Sunday, May 30, 2010

Looking Down and going across ...

If any of your crossword buffs, the meaning of the title of this post may be quite clear. One of the joys of being back in India has been the excitement of solving the daily crossword puzzle in The Hindu. For many of you, this might not rank close to dining in a gourmet restaurant, traveling to an exotic locale or spending the evening catching a musical at Broadway. But the Hindu crossword fanatics (and there are many) will know what I am talking about.

The competition to complete the crossword used to be intense when I was in engineering college nearly twenty-five years ago. I remember competing and collaborating with my fellow Osmanians to get the puzzle complete before mid-day. I can still feel the pleasure of completing the puzzle or the intensity of disappointment when we could not complete it.

This experience has been recreated over the past couple of years. The competition is now between Mona and me as we keep an eye on the score (who got the most words) while solving the puzzle during the day. Even when I am not in town, we collaborate and compete using SMS, e-mail etc. Who knew solving crosswords could be so romantic?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nourishment for the soul

I am back in the US and the usual highlight of my trip is the pursuit of comfort food. My first stop was New York and I was staying a block away from Times Square. So a hot dog and kebab in a pita at a roadside food cart was a must. And it did not disappoint one bit. I had to get my regular dose of Mexican food and the following day found a Baja Fresh in the area. It is of course the best of best in Mexican fast food.

The following day, I was in Des Moines, Iowa. It was late at night (around 10pm) and most restaurants in town were closed. Luckily, Doozies - a sports bar in the hotel that we were staying in was open. They serve one of the best baby back ribs (or maybe I feel that way because I haven't had one for ages). Regardless, it was enjoyable.

When I arrived at JFK for my flight to London, I hunted down the classic Chinese joint in the food court where your choices are 2 items or 3 items with rice or noodles. You gotta love it!

I got my dose and am good for the next few months! Back to the land of masala dosa, butter chicken and biryani.