Think small – Little things should matter more.

You may be the CEO of a multinational corporation, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, owner of a Tapri or a bank manager,irrespective of the title or profile; I think everyone has got a certain set of beliefs/principles which keeps them going in life. Some are driven by monetary gain, a few are pumped by intellect. For me, it’s the small little things that matter the most and inspire me to achieve something meaningful.

I’ve never been driven by technology or fascinated with cars, luxury Hotels and penthouses. Words have always been a greater force than numbers for me; and it will continue to be. I can’t recollect an instance where people have remembered a stat for decades; whereas words have been. Most of us assume that data is money; which is partly true. But I’d say an idea or the raw emotion/thought expressed from the gut is the real gold. Technologies will come and go. Your creative instincts sustain.

I don’t want to be friends with rich brats or political forces to succeed in life. And yes I hate people without substance; especially at work. Fakles (Fake people) are the biggest turn off. People not being passionate about their work,yet faking it to climb the corporate ladder, without having an iota of motivation, shallow yet keeping a chin full of farzi pride for no rhyme are the ones that disappoint me the most. Trust me, I have seen a lot of those.

Ab to ek Jhalak mein pehchaan ke dooriyaan barkarar ho jati hai automatically. The problem with them is they think too big and end up achieving nothing except false identity/ ego and some money maybe. Enough of gyaanbazzi. I think I do possess some zeal in my eyes. Jazba hai dost, shayad dikhega nahi. Thanks to my oriental features !

Certificates/ degrees are not too significant to me. Pat on the back from someone special means the world to me. I HATE collecting trophies or books for that matter. I don’t want to build a library and display my knowledge to pump my ego. Rather, I’d share them with people spreading more knowledge. That’s wisdom.

Things like being close to just 2-3 people who could do anything for you, having people in your life who could read you any point of time, people with whom you need not think twice before cracking the lamest of the jokes, people whom you don’t address with their first/last name, people whose names are saved weirdly in your contacts; are the one’s that matter the most. Trust me, if you have them; half your life is sorted. It’s a luxury.

Ah! The smell of a new book, a thoughtful non-materialistic gift (gifted randomly), Biryani being served, watching Cricket endlessly, seeing your parents proud and the love in your begum’s eyes -I don’t think there can be greater driving forces in anyone’s life. Little things like these set the tonality of your bigger goals.

Start finding solace in them, you can do well. I am no preacher.Everyone has to figure out their own funda. But when I retrospect the downs and ups in my life so far, I feel this should be the way. It has worked for me.

-> It’s never about going to 7 stars for brunches. Sandwich and parantha dates at Metros have been the best one’s till date.

->It’s never about clubbing. It’s always about the best of the cafes and bookstores.

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->It’s never about Football (except Arsenal)/ Basketball and keeping it up with peers. It’s always about Cricket. I love it like crazy.

->It’s never about holidaying in Swiss. It’s always been about dreaming to go to Lord’s and witness Kohli play. (Mera bas chale to Honeymoon bhi Bhutan mein manau. But for that to happen, I should be alive. I am darn sure that Begum would kill me if I don’t take her to some place exotic. Bhutan is fine for trekking later but not for honeymoon – as per her.)

->It’s never about too much money. It’s all about vivid encounters with crazy people.

->It’s never about those high rise views. It’s all about petting a pup ( Long distant dream. Mommy can only keep him or me) and a peaceful potty on your warm commode in the place you called Home.

Most importantly, it is about making a difference to yourself; not others. If you are not outgrowing yourself, you aren’t moving the motor of your own leanings.

One such instance happened recently, when my rant against Cricinfo’s new website layout was acknowledged and I hope some changes are acted upon it.The whole point I cried and made a hoo-halla was because of the fact that it mattered something to me. I have grown up idolizing that website and trust me it’s the first thing in the morning I look up to. I could have moved onto Cricbuzz easily. A hit less on their website shouldn’t have mattered it to them.I raised my voice because I saw a part of my childhood being taken away from me. I had a lot of memories and emotions attached to it and I just couldn’t let it die in front of my eyes. You can call me a selfish asshole but I’d say I’m an objectivist. So, should everyone be,ideally !

Postcards sharing has become a long lost form of expression. Things like these touch my soul the most. If you mean something to me, I shall find a way to send one of those to you somehow. So, I am traveling to Rajasthan these days. The place is something. Please expect a lot of that with my updates (apart from Facebook, which is like a public notepad where I type anything without even think twice). But this postcard would be a little personal. Lesser text, more feelings. As much as I love it, I hate communicating through Whatsapp. It kills the charm of everything. Can’t abandon it due to Begum and work, too bad !

And yes, how can I forget the most touching and soul-stirring aspect – FOOD. People who share their food with me are always placed in my top-notch bracket! Honestly.

I love people who write these days.In fact, I keep talking to a lot of colleagues too, people who possess creative writing abilities but have stopped writing, have stopped expressing due to their hectic schedules. I constantly keep reminding them to take out time and let the words do the talking to their souls. Forget about the readership. You have one constant fan, who’ll appreciate their art. Time nikal jaata hai. Nikaalo. As I draft this down, I think I am doing justice to whatever I have said earlier.

Words are mightier than swords. Numbers fluctuate, words resonate !

I know it’s tough to hold the retention spans, but I if you reached this far, please do me a couple of favours –

1. Please stop faking with me.If you don’t like anything, talk to me directly. Ek dost kam chalega. Farzi chutyap nahi chahiye.
2. Start writing more. Let your thoughts transpire a new revolution. No idea/thought is good/ugly. Just write.(I am still optimistic about the day when my PJ takes the shape of a campaign)

Every little helps. Every small goals achieved like these stir your soul and help you see the bigger picture clearly.

Love & Light
Lalit.

Thakur, Tals aur Tatti : A Weekend Getaway to Mukteshwar

People in Delhi are rude, obsessively loud, too outspoken, overly flashy and what not. I had come with this notion to this new city and was wondering whether I’ll be able to enjoy the bond of friendship; even 0.1% of what I’ve had in the past.Well, GOD has its own way of throwing things at you; when you least expect it to be.So, one fine day I was going home after work in Metro and came across this person; Mayank Singh.

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After breaking the ice,he started to talk and seemed pretty genuine. He spoke about close to 15 minutes on a trot; just about CARS. I know about cars as much as Rahul Gandhi knows about Politics. So, I was nodding as I didn’t wish to interrupt his flow. This guy is insanely crazy about cars. He’ll just have a look at the headlight of any car and all its specs would be on his fingertips. I mean, when people who are passionate about something, it is evident from their eyes when they speak. The same was being reflected from his’. That was the second hint that okay we could be friends. First was his over-gapodi and jolly nature. And the fact that he told me that he belonged to UP, not Delhi; was an icing on the cake.

And did I mention that we used to work in the same office! From that day, every morning we used to greet each other with swears and our divine love for “aalo patty” did the rest of the bonding. Then, after a few days, Karim’s happened. Trust me, some booze, good food and craziness is all it takes to transcend the bond to a next level. Within no time, we were chuddy buddies. Eventually I had started to show my grey side – where I can choke anyone to death with my lame jokes and it was too late for him to back-out now.

After a week or so we thought of making the full of the extended weekend and immediately the trip was on. The best part about this dumbass is that he doesn’t plan things. May be he does at the back of his head but he believes in executing things more. The same evening we were off for the mountains. No packing, no reservations.

The trip started off with a bang! We gatecrashed a wedding. Hogged some amazing aaloo tikkies and the the journey was sorted. Then comes a twist. A good one! Rishab aka Baba joins the two of us in the trip.

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Loaded with gadgets and candies, Baba Mayank’s closest aide from college; adds an extra dimension to the awesomeness of the trip. Mayank was on the controls, the driving seat; Baba on the front and I as usual chilling at the back with a bottle in one hand and a pack of chips in the other, grooving to the some amazing Punjabi tracks. 3 Peg by Sherry Mann eventually became the trip-anthem. We literally lived to each and every word of its lyrics.

On the way, we halted at Shiva Dhaba, Hapur and at some unknown place in Rampur and finally arrived to Nainital at about 5:30 in the morning. So, I have this super-power ability to sleep off anytime. Like I can sleep even on a roller coaster and this lose Mayank was aware of it, so he made sure I don’t even sleep for a minute. Hard brakes, throwing water on my face, abruptly incraesing the volume of the songs and zig-zag movement of the car were some cheap tactics applied by this gentleman.

Mayank’s balls start to ache if everything is going as per the plan and he decides for all of us that Nainital seemed to mainstream and we are chucking it and heading towards someplace else, preferably with lesser people and more fun. So, Muktehswar was on.

“Hey dude, but what about Potty ?”, I asked him with a grin on my face.

I was under the asssumption that we’ll hit Nainital, check-in and freshen up. Also, your belly is in synch with your thoughts and it automatically gets ready to poop. I was like I need to take a dump, man ! Screw you and your plan.

“Bhai aaj to kuch toofani hoga, jo tune kabhi na kia ho”, were his golden words to my query. I lost it totally. I didn’t care about anything except, potty. That was all I wanted to do that moment.

”Haan to wohi bol raha hu, chal aaj khulle mein lutfa uthate hain”, Thakur was in in full form. Bring it down. Let’s defecate in open.

Look at the view, the breeze and the backdrop. Shit is about to get real. Bro, be a man. Go over there and squat ! Somehow he convinced me. I took my share of the toilet roll and looked for my spot. I geared up, found the place, kicked a few pebbles, rested my feet firmly and the pant was down in a flash. The sun was up. Those misty winds flirting with your butts, birds chirping and Ilahi playing on the phone simply made it the holliest shit of my life. My words cannot do justice to that epic feeling. It was the eve of Shivratri and were on top of the mountain,  put up in the best Guest House by Kumaon Govt; closest to Shiva’s abode.

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He did have a great time on Shivratri as we had stopped at Garh Mukteshwar, which is like Mini-Haridwar on the way. People were tripping on Shankar jee, smoking chillums and dancing to the intoxicating trance which was being played for the Kawadiyas. Then we climbed to the railway tracks, sat on the platform for a long time and without talking too much observed life at 3 in the morning. It is probably the finest dawns I’ve ever experienced; all thanks to Mayank.

Baba’s sublime touch was visible when we started to hop the cafes the next day and came across this insane family; whom we met at every place we went. The family consisted of a show-off mother, two brat kids and an overly pampered dog. They reflected everything I hate about Delhi. The dog was insane. He hated men and the family spoke in English throughout and a sense of plasticity was evident amongst them as depicted in the movie Dil Dhadakne Do. Baba left no stone unturned to comment on anything that they uttered. We all spent the entire evening laughing. Baba even made us forget the hopeless pizzas and pastas we all had to eat. Baba rocks.

Too bad that the dog didn’t entertain us. But Pahari (Hilly) dogs are awesome. Furry balls of love they are. They make sure you pamper them and they will hike the mountains with you throughout.

The only bad part about the entire trip was that I couldn’t read. Rather, these two jokers didn’t let me read my book. Okay, not showing off but I usually do carry a book along wherever I go – be it a bus, car; specially when I’m in the mountains. The uddand (notorious) duo made sure I hit my record worst. I could hardly read 5 pages in those 2 days. Nonetheless, I had fun.

To beat the cold in the nights, whisky was poured, glasses used to clinker, extra quilts were put on, life was discussed and the toasts were raised to a lifelong friendship. Cheers!

On the way back we visited a few Tals and did some touristy stuff in Nainital.

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Don’t forget to try the Bal Mithai and Sonam’s Momos when you are on the Mall Road. Stay tuned for the next tale.



 

 

 

 

Winning it the Pablo-Ponting Way !

I’ve just finished watching Narcos and I must admit that there’s something highly intriguing & fascinating about it, that I can’t fathom the fact that it is actually over. For those who haven’t seen it, let me brief you a bit. Narcos is an American crime web television series, which tells the rags to riches story of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine. Escobar was a bad guy,no doubt! He was responsible for killing of human race via bombings and murders but there’s loads to gain from his management skills and the way he lead his troops is commendable.

Pablo’s character is very strong and the amount of self-belief this guy possesses is something unimaginable. He had three opponents – the Colombian police, the Americans and the other mafias but he always lived on his own terms, managed his business with only a handful of trusted sources and removed everyone that came in the way of his family or work. Pablo is one of my favorite characters on the screen and Ponting had been the same on a Cricketing field. Escobar clearly reminds me of the Punter.

I absolutely loved the show and appreciate every single moment of it. Narcos has been remarkably scripted and there hasn’t been a dull moment,just like Ponting’s career; full of undying winning spirit.

Here’s a quick look at Ponting’s amazing stats –

  • Most International runs by an Australian Batsman – 27,483
  • Most International Centuries by an Australian Batsman and second of all time – 71
  • Second to Graeme Smith for most Test victories as captain – 48
  • Most victories as ODI captain – 165
  • Undefeated as Captain in World Cups games -35 matches

Pablo had been a mass murderer and a drug lord whereas Ponting is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game. It would be unfair to draw parallels but there have been some striking similarities in terms of their leadership and behavioral traits.

Pablo Escobar - Ricky Ponting

Being Ruthless
Ponting embodied everything Australia stands for: toughness and a skilled craftsman, who cared about the baggy green. He stepped over the line many times, but was always dedicated to winning games for his country. Pablo on the similar lines,acted ruthless when his game was at the stake.He didn’t even think twice to bomb an airplane and a Court;simply because he to.Remember the Sydney test? You lie,you cheat,you steal but ultimately you got to win. It’s like a family,do whatever it takes to keep them safe and win at the same time.

Charismatic Leaders
Escobar was very bright in terms of seeking the opportunity and fixing the problems. Cocaine was practically unknown in the US when he started out and when he finished
he was one of the richest men in the world. His men could do anything for him. In terms of organization, originality, and leading with a strategic mindset he should be considered up there with Ponting. Not only did he have 3 consecutive Ashes wins in England under his belt but he made the Aussies invincible across all the formats.

He led from the front, always. In fact,Ponting’s 2003 WC final knock that outclassed India out of the game was so amazing that Indians started to believe that he had a spring in his bat back then.

Street Smart & Intimidating
Pablo could use his tons of money and his fear to get what he always wanted. It’s his ego towards becoming the President that got him killed. Ponting too was quite intimidating at the same time.He considered sledging as a tool to help his team getting a psychological advantage over the opponent. Hayden McGrath Lee Warne were his Gustavo, La Quica, Limon & Blackie. Highly faithful and dangerous resources. Winning 3 consecutive World Cups isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and Ponting did it in style.

The Bandits
Both Pablo & Ponting were rebellions in terms of their technique. You pitch him short, it’ll be pulled off for a six.Also, the way Pablo roams around in his car in Medellin, even though he had a bounty on his head;shows that he backs his instincts to succeed. Ponting always had a plan B in shape just like Pablo, who always had an escape route ready for him in adverse situations.The innings he played in 2005 Ashes, was exceptional. He displayed a magnificent display of his character especially when the greatest of his men no longer existed. Similarly, even though Pablo lost his biggest strength-his cousin Gustavo; he fought hard and won it with pride.

Think Big and Dominate
You dream big and make them come true.Pablo had told himself that he’d a billionaire by 25. He did! Ponting too on similar lines did the unfathomable.Back in January 1999 he was banned for three matches after a nightclub brawl. He slogged hard and the world eventually saw him becoming Test Captain five years later is testament to the guy’s work ethic and dedication to the post he ascended to.Every time he walked to the crease he had fire in his eyes. He had determination, aggression and a great temperament. He had an amazing ability to attack and play shots that you could not set fields to defend against.

A naive boy from Tasmania went onto become the greatest captain of all time. It takes balls of steel to achieve this feat.

Crazy at Different Levels
I mean who wages a war against his own Govt. Ponting too at the same time, wasn’t any less.Be cool, be in control and not only handle fear but induce it to the opposition. That was their mantra. Now, coming to the 2006-07 Ashes series, Ponting was under huge pressure as Australia had conceded the urn to England the previous year. It was a make or break Ashes for Ponting as another defeat could well have meant the end for his term as the captain.But he absorbed the pressure gracefully, lived up to his reputation by leading the team from the front. He instilled fear in the eyes of the opposition by playing fearless Cricket.

He played a belligerent knock of 196 which still goes down in the history books as one of his finest stints ever. Not only it set up the match for an Australian victory but eventually paved way for a 5-0 thrashing of England in that Ashes series.

Summing it up with this quote from Ricky Ponting –Always be fiercely determined and driven to succeed.

Both were proven Punters in their own way. Ultimately,it all boils down to which side are you on. Pablo achieved his fate (got killed) whereas Ponting nurtured his soul into something constructive and is still hailed as a legendary batsman & captain for all the right reasons.

Cheers to the great gamblers.

AB de Villiers : The Howard Roark of Cricketing Fraternity

And then he laughed.

Howard Roark, the protagonist of Ayn Rand’s famous novel The Fountainhead, is a brilliant architect of the modern school, whose bold and innovative designs are a matter of fascination for the larger segments of society; draws uncanny resemblances with AB DeVilliers in many ways.

Just like Roark, ABD is fiercely independent and believes in the merit of his revolutionary designs and has the courage to stand for them in the face of an antagonistic society.His 360 degrees sweeps are no less than the Enright House. The impossible !

He is a brilliant thinker and he acts on his thinking. He is true to his values, to his convictions, to his thinking, to his mind, to his self; exactly the way ABD rose to the occasion while playing a gritty match-saving 220 balls-33 runs knock against Australia. Public opinions do not matter to him. He only believes in staying loyal and challenging himself.

Roark is fully committed to the individualistic approach in each of of his designs, and he takes a laborer’s job in a granite quarry rather than compromising on his work. ABD on such lines, once being too carried away in the glitterati of the perks of this cricketing life promised himself to believe in himself and give every inch of his body to this holy game. He has not looked back ever since then. He has not changed his attacking stroke-play, even being fairly criticized at times and is a proud holder of feats such as the fastest 100 & 150 runs in the limited overs format.

You either succumb to his enigmatic charms or call him a technically flawed, over-rated and overly loved player but the former has been the case pretty much. I guess you ought to watch a game in Chinnaswamy to know his cult following. After Sachin and Kohli, he’s the most loved sport star in India. He never craved for any such prestige but his potential to hit such sky-scraping sixes and the agility to induce such vivacity on the field, makes him the winner; exactly how Roark used to do the magic via his drafting sheets.

Roark is undeterred. He’ll design anything from sky-kissing elevations to hotels to temples to gas stations, so long as he can build in his own way. So is ABD.Be it IPL, the Titans -his provincial club, his national team or the street cricket, he gives his 200% in everything and tries to execute a different game plan, with different stroke-play, just to keep himself going. He’s not afraid to experiment, backs himself and delivers. His drafts his excelling stories with his bat.

Howard was a visionary from his initial days and wanted to stay ahead of his time. So like ABD, the way he went on to represent the Proteas and then owning the game with his sheer class,is something astonishing.

Howard Roark and AB DeVilliers represent to me – Ethical Integrity. It’s just a matter of one World Cup trophy , when ABD gifts himself the Wynand Tower, the last, the tallest and the biggest skyscraper of his career and fades in the overlying success of eternal joy and glory.

IPL 2017 : The best playing XI of all teams.

Amidst the hoo-halla of CCD getting some lame-fame via cockroaches and Baba Yoginath engraving his name in UP through his rock solid speeches, IPL has managed to sneak in.

The big fat boy is just around the corner, all set to bring in some joy to your monotonous life. I mean, it’ll still remain hollow and hopeless but at least it helps you escape those daily soaps which haunt you the moment you step in your house. 8-11 would be fun for a month or two. So, you better enjoy it.

I am honestly clueless about your passion towards entertainment or life in general but anyhow I am going to share my perspective on how the teams might stack up and how magnificent this season could be.

No, I am not a big time critic or any kind of analyst; I am just a great admirer of the sport and I couldn’t restrain myself from imposing my opinion on you. In case you are noob or just want some pointers to be actively involved in office Cricket gossip, here is a holy piece of information lying below. Just go through it.

Ben Stokes was the biggest fish of this IPL Auctions, 14.5 God Damn Crores. Holy money and will play for Pune, Dhoni’s team. No no he isn’t the captain. The management sacked him and told that they wanted someone aggressive, LOLZ. So, they appointed Test #1, Steve Smith as their commander. Strange no. All money and no brains make you a Rahul Gandhi and not to forget their third-class pitch.Not gonna support them at all.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Pune –

Rahane, Agarwal, Smith(c), Faf, Dhoni(wk),Stokes,Baba Aparajith ,Bhatia,Tahir, Unadkat & Dinda.
This Agarwal is not the sweet wala.Please make a note of it and R Ashwin is out due to Hernia.

Coming to Bangalore. This is the only way of redemption for Vijay Mallya to get rid of his debts. They are the South Africa of IPL, always get choked. Rahul is already ruled out due to the shoulder injury and Kohli is recovering too. After a couple of games, once the team is stabilized, hopefully, they’ll be able to turn their fortunes. I want them to win, just because of Kohli. He deserves it.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for RCB- 

Virat(c), Gayle, Mandeep, ABD, Watson, Jadhav(wk), Sarfaraz,Binny/Negi(depending on conditions), Chahal, Aniket Choudhary and Tymal Mills.

The defending champions, the Biryani people thrive on their bowling. Now, with Bangladesh board banning its players to participate in IPL, fizz would be out of action; but this proves to be a blessing in disguise for the Afghans. Both Nabi & Rashid can feature in the playing XI. Also, the young lad,Siraj gets to spearhead alongside Nehraji.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Sunrisers Hyderabad-

Warner(c), Dhawan, Williamson, Yuvraj, Hooda, Nabi, Ojha(wk), Rashid Khan,Nehra,Siraj & Bhuvi.

Mumbaikars are beasts when it comes to shredding money and buying the best players. This time, they’ve got the run making Lankan machine – Gunarathne, which would be exciting to see.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Mumbai Indians-

Rohit(c), Parthiv(wk), Rayudu, Hardik/Krunal Pandya, Pollard, Buttler, Gunarathne, Gowtham, Harbhajan, Malinga and Bumrah.

Delhi has been the most consistent team to have finished at the bottom. Their management had been quite volatile with their decision making in the past. They are the Lalas, who have no knowledge about the game whatsoever. Now, with Dravid on board, and the fact that he encourages young indigenous talent, it is the only positive for them.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Delhi Daredevils-

Iyer,Billings, Pant,Nair,Sanju(wk),Corey Anderson/Braithwaite, Morris , Jayant,Mishra, Shami and Rabada.

Gujaratis are the smartest people in terms of business. And they’ve been bang on with their strategy of promoting Indian lads, who’ve done well exceptionally in local tournaments and thereby introducing the unknown/unheard factor by spending not too much. Thampy and Nathu Singh would be the key bowlers to watch out for. Sir Jadeja has been advised to exclude himself by the BCCI as Champions Trophy is lined up next.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Gujarat-

McCullum, Roy/Smith, Raina(c), Karthick(wk),Ishan Kishan, Bravo, Faulkner, Jakati, Thampy, Nathu Singh & Shivil Kaushik.

The only way the almighty can forgive these Bongs for the deadly sin they commit- putting Aalo in Biryani; is that he looks at this balanced KKR side and says wow. It’s flawless and plus they’ve got the chinaman – Kuldeep. The Indian warhorse Umesh has been suggested to take rest for the upcoming CT.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for KKR-

Gambhir(c), Uthappa(wk), Pandey, Lynn, Yusuf, Suryakumar, Chawla, Narine,Boult,Nile & Kuldeep.

I hope the way Sehwag used to bat and how crazily he tweets, this team can have some effect induced from their coach. They are a good solid unit this time with some exceptional hitters in the middle order, and if they play fearlessly they can do great provided Preity Zinta’s love life doesn’t overshadow everything.

Here is Lalit’s playing Eleven for Punjab-

Guptill, Vohra, Saha(wk),Maxwell(c),Morgan,Miller,Gurkeerat,Axar,Natarajan,Sandeep, Mohit/Aaron.

Cheers.I hope this IPL brings in hotter cheerleaders & TV hosts and RCB wins! Happy watching.

My verdict – Top 4 : KKR, SRH, MI and RCB.

I’m The Food! Here’s my story from Dilli-6

I, as an entity come in variety of sizes, shapes, forms and cuisines. Some people just have me because they have to; I help them survive. Some like to play around with me and savor cooking me. They feel happy when their version of me,served to others’ platter is appreciated. A few just ask me to pose , so that I could fetch them a mass following on Instagram.

I hate this DSLR and i-Phone generation. These noobs don’t even chew me properly. They honestly don’t care whether I am cooked properly or how do I smell like. Their sole agenda is to leverage my looks to boost their ego of being hailed as a famous-foodie. They use me like a whore.Hate them. Especially the self-proclaimed ones.  And a female up loader with a pretty face is an add on to the rant. At times, they do not make any sense but just because she is hot, people go bonkers.

“People who write Foodie in their bio on Tinder and Snapchat should be boycotted from this society with immediate effect.”

Foodie has become analogous to a Roadie. Every tom, dick and harry wants to be one. I mean,you don’t have to force yourself. It comes in naturally. On a flip side, there are a few good eaters of mine too. In fact, I adore the passionate ones.

There’s one more league too. The “paidayshi bhookhay” category. I love them the most. They are the people who can go to any extent to have the best version of me, who do not claim to be the connoisseurs of food.They have me because they simply love me.

On a brighter note, I did come across 3 such people. The hoggers came to relish the Delhi-6 version of me. Before we go into the knitty gritties of that romantic evening, let me just brief you about the three monkeys.

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Mayank Singh – The Thakur ! Knows each and every inch of Delhi. Amrik Sukhdev is his second home. Extremely passionate about cars and can drive you crazy with his stories.
Someone who values friendship to the very core and keeps telling people how diverse the food in Delhi is. He is our free PR agent. Kudos to this soul.

Veenit Bhatyal – The mini dynamo from Jammu. Known for his deep quotes and tales from the valley, he carries the Punjabi accent with full flair. His love for barbeques and pahadi non veg dishes is no less than Bappi da’s love for gold !

Lalit Vijay – Someone who just relocated to Delhi, was lost in the nuances of the new job, new city and was skeptical about making new friends but all his theories were put to rest as the Santa-Banta duo decided to take him for a gourmet stroll in Dilli-6.

We are a very big food family spread across Bazaars and lanes in Delhi-6. There is a Gurudwara, close to which you would come across lip smacking chats and sweet shops. In the lanes surmounting Nayi Sadak, you would find Chhole Kulcha stalls, rabri on the rocks.

img-20170122-wa0038In the further by-lanes where a four wheeler can’t enter, you have streets named after a parantha and near Jama Masjid you’d come across soul-quenching non-veg cousin of mine. If you go further down, my another cousin – Milkie resides; where you would see a lot of paneer shops and old school dhabas like Kakke Di Hatti, an institution where naans are groped with ghee using an actual paint brush.

In short, I am the uniting force. I do not distinguish between any human. Plethora of people hailing from different origins come here to find salvation in the form of “me” and rarely I’ve disappointed anyone. For the matter of fact, these 3 dumb asses were a delight to be hosted.You should have been there to see the looks on their faces as they lingered me in absolute frenzy.

Here’s their trail map. In case you are new to the city just follow it step by step.

Hop 1: Located right outside the Chandni Chowk Metro station, is a small shop which has just two items on its menu – Aalo Tikki and Papdi Chat. Both are amazing. Within 100 Rupees, you can achieve gastronomical heights at Natraj. Their red imly chutney and thick curd is to die for.

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Hop 2: Just beside hop-1 is a chatwala serving daulat ki chaat. It is basically milk froth served with Khoya.

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Hop 3: Chhole Kulche and Rabri Falooda in the opposite lane next to Nayi Sadak. You could either take the electric rickshaw if you are really tired but that I guess happens when you are too full, later in the story. Not now ! So, better walk.

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Hop 4: Another eatery with just two dishes on the menu- Jalebis and Samosa, hailed as The Old Famous Jalebi Wala. Those 500 Rs/kg thick sweeties can take you back to the Diwali pooja’s memory lanes where those bulky pieces of sugar are gulped with milk. Minus the long queue, it’s divine.

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Hop 5: The most fairly used location in Bollywood movies – Paranthey Wali Gali. Mind it !
The paranthas aren’t too great, neither is the hygiene but it’s the emotions and vibe that draws thousands of people there every day. Brace yourself for this iconic junction in case you wish to have fried paranthas with a lot of chutneys and that authentic aalo sabzi by the side.You name a thing, they have a parantha stuffing for that. Be it jaggery or carrot. Moolis are a strict no in case you have a lot to eat in your head. Simple hygiene check!

Hop 6: Tucked inside the bylanes of Chandni Chowk is this Haveli Dharampura. Basically a house converted to a heritage hotel luring foreigners and desis with that royal and rustic touch of old school elements – hookah, kite flying, pigeon taming and the grand dining units.

Finally the last two gems – Karim’s and Al- Jawahar.

Hop-7: After visiting the Jama Masjid, head straight from Gate-1 to these legendary units. They need no introduction. The trio had Chicken Burrah and Mutton Shammi kebabs at Karim’s. At Al-Jawahar, it was Mutton Biryani and Changezi chicken. The last hop was an iconic point in their friendship. After that, there was no looking back.

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I hope you liked my story. Every explorer brings in his/her perspective. Come, try me out. Trust me, at the end with a heavy heart and stomach you’d still crave for more.

It’s always a treat to watch Pakistan play !

Not because my forefathers hailed from Pakistan or Momina sings for Coke Studio Pakistan, I generally love to watch Pakistani Cricket team play. Also, it has got nothing to do with the fact that I love to eat Karachi naans.

Dear reader, being a logical Cricket fan; I like to see this team play. Please do not label me an anti-nationalist.

Here is a point-wise explanation of my feelings –

1. Highly unpredictable.
They work the extreme ways. Either they can go on to win (almost) in the fourth innings by chasing the improbable 400+ in the fourth innings or they lose consecutive Tests by a margin of an innings defeat. In the shorter format of the game too, they have a knack of playing with a zillion heartbeats. In 2007, Misbah almost scooped them the T20 World Cup which left me and my billion brothers peeing in the pants. And recently, on a funny note, they failed to score 2 runs in the final over of a game against the bowling of Maxwell. Heights of craziness! Do you remember their iconic celebrations at Lords’
when almost everyone had written them off ?

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2. Raw talent.
It’s all about the raw talent. Neither do they have a proper set-up for promoting the first class level Cricket nor can they play on their home turf. PSL- their indigenous premiere league does push local talents to the limelight but the quantity is very less in terms of impact when compared to a sporting event like IPL .People who eventually make it to the team are primarily raw & naive and they come from non-cricketing backgrounds only on the basis of their talent.

3. Bowlers are their real superstars.
Baring a few batsmen like Hamid Mohammad, Inzaman , Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan it has always been the bowlers’ show for Pakistan. Right from Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saqlain Mushtaq or Shoaib Akhtar, it’s their bowlers who have primarily lead from the front and won games for them. Bowlers, I certainly feel are highly under-rated and they don’t get the credit they deserve. For me, it is a great leveler and I enjoy the competition between the bat and the ball when Pakistan is playing. Except the last few games, the pacers- Irfan, Amir, Riaz and Yasir have been phenomenal, that too in all the conditions.

4. Rib-ticking fielding.
Pakistan is one crazy fielding unit. Every time they are on field, comedy of errors is guaranteed. There is no concept of calling for a catch. Right from their former keeper, Kamran Akmal ; everyone loves chaos. Earlier, Inzy used to be the leader of the wolf-pack – right now Wahab Riaz does his part with full perfection.

5. They entertain.
Pakistan has a sublime history with their coaches. From Bob Woolmer’s mysterious demise to the great Mickey Arthur, someone who keeps on embarrassing himself by comparing Paki players with the legends, it’s always fun to have that “what’s next” moment when you see Pakistan play. Ramiz Raja’s commentary is a cherry on the top. He is the worst commentator that I know of. He is so bad that after a certain point, you actually start loving his stupid anecdotes. And don’t forget the fun in their post match presentation ceremonies. InshaAllah, boys played well are the most holiest 4 words ever.

Hope to see more of their games, more of pretty ladies in the stands and yeah watching them lose to India in World Cups is divine.

Cheers!