ZARAH DIARIES … the most INTERESTING people I don’t even need to seek .. they just walk right into Zarah Clinic…

Assamaalikum Doctor Sahiba!

Ali Khans old familiar voice resounded as he sauntered into the clinic for his ANNUAL fix!



khairiyat? I ask … trying to impress with the smattering of Urdu I know..

I distinctly remember our first meeting. Burly in a pathani suit and peshavaris, Ali strode into the clinic and I have never been more surprised!

An unknown ‘middle aged’ Pakistani in Zarah Clinic, what twist of tale could have brought him here?

When asked what was his age .. he counter questioned .. aap aandaaza lagaa saktay hain?

He had salt and pepper hair falling on a thick scarred face , deep set eyes with crow’s feet running helter skelter down to his cheeks..Though he looked 54….

I answered a conservative 45 !

But balked when he said 27!

Whoops !!

Quickly trying to cover this faux pas, I immediately distracted him by asking about his life, and the nature of his work.

It turned out Ali had qualified as a civil architect , was out all day on construction sites in the hot Quetta sun , screwing up his eyes looking up at unfinished constructions!

An occupational hazard then ,to develop crow’s feet along with solar aging of his otherwise youthful skin!

”I want to get married ”

He blurted out in all earnestness ,”but girls reject me because they think I am too old!”

”Doctor Sahiba..

Kuch Upaay dilla sakthi hain??!”

Of course I suggested Botox .. am well aware that THIS IS the miracle method which no cream or medicine can achieve to actually eradicate or soften lines. Despite all the myths surrounding it , it is supersafe and USFDA approved and as of today , the most popular cosmetic procedure in the USA.

Took Ali no time to be convinced and soon he was having his first cosmetic treatment!

The first time around ,I applied anaesthetic cream for an hour before giving micro mini injections into relevant muscles .

That was then!

Now ,he is a champ!

Needs no numbing cream …just a little ice and a lot of chitterchatter!

Ammi jaan Kaisi hain??Lahore Ka mahaul Kaisa hai?!

It’s all over in a matter of minutes!

Within 10 days to a fortnight…

the muscles around the eyes and the deep frown lines begin to relax ..

And hey presto a younger version of oneself emerges!

Like Magic!

Ali is happy EACH and EVERY time.

The ravages of premature aging are erased so easily !

Who would guess??

That’s what makes him return year after year ,

each time enthusiastically sharing pictures of his growing family , warmly inviting mine to his home .

YES, he DID get married within a year of his very first treatment !

The second time he came he presented me a box wrapped in yellow cellophane . Doctor sahiba, I brought you something, the best pistachios from Lahore.”

Seeing my hesitation he quickly added “No you must take it, it’s for the kids.” Not wanting to appear impolite I accepted the box. Little did I know then ,that this was one of many boxes of dry fruit that Ali would hand me over the years, wrapped in cellophane yes, but wrapped more in respect and affection as the years went by . 10 years now!

Big Ali with a bigger Heart is how I will always remember him.

The political climate in Pakistan is undoubtedly unsafe but the hearts of our brethren across the border are large and hugely respectful of us.

I remember my dear friend Lekha Merchant trying to buy salwar kameezes for her schoolteacher colleagues in a Karachi equivalent of Crawford market being told .. aap Bombay se hain ..aap liijiye jo aap chaahein..

hum aapse paise nahin lenghein!

Now that’s something WE never do!

Botox done, now it’s paytime folks!

Our ‘mehmaan nawaazi ‘pales’ in comparison.

Ali and I end up comparing the neighbor countries and often conclude that our ordinary everyday lives are pretty much the same!

He laughs “our WOMEN and our TRUCKS are probably more colorful than yours!”

It’s true, our silly ‘horn ok please’ truck slogans are NO match for the Pakistani counterparts, which are arty ,veritable mini carnivals on wheels!

What designs ! What colours!

Women? Nah! Ofcourse we can be colorful I fume as I deftly drape my most lively and flamboyant saree of the day ……a blue, black and white busily printed soft-to-touch ‘malmal ‘ with multicolored, happy tassels cheerfully strung along the border…



Will be back soon with another interesting patient of mine!

Zarah Diaries…..The most INTERESTING PEOPLE I don’t need to even seek, they just walk right into Zarah Clinic!

At precisely 12 noon I heard this rather timid “hello Dr. Radha” on my door.

Rapt in a reverie after my last patient as to what could I cook today for impromptu dinner guests tonight I looked up to see Parul , all of 26 confident years old.

As we got talking she mentioned she heard of Zarah clinic through friends and that she was looking for LASER HAIR REMOVAL . “Upper lip?” I questioned …it being the most common amongst young girls .

‘No ‘ she said, “actually under arms”,

And ‘full bikini’

and ‘lower legs’

Oh …She’s getting married…I thought ….anyways we continued to set appointments and discuss do’s and don’ts around the treatment.

I set up my baby ZARAH MEDICAL and COSMETIC SKIN CLINIC 11 years ago, when cosmetic enhancements were somewhat an exclusive territory. Now, that equation has changed and LOOKING GOOD ,therefore FEELING GOOD…is de rigueur.

Right from selecting the unaffordable state-of-the-art EQUIPMENT , to sketching the Zarah LOGO, to framing the MISSION STATEMENT in all sincerity or selecting professional STAFF and the soft MUSIC and varieties of GREEN TEA as patients undergo various treatments were thought processes that belonged to me.

I wanted Zarah to be a comfortable place people walk into and walk out of …with poise and confidence!

After 2 long sessions with Parul I realized to my total amazement, shock and awe that the girl was NOT getting married, in fact she NEVER would !

She was undergoing complete laser hair removal because she had chosen to become a JAIN MONK!

Oh Lordie No!!

Instantly I tried talking her out of this idea but No ..

She was set ! THIS was her chosen life path!

Life of a pious mendicant???

Heavens no!!!!

I looked at her, mesmerized as she narrated how that once she had attained DIKSHA she would NOT be able to shower, personal hygiene would have to be compromised, that she would live life as a wanderer eschewing not only the material world but also all emotions.. the VOW of Nonpossesssion or APARIGRAHA!


From being the FASHIONISTA who partied every weekend wearing her ‘Pradas ‘to the glitziest of events,she was to be catapulted into a life where her focus was PRAYER.

She would live life as the perfect Ascetic, practise nonviolence and detachment with only her white simple robes , a bowl and broom , maybe a few religious texts… as her only worldly possessions .

All this she CHOSE ….Of her own FREE WILL!


I mused … I adjusted my light blue linen sari in a small mirror with a black wrought iron frame at the far corner of my room at the clinic. Something you need to know about me – I love life and I love sarees. Every day of my life is only that much wee bit happier because I can wear a beautiful sari with some exciting jewellery to the clinic!

Today’s sari of the day is a a very light powder blue linen gifted to me by my best friend Sangeeta who shops online especially when she is unwell!

The jewellery I picked up from a cute little shop in Kochi .My blouses never ever, ever belong to the sari itself and this one with long sleeves I picked up at Chandralok.

As I sign off I wonder about Parul ..

Where would she be ?

..walking barefoot , learning , assimilating

Not a roof over her head …a free soul!

Wherever you are .. Parul .. hope you are just fine!

Here’s me expressing ..for lack of a better word…

Solidarity….. even if just for a day !

Guess each one’s journey of life is different.

Have a great day folks!

More in my next post of another interesting patient of mine!


Name of patient changed to protect identity .

Parul looked beautiful, dressed in bridal finery on the day of her INITIATION procession.

Once she became a SADHAVI .. she RENOUNCED not only all her worldly possessions , giving them away in charity but EVEN HER NAME !

Last I heard of her .. she was perfectly happy and in equanimity !👍

Art with Amruta.. Boshu and Sumie 

Hi all !

It’s me Amruta…standing ramrod straight ..

Proudly listening to the strains of Tagores 

NATIONAL  ANTHEM….yes  all  52 seconds of it…

And prouder than ever TODAY of the INDIAN CONSTITUTION …

Why TODAY Amruta??

Well Twinny…

Today I discovered that apart from the fact that the Indian Constitution is the LONGEST in the whole world ( Monaco has the shortest while the UK , Israel and NewZealand don’t have any  !)…..
 it is also a WORK of ART!

The CALLIGRAPHY is hand painted .. by Prem Raizada 

And the ARTWORK …creative and decorative ….dug out from Indian History is 

done by India’s most gentle and modest artist .. 


Pronounced…NONDO LAL BOSHU… !

Soooooo  sweet!

(1882- 1966)

Here he is .. 

He also designed the emblem of the Bharat Ratna and Padma Shri Awards…

( Jawahar lal Nehru asked him to!)

And himself was a recipient of the Padma Vibhushan ..

Wow! Wow! Wow!

Nandalal may have failed all his college exams but by all the students of Shantiniketan of which he was the Principal …and in the world of Modern Indian Art he stands out like a SHY SHINING STAR…..

Look at his Paintings..

You will understand why !

Mesmerising.. in colours and forms.. he was influenced by the MURAL art of Ajanta Ellora ( a Unesco world heritage site dating back to the 2 nd century BC!)

By the Stupa of Gaya

By the temples of Mahabalipuram ..

And ALL that was INDIAN!

 An  AMALGAMATION of watercolours and techniques magical !

His subjects were often Religious or Mythological…

Or of women ….

Or indigenous .. 

exploring themes around him.. the bangle seller, the village potter ,the Esraj player, the humble cow..

Here are some postcards and the Haripura posters made at the behest of his friend Gandhiji for the Indian National Congress …in 1938

He could paint and he could draw masterfully!

What’s the difference Amruta..??

Painter and Sketcher….

Everyone CANNOT do BOTH Twinny!

He used indigenous materials …water colours and opaque pigments like tempera..

Eschewing Oil which was used in the west..

He especially loved the fluidity of the 

Japanese ‘ WASH ‘


And the 2000 year old INKWASH painting tradition rooted in 

Zen Buddhism….called


 SUMI … such  a pretty name Amruta …

What does it mean??

SUMI -e means ink wash painting ! Black ink is used with consummate skill .. on 

Rice paper or silk scrolls ..

One paints with great concentration, clarity and simplicity

Look at these pictures Twinny .. SUMI-E is not as easy as it seems …

Oh Twinny .. I simply love this art …..Especially the 

Empty spaces! 

What do you love in EMPTY spaces

 Amruta ???

Oh Twinny ..Empty spaces say so much ..!

They have power within!

Take this Japanese SUMIE painting for example ..

You can feel the MOVEMENT of the fish in water despite there being no water… just empty space…

Or my dear  friend Dr Geetanjalis contemporary rendition of Radha Krishna…

Swinging in harmony in an ethereal space .. unto eternity
Or …
Nanda Lal Boses black and white linocut of Gandhiji !

He made this in 1930 …and this is the enduring image in our minds of the Dandi March ..the nonviolent movement against the salt tax imposed by the British…

The linocut shows Gandhi ji striding forward and onward ..staff in hand..
We see no path , no road ..but we FEEL the sense of purpose!

Indeed it is 
the EMPTY SPACES  which speak Twinny!

I get it Amruta !

I am going to RESERVE some EMPTY space for myself ..


Do just as I please…

Oh Twinny …….you will set up house anywhere!

Even in a temporarily vacant parking lot!

Enjoy your ☕️!

Art with Amruta….Art of the Gods

Hiiiiii all!!It’s Me ….Amrutaaaaaa!

 You a trifle EXUBERANT  today Amruta…


Goodness gracious Amruta… what are you doing???!

Haha Twinny ! That’s NOT  me!
It is Navratri…..Raas Garbar time!  

And yes am  Ready to do a Tandav in front of all the beautiful images of  deities all around !

Ever wondered where these beautiful pictures came from Twinny ??!
NO NEVER Amruta!

Guess SOMEONE SOMETIME must have drawn them!

Yes yes you are right Twinny!
Believe it or not was 



(1848 – 1906)

Given a KAISER -e-HIND citation.. here he is…

Even a CRATER on the 🌙 moon is named after him!
Good grief Amruta ! That’s Amazing!

But Why Soooo many awards?? 

Simple Twinny.. !!

Close your eyes.. 

Try to picture Goddess LAXMI…

Is THIS the image you imagine??

Well this was HIS version of the Goddess !

 Now think of Goddess SARASWATI…

 Or for that matter…SHAKUNTALA or the various scenes from the EPICS or PURANAS..

All these and many many more…..Were painted by Raja Ravi Varma !!!!
He gave faces to all our Gods!

His paintings are everywhere ….

Reaching the humblest of homes.!

HOW Amruta??!

Simple Twinny !

He started a printing press (in 1894!)


WHERE Amruta?
Believe it or not …in GHATKOPAR ,Mumbai!

Then later in MALAVLI near Lonavala ..!

His paintings of Hindu Gods /Goddesses, 

of  Mythological stories …

were churned out from this very press …in huge numbers …on calendars ,posters !

Available CHEAPLY in bazaars! 

No wonder his art is called 




Ok ok Amruta .. but ONLY pictures of gods and goddesses??!
No no Twinny !

Raja Ravi Varma himself was closely related to the matriarchal ROYAL family of TRAVANCORE. ….so many of his paintings feature 

 aristocratic women in sublime finery and rich drapery …

Strong , beautiful , palpable women !

Full of grace and charm!

Just look at the detailing ,colours and elegance! GORGEOUS PORTRAITS in OIL…Borrowing elements from European realism
Mixing with indian sensitivity ….


Here is the LADY with the LAMP……..

The lady posing for this masterpiece is still she is……

Absolutely EXQUISITE 
Absolutely REAL ..

This art form also called 


It was indeed a privilege to OWN a Raja Ravi Varma painting
But to do so one also had to be RICH!

To make his paintings more affordable 


Amruta what the heck are lithographs???
LITHOS means stone …

GRAPH means to write 

( In Greek of course)

Lithography Originated in Bavaria in 1796!

The painting to be copied is traced on a rough Stone…

Then using the property of immiscibility of oil and water.. an AUTHORISED COPY of the painting is made ..

Of course …In a series of steps…

The PRICE of the lithograph is way cheaper than the the original painting …Many painters like Picasso / Hussain 

Certified their lithographs!

This way more persons could OWN ….if NOT the ORIGINAL painting ,the closest to it!

At this same time…….In the west….HENRI de TOULOUSE LAUTREC

( 1864- 1901) , the extremely talented alcoholic dwarf artist 

popularised POSTER art …

With his flair for painting ,printing ,
lithography and caricature …

He depicted life in gay Paris .. the cafes / brothels/ moulain rouge/ the theatre/ the circus

Here are some of his paintings and posters …

It is said .. if there were no Henri LAUTREC..
There would be no ANDY WARHOL…

And surely you know who that is Twinny!!

Oooooh Amruta .. I just love this idea of  

In fact …

Am READY to SIT  for a portrait right away !

Summon the Artist !
Only a modern -day Raja Ravi Varma will do!

Will Promise  to gift you a PRINTED COPY  OR a  NUMBERED LITHOGRAPH , Amruta!
And yes …..

Will keep one for that bimbo Isabella too!
Come on …

Pass me that basket cover….!

Shall place it so ….

 Almost ready !
And now…..

‘LADY with LAMP ( er light bulb!)’!!!2017!
Oh Twinny ….you are crazy !

Keep waiting!!! What do I care??!

Byeeeee… !!!!!

Indulge with Isabella… Say Cheese!

Hiiiii !It’s me Isabella !!!😁!

And why that CHEESY grin Isabella???

Oh that’s because today’s recipe has in it ….FETA…. 

FETA ?????

‘FETA ‘  kyaa CHEEZ  hai Isabella???

Oh Twinny …Feta is a brined , white ,

curd-like GREEK  Cheese ….curdled from SHEEPS milk!

Most cheese produced around the world is by adding rennet or vinegar to COW’S milk….
Sometimes to GOATS milk ( like in Sudan)

Or to BUFFALO milk  ( as in Egypt).

The Bhutanese and Nepalese use  YAKS milk……..and yes …one can procure cheese even from a  MOOSE !

But the RAREST , MOST EXPENSIVE cheese in the world is from 


It is from DONKEYS !

It takes 25 litres of milk to produce 1 kg of PULE( donkey cheese)

And One donkey ( Jennie) can produce very little milk!

And donkey milk anyways has very little Casein ….

So less to coagulate!

No wonder it is SO EXPENSIVE …560 dollars per pound!

Very rich in antioxidants and vit c , calcium

Phosphorus ,omega3…..

NOVAk DJOKOVIC bought the worlds entire supply of this cheese!!!   In 2013!!! 

 No No Twinny not Djoking!!!

SHUSH   SHUSH. Isabella…..!  How much you love to gossip!

How about you get back to Todays  recipe?

Ok ok Twinny ……don’t get CHEESED!!
Am set and ready..

Let me list the ingredients ….

FETA cheese 



Lets go…First …

Now let’s get the sugar and walnuts ready…

Then simply put together!!

Wow !


This recipe is quite IMAGINATIVE  Isabella..

Are you sure it’s your creation ???!

Heavens no Twinny !

This is the innovative brainwave of my simply AMAZING friend…SANGEETA KAPOOR!

Here she is…

Come on Sangeeta ……..SAY CHEESE !!

This gal is something else!


As  SPICY  as the MIRCHI

And as WHOLESOME  as the  CHEESE…

Like the 400 or more cheese varieties in this world .. 

(in France there is one cheese for each day of the year) she is a woman of 400 or more facets!

My my …You have gone crazy Isabella !
No Twinny .. it is true..!

She dabbles ….in almost everything!

Interior design /art/ props /events /ad films/ costume design/writing /traveling /share markets /gardening/ Cooking !

The works!

She’s dependable and popular like 


Creative ,imbibing ,open…like Swiss EMMENTAL…

Soft ,crumbly ,emotional…..  like 

the French fromage BRIE….

Ready to Stretch out and help like Italian
MOZZARELLA on an oven fresh Pizza…!

And SuperFunny !
Driving away the blues… 

Well maybe NOT  the blue of blue GORGONZOLA!

She is simply pure gold !
Nothing less than WHITE   STILTON GOLD Cheese…

British and blingy! With sparkles of gold …!

Today is 9th September.. and it’s her birthday !

Wanted to surprise you in a different way!

Aware that you detest 

run of the mill,  mass produced factory stuff ….

like the mass produced processed cheeses of the UNITED STATES.. 

So What ….if they …the largest cheese producers in the world ! And their factories as old as 1861 !

So presenting for you dear Sangu a recipe fresh and quick.. using

Suggested by the very suave 


From the U.K.!     Here he is .. 

The guy in the specs!
Oops …they all wearing specs…..dr Satish and dr Divya too!

Ok ok the tallest guy with the cheeeeeiest grin …….Ahoy there Ashish !!

Merci Beucoup for sharing your recipe … 

Here it is …..

Take 1/4 kilo paneer ..

Cut in neat pieces …,Dust with cornflour and deep fry in hot oil…

Dry on kitchen paper and Keep aside!

Next sauté in a pan 1 tablespoon butter … 
Along with finely sliced shallots(8-10)

Ginger ,garlic

Chillies..plenty .. approx 2 tablespoons each

For 10- 12 mins till soft and shiny…

Then add 
Light Soya sauce 

And  Pepper  Soya sauce….

2 tablespoons  each…

Some sugar …only if you need it sweet and saucy…..then throw in the paneer pieces….

My gosh .. what an unholy mess!

Wait wait…Twinny !

You still have to Toss in finely chopped SPRING ONIONS …..and most importantly GROUND WHOLE PEPPER!
1 /2 tablespoon….or so!

Hey presto……..PEPPER SOYA PANEER !!!

Hot spicy main dish !

Can be SERVED with pan fried noodles or veg fried rice !


As for you…… SANGU!

And what about  DESSERT  Isabella??
Sangeeta not a fan of desserts Twinny ..


Something salty , Something fruity , Something crackly ….
Served With ‘yum’   Dessert wine , post dinner

.. MOSCATO the best!!


There you go…

As for me Twinny…am off to have a bath!
With ASSES  milk! 

Isabelllla .. Asses milk????Grrrrrrr!😡


Forgive my slang Twinny!
Let me correct myself……..

Am off to bathe with er Donkeys milk..

Ooh la la 

Just like Cleopatra !





Indulge with Isabella…pure and simple!

Hi all …It’s me VIRGINAL Isabella !


Do you know what ‘VIRGIN’ means.. you TWIT  Isabella ???

Yes yes Twinny..!!

Am not the VIRGIN MARY .. but…

Was born in September .. so naturally 


Ufffffff  Isabella!!!
Now get cracking  .. what are you cooking today??

Oh alright Twinny…!

Today’s  MENU comprises FISH BHAAJI!

RECIPE  no 1 coming right up… WATCH!​

So to recap… I used…

Curry leaves

Cut green chillies

Fenugreek seeds

Chopped fine ginger and garlic

Chopped onions


Salt ,turmeric !

Hey FISH too ! Clean thoroughly with turmeric and salt….!

Mackerel /pomfret /sardines..! 

Any VIRGIN fish will do!

What do you mean ‘ViRGIN FISH ‘???

RAW ,Twinny , RAW !!


Good grief Isabella!

Get on with your cooking…what do you do next..??


Ok ok… So once cooked …
Remove the fish slices ..


And dump right back in!

FISH BHAAJI ready !!​

Of course  the sprinkling of COCONUT OIL at the end …..Makes all the difference !

SEMI REFINED , so less hydrogenated ,so more safe!

As apposed to REFINED.. more hydrogenated but less aroma  of coconut !

Accompany with  RICE  ROTI… YUM!

How about something to drink.. ?
Coming right up .. RECIPE  no 2…


ViRGIN again Isabella??!

Yes yes Twinny…!




In VIRGIN drinks ….no IMPURITIES  like RUM , however  PURE the rum may  be!

Shake up  in cocktail shaker with ice and a little sugar , maybe some lemon juice…

Dress  with a parasol and a slice of pineapple..

And your carnival drink is ready!

Slurp !!

Now for DESSERT ….as Light as Light can be!  This time will use …

Yes I know Isabella…VIRGIN now means FRESH ,from YOUNG TENDER coconut!

Hey Twinny …You getting the hang of it !

For RECIPE no 3..

Take 2 cups fresh coconut water …

Stir in well the secret ingredient …1/2 – 3/4 tsp AGAR AGAR…

What the heck is AGAR  -AGAR  Isabella??

This is a vegetarian powder made from seaweeds which ‘SETS ‘  liquids .

Bring this mixture to a boil…….

Add a little sugar ..just to enhance the mild nutty flavour of the coconut..

Pour in a dish ..

Cool slightly ….before putting in fridge!
Will take just 5 mins to set!

Garnish with pomegranate seeds…



Serve with ice cream!

One could garnish the freshly made jelly with finely chopped GREEN CHILLIES. and freshly ground PEPPER  instead and you would have Voila ..!

 a spicy APPETIZER…!

 still retaining the VIRGINAL Coconut taste virginal meaning here ofcourse UNSULLIED/  ORIGINAL !

Coconuts /Virgins!
Virgins/ Coconuts!

You are driving me nuts  Isabella!
Relax Twinny .. Time for a GENTLE HEAD MASSAGE …Which COCONUT OIL  do you prefer??




EXTRAVIRGIN is COLDPRESSED , UNREFINED  ORGANIC   .. from trees grown  without pesticide…


ISABELLAAAA …! Virgin / Extravirgin

 I don’t care!

But have decided to gift you a ONEWAY ticket on VIRGIN Airlines to some


Serves you right for Acting like some 

Queen of Sheba!

Queen of Sheba… Twinny???

You mean the  VIRGIN WARRIOR QUEEN ??!

Wowwww! So I am a VIRGIN after all!!!!! 

Byeeeeee !!!!

🌷A footnote…..

Most recipe books will NOT list this delicious Fish Bhaji.. simply because it is the brainchild of my brilliant charming friend Saumya…
Here she is..

Thankyou Saumya!! Your cooking skills simply magical!!


The coconut jelly was taught to me by my very young bohemian friend Priyashi.. with eclectic tastes!
Here she is..

Merci beucoup Priya!!

Stay cool ,Subtle and sublime  ….

Very much like this jelly!



Indulge with Isabella… food to delight 

Hi all !It’s me Isabella….Phew! FINALLY  it’s MY turn! 

Today’s ride different .. Taking you across Eastern Europe …in a BLIMP..!

Why on Earth ……in a blimp Isabella??!
Simple!    From up here .. there are no countries ,no boundaries……All free flow…Come on , join me..!  Let’s go!!

First stop..VIENNA… City centre ….A Pakistani restaurant.. DERWEINERDEEWAN
serving delicious mouthwatering PAKISTANI  food..!

Thronging with students from the Austrian university ..
Rules simple ..

Eat …as much as you like..!

Pay …as much as you wish to!


What did I tell you Twinny ….

The world a great place …where FOOD  is concerned …you can get  ANY  TYPE, ANYWHERE! Even for free!

Look ! Look! 

Here’s   A  VIETNAMESE Restaurant … PRAGUE ..SaSAZu .. !

Along with the sesame honey pork chops.. a
delectable  THAI PAPAYA SALAD served here… Made  a little differently…

Let me show you how..

Todays APPETIZER  and RECIPE no 1…

Take RAW green papaya , Grate.. ! Chill .!

Now make a mixture of garlic/red chillies/ palm sugar and lemon juice ..and 
A little salt ….

Pour over ..and blend ,blend ,blend !

Garnish with roasted cashew nuts , cut into bits,not the usual peanuts!
And coriander leaves.. Voila!  

Serve with Rice Papad!


THAI PAPAYA SALAD from Czech land! Terrrific!

NOW WHERE  TO  Isabella?? 


Bratislava ??? Never heard of this place Isabella! 


Twinny …..This is the fairy tale , pedestrian only ,

compact CAPITAL of SLOVAKIA..!  

And the name of this cafe ….ZEPPELIN!

Good grief ! Don’t you think Isabella…… this 

Zeppelin and Blimp business getting much too much???

No no Twinny ….Zeppelins and Blimps are TOTALLY DIFFERENT .. 

Zeppelins are Rigid Airships…

Blimps are balloons with fins and engines…

Likewise  the TEA served here  TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

GINGER TEA…..RECIPE no 2 coming right up..!

Take GINGER…lots of it , slice very small , Put in tall glass….Garnish with tons of mint 🍃 leaves
And honey 🍯 

A dash of lemon juice …

Of course hot water!


Now WAIT…. for the taste to emerge!

Done!!! So simple .. 
Just 1 tip .. for  NATURAL flavours to emerge use TONS of  NATURAL ingredients!!

Onto SZENTENDRE .. The Artists Village.. just outside Budapest…

Wow ..look 👀..

Isabella .. Thought MARZIPAN only meant to be eaten…. yes yes.. I know NATURAL INGREDIENTS… just HONEY  and ALMONDS!

But this honey almond concoction can be rolled into dough and shaped into figures !

Just like Wax..!


Great Isabella .. but  CANT  EAT  these!

And am superhungry!    Hang in there Twinny ..

Am taking you up a street to have LANGOS ….

What the heck is that ?

 Langos  …is  Hungarian street food 🥘!

Grandmums favourite recipe! And today’s RECIPE number 3 ..  the Main Course!

Watch! Just  Three simple steps…

Make a BHATURA…..Bhatura???

 Yes..!  The very same of Chana / bhatura fame!

Bhatura and  Hungarian fried bread or Langos…. is more or less the same!!

 Or  at least …,,they taste the same!

Here is the Bhatura …

 Paint a little garlic paste …

Follow up with sour cream or better still …HUNG CURD…..
that’s easy to make .. literally HANG the CURD!

Flavour with roasted cumin and sugar…and place on bhatura !

Now…Garnish with masses of shredded cheese!
 And EAT  instantly… Hot , Hot!
Can serve in Budapest! Or in Mumbai ..!

So what if ingredients are different.. Adapt with whatever  locally available ……..VARIATIONS LIMITLESS!

Make anything you want ..

Without  restriction or boundary!


Czech papaya salad, Slav Ginger Tea ,

Punjabi Langos….

FUSION  FOOD  simply delightful!

Jolly Good !! Well done Isabella!

Have Decided to award you this cap!

But first …
PLEASE PLEASE  get off that Blimp!

Oh alright Twinny …. As you say!

CAPTAIN er….CHEF  ISABELLA always at your service!!!


Travel with Twinny … Prague…Medieval Marvel

Hi All…It’s me Twinny !

Have finally learnt the origin of the word


Startlingly easy!    Means ..

From ‘land of BOHEMIA’!

NOW CZECH Republic!

So are the Czechs …bohemian Twinny??
Yes!! Yes !!!

Enter PRAGUE , the capital… Fondly called ‘PRAHA’

And this is what you see..At the Airport…

And lit up ……

Prague Castle.. the BIGGEST CASTLE COMPLEX in the WHOLE world…!
Majestic , Gothic, Sprawling, the Crowning glory to  ecclesiastical buildings ,Churches cathedrals…. all standing in ORIGINAL medieval splendour!

CITY of a 100 SPIRES! Maybe even more…!

Set against the beauteous Vltava River!


So what’s so bohemian about that ??
Patience ..Isabella!

Walk across the CHARLES BRIDGE…a bridge wholly made of stone lined by 30 baroque statues….and you Begin to feel the BOHEMIAN spirit …!

CAREFREE, CREATIVE !Artists, Musicians, Lovers!

Sit in a cafeteria in the Old Town Square…and BACK you are transported to the MIDDLE Ages…the DARK Ages

( 5th to 15 th century AD ) cobblestones, carriages,a time of knights ,castles , of Christianity ,orthodoxy ,of spells ,witchcraft…To A time..


Till emerged the

Age of Discovery ,

Of Renaissance (in the 16 th century ), Of change..!

DARK ?When Time stood still..?
Really Twinny??!


Hear the gonging of the ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK..

the DANCE of metal puppets .. announcing the time..

Working like ‘clockwork ‘ EVEN TODAY … it did centuries ago..

So also the CLOCK of the Old Town SYNAGOGUE..In the Jewish Quarter.. Ticking perfectly … only
the hands of this one moving backwards! Yiddish .. naturally DIFFERENT!

Walk a little ahead .. yes in Praha WALKING ……more or less compulsory !

It’s the Bohemian way!

Step two storeys underground.. into a medieval DUNGEON.. !
Complete with lanterns/ firebrands/ropes/ barrels / fencers/ dancing gypsies/the beats of the FAMFRNOCH…

What’s that Twinny ?


Patience .. Amruta…!

Back up on the street
Right In front ……home of  FRANZ KAFKA…. German Jew writer , INTROSPECTIVE , dark ….impossible to ignore ! His short stories peppered with Dry humour …

Much like yours Arvindji!

You will love ‘Metamorphosis…’

KAFKAESQUE as you are!

Call for a BEER !
Have a pint or two… it’s the Czech favourite!

Cheap too!  100 Czech crowners for water

35 Czech crowners for beer!

PILSNER originated here! Urquell  the favourite brand..


Can have it with breakfast!  Bohemians do!

And Why not??!

Can feel the rhythm now..
A JAZZ Band is playing!

Praha ALIVE with jazz gigs, clubs, hubs!

The Jazz Capital of Europe…YOUNG , SPONTANEOUS, EVOLVING !

Even WILD!

This city …Host of the International Jazz Music festival ! Annually!

Hark .. someone’s playing…

Cross the river… Behold  The Lennon wall!

GRAFFITI….Painted at the time of John Lennons death in 1980 …a SYMBOLIC burial ground .. endorsing his call for peace ,love happiness in the world!

LOVERS of PEACE / HARMONY ! Bohemians hardly resisted foreign invasion …

Instead they  try to REACH OUT….

Here a special table with chairs constructed around a tree..saying…come let’s TALK…and get to know each other..,


Check out the Czech QUIRKY sense of humour ..

Here a sculpture of a WATERMAN .. devilish but doing his job of guarding the water mill..
Here the metallic heads of assassinated SOLDIERS on posts guarding the road ..
And here the name of the restaurant which was nearly submerged in a Vltava flood .. the ‘ YELLOW SUBMARINE!
And more recently in 2015 the oversized RED UNDERWEAR  put up on the Parliament building instead of the flag .. protesting the policies of the President!

Buy some Funky silver trinkets,
Gaze at the bright  glaze of creative ceramics …. CERAMICS  the NATURAL CRAFT of Bohemians ….

In fact…..The OLDEST CERAMIC figure in this world…Venus of Dolni Vestonice ..26000 years old ….unearthed from Czech land !

Now Time for some Prague Chocolate…!

Maybe a giant cinnamon roll …TRDLO…they call it!

Hey Kk .. is that you … ?!

Potato soup , Pork chops!

Colour and Carnival…SAVOUR the moment !

FORGET the GOAL………..

….,……..PURSUE the PROCESS!


And finally ……NEVER  say NEVER !

‘IT IS ‘  POSSIBLE   to …..


……that Elusive DREAM!!