Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Chp 716. World Cup 2018

So the first opening match of the Football World Cup 2018 had just taken place. Host Russia drubbed Saudi Arabia 5-0 last night, building up to an exciting tournament up ahead.

When I look back at my blog, this is actually the fourth World Cup my blog is going to experience, and it made me smile to see that I used to post at least 5-6 blog posts about the World Cup whenever it took place. No wonder my June 2006, June 2010 and June 2014 blog published count was so high, lolz.

This year though, I am not as enthu as before, and I don't think I'll be writing much about it either. As my football fanatic friends rightly pointed out, with more exposure to Club matches every year on our TV (or online streaming), it gets harder and harder for people like us from a neutral country to select a team to support for the World Cup because almost every top team has a line-up of players we love along with players we loathe because they belong to a rival Club.

Touché indeed.

But what the World Cup never fails to bring out is this huge gust of nostalgia, of how we were brought up struggling to watch the matches on one of our neighbour's shanty old black & white TV set, and how somebody would climb up the roof of the house to twist the TV antenna so as to get the best reception possible. And we would all cheer and clap together as a community.

Sigh, those were wonderful times indeed. It saddens me a bit that the millennial and younger generation of today will never get to experience all that. And to most people of my generation, the one and only true World Cup anthem is, and will always be, "To be number one" by Giorgio Moroder Project. :)

I think another change I have seen in me this World Cup is that, after reading through some of my old blog posts, I realize I used to be such a dick! Back then, whenever I walk into office and one my colleagues went super hyper active about supporting, say, Brazil or Argentina for example, I would immediately ask, "Hah, ok can you name the starting line-up? Who's the captain?  Who's the coach? What clubs do they play for?" and I would immediately be met with an empty stare.

I mean, back then, as a football loyalist, I guess I was annoyed with people who hardly watched football suddenly claiming to be a "hardcore fan" of a so and so country without even knowing who the players were. Being a follower of football, in some way I guess that made me feel like an elitist, which is bad and can really piss off a lot of people. No wonder I never used to get invited to any of our office weekend pot-luck lunches.

But as time goes by, you realize all this is just a facade. Let people do what they want to. Nobody needs to get a PhD degree on something they support. I support a lot of stuff that I have no real in-depth knowledge of, and it would definitely make my mood sour if somebody condescendingly mocks me about it.

So yeah, this World Cup, let's just have fun. Support whichever country you want to, make bets with your colleagues and friends, cheer or jeer the teams you like/hate. And at the same time, don't forget to support Team India which is quickly climbing up the FIFA ranking ladder. I dream of a near future where we will no longer have to decide which country to support for the World Cup because our very own Country is participating in it. :)

Meanwhile I have already made my prediction on who is going to win the World Cup, and I'm telling you, I'm gonna get it 100% right. So that is it. Come back to this post after a month to see the Nostradamus side of me. Until then, cheers everyone, and happy watching the matches.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Chp 715. A Dedicated Special Post

Today is the last day of the month, and there are so many things I want to share with you all. First and foremost, Photobucket is back! All my 2000+ pics across my 650+ blog posts are now visible again! Well, probably for a short while, as they said there have new premium membership plans due to a change in management. Now, my images are no longer held at ransom to a ridiculous $400 annual fee, and their new plans range from $2.99/month to $69 annual fee.

Looks really good, though I'm still trying to get in touch with them as there is no response from their customer care team to my emails. Will this brand be ever trusted again after that nefarious stunt they pulled? Probably not, but let's see. I have stuck with this site for too long to migrate all my images to another hosting service, and I will keep using my new AWS server for all future image hostings. But at least the new affordable premium plans will enable images across my old 650+ blog posts again, so, yayyyy.

Apart from that, this month had been an extremely busy and hectic month for me. At work, we had not only launched multiple products but also gained great grounds at our R&D on a new genre of games we'll be releasing soon, guaranteed to rock your world. Everybody at work is in a super duper pepped-up positive mood.

And at leisure time, most of my favorite TV shows recently had their season finales this month. [SPOILERS ALERT] Al Olinsky died after being shanked in Prison, Martin Riggs was shot by his half-brother on the grave of his late wife, President Tom Kirkman decided to run for a second term, Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord seemed to be a likely Presidential candidate in the next term (it would be so awesome if these two shows were combined!), Elizabeth Keen shocked us with the revelation that the reason Tom died was because he found out Raymond Reddington wasn't the real Red (holy $hit, nobody saw that coming!), Special Ops Preach is in a coma after saving Deputy Director of Intelligence Patricia Campbell, and there was that abrupt and awkward ending on how we will never Rachel Zane again because she's now the Duchess of Sussex.

Phew… And I haven't even come to other season finales like Siren, Deception, Krypton, Barry, etc yet.

I also bought the recently launched OnePlus 6 on the first day of release itself and I am blown away by its new features, which I am dying to review here soon. Apart from that, I also bought my third 2TB HDD and a new SSD, installed new OS on that to my home PC, so now, both my phone and my computer start up in less than 3 seconds!!!

In addition to all that, I have a lot of topics to write about regarding food, especially since I started posting pictures of them on my Facebook timeline. Earlier, I used to post it only on my WhatsApp story, but many of my friends encouraged me to go public and post it on FB as well, and the responses I have received so far are overwhelming! :)

Like I said, I have so many things to share with you all…

But this month, there will only be one blog post. And that is because I have promised myself at the beginning of the month that I will be writing only one blog topic this entire month as I wanted to honor somebody. I want to dedicate this post to none other than Le Professeur, Arsene Wenger, recently the former manager of Arsenal FC.

Many of you who started reading my blog in the recent years may not consider me as somebody who writes about football or a football team. But I have been blogging for more than 14 years now. I used to be a hardcore Arsenal fan, and I still am today; it's just that I have stopped writing about Arsenal because we don't exactly seem to perform very well… :P

I feel nostalgic just going through some of my old Arsenal blog posts :)

I know, 14 years a blogger, that is a looong time to be blogging. But you know what? That is shorter than the last time we won the League! I started blogging in November 2004. The last League title we won was the previous 2003-04 season. Back when I used to passionately write about Arsenal, my friends from rival clubs used to tell me that it was because I started blogging that Arsenal stopped winning. Back then it was a lame joke, but as the years went by, it got harder and harder to ignore the nagging thought that this superstition was actually true, lolz.

Now, 14 years later, a new manager by the name of Unai Emery had finally stepped in to replace Wenger. Will we finally see a change?

For most of us Gooners, whether we love or hate Wenger, it is painful to watch him go because he's the ONLY Manager we know of as he was there ever since we first started watching football on cable here in India. I am not talking about British or European Arsenal fans who grew up with the Arsenal legacy under different Managers. This is purely about being a part of the action when the action was actually happening.

I have seen my fair share of so called Arsenal fans who claimed to have rejoiced when Ian Wright was the top scorer in '91. Some of the Indian Arsenal fans might have indeed experienced that, but the rest are all lying. That is akin to the so called Liverpool fans I know who said they were shocked to watch the Heysel Stadium disaster of '85 live on TV or the so called Manchester United fans who said they cried the moment they heard about Munich air disaster of '58 on the radio. Oh for crying out loud, yes, those incidents were indeed historic and sad, but here in India, there are two reasons they could have never experienced it live. One, we never had such broadcasts on our TV or radio back then, and two, most of them were not even born yet when those incidents happened.

And that is why Arsene Wenger is so special to those of us who got access to live football broadcast from the late 90's. He is the only Arsenal member we know who had been there right from the start. It's gonna be a bit awkward for us to see the team being managed by somebody else.

So here is to you, Mr. Arsene Wenger, Le Professeur, who not only changed Arsenal but the entire League as well. Thank you for all those great years, and thank you for "the sacrifice of your life". You will always be remembered, Sir. Merci beaucoup.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Chp 714. Milestone: 100 Perfect Games!

Yesss, I've finally reached 100 PERFECT GAMES on Steam. :) Taali bajaaoooo :P

It feels great to have another point to tick off from my bucket list. And yeah, it took me quite a while to achieve this milestone as well.

For those of you who are unaware, a Perfect Game on Steam is when you have unlocked every single achievement of a particular game. I've been recording my list of 100% achievement games for quite some time now, starting from 10 Perfect Games to 30 and so on. Here is a list of my previous Perfect Games blog posts:

Sure feels good to join the exclusive Century Perfect Games Club :)

So on this blog post, I'll quickly take you through some of the games that helped me reach 100 Perfect Games. Most of them are minimalistic puzzle games, and I hope you like them as well.

81. Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Total achievements unlocked: 19/19
Total time played: 12 hours
Game link: Never Alone
Cost of game: INR 479

I spent a good 12 hours on this game, and what an experience it gave me. It is a puzzle-platformer adventure game, but more emphasis is given on the story-telling. The story is based on a folk tale of the Iñupiaq people, one of the native tribes of Alaska. "Kisima Ingitchuna" means "I am not alone" and in the game, you control a young native girl called Nuna, who is helped by an arctic fox and various forest spirits etc. I highly recommend this game, you will not regret buying it. This game also won a lot of awards and accolades.

82. Lara Croft GO

Total achievements unlocked: 17/17
Total time played: 11 hours
Game link: Lara Croft GO
Cost of game: INR 369

I have mixed feelings about this game. The game is beautiful and every level is smartly designed, requiring you to think really hard before making the next move. However, it is a direct mobile-port game and the developers didn't even bother to change the control system. Having to swipe with my mouse (like a mobile touch-screen swipe) was utterly ridiculous. If you have this game on mobile, I recommend you do not buy the Steam version. Some of the levels were so challenging that I had to look for the walkthrough guide on YouTube :D so yeah, definitely a 5 star rating from me in terms of level designing. But having to freaking "swipe" with my freaking mouse took away a lot of the fun.

83. Turret Terminator

Total achievements unlocked: 346/346
Total time played: 4 hours
Game link: Turret Terminator
Cost of game: INR 59

A top-down shooter game meant for console but works perfectly well with a keyboard WASD direction control and mouse control for shoot. I love the game because of some of the challenging levels, but what I love the most about this game are the background music, including "Unity" by TheFatRat which brought back a lot of memories.

If you haven't heard of Unity by TheFatRat, here it is. Give it a try.

84. hocus

Total achievements unlocked: 4/4
Total time played: 8 hours
Game link: hocus
Cost of game: INR 58

Another mobile port game, this game actually gave me a good 8+ hours of intense mind-racking sessions, and it costs less than a dollar. Now that is what you call a good VFM. The levels are beautifully designed and can make you go crazy sometimes when you end up moving in the same loop over and over again, lolz. One of the best optical illusion puzzle games out there, I would rank this second after "Monument Valley". Definitely get it, either on Steam or your mobile (free on Google Play, $0.99 on App Store).

85. Cubic

Total achievements unlocked: 22/22
Total time played: 1 hour
Game link: Cubic
Cost of game: INR 42

A 3D tile puzzle game, I have played many similar games like this before and I still fall for it because I am a sucker for this type of puzzle games. It exercises the brains and relaxes me during a tough brainstorming session at work, reenergizing me and making me more productive.

86. Isotiles

Total achievements unlocked: 10/10
Total time played: 2 hours
Game link: Isotiles
Cost of game: INR 119

Another tiles and path puzzle game. The execution is a bit childish but the concept is good. Some of the levels were quite challenging. Get it if you have nothing else to do :)

87. LineWay

Total achievements unlocked: 1/1
Total time played: 50 mins
Game link: LineWay
Cost of game: INR 42

Ok I think you're starting to see a pattern here. Yes, this is yet another path based puzzle game. Lolz, what can I say, I really love this genre. This particular game has a very minimalistic and peaceful music ambience.

88. Lines by Nestor Yavorskyy

Total achievements unlocked: 590/590
Total time played: 2 hours
Cost of game: INR 42

One more line based puzzle game, but this one stands a bit out because of the relaxing background music and color treatment given to the game. There's also a free version of this game on Steam, get that first before you decide whether to buy this game or not.

89. Unium

Total achievements unlocked: 22/22
Total time played: 9 hours
Game link: Unium
Cost of game: INR 119

Another path based puzzle game, but this one has a different concept. Rather than joining two points or moving from point A to B or covering all tiles, there is a twist in this game guaranteed to make you think hard and deep. I took more than 9 hours to complete this game, and that too after cheating (looking up the solution guide for some of the tougher levels). Do buy this game.

90. Numberline

Total achievements unlocked: 13/13
Total time played: 90 minutes
Game link: Numberline
Cost of game: INR 85

A tile based game where every click counts. You must create an identical pattern, and trust me, it may look easy in the beginning, but you'll sweat through your pants at the harder levels. Good game to have in your collection. My only criticism of this game is that it is too short. Only 60 levels, out of which it started getting challenging only from around level 40 onward.

91. Micron

Total achievements unlocked: 11/11
Total time played: 2 hours
Game link: Micron
Cost of game: INR 259

A unique fusion of puzzle and rhythm game, you have to guide a couple of dots to their destination by creating different path deflections. Nice game.

92. Nice Way

Total achievements unlocked: 45/45
Total time played: 70 mins
Game link: Nice Way
Cost of game: INR 42

Another good time-pass puzzle game, though I feel it is more of a touch screen game that had been ported to PC. This game has good Physics built in it, so it gives a good gaming experience even if it is minimalistic in design.


Total achievements unlocked: 10/10
Total time played: 80 mins
Game link: SINKR
Cost of game: INR 42

Another mobile port game I really didn't mind buying on Steam. Good level design, except it is too short. With the number of varieties possible, I'm sure the developers/designers could have given us more levels, but I think they got lazy along the way, lolz. Funny thing about this game - on Google Play it costs  ₹ 65 while on Steam it is just  ₹ 42. Most games are usually more expensive on Steam, while they are cheaper or even free on Google Play. Strange.

94. Diamo XL

Total achievements unlocked: 14/14
Total time played: 2 hours
Game link: Diamo XL
Cost of game: INR 58

I was a bit skeptical at first about 100-percenting this quick-reaction game when I bought it because it is developed by Nickervision Studios and I could never get 100% achievement on any of their games as it gets too difficult after some time. But somehow, I played this game over and over again, and I guess I got lucky too, and finally got all the achievements! According to this game's Global Achievements Stats, only 4% of people playing this game have attained 100% achievement so far. Yayyyy :)

95. qop 2

Total achievements unlocked: 411/411
Total time played: 90 minutes
Game link: qop 2
Cost of game: INR 42

Similar to qop 1 which I covered earlier, I guess the only new element in this second installment is a new lock and key feature. Other than that, it is exactly similar to their first game. Buy this game only for the achievements.

96. Oik Memory

Total achievements unlocked: 500/500
Total time played: 30 minutes
Game link: Oik Memory
Cost of game: INR 42

A simple memory based pattern game. Mediocre at best. Buy this game only if you get it at a bundle.

97. Oik 3

Total achievements unlocked: 604/604
Total time played: 80 mins
Game link: Oik 3
Cost of game: INR 58

Casual time-pass physics based minimalistic game. Not very different from Oik 1 and 2. Get it for the achievements.

98. Zup! 7

Total achievements unlocked: 2880/2880
Total time played: 2 hours
Game link: Zup! 7
Cost of game: INR 42

Nothing very different from their earlier installments. Get it for the achievements.

99. Zup! 8

Total achievements unlocked: 2220/2220
Total time played: 3 hours
Game link: Zup! 8
Cost of game: INR 42

They have moving platforms now! :)

100. Next

Total achievements unlocked: 100/100
Total time played: 45 minutes
Game link: Next
Cost of game: INR 42

I am ashamed I even bought this game. Easy to 100% but utterly ridiculous game. Concept is common, but the execution is horrible, with a lot of bugs and glitches. Do not buy this game if you have any self-esteem!

And so with that, I crossed 100 Perfect Games on Steam. I can now rest in peace.

I'll cover more of food and TV shows and party scenes from my next posts onward, so cheers people, see you until my next blog update. Skrt skrt.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Chp 713. Bangalore, a food & drink conclusion

As they say, all good things must come to an end. After a memorable Bangalore wedding between my dear friend Thara and my lovely niece Eunice [wedding journals - part 1, part 2 and part 3], it was time to head back to Pune.

But since I had two days left as it was the weekend, I decided to spend the time with the two things I love the most in life - food and drinks :)

Right after the awesome wedding reception dinner, our bloggers group continued the party at Cherrie's place, Koramangala.

We talked about how our fellow blogger friend Thara would no longer be the same at our Blogger's group after that night, and stuff.

We fried a couple of cheesy sausages to keep up with all the cheesy jokes we were cracking…

Somewhere in between, Mikey-boy brought up the topic that there should always be this much foam on a poured glass of beer to make it "less poisonous" for the human body, and we then got into a long debate about it after that, lolz.

Ahhh, bloggers. Lolz.

The next day, I was served this awesome breakfast by the super cute Chloe, Cherrie's daughter.

Cherrie and her hubby Lalmama had been such an awesome host to me that I took their whole family out for lunch. We went to BOHO on 5th Block, which was just walking distance from their house.

The food was amazing, and they had a great offer going on called OPM - "One Person Meal" (Monday - Friday 12:30 - 4:30) where any Non-Veg meal combo costs ₹ 350 only, along with UNLIMITED cocktail and draught beer for the first 45 minutes! That was freaking awesome. And so we ordered different meal combos immediately.

Chhangchhe laif, lolz.

The unlimited cocktails that came with the OPM offer, which we took to our full advantage, lolz.

That was a great lunch indeed. Lalmama had to leave for work after that, and we too went home as it was Chloe's afternoon nap time.

After dropping mother and daughter, I went with Maps to Mayline's house to have a formal late lunch with the newlyweds, Thara and Eunice. Eunice showed-off her wedding ring in front of me, bragging about how she got married before her uncle!

A few drinks to set the mood right…

Since I was living in Maharashtra, all the "beef" dishes I had eaten were all Buffalo meat, so I decided to order authentic beef burgers from the famous Bozo's burger joint, even though Mayline was in the kitchen cooking lunch, lolz.

It was yummmm! Bozo's rocked!

Meanwhile, Mayline was busy cooking a late lunch for all of us, and I realized I was eating that day from Boho's to Bozo's to Bee's zo, lolz. You gotta love food, man :P

Soon, Mayline was ready. Late lunch at Mayline's. Yummm.

I couldn't move after that because I had eaten so much the whole day. But it was getting late and I had to return to my host's house because it was almost dinner time. :P

We said goodbye to the newlyweds and the soontoweds, and went back to Koramangala, where our dear friend Sawmteii was waiting for us.

For dinner, we all decided to do one crazy thing – "everybody should order". LoLz. And so, all of us placed an order from our Zomato and Swiggy apps respectively at the same time without telling the others what we ordered, and finally when all our orders arrived, this was what we got. :D :D

I think we had just defined what a pot-luck dinner delivery system should be like, lolz.

Baby Chloe getting all the attention :)

The next morning, Mapz and Sawmteii took me to "The Flying Squirrel" on 5th Block, well renowned for its coffee brews. Aptly known as a "Micro Roastery & Café", the place was awesome!

Took me a long time to decide which coffee to order. I finally settled for a "Sun Kissed Double Shot Cappuccino".

We also ordered "Proteinated" (Grilled Chicken breast with cheese, chicken sausages, two-egg omlette and moong sundal) and "Big Bowl of Love" (Seasonal fresh fruit, Yogurt, with house-made Granola) and they were both so good!

After that we took a short stroll and reached "Forum". The place brought back so many memories, especially when I saw that the freaking KFC was still there! It was back in 2004 during my IIM-B days that the mall opened, and we used to hang out there all the time. It was also the only KFC franchise in India back then, and so whenever my IIMB classmates flew back to Mumbai from Bangalore, they would always stop by The Forum mall on their way to the airport and buy loads and loads of KFC. At Mumbai, all their friends would be waiting for them at the airport and they would have a grand KFC feast right there itself. I really miss those days!

We walked from The Forum to Star Bazaar as the ladies wanted to pick up some groceries.

Good fun at the overbridge :D

Back at home, Chloe was sulking because we were out for a long time…

Since we were done with breakfast, it was time to tackle the next objective - Lunch. :D

I couldn't decide where to eat, and so we decided to roam around Koramangala looking for a nice place to eat. But we faced a few roadblocks. Indigo XP wasn't open yet, Hole In The Wall Café was packed, and so was A Hole Lotta Love. Some of the other paces had bad reviews and so on.

Finally, after walking all across 4th and 5th Block, we decided to have our lunch at "Fenny's Lounge and Kitchen" at 7th Block.

The place had a really cool vibe and open-air ambience, and we sat at a private section of the restaurant elevated higher than the ground floor. The menu looked awesome as well.

Little Chloe looking all cute and cuddly.

I was even more impressed with their extensive and cheap cocktail menu! I decided to try out as many different cocktails as possible, lolz.

Here we goooo! :D

Some truly good food - Chilli Beef Milanese, Fenny's BBQ Wings, and a simple Margherita Pizza with extra mozzarella cheese. Yummmm.

Great times indeed. Lalmama took this photo of us.

While we were drinking and being merry, Chloe was preoccupied with this :D

After we were done with the wonderful food and drinks, we headed back to the house quickly because I had to go and attend my family dinner.

And so with that came to an end my memorable stay with Lalmama and Cherrie's family. Thank you for the awesome time you awesome peeps. Hugz.

I reached Kamanahalli a bit later, and U-Dini had sent me a wrong location so I ended up dragging my strolley all across Kamanahalli because my cab driver had to pick up another customer since we had already reached my "destination". That was swell.

The dinner was just for our family and Thara's family, along with a few members from Bangalore who played an important role at the wedding, like Evelyn Sailo and Wendy Chawngthu.

Eunice's dad conducted the prayer service and thanksgiving session.

After that, it was dinner time! Authentic Mizo food! Yummmmmm!

Can you name all the dishes below? :)

My plate :) I love the Bastenga sooooo much :)

And of course, no Mizo meal is complete without the traditional Kuhva hring once we were done eating :)

Soon after dinner, I bid goodbye to my family including the newlyweds. What an awesome three days binge it had been, right from the start.

The next day, after a quick breakfast, I headed for the airport.

Ahhhh detox drink! Fresh and healthy Musk Melon drink at the airport. All I could think of was "detox, detox, detox!"

I promised myself NEVER to drink any alcohol again while I was in Bangalore. Two hours later, I landed in Pune :P

Thus ended my wonderful wedding escapades in Bangalore. I really hope you've been enjoying this series of blog posts. And just to see if people actually read my blog post rather than just skim through the images, I would like to mention that tomorrow, 21st April, is my birthday :) So if you notice this part, I will give you a treat :)

I'll post something interesting about my birthday, not that I have made any plans as such (I'll most probably be lying in bed the whole day binge watching a TV show marathon, lolz). So cheers until then, mes amis. Take care, and have a great weekend.