Tuesday, July 15, 2014

stuck

today was a day of very random coincidences:

i missed my office bus by precisely a minute - i was actually gonna leave my desk 5 minutes early and grab a snack, but i broke a build and the build servers were overloaded so took longer than usual.

my usual lift home (a colleague who lives nearby and generally leaves about 15 minutes after the office bus), left an hour early today.

I got drenched walking to the bus stop in the downpour.

i missed the AC express bus by barely half a minute.

I left two regular buses that would have taken me home as they were too crowded (bursting at the seams with people is a more appropriate description).

took the third bus as it was much emptier than the ones I just left.

the third bus takes the most convoluted route ever.

two and a half hours later, i'm still in the bus, which has taken a two hour circuit of andheri East and is now barely 15 minutes (by any other sane means of transport) from where I started from.

my bike, which I gave for servicing yesterday evening, is still not ready, and will take another day.

the bus hasn't moved in the last 35 minutes.

I'd have been home if i waited another HOUR in office and took the 745 bus home.

I haven't eaten since lunch, which was 8 hours ago. the only edible stuff with me is a 25g packet of chips. I'm saving it for when the hunger gets unbearable.

the bus transmission is making strange metallic sounds whenever it inches forward. its shocks have already bottomed out multiple times so far.

we're somewhere in aarey, in a spot that gets data while still registering no signal. no calls going through.

my bluetooth, tab and ipod are out of charge (i forgot to charge the latter two since yesterday), and my phone's on 25%.

it's pouring cats and dogs outside.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

happy-go-potlucky: meatloaf!

i love potluck parties. mainly because i think other people cook much better than i do, but also because... home cooked food has a lot more passion (and a bit more sweat) than restaurant take-aways. so when the porkaholics potluck was discussed (and eventually, announced and planned) i jumped at the opportunity.

also, the past few months have seen me gaining a bit of confidence in the kitchen. mostly marinating stuff for camping BBQs, but also a few attempts at home/friends' homes. and to top all that, i've been craving meatloaf for years now. no idea why mom stopped making it. so it was decided: meatloaf it will be!


recipe (quantities are what i used, scale for whatever quantity you're preparing):

1.5kg pork mince
500g bacon mince
250g ham, cut into tiny bits
2 pavs (can substitute with sliced bread)
fresh juice of 5 lemons
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garam masala

boil all the meats with the salt and minimum water, stirring continuously for about 30 mins
let it cool, add the spices and lemon juice
break the bread into tiny bits and add, to absorb the gravy
after it's cooled completely, beat 4 eggs and mix in well
grind in a mixer until it's a thick paste
fill in steel cans (ensure the lid shuts well, steam shouldn't get in), and steam for about 30 mins

to steam in a pressure cooker, put a small stand (i used a wide flat bottomed bowl), fill with water not more than the level of the stand, and place the cans over it. close the lid of the cooker but do not use a whistle. ensure the water doesn't dry out (you'll see a continuous stream of steam as long as there's water).


cool till room temperature, and then refrigerate for it to set. do not freeze.

note: the spices was on the lower side, so increasing them a bit might be a good idea :)

finally, this is what it looked like at the potluck (thanks angona for the photo!)


and the rest of the yummy spread

ps: mom made it this time... while i was lazing around. will make sure i do it myself next time before she gets to the kitchen. but it's so simple, anyone can!

pps: original recipe had 1 kg beef mince, 1/4 kg pork sausages and 1/4 kg pork salami. i substituted all three with pork mince.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

testimonial

yesterday, my best friend tisha surprised me with a post on my Facebook wall:

"I just realized something...u click pics of almost everything under the sun...right
from sun rise, travel to n fro office, what u ate at lunch , randomness around you,
rain, night lamps and so on...many people wonder why does Kristopher Noronha
keep clicking pics ...well I'd like to tell them all that this boy takes time out to
appreciate nature and all the good things around him...n if u hve a problem wit
that then ur life is toooo sad :) take time out to appreciate people!!!!!!!"

while I still haven't asked her what prompted this post, her analysis is spot on. I click and share photos and almost everything noteworthy (and publicly shareable) because I believe life is a balance of doing awesome things, recording them, sharing them, and occasionally, scrolling back through my albums and posts, and reliving them. I have lost count of the people who say they never need to ask me what i've been up to, because they've seen it all on facebook. some of them have told me that they look to my posts and photos to have a glimpse of a life they haven't had the chance to experience.

but I'm happiest when someone tells me that my appreciation towards the little things in life, and my endless search for little bits of positivity in every moment has inspired them to do the same.

thanks, tisha :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

my new favourite summer activity: night treks

this year has been good. a month to go before we even have a hint of rain, and i've already gotten started with the treks. with the weather, the only manageable way to pull that off has been through night treks.

a lot of people get taken aback when i say i'm doing a night trek, but really, it isn't as scary as most people would assume. and of course, night treks are best restricted to summer/early winter - night trekking in the rain is a different ballgame altogether!

lucky for me, i have a few enthusiastic friends who have gotten me into this awesome summer activity, and it's mostly thanks to them that i'm now an enthusiastic night trekker. a few thoughts to put things into perspective:

pros:


1. nothing better to do: night treks are a welcome break from lazing around at home when it's ordinarily too hot to be traveling.
2. the vagaries of weather are relatively under control: it's gonna be hot and dry, with a slight chill at higher altitude. that's it.
3. camping: camping in dry weather is infinitely easier.
4. cooking while camping is a good idea: fun, and the abundance of dry wood means no need to carry fuel.
5. the night sky: time your trek right, and there'll be millions of stars and a clear sky to keep you occupied.

cons:


1. safety: easier to get lost. i wouldn't recommend trekking without a guide, unless you have reliable GPS maps or something as good. i've been GPS recording my treks for this reason. two out of the three night treks we did this year have been with paid guides from a nearby village.
2. heat: although the trek up happens at night, travel to the base, the trek down, and travel home can get pretty uncomfortable, if not worse (thankfully, never worse so far!)
3. water: water is dead weight to carry, extremely problematic if in short supply, and natural sources are usually dry or unpotable in summer.
4. the morning after: after a long trek, a nice night out under the stars with a campfile and bbq for company, i usually find myself wishing i could sleep a couple of hours more - but the burning sun precludes that.
5. choice of location: since day treks are the norm, any trekkable place is typically a day trek. night treks have a lot more factors to be considered, so the number of feasible destinations is far fewer.

all in all, night trekking in summer is an awesome experience nevertheless! since there's barely a month before monsoon pre-showers make their appearance, i'm hoping to get atleast one more done this month before the rains get me back into day trek mode.

twilight atop peb fort (this was one epic night trek!)



resting at siddhagad village before locating our camping spot



getting ready to cook dinner atop korigad

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

in limbo

it's weird, i'm so used to being on the move, that when i'm not traveling it feels like I'm doing nothing. when i'm at home, my days just vanish in a blur of books, music, quizup, facebook, WhatsApp, sleep, and I'm not sure what else.

is this what drives all the people around me to take up stuff like gym, following sports, tv and stuff? because it feels like my life's missing something right now. and other than travel, i'm not sure what it could be.