A Movie Weekend :)

Thursday night : Band Baaja Baraat
Thursday night: last bit of "Sideways"
Friday: The life of David Gale
Saturday: Goodfellas
Sunday: One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest

I must say, whatever else happened during the weekend, I managed to watch some good movies, thanks to a comment made by one of my flat mates, "The movies these days don't leave any after-taste once they are over!" after returning from a late night show of Band Baaja Baraat. That is true.
By the time we had reached home, we had finished discussing the film completely. We had agreed that Ranveer Singh is decent actor; that Anushka Sharma, a dancing heroine who is not afraid to show some skin, that Yash Raj Films have pigeon-holed themselves into song-dance-shaadi movies and that the guy sitting beside me in the theater was drunk.
Then we went to Mintu's Dhaba for tea and Keema Paratha (about which I shall talk at length some other day).
By two in the morning, my mind was clear and I wanted to watch some more movies. Hence, I decided to finish of Sideways, a slow yet riveting tale of two friends taking a trip through California's wine country. A very nice juxtaposition of a happy go lucky fellow who knows as little about wines as he does about what happens post marriage and wants to get laid one last time before getting married, with another one who's just got a divorce, appreciates Pinot noir and despises merlot (in short: knows his wines) and is a failed author besides being a chronically depressed man.
Friday Morning I finished watching The life of David Gale. Morbid, touching, thrilling, a must watch if you have an opinion on the death penalty, euthanasia and suspicious nature of circumstantial evidence :). Shocked to find it doesn't feature on the IMDB top 250 list.
It's a pity I hadn't watched Goodfellas before. Being a fan of gangster movies, it doesn't reflect well on me. I always loved movies with a narration.

Khwaja Chowk... long awaited Sunday lunch

The last time I spent more than ninety minutes at the lunch table was when I got into an argument with a friend over something, long back in a mess at BITS. It's been a long five years hurrying my way through lunch after that. Obviously, there have been those treats at Barbeque Nation when eating was the sole purpose of the visit, the spread was too huge and the starters never stopped coming. It's been long since those days.
The venue for lunch today was more of an instantaneous decision. The only criterion being, a place while will not be too full of people at one in the afternoon. Khwaja Chowk kind of fit into the bill and off we went.
The initial disappointment of the restaurant being a bit narrow in it's selection of beer (Kingfisher premium and Fosters were the only two brands of beer available while the drink menu did mention Carlsberg as well) was quickly dispelled by the really well cooked platter of Tandoori Chicken and Mutton Seekh Kebabs. Both in the same league as any I have had at other places. It would have been great if the Seekh Kebabs were a little less chewy though. The Tandoori Chicken was absolutely top class. If I were to crib about the platter, I would only crib about the serving size.
We managed to time our main course orders pretty much in sync with polishing off the starters. Lachcha Parathas and Chicken Peshwari was brought in. There was nothing very different about Chicken Peshwari than any other Chicken dish cooked in tomatoes, Onions and garam masala and I have come to accept that. The Lachcha Parathas were different though. Vrey light, soft and very well cooked. The general apprehension while eating Lachcha Paratha is the fact that the inner layers might be on the rawer side that the layers on top. In this case however, every layer was uniformly cooked and they didn't come apart and you tore through the different layers.
We wrapped it up with the ostentatious Rocket Kulfi. No rocket science, just a normal Kulfi, tapered at the top and comes on a stick thicker than usual.
Overall, a nice quite place. We managed to get a table on Sunday for lunch without a reservation. Not too pricey. I won't call it a regular haunt though. But it's good nonetheless. Decent Northwest frontier food, a little understocked on beer, decent ambience and normal service by Gurgaon standards makes it a place worthy enough for a second visit.

Weekend Evening alone...rantings

There is not food in the house. I am not cribbing, just stating a fact. Not that I am the only hungry freak living in my house. Sometimes, on a lazy Saturday afternoon when you are sitting at home alone and stealing sheepish glances at the bottle of Antiquity lying next to the TV stand, the only thing you really long for is something to munch along.
But then, there is no company and hence the first cardinal rule of drinking is violated. Thou shalt not drink alone. So said the wise drunkard who managed to give it up. Hence it looks like the Antiquity has to wait till there is company.

From one random thought to another.

The other day I was talking to someone at office about how the whole micro-blogging scene has taken the charm away from blogging and how a decent enough programmer could write a spider to run on twitter and create a news channel of his own. The whole exercise of mulling over an idea, putting the right words, thinking of a length and flow of the prose - most important of all, expressing an opinion - have all gone up in vapour. It has made blogging a hurried exercise of prematurely expressing half baked ideas in a stipulated number of characters. Worse still, in some cases it's been reduced to reproducing segments of "breaking news" that got flashed on some website. I shouldn't be blaming such applications as twitter for this though. We are indulging in micro blogging every where. Be it Facebook status updates or Gtalk status messages. Where it hurts, is when it starts replacing some nice piece of creative writing with a link which is reproduced. Sometimes, retwitted.

There used to be a time when I followed a number of blogs religiously, unfortunately only Arnab and Kray are still potent enough to hold my attention (the span of which has reduced to that of a fruit-fly or less, I agree). True, some of those blogs have become irrelevant to me over time and the rest have either been bulldozed by continuously building repertoire of professional excellence or a more than fulfilling personal life (which repudiates the need for a blog any further) or micro blogging.

I can't live without cribbing I guess, hence the outburst on micro-blogging. But well, that's the purpose of a blog, to let people know your opinion, not to show them what the news channels are already flashing on their proprietary portions of cyberspace.

One of those days...

..when you get back to find the cook waiting. The gas lighter is not working. You ring your neighbour's bell, but he doesn't open the door. You go and borrow matches from the watchman at the gate and the cook finally begins cooking. Then she lets you know that she's been closing the pressure cooker wrong for quite some time and either the whistle or the gasket has gone kaput.

One more little box to check on the already overflowing weekend list.

She leaves and you attend one call that was scheduled before and you could not reschedule it in time, you miss a call that you wanted to attend, you schedule a call after the existing call and it gets cancelled for some reason. You kick yourself mentally for being such a prick. Then you decide to teach yourself not to get so angry, cool down and go have dinner.


The daal has more salt than your breakfast and lunch put together. The sabzi has more chillies than it has cabbage. You don't remember shouting at the cook ever. Maybe she also had a bad day.

One little box to check tomorrow. Scream at her.

You throw away the food and chew up the chapatis (after rolling some sugar within). Three chapatis with sugar don't make too bad a dinner. You send status reports for the meeting. You shut down the office laptop. You turn on the TV. Some arbitrary fight movie is being aired on one of the zillion channels. Something to let the steam off.

You open the personal laptop, update blog, publish long pending comments and decide to crib online.

One more little box to check tomorrow. Get back to blogging, it's a little more relaxing than you thought it was.

Okra - Scary!

Yeah, seriously! Had I been in Bangalore or Kolkata and someone served me a bowl of semi steamed rice, sautéed in thick vegetable oil , coloured in different shades of yellow, orange and red, with a couple of hard boiled pieces of chicken stuffed into it like the first paddy thrust into the soft water logged soil, instead of the chicken Biryani I ordered, I would have called for the next person higher up in the hierarchy. But I didn't do so for two reasons, one, this is Gurgaon, its a place well known for its insolent waiters and despicable service and the next higher person in the hierarchy could be just another bigger and more insolent goon. Two, I was a fool to have bitten the bait of a tag line like, "Life is too short for average food". Most obviously, what they meant was, "when we make you pay through your nose for food such as ours, you will realize that the food you eat on a daily basis is far above average." At least I realized that they serve manna for my Sodexho lunches at office when compared to this food!

But this is not the only issue, for someone who first got introduced to galouti kabab at BJN group's Samarkhand, expecting anything close at Okra is again a sin. The galouti kababs that was served were shapeless discs of carelessly flatten ground meat, too oily and smelling of groundnut/chana dal paste that went into making them. Thankfully, we had ordered some Pepsi to go with the food and we ordered some more of it to down whatever we had ordered.

The poor service helped us at one point though, the gentlemen got so late in serving us the plate of Mutton Biryani we had ordered in fits of ravenous hunger, that we managed to gracefully cancel the order before being punished for our foolhardiness. Also, thankfully, we hadn't ordered any dessert.

Never step in, unless you are on a tropical island starving for food and the last of the tender coconuts have been stolen away by some Okra-fearing sane creature!

I am back...

...and its about time too. After the two years lost in a whirlwind of activities, from which I emerged partially victorious (if you can call the realization of one's multiple shortcomings a victory) in terms of figuring out who I was.

Its kind of co incidental that the last post I wrote was regarding the Mumbai attacks and I return to this site on the day that Ajmal Kasab got convicted of waging war against the country. Interesting observation though, 'waging war against the country'. I still maintain that he should have been quietly slaughtered in some dingy cellar on the premised of the Taj than being brought out in the sunlight and given another year and a half to live. In some ways, it helped in getting Pakistan into the fray, but then, we already knew it was them, didn't we ?

Sometime I feel appalled at my indifference about everything under the sun, but there are times which really make me proud about the fact that I know my boundaries, I know what I can change and what I cannot. I don't judge and I prefer not having an opinion about everything under the sun. It helps, it kind of leaves me alone to focus on things that need attention. And in great detail.

One of which being my blogspot :)