Tuesday, May 3, 2016

माँ




मेरी प्यारी माँ 
मोतियों से भी अनमोल माँ 
एक तराशे  हुए  हीरे  क भाँती 
तुम आज भी  विराजमान हो 
अपने चाहने  वालों के ह्रदय में। 


तुम्हारा सब पर प्यार लुटाना 
तुम्हारा  सब पर नज़र रखना 
एक ख़ास माँ 
की ही तो पहचान थी 


मेरी खुश किस्मती 
की न सिर्फ मैं 
पर मेरी बेटियां भी 
रंग गई तुम्हारे प्यार में। 


आज पहला मदर्स डे है 
जब तुम इस दुनिया मैं नहीं 
लेकिन ये रब की कृपा है 
की कुछ ख़ास तस्वीरें 
मैं मैंने तुम्हे  हमेशा हमेशा 
के लिए कैद कर लिया 
और मृत्यु के ऊपर जीत  पाई। 


माँ नाम की फोटो एल्बम 
मैंने बड़े प्यार 
और हौंसले से 
की तैयार 
और अब गम को भगा कर 
तुम्हारी  मीठी यादों में 
अक्सर खो जाती हूँ। 


तुम्हारे साथ बिताए 
मदर्स डे के लम्हे 
और तस्वीरें 
आज भी आँखों में 
नमी ले आते हैं। 


माँ तुमने सिखाया 
चट्टानों को पार करना 
तुमने सिखाया
 आपनों  और गैरों पे प्यार लुटाना। 

तम्हारे सिद्धांतो पे चलने वाली 
आखिर विजयी हो गई 
तुम्हारे चले जाने क हकीकत 
एक दर्द  भरा सदमा नहीं 
एक लहराती मीठी याद बन गई। 




Thursday, April 28, 2016

Fire and Ice



Fire and ice
For long
Your stark contrast
And potent Visage
Has tantalized me.

Fire
The earthly dwelling
Discovered
Accidently
By stone age man
As civilization
Embarked on earth.

Fire
The sacred element
At once
Illuminating
Alleviating  darkness
Surging
Surmounting
With
Brazen potential
To bequeath
Or perish.

Ice
The perfect
Antidote of fire
The extremetiy
At the far end of the scale.

Who is mightier of the two?
Fire or Ice?

Fire
An essential  ingredient
To experience  life
Emotions blazing
Rising to a crescendo
Lapping up experiences
Wiser to the core.

Ice
The chilling  domain
Balancing
The panorama  of fire
The articulate antidote
Of fire
And the final
 Resting place
As meditation
Leads
To the feet of Almighty
At once
At peace
Akin to the coolness of ice


Monday, April 25, 2016

The Journey of LIFE




A seed sown
Nascent
In the cocoon of womb
Snug
Secure
Bursting with aspirations
Restless
To escape the confining walls
And flee in to the waiting world.

The world
An illusion?
Nay!
A reality?
By all means!

The infant
Transformed
Into a toddler
Learning the first
Lessons of life
Ingrained
And etched deeply
Both
On the velvety couch of the heart
As well as 
On the razor sharp psyche.

The journey meanders
Like a lusty river
In its quest
To merge with the Ocean.
So does the journey of life
Even as you 
Gather pebbles
Scattered lazily
Along the challenge strewn shores.

Thorns and needles
Pricks and Cuts
Roses and Tulips
Fragrant Jasmine
Sacred Lotus
All meant to be mystery laden lessons
From yore.

Let the tears flow
Unbidden.
Let the heart love
Beyond reason.
Let the laughter roar
Challenging the thunder
For you were born
To live
And not merely
To freeze in the snow.

Gather judiciously
The hues of life
Let peace
Find its niche.
Let memories
Be a kaleidoscope
Of a vibrant life
Lived like a king and more.






Monday, December 21, 2015

A Date with DOMINO'S

Good morning readers,

I am writing a Blog post after a very long time indeed. This is so, as my Blogging led into new things. a Travelogue, Poetry, Short stories and fiction. But that is another story.

And today, it is back to the joys of Blogging. Blogging indeed comes with perks.

So, I got a call from a lady from PERFECT RELATIONS, enquiring if I would be interested to witness the launch of two new dishes by Domino's Pizza.

Indeed i would be, I assured her.

Nineteen  years ago, in 1996, an Indian company, later renamed as Jubilant Food works limited,




 teased the Indian consumers with a two worded phrase in Hinglish

HUNGRY KYA?



and with this, India was introduced to a world class Pizza chain. Domino's Pizza arrived in India with a bang.

Over the years, they changed their tag line to:

KHUSHIYON KI HOME DELIVERY....................

and more recently to:

YE HAI RISHTON KA TIME...................

Their catchy tag lines showcased in advertisements that hit close to  real life scenario went a long way in establishing Domino's Pizza, as  a  major Pizza brand. The promising advertisement  was sealed with the promise of high quality sumptuous Pizzas, and a challenge to deliver the order within 30 minutes.

So, yesterday I headed to the  Domino's Pizza outlet in South Extension Part 2.

The young team members of PERFECT RELATIONS, welcomed the bloggers and select customers inside the venue.

As I walked inside the outlet on the first floor, I took in the warm, vibrant, cosy atmosphere and settled myself at a comfortable;table.

My attention was immediately drawn to a corner of the room



which was beautifully decorated, a preamble of things to unfold during the afternoon.

As i sat at my seat, i noticed a gentleman and a few Chefs standing besides the kitchen window.   I sipped the coke the  boy served me, and just then  a Chef walked up to me and introduced himself as  Chef Narender Singh Jaravta,





the Head Chef of Domino's Pizza.  He politely enquired if I would ,like to sample a few dishes.

"Sure"

The Pizza boy brought a tray of Garlic bread, Cheesy dips and two other dishes.
Chef Narendar returned back to my table and joined me.

As we got talking, Chef  Narender told me about his team and his decade long association with Domino's. Through the conversation  I realized I had met my first Chef friend.

The delightful dishes in front of me were getting cold, so I quickly asked the chef:

"What is this?"



"This is ZINGY"

"What is the stuffing inside?"

 "Paneer. and Chicken if you go for the non vegetarian  option"

and he continued, " I want to watch your expressions as you eat the ZINGY"

I picked up the ZINGY  and took my first  bite.

" It is  so soft! I have never  tasted anything so soft!"

Chef Narender simply smiled, got up and said:

"Enjoy"

I finished my ZINGY  and joined a few other bloggers at the next table  waiting for the formal launch to start.

The gentleman I had noticed earlier, was Mr Murugun Narayanaswamy, Sr Vice President, Marketing , Domino's Pizza India.

Through an AV presentation, the VP took us through the journey of Domino's Pizza, all the while fielding questions from the bloggers and customers.

The statistics he shared with us were mind boggling:




Trivia About Domino’s Pizza India

·         India is the Biggest Market for Domino’s Pizza outside the U.S.

·         There are 959 Domino’s Pizza restaurants in India spread across 218 cities

·         Domino’s Pizza has 72% market share in the chained pizza market in India

·         300,000+ pizzas are made and sold everyday

·         20,000+ online orders every day

  55 million total orders each year 




 Chef Narender  now took to the stage and talked about two previous popular products, the ZINGY and

 TACO MEXICANA.


f  Finally he talked about the first launch product of the day, " DOUBLE CHEESE CRUNCH" Pizza.

"The unique Double Cheese Crunch pizza is the latest addition in the list of indulgent pizzas offered by Domino’s Pizza. It is an exclusive offering by Domino’s Pizza and comes with two thin crusts having liquid creamy cheese in-between, topped with mozzarella cheese and fresh vegetarian or non-vegetarian toppings.

The second product being launched today is:

CUSTARD BLISS:

Custard Bliss dessert has been developed considering Indian consumers’ love for custard flavour. It is the latest addition to the dessert menu after the much loved Choco Lava Cake. This amazingly delicious dessert is made from soft buttery flavoured dough rolled over tasty Vanilla Custard, milk, cream, sprinkled with finely powdered cardamom sugar which adds a unique delightful flavour."

As the presentation got over, the boys came in with trays of both the new dishes, it was finally time to savour the new goodies of Domino's.








I found the new DOUBLE CHEESE CRUNCH Pizza  very crispy and light, and loved the fact that the crusts were thin and the toppings very generous with veggies, since I am a vegetarian.

The Non vegetarian variety for the same dish looked equally tempting.

The CUSTARD BLISS tray  could not be ignored by any means.




This baked dish contained a filling of custard. So I carefully broke it into two pieces. Sure enough, there was this yellow colored custard filled inside. And it tasted  simply yum with the subtle flavour of vanilla and cardamom.

Chef Narender invited us for a  live demo of the dishes. So adorning our caps and aprons we were escorted inside the kitchen by him.

The young girl, took a ball of dough, placed it on the Pizza dish and started patting the dough. Within ten seconds, the dough had evenly spread to the full size of the platter. She took a Pizza knife, and quickly cut the dough into cones. Picking up one cone, she filled it with ready made custard, sealed  the dough, placed it on a baking dish and moved towards the oven.

"she was so quick!", I couldn't help exclaiming.

"Precisely", 
" How long do you think it would take our cooks to prepare three different Pizzas with complete toppings?"

" Ten minutes, twelve minutes"

" Forty seconds"

" Forty seconds?"

" Yes.. that is the secret of our 30 minutes delivery. We train our cooks to perform so fast that we are able to actually deliver the Pizza within 30 minutes of the order."

We left the kitchen, amazed at he proficiency of the entire cooking process. After having clicked photographs with the team of Chefs led by Chef Narender, I took my leave. and before i could exit, there was the last surprise of the day. Gift vouchers worth Rs 1000 .

The event was indeed a fun meet, extremely informative. and though  I thoroughly vouch for the two new dishes, i was simply bowled over by the ZINGY. The simple reason being, it comes at an unbelievable price of Rs 29 for vegetarian  and Rs 35 for the Chicken stuffing.

As i sign off this post, a word of advice. This evening, drop everything. Ring up your extended family and plan a get together at he nearest Domino's Pizza outlet and have a ZINGY feast followed by  trying the two new dishes, the DOUBLE CHEESE CRUNCH and CUSTARD BLISS,  to celebrate in the true spirit of Domino's:


YE HAI RISHTON KA TIME. :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

STOLEN CHILDHOOD





One born to a king

One born to a pauper.

One born to be rocked in the cradle

One born to be left unattended.

One born to play with branded toys

One born to play with  pebbles.

One born to drink fortified milk

One born to be malnutritioned.

One born to be transported in imported cars

One born to run on spindly legs.

One born to study in heritage schools
.
One born to beg at red lights.

One born to savor five course meals

One born to survive on left over food.

One born to wear designer clothes

One born to wear tattered rags.

One born to attend coaching classes for lawn tennis

One born to child labor.

One born to live in havelis

One born to sleep under a leaking tarpaulin..

Both children of the same God.

Stop!

Pause!

Reflect!

Can we do something to bridge this abominable gap?

Can we do something to restore stolen childhood?

Yes, we can.

Indeed we can.

Let us harness the goodness in our hearts

Let us gather our strength

Let us make our resolve dynamic

Let us endeavor to bring justice

To the lost children of the world

Let us walk together

To restore stolen childhood

Let us each do our bit

To  leave this world a better place.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

THE MORNING AFTER



It is a brand new day
O heavens!
How I have yearned to be free.
Free of the ominous clouds
That overshadowed my life.
You had  breezed into my life
Like the first flush of spring.
I almost did not catch my breath
Dumbstruck as I was
By your sweet encounter .
I was a seeker
 And I gaily offered you my heart
On a golden platter
All yours to cherish.
But alas!
You became whimsical.
You resorted to games
 My heart had unheard of.
Why, o why did you play the devil?
I floundered
 I shed tears
And finally it was time to bid adieu
Not because I was a runner
But because you could not match or appreciate
My frequency of love for you.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

BLOCKADE



 I lived in you
For a long long time
Offering you my heart and soul
Pining
Bleeding
Graying day by day.
One day it finally dawned on me
It was time to turn the tides
So i gave birth to a Tsunami
That finally resurrected me.
I tip toed hastily
From the mean ,narrow lanes of darkness.
Yet the broken heart is a necessary evil
For it is a reservoir of treasures
Now, my love
I harness a distance between us
Let me disconnect myself
Let me blockade you
For the intense light
Numbed my soul.
It is time to breathe easy
Time to live freely
Thank god for this precious gift of life
Away from the claws of love
It is finally time
To celebrate having loved.