Final_The Curse of Surya_RHI.indd A reporter, an Oxford professor of Archeology, an old man and the underworld – all in search of one elusive stone, the Shyamantaka. The story is woven around Sangeeta Rao, an Indian working for a Singapore based TV Channel and Allan Davies an Oxford based professor meeting by chance at the monument of Love, the Taj Mahal ending up being branded as terrorists after they are found seated next to a real terrorist who kills the main speaker at a conference held at Krishna Janmasthan, Mathura. Turn of events leads them on a wild goose chase across the country with the SP of the area, Nisha following them close on their tail. Events and cryptograms unfold one after the other leading to several connected more events. What happens to the trio, Sangeeta, Allan and Anton the old man who claims to be on a search for the Shyamantaka for the Govt. of India is the crux of the story. Read on to find more.
Tenzing, an undercover Tibet Liberation Front member, employed with a Singapore based TV Channel, is found murdered under mysterious circumstances. Sangeeta and Susan, both colleagues of Tenzing are off on a vacation the next morning from Singapore when an early morning call from her boss sends Sangeeta flying to India to cover an event of International importance involving the Prime Minister of India and President of Singapore meeting at the Taj Mahal in Agra. At the other end of the globe, a flirty Allan Davies is called by his boss and packed of for an assignment to India with a file that has all the details of the assignment as well as a new identity, Professor of Archeology at Oxford, reason being the Religious conference planned at Mathura where the location of Shyamantyaka is poised to be revealed.
Shyamantaka, a stone given by the Sun God to Satrajit in the Dwapar Yug has remained hidden for centuries at a stretch. None had been able to identify the location of the stone until date when a Hindu Swamy claims he has located it and plans to reveal the details to the world. The stone has the potential to tilt the powers of the world in favor of the possessor. Naturally, this evokes interest from media, local public and the international underworld alike. Everyone with just one wish. The need to own the stone.
At the conference where the Swamy was supposed to reveal the location, he is assassinated by a terrorist. Sangeeta and Allan who had no connection to him suddenly seem to be catapulted to the center of attention for only one fault. Being seated next to the terrorist and not raising an alarm about it. A wild goose chase takes them into the hidden chambers of the Krishna Janmasthan temple where they discover an underground library aging back to Kansa’s time. They also meet Anton over there who claims to be appointed by the GOI to locate the stone for them. They have the SP of the area, Nisha tailing them and catching up on them fast. Thinking on their feet, they locate a cryptograph which supposedly would lead them to Shyamantaka and stage a quick exit under the nose of Nisha. A disappointed and wounded (sic) Nisha decides to chase them to the end of the world to retrieve them and bring them to justice.
With a few quick contacts from Anton, the trio manage a cross country ride to Rajkot in a chartered plane where they are intercepted by Nisha’s contact. He tags the luggage with a GPS tracker so that Nisha can monitor their movements. In the meantime, Anton manages to divide Allan and Sangeeta. The trio discover a way to reach the stone in an old and dilapidated well in Dwarka. Anton tricks the couple and flees with the stone only to pay for it with his life. A disappointed and trapped under the well Sangeeta and Allan soon realize their folly that not only had they been tricked by Anton, but also that he never had the original stone. The two manage to get out of the well by sheer wit and presence of mind to meet a guide who takes them to the real Dwarkadhish Temple where they get another cryptogram to solve.
Solving one after another cryptograms and in the process falling in love, the couple explore the depths of the sea bringing alive the palace of Dwarka in its pristine glory and also to retell the story, history and importance of Shyamantaka. Does the couple succeed in retrieving the real stone? Do they manage to escape the clutches of Nisha and reach their countries safely? Does Nisha manage to nail down the real culprit? All this and more lies in wait for you to read and find out in the book, “The Curse of Surya” by Dev Prasad.
Dev Prasad is a senior IT Professional having a varied experience across several national and multinational organizations. He has written quite a few books and has won awards and recognition for many.

Rocky and Mayur have ventured out to explore food from all parts of India and curate videos on  I’m contributing mypart by relishing my favorite dishes at The Indian Paratha Company and sharing my views with you all!

You can also upload your video review on AskMe ( and stand a chance to meet Rocky and Mayur!

We were out on a family outing yesterday, out of the city. We went visiting places on the Bellary road that we hadn’t visited for almost 2 years now; I must say that things have changed. It was on our way away from the city when this nondescript place was spotted by my wife. At that point of time, it was fairly early in the afternoon so we decided that we would probably look back at visiting the place when we would be getting back home.
After a quick session of photographs and a stop by at the local vineyard where we picked up some fresh green grapes, we were back on our way to home when this place was again spotted by my wife. I decided to give in and took a turn back towards the place, The Indian Paratha Company, I am glad I listened to my wife and went here. This place had been mentioned by my brother as well a few months back but then at that time we couldn’t make it there. Situated amidst a natural setting of rocks and greenery, The Indian Paratha Company gives an impression of being more than just a roadside Dhaba. A delightfully well designed place that actually had no need of fans to be there since it was so breezy has 2 types of seating options; one on the outside in the open facing the road and the other inside in a covered place.
Since I was there with the kids, I had to see to it that the food there was not only fresh but not very spicy either. We were not let down. We ordered Aloo Cheese Paratha, Paneer Paratha and a Patiala Lassi to start with, just because I wanted to know what it would taste like. The girls loved the lassi so much that my wife and I got none of it. When it came to the parathas, they were very well cooked, neither over done nor any less. Also, the ingredients that were used appeared and tasted fresh. Given the taste, now that we were sure that the girls were full, we decided to further explore. We next tried the Achari Masti Paratha and one more lassi. This time, we at least got to drink half of it, the other half safely resting in both the girls’ tummies. Stuffed with mango pickle, paneer and aloo, the Achari Masti Paratha is sure to find lots of lovers. This had a totally homely feeling to it and tasted definitely out of the world kinds.
No more being able to stuff ourselves, given that we had finished the dinner at 6.30 pm in the evening, we decided to pack ourselves more parathas just in case. We packed the Paneer Tikka Parathizza (a pizza made of paratha, cheese and paneer tikka), an Aloo Cheese Paratha just to be safe and one more lassi just because we loved it so much!
I got talking with the owner of the joint, Mr. Nirmal Singh Sandhu about how he got around to getting this place up and more. You check it out and a short video review by my wife and daughter at the end of the clip below.

We test drove the Renault Lodgy at Goa over the previous weekend courtesy BlogAdda and Renault India. A little about the car first.

  1. The car is available in 6 colors, Royal Orchid, Absolute Steel, Planet Grey, Pearl White, Moonlight Silver, and Indigo Breeze.
  2. The car is available in 2 engine variants, 5 Speed Gearbox mated with a 85 PS engine and 6 speed gearbox mated with a 110 PS engine.
  3. The car is available as 7 and 8 seater versions with the base model being priced at INR 8,32,000 ex showroom Bangalore and the top end model being priced at INR 11,92,000 ex showroom Bangalore.
  4. The car comes with ErgoDrive that ensures that the drive is ergonomic as well as powerful.

We test drove both the 110 PS as well as 85 PS versions and found that the car definitely has some meat to it.

The car comes with ample legroom and space for all kinds of knick knacks. The car also features a nifty feature where the standard boot space of 207 liters can be expanded to be up to 1861 liters by removing the 3rd Row completely as well a folding the second row flat against the front row seats. The other nifty set of features that the car comes with are:

  1. Premium Leather/Fabric seat upholstery.
  2. Cruise Control and Speed Limiter.
  3. 12 Volt Charging Socket for all the 3 rows.
  4. Intuitive Audio and Phone Controls
  5. 8 way adjustable Driver seats with Armrest.
  6. Medianav system with Rear view camera display
  7. Dual AC with roof mounted vents for the 2nd and 3rd Rows.
  8. Dual Front Airbags with ABS and EBD with Brake Assist.

The car performed extremely well in various conditions including Rain and Sand and managed to handle the corners very well at high speeds with reduced body roll.

All in all this offering from Renault is meant as a complete package for the upper middle class Urban user who would manage to sneak in a trip or two to the countryside every now and then.

Image Courtesy Renault India.

I was a part of the #Livelodgycal experience with BlogAdda in association with Renault India.

Ambi Pur Air EffectsI recently received another parcel from Blogadda that had nothing to do with body odor but all kinds of odors in general. It was Ambi Pur Air Effects’ Blossom and Breeze fragrance of room freshener. While Ambi Pur is no new name in the crowded market of room fresheners or car deodorants, it is certainly a niche product.
I tried this on my daughter who had just come back from school. There is a corner of the house that we stay in which smells of humidity from the wall. Now every body is aware about how much a humid wall smells and causes the house to smell. I had sprayed some Ambi Pur blossom and breeze in the room just before she came back from school. Like me, she has a very sensitive nose and can identify offensive smells from a mile away. I covered her eyes and carried her into the humid room and asked her what she smelt. She just loved the fragrance and never once realized that she was in the room with the humid corner.
In another instance, I had a friend who had visited me when my wife was not at home. A little about my wife needs to be told here. While she is ok with my drinking or socializing, she really hates the smell of cigarettes in the house; it’s another thing to tell that I don’t smoke but several of my friends do. Now this friend happens to be a really close one and was visiting me after long. He tends to have the habit of lighting up a ciggie every few minutes and tends to feel very uneasy when he can’t get a smoke. I did not have the heart to stop him from smoking in the house since there was a lot to talk and catch up between us. He must have been at home for quite a few hours and during that duration he had smoked up at least half a packet. Now, we are all aware of how a house would smell when one would smoke just one cigeratte. Here, we had had at least five to six being smoked. My wife, as usual, gave me a call enquiring if the dear friend of mine had left and that she would be getting home in probably half an hour’s time. This time, I had to request him to stop from lighting up so that I continue to stay in the house. A few minutes before the dear wife of mine arrived, I sprayed Ambi Pur Blossom and Breeze in every corner of the house just to be doubly sure. Not only was the smell very well gotten rid of, I was not thrown out of the house either!
Now, both my wife and daughters have become so very fond of the fragrance that they now want to spray it all around the house and don’t like it when it fades away. BTW, the fragrance lasts a good half an hour before eventually being taken over due to the constant air circulation. If it were to be left in a window less room, it would have definitely lasted a lot more longer. So that’s the Ambi Pur room freshener from the latest range of Ambi Pur products.

I am blogging for #SmellyToSmiley at BlogAdda in association with Ambi Pur.

Chilis, notice a missing ‘L’ and ‘E’? If I was take it from the mobile perspective, LE stands for Low Energy and that is exactly what is missing! The staff was full of gusto and a highly motivating manager!This high energy definitely reflected on to the food which was typically American Styled. More about it below.

Designed uniquely, the place reeks of privacy and elan! You could go and plonk yourself on any table and peacefully have your meal without having to worry if somebody is overhearing what you talk! This definitely is a USP of the place I would say! While most places make judicious use of the place to ensure maximum people can be seated, Chilis ensures that while you are with them, you are very much cared for!

Starting up with something to drink from their elaborate choice of cocktails and mocktails, we were suggested to start out by trying their Mojitos and Margaritas! First up was the Watermelon Margarita followed by the Persidente Margarita which literally shook us up! This was a hand shaken Margarita made of Tequila, Cointreau and premium brandy serving two people. While it was really strong in terms of alcohol content, the way it blended with the taste of the food was mind boggling. This was followed up by Cosmopolitan. A blend of Citron vodka, Cointreau and cranberry juice, it definitely was a very strong drink leaving me totally in love with the taste of vodka blend in with cranberry juice.

When we drink, we eat. Starting with the appetizers, Chilis put forth to us a suggestion of Triple dipper with Paneer bites, Texas cheese poppers and Fried Paneer quesadilla bites. Since we were already hungry, we were game enough to try anything vegetarian. The Paneer bites were excellent and had a wonderful crunch to it. In fact, the entire flavor was intact on the inside of the Paneer and the other ingredients. It had retained a unique texture which was definitely yum! The Texas cheese poppers have always Chili’s USP so I would not go into its detail here. The fried Paneer quesadilla bites was deliciously made which resulted in it being gone in a jiffy. Make sure you do not miss it out for anything when you are there!

The Big mouth burger bites was the next to hit our table. They were good, but I found them too Indianised for the restaurant. I did not like them as much as I liked the others. The big mouth burger bites is served with onion rings, fries and a jalapeno ranch dressing which was really good. The onion rings and fries were crispy and the jalapeno ranch dressing was delicious.
We went on to order the BBQ grilled Paneer salad (actually known as BBQ chicken salad for the non veggies, also available with Spicy garlic and lime shrimp for the sea food lovers), because I wanted to taste their salads. The ingredients appeared interesting. What had appeared to be great was even better when devoured. It was a crispy mixture of grilled Paneer, cheddar cheese, pico fe gallo, corn relish, cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and a touch of BBQ sauce served with ranch dressing.
While we do personally make pesto pasta most of the time at home and know how it should taste; the Cilantro pesto pasta with veggies, which was a blend of fresh green, cilantro, nuts and olive oil enlivened in a cream based sprinkled with pico de gallo, little did we expect that it wouldn’t taste like the traditional Pesto recipe.The cilantro flavour over powered everything and the dish fell flat. I am guessing it was a one off incident.
Marinara pasta with veggies was made with a handsome dollop of tangy tomato sauce with a tinge of garlic and basil. I have nothing against tomatoes but then after having eaten so much already, I decided to take a break and skip it. To top it, I found it a tad little too tangy for my taste anyways.

Chillis has a commendable fare of desserts and really deserve brownie points for that. The desserts were ordered twice and we literally jumped into them. The Chocolate Chip Pie paradise was the first to come in. It was nice and sweet and went really well with the Vanilla Ice cream topped over it.
Molten chocolate cake topped the chocolate chip paradise pie on my dessert list. We managed to report it missing and safey tucked inside the stomach in a matter of seconds. Although everyone had eaten enough, once this was on the table, each one of us were drooling. This is one dessert that you must have if you have a sweet tooth!

Pics Credit to Prateek


Yahoo recently came up with several changes to its applications and web based portal in an attempt to salvage what was left of its market share as well as claw back more of what it has already lost. While the decision about its success or failure purely depends on its users and consumers, the products and the changes that Yahoo made have been detailed out for you below.

Yahoo Aviate:

Yahoo acquired Aviate which was a startup back in time in order to make a successful entry into the world of Android and more importantly launcher replacements. Aviate’s USP has always been able to show context and location aware apps as well as data to the user. However, where it fails is in its very USP. Till date, Aviate has not been able to detect the location on its own and does not provide a method to teach it either. I am sure, if Aviate manages to learn the User Location and become a little more aware, it would definitely come to be known as one of the best launchers. Key features of Aviate have been listed below.

Key Features

  • SIMPLE: Yahoo Aviate simplifies everything about your Android phone: it clears the clutter by automatically categorizing your apps and making them easy to find.
  • INTELLIGENT: Yahoo Aviate also makes your phone smarter by anticipating the apps and information you need throughout your day.
  • New features:
    • People: Yahoo Aviate automatically suggests you set “Favorites” for your most popular contacts. Now, with a simple swipe up from the home screen, you can call, text, or email your favorite people.
    • Calendar: Yahoo Aviate also incorporates some of the most intelligent machine learning and predictive technologies from the Incredible Labs team to anticipate the information you want.
      • If the next meeting on your calendar is a conference call, a single tap will dial you in and even enter your conference code.
      • Running late to a meeting? Email all the attendees with one tap to let them know.
      • On your way to work? Aviate will estimate commute time, taking traffic into consideration. Heading out to dinner with friends? Aviate makes it simple to call an Uber to get there.
    • More Daily Habits:
      • One-swipe access to daily habits like your alarm clock, weather, a daily news summary, and a curated Flickr image of the day that you can set as your background.
      • Instead of just giving you a snapshot of the day’s weather, Aviate will alert you if today is cooler or warmer than yesterday, or if it’s more likely to rain or snow.
      • Track your sleep feature

To quote Yahoo Aviate, “Yahoo Aviate isn’t just an app; it’s the home base for your entire mobile experience. It’s the last thing you touch at night and the first thing you touch when you wake up in the morning. It’s a brand new experience, so give Yahoo Aviate at least a week to see if it can change the way you interact with your phone”
Check out Tumblr Post Link for more details –

You can download Aviate here

Flickr 3.0 for iOS and Android

Flickr again a startup in the early 2000’s started as an online community with limited space for 200 photos per user. Anything more meant that the user had to purchase a Flickr Pro account. Flickr has come a long way from there. It is no longer as restrictive as the Flickr of the yore nor is it limited to just the web. It has made remarkable strides in terms of evolving and reinventing itself. It is now no more restricted to the web only and is now available as a very mature app on the iOS and Android platforms. This app is just the app you should be looking for if you take several pics and share them often but are restricted by the amount of space that Dropbox, Box and OneDrive offer to you. Flickr offers you 1TB of cloud storage with cross sync across devices as well as a lot more. Yes, it cannot replace the aforesaid apps in terms of file sharing but then when it comes to photographs, it not only travels the whole 9 yards but many many more after that. Key features of the new iOS and Android apps have been listed below:

Stunning photos made easy

At the heart of Flickr apps is a powerful mobile camera that makes it easy to take and share amazing photos in high resolution. On iPhone and iPod touch, fourteen live filters let you see how the photo will look even before you take it and refine your pictures in real-time with a suite of sophisticated editing tools. Whether its filters, vignettes, auto-enhance or more professional tools like color balance, levels and exposure – Flickr’s camera gives you full control over your photos all the time.
New to the Flickr apps, you can record up to 30 seconds of stunning HD video using the same live filters available with photos. Customize your video by adding different segments of footage and if you record a segment that you don’t like, simply remove it with one tap.

All your pictures in one place

On Flickr, everyone gets 1,000 gigabytes of storage free, enough space for more than 500,000 photos and pretty much all the space you’ll ever need. Our new Auto Sync feature lets you seamlessly upload all your original quality photos from your phone automatically to your account, so that Flickr can be your camera roll in the cloud.
Flickr has also introduced a new way to rediscover and explore your images. Even if you have thousands of photos, the intelligent search engine will help you find what you’re looking for fast. Flickr’s understanding of your photo’s metadata – date and time (ex: “January 2014”), place (ex: “San Francisco”), and even scenes and objects (ex: “car,” “sunset,” “beach,” “portrait”) helps organize your images so you don’t have to.

Share and connect with the Flickr community

Sharing photos on Flickr is also easier than ever. Using batch organization and our enhanced sharing features, share any of your photos from Flickr directly to Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook. On Flickr, discover photos from your friends and people you don’t even know yet. With the new Flickr apps Yahoo hopes you’ll take a moment wherever you are to be inspired and inspire others. See photos from the photographers you follow and find what your friends are sharing right on Flickr. Join the conversation or start one of your own by marking a photo favorite and leaving comments!
Flickr has always been about celebrating beautiful photography. Browse top trending photos within the Explore feature and discover new photographers to follow and places to go right from your phone.
Yahoo is also helping you discover more about the photo itself with an enhanced information screen. Find out where the photo was taken and which camera and lens were used to create each shot. You’ll uncover the story behind the photo and gain valuable insights to elevate your own skills!

Some quick facts on Flickr

  • Flickr has more than 92 million unique users
  • Over 10 billion photos uploaded to Flickr
  • Since introducing auto-uploader on the iPhone in Oct 2013, over 40% of photos uploaded to Flickr are from auto-upload
  • Since the Q2 ’14 iOS app launch, global mobile uploads on Flickr have gone up by 50 percent.
  • Flickr’s new photo page puts the photo front and center. With increased performance, you can now view 18 photos in the time it used to take to view 1 photo
  • Over the last year, daily photo uploads have steadily increased more than 3x and we are having the highest level of engagement of our users.

Check out our Flickr page on Tumblr for more details-

Yahoo News Digest

App delivers an easy – to – navigate summary of the top International news stories twice a day
The International edition of Yahoo News Digest for both iOS and Android users is now available in India. With this app, users can stay on top of all the need-to-know International news, twice a day, on their mobile phones.
Yahoo launched the iPhone version in the United States and United Kingdom earlier this year and received an overwhelming response. 40% of those who downloaded the app keep coming back to it on a daily basis. Encouraged by the response, they are now bringing the experience to more people around the world.
Remember waking up to the local morning news? Coming home to the evening news? Reading a newspaper from front to back page? These formats have been daily habits since the invention of the television and the printing press. Yahoo News Digest wants you to revisit a content format that when read, leads you to a sense of completion and conclusiveness, much like reading the newspaper did.
With Summly, Yahoo learned that people don’t necessarily have the time to read a lengthy article, especially when they have limited screen real-estate while they’re on the go. By giving powerful algorithmic summaries they found that people were willing to consume more content when it was boiled down to the most important bits.
Yahoo News Digest makes your news reading experience simplified, effortless, comprehensive, and complete. Every morning and night, the app delivers a summarized version of the top International news, in an easy-to-navigate design.
With this, Yahoo has taken summarization to the next level with News Digest, by algorithmically and editorially selecting the important articles and using multi-document summarization to identify the key “bits and pieces of information”. These bits and pieces have been named “Atoms.” These Atoms assembled from around the web include articles, maps, infographics, Wikipedia extracts, videos, photos and more.
The app covers stories from news categories like – News, Technology, Sports, Business, World etc. Users can scan the summary, as well as read “atoms,” which conveys different dimensions of the story from the who, what, when, how, and why of a topic.
The Android version of the Yahoo News Digest was built specifically with a new home screen widget that will display the most recent unread digest for easy viewing. Unlike other home screen widgets, the Yahoo News Digest widget keeps track of the digests you’ve read.

Yahoo Mail App

Your Mail, News and Info – at one glance.
Yahoo recently announced the launch of the new Yahoo Mail app for both iOS and Android users in India so that not just email, but all the information that’s most important to you every day is right at your fingertips.
The multi-talented app surfaces the information you search for every day – your email, news, weather and more – all in one place. The app is designed with a focus on simplicity: it’s the familiar Yahoo Mail experience, plus one-tap access to personalized, real-time information.
When you first open the Yahoo Mail app, you’ll see your Yahoo Mail inbox. You’ll also see a new panel with icons for Mail, News and Today on your screen. This is where all your news, information, and communications come together in one integrated experience.
The new Yahoo Mail on Android comes with a couple of unique features. Simply swipe left or right or tap the relevant icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to quickly and seamlessly move between your inbox, news stream, and Today.
As part of this update, Yahoo is also introducing a new experience when you search for people in your inbox. When you start typing a name, Yahoo Mail offers smart search suggestions – including both people and messages – to help you narrow down your search. The app filters your search results by messages, files or photos, and you can easily scroll through them to find what you’re looking for.
When you’re finished reading and replying to your email, a quick tap on the News icon will show you what’s happening in the world around. From latest political developments, to business and economy to celebrity gossip – you will find all the news in the visually rich news stream.
In the Today icon you’ll find a snapshot of the information you care about most every day — from your local weather to a news digest and images from Flickr.
To enjoy this seamless, integrated and personalized experience in the new Yahoo Mail app you can download the app from App Store and Google Play.

Baba a name reminiscent for the best in terms of Pan Masalas and other such things has recently launched Elaichi. Available in packages of 5 gms., Baba’s Elaichi is blended with Saffron and comes in an innovative Click Clack box that not only locks back in place but also DSC_0223keeps the Elaichi fresh and safe. The small box easily slips into most cubby holes of cars, purses and trouser pockets. Being light weight it has the edge of being ultra portable. And once you have finished having the elaichi in the box, it doubles up as a small storage box that you can possibly use to store your essentials – paper clips, pins needles etc. Dentists can possibly use it to store their small instruments as well.
Baba was nice enough to send the same to us to know our opinion about the flavor and the enjoyment it gave. Available in an airtight silver packaging that keeps the flavor fresh until opened, the package interested and intrigued elders and kids alike. Each had their opinion when it came to the taste. We have also DSC_0224tasted a similar product by their competitor, so it was a feat in choosing and deciding which of the two was better.
Personally, I have liked the competitor’s product. I found the flavor of the elaichi very subdued while saffron rode most notes. I am not a very big fan of saffron and only like it in very miniscule quantities. The family members thought otherwise. This was an instant hit with my 3 year old daughter and my 60 year old Dad. Both found the product extremely well balanced and nice in taste.
The other drawbacks that I found was that the box was not really easy to close. While it was extremely easy to open and even my daughter could open it, none could really close it. At odd occasions, we ended up spilling the entire contents on the bed and at another, it stayed opened through the day because my wife could not manage to lock it back. This caused the elaichi to lose all its freshness and taste. Baba should probably think of an alternate better method to lock while retaining the metal box that gives it the reusable edge.
Some more pics of Baba’s elaichi below

We were over at Mr. Hong over the weekend just because Wifey and I were in an experimental mood. It had been really long since we had had something different. We were tired having the run of the mill Chinese and had heard of Mr. Hong opening 2014-06-13 20.08.42shop fairly recently. The best part was that it was close to the house at Orion Mall which made it all the more attractive. It also happened to be my last working day at my ex-office and I was really looking forward to relax. The point with choosing a restaurant that I strongly believe is that it should be kid friendly. If not in terms of play area, at least in food. Mr. Hong was just the place. The kids loved it and found it awesome!

We met up with the chef and Mr. Rakesh there and told them that this was the first time we were going to try Oriental food and would really need some kind of recommendation. The two were really courteous and accommodative enough and provided us with several suggestions that they felt we could try. To start off, with, we were offered Jasmine Tea which I tried but wifey turned down promptly. She never is a tea person, only coffees for her. The tea smelt really nice and tasted great as well. However, if you would ask me, I would not try it fairly often. 2014-06-13 20.13.16May be once in a blue moon.

When it came to mock tails, I really liked the Apple Ginger Mint and the Orange Chili Lemon. However, if I were to choose from the two, I would probably choose the Apple Ginger Mint. The combination really tasted great. This went well even with the main course that we ordered.

2014-06-13 20.23.52We tried the Tom Yum Soup and the Som Tum Classic Salad. The soup would be a recommended yes if you were suffering from a cold or a blocked nose! It really opened my nostrils up!

Next was the Steamed Veg Dumpling and Scallion Sesame Veg Cake. The girls loved the Scallion Sesame cake and were wanting for more! The thing was something really different and extra ordinary. A round veg cake that was not too sweet, not too spicy. Just 2014-06-13 20.45.33the right balance. Now this was a clear winner.2014-06-13 21.06.09

The main course came and Crispy Lotus Stem, Spicy Green Bean Curd, Stir Fried Veg in Chili Garlic, Veg Shanghai Rice, Veg Phad Thai Noodle and Jasmine Rice. Well, an important point to add, Jasmine rice smells of Jasmine but, there is really no Jasmine Flower or smell or essence2014-06-13 22.21.00 added to it. It naturally grows with the smell of Jasmine. The Crispy Lotus Stem tasted sweet and was another instant hit with the girls! While we had never seen what a Lotus stem looks like, the team there was nice to show one to us. We are told that the Indian version is a fairly smaller one in length and size in comparison to the Thai version!

The dessert served was the Peach Cobbler and I must say, it was yum! Polished off in seconds. That’s all. The less said the better!

A few weeks back Rapoo was kind enough to send me the H3080 ( wireless headset for review. It has been a fun time reviewing the headset. Rapoo, a fairly unknown brand to me did actually manage to blow me away with the quality of both build as well as sound.

A little about Rapoo, right from their site (

Founded in 2002, RAPOO is dedicated to offering excellent, cutting-edge wireless peripheral products to users around the world. “Wireless Your Life” is the simple philosophy that RAPOO has always adhered to.
RAPOO has constantly paid close attention to the continuous changes in user demands and to providing corresponding solutions. The RAPOO range of wireless mice, wireless keyboards, wireless headsets and wireless speakers is tailored to meet the needs of PC users. Bluetooth headsets and Bluetooth keyboards for intelligent terminals, like mobile phones and tablet PCs, are further featured in RAPOO’s broad portfolio. Multimedia keyboards and Multi-Link (dandelion technology) product suites for the home theater round out the RAPOO range.
RAPOO possesses a top class R&D design team which has a deep understanding of the industrial aesthetic standards of today’s world and can accurately grasp the end-user experiences in the market. In the IF Design Awards 2012 and 2013, four products of the RAPOO Blade Series won awards, which further strengthened and honoured RAPOO’s relentless pursuit of offering the best user experience.
RAPOO was listed on Shenzhen Stock Exchange (Stock Code: 002577) in China in April 2011. In order to provide more end-users around the world with excellent products and services, RAPOO launched its global market strategy in 2011 to enable global users to simultaneously share RAPOO’s technological achievements.
RAPOO’s mission is to “Wireless Your Life”, meaning that RAPOO is constantly striving to bring more and more people around the world unique wireless enjoyment and in doing so create a brand-new wireless lifestyle.

Now about the headset. The device functions on the 2.4 GHz WiFi Channel and employs COM- Ti membrane vibrating technology which delivers a clear and bright treble and a deep and mellow bass. The device comes in a foldable design with a neat pouch to store the headphones in. Package contents included a Pouch, the Headset and a WiFi device to pair the Headset and the Computer.

The device itself is available in two colours, black and white. I found no problems pairing the device with my Windows 8 PC and my Mac at home. After pairing, the device worked without a glitch in the said 10 m range. I have tried the device with multiple types of Music ranging from Indian Classical to Heavy Death Metal. The device performed perfectly fine each time delivering true to life sound. I also managed to try the device out with few games that I had on my PC as well as Skype. The sound that was transmitted was great as well. All in all, the device turns out to be a great package for some one who is looking for something that would meet not only needs of music and games but also as a perfect companion for making calls back home or to the girlfriend in the dark of the night! 😉

The only grouse that I had was that if the connecting WiFi piece (In the center of the image above) is lost, the device may be rendered useless. I am not really sure if the spare parts are available in India already. Alternately, it would have been great if the device could connect to the PC/Laptop with WiFi support directly by the means of a software installation. This would at least reduce the number of support calls to the company.

I have been using the Samsung Galaxy note for over 6 months now and was fairly satisfied with the external package that was presented. In fact, the very first time that I saw the phone, I had wanted to own it! However, My experience as a Samsung Galaxy note owner has been far from satisfactory.

First a little about my usage.

  1. I belong to the set of users who can be classified as power users.
  2. I often flash latest firmware that is available, including custom ROMS limited to only Cyanogenmod.
  3. I mostly stick to Stock ROMs but then they are often modded enough by me.
  4. I use the handset heavily to play games, listen to music and watch music.
  5. My phone is connected to the internet 24×7, Mobile Data when out and Wi-Fi at home.

Beyond Samsung, I have 2 more different Android devices by LG and HTC. In terms of the sturdiness, I have been the happiest with the LG Optimus 2x that I own, although the software updates are bad I agree. The HTC Explorer belongs to my wife and I do not mess around too much with it.

Back to Samsung. Of the last few months that I have owned, my usage pattern has been fairly constant and uniform. However, I have had the worst experience owning the phone.

I have had to take the phone to the service center several times now. thrice for the same reason and for different reasons the other times.

  1. Thrice the phone had to be taken to the service center for a Motherboard replacement.
  2. Once the phone had to be taken to the service center to replace the microUSB port. This prevented the phone from successfully charging as well as connecting to the computer. This often led the phone being on charger for hours without getting even a percent increase in the battery charge. This has damaged my battery beyond repair now and I have to now replace it because I get no battery back up now.
  3. The power key froze on its own two days back. I could neither lock/power down/reboot the device. In fact each time I wanted to power down the device, I had to pull the battery out. Reinserting the battery would power up the phone on its own! No keys pressed!

Each time, Samsung has been a royal pain in delivering the device at the said time and often delayed things beyond acceptable limits. Despite asking them explicitly not to reflash the software, they always did reflash the software there by resulting in my loss of data.

I had really high hopes from Samsung when I bought their flagship device. Samsung has not been able to meet their promise of being the best. It’s a classic case of a company that tried too hard but when they were sure of not meeting their deadlines, pushed a half baked device!