Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicken Sanju Baba on my mind!!!!

Every year for the last 4 years we have visited the Mohammad Ali Road on one of the Saturdays during the Ramzan month. Come evening the street is abuzz with activity. Men, Women and Children dressed in all their finery take to the street to break their day-long fast. It difficult to walk on the footpaths as they are converted into extended sit-outs for the many restaurants. Some restaurants even have dinner tables and chairs laid out on the street. There is chaos- cars, bikers, blaring horns, crowds of people pushing you around, beggars grabbing you by the arm and asking for alms, hawkers and vendors yelling and selling their wares. Every year I tell myself that this is the last year I'll put myself through the torture of finding my way through the throngs of people. So many people, in such close proximity, packed like sardines makes me very uncomfortable.
Yet, it's worth it and every year I find myself going back again!!!

Noor Mohammadi is a well known restaurant on Mohammad Ali Road and well over a hundred years old. The food there is to die for!!!!! The lip-smacking Nalli Nihari, the Chicken Hakimi and the Chicken Sanju Baba leaves me licking my greasy fingertips even I've stuffed myself to the brim.

Here I am trying to get some office work done on a Sunday afternoon and my insatiable mind can't stop thinking about last night's dinner at Noor Mohammadi. I plan to visit again next week and until then I guess watching them make the famous dish on Video 18 will have to do.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Psalm of Life -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I was browsing the Internet for something else and I chanced upon what used to be(and still is) one of my favourite poems while I was a student.

We used to have oral exams for English Poetry back in school. The teacher would pick a few poems that all students had to learn by heart. On the day of the exams, your luck and the little chit of paper you picked would decide which poem you would have to recite in front of the entire class.

We studied Wordsworth, Blake, Frost, Tennyson, Shakespeare, Longfellow....

Of all the poems I've memorised some poems have stayed with me forever.

This is one of them....

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,--act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o'erhead!

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.