Saturday, December 19, 2015

Movie Review : Bajirao Mastani

Like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies, this movie too has marvelous and grandeur sets. This movie is based on the historical novel ‘Raau’ authored by N. S. Inamdar, a Marathi novelist. This romantic story is about the Maratha warrior Peshwa Bajirao and his second wife Mastani. Ranveer Singh as Bajirao looks like a warrior walks like a warrior and talks like a warrior. I must say one of his best performances. Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai, Bajirao’s first wife looks very attractive and does justice to the character. She has less scenes but her acting impresses much more. Neither Deepika Padukone’s looks nor her acting impresses. On a classical song while dancing her face expressions are very poor. The weakest point of the movie is that her face expressions more or less remain the same throughout the movie. Milind Soman is a great surprise. He acted in at least one movie. Tanvi Azmi as Bajirao’s mother acted very well. The rest of the actors also leave their impression on audiences.

The aaina mahal set is amazing and its reflection in Kashibai’s room’s curtain is quite impressive. The war scenes look real. The scenes created with graphics and the characters are blended too well that everything on screen looks real. Music and songs are melodious. The background music is pleasing. Costumes are attractive and eye catching.

First half is gripping and the second half is ok type and climax is bit weird, too lengthy and too slow. If the end has been changed the movie would have been far better. Even then it is a must watch on BIG SCREEN!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Rs. 500 less from ATM withdrawl

On 8th Nov, 2015, I went to ATM of HDFC bank located in the society where I live. I used SBI Bank card to withdraw Rs.10000/-  and to my utmost surprise only Rs. 9500/- came out. In place of one thousand note there was one five hundred rupee note. Five hundred rupee was inserted between the thousand rupee notes. I noted the number of that ATM branch and called the mobile number mentioned on a slip attached to the ATM as there was no security guard. The person on phone suggested me to file a complaint in the bank whose card I used to withdraw money. I complained to the customer care of SBI bank as I used SBI card to withdraw money regarding the refund of Rs. 500/-. But my complaint was rejected saying that the 'ATM transaction was successful'. I felt cheated.

I request you to be careful while withdrawing money from ATMs. If any of you have faced the same problem and wish to file a case in consumer court then you can contact me.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote

In less than 24 hours, I finished the novel ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian. Because of my busy schedule it took me additional hours to read it otherwise the book is so gripping and interesting that it can be read in merely 4 hours. I find the time to read it because of the personal touch from the author who sent me a signed copy of this novel. What to say more that the author is so humble that he dedicated this book to the readers!

This book is dedicated to all my readers. Especially those who glimpsed their reflections in its pages.

Aditya Kapoor, paperback king had everything name, fame, money, good job and nice family till he met Shreya, young ambitious management trainee from IIM Bengaluru who wished to be a successful author like him. Lots of events took place when their worlds collided and the story moved with a fast pace taking interesting and breath holding turns. It is a story of love, trust, passion, lust, betrayal, rejection and redemption.

Some of the lines that I liked from this novel are as follows:
  1. I don’t say anything doesn’t mean I don’t notice.
  2. I hate it when people don’t give a book its due respect – most of all, people who are, or want to be authors.
  3. He has over 8000 books lying all over his house – on shelves, packed in cartons, some even warehoused. So much so that when you walk into his house you may feel like you’ve walked into a bookstore.
  4. Someone once said, “Find what makes you happy and go for it with all your heart. It will be hard, but I promise it will be worth it.”
  5. A book is an expression of an author’s creativity. Do not demean it by calling it a “product”.
  6. There has got to be a difference between peddling a bar of soap and selling a book. A book is a lot more personal, a lot more involving.
  7. And as far as marketing my books is concerned – it’s simple. If I spend a year writing a book, I will leave no stone unturned in making sure that everyone knows about it, and buys it. I don’t mind my books adorning bookshelves as long as the bookshelves we are referring to are not in bookshops, but in people’s homes.
  8. If after reading my book, you hate it, please write to me. I can’t refund your time, but to make up for it, I will gift you ten books of your choice. Think of it as kind of a money-back guarantee.
  9. Oh …oh…oh…Stop, stop, desi John Green! Stop dreaming. It’s not easy to write. Even if you write rubbish, it takes time, effort and skill. Do you realize that?
  10. Then why is your face looking like a roasted brinjal?
  11. Over the last few months she had read and re-read all his books. And here he was, a couple of feet from her, breathing the same air.
  12. I was living the lives of the characters through your book. That’s the level of association it created.
  13. I was not reading the story. I was living it.
Ravi Subramanian, the author is an banker who has written books like ‘If God Was a Banker’, ‘I Brought the Monk’s Ferrari’, ‘Devil in Pinstripes’, ‘The Incredible Banker’, ‘The Bankster’, ‘The Bankerupt’ and ‘God is a Gamer’. He has won lots of awards like The Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award for ‘If God Was a Banker’, The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2012 for ‘The Incredible Banker’ and The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2013 for ‘The Bankster’ and The Economist Crossword Award Book Award in 2014 for ‘The Bankerupt’.

I strongly recommend this book for those who love books and for those who want to be an author.  

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Cooking classes at Gourmet High Street

It was fun to attend cooking classes by celebrity chef at Gourmet High Street, Leisure Valley, Gurgaon. I learned the Sugarkraft by Chef Swati Jain and chocolate gol-gappas by Chef Saransh Goila.

For SugarKraft the theme was Christmas, I and my team prepared Christmas tree, Penguin, Snowman and other decorative items like bells, leaves, flowers etc with sugar based products which have edible colors. The pieces are glued together using edible glue. Muffin decorations made by our team won a prize. In the end of contest Chef Swati Jain gave away the prizes.

I prepared a dish with chocolate for the first time and preparing gol-gappas was an awesome experience. I was in Foodies team. We prepare the chocolate gol-gappas and decorate it with dry coconut powder, for filling we caramelized the peanuts and cut strawberries in small pieces. For liquid which is to be filled in gol-gappas we took vanilla ice-cream and milk. Mixed them and serve them with vanilla pod and strawberry pieces. The ready dish was very pleasing.

Chef Saransh tasted our dish and liked the caramelized peanuts very much.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Gourmet High Street Gurgaon

I participated in a contest on Facebook and won a free pass to Gourmet High Street, Leisure Valley, Gurgaon. I went there on 4th Dec, 2015 and first time saw the world famous Chef Sanjeev Kapoor who is owner of Food Food channel, hosts program named 'Khanna Khazana' and one of the judges of MasterChef India. 

I got the chance to click a photo with Chef Ranveer Brar, Judge of MasterChef India and host of TV shows like Snack Attack, The Great Indian Rasoi, Homemade, The Breakfast Express etc.

I also got the chance to meet the Chef Vicky Ratnani who is the brother of famous photographer Dabboo Ratnani and his famous TV shows are Vicky's World, Vicky Goes Veg, Vicky Goes Foreign and Do It Sweet. 

Mummy Ka Magic famed Amrita Raichand who is also an actress and I can be seen in this photograph.

Model, actor and Chef Aditya Bal who is reviving the lost recipes of India in the program 'Lost Recipes' on EPIC channel. I am great admirer of his culinary skills. Before taking up cooking profession, he was a model and acted in movie named 'Mashooka' in 2005.

It was great experience to meet all these Chefs personally whom I had admired watching their cookery shows on TV.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Snack Party with Karisma Kapoor

I was highly disappointed on seeing the results of photos clicked by a blogger friend. Two were blurred and one was with my eyes closed. I was feeling low as I came all the way from Gurgaon to meet Karisma Kapoor in the ‘Snack Party with Karisma Kapoor’ which was organized in Hotel Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi by Indiblogger and McCain. I was standing next to Karisma Kapoor on the stage but not a single click was worth to be put on a social networking site and to boast about it. I desperately wanted a nice photograph with her. During the whole program my mind was busy, distracted and not able to enjoy the surroundings because of the poor results of photographs with Karisma Kapoor.

In the end, there were snacks. I couldn’t enjoy them much as I wanted a photograph with Karisma Kapoor. The organizers gave four packets of different McCain products with a cook book. That too couldn’t bring a smile on my face. As I was leaving the hall, one of the organizers called me and said that you could collect your photo frame from the reception desk. I turned back halfheartedly to collect it. But my joy new no bounds on seeing a perfect photo framed in it. That was the biggest surprise of the day! The photographer standing right in front of the stage took the photo perfectly. Everyone was smiling, not blinking and looking straight into the camera making it a best click. I was smiling not only in the photo but in real as well. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Orange Lozenge

I love to experiments with food. I have tried out Aloe Vera veg, Pumpkin seeds veg, no oil tinda with Italian flavors, gol-gappas filled with sprouts, fried gavar ki phalli, cucumber cake, banana spinach smoothie and raabri prepared from channa flour which are all off beat recipes. This time I decide to try out a new dessert recipe. Dessert is a course generally used to conclude the main meal. In dessert there can be many foods such as cakes, pudding, tarts, pastries, ice creams etc. Because of natural sweetness and distinct flavor fruits are generally added in the desserts. I give a twist in a dessert recipe and make an eggless cake which is sweet, sour, salty and hot as well. For sweetness instead of sugar I use sugar for sourness I use orange juice, for saltiness of course salt and for hotness I use green chilies. I add coconut powder for wonderful texture and nice taste whereas mint for its refreshing flavor and cool taste. I name it as 'Orange Lozenge'.

Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 8 minutes

All purpose flour – 1 cup
Malai (Cream) – 1 cup
Curd – 1 cup
Desiccated coconut – 1 cup
Orange juice – 1 ½ cup
Grated orange rind – 2-3 tea spoon
Sugar– 2 cup
Butter – ½ teaspoon
Salt – ½ teaspoon
Green chilies – 2
Mint – 5- 6 leaves
Finely grated almonds – 2 table spoon

  1. Sift all purpose flour with baking powder.
  2. Mix dry coconut powder, Sugarfree Natura, and salt in it.
  3. Extract the juice from fresh oranges and sieve it. Throw the pips and use the fresh orange juice for preparing the dish. Mix orange juice and grated orange rind gently in the dry mixture.  
  4. Grind green chilies, mint leaves with curd. Mix malai and curd lightly in the mixture without lump formation.
  5. Grease the sides and bottom of baking dish with butter.
  6. Pour the mixture in baking dish and sprinkle finely grated almond over it.
  7. Cook it in microwave for 8 minutes.
  8. On cooling cut them into pieces. Serve them.

Taste – It is a light, moist cake with a tender crumb. It melts into the mouth giving the relishing taste of coconut and orange with a flavor of mint. It is sour and sweet, salty and hot.

Now, I can satiate my sweet tooth without compromises.