Monday, 18 October 2010

My Top 12 App list

Ok, so I don't even have it yet but here is my list anyway. Lets see if it changes when I do get my very own Ipad in 2 weeks.

The three things I have to admit I cannot imagine life without (use them most on my Iphone now):
1. Skype
For all those times I want to get my daily dose of news:
5. CNN
6. The BBC
For when I am in an intellectually stimulating mood:
8.The New Yorker
When I just want to make a cat meow or just stare at the stars:
10. Cat physics
11. Starwalk
When I want to read (and this I have been waiting lie such an eager beaver)
12. The Kindle App

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The weekly commute

It begins with a sleepless sunday night, waking up almost always at 3 am checking the clock which confirms its still too early, and then waking up with a start when the alarm does go off at 5.30 am. Bags already packed the night before, I trudge to the toilet, face washed, teeth brushed, clothes and makeup on..check, check and check.
The incoming sms alerts me to the taxi that is on its way, just before the one that informs me I can check in to my 07.40 flight to Stockholm. I kiss a sleeping husband, grab my bags containing only bare essentials, and make it down just in time to see the taxi pull up the road. Its 06.05 am. National Theatret Stasjon. I'm always there atleast 10 mins before the train leaves which always annoys me. The train pulls up and I push myself in and off we go.Everyone on the train is super quiet, bored and sleepy. Just my kind of crowd.
Then the activity kicks in, travellers of all shapes and sizes queing to get out, check in, get past security check, all these mundane steps seem like the most boring routine on the planet to me. I avoid the tax free shopping area (it just slows me down) and buy my breakfast at the last shop before the gates. The usual: an eat natural fruit and nut bar, a bottle of water and the Guardian Weekly. I make it to the gate and hover nearby so I am one of the first to board, that way I need not stand in yet another que (to board) or hassle to stuff in my hand luggage ontop of others stuff. Comfortably seated and buckled up in my aisle seat, I nibble at my breakfast and read the paper and by the time we are at cruising altitude I have dozed off only to wake up to the announcement informing us we are about to land. I am so ready for a caffeine dose. Off the plane and usually in time to make the 08.37 airport train to the city, I almost always curse under my breath as I pass the illy coffee shop just outside arrivals because stopping to grab a much needed coffee means I will have to wait for the 08.50 train into the city. Down the stairs into the cave where the yellow capsule will transport me closer to a cup of coffee and my workplace. I always sit closer to the front so I am amongst the first out, beating the long taxi ques in the morning. Ah, the little early morning victories. Taxi stops, in I go and order a caffe latte to go at the restaurant in the building, navigate through the many doors to arrive at my workstation, hellos exchanged, and internet troubles sorted I am finally at work and its only 09.20. Only another 8 hours or so to go.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

On a rainy day

It was raining yesterday in Oslo and well... after making waffles and devouring them (which is the equivalent to Pakoras on a rainy day in Islamabad) I launched into making platefuls of pakoras. I improvised a bit so I decided to share the recipe here on my blog for my very small but dedicated readership :D Anyway here goes,
1.Take some gram flour and add salt, haldi, corriander powder, red chilli powder and garam masala. (Quantity of flour should be enough to make a paste to douse all the vegetables and the masalas added should be to your taste. Some like it hot and well some don't.)
2. Mix it all up so you have a nice tasting yellow paste.
3. Add 2 cubed potatoes, chopped 1/2 red onion and chopped 1/2 red capsicum and a bunch of whole Ruccola salad leaves to the paste.
4. Pre-heat some frying oil in a medium size pan,
5. Take spoonfuls of the mixture (now also including the vegetables) and fry them on each side for about 2 minutes.
6.Take them out and place on some Kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
7. Eat with a cup of chai :)

Monday, 20 September 2010

4th Pak Vs Eng ODI in play

One of the fondest memories I have involving sport, is my dad glued to the TV set cheering on the Pakistan National cricket team. I am still transported back to the comfort of my parents room when I listen to cricket commentators with the match being played in the background. As I do now... through live streaming via the internet as Pakistan plays England in the 4th ODI at Lords today. The commentators as well as the players focusing hard on the game, even though accusations are being hurled left, right and center. Sad. Sad. Sad. We all enjoy and love the game, my dad one of its most ardent followers, said to me in disgust the other day 'What do you expect when the country is run by one the biggest crooks?' He was referring to Asif Ali Zardari ofcourse and the larger problem of corruption going unnoticed in Pakistan. He has a point, but we may have a few rotten apples, some bigger than others but the young guys out there playing today under very tense circumstances deserve the benefit of the doubt and our support, now more than ever. Lets cheer them on and hope truth will prevail and exonorate those who are inncocent.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The vent it out series # 1

Sex. Drugs.Scandal. Sensationalism. That's how The Sun, a daily tabloid in the UK manages to maintain and ocassionally experience an increase in its circulation. The latest, 'lets whip the Pakistani boys around because they have got it coming'. Three weeks ago, three young cricketers who were alleged to have been involved in a betting scam were sent home. The very public investigation into whether they are indeed guilty is underway and well, recent findings imply that they are not all that innocent. Facts, alright. But now just when the Pakistan cricket team thrashes England in the third one day International in the Natwest series, The Sun allges that there was a 'scoring pattern' that appeared at certain stages of the match that matched the prior knowledge they had. Exactly what the suspected pattern was, is yet to be revealed. Ofcourse, The Sun also went on to confirm rather quickly that none of the British players were involved in this in anyway. Coincidentally, The Sun is part of the same Group of newspapers as News of the World who broke the betting scam story.

You have got to be kidding right?

Its the word of a tabloid newspaper versus Pakistani cricketers fresh out of a scandal, but still. Umar Gul took 6 wickets, gave away only 42 runs in his 10 overs. Pakistan scored 242 runs for England to chase. Are these 'patterns' possible to fix??? We beat England by 23 runs. So we could have beaten them by anywhere between 22 and 1. Where is the pattern here? Even more ridiculous is that the newest allegations are splattered all over the slightly more respected Bristish Media like the BBC and The Guardian.

Is the British media and those pulling the strings trying to test how far they can take this? Or is it simply a campaign that has gained momentum to dis-credit Pakistani cricket for good? And why would they do this, you may ask.

1. Because they can. 2. Why the hell not?

Am I angry? Sure. Mostly at the first three lads who dragged Pakistani cricket in this direction and suceeded in labeling every present & future young talented cricketer wearing a green shirt 'corrupt and a greedy pig just waiting to throw it all away to make a quick buck' and at the British media & cricket authorities for launching sharply into a smear campaign without ANY substantiated proof... especially in this second round.

The Guardian yesterday reports 'Andy Flower, the England team manager, agreed with suggestions that the revelations have damaged relations between his team and the tourists. "I don't really want to go into detail on that but of course things like this will affect the relationship between the sides."

After the allegations in the News of the World three weeks ago the ICC does not wish to appear to be behind the game. The ICC even considered trying to get Friday's ODI cancelled as the stands were filling up with spectators. Its attitude this time is bullish even though the allegations seem to be far harder to substantiate than those that surfaced during the Lord's Test.'

Another win for the International media against Pakistan.

The games continue. Two of the Five ODIs left are still to be played out. And whether Pakistan wins or loses it does'nt matter, right? Because, in everyone's minds 'they would have fixed it either way.' I hope and pray this is proven wrong, especially for the sake of the game and how much it is loved, respected and revered in Pakistan.

Did you say baby?

I attended my sister's baby shower earlier this summer in London and well in addition to my sister being pregnant, out of the eight other women present there, three other young ladies were also expecting. Which leaves five. My mother and my mother-in-law who have already produced wonderful human specimens, my single second cousin who has not found the perfect man yet, my long time school friend who is a proud mum to her 1 year old boy.... and myself. With atleast four confirmed hormonal women present, I felt a kick coming on, and no, I was'nt 5 months pregnant without knowing it. Somehow being happily together with a guy for 4 and married to him for 2 years did not excuse me from not having a baby tucked under my arm.

Then came the big day my younger sister delivered her first baby, and the second kick came on. This one though emanated out of pure fear. Delivering a baby is painful, hard work and downright scary. And well, it oddly reminded me of a picture from when I was 11 years old and my mother got my ears pierced and I was standing there telling her much after all the howling stopped 'Why didn't you just get my ears pierced when I was a baby so it wouldn't hurt so much all the other kids?' Moral of the story as I recall it from that time: it hurts less when you are young, spirited, easily distracted when in pain and have less control over your life.

The day I had to leave London and my 2 week old nephew, I cried like the baby. He was part of me, even more so, somehow, then the adults in my closely knit family. It was hard to keep the self composure as I proceeded on to check in and back to my life.

Oh well, I did. Work began and the weeks started to count away. I feel the same as before, but since that baby shower, and the days and months after, I do ocassionally feel a kick coming on smack right in the middle of my abdomen. Just my biological clock hitting the hour, I tell myself. After all it has to do its job.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Go green shirts!

Pace bowler Umar Gul shone bright like a star today. He took 4-6 in 18 consecutive balls and lead Pakistan to a 23-run win over England in the third one-day international at the Oval. This is the first victory for Pakistan after the shameful betting allegations came to light.

All I can say is thank heavens for heroes like Umar Gul and Aisam ul Haq. It has indeed given us all a reason to smile... in these otherwise trying, troubling times..

I love to see Green out there, especially when it looks like this :)