Saturday, 14 November 2015 0 comments

Talking The "Talk"

There are certain points in life where whatever you do seems grossly inadequate. That sense of inadequacy soon metamorphosizes into a cocoon of self-doubt, and before you know, you begin asking yourself the old-age question concerning the direction in which your life is headed.

I had been completely sure, since, the time I stepped into my teenage, that I would not face the need to ask myself any question pertaining to life's direction; I thought I knew what I wanted from life and how. Now, reflecting back, I cannot stop myself from wondering how naive I was. I never took into cognizance of the presence of 'growth' factor.

"Uh, what growth factor?", you'd ask. Well, people are like cheese (or wine, if you prefer that analogy); they mature as they age. The way cheese (or wine) develops a complex flavour as it ages, people are exposed to new horizons and their ideals evolve. The ways of the world do not stay black or white any more. Also, the "I want to be an Astronaut!" harp dwindles into oblivion.

Sitting at the rock-bottom, direction-less, is the hardest thing possible. And trying to seek a direction is the most overwhelming thing possible. More so, when you have turned a year older merely few days back. I am freaking out every moment, internally; I am not ready to be a grown-up yet!

All week I have been re-watching 'How I Met Your Mother' (started Season 5, a while back, that should explain the title of this post, right?), not really as a way of blowing off some steam, but more as an escape; escape from the need of having to send off that CV for my first real internship, escape from the requirement of having to tidy up my space before the dawn of next semester, and the list goes on and on.

Existential crisis is real, and not simply the stuff from the movies. But hey, aren't movies the very thing which has given us the antidote too; the antidote of going with the flow? And, I guess that is exactly what I am going to do.

Friday, 28 August 2015 1 comments

That's My Art

Lately, I haven't been myself; Neither have I been dreaming enough nor have I been indulging in the usual process of over-thinking, but merely existing by breathing in and out, going about the day's business with absolute mindlessness. This existential monotony seems shallow. I crave to rebound, I crave to create, I crave to live.

Understand the progressing intensity each consecutive word in the previous sentence exudes. Rebounding is my chance to be able to commence creating again, and this process of creation is the essence of my life. After all, what will a rose be reduced to without its essence of being beautiful?

Art is created, yet creating is an art; an art through which one communicates their perception, of the things worldly and beyond, to others, resulting in a deeper human connection between the artist and the appreciators. I churn out stories, employing words, of simple beings and their maladies, metamorphosing into an experience.

Do you see that process of concocting those experiences? That's my Art.

Saturday, 22 August 2015 1 comments

Review: Latin Fiesta at Hard Rock Cafe

In Mumbai, when zeroing on a place with good food and music, the first name that comes to mind is Hard Rock Cafe. With their legendary burgers, choicest selection of drinks and live music, it  never fails to give one the good time. So when I got the opportunity to try the menu specials as a part of their ongoing Latin Fiesta, I seized the opportunity.

My Latin sojourn took a jump start with a virgin Cranberry & Lychee Margarita, a lovely concoction of  freshly squeezed lime juice, lychee and cranberries, originally also incorporating Jose Cuerveo Especial Silver Tequila. It was just the way I prefer my drinks; tangy with a bit of sweetness. Next arrived the Brazilian BBQ Veg Grill Skewers, a sizzling skillet of BBQ glazed and spice rubbed cottage cheese skewers, served over a bed of Chimi Churi spiced fajita onions and bell peppers, and topped with crispy nachos. Honestly, the marinade did not pack the Latin punch that I expected it to and the portion size is a bit odd as it has only three skewers.

The Virgin Margaritas

The virgin Cranberry & Lychee Margarita got exhausted whilst I gorged away on the Brazilian BBQ Veg Grill Skewers and gave me a chance to sample a virgin Liquid Lust, originally composed of Jose Cuerveo Especial Silver Tequila, White Wine, Cranberry juice, Orange juice and Lime juice. This drink was on the sweeter side with an occasional touch of tartness from the Orange and Lime juice.

The Brazilian BBQ Veg Grill Skewers

The Albuquerque-Vegetarian Burrito and Sizzlin' Skillet Scorched Brownie were the stars of the show for me. The Albuquerque-Vegetarian Burrito is a flour tortilla slathered with smoked Chipotle Ranch, topped with shredded lettuce, crispy potato pops, south west refried beans, sweet chilli, mixed cheese, roasted veggies and served with spiced super-crisp fries and a tangy salsa. The enormous size of the burrito ensures that your tummy is filled to the brim. My verdict? A total paisa-vasool dish.

The Albuquerque Vegetarian Burrito

The Sizzlin' Skillet Scorched Brownie, as the name itself suggests; is a Walnut Brownie with Vanilla Ice-cream and Chocolate Fudge, sizzler style. A terrific dessert, the Sizzlin' Skillet Scorched Brownie was gobbled down within seconds! An absolutely amazing end to the afternoon.

The Sizzlin' Skillet Scorched Brownie

Overall, Latin Fiesta is a win, except for a few dishes which can easily be given a miss. I would not mind another trip to Hard Rock Cafe just to relish the Albuquerque-Vegetarian Burrito again. As for you folks, Latin Fiesta is on only till 6th September, so hurry up and savour the spread.
Saturday, 6 June 2015 0 comments

Review: Mexifornia Festival at California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen, famous for their delectable California-style pizzas, is a brand in itself. My encounters with their Pizzas and innovatively themed limited time menus have left me gushing like a fan-girl for them time and time again. So, when this Summer and my craving for Mexican cuisine hit an all time high, coming across the ongoing "Mexifornia" Festival at California Pizza Kitchen certainly fired up my appetite and imagination.

Thus, the last week saw me heading to California Pizza Kitchen's Lower Parel outlet located in the Phoenix Mills Compound, Mumbai, to seize the opportunity and relish the Mexifornian delights before the time could snatch the chance away from me (Yes, Mexifornia Festival is on only till 21st June, so hurry and grab your bite!). To sum up my experience precisely; it is definitely something worth braving the sun for, in my book.

My 'Mexifornian' adventure kicked off with Mango Tango, an irresistible mocktail of Mango juice, Orange Juice, Passion Fruit Syrup and Lime Juice, followed by a massive serving of CPK Nachos made Californian style topped with a generous helping of Cheese Sauce, Jalapenos, fresh Tomatoes and Guacamole-Jalapeno Sauce. Honestly, in my opinion, the star of the CPK Nachos was the Guacamole-Jalapeno Sauce with its unique overtones of a spicy tang and velvety smoothness.

The Mango Tango

CPK Nachos

Next in line came the Corn & Jalapeno Empanada; filled with Sweet Corn, Jalapeno and Cheese, claiming to be baked till perfection, the Empanadas, as suggested by the server were consumed piping hot and I kid you not, it did not fail in captivating my senses! The crisp of the crust paired with the cheesy goodness of molten cheese, cut by the tang of Jalapenos in the nick of the time and sweetness of Sweet Corn was quite a treat to savor.

Corn & Jalapeno Empanada

By this time, I was done with Mango Tango and my inquisitiveness lead me into ordering Apple Jack, a concoction of Apple Juice, Lime Juice and Strawberry Puree. That, paired with Mexican Veggie Pizza, involving a thin crust flavored with Spicy Bean Sauce and topped with Onion, Peppers, Baby Corn and Jalapenos surely satiated my longing for Mexican flavors.

Mexican Veggie Pizza

The Apple Jack

After devouring the two Appetizers and the Pizza, washed down with the two Mocktails, I had no space left in my tummy for the Specialty Main Course and straight made a nose-dive for the Dessert which presented itself to me in the form of two options- the Mexican Caramel Banana Flan or the Trio Of Chocolate Mousse. I went with the latter and couldn't be more satisfied when an edible Dark Chocolate Cup filled with rich Chocolate Mousse flavored with three layers of Mexican White, Milk and Dark Chocolate, each possessing a hint of Coffee, was brought to the table.  

The Trio of Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cup!

The Trio Of Chocolate Mousse, in my opinion, is the most innovative dessert that California Pizza Kitchen has done till date, if not the best. It was abundantly luscious and not overtly sweet (something which one can easily go wrong with when everything is chocolate!), clearly a win-win. 

Overall, Mexifornia menu curated at California Pizza Kitchen is a must try. I wouldn't mind going in for an another round of Corn & Jalapeno Empanadas and to sample the Specialty Main Course. And my folks, if you dig Mexican Cuisine, this is something you should not give a miss. Cheers.
Tuesday, 2 June 2015 0 comments

A Piece of my Mind

It has been such a long time that I don't really remember the last time I wrote. And also, like every other time where I return after a long hiatus, I have lots to tell about; this time, right from the grueling exam period which sucked out every ounce of endurance inside me to the little day trip I took yesterday to Matheran requiring tremendous stamina levels (not that I am implying that mine are high). Well, this summer, to be precise, has been quite a ride. Still, it doesn't feel like it.

To be honest with you, I detest summer and the high levels of humidity it brings along with it. On top of that, the holidays granted bore me to the maximum possible extent. Of course, when one has the options of either staying in and watching the television all day or venturing out and getting assaulted by the searing heat, the boredom is inherent. I have a long list of pending to-dos and certain images in my mind which I am wanting to recreate on paper but this constant procrastination doesn't really help.

I am intently waiting for college to re-open yet at the same time, I want a few more days of idleness before the monotony sets in. As of now, there is one week to go for it and it just seems perfect. And this brings me to my point that isn't it strange that somehow things just fall in place; that somehow even if things go wrong for a while, ultimately you reach the right place at the right time; that somehow you reach where you want to, not the way you wanted to, but again it is just fine and everything feels alright.

Also, I have no idea from where all these deep thoughts, which in the first read make no sense, are coming from. So I shall close it for the day and get started with my copy of The Motorcycle Diaries. I am half-way through it and hoping I finish it by tomorrow. Till the next, take care.