The ‘Married Name’ Conundrum!


“You didn’t change your name ?” 

“No I didn’t because… “

I have answered it so many times now in the last few months.

No I am not offended by the question since it is a norm for centuries and so people are curious when someone decides not to change their name. And then comes the second question

“What would your name be if you had decided to change?”

“Ermm..” …the conversation continues for 30 more minutes as I explain the various aspects of a south-Indian name.
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Of potlucks and gatherings


Hello! It has been a couple of weeks since I updated my blog. Just been one of those phases with many drafts and none published. So much happening in the country and around the world, lot to process, lot of emotions. I decided to let go of everything and post something completely  unrelated. For the love of food and the experiences at potlucks !!

*Another potluck*

Being an Indian abroad we always have social gatherings and a lot that involve potluck lunch or dinners. No, this is not an organized ‘I bring an entree, you bring a dessert one’ but ‘I will bring something and you bring something’ ones. So we end up having dinner which have multiple versions of the same item. And many a time by a large group of people (whom we don’t know) whose culinary skills we don’t know about.

So what do you do at a potluck?


Look around the table to see what is on the menu today

  • 4 trays of lemon rice in different shades of yellow
  • 2 kinds Potato podimas (mashed potatoes with spices)
  • 2 kinds of potato fry
  • 3 kinds of puliyogare  (tamarind rice) distinguished by the amount of peanuts in each one
  • 2 kinds of  channa masala (chick peas)
  • 3 trays of sundal– black eyed beans, black chana dal and peas
  • and finally 4 kinds of curd rice
  • In addition a few trays of frozen samosas and pakoras and (ofocurse) dessert


Color, texture, consistency, presentation (yes they do matter when there is more than one)

  • This lemon rice lacks color, this is not mixed well, this looks perfect – on the plate
  • These potatoes are cut too big to fry, this podimas doesn’t have enough turmeric, these potatoes are cut right and looks great
  • This puliyogare has enough peanuts and well-cooked, non-mushy rice
  • This channa masala has better consistency and less watery than the other
  • This sundal has the right amount of coconut and curry leaves – win!!
  • Curd rice 1 too dry, curd rice 2 – no tempering, curd rice 3- too many pomegranate seeds, curd rice 4- looks creamy and inviting – on the plate


Once you have assessed and know what you want to eat, ATTACK before others do 😛


Socialize   (…only if you really want to.)

Unfortunately free food means free conversations too. So make sure you say hi to a couple of people and have a conversation. Well, if you don’t feel like it you can always pretend to like kids and sit closer to them as they are on their Nintendo, Wii, PS4 and would leave you alone!!

So ..what are your thoughts on potlucks and gatherings? What is your favorite dish to take for one?





One day in San Francisco with $50!

Hello hello! Here is my next solo trip. San Francisco.. One of the cities where you can truly lose your heart. One of top favorite places of mine. A must-visit city for many 🙂 I have been to San Fran quite a few times now. But for one day I became a tourist and experimented to see if I can enjoy the essence of this place frugally.
My budget = $50

Can you tour the city with just $50? Yes you can !!

I consciously made sure I did not spend anything additional and at the same time have a great time.

SF graphic

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5-5-1 and growing>

5 people, 5 places and 1 time! As a blogger you get to do such random things. I was wondering where the other 4 were from and what pictures they would click on a Saturday morning at 10.30 AM. As I was at brunch , reminding R that I have to take a picture , he asked no questions but simply said “You bloggers are so weird.” Oh well! What does he know 😀 Have fun reading ! And do leave a comment if you are interested in participating in one of these.

Classical Gasbag

After an initial 2-2-1 (two people, two places, one time) and two subsequent 3-3-1 (three people, etc.) we are once again expanding. The original concept was that all of the participants would take a picture simultaneously; then write a short piece about the picture. It worked. But with the addition of more people, in more time zones, it became apparent that either some people would be taking pictures in the very early morning, or the very late night. We didn’t want that. So this time around we decided that we would all take a picture on Saturday May 28th at 10:30 a.m. local time. What follows is the result. We’re starting with The Girl Next Door in Bangalore, India.


This is the view that I get to see from the terrace of our apartment – houses, houses, houses and more houses is all that meets the eye, as far as…

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Illayaraja, appa and some nostalgia :)

The Maestro, the Genius, the King of South Indian film music.. Music that makes people want to listen to every waking moment. Music that gets people through their life, through ups and downs, through love, joy, happiness, heartbreaks, death, loneliness. You name it and he has a song associated with it. Songs that will make you experience the emotion and get through them. Continue Reading