Writing this post from 37000 ft over sea level, somewhere over Dilli and the air hostesses are not that good 😦 .
Yes I am returning from Delhi after a short trip for some personal work. No no, its not that personal that I can’t share with you all people but some things are better kept secret. I will spill the beans as soon as everything goes well (actually I am pretty orthodox and superstitious about the good things that may happen in my life, so till then zipped). Then why the hell I am writing this post? I am writing this post to give you all a glimpse of Dilli through my eyes and my perception as a first time visitor of the national capital.
First thing first, I was just blown away by Delhi Metro. Hailing from a city, Kolkata, which boasts to have the first underground metro in the country and where metro is just another part of Bengali life, I was really impressed by the ‘Dilli-way’ of putting it. All AC rails run real fast and their frequency is really commendable. The area they cover and the infrastructure they have utilised to handle the not only Delhi crowd but from all over the NCR region. Well NCR (National Capital Region) actually consists of Faridabad, Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon. As it was a very short trip I did not get ample time to exhaustively ‘test run’ other modes of transport available (apart from the autowallahs which as usual as it can be). I also used the Reliance Airport Expressway and it was also very good (with free WiFi and faster ride).
I actually roamed in outskirts of Delhi and was not able to test/taste the real Dilli. Delhi is a fast city unlike Kolkata (with its lazy glamour and dreamy touch). It is meant for smart and conscious people. People in Delhi are real conscious, be it about their figure, looks or about what they speak. I stayed in Vaishali which is Ghaziabad area and travelled all the way to Dwarka. The metro rides are long (in Kolkata it is short or rather bursty) and interesting. The first time I boarded on the metro (was actually was forced to board due to the immense pressure of the crowd pressing behind me), I saw two people complaining that their wallets have been stolen. One guy was not at all shocked. He mentioned it casually to his fellow passengers that while boarding the metro somebody stole it (as if it can happen to anybody in an AC metro). The other guy was astonished that how somebody can steal his wallet when he has kept it in his front pocket of his jeans. But later very easily he gave in to the fact that in Delhi Metro pick pocket is a way of life. So I took my wallet from my back pocket (the worst place to keep your wallet in Delhi metro especially in crowded places) and kept it in my hand (safest according to me). And in Delhi I saw a lot of girls. To be exact ‘a lot’, but later to that story.
If you consider the cost of living, staying or roaming in Delhi then it is pretty costly. Well I do admit that coming from Kolkata, the cheapest metro city (where metro tickets cost only Rs. 4,6,8), any other city will always seem costly to me. I stayed in a region which comes under NCR and that place the whole time I was there I experienced a power cut of continuous 7 hours. Now I do admit that it is outskirts of Delhi and comparing it with Kolkata (we have rare power cuts) is not fair but continuous 7 hours is too much for me. The roads are good and the high rising building really looked modern and beautiful.
Now talking about beauty I have to and have to talk about ‘Dilli-ki-kudiyan’. Delhi girls are sexy. Period. Not that they are tremendously good looking, but they are well maintained and do care about themselves a lot. Most of the girls come out on the street so crisply dressed that you can’t help yourself noticing them. It is like having a glimpse or two of the smartly dressed airhostess with average looks. It is evident that each and every girl (and even boys) do take a good care of themselves and really value how they ‘look’. Portrayal of ‘you’ is specifically concentrated on you external appearance. BTW I just crossed the city Varanasi (35k ft or approx. 10.7 KM above sea level). I admit (shamelessly) that even the married ones are so well groomed and have taken care of themselves so well that it made my jaws drop. If I do compare girls from Delhi with the girls of Kolkata then I must say that Kolkata girls have beauty but don’t know how to take care of it and definitely don’t know marketing and Delhi girls may have lesser substance (or should say differently beautiful) but they do know marketing and do have a dressing sense.
But I got to know that although Delhi may seem very modern in its appearance, the NCR region is plagued by crime. Shooting a person is just a matter of fact. The people in Delhi have no driving/traffic sense. People laugh at those who stop at traffic red signal. There is a news of rape almost every day in NCR region and eve teasing is so normal that I happened to see it thrice on a single day (and was not able to anything about it). My friend from Delhi once told me-People in Delhi don’t fear anybody because they have come to Delhi just to earn money and nothing else. Sorry Delhi, I was unable to feel the warmth, may be because I stayed for a very short time, but I didn’t expect such classy deeds from seemingly classy people.
One thing I really liked in Delhi are the road side food stalls which really entertained my taste buds. Northern Indian foods are heaven there. Tunday-Kebab and Paratha was ossum. My palate had a wholesome treat with the delicacies offered by Delhi. I didn’t taste Biryani or sweets of Delhi as their review from my friends were not good. That’s it.
My flight is about to land. Indigo always makes me reach destination before time. Just one problem, these airhostesses have put a strong fruity deo on them. It is yucky.
Category Archives: food
Writing this post from 37000 ft over sea level, somewhere over Dilli and the air hostesses are not that good 😦 .
Let me tell you a small story.
This is the story of boy. And the boy is in Kolkata. Kolkata International Book Fair was in the city. He loved to read. He loved to smell. Smell the books.
So he went to the Book Fair. He bought few and smelled few. And he indulged himself in some gastronomic pleasure. It is traditional in Kolkata to munch something while you shop. And he did the same. While returning from ‘Milan Mela’ ground, he and his friends decided to hop into Arsalan for some ‘Biriyani’. Arsalan was full, so they headed to Aliah near ‘Dhormotolla’ and had ‘Biriyani’ and ‘Kebabs’ and ‘Phirni’. He loved calling himself a foodie and was proud of his taste buds. While returning home he took a bus. And the realisation happened there.
The bus was moving at a very slow pace, very typical to the average speed of Kolkata city buses, that too on a holiday. He got himself a window seat, rested his tired but happy body, and started enjoying the ride. He started watching the scenery outside. He felt as if the the city is trying to share her joy and warmth with him by rubbing her nose with his. He rubbed back and smiled. While moving his head slightly out of the window and enjoying the cool breeze, he thought he looked like a dog who is enjoying his flowing hair, to people on the roads.
As soon as the bus stopped near Rabindra Sadan, a bunch of people got into the bus, and his tranquillity was broken by the sudden hustle inside the bus. The conductor of the bus, in a very harsh voice asked everyone to move towards the end of the bus and make space for other passengers.
He was sitting in the front seat and the space in front of him got occupied by a group which he considered to be a part of the lower strata of society. He tried not to look at them as it would hamper his dreamy world, he thought, but a kid from the group, due to the crowd in the bus, was forced to sit in his lap. Her mother looked at him and smiled. He noticed that the group was big. There were 6 kids, a man and a woman, probably the parents, most of them wearing torn but clean clothes. The smallest one was in the lap of his mother, who was struggling to gain balance in the suffocating crowd of the moving bus. Then the next, around 4-5 years old, got hold of the window and was enjoying the scenery outside with his elder sister, the one forced to sit in the lap. The father was instructing everyone to stick together, otherwise they may get lost. The mother was stopping her kids from keeping their body parts outside the bus. It seemed that this as their first day outside, at least for the mother and few of her kids. They looked happy and amazed.
He hated the scene. He hated the way the kids were enjoying the scenery outside. He thought the window and the scenery as seen from it, belongs to him, and cannot be shared with those lower status kids. They talked, laughed and giggled in ‘bhojpuri’. When the conductor asked for ticket from them, the father said that they don’t have money. The conductor mumbled a few expletives to them and said, ‘Why do you people get on the bus when you don’t have money. Why do you come to Kolkata?’
He got amazed when the expletives uttered by the conductor did not steal the happiness from their faces, and when the conductor did not force them to get down from the bus. There was a boy around 14 years old with them. He seemed to be the eldest one and posed as ‘know-it-all’ in front of his other siblings. He explained the brands of cars moving on the road and warned everybody to keep their heads inside the bus. As soon as the bus passed the ‘Victoria memorial’, there was a sudden wave of excitement on the kids’ face. The y all looked at the memorial which was well lit at that moment of time with the moon just visible in the sky. The kid who got hold to the window pane, pulled the fringe of his mother’s sari with his small hands and said, ‘Ma, Look Victoria.’ And the mother who was busy balancing the baby and saving her other kids, leant a bit, and started looking at the ‘Victoria memorial’ with joy, amusement, astonishment and pain in her face.
And, at that specific moment felt ashamed. He realised that the window and the city Kolkata did not belong to him. It is to be shared and enjoyed. He felt that all mothers are same. Same as the city. They are busy protecting their kids and at the same time want to feel the happiness on their kids face. They feel secure with their husbands and are mesmerised by bright lights and monumental structures. The mother bent further and started enjoying the view outside with her kids. The girl sitting in his lap, for a moment, tried to push her hands outside the window and feel the air. He took her hand and forced it inside and said, ‘Don’t do that, it is dangerous’, with an authority like a big brother. He was happy again.
And that’s exactly why.
That’s why I love Kolkata. I love the smell in the air, the warmth in the sunlight. I love the Rabindra Sangeet that is played at the traffic signals. I know people will get pissed at the music during summers in a crowded bus stuck in traffic jam, but they will nevertheless love it. I love the metro trains, the underground subway, park street rolls, biriyani. I love underground, Someplace Else. I love City Center, South city. I love Durga pujo and Saraswati Pujo. I love Yellow taxi and green autos. I love shuttles and ‘dada ektu adjust korun na’. I love the way this city accepts. The way it has place for every person. It takes care of everyone. People from different city, state, country are happy here. I love Academy and Nandan. I love Oh! Calcutta and New market and Shree Ram Arcade. I love the crowd of Goriahat and silence of Rajarhat Highway. I love Metro, Jaya, Adlabs and Inox. I love radio Mirchi, miniskirts and ‘lal-paar-sada-saari’. I love when on a weekend some Bengalis are taking part in Kolkata marathon while some are spending it as a weekend trip at Mondarmoni, while some are reading ‘Anadabazaar Patrika’ with a cup of tea and ‘maarie’ biscuit enjoying the first rays of sunlight. I love St. Paul’s Cathedral, the morning walk in Victoria Memorial Park. I love the KC Paul as well as KC Dass. I love Haldiram’s and I love the parks filled with couples exhibiting love in parking places. I love the ITC House, Chatterjee International and S.D.F. I love Dalhousie and Sector 5. I love Burrabazaar and Saltlake. I love park Circus and College Street. I love Esplanade, Chandni, Chang Wah and Tolly Club. I love BBD Bag and Ultadanga. I love EM Bypass and Khanna Haat. I love Tollywood and fish.
I love hope.
I love Kolkata
~dedicted to 14th February – the day to celebrate love.
P.S. The spellings of the places are not to be used in spell bee. They are intentionally used to keep the feel of the place intact and has been tried to bring close to the colloquial language.
Suffering from Delhi Belly for the last three days. It is the worst ailment for a foodie. Visited loo 10 times in the last 12 hours. Great performance, right? By the way feeling better after having lots of pills and boiled food. Have to get in shape before the biggest festival of Bengali community, ‘Durga Puja’. Last night my friends partied and I missed it because of my pathetic condition. Listened to lot of advice from my kith and kins. Was not able to go to office(which I sincerely hate) because of that.
Stars this year don’t support the phenomenon called ‘LOVE’. First I had a breakup; then one of my friend gave me the good news. ‘I am single again buddy’, that’s what he told over the phone in a happy and cheerful voice. When I heard that, a song came to my mind sung by ‘Jagjit Singh’-
“Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
Kya Gham Hai Jisko Chhupa Rahe Ho“
My roomie is sad too. He has been chasing a girl for a long time now. That girl has a boyfriend, IIM grad, placed in Nokia, package-18 lac p.a., and my friend works in TCS. Irony of fate. But the weirdest thing is that the girl always calls up my friend and my friend is ready to accompany her even to hell. He is actually talking to her when I am writing about them. She knows that my roomie likes her very much and she has already told him that the relationship is not possible. I don’t blame her. It is her right (being a girl) to look for greener pastures and when she finds one, she puts up a big board on him, which says – taken. But this is not the saddest part. The worst part is whenever she needs to run an errand she calls him up. By the way running ‘errands’ is a broad term which comprises of a lot of things like her shopping for family, checking her mails, standing in a queue for 5 hours to get her a form and the list continues. That means my friend is a classic example of a dog chasing a car which he will never be able to drive, and the car driver is enjoying all the attention because it is a dog.
When I told this incident to a girl, friend and colleague of mine, she gave me an uncomfortable answer. She started blaming my roomie for all the things that are happening. She said, “If a guy is running after a girl, who he knows, will never be with him, then he is stupid”. I support her totally. In these kinds of situations guys do act like a stupid dog, but still they are better than cruel bitches. I do support her because it is very much OK for a girl to call him up and use him, but it is highly immoral for a guy to respond to her gestures. What a fcuking hypocrite society. She also told me that girls having long distance relationship always need another guy to compensate. Wow that is a nice food for thought. She can always go around with another guy but the problem arises when he develops feelings (rarity in men). Girls are pretty good at dodging these situations by saying ‘I did not think about you like that’ or ‘you are my best friend’ or the sharpest knife – ‘I am with another guy’. And she continues to flirt with him again, as if nothing happened. Every person will blame the guy, ‘if he knows that she is playing with her, why does not he stop chasing’. But men will be men. We are dogs and we love chasing (cars). And the girl who has been playing golf with his feelings will never be blamed for giving him false hopes. I attribute this phenomenon to the low number of girls per 1k guys in India. When Aiswarya Ray can leave Salman and Vivek to be a part of Bacchhan family, we are just commoners.
My only question is ‘how can a guy chase a girl, if the girl has been totally committed to another guy and had not given any gesture/indications?’ But still we cannot blame them. Why? Because they are girls. I think that I am clear enough or do you need further explanation. Hope not.
For girls : Please be genuine. Don’t be a hypocrite. And don’t play with guys. Play ‘angry birds’ instead.
For boys : Stay hungry. Stay foolish. Keep chasing.
What is the difference between ‘trying-to-be-happy’ and being really happy?
Being happy is a state while ‘trying-to-be-happy’ is an action. The state when you don’t explicitly think about the state you are in. It is when you are at peace with yourself. It’s the harmony of your mind and soul. With all the restlessness on the surface it is calm inside.
‘Trying-to-be-happy’ is when you are too busy trying and you forget about ‘happyness’. It is when you look happy and are restless inside. The difference is simple. The first one is hardly noticeable to you (forget about others), while the second one bothers you and captures a good part of your sound mind.
Last Friday was a south Indian day for me. I am a biggg foodie. I love to eat different dishes, and try new ones at new places. So I started by day with dosa in my breakfast from a roadside vendor. That’s the beauty of Indian roads. Even an unhygienic looking food stall can easily give the biggies a run for money (of course if you are bold enough to give them a try and are ready to stand under the scorching sun to enjoy the delicacy). Then in lunch I had South-Indian-Combo. What was in it? There was sambhar, chutney, upma and my all-time fav-Uttapam. The tangy taste of Uttapam makes me go crazy. And then for evening snacks I had chilly-Idly. Now the name seems cocky but it was good. I loved my day romancing with the South Indian dishes and they also seem to love me.
Last day I did some shopping. Bought a pair of jeans and a tee from Pepe and a supercool shoe from Woodland. My puja shopping is done. Now time to save, because CAT fever is going to start soon and as my friend says it’s a ‘money-sink’. Lots of exam forms and lots of college applications on the way.
P.S. Whenever I look at a girl who is pretty, sexy, humorous, sassy..(add more adjectives and fantasize)…I say-Yeah, she is good but she is not ‘HER’ 🙂
Well not exactly because we all woke up at our place a slight hangover and lot of memories from last night which was drenched with rain and fun :).
I returned from my office at around 8:30 pm (IST) and then it all started. Well there are five characters in the story – sumit bhai (dude of the hour who kept us drinking for 9 days continuously), deepu (liquid’s bro who can buy anyone under the sun after two bottles of beer), liquid(my roomie and hell frustrated like me), dhanendra(liquid’s colleague and my ILP mate) and yours truly(the blogger). It is pretty cynic of you people to think – what fun is it to have fun with 4 other guys – and the cynic in me completely agrees with the cynic in you. It’s just that the night seemed pretty exciting to me and I do not expect you to get excited at all.
Now, let me return from my office again and start the whole story. As soon as I entered my flat Polard (another roomie who thinks he is an avatar of Slash and Himesh) offered me a peg of whiskey and I don’t remember the brand. No, now I remember it was Blender’s Pride. I told him that I will have it after I change my clothes. I hate formals. He sweetly persuaded me by saying that I can have another after I change but before that I have to finish the one already served specifically for me. BTW we were drinking in those whiskey glasses which were gifted to me by my company after I won the essay competition. Okhay, I admit that i didn’t win but I was close second which is good. Aaah..I hate second spots.
Promise I will not lose track again :D. Our maid cooked paneer and rice for us. Paneer was dry and spicy. Now who on earth can resist something dry and spicy while drinking. So we ate up all the mouth-watering paneer. After a few rounds of paneer and fewer round of drinks we felt hungry and we realised we are left with only rice and no side dish. Yours truly decided, being drunk, to try hands on cooking. Whimsical I am I prepared dal(pulses) and a preparation using some left over vegetables. Now I admit that we were high that day and whimsical any day, so we decided to go and eat out. BTW we kept the cooked food in the refrigerator (yes we have one).
So we walked to Azad Hind Dhaba at around 2:00 am with the slight hope of them being open. They were not. This place has the worst service (and food) but we still go there. Why? yes you guessed it right. It is for the same reason why Google and Microsoft rule. Monopoly. We pleaded ‘don’t you have leftovers’, which we admit was way too much. They answered in negative. We decided that since our intention was to eat out, we will. So we reached college more and waited for a shuttle to airport so that we can go to Sher-e-punjab (which rocks) to eat. My friends told me that its late and we will not get a cab this late but i was convinced that we will. Alas they were true. We got a cab till DLF.
At DLF we were trying to stop each and every moving object and asking them to drop us near airport. Negative response as usual, but we were loving it as we were completely drenched. Deepu went up to the security of DLF and tried to convince them to arrange a cab for us. His managerial skills were running low at 2:30 am after few pegs :). We waited and patience paid. we got a cab till airport and when we got in we discovered that the stars are inline. He was going towards our destination, so we had a joyride. But when we reached there it was closed. Only owls and crazy people like us come out at night this late. So we decided that we should have our dinner at Giani Dhaba.
We completed at around 4:00 am it was raining heavily but we cannot wait (because I had office at 9:00 am the same day). We came out and we were wet, instantly (and it was nothing to do with getting turned on :P). We walked around 15-20 minutes in heavy rain to get a cabby and finally got one. All of us had removed their T-shirts and were walking only with vests on (lower parts covered and insured :P). We got home around 4:45 and had that phone call with my ex. I went to sleep after that.
I have been giving exams. I gave CAT, XAT, MICAT and even GATE. I was confused and I am. I performed badly in all of them and you know why..:). But I will not cry over my shitty performance or take a resolution to do better next year. That will bore me and you to death. I don’t take resolution which I cannot follow religiously. Actually I don’t take resolutions at all. I am not serious about anything, seriously, although I seem to be. I will tell you about some people whom I met and who made me ponder for a moment.
When I gave a status update in FB that ‘GATE will not open its gates for me this year’, my friends commented ‘try the window’ and ‘jump over the wall’. My exam centre was Bidhannagar College in Salt Lake, Kolkata. I went there a bit early (I like being punctual and I am paranoid) and met some of my juniors from college. After a chat and fag with them I went to my allocated room. The guy who was the invigilator of my room is my object of reference. He was in his late fifties. May be not because I am very bad a t guessing age seeing a person. He seemed to me a faculty of the college. The man was a standing example of humbleness and down-to-earth attitude. He addressed everybody as his son. He advised us to keep ourselves cool and give the test without tension. In the array of exams I have given we were never given such a friendly and intimate advice. When a guy came after the paper was distributed he consoled him by telling him not to be anxious as the exam has just begun and there is lot of time. The assurance he gave was so genuine that I was really moved by the way he behaved with each and every student. He will clarify everyone’s doubt tirelessly and even served water if we were feeling thirsty telling the students not to stand and the water will reach you. He told us to check and recheck our details and warned us that if anything is wrong it will be we who will incur the loss, just like he is talking to his own daughters and sons with affection. He made us feel comfortable and warm. He was nice.
Today I gave the exam in St. Xavier’s College in Park Street, Kolkata. I reached there at 7:30 and the exam started at 9:30. I told you I was paranoid. I fell asleep in the classroom itself and was patted by a MICA faculty (seems so) who told me not be serious. Who the heck was? The invigilator here, the lady was ossum. She was a faculty of St. Xaviers and she directed us in English with a heavy Bengali tone. She was humble, simple and always smiling. She directed us as if she is requesting us to please follow the rules. Of course everybody followed them diligently. She was nice.
Heartbroken after a disastrous performance in my dream college’s entrance test I went to have tea, for a change, with a guy whom I met on my way to the centre. We struck conversation because we boarded the cab from the same place, had the same centre of examination and coincidentally he worked in my company, a year senior. We went to the Tea Junction. The tea is good there and worth the money. I have had tea in other Tea Junctions as well but my experience at the Park Street outlet was a bit different. When we were served the guy said sorry to us for being late. Who says that now a day to their customers? The guy at the cash counter asked for a change and when we gave that to him he showered an array of ‘Thank Yous’ instantly with a smile. I love those who are in the customer service business and know how to impress customers. The door guy at different outlets like Pantaloons or Shopper’s Stop also greet with a Thank you but they do it as a part of their job nd it is evident from their tone. This guy was different and genuine. I will visit the Tea Junction outlet again to meet that guy.
On my way to my home I went to Haldiram’s at Exide more and experienced one of the worst customer services ever. The person serving at the counter was cold and was giving us food as if he is giving alms to beggars although we have paid a huge chunk of money to get a miniscule amount of food. He behaved as if he didn’t care and talked rudely. The attendants were not even wearing hair-cover or gloves in their hands and I thought we go to Haldiram’s for good food and hygiene. I think the lack of competition and food option available in the Rabindra Sadan area makes them arrogant. When will they learn how to serve food and it is not rocket science. I had a similar experience when I went to Music World outlet at Park Street last day to buy some music. I actually thought of asking the counter guy, ‘Why so serious?’ The cold look on his face and the air of arrogance made my rest of the day. If these people will not go all the way to draw customers the I will be compelled to scream ‘Long Live Piracy’.
P.S. I thought child labour was illegal in India and here I see under age working everywhere every day. They are everywhere from Kusum roll shop (Park Street) to Haldiram’s (Exide more) and even in Gopal Da’s tea stall near my office at Salt Lake, Sector – V.
P.P.S. I may be wrong because I told you I have a bad judgement of age.
Yesterday I woke up at 8:30 in the morning and believe me it’s late. I am an early riser. Last night drank few pegs and slept like a pig (I don’t snore, thankfully). Was about to meet an old friend after a long time but she didn’t call the previous night to confirm. Yes she is a girl and we became friends in my second year on phone. After that we became very good friends. So I called her to ask her why she stood me up. The reason she gave me was quite genuine. She told me that she didn’t forget that she had to call but she didn’t. She doesn’t know why. I know girls and believe me this is a perfectly believable and genuine reason not to give a call back. So she asked me if I can meet that day only. No no, she said, “If you want to meet me, you can today”. I, not being rude, said okay and she told me to meet her at Rashbehari. Moreover I was bored to hell, a typical Saturday morning. From there we went to Park Street. I love Park Street as it has life not like our Sector-V. We went to McDonalds as we can sit there for hours and no will bother. She ate a McChicken burger. I had one McMaharaja and Filet-O-Fish. We both had a dessert and chicken nuggets. After spending a couple of hours there we came out and here begins my shopping spree.
I went to Music World after that. Although I experienced a bad service I bought a lot of music from there. I could not resist myself from sheer music greed. I bought
Perfect Day – 100 amazing songs (5 CDs) – Sony Music
- Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, Half Ticket, Jhumroo (all Kishore Kumar classics)
- Gol Maal, Chupke Chupke, Bawarchi (all Hrishikesh Mukherjee classics)
Most of the music is for gifting to my friends. Then after that I thought of returning home and was walking back on Park Street with my friend when I spotted – ‘The great Oxford Sale – upto 80% off’. We Indians are always attracted by the ‘sale’ thingy and I am attracted to books. So I headed straight to the Oxford Bookstore to buy books and enjoy the ‘sale’. I bought
And I was very happy. After a long time I felt like it was worth spending money and the shopping was fruitful. I don’t know whether I will be able to finish these books in my hectic schedule. Fingers crossed. By the way I returned home after that and saved a whooping Rs. 109.80 (I don’t have the India rupee symbol handy). I watched Half Ticket and fell in love with Madhubala.