Thursday, 30 October 2014

Chatth and Thekua

The Chatth festival has taken over the north Indian states like a wild-fire this week and I just had the finest Thekuas of this celebration. This crispy deep fried Bihari delicacy is something that I start my winters with.

In case you wish to know the recipe; click here!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Relief from hypertension!

It was a bit agonizing moment for me when I visited my doctor this evening, for another checkup. This time my blood pressure was 130, which is substantially normal, compared to what I had on Monday. The doctor has given a green signal for running and exercise, but asked to refrain from consuming non-vegan food till this weekend.

I am not going to consume extra salt till this Sunday anyways, but next week onward; I shall be back on my regular diet.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Hypertension for real!

For the entire last week I was having severe headache and so I decide to visit our family doctor in Jamshedpur this evening. I was shocked to find that my assumption of having high blood pressure was confirmed by him. My BP was above 150 this evening and doctor gave me medicines to get it under check within next 48 hours or else he would commence serious medication. I am also being barred from indulging into running or into any kind of cardio-exercise till this problem is not sorted out. He also prohibited me from eating non-vegan food and any amount of salt; till every thing in not normal.

Now the way I see the cause of this health problem is my over indulgence in sodium rich food last week, sleep-deprivation and lower fluid intake. All of that made my body meet Ms. Hypertension. Nevermind, I should be fine in next couple of hours.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

In Transit: A Day With An Assistant Professor of Law in Bhubaneswar

The 18 hour bus journey from Hyderabad brought me to Baramunda Bus Stand this morning at 0900 hours and a good friend of mine, Alok; who has agreed to host me for the weekend was waiting on the other corner of the town. I was tired yet happy to cover more than 1400 km of road trip without much hassle and so went ahead to get an auto-rickshaw, so to reach where Alok was waiting for me. Just then I got a call from MKK, she was wanting to meet me from the time I came down to Bhubaneswar last week enroute to Hyderabad. Though, she had her classes, but she still offered to pick me up and drop me to the spot where my friend was waiting for me. Who was I to deny a lift, but on one condition; I would ride. She was not ready to allow me that because apparently I didn't have my helmet and she had no extra helmet with her.

Anyway, I reached to Jaydev-Vihar Chokko. "Chokko" is Odiya for roundabout or cross-roads in Odissa. So don't be surprised when someone screams Chokko-Chokko rather than Chowk. She was waiting there for me and when she saw me, she almost fainted because she could fathom the fact that I was traveling like an expat or foreign tourist; with a huge 70 ltr backpack as well as a daypack. She came next to me on her Scooty and I opened my backpack to pull out a full-face helmet. That was another shock for her, "Why would I keep a helmet?"

Once I had my helmet on and we rode off to Pattiya Chokko, the ride was smooth yet a bit uncomfortable for me. This was because this 75cc 2-stroke scooter has no gear and it runs like motorized bicycle. But who was I to complain, the ride was fun. We reached to the destination and found our friend staring onto something or someone. MKK went and surprised him; he did take sometime to get out of the shock because he was expecting me to come in an auto-rickshaw.

MKK rushed back to her college and I and Alok had Coconut-water to quench our thirst. I was definitely very thirsty because I only had a liter of water in the past 20 hours. Then we walked a kilometer to reach his 3 BHK appartment, where he lives. A huge place two kilometers away from Pattiya Chokko that he got for INR 7,000/- a month. Reminds me of my Mumbai days where I used to pay INR 8,000/- for a small garage like space. Anyway, I took shower and then we went out to have brunch, which was indeed delicious.

We ordered a simple Odia Thali, which consisted of Rice, Dal, Curry, Dry vegetable, Pickle, Deep fried vegetable chips. The curry in the small dish is Paneer-Aalloo (Cheese-Potato) Curry. On the left side is a sweet made of condensed milk, which Alok deemed absolutely heavy for him to eat.

After lunch we went back to his flat and had a little fun with GREEN. Then I had to go out see someone so I returned back around 1700 hours and then we went out to KIIT gate, which is the most happening place in the evening; in Pattiya. It was time for me to pack some food into my stomach and treat my host lavishly. 

Our first pick was delicious chicken kabab, which was available on the street right next to the KIIT gate for INR 20/- a stick. It was a bit over grilled, so the juices were dried and the kabab was a bit dry as well as hard.

Then we headed a bit further and found a chain of small shops, which were actually budget eateries. One of them was serving Shawrma, which was for INR 50/- each. We had to had that without fail because I had it last in Bangalore with my cousin. 

We ordered two and the shop next to it served flavoured soda. I had a Fruit Beer soda and Alok had a Cola soda. Later we again helped ourselves with a second serving of Fruit Beer soda.

Then we rushed back to his place and Alok called for an auto-rickshaw to drop me to Vani-Vihar Chokko, from were I was suppose to catch my bus back to Jamshedpur. He was also helpful in calling the agent to book a seat for me and I had to pay for it in the bus after boarding. The auto-rickshaw charged INR 170/- for a distance of 7 km, which was reasonable for night. The bus trip costed me INR 350/- which is good considering the distance from Bhubaneswar to Jamshedpur is 450 km.

Tomorrow, I'll be back in Jamshedpur and from Monday; I shall start running again.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Hyderabad: My First Day Of Adventure With Decathlon and Hyderabad Biryani

The train reached right at 07:30 hours to Secunderabad Railway Junction. Now let me tell you something about this place. It's on the East side of Hussain Sagar lake, which could be marked as a major landmark on the map as well as this is the separating point of the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad. Now I was to go to see an old friend Ashwini, with whom I was to stay in Hyderabad. He stays close to Gachibowli Stadium in North Hyderabad, right next to the Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway; so a ride of an hour was assured.

I caught a bus to his place and the ride begins. I must say that the AC and luxury city buses of Secunderabad-Hyderabad are amazing. They are tidy and are well connected to every corner of this twin city. I had to fall in love with the public transportation instantly; I did. Ashwini was expecting me. Hence he came to pick me up and it was a pleasant sight because I was seeing him after almost 5 years.

We went to his home, which was cozy because of his hospitality. I must admit that it's not the materialistic things that someone offers me, which makes me happy; but the emotions with which it is offered to me. And he is one of the finest people I have the privilege to know of. At his place I met another old friend Ashutosh. They both briefed me all about the city transportation, while I listened carefully.

Now they were gone for work and I quickly freshened up to get going for Decathlon Store, which is situated close to Hyderabad Airport.

Reaching Decathalon

Though I was told by Ashwini as well as the store guys to catch the City-Airport Connecting Bus, which would have costed me INR 200/- for one trip. However, adventurous me; I wanted to try the alternative route. Hence, I took a share auto to Gachibowli Flyover and then took a bus from there to Mehadipattnam. Then I caught another bus to the nearest neighborhood to the airport; which was a highway. Then a shared cab to the airport, after which an 800 meters walk to the Decathalon store. I reached the store drenched in sweat, but the moment I entered there; I was mesmerized.

It was a HUGE STORE for professional athletes and aspiring athletes. Each and every item over there was meant for some sport or other. I took a round of the store and then went into the "Runner's" section meant for men. I would have just ended up buying a cap and the running shorts, but then I met the store manager Tribhuvan Reddy, who gave me an insight into the various running products and also helped me buy the Dry-fit long socks. The bill came a whooping INR 3975/-.

Session of Supercoach Bill Pierce

One of the Decathalon store staff, Bhuvan told me about the particular session; which was to be held in Banjara Hills. Coincidentally, the venue was right beside the Marathon route. Hence, I was more excited and so Bhuvan took me on his bike to the seminar and it was a good session that I had in a long time.

Hyderabad Biryani

Post talk, Bhuvan took me to Hyderabad House at Hitech-I. That eatery is famous because many celebrities come there for good food. Indeed, I had to try it out and ordered chicken biryani for myself and he ordered mutton biryani. I must say, I couldn't finish the biryani, but the flavor was out of this world.

After the dinner, I took a bus to the nearest walking point to my friend's place and called it a fulfilling day.