Thursday, April 27, 2006

By Piskunov !

You are what you eat. Shabir is God.

First, TOUCHY !!! Why did you get so defensive, my dear friend ? Care to elaborate on the "infact the guy at the beer store thinks im a beer snob"?

Second, Tandoori ? Is that the best you can think of ? Pooh.

Third...Bleargh ! Enough procrastinating. I was wrong :'( about the "crude" thing ! I don't believe it ! Dibyayan is right ! I take back whatever I said about the complexity of beer - I really should have researched beer when I was writing about wine. Well, just goes to show that even I can be completely and absoloutely wrong sometimes. As for the snob ( read Dibyayan's comments ) comment... HELLO ! Debayan Gupta here ! As in free-stuff-is-my-domain, I-love-ITC, pseudo-snob-of-the-century Debayan Gupta...

Well, Dibyayan, as you have done me the great favour of pointing out my error, you have been nominated unanimously ( like in the case of Frank R. Stockton's semi-barbaric king, this means that I agree to it ) to be the one to correct this... this monstrous occurrence from happening again, ie., you have been given the great honour of being the one to correct my... misinformation. In other words, send me an e-mail with a detailed description of the different kinds of beer; please do this as expeditiously as possible. You already know all of my ususal Or Else Threats, and I can't exactly threaten you with Actual Bodily Harm from all the way here, so, let me see.. !!! Or Else I will send you photos of ... I hesitate to even type it.. let's just say it involves Fohshow, Rubidium, Shama, and ... the HORROR ! I can't type any more !!! You get the general gist of it...
Rakkun wa'azmerkal, Debayan Gupta.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Bon Vivant !

Some time ago, Dibyayan sent me a photo where he was drinking beer, of all things - at the time, my first thought was : " Beer ?!! You are what you drink; beer is... crude, at best. I must
send him some suggestions on what to drink."... my second thought was : " IIT "( to us, these three letters convey more meaning than most of Old Bill's sonnets.) . Now that I have finally found the time, here we go :

First things first :
  • Aroma The smell (duh !)
  • Aftertaste The flavour that lingers after swallowing
  • Big Powerful aroma and flavour; full bodied.
  • Body Weight and texture of a wine ( often refers to the alcohol content)
  • Bouquet The complex aromas that develop as the wine ages. (The "aroma" is just an initial impression; the bouquet involves a far more detailed analysis )
  • Delicate Light fragrance, flavour and body.
  • Dry In which all the sugar has been converted to alcohol.
  • Foxy The 'grapey wines made from the American grapes, Vitus labrusca.
  • Full bodied Full proportion of both flavour and alcohol.
  • Honest Without flaws, simple, but not excellent; a standard , or typical wine.
  • Lively Crisp, fresh,etc. - this type of wine has a kind of...vitality, if you will.
  • Mature Fully developed; ready to drink.
  • Meaty Chewy, fleshy, fruity taste and texture; sturdy and firm in structure.
  • Nose The overall smell of the wine - generally 'good' or an 'off'.
  • Oxidised Flat or stale as a result of overexposure to air.
  • Rich Full, opulent flavour, body and aroma.
  • Robust Full bodied, powerful, heady.
  • Silky Smooth, runs over the tongue, sinuous texture and finish.

The cultivation of wine can be traced back to several millenia before a man was nailed to a tree for suggesting that people should try to be nice to each other. The ancient Egyptians made wine, as did the Greeks, Romans - every major civilization that got past the tree-good-fire-bad stage explored the "celestial liquor". In the thirteenth century, the wines of Bordeaux were being shipped to England, and by the next, those of Spain and Portugal had also become widely available. India, however, suffered from the minor handicap of being a British "colony", which meant sky-high taxes, and consequently, low demand. Things have changed for the better, though - today, the Indian FoodGods list legendary procurers such as Marchesi Frescobaldi, Marchese Antinori and Algelo Gaja; noble houses such as the Cheval Yquem estates; fine wine producers such as Faively and Michel Laroche; the house of Gundel from Budapest, Great Australians like Torbreck and Clarendon Hills, established Napa Masters like Phelps, Mondavi and Caymus.
Many Indians suffer from the misconception that wine does not go with Indian food - the problem in question may be rephrased as : Does wine go with spices ? After all, the essence of Indian dishes is the multitude of spices used. The range of spices need not bog us down - a basic classification of their cooked form as subtle, soft or strong, is enough. For example, Turmeric would be classified as subtle, asafoetida, soft, while clove and cinnamon (and the famed garam masala they go into ) would be in the strong list. Not exactly Arun Sanyal level ;-)
Think for a minute of the ingredients of the dish - onions in dopyaaza, garlic in a lahsooni preparation and so on - if the intensity of the most persistent flavour can be harnessed with a
matched wine, ( the stronger the flavour, the younger and more robust the wine ) it will result in one heavenly ride. Remember, the strength is to enhance the taste, not try to overcome it - no wine can match good food.
En suite, classify the dish not ffor the presence or absence of meats ( white wine for white meats and red for red meats is absoloutely misleading ), but with regard to the style of preparation : roasting versus frying , or boiling, and the consequential change in texture, flavour and succulence of the food. Also influencing the equation are the actual ingredients - potatoes wil tone down the spiciness, crisp veggies add a different... facet, and the tanginess and texture of gravies and sauces are integral to the overall flavour of the food, and thus, the choice of the accompanying wine. Wines can be similarly classified, from elegant and light to medium bodied to full bodied and robust. However, serving a ricch wine with a rich dish may not always produce the desired effect as the two may clash cataclysmically in the mouth in a cacophany of flavours and lead to utter discord ( sorry, was just re-reading Auguries of Innocence ). Just like you wouldn't wear bright orange and electric blue together ( unless you are me, Lorne, or heading the Mardi Gras ), don't pair wines together because you like them individually.
I shall later post some combinations of dishes and wines that I have tried and enjoyed. Comment ! Vox populi, vox Dei, and all that...
- Yours ( NOT ! ) nayabed.

P.S. : Thanks to ITC WelcomGroup Hotels for Free Food, and Zest, and also a special thank you to Ira and Natane for all your help with this post ( and subsequent posts on the subject of wine ).

Monday, April 24, 2006


This is Abhishek Dasgupta writing on behalf of Debayan Gupta:

My ethernet card decided to become angry and blew up. So I am not able to access the Internet now :-(

Friday, April 21, 2006


Well, I have been extremely .. busy is not the right word.. occupied... for the last few days - I was trying out notpron. There are 138 levels, and the object on each level is to somehow get to the next level using the clues on the page to find the URL of the next page, or the username and password required .The riddles are very addictive ( I'm on level 45 right now, and I came to know about the site the day before yesterday ) - many of them require the use of Photoshop ( in some cases an exif editor can be very handy - if you do not have one, you can just open the jpeg file in notepad and scroll for legible text, or maybe search for "city" or "location"), or in some cases, downloading the background music and in many other cases URL modification is needed and the sense uncommon in common man is absoloutely essential. If anyone wants hints - hints, NOT answers, I will not give out the answers outright - but, if you want hints, email me ( I might later put up the hints on the blog itself ). If you want the hints for a level, do not just send me the number - I do not have them memorized; send me a description of the page, or the URL, or the picture ( the last one is probably the best ). Levels get slightly challenging after level five or so, and although the increase in difficulty level is not completely uniform, on the whole, the riddles get harder as you go on.
I took Guru, Kunal and Rajat (a-z) to ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton on Wednesday - we took a tour around the place, and had lunch at the Eden Pavillion ( free, as is usual with me and ITC )- the food was, as usual, excellent : all of us, except Rajat ( who had more dessert than actual food ) ate like Shabir. I asked Dasgupta to come, and later Swastik, but they couldn't make it. Oh well.
IMPORTANT NOTE : those of you who want short videos of school ( like Sharma teaching, or Arup asking Bijon " Aapnar love marriage na arranged marriage ? " ) - mail me.
Good(s) Bye(s), from, The Divine Kurta ( as my speech recognition software puts it ).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Yawn, etc.

I am very very bored. I am so bored that I am using short sentences. All of you who are reading this, if you have any ideas on how I can Conquer Boredom, mail me. PLEASE !!! ( ).
On completely unrelated news, my next door Rabindrasangeet fanatic has now taken to watching Goopi Gyne, Bagha Byne The Movie. Six times. Well, he's watching it again, so make that seven. My other neighbour ( who has enough diseases to kill about twenty elephants before rendering the twenty first one comatose ) has, for some reason, decided to go around trying to convince everyone to vote for CPI(M).
Anyway, I will be going to Eeshkul on Tuesday, so those of you who have any of my books, CDs, DVDs, or any other stuff that you have borrowed, or "borrow"ed, Bring Them Then.
- Tra Laa Laa, Debayan Gupta .

Sunday, April 09, 2006

HURRAY ! ( and other exclamations expressing joy, etc. )


The most evil IITs are now over. Finished. Finis. Done. Completed. Concluded. Over and Done With. No Longer There. You get the gist - No more Seebeck, Wurtz or L'Hopital, no more Hanshpatal treatment : It has been observed that taking the IIT examination is, for the student, an experience remarkably like undergoing major surgery - You are pampered, but not allowed to eat anything but stew, or go out ( in case you catch a cold) when you are at the examination hall (the operation theatre) your parents stand outside all day, and all your relatives call to wish you and ( in some cases ) console you. Thankfully, my own examinations were quite satisfactory ( except for the time in the Physics examination when I found my desk full of broken glass, from the nearby window, and due to the invigilators incompetence, lost about seven to ten minutes, after which the fellow spent nearly five minutes ascertaining that my signature was, in fact, mine. I have already reported the fool, and if I have my way... but what's done is done, and expect my Physics marks to be a bit below par, since, effectively, ten to twelve minutes were wasted - oh well, I have no intention of going to IIT anyway - if I leave Kol, then there is no way I'm staying in India - I mean, its my Matribhumi and all, but COME ON ! HONESTLY !
Enough talk about IIT - now onto Good News : (i) I'll be visiting SXC within the next week, (ii) I will indulge in a massive book buying BOOM in College Street within the next few days - I have not bought any new books in the last two or three months.. OKAY, so I sneaked out and bought two, or four, but SIGNIFICANT purchases - nothing above 250 or 300 ! HAPPY ? #_#... anyway, so I have about 7500 to spend, and college street is bibliophile Heaven !!!
Mbwhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha, etc, Debayan Gupta

P.S. : Comment, or I shall unleash the Unimaginable Horror of a recording MriGos singing ! Bwhahahahaha !

IMPORTANT NOTE : As, for some reason I cannot edit my old post, here is a
Gleba Message : Thank you very much, Dibyayan and Ira. I have fixed the mistake. Yes, it was a mistake. " b-o-o-K-s and not b-o-o-B-s , etc.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Mbleh ! Preparing for IIT's is a real... female dog ( My mother is in the room ) and so , I was just reading a few fanfics, ( ffnet, ficwad, aff , etc. ) and I saw an old link in my favourites section, which I had not touched in quite a while ( those of you who know me know why this is - the link was located in Leisure/Reading/Fanfics/Others ) and decided to check out the link before deleting it , and it turned out to be the coolest ffsite I've seen - most of my favourite authors are there , and although I'm already part of most of their individual Yahoo! groups, this site provides easy access, and al LOT of excellent fanfiction.

Bye, Debayan Gupta .