“Vatan Se” Restaurant Review!


Generally, I don’t like to write reviews on my blog unless I really liked it or detested it strongly. Therefore, the reviews that you will find here are direct from the heart (just like my blog). Since last month, we have decided to try new restaurants every week. The reason behind the decision was that the girls are forced to try new dishes. When it is dinner time, and hungry, they have no choice but to eat what is in front of them.

It has been an exciting experience so far. We have only tried Indian restaurants near our area(east coast park). And there are quite a few close by because of the huge Indian population.

As part of this ritual, today we visited a restaurant called Vatan Se. There is a newly opened branch at 368 Tanjong Katong Road. We had heard about the place but because it was closer to the house, it was given the last priority. Though Vatan se has few chain of restaurants in the city, catering parties/gatherings, and marinated bbq are their main business.

This was my first visit to the restaurant. So, I wasn’t sure if the décor was consistent in all the branches. The ambiance was warm and attractive. There was Bollywood music playing in the background. I can assure you that there are only a few restaurants where you will find such a thoughtful décor. The furniture and upholstery were tastefully chosen. The food was served in the biodegradable material (Pattal) and other utensils were copper plated steel glasses/cutlery. One can sense the personal touch given to the restaurant.

The hosts were again warm and comforting. We are not sure if it was because of Sunday or their son’s birthday party, but we managed to meet the owners of the restaurant. During a brief chat on the opening of the new branch, he mentioned that as part of their commitment to providing an unforgettable dining experience, he started a new scheme of offering 10% on the food bill. Only if you surrender your gadgets before ordering the meal. I was totally impressed. How many would risk the idea of getting more check-ins and likes on Facebook that people sometimes post when they are dining in a restaurant?! He also mentioned about food quality and how he chose to keep it simple and home cooked. There are no additional color or preservatives that other restaurants like to add in order to make it more attractive and delicious.

To be honest, we were little overwhelmed after the chat and our expectations were higher. We ordered Paneer makhani, butter naans and Vegetable fried rice. There was papad and green chutney in the beginning. Not to mention, they did meet our expectation. The color of food was indeed little different. And paneer was literally melting in the mouth. The food had a very authentic north Indian taste. One would actually make a difference between makhni you eat at Vatan Se and the ones you try in other places. Vegetable Fried rice also tasted good. The Butter naans were hot and butter was dripping from naan, just like how my husband likes it! Interestingly my daughters enjoyed the food too.

I heard that their Kebabs are popular too. I am planning to try them on our next visit. They also have weekend brunch $10++(per pax) with a different menu every week. And if you register on their website, they will inform you every weekend.

In terms of pricing, this restaurant is little on the higher end. The portion of food that you get for the price you pay leaves you little dissatisfied. But the taste and ambiance makes it all worth it.

If you are looking for a healthy, authentic home cooked North Indian meal, I would recommend this place.

In case you are visiting the restaurants after reading this blog, please let them know VatanSe005. They may end up offering you 5% off. They are generous and genuine people.

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Technology is kicking everybody’s ass!

The reason why I write these posts is because I like to share my learning on life, thoughts, and ideas about events that happen around me. The idea is to make the topics more relatable. Therefore, you will find my writing style is more like an open diary.

Today’s topic is about the news that I have been hearing around the perils of technology. The pace with which things are changing is scary. The only way to avoid this fear is to be aware of the changes.

Perils of technology
Recently I came across a video on Facebook that gave me a little nudge of what is coming in future. The video was of a design company that got rid of desktops and laptops. It is completely paperless. All the employees have VR glasses and they all were working in Virtual reality. It looked funny because from outside, it felt like they are touching air or something invisible. That video was supposed to be cool but to be honest I detested it. In those few seconds, I imagined myself in that work environment and a big “NO” screamed from somewhere within.

News of Robots coming in and taking over our jobs is as bad as a country going on a war. Why do I say this? You will know. There are arguments for both sides – a society with or without Robot. But no body can change the fact that this is going to reduce the number of jobs in the market. There ain’t any real jobs created in last decade and existing ones are disappearing. Due to the growth of shared economy, there is some job creation but they are not real jobs. People work part-time and stress out because of the nature of the work and income.

All this situation is going to impact the society immensely. Therefore, I compare the destruction to that of a war. In fact, the society is already changing. Recently, a survey showed that 80% of the people are unhappy with Uber/Grab cab services but only 4% stopped using them. That means we are pushing people towards unhappiness but they are still sticking around because of the convenience. The pursuit of convenience has crippled human minds.

With the growth of Social Media and mobile, human interaction has dropped significantly. In fact teens, these days, don’t know how and what to talk to people. Most of them are glued to small/large screens. Technology is impeding their mental and physical growth. So, we are bringing smarter robots to do mundane work but then, our kids are growing up with all these problems. Hollywood’s imagination of Robots taking over earth seems to become true.

We all speak about perils of technology but nothing gets done. Recently read a news about a technical glitch in a bank. That minor error in the software was about to bring down a big bank’s business in America. One of the employees mistakenly ran a job (shutting down the whole system) and in about 4 hours, customers started calling the bank that they can’t access their accounts and their cards were declined. It took few hours for the bank to figure out what exactly happened. And after the issue was fixed, it took another few hours to bring the business as usual. This is a great example of how things would be in future. The computer programs would be inter-dependent. Less human interaction means heavy reliance on technology. And any such errors can cost a lot.

Another one – In South Korea, one can control home appliances from outside. So, while you are traveling back home, just switch on the aircon, microwave the food, open the windows etc. But imagine for some reason, the app stops working or behave erratically, what can be done?

The underlying assumption of pushing technology to greater heights is that everything would be managed efficiently without dealing with human errors. But my question is – How can one be so sure that technology would be flawless?

With those thoughts, I will leave you to enjoy the weekend. Just remember , don’t spend too much time on screen and encourage more human interaction.

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I am liberated!

I missed you all as much as you missed my posts. The reason I couldn’t post all these weeks was that my parents were in town. And when they are around, I am a different person. From wife and mother, I suddenly turn into a daughter. An obedient one! Other than parents, work, and daughters kept me busy. But midst all of this, I enjoyed last few weeks thoroughly.

Liberated
Google Image : Liberation

Today’s post is about a realisation I had of late. During the last few weeks, I realized that I am liberated from the burden of keeping certain people happy. Whether they are neighbors, relatives, close family members or ex-colleagues. All these years, I was trying to fit in somewhere. Moving within the country and then moving out of the country, gave me an opportunity to mingle with people of other states and non-Indians. But it also influenced my perception of people back at home state.

When I moved to Delhi for study and work that’s the first time when I faced something called “discrimination”. The worse was that I didn’t even know it was discrimination. My college mates and later my colleagues ridiculed about my home state and I kept mum most of the times. It was as if I was giving them a silent approval of what they were saying. I kept quiet, partly because of the lack of knowledge I had about my state. I failed to let people know that Budha had chosen the land (Gaya) in my state to enlighten humankind. I didn’t let people know that Bihari food is one of the tastiest food we have in our country And I failed to let people know that unlike other developed states, girls are treated much better in Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, and Orissa. When a daughter is born in Bihar, she is not looked at, as a burden or disgrace to the family. At least not in the middle class. I am so proud of the family and state I was born in. Because I was treated with love and care. And was given all possible opportunities to realize my potential. Most of my batchmates from school are doing extremely well wherever they are and they may vouch for my growing up experience. Like mentioned before, the first time, I felt discrimination against women was when I moved to Delhi. But by then, my foundations were already strong and I was not ready to budge.

I lived in Delhi for 7 years and it brought me the sophistication required to climb up the ladder in a civilized society. I learnt that you can’t be upfront to people. You have to sugarcoat it before it comes out of the mouth. Money is everything. Think of money first and then about people. Lies are part of the day-to-day. You can’t get ahead without cheating other people. You have to push other people down in order to get ahead. I am not saying that people in my hometown state are saints. Probably some of the biggest scams have happened in my state but the qualities that I stated above were not part of my growing up years. People in my neighborhood helped each other, girls were safe, people were happy. I never felt the dissatisfaction of not having enough. Having said all of that, the polish that I got in Delhi helped me grow further. I met people from all walks of life. Delhi rile you in a way that it prepares you for any other challenges in the world. Still, Delhi is like second home and my first love.

I moved to a different country to study and work. I enjoy my life in Singapore. It’s safe place, embrace foreigners, people are awesome and Singapore laws keep you in check. All great. But then you meet with your countrymen in a foreign land. Before mingling and supporting each other, they have to ensure you are from their regions. Are you from North India or South? Are you Hindi speaking or not? What was your parents’ profession? How did you get here etc etc.? the questions never end unless they know your entire Kundli (Horoscope). If I have met you for the first time, I don’t need to know your economic and social status. I am not looking to build long term relationships.

Things haven’t changed for me in last ten years. When I meet with Indians, I still get same questions. And I wonder why, why do we ask such questions?!

I don’t care anymore. I feel liberated of the burden of somebody else. I can be myself and be proud of my achievements. I can use this position to help downtrodden. It doesn’t bother me what people think of me. If I have managed to make true friends in all these years, they will accept me as I am. I don’t need to change for anyone, to be with anyone. I don’t need to explain to anyone. Because people who care for you, don’t need explanations, and those who need explanation are not worth it.

So, thank you all, I am liberated!

Happy Mother’s Day!!

Mother's Day
Google’s Image : Happy Mother’s Day

It’s been fantastic to celebrate Mother’s day every year. Especially when you are a mother and the family treats you special (at least) for a day. This day is special to all mothers. Though, I don’t remember celebrating it as a child. Such things didn’t exist back then. What was so great about being a mother?! Everyone had a mother and they all did the same stuff? There were hardly enough reasons to celebrate. To be honest, it feels bit awkward to wish my mother on this day. It wasn’t a thing while I was growing up. I wonder why Hindutva group didn’t make a fuss about “mother’s day”, like how they do for “Valentine’s day”? Anyways,  that’s a different convo altogether.

I did wish her. She shyly replied, “Thank You”. Her words left me teary. I wanted to say much more and thank her for the wonderful life, I am living. Thank both parents for all the efforts they put in to give us a better life. Remembering it all in one day is not enough. One has to be ‘grateful’ every single day. Somebody has rightly said, “Mother is the messenger of god because he can’t be everywhere”.

Let’s talk about remembering it. On the day itself, people post wonderful messages on Social Media about how much they appreciate their mothers. But should we really restrict ourselves to posting messages just on one day? Instead, should we not call them every day to check on them (if you are staying away from your parents)? One call won’t cost much but it may be the world to your parents who remember and worry about you every single day.

Coming back to my being a ‘mother’. My kids are still young to understand this day. It took me 30 years and 2 kids to understand what a mother means? Earlier she was just a mother. But now every time my kids throw tantrums, don’t eat, cry endlessly and do everything that I don’t like them to do, I remember her (my mother) and recall every nasty thing I did to her. I was not an easy child for sure. Your child is a reflection of you. Trust me it’s like nature’s cycle of karma. If I could change one thing in past then that would be, being grateful to my mother for everything she did. She had a career on top of taking care of us. I had an amazing childhood even though my parents had to go through immense struggles and I saw them conquering each one of them. They were much stronger than I am today. Hats off to them really!

Being a new mother, you tend to be excited about ‘Mother’s day’. I ended up sending Mother’s day message to all my friends who are wonderful mothers. I wanted to take this opportunity to connect with people who I have not been in touch with for numbers of reasons. It’s a terrific way to check on each other. Everyone is busy in their lives. Though we are always connected through technology, I feel we are more disconnected now. The worse is that people have time to send forwarded messages on WhatsApp but their fingers pain to type a personalized message. How could you reply a personal message with a forwarded one?! Someone is taking an effort to write to you, at least have that respect and respond to them wholeheartedly. Just because you can, you shouldn’t reply immediately. Take your time to think through and then respond. I guess many people are missing handheld etiquettes. Probably we are unable to catch up with the advancement of technology and produce enough handheld literates. So, next time if someone is messaging you, please take note of following things:

1) Read but don’t reply immediately

2) Think through and then reply when you have time.

3) If the message is urgent and you can’t pick up, let them know briefly you will get back.

4) Don’t reply forwarded message to a personal one.

5) Don’t intrude into someone’s space by sending too many forwarded messages.

6) And please for god sake’s, if someone wishes you, please don’t just end at “same to you”

There may be another side to this, which I can’t see so help me see that by commenting below. Happy to hear your thoughts.

Don’t try to fit in!

Guys, I have to apologize for being away for so long. I joined back my full -time job. It is taking a bit of time to settle down. Even though I was not writing, words were murmuring into my ears. I was very tempted to go back to writing. Without getting into the further details of the reasons for being away, let’s dive into today’s topic.

Dont fit in.PNG

We moved into the new house earlier this year and now I moved into a new job. Over the years, there were several changes in our life. Because of those changes, I strongly feel about this topic. Never try to fit in. Whether it’s personal or professional life, don’t compromise. Really! If you feel that the universe is not in tandem with your deep inner- feelings then you know something is not right. Instead of suppressing those feelings, take action! Think how and what can you change to bring back that positive momentum.

Last few months, I have been talking to many companies. And while you are talking to interviewers, it is not difficult to guesstimate whether you like the people and culture. Even if you had the best of the interviews, even if the role is closer to your dream role and even if you are getting a dream package, at the end of the day what matters is happiness and contentment. Your office impacts your everyday life. Office colleagues are part of daily routine. So, if you force yourself then you may be fundamentally misaligned for a long time. For some, it leaves a lasting impact and changes them as a person. The first three months is the best time to understand this. At the end of the work day, you should feel happy and hopeful. And if you are not, trust me, take a plunge, find something you love. I can guarantee that people have survived even after quitting their dream company.

Similarly, in personal life, you meet endless people every day. With some, you connect, with some you don’t. And there may be chances that you are not connecting with 80% of the people and that is ‘absolutely’ fine. Most of the people don’t care about you, they care about themselves. So, in case you are successful in life or doing well, there are high chances that people will despise you. You may be surrounded by sycophants who don’t truly appreciates your success. Just hanging around for their own selfish motives. If ever you feel in life that people are just against you or you put off a lot of people, you should take it positively. People are jealous and can’t stand your success. That should be a success milestone. Successful people are generally lonely. They should make a little extra effort to go out and make friends. But make sure you don’t force yourself. That will only lower down self-esteem and that is not good for your emotional health.

I will get back to you with more topics like this soon. If you like this point, don’t forget to like, share and comment.

Powerful tool on client leadership!

Empowering Women

I don’t know how many of you got a chance to go to corporate training. Usually, corporate training is supposed to be fun. Relaxing on the beach, boozing and partying are common in most training. Training is one of the perks that bigger organisations use as a bait to retain their top-performing employees. I was totally hooked on to it and attended several training sessions. Our training used to be gruesome but fun.

Most of the training that I attended was based on Time Management skills, Client servicing, Pitching process, Financials etc. One of the most interesting training was Client Leadership . It felt as if I got a tool for life. It is very powerful and can be applied anywhere in corporate life. There was a two-day training in phuket. I am not sure if I can detail out the entire learning but I will share as much I could –

So, name of…

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3 Grave Mistakes All Working Women are doing!

It’s been ten years in advertising, work has become a significant part of life. I decided to take a break, when I found out that work had overtaken my life. I eat, drink and sleep work. Initially, I decided to take a six-month break, but then cut it short to 3 months.
During my break, I am meeting many women who are spending long hours in offices. That’s when I realized that all working women are doing similar mistakes. One should fix it to lead a more fruitful life.

Self worth
working life

3 grave mistakes that all working women are doing today:

1) Associating “self-worth” with the office:

Working women know how important office is, in their life! Going to office and creating a value in the company is a huge motivation. They are proud of being financially independent, meeting people and doing something beyond household responsibilities.

Gradually, you start identifying yourselves as “whatever position” you are holding in the company. You start associating your self-worth with the position. You hold some value outside office. Your family/friends/loved ones don’t love you because of that position in office. They love you because of who you are. They are proud of your achievements but they don’t associate your life success with office success.
It’s important that women start considering a real life. Taking care of people who care for you. Work-life is fickle but life beyond work stays.

2) Not paying “enough” attention to the family:

Let’s all admit that as a working wife and mother, we tend to pass on the responsibilities to a helper. I won’t blame you because after a long day at work who wants to entertain kids or do the cooking! But again, from the first point, (if in your mind) office is more important then you tend to spend more time there. All I am saying is that it is important to balance life. Being a career oriented is good but being overly ambitious (with a family at home) is not good. There are many women who miss out on their baby’s first walk or their first smile. They regret later in life. Don’t spend time with the family physically but be involved mentally as well. It can be exhausting but then you will understand soon that’s it is all worth it. I am sure you are taking care of your family in the best possible way. All I am saying is that you can do better.

3) Paying “attention” to the health:

And this is not just about physical health. I am talking about mental and emotional health too. What do you do to keep your emotional health up? What do you do for yourself? The usual reaction is where is the time? And yes! working in an office could be tiring. But if it is tiring you and you are not enjoying, do you still want to do it? Most of the women would say “yes”. Because they want to keep holding their illusion (important) life. Putting a load on only one side of the vehicle is dangerous. If it bursts, your life is derailed. To maintain a balanced life, think about spending time in doing something you love (any hobby) or meeting new people, traveling, making friends outside of work, creating a beautiful life outside of work life. And that is long lasting.

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