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I had tried this once as a kid and it didn’t turn out so well without some help. So some few years later I made it and realised, it’s actually a cake walk to make Mutton Biryani…for anyone and actually!

Reason why I messed up back then: Went totally by the book and hardly could reach up to the gas stove!

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

1 kg Mutton/Lamb

4 tbps Ginger Garlic Paste

1 1/2 tbps Pepper

2 tbps Salt

2 tbps Yoghurt

Mix all together and keep for atleast 4-5 hours.

For the Main-Prep:

1 kg Basmati Rice

30-50 ml Oil

10 ml Ghee

5 gm Cumin

1 1/2 tbps Turmeric Powder

2 1/2 tbps Chilli Powder

3 1/2 tbps Coriander Powder

1 tbps Garam Masala Powder or Whole Garam Masala

1 1/2 kg par boiled potatoes

5-6 medium sized onions

500 gm Curd

5 gm Kasuri Methi (optional)

10 gm Saffron mixed in 10 ml Milk

Method:

1. Half boil the rice (ideally 20-25 mins or till you know when), strain and toss it up in ghee and cumin. Keep aside.

2. In a heavy bottom vessel, Heat up the oil and start up by frying up those par boiled potatoes. Let ’em get a light coat of the oil and harden up a bit, then add in the onions

3. Once the onions are light brown add in those masalas a.k.a. spices, i.e., Turmeric powder, Red Chilli Powder, Coriander Powder and the Garam Masala (powder blends well while whole garam masala gives more flavour but doesn’t blend well) and fry them for a few minutes

WARNING: The Spices tend to stick to the bottom of the vessel so you gotta be at it and the Red Chili and Garam Masala are heavy on the palette…use accordingly!

4. Add in the succulent mutton pieces sans the liquid!…Fry them for 15-20 minutes on a heavy flame

5. Add in the yoghurt and allow it to blend in the whole mixture while you take in the aroma! Use some of that marinade liquid too!

6. Now the main part, With a ladle place the rice gently over the mutton pieces, dabbing it lovingly from the top, time to time!

7. Once all the rice is gone in, Mix saffron with some milk and pour over the rice. Cover it with a lid and put a heavy object like a mortar, knife sharpener or something on it so that it cooks in its own steam or what we call Dum cooking! (Traditionally, it calls for sealing the edges of the vessel with dough)

8. 15 mins on high flame followed by 30-45 mins on a slow flame. To check insert a a flat spoon all the way till the bottom to check whether the liquid has been thickened or dried.

To serve

With the flat spoon, take out a portion from the bottom with the rice coming along with it and serve it with masala papad and a mixture of yoghurt, diced onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, chat masala powder and salt called Raita (a lot of  variations available!)

Big Hit and an Inevitability in our Indian Occasions and God knows why, we love it each time!

Note: Try making your own adjustments…It’s definitely worth a shot!

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We were mocked upon on their ground. Wrong decisions, 11 men against 9, an offside winning goal that wasn’t.

We stood on their same soil three days later. We brought in our young lads…unsung heroes…and our legend.

Without a protest we played a clean match, all we asked for is raise a hand if you are spotless. Yet with a squad of newly bud reds, we held you down to a one goal difference. Well done lads! We accepted defeat humbly & bowed down from the cup with grace.

Our past could not be erased, but our future could be shaped. None can now tell us about wrong decisions for we overlooked many without qualms. None could mock us about 9 men when they were playing against our kids. You merely lost points while we lost our chance.

For we know a new dawn arises. We fall. We rise. We conquer.

Let them struggle to keep their flag flying high while we, united, bask in our glory…

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The title says it all and most of you who went through the title thought as much what all this all about! For the rest, this post is about Manchester United Football Club, the club I ardently support with all my heart! P.S. Not trying to start a riot here, just showcasing my love for the club!

Playing football has always been one of my passions and but naturally, following it on television also became a craze with me. But I was too much engrossed in the game rather than the teams actually! My love for Man United was a result of peer influence…they supported it, so I supported it! 7 years down the road, I definitely didn’t regret that decision I made. 

Lost in their matches, stand against anyone who booed them, stood united with  the ones that same passion for that club and most of all…believe in them.

You rise, you fall, question of the matter is:- Where does your allegiance lie? As Sir Alex Ferguson rightfully said, “If you can’t support us when we lose, you can’t support us when we win!”

The Club situated in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, miles afar from my homeland, has about 75 – 333 million estimated fans worldwide. Such is the following of this glorious club.

One cannot pin-point their love for Manchester United. It’s enigmatic and can never be obsolete. It’s a love that cannot be measures or defined. It just happens and you are proud to stand by it!

Their home ground, known as Old Trafford, has an approximate 76,000 seating capacity and is rightfully nicknamed, Theatre of Dreams; for the sheer fact that each match played in that ground and viewed from the stands is nothing less than a legendrary dream.

Manchester United saw its worst on February 6th 1958, wherein the team, returning from Munich after the European Cup (57-58), lost 8 of their players due to take-off failure of the plane.

Busby Babes, as they were fondly call, after then manager, Sir Matt Busby, had a handful left after that tragic incident and it took them a good two decades to get back on their feet and restore their lost glory.
Munich Clock, Old Trafford

Enter, Sir Alex Ferguson, the longest ever manager of Man United, stepped in ’86 and worked instrumentally in reviving it back on the top and bringing in 19 premier league title under his tenure – Highest any club as achieved ever! Salute to the man who put the club back to where it belonged.

Of course not to forget the players such as Eric Cantona, George Best, Duncan Edwards, Steve Bruce, Denis Law, David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Sir Bobby Charlton, Bryan Robson, Roger Byrne, Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, Rio Ferdinand, Fabian Barthez, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Christiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Nicky Butt, Andy Cole, Edwin Van Der Sar, Wayne Rooney, my personal favourite Ryan Giggs and the all the players who were proud to showcase the iconic badge on their chest!

The lights shown on the ground, the players walking up to the field taking their positions, the stands filled with roars of pride, faith and belief starting from the kick-off till the final whistle, Win or Lose, the chants will always inevitably linger – Glory Glory Man United!Glory Glory Man United

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This story comes straight out of a Bollywood movie. But one, close to my heart. Its got all the elements: The drama, the joy, the sorrows, the families, the marriage, the aftermath, the joint family, the years…and my parents!

Flashback to late 80s where Shikha, Customer Service Assistant at Kodak meets Sanjay, Manager at Kodak. Poles apart, a little background to them.

Shikha: Gorgeous looking & petite apple-of-the-eye, obedient and disciplined child of her parents, career oriented and free of vices!

Sanjay: The rebellious, live life to the fullest, curious to try out new things even though he knows it will burn like hell, outgoing and full of vices!

The typical…it obviously wasn’t love at first sight! The matchmaking colleagues and the ‘heart to heart connection miles apart’ got them together and thus, started the courting!

A good healthy two years on, they decided to make it official. Enter the families; from Sanjay’s side – ‘The Kashyaps’ and from Shikha’s side – ‘The Jains’. Sanjay being a Christian and Shikha a Jain, although would have become a deadly combination but the familias wouldn’t budge and accept their relationship. Classic Bollywood, where Sanjay moves on to choose other prospects and Shikha exemplifying the saying, ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman Scorned’ wins her man back!

Eventually after much consolation & convincing, the families give their blessings. Consequently born were Siddhant & Sanjana! Hop-scotching cities and traversing their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, pain and happiness… a good 19 years before Sanjay breathed his last.

Their love wasn’t measured by the way they got together…but how they stuck together. They did live up to the vows of ’till death do us apart.’ Falling in love is easy…but swimming through its deep waters and currents and just going on…now that’s difficult…But for them, t’was with grace, strength and the love they had for each other.

On this date, being their 22nd anniversary, pulling this post off with 10 minutes to spare on the IST! I’d like to raise a toast to the everlasting love of that 90’s couple!

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“You haven’t seen the world kid, you have a lot to go through”, My dad loved saying this to me whenever I used to feel the world has come to an imminent end and there is no more misery and sufferings after this. His words always made me curious, what else does this world have to offer me

I know most of the world have their own story to share, everyone have gone through their fair share of tears. This is mine.

Faith, for many, It is: ‘follow the norm’, for some it is the road less traveled. In either way faith is omnipotent – just have to choose your sides. It’s about faith in my Lord – Jesus.

Born and brought up in a christian family which everyone has a notion of will be obedient and faithful in the Lord is quite the contrary to what happened. Attending regular Sunday school classes didn’t achieve much in my life. My faith back then as a kid lied more in winning computer games (which at that time had become quite a rage!), winning football matches at my residential compound with my friends and a severe denial towards smoking and alcoholism.

Peer influence quite caught up with me then, trying to be part of a groups I didn’t belong. Rejected and Dejected, I became vulnerable to everything & anything. Enter smoking, alcoholism, Anti-Christ views, rebel music and movies, demonic games, etc. My faith in them grew so much I began justifying them against the society, which I quite frankly is made on a foundation of hay. Tags such as pains of growing. adolescent problems got me even more charged up to stand up against anything and everything. I couldn’t sympathise or empathise with any other. I reached a stage where I started challenging and standing against the law, most of all morals, in other words, conscience

My conscience kept chaining me and chose to ignore it. My decision still costs me heavy. But still one thing I still refused to clear my conscience was reasoning. The element of logic. Plants grow because water, soil, air and sunlight is provided, I take a step because my brain signals it to, Humans were evolved not created. Even though being instilled since childhood and being testified by my dad’s doctor that a miracle saved him when he was suffering, I was still gloating on my ability to question and debate. Even dad’s death couldn’t break my iron will. My faith in what I believed in was too strong to be broken.

After my spate of rebellion and anger, I sought after peace and content. Not only measuring happiness by laughter but some. I’d like to keep my experiences of sins confidential but I know they weighed more than I could carry. I wanted to be released and then it hit me.

Suffering a severe case of malaria few nights before Christmas and resistant to go to the doctor I fell on my bed out cold. No memory of the previous night, I got up as healthy as a horse. Upon meeting one of the best doctors of the city, he also had a grim look on his face as to how I could be so hail and hearty and finally said that it was a miracle.

Laying on the hospital bed for preventive measures, I began introspecting myself. My wrongs, my rights, my duties, my responsibilities. I started reading the bible and the one verse that has intrigued me since a child was very much made clear now. I had epiphany and broke down.

The above picture does say it all. A man in so much pain and agony, mocked at, inhumanly attacked at, had the heart to say the above words. (Reference to ‘The Crucifixion’ in the New Testament books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John)

Jesus had faith by dying for the sins of mankind, he will surely greet each and everyone of us in heaven, a much better place where more than anger there is peace, more than happiness there is content. And that’s when I started thinking what have I done. Here I went about my inglorious ways justifying them all the way and here a man nailed to the cross in sheer agony and pained, humiliated and mocked at had the heart to say “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus had all his faith in me and I couldn’t show him an iota of mine. Of the so many things I could stand up against the world for, I was afraid of this one. He gave his whole time and I couldn’t give him a second of my time.

I looked at myself in the mirror and with the promise of his word I stand now, ready to accept him as my saviour beyond the limits of reasoning. Though a sinner still I’m ready to accept them and repent for them. The burden I feel being relieved from, I now testify for him as the cross is a beacon of hope for me to look forward to a better world.

My faith, My Belief, My Jesus.

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Born in July’86, she was definitely a one of a kind. As much as I knew about her birth, my Dad’s Uncle – Dr. David Thomas from the Missionary Hospital in Mathura. She doesn’t have ABS technology, power steering, air-conditioning, coiled suspension, feather touch pedals, etc. thus setting one thing straight…she wasn’t born for smooth rides!

Dad bought her in the fall of ’88 and since then she has been ridden by three generations of my family – My Granddad, My Dad & Me. As a kid, I loved siting on my dad’s lap when he used to be driving, and on an open road, I’d hold the steering wheel gloating at the fact that I am actually driving here. I remember the old Pioneer Cassette Player we had in the glove compartment with a pair of 1992 model 25-Watt Sony speakers (which still play beautifully!) where Abba, Beegees and Carpenters just played on! And finally the seat behind the driver’s seat…always my favourite. It was one SUV that we had countless memorable family moments!

Coming to my mom, she has a special connection with her. For my mom, the Gypsy was a better friend than diamonds! Till date she still hails her the best she has driven. Mom used to own the road with her and I’m definitely not implying that she was or she is a rash driver! But on the contrary, she never had a glimpse of a frowned eyebrow. Betsy (as my dad used to fondly call her!), being the beast she was, My mom rode her as a paper boat on still waters!

Coming back to the Gypsy, she was an eight seater: two in front and six at the back. The paralleled long seating at the back gave it ample space at the back for a perfect family & friends outing! I remember this once, our whole family of 14 just fit in her and not one complaint from any one of us but countless moments of joy!

The best part about her, she has the suspension on her wheels and old style gear box for the four-wheel drive. A little trivia: four-wheel drive provides power to all the four wheels of the vehicle giving it a system of a push and pull as compared to the conventional push system by the behind wheels. The power  she exudes then is legendary! A pure beast made for off-roading.

Notice I have been using the word ‘she’ for her. For starters dad named her Betsy and treated her as a lady, Hence, the ‘she’ and  she is moody, exudes beauty, yet strong within. For my family, she is more than just a vehicle or a thing…she was and is a part of our family…She displays emotions, she has the grace of a queen and she has been there in our times of joy and sorrows.

Sadly, two years ago, we were to lay her down because of her non-usage and her old age. A timeless legend just put down to rest is what I could not digest. I still believe she had it in her. When I first saw her in that condition, my heart froze…rusted parts, jammed controls, dust choked etc. But I knew she was not ready to hang up her wheels! This is where my Mom comes in to picture, without her help and support I could not have dreamed of reviving The Gypsy.

A special thank you and deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart to Sana, Dadi, Karl Uncle & Suzie Aunty, Choti Chachu & Arpana Chachi, Koki & Monu, Monty, Baba Chacha, Anthony, Chotu, Chirag, Nachu and to all my friends and family. Without your support and help, she could have never rolled out on the asphalt on her own.

Last December she arrived on the land of Bombay – the ultimate place for off-roading majorly because of its irregular crude roads! I layed my hands on her and since then, there was no looking back. I have enjoyed driving her every single moment and I can’t help but smile at her every time I leave her in the parking lot. People may hate the roads of Bombay, but I see a oppurtunity, a road where she loves to ride without any qualms or complaints, as she would rightfully say – I wasn’t born for smooth rides!

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Faith & Belief

by Siddhant Kashyap

“You haven’t seen the world kid, you have a lot to go through”, My dad loved saying this to me whenever I used to feel the world has come to an imminent end and there is no more misery and sufferings after this. His words always made me curious, what else does this world have to offer me

I know most of the world have their own story to share, everyone have gone through their fare share of tears. This is mine.

Faith, for many it is follow the norm, for some it is the road less travelled. In either way faith is omnipotent – just have to choose your sides. Its about faith in my Lord – Jesus.

Born and brought up in a christian family which everyone has a notion of will be obedient and faithful in the Lord is quite the contrary to what happened. Attending regular Sunday school classes didn’t achieve much in my life. My faith back then as a kid lied more in winning computer games (which at that time had become quite a rage!), winning football matches at my residential compound with my friends and a severe denial towards smoking and alcoholism.

Peer pressure quite caught up with me then, trying to be part of a groups I didn’t belong. Rejected and Dejected I became vulnerable to anything. Enter smoking, alcoholism, Anti-Christ views, rebel music and movies, demonic games, etc. My faith in them grew so much I began justifying them against the society, which I quite frankly is made on a foundation of hay. Tags such as pains of growing. adolescent problems got me even more charged up to stand up against anything and everything. I couldn’t sympathise or empathise with any other. I reached a stage where I started challenging and standing against the law, most of all morals, in other words, conscience

My conscience keep chaining me and chose to ignore it. My decision still costs me heavy. But still one thing I still refused to clear my conscience was reasoning. The element of logic. Plants grow because water, soil, air and sunlight is provided, I take a step because my brain signals it to, Humans were evolved not created. Even though being instilled since childhood and being testified by my dad’s doctor that a miracle saved him when he was suffering, I was still gloating on my ability to question and debate. Even dad’s death couldn’t break my iron will. My faith in what I believed in was too strong to be broken.

After my spate of rebellion and anger, I sought after peace and content. Not only measuring happiness by laughter but some. I’d like to keep my experiences of sins confidential but I know they weighed more than I could carry. I wanted to be released and then it hit me.

Suffering a severe case of malaria few nights before Christmas and resistant to go to the doctor I fell on my bed out cold. No memory of the previous night, I got up as healthy as a horse. Upon meeting one of the best doctors of the city, he also had a grim look on his face as to how I could be so hail and hearty and finally said that it was a miracle.

Laying on the hospital bed for preventive measures, I began introspecting myself. My wrongs, my rights, my duties, my responsibilities. I started reading the bible and the one verse that has intrigued me since a child was very much made clear now. I had epiphany and broke down.

The above picture does say it all. A man in so much pain and agony, mocked at, inhumanly attacked at, had the heart to say the above words. (Reference to ‘The Crucifixion’ in the New Testament books of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John)
Jesus had faith by dying for the sins of mankind, he will surely greet each and everyone of us in heaven, a much better place where more than anger there is peace, more than happiness there is content. And that’s when I started thinking what have I done. Here I went about my inglorious ways justifying them all the way and here a man nailed to the cross in sheer agony and pained, humiliated and mocked at had the heart to say “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus had all his faith in me and I couldn’t show him an iota of mine. Of the so many things I could stand up against the world for, I was afraid of this one. He gave his whole time and I couldn’t give him a second of my time. 
I looked at myself in the mirror and with the promise of his word I stand now, ready to accept him as my saviour beyond the limits of reasoning. Though a sinner still I’m ready to accept them and repent for them. The burden I feel being relieved from, I now testify for him as the cross is a beacon of hope for me to look forward to a better world. 
My faith, My Belief, My Jesus.

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