Virgin Courtyard – Chandigarh’s Chak de Italiano 

If you are a foodie then Chandigarh should be a must visit on your cards. One of the best time to visit the ‘City Beautiful’ is during the start of Winter season.

Evenings are very pleasant with the mercury hovering slightly below 10 degrees. If you are from that part of the country where you don’t get the chance to take out your winter clothes then you will be super happy. The jacket that you had bought and kept safely secured in your wardrobe will come to your help while you are in Chandigarh.

 The first thing that comes to your mind while thinking of the cuisine here will be Paranthas, Kulchas, Chole Batture, Sarson ka saag & makkai di roti, dahi bhale, etc. When I was planning to have my dinner I had all these dishes in my mind. I started searching for the best restaurants in Cgarh. There were some great Punjabi cuisine options which popped up when I hit the search button.  My eyes caught the attention of a restaurant named “Virgin Courtyard” 😉 . This was rated as one of the top 10 restaurants in Chandigarh. I clicked on the link to check the details. To my surprise it turned out to be a fine dine Italian restaurant.

I continued my search for other restaurants to find out a place serving authentic Punjabi food. But somehow I was impressed and I was tempted to visit the Italian restaurant. May be this is what you call love at first sight and that too when you see a Virgin courtyard :).

Virgin Courtyard is nestled in one corner of Sector 7 . The moment you reach the entrance of the restaurant you will get the vibe that this is a place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy your food at peace. Since I visited this place on Monday and that too at 10 pm there were not much of occupants.

The flooring of the entry point is designed in such a way that you get the feel of the European cobble streets  decorated with pebble stones underneath. This is enhanced with a small water body flowing beneath the entrance. You will be greeted with colourful wall art works predominantly in blue color on top of the white walls. The décor and ambience is top notch and we’ll maintained considering that this place is 5 years old. They have a covered area and an open area seating as well. I chose to occupy a table on the outside to enjoy the cold weather. Candle lights and mashals are the only lights that will guide you to be table. The whole place is very cosy and will make you wish that you were here with your partner to enjoy the awesome weather and ambience.  

Wine is quintessential to enjoy the Italian cuisine. This place offers you some good variety of wines. I placed my order to the soft spoken waiter. Breads, Italian cheese and pesto sauce were served complimentary. Mushroom soup was served hot and preparation was typical European style – light flavors with thin slices of mushroom. Menu gives you lot of options to choose from in all categories including mocktails, cocktails, beverages, appetizer, main course which includes pizza, pasta, ravioli, risotto, etc. They also have healthy preparation available like grilled food served with veggies and sauces. Portions were good enough for two people. Luckily, though I was hungry, I didn’t order lot of food and still struggled to finish the portions all alone. 

Ambience, decor – Awesome

Food and Beverages – Classic

Quantity – Generous

Service – Excellent

Price- Luxurious

I had a wonderful evening  at the Virgin Courtyard. I am sure this place will be crowded during occasions especially Valentine’s Day.

Virgin Courtyard Details

Goa – Destination known for Beaches, Shopping and Awesome food

Goa the pristine beach location is situated to the West of India. The beaches are running alongside the Arabian Sea. Goa has a long history and was also under the Portuguese rule from 1510 to 1961.

Languages spoken in Goa: Konkani, Marathi, Kannada, Hindi, English

The two things that come to your mind while thinking of Goa are Beaches & Beers.

Goa is clearly demarcated in to South Goa and North Goa.

South Goa is pretty much laid back with lot of five star resort properties. The resorts here will give you an option of private beach. The beaches here include Varca, Benaulim, Palolem, Bogmalo, Mormugao, Majorda beach, Colva, Varca

North Goa is the happening party place. Starting with Sinquerim beach at one end to Ashwem at the other end – you can enjoy the best happening beaches here.

Sinquerim, Candolim, Calangute, Baga, Anjuna, Vagator, Morjim, Arambol and Ashwem are the main beaches stretching from one end of North Goa to the other end.

Sinquerim has the Agoda fort and Taj Agoda on the beach side. It is a good sightseeing spot. Watersports activities can be done here.

Candolim beach is normally not crowded, but it is a clean beach. Kids can have a good time here as they will feel the whole beach is for them.

You can find some good roadside shops while traveling from Candolim to Calangute where you can get beach accessories, dresses, etc.

Calangute beach is one of the most crowded beaches of Goa. Watersports activities can be done here. Lot of street shopping also can be done in and around this beach.

Baga is adjacent to Calangute and is similar to Calangute beach. There are some good pub joints at Baga namely Titos, Kamaki, etc.

Anjuna beach – enroute to this beach place known as Arpora hosts the famous Saturday night bazaar. This is a must visit location on a Saturday night. Bazaar will have lot of stalls (shopping) and live music performances happening. It also has some good food stalls. Taking kids here may be a task but they may enjoy the variety of food they can enjoy here. Anjuna has a flea market that has stalls but the prices are exorbitant here. Curlies Shack is located on this beach.

Chapora fort is also on the way to Ashwem beach.

Ashwem is one of the beaches not frequented by many tourists who visit Goa. This beach is some 20-25 kms away from the main happening beach destinations. Ashwem offers you a clean pristine beach with literally no crowd at all. So this will be like a private beach with enough shacks to fuel your stomach and quench your thirst. You can walk 150-200 m in to the water as well as the water levels are shallow. At right end of this beach you have shopping stalls. Once you walk past these stalls you will be happy to see a small beach on the other side of the rocks. The beauty of this hidden location is that you have beach on one side and a small fresh water lake opposite to the beach. Paragliding can be done at this location.

South Goa stretches from Monkey beach near Panjim to Cabo De Rama towards the end of Goa. Monkey beach, Palolem, Bogmalo, Mormugao, Majorda beach, Colva, Benaulim, Varca, Cabo De Rama beach.

Palolem beach offers you white sand beach and if you can persuade the fisherman then they may take you to spot dolphins. Only few shacks are available here.

Bogmalo offers shops selling local handicrafts.

Varca is one of the beautiful beaches of Goa. You will find shacks offering Goan cuisine at reasonable prices.

Colva is the main beach location of South Goa. It is like the Calangute beach of North Goa. The Church of Our Lady of Mercy is famous here. You will find resorts, food joints, seashell artifact shops, etc. in and around this beach.

What Goa has to offer other than the beaches:-

          Tropical Spice Plantation tour:-http://tropicalspiceplantation.com/index.php

          River cruise – Goa tourism also conducts cruises – evening cruise is approx. 200 INR per head and dinner cruise is approx.. 650 INR per head. Private operators are also available.http://www.bettysgoa.com/cruise.htm

          Basilica of Bom Jesus, Panaji

How you can plan your Goa trip ? 

Itinerary:-

Day One: – Arrive at Goa by afternoon. Have lunch and then Check in to the hotel. Settle down at the hotel and take an evening tour to nearby beach. Arrange for a buffet dinner with cocktail at the hotel itself or depending on which side of Goa you are planning to stay you can visit a good restaurant for dinner. If are staying at South Goa then I would suggest you to check out Martins Corner restaurant (http://www.martinscornergoa.com/ https://www.zomato.com/goa/martins-corner-betalbatim Good seafood restaurant). Slightly costly but worth visiting. If you are staying at North Goa and you would like to try Greek food then visit Thalassa, Vagator beachhttps://www.zomato.com/goa/thalassa-vagator or if you want to have South Indian cuisine then visit Gunpowder, Bardez https://www.zomato.com/goa/gunpowder-bardez

Day Two: – Finish your breakfast by 10:30 am. Enjoy the water sports preferably at a nearby beach location so that you can go back to resort to change your dress. Lunch at the resort. Take rest till evening. Visit nearby beaches and dinner at local restaurant. Since it will be Saturday for you – suggest you should be at North Goa to enjoy the night life/ Saturday night bazaar / pubs, etc.

Don’t miss visiting the Casino on either of the days –http://www.casinoroyalegoa.com/ ,http://www.bestgoacasino.com/casino-pride.php ,http://www.deltingroup.com/deltin-jaqk/ , http://goindia.about.com/od/nightlife/tp/goacasinos.htm ) – cover charges include unlimited food and drinks plus live performances. Check the dress code as shorts and flip flops may not be allowed. Some of the casinos even have a kids area so that they can also be with you.

Day Three: – Finish your breakfast by 10:30 am. Drive down to Ashwem beach covering the spice plantation (along with lunch) or local sightseeing on your way.

If you want to get a massage done then you can try SNIP Saloon & Spa (located between Candolim and Calangute beach – North Goa)

If you are planning for a day long cruise then you can alter the itinerary accordingly.

Kill No Kalories – It’s a Crime – Keep eating and Save the Calories 

‘Burn Calories’ is the trend everywhere.

People are doing everything possible to burn the precious calories, earned from eating & drinking at some point in time, by joining a gym or following a strict diet, etc. 

I was surprised to see a restaurant which has propped up two months back in Thane which has gone against this tide. 

“Kill No Kalories” – yes you read it right. That’s the name of this cosy small cafe started by the Bhatt brothers – Drupad and Yashit. 

The ambience and decor is apt. Wall decor contains captions which will bring a smile to your face and will make you decide that this is my “Cheat Day”.

The moment you enter the cafe you will be a bit taken aback by seeing the small tables and chairs. But it will hardly take you couple of  minutes to feel happy and decide not to ‘Kill’ the person who recommended this restaurant. Outlet can take maximum 20-25 people at a time but still the ambience will make you feel relaxed.

Coming to the business side of the restaurant :- This is a classic example of Vertical integration. The Bhatt brothers have been busy with their Food blog ‘TheHoggingBhat’ for more than a year now. Tasting food and reviewing the cuisines and restaurants made them realize that they also can try their hand in opening a restaurant of their own. Thus they started “Kill No Kalories (KNK)”. The experience of reviewing lot of Restaurants have helped them realize that it’s just not about the ambience and the food. It’s a combination of Music + Food + Board Games + Ambience which gives the perfect vibe to this cafe. 

So irrespective of with whom you are visiting the cafe, friends, family or alone, there are enough options – Ludo, tic tac toe, Rubik’s cube, Uno cards, etc. to make use of the waiting time (after you order the food).

The music played in the background is also awesome. Dhrupad said that they do perform sometimes in the evening. I would definitely visit once to see them perform. 

The main attraction of a restaurant is always food. Kill No Kalories offer you Shakes, Coffee, Green tea, Fries, Burgers, Pasta, Pizza, European rice preparations, Maggi and Desserts.

Injected Samosa Maggi is the talk of the Town and I visited this place to try that in specific. 

The combo of Samosa + Maggi serving with a syringe filled with cheese. Good idea to bring together on one plate the two most sought out snacks. Maggi + veggies + samosa + cheese – it won’t disappoint you for sure.

I also tried the basic Cheese fries and Spinach rice. Cheese fries was crispy and classic. Spinach rice was served along with couple of garlic bread. Rice was cooked along with some herbs like Rosemary which brings the European feel to the plate. The preparation was typical European – slightly bland. So if you want it to be more spicy and salty then you need to tell them while placing the order. I liked the Spinach rice in it’s original form. 

Quantity of servings of all dishes were adequate for two people. 

Desserts and shakes will tickle your cravings. 

No meal is complete without a Dessert. KNK special shake, Oreo shake, Nutella shake and deep fried Oreo with ice cream are few of the drinks and desserts in the offering. The way it is served in a glass mug with waffers, Oreo and ice cream will put you in a spot – whether to spoil the decorated dessert serving or to dig into it straight away as you will not be able to resist it. 

(KNK pic of Deep fried Oreo with ice cream )

Overall Kill No Kalories is a must visit to relax, smile, play some board games, listen to good music and eat without guilt – Buring Calories can take a one day break ;). 

Location :- Ghantali Devi Road, Near Sai Baba Mandir (adjacent to Ram Maruti Road)

Rates are inclusive of taxes 🙂

Street Food Diaries : Jai Malhar – Hot bhajiyas and Vada pav near the lake 

Gaimukh Chowpaty – The new upcoming hang out place in Thane is bustling with lot of visitors especially in the weekends. There are also lot of people who stop by this place on weekdays to have a cutting chai / snacks / smoke a cigarette. 
Though it is an upcoming spot in Thane , still it lacks eatery joints / restaurants. So when you visit Gaimukh Chowpaty – the first question that arises in your mind is ‘kya khaaye aur idhar se khayega toh pet karaab hoga ?’ 

So if you are fond of Bhajiya and Vada pav then there is a good option.

Visit  ‘Jai Malhar Snacks Corner’ – small eatery joint managed by a husband and wife. Though it is a ‘tapri’ they have managed good hygiene conditions. They sell hot Vada pav and Bhajiya . You should try their kandha (onion) bhajiyas. They also serve the small pakodas / bhajiyas. 

The best thing is the way they manage to serve hot food all the time. They keep the basic preparation ready – aloo stuffing required for Vada pav. Depending upon the order they dip the aloo stuffing in besan atta and then fry it. So you always end up getting hot food. This is served along with sauteed green chilies, chutney and onion. The chutney is also yummy. 

So next time you visit Thane Gaimukh Chowpaty – make sure to try the Vada pav and bhajiyas of ‘Jai Malhar’. I am sure that you will end up asking ‘ek aur Vada pav dijiye bhaiya’. 

#JimikkiKammal – Social Media goes gaga over this Song – Sheril becomes an instant celebrity

#JimikkiKammal is a Malayalam song released during the mid of Aug, 2017. The song is part of the movie “Velipadinte Pustakam” which was released two weeks later.

The first line of the song itself is very catchy and you will keep humming it once you listen to the song.

“Entammede jimikki kammal Enatappan katonde poyi,

Entapante brandy kuppi Entamma kudichu theerthe”

(My mother’s ear rings were stolen by my dad,

My dad’s brandy bottle – my mother drank & finished it”)

It is a peppy song and you will start tapping your feet or moving your body once you start listening to this song.

The original video of this song has till now got 12 million views (Mohanlal – Lalettan fans will be happy)

https://youtu.be/FXiaIH49oAU

Just 25 days and YouTube already has 300+ videos of different versions, remixes, memes,trolls of this song.

Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is having a gala time with hashtag #JimikkiKammal . The data uploaded by the fans of this song has seen an exponential rise in the last couple of weeks.

This song was released just before the start of Onam festive season in Kerala. This song was part of almost all Onam celebration dance performances – be it the kids , college students, IT professionals, teachers / professors, families or flash mobs.

It was performed by people mostly malayalees staying at different parts of the globe. There are videos uploaded from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Newyork, Pine falls, Melbourne, New Zealand, etc.

The remix / edited / meme versions of this song includes:-

Prem Nazir, Dhanush, Vijay, Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson, Mr Bean and even has Minions & Chipmunks versions.

Dhanush

https://youtu.be/7t8qj_K6gW4

Vijay

https://youtu.be/vSBDXRoNJlE

https://youtu.be/FyK6C0i8Pss

Mr Bean

https://youtu.be/nLgfnl6hLuI

Minions

https://youtu.be/STipU8wgq_Y

Prem Nazir Jayan

https://youtu.be/a5FtEQPgQZA

Chipmunks

https://youtu.be/91aUPXzssRg

Since the song has gone viral, Everyone is trying to gather views for their own dance performances / edited versions.

But out of all the performances which are garnering views in YouTube – one video has stood out and has gained momentum. This video has got 8.8 million views as of today morning and the talk of the town is that it may soon cross the views of the original video.

This video which has gained popularity was performed by professors / teachers of Indian School of Commerce, Kochi, Kerala. The dance was led by Sheril Kadavan. She has become an instant celebrity after her dance performance has gone viral. She first tweeted 3 days back and already has 14.8k followers on Twitter. She has also been offered roles to act in movies.

The demand for Jimikki Kammal (special type of ear ring – also known as jhumkas in North India) would also gone up after the success of this song.

To add to this even Jimmy Kimmel (American television host) who had no clue why something similar to his name was trending ended up saying that even he likes #JimmikiKammal after watching Sheril’s Jimmiki Kammal video.

The power of Social Media is amazing. You never know who will get popular in the next 24 hours or in couple of days. You just click / Capture and upload and Social Media takes you to places if the content is good, different, catchy and a stress buster. Dance is the best way to get out of stress 🙂

Street Food Diaries :Healthy sumptuous Litti Chokha 

Health, Fitness, diet – In the last 2 – 3 years everyone has become conscious about their lifestyle. For some it is about maintaining their ‘body’ and for some it is about keeping themselves fit to increase their ‘shelf life’.  Many people make new year resolution as well on these topics. But having said that, if you are a foodie then the urge to eat outside and that too at a Street food outlet becomes the barrier in accomplishing the said lifestyle or resolution.

Being a foodie myself, who is trying to get in to a healthy lifestyle,  it was really tough not to eat from my favourite street food stalls.
I was delighted when I figured out that there is a healthy street food option – Litti Chokha.
Litti Chokha – the staple food of farmers and peasants in Bihar, UP and some parts of MP is a healthy and tasty dish. The earthiness of the dish will give you a rustic feel.
The dish itself is healthy and you can’t ask for anything better when all the ingredients are prepared on a grill.
Prabhudas , owner of Maa Durga snacks corner, has been running his small make shift street side outlet for the past 4-5 years. His outlet is located in Thane West opposite to Kashinath Ghanekar auditorium.

There are 2-3 ways of making the flour for Litti. The Litti made by Prabhudas is made out of sattu (bengal gram, chickpeas). Once the flour is prepared by him it is then rolled in to small balls (Littis). These small balls are then grilled on top a layer of charcoal. Chokha is made out of eggplant (baingan), potatoes , tomatoes, onion, chillies and some special masala ingredients mixed with a tinge of mustard oil. Eggplant, potato and tomato are grilled and then smashed to prepare the Chokha. There is no frying involved which makes the dish healthier.

Litti Chokha gives your body fibre, nutrients and proteins. It is low on calories and glycemic index as well.

4 Littis, Chokha, onion and chutney is served in each plate. One plate of Litti Chokha will cost you Rs. 40/-. In case you need some ghee on top then you need to pay extra Rs.10/-.

The customers at Maa Durga snacks corner includes auto drivers , professionals, people who are lazy to cook on weekends and health conscious people like me who want to eat out 🙂

It’s Tea Time : Ketley Brews

The first thing that comes to your mind after a 3-4 hours of shopping with your family on a rainy day is ‘Garam adhrak Chai Chahiye’. This craving for Tea on a Sunday afternoon led us to this small Restaurant in Thane.

Ketley Brews and Bites – as the name suggests – they brew some lovely varieties of tea and also put together good food as well. It is located near to the TCS Campus on Pokhran Road Nos.2 Majiwada, and focuses on Speciality Tea offerings.

The first thing that impressed me was the ambience of the place:- Great décor, creative wall painting, low floor seating and unique ‘Ring For Tea’ concept to call the Waiter. The restaurant can take maximum of 25 – 30 customers at a time.

I realized that there are a lot of Tea options available in the market other than the regular Ginger / Black and Green Tea.

Ketley has a long list of tea varieties in their Menu which ranges from the basic Assam Tea, Ginger Tea, and Cardamom to exotic Silver Needle White Tea, Ice Wine Tea, Beehive Twist and The Red Dose.

The moment you are seated – you will be provided a small bell. To place orders you just need to “Ring For Tea” Bell and the Waiter will come to your table.

We tried the Ginger Tea and Apple Mint flavoured Organic Green Tea. Both tasted really well. Apple Mint Green Tea was infused with Apple flavour and the taste will leave you wanting for more.

The urge to try the food menu made us convert this visit to a very early Dinner (5 pm) outing.

Their Food menu comprises of Starters, Main Course and Dessert. Menu comprises of Veg and Non Veg options – Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Burgers, etc.

We ordered Maggi, Cheese Nuggets, French Fries and finished our meal with Risotto and Garlic Bread.

Maggi was tasty – the authentic taste of Maggi was maintained.

Cheese Nuggets – Yummy

French Fries – was happy to see thin strips fried with less amount of oil.

Risotto – They serve Caribean, Jamaican, Spiced Greek Yogurt, Hot Chilli Tomato to name a few from the list. We tried the Hot Chilli Tomato and indeed it was real Spicy.

Overall a good cosy place to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Though the plan for having Rs.10/- Tea turned out to be Rs.1000/- dinner outing we were content.

“Ketley Brews & Bites: Let’s Brew Happiness”

Price: I felt that the rates were slightly on a higher side but the ambience and taste of tea + food somewhat makes it for the price you pay.

Service: Good

Parking: Since there is road work happening you will have to park your car on the opposite side of the road. It is a challenge till the time the road work is not completed. 

The Leap of Faith : Bungee Jumping

“30 seconds is all it takes to let go of your fear and take the leap.

It takes couple of minutes for the feeling to sink in. Even before you realize that you have jumped from a 200 ft high bridge it is all over. You start to realize that you have dared to do this when the swing comes to a slow stop.

But the whole experience will stay with you for a life time.”

The moment I realized that I will be daring to jump of a bridge with just a string of ropes holding me together was a scary thought.

In the first place I was not planning to do the jump and was not going to join the group who had to travel almost an hour to reach the location. But I knew that this is going to be a once in a life time activity that you will dare to do (I know about people for whom bungee jumping and other adventure sports are just like turning the page of a book but trust me it is not an easy decision if you are not an adventure enthusiast).

I was put up in Athens and the Bungee jumping location was at Corinth Canal – which was one hour’s drive away from Athens.

‘Zulu Bungy’ – the organizers of Bungy / Bungee jumping in Corinth Canal looked very pumped up to help us do the activity. It is very crucial for the organizers to show that they are in control and make you feel comfortable. This will help you gain the much required Confidence.

Zulu Bungy – right below you is the scenic water body whose magnificence will captivate your heart and in front of you the open sky which will pump your adrenaline.

I was made to wear all the required harness and boot straps. Once the whole group was ready we were taken to the jumping location. The view was spectacular with a calm Corinth Canal beneath you. I realized that it is better to do the jump when you are in a group as this will help to strengthen your will power. The first person in our group was all set to take the plunge. He was made to wear couple of more harnesses and was also locked to couple of ropes. Lot depends on how the first person in the group jumps. In our group the first person jumped with ease. He came up after the jump and was smiling when he said “the jump was exciting but nothing to worry about – it will be all over even before you realize”. One by one each person started to jump and then came my turn.

First I was made to wear the GoPro camera to capture the whole experience Live. The Zulu Bungy guys then went on to make me wear the remaining harness and locks. I was made to move closer to the edge of the bridge. The view from the edge of the bridge was spectacular with the mild breeze hitting your face. There were lot of instructions coming in from the group members – “just look in front when you jump, jump hard, push your body out of the bridge, etc.”

I took a deep breath before I looked beneath to ascertain the depth. I was at ease and was not anxious & felt that this is going to be an easy one. That is the moment when one of the Zulu guy stood in front of me. He started counting the locks that were put on my harness. He was saying “lock 1 okay, lock 2 okay, lock 3 okay,…” . This was the moment when I started thinking whether he has actually put all locks or did he miss any ? Suddenly I had my whole family in front of my eyes. What will happen if I don’t come up, what if the ropes breaks, what if all the locks were not in place ???? All type of weird questions popped up in a fraction of a second. This send a shock wave through my entire body. The fear of losing everything was right on my face. Do I really want to do this and lose everything ? That is when I heard the sound of the Zulu guy again. He told the other Zulu guy “all check done” and the other guy who was standing behind me whispered to me “don’t think much – just jump at the first instance, trust me” and he counted 1,2,3. 

I had two options 1. To turn away without attempting the jump and be Safe 2. Trust the guy who whispered to you , trust the harness, ropes, locks and jump in to the canal… In the blink of an eye I decided to do the ‘Leap of Faith’. I trusted everything and somewhere in the corner of my heart I said “Oh God bring me back safe” . It was indeed a Leap of Faith. It was a breath taking experience – From the time I jumped & till the time the ropes stretched my legs and made me realize that I am hanging Safe. That’s when the feeling start sinking in that you let off your fear and did once in a life time activity.

Wow.. It was Awesome..!!! “I Did It”

The Leap of Faith (video)

We change the rules of Flying” 


 


 Once upon a time in Mumbai : A 1983 Mumbai Taxi Driver

I was lucky to get a ‘kaali peeli’ taxi from the international airport departure terminal yesterday night. I had to literally jump in as taxis were not allowed to pick up passenger in front of the terminal. I was happy as I saved the walk as well as the wait to get an Uber / Ola. 

When you imagine a ‘kaali peeli’ taxi, the image of the driver that pops up in your mind is that of an aged driver with a long white beard. I was using the KPT ( kaali peeli taxi) after a long time or rather I cannot instantly recollect when I had hired one in the near past. So I was happy to see the driver with similar features. 

The pressure to get inside the KPT before airport authority guy stops him made me jump into the co-passenger seat rather than the rear seat. This quickly helped me to get into a conversation with the Driver ‘Chacha’. 

Driver Chacha was quick to comment ‘aaj hum dono ki kismat acha hai beta, mujhe airport se savaari mil gaya air tumhaara time bach gaya’. I responded with a wide smile and a big nod of head. But I felt that he was expecting a better reply from me. So I ended up saying ‘sahi bola aapne , aap mujhe nahi pick karte toh shaayad 10-15 minute mera kharaab ho jaata’. Bingo I had given him the reply as per his wish and now it was his turn to respond with a wide smile and a big nod of head. 

I asked him if he owned the taxi. ‘Mere seth ke paas 104 gaadi hai aur ye gaadi sirf mein chalaa tha hoon, din ka 400 rs. detha hoon’ was his instant reply. 

I knew that it will take at least 40 minutes to reach my destination , so I continued the conversation. There were two reasons:- 1. I was curious to know about his driving experience as he was easily and patiently negotiating the the potholes in heavy rain  2. I didn’t want him to doze off while driving.

I asked Driver Chacha the brands of cars he had driven till now. The list included Fiat Padmini, Ambassador – poora darwaaza khulne wala and couple of the latest which had come up in the last 10-15 years. 

Nawab Chacha (as he introduced himself) came to Mumbai all the way from ‘Illahabad’ in 1983. He has been driving taxi for the last 34 years in Mumbai. As per Nawab Chacha in 1983 meter charge was 6 Rs for a trip and petrol price was 5 Rs per litre. It took me a while to digest these numbers. I ended up asking again – ‘just 5 Rs’ ? . The “Yes” came up with a thumping authority. He continued saying that those days the number of trips were less but each driver had a set of regular customers. He mentioned that there used to a special bonding with the customers of that era. Customer will book the cab the previous day by giving him the building number and directions. For a 4 am trip it was the responsibility of the driver to reach before time and wake up the customer in case he is still sleeping. Once the customer comes back after his trip or business meeting where things went off well then the driver used to get a special tip in addition to the taxi fare. Value of 100 Rs was on a very high side during that time. He said “Barkhath hoti thi woh zamaane mein 100Rs ka lekin aaj kal 50k – 1 lakh ka koi keemat hi nahi hai”. I was telling myself that how times have changed and valuations have changed drastically. Since he was from ‘Illahabad’ the home town of Amitabh Bachchan I did ask him ‘aap bhi Amitabh Bachchan ke jagah se ho?’. “Woh toh civil lane mein rahthe the..Ganga ke paas” as though he knows Big B very well. But as he was from ‘Illahabad’ he definitely can say this with pride. 

I was 15 minutes away from my destination by now and I asked him the obvious question. What is his take on Ola/Uber? His reply was very interesting. As per him everyone can co-exist in Mumbai. In a city like Mumbai everyone will get enough trips to meet ends. Only issue he had was that many of these taxi aggregator drivers don’t know how to drive a car and they are learning it on the job. He also didn’t like when one of the taxi aggregator tried to convince him to fit their meter – “Bhagaa diya unko mein ne” he said. 

Just before we ended the trip he gave me a tip that there is no point over speeding your car. Hardly you will save 5-7 minutes in Mumbai. Everyone should enjoy their ride and drive safe. This coming from someone who had the experience of driving 34 years in Mumbai was a good point. 

Nawab chacha wished me good luck and I told him to drive back safe, keep driving & enjoy life.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you go to live with the God?

It is definitely a spooky feeling when you think or even read about “Death”. Suddenly lot of things appear in front of your eyes and you will feel that there is a lot that is left unattended / to be completed.

I had a similar feeling when I read about the Facebook’s ‘Memorialized’ and ‘Legacy Contact’.

So how will your name appear once you are ‘Memorialized’? –

“Remembering” will appear next to the name.

Facebook has a feature where in you can decide what to do with your Facebook account after you ‘go to live with the God’. You have the following options:-

  1. You can choose your Legacy contact
  2. You can request account deletion

“Your Legacy Contact”

The definition of Legacy Contact in FB goes like this:-

A legacy contact is someone you choose to look after your account if it’s memorialized. Once your account is memorialized, your legacy contact will have the option to do things like:

  • Write a pinned post for your profile (ex: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service)
  • Respond to new friend requests (ex: old friends or family members who weren’t yet on Facebook)
  • Update your profile picture and cover photo

You also have the option to allow your legacy contact to download a copy of what you’ve shared on Facebook, and we may add additional capabilities for legacy contacts in the future.

Your legacy contact can’t:

  • Log into your account
  • Remove or change past posts, photos and other things shared on your Timeline
  • Read your messages
  • Remove any of your friends

I am sure that by the time you have finished reading the above definition you would have glimpsed past the options as to who will be your legacy contact or do you need a legacy contact.

With the whole world moving towards Digital presence, it is worth thinking what will be the future of your Connected Social Media Life.

Let it disappear or be ‘Remembered”.

FB Legacy Contact

You can read more about this by visiting the below link:-

Facebook FAQ

When I discussed this feature with my friend he came up with an interesting take on this:-

“I rather give my kids to have fun with my account !!! They can act as if things are as it is and keep posting and interacting with friends the way I would do !!! Even console family of people who pass away !!!!😋that will be more fun !”

“Connected Life to Remembering Life” – Life has come a long way.