Potpourri

Wishing all readers a Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali. As the Bisleri advt went…please play safe (and I mean in all respects).

With the sheer number of restaurants that Bombay has, buy one can devote an entire blog. If I go by the count, order it seems people in Bombay hardly cook at home. Comparatively, Delhi has fewer joints. But quantity does not equate quality. So the law of averages catches up here too.

Here I present a small list of restaurants I have enjoyed visiting (and re-visiting) over the past two years:

Pop Tate’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – “You will love this place” my friend had remarked, when she agreed to meet me here, more out of compulsion than choice. I had just entered this bustling metropolis, and the only familiar areas were Four & Seven Bungalows (don’t ask why the area is called so; no one has been able to provide a satisfactory answer). She was spot-on. I fell in love with the casual ambiance, the cool menu card (jugglery of the famous Archies comics characters) and the awesome sizzler’s. Though I wish it had bigger space (but then, in Bombay, any space is expensive -and as a corollary, good – space). For quite sometime, I spent several lavish & lazy Sundays, sipping a chilled beer, trying out its various sizzler’s and pastas and counting the number of TV/Small time actors that visit regularly. My favorite was the simple Chicken Steak Sizzler (till I turned Veg) and currently, I love the Paneer Sizzler. Also, its simple Margharita Pizza is sumptuous. Anyone who visits me in Bombay is sure to find himself/herself ensconced here for a nice dinner.

Urban Tadka (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – From the same chain as Pop Tate’s , Urban Tadka (and its counterpart Masala Mantar at Four Bungalows) is a marvelous Indian joint. The place is set up in ethnic style, with old film posters lining the walls. The food is delicious – not too spicy, not too oily. But amazingly perfect. The ‘dahi chutney’ that they serve alongside tickles the palette. From Masala Mantra, do try their ‘Rajma Biryani’, served exquisitely in an earthen ‘handi’. It will get you clamoring for more, for sure! Usually, I use Masala Mantra for home-orders and Urban Tadka for on-site visit.

Soam (Babulnath Marg, Near Chowpatty) – Gujarati/Rajasthani cuisine never felt so gracious and grand. Situated near Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty Beach (remember that zany song Chowpatty jaayenge bhel puri khaayenge from Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan), Soam is a an elegant joint, very up-market, very neat, very decent and very sober. It’s aam-ras is the sweetest.

Crystal Restaurant (Chowpatty) – Who would have thought that this non-descript, almost run-down place (near Wilson College) would serve the tastiest Indian food…almost home-made in taste. And it serves phulkas (chapattis), instead of the standard tandoori rotis. Crystal’s rajma, paneer bhurji and daal are yummy (even as I type this, my mouth waters!) Top off your lunch/dinner with a luxuriously rich kheer. The prices are reasonable. And the best part? They still play old songs – and by old, I mean really old – Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh from fifties and sixties era.

Bachelor’s (Chowpatty) – Well, if you have been to South Bombay and haven’t had Bachelor’s cream-and-strawberry, then you have missed something. Bachelor’s is not really a joint. It’s a kiosk. And it serves juice and sandwiches. But people throng this tiny outlet for its cream-and-strawberry, which is so hard to describe. It’s an experience! It is open till late in the night.

Stomach II (Seven Bungalows) – “So where’s the first part” my cousin had jokingly quizzed. I had no clue then. But it’s first part is apparently at Bandra. If you want Chinese cuisine, without fuss, at average rates, and neatly presented, head towards Stomach II. It’s USP are those variety of sauces they serve – from Sweet Garlic to Dynamite to Schezwan… it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose!

Relish (Churchgate, Opp KC College) – Introduced by a colleague, it’s a fabulous joint for ‘world’ food. Once again, very unpretentious but extremely neat (just the way I like restaurants to be). I fell in love with its Cheese Tortillas. Do also try their Mexican Lasagna and variety of Pastas.

(To Be Continued Later)
(Please click here to read the Second Part of this Series)


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With the sheer number of restaurants that Bombay has, doctor one can devote an entire blog. If I go by the count, this it seems people in Bombay hardly cook at home. Comparatively, buy Delhi has fewer joints. But quantity does not equate quality. So the law of averages catches up here too.

Here I present a small list of restaurants I have enjoyed visiting (and re-visiting) over the past two years:

Pop Tate’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – “You will love this place” my friend had remarked, when she agreed to meet me here, more out of compulsion than choice. I had just entered this bustling metropolis, and the only familiar areas were Four & Seven Bungalows (don’t ask why the area is called so; no one has been able to provide a satisfactory answer). She was spot-on. I fell in love with the casual ambience, the cool menu card (jugglery of the famous Archies comics characters) and the awesome sizzler’s. Though I wish it had bigger space (but then, in Bombay, any space is expensive -and as a corollary, good – space). For quite sometime, I spent several lavish & lazy Sundays, sipping a chilled beer, trying out its various sizzler’s and pastas and counting the number of TV/Small time actors that visit regularly. My favorite was the simple Chicken Steak Sizzler (till I turned Veg) and currently, I love the Paneer Sizzler. Also, its simple Margharita Pizza is sumptuous. Anyone who visits me in Bombay is sure to find himself/herself ensconced here for a nice dinner.

Urban Tadka (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – From the same chain as Pop Tate’s , Urban Tadka (and its counterpart Masala Mantar at Four Bungalows) is a marvelous Indian joint. The place is set up in ethnic style, with old film posters lining the walls. The food is delicious – not too spicy, not too oily. But amazingly perfect. The ‘dahi chutney’ that they serve alongside tickles the palette. From Masala Mantra, do try their ‘Rajma Biryani’, served exquisitely in an earthen ‘handi’. It will get you clamoring for more, for sure! Usually, I use Masala Mantra for home-orders and Urban Tadka for on-site visit.

Soam (Babulnath Marg, Near Chowpatty) – Gujarati/Rajasthani cuisine never felt so gracious and grand. Situated near Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty Beach (remember that zany song Chowpatty jaayenge bhel puri khaayenge from Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan), Soam is a an elegant joint, very up-market, very neat, very decent and very sober. It’s aam-ras is the sweetest.

Crystal Restaurant (Chowpatty) – Who would have thought that this non-descript place, almost run-down restaurant (near Wilson College) would serve the tastiest Indian food…almost home-made in taste. And it serves phulkas (chapattis), instead of the standard tandoori rotis. Crystal’s rajma, paneer bhurji and daal are yummy (even as I type this, my mouth waters!) Top off your lunch/dinner with a luxuriously rich kheer. The prices are reasonable. And the best part? They still play old songs – and by old, I mean really old – Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh from fifties and sixties era.

Bachelor’s (Chowpatty) – Well, if you have been to South Bombay and haven’t had Bachelor’s cream-and-strawberry, then you have missed something. Bachelor’s is not really a joint. It’s a kiosk. And it serves juice and sandwiches. But people throng this tiny outlet for its cream-and-strawberry, which is so hard to describe. It’s an experience! It is open till late in the night.

Stomach II (Seven Bungalows) – “So where’s the first part” my cousin had jokingly quizzed. I had no clue then. But it’s first part is apparently at Bandra. If you want Chinese cuisine, without fuss, at average rates, and neatly presented, head towards Stomach II. It’s USP are those variety of sauces they serve – from Sweet Garlic to Dynamite to Schezwan… it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose!

Relish (Churchgate, Opp KC College) – Introduced by a colleague, it’s a fabulous joint for ‘world’ food. Once again, very unpretentious but extremely neat (just the way I like restaurants to be). I fell in love with its Cheese Tortillas. Do also try their Mexican Lasagna and variety of Pastas.

(To Be Continued Later)


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With the sheer number of restaurants that Bombay has, overweight one can devote an entire blog. If I go by the count, visit web it seems people in Bombay hardly cook at home. Comparatively, Delhi has fewer joints. But quantity does not equate quality. So the law of averages catches up here too.

Here I present a small list of restaurants I have enjoyed visiting (and re-visiting) over the past two years:

Pop Tate’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – “You will love this place” my friend had remarked, when she agreed to meet me here, more out of compulsion than choice. I had just entered this bustling metropolis, and the only familiar areas were Four & Seven Bungalows (don’t ask why the area is called so; no one has been able to provide a satisfactory answer). She was spot-on. I fell in love with the casual ambience, the cool menu card (jugglery of the famous Archies comics characters) and the awesome sizzler’s. Though I wish it had bigger space (but then, in Bombay, any space is expensive -and as a corollary, good – space). For quite sometime, I spent several lavish & lazy Sundays, sipping a chilled beer, trying out its various sizzler’s and pastas and counting the number of TV/Small time actors that visit regularly. My favorite was the simple Chicken Steak Sizzler (till I turned Veg) and currently, I love the Paneer Sizzler. Also, its simple Margharita Pizza is sumptuous. Anyone who visits me in Bombay is sure to find himself/herself ensconced here for a nice dinner.

Urban Tadka (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – From the same chain as Pop Tate’s , Urban Tadka (and its counterpart Masala Mantar at Four Bungalows) is a marvelous Indian joint. The place is set up in ethnic style, with old film posters lining the walls. The food is delicious – not too spicy, not too oily. But amazingly perfect. The ‘dahi chutney’ that they serve alongside tickles the palette. From Masala Mantra, do try their ‘Rajma Biryani’, served exquisitely in an earthen ‘handi’. It will get you clamoring for more, for sure! Usually, I use Masala Mantra for home-orders and Urban Tadka for on-site visit.

Soam (Babulnath Marg, Near Chowpatty) – Gujarati/Rajasthani cuisine never felt so gracious and grand. Situated near Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty Beach (remember that zany song Chowpatty jaayenge bhel puri khaayenge from Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan), Soam is a an elegant joint, very up-market, very neat, very decent and very sober. It’s aam-ras is the sweetest.

Crystal Restaurant (Chowpatty) – Who would have thought that this non-descript place, almost run-down restaurant (near Wilson College) would serve the tastiest Indian food…almost home-made in taste. And it serves phulkas (chapattis), instead of the standard tandoori rotis. Crystal’s rajma, paneer bhurji and daal are yummy (even as I type this, my mouth waters!) Top off your lunch/dinner with a luxuriously rich kheer. The prices are reasonable. And the best part? They still play old songs – and by old, I mean really old – Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh from fifties and sixties era.

Bachelor’s (Chowpatty) – Well, if you have been to South Bombay and haven’t had Bachelor’s cream-and-strawberry, then you have missed something. Bachelor’s is not really a joint. It’s a kiosk. And it serves juice and sandwiches. But people throng this tiny outlet for its cream-and-strawberry, which is so hard to describe. It’s an experience! It is open till late in the night.

Stomach II (Seven Bungalows) – “So where’s the first part” my cousin had jokingly quizzed. I had no clue then. But it’s first part is apparently at Bandra. If you want Chinese cuisine, without fuss, at average rates, and neatly presented, head towards Stomach II. It’s USP are those variety of sauces they serve – from Sweet Garlic to Dynamite to Schezwan… it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose!

Relish (Churchgate, Opp KC College) – Introduced by a colleague, it’s a fabulous joint for ‘world’ food. Once again, very unpretentious but extremely neat (just the way I like restaurants to be). I fell in love with its Cheese Tortillas. Do also try their Mexican Lasagna and variety of Pastas.

(To Be Continued Later)


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With the sheer number of restaurants that Bombay has, approved one can devote an entire blog. If I go by the count, information pills it seems people in Bombay hardly cook at home. Comparatively, Delhi has fewer joints. But quantity does not equate quality. So the law of averages catches up here too.

Here I present a small list of restaurants I have enjoyed visiting (and re-visiting) over the past two years:


Pop Tate’s (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – “You will love this place” my friend had remarked, when she agreed to meet me here, more out of compulsion than choice. I had just entered this bustling metropolis, and the only familiar areas were Four & Seven Bungalows (don’t ask why the area is called so; no one has been able to provide a satisfactory answer). She was spot-on. I fell in love with the casual ambience, the cool menu card (jugglery of the famous Archies comics characters) and the awesome sizzler’s. Though I wish it had bigger space (but then, in Bombay, any space is expensive -and as a corollary, good – space). For quite sometime, I spent several lavish & lazy Sundays, sipping a chilled beer, trying out its various sizzler’s and pastas and counting the number of TV/Small time actors that visit regularly. My favorite was the simple Chicken Steak Sizzler (till I turned Veg) and currently, I love the Paneer Sizzler. Also, its simple Margharita Pizza is sumptuous. Anyone who visits me in Bombay is sure to find himself/herself ensconced here for a nice dinner.

Urban Tadka (Seven Bungalows, Andheri West) – From the same chain as Pop Tate’s , Urban Tadka (and its counterpart Masala Mantar at Four Bungalows) is a marvelous Indian joint. The place is set up in ethnic style, with old film posters lining the walls. The food is delicious – not too spicy, not too oily. But amazingly perfect. The ‘dahi chutney’ that they serve alongside tickles the palette. From Masala Mantra, do try their ‘Rajma Biryani’, served exquisitely in an earthen ‘handi’. It will get you clamoring for more, for sure! Usually, I use Masala Mantra for home-orders and Urban Tadka for on-site visit.

Soam (Babulnath Marg, Near Chowpatty) – Gujarati/Rajasthani cuisine never felt so gracious and grand. Situated near Mumbai’s famous Chowpatty Beach (remember that zany song Chowpatty jaayenge bhel puri khaayenge from Phool Khile Hain Gulshan Gulshan), Soam is a an elegant joint, very up-market, very neat, very decent and very sober. It’s aam-ras is the sweetest.

Crystal Restaurant (Chowpatty) – Who would have thought that this non-descript place, almost run-down restaurant (near Wilson College) would serve the tastiest Indian food…almost home-made in taste. And it serves phulkas (chapattis), instead of the standard tandoori rotis. Crystal’s rajma, paneer bhurji and daal are yummy (even as I type this, my mouth waters!) Top off your lunch/dinner with a luxuriously rich kheer. The prices are reasonable. And the best part? They still play old songs – and by old, I mean really old – Mohd Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Mukesh from fifties and sixties era.

Bachelor’s (Chowpatty) – Well, if you have been to South Bombay and haven’t had Bachelor’s cream-and-strawberry, then you have missed something. Bachelor’s is not really a joint. It’s a kiosk. And it serves juice and sandwiches. But people throng this tiny outlet for its cream-and-strawberry, which is so hard to describe. It’s an experience! It is open till late in the night.

Stomach II (Seven Bungalows) – “So where’s the first part” my cousin had jokingly quizzed. I had no clue then. But it’s first part is apparently at Bandra. If you want Chinese cuisine, without fuss, at average rates, and neatly presented, head towards Stomach II. It’s USP are those variety of sauces they serve – from Sweet Garlic to Dynamite to Schezwan… it becomes difficult to decide which one to choose!

Relish (Churchgate, Opp KC College) – Introduced by a colleague, it’s a fabulous joint for ‘world’ food. Once again, very unpretentious but extremely neat (just the way I like restaurants to be). I fell in love with its Cheese Tortillas. Do also try their Mexican Lasagna and variety of Pastas.

(To Be Continued Later)


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Number Plate

My car’s front number plate has become a joke. If it had been a chain mail, stomach it would have got forwarded the world over several times over. And perhaps (like all chain mails) return to me.

Some two-three months back, order the number plate decided to loosen all its ties, physician and hang out adventurously. Rather, hang down. Like a good car-owner, I reprimanded it and took it to the repair-shop (one decrepit one, near my place) and replaced its screws (at an exorbitant price for the job that size). Obviously, the number plate didn’t like to get screwed. Next day, when I reached Lonavla (for a review, darlings, not for holiday – just in case you start off on how lucky I am, which I am not) I found that the number plate had again broken free, and was gleefully swinging like a trapeze artiste in a circus.

I thought I had just leave it. Let the poor kid enjoy it’s living on the edge. (Well, procrastination and laziness were two other reasons, but I am not really going to confess that up, no m’dahlings? )

Suddenly, I discovered that Bombay, the city that minds its business, the city that doesn’t care who your neighbor is, had undergone a crash-course in social behavior. Or rather lack of it. That man on the cycle smiles and points at me. Maybe he knows me (since in any case, I have a fabulous memory where faces are concerned). I smile a hello back as well as one can smile a ‘hello’. But he continues, like pumping an invisible phone (for a few minutes I think they must have invented such a thing). It took me couple of more seconds before enlightenment dawned upon me. Of course! He’s pointing at my swingin’ plate. I know, I gesture back. At the next crossing, another person nearly man-hits me. Man-hits…like a bird-hit plane. This one is more voluble. ‘Number plate’ he shouts. I know, I retort. Next day, an idler near my house eyes me curiously. I rush into the car, not very gay about his looks. ‘It hangs dude’ he drawls his eyes gesturing toward someplace ahead of me. Without thinking, I nearly look at my pant’s zipper! I know, I mumble dis-concertedly and zoom off.

This continues over the days. I am with a colleague. Someone is again jabbing that invisible phone. ‘Is he mad?’ my colleague asks. Now, wizened and knowledged, I smile back, ‘No, he’s pointing at the hanging number plate!’ My colleague collapses in laughter. ‘Haila, maa kasam…this is too much now’. I know, I nod.

Having every Tom, Dick & Hari targetting at the poor plate, I gently coaxed it to correction. No screwing, baby. Just a little fun in tying you up. No leathers. No rubber. Just a plain jute string (that I picked up from my friendly neighborhood-grocery-store-turned-department-mart). Gentle. The plate gives in.

And there it hangs, tied but not screwed.

Blank

Last night, before signing off from an online social networking account, on an undefinable impulse, I wrote the status as ‘Blank’. There was no motive or reason to do so, except that I was actually feeling blank. Well, as an aside (and ironically) on the physical level I was feeling filled up – on the way home, had had nearly half a box of dry-fruits, a belated Diwali gift from a client. (Blame it on the awful traffic snarls between Churchgate and suburbs which allows one enough time to munch and hog and actually do pretty many other things).

But that’s digressing. So I typed ‘blank’, switched off the laptop, shut the lights and slipped into a deep sleep. It could be due to lack of proper sleep the night before (had returned very late) and I might have been very tired. And then, sleep had escaped me for several hours. Anyways, last night I literally fell into a slumber the moment I hit the pillow.

When I checked my messages today, I was surprised to see four messages asking my well-being, and if all was well. At first, it surprised me. How could suddenly four different people in different parts of the world suddenly think of my well-being? But when I checked that the two of these were from that same online site, realization dawned upon me. Of course, that ‘blank’ had done the trick. Bless my friends. They think for me when I am hurt.

But today, I wasn’t. Hurt, that is. Nor sad. And everything is OK. Actually, more than OK. Ostensibly. Blank is not necessarily negative. At least, I didn’t feel so – when I ruminated on it (again between horrendous traffic entanglements -this time, on way to office). Blank is state zero. It’s not happiness. It’s not sadness. It’s the perfect equilibrium. Perhaps, akin to state of nirvana that sages talk about. It’s a level where neither do I crave for anything nor do I lament a loss. It’s …well…it’s blank. Hence, my friend’s needn’t worry. I am fine.

But then, as the movie title goes, everybody says I am fine!

Delhi & Customer Service

I guess it called for a separate post. But the rush-rush visit during Diwali weekend hardly gave me time to actually move around or meet anyone; hence, nothing interesting to post. Delhi amazes me on every visit. Because every time I visit, there is either a new flyover up, running and completed or a new section of Metro begun.

The airline goofed up big time on my return-flight. The original flight was canceled & they never bothered to inform. Thankfully, the night before I checked with makemytrip.com (from where I had originally booked the ticket) and they graciously gave me the information, and that I had been put on another flight (in the airline’s sister concern). Good enough, I mused. That means a full-fare flight for a low-cost payment.

I should have held my joy. Next day at the airport, I received the shock (and – this despite checking with the airline’s ticket counter outside the terminal) that my booking had not been transferred. When I acted the voluble & angry customer ( and since I am in the service industry, I had several reference points), the lady at the counter transferred me to the next plane flying out (just 30 minutes later).

Which didn’t mean too much trouble as I had time. So, out of courtesy which we never seem to get from our customers (and a whim), I apologized to the girl at the counter. Her reaction shook me. ‘That’s so kind of you, sir’ she said in a voice that was awash in relief. ‘At least you understood it’s not my fault. I am so grateful. Please do have a pleasant flight’

Don’t we take it a bit granted to shout at hapless employees who might not be responsible for the goof-up? Do think over, and next time, no harm being human and being polite.

(And I hope some of my customers also read this and act upon it).

Movies

Every Saturday night I watch a movie. At least, I try to, unless I am extremely lazy or of course, there is nothing decent to watch. Since my definition of ‘decent’ is pretty vast and accommodating, so, I end up at my favorite PVR quite regularly. I hate it when two movies release the same day. That means having to give one up for the other. And by next week, the film is too stale for my taste. That’s how I missed Wake Up Sid, having chosen Do Knot Disturb. Bad choice. I was expecting better from David Dhawan. Lara Dutta stole the show. Though, I must admit Riteish Deshmukh is zooming upward as a comedy-prince. In fact, he did a fantastic job in Aladin too, bringing about a charming innocence that combined fabulously Big B’s exuberance; their camaraderie shone, as did the quaint town Khwaish created. Good for a weekend watch.

Also, Aladin‘s music has quite taken my attention. Vishal & Shekhar conjure a beautiful love ballad You May Be and a few other very good tunes. I have been playing Aladin‘s CD in my car in loop ever since I bought it.

Acid Factory turned out to be all water, no acid. Leave alone scorching, it didn’t even singe. Perhaps, the audience is smart. I saw it on opening Saturday. The theater was three-quarters empty! Though, to give it a credit the performances were all good.

The movie for the month was, however, All The Best. Once again (a la No Entry) Bipasha Basu ends up being mistaken for Fardeen’s wife, and we have a rumble-tumble ride full of genial, clean & wholesome humor. Watch it. I guess it’s still playing at the theaters.

Signing off for now. Will be back soon.


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Number Plate

My car’s front number plate has become a joke. If it had been a chain mail, mycoplasmosis it would have got forwarded the world over several times over. And perhaps (like all chain mails) return to me.

Some two-three months back, the number plate decided to loosen all its ties, and hang out adventurously. Rather, hang down. Like a good car-owner, I reprimanded it and took it to the repair-shop (one decrepit one, near my place) and replaced its screws (at an exorbitant price for the job that size). Obviously, the number plate didn’t like to get screwed. Next day, when I reached Lonavla (for a review, darlings, not for holiday – just in case you start off on how lucky I am, which I am not) I found that the number plate had again broken free, and was gleefully swinging like a trapeze artiste in a circus.

I thought I’d just leave it. Let the poor kid enjoy it’s living on the edge. (Well, procrastination and laziness were two other reasons, but I am not really going to confess that up, no m’dahlings? )

Suddenly, I discovered that Bombay, the city that minds its business, the city that doesn’t care who your neighbor is, had undergone a crash-course in social behavior. Or rather lack of it. That man on the cycle smiles and points at me. Maybe he knows me (since in any case, I have a fabulous memory where faces are concerned). I smile a hello back as well as one can smile a ‘hello’. But he continues, like pumping an invisible phone (for a few minutes I think they must have invented such a thing). It took me couple of more seconds before enlightenment dawned upon me. Of course! He’s pointing at my swingin’ plate. I know, I gesture back. At the next crossing, another person nearly man-hits me. Man-hits…like a bird-hit plane. This one is more voluble. ‘Number plate’ he shouts. I know, I retort. Next day, an idler near my house eyes me curiously. I rush into the car, not very gay about his looks. ‘It hangs dude’ he drawls his eyes gesturing toward someplace ahead of me. Without thinking, I nearly look at my pant’s zipper! I know, I mumble dis-concertedly and zoom off.

This continues over the days. I am with a colleague. Someone is again jabbing that invisible phone. ‘Is he mad?’ my colleague asks. Now, wizened and knowledged, I smile back, ‘No, he’s pointing at the hanging number plate!’ My colleague collapses in laughter. ‘Haila, maa kasam…this is too much now’. I know, I nod.

Having every Tom, Dick & Hari targetting at the poor plate, I gently coaxed it to correction. No screwing, baby. Just a little fun in tying you up. No leathers. No rubber. Just a plain jute string (that I picked up from my friendly neighborhood-grocery-store-turned-department-mart). Gentle. The plate gives in.

And there it hangs, tied but not screwed.

Blank

Last night, before signing off from an online social networking account, on an undefinable impulse, I wrote the status as ‘Blank’. There was no motive or reason to do so, except that I was actually feeling blank. Well, as an aside (and ironically) on the physical level I was feeling filled up – on the way home, had had nearly half a box of dry-fruits, a belated Diwali gift from a client. (Blame it on the awful traffic snarls between Churchgate and suburbs which allows one enough time to munch and hog and actually do pretty many other things).

But that’s digressing. So I typed ‘blank’, switched off the laptop, shut the lights and slipped into a deep sleep. It could be due to lack of proper sleep the night before (had returned very late) and I might have been very tired. And then, sleep had escaped me for several hours. Anyways, last night I literally fell into a slumber the moment I hit the pillow.

When I checked my inbox today, I was surprised to see four messages asking my well-being, and if all was well. At first, it surprised me. How could suddenly four different people in different parts of the world suddenly think of my well-being? But when I checked that the two of these were from that same online site, realization dawned upon me. Of course, that ‘blank’ had done the trick. Bless my friends. They think for me when I am hurt.

But today, I wasn’t. Hurt, that is. Nor sad. And everything is OK. Actually, more than OK. Ostensibly. Blank is not necessarily negative. At least, I didn’t feel so – when I ruminated on it (again between horrendous traffic entanglements -this time, on way to office). Blank is state zero. It’s not happiness. It’s not sadness. It’s the perfect equilibrium. Perhaps, akin to state of nirvana that sages talk about. It’s a level where neither do I crave for anything nor do I lament a loss. It’s …well…it’s blank. Hence, my friend’s needn’t worry. I am fine.

But then, as the movie title goes, everybody says I am fine!

Delhi & Customer Service

I guess it called for a separate post. But the rush-rush visit during Diwali weekend hardly gave me time to actually move around or meet anyone; hence, nothing interesting to post. Delhi amazes me on every visit. Because every time I visit, there is either a new flyover up, running and completed or a new section of Metro begun.

The airline goofed up big time on my return-flight. The original flight was canceled & they never bothered to inform. Thankfully, the night before I checked with makemytrip.com (from where I had originally booked the ticket) and they graciously gave me the information, and that I had been put on another flight (in the airline’s sister concern). Good enough, I mused. That means a full-fare flight for a low-cost payment.

I should have held my joy. Next day at the airport, I received the shock (and – this despite checking with the airline’s ticket counter outside the terminal) that my booking had not been transferred. When I acted the voluble & angry customer ( and since I am in the service industry, I had several reference points), the lady at the counter transferred me to the next plane flying out (just 30 minutes later).

Which didn’t mean too much trouble as I had time. So, out of courtesy which we never seem to get from our customers (and a whim), I apologized to the girl at the counter. Her reaction shook me. ‘That’s so kind of you, sir’ she said in a voice that was awash in relief. ‘At least you understood it’s not my fault. I am so grateful. Please do have a pleasant flight’

Don’t we take it a bit granted to shout at hapless employees who might not be responsible for the goof-up? Do think over, and next time, no harm being human and being polite.

(And I hope some of my customers also read this and act upon it).

Movies

Every Saturday night I watch a movie. At least, I try to, unless I am extremely lazy or of course, there is nothing decent to watch. Since my definition of ‘decent’ is pretty vast and accommodating, so, I end up at my favorite PVR quite regularly. I hate it when two movies release the same day. That means having to give one up for the other. And by next week, the film is too stale for my taste. That’s how I missed Wake Up Sid, having chosen Do Knot Disturb. Bad choice. I was expecting better from David Dhawan. Lara Dutta stole the show. Though, I must admit Riteish Deshmukh is zooming upward as a comedy-prince. In fact, he did a fantastic job in Aladin too, bringing about a charming innocence that combined fabulously Big B’s exuberance; their camaraderie shone, as did the quaint town Khwaish created. Good for a weekend watch.

Also, Aladin‘s music has quite taken my attention. Vishal & Shekhar conjure a beautiful love ballad You May Be and a few other very good tunes. I have been playing Aladin‘s CD in my car in loop ever since I bought it.

Acid Factory turned out to be all water, no acid. Leave alone scorching, it didn’t even singe. Perhaps, the audience is smart. I saw it on opening Saturday. The theater was three-quarters empty! Though, to give it a credit the performances were all good.

The other movie that I loved was All The Best. Once again (a la No Entry) Bipasha Basu ends up being mistaken for Fardeen’s wife, and we have a rumble-tumble ride full of genial, clean & wholesome humor. Watch it. I guess it’s still playing at the theaters.

Signing off for now. Will be back soon.


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Comments

  1. a long post but very interesting one..incidentally, as regds ur number plate, to be honest, the only way i cud recognise ur car was the hanging number plate, becos, i can never remember the colour nor the number of the car…hahahaha…:) keep writing DJ

  2. so finally the number plate has been tied down…jugaad!!

    when I saw ur status set as ‘blank’ on orkut even i thot u must be feeling low….same thought process…link b/w words=feelings/emotions.

    I myself have lost my temper a couple of times with cust care…esp over the phone…

    haven’t seen a movie in ages…n i guess abhi mauka bhi nahin milega deekhne ka.

  3. I have had a hearty laugh reading the bit about the number plate. New template (or at least I noticed it right now) looks good.

    For the blank bit…the first instance one links with some words is being sad and not-ok.

    As for customer service and the numerous calls, now that I am associated with it, I have begun to behave and respond in a much polite manner with all the zillion calls I receive and also while dealing with customer service executives.

    Hope to see more posts happening here.

    *P.S.: Incoming call facility is now free, so kripya phone answer karein*

  4. Hey DJ

    Nice & interesting post. Number plate story was funny.I wish every one understands that any employee will never be personally responsible in a big service industry.So plz behave well by putting yourself in others shoes!!!

    Keep writing.

    -Harshad Jangla
    Atlanta, USA

  5. @Sweety – thanks 🙂

    And hey…how cheap was that! My car has other things to be recognized from ;-)) the side dents for example, LOL.

    @Ekta – Yeah, full ‘jugaad’ :-))

    @Anz – Yeah my bad… will call u soon. Have been caught up in travels.

    @Harshadji – Thanks a ton 🙂

    @Madhu – Thanks a ton 🙂

    @Priyangini – Thanks … SX4 is good :)) Luv it !!!

    We need to meet …sorry, have been travelling…

    @ Vandy – Bahut hi dinon baad….. yeah, naya roop for the time being 😀