Tonight, just because it is so hot out here in Bangalore, I am planning a night under the blanket of stars. I am planning on taking my Black Dog, a mat and some good old music and sleeping on the terrace. That’s my style to beat the heat. I have been doing this for years now. Earlier it used to be my Dad, my brother and I. Now it has my daughters and wife coming along while Dad dropping out. However, this year is different.
I am a free bird this year. No extra packages. That means, not only can I do star gazing with my good companion the Black Dog beside me, I can also do lots of Bird Watching. A full time khulla saandh! What I am planning to do is however, carry my Grand Dad’s telescope along. It is at least a hundred years old. It was handed down to him by his father and later my Dad inherited it. I don’t know much about the stars, however I am eager to learn. For that reason, my laptop and my smartphone go with me.
Smartphone because I have located an app that shows which constellation is right over my head and laptop to find out all about the constellation. The Bangalore Astronomical Society is a good place to start for beginners. Information about Star Gazing is freely available on their web page as well.
Another kind of star gazing that almost every Indian on this planet would have indulged in without doubt is the palm reading/future prediction/horoscope reading! I had been to one such place just to know what it is like. Man, do these guys mint money or what! That gives me a business idea. I think I must start that in my free time. What do you guys suggest? must I or mustn’t I? My previous stint trying to predict was with the stock markets, that did not work out. I am wondering what the outcome out of this other prediction profession might be!

I have had pleasure writing this series. Each character has been a figment of my imagination and a creation I cherished. I would have loved to create characters the way my favourite writers have created theirs, but then I am limited by my own imagination. While I shall strive to create one more series in the future I have not thought of what that would be. For this story I had the entire story line at the back of my head. But the next hasn’t taken birth yet.
Going ahead, I shall be focusing my personal experiences once again, probably document them in more detail; but then it all depends. For now, it’s going to be back to having a nice large peg of Black Dog tonight after my wife and daughters left to their granny’s house. I am a free bird tonight. I love the thought of savouring the world’s finest Scotch but then it has to be done responsibly. I have always advocated this. Drink Responsibly and drink in style!
So if you are planning on having fun outside the confines of your home at a bar or a restaurant, do not drink and drive. It is not safe. There are a lot other ways to get back home. It is not expensive to hire a cab. It is cheaper than your life. Life is the most expensive thing that we own. Yet we do not own our life. It is owned by the people who love us, whom we love and those who wait back for us at home. If you are going out as a group, ask a friend who is not planning to drink to accompany you. He can drive the car a lot more responsibly.
It is said that with alcohol in your blood, you are more susceptible to commit mistakes. Why, even the hot looking woman you just saw waving at you from across your table, she may not be that great when you wake up the next morning!
Until the next series, it is Ciao from me. Be safe, drink responsibly, drive safe and always wear your seat belts!

Over the past few days I have been utterly busy! So much so that I could not devote time to myself! My older daughter Jisha turned two yesterday which called for celebrations! Celebrations meant kids, their parents, hosting all of them and also taking care that every one went back happy!

Celebrations also meant that there were guests, friends and relatives alike at home. It also meant the added responsibility of seeing to it that none of their sentiments were hurt.

At the end of the day, all of them enjoyed. My Wife left for her parents’ today with both my daughters. It means many things to me. Primary being that I am going to miss my daughters like hell now that they are not around and secondarily that I am now a bachelor for a little more than a month!

Well, my wife definitely wants me to come down to Bombay for a longer duration this time around. I have been maintaining a status quo on that. I am absolutely undecided. I may or may not go there at all!

Few days back I was given a bottle of Four Seasons Viognier wine (a type of white wine) and asked to review it. I am a totally non wine drinker and pairing Wine with food comes a bit unnatural to me. I have always known Wine to be paired with non vegetarian and non Indian food. Since none of the hotels would allow me to take my wine in and also because I would never have non vegetarian food, trying and reviewing this wine was a nightmare. However, after a lot of maska polish to my wife and mom (wife was easy, mom was hell) I managed to get to sit at the dinner table with a little wine.

I had specifically asked that a mildly spiced food be prepared. The women folk at home were already pissed off with my pestering since morning so they decided to get back at me. I was served Khaman Dhoklas. Now if one were to try and guess what my expression would have been then, let me give you some clues. It was that of a contorted owl, a wide gaped donkey and snooty rat combined! How on earth can one pair wine with Gujarati food. But I was wrong. The wine went excellently with the Khaman Dhoklas. So here I have for you the recipe of Khaman Dhoklas! Now since my mom is already asleep, I can do nothing but borrow Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe. His original recipe can be found here.


Gram flour (besan),sieved 2 cups
Yogurt,beaten  1 cup
Salt  to taste
Turmeric powder  1/2 teaspoon
Green chilli-ginger paste  1 teaspoon
Oil  2 tablespoons
Lemon juice  1 tablespoon
Soda bicarbonate  1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds  1 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves,chopped  2 tablespoons
Coconut,scraped  1/2 cup


  1. Take gram flour in a bowl.
  2. Add yogurt and approximately one cup of warm water and mix. Avoid lumps.
  3. Add salt and mix again.
  4. Leave it aside to ferment for three to four hours.
  5. When gram flour mixture has fermented, add turmeric powder and green chilli-ginger paste. Mix
  6. Heat the steamer. Grease a thali.
  7. In a small bowl take lemon juice, soda bicarbonate, one teaspoon of oil and mix. Add it to the batter and whisk briskly.
  8. Pour batter into the greased thali and place it in the steamer.
  9. Cover with the lid and steam for ten minutes.
  10. When a little cool, cut into squares and keep in a serving bowl/plate.
  11. Heat remaining oil in a small pan.
  12. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, remove and pour over the dhoklas.
  13. Serve, garnished with chopped coriander leaves and scraped coconut.
Suman and Rishi returned home in high spirits after the Elvis event. The two were singing songs aloud, literally bringing the roof down. The two had downed quite a few pegs. Driving back home would have been a nightmare. Thankfully they had booked a cab back home! Rishi believed in dinking responsibly. They got down a little away from the gate and started walking down towards the house.
One thing led to another and the two had a steamy sex session. Suman had never been with a man like this before. It was her first time. She had always maintained that she would lose herself to only the one man who she would marry. But she hardly knew Rishi; and after her run in with the goons and the kidnapping, it had set her thinking all the more.
She walked out of the room and decided to pour herself a drink. She looked at the collection that Rishi had accumulated over a while and chose Black Dog Quintessential. His collection of glasses and other accessories was always a source of his pride. She chose the best one. She had just finished pouring out one for herself when Rishi called out from behind, “Pour one out for me as well.” “How will you have it? Neat or…” “You know fairly well I always like my Scotch neat, no water.” “Yeah of course. But I still wonder if I know you at all” Along silence ensued.
Suman continued, “You know, I always wanted to lose my virginity to the man I would choose to marry. Till the last week, I thought I knew you really well. But now, now I have serious doubts.” “What do you want to know?” “Everything.””Would you be able to digest it?””I want to get married to you. If I have to decide, I need to know all about you! In fact I am not even sure if your real name is Rishi.” Suman screamed.
Rishi started off right from the part when he worked as a software engineer, how he was laid off, how he met Sunny and how Sunny offered him his first case. Suman was not convinced. She felt Rishi was making it all up. He was faking it. Rishi took her to his secret chamber under his bar. Here he showed her all his collection of guns, and all his certificates. They looked authentic. Suman and Rishi came back into the living room.
Suman looked pensive. Rishi was now getting worried. He did not know what was going on in her mind. He prodded her. Suman did not answer. Rishi went back to his room and came back with a box in his hand. He bent down on his knees and “Suman, will you marry me?”

Danny sensed the dislike that Rishi was having towards him in an instant. He was used to it. He tried to lighten the mood with some cross talk recounting to the group how he and Sneha met in Maldives and how much fun they had. Rishi was not impressed yet. The dislike that he harboured grew by minutes. He would not let it get better of him. It so wasn’t him. Danny called that all of them meet over at the Black Dog organised Elvis night that evening. Everybody agreed to it except Suman! She hated Elvis! Just could not stand him. No idea why, she just hated him.
Suman needed a lot of convincing, in the end she agreed at the only condition that she would leave if she was getting bored! All agreed! They knew Suman would not ditch them so easily. Once there the event started off with little known facts about Elvis. People were amazed at how very unknown the celebrity had been to them!
Within minutes into the event, the singer started off with the best romantic singles of Elvis to set the mood. Women everywhere were clinging to the men they had come with. Every lady was emotional. Elvis’ songs brought out the emotions! Songs starting right from “Are you lonesome tonight”, “You don’t have to say you love me” to “I can’t help falling in love” had every one swaying to his tunes. With the evening getting a little too sombre and people just listening to the songs, the singer suddenly changed track and started with Elvis’ rock songs! The very first being “Jailhouse Rock”!
People suddenly found a magical thing pulling at their legs! One after the other almost everyone was on the floor dancing away to the tunes! So much so that even Suman who was cribbing until then started tapping her feet. Danny and Sneha were enjoying the songs the best! During romantic slow songs the two danced slow and when Rock came around, the two were literally throwing and spinning each other around! The singer virtually took them through every song that Elvis had sung!

Rishi an Suman decided to catch up on beauty sleep after having a harrowing night together. But sleep was not easy to come. Suman continuously tossed and turned while she slept in Rishi’s arms. She was utterly scared and mortified. She was not used to being through all that happened. Heck she had not even seen a real gun let alone touch it. The entire experience was hair raising and blood curdling for her. Rishi on the other hand was used to all this gore. He could take it in his stride, forget it ever happened and even move ahead. However, lately even he had gotten concerned about Suman’s security. He had decided that he would speak to Sunny and get out of this profession altogether.
Around 10 in the morning Suman’s phone started ringing with a loud shriek. Suman woke up with a start and instantly knew who it was without looking at her screen. It was none other than Sneha. She had set a shriek as the ringtone for her contact number. So every time she called, Suman knew it was her mad friend calling. Suman answered the phone. What Sneha told next was enough to send her scurrying first for her clothes and next for the door. She had to reach her place ASAP and that was difficult if she did it on her own. She did not own a vehicle yet! She decided to wake Rishi up.
Sneha had asked her to come to the golf club. Suman was not sure why but did not question. There was no point. She wouldn’t say anyways. When she reached there, the first thing that caught Suman’s eyes was the endless greenery that she saw around her. She wondered since when Sneha started taking interest in these sports. Her answer was not too far away. She obviously could not get onto the golf course without any member escort. She decided to call Sneha up again.
Sneha was seated in the bar that was attached to the golf club so it was relatively easier accessing her rather than the golf greens! Thank goodness for that. Suman was worried for a minute! When she made it to the bar, for a change Sneha was not drinking her favourite scotch but was rather sipping a breezer! One welcome change since her return from the Maldives! Sitting next to her was a man sipping Black Dog scotch who looked to be around his mid thirties. This man sat at the corner of the table next to Sneha smoking a fat Cuban cigar. Sneha introduced Suman and Rishi to Danny. He was not what Suman had imagined him to be. She hadn’t met him earlier, but then she had heard a lot about him.
Rishi had met Sneha just once at the pub weeks back. He hadn’t seen her but heard a lot about her from Suman after that. And more so after the two girls had discussed him at length when Sneha was in Maldives! There was something about this man that was unsettling Rishi and making him uncomfortable. He was not sure what that was. He decided to take care of that later.

In no mood today once again to write the story. I have had a severe acidity attack which has resulted in a bad and terrible head ache. Dad always told us when we were kids that he never knew what headaches were until he was 30! He hadn’t tasted tea until he went to college! I now know why he never had a headache until 30! He was 30 when I was born! He turned a senior citizen this year and I 30! With two kids, now even I can boast, I never knew what headaches were until I turned 28!
My older daughter Jisha was born a few days after I turned 28 on the 28th day in the 3rd Month of the year. She turns 2 in less than 3 days now. I would be having a few friends and lots of kids from the street over for it. However, later that evening, I am planning on a nice large peg of Black Dog and some spicy Paneer Chilly. It’s not that scotch can only be paired with non-veg food. I am a pure vegetarian. We don’t even have eggs at home.
This time I would not be alone. My in-laws are going to be here. So that would mean my brother and I don’t drink alone. I would have my Dad, Dad-in-Law and my brother along! The more the merrier! Any ways, not much to write but I am leaving you with a recipe of Paneer Chilly that I intend to cook myself and serve it with style!
This is a recipe by the master chef Sanjeev Kapoor! You can find it here as well.

Cottage cheese (paneer) 300 grams
Oil 2 tablespoons + to deep fry
Corn flour/ corn starch 3 tablespoons
Garlic,crushed 3-4 cloves
Onion ,halved and thickly sliced 1 medium
Green capsicums,cut into thick strips 2 medium
Green chillies,sliced 6 to 8
Vegetable stock 1 cup
Salt to taste
Soy sauce 2 tablespoons
MSG 1/4 teaspoon


  1. Cut the cottage cheese into medium sized diamonds.
  2. Heat sufficient oil in a wok, roll the cheese diamonds in one tablespoon of corn flour and deep fry on medium heat until the edges start to turn brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
  3. Mix the remaining corn flour in half a cup of water.
  4. Heat two-tablespoon oil in a wok, add the garlic and stir-fry for half a minute.
  5. Add the onion, capsicums and green chillies and continue to stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add the fried cheese and stir in the vegetable stock. Add the salt, soy sauce and MSG and mix well.
  7. Add the corn flour mixture and cook on high heat stirring and tossing until the sauce thickens to coat the cheese and the vegetables.
  8. Serve hot immediately.

The Dragon stood right in their path blocking them from getting away. The Dragon and Rishi stood facing each other. Neither moved so much as an eyelid but both had their hands on their guns. The Mask was not dead yet but he was not completely out yet either. He got up struggling to his feet. He stumbled and fell. He had received a really strong blow. He crawled towards the Dragon. Rishi knew that if the Mask and Dragon got together it would put him to trouble.
Rishi’s Bobcat was still hidden away within his palm. Just when the Mask was within his range, he pulled the trigger with one hand and threw the knife from his belt towards the Dragon. The gun shot created the diversion that Rishi wanted. The dragon pulled his gun out to shoot at Rishi, but it was too late, the knife hit the target. The Dragon was down and out. The Mask was not however. Rishi had missed his mark fair and square.
The Mask quickly got to his feet and ran for cover. The gun shot had brought a lot of their men out into the open. The Mask called all his men to shoot at Rishi and also stop him from getting out of there alive. Rishi pulled Suman and dived behind a wall of Black Dog cartons. He asked her to be right there and not come out until he asked her to. He gave his Bobcat to her and asked her to use it for her safety. Suman’s hands shivered taking the gun.
Rishi pulled his Beretta and quickly checked the bullets. The gun was still loaded. He slowly looked out to see where the Mask was. He was hidden behind the table. Just then a bullet whizzed past his head lightly grazing his hair. He could smell his burnt hair. Rishi quickly dived back. He knew he could not stay hidden for long and would be caught if he stayed hidden there for long. He decided to risk it. Rishi got out pointing his gun at the nearest shooter and fired. The Shooter was dead. But the problem he was faced with was not just that one shooter. The Mask and all his men posed a big problem. A bigger problem was he did not know who was where and how many were there.
Rishi was back behind the wall. He pulled his flask of Black Dog and took a large swig out of it. He had to be prepared for any result now. He got out and started walking towards where the Mask was hiding. Men tumbled out in front of him like drums on a slope. Each man was dead before his bullet hit Rishi. Rishi was close to the Mask when he ran out of bullets. All the men and the Mask now came out of hiding. He had a clear view of who was where and how many were there.
The Mask gave a roaring laughter. He was sure Rishi was as good as dead now. Rishi shouted for Suman and asked her to run towards the door. The Mask laughed even louder. Rishi charged towards the Mask and pinned him down. The two got into a fist fight. The Mask still had the gun in his hand. The two wrestled to get a control over it. Suman was standing a little away from them. She was frozen! A gun shot rang in the air. There was blood on the floor. Both Rishi and Mask were stained. The two parted and lay motionless. The men were stunned as well. No one knew who of the two men were hurt. After what seemed like ages, both got up, Rishi had the gun. He fired two more rounds. The Mask was finally dead.
The ordeal was far from over yet. They still had to get back to the car. The two made a dash. They finally knew they would now be free. The sun was breaking into a dawn. A new day had just begun.

A masked man brought Suman into the room dragging her by her hair. “Looking for her?” he asked Rishi. With this he threw Suman next to his chair. Suman’s hands and legs were bound behind her by ropes. Luckily she was not blindfolded. But then, he did not want Suman’s involvement into whatever he was doing. It was not what he had planned to tell her, but then it was one of the hard facts of his life which she would have come to know of sooner or later. Better for her to know his reality on her own. Saved him the trouble of explaining, saved him the trouble of finding out if she still wanted to be with him after this.
Suman fell on her back and was writhing in pain. They had not inflicted any injury to her but then she was hurt due to their being slightly rough with her. Rishi had always shied away from relationships because he never liked being in the sticky situations like the one he was in today. No point crying over spilt milk now. He had to face it come what may now.
He had known the masked man and the other together as the Dragon team. The two had worked together since time immemorial. It was said that the Mask did not take his mask off even when he slept. Rumours were that his face was so horrendously damaged by his father that it was not possible even for his mother to recognise him. He had run away from home that day wearing a paper bag as his first mask. He never took it off after that day. He had met the Dragon Boss as a co-traveller on a trawler on his way while running away from home. This is when he had been introduced to the world of crime. He had taken to it like a fish takes to water.
The Mask came around and gave a heavy blow on Rishi’s face. The two were here to exact their revenge. Revenge for being sent to jail. They had been invincible and unstoppable in the world of crime until Rishi came along. After that Rishi had successfully tailed the two and had ensured that the two were behind bars. They had been tried in the court of law where they had both been awarded life sentences. They had both been moved to separate jails in different locations. They had vowed their revenge in full public view.
Dragon asked Rishi, “Wondering how we got out?” and roared with a resounding laughter. “There never were jails built that were strong enough to hold us in for more than a few weeks! So what if there were thousands of police personnel deployed.”
Unknown to them while they were raining blows on Rishi, Suman had eyed a broken bottle of Black Dog thrown a little behind her. She quietly slid behind and started cutting her ropes apart. She wanted to get out of this hell hole fast. Rishi was the key to take her out, she somehow knew this.
The Dragon received a phone call and went out to answer it. He indicated the Mask to leave Rishi alone and follow him a little far away from ear shot. This was Suman’s chance. She quickly untied hers as well as Rishi’s ropes. The two managed to free themself successfully before the Dragon team got back. Rishi had pulled out one of his Beretta 21A Bobcat and had hidden it safely within his palm.
The Team got back. Rishi was not sure how many were with them but he had been left with no choice. The Mask came closer to him with the knife. Rishi had no wonder in what awaited him next. He wanted to catch the Mask by surprise. When he was close enough to Rishi, he got a heavy blow in his groin and collapsed on the ground in pain.