently priced in India.

20101128-IMG_69826

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part coconut juice
  • 3/4 part sprite (as a sweetener)
  • Ginger juice to taste
  • Lemon

Shake vodka, coconut juice, ginger juice and lemon with ice. Strain into ice filled glass. Top off with Sprite and stir.

Comment


Minty Keenu (Orange) cocktail

These cocktails are made keeping in mind the high cost and limited availability of alcohol in India and the luxurious access to freshly squeezed juices. So far, I’ve found Vodka (several brands), Rum (Bacardi) and Gin to be decently priced in India.

Minty Keenu

  • 1/2 part rum
  • 1/2 part vodka
  • 1 part freshly squeezed tart Keenu juice
  • 1/2 part sprite
  • Mint leaf

Shake rum, vodka and Keenu juice with ice. Add Sprite and stir.
Muddle 3 mint leaves in glass, add ice and pour.

Comments (2)