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Contest entry: The 'FRIENDS' reunion


Being a doctor takes it's toll on your social life. Always being at the beck and call of patients or a hospital ensures that getting free time at the end of the week is a luxury rather than a given. Even when we chat on the phone nowadays with old college mates, you can hear the nostalgia in their voice as they talk of the good old days when we could relax after a grueling day at the hospital, watching sitcoms and movies on the shared dorm television set while having dinner. So if I had the choice of hosting a party, I know exactly what I would do.

Step 1: The Guest-list
Who better than my fellow friends from medical college who I grew up with and who would truly cherish the opportunity to not just have a break from the grind of hospital life but an informal party like old times where we could just sit, relax and have a fun weekend revisiting old memories.  



Step 2: The 'Save the date' cards.
Have you tried to get a doctor on a weekend? Tough, isn't it? So imagine the odds of getting 15 specialists AND their spouses free on the same weekend! It isn't going to happen without a very early set of 'Save the date' cards being dispatched via email, informing them of the date and driving instructions to get to my place.




Step 3: The 'FRIENDS' Theme.
Back then, as students, we were pretty much peas of the same pod, mugging up from the same textbooks and making inane formulas to remember classifications (we never remembered the formulas, unfortunately!) Now, a decade later, things have changed. Everyone has gone in different directions - some are radiologists, others dermatologists, orthopedicians, ENT, surgeons and physicians. Different branches of a tree. Luckily, all branches too arise from a single trunk. This is a party for friends who grew up together and what better way to celebrate it than with a comedy marathon of our favourite sitcom of the last decade: FRIENDS. A show about people like us: very different, uniquely quirky characters who stuck by each other through the years.

Step 4: The Day/D-Day.
Well, as an anaesthetist, I know a thing or two about how 'accurate' doctors can be when they quote time. ( 'The surgery will take just 25minutes' implies 'My cleaning the area will take 25 minutes, the actual surgery will end one and a half hours later'. True Story. ) So the 'Save the Date' cards are going to specifically mention a 6.00pm arrival time in the hope that the first guest will trickle in by a punctual 7pm.

Step 5: The Menu-Card.
The one thing that I am least concerned about is the menu card, frankly. I do a decent job with a chef's hat on as it is, but now, I've got some assistance to ease my burden thanks to Kitchen of India's readymade dishes. Still, a good menu is vital for a memorable party. And the truth is, when it comes to friends, you don't mind going the extra mile to make sure they have a great time. This is what I have planned.

Soups:
  • Lemon and Coriander Soup
  • Chicken Noodle Soup


Starters and Munchies:
  • Chinese style Chilli fish 
  • Kozhi Varattiyathu / Chicken Stir fry.
  • Chicken and Vegetarian cutlets.
  • Russian salad ( Nostalgia alert: an evergreen favourite for us at birthday treats when we were students! )
  • Piping hot set dosas/Rava idlis with sambhar and Tomato Chilli chutney*
  • Masala Kadala/Peanuts 
  • Banana fritters
  • Chocolate Brownies ( eggless )
Thirst quenchers:
  • Watermelon Lemon Cooler
  • Spiced Buttermilk
  • Masala Tea
  • Cocktail bar - oh, but there's a catch of course. To ensure the tongue goes absolutely wild with an explosion of flavours, the cocktails must be immediately chased down by a dollop of Tamarind & Date Chutney* or Hot Mango Chutney* !

Main course:     
  • Tellicherry style Chicken biryani
  • Appams
  • Singapore style Veg Fried Rice
  • Vegetable biryani*
  • Mangalore style Fried Ladyfish / Kane
  • Mutton Kolhapuri*
  • Chettinad Chicken*
  • Pan Fried Masala Prawns
  • Creamy mushroom-green peas curry
  • Veg Thai Red curry
  • Paneer Malai*
  • Bhindi/Okra fry
  • Gobi Manchurian ( again, a staple of any of our old parties. )
Side servings: 
Kids section: 
(This section will come with a big warning board: "Parents not allowed!!". It will be fun to see which one of them cracks first and steals from the kids section a la Joey Tribbiani. There will be a prize gift for the kid who catches the first adult stealing from their section too!)  
  • Scrambled eggs and sausages
  • Mini-pizzas
  • Chicken and Veg burgers.
  • Mango smoothies.

Desserts:
Excessive? Well not really. As you can see if you click the above links, my life's made a lot easier since the tougher dishes are all made easy by using Kitchens of India's products. It saves me more time to be with my friends as well. 

Of course, dinner isn't going to be served with everyone seated across a large sprawling table. Oh no no no. There's going to be a Team Ross-Joey-Chandler vs Team Rachel-Phoebe-Monica theme to the whole event with hubbies and wives pitted against each other. While starters and soups are being devoured, the games would revolve around simple games like Dumb Charades and Pictionary where everyone can relax and have fun guessing. 

When the main course is being served, it's going to be a lot simpler and relaxing - a Russian Roulette of F*R*I*E*N*D*S* episodes at their best and funniest would be played on DVD while everyone can eat and enjoy seated around one giant 42inch LED - a change from when we carried our hostel mess plates up to the TV room to watch these episodes in our college days.


The games and banter would continue till the wee hours of the night. For those who chose to stay back, there's plenty of room at my flat... well, definitely more than three of us would share a single vertical strip we used to call a hostel room anyway!    



Finally, there is the question of what the winning team members and children get,isn't there ? Isn't it obvious... - Kitchen of India's Halwa two pack set for each of the members. Now, whether they choose to share it with their losing spouse at home is going to depend on how well the loser butters the other up (*insert evil cheeky grin here !!*)


All in all, it will be an evening of good friends, great fun and wonderful food to soothe the mind, heart and tummy -  just what the doctor ordered.

Author's note: This is an entry for 'My Weekend Party' contest with Kitchens of India in association with Indiblogger.

10 comments:

  1. Yummy entry ...Chinese style Chilli fish is my favorite
    All the best :)

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    Replies
    1. My mouth was watering as I was writing the menu... sucks to go and eat hospital canteen food after that :D

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  2. Replies
    1. Hehe.. I know I would attend a party with that menu, no questions asked ! :D

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  3. All the best doc for the contest! Too bad I'm not one on your guest list !

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    Replies
    1. For blogger buddies, special consideration will be given... especially if I win ! :D

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  4. Good planning Roshan, loved ur theme! My fav sitcom,infact of each one from our generation :). The blog reminded me of our Engg days! Extremely Crazy still memorable!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliments.. for me too, the sitcom is more a memory of days gone by.. great laughs I shared with so many friends at that time so many years ago

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  5. Your party has it all, good food,friends, fun and nostalgia - nice prescription for a weekend, Dr.

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