Sunday, 28 August 2016

An Upside Down "DR∀M∀"

Drama Upside Down Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


"DR∀M∀" - The Upside Down Bar - is the newest entrant into the happening food scene at BK Dutt Market, Rajouri Garden.



The concept-driven restaurant is full of dramatic elements - wherever one sees - and that too upside down. The walls and ceilings boast of upside down lamps, furniture, fireplaces, aquariums, bookshelves, bowling pins, et al, even an upside down Ferrari and there are 'Selfie Spots' aplenty in this establishment spread across three levels and a rooftop.



Characterized by dim-lit interiors, spacious seating, and DJ playing music, the quirky nomenclature of dishes is what sets the place apart from the rest. There is also the presence of two video game kiosks in a corner on the first floor. Each floor has a separate theme, so you're free to choose if you like the party animal aura or prefer it to be a bit more on the calmer side while you have your food.

There is evident aesthetic "DR∀M∀" in the plating and presentation of the dishes as well, with some being brought on board "DR∀M∀ Railways" while others are plated in a life-size sea shell or in a cage (didn't try that) or in upside down umbrellas or on a bed of chilies - red and green, coming from Chef Akshay Nayyar.

Some of the dishes also seem to draw inspiration from Social Media platforms, namely Facebook, Twitter, and Whatsapp.

Here's a low-down on the dishes and drinks we tried on what was a 'Private Screening' held day before yesterday.



* Orange Passion (Mocktail) - served in a tall Tiki Glass, with the quintessential orange slice topping on the side.



* Mid Summer (Mocktail) - a salty mocktail.



* Good old Virgin Mojito

* Masachos - Nachos with generous layering of melted cheese.



* Whatsapp Kebab - Hariyali Kebabs filled with melted cheese.



* Bambaiya Soya Wings - Soya Chaap served with mint dip and Litti (taking from Bihari Cuisine).



* Tanchurian - a barbecued spin-off on the Chinese Manchurian.



* Chin Chin Chicken - Chilly Chicken served in a sea shell full of chilly.

* Funjabi Machchi Fry - fish cutlets sprinkled with sesame seeds in an upside down umbrella.



* Dhakkan Murg Makkhan (classic Butter Chicken) along with choice of Indian Breads.



* Agni Lava Brownie (chocolate brownies) and Bhains Milk Cake. (served in shot glasses)





Also wanted to try their Berry Ananas Roshogulla - pineapple and blueberry (which was being plated when we had just arrived - have only a pic) and Tandoori Paan,


Both of these are DR∀M∀'s signature, but I guess these two will remain on the bucket list until next time. 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Of Work-Life Balance With SHEROES...

What?
SHEROES Summit 2016

When?
Wednesday, August 10

Where?
Eros Hotel, Nehru Place

It was that time of the year, when I was led to the insightful and inspiring SHEROES Summit for the second time, after my association with them in 2014.


Delhi traffic made sure I did not arrive before the Summit began, all roads led to the SHEROES Summit that day! :) Sairee took to the stage to speak about the conception of SHEROES and how it all began.

The good thing was that I arrived some time after the Keynote Session with Nithya Shanti had begun. His session made for a perfect start to the day and I was exclaiming 'How Wonderful!' by the time it ended. He spoke to a hall full of people early morning 10 'o' clock.

Some pearls of Wisdom (that resides in the gap between Stimulus and Response) from his interaction included:



  • 3-point agenda: Show Up, Share Your Gifts, Synergize 
  • Luck = Preparation + Opportunity 
  • Develop the art of being present 
  • Vocalize, Visualize, Emotionalize, Actualize, Express Gratitude 
  • SW SW SW SW - Some Will, Some Won't, So What? Someone's Waiting! :) 
  • Don't be afraid to ASK 
  • Job is a Chore (Hands), Career is a Climb (Hands + Head), Calling is the vision (Hands + Head + Heart)
  • MIND is essentially Mostly Inaccurate Neural Drama  




The second session was a CXO Panel moderated by Syna Dehnugara, comprising the following panelists:


  • Nipun Singhal - Director, Lloyd Electric and Engineering 
  • Pankaj Bansal - Co-founder and CEO, PeopleStrong 
  • Shilpa Sharma - Co-founder, Jaypore 
  • Radhika Ghai Agarwal - Co-founder and Chief Business Officer, Shopclues 


A simple thought highlighted how what one thinks, knows, or believes is of little consequence as what one does, matters.

Naina Kidwai was quoted on the dais as thus:

"Other than the crystal balls of family and home, there is a third ball though that we, as perennial jugglers, forget - that third ball is 'me time'. I treat this as a rubber ball - allow it to drop and bounce back when I can afford to attend it."

The three things not to do in an e-comm business or any business for that matter were discussed:

  1. Create a deliverable that caters to some need. 
  2. Make sure that the service being promised is differentiated. 
  3. Passion is overrated and dynamic in nature. 

The third session focused on Future Of Work, moderated by Rituparna Chatterjee and had the following panelists:




  • Prukalpa Sankar - Co-founder, SocialCops 
  • Kashyap Deorah - Entrepreneur and Investor 
  • Bee Rowlatt - Writer and Journalist 
  • Varun Khaitan - Co-founder, UrbanClap 


Flexible working is a lifeline, a progressive concept. Bee admitted that she would've gone crazy without it. It is also true however that the present day generation has seen flexible working, not past rigidness in routine that inculcated discipline.

Also highlighted was the fact that technology is catalyst to changing work environment while also applauding the fact that we had gradually accustomed ourselves to celebrating working parenthood.

Post-lunch it was about sparkling milestones and spiraling meltdowns, with Dare To Be by Rinku Paul, which familiarized readers with the stories of success and failure of fourteen women, one of whom was SHEROES founder, Sairee Chahal.



Other ladies featuring in the series included Zumba instructor Sucheta Pal and stand-up comedian Neeti Palta.

According to Rinku, being an entrepreneur is tough, woman entrepreneur tougher, young entrepreneur tougher still.

Two budding women entrepreneurs took to the stage, after Rinku to 'lightning-pitch' their ideas within a strict time frame of five minutes, with proper time keeping.


  • Smita Mishra of PoolWallet, with the concept of a P2P Group Payment Social Network 
  • Neha Upadhyay of Gunaa Organics, reaching out to organic farmers of difficult terrains 


One of the women who had dared to be in real-life set the room reverberating with cheers of SHEROES! at the time she arrived on stage. Ex-Indian Woman Cricketer Anjum Chopra was in our midst!



Delivering a power-packed oration, tracing her roots and training period, she was quick to comment on gender bias - कुछ तो लोग कहेंगे, लोगों का काम है कहना!

Ruchi Phool's Laughter Yoga refreshed the sleepy heads post-lunch, setting the ambiance on a lighter note. 

Shaili Chopra and Anu S Choudhary spoke about their ventures - SheThePeople TV and Good Girls Show. 

The Summit was drawn to a fitting conclusion with awesome comedy by stand-up artiste, Sanjay Rajoura. I had tears of joy in my eyes reacting to his hilarious punches! 

Until next time, when SHEROES take charge! :)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A Strategy Guide For The Game Of Life...

By the time one learns the rules of life, one is too old to play the game. 

But, there is a strategy guide called time. 

 ~~~ 

With the ever-on-the-move hands of a clock, there come and go, a multitude of personalities in one's life. We being the societal beings we are, there is give-and-take involved in each facet. One of the crucial give-and-take is that of thoughts and ideas. And, occasionally, actions too. :)

More often than not, if this give-and-take of thoughts and ideas comes from elders,  it turns into advice, and golden advice at that because it comes from a chronicle of their experience - be it good or bad. 

It also serves as a medium for the youngsters of the family to introspect and delve deeper into lives - and seasoned lives at that! 

"The people on our planet are not standing in a line single file. Look closely. Everyone is really standing in a circle, holding hands. Whatever you give to the person standing next to you, it eventually comes back to you." 

I have tweaked Sir Shaw's saying a bit - "Advice is like smiling; it costs nothing, and is a pleasant thing to do." 

Advice from my parents came in the form of gems, which weren't necessarily advice on the outset of it, but held deeper meaning within. Much of my being has been defined by my parents - as a pillar of support, as a cushion to fall back on in times of distress, as a close confidante and companion in times of joy or despair alike. 

Life is a process. We are all works in progress - green tomatoes ripening on the window-sill of life. 
Being a parent now, I can comprehend how my parents might have had similar feelings as mine. 

As I experience more, learn more, and contemplate more, I often think of what use my realizations might be to my daughter. Perhaps, they also had similar sentiments of imparting to me, unsolicited advice, which was of greater utility in the longest run. Perhaps, my advice to her would someday be for her, #AdviceThatMattered. :)

One of the brightest gems that I tell my daughter to abide by is:   

"There's always room for improvement;
It's the biggest room in the house." 

Some of my mother's anecdotes that left a lasting impression on my individuality were: 

  • If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, then you did it. 
  • Luck is like a chameleon. Give it a little time, and it is sure to change. 
  • Judicious use of time is one of the major contributors to success. 
  • Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people's bad manners. 
  • The big print giveth, and the small print taketh away. 
  • To get more out of life, give more out of yourself. 
  • Compliment generously. 
  • Knowledge without action goes in vain. 
  • Be smarter than most other people. Just don't tell them so. 
  • Promise only what you can deliver. Then, deliver more than you promise. 


Some of my father's anecdotes that carved a better person out of me were:


  • The secret is to become wise before you get old. 
  • If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. 
  • When you judge others, you are revealing your own fears and prejudices. 
  • Excellence is never an accident. 
  • Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get. 
  • Opportunity comes disguised as problems often. 
  • No one ever sat their way to success. 
  • More people rust out than wear out. 
  • Work well done is art. 
  • To teach is to learn again. 

I've always tried to abide by these principles and also believe that you must not allow weed to grow on your dreams, for the person who dreams is never alone, always motivated to let their actions be louder than their words. You're always here to live your dream for yourself, so that there's no room for regret. 

That's what I did, and that is why I am here to express gratitude to my parents for being the unceasing guiding light. :)


 ~~~ 

I am blogging about my dreams and the people who helped make them true for the #AdviceThatMattered activity at BlogAdda in association with Stoodnt

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Chaayos: Cheers To Chai!

Chaayos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 ~~~ 

Chaayos has been a go-to franchise for refreshing teas and quick bites complementing those teas. A breeze of fresh air as opposed to the cafes that have mushroomed all over the city, pertaining to its counterpart and the caffeinated beverage.

My visit to the outlet located in Moments Mall, Kirti Nagar came about as a consequence of an invite for the exclusive Tasting of their New Food Menu, extended to me by their Social Media Team. A welcome gesture considering they reached out to Food Bloggers/Reviewers/Social Media Influencers directly on Zomato.

This outlet is located on the Ground level inside Moments Mall and is the first thing you notice if you enter from Ground level. (as opposed to the Parking level from where you take the elevator). It is an open setting, not a stand-alone store, i.e. not walled, having two rows of tables with four chairs each.

Had a word with the Manager, Mr. Krishna, upon arriving at the outlet and he greeted me with a pleasant smile. Before beginning, we were duly informed of the fact that the Lattice (Veg/Chicken) and Upma were snacks which were 'Coming Soon', also prominently mentioned on their menu. We begun the meal with their Thandi Chai (Tea Frappe) that is blended and comes in four flavors - Cinnamon, Saunf, Elaichi, and Masala - accompanied by Pakora Basket, Bun Omelette and Chicken Loaded Cheese Max.

The Chicken Loaded Cheese Max was cut in half and had chicken sausage pieces layered with melted cheese. True to its name, Loaded Cheese Max. The snacks were served with dips as accompaniments.

I could see the crushed powder of Saunf or Masala in both variants of Thandi Chai, however Elaichi sank down to the bottom, it seemed. Nonetheless, all the drinks were refreshingly flavorful and made for a good start to the tasting session.



The Bun Omelette was good too, layered with pieces of onion on a steaming hot omelette. The Pakora Basket boasted of a variety of Mirchi, Methi, Onion, Paneer, and Alu Pakoras, and it also had generous amounts of sprinkled chilly. Literally too hot to handle! The Tea Frappe served as a quick savior and go-along, as I generally prefer chilly on the least side. Suggested them to ask for preference of sprinkling less/more/no chilly since not all patrons may prefer it. Apart from that, their food preparations come pre-made, have just to be heated, so the quantity of chilly in food cannot be altered as such, but the Pakora Basket has it explicitly sprinkled, so that can be varied.

Next up was a round of hot teas - namely Pahadi Chai (Kashmiri Kahwa), Aam Papad Chai, and Sab Kuch Chai (Tulsi, Adrak, Elaichi, Saunf, Laung, Cinnamon, Masala, Kali Mirch, Mint, Ajwain, Moti Elaichi, Hari Mirch - all add-ons). Try the Sab Kuch Chai if you like your tea strong.



With these, they have the Veg Loaded Cheese Max, Kadhai Paneer Wrap, and Kadhai Chicken Wrap, accompanied by dips. The Wraps had generous fillings (Paneer/Chicken chunks, Capsicum slices, Onion slices, Sev Bhujia) while I liked the Chicken Loaded Cheese Max a bit better than its vegetarian counterpart.

Also had their signature Kulhad Chai, topped with Saffron, Chikoo shake (that had generous pieces of the fruit and not mere flavor) and Passion Fruit Iced Tea. Finished the meal with the least spicy food item - Spinach Corn Cheese Sandwich - and its quality and quantity (of corn and spinach in the filling) was quite good too.

My must-haves from the New (and existent) Menu and teas (to go along) would be:

Chicken Loaded Cheese Max
Pakora Basket (with less sprinkled chilly)
Kadhai Chicken Wrap
Spinach Corn Cheese Sandwich

Saunf Thandi Chai (Tea Frappe)
Chikoo Shake
Kulhad Chai
Sab Kuch Chai (if you prefer your tea on the stronger side)

All in all, a nice visit and a filling and flavorful meal was had. I'm sure, if the Lattice and Upma had arrived too, they would also have been appreciated on the flavor and presentation.

Visiting Chaayos again soon! :)

Friday, 19 August 2016

Knotty Tales By Gauri And Pallavee: Of Creative Endeavors...

What?
Knotty Tales Pop-Up

When?
Wednesday,​ ​August 17

Where?
The Lodhi



Mumbai's sought-after event designer - Knotty Tales - a bold venture by Gauri Pradhan Tejwani and Pallavee Rajniesh Duggall - had come to Delhi for its maiden show. And, I was invited to witness the same. 



First things first, I must applaud Gauri and Pallavee's entrepreneurial spirit for going ahead with an idea that aims to showcase sheer creativity and talent - providing budding designers of various genres and forms across the country with a common platform to pitch their products to the masses. 

Encompassing fashion, food, jewelry, beauty, home-decor - you name it, and Knotty Tales hosted it. It was an exhibition that was a potpourri of flair, art and appreciation of skilled presentation, 

It was very endearing to see that most of the participating brands were being steered to success by women, either solely, or in partnership. Either way, it was a welcome move by Gauri and Pallavee to have collaborated with such inspiring creators. 

As matter of fact, some of these participants had come from not just Mumbai and Delhi, but also from other cities spreads across the length and breadth of our country. 

 ~~~ 

Some of the brands which caught my fancy were: 

  • Arture - handbags, wallets, purses - made of Cork, non-leather, eco-friendly. 
Arture
  • Clutch'D - hand-embroidered clutches, selling in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Chennai. 
Clutch'D
  • Bobo Calcutta - artistry on apparel from Calcutta - art which you can wear! 
Bobo Calcutta

Artistic Handbags from Bobo
  • Bling Accessories by Srishti Gandhi - one-stop-shop for accessories, based in Delhi. 
Bling Accessories
  • Crave Connect - fashionable footwear - quality designer footwear. 
Crave Connect
  • Mommy A To Z - cutesy baby clothes - kids apparel - for all occasions! 
Mommy A-Z
  • Dhora - jewelry handcrafted from Jaipur. 

Dhora

 ~~~ 

I'm sure all the participating brands and budding designers at Knotty Tales would scale the heights of success in their endeavors sooner or later. Kudos to Gauri and Pallavee for having provided them with such an ingenious platform to showcase their artistic renditions! :)