Archive for the ‘Anniversaries and Events’ Category

Happy Seventh Anniversary

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

I have been quite bad. I start off with a ‘series’ and never really sit to pen its subsequent parts. So, audiologist hemorrhoids let me rectify that immediately. Since eating out is more compulsion than choice, unhealthy I guess it was easier to complete this.

So without much further ado, here is the second installment of this series:

Copper Chimney (Worli, Near Atria Mall) – I had tried Copper Chimney in Delhi, so I was very sure what to expect. Serves Indian cuisine. Am told it has good non-vegetarian fare (though I haven’t tried, since I visited only after converting to vegetarianism). Contrary to many other restaurants, CC in Bombay enjoys ample space, with lots of crevices and corners to enjoy a relaxed private meal. I had ordered pretty standard fare (Dal makhani, naan and paneer) and they were all good.

Vig (Chembur) – If you are in Chembur, and haven’t been to Vig‘s then you ain’t eaten anything. Like Crystal, Vig has small space, not very tidy and pretty ‘down-market’ look. But let it not fool you. The food is simply sumptuous and will have you literally licking your fingers. Serves veg and what we can call ‘snacks’. However, they are more than stomach-ful. The chholas are just amazing.


Six Years!

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

In the past month or two, cutting through hectic work schedules, manoeuvring hefty month-end targets and sinking into an ennui (impossible to shrug off), I carved out time for two main activities- one, search and buy a good music system (hi-end, assembled and absolutely a delight) and two, catch up on reading. Thankfully, April served a plethora of holidays to enjoy both. In any case, the sultry and humid weather that swamped Bombay disallowed any activity beyond home. And both IPL & the current on-going tussle between multi-plex owners & producers ensured no release worth watching hit the theaters.

I saw two flicks I had missed earlier – on DVD. 13B was engrossing and entertaining. Though not overtly scary, it carried enough drama to hold viewer’s interest;  however, the director failed minutes before the climax. Jai Veeru was absolutely disgusting – the premise was so kiddish, I am sure it couldn’t have even looked good on paper. Why did they even waste time & money filming it?

Coming to books, I finished Jeffery Archer’s latest release – Paths of Glory. It’s a ficitonalized account of mountaineer George Mallory, who may or may not be the first person to set foot on Mt. Everest. Archer narrates the story in his inimitable fashion, peppering it with interesting anecdotes, starting it from the beginning, in a saga-fashion, just like many of his previous works.

Since reaching Mt. Everest would inevitably involve a bit of India, there is a tiny section set in Bombay (so that’s why he was here last year, to research and get a feel?). However, I found that sliver entirely uninteresting and completely uninspiring, and certainly a huge disappointment. I expected better from Archer, even if the story is set in 1920’s. Rather, I found Vikram Bhatt’s research (or imagination) of that era much more vivid & compelling in 1920 (even though it is downright gross to compare two different media – films & books – but then, a book allows for more in-depth detailing, which makes Archer’s ommision even futher glaring!)

Overall, the novel is a good light read, not comparable to his legendary works, a notch lower than his previous Prisoner of Birth (of which, I have his duly signed copy), but certainly much above the other mass I read.

The biggest letdown was John Grisham’s The Associate. With an awesome build-up, and a terrific story-line (about a young associate haunted by his seemingly reckless past), the novel could have been sensational. Sadly, its climax simply shatters all the good work of previous pages. In fact, there is no climax, no end at all – so much so, I had to check & recheck whether the copy I bought had the last few pages missing! Either Grisham was in a hurry to publish it (which seems unlikely) or he has a sequel in mind (which could be a possibility). Either ways, I expected better.

Other than these two, I read several other relatively unknown authors (though all the cover jackets proclaimed them #1 New York Times Best Sellers!). A colleague (who knows my penchant for reading) keeps regularly passing me these books. They are an excellent read to pass a Saturday evening & whole Sunday. Some are genuinely gripping till the time they last, but soon fade off. The proximity of these reads ensure a gala confusion- characters of one have seagued into another. But one thing, most are set in American towns (often smaller ones from where the authors originate), and hence give an absorbing & hitherto unknown insight. As they last, I like to be part of these people, using my imagination where the author has not filled in, and enjoy them like long-lost friends dropping in home. These novels usually don’t have complex tales, and generally carry happy endings. And oh yes, the amount of coffee at work (almost always bad at work place) and the general sense of ‘work’ there keeps me guessing, is working in America really that ‘glamorous’? Some, looked like a TV mini-series rather than a full-blown movie. So, that’s where the difference lies between the good and the great!

My latest finish in this lot are , Mary Higgins Clark’s The Second Time Around and Nora Roberts’ Birthright. Clark’s novel is better of the two. Both carry some suspense. Both have strong women protagonists. And both should read Agatha Christie to realize that ‘the murderer’ should be a suspect from a pool of people who are properly introduced and given enough word space, so that needle of suspicion can keep spinning. Roberts fails miserably here. The wrong-doer is from a bunch of side-characters, whom I had nearly skimmed over. She could have given more time there to the side-characters so that the reader could have kept guessing which one is ‘the one’- instead she wastes valuable pages on what essentially is a Mills-and-Boons type of romance, with elongated (and perfect) love making (after a while it became so irritating that I simply skipped pages anytime the hero and heroine were alone), ending in soft sighs, tears flowing down and breaths going choppy.

There were more, but they have slipped my memory for now. Will try to write on them later.

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Of Travels and Celebrations…

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

I am back to what I am best at – travelling the road. This time, infertility information pills it’s the interiors of Maharashtra. Pune is an old haunt, illness but this time it felt a tad too far off as the Volvo bus driver decided to pick up anyone and everyone to fill up the empty seats, before leaving Mumbai. The early morning journey ended in early noon.

Pune to Nashik followed immediately (since the bus had consumed the time I had reserved for there). Been used to the rugged Uttar Pradesh terrain, the route surprised me. It was lush green and weaved through little hills and hillocks (the ghats), passing through vast stretches of open and lush cloud-kissed lands, uninterrupted by man or nature. “What Switzerland? Why don’t our film-makers shoot here?” I wondered aloud. It was just the flawless location for a mesmerizing love duet!

En route Nashik, after one meeting at Sangamner, we saw a signboard of Shirdi. ‘Is it nearby?’ I asked. It seemed so. Since it would be late in any case for Nashik, we decided to pay darshan at Shirdi. It’s a typical temple-town, with all its infrastructure and business centered around Sai Baba’s Temple. We got a lovely darshan…that too on a Thursday, the day considered auspicious to the sage.

We started for Nashik after the sun had convincingly risen in some other part of the planet.

I fell in love with Nashik the moment I saw it. Wide roads, pretty clean and without any rush. It’s the ‘Pune of some fifteen years back’, my colleague remarked. A ring of mountains nestled the quaint town. The air was fresh and vibrant, and it must have helped my lungs, for I had a very deep sleep that night (it could also be due to the immense fatigue, as that day we did a whopping 9-10 meetings, in a row, one after the other – and by the end of which, another cup of tea or coffee would have made me throw up).

We stayed there for two days, and returned on Saturday late evening. It was a fruitful visit. And adds one more town in my long list of places visited.
It is the second consecutive year when, here on this auspicious day, recipe I am in a new town, without a consistent source of internet to type out a full-fledged message. But the solace is that I am breathing the same air, in the same city, as where the Queen of Melody resides.

It’s amazing how another year has gone by. And yet, in this added year, my love for that perfect voice hasn’t diminished one bit. Only, as I am away from music, the love has grown fonder, and deeper. I miss listening to Lata (Mangeshkar)Didi’s songs, and hope to be re-united with them soon, once my luggage arrives from Delhi. Still, whenever and wherever I can snatch those precious moments, I do try to listen to her. One such instance was when I travelled to Nashik, I put on my own CD in my colleague’s car, and listened to a bunch of marvellous Lata Mangeshkar-Madan Mohan combine songs.

Here’s wishing Lata Didi a very happy, peaceful, wonderful and melodious birthday, and praying to Almighty for her long life and health.

Happy Birthday, Lataji!

…and very soon. But just a quick update to those who have actually ventured into this space the past few days:

I am still home-less. More than me (after all, ask the company guest house is so comfortable) it’s my packers-and-movers guy (who is holding my stuff en-route from Agra at New Delhi) who is exasperated. From the gruff ‘when will you give me an address to send your dumb stuff’ he has now stepped down to a worried plea ‘boss, disinfection saamaan mangaa lo please’. I dread at thought of his final bill amount.

Nagpur is the new city added to my list of travels (and I type this post from a horrible cyber-cafe from there).

I stepped into Delhi for a brief while for Diwali. What to say? The four days simply whizzed by. My apologies to all whom I must have promised to meet, but didn’t.

I watch movies aplenty. And my current haunt is Cinemax at Versova. Their Red Lounge (with huge reclining sofas) is a treat, and the cheese pop-corns delicious. A bit late, but here are one-or-two sentences on the movies seen:


(Ex) Bloggers Meet, New Delhi

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Click here to visit Random Expression’s Shopping Page

Happy Purchasing!

A novel by Khalid Hosseini
Book Review

My readings in the recent past have been erratic. But I try to catch anything new and happening that might rock the literary world, caries other than keeping update of Jeffrey Archer‘s releases (which, price I admit with a heavy heart, have not been really great in the past two cases Cat O Nine Tales and False Impression). Most times I am left sorely disappointed. And I end up going back to tried and tested P G Wodehouse or Agatha Christie to satiate the reading urge.

But The Kite Runner deserves all the accolades and praises it receives. It’s been quite sometime since a novel touched, moved, stimulated and inspired me the latter is a huge criterion, since I write my own stories as well. Dan Brown was one, but that was over two years ago.

Khalid Hosseini‘s The Kite Runner is to put it in one word scintillating! With his words he weaves a riveting yarn about guilt and redemption, about growing and maturing and about life and living. The story is in first person, about Amir, his yearning to get his father’s approval, his inner fears and of course, his guilt. In the winter of 1975 (after a successful kite-flying tournament)he witnesses an act against his faithful servant-cum-friend-cum confidante Hassan, which Amir could have prevented but doesn’t do so because of his own fear and cowardice. That one cold evening will shape his entire life, leading to more wrongs, revealing other secrets in his mature years and finally taking the story to its logical conclusion.

Set against the turbulent backdrop of Afghanistan, The Kite Runner charts its course keeping in mind the unrest that unleashes on the country post-seventies.


The Conference

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Hosting a conference turned out to be quite a massive affair. A week later, visit this site treatment I am still lost buried beneath the aftermath exhaustion as well clearing up the bills. In between, pulmonologist I took off to Delhi and took a well deserved holiday. That accounts for the long absence on the blog.

Mercifully, more everything in the conference went off with clock-work precision that would make the Swiss proud. True, there were minor goof-ups. In fact, on the day the guests were to arrive, there were several of them (largely thanks to the hotel, who otherwise were extremely good but somehow things went patchy on that morning) but we managed to douse all fires and before the biggest bulk of delegates arrived in the noon we had done the clean-up. When they entered the hotel’s porch, everything was settled the shehnai-and-dhol-and-nagada-wallahs whipped up a resounding welcome note, the girls from the hotel in bright red sarees showered fresh petals, and the cool welcome drinks were served meticulously.


Car Anniversary

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Yesterday, valeologist my car and I celebrated our ‘Togetherness Anniversary’.

Six years back, buy more about on a balmy March evening, this I had brought home the shining and spotless white Santro from its maaika, a leading Hyundai dealership in central Delhi. The smooth, power-windowed and power-steered Santro was a striking change from the old model Maruti that I hitherto drove. The pride on my face rivaled the smirk that the car’s frontage carried.

However, two days later we had significant adjustment problems, and I angrily sent it back to its showroom the airconditioner wasn’t functioning properly. The showroom assured it was a minor issue and refused to take it back; and promised that it would set the car right and it would never give trouble again.



Saturday, February 17th, 2007

This place seriously needs an update!


This place seriously needs an update!



Jaane Hoga Kya – Now I wasnt expecting anything great from this long-in-the-making-released-hurriedly film. So, page what turned out was a pleasant surprise. And not because of its content. But for the inadvertant humor that the film provides. Ok, there so what’s it about? Cloning! Don’t choke on that coke, it is actually a film on human cloning. And how the directors (Glenn-Ankush) portray it is the best comedy released this year. As per this film, to make a clone there has to be two plastic covered ‘capsules’, connected to a computer. So, ‘data’ will move from one capsule to another, as heat rises, and out of steam a new human will be formed! Wow! That simple!


A Pious Day – Lata Mangeshkar’s Birthday

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

After another satisfying trip to Banchha Ghar my colleague and I decided it was a bit too early to call it a night. The casinos were an option, diagnosis generic but having tried out most of them, information pills I was not keen. Fleetingly, I mentioned a restaurant that had been in my eyes for long; however, I had been wary of going there alone. It had some of the most corny music playing always, and I had an inclination from the dimly lit sign-board what to expect. Catching at the slightest nod from the colleague, G, I pulled him towards the Belly Dance Bar and Restaurant, on the main Darbar Marg.

Even before we could enter the slim entrance, shady and dirty, with the walls and staircase with myriad graffiti, G remarked, “Man, this seems sleazy!”


Married on 5th of July

Monday, July 5th, 2004

After another satisfying trip to Banchha Ghar my colleague and I decided it was a bit too early to call it a night. The casinos were an option, diagnosis generic but having tried out most of them, information pills I was not keen. Fleetingly, I mentioned a restaurant that had been in my eyes for long; however, I had been wary of going there alone. It had some of the most corny music playing always, and I had an inclination from the dimly lit sign-board what to expect. Catching at the slightest nod from the colleague, G, I pulled him towards the Belly Dance Bar and Restaurant, on the main Darbar Marg.

Even before we could enter the slim entrance, shady and dirty, with the walls and staircase with myriad graffiti, G remarked, “Man, this seems sleazy!”