Passer a la casserole, a culinary delight

Content advisory: strong language and sexual content, even if it’s mostly between the lines! You have to be 18+ to see this material.
                                                London was where I made my first serious foray into cooking. Eating out in the city was an expensive proposition. So as with most bachelors from the sub continent, I had to bow before the might of the British pound and enter the kitchen. But it was truly love at first smell and sound for me. I loved the scent of spices, the steaming aroma of freshly cooked basmati rice, the crackling of mustard seeds and the sound of hissing oil when chillies and tomatoes were fried. Contrary to what I was told before leaving India, there was a mind boggling variety of vegetables and fruits in the supermarkets. So I experimented a lot, stepping out of the safety of the cook book and thoroughly enjoyed cooking. I would prepare a  huge portion of sabji (vegetable cooked in gravy) and leave it in the fridge with a note for my house-mates asking them to taste and rate it. As the months passed, the ratings improved along with my confidence.

 However, this was a time of great personal crisis for me. I was trying hard, very hard, to get laid. Imagine a 25 year old Indian guy fresh off the boat in one of the most cosmopolitan cities of the world exposed to endless number of beautiful women wherever he goes. Yet all he can do is dribble and watch. My friend Eric came to the rescue. A seasoned hand at all things feminine, the first thing he asked me to do was shave my moustache off.

“What?  Are you out of your senses? This is equivalent to castration for a Malayali guy” I thundered. But no amount of thundering or pleading could move Eric.

 Eric vowed to teach me the secrets of seduction only if I cleaned up my upper lip. He claimed guys in the West who wore a moustache were mostly part of the gay scene, convincing me that just getting rid of the stache was half the job done.

Maybe it was just a coincidence but as soon as I trashed the stache I began to score with the ladies. It was around this time that I met Audrey (pronounced Odd Ray!) at a house party. She had just landed in London from Paris for a 3 months’ work holiday vacation. We hit it off immediately and she confided that the reason behind the trip was that she had just broken up with her boy friend and wanted a change of scenery. Her French accent and bubbly extrovert nature was a huge turn on for me.

I woke up in heaven with a smirk plastered on my face after our first night together. What are the chances of a Mallu guy sleeping with a French chick who had pouting lips and sleepy ‘I’m ready for a fuck now’ eyes? Overflowing with gratitude, I decided to pamper her. So I made breakfast (not idly sambar !) and surprised her in bed. Her reaction caught me unawares. She was genuinely surprised and then started silently crying. Later, she told me that nobody had done that for her. How much it meant to her was revealed shortly when she smashed me in an intense love making session that lasted till late afternoon by which time we were both drained.

Nevertheless I got up and somehow managed to ‘cook a curry’, as the Brits would say. We ravenously ate. I was planning to sleep it off but Audrey had different plans for the rest of the day. I soon learned why the world regards the French as the greatest lovers on the planet.

The sex was always great but soon it became obvious to me that the quality was extra terrestrial on the days I cooked or surprised her in bed (with food you dirty perverts!). She would often come to watch me cook up a storm, much to the amusement of my housemates. Ha, I can still see her standing by the kitchen door wearing just her black over sized T shirt and little else. I never made conversation while I cooked but I would glance at her every now and then. Sometimes she would come and stand just beside me, not making contact yet touching me inside out. The rich smell of Indian spices mingled with the smell of her sweat and sex. Many times I have seriously contemplated fucking her there in the warm kitchen that smelled of India.Tandoori naan with Paneer Butter masala and Audrey on the side, I would fantasize.

Audrey was a man magnet. When we went out to pubs, clubs or even the park she would have guys eating out of her hands. They would stare at her , smile at her, and even sometimes flirt outrageously. Of course she was dazzlingly beautiful, but that was not uncommon in London. She had something else, the oomph factor, that made her irresistible. She was perfectly at ease handling her admirers and that’s what probably never made me jealous or possessive about her. Besides I knew what turned her on, good Indian food made with lots of love ! We cooked and made love with the same intensity. There was a playfulness to the whole affair so even if something got burned in the oven or in the bedroom we would laugh it off.

As the days passed she started imitating me and  eating with her hands. She would be completely lost in it, licking her fingers dry but sometimes she would look up at me and smile seductively. I couldn't wait for dinner to be over...

We cooked, dined and fucked our way through the 3 months. Time had no meaning and it was over before it began.. She took me out on our last night to a very expensive restaurant on top of a skyscraper in the city from where you could see the entire London nights-cape. We ate our full and languished in the cushioned comfort of our chairs. The food was great but I missed seeing her eat with her hands relishing my food. The dinner felt flat that way and I was feeling down. She sensed my mood when she said “It’s low on spice” and winked.As we took the tube back to my place, she discussed her future plans in Paris, on continuing her education and getting together with family again.

It was our last night together and we hugged each other tight. I woke up at the break of dawn. Audrey was all curled up facing the huge bay windows enticing me with her bewitching bottom. Why was I not feeling sad that she was leaving? Years later I would realize that it was because of the intensity and fullness with which we lived our days that left no trace of regret or sadness as its residue. We were happy to let it all end there, not even to stay in touch.

Strange, I thought, yesterday was the only day when we were in bed and not had sex. I stretched and went for a run around the block. By the time I came back and showered, Audrey was up.

She came and kissed me long and full on the mouth.

‘Do you know what was unique about yesterday?’ she whispered almost french kissing my ears.

'What ?', I got hard just thinking about how our last faire des galipettes was going to be.

‘Yesterday was the only day that you didn't cook for me!’

The Vagabond situation

"So what do you do?"

 I travel full time...

"No, No what is your PROFESSION ? What do you do for a LIVING?"

Well all I do pretty much is  travel ... 

"Ok Ok who do you travel with ? A bunch of friends?"


"Do you mean to say that you travel alone?" , eyeing me up as if I might be a potential rapist or axe murderer.

After digesting that information comes another beauty.

"But you CAN'T travel full time!", as if I've just defied the laws of gravity.

Oops, I forgot again, full time travel/enjoying life to the hilt/doing what you really want to do is against the Indian law !

This is a conversation I have every day when I travel in India. 3 times a day at the very least !!! Yes folks,  like a bitter pill to be taken after every meal ! Travelling full time is considered by some in this country as worse than being a drunkard, philanderer, and adulterer all rolled into one. A thousand times worse! A good friend asked me the question recently, ‘Why bother? Is it really worth the sneers, criticisms and free advice that you have to hear on a daily basis?' Yes, my friend it is… and then some :)

I’m chilling out right now in a city Mark Twain once famously described as older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend and looks twice as old as all of them put together ! My temporary abode is  a hostel frequented by the odd mix of backpackers, college kids, vagabonds ,etc. The critic Arthur Compton-Rickett defined vagabonds as men "with a vagrant strain in the blood, a natural inquisitiveness about the world beyond their doors."

In the hostel I've had conversations with the well educated, ‘well settled’ young Indians who are kind of a little bit in awe, in envy of the vagabond situation. This is something new for me, adulation from my own countrymen! For many of them, especially the affluent guys, it’s an attainable dream to travel for an extended period since they can afford it, yet the time factor plays spoilsport. I met quite a few students from Mumbai in the hostel who stopped short of waving aarti to me for doing what I do. At least some of them found the vagabond situation incredibly cool.

To walk away from the crowd...

So you have guys who despise you, who think that you should be put behind bars or at the very least be committed in a lunatic asylum. Then there are others who think that you are Mr. Cool living ‘the life’ with no responsibilities no deadlines, no work…

The truth lies somewhere in between. Travelling alone, living alone, sleeping alone, takes some getting used to for most people. You have to be your own best friend, love your company and be able to laugh at your own jokes since often there won’t be people around to laugh at them. I've always been an introvert and am OK with this. Yet there are days, I have to admit, that you feel the need for a little companionship just like the guy in the city sometimes wishes for solitude.

I’m not doing this as a rebellion, as a statement against the system or anything. It’s because I love nature, travelling to unseen places and meeting people (once in a while !). I learn from my travels just like you learn stuff at work (or at least you're supposed to !) and for me its fun! I try to be not too bothered when the shit hits the fan as it often does, when things don’t work out even remotely as you planned them.

With a companion on the way

 I started travelling when I realized that my life was going to be short. Not just mine but yours as well. We will all be gone in a blip. Why work my ass off and save money I will never use ? Why to buy a house and pay mortgage for the rest of my life? Why live in a polluted city whne the mountains constantly beckon? Why ? Why ? Why ? I thought hard about these things,  found the answers and hence I decided to hit the road, to do what I thought was important. 

If you think that being in the corporate world and working your ass off is your thing and that you would do it even if you got paid zilch, I’d say go for it full steam ahead. That’s a good test. If money was no concern would you still be doing the thing you’re doing now ? If maintaining status and facing uncomfortable questions were no longer an issue would you still be doing the thing you’re doing now? Maybe if you really think about it,sweeping the road is your passion but you're afraid to do it because people may ridicule you. I thought about all these and more for quite some time before I decided to take the leap… 

So as S and a lot of others have been asking what the hell do I do the whole day? It may surprise many of you that I get up quite early for yoga and a bit of meditation. I read for sometime then maybe head out for local explorations. So its not about sleeping late and just lying around in a hammock all day ok? Everything is done because I love doing it. 

But I do chill! The wise call it laziness. I don’t feel the need to compulsively work just because 99% of homo sapiens believe so. I’m not living off my parent’s money or anything earned through the hawala route. It’s all been earned by the sweat of my brow (not literally of course!). Work is not just something you do for money. Well, if you look at things that way, getting your ass off bed in the morning is work. Cooking and cleaning is work. Meditation is work. The hardest work is to just sit still, be content in not doing anything, allowing the world to just be as it is…that way I'm a workaholic.


She queries me on her diamond mookkuthi
Undoubtedly it's dazzlingly pretty
It's sure to have cost her lover a fortune
And she will not part with it so soon

Your mookkuthi is a shining star

I reply to the beauty without par
But even the brightest star fades as the sun ascends
Thy two adoring eyes, my dear, are much more magnificent.

(Mookkuthi is the Malayalam word for a nose stud.)

                                                    The story behind Mookkuthi

"I had a really nice time with you. Unforgettable".

I was on the phone to a woman I found irresistible. We had just spent a couple of hours together and I thought I was falling... fast... into that four letter word that often complicates our lives.

"Yes me too", she cooed, "It was a beautiful day. But the best part of it was the food we had in Pizza Hut. Usually they mess up the order or make the pizzas very crusty but this time it was perfect."

I felt let down so I said " Really , that was your best part ?"

" Actually ,now that I think of it, no.."

My pulse was racing and sweat beads of anticipation were crowning my forehead.

After a lengthy pause she confided : " If I'm really honest I have to say that the garlic bread was the best. So creamy, cheesy and crispy. Yummy,Yummy ! "

Well I am no relationship expert but that comment pretty much dashed any hopes I had of scoring with her. The sad truth was that while I was lost in her eyes among many other things, she was directing her attention solely on the  garlic bread and pizzas.

This incident happened many years ago. As you would have guessed, nothing much came out of that lunch date except the birth of a poem, a raw uncut piece written on a high that only love can produce. It perfectly explains how I felt about the object of my affection then. I always had a thing for women wearing mookkuthis but on that particular day she was wearing a diamond one ! Yet  even a diamond mookkuthi couldn't outshine the light and beauty of her eyes!

Do you think that I should have shown her this poem ? Would it have made a difference? Would you fall for a person who penned a poem for you even if it was not exactly Shakespearean in scope ? Has anybody written a poem for you ?

My previous attempt at a poem took the blogging world by storm receiving much critical acclaim. Let's see how this one fares... :-)

The French Connection

"Are you from France?"

I wheeled around to face the questioner, a dark young pot bellied guy in a faded gerua T shirt and pants, trying hard to put me at ease with his paan coloured smile.

That had to be the best compliment I got in my life, being compared to the sexiest sub species in the human kingdom. For a moment let us not focus too much on the qualification of the commentator in making such a statement but just let the comment sink in. Ahhh ! I’ve been mistaken for being a Brazilian, Sri Lankan etc but that was ages ago in a far away city called London. But the fact that I've been complimented for my looks here in my own country by a fellow countryman , I realized I had finally arrived. Big time ! This had been the purpose of all my years of wandering, vagabonding and travelling. The grand finale ! The climax ! The setting was also scenic and intensely spiritual, right on the ghats in Benares by the inky black Ganga. I had to summon every ounce of my inner strength not to get misty eyed...

sunrise varanasi
Sunrise @ Benares

Seeing my blissful knowing smile, Mr. Pot Belly assumed that I must indeed be French and  began a conversation in French to which I responded gamely with smatterings of the language I picked up in college and later. He offered his services to buy me hasish, ecstasy,,ketamine and 10 other drugs I didn't even know existed. I slowly realized that Mr Pot Belly was hinting subtly that I looked less like a French sex God and more like a French drug addict.

After I stopped running for my life from Mr Pot Belly, I met an old gentleman who headed me in English and wanted to know which country I was from. Look guys, I was dressed in kurta and jeans just like any other self respecting Indian intellectual. The only difference was that I just had my bath. Was this some sort of scam where these guys lower your defences by softening you up comparing you to a gora and then try to sell you hasish and  a boat ride? Having learnt early on in my travels never to underestimate the ingenuities my countrymen were capable of, I gave him the cold blank expression befitting a French drug addict.

A very short train journey

'GE-1' misspelled the sms from IRCTC. So I  walked into G-1 compartment and confidently parked my ass there.  Another half an hour for the Garib Rath to Delhi to take off.  I decided to go for a stroll. Just 10 minutes before departure I return to find a seductively smiling bhabhiji occupying my seat. She cooed that 69 was her number and that GE-1 was a different compartment altogether. Shell shocked by this revelation, I hauled my luggage out and started looking for GE-1. G-1 was just behind the engine so there was just one way to go. The train seemed never ending as I walked/ran the platform. G-9,G-10....G-14, G-15...  Where was GE-1? Was it a part of the train at all or just a figment of Railway's imagination? A perfect case for Mr. Bond. Then the platform started to curve so I was not really sure whether there were any more bogies. Finally after a million miles, I see GE-1. Why shouldn't it be called G-20 since it came after G-19? Maybe the British had forbidden more than 19 bogeys from being named to a train and this was Indian Railway's ingenious way to circumvent the law.

An elderly hair dyed Auntyji immediately pounced on me seeing I had the coveted LB( Lower Berth). Since nodding my head and saying yes involved the least exertion, I did just that. Thankfully her berth was the middle one, just above mine, so I didn't have to climb to Mount Everest which was the height of the Upper Berth. The TTE (Train Ticket Examiner) came at the ungodly hour of 10:30pm to check tickets. I was really tired and was looking forward to a good night's rest.

indian garib rath
The inside view of a Garib Rath coupe

The next thing I know my blanket is being pulled down and a torch is being shoved at my face. Thinking that either it's a hold up or rape attempt I go for the wallet hoping to pacify the attacker whatever his intentions, with money. I just wanted some sleep. But no this was the TTE asking Auntyji to get down at my stop. I tell him in a gruff voice that my name is Bond and I'm not Auntyji for Christ's sake ! He slithers away and I notice that Auntyji has already vacated my LB so I shift down. The time dear friends :1:30 am.

A couple of hours later the incident is repeated except that this time I don't use the Bond line but the choiciest Hindi expletives at Mr. A.K Singh the TTE villian. More like A.K 47 if you ask me and no where near fancy as Dr. NO. He slithers off again with no reaction and I lie awake the rest of the night anticipating the next intrusion. But all that happens to break the monotony of the rocking train is somebody yelling that their phone has been stolen in the wee hours of the morning.

Tunganath - A Himalayan trek Part 2

The next morning we got up early to catch the 7:30 bus to Chopta. This is the only bus to Chopta for the entire day so if you miss this, you have to shell out 2 grand as taxi fare to reach Chopta. The bus stops right outside GMVN and you can actually see it climbing laboriously from the other side of the valley. Chopta is an assortment of shops and lodges that serve as the base for the trek to Tunganath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. The ride between Ukhimath and Chopta has to be one of the best rides in india. The road was freshly tarred and tall pine trees stood in majestic silence en route. It felt like one long journey through never ending  forest. There is little traffic and if you can haul a cycle up there somehow, this ride is highly recommended.

On the way to Tungnath

Paved pathway

A sight for the Gods !

Tunganath at 12,000 feet is just 4 km from Chopta. You will be entertained with amazing vistas of the Himalayas en route on a clear day. It is the easiest temple access wise on the Panch Kedar circuit. Since we had munched on our quota of aloo parota at GMVN we just had tea at one of the numerous dhabas  and headed out. After an exhilarating climb made more fun by running up ‘short cuts’ we reached Tunganath in quick time.

Tungnath Temple

The accommodation in Tunganath is mostly dormitory. The Kedarnath Badrinath Mandir samithi has nice rooms but they are usually ‘booked by a party from Delhi’ who always fail to show up. We were holed up in Hotel Soorya (in reality a shack!) , a double room with attached toilet, a luxury, for a princely sum of 500/-. As usual we were strongly persuaded to purchase thalis to please Tungnathji. The thalis contain assorted bizarre items to ‘please the lord’ and a priest chants mantras to make sure that  your son/daughter/parents/neighbours are all ‘taken care of’. These offerings contains plastic as well which are dumped just outside the temple . Sad !

Waste outside the temple

We declined this opportunity to please the lord and instead tried to sit inside for sometime. Luckily for us it was a quiet period during the day and for a couple of hours we just sat there enjoying the silence. Where there are devotees in large numbers, there  are Pandas or priests whose sole aim in life is the money in your wallet. I’ve heard that Tunganath had just one priest not so long ago but now to cope with increasing tourist footfall ,there are at least half a dozen. They are all very keen that you buy the‘thali meals’. A shame coz this is a place of meditation, contemplation and silence. The pandas yap away when they are not busy looting devotees so you need to be a good meditator to shut out the noise and focus on the divine vibes. Unfortunately this problem is not exclusive to Tungnath, it’s there in every big popular temple in the Himalayan region. If only these guys devoted some time to their personal sadhana  they would see at what a special place they are privileged to stay at.

Sunset at Tungnath

R is certainly feeling the chill factor !

The evening aarti was simple and by six the sun had set in a blaze of glory. The chill was setting in and like all self respecting yogis we dived under the rajais (thick quilts). We had dinner later at night and washed our hands with ice. It felt that way, whenever contact with water was made.

Sunrise over Tungnath

The cold felt so bad that we continued with the rajai sadhana and opted to miss out on the morning trek to Chandrashila, a nearby peak, for viewing sunrise. We started our journey back to Chopta  early as we had to catch the only bus to Mandal that would leave at 9. We visited the temple for a final darshan and meditation. I took an instant liking to a panda who had come running to the temple in the morning as soon as the doors were opened. My eyes filled up as I thanked God for showing me at least one sincere priest. All was not lost in this kali yug after all ! However when I went inside the temple I realized that Mr. Panda had rushed there because his devotees had already arrived with the thalis.  He was all smiles screaming Sanskrit mumbo jumbo and invoking the God’s blessings. One could literally see Rupee signs in his eyes like they show in cartoons ! Later I saw Mr. Panda celebrating his latest conquest with a beedi in one of the adjoining dhabas.

For more pictures click here

A Himalayan Trek - Part 1- Ukhimath

This was my first foray into the Himalayas wielding a camera. I find that not having a camera slinging on your shoulders enhances the ability to enjoy the journey and also not look like a goddamn tourist. But as fate would have it, just before this trip I got a camera and I thought I might as well use it. Also I had a travelling companion for almost the entire duration of the trip, a break from travelling solo.

 What is the tangible result of undertaking a challenging trek in the Himalayas ? What can you expect to show friends and family when you head back home ?

  Here it is and it's definitely not a pretty sight  !

Not a pic from the morgue but a foot selfie depicting 3 busted nails

I'm sure you're dying to know where I have been and what I've been up to after seeing this selfie. So let me begin the tale..

 After a tearful parting (from her side) from the the Poha Maniac I left Rishikesh for Rudraparayag early morn on an empty jeep. An uneventful journey to Ukhimath from Rudraparayag barring a 5 minute spat over Rs.5/- between a passenger and the conductor. I jumped off the bus a couple of kilometres before reaching Ukhimath at the beautiful GMVN Guest House.

View from GMVN Ukhimath

R, who had already checked in early morning was chilling out with chawal, dal, roti  discussing the intricacies of sthithaprajna with the Manager. Let me introduce R , my travel companion for the weeks ahead, a Tamil Iyer settled in Bangalore, a Type A personality who delves into disscussions on the Gita, Yoga and other unmentionables at the drop of a hat to anyone remotely interested. He's a genuine seeker, unlike yours truly , who meditates regularly and takes his sadhana quite seriously. But apart from all that , he's basically a nice guy.

Our hut for the night !

If you ever get to go anywhere near Ukhimath make sure you spend at least a night at the GMVN Guest House. You can sit on tha lawn and just gaze unendingly at the mountains. It's in a quiet area with breath taking views of the Himalayan peaks and walking distance of the famous Omkareshwar temple.

First kiss of the sun

Kedar mountain range visible from Ukhimath
It's to the Omkareshwar temple here that the murtis of Kedarnath and Madmaheshwar are brought every winter to be worshiped. The temple's undergoing renovation now but the inside compound retains an old world charm that transports you back in time.

When we visited the temple in the evening, there was already a family from Kerala inside the premises. A panda took them inside the math  in the temple premises. We followed close behind. In the shrine room of the Devi, he proceeded to ask them for 'oil money'.

'Give me money for oil for worship of the Devi and I'll pour it in your names!'

I have noticed that remarkable funny things happen inside temples. History was repeated as the head of the family(HOF) was forced to dish out a sizable amount by his Devi fearing wife.

After pocketing the cash, the panda then told them to leave as it was time for arti in the main temple. As they were leaving, the incredulous HOF remarked to the panda that he had not asked for their names.

'Ah, Yes, I forgot! Tell me your names !'

Before they could finish telling their long South Indian tongue twisting names he rushed them out.

'But wait you didn't ask my name..', one of the group members spoke up bravely, 'It's Unnikrishnan'.

'Maalum hai Maalum hai, ab aap aarti mein jao' . They left us in the room with the bemused Devi.

The main priest of the temple is from Karnataka, a tradition from the times of Shankaracharya. He was the main reason R headed to the temple. R with his inexplicable talent for extracting useless info had found out that the priest had two daughters of marriageable age . But alas, he was unable to get their darshan. The temple's a quiet charming place with the unique presence of having a prowling guard who looks as old as the temple carrying an equally antique gun ...

The flute playing divine cowherd on the temple wall

Inside the temple compound

Old age charm

Dilapidated math building inside the temple

Main tower of Omkareshwar temple

Temple premises

GMVN garden. Just to balance the gross effect from the 1st pic ! ;)

To be continued...


She feels shy she says,
When my gaze wanders into her syrupy sweet chocolate eyes,
I  fantasize her darkness melting in my mouth today,
Only to hear her say,
"What?!! Just blink or look away,ok?"

Get lost !

By the time you are reading this I hope to be lost in the Himalayas, lost in the beauty of the mountains and the forests, not in an ‘Into the Wild’ way. But right now as I’m typing these words, I’m lost in the ‘lungi dance’ as its blaring from a wedding reception from an adjacent ground! Not something you would associate with Rishikesh, right?

I once managed to lose myself in Munnar. This was years ago when I was just out of college. Amma (my mom, not Ms.Jayalalitha) had arranged for me to stay in the Government Forest Guest House. Don’t ask what I was doing in Munnar, a honeymooner’s paradise, alone. I’ve always been strange that way….The next day after arrival, I went for a walk to this obscure lake I heard about. It was ‘just’ 4kms away. Piece of cake I thought! There was not a soul on the road, I kid you not. There were houses of plantation workers on the way. Maybe because it was a Sunday there was hardly anyone even outside the houses.

Finally I reached my destination after much wandering about. It was heaven, a beautiful deserted lake and a small house by the side which was locked. I spent quite some time just sitting and enjoying the silence and the view. I believe I even dozed off for sometime. Important point to be noted here. I was not carrying any food or water. Insane you say? Absolutely! Maybe I didn’t take into account the Sunday factor or that there were very few shops on the way, all of which were closed.

I decided to explore some exciting scenery on the return leg of the journey and soon I was lost. I was in the middle of some jungle without a clue on how to get out, on the verge of collapse. I’m sure that was the day that I really prayed sincerely for the first time in my life. It was nothing short of a miracle that I managed to drag my sorry ass to a bungalow and begged the guard outside for some water. Finally after 8 hours of adventure I limped back to the Guest House. Hot tea was waiting which I gulped down and threw up within 5 minutes.  I had cramps in my legs and I couldn’t move for a couple of days.

But it was a moment of enlightenment. I realized for the first time that I was hopeless with directions. It still holds true that I’m hopeless with all things spatial. I suck at reading maps. Even if I go to the same place 10 times in 10 days, I’ll still make wrong turns and get lost. Yes, a good handicap for a vagabond!

At present I’m trekking in the Himalayas for some weeks. I hope the Munnar experience is not repeated as there won’t be any fancy bungalows where I am headed.

Actually when I sat down to write, I wanted to write about something entirely different. Yes I’m a much disciplined writer that way, I do tend to get easily lost in the labyrinths of my mind. It also reflects on the number of posts I have managed in 10 years!

The Poha Maniac

I just stepped out of a solo retreat, a silent one. I like to do these once in a while, sort of balances the energies and you feel centered and refreshed. A friend of mine was very gracious to let me have his apartment in Rishikesh for the purpose. So here I was all alone in a 2BHK  2 steps away from Ganga eagerly awaiting the  days of yoga, meditation  and enlightenment.. There was just one other apartment on the same floor and it was occupied by two women in their 20s, working for a 5 star hotel in town, my friend informed me.

So I got my provisions for 10 days including, rice, vegetables, oats, cereals and my favourite, poha ! I was looking forward to my cooking sessions as much as the retreat. On the first day early in the morning as I was stepping out of the flat for a walk by the river, I saw one of my neighbours coming up. Dressed stylishly in a salwar kameez she looked to be returning from her night shift in the hotel. This girl was a looker from top to bottom. Alas, being on silent mode, I couldn't greet her.  Damn it!

That didn't matter too much coz she just walked past not even acknowledging my presence. Oh well the babe must be tired, I thought. We met again a couple of times with the same indifferent look from her. I think it was the third day of my retreat when I heard the bell ring as I was in the kitchen making poha. Now who could that be at 8 in the morning? You guessed right folks, it was the lady dressed to kill in a stunning salwar suit clinging to her freshly bathed body and water dripping from her hair. Without the help of pranayama my breathing stopped and I guess I was pretty close to Samadhi.

The first thing I did was to pinch myself. I mean us spiritual types get visions and all that so just wanted to make sure that this was the real thing. The femme fatale had a shy yet dazzling smile and she kept on looking expectantly behind me into the flat. Was she maybe looking for my friend I wondered? She introduced herself and that’s when it hit me. I’m in silence! Shit! Shit! Shit!

Should I just forget about this silent sadhana and just deal with the present ‘present’? In my mind I had already removed her clothes and we were in bed. But how the hell am I going to make love without making a sound? This God damn silence! Maybe it would be an amazing experience who knows? So there was this devil/angel war going on in my mind. My mind was in total turmoil. Should I open my Goddamn mouth or not , that was the question.. Believe me there was never any moral dilemma about whether to have sex or not ! And how's seduction possible without speech eh? So i had to break the silence , so my thoughts went.

Finally, the angel guy won. By a very narrow margin. I put my index finger to my mouth with a smile indicating that my lips were sealed. Maybe it was the expression on my face or the angle of the finger but the shocked look on her face told me that she thought I was asking her to kiss me. I reassured her. She relaxed considerably when she learned that I was in silence. I wrote my name down for her.

She closed her eyes tilted her head back and inhaled deeply. Her breasts literally rose a mile, I swear !

“V?”, she deep throated my name huskily, making me gulp down about a gallon of saliva. God, this was easier than I thought it was going to be… My mind conjured up naked bodies and acrobatic poses that would have put Vatsyayana to shame. There was only one bedroom with a double bed but the sheets were slightly …

“What is that amazing aroma coming from your kitchen?”
I was jerked out of my fantasy world by these words of Deep Throat.

For the first time I was glad I was in silence. She pushed past me engulfing me in her scent  and entered the kitchen where the poha was on a low flame. She removed the lid from the kadai, inhaled again and took a little taste.

“Oh it’s divine” she purred once more. Her facial expressions made my mind race to the bedroom again. “I love poha” she deep throated again.

“More than moi?” I would have asked sarcastically if I had the power of speech. Now I understood her sudden appearance and interest in me. The aroma of my cooking would have reached her flat and caused her to jump out, wet hair, clothes and all. The slutty glutton !

The poha maniac returned the next day and in a few days time I didn’t even bother to lock the door. She would stay till lunch sometimes just sitting or chatting away. She confided that she was a bad cook and was much too tired after her night shift to do any cooking anyway. What exactly do you do on the night shift I wanted to ask but like I said before it was a good that I was in silent mode. I think she found the idea of a guy who would feed her, listen to her without a murmur not passing judgments or comments liberating.  And all this without sex ! How much better could it get for her?!! As they say men give intimacy for sex and women give sex for intimacy. This went on for the whole retreat. I know guys, I was getting a pathetic trade off but I dare not do anything coz when she dug into that poha  she had a maniac glint in her eyes that  seemed to say “No man can come between me and my poha!“

Anon no more

I was walking along the ghats in Rishikesh today enjoying the early morning wind, the sight of the river, the soaring eagles and what not. An acceptable number of people were walking, bathing, meditating, stretching, standing on their heads,  etc doing what people are supposed to do in a holy town.  Not too crowded or noisy to enjoy the magnificent Ganges and the green…

“Which river is this?” , I was shaken out of my reverie by this billion dollar question.

I just smiled. I knew what  this was about. The questioner looked like a old village pradhan type but I was not easily fooled. I acted cool, nodded my head, smiled again and started looking for the hidden cameras. Of course this had to be one of those hidden camera programs where they take you for a ride… but at 6 in the morning ?! These guys must be very hard working types.

“Ganga he na?” he asked politely again.

I nodded still looking furiously for the cameras.

“The same river that flows through Vrindavan?”

Okayyyy….looks like this guy's on a trip !

I bet this dude would have gone to see Taj Mahal and would have asked somebody there :

"Yeh Red Fort he na?Jo Indira Gandhi ne banaya ?”

Anyway folks, the good news is that I didn't fall for this scam. But of lately, strange things like this are happening to me. People who have not been in touch for eons have got in touch. Old flames are burning again…

And my cover is blown.

A girl/woman whom I haven’t seen for 14 years tracked me down to this blog. I mean I know I am a prize catch and all that but still dedicating years of your life in hot pursuit of a guy …well well…

Of course I’m flattered. She used every trick in the book short of hiring private investigators or getting a red notice issued by the Interpol. I thought this blog was pretty fool proof you know. So Anon no more.

She was the first girl I met online who had the guts to meet me offline.Make no mistake about it, we are talking about an exceptionally brave girl. We used to chat in Yahoo messenger everyday and she knew I was a psychopath but still she was all for meeting me. Just to make things more interesting I suggested the place for our first rendezvous to be a Krishnamurti gathering. Looking back I’m amazed she agreed to come at all ! Nothing much happened after that… I mean she finally understood that I was a psychopath( a gone case as they would say) and just let me be… Anyway I’ll be seeing her in a couple of months for a 'reconnect'.

Hey,don’t get your filthy minds in spin mode guys… she’s married, a mom and blah blah. That makes it even more exciting I hear you say. Damn well right you are… ;)