bhargavkesavan

Travelogue, Nostalgic memories and more…


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5 Reasons why you should not use cellphone in restroom


Cellphones have become a third hand these days & it has become an inseparable gadget of ours. Everyone use cellphone throughout the day since the moment we’re awake and until we fall asleep. Many even fall asleep while using cellphones. If phones are not on silent/vibrate mode at night, notification sounds will even disturbs our sleep many a times.

How many times in a week does it happen to you?

This cellphone usage in recent times has gone one setup further in being engaged even in restrooms. You could have heard people talking, listening to music, watching videos even in restrooms especially even in public restrooms.

You may think and what’s the big deal in that right? yeah, right… that’s what we’re going to see in this post.

Do you use cellphone in restroom?

Here is the five reasons why you shouldn’t any longer! 

Effective Immediately!

1. Unaware of time consumption

When you’re in restroom at anytime of the day, either at home or at office or at public restroom; once you start using your cellphone you will never realize how long you’ve spent sitting there! Just compare the time you spend in restroom with cellphone and without cellphone. You can see at least a 15-20 minutes what so ever was your business there. You can save plenty of time if you stop carrying your third hand with you to restroom!

2. Save health

Since you won’t realize how long you’ve spent sitting there, You’re impacting the blood circulation to your legs and to your butt. Since you don’t move the legs or your body for a long time it’ll result in making your legs feel numb. 

Just get out soon and feel good!

3. Back pain 

Often you don’t realize that astute pain in your lower back after sitting for a long time, since the scroll will never get over on your facebook or twitter or instagram you will never realize that back pain until you try to sit straight which you will never do until you hold that cellphone which makes you bend towards it. 

4. Common enemy – Germs

Yes, you should be worried about germs at all places, especially restroom. If there is one proverb that should be modified for restroom then that must be

All that glitters are not clean!

You know very well restroom is the birth place for germs & unless hands are washed even our hands and legs are full of germs. When you use cellphone inside restroom and place it on the bathtub handle or on wash basin or anywhere inside restroom you’re loading your cellphone with germs which you’ll carry outside eventually to use even after washing hands. What’s the use? Your fingers will carry those germs everywhere until you sterilize our phone and hands again!

When was the last time you ever cleaned your phone?
Do you use cell phone in restroom? Then this is for you...
If you keep using it daily then this is how you may have to wipe the germs!

5. Save your cellphone 

Another reason why you should not carry your cellphone to restroom is saving it from falling on restroom floor or on the coast itself! Ever imagine how will you recover your phone if at all if it slides on to the coast? Eww… no way!!!

Never going to use cellphone in 24 hours so I’ve to use it in restroom!
Oopsie!!!

Bonus point!

Well there is an important and another reason why you shouldn’t carry cellphone to restroom, it’s simply because you should not! Just get on to the main business and do the smooth transaction and get out! Why do you want to sit there for long time!

If you still carry cellphone to restroom, you’re not in danger… You’re the danger!!!

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Dr. Abdul Kalam & Me


It was in March 2008, when Cartoonist ‘Mathi’ from Dinamani released his cartoon collections books in Mylapore, Music Adademy, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was the chief guest. Our college secretary was the first person out of three to receive the first issue of book from Dr. Abdul Kalam.

I read this news in a newspaper around noon at my hostel library & immediately informed my friends. Around 3.30 afternoon, I along with my friends Mahesh anna, Vedathri, Harish and Aniruth started walking out of hostel room and were walking near tennis court, our secretary was about to enter his car & I smiled at him and said, ‘Hello swami ji, we’re walking to the same event where you’re headed’ and asked him you are still here? I read that the function is at 4 o clock?, he said yes, but it’s ok, I was asked to come at 3:45, he said and then  he didn’t give a second thought, he had immediately asked me to board his car & I’d boarded and said, not just me some of my friends too 😀 He couldn’t say no & hence we all boarded the car. Humorously he asked, is it all or is anyone else joining? I said only us 😀

It was a proud moment, that we are going to a function where Abdul Kalam is Chief Guest and our Secretary is the first person to receive the book & we are going to that function in his car! As the car headed, being 17 years of Ramakrishna Mutt President of SriLanka & a 70 years old famous and great college Secretary he was little afraid that he is carrying more people in his car and was looking out to see whether any cop is noticing us, I said.. Swami ji! Why are you worried? No police can stop us, forgot whom you are going to meet now? (haha the same ‘gethu’ scene that you see in every movie!)

Our car entered the Music Academy (Mylapore) entrance, as soon as our car entered, our college assistant secretary came running and opened the back door and gestured Namaskaram (Vanakkam) thinking it is our swamiji who was sitting at back side, as soon as I got down he was little embarrassed 😀 and said oh! it’s you and ran to front door and welcomed our Swamiji. We all laughed secretly at him 😀 We entered the Music Academy hall in VIP entrance, our swamiji said sit where you feel comfortable, and said he will go to his chair.

Just when I moved from the entrance to look out for seat, I heard more noise from outside and ‘vaazhga, vaazhga’ within no time after the car had arrived I could realize it was Dr.Abdul Kalam & he entered the hall so fast and was very brisk. He entered the hall like a child entering an exhibition, such an enthusiasm and smile he had in his face.

He walked very fast in the stage and asked his secretary about where he has to sit, he sat and smiled at all. One of the other chief guests was actress Manorama. As soon as Dr. Kalam started his speech, the very first sentence he spoke was, ‘Aachi… enakku ungala romba pidikkum, naan unga padam laam nariya paathuruken andha kaalathula’ (I like you very much, I have seen your movies a lot in my childhood days!) He said it in such a voice that it showed he is completely down to earth, not a single percent of ego or anything, he never showed any sign that he speaks as a former president or a great scientist.

During his speech about the book release, he said ‘Cartoon is a very effective communication tool.  They powerfully communicate the message with a sense of humor. He also shared his experience as to how his team felt rejuvenated by cartoons, when they were dejected due to the failure of SLV3 in those days. He also advised the media to use lot of cartoons in the newspapers to create awareness.

His briskness, enthusiasm was such an inspiration for everyone who had attended that function and when I remember the moment I saw him, he still makes me smile 🙂

Today when one of my friends sent a message saying Dr. Kalam had passed away, I didn’t want to believe it and prayed that should just be another hoax just like others that pops every now and then. Don’t know what is the joy behind spreading rumors about ones death.

Last week, Neera Yadav, Jharkhand’s Education Minister had kept garlands and payed homage to Dr. Kalam when he was still alive. People are in so hurry to believe something without even checking the facts and to inform their friends which sometimes ends up as a rumor.

when-jharkhand-education-minister-paid-homage-apj-abdul-kalam

Now, after checking the news that Kalam is really passed away, it is very hard to lose such a enthusiastic person, India’s missile man & our beloved former President of the Nation. He collapsed when he was giving speech to the youth of our nation! He loved doing what he did till his last breath. I don’t know why we call Nehru as chacha and why we celebrate his birthday as children’s day (May be because of… hmm no, let’s not talk about him here!). After Vivekananda, to me Dr. Abdul Kalam is the youth icon & he will always be remembered by all of us. His birthday should be celebrated as Children’s day.

May his soul rest in peace.

Kilo01


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Arachu vitta Vengaya Sambhar / Grinded Onion Sambhar


Vengaya sambhar is one of my favorite sambhar variety. 🙂 It use to be our sambhar variety on Sundays in my childhood until l went out of hometown for my studies. After a long time I felt like eating this particular sambhar and thought to prepare it. I had asked my sister to send me the recipe and got it immediately with my mom’s recorded whatsapp voice message.

So, if you want to try the most tasty vengaya sambhar here is the method to prepare it.

Needed:

3-4 Onions, Yellow Lentil, Split Bengal Gram, Black Gram, 4-6 Red Chillies, Grated coconut, Tamarind, Coriander seeds, mustard, fenugreek.

Preparation steps:

1. Steam half tumbler (or a cup) Yellow lentil for upto 5-6 whistles in pressure cooker.

2. Soak tamarind 15 before cooking begins

3. Saute the split bengal gram, black gram, red chillies (cut it to into pieces), coriander seeds (if coriander seeds are not available use coriander powder), grated coconut together until it turns brownish.

4. Grind it all with some water added

5. Cut onions into thin slices

6. Heat a pan with oil and saute mustard, fenugreek & add the cut onions

7, Stir it until onion color turns yellow

8. Add the tamarind water + add more water to the needed sambhar quantity & add required salt

9. Add the steamed yellow lentil and the grinded items to the pan

10. Boil it for 15-20 minutes

11. Sambhar ready! 🙂

Here is the preparation video of the above dish…

Leave your comment if you try it. Thank you,


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Tomato Koottu / Thakkali Koottu


Thakkali (Tomato) Koottu is one of my favorite dishes from my Mom. Though I like every single dish my mom prepares, this one is always my special dish. I’d asked my sister to let me know the recipe and she had sent a recorded voice message from my mom and sent me in whatsapp! haha… If this had happened two years ago I might have talked in favor of gadgets in Neeya Naana (a Tamil talk show) in which I’d actually spoken against gadgets. 😀

As I didn’t cook beyond five standard dishes with slight variations, I’d decided it’s high time for me to try something new and so is this Koottu 😀 It will take 45 minutes to cook it. Here is the recipe, if you like to give it a try!

Necessary items:

1. Tomato (6-8 depends on size of Tomato and number of people) – I used 8 tomatoes for a count of 4.

2. Kadalai paruppu (Bengal Gram)

3. Payatham paruppu or Paasi Paruppu (Green Gram )

4. Uluttham paruppu (Black Gram)

5. Curry Leaves, Chilly, Coriander Leaves, Mustard, grated coconut

Pre-Cooking steps:

1. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces

2. Steam Bengal gram and Green gram together in pressure cooker upto 6 whistles

Cooking steps:

3. Saute Mustard, chilly (cut it small), curry leaves, bengal gram and black gram until it turns brown

4. Mix the cut tomato in pan with the above and stir it frequently for 15-20 minutes until the fresh tomato smell fades away

5. Add necessary salt, little turmeric & a tea spoon of Sambhar powder

6. Once fresh tomato smell has gone, mix the steamed bengal & green gram in the pan and stir it

7. Add grated coconut and coriander leaves (if not readily available it’s ok to skip coriander leaves) and stir for 5 minutes.

8. oh! that’s it… only 5 steps to cook.

9. Comment here after you’d tried it 🙂

It came very well for me and it tasted just like my mom’s preparation 🙂

Check out this video as well 🙂


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Cycling at Central Park, New York


As a bicycle lover, I always wanted to ride bicycle in New York. As it was winter season when I’d arrived here, I had to wait until the winter is over. As the spring begun a month ago, I had been telling my friend to make a plan for cycling. The wait was over finally on April 18.

I always wanted to start early for any trip but end up waiting for my friends to get ready! This plan was no exception! I’d got ready and was waiting for my friends to start from their place & finally I’d started from my place an hour before it was noon. I’d reached New York port authority bus terminal, only difference was I was not in formal wear as I do everyday to office.

As soon as I reached I was wandering the streets and went to times square just to pass time until my friends reached NY. As they reached I’d boarded the car and together we came across few streets to find parking. One main thing to keep in mind if you are visiting New York on a weekend in your car is that you need to either reserve your parking in advance or you need to know which street has meter parking for longer hours.

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                                                                          oh! Who it at the top right corner? 😉

For those who like to know more about parking in New York is that there are several types are parking available in New York. We cannot park cars anywhere we want, like we do it in India, There will be selective portion in road which are allowed for public and it will be allowed for 3 hours, on weekend some streets will allow maximum of 6 hours, if your plan exceeds 6 hours, you need to renew or add more hours after the 6 hour is over. There will be meters placed on streets, you need to enter the number of hours you need to park and pay through card, Once the receipt is printed, it needs to be placed in front of driver seat and it should be visible for cops. Else penalty/ticket (fine) will be issued.

So we roamed around few streets and finally found a place to park. But we were already moved ahead of the parking place, so I got down with Ananth’s friend and we both were holding the parking place by standing in the parking space on road, It was like holding place for your friends in movie hall or in bus 😀 Ananth had to go around few streets to get back to the same road again, we cannot simply take a reverse to park even though it was a few steps or one car space ahead of the parking space.

We then walked to a cycle shop on 56th street and rented 3 bicycles. We’d booked it already through mobile. It was $20/Day through an offer. Else the prices were different. We then headed to a Subway nearby to have lunch. As it was cycling day we didn’t want to eat heavily as it would ruin our cycling mood.

I felt awesome when I started riding the cycle, it’s after 6 months I’m riding a cycle. When I rented the cycle it reminded the days when I use to ask 50 paise and 1 rupee from my mom when I was at school. I use to rent cycle for one hour and roam around streets of Hosur enjoying with my friends, every now and then we use to go to the cycle shop and ask the owner ‘Anna how many mins left?‘ and then go on to the streets again. 🙂

Similarly I took the cycle here and only difference I don’t have to visit the shop to ask for the hours as I have a watch now and also it’s rented for a full day. The lady asked us to return the cycle by 10 PM. When I’d left the shop the time was 2:15 noon. After lunch we started from Subway around 2:50.

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The rental shop lady gave us New York city map for cycle route, central park map & another brochure with rules for cycling in New York (which I read the next day :D), the only rule I have for cycling is enjoy the ride without causing trouble to commuters. As I started form the shop my friends asked me to carry water bottles in a bag for which I said no! may be they didn’t ride cycle for so many years now and had forgotten how painful it will be to ride cycle carrying bag at your back. As these cycles didn’t had carriers at back I didn’t want to carry it in my shoulder. Since I’ve done that during my school days I knew I won’t enjoy the ride if I carry load, so phew!!!! Kept the bag in car and headed to park.

Central park starts from 59th street to 110th street. It is the biggest greenery spot in New York City, One cannot believe New York City, the concrete jungle has such a beautiful place in center of the city. It was heavily crowded and streets were full of people 🙂 It was so nice to see the city with more people in streets. As the weather on that day was awesome city was heavily crowded and it was full of people. As we entered the park, we started riding cycle in the cycling track, the road/track in central park is the place for cycling, running, walking, roller skates and much more. On weekdays public transportation is allowed but on weekends it’s strictly for the above said purpose.

As I started riding cycle I was so amazed by being in central park, secondly I was riding cycle, so I felt very happy when I headed in the track. As it’s spring season, there were blossoms at many places. Some trees with white flowers and some with pink. When I kept riding I saw a place where people were looking through a fence. I wanted to look what it was, but my friends were not interested… haha! I said I’ll look at that and I had headed to that fence… Wow! It was a ground and it was full of people! It looked awesome! People were with their family and their loved ones. Just like a picnic spot in movies, they were sitting on a blanket and enjoying their time. Many were with bikini and taking sun bath. The kids were playing, people were playing frisbee. It reminded me the days I played frisbee with my sister and cousins at Marina beach, Chennai.

You can find so many birds and squirrel in the park, there was a tortoise too!  There is a zoo in the park which I didn’t visit. I then moved on to enjoy some guys who were playing guitar and singing. People were sitting, resting and enjoying that. I spent a few minutes near a small pond and then moved on. The cycle track/the road in park is full of ups and down (don’t wave your thoughts about the quotes now, life is full of up and down :D). So many trees in the park which reduces the noise from the outer streets. I kept riding, there was a small water falls, swimming pool (which didn’t had water, I think it’ll be filled in summer), a very big lake, two playing grounds, a very big open place filled with grass to sit and rest.

It took one hour ten minutes for me to complete the first round, As I’d stopped at many places to enjoy the spots it took this time in first lap. I then started with the second lap and rode slowly and enjoyed the lap time was 4:50, end of 3rd lap 5:35, end of 4th lap 6:30, there was a CNN news display at one point in the track from where I saw the time every time I wwas near the end of lap. For every lap I’d stopped at the lake and asked someone else to take me pics. At 4th lap I took a off road and walked in a small hill inside the park near a waterfall, that spot was very nice. It looked like one of the track which I’d played in NFS.

Then during 5th lap I bought some snacks which were costly than what we get outside the park, even the water bottle! It was $3 inside the park with just a difference in shape but was costly for that price. But there were drinking water spots in park which is very neatly maintained. There was another spot in the park to sit which is so close to another lake, it was so peaceful, we can sit there for hours just to enjoy the beauty.

I’d completed 5th lap and then called my friend who asked me to come directly to the rental shop, so after 5 hours of cycling I met my friends 😀 Gave back the cycle and felt so happy for riding cycle for a a long time… Time was 8:15 when I returned the cycle, so from 3:00 – 8:15 I rode cycle in Central Park. All that I was wondering was I didn’t felt pain or I didn’t sweat a lot. Just that last lap I rode fast in a steep hilly track in park, otherwise I rode slowly and enjoyed every lap.

I then headed to bus terminal and reached home at 10:30, had dinner and went to bed. It was at 3 am, when I turned upside down and bent my leg 😥 😥 my god! I couldn’t bend my leg 😀 😀 I felt pain at 3 AM. I woke up and went to wash room, did a small warm up to make ease to legs. Did few sit ups 😀 haha… it was like doing dumb-bells at gym the very first day thinking rock and john cena and ending up with pain in hands. But I rode it slowly, may be the longer hours caused the pain. I then slept at 4:30 AM. As soon as I woke up I wanted to check the area of the central park to know the miles I’d rode. I was so surprised to know it was 6.1 mile a lap and that I’d rode 30.5 miles which is 49.1 kms. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was so surprised that I rode cycle for so many miles without even knowing! And now planning to do it once a month until the season is over 🙂

Plan for cycling in Central Park if you visit the city. You can rent cycle per hour, 2 hours and so on. Check websites for rental cycle and make your plan.


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Favorite Singaporean Food


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PC: vector-a.com

Singapore – South east Asia’s smallest island. Which is very well known in India as one of the cleanest country. Even though Singapore is smallest island, it is known for it’s development in a short span of time.

Singapore roads are frequently mentioned as an example for it’s cleanliness. It is home for a major Indians, especially Tamilians. There are 15% of Chinese who adds population to Singapore. It is a 6th country to have half of it’s population as tourists.

Year after year the number of tourists visiting Singapore is increasing. When there are so many travelers and tourists flooding in it accommodation, commute and importantly food plays a main role in keeping the tourists visiting the country.

Not only tourists, the fact is that Singaporean families eat food from restaurants, they prefer outside food than homemade as the food at hotels are cooked just like the way it is prepared at home, with neatness, safety & care. As per an article I’d read a few years back, may be 9 years back, very less percentage of Singaporean family cooks at home & the majority residents have food from outside. The primary reason for this is the quality of food that is being served in the restaurants. Quality of food, Cleanliness, affordable price are main reason for the residents to have food outside. The restaurants are regularly visited by the food inspectors to make ensure quality food is being served and to ensure the cleanliness being followed in the hotels and restaurants.

In a country where it’s population as said above is from various countries, you can imagine how many varieties of restaurants and the varieties of food you can enjoy when you visit Singapore. Yes, Singapore is known for its varieties of foods & Restaurants. There is a lot of restaurants from various countries that are enjoyed by people from various nations.

Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian food have it’s own outstanding restaurants. Saravana Bhavan, Komala Vilas (Estd 1947), Ananda Bhavan are famous vegetarian restaurants for several decades which is getting a repeated loyal customers for it’s quality service and taste. These are very few restaurants that are serving tasty food since past few decades, there are several other continents restaurant chains that are well known among the tourists for it’s taste. And the various other non vegetarian restaurants which has its own loyal customers for it’s taste, safety & neatness.

When it comes to Singapore, even if it’s a very small island, there are lot of places to visit and you’ll find it difficult to mention one place as your favorite. And it holds the same for Singaporean food as well. There are plenty of varieties of food that are available in Singapore, it is very hard to determine one food as your favorite where every food item you see tempts you to have it.

This article is written for a contest by (Discover more about Singapore food and restaurants at) http://discover.stayfareast.com/ hosted by IndiBlogger-Logo-Light-Background-e1350035970796


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Tomato Thokku/Thakkali Thokku


haha… never thought I would make such a post. Just a try! Ever since I came to US, I miss the varieties of food my mom use to prepare and some food items which she prepares specially for me. Every weekend my mom use to prepare a different type of food mix which I use for the whole week in Bangalore where I used to stay.

Though my room mates makes a varieties of food everyday in their turn, which makes me feel like I’m at home, It’s been 4 months since I came here and started feeling about the varieties of food items my mom makes for me.

One of the simplest and easiest preparation is Thokku. I’d asked my mom when I called her and asked about the preparation steps. I’d said ‘oh.. ok.. ok…’ for all the steps she said and didn’t do on the say I’d called her. Then I thought to make it after 4 days & the sad part is I’d forgot what all she said 😀

Again called today and asked the same steps & I gave it a try. The taste is 70% close to what my mom makes. Just for a timepass took photos and videos of what I’d prepared. This thokku will taste very good with Dosa, Idly, Chappathi, all Upma varieties, with curd rice and it’ll be very good with white rice.

Thokku will serve good for a week without keeping it in refrigerator & if climate is not so hot.

Incase if you want to try, here are the simple steps to make this mouth watering Thakkali Thokku.

1. 5-6 Tomatos

2. Salt

3. Red Chilly

4. Tamarind (if you’re using Tamarind paste, use 1/2 spoon for 6 tomatos, That’s what I used 😀 )

5. Mustard

6. Asafoetida

7. Sunflower oil

4 simple steps for preparation

1. Grind the Red chilly, salt & Tamarind together

2. Mix Tomato with this and grind again (Don’t add water)

3. On a Pan, add more oil and saute mustard and asafoetida

4. Mix the grind-ed tomato in the pan and boil it for 25 minutes. (stir frequently)

5. Wash your plates & get ready to eat.

Here is the video…. Leave a comment if you liked it.