19 September, 2012

A day trip to New York

This is my first self guided trip in US with my colleague. I would have asked opinions of at least 10 of my friends on what to visit in New york and done some research in web before starting. We reached New York at 9AM from our place by train and had breakfast in New York Penn station. Understood, how difficult it is to get good veg food :) 

We planned to cover Statue of liberty, Empire state building, Madam Thussads museum, New york stock exchange  Wall street Bull, WTC towers(9/11 memorial) and last but not the least 'Times Square'. I have downloaded New york map and sub way route map applications in my smart phone, which are very useful :) Using my sony xperia at the best :p

We started to 'South ferry' station from 'New York penn station' by subway train route 1 and walked to Battery park to get tickets for ferry to Statue of liberty and Ellis island. Ellis island is not that great, but statue of liberty is good. 

View of Manhattan from 86th floor

We walked through WTC towers site to see 9/11 memorial from battery park and then visited New york stock exchange and the famous wall street bull. We took sub way train from Wallstreet station to New York Penn station (route 2) after completing lunch in a good North and South Indian restaurant 'Ruchi' near WTC towers (120 CEDAR street). Empire state building is just 2 blocks away from New york Penn station, we got the tickets for Sky ride and observatory. Sky ride has too much hype, but it is basically a simple motion ride. It simulates a helicopter tour of New york. Came out of sky ride by humming the tune of 'I love New york', which is very nice. Observatory is on 86th floor of Empire state building, where we can have a 360 degree view of whole city. 
Sky scrappers - no place for light to peep in

Empire state building

Busy streets of Times square
We were dead tired by this time, but still walked to 42nd street from 34th street to reach Times square by 6 PM. Times square is fantastic in the evening lights. We did street shopping too on the way. Took some more photos and took a sub way train to New york penn station from 42nd street even though it is a walkable distance. Our trip ended with Nj transit train back to our place from New york Penn station.
It was an excellent trip just because we were exploring the streets of Manhattan on our own, by following maps and roaming and shopping at a convenient pace, without taking any tour packages.
We missed Madam Thussads museum as we were tired by the evening, but overall, every thing went as per plan without any problem. Thanks to my colleagues for guiding and helping us with all sorts of suggestions :)

Until next time,

18 September, 2012

Barfi - Touching movie and as pure as dew drop

Movie: Barfi
Cast: Ranbir kappor, Ileana DCruz, Priyanka Chopra
Director : Anurag Basu

Watched hindi movie Barfi on weekend as we didn't have anything else to do :) Iam not a movie buff and after reading something on Barfi in web, i thought it is an art movie like 'Black' or 'Sawariyan' which might be boring to the core. I became a fan of Ranbir kapoor after watching 'Rocket singh' and so, thought Barfi might be watchable for Ranbir at least :)

Unlike many other commercial bollywood movies, this seemed to be very different. Hero being a deaf and mute guy, you should be feeling sorry for him if it is any other movie. But, i never felt that way in the whole movie except for one scene where police tries to fix him in some case as he cannot talk and prove his innocence. I never like acting of Ileana in telugu movies, but i felt she did justice to her role in this movie. Priyanka chopra is good too. There are many common/ simple scenes which were taken extraordinarily well. Director Anurag basu to be appreciated for that. Music is part of the film and mostly all songs are based on situation. Movie has good humorous touch throughout. 

There are no specific negative points about the movie, but i felt it is emotional and intense to some extent. Characters and story may stay in your heart for some days at least. Since it is an emotional movie and so we cannot watch movie again and again, i don't think it may become commercially successful. But it is a very good movie for one-time watch.

So, try to watch it, it's worth a watch :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google images for non commercial reuse

08 September, 2012

A Simple formula for a tasty Veg recipe

This is not a food blog and I am not an excellent cook. That is the reason which made me write this blog post. :) Confused??!@#

Do you hate cooking? Do you feel cooking is a big work and want to come out of the kitchen as quickly as possible? Are you always scared about trying new recipes and fail most of the times? Do you always think that it will be nice to have a simple formula for all types of recipes so that there will not be any need to memorize procedures of cooking? Then, this blog post is just for you :)

I love algebra very much in my school days. I used to solve many problems and puzzles using algebra and equations. So, once i thought, can we have a formula in cooking too..
and we can change parameters (vegetables) and get the final output which is a tasty dish. Voila! how nice it would be if it is that easy!

So, this is my formula for a tasty simple veg curry:

1/4 kg vegetables - cut accordingly
1/2 medium onion - chopped
2 green chillies - sliced
turmeric - 1/4th spoon
salt - 1 spoon or as required
red chilly powder - 1/2 spoon or as required
oil - 1 or 2 spoons
Corriander powder - 1 spoon (optional)

Formula steps:
1. Add one spoon oil to the pan. Fry onions and green chillies until they turn light red
2. Add vegetables.
3. Add salt and turmeric. Fry vegetables with closed lid in less heat. This may take around 5 to 10 mins.
4. After vegetables become soft and half cooked, add chilli powder. Mix well and let it fry without lid for sometime
5. After it is fried very well, add 1/2 cup water, close the lid and keep it for few minutes with less heat until all water goes out and curry becomes thick.
6. Now, you can add coriander powder before removing from stove. Add coriander leaves at the end before serving.

A manageable or edible curry :) taste improves on experience.

1. Step 3 is very important and how much ever we can fry with proper salt and turmeric(without sticking to the pan, of course :)), curry will be that tasty.
2. Vegetables that suit for this recipe are - cauliflower, tomato, cabbage, capsicum, potato, Tindoora/Gherkins or Coccinia (dondakaya in telugu), lady fingers, bottle gaurd, ridge guard, beans, brinjal(egg plant), beetroot and carrot
3. Some vegetables need more time for cooking like potato, cabbage, beans, beetroot and carrot, which can be boiled for sometime before following the recipe.

So, how did you like this? let me know your opinion in comments :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: google images for non commercial reuse

05 September, 2012

Online shopping - convenient and time saving


I was introduced to online shopping just 2 years ago and now I feel it very convenient to shop apparel, accessories, electronics, books etc, online. Basically, it is both time pass and time saving. You may ask, How? When I feel bored, I just browse across all collections and of course, will end up buying on :) this way, it is a time pass. When I don't have time to roam different malls, I prefer online shopping instead of waiting for another free weekend to go to malls. 

It all started with colleagues in the office looking at different nice collections of apparel online. The first sites that attracted us were fashionandyou.com and myntra.com. The first one seemed expensive, whereas myntra.com seemed economical and has good offers. There was an extra discount for the first time users. I placed an order but apprehensive about the quality of the item. The quality of the product was good and the kurta that I ordered fitted me well. For every new site that I try, I first place an order for an amount less than Rs. 500 or so, check the quality and then continue shopping. Another good one for ladies apparel is jabong.com from where ordered many tops and kurtas. For apparel, the major risk is quality and fitment. Usually, many sites give you measurement charts to compare and select the proper size. Also, it is important to understand the return policy. If size doesn't fit or quality doesn't match, we have the option to return it and get a refund in many sites. 

For accessories, we should be very careful. The size of the item is very important and sometimes we cannot predict the size by looking at the photo displayed in the website. Pendants, ear rings, home decors like candles etc., might look bigger because of zoomed high clarity picture posted in the site, but we will get disappointed after receiving the product. For jewelry, we cannot be sure of the quality of stones they mention. So, usually I avoid shopping this kind of things online. 

When it comes to electronics, I check 'deal of the day' in snapdeal.com. Once, I received a memory card reader for a very low price and it is working very well. In the US, I prefer amazon.com and recently I ordered a smart phone which I received in excellent condition. When it comes to books, which I love to shop online, my first and best option in India is flipkart.com. I like the look and feel of the website, their excellent deals, simple packaging and fast delivery. In the US, ebay.com has great deals on used books. For photo prints, photo mugs, photo calendars etc., we have many sites now, but zoom.in and picsquare.com are good ones.

So, these are the sites which gave an excellent online shopping experience for me. Please do share any other good websites like these in comments :)

Until next time,

This post is a part of the contest at BlogAdda.com in association with Snapdeal.com
Image courtesy: Google images labeled for commercial reuse
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