Showing posts with label Indiblogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indiblogger. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

My win-win-win+ solution with TATASky+Transfer


As a mom to a energetic toddler who absorbs information like a sponge, I need to be on standby all the time to "entertain" her. Kids now-a-days know what they want and when they want it. And they always seem to want it NOW! Like NOW means NOW!

And then go do their routine tantrum of crying out loud, yelling and turning that happy face into a angry pout. Not just toddlers, it's all these munchkins till the age of 10. Surprisingly, they even say they're "bored" while a humongous pile of toys lie idle. In short, the Doreamons and the Pokemons can act as a potential toddler tantrum detonator to any mom!


My tot who never glanced at the TV screen in the first year of her life has suddenly found her fancy to Disney's creation -Mickey Mouse and his so called imaginary clubhouse.

So I've resorted to downloading the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode and Sophia the First episode videos via the YouTube app on my phone. So there, win-win situation? NOPE, say my inflated mobile data bills!

That's right. Downloading those episodes in the offline mode will still cost me a bomb in data charges.

Then early September while surfing for the HotDog song on my phone, an ad by TataSky caught my eye. Already a TataSky+ subscriber, I was actually wondering if there was any free recharge up for grabs (wink).
Not quite. But what I discovered, could potentially be a win-win-win situation for me and my kiddo and my data bills.


#TATASky+Transfer Credit: TATASky
TATASky+Transfer is the innovative and first-in-its-kind brainchild of the folks at TataSky DTH to bridge the gap between watching entertaining TV recorded content on mobile. So the concept is, if you get the #TATASky+Transfer box home, you'll be able to download the entire series of episodes of Jake and the Neverland Pirates as they are aired and stream it LIVE on your tablet or mobile phone through the TataSky App - importantly -wait for it -It does not need an internet connection!

How does TATASky+ Transfer transfer the data to you mobile/ tablet? - was also my first question.
Through your home WiFi! Simple.

Even if you're away from home, you can order the STB at your command to record the special one hour special episode of Kumkum Bhagya that you secretly want to see that you curiously want to glance and then watch it on the go.

With 500GB storage on the TATASkyHD STB, movies on the go on your device is a cakewalk!

Now I can go ahead and recreate that yummy Sicilian pasta recipe shared by Chef Ranveer Brar on Living Foodz using the transferred video as a guide and avoid shuttling to-and-fro from kitchen to living room.
I can keep ogling at Harvey Spector of Suits whilst binge watching Big Bang Theory and guffawing on Sheldon's wisecracks.

Oh, this TATASky+Transfer box is going to be a keeper for sure!





Sunday, August 30, 2015

1 Food Fix & 3 Lessons to Cherish

Food is an integral part of my life. Yes, I’m a foodie. No, it’s no confession, it’s a fact. A fact that I’ve accepted gracefully as a part of my life. More so, there have been instances where I’ve planned my day around food. So eating for me can be emotional, celebratory and sometimes irrational. I love hosting people for food as it builds wonderful memories. And of course I can share a story from some memorable experiences that have been closely associated with food.

I can recall a time when I was away from home. This was in the year 2010 in Bangalore, where I was visiting the garden city to appear for GD/PIs for higher studies. I was there for about a week, and a college friend had invited me over to her flat for the three day stay. I was overwhelmed with the hospitality that she showed me for the week that I stayed with her. She being a foodie like me, served me with yummy local cuisines as and when I was studying and preparing for the GD/PIs. Right from Gobi Manchurian, Kurma, Puliogare to Paneer Butter Masala with Parotta, Filter Coffee and Buns, I had the food and the effervescent company of my dear friend. After the GD/PI, I was spared with another day before I returned to Mumbai. Moved by her warm reception and hospitality, I promised to treat her and her roommates to dinner; I insisted despite her trepidation and her sincere "it-is-ok-you-don’t-have-to".

Lesson 1: Don’t make promises when you’re happy and don’t make decisions when you’re angry’. 

I had decided, I’ll order the food in from the same restaurant where I had sampled Gobi Manchurian and Paneer Butter Masala, at 8.30PM since the girls returned from work at 9PM. And so at around 8.00 PM I ventured out into the streets of Malleshwaram, searching for Ice cream. It was pouring in early of June – very unlike Mumbai I had thought – and I saw that the nearby shops slowing closing their shutters. I reached the Havmor ice cream shop and saw that it too was about to shut for the day. I asked him why they were shutting shop so early, to which he said in broken english-kannada – “Illa Closing time in Bangalore ees 8.30” And only some ice cream and chemists were open till 9.00 PM or so.


Source: www.gamefaqs.com

Lesson Two: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

And I shrieked! This was not Mumbai! Bangalore restaurants shut waaaaaaay early! No '10 PM parcel jaldi bhejna'- order here. There goes my dinner treat, I thought. When I asked where I can get a hot dinner to eat, he scratched his head and told me to run, literally run down the temple road street and look for a restaurant called Sairam’s who might be open right now. Sensing every minute ticking I rushed to the street with the help of his directions and made it to Sairam's. And it was no restaurant, it was a chaat corner!


Source: https://irishcinephile.files.wordpress.com/


I was wondering whether Mumbai-kar was tattooed to my forehead which is perhaps why the shopkeeper made the suggestion. Anyways, with no choice left, I had to make the best of the situation and ordered a variety of chaat to take away. I also packed a few piping hot Mangalore bhajjis that a nearby tea packed tea stall was churning. As I reached back and dumped the ice cream in the freezer, I smacked my head in the lack of planning I had. 

Having gotten drenched in the rains, I dried myself up and then headed to assemble the dining table, crockery and the “dinner”. I readied myself to withstand the disappointment and crestfallen face that my otherwise cheerful friend will have and the snide backhanded comments that she might get from her roomies after I leave. Sigh!
And in no time, it was 9 and the girls were back. Though there was no wafting aroma of the paneer butter masala welcoming them in, I made sure I at least had the presentation top notch. After they had freshened up I welcomed them with some lime coolers followed by the bhajjis. Oohs and Aahs commenced. I smiled wryly. I could sense their hunger and anticipation. Silently I brought out the food and placed it in front.

I remember to this day, all I could manage to say is 'Tuck in’. A long pause followed.

Because after that the three of them smiled broadly and loaded their plates with the chaats.
I was flabbergasted. They’re animatedly eating and enjoying the chaat platter. No. They’re stuffing their faces full. 
Source: gifsgallery.com

My friend managed a ‘so yum’ and a ‘I miss Mumbai’between bites of sevi puri and mouthfuls of pani puri. I had a broad grin on my face as I was basking in their moment of food bliss. Three rounds of ice cream followed with ‘thank you for the yummy treat’ in chorus.


Too tired to explain the chain of events that preceded the evening, I called it a night. The next day I explained to them over filter kaapi and buns of how I had goofed up.

Lesson 3: Always try and make the most of the situation.

Post the round of giggles and nodding that followed, my friend said to me “Arre yaar, honestly I was going to tell you not to order from the same place as we’re kinda bored of eating Bangalore food. In fact it was a welcome change. And you know how I crave sev puri!


Source: iknownothingihearnothing.tumblr.com

I was really relieved to hear this that I had not disappointed her and not embarrassed her in front of her friends. And her roomies had asked me for the nook’s place that I had found thanks to the shopkeeper and the law of serendipity. To this day, this wonderful food memory remains a talking point between my friend and me. We may be in different parts of the world, but whenever we have chaat in a foreign city, we’re bound to recall this incident.


Source: giphy.com


So that was my tale. Me in a different city, with different social timelines and languages and of course different food. This situation could’ve perhaps turned out differently, had I know when the restaurants shut and open for business, what was best to order from those restaurants and save me the trouble of the commute.

Only a Tiny Owl could’ve perhaps been my knight in shining armour in this food fix. The Tiny Owl app. is what I'm referring to. How? The app tracks my location to check the restaurants in my area. Where I could’ve seen where I could order Paneer Butter Masala and Gobi Manchurian from and when cravings overcame me – Sairam’s chaat. Moreover, it could’ve given me a heads up as to when the restaurants would shut and save me the effort of running around in deserted Bangalore streets searching for sustenance.
Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/photo/47124287.cms

TinyOwl is a mobile first food delivery app available on Android and iOS. They don’t have a web version. Don’t be deceived by the name – this tiny delivery app delivery to 400+ people with 2000+ daily orders in association with 4000 restaurants. They also have an app for home-made food delivery called Tiny Owl Homemade. What’s more, Tiny Owl is going to launch a platform for internet-first food start-ups. As they expand their footprint across 50 cities in India, I hope they help foodies like me to find food faster devoid of any food fixes and goof ups.





Friday, August 21, 2015

Speediriffic 4G


Speed is everything!


Really, is these fast paced times where every split second matters, speed is everything. We want in fast and now! Be it beating the clock to reach work or school, finishing our daily chores or googling the latest AIB video!


If you ask me, personally, in this day and age I feel speed is synonymous to the internet. How fast can one search, access, consume, interpret and analyse the terabytes data and information that is penetrating the inter-web every nano second? Videos, images, music, movies, blogs, podcasts, tweets are consumed on-the-go and on demand in personal screens and devices.


Did we picture this, say just 15 years ago?


Of course, not! It was then that India has just been bit by the internet bug and the information age had begun. Back in 2003, I can recall how it took me half an hour to connect to the internet at access my emails, on my personal home computer.

And fast forward to 2015, where it takes one barely 30 seconds to stream a 2 minute video on YouTube. But, what is more phenomenal is what has just been introduced for the first time in India by Airtel: Airtel 4G.


The fourth generation of mind-blowing internet speeds is perhaps the essential ingredient to a digitally powered nation!


Across India, 296 cities will be able to effortlessly stream high quality HD videos of Sunny Leone’s Baby Doll for the umpteenth time, download an entire Sunny Deol movie, listen to the music from the latest chart topping hits on Saavn, access real-time tweets on Twitter from the Prime Minister himself, upload and share Honeymoon/Karva Chaut/Doggie birthday photos on Facebook and upload videos to YouTube of their children dancing to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Hot Dog theme song!


Personally life for me will get 4X better with 4G. 
On a regular day, I would download the Zomato app, quickly scan for the newest restaurants in Mumbai, download the UBER app and book a ride to the restaurant, download and play candy crush till I reach the restaurant, then upload gastronomically yummy food photos on my Instagram account as and when it gets served to me. While I savour the food, I would check-in through Foursquare and Swarm, rave and tweet on Twitter and later write about it in a blog post on my blog and post it on blogger networks and Zomato. All this speedirrifcally!

Airtel is ready to give 4G services at 3G rates, and even home deliver your 4G SIM card! So get ready to say your goodbyes to buffering videos, slow download speeds and mood dampeners of the past. Say hello fast internet for real time generation and real time consumption. So fasten your seat belts for this joy speed ride. I bet it is going to be AMA-no need to wait for it-ZING!


Amazing opportunities with #Airtel4G await! 




Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My recipe for an Italian escapade


A decade ago, the only Italian food I knew of was 'Pizza'. I used to junk on Pizzas so much that Italy was the destination I craved to visit (And still is).

Gradually, I was introduced to 'the brother of pizzas', the pasta. Usually, to Indians, pasta is what one eats at a pizza place as a starter. At some point, I too believed the same. But as I was educated to the world of Italian cuisine, thanks to my dear husband, I was now well acquainted with the types of pastas, the types of sauces, the flavour combinations, the cheeses and was proud to have the knowledge to distinguish between a lasagna and a ravioli.

And then one fine day, Del Monte came along with their flavourful contest - Del Monte: Blog Your Way to Italy- on creating an original recipe of their Pasta to win an all expenses paid Italian escapade. (I bet some of you reading this, did not know Del Monte beyond their ketchup. You're welcome :P)

Thoroughly eggcited, I signed up. A few days alter, as promised, I received a packet of Del Monte's Durum Wheat Premium Chifferi Rigati Pasta, all carefully packed with a printed letter. My gastronomical adoration for pasta knows no bounds, but I needed to get my creative juices flowing in in creating an original recipe.

My ticket to Italy :D



So I sought some expert guidance (yes, from my hubby) on creating pasta with some subtle Indian flavours for those who cannot have a lot of spice (the elderly and young children).

So sample a taste of Gauri's original recipe, with step by step instructions:

Chifferi Rigati with Saffron and Garlic

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

About 250 gms Del Monte's Chifferi Rigati Pasta
1 Zucchini cut into bite sized pieces
1 Yellow Bell pepper cut into bite sized pieces
1 Broccoli cut in florets
1/2 Onion finely chopped
7-8 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3-4 tsps of Oil (Olive oil is best)
1-2 tsps Oregano flakes
Salt as per taste

For the White Sauce:
7-8 Strands of saffron
1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
200 ml Milk
2 tsps Butter
2-3 tsps Refined flour (Maida)

For Garnish:
Grated Mozzarella cheese

Method:

  • In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook till al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander and add a tbsp of oil. Set aside.


What I really adored is the thoughtful little hack Del Monte has adapted on their pasta packets with a reclosable safety seal, to seal back your pasta packet for the next use.



  • In another pot, bring water to a boil. Add the veggies till cooked. Drain in a colander and pour cold water over the veggies to retain their crunch and lively colour. Set aside.
Blanched zucchini

Blanched Broccoli

You can also add mushrooms, red bell pepper and other veggies if desired.

  • In a thick bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and add the cornflour little by little. Beat vigorously using a whisk. 

  • Reduce the heat, and gradually add in about 150ml of the milk till there are no lumps. Take off the heat and let it cool.
  • Warm the remaining milk in a microwave for 5-10 seconds and then add the saffron strands; soak the saffron, till it dissipates the rich colour and aroma. Add this to the other milk mix.

  • Once this mix cools a little, add the kashmiri red chilli powder and add salt as per taste and strain.


  • Heat the oil in a wide saucepan. On high heat saute the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Toss in the onions till translucent. Add the veggies, and saute for a few minutes.
  • On low heat, add in the sauce gradually mixing in with the veggies. Mix well. The combine with the cooked Del Monte pasta.

  • Sprinkle the oregano flakes. Serve hot with a garnish of grated cheese and garlic bread sides.


And then served it to all in my family. And I basked in the reflected joy in their content faces!
And in Italian as they say,"Bellissimo!" sums up my experience!

That's my pasta story, lemme know your thoughts!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Where’s the honey, honey?



“It never works! No matter how hard I try.”

My adamant brain argued with my hopeful heart.
My heart was the optimistic one, it believed I could lose those oodles of kilos I’d put on over the last few months. Thanks to the ghee laden Indian desserts, cream laden curries, the crunchy comforting packets of junk food and the deep fried non-vegetarian starters.
If only I had a control on my taste buds. I repent the countless times I convinced myself that this was the ‘One last bite’ I would have and ‘Will start dieting tomorrow’. Alas! Tomorrow never comes alas!
It’s not just about not eating, dieting is about eating the balanced healthy diet to match your body type and lifestyle. (And by balanced diet, having a chocolate donut in each hand does not count ;P )

Think about the countless number of diets you have tried. The Aktins, The Paleo, The Vegan, The Fruit, The Smoothie, The Juice, The detox… I could go on and on and you still wouldn’t lose a pound!
The science might put things into perspective that this particular diet maybe particularly beneficial for you, however, when you really go ahead and do the diet, things may not go ahead as planned. Crash dieting is not a healthy way to lose weight. In fact the fad that crash dieting is, does more harm than good. Crash dieting is said to be harmful for the skin and bones, causing one to lose essential nutrients that a body needs to function with.


So what is the answer?
One must remember, healthy eating is not a fad, it is a lifestyle.
Remember, the golden rule: don’t diet just to lose weight, lose the junk lifestyle and switch to a healthier lifestyle.
It took some time for me to understand this fact. Even switching to healthier substitutes for some foods that we crave for. Example: Oily junk food, Sugar, Refined flour, etc.

The healthier and sweeter alternative to sugar is honey. Whereas the healthier alternatives to oily food is baking, roasting them; for refined flour is using whole wheat flours.
Apparently one teaspoon of sugar amounts to almost 16 Kcal!

On researching on the net further, we can find many good healthy uses to honey. For instance, Dabur Honey’s website www.daburhoney.com that dedicates to the benefits of honey, not just as an additive, but as a use in various recipes that can bring out an interesting taste and flavour in the Honey Diet. If you’re thinking that it’s only desserts that will use honey, you might be in for a sweet surprise! And who has designed these sumptuous dishes? Why Michelin Starred Restauranteur and MasterChef Vikas Khanna of course!

I’ve incorporated the habit of adding honey into my green tea or lemon juice instead of using the granular white sugar.
I’m consciously switching to a healthier lifestyle. Are you?



Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cricket - A sport that connects Indians


In a country like India, where cricket is synonymous to a religion, it is perhaps considered sacrilege to ignore a match that India is playing in.
Cricket is in the blood of perhaps every Indian in India or on the surface of the planet. Regardless you play the game or not, Sachin Tendulkar is the ‘God’ of the game called cricket. Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev are historically celebrated and Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are worshipped – even the ground they walk on.

An India – Pakistan match ignites patriotic passion in every Indian to their motherland, regardless of whichever desolate corner of the world they maybe in.
The incessant discussions, the fantasy leagues, the pre-match analyses, discussion of the match tactics during the match, the post-match post mortem analyses, the name-calling, player heckling, jibe throwing behaviour that is a part and parcel of this addictive madness.

That is the power and magic of cricket. Truly a sport that unites.

I believe each Indian has a fond memory associated with this revered and celebrated sport.
For instance,
Do you remember going to your neighbours place and huddling up to the television set with your friends just to watch the match on Doordarshan?
Do you recall you and your sibling/s fighting over the television remote to keep cricket match over any daily soap or entertainment program? You may try to make peace by switching to the soap after a wicket has fallen.
Or imagine if you were in another country where cricket was only considered as an insect and there is an India – Pakistan match on. Imagine trying to dash out for countless ‘loo breaks’ in middle of an important business meeting and the collective look on your colleagues’ faces when you return smiling back into the room.
These little memories build up our nostalgia. However fond the memories are, we love the game to the core.
But these times are long gone.
Today’s fact paced life, every second counts – even the time spent on the video to load. For a person like me, waiting a couple of extra seconds for a page to load when on an important website can drive me to the edge. Yet when I watch cricket, I make sure I am updated with the game scores via real time on Twitter.
I just checked UC Browser that has this unique way to connect us to the game without missing out or losing our connect from our real game – LIFE.
By surfing fast and quicker, we not only enjoy watching and experiencing cricket but also don’t miss out on our daily tasks.
Moreover, for cricket fanatics a convenient space called UC Cricket helps to connect to the match wherever they are with features such a LIVE scores with auto updates. 

So say Goodbye countless loo breaks!



Saturday, June 13, 2015

#ComeCloser to Radiant Skin


A flawless glowing complexion is desired by everyone and envied by all. Right from a young girl to a gracefully ageing old lady, the skin exudes youthfulness, charm and freshness of one’s personality. But come puberty, one is sceptical of one’s skin, especially the face, as pimples, dark spots and blemishes dent the confidence of anyone. Moreover, our facial skin goes through changes with the change in season – summer, winter and monsoon; in age – puberty, pregnancy and old age; in sickness and with diet as well. Regardless of these changes, it is imperative to take care of our skin, starting from a young age.
Starting young, uncannily it was my father who used to keep advising me to take good care of my skin at all times. I have an oily skin and it is imperative that I keep it clean. An oily skin requires to be kept clean as the skin pores can have dust and grime settle in them, which may lead to pimples and blackheads.

I follow a simple regimen daily:

1.       Wash hands and face after coming home:

This is a basic yet a very important and understated regimen. Whenever I come back home after an outing, I first – leaving all other tasks aside- wash my hands and then wash my face using a mild face-wash. I believe, this step not only helps me keep my skin hygienic, but also keeps my face fresh and clean. Especially, I live in a metropolitan city, where everywhere I go I meet pollution and dust which directly affects my face.

2.       Use a mild cleansing face-wash

An oily facial skin needs to be washed and cleansed often, but not more than 3-4 times in a day. Washing face more than 3-4 times can leave it dry. Use of a soap to clean the face can result in more dryness and can make skin more oily.

3.       Use little or no makeup

Even though I am in a profession where looking one’s best is imperative, I believe and advocate in applying little or no makeup daily. To go all natural! Personally, it is only on occasions like parties and weddings do I apply makeup, albeit just to touch up my face. Else on some occasions I sparingly use kajal, lipstick and lip gloss to highlight my eyes and lips.

These were some of my tips that I carry out to take care of my skin. It cannot be stressed enough that having beautiful skin is truly a blessing, but maintaining it is all the more important.
However, acquiring that flawlessly beautiful and radiant complexion may seem like a daunting task, but truth be told, it is not that difficult to achieve. #ComeCloser and see the benefits of Ayurveda with VICCO Turmeric Cream to perfect the natural way to acquiring radiant skin.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

ZENith - The next Smartphone Level

Now-a-days, buying the right phone for oneself, can be one of the toughest decisions to make. No sooner than you finally decide on a model and purchase it, than a newer and better model appears into the market. Alas! That is technology – ever advancing.
So why should one settle for last season’s smartphone?

Smartphones belong to various budgets and price points against the features. Then again purchasing a smartphone is an investment after all. So get the best value for your money with features that stand out without compromising on quality.
E-commerce sites will help you to refine the top features out of a motley of features.

But, what features in a phone would redefine your smartphone experience?

I just found out about the new ASUS ZenFone2 which claims to redefine the smartphone experience.
Shall we test it out?
Lemme check out 5 features that stand out:

TOP 5 FEATURES OF THE ASUS ZenFone2

5. 4G LTE for Superfast connectivity
Need for Speed? Internet is life and there is no life without the internet! Forget 2G and 3G when there's 4G to propel you to superfast speeds of data-transfer with multimedia messages, video chats. Live lag free. Asus ZenFone2 promises superfast on the move data speed of upto 150 Mbits/sec.

4. 13 MP PixelMaster Rear Facing Camera with 140 degree panoramic selfies.
I believe a camera with a good pixel density is a total must for any smartphone. Besides, one cannot always carry a digicam along to capture moments.
Now-a-days 8MP in the maximum Megapixel density available in most smartphones. ASUS ZenFone promises 13 MP camera with a 5 MP Front facing camera. It also has a 140 degree panoramic selfie mode to compete with Ellen DeGeneres' Oscar selfie capture.

3. 4 GB RAM
4GB is usually the smartphone’s space capacity and no I’ve not made a typo. It is the world's first smartphone with 4GB RAM. Asus pioneering the way for more better, faster phone performance. Upping the ante indeed.

2.  Low Light Mode
This cool camera feature is gonna make all those spur-of-the-moment-I-forgot-to-put-flash-on-auto-mode photos look blur free and blob free. Low light mode increases the light sensitivity by 400% and reduces the noise to give clear and bright shots without the need for flash.

1. 60% battery capacity in just 39 minutes ! 
How amazing is this feature! This is by far the USP of this phone. Thanks to the ASUS Boostmaster Technology no more being tethered to the charger. Less time to wait. Hey, a phone would charge up faster than delivering a pizza!


How cool are these features! Did I make your smartphone choice easier? No wonder it’s at the smartphone ZENith.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Foodie Heaven - Singapore


I close my note book. My flight lands. 

Without a second look, I await my destination. So I walk towards the conveyor belt, grab my luggage and head towards the doors into - food heaven - Singapore!


This was my motto for the food trail !

As I step outside the airport enclosure a lovely Singapore morning greets me. I was jet, set and ready to go on a mini food trail in Singapore - in 24 hours. I had noted down the dishes I just had to try in my notebook. 

10.00 am
I am told by the cab driver to not miss sampling the breakfast that powers Singaporeans daily - Kaya toast with soft-boiled eggs and a piping hot kopi (coffee) or teh (tea). The Kopi and Kaya Toast culture originated from the Hainanese cooks who used to work for the British as cookboys. This was where they learnt to make coffee and toastListening to the way kopi and teh is pronounced reminds me of how it's pronounced in a similar fashion for kaapi and chai back home too! 



(Image source: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/52-dishes-you-must-eat-in-singapore-*gid-8e493101/e3e40100)
I reach Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 Northbridge Road to have my breakfast at 
Toast Box. And glancing around the restaurant at others 'breaking their kaya toast' I emulated. I dip my toast into the soft cooked eggs drizzled with soy sauce and a sprinkling of white pepper and devoured it. I wash this down with the syrupy Nanyang-style kopi.

12.45 pm
Some sightseeing and shopping later, it was almost lunch time and the next stop on the food trail was grabbing Singapore's unofficial National dish - Chicken Rice. It is much more than just another tasty dish, chicken rice to Singaporeans is akin to 'soul food'. 


(Source: http://discover.stayfareast.com/post/114023443948/everything-you-need-to-know-about-chicken-rice-to)

I walk to Tian Tian at Maxwell Food Centre and grab a seat and wasting no more time, I order 'Chicken Rice'. I am told that Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay and Dr. Leslie Tay have graced this restaurant and I cannot wait to sample it. I get a generous serving of chicken chunks with sweet dark soy sauce to accompany steaming Haianese rice. I indulge as any typical Singaporean would - drizzle a generous amount of sweet dark sauce onto the steaming rice, “dress” a chunk of chicken in the chilli sauce, and then heap a dollop of minced ginger on top of it. The condiments balance all the flavours of the rice, chicken and the sauce and give me a wholesome experience.


2.00 pm
'You cannot leave Singapore without tasting our Crabs' my dad had said. How can I miss out on the de facto National dish of Singapore? With that thought I get all nostalgic and remember home. And home food reminds me of my fondness for seafood. 

(Image source: http://ieatishootipost.sg/top-ten-things-to-eat-in-singapore-the-hawker-edition/)

I head to Roland Restaurant and I am greeted with the aroma and the bright sight of Chilli Crab. I bite into the succulent fleshy crab and take my time to grab all the beautiful flavours! Lip Smacking !

4.00 pm
Satiated with my extravagant lunch, I then take a cab to hop over to a popular stretch of eateries along Upper Thomson Road and over to Sing Ming Roti Prata for my next food destination in my trail - Prata



(Image source: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/dining-guide/hawker/sin-ming-roti-prata-*aid-04773f00/)

Flaky buttery goodness with chewy insides and a dough that is a fresh mix of flour, eggs, sugar, salt and water is what maketh a good prata. It might sound familiar like the home made paratha and I am told that it is loved by many in the South East Asian subcontinent. I love the fact that the prata is like the south east asian cousin of the Indian parantha -Simply adore the confluence of cultures in food !

6.00pm
After a short break, I continue on and I remember from the geography class back in school of Singapore's famous fruit and local produce - Durian. I cannot miss this opportunity to sample this one-of-a-kind fruit so I head to the market to find it. I notice that the Singaporeans have certainly found ways to include this pungent fruit in many desserts and sweet concoctions and one of them is: chee cheong fun (steamed rice rolls). 


(Image source: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/52-dishes-you-must-eat-in-singapore-*gid-8e493101/2e1e0200)

I head to 89 Killiney Road and over to Rice Roll & Porridge shop to get my durian fix. I waste no time as soon as I get my order and I bite into the chilled roll that is stuffed with durian flesh and topped with a mixture of ground peanuts and sugar- YUM ! With that yummy treat and ended my delicious supper. 

9.30 pm
Only a couple of hours before I was to leave for home. How I wish this trip wouldn't end !

11.30 pm
Heading to the airport I was still savouring the amazing flavours the culminance of cultures I had experienced in the last couple of hours. I bought a souvenir for myself to remember this culinary journey and mainly Singapore.


When I reached back home, my souvenir sang to life:


Singapura, oh, Singapura, 
Sunny island sets in the sea. 

Singapura, oh, Singapura,
Pretty flowers bloom for you and me. 

Come along join the song in merry singing,
Blend our voices, 
Join in the chorus. 

Singapura, oh Singapura, 

Pretty flowers bloom for you and me.




My thoughts exactly! 

My trip was really memorable all thanks to all the information I got through http://discover.stayfareast.com/ to made my culinary trip to Singapore truly unforgettable !

It's a matter of taste after all.


PS. This is a my fictional account of a foodie trip to Singapore. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I #ChooseToStart a new memorable journey


Back in the 11th standard I was gifted my first phone. Before you get all 'what-is-so-great-about-that', let me tell you it was 2004. Thats like 11 years ago and not everyone had a mobile phone. Not even GSM or colour display ones. Forget touchscreen, smartphones even! 
So much so those privileged owners would like to flaunt its presence by playing those electronic default ringtones out loud and would enable the key press sounds, that would make a loud * beep * every time a key was pressed. And I would notice the onlookers watch them in awe whilst traveling in buses and trains them fingering their prized possessions.


(Image source: http://www.mobileextras.com.au/Portals/0//ProductImages/motC131.jpg)

So I had my first phone ever-'The Motorola C131'. This simple phone had a black and white display. It was a CDMA phone with the same key press beep and the electronic ring tones. It was a phone with limited means with all the basic features of messaging, making voice calls, calculator and stopwatch. Plus it had games like BlackJack and Snake, which I used to adore. Back then playing Snake ad BlackJack was equivalent to playing today's CandyCrush and Temple Run - Super Addictive !

Then a year later, still with my C131, I saw a new flood of bright colour display phones coming in to the market. I couldn't afford one then but aspired to get one.

Years later, as I write today, I am remembered about my first phone. Some may say, not to get attach to things; and attach with memories. I would differ a bit here. 
These 'things' do give us the memories for a last time. 

I remember receiving congratulatory SMSes and calls when I got my 12th Standard results.
I remember talking to my mom while jumping with joy when I got the seat in the college I wanted.
And I still remember receiving my dad's call when he could finally get network when the Mumbai 2006 floods had hit.


One phone and so many wonderful memories associated with it.

This was my back story of my first ever phone.

Now, owning a new smartphone for anyone is not only affordable but is a choice for everyone. And if I have to start my smartphone journey, I would start with the latest entrant to the market -  Moto E 2nd Gen.



With the new Moto E, I would love to capture thousands of memories with it's 5 MP camera with auto focus. I would love to easy launch my camera JUST by twisting my wrists! Not all moments can be remembered and capturing them makes them immemorial.

The new Moto E will help me experience for the first time the buttery smooth, flawless touchscreen and it's scratch resistant and water resistant corning gorilla glass will prevent any scratches or water spills that I may "accidentally" drop.

I will have the liberty to access the internet at break neck speeds with the 4G LTE and 3G model versions and high performance Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will stream in a heartbeat. Not to forget, publishing my blog! This is a must have when living in 2015 socially connected generation.

MotoAssist will help me seamlessly get all my data from my old phone to my new Moto E phone - in minutes.

I even have the freedom to personalize my phone with colourful grip shells that fit with ease - like my phone is making a style statement.

So let's start all over again. Let me make more memories. After all, it's always a good time to #ChooseToStart

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Family: #Together Forever !


Our adult lives are so busy and defined by our Whatsapp/ Facebook statuses.

Can we get those days back where we talked face to face and not face to screen?
Can we rebuild those cherished memories where we talked and walked along the streets of a garden, beach or playground rather than the escalators and elevators of mall or shopping arcade?
Can we go back to those days where I was not judged by the time I took to receive a phone call?
Can we sit #together in front on the TV and have dinner, rather than be in different places for different dinners with different people?
Can we get up in the morning and look at our reflection in the mirror rather than the IMs we missed last night?
Can we not judge a person based on why they have read but not replied to our message an hour ago?

I miss those simple times. Where we were not bound and gagged by technology.
I miss those uncomplicated relationships and people.
Regardless of those rich, vibrant memories of more than a decade ago, I love my times with my family.

(Image source: buildingabrandonline.com )

This is my memory of my source strength and optimism for more than two and a half decades now:

My brother, mom, dad and I have this routine of a "sitdown". We never timed it or planned it in advance. It just happened. We love to share our viewpoints on anything under the sun. We share food together, discuss plans, do homework, go back to our fond memories and funny anecdotes. We used to differ in our opinions too, but in the end, either one of us used to play mediator and get back the house in order. We shared our day's stories, our feedback on things, simple things that did not make much sense then, but used to make a lot of difference in our lives. 

In the end, we came together as a family, we came together as a team, brimming with optimism and positive attitude to life. My family gave me strength in my times of difficulty and distress. Be it flunking in an exam or missing out on an interview. When we sat down together as a family, the words of support and wisdom poured in and mended the wounds of difficulty. They were through thick and thin. That's what I cherish the most. That's what is lacking in perhaps many families now-a-days. 

We need another person or a gadget to"connect". In my opinion technology might have brought the world closer, so to say, but building and preserving relationships perhaps is difficult using technology.

It is funny, that we used to do this more than a once a week every month and it is now that I miss those times the most. Since after my marriage, I have a new family. A family that I have to nurture and bring to the table the same ideas and routine of a sitdown. I hope to implement alike thought processes, positivity and the values of togetherness, bonhomie and optimism on life.

Family. After all there is nobody like family. With family, you are #together forever.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Starting Afresh - One word at a time


This is about me taking a detour in life and beginning again. Starting afresh. I can talk about this as if it happened just yesterday.

Coming out of an interview for a 'Sales Manager' at a well known and upcoming organisation, the only thing that rang in my head was what the interviewer said to me after the official interview was over: "You write very well. Why aren't you writing for a living? " Everything about that interview after that moment - seems like a blur.

On the way back home, I was still wondering if there was any iota of honesty in that question. I sat deep in thought. In retrospect I reflected on my past. I remembered those days in school how I loved finishing those essay questions, grammar quizzes. How it seemed to me that Verbal Ability section was a breeze in comparison to Quantitative and Logical Ability sections in CAT.

(Image source:  https://www.pinterest.com/jessirose1/words/)

Come to think of it, this wasn't the only time I was asked about my writing. I then realized that I had not paid attention to my strengths and followed it.
I went back to my earlier posts, those that I wrote on a whim and out of sheer boredom back during engineering. Those were some good posts.

Till that very moment, the question, I realised I was doing something that I didn't LOVE. I was not being true to myself. I wanted to #StartANewLife.

Is it too late to begin afresh? I still look at my peers - they're all at high and mighty designations in their career paths as I'm about to start from scratch. I will be a beginner while my peers have settled and mastered at their profession. I would be falling behind others.

I was trained for two years to sell, but to be honest, closing a sale did not gimme an adrenaline rush like the one I got when I was lauded with appreciation for writing a blog.

I now write, compose and create. I become a voice for somebody. My words walk the talk. Now, work does not seem like work. It has been more than six months since I took the step ahead.

No regrets. I will never have regrets in life, as I know everything happens for a reason. There was a reason for these turn of events.

Now there is no turning back. No more U – Turns. And it does not stop here. I want to write now and keep writing and build meaningful conversations that can make a change. I want to be remembered for my writing. I am not the best, I know it. But I will write nevertheless.

And not to look back in life and wonder, if only, I had chance to change.

And as for my blog, there is no thinking about shutting it down. No way.

Change is good. Change is for the better. After all it's time to #StartANewLife.
The all new housing.com in their new avatar. They highlight positivity and showcase optimism in life.

Life can change, only if you're willing to embrace the change. And for me, this is just the beginning.


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