Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lula cafe, Chicago

I am in the city of Chicago visiting a very dear college friend. We go far back ...all the way to college days in Bombay. We have been gossiping, chit chatting and just spending quality time with each other....girls know how to do that best. It's great to see her and be back in Chicago. One of my favorite cities after New York.

This morning I woke up to a calm and peaceful house. The neighborhood seemed quiet and lush green. It had rained in the wee hours of the morning and the air was crisp and clean. The sun was not out but it was still bright. While i sat on the couch sipping a cup of green tea I decided to visit Lula cafe for breakfast. It came highly recommended and the best part was it was right around the corner from my friend's house. So after a quick bath i walked to the cafe. 

The cafe is nothing special to look at from the outside and inside. But it is cozy and comfortable. I was quickly seated at a table close to the window. My server was super nice and patient. He was very accommodating and helped me decide on what to order. I started with a freshly squeezed orange juice. It was nice and refreshing. Not tart at all.

Then i got a side portion of the brioche french toast. I had read great reviews of it and really wanted to try without making a meal out of it. So they kindly agreed to give me 1 piece instead of the whole plate. It not only looked delicious but was the best french toast i have ever eaten. Very well cooked and soft from the inside. Not at all eggy. The sweet syrup and the honey butter were perfect complements. Every bit just melted in my mouth and was a burst of flavors. The perfect start to a breakfast. I kept thinking i will save it for later and eat it after my omelet but my hands wouldn't stop.

The next i had was an omelet filled with  melted onions, summer apple, oyster mushroom, spinach and Gruyere. The presentation was a bit sad with no greens on the plate. Just an omelet folded with  a side of potatoes and fruits. But looks can be deceptive. As soon as i took a bite of the omelet there was an explosion of flavors in my mouth. The onions were perfectly caramelized and were ever so sweet. The small bite size apples gave a nice crunch, the mushrooms were full of flavor and the cheese and spinach a perfect amalgamation. Each bite was savory and light. It was an omelet but prepared as a crepe. Very light and fluffy. The side of potatoes and fruits were nothing to boast about. In fact I took a bite of the potatoes and decided to just concentrate on the eggs.

Overall great food and excellent service. The rumors have it that this place gets crowded on the weekend. The line for breakfast/brunch coils around the corner. I was glad i visited it on a weekday when everything was nice and quiet. I will definitely be back here on my next trip to Chi town! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

An Ode to my Mother

I was thirteen and very keen
Life was happy and serene
Had great parents and 2 sisters not in their teens
We laughed and we played
Shared stories and charades

Smiles, laughter and abundant joy
Naughty, kind and not at all coy
Till one day it all seemed dark
They told us the news and I was stark
Why us O' God why us i asked?

The next five years sped rapidly by
We counted the days for her to say good bye
She cried in pain and was yet so strong
Oh God give us the strength to do no wrong

I was eighteen, no longer a teen
she was gone, never again to be seen
I cried each night and missed so her much
Why O God, you took our mother in such a rush???

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Need to Feed our Egoes

This blog started out as an effort to freely express my feelings, to share my thoughts, opinions and experiences. Over the past few months i have found it harder to contribute freely. The reason being, increased visibility and exposure to social media. Facebook, Twitter, Google + you name it and I have an account. I have become more conscious, i want to be a perfectionist in everything i put out there. I know people are reading and i want them to like what they read. I have fallen into the trap of feeding my ego.

Aren't we all in that trap, riding high on ego? Social media is a perfect way to satiate just that. When we post a picture on Facebook we don't post the ones which are just ordinary or make us look ugly, we pick the best ones. We spend time editing them to look the best. Why so?? Because we can achieve instant gratification. You post a good picture and within seconds friends, family and acquaintance will praise it, tell u how beautiful u look or what a great picture it is. Does that not feel great? It instantly gratifies your ego. You feel awesome about yourself.  

But what is it that we fear? We fear that we are not liked enough, or that we are not accepted by all or that my friend will gets 20 comments on her picture and i only 2. So we are constantly trying to prove to ourselves and (others) that look I am equally liked, I am popular, I look good too. We want constant and frequent affirmations and platforms like Facebook, Orkut does exactly that.

I read a great piece this morning by Ashley Turner on 'Keeping it Real on Social Media'. She talks about our need to live in the 'High Ego' and constantly compare and contrast ourselves to other people. What i really liked about the piece was her challenge for the week. The challenge to 'Keep it Real' on social media. She encourages people to be a little bit more transparent. Post, share or say something that brings out your vulnerability, shows your authenticity.

So let's all take up this challenge and be real. Let's not constantly try to perfect our images in front of others. Let's not only share our victories but also our failures. And let's see how that feels.