Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life's Game Chapter 3, A Saga by Crowning Glory

Crowning Glory

Please read the previous chapter here.

April '2012

The smell of the winds changed.
From the pleasant smells of palm trees and the paddy fields and the salt sprays of the seas, Jennifer was now beginning to smell the dry, cakey ,muddy smell of a long train journey. As the train wound through the Konkan Coast,Jennifer could well imagine what Mumbai would have in store for her.
God bless the lead photographer of Marie Claire magazine who had decided to elope at this very moment. Fortitude always rewarded those who worked hard. But Jennifer knew that this time she had to prove herself to be worthy if she wanted to dictate terms. Photography was an expensive job and someone had to pay for it.
The last job had lasted only 30 days and it had cost her precious money to settle down in a new city. Precious money she could not afford to waste. She could think  of the new lens and the software up gradation she would be needing if she could not augment her finances soon. It always costs so much to make money, she thought. Another thing her Ex had warned her about. With her background you'd think she needed no warning.
A restless night later , morning dawned close to Mumbai Central.
Gradually the train screeched into the busy station and the compartment was filled with Coolies offering to carry her luggage to the taxi stand. "One bag only??",drawled the coolie disbelievingly. He shook his head with disgust and chewed on his Kheni.
She tossed back her somewhat undone plait,she was used to this disdain coming from men.
Jennifer stepped into a sea of humanity and unbearable stench of unwashed bodies and skipped down the stairs past the dirty walls to the taxi stand. She would have to tackle the Mumbai Locals from tomorrow.
One last indulgence ,she thought as she closed the door and hugged her camera to her,it was becoming her raison d'etre. Women generally reserved such fondness for their babies...


Malad was a long drive away, but that was where the cheapest paying guest accommodation was available. Fortunately her PG accommodation was a few of stops via local train away from her office.
Jennifer was starving and she could smell the tantalising aromas of  kadhi bubbling away in the corridor,when the landlady smiled and asked her to freshen up and join her for lunch.
The landlady seemed motherly,but then you never knew with wardens.
Her ex had once told her that she exuded positive vibes that attracted people. Jennifer had coyly accepted it as flattery then,she hoped what he had observed was true. She really craved some flavoursome food.

After a much needed bath and a hot meal,Jennifer sat down to survey her new home and sanctuary till her current job lasted. The room was clean and the bedsheets and curtains were faded,but looked freshly washed.
She plugged in her laptop and thanked her stars that the room rent included a wifi connection. She just couldn't afford the roaming charges right now.

It was almost midnight when Jennifer had finished editing and photo shopping the pictures she had taken in Kochi Fort of the Chinese Fishing Nets and tourists enjoying the days catch and the by lanes of Jew Town . Jennifer made a mental note to approach some art galleries to attempt to sell a few prints. Mumbai was an expensive city and her salary would take a while.

Bright and early she headed towards her swanky office in Ville Parle. At least the address was posh. The local trains were not bad at 7 am, there was ample space to sit and observe her co passengers and that made for a comfortable ride. It was imperative that she avoid crowded trains. Her camera was too precious to bear the jostling of the indifferent commuters.
With the address in her hands,Jennifer walked the two kilometers to her office building. 
Glass facade, swish set of doors , a superbly effective air conditioning and green plants at the foyer greeted her while the guard looked on in askance. After a simple enquiry,he told her that only the boss came to the office so early and he led her to the elevator bay.
The luxury of her surroundings made her aware of the simplicity of her blue jeans and plain shirt. Thank god ,she had chosen to wear smart shoes today,she really didn't want to make a bad impression.

With trepidation,she knocked on the bosses door,only to find him walking towards her with a cup of steaming hot liquid in his hand. With a smile ,he extended a hand and introduced himself. he even remembered her name.
And this time Jennifer Joseph sounded nice.
Jennifer gratefully sipped some hot coffee while the Boss spoke about the assignment she had been hired for. 
The magazine was scheduled to do a series  of articles on successful women entrepreneurs and /or bosses and their lifestyles. The articles were to be supported by an 8 page photo spread and the onus was on her as to how she intended to conceive and execute this project.
This would be her big break, as they were to say and as the write up was to be minimalistic,she would be working independently.
No one to cramp her style. 
Wardrobe Planners ,Stylists, Make up crew and rest of the entourage would be at her beck and call.
But then the Boss added a footnote. He expected perfection and nothing less.
"But that is what I am always seeking Boss. I will not let you down.Ever",replied Jennifer.
Handing her the list of the ladies she needed to photograph, Boss led her to a cubicle and en route acquainted her to the coffee station.
Company password scribbled on the  paper, she sat down on the swivel chair to enjoy the feel of her new office. First office would be more like it.
Maybe the pink slip from Kochi had not been such a  bad omen...
Most of them sounded familiar.
All except the first one. Ms Tara Dutta, CEO ,Lucky One TV.
She plugged in her battery charger to charge the extra batteries she always carried and waited for the computer to boot.
Jennifer googled her first subject and watches as the search engine spewed out the results.

Interested? Follow the story here

“Me and my team Crowning Glory are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches

No,I have not lost my marbles or metamorphosised into Alia Bhatt suddenly. I am serious about this decadent breakfast.
OK, this was not breakfast but a break from Math and Geometry and Polynomials etc..

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches.
Only bread, chocolate,butter and icing sugar to dust.

My shortest blog post ever.
And the result of too many loaves  of bread.
Well,the story begins with a cranky sweet child and a cantankerous sweet tooth.

I craved hot, chocolate and buttered toast...
Did I tell you that I am always trying to diet?
My current obsession with tear jerker Pakistani Online dramas READ -Humsafar, with a love story blossoming under a mother's hatred and a best friends disgust.
That's why they say that a woman is a woman's proven enemy.
I totally needed the chocolate. And Sweet Child has been working on his school work ,so he definitely needs a treat...and what better than chocolate, in bread.

for the

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches...

you need

4 slices of brown bread
100 gms more or less dark or milk chocolate
a dab of butter to coat the skillet
icing sugar to dust

Chop the chocolate onto two slices of bread liberally.
Cover the chocolate with another slice of bread and put the skillet of pan to heat.( I avoided the sandwich griller for the fear of cleaning up the melted chocolate.)
A dab of butter and place the sandwiches to grill on medium high heat.
Let the bread colour and after buttering the uncooked side, flip the sandwich over.
Grill till done and cut into triangles.

Place on serving platter and dust with the icing sugar and serve immediately.
Quatered and dusted with icing sugar and cocoa powder.
A bite of heaven,to balance the Math...

Heaven,between the slices of bread. Toasted ,buttered bread and melty chocolate  with a hint of salt and a wee bit of bitterness from the dark chocolate.
And the Asterix...a buffer from the Math MADNess...

Dessert or not,my tears are happy to be and my taste buds are happier.
Sweet Child is happier and all chocolate cravings fed...

PS these sandwiched can be made on the plate of an iron ....those of you who live in hostels. And though any chocolate will do, the more expensive it is the better.
Great pick me up and totally filling.
The food of the Gods.

For those of you living in the UK, here is a place that you can visit to get a taste of heaven. Provided by MyChocolate . Speciality Chocolate making classes and chocolates using the best ingredients at nominal prices.
So not fair to those of us here, in India.

So what are you baking today???


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