I had seen the site a few times, but I ordered from then when I saw a Tatacliq ad on Facebook.  These were Redtape shoes for less than 1500 bucks. I thought it was misleading advertising but the site had more than a fair collection of shoes on discount. I ordered one. There is not much to talk about in terms of shopping experience, unless something is lacking. The cart and payment process on Tatacliq is pretty standard and you won’t notice it unless you…Continue Reading “My experience with online shopping: Tatacliq review”

Dear Ma, You pampered me too much. I am still having issues when colleagues don’t hug me every morning. My teeth were never too big. I was never too dark. My deeds were never too bad. I turn violent when someone criticises me. You fed me whatever I wanted. No ugly veggies, no milk today, I hate fish. Gobi pakoda please. You should look at my BMI today. I ruled over my sisters. I ruled over you. I was the SON. My wife got a…Continue Reading “A practical son’s message on Mothers Day”

summer foods

Some folks are picky eaters. And, summers are the worst times for them. There are less vegetables, as the common refrain goes. But is that wholly true? We are a tropical country after all. Summers can’t be that good. Though, these days, we get most vegetables round the year, most are seasonal. Only idiots eat cauliflowers in summer. Anyway, summers are a bounty if you are not a difficult person. Let’s count – jackfruit, gourds (ash, bitter, snake, bottle, pointed), squash, pumpkin, cucumber, papaya, okra…Continue Reading “Summer food”

pakhala

Odias were a prosperous people. You know, Kalinga, Utkala, shipping prowess, java, sumatra and all that. They also invented head transplant before Ganesha’s doctors did and aeroplanes before Ravana did. Then, some jealous race planted this dude insidious character among Odias. The character created something called Pakhala. Within a generation, Odias stopped all shipping bullshit. Within five, they stopped going out of Odisha. By twentieth century, Odias were used to sleeping 12 hours a day, rarely stepping out of the house and generally being lazy…Continue Reading “The story of pakhala and Odia decline”

misti doi

Misti doi. Say that in your head, now move slowly move to the tip of your tongue. Say it silently on your lips. Now, say it loudly. Mubarak ho, aap baangaaali ban giya ho. This is the conversion ritual that bongs use to convert others. The moment you say misti the way they say it, that sensuous halt on the S, like a skid mark on the road, sssss, coming to a sudden stop, you are half a bong. Doi. There is no h. They…Continue Reading “Misti doi and Bengali conversion ritual”

kulath dal

We called it Kolatha in Odia. As I came to know only recently, it is also known in North India, Kulath, it is called. I was surprised, I thought this dal was eaten only in Odisha, rather only in my village, in our sai, there is no equivalent term in English, may be clan. Anyway, the point being it is a very unglamorous dal. Moong was used in puja and on special days, arhar was, even then, a prized dal. Chana was the hardworking common…Continue Reading “Kulath Dal”

jasmine pulao forktales

We do these pop ups under the name Forktales. The latest one was on 5000 years of Indian food history and tracking each influence via a food item. This post is based on the latest event.  The mughals had flower pulaos. Nothing can do more damage to their image than this one sentence with 29 characters with spaces. I eat flowers too. Pumpkin flowers, deep fried in rice batter. Love it. You can’t see the flower and what you eat is so delicious that you…Continue Reading “Eating flowers”

defence bakery

I was never much of a bakery guy. Bhubaneswar had only one reasonable one – the cake shop. So, like 67% of life was spent without any exposure to baked breads. Bread meant sliced bread, white, paunroti in Odia. Never knew the paun much like the pav can mean feet and the name came from the fact the dough was kneaded by feet. I don’t know the authenticity of this scandal, the foodies debate on. Anyway, coming to bakeries, most of my years in delhi…Continue Reading “Defence Bakery, Defence Colony”

salad

Salad. No other food is as classist as salad. When I was young it was saalaad, when I moved to Delhi, it became salaaad and now it is a very crisp accent saaladd. Salad for a long time meant onion, tomato and cucumber in summers and carrots were added in winters. You could arrange that in rows or grate or pile as you wished but that was it. That was all there was to salad. I felt like a chef the day I added pepper…Continue Reading “Salad. Saalaad. Salaaad. Saaladd.”

lingaraj lassi bhubaneswar

My first Punjabi lassi was in Delhi in 2001. It was that shop under the tree in Ber Sarai. We had just landed in Delhi a couple of days before, I was to join Dschool and a friend had to join IIMC. We were looking for a place for him. Anyway, the lassi. It came for 15 bucks, a tall steel glass, all white with froth at top. He kept it on the counter. I waited. I had paid 15 in advance, he was not…Continue Reading “Lingaraj Lassi, Bhubaneswar”

jom jom malay

Okay, I don’t think I have been so wowed by a place lately, the last I can remember was Guppy. There were three of us, three hardcore, best of the world, eaten pluto out of planethood foodies. And, all three agreed on the same. Jom Jom Malay in Ansal Plaza is how those serious about food should go about their job. In the city of Priyank Sukhijas, there is someone who is sincere. The place is small, there is no fuss, staff is courteous and…Continue Reading “Jom Jom Malay – Malaysian food in Delhi”

shiraz at bangalore soma vineyards

Magic is an overworked term. Eating burgers magical, almost everything on insta is magical, having a coffee with a friend is magical. But anyway, let me not push the boundary and go with magical this once. Soma Vineyard is owned by Darby Raju and Aruna. Raju is the kite and Aruna is the nail in the ground that keeps it tied. Raju is flamboyant, a mine of information and a great host – someone you could be highfiving and hugging within an hour of meeting….Continue Reading “Bangalore Soma Vineyards – A must do in Bengaluru”

Odisha. Odias on my timeline may not agree. But as a friend just said, odisha is a majoritariant caste Hindu state. I agree. There are not enough Muslims in Odisha, less than 2% last I knew. The state has no culture of promoting intellectualism or liberalism. The Jagannath temple is the most regressive of all temples, the costal folks either don’t know or abhor the tribals and western odias. Odias are regressive and only seemingly mild because the dalits and tribals are in such bad…Continue Reading “Why Odisha will be next to fall for Hindutva”

bel

There is only finite love in one’s life. How do I know? Whatever I hated as a child, I love now. I love banana flowers and stem, I love arbi, parval, radish, neem ka saag. And, I love bel. I used to hate the smell of it, I would go wander around in the village streets if I saw that grandpa is making the kids drink bel. The only time I remember drinking it is when it was mixed with all fruits and bhaang. That…Continue Reading “Bel and finite love”

hotel maurya pinetop

On top of Nandi Hills, there is this government run restaurant. It has mixed reviews at best. It is really cheap and has brilliant views and most said it’s only the view that is good. But either my taste buds are bad or those guys are snooty. Let’s settle for them being snooty. The place is right at the top of the hill, in front of Nehru Nilaya. The food was cheap. It seems breakfast is served only on weekends and govt holidays, the menu…Continue Reading “Food at Hotel Maurya Pinetop, Nandi Hills”

MILKOR

Dear Sir, After some 17-18 years, I decided to sleep late today. Actually, an old friend made me mix my drinks and I was just pretending to be a felled log today. The bell rings. The maid knocks and says someone is at the door. She looks entertained. There are two girls at the door. Before i could wake up and my lenses could adjust, they told me how great your milk is (no milk is good, no woman would be happy giving milk that…Continue Reading “Open letter to Milkor founders”

There are things we do because we like them, not because we care about the world or are eco warriors or are conservators etc. In one of my earlier posts, i had mentioned how we created a balcony garden, failed, hired a mali, fired a mali and then i started composting kitchen waste and the balconies turned into Amazonian forests. But it seems not all efforts lead to good things. That a tenth floor balcony is not a safe place. That you can’t have your…Continue Reading “The monster in my hibiscus pot and the dangers of organic farming”

For an anti-religious person, Nandi temple was something of a special place. More on that later, but how many have seen this before? Hint: It’s rudra Ganesh, not the usual rupa of Ganesh that you see but very powerful nonetheless. The lovable god that we can cuddle but what a warrior. His first showdown being with the mighty Shiva. This one is a traditional rendition of rudra ganesh. Gods have many rupas and ganesh, despite the calm demeanor and all association with prosperity, he was…Continue Reading “Rudra Ganesh, Nandi Hills”

benne dosa mtr 1924

I had a list of some 15 must eats in Bangalore. A curated list as the cultured would say. A list that I had begged, bullied and whatsapped at odd hours to compile. But then, it was good to wander off the list at times, in fact, we did that a lot. This place, MTR 1924, on St Mark’s Street, had mixed reviews. Not a place to sit and chat. We chatted with a friend for close to three hours. Decent food, not as good…Continue Reading “MTR 1924, St. Marks Road, Bangalore”

rasgula chaat vv puram

V V Puram. Most of the blogs and magazines had this listed as a must visit place. It’s a must visit for sure, not sure if it can be listed as must-eat. Anyway, the locals calls it the Khau Gali, everyone online calls it food street. That makes it quite hard to find. Also autowallahs everywhere are the same, I learnt it the hard way that it’s so much better stick to Ola. And, Ola in Bangalore is awesome, the drivers are super polite, don’t…Continue Reading “VV Puram khau gali, Bangalore”