Monday, January 27, 2014
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
What makes this place unique is that in all the customer traffic the floor in charge and the servers barely talk to each other and communicate through sign language only. If any table was in need of refills, these servers would signal each other and your plate would be refilled instantly! Each item was assigned a different hand gesture and number. For instance, the chutneys came in a serving vessel containing 2 bowls; hence the number two was assigned for chutney. Similarly the vegetables came in a container of 4 bowls and therefore the number four was assigned for vegetables. The waiters would snap their fingers for refills and most often when you hear the sound of snapping, rest assured, someone was getting served to their heart's content!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
My two-week stay in Bahrain had its share of idiosyncrasies and memorable anecdotes. Some that come to my mind include:
(1) When my colleague and I were dodging the rain while entering our hotel, we noticed a Caucasian male (trying to be politically correct!). He seemed to have been holed up in his hotel room and decided to get out for a bit, only to find that it was still raining! He blurted out “Is it still raining? WHY!! Is this Bahrain or Mumbai”. As soon as he noticed us (very much Indian looking folks) he realized his faux-pas and said “By the way good game of cricket there” referring to India’s good performance at the ongoing series against South Africa and gave us the thumbs up.
(2) Unlike its neighbors’, Bahrain is a very progressive little nation. This can be evidenced from local newspapers which talk of the young royals who take active interest in women affairs and image building exercise for the country. Its constant endeavor to ape the west and become a popular destination can be seen its people and lifestyle. Men and women parade in outfits that look like they have come straight out of a Milan fashion event with high heel boots, denims, jell hair and accessories like bags and latest cell phones to match them all! All very interesting!
(3) The country is the sin city of the Middle East in all ways possible and sees a major inflow of people from the neighboring GCC countries like KSA, Kuwait & Qatar over the weekend. This is the time when Bahrain comes alive with its malls, roads and restaurants crowded with the young and old. People start streaming in on Wednesdays and by Friday evening the country wears a deserted look leaving behind the locals. Trivia- The country population is 1 million of which 400k are expatriates!
(4) Since it’s a small nation with not much history to boast of, it has but a handful of places to see like the Tree of Life (look it up on Google if you please), the tall high rises, the causeway, the local museums which gives a brief on the nation, the royal palaces and Bab-al-Bahrain which was the erstwhile official gate of Bahrain. There are a few quaint shopping zones and the country is famous for high quality pearls.
(5) People are in general friendly and cab drivers strike up conversations at will and ask about various things like the best medical facilities in India, visa and immigration policy, weather of Bahrain etc.
(6) Now, we decided to visit the local Indian restaurant called ‘Moti Mahal’ on Food Street in the suburb of Juffair at the insistence of one of our colleagues. What makes this place unique? The waiter- comes the resounding answer! Don’t quite remember his name, but he was the whole package deal. Not only did he take our orders but he also sang film songs & he did a fantastic impersonation of Shahrukh Khan. In fact he was so obsessed with the actor that he stopped serving us when his idol was on screen and started giving us trivia about him and the awards show that was being shown on the telly. At one point when an actress joked/insulted our waiter’s idol, he was so enraged that he began hurling abuses at her! We then realized that this guy had seen this recorded show many times over and could narrate it backwards! At the end of the dinner I was left thinking what brought this budding actor to Bahrain and that too in this role!
Well, those were my take aways from the Land of Pearls!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
All in all, it was a thought provoking trip. I would recommend a visit to anyone who comes to Allahabad.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
8th March is celebrated as Women’s Day worldwide and India is no exception. However, this year, apart from the usual discounts and special offers by companies selling all kinds of goods and services (read-beauty products and designer clothes) there were some offers that came with absolutely no strings attached. And that is too irresistible even for someone like me since advertisements have never enticed me.
One such offer was that by Big Cinemas who gave every woman in this country, an open invitation to walk into any Big Cinema theatre and watch any movie free of charge and that too all day long! What can I say-too irresistible isn’t it? I felt it was my duty to oblige since I got handed a pamphlet informing me the same when I visited there the last time! So, come 8th March I called in my friend and told her that we have to grab this offer with both hands and both legs if needed, and she obliged of course. Now mind you, we have never done such a thing before, never even tried the free make up session at the Shoppers Stop outlets. So we braved the Mumbai traffic and landed at R City Mall in Ghatkopar well within time. Took the elevator to the 3rd floor with much anticipation knowing that all the women with us had also come to celebrate women’s day and were headed in the same direction. Finally on arrival we found a huge serpentine line, which was being manned by staffers handing out forms (yeah-forms asking for details of which movie we wanted to watch!). We could not believe the turnout and kept cracking up seeing the addition to this queue. All women kept chattering among themselves deciding which movie was worth the free ticket and if they would in fact get the ticket at all. There were college groups, kitty party groups, families where women came along with their men folk who of course were paying for their tickets as was the case with yours truly. The whole scene was fascinating as it was funny. Once we came close to the ticket counter the decision on which movie to watch took paramount importance. Women were calculating with increased fervour the odds of getting the tickets before them being sold out. As for us we knew all the way that we would be watching the Road Movie since we had planned for it a few days back. Good for us that nobody wanted to watch this hatke movie, so we sailed through with getting our tickets on time.
We wanted to remember this day where we actually watched a movie for free and hence captured it on our camera feeling and looking every bit jubilant.
I realized that people actually love being a freebee even if that meant standing for hours to get what is being doled out free of charge. The growing consumerism is what theatre owners are capitalizing upon, with such offers. On any other day, I am sure the footfalls in the food stalls and other stores would not have been this high.
All in all it was one fun day, which left me feeling that people do take time out from their busy schedules to enjoy such bounties. Currently I am checking if there are any more such days which will be celebrated with all earnestness!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Firstly the original actually had renowned and established people from the field of music, movies,defence and sports.These were achievers in their own right. The musicians actually sang the parts that featured them! The sportsmen and women were truly inspiring. The original even showed the average Indian man and woman doing routine activities which all of us connected with and felt a sense of being represented. The men and women from the armed forced were equally given airtime making us realize how important their jobs are. The movie stars, well, I don't have much of an opinion of them, but they did add to the glitz of the entire song making it larger than life itself.I am sure every Indian felt the pride-I did.
The latest version was nothing but a bunch of popular actors lip syncing the song with hardly any patriotism in their emotions! There were a handful of the original talents who were the only saving grace. I barely recognized any of the so-called superstars from the south. How on earth did the organizers put people who are barely known in a song like this which was to air on national television as a symbol of national unity?
In all-a complete let down and a sham-that's what it was....