Sunday, August 28, 2016

Life in a Metro 2

It was Thane again for me. The target was to reach by 3 pm.

I left office from Goregoan East at 1 pm. I made it a point to take small buffer this time and not as big as I did last time although it helped me. I did not have the liberty to add those buffer time.

I stepped out of the office and was happy to see no rains. This time rains were in my favor.

I usually avoid rickshaws near my office as they refuse most of the time. But still I asked each one of them politely and each one of them refused politely. Finally I started searching for Ola and Uber cabs as usual. Does it really matters if rickshaws go on strike?

I had almost walked half a kilometer while I was booking a cab. Quickly booked Ola micro, thanked God as there was no surge price. With no time, I called the driver to ask his location and he told he is at Inorbit Mall i.e. Goregoan West which is very far. I asked him, will he manage to reach in 10 min for which he replied, "Saab, Bahut traffic hai". I understood and cancelled the ride. Ola app still has to fine tune its application.

I opened up Uber but there was no cab available except for SUV or Uber Black. I tried Ola mini this time and got one quickly again. He reached in 5 minutes and the trip started with traffic. 

Traffic  is something which people have to accept in Mumbai. This will add on when the Metro work start in Western Express Highway. I was already late and got restless to reach Borivali as I had to catch a bus there after. He dropped me at Magathane depot. 

I had to catch the AC 700 bus to Thane but instead got a NON AC bus. I just stepped in the bus and asked for a ticket. He refused and told that this bus doesn't go the destination. I confirmed again but he was sure that it will not go to my location. I was confused as the same bus had dropped me last time.

I got down to return back to the same depot after walking for a Kilometer. I then started inquiring again with other conductors who told that the bus goes to the place but have to get down at a particular location and then take a rickshaw. The previous bus conductor was unaware of it. As per the rule the more late you get, the more problems come your way to make it really late.

I finally got a AC 700 bus after waiting for 10 min. I remember the quality of this bus but I did not have options as before. People have started ignoring this bus and the bus usually goes empty. This time I managed to take a picture of the interiors. 

Although it was not raining water was dripping from the AC vent. To save the seat they had put plastic sheet. I shifted place twice to find a better place to sit in. The bus was vibrating even on roads without potholes. I feared that some of the parts might fall on me. I could see screws fallen off from the top.

I cannot avoid the bus but this time I estimated the time wrongly. I started my google map to to check how far I am from the destination. It showed 45 min away. I wanted to make the delay as small as possible. 

I reached the destination and I could see rickshaws to Thane station and no body ready to take me to my location. I moved ahead to search for rickshaws. It started drizzling slightly. I prayed and got a rickshaw in time. I started my google map and saw the destination 5 minutes away.

Finally I reached at 3:30 pm.

‘This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life in a Metro

I had put alarm for 6:45 am and purposely missed it to sleep a bit more considering that I would reach on time to a place. Subconsciously my mind had recorded my wife's statement that Thane is just a station ahead.

I quickly tried to have breakfast so that I leave home by 8:00 am. But as usual I was delayed by 35 min. Still I had enough time in hand to reach Thane at 11:00 am.

While we experienced a sunny day yesterday, it rained heavily today as per the rule (Rains come when not expected). My shoe got wet while I reached bus stop. To my dismay there was no share auto or bus. Buses were either full or going to some other place. After waiting for around 20 min got rickshaw to station. And I suddenly remembered that my railway pass had expired 4 days back. I quickly started my OLA app to find no cab nearby.

I had to take a quarterly pass in order to reach Borivali. And in the train I suddenly felt heavy and was sweating all over. Had a quick water sip to relieve my thirst. I was praying to God to take train to platform no. 1 as it was near to the overbridge connecting to Borivali east.

But as per rule train stopped at platform no 8. I had to walk 1.5 km to reach platform no. 1.
Finally after reaching Borivali East, I checked time. It was 9:30am and I was supposed to reach Thane by 11:00am. Rains were intermittent. I tried to book OLA again but the estimated fare was 1000 bucks. I dropped the idea of travelling in a cab and joined the queue at bus stop. Then started enquiring for Thane bus. 700 AC bus came and one told that quality is very poor and recommended to catch some other bus but since I was running late I had no options.

Quality of the bus was indeed poor with broken parts inside (Do not go by picture above).  The bus conductor shouted "the fares have been reduced, please come". Very few people stepped in. It was known fact that BEST AC bus is China made and warranty has expired. There is no maintenance done as well.

I was sitting near window and water started dripping inside. Some complained to conductor. But he did not have an answer.

I finally reached my destination just on time since I had calculated enough buffer time.

No wonder life in a Metro is interesting to read.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Nutritious and healthy life with #QuakerBowl

"Time Nahi Hai" is the common excuse we get to hear now a days from all. Urban life has become so fast and hectic that there is no time to look into our health. While health is deteriorating with no or less exercise, people resort to wrong food during breakfast and snacks that adds to the problems. We hear about cholesterol, heart attack and high BP. All these come from wrong lifestyle and wrong diet.

#QuakerBowl event organized by Pepsi Co and IndiBlogger was a healthy event that gave all participants an insight into the health benefits of Oats in a fun way. Event started with Celebrity Chef and brand ambassador of Quaker Oats Vikas Khanna. There was hooting around while he entered the stage.

It was fun and knowledge sharing quiz session by Vikas Khanna. The right answer earned a bag of goodies. While he was sharing his experience a smile was there on everyone's face. 

Quiz session followed by blind folded soup taste and the ingredients had to be written in a minutes time. It was a laughter riot on stage with the participants while Vikas was checking the ingredients written by male participants.

The final activity was to create a dish with Oats as the main ingredients. We were divided into teams. The nutritious and best looking dish wins. And guess who, our team won the prize. Yes, team 10 won the activity and we got loads of Oats and juice to relish at home.

It was a well spent nutritious morning. A morning to remember with Vikas Khanna. I missed taking a selfie for some or the other reason.

As I returned home with the goody bag, my wife was thrilled to find me with bag full of oats as she has it some times as breakfast. She quickly made some snacks and called it as Oats Green Poha. I had a spoonful and then it did not take time to finish it up.

Well technically this shouldn't be called a poha because it's made of oats. But we have to name it with something familiar to those home cooks who want to cook healthy. So here is an all healthy oats green poha made of plain oats, coriander leaves and more. I got some download from my better half to write here in the blog but all credit goes to her.

Oats Green Poha Ingredients

You can easily guess most of its ingredients. But the measurements are most important.

Serves 2-3 people

2 cup roasted Oats
1/2 cup moderately sliced onion
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste (adhrak lasun)
1/2 cup finely sliced potato
1/4 cup raw/roasted/boiled peanuts (seeng)
1/4 cup green peas (matar/vatana)
1/2 cup ground coriander leaves (dhaniya pattha)
4-5 curry leaves
2 small green chillies
1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
Salt to taste

How to make Oats Green Poha?

Heat oil in a Kadai.
Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds one after the other.
Add onion and ginger-garlic paste.
Add potato, mix and add water enough to cook the potato slices.
When half cooked, add peanuts if you are using raw. If roasted or boiled it can be added later.
Add green peas and mix.
When the ingredients are cooked, add haldi powder, green chillies, curry leaves, salt. Add the peanuts now if roasted or boiled.
After few seconds of mixing, add coriander leaves paste and mix well.
Yet after another few seconds of mixing add roasted oats, lemon juice and water (if required)
Note: Add less water to make it less mushy.
Mix it well and your Oats Green Poha is ready to eat.

Do comment below if you get a chance to make it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Shopping is now a child's play #FlipkartKids

7 months back we were blessed with baby boy. It was a happy moment for us with so much of excitement. The day my baby was born, I was running to all the shops to get clothes and other stuff. I took five days of leave although we get only three days of paternity leaves. Still leaves were insufficient for me. There were lots of shopping to be done apart from taking care of baby in such a short time. I was not very well aware of eCommerce websites particularly for kids, although I used to shop online.

I started exploring some websites and found variety of products for my baby. Infant clothes, socks, toys, diapers etc everything that I needed was available online. Within an hour I could purchase almost everything I needed for my kid. Delivery is also efficient so I didn't need to follow-up with the customer care or delivery guy. This helped me a lot in saving time and spending more time with family. Most of the time working in an IT industry is hectic and parents do not get time. Nowadays eCommerce website has made our life easy and it helps us to be with family and shop at the comfort of our house.

As kids grow, we need to get toys for them, and its very difficult to find such toys in local shops.

Recently I got an opportunity to attend  #FlipkartKids IndiBlogger Meet to witness the launch of Flipkart Li't Stars - India's Biggest Online Kids' Store at the Blue Frog (Lower Parel).

The event directly started with lunch to energize us.

Later a man dressed up in Chhota Bheem costume made his guest appearance and danced for a while.

This was followed by Kalpana Behara who talked about how she started blogging and her experience as a blogger. She put forth some questions to parent blogger and there was some good debate happening.

Somebody rightly said in the audience that today's kids are very lucky that they can buy toys from the comfort of their house.

Later Flipkart panel had a debate with the bloggers regarding the new trends in the market and how FlipkartKids is catering to all the parent needs. There were questions and answers pouring from the bloggers and it was going good with meaningful conversation.

While all were expecting a rock band show as it happened before in an event at the Blue Frog. And surprisingly history repeated itself with an unplugged version.

There was an Ad Mad show competition after the rock band. We were told to make a team of ten and present an Ad. We as a team were blank at the start and finally one of our team member came up with a wacky idea of "Spider-man weds Barbie". We were clueless on what to be presented but it was fun while we performed without any rehearse.

The event ended with our closed fist moving up and down in air and shouting "Hu Haan" along with our host Anoop. That is how he wakes us and keeps the excitement high throughout the event.

Flipkart gifted us with a cuddly Chhota Bheem toy. And here comes a selfie with our toys.

Flipkart being a trusted brand would now jump into kids category and #FlipkartKids will help get brands to the parents with discounts. This really excites me as against getting the product from shop which is time consuming as well as costly.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

iGenius Young Singing Star experience #YSS2

I was roaming on the streets of Mahalaxmi to do some bit of photography at Dhobi Ghat. And got a call from BlogAdda to confirm on my presence at the iGenius event. While I was away from email for some days, I must have probably missed my invitation. I quickly headed towards Vivanta by Taj at Cuffe Parade to enjoy Young Singing Star.

The jury Salim Merchant and Shraddha Sharma were already seated. All the kids looked excited and were introduced one by one while they performed. The 10 finalist were exceptional and some were so good in singing that it gave goosebumps. Many times, I tried not looking at the kids to feel the soul of  the song and felt as if the songs were sung by some professionals. Everyone was stunned by the performances and were applauding without the need to remind as it usually happens in other events. 

While the performances were outstanding from the 10 finalist, there were many other things that was commendable. The event was so well managed that I never felt that there was something missing. Instead it was going smoothly and audience were enjoying each moment. The timings were perfect and no problems in the infrastructure which could stall the wonderful show. All were so excited about the event, that #YSS2 started trending in twitter which was a good thing. 

Shraddha Sharma from YouTube sensation performed on stage with her sweet voice. Everyone was hooked on to her. There was again a second round for the 10 finalist and later before announcing the winners the most awaited Salim Merchant did a live performance with one of my favorite song. 

Manik Nangia (Chief Digital Officer - Max Life Insurance) and Devraj Sanyal (Managing Director - Universal Music Group and EMI South Asia) encouraged all the 10 finalist and thanked all the team for making this happen. They pointed out to Pooja Sodhi for all her hard work since its inception. And I tried looking back to see her but couldn't find her. Then finally when the team dispersed, we got a chance to meet her and share our experience. She is very lively personality and looked really satisfied as the event got over well.

Tannishtha Puri (Junior Category) and Maithili Thakur (Senior Category) were declared winners. They have won an opportunity to record their own album. Some pictures from the events. 

And when the blogger team got a chance to go to the stage to interact with Salim Merchant, this is what happened.

It was a wonderful experience to meet such genius kids perform live on stage.

Maxlife Insurance I-Genius Young Singing Star Season II is actually a unique corporate Initiative to Reward and Recognise Young Singing Talent in India. Its a platform to recognize and reward Talented children across India. Their efforts are commendable as it is not a easy task to shortlist 10 finalist from around 2.5 lakhs entry across India.

Thanks to BlogAdda for giving an opportunity to attend the Grand Finale of iGenius Young Singing Star - Season II and making my day awesome.

"I am blogging to share my experience of the #YSS2 i-genius Young Singing Stars Season II in association with BlogAdda"