The musings of a (not-so) single chick in the city. (Don't think that the term chick is derogoratory. We refer to boys by a number of terms). The travails in the life of an ex-miss-goody-two-shoes, ex-journalist, ex-small time model, ex-television actress, of being female in Chennai/ Pune/Bangalore, of ideas old and ideas new....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The lure of the mike

I was the Mc for a recent Rotary club event in the city last Saturday. (For the un-initiated, MC stands for master of ceremonies, the guy/girl who conducts the event...blabs on the mike...welcome...yada yada yada...next we gonna...yada yada yada...hope you had fun... yada yada and thanks for not throwing eggs on our faces...yada yada :)

And it is fun, when all the talking you normally do can pay you quite some bit of money. And there are poeple who do this professionally, and charge about 5K for an evening. And the even more famous ones that charge even more.... tune of 15K per evening. All for the gift of the gab and the non-objection to gab in a public forum, where about hundereds of people judge you for every word you utter. But, again, being a beginner, other than having dabbed in compereing events in school and college, the money is not as good as even 5k. But it will get there in a year's time. A friend of mine is going on a 10 city tour where he has to MC for the product launch events. He can't come back home for about a month and a half. But is being paid for all his troubles in lakhs :) 5 to be exact .

And in the domestic arena, I mastered the art of the roast red bell pepper and tomato soup. Highly flavourful and non- calorific...which most dishes can't boast of, except for soup and low-fat chocolate cereal. Am planning to try my hand at the roast pumpkin and garlic soup :)
I also made some super moist, super sweet brownies, which I made other ppl eat :)

More later.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

My first ad-film experience

I have always been interested in getting into modelling ever since I saw Aishwarya and Sush, when I was around 10-11 years old. I guess most girls in India old enough to recognise that beauty well endowed and maintained lead to world-wide good- quality popularity, and not the sleazy popularity we were encouraged as children to associate with female actresses, especially in the south. And as any girl would have preened in front of a mirror, so did I. But adolescent puppy-fat put a block to that for quite a few years :)
When I found myself back in shape after hitting 16, I found out that I was a geek. And geeks were never encouraged in these kind of things in Chennai, coz geeks were created ( I think parents start praying for brilliant children even before the embryo is created) to enter medical college or engineering college and make their families proud.
Anyway, all this history leads to why I, a 23 year old am doing my first ad- film ....
Studying always took priority, till I decided it doesnt have to. So instead of being an independant, earning 75K USD a year career woman at some big bio-tech company in some part of the USA, I am trying to get a foot hold, in hot sweltering Chennai, in the modelling industry.....
The ad film was for a new product- a packet of nuts :) Ah, it doesnt really matter, for beggers can't be choosers. And it is a 3k payment for half a day's work...no complaints for now....And being an older entrant, while it is disadvantgeous, because everyone else is barely 18-19, is also good, because I see the competition and get reminded of myself at 18. Not very confident and a little unsure of my own identity. Could never handle pressure situations like I could do now.
There's a lot to be said for maturity.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Cinnamon Craze

I love baking. I love when the dough rises and the sweet cakey and the fruity smell fills the house. I love experimenting with different ingredients, mix different flavours like pecan and banana or chocolate and pineapple and love it when the combination works beyond what I had imagined. I love giving ppl the food I have created and watch them enjoy it.
Of course I have had oven mishaps. It was the very first time I tried making chocolate-chip cookies. The dough was too soft and started running in the heat, and I got a huge, flat and rectangular cookie the size of the tray that I had put the (what I had thought small )dollops of dough on :)
Anyway, I was without the outlet that baking provided for almost a year and a half before I treated myself a month ago and bought a small 15 litre capacity oven from Spencers. Now the entire family is complaning that I am making them fat. Somehow, as much as I love baking, I never eat more than a couple of pieces of whatever I have made. Maybe that is because the cook ( or I am ) with the product right from when its still flour, butter, sugar, milk, fruit, vegetable and eggs, that by the time the cake or cookie or pizza or pie comes out of the oven, steaming hot, you have lost your appetite for the product.
Anyway, now I have started to make the neighbours fat too :) Made a heavy banana cake today, which doesnt really need eggs. (mom and grandma are strict veggies)
I always used to wonder at the western taste, where almost all desserts have cinnamon in them. My Indian sensibility was revolted when the apple pie I was served at a 4th of July celebrations came with a heavy cinnamon dusting. Cinnamon was a hot, spicy food condiment, usually gracing biriyanis and pulavs in a fried state, and seeing it in desserts never became normal for me in my 2 years in the States.
But, I realise it now. It lessens the sweetness, when the sweetness is too much and can lead to what we call - thegating in Tamil. When too much sugar can lead to a cloying sensation and you can eat no more of the dish. I realised this when I tasted the small sticky pieces of cake that came out with the fork, when I was testing done-ness. Some recipes call for extra sugar to give size and shape to particular cakes. So I ground up some sticks of cinnamon and dusted the top of the cake along with some white sugar. Cake tasted great and the sweetness was tempered well too :D

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New moves....new life

Sometimes, I want to strangle my parents. Of course, they want to strangle me all the time too. That is primarily because I live in their house. It is never a good idea to go back and live with parents, who still want to set the rules, after one has lived by oneself / with roomies for a relatively considerable amount of time.



Recent case in example : My deputy editor, a very independant 28 year old served host to his mother, who had come visiting her beloved son for a few weeks. And, my soon-to-leave-the-country, partying, night-owl deputy had to endure calls every half-hour from 8 pm till he surrendered and went home at 12 pm, which is when the night usually wakes up for him. He is still complining. So, a guy who, in my eyes, seemed to have it all together, is pestered by his mom to this extent, I see no relief for me in the near future :(



And with drinking being a huge No-No to my ultra tee-totalling mother, whose face hardens to rock everytime alcohol is even spoken about, I have had to refrain from even occasional drinking ( I sip at a breezer and call it drinking :-) My friends who actually drink scoff at my idea of what drinking is ). Anyway, I know why I put up with all this. Financial and emotional security. And even if i get my financial independance back again soon, moving out seems to be a distant dream. Because of quaint old notions running through my father's thick head that a girl ought not leave her father's house, unless she has to move to another city for the cause of employment or education, till she is married. Because of what society might think, about the father's evilness or about the girl's wicked life-style which necessitated the moving out. Not that the 'need for independance' will be bought by society as a reason. Apparently, something must be wrong with the family or the child to choose to live in another house while the parents live in the same city!

Sometimes i post just to crib about the sad aspects of my life. And since I quit my job recently, I miss writing my dating/single in the city column. It was fun while it lasted. But, no worries, lots to do in the meantime, going about setting up a whole new different career, while trying to finish my post-graduatation.