Monday, April 23, 2012

Khaja Chowk - Indira Nagar

We landed up in this place with high expectations as few people had recommended it to us and decided to go for their lunch buffet.

Food :

The chats were amazingly well made. I might have felt the same as i had not eaten chats in a long time and this was a welcome break. The starters for vegetarians were ok and the main dishes were decent though nothing extra ordinary. The one thing i did not like about the place was the fact that the ice cream was not placed with the dessert and you had to ask for it to get it. I did not. :( The rotis and the naan were really well made and had you wanting for more.

Ambiance :

The place is very green and even a hot afternoon in the open air was enjoyable. The terrace garden idea executed with the potted plants placed strategically is admirable. The decor with autos and the dhaba type tables was different.

Service :

We had an amazing waiter. He got us stuff even before we asked for it and was not at all intrusive. I really liked the guy. ( He was the one that got us the ice cream finally)

Cost :

The place was not very expensive and the buffet with all the taxes etc etc came to around 830 for two people. I would still call it on the high side for i really dont think the food was that amazing. (The budget version of me could be typing these lines as we speak)

Overall a good experience which I would recommend.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Shaken but standing

There are times when life seems to do nothing but suck big time. There are issues no matter where you turn and the day doesnt seem to end at all. Then, all of a sudden, like a surprise summer rain, there is something beautiful that changes your outlook of life and everything about it. Thank God for small mercies. Rather, should i say thank god for small issues and all his magnanimous gifts. :)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Kahaani

I finally got around to watching this movie yesterday and I loved it. This is probably one of the very few "Indian" thrillers that I have enjoyed and the credit definitely goes to Vidya Balan. She portrays the role with finesse and makes you sympathize and adore the character. The plot is also very flawlessly executed and the director has done an amazing job. The screenplay is pretty tight and the cinematography does justice to the human bee hive that is Calcutta. Though there are a lot of places for melodrama, I have to appreciate the director for making the whole movie natural and real (considering its a thriller, as real as it can get). The songs are hummable but not necessary block busters.

For the uninitiated, the plot follows Vidya Bagchi, a very pregnant woman who comes to Calcutta all the way from London in order to find her missing husband, Arnab Bagchi. The only hurdle is that nobody seems to have heard of him coming in and he seems to have disappeared without a trace. The national data center where had come to on a project denies the existence of an employee by his name. What complicates matters is the presence of another employee who resembles Arnab but who had left the organization two years ago. Vidya decides to hunt him down as she thinks there is a definite link between him and her husband's disappearance. Things go out of hand as there is an assassin all ready to kill her and she has nothing to go by but her husband's name and her gut. Whether she finds her husband or not forms the rest of the story.

The smaller characters in the movie like Bob Biswas, Rana, Khan and the little boy in the hotel are memorable and serve to add further charm to a beautiful movie. A definite must watch.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

The lost continent - Bill Bryson

I think I am on a Bill Bryson spree now. After finishing up Down Under, I decided to start reading this one which is his first travelogue published in 1989.
This piece of work is about small town America. Bryson, a small town boy from Des Moines, Iowa went to England. After his father's death, he decides to relive his childhood holidays and go on a trip around the US of A. He tries to find the small town of his childhood where most movies and television series happen. The ten things I loved about this book or rather the way the author has portrayed things in this book :

1. His search for Amalgam, (he coins that name) - a place where everything would be perfect and picturesque
2. His deep dislike for the chain stores and the way they try to ape the big cities
3. His visits to the preserved houses of the many prominent figures in US history
4. His unwillingness to waste money ( I so hate all these places with expensive entries too)
5. His surprise at the extent of consumerism in the US
6. His love for all things beautiful and natural (the grand canyon, the tree through which you can drive through)
7. His narration of his experiences in motels
8. The ease with which he contrasts the cultural differences across the US
9. His dislike for Las Vegas ( I am happy to not be the only person who so dislikes gambling and games of chance)
10. The setting (I want to know about small town America. Enough has been said about the other places i think)

A well written book - though not as amazing as his Down Under. But still worth a read. I somehow think small towns in India are becoming like those in the US then. Are we going the US way? Or will our savings ratio save us at the end of the day? I know not. I am too tired to ponder.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Maharaja - Koramangala

Maharaja in Koramangala is like one of the most famous landmarks. I spent my early years in bangalore giving people directions to my house based on this place. I had gone there for dinner once and was not at all happy with the experience. It smelt of non veg food and everyone around me was drinking on a weekday night.

I did end up going there a few more times out of lack of options and all those visits did not leave me with a good taste in my mouth. But this friday, I had a pleasant surprise. I went upstairs (there is a first floor) and the ambience there was completely different. It was not dark and shady. The service was quick and pretty good. They had an amazing veg meal for 100 rs and I really loved it. The pooris were hot and fresh and the rice was brilliant. I hogged like crazy. They also had amazing omlettes if the other people who came with me are to be believed.

This post was meant to be a declaration rather than a food review as such. Visit Maharaja. You will enjoy the veg meal if you like good food and love the "unlimited" word with meals. :)

P.S. Sit in the first floor and not in the ground floor.

Down Under - Bill Bryson

I had started reading this book a while ago and then my terry pratchett obsession turned me away. Now that i finally had some time and since my dear husband wanted to read this, I finished the book last week. It was a wonderful ride throughout and I regretted not having finished it early on. The book is organized in three parts. 

1. Into the Outback :
Here Bryson takes the train from Sydney to Perth accompanied by a young photographer. This part of the book is full of interesting anecdotes about the early settlers of Austrailia. It was hilarious in most places and very informative. History was one of my favorite subjects in school and I really enjoyed Bryson's unique style of narration.

2.Civilized Australia:
The only thing I knew well about Australia was that they had an awesome cricket team. Of course, I had heard that the country was initially meant for convicts who were shipped off from England. I did not know that those convicts were all people who had been deported for crimes as low profile as stealing chicken. In this part of the book Bryson follows Australia's growth from a country where convicts were deported to the country it is now. The scale of growth had me stunned. Here was a place cut off from the rest of the world where people came with hardly anything. Not only did they survive, they built a beautiful life in a hostile land full of animals and reptiles that were more poisonous and dangerous than anything they knew before. Come to think of it, this can be compared to early man surviving and building a life for himself.

3. Around the edges :
In this part Bryson is joined by his friend and they tour the rugged regions of Australia. They visit the great barrier reef and the Uluru (the single monolithic rock whose pictures i have seen for a really long time.) The anecdote of the tourists who were forgotten in the great barrier reef was scary. The history behind the origination of the Uluru (it is the only weather resistant rock to have survived these many million years) had me wanting to book flight tickets to Australia.

There are a lot of amazing things you get to know in this book. The care free Australian attitude, the neglected aborigines (apparently until recently it was legal to seperate aboriginal children from their parents and make them civilized), the beautiful natural wonders(trees that are 50ft in width - scary), the numerous species of animals and birds (no one knows how many are out there. Oh and yeah, species thought to be extinct are found here. Nobody knows how many of those as well). I am no naturalist but I really want to go and look at all these marvels in Australia. I just hope i get to travel there sometime soon.

A very beautiful well written witty book. I cannot begin to review it and ever think I did it justice. A must read for sure.