July 5th, 2007

Watching waiting

Talking For Our Generation

It is an oft repeated topic of how bored we (meaning this generation) get, and how easily. I will not claim it untrue, though I will say, it depends on how often you are bombarded with same content.

A decade or so earlier news may have come to you twice a week, so you got bored of it an a month of two. today, if the same news comes twice a day (minimum) we cant really be blamed for getting bored within two weeks! infact, if you do the math, boredom after 16 viewings when compared with boredom against 28 viewings, with a daily dose is actually quite commendable.

Like most people who access the net, I have a number of feeds, and I have some websites I like to visit more often/ regularly. However, I have found that unless the content is widely varying, I take a break from visiting some of them for a couple of days/ weeks. Unless of course they have a wide variety, with innovative content whenever updated.

Another thing found perplexing sometimes is the need to update. It is a direct factor of the "I want more" syndrome of the end reader. However, that does not mean that one has to update even when there is nothing to update upon. It is fine to come up and say 'There is nothing to say today'. Pushing drivel for the reader to read, does reduce the esteem of the writer in the eyes of the reader, and in fact increases the chance of fickleness.

This "I want more" Syndrome apparently is something that this generation has cultivated. I beg to differ. Isnt the human mind forever hungry for more information? Didnt man, since time immemorial spend it trying to learn, read, talk, just to communicate and learn? With avenues available to learn faster and more, it is only natural that the demand also rises, each in their own spheres. For those who like Pulp, they want more pulp, those who want encyclopediac info...well, the net is open to them!

So, boredom and want have definitely been there, and will also be there. The point is just that the attention has increased on these points, and all because of higher avialability, which in itself is a wondrous thing.

Learning is a lifelong process. One can also revisit old things, which one was once bored of, yet not boring anymore. I do not think there is in this world less than enough to learn and then get bored of, by the end of ones lifetime. I may be wrong, but then, I might not.
Join the Masses

Food!

What can be the wierdest thing, than to get in touch with an old frnd and former colleague, and discover that interests have changed. Where once the topic of conversation used to be the alcohol and non-veg deprived Ahmed-a-Bad, and cocktails including experimentations thereof, today the unexpected topic was Experimentations with Food (As my Mom says, as an answer to Gandhis Experimentations with Truth - it also rhymes!), and delighted exchange of notes at similarity of habits, unbeknownst to each other. Soon he was inviting me over just to taste this unique Khichdi he has now if not patented, at least has 'Prior Art' rights to!

Ah. Jaded Bachelors that we are, solace lies in the very basic of Maslow's Heirarchy. That of clothing and shelter are solved, but food remains high. Especially after experimenting with varieties. So many of my bachelor colleagues I have seen passing though the numerous phases mentioned below, it seems to be the rule of the era. So many 3/4 yr living alone bachelors I have met who enjoy cooking, usually for themselves, and sometimes for others. So many, who have reached the last step mentioned here, where I am, at the moment.

Living alone brings with it a myriad option of eating. Especially dinner. Lunch is usually in the office premises - either offered by them, or following colleagues footsteps. Breakfast remains a thing unknown, unless you are talking of biscuits with the morning tea/ coffee.

As one begins the sojourn away from home, the amazing freedom of dinner choice flabbergast. Eating out seems the best option. However, soon you tire of it, since all food in every restaurant tastes the same. No matter how big/ small/ unique/ generic.
Soon tiring of it all and the pain of choosing menu daily, the person (s) hire a dabba. A tiffin-box with supposed "home-made" food, delivered at your doorstep everyday for a nominal fee, consisting of a pre-appointed menu.
Of course, the menu gets repetitive after a while. The innovativeness wears off.
Soon like an orphaned child, you switch between dabba's meandering from one 'aunty' to another caterer.

That is the time you decide enough is enough, and appoint a cook. S/he will cook for you, if possible even fetch the vegetables. Sure, it includes the unwanted hassle of utensils which have to be cleaned, and firstly, stocked. But hey! you get food you want, when you want it. If you dont want to eat at home, the food need not go waste, neither is there the hassle to call and cancel, You simply ask your cook to go away! They happy, you happy. Cool? Cool!

Some cases pause at this time, but mostly proceed from here. The reasons are various. For one, the cook is usually a localite, and wil cook as per his/her habits. Not the 'home food' you were looking for. Also, you wil not find those simple elegant foods that you miss from home in this setup.
Of course, you also get to waste a lot of money by their wishes of buying vegetables you dont eat, and even though you need to oversee theircooking once in a while, it is still not like home. And, eventually, it is also repetitive.

So, eventually, most people I have known, have taken the famous task of cooking for themselves. By now its a personal choice, and considering all available choices, to cook for oneself is a pleasure. Everyday is an experiment with something. First time ever of making this, and improving the taste of that! Continental one day and Indian the next. Wild concoctions which would have never seen any kind of light, including gas light, in your home kitches come to the fore.
The best part then remains the tasting of these delicacies, which are dont by the creator, the virtues of which are expounded then to the world in general. Of course, if cooking has to be done for others, it is by will and wish, and good timing. however, for own self, there are no pretentions. A way to ease off the load of the day, a time solely to gratify self, through the most primitive way - the stomach.

When it was said the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, it was "Man" of humanity. I am yet to find an interesting person who did not appreciate good food.
[OK, I amend that. I have to account for sashdude  Ha ha, no offense ;)]

So it is that after years of experimenting many a bachelor has found, the next best thing to Mom's Kitchen is My Own Kitchen. I speak for my frnds, my seniors, and by future vision, my juniors. Soon they too will see the light.

PS - who said men dont like cooking? Cooking is an art, a creative enterprise. Especially when cooking for self. Because then, you eat your own mistakes ;) literally. And more men than women love to experiment with that.

So it was that I finished my conversation with my friend after his claiming his food to be the best ever, and comparing notes on pressure cookers (mine has stopped whistling for some reason :( ) and how that can make inferior food types.

And of course, the efficacy or irish coffee over a single malt after a hard days work in a cold cold office and braving the monsoons of India.