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Friday, May 17, 2013

Chp 453. Networking dinner IV: Pondi Salon

So last Friday, I decided to take part in my fourth Coral Networking dinner. As I have mentioned a couple of times before, Coral Networking dinner is this exclusive “invite only” dinner hosted by Digicat and i2cook at Prahlad Kakkar’s cottage. We have to register in advance, and if we are accepted, we go to the location on our own and meet the other invitees there, where we talk about our work and network with each other, while at the same time enjoying exquisite cuisine you won’t easily find at most restaurants across the city.

The participants last Friday were -

Arjun Basu – Vice President at Reliance Retail
Salonee Doshi – Founder of “It’s Showtime”, equity analyst at a financial firm
Neetu Prasad – Analyst at Orange
Neha Toteja – Corporate planning and BD at Times Television Network
Megha Goyal – Founder of i2Cook and Head Chef at Coral Networks
Pawan Deokule – Managing Director at Digicat Digital Marketing Pvt Ltd
Kima – Lover of Old Monk

I had a very cozy and comfortable time because I already knew Neetu and Neha from previous Coral networking events. Salonee recognized me from my recent stint with our Mumbai Police which was splashed across many local papers.  And Arjun was an alumnus of IIM-B, so we bonded over Old Monk immediately, talking about L-Square parties and the professors. So, yeah, I really enjoyed being there that night.

The theme was PONDICHERRY SALON, and it was my first “desi themed” Coral event. Most of the food served had heavy influences from the French, which had this really awesome blend of French cuisine with different culinary from states like Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

For drinks, we had the nectar of organic Hibiscus flower served as a cooling juice. But the cooling effect wasn’t very effective for me as I was already on the nectar of organic Old Monk. :P

For appetizers, we were served this really awesome Mundir Parupu Bagoda which is their version of a cashew-nut pakora. I really felt bad eating so many of them because they were actually meant for the vegetarians. For us non-vegetarians, we were served this equally delicious Erral Masala Vadai, which is prawn chana dal patties, served with mango coconut chutney.

For the main course, there was Muthaiy curry (egg curry) served with ghee rice. This was for the vegetarians.

For the non-vegetarians, there was Markandam dalcha (lamb blanquette dalcha) served with ghee rice. Creamy dalcha is a combination of lamb & mango, and it really kicked ass.

Since there were more non-vegetarians, we also had another non-veg dish, and this was Mutton Ragou (Ragout) served with bread & potato salad. This is another Pondicherry dish created under the influence of French gastronomy, and the dish melted right in my mouth.

For desserts, we were served this awesome Vennai Puttu (coconut rice flan), and this traditional dessert is actually a favorite at many homes in Pondicherry. It was the perfect way to end an evening of great food and greater company.

Looking forward to the next Coral event. Cheers :)


Previous related posts:

Networking dinner I: Coorgi Blast (link no longer available because it was on my Posterous blog)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Chp 452. Love, from a distance.

From a distance,
you assured us everything is fine now
but reality be damned, we’re not.

From a distance,
you told us not to worry
but all day long, we’ve been nothing but distracted.

        Because we’re not there
        our hearts bleed faster
        for kindred lost and laughter silenced.

        Because we’re not there
        we feel so obsolete
        for neither hand nor sweat can we lend.

                But no matter how damaged we become
                our resilience and spirit will live on.

        Because you’re not here
        our love for our land grows fonder
        with every pain and suffering we share with you.

        Because you’re not here
        the hellish nightmare you faced
        intensified a hundredfold for us in this distant abyss.

From a distance,
we mourn every death, a newlywed, a student, a daughter, a Gooner,
everyone… because our love is of an undying one.

From a distance,
our words are meek but our prayers are strong,
Rest in peace to all the victims, we're very much with you all.


Dedicated to all the victims of today’s horrific landslide caused by the pre-monsoon cyclonic rains right in the heart of Aizawl, just a few minutes walking distance from my house.

And the pain intensifies even further when you don’t know the victims personally but you find out some of them have been your Facebook friends all along.

Rest In Peace. And prayers to all those in Mizoram because it looks like the hurricane is only just starting to intensify! :(


[Photos courtesy and various Facebook groups]


thlipui 9






Friday, May 10, 2013

Chp 451. RIP Gaddafi

Just six months ago, I wrote a blog post, welcoming our new doll face Persian cat Gaddafi into our family (Hello Gaddafi). Today, I am writing his obituary.

So for the past 5 days, Gaddafi had been suffering from jaundice and liver damage. This was the last picture I took of him three nights ago, asking my friends to wish for his speedy recovery.

We had to feed him through a tube by means of injection. His condition became so bad that we had to admit him to a vet hospital. The hospital was really nice, there were a couple of doctors and nurses everywhere. We even saw Lara Dutta’s cats who were also admitted :)

The doctor hoped that Gaddafi will be better in the next few days. Everything was fine.

And then yesterday morning, around 10 AM, my flatmate got a call from the hospital saying that our dear sweet Gaddafi had stopped breathing and they tried their best to revive him. He went to the hospital immediately to collect his body.

At first we tried to keep it a private affair, discussing only among ourselves on what should be done next, should be cremate him or bury him etc. But then we found it unfair to leave the others out because he was not just our cat. He was the office cat. Everybody in office loved him. He’s still there in our FITH Media webpage, listed as an employee :(

The others soon arrived and we drank to Gaddafi’s memory.

At around 4 AM, we went to an Animal Hospital in Parel in four taxis, where we cremated him amidst many tears and sorrow.

The place even sheltered our 26/11 victim Sheru the dog.

The procession was long and difficult…

The prepared him for the cremation…

The last picture taken of his lifeless body… oh sweet young Gaddafi… :(

The actual cremation process was very quick…

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust… and just like that, it was all over… Eerie silence followed…

We decided to drink away our sorrows together, but unfortunately due to the LBT (Local Body Tax) curfew, most of the bars were closed. We finally found one…

We tried our best to laugh, talking about the happy times we’ve spent with Gaddafi. Sometimes it was depressing, but the alcohol made it easier for us to bear the pain…

I must confess, I never used to be a cat person, until I came across Gaddafi. He was so peaceful that anybody could pick him up and cuddle him. He never clawed anybody (unless he suddenly got scared). What a loss it had been. Rest in Peace, sweet Gaddafi. Here is to you. Cheers, love.