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Thursday, November 19, 2009

FIFA World Cup Football 2010 Preview :-)

Football or 'Soccer' as it is called in Europe has always been my favourite sport :-).....I cannot recall the number of sleepless nights I've spent watching this sport on TV back in India. I still remember how I used to write daily updates on all the matches of FIFA 2006 World Cup and send it to everyone on my mailing list irrespective of whether they loved the game or not ;-). In fact so many of my friends who've been cricket fans ended up watching soccer too out of the curiosity & excitement I created for the game! Little wonder then that I promise I'll continue in the same fervour for FIFA World Cup Football 2010.

Soccer remains special to me for I started writing a blog exclusively for soccer! If you've noticed, most of my archives under the sports label would be on soccer :-). I credit this game for the expansion of my blog & my writing skills. Maybe I would've turned into a sports columnist had it not been for people who advised me to write on other stuff too coz they thought I wrote good! I'm humbled & overwhelmed, thank you but I'm still a novice! I assure you, I wouldn't disappoint you...I exist because of lovely readers like you!

Cricket has always been a major hit with Indians and to this day, we see ourselves connecting with the game in a way no other sport can boast of! Yet, the fan base for soccer is increasing day by day...thanks to some brilliant League Championships & high profile player bidding! We all know how IPL was formed on the lines of EPL and what a huge hit it was! So in a way, soccer did influence the birth of T-20 IPL!

Cricket or Soccer, Tennis or Formula-1....sports has the ability to enchant any kind of audience....from a toddler to a veteran, sports connects us all! Three Cheers! :-)

Yes, the last 6 spots have been taken for the FIFA 2010 World Cup Football! The whole world is looking forward to an exciting face off between some of the best teams in the world as they play it out to gain a glory that every champion dreams of!


For more details, visit the link below:

Football World Cup lineup decided as last 6 spots taken: "CELEBRATING: Portugal's Meireles celebrates after scoring against Bosnia during their qualifying soccer match.

Monday, November 16, 2009

NDTV Social: Home Page

NDTV Social: Home Page

Friday, November 13, 2009

To Be or Not to Be!

Most of us might have seen CNN flash news of the shoot out at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood , United States Military base at Texas on 5th Nov 2009. This army officer i.e a US Army Major killed around 13 people and ended up injuring another 30 of them. Horrifying!
(For more: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/11/12/fort.hood.wounded.soldier/index.html )

This whole incident is terribly sad. Imagine what must have gone through the minds of the soldiers who died in the shoot-out: 'Hey this is one of our own guys, how could he????'. They must have never imagined what was in store for them. The guy has done the damage & whether he is punished or freed, why he did it etc etc only further investigation will tell. Whatever the reason may be, killing innocent people is just not acceptable. He has destroyed so many lives associated with the ones killed in the process! Its extremely agonizing!

The other day I was watching the memorial service for all the people who lost their lives in this shoot out and it made me wonder: How long will such kind of killings continue? Don't the killers realize these families are destroyed?  No amount of sympathy or money will ever replace their loved ones. Their lives are changed forever!

I read somewhere in the aftermath of these attacks that men who return from the military invariably become weak psychologically, total lunatics as they start seeing themselves as murderers who are authorized to kill. They kill in cold freezing blood for their countries demand it! Terrible but true!
War & Hate always beget War & Hate and its high time we all realized it!

USA changed after 9/11 just like how India changed after Kargil. And this change of theirs has changed how people are looked at or treat each other entirely. Now after these attacks, there are so many questions on why he did it? Some attribute it to the fact that he did it because ever since 9/11, his ethnicity was under suspicion. Others say he was transferred to Iraq and he wanted to get out of the army and so he did it. People may have thousands of questions for him once he wakes up from his coma as to why he did it? But will his answer bring about any change in the way the world operates? I doubt it!

This will go the same route too. Another Man->Another Case-> Investigate-> Relate it to all possible scenarios happening in every part of the world-> Public Appeal to Punish->Court Appeal to follow the law->Acquit or Convict->Case Close.
Bottomline: Lesson Learned: NONE!

Few questions popped up in my mind after this incident:

  • What makes people do what they do? 
  • Why do they do it?
  • What does it beget?
  • Is there a deeper trouble here than what we see? Psychological? Environmental? 
  • What war does to people?
  • Is one war an answer to another?
  • Will this ever end?
  • Terrorism or Hate? Bombs or Knives? Guns or Poison? Aren't they all the same? Aren't they all responsible for the destruction of humanity?
Well, I don't have answers in the literal sense to these questions. If there is one thing I know and if there is one thing I always wished everybody knew, that would be: No amount of hatred, intolerance or terrorism would be the end to the miseries of this world. Violence always begets violence. But again to be tolerant or not is in itself a paradox! My two examples below: USA & India

USA might not be tolerant but India is, some say it is good cause we do not want to go to war, some say it is bad for our silence is what that is killing more and more people everyday.

For those who say we shouldn't be tolerant? USA is an example. They bombarded Iraq in the name of nuclear weapons and to this day, has it really ended? They ended up awaking more otherwise innocent people in taking up war just to avenge Iraq. For all their good intention of ending terror, it might just backlash & create more havoc in the world!

For those who say we should be tolerant? India is an example. We have been tolerant since ages on issues like our prized Jammu & Kashmir, our neighbours continuing to cause unrest in our country, terror attacks, massive killing sprees, hostage dramas etc,we have seen it all. We have lost more lives than any other country & continue to lose lives everyday! Cause for this: Our Tolerance.
We come from the land of the Mahatma & we are supposed to follow his ideals of peace & Ahimsa i.e Non-Violence but where has it taken us? Even today, after more than 50 years of our independence, we are still fighting against the same issues everyday!

So war or no war? Tolerance or no tolerance? Love for Hate? or Hate for Hate? What EXACTLY do we need to make this world a better place to live in? To be honest, I don't know! I have no answers. No religion or science preaches killing people & no man is good or bad, it is always education & circumstances that make him so! The sooner we all realize this, the faster we can get our world back in the right order!

In the words of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of E-Bay:
" Every man is good & if given a chance to do good, he always will"

Miracles or no miracles, may the world be blessed with peace!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Does God Exist-Some food for thought!

I feel strongly about so many things I come across that sometimes it becomes difficult for me to try & focus! So I took the easy way out. I asked my buddy 'Ok tell me what do you want me to write on today'? He says 'Does God exist'?

I was like...whoaaahhh, hang on a sec, did I really think I would be able to write on a subject that has been debated for millions of years, a subject which has mankind still undecided! A subject too broad or very difficult to answer, a subject so abstract that even a single line of thought is difficult to prove/disapprove!

I think I am too young to be talking about a subject at which I may be a novice. But well, aren't we all novices in one subject or the other? No harm in trying right? :-). Do you know the best way to understand or learn something about a subject? Talk to people! Sounds simple, isn't it? Trust me, it is that simple.

Everyone around you has something to say & in no time you would have 1000 different opinions, things you alone might have never thought of! Now isn't that a simple effort with rich rewards? You're not only learning more but in the process, you made them THINK!

Here are a few interesting answers I got from my friends on the question  'Who is God & does He exist'?
**********************************************************************************
SIVA: God is shape less... colourless.. religionless...he / she is invisible. There is only one God .We can feel GOD...
        
AK:  WHO IS GOD? An invisible entity that we have named to comfort our selves? We all circle towards God when we have pain, agony, happiness, need, greed and deprivation. We don’t know whether it is male or female, living or eternal. But we all believe of some being that controls the world around us. GOD controls the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat.

We as a human race believe in relative measures in our thoughts. We intend to submit our selves in a greater power than us. It is always a lopsided view of things that gets to us. It gives comfort to humans to believe in this great power that has written a destiny for each and every living individual on this planet and may be beyond. GOD IS A METAPHOR !!!!


GAGS: God for me is nothing but a supreme power which I know exists but has not been seen. I have felt its existence at time but as I am a man of science so I believe in what I see...I don't believe there is God in temples or mosques...but it is the faith that drags them to the holy places...so for me God is Faith!
**********************************************************************************
Well said people! As far as I know these are three different people with three different personalities in no way similar to each other but yet if you look closely, all three of them are essentially saying the same thing! Isn't it interesting? Or rather weird that no matter how different we think or act, when it comes to God...somewhere, somehow we all agree that he exists! Now the words above may suggest different things to different people but they are all reflecting one basic thought 'Yes, God Exists!'

Yes, God Exists! He is not in temples, mosques or churches! He is not in the idols you see or worship. He has no gender (I know I'm referring to him as a 'He', makes it simpler for me to write the post with a 'He' than a 'It' :-)). He cannot be defined because for every being that exists on earth, he means something different!

To me, God is a power that controls everything we see around us. An 'Energy' that surrounds us in every walk of life. God is what you believe he/she is. Places of Worship like temples, mosques or churches are just man's ways of reaching out to him. Something so abstract cannot be worshipped right? So man made idols or places of worship in how he saw it. God is not bound by religion or class, rich or poor, good or bad! God is God!

He exists within you, around you, in everything you do, feel or touch!

Men of Science say that behind every thing that happens on earth, there is a a cause or effect! What you see is what you believe? So who gave us the power to believe what we see? Who gave us the power to judge if something is right or wrong? Yes, education taught us morals but relative to what? Isn't everything on earth relative to one another? You need something to compare it to something else. There is no thing called 'ABSOLUTE' on earth!

Physics taught us 'Nothing can be created or destroyed, it can only be converted'! But something had to exist to get converted to, something had to be present for us to draw conclusions about, something was responsible for every other thing on earth which we beings have no control over!

Atheists may say God does not exist because he is intangible! Who says we need to touch or sense or feel to realize the power that controls this universe? You just need to look around you, its all there in the form of creation! Its simple really. What you see around you itself is God! When one says he/she does not believe in God, they are simply saying they do not acknowledge their existence in this universe cause they don't see him! But don't you think by saying you don't believe in him is in itself an example of your mind being able to think the way it does! Its simple, ain't it?

God may be a Faith, a Force, An Energy, An Invisible entity or Power! Its what you think He is! Its how you think He is & thats exactly what He is!

PS: Thanks Gags for suggesting this topic & your thoughts. You actually made me think about this like I've never thought of before! Thanks AK & Siva for your beautiful thoughts. Thanks for your time.God Bless.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Irresponsibility Again -Media, Are you listening?

'Duke Of  Hazard strikes again' screamed the headlines of the famous Britain Daily newspaper 'The Sun'. It reported that Prince Philip of England, the Queen's better half  had insulted the Patel Community in England when he remarked 'There's lot of your family in tonight' to Business Chief Atul Patel at a Buckingham Palace reception for British Indians to celebrate the state visit to Britain by The President Of India.
(Source: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/royals/2700630/Prince-Philip-makes-a-joke-about-the-Indian-name-Patel.html)

Good ol' Lord, what is happening to our people? Have we lost the ability to appreciate humour, by large a seemingly harmless one! The Sun further went on to add that this joke appeared to suggest that all Patels are related. Did the correspondent really think the Prince was thinking all that while harmlessly greeting someone. C'mon Sun, give the old man a break! It's very obvious he meant no vice or harm!

Media, get a grip! You exist because of the normal public. You exist because we expect you to give us sensible reporting. C'mon you have the power to almost make or break a nation, do not sensationalize trivial things like this!

  • Do you really understand the significance of the information you pass onto billions of readers? 
  • Do you realize the huge responsibility that is vested upon you to ensure that international relations are in good shape? 
  • Do you realize that due to one single mistake of yours, you can actually turn the entire human mankind against one and another? 
  • Do you realize you hold the reins to peace in the world? Leaders will always be there but its you who share an equal responsibility in ensuring thy are doing their job well
  • Don't you think its high time you break out of the 'Breaking News' or 'Glossy pretentious Headlines' category by being more responsible in giving us better content?
I know there is competition among you guys as to who has more readership or who makes the most money, infact its all commercial interests, TRPs being the biggest draw for you but to falsely misuse the power given to you just for TRPs is not fair.

Well, there might be critics who think that its we, the readers or viewers who crave for such sensationalizing news but c'mon if you find such kind of people on one side of the coin, you will also find the more serious kind of audience on the other side who believe in ethical reporting.

'So what if we did it, so is everyone else?' might be your line of argument but if one of you takes the lead, days will not be far when everyone will follow. When the democracy trusts you to be responsible & gives you a free rein to report in your own way, don't you think you need to respect that & reciprocate similarly?

Its not difficult for the democracy i.e people like us to raise an objection & have the government put a stop to this by dissolving you of this power. One fine day, all the privileges might just be taken away from you & you might be forced to report under stringent rules & guidelines like how we have in some of the communist or under-developed countries. In other words, the government might just rule your content.Would you like that? Think about it!

When the politicians or leaders or the government intervenes to put a hold on anything you might have done unscrupulously, you make a big hue & cry about not being able to report unbiased, about not being given a free rein or being suppressed. That time your conscience suddenly awakens & you remember the definition of 'Democracy' just like how you were taught about it in 4th grade! And what do you do? You protest about Right Of Information? Duhhhhh!!!!

Nobody stops you from doing your job but do it with certain amount of responsibility. If you think, people have the right to know something wrong that you witnessed, go ahead & report it, we will appreciate it & it might even prompt the wrong-doers to put an end to their mis-givings & give us better governance. Just please don't sensationalize irrelevant or innocent stuff like the above example. Your reporting should bring the entire world closer, not drive them apart!

We have more relevant issues to deal with like Development, Infrastructure, Education, Economy, Terrorism etc (Again, do not sensationalize this issue, it only makes the terrorists crave for more media attention!). So its high time you look at the bigger picture & act with ethical conviction & inculcate a sense of moral behaviour!

We love you, make it stay that way!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall in Richmond!

The fall season looks absolutely breath-taking. The leaves turn all kinds of red, yellow, orange....there is a sense of mystery & sereneness all around. The atmosphere looks so beautiful with all the mist & colors around. Planning to visit some places around where I can see the charm of the fall season in all its glory!

Here are some pics I took this morning, have fun! God Bless.




Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paranormal Activity- A Mighty Paradox!

'Paranormal Activity' (referred to as PA in my post henceforth). So what is this movie about?
Here is a one line description about the movie from Twitter: " An ultra low-budget horror film about a couple experiencing demonic forces at night".

Hmmm....now this has been the most discussed film on Twitter right now for the last couple of weeks. This movie supposedly has already crossed $61 million in revenue, an astonishing amount considering it was made for just a $15000. It had a limited release in few theatres initially but later had a through-out US release by Paramount Pictures courtesy: Brilliant Online marketing & a wide buzz on almost every other social network! Twitter tops the list!

As a victim of curiosity, I happened to watch this movie along with my pals. I wanted to know what is it about this movie that has made it a nationwide hit among people. People have been saying things like: The most scary horror movie ever made in Hollywood, resulted in insomnia for some, paranoia for others etc etc. Now I wanted to discover & undergo that chilly experience myself so here I was enthusiastic & waiting to have an amazing experience. The movie started...the first 15 min passed, nothing happened! Next 15 min, still nothing! The remaining time: Nothing, Nothing, Nothing...& finally before I realised what is happening: The movie is over! Over?????? Whoaaa...Are you kidding me Mr. Oren Peli? What were you thinking when you directed this movie?

No offence Mr.Peli, I hated the movie but I certainly salute your guts for having it released!

On second thoughts, I do not blame you. Its us, the normal viewers, the audience who is at fault here. I have a few questions to ask the people who have liked or rather loved this movie:


  1. Is the audience really thinking that holding a handy-cam & roaming around the house shooting two characters constitute a good movie?
  2. People who have said a chill ran down their spine watching this movie, do you even happen to realise how much agony you might have caused to the likes of Stephen King?
  3. If you call this 'Horror' , how about 'The Ring', 'The Omen', 'Hellraiser', 'Friday the 13th','Psycho', 'The Sixth Sense'? Aren't you insulting the cognizant sensibilitites & creative capabilities of makers of brilliant movies like these by calling PA the most scariest movies you've ever seen?
  4. Do you really think the movie had elements of something called 'bone-chilling' moments?
  5. Have you ever learnt the word 'Amateurish' at school?
  6. Are you sure you're not just following the mob-crowd mentality of saying you like something just because others say so?
  7. Are you scared of being in the minority who have said they hated the movie & fear being outcasted for it?
  8. Do you know the definition of horror or have ever watched good horror movies?
  9. Lastly....If PA was good, ARE YOU NUTS????
I appreciate all those people wo have rated the movie for what it is (make sure you check out: http://rottentomatoes.com/ , the reviews are hilarious! :-))
PA is a paradox! The reason I make this statement is:
Its a 'Thumbs Down'
  • For the movie,
  • For the people who loved it
  • For the people who called it a 'Hollywood Classic'
  • For those who insulted all other great horror genre filmakers out there by saying its one of the best!
But its a 'Thumbs up'
  • To the Director Mr. Oren Peli for a brave attempt for making one
  • To the Online Marketing Team for making a hit out of nothing
  • To independent filmakers, because if you have a brilliant script, go ahead & shoot it for it has the potential to be big with the right kind of marketing and you wouldn't have to go to 'Universal' or 'Columbia Pictures or 'Time-Warner Bros' to produce it!
  • To people who have the talent but no budget, if PA could be made on a shoe-string budget of $15000 & made earnings in excess of $61 million, so can your movie!
All said & done, I know I wasted money & time on this one but I have no regrets. It taught me a brilliant lesson:
"Never rely on the sensibilities of the majority, they can sometimes be WRONG too!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Curious Case of "Amari's Prejudice"

'Prejudice', 'Bias', 'Preconception'....No, I ain't rattling off some random words from the dictionary but rather teaching myself how I should not be a victim of these words in the future! I write this post as I just finish watching a Reality Show on American television....

I've always been a lover of the Idiot Box! Since childhood I have always loved the TV! Be it the cartoons while I was a kid, be it the movies & sports while I was growing up or be it the spate of new-age sit-coms or reality shows through my youth, I've loved watching them all. I count myself among the category of people who appreciate good content, originality or for that matter innovative programming. I know most of us do, but in addition to that, I also find myself fascinated with everything that exists on earth & question how everything works the way it works i.e in a word 'Curious' :-). And it is during this stint with TV, that I realised how biased I was! Thanks to the mighty television, I now know :-)

Back home in my country, without a single iota of doubt I believed we had some of the best creative gurus at work on television. Most of the programs that were being churned out caught my imagination.

I was amazed as to how beautifully these shows were being made! Though I did read critics slamming some of them saying that they were a rip-off from shows telecasted in other countries, I didn't pay much attention or rather refused to believe that we were lacking in the area of 'Creative Programming'! My line of argument was simple. 'The shows are 'Inspired' and not a straight 'Rip-Off' so what's wrong with that? See, its ok to be inspired by someone or something, we all at some point in our lives look upto a role model to take us through the path of life, isn't it? So what's wrong? But well, a straight outright copy or rip-off? Isn't that a brilliant medicine for putting our minds to sleep? Yes it is! I believe we are a country of creative brilliance so what happened? Am I being patriotic,fanatic or simply being ignorant? I don't know! An example for television programming, read on....

Column1:The Original
Column 2:The Rip-Off

Celebrity Get me out of here-> Iss Jungle Se Mujhe Bachao
Big Brother-> Big Boss
Megan Wants a Millionaire-> Rakhi Ka Swayamwar
My Antonio-> Splitsvilla
Are you smarter than a 5th Grader-> Kya Aap Panchvi Pass Se Tez Hai
America's Got Talent-> India's Got Talent
American Idol-> Indian Idol
Dancing With the Stars-> Jhalak Diklaa Jaa/ Nach Baliye

etc etc etc....Uffff! I've lost count! There are juz toooo many of them to put them all here!

I never quite took it this way before I watched the originals. Come what may, I usually refuse to believe what I read or what critics say until I take a look myself! For the simple reason that critics are not always fair & all what you read on the net may not be true! I am shocked! For all the great history we have, for all the 1000s of years of civilization, are we making a mockery of ourselves?

We have had some amazing people from various fields of creativity like Satyajit Ray, Bimal Roy, Rithwik Ghatak, MF Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore, Vikram Seth etc who have not only time & again proved their creative brilliance but have also ensured our country got its due share of International Recognition! So what happened along the way????

Have we lost our creativity or the ability to innovate? Are we giving in to commercial interests thereby killing original creativity? Are we simply scared to put our feet into untested waters? Are we victims of TMI i.e Too Much Information at our disposal to actually sit down and think innovative? 'Google' may be the best thing to have happened in a long long time in an era of technological revolution but has this revolution slowed us down in our ability to get curious or work hard to get information by making it so easy to have answers to anything on earth! Yes, No, I don't know! Depends on how we use it for our growth! Like they say 'TMI can either make us or break us'! Lets get the best outta it than allowing it to render our neurons useless!

Now you may ask me why I have such a title for my post? Why I have the word 'Prejudice' out there? Well, before I opened my eyes & ears to what other countries are doing or rather how far ahead they have gone, I thought we were the best! I thought we were unique & did most of the things better than others. I got angry whenever someone had something nice to say about other countries accusing them of not being patriotic. But little did I know 'Patriotism' is not just about loving your country but doing something that stands out! Not saying that we don't have people out there who are accomplishing great stuff but let the numbers increase and that starts with each one of us!

The other developed countries have proved that they are brilliant, the fields may be different for each one of them but they are definitely innovating & coming out with amazing stuff! We are brilliant too, so why copy? Why not learn from the experiences of what it took for them to reach this level & turn around our country too?

My apologies for all the prejudiced, biased, mindless, immature statements I made till now.I realize I need to think more liberal, give credit where it is due, gain more knowledge, and yes, definitely stop being 'Prejudiced'!!!! :-)

So let's get creative folks, for once, why not just 'THINK DIFFERENT'!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dusshera Moment!


A very 'HAPPY DUSSHERA' folks! May the Almighty always bless us with health, wealth and immense prosperity! This is my first Dusshera festival outta India so obviously its gonna take me time to digest the fact that I'll not see the immense fanfare, lights, music and utter chaos everywhere that is normally associated with any festival back in India. India has its own charm, miss it sometimes! Anyways, like always, you wouldn't find me sittin' n broodin' over it , I think I belong to those ilk of people who juz take what comes their way and change it around to suit themselves :-)

We had a wonderful Ayudha Puja yesterday. We bought some lovely flowers, the beautiful Chrysanthemums (seen in the pics here) from a nearby Kroger store & did a puja at home. It was also special coz one of our friend came down from Sterling,VA to visit us. Thanks for comin' Gags! We love you!

We sat up yesterday night watchin' the Hindi movie 'Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena'. It was awesome even though I was watchin' it for the 2nd time. Do watch it folks if you get a chance, its got a nice concept and a catchy plot, definitely worth a watch! As usual I got up late and decided to prepare a sweet. Now I know that wasn't smart of me coz normally a lot of preparation or plannin' goes into preparin' a speciality dish. No doubt a lot of stuff is available on the net 'bout cookin' but well you gotta still prepare it and prepare it right! And the chances of messing it up are higher by a few stakes since you are doin' it for the first time and you might not exactly understand every other piece of info that is out there. And hell....its not easy readin and cookin, I had juz 30 min remember?:-(

Here I was, absolutely clueless of what I was gonna do but since the great declaration was already made, I had to somehow save face or dissolve my ego coz I couldn' accomplish it! The first option sounded better :-)

It is Vijayadashami today, the culimination of the nine nights i.e Navrathri and I realised as to how badly I wanted to make a sweet. As always, my mom is my first saviour! The sweetheart that she is, she keeps givin' me recipes with a lot of patience but I keep forgettin them all the time but somehow this time I remembered this, maybe not completely but juz half part of it and that was the catch! Now there is a sayin' that goes 'Half Knowledge is Dangerous'! Either you know it completely or know nothin' at all. I decided to prepare 'Hesarbele aka Moong Dal Payasam'. I called home to get the complete recipe but nobody was available to take my call so I was back to square one! :-(

And then...bingo! Juz like a lightenin' strikes when we least expect it to, I remembered my second saviour...my pal Preeti and her cookery blog. Now since I'd already decided that I had to make THIS dish itself (its very difficult for someone to change my mind once I decide'bout somethin' ;-) and this case was no exception!), I was desperately hoping her blog had somethin' on this. And to my utter delight...after searching under a few headings...I found the "Parappu Payasam' (its the Tamil name for this dish!). I quickly went through it and realised it was a lil different from how we do it. But guess what? It was enough for me to figure out a solution! I took part of the recipe from her blog and I remembered part of what my mom gave me the & and decided to prepare it the way I wanted to! At this point of time, I didn' wanna think of the consequences of the outcome of this decision but I had made it and at any cost I was gonna make a success outta it! :-)

I went ahead and prepared the payasa ( and well did I mention I was even cookin' Poori and Potato-Peas curry simultaneously as lunch). The Payasa came out awesome, not like how mom prepares it but for a first-timer like me, it was juz fine. I served it to friends. They liked it and it was worth the effort!

Now don't ask me how I managed it coz I'm not patting my back for this Herculean-effort, its no excuse for me havin' gotten up late!...and know what? My heart goes out to my mom and all the moms in this world who have been doin' this for us since we were born! I've now come to truly appreciate all their noble sacrifices and salute the spirit of their inherent virtue of bringing up kids like us with the utmost care and tenderness that we've ever known! Love you loadsssssss mommie, am blessed to have you in my life, God Bless us all! Papa, Sis....I love you all tons too, juz in case I tell it less often!

And Mr.Calvin, do I even need to mention what you mean to me! :-)....I'm sorry for gettin a lil cranky this mornin', I know I'm a lil' difficult to handle at times Thanks for your patience, love ya loads! God Bless us all!

I'll be visitin' the temple this evenin' and probably make somethin sumptuous for dinner too. And well...did I mention, I have a ticket for the Advance Special Screening of the new movie 'Zombieland' tonight :-)
Yipppeeeee.....
Once again, wishin' you all a very HAPPY VIJAYADASHAMI festival....wishin' all of you a wonderful day ahead....
Amen

Cheers,
Amari

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chipotle Crazy....


Does the title of my blog sound intriguin'? Well, I got that nick name yesterday! And well, behind every title, there has to be a story, right? :-)

What is 'Chipotle'? Now ask any desis livin' here at US n they would swear by that very familiar name. It is pronounced as 'Chip-poat-lay', a Mexican food chain, present in almost every city of US. Lot many a reasons for me takin' a liking towards this particular food chain, some of them I can think of right now are....
Well apart from some good Indian restaurants,it gets hard in US to get the kind of food you like here....especially if you are a veggie, you just don have stuff for veggies other than some french fries or potato wedges! Ufff, so tired of potato by now! :-( Am already wincin'!!!!
Now among the ones where u get veg, I tried Thai n Mexican n I must say Mexican took me by surprise. They do have quite a few options for veggies & well so much healthy too....Since am a lil' allergic to too much oil in my food, I find the food I get at Chiptotle well suited for my taste-buds!
Comin' back to the speciality of Chipotle, well most of them have an elegant serene brown filled kind of ambience. Very calmin' n simple! They have a simple menu which mostly consists of rice, tortilla wraps, a combo of salads, chips n some amazin' salsas. Its basically a self-service kinda chain where u have some very gracious ppl makin' the combos for you.
They have this famous dish called 'Burrito Bol' (pronounced as Burrito-bowl) which is so amazin'! Its a very simple dish but tastes like heaven. Its nothin but a combo of Rice, Fajita(pronounced as Fah-ita)-(a capsicum n onion fried combo)& black beans which can be taken with a variety of add-ons like hot or medium salsa, sweet corn, sour cream, tomatoes, cheese n guacamole (a paste kind of stuff made of butter-fruit).  Its so yummmmm....you even have an option of takin the same stuff in a tortilla wrap instead of rice! They do it so well n well its so addictive especially if you are a health conscious person! Not too many calories compared to potatoes n burgers! :-). Ofourse if ur a non-veggie, u can have it with meat add-ons too!
It works for me coz I detest seein oil on my food and most Indians like it for the simple reason that it is tasty n nutritious at the same time! It may not be your regular spicy food, somethin we all desis swear by, but on a lazy weekday or weekend when u don want to cook but still wanna eat somethin' light, Chipotle is the place to go to! Chipotle may not exactly be authentic Mexican but for a food chain, its pretty neat. Someday however I would love to try some authentic Mexican too, maybe I would love it :-)

I'm yet to tell you 'bout the title right? Well I earned that term yesterday from AK when I pestered him to take me to Chipotle to eat Burrito Bol despite him havin already packed a very tasty spicy veggie biryani....can u beat that? I actually traded Biryani for burrito bol! :-) Now well, maybe I was 'chipotle crazy' coz it was the 2nd time in a span of 4 days I wanted to eat it (the last time bein' when were visitin' Orlando n we actually went huntin' there to find Chipotle)...Uffff me n my silly cravings! :-)


I wanna learn how it is prepared at home so that I can have the luxury of makin it at home n eatin' it but well before I learn the recipe am wonderin' how long will this cravin' of minelast! It just might change in a span of couple of days...u never know! Atleast until I come up with a new one! I'm lookin' out for AK to take me to a new place to try out a new dish n well AK already has a 'No, not me n Oh-no, not again' kind of a look!!!! :-)))))

I heard u! Your spared till next weekend, thank me later! :-)

Love,
CC Amari uff Chipotle Crazy Amari

Monday, June 8, 2009

Greatest of 'dem all....

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest of them all?

“Don’t let your demons haunt you Federer, go conquer them…nobody deserves the French Open crown more than you”….this is something I kept repeating to one & all on Sunday before the Men’s singles French Open Final at Roland Garros, Paris, got underway…. Its years now & I’ve always been a Federer fan, be it him winning or going through a lean patch last year, I’ve always believed that here is a man who will create history, his near perfect game of tennis is not something we see everyday!

I had a bet with my folks that Federer would win in straight sets against Robin Soderling, the same guy who thrashed Rafael Nadal on his way to the final….they laughed at me reminding me how Feddy had consecutively lost the last three French Open Finals. I still stood my ground and told them ‘Wait & Watch, nobody can take away this crown from him today’! I normally keep my fingers crossed when I am tensed about something but not on Sunday, I did not cross my fingers for I knew Feddy would win! Something told me that this guy is one of the greatest this game has ever seen, a guy whose class puts all other top-notch players in the shadows, a guy who has proved that grace & humility can still exist in this big bad world of celebrity sportsdom!

And yes, Federer’s destiny was decided in a straight set win (6-1 7-6 (7/1) 6-4) over Soderling. He jumped in joy, wept with tears of happiness, and while he took the coveted French Open cup from Andre Agassi, another great players of his time, and reminded that he was only the 6th guy in history to win 14 grand slams & counted as one among the greatest of all time, this is what Federer had to say:
"I've always thought it's nice to be part of the best. I feel privileged and proud of my accomplishments in this sport," he said. "I don't know if we'll ever know who was the greatest of all time but I'm definitely happy to be right up there."
Now that’s Federer for you…Excellence unmatched, Humility Personified!

Three Cheers Feddy, you deserve it like none else!

Cheers,
Airlea (Amari for the known ones!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Hope we believe....In Silence we pray….

It was late monday evening….I had just returned home, was hungry & trying to find something to eat…as usual, I switched on the television to catch up on one of the matches of French Open at Roland Garros…As I was flicking through the channels, I happened to come across a direct telecast from France 24 being shown on Times Now. There were scenes of flights, people all around & chaos everywhere. Being curious, I sat down to watch what was happening. As I continued, I realized I was looking at the news showing how an Air France Jet which ahd taken off from Rio De Janeiro to Paris, had crashed into the Atlantic taking down with it all 228 people aboard, the worst tragedy in 75-years!

For a moment, I was numb, too astonished to believe that 228 innocent people had perished…just like that! In their wildest of dreams they must have not imagined a tragedy of this mammoth happening to them…One single moment of catastrophe had destroyed so many lives, lives of not just the ones who lost it, but also lives of the ones from Families, Friends, well-wishers who would grieve for their loved ones their entire lives….

My face had turned a stark sad by then, all I could hear was, news reporters reading out the sms’es sent by the people aboard to their loved ones before the crash, ones like ‘I’m scared, don’t know what’s happening’ , ‘Something’s gone wrong, remember I love you’ etc. I realized I couldn’t move from the chair I was sitting…all the while hoping for some miracle to happen & watching all the 228 alive back again. But that was not to be!

Its 2 days now, the search is still on…hopes of survivors having vanished but hopes of finding the bodies is still something that all the people are praying for now…It made me suddenly realize how precious life is & how easily we forget that most of the times.
Lets not look at this as a one-off incident but as one which makes us realize how grateful we need to be to all those around us who make our lives worthwhile!

Lets all pray in silence for the souls of all the lost lives & ask the Almighty to give their families courage & strength to withstand such a huge loss! Amen

Prayers,
Amari

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Satyam....An Indian Enron?

Nobody needs any info on the whole fiasco anymore...Over the past few days most of us have been either glued to the television or have been vigourously readin' a whole lot of stuff on how Satyam, one of the top companies in the IT sector managed to hoodwink not just the shareholders n stakeholders but have shocked an entire world by admitting to one of the biggest frauds in recent times!

Satyam...A company which boasts of some of the best Clients in the world of IT...a company which was responsible for settin' up the first 64kbps line for the common man in India...a company which has been one of the faces of the new emerging India that has given serious competition to the so called 'Developed Countries'...A company which proudly constituted the big-5 of the Indian IT sector...well, the list goes on...

Well,who would have thought that the fall would be so drastic that it is bein' talked about as 'Indian ENRON'...!!!! Does it really deserve this??? No Mr.Raju, we always loved Satyam!!!!

The CEO has been arrested,Enquiry Committees have been set up to carry out a probe,questions have been raised on the auditors role, It has been banned from NIFTY n BSE,other companies have come out strongly stating that Satyam is an isolated case and this event doesn't reflect the image of an Indian IT Industry...But well...Is the world actually listenin'????

Only time will tell......

Regards,
Amari

A Passing Thought!

I was walkin' down the road today n I happened to just glance at one of the hotels in the city....I saw a huge barricade of vehicles outside the hotel...some lucky to get parkin' n some tryin' every possible trick in the book to get a parking place...Hmmm...this certainly triggered off a thought in my mind..I was like 'If there's one business that would never go out of demand in Bangalore,it would definitely be the city's various restaurants n hotels...They win hands down!'

Economic Boom or Recession...people never think twice about splurgin' on good food...
Be it the city's biggest hotels or the roadside side chaat vendors...they are a huge hit!Try gettin' a table in any restaurant or hotel durin' peak hours in less than 5 minutes...u will know what Im talkin' about...:-)

May be I should try visitin' a few places n enlighten all the food lovers out there with speciality restaurants n what they have on offer...yup! sounds a gr8 idea...:-)....Keep watchin' this space for more...Till then...Have a beautiful weekend folks!

Love,
Amari