Conversation with God

Here goes a conversation between a 5yr old and God
5yr old- Good morning God, please let me my mother let me go out and play. Please let there be no summer camp today
God: what a sweet child. Go ahead, i grant you your wishes
5yr old: Yayy, what a fun day today is going to be. Ma, can i go out and play for sometime? I want to try the new top dadda got me
Mom: yes, go ahead. dont go too far.
5yr old: Yes amma. I wont. [goes out to play]
Bad man whisks her away and rapes/abuses her, literally killing her in the process… 
The 5yr old today: God, I need to talk to you, where are you?
God:  yes my child
5yr old: What is wrong with me? Why did that man do what he did?
God: *silence*
5yr old: what did I do? was I a bad girl like amma says?
God: *silence*
5yr old: You only made me like this no.. tell me why I am in pain now?
God: *silence*
5yr old: what will happen to me now? everybody around me is staring at me, I am scared
God: *silence*
5yr old: is it wrong that I wanted to play? is it because I prayed that there be no summer camp that day?

God: *silence*
5yr old: Will you find and punish the bad man for me please?
God: *silence*… I sure will.. 
5yr old: thank you.. and make sure nobody else goes through what i have. I don’t want such bad things to happen to anybody else.. 
God: *silence*
5yr old: *cries in pain* and turns away………….. 
Mom: shut up, dont cry.. people will hear you… *God knows what other ill luck is going to be bestowed upon us*  

Everytime something like this happens, I wonder – God is the one who created us, He is the one who put ideas and thoughts in our head, and so I wonder- why He made MEN the way they are, esp the rapists, abusers, murderers —> criminals of all kinds….

She

She ran around playing
her mother had made sure she was never alone

She was a good girl
books, the village pup and her one friend were her world
….
….
….
….
….
….
….
….
She walked cautiously
stealing glances from the corner of her eye

She held on to her dress
eyes big and scared, looking as if she might cry

She felt dirty
wondered why that man had asked her to take off her clothes

She felt the pain
her body ached in places she dint know existed

She knew not what it was
her mind was blank, while the rest of her just floated

She wanted to reach home
hoping to find some comfort in her mother’s pallu

She broke the silence
her parents shunned her, calling her names

She was all of 6
how on earth could she have invited this demon on her

She met her fate
the village well, that was the only answer she sought solace in.

(c) Aarti 19th April 2013

Every morning i wake up to a news of a child raped, abused somewhere in the country/world. Makes me sad, makes me feel helpless. Yesterday’s news about a 5yr old who’d been raped by a neighbor was just too horrifying. I cant even begin to imagine what that little one is going through. I know a lot of 4 and 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 yr olds and I only pray to God that they are all kept safe… I want each and every one of us to take it upon ourselves to educate, teach, and protect the children around us…

Submitting this post for the Child Sexual abuse awareness month theme run by Chennai Bloggers Club….

Midnight Buffet at Main Street, Residency Towers, Chennai

There is nothing like being out with friends Friday night, go pubbing [pub hopping] or maybe catch a late evening show. But then, by the time you are out, it is nearly 11 and there are very options to grab a bite from. Well, Main Street in Residency Towers brings to you the Midnight Buffet. Yes, the doors open around 11.30 and it goes on till 4am. You read it right. It is the ideal place to head over to satiate your hunger pangs. Someone might want dosa, while another might want to dig into a big plate of Biryani while one might long for some pasta or salad. Well, whatever be your craving, you will find a dish here.


You walk into Residency Towers lobby; look no further, on your right is where you will find the entry into Main Street. The place has been done up to resemble the streets of Europe/UK. There are lamp posts, signage with names of Streets, a poster that says “Doner Kebab’, and even a small TV in the far end of the room. We sat near the far end where there was an ad for Marlborough with the Marlborough man looking straight at us.

The buffet counter is spread just outside the kitchen, so you can actually watch the Chef making a dosa or the tandoor dishes. The buffet starts with a soup, followed by a wide variety of salads, and then the main courses, and not to forget desserts.

You can pick from mushroom salad, pasta salad, green salad or head straight to the main course- a roti or Biryani [veg/non veg] with a dal makhani or maybe the roasted aloo and a dollop of raita. There is also freshly steamed idlis amidst the buffet. Dosas are served on order. These come with 3 varieties of chutney and sambar. The spread goes on, and for those who need comfort food, there is curd rice as well. If you still have space in your tummy, head across to the dessert counter and have a spoon of ice cream or sample one of the many pastries/puddings on display.

What surprised me was that the place was nearly half full. While chatting with the manager, I came to know that they do about 70covers every night, crowd starts coming in around 2-3am. Who would have thought Chennai had such a happening night life!!

But remember, this Buffet is available only on Friday & Saturday nights. You can even glimpse through the buffet menu before stepping in. And it is priced at Rs555 nett

Main Street
Residency Towers
North Boag Rd, Thyagaraya Nagar 
 Chennai – 600017
Phone: 044 2815 6363


Royal feast at Rajdhani, Phoenix Market City, Chennai

The question “Recommend a pure vegetarian[north indian] restaurant in chennai” would have only one answer if someone were to ask me. NO,  it is not Kailash Parbat or Cream Center, the only name to come out of my mouth would be “Rajdhani“. Yes, the restaurant has not only impressed me, but also my family and many others, some of who happen to be staunch non vegetarians. That is how good they are! 

The 1st time I visited Rajdhani was the day they launched in Express Avenue. I had gone for a movie with friends and we hopped across to the food court and decided to have dinner here. One warning I must throw out is “make sure you are really hungry and your stomach is really empty” when visiting Rajdhani. The food here is that amazing and you will want to try out each of the dishes, which means you will be bursting in your seams if you stuff yourself. Food served here is pure veg, made with Ghee and the finest of spices and ingredients, and light on the masalas. 


Thanks to an ex-colleague and the bit of travel I have done, the cuisine is not new. But some of the dishes are equisite and delicious that you will go for a 2nd or even a 3rd helping. So, there I was, back in Rajdhani, this time in their 3rd outlet, the newest one, in Phoenix Market City. 



We were greeted in the traditional way, with a tikka and a welcome drink made with raw mango. And then, as you can guess was the feast. Spent a few minutes speaking to the Marketing head and team who’d flown down from Mumbai, heard the Hemji maharaj [head chef] explain each of the items on the menu [he apparently takes care of the South and shuttles between cities]. We also got a quick tour of the kitchen. While many of us assumed they had a central kitchen, we were told it was not so, each kitchen made the dishes every day. The only dish that was not cooked in the kitchens, and that came from Mumbai, specially for summer was Aam Ras. 

A new dish they have introduced is the Khoya roti, thick and yumm it felt it had been soaked in ghee and cooked with love. My favorite was the Daal bhati choorma, mango khadi, kichdi [ofcourse], khoya roti, pineapple kesari and jalebi. The meal has “I dont know how many” [72] items and is priced at Rs420/-. It is a meal that leaves you feeling like you are a King or Queen. Go ahead. Indulge!! And if you love mangos, this is the time to visit, they have included a few mango based dishes which are lip smacking


Address:
Phoenix Market City
Level 1, Velachery main Road, Velachery, Chennai , Tamil Nadu – 600 042
Mr. Ezhilarasan
9003738125
044-66513311/12 
Ampa Skywalk
Level – 3, Ampa Skywalk, No.1, Nelson Manickam Road, Chennai – 600029
Mr. Arunamachalam Jayaram
9962270705
044 – 43063532 

Express Avenue Mall
Level – 3, Express Avenue Mall, Whites Road, Royapettah, Chennai – 600014
Mr. Chinappa
9444002905
044 – 28464422/33

Summer Lunch at Sandy’s

One of those days when impromptu plans were made and I met a friend of mine for lunch. Neither of us were really hungry, it was proving to be a long day and added it was the sweltering summer sun. After a few messages we decided to meet at Sandy’s, wallace garden. Walked in, found a table for 2 near the counter and began catching up. We ordered drinks, she a ginger ale and I went for a Lychee fizz. Hers arrived in a can, while mine was served in a beaker with a pink straw. For someone who hates the sight of pink colour, i enjoyed every sip of this drink, maybe ‘cos i love lychee.


For lunch, we chose light food- I ordered for the Tabouleh salad while she chose the Falafel wrap. The place was empty when we walked in, but within minutes it was packed. There were groups of 2-6 filling the tables. A family of 4 arrived, with a little boy and a girl who insisted on sitting in the center, on the bar stool type seating. They had to be helped up by their parents and animatedly began pointing to things on the shelf and talking.



And there came our food. Mine looked green and inviting, hers neatly wrapped up in butter paper served alongside a cucumber dip and potato wedges. My salad was fresh, rich and filled with flavour, loved it.
We skipped dessert and headed home. Now that is what i call Lunch- light and yet refreshing. Sandy’s never fails to please.. :-))
If you are wondering where to go for a quick lunch or some yumm desserts, this is whre you should go. They have quite a variety of food and desserts that will leave you licking the plate clean.. Not only is the food good, but service is also top notch. The staff leave you alone, without constantly coming over asking if you need anything or if all is good….

Sandy’s
32, Khader Nawaz Khan Rd 
Wallace Garden [ adj to Subway and Harley Davidson showoom]
Nungambakkam
Chennai – 600034
Timing: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm


or

# 2/15 Ganapathy Colony Main Road, (Cenotaph 2nd lane), Teynampet, Chennai, IN.
Mansi- +91 9841277987 
Kailas – +91 8939933039, 
Baalaji – +91 9841409778
Timing: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

Kefi – Levantine Lounge

There I was, once again. Back after ages. Taj Mount road.. The entire building is lit up in hues of blue, and this continues to the roof top as well. as you get off the elevator, you are greeted by the dimly lit swimming pool , beyond which is the bar and Kefi, the restaurant thereon. 

The Exec Chef Siddiqui mentioned they serve food from 5 main regions and stay clear of Italian or other cuisines. This was my 2nd visit here, the 1st one was with a  few friends, we sat indoors and had a good fun meal. Tonight was part of their  Levantine Lounge. This is an initiative that happens every Wednesday, where the outdoor area transforms into the restaurant. there are tables laid out under the stars, soothing music in the background and a wide range of food- cold cuts, cheese, salads, and grills laid out to choose from. Oh, how can i mention the highlight- unlimited WINE… 

Photo Courtesy: Karuna Karan
I promptly ordered a glass of red wine, also got to have a glass of white wine that someone else had ordered but dint want. Strolling around the salad section, we noticed there were quite a few options for vegetarians [ such a treat]., and some of the salads were outstanding. We had multiple helpings of those. We were also served different kinds of bread, dips, and sauces on the table. 

They had quite a few varieties of  cheese as well. I did try the goats cheese, it was quite strong, salty and i kinda liked the taste. There was also the good ol loyal Feta and smoked mozella as well.  perfect for the hot summer days, these were such a relief. I infact skipped the main course, though i did try a spoon of cous cous with Moroccan veg curry from Deepa. While we waited, we yapped about the view, the other restaurants in town and what is coming up. 

The Desserts were a sampler plate- loved the Baklava and honey ice cream. The kheer had a tad too much of cinnamon and I wasnt sure if it fit into the theme. The Harissa was also good [ i remembered trying it at home] 

Photo Courtesy: Karuna Karan

It was a good fun evening with friends, food and good ambiance, perfect unwinding after a long day! Thank you Taj! 

The whole thing is priced at Rs999 [excl tax]

Only suggestion:
Could you have a seperate grill for veg items please. We did notice they were right next to the non veg and saw a whole pile of skewers below in a dish. Thank you! 

Colorful Salad

So I was in one of those weird moods today, and that is all I needed to whip up this salad. I opened the fridge, stood in front of it, till it started beeping. Pulled out a few items and off I went to the kitchen [yes, at grandparents house, the fridge is not in the kitchen]  This is what I whipped up..
What I found- 
Purple cabbage- 1 small 
Lettuce- few leaves
Walnuts- a handful
Paneer – dunno when it had been bought but looked pretty beat
Herbs- a bottle of mixed herbs
Olives- green pitted olives
Pesto- plain pesto sauce
Honey- 1 tbsp
Olive oil- 1 tsp
Salt & Black pepper- a pinch

Optional
Other vegetables [par boiled beans esp]
Crushed garlic
Onions
Boiled pasta

What did I do?
Take a large bowl – add oil, walnuts, salt, black pepper, honey, pesto sauce and mix them well
Now, to this add the chopped up purple cabbage, ripped up lettuce leaves, crumbled paneer pieces, olives and toss
Sprinkle the herbs and toss
Taste and add seasoning/spice depending on your preference.

It was absolutely yummy. So fresh, crunchy and delightful. 

Health facts :

Purple cabbage, more commonly known as red cabbage, is a colorful variety from the brassica family. Purple cabbage has a relatively high ratio of nutrients and vitamins to calories and fat, which makes it an ideal choice for dieters. It is common in salads, coleslaw, braised dishes and pickled treats.

The vitamin and mineral content of raw purple cabbage is the most significant reason to consume this vegetable. A single serving of raw purple cabbage contains about 20 percent of your DRI for vitamin A, at 993 international units. It also contains around 80 percent of your DRI for vitamin C at 50.7 IU per 1-cup serving. Other vitamins and minerals in a 1-cup serving include notable levels of folate and vitamin K; 40 milligrams of calcium; 14 milligrams of magnesium; and 216 milligrams of potassium.

Cabbage is a great store of vitamin C and vitamin K. The rich deep colour of this vegetable is due to a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols (strong dietary antioxidants, possessing anti-inflammatory properties), making it have even more phytonutrients than a green cabbage. A few studies also show that anthocyanins may help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. It is rich in anti-oxidants which makes skin supple and clear.