Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Of wealth and invention

I think I am going back to school. Or maybe, i should accept that the best lessons i learned in my life were in school. Health is wealth. Or so they told me then. They also taught me or rather made me have a regulated routine where i had to have enough nourishment in the right time for otherwise, i could not go through the rigors of school. I forgot about this message for quite sometime when i was in college and when i started my corporate career. I ate whatever i could get my hands on, i slept at odd hours, i did not have any routine and i simply enjoyed my life. I loved every minute of it.(most of the time). For isn't it always good to sleep till 1 when you feel like it? 

A few months ago, i moved into a new company. I could no longer sleep till 12 as i was in office by 10 or worst case 11. So, i also had to bid goodbye to my habit of staying up late in the night and make up for the lost sleep in the day time. I could not skip meals and I did not like the cafeteria food too much so i started making most meals at home. (in the previous place, i did cook everyday, but i skipped breakfast as i felt i did  not need it)

I did not think that i would feel the difference so soon. I expected that such things will only affect me when i am old. :D  I feel more energetic and my productivity is higher. Though i still sleep anywhere from 8-9 hours, I have a decent amount of time at my disposal. In more ways than one, I am really glad for this regulated life style and all the more happy that I did not have to suffer too much to  make the change.

The more i see people skipping meals and eating junk, i realize that the sad part about earning a decent amount of money(considering most people are below the poverty line, anyone making even 2lpa is earning a lot, relatively) is that it makes you lazy and gives you the confidence that you can buy convenience. We fall prey to the multiple advertisements we see and soon forget that the taste matters as much as the convenience and that the real wealth is actually health.

We spend a lot of what we earn and invest in nothing but bad calories. I am thankful for my wake up call and I really hope others get theirs soon.

And yeah, talking about school lessons, the moral of this story definitely is " Necessity is the mother of invention."

Friday, April 22, 2011

NH - 8

This is not a post about the National Highway. As much as both of us love traveling, we haven't driven down that road yet. :)

This is the catchy name of a restaurant in Bangalore. To be specific, in Indira Nagar. We landed up here today for lunch. As i love making lists, let me make a 8 point list about this place.

1. It is a place which tries to ape Rajdhani and fails miserably in some aspects. For eg, the service. We had to wait for close to 20 mins and though there were a few free tables, we could not sit in any as they had not cleaned the same. We were on the verge of leaving when we finally got a seat
2. We realized the service inside the restaurant was pathetic as well. We had to wait for a few more minutes to get the plates and the waiters did not even know what was in their own menu. Either that or they could not communicate to us.
3. The dhoklas were lovely and so was the dal bhati and churma.
4. The sabjis had too much oil and that was one thing I could not take! The waiters again were badly trained and did not understand many of our requests. They poured ghee when we refused it, they gave us a different dish when we asked for something else and of course they did not even want to serve the jal jeera!
5. The jal jeera and the chaas was lovely! Period.
6. I would still go with Chowka which is in Tippasandra as their service is much better. Food is also slightly better. The only flip-side is that the ambiance in Chowka is not so good
7. Continuing from the last point. The ambiance is good. It could be simply because they are still a new restaurant and things haven't started getting dirty yet.
8. I like their tipping system where you can place your tips in a box near the counter. Also, no hidden charges. It is 199 inclusive of tax per plate.

 I doubt if they can sustain too long though as just a kilometer away is chowka with a cheaper pricing and better service. They have to improve their service if they want to last!!

Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpha Lahiri

A few posts ago, I was praising flipkart. This is a post about a book i got through them. I had been meaning to read this collection for a really long time. I had read one or two stories in college, but i had never finished all of them.

I started it last night and finished it all in one go! Poignant, simple, beautiful and of course elegant. Those are the words I would like to use to describe the stories. Be it the husband and wife with the dead child, the buri ma who has lost all in the partition, the epileptic who is dependent on a cousin, the interpreter who doubles as a taxi driver or the bengali guy seeking his fortune overseas waiting for the wife he hardly knows to join him, all these characters are vividly portrayed.

I loved the experience of reading the book. The vivid descriptions by the author, the simple story line and the powerful stories simply took my breath away. I have been meaning to complete my short story collection for quite a while now. Reading this book has motivated me all the more to get it going. I would recommend it quite strongly. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vishu

I am not a mallu by birth, but by marriage. (assuming for this post that i belong to the state my husband belongs to. :) )

I love eating and i decided to also make something that i would love to eat for vishu ( the kerala new year!). What you see here are pictures of nearly 2 hours spent in the kitchen. :) Needless to say, we had a royal meal. :)


:) I hate to admit it,but it was good fun!

Tangled



I love animation movies!!!I had wanted to watch this movie when this came out but with the marriage and job shift, somehow, i did not. I got a really good print and watched this movie today evening. I loved it!

The story is of a princess taken away at birth by a woman who doesn't want to lose her youth. Wait what does the princess have to do with her youth? Well, the princess's mom, the queen was saved by this flower from her deathbed and the flower can cure diseases and prolong a person's life. It was formed from a ray of sunshine that fell on the earth! This evil lady had been using the flower to prolong her life and with it taken away, she becomes really grumpy and angry and takes the princess away. She brings her up as her own daughter and whenever she sings to her and the princess's hair glows and she becomes young immediately. Wish i had this flower!!!

The princess is locked away in a tower by the evil lady who convinces her that it is for her best. However, a lie cant last too long and the princess badly wants to see the lanterns that are let out on her birthday. (Really dumb and evil lady does not change the birthday!!! Sigh). The mother refuses and she is heartbroken. A local thief, escaping with her crown accidentally stumbles upon her tower when being chased by a horse (yes, a horse. the cutest character if you ask me) and the princess like all women decides to use him as her ticket to freedom. She hides the crown and bribes him to take her along to see the lights and promises the crown to him once they return to her tower.

What follows after that is a really beautiful animation adventure. It has all the ingredients for a brilliant fairy tale. There is an evil lady lurking in the background, goodness to be found in the most unlikely of places (a tavern!), a beautiful heroine and of course a knight in shining armour. I enjoyed the movie viewing experience and disappointed i could not catch it in 3d. :(

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stop Complaining!!!

Life, my friend has taught me a lot of interesting lessons lately. The one on top of my mind is the one part where people keep changing. Rather, should i say, they dont but what you are in their life changes along with their behaviour towards you and if you are dumb enough to not recognize it, you are in deep trouble. When relationships sour, it brings out the worst even in the best of people. I am unfortunately discovering this aspect of life now. I hate to admit that I am wrong. But one thing i am sure i was wrong about was my belief about a few relationships. I am not going to give out sob stories in the blog. I usually restrict really personal conversation to gtalk or skype. When you think about it though, sharing ideas is as personal as you can get and that also leads one into trouble. :D

Anyways, getting back to what i initially wanted to write about, I am of the opinion that we should somehow conquer the negatives in our life with the positives. Get rid of bitterness - that is now the point i am trying to make here. More often than not, this quality is worse than pride as it simply swallows you and envelops every part of your life. Negative energy can simply over ride all the positives. If this book I was recently reading is to be believed, to counteract every negative thought and to bring back equilibrium, you should think of 2.5 positive thoughts! Don't ask me how they got that number. I don't completely believe it, but i believe in the idea behind it.


I was making a list of instances when i was bitter/angry in a day. When the traffic is bad in the morning, if my maid is late, if my phone switches off, if i have to do something i don't want to do, the list is endless. I similarly tried to identify positive instances/perks in a day and as usual realised, it is almost equal to the negative ones! So today, I have decided to be more consciously positive about life (I am supposed to be an optimist!!!) and stop complaining. For unless that happens, i guess the living part will never begin. Earlier, my blogs used to be morose and almost all my stories sad. I made an effort and now it is better(I am being relative here !!). I am just motivating myself with that as an example.

I am also writing this blog as a public reminder to be more positive about life in general. Someday I hope i can see the change. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things i love about flipkart


First things first, I am not into marketing for flipkart. But seriously, I am a great admirer of the service and the site. Also, it has been quite a long time since i started writing down things in points. I thought i might as well list down the 4 things i like about flipkart

1. Web site design : They have a lovely, intelligent (yes, that is the right word), user friendly website which loads quite fast even in slow connections and it is quite easy to search for things in the site. Best thing is their algo which remembers what you had looked for previously and intelligently suggesting similar books. (I know someone is going to give a wise crack about other sites which do this, but then this post is about flipkart, so!

2. Prompt delivery : You order the books and they let you know exactly how long you have to wait. The delivery is good and in case there are issues, they let you know in advance.

3. Choice : They really have a brilliant collection. I have been able to find books unavailable in landmark, crossword and of course oxford

4. Convenience : I get to do things without stepping out of the house!! I trust their service enough to know that I am going to get the right book in the right paper ( I am finicky about the paper a book is printed in) right when i need it most. :)

Overall, this contributes to a wonderful shopping experience. I love flipkart !!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The judas strain - James rollins


I remember a friend of mine reading this book a few years ago. As i wanted to move out of the realm of fantasy and expand the scope of authors i read, i had picked up this book in Oxford. Seriously, I regret the decision. I am no stranger to thrillers and Forsyth is like one of my favorite authors. This books somehow had something missing. It was really too slow in the beginning and once the story got going, i frankly think the author forgot where he was coming from. I am not saying it is haphazard or the plot is uninteresting. The book is just badly written combining the writing styles of multiple authors.

The plot revolves around a strange bacterial outbreak near Indonesia. This incident is clubbed with Vasco da gama's expedition and we have two opposing groups working together (with or without choice). There are a couple of scientists trying to understand the disease and save the world and we have a group chasing through history and trying to solve the missing pieces in Vascodagama's exploits. I guess reading Dan Brown has put me off these kind of books. I did not enjoy it and I forced myself to finish it as I usually cannot rest until i have finished a book completely.I shall try revisiting this book a few years later and see if i still feel the same about it. Afterall, James Rollins could not have sold so many copies had he been that bad. (It is a different issue that Chetan Bhagat is a best selling author. Sigh!!!)

Vivanta by Taj



I had been wanting to go to this restaurant for quite sometime. This topped the list of places i want to visit and by a strange tweak of fate we landed up there yesterday. Both of us just wanted to go out somewhere and we were driving through random roads and ultimately in an impulsive move went to Vivanta.

I really dont think that the rates are too much on the higher side. Frankly, there have been other restaurants without such a great ambience and service that have charged us more. The food was really good and the service was quite prompt. The kabab platter (veg of course) was tasty and by the time we finished our lebanese dips, we were not quite sure if we would be able to eat the main course.

We had ordered turkish pizza pides for the main course (something like an inverted calzone) and it was yummy! The best part about Taj is that there is no service charge and the taxes are included in the menu. I liked this approach from such a classy restaurant as even in places like indi joes, the tax is added as an afterthought and more often than not, you are shocked by the charge for the same. I am glad we missed the turn to hope farm yesterday. A lovely experience.





Monday, April 11, 2011

Fried maggi

Tonight, we were reminded of BITS. We just got talking and discussing a lot about the things that make it a wonderful place to be in.Of all things, we wanted to have fried maggi!!! And so there it was. Our dinner for the day - fried maggi. Sigh. You cant turn back time. You cant go back to being irresponsible and carefree. You can still dream big, but your reality need not necessarily be pleasant.

I love my present, I am glad the past happened and I wait for an awesome future. In the mean time, I can dedicate a post to my alma mater!! BITS - you really changed me! (But then, not completely!!!!)

Jaya - an illustrated Mahabaratha

I stumbled upon this book quite by accident. I had made a bet with someone that Srilanka would win the world cup (yeah yeah think about beating me up). Anyway to cut a long story short, i had to get this person books. (A fellow geek you see). I was browsing through his wish list in flipkart when this book caught my eye. I am reading a lot on mythology now and so, I bought it.

This is a book about the Mahabaratha. A very simple, elegant and beautiful book full of a lot of stories, some of them not quite popular. The author looks at the whole scenario with a critical non judgemental eye. Never is there a villain or a hero. It is all about individuals, about forgiveness about how those who are good can become weak and about the grey area where one cant distinguish black and white.

This is not a book for children. This is not a book for someone who is not open minded. This is a book which will entertain you, teach you and at the same time, make you think. I loved it and I would really recommend it to anyone who wants some good, light reading that is also a bit heavy. :)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Freedom

Up above lies the abode of my dreams
Stuck in a mortal bond, my sould does seek
a simple and peaceful liberation

Ah, what but pleasure would abound when
fly I do in the endless skies
What but freedom would I have?

A life filled with decisions
uninfluenced by mere individuals
A life filled with just my self

Wonder i do if happen it would
any time too soon
I look around the bonds that hold me down

Try i do in vain to cut them all away
Realisation has dawned long ago
One bond is still a bond too many

Just one wish,even a meager desire
is a wish too many
For no matter what, interconnected our world is

With birds wings causing hurricanes
It is but sad that just one link
can weave itself into a huge net of enslavement

Freedom i seek
Independence i wish for
However, humans are but dependent creatures

Come what may
on something or the other
More often than not, bound by love