Hottest Men in Metal

Alright, I really didn’t think I’d be able to post today. My connection was pretty wonky all day. But here I am, Day 7 of my 30 Day Challenge. In case you’re wondering (and even if you’re not, I’m just gonna go ahead and tell you anyway), it was my colleague Rekha Baala’s idea. So if you like, hop over and check out her fantastic blog and how she’s coming along with the challenge.

Anyway, moving on… I’ve just recently realised that at the end of the day, no matter how much jazz, blues or psy trance I listen to, I keep coming back to metal. Black, folk, death, progressive… anything and everything! Today’s post is about metal… well, sort of. Instead of talking about my love for the genre, I’ve decided to pick out the hottest guys in metal. Maybe metal isn’t up your alley, but some of these men just might be ;)

Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy)

Daniel Bergström (Vildhjarta) – – Wearing the Katatonia hoodie

Paul Masvidal (Cynic)

Henkka Seppälä (Children of Bodom) – – Sorry Alexi

Phil Anselmo (Pantera)

Mathias “Vreth” Lillmåns (Finntroll)

Samuli “Skrymer” Ponsimaa (Finntroll)

Mathias Nygård (Turisas)

Petri Lindroos (Ensiferum)

Tommy Karevik (Kamelot)

Lists et al.

Gosh, I love making lists. Shopping lists, things-to-pack lists, books-to-read lists, regular bucket lists, weekly to-do lists… you get the idea. In a couple of years I’m going to hit the big 3-0 and I thought now would be a good time to draw up a list (or two). Also, El Clasico is on and I need to wrap this up before half-time’s up ;)

30 Things to do before I hit 30

Books to read:

1. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

2. The Road – Cormac McCarthy

3. Dead Air – Iain Banks

4. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

5. Neuromancer – William Gibson

Cities to travel to:

6. Barcelona

7. NYC

8. Bangalore (Yes, I’m that desperate)

9. Athens

10. San Francisco

Things to Learn:

11. Spanish (advanced)

12. Icing & piping & general cake decoration

13. Crochet Amigurumi

14. How to get the perfect blowout

15. How to play one song on the guitar

Movies:

16. Big Fish

17. Annie Hall

18. Dogtooth

19. Mulholland Dr.

20. Trainspotting

Travel & Entertainment (general) :

21. Attend an outdoor music festival

22. Volunteer on a farm/at a seaside town B&B

23. Watch a musical (Wicked, Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, etc.)

24. Stay in the water huts in Maldives or Bora Bora

25. Fly first class

26. Attend Durga Puja in Kolkata

27. Have breakfast in bed

28. Travel solo

29. Go on a cruise

30. Enjoy a quiet lakeside vacation

13 Things You Might Not Know About Me

1. My favourite salad is caprese.

2. By 50, I want to retire and live on a farm with more than a dozen dogs.

3. My greatest fear is that I’m going to die before I can read all the books on my ‘Reading List’.

4. I (secretly) prefer watching Hindi movies with subtitles.

5. When I was a kid, I used to sit on chairs and pretend I was being transported to magical lands (a la The Wishing Chair series by Enid Blyton).

6. I’d also try and stay up at night to check if my dolls came to life (again, thanks to Enid Blyton).

7. I suck at card games.

8. Someday I hope to speak Sindarin or Quenya.

9. I brush my teeth 3-4 times a day.

10. My favourite video game character is John Marston.

11. I’ll never ever, ever, ever watch Dumbo again. Like ever!

12. One of my favourite words is: nonchalance.

13. I am an apatheist.

Customary Food Post

It’s my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I baked her a white chocolate & raspberry cake. I used the recipe found here. But of course I modified it a little bit. I used Bonne Maman raspberry jam for the filling along with white chocolate cream cheese & whipped cream frosting. Also, I’m not great with cake decoration, so just iced the top…. Cheers!

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The Promiscuity Issue

I despise the word “promiscuous” – especially when it comes with a gender bias (a trend which unfortunately has become alarmingly frequent these days). Sleep around with more men than what society deems acceptable, and immediately you’re branded. And it’s not only the label that’s disturbing…it’s also the various implications that it brings along. Call a girl a slut, and your mind immediately conjures up an image of a girl who smokes, drinks, wears tiny clothes – and of course, has “loose morals”.

However, it is completely acceptable for men to have multiple partners and come and go as they wish (yes, yes, the pun was intended). After all, they are men…promiscuity is in their nature. But reverse the roles and we have a massive lexicon to describe sexually promiscuous women: sluts, whores, ho-bags, tramps, skanks – take your pick!

Women are supposed to be picky. They’re supposed to have standards. Men, on the other hand, need to ‘sow their oats’. And it’s just not regular people who keep perpetuating these stereotypes. For years, evolutionary biology has been brandishing the women-are-tuned-to-be-sexually-passive flag and has been making sexist claims like, “It’s in our genes…our evolutionary history.” After all, it’s been substantiated by science right? Well, here’s where you’re wrong (mostly).

Now, all these years, we’ve been hearing claims about how scientists/evolutionary biologists have carried out extensive studies in order to understand traits/mating rituals of males and females across various species. The concept I’m particularly interested in, is the one postulated by A. J. Bateman (The Bateman pinciple). According to Discovery Magazine:

The Bateman principle, as it is known, assumes that males sire more offspring if they mate with more females, while females stick with a single mate because they are limited in how many young they can produce regardless of their hanky-panky. Geneticist A. J. Bateman seemingly proved it in a 1948 study of fruit fly mating, which has been regularly cited ever since.

Over three decades, results of his findings have been extrapolated to human behaviour and virtually ingrained in our socio-cultural DNA. Remember the book Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Maps? There was a whole chapter explaining why men “can’t help themselves” and how they are so easily influenced by all things sex. The entire book was a total WTF experience for me.

But here’s the good news: Barbara J. King recently introduced findings by scientists who have challenged and managed to dispel the ‘Promiscuous Males And Choosy Females’ theory. The article may be found here and the abstract of the original paper here. We finally have hard, scientific data. Men do not necessarily have to be promiscuous and women chaste.

Does this mean all is right with the world? I don’t think so. It takes more than just a peer-reviewed paper to dispel perceptions associated with gender – and sex. But the paper has managed to shed ample light on the existing double standards. And at least that’s a start, no?

Life Lessons from the ‘Boro Bachas’

I have a bunch of ‘cousins’ (aka Boro Bachas¹) whom I’m pretty close to and despite the huge age differences (as much as a decade even), I love hanging out with them. I’ve known them since they were horrid little babies :) and spent many a good weekend baby-sitting them – until very recently. Now however, most of them have moved away and it’ll probably be a while since we all get the chance to meet up. Nonetheless, I’m glad to say we’ve managed to keep in touch (thanks to the marvels of modern day technology) and have a vague idea of what’s going on in each others lives.

Now, I’m sure most of you will agree that hanging out with ‘kids’ can be enlightening in many ways. You pick up their funny lingo (“That’s the shizz, yo!”), get to listen to some ‘interesting’ music (Lil Wayne anyone?), and watch movies you’d never thought you’d watch – in the theatre (Hello, Don 2)!! So while my friends wonder in amusement what joy I possibly get from spending so much time with them, I kick back and let myself be entertained ;)

Here are a bunch of things that I learnt from my wonderfully awesome ‘cousins’:

* The importance of repeating everything twice. “Dude, dude, check this out.” – or – “Listen, listen.” – or – “This Arjun, Arjun…” — Now, I don’t know why this is important (there’s probably some secret, unspoken code). But it is. You HAVE to repeat everything twice.

* Boardgames are awesome. How many evenings have we spent playing Monopoly (and secretly stealing money from the bank while a certain someone was busy texting) or Cluedo or Taboo! People say kids nowadays are way too engrossed in video games and/or cell phones. I say, you’re wrong. Well, 3 outta 4 times at least ;)

* The art of bluffing. Be it bluff or poker, I picked up some really handy tricks from ‘the kids’. Like for instance, never ask, “Hey listen, listen…What if a person, has four Jacks?” DURING the game.

* Killing zombies is way more fun with a bunch of people. And that punching random buttons on the controller can help you come up with some pretty awesome combat moves.

* Picking ice-cream based on their colours is actually a pretty awesome idea – and it significantly simplifies the tedious decision making process!

* Collectively hating a football team is way more fun than yelling at your TV alone. I’ve also learnt that 1) If you say “NOOOO!!” with great conviction, your team won’t concede a goal and 2) If Silva touches the ball, Spain won’t score.

* Dancing awkwardly to desi songs you’ve never heard before can be fun if you have the right people (and enough alcohol in your system).

* Orange sheesha is pretty damn neat.

* Costa serves a mean vanilla frappe.

* And no matter where you are or what you’re up to, having a set of people you can call family (and who’s ready to listen to your BS) is indeed, the greatest gift ever.

¹ Boro Bachas in Bengali literally translates to big (w.r.t to age) kids

Day 3 of Rekha’s 30 Day Blog Challenge

Sweet Somethings

The 30-day blogging challenge – Day 3

And so I went against an important cooking rule I learnt in childhood. I began consulting recipes from cookbooks and the Internet. I can picturise Appa looking at me in consternation from somewhere up above as I prop my iPad on the kitchen counter atleast once a week as I discover diverse cooking especially baking with a vengeance.

We were always told that you learnt how to cook by watching others and helping them. This also created a bond of love shared down different generations. But with nuclear families and no extended families the Internet is the next best bet. And so I have been making this

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And this…

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And more…

There’s something other than a love for cooking that makes food taste divine. Oodles of love that translates into what people call kaivannam or kaipunyam or haath ki jaadu.

I certainly hope…

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