What is every man's worst fear? It is a woman who has shopping on her mind! Shopping transforms a woman; from normal to frenzied, from gentle and calm to animated and hyper excited. She is in an elevated state of mind which gives her the ability to do things impossible for her under normal circumstances. Such as
- Standing for hours on end without a trace of tiredness as she checks out each and every piece of clothe in the store/mall.
- Extreme patience as she awaits her turn for the trial room in long, winding queues behind like minded women. (Now you know why women are more patient with kids than men; they have practiced patience all their lives!)
-Possessing an incredibly strong sense of smell which helps her sniff out an "On Sale" board from miles away. (Would make a sniffer dog proud.)
-And an ability to calculate selling price, discount and profit at an exceptionally fast rate, considering maths was never her strong subject in school. (Er, she does not bother with such calculations if you are paying, of course.)
If the idea of shopping scares a man, then the wife/mother/sister/girlfriend who wants him to accompany her on one of her trips makes him feverish with fear. All he wants to do on these trips is to relax on that comfortable couch in the billing area and doze off. But she gets him to carry her heavily laden shopping bag and trot behind her. My friend, stop feeling all sorry for yourself! You should feel sorry for her instead. As you follow her around the mall, doesn't she explain to you in detail about each and every flaw in her physique and why each piece of clothing she painstakingly selects does not suit her? Poor thing! And while you call her evil names in your head, she sweetly informs you there are at least a hundred different shades of blue (peacock blue, sky blue etc) and how different shades make her look taller/shorter/darker/fairer. You also get a crash course (and refresher course) on accessorizing, mix and match, churi bottoms, pattiala suits, party wear and regular salwar suits. Though she may drain you of your money, you must agree she shares with you a wealth of information! If you are still pitying yourself (you self centred pessimist!), remember to send her on her next shopping expedition with her girlfriend and your credit card. She prefers it that way and with some luck, she may even consider buying you something.
Deewali seems a better time than any for women to apply their skills of deliberation, debate and discussion as they go about their shopping. Indeed, malls are offering all kinds of wonderful offers (buy two - get three free, buy three - get seven free) and as a result, they are crowded with attractively dressed women and sad men (who do cheer up a bit when they see all the other women present). As if this weren't enough motivation for us women to be there, the malls are beautifully decorated for Deewali, and there are special stalls set up. I especially loved them at Forum. Take a peek.
|I Loved this stall!|
|Irresistable Earthen Lamps!|
And Deewali is so incomplete without a seriously sweet and ghee infused dessert. Here is the recipe for Beetroot Halwa/Burfi that is easy to make and absolutely delicious.
(Mostly adapted from Vanitha (magazine))
250 grams beetroot grated
100 grams sugar
250 ml (1 cup) milk
50 grams Khoya, crumbled
4 tablespoons ghee
3 cardamom pods
As required, Almonds/Cashew nuts, for decoration
Powder the sugar along with the cardamom seeds.
Heat two tablespoons of ghee in a non stick pan (preferably), and saute grated beetroots over medium low heat for 5-10 minutes. Add half a cup of milk, mix well and let it cook for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining milk, khoya, powdered sugar and cardamom seeds and mix together. Cook till the milk has evaporated, and saute till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Serve warm, topped with cashew nuts/almonds or press into a buttered dish. Cool completely and cut into square pieces. Top each piece with an almond or cashew nut and serve.
Sending this recipe to My Diwali - My Way and Diwali "Festival of Lights" event.