Poetry Recitals and Art Exhibitions

During our reunion, Aakriti had informed me of an art exhibition. It was no ordinary exhibition. It was combining two very different creative styles. Poetry would be recited about art that would be displayed. Aakriti was one of the few chosen to recite and I couldn’t be prouder. The concept was intriguing and it had been way too long since I had allowed myself to indulge in two of my favourite interests – art and poetry. So, excited and eager, I arrived at Dhanraj Mahal where the exhibition was taking place.

The team behind TARQ were presenting Parag Tandel’s third solo exhibition titled, ‘Chronicle’.  Focusing on ecology and migration, Tadel creates sculptures cast in resin that represent memories from childhood.

The poets invited for the exhibition were all members of The Poetry Club which is why, besides a recital of poetry influenced by the art, there were poets reciting some of their creative work unrelated to the exhibition as well. The poets had been allowed to go through the sculptures well in advance and were given the liberty to choose which display they wanted to base their poetry on.

Before reciting, each poet not only introduced themselves but also spoke of how and why they got into poetry in the first place.

Aakriti wrote her poem based on Trap I


Image taken from the official webpage.

I can picture it all too clearly
When someone asks me where I came from
It looks like a cocoon
That houses and nurtures the butterfly
But when you come from a sheltered existence
Even the fibres wrapped tight
Around your once feeble wings
Feel like a trap.
These walls were my rose tinted glasses
Stained with blood and doubt, I was told,
Perhaps to have me believe that the outside world
Can never be as safe or untouched
As the claustrophobia that surrounds me.
If only underexposure 
was the true measure of being free
Of trouble and pain
Because my wings hurt
They're overgrown and yet
Trained to feel the strain
Of this sinewy home
I want to fly out of. 
There's light above and light below
And I long to be illuminated
By anything other than a refraction of that light.
But I know that when that pod opens
And the reins curl away from my skin
And my wings find room to stretch out
I'll have nothing more than a day
To take in more than the hues of red
Before I create my own cocoon
To house another cloistered soul like me. 
Maybe the circle of life
Is a perpetuated series of growing pains.

Devendra wrote his poem based on Extinct Form III


Image taken from the official webpage


How strange is living,
stranger yet to die
Not knowing the who
Never pondering the why
Cursed be each moment
Spent only to deny
The prophet of my soul
My truth it decries
In whispers and persuasive
Signs, in the desperation
Of denial and screams
I never let escape
Hear them yet choose
Comfort in mediocrity
Call it fair compromise
Alas a blatant excuse.
For I fear that
Which is at stake
It is my conscience
For it shall take
My soul; if ever
Pure ambition shall fall
And become empty premise
What shall I become?
But an empty shell
Resounding sameness and banality
It is not weakness
But emptiness, I dread
Choose to know mine
Yet consciously deny, I
Keep ambition at bay
The perfect fail-safe
For a dismal day
To gloat in the knowledge
Never intend to comply
(I) Choose complacence over pride
Familiarity; over the sublime
Instruction of my will
Instead of the paragon
I choose, a lie.
How strange to choose
To live not a day
Forever myself I deny
For I always knew the who
Knew always the why.

Here are some more of the art pieces that were on display.


Extinct Form I – Image taken from official webpage


Memory – image taken from official webpage


Extinct Form V – image taken from official webpage

While Kejal did not write based on the pieces displayed, she recited a few poems that she had written previously for gatherings at The Poetry Club.


 He smiled an unfaltering welcome smile 
He knew five words in english 
"Please come in madam, good day." 
Yellow teeth were frequented by red spots 
The smile a crescent moon on his face 
The position never changed
Full moons were not for the uneducated. 
On good days, he smiled. 
On bad days, his smile was broader. 
On frustrating days, it stuck to his face 
Like a brightly painted tattoo. 
His trade depended on it. 
She wore her smile upside down. 
Frowning, they called it. 
It meant you were sad. 
It was the price you had to pay
To buy pity. 
On good days, her tears came easily. 
Snot dripped about her unclean nose 
A prop in her daily dress up act. 
On bad days
she had to suppress her happiness. 
"Look sad", they said. 
"No, look sadder." 
On frustrating days
she had to be slapped, kicked, threatened. 
"We want your tears", they said. 
"We want to buy pity." 
So she frowned. 
Her trade depended on it.

Listening to the poetry stirred something inside me. I had stopped writing poetry myself and had disconnected myself from the art of listening, reciting and writing poetry. Witnessing this exhibition brought back that dormant part of me to some extent.

It was fascinating to see people from different spheres of life, come together for a few hours, all sharing a mutual love for poetry and a certain cynicism towards life. Also, existential crisis. It was selfishly, very comforting.

It was a wonderful experience and I am so glad Aakriti invited me. I hope I can witness and participate in these more frequently, as time passes by.

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Boardwalk Fun

If you’re a fanatic of T.V shows like I am, you must have watched many a episodes where characters find themselves taking in the sun, munching on barbecued food and enjoying a carnival of sorts. Of course you might have experienced this in real life, one too many times, but me ? Never. I used to experience this vicariously through fictional characters…

Until now or well a few weeks ago.

The committee overlooking all the Inter-Collegiate Halls planned a boardwalk for all its residents where there would be fun games, a lot of food, carnival rides and all round merriment for all the students who had just finished submitting their essays and exams.

Up and early on a very sunny Sunday, my friends and I headed out, a jig in our steps, tickets placed safely in our bags, towards the boardwalk.

We reached the park, welcomed by crowds of students from all the different halls with cheers and conversations buzzing all around us. After getting stamped with a beautiful rose on our wrists and pseudo fedoras decorated with the american flag placed precariously on our heads, we headed in to join in on all the revelries.

We decided to head to the tiny stalls where mini games were being held. We began by trying our hand at shooting ducks. Edip faired the best out of all us by shooting two ducks down (We are now a little more assured about the fact that Edip has a fair shot at surviving in the army if he is forced to enlist) Unfortunately we didn’t win anything since we needed to get three. I was too busy enjoying and completely forgot to take pictures and remembered later, that I was being weighed down by my camera and should put it to good use.

We then tried our hand at hitting the hammer and seeing how far up the bar would go. After one too many failed attempts, Edip succeeded at scoring an 80 which was the closest anyone got to. He definitely had better luck than Thomas who broke the hammer three times as he tried to beat on the nail/pallet/gong (?!)

Edip I now consider you fairly strong despite your feminine hands !

Esperanza succeeded at scoring us some candy by fishing out ducks which had stars glued to the bottom, something we chewed on leisurely later on.

I must apologise in advice for the abysmal photography. For one, I had my shades on and didn’t realise how very out of focus my camera was. Secondly, I was so worried about the battery life of my camera which was close to dying that I was hurriedly taking pictures rather than concentrating and ensuring they came out well.

Here’s a moderately blurry picture of Edip, Esperanza and Mary just before the fire dancer came on.

The fire dancer came on then and amassed quite a crowd with his antics. From doing acrobats to swallowing globules of fire, he had his audience mesmerised. The tribal music to which he danced had us all swaying and cheering louder than we otherwise would have.

Minutes after I took this picture, my camera died and we had to make do with selfies. Something’s better than nothing I guess !

Hearing our stomachs grumble, we decided to grab ourselves our food. Thankfully, the queue which seemed extremely long moved at quite a fast pace and soon enough we were seated comfortably munching on a variety of food ranging from hotdogs, burgers, tacos to nachos, crisps and fried onions. We were served ice cream as well which went down quite well with the tequila and long island iced teas.

Mary was too busy gnawing on her burger to be bothered to be a part of this picture.

By this time, the child in me was getting quite impatient and very dearly wanted to get face painted. Despite the fact that the queue for face painting had been cut off, my adamance or determination as I would like to think of it, won, and I successfully had my face temporarily tattooed. It was with a very heavy heart that I washed it off the next day.

Here’s a selfie of me with aqua patterns adorning my face.

A very gleeful Edip photobombed me as Esperanza took a picture of my painted face for my mother.

While Mary attempted her hand at shooting ducks once more, Esperanza, Edip and I sneakily took another picture before we headed off to try and get a ride in the ferris wheel. Mary got lucky the second time round cause she was later seen proudly showing off her blue stuffed unicorn whom she christened Stardust.

From right to left; Esperanza, Edip and yours truly.

Luck wasn’t on our side since we reached the ferris wheel too late. Despite Edip’s belief that we would get on, we didn’t. We left only when Edip saw for himself the ferris wheel being dismantled and had to accept the sad truth that we would not be enjoying the ride.

Not wanting to head back to the hall, we decided to head to wander around some more, despite the boardwalk having closed and spend some quality time.

Edip, me, Mary, Aakash and Esperanza post the boardwalk.

Mary headed off to complete her assignment while Edip, Aakash, Esperanza and me headed to Marlborough Arms where we would meet Görkem, Edip’s girlfriend.

While Edip and Aakash enjoyed the football match being screened in the bar, Esperanza and I had our own fun clicking a bunch of selfies to preserve our moments in the bar.

Joy Joy and me !

We were soon joined by Görkem, following which Edip found himself downing one too many glasses of gin and tonic. Görkem ordered a plate of crisps and I decided on treating myself to Mushrooms served with Garlic Ciabatta. What a divine dish it was !

When it was nearly eleven at night, we decided to head home, still laughing over conversations of Edip’s excessive supply of hamsters and pranks played while we were at the bar.

All in all, the boardwalk and time spent at the bar was extremely fun, especially since the weather had decided to be nice. I finally got to enjoy and experience a pseudo sunny carnivalesque barbecue and couldn’t be more happier.

I really wish I could do it all over again.

Edip, Aakash, Görkem, Esperanza and me at Marlborough Arms.

Till then Mavericks…

Victoria and Albert Museum

Remember when I said I had visited the Victoria and Albert Museum ? If you don’t, go refresh your memory here.

Before I found myself mesmerised by the Disobedient Objects Gallery, I had spent a good two hours wondering around the museum in general, taking in everything on display be it sculptures, cultural artifacts or paintings.

I will confess though, I hadn’t decided on visiting the museum because I wanted to. Nope. I wanted to go soak in the sun. Unfortunately, my college homework demanded I visit the museum and based on my observations, answer a series of set questions provided to us. So, I dragged along my adorable friends who were more excited than me to experience my first museum in London. By the end of it, I was thoroughly enjoying myself…no complaints whatsoever.

Having headed directly to the floor that housed artifacts from the 1850s especially in relation to Queen Victoria and her husband Albert, I stumbled across some wonderful creations that represented the culture and craftsmanship of the colonised countries.

I then sat down in a quiet dark corner of the exhibition and got started on my homework. Nupur being the genius that she is, helped me with it, finding out what was being presented where and giving me ideas as to what I could do my paper on. Once we were done scribbling down notes and had almost finished my homework, which was now less of work and more of journalling my experience and observations, we headed back to find our friends who had decided on wandering around while we wrapped up my work. As we were exiting the floor, I found myself staring at the ceiling of the floor below us. Only there was no ceiling. Instead it was an artfully designed brass construction of musical instruments that included trumpets, cornets, bugles and the like.

Realising we hadn’t eaten since morning, we trudged towards the cafeteria. On our way there, we came across a wide out door space placed right in the centre of the museum. Despite the slight drizzle, we decided on heading out for a bit to enjoy the view of the architecture and to take in the fresh air.

Only after Toothless’s boots were flooded with water did we head back inside. Unfortunately, the cafeteria was extremely crowded and we couldn’t find a seat which is why we had to walk back out and eat near the entrance to the cafeteria. It was while we were placing our orders, that we all noticed the decor of the cafe. It was a beautiful mix of ancient and modern. With mosaics framing the walls and massive balls lit all round with twinkly lights, the cafe seemed to exude the perfect fusion of the old and the new. I knew I could sit there and keep looking at it for ages…the view was that mesmerising.

Not wanting to leave empty handed, we mapped out the route to the museum shop and spent hours oohing and aahing over the pretty trinkets and mementos. All of us bought postcards to send to our families (Which I am still to post. Something my mother never fails to remind me about.) We had to restrain ourselves from spending without reason. It was tough, I will tell you that. There were quite a few things that I itched to purchase but I knew they would do me no good.

Being the romantics that we are, we decided to go visit the bridal attires exhibition before leaving. On our way there, I came across a few sculptors that I really enjoyed gazing at. One had a religious take on it and the others were from Greek and Roman lores both of which fascinate me a lot.

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We walked into the bridal attires exhibition with stars in our eyes. Displayed in a circular fashion were bridal attires for both men and women ranging from the early 1500’s to the 21st century from all over the world. The little girl in me was squealing in delight the entire time I was there and I could finally imagine what it was, that inspired some of the most famous literary wedding gowns in novels by some of my favourite authors. These two in particular, were my favourite.

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As we were leaving, having spent a large part of our time enjoying the Disobedience Objects Gallery, we found a massive glass creation hanging from the ceiling of the entrance. It reminded me of a similar creation I had seen in Atlantis, Dubai. The hues and the glass patterns seemed majestic and complex all at the same time and I wondered yet again, how much creativity and imagination our brain houses.

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I quite enjoyed the V and A museum which is why I went there a second time round, wanting to witness more of what they had in store.

Not only does it allow for a day well spent, but you gain a lot of insight about the artisans through the ages and the culture that countries celebrate all round. So if you’re in the mood, go check it out !

A Burst of Colours

If I had to give one reason as to why I am so fascinated by the Indian culture, it would be that no matter what festival is being celebrated, the lore is always kept alive and the celebration is anything but low key. It is always welcomed and enjoyed with a lot of hue and cry and the hangover lasts for weeks.

Holi, or the festival of colours is my favourite festival to celebrate as an Indian. Ever since I was a kid, I would look forward to the day when I would wear my oldest clothes and run out of the house resembling a rainbow throwing colours at my friends, being doused with water and ducking water balloons that came flying from nowhere. I wouldn’t mind in the least standing under the shower for hours trying to wash off the paint and then walking around and going to school with patches of colour slowly fading away from my skin making me look like the human version of blotting paper. So, upon arriving in London, celebrating Holi was wishful thinking. I was mildly happy scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed browsing the multitude of pictures uploaded by my friends of them playing Holi. It came as a very happy surprise to me when my friend informed me of an event being hosted where we could celebrate Holi in London. Needless to say, I was in.

Oh boy, was I excited.

Before I dive into the details of my celebrations London style, here’s a small understanding of this festival and how it came about.

Holi is, as I mentioned before, the festival of colours celebrating or welcoming spring. The word ‘Holi’ originates from ‘Holika‘ who was, as legend has it,the evil sister of the demonic King Hiranyakashipu. King Hiranyakashipu had earned a boon whereby he would be indestructible but he became arrogant, believing himself to be God and expecting to be worshipped like one. Unlike Hiranyakashipu, his son Prahlada was different. He disagreed with his father’s acts and decided to remain a devout follower of Vishnu, the second God in the Hindu Triumvirate. This infuriated his father and he was subjected to cruelty, punishments and the like none of which affected him or his resolve. Holika, the evil sister decided to take things into her own hands and tricked Prahlada into sitting on a pyre with her. As they sat, Holika wore a cloak that made her immune to the fire. As the fire crackled and roared, the cloak flew off Holika and wrapped around Prahlada instead. Holika thus burned and Prahalda survived. Vishnu then arrived and killed Hiranyakashipu.
So, a Holika bonfire is lit to celebrate the symbolic victory go good over evil and how fire destroys and creates. The day following this bonfire is celebrated as Holi where people spend hours painting other people with colours and then getting inebriated after consuming one too many glasses of ‘Bhaang’ a natural alcoholic drink made out of the oil, leaves and flowers of the female cannabis plant.

Anyhoo, lets come back to my experience celebrating my favourite festival in London after this short history lesson.

Toothless, her friend Katie and I met up at King’s Cross tube station around mid afternoon. We then headed to Nido’s where the event was being held. As we walked through the doors, loud music and screams flooded my ears. I saw Europeans and Indians running around, slipping in and out of clouds of colours and the familiar fuzzy, warm excitement seeped into my bones. We rushed inside and changed into the t-shirts that the event holders were handing out to us along with a packet of colours. While I chose the green colour, Toothless went for pink and Katie decided on purple. We then walked out to the backyard where the party was being held and well, we went crazy. Smearing colours on each others faces and having the same done to us in return, we spent a good two hours painting ourselves all shades of silly. There were times when we could barely see each other because of the huge colour mists that were being created by flinging colours in the air. It was so much fun and the entire time, I had a massive smile plastered on my face.

This is us about five minutes after we had joined in and started, emphasis on the word ‘started’, playing Holi.

This is us, ten minutes later. We were ‘attacked’ by two boys who charged at us screaming ‘You guys are too clean. There’s no colour on you !!’ They then emptied at least five packets of colour on our faces and heads.

This is when the craziness kicked in and it seemed to be raining colours.

This was the aftermath or when things slowed down for a minute or two. See the difference ?

My adorable Toothless.

Katie, after the onslaught.

It was so much fun seeing Europeans and Indians celebrating the festival together and genuinely having a good time. By the end of it, everyone looked like they had stumbled into quite a few paint cans. No one’s hair looked blonde or brunette any longer. They were instead streaked in hues of blue, red, purple, pink and green.

As I trudged back home, attracting way too many quizzical looks on the tube, I couldn’t help but smile goofily. I did shut up though when I realised I had colour smearing my pearly whites which made me look even more creepy. Upon arriving back home, a good two hours were spent washing away the colours and then trying to rinse out the colour from my favourite pair of jeans and cardigan.

As I saw the coloured water draining away, I reminisced about all the times I had celebrated Holi and how each and every occasion was amazing in its own way. Celebrating Holi London style was no less amazing and it was made even more special by Toothless, Katie and baby boy Divyansh who we bumped into while being attacked by colour squads.
There’s a chance I might be celebrating Holi again in the next few weeks with my hall mates so keep your eyes peeled for another possible Holi post.

Till then, may your lives be as colourful as this festival always is, my Mavericks.


I’m not the easiest kid on the planet. My parents have had quite a few struggles trying to straighten me out, to make sure I don’t stray and that at the end of the day, I am a good human being. During the years I was growing up, I was often reprimanded for not obeying, for not listening and for rebelling. I remember very well the innumerable times I was called disobedient and how guilty I felt every time I heard it escape my parents lips.

So when I found myself entering the ‘Disobedient Objects’ display at Victoria and Albert Museum, I didn’t know what to expect and couldn’t have fathomed how much of an impact this display would have on me. Never did I imagine that the word Disobedience could carry such a powerful message and that it could indeed be anything but a rebuke. It could be the start of a revolution, it could be what got the masses to stand up and raise their voices and that being disobedient could maybe help change the world. I never thought I would say this, but there are times when being disobedient is the most courageous thing you can do and when you decide to disobey, you should be proud, because you have made the first dent that will ultimately lead to the crumbling of the old and the construction of the new.

Artwork on the walls outside the ‘Disobedient Objects’ display.

The ‘Disobedient Objects’ display houses powerful messages, posters, movements and videos all of which broadcast the act of disobedience and how it kickstarted change or paved the way for revolutions to begin. All around, one can witness the beginning of change, how one person’s decision to disagree and disobey has to led to such powerful movements and how simple words and phrases can make your hair stand on end. I could feel the room reverberate with power and the sheer force it housed by displaying the acts of disobedience and the messages they delivered.
Here are some of my favourites. Maybe they’ll stir something inside you just as they did inside me.

I Wish My Boyfriend Was As Dirty As Your Policies.

Capitalism is Crisis.

The Tikki Love Truck.

Fuck Off Back To Eton.

Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum ? Less than 4% of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 76% of the nudes are female.

Badges against Apartheid.

Gaybashers…Come and Get It.

I left the display feeling a surge of power and a whirlwind of emotions. I understood that every action of ours does indeed have consequences and that one thought, one doubt, one question can make the tables turn, can make people pause in their tracks and can influence generations to come.

Words have power, every single one of them. When these words take on the shape of actions, this power intensifies and there comes a point when the sheer immensity and force of it rocks the world.

Just before I left, I saw this message in the shadows of one of the walls. As I write this, there might be someone out there struggling against the restraints of society or standing up against something that is tying them down. With every breath taken, change is occurring, be it small or big.

Are you ready to disobey when the time is right and when you have to fight for what you believe in ?

It is only fitting that I leave this picture as I sign off. Until then…

Salsa Night

I have always felt extremely alive and free when I dance. Be it the few times I tried my hand and patience at Indian classical dance or when I let my creativity flow and discovered the style of dance I most enjoyed, it was dance that flooded me with pure joy, freedom and relief. The energy that slowly spreads through my bones allowing me to express myself through a synchronised movement of my body matching the tune of the song playing, makes me feel powerful and confident, all at the same time. So when Dipa planned a night out dancing, I was the first one to jump on board.

The place we decided to go visit was called Bar Salsa, a bar and dance studio quite close to Tottenham Court Road. Decked up and ready to shimmy, my friends and I reached there right when the party got started. People all around me were dancing different routines and styles and each one of those routines was so mesmerising to look at, I couldn’t help but gawk.

We all joined the dance floor and started to sway to the music, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Some of the people there, extremely proficient in the dance styles, would come up and request to dance to a song or two which turned out to be such a fun experience. It doesn’t matter if you know the steps or the style. As long as you let lose and allow your partner to lead you, you’re all set. I got the opportunity to dance with one of the dancers and can I just say, it was the best routine I have ever danced to.

My girls. From left to right: Esperanza, Dipa, Mary and me.

We took a break from dancing, to sit down and chat (which was a little difficult seeing as we were seated right next to the speakers) and also cool down since we had started to sweat and were quite breathless, having danced non stop for quite some time. We ordered drinks and sat enjoying the music, watching people all around us dance. It was at this point that we all noticed one couple dancing, oblivious to all the attention they were receiving. They were such a brilliant pair. Every movement of their’s was effortless and they were so in sync with each other, it seemed like they were one. I was staring at them shamelessly, my mouth wide open, the straws of my drink glued to my lips making me look like some weird and deformed walrus. None of my friends could keep their eyes off the couple and it was only when they stopped, that we snapped out of it and came back to reality.

Since Julien failed at Salsa, Dipa was trying to cheer him up while Tony being Tony, made sexy eyes at the camera as I captured the three of them.

Posing is fun.

We then went back to the dance floor and spent another good hour dancing and enjoying ourselves. Finally the pain kicked in from wearing heels and our stomachs started grumbling, cause honestly, dancing is a form of exercise and I think we had worked out way too much for one night. So we decided to head out and look for a restaurant that would feed our hungry mouths so late at night. Before we left, we agreed on having a group picture taken. Unfortunately, thanks to the dark decor and genius photography of the man taking our picture, the photograph turned out to be very blurry with our faces almost barely visible. Anyhoo, here it is.

Meet my crazy, adorable friends. From left to right: Mary, Esperanza, Tony, me, Julien and Dipa.

We stepped out into the cold and trudged or rather hobbled on the cobbled streets towards Balans Cafe, a place we had visited before. Thankfully, we were seated right away and without wasting a moment, ordered our favourites from our past experience in the cafe. Soon enough we were served our food and we dug in.

We had ordered two plates of Chicken Quesadilla starters that were made out of flour and served with Mexican cheese, sour cream and salsa fresca. For the main course, we ordered two plates of the Rigatoni which was served with peas, broad beans, bacon, mushroom, parmesan and cream.

Chicken Quesadillas.


While the tangy spice of the Chicken Quesadillas were perfectly balanced out by the sour cream and were the perfect amount of crispy and soft, the Rigatoni was silky smooth once popped into the mouth. The grated parmesan on top worked brilliantly with the fried bacon and salted mushrooms.

Having cleaned out the plates, big smiles plastered on our faces, we decided to call it a night. The entire experience was so much fun and it couldn’t have ended on a better note. If any day, you decide to cool off or just have a good time with your friends, I would definitely suggest trying out Bar Salsa. Whether you know how to dance doesn’t matter cause once you’re there, you will find yourselves tapping your feet and moving your hips to the rhythm of the music. And if you find yourselves starving after that, you can always take a trip down to Balans and savour their delicious food.

Till then…

With love,

Men vs Food

Here’s a fun fact about the boys in my hall. They think they’re macho and indestructible, but really they’re all adorable goobers.

(I have a feeling once they read this, they’ll duct tape me to a chair and throw me off the London Bridge. If I don’t post in a week or so, SEND HELP.)

When I heard they had all decided or rather dared to participate in the Terry Tucker Challenge which is a food challenge hosted by The Pride of Paddington eatery, I knew I had to witness and document it.
After what seemed like months of discussing, planning and pent up excitement, the day finally arrived. I met them at the lobby of my hall where they all looked so confident and raring to go, I felt each and every one of them was going to bring the trophy or empty plate back home.
Who are these boys you ask ?
Well, let me introduce you to the contestants.


Ian Deering


Antonin Golman


Michael Lee


Thomas Powell, who refused to let me take his picture. So I had to stalk him on Facebook.

To lighten the environment, Dipa, decided to interview the boys. The outcome was hilarious with answers ranging from ‘Oh I’m going to win’ to ‘I studied about it.’
We headed off to the restaurant which was a short walk from where we lived. Once we arrived, we spent ten odd minutes trying to find a place where we could all sit and enjoy. Upon achieving that, the boys finally ordered their food challenges. While the lady took the orders, I roamed around the eating joint a bit and stumbled across the Wall of Fame and Shame.




Upon comparing the winners and losers board, there was a dip in confidence for sure. The Wall of Fame was practically empty and the Wall of Shame was overcrowded ! Once I returned to my seat, I learnt that Ian and Antonin had decided to try the Jumbo Shepherd’s Pie which had lamb mince and mashed potatoes in epic proportions while Michael and Thomas had planned on stuffing themselves with the Triple Beef, Triple Bacon, Triple Cheese Burgers which had side dishes of triple onion rings and triple chips.
After an arduous wait, the food finally arrived and there was utter silence when the dishes were placed on the table. To say they were humongous would be an understatement.



And then it began. The boys had twenty minutes to finish the food. If they did, their faces would forever be pinned to the wall of fame, their wallets untouched. If they lost, they would have to make do with their photographs stuck to the wall of losers and a hefty twenty pounds missing from their wallets.
The minute the timer started, the boys dove in. The Shepherd’s Pie turned out to be scalding hot and both Antonin and Ian stopped almost immediately, their mouths and tongues burnt. After an insightful suggestion by yours truly, the boys had started chomping again, only this time they poured out portions of it on the plate to cool the food.



I walked to the other end of the table to see how Michael and Thomas were faring and came across this lovely sight. While Thomas determinedly ate his onion rings and burgers, Michael had decided to plug his earphones on and eat in musical silence. (An oxymoron if I’ve ever seen one.)


One of these days, I swear to God, I will succeed in taking a picture of Thomas which isn't blurred.

One of these days, I swear to God, I will succeed in taking a picture of Thomas which isn’t blurred.

People from other tables cheered on the contestants as they braved through the food. Dipa was gracious enough to keep pouring water into their glasses while my camera clicked on. The non participants meaning Dipa, Mary and me realised that each dish had its cons. If the Shepherd’s Pie was flesh burningly hot, the Burgers were dry as sand. Where the Pie could be swallowed, sort of, the Burgers had to be chewed on mercilessly.


With maybe one fourth of the Pie left, Ian and Antonin gave up, their tongues burnt and faces flushed. In their words, even if they could finish the dish, they just didn’t want to.


Not wanting to stay any longer, the two boys paid and left. Michael and Thomas were still in the running though and our cheering went up a pitch higher seeing as they were extremely close to winning. All of a sudden, we saw Thomas push his plate aside and we knew he had given up too. In his defence, there wasn’t much left on his plate.


By then the waiter had come by to announce that there was just 3 minutes left. We looked at Michael to see him unperturbed, bobbing his head to the music only he could listen to. The screaming of the crowds had become ear piercing because they (us included) KNEW Michael was going to win it. When he took the last bite, every one surged up to their feet in victory. Unfortunately when the waitress came to check, she said the challenge wasn’t over since Michael had to swallow the food before he could be declared winner and he had about thirty seconds left. Before anyone knew it, the time was up and Michael ? Michael was busy dabbing a napkin at his face.



While the winner posed with his empty plate and the winning certificate, Thomas shelled out the money for the food and then very sportingly posed with the sign that stated he had lost.



Having watched Man vs Food on TLC way too many times, I had always wished to witness one or even participate in one of these events. I got my wish come true. It was crazy fun and I have to give it to the boys who took the initiative to even attempt this challenge. Kudos.

For any planning to try any food challenge, ever, ALL THE BEST. You’ll need it and trust me when I say this, it is NOT as easy and simple as it looks.