Mamma Mia!

I return home from college at 7 o’clock every evening, throw my bag on the sofa and run to the kitchen to claim my right on some delectable mom-made snacks, followed by dinner that’s fit for a King. I’ve never really wondered how she juggles work in the office and at home. May be because she’s never let it seem like a humongous task, which I’m certain it is. Sometimes I feel I should help around in the kitchen but I can barely shuttle between college and tuition without getting drained. I salute all mothers; honestly, I can’t even imagine myself doing this much and surviving to tell the tale. *feels inadequate* *cringes* That’s where McCain comes into my life like an answer to my prayers.

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It takes around 3 minutes to cook which means one is only THREE minutes away from heavenly goodness. It’s so easy to make, either deep fry or bake and you’re all done. No hard work involved, yet the outcome is delish!

During one of my feeling-useless moments, an idea struck me. I totally intend to execute it this weekend when my young shoulders aren’t cumbered with a load of studies. *phew*

Here’s the plan (shhh, don’t tell anybody) –

  1. Come Saturday, I get my stock of McCain Smiles and sneak it into the freezer… Also, (at least) one of every other kind, some of which are – McCain French Fries, McCain Super Wedges, McCain Aloo Tikki, McCain Potato Cheese Shotz, McCain Cheese & Jalapeno Nuggets (Oh.my.God Cheese *nomnomnom*)
  2. Wait for mom to move out for her weekend-evening walk
  3. Whip up a batch of these angelic looking Smiles
  4. Wait for mom to return and surprise her with a plate-full of McCain Smiles!
  5. Click a pic of her happy-smiling face!

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Ta-da! There you have it! My master plan of bringing a smile on my mother’s face in the best way possible *lifts collar and feels proud* I bet you won’t find anything as cute and smile-able as McCain Smiles!

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Okay! Quick question! Hurry up and solve this riddle : What’s crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and delicious all over?

Think, think!

McCain, of course!

No, you’re not getting any prizes for guessing the obvious! Just come on over to share some McCain Chilli Garlic Potato Bites (yummm!) and a cuppa chai! A tasty treat is better than any gift after all, no?!

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Double the smiles all around with McCain! –> http://www.mccainindia.com

It’s Too Late

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It–It can’t be… But it is! I can see myself! I’m 5 years old. Dad’s performing the Diwali puja rituals. An innocent smile spreads across my baby-face as I hear fire crackers burst outside. Phantom-like, I observe my (once) happy family and a tear rolls down.

A momentary flash of white light and there I am again; only this time, 16 years old, receiving my ‘Prefect’ badge in school. I watch my proud, confident self read out a note of thanks.

*Flash* Scene 3 – Me, from around a year back, sitting on a rock facing the sea and laughing, carefree. Through this strange, hollow darkness, I observe my younger self, wishing I could reverse time.

Yet another flash. But I can’t see myself anymore. I can’t see anything, actually. A thick black pall engulfs me. I can’t move either but I hear voices. It’s all coming back to me. I realise what’s happening but it’s too late.

‘Whatever you do, don’t drink and drive beta,’ – mum’s voice. ‘Ek aur shot pee le kuch nahi hoga,’ – Karan’s voice. ‘At least I’m more sober than all you drunkards put together. I’ll drive,’ – my voice. I can’t breathe properly but sounds I hear; wheels screeching, friends screaming, a cyclist whimpering, a windshield smashing to smithereens and a horn that won’t stop.

Strangely the excruciating pain is now easing out. I can feel my wounded body slump and my spirit rise to look at my lifeless form. My head rests on the steering wheel. That’s why the horn won’t stop. Noooo! I don’t want to go. I want to live, please.

My soul weeps terribly but it’s just too late. Words reverberate, shattering the deathly silence – Whatever you do beta, don’t drink and drive.

Maa Aschen! Kolkata Gears Up For Durga Puja, 2015

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With Mahalaya (Mahalaya Amavasya) marking the end of the Pitru Paksha yesterday, 12th October, 2015 and the beginning of Devi Paksha from today, I could not have found a more auspicious day to post this. The Pitru Paksha (Pitri Paksha), as we know is a period when Hindus observe Shraadh/Tarpan (paying homage by making offerings of food) for the souls of their departed ancestors.

The beginning of Devi Paksha (Debi Pokho) marks the decent of Goddess Durga; when she embarks on her journey to earth. Well, Maa Aschen (Mother, Maa Durga is on her way). Here are a few pictures to support both the statement and the heady rush of excitement the words evoke. The City of Joy is abuzz. No Pujo like Durga Pujo and no better place to experience it that in Kolkata.

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“I can’t keep calm because I’m a Bengali and Puja is coming,” they say. I beg to differ. You needn’t be Bengali for Durga Puja to be your most favourite festival in the whole wide world. You simply need to belong or have belonged to Bengal. On that note, I’m a true-blue Calcuttan, part-Bengali at heart and no one I say no one, can ever take that away from me. You can take me out of Kolkata but never take Kolkata out of my heart *goosebumps*

Enough of me, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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This idol in the making, I found about a week back in Garcha Lane.
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The College Square Puja pandal as viewed from the terrace of the University of Calcutta.

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Don’t miss the two men atop this Hazra Road pandal. It’s the hard work and sincerity of such people that take shape as these marvelous structures.

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Singhi Park. The sheer number of people that visit are enough to explain its popularity.

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The framework laid and ready

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The one at Golfgreen Park. Just where you see the Taxi taking a turn, is a lane that had more bamboo work done. Probably a set up for the lights.

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The one at Mullick Bazar, weeks back. Probably my first pandal-click this year.

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Blue lights flank the Gariahat Flyover. Prettying up!

I cannot wait to see these (and more) Puja Pandals when the idols have been placed and Maa’s radiant face beams back at us; our Mother in absolute splendour.

মা আসছেন| Bolo Durga Maa Ki Jai!

Wow! Momo, Kolkata : Review

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If food could be called cute, momo would win the title hands down. I’ve been a fan of these heavenly little cushions right from the word go. Sauntering down Hazra Road one evening, I nearly stopped dead in my tracks when I noticed a brand new outlet of Wow! Momo. Imagine my delight! I’m a foodie whose love for momo is sacrosanct. Wow! Momo has several outlets in Kolkata. You can imagine my joy when I discovered yet another one. Here’s an honest review, from a momo-loyalist.

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This is near the Ballygunge Phari petrol pump. The joint is slightly crammed with 3 tables for two. It seats about 8 people at the maximum and the delectable food more than makes up for the lack of room. The walls have framed images and add charm to the space. It’s air-conditioned, which automatically makes the place comfortable.

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Momo Time, Party Time!

Right from the traditional steamed and fried momos to the Wow! Momo specials, including fish, mushroom, cheese and chocolate stuffed momos, this place has it all! The Chicken Pan Fried Momo in Schezwan Sauce comprises crispy fried momos laden with a spicy-sweet sauce. If you’re someone who likes a little kick of chilli, you’ll surely love it. (I do!) The momos come with a red chilli paste and green chutney.

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Chicken Pan Fried Momo in Schezwan Sauce

Heard of the MoBurg? No? Well, it’s a momo-burger! It’s quite an innovation and an extremely interesting combination. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive but it was de-li-cious! Two pieces of chicken fried momos, sandwiched between burger bread along with a yummy green chutney, red chilli sauce and mayo. Mmmmm, so gooood!

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Presenting… The MoBurg!

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Messy goodness. Yumm!

The Mushroom Fried Momo was a slight let-down. If you’re the kind who loves mushroom to the extent that you get into a tussle with your siblings over the last bite, you’re in for disappointment. I didn’t expect Paneer (cottage cheese) in the stuffing along with the mushroom. Yes, it tasted great but you’ll probably enjoy it better if you’re a fan of paneer.

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Mushroom Fried Momo

Overall, it’s a pocket-pinch because Kolkata has momo stalls and restaurants at every nukkad. However, it’s totally worth it, considering the hygiene level they maintain. Their open kitchen is one of the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Absolutely spic and span! Super impressive and genuinely commendable!

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The Combo, with Pepsi. Eat, drink, be merry!

The Wow! Combo is a boon. Imagine saving some bucks AND have the treat of your life. What more can a perennially broke student like me ask for?! Talk about having your momo and eating it too!

I’ve tried out (and loved – but naturally) the delicacies served at the New Market (near New Empire Cinema) outlet; the one inside South City Mall (in Spencers), is my favourite haunt; not to forget, the Big Bazaar outlet in Jadavpur (Baghajatin). The Harza outlet tops the list though, simply due to convenience.

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Here you go! The menu.

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Only one teenie-weenie complaint. No Malai Tandoori Momos?! [Wow! Momo, why you do this? 😦 ] I religiously follow their Instagram profile (Username: wowmomos). Oh.my.God. what hunger-inducing pictures! *drools* Please introduce the Malai Tandoori Momos, A.S.A.P! I’ve got the Chicken Thukpa and Chocolate Momo on my agenda too. See you again, Wow! Momo. Soon. Very soon.

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