Thursday, March 17, 2005

Of Fried Ice-cream and Empty stomach

Today we went out for a team lunch on the occasion of 2 of our senior members (3-5 years exp) leaving to New Zealand. No-no don’t jump to conclusions we have not found a client for the solutions we are building, they are being shifted out of our team for a client project, that too directly onsite lucky them. But I am not going to elaborate more on why, what or where they are going to now. Coming to our lunch it was decided that of the 11 of us the 9 lets say not so lucky ones who where going to stay back and work in the internal project where to treat the 2 lucky ones who where going to NZ. Sounds counter intuitive doesn’t it? But there is always a catch, as they say there is no free lunch when they come back they have to treat us all and of course when 2 people treat 9 it costs more. So keeping this in mind I decided to join the party (unwisely I must add, one of them will surely keep his word, but the other I doubt), destination Cascade a Chinese restaurant near our office at Nungambakam, Chennai. All assembled at 1-15 PM we ordered a few soups, fried rice and noodles and a few starters a combination of Veg & Non Veg. Food was Ok-Ok sort not bad but not exceptional too. Overall I felt that the place was overpriced for the quality of food considering the other Chinese places I’ve been to.

Now the food was very costly, evidently as we, I mean the 9 of us were to shell out the money we where very generous in sharing ”1 by 3 plain soup”, “2 by 5 veg fried rice”,… was the kind of orders we placed and the 2 lucky guys grudgingly complied with our wishes. Now that we had finished our main course normally we would have walked out of the place but my tummy was not even “1 by 2 full” and I guess others where also feeling the same. We decided to stay in for the deserts part also. I must admit here that after my trip to Bangalore this weekend where I gorged myself on Ice creams & Cold coffees & sodas my throat was not exactly in the best of shapes. But what to do “Yeh tummy mange more” I decided to go for it, “What the heck worst of worst I might loose my voice for two days, and escape from answering uncomfortable questions at work place.”

Here the strangest thing happened, in the deserts menu there was a “Fried Ice cream”. Now many of you readers might have come across this, but this was a novel term for me. Fried Ice creams, “Don’t kid me” I thought, how can you fry Ice creams now if you fry a Ice cream there would no Ice cream only burnt foul smelling milk forget Ice you wont even have cream left. Now a normal person would have logically ordered something else, but not me even before I realized the words poured out of my mouth “One Fried Ice cream for me please”. Every one including the waiter was astonished by my recklessness. After some time one by one the items stated rolling in, sweet lime followed by pineapple juice and then watermelon juice and fruit salad ice-cream and many more. All this while there was a jovial kind of talk around the table with people in the mood to laugh at PJ’s encouraging more and more PJ’s. But my mind was occupied on “Fried Ice cream”, how will it look, feel and more importantly taste. Every 4-5 seconds I stretched my neck to see if the mysterious “Fried Ice cream” was on the way. Now one by one 3-4 of people who had got their deserts early and promptly finished early joined me in awaiting this now enigmatic novelty called “Fried Ice cream”. Eventually the talk steered towards “Fried Ice cream”. The consensus was the it was a part of a evil plan hatched by the management of the hotel to let people treat (read punish) their worst enemies, a sort of niche market for the hotel. After a excruciating wait for about 15 minutes which seemed to me like hour’s finally a waiter came out with a plate containing 6 grayish colored balls I knew this had to be “Fried Ice cream” not because of my superb deductive and reasoning skills but because all others had received what they had ordered and mine was the only order left.

Coming to how did the “Fried Ice cream” look and taste, true to its title it was hot outside I mean fried, but it was not ice cream it was a sort of shell inside which there was vanilla ice cream. There were 6 neat and small such balls with nuts. As one would expect in such scenarios where 11 people have lunch together 4 disappeared even before I could have a close look at them. Before you have one be warned, just put the whole pieces in your mouth don’t try to split it, because the ice cream will spill out leaving a mess. 2 bright people found this out to their dismay and out amusement when they tried to share one. Coming to its taste the shell was like, for want of better term I will use a Tamil expression “Mavu illenna khuyu” or say rubber with salt (not direct translation). The ice-cream was of vanilla flavor and tasted good especially with the nuts. Overall it was not a disaster as I expected and others hoped but not some thing I will have again in a hurry nor treat my enemy with considering it costs Rs. 90.

Ps: Ended the lunch Rs 275 down and tummy only 2 by 3 full, it has filled my appetite for more self sponsored team lunches. But free lunch is a different matter altogether.

PPs: Tummy was full by 6.3 PM, My friend Gautham is back from Trivanrum after TCS training and he treated me, Free Lunch hehe. By the way I forgot that it was his birthday yesterday not suprising considering I dont remember ne one's birthday. ne way Belated HBD:) enjoy madi........., Hope u net the gals who are coming to your place tommorow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Shakti Kapoor Banned from bollywood

After being caught on TV asking for sexual favors from a under cover journalist posing as a aspiring actress,Shakti Kapoor was banned from acting. I say it is undemocratic. Has he done any thing illegal, did he try to force himself on her or did he apply any sort of pressure or black mail. Well what he did may be unscrupulous and unprofessional but definitely not illegal or unprecedented. In fact had he tried to take advantage of a gullible village girl then things might have been different. Infact he was frank and to the point, you fulfill my desire and I will help you fulfill yours. I personally feel the issue is being blown out of propotion. Ironically I can recollect a movie featuring rekha an big B and pran where this side of the show biz is explored, don't remember the name now. If this were such a Taboo then why was that movie not banned. Maybe the ban has more to do with the people he exposed than the favor he asked for.

Just to put things in perspective take two examples

1. Bill Clinton Monica Lewensky affair, Immoral yes, Did Lewensky get any favor, of course she got lucrative posting in far east, Illegal no, Result despite much hue and cry nothing Clinton was not impeached.

2. Harry Stonecipher ex CEO Boeing taking favor from a colleague, Immoral yes, Did the female get any thing in return Likely, Illegal yes it was explicitly forbidden as per company charter. Result He was sacked

Now I leave it you to judge Shakti Kapoor keeping in mind that he merely suggested and didn't do it.

The way I see it the media like a vulture waiting to peck and tear a person about to die sensed a opportunity to get Shakti Kapoor. Its a pity I have not come across one article questioning the either the other Big wigs nor the under cover journalist.

Ps: I am not a big fan of his, but one must admit he was a talented guy and had more to offer to the movie goers. When will we learn to separate movie life with real life, the fact is they are very tightly coupled for the interests of both actors and audience.