Take a Walk.......

Friday, August 04, 2006

Southern spice

This post I would say is straight from the "Stomach". I am a foodie to the core, always in search of quality places to eat, be it a roadside stall in galli's of Bombay or say a hi-fi restaurant in the tony areas of the Colaba causeway or now Pune. In fact the only areas that I have explored in pune in the last one year is places where you get amazing food and the variety includes moghlai, chinese, rajasthani, food from the south and some more usual but stuff.

Yesterday was one such delightful experience at a small restaurant called "Southern spice" located around a kilometer or two near the pune station opposite to the famous Jehangir Hospital. The specialty of this place is that it has got typical mallu food- yeah now I have learnt to differentiate between mallu ,kandu ,tamil etc and don't club them all into madrasi's like fellow north indians - The punchline for the restaurant goes like "Food from the God's own country" and they truly live up to the expectations.

The ambiance is nothing great to talk about and the service is not up to the mark if you don't know mallu, because all the waiters belong to the God's own country and at times you find it difficult to explain things in Hindi or English. So, we were informed about the day's special crab curry when we had already placed orders for the curries.

But they are the best where it matters the most, FOOD, I was pretty sure what to order since it was my second visit, though my friend found it difficult to imagine what "porrota", "idiappam" etc look like. Our order of Fish fry(Surmai) landed on our plates within 10 mins and believe me it can't get better, deep fried in probably coconut oil it provides immense pleasure to your taste buds. The mutton roast with dry gravy was too spicy and to reaffirm its spicy nature they had added uncountable number of green chilies just to rejuvenate your taste buds incase they are rusted, add to all this host porottas and idiappams make a delightful dinner. For the uninitiated, porotta is a kind of paratha made of maida and idiappam is made of a kind of very thing noodle like strands made of a paste of rice, held together in the shape of an idli.

So next time in Pune, surely try Southern Spice and yeah incase if you thinking something is missing from the true mallu experience, There's an additional attraction, mallu music, most of the times they play mallu songs with an occasional hindi one.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Our media

I m not really a fan of the Indian media, especially the news channels. The ones who piss me off the most are Aaj Tak and India TV. I am ready to put my foot down and say they are one of the worst new channels that we could have got, but yet they are one of the most popular one I assume, at least that holds true for Aaj Tak. For them news mean crap, they would show the crapiest thing live on TV for hours at stretch without any regards whether it is of any importance to the general public or not.

So, the channels managed to make a hero out of some kid in some God forsaken place called Kurukshetra, just because he fell in to a pit!!!. One can imagine say a decade or half back, such a thing wouldn't have found a mention in the inner pages of the newspapers and forget about the CM being present at the site for hours. But the way things were presented the CM of the state thought it more important to spend hours at stretch at the site and get live coverage rather something more important as development of the state or security.

The channels managed to get a couple of girls fired by claiming repeatedly that they were drunk and that they barged into the PM's residence, threatening his security. All of this came out to be utter crap, neither were the girls drunk and neither they forced their way through the PM's residence, they went in because they were allowed to. Nevertheless their employer thought its their duty to fire the duo as its name was being highlighted on these channels repeatedly.

All this would like petty change you look at the way the other side of the media acts, the regional media especially the regional and vernacular newspapers. I have been for long trying to follow regional newspapers in Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi and Urdu and the only action that seems appropriate to deal with them is to ban almost all of them right away.

Take the case of the riots in Vadodara after a 200 year old dargah was demolished, incidentally the same day Kashmiri separatists had gunned down some people in Doda. The next day headlines in some papers like Saamna highlighted the Doda killings as a attack on Hindus while they either ignored the Vadodara incident or presented a highly distorted version of it in some inner pages, their counterparts on the Urdu side thought otherwise and highlighted the riots as the attack on their community and chose to nearly ignore or under report the Doda killings.

The story is almost ever the same, the regional/vernacular newspapers are one of the biggest source of provocation for the local public, often the articles are highly exaggerated, distorted and inflammatory, especially in the times of turmoil. While they have a huge combined reach, the governments either ignore them or choose to keep clear of them due to political reasons as many of these are also run by politicians or organizations related to them.

The most alarming trend is that this trend of selective and distorted reporting is being carried forward by the national media too, It has become very prominent after the Mumbai blast. I would take this up on another post.

Another thing that peeves me the most is the depth of our media reports, Most of the print reports are bad in quality and too shallow. So a story which would run into many columns in say a NYT, Times of India would try to fit into one, even if that mean it doesn't make much sense and loses it relevance in the process. I don't understand, is it commercialism or pure stupidity and incompetence and as one would expect the worst culprit is Times of India, no wonder I have moved to Indian Express long back. I prefer fewer number of quality news rather than wasting time of a hundred pages of senseless ranting.