Thursday, February 11, 2010


This curiousity started out sometime last week while at dinner with some friends, where amongst them, was an Indian national. Since the rest were Malaysian, we had a good time giving the Indian a hard time...

English-speaking Indians, if you have never come across one before, are as articulate as they are verbose... a very lethal combination. And I believe that this is one of the reasons why I tend to be cautious about novels written by Indian writers.

Don't get me wrong, I think they have an excellent grip of the language, better than many of the English themselves. My gripe is that they tend to over-do the verbosity when simpler words should sometimes suffice.

But what is stranger is the evolution of the English language in India, as spoken by English-speaking Indians. At dinner, we had pleasure in ribbing the poor girl from Bangalore about a word that is used in everyday business language there; prepone. As opposed to postpone. As in to reschedule a meeting to earlier instead of pushing it to later.

As strange as that word may be to us Malaysians, it doesn't change the fact that it is a word used commonly in India. And that was what I started wondering; how many of these new words have evolved in this fertile language pot into phrases or words that make perfect and concise sense. And some not quite so.

And then, by sheer coincidence, I came across another two today; quakening and updation. Quakening, as in the act of the earth shaking below you in the midst of an earthquake. And I received an email asking for me to send in my latest contact information for updation to their database.

Quirky. So now, I had an itch to find more and Google is my friend:

Convented: not like Sister Enda but more like an Assuntarian
Join duty: first day at work
Tell me: how can I help you?
Pass out: graduate
Redressal: not a red dress rehearsal but a remedy or redress
Hotel: is a restaurant...????
Eggitarian: vegetarian who takes egg and milk
Long cut: erm... opposite of short cut

Paining: this one, i think we all know
On the anvil: something about to happen, on the horizon
Today morning: just like yesterday night

Cent percent: 100%
Centum: one hundred
Full shirt: long sleeves
Half shirt: half sleeves (so means sleeveless is "shirtless"??)

Well, what can I say? And that's just some of it. If you have any more to contribute, please do. I would be chumma chumma (simply) delighted.

Friday, February 05, 2010

creamy chicken pasta...

a very simple recipe to try:

1 tbs of butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast pieces
1/2 onion, diced
12 shitake mushrooms
1 cup of heavy (whipping) cream
Ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta.

2. Melt butter in pan and cook chicken breasts until no longer pink. Remove and slice thinly. Note: very important not to overcook.

3. Saute onions until clear. Add mushrooms. When cooked, stir in cream and cook until thick. Note: for a lighter cream base add low-fat milk in proportion to make up the one cup of cream.

4. Stir in chicken and season. Cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Toss with pasta.

Prep time: 20 mins, serves 4

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

my bootcamp triumph...

When I started off Bootcamp enrolment last month, I really had no idea how tough it was going to be for me. I had heard a range of people saying how tough it was right down to how great the programme was. But I thought to myself that there was only one way to find out...

So off I went. First session of the month is always a benchmark assessment; a series of set exercises and a time limit to do it all in. This is so that you have a baseline performance to compare with as you progress through the programme. And the whole idea is to keep bettering your performance, of course.

The benchmark comes in two parts. The first is a set of exercises that start with a 400m run, followed immediately by 15 sit-ups, 10 grunts (or burpees) and 15 military sit-ups. After you're done with that, you repeat the exercises again another two times. There is a cut-off time of 15 minutes. The second part is a 1.6km flat run and the cut-off again is 15 minutes.

My first benchmark was easy to remember... For both activities, I was listed as DNF. "Did Not Finish". Yay. What a low standard I had set for myself to smash!

To be fair, my biggest issue is running. I can't. And I don't like running. It pains me to run. Literally. Over the month, I realised that I might have a genuine existing condition with my arches that I need checked into by a podiatrist. But that aside and all the same, my aim for January Bootcamp was to improve on my ability to run.

Fast forward to first session of OBC in February. Benchmark assessment time again. I did my first benchmark in 13 mins 34 secs but what I was eager to test was my 1.6km run. I did it, albeit slowly. In 14 mins 13 secs. It was a great feeling to be able to do something that I wasn't able to only a month before but Bootcamp is about breaking mental and physical barriers. And mine was broken to smithereens.

There was another feeling that I had at the end of that 1.6km; my initial aim was to finish in under 15 mins and now that I had, I felt that I could still do better. Which has left me with this unbearable itch to go right out and run some more.

Wow... I've have really surprised myself.

Now for the unsolicited plug: Original Bootcamp isn't for just anybody. It is very intense hour of dedication to pushing yourself beyond limits every single session. It isn't for those who prefer a clean and air-conditioned environment to work out some sweat surrounded by creature comforts. It isn't for you if you prefer to complete a workout that you have pre-planned and mentally prepared for. OBC is about getting down and dirty and it's about pushing through pain barriers. It's about disciplined adherence to instruction by trusted trainers and where punishment is part of the work out. It's about doing it in a group of people with equal abilities and the inherent motivation of everyone pushing through the same barriers. Try it. You might just become addicted!