Friday, September 4, 2009

Barbeque Nation

If you are the sort who likes the concept of a live grill, then Barbeque Nation is the place. On each table, there is an embedded personal grill, where you could make your own grilled starters. These starters are not just restricted to Indian taste, but also from Mediterranean, American, Oriental, and other Asian cuisine. These can be enjoyed in unlimited helpings and they are generally combined with a lavish buffet. The experience is quite surreal and the food is gorgeous. Because of the sheer variety available on the table, you are not disadvantaged. You get to eat what you like, that's the key! All this comes at a flat rate of Rs.400/- per head. I have been to the restaurant couple of times in the last six months (Barbeque Nation opened in Thane last year) and have enjoyed every moment.
If you wish to enjoy a similar experience, you are just a call away. They have two branches, one each at Khar and Thane.

Ground floor, Om Palace,
403, Dr. Ambedkar Road Junction, Pali Hill,
Khar (West), Mumbai-400052.
Phone: 9323905592 / 022-65934343

Sun Magnetica, Service Road,
Eastern Express Highway,
Phone: 932110114 / 022-32162444

RAM’s Recco: If you want to spend a weekend afternoon meeting up with someone and have loads of time to spare, hitch a ride to Barbeque Nation. It’s worth every paisa! By the way, reserve a table to avoid disappointment. AND, vegetarians will enjoy the experience as much as “the meat eaters”!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscar Oscar Bas-kar!!

So Slumdog......... won 8 Oscars, and the electronic media led the chorus to highlight the resurgent India theme. Last year, it was Dhoni's men and Abhinav Bindra, who were symbols of a resurgent India. This year, it is the Danny Boyle magic! I don't know what the term 'resurgent' means.

Somebody suggested that Rahman is the greatest ever composer in this country, now that he has won an Oscar. That to suggest that he has now achieved greatness after receiving the Oscar, is unfair on the maestro and his music. Rahman is a great composer, whose work in a certain international film has been appreciated and rewarded. Rahman winning an Oscar is not similar to Federer winning the French to be the GOAT (Greatest of all time).The maestro has enough in his body of work over the last 16 years to claim his rightful place in the sun. Who can forget his scores in Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Gentleman, Indian, Jeans, Iruvar, Rangeela, Dil Se, Bombay, Duet, Taal, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan, Jaan Tu Ya Jaane Na, Minsara Kanavu, Kandukondein Kandukondein, Yuva, and so on. I am sure I have missed some. That's the point.

In the euphoria, we have forgotten the achievements of Shekhar Kapoor at the big stage. In 1999, his movie Elizabeth was the main contender at the awards with 8 nominations. That was incredible, because for a mainstream Hindi commercial movie maker to go and direct a Hollywood epic was incredible. Does that make Shekhar Kapoor, the greatest movie maker from our country. I am not sure. The greatest of them, Ray never got the recognition; he deserved and only got a Lifetime Achievement award.

On a different note, I thought Mani Ratnam's Nayakan has been the greatest film made out of India in the last 25 years. It is comparable with the best churned out by Hollywood. But those were different times and the movie was not marketed well.

Coming back to Slumdog....., the success (and my heartfelt congratulations) has nothing to do with 'resurgent India.' It is an underdog movie, which was released during the Holiday season. Normally, underdog movies work well during the Holiday season. I am reminded of the movie I saw recently, Luck By Chance. It's all about being at the right place at the right time!

I am tempted to say, Oscar, Oscar, Bas-kar!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fed-Rafa match and all that..........

After battling for four and half hours on the Rod Laver Arena, Federer hit a forehand long and Rafa sink into the ground in glee. He knew instantly he had achieved something special and few minutes later on the stage, Federer wept inconsolably. He obviously knew he had lost something—a golden chance to touch Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles and receive his Cup from his childhood hero, the great Laver!

The end was anti-climactic after four sets of breathtaking tennis, where the two champions refused to give the other any leeway to break free. That's what challenges can do to human beings. Both of them raised their game to the next level and it was difficult to pick a winner till the last 20 minutes when the usually-phlegmatic Federer lost his nerve and handed over the match to the always-at-you Rafa.

If I had not seen the match, I would have looked at the statistics and said that Federer lost the match because of very low first serve percentage and high percentage of unforced errors. Where do you serve to a player who has a brilliant forehand and backhand? When you play someone like Nadal, as Verdasco discovered, you have to hit three winners instead of one winner to win a point! No wonder, even someone with pin-point accuracy as Federer is forced to go for broke and try and place the ball beyond Rafa's reach!

Is it the end of Federer? Is Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam titles safe? Will Rafa ever get to Sampras? Interesting questions, these!

Firstly, there is nothing to suggest that Federer has won his last Grand Slam title. This talk has been going on ever since he lost to Djokovic in staright sets at Melbourne, a year back and then five months later to Rafa at Paris, winning just 4 games. Then the loss to Rafa again at Wimbledon heightened speculation about his possible decline. He still rounded off his year by winning at New York. His record at the Grand Slam events last year—losing semi-finalist at Melbourne, losing finalist at Paris and Wimbledon and winner at New York! How can this be a decline? Maybe from his superhuman feats!

Secondly, to answer the other questions, we must look at what is in store in the coming year. Other than the two, there is Andy Murray who is almost ready to launch himself at the Majors, despite his record so far. He has the game to trouble the best, which he showed last year. And the talented Novak Djokovic, who has the all-court game to add to his sole Melbourne title. Outside the four, you have two talented youngsters, Tsonga and Verdasco. Many people who saw Verdasco the other day in the epic five-setter felt that he is a better player than Nadal and that he lost that evening because of inexperience at the big stage. He is likely to trouble Nadal on clay. Tsonga played only six months last year and the way he pummeled Nadal in the Australian Open last year showed his obvious class. He can only get better. 

Finally, coming back to Nadal and how far will he go! The answer to that lies in his knees. They have taken a pounding over the last 12 months and there is no let-up in the next six months! There is a buzz around in the tennis world that he is only delaying going under the knife! If and when that happens, it will be sad as the fans wouldn't want to be shortchanged. And the scheduling is so tight that there is no let-up, no time for recuperation. But if he is fit, he will take a crack first at the Career Grand Slam and then the magic #14.

Will Federer get to #14? The answer to that lies in the way he broke down after the match yesterday. It hurt him immensely. That means the hunger is still there!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

We are like this only.........

I was going through the South Zone team for the Duleep trophy. I saw the name of Arjun Yadav. The name sounds illustrious and the lineage regal! Only the second great to don the name after the mythical Pandu's brave son! Coming back to 2009 and the Yadavpautra, I looked at his feats in domestic cricket. In his first-class career, he has scored 3146 runs in 66 matches at a grand average of 29.12. Obviously, his dad, the greatest offie after Prasanna, will testify that he is a much better batsman than his fiugres tell. I dug deep like a leggie trying to prise out a batsman on a flat track. His scores in the Ranji Super League were 9, 41, 9, 54*, 18, 118*, 6, 29, 22, 0, and 0. This stupendous performance was better than Ravi Teja (456 runs) and T S Suman (426 runs), S A Quadri (387 runs), who failed to make it to the South Zone team. They say, statistics is an ass, and the Pandu of Hyderabad cricket will tell you how his son's 118 n.o. was probably the best he'd seen after Tendulkar's knock at WACA in 1991-92! But like my grandpa used to say, "If your dad can't do this for you, will an outsider do it for you?"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Let's Make an Example............

I don't know economics, and neither do I understand politics. Probably, some bit of commonsense and morality, I can understand with my limited intellect.

I was watching with amazement, the news of the Satyam imbroglio and its aftermath. I am sure Raju will probably go to jail. But my prescription is that the entire board, the PwC local brass, the SEBI Chief, and probably the BSE Chief should also go to jail. One may argue that some of the above may have nothing to do. Possibly, yes, but I have an argument. Raju is a businessman, and his primary job is to make money—he will go at any length to maximize his returns. That's where the regulators come in and they didn't do their job. They must pay for this. So must the board members. The biggest crime in this land is negligence and oversight. This is not to absolve Raju of the crime. He has cheated his stakeholders—he must be punished. What will probably come out is people at responsible positions will act out of fear of ending up in jails for gross negligence.

This is not the first time. After the terror strikes happened, there was a clamor for the CM's exit. "RR Patil must go." "Down with politicians." There were morchas, candlelight marches, Facebook groups, all saying the same thing—"The CM/ Dy CM must go." They went. Then what? Has the threat gone away to Latur and Sangli? No. I went about looking for people who are responsible for Mumbai's security—the Navy, the Coast Guard, and the Police. Why didn't anybody ask for the head of the Naval Chief? The Coast Guard Chief? The Police Chief? My logic is simple—had these guys done their job of protecting the city, those 10 idiots wouldn't have held the city to ransom and killed 200 innocents! Even today, these 'Chiefs' are pretty secure in their seats! When I suggested this to someone, he said, "Why are you holding the chiefs responsible? They don't have enough weaponry and manpower, besides a host of other problems?" My point—Only when heads roll, will the new incumbents take up issues of inadequate staffing, archaic training, and rampant politicization. Maybe then, will we as citizens feel more secure!

Moot point—People at responsible positions must pay for their acts of negligence! They are as responsible for the crimes as much as the perpetrators! Raju, Deshmukh, and Patil must be punished, but they aren’t the only guys, if you want to stem the rot! They are soft targets, there are others in the system who need a kick on their softside!