Monday, January 23, 2017

Cooking for “Drunkards” – “Drunkard” Mutton Curry – “Try it at Your Own Risk” Recipe

COOKING FOR “DRUNKARDS” 
“DRUNKARD” MUTTON CURRY
A “Try it at Your Own Risk” Recipe
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Long ago – I was a “Drunkard” 

In fact – I was a “Drunkard” and a “Foodie” 

During those glorious days – I would exercise a lot too – and – the evening exercise followed by imbibing of alcohol built up a voracious appetite in me – so I would cook too.

Let me share with you a recipe I cooked during my Happy “Drunkard” Days....


“DRUNKARD” MUTTON CURRY

In my early days of cooking  I cooked with a glass of “Rum–Paani” at my side (and a bottle of Rum nearby). 

Those days I loved HERCULES XXX Rum – later – I started drinking Old Monk Rum.

My recipe would have read this way:

1. Pour ONE LARGE PEG of Rum  and top up the glass with Water.

2. Place the cooking pan on the stove.

3. Have one sip of Rum.

4. Add oil to the pan.

5. Have two sips of Rum.

6. Add chopped onions and sauté.

7. From time to time keep generously sipping Rum from your glass – and sauté the onions till you finish your glass of Rum-Paani (Rum with Water).

8. Add ginger, garlic, chilly paste and mix properly.

9. Make another drink of Rum-Paani (the second LARGE PEG of Rum)

10. Have one sip of Rum 

11. Add add the mutton  blend well in the mixture.

12. Have one sip of Rum 

13. Cover the vessel and let the mutton cook on slow fire

14. After you cover the mutton curry to let it cook  you may relax for some time. During this relaxation period  you must have THREE LARGE PEGS of Rum

(I have to count my drinks – but by now – during the cooking process – you would have imbibed FIVE LARGE PEGS of Rum – the first peg filled in the glass before starting to cook – the second after sautéing onions, ginger, garlic, chilly paste etc – then THREE LARGE PEGS after you have added the mutton, covered the vessel and the mutton curry is cooking over slow fire...)

15. After this  taste the meat.

16. Then  have ONE MORE LARGE PEG of Rum till the mutton curry is fully done. 

17. If the mutton is not fully done – have another LARGE PEG of Rum

18. By now – the mutton is likely to be properly cooked and ready to eat. 

Then  start Eating the Mutton Curry piping hot – with Bread or Rice (which you can cook on the side in a pressure cooker)

Depending on the quality of the mutton (and your mood)  this dish should take around 6 to 7 LARGE PEGS of Rum for it to be fully ready.

And  after imbibing 6 or 7 large pegs of Rum (half a bottle of Rum)  you will be fully in the mood to relish the delicious “Drunkard” Mutton Curry

Disclaimer:

1. This is an “experimental” recipe – so try it at your own risk
2. Skip this recipe in case you are a Teetotaller.
3. Vary the Exact Quantity/Proportion of ingredients as per your culinary experience and taste.

Tip:
It is my experience that “Drunkard” Mutton Curry tastes better after you have downed a generous amount of Rum – if you have cooked the dish yourself – then you would surely have half a bottle of Rum inside you – but  even if you are a guest – you better be drunk enough to enjoy this dish – after all  it is called “Drunkard” Mutton Curry

Cheers...!!! 

Happy Cooking...!!!

Happy Eating...!!!

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This is an “experimental” recipe – so try it at your own risk. Skip this recipe in case you are a Teetotaller. Vary the Exact Quantity/Proportion of ingredients as per your culinary experience and taste.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Extract from of my Food Blog Post MILITARY FOOD - ARMY STYLE COOKING : FAUJI “LANGAR WALA” MUTTON CURRY posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/military-food-army-style-cooking-fauji.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/military-cuisine-langar-wala-mutton.html

Overambitious Parents and Successful Children – A Story

ARE YOU AN OVERAMBITIOUS PARENT...?

Are you overambitious parents who desperately want your children to succeed...?

I have seen so many overambitious parents who are willing to do anything  go to any extent  make all sorts of sacrifices” – in order to ensure that their children succeed in their academic studies. 

In the Defence Services – I have seen parents sacrifice” their married life for the sake of their children’s education – the “faujan” mother lives separately with her children in a city which has good educational facilities – while the “fauji” father lives as a “married bachelor” at his place of posting. 

I remember a case where an officer even quit the military so that he could live in Pune and both parents could concentrate on their children’s education.

I have seen parents remove Television (TV) from their homes (and deprive themselves of their main source of entertainment) – since the parents feel that TV may be a distraction to their children and disturb their studies. 

A lady quit her job when her son entered the 9th class  so that she could devote all her time to him and ensure that he studies properly. 

Most parents spend huge amounts on Tuitions and Extra Classes for their children.

Yesterday – I saw an overly ambitious mother “motivating” her son to study hard and prepare well for the IIT JEE – the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) 

“You have to get into IIT at any cost...” – she exhorted her son. 

And – just imagine – her son was only in the 9th class – he still had more than 3 years to go before the IIT JEE. 

The mother was telling everyone about all the things she was doing to ensure that her son clears the IIT JEE with high rank and gets admission into a good IIT and gets a choice branch.

The desperation of the overambitious mother reminded me of a story I had written sometime ago.

Here is the story...

IIT JEE 
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

Pune

May 1972 

At the height of the scorching summer of 1972 – two boys sweated it out in the dilapidated drawing hall of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP).

The two boys were appearing for IIT-JEE – the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

From time to time – the antiquated structure vibrated and reverberated as a train thundered close by on the adjoining railway tracks on the south-east mainline from Pune to Mumbai (then called Bombay).

For two full days – Saturday  the 6th of May 1972 – and  Sunday  the 7th of May 1972 – the two boys sat in the sweltering heat – writing 4 papers – in English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry – analytical and subjective – each paper of 3 hours duration – 2 papers per day – one in the morning – one in the afternoon.

The papers were tough – and the two boys thought and thought – till their brains went blank – and they wrote and wrote – till their fingers ached – and finally – when it all ended – they collapsed in agony with the sheer mental and physical exhaustion of it all.

While the boys wrote the IIT-JEE exam inside – their fathers waited outside – for the entire two days.

The fathers had personally escorted the boys to the exam venue at COEP in Shivajinagar from their homes in Sadashiv Peth – and back – hiring auto-rickshaws – which was a luxury for the lower middle-class.

During the exam lunch-break – the boys’ mothers – Asha and Usha – came down from their homes bringing cool buttermilk and freshly cooked hot lunch for the boys.

At the end of the exam – both boys said that they had done well – and the parents were happy.

They all lived in Madiwale Colony – a middle class locality in Sadashiv Peth Pune – where most parents with bright sons had one ambition – their son should get into an IIT – and there he would strive for a 9+ point CGPA – a passport to the “land of opportunity” – for higher studies in a good university – the best way for a middle-class boy to migrate abroad – to realize his American Dream – and then – he would find a suitable “NRI” groom for his sister there – so that she could follow.

But in the story I am narrating – the two boys were the only child of their parents – and their parents had left no stone unturned to ensure that their sons successfully cleared the IIT-JEE.

Both the fathers worked as clerks in a government office.

They cycled to their offices every day on their old bicycles.

Both of them had sacrificed their dreams of buying a scooter – using the money to pay for IIT Coaching Classes for their sons.

The two mothers too had done all they could to facilitate the studies of their sons – in fact – for the last two years – as their sons were preparing for the IIT-JEE – both mothers thought of nothing else and they were totally were obsessed with their respective sons studies.

The two families were next door neighbours – they were best friends and had developed a very close relationship.

Now – after the ordeal was over  the parents were happy – the boys had said that they had done well in the exam – and they all eagerly awaited the IIT-JEE results which would be announced in early June.


Pune 

June 1972

The IIT-JEE results were declared.

Asha’s son successfully cleared the IIT-JEE.

However – Usha’s son did not qualify in the IIT-JEE.

And – this changed the relationship between their parents – especially between the mothers – Asha and Usha.

Asha celebrated her son’s success in lavish style – she held a Puja followed by a lavish dinner – for which the entire neighbourhood was invited.

Asha was ecstatic with joy: “I am so happy my son has got into IIT…” she told everyone.

Asha loudly boasted about her son’s achievement in the presence of Usha – and made certain boastful remarks – which were perceived as sarcastic and insulting by Usha – and this caused a fissure in their relationship which was beyond repair.

in due course  Asha’s son went for counseling to IIT Powai at Mumbai – and soon – he joined the same IIT for the B. Tech. Course in Electrical Engineering.

Usha’s son – who had failed to clear the IIT Entrance Exam – joined the local college for the First Year B. Sc. Course (FY) – and he would try for admission to the local Engineering College after his FY.

Those days – you joined IIT after your Pre-Degree (PD/ Class 11) – for the 5 Year B. Tech. Course.

And – you joined other Engineering Colleges after completing your First Year B. Sc. (FY) for the 4 Year BE Course.

The next year – Usha’s son got admission in the local Engineering College.

After completing his B. Tech. – like most IIT graduates – Asha’s son migrated to the US to complete his MS at a prestigious University  and thereafter  he stayed on in the US to realize his “American Dream”.

After finishing his BE – Usha’s son took a job in the local industry in Pune.

As Asha’s son flourished in America – like most ‘parents of NRIs’ – their lifestyle changed – and after some time – Asha and her husband relocated to a posh apartment in the upmarket locality of Deccan Gymkhana – which was bought by their NRI son.

For Usha and her husband – nothing much changed – and they continued to live in Madiwale Colony in Sadashiv Peth.

The ‘emotional distance’ due to the fissure in their relationship  and the ‘physical distance’ between their homes  resulted in Asha and Usha losing close contact with each other.

Even on rare occasions when their paths crossed – Usha scrupulously avoided Asha – and on seeing this – Asha started doing likewise – so – even when they came across each other – Asha and Usha did not talk to each other.

A few years later – Usha’s son bought a flat in a distant suburb near his factory (those days – decent housing was quite affordable in such remote suburbs of Pune).

Usha and her husband vacated their rented home in Madiwale Colony and moved to live with their son and daughter-in-law as a ‘joint family’.

After this – Asha and Usha totally lost contact with each other.


43 years later


Pune 

June 2015 

By now – both Asha and Usha were old widows in their 80’s.

Asha’s son was now well-settled in America.

Earlier – Asha frequently visited her son and daughter-in-law in America for ‘nanny duties’ – but – after a few years – when her grandchildren grew up – and with her son and daughter-in-law busy in the careers – Asha felt bored and ‘unwelcome’ – and so – she stopped her visits to America.

As I told you earlier – Usha lived with her son and daughter-in-law in a suburb of Pune – and over the years – this once remote suburb had now become a much sought after locality.

Whereas Asha’s ‘American’ son had achieved spectacular material success – Usha’s son had a reasonable career in the industry and would happily retire in a few years – and they all lived together as a ‘joint family’ – Usha – her son and daughter-in-law  and her grandchildren who were now in college.

One evening – Usha ran into Asha at a wedding reception at a hotel near Deccan Gymkhana.

In the presence of the newlyweds – to keep up appearances – Asha and Usha exchanged fake smiles of forced geniality.

After the event was over – Usha’s son saw Asha struggling to walk with the help of a walking stick – so went up to help her.

Usha’s son offered to drop Asha home.

“Thanks – but it is okay – I will go by taxi – the reception will call a cab for me…” Asha said.

“Why call a cab…? I will drop you in my car. You live in the same place in Deccan Gymkhana, isn’t it…?” Usha’s son said.

“No – I don’t live there anymore…” Asha said.

“Oh – so you have shifted to a better house…?” Usha asked.

Asha looked at Usha – then she looked at Usha’s son – and – after a pause – Asha said: “No – I haven’t shifted to a better house – I live in an ‘Old Age Home’…”

“Old Age Home…?” Usha’s son asked, surprised.

“Yes – it is quite far away – please call a cab for me…” Asha said.

“No – No – we will drop you…” Usha said.

They all got into the car – Usha and Asha in the rear – and Usha’s son and his wife in front.

After a long time – Asha and Usha talked – about their sons – their grandchildren – their husbands – and about themselves – about the 43 years gone by.

When they reached the ‘Old Age Home’ – Asha said to Usha: “Do you remember how happy I was when my son had got into IIT…? Now – I sometimes wish that he had not got into IIT…”

“What are you saying…?” Usha said. 

Asha said:

“Yes – those days – it was my life’s desire that my son clears the IIT Entrance Exam. 

I wanted him to do well in IIT – and then  go abroad to America for higher studies  and get a good job in the US and permanently settle down there to realize the “Amercian Dream .

Yes  I was so happy when he was selected for IIT. 

But – nowadays – when I feel lonely – waiting for death in the ‘old age home’ – sometimes – I really feel – that  it would have been better  if my son had not passed the IIT Entrance Exam.

Yes – it would have been much better if he had not got into IIT…” 

There were tears in Asha’s eyes as she was speaking.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Blog Post is the Revised and Abridged Version of my Story IIT JEE written by me Vikram Karve on November 25, 2015 and and posted online by me Vikram Karve in my blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/iit-jee.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/a-story-for-ambitious-parents-iit-jee.html

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Humor in Uniform – The “Scholar Warrior” aka “Warrior Scholar”

Humor in Uniform 

Last week – I visited IAT Pune (now called DIAT/MILIT) for delivering a “Guest Lecture”.

At the customary post-lecture “PLD” – someone speculated that soon – this institution may be affiliated to the INDU (Indian Defence University) being planned.

I asked: “Is INDU being located in this excellent campus…?”

“Not likely…” someone said, “like everything which is “Delhi-Centric” – they will locate it somewhere near Delhi/NCR – so that it is convenient for retired senior officers and civilian bureaucrats…”

“Looks like it will be more of a “resettlement” facility for senior officers rather than an institution of learning…” someone quipped.

“No wonder many senior officers are rushing to get Ph.D. – so that they can settle down as faculty in INDU…” another joked.

I felt amused  but  I also felt sad.

Once upon a time – IAT was a true “centre of excellence”.

In earlier days – IAT was affiliated to the University of Poona/Pune (UoP) – which has been renamed as Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).

UoP/SPPU was, and still is, a prestigious university.  

Everything was fine – but – due to the proclivity to “fix” things that aren’t “broken” – the “powers-that-be” decided to convert IAT into a Deemed University – and so – IAT became DIAT Deemed University.

The earlier acronym IAT stood for Institute of Armament Technology.

DIAT stood for Defence Institute of Advanced Technology.

Ironically – IAT was more “Defence” in Culture and more “Advanced” in Technology than DIAT.

Later – DIAT was split into two parts – and half of the institution became MILIT (Military Institute of Technology).

“Why was DIAT split…?” I asked.

“Mainly due to “Personality Clashes” “Ego Battles” and “Turf Wars”…” said a “clued-up” veteran.  

“This is a case study on how to convert a “centre of excellence” into a “centre of mediocrity”…” someone else quipped.

While driving through the beautiful campus after lunch – I reminisced about my wonderful IAT days.

And suddenly – I was reminded of the story of the “Scholar Warrior” aka “Warrior Scholar”…

Dear Reader: Here is the story… 

“SCHOLAR WARRIOR” 
An Unforgettable Character I Met – In and Out of Uniform
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

PROLOGUE

In the Academia – I have seen self-styled “Scholars”

In the Military – I have seen self-styled “Warriors”

And – among Military Veterans – I have seen self-styled “Scholar Warriors”

Let me tell you the story of one such “Scholar Warrior”

Well – actually – it will be more apt to call him a “Warrior Scholar” – since – at first – he was a “Warrior” – and he turned into “Scholar” much later – a ‘warrior-turned-scholar’ to be precise.

But – if you want me to put it bluntly – like most “Scholar Warriors” you see proliferating like hobgoblins and pontificating on TV debates – it would be more accurate to describe him as a “pseudo- warrior” turned “pseudo-scholar” – because – neither had he fought a war – nor had he achieved any earth-shaking scholarly accomplishments.

Let’s skip the semantics and the gobbledygook – we will call him a “Scholar Warrior” – and get on with the story.


THE STORY OF THE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve


Circa 1992 – The “Warrior”

“Sir – you teach very ‘high-funda’ stuff…” the Major said, sidling up to me in the bar.

“Well – military technology is getting high-tech…” I said.

“Sir – that may be for others – but Sir – please but have mercy on me – I am a simple ‘Cavalry’ officer…” he pleaded.

“Cavalry…? Don’t tell me they are sending officers from one of those ceremonial horse regiments for this ‘Technical Staff Course’…” I said.

“No Sir – my ‘cavalry’ regiment has got tanks – but I am a ‘pure warrior’…”

“Ha Ha – ‘Pure Warrior’ – what do you mean by that…?”

“Sir – I am not interested in learning…”

“You are not interested in learning…? Then why have you come for this course…?”

“Sir – this course is good for my career – it is a ‘criteria’ course for promotion and getting good appointments…”

“Oh – so you want to qualify the course without studying….?”

“Exactly, Sir – you have really understood my problem…”

“So what do you want me to do…? I certainly cannot lower the standard of training or evaluation…”

“No Sir – please maintain your standard – many others are keen on learning – but I want to qualify with the ‘bare minimum’ effort…”

“Ha Ha – ‘bare minimum effort’…” I laughed, “Do you know – we have an expression in the Navy – “bare minimum inescapable requirement’…”

“Yes, Sir – you have put it in a nutshell – ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…” the Major said.

The ‘Pure Warrior’ qualified the course with the ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…


Circa 2002 – The “Scholar”

“Hello, Sir – what a pleasant surprise to see you here…”

I recognized him at once – he was the same ‘Pure Warrior’ – who had been my ‘student’ around 10 years ago.

“Well – I am even more surprised to see you here – on the University Campus…” I said.

“Sir – I am on study leave…”

“What…? You…? You have taken ‘study leave’…? Don’t tell me that you have suddenly developed an interest in ‘learning’…?”

“No Sir – I am least interested in studying – but I was forced to take ‘study leave’…”

“You were forced to take ‘study leave’ – that is amazing – in the Navy it is almost impossible to get ‘study leave’ due to the perpetual shortage of officers – isn’t there a shortage of officers in the Army…?”

“Sir – there is a shortage of junior officers – but there is a surplus of Colonels…”

“Really…? But how can you be forced to take ‘study leave’…?”

“Not really forced at gunpoint, Sir – but I was ‘persuaded’ to volunteer. One day my Boss called me – and he told me to apply for ‘study leave’. When I expressed my reluctance – my Boss said to me:

‘See – you have finished your command tenure and you still have two years to go before your next promotion board. I have found out that – till now – your ACRs are good – so – if you take ‘study leave’ – then – your average will remain the same – since there will be no ACRs rendered during your ‘study leave’ – so you are likely to be promoted. But – if you are adamant – and you refuse to apply for ‘study leave’ – then you may land up getting superseded. Try to understand the situation – since there are surplus Colonels – they may post you anywhere – in some insignificant appointment – under some guy who does not like ‘Cavalry’ Officers – and you may be ‘written off’ – and that will be the end of your career. So – for your own good – it is best for you to go on ‘study leave’. Why don’t you select a course in Pune for your ‘study leave’ – so that you can enjoy a two years paid holiday in your hometown…’

So – I chose this easy course – where I would have to study the least…”

“Bare Minimum Inescapable Requirement…?” I joked.

“Yes, Sir…” he laughed.


Circa 2012 – The “Scholar Warrior”

A few years after I had retired – I was invited to attend a Seminar.

There – I was stunned to see my old friend – my ex-student – the “pure warrior” – who I had taught 20 years ago – and who I had later met 10 years ago when he was a “scholar” – when he was on ‘study leave’ in the University. 

He seemed delighted to meet me.

“Hello, Sir – I am so happy to see you here. Sir – it is great honour for me to speak before my ‘Guru’…” he said.

“You are speaking at this seminar…?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I am the 3rd speaker, Sir…” he said – and he handed me a copy of the seminar programme he was carrying in his hand.

“That’s fantastic – it seems the ‘study leave’ has turned you into a ‘scholar’…” I said.

“Not at all, Sir – I joined back after my ‘study leave’ – but – sadly – I was ‘passed over’ for promotion – so I quit the army – and I was looking for a job in the civilian world – when my I met a Professor who had taught me during ‘study leave’ – he suggested that I do my Ph.D. – and join the ‘Academia’ – where I could enjoy a cool life – and could keep ‘working’ till 65 – or even 70…”

“Ph.D…? Don’t tell me you are doing your Ph.D. …?” I said, taken aback.

“Sir – in fact – I have just completed my Ph.D. a few days ago…” he said.

He handed me his visiting card.

I read his visiting card.

He had written his name as: Col (Dr) ***** (Retd)

He had become a “Scholar Warrior”…


EPILOGUE

I laughed to myself at the quirk of fate.

My reluctant student had become a “Scholar Warrior”...

And me...?

Well – I have been reduced to being a “Keyboard Warrior”…

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This Story and all Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)  

This is a re-post of my story THE SCHOLAR WARRIOR written by me two years ago in the year 2015 and posted by me online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 31 August 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-scholar-warrior.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-scholar-warrior.html