Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Performance Management - For An Appraisee

In any performance review discussion with my sub-ordinates, I ask these two questions     
   1. What do you think how you are doing? The answer is definite and mostly it is good/excellent.
   2. What do you think, what your manager thinks of how you are doing? In most cases I get a blank look.

It is of then no surprise that many of us feel disappointed after the review. We discover(or rather construct) a set of reasons (inept manager, politics, favoritism, unable to show-off etc.)  for our dismal ranking. While I don't deny the existence of any or all of these reasons, their contribution for a dismal ranking is arguable.

During our transition from education to professional life, we often don't realize two important changes
    #1. In student life, you study more, you score better..simple! In professional life, in addition to what you have done, it is also important how your performance is perceived by your superiors, peers, organization.
    #2. In professional life, how good/bad you are is less important. More important is where you stand against your peers. Therefore your self judgement should always take into consideration these wider aspects as well.

Someone once told me, that the best performance appraisal is the one where there is mutual agreement both ways & the discussion is short & crisp. The reason being, if both the appraisee & appraiser were always in sync, frequently discussed the positives, the improvement needs, the discussion becomes just a mere formality. There is hardly any surprise. And that's exactly it should be. Performance review is not a 30-60 minutes discussion, it is a continuous process throughout the year & therefore requires thoughtful planning, execution & follow-up.

At the beginning of the year, we should plan how much effort we are ready to put in that year & what we want to achieve. Depending on personal life, health or because of any alternate priorities(planning for higher studies, preparing for a job in a better organization) we might not want to stretch every year. That is perfectly fine, only it should be communicated & mutually agreed to your supervisor & you should also be ready to accept a proper rating according to your contribution. The comes the follow-up, which most of us miss. Nothing stops us to touch base with your supervisor once in 2/3 months, or just casually asking how you are doing. This gives you chance to introspect & improve (if required) in stead of hearing the same feedback at the year end, when you can't do anything. And then the continuous evolution, act on the feedback.

I should also admit that in spite of you doing everything right, you could still get a bad rating. There could be reasons beyond your control & that I am intentionally keeping outside the scope here. But if a systematic approach is followed, there are more probability of being rightly recognized.

Please note that, due to self imposed limit on the article length, I am only discussing an appraiser's point of view. The appraiser's aspect will be discussed in the next post.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Food Review: Meridian Cafe Punjagutta (Hyderabad)

I have been hearing very good reviews about their Biryani of late in foodie group & thought of giving it a try. Located on the main road on your left when you are approaching Punjagutta from Ameerpet side just beneath the flyover. I went for parcel though there are provisions for dine-in, too though from the looking of the place, I am not sure how good the dine-in ambiance is. I ordered Special Mutton Biryani & Apollo fish based on recommendation from one of my foodie friend.
I was overly delighted with the Mutton Biryani. To me, this will sit among the top 5 Biryani of Hyderabad. A bit more flavor than the traditional Hyderabadi Biryani, with larger mutton pieces, one plate of special mutton Biryani was sufficient for 2 adults + 1 kid. The Apollo fish was also mouth watering. Perfectly spicy, one of the best fish starter I ever had. 

Apollo Fish

Special Mutton Biryani
A definite VFM & it deserved few more visits to try some of their other specialties.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Food Review: Spice 6 (Hyderabad)

This is the 1st time I am rating a place with 4.5/5 & they fully deserve every bit of it. I went there on a Sunday afternoon as part of a foodie group. It was a set menu with prices fixed at 450/- AI. The Arabian/Middle-East cuisine always excite me and when I saw this place is claiming to serve Lebanese food, I just grabbed the opportunity. We had to choose between a pre-defined Veg or Non-Veg menu & I had opted for Non-Veg menu. The summary:
Arab Champagne: This was a non-alcoholic drink, containing slices of fresh fruits, the mint leaves & a lemonade based drink. The overall flavor made it a very unique experience, neither the aroma of fresh fruits in a drink were disturbing, nor it was overly sweet or salty. This kind of set the tune for what's coming next.

Arabian Champagne
Hummus with Pita Bread: As expected with Arabian cuisine, it was rich with olive oil, olives were also used for decoration. It had a perfect texture and taste.
Tomato Chutney for Kabsa, Garlic Sauce, Hummus
Fattoush: This was the 1st time I tasted this & I liked it for sure. As I had a late breakfast, was kind of feeling heavy in stomach. But as soon as I had it, felt all my hunger is back. It was not easy to maintain the balance of the overall flavor still keeping the hint of tanginess intact & it was just perfect.
Grilled Mutton Kebab & Chicken Kebab: The Chicken Kebab was tasty for sure, nothing specifically different. The Grilled Mutton Kebab tasted quite similar to Patthar Ke Ghost. It was tender, evenly grilled. Only complain is in the 2nd serving, it tastes quite dry. Not sure if the time pressure to serve large gathering was the reason.
Grilled Mutton Kebab & Chicken Kebab
Chicken Shawerma: It was another surprise. The Chicken pieces was very tender, the mixture of right amount of mayonnaise sauce with vegetables made it very juicy.
Chicken Shawerma
Kabsa Laham: The show stopper of the day. I have never tasted so tenderly mutton that it just gets out of the bone automatically, you hardly need to struggle with it. And the rice being prepared with right flavor, I heard everyone praising heavily for this dish. For the mutton/Kabsa Laham lovers this is a must try.
Kabsa Laham
Umme Ali: Perfectly made, nothing to complain.
Kunafa: It was pastry kind of with sweet filling inside and fried vermicelli on the crust. The color was perfect, taste wise also it was sweet. Not sure how it originally tastes, but was finding it difficult to have it more than one for the sweet level. Will leave it to restaurant people to think if any variation can be brought to this.
Sitaphal Rabri: Had mild aroma of Sitaphal, otherwise a sweet Rabri dish. Nothing extra ordinary.

Umme Ali

Sitaphal Rabri
In addition this, I also made parcel for two other sweet items
Caramel Custard: This was simply awesome, but found the quantity to be less for a price of 130/140. Perfect texture, had a balanced taste of not making it overly sweet.

Mango Souffle: Nothing extra-ordinary, had the mango flavor but that's it. Nothing else specific to talk about. Again, I am not happy with the quantity.
Mango Souffle

Caramel Custard
Service: The way they managed the 30/40 people group, showed their maturity, preparedness, thorough planning. Services were prompt, before you can look for waiter, you would find someone nearby your table waiting to help you. This place scores equally good in food & service & that is a rare combination. I sincerely hope that they just maintain standard and don't fall from grace.
Overall, a very good experience & strongly recommend.

Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 4.5/5
VFM: 4/5 - As this was a set menu, it was a good deal no doubt. But I am curious to know the pricing for their individual dishes, how much it costs for a meal of 2. Nevertheless, you can always try it once, if you have inclination for Arabian cuisine.

The other thing I did not feel good looking at their menu is that they claim Indian/Mughlai, Lebanese/Chinese. I know so many places faltered trying to be master of everything, and I hope this guys don't belong to that category. Let's specialize in something and be the best. If I am looking for Chinese, I will go somewhere else. IMHO, it might be confusing for people to find Chinese & Lebanese in the same restaurant where there is hardly anything common between these cuisine. Again, just my personal opinion, the restaurant people are the best judge & I am leaving it up to them.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Food Review: Ci Gusta Madhapur (Hyderabad)

I was looking for a place for a team lunch & while deciding the venue, found that many of us have Ci Gusta in their wish list, but did not manage to go there yet. So, without wasting further time, we decided to go here. Had called the manager one day before, confirmed the reservation.

Upon reaching the next day, the manager Mr. Nagraju explained their menu & suggested some of the dish to try. We ordered Cheese Garlic Bread, followed by 2 portion of Ci gusts di mafia pasta( veg + non-veg), one portion Mediterranean Pizza, two portion of Arrabbiata Pasta (veg & non-veg), one portion of Peri Peri Veg Pizza. The food started coming within 10 minutes of ordering and thereafter we never had to wait for the food after finishing our plate.

The Pastas were the show stoppers, what an amazing sauce. The overall mixture and the flavour was just out of the world, I liked the Ci gust di mafia the most. Among the pizzas, I liked the Mediterranean. The thin crust base  was neither too thin nor too crunchy, a perfect mix. Way better than we normally get in other Pizza joints. Did not try the veg items, so can't comment much but the overall feedback from the vegetarian people were also equally good.

Cheese Garlic Bread
Peri Peri Veg Pizza
After this, we went for gelatos & we were invited to taste all the available flavors. Among them people chose the very famous Pan (Betel leaves), Salted caramel, PanaCotta, Pina Colada, Dark Chocolate. Obviously the Pan was the winner, my personal favourite was Pan, Panacotta & Pina Colada. Also the option of taking 2 different flavors of 1/2 scoop each gave people the flexibility to try many flavors, which was widely appreciated. 
The Gelatos collection
Overall a very satisfying experience, every bit of words that I heard before about the place was true. Special mention about the manager Mr. Nagaraj, he knows his job. Always smiling, making the guests feel comfortable, explaining the dishes - he was at it whatever you want. I would strongly recommend this place for people looking for option other than Indian & Chinese.

Food: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 4.5/5(Very good Wi-Fi connectivity)
Service: 4.5/5
VFM: 4/5 (A bit higher on the pricing side, almost same Pan flavor you would get on Prabai at a lesser price & Prabai is anyway bit costlier than other ice-cream joints)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Food Review: Eagle Boys Pizza Begumpet (Hyderabad)

This place was getting very good reviews in recent past, so thought of making a visit. Went to Eagle Boys with family on a weekend. We had ordered two 7" pizzas(1 veg supreme with thin & crispy base + 1 Chicken Mexicana with deep dish base), two plate chicken nuggets (as chicken wings were not available), 1 Sweetza. Including water bottle & coke, total bill came along 600/=

I did not find it much VFM that too considering this was 1+1 offer. Same size pizzas would cost me less in Dominos.

Taste wise the thin & crispy base is bit on strong side, after a while it was pain to chew it. Same was Sweetza, very hard. And the topping tasted like how Bournvita drink tastes. The chicken nuggets tasted like it taste in any other place, nothing specific. The best was the Chicken Mexicana with deep dish base, I really liked the deep dish base, have never tasted pizza so soft in either of Pizza Hut, Dominos.

Service needs to be improved, though the persons were very courteous & were trying their best, felt they just need little time to get experienced & stabilized.

Overall an Ok experience, would go there once more to taste deep dish with some other flavor. First experience looked like just another option beside Pizza hut & Dominos, nothing extra-ordinary

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Identity or Rather The Lack of It

They are three siblings. The eldest daughter is studying medical, probably in her 3rd/4th year. Next is a son, 2-3 years younger than her, just entered into college. And, there is one more daughter, 1 years younger than him, still in school. The father works abroad, come home 2-3 times a year. The mother along with her three children stay in India.
The daughters go to school in car pool and so is the son. In addition, whenever the daughters need to step out of the house, the son accompanies them. He similarly accompanies her mother, too. I have never seen the mother/daughters going anywhere alone. They have their own car, but only the son drives it. He is a free bird,
he chit chats with friends till midnight on the roads in front of their house, goes to college with goggles on and what not. Few months back, they had bought a bigger car. Next day was the counseling day in son's college. He drove the new car, with dad sitting beside him. I have never seen the eldest daughter in the driver's seat in either of the cars, didn't she ever wish to drive, openly or secretly in her mind? Few days back, we got a card, a marriage invitation card for her. We had to attend the marriage, found that she is married off to a richer family, the dream many of the girls' parent have since a daughter is born. I don't know if she had finished her education. I don't know if she wanted to continue her study or was happy being married off. But I know for sure what thought process the son must have, that he is the guardian of the house in absence of his father, that his mother & sisters are dependent on him, that what you are as a human being is not important, what is important is being a "son". Will he learn respecting woman? Would he ever want a daughter as one of his children? and even if he has a daughter, what teaching he would provide to his offspring? I wonder if ever, the mother or the daughter experienced what true freedom is, at least for once. The story repeats, across families, across generations…

Food Review: Blue Fox Kondapur (Hyderabad)

I went to this place for a team lunch from the office for the buffet. The overall ambience was impressive. Though Blue Fox is a known chain in Hyderabad, but did not hear any feedback earlier, so went without much expectation.

The starter was not very impressive, one Fish Kebab & one Chicken Kebab. On the veg side they had Potato Fry, Crispy Vegetable. The fish was the best of all the items, the crispy veg was good enough. Finding just a potato fry as starter was least expected.

On the main course for non-veg, it had Schezwan Prawn, it was so hard & elastic that could not cut into pieces with all force of knife & fork, and while eating could easily felt the half-cooked prawns inside my mouth. The Butter Chicken was below average, same was Coriander Chicken, and a simple Egg Curry, nothing worth mentioning. Did not feel like trying the biryani but later heard from team mates that it, too was horrible. On veg side, it had Paneer, Mixed Veg Curry and traditional curd rice etc.

Desert had fruit custard. I have never tasted custard so dull & sticky. Then there was couple of dry fruit cakes that you normally get with Britannia cakes, one sweet item & Khurbani ka meetha, sabu dana payes & pure vanilla ice cream. Overall an ultimate thumbs down.

Service was pathetic to say the least, had to wait for 10 mins to get our first roti basket, hardly 4-5 people waiters/service managers were on the floor and many a times noticed that none of them were visible.

With 450/- around per person, there are many many better options around the same locality.

Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
VFM: 3/5

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Flipkart এর ডিগবাজি

কালকে খুব জোর বেচে গেছি। এমনিতে সকাল সকাল উঠে ঈদের নামায পড়ে ঘুম ঘুম পাচ্ছিল। তো নামায পড়ে ফিরে আত্মীয় স্বজনদের শুভেচ্ছা জানিয়ে ভাবলাম একটু ঘুমিয়ে নেই। গত কয়েকদিন পুজোর ব্যাস্ততার জন্য কাগজ বা টিভি তেমন দেখা হয়নি, এই সব বিলিয়ন ডে হেন তেন আমার আইডিয়া ছিল না। হটাৎ দেখি কে যেন ধাক্কা দিয়ে ঘুম ভাঙ্গিয়ে দিল আর আবছা আবছা কানে এলো মোটো ই আর মোটো এক্স প্রায় ৫০% ডিস্কাউন্ট এ বিক্রি হচ্ছে। অন্য কেউ হলে সকালের কাঁচা খিস্তি আর গোটা দুয়েক লাথি তো বাঁধা ছিল, কিন্তু ঈদ এর দিন বলেই হয়ত আল্লাহ একটু মেহেরবান ছিলেন আমার উপরে। সেই আধ খোলা চোখ দিয়েও ভাগ্যিস দেখতে পেয়েছিলাম সামনে কে বসে আমাকে এই সকাল সকাল এমন অবিশ্বাস্য সুখবর গুলো দিচ্ছেন। অগত্যা উঠে বসে কাগজের পাতায় একটু চোখ রাখলাম। দেখি স্যামসাং ট্যাবলেট এর অরিজিনাল মূল্য ৫ ডিজিট, আর ডিস্কাউন্টেড মূল্য ওই ৫ ডিজিট এর শেষের শূন্যটা বাদ দিয়ে বাকি ৪ ডিজিট। এরকম আরো ৩-৪টে নমুনা দেখে ভাবলাম হয় চোখের ভুল, নয়তো প্রিন্টিং এর নয়তো কোথাও কিছু একটা। আর তা ছাড়া পুজো, ঈদ আর সামনে একটা পারিবারিক অনুষ্ঠানের ঠেলায় পকেট একেবারে গড়ের মাঠ, অগত্যা ঘুমাতেই গেলাম। ভাগ্যিস…

Friday, October 3, 2014

হেয়ার স্টাইল এর পরম্পরা

আমি তখন ক্লাস সিক্স কি সেভেন এ পড়ি। মুখে সবে একটু গোঁফের বলিরেখা পড়েছে। পাড়ায়, টিউসান ক্লাসে দু এক জনকে ভালোলাগা শুরু হয়েছে। তো স্বভাবতই মানজা মারার একটু চান্স পেলেই, জাস্ট ট্রাই করে দেখা। কখনো চুলের মাঝখানে সিঁথি, কখনো বা আবার ডানদিক দিয়ে, কখনো আবার স্নানের পরে ভেজা চুলে ব্যাকব্রাশ - কিন্তু সারাদিন যে কম্বিনেসানই বিরজমান থাকুকনা কেন, সন্ধে বেলায় বাবা বাড়ি ফেরার আগে একদম তেলাপাটি চুল আঁচড়ে নিপাট সুবোধ বালক।

কিছুদিন পরে বাবার ধানবাদ এ ট্রান্সফার হয়ে গেল। পড়াশোনার জন্য আমরা দুই ভাইবোন মায়ের সাথে বারাসাত এর বাড়িতেই থেকে গেলাম। নেক্সট পুজোর ছুটিতে ধানবাদে যাওয়া, ওখানেই সবাই মিলে একটা মাস কাটানোর প্ল্যান। সেখানে আমাদের কোয়ার্টার এর কাছেই একটা বিশালাকার মোষের খাটাল ছিল। সকাল সকাল ঘুম থেকে উঠে হাল্কা ঠাণ্ডার আবেশ গায়ে মেখে দুই ভাইবোন বাবার সাথে সেখানে হেটে যাওয়া, লাইনে দাঁড়িয়ে মোষের ঘন তাজা দুধ নেয়া আর ফেরার পথে গরমা গরম জিলিবি নিয়ে ঘরে ফেরা - এ ছিল মোটামুটি আমাদের প্রতিদিনের রুটিন। তো একদিন সকালে খাটাল যাবো বলে বাবা আর বোন অলরেডি প্রস্তুত। উইপোকার যেমন কাল ঘনিয়ে আসলে পাখনা গজায়, আমারো তেমনি সেদিনই একটু মানজা মারার ইচ্ছা হল। ভাবলাম অনেকদিন চুলটা নিয়ে নাড়াচড়া করা হয়নি, একটু ডানদিক দিয়ে সিঁথি করে দেখি, সকালের তাড়াহুড়োয় বাবা খেয়াল করবে না। কিন্তু সেদিন শুধু উইপোকা যথেষ্ট ছিল না, সাথে মিস্টার মারফি ও যোগ দিলেন, "এনিথিং দ্যাট ক্যান গো রং, উইল গো রং"। চুলটাকে আর কোনমতে সেট করতে পারি না, একটু তেল, একটু জল হেন তেন করতে করতে মিনিট দশেক যে অলরেডি অতিবাহিত, খেয়াল ই করিনি। হটাৎ পিছন থেকে একটা শুধু দৈববাণী কানে এলো "পলি(বোনের ডাকনাম)! ভাইয়াকে বলে দিও সেলুনে গিয়ে চুলটা কেটে আসে যেন". তার পরে মনে হয় চুলে নেক্সট মানজা ট্রাই করেছিলাম চাকরি পাওয়ার পরে।

এই ঘটনটা আমি কোনদিন ই ভুলবোনা, কিন্তু নতুন করে আবার মনে পড়ল দিন দুই আগে। ছেলেকে স্নান করিয়ে, জামা কাপড় পরিয়ে দিয়েছি, চুলটা আঁচড়ে দিতে ভুলে গেছিলাম, লাঞ্চ করে অতঃপর ঘুম। বিকালে উঠে সে দেখে অনেকক্ষণের না আঁচড়ানো চুল মাথার মাঝখানে একটু ঢেউ খেলে আছে, আয়নায় প্রথম খেয়াল করে বল্ল "আব্বু, দেখ আমাকে একদম দিব্য আঙ্কল(আমার ফুটবল গ্রুপ র একজন) এর মত লাগছে"। আর তার আম্মু আবার আরেকধাপ এগিয়ে বললেন "হ্যাঁ বাবু, একটা খুব ভাল ফুটবলার আছে, রোনালদো - তোমাকে একদম তার মত দেখাচ্ছে"। ব্যাস, তার পর থেকে সকাল সন্ধে ছেলে আয়নার সামনে দাঁড়িয়ে দুই হাত দিয়ে তার তৈলাক্ত কেশরাশি কে রোনালদো ওয়েভ বানানর অবিরাম চেষ্টা করে যাচ্ছে আর আমি নির্বাক!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

প্রবাসে পূজোর স্বাদ

পুজোর সময় কলকাতা যাওয়ার জন্য ব্যাকুলতা আর নেই, ছোটবেলার যেসব বন্ধুদের সাথে পুজো কাটতো সেইসব বন্ধুদের অনেকেই আজ কলকাতায় নেই, নেই এখানে সকালের সেই চেনা হিমেল হাওয়া, নেই বর্ষার ঘন কালো মেঘ কেটে গিয়ে নীল ক্যানভাসে পেঁজা তুলো। কলকাতার পুজোর অনেক কিছুই এখানে নেই। তবু যা আছে সেটা দিয়েই মনকে বোঝাতে হয়, মন ভরাতে হয়। আর ধীরে ধীরে সময়ের সাথে সাথে মিস্‌ করাগুলোর সাথে আপস ও হয়ে যায়। পাওয়া যায় নতুন বন্ধু, পাওয়া যায় নতুন পুজো। এখন আর পুজোর সময় কেউ কলকাতা গেলে, নিজে যেতে পারছিনা বলে মন খারাপ হয় না, বরং উল্টে এটা মনে হয় যে 'এমা, অমুক তো আমাদের হায়দ্রাবাদ এর পুজোটা এবার মিস করবে'। ভগবান, পুজো মণ্ডপ, পুরোহিত - এসব তো নিমিত্ত মাত্র। উৎসব এর প্রাসঙ্গিকতাই তো পরিবার-পরিজন-বন্ধু-বান্ধব কে নিয়েই. আগামী চারটে দিন তাই শুধু হই, হুল্লোড়, খাওয়া দাওয়া, চেঁচা মিচি, ঠাকুর দেখা আর ভেসে যাওয়া। আর গত এক মাসে মর্নিং ওয়াক করে যে ২ কিলো চর্বি ঝরিয়েছি, সেটাকে সুদে আসলে উসুল করে নেয়া। কলকাতায় নয়ত তাতে কি যায় আসে, এটা তো গ্লোবালাইজেসান এর সময়। ৪টে বাঙালি আর ১টা দুর্গা পুজো, প্রাণ ভরে হাসতে এর থেকে বেশি আর কিছু লাগে কি। শুভ মহালয়া… সবাই কে নিয়ে আনন্দ করুন, সুস্থ থাকুন, সুন্দর থাকুন। পুজো আপনাদের সবার ভালো কাটুক…

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Food Review: Aao Khao (Hyderabad)

This place just came up recently & was already getting very good reviews in the foodie circle. So, I had planned to make a visit for dinner. As this is a standing eatery, so planned for parcel. Reached the place around 7pm. The initial look, the neatness, sufficient number of fans + AC makes it a convenient place for eating unlike so many other standing eateries.  I had ordered half butter chicken, half Tandoori, one Amritsari Kulcha & one Naan. The food was packed within 10 minutes & I headed for a 30 min drive towards home. In the car while driving, the aroma of the Kulcha was just making me irresistible, already had a feeling that this will not disappoint.

Upon reaching home, got ready for the food. The first bite of Kulcha just melted in the mouth, have never tasted Kulcha like this before. The butter chicken was just mesmerising.  The soft, creamy gravy with the right mix of sweet yet mild spicy was very good, and so was the Chicken Tandoori.  Overall it was a very good experience with complete VFM of 600/=.
I will definitely go there to try some of their veg dishes as they also seem to be very authentic. A must try place for office lunch as well as weekend lunch/dinner around Gachibowli area..

Food: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Self Service
VFM: 4.5/5

You can find my Zomato review in https://www.zomato.com/review/qzbxPQ

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Food Review: Ayati (Hyderabad)

When I was looking for a place for team lunch around Hi-Tech city area, I got to know about this place from foodies' group as well as from some of my friends. This was a Friday lunch, so had called them a day before for reservation, we were asked to come sharp @12.30pm. Though we reached on time, the buffet was not ready till 12.45pm, a disappointing experience to start with. If you expect punctuality from your customers, you better demonstrate that first!

Anyway as the food was getting ready, we were greeted with a Mango Panna, which tasted really good. Then we proceeded for the buffet, I must admit that I was impressed with the sheer number of items they had for buffet. Around 3/4 types of salad, Dahi Vada, Veg Sikh Kebab, Fried Corn, Kung Pao Fish, Murgh Adraki Kebab, deep fried Moroccon Egg. All of the starters tasted very good.

In the main course, they had Kadai Sabzi, Kadai Paneer, Chicken Malai, Murgh Makhani, Egg Nilgiri(egg cooked with Palak curry). I specially liked the tenderness of Chicken Malai & Egg Nilgiri, the later one was a rather unconventional dish. They also had Veg & Dum Gosht Biriyani. Worth mentioning is the large size yet tender mutton pieces in the biriyani, which is very rare in Hyderabadi cousine.

In the desserts, they had Fruit Pudding, Mango Pudding, Double Ka Meetha, Gazar Ka Halwa, Fresh Fruits & 3 flavours of ice-cream. The Fruit Pudding was the best. 

Overall a satisfactory experience as far as food is concerned. On the service, felt they were bit under-staffed. Also, we went in a time where maximum tables were not yet occupied, still they were having difficulty serving. Not sure how they will manage when they will have all the tables booked.

Also felt the number of items were bit heavy for a weekday lunch & the price (375, though they had mentioned that the buffet price would increase very soon)

Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Service: 3/5

VFM: 4/5

Disclaimer: As they had too many items for the Buffet, I might have missed out some dishes that I had or even might have mixed up with dishes that were not on offer. My sincere apology in advance.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Are 'We' better than 'Them'

This post was selected by BlogAdda for Saturday Pick. This was originally posted in Another blog of mine. I am moving it here to consolidate all my blog posts on this blog only from henceforth..

We live such a bright,colorful and dynamic life with varieties spread across horizons that we even feel suffocated to think how they lived their boring, monotonous, black and white life.
We have color TV, 24*7 new channels, umpteen nos of other entertainment medium. They had a b/w TV, news once/twice a day, two movies per week one on Saturday and another one on Sunday. Still we feel not being sufficiently entertained that filler has come in the avatar of reality shows.
We have mobile phone, email, fax, Internet and social network sites. They only had hand written letters which might take weeks to reach the destination and some times would not reach at all, and for some privileged one, a land line phone. Still they were more 'connected' than we seem to be.

We not only change jobs across companies but across domains, too and by the time we retire, most of us will not remember how many jobs we have changed. They, in most cases started their career and retired from the same place. Still I guess they were more satisfied, because the term 'job satisfaction' was not used and heard that frequently then.

We get lost selecting what brand of clothing to wear, where to have tonight's dinner, which car conveys our social status (read bank balance) the best and even for some, picking which BF/GF is the most profitable for us. They were mostly content with the limited options available to them.

We have freedom almost in everything, studying what we want, marrying the person we like, leading a lifestyle we choose, wearing the clothes we find stylish and also the freedom to even ask our parents to shut up, when we found they are not in 'sync' with us. They studied what their father wanted, married the person family chose for them, at times they argued with their parents but with due respect and not crossing the limit of decency.

So to put it simple, we have so many choices and they hardly had any. We consider ourselves living a much better life than they had. We also take stride acknowledging we are far more knowledgeable than them. We are certainly smarter, more matured than they were and we grow at a much faster pace, so much so that we sometimes feel our parents are failing to catch up. I was shocked but not surprised, when I saw one fellow blogger shouting in one of the recent post I visited that why can't the parents grow up (I could not put it within quote as I forgot exactly what he/she said), whatever be the topic it was. Anyway, personal choices apart. But the question of the hour is "Are we happier than them"?

'A happy and peaceful life', I guess that is what most of us aspire for. If everything is better now than before, then my confused mind fails to answer why the suicide rates are much higher today? Why are we so much frustrated in our work life in spite of drawing a salary that they could never think of? In spite of being intelligent, why are we so much confused today? Why marriages are so fragile today than it was ever before? We have everything, but still why do we feel 'something' is missing!!

Are we then a bit quicker than required concluding everything they had is bad, irrational and obsolete. Majority of us believe that most of the values and practices of yesteryear's don't have much relevance today, but is that the ultimate truth, are everything we preach and practice today 'the perfect'? They had already lived their life, most of them are standing at the faded end of their journey waiting for the final call from Him. Where as, we are just living our life, we are yet to reach the destination to be in a position to look back and judge whether the life we had lived is indeed a better one or not. Till then, we need to be little considerate in our thoughts, flexible in our actions, give due respect to those age old 'obsolete' values (we do not agree does not mean we should disrespect it) and also remember nothing is permanent, so what we think righteous today will become irrelevant tomorrow and the way we are treating 'them' who brought us here, we will be treated the same by 'them' whom we will bring here.

I love that movie "Kal Aaj Aur Kal", everyone must watch it, if not already...

Please note:
#1. If you find the post disoriented,conflicting or confusing with the message being conveyed, please ask for clarification. I just poured my thoughts onto paper without thinking anything else much...
#2. The 'We' and 'Them' is what I generally perceive and I am very well aware of the exceptions. So, those who do not fall in either of the category, must not feel offended. In case you feel, my sincere apology.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

রঙের গরমিল

পুরুষ দের রঙের বৈচিত্র নিয়ে সমস্যা কিঞ্চিৎ। লাল, নীল আর হলুদ - তিনটে প্রাথমিক রঙ আর তার সাথে মিলিয়ে মিশিয়ে আরো গোটা সাত-আষ্টেক না হয়। মেয়েদের ক্ষেত্রে ব্যাপারটা একটু জটিল। একটা রঙ যতই হোক বিদঘুটে, তার কম্পজিসান হোলই বা ততই জট-পাকানো, মেয়েদের কাছে প্রত্যেকটা রঙের একটা আলাদা আলাদা গুরুত্ব আছে। সে যাই থাকুক না কেন, পুরুষের দৈনন্দিন জীবনে তা নিয়ে তেমন মাথাব্যাথা নেই। মাথাব্যাথা তখনি হয় যখন মা, বোন, বউ, পিসি বা মাসি এর কারণে আমাদের জীবনে বিন-বুলায়ে-মেহেমান এর মত কোন সমস্যার সমাগম হয়। সে আজ থেকে প্রায় বিশ বছর আগের কথা। স্কুলের শারীর শিক্ষার পরীক্ষা। আমাদের নেক্সট জেনারেশান এর ছেলে পিলেদের এই বস্তুটির সম্মুখীন হতে হয়নি, কিন্তু আমাদের কাছে এটা সাক্ষাৎ যমের থেকে কিছু কম ছিল না। যোগব্যায়াম আর শরীরচর্চা এর পরে অশীতিপর বৃদ্ধ মাস্টারমশায় এর প্রশ্নবাণের সম্মুখীন - 'ধমনি কেটে গেলে যে রক্ত বেরোয় তার রঙ কি ?' উত্তর টা এক বিশেষ ধরনের লাল, সেটা মনেই ছিল, কিন্তু হটাৎ কি মনে হোল বললাম, ~ 'রানি কালার'। মাস্টারমশায় আমার দিকে চশমার ভিতর থেকে বৃদ্ধ ক্লান্ত ঘোলাটে চোখ দুটো বড় বড় করে তাকিয়ে আছেন আর পিছন থেকে বন্ধুদের মুচকি মুচকি হাসি কানে আসছে। - 'রানি কালার!! সেটা কেমন রঙ??' আমার পরের উত্তরটা টিপিকাল মৌখিক পরীক্ষার উত্তরের মত - ভিন্ন ভাষায় একই স্টেটমেন্ট এর পুনরাবৃত্তি। ~ 'ওই রানি কালার এর মতই লাল'। - 'এই রানি কালার টা তোমায় কে শিখিয়েছে? আমি তো বাপের জন্মে এমন কোন রঙের নাম শুনেছি বলে মনে পড়ছে না'। ~ 'স্যার, মায়ের মুখে শাড়ি আর লিপস্টিক নিয়ে আলোচনা করার সময় এই রঙ টার নাম শুনেছি'। পরীক্ষার সময় মায়েদের স্কুল এ গিয়ে বসে থাকার একটা চল ছিল আমাদের মায়েদের মধ্যে। অতঃপর গার্জেন কল হোল, একটু আলাদা এই বারে, মানে গার্জেন এর জন্য গার্জেন কল! স্যার মায়ের সাথে কিছু আলোচনা করলেন, আমি দূরে নিষ্পাপ মুখে দাঁড়িয়ে থাকার চেষ্টা করলাম যাতে এর এফেক্ট আমার রেজাল্ট এ না আসে। রেজাল্ট এ প্রভাব পড়েছিল বইকি, উপরি পাওনা ছিল বন্ধুদের সামনে বেইজ্জত হওয়া আর বাড়ি এসে আবার মা এর বকুনি শোনা। কিন্তু পাঠকগন তিন সত্যি করে বলুনতো আমার কোন দোষ ছিল কি? নোটঃ কিছুদিন আগে ফেসবুক এ একটা পোস্ট দেখেছিলাম যে একটা মাল্টিকালার স্পেস এ ছেলেরা যেখানে ৪-৫ টির বেশি কালার দেখতে পায়না, মেয়েরা সেখানে ২৫-৩০ টা কালার আইডেন্টিফাই করতে পারে। সেটা দেখতে দেখতেই এই ঘটনাটা মনে পরে গেল।

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Food Review: Pabrai's Fresh & Naturelle Ice Cream (Hyderabad)

I had recently read many positive reviews about this place in Foodie's group, so made a visit on a Saturday evening with family. We reached there around 7pm, not very crowded, yet the few tables they had were all occupied, so had to adjust with the sitting tools. Small disappointment to start with. Ordered 1 scoop of Nolen Gur (Date Palm Jaggery) & 1 scoop of Pan(Betel Leaves). As soon as we took the first bite, everyone was awestruck. The feeling inside the mouth was exactly the same that I was expecting. Could not believe that someone could recreate the exact flavours for these not-so-common ice-cream flavours.

The option of making 1/2 scoop of two different flavors into one single scoop came handy when we were planning to order next. We tried  1 scoop(1/2 Pan + 1/2 Nolen Gur), 2 scoops of Kesaria Rabri Malai, 1 scoop of Mango Alphonso for kid. The mango was a total let down. Parents liked the Rabri Malai, even more than the Pan, they did not like the strong flavour of Pan that much. Thereafter, went on to try some other flavors like Lemon Grass(found it blunt, could be the because of lingering effect of strong Pan still in my mouth), tender Coconut, South Indian Coffee. The coconut was one more surprising flavor, taste wise it was no less than the Pan/Nolen Gur.

When we were almost done, there came a pleasant surprise. As we did not get a table to sit initially, they offered a complimentary scoop of Chandan(Sandalwood) Sugar Free. The fragrance of Chandan was very much prominent. Overall a bill amount of 640/= for is very good value for money. Will definitely go there again. I recommend this place a must-visit for the Ice-Cream lovers

Food: 4.5/5
Ambiance: 3/5
VFM: 4/5
Self Service

My Zomato review can be found here https://www.zomato.com/review/qzqwbQ

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


     হাতে এখন অঢেল সময়, তার উপরে কদিন পরে বাড়ি গিয়ে আঁশটে পিষ্টে খাবো। যে ওজন টাকে অতি কষ্টে লেটার মার্কস এর নিচে নামিয়েছি তাকে তো আর উপরে উঠতে দেয়া যায়না। অতএব গতকাল সকালে একটু বেশি ই এক্সারসাইজ করে ফেলেছি, যাকে পাতি বাংলা বা আমাদের যাদবপুরিয়ান ভাষায় "বার" খাওয়া বলে আর কি। যাইহোক, বেশি কিছু করিনি, জাস্ট নর্মাল ৩ পাক এর জায়গায় কালকে ৮ পাক রানিং করলাম , তার পরে কিছু ফ্রি হ্যান্ড, একটু উঠক বৈঠক আর নিজেকে আয়নায় মেপে একটা বেশ গর্বিত ফীলিং হোল। যথারীতি আপিস এ এসে রেগুলার কাজ কম্ম শুরু হোল। লাঞ্চ টাইম এ যেই ডাক পড়ল, অনুভাব করলাম য শরীর র মনের মধ্যে কথাও একটা তু তু ম্যায় ম্যায় হয়েছে। মানে চেয়ার থেকে উঠতে চাইছি কিন্তু কেমন যেন পারছি না। অনেক কষ্টে উঠে লাঞ্চ তা করে আসলাম। লোকজন জানতে চাইলে বলেছি ফুটবল খেলতে গিয়ে একটু আধটু লেগেছে আর কি। কিন্তু তার পরে যতবার ই হাঁটছি মনে হচ্ছে সবাই কেমন যেন আমাকে আড়চোখে চেয়ে আছে। টেকনিক্যালি বোঝাতে গেলে শরীর এর নিচের অর্ধাংশ ভারটিকালি আছে আর ঊর্ধ্ব অর্ধাংশ তা যেনও ভারটিকাল এর সাথে ৩০ ডিগ্রি একটা অ্যাংগল করে চলছে। অনেকটা ওই "আঁখে" ছবিতে চাঙ্কি পাণ্ডের "ও লাল দুপাট্টা ওয়ালি" গান টায় কোমর দুলিয়ে নাচ টার মতো। যাইহোক, আপাতত অনেকটা ভাল আর হে এরকম একটা সেলফি পোস্ট করতে একটু রুচিতে বাধছিল বইকি, কিন্তু মনে পড়ল দুর্দিনে ব্যাথা ব্যাদনা শেয়ার করলে নাকি কষ্ট থেকে তাড়াতাড়ি সুরহা মেলে, তাই পোস্ট করলাম

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The third person

The wife just finished her morning bath. Traditionally dressed in a sari, getting ready for the Puja, carefully applying the Sindoor on her forehead. For some unknown reason, her hands are shaking, she is restless, is there anything to fear? is anything unusual? 

A car just reached the house. Comes out a girl, modernly dressed in a nicely cut jeans. The door bell rings and suddenly she drops the Sindoor box on the floor by mistake. Is it a sign of misfortune? Who has come? Wife slowly opens the door, the husband also accompanies soon. It turns out the guest is an old college friend of the husband. 

Every one comes inside. Wife slightly pushes the husband to a corner, "Did she study with you in the college"? "Yes", the husband replies, "we were very close friends". "But I have never heard of her, you told about all your other friends, not about her"!!, wife is surprised. An aunty from a distant relation joins the discussion from the other corner, "Can everything from the college life be shared" & she winks. 

This is the story on the other side. On this side, the husband, sitting on the sofa & smiling from the corner of one eye looking at the wife. Wife is angry, visibly disappointed with the sudden appearance of that college friend. A pillow fight starts, followed by a loud laughter. Suddenly Muntasir(our son) comes running "Ammu, ammu ki hoyeche (Mother, what happened)"? 

Watching TV serial once in a while is a very good stress buster...

Friday, March 28, 2014

Food Review: Khaa Ke Dekh (Hyderabad)

As soon as we entered, the aroma of the traditional Kolkata biriyani just engulfed us. We tried mutton & chicken biryani, roti & mutton pasinda. The biriyani had all the original flavour(yes the potatoes, the integral part of Kolkata biriyani was present!!), the mutton was so soft that it just melted inside my mouth. The quantity of a single plate biriyani & the chicken/mutton sizes were not what you would get in an usual Hyderabadi biriyani, but it is sufficient for a single person.

Few areas of improvements include either increase the chicken/mutton size in the biriyani or reduce the price even lower, more structured service(e.g. I was not given the raita & the salon).

This place is NOT for you
- If you are looking for a swanky restaurant with good spacious ambiance, it is not. Don't plan to take your office client there.
- If you are very much reserved about south Indian style, please avoid.

This is a must try for you
- If you want to enjoy very good food with reasonable price with friends/family
- If you are craving for a Kolkata style biriyani in Hyderabad, it's must for you.

Also, it is good to keep in mind that in the same price, you would get almost the double quantity of Hyderabadi biriyani in any biryani joint in Hyderabad. Hyderabadi biriyanis typically have less flavour (fragrance of Ghee, spices etc.) compared to Kolkata biryani. So, don't go for comparison, it's not apple vs. apple. But as far as the authentic taste, fragrance, flavours of a Kolkata biriyani is concerned, this place has all of them.

Food: 4/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Service: 3/5
VFM: 3/5

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Unity in Diversity: a Reality or a Myth

This post was selected by BlogAdda for Tuesday Pick. This was originally posted in Another blog of mine. I am moving it here to consolidate all my blog posts on this blog only from henceforth..

During my childhood, I first met India through these three words, "Unity in Diversity". That in spite of our religious,cultural,linguistic and so many other differences, we are one unique nation. Then during my formative years, I realized the inner significance of those three words, it was not easy to earn our independence with so many differences & still being united, a stupendous task fighting hand in hand against the British in spite of religious differences at a time, where still in many parts of India a Hindu could not drink a glass of water at a Muslim's house and vice versa, an unbelievable achievement where each individual, each group, each states had its share of problems still the cause of the nation stood bigger than everything else.That was indeed "Unity in Diversity".

Now after knowing my India for about more than 2 decades (even though I am 30, but leaving the initial 10 years) I often wonder why India is where it is today. Ask any one from 'mango people'(Am janta) to the intellects to the privileged one and there is no dearth of reasons for the wretched condition India is today & my apparent answers are also the same. But is it really so? If it's size and population, China is ahead of us, if 60 years of independence too short, South Korea was independent in 1945, Malaysia in 1957,UAE in 1971, if it's politicians, we choose them, if sluggish and corrupt govt officials, then I am sure some of them are our close relatives/acquaintances and did we ever protest? NO!!! Therefore, for every reasons we have, we have a counter argument, too and that convinces me enough to believe that these reasons are just not enough, there is something else beneath.

So, let's see in stead of talking non-stop about the problems, if we set out to solve it, whether that leads us to the devil which is causing India so much pain. And just for the sake of comparison, if i want my India to be the USA, where are the difficulties. Now I sincerely believe, for every nation to progress further, there should be one nerve bonding every single individual. One cause above every other small individual interests & I guess that is missing here.If you don't feel brotherhood, at least don't feel divided. An American from California does not feel difference from his fellow countrymen from Florida the way a Punjabi feels from a Tamil, just because they speak two different languages.'Where(which state) are you from?' I have hardly heard this in US whereas it is such a common question here whenever we are meeting an unknown.Development is up most important there, a road will be built if it has to be built.Here a road will only be built, if there is no Mandir or Masjid,if the land does not belong to people supporting a particular political party.There not too many political parties exist and they talk about real issues, here we always suspect people from other community, other state and that's why so many parties, and without any real agenda, they always have people base.These parties only help keeping those disruptive sentiments alive because that provides their bread and butter.And I can go on and on about this.

We human beings, like any other living creatures are selfish by nature, nothing wrong. I love me, my family, my near and dear ones. Then is it not natural that I love my mother tongue more than other language? If it was Hindi or something else but only one for every Indian, we would have felt less divided. We have often seen two educated, cultured Bengali talking in Bengali completely ignoring the presence of a third non-Bengali speaking person in official discussion in our corporate offices (Being a Bengali, I dared to take them here, but it is prevalent among all).The same two Bengali wouldn't dare to speak a single Bengali word in the presence of their foreign colleagues in foreign countries.If we did not have so much diversified food habit,I would be less hesitant to stay in Chennai and same for a Keralites in Punjab.I do not deny the variety of food we taste, the various festival we celebrate, hardly any one experience the same in any other country.But beneath underline somewhere, does it make us more attached to our homeland which is our state and not the country.We all know that if everyone does his part,takes care of their own panchayat, village, municipality, state the problem will be solved. But being such a diverse country, conflicts arise and soon we forget about the country and think only about us, our state, our language, our religion.

More often that not, we are asked to use our vote to curb all the problems we face.But when we vote, don't we vote more for the local causes than the national issues? Do you think a sincere and honest central minister would easily win the next election if he does more development in other than his home states, even if those states genuinely required it from his department?

The diversity is an integral part of India but the unity seems to be fading with each passing day.As a whole,anyway we are gradually becoming narrower, more happily living in our small corners blinding ourselves from the rest and this is worsening the situation.I wish we had leaders who could have again bonded us with the single chord like they did in pre-independence.The future looks bleak & I earnestly want but can't see a bright sunshine. Everyday I hope for miracles, may be with "bhagaban bharase", we will rise again. But then GOD helps them who helps themselves. How? Does anyone have an answer?

P.S. #1. I am very well aware of the problem USA has, I have mentioned them just for comparison purpose from development perspective.
#2. The examples I have cited above are purely my personal experiences.
#3. Most importantly, I know this post is highly debatable, so please share your thoughts without hesitation, even if not a single person agree with me, I don't mind. These cluster of thoughts were roaming in my mind for some time, and this post is primarily to clarify my own doubts.So, your honest opinion is sincerely appreciated :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...