Happiness on a barbeuqe

Food has always been something that makes me happy. Some of my favorite memories are associated with it. I think I have now come to a level where food is something beyond the daily nutrition a body needs. It is a spiritual experience. Food is something that can make you salivate as you look at it, a mere whiff of well-made food can give you goose bumps, while taking a long slow bite will have you close your eyes and just get lost and the juices flow down your throat.

This post is about one of my favorite place to eat: Barbeque Nation (Vadodara). While I have been living in Baroda since 2009 started, and kept hearing rave reviews of the place I could only eat there a year after in 2010. It happened as a spontaneous decision, when I was discussing with a friend where we could get to eat some wonderful chicken. Twenty minutes later, we were giving out orders for juice at the place.

Let me tell you how the place works. You select one complimentary drink from the menu (and can order more that will be charged extra), while they start serving you starters on your table. The center of the table has been cut out to make place for a mini barbeque, where skewered foods will be placed with red hot coals below the grille. Let me tell you that their food is wonderful. One of the best I have ever had. My friend and I literally hogged our way through them. When we were about to be feel full, we asked for the bill to be brought in. The server who came asked if enjoyed our main course, which made my ears twitch and ask him where the main course was, followed by asking him if we would be charged extra for it (sheepishly so, I might add).

The main course you see, is part of the package. It is not served to you at your table, you have to go take what you want in your plate instead. There are salads, soups, daals, sabjis, some pulav or biryani of some sort. Rotis and naans are served at your table though. Yes, both veg and non-veg options are available in the main course as well. I had my second emotional surge when I saw that there was a big assortment of desserts as well. Belt loosening, salivating and becoming a poster boy for ‘kid in a candy shop’ later saw me eating even more. This is how it is at all barbeque nation places, and how I am each time I visit them.

I have been to this particular Barbeque Nation many times, and once to a different city as well. While the food was awesome at both the places, I have a soft corner for this on account of the fondness for the staff here who are ever so courteous and happy to serve you. No matter how packed the place is, their service and quality doesn’t go down. I have pictures of one such time spent there with friends, which I will share with you now.

nonvegskewer
Chicken, lamb and fish on skewers
Broccoli, mushrooms and some other vegetables
Broccoli, mushrooms and some other vegetables
Sushi
Sushi
Our drinks. I have a pearl oyster. Which had an egg in an oyster on a bed of ice
Our drinks. I have a pearl oyster. Which had an egg in an oyster on a bed of ice
Gulping the oyster
Gulping the oyster
Trying to have it all in a go
Trying to have it all in a go
The fish
The fish
This is the wonderful reaction to that wonderful dish
This is the wonderful reaction to that wonderful dish
Closeup of the fish. Don't ask the name, forgot
Closeup of the fish. Don’t ask the name, forgot
Friends having a go at the salads
Friends having a go at the salads
I love desserts, and they love me back
I love desserts, and they love me back
nirvanabbq
This is how I look when I am lost to good food

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of Words -2. Day 2 prompt : Food

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A Hug award/tag

It’s been a long time since someone tagged me for a blog. Since this comes from a blogger whose posts I enjoy reading, I am having an early go at it. So this is also me saying a thank you to Vishal for his hug to me.

The questions are as follows:

 

1. What is the meaning of life?

In simple terms, I believe that the meaning of life is to exist and be happy with it.

2. Happiness is all about?

Happiness has always meant different things at different times. When I was very young, it meant having a bowl of Maggi (which stands true to this day as well). As I grew older it meant getting good marks in the school tests, and later it meant being able to play cricket without making an ass out of myself. At one time it meant being able to finish all of school work and get to snuggle with any of the Harry Potter books (which to this day makes my mum roll her eyes). Gradually it meant more things, like receiving a Google chat ping from a particular someone, making a presentation at work, and being at Barista with friends and chatting away. Right now happiness means to go through the day without having to shrug something off and cooking a new dish.

3. Why did you start a blog?

I felt the urge to write. I had once maintained a collection of the short stories and poems I had written in a book that I misplaced, so I took to online logs. I came to know of blogging where I could not only write, but read things other people wrote. Soon, it became a box of wonders and happiness.

4. What is more important in your life relationships or fame?

I will be honest here, I do enjoy fame. Ever since I was young, fame in the school or later in college and now work. I like to be famous, to be known for the things that I do or can do. However fame from people I do not know can bring only a temporary joy. Hence if you ask to me think over it, I will choose relationships. One may not have loads of fame, but if you have good relationships then it will be all worthwhile.

5. One thing which you like the most about blogging?

The people I come to know. Many of my friends, people on FB, are there because I came to know of them through blogging. Some of you are just awesome people, and should take a bow. Some of you are people whom I have not yet met in person, but I know about your life through what you share with me on the blogs and Facebook.

6. What’s the best decision you ever made?

Buying capris. India can get hot many times, and Capris are a welcome relief for me. I would wear them throughout the year had it not been for the chilly winds in mid-winter that travel up them and try to freeze my privates. Seriously speaking though, they are so comfortable.

7. Do you believe that unconditional love really exists in any kind of relationship?

No. Love cannot be unconditional. Sometimes we think that love is unconditional when the person being loved does all sorts of things that the lover may not like or would pain them, but the lover still continues to love them. That is not unconditional love that just means that the object/person of their love still means a lot to them. They would gladly go through that pain because they still value their love (or are flipping idiots to stay in an abusive relationship)

8. What would be your first reaction if your physician recommends you to see a psychologist?

Hain?! Yup, that is what I would say. Of course it would be interest me to all sorts of levels to understand why my physician thinks that I must visit a psychologist, and more so of inputs the psychologist would give me. I would want to get a second opinion of a different psychologist and see what they say as well.

9. Do you believe in Karma, if yes then what are bad and good karma according to you?

Yes. Karma is nothing but what you do and allow to happen. People around us see what we do and allow to happen, and take that as to what we are ok with. They in turn do the same to us. Sometimes karma can come from intentions as well as from results of our actions. I may intend for something bad to happen for a person, but my acts can lead to something good happening for them (or the other way around).

10. Do you believe in rebirth or afterlife if yes then why?

I have stopped trying to actively think about it. I am in no way qualified or of expertise to comment on this, since I don’t know anyone who has come been reborn or is in afterlife. What if afterlife doesn’t have a way for us to communicate with them? What if afterlife is the things we imagine as fiction? What if once we die, we just die and cease to exist while only a select few of us get an afterlife? What if there is not afterlife? So this is only a ‘what if?’ and loads of questions to think about for me.

11. What is the best moment of your life?

It is difficult to zero in on one particular moment, as there have been many such moments for me (and are for everyone). However if I think about it, then the one best moment of my life is when I began to think for myself. I don’t know when that moment came for me and when it is for you, but there is a moment from which you can think for yourself. You can think that what is right and wrong, what can or does make you feel happy or sad. The moment when you know can want a particular thing, when you can express desire. When you can be the ‘I’ in ‘I am’, it is that moment that I speak of.

As per the tag, I nominate this tag/hug to few people. I may miss some of you guys, but these are the people that come to my mind for this right now:

Shail Di

Ushu

Hitchy/Supremo

Ms. Dey

Rinzu

Pixie

Cracking Saks (who is as of now on an indefinite blog composing hibernation)

Ritu

IHM

R’s Mom

If you’re reading this and want to do this (tagged or not), please let me know of the link so that I can connect it to this post.