Cedar Cove – Season 1

While Hallmark is not a channel/network I would normally look for selecting show that I can watch a couple of exceptions have known to happen. One such is the Hallmark original and new (it’s in it’s second season at the moment) show for 2013 Cedar Cove based on Debbie Macomber’s novel series of the same name. The Canadian produced show for Hallmark (that and the Canadian majority cast; hence it is usually called a Canadian series) is shot in the Vancouver area and set in the idyllic & picturesque town of Cedar Cove in Washington, USA. The show focuses on judge Olivia Lockheart played by award winning actress Andie MacDowell and her life including her love interest, best friend, daughter and some of the other towns folk.

Olivia is the town’s only judge and a divorced mother who lost her son Jordan when he drowned at the age of 13. She & her physician husband Stan Lockheart grew apart and he found solace in another woman and married her after the divorce. Olivia’s love interest is played by recovering alcoholic & journalist Jack Griffith (Dylan Neal), himself a divorcee who lost his job at a newspaper in Philadelphia and moved to take over as editor & sole jounalist of Cedar Cove’s little weekly paper. Teryl Rothery plays Olivia’s best friend since childhood, Grace, who is a recently divorced librarian and starting off life on her own and her younger daughter Maryellen (Elyse Levesque) who runs the local art gallery comes home to keep her company. Justine (Sarah Symth) is Olivia’s daughter, the twin of Jordan, who is a talented artist and jewellery maker working part time at Moon’s cafe waiting tables when she is given a full time job at the gallery. Her life is turned upside down when she breaks off her engagement with her corrupt real estate developer fiance Warren Saget (Brennan Elliot) after some of his dealings come into the light and when he almost demolishes a cherished landmark lighthouse.

When Justine’s childhood love Seth (Corey Sevier) comes back into town she and he reignite their romance and move in together despite his needing to be away for days at a stretch due to his fishing job. Towards the end of the season Seth sells his boat and decides to buy and start up a new restaurant and Justine pitches in – only they find out that Warren own the property. He eventually does agree to sell to them but it gets partially burned by an unknown arsonist so the town folk pitch in to clean it up. Also in the main cast are Bruce Boxleitner as Bob Beldon, owner of the local bed & breakfast Thyme and Tide & Barbara Niven as Peggy Beldon, Bob’s wife. Bob also acts as Jack’s sponsor to sobriety and often render friendly advice to his new friend. Timothy Webber as Moon, the aged hippie proprietor of Moon’s, a cafe/knick-knack store where Justine once waited tables. Sebastian Spence as Cliff Harting, a rancher. He was estranged from his father, once famous country singer Tom Harting, at the time of Tom’s death. Soon the shy cowboy sparks an interest in romance in Grace, even though she gets sidetracked when her first crush, Will Jeffers, Olivia’s philandering brother played by Cameron Bancroft, comes for a visit and though married seems to like Grace.

Charlie Carrick plays John Bowman, an artist and chef, who changed his name and is the mysterious new person in Cedar Cove who catches Maryellen’s eye. It turns out that he used to be in prison for a drug charge and loses his job at the restaurant when it is found out. Maryellen’s investigation reveals that John served jail time for a crime committed by his brother, and who is Maryellen’s love interest, and is estranged from his family and old friends who didn’t believe his story. John helps the FBI to catch a few drug smugglers which earns his reputation and his relief. Then we have recurring roles for Tom Stevens as Eric Griffith, Jack’s irresponsible son who blames much of that irresponsibility on the fact that he had no male role model growing up Hayley Sales as Shelly, Eric’s folk singing girlfriend. When Shelly’s pregnancy causes complications for her and leads to hospitalization, Eric starts to become more responsible even though he is hot headed and prone to lashing out. And finally we have Paula Shaw as Charlotte Jeffers, Olivia’s headstrong mother who arranges events around town and not so subtly pushes her daughter towards Jack.

So, I know, it’s a show about a quaint little town where everyone knows everyone and life is at a much slower pace here. It’s all about second chances, romances and all that. But it’s never really corny or sugary syrupy and therefore is very watchable, especially with a good cast of seasoned actors and newer up & comers – although MacDowell’s acting seems a little off and that laugh – ugh! Overall it’s not a bad show and can be entertaining.

Food Review Video #20

For my 20th food review video I went into Chick King (a Kerala based chain of fast food restaurants that serve food similar to KFC) and tried out their Mexita spicy chicken sub sandwich. The actual sub was a huge letdown compared to the image on their menu/flyers and their bread was not fresh but overall it was not at all bad and the chicken was good.

Orkut Says Goodbye & So Long

Tomorrow, September 30, Google is going to shut down its Orkut social network as announced earlier. Orkut was the search giant’s first foray into the social networking space, which failed to take off due to tough competition from rival services such as Facebook and Twitter. Google later launched another social network called Google+, which has fared much better than Orkut although in no way is it able to compete with the popularity & useability of Facebook.

Orkut was launched in the same year as Facebook but struggled to get a fan based in countries other than India, Brazil and I guess the Philippines. Indeed almost every 2nd used was an Indian and the “hai friends”, “good morning friends” and “good night friends” posts kept on coming. I created my account or rather my cousin sister created my account for me one evening in late 2005 or early 2006. The main attraction was this family group filled with all my cousins that we used to keep track of one & another and share info. I barely used Orkut as I soon got tried of the format. I got bored with the constant drivel being shared back n forth among the users.

I deleted my account a couple of years back as I hadn’t logged into it since 2008. So Orkut, goodbye and so long – thanks for all the flashy glitter gifs!

The Great Divide : Fiction Or Non-Fiction

When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

I think I’ve mentioned this a dozen times or more – I used to be a voracious reader. Ever since I was a wee kid to just a few years ago, I was a book worm. I loved to read books – first comics and then novels. I remember many gifts from older cousins and uncles/aunts on birthdays which would usually be books. Two of my cousins had this huge collection of comics that they would give to a store that would bind it for you in hard cover and that not only kept them neat but also ensured that they stay in shape for a lot  longer. I read all of them and would read most twice at the minimum.

I had my own collection which was quite vast and other than music cassettes and later cds, they would be the only things that I would ever collect. I prefer reading fiction and often can get lost in a good book. I even place myself into the story and or give faces to each character that has a part in the storyline. This makes it even more exciting for me. If I have some coffee or cold drinks and snacks to accompany the book, all the better. I love taking a novel with me to coffeeshops and sitting there with a big cup of coffee and a snack as I spent the next hour or two reading the book.

I even used to spend 2-3 hours in bars reading books. Well more like just this one bar. I used to go in the afternoons to this bar called Oberois and they would have enough lighting in the corner sections near the windows plus sunlight coming in to allow you to read comfortably and so I would enjoy my afternoons there. The occasional non-fiction has engrossed me but it’s usually fiction.

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspurs 1

In a bizarre game filled with injuries to Arsenal players causing 3 substitutions based solely on the injury factor, Tottenham & the Gunners played out a 1-1 draw. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ensured honours were even as Arsenal and Tottenham fought out an entertaining north London derby at Emirates. Nacer Chadli’s fourth goal in five Premier League appearances this season gave Spurs the lead early in the second half, but Oxlade-Chamberlain hit back with 15 minutes to go.

Wenger says Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta will miss games against Galatasaray and Chelsea because of injury. Both were substituted during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, with Arteta, 32, suffering a calf problem and Ramsey, 23, a hamstring injury. The Gunners play Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday, before facing Chelsea in the Premier League four days later. Ramsey, who injured his ankle during Wales’ 2-1 Euro 2016 qualification win in Andorra on 9 September, was rested for Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at home by Southampton in the League Cup on Tuesday. Arteta has already had a couple of weeks out with injury.

Jack Wilshere, who took a knock to his ankle against Spurs and was substituted after 63 minutes, is doubtful for the visit of Galatasaray. Wenger said he was concerned by the number of injuries Arsenal have – with striker Olivier Giroud (broken tibia) and Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) out for a lengthy spell and Theo Walcott still a few weeks away from returning to training after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury in January.

BlackBerry Passport

I am excited for the release of this device. BlackBerry is hoping to capture the hearts and minds of the public with its square Passport smartphone. BlackBerry – formerly RIM – officially launched the device at simultaneous events in Toronto, London and Dubai with the promise that the device would be on sale in 30 major markets by the end of the year. Cost looks like $599 in the US which means it’s going to be price heavy in India and that looks like a problem for the likes of me. But if I can get the money I will try out this phone.

Specs:

  • Screen size: 4.5in
  • Screen pixels: 1440 x 1440 (453ppi)
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Processor: Snapdragon MSM8974
  • GPU: Quad-core Adreno 330
  • RAM: 3GB
  • Keyboard: touch-enabled QWERTY keyboard
  • OS: BlackBerry 10
  • Storage: 32GB, with microSD slot expandable by up to 64GB
  • Camera: N/A
  • Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • NFC: Yes
  • USB: microUSB v2.0
  • Bluetooth: v4.0
  • Connectivity: 2G/3G/4G
  • Battery: 3,450mAh non-removable battery
 The Passport’s three-row physical (not full) QWERTY keyboard will therefore excite a lot of potential customers. The keyboard also turns into a trackpad when you swipe your fingers over the top of the keys. A major new feature set to launch with the Passport is BlackBerry Assistant – BlackBerry’s attempt to produce a useful voice-control feature. 200,000 units have been sold already including the Amazon stock which was sold out.

Corrupt Political Leader Found Guilty & Sentenced

Just felt that I had to add my 2 cents worth about the stunning news that seems to be on every news channel in India at the moment (mum & I have seen news reports on 6 to 7 ourselves). The news is that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa was sentenced today to four years in prison after being convicted in an Rs. 66-crore disproportionate assets case by a special sessions court in Bangalore. The alleged illegal wealth includes 2,000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and 12,000 saris.  Three others were also convicted in case. Jayalalithaa, chief of the AIADMK, was also asked to pay a fine of Rs.100 crore. Jayalalithaa ceases to be MLA and CM and goes to jail tonight.

Her conviction has triggered massive protests across the state, with AIADMK workers targeting DMK supporters. Tension prevails as protesters burn effigies of DMK President M Karunanidhi, MK Stalin and MK Alagiri. AIADMK workers tear DMK party posters in various places including in Chennai and Madurai and pelt stones in Ambattur, salem, Cuddalore, Srirangam which is Jayalalithaa’s assembly constituency. Shops and commercial establishments down shutters in various parts of the state as protesters damage vehicles parked alongside roads, stoning and then burning buses. Theatres closed, malls shut in Tamil Nadu and one of her supporters tries to set herself on fire.  Normal life disrupted and the state has declared a holiday for a week. The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to the Tamil Nadu government asking it to maintain law and order. Kerala has suspended bus routes to Tamil Nadu (which is usually a heavy route).

This has been a long time coming; the case against her is 18 years old and almost everyone knows she is guilty of corruption from even before that. This just shows how corrupt our nation is – it has taken this long to ensure that justice prevails and the idiots who support her and destroying property & causing damage & nuisance are imbeciles and should be arrested and fined themselves. Sheesh!

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past is a 2014 superhero film based on the fictional X-Men characters that appear in Marvel Comics directed by Bryan Singer. It is a sequel to the 2011 movie X-Men : First Class and set in the future as well as the past (1973). The film stars an ensemble cast, including Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters,Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart and was made on a budget of $200 million!

In the future these Sentinel robots created to seek out and kill mutants and are getting the better of them. Kitty Pryde’s group are chased and almost defeated when she uses her ability to send a person into the past to move them away from the hideout where they were attacked. Pryde’s group convenes with Storm, Wolverine, Professor Xavier, and Magneto at a monastery in China where they hatch a plan to stop the creation of the technology that set in motion the evolution of the current Sentinel robots. In 1973 Mystique assasinate millionaire scientist/inventor Bolivar Trask, the creator of the Sentinels, for his attempts to capture and imprison the mutants. Following the assassination, Mystique was captured, and her DNA was used by Trask’s company to create Sentinels, whose ability to adapt to any mutant power makes them almost invincible. Xavier’s plan is to have Kitty send someone’s consciousness back to 1973 and stop Kitty from killing Trask. Wolverine is chosen as only he has the ability to heal himself; the procedure to send someone so far back in time is very taxing on the body.

Wolverine is told to contact a younger version of Xavier and have him contact Magneto as well. So Wolverin in his younger body (he doesn’t age but in this time period he doesn’t have the metal claws) he goes to the mansion but finds it almost deserted and barges in when Beast tells him that the professor is not at home. Xavier is a hung over version of himself after most of the teachers and students were drafted for the Vietnam War. Xavier, now a broken man, is overusing a serum which allows him to walk and suppresses his telepathy. After finally convincing Xavier & Beast of who he is and where he has come from and explains the plan, the trio recruit a young mutant with super speed named Peter Maximoff, and infiltrate the Pentagon and break Magneto out. The whole sequence in the Pentagon is awesome and pretty funny! Meanwhile Mistique has freed a few mutants working for the US army in Vietnam & investigates Trask’s office and discovers he has been capturing mutants to use in experiments. She goes to Paris where Trask, having failed to get funding from Congress, is headed he Paris Peace Accords to sell his Sentinel technology to Communist nations. Before she can kill him Beast, Wolverine & Magneto arrive to thwart her attempt Magneto tries to kill Mystique to ensure her DNA cannot be used for the Sentinels, but she jumps from a window and is injured when a bullet hits her leg.

As the world has now seen these mutants fighting Trask gets his funding approved by President Nixon (where did they find this actor who looks just like him) and Trask’s scientists recover Mystique’s blood from the street. Meanwhile, Magneto—who has recovered his telepathy-blocking helmet—intercepts the prototype Sentinels in transit and laces their polymer-based frames with steel, allowing him to control them. Xavier stops taking the serum and gains his mental powers back while losing the ability to walk as it is felt that his powers are needed to stop Mistique. At the unveiling ceremony for the Sentinel robots Magneto lifts a large stadium from the ground and lays it as a barricade around the White House and has a sentinel attack Beast & Wolverine. Wolverine is pierced with metal rods and dumped into the river Nixon and Trask, accompanied by the Cabinet, Secret Service officers, and Mystique (disguised as a Secret Service member), are taken to a safe room. Magneto has the safe room pulled out and prepares to kill Nixon but Mistique disguised as Nixon, incapacitates Magneto with a plastic gun. Xavier is able to appeal to Mistique to let Trask live and she finally leaves, followed closely by Magneto. Mystique’s actions are seen as a mutant saving the President, leading to the cancellation of the Sentinel program. Trask is arrested for trying to sell American military secrets. In the future, the Sentinels who had found the X-men’s hideout attack and kill off several of them but just before they can kill Xavier, Kitty, Magneto & Wolverine the scene changes and every one disappears from the monastery.

Wolverine now wakes up in his future self in a new & changed future and finds Iceman, Rogue, Colossus, Pryde, Beast, Storm, Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Xavier alive. In 1973, Mystique impersonates Stryker and takes custody of Wolverine. So I guess the time-travel (sorta element) changes their future. And oh, kudos for them showing a scene of TOS era Star Trek in which Captain Kirk is talking about time travel! Bravo! Great action flick with lots of scifi elements and never a dull moment. I think it’s an 8.5 outta 10!

Message To Deaf Ears

You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?

Geeze, that is a hard one to do. Just one message to one person only? I mean there’s a lot that you can say to people if you only could get the chance and have them think it over and perhaps listen to that message. I dunno! Would I want to send a message to the Prime Minister of India and tell him to fix things in India? Like spend more to alleviate poverty and hunger amongst the masses in our nation? To the CM of Kerala – stop being a douche and playing political games and take back that alcohol ban in the state and give us our freedom to relax at the end of the day/weekend.

To how many rapists can I send words of warning? Or to murders and theives or racist abusers? Or spousal abusers? Or terrorists? To how many people can I say “Your god is a myth so do not murder people and expect that you will live in luxury in paradise/heaven”? To people who torture and maim, selling women & girls as slave – stop for humanity’s sake! To people who abuse their powers – someday this could happen to you, so play nice!

So much stuff to say and to so many people. So little time!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Weird Dream About My Death & Becoming A Ghost

I had this dream early in the morning that I was in a car with someone who was driving me to the railway station. It was like very early, the sun wasn’t out yet and it was raining heavily, like a tropical thunderstorm. And we reached Edapally toll and turned onto the main road and this huge tanker lorry that was speeding came right at us and we crashed into it and at the moment of impact I felt like something burst inside me and blood was rushing into my lungs.

Then it was all dark and when I opened my eyes it was blazing hot & sunny and I was outside the smashed up car and there were cops and an ambulance and people gathered all around. I stood up and winced expecting pain but it seemed to be ok. So I walked around trying to get to a hospital but no one was paying any attention to me. So I tried hitching a ride but no cars or autos would stop. I saw some of my relatives coming to the car crash and I waved at them to show them that I was ok but they didn’t seem to see me. And then I came close and saw….my dead, smashed up and blood stained body in the car next to the dead driver. I was dead and I must have been a ghost and that would explain why no one saw me. And yet there was the fact that I could feel the hot sun and my legs walking on the road.

And that’s weird be cause I don’t believe in ghosts. Also very weird is the fact that it was a cream coloured Ambassador car and I have never seen that car in that colour ever before!

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 1

As the second season has just started on this awesome new Joss Whedon created tv series from ABC, it’s as good a time to take a look back at their first season. The season revolves around the character of Phil Coulson, with Clark Gregg reprising his role from the film series, and his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) agents –  Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz & Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons – who are assigned to several dangerous cases revolving around Project Centipede and its leader, The Clairvoyant, while Coulson also searches for answers concerning his mysterious resurrection after dying in The Avengers.

Initially entrusted to investigate alien technology, humans with mutant or extra-ordinary super powers and abilities the team will eventually be deadlocked into a Hydra plot and with the entire SHIELD organization in shambles, the reveal of Hydra in their midst and betrayal of several key members of SHIELD who were though to be loyal the show changed for the better. Earlier this show was more episodic – strange event occurs or super powers/ object discovered and the agents are sent to retrieve it/them. By mid season the series became more arc like with each episode connected to the next and being connected. It helps that the main villain, Clairvoyant remains unknown until late in the season – while Coulson & team try to track him down they are led astray and find themselves betrayed by one of their own – Ward! Ward was recruited as a teenager by The Clairvoyant, who turns out to be a long time & highly decorated agent named John Garrett (Bill Paxton) and trained him to be loyal to Hydra while being in SHIELD’s ranks. The reveal of Garrett & Ward among others to be Hydra, alive and well, brings down SHIELD and Hydra operatives kill many of the loyal agents while commandeering technologically superior weapons that were locked up in SHIELD strongholds and also recruiting villains that were in lock up.

the discovery that Ward was a Hydra agent were all really cool, engaging events, which were integral in the series becoming much stronger in the final episodes of the season. And with Director Fury “dead” stuff just gets more intense. After Hydra reveals itself and Garrett is caught, Ward’s involvement is still kept in the dark for a while until Skye, who is romantically involved with him, finds out after he kills Agent Eric Koenig and she discovers his body. It is a double betrayal as Ward was also having a no strings attached sexual relationship with May. Ward further goes down the dark road when he dumps the infirmary room compartment in which Fitz & Simmons are hiding in, into the ocean to die. They are rescued by Fury who then along with Coulson leads an attack on Hydra. Agent Antoine Triplett or Trip, a Garrett associate who is loyal to SHIELD and was unaware of Hydra, joins the team in the fight. In the end, with Hydras grip on SHIELD revealed, the government declares both groups to be rogue enemies and the military moves in on Coulson’s men. A temporary headquarter shift is worked out in a secret location where the team can regroup.

Ward is apprehended, after finally losing a battle with May, and Garrett is killed. Fury hands over the keys of SHIELD to Coulson – the second season will see im in charge of a much smaller version of SHIELD, starting from the ground up and rebuilding and recruiting. Things looks great for this show and I hope the momentum created from the 11th episode onwards will be retained. And while Clark, Dalton, Na & De Caestecker are all awesome (as are the recurring guest stars) the shows finds are certainly Chloe Bennet & Elizabeth Hentsridge – both are lovely and cute especially Elizabeth with her humourous banter and mannerisms! Great show!

Arsenal 1 Southampton 2

In a 3rd round game of the less prestigious Capital One cup Arsenal lost at home to the Saints by a score of 2-1. Arsenal may have been understrength but have only themselves to blame for a lukewarm performance. Sure they made 10 changes to the team that won 3-0 away at Aston Villa but they had the lead when Alexis Sanchez’s superb free-kick opened the scoring. But Southampton continued their fantastic start to the season by coming from behind to beat Arsenal. Southampton hit back soon after going behind as Dusan Tadic scored a penalty given for a foul on debutant Sadio Mane. A stunning strike from Nathaniel Clyne gave the Saints a deserved lead, which they protected in a lively second half.

Arsenal strove for an equaliser in the second half but they were unable to break down the visitors, who could easily have added to their lead but for some wayward shooting. While Alexis was superb most of the players Wenger drafted in did much to stake a claim for a first-team place. Rosicky covered ground but provided relatively little, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell were largely anonymous, while Abou Diaby, making his first start since March 2013, was understandably off the pace.

David Ospina in goal while Francis Coquelin, Héctor Bellerín, England under 21 defender Isaac Hayden & Callum Chambers started the match in defence. One good things Bellerin & Coquelin were good and with experience Hayden & Coquelin could become a staple at the club. And we really need more solid defensemen.

Litmus, Litmus On The Wall…

If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

I guess I would ask – are you going to pretend to be my friend and then stab me in the back when the opportunity presents itself? Because you know there’s a lot of fake friends out there and most bastards & bitches will be along for the ride and the moment when you least expect it they use details about you that they got while pretending to be your friend and use it against you. Who wants that?

Having been at the receiving end I would never want to face that again and neither have I ever or will ever inflict that upon anyone. I don’t ask much from my friends, only that you be my friend and support me when the chips are down and celebrate with me when things are going well. That’s not a lot to ask right?

So that is the only question I will ask. If the answer is “No” – then we’re cool. If it is “Yes” then my fist and your face have a date, motherfucker!

Prompt from the Daily Post at WordPress.com.

Frogs In A Well

It’s 2014 – and yet there are people here who still judging others on different hair styles that they think look weird and ‘against the culture’ because they choose to not look like everybody else and actually have their own personality. I’m talking about afros and dreadlocks. Are these backward thinking idiots frogs in a well? It’s disheartening to know that our people haven’t grown up at all that they criticize and poke fun of someone who is remotely different.

My parents watch this Malayalam talk show that has, in the past, had some really good topics. However they also have episodes that drive me bat shit crazy. Like this one they were watching this morning – the host had several people brought in who have “alternative hairstyles”; alternative to the regular norm that is seen in Kerala & India. There were guys into rock/metal, reggae etc and they had long hair, afros and dreadlocks. The host was teasing and making fun of these hair styles and their outfits and comparing them to mythical creatures! Really? The audience was mostly filled with old, narrow minded people who looked upon these men and a couple of young boys, as if they feared that they would catch some disease from them.

And the old ladies would say stuff like “in my time we wouldn’t have allowed them to walk on the streets like this blah blah blah” and all. “This is not our culture and/or against our culture” Well I guess that’s what people said when they introduced shirts, trousers and proper hygienic toilets to us as well! They think they are still in the 16th century. Well throw away your tvs and computers, throw away your clothes and houses and go and live in huts with holes in the ground for toilets and wear single white sheets around your waists for clothes. Get sold to a guy your father chooses for you in exchange for 2 cows or goats, or get married at the age of 8 to your spouse who is 9! Whatever! Fuck off!

My Biryani Woes

A shame on the hoteliers in Cochin (I can’t say for the rest of Kerala) that the status of biryani in our fair city is pathetic. Once upon a time, which is just 10 plus years ago, you could be assured of being served a very good biryani at a lot of restaurants in the city. However the trend has become that what you get when you order a chicken biryani is cheap quality boiled basmathi rice with a few cinnamon sticks, a clove or two and chicken masala or chicken roast that has been cooked separately and then hastily added to your plate over the rice. Add in an egg and then they charge you a minimum of Rs. 130-150 for the dish! Highway robbery!

Back in the mid to late 90s I have tasted so many really good, well prepared chicken biryanis. There was a small restaurant in Ravipuram, which is where NIIT is, called Tima where a bunch of us would opt to have lunch at regularly. The choice almost every 4 or 5 days would be biryani and we would order Tima’s chicken biryani which they served with little chopped up pineapples to offset the spiciness of the masalas. Wow, they had a good biryani and yet there were a really small, low brow place. Many other places have good variety of biryani. But as I have stated early in January, what we get now is a bland mix of stuff.

Even Ceylon Bake house, once certain to give you good biryani paled in comparison to what they used to serve. Thin pieces of chicken that tasted like they were just dipped in boiling water and mixed with some gravy. I’ve tried them at Velocity & Coffee Beans – they don’t make the grade! Atleast Sea Park in Kalamassery had a decent Hyderabadi Dum Biryani which I really liked and had on many occasions during the 4 years that I worked in an office near it. I can’t remember the last place that I have had a decent biryani since 2006 other than Sea Park. It was so bad that for the last couple of years I have opted not to try biryanis unless someone else is also having it.

It is my intention to try out the biryani’s in a few places that people have suggested to try them out. I will go in with a little hope and wish for the best. There has to be some decent ones out there. Anyone in Cochin who is reading this, please give me your suggestions for a good biryani place.