It’s snake boat race day!

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Oh thithi thara thithey, thithey thaka they they tho…

Oh thithi thara, thithey thaka they they tho…

Oh thithi thara thithey, thithey thaka they they thom…

When I woke up this morning I was extremely energised. Although I am born and brought up in Kerala, I have never gone to watch the glorious Nehru Cup snake boat race ever. I was very excited, even though I had no clue how the race was going to be or if it would be worth at all. At that moment I was more charged to use my DSLR camera which I was going to use after almost a year. Since iPhones I have been so lazy to use any other than the phone camera; instagraming pictures all the time.

The journey had begun. One hour to go till we reached the site of the event. We were four of us but none had any idea about what was going to happen there. The thrill of the whole experience lied in the ambiguity of it. Even so the entire time I was extremely skeptical to use the camera since I had lost all practice of using it. To top it all as soon as we got there it started to rain; with it washed away all my hopes of trying to click any pictures, but we thought we shall still give it a shot. And once we reached there it was so crazily crowded, noisy and slushy; I had somewhere given up hope of watching the race. There was no way in hell we would have made it inside. Just then we found a pole and got a little adventurous. Each of us took turns to climb on it to get at least one glimpse of the event. I got a little greedy, I asked one of my friend’s to hold the umbrella for me while I stood on the pole and took at least one picture of the event.

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So I did manage to get one, however unprofessional looking and blurred it was. I was happy at that moment and thought that at least I had proof of being there.

We started to head back thinking we won’t get any closer so no point staying. That’s when we saw a little door, where only tourists could enter. We went through there, to finally realise we were adjacent to the finish line.

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We squished, squashed, tugged through the crowd and somehow managed to get a little closer to the water.

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It was an amazing sight even though I was mashed between three sweaty, tacky and alcohol breath locals.

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The entire place looked spectacular. There was a thrill in the air that was so contagious. The crowd cheering, the speeches overwhelming, the boats were just getting lined up; all set to race.

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I was standing on my toes to get a glimpse of the entire spectacle, trying to capture the moment each time.

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The men looked geared up and packed with energy.
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But the roar from the crowd grew louder when a boat rowed by all women made an appearance.
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The crowd was everywhere. There were houseboats lined up in front, some watching comfortably from their personal yachts, some swimming in water, some camouflaged on top of the trees.
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The boats now started to move towards the starting point; the race was about to begin any minute.
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The umpires were scattered everywhere, with their eyes concentrated on the boats passing by.
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The fire force taking its position. Ready for the boats to set the scene ablaze with excitement.
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There were cops lazing around on boats waiting in anticipation.
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The divers sitting tight, anxious and alert.
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While I was waiting at the edge taking pictures of the now impatient crowd and the calm waters which in no time would be flooded with boats racing for honor and life.
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Just then, my friend screamed from a distance that the race has begun. It was all haphazard henceforth. The boats were being rowed so quickly, I barely got a glance.
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We hurried back as soon as boat number# 16 touched the finish line, as we were in no condition to go through a stampede on our way out of the place. The walk back to the car was peaceful, yet enlivening after watching one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful event. I don’t know if I will ever come back to watch it, but it definitely is a one time experience every person should live.

The Rebirth

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I feel inspired

Sitting under tangled threads

Amidst a creative revolution

One space. Infinite grace.

Looking on the brighter side

Worth a golden glaze

Charcoal face

Where were thou?

Mistakes men make

Vanished by a prayer to the sky

Waiting on a frozen spot

We slide into a new life.

Tiramisu: Heaven in my mouth, hell in my kitchen.

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To make tiramisu has been on my bucket list for a while now. I love to bake desserts, but never got down to making tiramisu because earlier the ingredients were not so easily available in my city. But then finally I made my first batch of tiramisu. I never in my wildest dreams  thought it would be such a cumbersome process. I started my day at 10:30 in the morning with the first step and the most important layer of this creamy italian dessert. Initially, I thought I was doing something wrong because it didn’t look like what I had seen in the video. But then eventually once the egg yolk, sugar and milk took the consistency required there was sigh of relief at my end. I packed it off in the refrigerator as suggested then moved on to the next step.

The toughest and worst part of the whole experience was making the ladyfinger cookies. How I wished then that we got the ready-made version here in Kochi. It would have saved me from all the torture and wastage of ingredients. I made a total of three batches, of which only the last one seemed a little edible. Even though they were like a weirder and egg-smelling version of sponge cake, unlike what they should have been. Thankfully, though, that worked out fine as it was the last of the ingredients on me and I was getting a bad feeling that my very first batch of tiramisu was going to be ruined. But I still went ahead with preparing the next layer. I was adamant not to give up and lose hope yet. Even if it did turn out inedible, at least I would know the next time where I had gone wrong.

So I began whisking the cream and vanilla, the easiest and the yummiest of the three layers that comprise a tiramisu. Meanwhile, my sister helped me with soaking the eggy savoiardi’s in the coffee and rum concoction. Although, her alcoholic instincts compelled her to soak them longer than required, mine suggested adding some of the prepared coffee liqueur to the whipped cream for that little extra flavour.

Layering it up. First, I arranged the ‘so-called’ ladyfinger cookies that were by now drunk and tipsy with alcohol. Then the cheesy layer, which was followed by the creamy one. Midway into repeating the three layers I realised that maybe my dish is a tinge bit small for the quantity I had prepared. Noway could I have tranferred it all into a bigger bowl, so had to eventually cut back a little on the last creamy layer. On the bright side, at least it’s that much less intake of calories. Powdered with a generous sprinkle of cocoa, the only thing remaining was to wrap, refrigerate and wait for 6 hours until we all got to taste the disastrous yet much-awaited dessert.

After 4 hours cooking time and 6 hours waiting time, it was time to taste my favourite dessert (not so much anymore or only as long as I don’t have to make it). Taking the first bite, my heart was racing but I breathed a sigh of extreme happiness and exhilaration when my sister moaned out a huge yummm. I knew then that my task was accomplished and all that hard work hadn’t gone down the drain.

Feedbacks: My aunt, grandma and mom took two helpings each, my sister took three and my dad took two bites (for a person who hates desserts, it’s a big deal). I guess a clean dish is a compliment enough.

Drawbacks: Too much alcohol in the biscuit layer.

P. S: In case of any leftover whipped cream, treat yourself to a divine creamy cold coffee. Trust me you’ll need it at the end of it all. 🙂