Friday, 25 December 2015

For The Disco Foodies...

What?

Launch of Barbeque Nation's Bollywood Disco Carnival, with Disco King Bappi Lahiri.

When?

Tuesday, December 22.

Where?

Barbeque Nation, Jangpura.


You can choose to celebrate this Christmas and New Year with Barbeque Nation. You will not be alone in this celebration. You would enjoy good company with the great Disco King Bappi Lahiri by your side. You will also have an exhaustive menu of a number of 'disco-licious' dishes at your disposal during this festive season while dining at Barbeque Nation.

This festive season has been christened by Barbeque Nation as 'Bollywood Disco Carnival' while paying a tribute to the great period of Bollywood disco. The Legend, Bappi Lahiri is the perfect choice as Brand Ambassador for this occasion. Bappi Lahiri, as everyone knows, is the man behind bringing disco to Bollywood in the early eighties.

It was an honour to meet the king of Bollywood disco, Bappi Lahiri, in person at the opening of the Barbeque Nation’s gala Disco Carnival. The legendary singer, music composer and music director would be visiting a number of Barbeque Nation restaurants during this Carnival, running from December 18 to January 3 as a double bonanza for celebrating your Christmas and New Year in Bollywood Style. The Disco Carnival is being celebrated in all of the 15 outlets in Delhi-NCR region. Besides this, it is also being celebrated in Barbeque Nation’s outlets in Jaipur, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Mohali.



The highlight of the evening was the reveal of Bappi Da's jingle 'Disco Barbeque' capturing the attention of all music lovers and foodies alike. At the launch, Mr Manish Pandey, Regional Operations Manager, North and Bappi Da jointly introduced the concept behind the carnival.




These seventeen days of gastronomic festivity are like an entertainment hotspot at Barbeque Nation. The ambience is totally revamped to match up to discotheques. All patrons should be prepared to pass through a giant disco-ball shaped entrance at all these outlets during this period. The entrance will be decorated with strobe lights as a welcoming gesture to the customers. Once you are inside, the vibrant and jazzy surroundings will take you back to the Bollywood disco era. You will find flashy disco balls, a colourful LED dance floor and glow-in-the-dark headbands to mesmerise you with disco beats.


Make sure to treat yourself to Bappi Da's favourite Prawn dish, Jimmy Chingri alongside other such delicacies in the menu which draw inspiration from the legends hit compositions in the musical past. Don’t forget to customise your experience and enjoy Barbeque Nation’s DIY (Do It Yourself) cuisine in Bollywood disco style during this festive season. It is sure a novel campaign to engage Bollywood fanatics! 

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Gourmet Italia, With #VirAtPizzaExpress!

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

What? 

An Italian Evening to celebrate the Golden Jubilee Year of PizzaExpress, with #VirAtPizzaExpress because we had #EazyDinerAtPizzaExpress too!

When?

Sunday, December 13.

Where?

PizzaExpress, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj.

Exclusivity always makes you feel special, doesn't it? Last weekend was no different as two of us were made to feel special. One, Pizzaiolos at PizzaExpress as they had their ideal in the business, Mr. Vir Sanghvi, visiting them to critique as well as applaud their efforts on their #NewMenuLaunch. Two, Yours Truly, who had been invited to be among the first ones alongside the ace food reviewer to treat my taste buds to an exclusive and exhaustive offering.

This #NewMenuLaunch was in continuation to the #PizzaiolosFavourites Golden Jubilee Feast, though this time Eazy Diner was collaborating with them to conceptualize an elaborate five-course meal! :)

A visit to the Vasant Kunj outlet was a first for me, and I must admit that I found it more tastefully done than the Gurgaon outlet. What captured my fancy, at first sight, were these plated wall murals with digitized faces of the Pizzaiolos who are employed at the outlet itself. Quite a novel gesture, there!



The socialmedialovin' card from Eazy Diner and Pizza Express was there to remind us to share the foodie love lest we lose ourselves to the gourmet delights that the New Menu had, to offer.



While waiting for Vir to arrive, on offer were the Intro Platter, consisting of an assorted mix of salted cashew nuts, smoked almonds and BBQ beans, Spagheni di Pollo, served alongside olives and watermelon slices and Rosemary Garlic Pizza Bread. 








It was an honor and privilege to witness Mr. Vir Sanghvi gracing the occasion as not only is he a household name now with his column in HT Brunch but also, he had judged Yours Truly, where she had penned a travelogue encompassing an Egyptian sojourn for the erstwhile Food and Travel Carnival held by Blogmint and chosen it as a Weekly Winner too. :) 


Being a co-founder and Lead Critic at Eazy Diner, Vir spoke about how they aim to showcase a member restaurant in its shining glory, serving good food and treasuring countless experiences. 
He pointed out how most Pizza chains in India are of American descent, most classic cases-in-point being Domino's and Pizza Hut. 

To bring back and establish the homegrown Italian style Pizzerias, we had Pizza Express to fall back on. He wished that everyone present would enjoy the evening (sure did!) and ended his note with a 'Happy Eating!' :) 

To follow, of course, was the traditional ribbon cutting to officially inaugurate the New Menu commemorating #50YearsOfPizzaExpress. 



And, there it was on each table - the New Menu launched by Pizza Express. Does it make the perfect gift by Pizzaiolos? I think it does. 



True to their formidable 'Pizza In Style Since 1965...' we then started with the many gorgeous elements of the meal that evening. Each dish was unique, to be liked, loved or critiqued by Vir and bloggers! :) 



The first dishes of the evening were marked by Ramiro Al Forno - bell peppers - and Spiedini di Gambero - prawns on skewers. That was just the trailer as the show had just begun. 

















The most indulgent starter, however, came in the form of Cicchetti - Emilgrana and Mushroom Dip. The dip was as creamy as it should have been - just perfect. Pizza Express's signature doughballs added to its charm! :)


Next up was the indulgent Pear Salad coupled with Chips, which seemed too sweet owing the fruit yet slightly bitter owing to the chips, on the palate. Given a chance, it would be the one dish I would choose to skip from the evening's meal as it seemed too complex in its individuality. 


The Pizza Platter was up next, consisting of five baked treats. Sassi and Formaggi 65 were the two classics while Il Padrino 65 and Padana were more of a  feast. Calabrese, on the other hand, had a surprise in its presentation. It boasts of being the only RECTANGULAR Pizza on the Menu!





The Pastas on the Menu lent a unique flavor to the meal too. One of them was Penne con Poppadew while the other was a flavorful Risotto. 





To draw the sumptuous meal to an end, we had a heavenly conclusion in the form of a Dessert Platter, consisting of Tiramisu, Banoffee and Pizza Express's signature Cheesecake! :D



I was delighted to have been invited to such a momentous occasion as #50YearsOfPizzaExpress and would always wish that the pioneers in casual dining at its finest, continue to scale the horizons and multiple such milestones as well. :) 

Friday, 18 December 2015

Where Is That Ray?

I need light at the end of the tunnel. For the last so many years I have been walking, working, sleeping, waking up, eating, playing, weeping, crying; all in the dark. It is like life began in a tunnel and ended in a tunnel. And the worst part is that for all these years there has not been a single ray of light at the end of this tunnel.

This is the story of my country. This is the story of a woman of my country. Probably, it is not only my country that is worried about the heinous crime of sexual violence being committed against the girl child and women in this patriarchal society. It is happening everywhere, irrespective of the stature of a country – developed, developing or underdeveloped.

In fact, a situation is better in certain countries irrespective of this stature. But overall, there needs a stream of serious action in a collaborative manner. There is no sense in wasting energies in a scattered manner in fighting against sexual violence. A girl needs to understand her rights at an appropriate time during her growth and development.

Society and family have to play a major role in imparting this education to the girl child regarding her rights. She must understand quite distinctly right against wrong and good against bad. Because if a girl child develops under fear, she will never be able to impart appropriate knowledge to the coming generations. A suppressed child can never grow into an independent and confident parent.

To avoid a girl or a woman getting caught in a web of fear, lack of education & knowledge, and sexual violence there are few steps that need to be taken care of as mentioned below:
If a girl child or woman is not courageous enough to report or raise the alarm against sexual violence it is shameful for her family, society and the whole nation. What this means is that she has not been given ample knowledge and freedom to trigger an alert in case of crisis or threat.

Right at the first instance of any kind of sexual abuse, a girl or woman must know what the right kind of action that is required is. Usually such things are accepted as a granted abuse of society and result into silence rather than speaking out against it.

Education and knowledge at the right time are the keys to this. A girl must get proper education and knowledge at the right time in her life to understanding her rights against sexual abuse and violence. Education and knowledge must be strong enough to build up a substantial level of confidence in her. It should also empower her to strongly condemn any such act in the open and bring the culprits to the society and law for appropriate action.

Workshops at the school and college level and play a big role in this direction. There is a clear commitment that should come from a nation: administrative agencies, states, colleges, schools, society regarding the safety of women and girl child. 

 ~~~ 

I’m writing this blog post to support Amnesty International’s #KnowYourRights campaign at BlogAdda. You can also contribute to the cause by donating or spreading the word.


#KnowYourRights, Dear Ladies!

We are a developing country. We have still not reached a substantial maturity level as far as a nation and society are concerned. We still feel proud in being addressed as a developing country. That is why probably we are not keen to rapidly become a developed country. A country where society is confident about the nation and nation is proud of its societal activities. We live in an isolated state in our country and society. We are least worried of what is happening to others as far as it is not impacting us.

The above might not be true to its fullest what I wrote above. The scenario is changing. We are getting impacted by the drawbacks in our society. These drawbacks are lingering on for so many years but finally we have started waking up from our long sleep. There are a lot of initiatives being taken from various government and non-government agencies in this direction. Despite all these good efforts that are visible, there is a lack of collaboration. There is still a ubiquity of sadness in the country as far as the safety of women and girls is concerned. Every day there are a number of related cases happening in the metropolis that cause a severe cause of concern.

If I have to think of the top three reasons of the rising importance to encourage reporting sexual violence, they would be characterized by three keywords as below: 

Space: We need to give sufficient space to a girl child to grow fearlessly in the family and society. This is not about a mere physical space. It is about intellectual and psychological space that a girl and woman needs in our country. For years, that have to live at the whims and fancies of the dominant male society. Wherever a girl or woman travels, moves or lives, they have to be cautious all the time. There is always a dominance imposed on them. This needs to go off, big time.

Freedom: We need to give freedom to every child, especially to a girl child. This is about freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of development and freedom to live in a dignified manner. There are a lot of impositions on women and girls which never let them survive in a confident atmosphere.

Education: There is a prevalent misconception in the society that a girl child does not need as much attention and education as a boy. The era is gone when a girl had just to gain mastery in domestic work and get married at an early age. Gone is the time when they just had to marry and confine themselves to domestic chores all their life. 

 ~~~ 

I’m writing this blog post to support Amnesty International’s #KnowYourRights campaign at BlogAdda. You can also contribute to the cause by donating or spreading the word.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

An Old World Charm!

Zonal War Winner EAST Zone

~~~

Two roads diverged in a wood, 
And I took the one less travelled by. 

The one classic line from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost always finds relevance in various walks of life. What if we were to take it on face value, quite literally? 

Any avid traveller would prefer to take the offbeat and unseen path to embark on an adventurous journey. I am no different. However, the destinations which fascinate me on home turf in India are the ones which are yet to be visited by me! 
Not aplenty, I must say as only the acclaimed 'Seven Sisters' and the 'Western Frontier' lie unexplored on the Indian map by Yours Truly. 

If I were to choose my most fascinating city from among the picturesque Seven Sisters, it would have to be Darjeeling hands-down! 

If I were to elucidate my most favorite characteristics of the city, I would classify it under the parameters of Design, Drive, and Connect. 

Design: Given a chance, who would choose to discard the luring sight of snow-laden peaks overlooking a quaint hill town? Add to that the ever-expansive tea gardens sloping on rolling hills, orchids, pine cones, rhododendrons, and a cute Himalayan toy train whistling, while earmarking its way through the mountains. Bliss, right? 

Drive: Road trips are always amazing and the one from Bagdogra to Darjeeling, known as the trip over Hill Cart Road (NH 55) is no exception. It is as scenic as can be and the three-and-a-half hours long journey is sheer pleasure. From a township and market area to a University campus to a tranquil river flowing below a bridge to the vastness of green fields and the snow caps of mountains to a few shrines and cottages at a distance to a well-guarded military area to being in the middle of an unmindful herd of cattle left on their own on the road, grazing to their heart's content - this route has it all and is said to leave one craving for more. 

The rustic village area then makes way for a vast green stretch of tea gardens running parallel to the road for miles on both sides, complemented by sky-high peaks, which makes for an impressionable sight. After one has driven uphill for a while, there is a point towards the right from where one is able to witness  a breathtaking view of the Siliguri plains below. The sight of two rivers, Teesta, to the left and Balasun to the right - flowing side by side at a distance - is soothing, to say the least. 

Connect: At the mention of this parameter, I can think of nothing, but the Toy Train as it is lovingly christened and which has been the romantic heart of Darjeeling that has touched everybody who has witnessed this paradise. Introduced in 1881, connecting Siliguri with Darjeeling through a narrow gauge line, it helped cut down the time it took to for commuters by bullock cart and horse carriages along the Hill Cart Road. Of course, the city is well connected to the other six of its 'siblings' - the other six states of the East and it goes without saying that the East is a jewel in the Indian crown. 

 ~~~ 

This post has been written for #madeofgreat Zonal War in association with IndiBlogger. 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

An Outlook Towards Responsible Tourism...

What?

#ResponsibleTourism Conclave by Outlook Traveller.

When?

Wednesday, December 9.

Where?

ITC Maurya, New Delhi.



 ~~~ 

When I stepped out of the house, I didn’t realize it would be so enlightening and thoughtful. I was delighted that so many vexing activities that I used to observe other travelers doing, during my vacations to various destinations, are now the point of discussion for the whole world. There are initiatives like responsible traveling, green traveling, and sustainable traveling, and so on. People are now thinking about wastage of natural resources, and its overconsumption.

The event was themed around Responsible Tourism organized by the reputed Outlook Traveller magazine. There were speakers from pan-India and all across the globe. We had esteemed speakers from various parts of India. The keynote was presented by Indranil Roy, President, and Publisher, Outlook Group. The Guest of Honor was Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The enlightening opening address was by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Director, International Center for Responsible Tourism. It was good to notice that the alertness around being sane and acting responsibly as an informed traveler and tourist is rising at a good pace. The pressure is on all stakeholders connected with Tourism. It does not matter whether you are on this side or that side. Everyone now has to be aware of the condemnable actions against nature, its risks, and its intricacies.



There were a lot of learning points during all the sessions. The first session had a good amount of brainstorming on Responsible Tourism associated with it. There was a session on luxury tourism, focussed around - Can luxury be responsible? There were great insights on the topic from Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC. We learned that there are a lot of green and responsible tourism related stands being taken by ITC on the global front. Another good point of learning was that the value and commodity basket of luxury changes with the time. What was luxury yesterday is a necessity today in tourism.



Communication is the main key for responsible tourism. There are certainly good things happening in a scattered way that need to be consolidated and all energies should flow in a unilateral manner. Once all energies being implied in this direction across the globe get synchronized, the adoption and learning will be faster and at a wider scale. Then people will not look at each other to become a responsible tourist or a responsible tourism deploying agency on the other side. Whatever is the case and whichever side you are standing, the message has to be absorbed so well that the action points start flowing in everyone’s blood.

~~~ 

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

Thursday, 10 December 2015

#ResponsibleTourism Requires Introspection...

Is increasing tourism a threat to nature and to our ecosystem? Does it impact the lives of various fauna and their valuable habitats when we visit them? Are we the sole cause to the wastage of water, energy and precious natural resources when we visit any new place? 

These are some questions, the answers to which are more questions. However, the second set of interrogative statements is more introspective in nature. Do you not feel like questioning your actions whenever your conscience does not approve of them? 

I believe each soul is a traveller. A traveller must also ensure that they abide by #ResponsibleTourism for all times when they are travelling and to familiarise other travellers visiting their city, state, or country. Just ask yourself the following questions and look within, for honest answers. 

As a tourist what are the disciplines I need to follow? Do I need to look around for others to guide me for maintenance and sustenance of Mother Nature? Do I not know from the core of my heart what is good and what is bad? Am I, unknowingly being the cause for the destruction of nature?
 
There are many pointers that we can divert our attention to while travelling, staying at, and enjoying the beauty of classic, unique or offbeat destinations. It is for sure that must not be aware of everything about the said destination. 

But still, there are some basic guidelines that we can adhere to, to exude a certain positivism and responsibility about being a traveller. Simple acts can help become a responsible traveller.Try to understand the impacting factors of locale. 

Some universal factors need to be adhered to like: 

  1. Shun smoking or indulgence in alcoholism.
  2. Don’t use wood for bonfires at hilly and remote locations.
  3. Don’t litter/throw garbage/plastic/food leftovers and other such items 
  4. Limit the use of power to as little as you can.
  5. Don’t waste water.
  6. Buy from locals, made by locals.
  7. Engage yourself in the activities of local communities – their festivals, their rituals, their joys and happiness.
  8. Don’t poke your nose into the mannerisms of fauna. Let them stay and live their own life in jungles. If you don’t like their interference in your life, what right have you, to interfere in their lives?
  9. Buy/eat organic food.
  10. Don’t demand plastic bags while making your purchases.
  11. Use electrical gadgets to the least extent hence reducing power consumption.
  12. Don’t offer food to animals in the jungle/sea/lake/river. They have their own ecosystem and food chains designed by nature.
  13. Don’t make noise in jungles. Imagine a pride of lions roaring around you while you and your family are asleep? Weird, right? Your loud music or shouts might disturb them as well.
  14. Buy gifts/products for your friends and family members crafted by local communities.
  15. Think of giving something good in return at a place where you are vacating, touring, visiting or staying.  If you love to enjoy, create an enjoyable atmosphere for the local communities too, by the  give and take of perspectives and ideologies.

Responsibility comes from within. We don’t need someone else to teach us how to become a responsible tourist. Let us set an example for others rather than becoming a bad example to be ill-mouthed by others who care for nature and natural habitats. 

~~~ 

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

Saturday, 5 December 2015

KAZO At Its Fashionable Best!

KAZO Clothing Stores is a well-known name in the field of international fashion clothing at an affordable cost in India. Kazo Clothing's newest outlet has recently been inaugurated at MGF Metropolitan Mall, Gurgaon.



This takes the NCR presence tally of Kazo stores to 6, just one short of the number of stores in Punjab.  The new store is located right at the MG Road Metro station and hence is in close vicinity to commuters by metro. By road, it is near to exit 6 on NH8.



Kazo's unique concept of making international brands available in India at an affordable price point without any compromise with quality or service amazes. The staff is well trained to assist customers for any issue. The latest trends in clothing can be found ruling the stands, easily here. The store accommodates all seasons and all trends of clothing so that you can comfortably procure a variety of stylish clothing right under the same roof.



Kazo is widely present in all major cities of India. Its presence is noticeable in Punjab, Delhi NCR, Maharashtra, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Gujarat, UP and Rajasthan. Besides their own stores, Kazo clothing is also present in multi-brand stores life Lifestyle for one, across India. And online ordering is also always a convenient option. In a nutshell, whenever you enter a Kazo store, you are bound to purchase a few dresses, accessories and handbags every time you visit as the variety keeps surprising you on a regular basis as per the demand of the seasonal trends and consumer's choices.



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

#AcerSmartphones Brings Acer Liquid Z630s: A Great Value For Money

Acer is a multinational company from Taiwan engaged in the hardware and electronic gadgets. The company is quite popular on the global front and their products are well established in India and on the worldwide arena. Founded with the name Multitech in 1976 originally, it changed its name to Acer in 1987. In personal computers, Acer is known to be world’s largest vendor. The company is also engaged in manufacturing of other products like tablets, smartphones, servers, storage devices, peripherals and televisions (LCD and LED).


The new entrant in their smartphone range is Acer Liquid Z630s and has a fabulous configuration. Powered by 1.3 GHz 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6735 processor, Acer Liquid Z630s has 3GB LPDDR3 RAM. It comes with 32GB internal memory that can be expanded to another 32GB with the help of a microSD card. On the camera front, Acer Liquid Z630s has 8-megapixel rear (or primary) camera that is powerful enough to capture images with high clarity. The rear camera is auto-focus with LED flashlight. Another good thing about this smartphone is its front (or secondary) camera that is also 8-megapixel equipped to give fantastic selfies. The front camera is a wide angle camera (84 degrees). For serious shooters, this smartphone is a must have gadget.


The Operating System in Acer Liquid Z630s is Android 5.1 (Android Lollipop). The battery is with a tremendous backup power of 4000 mAh. The battery is removable, thus ensuring that you need not throw your device away when the battery stops giving backup. It is just a question of replacing your battery with genuine Acer battery for the device. The battery has a standby time up to 630 hours. The weight of the device is just 165 grams. Its height, width, and thickness are 156.30, 77.50 and 9.90 respectively thus making is smart and sleek yet a powerful device. The display is 5.5 inch HD IPS with Zero-Air Gap (1280 x 720).



With exhaustive storage, extremely fast octa-core processor and 3 GB RAM the smartphone is definitely a smart buy for enthusiasts who seek high performance, capacity and multitasking with prolonged and powerful battery life. The Acer Liquid Z630s is a dual SIM device (both GSM, 4G+4G). You need Micro-SIMs for the device. Connectivity options include GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G. There are multiple sensors on the phone that include an Ambient light sensor, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, and Proximity sensor.

The Acer Liquid Z630s is available in black color. It is the best buy and has a great value for money in terms of performance, storage, design, display, battery life and cameras.

A few comparisons have been tabulated as follows:


Z530
Redmi Prime
Moto E (2nd Gen)

6999
6999
6999
IN the Box
USB Cable, Charger, Handset, Battery, Earphone, User Guide and Warranty Card
USB Cable, Charger, Handset, Battery, QSG and Warranty Card
Charger, Handset with Built-in Battery, QSG and Warranty Card, Headset
Rear Camera
8 MP
8 MP
5 MP
Front Camera
8 MP
2 MP
0.3 MP
Size
5 inch
4.7 inch
4.5 inch
Battery
Li-Polymer, 2420 mAh
Li-Ion Polymer, 2200 mAh
Li-Ion Polymer, 2390 mAh
Processor
1.3 GHz Quad Core
1.2 GHz Quad Core
1.2 GHz Quad Core
Memory
2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM
2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM
1 GB RAM, 8 GB ROM




Acer Z630S
Lenovo K3 Note
Moto G
Price
10,999
9,999
12,999
Front Camera
8 MP
5 MP
5 MP
Screen Size
5.5 Inch
5.5 Inch
5 Inch
Battery
4000 mAh
2900 mAh
2470 mAh
Memory
3 GB RAM 32 GB ROM
2 GB RAM 16 GB ROM
2 GB RAM 16 GB ROM
Processor
Octa Core
Octa Core
Quad Core