Monday, October 29, 2007

Speeding ticket

We went to see Jab We Met yesterday. I liked the movie for its nonsense-approach. Some parts were really funny and the whole audience was chuckling.

The reason this post is happening is not because I saw a movie for the first time in PVR Sahara Mall, Gurgaon. It is mainly because I was stopped on my way back by 5-6 traffic cops.

I was told that I was speeding. Now this really got me excited and angry. I insisted and explained to the police that I never speed. And I can go 10 kmph over the speed limit but definitely not 12 :-) We were let go without any speeding ticket or chalan.

As we were getting into the car, the cops showed us a car that sure was speeding, the speed was measured at 90 kmph. Now that's surely when the speed limit is 50 kmph :-) I wonder how much the guy was fined.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Agra Trip

I said in my last post that my Agra trip was cancelled. As soon as I published the post I got a call and the Agra trip was on again.

I started from my home around 11 but a friend failed to judge duration of a 1 hour 30 minutes long meeting and the expected 5 minutes long meeting delayed our departure from Delhi. We reached Agra at 6:30 but the last kilometer to our destination was the most difficult one and the heavy traffic jam near waterworks chowk ensured that we traveled the distance in 1 km.

We were there to attend a friend's marriage and the function went pretty well. :-)

Next day morning I was planning to reach Delhi by 11:30 in morning. I got up at 6:30 and we could have made it to Delhi on time but one thing led to another and after a short trip to Taj Mahal we reached Delhi at 7:30 in the night.

Too many boring details in this post.. I guess I should go to sleep now.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Random Ramblings

I participated in a play during college days called Parda (curtain). It was a beautiful story about a royal family becoming poor but their izzat (honour) was safe behind a Parda. Curtains don't only save people honour they make a home look much much better than it looked earlier. I learnt that yesterday :-)

In recent past I have gone to Not Just Paranthas, Rajouri Garden twice. I love their Lassi and their Chur Chur Paranthas are a welcome treat for my tastebuds. I didn't like their pocket paranthas, primarily because they don't look or taste like paranthas ;-)

I also went to Pind Baluchi, Raja Garden and the restaurant continues to serve good food at affordable rates.

The best find this week was Wave Cinemas, Raja Garden. Comfortable seats, good ambience and cheaper rates than PVRs in Gurgaon and proximity to Dwarka will make me frequent visitor to these halls.

We saw Laaga Chunri Mein Daag and Bhool Bulaiya and I can't understand why LCMD had nearly empty halls. It is a well made movie with good performances. I agree that the end was a bit too filmy but apart from that the movie was a superhit material.

I was looking forward to visit Agra today, but my plans were thwarted by butterfly effect from a traffic jam in Vashi.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Curious Me !

I got a mail from and this was an interesting way to tell me that they have hotels for just about everyone. MMT has been coming out with some really interesting ads in past.

What got me thinking was their choice of keeping 4 smaller heads on Ravan's right hand side and 5 smaller head on his left side.

Is the actual configuration of Ravan's heads document in Ramayana or any other ancient books? Tulsidas's RamcharitManas will not qualify as an authentic account.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby Jessica or Prince, media will be same all over the place. I stumbled upon a Baby Jessica story which was similar to the Prince story that Indian media created.

I thought it was an original idea of make sansanikhej news but I was wrong :) We even copy our news :P

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In a country (India) where two or three generations has grown up reading signs of Horn Ok Please and Blow Horn its not very surprising that people love honking.

Q: Can a blind man standing at a signal tell whether the light have turned green?
A: For sure ! This can be judged by the increase in number of honking sounds in surrouding area. You should note that the judgement is based on increment and not on 'existence' of the sound of horn.

Delhi has "No Horn Please" sign pasted at almost all traffic signals (I don't know about other cities). It is debatable that these signs are not visible many times. Inspite of this, Delhites would surely top the Most Horn(y) City contest by a good margin.

If you are behind a car, the car in front is not moving and you honk as soon as you see the signal turning green. It's probably induced by the fear that people fall asleep on steering while waiting for a 2 minute signal.

Being first in line (by leaving behind the zebra crossing and stop line for loosers) at at traffic signal doesn't marr some people's spirit of celebrating life by honking. These people are so habitual of honking on a green signal that they forget there is no one in front of them.

Are you are compulsive horn blower?

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I want to go for a good Dandiya night in delhi. Can any one of my millions of visitor tell me about them?


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Monday, October 15, 2007

We had dinner at Pind Baluchi, Lajpat Nagar. Experience at this branch of the restaurant chain was not as good as it has been in Rajouri Garden branch.

The restaurant is divided in two sections, one is the main hall and another is an annex with 6-7 tables. Ambience in the hall was probably good but the night sky emulation in the annex (where we sat) was definitely not good. The roof was too low to make it likable.

Food (Laccha parantha, Naan and Paneer Butter Masala) was tasty and it was probably our cheapest dinner (for 170/-) so far. The service was really poor. The waiter did not serve the dish, we had to request them to serve the dish we ordered. Spoons were missing until we asked for spoon after dishes were served. An order of 1+1 laccha parantha was heard as 2 laccha parantha, one needs very creative mind and a defective hearing to achieve the feat of hearing 1+1 as 2 :-)

Water in finger bowl was too hot. I wouldn't say you should avoid the restaurant because I guess it was just one erratic waiter's mistakes that we witnessed.

My ratings for Pind Baluchi, Lajpat Nagar

Food: * * * 1/2
Service: *
Music: * *
Ambience: * *

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Weekend was a shopping bonanza weekend. I drove to Jaipur and spent whole Saturday in and around Purohit Ji ka Katla. The shops were buzzing with crowd due to shopping spurred by Eid and Navratri festivals.

We reached Jaipur at 11 in night on Friday and the Badi Chaupad market was as alive as it is in day time. I had never seen this much activity anywhere in Jaipur at 11 pm.

Shopping agenda for all coming days and weekends is already on the floor.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A friend was installing Suse Linux on hi PC and I realized that out of the four most popular operating systems(Windows, Linux, Mac and Solaris); Linux is the only one that I don't use on a daily basis.

There was a time when I spent most of the time working on Linux machines. Life has sure changed in last three years. I was thinking I should buy a Linux PC but I don't have space on my desk for another PC/Monitor.

I am eagerly waiting for Leopard release from Apple and am hoping that they would continue to support Powerbook G4s.

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Dinner at revolving restaurant was a novel experience that we had yesterday. The revolving restaurant Parikrama is at the 24th floor of a building near Cannaught Place. The floor rotates 360 degrees in 90 minutes. Unfortunately the service was fast and we finished dinner quickly.

We were facing Laxmi Narayan Mandir when we reached the restaurant, by the time we finished our meals we were facing Purana Quila. Small description of the places in front of viewer was hanging from the wall and made the already superb experience enriching.

I would have preferred if they had kept more sofas instead of the chairs that they had kept in the restaurant. They had sofas but they were too few and reserved. The service was fast but not really good. Waiters kept making mistakes repeatedly.

We ordered a Tamatar ka shorba, a lassi, butter naan and Laccha Parantha with Paneer Butter Masala. Food was excellent and view was superb. The restaurant played instrumental music which is not in fashion anymore.

I must say that the restaurant is not as costly as I expected; meal for two was for less than 600 (including 5% service tax)

My ratings:

Ambience: * * * 1/2
Location and concept of restaurant: * * * * *
Food: * * * *
Music: * * 1/2
Service: * * 1/2

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Monday, October 08, 2007

First trailer of Saawaria was great and music is good but I think there is just too much publicity about the movie.

Every radio station makes it a point to play a song from the movie after every 10 songs, sometimes when they can't control the urge, they do it sooner.

All tv channles have the same promo repeated thousands of times in a day. My first impressions of the actors are not good. Ranbir Kapoor looks more like a joker who is trying to box rather than dance. Hopefully it's part of the script and he would not end up becoming greatest sidekick comedy actor.

Sona Kapoor looks too much like Aishwarya in some shots. It may have been a conscious decision from SLB and makeup artists. But I think indians have already had overdose of Aishwarya.

Overall, I would be happier if TV and radio channels would think of spacing out promos for the movie a bit. It NEVER helps to repeat the same clip / advertisement.


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Sunday, October 07, 2007

We revisited Pind Baluchi in Raja Garden. This time we sat on the first floor. They told us that the restaurant will soon add another floor.

The first floor was made to look like a cave. They had used fibre to make the walls and made the room look like a rocky cave. The uneven rocks/fibre was not a good support for the back and they should probably think of putting sofas with comfortable backs instead.

This time also the waiters were wearing traditional punjabi dress and the sat-sri-akal at the entrance was well received. Delhi has huge punjabi influence and in recent past I have gone to a lot of Punjabi theme restaurant and I have found every one of them to be good.

We ordered Sweet Lassi and it was promptly served in a kulhad. For main course we ordered a butter naan, a roomali roti and paneer butter masala. A note for vegetarians: Pind Baluchi uses egg in their naan but roomali roti is free of egg. The service here was excellent and rather exceptionally quick. We finished dinner very quickly.

I guess some famous Pune restaurant like Shiv Sagar and Vaishali can learn some lessons from Pind Baluchi in how to serve the food quickly. I was happy to see a below 200 Rs. bill which included service charges. I highly recommend the place for everyone.

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It's time to tell you about another good restaurant in Raja Garden. We went to The Dhaba a couple of days ago. The restaurant is in the basement and the railing (if it can be called that) had small statues depicting bhangra. I want to buy those statues for my home too, very vibrant colors and jubiliant poses. Happyness and energy oozed out of the statues.

They had put false roof of bamboos but didn't try to hide the A/C vents. A small (probably 1:40) truck was kept in one of the almirahs. Other artifects included an old style radio and lanterns. The lantern were looking quite authentic though they had electric bulbs in them.

All the waiters were wearing bhangra dress consisting of a kurta, dhoti and jacket. The best part in the artifacts was the menu itself. Ever sat in a dhaba or restaurant with no electricity and used a newspaper or menu as a makeshift handfan? Well here they made it simpler for you, the menu was in shape of a handfan.

We ordered for tomoto soup butten naan and laccha parantha along with a Shahi Paneer. We chose the dish only because it was the only one highlighted in the menu. Needless to say that they had done a good job there. The food was good and we were so stuffed that we couldn't try any desserts. I would go to this place again. My ratings:

Food: * * * 1/2
Ambience: * * * *
Service: * * *

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Friday, October 05, 2007

I am very surpised to know that many people don't know that most of the restaurants use eggs while preparing the very famous naan. Whenever I go to a restaurnt I ask the waiter to confirm if their naan and rumaali roti has eggs. Most of the time first answer is "No, sir it doesn't". I have to push the person to go and check with the chef. And that's when most of the people come back and tell me that they use eggs in prepation of naan.

At times many restaurant owners have claimed that is impossible to make naan and rumaali roti without using eggs. But some have claimed that they use curd and/or banana to achieve the same results.

What I don't like about this whole naan episode is the fact that restaurant owners still don't highlight the fact that naan contains eggs. A lot of people consider eggs to be non-vegetarian and they would definitely feel cheated when they are told the truth.

It is mandatory for packed food to have a green or brown sign highlighting whether the contents are veg. or non-veg. I think there is a need for similar standards for restaurant menus. I don't know if anything can be done to remedy this.

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

I hate speed breakers. Specially because I don't need them because usually I don't exceed speed limits. The emotion is further intensified by the fact that my car is one of the lowest cars in Indian market.

What I don't understand is 'why' don't we have proper speed limits displayed on the roads. I have seen 4 foreign countries so far and roads had been showing speed limits prominently. Out here, I have to look hard for speed limit board (I would continue to do that untill authorities get it right)

In Dwarka speed limits of 50 kmph are shown on almost all roads. 2 weeks ago lots of speed breakers were put on these roads without reducing the speed limit. I might also mention that no speed breaker ahead signs were put. The speed breakers are pitch black without any zebra crossing on them.

If a new person comes in the area assuming that he/she follows speed limit, I expect him/her to drive at around 40-45 kmph. Invariably the person would face the wrath of speed breakers. Government should change the speed limits near intersections or places where they want to put speed breakers.

Can my readers tell me if I can file a complaint against someone for this misdeed?

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I had another driving weekend this time. I went to my maternal grandpa's place in Seekar. I remember the single lane road for our village but I was pleasantly surprised this time when I was greeted with a two lane (one on each side) road. Earlier if you had to overtake a vehicle, both the vehicles (yours and the one being overtaken) had to go off road with one tyre. Same was the case if two vehicles coming from different sides wanted to pass.

This time we paid toll to get on to the road and the ride was really smooth. Aravalis are not as green as Shayadri mountain range but I was seeing them like this for the first time. It was purely a leisure trip for me. I was driving on a smooth countryside road likes of which are shown in so many movies.

We also passed our ancestral village and it was very tempting to stop and take a look at our old house. But there are no relatives in the village and it was decided that we will pass the opportunity this time.

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Monday, October 01, 2007

I had posted earlier about one my photographs getting selected in Schmap Yosemite Guide. I just got another mail from them and I was delighted to know that another photo got selected for Schmap Lake Tahoe Guide. The photo can be seen here and was taken from my Canon S1 camera that I miss so much :-)

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