Pizza Hut: Day 16 of A-Z Challenge

” Make it large”..

PIZZA HUT LOGO
Pizza Hut logo. (PRNewsFoto/Pizza Hut)

Reading a pizza story is too common, what if I talk about going there to eat something else.I have never been a great pizza lover , but I don’t even deny it if served free and hot.

My purpose to this food chain was for the love of another P (food item), Some of you may have guessed it too, yes it’s another Italian dish with P 😉

Every weekend like a ritual I use to go to this food chain for almost two years i.e from the time I started earning , I built this relation with my dear Pasta.

This relation would have continued if I haven’t married the man who hates Pizza and would never go to pizza Hut even to eat pasta.

Alas, I could not leave one of the lovely delicacy I swear by 😛 So I donned the hat of chef and learned to cook white sauce mushroom pasta.

I even taught few of my friends too to make this one.

But I still love those memories of dragging my junior cum friend bhavana and taking a rickshaw ride even though we could walk those few miles and eat hot pasta.

That beautiful breeze on hot summer evening, those long rough pavements, that partner in crime friend. The fact was we both were so underweight and could adjust lot of cheese 😉 without hesitation in our small tummy’s.

pasta

But those cheesy pasta bites never helped us in gaining weigh. As said you can forget anything but you can’t forget the friendship that develops over food and drinks 😉 Our is one 🙂

This one is for my sweet little girlfriend Bhawana.

PS: Tell me when was last time you went to famous restaurant to eat the side items 😉

This my attempt for the Sixteenth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 16:P(alphabet)

P

Oblomov’s sofa: Day 15 of A-Z Challenge

 

It’s only words
And words are all I have
To take your heart away

I first encountered this term Oblomov’s when I read the wonderful blog by Shikha.

Oblomov is a man who prefers to live his life by lying on his sofa all day. He feels this is the only way he can preserve his “peace and human dignity”. In Shikha’s blog she beautifully stated what Oblomov’s mean  in detail and why she named her blog the same.

oblomov

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Today my story is no pretty tale of childhood, it’s my adult experience which brought me here on WP.

I was already writing once in a while on my blogger.com blog but I never got the right kind of audience neither I was getting the much needed push to motivate me for the same.

I discussed this with one of my friend who suggested me to create my WP blog account. I accepted the suggestion but procrastination kept me away from doing so. Sometimes you know that there is no escape but still you keep running from it. I was doing the same until I reached Oblomov’s sofa.My search for her led me to my first TOI article in India’s leading newspaper.

The article that touched me was named the diary of nobody which talked about leaving a legacy behind even if we die today. The girl knew she would die soon and she didn’t have a child as a legacy so the only legacy she could leave was her words and thus she was creating it.

And that led me to think even if I never get published but still I will have these few blogs, these few words of mine that I can leave behind when I leave this world.

Because words are forever and they never leave this world.

This my attempt for the Fifteenth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 15:O(alphabet)

O

 

Namesake : Day 14 of A-Z Challenge

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

I think Shakespeare didn’t understand what a name could mean to a person. Because for me my existence starts from it.

I often told the story why I was named Neerja. Now that the movie of same name is out people know who was the inspiration behind my name.

And yet I never disclosed how many different names I held before I was given this one.

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My mother always desired for a girl, and when she carried on her second pregnancy even when my dad was reluctant for the same, she had the faith that it was for the girl she would love to have. My father thought that you can do better justice to a child’s desires if he/she is alone. Discarding his all myths she decided to have me.

I was expected to be born on 11th October, but as my father has to frequently travel my mother asked the doctor to give her artificial pains when she completed eight months of pregnancy. My mother was admitted at 11 am on 27th September. And on the morning of 28th September at 3.28 am I was brought to this world.

My brother who was 4 years old than was brought to hospital to see me. As he saw me, he said I would call her Nannu(small) as my nick name is Tannu(brother’s nick name). That’s how I got my pet name which is still more famous in my family than my official name.

In out cultural the naming ceremony of a child takes place after 11 days of his birth. The priest do a prayer and horoscope is made on the basis of time ,date and place of birth. The priest on the basis of same announce an alphabet and the child is given a name of same alphabet.

Coincidentally my alphabet was N and my grandfather who was the eldest member of our family named me Neelam(Blue Sapphire). My horoscope still holds this name.

Now when I turned 2.5 years old I demanded to go to school. My mother decided an official name for me which was Neha(Love” or “one who loves and is loved”). Now you must have noticed that all the names that I have put forward have some meanings, In India it is believed that a child gets the characteristics from his name so it is important to keep a name with a beautify meaning.

So I was sent to play school with Neha as my official name. When I turned 3.5 yrs old, it was decided to send me to proper school for nursery class. The day my mother was to take me to school for admission my dad declared that I should be named Neerja. My mother who didn’t liked the name much hesitated a bit, and asked my dad the meaning of same.

My dad told her that this is auspicious and courageous name. Auspicious because it means Goddess Laxmi( Hindu goddess for money) and courageous because of the girl Neerja.

neerja-bhanot_1455705450_725x725

This my attempt for the Fourteenth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 14:N(alphabet)

N

Monkey and bananas : Day 13 of A-Z Challenge

“If you look at the monkeys, you can learn many things about the men; if you look at the men, you can learn many things about the madness!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Monkey have been our ancestors, I mean not just mine but for all the human race. But for me and my brother they have played too much of a part in our growing up. Sometimes they taught us our childhood best lessons.

*******

I have many stories to relate with them but today I will just share only one.

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In India parents start teaching etiquette from an early age. Now you all would say what’s different in this, all parents of all other countries do same. Wait, let me tell you these are not etiquette actually, they have nothing do with values, and it’s just about being an Indian.

According to my parents eating sitting in you balcony or porch is not a good habit. We were never allowed to do it. My mom use to say “Two things should be done hideously, one eating food and another counting your money”. It may be because we are bit superstitious that no one should see how much we earn and what delicacies we eat.

Now this one incident taught my lovely brother this very lesson that my mom can’t teach him.

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He was about three years old. It was beautiful evening with smooth breeze making the weather more pleasant. He called mom to give him company and sit with him in balcony. Mom was busy in preparing dinner, she asked him to sit and enjoy until she finishes her work.

He (loudly): Mama, I am hungry, give me something to eat.

Mom (ordering): Come inside first and then take bananas from the basket.

He (smugly): Ok. Dragged the stool, stood on it and took bananas from the basket that was kept on fridge.

He peeked inside the kitchen to see what mom was doing, seeing that she was busy and not looking out of window, moved out stealthily with the banana.

Now he lazily flattened his feet and peeled the banana. Relishing his bite in the wonderful weather gave him a blissful feeling.

Crak…crak..

He ignored the voice, kept himself busy in noticing the kids who were playing outside.

Suddenly a strong slap landed on his face. He looked up puzzled by sudden event, a big monkey was standing beside him, and he snatched the banana from his hand and gave him another slap and ran away.

monkey

 

He didn’t cried until he saw mom running towards him. She smothered him with kisses and took him inside. After this he never tried to eat out in balcony until he grew up.

This my attempt for the Thirteeth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 13:M(alphabet)

M

Leafy love and friendship: Day 12 of A-Z Challenge

“please, love, leave,
like leaf from tree;
taking beauty,
leaving seed”
Andrew McMillan

leafy

There was a time when a promise of friendship was made through a leaf. It lasted as long as the leaf last to dry up.

*************

We were walking holding our biology books towards the park with a path full of dried fallen leaves. Two girls of 17 then who were soon going to graduate from school. Life seems pretty easy that time and teenage is a funny age, it make you believe that everything last for forever especially love and friendships.

We sat below the tree and opened our books. I took out my notebook and started making notes.

She (regretting): Oh, I forgot bring my notebook.

Me (surprised): Ah!! That’s bad. Should we go inside to bring one?

She (smirking): Nah..leave it. I will write on something else.

Me (puzzled): What else?

She (smiling): Pointed her hand towards the fallen leaves.

I laughed and she picked up few and started drying diagrams on them. After an hour school bell rang, we started gathering our things. Suddenly she picked up one leave and wrote something on it. I asked her to be quick and do rest of her practice in next free period. She closed my eyes with her one hand and asked me to open up my palm.

Me( irritated): What’s this?

She(suppressing laughter): Surprise. Just open up your palm.

Me(opening my one palm) : Ok.

I felt something light on my palm. Slowly I opened my eyes and saw a dried green leaf with message on it .

Friends Forever.

I smiled turning it and found

Apurva ❤ Neerja.

I kept my books down and picked up another same leaf and wrote the message,

Friends forever

in front and

Neerja ❤ Apurva

on backside and gave it to her.

It’s been almost eleven years since then and our friendship has taken a backseat now. Both of us settled in our own worlds forgetting the leafy promise of two teenage girls.

My favourite leaves are maple leaves, because they remind me of my teenage year’s favourite romantic movie Mohabbatein (love)

PS: Share your memory attached to leaves or autumn or friendship or promise.

This my attempt for the Telweth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 12: L(alphabet)

L

King of Macedon:Day 11 of A-Z Challenge

“A tomb now suffices him for whom the world was not enough.”

alexander

Above is the epitaph of the legendary king Alexander The Great.

*******

Today I am unleashing memory of attached to this mighty king.

********************

I was twelve and we have shifted to a new city, there came new school, new friends and new opportunity.

I was lazily dragging my feet toward the school bus, the sun was scorching the ground as it was a hot May summer noon. I heard a sharp voice of a female teacher calling students for participation in upcoming play. Few of my classmates ran towards her, and she made them all stand in the queue. She took a book from her purse and asked the first one standing in the queue to read a paragraph from her book.

As the boy in front started she made annoyed face and asked him to go. One by one she was rejecting all the students. The other teacher who was accompanying her said “If you will reject all, how will we get the participant? It’s already Monday and the play is on Friday”. She looked up at the last student and asked him to recite the lines and as he finished she said “I will find the perfect one for this role” and asked the boy to leave.

I was still standing in the corner holding my bag, seeing the rolling of the events. She saw me gazing her, and gestured her hand for calling me “Do you want to try”? I nodded without realizing.

She forwarded me the book and asked me to read these few lines:

Alexander: “Do you eat gold in your country”

Chief: I take it for granted, thou wert able to find eatable food in thine own country reason then art thou come among us.

Alexander: Your gold has not hither but I would willingly become acquainted with your manners and customs.

All: So be it as long as it pleaseth thee.

After finishing these lines, I looked out of book towards my teacher, she smiled and said “Be ready, you are my Alexander”.

On the morning of  a fine Friday morning entered the mighty king in short dress wearing the golden crown made of glaze paper with a flowing blue silk robe and white socks with criss-cross design of silver paper.

Some jeered, some gaped, some smiled and others laughed seeing a small girl of twelve as Alexander the Great.

************

This was my first play, my first public speaking, my first stage appearance and this memory is as vivid as all others of my special days.

PS: Share your memory of first public appearance, play or recital or debate ?

This my attempt for the Eleventh day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 11: K(alphabet)

 K

 

 

Jaggery Love : Day 10 of A-Z Challenge

Close your eyes and pop a piece of jaggery in your mouth.

Let it melt and savour the flavor of its sweetness.

jaggery

 

**********

This is a story of small boy who use to love jaggery.

*******

Jaggery is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar consumed in Asia and Africa. It is a concentrated product of date, cane juice, or palm sap (see palm sugar) without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in colour.

Jaggery is generally consumed in winter season as it’s hot in nature. So we prepare many dishes of jaggery during winter festival, special on Mahasakranti that falls on 14th January.

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It was lazy summer noon and preparation for lunch was going on. A boy of three in black half pant and brown shirt was sitting near the kitchen. As in olden times children or people who were not cooking were not allowed inside the kitchen.

Boy (calling her aunt): Mamiji(mother’s brother’s wife) I am having some craving for sweet thing, can you please give me something to eat.

Aunt (smiling): There so many sweets outside, why are you not eating them.

Boy (jerking his head): oh I don’t want it, I want something different.

Aunt (grinning): Tell me what do you want than?

Boy (checking here and there for his mother’s presence): I want jaggery.

Aunt (apologetically): But baby, we don’t have it.

Boy (shocked): Ah! You don’t have jaggery? You don’t get it here?

Aunt (amused): (taking fun in his talks) No Dear, we don’t.

Boy (determined): Don’t worry in our state we have a lot of it, in fact we have whole market just for it. When I go back, I will send a truck full of jaggery just for you.

Aunt (laughing): I will wait for honey.

This incident happened almost 28 years back when I was not even born, but this story has been told to me umpteen times by my aunt. This cute little boy was my brother who then didn’t knew that people don’t eat jaggery in summers and made such big promise of sending a truck full of jaggery.

This memory is reminder how a child’s sweetness and promise.

This my attempt for the Tenth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 10: J(alphabet)

J

Ice cream:Day 9 of A-Z Challenge

I doubt whether the world holds for anyone a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream. ~Heywood Broun

On the onset of summer, I recall a memory of one such hot sunny summer afternoon.

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It was last Navaratri of spring season and like always I have a gathered lot of one rupee coins.

Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are considered to be important junctions of climatic and solar influences. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother Durga. The dates of the festival are determined according to the lunar calendar. During Navaratri, some devotees of Durga observe a fast and prayers are offered for the protection of health and prosperity. Devotees avoid meat, alcoholic drinks, grains, wheat and onion during this fast. During the eighth or ninth day, Kanya Puja, pre-pubescent girls are ceremonially worshipped.

This time I was determined not to give my hard earned money to mom. Of course it was hard earned, you have to go so many houses and eat (not exactly), and we generally use to taste the food and gather the gifts and money and run away to another house. It is one day when people seek girls, rather than all other days.

Around 12 pm, one of my friend with whom I was roaming since morning asked me “How much is my collection”? I took out all the coins from my small brown velvet purse and counted them. It was around 15 rupees, it was more than I had expected.

Friend: I have 17 rupees, let’s spend half of it and save the rest.

Me (excitedly): What should we buy? A new kitchen set?

Friend (smirking): No silly, we buy it always, we should do something else.

Me (disappointed): What else?

She (excitedly): We will go to apsara ice-cream parlour. They serve delicious ice-creams.

Me (squinting): That is too far near the main road. How we will cross the road.

Friend (grinning): I went there all alone once, so just chill.

Holding my hand she took me down the narrow lanes. Two girls of eight and nine, dressed in lemon and pink colour frocks and wearing purses on one shoulder walked down the roads. People looked at us with amusement, we smiled back at the onlookers.

girls

We entered the restaurant, the owner looked at us and smiled asking us to the take seat. I ordered my favourite ice cream, two scoops of tutti frooti in a cone. I relished each bite of it and the taste still lingers on my tongue.

Tutti-Frutti-Ice-Cream-2-10

Later on I told my mom that I went to ice-cream parlour without her permission, she didn’t scolded me instead she said that I should tell her when I need to eat ice-cream ,she herself will take me there.

PS: Share your story when you ventured all alone to shopping or eating at a restaurant without your parents?

This my attempt for the Ninth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 8: I(alphabet)

I

Home Alone:Day 8 of A-Z Challenge

homealone

Every child has a fantasy of being left alone at home. This story is about my first home alone experience with my brother for few hours.

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Mom was saying again and again to him, don’t leave her alone, don’t go out to play, take care of her, I will be back in two hours. My brother was nodding his head and was grinning back at me. I was continuously asking mom to take me with her. She kept refusing saying children shouldn’t go to mourning places.

Mom was going pay visit to some one’s grieving prayer, so she couldn’t take me with her. As for me ,I actually didn’t trust my brother’s promise of not going out and at the age of five, no child want to be alone at home even for few seconds.

So mom left me assuring she will be back soon and my brother won’t go out. As soon as mom left us, my brother started TV in loud volume. After turning few channels and realizing nothing worthwhile is coming, he looked up at me and asked would you like to eat something.

Me(surprisingly): Mom didn’t cook anything for us.

Bro(wickedly): Who said she did. I am asking would you like to have something if I cook it.

Me(awe) : Do you know how to cook.

Bro(shrugged): I know everything.

Me(smiling): Ok, I would like to have chips.

My brother got up and asked me to accompany him in kitchen. He climbed on the kitchen slab and took out the home-made raw potato chips. He poured oil in pan and started frying the chips. I got bore seeing him doing the task, so I want back to room and started watching TV.

After few minutes , my brother came with a plate full of chips, black burned chips. I glanced at the plate and then at his face.

Me(annoyingly): What is this?

Bro(apologetically): Oh, few of them got burned, but you can eat them from side.

Me(stubbornly): I don’t want to eat this, you eat this burned chips.

Bro(thinking): Ok! I can make something else for you.

Me(squinting) : Are you sure to make it right?

Bro(reassuringly): Ofcourse!

He left the room and came back after half an hour with a bowl full of carrot and bit of milk.

Me(inquiring): What is it?

Bro(proudly): Carrot pudding.

Me(shockingly): You made it so fast, mom says it takes hours to make it.

Bro(jerking his head): I am a fast chef.

I took the bowl and started eating it. I realized, it didn’t tasted like mom’s pudding. It was mixture of carrot and milk with undissolved sugar. But it was the first meal my brother cooked for us. It had the enhance of love , hardship and bonding.

bronsis

Later on my brother hid the burned plate on the exhaust fan place. Mom caught us, the moment she entered kitchen, because we didn’t knew then that frying and burning has strong smell.

PS: Tell me what you did when for the first time your parents left you alone at home? Share your home alone story?

This my attempt for the Eighth day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 8: H(alphabet)

H.JPG

 

 

Graduation Day: Day 7 of A-Z Challenge

One morning you get up realizing that you have graduated and now you have to run the rat race of a corporate life.

This is a story of my graduation day.

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In India, most of the private colleges have commencement day year after you have graduated. This may seem bit awkward to my other countries friends but this how it is in India. Wait but there could be some exceptions like some big engineering colleges or Business schools may have their commencement day on last day of graduation.

Alas! I never studied from such big college to cherish such opportunity. So in year 2011, on a hot humid day in July on date 27, I graduated from my Alma mater.

We were informed through mails regarding our graduation day. By that time,I became a post-graduate student of a different college. This was great opportunity to catch up with old friends and acquaintances. Moreover I was home on my summer break from post-graduation college.

My best friend and I decided over phone that she will stay at my place once our graduation program gets over.

Dressed up in our new outfits, we reached college to find all the familiar faces with big knowing smile. We were shrieking each other’s name loudly and laughing on seeing the transformation like lunatics.

We were provided black gown and square hats with a purple hood for the program.So their is a bit of history behind wearing gown and square hats on graduation day which comes from this story.

Back in the Middle Ages, the church was the sole institution of learning, so clerical robes (long gowns) were the standard attire worn by medieval scholars.However, over time, education became less associated with religious life and the wearing of gowns was marked as a symbol of achievement and recognition. Hoods nowadays have different colours and are worn by graduates to signify the academic discipline they studied.

The square academic hat worn on graduation day is called a ‘mortarboard’, due to its resemblance to a tool used by bricklayers to hold mortar – a paste-like material of sand, lime and water which hardens when dry. Historians believe the mortarboard is based on the biretta which is a similar hat worn by the Roman Catholic clergy.

worldwide-graduation-traditions.jpg

So now you see how this tradition has got evolved over the period of time.

The program started with big long speeches, which no one was hearing 😉 Everyone was busy in noticing others. The top three students from every stream were called on stage to collect their degree. Rest of us, got it, backstage. Once the program got over we went over to food section to have lunch. We were doing two task simultaneously greeting the known batch-mates and eating like apes 😀

One of my close girl friend who got married on our last day of college examination came with her  eight months old kid. We brought every guy who had a crush on her to meet her and the Baby, asking the baby to call them “mama” (mother’s brother in Hindi). It was real fun to tease everyone.The boy was really admiring all the attention.

We took lot many pictures, but two of my very close friends missed the day. It was like big reunion event, where every one was smiling seeing a known face. On that day I realized why I why loved this song.

I am really gonna miss this place, I am gonna miss my college days.

But no graduation day is complete without this hat throwing moment, so was ours.

hat-throw-graduation-tradition

I didn’t encountered a great commencement speech on my day. But if I had the chance I would like to hear  JK ROWLING SPEECH IN HARVARD 2008.

jk

The best university in the world is neither Oxford nor Harvard. The best university is “youniversity”. YOU got the lecture halls of thoughts in YOU! You got everything you need to graduate with first class accomplishments put in you! YOU can do it!”
Israelmore Ayivor

PS: Share your graduation day story 🙂

This my attempt for the Seventh day of the A-Z Challenge.

Day 7: G(alphabet)

G