Monday, 15 October 2018

Questionnaire with Authoress-Neelam Saxena Chandra



This month featuring authoress is ' Neelam Saxena Chandra'




Can you tell us a little about yourself? Your profession and your hobbies!!


I am an Engineer by profession. I cleared the Indian Engineering Services Exams and am a Class I officer with Indian Railways, presently, posted as General Manager (Electrical) at Mahametro, Pune.I am a very moody person, enjoying different things at different times. I paint, I anchor events, I act and I write.

1.       How did you first get involved in with writing, are you an imaginative person?I was a very coy and introvert person as a child. My classmates must have rarely heard my voice, except when it came to answering questions raised by teachers. However, I would listen to books and open up my heart to my diary. I used to write poems at that time.


Yes, I am a very imaginative person. After joining Railways, I began compering for events and I loved using short poems written by me. I also started writing short skits and would not only act in them, but I would also direct those skits. After my daughter was born, her craving for a story a day kept the imaginative person in me live till I finally wrote down those stories and sent them for publishing. That marked the beginning of my writing journey.


2.       What do you find most challenging about your writing?

Writing is in itself a challenge, especially when my professional life is so very demanding. However, since I derive my satisfaction from it, I am able to find the energy to write every day.


3.       What do you do when you are not writing?As I said, I can never sit quietly. I keep trying various things. I may just cook a dish, go out for a walk, read a little or play table tennis.


4.       Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?

I am not really very ambitious and I don’t have a fixed destination. I am enjoying my journey, all the time confident that there must be some place where I will go, for I can never stop.


5.       How do you keep coming up with material/content for your story?

There are so many stories happening in and around you every moment, every day. I just think of the possible outcomes and what would such a protagonist do in such a circumstance and what would make him/her do that. Mostly, a story is born out of my thought process.


6.       Any specific tips you have for new writers who want to make it big in the world of published books?
I would like to advise the new writers that you have to deserve every bit of your success. So, slog for it, read a lot, write well and then only can you be successful. After all, there is no short cut to success.



7.       What’s the best thing a writer can give to his/her readers?A good story/poem which makes his/her readers brood, either encouraging them or making them good human beings by being able to have different prospective in one situation.


8.       A lot of people are interested in writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?


I would like to tell such writers that there is hardly any money in writing as such unless you expand your horizons and make your name by staying in the industry for years. These days, everybody is writing, and you have to be different to be able to become popular. There may be promotion campaigns, but none of that succeeds in the long run if you don’t write well.


9.       What motivates you most in life?Every breathes that I take motivates me. I am motivated by every ray of sun in the morning, I am enthused by the fact that I have yet another day to do what I want and I am inspired by the knowledge that there are so many others who do better than me just because of their willpower. If they can, so can I.


10.   The majority of the readers tend to take sides due to religion and such other considerations.Yes, that is an unfortunate fact. However, I’ve always propagated the fact that God is one and there is nothing more divine than true love. I too have a lot of steady followers and I am sure that others like me too must be having them.


11.   What is the story behind the name of your book?My latest book is titled “Tales from Venus” and is published by LiFi Publications. This is a collection of short stories related to women. A woman is a palette of hues and has various shades to her persona. She desires nothing, but love. If she feels loved, she shines, opens her wings and touches the sky; radiating the whole world. If she does not, she cribs for some time may get angry too; but then finds her own horizons in the space provided. She does not stop anywhere. She is always adapting to the situations and then also modifying herself accordingly and learning to grow in the worst of situations. Tales from Venus makes you aware of the various colours of a woman right from teens till she matures. There are tales that tickle your bones, tales that make you feel emotional, tales of courage, tales of treachery, tales that thrill you and tales that make you happy. Ultimately, you are bound to remain glued to the book because of the surprise element offered by each story.


12.   What are your views on increasing plagiarism?
Plagiarism is not new and has been taking place since long. However, it has become all the more rampant because of easy availability due to the internet. Several times, material written by me was sent to me as a forward without my name. There are certain tools like “your quotes” which quickly show when the poem was first published. I suppose other solutions will also come up due to technological innovations. 


Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Worst Cafe for south Indian Food- Cafe Udupi Ruchi-Noida


I am an extreme lover for south Indian food, hence I keep trying the different restaurant for good south Indian food. This place was on my list since some time. This month, first time on 23 Sep'18, I placed an online order with them for their combo meal, initially the restaurant accepted the order and while I was waiting for my food, restaurant themselves canceled my order. I was left with no option but to starve that night. Then today on 29 Sep'18 once again I placer order for same combo meal which has( idli+upma+pongal+dosa+kesri bath). 


But, when I received the delivery it was the biggest shock, as what I got was only 2 idli+dosa+small portion of sweet vermicelli. Overall, I would say this restaurant is the biggest cheat and don't know why they are in business. Won't recommend this place to anyone ever. 


Food:0/5


Service:0/5


Ambiance:0/5


Value for money:0/5






Sunday, 7 October 2018

Kathuria Dairy and Sweets

 



It is just sweet and snacks shop, which has got a basic seating arrangement. Though mainly they are into dairy business for a long time, in this vicinity. Talking about food items they have all snacks items Samosa, bread pakora, paneer pakora, and chole bhature. Their samosas are best with green chutney. Being into dairy business even all of their milk-based sweets are very good compare many others in the trade. In summers you can also enjoy a refreshing glass of lassi here in sweet and salty both flavors. All in all a place is a good try. Service here is fine but from staff, we cannot expect much as they are more of all cook and helpers. 


Ambiance - 2/5

Service- 2/5

Food-3/5

Value for money: 3/5






Thursday, 4 October 2018

BOOK REVIEW - “AN UNSUITABLE BOY', KARAN JOHAR ”BY KARAN JOHAR & POONAM SAXENA


The unsuitable boy, with some chapters more engaging than others, is about coming of age and ‘coming out’. The chapter on where it is mentioned about Johar’s childhood will have strong resonances for those who are labeled with the tag of “effeminacy”. As a plump and non-masculine schoolboy, Johar is vexed but resilient while his parents are liberal, accepting and unconditionally loving. But the ‘normal’ world around him is persistently judgemental about any deviation from gender normativity.

In order to ‘pass’ better, the collegiate Johar secretly attends voice-training classes where he is taught to develop a baritone and speak without feminine gesticulations. “Imagine that you’re living in a box” the instructors would say, “now make sure that your hands don’t get out of the box”. They taught him social skills, of which being masculine was one? For non-normative people, embodying the ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ is the hardest precisely because it does not come naturally.

Johar had finished his college and was about to go to France for an internship linked to his father’s export business when, three days before he was to board the flight, his close friend Chopra persuaded him to stay back and help with the making of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Chopra told him: “Why the hell don’t you realize that you were born to be in the movies? You’re overdramatic, you’re melodramatic, you’re funny. The only thing you don’t have is an interval because you have this non-stop mad energy. You’re meant for the movies…. You’ll be a filmmaker one day.” Chopra’s prediction came true and Johar went onto make urban romantic melodramas that defined the contours of the Bollywood moment in the 1990s.

Johar’s debut film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was a sensational hit that revived the fortunes of both his family and his father’s company Dharma Productions. But his second film Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham opened to a less enthusiastic response. Critics slammed the extravagant multi-starter for its showy over the top-ness, cheesy jingoism and, if I may add, an audacious sense of cinematic geography where Chandni Chowk stood in close proximity to bucolic British estates.

To a despairing Johar, it felt as though the gains of his first film would stand reversed but the film picked up gradually and ended up creating box office history while overtaking the collections of that year’s most feted film Lagaan. Over the years, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham has been Dharma’s most successful film. It became, in the words of Johar, the “go-to Bollywood film” enjoying its “biggest brand value” in Germany, France, and Ireland. Johar is refreshingly clear-eyed about his repertoire. With wit, self-deprecating humor and the keen sensibility of a cinephile, Johar cheerfully performs autopsies of his own films.


Now my Positive viewpoints:

The positives of the story are the characters easily identifiable. Even though the narration is again easy to read and allows us to easily go through the entire story, the tale is spread over long years, but the novelist has chosen present tense all through, and the story is intertwined in the past and the present. This style provides a simultaneous telling of many stories happened at different times together. The reader is immersed between the layers of the internal as well as the external upheavals of various characters. There are many episodes that remain with you long after you keep the book back on the shelf.

Some suggestive points:

The book is clearly meant for Bollywood buffs because phonetically reproduced Hindi lines are often left untranslated and plot points are discussed without any reference to their context in the film. The downside of addressing this ‘knowing audience’ is that much of the book’s content is likely to be known to them. Yet, there is something here for everyone. In the age of proliferating digital media, celebrity biographies get written as life is lived. In adopting two children – a desire expressed in the last chapter of his book – and talking about it extensively to the media, Johar has already started authoring the sequel.

Final words:

Overall if asked I would say this is a good job done by the author, the book is interesting and a good read. The writer makes a storyline interesting with her narration abilities. I would give 4 stars to this book.


Choudhary Dairy & Sweets Corner



Recently I ordered the sweets from this place but it was a great disappointment, all the food items delivered to me were completely spoiled. The packaging of the food items were very bad, I ordered 500gm of Gulab jamun, 1 plate of Kachori subzi and 500 gm of Milk cake, whereas  what I received in place of Gulab Jamun's there were small raspberry size gulab jamun, which were even pressed and broken, due to which the sugary syrup fell out and was all over the kachori and the milk cake. To top it up in place of milk cake I received Kalakand. I believe they don’t pay attention to the order. This was one of disaster experience and total wastage of money and food.





















Ambiance - 0/5

Service- 0/5

 Food-1/5

Value for money: 0/5


Friday, 28 September 2018

Cafe from universal- Pluto's Cafe


 Although from exteriors this place seems to be one promising food joint but they sadly they don't set expectations.  Indeed they have arranged a good sitting arrangement and the lighting and interiors are also good (if one can ignore the outside chaos as it is situated on a crossroad so you will see a lot of traffic passing by).  Talking about the food is the biggest disappointment, their presentation of the food is good but on taste, everything seems to be compromised. I tried their momos, pastries, sandwiches, Pizza, and coffee. Sorry to say but nothing simply nothing seems fresh and tasteful, pastries and sandwich had a bad taste as if staled, the coffee was again nothing less than a mixture of little milk with more water and coffee. Talking about the service which is again pathetic, the staff here is not at all customer friendly. Considering the kind of food prices seems to be on the higher side. All in all is not so good experience and don’t worth a second visit at all unless someone is influence with ambiance.


Ambiance - 3/5 Service- 2/5  Food-1/5 Value for money: 2/5




Sweets place which is evergreen-Evergreen Sweets


  Sometimes, I wonder if Evergreen sweets have become some food chain, they have come up with outlets in various places in Noida and at the same time in Delhi as well. The variety of snacks served here are good especially sweets, pastries, and other tea time snack items. I personally have tried their  Gol-Gappe, tikki and Pav bhaji in the range of spicy snacks and in sweets I am fond of their Jalebi and Gulab jamun. Even their chole bhature is a complete meal in itself and a must try. Although they have to work little towards their servicing as I ordered Emarti ( a sweet) which was cook earlier, ideally before serving they should have warmed it up to enhance the taste but sadly they didn’t. So they need to work very hard towards the customer handling skills. This applies to their staff as well. Overall an average experience.


Ambiance - 3/5 Service- 3/5 . Food-3/5 Value for money: 4/5






Thursday, 27 September 2018

Bit from - Big Bite Döner – BBD


 
This place is a new attraction for foodies in and around Mayur Vihar phase 3 location. They have a petite and brittle menu. One can get Burgers, Wraps, Salads, Beverages, Side Dishes and two varieties in Desserts. The ambiance of the place is nice and apt. Recently has tried their veg burger though they have (approx 5-6 options) I tried their “Cheese Potato surprise burger". Sadly when received  I didn’t find any cheese in it, like any local roadside burger stall there was mayonnaise and little cabbage in it. The other item I tried was their Veg Rice bowl, just like the burger the rice bowl was again the big disappointment as instead of spicy it was more of a sweetness as if cooked with tomato ketchup in it, the veg chunks were very hard to eat. For dessert, I ordered Choco Crepe but once again to my amazement there was not choco in it, in fact, there was more of creamy sugar syrup. This was the first and last awful experience with this place. Overall it was completely a disaster, will not recommend this place to other, unless someone wants to give it a try.
 Ambiance - 3/5 Service- 3/5  Food-3/5


Value for money: 4/5





Food for all Foodies- Foodiez



 Indeed this place is meant for fulfilling your craving for tangy spicy small plate snacks. A well-brought-up version of any street food stall, which you might not find anywhere else. It has got gol gappas, chole bhature,paav bhaji, and you name it and you will have its amazing street food items. Though I like their chole bhature, which are a must try. The best thing about this place is that it is pocket-friendly. I have been ordering from this place for quite a while. Although I approve of the quality and taste of the food, however at times it has been a disappointment as well. Maybe the management is not keeping a close watch on the cooking style of their cooks, also in my last order with them, the packaging was very bad as I ordered pav bhaji, because of the packaging the pav was completely smudged with bhaji when it reached me. To top it up even after the instructions the Bhalla papri was sent separately. Overall not so good experience so far.


Ambiance - 3/5
 
Service- 3/5
 
 Food-3/5
 
Value for money: 4/5








Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Bhatia sweets vendor- Bhaita sweets






If you’re a resident of any place close to I P Extension, in east Delhi, this place is well as heaven for any chat lover. They make sure to maintain all hygiene levels when they serve any of the Chaat to their customers. That is one of the topmost reasons that I love this place even more. They have amazing taste and variety of Chaat and Golgappaas. They the finest Jalebi which are without any doubt my favorite. Amazingly crisp and light and never too sweet. The exact location: Balco Market, near Kanungo Apartment and Amrapali Apartments, on a visit to this place one should try- Golgappe, Jalebi, Ras Malai, Chaat, Chole Bhature. Although everything here is good, however still I would advise not to try Sambhar Vada and Samose because they are by and large cold and before serving the staff here at times doesn’t heat them properly. Ambiance - 3/5 Service- 3/5  Food-3/5 Value for money: 4/5









Sunday, 2 September 2018

Pastry which are unique- Unique Pastry Shop


Having a sweet tooth, I am always in a search of good sweets, pastries, cakes etc. The other day I placed an online order for four different kinds of pastries to be delivered. The taste of all the pastries was really good. Starting from choco truffle, pineapple, brownie and fruit were the different flavours I chose.  All the pastries were extremely soft and lip-smacking. Choco truffle pastry is heaven for chocolate lovers and the fruit pastry was a new and welcome addition to my list of favourite flavours. The pineapple pastry was lighter than air.


All the pastries have delightful texture and taste which leaves a delicious aftertaste in the mouth and pampers the taste buds. Nonetheless, everything tasted very good but the packaging was the most saddening part. All the pastries were packed in a light paper box, during the delivery the pastries were press and the presentation of each pastry was mess up. Also, I noticed that there was no plastic wrapping around some pastries which I found in some of the pastries. I have made the personal visit to their outlet in I.P.extension and tried other pastries- mango, blueberry, pineapple, choco truffle, marble, black forest, eclair, choco delight, choco crunch, fudge pudding, choco ball and truffle pudding, all the pastries were yummy.
 Ambience - 3/5
 Service- 3/5
  Food-3/5
 Value for money: 4/5