Shopping & Eating

Suddenly, I had all the time in the world, with my girls finishing the annual exams. They have a short two-week break and then new classes begin by monday. So, what best to do, when 3 naughty girls team up ????? ūüėȬ† Yes, indeed lots of shopping and eating.

I enjoyed shopping in and around Mylapore¬†and Luz, the places close to my heart. Even though I stay so much farther now, I made my way to Mylapore, just to feel the vibes – whether they were the same as I remember.¬†¬† And yes, it was fantastic to be among the hustle and bustle of Mylapore. And what an awesome bajji¬†shop, bang opposite to Rasi¬†Silks. We had masala vadai, aloo¬†bajji, onion bajji to our heart’s content, finishing off dinner by 6pm. It was amazing¬†!!!

Another day, S took us all to Kabul Restaurant, in Alwarpet.  Kabul is one of our favourite restaurants, for a long time. And this time, when we went with girls, it was even more fun and the food was delicious. The Kababs were damn good, tender and juicy and greatly flavoured. WOW !!! Makes me yearn for that taste, again and again.

Have anyone of you been to Snofield, the ice-cream¬†shop, just at the corner of TTK¬†Road / opposite to Music Academy ????? If¬†ice-cream¬†can be made even more delicious, it’s here. They make the best sundaes and have the bestest combos. The girls were super thrilled to visit places, where I’ve been while young.

Also, the recently opened Reliance Trends, near AVM Rajeshwari Mandapam, is damn neat with fantastic choices and varieties. Inaugural Sale is going on.  Loved the new kurta cum top, which I got there.

Enjoying Chennai !!!! ūüôā

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The Grand Sweets & Snacks.

Do you know  Adayar, Gandhinagar ????

OOPS, No, not been there.

Do you know the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple in Adayar ????

No idea.

At least, do you have any idea of GRAND SWEETS AND SNACKS ?????

WOW, Yeah, I know that place. The sweets and snacks there are awesome, right ??!!!!

That is The Grand Sweets and Snacks, Adayar, Chennai.

If there is an eating heaven on earth, it is this Grand Sweets and Snacks.

WOW, what a lip-smacking variety of sweets and snacks !!! You name them and they have it.  They also take marriage orders and huge orders during Diwali and other festivals.

My favourites are many – any sweet done with jaggery is my favourite and so I love vella¬†seedai, athirasam, manoharam, verkadalai¬†urundai, pori¬†urundai¬†etc.¬† You should have the milk sweet peda, at this place – It’s just awesome.

As a kid, have you had the loosely done soan¬†papdi, from the bandi¬†wala, who keeps ringing his bell and calling out the kids to come out ?????¬† He’ll have a dome-shaped glass jar filled with the delicious soan¬†papdi¬†!!!! And how I wished that he gives me more, for that 10 paise, I gave him.¬† ūüėČ

I remember those wonderful times, when I’ve soan¬†papdi from Grand.

 The snacks are no less Рbe it the various types of murukku, seedai, mixture РGrand is just Grand in taste too.  Why ??? The whole shop is so neat and Hygiene is the mantra for the crowd that throngs this shop all through the day.

They don’t even re-use the oil and hence the snacks remain crisp and tasty for long times.¬† And the snacks and sweets that didn’t sell, are given to some homes and orphanages, instead of wasting.¬† Every day, the sweets and snacks are made fresh !!!!

One more important thing that needs a mention is the cup of tasty prasad that they give to every person who comes into Grand. They have varieties like tamarind rice, lemon rice, curd rice, sakkarai pongal, sooji kesari and many more. You know, on New Year, I had badam kheer there and it was just awesome.

And when you order to eat a single piece of gulab¬†jamun, rasogulla, samosa, dahi¬†wada¬†– they’ll be¬†served¬†hot or cold¬†and its a pleasure to sit there and eat the single piece, before taking home a big pack.¬† ūüėõ

I think I can go on and on about this wonderful place, destined to make your stomach happy.

If you shift out of Chennai, this is one place you’ll surely miss.

I had secretly wished to open a franchisee in Hyderabad, when I used to stay there.  Now, being in Chennai, I visit it every week, buy something to make my stomach happy.  Tummy kush, UmaS kush !!!!

And, here’s a picture for you – the beautiful sunset, taken from my balcony !!!! Isn’t is awesome !!???!!!¬† ūüôā

The Beach

 

This is my favourite place in the whole City of Chennai. The BEACH !!!!

It’s the¬†pride of Chennai and the stress buster of Chennaittes !!!!

Whether it’s the sunrise or the sunset, there is no better place to be, in Chennai.

Even during the hot afternoons, you can see people trying to catch the gentle breeze, which is sure to carry away your worries.

 

 

While I was a young girl, I’ve enjoyed many a moments, walking barefoot on the gentle, soft sand, thats sure a pedicure for your feet.

The waves that caress your feet and say that I am with you, is an awesome great feeling. You never will feel like going back home.

The abandon with which we ran around in the beach, rolled on the sand are such wonderful times from my childhood.

 

I took my daughters to the beach, to enjoy the sand and waves the same way I had enjoyed them while being young. They were thrilled to bits.

 

The view of the horizon, the ships that sail through, the catamarans venturing out to catch fish, the moon on our back – it’s a wonderful setting from heaven.

The best thing in Chennai beach is the delicacy called SUNDAL Рwhich is dried green peas sprouted and cooked and mixed with coconut, mango, chillies РWOW, that has to be tasted to believe the taste.  You can never get something like that anywhere.

 

The Beach has got a charm

Which holds onto your heart

Makes you yearn for more lovely moments

Which stays in your heart forever.

The gentle breeze stimulates you

The waves caress you

The people are enjoying with you

And you feel you are in heaven forever.

Big Screen – 2

Guest post by Kanagu.

Before going to the next set of theatres let us see what makes watching a film in theatre special.
 
·         The recently released film 2012 is meant to be seen in theatres. The visuals won’t fascinate you, if you watch it on TV. Those Tsunami’s, Tremors, and those huge spaceship won’t make you go awe on it.
·         There is another category of films which can be enjoyed in both in TV and theatre. But there is a crowd factor which boosts up those films. They are the mass-hero’s ultimate action films. For example, if we take Rajinikath starrer Baadsha, it packs the punch even if I see it in TV. But just imagine the effect those movies have on the crowd. Those ppl in the theatre would have gone crazy when that flashback scene opens and the black-white screen turns into colour or for the punch dialogue which the superstar utters.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Another genre of films which we must see in theatre is the Thriller ones. The people surrounding us may scream at times, which will double up the fear factor. And another thing¬†– however good our acoustic system is in our homes (did we ever thought about that? ūüėČ ) may be, it won‚Äôt match the theatre environment.
 
All the other films we can see aram-se at our own comfort in home. They won’t make much of a difference.
 
Let’s move around to the other theatres:
 
All the theatres in Chennai have been renovated except for a very few, to cash in on the multiplex audiences. Of them I am going to tell which are the best and worst in mid-range category.
 
Sangam:
 
Of the mid-range theatres in Chennai, I always prefer Sangam main screen. First time when I went there to watch a film I am awestruck by its screen quality. Its crystal clear and the interiors are so good. Still they are maintaining it. And the best seats to see the film in Sangam theatre is 75 rupees in balcony. Just get a ticket in C or D row(in middle) in corporate class, the view will be wonderful.
 
The only one bad thing about this theatre is, they can’t give the same quality in other screens. They are just awful. No proper seating arrangements and the sound quality will be really poor. It will be a waste of money.
 
Udhayam:
 
Another theatre, in which, the main screen is too good and the price is reasonable. But their drawback is, they are still having that age-old system of ticket booking ‚Äď standing in the queue. Their small screens are not that bad. We can¬†expect a decent quality there. This theatre is really worth a visit.
 
Kaasi:
 
One of the very few theatres in Chennai which has single screen. It’s a real big one and also have a good sound effect. But unfortunately, all the films I have watched in this theatre are dumb ones.
 
Abhirami:
 
Of all the theatres in Chennai, the theatre in which I hate watching a film is Abirami mega mall. They have all the show-offs to attract the crowds like restaurants, snow world and other things but when it comes to theatre quality, they are really, really poor. Even the main screen is not a worthy one to watch a film.
 
Next one will be the last part in this series.

Hindi chalta hai yaar !!!

The city of Chennai¬†brings to mind the tamil language fanatics, with whom I’ve grown up, studied together, worked and interacted with all through my life, in Chennai.

Everybody used to talk only in Tamil and Tamil alone.  Of course, there are various slangs, in different parts of the city.

In and around Mylapore, are the Saivaites, conversing in their specialistic Iyer dialect.

Around Triplicane, are the Vaishnavites, with their Iyengar styled dialogues.

The Royapuram side are known for their Hindi speaking crowd who are desperately trying to talk in Tamil. But it will be only Tamil.

The fisherman clan of this city have their own slang of tamil and the working class of people, another slang.

Beyond all these are the tamil fanatic people, who speak in wonderful old classical tamil.  Its a treat to hear such speeches in classical tamil. The younger generation of today are finding it difficult to understand this classical tamil. But, once you put in your mind and learn it, the joy derived in listening to such wonderful tamil, is like music to ears.

But, now, after I’ve comeback from the urdu-telugu speaking Hyderabad, I am in for a pleasant surprise.

I had been to the nearby electrical shop to buy some CFL for my home. The salesman was from Rajasthan, speaking in wonderful tamil. And the moment, he came to know that I can speak to Hindi, he was very happy to converse in Hindi with me.

Same situation at Adayar Anadha Bhavan Рthe wonderful place for snacks, tiffins and sorts.  But, surprise of surprises Рall the sales people were from Bihar and starting conversing with me in Hindi. Actually I got super service, there.

The other day, I had been to a nearby branch of Ratna Cafe. This Ratna Cafe¬†is¬†one of the oldest hotels in Chennai, started first in Triplicane. I’ve heard stories of ppl buying Sambhar only in buckets to drink it – even though you think its an exaggeration, its the truth. Such is the taste of sambhar, here.

And at Ratna Cafe too, I met a few ppl who are from North India and working there at servers. My God, they were awesome pleased to hear me talk to them in Hindi.

It is certain that those ppl from the Northern India have learnt tamil, to be a survivor in Chennai.

But one thing hit me straight – Arre !!!! Chennai mein hindi chalta hai, yaar !!!!!

Thats a great step forward for the city of Chennai and it can be the advantageous side effects of the booming IT industry and a great moving crowd.

Big Screen – 1

In the endeavour to discover Chennai and its flavours, I requested a few of my fellow Chennai bloggers to write a guest post about this wonderful city in which we live in. And so, here it goes, the first guest post.

 

Guest Post by Kanagu

Before the Millenium it was Devi and after that it was Satyam.

Wondering what I am talking about?? It’s about the best theatres in Chennai. Ask anybody in Chennai, the answer will be unanimous. I have a great love for theatres and want to visit some theatre in every city to see how they are. But the only time I have refrained from this is, when I was in Bangalore. Because they are more expensive Рaround Rs200/-.  I don’t think the ordinary screen deserves such a price. Moreover Chennai itself has a long list of theatres from the old ones like Agasthiya, Devi, Casino, Pilot to new blocks like Sathyam, Sangam, Udhayam and Abhirami. The ones I have listed are very few. So now I can get into the best and worst theatres in Chennai and the reasons for the same.
 
Sathyam:
 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When the multiplex culture boomed, they are the ones who cashed in on that and are reaping great benefits. But there was a lot of efforts¬†behind its architecture¬†and design. Previously, it had one of the complex structure and I found it extremely difficult in finding my way out from it when I went to watch the film ‚ÄėMudhalvan‚Äô in 1999. But they have made it so well now, that you will never get lost and have 6 great screens. You will feel like you are in a different world when you are in it. My words may seem to be exaggerated but its best to ask anybody who has seen a film there recently. My brother is an ardent fan of Sathyam Cinemas and he will watch a few selective films only at Satyam.
 
I always like to say that, watching a film in Sathyam is an experience because such is their interiors, looks, and the seats. The organized parking lots, those helpful securities and never can you see, any of their employees behaving rudely. They are always very patient and help us to find our way. For the family, it’s the best place to watch a film.
 
After saying all those, I haven‚Äôt said about the important aspect of a theatre yet i.e. screens. With RDX (Real Digital Experience) installed in each screens now, the movie watching experience is awesome. They have 6 screens but I am that¬†kind of a guy, who loves to watch a film along with 1000+ people. So I always book the ticket only when it is screened in the main screen. Recently, I watched ‚ÄėInglourious Basterds‚Äô in one of their smaller screens and I am totally impressed, there too. The tickets are little costly but its worth it.

 
 
Some news I have heard about Sathyam:

When some problems occur with projection:
 
·         Firstly there will be an apology. If it doesn’t gets resolved within 5 minutes Coke and puffs will be provided for free. A lady, who is in-charge of that, comes to resolve the problem.
·         If it doesn’t gets resolved even after 15 minutes, again coke and snacks will be provided and if you wish, you can walk out. At the counter, your whole ticket amount will be reimbursed.
·         And this is what impressed me the most. And in the parking lot, they will ask you from which show you are returning. If you say that show which got interrupted your parking charge too will be returned.
 
Another trivia:
    
   The theatre was about to be sold in 1996 and a mall was to be coming up there. But before that deal saw the light, the Sathyam theatre owner was killed and his sons took over the theatre, made all the changes to the theatre in accordance with the urban life style and now everything is for everyone to see.
 
So when you are in Chennai and you want to spend some boring 3 hours then I will say, you must spend it watching a movie of your choice in Sathyam theatre. According to me, its one of the destinations of Chennai along with Marina beach, Santhome Church, Kabalishwarar temple, St.George’s fort and some other.
 
To be continued…..

AAVIN Paal Khoa

We have a tradition in our family.  Anything new, we begin with something in white colour, which represents purity of thought and heart.  Generally it is coconut or milk.

So, here I am, writing my first post on Chennai through my eyes and what more better thing to write than about the lifeline of Chennai – AAVIN MILK.

If any resident of Chennai is asked which milk do you use at home, you can expect a unianimous answer РAAVIN.

Actually my generation of people, have grown on this AAVIN milk.  Even though so many other brands of milk are available in the market today, there are loyalists of AAVIN all over Chennai.

And all the other AAVIN products too are delicious and yummy.

One such thing is the paal¬†khoa¬†(Milk in tamil¬†is paal).¬† Me and my girls just hog on it, whenever we get the chance.¬† And yesterday happened to be one such day. We, three girls, were strolling on the main road near my home, trying to find some good hair bands.¬† Nope.¬†¬† ūüôĄ¬†¬† Nothing to satisfy our needs.

But, all of us suddenly saw this AAVIN¬†parlour and shouted in chorus – “AAVIN” !!!!!¬† We just ran towards the parlour and look at our luck – only one ¬ľKg box was available. And before anyone could lay their hands on it, we grabbed it¬†and paid and came home.

We couldnt wait to open it and the moment the box was opened, we all gobbled up the entire khoa in just a matter of minutes.

So, delicious is this AAVIN paal khoa, that it melts in the mouth. The taste is so superb.

I’ve always wondered how do they make this wonderful stuff.¬† When I make khoa at home, it never turns out like this.

Anyway, three cheers to AAVIN¬†PAAL¬†KHOA !!!! ūüėÜ ūüėõ ūüėÄ ūüôā