Ok so I have now used the phone for a couple of days and I love it. I am sharing a few pics from the time of unboxing, which was on Tuesday. The IQOO 9t sells at a beastly price of Rs.49,999 or Rs.50k. I bought it off Amazon India, with a discount of Rs.1000 for taking it on EMI, another Rs.750 for buying it on a card, Rs.4000 which is an ICICI Bank discount – I don’t have an ICICI card but transferred money to a friend who does and placed the order using that card.
I also exchanged my 2+ year old RealMe X2 Pro for which I got a discount of Rs.13,053. Not bad eh? So even the box is so wonderful to look at. A well designed box with a slightly textured finish and an awesome pattern and rather stylish look. The top of the box is a diagonal cut and makes it stand out even more as the gap is slightly indented – looks nice!
Love that white finish on the phone with those beautiful three racing track stripes and it is so smooth to the touch. The stripes feel different enough on my fingers but overall it is so smooth but a little slippery. Hence it is always good to keep a case on the back, which is something I always do anyways. I choose to always go with the company provided clear TPU back cover so that I can enjoy the look of the original back cover. And I love the black rectangle on top which is for the camera part.
Overall it is a very smooth phone to use though since I have been very busy with work related stuff and others, I haven’t yet fully explored the phone. I plan to do so and finish installing all the apps I need tomorrow and on Sunday and will play around with it a lot more. I did install a couple of games and have played a few rounds when I got time. So far everything is top notch. And the battery charging – so damn fast!
Birthdays are no longer the big event that I or even some of my relatives had during our younger years. It’s now mostly just another day with me balancing the morning and evening by liking and/or thanking people for their wishes and then once in a while someone may call and hence I answer them and then thank them for the wishes and then later on in the evening getting a cake and ordering some good food.
That’s what I did yesterday. My aunt called me and a couple of others, who I haven’t spoken to in ages, also found some time in their busy day to make that call – which I absolutely appreciate. Post breakfast, I also responded to messages and liking the wishes on Facebook and Whatsapp. By 1 pm I was hungry and I decided to have lunch with mom & dad here at home. I had already messaged my sister to tell her to come for dinner.
I then watched some tv while relaxing on my chair, some Corner Gas and then some CSI. I had a coffee and a snack and then went to take a shower and change. I had also ordered in a cake – the one you see above – and a little later I went down to go and collect the cake from the delivery guy. That done, all I had to do was wait till 7 pm when my sister & niece would be in.
They came at exactly 7 pm and in 30 minutes after checking what people would be ok to eat I placed my order on Swiggy. From one of my current favourite restuarants, Urban Paratha, I ordered some naan, 2 veg pulaos, butter chicken & tandoori chicken. Then I went back to the living room and spent the late evening with my family. We also cut the cake and enjoyed a piece. The food arrived by 8:20 pm and we ate our dinner while chatting. My sister and niece left by 9:45 pm.
I sat and watched a bit more of tv until I had to go to bed. I then went to the washroom, then took my medicines and got my bottle of water filled. Then I went to bed after I switched the lights off and tried to sleep. Good birthday!
Finally, after such a long time I was finally out and about. Post May and the second lockout which lasted for almost a month I haven’t been out for anything other than getting vaccines done in August. Then I had my hospitalization in October and then have only been out for hospital visits and doctor’s appointments. Today was the day that changed. What I needed most was two things and for the first I booked it via a phone call in the morning. A couple of days ago I had also called my cousin Sujith to see if he was game to meet up for a few beers and we arranged to do it today.
I was long, long overdue for a haircut. Even though I am balding very badly on the top, my hair does grow at the sides and back. My last haircut was…..steady yourselves folks……back in late April or early May! My hair was so long at the back that it was almost shoulder length. It was very difficult to dry my hair after a shower. Also it started getting in the way at times and it was curling at the ends and when I shave it would get in the way. I should have cut my hair back in August or September but then yeah, I wasn’t going out anywhere.
So I had booked my appointment for a haircut at a nice saloon which I have been going since the last 2-3 years. Expensive but it is very nice and comfortable and you don’t have to sweat while waiting for your barber to be free. Besides, I only have to do this once every 4 months or so, therefore a little pampering is ok in my book. I shaved and showered and then got dressed and got into an Uber by 12:40 pm and reached there by 12:55pm. I waited for all of 5 minutes before I was seated and then got my long locks chopped off. Man, it feels good!
While I was still getting my hair cut, Sujith reached the saloon and waited on one of the seats. Once my haircut was done, I paid and united with my cousin – we hadn’t met since July of 2020. Damn, that is such a long, long time. We walked over to Couchyn, my favourite bar which I hadn’t visited since February 2020, got a table and then checked the menu. Prices are so high these days but yeah once in a while it’s ok to enjoy yourselves. We ordered two Hoegaardens which was delicious and then two Coronos, which I had never had before. We munched on a bunch of French fries – which are way better than any fries from McDonalds, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chicking or KFC. Seriously!
Ofcourse we chatted up a storm. We talked about what he was doing and his personal life, what I have been doing at work and my lack of a personal life. We talked about the usual stuff – Star Trek shows, Marvel movies & tv shows, other new tv series, girls & women, etc. After that we ordered one more Hoegaarden each and ended up the afternoon with two scoops of ice cream each. He had vanilla and I had chocolate. Everything was great tasting and I really have missed beer. It has been 6 months since I had had a meal out of the home and since months since I had any beer. How I have missed you, beer!
Then I booked my Uber to come back home and we parted at the entrance. He walked to the Metro nearby and went home. I got into my Uber and had a nice chat with the driver who was also very kind. I came home and watched tv for a bit and took a nap before waking up for coffee.
One of the breakfast options that I really have liked during the past couple of weeks is this that you see up here. This is button mushrooms that cut in half and cooked in butter, with some chicken salami that I also cooked in the same pan. Now the slightly spicy chicken salami that I bought was ofcourse tasty enough as a cold cut but when you cook it along with the mushrooms it takes on a whole new life of it’s own and the taste is enhanced.
So those two added together is delicious on it’s own but then I added a couple chunks of cheddar cheese and added it to the bowl. I didn’t want it to be melted but straight from the fridge and when I add it to the hot mushrooms and salami, it does become a little warm but does not melt. This breakfast in a bowl on a Sunday morning is just hmmmm with a cup of black coffee.
Hello 45! I cannot believe that I am now 45 years old. A reminder of the deadly passing of time that you are unable to do anything about – stop, reverse or even slow down! A reminder to party like there’s no tomorrow because you are slowly dying!
At times I feel like someone or something has cheated me and I lost the best years of my life. I did not get to do the things that I see other people enjoying in their 20s and 30s. I think I got left behind. Where did the time go? I want to be young again. Have a bright future ahead of me and go back to being 22-23. And make a lot of changes in my decisions that could have affected my life in more positive ways. If only I could go back in time and make those changes rather than play with these cards that I am dealt with.
Or I can be grateful for another 365 years of live on this planet and give a toast to the previous years that have gone by. The highs & the lows, the good & the bad, the achievements, the failures, the disappointments, the pleasant & no so pleasant surprises and the loves and losses and even the hates! This is a day for reflection and inner search for those few strands of positive things that have made a difference in your life and hopefully, the things that you did that meant something to others.
This is the cake that I bought from Pandhal cake shop for my birthday. My sister and niece also went and bought a cake from another place. Mine was this delicious Rich Chocolate that was so awesome and my sister bought a VanCho cake that was really good too. I had some candled and we enjoyed them just after coffee. I asked my mother to give some to our neighbours who always cook something for us.
By 8 I was sipping rum & Pepsis and we ate the dinner I had bought. Which was veg fried rice, dal makhni (since my sister is a vegetarian), naan, tandoori chicken and butter chicken. Post dinner I had another rum & cola and listening to music online.
Finally! After over a year I went to a bar and enjoyed a few drinks and some food. Even though the bars opened in late December, I wanted to wait for a few weeks before going in as Covid isn’t going anywhere. But after my cousin went to Couchyn & Blue Rock bars last month I was really wanting to go to one myself.
So I planned to go in last weekend but I was feeling a bit tired and wanted to stay in all weekend and catch up on my sleep. This weekend my cousin was headed to Trivandrum to meet some friends and other relatives. Even on my own I thought I still want to go just because it’s been so long. I wanted a change of pace and it having been over a year, I was ready to go. So I went to Blue Rock yesterdat at 12 pm.
I went in and there is plenty of social distancing in the tables and I love the layout. I ordered 4 Smirnoff Vanilla vodkas and 7up. This is the first time that I am trying the vanilla flavoured ones and boy is it delicious. I love their espresso one, which tastes just like a light cold coffee and this one is like a vanilla flavoured 7up! Hmmmm.
And now let’s talk about food. Blue Rock & Olive Downtown (which the hotel that this bar is in) has excellent food. I first ordered me some golden batter fried prawns which are really delicious. They had this thick sweet chilli sauce to dip the prawns. I could drink that sauce everyday. It was that good. And I love prawns.
After that, and while I started my 3rd drink, I ordered some honey glazed pepper pork. I was thinking of sticking with seafood but this place has a lot of pork items on their menu. It was good and well cooked but a bit too oily and spicy for my taste. If they had gotten down that under control it would have been the perfect dish. I needed to cool my tongue down and I kept sipping 7up for that.
I ended the afternoon with a slice of cake as a dessert. I then went to buy some groceries and some medicines before coming back home and watching part of a movie.
I first got a tattoo back in 2015 (August 14 to be exact). While I was in Chennai, sent there from the office, and shopping on a Friday I spotted the store owner had a couple of big tattoos. I casually asked him where he got his, how much they were and if there were any tattoo parlours in the mall or nearby. When he gave me directions to the same one where he got his, very near the next stop I was headed too, which was a pub, I just had to get a tattoo done. Just like that, on the spur of the moment from me asking some guy I just met about his tattoos and asking for recommendations to me getting my first tattoo done at the ripe old age of 39.
Today, after a bit more planning for the past few days, I decided to contact a few tattoo parlous and check out their Instagram pages. I selected one which is not too far from me. I arranged for my appointment (as they are only doing it this way since Covid) at 12 pm today and I left by 11:30 am. I reached 10 minutes early but it took me 4 minutes to locate the building. I walked the steps to the first floor and rang the bell. I met the two artists who run the place and showed them the design I had finalized on. They took a print out and then a stencil of it which was stuck onto my hand.
I sat in a nice chair, relaxed (as much as you can when that needle is hitting you) as the artist (on seeing my ACDC inspired mask) and asked me what other bands I listened to. On hearing my tastes, he changed the music from the New Age stuff to more classic rock. I chilled to Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Guns n Roses,Ozzy Osbourne etc and we talked music and tattoos as he did the work on me. It does hurt but I can take it. I wasn’t expecting it to take almost 2 hours to finish. By the time he was done, I was close to wanting a break. I needed a cold drink.
I didn’t get on at that time though. I went to a grocery store and bought some supplies, then to an ATM to take out some cash and later on also buy some medicines. I then came home and wasn’t in the mood to eat a full lunch as it was almost 3pm, so I ate a meat samosa and am egg puff with a Coke and then logged in to my work computer as they needed me to check on some data. I was checking on it till about 5pm and then messaged the details. I was ready for some coffee and music blasting on my laptop, so I shut down my work pc and chilled till just about now.
I’ve got grilled chicken alfahm coming my way and I am drinking a beer. Things are good.
Not being big on Christmas it has always been just another day. If you are in a school, college or office environment then leading up to the 25th you will see lots of programs, carol singing and being dressed as Santa (with the scary. creepy Indian masks; I dunno why India can’t get better looking masks for Santa) and some stupid contest or the other. They usually have a Secret Santa thing going on which I like.
With this year working from home, I have not had any of that ofcourse. And as usual Christmas is just another day for an atheist. It is a holiday for my department however this year they had wanted one of us to work on Christmas and New Year as a backup / emergency / just in case. I volunteered for the 25th as I knew it would be an easy day at work and I would also get Monday off. On Monday I will be going back to the hospital and when I come back I will be tired and hence will want to take a nap in the afternoon which will be difficult as my shift starts at 3:30 pm.
So today I was working from 3:30 pm till 12:30 am but I would have to say that I was available for work during that time but I hardly got a peep. I even contact some of the service delivery managers informing them that I am here and ready to help out if any issues do come their way and was almost begging them for something to work on. Instead I watched Youtube videos, listened to music and chilled. By 7:15 pm I ordered food for me and the parents. We had butter naan, butter chicken, bbq chicken wings and fish fingers from BBQ Nation. Delicious.
By 11:30 pm I realized that nothing is gonna come up and watched the latest episode of Star Trek Discovery and by 12:30 am I logged off and shut down my work station. I will watch a bit more tv before falling asleep.
After almost 3 weeks I finally went out. Since I get most of my groceries and other stuff delivered to my apartment building, I rarely do need to go out. But yeah twice a month I do try to go out, get some money out of an ATM, do some other errands if needed, buy some beer and other liquor, check if there any parcels waiting for me at the post office, maybe get some lunch outside and anything else I need to do.
I have a cab driver, who uses Ola & Uber but since he is a nice older guy I call him up and ask him if he can come for my errands twice a month. I enjoy his company and he waits and is fair when he charges me; even giving back some money that I wanted to give him extra because he felt that the total ride wasn’t that long. So I call him up the previous night and then arrange for him to meet me the next afternoon at around 12 or so. Yesterday it was at 1:15pm since I woke up so late.
At 11:40 pm I had a mayo sandwich for breakfast with coffee and then shaved and had a shower. By 12:45 I was ready to get dressed and iron my shirt. By 1:15 pm I got into the cab and before I went out to Palarivattom I needed to check something. An Amazon order from Amazon.com was left along with my packages last Wednesday and it turns out it was for an A Gopalakrishnan in an office nearby. However try as I might I couldn’t find the office and decided to let the post office know. I then went to Palarivattom to drop off some documents.
Then I went to buy some beer and unfortunately Couchyn/Grand Hotel had run out of beer. You see you can buy beer and liquour from bars at the regular price but they had run out. So I bought a bottle of Ceasar brandy for my dad and then went to Lotus Club so I could buy some beer. I bought 3 Beck’s Ice and 4 Budweiser Magnum. Then I went to buy some groceries, get some money outta an ATM and then took a quick lunch of a beef mince burrito at Cafe 17 with a Peace Ice Team and then headed home.
Yesterday was my birthday and I celebrated it almost the same way that I celebrate most of my birthdays. Initially the plan was that my sister and her kids would come over for dinner but that changed. Instead, since my niece has online school classes starting at 6:30 pm, my sis and niece along with my oldest nephew came over for lunch. My sister decided to make some simple chicken curry with a few potatoes in it to accompany the rice and veggies that my mom had made.
As usual my sister brought along a cake. She has my niece to order one online as long as it isn’t chocolate since my dad doesn’t like chocolate. Funny enough he will eat it if it is ice cream! Anyway, my niece choose red velvet, which to be sure isn’t my fav flavour. Infact I do not like it much but this one was good especially since it had a lot of cream on it. But I can’t more than a thin slice as it still feels quite heavy. My niece managed two!
After that I tried to watch a movie but I fell asleep half way through and took a nice nap. My sister and her kids went back to their apartment and I said that I would be ordering food and called them up in the evening. By then I had managed to get a hot shower (it was a cold day) and shaved. As I toweled my head I got some coffee and snacks and ofcourse more music on Youtube and stuff. By 7 I ordered naan and butter chicken for my sister and her family (2 sons, 1 daughter and her husband) and some Baskin n Robbins. I ordered chicken fried rice, with golden fried prawns and dragon chicken (pictured above) for me and my parents.
By 12 after the good food, a couple of vodkas and the ice cream I was content and watching another movie before sleep caught up with me.
It’s here. My new phone, the Realme X2 Pro, which I bought online on Saturday via Flipkart arrived this late afternoon. I was excited, as always on getting a new toy, but waited for 30 minutes while I got things done.
I unboxed it at around 4:15 pm I think and then setup the phone. There is no sim that I have put inside it. I will wait to get a new connection and insert that sim into my Oppo and then use my current sim in this phone. I do think it looks amazing.
She is gorgeous.
Finally, after so many weeks since the lockdown started, I went to a cafe. My cousin Sujith and I met for lunch today after I had to get two other things done. I gave my laptop to HP World so I could get the RAM increased. My laptop came with only 4GB of RAM and that is not really enough for Windows 10. Well it is enough but when you open too many tabs on browsers and run some applications, things start to get stuck.
After I left my laptop with them, I then went to get my glasses from Lawrence & Mayo which I had ordered last week. They were ready by Wednesday but I couldn’t get to them until today. Then I went to meet Sujith at Cafe 17. We started with some shakes and then chose our started which was a plate of buffalo wings. Delicious.
For the lunch item, Sujith picked a roast beef sandwich and I had an On The Highway burger. We hung out for a while just happy to be out and having lunch after such a long long time. Man, this was so enjoyable.
Once lunch was over I booked another cab and went to get my laptop and then headed home as I was tired and sleepy. I watched tv for a bit and then took a nap for an hour.
So it’s my baby cousin Roshni’s wedding this Sunday. Tonight we had a family gettogether at her parents house. I was the last to arrive since I wanted to buy her a gift and had left it till the last moment. So I went to Oberon mall and bought her a nice watch. I then quickly hightailed it out of there as my cousins were calling me.
I gave Roshni the watch and hugged and kissed her and joined my cousins, her dad and other uncles plus my dad in eating some beef and drinking. I had some vodka and we tried to all sit in the small bedroom with an ac that was the “bar” for the night.
After a couple of hours of this we were getting hungry for dinner and we ate some fried rice, porota, fried cauliflaur and chilly chicken. Then we had a lot of ice cream. By 11 am I booked an Ola for my dad, mom and me to come home.
So I am now back in the apartment that I call home, safely sitting in my bedroom, listening to Eric Clapton songs on Youtube. I’ve had 4 days and 4 nights of relaxation and chilling out. No going out during those 4 days and only showering and shaving on two of those days. I wanted to room service, a few beers and to sleep in as much as my heart desires. I am surprised at how much I have slept during these 4 days. I usually get in 5-6 hours on a work day and maybe 7 on a weekend or a holiday at home. I might sleep more on a sick day. But these 4 days I got in 10-12 hours sleep easily.
My meals – they were priced highly. Ok, let me tell you that I was staying in at the Mercy Hotel in Ravipuram. The room wasn’t great but still good. They hadn’t cleaned it properly. The floor lamp is prominently placed next to the small table, which may have been meant as a dining table but which I was using for my laptop, but their shade is ripped and dirty. There was a dirt stain on the floor near the door and the sheets were of a cheap quality. Atleast the shades were awesome and light cancelling. I also had some problem with their bathroom as water would take it’s own sweet time flowing down the drain. Poor room planning while building.
I had a few beers. I didn’t watch any tv but was online quite a many hours and watched Youtube videos throughout and blogged a little as you can see. The food was good, not amazing. Among the highlights were a mixed grill (not photographed) and which I could not finish. Not even close. Just way too much food for one person. I ought to get my cousin down there someday and tackle that with some vodkas. Their American chopsuey, pic in a previous post, was pretty good as well. Yesterday afternoon I was in the mood for a chicken biryani and the one they served was pretty good.
Lowlights of the food – their breakfast is a joke. I ordered their Continental breakfast twice but was charged the price 3 times. Their continental breakfast is supposed to be toast, butter, jam, croissant, fruit, coffee/tea, seasonal fruit drink and a Danish pastry with preservatives. Look what I got when I ordered that this morning! Do you see any Danish? How about the croissant? Pineapple chunks, a brownie (what?? For breakfast???), cornflakes, toast with butter and jam. One morning I asked for just an omelet and toast and they charges me the same as this breakfast! Coffee was extra. The first morning I ordered the same breakfast I got eggs, in an omelet, instead of the cornflakes, brownie, juice and pineapple. Coffee was extra! It seems that this below menu is supposed to be for the Mercy Special Breakfast but then again, not complete.
Otherwise it was a good stay. Due to a cold I couldn’t go and try out their bar even though I badly wanted to. So I switched off the ac and didn’t drink any more beer on the last two days.
The previous weekend I was back with Alza at the Blue Rock Restobar in Olive Downtown. This has become my favourite place to hang out for a few drinks and some good food, as mentioned in my previous post about this place. Probably it is the company :)
We ordered shrimp, fried in a tempura batter.
And some chicken satay with that lovely peanut sauce.
My fav is the grilled pork chops in bbq sauce. Though they were kinda huge.
All in all a great afternoon spending it drinking beer and enjoying the good food and company.