Saturday, December 26, 2015

Exclusive Review : The Bestseller She Wrote : Ravi Subramanian


Ravi , besides being an Ex- Citibanker or if I can say just a banker is an inspiration to many of us including fellow bankers like me . Not only in terms of what he has done and achieved but also 'the new' he continues to do everyday .

The team at BlogAdda continues to ensure I get the best of the books and share my thoughts and review them. 

An Insight in Karanz way about the book : The Bestseller She Wrote  which is also in line with Ravi's other books where once you start reading you have no option but to finish it since the story ,the characters keep you so much deep-dived that you have to read it back-back .






The plot revolves around a central theme on how dreams and aspirations can lead to success but anything in excess is always bad for oneself.  It beautifully strings together love , hatred , commitment ,betrayal , friendship , attraction and how at times you need to keep your cool and think not only about yourself but also your immediate circle of family or responsibilities. It also shares some lessons on the world of marketing .

It shares how a single decision can ruin an entire career and happy life and it also throws light that you should never be carried away by material things in life. 

Aditya ( the hero ,if I can call is the central character ) a banker and a writer who lives with his wife Maya and their son Aryan .  Maya , as a character has my backing for all she has done for Aditya and now Aryan and I kind of connect with her all through .

Shreya ( the starry eyed girl who wants to make it big in any which way ) is a IIM-B student who shared her strong views when Aditya comes to his alma matter for a speech. 

The story revolves how when you are at an influential position you can pull strings at your whims and fancy . Shreya gets hired at Aditya's firm and like it was destined Aditya's marriage starts to falls apart as he spends more time with Shreya than Maya and Aryan .

In this process, Shreya who wants to be 'big' ' bestselling'  author makes Aditya part of the process to review the manuscript and also goes all out in ensuring her book is a hot seller . 

The story is more intriguing when you read since I don't want to spoil your thinking time but it moves in unexpected ways all leading to some beautiful conclusions.  Does the marriage of Aditya survive  ?  Will Shreya become an author ?  Has Sanjay ( Aditya's friend done something wrong in hiring Maya ) ? Will Aditya realize his mistake , if any and correct it ? 

I personally liked how Ravi has linked real life people like : Anurag Kashyap & Nirav Sanghavi in the story and it makes it for so much more of depth .

Well , like many of readers know I too write a lot about relationships through this blog and believe me relationships are tough to handle and nurture . One wrong thing and it could bleed forever ...

Watch the video promo of the book here  and you can buy your copy from Amazon here 

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Backpacking the old baggage

Waking up in the morning is a big pain-point for most of us . I am no exception .  And with a backpack on your shoulders its not anywhere close to be fun .

Early Delhi winter morning as I was walking down the alley I saw small children , aged between 7-11 years all decked up in school uniforms with neatly done blazers and ties ( girls in skirts though ) and a good enough filled backpack and a water bottle around the neck  , usually leaning over to mommy dear and thinking why in the world is this happening to me. 

Early morning thoughts are also a time to reflect back upon how you as a person have come all this while.  I recollected my old school days when mom used to wake me up in the sweetest possible way , brush and bath and then dress me up . Waiting for the school bus to come I used to sleep on her lap mostly. And the school bag , it was heavy then also .

As time progressed , I went to college and the school bag became a refined version yet the mornings remain more or less same . Waking up late night to finish the engineering assignments and then trying hard to set 2 alarms and telling roommates and neighbors to wake me up on time , scenarios remained the same.  

Missing breakfast mostly and then entering into an early morning Engineering Drawing lecture or  System Analysis and Design session were the worse things to do in the mornings.  And then I used to think school was so much fun .

Further up in life when I entered the arena for my Masters it was a sea change . The backpack came along with the laptop and an extra carry-bag for presentations and notes started coming along .  Work and studies used to start post 1 am and then the market research and marketing management lectures started at 9 am . The breakfast usually was good though I hardly had it .  Engineering was better , right .

If you see in all these journeys there is a common thread . Besides me , the backpack .This is how we have become as humans . We carry old deeds , karmas and the old baggage as the youth of my generation calls ,  with us all through out . In my working corporate life the backpack is still there with more number of wires .




As I sat through the Chef's table for a Saturday brunch with Chef Veena’s signature Yum Namuang Salad made using Raw Mango , all the years gone by flashed . And all I could think was it was a fun time at those stages in life.

Could I have done it better ? Yes and may be no . But then who cares . The little kids from the porch were coming back from school all charged up to take the world head-on. 

Its good being a kid.

Like they say  :  “You really didn't see the sadness or the longing unless you already knew it was there. But that was the trick, wasn't it? Everyone had their disappointment and their baggage; only, some people carried it in their inside pockets and not on their backs.” 



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Married life wishes - secrets from the hills - #madeofgreat


This may be easy to relate like other things in life but hard to implement like many things in life.  On one of my recent visits to Shimla  ( yes, I do visit this place when I am not in Jaipur ) I came across a beautiful couple whom I have been seeing for years now but never really got a chance to meet or know them .

Shimla as we know is crowded so  Mashobra is the place for people like me who appreciate serenity . They live in this beautiful area atop a hill with a home ( I am not allowed to call a house ) designed and done beautifully by the two of them . You meet them ( though they don’t  like to be discussed or talked about and prefer living peacefully ) and you will know what it takes to be in a relationship ,  be married , raise kids and more importantly be with that one person all throughout thick and thin and yet everything stays afresh . 

Whenever I used to go to Mashobra all we did was to exchange some smiles and hand waving . Bad on my part , I never even said a hello or a good morning to them .  But this time , I feel now when I back to my base I wanted to talk to them , know them and just be with them for some time.  So , I did wish them during our morning walk and yes ( not because I am the sweetest of the lot ) they invited me for breakfast .




As I entered their abode , I saw the HOME name as sheetanchal ( comes from their two daughters – Sheetal and Aanchal , who are in the US . No further details please : ) )

The home is done so beautifully with simple pieces of furniture that look so elegant  . I could feel the positive vibes all over the place with ample sunshine , fresh air and everything you would ever want from a hill side home .  They have a helper but Aunty does the cooking herself while uncle ensure the garden looks manicured 24*7  since he does organic farming as well .

She made us a lovely breakfast with fruits , salads , milk, honey and fresh French breads .  Over food they talked about how they met and the life till date and ow Mashobra happened.

Surprising, both are former seniors executives who worked for top notch MNCs during their working years .  





They met while working and hated each other from day one. Interestingly, things fell into place and both of them got married and moved to the US . It was a typical corporate life but both of them managed it so well that they did everything they wanted to . Aunty learnt dance ( kathak to be specific , published articles , did a Ph.D and most importantly went for an Himalayan expedition ) . Uncle learnt cooking, changing diapers , swimming and above all something he cherishes  - being patient ( a trait he says he cultivated by being with his wife ).

Their daughters too were brought up independently yet groomed in tradition but having a modern outlook .

I can go on and on and it’s something which I may not be able to pen down completely so I will stick to key parts .

Success – they say is something you don’t get unless you work very hard for it . Forget what people say ,  destiny holds .

Marriage -  It’s a bond that you will be bonded till the time you are here on this earth .  Only a lucky few get this .

Children -  The most precious of all the gifts your wife can give to you . Priceless , that’s why wife’s are always superior :P

Secret to a happy life -  Have no expectations from others .  Believe in this and then see how people go to any length to do the world for you.




You are right , many of the above I have  reworded as well to ensure you appreciate me as a good writer .  But leaving all this aside , see and read and implement what they have been doing so well .   

I know it’s hard to find someone like them but life would be so much simple if we stopped making it complex like for most other things that we do.  You never know when the call will come and then you will have no time to go back to that same person you once left & that one thing you wished to learn may be .

Some people are #madeofgreat . These are people who are really strong from within and aim to be happy no matter how hard life is. What drives them from within is sheer dedication , will to do good and never giving up on small petty issues yet being simple at heart and spirit. 

So while you start becoming nice and understanding from today , also make it a point to take breaks . After all , I do keep sharing lots of stuff for you all .  I am also learning from them in this entire process. 

The 'cute part' in all of this was when uncle told me that & I quote- " karan ,you must be a good son to your parents and I am sure you will be amazing husband and a doting father '' :) 

Felt nice !

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This blog post is an inspiration to all those folks whom we meet , have met or will meet in times to come . Truly #madeofgreat .

Did you know ace footballer Lionel Messi will endorse Tata cars and utility vehicles (UVs) in India and globally . Visit this link to find out more  and check the new TVC here they created. 

The above also make me think and wonder how did this association happen . 

You can comment with your thoughts as well on "What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?" Hear from you. 

Love and Listen by being Good

Paragliding :  In case you haven't done till now , step - out and fly . This can be both a recreational or competitive sport besides being classified as an adventure in itself of flying para-gliders .   

Not everyone can do it , that's what the pilot shared. And I echo the thought . Its not easy for starters like me . And the Bir-Billing area in Himachal Pradesh is a popular destination for ecotourism and adventure my all time pick would be paragliding over the bay of Portonovo, Ancona ,Italy.

While this post is not on the do's and don't of para-gliding , this is more of a share on what you can do for resolving a conflict , in anything where two people are involved : this can be two separate individuals or your outer self and inner self. 

For example : A person like me who was not 'into' paragliding or the use of it ,actually had to be sat down and told by someone whom I can listen to for hours on some key aspects .

Focus on the good :  We , as humans are wired in such a way that our negative thinking moves exponentially in line with the positive one . When thinking of doing para-gliding , I did not think of the fun part of it but thought what if I die or get injured or if the wing or harness become defective.  That's how we are . For us to do anything big or small , we need to channelize our energies onto the positive side of the light . Just by doing so you can change so many events in your life.

Take for a moment a couple in a relationship - Remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Remember the good times, the fun, and the joy you share. When you’re ready, try to see the good in your partner's position right now. A person who cares enough to fight with you is still a person who cares.

Yet , we fight with the same person and bleed them red.  And afterwards , we realize what mess we have created .

Speak with Love :  Had it not been the sweetness and ample patience in my instructor , I wouldn't have done at the first place . Remember when the time comes for you to speak, tell the truth, but tell it with love. Without love, the most persuasive speech is nothing but noise. Try changing your way of sharing or even talking and see how people respond to you . Love is a powerful ingredient and believe me , it can do wonders unimaginable. 

Listen : After reading all this , what you did was just to listen . Listening well is one of the most important skills in resolving any conflict. Yet all too often, we find ourselves plotting our next point, rather than actively listening .To answer before listening— that is folly and shame .

Next time you argue or fight with your partner , friend or instructor try to remember these three pointers and plug them in. Remember, time is slipping away any which way so ensure you fill your life and the life of everyone around with some light and positive thoughts . 


Monday, November 9, 2015

Bihar Elections 2015 : There is more than just a win

178 /  58 ; everyone in India and around the world would know what I am intending to say or imply. Bihar defeat is not a defeat for BJP but a defeat for all those people who think power is perpetual and humans of today's digital age can be taken for a ride.



In the weekend gone by , besides the usual cleaning for the festivities I was also keeping a close track of the elections in Bihar in parallel to my travel schedule . After being on calls and messages from people across the spectrum everyone was keen to hear few initial thoughts from me ; both as a local citizen of this country and also as a person who keeps a track on the political system of India.

First thought ; Again ! This was the exact word which I said over and over . Delhi elections were an eye-opener for the ruling BJP led NDA consortium . The Delhi elections did gave away key learnings  :  the importance of a local state leader whit whom the masses can identify and look up to ; the importance of going door-door and meeting people and gunuinely hearing them and preparing an agenda from them , for them .  Active but intelligent use of digital as a media for reaching out to more social audience and thereby gaining the social word of mouth  . And lastly , giving power to not just one person or parliamentary board but having a structure where people feel involved and part of the entire process .  Lastly ,  being extremely careful with choice of words being shelled out .


If you closely look at the Bihar Results , BJP as a leading NDA partner failed or if I can say mis-read all of the above.

India , as a country has a pulse where a leader who 'belongs' to their area , 'speaks'  in a language they speak in and 'understands ' in a way like noone else can  , is 'the ' neta of these people.  With the RJD emerging as the single largest party in the state , this statement cannot be more than true now.

Besides the above , one more thing which I personally fail to understand is if you use your 'charm '  more than once or over and over again ,  it will fade out and also lose its sheen and relevancy .  Same is the case with overdoing the Modi card .  Why , in a state like Bihar where BJP has an array of local leaders good enough to work up , we have hoardings across of Modiji and Amit Shah ji .

While its good to re-iterate as a thought that the center is with you but you need to have a local touch and it doesn't matter if it gets more space than the national leaders on the marketing walls.

People of India are smart and with each passing day make a choice noone can think about . If they were clear that they needed BJP led government at the national stage they did all out. If they were clear they preferred Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar in Delhi and Bihar , they again went all out.

What needs to be seen is not how fast Bihar will grow but how fast everyone learns these hard lessons and implements them .  For me as an Indian , I would love to see our state BIHAR progress ahead and sheds its not-so-good tags which have sticked onto it in the decades gone by.

As a true warrior , jo jeeta wohi sikandar....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

10 things to do in Kodaikanal

There is something about rains and open spaces that make me a little more than hilarious . And not only me , couple of others as well . 

Today , rains in Delhi bought back the festive cheer killing the week long SMOG clouding all around Delhi / NCR . As I up for an early morning catch-up breakfast with a few special folks , we decided let's step out and drive away to a place far from the traffic snarls yet has a festive cheer .


The thought came to go to Kodaikanal . While you may think I am crazy and my rest of the gang mad but then this is how life should be - unplanned , unbiased and unimaginable yet positive . 





Known world over as the princess of hill stations this place has made me fall in love all over again . My first thought on reaching here was , this can't be in India . This has to be a foreign location.   Pristine surrounding ,  lovely people to talk to and spend time with and not to forget the bicycles that can be rented to take a ride or two around the famous Kodaikanal Lake .  

Believe me this 5 kms path that goes around the periphery of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists . Head up for an early morning walk or take a casual stroll in the evening and see the stars twinkle when they come ; its all worth it . Area is kept neat and clean and people make a conscious effort to ensure they do not litter. 

We took a flight from Delhi to Chennai and then a Chennai - Madurai connecting flight . From Madurai airport its a clsoe 3.5 hours drive for 130 kms all through Palani hills and its scenic  . You can stop on way to relish a good coconut water break or just click some pictures while you are on the move.  

While there are a whole lot of places that you can visit and drink and dine in while at Kodai , I am sharing my top picks  for you . Happy to help you plan your trip in case your visting as I have other hidden gems as well . 


1. Coffee at Cafe Cariappa :  Enter onto the P.T. Road and tilt your head slightly up and you  see a small coffee place . Its known all around as the place for a superb cappuccino and home made cakes .  The one many show run by Ms.Latha is a delight to watch as she prepares your meal and in parallel chats up on your queries.  Try the Tosca and the Carrot cake  . And yes, you may meet some interesting travelers - solo or couple or group and they can be good buddies in the long run . 




2. Sunday Market :  There is a weekly market which happens on Sunday . You have to be here to catch the action. 

3. Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple : For the religious you ,  this temple which is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. 



4. Stay : We stayed at the heritage yet elegant , the only property band on the Kodai Lake - The Carlton. Majority of the hotel's room overlook the blue lake and at times you may not want to step out only.   The rooms , food and service are all very good and I liked the Silver Oak restaurant and the in-house bar called as  - The End of The Road bar.   And this is not all . 



5. KIS : The famous : Kodaikanal International School (KIS), also known Kodai School is a proud neighbor of the Carlton and a landmark of Kodai . While you cannot enter as a visitor since its restricted , in case you can pull some strings , its worth a visit . The canteen and the global students are really good and will take you back to your school days. 

6. Green Valley View, (formerly called Suicide Point) offers an excellent panoramic view of the plains overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The picture perfect place .

7.Pastry Corner Kodaikanal : The icecreams here are soft and melt in mouth kind.   There is a counter inside Spencers as well but I would suggest you visit the main outlet. 

8. Cottage Craft Shop : This place sells incense, embroidery, hats, bags and other goods crafted by disadvantaged groups across India, with about 80% of the purchase price returned to the makers. Located on PT road . The cause caught our eye .

9: Sacred Heart Natural Science Museum : A little detour in the grounds of a former Jesuit seminary , this museum has an array of flora and fauna put together over more than 100 years by priests and trainees. Displays range over bottled snakes, human embryos, giant moths and stuffed animal carcasses. Not everyone's interest but done pretty neat. 

10. Bhuttas ( Corn )  : On the Kodai lakeside ,  you should drop by and grab a healthy bit of awesome corn done pretty fast in a way you may not have seen earlier. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Flying in the air by the light of the moon

Sky Lantern

Lights are always bright . Not sure if some famous motivational artist said so but I believe for sure.  The very sight of beaming and shining lights just changes the aura around you and lightens you up. No wonder , in a country like India even before the Diwali festivities start the pre-festive seasons kicks in.

This is just a run up to the festival of lights . What it also does is it gears people and households to prepare well in advance for the festivities to start. 
And then , suddenly everything is glowing . Light installations to colorful flower arrangement to candles shining bright and a new add-on paper lanterns just make the entire air so very positive .

Floating ?!


Yesterday , I was invite to a private party for Vijaya Dashami  celebrations . While as I kid , purchasing a ‘dhanush ‘ or a ‘talwar’ seemed so much fun , now it’s just good to see Ravana and the crackers cracking with a little less noise and little less pollution . Besides the interesting food and drinks which were on offer , one thing which caught my attention  were the – paper lanterns . 

Also called and known as sky lanterns these are  small hot air balloons made of paper, with an opening at the bottom where a small fire is suspended.  Besides having an array of shapes and designs the colors of the paper are what makes these a beautiful sight . Not to forget the fire within .

River Lantern Festival

I could see people of all age groups jumping with joy , looking high up in the sky as the lanterns flew by.  It was a beautiful sight when suddenly you have 15-20 sky candles or fire balloons all lit up in the air making a beautiful sight. It just made me stand still to see how beautiful and pure such simple things in life can be. 

Aesthetic effect aside these are the moments which one should cherish .
What these also made me think and connect was ,these are also like us  , as humans , people. 

If you have a fire within of doing something big, great it won’t matter what kind of circumstances are around you. Just like the small candle lights out any paper from black to white or colored  the fire will burn and it will illuminate and make the surrounding look so much more interesting.  No matter how bad or tough the circumstances are you have the power to shine and shine on and spread the light around you .


What’s more is that people being people were actually writing ‘wishes’ on the lantern inspired from the famous Pingxi District in New Taipei City of Taiwan which holds an annual Lantern Festival .

Lantern Festival


And like they say , play by the light of the moon . 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Social Experiment - Kind a failing

It so happens that things which are of our aid actually become things we swear by.  

Take for example  FaceBook , as a platform.  If was initially started as a replacement for hi5 , Orkut of the worlds with a much better interface and a host of features which are more of an engagement  . 

The whole idea was to be in touch , in our busy lives and share moments which define us.

The idea was never to replace a personal conversation, a birthday greeting via a phone or in person or for that matter a break-up publicly by unfriending / blocking someone. 

I am amazed to see myself that we have actually made platforms like these valued more than individuals,emotions or the world in general.



Pictures are shared not with a purpose to capture a moment but to see which one can make a cut and cross and have more number of likes.  A new born baby on a hospital bed suddenly is on a platform like this with people pouring in with comments and likes.  A long good friendship is suddenly cut short because one persons is seen with his / her ex and gets blocked / un-friended and the two are no longer together .

We spend so much of our time on such platforms that we have actually stopped meeting people.  Calling someone and wishing them and having a 2 minute conversation on a special day is too much to ask for.

One would prefer sending a message or a ping or may be a just wall message.

If I ask someone when was the last time you did a good deed may be at your nearest NGO or with people from a slum , high chances are this would draw a blank .  We are not even realizing the amount of time we spent is actually not worth it . Besides straining eyes on flashy screens and randomly clicking on trending pictures, videos or links or liking statuses which have no positive impact . We are just doing what everyone is doing .

A chance conversation with one of the associates who told me that she used to spend more time on social media than with her 3 year old son . When she realized, a hard step was what she could think , was to close her account and disconnect from this entire thing . 

Now , seeing her kid grow is more than anything to her.  We are an independent thinking population . Let's see how good we are at regaining our own self's

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Tree of Life


Strange encounters happen with all of us everyday. Yet , at times or mostly we ignore them thinking that these are just once in a blue moon experience .    Not really.

Humans have this amazing power of thinking and yet this is perhaps the only power which they often forget to use much to their own benefit. 
Thinking helps us in more than one ways.  First , it gives us time to understand the situation and then see what is the way of working . Second , it gives us time to ensure we become patient and not react thereby keeping a cool hat . Third and this one is important; thinking helps us avoid make / take bad decisions.

Yet , we fail on all the three parameters .  A chance encounter with a stranger can actually surprise you in many ways.  Something like this happened with me .
Aerocity arena which seems to be the new Cyber Cub of sorts is a place where you may see the who’s who of Delhi and if lucky , India .

It has the best of properties and the top chefs at service .  This place also boasts of some amazing tea lounges where you can meet and greet and interact with some interesting people .

I happened to meet a renowned yet grounded lyricist sometime back . Never did I realize he was sitting just right next to me reading something which was beyond my comprehension .  And I being I , immediately popped up a quick hello with some warm regards and he with the gentlest of smiles acknowledged the same and we began chatting.

After a short introduction he asked if I liked writing or singing.  I answered may be blushingly, yes and also added a disclaimer that I try but hardly get the time .  Seemingly he said that he writes a close 50 pages everyday no matter where he is , what he does or how hard the day has been .  He ensure he writes even if he is travelling , India or abroad or is in a hotel or at home . This is his way of attaining Nirvana .
In case , if he misses one day he becomes restless and has no other option but to start it the very next day .   He shared an old college hostel story with me which I thought I can recreate and make it more relevant for my readers .

During his college days he met a girl who was very studious and intelligent  . Her study table was surrounded by more books than make-up items . She used to be the one who always had a smile on her face no matter how hard the day was .  People used to wonder what in the world does she do to make her feel so contented everyday .  A hostel life is anything but being happy . There is so much happening all around that being content is the last thing on the mind.

Though this girl had many friends yet she had a side which was not known to most.  As he gradually became connected to her he realized that she did something unique everyday . 
After the classes got over she used to head straight to the lawns and sit under a tree and scribble something in a note book which was guarded .

When she shared with him what she wrote , he was taken aback .  Everyday she used to write the entire day in just a few single words .  If a day was good she would pen down -  happy ,  elated ,  fun , Helped , kid , Esha ( may be her friend’s name ) , dinner, book , puppy   . If the day was full of learning it could be  - unhappy , shy , introvert , tears , mom , literature , class , thinking .

While it was tough to guess or make a story  out of these words yet each word was so powerful and yet so tough to code . This was a daily ritual for her and she used to do this without miss . That’s how he got inspired into writing. Though, time moved on and they were not in touch now yet this incident had an ever lasting impact on him.

Though you must be wondering if these guys had any ‘other ‘ story as well . No . Don’t think too much . Not everyone you meet necessary needs to be in relationship with you or vice-versa . See, not thinking again!? 

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review - Pizza Express - Ambience Mall - 50 years celebration

What happens when you have a handful of 'best' Delhi/NCRs food bloggers / reviewers and are invited to an exclusive Friday evening of not only getting a rich insight about the brand but also a 'live' lesson on what exactly goes into the art of Pizza Making by its Pizzaiolos and being a part of a rich 50 years journey - WOW !!

The brand

Pizza Express is world's leading casual dining and consumer brand which has just launched its refreshing new 50 years celebration menu and I was super excited to be a part of this launch as a special guest. 

The journey of the brand started in 1965 in London and the recipes are prepared by its Pizzaiolos ( trained pizza chefs )  .  The brand now operates 500+ restaurants across 14 countries across the globe. 

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Story in India

The brand was launched in India in 2012 in partnership with Gourmet Investments Ltd,  a company promoted by the Bharti Family office. 

They also have an  outlet in Vasant Kunj , Ambeince Mall besides this one. 

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Ambience

All their restaurants have unqiue interiors since they are inspired from the heritage and location of their sites .  The ' open kitchen '  is a core brand feature , as are the black and white colours used in different ways across the outlets. The Gurgaon design revolves around the industrial revolution of Gurgaon with influences of London's industrial elements. The open ceiling , raised floor on the kitchen add variety to the decor.

The furniture is a mix of side chairs and banquette seating wherein the chairs are made locally , the marble tops are from Jaipur.

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Food

The skilled pizzailos are trained for a minimum of 12 weeks to learn the art of pizza making and they emerge as experts in dough making and tossing . The signature bases are thin and crispy - called a Romana Base as it is like the bases one can find in Rome.





Also, to note their signature tomato passata is imported from the Greci Family of Italy since 1965. 

Large part of the menu is made in house including the pastas and desserts . 

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Starters 

The starters for the evening were Antipasto Verde ( assorted vegetarian platter with antipasto , roasted tomatoes , rocket and peppadew , fresh buffalo mozzarella served along with basil pesto , pesto rosso and dough sticks baked with emilgrana. 

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Drinks 


Beisdes these , I tried the new Zenzero Fresca mocktail which has carrot , orange juice , ginger and lemon juice . Also, the ginger fresca with fresh ginger , mint , gren lime and ginger ale was a refreshing one indeed. 

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Pasta 

For Pasta, I tired the Chef recommend Penne con peppadew which a cramy pene pasta in white sauce with peppadew , chargrilled vegetables , onion , garlic, seasoned with parsley and chilli flakes . Though high in fire but woth a good try. 

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Pizza

In the pizza , I loved the simple yet technique oriented margherita buffalo  which i a buffalo mozzarela , pasata on a Roman base with fresh basil leaves ( 6 ) , garlic oil , oregano and black pepper , topped with fresh cherry tomato , torn buffalo mozzarella , extra virgin olive oil and simply crispy and light with a lot of crunch . 

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Highlight of the evening 

This was the best part wherein the in house Pizzaiolo gave a chance to make a pizza from scratch and see it coming live in front of us . This was an experience beyond anythin and I loved this part. 

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Desserts 






I am in love with this one - chessecake - simple but mouth wateringly good , the baked vanilla cheesecake is homemade served with your choice of gelato , cream  or mascarpone . Beyond anything and a 100% must try.

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This review within a span of 2 minutes has already crossed 275 views + and counting  . That too on a Saturday 'festive' evening . Thank you dear readers .

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Out of the blue there I met you - Part 2

People may say I am a nice guy and really sweet but deep down we all know , no one is perfect  . Long back I had made a promise to myself that people who chose to walk away from me or my life once , will never make a come back . Never means never . This may be a bit too harsh but then you have to make some rules for your own good and happiness  .

Remember , in life not everyone deserves a second chance. If someone really cared for you or appreciated the person you are , believe me they would have gone all out to be in the journey or least , to walk along with you.

That's what happened . The person did try to initiate a conversation with me but I had to move on.  Yes, memories and thoughts flashed by , but just flashed and I stepped out .  As I was moving on I did think I should say something but the time gone-by was so big that we were more than strangers now . It was now just one of the many random people you meet in this journey .  I did not ask anything nor did I say . What in any case could I have asked or shared.




All I did was just a smiling " take good care"  liner and I walked on . I could see the person's eyes were filled with a thousand questions and may be more but then you can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. 

As I was walking down to board my flight I saw a mother holding her lovely daughter's tiny hands and the daughter looking up to her and smiling ,thinking she is in safe hands.  Indeed.

Journeys do a lot to you . Besides giving you a jet-lag they may give you  a jet-flash as well . 

Happy journey ,as we say . 


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In case you missed reading the first part of this , the link is here

BTW - I have my own personal FaceBook page now and may I request you to  ' like' / 'comment' / 'share' , in case you like my writing or me :) 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Out of the blue there I met you : Part 1

This may seem interesting . It did to me at the very start though . 

Have you ever realized or may be wondered what happens when suddenly out of the blue / unlooked-for you run into someone from the past .  Not necessary run into but 'see' someone whom you used to know at one point in time in this life journey .  What happens ?!




Well,  ideally as an old saying goes 'Don't worry about the people in your past; There's a reason they didn't make it to your future' .  I may somewhat agree . But , like they also say , its sad when you know someone and then suddenly you 'used to know that someone.

A similar case with me happened during one of my travels .  At the airport waiting lounge ( btw : This was one of the few times when I actually availed the so called ' lounge benefit'  on my credit card and I must say it was worth it ) I was busy reading one of my most admired and an exceptional author - Yashodhara Lal's new release ' There's something about you '  and sipping my coffee when all of a sudden the door opened and right next to me was someone I used to know very well .

At the very start , I was really engrossed into the book and didn't notice who went in or stepped out let apart sitting next to me.  Then I hear someone speak - "New glasses  ?  Prada !! not bad "  . 

And then I was just staring at this person's eyes and vice-versa.  It was a sweep , if I may call as I just kept staring at this person . It's been almost 6 years since we last met or spoke and ever since then this person was 'deleted' from my life-list as I put it. 

But , right now I was clueless what to say or do.  God, I was thinking has this magic was unexpectedly turning tides  . In all this time I never really thought about this person and I was assuming the same from the other side. 

This is something you may have faced as well  . What does one talk ? It's so long that both of you are on your own and have decided to be that way . You are clueless about what is happening in that person's life , good or bad and same is the case with other one. What conversation in the world can you have or the last resort is to just wear your 'courtesy hat'  say a hello and step-out. 

My flight was almost an hour plus away and I am sure same was the case with that person .   

You must be wondering what I said. Well , I just said - " thanks . Hope you are well " .

There is more though that happened after this .....which will come in soon.... 

BTW - I have my own personal FaceBook page now and may I request you to  ' like' / 'comment' / 'share' , in case you like my writing or me :) .

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