Friday, 17 November 2017

Delicacy without borders

Delicacy without borders

Bengal has been granted the GI (Geographical Indication) for Rasgulla, by the Indian Government and the mercurial Chief Minister is ecstatic. Bengal’s gain is Orissa’s loss.

It all started in 2015 when Orissa celebrated the “Rasgulla divas” with huge fanfare but all hell broke lose in Bengal. It was as if a calamity had fallen on Bengali Bhadralok. After all it was their culinary symbol.

And like it happens for all things Indian, a committee was appointed to look into each state’s claim. And contrary to any other such committee, a decision was arrived at, within a short span of 2 years.

What about its equally mouth watering cousin, the Gulab Jamun. If Rasgulla is the fair and demure bride, then the Gulab Jamun is the dusky seductress. You eat one, you feel like eating all. Which state, you ask? Whichever it is, eat first, debate later.

And where Indian sweets are concerned, how can one forget the Jalebi. Known to originate in Persia, where it was known as Zolbia, Indians just love this exquisitely sweet delicacy.

Poha or Pohe, flattened and dried rice flakes, is another such delicacy, which is eaten across most Indian states. But it enjoys a pride of place on a Maharashtrian or Malwa breakfast plate. How can you grant it a GI status and to which state?

Same is the case with idli, Wada and dosa. Though popular as a South Indian breakfast, they became famous across India due to proliferation of Udupi restaurants everywhere. In North India, idli became famous as idli chaat and idli fry. Then somebody added ginger and garlic to the fried idli, and Lo and behold! A Chinese idli was born.

Next comes Batata wada and Misal, I already see a few readers making a rush towards the nearest eatery serving these. Both have the ability to make your mouth water and your stomach run. If South India had the breakfast food, Maharashtra had these fast food. GI is not required to stress their Maharashtrian origins. It can be safely said, the common man survives on this staple diet in all cities of Maharashtra.
Indians love the samosa too. Again, it originated in the Middle East. Known as samusaj in Arabia and Sanbosag in Persia, it is a fried dish with filling of meat, onion, ghee, lentils but its vegetarian avatar was what enticed the Indian populace.

The kachori is a similar stuffed delicacy, and many local varieties are enjoyed in the North Indian states, especially Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and the western state of Gujarat. In Maharashtra, the Shegaon Kachori is ISO Certified!

Then there are so many chaats like sev puri, sev batata puri, ragda patis, et al; why bother about the origin when the destination is the human stomach, via the taste buds of the tongue.

Yatindra Tawde

Monday, 23 October 2017

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Cashify - A boon for selling old electronics


I work in the Sales field in my professional capacity. But at home I report to the High Command, who plays the role of my wife. Usually, where the home front is concerned, she is the boss. She likes to make all the daily, or rather weekly purchases of all things needed for domestic consumption. Since we both work, the purchases have to be weekly. After all these years, she is an authority on the weekly consumption of the family. So the vegetables, groceries, et al, are all measured to the exact decimal grams. But this walking talking computer is not interested in buying anything electronic. So, whether it is buying of Mobile phones, TV’s, laptops or tablets, she is not at all interested. Yours truly is the King of the house where electronics is concerned.
 
But these electronics come with an expiry date, due to newer and newer updates and due to the rapid advancements in technology, especially in case of smartphones, tablets and laptops. Over a period of time, they become slow and outdated, in which case you have to get rid of them, so that you can covet the latest. Actually that too is one of the dictates of the High Command; “you cannot covet the new, unless the old is out of the house”.

 

One of the easiest way to get rid of the old smartphone is to ‘lose’ it, either in a mall or a train or some other such crowded place. But I refrain from taking such shortcuts. I try to get rid of it by honest means; I try to sell it.

 

Once I tried to sell off one of the old smartphones of a leading brand, which, once upon a time, was in the top three in India. I went from one mobile shop to another, but the offers never went beyond three digits. I was told that this phone had become obsolete. As if I didn’t know? Did I not want to sell it off, for that very reason? But three digits! That’s ridiculous! When I mentioned this to one of the shopkeepers, he insulted me by saying, “This is only worth two digits, bhalayee ka zamana hi nahi raha”. And he almost shooed me away. I tried to sell it to one of our servants, but she giggled hysterically on taking one look at the phone, saying “who will buy such phones now”…and went away. On top of that, High Command, “one simple task you cannot do properly”

 

With downcast eyes, I went and sat in the hall. Seeing my pitiable condition, my daughter asked me what the matter was.

 

After much pushing and prodding, I divulged the reason for my foul mood to her, blessed soul. After hearing me through, my daughter laughed and exclaimed, “But papa, why did you not tell me earlier. The solution was in our own house”. Saying this, she rushed into her room and came back with her own smartphone. “No, no. I am not going to sell your phone now. One is enough for me to sale”. As soon as I said this, she laughed heartily, and said, “No papa. See this awesome app on my phone. It is the Cashify App. There is even a Cashify website for it from where you can download the app.
 


This is the most user friendly and very convenient app and let me tell you, I got a very good bargain for my old laptop on this very app”.

 

That piece of news perked up my ears and I asked, “But how does it work?”. So for the next few minutes my daughter handheld me through the working of the app. And let me tell you guys, the Cashify App is awesome to get the best bargains for the product you want to get rid off. It’s as easy as #CleanUpCashOut. I certainly did and was given full marks by the High Command.

 

You just have to feed in the details of the device like :
what make,
what age,
current condition, etc. and the App offers the best selling price.
Once you accept, the App arranges free pickup. What’s more, you can even select the payment mode, ranging from cash on pickup to any other payment mode of your choice.


Have a look at this,
 

So guys, what are you waiting for? Here is the coupon code CLEANCASH just for you which will get you additional Rs. 250  on the sale of your gadget. Isn't that awesome?

 

Download the Cashify App and live happily ever after with your High Command.

Mumbai-Goa Highway??

Mumbai-Goa Highway

Only the most foolish would call the Mumbai-Goa road, a highway, such is the condition, especially from Panvel, via Karnala Bird Sanctuary, through Pen and  Wadkhal Naka, and beyond, and it is not till you cross the Sukeli Khind , that you will encounter decent roads. Is such deplorable condition of the so-called highway, the result of heavy rains or is the reason anything else?

Of course, the unusually heavy and prolonged rainfall has contributed to such a condition of the road, but the unwillingness to periodically repair the roads is downright criminal, to say the least. And the accidents which are caused by drivers and riders trying to manoeuvre through the mess are very conveniently blamed on the hapless drivers themselves.

You will notice that I mentioned Panvel first; well that is because I have given up on whoever is in charge of maintaining Mumbai roads. I am a part of the legendary Mumbai spirit, which faces all obstacles throughout the day, with a forced smile on the face and prayers in the heart. This Mumbai spirit is the sum total of earning the daily bread, day after day, month after month, year after year. From this daily bread earned, the taxes are paid, which allegedly are supposed to provide for the most basic of amenities. But where the taxes end up, only God knows. There was a time when some tragedy in some service, kick started the process of improvement in the service, but nowadays even tragic stampedes fall short. So I have given up, like so many other denizens of Mumbai.

I was very fortunate to be one of the first in the world to time travel. Yes, I had traveled back in time to, maybe, before Indus Valley civilisation, when the roads for bullock cart were just being laid. I have heard from my elders that even a one hour bullock cart ride was enough to search for your fallen bones. I felt the same way in my car. I know, many people will jump on this above sentence to say that my car itself is rickety, just like they said that it was the passengers themselves who caused the bout of runny stomachs on a recently introduced ‘Shiny’ Express train!

Coming back to time travel, I have read somewhere that the Rulers of the Indus Valley civilisation spoiled their citizens by giving them wide avenues for roads, lined by shade giving trees on both sides of the road. It is a pity that we citizens still expect to be mollycoddled after all these centuries, while the Rulers have moved on. I am reminded of a movie which I had seen, where the participants of a game show, are made to try out more and more dangerous tasks which were fatal too, while the people who run the show laugh all the way to the bank. Here too, someone somewhere is laughing all the way to riches, while us, the common denizens, struggle on the most basic tasks like traveling from one place to another.

If not the time travel to so many centuries ago, at least we have traveled back to the time when the only means of travel to the Kokan area from Mumbai was the humble boat, which took 8-10 hours to make the trip. Now the road trip takes more time. And just like the people on a boat tossed and turned with the waves and suffered from motion sickness, the recent road trips on this ‘highway’ are a similar challenge. You are thrown from one corner of the car to another due to the wavy road profile as well as the driver’s struggle to find reasonably flat road, negotiating the car through huge holes of varying diameters and depths. And this complex non-harmonic motion induces motion sickness in the occupants of the cars. I am sure that the most sturdy of the off-roader 4-wheel drives, will break down on this ‘highway’. And while you are negotiating through the obstacles at @20 km/hr., which might be slower than the humble bullock cart, there are regular signs of modernity on the road, in the form of speed breakers!

I hope and pray that the powers that be, start traveling by roads, since that remains the only chance of some semblance of improvement being imparted to the humble roads. Traveling by roads, especially this ‘highway’, is when I regret the re-discovery of air travel by us, humans.

Yatindra Tawde

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Garba Trends

It’s that time of the year…when we dance the night away for nine continuous nights, Navratri, by doing the Garba. The gaiety and the enjoyment cannot be matched by any dance pub, disco or rock concert. In fact the comparison is sacrilegious, it is beyond compare. Every year new trends arise in Garba, someone or the other will try to introduce new concepts to banish the boredom which might arise, if the same old routine is followed year after year. So what are the trends this year? Let’s see what I have observed so far…

The Rain Garba – the Navratri this year started under a cloud, or rather a cloud burst. So the enthusiastic Garba denizens rushed to buy raincoats of all colours. After all, the main feature of Navratri is the celebration of different colours on each day. So we had the ladies put their best raincoats forward, and dance away the night in fervour.

The Swimming pool Garba – The other day, I was surprised to see a unique Garba on the social media. The ladies were dancing away, but not on firm ground, but in a swimming pool. Perhaps they were missing the rains! So there was lot of splashing of water and Garba in slow motion. So much for uniqueness.

The Train Garba – Trust the ladies of Mumbai to start a Garba in the unlikeliest of places. So you have 10 ladies go around in circles with the grace of ballet dancers, in the confined space near the local train doorway, with somebody’s mobile belting out the latest trending songs. You have to see the sheer enthusiasm on the faces of ladies to believe it! After all, most of you must be aware of the rush during the mad hours of the mornings and evenings, in the lifelines of Aamchi Mumbai.

The Salsa Garba – The Salsa originated in the Caribbean but found its soulmate in Garba this year. So it’s the trending dance form this year across cities in western India, from Mumbai to Aapro Ahmedabad.

Yatindra Tawde

Friday, 15 September 2017

Royale Atmos by Asian Paints - A Game Changer in Indoor Paints






A restaurant in a neighbouring country started charging its customers for the air they breathe inside the restaurant. There was a huge hue and cry against this and finally the government stepped in and asked it to stop charging for the air. The reasoning put forth by the restaurant was that it had invested in an expensive air filtration system for the benefit of its valued customers and they were recovering the cost from the customers. Coming to think about it, does this news denote the progress made by man! 
First man was a hunter gatherer and he used to kill or grow his own food and this was his daily routine. But then he grew ambitious and compartmentalized his activities, and food growing or gathering activity was allocated to a few, and other men started paying them for food.  Water was freely available, whether from rivers or lakes. Then the cities started growing and it became more and more difficult for man to manage all activities requiring water, from only one source. Hence alternate sources were created by means of dams or reservoirs and for bringing this water to the cities, pipelines were laid. All this required resources and man started paying for water.
Now Man has struggled a lot and has put in great efforts, to ensure that the air he breathes is also made as polluted as possible. For this you don’t have to step out of the house. The house that you live in or the Office where you work, are polluted too. There are many different types of air pollutants inside any house.
  1. Most of today’s furniture is made by using pressed wood and laminates. For binding these, resins are used which contain Formaldehyde, which has a distinct pungent smell. At room temperature, it emits a gas which causes irritation of the eyes, nose & throat, coughing and fatigue. At high density, it can cause cancer too. It can be kept in check by reducing the humidity by means of exhaust fans and moderating the temperature.
  2. In today’s age, there are many gadgets like printers, photo-copiers, marker pens and certain building material as well as many fluids like common cleaning solutions and pesticides, which contribute Organic gases. These Organic gases can affect humans by causing same effects like Formaldehyde. Try to store these in clearly demarcated areas, far from your sleeping and sitting areas. Also don’t buy these in huge numbers.
  3. You may think Carbon Monoxide, that poisonous gas, is only limited to roads but how wrong you are. Gas burners, chimneys and stoves contribute Carbon Monoxide too, and this can kill if the ventilation is not proper. And in small quantities, it can make you feel sluggish, lethargic and can cause headaches. To reduce this gas, exhaust fan is the answer.
  4. You and your pets are but a mass of cells, which die quite rapidly. These dead cells are shed, which remain inside your house and whenever you breathe, these can enter your respiratory system. In addition to this, if there is excess moisture, it can result into mold and mildew. All this causes havoc with your body causing asthma, fevers and respiratory diseases. And if there are smokers in the house, the secondhand smoke is a killer. Keep your home clean by daily cleaning and wiping with wet cloth.
  5. And the cherry on top are the AC’s which for today’s generation are a must. AC’s keep circulating all the above pollutants throughout the house or office to affect all inhabitants uniformly. Centralised AC’s preferred in Office areas are a nuisance since they can carry the localised pollutants over a larger area. To reduce their effect, regularly open the locked windows so that fresh air can enter.
The pioneers at one of India’s largest Paint Company, Asian Paints, put in long years of research to come out with a solution to overcome these very problems highlighted above. And finally they are ready. Royale Atmos is a first of its kind paint that not only looks beautiful, but also cleans the air, making it purer than before. It reduces formaldehyde, one of the above dangerous pollutants. It absorbs other household foul smells, improving the air quality inside. Not only that, it’s game changer or its Value Proposition, that it releases a pleasant fragrance. The normal chemical smell associated with paints, is hit for a six out of the ground, to be replaced by the serene fragrance. Its Activated Carbon Technology is a revolutionary development which helps Royale Atmos in purifying the Indoor Air, whether in an office or at home.
And all this is capture very beautifully here https://www.asianpaints.com/atmos , which will also enable you to order Royale Atmos for your valued dwelling. To top it all, its Brand Ambassador is the Vivacious and Charming, Deepika Padukone, who herself comes as a breath of fresh air with her dimpled smile and twinkling eyes.



The Fine

The city; Chennai. A bus conductor is fined for not doing his duties. Now what are the duties of a bus conductor. To dispense tickets to the passengers, maybe help them sometimes, help the driver when reversing, so on and so forth. But this particular conductor did all these tasks perfectly. Then why was he fined. You won’t believe it, he was fined due to that common pest, a puny pigeon. Read on...

It so happened that a drunk got on the bus. Being a good citizen, he swayed down the aisle towards the conductor to get his ticket. The conductor, being a very compassionate person, first asked the drunkard to sit. The drunk plonked himself in a window seat, perhaps expecting himself to puke the excess alcohol, directly outside the bus. See, how concerned he was about his fellow passengers. The conductor gave him a ticket dutifully; and that’s when his troubles started. The drunkard started making cooing noises; the other passengers withdrew from him, perhaps expecting him to puke. But no, the other denizen of the world, which excels in cooing, joined him on a window grill. Yes, a pigeon made itself comfortable on a perch outside the window. For the next 20 minutes the other passengers were treated to a show of PDA between the drunkard and the bird. The drunkard used to hold a few nuggets of food in his mouth, which the pigeon picked with its beak. And so it went on for some time, when a bus ticket inspector came in for inspection of the passengers tickets. And when he saw this spectacle, he asked the drunkard for the tickets. The drunkard produced one ticket in a jiffy since he was so civic minded. But the inspector loitered in front of the drunkard, expecting him to produce a ticket for the pigeon. Yes! A ticket for the pigeon, since they also charge the animals boarding the bus. But in vain. Finally he summoned the conductor, who told him that the pigeon was taking a ride on the outside and it was not accompanying the drunkard. But observing the PDA between the bird and the birdbrain, the disbelieving inspector fined the conductor for dereliction of duty. Alas! One more human victim of that pest, called a pigeon, had fallen by the wayside.

Yatindra Tawde

Mumbai - 2025

Mumbai - 2025 I am wandering through the lanes of my place of birth, Dadar, getting nostalgic about the days gone by. Hindu colony and my ...