Sunday, July 29, 2012

Water, water everywhere...

When Amir Khan telecast his program on "water" and contamination, I thought to myself...'no, it is not applicable to this safe corner of Hyderabad'. In the last five years I am at Tarnaka, I never had any issue of water...lack/contamination. That was till last week.
About ten days back we noticed slightly muddy water from our taps. We waited awhile and filled our water filters. I had very naively scolded the building watchman when he didn't let water into the overhead tank. I told him that we can take care of our water requirement as we have Pureit at home which would purify any and all kinds of impurities.
 On 20th, son complained of feeling feverish. He declined any food. I had a Maggi and went to bed. From the time I hit bed, I had this intense churning in the stomach. Vomiting followed. 21st morning, I too had fever. So, the whole of last weekend, we spent in bed, too weak to get up, or eat-- only spewing fluids from both ends. This continued for three days. When it stopped, the discomfort in tummies continued for another four days. Meanwhile, we bought this water bubble and had the mineral water for a week. I came to know that a few more households in our apartment were effected too!
And, we have Pureit in our home.
When you see the ad wherein the guy pours in water from every drain and river into the Pureit unit and claims it to be 100% germ free, he should have picked up a glass full from my home too. I was furious to see their tall claims fall by the way side. Their claim of 1 crore challenge remaining unclaimed for two years is also fake. Because, when I logged in to their website to actually write challenging the water purity, this is what I found:

The way they advertise on TV misleads us into believing that they claim that the challenge is for providing 100% germ-free water but the challenge for the one crore claim is actually to see if you can find a unit from any other company providing the features that Pureit does!
With a six monthly mandatory battery replacement for even a small family like ours, we need a serious re-think on whether it is prudent to go for this, especially when it fails you when you need it the most. Wonder whether the whole Germ-Kit (@ Rs.750) that they provide is merely a placebo!
Why is it that more and more we find that the enthusiasm with which a product is sold, does no longer match with the quality or service provided?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sipping my Chai

Some obsession with Chai, I feel, which leads me to write about it again after my earlier post here.
This might have you imagine me with a permanent cup of tea in my hand. No, that's not so.
Exactly an hour after breakfast I have this urge which keeps telling me that its time to complete my breakfast experience. And for me, this happens with my first cup of tea in the day.
I have a large red colored mug which can hold about 500 ml of the brew. To hold that large mug in my hands and feel the warmth of the brew as you sip through leisurely...heavenly! 
My son holds this strong opinion that all his mother's cooking skills fail when it comes to preparing tea. Down but not out, I try to best my efforts by a trial and error preparation method. And this time, I changed the tea powder too! I had been to Kerala and got the supposedly best tea powder from the Kanan Devan gardens...and also picked up a new method of preparing tea.
I came to know that tea is not supposed to be boiled to death like I do with Rasam preparation but to add just a little tea powder into the boiling water, shut off the flame and keep it closed with a lid for 1-2 minutes and then pour it. This method brought a new and better taste to my chai.
This continued for four months by which time the powder brought from Kerala was over and I switched back to my old favorite, the TATA Tea Gold. AND the taste of that powder combined with this new method of preparation...a magical combination! That hot, thin, brown liquid with its swirling aromatic steam rising from the bottom of the red cup...!
That one cup of tea brings me enough energy to see me though my day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Roti Shhoti revisited

I had visited Roti Shhoti sometime in April and had written its review here.
This time though, I had visited alone and when I started my order, I was recommended their set-lunch offered in a segregated white tray containing Peeli Dal, Veg sheekh kabab, Veg Dum Biryani, Methi Chaman & Paneer Kulcha. They had offered a dessert too which I declined.

The meal started with Tomato Shorba which seemed more like tomato soup. It wasn't spicy or thin like shorbas are normally found to be.
Though its been sometime since my visit, and I don't recall all the finer details, what I distinctly remember is this:
1. The total quantity was huge!. I could manage only half of it. Even for a person with a robust appetite, the quantity served would easily suffice.
2. As usual, they do justice to their name 'Roti-Shhoti.' Rotis, any kind, served here are truly awesome... very soft and pliable.
3. The appetizer served this time was good again though not excellent as the Aloo Kabab that we had ordered the last time.
4.The curries, though don't stand out as being exceptional, but as mentioned in my last post, they are still recommended for being non-oily in preparation.
5. The biryani also was quite decent though not exceptional.
6. At 140/ for this lunch, I feel that it is good value for money: taste-wise, quantity-wise, the ambience...

Found their menu online here.

Hyderabad Weather

The monsoons find a different way to begin every year.
This year, it came a little late around second week of June, 2-3 showers, after which the ACs were turned off.
The summer this year was horribly hot compared to all the summers in Hyderabad.The entire country seems to have experienced the hottest summer this year. Yet, this year we didn't experience those hot humid phases that happen in the beginning of the monsoons. Once the rains started, the weather had turned cool.
And, what happened the last two days, Friday and Saturday, was really a bit too astonishing: it poured not just cats and dogs but I thought every conceivable animal was dropping from the heavy was the downpour!
I had gone shopping in the afternoon but scooted home when the skies relented a bit. Good that I did that because what started at 3 pm on Friday didn't relent till 3 pm on Saturday. 14.2 cms according to records!
Thankfully my family hadn't stepped out. Or else, we know what happens to the traffic in even moderate rainfall in Hyderabad. Vehicular traffic almost comes to a standstill and reaching home gets to be a nightmare.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Life ephemeral

Yesterday, I woke up with a start in the middle of the night.
Sitting up in bed, I glanced around at the cupboards which held all my possessions...clothes, books, and a whole drawer of trinkets which I hold close to my heart.
This collection seemed so HUGE! Something which needed  four cupboards to hold. Apart from the thought that do I need so much, was also another scary thought-- that once I am no more, people around me would just dump all this. What meaning do these things hold for anyone? Some times I grieve over the breaking of my favorite bangle, sometime a lost ear ring, sometime a dress that gets torn or spoiled. I cannot carry even a fistful of these. I need to leave them all behind.
These words may sound cliched but when this thought runs through your mind, that moment  can be quite overpowering.
Some kind of premonition?  Maybe, I thought, as the next morning, news of passing away of the superstar of Bollywood, Rajesh Khanna, filtered through. The biggest superstar...and the loneliest one. Even as I was around 8-9 years of age, Rajesh Khanna's fame was on wane, with his movies failing one after another. Plus the fact that there wasn't the TV in those days to give us an insight into the celebrities' lives. So there wasn't much I knew about him then, apart from the repeat broadcast of all his hit songs through the radio channels.
In more recent times, the internet provided an insight into the lives of these Bollywood actors...of the destitute lives of actors like Bhagwan who squandered away all their earnings (which was so much more than they ever dreamt of).
To compare,  actors of Rajesh Khanna's age were more prudent with money, not wishing to end up in penury or live their evening years in chawls. He built his estates but again died a poor, lonely life.
Actors this generation have realized the value of balancing work with family and hopefully they'd have had a more fulfilling life. This is so important, because worse than dying of penury, is to die due to loneliness. 
After all, you can't carry even a fistful of all that you possess.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

ek kafan ki khatir

‎Bina libaas aye they iss jahan mein... bus ek kafan ki khatir itna safar karna pada..!