Monday, October 17, 2011

MasterChefIndia2 IndiBlogger Meet: The Whole Scoop

(I had to post this before it stops trending or before I forget; whichever's first)

I've never been on a TV Show set before. (Wait, does being in the audience of Kaun Banega Crorepati Junior some eons ago count?) Then, it's my second time on a TV Show set. And the only reason that compelled me to hit "Register" at the Indiblogger site was the pure fascination with MasterChef Australia.
Been hooked, booked and cooked (pardon the horrible pun) by the earlier seasons of MasterChef Australia, I expected the Indian version to be spicier (again, pardon!)

Alas! Akshay Kumar shattered my very hope of a TV show revolving around a culinary theme, with his constant his raving of being a chef in Bangkok (like who cares?)
Anyways, I readied myself for a chance of meeting the Chefs in person, eating free food, meeting a ton of bloggers, eating free food, visiting the famous R. K. Studios, and did I mention free food?

The day for me was long and tiring with loads of traveling for project work (If i remember correctly: Vashi-Thane-Little known place in Vasai-Vasai-Dadar-Chembur) I reached the venue. Serendipity if I could call it, met fellow blogger from the last IndiBlogger meet Viyoma (@archi_palego) of Vyo's World, right outside the sets. Trotting in, around the fancy award ceremony like tables and chairs, I sat right in the front, absorbing every drop of atmosphere on the set- I was so awestruck.

As the Bloggers congregated, my stomach churned with excitement...and hunger- I'd just remembered I'd skipped lunch. My Blog-a-ton friend @dishitd spotted me after I'd updated my facebook status via phone. Talk about IT connecting people, literally ! Anoop took the stage like the last Mumbai IndiBlogger meet

"I just can't believe I am at the actual sets of MasterChefIndia" was the first thing I blurted out when my name popped on screen for the 30 seconds of fame. I couldn't hide how awestruck I was! To think that 14 months of public speaking during my MBA would cover up my inner voice make me ready for a witty cover up. Nope. Not today.

After all the introductions, we knew what was next; the welcoming of the star chefs. Giddy with excitement, I clapped hard for chefs Kunal Kapoor and Ajay Chopra, harder for Vikas Khanna @vkhanna1. Yeah, sue me for being smitten by him! Chefs Kunal and Ajay gave their introductions and spoke on what cooking food means to them. Its not JUST a job, its a passion. Respect.

Undoubtedly, the chefs were down to earth to say the least, no airs about themselves, specially Chef Vikas Khanna. To be honest, I was expecting him to carry an american accent, but I was wrong and glad to be wronged when he spoke in flawless Punjabi while narrating his story of his childhood. Sheer Passion and right Attitude.

Then bloggers were asked to share their emotional link with food; be it a distant memory or a lasting impression; of their mums, grandmums and aunts in the kitchen, of missing their loving mum who passed, of the lingering aroma of yours truly's late grandmum's Mysorepak.....

Indeed there is a connection which we all Indians have vegetarians, non-vegetarians and jains, it's a aromatic bonding. As Chef Vikas said "Food is an emotional thing, really sacred to Indians"

After the heartening talk came the most awaited moment!
*Drumroll please*
The High-Tea !
...or as aptly tweeted then by a blogger 'High tea is for Brits, we are Indians so Chai- Naashtaa'

(Picture Courtesy: @rahul_ssg Rahul Singh)

Food was good, a bit cold by the time I clicked snaps with the chefs, around the sets and with Sanguine (@sanghitanandi). Highlight of my day was forever chatting with 'Viku'  as he spoke of how compelled he was to return to India after more than a decade when his mom rebuked and reminded him what he needs to give back to the country that made him what he was today. The recently anointed Michelin Star Chef for Junoon was utterly humble yet so chatty with me as I listened intently and gawked at him non-stop.

(Picture Courtesy: @starplus_indya)

Post all the Chai-Coffee-Nashtaa -which might I add was FREE- were the Skill Challenges set out for innocent Bloggers, perhaps some who like yours truly will more often use knifes to eat with than to cook with.

Display of skills or lack thereof was demonstrated for the Dicing an Apple, Julienne-ing a Ginger and Chopping a potato for french fries. Those with the skills were rewarded with Shoppers Stop Gift Vouchers.
I didn't win a voucher, but surely got to learn or refine my chopping, dicing and updating fancy culinary language skill. I have now sworn to win a voucher, hook or crook, next Blogger meet. Are you listening @renieravin ?

Taste Challenge didn't take place perhaps due to time crunch but the illustrious Mystery Box Challenge was played. All we had to do was to identify all the ingredients underneath and come up with a creative recipe for a dish. Hah! I could nail this, I thought. My creativity was questioned when I drew a blank !
Its not easy, I agreed with Chef Kunal when he explained how one should discard the top of head ideas when they're too simple and keep thinking with various permutations and combinations till that one idea clicks in place. And just like that he came up with Coconut and Jaggery Mousse with hint of Lemon Grass !
True master.

Not to forget the numerous injections of encouragement I got to blog about this on what the meet was all about from the start. We left after we gathered up our things got all the freebies and goody bags (MasterChef Logo print Apron, MasterChefIndia Logo Thermal sensing Mug, An IndiBlogger Tee)

I left with a memorable and wonderful experience to say the least.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hope against Hope

What is Freedom?

Freedom is about donning the Tri-color on your sleeve for that one day…
Freedom is about buying that tri-color flag/badge/pinwheel/sticker for 15th August and chucking it unceremoniously couple of days later...
Freedom is about incorporating blue, saffron, white and green into fashionable garments…
Freedom is about heavy discounts on your favourite department store…
Freedom is about the maha-bachat discounts in a hypermarket and the “independence day discount” on buffet meals at your favourite restaurant….
Freedom is about watching soaps, comedy shows, music talent shows, award functions, repeat tele-casts of old TV shows, repeat tele-casts of repeat-telecasts of award functions…
Freedom is about singing “Meri desh ki dharti” “Ae mere watan ke logon” on 15th August…
Freedom is about realistic fighting for freedom in fictional movies…
Freedom is all about praying that 15th August falls on a Friday or a Monday so that we may get that extended  weekend from work/studies/family obligations
Freedom is about sound bites by pop music sensations on the radio, snapshots of the country’s popular filmstars on a revitalized video of national anthem….
Freedom is about the mandatory assembly in schools, colleges, at work, public institutions for the hoisting of the flag and the complimentary burfi….
Freedom is about sitting in a different country remembering the mandatory assembly in schools, colleges, at work, public institutions for the hoisting of the flag and the complimentary burfi...
Freedom is  about introducing a company’s new product range or a new logo or a new ad campaign…
Freedom is about trending Independence Day tweets on Twitter, Inspirational Statuses on Facebook, posting video snippets of movies with freedom struggle storylines and sending “happy independence day” SMSes to all in your friend circle.
Freedom is about cake cutting and inauguration...
Freedom is about writing inspiring posts about our past leaders...
Freedom is about drawing competitions and poster making competitions...
Freedom is reduced to a theme….
Freedom is now commercialized, gift-wrapped, scented and couriered to your doorstep with service tax and duty as applicable....
Freedom is about reducing 15th August to just another public holiday…

Isn’t Freedom opening up of cultures, values and ethics?
Isn’t freedom about the right to vote, right to educate and the right to information?
Isn’t freedom allowing women to work, agreement to inter-caste marriages, gradual acceptance of LGBT?
Isn’t freedom about winning an international sport once limited to some races?
Isn’t freedom about living anywhere on the surface of this earth?
Isn’t freedom about being economically independent?

Is it really okay to undervalue the spirit of independence?
Why are we taking freedom for granted? Why are we undermining the value of freedom?
Why are we still enslaved by thought that "freedom was one achieved 64 years ago and that I cannot contribute anything to it?"

Now, there is one man, who fought for the country decades ago….
And still is….
but not against the British,
nor the Chinese
or the Pakistanis

It’s about the greater evil : CORRUPTION
Can we see India FREE from corruption?

We aren’t really free when we are bound by our own evils!

This post is solely dedicated to Anna Hazare and his followers who are giving us hope against hope.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton Season 2 edition 18; the eighteenth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

'At first I was afraid I was petrified
Kept thinkin' I could never live without you by my side;
But then I spent so many nights
Thinkin' how you did me wrong
And I grew strong'

Ashley sang Gloria Gaynor aloud time and again to her heart’s content, unperturbed of the fact this song was no longer “in “.  Bouncing off her bed, she rummaged through her wardrobe for an outfit that would make her look “fabulous”.
Fabulous, once again.

She took a sidewards glance at her wheelchair; her support, weakness; dependence.

Not anymore.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

The lyrics are from Gloria Gaynor's song "I will survive". Meant to write it as 55 fiction; exceeded 3 words. Italicized lyrics are not a part of the 55 Fiction.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

MBA=Mind your Business Anna

I'm back and unapologetic for my absence from bloggerspace.
Since life during an MBA course is hectic to say the least. And I guess by the end of the course I'll turn into Much Below Average instead of Master of Business Administration.

So when I'm asked the usual questions.....
Friend: Hey, long time no see!
Me: Yeah, good to see you after long. Have some time to catchup?
Friend: Sure, I've got all the time in the world! So what are you doing now-a-days?
Me: I'm doing MBA
Friend: Ooookay. So how is it?
Me: Let's see.... (takes a deep breath)

  • Marketing does not mean a casual trip to the market anymore
  • How much ever I try to avoid, I end up using words like "motivation" for compliment, "disposable income" for pocket money.
  • I demand my raise in pocket money through a PowerPoint Presentation with a SWOT and PEST analysis and state my friend' pocket money variations as 'Competitor Study'

  • When somebody says 'Model', what pops to my head is GE or BCG
  • I've been unofficially banned from mega-marts like Hypercity, Food Bazaar and Big Bazaar as I keep hassling their male customers with questions like "Why haven't you tried fairness creams?" and irritate female customers with "At what distance do you hold your deodorant can from your armpit?"
  • Was appalled to know that one can generate a better revenue by selling cutting chai in a tapri in outside any college/ office as compared to preparing Tea at Taj
  • While eating Vada Pav on roadside, I end up asking the monthly turnover of their stall vis-a-vis McDonald's
  • I am told that a roadside vegetable vendor might make more money in a month without an MBA, than I will with my first ever salary immediately after MBA
  • People selling knick knacks in trains are no more sales persons but ' Budding entrepreneurs from Dharavi' 
  • I day dream about Michael Porter, Philip Kotler and Steve Jobs 
  • My Facebook relationship status reads 'In a Relationship with Marketing'!
Friend: (Staggers to leave) Ohhhkay... nice chatting up with you... gotta rush!
Me: But I thought you said you 'had all the time in the world'!

Funny graphs images courtesy and

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calorie Collar

Do you crave that forbidden second helping of chips? 

Or do you wish that yummy portion of disallowed yet sumptuous and mouthwatering paneer tikka masala did not put you off your calorie chart?

Does the WHO's warning of Heart patients in India rising phenomenally by the year 2020 resound an impending doom?

Are you just super lazy or do you simply H-A-T-E working out unless you have been coaxed, cajoled or threatened?

Now you needn't worry anymore because here is your savior:

The Calorie Collar(C)TM

The only foolproof solution to your healthy eating nightmares. (Atkins, Weight Watchers, will bow in shame.)

What is it?
It is a cylindrical device shaped like a collar containing a microchip device and is wi-fi, GPS and bluetooth enabled. Made of a lightweight metal, corrosive resistant, insulated with nylon plastic which is available in 256 vibrant or camouflaging colors to match your outfit.
Contains an inbuilt body scanner monitoring device, a tiny hard disk and processor.

How to use it?
Men wear it underneath their shirt collar. Women can sport them on their wrists like a bracelet.

OK. How does it work?

  • With an inbuilt body scanner it scans the wearer's body composition and instantly updates the vital statistics, blood pressure, body fat, bone weight and other crucial metabolic parameters to its database.
  • These parameters will be used to determine what exactly should be the wearer's normal statistics. 
  • And keeping these parameters in mind, the Calorie Collar (C) will then monitor what you put in your mouth.
  • If you exceed the allowed calorie limit,  Calorie Collar (C) will calculate the excess calories will proceed to regulate them.
  • If you are short of the optimum calorie limit, Calorie Collar (C) send signals and reminders to you make up

Eg: If your daily dietary allowance should be 2200 Kcal, and you've exceeded the limits, Calorie Collar has the ability to send signals to remind you to exercise the excess off.

What are these signals?
  • First Signal - Mild and gentle audio reminders by Microsoft Mary to visit the treadmill.
  • Second Signal - Provocative and stern reminder by Steve Austin's voice to work out immediately.
  • Third and final signal - Non-verbal mild yet non-threatening periodic shocks surging through your body and which will guarantee to provoke you to workout or consume the remaining allowed calories.

Consecutively, it moderates and analyzes your progress level or regress level with and sends an weekly report to your physician.

Seems annoying, can't I just manually switch it off or break it?
  • Your physician and the people at Calorie Collar (C) can only switch it off till you get to your healthy goal.
  • If you try to break it will send off an alarm to your physician to take the next stringent action.
  • If you are successful in breaking it you shall be slapped a very very very exorbitant fine. (Trust me, don't mess with Calorie Collar (C))
  • Its even water proof, shock proof and GPS enabled. (So forget about drowning it, zapping it or throwing it over a cliff) 

Recommended for:
Those who are lazy and life-threateningly obese with no hope of self-control.

Calorie Collar (C) 2.0
Newer developments by our team at Calorie Collar (C) are striving to work towards an improved version of the device. Features to be included:
Facebook and Twitter updates if you violate the dietary allowance over 5 times in a month.
A Hall of Shame website for defaulters.

So think twice before sneakily popping that second (but actually fourth) helping of hot sugary gulab jamun.

This post has been published by me as a part of the IndiBlogger 'My Demand' Contest; sponsored by HP. To vote for my post and be part of the next edition, visit here.

MindReader Mane Maker

To all men out there,
How many of you are scared to death of losing/ graying of your luscious mane due to aging?
Do you have a problem getting up early in the morning looking into the mirror and cribbing at the sight of that unwanted stub?
Do you think would prefer to get a clean shave/ styling from the barber than by doing it yourself?
Do you wish to get a proper Van Dyke or those excellently crafted sideburns to woo your girl?

To all women out there,

How many times in a year do you have to visit your beautician to wax/ thread your skin and have wallowed in sheer pain?
Do you think that expenses and side effects of Laser hair removal scare you beyond your wits' end?
How many of you ladies think that abandoning creams, waxes and laser treatments would lower your self esteem because of hairgrowth like an Amazon Rainforest?

Fear not. Here is the brand new technology called:  

"MindReader Mane Maker"  (M3 for short)

MindReader Mane Maker??!! What is this thing?
Its a small genetically engineered capsule containing microbots with an antennae signal that "reads your mind" and makes hair follicle grow according to your wish.
Our researchers have modified microbots with signal transduction capability to edit and modify the hair cycle.

What are these Microbots?
Micro organisms which have been "programmed" to act as nanobots.

So how does it work?
  • The capsule works on the principle of the consumer's will. 
  • It sends a signal to the brain demanding the input for the cut/ style/ trim or epilation.
  • The desired signal transmitted by the brain is relayed by the microbots to the hair follicles and will modify it to suit the desired outcome.
  • And voila! you have that luscious crop the way you desired it!

Do those microbot thingies use batteries or need chargers?

Sounds complex. How to use it? 
Consume it.

What do you mean by consumption? Like an enema?
NO. Its NOT a suppository. Swallow it silly!

Can I swallow it with my freshly squeezed orange juice?
Yes. Consume it with pulp, without pulp, concentrate..... You get my point?

How long does the effect last?
Lasts for a day. So have a new haircut and style everyday!

Cool. But who all can use it?
Anyone and Everyone who can swallow.

Coming soon:
MindReader Mane Maker 2.0
Will include:
  • tanning protection
  • colored hairgels
  • tattoo
  • piercings

This post has been published by me as a part of the IndiBlogger 'My Demand' Contest; sponsored by HP. To vote for my post and be part of the next edition, visit here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I sense my senses
experience the magic;
A twinkle in the warm sunshine
when my fingertips brush the leaf tip
A glisten of the morning dew
when I hear the pitter patter of rain
A flutter in the autumn breeze
when my long hair falls on my face
An aroma of sweet smells
when I caress a rosebud
I shiver in the winter cold
feeling goosebumps on my skin
I pray a solemn prayer in His abode
To those who have the power of sight
May their life be as magical
as I 'see' it without light

(c) Gkam

I am participating in the WeBlog's Sleepy Sunday contest! You may read other participating posts HERE
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