Friday 27 April 2012

Zara Hat Ke

The Grand Old Lady of Indian Cinema just turned grander. The doyenne of theatre, the vivacious, sprightly actress, the irrepressible human, Zohra Sehgal, is 100 today. And still going strong. Not everybody has the privilege of Amitabh Bachchan pulling up a chair for them, says Balki of Pa fame. During the shooting of Cheeni Kum, Big B would stand whenever Sehgal arrived on the sets, then pull up a chair for her to sit. Chivalry, after all, is still not dead. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     After an eventful life that has seen phases of joblessness & anonymity, what makes Zohra Sehgal so full of energy? What gives her the zest to live? What gives anyone the drive to go on? When giving up is an equally attractive alternative? Purpose. The one factor that keeps one going. Take away roti, kapda, makaan, and a man will, slowly but surely, build it all back. But take away purpose & you take away life from a human. Too many of us make our worldly achievements, our reason for existence. So strongly do we identify ourselves with our social roles that a slight tipping of the balance, sends us on a downward spiral. Attachment to the job title, to the position in the hierarchy, to the apparent importance we have in the lives of others, all contribute to our sense of Self. Strip a person of his title and see his esteem plummet. How often do we hear/utter the why me lament in our banal existence? There seems to be a sense of safety in the familiarity of self-pity. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What sets a Zohra stand apart from the average conformist? Zest. Where does this zest come from? Acceptance. Of everything that life hands us on a platter. Whether it be the karela or the chicken, the neem or the sheer, the ability to enjoy everything with equanimity, the faith that the next serving will be more palatable than what is already on the plate, the hope that the Master (Chef) knows what is good for my health, physical, mental & spiritual, & is giving me my helpings accordingly. The acceptance of ideas, of events, of people. The embracing of Life with open arms. The ability to enjoy the sun & the storm with equal calm. The resilience to smile through the tears & bounce back before grovelling becomes a habit. The courage to wear a bright colour, an infectious smile and take those bold strides into the future, even when the inside wants to desperately hide indoors. 

And of course, the awareness, that there is nothing like good food to soothe the Soul. It is pouring outside, I feel so low, give me some pakodas & adrak chai, I'll be your slave for life. Make me some garam halwa or just one aloo parantha & I will be yours forever. What? All that seems too tedious? Ok, how 'bout some crunchy Chowlette ! This is really easy, promise. Just get up & make it, yaar! I'll tell you how. But for Pete's sake, don't be a grouch. Nobody lived a 100 years sulking through life.
1. 3 packet noodles[makes 4-5]
2. 3-4 eggs beaten
3. 1 onion chopped
4. 1/2 capsicum chopped(optional)
5. 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
6. Chopped green chillies as preferred
7. Salt to taste
8. Oil to shallow fry
1. Boil noodles, strain, keep ready.
2. Mix ingredients 1-7 well. Mash a little if you want.
3. Heat oil in a pan, spread the mix(see pic) and shallow fry both sides till golden brown.

Tip: Cover the pan when frying the first side. Cook on medium flame for capsicum to cook. 

Serve Chowlette hot with ketchup and see faces light up & eyes gleam.
                                                                                                        You want a megastar to hold the door for you? Eat healthy, think positive, keep the spirit young & rocking. And see the magic unleash....

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