Friday, January 28, 2011

Of brands and non brands

Location : Kalmane Koffee, Forum
Day : A sunday evening

I dont even have to tell you that the place was damn crowded. Considering its one of the very few places where you get coffee thats not too expensive, it is quite expected. I was sitting on the couch wearing some silly dress I had gotten eons ago and to which I am so attached that I dont have the heart to throw it away. A girl comes up to me with a form and asks me to fill it up. School project she tells me. A student in one of the many fancy schools that dot bangalore. The questionnaire is about brand awareness and it has questions about how you value a brand and whether you buy branded stuff more than the other non branded ones and which item is important to a shopper. FIrstly, I was surprised that a school kid was trying to get the data from strangers in the mall and secondly I was a little taken aback at the questions. I guess I belong to a really older generation now.

The incident set me thinking about the brand valued society we see around us. (or atleast i see). How much difference is actually there, apart from the style between a local madurai shirt and a Peter England(say) Shouldnt the textile industry in the country concentrate on coming up with better styles indegenously than blindly go for the big brands and sell things at a premium? I was once a small town girl who seldom bought brands. But 3 years of working in the corporate world has its effects and i do buy some branded stuff now, mainly because of the lack of style and looks and the lack of patience to surf and identify good things in the non branded ones. I just hope that somebody somewhere has a brilliant idea and that we start getting good things without having to pay a premium just to stand apart or rather, just to blend in.

I would love to write more about this topic. I think I am going to start thinking more in these lines.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Then we set his hair on fire

I do not usually read non fiction. However, now I am trying to improve the variety of books and read and so i ended up reading this one. I did enjoy the experience. I do not have any idea about the advertising industry. The closest i have come to getting to know the inside stories is from the scenes in Bewitched (the old serial) where Darren works in an advertising agency. So this book improved my non existent knowledge.
Phil talks in detail about multiple advertisements he has worked on. There are a few funny incidents, a few serious ones and a few practical examples which anyone (i guess) can relate to. The best thing about the book is that it offers no short cuts to success nor does it preach nor boast.
I would say it is worth a read provided you have nothing else to do. I read it over a period of three weeks in bits and pieces. Guess it would take me some more time to get used to reading non fiction. 

Sanjeevanam

I have to thank Jinny for this one. We were strolling around in koramangala on friday night and ended up near this place. She recommended it and we went there for dinner. It was such a whole some meal! There were seven dishes, served in a particular order to enhace the medicinal properties. Eating healthy was never tastier.

1. Soup - it had aswagandha among other things and it was quite different in a nice way. A very good beginning to a meal i would say.
2. Peanut sauce based salad. : The salad had fresh crispy vegetables with bell peppers and really awesome sauce. It was served in a single plate along with the other dish that is the Yam patty.
3. Yam tikki : The tikki was made of yam and never have i liked the vegetable so much in a dish. The way the starters were served made me want to eat more and eat properly.
4. Grape juice with coconut milk : This was supposed to be a palate cleanser and it came with a little ginger and palm candy. Awesome would be an under statement to describe its taste.
5. Main course : Jolada roti stuffed with aloo and sprouts with radish curry. The curry had a coconut base and it was quite well made. I am not a great fan of Radish and usually avoid the vegetable. For the first time, i had the full side dish. Now that should tell you how it actually was.
6. Oats kheer with Almond Falooda : This was an awesome way to use Oats. Sweet in the right proportion and it had loads of fruits to make sure it was healthy also.
7. Ginger coffee : A very good finish to a wonderful meal.

I would recommend this place to everyone. It is worth a visit at least once. However, if you are the kind of person who would want a nice indulgent meal, I am not sure how much you would like this place. It does cater to the taste buds well though. They also have a dosa festival in the nights and I am looking forward to going to the same. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guilty or innocent

I have often heard people say "Innocent until proven guilty" and i seriously wonder, is that the right attitude to take? Don't we let our guard down when we consider the best in someone? Isnt that the scenario when the not so good things about you come out in the open? I was thinking earlier today that " Guilty until proven innocent" would work better when we are faced with a new scenario. The best in it is what hits you immediately while the bad things take a while to sink in. What could be simple bad ends up being worse for simply the height from which your expectations falls is more. I am just thinking if in the process of taking the guilty to be innocent, I start viewing the world in a negative light. Why is it so easy to have an opinion and so difficult to not have one? I can only wonder.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tu Jaane na. :)

Kaise batayein
Kyun tujhko chahe
Yaara batha na paayein
Baatein dilo ki
Dekho jo baki
Aake tujhe samjhaein
Tu jaane naaaaa..
Tu jaane na
Tu jaane na aaaa..
Tu jaane na
Hmm milke bhi, hum na mile
Tumse na jaane kyun, milo ke,
Hai phasle tumse na jaane kyun
Anjaane, hai silsile
Tum se na jaane kyun, sapne hai
Palko tale tum se na jaane kyunnnn
Kaise batayein
Kyun tujhko chahe
Yaara batha na paayein
Baatein dilo ki
Dekho jo baki
Aake tujhe samjhaein
Tu jaane naaaaa..
Tu jaane na
Tu jaane naaaaa..
Tu jaane na

Nigahon mein dehko
Meri jo hai bas gaya aa
Woh hai milta tumse hubahoo
Ooohhooo..
Jaane teri aankhein
Kiya baatein ki vajah…
Huye tum jo dil ki aarzoo
Tum paas ho ke bhi
Tum aas ho ke bhi
Ehsaas ho ke bhi
Apne nahin aise hai
Hum ko gile
Tumse na jaane kyun, milo ke
Hai phasle tumse na jaane kyun
Tu jaane na aaaa..
Tu jaane na
Tu jaane na aaaa..
Tu jaane na
Ooo jaane na jaane na jaane na
tu jaane na
Khayalon mein lakhon baatein,
Yun toh keh gayaaaa..
Bola kuch na tere saamne
Oooo… huye na begaane bhi
Tum hoke aur ke
Dekho tum na mere hi bane
Aafsos hota hai, dil bhi yeh rotha hai
Sapne sanjotha hai, pagla hua soche ye
Hum the mile tum se na jaane kyun
Milo ke, hai phasle tumse na jaane kyun
Anjaane, hai silsile
Tum se na jaane kyun, sapne hai
Palko tale tum se na jaane kyunnnnnn…
Hooooohh…
Kaise batayein
Kyun tujhko chahe
Yaara batha na paayein
Baatein dil o ki
Dekho jo baki
Aake tujhe samjhaein
Tu jaane na aaaa..
Tu jaane na
Tu jaane na aaaa..
Tu jaane na

Upgraded!

I never travel by train. The fact that the bus stops are closer to both my bangalore and madurai houses and the eternally non available tickets in the bangalore-madurai route contribute equally to my distaste. However, for a change, I was able to get a ticket to go to Madurai and the return was a wait listed ticket in 3rd AC. Two days before the journey the ticket is confirmed and I am delighted. Being a stranger to the world of chart preparation, I check the status two hours before the journey and I have been upgraded to a 2nd AC ticket! Talk about wonders. I was so delighted.
I have to appreciate this scheme in the Indian Railways and it has led me to view the railways in a completely different light altogether. Hail Indian Railways!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

13 spices

I am not one to fall for superstition too easily. I  never thought 13 was an unlucky number. That is, until last sunday when i chanced to revisit what I once felt was a good restaurant. The last time i went there, i loved the paneer dish. I have been wanting to go back but each time something else came up and I was not able to. Sunday we enter the empty restaurant and are lured by their 20 dish buffet. On being asked as to what the 20 dishes were, the waiter disappeared for a few minutes and came back with a hand written list of 17 dishes. Though disappointed, we were too hungry to care and told him we would prefer the buffet. We were informed that the starters and the soup would be served in our table. As both of us had a slight cold, we asked for hot water. Bang on the 10th minute, cold water came and the waiter argued that it had been hot. We sent it back and were rewarded with really luke warm water. 20 mins had passed and there was no sign of soup or the starter. There were one more couple who had just come in and they were giving each other long romantic looks and dint seem to care about the lack of menu or service.
When we asked the waiter for the food he reassured us that he will try his best to serve us. I dont know how they survive with such a pathetic excuse for service. We simply left the place and thanked our lucky stars that we dint have to eat in such a horrible place. 13 was an unlucky number.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Its a small world

Its a small world
full of familiar faces
with different names
surrounding me, captivating me
and of course keeping me occupied.

There i spot the same old joy
reflecting off those unknown eyes.
Then out it comes the familiar jealousy
with words that spew venom
accompanied by jealousy, anger and hatred.

Slowly the disappear, as the winds of change blow by
happiness, love and affection
slowly conquer all the dread.
I look around and see, the same old faces
telling the same old morals
in just different languages.

A happy journey

I complain a lot. About the roads, about people, about authors and about everything possible. For a change, I am going to praise something. You know, from when i was a kid, I never accepted food from strangers. There is some wisdom in all the warnings we see in railway stations were they mention that the food might be drugged.

On Monday, I reached the railway station quite late as I had to bid goodbye to a lot of people (quite sad really, but then life is full of surprises) I did not have my dinner and I was quite hungry and exhausted to say the least. I hurried to my compartment and got talking to a very smart lady. She was travelling with her mother and sister and she kept complaining about the stink from the toilets. She was even sweet enough to give me a scented tissue, which of course, i could not accept as i thought it could be drugged. The next thing, the canteen guys come around with food and I did not get any thing I wanted. All they had was some egg biryani and I dont eat non veg.

Looking at my dilemma they offered to share their food which their sister would be sending across at the next station. I was not too sure of this and refused politely. I went back to listening to my Ipod and in the next station, the food came. Despite my refusals, they put it out for me in a plate and started eating. I ended up eating delicious home made idlis with coconut chutney. It wasnt drugged and for a change, they were really nice people. I guess in life you get a lot of blessings in disguise and on monday, they were mine. It was a very happy journey. Thank you wherever you are.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What happens in ever after?

Out of the blue, today i was revisting the multiple fairy tales I have listened or read as a kid. Most of them end with, they lived happily ever after.That got me thinking, what happens in this ever after? How can human beings be possibly happy and cheerful all the time? I know there are people who are happy most of the time, I admit that the population is very small.Then, how can we end fairy tales with this happily ever after? What is the idea of reality we are feeding to impressionable kids? I am not sure why I think so but today i only feel like questioning happy endings though i always love them as a rule.

Of resolutions and reminders

  1. To eat atleast one fruit a day
  2. To avoid conflicts whenever possible. With a temper like mine, it is sometimes difficult to control my emotions when i am provoked.
  3. To keep in touch with those who matter. Atleast mail once a week.
  4. Write the book i claim i have been working on. I have 3 ideas. Should atleast expand on one. :)
  5. Go on a vacation to singapore. :D
  6. Lose 10% of my body weight. (Somehow 10% sounds better than the actual number. :) )
  7. Be positive and happy. Remember life is all about living than grumbling
  8. Get my licence (This is cheating in a way because i know i would get mine. But putting it up as a resolution is a good way to ensure i would atleast get 10% in my resolution rank card)
  9. Reduce eating out. (For someone like me who frequents fancy/weird restaurants 2-3 times a week, this is a toughie. Of course the direct result of this over a period of time would help resolution 6)
  10. Join a gym. Or atleast get exercise equipment at home like mom. (Using it would be the next resolution. Again part of point 6. But this is a long term fitness goal.)
These were the ten things in my to do list for 2010. As i try to evaluate the same, i guess I have succeded in around 60% completion rate. Man am I glad. :D

Apart from the singapore trip that did not happen, I have no intention of revealing what the other three are. :)

Also in 2011, I resolve to live and let live. :D No other resolution. How about it?!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adios

On Sunday, I completed 31 months in an organisation and Monday was my last day there. I have mixed feelings now and for a change, i am actually not able to point out to what is that which dominates. Is it happiness that I am moving towards doing something I have always wanted to do or is it sorrow at having had to give up a place where I have had a lot of wonderful memories. I found my partner and my professional passion here not to mention the many awesome friends I have.

I guess all good things come to an end and I really hope for things to be better. I have to now bid goodbye and look forward to the journey that life is. I just know that this was an amazing milestone. Adios Amigo

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The chosen one - Sam Bourne

I seriously wish I had not chosen that one out of the thousands available in Landmark. I am always proud of the fact that i complete books i begin. This book however has the distinction of not being completed by me.Considering the fact that i decided to sit and count stars as opposed to read the book, just accept that I aint kidding around when i say it was damn boring and crappy.

I dont know why people called him the next Dan Brown. That should have set warning bells in my head as Dan Brown's latest was very bad to say the least. I did not enjoy a minute of the book and I am seriously contemplating suing the author for making me waste a well deserved holiday.

We really do need people who can write better else all we can hope for is that God will save the world of books I have so come to love.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Manmadhan Ambu

I am not a huge fan of Kamal Hassan. But during the festive new year season, you do feel like celebrating a lot and you get attacks of madness. Melodrama from the beginning to the end. Thats all this movie is about. An unrelated cancer patient for whom the hero goes out of his way to snoop on the fiance of a rich business tycoon (played by the only decent actor in the movie. Madhavan) This is easily one of Kamal's worst movies and till the last scene of the movie, you wonder what it is that he is trying to convey. Is it

1) Jealousy is bad?!
2) Friends are supposed to be there for each other no matter what?
3) He is Gandhi's reincarnation?

I cant get it. There were a few decent scenes in the movie, but i would not recommend you to watch it as it seriously is not worth the trouble.

Happy New Year

I know I am a wee bit late, but then, I guess, the year is still new. I wish each and everyone of you a happy new year. This new year begun on a beautiful note for me and things seem rosy and dandy. (Touch wood) I hope things continue to remain so and as i make the transition from unmarried to married I can only pray that things are smooth and good. Three cheers to 2010 which was one hell of a year. I had the time of my life (yet again)~