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Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Blues: Be a celebrity


Today be a celebrity. Be a rockstar. Be a successful leader. Make changes. Win. Take steps to win. Change the way your day ends. Make it a successful day. 



Saturday, October 25, 2014

Restaurant Review: Go Tex-Mex @ Habanero


The big bold yellow letters invite you to delightful interiors that are done in bright colors to keep your spirits up and the multi-colored glass light holders look at you in amusement as you walk in to a spacious space when you enter Habanero. Space is tough in Koramangala and Habanero has enough of it and you will love it. As the trees and greenery around the place lets you escape into your very own Bangalore when you get ready to be treated to some nice Tex-Mex cuisine journey.





Spacious interiors decked up to welcome you
Habanero is out with its new TexMex menu with authentic flavors in different preparations designed by Chef Dan Durkin from Colarado, US. Growing up in Mexico he fell in love with Mexican cuisine and is a certified chef with more than twelve years of experience under his belt, Dan has consulted with several prominent food and beverage brands in Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Thailand. the new menu includes his signature creations as well as Tex-Mex favorites.


Chef Dan Durkin
After being welcomed with a cooler, I got to taste Habanero’s signature appetizers including Macho Nachos, consisting of layers of corn chips, topped with melted cheese, beans, tomatoes, olives, jalapeno peppers, guacamole and sour cream and guacamole and chips which is a perfect creamy combination of avocados, garlic and cilantro made fresh at the table, upon request and served with warm homemade chips. 




Corn chips with tomato relish



Though they make the original with avocados, to keep it fresh, the guacamole is made with butter-fruit sometimes. This sets the tone to the exclusive ride to the streets of Mexico where you get to taste - Zucchini Fritters with Tomatillo Relish to Queso dip with chips kept coming all through with different dips and relishes served fresh.



Freshly made Holy Guacamole
Holy Guacamole and chips
My favorite part of the entire lunch was the fish special - Fish Veracruz. This was a steamed basa which was served true to the mexican dish with lots of vegetables, doused with a tangy, spicy Veracruz gravy - a Mexican coastal specialty.


Fish Veracruz


Zucchini Fritters with Tomatillo Relish




Soft shell Chicken Tacos

The soft shell Chicken Tacos were simply superb and melted in your mouth while the mutton grill was the one that stood out for its simplicity in taste while retaining the vegetable balance. The freshly grilled veggies would definitely make you ask for more.




The highlight of the lunch was saved for the last and my wait was worth it. The famous Tres Leches cake - A Mexican dessert soaked overnight, a cake in three different kinds of milk - evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. The beauty is in the delivery and the softness in the cake is heavenly.


Tres Leches cake
You get the condensed milk in a glass and you pour it on the cake and let it soak and then have the soft delicious cake slowly (pray you go alone to enjoy this or order more as we finished it in a jiffy).

Why should you go to Habanero? You must go enjoy traditional Tex-Mex food with true flavors from the cultures across the world. You must go if you like to have a quick lunch yet feel refreshed. You must go if you need to watch a lot of football with your buddies as you ease up after a long day. You must go for the Tres Leches cake. It is one of the best you see. Or you must go to just check out the wonderful mutton grill with rice and potato mash. You must go for the fresh mocktails. You must go for the greenery which will just let you be while to connect to their wifi and get creative. Just go now.


Ratings:
Ambiance: 4/5

Parking: Valet
Food: 4/5
Taste: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Cost: 4.5/5

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Blues: Redo your hair

Once in a while, step out of your comfort zone and change something that will keep you fresh, for ideas, thoughts, comments, attitude. Do the change, do the updation. 

This Monday, do as I have done! Change your hair :) Small actions can mean a lot if you search for a meaning.







Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Blues: What makes you tick?

What makes you tick?
What makes you go?
What makes you live?
What makes you love?
What makes you stay on?
What makes you relish?
What makes you enjoy?
What makes you strive?
It is not the movement but the moment.
It is not the time for the timelessness.
It is not living but life.

Stay alive. 
Keep moving. 
Enjoy life - every moment.




Friday, October 10, 2014

What is this Satya Nadella?

Satya was celebrated when he reached the helm of one of the brightest companies of the world and we all shared the borrowed halo. Now that he messed up, that too in a bad way, we don't want anything from him! Aren't we human?

Poor Satya said something that most of the menfolk, not just in India, all over the world believe in! Thought not discussed openly, every change, promotion, hike, success of a woman is associated with something funny, dirty and sneered with jealousy. Women have reached pinnacles of the most cherished companies, proved their worth in many fields including space research, defense and science which they were late entrants to! And with time they grew tougher, stronger, more able than men can ever be and while most women choose to ignore, skip and look down upon the remarks, snide comments, some women, or should I say, many women feel depressed, pressurized and forced to step back and suffer. It is a shame we are a society who despise others success and cheer their failure. It is a shame we don't appreciate the contribution, more if not equal, of women for the success and upbringing of our culture, society and economy. It is a shame that people like Satya Nadella are still among us choosing to carry values that should be denounced and scrapped.

I like Satya Nadella for what he has achieved in his life with grit and hard work. I am all for men doing well but let me say this with optimistic prayer, for every Satya Nadella who climbs successfully up the corporate ladder, there are more than one woman who could do that given a chance. It is all about chances and choices. When will we move to an equal world with open chances and open minded people? May be I shouldn't ask or hope for anything and wait for my karma.

Satya, I believe you didn't mean what you said and you will do everything possible to change my opinion about you and your respect for women. Until then you can keep your two penny opinions to yourself.


Pic is from here

John Oliver Nailed it

Blame nobody

Don't wait for approval. Ask forgiveness, not permission.

Make mistakes. Don't quit. Get it done.

Grind. Grind some more. Ship on time.

Own it when it goes wrong. Thank your team when it goes right.

Easy peasy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mango Frooti Fresh and Juicy roaches


How easy it is for a consumer to walk out on a brand. How easy it is for a brand to lose a consumer? Just one mess up and a bad one at that. What does it tell me? It tells me to be extra careful, extra clean, extra passionate and ensure the experience with my clients is of the top notch and uncompromising. 

Blame it on the guy who stores it before it is handed over to you - the retailer. Blame it on the poor condition of his shop or the pathetic transport system you use but I am blaming you - the brand: Parle Agro!

I got Cockroaches in my pack of Frooti and I am shocked. I usually pick up packs of 8 that you send in one plastic bag and yes I use these straws to consume it. It is one of my childhood's best memories when long unending train journeys from North India to South were punctuataed by the five rupee Frooti packs that came our way to quench our thirst. This nostalgia makes me buy your drink though I don't want to. All these years you built a brand and in one single silly move you committed suicide.

I don't care who does what and who is to blame, I see that you haven't packed my drink properly and these cockroaches crept out of my packs, all eight of them, and they made me go crazy. I felt pukish and sick. You not just spoilt my day but also killed my expectations and as of now you are history for me. Oh yes... Parle Agro's Mango Frooti is fresh and juicy. Don't know about the drink but the cockroaches are!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Review: Chetan Bhagat's Half Girlfriend and why you will read it

When you burn your tongue with the first sip of hot double shot coffee, you tend to feel the singe of one too familiar after taste. While this would remain for a couple of days, you would be munching tasteless food while your brain doesn’t understand what you are eating and once in a while you should check your plate to see if it is really the same as what your eyes see. You feel bad but you neither skip coffee nor stop munching food.

When you pick up a Chetan Bhagat novel, you expect to have something new, something amazing and some interesting plot that would keep you mesmerized, teases you, tickles you and engages you in a philosophical dialogue and motivates you in such a tremendous way that you are inspired! Wait! That is not Chetan Bhagat I was talking about. You know what you can expect from a Chetan Bhagat novel. Now that you have removed the sugar coating, you can dust off the last few particles of genius-like-fruitiness; expect what you can get when the title is - 'Half Girlfriend.'

Like I agreed we don't skip coffee or stop munching, Chetan's works are like a second bowl of popcorn. You know you have had enough but are not easily going to skip them. I pre-ordered 'Half Girlfriend', paid 37 bucks more and got it yesterday. Here is the review.

Plot: Take a bit of Three Mistakes, problems mentioned in Satyameva Jayate, imagine a non-English type village boy (like what Arjun Kapoor desperately tries to enact) who is a state level basketball player??? coming to Delhi with small iron trunk to join St. Stephen's. Meet Riya, a rich girl who hates her money-clogged-parents-home and is looking for an escape to a real-rural-self-proclaimed-admiration for poor life where she wants to make fame on her own! Madhav hates poverty and wants to be rich. Riya wants to live a normal life with her own name and dignity. As the book specifies, Madhav and Riya don't want the same thing. Madhav wants Riya to love him. She is confused. Riya is okay being a half-girlfriend. Hugs okay, kisses okay, cuddling okay. Nothing more okay?

Madhav tries to make out with her but she sticks to her half-girlfriend theory. He cusses her and she walks out of the relationship. He gets a 50k/month salary from HSBC in 2007 because he is honest! (No I didn't see this in 3 idiots. Trust me it is a new plot. I have tears in my eyes. Someone pass me a tissue). He doesn't take it and goes back to being the rural poor prince he is to take care of his school for his mom and spends time teaching poor kids. A noble cause stolen from the Satyameva Jayate, TaareZameen Par like twist and is rewarded when he gets a chance to get some funds from Bill Gates and succeeds.

Enter Riya back from her small but personal honeymoon-wedding-divorce while Madhav is trying to learn English in a private coaching class and Riya tries to teach him English and succeeds. A good story would end here. But Chetan wants a story after the interval too. So Enter Madhav's mom who chides her to get out of her son's life. Riya runs away and how Madhav recovers his life, wins lakhs of rupees in funds from Bill Gates foundation and travels to USA (too many Telugu/Tamil movies have shown this already) to find the love of his life. If you stay back till the end, you will find hope in a New York bar with live music.

Wait! Don't you like the story? Want some suspense? Let us make the hero run for the last 10 minutes of the film and put a song, a slow but romantic dark melody that ensures you have tears in your eyes while the hero's shoes hurt, feet splinter and blood oozes from the shoes and he reaches just in the nick of the moment. Now get out of here. You have had enough for the 150 bucks you paid for this film. What?!!! I haven't added a love making scene. Ya. They make love in about 20 words. No space you see!

While I know Chetan would have already pictured Kriti Sanon in the film and would have decided how to make her look taller than she is, he must be counting 300 crores he would get for the film deal. Wait! I think the book would have made him a 100 crore too.

To be concise: The book is fat, Chetan. I would have loved to read some 50 pages less and could do away with the preachy tone in some places. I liked it but as a... how do I say it... forget it, I liked it.

If there is a positive note I have to write about the book, it shows how village grown Madhavs can make out and win over the richest girls and win over anything in their life if they just don't give up. Yes. Don't give up yet! The second one is bringing back basketball to Indian cinema. When did Kajol lose to Sharukh last?

Will I pick up the next book from Chetan? Did you give up on coffee?

Rating: 1.5/5




Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Blues: Believe you can fly


And you will!


Monday Blues: ME Time



Once in a while take some time out and spend with yourself. Everyone needs some ME Time. 

Time to reflect.
Time to think. 
Time to gather yourself. 
Time to restructure your thoughts. 
Time to restart. 
Time to rest. 
Time to plan. 
Time to grow. 
Time to stop the chaos.

Grow, like there is no tomorrow.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Connecting with the young

Teenage psyche is confusing - both to children and their parents. Pocket money is never enough and usually under appreciated. Now this is a crazy time for both sections and if there is a solution then it meets both, would we appreciate it? 

Communicating this can be done in any way but Lowe Lintas came up with a good ad and made this enjoyable. Most of the kids can relate to this easily but the best part is that the parents relate to this too. 

The best communication is one that connects with the target audience easily and this is brilliant as it kills both the birds. I am adding this to the list of Best Ads 2014 for the simplicity and funny way of communication. What do you think?

It All Starts: Ra, ra, ra, ra, Rishi

Once in a while there comes a marketer who decides to think otherwise and make a brilliant ad and here is one such example. One of the best ads for 2014 till now and it comes from the house of Nestle for Nescafe. Bringing the stand up gig to address a communication problem and showing the human side of the solution and connecting conversations is brilliant. The ad is titled, 'It all starts' and is simply ruling the social media space.

A brilliant communication is one where the cause or communication problem takes the center-stage while the brand moves to the background. This is special as it takes the cake of communication strategies as it is simple and Rishi makes you fall in love with him. Though he has to joke his way past the rent collecting landlord who gives him time to pay in installments, Rishi, in the Nescafe ad, walks away with 10 lakh hits on youtube and many shares on Facebook, Twitter... Amazing strategy and I am floored.