Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Efforts to save environment in vain

Read -

When the UPA central cabinet shuffled this year and the reins of Environment Ministry were transferred from pro-environment Jairam Ramesh to "obsequious with Congress top brass" Jayanthi Natarajan, I was worried that efforts made by the former to stall projects that affected environment on a large scale would get awash in a jiffy. And yes, this newspaper report makes my fears true.

When Coal India Ltd was rated the top company this year, beating the evergreen behemoth - Reliance Industries, there was an article in Times of India newspaper on how this occasion of a PSU rising to the helm in the nation's industrial and energy sector must not be celebrated with gusto. I was aghast when I read how the article endorsed the idea of privatisation in coal mining, issue of licenses to foreign, private players or better say profit gluttons, as a key to real financial success. 

When the government states that there is 7% or 8% growth rate in industrial output, does it actually track this growth against loss of agricultural and forest land? If the loss of forest land, loss of innumerable hills and anti-environmental effects of such mining and industrial activities were to be accounted for, then the rate of growth would be a deep abyss in the negative section. Think of the large scale displacement of people in forest lands, from the hills in which they thrive; think of these landless souls who when denied simple right to live where they want take up arms in revolt against the government and state trained police. They fight their oppression and unleash an unreasonable terror war that causes huge death toll. Can living in social fear - fear of when a train will derail, when a crude bomb will explode, when a contingent of police will be ripped apart by Naxals in ambush, in regions like Chattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal appear insignificant against industrial productivity which comes as plain statistics on paper. The various pie charts and graphs may be illustrative but they hideously cover the true, rapacious secrets of industries and governments, the mercenary attitude that is hurting the aam-aadmi (commoner) deeply.

I am providing some important parts of the newspaper report below so that it may exist even after the link becomes non existent -

Less than two years after splitting coal mining zones into ‘go and no-go’ — a move that has stalled almost every big-ticket coal mining project in India — the government is scrapping the policy.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), which had framed the policy guidelines along with the Ministry of Coal, on Tuesday accepted that the categorisation of ‘go and no-go’ did not have any legal sanctity. The move was expected after Jayanti Natarajan was given charge of the MoEF, replacing Jairam Ramesh, whose brainchild the policy was.

“Had this happened in any other country, the government would have been sued left, right and centre for loss in business and opportunity cost, now that there is a mea culpa,” said an analyst who tracks the resources sector with a foreign brokerage. “India has unnecessarily lost two years of crucial productivity gains and also fixed capital formation opportunities.”

An analyst call this decision of  restriction for two years as a mea culpa. Is there only loss of productivity gains, can people not witness a gain if few layers of earth are not dug into and left undisturbed? Not to forget what a mea culpa it was to let illegal mining in Bellary district, Karnataka and we have answers for who pocketed the profits and who bore the ill fate of a barren, quarried territory; changes in local weather and topography, the misfortune of not even having pure drinking water and multiple occupational/health hazards that arose due to large scale illegal mining activities.  

The report quotes - 

According to a source present at the meeting, Natarajan said she was ready to take up projects on a case-to-case basis, and in future no project would be judged on the basis of the policy guidelines drawn by Jairam Ramesh.

The above paragraph clearly shows that all pain staking efforts that imparted a little tight conservationist approach to protection of  environment are all going to be undone. The government does not have time to run the country and seeks help of Supreme Court, CAG and PAC with multiple corruption scams etched all over, so taking time to analyse case by case is a next to impossible. This individual case-by-case basis approach is not to ensure that mining "go-ahead" licenses are actually issued responsibly but only an aid to procure suitable bribes in coherence with the market capital of the company/license seeking party in question. Issues related to environment bequeathed to us can take the back seat for now, loss of profit incurred over two years due to tight policy needs to be compensated for first and speedily, this is what the government - ridden by corruption and scams aims at.

Aping is so easy

I have been making entries on my blog under foodies' sphere section over last one week. The red, pulpy tomato in my kitchen served as a bridge in sudden migration of my thoughts from cooking to more serious issues. I read reports of the recent La Tomatino festival in Garden City college, Bangalore following links - - and . It is said that many kilos of tomatoes were wasted in recreating the fun that people visualised in the recent Hindi movie - Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

La Tomatino is a traditional festival celebrated by people of Spain in month of August, much like we celebrate Holi with colors. Instead of colors and water, it is tomatoes and its pulp.

I put my earnest efforts to understand how people or more precisely youngsters get such brilliant ideas to make merry and have fun and frolic. The moment something is shown in a movie, even if it is a practice we do not have and cannot imagine having at any cost, we yearn to ape it instantly. Aping seems so easy and effortless.

On one hand, we take away farmer's land in name of continuous development, for every activity one can name - construction of highways, power projects, express corridors and real estate development and then there are vagaries of monsoon and climate that the farmers battle every year. Farmers are this unlucky lot who are not aided by both nature and men; yet they toil and till their land to provide us agricultural produce so that we can feed ourselves. Blame further, the inefficiency and mismanagement in the chain from the time harvest leaves farmland to storage warehouses, till it reaches the customers' hands. The middlemen, suppliers and stockists build a mafia and inflate prices artificially to unimaginably high figures. In such a scenario, neither is the end customer benefited by the skyrocketting prices for a kilo of veggies nor the farmer who despite all his labor does not even get a paltry share in the profits.

If this is the situation in India, how can one digest the idea of wasting 62000 kg of tomatoes for sake of mere fun? When the government wisely re iterates to fools who throng behind such ideas; they accuse and call it lack of modernity in attitude, lack of tolerance and acceptance of others cultures and traditions. They give a sordid defence for the heinous act of wasting such veggies saying they are only rotten tomatoes - so where's the loss? The first question that arises - how/why 62000 kg of tomatoes goes waste and rotten and this is only a fraction of the total figure from one state, so imagine the scale of wastage in a big country like ours. Can these college students who seek fun and such pricely pleasure pay some serious thought on how food loss can be averted, what can be done to improve the storage and distribution systems in our country? What appears rotten to some may help in making a decent meal for the utterly destitute. But yes, we cannot expect college students in Bangalore (who whine on news channels that the monthly provision of pocket money of Rs 1500 is not enough) to understand the plight of people who spend little over Rs 32 per day and still be not termed as poor in our country.

I am sure the immediate question will be " that this blog post comes from you, what have you personally done to better the storage and distribution systems and mitigate the food crisis situation in our country? " The meek answer is NOTHING .. but I do not get such preposterous ideas in name of fun (despite watching the movie) and I ensure that food does not go waste whether I eat at home or outside.

For once, the state government has taken a wise decision by not lending support to such abominable acts. It happened once in Garden City College premises but care has been taken to avoid a bigger and grander act in Palace Grounds in the city. To appreciate the fiscal and practical details of damage that can occur from such an event, please read -

Through this blogpost, I sincerely request the youngsters to head back home and relish their burgers and pizza with a huge dab of tomato sauce and refrain from such disastrous acts that are totally uncalled for. We live in Bangalore and not Bunol; even in Bunol, in current times when the Horn of Africa is starving to death, this festival only denotes serious crime of food wastage and no fun. However, I am nobody to question foreign practices and festivities, let them be the way they are and let us simply be what we are - human and not apes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pure Serendipity

I made an incredible discovery when I landed at this blog - on cooking. 
The website is a true haven for people interested in cooking vegetarian recipes. 

There are a variety of recipes that suit my interests particularly - lot of dry chutney powders, vegetable curries and wet chutneys, those that provide an insight into many traditional aspects of cooking. The blog is authored by a very senior person - Prathiba Rao who has served her family's gastronomical interests for over 30 years. 

By true serendipity, I landed at this blog and ever since the day of discovery, I have been itching to get back home in the evening post office work and aerobics classes, to try out some recipes from the website. 

I tried two of them from the blog on the same day in a span of two hours in pretty much a parallel computing and execution mode. 

I prepared Corn Usli and Flaxseed/Peanut Laddoo. Please feel free to access the complete recipes with illustrations at - 

The Corn Usli, I used inside a dosa for filling and this made a superbly yummy combination. 
The Peanuts Flax seed Laddoo, I served as a prasadham for Ganesha idol at home, before his Visarjan (immersion) marking the end of Chathurthi festival. 

I used onion instead of mustard in Corn Usli as mentioned in the link above. I substituted Chat masala with Aamchoor powder in the list of ingredients. 

In making Flaxseed Peanuts Laddoo, I used lesser ghee (marked as optional in the recipe) than mentioned. I must say that I had to put some efforts to roll out the laddoos, they weren't as neat as seen in the source blog. My Philips mixer has got old after several years of use and I had to grind ingredients in batches.

There are the usual recipes of Dosa with Molagai Podi, Coconut Chutney, Tomato Chutney, Pudina/coriander Chutney and Sambar/Kothsu as accompaniments, then there is Masala Dosa with typical Potato masala as stuffing. I add little variations to dosa at home.

Below are pictures of Paneer Bhurji and Dosa roll using it as a filling I made during last weekend -

For Paneer Bhurji (quantity serves as stuffing for about 8-10 dosas) 

You need - 

250 g Paneer 
1 big onion 
1 ripe tomato (medium sized) 
5 green chillies 
Turmeric powder, chilli powder, dhania powder, aamchoor, garam masala and salt 
1 tsp Cumin seeds
Lots of coriander (finely chopped) 
Oil - 2 full tbsps

In a pan, add oil and wait for it to heat. Add cumin seeds, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped onion and saute well. Add turmeric powder (1/2 tsp), 1 tsp chilli powder and 2 tsp dhania powder. Add finely chopped tomato with its juice into nicely fried onion in the pan. Mix well and add salt to taste. Saute well until the raw smell of tomato goes, the tomato and onion must shrink to make a nice mixture. 

Take 250 grams of cottage cheese (paneer, I usually buy it fresh from Karthik Mithai shop on New Tippasandra Main Road) and crumble it into small pieces using your hands. I personally feel there is no need to grate paneer. Use your both hands well to crumble up the paneer block. 

Mix well all the contents in pan and leave it for 3-4 minutes on less flame. Add 1 tsp of aamchoor powder and 2-3 specks of Garam Masala powder. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves, give a final mix and turn off the stove. 

The bhurji can be served with roti and a simple dal. This is a terrific combination for dinner. 
To give a twist to our usual dosa fare, we can use the bhurji  as a filling. Each filled dosa can be rolled over, cut into pieces and served hot with mint coriander chutney. 

Eating paneer occasionally/in moderation (say at least 2-3 times a month) is good and highly essential as it is a dairy product and provides the quintessential proteins, calcium and phosphorus.

In the last one week, there has been lot of learning as far as foodie's sphere is concerned, lots of experiments in the kitchen that turned successful and many more recipes in the "to-do" list. I would like to end with a note of thanks to Prathiba Aunty for the precious information she is sharing on her blog - Indian Food Court. 

Baking with Zest

After procuring a long list of baking essentials from Institue of Baking and Cake Art, Bangalore, I baked an orange marmalade cake during the weekend. 

I used a 6" round cake tin for baking the above cake. The procedure I followed is as prescribed in the above link/blog post with a change in that I did not add two eggs recommended. There were no eggs at home and after finishing the routine household chores marked for the weekend, I had no drive to go out to a shop and fetch them. I am sure I missed that extra fluff the addition of eggs provide me, nevertheless the cake came out nice golden brown and well baked. Water was added to get the cake batter to right consistency in the absence of eggs. Also, I added little extra (25g additionally) butter to the cake batter. 

I preheated the oven to 180'C and baked at this temperature for 35 minutes duration, a knife inserted came out clean as a check. I baked the cake post lunch around 3.30-4.30 pm and I must admit it turned out to be the perfect accompaniment for hot evening tea. 

1) I used Kissan Orange Marmalade Jam to make this cake and I would like to point out that it has a strong smell of preservatives and taste of stabilising agents. This affects the taste of the cake mildly and can be noticed upon very keen taste analysis. Therefore, request readers to procure any other brand of orange marmalade jam and try out the cake. 

2) Here's a link to understand what is orange zest and how to acquire it - . This link helped me lots.

To the set of gadgets in my kitchen, I added a NOVA N62M 250 watts, six speed hand mixer with whipping blades and dough hook attachments purchased from IBCA, Bangalore for Rs 850. This electrical hand mixer reduced my effort largely when folding in ingredients to make the cake batter. 

Below is the picture of a cake piece with a slice of orange on its top - 

I know it is a very very poor image, taken on Nokia 3110C mobile camera. I literally pulled out the last piece of cake to take a picture before the contents on the plate vanished.

The NOVA hand mixer N62M, my small, new baking wonder gadget looks like this  - 

Thanks to Mallika - owner of Veg Bowl blog on cooking for lending me this wonderful and zesty Orange Marmalade Cake recipe. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Puttu with Kadala Curry - my strong favorite


During each summer vacation, when I would return home from college, even before I could unpack my stuff, my mother would ask me what special dishes I would like her to prepare. With twinkling eyes and a refreshing smile, despite being worn out after a long train journey spanning more than 30 hours, I would immediately utter - Puttu and Kadala curry. 

Post marriage, while cooking for my better half, the number of occasions on which I reminisce my mother's cooking has only increased. How would Amma have prepared this dish? What secret ingredient would she have added for that unparalleled magical taste? During school and college days, there just wasn't enough room to make gestures of appreciation or even acknowledgement of her efforts in the kitchen.  But being an avid food lover, the constant urge in me to improvise, experiment and excel in my own kitchen and win accolades from my husband makes me recount all that she has done for me carefully over so many years. 

My mother and I share recipes on phone even now. I pick up the traditional aspects of cooking from her and in turn share with her some information I acquire from the "online" world that would help her cater to my brother's taste buds. My brother belongs to an entirely different generation in that he is 11 years younger than me. So traditional dishes like paruppu urandai sambar, vazhapoo usili, vazhathandu morkozhambu, avial, keerai molagoottal, lemon rasam etc do not figure in his hit list. My mother's penchant to cook new dishes and make a delectable spread for her son made her foray into lesser known domains of North Indian food, desi-chat, Chinese (the Indianised version, of course) and even Italian; I must admit, she turns victorious in all her efforts every time. 

Heading back to my favorite dish - Puttu and Kadala curry, Puttu is a dish from Kerala made of rice flour. Traditionally, it is made by steaming rice flour on a rocket-like apparatus - a pot containing water with a long cylindrical tube attached to its mouth. The cylindrical structure, containing the rice flour to be cooked, is covered with a lid bearing holes that let steam escape. 

Kadala curry is the side dish for Puttu, a gravy consisting of black channa.

On Onam day - Sep 9, 2011, I made Puttu and Kadala Curry along with Palada Pradhaman payasam. The festival did not fetch a holiday from work and I had no time to prepare the complete Sadhya/feast. 

It is my husband's notion that the conventional apparatus used to make Puttu creates a very tightly packed, dense and less moist version of the dish. He quite comically equates eating this version to initiating an exosmosis process in one's body. He never relished eating Puttu and so I refrained from preparing it.

However, my mother broke the myth with an apparatus that looks like Aladdin's magic lamp. This small cup shaped apparatus with a lid contains rice flour (puttu mixture to be steamed). It can be placed on top of a pressure cooker or any steam vent/source. The steam coming from the pressure cooker is used for cooking Puttu. The Aladdin lamp puttu maker consists of a small cup with a handle, a covering lid and a small, flat plate with holes placed inside, at the base of the cup.

Below is a picture that shows the apparatus at work in my kitchen -

Puttu preparation

All we need - Puttu podi, grated coconut, luke warm water with little salt added to it.

Puttu podi or rice flour used to make Puttu is available in most stores in major South Indian cities. In Bangalore, brands like - Double Horse, Nirapara and Manna are available. I prefer Nirapara puttu podi, there are two versions - white rice flour and red rice flour. The latter, prepared from unpolished red rice, is  rich in vitamins and effective in reducing bad LDL cholesterol.

I usually mix equal quantities of white and red rice flour in a flat, big plate. Mean time, I heat a glass of water with 2 tsp of salt added to it till water is lukewarm. This water is carefully sprinkled over the rice flour. ensuring the flour does not get over wet and has no lumps. The puttu podi made moist with salt water is left aside for 10-15 minutes.

Place the mini plate with holes inside the cup apparatus at its bottom first. Add a layer of grated coconut on this plate. Fill the inside of the cup with puttu podi kept aside. Add another layer of grated coconut on top of the rice flour. Close the cup with the lid. Add few glasses of water to an empty pressure cooker and heat it till a prominent stream of steam comes out. The set up is now ready, place the lamp on the pressure cooker, right at the point where one would place whistle while cooking rice/dal.

Leave the set up for 10 minutes. Remove the cup from top of pressure cooker and invert the contents of the cup onto a plate or inside a hot pack. The puttu - end product, if steamed and cooked well, will fall well as a single entity without breaking upon inversion. If the puttu powder is uncooked, then it will crumble apart and break loose.

Repeat the process of filling the cup's contents and ensure that enough water exists in the pressure cooker for adequate steam generation.

The volume of Puttu this puttu maker makes in a single attempt is less, therefore this apparatus may work well for a small family. For a big family, the conventional rocket apparatus would save lots of time as the volume of Puttu it makes in an attempt is much much more. My mother procured this Puttu maker from Chennai, am not sure it is available in Bangalore. 

Kadala Curry

To soak overnight (preferably 8 hrs atleast)

1 cup black channa (black chickpeas)
1/4 cup green gram whole (this helps in adding volume to the gravy)

To begin with, black channa and green grams mixture is cooked under pressure (3-4 whistles).
A pinch of turmeric, salt and little (1/4 tsp) ghee is added to channa before placing it in the pressure cooker. Ghee ensures that the black channa is soft and well-cooked, it leaves a nice aroma as well.

For Gravy

1. 4-5 red chillies (for medium spicy)

2. 3 tbsps full coriander seeds (dhaniya seeds)

3. 2 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)

4. 2 garlic pods - finely chopped (may add more if you like garlic)

5. 2 thin slices of ginger (even 1 slice would suffice, ginger leaves a prominent taste, so keep it minimal in this gravy)

6. 1 medium sized onion (cut into big chunks)

7. 1 small sized tomato (chopped into big chunks)

8. 4-5 sprigs of coriander

9. 4 full tbsps of grated coconut

Dry roast gravy ingredients 1-3 in a pan. Once the chillies change color and leave an aroma, transfer contents of pan to mixer. Now in very little oil, fry onion chunks with cut garlic and ginger until the raw smell goes. Add a pinch of turmeric and little salt while frying. Once onion is fried well, add in the tomato pieces with their juice and fry well again until the raw smell goes. Add sprigs of coriander. Transfer this into the mixer, allow to cool. Add grated coconut directly to mixer without frying. Add little water and grind well in mixer to get a smooth, well blended paste.

In the wok

All we need- 1 medium sized onion finely chopped, tamarind water, cumin seeds (jeera), oil, salt, chilli powder (if required), garam masala powder, finely chopped coriander for garnish, pressure cooked black channa and green grams, gravy in mixer.

Add 3 tsp of oil first, add 1 tsp of jeera when the oil is hot. Add finely chopped onion (1-medium sized) into the wok and fry till it turns golden brown. Add salt to taste.

Transfer the cooked black channa/green gram mixture to the wok along with water that was used to boil it (While adding water, take care to ensure that the gravy does not become too watery) Give the contents a good boil.

Transfer the contents of the mixer to the wok. Stir well and check for adjustments in salt and spice.

Take a gooseberry sized ball of tamarind and makes its extract in luke warm water. Add this tamarind extract to the boiling mixture in the wok. Give the contents of the wok another boil.

Add just one pinch (2-3 specks) of garam masala powder. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and turn off the stove. Do not boil for a prolonged interval after adding tamarind extract, this increases the sourness of gravy. Likewise, do not heat excessively after adding garam masala powder, it would lead to loss of aroma/flavor.

Kadala curry is ready to be served with puttu. This gravy can also be served along side Idiyappam and Appam.

I have no pictures to upload of the dishes prepared as they disappeared in a jiffy into hungry tummies.
My friends' mother has the receipe for a non-coconut version of kadala curry on her blog with nice pictures, am sure it will help immensely, please refer-
Please feel free to refer to other recipes on her blog, they are well illustrated and explained carefully that anyone can weave magic in the kitchen.

This is my first attempt in writing down a breakfast/main dish recipe. I work with hand approximations, mere estimations in head and barely use the spoon. So it is quite an ordeal to think back/recollect how much tsp/tbsp of the ingredient I actually added. And when it comes to providing illustrations, I do not stop to click pictures at important junctures while cooking. And even if I do, they are on my unimpressive Nokia 3110C mobile camera. 

I sincerely appreciate the patience and efforts with which my friends' mother ( and owners of many food blogs I follow, post their recipes, imparting valuable knowledge to many like me. I hope to churn out more recipes with more precise details and lively illustrations in future.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Additions to my Baking Paraphernalia

On Saturday, Sep 10, 2011, I made a visit along with my husband to the Institute of Baking and Cake Art, Bangalore. I wanted to purchase a few items that will help me bake better and more. The institute is well known in Bangalore for providing excellent courses in baking for both novices and experts. Through Suma's blog - Cakes and More, I learnt that the institute sells all essential elements for baking goodies.

I am providing the link to the post on Suma's blog below -

The institute is tucked near and behind the Richmond Road flyover, on Mission road, in the direction one would take from Richmond Circle to approach KH road/Lalbagh, in the first floor of an old building.

When I first purchased my Microwave/Convection/Grill combi oven, I grabbed an aluminium square cake tin, an aluminium brownie tray, a hand/manual egg beater (coil shaped) and a sieve from a nearby Casio supermarket on New Tippsandra road. Most shops in Bangalore are well stocked with basic supplies like baking powder, cocoa powder, vanilla essence and self raising flour. With a limited inventory to start with, I made vanilla butter sponge cake, dates and fruit cake and chocolate brownies a couple of times, over and over again. All of the above were a thorough hit with my friends at work and my relatives.

I wanted to experiment more now and mature as a baker at home. Suma's blog provides diverse baking recipes with appropriate illustrations and can bring out the budding Nigella in each one of us.

Below is the list I prepared before hitting IBCA stores. It helped me as I did not test the patience of vendors at the store, the customer who went in before me had driven them nuts by guessing indefinitely on what she wanted.

1) Round cake tin - aluminium - 6 inch
2) Round cake tin - aluminium - 8 inch
3) Bundt cake tin - aluminium
4) Muffin moulds (single * 6) made of aluminium
5) Pie mould with removable base in aluminium
6) Bread tin (with lid made of tin) - makes bread 400g
7) Chocolate chips - 100g
8) Chocolate vermicelli - 100g (I bought the chocolate brown colored ones, these are available in many other colors and flavors too)
9) Cream of Tartar - 100g (this is the minimum quantity available)
10) Wheat Gluten 100g (minimum quantity available)
11) Gloripan yeast - 100 g
12) Morde compound dark chocolate (bar)
13) Morde compound milk chocolate (bar)
14) Vanilla super essence
15) Almond essence
16) Cling wrap foil (1 box)
17) Butter paper (5pcs)

Items 16 and 17 can be procured from most shops, I added them to the above list for convenience.
The purchase of all above items listed was made for a total of Rs 1300.

To have an insight into the courses that IBCA offers to a commoner, please refer to -

Baker smart is the online stores of IBCA, Bangalore -

You may refer to this link to have an idea of what the stores at IBCA sells, but the listing here is not exhaustive. Lots more is on offer at the stores, it is good to visit the place in person if you stay in Bangalore.

Caramel - is the cake store/outlet of IBCA located in Shanti Nagar - One can place an order for cake at this site as per ones' requirements.

IBCA can be followed on Facebook, they have a blog - iBake and a issue a publication - Bakery World  that provide vital information related to baking.

I would like to thank Suma ( heartily for providing me the right direction both in baking lessons and in procurement of baking essentials. Now, the baking mania shall begin!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Just when I was sulking over a full work week starting Sep 5 after an extended, festive weekend; the blues I was battling seemed indomitable. Almost in an involuntary fashion, my hands lazily clicked on the Internet Explorer icon after I logged onto my work PC. In all merry making, during the weekend spent partly in Bangalore and in Chennai, I hadn't checked my emails or accessed Internet. GMAIL worked ... no interesting emails except for some promotional offers, online shopping discounts, credit card offers, details of phone bills etc. Sitting a little upright now in my chair, I pulled out Facebook from my set of favorites onto the explorer bar. 
Access to this site is restricted during office work hours - 8.30 am to 5.30 pm - it said. 

I lost my little upright posture in one slump. 

I could roughly gauge the amount of bandwidth Facebook consumed in our office, am sure it is a HUGE figure. A casual walk across my floor or any floor in my office revealed the social networking site always open alongside a Linux terminal or a Visual Studio C/C++ or .pdf files of specifications. The ban on excessive social connectivity during office hours was understood, even appreciated, despite the fact that I was still battling against my Monday blues. 

No !! .. I heard the exclamation from a nearby cubicle and I stood up to look at an anguished face, is not opening, ICICI is not opening. The face conveyed to me immense pain and frustration, all plans to retrieve the money spent during festival shopping through short term gains in stocks went in vain. Plans to buy at 52 weeks low and sell when Sensex gained 100-200 points were washed away. Adding further, the effect can be stated as so profound that imagine Hurricane Irene crossing seven seas to ruin monetary plans carefully laid out by my fellow colleague in Bangalore, India. 

Somebody cribbed in the afternoon that is not working, but they appeared convincible  given the slipshod performance of Indians against England in cricket, in all formats of the game. They said,   "Anyways, India is not going to win, we can afford to wait until 6 pm or head back home and then watch how they get battered".

Completing the survey of nearby cubicles around me, listening to many concerns and cribs, with a heavy heart, I sank in my chair coming to terms with the sudden multiple ban imposed.

I got up in a flash and entered in my explorer bar. The website took a whale of time to open and I waited eagerly and patiently. When it opened, I was flabbergasted. It was not the Flipkart site I knew or I had always seen and admired. In basic HTML format, without options to login, buy or add to wishlist etc, the sight of the rudimentary webpage on my monitor irked me. 

My post lunch routine involved surfing "books" section on Flipkart portal. I affixed a monthly quota of purchase of at most two books from the website. I have exceeded the limit many a times, so it is fair to amend the rule as at least two books per month allowance. Shattered, angered and frustrated at the lifeless version of Flipkart, I realized my blues were giving way to "red".

I was fuming and wanted to rebel against this ban. Soon popped an email from the left most bottom corner of my screen - it was from the team of network administrators and stated that the official ban on many websites was put to effect to save Internet bandwidth and cooperation of employees was sought. 

Emotions were suppressed or repressed, call it whatever. It turned out to be the worst Monday at work, a Monday without Flipkart, and the ban is here to stay.