Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Talking Tours (3) - Gaurav Anand

In the 3rd installment of Talking Tours, I met Gaurav Anand, from Dehradun who wholeheartedly agrees to give us an interview. Gaurav is an avid traveler who wants to live life to the fullest. During interview, he discussed everything in detail and made me understand his point of view on different topics. It's good to know thoughts of different people - what they think on various topics, what keeps them ticking. May be there is a learning for us somewhere in these thoughts.

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. By interacting with different people and to know their thoughts, gives me a good feeling. Every one has a story to tell. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.

Tell our readers something about yourself.
Fun loving, a traveler by heart who wants to explore world.  I love to experience and experiment new things  - be it new trend, new place, food or anything.

What is in your personality which you like the most?
My confidence & self belief

What is in your personality which you dislike?
Sometime I find it difficult to say NO even though my heart/mind wants to say NO.

What are the qualities in a man which you like?
I like those, who not only wants to enjoy each day, but also each and every moment of life.

What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Determination & Self Respect

What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
I am a big time traveler. I have been to many places in India & abroad.  My list is long, however I might have missed few places in this list. Hope you also like that:

In North I have visited - Jammu, Kashmir valley, Pehlgaon, Mussorrie, Nainital, Dharamshala, Jamta, Chail, Chandigarh, .

Central India - Agra, Bhopal, Panchmari

Northeast - Gangtok, Darjeeling, Peiling, Kalinpong

Southwest Part - Munnar, Thekri, Allepy, Kovalam, Mumbai, Lonavala, Goa

Western India - Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Pushkar

Abroad - I have visited Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Pataya, Krabi

Religious Places: Haridwar, Mathura, Rishikesh, Chintpoorni Devi, Naina Devi, Jwala ji, Shirdi, Vaishno Devi

My favorite picks:
In India, I would like to visit Munnar again because of the breathtakingly beautiful locations there. It's a haven of peace and tranquility - the idyllic tourist destination. A must visit place in India.

Abroad, I like Krabi. Very neat and clean beaches, awesome weather, coastal cuisines & not to forget - Water Sports.

Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
I visited Rajasthan very recently and there we have gone to places like Jaisalmer, Jodhpur etc.

Experience was great. Can't forget the sunset point at Jaisalmer, forts in Udaipur and lot of other things to appreciate for.

Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Delhi Heights café & Golas in Gurgaon.

Are you a foody? Which food you liked the most?
Yes I am.
Punjabi by nature, however I am more fond of Rajma Chawal, Chinese, continental, Mughlai cuisines.

Tell us something about your hobbies?
In spare time, I watch TV. Other hobbies include, travel, exploring new places

If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
Would have been visual merchandiser OR Wine Taster, Food Reviewer, Movie critic.

How you cope up pressure situation?
I don’t take pressure much. I just take life as it comes. When in pressure situation, I tell myself, whatever is in my destiny I will get. So no need to crib on something, but always give your best shot.

What is your mantra of life?
God has given us only one life. Enjoy each day & live every moment. I like the song from old Golmal movie - "Aaaney wala kal jaane wala hai, ho sake to ismein jindagi bita do, pal ye jo jaane wala hai"

How you start your day?
Not a morning person, my morning starts a little late around 9 am. Well I look at my daughters face & thank god for everything.

Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
Anil Kapoor - He doesn't look like someone in mid 50s. He still looks young. His energy and enthusiasm to do things differently (like recent TV show - 24 series) is something to appreciate.

Next in line is Kirron Kher. I admire her for her persona, self-confidence. She entered quite late in movies but she made her mark in no time.

Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
Yes, I want to mention a friend of mine (Neeraj Tiwari) whom I really admire.  Whatever he has done in his life, he has done himself. I regard him for his hard work, his dedication, his enthusiasm and his zeal to achieve something in life.

Your favorite movies/shows?
TV Shows - BIG Boss, India's got Talent, Sara Bhai Vs. Sara Bhai, Two & Half men
Movies - No entry, Devdas, 3 idiots, 2 States

What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
It's high time that we need to change our thinking. Whatever we have learnt as part of our education, we need to apply the same in our thinking. Fact of the matter is, we should be broad minded - open to adopt new thinking, give respect to women, have civic sense. All these things we have learnt in our school/college days, but are we applying it our daily life? This is where we need to put more emphasis. Apply our education into our lifestyle and thus help in making India a developed nation.

Do you cast your vote every time?
Ashamed to say don't have Voter ID. I take an oath that I will definitely vote next time.

Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
Be happy, live tension free enjoy each moment of life. You never know.....'Kal ho na ho'. What ever you want to do, do today.

Thank you Gaurav for sparing some time for this interview. We wish you a Great New Year 2015.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Evening Sun

"Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye...." 

Beautiful moment of evening Sun captured while driving.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Talking Tours (2nd Installment) - Samir Gupta

Here is the 2nd installment of Talking Tours. This time, Samir Gupta, from west Delhi shared his thoughts with us. He was soft spoken and discussed everything in detail.

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. By interacting with different people and to know their thoughts, gives me a good feeling. Every one has a story to tell. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.

Tell our readers something about yourself.
I am from Punjab. We shifted to Delhi in 80s. I live in a joint family. In academics, I have done MBA & I work in a travel company in NCR Region.

What is in your personality which you like the most?
Punctuality - I am very punctual & hate those who doesn't value time.

What is in your personality which you dislike?
Sometime I over think on petty issues. This over-thinking, sometimes generates negative thoughts which I want
to overcome.

What are the qualities in a man which you like?
I like people who stand by what they say. People change their words when put in the actual situation & I hate them who are deceptive.

What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Understanding nature, patience level, supportive & emotionally strong characteristics

What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
Though I haven't traveled much, but still I can list some places:
In India - I have been to Shimla, Mussorrie, Chandigarh,
Abroad, I have visited Thailand & Dubai. Till now, Thailand is my best pick as it was my first abroad travel and I really liked the nature over there.

Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
Shimla - Very good place. Famous for weather, I was lucky to experience cloudy season over there. It was like heaven on earth.

Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Deer park in Hauz Khas, Humayun Tomb, Qutub Minar in New Delhi.

Are you a foody? Which food you liked the most?
Yes, I am a big time foody. I love Punjabi food mainly Dal-Makhni, Paneer Tikka, Shahi Paneer, Chilly Paneer (with lot of onions is must for me).

Tell us something about your hobbies?
I like playing outdoor games mainly volleyball, basketball, lawn tennis. Basically sporting activities interests me a lot.

If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
An Entrepreneur & I certainly think I will become an entrepreneur one day.

How you cope up pressure situation?
I try to divert my mind in some other activity. Instead of thinking too much on it, I try to involve in some other activity. After some time, when I feel fresh, I then work for solution.

What is your mantra of life?
Believe in yourself & expect less.

How you start your day?
When I wake up, I crave to get some fresh air. I go up to the balcony and enjoy the morning air. That is my way of connecting the supreme being.

Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
Shahrukh Khan - because of amount of hard work he has put in to reach this level.

Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
Karna in Mahabharata. As I mentioned in my introduction, I like people who stand by their words. Karna was a character who stood by his words despite knowing the truth. This inspires me a lot about value of words.

Your favorite movies/shows?
Mahabharata (BR Chopra) / Pursuit of Happiness / Haasil

What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
Bringing down the black money and thus increase cash flow in the country.
Increase security measures.

Do you cast your vote every time?
Sometimes. Because I don't have the trust the way Indian Political system works.

Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
Don't be governed by others. In this rat race, develop your own methods of success. Don't over think on anything and enjoy the simple moments of life.

We wish Samir Merry Christmas and a Great New Year 2015.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Fog on Delhi Roads

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

Snaps of Delhi under the veil of heavy Fog @ 2.46am.

Shots taken while returning to home from office. On the way, fog was so dense that we could not locate the left cut on the road. Instead we took the 2nd left cut and went ahead on the route. By the time we realized we are not on our usual route, we found ourselves 15 kilometers on opposite side of the road. It took us 5 minutes to analyse how we reached here and then we figured out it was due to 2nd left cut, not the first one which we wanted. Anyways, we took U-turn to lead to the correct road.

Chauffeur gave us a tip on how to drive safely in this situation when there is heavy fog on roads. He told us to locate the white line in the middle (or side) of the road and just follow it.  Seems like valuable advice.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Celebrating Season - 'Winters' Finally Arrived

It’s the time of the year again when there is mist in the air, when there is “warmth” in sunshine, when parks & gardens attracts more visitors during day time, when we eat more and drink less, when days are short and nights long – Yes, I am referring Winter Season. "My name is Winter & I finally arrived". Though it got delayed by couple of weeks this year, but no complaints, we are enjoying this change in climate. The recent snowfall in hilly areas dipped the temperature by 10oC and last Sunday there was heavy showers in Delhi NCR and weather remained cloudy throughout the day. It was beautiful day in the weekend.

This change in climate has brought those old sweaters, jackets, inners, mufflers which were hiding somewhere in cupboard/almirahs. Now, early mornings are little laid back as we tend to take extra 15-20 minutes to leave bed. Suddenly, sale of tea, soups, samosas etc. have grown up. You find more people spending time on terrace enjoying the bright sunshine and in a way appreciating the Nature; elderly women take this opportunity to knit woolen sweaters for their kids – This is the best part.

These changes in our lifestyle due to change in weather has impressed me so much that I decided to write a post every time when there is change in season. In a way, there is strong connection between nature and living beings and these seasons give us the opportunity to realize this connection.

So, if I ask a question – what are the best things you like about winters? So here are my best picks:

Winter Fashion Trends – For me, personal grooming gets an extra space in winters when we know we can add another dimension in our usual dressing with blazers, jackets, sweaters, sweat shirts etc.  Don’t men look more stylish with winter clothes than plain shirt & trouser combination?

Satisfy your taste bud – One thing which I really like about winter is plethora of dishes to try for. Digestive system usually works well during winters and we tend to eat more than usual.

Comes the winter in full swing and we have variety of Paranthas (flatbread) for our bellies – Mooli parantha, methi parantha, gobhi parantha, plain parantha along with butter, is the trademark breakfast during winters in Northern Part.

Seasonal stuff for Time pass – Lot of options available in winters: 

Peanuts & Chikkis – Best thing about peanuts is you keep on consuming it though you know you are stomach full. Try it with salt and it adds another dimension in taste.

Fruits Bonanza – Guavas, Oranges, Grapes – Go to terrace and enjoy these juicy fruits under bright sun shine.

Dry fruits – Good for health and a very useful time pass in winters

Soups – During winters, these soups become the best appetizers – hot n sour, tomato soup, sweet corn soup, noodle soup etc. I like Thai Mashroom soup, what’s about you?

Last but not least Tea/Coffee – This is one of the most popular habit of all seasons, however in winter season consumption of tea/coffee is just increased 2 to 3 times than usual.

Reading book under bright Sunshine – Don’t know about others but I really like reading under the sun during winters.

Early morning exercise – Early morning workout has its own charm in winters. Whether you are doing Yoga, running, weightlifting or simply jogging, early morning dew and fog make it perfect to concentrate on your workout activities.

Gateway to festive season – While in India, festive season starts from Navratras in Sep-Oct, but due to global warming, winters are now pushed ahead to December. Real winters now last for two months (Dec-Jan). During this time, we attend marriage functions; celebrate festivals like Christmas, New Year, Lohri, Pongal etc. In West, people celebrate Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year – After 15th December, majority of these people go on holiday and come after 1st week of January.

These are some of my favorite picks from Winter season. What about you? Please share your winter experience. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Terror has no religion

Yesterday terrorist attack in an Army school in Peshawar, Pakistan is one of the heinous attacks in recent times. They targeted school children, went from one classroom to other and fired openly without seeing whom they are killing – a highly condemnable act. It is said that children are form of God and they killed those small innocent children.  Some reports also showed that they burnt teacher alive in front of students. This shows that terror has no religion, no cast.

My condolence to those who lost their loved ones and my prayers to departed souls. Time for introspection to stop promoting terror - I think it’s high time that all countries should unite and fight against terrorism.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Talking Tours (1st Installment) - Hitendra Rana

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. By interacting with different people and to know their thoughts, gives me a good feeling. Every one has a story to tell. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.

For the first installment of this series, Hitendra Rana - an IT Professional, gave his interview in his office.

Tell our readers something about yourself.
I hail from Aligarh (North India). Born in a traditional family - I always wanted to be associated with IT industry. And I got my wish fulfilled as I am happily placed in my current organization.
I am married, and happily living with my lovely wife & two cute kids.

What is in your personality which you like the most?
Sincerity/ Hard work & Honesty

What is in your personality which you dislike?
Sometime I get frustrated very easily.

What are the qualities in a man which you like?

What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Simplicity & soft spoken nature.

Which places have you traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
Jaipur, Udaipur, Panipat, Haridwar, Dehradun. Of these, I like Jaipur the most as a cultural heritage.

Which place you traveled very recently and how was the experience?
Mussoorie. The place was good, but not that exciting.

Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Connaught Place in Delhi.

Are you a foody? Which food you liked the most.
:) I don't considered myself as foody. I like simple food without much spices.

Tell us something about your hobbies?
Spending time with my kids

If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
A Government official :)

How you cope up pressure situation?
Take a glass of water, think about if the solution is in my control? If possible, plan the solution. Else ask yourself if you have given your best shot to resolve it. If the answer is Yes, then leave it and wait for the right time.

What is your mantra of life?
Follow your dreams

How you start your day?
After I wake up, I remember my parents & God and thank them for everything what I have.

What are your reel life heroes/heroines.
Amitabh Bacchan (Actor) / Lata Mangeshkar (Singer)

Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
Subhash Chandra Bose - He inspires me for his contribution to our country.

Your favorite movies/shows?
3 Idiots / Comedy Night with Kapil

What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
Respect for woman, balance of per capita income

Do you cast your vote everytime?
Most of the time.

Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
We have got only one life, so live it to the fullest and do what you think is right ethically and pursue it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Haldirams Restaurant on Delhi - Jaipur Highway NH8

If you are traveling on Gurgaon - Jaipur Road, and want to take a stop for an hour or so, Haldirams Restaurant near Manesar Toll Plaza is a very good option. We went there last week with my team for group Lunch and we enjoyed to the fullest. Located at Delhi-Jaipur Highway, NH 8, this restaurant has received 3.9 stars (out of 5) in Google Reviews. Entire property has been made in way considering those travelers who travel from one state to another and want a quality break during their journey. Here are some plus points of this restaurant:

1) Food is good & most important hygienic.

2) You can get variety of options ranging from wide variety sweets to authentic Indian dishes, Chinese & Continental food as well.

3) Restaurant has seats for small as well as bigger groups as well. Though it is located on National Highway, but still its quite rare that you have to wait for the seat. Seating is available on ground and first floor as well. Seats are designed keeping in mind customer's comfortable level.

4) Staff is friendly and helpful.

5) Cleanliness is one of the big plus of this restaurant. Good for us - customers.

6) There is ample parking space. You can park your vehicle in number of the parking lots available.

7) Inside the restaurant, Ambiance is nice.

8) There is lawn within the premise where you can relax and enjoy the breeze/sunshine. There is also assembly point in lawn where you can enjoy the wide variety of flowers.

9) There is kids zone as well where you can play with your kids. Very nicely made section, for those groups who travel with their family and want a quality stay for couple of hours during their journey.

10) Banquet Hall facility is also available. By looking at the size of the entire property, this seems to be a very good option for family functions.

Haldiram's Restaurant is located on NH8, near Gurgaon - Manesar Toll. Easy to locate, it's an excellent location for lunch break during the journey.

You can try wide variety of cuisines

Wow! what a view :)

Smart Gadget. Upon ordering, customer gets this gadget token. As you can see, if it starts blinking, it means your order is ready. And you can go to the relevant counter to take your order. Cool, isn't it?

Feeling Hungry?

Chinese Platter was good.

There is no scarcity of seating space in the restaurant. 1st floor is less noisy and you will get great view of outside lawn.

 Kids Zone behind the restaurant

After your meals, you can enjoy the greenery in the lawn and relax your self under sun-shine.

Restaurant's staff having quiet lunch at 1st floor. Happy to give the pose :)

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Prayer/Worship generates Positive Vibrations

I was thinking about some topic to write after a gap for two hectic weeks, there were number of things to write for. However, today while walking on the terrace in evening, I thought to write something positive. It was around 5.55pm and there were sounds of evening prayers from every where. I then decided to write about Prayers/Worship.

When we do worship/recite a prayer, it generates lot of positivity. Here I want to include even those as well who don't worship in front of an idol (or for a deity) but remember God (in any beautiful form including meditation). For me, that act of thanking the supreme being for everything is also a form of worship. 

Coming back to the topic - while worshiping, we always think positive...very positive, there are always good thoughts come in our mind and we request almighty to take care of everyone. We also request him to forgive us for our misdeed. Just Imagine this time in the whole day, how much positive we feel when we think of God or his blessings in any form. Our mind is preoccupied with lot of things and we keep on thinking about them every time, but during this period (of spiritual connect), we distract our self from these worldly affairs and connect to the super natural power which is omnipresent, omnipotent - which gives us courage to fight against the odds, contribute in national building, help others in whatever way we can.

Even when we recite a prayer, it makes us really strong as we feel good from inside because of  positive vibrations generated.

The need is to carry these positive thoughts throughout the day and apply them in our day to day life. Think positive, feel positive, always eager to learn and share with others, don't be afraid of results. God is the only dispenser of results; leave it to Him and do your Karma which is your road of salvation. You agree?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sweet Memories - DD Kids Programs (Nostalgia)

Last week we went to our sister’s house for some work and there I was playing with my niece. She was restless because of running nose and cold. In order to calm her down, I played a cartoon video of my time – "ek chidiya anek chidya" on YouTube.  During our childhood days, we used to watch this cartoon every day on Doordarshan, so I thought this might interest her. While I played this video for her, I was surprise to see the magnetic effect this cartoon has on her; she was watching it with complete dedication, utmost seriousness as if something very important is going on which cannot be missed.  I remember we used to have same magnetic effect whenever this cartoon was played in TV during those days. Bout of nostalgia ran in my mind and I thought about those kids programs which we used to watch on Doordarshan during our boyhood. 

ek chidiya anek chidiya

Super Sundays:  It was the only day in the week, when Doordarshan plays back to back kids program. I remember we used to get up early in the morning to watch these programs. 

During those days, our Sunday usually starts from:

Rangoli at 8 am till 9am

Then Jungle Book from 9am. This program is something which could not have been missed at any cost. Breakfast can be skipped, but not this program. 

Then Ducktales from 9.30 to 10.00am.

And then tales pin from 10am to 10.30am

Other memorable DD programs for KIDS:  This is my collection BTW :)


"Mile Sur Mera Tumhaara" – Who can forget this? Master Art. Shows Colors of India. Unity in Diversity.  Must for Kids to watch. Another Gem from DD Era.

"Sara Bharat Ye kahe – Desh mein eka rahe" Beautiful songs with very nice lyrics.

Shaktiman – First Indian Super Hero

Vikram Betal – Beautiful stories with learning at the end.  Highly recommended for kids.

What is your favorite kids program during old Doordarshan days? Please share!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Are you Workaholic? Maintain Work - Life Balance!

Few months back, I read an article somewhere about set of people who often being labeled as Workaholic. Considering the intense pressure in offices these days, tight deadlines, insecurities, competition, work-life patterns, I think its important to discuss with my blog readers. As per my observation workaholism is a state of mind, where a person try to relate everything (happening around him) to his WORK.  For workaholic person, work never stops. Even after leaving office – he still surrounded by thoughts about his work. Doesn’t matter if he is at home, but he is very much involved in official activities like preparing reports, talking to colleagues about office work.

During weekends, when we all should spend quality time with our family/friends, a workaholic person spend time discussing office issues and thinking of how to resolve them. For some people - Monday means start of another work week, but for workaholics - Monday means getting into comfortable zone as they find themselves satisfied/relieved when involved in official work.

Now instead of referring to others (whom we don’t know) as workaholics, I will say we also become workaholic sometimes.  Due to intense pressure in office these days, we often work late hours in office or do some work from home as well. Some people do that, because their colleagues are doing so. While I don’t buy this point of copying others, but I also cannot hide from the fact that sometime we bring official tension to our home which in turn results when we start ignoring people around us and get irritated easily. Why? because our mind is preoccupied with official matters and we don't want anyone to disturb us.  

I will say- it's good to give priority to your work, it is infect very important, but over doing it and bringing it to a level, which affects you and people around you, is not helpful. By over doing it, you are not helping anyone (not even yourself), but creating an uneasy environment which is not good for your overall growth.  A workaholic person often gets so tired after a long day that he has no stamina for any activity outside work.  It’s a vicious cycle.  This inability to balance work and personal life leads to grief from family, which reinforces the idea that work is an ideal way to escape from personal conflicts. 

Here are some points which will help to come out from workaholism Zone:

-    Give importance to your work/job (must love what you are doing) be passionate about it, but don't bring it to a level which affects your health and your equation with others. The way you love your work, similarly you need to love the time you get with your family. Don't let others to define your work patterns.

-    Harness habits and skills that allow you to make your own rules in this rate race

-    Take leave(s) some times & never mind about it. Plan vacation with your family/friends and enjoy this break.

-    Avoid discussing official matters during lunch sessions. A break means some free time from official work. 

-    Refuse to feel guilty when you are not working, (this doesn't mean taking long breaks for no reason) – Most Important. This is something I say to myself most of the time.

-    Spend weekends with your family friends and enjoy this time to the fullest.

-    Get yourself involved in some activity – like joining dance classes, music classes, swimming. This will make you excited about weekends and you will think less about official work.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Always Open to Learn & Share with others

We must be always ready to sit at the feet of all, for mark you, everyone can teach us great lessons. Says our great law giver, Manu: “Receive some good knowledge even from the low-born and even from the man of lowest birth learn by service the road to heaven.”

We, therefore, as true children of Manu, must obey his commands and be ready to learn the lessons of this life or the life hereafter from anyone who can teach us.

I completely agree to this. A person is always a student, there is always something new to learn every time (be it while interacting with others to know their views, traveling to new places, reading a book, watching movie… tons of examples which gives us teaching every day).  However, I believe it becomes our duty as well to pass our learning to others and let them take the best out of it (by using their own wisdom). Knowledge sharing is very important. As someone rightly said - "the best use of the skill is when it is being shared with others."