Monday, November 23, 2015

For the love of Maggi...

I think almost all the Maggi lovers will mark the date and time of the return of Maggi. After all the hoopla around the ban happening from about 5-6 months, Maggi has finally come back like a boss in full confidence, flanked by its fans. Snapdeal invited Maggi with much love by packing 12 packs of maggi with freebies and a 2016 year calendar. I felt I was insane to register myself for the Maggi 2 minute Masala noodle Welcome kit sale but once I received it , I felt glad and nostalgic. Nestle's Maggi did create ripples with it's come back
Maggi is back :P Image source : here
image source: Here

Though not all, atleast 60- 70 % of Indians have a story associated with Maggi. The ads are touching and real coz many people have such emotional bonding with Maggi. Before you frown, let me share my Maggi experiences and journey with Maggi so far :)

It was in school when I first tasted Maggi Noodles brought by an aunt from Bombay. I had my introduction to Maggi during one of those summer vacations and I didnt become much of a fan then. Even in the later years Maggi was not frequently consumed at our home as we preferred traditional breakfasts / foods like idli, dosa, bambino semiya or many more to Maggi. Slowly Maggi seeped in to our minds as it was easier, tastier and was fun too. It used to be fun to dig your fork and roll your noodle around it and eat with a slurp sound and it is fun even now :) I realized the importance of Maggi in my life only when I started living away from home.

Maggi is a blessing to all those like me who cannot cook but want to eat something which doesnt taste like hostel food (I claim that I can cook now though Maggi is the only thing I can cook with confidence ;) ) . Hostel food usually is a riot of colors which all taste the same. There are many pale yellow liquids of different texture. You can name them only after tasting them. Sometimes it is rasam , sometimes sambar and most of the times it comprises of different kinds of Dals! Some deep fried Indian curry which is brick reddish or brownish in shade and totally not eye pleasing is also served. A white curd, a red pickle , burnt paapad or fryums, a boiled egg or a bowl of oily chicken (which actually used to be heavenly after a week's torture) usually are part of the menu. Whenever my taste buds used to become thick and fail to serve their duty, I used to find my peace in this magical yellow packet with a taste maker.

It doesn't exactly take two minutes to make and I never complained for whatever time was spent in making maggi, because by the end of it , it always pleases all my senses :)

Image source : here
We at hostel used to feel like master chefs when ever we invaded the kitchen with Maggi packets in hand. The hostel cook and his staff politely used to allow us to use the utensils and all the ingredients. There are different Indian-versions and variations of Maggi. Some make it with egg, some with boiled chicken, some with onions, tomatoes and peas and some like it just plain. As there always is a problem of a mixed crowd of vegetarians and non-vegetarians we mostly used to cook it with veggies and matar . The end result may not be as beautiful as in the ads but it was delicious enough to soothe our taste buds and get our senses back! Like this, Maggi became a forever warm friend who used to bring smiles during the dull, mundane hostel life. The partnership with Maggi only became strong with passing months and years. Different people want it differently. Some like it in a watery texture, some prefer it semi solid and some want it to be dry. Maggi is wonderful at marketing as it keeps coming up with varieties of maggi for various consumers. For health conscious public, maggi introduced vegetable atta noodles and oats maggi. Now whether they are actually healthy or not is an open question but the only answerable question is that every living being on planet can easily make maggi. If you train your pet it can make maggi too :-) . This makes maggi the most sought out food and the most favorite food for people living away from home!

During many instances Maggi came to my rescue and so many encounters with maggi are forever memorable. Some are listed below!

1.) I still remember all those lazy days and nights in Infosys Mysore Training Center spent with Friends and Maggi. I do miss those long mid night talks and violation of the rules by boiling Maggie in the kettle. The fun quotient of training days increased due to the boiled maggi in rooms and spending endless nights with friends sharing life goals, horror stories and love stories :P

2.) I remember the day I had high fever and couldn't eat any thing till 3 A.M. in the morning and was suddenly hungry when the soupy noodles brought back life in my eyes and I slept peacefully much to the bliss of my mom

3.) My husband's maggi recipe is super hit at my place. The one made with scrambled egg and onions. A sunday which starts with that maggi can never go wrong. 

4.)  Most memorable maggi incident was when we went to Rohtang Pass , a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas (Source: wiki). When every one was suffering from Acute mountain sickness and suffering from headaches and falling sick , Maggi and a hot piping chai felt like elixirs of life  .A plate of steaming maggi was the only solace when our empty stomachs were growling! There used to be a maggi ad in mountains which exactly matches the scene we were in that day with tired bodies and sick faces!

Rohtang pass vaali Maggi
5.) Mountains , hillstations, rains, sleepy towns and maggi go hand in hand. You can find a maggi stalls in any quaint little town. Maggi is the quickest choice of food during your long journeys . I found solace in Maggi during my trips to Nainital, Munnar and many other places

There are many more anecdotes which can be narrated here, that describe my fondness for maggi but I will stop here and end the post on a happy note , with the pictures of my snapdeal package and a funny video made by some fans on FB. Now all those who have removed cooking, under their hobbies, can add it back in their biodata as Maggi is back ;) There were many whats app jokes floating around during the ban and now too which are outright hilarious- 

Boy- I Love u…
Gal – but I don’t love you…
Boy – agar kal tum ne mujhe i love you nahi kaha to…
Gal – to kya karo ge? ��
boy – to main Maggie kha k apni jaan de dunga…
(A boy is threatening a girl that he will give up his life by eating maggi if she doesn't accept his proposal)
Snapdeal Welcome package - Quite impressive
PS: My breakfast today was Maggi which gave rise to this post

Maggi might be not the healthy choice of food . It might be having Lead but it has not lead to any serious consequences so far and I hope it continues to please our palates and hearts. This post is dedicated to all those students, people staying away from home and each and everyone who survived on it many a times!

Originally published at ViewsPaper

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Random Conversations with the Smartest Kids

image source : here
After a long satisfying walk with i-Pod still plugged in my ears I walked to the elevator of my apartment where two smart and cutesy kids were waiting for the elevator. The little girl totally scanned me , my face, my hair , I – Pod, sweat and everything and the little boy was lost in his world of Narnia. I felt, the girl spoke something to me after her scan. I stopped the music, removed the ear plugs and looked directly at her.
Me: “R u talking to me?”
Girl: “Yes . Ofcourse. From looooong and U r like humming loudly and dancing, unaware of it.”
I smiled mischievously at the lil drama queen and replied ;) : “Was I ? Ok. Tell me? What is it ?”
Girl : “ Which floor do You stay?”
Me: “6th and U ?”
Girl : “2nd. So how many rounds do You run / walk on an avg?”
Me: “ 8-9. If I feel like I do more than 10.”
She smiled appreciatively and I felt proud by the genuine glow in her eyes.
I asked, “ Which class are you in? Are you coming back from tuition? ”
She replied, “I am in 4th . He is in 2nd, pointing at the boy still in Narnia . I am in Oakridge , he is in Glendale (Or some such name she took). No tuition. Just a chit chat!”
I smiled appreciatively this time as I was super impressed by her sing-song English! :D
Me: “Cool . Is that your school project?” I asked pointing at the bottle with leaves which she was carefully holding.
She thought for a second and again replied in rhythm , “ Yeahh . Actually I am making a project out of waste materials, waste means not waste as such, we collect leaves , colorful papers and put them in bottles, put some lights in them, decorate them a bit more and we just hang them.”
I replied, “Wow . That’s awesome.”
She was quite happy and enthusiastically added, “We assemble to do the same every day.”
I replied, “Great.”
The boy returned from Narnia and shouted loud in a giggly tone, “It is not her school project.”
The lift arrived and we got in.
She promptly hit his head gently with the bottle she was holding and said, “ Dumbo, you think U know everything . You are in Glendale. I am in Oakridge. How do you know about my school stuff ? If you gonna say something , you gonna make some sense!”
I was looking clearly bemused at her!
Then she faced me and said, “He is a bit of cock - a – doodle – do . if U say some thing to him he is gonna say to entirrrrrrrre world , hence I kept the secret from him. As you asked, I just had to say.”
*I mentally noted the word , to check for the meaning after I reach home*
“Cock- a – doodle – do: The loud crow of a cock. (used as a conventionalized expression to suggest the crowing of a rooster, as in stories for children.)”
Me quite unsure of how to react, said , “Err. I am sorry.”
She: “That’s al right. No problem.”
Then out of the blue she said loudly, “I Just love your shirt (some old black tee) and that shrug. I have a similar one. Not a shrug but a dress!”
“Oh. Thanks!” I smiled broad at her. Finally we reached her floor. She was getting out. I just wanted to hug and kiss her but instead said, “ALL THE BEST for your project!”

She said an official Thank You and I felt like I am talking to a colleague :-o ! They both waved bye energetically to me. That moment I felt like be-friending her and equipping my vocab skills. I felt, I can learn better English by talking to her everyday rather than talking to many of my age or folks elder to me at office!
PS: This was a FB note written by me after a recent incident in my apartment. I later felt, I should preserve this in my blog too :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Kanche movie review

I went to watch the movie Kanche with out any pre-plan. This post is not necessarily a review. I just wanted to write it for two reasons. 1.) It's been long that I blogged on movies which impacted me and 2.) I rarely write about Telugu movies which I always think, should be done often as I love watching a good Telugu cinema! Needless to say Kanche falls in the category of good cinema. It has a unique script, a thought provoking story, powerful dialogues, a good director Krish and a fresh star cast who did manage to do their best!

Kanche - Who's who!

Directed byKrish
Produced bySaibabu Jagarlamudi
Y. Rajeev Reddy
Written bySai Madhav Burra
StarringVarun Tej
Pragya Jaiswal
Nikitin Dheer
Sowcar Janaki
Singeetam Srinivasa Rao
Gollapudi Maruti Rao

Source : Wiki
About Kanche stars

I watched Gamyam and Vedam  made by director Krish and became an instant fan. I trusted him and hoped this to be a watchable flick and he did not disappoint me. Kanche has Varun Tej in the leading role. It is quite a bold and modest attempt by Varun Tej, taking in to consideration, the biggies of film industry who back him up and who mostly do meaty and massy roles to allure the audience. I am not saying the mass impact is not important but I applaud Varun Tej for picking a story which actually suited him, instead of being under the stress of out shining the uncle or cousins! For those who never heard of him like me, he is Chirenjeevi's brother Nagababu's son. So it is natural to have the immense peer pressure which might have lead him to mimic what his seniors in family are doing but I appreciate him for trying to gain his USP, and for standing out of the crowd ! I did not watch his debut movie Mukunda . I only saw posters and hoardings which showed an intriguing fresh face. He does have a spark in eye which is charming. If hero is around 6 ft tall, the villian Nikitin Dheer is equally appealing who stands tall at 6ft 3" or so . Both seemed apt for their respective roles. Varun Tej who acted as Dhupati Hari babu in the movie is calm, docile, poetic yet strong and bold. Nikitin as Eeshwar is rude, crude, angry and violent. Pragya Jaiswal as Sita Devi is a fresh face who looked a bit like Nargis Fakiri and played a passionate role as the lover of Hari babu. All other veteran actors Sowcar Janaki , Gollapudi Maruti Rao are all known faces who were just fit in their roles.
source: here
source : here
Kanche Story line and Review

Kanche starts with a war backdrop and a monologue in the background where the context to the movie is set. You will get a fair idea in the opening scene that movie will revolve around a no-nonsense serious theme. The story oscillates between past and present , presenting to viewers , lives of people set up in two totally different locations and conditions but the problems , ignorance and wars waged with in a society are quite similar. Kanche, a Telugu word means fence . The entire movie shows how people demarcate the society with many fences laid due to various reasons like caste, creed , religion , region and status and how these fences can
 lead to disaster. The male protagonist Hari (played by Varun Tej) falls in love with Princess Sita Devi. They both hail from same town where the feelings of demarcation are strongly imbibed in all the dwellers. Hari, a person from lower caste and Sita Devi belonging to a royal family try their level best to persuade their elders , society and also the brother Eeshwar played by Nikitin Dheer but Eeshwar stays stubborn which leads to a outrageous fight between hero and heroine's brother leading to some tragic consequences. The story is set in the year 1936. After 3 years , in 1939 the hero and villian are seen to be serving Indian military forces and supporting Italy during the world war when Hitler and his followers are ruthlessly slaughtering people. The hero and villian have same amount of valor but their ideologies differ.

The scene where 
Hari saves months old baby girl whom the German forces are vehemently planning to kill as she is born to a jew and non-jew, is quite touching. The plight of people during second world war makes us shiver and the viewer can effortlessly draw an analogy between the world war battle field and the fights across the fences in the small town to which Hari belongs to. It dawns on every movie watcher that it is just a matter of time to witness an unfortunate event like world war 2 if people don't wake up. Director subtly connected both the stories and the way Hari breathlessly tries to erase the borders and shows us the big picture of humanity is like a wake up call to all of us. Be it 1936 or 2036 the problems we face were, are and will be similar is the gist I got from the movie!

By the end of the movie you feel tragic but you leave the theater with a contentment in heart which makes you think that with a strong resolve and a pursuit to change the wrong doings around us, we can actually do miracles and make our life worthy!

Varun Tej's role and most of the sensitive dialogues will be etched in the mind.

Few loopholes in the movie
  • Direction and editing are faulty at some places. For instance war scenes are  repetitive and will bore the viewer. Editor should have put some more effort in making it flawless!
  • Not every one understands German or English. I felt subtitles should have been provided for every viewer to understand the conversations.
All in all the movie is an engaging watch which will impact most of the viewers :)


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