Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The search for good food

Hiya. Yesterday something terrible happened. My self esteem was at a low and I wondered how to handle the situation. One of my colleagues had mentioned that if I type a mail when stressed I should send it a few hours later. Thats what I did. I didn't lose my temper which was a big surprise. I took time in the day to decide on the best course of action.
When it comes to work... specially in sales, this calm attitude is a surprise for me. Victory has been mine. I guess coming home to someone really helps keeps the stress at bay. I can actually leave work worries at work once I am home. Total work life balance.
It also helps that I have a hubby to nag at home...:)
Anyway, none of our weekend plans materialized. We spent 3 days trying to find a gear lock for the car... and succeeded. On Saturday night we headed to Mainland China for dinner. I have liked the outlet in Gurgaon... we used to go there often while dating. The buffet was quite good then even though pricey. The Powai outlet does not have buffet so I was looking forward to dinner.
Except... a pint of Sula wine cost 550 bucks... there were ONLY 2 non veg starters... there was no chicken drumsticks (I don't know if it is Chinese or not... but should have been served)... paneer as one of the starters (REALLY???)... the main course was strictly ok... and so were the desserts. Something seems amiss. The outlet seems to have gone on cost cutting spree even though prices are the same. Maybe we should have gone ala carte. I don't know but I am disappointed.
On Sunday, I wanted to have Italian. We planned to go to sbarro at DT City Center. There is no Little Italy in Delhi NCR. The outlet has been shut down. We had disappointing dosas at a South Indian outlet in the same mall. And I discovered that sbarro is an Italian fast food joint... a far cry from authentic Italian we wanted to have.
So, the search for good food in Gurgaon continues... hope I find it.

Btw, my cook can actually COOK. I don't have to stand and instruct the basics. She just made yummy dal fry... all on her own.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


We watched this flick last week and I forgot to review it. Rio is the story of a rare bird who species does not exist anymore-except for another female bird. So, the plan is to get them to mate and bring back the species. On the way, they get stolen and have to be rescued.
Animation movies are the safest bet these days.... they rarely disappoint. The movie is enjoyable and a riot of colours.
Must watch.

Tender Hooks

Anyone remember my review of 'Diary of a social butterfly' by Moni Mohsin?
It is a collection of columns written by Moni who is a Pakistani... a hilarious book based on the central character (don't know her name... the book is written in first person) who is a wealthy socialite. Her husband is a sensible man who has little patience with his wife's idiosyncrasies.
Anyway, the current book is on the same lines except it it fictional. The lady has to find a bride for her aunt's divorced son- Jonkers. Everyone wants him to marry someone rich and from a "good" background while he just wants someone nice and sensible.
The book is hilarious and stays true to the characters. A must read.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dum Maaro Dum- garama garam review

Starved of movies KC and I headed for this one despite reading some not so great reviews.
The 1st half is good... the introduction is unique. It reminded me of Dev D... the camera movements... capturing the drugs and liquor. So not original.
The 1st half is about introduction of all characters- Abhishek, Bipasha, Prateik, Rana and Aditya Panscholi. It is quite bearable... background score is good. Some songs- those lip synched by Rana are good... rest are avoidable.
Abhishek is so linear in his acting... same role... same expressions... same double chin. Do we pay 250 bucks per ticket to see an actor not concerned with his physique? His done to death inspector character is not amusing anymore. Just 'coz it worked in Dhoom does not mean it will work everywhere. He gets very irritating by the end of the movie.
Rana is good.. very good.
Prateik is whiny... he reminds me of the role in Jaane tu ya jaane na.
Bipasha is shown to be plain dumb in the movie. I wanted to tear my hair out.
It is a usual story... cop chasing the goon. It is set in Goa which makes it slightly interesting... the styling and cinematography is good. But without a good story, nothing can salvage the movie.
I really wanted to walk out at the end of it... everyone dies in the end and I didn't really care if the goons were caught or not.
Thank god, we watched on a Friday and not Sunday... it would have been a waste of 3 hours out of 14 hours available (ten hours spent sleeping).

Btw... I bought a delicious orange coloured lipstick from Mac. It looks orangish red when applied.

Up early

Good morning. I was up early because I forgot to ask the maid and cook to come late and now I can't sleep.
We were planning a trip to Amritsar or Jaipur for the long weekend but we could not get train tickets (to Amritsar). Have decided to spend the days exploring Delhi. There is a lot to see- Lajpat Nagar, Dilli Haat, DLF Promenade etc. We will check out furniture at Ghitorni today and probably catch 'Dum Maro Dum'.
I have not had retail therapy this month because its an effort... I need to take the car out of parking, drive, park and then can shopping begin. Its not like a Mumbai where I can hail an auto for the nearest mall. Also, bank balance is at an all time low. But I really need to buy something... anything this weekend. Generally, when I don't want to buy clothes or shoes I turn to make up. It is completely an impulse buy. The only problem is... good makeup costs as much as clothes or footwear.
Last night a very funny thing happened. I reached home at 8 pm and got busy with my mails. KC called around 9 pm... he said something about waiting downstairs 'coz he does not have change. I changed my cothes, locked the house, took the car and headed to his office. When I had almost reached, he called and asked why I was taking so long. This pissed me off. I am named after a bird but I cannot fly. I told him that obviously it will take me sometime to reach his office to pick him up. Thats when he said that he was waiting below the flat and wanted me to get some change. He had been waiting for 20 mins. Sigh!!! I headed back home. We had a good laugh about it. I can be so absent minded sometimes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saraswati Park

I have been reading this book for the last 3-4 weeks... since the shifting from Mumbai began. I wish I would say it has been a good companion. The reason it has taken ages is 'coz it is boring. The story has no purpose... there is no story. The initial description of the surroundings was good but alone cannot take us anywhere.
Please avoid.

Good Morning

I hate writing titles... after thinking about what to write in a post I have to find an apt title. When I wrote poetry as a teenager another friend made up titles for them.

Good morning!!! It rained... again. And that is so nice.Wish I could say KC and I took a walk in the nice weather. He is still sleeping... I am awake 'coz of the cook.

The weekend was good. Friday night was spent in TGIF drinking, watching cricket with KC and his friend. We had to pick him up from his guesthouse and I am getting familiar with the roads. The only problem is either people don't know the roads 'coz they are new or lie. Not kidding. They lie confidently. We make it a point to ask 2-3 people.
I tried steak for the first time and had a tough time. I am superficial non veg eater. I grew up with fish but never involved myself into the details. Chicken came into my life in college. I do not like red meat like goat. It is tough to chew.... sea food was out when I tried squids... gross, slimy creatures... bacon/pork is tolerable but once in a while on my pizza. I follow the food blogger 'Kalyan' (on the side bar) and admire how he has eaten everything- pork, beef, chicken, meat, fish, sea food, kangaroo, frog legs. Wow!!! Anyway, he would have liked the flavours of the steak (he blogged about it some few months back) but I couldn't appreciate the flavour.

KC spent Saturday with his friends drinking which lasted all day and night. It started with Bauji ka dhaba at Metropolitan Mall... moved to happy hours in Rodeo next door. We headed to CP at night. This was my first time driving on Delhi roads... AB gave directions on the phone. The roads are sexy without traffic... the road signs were helpful till we almost reached there. We got confused among the 4-5 circles... people lied about the directions again. We went to the rooftop restaurant China Wok for drinks. AB picked me up and we headed to Cibo at Hotel Janpath while KC and his friends moved to another lounge.
Cibo is sexy.... huge screen for the match (not the attraction), tables laid out on a cobbled path, open air, nice lights, a fountain bang in the middle. I wanted to try the Italian food but AB was keen on some chicken curry. After drinks we headed to National on CP. You have to try either National or Kake da dhaba for some non veg. The prices are low. We had 2 plates of chicken curry (very very spicy) and 4 rotis for 280 bucks only. And the food was good. I have never seen anyone eat non veg with so much passion. AB sucked out everything and only looked up when carcasses were left.
Today we will relax. I have an early morning flight to Mumbai for a training. Looking forward to meeting my old colleagues.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Gurgaon Updates

The cook rang the doorbell. I have been looking for one for days. She demanded double the money I used to pay in Mumbai. I shooed her away. The cooking is not an issue- I am managing fine. B'fast is never a problem, lunch definitely is when I go to office. KC has a good office canteen while there is nothing around my office. Ordering out is damn expensive. Its not like a Mumbai where lunch for 50 bucks and less is available. There is nothing less than atleast 100 bucks. Thankfully, I have to go to office once a week.
Dinner does not seem hectic right now but I would love the free time. I return home by 7, start cooking by 8, we have dinner at around 9.30 and at 10 it is time for bed. And the whole cycle begins at 6.30 am the next day.
The Airtel DTH is finally done... after 2 weeks of calling and holding. It wasn't done by the customer care. The Relationship center gave me the contact no of the local guys who actually install it.
This is the first time money is flowing out like water. Relocation is always expensive... no matter how much of it companies reimburse. Unforseen costs cannot be accounted for. I hate withdrawing cash 'coz I know it will flow out the very next day.

Here are some things about Gurgaon:
  • There are little or no street lights in the city. It is like the government is encouraging crime... look, no lights... now go ahead and loot
  • All houses have maids... not just to clean but maids who stay with the family. Every morning when I leave the trash out I see all the other maids doing the same. Very embarrassing
  • Gear locks: A term we had not heard of in Mumbai. All cars have gear locks else the car may get stolen
  • The weather is awesome right now... nice breeze... lots of sandstorms... drizzles
  • People are completely unreliable. I had to call the laundry guy for a week and he has not yet turned up to pick up clothes. I have a huge pile for ironing. At 7 pm he tells me he is on his way... at 8 pm he is in the next building.. at 9 pm his phone is unreachable... at 9.30 pm I send KC to find him and get my clothes back. Tomorrow I need to find a reliable laundry fellow
  • The language is difficult.. it is Hindi but pure Hindi. Example, mirror is "kanch" for me in Hindi... here it is "sheesha". Takes sometime to make the connection. Nobody uses sheesha in daily lingo. Right? The desi accent means I have to ask people to repeat themselves 2-3 times
Will be back with more updates and observations.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday morning with hot Bournvita

Hiya. I am waiting for the plumber to turn up and then electrician and then maybe, maybe... the Airtel DTH- if my stars are aligned. And then we will be done. The house will become a home... almost. We need seating arrangement in the living room which will have to wait till next weekend. The gas connection is done and I am having hot Bournvita after a long time.
Last night was great, after a movie with hubby we had drinks at home with AB followed by maggi and parathas at midnight at Convergys dhaba. It is nice to have some place teeming with people at that hour- a rarity in Gurgaon.
It is actually raining right now. Unbelievable weather. The winds will change in another month and I am savouring it till then.

I am liking the silence of Gurgaon after the noise of Mumbai. Everything in life is relative. We make future choices basis past experiences.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Been busy and happy

Hiya. Life has been extremely busy. We wake up at 6.30 am for 3 reasons:
  • I have asked the maid to come early... in addition to normal cleaning she has to do dusting which frees up some of my weekend time
  • KC has to reach work at 6.30 am
  • Our bedroom faces east and the sunrays fall on us early morning. There is no option but to wake up
We have been coming home slightly late because of other chores after work. Things should lighten up next week. Thankfully, Tuesday is a holiday.

This post is going to be about the broker of our landlord- the lady who gave us our first experience of the 'Gurgaon Hospitality' (as KC calls it).
When I first met her, she came in a chauffeur driven car and I assumed she is the landlady. She promised to get the power backup connected, plugs fixed, geyser connected and give us extra curtains for the huge windows. I was happy. When KC met her she was sweet and said; "I am giving you the flat at such low rent and deposit 'coz I feel a connection with you". I should have smelled the fish then and there. On reaching Gurgaon, we went to her house to collect the keys. She lives in a posh colony and her hubby is a respected man in real estate. She was prompt enough to give the curtains. The best part was her hug (no kidding) and the words; "You are so fair". They died on her lips after looking at KC's dark visage.
Of course, everything in the flat was wrong... no power backup, plugs not fixed, geyser not working, flat not cleaned. But, we still had the most important thing- the curtains. Btw, they have not been put up.
After the fight on that day I have not spoken to her. She is what I call "meethi churi" (sweet knife). It describes most people here. They are damn sweet but always have an agenda.

Next post- Mumbai Vs Gurgaon

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Shift

Hiya... The shifting has been tiring. Everything that could go wrong, did.

In Mumbai, flats are never empty. There is barely a few days gap before a new tenant shifts in. You have to take the flat in whatever condition given- cracks, holes, dust, plugs not working etc. In Gurgaon, the flat is given in a perfect condition- every flaw is corrected. This is the responsibility of the broker.

When we reached the house, the broker was out of town. We discovered the plugs were not working, the doors were not getting locked and power back up was not available. I screamed at the owner's broker (she hugged me when I had met her... we call it the hug of poison) while KC screamed at ours. We got the cable installed with difficulty (Airtel DTH still pending... it has been 3 days) but there was no electricity. KC and I headed to our fav restaurant 'Dana Choga' for an early dinner and caught the last 30 overs of the match at CCD. The world cup was the ONLY positive for KC. I woke up on Sunday at 7 am and started unpacking. We did not leave the house for more than a few mins since people kept coming with some or the other work. KC was irritated 'coz I wanted everything finished before joining work. If it was upto him the same task would get accomplished in 2 weeks (on the optimistic side). My only treat was a warm bath once everything was done. Guess what??? The geyser was leaking. I shivered through my bath and realized how exhausted I was when I hit the bed. My whole body was aching and it was not yet over. There was more to do the next day.
KC was at work today and I got work done by carpenter, electrician, broadband guy, washing machine installation guy etc. 90% done now... the rest will have to wait till the weekend.

So, a new life begins. It is nice to have KC around. Our major argument has been on sharing the shoes cabinet.

I can bookmark this date on my blog- the day we began our married life. This is nice.

There are many more things I want to write about- how Gurgaon has changed (or not), my first impressions of it, Gurgaon Vs Mumbai, maid troubles, culture differences etc. Maybe I can write about 1-2 topics everyday. Lets see.

For now, I have the fastest connection- 4 Mbps. The downloads which took 2 hours earlier are now done in 15 mins. And I am watching 'America's Next top model' on Love Big CBS... a channel with all English soaps- Everybody loves Raymond, Oprah etc.

Good night!!! I hope work life turns out to be good.