Sunday, November 07, 2010

Chitragupt Pooja

Chitragupt Pooja is done by the "Kayasthas" on the second day from Deepawali, i.e. "Yama Dwitiya".

The mantra is as per the below attached picture:




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Friday, July 23, 2010

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost

Friday, July 02, 2010

The Hangout - A Gourmet Bonanza!

When I was planning to go out for lunch today with one of my colleagues, little did I know that I was in for a Gourmet Bonanza!
My friend took me to a small and lesser known food joint called "The Hangout" in Belapur, Navi Mumbai near my office. Even though the name sounds pretty cool and hip, let me remind you that its just a small food joint where college people "Hang out!" .

In fact, earlier this place was called "Mostly Liquids" and was a juice-cum-mocktail bar! but due to a positioning mismatch and poor response, they later aligned it to the target customers' needs (college students) and revamped it to an Oriental food joint thus, "The Hangout"
So, here goes the review:

1. Ambience (First Impression isn't always the last impression):

The ambience was not very impressive, which I wasn't even expecting for, but the fact that it was spic-n-span was a comfort for my hygiene quotient.
There were around 8 of 4-seater tables, out of which only 3 were occupied when we walked in. There were two sections of the restaurant, one was the indoor A.C. section while the other was the outdoor seating arrangement section, which was dysfunct thanks to the merciless Mumbai rains!
Wimbledon match was being aired on the sole 21" TV perched on top of a big almirah at one of the corners, with the A.C.'s water leaking on top of it! There were frequent power-cuts during or meal, which added to some discomfort since there was no power back up option installed.

My Rating: 6/10

2. Customer Service (Not Applicable ;D):

The only waiter available was one of the most confused guys I have ever come across; the first dish I enquired about drew a blank from his side and I had to urge him to get some info about it from the chef and this process went on until we finalized upon our menu.
Then started the wait for our order to arrive. We were so irritated with the waiting time and the power cut that we decided to take a stroll outside while our order was brought. Finally, the food arrived after 20 long minutes! To put a cherry on the top(just an expression, please don't take it in the literal sense), the waiter dropped some of the food in my soft drink glass (and they expect a tip after such pathetic service!!)
Finally when we presented a credit card for bill payment, guess what! they don't accept cards (WTF! man and they talk of plastic money & smart cards!!)

My rating: 4/10

3. Food (Worth taking all the troubles!)

Well, on our way to the restaurant, my friend had described it as a Thai food joint, which I later found out as a complete tangent observation. Rather, after going through the menu I found it to be a mix of some Oriental cuisines with a few Thai delicacies thrown in. Since we didn't have much time at our hand, we did not go for an elaborate multi-course lunch but stuck to a rather simple lunch of a starter, a main course and some soft drinks to go with it.
So finally what we ordered was: Korean Chicken (starters), Chicken Pot Rice Peri Peri & Soft drinks (A 500 ml pet bottle of cola).
Now, when we were expecting an anti-climax, the chef thankfully proved us wrong. The food tasted heavenly, with the tender chicken morsels melting in mouth and the aroma of the herbs was out of the world. Even though the quantity wasn't much, but was just enough for two persons to have a decent fill.
While ordering the pot rice, I was thinking whether the chef even knew what Peri Peri meant, but the first spoonful of the sinful rice made me correct my thoughts. This chef really knows his job and we should not let the waiter's incompetence fool you into believing otherwise like me. In fact I was so overwhelmed with the food that I dared compare it with my favorite restaurant "5 Spice". Though this David cannot slay the Goliath, but then no one's expecting it to do so also. "5 Spice" definitely is way ahead of "The Hangout" on all the parameters but for food, where "The Hangout" has managed to Hangout to a very very close 2nd position. And for the foodie in me, as long as you give me good food, I care a damn for the Ambience, Customer Service or any other external factor!!! Hope the food-junkies out there would surely be able to relate with what I am saying.

My Rating: A very high 8.5/10

4. Pricing (Decent):

The prices were not dirt cheap, but were very decent, considering the target customer base of college students with most of the dishes priced in the range of Rs. 80/- to Rs. 100/- and the dishes ordered by use were in the highest bracket. Our bill details were as follows:

Korean Chicken (starters) - Rs. 85/-
Chicken Pot Rice Peri Peri (main course) - Rs. 165
Soft drinks (A 500 ml pet bottle of cola) - Rs. 30/-

Total Bill amount: Rs. 280/-

The only problem is that they accept only Cash. So, if you are planning to visit, keep some dough with you.

My Rating: 7/10

Overall Rating: 7/10

Caution: This place is not for fitness freaks, but for those who have a taste for junk will simply love it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mera Bharat Mahaan!!!

We live in a nation ,
  • Where Pizza reaches home faster than Ambulance police,
  • Where you get car loan @ 8% and education loan @ 13%,
  • Where rice is Rs 40/- per kg but sim card is free,
  • Where a millionaire can buy a cricket team instead of donating the money to any charity,
  • Where the footwear, we wear ,are sold in AC showrooms, but vegetables, that we eat, are sold on the footpath,
  • Where everybody wants to be famous but nobody wants to follow the path to be famous,
  • Where we make lemon juices with artificial flavours and dish wash liquids with real lemon.
  • Where people are standing at tea stalls reading an article about child labour from a newspaper and say,"yaar bachhonse kaam karvane wale ko to phansi par chadha dena chahiye" and then they shout "Oye chhotu 2 chaii laao....."

Incredible India,

Mera Bharat Mahaan.

(Source: An email forward worth sharing)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Movie Review - Badmash Company

Well friends, just came back after watching a late night show of "Badmaash Company". On my way back from the theater, I was contemplating on tweeting about the movie, since that's the usual way of me sharing my views with my friends, of the movies I watch. But this time I thought of taking a more detailed approach. I thought this time 140 characters won't suffice; also its been ages since I wrote my last blog ;p
So here goes my review:


Banner:
Yash Raj Films
Status:Released on 07th May 2010
Language: Hindi
Genre: Drama
Producer: Yash Chopra, Aditya Chopra
Director: Parmeet Sethi
Star Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, Anupam Kher
Music Director: Pritam
Cassettes and CD’s on: YRF Music
Release Date: May 7, 2010

Let me clarify here itself that I ain't going to reveal the plots here, so those of you who are looking for the details of the story, I would suggest you please try another page.

So, now that the modalities are over, let's get down to business; the movie is very fast paced, switching from one sub-plot to another, which some might find annoying, but for me it was really cool and saved me from getting bored.
Best part was that Shahid wasn't over-acting for a change. He stuck to his role and played it perfectly. Yes, even I am surprised with myself; why am I singing paeans of Shahid, when I had vowed to not to watch any other of his movies after watching the disaster called "Paathshala", which I would rather not talk about (Just like my sister had written in my Autograph book a long time ago - "Sad thoughts better lost"; I know its cliche' but I had to use it to get over with the trauma). Anyways, coming back to the topic, though I was a bit hesitant at the thought of watching another Shahid flick, my wife conned me into it.
About the movie, well its a regular story of rags to riches with a few pitfalls, fights with friends and grilfriend and all the regular masala that you can expect in a "Junta Movie".
One miore thing that I would like to point out was the surprise I got in Anushka Sharma; she was in a completely opposite role from "Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi", she was looking super hot in those ultra mod dresses that show more and hide less, leaving very little for imagination. There were lots of liplocks thrown in to raise the thermometer a few more notches, which could have been completely avoided, though the couple were sizzling on the screen. One thing I didn't understand was, why was Anupam Kher wasted in such a weak role. The director could have made better use of the seasoned actor.
The music was very mediocre, bordering on the edges of "Boring" which was never expected from a talented music director like Preetam. None of the songs were engaging, in fact they were so mediocre that its not even been 2 hrs since I watched the movie and I fail to recollect any of the songs except Aiyyashi, which I had already heard courtsey Mumbai FM channels.
The build up for the climax was very boring, wherein Shahid becomes a good guy and goes on an apology spree only to take his friends' help in the climax plot.
The "Bleeding Madras" was hilarious and the Michael Jackson show was unasked for! One thing that i would like to ask Mr. Story writer/ Director saab is how can "Insider Trading" be classified as a "seedha" act? In my opinion, that was the biggest scam the "Badmash Company" pulled off!
Anyways, overall the movie was a good entertainment and I would recommend this movie as a Once watch option for sure. So, if you don't have an AC at your home, or are getting bored and dont want to brave out the Sun, its a good option to enjoy the flick in an AC theatre with your own "Badmash Company"!!


Ratings:
Performance: 4/5
Music: 2/5
Story: 4/5
Cinematography: 3/5
Dialogues: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5