Sunday, September 16, 2012

'Cooking' Problems

     My cook has given notice. Her only daughter has passed H.S.C. and joined professional course,  now she wants to reduce her workload and is quitting all 'cooking' jobs that she was doing. She will continue to work till we get new cook. So we started hunt for the new cook. As almost everyone in our society-67 flats- have cooks, i thought that it will not be difficult to get one, but a month has passed and we are still looking. It's not that we did not get cook. The cooks we got either  had problem with our set up/timing of 8-9 in the morning etc etc or we couldn't adjust to their timing of 1pm, their style of cooking,tasteless food etc.

    I always had cook. When i was young, we were in SoBo and my mother had Maternity Home. In those days we used to keep patients for 10 days after delivery and food,tea,nasta was provided by hospital. We had Rajastani cook( Maharaj) who prepared full meal twice a day in our home kitchen.On Sunday morning 'Feast' was served and no food in the evening. Food was good or atleast would taste good for few days. But we got used to it and i had no problem with eating in 'Guju mess' in KEM hostel. In mid seventy we closed the hospital and moved to 7 bunglows, Andheri. Now problem started.

  We looked for Maharaj. There were few working in JVPD,but they would not like to come to-then faaar away Versova. In those days there were very few societies in 7 Bunglows,4 Bunglows so it was really difficult to get cook. Problem was solved by our 24 hrs maid- who had to help my wife in cooking anyway. Now she was given additional charge of cooking besides looking after my daughter,jhadu-pota and washing utensils. She was good worker and was from my wife's 'maike ka gaon',so for entertainment she would constantly argue with my wife. But we were free from looking after home and children. She took good care of children and younger one was almost raised by her.Besides she was good cook. For those 8 yrs we could concentrate on our Hospital practice. She left us when her son got married and she had to take house in Dahisar for them. She wanted to relax and enjoy life with her grandchildren.

  By now our area was well developed one and one could get Marathi Bai as house maid who would cook as well. Few of them had graduated to do only cooking. One could get Bai to come and roll out 'Chapatis' - most difficult and tiresome part of cooking.( How i wish that we could get 'Rotis' or 'Chapatis' as in USA.). But we had got used to 24 hrs maid who would cook for us. This continued till mid Nineties when one day the maid left suddenly and we had to do ALL the work in the house. We had tough week or so as we had to do everything and also look after hospital patients. Then we decided to adopt policy of 'Divide and Rule'- i.e. divide the work. Have one person for only one job. So we had 24 hrs bai, another one  for Jhadu Pota, one for washing utensils and 'Maharaj' for cooking.

  There was one advantage with Maharaj. They knew cooking !! Taste was always good. They could prepare different dishes and cuisines. Now we could get all those Farsans-Dhokla,muthia,kachori,Samosa...- and Mithai prepared at home. He could prepare Chinese,Thai, Italian food BUT ONLY VEG. Jain yes but not even eggs. We couldn't  prepare eggs for breakfast if he was around. Disadvantage was that he wouldn't listen to Home Minister. He would prepare food as he knows it. You want different taste, then prepare yourself. He was always in hurry, so any additional item was pain for him. and worst thing, since his family is in Gaon, he would take long holidays 2-3 times in a year.He would give substitute Maharaj, but substitute Maharaj was doing this work in addition to his normal workload, there was severe time constrain for new Maharaj,who would simply not turn up at your place. This sudden disappearance would destroy our schedule for the day and we had to rush home to get cooking done from other servants-remember divide and Rule !!. besides each visit to Gaon would be preceded by 'Advance' which was to be deducted from his pay when he returns. This advance amount would slowly mount to a level when you know that now you are never going to get money and he may leave work if we demand often. Come the 21st Century and our Maharaj decided to go to Gaon for small family problem. From there he phoned that his Son is getting married and he is building new 'Home.' By this time we had also got tired of managing with 'Locum" Maharaj( He was 5th or 6th one in a year). Children had left-Daughter got married and Son left for US. We used to travel to US and stay there for extended period. Hospital was looked after by Daughter so we decided to change track.

 We had learned doing Household work in our private 'San Jose University-USA'( Son's Home). Now even i could make normal daily food. Since it was prepared by me,taste didn't matter. Wife is good cook. In US we got used to packaged cut Vegetables,Rotiland or Kawans Rotis and Parathas. So we asked our Ayah bai( Mausi) of the hospital to come home after her duty hours to cut Vegetables and roll out few Rotis. My wife would put masala or instruct her  what to add and wait till food is cooked. For variation we could always order from numerous restaurants in Andheri-west,where 'Free Home Delivery' is norm.

After five years of this bliss, now this 'Cook' has given notice and....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Vodafone Case

Today I was watching 'Big Fight' on NDTV. it was on Retrospective amendment that the Govt. has brought after losing Vodafone case in Supreme Court. The retrospective effect extends to year 1962. One of the Panelist was Lord Swaraj Paul, MP from UK. He repetedly said that one must not bother about effect on one company. Govt. has right to amend Law with retrospective effect and all the Govts. of the World do so at some time or other. He misses an important point. It is not about the amendment.

I am born in Independent India in 1947. My entire life i believed that India is free and Democratic country. Preamble of our constitution says that Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are my Basic rights. Shorn of Legal Jargon what it means is that all the Citizens of India are equal and have Equal rights, whatever may be their Social,Political,Financial status.

In other words if I have a Dispute with Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, I have right to seek justice and I can appeal in the Court Of Law. Courts will decide the Case on Merit. If Supreme Court gives judgement in my favor, than it will be accepted by Rahul Gandhi and Soniaji ( I am sure they would) and that Judgement is binding on all the Citizens of India,All the Panchayats,all the Municipal Corporations, State and Central Govts.,Armed Forces and even President Of India who has appointed the Judges.

In Vodaone case, after receiving adverse judgement, Govt. amended the law & retrospective effect was to overturn the judgement of Supreme Court. This has Shaken my Faith and Pride that India is Democratic country where everyone is equal before the majesty of Law. I know many will say that it is Crap,BS. When I was in collage I had read ' In High Places' by Arther Hailey, which shows actual working of Govt. behind all these lofty slogans and phrases. But on this the nation works. These are all ideals but people stake their life for. Honor, Duty are also such phrases for which armed forces sacrifice their lives.

This year Govt. has once again reversed an unfavorable Judicial Verdict by stroke of Pen.
Indira Gandhi did it in 1975 after Allahabad High court judgement and imposed Emergency.
Rajeev Gandhi did it in 1986 after Shah Bano case judgement and passed Muslim Women Act. he lost the next election.
This Govt. has done it in Vodafone case after adverse judgement.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Do Indians have management Gene?

if you go anywhere in India, you will notice large number of people milling around. There is sort of chaos and everything appears to be in state of mess. If it's some official work then you will not have idea where to go for what. There will be disorderly queues in front of windows and one can see people just joining in anywhere. Near the window there will be jostling and 3-4 people crowding around the window-even in Bank Teller window. One misses the orderliness of Europe or US. Education has nothing to do with this. Bhaidas and Mangeshkar halls are main venue for Cultural programmes for Gujratis and Maharastrian elite in Mumbai Suburb. But jostling one faces to get Vada and Tea at these places during Interval is horrible. No one would stand in line but crowd around the counter shouting their orders!! But blame is due mainly to Management of these places as they are not strict about this. So much so that even Subway and mcDonalds have complete chaos in Mumbai against orderly manner in which they operate in US. There is some problem with Indian Psyche-may be we dont have this Gene in our system,. Why do i say this ? When I travel from San Fransisco to Mumbai via Atlanta or JFK- at San San Francisco airport there is orderliness. At Atlanta/JFK Indians wont follow instructions, form a queue before boarding is announced. would try to board when their rows are not announced and they are requested to step aside near the Gate. At European Airport this is so pronounced that lone Indian Ground air hostess gets exasperated and finally free boarding is allowed after Business Class/ Women-Children boarding. In the isle of the plane there is complete chaos.

Today was Voting Day for Local municipal Election. E.C. is independent and has conducted free and fair voting. But Electoral Rolls prepared by them are so full of mistakes. My address is wrong for last 17 years with 4-5 enumeration done by visits to my Residence by Enumerator ( Who is atleast High School graduate). Today I have voted in election, i stay in A wing of my building. My name was in B wing list and address noted was C wing/Flat No.**. Now how can a high school grad can prepare a Roll this way is beyond me. Most likely he doesnt care. He is doing this job as stop gap work till he finds some other good permanent job.So one finds news item that Film maker Gulzar's name is missing!! he should have gone through that entire booklet, his Name would be there is some other building or apartment complex.

we are spending crores ( billions) on Unique I. D. (U.I.D) number. Scheme developed by Infosys Nilanakani. For my Residence proof, I have give Ration Card as proof. Recently when I submitted same as residence Proof for cell Phone, I was informed that Ration Card and Driving License are no longer accepted as Residence Proof.! You need Electricity/ Landline telephone or Bank pass book as proof!. How strong is my U.I.D. if its based on ration card as proof.

so it goes on. When it comes to Implementation and setting a system,Indians fall short. We lack something and we cant do it properly as is done by Germans,Japs,Brits and even Uncle Sam.---PK