Thursday 30 July 2015

My answer to "At what stage in a relationship doesn an Indian girl decides to go physical with her boyfriend?"

This is my answer to the question-

At what stage in a relationship doesn an Indian girl decides to go physical with her boyfriend? 

on Quora.

(Satire Alert)

An Indian girl unlike any other creature is a unique specimen. Scientists have waited long nights on tree tops in jungles to observe this creature's behaviour and mating habits. This of course, has been a risky foray into one of the most mysterious tales of nature. A few scientists who dozed and fell from those tree tops were devoured by this so called creature called Indian girl known in the scientific community as Girlus Indicus.

To answer your question, an Indian Girl has certain mating rituals that do hinder an early consummation of relationship (if you know what I mean *wink*). The Indian Boy, the male of the species, scientifically known as Indus Desperatus has to earn the right with routine courtship rituals.

In the internationally acclaimed journal Scribble Pad, an article was published just today which lists out the steps that if carried out successfully, lead to coitus uninterruptus *wink*

Here are excerpts-

Step 1- Creepy Behaviour

Indicus Desperatus, driven by hormones and goaded by horny companions, approaches the female via Facebook, whatsapp or any other indirect method. This stage is marked by the blatant misuse of the word 'love'.

Step 2- Perseverance

Now, Indicus Desperatus is known for its perseverance. It's evident from the religious 'Good morning' messages sent to the female every day for a month. The fact that not even a single one of them is replied to shows the mule-like traits found in the males of the species.

Step 3- Denial

The male then assumes the female to be his girlfriend. It is a defence mechanism and depicts the tendency of the male to reward himself for his persistence.

Sometimes the step 3 consists of Acceptance by the girl. This is only possible when the girl is of the sub-species Girlus Indicus Stupidus. Since we are here to discuss the consummation of relationship, we will assume that girl in our case belongs to that sub-species.

Step 4- The Date

Finally in case of Acceptance, the girl chooses to go out with the guy on a date. Usually such dates constitute of moments like these-

a) The girl catches the guy leering at her cleavage. She asks him what he is doing. The guy says something that sounds like a compliment. The girl forgives the guy for being a lustful, bloodthirsty sociopath.

b) The guy tries to kiss the girl. The girl tries to resist. It becomes awkward. At one moment, the guy's lips touch the girl's eyeball.

Anyway, the date is soon wrapped up.

Step 5- The Quora

The guy posts questions like "At what stage in a relationship doesn an Indian girl decides to go physical with her boyfriend?" on Quora. He even wonders the same when he is with the girl. This leads to awkward conversations with no real progress being made on the relationship front.

Step 6- The Leap

Desperatus decides one day that enough is enough and takes the leap. He finally gets his way with the girl but after the act, the girl feels slightly violated. They part soon after the act.

Tuesday 28 July 2015

Restaurant Review: Wendy's, Sector 29, Gurgaon

Rocky and Mayur have ventured out to explore food from all parts of India and curate videos on I'm contributing my part by relishing my favorite dishes at Wendy's, Sector 29, Gurgaon and sharing my views with you all!You can also upload your video review on AskMe  and stand a chance to meet Rocky and Mayur.

Restaurant- Wendy's
Cuisine- Fast food/ American

Shop- 19, Leisure Valley road, Sector 29


With hoardings all over Gurgaon, it was difficult to not visit Wendy's at least once. Sector 29 market is a nice locality with loads of options for all kinds of foodies. The market lights up in the evenings and parking is almost full always. It is a good option to park your vehicle in the facility outside the market, near the park. The walk from there to the restaurant might even help with the appetite. 

I had heard enough about Wendy's through popular media and American shows and had always wondered what was so special about it. One evening, I decided to give it a try and the following is an account of my experience-

As you enter the restaurant, you are directed toward the counter with a giant menu. It is a good arrangement as it streamlines the whole experience. You enter, you order, pick a token, pick a table and then you are served. The staff is friendly and unobtrusive.

The decor would get a complete 10/10 from my side. The pickle jars are arranged tastefully to give  very friendly picture. The lighting is also dim and suits the dinner mood. Cleanliness is top notch and the service system is efficient.

Coming to the food, there are equal options for non vegetarians and vegetarians; and Baconator is seemingly their trademark burger- the double bacon, cheeseburger. 

I decided to order a Jr Chicken burger meal. 
The burger came with yellow buns and a large amount of fries. The cola drink was also served in a pretty tall glass. The main dish- the burger was nice and juicy. The pickles inside created an interesting mix of flavours and texture. The patty was thick enough and the bun was soft and crumbled easily. The fries were more than sufficient, thick and took the spotlight away from the burger. It was difficult to finish the cola drink as it was too much and I felt like I was snacking unhealthy. I would rate the food experience 8/10.

Would recommend.

Monday 20 July 2015

Book Review- Shatru Kronikles Book -1- Vadhan

ISBN- 978-93-84027-50-6
Title- Shatru Kronikles Book- 1
Author- Vadhan
Publisher- Frog Books (Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd)
Genre- Fantasy fiction
Price- Rs 225
Pages- 262
Facebook Page-
Flipkart linkTo purchase

About the book

With the markets flooding with historical fiction these days, one is almost cautious not to pick up another 'retelling' of an epic. With Shatru, you can lay those fears to rest. The book is pure fantasy fiction with roots in Indian mythology. The thing with this genre is that the author has to strike a balance between imagination and structure. Author Vadhan has traversed that path almost perfectly. The plot follows a tangent that very few in Indian fantasy world have been able to achieve. Vadhan has created a world of his own and it has definite rules. The protagonist Shatru is half Asura. He also is a 'Hunter'. The novel creates a world of its own and it has its own laws. This is not Ashwin Sanghi or Amish. This is Tolkien meeting Agatha Christie.

When I started reading the book, it started with a gruesome crime and I thought- detective fiction. As I read on, I got introduced to the character of Shatru (Ajaatshatru), and I thought 'hey! Hellboy!' The world woven around the characters is complex and consists of conspiracies and background stories. It makes the whole experience more enriching. The language is intelligent and witty. The author has not forgotten the importance of humour and that's why the plot seems even more real and believable.

One of the most delightful things about the book is its language. It is colourful and layered. There is an other-worldy feel created with just minor tweaks in the narrative. The author has, on multiple occasions, referred to the mobile phone or cellphone as 'the instrument'. It subtly drives home the point that the characters do not belong to 'our' world. There are more such examples of intelligent writing in there. Modern day Indian English authors have fallen in the trap of oversimplification. You assume that you have to keep a linear plot to keep the audience engaged, you assume that your hero should have certain traits- all those assumptions lead you to cardboard characters and flat plots. Fantasy in the west is much more nuanced. It is as if we have taken no cues from our forefathers who were the creators of Mahabharat and Upnishads. Heck, even the Panchtantra which is supposed to be a children's book has more layers than most of modern Indian English fiction. This book evades that trap of oversimplification and considers the readers to be intelligent, sentient beings. By all accounts, this is a 'true' fantasy book from an Indian author that I have read in a long time and that is saying a lot.

About the cover

The front cover is an eerie green eye with immaculate detailing with green smoke coming out of it. It marks the beginning of the series with the symbolic opening of an eye. Once you read the book, it will be clear to you that it is an Asura's green eye. The black background completes the picture. The back cover has the book blurb which thankfully reveals little about the plot and has the backdrop of a city with impending doom. The pages are crisp and there are almost zero printing mistakes. Full credits to Leadstart who seem to be learning from their mistakes and getting better with each book.

About the author

Bommadevara Sai Chandravadhan is a valuable member at my Talking Books in Delhi NCR meetup group. As you can see in the picture above, he has an imposing, towering persona. When one gets to talk and interact with him, you realize how friendly and humourous he is. You can fit him into one of those friendly giants in those Disney movies. He is a lawyer by profession and owns a legal firm in Gurgaon. Writing has been his first love and at age 12, when he first attempting writing a book (wow), his genre of choice was incidentally fantasy. He has an active imagination and it shows clearly in the book and also in the way he writes.

About the plot

Well, there is a hero, a sidekick, a mysterious murder. There are also secret organizations. Moreover, there is conspiracy and impending doom. Also, you have Indian mythology and elements of science fiction. This is not just a Fantasy novel. It is many things. It is also a fitting story for a comic book. The thing that most people miss while creating a superhero character is that they do not define its powers and their source. Vadhan has not only created a well-defined superhero-like character in Shatru, he has gone a step ahead and created an alternate universe with its own laws and norms.

I recommend that you read it with a free mind so that you can picture the hard work that has gone into creating this book and its characters. Also, it isn't a four-hour read. It is a story you can take home and make your own. Recommended to everyone with a child's heart.

****/5 (four stars out of five)

Thursday 16 July 2015

An emotional post about Samosa

As a kid, I was introduced to samosas by my Grandpa. Samosas were the companions to the squiggly jalebis and were eaten on Sunday mornings for breakfast. Samosa slowly became my wake up call for Sunday mornings as in- "Wake up! Samosas are here!"

Now what did I love so much about this triangular Indian snack? (I will slap anyone who says samosas are not Indian but an import. We have internalized samosas like no other country). In my early days, my tongue was not ready for the chilly that the potatoes inside the samosa hid between their crevices. Those round potato bits not mashed perfectly just to give you a wholesome feel. Those chunks would roll off along with the peas as you would break open the crispy corner of a piping hot samosa- they did have a story to tell. It was the story of how food makes us adventurous.

No one in their right mind would binge-eat samosas. They are dangerous, they go into your stomach and heat it up like a furnace. It is like shoving chilies down your throat, only more exciting and tastier.

A samosa can be eaten in multiple ways. The way you treat a samosa shows a lot about your character. If you are an aggressive, passionate person, you would just dunk the samosa in chutney and shove it down your mouth. Someone who is more discreet would just peel off the cover and eat it while leaving the inner masala. Personally, I think it is safe but also horrible. No samosa deserves to be stripped naked and abandoned. Not even the South Indian Samosa which cheats with its Dosa infested flavour.

Some people savour the crispy exterior and offer the masala to their companions. I think it is the most humane way you can reject a samosa and I really appreciate the gesture- nevermind the mouth ulcers that you give the other person in the process.

Some people break off a chunk of the samosa and eat it tastefully- showing how it is done. The crumbs falling on the plate can be picked up by the masala that your chunk holds- not wasting any bit. This is the classiest way to eat a samosa. Well, one of the classiest ways actually. Samosa being the fire-in-the-mouth that it is, needs a companion and although the green and red chutneys do a handsome job, nothing accompanies a hot samosa better than some ice-cold curd. The curd somehow mixes with the spicy masala and creates a whole new sweet-tangy flavour. It is an assault on the the taste buds which brings nothing but delight.

Samosa is not just about the chilly or the potatoes though. It also has a hint of sour coming from aamchur powder which most people neglect. That sourness is actually the mysterious factor that makes the whole thing so addictive. The lack of ability to bring out the sourness is the reason why chefs and halwais in some parts of India just cannot whip up a good samosa. The South Indian samosa for example is an abomination. It is filled with masala from masala dosa and isn't event that crispy. The samosas sold at Cafe Coffee Day restaurants also fails to grasp the philosophy behind this delectable dish. You cannot just fill it with chunks of potato and let the microwave oven cook it for you. You have to deep fry it and make it like an arsonist makes fire. The cover of the samosa is not just to wrap it or pack it. It is the first act. It sets the stage. The CCD samosas have a thick, chewy cover. You cannot make it chewy. It has to be the right thickness and consistency.

If a person bites into a samosa and the deepest he can dig brings him no potatoes, it is no samosa, sir. A real samosa doesn't feel likes pizza. The only way you know you are eating a samosa is when you know that you will wake up with pimples the next morning. The Rajasthani counterpart comes quite close to it. It has the potatoes, it is larger than usual and its cover is crispy too. The only problem is, it just isn't sour enough. It is a close cousin to the tastiest samosa but, not quite there.

Some halwais do the mistake of adding too many raisins and dry fruits in there. It is like adding balloons and confetti in your bomb. But yes, a raisin or two inside it surely are needed. They work as good exclamation points.

In cases of samosa, you actually don't want to go too big. Mathura and the region around it has a good hold over the proper samosa size. They are not too large to kill your appetite and neither too small to just serve as disappointments. They serve it with an aloo sabzi (gravy) though and it sort of takes away the focus from the samosa. Also the locus of the sourness is situated out of the samosa which is cool with me but, I'd rather have my favourite samosa with no side dishes.

The mark of a good samosa is that it tastes good even when eaten cold. Sometimes a cold samosa out of the fridge with some curd is pure bliss.

On a side note, I would like to mention that the Southern part of India has been murdering one more dish which is the golgappas. They put hot peas and chholas inside the puris! One- that makes no sense, two- stop doing that!

Until next time!

Saturday 11 July 2015

Modern Panchtantra- Book 1- The Loss of Facebook Friends- Chapter 1

Chapter 1- The Loss of Facebook Friends

It is the story of a district in twenty-first century India. It had a town of pure beauty but no one had time to notice it. The town had great food which helped keep its denizens' instagram accounts active. #Instalassi #InstaKachori #InstaHouseflyInMyTea were some of the common hashtags originating from the town. The villages in the district had InstaGram Panchayats. The town also had historical monuments but they were mostly used by the denizens as backgrounds for duckface selfies for profile pictures on Facebook accounts. Life ran smoothly everywhere and there was no dearth of social media usernames. It was a happy town.

In that town, lived a merchant by the name of Merch. He had a friend called Goodies. Yes, the town had its own cool Merch and Goodies! I am not making this up! Actually, I am making this up but, whatever. One day, Goodies and Merch were scrolling through Merch's Candy Crush score and they realized that although it was impressive, there were still levels to be unlocked and candies to be crushed.

Goodies said to Merch, 'Hey friend, although you may play Candy Crush and Candy Crush Saga all day and send invitations to all your friends, if you do not use your credit card to buy more points via in-app purchases, you are not doing enough. In life there are many moments when we think we are doing the right thing or the appropriate thing but, the truth is- doing the right thing is not enough. You have to reach out and grab opportunities, bribe your way to the elite rooms, spend more money on things that matter... to others and only then will you be respected... by others.'

This motivational speech opened Merch's eyes. Merch was not someone who was easily convinced. But, today his friend had been able to win cool Merch. Ok, now I am just overdoing this joke. Anyway, so, Merch decided that he had to do something more with his Candy Crush account. He was overcome by a will to reach out inside the guts of his laptop and pull new levels of Candy Crush before they were even launched. He wanted to buy so many lives that he became virtually immortal.

He set out with a few friends to a journey. A journey to reach the city of Facebook and find Candy Crush creators. He knew that he had to become the best before everyone stopped caring about the game. A flashback hit him- he had purchased so many fields and owned so much land that he could produce grain and vegetables for the whole country yet, everyone had stopped giving a hoot. He had cried the day he stopped playing Farm Ville because Candy Crush saga was the new thing. All his land, all his sheep, all his cows- all lost to obscurity. He shuddered! He couldn't let any of that happen to him again.

A servant in his caravan came panting. Merch ordered for the cart to be stopped.

'What is it?' He asked.

'It is bad news, sir! Very bad' The servant said, panting.

'Oh just spit it out!' Merch ordered.

'Sir, your friend, Goodies! He posted something against Modi on twitter and now everyone on social media is slinging mud on him.

'Oh, you mean like insults?' Merch asked.

'No sir, actual mud. Some people wearing the colours of Facebook- ie blue and white came and threw mud on his cart', The sentri said,

'Oh, that's bad!'

'Yes sir, and moreover, the bull which was pulling his cart has refused to move. Apparently, the bull being a descendant of Lord Nandi was a staunch BJP supporter' The servant blurted out.

'Hmm... that's serious. I guess we will have to leave the bull in the jungle then.' Merch said.

'It seems so sir. Goodies sir has lost many Facebook friends too. He is in shambles.' Servant said.

'Well, what did he tweet?' Merch asked.

Servant revealed, 'He had just tweeted - "Modi shouldn't be given Visa" and everyone attacked him'

'Isn't it possible that he was talking about Lalit Modi?' Merch frowned.

'Yes sir, but it is too late for explanations. Salman Khan's latest flick is about to hit theaters. The nation's IQ is at an all time low.' Servant said meekly.

'Oh, I see. Let's leave the bull behind. Let Goodies sit in my cart.' Merch ordered and his orders were carried out.

The bull which was left was not really a bhakt though. He had refused to move because his internet was slow and it was taking forever for him to check-in on Foursquare. As the bull's update- 'Just reached Jungle, hope I don't eaten by a Lion... lol' finally got saved, the whole caravan had gone pretty far leaving him.

The jungle incidentally had free WiFi. Only animals who served the Lion named Sunny had the password. Two jackals- subjects of Sunny Lion were sitting near a pond from which the Bull - Brahma was about to drink water. The news that Sunny was about to come to the same pond reached Jack and Kal- the two jackals.

Jack said, 'I am pretty sure Sunny hasn't yet made the WiFi available for Brahma- the Bull.'
Kal said, 'His deeds remind me this story.'
Jack went, 'I am pretty sure we are characters of someone else's story and this story within a story is going to give me a headache but, go ahead.'

And Kal began...

                                                                                                  (To be continued)

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Modern Panchtantra Series- Introduction

The following is the introduction chapter of a series of blogposts in which I would be putting a contemporary twist to the immortal stories of Panchtantra. The tone would be mostly parody or satire or both. Enjoy!


Once upon a time there prospered a big kingdom by the name that roughly translated from Sanskrit meant 'Somewhat Delightful'. Its king, whose name incidentally was King used to bask in its glory. The subjects were happy because they had enough means of entertainment. Corruption flourished in government offices and educational institutes making life easy for everyone. Men with lesser means knew their place in the society and never raised their voices. It was a Utopian society. The only worry, the king, King had was that his three sons Arvind, Kerji and Wal were too honest for their own good.

They would sometimes rebel against their own father and though it was painful for King to watch, he used to beat them with a a cane and use tear gas on them. One day, the king decided that enough was enough and hired a private tutor for the kids. The tutor Vishnu Indra Pratap or VIP was a stickler for norms and ancient culture. People had started calling their culture- VIP culture to pay respect to Vishnu.

Vishnu took it upon himself to set the princes straight in three months. He told King that if he is unable to fulfill his promise, there should be massive punishment for him. The severest punishment in the kingdom was that one was declared honest and no government office was allowed to accept bribe or gifts from one. Vishnu's soul shuddered thinking about the punishment but, he was positive that he could set the princes straight in the stipulated time.

He knew that if he tried to reason with Arvind, Kejri and Wal, they would drag him to their level and defeat him. So, he chose a simpler option. The option of giving sermons by inserting them in boring stories. The best part about it was that he would take no questions. Also, he knew that the kids were about to hit puberty so, he sprinkled some sex and violence in them to retain their attention.

In the posts to follow, we will look at the stories and also learn with the princes.

Tuesday 7 July 2015

Book Review- Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi

Scion of Ikshvaku (Ram Chandra Series, #1)Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ramayana has been written and re-written a lot of times and by now, most people know the names of all characters and the sequence of events. Sometimes the biggest risk is not taking any risks and it seemed to me that the author Amish has taken that risk.

As I read the book, I realized that my perception was a bit wrong as the author has almost completely succeeded in creating the same sort of intrigue in the story for those who haven't read Ramayana and also for those who live by it. The mysterious background of Chandravanshi-Suryavanshi clans, their conflicts, the politics of those days are all presented in a fresh way. So much so that you can almost find hints of modern day events related to terrorism, religious extremism and conspiracy theories in it.

The book reads smoothly. If you sit down with it, you will surely finish at least half of it in one go. The language is easy to grasp and the words are crisp and well-selected.

Ram's character has been glorified within practical limits and it is so realistic that one gets goosebumps while reading about Him. Other characters are also very believable. Some new characters and twists have been introduced to keep the story interesting. One character by name of Roshni irked me a little. Not the character per se but the name. Roshni is clearly a Persian name and in a drama where everyone has Sanskrit rooted names, this name stands out like an eyesore and displays author's carelessness. Why not give Raavan a step brother by the name of Geoffrey?

Other than that, and a few loose paras here and there, the book is pretty good and keeps the reader beholden to itself. You cannot leave it halfway and that's the beauty of the book. It has carefully surgically removed all the the unbelievable parts from the epic and made it a realistic sci-fi drama.

Highlight of the book is when Ram explains how if there were a 'One True God', He wouldn't have taken sides. Strong message.

View all my reviews

4 stars ****