When it snows in India..

India is crowded place.

We have a crowd of natives which has now crossed a billion plus we also cater a million tourists every year.

tourists, himalayas

Undoubtedly, it is difficult to maintain world-class standards when a certain handful of population still lives below poverty line.

But nobody seems to mind it now-a-days. Everyone enjoys a hill station for a week and pack their bags and go off. Only the indigenous people of such places can complain about the crowd or the living standard because they see everyday – year after year.

Tourists

The northern states of India are snow-clad for the months November-February but generally have tourist inflow all throughout the year. During winters the main attraction is the snow. And in summer when rest of the country is suffering from soaring temperature these tourist spots provide a perfect get-away.

snow

Not only do these states attract high number of Indians on a summer vacation but tons of foreigners. I assume watching snow fall is an experience people like me crave to have in this same life time.

India, snow, Himalayas, Shimla

If in India, there are a certain places one must definitely visit.

snow, India, Shimla, Simla

Month of March : “In Print”

Month of March

Week 1

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 2

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 3

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 4

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Overwhelming joy of seeing my name IN PRINT.

Thank you MONTH OF MARCH.

The world on my plate : My article in newspaper

People today can travel anywhere around the globe traversing geographical boundaries. And with them, travel their culture and food. The number of foreigners working in Qatar has led to the eating habits of people here being influenced by food from all around the world. Various cuisines and outlets now open in the country have been adapted to serve nationals as well as expatriates from Asia, Europe and America.

Without a question, a dish or a restaurant is selected primarily based on its taste, cost and convenience to eat.

Read more here :

http://www.gulf-times.com/food/235/details/345782/-the-world-on-my-plateoldest member of bombay chowpatty teamA side-bar which appeared in actual newspaper but not in E-version:

FAMOUS CUISINES

Falafel – traditional Arab food – deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, beans, or both; usually topped with salads, pickled vegetables and hot sauce

Samosa – fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, lentils, ground lamb, ground beef or ground chicken

Kebab – wide variety of skewered meals cooked over or next to flames

Indian chaat – a mixture of potato pieces, crispy fried bread, gram or chickpeas and tangy-salty spices with sour home-made Indian chili, fresh green coriander leaves and yogurt. Popular variants include Aloo tikkis (garnished with onion, coriander, hot spices and a dash of curd), bhel puri, dahi puri, panipuri, dahi vada, papri chaat, and sev puri.

Sandwich – consists of two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings between them

Spring roll – large variety of filled, rolled appetizers. Kind of wrapper, fillings, and cooking technique used vary considerably from place to place

Croissant – butter-layered yeast-leavened dough rolled and folded several times in succession to give a flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry

Donut – deep-fried from a flour dough and shaped in rings or flattened spheres that sometimes contain fillings

Fresh juice – prepared by mechanically squeezing or macerating fruit or vegetable flesh without the application of heat or solvents

Milkshake – sweet, cold beverage which is made from milk, ice cream or iced milk, and flavorings or sweeteners such as fruit syrup or chocolate sauce

Steamed corn – kernels taken off a sweet corn cob or cut off and boiled or steamed

Risottos – rice cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat-, fish-, or vegetable-based

Pizza – oven-baked, flat, round bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and various toppings

Pasta – made from an unleavened dough of flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes

Pies – baked dish made of a dough casing that covers or completely contains a filling of various sweet or savoury ingredients

Pancakes – thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan

Scones – single-serving cake or quick bread made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent

Puddings – sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, or a mousse, made of bread or rice

Muffins – semi-sweet cake or quick bread that is baked in portions appropriate for one person

Cakes – form of bread or bread-like food normally with a round shape

Schwarma – meats placed on a spit and may be grilled, eaten with bread, tomato, and cucumber with toppings like hummus and pickled vegetables

Barbecued chicken – chicken parts seasoned and coated in a barbecue sauce, then grilled or smoked

Slurpees – frozen flavored drink

Ras Malai – consists of sugary white, cream or yellow colored balls (or flattened balls) of fresh cheese soaked in clotted cream flavored with cardamom

Other Photographs which are not included in e-version of paper:

tandoor three peppers turkey-anadolu yummy snacks at Chilis a-family-at-bombay-chowpatty a happy customer bombay-chowpatty Caesar Chicken Salad - Just Burger - Tasy and Healthy Brunch at Bread and Bagels - beach tower - dafna Breakfast at The coffee bean & tea leaf bread-being-made-at-turkey-anadolu Bread and Bagel carrot cake at Bread and Bagels Chowking - al khor mall Famous small pastries at Turkey A. Egg Benedict at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf papa jones pizza Papa Jones ppl-at-turkey-anadolu food at chilis samosa - indian cuisine Shawarma with hommos at Turkey Anadolu Snacks on display - Java U special menu to cater kids spicy noodles stir fry with vegetables

I do not know how to do it in Gangam Style.

Till commencement of February 2013, I pronounced the singer of world famous record breaking Gangam Style as Pee-eS-whY, presuming its a band.

Gangam styleBecause now a days, western music influence is so much, every now and then I hear a new name. And, I detest learning a new band’s or singers’ name after their albums feature top lists worldwide. Blaming the youth of today trying to ape the western culture, I move on with my life, not caring enough to listen to a Justin Bieber song. Okay agreed, they have a talent, thanks to a dozen artists they manage to look good, and owing to a million advertising and marketing strategies their albums hit it off. But then I thought why Indian people ignore the talent India already has.

Eventually, over past few years, it sinked in that rappers like Yo Yo Honey Singh ans singers like Himesh Reshammiya and Mika have taken oven the main stream music in India. Very rarely soothing music of A R Rahman falls on one’s ears. And after Slumdog Millionaire and Jai Ho with the Pussycat Dolls, I just accepted that no more can I chose to what I want to listen. I gave in to the trend and my playlist started featuring Eminem, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Beyonce, Wiz Khalifa and I haven’t looked back since then.

But in my heart I always wanted eastern music to be more popular. Then suddenly on a fine 2012 morning my Facebook feed was full of a Korean singer. I looked up to heaven and smiled, I dint mean that eastern too. 😉

Owing to my initial hostility towards change, non acceptance of trends and an oath to discard all YouTube links on FB newsfeed, I did not watch Mr P-S-Y till late December. Even then, it was my Times of India headlines which shouted out the broken world records and Guinness Book acclaim, that I finally Google’d “Ga” which automatically predicted to be Gangam Style and took me to the *dreaded* page of our talented singer Psy.

My first response to that now-opened-link was, “my my really 1 billion views”. Then came a moment of truth, a certain odd thousand people had disliked the video. I knew it even before watching, I will be belonging to this category.

gangam style stats

As much as I expected, my facial expression remained still all throughout the 4 minute video. Maybe my brows lifted a bit when Psy started doing his signature step, but only to wonder why was this so famous.

I then opened a few old videos of Govinda dancing and found those more entertaining than the Korean award winning track. Even when our Shakti Kapoor or Mammootty dance, they create a stir across nation. 😉

gangam stylegangam style

So it left me puzzled. Why do a billion people like it and I don’t…!!!  End of this was, I shut the YouTube tab and declared, I am different from a billion people. Ha!

# writing this post reminded me of the Kolavari song, but that will feature in another post. 

# all South Koreans are my brothers and sisters and I love them dearly.
# People who like bands- yay woohoo, dont mind dude.
# People who like Bieber- I am sorry, I have nothing more to say. You like Bieber for God’s sake, what CAN I possibly say.

Forbes talk about Gangam Style

For my friends who like PSY :

gangam styleCheers!

Are you one amongst them?

are you one amongst themOften, we make choices; a few unsure ones too.

The ones we don’t know where it leads to.

The ones which may be deciding a course of our lives. Or may turn our careers in 180 degrees.

The ones we later – either boast or regret.

.

But my question is, are you one amongst them? Are you in the rat race? Did you take the road less traveled? Or are you aping someone else’s decisions too? Or someone else making your decisions?

Population status of this planet is soaring as I type this, what I wonder is, am I one in a million or just, you know, one in a million?

How do you know? How do I know?

Then I think of our unsung heroes, the ones who died fighting for a cause, the ones who did not get the media/critic acclaim. Or the ones who got an Oscar/Nobel Prize after their death. Weren’t they one in a million? 

What parameter judges our performance? How do we really stand out? If 10,000 people know what we do? Or If we do what those 10,000 people want/expect us to do?

.

Million dollar question. 

Are you one in a million? Or just someone in the crowd who will die in nonentity?

D.U.B.A.I.

sign boardsDubai.

The land of riches. Or as I call it, the land of fake-wonders-in-the-world. 😉  … In case you don’t know what I am talking about. See this. or this.

A view from the top 😀

dubai 1

Worst part – I could not locate the famous Burj from far up here.. Maybe next time, I’ll make arrangements for a visa 😀dubai 2

Pretty crowded, ain’t it? Somehow it reminds me of Indiaaaa…

dubai 3

Not as green as one may think it is. After all it is in the Arabian Gulf.dubai

dxb 1

As the land and waters and my panoramic view trailed off, I started to think what was the best thing I saw in my lay over of 3 hours. And here it was :

dubai airport

the FABULOUS  cow 😀

the.VILLIAN.talk

joker

I feel bad for villains.

“The Joker” 
Brad Pitt of Fight Club
Christoph Waltz of Inglorious Basterds
John Milton-Al Pacino of The Devil’s Advocate
Lord Voldemort of Harry Potter 
Gabbar Singh of Sholay
Mogambo of Mr India
Kabir of Dhoom
Jaikant Shikre of Singham
Kay Kay Menon of Sarkar

All were handsome-charming-bad-boys of their movies and you would agree its cuz of their roles that the movies fared so well on the box office.

I noted the following things-

1. It’s because of these villains the heroes looked so good.

2. They acted equally well or sometimes better than our beloved heroes who had to romance the heroines and impress the audience with cheesy dialogues and flirting.

3. They never get the heroine in the end. Hmph.

4. They generally have to die brutally and the hero becomes the goody goody boy everyone admires.

5. It seems, the dark character of the villain attracts more fan following now-a-days. Why? *self questioning too*

6. The villain has to get beaten up and/or accept defeat. Not fair. He worked equally hard to come all the way to end of the movie, and then finally hero is the winner. Why? Why can’t they let the villains win?

harry potter

So, I am sorry people, I like the heroes. They are our “heroes” after all, but I feel bad for the villains. They’re so good. They’re hardworking. They make the essence of a “hero”. A hero won’t be a hero if there was no villain.

Ain’t I right?