Notes on studying abroad – Part 3

It is an unwritten rule that every Indian who travels to the US packs a pressure cooker. Some  use it , some don’t, then there are those like me who should not use for the safety of every body else.

” All of those?” ask  Namrata. She had just made it known that she did not like beetroot.

“Yes”. I answer chopping  250 gms of beetroot into uneven slices, cutting my finger in the process.

Namrata squints her eyes. Then  widens them when I add the chopped beetroot to the pressure cooker along with the potatoes, beans and carrots.

We  are going to have mixed vegetable curry, rice and a ready to eat paneer butter masala for lunch.

There is a knock on the door  and Vinay promptly enters with “Girls, have you finished the DO assignment? Last one was a joke compared to this one.”

I wonder why both of us don’t bother reminding him that he said the same thing last time. I have learnt the art of tuning him out. Namrata is only getting there.

He hands over a box of brownies and with that the sin of having uttered the word assignment on a perfectly good Saturday is forgotten.

Namrata unwraps the frozen paneer curry and flops it into the microwave while Vinay makes himself comfortable on the couch.

“Three minutes”, Namrata reads out the instructions from the back of the paneer wrapper.

“Make it five”, advises Vinay.

Namrata looks at me and then punches 3 on the  digital pad of the microwave and presses ‘start’.

A few seconds later there are sparks and abnormal sounds issuing from the microwave.

Namrata screams.

Then I scream.

Then Pause.

Then we both scream together hugging each other and closing our eyes in the process.

Vinay rushes to the microwave opens it and pulls out the *tin* foil wrapped frozen panner.

“Idiots you cannot microwave that! And please stop that screaming.”

Barely had he finished  when there was a *POP* and whistle, a swoosh  and a spray of pinkish red across the ceiling and on the kitchen floor.

Then silence.

Then a clank as the pressure cooker cover finally hit the floor.

The three of us stand around pink soup.

How in the world did I manage to blow up a pressure cooker?

“I have some patties in my fridge”, Vinay broke the silence wiping vegetable soup from his face.


A one night stand

If there was  a contest for the most expensive one night stand, I know of one that will hands down.

The Jehangir Mahal in Orchha was built for the state visit of Mughal emperor Jehangir by Bir Sing Deo. It has a little of over hundred rooms, airy balconies, three stories, ornate elephants, turquoise tiles imported from Turkey and a central courtyard.  It took a while to build and in the end the emperor stayed at this palace for a night.  The irony of it all is that is despite almost depleting his state exchequer to impress Jehangir Bir Sing soon fell out of favor with the mughals and was crushed by a teenage Aurangzeb.

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