Archive for January, 2006

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?

Mobile users – Suppose your cell phone is stolen. What will you do?                                                             
Here are some tips. Read it. Please forward it to as many people you can.                                                     
How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone?                                     
A bit of useful information. Just in case you happen to lose your mobile or it gets flogged.                                               
To check your Mobile phone’s serial number, key in the following digits on your phone:                                                     
* # 0 6 #                                                                 

A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset write it down and keep it  somewhere safe.                                             
Should your phone get stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card your phone will be totally useless. ( However it would be a better idea if you could verify this statement with your service provider before hand as there could be technical difficulties in them)                                                             
You probably won’t get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can’t use/sell it either.                               
If everybody did this, there would be no point in stealing mobile phones. Send this to as many people as possible.
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Chandni Chowk and Ponnusamy

Weekly links

What the world looks like with all the lights on in a 24 hour period

Never too early to start planning your next April Fool?s jokes:

Craigs list – Bangalore – Hope more people start to use this site in India…

Ehow – ever wanted to know how things are done…

Its Republic day today… am a lot relaxed…The funding for the restaurant has been assured by the bankers  but of course with a reminder that it would be delayed due to some internal difficulties in their operations. The bank has recently acquired an other bank therefore the decision making people are busy with re organizing work at the bank…was the explanation offered to us.

We were however very thrilled by the guarantee that was offered to us.

Fabmall wanted us to sign the lease agreement on 1st February. With the agreement coming into effect from 15th February. It’s quite tricky…anyways will wait for a couple or more days.

Tried to call up the interior designers that kris had sent me…. was able to reach only one… Amit Benegal…others were old numbers or  wrong numbers. Amit had apparently done just one restaurant in Belgaum ( Karnataka) which he also claimed has won some awards. He said he would email me the photographs tomorrow….

Kris also said he knows another lady who designs interiors in Hyderabad…apparently she is in Hong Kong right now and is expected later this week. He said he would contact her and let me know.

We got a lot of work done yesterday…and I am surprised how easily a lot of work gets done these days… I had been to the BSNL office yesterday to apply for a land line…although this is not and everyday work routine…i was pleasantly surprised when the whole process for applying for it was completed in just 20 minutes…I remembered when there was a time not so long ago that I had to spend three whole days running from one office to the other just to get this work done…Yeah! but that was in a different state ( Kerala) a few years ago…i guess things would have improved there too. Even getting a mobile phone connection does not take too long here…and am sure it must be the least expensive among all the nations to own a mobile phone in this country. I didn’t have a mobile number on my name when i was in Kerala as they didn’t have enough SIM cards to issue to ever increasing subscriber base….although i was offered to be given one by a tout by paying Rs 3000.00. I refused…so I borrowed one from a guy who had  two cards on him.

The manager at the bank also told me yesterday that you could apply for a SIM card by giving details of your bank account….which she said has the required proof of residence. That was quite cool…especially for people who are new in the state and havent got their residence proof yet. Transfer your back account to the nearest branch in the new state and give an address where you stay and get your account number allotted and use this for  obtaining your mobile SIM card. I guess your bank account could be useful for other essentials too like your Gas connection etc.

I still haven’t found the exhaust system manufacturers although I have got just one reply to all the mails I sent them. Ranjeet sent me details of a couple more manufacturers. They are the high end dealers…Continental equipments and diverse hospitality. I mailed them too.

Haven’t got the CAD drawings yet. John said he had mailed it on Tuesday…there must be some technical snag somewhere…Pravina also said she emailed me and one of the emails keeps bouncing back from my ID. I dunno the reason mebbe in Pravinas case the mail could have a malicious code which my anti virus keeps blocking or which mebbe even gmail keeps out…I dunno. neways…

Last three days was fun…Met Sapna… a ravishing beauty….OMG….mmmmmm 🙂 She was sweet and smart… wonderful…mebbe I will tell her ‘ that’s what I thot about you’ some day soon…:)

John told me on Monday last to take a look at Chandini Chowk  at Koramangala… he had told me to take a look at that restaurant earlier…but Monday it was that I decided to go there. It’s an Indian / Punjabi restaurant at Koramangala 6th Block very near to Kwiky’s, Pizza Hut etc. it was around 7:30 pm when I got there…I had a to ask a few people for the land mark…but then its easily accessible and its on the main road in a huge vacant spot very close to DAL ROTI, also an Indian restaurant on the first floor at Koramangala.

I spotted it quite easily…actually one wouldn’t miss it i you were looking for it… It was lit up on the outside with a lot of  serial bulbs giving it an appearance of a house where a wedding was taking place… there were a few cars parked outside the restaurant which had a fairly large parking space. You couldn’t see any of the interiors from the outside…mebbe it was a clever ploy…It had a huge door with a guard seated outside….he rushed up greeted me and opened the door for me…the first thing that struck me was a gravel that was lying on the floor in the inside…wow…surprise!!! The floor was just loose gravel.

It had huge red curtains  on the inside and a mud wall that separated the outer section on the inside of the restaurant with an other inner section…I moved towards it…it had stone slab seating and wooded tables…that contrasted beautifully with the red curtains and the funny chandeliers  that hung from the roof. i looked up and saw a thatched ceiling wow i thought again…A perfect Dhabba.

I sat down on the outer section as i didnt want to eat anything – I had a very late lunch ( 4 pm to be precise). On one table i saw Madhuri Dixit ( Chandini – Sri Devi..did they miss the link???)  staring at me from a tray mat  with her trade mark smile….which obviously was very infectious…I smiled…the music was a tad loud but came from large earthenware pots hung on the ceilings into which the speakers were placed… ordered a glass of sweet lassi  ( again). It was served quite quick but in a regular glass… something like an old fashioned glass a tad narrower at the bottom…It was….hmmmmmmm just ok…had a funny taste to it…but I was soaking in the excitement of the ambience that I forgot how crappy the lassi actually was. The restaurant actually shocks you…coz you least expect the interiors to be the way it is…Like a DHABBA i mean…I saw a few girls come in a get shocked themselves…Yeah but that’s because some people expect it to be presented in a certain way in their minds …which leads to disappointment or maybe they just dont have the taste to appreciate good things…I wouldn’t know…

Chatted up with a waiter…who didn’t know what he was being paid…he has put in 20 days work…said he’d know what they would pay him
when he gets his salary…Thats weird… I thot…anyways..

The surprise didn’t stop there…I asked for the bill and it came in a jewelry box…hehehe…  Got me thinking…the people who designed this place must have surely been on some kinda “trip”. I was told the owners were two ladies… hey that’s an incentive to go back there and try their food sometime…bet I will…id love eating there…;)

Spotted a DVD lending library near Chandini Chowk called Cinema Paradiso. Has some very cool titles…and a very good space design…was also very crowded… 

And yesterday after the meeting with the bankers…took tittu to see chandini chowk…he was also impressed…Also went to Copper chimney…  Though we went after lunch hours…Shankar Managed to get us some lunch…They close shop at 3:20 he said…I didn’t know that…mebbe we were 10 minutes too late…

Dinner was at Ponnusawmy A restaurant serving Tamil cuisine…Although Andhra cuisine rules in Bangalore…it would do good if people start venturing and try the awesome spread that Tamil cuisine offers. Although I am a vegetarian these days…there was a time when a visit to any Chettinad restaurant was immediately grabbed leaving aside all those other choices however exciting they were. Sadly the Tamil cuisine in Bangalore has not taken off probably because of the  anti tamil pulse that lies dormant in the state.  The Cauvery issue still touches a raw chord with the Kannadigas here… well having said all that, unlike the other Andhra restaurants who have focused on bringing in elements of fine dining at least in terms of decor and ambience and not necessarily service…they have managed to bring into their fold all the experimental diners who would not venture into a restaurant that does not have the ambience that they have now so used to.

Ponnusamy I thought has some real good stuff on their menu but, sadly I noticed it was only the Tamil speaking people chose to dine there…Unlike the cosmopolitan crowd you get to see in the Andhra joints….which was sad in a way.

Well…he ordered a non veg Thali…(traditionally served on a Plantain leaf)The foodie that he obviously is and I played safe with Roti and paneer and was hugely disappointed… NEVER order North Indian food at a South Indian Restaurant if you can help it…I couldn’t therefore I was…

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Trade Licence

I haven’t been browsing last week to post any “cool” sites.

Sunday Morning

Started of with Brian’s often hilarious musings on his travels. I loved his posts on India from 2003. He has just posted a new one on his travels in Peru.

Did some travelling myself too last week. Had been to Kochi and unlike last time I took my camera, but slept through most of the journey…so dunno what I missed. I remember having told myself to click some pix of the colorful lorries of Kerala and other stuff. I didn’t – so that’s it…as always there’s always another time.

Met Amrita after a month. She looked different…but very happy…

Miruim said Hi! yesterday after more than a month. Chatted with her too for a long time last night…It was fun…

We probably may end up giving the work on the interiors at the restaurant to Swati. She has done work in the kitchen here and also has some experience of designing a couple of restaurants in Bombay. I doubt we will use the designers that Kris forwarded me…which is a shame…I will try and meet them some day….

Sarwarker called, so did Ranjeet Pandey. It was the turn of the big Chefs to contact. Pandey has been having trouble sending me emails so he used the phone. I haven’t received any emails he said he sent me regarding the exhaust. Apparently he has sourced some manufacturers in Pune. I hope they have branches in Bangalore…. neways he said I’ll get the details tomorrow. Sawarkar had called to tell me that he has found a chef for me…His name is Yadav. He had called me on Friday night. I was unable to speak as it was very loud and couldn’t hear him. Told him I’d call on Saturday. I called but he was off the hook. Will call him again later today or tomorrow.

Ranjeet also told me to speak to a guy named Aloke who is also with Sodexho ( every one seems to have moved there). I called him….he sounded inebriated at 6:30 pm, which Ranjeet had warned me earlier,the he would be, but also said that he”s a nice guy to talk to….” dont offer him a job” He had warned me…:). I think I would meet him later this week….Would sure like to pick his brains.

The C.A, I forgot to mention in my previous blog gave me the report that I had to submit to the bank in a very shabby state…It wasn’t aligned many columns were hidden. etc., which kinda really pissed me off….It wasn’t his fault…he wanted to get that fixed for me…I had said Ok but the assistants he has was not able to do much….they had limited experience is what I felt and that guy was doing too many different things at one time…I wish these guys have at least one DTP specialist working for them instead of some snotty secretaries who was trying to get me to buy her lunch showing some non existent cleavage…neways…I had to go some 300 mts away to find someone who dabbled with DTP work and get the whole thing formatted and spiral bound and submitted to the bank…only to find that the Manager at the bank just wanted a photocopy of the format… I thought that was weird…Submitted the copy that I had taken as a back up and retained the spiral bounded one….lol

The Manager, she also told me to get two seals done 1. A Common seal and 2. A rubber stamp with the company name and authorized signatories. I found that this can be done at Ulsoor Police station and elsewhere…will get it done on Monday.

Picked up a double burner gas cooking range, a few tables and some other stuff from the restaurant that closed down. Asked John to keep the stuff for me. He said ‘OK at a nominal rent’. I agreed. Will get details on the pricing tomorrow. I still haven’t got the stairway drawing from him yet. I wonder what’s wrong.

Vipul wants us to sign the lease agreement by Feb 1st. He is silent on the 60 day moratorium that we have asked for. He hasn’t given us the agreement papers to go through as yet….Mebbe he wants us to submit the drawings…Dunno what…will ask John to speed upon the drawings…hopefully I can email it to Vipul tomorrow.

 John sent an email regarding the details we need from the landlord.  I also picked up the agreement form from the BMP for the trade and Power Licence. It costs Rs 50/- and is a detailed list of all that is required to be done to obtain or renew a trade licence. A very handy booklet. Suresh a guy I met at Lipton said Id have to pay 25K extra to the HI for the licence. I doubt. The nation is so darn corrupt nothing gets done without a bribe. 25 K is a fairly large sum of money, mebbe he had included his cut thinking i’d ask him to get it done for me. I will do it myself – lets put to good use my negotiation skills. 25 K I will not pay.

That’s all then for the week…will post again sometime during the week

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Stairway for service entrance.

Met john and travelled with him to the site in his car (a chauffeured Maruti Esteem).We left lipton tea house at 12:30 pm .It was a sunday was hoping there would be lesser traffic. Dang – its madness 7 days of the week. I guess Sundays the Chaos only start a little late. Didn’t see too many buses on the road is all.

Reached Bannerghetta at around 1pm.

The drive was pretty interesting.

John had a friend…the owner of Appachi ( featured in last weeks Outlook Magazine)the Chettinad restaurant in Pondicherry, who happened to be in Delhi for the Auto Expo, go visit Punjab by Nature,(the Restuarant Tittu was raving about)… apparently he told John that dining at Punjab by Nature was as expensive as a return Air fare to chennai. I think he meant that the pricing was ridiculous. “I don’t know if I would get reimbursed for this” he had also told John.
I remained silent. Obviously he meant that such weird / obscene pricing was not good economics…anyways…he told me he wanted to have a look at the menu…I kept quiet for a while and after a few minutes remembered that I was carrying the Menu with me. Took it out and handed it to him. He looked at the two page menu and Laughed…. “245 bucks for a Tandoori Brocolli???? Damn the menu doesn’t even say anything about the Dish here!!!!. How many pieces would there be in a dish.Oh! Ok at least it says 500 grams for a Tandoori pomfret.” (375 bucks!!!!). “Get me a copy of this Menu will you?” I nodded silently. “45 bucks for a Masala pappad…??”he was laughing.
We reached the last flyover before bannerghetta, that’s under construction. “Oh! I have seen a stairway near here…i’ll show you when we drive back.” “Look on the left side and stop if you see a hardware shop…I’ll buy a measuring tape”. We spotted one a short while later but it didnt have the tape, so we drove straight to Bannerghetta.

Stopped to take a look at the new joint Mr. Sudhakar of fabmall was referring to. It was named  Mast Kalandar and its located on the first left after Poorva Heights…the residential apartments a couple of kms before Mantri and fabmall. It appeared as a nondescript location situated about less than 100 mts after you turn left from the Bannerghetta main road. I clicked a few pictures of the outside when a neatly dressed waiter came outside and enquired saying “May I help you?”. Oh! we are just looking around I mumbled. “Came lets have a Lassi”, John said and we walked in. The restaurant was a shocking Orange on the inside…It has its walls painted in orange had plastic chairs…also in orange…To the right on the inside there was a 5 cheffing dishes laid out for a buffet ( they had weekend Buffets for lunch and dinner the waiter said). It was a Biriyani buffet spread priced at Rs 125/- plus taxes per head. We ordered for two lassis both sweetened. I was hoping they would surprise me with its garnish. Clicked a few pictures of the menu…the flash was too bright.  anyways…I was recovering from the orange shock when john pointed out that they didn’t have any non vegetarian items on the menu. Now that’s surprising. I wanted to be sure so I asked the waiter there and he confirmed. A vegetarian restaurant built like a cafeteria/ coffee shop. ” I am a vegetarian…maybe I will come here for my lunch and Dinner while we get our restaurant up.” I said laughing.

Just then I spotted the false ceiling…It already had a large black spot on it and some places where the cracks were showing up. John nodded…”Told you” he said…we should just stick to doing up the ceiling with good wall mounted fitting and not go for the false ceiling. it made sense…Its just been 8 months that Mast kalandar has been up and already its begun to age.
I dunno about the quality of food they serve here…mebbe i will try it some day soon. Sudhakar obviously had rated it high…and It’s pricing…at Rs 67 bucks a Veg Thali I thought was moderately priced considering the location. The Lassi came rightly in a Tom Collins glass however without any garnish – It didn’t have cream on top nor sugar. So that ended Mast Kalandar.
Reached fabmall took measurements for the staircase ( rear entry) after buying a tailoring tape ( 🙂 ) from a nearby departmental store. We also found a couple of Indian restaurants nearby….all in the middle or lower bracket.

At the site  we found there was ample space for the stairway. We have decided to execute a simple design as below.  

  • This design would have already gone through the process of getting the necessary approvals from the fire and other local departments.
  • Its modular in its design
  • Cost effective as compared with civil work.
Clicked a few pix of the stairway as we returned.   It looked pretty decent almost exactly what I had in mind for the service entrance…good work John!. Now wait for the design approval from the mall guys.

We might use Mrs.Swati as out Interior designer. She would just design the layout we will have to get technicalities like the tables chairs and other peripherals done ourselves through manufacturers. She would be visiting the site tomorrow.

17th Jan
Took Shankar – the Manager at Copper Chimney to show the Bnghta location…he has begun to rave…:). We took an ex senior captain from Sahib Sind aur Sultan who is now with Copper chimney also along…

18th Jan

Submitted the documents to the bank. Hopefully 2 weeks…she has noted that the advance towards rentals shall not be part of the approved loan….:(
Kris sent me a few contacts of interior designers through Chinappas wife.

Am visiting Bnghta again tomorrow…Tandoori nights a restaurant there closed down 6 months ago. Will look at picking up some kitchen equipments from them.

Leaving for Kochi tomorrow will be back on Saturday.

Sify broadband was installed today and am back online….

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Some new links for the week…I use the stable Windows 98 therefore I cannot guarantee the performance of Google accelerator. But like the other Google warez I think this would also be cool. Atleast this is what I hearGoogle web accelerator (requires win 2000 or XP)

TLC – What not to wear

The Best photos of 2005

The top 10 weirdest case mods

The top 10 weirdest USB drives

The best rejected Ads

Top 10 websites you should know about

Last week was fun…The family has moved into their new flat on the 12th. I stayed back in the house till the shifting was complete. Will move in mostly tomorrow till the time the flat in Bannerghetta near the restaurant is ready.

Also we had a meeting with Mr. Sudhakar – CEO Fabmall. Mr.Sudhakar happened to be in Microland when tittu was there. They happened to have met “just once” as he chose to put it. “He has agreed to see us” he had said sounding very excited last week…the meeting was fixed for Friday last at 3 pm. We arrived on time although we had a little trouble finding Trinethra – their corporate office. Mr. Sudhakar is an IIM – A grad, quit his job at Microland in 1998 to start a company what is now call ‘Fabmall’ – the food store chain. Also the building were we plan to house the restaurant.

The meeting lasted an hour and he gave us fantastic insights into how he planned the beginning of Fabmall. It was so gracious of him to have given us the time to pick his brains. So humbling an experience.

In brief he suggested the following.

  • To ensure that you have an adequate back up plan in place in case the location does not deliver.

  • To prepare a Modular business. By which he meant that incase you have to move to a different location it would be easier to relocate.

  • To give ourselves at least 12 months to settle into the business and not be ready to wind up in a short time of 3 months in a worst case scenario.

  • Must be willing to say tell yourself that this is how far deep I am willing to go before I “pull the plugs” and be very very clear about that.

Wise thoughts…and deep insights many of which will be presented in my later blogs. Finally we asked Sudhakar to increase the rent free period from 30 to 60 days. He said he would speak to Vipul. We feel that should be agreeable.We have a name finally for the restaurant…its a play on an English word and it came from Mr S.K.Bitta….If chosen you, Mr.Bitta, would be entitled for a life time of free meals at the restaurant for the two of you.

I will be at the site again in the afternoon tomorrow. We need the measurements taken for the stairway. Should be back by the evening

Manoj had called he gave me the name of an interior designer who claims to have done the interiors for Pizza Hut in their early days. The guy said he will send me his portfolio….Dunno what happened he never did nor did he take any of my calls.

Kris called…wanted his refund for a cancelled airline ticket checked with the airline office. Checked it for him – apparently there was some technical snag in their system – said they would revert in 7 working days….will do next week.

Kris gave me the number of Ryan who manages a Bar in Hyderabad. he spoke very highly of him so I called him….sounded like a smart chap…said he would look for a chef for me…he wasn’t willing to relocate from Hyderabad to Bangalore….said he had a lot of problems when he stayed away from his family for 7 months last year…huh???? neways gave him a brief of what we were looking for. he asked me if I would be visiting Hyderabad any time. i said Yes, if I have to come there to interview people I wouldn’t mind. He said he needed two weeks to find the right chef. I said fine.

Kris has some serious shit lined up for him at his domestic front. They are separating…he claims she got him “locked up” for dowry harassment….Huh!!!. He claims she wants to get back to her previous boyfriend…It is a tragedy however I look at it. One of my closest pals at Loyola, Madras….Think the bitch wouldn’t get anyone better than him…was weird slapping a dowry case and putting your husband behind bars just to bail out quickly…

Saleem called…told him I was looking for an Indian chef…he said he had one in mind…”How much would you pay?” he asked…When I told him he said…”WOW!…you would pay so much???” “Yes” I said thinking to myself you get monkeys if you pay peanuts….he said the executive sous chef at Holiday Inn may be willing…I said sure…ask him. He said he’d call back in two days.

The bankers have agreed in principle with the loan – we shall be making our final presentation to them on Monday. I hope that goes well.

I am refining my thoughts on the interiors for the restaurant right now. Have fixed on the final design for the chairs. I am working on the tables and lighting right now. I shall post the pictures later.

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Tagged on 25 Feb 2006

Darwin Awards – Named in honor of Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, the Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

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Tagged 13 Jan 2006
I tagged a kewl music blog today. It has most of the music I like to listen to…music from the pre 1998 era. I am not a big fan of the music post 98…although I listen to a lot of lounge and trance post 98. This blog is cool in the sense that it has a write up on the band and their music…older stuff, but has some not-so-old bands as well.  Most posts have a short article about a group and a sample album to listen to. Great for browsing when you aren’t sure what to download next.


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Tagged  12 Jan 2006
India uncut
India 2.0
Indian writing
Sepia Mutiny

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Tagged 11 Jan 2006
I thought it would be a good idea to maintain a list of all tags from my blog as a post. I was searching for the restaurant designed by  Rohan Adhikari “Mangalore pearl” when i came across this blog go have a look its good.

Restaurant reviews from the moon

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Copper Chimney – Bangalore

Copper Chimney – Bangalore
5th Floor / roof top – Central 
4 pm Tuesday 10 jan 2006.
No time to blog but I had to put this up. Visited a highly recommended Indian Restaurant today….Great food…awesome ambience… Someone by the name Nichani must be worried…I hear! The Restaurant is just 15 days old…but there’s a lot of BUZZ. Go and enjoy a meal. Downside no bar… yet 
A few Pictures from last week.
Andhra Style Chinese…
A comfortable Restaurant…Its all happening in Bangalore!!!!
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