August 3, 2015

Beards, Sweaters & More... #MondayMusings


Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve seen my dad wear a beard. Honestly, I cannot ever imagine him without one. I remember drawing him with beard all the time. Growing up, my sister and I, would literally get panic attacks every time mom mentioned he was getting rid of his beard. Of-course, she would just be teasing us then. Even today whenever there is talk about dad trying the clean shaven look for a change, we oppose it with all our might. It’s just that dad for us has to have his beard. In our eyes, nobody carries a beard as well as he does. Nobody ever can. For us dad and his beard are integral parts of our lives and we want the status quo to be maintained forever.

That’s not the only thing though. My dad doesn’t wear jeans and I cannot imagine him in one. He’s always suited up, in his formals or semi-formals, never in a jeans. I like him just that way. For some reason, I find it weird to see dads dressed in jeans. But that’s just me. However, you see the point I’m trying to make here? There’s always something that sticks, something that defines a person and relationship to you. There are things, characteristics rather, without which something would seem off.

My sister has to have coffee at weird times of the night. Like clockwork, she walks into the kitchen for coffee, the moment I tell her it’s time for dinner. Apparently, she can’t dine without having her cup of coffee first. And somewhere I always know that will be her reaction every time. My mom, she needs to finish all the work in the kitchen before she can sit down to eat. Never have I seen her eat with a messy kitchen awaiting her attention. These are probably unimportant things but at the end of the day they also help you identify a person in certain ways. I, for example, never finish a cup of tea completely. I always, always leave behind some of it.

With S too there are so many things, for example, he just doesn’t wear sweaters in Bangalore. Apparently, for him, there is no winter here. Even on days when it gets chilly, you won’t see him in a sweater. I have tried and tried for years but he just won’t listen. For me, S has to be difficult when it comes to putting on warm clothes in the winter here in Bangalore or else it would get the warning bells ringing.

So, what I’m trying to say is, everyone you know has some peculiar habit or identifier, consciously or subconsciously defining him or her for you. And that stays in your psyche as an essential part of that person. These are the pieces that make up that person for you, build the personality or individual you know. Even one piece missing or not fitting would then be an unwelcome anomaly.

There is a particular image that people you love conform to, their imprints on your mind’s eye, so to speak. It could be that one peculiar habit of theirs or something they always say, the way they say it too, certain nuances that register in your heart as theirs. Some idiosyncrasies that only make sense when it is related to them. You can call these my #MondayMusings but pick anyone you know, especially those extremely close to you and you’ll see it’s true.

So, tell me if there’s anything that comes to your mind after reading this. I’d love to hear.

© www.nabanitadhar.in

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Linking to the below. Why don't you join as well?

#MondayMusings @ WriteTribe
  

#MicroBlogMondays @ Stirrup Queens





August 2, 2015

All About A Lunch @ Bakasur


I love eating out. In fact, I love it so much that I'd have probably done it every single day hadn't it been for my poor stomach. Now this fondness for eating out is a trait I've acquired from my mother. Yes, like mother, like daughter you could say. Actually, I have even taken it one step further by completely shifting my allegiance to restaurant food on any given day, except when I'm with mom of-course.

Anyways, so stimulated by my gourmet love, I found myself at Bakasur, Koramangala for lunch this weekend. And I'm here to tell you a little about my experience there. 

Now Bakasur is known to have one of the longest buffet spreads in the city and there's no fault in that claim of theirs. So, judging by the sheer number of items on display it was quite impressive, the food though, not so much. 


© www.nabanitadhar.in/

The branch at Koramangala is situated at one of the busiest intersections in the city, at a prime location actually. That added to what the buffet is priced at, it does sound like a good deal and it probably is. But here are a few things that put me off, a few things which could have been better perhaps.


  1. The restaurant was not well-air-conditioned. Consider sitting inside a tin boiler at the top most floor of a building with just a handful of a/cs, not my idea of a restaurant ensuring customer comfort. And what's more, water droplets from, God knows where, kept dropping on the table we were seated at. No Sir, I didn't like that.
  2. No non vegetarian soup. So, they have a huge spread but just one soup? That's a first, I must say.
  3. Not enough waiters to wait on all the tables. You need to keep looking around, hoping to get their attention. That's not my idea of a good restaurant.
  4. Now for the most important thing you go to a restaurant for, the food, how was it? Well, S thought the food was quite alright, the taste et al. But I didn't like it quite as much. Starting from the soup to the chats and even the starters, I just felt there was something missing. The best part of the spread was probably the dessert and I usually skip that. I couldn't find anything worth raving about in the main course either. If you ask me, I'd just give it an average rating in terms of taste. 

So, as you would have guessed by now, I came out quite unsatisfied from Bakasur and I don't think I'm going in there anytime soon, at least not till they make it more comfortable for their guests.

My Rating:

Food: 2.5/5
Ambience: 2/5
Service: 2.5/5
Value for Money: 3/5


For those who live in Bangalore, have you been to Bakasur. If so, what did you think of it? And for my out of city friends, what do you look for in a restaurant or what are the things that get's a restaurant the right ticks in your book? Let me know.

Until Next Time.

Ciao.



July 31, 2015

Thank God For That!


What is the most depressing thing around you? Or, rather what is that one thing that succeeds in lowering your spirits every single time? While you contemplate on that, I’ll tell you about one such thing that always manages to take away all the sunshine from my day. The infamous Indian main stream media, or MSM as they are fondly called. Yes, you read it right.

You have got to see the venom they spill, the deliberate negativity they plant, to understand what I mean. It seems as though they have not a semblance of shame left anymore. But why am I talking about them here? Don’t worry I’m not here to dampen your spirits with a gloomy post, that too on a Friday. I just mentioned the MSM to state that avoiding them consciously is one of those things I have been grateful for this week. Oh! So very grateful indeed!

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” ― Epicurus

You guessed it right, it’s a going to be a gratitude laden post, this. A bunch of positive affirmations, you could say, at one place, to start off the weekend.

Once in a while it’s good to be thankful for all the things that haven’t gone wrong in life. Once in a while it’s good to consciously smile at your blessings. So, here I’m, the habitually cynical me, to spread some positive vibes.

It is kind of an anomaly when I stop to appreciate the positives around me, attempting to be thankful, because my natural instinct is actually to immediately pounce on the negatives. Not a great thing to admit about myself but it is what it is.


Well, without any further delay, here goes my gratitude list for this week. I’m grateful for....

  1. Unrestricted internet access at office without which the past year at work would have been exceptionally boring. Knowing that it is going to be taken away in a few days, the appreciation for it seems to have grown manifolds.
  2. The generator at my apartment! I wonder what I would have done without it.
  3. My cook who saves me from having to toil in the kitchen. I get so much time to do nothing and I love it too.
  4. My job. Yes, it might come as a surprise for the regular readers of my blog because everyone knows I detest it from the bottom of my heart. In fact, even I’m amazed at this sudden outpour of appreciation for it. But when I think about it deeply, I realize, this job actually helps me with quite a number of things. Well, I think maturity has finally set in and I should be grateful for that too, shouldn’t I?
  5. A health checkup that went well without any surprises.
  6. The fact that S and I decided to get our own place. It’s so much better to pay EMIs rather than increase the bank balance of greedy landlords.
  7. The wonderful Bangalore weather which makes everything even more enjoyable.
  8. The ginger tea at work. What would I have done without it?
  9. New chairs at work which have helped in reducing my back aches considerably for the past few days.
  10. The yoga classes at work. (Looks like I’m thankful for quite a number of things at work this week!)
  11. S for helping me with changing the template of my blog. Only he has the patience to sit the whole day and work on it!
  12. For the readers of my blog, yes you included. You wonderful people could have been doing anything else in the world but still choose to stop, read my ramblings and drop in a line or two, sometimes more, just for me. Thank You!

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ― William Arthur Ward

Well, that’s about it for today. But do share what you are grateful for. Let’s appreciate life a bit more!

Until next time.
Ciao.
***

Linking this post to the Gratitude Circle & Alphabetsalad's bloghop. 

Source


July 29, 2015

NextGTv: Entertainment On The Go


This is an era of 24x7 connectivity with the world, thanks to our hi- tech smartphones. In fact, we depend so much on our mobile these days that it’s difficult to image our life without it. We spend so much time with it that it has become our source for entertainment too.

From music to video streaming, we do everything, and more, on our mobile phones today.  Now would you believe if I tell you that you can watch TV shows and latest movies too on your handset? By the way, did I mention live shows too? Let me introduce you to the nextGTv.



What is NEXTGtv?

Well, it is your one stop destination for entertainment, be it Live TV, Movies, TV Shows and Videos.

    
You can access this application, launched by Digivive, via your mobile phones, tablets or laptops. In fact, you should also know that it is actually one of the top ten applications in its category. What else could you ask for?

Today’s generation, in fact the entire world today, wants everything at their fingertips which also includes fun. For example, with mobile internet services getting better each day, people want to be able to access means for entertainment during commute as well. Well, could you blame them considering how much time is spent shuttling from one point to the other daily?  No, right? And that is one of the reasons why watching television while on the move is a reality today.

And here's where NEXTGtv steps in. Live TV, popular channels, movies, TV shows and videos, all available and accessible on the move. I love how technology has simplified aspects of our lives, helping nextGTv bring television and movies to our mobile devices.


       













The app is easy to understand and use. You can perform searches in it as well. What's more? Well, the application even shows what’s in demand in the form of ‘What’s Hot’ section. Now isn't that just great? The TV shows available are not only in Hindi, but in a number of regional languages too such as Gujarati, Bangla, Marathi and Kannada. Quite interesting and quite a lot packed in to an app, I would say.


So, why don’t you try it out yourself and tell me what you think?


#FundsIndia : New India Portfolio


How wonderful is the feeling when the world looks at India as a reckoning force, isn't it? A country with a potential to grow and exceed every expectation. Yes, there are drawbacks and obstacles but that makes our growth story even more interesting, isn't it?

The New India growth story is known to one and all. Today, the world looks at us not merely as a developing economy but one which has the caliber for exceptional growth. There is a positive feeling, a sense of change and an immense wish for developing and excelling in every field. Our economy is at a pivotal point, if I may say so. Today, harbinging on this very sentiment India looks towards a growth story, an inclusive growth story in fact, where wealth creation is for everyone.

With new initiatives launched by the Government of India like Make In India, investment products such as Mutual Funds, Equities, Insurance, Corporate Deposits, Gold and Loans have been brought to the forefront. In fact, they have grown bigger and better. And why not? Today, not only the market sentiments but the expectation of returns too are at an all time high.

Look around you, you'll notice the changes and the march towards a brighter future for all. India has again become a lucrative place for foreign investments. You do know that when that happens, the country benefits and when the country benefits, you and I benefit as well. Of-course, for that we need to invest too. But where and in which portfolios is the question, isn't it? Well, let me suggest one to you.

Yes, keeping the whys, hows and whats of investment in mind, let's talk today about a portfolio that is worth looking into, the New India Portfolio from FundsIndia. Let's find out how we can ride the growth wave too but without greater risks through this product.

FundsIndia is an online platform that was established to help customers with their investments. Set up in the year 2009, it has been recognized as a Promising Brand of the Year 2015 in the financial services category at The Economic Times Best Promising Brands Summit. This one stop destination for all your investment needs actually boasts over 4 lakh happy customers which in itself is no mean feat.

This offering by FundsIndia called New India Portfolio is a powerful financial product made up of four mutual funds aimed at deriving profit from the power of this new India. It's a tool, a powerful one at that too, to make wealth in today's India, an India slated to grow by leaps and bounds thanks to a whole set of reform initiatives.

Wealth creation based on capacity, investments keeping in mind returns and assessing risks is a primary objective for any investor. FundsIndia with the help of a very strong research team has managed to come up with just the product for that, the New India Portfolio. 

This 4 fund portfolio is well structured to deliver good returns in the long run. Made up of a healthy and well thought out mix of funds it is positioned better to ensure wealth creation.


  1. Diversified Fund - This includes the large caps and hence provides for stable returns, a must for a well performing portfolio.
  2. Mid-cap Fund - As the name suggests, this includes the mid-caps which have a great potential to outperform projections adding to stability and reduced risk.
  3. Diversified Theme Fund - Again as the name suggests this is for investing across sectors and reducing the risk factor.
  4. Long-term debt Fund- This includes your long term investments which could also be seen as the income fund. It is safe as an option with guaranteed returns at most times adding considerable stability and credibility to the portfolio.


Together, these 4 types of funds strengthen the portfolio, diversifying it and ensuring meaningful asset allocation. It ensures that you too become a part of the New India growth story. You could find out more about it here at #FundsIndia.

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Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read the scheme information and other related documents carefully before investing. Past performance is not indicative of future returns. Please consider your specific investment requirements before choosing a fund, or designing a portfolio that suits your needs.


July 27, 2015

Not A #FreeWrite Or A #FreeWriter


Why do you write? Why does anyone write? Just for the heck of it? Certainly not. 

I write because it makes me happy. Actually, happy is too small a word to convey what I feel about writing. Putting pen to paper, or in this case the strokes of the keyboard, gives a new dimension to my life. It helps me evolve, grow, think out loud and connect with like-minded people from all over the world. No, it's not about social networking though that is definitely a part of the process. It's more about the extension of my being, of observing life, of scrutinizing aspects that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Writing, to me, is not just a hobby. It is a way of life, something that would probably leave behind my footprint in some corner of the world wide web once I'm gone.  

People often ask me why do I write and I try to explain them as much. But I'm not quite sure everyone gets that. For many, non-bloggers and non-writers especially, what I do is probably a colossal waste of time, just another activity nothing more. But that's where they are wrong.

Now, I might not be a Jane Austen or a J. K Rowling, but that doesn't mean my love for writing is any less or that my passion is open to ridicule. And that certainly doesn't mean that the free-lancing that I do in this field is to be taken lightly or, to put it more clearly, derided.

In my journey as a blogger and a free lance writer, I have often come across people who take the 'free' in 'free-lance' to stand for 'unpaid-writing'. That's where the problem lies, that's where the dis-respect for the craft lies. And it irks even more when a person who has never even spoken to you in the span that you've known each other suddenly approaches you to write for them pretending to be an acquaintance, rather a close friend. That's blatantly impolite.

When I take writing assignments, I put in my time and effort which need to be understood by the client. Yes, I do the hard work to promote, advertise and review works and businesses which are not mine. The footfalls on those posts are publicity for someone else's dream. So, why the assumption that I do that for free? For certain genuine social causes I understand but not when profit for the client is involved.

It's simple. If you want exposure for your business on my website, you need to pay. The free writing that I do is for myself and for the charities or causes I like to be involved with. In fact, why only me any blogger or free-lance writer would attest to that.

I think as a community our importance as social-influencers is huge but we lag far behind when it comes to the point of being given our due. That's where we need to stand up and say no. Why? Because the person asking us to write for free wouldn't have done so had the space on our website not been worth it. Think about it.

So, today I leave you with this thought 'I write because I want to, not because I have to. And certainly not because someone thinks I have to.'






July 25, 2015

Why I Don't Like Road Trips...


The other day S was telling me about this couple who went on a road trip from Bangalore to Bhutan. Do you know what my reaction was? Well, why on earth would they even want to do that? Haven't they heard of this thing called air travel? And who is their employer for it looks like they have a lot of vacation days! Okay! That's unfair. It's a free country and if some people have all the time in the world to be on the road, week after week, then who am I to judge? To each their own. But I for one can never really see the charm in that, not today, not anytime in the future. Yes, well I've always been an old woman in a young person's body. Hence, the reason for my reaction.

But looks like I'm the odd one out here. From what I hear, there is another couple who just hitchhiked all the way from Bulgaria to India. That's a whole different level of crazy altogether, admittedly just in my book. I guess I'm the quintessential couch potato and naturally the road trip Grinch! Yes, I admit it.

In fact, you want to know a secret? If I was into it, S wouldn't mind road trips at all. Yes, I'm such a killjoy when it comes to those that he has eventually made peace with this side of me.

Do you like road trips? 

© Random Thoughts Naba

Well, as you would have inferred by now I'm not particularly fond of them and I'm here to tell you why.

•  When I could travel by air, why would I want to go on road trips? So tiring and not to mention time consuming.

•  Why not save all the vacation days for the destination?

•  Staying at home is much better than sleeping in the car or in motels!

•  If I wanted to see the scenery, I could do it by making a central location my base.

•  Staying in hotels on highways is not really my idea of fun.

• Sitting by the side of the road, sipping tea and looking at the natural wonders doesn't really excite me as much as staying indoors.

• I can't freshen up in the sort of places usually available on road trips.

• I can't stay in the hotels along the way.

• I get car sick, if there is such a thing.

• I'm just a boring and lazy person. This is probably the biggest reason of all.


So, no road trips for me please!


Well, that's all I have for you today. Until next time.


Ciao.


Before you go, tell me which side are you on - road trips or no road trips? I'm all ears.


PS: No offence meant to all those who love road trips.


***


This post has been written for Write Tribe's 100 Words on a Saturday.





July 20, 2015

Acceptance, Approval & Tolerance #1000Speak #MondayMusings


Man is a social animal.

This is one sentence which appeared over and over again in my text books while at school. I must say though I had gotten quite tired of it by the time my school life came to an end. But man a social animal, dependent on his fellow beings in more ways than one, was a fact taught, discussed and, in a way, hammered into us. And why only in books, through the social fabric too the same was propagated. While I’d like to believe, and mostly it’s true, that my survival as an individual is not at all contingent on being surrounded by people at all times, I do know there are exceptions to this rule. Whether I like it or not, there is a direct bearing of what my near and dear ones think of me on my state of mind. 

I need to believe and know that my family and friends accept me the way I am for me to carry on living peacefully. And that’s alright as well but what bothers me at times  is that the perception of people outside my inner circle affects me too, sometimes more than it really should. I attribute this behavior of mine to the very first sentence in this post. In fact, I’d actually like to add to that. Man is not just a social animal but a social animal desiring acceptance. However, how far we accept and are accepted is a matter of choice, habit, upbringing and certainly something debatable.

As human beings you and I have this innate fear of the unknown, whether we acknowledge it or not. It is something that has defined our behavior over ages. History has borne witness to wars arising out of this intolerance for anything alien to our line of thinking. We all know what happened when Galileo proclaimed that the earth goes round the sun and not the other way round. Acceptance and therefore tolerance doesn't come easy to us. Of course, today as a society we are much better placed but you and I both know there's still a long way to go. But why am I talking about acceptance today? Well, perhaps these few points below would clarify that.


Peer pressure. You would have certainly been privy to this phenomenon at some point or other in your life. But why does this come into the picture in the first place? The need for acceptance, the need to be understood, that's why. You and I both know the horrors this unwelcome guest has often resulted in the lives of many over the years.

Acceptance into the family of the man or woman you love. So many fights, so many issues could be avoided if it came easier to all. The approval of our loved ones, no one is immune to that need.

Hate crimes stemming out of a chauvinistic mindsets. Race, language, religion or region, you name it, why do you think it still raises it's head and causes so much damage all around the world? The lack of tolerance of anything and anyone different.

It could also simply be embracing the tragedies in life and moving on instead of stagnating. Fighting for survival or happiness,all of it begins with the acknowledgment and acceptance of the need to do something.

Most important of all thought is the acceptance of yourself in your own eyes. After all, if you don;t love, respect and like yourself for who you are no one else will.

So, to end the day, let's promise to work on acceptance in place of intolerance for a change and take it from there. How does that sound? I leave you to think about it.

Ciao.




#MondayMusings
 
#MicroblogMondays