Thursday, July 22, 2010

“Maintaining relationships is at the core of our business”

Enter MICA and you can't miss Chhota, the eating joint in MICA, which is the most celebrated spot in the campus. Standing like a rustic shack amidst the green lush campus, it has its own old world charm and an air of calmness where you can chitchat with your friends over a cup of coffee, gossip around or even hold a book while sipping away your favorite masala tea.

So we get down to interview Amit Bhai, the Incharge of Chhota and get him talking about what makes Chhota a brand, which was started 13 years ago and still going strong.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:

When was Chhota started and what was the concept behind its inception?

“Chhota was started in 1997 with an idea to help students unwind in a rustic setting after the class or during free hours and to provide them with snacks and beverages they would love to gorge on apart from the mess food.”

What makes Chhota so special and endearing to the students?

“Well, we give the students leverage to prepare their own dishes and even let them try their creativity at experimenting with dishes. And sometimes if the experiment results in a nice tasty dish, we christen it after the student name, eg. Imran sandwich, Gunjan paratha, Divish sandwich.
Besides, it’s open 24*7 throughout the year. Come hell or high waters, Chhota is always there serving students. Maintaining relationships is at the core of the business here.”

What are the most popular dishes here?

“The most popular dishes are Tadka Maggi, vada paav, egg bhurji, samosa. Even the Imran sandwich sells like hotcakes.”

What about your share of gossip/happening around the campus?

“Hahaha..Yeah, we know for sure who is dating who, which professor is a tough nut, what new snacks students want and what are the next set of changes to be implemented in the campus.”

Well, That would be all. Thank you Amit Bhai. We wish you and Chhota a very prosperous future.
“Thank you.”

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Diplomacy in the time of war !!

Diplomacy is the currency in which nations trade when it comes to foreign policy. With all the political tussle between India and Pakistan over 26/11 attack and the ongoing drama over Amir Ajmal Kasab, David Headley and the useless bilateral dossiers exchange, no solution is in sight at all, not atleast till Headley dies a peaceful death at 80 or Kasab gets his grandchildren married in a special cell in India. Anyways, lets hope, let us think of a hypothetical situation; India goes to war with Pakistan today. How will it alter the power equations in the world, which strategic relationships will work and which wont, how will the allies and daddies is my own perspective on it, countrywise:

Unites States: Obama addresses a gargantuan crowd at White House in a Hollywood movie style and declare to help its ally, Pakistan since no mission against the 'bad' taliban and Al-Queda can be successful in Afghan-Pak border without Pak's land and assistance. 'But we can't attack India, it's one of our biggest markets' says one among the litterati. Obama says 'YES..WE CAN' !!

Iran: Stuck in between hostility to U.S. and a soft corner for Pakistan, issues two statements: 'U.S. should mind its own business, bloody killers!'
'India should not have attacked Pakistan, all bollywood movies off the screens now'.

Bangladesh: Starts setting Pak military bases on its land, assured by Pak to get back Ms. Taslima Nasreen as a reward.

China: adopts a new slogan 'Paki-Chini bhai-bhai'. Busy hacking Indian govt and defense sites and buying markers to redraw The McMahon Line. Arunachal Pradesh is in and Dalai Lama is incarcerated at some unknown location, untraceable even by the pulled-out-of-china Google Earth :P

Afghanistan: Hamid Karzai sends all 'bad' Taliban to fight for Pakistan and engages the 'good' Taliban in capturing voting booths to help him win his third straight term landslide victory.

Russia: An old ally of India, does its bit by selling more and more military warfare to India at double the price and promises to help India in its rebuilding and peace restoration efforts after the war.

Maldives: Achieves one more feat with another under-sea water cabinet meeting and signs one more Declaration stating, 'Terminating all trade(??) with Pakistan and lending our full support to Indian state'.

France: Nicholas Sarkozy, on his 6th Honeymoon, not with Carla but with his new mistress, sipping champagne and sunbathing at Miami, assures India to send its forces by sea, to reach Indian shores in 5 months time.

United Kingdom: makes hay while the sun shines: tightens its immigration policy and stops issuing visas to all Pakistanis, and issues a statement in public interest, 'Please refrain from visiting India, East London has anyways turned a miniature one now'.

Sri Lanka: Mahinda Rajapakse is a jaded tiger after quelling the LTTE tigers, and has no money-making body except tea-plantation and a cricket board. Still assures to rehabilitate all Tamilians from Tamil Nadu.

Cuba: sends its elephantine team of doctors and nurses to South-Asian region, whomsoever it may attend to.

United Nations: maintains wait and watch policy, readies peace-keeping forces, half of which are always Indians, to be deployed after the war.

Australia: calls back all its cricket players from IPL with immediate effect, and warns its citizens, 'No more racist attacks 'required' on Indians, we are 'extraditing' them back..They will anyway perish' !!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Jeetey Raho Sachin !!

Every time the maestro notches up a new record or clinches a spectacular win for India, I can't wait to read every article on his feat I can find online, rush to get a copy of every newspaper/magazine raving about his achievement, and even try to catch up with the disdainfully spiced Aaj tak, NDTV, Star News coverage on the legend. The celebration of 20 years of Sachin in Cricket had not even shown any signs of abating when the most worshipped man in India came up with a phenomenal display of class, strength and supremacy; 200 not out in an ODI against one of the finest attacks in the world..What a blistering knock, what a majestic spell !! The day will go down in history as the day when time stopped to witness the finest batathon in the world of cricket where a new milestone was achieved by a genius in every sense of the word !! Superlatives are really not enough to describe the greatness of Little master we all know as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Television, Newspapers, magazines, cafes, Social networking sites, corporate offices, schools, colleges, the Sachin fever has swept the whole nation and everyone's speaking volumes about the man and his formidable records. As usual, I read a lot of articles on his latest tour de force in One Day International and thought of doing a compilation of some of the best quotes and phrases showered on the batting ace:

There should be a wine named after SRT; gettin better with age. - Cricinfo

The Little Master, as his fans know him, is as bright at twilight as he was at noon. - Time

Sachin Tendulkar: A tiger who is never in the woods. - The Economic Times

He was a child prodigy, greatness was plainly his destiny. So there are literally millions of cricket fans who can honestly respond to every new Tendulkar record by saying, "I told you so." - Time

Every slogan...all standing ovations... each chant.... all news.. they just looked so small to complement god's feat.... - Sourabh Goyal, Aditi Tech.

I thought the way he celebrated when he reached his 200 epitomised the man's persona. There was no running laps around the field, no aggressive gestures, nothing over-the-top. He did what he always does, raised both his arms, closed his eyes for a moment and quietly acknowledged that it had been done. - Anil Kumble

Aaj sabka status Sachin ke hi baare me hai...lagta hai Facebook nahi, SachinBook kholker baithe hain... - Shayan Anwer, CGI India

It won't be long before other batsmen reach and exceed the 200-run mark; there are at least a half-dozen in the modern game who have both the power and stamina to pull it off any day of the week. But history will never forget the Bannisters and Tendulkars for proving that the only barriers are in our minds. - Time

He has got so much class. His greatest strength is the longevity, to be able to be so successful at a young age and to still be doing the same thing 20 years on. We're blessed to still have such a great player playing this game. - Michael Clarke

After two decades of basking in the glory of his sporting pre-eminence on the world stage, India is now privileged to witness the second coming of the most complete and prolific batsman of this age. - The Money Times

Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives. - BBC

I have seen god, he bats at no. 4 for India !! - Mathew Hayden

There is nothing more benumbing than watching history being made. The mind is awash with cliché’s floating through it, but by and large it is a Tendulkar creates history; scores double ton sense of helplessness coupled with an inability to describe when words should flow to record that moment for posterity. - TOI

The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility - all make for a one-in-a-billion individual. - Glen McGrath

'I Will See God When I Die But Till Then I Will See Sachin' - A banner in Sharjah

On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This Genius can stop time in India!! - Peter Rebouck, Aussie journalist

And the last one from the man himself:

I don't think any record is unbreakable. Records are made to be broken. I hope that if this record is broken, it's done by an Indian. - Sachin

All said and done, records will be made and broken, but the man will always be remembered for breaking the barriers, raising the bars, and making us believe that greatness lies not in records, but in knowing that the country and the game is bigger than the man and nothing is impossible if the endeavor is backed by passion and a strong belief in oneself !!
Long live SRT !!