Category Archives: Fun

An Evening Well Spent

An Evening well spent.

Last night was a surprise. My friends from college dropped by to my place and convinced me to relive our crazy Friday nights, so I obliged. Now, to understand why my friends are down-right crazy, I must tell you an instance. A couple of years back, we were just hanging out and one of us suggested we go to a karaoke bar and sing our hearts out. But Bangalore has a policy of closing everything down by 1100 PM and it was 0930 PM already. With horrible traffic conditions and the nearest karaoke place on the other end of the city, there was hardly any point for us in trying. So what do you do, when you can’t go for karaoke…? You create a Karaoke bar at your own place!

We rented out a projector in the nick of time and set up playlists, get the karaoke lyrics, set up the sound system, noise proof the walls and set up the ambience  The bar was set with our favourite of all time, Black Dog Scotch Whisky. We had all the variations but I have personally always liked and preferred the 18-year-old Reserve version.

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So we had Beatles ‘Hey Jude’ playing in the background with everyone pitching in and Black Dog to give us the best of the company. It was an apt set up as this was the last time all of us were together. Times change remarkably, people come and go, jobs change, but I keep my drink the same because honestly, I haven’t found a better drink yet if there is such a thing.

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What makes Goa, Goa.

So, I was in Goa for the third time. And this time, as always, it didn’t disappoint.

There’s something about Goa. Yes! True. Not that it’s the most beautiful, not that it’s the most isolated, not that it’s the most traveller-friendly, but there’s something about it. The last two times I was there, I went as a traveller, went to places that were a ‘must-go’ and suggested by many. However, it was different this time.

We were there to let go and have fun. We managed to make it to the Sunburn Festival, Asia’s biggest dance-music festival. And yes, it was epic. 3 days of madness, fatigue, dancing and cheering. It was as promised, the best 3 days of the week. The fact that Goa has been hosting Sunburn for over 5 years now, in itself is huge! The popularity and the moral freedom that Goa offers is a mind-refresher.

For a change, you see everyone having fun, worrying less about the mundane and enjoy merriment in the way they want. And this liberty is hard to achieve in many parts of India. With this liberty, what I realised is that the mindset changes, not just for the teenagers, for everyone. And then, it gets safe, safe for everyone, not just for teenagers! 🙂

Goa is the kind of place where Bob Marley would be most comfortable to settle in, if he were to stay in India full time. The place is, in modern-terms ‘chill’. Quoting the Bacardi song below, it pretty much sums up why a lot of people head to Goa for some ‘chill’ time,

“Be, what you wanna be,taking things the way, they come,
nothing is as nice as finding paradise…”

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The insight lady.

There’s a certain class of people who make a living only on tourism, selling jewelleries shipped in from Bijapur. And they operate only during the prime season time. I asked this lady who was setting up her store early in morning, what do they do once the ‘season’ is over. On that, she replied, “Kya karenge babu, ghar jayenge! Baarish ka mausam aa jayega toh yahan thodi na reh sakte hain”. (What can we really do, we’ll head home. Once it starts raining, we cannot stay here). Trust me, when she said this, it was against my “holiday spirit”, but what can one really do to help them out apart from buying from them, the cheap knock-off jewelleries. And yes, if you’ve had no experience at bargaining, well, good luck! You’ll get ripped off beyond belief. I had a chance of talking to another street hawker at Candolim Beach, and she realised I’m from her home state and offered me a discount on the product saying, “Bhai, aapke liye bas 500 rupiye mein” (Brother, for you it’s only 500 bucks). I didn’t buy the what she was offering but received from her quite the Marketing 101 lecture. She told me that she’ll sell off the same product to any foreigner at not less than Rs. 2000/- And don’t you think that I was getting the real deal. I bet the actual selling price of the product was not more than 150-180/- But that’s the way it works!

Underneath the rooftop of imagination is what I like to refer to this one as.

Underneath the rooftop of imagination is what I like to refer to this one as.

This place would have been entirely different had it been a Wednesday. It gets crazy!

 

 

 

 

Wednesday’s flea market at Anjuna is pretty well known. And it’s pretty insane! From a wide range of clothes to variety in music by “Goa Gill” to probably the only place where you can find assorted collection of “things” that can help you get “high”. Pretty amazing if you ask me. It brings together people from all around the world! The December season in Goa is probably the most waited for. The price hikes are everywhere and there’s exaggeration beyond belief. But you won’t mind it.Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. The more I travel and experience, the more I find meaning in the statement he made. The more becomes obvious and true as the time flies by. I’ve been to quite a few places in India and someday I wish to see it all, every single location on my country’s map has got to be a ‘known’ place to me.

 

I would like to be a part of Goa someday in some possible way, maybe own a restaurant by the beach, or buy a shack for moi-self or maybe just enjoy my retirement exploring places and returning home to a place called ‘Goa’. Ah! Wishful thinking.

More travel pictures at my photography blog – Shot, Framed & Hanged. Have a great week ahead 🙂

Camino Tequila, Señor?

Care for a smoke, or maybe a dozen?

Care for a smoke, or maybe a dozen?

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Street shop selling the self-claimed ‘finest’ shawls.

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That’s how we do it! – Indian Weddings

Indian weddings are crazy! And that’s an understatement.

Before you draw any sort of conclusion from the above mentioned, I’d like to clear by saying that I mean it like a good kinda crazy! There’s so many rituals spread across so many days. The whole family gets together and it doesn’t stop just there. There’s friends, neighbours, the whole community and much much more.

People dance, they sing folk songs, young ones flirt and the old ones gossip! You might ask, what is so different about it then? Well, everything! Because we do it the Indian way. And that’s epic!

The whole ordeal of an Indian wedding starts with setting up the date for the wedding and other ceremonies which aren’t of any less importance. Then, it begins! The preparation.

Shopping. Priest. Clothes. Gifts. Caterers. Location. Transport. Puja Samagri (Elements to be used in a Hindu prayer service).

You might think you’re done, but wait! You’ve got to shop more! And there’s more left to do. You need a,

Flower Guy. Decoration Guy. The guy who sets up the Pandal (The structure that covers the entire marriage ceremony area). The make-up experts. The guy who will help out the priest. The family experts who know your customs right, cause you cannot obviously go wrong in that! And God forbid, if you dare as much as singing the wrong phrase of the song, the marriage won’t be accepted by them Gods.

Too much exaggeration, yeah? Not even close!

Okay, so you’re covered with everything? Nope. You’ve gotta shop again! More! And then some more.

And wait. Guest list? Menu? Who’s picking up, them guests? The wedding car! The band. The baajaa! The barat. Cracker guy. The photographer. The video guy. The DJ. The orchestra. And there’s still left some shopping to do.

Eventually, one reaches a point where you just stop caring and live the whole experience wishing things just fall back into place. The sleepless nights, the shooting BP, the falling bank balance, the crazy times, the happy times, the emotional times. The time when everything is over and all you have is a handful of memories of how it worked out perfectly.

I was part of my brother’s wedding and it was something of this sort. It was fun and in the end when you see everyone else smiling and having a good time, you feel, for real, that it is all worth it! Worth the tension and worth the near-death-experience.

Posting some picture that I managed to take during the wedding, in between the madness!

Yes. You! You are getting married.

Yes. You! You are getting married.

Mom with the Bride-to-be.

Mom with the Bride-to-be.

A beautiful moment.

A beautiful moment.

The Haldi Holi kicks in after the rituals are done. Madness! :)

The Haldi Holi kicks in after the rituals are done. Madness! 🙂

Signifies truth, happiness and enlightenment.

Signifies truth, happiness and enlightenment.

Parents to the groom

Parents to the groom

To be in the spotlight.

To be in the spotlight.

Underneath the canopy of light.

Underneath the canopy of light.

The Groom

The Groom

It gets emotional here on.

It gets emotional here on.

My partner in crime

My partner in crime

Relieved

Relieved

Gotta refuel.

Gotta refuel.

Part of the famous 7-Phere rituals, when the bride and the groom roams around 'fire' 7 times and takes 7 pious promises.

Part of the famous 7-Phere rituals, when the bride and the groom roams around ‘fire’ 7 times and takes 7 pious promises.

The overwhelming support.

The overwhelming support.

Happy Face

The Promise

All throughout the wedding.

All throughout the wedding.

This is epic and means so much!

This is epic and means so much!

It's official now! :D

It’s official now! 😀

P.S. If you like the pictures I’ve taken, you can follow my photography blog on facebook, it’s called Shot, Framed & Hanged.

Cheers 🙂

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Black Dog Scotch – Mysteries in a bottle!

Black Dog scotch has been popular in our nation for long! The initial memories I’ve had of Black Dog is of the movie Shahenshah, where Amrish Puri seems to be having a very good day and he explains to his compadre that on a good day, he does not drink Chivas, its only Black Dog.

So it was only a pleasure when I was invited for a Black Dog tasting session at Habanero, Whitefield. It was a dull day, the sky partially cloudy making it only a better occasion for whiskey. I made it to the venue and found many a fellow bloggers excited about the evening. A scotch tasting is unheard of in our culture, so everyone was a bit apprehensive, thank god Mohit put everyone at ease, but more n that later.
Habanero is a Tex – Mex restaurant that is very popular for its fod among the Whitefield junta. The restaurant, located in the Ascendas Park Square Mall has a very good fare of Mexican food. The restaurant is very spacious and airy and the decor feels just right. It is not necessarily garish like other restaurants who just try to bring too many elements into the design of the restaurant. The service is impeccable with the restaurant manager Anuj personally overseeing all floor operations.

Soon Mohit took over, taking us through a magical journey of Scotch. As we savored more and more of Scotch neat, and a\savoring every sip that hit our tongues, we realized everything Mohit said was true. Scotch does have so many hidden flavors in it, and you can find them when you look for it. The tale of the angels coming to leave the flavors just made the evening more magical.
Walter Millard, a Scot in British India, travelled to Scotland in 1883 in search of an impeccable whisky. His search ended in a blend created by James Mackinlay, of the second generation of the Leith Scotch Whisky blending family. Being a keen angler himself, Walter Millard named the whisky ‘Black Dog’ in honour of his
favourite salmon fishing fly used in the Spey and Tay rivers of Scotland since the early 19th century. Thus was born the ‘Black Dog’ whisky!

We were served 3 Black Dog’s at the event:
1. Black Dog 18 Year Old Scotch
2. Black Dog 12 year Old Scotch
3. Black Dog Centenary Scotch.

Here are a few notes that will help you enjoy Black Dog better:

Black Dog 18 Year Old Scotch.

Matured for a minimum of 18 years in oak casks, aged malt and grain whiskies have been skillfully blended together to create Black Dog 18 Year Old
Tasting Notes
Colour: Deep, golden, glossy and mahogany.
Nose: A truly noble bouquet of luscious malty tones and rich velvety textures with a hint of oloroso sherry in the background.
Taste: Round and mellow complex quixotic flavours with an impeccable balance of individual malt and grain whiskies and silky soft tones that dance on the tongue.
Finish: Luxuriously smooth and long, a testament to the malt & grain whiskies which have spent years in oak casks & vats.
Black Dog 12 Year Old Scotch.
Black Dog 12 is a blend of fine whiskies from all the regions of Scotland – Speyside, Islay, Highlands and Lowlands, each matured for a minimum period of 12 years creating a bouquet that captures all the flavours of Scotland, giving Black Dog its very distinctive flavor and taste.
Tasting Notes
Colour : Amber, with golden highlights.
Aroma : Robust malty, mellow woody, complex yet delicate aroma of sherry and vanillic sweetness with whispers of soft peatiness in the background.
Palate : Beautifully rounded, heavy body, pronounced malty, mellow woody, fruity sweetness with teasing light warm peat.
Finish : Luxurious and exciting, long and warm with a touch of cream.
Black Dog Centenary Scotch.
Black Dog Centenary is a rich and rare premium blended Scotch whisky loaded with exceptional characters. It is blended to perfection with a multitude of malt spirits chosen from the various regions of Scotland.
Tasting Notes
Colour : Amber with golden highlights.
Aroma : Matured wood, toasted malt, mild honey sweetness, delicate butterscotch bordering on cream, with floral nuances that emerges at the end.
Palate : Robust body, pronounced rich malt and oak and sherry sweetness, spreads warmly in the mouth like silent sea waves.
Finish : Balanced, long, intense and bright.
Picture credit : Ankionthemove and Onvab
Go on! Pick a Black Dog, and you will be amazed! A must have at every home!

Reach them at:
http://www.unitedspirits.in/black-dog-scotch.aspx
https://www.facebook.com/blackdogeasyevenings

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Exam Eve.. Ah..!!

As we’ve approached the eve of my last mid-term-paper, I can’t help but wonder all the other stuff around me. There’s something about exam times, makes you find the amazing in mundane. I love it, how I like to clean, shave for a change, give clothes at the laundry, collect clothes from the laundry and what not. Mother would’ve been so proud! Anyways, to sum it up, I feel one must answer life’s big question, find solutions to never ending problems, take major life altering decisions only when you’ve got a paper due tomorrow morning and you know nothing, I repeat, nothing about the subject.

Comprehendo!?

Now, to list a few things that I want to do right now but surprisingly won’t do tomorrow same time is,

1) Go out into the night clicking pictures

2) Read about the subject and assess my performance of the paper I took today

3) Find out the Google-Story

4) Read the novel – ‘Shantaram’

5) Clean my desk

6) Shave

7) Clean clothes at the laundry

This feeling of ‘not-knowing’ sets you free, to venture in the unknown, to try and figure out how you’ll reach your goal. Isn’t this the same, the way great Alexander felt before his first invasion? Isn’t this the same, the way great knights feel before heading over to rescue the princess, slay the dragon, and bring honour to thy self?

I too, set to venture in my unknown, even though, I will not slay a dragon, I will not receive a kiss from my the princess, but I’d sure fight my way to numerous sums, formulae(s), slay some problems, get some marks (pun-intended 😛 ) and rush my way to victory. Because, in the end it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, what matters is “Where’s the booze party!?”

One thing I know I would love to do – be it an exam eve or not – is blog. Talking to my 15″ Laptop screen, see words forming, see my hands hovering over little keys and write a piece of my mind. Ah… I like it!

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Originals

A lame  attempt at lame jokes. I know! I should dig myself a hole, jump in it and save myself the misery any longer. I know the drill! I’m sure all you felt the same when you were at the receiving end .. So share the love/hate of poor and pathetic ones.

One should always find the mirth in mundane. You’ve got plenty of things going around to look at, think and have a laugh.

1. Don’t ever get a tattoo of your Girlfriend’s name – Tattoo removal surgery is pretty damn costly. And are you really sure she’s gonna stick around for long? 

2. Who’s stupid enough to leave a KFC – Chicken Zinger? – A Veggie. You can’t really beat the stupid out of a veggie!

Gotta Keep Track! 🙂

Finders Keepers Losers Weepers

Is it just me or is this really a conspiracy against everyone who, at any point of time has lost something. I mean, has it ever occurred to you guys that you’ll always find people who have lost something rather than found something? The list of things that I’ve lost over my 20 years of existence varies from a 14-G Digi-Cam to a 4-buck worth pencil. I’ve heard people always complaining of losing stuff, but who finds it? I mean, there’s gotta be somebody who’s at the receiving end, right?’

How can it be that everyone is losing something without anyone getting that something? Its breaking the usual nature of ‘things’ as we know it. What I want to know is, where is my camera, where is the pencil I lost, where is the note-book I used today in the class? But these are the questions which are beyond human comprehension because, there’s always a higher force working – working to steal away your things ranging from mundane to extraordinary. If its gone, don’t fret wondering how. Just accept it!

The rate at which people are losing stuff is kinda too damn huge in comparison to the rate at which others are finding ’em. Sad but true.

Share the love.

Adious Amigos.

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Being Pointless

It’s a funny world out there. Full of surprises, full of hopes, full of things you want to do in life, things that you once wished you’d do for the rest of your life, things that you do now (ones that you long back craved a chance to do). Life is funny and at times, very distant in terms of people, in terms of the opportunities that you’ve come across.

I love my life right now and I’d like to live it the way it is now. But eventually it is going to get  better and for that to happen, it has got to get worse. It’s true! It is, definitely, not a lecture on life and how to live it, I am nowhere near to even qualify, to comment on something of the sort. It’s just an observation from my perspective.

And the ‘worsening’ part is not limited to your life being torn apart to shreds, well in most cases, it’s not even close. The mystical ass-whooping that everyone gets at a point of time, comes in mysterious ways. It’s a 70s conspiracy theory meet 90s assassination meet the present day 2012 theory. And on the ‘2012’ bombshell, why bother if all this is going to end! Man! Isn’t this all a waste? – The slogging off at work, constant abuses from your boss, meticulous preparations for exams.

Amidst the nonsense, a simple question makes you wonder, makes you work hard, every day! It asks, “What if..? What if 2012 is a hoax? What if, this is not what you’ve wanted all along? What if this is not what you’ve dreamt all along? What if, there’s something out there for you, something that you’re still to discover? What if, you still await –Your calling?”

This is what I love about blogging. A space, where there’s a one-way communication. I know, what I wrote just now would have been plain crap! It could’ve been a series a discussion, one after the other, pointing out the irregularities of topics, the no-sense making sentences. But I love talking to a computer-screen sometimes, watching the words being written as I hit some keys on the keyboard. It makes me stop, stare and wonder sometimes how miraculous it is.

It’s a nice night =)

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