Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Identifying Pure Ghee

Now a days, everyone is selling "shuddha desi ghee" (fat derived from cow/buffalo milk). But you never know if the this ghee is really shuddha or pure.

One of best ways I know of getting a pure ghee is to prepare it at home. But we are too busy to do anything like that.

So how to identify a pure ghee? Well, just buy the smallest pack available on the shelf and put about 5-10 ml of ghee into a small (about 100 ml) gar jar with an airtight lid. Now shake this jar well so that the ghee spreads into it evenly.

Now put this jar into refrigerator for 10 minutes so that ghee is solidified. Now pit this jar out in the sun. If whole of ghee melts pure clean liquid is accumulated at the bottom then it is a pure ghee.

And if there is a whitish residue on the walls of a jar then this is nothing but what was added to ghee to increase its volume.

I hope this helps everyone identify the pure ghee and not fall pray to adulterated food and food articles. So live better.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Hotel Kohinoor, Bhau Patil Road, Bopodi Pune

Yesterday night I entered Kohinoor after a gap of three years. Last time I had visited this place and ordered chicken biryani. I thoroughly enjoyed this biryani. Unlike other restaurants, this dish had more chicken and less rice.

This time I just wanted to have Chicken with Chappati. So I ordered Chicken Masala. It took about 20 minutes for order to be served as it was already 10.30 pm.

Now when this piping hot delicacy arrived, I was already very anxious about the quality and taste. I thought that the guys in the kitchen are winding up and they must have cooked it in haste. But I was in for a surprise. The chicken seemed fresh, properly cooked and Spices were just right.

The amount that they served was enough for two moderate eaters.

After I finished my meals, the bill was presented. The bill was actually negligible to be mentioned here. Man it can't get any better. I going to be a regular customer now. Though it is bit far from my place but what the heck. Good food is good food.

If you ever visit this place, do try Chicken Biryani, and Chicken Masala. You will not regret

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Etiquette Verses Education

I stormed into an ATM to withdraw cash. I saw the security guard (in his fifties) seated in the corner with his lunch box. He smiled at me and invited me to join him for lunch. I thanked him and said no.
When I went back, I started to think about the incidence. This guy was hardly educated and still had the manners to invite a complete stranger to have meals with him. I recollected certain incidences where the people were known to me, well educated and to my amazement, never did any such act.
My father always said, "Education doesn't teach you manners."
It cannot be more true.

Should Owning a Fire Arm be this difficult?

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
US Constitution, Second Amendment, gives its citizens a Right to Bear Arms without any hassles. In India, on the other hand, there are number of things that you need to go through. Let's take an overview.
Gun ownership in India is a privilege under the Arms Act of 1959. The Arms Act of 1959 and the Arms Rules of 1962 were derived from the text of the Indian Arms Act of 1876 created by the British Rulers in view of the 1857 rebellion against the East India company.
To obtain a license to own a firearm, a person has to prove that there exists "threat to life." (If you are lucky enough to be alive to prove that). Once a license is obtained, there are several restrictions on caliber and types of firearms (semiautomatic rifles, short barrel shotguns, and automatic weapons are not allowed for civilians). A license is limited to three firearms under section 3 of the Arms Act 1959. Under the wake of terror the government is considering making the rules even more stringent.
India has won an Olympic Gold medal in the 10m air gun category. It also has a few good shooters in the trap and skeet shooting areas. However, only renowned shots are allowed to import firearms, that too only after requisite permission from the authorities.
All manufacturing is done by the government ordnance factories, who without any competition, produce poor quality products.
Now the question is whether this is right or wrong? How sensible it is to hang on to the Act enacted by British Govt. about 134 years back? Can we Indians do something about it?
I am posting two links so that we can become part of the movement.
Before I conclude, I want you to read the following carefully.

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun." -- The Dalai Lama, (May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times) speaking at the "Educating Heart Summit" in Portland, Oregon, when asked by a girl how to react when a shooter takes aim at a classmate

Purple/Intercity/Prasanna Travels

I have been a regular traveler with this bus service for more than a year now. Their service was good, staff  is co-operative and the places they halt at are decent. I always got single sleeper seat and was very comfortable with that.
But last time I traveled, I was devastated by what I have to undergo. I had to make a last minute reservation and was accommodated in the double berth. I was very uncomfortable sleeping next to a complete stranger. After sometime when I asked for a blanket, they me a double bed blanket which me and my co-passenger were supposed to share. Can you imagine. Sleeping in a same blanket with a complete stranger. I can't tell you haw I slept that night.

To make matters worse the attendant was absolutely arrogant and started arguing with us. I just had one question in my mind, "Why can't these people have only single blankets so that no one has to share it with anyone?"

Sion Circle Taxi Drivers

I want to share this experience with all the people traveling to Mumbai via private buses. Unable to get reservation in train, my brother and I traveled through bus. We got down at Sion Circle. An elderly Sardarji approached us with a big smile on his face. He successfully persuaded us to hire his taxi up to Andheri. Throughout the way he was talking to us. He cracked jokes and kept us well entertained. We were surprised to see the bill amount. It was whooping Rs. 400/-. At that juncture, we did not have any choice but to pay.

Six months later, when I traveled to Mumbai again, I saw that same taxi driver trying to convince some gullible passengers. So in essence, I can say that these people are always on look out for some infrequent travelers who can be cheated easily. Look out for 2-3 taxi drivers (sardarjis) in their fifties.

Sherbagh, Panchgani

This is one the most advertised theme parks in Panchgani. You will see a lot billboards insisting on your visit to this place.
We saw slogans like, "Floating Rock, Egg of Dinosaur", etc. The charges are about Rs. 100/- per head. It is established by a person named Mr Sher and the park is named after him. In reality following are the things I observed:
1.     It is just a garden that houses different types of plants.
2.     They have created artificial waterfalls, rocks and scenery that resemble that of a jungle. We always heard somebody switch on the water pump before we were about to reach a waterfall.
3.     It has a hopeless cafeteria that is unreasonably expensive (they won't allow any eatables either).
4.     You will have to cough up another 100 odd bucks if you wish to see "the floating rock or dinosaur egg".
5.     They will charge you for taking your camera in.
This is a big park spread across several acres. If you have about an hour or two to kill and several hundred rupees to spare, only then visit this place. There is nothing extraordinary that you cannot find in a well maintained municipal garden.

Atal Bihari Vajpai Regional Park, Indore

This is a newly developed park with number different gardens, lawns, fountains and yes, the lake with boating facility. It is beautiful and mesmerizing. The entry fee is Rs. 25 per person. But there is something that must be brought to your notice before you visit it. When I visited this park on a Sunday evening, there were three things that pissed me off:
  1.  Dirty and stinking toilets
  2. There was no water in the taps in the toilet.
  3. We were asked get up from the lawns saying that it was not allowed (there were no sign boards)
  4. There were a lot of anti social elements like begers, eve teasers that might ruin your outing with your family

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Happiness is not Momentary......

Most people remain unhappy because they don't have what they want. Many think acquiring something material will make them happy.
But even after they achieve it, they find themselves not as happy. The reason it so happens is that, it is us who put such conditions on being happy.
In reality, if we are not happy about what we already have and don't appreciate it then there is no guarantee that we will be happy in future. We must understand something, Happiness is neither momentary nor does it depend on anything tangible or intangible. It is a way of life.
Happiness can be found in trivial things in life. We can choose to be happy if we want. Happiness is not something supernatural. It is already there within each of us. All we need to do is to free it from the "if...then" thinking and start enjoying everything that life has to offer.
Hurry up guys, clock is ticking. With each passing day, the world is changing, our circumstances are changing, you are changing. Things will never be the same again. You might be better off in future but the circumstances may not be the same. Your approach to life may not be the same. You may not enjoy same thing in future as much as you do today.
So guys stop applying conditions and start finding happiness in everything that you see and do.

Happy Living!!

Rise Above the Criticism to Succeed

"When we judge or criticize another person, it says nothing about that person; it merely says something about our own need to be critical."   -Unknown

We come across hundreds of people who constantly criticize other people or person for no reason. Even I found myself doing that most of the times. Soon I realized that this particular habit was actually keeping me from achieving my dreams. Why? Because to criticize someone/something we need to:
  1. Spend valuable time & effort in observing the person/situation
  2. Analyze the situation so as to find the areas to be critical about
  3. And finally verbalize ideas so that what you say makes sense to the other person
In short, criticizing requires a good deal of creativity & a lot of deliberation.
There can be thousands of reasons for people to criticize others. I have listed the most important ones below:
  1. They are insecure & often have inferiority.
  2. They are frustrated with their own shortcomings.
  3. They suffer from low self esteem.
  4. They are jealous of the people they criticize.
  5. They have a constant urge for approval from others.
  6. They want to project themselves are more accomplished than the people they criticize.
This list is not exhaustive, I am sure anyone can find a few more reasons to add to this list. But that is not the point. This particular habit actually consumes the very resource that is needed to make our lives more rewarding. Many philosophers have written about the impact of thought process on the life of an individual. If this habit of criticism takes away a major chunk of this resource, we are bound to fall behind.
"Feeling of Low Self Worth" is the root cause that engenders such behavior  Through these feelings, our sub-conscious tries to convey us about our areas of improvement. But improvement requires us to put in efforts that come to fruition over the period of time. One has to get out of the comfort zone in order to make a lasting change.
But most people aren't ready to do that. Instead, they look for a quick fix & instant gratification. They go on to criticizing very people they should be admiring. In few minutes, they prove anyone wrong by throwing some intriguing arguments. This satisfies their emotional need, but only for a moment.
Next time, when the similar feeling resurfaces, it creates the same behavioral response. Eventually, they get used to it and criticizing becomes a second nature. Over the period of time these people become so bitter that it becomes nearly impossible to be around with them. These people struggle with their careers & relationships. They fall into the vicious cycle of 'feeling inadequate-criticizing-feeling further inadequate".
We need to be careful about developing such a destructive habit. Whenever I notice such feelings developing inside me, I immediately go to work on myself and strive make myself a better person.

"Criticism of others is futile and if you indulge in it often you should be warned that it can be fatal to your career."
                                                                                                                                                                                -Dale Carnegie