PIKU … The emotional motion!

PIKU … PIKUUU … PIKUUUUUU …. (spoiler alert)

The movie is as simple as the female protagonist name. A movie without agenda or a reason and just an average family with their average problems which are laughed away as soon as they are solved.

Amitabh ... always the star!

Amitabh … always the star!

Constipation forms the basis of the whole movie, yup, you heard that right, it is about those difficult bowel moments which are at the core of the story. However contrary to the difficult state of being constipated, the story of PIKU flows effortlessly, culminating into a relaxed climax much like the best and the last “shit” our protagonist (Amitabh Bachchan) takes.

The highlight of the movie though is not the protagonist’s bowel movements but the relationship between the ageing Dad and his independent, High IQ (opposite of Low IQ) daughter. The emotional quotient is so high that one does not need to shed tear to understand it but a smile is more apt for it. Amit jee and Deepika portray a Bengali Dad and daughter living in Delhi’s Bong capital of CR Park with effortless ease.

The Daughter-Dad duo Roadtrip is funny and full of emotions supported by the amazing Irfaan Khan!

The Daughter-Dad duo Roadtrip is funny and full of emotions supported by the amazing Irrfan Khan!

The movie belongs to them from the start to the end and Amitabh with his histrionics and nuances of a Bengali uncle (Uncle hoga tera baap) is as funny as he is irritating. Irrfan Khan as the “Non – Bengali” Chaudhary is the saving grace when the Bongness crosses bounds of tolerance both for Deepika and the audience. Even the invisible servant keeps on chipping in with his two bits where required along with the yesteryear actress Moushmi Chatterjee. Detailing and casting along with a simple story has been Shoojit Sircar’s forte and he keeps getting better with each of his outings.

PIKU is a must watch for any movie buff and to feel good about life. Lots of small instances where one can recognize, empathize, cry or laugh with the characters and walk out of the theatre with a smile on their faces!

Posted in Bollywood, Hollywood, India, Movie, Review, Uncategorized, Women | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Khyen Chyen … Heaven can wait!!!

Khyen Chyen literally when translated in Kashmiri means “Khaana Peena” (To eat and drink). This was told to me by Nasir, the man who has brought the “wazwaan” from his homeland to the glittering city of Gurgaon. If you have been to Kashmir, you would have noticed the Tshirts with slogans “I am in Kashmir, Heaven can wait!” Khyen Chyen for me was just that … a foodie heaven.

I say this because Kashmiri food, laden with red meat is definitely heaven for meat eating food lovers like me and to “raid” restaurants like these I always trust my heavy weight foodies from The Delhi Foodie Club (TDfc) to accompany me. Located on the ground floor of the DLF Crosspoint mall (the one diagonally opposite DLF Galleria), a mall which has become famous for its eateries, Khyen Chyen is a quaint cosy little place which can seat around 12 guests at the max. So considering there were 10 of us the restaurant completely belonged to TDfc’s private party which consisted CEOs to bankers to journalist and hotel industry veterans. Having a Kashmiri pundit along with us helped a lot in vetting the authenticity of the wazwaan and also receiving some extra gyan on the side.

And we enter ... heaven can wait!

And we enter … heaven can wait!

The Story continues!

The Story continues!

The Logo is synonymous with fire burning in our bellies!

The Logo is synonymous with fire burning in our bellies!

The logo of the restaurant is hard to miss and matches with the fire burning in your bellies when you are hungry. That of course is my version of the logo, though the real thought was told to me by Nasir that he wanted to have something that signifies strength, commitment, something that makes the brain think. They gave the centre of it a perfect circle that signifies their belief in complete satisfaction. The crowns are derived from various Kashmiri designs, like utensils, the famous chinar leaf etc. The logo as one would notice also has the tag line of DISCOVER. TASTE. INDULGE. something that blends perfectly with their cuisine and hospitable culture.

Perfect lighting to lend shades of Red and Yellow, adding to the quaint setup!

Perfect lighting to lend shades of Red and Yellow, adding to the quaint setup!

Till the food arrives ... we appreciate the artifacts!

Till the food arrives … we appreciate the artifacts!

The interiors set the mood for a Kashmiri experience as you enter the restaurant. The hues of red and yellow lighting are what are mostly used in the wooden houses and even the houseboats in Kashmir. The warm colours help in countering the cold climate and it seems Nasir has used the same effect to complete the effect of a Kashmiri dining hall for his restaurant and complementing the quaint setup of the place. Kashmiri’s use a lot of wood and Nasir decided to have wood as the base instead of the usual Plywood and Laminates keeping the lighting simple yet precise so that the focus does not go away from our dishes, rather they could impose the lights on the food served. The place is small but attention to detail has been paid by strategically placing artefacts and elements from the culture and vantage points but not in your face.

Nasir ... the man behind Khyen Chyen!

Nasir … the man behind Khyen Chyen!

The ethnic utensils complete the picture!

The ethnic utensils complete the picture!

Izband .. is called harmal or wild rue seeds, which the Kashmiris burn on auspicious occasions like marriages and throw these seeds on coal in a kangri or izband container to burn the evil spirits away!

Izband .. is called harmal or wild rue seeds, which the Kashmiris burn on auspicious occasions like marriages and throw these seeds on coal in a kangri or izband container to burn the evil spirits away!

Once settled the aroma from the kitchen is what will take over your sense and though one cannot eat from the nose, one definitely can salivate to the aromas of meat. The food which were waiting for as mentioned is called the Wazwaan and while we waited patiently, Nasir once again like the good host he is explained to us what it means. In Kashmiri language Waza means a ‘Cook’ and Wan means ‘Shop’, hence the name. Wazwan is a multi-course meal in Muslim Kashmiri cuisine, the preparation of which is considered an art and a point of pride in Kashmiri Muslim culture and identity.

Tabakh Maaz ... need I say more!

Tabakh Maaz … need I say more!

And no sooner had he finished we had the Tabakh Maaz on the table. The fried Goat Ribs, Tabakh Maaz, which is a signature of wazwaan is golden friend and crisp on the outside and fatty and soft inside. The one served at KC was just that and once the pierced through the crispy skin it was so juicy that it melted in the mouth. A plate of Tabakh maaz consisted of six pieces and being the first dish to grace our tables, I finished two of those plates one after the other. Satisfied with the meat and can of Coke in front of me (sadly no Thums Up) I was ready to take on what Nasir and his Chef Manzoor were planning next.

Mutton Kanti ... simplicity at its best!

Mutton Kanti … simplicity at its best!

Mutton Kanti, with its entire aroma landed on the table even before the Tabakh maaz was fnished, though it had to stay as we kept ordering the maaz till the very end. Kanti is so simple a dish that the sanctity of the mutton remains along with the fragrance and taste of the spices that blend into the meat along with the smoothness of the yogurt in which it is marinated. A mutton dish which was served alongside naan (Indian bread), not sure if done traditionally, but a great combination. A plate of Mutton Kanti along with a complete naan was devoured and though I was eating beyond capacity, the will and intent to keep going was very strong.

The chutneys and pickles ... great accompaniments!

The chutneys and pickles … great accompaniments!

Now this was not even the beginning and some of us were already full. The main course however were an array of heavily loaded BIG GUNS, from the Marchwangan Korma to Wazza Kakur, from the opulent Rista and the full stop to the meal, the mighty Gosthaba. Over a bed of steamed rice, each of these items were served in these traditional metal dishes, keeping it close to tradition and authenticity.

Marchwangan korma ... Mirchi Korma!!!

Marchwangan korma … Mirchi Korma!!!

Wazza kakur - chicken for the non red meat eaters!!!

Wazza kakur – chicken for the non red meat eaters!!!

The Marchwangan Korma or better known as the Mirchi Korma does justice to its fiery name, as this mutton dish is red hot and mysterious. Made in fiery red Kashmiri chillies, this mutton korma when served to us deserved a fresh plate of rice on which the reddish gravy was poured. The hands did the talking as the mouth was full of this spicy concoction of meat, rice and chillies. Never the one to complain about spice, I finished my plate in record time expecting more from the Waza’s kitchen and I was not disappointed as I spotted the bowl of Rista in my peripheral vision.

The fiery Rista!!!

The fiery Rista!!!

Rista, meatballs made out of fine minced mutton which is pounded for hours by a wooden hammer to give it the softness and texture no other meatball can have. To be honest I have had a bigger Rista sitting in a houseboat in Kashmir and there is nothing which can beat that. However, KC has done a good job on this dish and though smaller, I loved the laden red gravy, which just coloured my rice in a hue similar to the warm lights of the restaurant.

The mighty Goshtaba!

The mighty Goshtaba!

A confession … The first time ever I had Kashmiri food, my Punjabi Palate took to the Rista much faster and I preferred it over the mighty Goshtaba. Slowly as I got to know the “King of Meatballs” I took a liking to it and this evening I could not wait for the Goshtaba to grace our plates. The gravy is what makes the Goshtaba and it consists of an elaborate mix of Saunf powder, dry Ginger powder or Saunth (as it’s called) with Salt and Jeera powder with whipped yoghurt added cold to the masala giving it the creamy white character and taste. Since onion and garlic is not used (hardly grown in the valley) the gravy is thickened by rice flour. The gyaan provided to me by a fellow Kashmiri foodie did stuck with me and though I hardly ever go into the details of cooking the Goshtaba has always fascinated me. Nasir however served us smaller meatballs, though the Goshtaba is huge. On sensing my disappointment, I was assured the mighty ball in all its glory was on its way and on arrival, there was a Goshtaba cutting ceremony followed by “Devour the Goshtaba” carnage and a round of “Diet” Coke to down so much red meat which had gone down our foodie pits.

Phirni ... coz one has to end on a sweet note!

Phirni … coz one has to end on a sweet note!

Kaahwaaa!

Kaahwaaa!

We were so full that we had to stop ourselves from ordering anymore though the order of food demanded we finish off on a sweet note and the row of Phirni was too good to resist. With shiny spoons and pure white bowls, the thickly textured Phirni did taste like the “food for gods” on our palates.

After being satiated when I met the kitchen team headed by Manzoor bhai, I realized that despite the challenges that they face in Delhi in finding the right meat for preparation and supply chain (as the dishes are dependent of the quality of meat and the time of preparation) they have successfully overcome them by sourcing all ingredients from Kashmir (besides the meat) which ofcourse is logistics nightmare at times but not impossible. The passion definitely reflects in the cooking and the hospitable nature of the staff. The evening was just beyond words and we ate like there was no tomorrow. A great value for money meal which set us back by 1100 bucks per person, meat lovers if you crave for the rich cuisine from the valley, in Gurgaon or a matter of fact in Delhi, Khyen Chyen, is the place which you certainly cannot give a miss.

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Celebrating food … festival style!!!

Delhi has always been famous for its larger than life culture and over the top celebrations. Be it religion, festivals or weddings, the celebration keeps getting bigger and bigger. How could food, which is a religion in itself, be spared in this grand city. Delhities, live to eat and with the surge of restaurants it is a testimonial to the fact, that we know and love our food.

#TDfc moments from The Grub Fest walk #welivetoeat

#TDfc moments from The Grub Fest walk #welivetoeat

Food festivals which started with the Palate Fest in November last year at Nehru Park, changed the way we look, admire and eat our food. Once the gates opened and the festival started, even the organizers were pleasantly surprised at the surge of people who descended upon the venue to taste, eat, binge on their favourite foods or just celebrate the Delhi winters.  After stupendous success of the Palate Fest, Delhi realized that this was a celebration waiting to be cashed upon with so many perennial hungry souls in our city. The surge of festivals we saw this winter was no joke. Gastro Bazaars, Chef based classes, Food quizzes and the Palate back in a miniature format called the Palate Mini.

The Palate Mini ... a miniature of the Palate fest was a great success like its elder sibling!

The Palate Mini … a miniature of the Palate fest was a great success like its elder sibling!

The latest to join the Food Fest bandwagon is The Grub Fest being held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. The brainchild of young entrepreneurs Aman Kumar, Arjun Jain, Chaitanya Mathur & Mani Singh Cheema, who I have never met personally but was told are passionate foodies and want to showcase the very best of Delhi’s food scene through the festival. The best indeed have arrived here and with restaurants like FIO, Shiv Sagar, Smokeys, Royal China, Town Hall, Fat Lulu’s, Khan Chacha, Amici, Dao, En – The Japanese Restaurant, Zizo and many more the lawns of the iconic stadium have transformed into a claudron of gastronomic delights for three days.

En - The Japanese Restaurant at The Grub Fest ... The braised pork belly was the star of this booth!

En – The Japanese Restaurant at The Grub Fest … The braised pork belly was the star of this booth!

My favourite food group The Delhi foodie club, TDfc, as we fondly call it did a first day visit and the rainy evening coupled with fresh cool breeze, gave us another reason to binge on some heavy food and our favourite meats. More than ten of us continued our group’s tradition of a Friday binge and landed at En-Japanese restaurant’s booth to start and what a start it was. Sushi, California Rolls, Meat Balls on Skewers and Pork Belly prepared us for the amazing food we were going to sample. From Ghaas Phoos (a Hindi term for Vegetarian food meaning Grass and plants) to NYC Pie, whose Pizzas were again gone in 60 seconds we finally landed up for some meaty delights at Smokeys. From Big Daddy to Super Boy we were spoilt for choices with Hotdogs and Burgers, though we were nice guys throughout the walk and always ordered Vegetarian Grub for our lone Veg-food walker, consequently exploring some good vegetarian options on the way. The star of the evening for me was the Big Daddy Hot Dog and I devoured more than one of those Daddies. Details of course will post soon but right now I am just relishing the after taste and the hangover from #TheGrubFest #TDfc Food Walk.

NYC Pie at #TheGrubFest ... I am biased to Pepperoni but foodies loved the Vegetarian Hawaiian Pizza!

NYC Pie at #TheGrubFest … I am biased to Pepperoni but foodies loved the Vegetarian Hawaiian Pizza!

Smokeys the final stop ... The Big Daddy, The Super boy and the Meat balls along with some pulled tenderloin burgers was bliss ... a must visit if you are at the fest!

Smokeys the final stop … The Big Daddy, The Super boy and the Meat balls along with some pulled tenderloin burgers was bliss … a must visit if you are at the fest!

So if you have not yet attended any of the food festivals dominating the Delhi food scene, you still have 2 more days to make it to the Grub Fest. I really have a craving to visit it again and try out the amazing restaurants I have missed. Be ready to walk a lot, eat a lot and then eat some more … on at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium from 11.00 to 10.30 in the night.

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Happy birthday Steve Jobs … Trying to stay Hungry, to stay Foolish!

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Paul Jobs, founder of Apple Inc., Entrepreneur, Innovator, Inventor and above all a great Visionary.

He always knew his time was limited here!

He always knew his time was limited here!

 

The man would have turned 60 tomorrow on February 24th, had it not been for cancer which took him in 2011. Most of us who admire and loved him have had the pleasure to read about his life in the countless books written about him and watch him in a movie about his days in Apple. So much has been said about him that I cannot say anything new but just miss him like a mentor. A mentor who I never met (and sadly never will) but who has taught me the value of seeing things clearly, objectively and with a vision. The love for art merged with the technical expertise is what made Jobs’ and Apple’s product standout. Always striving to design products at the confluence of technology and art, he always said, “Design is how it works”.

Having followed his life pattern and read and re-read his biography did I realize that even though he created perfect products his life was full of ups & downs and far from perfect. He followed his instincts and never changed himself irrespective of what his competitors, customers or even the whole world thought. Jobs was a control freak, for the better, and Apple was a by-product of his eccentricities. The lesser known fact is that after being ousted from Apple in 1984, he made the company bounce back to the “most loved technology company of the world” after his return in 1997.

Never stop innovating, a line which he emphasized a lot and shouted out much more at Apple’s design meetings. His obsession with minimalist design and heated discussions with his employees & management were quite well known in closed quarters of Apple. People who worked with him were well aware of his “Reality Distortion Field” (reference Star Trek) which he created to achieve the impossible. Due to this obsession with giving his consumer innovative “workable” products, we got path-breaking products like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and his last obsession the iPad. Apple was voted the most valuable company of 2012. Sadly, I hate to add in the same breath that his vision for Apple and the principles on which he ran the company seems to have gone with him. Apple products are becoming run of the mill and the in the last 4 years I have yet to see something which will whisk me away as Jobs’ products did.

Steve Jobs ... the perfectionist he was, he hardly had any furniture could buy any furniture as he never liked any design!

Steve Jobs … the perfectionist he was, he hardly had any furniture could buy any furniture as he never liked any design!

A marketing genius in addition to this, Jobs never believed in doing it small and from his product launches to the companies he created (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), Jobs did them larger than life and gave us products and services that changed the world around us. He made his own rules and once told a journalist who asked him what market research did he do for the iPod, “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them, by the time you get it built, they would want something new.”

Jobs ... the family man!

Jobs … the family man!

Truly a man who put a “Dent in the Universe” and inspired me to “Think Different”. Leaving you with his famous Stanford Commencement Address in 2005.

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EGGjactly The Food truck … Food Trucks are here to stay (err… move) !!!

We’ve all seen and drooled over the food trucks on the popular TV series Eat Street. The founders of EGGjactly, Vikrant & Lvanika, which they claim to be India’s first Food Truck, admit to being inspired by Eat Street. More so because the series showcased Food Trucks from all over the world but India, and so the founders decided to be the leaders in this genre of F&B.

In concept for a few months but barely a Week old on the roads of Gurgaon, I finally managed to catch up with this Food Truck eventually, after missing it a few times. EGGjactly which of course germinates from our favourite ingredient EGG, is a GPS enabled food truck which is on the move and parks at a suitable spot for lunch and dinner. We’ve been accustomed to Chinese and Fast food vans in Delhi, but they are stationary at one location and hardly move and ironically easier to acquire a license for. Vikrant Misra the founder says, “A Food Truck makes much more sense than a stationary van, as if someone complains or the spot is nuisance on the road, they can pack up and move to a more conducive location”. I say definitely a point to ponder upon by the authorities.

The Menu and the Truck ... most items are reasonably priced and within the range of 100 to 200 bucks!

The Menu and the Truck … most items are reasonably priced and within the range of 100 to 200 bucks!

Painted in Bright Yellow and shades of Orange, EGGjactly can be easily spotted from the distance. Also in addition to the attractively painted truck, the crowd of curious onlookers, the first timers and the cars slowing down around it to catch a glimpse, do add to the festive spirit of food. We Indians love our food and we love it more if it is served without any pretence, just straight up and on the road side. The only down side to street food nowadays is the hygiene conditions, which this truck seems to have laid stress on. The Insides with their slick Stainless Steel equipment looks well sanitized and extremely clean that one could eat food directly place on the steel tops without any plates.

The Bright Yellow and hues of Orange make it hard to miss!!!   (Source: EGGjactly FB Page )

The Bright Yellow and hues of Orange make it hard to miss!!! (Source: EGGjactly FB Page )

As you can see the excitement of eating at the first food truck in India made me appreciate everything they did, it was time to order the food for which we came for. But arriving at an hour which was just before dinner I had to control myself from ordering too much, lest I disappointed my wife who had already got dinner ready for me. So, on Vikrant’s recommendation we just ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and the Mutton Roll, along with Belgian Waffles with Dark Chocolate Ganache and strawberries to go.

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Belgian Waffles, The clean interiors of the Truck, The Mutton Roll and the Happy customers!!!

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Belgian Waffles, The clean interiors of the Truck, The Mutton Roll and the Happy customers!!!

A Grilled Chicken Sandwich for me has always meant, bread, chicken, maybe butter/ cheese and no other foreign particle or veggies. I did ask Vikrant before I ordered what it contained, and maybe it was just a connection of one foodie to another, he smiled and said only Chicken and cheese. Nice and crispy, supposed to be had then and there on the street in the yellow cardboard box it is served in and the cheese was extra gooey. Chicken had some spice in it and my Son loved it, especially the crisped edges. Though I did mention it to be a little too compressed and tightly wound, the taste was like the one you would make at home with some boiled chicken, when no one wants to cook. A great item to be had on the go or even if you are driving.

The Mutton Roll was no different from the countless “good” ones I have had before with a fresh egg wrapped in a Parantha. Why I enjoyed it more was that the filling inside was also no nonsense and the mutton was very well cooked (extra bhuna hua) and spiced up to the hilt, just the way I like it. Though noticing me battling the spices, Vikrant did give me a water bottle to help me down it. Talk about personalized service here.

Not very messy and somehow I think the EGGjactly team is taking pains to make items which would not get too messy while eating on the road or taking a break from office. Even the Maggi they served (someone else ordered) was on the drier side and served in a Paper tumbler with fork. Attention to detail always goes a long way.

Belgian Waffles with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries is what I took home and though it was a 10 minute drive, I would not try to get waffles packed again. The good part was my car was full of fragrance from the freshly made waffles and Nutella. I have tasted a lot better waffles, but then next time I will make it a point to stand there and eat it. My 4 year old daughter however loved them and I guess the fresh strawberries did the trick. Not very expensive the total bill amounted to Rs. 425, which for me is great value for money along with some free chit chat and “food gyan” from the owners.

Lvanika and Vikrant ... Driving their passion!!!

Lvanika and Vikrant … Driving their passion!!!

I would be chasing the truck to try out each and every item on their menu and then try them all over again.Though the critic in me did mention a few suggestions to Lvanika and Vikram, overall they left me thoroughly impressed by “driving their passion”.

You can also track down the truck’s location through their website http://eggjactly.in/ and dine with them.

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The CP foodie round … Nostalgia & Food are a potent combo!!!

I love the Delhi winters, whatever the people say! Food and cold weather are an awesome combination and Connaught Place which is back on its revival path, has always been a foodie heaven.  Ask any Dilliwaalah the value of a Sunny day in the foggy winter months of our city, and you would get a dreamy nod from each one.

The Paidal Foodies!!!

The Paidal Foodies!!!

Back in time, Wenger's ... the starting point of our food exploration walk!

Back in time, Wenger’s … the starting point of our food exploration walk!

An impromptu plan, with the Surya Devta (Sun God) shining brightly on a Saturday afternoon, and our foodies were ready to sample the goodies offered on the streets of the age-old Connaught Place area. This blog tells you a story experienced first-hand by 7 of us and which I wanted to share with my readers.

 

Nostalgia and food!

Nostalgia and food at Wenger’s

Did anyone say Macarons!

Did anyone say Macarons!

Shammi kebabs ... one of the best you will taste!

Shammi kebabs … one of the best you will taste!

From the everlasting taste of Wenger’s patties and Shammi kebabs, to the cold milk shake at Keventer’s which almost seems like a ritual after coming out of Wenger’s. Both at the starting point of the CP’s inner circle, the A-block and both outlets have stood the test of time, taste and transition. Nostalgia hits you when you stand outside Wenger’s eating a patty or a kebab. A rocking start to our food exploration walk and our very own Tiger posed with the Milk tanker stationed outside Keventer’s to find out that 1500 litres of milk was supplied only to this particular outlet. After a few Shammi Kebabs and 7 bottles of milkshake we were ready to move with our focus clear.

They might have renamed it Shake Square ... for dilliwaalas it will always be Keventer's

They might have renamed it Shake Square … for dilliwaalas it will always be Keventer’s

The Sausages and Chicken Lollypop at Khubchand and Bros., which is a hidden gem and not many people notice this food-mine even while passing through it, did get us in the mood to walk further and explore more such offbeat eateries. Another time tested place and the regulars swear by the Ham and Sausages of Khubchand. Ready to eat Chicken Lollypops and Chilli Chicken was what we tried standing outside, while enjoying the sun and the sounds of our downtown. Some of our foodies had never heard of this place and it felt truly gratifying to introduce them to this heritage food stop. 

Khub Chand meat ... Khub bhalo!

Khub Chand meat … Khub bhalo!

Keep Walking!!!

Keep Walking!!!

Passing innumerable restaurants and food carts with patties and burgers, we reached Rama Meat Pulao (Mutton mixed with rice) on the outer circle at the Minto road intersection. An eatery that has been thronged by office goers and residents of the area for more than 50 years. Mutton cooked throughout the day and served with pulao, though simple, is quite a treat to the Non-veg loving palate which has an extra craving for spice. The owner when realized we were some “special” food lovers gave us a low-down of his eatery and even a special chicken soup mixed with mint chutney to sample. A proud man equally proud of feeding his customers.

Rama Meat Pulao ... not biryani but mutton cooked in gravy and served over a bed of rice .... along with Chicken Soup!

Rama Meat Pulao … not biryani but mutton cooked in gravy and served over a bed of rice …. along with Chicken Soup!

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

Rajma Chawal at Shanker market is another iconic eatery and served with chutney, onions and pappad on top, has become a staple for CP regulars. The quality however I am sad to say has gone down somewhat. Though having relished it so much for the six years my office was in Connaught Place, I wan to believe it was just a bad day for the cook. Will have to try it again to form a verdict.

The Legendary Rajma Chawal of Shankar market!

The Legendary Rajma Chawal of Shankar market!

The spruced up Shankar market with wall painted mural facades

The spruced up Shankar market with wall painted mural facades

The eating had started bloating our tummies and we decided on Cold coffee at Depaul’s, Janpath, a rather long walk from the Rajma Chawal guy. Negotiating the radial roads and the CP traffic is quite an expert task and people who do it regularly are warriors in my book. Well, we all did manage to reach Janpath after a few pitstops either to click some pictures or laugh at a joke or just admire the colonial architecture of our city. Well in addition to the cold coffee we did order the famous Keema Kulcha and Paneer Balls to wrap up the walk and our hunger (of course we were hungry again) for CP’s delicacies.

Coffee, Paneer Balls, Keema Kulcha and lots of love at Depauls!

Coffee, Paneer Balls, Keema Kulcha and lots of love at Depauls!

But, we did end up making one more stop at Mallik Sweets behind Regal Cinema for Gulab Jamun, Moong Daal Halwa and Gajar ka Halwa. After all we had to end it on a sweet note. Quite a filling treat and we did burn calories walking for 2 hours and approximately 2.5 kms.

Gulab Jamun and Moong Dal Halwa at Mallik Sweets to end on a sweet note!

Gulab Jamun and Moong Dal Halwa at Mallik Sweets to end on a sweet note!

A food walk which satisfied our souls and filled our tummies, but still we would not have explored even 1/10th of CP and missed out on a lot of treats.

The Happy foodies!!!

The Happy foodies!!!

 

The promise to return for more soon stays and at the end, it is just the love for food which matters.

 

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2014 … the past year which would affect our future!

Happy New Year guys!!! 2014 brought some amazing products/ buildings/ technology for me.

Art, Architecture, Design & Technology have been crossing paths frequently now, and this confluence of disciplines has spelled amazing products and designs for the consumer. 2014 was a great year for a person who loves Design and technology and the ever growing market was booming like never before. A few designs & innovations touched me too and the top picks for me from various disciplines in 2014 have been.

The Mangalyaan – Mission to Mars by ISRO

The proudest moment for India in 2014 was its indigenous mission to Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan a spacecraft orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The most commendable part is that it is India’s first interplanetary mission and ISRO has become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency. It is also the first nation in the world to reach Mars orbit on its first attempt and on a shoestring budget. The total cost of the mission was approximately 450 Crore (US$73 million), making it the least-expensive Mars mission to date.

Mission Orbiter Mars - Mangalyaan

Mission Orbiter Mars – Mangalyaan

Musée Des Confluences, France

We think of our architecture as part of the 21st century; as art which reflects and gives a mirror image of the variety and vivacity, tension and complexity of our cities – Wolf D. Prix!

Musee-des-Confluences ... A landmark building!

Musee-des-Confluences … A landmark building!

The Musée des Confluences designed by  Austrian architect Wolf D. Prix is a science centre and anthropology museum which opened on 20 December 2014 in the2nd arrondissement of Lyon, (Rhône), France. Designed on the concept of “The crystal cloud of knowledge” this imposing yet fluid structure is a standing example of the 21st century architecture.

 

The concept drawing!

The concept drawing!

The designers believe that the Musée des Confluences understands itself not as an exclusive “Temple of the Muses” for the educated elite, but as a public gateway to the knowledge of our time. It stimulates a direct, active use—not only as a place of contemplation, but also as a meeting place in the city. This landmark structure would be a definite visit on my to-do list.

Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation) 3G/ Wifi 

Launched in 2013, I however came in contact with this in 2014 so in my list. I had always had an aversion to reading books on the Kindle or any kind of tablet and preferred the traditional way of turning pages.

The smooth functional design is almost Zen-like and the feel of it has me hooked onto it.

The smooth functional design is almost Zen-like and the feel of it has me hooked onto it.

 

However, the The Paperwhite 2 features a higher contrast E Ink Carta display technology which gives one an improved LED illumination, a faster processor that allows for faster page turns, and better response to touch input compared to the original Paperwhite. The look and feel of the screen makes the reading experience much more pleasurable. A great acquisition if you are a voracious reader.

Freedom Tower – 1 World Trade Center, New York

Being an architect I am probably biased to buildings, but this one has really touched a chord with everyone.

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, five hijackers affiliated American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern facade of 1 WTC. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second group of terrorists crashed the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern facade of the South Tower, striking between the 77th and 85th floors. Both the towers fell the same day.

Standing Tall at Ground Zero!

Standing Tall at Ground Zero!

Where the Twin towers stood, One World Trade Center also known as the “Freedom Tower” during initial basework, refers to the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Higher than the twin towers it is more than a real estate project. It is rehabilitation for those hurt by the terrorists and a way to heal the scar on a nation. Part of the healing process is what this tower represents. Standing tall on Ground Zero, I am sure it will touch a chord with you too if you get a chance to visit the freedom tower.

Interstellar – the movie

Christopher Nolan the master director took us on a journey which we had only read about in books of Physics but never been able to visualize.

Nolan has proved that innovation cannot be restricted to products but extended to movies too.

Nolan has proved that innovation cannot be restricted to products but extended to movies too.

Once you are a parent, you are the ghost of your children’s future … a statement so profound yet so simple, embodies Nolan’s message through his latest offering Interstellar.

The laws of Physics, astronomy, chemistry and other sciences have been well researched and used in the plot, but for me they were just tools to present the emotional drama cooked up by this genius director. I was blown away by the movie, and it took me a few days to get my feet back on Earth (pun intended). Not sure, if this is a good choice for design and technology picks, but the way Nolan has depicted the confluence of various disciplines in his story did leave an impact on me.

The past year had a lot more innovations and inventions which would have surpassed the ones mentioned by me. But these are the ones which I have experienced personally or read about them. With the world changing and the technology along with design sensitivity growing amongst us, 2015 and the future looks more promising.

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