Blog Marathon 2
Week 3: Post 1
Guest Post by: Shumaila
Spoiler: Love Story ahead :)
Introduction to Shumaila
Shumaila, or Shumi or Schumi(as I have always spelt it in my head) is my loomie from first year at B school.
Right, you do not know what this weird word means. Here you go:
Roomies share a room. Loomies share not a room but a loo. Interesting, I know ;)
She was one of the hottest girls on campus (please do not be misled by her humble post below!), an amazing team player ( I vividly remember the countless hours she used to spend working on her group assignments) and has turned out to be a fantabulous cook and blogger!
Shumaila currently lives in the US and I hope that one day, she becomes renowned for her cakes and breads and all the other yummy, mouth watering stuff she makes!
She blogs here and I would highly recommend her blog to those of you who cook. I follow it quite closely myself and have lifted off recipes with a mental whoop of joy! Sometimes I find it difficult to believe that one of us can cook so amazingly well!
Enjoy her post and the recipe that follows it!
Needless to add, thanks a ton, Schumi :D
The Eligible Bachelor, Shumaila's story
Ram Pyaari, or as we friends know her- Ruchita, is the author of the upcoming book, The (In)Eligible Bachelors. Its a fiction novel about what goes on behind the scenes in Indian arranged marriages, through the witty account of a recent MBA graduate, Kasturi Shukla. The tag line says it all for the book:
Arranged marriages are complicated things.
So are relationships.
And so are mothers.
V and I had an arranged marriage last year in March.
But unlike the whole arranged marriage scene in India, I never had to go through the typical arranged marriage routine of parents-of-girl-sending-out-proposals-narrowing-boys-arranging-meetings-dealing-with-rejections-stuff. In fact, my parents weren't even looking for a boy nor was I.
V was the first guy I ever spoke to, in terms of the whole arranged marriage thing. Even five years back when V's proposal came for the first time, his was the first family who had shown the bahu (daughter-in-law) kind of interest in me.
Five years back, I wanted to study MBA and live independently for a while.
Five years back V too had just started his masters in the US and wasn't looking to get married.
So, after a brief interaction (one yahoo-chat-window long conversation) in cyber space, V and I parted ways.
Little did we know that it was temporary.
Fast forward two years.
I joined an MBA college. My parents showed no interest in boy searching, though felt that after MBA, I should get married, but they were not doing anything about it.
Being the only son, V's parents though were looking for suitable matches. So V kept on seeing prospective life partners during his short trips to India.
V, according to his family was a picky one when it came to girls, refusing rishtas (marriage proposals) left, right and centre.
But that all changed when I came into the picture. (tada!)
I really don't know what it was about me that made him tell his parents very covertly- 'what about Chauhan uncle's daughter (aka me)? Is she still available?'
We hardly spoke five years back, just chatted online briefly and honestly I have no idea what we talked about- I assume I must have said something really witty and smart for my memory to have stuck with him. But, knowing me, and the witty and smart lines I have come up in the past (I can probably count them on my two hands), I don't think that was the case.
But then, I was pretty good at picassa-ing photos back in those days- probably it was one of those morphed picture of me that made me look like Angelina Jolie (yes, I think she is very pretty) rather than the Rosie O'Donnel (No, I don't think she is ugly- just more closer to what real people look like) I actually am. That image of a "pretty" girl might have stuck in his mind and that's why he kept a tab on whats happening in my life through orkut. Boy, he must have had a treat if that's what got him interested in me. *Insert evil laugh here*
Anyway, fast forward another two years, and my MBA was done. I was still not interested in getting married. My parents too were not looking for a boy (though getting me married off was on their mind but dare they act on that- my wrath would have seriously injured them!)
I was actually interested in opening a bakery- with no prior experience or interest ever shown in the kitchen one day I decided baking was my true calling- after graduating in economics and doing an MBA in finance- that seemed like the most logical path to carry forward on. (I know what you thinking and I agree- kudos to my parents to bear with my constant erratic behavior and I judge them for not whole-heartedly trying to find a boy who would get me off their hands sooner. Parents I tell you, they love you no matter what!)
Anyway, I digress again.
So, I wasn't looking.
My parents weren't looking. (Though secretly I know they were hoping I get married.)
But V's parents were looking and since V had accomplished what he wanted to before marriage he too had started showing interest. But nothing was working out.
Now, don't get it wrong- V is a find, a keeper, like how they say in India- heera hai ladka, bilkul heera (the boy is as valuable as a diamond). Great job, intelligent, handsome, very cultured, simple- almost like a Sadhu. He was every mother's son-in-law-dream-come-true!
But, like I said, he was picky. No one fit his bill.
Well, actually, re-enter me.
When his marriage proposal came, I told my dad no. My friend and I had a great business idea and I wanted to work on that. My dad though, plotting some master evil plan of his to get his daughter married did not convey this message to V's dad, thinking 'fickle-minded-me' would change her stance.
Around the same time as our dad's convo, V had mailed me on my Yahoo, an account I rarely used ever since I switched to gmail 2-3 yrs back, but hadn't been deleted out of sheer laziness.
So after two-three weeks of his mail lying in my inbox, and he thinking I was clearly not interested, I don't know what made me open my mail (the last time was probably 4-5 months back). I replied to his 'hey-i-hope-you-remember-me' mail. I directed him to my gmail and thereon our conversations started.
From surety of not being ready for marriage, the conversations that followed convinced me, that he was the perfect guy for me. Till date, I believe, with all my heart, vice-versa does not hold true- he could have done much, much better! Kya karein ladka heera hai heera!
But I guess in life, not everyone can come out as the winner, right?
And for a perfect marriage, don't they say the husband should always let the wife win!
Well, V let me win! :)
The Lotus Root curry
Lotus roots are roots of the lotus water lily. The roots are tuberous, with large air pockets, making them buoyant in the water, and give the lacy pattern when sliced. It has a firm crispy texture. Dishes having lotus roots are pretty common all over Asia. This is a dish from the Northern Part of India, Jammu and Kashmir. Its a fairly simple recipe, and tastes great with Tandoori Roti or Naan. I initially thoughtof pairing it with rice but its a little on the drier side to have with rice. I used frozen lotus roots, which you can find in the frozen section in Asian stores.
Adapted from India: The Cookbook
1 pound lotus roots
1 tbsp ghee, clarified butter
2 black cardamom pods
4 green cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks, about 1 inch long
1 tsp ground aniseed
1 tsp ground ginger
250 ml (1 cup) natural plain yogurt
salt, to taste
Cook the lotus roots in boiling water for 10 minutes, or until half done.
Heat ghee over low heat.
Add the whole spices, aniseed and ginger. Season with salt. Cook for 10 minutes on medium low heat, stirring constantly.
Add lotus roots, and let cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the yogurt and simmer over low heat for 2 minutes. The ghee would separate.
Serve with hot rotis/naans.