My Favourite Bars In Cochin

Couchyn at The Grand is a restaurant on Grand Hotel, MG Road Ernakulam in Kochi. It is a preferred destination for several old timers in the city as it is attached to one of the oldest & famous family restaurants in Cochin. A perfect place for wining and dining, drop into enjoy your favorite beverages, cocktails & mocktails. Recommended food pairings are their Trivandrum style chicken, fish fingers, tandoori chicken and French fries.

Blue Rock Resto Bar at Olive Downtown – very cool and awesome location at Kadavanthara. They mix fine dining dishes with fast food and snacks. They have happy hours and offers as well. A tad more expensive than Couchyn. Best pro is that you can get burgers & pizza from the hotel’s cafe downstairs to pair with your beer while you sit in the bar. Recommended is the crispy fried prawns, pork chops & their pizzas.

The Ava Lounge & Bar is hotel Raddison Blu’s bar which is on the 6th floor. Comfy chairs and Couches, thoughtful and polite staff, variety of beer, wine and liquor with a great ambience & service. Decent prices for 5 star hotel however you must go during their happy hours from 11am-4pm. Afghani chicken, tempura prawns and French fries are the only food I have tried from there and I highly recommend them. It tends to get crowded during the evenings and on weekends.

Fun Things To Do At Home On Hot Days

Fun things to do at home on hot days

Well at times you can’t really do anything but I have found that when it is a hot, humid and sweaty day and it is way too sunny out there, it is best not to brave it out there. Unless you have an air-conditioned car that you can get into in the covered porch of your building or garage – in that case, drive straight on till your favourite mall or movie theatre and enjoy an afternoon in the air-conditioned hall while enjoying a good movie.

If you’d rather stay at home, crank up the ac, pour yourself a nice, tall & cold drink, eat a nice light lunch and relax in your home while watching movies set in the snow! That ought cool down your mind, sense and body. For dinner again, keep things light and crispy and enjoy a nice evening with a cool drink in hand. Wear some light, loose fitting clothes and go to bed with new cool, crisp sheets.

Or do as I do and sleep in the nude. Cools things down way more!

Prompt from 170 Creative Summer Blog Post Ideas for All Bloggers at Nikki Blogs

Tasties Nacho Chips – Cheese

So I am always on the look out for coffee time snacks. I guess they can also be called as soft drink snacks (with Coke or Pepso or 7UP) or beer snacks. And I want to try out all the options we do get here. Chips are ofcourse number 1 on the list. Taking a break from Lays, I decided to try out the Indian brand Tasties that also makes cookies and other stuff.

Tasties Nacho Chips – Cheese is the perfect snack for cheese lovers. Made with premium quality corn, the nachos have zero trans fat, making them perfect for snacking any time of the day or night. The cheese flavour brings in that extra zing. Perfect to have with dips or sauces, make your game nights more fun with these cheese nachos. Explore Tasties’ full range of products from baked snacks, gourmet popcorn and roasted seeds.  I ordered some via Big Basket which is the preferred grocery shopping app in recent years.

The cheese taste isn’t overpowering but just enough that you feel it lingering on your tongue for a while. The nacho chips are delightful and crispy and not too thin. I would say that these are best with coffee or tea or even with a soft drink but not with alcohol as you need something more hardier with your drink. You get these nacho chips in 60g or 120g bags. I will give them an 8 outta 10!

TOP 10 WORK @ HOME JOBS IN INDIA THAT PAY YOU WELL (6 TO 10)

Travel Agent

Have a knack for suggesting the best places to go on a trip? Do you know about the best honeymoon packages in Hawaii? Or you know how to travel to Rome? Then you can consider the option of becoming a travel agent online. This is one of the best online jobs you can get or at least a great work from home jobs India offers. Websites like Monster India, Timesjobs, and yatra can offer you this benefit to work from home jobs.

You can start your own website too for very cheap by buying and hosting a webpage and domain. There are many cheap starting options, while Wix can help you build your own personal website to get started in just a few clicks. Your mission should you choose to accept it is booking flight tickets, hotels, reservations, trip packages, and much more. As clients don’t have the time to do all this, you can do this for them by charging a fee.

Content Writer

Content writing includes a lot of styles and forms of writing and producing write-ups. It can article writing, blog writing, webpage writing, copywriting, product descriptions, poems, stories, etc. If you have a penchant to express yourself with words, then consider this the best part-time/full-time work from home jobs in India. So, the thing is anybody can write, what makes you special. I will tell you. It’s your way to express yourself and influence others. If you believe that writing is something you have been willing to do for a long time and is maybe your career choice or some title on your bucket list then this might be a great option for you. This is the best genuine work from home jobs India has to offer.

You can start working at Upwork or Fiverr, to earn a decent income. You can choose from a large category of writing niches, eg website, and blog, news, creative, and much more. A content writer has numerous opportunities and mediums to work and earn. Bloggers can earn more than 1,00,000 dollars a month. Eg Create and go. Being a Poet or a writer can get you fame, money, and respect. Technical writing, news writing is also a good online job option. These days a lot of game writers and scriptwriters are getting paid well and recognized for their work, software like Celtx can help you start your journey as a scriptwriter.

Web Developer

This is one of the most common online jobs available for anyone. They have become dime a dozen and are losing value if not competitive. You must be wondering if the profession is losing its value, then how is it in the best online jobs in India list.

I will tell you something, a top-notch web developer is what your aim should be because if you want companies to set a search bounty on you to offer a job position, then being the best in class can help you deepen your pockets. Web developers online earn around 1.5 lakh – 2 lakh a month. You can start earning now at Upwork or Fiverr.

Online Tutoring

Another work at home and a high paying job is online tutoring. If you are skilled enough or have mastered a field, for eg digital marketing, cooking, contemporary dance, martial arts, stock market, etc you can start your own online tutoring sessions.

You can start by making an aesthetic website from wix.com, buy a domain or start earning instantly through Chegg, where you don’t have to set up a website or anything, and just start earning by simply registering. There is no limit to the buyers you can get for your course.

Call Center Jobs

Considering a call center job which you can do at home? Then you can go for this option. Work at home, and earn a decent amount of money for answering telephone calls, verifying information, and interviewing. Websites such as Upwork, SimplyHired, and FreeLance can offer you work opportunities in this field. You need a decent PC, phone equipment, and software linked to them.

4 Common Misconceptions About India

Hindi is the national language of India

Languages in India are as diverse as its culture and religion. Some 780 languages are spoken across the country, the second highest number of languages in the world after Papua New Guinea which is said to have 839 languages. Among these languages, 23 of them are recognized as official languages including Hindi, English, Bangali, Kashmiri, Nepali, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, etc. While Hindi is the most prominent language in the country, with over 422 million speakers, it is not the national language as no language in India enjoy such a status according to the Constitution of India. Hindi is mainly spoken in northern and central India, and is one of the two languages used by the government (the other being English).

Indians are vegetarians

Vegetarianism is often considered the norm in India due to its cultural and religious traditions. Thus it is quite natural to assume that India might be a vegetarian majority country. This is not the case though. A survey conducted by India’s Sample Registration System (SRS) in 2014 showed that non-vegetarian population over the age of 15 accounted for 71%. Meat or fish consumption is prevalent in many communities especially among the Muslims as well as the coastal states like Kerala and West Bengal which is known for their seafood dishes.

In spite of that, India still has the lowest rate of the population consuming meat, and more vegetarians than the rest of the world combined according to 2007 statistics of the UN FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). It is a great country to visit for vegetarian travelers as vegetarian restaurants are easy to find and there are plenty of options.

The Language barrier

Did you know that India is the second largest English-speaking nation behind the United States? While there are accents due to the local dialects (over 19,500 of them…) most Indians can speak the language. In fact, almost all private schools in India instruct in English and the younger generation is quite fluent. In more remote areas you may find a language barrier, but it’s rare to have a conversation without basic articulation. Remember, some Indians may not have strong English conversational skills, but they understand what is being said.

Indians do not eat beef

Though it is true that the vast majority of Indians do not eat beef, you can eat beef in some parts of the country. The strongest laws on cow-slaughter are in place in the north, central and western parts of India. Eleven states and two union territories (federally-administered regions) ban slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks. The central state of Chhattisgarh does not even allow the slaughter of buffaloes, even though they are not considered sacred. Eight states and one Union territory have no legislation regarding slaughter of any cattle. The states and the union territory with no ban: Kerala, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Sikkim and Lakshadweep.

Top 10 Most In Demand & Hot Selling Products In India Online


Apparels
Dresses constitute the largest segment of all products sold online in India. Close to 35% of the entire revenue generated from online sales comes from apparel and dress materials. Apparels include ladies’ clothes, men’s clothing, and children’s dresses.

Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are trendy items for sale on eCommerce sites. All brands and models available in the open market are also sold through online sites. For buyers, it is easy to compare among models online before buying a handset of choice.

Books and Stationery
Buying a book could be really time-consuming if bought from the open market. It is easy for a buyer to locate a seller of their selected titles across eCommerce sites. Educational, fictional, and reference books from Indian and overseas publishers are available across eCommerce sites. Since the lockdown, many brands have started selling stationery online. You can sell customized, print-on-demand, and quirky stationery online that otherwise is not common in shops.

Consumer Electronics
eCommerce sites are excellent platforms for buying/selling consumer electronic goods like laptops, tablets, and digital cameras. By 2025 India is expected to become the world’s 5th largest consumer durable market.

Footwear
Online is perhaps the best place to search for and buy footwear. The varieties are exhaustive and include shoes, slippers, sandals, and sneakers for both ladies and gentlemen. People get to choose among leading brands from across the world.

Jewellery
Buying exclusive jewelry items is often a tough task when bought across counters. The entire process of selecting preferred items and buying from global leaders is done conveniently through eCommerce websites.

Fashion Accessories
It is obvious that after jewelry items, fashion accessories are a popular product category sold online. Belts, handbags, purses, wallets, headbands, and watches are items bought widely online by Indians.

Beauty Products
Skincare products like cream, lotion, face masks, moisturizers, and perfumes are demanded items sold online. Haircare products like gel, cream, color, shampoo, dryers, etc., are widely hot selling products through eCommerce sites.

Computer Hardware, Software, and Accessories
Desktops, disk drives, storage devices, printers, scanners, mice, and switches are computing devices and accessories that people buy online in India. Market’s leading brands are available to customers at hugely discounted prices.

Video Games
eCommerce sites in India are used to buy video games, especially as gifts to children. Games ranging from FIFA World Cup, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and so on are all available online.

Top 10 Work @ Home Jobs In India That Pay You Well (1 to 5)

You don’t need any proper skills or a degree to do most of these jobs mentioned on the list. You can start these, work from home jobs by either registering for free or making an account. Here is a list of the best online jobs in India:

Blogging

You can start this online work from home jobs anywhere. Blogging is one of the best ways to earn a handsome amount of money online. You can start by making a website on WordPress or a free one at wix.com. With very little investment you can start hosting at one of the various server space providers based in India. It is very cheap and you don’t have to worry about learning how to design a website, as you can take your blog online in just a few clicks through WordPress. People make a living out of blogging and it is considered one of the best work from home jobs in India. You can either write about topics that intrigue you or quench your conscience, or maybe something that is trending online, fitness-related, mental health, and much more.

YouTuber

YouTubers nowadays are rolling in their Lamborghinis, Cadillacs, Mercedes, Tesla, and all those natty clothes from Cucci and Armani. To name a few, you must check out Mr. Beast, Logan Paul, JackSepticEye, Dude Perfect, and PewDiePie to get an idea about their lifestyle. In India, you can see how well Ashish Chanchlani, Bhuvan Bam, and Carry Minati are doing.

Social Media Manager

Social media management is a growing field that requires you to handle social media accounts of small, medium, and big companies. Even celebrities and public figures need social media managers. So if you are pondering how to work from home jobs in India, this is one of the best ways.

Translator

Knowing your own native language, or a third language can now benefit you a lot. If you consider yourself to be fluent in Hindi, English, Spanish, German, Tamil, Telegu, etc then you can utilize your skills on these freelance websites. You can go to Fiverr and Upwork to start today. Free registration and these genuine work from home jobs can help you pay your bills and rent. You will receive a lot of opportunities from Indian and western businesses, and even authors.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant helps keep track of a business’s data, by doing administrative tasks and keeping everything organized. Virtual assistants are basically freelancers working at home or remotely. You have to handle various tasks like composing emails and responding to them. You also need to create business documents with PowerPoint and do data entry in Excel. You are also responsible for responding to business inquiries, managing blogs, websites, sales data, and more. Being a virtual assistant can fetch you a decent income, help pay your bills, and cover all basic requirements.

Suicide Prevention & Crisis Helplines In India

Today some of us learned about the death of a former colleague. Apparently he committed suicide. Not only am I saddened and chocked on learning the news I am also angry. Angry at learning about the details behind the reason why this man, who is around my age, decided that he could not handle life anymore and took the drastic decision to end his life. Such a shame. He also has children.

If You Know Someone in Crisis this is one of the numbers you can call :
91-9820466726 Hours : 24 hours, 7 days a week Languages : English, Hindi.

Crisis helplines & Suicide Prevention numbers:
112 is the national emergency number for India. Call 112.

Kiran: 1800-599-0019. A national 24/7 toll free helpline launched by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment to help people with suicidal thoughts, depression and other mental health issues.

1Life (https://1life.org.in/): +91 78930 78930, a 24/7 helpline for suicide prevention and crisis support

Sneha India (http://www.snehaindia.org) is available 24/7 on the phone by calling +91 44 24640050 or +91 44 2464 0060.

iCall (https://icallhelpline.org/): +91 9152987821 (Mon to Sat from 10 am – 8 pm). It is a telephone and email based counselling service run by School of Human Ecology, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, that offers free telephone and email-based counseling services.

Burger King’s Indie Tikka Chicken Whopper

Every 2-3 months I check out fast food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Taco Bell, KFC & Burger King (which are the big four chains that I have access to here in Kochi, India) to see what new or seasonal items they have in their menu. It’s always fun to have your favourite items from these big guns but it’s even more fun when they launch a new one. Perusing through the BK India site, I noticed that they had a couple of new ones and so I tried out one of them – the Indie Tikki Chicken Burger.

Loaded with Minty, Makhani and Creamy Sauce with a flame-grilled patty, chips in a XXL bun and loads of veggies, The Indie Tikka Whopper is a fusion of funky flavours. They also have a mutton (which is what I was gonna order but I decided at chicken at the last minute) and a veggie patty version. The rest of the things are the same. And when it arrived via Swiggy, it looked just like a regular whopper but it did have nacho chips at the bottom of the patty. Now this is supposed to be an Indianized burger or a burger with Indian flavours. The makhani sauce and calling it the Indie Tikka burger kinda labels it as such but where in the heck is nacho chips Indian?

Anyways I was disappointed as the nacho chips were soggy and stuck to each other, as expected. There was no way that it would retain the crispiness. But the rest of the whopper was good, the makhani sauce goes well with the veggies and the chicken burger. They also added jalapenos – is this Indian or Mexican? LOL! Or maybe a hybrid. Anyways, it is a good burger though taste wise it isn’t very different from the regular chicken whopper. An 8 outta 10!

Lays West Indies’ Hot n’ Sweet Chilli Chips

Ah yes, another one from Lays. This was one that eluded me for the longest time. For one, they only seem to be available in these Rs. 10 pack. Which is crazy for chips that you buy at home – I mean who the heck only buys the small pack? Turns out that this is not yet a full fledged flavour that Lays India is adding to their arsenal and hence they test it out for marketplace reviews and customer buying reports for a couple of years before decided that yes this belongs to the regular list. Once I found that out I thought I should now try it out.

So last weekend when I was placing orders for some groceries via Big Basket, I placed an order for these and thought I’d try it out on Sunday. By the way it isn’t anything like what I thought it would taste like. I love Thai sweet chilli sauce; love it with tempura prawns, fish sticks or even just plainly with some bread! I actually thought that these chips would taste like them. I was wrong! I thought it is funny that they have chilli and sugar cubes on the packaging. I mean – what?? It isn’t spicy except when your tongue actually touches the chips for more than a couple of seconds.

It’s also got a slightly meaty flavour as well and feels like a bbq chip with some spice added. It’s good and I can see myself having it with my evening coffee or even with beer or vodka. Out of the 5 Lays that we get here in India this one would be 3rd best, smack down middle of the road. I’d give it a 7.5 outta 10, closer to an 8 (so maybe like a 7.45 outta 10). American Style cream & Onion is definetely #1 and Tangy Tomato is a sure shot 2nd place candidate. This one is below those two with plain salted being in 4th and the yucky Magic Masala in 5th.

Tandoori Chicken – How to Make Tandoori Chicken

Tandoori chicken – a classic chicken starter or main dish! This grilled chicken is a popular Punjabi food that can be served with onion rings and a green chutney. The juicy and full of spice chicken pieces just fill you up with its delectable taste and makes this dish of Tandoori Chicken a must have snack at a dinner party with family and friends.

Ingredients of Tandoori Chicken

  • 8 Large chicken pieces with skin (2 pieces breast, 2 pieces of thighs, a couple of wings)
  • to taste oil
  • For the marinade:
  • 4 tsp red chilli paste
  • 3 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tsp chaat masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp curd
  • to taste salt
  • 1/2 lemon (juiced)

For the tandoori masala:

  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 3 brown cardamom
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric

How to Make Tandoori Chicken

Prepare the marinade:

1. In a bowl add ginger and garlic paste, red chilli paste, chaat masala, tandoori masala, oil, curd, salt and lemon juice. Mix it well.

2. Rub the marinade on the chicken pieces, over the skin and underneath it. Make small gashes in the chicken pieces for the marinade to coat it nicely.

3. Marinate the chicken pieces for 30 minutes.

4. Char grill the chicken pieces on a griller or tandoor. Baste with oil at regular intervals.

5. Serve with lemon wedges and onion rings.

Prepare tandoori masala:

1. In a pan dry roast cinnamon, peppercorns, green cardamom, brown cardamom, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, bay leaf and turmeric powder.

2. In a mortar and pestle grind the dry roasted spices into a fine powder. Masala is ready.

3. If you are making it in an oven, the temperature needs to be around 250-300 degrees C.

4. Serve hot.

Some Facts About The Festival Of Vishu

Significance of Vishu

Vishu is one of the most significant festivals celebrated in Kerala which marks the astrological new year of the Malayalis. On the day of Vishu, the farmers in Kerala begin the ploughing of land and other agricultural activities.

Traditional outfits are a must on Vishu

People usually wear their best outfits on the day of Vishu and women love to adorn themselves with gold ornaments. Men wear the traditional ‘mundu’ along with khadi shirts. The handwoven off-white Kerala saree with golden border is the most preferred outfit for women on Vishu. The saree can be paired with a similar off white and golden border blouse or with any other colored blouse.

Shop for Vishu festival

All the shops in Kerala keep a wide collection of traditional clothes for the occasion of Vishu festival. The online shopping platforms also offer a variety of products ranging from kids clothing, men’s clothing, women’s clothing, home décor, and food items for Vishu festival.

The Preparation:

Women spend an entire day before the festival on decoration and preparation of auspicious food items. This is the first thing that devotes see on Vishu. Vishukkani setting includes various items like rice, cucumber, jack fruit, coconut, etc. The most important ingredient is the Konna flower which blooms during the Vishu season. This is followed by one interesting tradition where one member of the family, usually the elderly lights the lamp at dawn, blindfolds other members of the family, and brings them to see the setting of Vishu.

Tim Hortons Finally Comes To India – A Little Bit Of Canada In India

Finally atleast part of one of my dreams is coming true. There are several fast food & coffeeshop chains from the Western world that I have not tasted and wish to have them come to India. Some UK, American & Canadian ones. Now in terms of Canada, I wish I could actually move there. Now that’s another story but when it comes to Canadian brands, they don’t come as big or iconic as Tim Hortons. And they are coming to India.

Tim Hortons, a coffee brand established in 1964 in Canada, will enter India as part of an exclusive agreement with AG Café, a joint venture entity owned by Apparel Group, a global fashion and lifestyle retail conglomerate and Gateway Partners, an emerging markets alternative investment manager.

Popular for its freshly prepared iconic beverages like the smooth and creamy ‘French Vanilla’ and its creamy blended frozen coffee, the ‘Iced Capp®’ along with made-to-order food and baked goods offerings, like the delicious bite-sized morsels of traditional donuts called ‘Timbits®’, Tim Hortons will open in New Delhi this year, quickly followed by Punjab and other parts of the country. With over 50 years of coffee expertise, the brand has captured the hearts and taste buds of many.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for specialty coffee retail chains. The growth can be attributed to the changing lifestyle of the young population, rising disposable income, and a keenness to explore global experiences. With this launch, India will become the brand’s fourth country in the Asia Pacific region, and plans to open over two hundred and fifty outlets over the next five years. Tim Hortons India will be led by Navin Gurnaney, an experienced and reputed professional who will serve as the  company’s India CEO. He was previously the CEO for Starbucks India. 

Paul & Mike’s SIMBA STOUT BEER CARAMEL CHOCOLATE

Named after two Latin American fine cocoa farmers, Paul And Mike would love to show you how great fine flavour chocolate can be. They believe that the purest chocolate doesn’t have to be bitter. And that everyone deserves great chocolate.  Headquartered in Kochi, Kerala (my hometown) they grow and ferment cocoa on their own farms in Kochi and Coimbatore. Also, they source wet cocoa beans from progressive farmers in Kerala and Andhra and take care of the entire post-harvest operations. The chocolate making unit is based in Kochi, just a km away from their cocoa farm. I’ve been seeing a lot of their brand on websites, Instagram and Facebook and I just had to try them out.

Simba is a craft beer company in India started in 2016 and selling their wares in Goa, Delhi, Bangalore, Assam & Kolkatta. Simba’s Stout is a dark and creamy beer with notes of rich espresso and cacao which we have blended with dark caramel and wrapped in Paul & Mike’s signature Farm to Bar dark chocolate. Simba Stout is actually India’s first bottled craft stout. Paul & Mike in collaboration with Simba Beers bring you a specially crafted chocolate for the beer lover in you. Combining dark beer, dark caramel and dark chocolate- genius! Shaped like beer bottles, the chocolate exterior hides the mouthful of stout inside it’s hollowed middle and oh my gods, you are not ready for that burst of stout that hits the insides of your mouth and tongue when you first bite into it. Really awesome!

I must rate this chocolate an 8.5 outta 10!

Paul & Mike’s 64% Dark Peppermint Gelato Chocolate

I want to give this local company a shout out especially since they make such fine products featuring chocolates. Named after two Latin American fine cocoa farmers, Paul And Mike would love to show you how great fine flavour chocolate can be. They believe that the purest chocolate doesn’t have to be bitter. And that everyone deserves great chocolate.  Headquartered in Kochi, Kerala (my hometown) they grow and ferment cocoa on their own farms in Kochi and Coimbatore. Also, they source wet cocoa beans from progressive farmers in Kerala and Andhra and take care of the entire post-harvest operations. The chocolate making unit is based in Kochi, just a km away from their cocoa farm. I’ve been seeing a lot of their brand on websites, Instagram and Facebook and I just had to try them out.

First bar of theirs that I tried, ordered directly off their website was their 64% Dark peppermint Gelato Chocolate! I love the combination of cool mint with crunchy chocolate. The classic chocolate-mint combination, but with a modern twist! They use peppermint leaves and premium-grade peppermint oil to make a high quality artisanal gelato. This intense peppermint gelato is then freeze-dried and sprinkled in the 64% chocolate bar to create this unique chocolate which will leave a lingering aftertaste of real peppermint in your mouth. And it is a great treat for the taste buds and leaves you wanting more & more. I absolutely loved it.

I must rate this chocolate an 8.5 outta 10!

RIP KPAC Lalitha

Renowned Malayalam film and stage actor KPAC Lalitha died at the age of 74 on Tuesday at a hospital in Kerala’s Kochi. In a career spanning five decades, she starred in over 550 films in Malayalam and Tamil. She won two National Film Awards for Best Supporting Actress along with four Kerala State Film Awards. She got the national award for the character in ‘Amaram’ in 1999 and for ‘Shantham’ in 2000. She also held the position of the Chairperson of Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy for five years.

Born as Maheshwari Amma in Kayamkulam on 25 February 1948, as the eldest among five children. She was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2009 Filmfare Awards South. She was married to the late Malayalam filmmaker Bharathan. Her first movie was the film adaptation of Koottukudumbam directed by K. S. Sethumadhavan. In 1978 she married  Bharathan, a noted Malayalam film director. She took a break from film acting for sometime, doing only a few films. The second era of her career started with Kattathe Kilikkoodu (1983) directed by her husband. Her pairing with Innocent (actor) was hugely popular with the audience between 1986 and 2006 with successful films like Gajakesariyogam, Apporvam Chillar, Makkal Mahatmiyam, Shubha Yatra, My Dear Muthachan, Kannanum Polisum, Arjunan Pillaiyum Anju Makkalum, Injankaddai Mathan and Sons, Pavam Pavam Rajakumaram.

During this time, she did many critically acclaimed roles In 1998, when her husband Bharathan died, she took a break for a few months, only to come back with an acclaimed performance in Sathyan Anthikkad directed Veendum Chila Veetukaryangal (1999). Lalitha has a daughter Sreekutty and a son Sidharth who debuted as an actor in the movie Nammal, which was directed by Kamal. After a short career in acting, he chose a career in film direction. In 2012, he made his directorial debut with Nidra, which is the remake of 1984 film with the same title written and directed by his father Bharathan. She published an autobiography, titled Katha Thudarum, which won the Cherukad Award in 2013.

Flagship Phones & Our Salaries

Having watched a lot of laptop and phone unboxings over the years, but I have noticed that the price difference in Western nations as compared to countries like mine, which is firmly in the developing nations bracket. If you want to see examples I use the one below which is that after doing a quick Google search and using IT professionals as an example. I fall in one section of an IT professional (it’s weird but go with it) and I get a very good salary for someone in this city and state. Not the highest but in the upper levels (though I need more, just like anyone who has a lower or higher salary will always want more). Yet I can’t afford the flagship phones unless I have a bunch of savings to back it up.

Then I looked at the average salaries of IT professionals in the UK, Canada & The US. Compare the salaries that they get a month versus the prices of the flagship phones. Here is a rough idea below and man does it look sad for us Indians.

  • Average salary of an IT professional in the US : $73,352/yr or $6113 per month
  • Average salary of an IT professional in Canada : $70,00/yr or $5833 per month
  • Average salary of an IT professional in the UK : GBP 73,678/yr or GBP 6140 per month
  • Average salary of an IT professional in India : Rs.6,00,000/yr or Rs.50,000 per month

Now look at the prices of the two biggest flagship phones:

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus : 64,999 / $699 / 1,299.99

iPhone 13: Rs. 74,900.00 / $829 /$1099

Yes, I know that the Galaxy S22 range is out but it isn’t launched in India yet so I do not know the price as of this moment. But still look at the difference for India. How can one afford them with their salaries? Unless you dip into your savings to buy them outright or pay the EMI for them. Which technically someone in the same position in the US, UK or Canada does not have to do. But they still use the carrier to pay the equivalent of an EMI.

RIP Lata Mangeshkar The Nightingale Of India

Indian singer and music composer Lata Mangeshkar has died at the age of 92. She was widely considered as one of the greatest and most influential singers in India. Her contribution to Indian music industry in a career spanning seven decades has gained her honorific titles such as the Nightingale of India and Queen of Melody. Ms Mangeshkar was taken to the intensive care unit on Tuesday after testing positive for COVID-19. Lata Mangeshkar, a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, was an icon of Indian cinema, having sung playback for an extensive list of Hindi films; she also sang in several regional languages including Marathi and Bengali. Ms Mangeshkar, who belonged to a prominent musical family, also composed music as well as produced a handful of films.

Lata Mangeshkar, born in 1929, was the eldest of five siblings, among them singer Asha Bhonsle who visited Mangeshkar in hospital after she was taken to ICU. Their father was classical musician Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar, who gave the young Lata Mangeshkar her first music lesson. In 1942, when her father died, 13-year-old Lata Mangeshkar began her career in music, juggling singing with acting parts in Marathi films. Among Lata Mangeshkar’s most iconic songs is the patriotic composition Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo; the song, commemorating Indian soldiers who died in the 1962 war with China, was performed on Republic Day in 1963 at the National Stadium in New Delhi. Lata Mangeshkar sang it live in the presence of President S Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

Having worked with composers as disparate as Anil Biswas, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, S.D. Burman, C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, Salil Chowdhury, Khayyam, Ravi, Sajjad Hussain, Roshan, Kalyanji-Anandji, Madan Mohan, and Usha Khanna over the next several years, Mangeshkar has the unique distinction of singing for around seven different generations of female actors (Madhubala and Nimmi in the 1940s, Meena Kumari , Nargis and Nutan in the 50s, Waheeda Rehman, Asha Parekh and Sharmila Tagore in the 60s, Mumtaz, Hema Malini , Jaya Bhaduri and Zeenat Aman in the 70s, Sridevi and Rekha in the 80s, Juhi Chawla, Karisma Kapoor and Manisha Koirala in the 90s and Preity Zinta and Kareena Kapoor in the 2000s).

Mangeshkar, who remained unmarried, is survived by a large family, including her siblings and their children and a legion of fans across the world who would today swear by the words that poet and music director Naushad had once written for the singer, “The very heart of India throbs in your voice.” Among her exhaustive charitable work is a hospital in her father’s name in Pune called Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital and Research Centre.