Saturday, April 13, 2013


Here are some more of my experiences/reviews after dining at these restaurants:

Cream Centre: We went a little late on a weekday, say around 8:45PM and was startled to find that only one another table was occupied and the waiters didnt seem to bother our entry. Ordered Bambay Ragada Pattice , Enchilada and a Veg sizzler. very very average in taste and presentation. You wouldnt believe if I say that the sizzler had nothing but cabbage and few beans and carrots strewn here and there.. The cabbage simply looked like no one cared to cut it into pieces..Imagine a bed of samba rice mixed with cabbage and some beans and carrots and soya sauce poured on top..This is Veg Sizzler at this place. Literally wanted to run away after paying the bill. Vowed NEVER to return to this place..Service was extremely poor..I kept on asking for a paper napkin only to be told that they would get back with it soon..The Ragada Pattice is nothing but a potato cutlet..Simply not at all worth the time and money spent there.

Queens Dhaba : This is a little shacky kind of a place situated in Church Street (the road perpendicular to Brigade Road). I dined at this place recently after a very long time..This place was introduced to me in the early days of my Bangalore stay by one of my Best friends..The quality of food has come down a little, but nevertheless, it doesnt fail to attract a huge crowd..On a late weekend evening, there was quite a long queue waiting to be seated.It brought back memories of carefree days of coming to this place with friends , and then, coming again for lunch with office friends/colleagues.Prices have also gone up (but when compared to the price list of other places which serve only moderate quality food, this is still ok). Overall, a good experience, simple authentic north indian food ..Good service.

South Indies Street Food Fest: We had been to South Indies during one of the days for dinner when the Street Food Festival was going on..Was disappointed by the varieties that were present as a part of Street Food Fest..I dont know when Carrot juice became street food. And the street food menu consisted of :carrot juice, a very low quality kulfi, appam (no coconut milk, only saagu), peanuts, dosai,kothu parota, an assortment of bajji, bonda and pakoda. I may be naive or wrong, but tell me,are there no other  varieties of street food in the 4 states of the South? The set buffet menu was a regular fare, with an average rating..

 Peacock : This is the restaurnat which is located above the Cream and Crust in the 100ft Road of Indiranagar. Untill I visited this place,I was under the impression (whenever I looked at the name plate) that it was a furnishing house..We dined there for a Saturday buffet lunch and the spread was decent..Regular buffet spread and quality of food was also decent, neither too great nor too low..Can visit once in a while.

Sahib Sindh Sultan:  We went to this place to have dinner with a colleague of S who is on an India visit. Since this guest stays closer to Forum, we decided on this place. I have been to this place on team lunch a few years ago and didnt exactly remember whether I liked the food there or not. I was surprised to find that this restaurant has to offer only plain lassi , no flavored lassi, only plain tandoori roti, no phulka or kulcha, only plain papad and no masala-papad.. Food was very much below average..Roti was hard and cold..The mushroom-methi gravy was tasteless, the black dhal was sour. No flavor or richness in any dish..But the place was teeming with people and price exorbitantly high..Would you imagine 4 drinks (3 lassi and one mocktail) costing a 1000 bucks? If the food tasted good, you could add it to the category of restaurants catering to foreigners..But,  inspite of many foreigners whom I could spot while I was there, simply doesn't deserve to be shelling pur hard-earned money there..Anyway, I wouldnt go back there again..

Expectations and some more of it!

Well, all of us , humans have expectations. I'm not talking about those who are always in a zen state, like sadhus or monks here..All of us ordinary mortal do have expectations , either from the results of our work or from people

You study and write exams well - expect good marks/results
A kid behaves  well - expect parents to get you candies (though good behaviour should be the norm and not be seen as something special)
You give a good performance - expect to be applauded
You perfom well at workplace - expect a good hike and other rewards
A waiter - expects a tip from the diner
Maid - expects that the mistress doesnt scold for taking a 2 day awol

and it goes on..When expectations are not met, there is a good chance of getting upset, even if its for a silly reason or if its for a brief period. few expectations, as humans are natural and probably justifiable, say, you perform well either at work or in exam, you expect the rewards..In this case, the effort has been put, and naturally outcome is awaited. Though in real life, we all know that in spite of best efforts ,one need not or does not always achieve what he/she expects for .

For example, in case of an employee expecting a good rating for his annual performance, he gets a shocker when  he does not get what he expects to..Reasons could be many ..The perception of his boss on the employee's performance could be different than his, there could have been some assumptions made, miscommunication happened or there were simply many of them who performed well so he couldnt be given the top rating, or some performance behaviours could have been overlooked  etc etc..

In the above situation where metrics drive rewards, if there can be so many uncertainties leading to unexpected results, what about the whole world at large, which deals with people with blood and flesh who have emotions and mood swings which are simply analogous and span across many shades of grey?.Expecting an outcome from an activity/task or expecting either material stuff from people or expecting others to satisfy their expectation can go for a toss, resulting in conflict within oneself , and more often, resulting in conflict with people around us.

So, the best is to have our expectations low even if its difficult to have zero expectations..Bhagvad Gita has been trying to insert this into our heads for a long long time now..

Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana,

But simple mortals like us dont put this in action and bring our complexity in our lives..

Ok,why am I ranting this: 2 recent incidents made me do this post:

At the lunch table, my colleague says she gets anxious at the nearing of a long weekend. Reason, her mil expects her dil to visit her as and when a long weekend comes..If there is no longish weekends for a couple of months, she asks her to take off from office to come and meet her..While she is there, expects her to gossip with her, explain in detail as to whats going on in her life so while the dil is gone back after the trip, she can broadcast it to all and sundry.  

I call up my aunt to congratulate on her grannyhood and there she starts complaining about my mother who did not visit this aunt  during her trip to Chennai. I tried explaining her that the one-day trip that my mom undertook was for a specific purpose and by the time the work got over it was 4 PM in one end of the city and she had to wade through the maddening evening traffic to reach the other end of teh city to catch her return bus. All this wnet into deaf eras and she went on and on rolling out sentences..

Now, what kind of expectations are all these? First of all, I, for one, believe that no one can expect the other person to behave this way or that way..Even with one's own child, we can only teach the child proper behavior through our own actions, try and talk to the child when the child's behavior is incorrect , and at the end, we can only HOPE that he child behaves properly from now on..When it comes to relationships and relatives, agreed that there needs to be give and take and the equation does not equalize most of the times . But, what makes a person expepct that he/she NEEDS to be visited regularly , without giving least thought to the circumstances that the other person might be in which prevents the person from visiting him/her. Even if the circumstances were ideal, there is absolutely no requirement that their expectations are fullfilled by others..

All of us have many relatives, both near and distant who have a huge list of expectations from people. Well, general , simple expepctations can be fullfilled most of the times..But only when these so-called -simple expecatations are not fullfilled just once, they make a big issue out of it and simply forget all the innumerable times when their expectations were full-filled. This kind of behavior creates a friction in the relationship and gives a starting point for a sour relationship.  

Tell me, will a marriage cease to happen if one of the relatives doesn't show up?  But, just because one did not show up, the hosts keep pointing to that every now and then , this leads to a grudge and then a tit-for-tat and still expect the one who did not turn up  to be amiable with the host and take whatever words are thrown at him/her. Each one have their own lives to live and we cannot always keep expecting others to behave the way we want them to. We should try and put ourselves in other peoples' shoes..Some people go about telling everyone the minor headache they have, some others choose to keep it to themselves even if they undergo a huge mental trauma. Each one of us is different. While some enjoy talking , we also need to realise that there are also people who prefer to be on their own. Just because one doesnt pick up the phone to gossip or let out all that is happening in their lives, doesnt mean that this person wants to be aloof. Its just that its a character of this person..Let them be..A lot of it has to be with ones' upbringing.   The relationship is sure to blossom if  the host calls up the relative and says "The wedding went well.I was thinking about you. I'm sure you would have turned up if not for something urgent. Your blessings are required for the newly-weds.Please come home whenever you have time" ..What does it take to have our hearts to look at things positively and be genial with everyone? Does it really cost a lot?

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Kite Runner

Hasan and Amir grow up in the same mansion , while Amir is the resident of the bunglow, Hasan stays with his father in the outhouse. Amir is in the company of Hasan when he does not find any one else to play with.  Hasan's dad works as a house-help in Amir's house. apparently, Hasan's and Amir's fathers were childhood friends and this friendship continued to the next generation too. Amir's dad never forgets Hasan's birthday and always gets gifts for little Hasan. They grow up together in Afghanistan in a pretty atmosphere. Hasan belongs to the Hazara community, the less/under priveiledged class. Amir loves to write stories and shares his stories with Hasan. Hasan has a sharp intellect and inspite of not havinga  formal education, he picks up things quite well from what he hears from Amir.

Hasan and his father are very devoted to their masters that little Hasan protects Amir from the little fights that erupts between children. Amir always has a feeling that his dad likes Hasan more than him. Amir sees the difference in the way his dad talks to Amir and how he moves along with Hasan. He doesnt like this behavior of hid dad. So, he is looking out for ways in which he can impress his dad and win his heart. A kite flying competition is fast approaching and Amir sets his heart on winning the competition and delighting his dad. Amir and Hasan pair up and indeed they win the competition. Once gets to be a winner only when he brings home his kite . Hasan promises that he would return home with the kite only to be caught by a group of boys who wanted to take a revenge on Hasan for protecting Amir in an earlier tiff. As night draws close, Hasan does not return , so Amir goes in search of Hasan and sees that Hasan is being bullied and stones and beat by these young ruffians. Hasan also sees Amir while he lay down with the kite , but Amir stops himself from defending Hasan. Hasan comes back home with the kite and bruises all over him.

Hasan, being whom he is, doesnt complain, instead goes about his chores.But from then on, Hasan and Amir cease to play, Amir stops narrating stories to Hasan. Amir knew that he didnt stand up for Hasan on the day of the incident. He was a troubled self from then on , hence wanted to get rid of Hasan. he stealthily hid some money and a watch that was given as a birthday gift in hasan's house and complained to his dad that Hasan has stolen the same from him. When the money and watch were found in Hasan's hosue, Hasan's dad decided to leave the place. Everyone knew that Hasan has not taken it , but no-one spelt it out..Amir's dad cried and pleaded with Hasan's dad not to leave him alone, but Hasan's ada did not relent.

War breaks out and Amir and his dad flee from Afghanistan to Pakistan and then to America, where Amir finishes shcooling, falls in love with a girl, marries her . Amir's dad is bed-ridden and eventually passes away. The story continues with a phone call from Rahim Khan, a friend of Amir's dad asking Amir to come and meet him in Pakistan. The rest of the story deals with what Rahim tells Amir and how Amir goes back in search  of Hasan and how he returns to America.

The story beautifully captures the emotions and behavior of Amir. His possessiveness, the insecurity, the aching to be his fathers pet,the way he takes Hasan for granted, the way he takes advantage of Hasan   etc can be very much related to. Hasan on the other end makes you shed tears..As I read through the pages, tears invariably welled up..The story is set in the backdrop of the tumultuous years in Afghanistan.  A very moving story. A must read