Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Mmm. Food." turns two and other random chit-chat.

So. Two years back (as in, two exact years), I was preparing for the misery that goes by the name of Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examinations.

My days consisted of waking up, by-hearting every last line of The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and my neighbour's Times of India, and lazily sipping a cup of mum's coffee. (Bonus point: On bad days, I read the gossip section of the Tamil ones, to boot. Shame on me)  I even read Party Whirl, even though I'm easily one of the most uncool people I know (knew, before I ended up in Coimbatore. Spoiler alert).

The days passed in a whirl of Castle marathons on Star World/fights with mum over my much-younger cousins getting married/reading a little Forensic Medicine because that I was all I could bring myself to read/Pretty Little Liars/downing tubs of Nutella in pity parties I hosted for myself/fighting with my two-year-old nephew over the TV; he wanted to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and not the Chuck-and-Blair saga/another friend getting married and/or getting a post-graduate seat/reading five-hundred fictional books from the library/panic over the exams/hour-long phone-crib-sessions with fellow similarly-pitiable doctors and so-boringly-on.

My then-fiance-and-now-husband (thank me for the spoiler alerts later), tired of emotional-blackmailing me into studying, asked me what made me happy. I joked that the highlight of my day was looking at food blogs and recreating clumsy versions of deliciousness for family/friends. It made me feel... useful.

And the blog was born.

It was a medical miracle.

The next year was undoubtedly one of the happiest of my life. So annoyingly cliche even to my eyes. Doesn't change the truth though.

I got a non-demanding-but-still-fulfilling job at a nearby hospital, spent quality time with fiance/friends/family (something that was impossible during MBBS), joined the gym(ditto), cooked and photographed plate after plate of food and studied for the dreaded PG entrance exam once again. I blogged every spare minute, choosing it over the heaps of Newspaper supplements.

Once the entire set of exams were over, blogging took over just about everything else.

Tropical Lime Cheesecake with a Gingernut crust and Mango coulis.

That was one of the desserts I developed that never got posted (Can I please add "Dear Reader", as if I were L.M. Montgomery or similar? The nerve of me!)

One fateful day in May, also known as the Day the All-India counselling Results Came Out, I saw my name  (yay!) published against Goa Medical College (nononoNONONONOOOOOO!!). Yes. GOA. I wailed and wailed. My well-established uncoolness would guarantee three years of friendlessness #badgrammarcringe. This was before I realized that you don't have time for friends while doing your post-graduation/residency. Also, I'd miss mum's coffee.

Still. Doctors and beggars can't be choosers. My dad, fiance and I were en route to the Airport, when I got an e-mail from the post-graduate community threads about some flash Tamil Nadu counselling that was about to start in ten minutes. We rushed to Kilpauk Medical College, calling in favours for cheques and documents and whatnot. I remember pausing only to laugh at the funny looks my fiance got. Moral of the story: do not wear drawstring linen pants and tweed Van's shoes to a congregation of  doctors who have just come out of two years of hibernating in the library.

That's the story of how I landed in Coimbatore to do my post-graduation in Pathology. Yes, I did wail a little bit, because I thought, in a cruel twist of fate, Coimbatore was too uncool even for me. I was right.

Choco Smacks (ugh) and No-heat milk.

That was my first meal alone at the hostel. That's the floor in my minuscule room. I kid you not.

You know how I kept ranting about textures and layers and depth in food? The texture now comes from eggshells in my sandwiches, tiny stones in freakishly-oily fried rice and unruly, black hair in watery chutney that the canteen-anna vehemently claims is "thenga-naaru-madam". He clearly thinks I have no idea about unruly black hair. I also keep smelling sambar-and-formalin on myself. I sincerely hope those are Olfactory hallucinations.

I won't crib too much, however. My fiance husband and family take me out to Coimbatore's best for French chocolate cake and Choc-amour and so on, on the weekends they visit.

Flourless chocolate cake with Vanilla ice cream.

Zaad at KFC, Avinashi Road.

Mum plies me with fancy olive oil and salted almonds and Milk chocolate M & Ms. Pathology has grown on me; two years of chiffonading herbs and julienning peppers and infusing soups with garlic oil prepared me better for dissection in Surgical/Anatomical Pathology and lab-work in Haematology than did years of medical college.

Ooh. I also married my food-partner-in-crime/support system. We went on a honeymoon and ate obscene amounts of food, because everybody knows calories don't count on a honeymoon. They also do not count during Post-graduation, at post-wedding feasts, on Call-duty days, on weekends and most weekdays.

I'm currently in the process of convincing my husband to move to Coimbatore (by lying to him about its greatness and the collective kindness of its residents. BS). I'm also trying to convince my professors that my entrance results were not a fluke. I might succeed in one of those two things.

I logged in at long last, because I couldn't not post today... God knows I'm a stickler for anniversaries and dates. I do not want to pull the plug on the blog that, along with its readers and commenters, did SO utterly much for my psyche... even though it isn't humanly possible to keep it running. On the other hand. Who knows what's in store?

I still believe in medical miracles.


  1. Can I be a wet-blanket and grumble that you posted about all that and did not post the cheesecake recipe :P particularly since PJL only saw the cheesecake photo and wanted to know if I could make it for him

  2. This was very helpful to me, thank you! Your photos are gorgeous Need any managed services visit us