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.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Chp 720. Corporate advice to the Mizo youth - 1

Since I haven't blogged in quite a while, and by blogging I mean writing some serious stuff instead of just updating my blog with pictures of food :D I thought I'll write a series of posts giving advice to the youth of Mizoram about the Corporate world.

I don't know whether you'll find these posts helpful or not, but having seen a lot of Mizos crash and burn and head back to Mizoram, some of these pointers might prevent you from committing the same mistakes they did.

This series is especially for the freshers in Mizoram, including those who have recently moved outside the state for higher studies or better job opportunities. During my short vacation back home, I met a lot of really bright students who were much more ambitious and self-aware than my generation was, itching to take a bite off the Corporate pie. Unfortunately, they lack in industry exposure, and so I hope this post will help.

I'm not going to pen down some of the general advices and common gyaan about Corporate life here in India, because in this series I want to focus on just our Mizo mentality so that this article is as relevant as possible to the youth of Mizoram.

First of all, what is a Corporate office? Technically, it is the Headquarter of a large Corporation, but these days, we just refer to any large business office that is "corporat'ish" in nature as a Corporate office, you know, those large professional-looking, centralized-AC, private offices with cubicles and multi-layered boss hierarchy where people working behind large computer screens wear suits or at least formals while carrying ID badges and signing-in via biometric machines and stuff.

The right Mizo term for this would be, "Company a thawk" :)

Keeping nomenclature aside, the work environment in such a Corporate office is very different from, let's say, working in a Government office in Mizoram.

Now I am not belittling the Government and Public sector in anyway or saying that working for a private firm is more valuable. Every job is as important as the other as long as we work diligently and devoutly. But from what I have observed so far, people working in Govt offices and Public sectors tend to be a bit more lackadaisical and carefree in their approach, and this is where I want to warn the youth of Mizoram because I have seen a lot of Mizos come down here and commit the same mistakes and go back home with their heads down.

First and foremost, dear tlangval and nula of Mizoram, keep that mentality of "seniority" locked away in a trunk and throw away the keys. Unlike in Mizoram where promotions and pay scales are based on "seniority" in most of the sectors like government offices and even medical and education sectors, that is not how things work in the private sector.

In the Corporate world, your promotion and pay grade are based on a lot of factors like your performance evaluation, skill set, team work, communication ability, managerial skills, etc etc. "Seniority" plays a very small factor (Yes, "experience" plays an important role but there is a tiny difference between seniority and experience).

And these are the fields where you'll need to focus on if you want to survive in the Corporate world.

Starting from the very beginning of the day - always be in time for work. If you're working in a BPO or for those companies that provide customer support or sales, you probably won't have an option of going late because you have a company cab picking you up every day at a specific time. But when your company does not have that facility, then it is your responsibility to reach office in time. Believe me, your tardiness will be noticed, if not by your colleagues or reporting manager, then by the HR team.

And you may not even get a warning from the management for reaching late. This is where you must grow up and realize you're not in school or college anymore. Your manager is not your principal, he/she may not reprimand you for regularly coming in late. I have seen my own fellow Mizos taking advantage of this and they started going late to work on a daily basis. And then suddenly one fine day, they received their termination letters and that was it. Bye bye. Time to book their tickets back to Mizoram.

Don't ever make that mistake. Be dedicated to your work.

Also, in Mizoram, once you've land yourself a good government posting, you are set for life. It is almost impossible to get fired once you're in the system, unless you do something extremely bad, like turning up for work drunk every day or having a large scale corruption case, and in such situations too, you'd probably only get transferred and not terminated. In the Corporate world, there's a possibility that you'd still get fired even if you met your target.

You have to continuously walk the extra mile if you want to keep your job. As Secretary Elizabeth McCord tried to make Blake handle new responsibilities in "Madam Secretary" (season 4, episode 21), she quipped, "Either move up, or move out". That's what the Corporate world is all about, you are expected to grow and contribute more to the growth of the organization.

And in most occasions, you will have to take such initiatives on your own. Nobody is going to spoon-feed you what to do. The more you try to take on new responsibilities on your own, the greater you'll become an asset to your organization.

Just give it your all. Coming back to the point about reaching office in time, don't just be one of the firsts to arrive, try to be one of the lasts to leave too :)

I know the above point I just made is debatable, because you must have heard a lot of wise words and speeches about not being stuck to your workstation and that you should also take time off to appreciate the finer things in life like your family and friends.

Maintain a healthy Work-Life balance. But of course things are not always in black & white, and balancing work and life is much tougher than you can imagine…

By the way, when I spoke about spending long hours in the office, I am not talking about just sitting on your ass there until you have clocked out. Of course you will have to complete your designated tasks (that is a no brainer), but don't just work hard, you must work smart. And that is a topic I will cover in another post, because for now, there is an important topic I really want to address, and that is about our Mizo ATTITUDE.

The most frequent complains I have heard from my fellow Mizos working in the Corporate sector is this – "My boss is an asshole".

Yes, bosses can be assholes sometimes. But from all the complains I have heard so far, there had been many times when I realized there is something wrong with the attitude of my friend rather than his/her boss.

As a Mizo brought up in Mizoram, you may harness a few attitude problems against non-Mizos. You gotta shelf such attitudes here. If you can't stand being reprimanded by your boss just because he or she is a "Vai", then I'm sorry to say the Corporate world isn't for you. This simply means that you are not emotionally strong and mature enough to take on the tough Corporate world. Believe me, it is a dog eat dog world out here, you will not survive with such an attitude. Change that.

I have been working in the Corporate sector from more than 10 years now, and never have I had an asshole boss even once. Yes, there may be times when I felt my boss was a bit incompetent, but an asshole? Nope. The thing about the Corporate world is, even if you get shit on from your boss, remember that he/she is also getting shit on from his/her boss. The domino effect. Most of the stereotype bad bosses you'll see are in TV shows, which we find hilarious. But in the real world that is very unlikely to happen.

If you truly have a bad boss and nothing can be done about it, then just move out of the organization. There are plenty of other offers around in this booming economy. And with that, I want to cover the last point for this particular post - Moving out of your comfort zone.

I don't think I am wrong to state that most of us Mizos hesitate to move out of a surrounding we have grown accustomed to. I have so many Mizo friends working in various BPOs who continuously complain about their current work, but take no further attempt to look for a new job since they've been working for a long time there. Just get out of your comfort zone, man :)

I'm not saying I am an ideal example, but I not only jumped to a different company, but I moved to a different industry altogether! After years of experience in the Advertising industry, I suddenly moved to the Gaming industry with a completely different job profile! Yeah, it's possible to do that, and many people do that all the time.

So with that, I hope some of you will find this blog post helpful, and I'll try writing another part to this later if the response is good. And I sincerely hope people take this in a positive way and not try to spin my words like, "private company a thawklo ho chu min van hmusit ve" because I know many people are capable of spitting out such venom :) Feel free to ask me any queries you may have. Until then, cheers.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Chp 719. The Adventures of Tubby - season 5

Previous seasons:

In this second part of our back-to-back season of the Adventures of Tubby, things are looking real good for Tubby as she gets to experience new cuisines she had never tried out before. Have a look and let me know which is your favorite episode this season.

Season 5: Episode 1

China Toss, East Avenue, Mulik Palace, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.

Burmese Khao Suey Prawns Rice: ₹ 409

My favorite Burmese cuisine from China Toss, my favorite South East Asian restaurant (that is affordable :P Malaka Spice is my favorite but it is too expensive so I don't order from the place regularly). I've had Burmese Khao Suey from other places too and none of them can beat the one at China Toss. I love the number of different ingredients and condiments that comes along with this dish – roasted garlic, fried onions, coriander and peanuts, with rich creamy prawns curry. Adding our roasted mizo chilli flakes on top of all that further increases the awesomeness!

Season 5: Episode 2

Chinese Room, East Street, Camp, Pune.

Barbeque Spare Ribs: ₹ 335
Corn Crispy Crunchy: ₹ 240

I was a bit hesitant at first because Spare Ribs usually cost around 450 bucks and above. Coming across a restaurant where it was just 335 bucks seemed like a dream. I ordered from the place nonetheless, and I was not disappointed! It was awesomeeee. However, I was expecting corn-on-the-cobs to go with the ribs, but all I got were some soggy pieces of corn (even though the name clearly said "crunchy"). But I'm ready to ignore all that because of the economical cost of the ribs. Good stuff.

Season 5: Episode 3

The Noshery, Rahoul Terrace, Lane Number 7, Koregaon Park, Pune.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Bacon: ₹ 330
Herb Chicken Popcorn: ₹ 220

Awesome creamy mushroom pasta from "The Noshery". I highly recommend this place. And the pasta cream blended so well with my roasted mizo chilli flakes while the herb chicken popcorn melted right in my mouth. Though it is a little bit expensive, the value for money is good, and the whole package was delivered in cute little boxes.

Season 5: Episode 4

Pind Punjab, Gera Park View, Kharadi, Pune.

Dal Makhani Meal: ₹ 150
Amritsari Chole Meal: ₹ 150
Desi Ghee Gulab Jamun: Complimentary.

Gulab Jamun overload, lolz. I got a free gulab jamun with the Dal Makhani meal combo, another free gulab jamun with the Amritsari Chole meal combo, and finally a third Ghee gulab jamun free because I am a Zomato Treats partner, lolz. The roasted mizo chilli flakes went well with the two meals, though I did not try them with the gulab jamuns :P The stuffed kulchas were extremely filling.

Season 5: Episode 5

Boteco - Restaurante Brasileiro, Power Plaza, Lane Number 7, Koregaon Park, Pune.

Leitaa a Pururuca: ₹ 695

I decided to pamper myself to a lunch from expensive Boteco one day, and went for the "Leitaa a Pururuca", which is a Belgian Pork belly roasted in wood-fired oven and served with Apple puree, Spanish croquettes, and sweet & sour sauces. The pork even came with Cracklings, which we call in Mizo as "Sa-er fu" and it was freaking delicious!

Season 5: Episode 6

Sassy Teaspoon, Sanskriti Lifestyle, Lane no 7, Koregaon Park, Pune.

Spicy Chicken Sandwich: ₹ 125
Chutney Cheese Sandwich: ₹ 95
Rainbow Pastry: ₹ 160
Hazelnut Macaron: ₹ 60
Rose Macaron: ₹ 60

Spicy Chicken Sandwich, made even spicier with my Roasted Mizo Chilli Flakes. And the Chutney Cheese Sandwich was super dillu! The Rainbow Pastry was above average, and then there were the super awesome macarons that made me glimpse a piece of Heaven with every bite. An unforgettable lunch indeed. I really love the packaging too, as the food came in a bag shaped like one of those Mall shopping bags so everybody stared at me in office, lolz.

Season 5: Episode 7

The Taste With Spicy Twist, Sakore Nagar, Viman Nagar, Pune

Egg Kothu Parotta: ₹ 120
Chicken Kothu Parotta: ₹ 130

Kothu Parotta - This was our favorite roadside snacks back in Montfort. Shredded parotta continuously cut and beaten up on an iron tray with a steel spatula while mixing other crucial ingredients like eggs, onions, and other spices in the same rhythm. They are available only at authentic Tamil and Malayalee restaurants here in Pune and you will not find them at other South Indian restaurants like the Udipi restaurants (Sree Sagar, Sai Sagar, Shiv Sagar etc).

Season 5: Episode 8

Bubsterr's, Silver Oaks Society, Floriyana Estate, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.

BubSterr's Pork Overload 10" Inch Slice Pizza: ₹ 270
The Classic Hot Dog (Chicken): ₹ 150

Bubsterr's Pizza. I am in a love-hate relationship with this outlet. I love their toppings, especially the Pork Overload, but I hate their crust because it is too damn thick. I look forward to the day they will make thin crust slices. Until then, yeah I will have it maybe once a month.

Season 5: Episode 9

The Bawa, Nandgaon, Viman Nagar, Pune.

Jardaloo Ma Pork: ₹ 320
Steamed Rice: ₹ 60
Salami Poro with Pav: ₹ 144

One fine day, I took a deep breath and decided to try out "Jardaloo Ma Pork" for the first time. It is a traditional Parsi cuisine and the reason why I was a bit hesitant was because this dish is apparently made from apricot! Yeah that's right, apricot! I have never tried out an apricot curry before, but hey, you'll never know if you don't give it a try right? And so I went for it. It was slightly sweet but super awesome! That yellow round stuff you see in the pic above, which looks like potato, that's the apricot. Yummm.

Season 5: Episode 10

Chutney's, Siddhartha court, Dhole Patil Road, Pune.

Cheese Pav Bhaji: ₹ 115
Pav Jodi (2): ₹ 30
Kanda Fry: ₹ 30
Single Pav: ₹ 8

For the season finale, I give you Pav Bhaji! I don't think I need to add any details about it as we all know what a Pav bhaji is. Yummylicious stuff :)

So, until the next adventures of Tubby, take care, and do keep visiting this post now and then for other updates which may or may not be related to food. Have a great weekend and enjoy the World Cup. Cheers everyone!

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Chp 718. The Adventures of Tubby - season 4

Finally, the Adventures of Tubby is back! In this belly-hitting mouth-watering Season 4, there are two new elements added to the series. The first is that, all these pictures were taken with my new OnePlus 6 phone, with a good depth effect using its dual camera feature, so the photos are looking even more scrumptious than before.

The second is the inclusion of our Roasted Mizo Chilli Flakes in all the dishes. I carry them to work every day now so it has become an integral part of this series.

For those of you unaware about Tubby, you can read the previous seasons to know about her origin, her topic, FAQs etc:

So without further wasting your time, here is the fourth season of The Adventures of Tubby!

Season 4: Episode 1

China Toss, East Avenue, Mulik Palace, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.

Crispy Chilli Baby Corn: ₹ 199
Chicken American Chop suey: ₹ 289

First up is this delicious Chicken American Chopsuey from China Toss. Funny thing about this dish is that it is actually an Indianized version of an Americanized version of an authentic Chinese cuisine, lolz. And in America, an American Chop suey and a Chinese Chop suey are completely different, but here in India, they are both similar and the only difference is the sauce used (red sauce on American and white sauce on Chinese). Well until I get to try out a real American Chop suey, guess I'll be satisfied with the one we get here in India.

Season 4: Episode 2

Salad Grills, Hermes Parai, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.

Classic Caesar combo: ₹ 375

Got the above combo for 375 bucks (plus taxes), which consists of a healthy Caesar salad with delicious Caesar dressing, butter, 2 bread sticks, 4 garlic breads and a Chilli-Guava Ice Tea. Not bad, considering Salad Grills has one of the highest ratings on Zomato here in Pune. It is a great place to have healthy and dietary food, and I promise myself to order from this place at least once a week, though it looks like that is happening once a month only.

Season 4: Episode 3

Taste Of Hyderabad, 5th Avenue, BS Dhole Patil Path, Pune.

Chicken Dum Biryani (Full): ₹ 260
Roasted Papad: ₹ 20

My favorite place in Pune when it comes to authentic Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani. And I just loveee their side gravy as well. I don't know why so many restaurants out here serve a hyderabadi biryani without the onion gravy. That's what makes the biryani even more awesome, IMHO. I planted the roasted papad on my biryani to get a better depth effect on the photo, lolz.

Season 4: Episode 4

Madras Coffee House, Amanora Town Centre, Hadapsar, Pune.

Rocket Masala Dosa: ₹ 135
Medu Vada: ₹ 70

If you want to have freshly prepared dosa, it is best to have them at a restaurant. Don't get it delivered home, because by then, it will be all sorry and done. It is no longer a do-sa, it is now a did-sa :P I ordered Rocket Masala dosa, which was supposed to look like the image below, but instead, what I got was a sad ol soggy dosa. It was tasty nonetheless, but still, the presentation also adds to the appetite.

Season 4: Episode 5

The Burger Barn Cafe, Sanas Corner, South Main Roan, Koregaon Park, Pune.

WTF Chicken Burger: ₹ 600

Aptly called WTF burger, this monster of a burger consists of different layers of multiple ingredients. Trust me, you won't be able to finish this alone! Burger Barn Café even has a "WTF Challenge" - if you go to their outlet and eat this burger along with some Fries and Oreo shake under 30 mins, your photo will be put up on their "Wall of Fame". So far, only a handful of photos are up there as of now. The only complaint I have about this magnificent burger is that all the meat are just Chicken, ranging from Chicken ham to Chicken salami, Chicken sausages, Chicken patty etc. It would have been even more awesome if they had mixed it up with Bacon, Mutton, Beef etc. Yummmm.

Season 4: Episode 6

The Coconut Tree Bar & Kitchen, Konark Icon, Magarpatta, Hadapsar, Pune.

Egg Appam (2 sets): ₹ 160
Pullimunchi Ghee Pomfret Curry: ₹ 575

I have posted pictures of Appams in my previous Tubby seasons. This one is an "Egg appam". Yeah that's right, golden fried egg right in the middle of an appam, it is sooo good!!!! And the Pullimunchi Ghee Pomfret Curry was yummy as well. They all went together so well with my roasted mizo chilli flakes. I may sound like I am biased towards Kerala cuisines because I was brought up in the South, but trust me, you gotta give them a try if you haven't yet. You won't regret it!

Season 4: Episode 7

Skadoosh, Ganga Arcadia, Kharadi Bypass, Pune.

Chicken Thukpa: ₹ 175
Chicken Classic Momos: ₹ 110

Ahhh a Chicken Thukpa meal with Momos as sides. Slurrpppp. I sprinkled some roasted mizo chilli flakes on top of the Thukpa and all I tasted was Heaven! It was that good. My friends recommended me to try a Mutton Thukpa next time, but unfortunately Skadoosh doesn't have that on their menu. I will keep looking for one and update you in my next Tubby series :)

Season 4: Episode 8

Gurunanak Dairy And Sweets, Deepak Park, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Tikki: ₹ 20
Samosa (2): ₹ 24
Kanda Bhaji: ₹ 20
Sabudana Vada: ₹ 15

Tubby was delighted to meet a few light snacks as well, since heavy meals all the time can get boring. I tried out samosas, kanda bhaji, aloo tikki and sabudana vada and they were very filling. I think this was the time I went to office with a hangover and didn't feel like eating a heavy meal for lunch, lolz.

Season 4: Episode 9

Alfa Southinn Café, Silver Oak, Florina Estate, Kalyani Nagar, Pune.

Dal Fry: ₹ 55
Egg Bhurji: ₹ 40
Aloo Jeera: ₹ 60
Paneer Mattar: ₹ 70
Chapati (5): ₹ 25
Paratha (3): ₹ 36

Here is an extremely economical meal from Alfa Southinn Café. This entire ensemble of egg, aloo, paneer, dal, chapati and paratha all came under 300 bucks, which is a really good deal for the amount of variety involved. In fact I was so happy with the VFM that I made a heart sign on the dal with my roasted mizo chilli flakes, and hopefully one day I will become a renowned Latte art designer :D Also, this is probably the world's first mizo chilli flakes heart sign on a dal fry! Yes I'm famous now, where do you want me to sign my autograph? :P

Season 4: Episode 10

Vasant Family Resto Bar, Kamla Nehru Hospital Road, Mangalwar Peth, Pune.

Egg Paratha (2): ₹ 100
Chicken Masala: ₹ 160
Paratha: ₹ 20
Masala Papad: ₹ 25

This order was a mistake. This is the risk I take every time I order from a new restaurant for the first time. I really felt like having yummy Egg Parotta that day, you know, South Indian style. These were what I had in mind that day…

But instead, what I got was scrambled egg stuffed parathas. Not the same! I mean it was ok, not that bad, but still, when your mind is set on something so strongly and a completely different thing arrives, it is very disappointing. This is why we need images on the online menu, and I love it that Swiggy and Zomato recently started doing that on their apps.

Over all, this was a great season, and be sure to join me on season 5 of The Adventures of Tubby this coming week itself. There's a whole range of different cuisines with awesome depth photography awaiting you. So until then, cheers everyone! Live to Eat! :)