Coffee – makes me happy

My addiction to coffee is not new and there are few posts on the same subject in past. The culture of having a good time with a cup of coffee is catching up in India. Café Coffee Day aka CCD is expanding its footprints in rapid speed from past few years; people close to the business speculate they are just spending money and expanding in hope for a bought over by some FDI like Starbucks if the later enter Indian market.
Personally prefer Barista (inside Leela hotel more presice) more for the ambiance then the coffee. This chain has changed ownership a few times and their service is not consistent across franchises. The croissant I had in Mumbai airport last Wednesday felt like chewing gum.Now there are few entries to the market like Cuppa, Costa. Went to Cuppa(in Benarghata road) few months back after dinner with friends and were quite disappointed as they did not had any wine that we asked. Felt like they wanted to push some open bottled wine and my experience with coffee was not great either. Last Tuesday while in Mumbai went to Costa coffee for the first time and I must admit their coffee was really great. The price is bit higher from CCD but very much like Barista now need to see if they can hold on to the quality as they expand within India.

Progress @ New Apartment

Some update from previous post . Till far we made numerous trip on weekdays and weekends. We are almost done as far as carpenter work and civil work is concerned. There are still few things pending but we can wait for now. The next major one and obvious ones are hardware and shower enclosure fixing at bathrooms along with painting and electrical fittings. We need to make all the necessary holes for pictures and wall hanging before final painting work. Hope to complete religious house warming (griha pravesh) in July and wait till year end for final move.

Another weekend


The past weekend was very low key just wanted to laze around to be honest. It was great to watch to few late nights World Cup Football matches live with Jishu. Saturday went to usual vegetable market at HAL. After a quick and early lunch we went to southern part of Bangalore to drop Jishu back home. It started to drizzle at first and very soon it was pouring by the time we reached BTM layout. The traffic started to move in snail pace and meanwhile Aaarush dozed off while seating in his car seat. So from BTM we went to checkout Oyster Bath Concepts at Jaynagar showroom. Luckily the rain stopped and we left Aarush for 5-10 minutes while sleeping as car was parked right infront of the showroom. From there wanted to go to Commercial Street as rain almost stopped. But on the way it again regained its power and was splashing water all over. So we decided to keep our feet dry and head towards home. It was a long detour to reach home to be honest and only person benefited was Aarush as he completed his afternoon nap. So at the end instead of going directly to home we went to Sambit’s place and had a good time there.

Aarush's-Free ride


Well another small post with pictures. These pictures of Aarush are months apart. One on left with motorcycle are just after his tonsuring and on the right are just weeks old. He really likes to ride like any other boy. And if we try to stop him it does not go well at public place. When we were in Star Bazaar @ Kormangala few weeks back he remembered where this toy car was kept and every time we tried to refrain him he used to go back there. It was surprising that he remembered where the escalator was and went up all the way navigating those aisles of merchandise from the lower floors. Recently, we bought him a cycle from Fisher-Price which he rides inside home all the time. The picture of that is there in this album will try to capture a video some time soon.

Whats happening


If long hours in office and the phone calls at 2AM does failed to keep me busy this is another Work in Progress which is keeping me recharged.

Aarush Cooliris Wall

Playing with Cooliris and gallery3 but need to see how and when to migrate current gallery2 to gallery 3 without breaking any thing.

McAfee antivirus program freezes PCs

After starting my office laptop it goes for freeze within 5 minutes. I was very worried what went wrong;   my current laptop is cranky and that is why ordered a new one which was delivered yesterday. The  new laptop is getting build by the IT Team as I write this post.  But i was worried that I will lost all my data like a horror movie where every thing you do goes wrong.   Any way after trying Ctrl+Del+Shift many times I just pulled the power and removed the battery with a quick prayer. Well my Outlook In-box was corrupted as a result but it was fixed post reboot and I am back in action.  I saw a small pop-up about McAfee when it was frozen but could not make out what went wrong. But then I saw this news looks like I am not the only one who had this problem.

One thing for sure some how Microsoft delivered Winows-XP as robust desktop platform compared to those Win'98 and win-2k and that is a reason such small hitch are totally unexpected  as a end user.

IKEA - made in India

 It is no secret that I am a big fan of IKEA's clean cut design. And now every time I  go outside of India  try  to pick something from there. Wished  we got the whole modular kitchen, beds, chest of drawers, leather sofa while moving back from Paris. This time I visited IKEA store was next to Newark Airport(EWR, NJ) and picked some small stuff for Aarush. When a neighbour looked at the "Made in India" level asked from which store we picked up?  We were shocked twice first that person did not knew about IKEA , and secondly   wondered  what a journey this plastic item had across the world before coming to our apartment.

Thursday - Arab Street


Today was last day at Singapore. Packed everything night before so that after breakfast we can check-out without much wasting of time.It was holiday at Singapore as of some Muslim festival. My plan was to go to Arab Street. This area has beautiful old shop houses that line the streets. 
The highlight of the area is the grand Sultan Mosque, which was crowded as people were coming out after prayers.I think Arab Street is known for the fabrics a great place to go if you want or need cut piece. Here you can find materials of every imaginable colors. Not only fabric but also carpet, prayer mats, jewelries oriental carpets, pashminas, sarong, batik shirts etc. I think you can BARGAIN!!!! but not sure. The shops here sell French Lace, Thai silk, Brocade, Indian Silk buttons, and many more...anything related to sewing.

It is a great stop to just walk around and see the shop house architecture of Singapore. Seemingly endless number of fabric shops starts to make your head spin. On Baghdad street-there are a lot of new restaurants/cafe houses. Many of the restaurants have sheeshas or water pipes, which you can smoke while having sip of coffee. We had kasha laham for lunch at Cafe le Caire @ Al Majlis located at 39 Arab Street which was for more than 2 person in terms of portion.


After having heavy lunch we walked towards Bugis street but I missed the charm of it as Santanu was not in mood for any more shopping. Its place for shop-alcoholics with good street shopping experience. 
Then came to Raffles hotel to see its colonial style architecture. It houses museum shops, tropical garden courtyard and Victorian-style theater, tiffin room among many others. Best part is at raffles you will be first welcomed by a Sikh doorman dressed in white ironed Grieves and Hawks uniforms with thick mustache as you get down from your car. It is impossible to overlook the doorman dressed in traditional Sikh attire. But what is fascinating is the fact that they are one of the most photographed icons of Singapore.
Then visited raffles mall and after strolling for a while decided to return to our mandarin hotel as Santanu''s flight was ahead of us. Yes...you heard it right..we had different flight on way back as well.
While going from here to Singapore it was smooth journey with Aarush but on way back it was really terrible as flight was fully packed and with time difference and whole day moving around he was cranky enough. With very less leg space he was not getting proper sleep. Then after landing too we have to spend another 2 hrs. at airport as Santanu had phone call meeting.

Wedneday- Visit to China town



It was the day to visit china town and particularly Buddha tooth relic temple.  The day was very bright with little could in the sky. This is the view from our hotel room looking central Singapore Business District.
After a good breakfast headed out of hotel. Got down by MRT at China town & took exit to Pagoda street. One can't miss the colorful row of shop-houses along that street, with baby blue and yellow flowers painted all over. This whole area is labyrinth of shops selling all and sundry. Take a few minutes to explore the Chinese furniture shops close to the end of this street. Many of the pieces are indeed very beautiful.
I walked straight till South bridge road where there is one oldest Hindu temple on temple road SRI MARIAMMAN TEMPLE whose facade was under renovation so decided not to enter. So walked straight to Buddha tooth relic temple & museum. It took us 2 hrs to complete the whole. It was worth the visit.
Next to this place was Sago street. At end of sago street is china town complex. The most interesting part of the Complex is the wet market, located at its basement. The Chinese are reputed to eat everything from hoof to tail, and there's no better place to witness this than a market in the heart of Chinatown! You will be greeted by the sight of turtles, eels, pig trotters, live frogs being skinned and a fascinating array of fresh meat and seafood. Colorful tropical fruits and vegetables are abundant. There are also dry and preserved goods stalls selling a myriad of Chinese culinary needs from sharks' fin to century eggs. The market is busiest and at its best in the morning as told by one shopkeeper. I boycotted this part as I won't be able to eat anything later.

Took left turn to Terengganu Street which ends at Pagoda street. This street is crammed with shops selling clothes, antiques, wood carvings, etc. The goods are not sold at fixed prices, so one can test bargaining skills here. But while walking around I came across one juice shop selling juices of cactus to orange. Decided to have Bitter Gourd juice just for change. Not bad though. From there we came back to hotel to freshen our self at late afternoon and then in evening left for IKEA where we had dinner.

Hectic Tuesday


We woke up bit early; had heavy breakfast as usual. For today I have already decided to go to Botanical garden in first half of the day. So took a cab from hotel and I figured it was very nearby. This botanical garden is must if you want to see the greenery and variety of plants and flowers they have. Excellent maintenance, people come here for jogging, picnic and touristy purpose. They have one section of National orchid garden which is just awesome. After strolling for few minutes I realized that battery of my camera has not been charged for past 2 days and unfortunately after a while in major area of Orchid garden my camera stopped working. With orchid garden they have number of mini- attractions. I couldn't take any photo of mist house, cool-house. Other than that they have rain-forest, ginger garden, evolution garden. Then they have 3 lakes: Swan Lake, Symphony Lake and Eco Lake. Then even have French restaurant and cafeteria in the garden. It takes at least more than 2 hrs. to complete round of the garden.

At certain places they have flight of stairs where I have to carry Aarush as well the stroller up and down. Otherwise, overall pavement is very good for kids in stroller and handicapped people. I decided to return by public bus so got down at orchards street close to hotel. Went to hotel room put the batteries in charger. Meanwhile we freshened up, fed my son and put him to sleep. Then around 4.00pm I took metro while he was still sleeping and went to Raffles place by MRT.

From here I walked towards boat quay seeing parliament, supreme court, city hall building and Saint Andrews cathedral on the way. My objective was to see Merlion. So walked all the way on the riverside lined with restaurants basically hangout for expatriates and tourists with chic cafes, yuppie pubs. Here every restaurant employee tries to persuade you to come in. While strolling saw structure of arts along the river which was amazing. Walked all the way till the back of The Fullerton hotel then crossed highway to go to other side i.e., one Fullerton to Merlion park tourist icon of Singapore.
As located next to marina bay on city's edge it has seating arrangement to view Esplanade, sea and bum-boats to give tourists a tour of Colonial Singapore from the river. Me and Aarush sat there relaxing my feet after a hard day of walking. It was about to sunset & weather was very pleasant, chill air blowing.
While sitting there I was gazing people from different corners of world coming and posing with Merlion. One big Japanese group came; and they were posing like anything and I couldn't control laughing all alone; truly had a fun time. After a while I realized that we too also became tourist icon with Merlion as some of those Japanese women in late 40s wanted to have picture with me and Aarush (taklu baby) too.


Well, with the fall of day-light statue is floodlit and water pours from the statue's mouth. Fortunately we spent quite a lot of time there as it was today’s end point. Around 8 Santanu met us there and we left for dinner by cab to Little India.

Today we had south Indian thali; portion of food was too much to eat then we walked to Mustafa known shopping complex open 24 hrs. I believe They mainly serve tourists from India, Middle East, South-east Asia and Africa other then Europeans and Americans. They have wide range of items from pin to piano thronging with narrow aisles. Staffs don't respond properly except in diamond-gold jewelery section and most of them can't speak simple English neither they have product knowledge. Its heavily crowded even at 12.00AM.After a while I started feeling dizzy due to claustrophobia. Then quickly bought few stuffs and headed back to hotel via public bus.