Testing a Basic Linear Regression Model

The code snippet for generating a frequency table for a categorical explanatory variable is shown below:

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV  OUT=crsera.nesarc; GETNAMES=YES;RUN;
DATA new; set crsera.nesarc;LABEL S1Q10A=”INCOME” MAJORDEP12=”PRESENCE OF DEPRESSION”;
proc freq; table MAJORDEP12;RUN;

The above code snippets generate the following frequency table:

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We see that the categorical explanatory variable ‘presence of depression’ has 2 categories: 0 (no) and 1 (yes).

Next, let us test a linear regression between presence of depression (categorical explanatory) and income in last 12 months (quantitative response). The code snippet for the regression is:

PROC glm;
model S1Q10A=MAJORDEP12/solution;
run;

The above code snippet generates the following result:

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The regression analysis shows a positive intercept (28726.48) and a negative coefficient (beta= -6700.62), which implies that income and presence of major depression are negatively associated. And as the p-value is less than 0.0001 (along with a high F= 73.01), the association is significant.

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My Data

1.0 Sample

The sample is from Gapminder which was founded in in Stockholm by Ola Rosling, Anna  Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling. Gapminder is a non-profit organization which  promotes sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The data I have been working on has information on 213 countries on 16 variables. The variables I am interested in are income per person, urban rate and life expectancy. There are in total 213 observations.

2.0 Procedures

Gapminder includes over 200 indicators  including gross domestic product, total employment rate, and estimated HIV prevalence. It includes data of all 192 UN member countires. The sources of data for Gapminder are Institute for Health
Metrics and Evaulation, US Census Bureau’s International Database, United Nations
Statistics Division, and the World Bank. Hence, authenticity and quality of data are ensured.

Income per person and life expectancy were sourced from World Bank Work Development Indicators and World Bank respectively, whereas data on life expectancy was collected from a number of sources such as: Human Mortality Database, World Population Prospects, Publications and files by History professor James C Riley and Human Life-table Database.

3.0 Measures

The income per person indicates 2010 Gross Domestic Product per-capita in constant 2000 US$. The inflation but not the differences in the cost of living between countries
has been taken into account. On the other hand, life expectancy shows 2011 life expectancy at birth (years). It indicates average number of years a newborn child would live if current mortality patterns were to stay the same. Last but not least, the urban rate is 2008 urban population (% of total population of a country). Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices (calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects).

Running an ANOVA, Chi-Square Test and correlation coefficient that include a moderator

In case of running a test of ANOVA with a moderator, I have tested the association of presence of major depression with income while keeping ‘experience of major financial crisis’ as the moderator.

In all cases, 1 = Yes, and 2 = No.

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We get to see that the association of presence of major depression with income among the people who experienced major financial crisis is significant as p-value is less than 0.0001 for F = 16. Hence, we can say that there is an association between presence of depression and income among those who have had financial crisis. If we look at the mean income, we see that those who do not have depression have higher income (mean income 19537.9148) than those who have depression (mean income 17452.81).

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We get similar results for the people who did not experience any major financial crisis. The p-value is 0.0118< 0.05 for F = 6.34. Hence, we reject the null hypothesis, and conclude that there is an association between presence of depression and income.

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Here we see that, respondents who did not experience major financial crisis have higher average income (irrespective of presence of depression) than those who did. In addition to that, people without having depression have even higher average income than those having depression. So anyways, we find that the existence of the moderator does not generate any statistically different results.

Let’s look at a Chi-Square test of independence with the same moderator ‘experience of major financial crisis’. The null hypothesis is presence of major depression and having trouble with colleagues are independent of each other.

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We see that in both cases presence of depression and having trouble with colleagues are dependent on each other as we have to reject the null hypothesis because of p-value< 0.05.

Last but not least, I also tested the correlation between income and number of cigarettes smoked keeping experience of major financial crisis as the moderator.

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From the above output, we see that the correlation between income and number of cigarettes smoked for the respondents who experienced financial crisis is negative (-0.00285) but very close to 0.00, whereas the correlation is positive (0.01535), which is close to 0.00 as well, for people who did not experience financial crisis. In both cases, we fail to reject the null hypothesis because of p-value> 0.05.

The following code snippets were run to generate the above results:

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV  OUT=crsera.nesarc; GETNAMES=YES;RUN;
DATA new; set crsera.nesarc; LABEL S1Q2310=”EXPERIENCED MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISIS” S4AQ1=”PRESENCE OF MAJOR DEPRESSION”  S1Q10A=”TOTAL PERSONAL INCOME IN LAST 12 MONTHS” S1Q236=”HAD TROUBLE WITH COLLEAGUES IN LAST 12 MONTHS” S3AQ3C1=”QUANTITY OF CIGARETTES SMOKED”;
IF S1Q2310=9 THEN S1Q2310=.; IF S4AQ1=9 THEN S4AQ1=.; IF S1Q236=9 THEN S1Q236=.; IF S3AQ3C1=99 THEN S3AQ3C1=.; IF S3AQ3C1=’BL’ THEN S3AQ3C1=.; IF S1Q24FT=99 THEN S1Q24FT=.;
/*ANOVA*/PROC SORT;BY S1Q2310; /*EXPERIENCED MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISIS*/
PROC ANOVA;CLASS S4AQ1;MODEL S1Q10A /*TOTAL PERSONAL INCOME IN LAST 12 MONTHS*/=S4AQ1 /*PRESENCE OF DEPRESSION*/;MEANS S4AQ1; BY S1Q2310;
RUN;
/*CHI-SQUARE*/ PROC SORT;BY S1Q2310; /*EXPERIENCED MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISIS*/
PROC FREQ; TABLES S4AQ1*S1Q236 /*HAD TROUBLE WITH COLLEAGUES IN LAST 12 MONTHS*//CHISQ;BY S1Q2310;
/*CORRELATION*/PROC SORT;BY S1Q2310; /*EXPERIENCED MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISIS*/ PROC CORR;VAR S1Q10A /*TOTAL PERSONAL INCOME IN LAST 12 MONTHS*/ S3AQ3C1 /*QUANTITY OF CIGARETTES SMOKED*/;BY S1Q2310;RUN;

Examining correlation between income per person and alcohol consumption

The data set from Gapminder has been used to test the correlation between income per person and alcohol consumption among the countries. The r = 0.29539 suggests that there is a positive correlation between alcohol consumption and income per person. That is, as the income per person increases, alcohol consumption also increases. However, the positive strength of the correlation is not very strong. The p-value of less than 0.0001 indicates the relationship as statistically significant. Hence, it’s highly unlikely that a relationship of this magnitude would be due to chance alone.

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To better understand the strength of the correlation, we can have a look at the fit plot:

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The Fit Plot does not indicate a strong linear relationship as well.

The following code snippets have been used to generate the above results:

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/gapminder.csv’ DBMS=CSV PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/gapminder.csv’ DBMS=CSV  OUT=crsera.gapminder; GETNAMES=YES;RUN;
PROC SORT; by COUNTRY;
PROC CORR; VAR incomeperperson alcconsumption;
RUN;
title ‘Income Per Person vs. Alcohol Consumption’;proc sgplot data=crsera.gapminder;  reg x=alcconsumption y=incomeperperson / degree=2;  keylegend / location=inside position=topright across=1;  xaxis grid;  yaxis grid;  run;

Testing the association between smoking frequency and feeling of depression among young adults

When examining the association between smoking frequency (categorical explanatory) and feeling of depression (categorical response) among young adults, a chi-square test of independence revealed that among young adults smokers (my sample), there is no association between their smoking frequency and feeling of depression, which is the null hypothesis.

From the FREQ Procedure table, we take only S4AQ1 (Feeling of Depression) = 1, which indicates the presence of depression, into consideration. Looking at the column percentages, we see that among the young adults having smoking frequencies indicated by 1, 2.5, 5, 14, 22 and 30, 39.44%, 29.23%, 32.95%, 33.33% 35.29% and 35.91% respectively experience depression.

When we look at the Chi-Square statistic, we see a value of 2.1277 having a p-value of 0.8312> 0.05. Hence, we cannot reject the null hypothesis, and conclude that the feeling of depression and smoking frequency  among young adults are independent of each other.

The df or degree of freedom we record is the number of levels of the explanatory variable less 1. Since, we have 6 categorical explanatory variables, the df in the test is 5.

As the percentage of young adult smokers having depression is statistically same (since we could not reject the null hypothesis), we actually do not require any post-hoc Chi-Square test. Even if we carry out the test, we would find that for each test the adjusted p-value is higher than .003.

The following code snippet was run for the Chi-Square test:

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV  OUT=crsera.nesarc; GETNAMES=YES;RUN;
DATA new; set crsera.nesarc;LABEL S4AQ1=”Feeling of Depression”   CHECK321=”Smoked Cigarettes in Past 12 Months”   S3AQ3B1=”Usual Smoking Frequency”   USFREQMO=”Smoking Frequency Per Month”
/*Set appropriate missing data as needed*/IF S3AQ3B1=9 THEN S3AQ3B1=.;IF S4AQ1=9 THEN S4AQ1=.;
IF S3AQ3B1=1 THEN USFREQMO=30;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=2 THEN USFREQMO=22;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=3 THEN USFREQMO=14;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=4 THEN USFREQMO=5;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=5 THEN USFREQMO=2.5;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=6 THEN USFREQMO=1;/*USFREQMO usual smoking days per month1=once a month or less2.5=2-3 days per month5=1-2 days per week 14=3-4 days per week22=5-6 days per week30=everyday*/
/*subsetting data to include only past 12 month smokers, age 18-25*/IF CHECK321=1;IF AGE LE 25;
PROC SORT; by IDNUM;
PROC FREQ; TABLES S4AQ1*USFREQMO/CHISQ;RUN;

After running the above snippet, SAS generates the following results:

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Association of alcohol consumption status with smoking quantity among current young adult smokers

The following code snippets were run for ANOVA:

PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’PROC IMPORT DATAFILE=’/home/dd16er0/my_courses/nesarc_pds.csv’ DBMS=CSV OUT=crsera.nesarc; GETNAMES=YES;RUN;
DATA new; set crsera.nesarc;
LABEL TAB12MDX=”Dependence”   CHECK321=”Smoked12″   S3AQ3B1=”UsualFreq”   S3AQ3C1=”UsualQuant”;
IF S3AQ3B1=9 THEN S3AQ3B1=.;IF S3AQ3C1=99 THEN S3AQ3C1=.;
IF S3AQ3B1=1 THEN USFREQMO=30;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=2 THEN USFREQMO=22;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=3 THEN USFREQMO=14;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=4 THEN USFREQMO=5;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=5 THEN USFREQMO=2.5;ELSE IF S3AQ3B1=6 THEN USFREQMO=1;
NUMCIGMO_EST=USFREQMO*S3AQ3C1;
PACKSPERMONTH=NUMCIGMO_EST/20;
IF PACKSPERMONTH LE 5 THEN PACKCATEGORY=3;ELSE IF PACKSPERMONTH LE 10 THEN PACKCATEGORY=7;ELSE IF PACKSPERMONTH LE 20 THEN PACKCATEGORY=15;ELSE IF PACKSPERMONTH LE 30 THEN PACKCATEGORY=25;ELSE IF PACKSPERMONTH GT 30 THEN PACKCATEGORY=58;
IF CHECK321=1;IF AGE LE 25;
PROC SORT; by IDNUM;
PROC ANOVA; CLASS CONSUMER;MODEL NUMCIGMO_EST=CONSUMER;MEANS CONSUMER;
PROC ANOVA; CLASS CONSUMER;MODEL NUMCIGMO_EST=CONSUMER;MEANS CONSUMER/DUNCAN;
RUN;

The detailed result:

Click to view

Model Interpretation for ANOVA:

When examining the association between current number of cigarettes smoked (quantitative response) and alcohol consumption status (categorical explanatory), an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) revealed that among daily, young adult smokers (my sample), there is no association between their current status of drinking (current drinker [1], ex-drinker [2], lifetime abstainer [3]) and number of cigarettes smoked as F = 0.76 having P = 0.4684> 0.05. This implies that I cannot reject my null hypothesis which is there is no association between alcohol consumption status and smoking quantity. Note that the mean numbers of smoking among current drinkers, ex-drinkers and lifetime abstainers  are 319.46 (SD 277.61), 353.31 (SD 239.11) and 304.71 (304.71) respectively.

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2

Model Interpretation for post hoc ANOVA results:

The post hoc comparison (Duncan Grouping) corroborates the non-significant result found from ANOVA run above.

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Conscience-smitten …

This piece of blog was supposed to be a technical one. But what I experienced a week back changed my mind. I’m late to publish because I was busy and not in a suitable position to write.

I was about to travel from my uncle’s place to my native place. I was going to the bus station. Suddenly I heard someone was screaming. I looked around. And what I had to see completely shook mind. She might have been in her early twenties or maybe slightly younger, who looked like an uncared-for girl born and brought up in any of the shabby slums of the city or under the open sky. She was completely au naturel, cringed and quivery; she was embarrassed and helpless standing on the sidewalk. Having seen her I sensed someone might have stripped her. Or she could even be mentally retarded. I can’t really forget her.

After having the shock of the glimpse I hurried and tried to move past the scene the earliest. Everyone else around me seemed to be doing the same. I reached the bus station and boarded the bus. I was no different from those many people in that street or on the same sidewalk the girl was standing on because just like any other ‘conscientious’ person in that street what best I could do for the girl was feeling very sorry for her. But … did my feeling sorry give her the warmth in that biting cold? Did my or any other’s feeling sorry for her bring any change in her sufferings? Then what’s the point of feeling sorry? I had jeans and t-shirts in the bag I was carrying. Why couldn’t I just stop for a moment and throw a pair of those to her?

Wake up, Deepan !!!

Though this piece of memory stokes laughter but I still can sense what a horrendous and disconcerting feeling it was then. As a student I have always been negligent about the theoretical and abstract matters of any subject I had to study. While taking preparation for exams I never wished to memorize those theoretical, abstract and bullshit matters. Instead I used to take ‘concepts’ of those matters and write on my own from those concepts. The concept of these ‘concepts’ is a bit confusing and often used to perplex my dear buddy Jeetu. That is why I’m avoiding adding any further details on the concept. By the way, I guess even many of my examiners failed to understand the concept. Alas …

The reason why I introduced the matter of concept is that I have had a subject called Personality Development during my undergraduate studies. It was the sheer stupidity of the university to keep it as an entirely theoretical subject. On the other hand, I believed it should have been a cent percent practical subject. Under the syllabus we had to memorize different ways of making public speeches effective, how to be smart, how to make presentations enthralling, dos and don’ts during interviews and blah-blah … Total insanity! If a student is good at memorizing s/he could easily prepare a 5/6-page note on the matters and then write the same in the exam paper. But answering how to make public speeches effective and actually delivering an effective and enthralling public speech are two entirely different things! As a matter of this fact I never studied the subject throughout the semester. At night before the internal exam (the exam held by my college) I took the concept and the next day the concept was transformed into inscription on the answer sheet. I didn’t score badly.

The real melodrama of my misfortune took place on the day of the external exam (the exam help by the university) on Personality Development. Since the subject was disgusting to me I didn’t feel it just right to take preparation on it at night before the exam. I spent time by watching movies, listening to music, facebooking and so on. I didn’t even think of seeing the book until it was around 3 am! How daring, you might be thinking. Ha ha ha … Finally, the book was in my hand. I turned over a few pages. Weird activities were going on in my brain and I was taking the concept again. I remember it was around 4.30 am. I felt I should take a break and resort to my bed. But before I went to bed I had taken my cell phone and set alarms to wake me up at 7 am, 7.15 am, 7.20 am, 7.30 am and finally at 7.35 am. The cell phone was kept on my reading table. I dozed off.

Okay! I opened my eyes. I discovered myself still lying in the bed. But I sensed something was wrong. The sun was unusually shining brightly in the early morning. What’s the matter?  Or did I get up late? Ohh nooo … I jumped off the bed and looked at the cell phone. It was switched off. Shi*!!! I looked at my wrist watch. O my goodness! It was 10.30 am by then. I flumped down on my bed. My exam was scheduled to start at 10 am. So I just missed the exam. But what really happened that I couldn’t get up despite the 5 loud alarms? The cell phone was running on too low battery charge when I set the alarms. I didn’t notice that. So I guess soon after I had gone to sleep the phone went switched off and didn’t have the power to wake me up L Sad … very sad!

Now, what would I tell my friends and my parents? My friends would definitely roll on the floor laughing and this is what exactly happened and my dad might get a heart attack! I couldn’t think of anything. After the exam was over at 1 pm I started getting a barrage of calls from my friends. But I didn’t have the guts to receive the calls. Ha ha ha …

Jeetu also called me but I didn’t receive. He directly came to my house. I opened the door and he almost shouted, “What happened?” I tried to pretend to look devastated. But I knew that he was going to laugh out loud after hearing the fact. I told him slowly. And he did just the thing I was expecting. I can understand it was hard to control over the laughter. Maybe, I would have done the same thing because on the whole the entire incident was ludicrous. And later on whoever heard the story couldn’t help laughing. The entire class got to know. On that day after the exam I was supposed to meet Professor Neena Ranka to discuss some topics and clarify some doubts on Financial Management. Since I didn’t turn up she asked in the class. Even she laughed. Anyway, I was destined to take the retest in the next semester. But I didn’t forget to thank my fate thinking that the same didn’t happen the next day because that day I had the most important Financial Management paper and had the same incident happened to me on the day of Financial Management exam both the situation and consequence could have been fatal. I got mentally prepared for taking the concept of Personality Development again and eventually clearing the exam in the following semester.

This particular incident scared me so much that I was really frightened to get sleep before exams. And as of it besides those 4/5 alarms I requested Neelam, my friend, to wake me up by calling me at least 2-3 hours before the exams. Neelam was habitually an early riser.

Ohh yes! The results were out. I was going to get an ATKT for the second time in my life (I failed in mathematics once in school when I was in class seven). But I was trying to console myself saying that that was not actually a that bad ATKT since I didn’t fail in the exam, rather I was absent. So the ATKT had an associated dignity (!) to me. Professor Yamini Mathur and another professor (I forgot her name. she used to teach us Agri Business Management) came into our class to distribute the statements of marks among the students. At some point of time my name was called. I approached Professor Mathur to get the statement of marks. The another madam saw that my transcript had the ATKT on it. She asked, “O no! You got an ATKT. Why?” What could say? I kept mum. Then Professor Mathur explained the reason to that madam and both smiled at me together. A few months before our results were out Wake Up Sid was a hit movie. When I was receiving the transcript from Professor Yamini Mathur, the other professor standing beside her said, “Wake up, Deepan!”

Ssshhh … Don’t tell this to my parents. They don’t know the real story yet! Ha ha ha …

My Fad for Cooking …

Culinary art has recently occupied much of my attention and I’m an amateur artist. Though cuisine is an art I doubt whether what I do with it would be somewhere to be treated as an art. Frankly I barely know the ABCs of cooking. But yes, if I’m given a detailed recipe I can be a not so bad cook; I’m being humble. So far my skills have ludicrously been limited to bringing some innovations in making salads only. What tempts me the most about cooking is the kind of innovation and twist of taste you can introduce in your daily ordinary meals. And that is why recently Twist of Taste and Food Safari on Fox Traveler and Master Chef India 2 on Star Plus have been my favorite shows since the last few months.

Cooking is really fun and an immense source of joy. I sincerely think of being a cook and adding some different flavors to some bland dishes made by my mom. But my mom is the dictator of her kitchen. None is allowed to conduct any sort of experiment with the utensils and spices in the kitchen without her prior permission. So I really have some serious constraints. And which is why I have so far been mostly confined within the periphery of salads. One thing about cooking is very true that to be a good cook or at least to cook something delicious all you need is just the enthusiasm. Your enthusiasm makes you innovative. While I was watching Master Chef India 2, I was wondering how the judges could sense the different ingredients of the dishes made and how they could confidently say which ingredients and what proportion and mix of those would be best for a particular dish. Having seen that I also started critically analyzing my mom’s dishes and thinking what could be added to make it something that would satiate my taste buds. But since I’m not allowed I fear my innovations are being subdued gradually. Anyway, I’m not going to give up so soon.

It all started in Pune, India. I was staying alone and there was no one to cook for me. I used to subscribe home delivery service of meals twice a day. I’m a hard core non-vegetarian. But the inflation in Pune transmuted me into a vegetarian. Countless thanks to Andhra Mess in Pune wherein I used to get quality cheap non-veg dishes once or twice in a month. One of my service providers didn’t have the provision of serving meals on Sundays. The other one whom I have subscribed for long used to forget to deliver sometimes or didn’t serve the dishes without any prior notification. These cases used to be irritating and exhausting. Having no delivery of meals for a day means walking for 15 minutes to the North Main Road, waiting for around half an hour to get the meals (mostly chicken fried rice and a chicken frarcha (fry) sometimes) and finally walking back home for another 15 minutes. So an hour is just gone by bringing the food at home! Count another half an hour for eating and washing the utensils. Now, the question is whether a student and a person like me can afford to waste 1.5 hours just on the process of dispatching the food toward the stomach. How awful was it during exams? But … I was helpless. In order to ameliorate my sufferings Maggi noodles played a substantial role in my diet. Readers, you have no idea about how much grateful and loyal I’m to this brand. Maggi and scrambled eggs (scrambled eggs was the first dish I brought innovation into and I’ll share how) were the only dishes on the menu for lunch and dinner for many days.

Beside my house there was a mess which used to be run by some young dudes. I joined that initially. Though the meals were fresh and to some extent tasty too but soon I became bored. For months I ate the same veggies and daal. There was not even the slightest variation in the dishes except on the days of special occasions like Diwali etc. Some guys there had working knowledge on cooking at least a chicken curry. So if there was a day when the meal was off they didn’t have any problem. But on each day of those days either I had to go out to buy food or I had to have maggi. To add to my misery there was that luscious smell of those chicken curries. Man … I wished I could have cooked like those guys. This is what gave me the impetus to learn how to cook. But the irony is I wasn’t allowed to cook in my house! It was one of the many conditions that was stipulated by the house owner for all the tenants of that house. It was a kind of tyranny! Anyway, disregarding those conditions I bought an electric heater which was the fetus of my innovation in cooking. Ha ha ha …

Anyone can understand that an electric heater is not the perfect instrument to experiment with the fancy dishes. Most importantly my house owner used to have a rigorous checking on the electricity bills. My stars!!! I had a desktop computer which already consumed much electricity every month. On top of that if my electric heater consumed more electricity definitely I would be homeless! So when I used to turn the electric heater on my pc used to remain sleeping and all the lights and fans off. Indirectly I became energy efficient! Despite all those limitations and fear of homelessness my dream of becoming a cook, if not a cook at least a man who himself could cook his meals so that under any circumstances he didn’t have to recourse to the bistros or other food outlets was unsubdued. Since saving electricity means using the electric heater for a time which should be as much less as possible I did have no choice but frying eggs and boiling maggi only. I remember venturing a chicken curry once but the anxiety of the increased electricity bill was the spoilsport and eventually the chicken curry was mediocre. After that I actually never dared cooking a chicken curry on that heater. And at the fag end I was left with only scrambled eggs and boiled maggi for introducing twist of taste in them.

In scrambled eggs I added finely chopped garlic, onion, coriander leaves, tomato, ginger and lots of green chilly. The very ordinary scrambled eggs became sublime. With scrambled eggs if you have Kurkure or any other tangy flavored chips the taste would be awesome. I don’t know whether you’d find the same. In maggi I could barely bring any difference in taste except adding green chilly, black pepper, coriander leaves and sometimes eggs in the boiling water. So this was how a ‘chef’ was born. Tomorrow I’m going to prepare a salad. The ingredients I have thought for it are (don’t forget that I’ve my momma): cucumber, tomato, carrot, rock salt, mayonnaise, onion, roasted red chilly, mustard oil, garlic, coriander leaves, lemon (not sure), black pepper and … I can’t remember anything else at the moment. Salads have always been ignored in the meals of the middle-class Bengali families. To many, still salad means a few slices of cucumber, tomato and carrot. But I believe my mom’s going to give me a smile after I prepare the salad. Oh yes! I’m possibly going to make a sauce/ chaatni too. It’s a very simple one but was never tasted in my family. It’s made of tomato, coriander leaves, garlic, onion, green chilly, rock salt and lemon juice after all these are blended together.

Trust me! I’m going to take cooking seriously. It’s only for my pleasure. When I see the guys who used to cook amateurishly at home in the Master Chef India 2 I can’t help being inspired. I’m looking forward to that auspicious time I’ll be armed with a fully fledged kitchen. But girls don’t appreciate me too much. Ha ha ha … Don’t think that I’ll be cooking all my/ our meals after getting married. Cooking would just be a nice pastime of mine.

Thank you for reading till the end.

In the ‘dudeless’, ‘babeless’ city- Part 02

Ahhh … after a long time I’m on wordpress. I was busy with a few brutal exams. That’s why I couldn’t write. Anyway, I’m going to continue the second part of the last blog.

We’d set out for Koyambedu bus station and we needed a taxi. To avoid any haggle or brawl with the driver it’s the best option to take a prepaid taxi to your destination. We did the same. I purchased the ticket. A driver neared me and requested us to follow. The driver was slovenly. He was on bare feet. I noticed, to some people in Chennai, walking on bare feet was in vogue. I couldn’t discover a valid reason for that. I didn’t ask anyone either about this. Anyway, we were heading toward the bus station by the car. The station was, I guess, around 20 kilometers away from the airport. We were passing through software parks and commercial areas. The buildings were of architectural elegance. There was no traffic jam. It was a very smooth ride. I was sitting quite until it was around 20 minutes and thought of asking the driver how long it’d take us to reach. I asked the driver casually in good Hindi. But the driver retorted by saying, “English please, sir”. Well and good! I asked again translating the previous sentence in English. He understood and replied.

Okay! We reached the bus station. When you read ‘bus station’ I know the stereotype you have in your mind. But that stereotype will usually contradict if you see the bus station at Koyambedu. From the facade you couldn’t guess how large it could be. And the worst part was almost everything on the bus was written in pure Tamil. Since I had a patient with me and he could barely walk I told aunty to stand at a place inside the bus station with the luggage. I started looking for the bus. I asked a few people at the station and got the direction and necessary info about the bus. Finally I got the bus and booked 3 tickets for us. After booking the tickets I went back to aunty to bring her and her son. We boarded the bus. The bus set off after some time. The journey was smooth and comfortable. The bonus was the amazing view of the mountainous regions and winding and ups and downs of the highway. The scenery is still vivid in my memory. Anyway, I guess after around 3 hours we reached Vellore. Vellore is a small town whose economy is based on the Christian Medical College Hospital. Quite Astonishing! You’d start to understand if I give you some facts like in 2009-’10 around 12 lakhs patients have visited the hospital from different parts of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. The operation of the hospital is on a ginormous scale.

We booked our lodge beforehand. So after getting down from the bus we approached toward our lodge. There started the real problem of language. The manager who was sitting at the reception knew barely the ABCs of English. He was mostly speaking in Tamil. A severe misunderstanding took place. It was almost going to be on the verge of a brawl between us. The manager was boorish too. Then to rescue us the son of the ‘chairman’ of the lodge came and settled the dispute. The lodge was nice and cheap; it was nice enough for the companies of the patients of the CMH. The lodge is full with patients and their relatives throughout the year. The services and facilities provided are good. I got a separate room of mine. It was a very long and tiresome journey. So I got freshened up and had rest for a while. In the evening I went out for a walk with aunty.

Nahh… this writing is getting really boring. I won’t write anymore on this. But honestly the ‘dudeless and babeless’ city taught me a lot. Ohh yes! I will have to share one thing with you. In my next trip to Chennai I met an engineer cum poet whom I asked why people in general there mostly didn’t intend to learn Hindi, the national language. I continued saying that visitors from other parts of the country really had to face a lot of problems due to that language barrier. I can’t remember exactly what he replied to my question. But he gave me a very vital suggestion. He told me that I should never speak in grammatically correct English with the auto rickshaw drivers or shopkeepers. Because when I’d speak in grammatically correct English, English would be more complicated for them to understand. I needed to speak in ‘broken English’. Like … if I want to say that I don’t know Tamil I should say (with hand motions of course), “I no Tamil”. And there is another specialty of Tamil. In almost every modern language there is a vocabulary wherein some words directly enter unaltered from other foreign languages. As for example, in Bengali there is actually no precise word for ‘Computer’. That’s why a computer in Bengali is also ‘computer’. But this is not the case with Tamil. According to the engineer I met there is an authority of Tamil language and literature which coins every modern and technical terminology of English in Tamil. So you’d find precisely a word in Tamil for the term ‘Computer’. Amazing …

Okay! Enough of writing today. But I will now be writing frequently on wordpress since I have become a bit free. I’m looking forward to the next write-up. Wish all the readers of my blog a very happy 2012. Love and peace …

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