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Oscar Fever 2013

The Oscar StatueWith the Oscars around the corner, the Mrs and I decided to watch most of the Oscar nominated movies. We normally pick and choose films post the awards but this year we decided to try something different.  Below are my mini reviews of the movies, actors and directors nominated for most of the popular awards and have mentioned potential winners for good measure, apologies to critics and fans, I have not covered all the movies, just did not get enough time to watch them (and some I just did not want to watch for example Amour)

ArgoArgo – Great effort by Ben Affleck, the movie moves at a brisk pace and does not bore you one bit, the actors shine with very realistic performances and the movie is not about saving Americans, for a change this time it is Canadians. Argo has already won the Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA this year, making the movie a movie top favourite to take home the Oscar, I do believe Affleck will win best Director for the movie as well. To add to that if this wins the Oscar also it will be a breakaway from the movies that normally end up winning the awards, ones that are arouLinolnnd disabilities addictions etc…

Lincoln – What can I say, this one is a show reel for the acting prowess of Daniel Day Lewis, my question is why did Spielberg decide to direct this movie? The movie moves at its own pace, the characters move in an out very quickly for you to remember anybody and the only excitement in the movie comes at about the 2 hour timeline. I think this one is a no brainer, Lewis will win for his brilliant performance how the hell did he get that voice down?? Costume design may also have a chance here along with Tommy Lee Jones as best actor in a supporting Role.

Life Of PiLife Of Pi – I will not lie to you I had really high expectations with this movie, the Mrs and I actually went to watch this on our wedding anniversary and man was I disappointed. The story is nothing to rave about, the acting I only remember The Lion, Tabu and Irfan Khan – The movie is loud and tries to make the audience think about religion, belief and a crazy boy who in my opinion needs therapy.  For me this one is going to be a no show at the Oscar, from a visual effect perspective it is brilliant the 3D is the best I have seen this year but beyond that Life of PI is a complete no show.

Zero Dark ThirtyZero Dark Thirty – This is a great movie in my opinion, it is long but its keeps you glued to your seat, brilliant direction, great acting by Jessica Chastain who is also nominated for best actress and definitely stands a chance to win. My concern with this movie, the Oscars don’t like such movies, they are a thin line between commercial and tragedy and year on year movies like these only win nomination hardly any awards, also if you have seen the History Channel Documentary on the Bin Laden killing there will be a lot of mismatches with this movie, lets just say the director took a few creative liberties.

 Django UnchainedDjango Unchained – Quentin Tarantino’s violent take on the classic western, the movie yells Tarantino all the way, stylish, abusive, violent and absolutely mad – if you can’t take violence stay away from this one. The portrayal of the slavery era is brutal and drives the point home, but for some Silver Lining Playbookreason the movie is just way too long and I don’t think will win the Oscar – surprisingly it was also not nominated for best costume but Snow White and the Huntsman is…go figure

Silver Lining Playbook – This movie kept reminding me of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, while I watched it, don’t know why it’s a asylum style movie outside the confines of the asylum, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Nero are great in the movie but only Lawrence and De Nero stand a chance to win gold. Now this is the kind of movie Oscars love people with some sort of mental problem and overcoming it to find true love, in my opinion the only true challenger to Argo. It also gets brownie points because Anupam Kher is in it and has a pretty meaty role

Les MisrableLes Miserable, Amour and Beast of the of the Southern Wild are movies I have not yet watched, but they all may have winners in the Actor/ActrBeast Of the Southern Wildess categories – Amour may actually end up winning best foreign language film also. Few big names that are missing from these movies, Denzel Washington, for Flight and Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master, I doubt they will win, even though Denzel’s role looks like it’s specifically written with Oscars in mind.  All in all I think the Oscars will be like they are every year no big surprises. All the images above are a funny take on these great movies they are in no way actual representations of the films themselves, check out the full list of all nominees here and as usual do share your winners list in the comments section 🙂

Checkout some awesome videos with behind the scenes footage from all these great movies below –

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Helmets & More

 

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The Slamdunk

With the NBA Allstar game around the corner, today was a good idea to do a post around the same. Actually, this post is about one of ours & everyone else’s who watches the NBA’s favourite play, the SLAMDUNK!!! Over a period of time, since the ABA & Dr. J (Julius Erving popularised this great feat) the slamdunk has come a long & high way ;-).

nba_slam_dunk_contest_history_widescreen

My brother, Mihir, & I have been watching basketball since forever. Although initially, we didn’t really watch it for the love of the game.. actually we did; we used to play Tecmo Basketball on the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) & that, over a period of time, got us familiar with the teams and the players. Soon we migrated to watching the game. This was around the time cable TV was introduced to India & ESPN & Starsports were broadcasting matches. Anyways, the Slamdunk & its versions, the tip-in dunk & the alley-oop, were our all time favorite things to watch in the game. We also followed some great dunkers & their exploits; to name a few – Clyde Drexler, Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Scottie Pippen, Spud Webb, Shawn Kemp, Kobe Bryant,  etc. etc.. For all those interested in seeing the history of the Slamdunk Contest check the link http://www.nba.com/history/allstar/slamdunk_year_by_year.html ; also below is the video for the Top 10 dunks of all time in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest:

Moving on….. what i wanted to talk about was the evolution of the sport and my top few dunkers. Let me start by talking about my most favorite dunkers & my top 5 in order are – at number 1 – The Reign Man, Shawn Kemp number 2 – Half Man Half Amazing, Vince Carter & current favorite at number – 3 Blake Griffin. Vince & Blake both have been Slamdunk Contest winners; Kemp, on the other hand, hasn’t won any Slamdunk Contests yet, though his Alley-Oops courtesy Gary Payton and his insane in-game dunks are absolutely revolutionary. Vince Carter’s showing in the 2000 dunk contest is probably the greatest showing in the history of the NBA Slamdunk contest ever!!! Blake also showcased some amazing dunks during his winning run in 2011, his bounce ball off the board elbow dunk was very cool & his over the car dunk was a showcase event. Also, through the years, the dunk competetion has seen a great many dunkers like Jason Richardson, Nate Robinson, the only 3 time winner, Gerald Green, Josh Smith, Dwight Howard, etc. Don’t miss Vince Carter’s performance in the Slam Dunk Contest, check the below video:

Dwight Howard, one of the few big men who won the crown in 2008 with the Superman dunk, which according to me is when the dunk evolved…. Dwight jumped so high that he actually threw the ball downwards into the rim from far. Further to that, and since then, Blake Griffin has taken that to another level with his crazy dunks over Kendrick Perkins & Pau Gasol. His teammate, DeAndere Jordan, also matches Blake’s ability to fly, and showcases monstorous dunks regularly. Gerald Green, with his insane dunk, wherein his head was above the rim & then he decides to windmill the same………. insane, I tell you. Then there is Jawal Mcgee who, according to me, should have been a co winner with Blake Griffin in the slamdunk contest. This guy is a freak of nature,  with the arm span he has…… every time he dunks his hand is above the white box! All these guys have taken the art of dunking to the next level. A worthy mention here is The King, Lebron James, who as per me, has some of the most insane & powerful ingame dunks! When he jumped over John Lucas the 3rd, it was a sight which not many will ever forget! Blake vs. Jawal in the video below:

This year’s competetion features some great dunkers, though, no real superstar … which is a bummer :-(. NBA, take notice! Get Lebron, Blake & a few others to take part. Having said that, the competition this year features……click on the hyperlinks to see highlights of the participants:

2013 Eastern Conference Sprite Slam Dunk Competitors

Gerald Green (Indiana) Terrence Ross (Toronto) James White (New York)

2013 Western Conference Sprite Slam Dunk Competitors

Eric Bledsoe (L.A. Clippers) Jeremy Evans (Utah) Kenneth Faried (Denver)

My pick? I don’t have a single one, but will go with boys from the eastern conference – each of them has insane ups!!!

Intresting Trivia:

1) Nate Robinson has won the contest thrice as part of the New York Knicks

2) Three Atlanta Hawks have won the Slamdunk Contest – Dominique, Spudd & Josh Smith

3) Julius Erving never won the NBA contest but won it when it was a part of the ABA

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2013 in Helmets & More

 

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Vintage Weekend

This weekend was more or less governed by a lot of activity. Also, I realized that it had been over 2 weeks since I put up a post & much was overdue. This weekend started off with an awesome motorbike ride, then general guitar playing in the morning, post which we (Ekta, Rachita & me) went to Oh! Calcutta & had some awesome seafood – there was fried fish, steamed fish, awesome naans and some superb daal, etc. which was eaten. The evening was spent visiting the super car show at Mahalakshmi racecourse followed by alcohol & home made burgers which were spectacular. Also, what deserves a mention & please to note there will be a more detailed post on the same is the start of our own little business called Out of the Trinket Box – http://outofthetrinketbox.wordpress.com/ serving awesome cakes, cupcakes & more. Our 1st order delivered is as below “Hulk Cupcakes!”

Hulk Cupcakes

Hulk Cupcakes

Archie's Jalopy

Archie’s Jalopy

Classic Mini Cooper

Classic Mini Cooper

Sunday morning started off with a bike ride towards Nariman Point, though on the way, parked right opposite the Trident (what used to be The Oberoi) were some awesome Vintage Cars! So I parked my bike next to them, and decided to have a look; post further probing, I realised that the same were gathering there as part of a Vintage Car Rally with over 100 cars taking part so I decided to hang there for a bit & take some pics & videos. After a while, there were a few Royal Enfields & Bajaj Avengers that came in which were also going to be a part of this rally.

Super Awesome

Super Awesome

Saw a few women riders beyond Ekta for the 1st time riding Royal Enfields. There were Cadillacs, Mercedes,  Mini Coopers, Triumphs, Dodges, Aston Martins, Buicks, cars which looked like Archie’s Jalopy, Rolls-Royce & many more. Also, the cool part here was that the accumulated crowd was allowed to go near the cars, see the interiors, click photographs & all without any issue from the owners; some of the owners were more then happy to talk about their cars to the fans inquiring. Later on, once the place was filled with cars & people, there was a roaring sound like thunder which turned everyone’s heads towards Air India building as the sound came from that direction. En route towards the starting point of the rally came in the Harley Riders, only about 3 of them, though they sounded like an army. Immediately, everyone’s attention switched to these awesome bikes. I also checked them out, contemplated in my head a lot about buying one, though then finally got onto my Bajaj Avenger & rode back home. I am going to try & put up images of the rally in a slide show below this post.

Sensational Cadillac

Sensational Cadillac

Got home all excited, showed Rachita & Mihir the pictures of the rally, spent time with Astro, watched Stargate Atlantis. Also watched a crazy movie called Upsidedown which has an amazing concept – 2 Worlds circulating a single sun with opposite gravitational forces connected to each other, so in effect people in world 1 see the people in world 2 inverted & people cannot travel to opposite worlds otherwise they wont survive for more than 30 minutes, pretty trippy I tell you. Post a full-on family lunch, I passed out for a bit, woke up & decided to go for a random joyride with Rachita towards worli seaface to see the Worli Festival, got home went for a bike ride again past peddar road & marine drive, felt super cool about the same :-), got home had some super JD (Jack Daniels i.e.), ordered-in pizzas & watched a super comedy called Here comes the Boom to end the day and a super weekend. Don’t forget to check the awesome photographs of some crazy vintage cars!!!

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Helmets & More

 

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The Apple Effect

Apple A lot of you may think this is a case study on Apple, if so I suggest you move on – this is my experience with Apple devices and my views on their products. Let’s start from the beginning, I never cared much about the iPod even though it was part of pop culture, just me being uninterested in listening to music, like playing it though 🙂 – then came the iPhone, again way over priced and I was an HTC guy so again a no show, of course at that time I was not even aware of the Macintosh PC devices, please note I am a windows fan for life (a lady in my office calls them Massintosh)

My first introduction to an Apple device – the IPhone gifted to me for my wedding by my brother Ameet, the device was fascinating, you must understand I had never used a touch phone before this – I spent a lot of time getting to know device; read up manuals/blogs/sites etc – in about a month since I had the phone I was what you call an Apple fanboy, I downloaded every possible application that 16gb phone ipad1could handle. I also started promoting the device as the greatest device ever, next came the IPad gifted to us (M&M) by the family, again the same cycle reapeats, getting information and downloading apps. By now I was a fully grown full-time Apple slave/marketer – recommending the devices to anyone and everyone and also creating a self dependency where I had to get my daily Apple fix, going to their website, hunting for upcoming product stories, signing up as a developer and so on. for a few years this dominated my life.

The Ipad MiniNow to the present – a couple of months back like every other man on earth I also heard about the new devices Apple was to introduce, I really was not very keen on getting drawn into the world, but eventually because of my Ipad being over 2 years old and running and outdated OS decided to look at the Ipad Mini, my loving brother Ameet and his Dad Dipu are Apple salesmen in disguise pretty much hard sold it to me, next I did my round of diligence also, contemplated buying the 4th gen Ipad instead but eventually due to budget constrains went for the Mini. The very loving Mrs. gifted it to me and to be very honest from day one I was as hooked to it as I was to my old Ipad – knowingly or unknowingly the vicious cycle had started all over again.

Twist in the Tale – A few days back an event forced me to rethink my entire Apple addiction, I was contemplating which laptop to buy for my personal use, first thought, Macbook, but then I got thinking, yes the devices are great, they do change how you interact with the internet & multimedia but they are not for the general public, very clearly the company caters to a luxury segment and I am not part of that segment – I use 3 programs on my HP and am happy with it – all I use Apple devices for is calling and surfing the net, I just can’t see myself spending 70k for a device that I could buy for 40k – of course if it drove my car, made me jump tall buildings in one leap and played Gears of War, I would thiMac Book Airnk about it, but it doesn’t. Now add to this Apple constantly upgrading devices to keep Steve Jobs legacy going, my biggest fear is that in 6 months the Mini will be obsolete – you would think they would give it a year at least, imagine buying a laptop with a one year lifespan…doesnot make sense…

To conclude if I had not received the iPhone and iPad as gifts I would never end up purchasing them, they are way to expensive – agreed quality comes at a certain cost but critical mass comes free or at affordable rates – Google, Facebook, Microsoft are all examples of the same – think about it what would phones, tablets, PCs be without the above mentioned companies – anyways this does not mean I am bitter and throwing my Ipad Mini – only an idiot would do that – On the Mac Book and Mac Book Air, if I win it in some contest great else it’s a know show. Please Note this article is also to prove my Sister in law wrong, she thinks I am an Apple Fan boy (WTF). Finally all said and done, I definitely will use an Apple device, but my addiction to all things Apple is done and dusted – like one South Indian Star said and I quote “Topic Is Over”

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2013 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Year End Roadtrip & More

So this year’s been pretty fun with roadtrips. If you have been following our blog, you’ll know we’ve been to Pune & Goa in the last 3 months, and most recently, that is last week, we decided to go to Baroda or Vadodra as people call it. Details of that trip are captured on this post. Do have a read, good people!!!

Brilliant Weather & Highway

Brilliant Weather & Highway

Danger Ha ha ha ha!!!

Danger Ha ha ha ha!!!

So Ekta has been in Baroda for a while. We have a house there & she had been inviting us there for some general chilling. Fortunately, the house was going to be empty, parents were vacationing in Kolkata so this was enough reason to go there & party!!! So last Thursday, Rachita, Vishal & me decided to drive down to Baroda in our trusty ride, the Skoda Laura aka Motilal. Also accompanying us on the journey there was Rachita’s grandmom who needed to be dropped off in Baroda at Rachita’s aunts’ and her daughter’s house. We started the journey from South Bombay in early hours of the morning, at about 4:30 am, & basis the fantastic roads and awesome weather, reached Baroda by in about 6.5 hours which was pretty awesome…

Gooooooooooooo!!!

Gooooooooooooo!!!

Super Awesomeness!!!

Super Awesomeness!!!

Reaching the house, we were greeted by Ekta who we think was in quite a shock as it was taking her a while to digest that we had actually made it there! In the past, there have been instances where in she has invited us there & for some reason or the other we haven’t been able to make it. Anyways, there was some awesome dhokla & khaman awaiting us which we hogged. Also had a few beers to kick start the party, please note Gujarat is a dry state & thus Baroda also is encompassed within that law, though if you have a permit you can legally get Alcohol; the good news is that Ekta’s dad has a permit :-). Post a quick nap, we moved to having Bailey’s Irish Cream on the rocks which was our drink of the trip i.e. Ekta’s & mine. For dinner we went to Yoko’s sizzlers had some good chicken sizzlers & starters & called it a day… Oh! before I forget, on reaching Baroda, Ekta & me went for a bike ride on her Royal Enfield fondly known as Goo after the game World of Goo. People in Baroda do not follow traffic rules & drive pretty crazy is what I learnt on my 1st bike ride in Baroda.

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Heaven with a dash of Butter...

Heaven with a dash of Butter…

Pure Brilliance!!!

Pure Brilliance!!!

Day 2 kicked off in the morning early. The weather was absolutely brilliant so I decided to take Goo out for a ride. In about 10 minutes on the bike, I froze stiff the temperature was about 14 degrees, though on the bike, at about 60 kmph it felt like it had dropped to about 8 degrees & lower – was pretty crazy, but fun. Got back home & played some blues on my blue guitar (that was cheezy, the line, but wanted to use it so what the heck). Playing the guitar in the brilliant Baroda weather felt sensational. Post that, watched some NBA on TV the Clippers take on the Celtics; this game saw Clippers win their 16th game in a row which was totally awesome! Hands down currently the most exciting in the NBA is the Los Angeles Clippers.

Slept again for a bit, woke up to beers & general chilling with Vishal, Ekta & Rachita. For a brunch, we ate some puffs & biscuits from a local bakery called Goodies. For dinner, decided to go have Raju Omelet; this time around, we went to another location which apparently is being run by Rajubhai’s brother who was the original cook for Rajubhai at the original flagship store. Yes, Raju Omelet has now got multiple branches! We ate some awesome egg preparations drowning in butter as you can see in the pictures! This time tried a new dish on the menu the Bhurji Wrap which was unbelievably delicious, diced egg bhurji & shredded boiled egg wrapped in an omelet floating in butter!!! Doesn’t get better than that…

Goodies!!!

Goodies!!!

Day 3 was similar to 2. Started off playing the guitar, though in the chilly weather gave the bike ride a skip, watched TV & passed out while Ekta & Rachita went shopping; slept for a good 4 hours & woke up to the fact that Rachu & Eku had bought out the whole of Baroda! For lunch, Baingan ka Bharta was had (Eggplant Preparation); post that there was like a fashion parade where in the girls were trying out outfits – were generally super excited about the whole experience. I was watching TV, while Vishal had passed out for a bit. In the night, we were going to get a few buckets from KFC, though when we went to pick them up, we found out that the store was still closed and that they were planning on opening come new year. So, next to our residence is this quaint eatery called Midday Munchies, where we went and picked up wraps & pizzas. We went home, ate & passed out.

Yayyyyy More Beer!!!

Yayyyyy More Beer!!!

Day 4 started off watching UFC 155….. Junior Dos Santos being walloped by Cane Valesquez; lots of beers were drunk. Lunch was a severely gujju style Bajra ni Khichdi with Lasan Chutney & Buttermilk. After this, we decided to watch some crazy south Indian movies dubbed in hindi on Tata Sky; we watched 2 movies back to back 1 of them was brilliant called Return of Chandramookhi starring Maamooty, also note in the middle of the movie, we kinda got hungry so decided to go grab some food & record the movie. We went to this place called 22nd Parallel which serves awesome South Indian food. We didn’t realise it was a Sunday evening when we left! The eatery was packed & we had to wait for about 20 minutes to get a table. Though, it was totally worth the wait as we ate some awesome Dosas, Wadas, Idlis, Rasam, Rice, etc. etc. Post getting home, we watched the recorded movie which was totally spectacular & went to sleep as Rachita & me had to head back to Bombay the next morning. Woke up again early & left by 4:30 am, I drove after eons for about half the journey & Rachita drove the other half; the roads & weather were super! Also add to that it was the 31st, so there was minimal traffic & we reached home by 11:00 am.

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

Woke up again early & left by 4:30 am, I drove after eons for about half the journey & Rachita drove the other half; the roads & weather were super! Also add to that it was the 31st, so there was minimal traffic & we reached home by 11:00 am. Overall, the Baroda trip was super awesome! For any of you planning a trip from Bombay to Baroda, I strongly suggest that you drive down; also the weather will be sensational till mid February so plan something soon. 2 places which are a must visit in case you are in Baroda – Raju Omlet & 22nd Parallel. Trust me, you wont be disappointed. Also here’s wishing all our readers a very happy new year, have a lucky 13!!!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Goa Getaway Again

One fine day, Ekta, Rachita & me met at gallops for a few drinks. The discussion revolved around going & seeing a house in Goa for their aunt. Randomly we all agreed & decided on a roadtrip to our most favorite holiday destination… somewhere through the week, we also convinced Vishal to come with us, a point to be noted here is we also tried to get Aashay to come with us, though he wasn’t allowed as his parents think we are a bad influence on him – this has definitely not gone down well with all of us…

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Heaven is a place on Earth!!!

Banyan Soul

Banyan Soul

Moving on & now to the interesting part, we started the roadtrip by about 4 a.m. on a Friday, made good time as we didn’t stop anywhere except for the occasional bathroom breaks & reached Goa by about 2 p.m. This time around, we were on a tight budget so were staying at a place called The Banyan Soul, a relatively inexpensive place at Anjuna. The Hotel is built around a huge-ass banyan tree as you can see in the pictures. It was nothing to rave about, but considering in Goa we use the hotel only for crashing, it served our purpose. After resting for a bit, decided to explore the surroundings on foot, walked passed German Bakery which was 100 meters from our Hotel, had a beer there, then decided to go to Curlies which was about a 15 minute walk away.

German Bakery

German Bakery

A Must Visit Place...

A Must Visit Place…

The place was pretty crowded, though we did get a quiet corner to chill, beers & rum were ordered. Also ordered some food which pretty damn awful, though the whole angle of being in Goa & on the beach with alcohol made up for the same :-). Next day started off with some photography and playing the guitar under the banyan tree which was super cool! For breakfast we decided to go to Lila’s Cafe where the roesti, sandwiches, bacon, etc is phenomenal. Side by side, we ordered some beer, which by now you have figured is mandatory with meals as well as generally while you are in Goa. Post a superb breakfast, we went to see the house. Nothing exciting happening there, as in it was a nice property and all that, but too far from the beach & general activity & thus a definite no show. Then we decided to go to Calamari, a shack ahead of Candolim. More beer was drunk & some more good food eaten, post chilling for a while, decided to head back to the hotel, crashed for a bit; dinner plans for the night were at Florentine, one of the most awesome places for authentic Goan food. We ate awesome vindaloo, fish cafreal & egg curry with beers, rum & fried papads.

Super View at Calamari!!!

Super View at Calamari!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Superb Crab Curry!!!

Next morning, Ekta & me went out for a drive for some photography & general chilling. We went around Vagator which has some awesome opportunities for great photography; for brunch, we decided to go to Calamari again. Post general lethargy & laziness through the day with beers & alcohol, we decided to go for dinner to Souza Lobo’s one of the oldest sea food eateries in Goa located at Calangute beach, we ordered some awesome crab curry……. this was the 1st time we ate crab & it was instant love….. we finished every last bit availaible in the curry bowl i.e. ekta & me did. We also ordered vindaloo which was superb. Beach photography started off the next day, post which we decided to go to the Casino. This was interesting because Casino Royale is located on  a ship away from the dock, in what qualifies as international waters, thus making gambling legal. In the casino,  played some black jack & slots with Rachita, won about 2k & then after a while got bored & went home, though decided that at some point in life, need to buy a boat which is kind of cool. For dinner, Rachita & I went to this shack at Anjuna called Seashore Bar which had super view of the ocean, had a few mojitos & beers accompanied by bhajiyas which was total awesomeness!!!

We were chilling here...

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

The final day in goa was spent having breakfast at this quaint place called Artjuna which had some great food & a brilliant ambiance. The concept basically is an eatery with a selected menu card, add to that pieces of art, sculpture & a lifestlye store in the open where you can buy whatever you like. Post breakfast, Rachita & Vishal decided to go finish some shopping, while Ekta & me went to Anjuna beach, got ourselves a couple of loungers & lazed there for a while. Shortly Rachita & Vishal also joined us as the area where we were living had no electricity so the breeze on the beach was more then welcome. Early evening, went shopping again with Rachita at Candolim. Finally, dinner was at a place called Sussee Cafe which was ahead of the Kingfisher Villa at Candolim. Ordered mussels, chicken, etc….. ate, chilled with beers, got back to the hotel & crashed. Next day roadtrip to Bombay was in full effect. Goa, this time around, was a revelation in terms of all of us trying & eating different kinds of seafood. Other than that, it also reconfirmed the fact that there is no other place in the country which is so super chilled out. Now we have decided to go there at least once every 3 months :-).

Susse Cafe!!!

Susse Cafe!!!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Mumbai Museum

The Prince of Wales MuseumFor this week’s photo-walk, I decided to visit the Prince of Wales Museum; the idea to go there is basis the comfort of taking pictures without people bothering you, also it had been a while since I had gone to the Museum, so kind of 2 birds with one stone thing happening. Like most of my trips this one also was on a weekday, but it also was a public holiday so there were hordes of people there. From a search engine point of view must also add the new name of the museum  is called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya- Like VT now referred to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

The first thing you notice with tStone Sculpture 1he museum is that the ticket counter is very polished, not like the one at the Zoo, the people also are rather helpful, I walked in with my camera bag, the gaurd informed me I need to get a clearaStone Sculpturesnce for the same, hence I requested the ticket vendor, he quickly took out two passes one for mobile phone and one for my DSLR the cost for the same 300 rupees. The guard then wrapped a thin strip of paper around my hand this to inform all other guards that I can use a phone camera, they also tied a badge onto my DSLR this to further ensure I don’t get probed at every security zone, the only request they made is that I don’t use flash in the museum and disturb people. I walked towards the entrance shooting pictures of statues that areplaced all over the lawns, the entrance is deceiving and opens into the reception area of the museum, here you can rent translators and tape guides to help you through the museum, I have been here so quickly moved towards the stone sculptures exhibit. I was very surprised they had added lighting to most idols and they made for some great pictures, as with everything I got bored fairly quickly and moved to the 2nd floor, herThe Samurai Dolle there was an exhibit that I had not seen before, it had ornaments, dolls, cutlery, decorative items stocked in a room that looked like it was straight from Hogwarts. I loved the samurai dolls on display absolutely amazing.The Painting Exibit

From here I moved to the painting exhibit, this one is sponsored by the Tata group and is spectacular, they also have benches with paper and pencil for artist to draw inspiration from the paintings on display, they also have some awesome benches there, it’s quite a sight feel like you are in a Museum in Paris. Next on the agenda the 2nd floor and the weapons exhibit, this use to be my most favourite displays as a kid, I never got the sculptors, but stuffed animals and weapons always rocked. Unfortunately the weapons are encased in glass aThe Rhino nd don’t photograph to well so I moved on changed my lens to a zoom lens and went on trying to capture some raVintage Furniturendom portraits. While on my way out I also dropped by the animal/bird exhibit, missed the large whale there but the rhino compensated for it – from there I backtracked towards the exit, there I spotted a paint exhibition sign, unfortunately it said no pictures so totally avoided it, sat in the lawn for a bit taking HDR shots and then headed out (featured on the top). The museum in Mumbai is awesome, the exhibits are brilliant and the place is really well maintained. I would definitely recommend it to all, if you have not seen it it’s a definitely must visit.

Our trip does not end there,Statues Decorating the lawns froGreat Workmanshipm there I moved towards Jahangir Art Gallery which is about 1 minute away from the museum, the footpath is layered with artist who have some awesome pictures on display, as I moved ahead I saw a boy desperately trying to pose so some photographer (currently me) would take his picture, he had a wierd hat on but really I could not take his picture did not call out to me, what can I say too bad…from there on to my regular destination Rhythm House – its an old music store which has been in Mumbai forever, did not end up buying anything but going through the very large collections of DVDs was a lot of fun. Finally I took a cab and headed home. If you are in Mumbai and end up visiting the Museum, do take some time off to walk around that are, its called Kala Ghoda and has some awesome places to see , eat and just window shop. (The gallery plugin is not working to well so could upload all the pictures – if you have a solution to the issue please write back to us)

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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Winter Bike Rides & More

The weather in Bombay at most times is at an average of 28 to 32 degrees celcius, Come December into January & February is the only time the weather cools down a bit going to an average of about 24 to as low as 18 to 16 degrees Celsius. All times are good for a bike ride but these 3 months are the best 🙂

Early Winter View of the Moon

Early Winter View of the Moon

This is my first winter (if you can call Bombay climate & temperature winter) with my Bike, so the last few days of November where the temperature dipped have been absolutely brilliant for Bike rides. More often than not, I leave for a bike ride early in the morning between 5:30 am & 6:00 am – yup! a lot of you may think this is crazy but trust me, this is the best time to ride on the streets of Bombay which go crazy with traffic post 8:00 am. The weather around daybreak is absolutely amazing, add to that the roads have absolutely no traffic & its just you & your bike cruising, the wind has a brilliant chill & you can hear some awesome birds & sounds other than cars honking away & people abusing. Also, it’s not yet sunny considering Sunrise is at its peak post 6:45 am.

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Awesomeness!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Most of the time, the route I take is from my house towards Nariman Point past Marine Drive. This, according to me, is one of the most scenic & open view places left in Bombay; cruising past Chowpatty & the different Gymkhana’s (Club Houses) towards Pizza by the Bay is absolutely brilliant. Nariman Point itself offers a great view with people jogging, walking, exercising right next to the sea. Also from NP you can see the complete Queen’s Necklace which is what the stretch from Nariman Point to end of Chowpatty looks like when seen from a vantage point :-). Heading back from Nariman Point, you are riding next to the sea & the breeze literally moves the bike…. this is a super feeling! From there, I take the route towards Walkeshwar & past Hanging gardens down Malabar Hill, this is by far & I kid you not, the best part of my bike ride in the morning. The descent from Hanging Gardens & Malabar Hill towards Peddar Road is like you get transported into another zone, there is a clear drop in temperature by about 5 degrees, lush greenery around & the peace & quiet. You have to ride this stretch, it is an absolute must for all whether you are on a bike, car or taking walk do visit this area in the morning it is an experience you will love…

The Queen's Necklace

The Queen’s Necklace

The Best Place for a Bike Ride...

The Best Place for a Bike Ride…

Worli Seaface

Worli Seaface

From the Malabar Hill descent I move past Peddar Road, stop below my in-laws building (in my mind at that point I am stalking them 😉 ). Moving on from how my devious mind works, to the bike ride past Mahalakshmi temple towards Haji Ali & Worli Seaface, the Haji Ali Stretch past the racecource towards Worli is again highly recommended, not for any other reason except the wind which literally smacks you in the face & the trafficless 5 lane road. Worli seaface, again like Marine Drive, is an experiance as you ride next to to the sea. Also, the view overlooks the Sea Link Bridge which is totally spectacular. This is where my ride ends & I head home passing the Atria Mall where the BMW & Ducati bikes’ showroom forces me to stop & stare aimlessly at some stupendous bikes. From there, riding past the race cource always is special considering I learnt how to ride at this place i.e. in the parking lot of the race course which is massive & totally empty in the early hours of the morning. For people who want to learn how to ride a bike in Bombay, I strongly suggest you come here to learn & practice.

The Sea Link

The Sea Link

All in all, I ride for about an hour in the morning which is also kind of therapeutic. Over a period of time, I have realized I have 3 really good shrinks 1) My wife 2) My bike 3) Alcohol  ha ha ha ha ha seriously twisted I am :-). Having said that & before I end this article, let me just reiterate to all reading this blog & are planning to visit Bombay or are living in Bombay, you have to take your ride out past the mentioned route whether the same be a car, bike, shoes or flip flops in the early winter morning, Trust me, you wont be disappointed with the awesomeness you experience!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Crazy Car and Tech Expo

I am not that into cars, don’t get excited seeing many of them (Jaguar is an exception) or drool when people talk about speed, etc. This year however, I went to the Autocar Expo which showcases some of the most awesome cars and bikes across India. Of course, I had a hidden agenda here, the Stuff Gadget show was also in the same premise, the very lovely Mrs works for the magazine and hence would not miss it for the world.

We started off early to avoid the mad crowds, got to the venue by about 10:30. As soon as I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye were custom bikes – a company called Verdanci – I had seen their work before online, but was very impressed with the quality of bikes they were making. As a promotion activity, they had decided to build a bike at the expo and launch it on the last day. I spoke to one of the promoters there and he told me the bikes cost anywhere between 5-10 lakhs basis customer requirement – a bit expensive if you ask me, but then again, the bikes look kick ass! Further on, there were more bikes – BMWs to start with – they look like cheetahs ready to pounce, I quickly took a few shots and then moved towards the cars…. the first few Porsches, Audis, Mercedes – while I was shooting the Porsche, a gentleman approached me and asked me for my email, he apparently forgot his batteries on his Nikon and wanted pictures of the event; this was a first for me also so I happily obliged (just sent him all the pics last week). Moving on, I stopped at the Jaguar booth for about 10 minutes and just stared at the car, that is one car that I would love to own in my life :-). Post the foreign cars, there were the standard India brands on display; what impressed me was how they had setup their booths and were rallying people around with contests, pictures, etc., something international brands definitely need to learn.

Moving further, reached the Ducati booth, 4 monsters parked there, that’s about it no flash lights, no booth babes, nothing – just 4 bikes and it was spectacular – these are monsters, not ordinary bikes. Post these, I did catch a glimpse of a Harley, but the crew there was rather unfriendly, they had issues if people came close to their bikes, so I said thanks but no thanks and moved on. By now, I was getting impatient as I had not yet reached the Stuff enclosure, I quickly asked someone and he directed me towards it. On my way there, caught a glimpse of some awesome car systems – they looked like they are straight out of The Fast & Furious… beautiful. Just before the Stuff enclosure, I ran into the Bat Mobile, well not really the Bat mobile but the Lamborghini Aventadore – hands down the greatest car that I will ever see in my life time – pity the Lamborghini booth was very small and restricted movement for Photography.

Finally made it to the Stuff enclosure – the walkway towards the expo was lit up and paintings of movies with gadgets lined the walls, my favourite the Godfather and the Guitar on display; from there the first store I caught was the LG TV booth. People! the booth babes in there looked like aunties, but the products on display pretty much killed it. The Stuff gallery had Bruce Lee guarding it and had some really fancy Lomo cameras, speakers, television and video game rigs on display; talking about rigs, the car simulator was suspended 4 feet off the ground and moved basis the steering wheel, please note even the screen moved giving the user a visual like none other. There were people riding Segues, trikes around the area and the sound system on display were to die for, they cost a crore+ so yes to die for. The mandotory smartphone displays drew in crazy crowds. I did hear a rumour that the Iphone 5 was going to be made available for display, but did not end up confirming the same. Another interesting toy/gadget was qaudrocopter or A.R Drone. It was in this huge enclosure and was being flown around by some very talented kids, it moved in all directions and could hover seamlessly in one place. After all the gadget porn, I went to meet the Mrs and all her collegues at the show. As usual, they were all working tirelessly for days but greeted me with a smile and offered to take me for a whole lot of demos, etc. I politely refused, have one policy in life if I can’t buy it, I don’t try it. After exchanging pleasantries, I decided it was time to leave, I had had a late night due to a kickass office party.

Going out, I noticed car companies had created drag, dirt and mountain tracks for people to try. There were also ATVs available to ride, honestly I was very impressed with the setup. All in all, it was a great experience. I definitely look forward to the Stuff show next year, Autocar may be but only for Photography. DO check our slide show for all the pictures from both the expos and don’t forget to favourite the blog 🙂

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Drinks, Diwali & Pune

Bombay Pune Expressway

So the Diwali celebrations for us started on the 11th of November 2012; Rachita, my parents and I left for Pune as we were celebrating the festive season with the in-laws at their Pune house. We over packed, as always, stuffed the luggage all over the Ritz added 4 people to the same & started the journey. The weather was awesome & there was no traffic so we made some good time, reaching our destination in about 3 hours. Reaching there, we realized the house was in chaos – too many people and too little space, so quickly freshened up & then decided  to head out with Aashay, Ekta & Rachita. This is when the fun began…

Awesome Decor at Hidden Place

The Tower of Power

Day 1- Also, please note, going forward we will refer to Aashay as Alpana because he in Pune is the equivalent of the house help whose name is Kalpana; in effect, he is the male Kalpana – Alpana!!! So Alpana decided to take me to this pub he has been raving about called Hidden Place. Reaching the destination i.e. HP we realized it doesn’t open till 12:30 & we’d reached by about 11:45 am so we requested the manager to allow us inside a bit early considering I had travelled all the way from Bombay. The guys were kind and let us in by noon :-). The place, overall, had a superb feel to it; nice retro decor with posters on the wall & bottles used as lights, also good music playing. We went in and ordered the King Fisher Tower which is about 3 litres of Beer; side by side, we ordered some chicken wings also which Alpana had highly recommended. By the time we went through the Tower of Power, the girls had also joined us and by now food & alco was flowing seamlessly :-).  We decided to have a pint of Stella & moved to another Japanese brand, the name of which I cannot remember. Ekta was having some cocktails while Rachita & Analushka were ordering food & more food. The afternoon was well spent being drunk & catching up on all the happenings in Ekta, Alpana & Analushka’s life!!! The evening was then spent with family at home eating Dosas & generally chilling.

Tower of Power & Mojito Pitcher

Day 2 – Post getting up the next day, decided to chill on the terrace for a bit considering the weather was a lot cooler than Bombay, played the blues, felt pretty awesome about it then made waffles for breakfast for all & then decided to go a new place at Koregaon Park called Kebab Studio; this was where Turtulia was originally. Reached the place & ordered another King Fisher Tower; also there was a super happy hours scheme wherein Pitcher of Mojito was availaible for Rs. 499/- so like, defo dude, ordered the same as well.

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Kebab Studio

To accompany the crazy amounts of alcohol, we also ordered some Crispy Roomali Roti with Kheema & a Choora Paratha which were like totally out of this world…the kheema just melted, actually disappeared in your mouth & it was like marinated in super masala. An absolute must try if you are visiting this place. Post a crazy drinking session (considering we ordered another pitcher of Mojito), we headed home totally drunk, chilled at home for a bit. Then Disha decided to learn how to ride the Bike; Ekta’s Royal Enfield aka Goo was there so taught her the basics of the same. For dinner there was barbecue, though by the time things were ready, I had passed out as post coming home from KS, I was OD’ing on Millers…

Tower of Power for Day 3

Day 3 – The last day in Pune, went over to the Taj Vivanta to meet the parents & check how the Hotel has been treating them; post which, intiially we decided to go to Machester United Cafe though, after a few discussions & miscomunications with Ekta who went of in the direction of Man U Cafe, we decided to go to this place called The Ship; as the name suggests, the decor of this place is like a Ship. Here also & for the 3rd consecutive day, Alpana & me ordered a Tower, Ekta, who had gone in another direction came back and ordered a few cocktails. For food, we ordered some Nachos & Onion rings which were pretty decent, also this was Diwali day, so there was lots of crackers being burst on the roads etc. Got home, crashed for a bit. In the evening, there was a full on celebration happening with Bhajiyas, some awesome Grilled Non-Veg & Icecream on the menu…..obviously unlimited alcohol & crazy bollywood music was also part of the POA. The Non veg included masala sausages, salami, bacon, chorizo & seekh kebab which were absolutely amazing. There was also masala khichya & fried papad with the alcohol. All in all, the evening was a lot of fun; a few crackers were also burst to celebrate the occasion…

The Ship

All in all, the Diwali Pune trip went off well. Next morning, left for Bombay early & got home. The places in Pune to eat & drink were sensational, also considering it was Diwali time the water holes were empty and we had the places all to ourselves. It was great catching up with Aashay & going drinking with him, Ekta & Rachita. I also strongly recommend Hidden Place & Kebab Studio for anyone visiting Pune & looking for good places to chill at. Closing the article with a slide show of our experience of the 3 days & the awesome 3 places we visited in Pune & the festive Celebrations!!!

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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