April 29, 2016

Chocolate Pariah no more with PlaceofOrigin.in

Moving to a town has its ups and downs. Having lived in the city all my life, access to a plethora of exotic foods and products was super easy but having moved to Kakinada a few months back I have come to realize that it isn’t the case here. I am hardly complaining but I miss my goodies and the little guilty pleasures from time to time whenever the chocolate cravings kick in. My sweet tooth is super specific and I rarely get to indulge my greedy self here. That was until I came across the website PlaceofOrigin.in

Place of Origin is a concept online marketplace where specialty Indian foods, confectioneries, savory products and many other varieties of food can be directly bought from the source of the product itself. What caught my eye particularly was the sweets and chocolates section! Being a chocoholic of sorts, I raided the chocolates section of the website and was mesmerized by the sheer variety that they have on the website. There is a chocolate for everyone! The variety is insane : they have the regular milk chocolate, the dark chocolate, gluten free chocolate, lactose free vegan chocolate, organic chocolate, truffles, traditional chocolate bars, raw cocoa, fruit and nut chocolates and a lot more! Check this out if you do not believe me!

Scouting through the products, I stumbled upon the store Mason & Co from Auroville (in Pondicherry) that makes vegan organic chocolates. Since they are milk free and hardly have any sugar, they are dark chocolate in flavor and my absolute favorite. On my last visit to Pondicherry late last year, I could not get my hands on these yummy chocolates and it has me elated that I do not have to wait to get the chocolate. Looks like I have decided what I am buying!

You can check out the Mason & Co chocolate store here. They are a 100% certifiably organic and boast of being one of the best dark chocolates ever.

You can also browse through the Chocolates section of the website here and find your perfect flavor

The PlacesofOrigin website is here, and I dare you to not find a regional food that you have loved for years and could not lay hands on because you could not access it geographically. Chances are, you might find it on their website!

#ShaadiSeries : When it's not your party!

I have missed this. Typing incessantly without a worry in the world about having to sound coherent or sensible. 

Back to business! I have a stable WiFi connection now, which allows me to work, connect and blog. So, Hurrah! For the uninformed, I have been married for over three months now and I am in the middle of what most people call 'adjustment'. With that being taken care of rather healthily, I spend a lot of the free time I have thinking about my wedding hullabaloo. I'll be honest here. I have always wanted a huge wedding, complete with the functions and the fun and the laughter. The works. And now that I look back on the week when it actually happened I realise bit by bit that it was nothing short of a dream. At times, I sailed through the days as if I was looking down upon what was happening as an onlooker.

But most of it was not my party, and if you have been through the wedding process you know what I mean. While a wedding and all the functions are supposed to be about the ones who are getting married, the ones who are about to tie the knot hardly get to have as much fun as the others. They do not even get to have a say in the proceedings lest you want that glaring look from that random auntyji silently imploring you to zip it! You are either too laid-back to even care or too hyper that you try and control everything that happens. There will be people, relatives mostly, who will be up and about trying to find a flaw in the proceedings or as the famous phrase goes - ungli karna. I, for one, did manage to transform into my obsessive self and pretty much try and get a control over everything that was happening. As it is I was doomed to have a nerve wrecking time being the bride, on top of that, I wreaked upon myself the burden of making sure everything happens smoothly. The realisation dawned quite late so to say, but I am here making a public service announcement to all the new brides-to-be.

You will have butterflies and you will want it all to be a fairytale but do not be the one who has to make sure that happens. Delegate chores, relax and sit back. Your job is to get dressed on time and show up, let your friends and cousins and your family fret about the details. Trust me when I say this, but candid pictures of you frowning over a table arrangement gone wrong is the last wedding memory you need. Voice your concerns to your loved ones beforehand (like a fortnight before the D-day) and let it go because when you are getting married, your mantra to live by should be just that. It may not be your party, but it sure is the most important day of your life. Have at it that way. 

April 17, 2016

#MovieReview : Fan

Shahrukh Khan is a weird human being, a weirder actor. Just when you thought he had lost his marbles with his recent feature films letting us down a great deal (read Dilwale and Happy New Year), this movie is sure to make you feel real proud of being an SRK fan. With the likes of Swades and Chak de India in his kitty, SRK does not really need to prove his mettle but his choice of movies in the last couple of years have got us wondering if SRK was losing his sheen. But all that will seem reduntant somehow when you watch the movie. It was unreal watching SRK play a character like Gaurav after so many years! Unreal and refreshing.

The plot of the movie is quite uncomplicated. Gaurav Chandna from Delhi is a hardcore Aryan Khanna fan and has been idolising the actor since he was a little boy. He has a shrine of sorts dedicated to the actor built right in his bedroom. He also resembles his idol, joking in his monologue at the beginning of the movie that God moulded his face with the clay that was left after He was finished with Aryan Khanna. He wins a actor-lookalike prize in his colony after he puts up a great show posing as Aryan Khanna, with the help of his ever-so-adorable parents. He sets out to Mumbai to meet SRK on his birthday and give him that trophy. What happens after is what the movie is all about.

The thing that will strike you when you first see the movie will be how the 'Fan - Gaurav' resembles the pre-DDLJ era Shahrukh Khan, right out of Darr and Anjaam. The hero and the anti-hero played by the same actor is not a novel concept in Indian cinema but the way the relationship between a superstar and his (self-proclaimed) greatest fan unfolds on the silver screen is in this movie is fresh baked cookies. The movie sure does fizz out in terms of drama in the second half, but SRK whilst playing both Gaurav and Aryan, more than makes up for it with his brilliant acting. 

The movie has been shot brilliantly and Maneesh Sharma's love for Delhi continues as he captures the city in its raw hide in some shots. However, one might wonder that the casting was deliberately done in a way that the major limelight could be thrown on SRK alone. Nevertheless, that wasn't necessary because this is his movie out and out. If you want to go watch the movie or if you do not, you really must. SRK fan or not, you will like this movie for what it is. While you are at it, don't expect a wonderfully written script, it definitely could have been better. Watch it for the performances. And Gaurav.