Archive | August, 2011

Restaurant Review Project 19- Salad Boutique

31 Aug

It has been such a long time that I haven’t made an addition to my ongoing Restaurant Review Project. Not that I haven’t been eating out. I have been too lazy to take pictures and write about the food. I have had excellent opportunity to sample some extraordinary food and that is the reason why I had little patience to keep it waiting to take pictures. When there are no pictures to support the gastronomic crime committed, posts cannot be written, simply because a picture is worth a thousand words.

But my reviews have pictures and thousand words! 🙂

Anyways, on a day when I wasn’t extremely ravenous but wanted a nibble, I was reminded of a new place in town called, Salad Boutique. This quaint little place is located in the heart of the posh Block 338, Adliya.  As the name suggests, they specialize in serving Salads as the main course.

Salad Boutique sports a charming, candle lit opulent interior. It has a cream and purple decor with sparkling chandeliers that oozes indulgence and elegance in the same breath.

Upon entering, we were given a warm welcome by a smartly dressed server and were shown our seat. Since it was Ramadan, there weren’t many diners even on a weekend. That was perfect for us since it meant, Mimi could roam around the restaurant being friendly with the staff.

Soon, we were presented the menu and that I suppose is what has the potential to set this restaurant apart. We were handed the Apple iPad that functions as a menu card. This is such a novel idea and it was supremely exciting to peruse through a comprehensive menu. When the initial excitement was over, we made our order to the server. That is where I felt it had a failed a little. Having an iPad and not using it to its full potential is a waste, in my opinion. It is like having a cell phone only to scroll through the contacts and not actually being able to make a call!! It should have been possible to even place an order through the iPad instead of the server taking down notes. Anyhow, we did place our orders and it was surprising to note that they not only had a wide variety of salad, but also sandwiches, burgers, risotto, pastas and all kinds of sides.

We ordered a Falafel Salad – which consisted of Falafel, lettuce, Cucumber, Parsley and Rocca  and served with Tahina Dressing. Not exactly low-calorie food, I was hoping for. But when it arrived it looked like a sumptuous meal that I could eat at the restaurant and then later pack the leftovers back home. It tasted as good as it looked on the plate.

and a refreshing drink called Vanilla Rocca. I would recommend this restaurant for this drink alone. It has the power to change the world! Okay, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but you get the drift.

Some Grilled Chicken  Sandwich – which had a Grilled Chicken Breast, Lettuce, Rocca, Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese with Special Sauce. This sandwich wasn’t the best chicken sandwich but it was filling with a coleslaw side.

And Grilled Veggies Sandwich – Grilled Zucchini, Eggplant, Green Bell Pepper, and Rocca Leaves, Mixed with Light Mayonnaise-Tahina Sauce. This sandwich was really tasty and I would recommend this even if you are a meat lover. The eggplant and the tahina sauce combination gives this sandwich a meat-y  flavor.

Apparently, all the sandwiches are presented in similar manner so the photographs of the chicken and the vegetable sandwich look the same.

and a bottle of chilled water in a glass bottle designed by Paul Smith which I took home to plant my money plant.

Overall, the dinner was definitely not light as I had assumed it to be, but it was sure sumptuous. The total bill came to 20 BD for 3 adults.

So I am proud to announce that Salad Boutique has been SLICED and the verdict is as follows,

Food – 3/5

Ambiance – 4/5

Service – 3/5

Overall – 3/5

Salad Boutique has other outlets in Kuwait and Jeddah.

 

Weekend Dinner – Veg. Lasagne, Whole Meal Loaf & Tomato – Feta Salad

26 Aug

You must all know Mimi by now. What you may not know about her is, she is a very peculiar toddler. While I know of kids who love to eat out and gorge on fried chips, munchies, chocolates, biscuits, flavoured milk, burgers and cola, my child detests it with all her might. She prefers eating home-made meals. Hot and piping, right off the stove. Going out with her never means a break for me from the kitchen. I have to make her meal, feed her and only then step out. Else I have to carry her dinner of roti & sabji or dosa & sambar and feed her on the go. When I rant about it to my girlfriends, they feel, I am blessed. They narrate to me their struggles of trying to get their children to eat home cooked meals.

After all this while, I realize, I am truly blessed, for various reasons. Mimi’s habits not only ensure that she eats  healthy and fresh meals  but also prompts me to try different cuisines in my kitchen. One such weekend dinner was about experimenting with Italian. Vegetarian only.

I prepped up for some vegetarian lasagna, a crusty loaf and some easy tomato – feta gorgeousness of a salad.

Vegetarian Lasagna : The silly thing about reading recipes is that they make you feel that it is the simplest thing in the world to do. But when you get around doing it with your bare hands, you realize you completely lack co-ordination. It happens to me all the time. Lasagna was tricky to make especially the boiling of the sheets. I wanted it all ‘al-dente’ and micro observed to get it right. But when I was done, peeling them off of each other was a task that took me the maximum amount of time. The vegetable part was easy since it was just about going chop, chop, chop. The white bechamel sauce was something I make  regularly so that did not take any time either. Layering was enjoyable like artwork. Cheese scraping was done by my friend Namit to help me get the dinner on the table before the clock struck mid night. The result was remarkable and worth all the effort. Mimi loved it and had an extra  helping. This is definitely winner of a recipe.

Recipe for Veg. Lasagna

Ingredients

Lasagna sheets  – use as required, I had to use about 24 of them since I had a large tray to fill

Salt to taste

White Sauce* – 1 1/2 cups – 2 cups

Cheddar cheese grated – 1 cup ( more the better)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Butter- 2 tbsp

Garlic crushed – 8 cloves

Onions chopped – 2 medium

Mushrooms  chopped finely – 7-8 nos.

Brinjal / aubergine chopped finely – 1 large

Zucchini chopped – 2 medium

Capsicum chopped – 1 no.

Tomatoes chopped – 4 medium

Dry Basil – 1 tsp

Dry Oregano – 1 tsp

Maggi vegetable stock – 1 small cube

Fresh Parsley chopped  – about a handful or less

Preparation

1. Heat a lot of water in a deep pan. Add enough salt such that the water tastes like sea water. Add lasagna sheets and a little olive oil to the water. Boil it for 10 minutes and take them out. Spread them out carefully without burning your fingers and cover with a damp cloth.

2. In a separate pan, heat oil & butter. Saute the chopped onion till they are translucent and then add crushed garlic. Add the Maggi vegetable stock cube. You will see it dissolving in the oil in sometime.

3. Add all the chopped vegetables except capsicum and tomatoes. Let them cook. Add salt but with care since the Maggi vegetable stock has a lot of salt in it already.

4. Now add the tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Once they turn soft add capsicum, dry basil, dry oregano and parsley. Mix well and cook for some more time. Take it off the stove.

5. Preheat the oven to 200C  and butter your baking dish.

6.First lay down a the first layer of the pasta and then the white sauce on top of it. Then put another layer of pasta and a layer of the vegetable mixture. A layer of pasta and then the white sauce. Alternate layers like that and fill up the baking dish.

7. Once the last layer of pasta has been laid, spread grated cheese on top and cover completely. Shove it in the preheated oven for about 20-22 minutes or until the cheese has turned golden. Serve hot.

*Notes – For the white sauce/bechamel sauce,  you need 4 Tbsp of all-purpose flour, 2 cups of hot milk, 2 tbsp of butter, salt to taste and pepper.

To prepare- Take a heavy bottomed pan, put it on the stove and melt the butter first. Add the flour and stir well. Do not let it brown and cook well for about 2 minutes. Add the two cups of hot milk and stir continuously. You will find that the sauce has thickened. Add salt and pepper and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from fire and let it cool. While using if the sauce has thickened too much then you could add a wee bit milk and heat it a bit to loosen it.

Whole Meal Loaf – Sometimes I feel, we demand a level of convenience that is immodest. But when you make bread with your bare hands, kneading and toiling , it presents itself as the most humbling experience. I followed the same recipe as in the post about Nigella Lawson’s bread. Only that I shaped it like a baton and made some deep gashes  atop to give it a rustic feel. The loaf was crusty on the outside and on the inside the crumb was a delight to bite on. I made some garlic infused olive oil which was such a splendid accompaniment along with blobs of butter.


Tomato-Feta Salad – First, this salad is such a stunner to look at. Second it demands nothing out of you except a few firm and sweet tomatoes sliced and arranged on a plate adorned with a few pinches of feta. No seasonings required to perk it up. The feta does what is required of it, that is, give it that tangy-salty twist.

 

 

The dinner goes down as one of the most memorable ones. To be able to put a smile on my family’s and friend’s faces makes it worth my while. Every attempt that I have made that seemed outside my comfort zone has met with mixed results. But it is only practising the craft again and again that has made all the difference.

There is so much more that I yearn to learn through such wonderful dinners.

For the beautiful collage and photographs I have my friend, Namit to thank. While I was busy preparing the dinner, he made use of that time to click some wonderful frames. Thank you so much for your patience.

Apple Cake for my Friend

19 Aug

This has been a long overdue post.  In between, I started writing fiction and I couldn’t stop. For the first time food took a backseat. Not for real, but only on the blog 🙂

This post is about a lovely friend. Her name is Gayathri.

I have written about her on my blog plenty times before. She is somebody whom I can talk to for hours, without bothering whether it is inconvenient for her or not. She is patient  and would offer her two cents after gauging whether it is required or not. I know she understands that sometimes people only want to be heard, to be able to speak their heart out.

Gayathri, she just lets me be.

When she visits me, I do not have to dress up or do not have to bother whether my home is in order. It is that comfort level that I share  with her.

So when she came by a few days ago, I was excited and thrilled to bits. It would mean catching up on everything once again. I say once again, because we are always in touch through chats and over the phone anyways. But we still have so much to talk about.

Gayathri loves her cakes- eating and baking them. She makes the egg-less sorts which are wonderful and so tasty.

I thought of baking one for my special friend. I browsed for something simple and sweet and found a rustic looking apple cake for the occasion.

This apple cake is from Joy of Baking; a blogsite that needs no introduction at all.

Gayathri, her son, my daughter and I had a nice time chatting up and digging into this gorgeous apple cake.

Recipe for Apple Cake

Makes about 9 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup (75 gms) chopped hazelnuts ( you can use walnuts, pecans)

About 3 large apples

1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 1/2 cup (195 gms) All purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 gms) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

6 tablespoons (85 gms) unsalted butter, melted and cooled at room temp

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoon milk

1/3 cup (50 gms) Raisins

Preparation 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.

2. Butter a baking pan and then line with parchment paper or wax paper.

3. Place the nuts (hazelnuts) on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and then coarsely chop.

4. Peel, core, and chop the apples into bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 – 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

5. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt.

6. Add the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the chopped nuts, raisins, and chopped apples.

7. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 – 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

8. Serve warm and in my opinion, it tastes great without any of the edible accessories such as cream, glaze or ice cream.

This recipe is a keeper and I am definitely going to make it again and again.

Apple and cinnamon are meant to be together and that is why this cake is such a big winner.

The Come Back – Chapter 5

18 Aug

Ash left her Papa to his own devices and closed the door behind her. She went straight to the kitchen to find Mrs. P steadily stirring something in a cauldron. It had to be her favourite lentil and pea soup. Mrs. P must have known that she was back and would have started right away. Ash tiptoed towards Mrs. P and then in a sudden movement lifted Mrs. P off the ground with her hands. Mrs. P shrieked and then started laughing fitfully. Ash joined her too and turned to face her, after putting her down. Mrs. P with her rounded cheeks, her fair hair tied up in a bun, face more wrinkled than she last saw her was wearing a smart dress with a black fitted belt. She seemed to have become plumper than she last remembered seeing her. Nevertheless, the same old Mrs. P, all elegant and homely at the same time. Mrs. P was assessing Ash pretty much the same way. She observed that Ash had turned a lot paler and thinner. She was even hunching a little like her dad. But her raven black hair was long and shiny. She reminded herself that she had to run a bath for Ash as she looked extremely unkempt and dirty for some reason. She could see some dirt in her finger nails which seemed like they hadn’t been to a manicure salon for months. Mrs. P went to make a mental list of all the things that she needed to do for Ash.

“I smell something delicious in the pot. Isn’t that my favourite soup simmering away?” Ash enquired with a bright smile.

Mrs. P rushed forward to greet her and  kissed her forehead.

“Yes it is my dear! When I heard your voice inside Mr. Reed’s room, I couldn’t believe my ears. I rushed to the door and was in half mind to barge in to see if it was really you. I couldn’t have made a mistake, I was sure. Anna told me that it was indeed you so I wasted no time in putting a pot of your favourite soup on the stove right away.”

“How have you been Mrs. P? Dad has been so sick! Nobody told me. Did you know?”Ash asked sadly. Her voice was almost cracking and she tried her best to swallow the lump in her throat.

Mrs. P led her to the table in the kitchen and pulled out the chair for her. She made Ash sit down and poured some hot chocolate in mug. Mrs. P needed this time to arrange her thoughts. Everything had happened so quickly that there hadn’t been much time to ponder over why something had happened. She then handed over the mug to Ash and wearily sat down in a chair next to her.

If you would like to read the rest of this post, please visit my new blog. This new blog – DazzlersDiary is specifically dedicated to my writing exercise. Sliceofmylyfe will remain an exclusive food related blog from now on. Thank you for reading and sorry for the inconvenience. 🙂

The Come Back – Chapter 4

17 Aug

Professor Reed opened the desk drawer again, like he had done a dozen times already in the last half hour. He felt strained partly due to the pain and partly due to the flood of memories that refused to ebb. Why did he have to do this to himself? Each time? What did he get by hanging on to the traces of his past life? He kept going back and forth, from his present to his past, his past and back. He never ever gave his own future any thought. There was no point unless he was able to figure out the past. He had answers to the most complex of questions that his students at the university asked him, but he couldn’t figure out the answer to the question that changed his life forever.

There was a knock at his door. In a gruff voice he spoke,” Come in”.

Anna peeked in and smiled. Prof. Reed smiled back and felt relieved to see her. Her company would cheer him up and get him to stop thinking about all the unnecessary things. But soon he realized Anna wasn’t alone. A frail figure stood behind Anna, slightly hunched, slightly like someone he knew.

“ASH!!!” exclaimed Professor Reed.

Ash rushed forward to greet her father. Both of them embraced and wept. All the angst and the pain gushed out in tears. It took them a while before they composed themselves. Prof. Reed couldn’t’ take his eyes off his older daughter, Ashwariya. Everybody called her Ash as they found Ashwariya way twisted for their simple tongues. So was the case with his younger daughter, Anna was Anamika. These were such lovely names, with beautiful meanings for his beautiful daughters. He surveyed Ash and decided that she hadn’t changed much except for the addition of few of her own body art. The sight of them repulsed him but he decided to let it rest for a while. He could take it up with her later, or maybe never. Right now he was a happy father, relieved to see the apple of his eye back. His face fell, when he realized it had been more than 8 months that he last saw her. What was he thinking? He could have called for her; after all he knew she was in the same city. What stopped him from doing it? He knew the answer to this one. But not a single day had passed by when he hadn’t thought about her, wishing her to come back silently in his prayers. He laid his hand on Ash’s head and ran his fingers through her hair. With black hair and black eyes, she looked so much like him. She even hunched like him now. But they bore resemblance only in physical aspects whereas temperamentally they were like chalk and cheese.

Ash felt the weight of her Papa’s hand on her head; the familiar weight, the familiar scent, the familiar voice. It was comforting and unsettling all the time. She had almost started to lament about the lost time and the incidents of the past that led to the estrangement, but her thoughts were interrupted with Anna excusing herself from the room. She saw Anna leave and close the door behind her. Ash turned to face her Papa and held his large hands in hers. She kissed them silently and rested her head on his hands for some time. Then when the moment of anguish passed, she looked up at her Papa and asked him in a matter of fact voice, “Have the reports come in, Papa?”

To this Professor Reed shook his head indicating the reports hadn’t come in.

“They are due in evening, I hear.” He offered to let her head rest on his shoulder.

She pretended not having taken the cue and continued her bout of questioning.

“Why didn’t you tell me you had a Tumour?”

Prof. Reed smiled and replied, “I thought it was better not to bother anybody with such distressing news.”

“You sound like you are losing it every day, since the day I left home, Papa?” Ash mocked her father.

To this Prof. Reed laughed weakly and nodded in agreement.

“Don’t worry, Honey. I won’t die before I get a few answers.”

Ash looked away and pulled herself away from her Papa. All of sudden a tidal wave of bitterness swept past her and she felt she was going to drown again.

“Why do you care, Papa? WHY?? DO I CARE? DOES ANNA CARE?” shouted Ash. She couldn’t help herself. She immediately realized that she should keep her tone in check and calm down.

Prof. Reed expected this outburst and didn’t react. He waited patiently till he felt; she had done with her chiding.

In a lowered voice she said, “Papa, you should rest now and I think I should get going. I’ll come by tomorrow.”

“Ash, sweetheart, don’t go. Why can’t you stay here? With me and your sister? I have missed you and so has Anna”, pleaded Prof. Reed.

Ash chewed on her lip and closed her eyes. Then with a audible sigh she dropped her rucksack on the floor and sat down besides her Papa.

Anna stood outside the door that she had just closed behind her. She smiled sadly to herself. Nothing changes, nothing will ever change, and things always remain the same. It doesn’t matter whatever she did, but things remained as they were. She started to walk slowly when she met Mrs. P at the landing of the staircase. She related the news of Ash’s arrival to which Mrs. P literally did a dance and rushed to meet Ash. Anna felt worn out, felt like she had been over stretching; extending herself beyond what she was capable of. Nothing mattered, nothing will ever, nothing. She climbed the stairs that lead to her bedroom. She reached her room and fell on her bed. Tired, yes she was tired. She needed to sleep.

The Come Back – Chapter -3 – Ash

15 Aug

Ash was standing at the door of her tattoo parlour, early Sunday morning. She had woken up with a start and she had found her cell phone beeping. She always kept her cell phone on silent mode when she went to sleep. So what was it that made her wake up without warning? She imagined it to be Greg’s but then he hadn’t contacted in days now and she didn’t expect him to do so ever. So it couldn’t be him. She rubbed her face with the palms of her hands and picked up her cell phone to open the message. Her heart felt like it might just hammer itself out of her chest. She immediately made a call to number from where the text had been sent. She spoke in monosyllables and mostly listening to what the speaker at the other end had to say. With every passing minute her hands grew cold and every nerve in her body tingled. After the caller finished speaking, Ash said, “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

She lived in her tattoo parlour and called it her home. At the back of the parlour, she had a bed, a small desk, a chair and a wooden cupboard where she kept her meagre belongings,  few clothes, cash and stacks of paper. There was an attached toilet cum bath which was so small that despite being so little herself, she found it difficult to move around. But she loved her space and what she did for a living. It was during the night that her customers came to her to be tattooed upon. It felt like she was changing their personalities forever by tattooing those beautiful, exotic, dangerous creations on their bodies. She etched away on their bodies till wee hours of the morning, her back bent, her face, a picture of serenity and hands busy giving life to her imagination. Usually her first time customers told her what they wanted her to tattoo, what message to inscribe and what colour they preferred. She gave them a design book to refer to, before getting down to her job. When she finished her work, they were in for a surprise. She had the ability to capture the essence of their demands and turn it into something so beautiful that they would keep looking at her creations, on their bodies with awe. They kept going back to her for more but then they never gave her any instructions and never opened the tattoo design book to refer. It was as if she intuitively understood what would suit the person.

But this morning, as she locked the tattoo parlour, she cancelled all her impending appointments for her day and sent quick apology texts. She gathered her rucksack on her right shoulder and made her way to the nearest bus stop. She felt her face turning hot on a cold March morning. Hot tears started to stream down her face rapidly. She quickly attempted to rub them off her cheeks, in turn smudging her mascara. She lit a cigarette to compose herself but couldn’t smoke beyond a few puffs. The sight of the approaching bus made her quickly stub the cigarette out under her foot. She boarded the bus, showed her bus pass to the driver and made her way to the back of the bus. There weren’t many people on the bus, so early on a Sunday morning. The heating of the bus felt good and she felt warm. She started to play with the metal ball piercing on her tongue. It excited her in some way. It was as if it helped her cut off from everything painful. As a child, she recalled being mortally scared of hospital needles and surgical instruments. That thought made her smile a little. She had come a long way.

She remembered an incident when she had pee ‘d in her pants just before a blood test routine. She was only 5 or maybe 4. . She felt shame rise, making her face hot and then she started wailing. Then she heard a voice from behind her, a soothing voice, sound of bells, sound of.trinkets and then feeling comforted. The vision blurred before her eyes and she couldn’t see anymore. Everything turned into darkness, her eyes were closed, tears streaming and this time she let them flow.

Almost an hour later, she found herself at a posh looking neighbourhood. Beautiful houses, grand gardens, splashing fountains, joggers, people walking their dogs, some familiar faces that she chose to ignore.   Despair took over her and her limbs turned to lead. She despised the place that had so many painful memories, so many happy memories. How was that possible? How can a single point  be a source of happiness and sadness, both at the same time?She had done everything to get away. She mentally readied herself and pushed the mop of her hair away from her face, pulled her skirt down, so that it reached her knees atleast. After the preening process, she carefully pulled the cigarette pack from her skirt pocket and flicked it away to the nearest bin. She considered throwing the lighter away but realized it was a gift from Greg, so retained it.

Taking a deep breath, she rang the bell to the door and while doing so, quickly glanced at the garden. Everything was just the same. Nothing was moved, nothing changed. Even the small green garden gnome statue was just as it was, looking at her like it knew she would come. She gave it a smile and waited for somebody to open the door. She heard running feet on the other side of the door, un-latching sound and the door opened.

“Ash”, the girl spoke.

“Anna”, Ash spoke and the girl let her in. No hugs exchanged, no pleasantries spoken.

“Where’s Papa?”, enquired Ash.

Anna indicated Ash to follow her and led her to Prof. Reed’s room.

The Come Back – Chapter 2 – Professor Reed

14 Aug

To read the story so far, you can browse through the Prologue & Chapter 1

Professor Reed walked into his class with stack of papers in his hands. When he entered the class, his students got up on their feet. He thought it was unnecessary but his students always insisted. He felt tired even before he had begun his class. He realized he was dragging his feet and was completely oblivious of the whispers going around while he took his place at the center of the podium. He looked around his class and felt himself blanking out. He couldn’t recognize a single face in the class. He held on to his desk and then sat down slowly in the chair. One of the girls in the class got up and ran up to him and started speaking to him but he couldn’t hear her voice. He could see her moving her lips and her expression concerned. Then suddenly the room went dark.

When Professor Reed woke up he was surrounded by white walls from all sides. He found himself lying down, covered by a white sheet. He knew he was stark naked but he couldn’t move. He felt his hands and legs heavy and weary. His head pained like someone had knocked him over with a bludgeon. Slowly he felt his eye lids getting heavier and he was sinking back into slumber. He realized immediately that he was in an operation theatre and being operated upon. He looked around and recognized his chief surgeon. The surgeon, realizing that his patient had regained consciousness nodded his head in acknowledgement. Professor Reed knew almost instantly what had happened and resigned to what was happening. He did not want to think about anything right then and slipped back into a restful bliss.

He found himself going back in time when he was young and had just started working as a PhD student at the University in London. His mentor was the most renowned Professor and he was fortunate to be working under him. He worshipped the very ground his professor walked. His professor was from India and lived with his family in the same college campus. As the young James Reed he found himself working in the library, working hard and late into the night. He saw himself and his teacher sitting at a pub and clinking glasses of Scotch. They laughed and discussed politics until very late in the evenings. The young James was serious and sincere about his work. He knew he had a long way to go to become the academician he hoped to be and impress his Dr. Iyer. He had forsaken all other company in this pursuit and had no desire outside of it. He had been to the Dr. Iyer’s home so many times for dinner and a late evening game of chess. Dr. Iyer’s wife was a timid woman who hardly spoke at all. The young James Reed learnt to say his polite Namaskaram to her before she fled inside murmuring something to herself. He remembered the walls of Dr. Iyer’s house were covered with photographs of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. He recalled the first time he had heard the tinkling of anklets and felt the sweet sound resonate in his head. He looked around the room for the source but could not find it. He found his curious heart get better of him and found himself searching for the source of the sweet sound in the rooms adjacent to the Living room where he was seated. He bumped into the tiny, frail body and looked into those beautiful dark eyes. She was dressed in traditional attire that seemed a bit flamboyant for a girl to wear at home. Then she moved and the anklets sung again, giving him goose bumps all over. He looked at her face and was shocked beyond words. It was Anna.

Professor Reed woke up with a start and found himself in the ICU. He saw Anna’s face pressed against the glass door looking at him with sadness

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