Topli Na Paneer.

My son Ranjan is a foodie and when he goes shopping for one item he will end up buying half a dozen or more items on display in the shop. Last week he had done exactly that again and,  brought something that was in the fridge intriguing me as I normally would not try anything until I make sure that it is vegetarian. This is what he had brought.
I discovered later that it is Burrata Cheese and I quite enjoyed some.

This cheese however, reminded me of a Parsi speciality over here called Topli Na Paneer.

The last time that I had had this was some years ago when a young friend’s mother in law used to make them on order for collection from her home. I had to drive some twenty kilometres to and fro and that eventually killed my appetite for it.

Since I remembered those times when I had relished them, I tried to locate the lady again only to find that she had in the meanwhile gone off to meet her maker. I therefore contacted two Parsi friends in Pune to seek their advice on how to go about procuring it and was sent this flier by one of them.
I called the number and was treated to a highly satisfying response from the responder and I have placed an order for delivery tomorrow morning.

I shall post again after I receive the paneer with my experience of the customer service as well as a review of the product itself.

Food 1 – Handvo.

One of the cherished memories that I have of Ahmedabad where I went to Business School in the mid sixties of the last century is having a Gujarathi dish called Handvo. My readers may remember that I had written about having it last July.  I had it again for lunch today and the image above is of it before I dug into it.

With little to occupy my attention nowadays and being unable to stand for long and cook, I have taken to ordering some dishes that I am not confident of getting made by our help.  I prefer to get them from restaurants offering take away services and also from home businesses that have now mushroomed with the advent of Covid. I was able to locate one such lady entrepreneur offering home made Handvo and duly placed an order on her for collection earlier today. Collection because she clearly indicated that she would not be able to make home deliveries.

My daughter in love duly went to collect the Handvo and the lady asked how we found out about her. There is another story behind that which too needs to be recognised.

With the onset of the pandemic and the lockdowns, one Lady Senior Citizen of our neighbourhood started a Senior Citizen WhatsApp group to offer a platform for seeking help, support and information for Seniors. This group is very active and has been a source of information for us for many things including food suppliers. My source for information on the Handvo supplier came from the lady Administrator of the group and I duly passed on that information to the former.

I have decided to start another series on food that I like and either make or order from outside to keep my readers informed about my progress as a foodie.

Are you, my reader, able to indulge in such way through home entrepreneurs?

Perspective.

A few days ago, a friend mentioned on a WhatsApp message that life was frustrating due to the rains and some other local civic issues. Since she is quite a sport, I sent her this image that had fortuitously landed up just that morning in another message in WA.
She promptly responded that she had changed her perspectives when she had read Forty Rules Of Love.

I was intrigued and since I had not read or even heard of the book, sent for a copy of that book from Amazon and just finished reading it yesterday.
Having crossed that landmark, I messaged my friend -“How exactly did forty rules of love change your perspective?”

She responded with this fairly detailed message:

“It is pure fiction I know but, don’t laugh.
I still have my thinking process working for me.
I first read it several years ago when it had just come out.
I thought that if Ella could leave everything behind
and go looking for Aziz,  then I could also think and give my opinions freely. The only difference being that I had not changed my life for a man.
I now feel free to think and express my thoughts which earlier as a wife and then as a widow,  I had felt I could not. That is all.

My mind is free  as also my spirit.

And, up to the time that my mother was alive, I had kept my thoughts on religion to myself so as not to hurt her.  Now my opinions are well known as I articulate them freely.”

The behaviour of Ella that my friend mentions does not seem bizarre to me as I know of other women who have done similar things and who have survived,  though with some tragic consequences to their husbands and children.  My friend is still very much part of her family and in my opinion quite enjoys being so.

That brings me to my own take on the book.

It is not one of those books that one feels compelled to finish reading in one sitting.  It is quite disjointed and there are too many diversions within the framework that takes one’s attention away from the main theme.  And having been a student of Sufism and Islam besides Vedanta,  I found the philosophical comments  interesting if somewhat needlessly long.

While exploring the author I also came across reference to another of her books The Bastard Of Istanbul.  I have bought a copy of that too and will shortly read it.  Perhaps I may even review it here.

Have you read The Forty Rules Of Love?  What impact, if any, did it have on you?

 

Poor Customer Service.

On Monday last, I received a message in my WhatsApp from a home based food entrepreneur offering to supply Churma Laddoo on Thursday. Thursday, ie today being the first day of our Navratri festival, I placed an order for half a kilogram of the laddoos for delivery this morning.

I waited till 12 noon before I rang the lady up and the call was not answered. At 1230 PM, she called me back to advice me change of plans and said that the laddoos will be delivered tomorrow morning. No apologies, no explanations, nothing. Since I had already paid for the laddoos, I had to lump the change and simply accepted the situation instead of prolonging the agony.

Having written about the Japanese Customer Service Omotenashi just this morning, I decided that I shall send her a link to my post after the laddoos are delivered. She had also offered to supply some other goodies on Sunday evening by a separate message and I have now decided that I shall not ever order anything again from her.

Am I being too rigid?

Collateral.

This quote forwarded to me by a friend, reminds me of a story that did the WhatsApp rounds some time ago.

Our Public Sector Banks have been aggressively taking their banking services to rural India and publicising their offers widely.

One day, one weather-beaten farmer comes to a rural banker and asks for a loan to tide over the problems faced by him due to the failure of the monsoon that year.

The snobbish banker asks the farmer what he can offer as collateral and the farmer wants to know the meaning of the word. On being explained the process of taking a loan against a collateral, the farmer says that he has a couple of cows and small plot of agricultural land.

An agreement is reached, the farmer pledges his parcel of land, takes the money and leaves.

He returns much sooner than expected, clears the entire loan amount with interest and takes back the documents of his collateral. The surprised banker asks him how he managed to do that and the farmer says that he invested the loan in getting a pump to take out subterranean water to irrigate his field, successfully planted and sold a crop and has now come back to redeem the documents.

The impressed banker in turn suggests that the farmer deposits the surplus cash with the bank and has to explain all the benefits that the farmer will get out of such deposit.

The farmer looks up at the banker and asks him – “What collateral will you offer?”