Beyond #WFH is our initiative to spread positivity and inspire our readers by inviting leaders and friends to share what they do to unwind and relax after they finish their work-from-home and work-for-home responsibilities during the lockdown.
While Covid-19 has had multiple impacts on business and Beyond #WFH is not about business, it’s about self-discovery, things that will give us the strength to get through the lockdown and more importantly for those ‘moments’ that will stay with us for long and beyond this pandemic. PS: We are not talking business!
Asheesh Malhotra, Executive Vice President and Branch Head, Dentsu India – Mumbai an advertising professional turned chef shares his discoveries, realizations, and confessions in this story of Beyond #WFH.
Also don’t miss Tashi Malhotra!
I’ve spent over two decades working, rather overworking. And at least once every while I used to crib about not being able to spend quality time with my family. So entrenched was this state of ‘busy-ness’ that it started permeating in all the advertising, slice of life work we created. Our unfulfilled (mostly self-inflicted) desires were reflected on the canvas of the work we created. We recreated our alter ego of a happy, successful, hardworking family man or woman hurtling through life, achieving one milestone after the other in those life insurance commercials and the high-end SUVs ads.
I know I’m not supposed to talk shop, but our lives are built on context. And without this context, my conversation is meaningless.
The point is, our current situation has forced us to look at the mirror that we’ve been avoiding facing for years. We may not like what we see, so much unfairness and uncertainty, which our migrant brethren and small farmers have lived with for years… Covid or No Covid
But this opened up an opportunity for me. The one that may never knock again: To finally have the quality time that I’ve yearned for years. And now I have no reason to crib or any excuse for not having that time.
So, here’s my set of discoveries, realizations and confessions:
1.) I know the names of my 11-year-old’s teachers… all of them (I mean the given ones); Thanks to her, I know how many flamingos visit our country every year, they’ve found even in Okhla industrial area in Delhi. A friend has an imitation jewelry manufacturing unit there (apparently, it’s been a historical landing site for them, I bet many of us didn’t know), besides our very own Sewri and thane creeks.
I may be at home, but I realized rather quickly that for people at home its business as usual. Many polite hints later, I learned that it’s not right to just stomp into the bedroom demanding the geolocation of my ironed shorts. Especially not when my wife is discussing a film script with her director. I knew then, I had trespassed into her office and not our bedroom, uninvited and unwanted.
And Our little Lhasa Apso, named Tashi, loves the wind to blow dry her pristine white hair after a bath.
2.) The monopoly has evolved from a simple board game to a monopoly 4.0 digital version. And there’s no way to sneak the currency of your playing partners or move your token from a ‘jail’ situation to somewhere safe. It’s all recorded in a LED display box. We are a truly digital, monitored world. How boring is that? We could have let the shadow of digital not fall on monopoly at least.
3.) The world might be locked in, the factories may be gathering cobwebs, the buttons of the shirt factories may be impatiently awaiting their turn to be sewn into the Zara shirt, the cinema halls may be missing the popcorns strewn across by the over-excited viewers, the skies waiting to host the aluminum flying machines again, but the one thing that this world is producing recklessly is cooks, one locked down household at a time. So, I too am one, now: a regular cook from just the weekend therapy one. And I am sharing these 2 most amazing recipes that you may wanna try ( I’ve perfected them now ):
Pahari mutton recipe (it’s been a family secret, waiting to be unleashed in war times). Here goes the secret out in a recipe hunting world:
Madra (That’s what its titled)
1. Marinate mutton with curd and garam masala
2.Garam masala ingredients: dal chini , Bari elayachi, Jayafal, black pepper, coriander, chilly, chhoti elyachi grind it but do not make a powder(keep it a little mota)
3. Mix one Katori curd in mutton and two big spoons of mustard oil
4. After mixing everything in the mutton, keep the stuff for one hour in the refrigerator
5. Put the empty cooker on gas stove. Cut two pieces of onion, a small piece of ginger, Tej Pata.
6. Put the marinated mutton in the cooker and mix in it all things mentioned at no. 5.
7. Mix it properly till it starts leaving oil.
8. Next, put one Katori of warm water and let it dry.
9. Put two tablespoons of pure ghee.
10. Mix it thoroughly
11. Take one glass of warm water – mix one spoon of rice powder in it and put this water in the mutton.
12. Put salt and haldi according to the taste.
13. Put more water according to the gravy you need.
14. See the cooking time according to the place.
On the cooker whistles,First, let one whistle go. Then put the gas flame on medium. Wait for 4/5 min and open the cooker. Check if it has excess water left. If there is excess water, just keep that water aside and keep turning the mutton in the cooker. When the mutton is cooked, the same water can be added back to the mutton.
And one for the veggies
Gobhi Muttar pulao for (4/5 people).
Rice two and half katori
one big onion garlic
Carrot ( if you like carrot )
one green chilli
red chilli powder
clove five pieces
choti ilayachi and
A little bit garam masala .
How to cook:
Put oil in the cooker let it get warm. Put garlic, let it get a bit brown in color, then put onion and ginger. when this whole thing turns golden brown, add the rice in it mix properly. With the flame now on medium heat, put salt haldi garam masala green coriander tej pata dry dhaniya and mix it properly with rice. Take the veggies and sauté them in oil in a pan with jeera for a tad bit. After that put water in the cooker, add the vegetable and mix it properly. The level of water should be above the rice by a margin of one third the size of your index finger. close the lid of the cooker. After one steam of the cooker, slow down the gas flame. Give it five minutes. then open the cooker. Serve…
4.) Oh, did they say, there’s light at the end of the tunnel? I discovered it: The daylight at home. How it looks with every passing hour. I’ve spent 90% of the time at home early morning or after dark. So, my reference to home is those hrs. only.
But I know now how it looks at 11 am: When It starts doing a warmup. A glint of rays starts tickling you on the necks if you happen to be in its path. Then at 1 pm: the harsh ray of sun. Looking powerful, youthful, piercing through even the slightest cracks between the opaque curtains. The 3 pm., seasoned light, has seen life go by, knows that these are the most powerful arrows of light left in its quiver. So I will use them well. Then the much calmer 5 pm light. Will start resting itself in the shadows of concrete, between the rustle of leaves. The last hurray happens at 6:30 pm. The best time to take out the silly smartphone cameras to capture the twilight. Add filter to the image. Add a title and then post it. Earn a few thumbs-ups from your friends and feel the power of the ‘shot on iPhone moment’ ( it used to be the Kodak moment, back in the day).
We’re all praying and hoping this will go away and it will. It will. But while we are waiting for that window to open again, let’s make the most of the moments with the ones we are locked in, rather bonded with.