A Fragrance from a Mountain-Island

Karthik Murali
Every object in the world has a distinctive smell that can evoke a positive or a negative effect in the human body . It creates a link in the brain that recognizes a similar smell when you encounter it again ,
even after several years and the brain tries to evoke the same positive or negative effect in you

The positive effect could be a sense of attraction in the other person , or a sense of happiness when you smell a beautiful flower or the peace that gives you when you whiff the incense sticks in the puja room in the house

Scientists have found that ,a distinctive smell is so powerful , that one can relive all memories by just experiencing a similar smell again that they habitually used to encounter years back with some other person .It can actually stop a man in his tracks and blind him , by sheer power of that smell

A fragrance or smell is not only associated with a person or a object but also a place that we might have visited . I happened to experience one such situation when I visited the beautiful mountainous island of Phuket in Thailand this month

Phuket is a huge island in the south of island , in the beautiful country of Thailand. The culture and scenice beauty of Thailand is extremely evident from the minute you step into the island
Surrounded by nearly 6-7 beaches, the island bears a distinctive resemblance to the islands shown in the hollywood movies and shows

Arriving in the middle of the rainy season , the beautiful island was raging with huge waves and heavy rains amidst the beautiful greenery and gardens. Phuket is one of those very few islands in the world which is surrounded by sea on all sides and yet have high mountainous cliffs and gives a very distinctive picture. This combination of rains in lush gardens atop a hill right adjacent to the sea gave a very powerful smell that I couldnt have come across ever

Usually beaches have a common smell while the evening sea breeze sets in .Similarly mountains have a distinctive smell , the smell of the cold breeze waffling through the pine wood trees and hills with heavy moisture content . I experienced a mixed effect of combination of the  sea breeze along with the mountainous cool breeze and that gave me a very pleasant and powerful effect in me and completely cooled my senses down from all those work pressures and problems

I have managed to capture those moments in the below pictures if not the fragrance :)








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A black wishlist

Karthik Murali
The most powerful ,mysterious and iconic colour amongst all, is black. However what's ironic is that , the very same black is technically defined as merely absence of any colour in the spectrum or in other words ,RGB(0,0,0)

Black adds mystery and an excitement that no other colour could offer. It automatically adds a huge swag and enriches the experience of anything that you are showcasing be it a tshirt , or a phone or even a car

Below are 5 black things that I have always desired and forever in my wishlist

1) My Slim & Sleek Black Zen Phone :


One of my biggest purchases in the mobile segment till date , from the moment I set my eyes on it, it immediately upped my desire to own it and was in my wishlist straight away . It wasn't surprising that once the stocks reappeared, I grabbed a piece immediately in the site

This black beauty of a phone has some amazing features including a 8MP camera, 2GB RAM, Intel Processor Dual Sim functionality and host of other advanced options to totally kick in the style






2)  Bike

Being a bike lover , I always dreamt of owning a  Black sports bike  .A bike that can pull off some cool stunts, race at top speed and totally kickass in style . This wish however was fulfilled pretty soon , that too with my purchase of a Black Bajaj Pulsar 135 Sports Edition, that too with my first salary
The bike has been extremely lucky to me , and after it had arrived , I was clearly able to see my life going in a major direction












3) Black Suit

Well ,as they ,you could never go wrong with a crisp Black Suit and was always on a wishlist to buy a Black Blazer teamed with a crisp branded Black colour suit , to pull off a Harvey Specter Look (From Suits TV Series)

I finally managed to buy a nice Raymond blazer and suit for an event and was able to totally pull off the wet style look with a crisp black blazer suit  and the result is here for you to see














4) Black  Laptop

Being a tech-geek , I own several gadgets out of which include 3 laptops .Incidentally 2 of them are in my most favourite colour being black and third one being grey. Black adds a real cosmo and powerful look to the laptop's appearance and makes it look like a high end device with several technical functions and it does indeed

I carry my  black laptop almost everywhere and must admit ,it totally adds to my overall image esp because of the black colour



















5) Black Aston Martin - A dream ..

Out of the 5 wishlist items, I was able to acquire 4 of them well within my budget. However the fifth one is a long dream and may probably be in my wishlist forever. It is a Black Aston Martin car which I happened to test drive and I must admit , its one hell of a beast that can totally rule the road.
With a top speed of 250, driving this beauty literally feels like flying with almost no jerks even on the toughest of the roads and can totally make every head turn
Costing nearly 5 Crores, it far exceeds almost everyone's budget and hopefully if life was to take a sudden U-Turn and I became super rich over night, this baby could be just mine some day !


This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com




The Power of Zest

Karthik Murali
That's life. Maybe the only thing we can do is accept it, without really knowing what’s going on.

Everyone endures several twists and turns in their life, not knowing whats in store the next day
But to survive each and everyday ,what we require is a Zest or a passion that can add some excitement to our life
Coming to think of the things  ( people or situation) that adds zest to my life  , find below my top 5 Zests ..

A) Friends  : Almost everyone has a friend that can add a whole new meaning to your life  . They could be someone who always stands next to you and be a constant pillar of support to you. They stand by your down and high times and add that zeal which will never make you feel alone


To me , the biggest thing that adds a zest to my life is my friends whom I can owe a great a deal

B) Adventure :  One of those popular things people normally do is taking trips outside the city. It could be a long drive or probably a vacation to a hill station or a beach or a hill city .
However to me , the thing that adds the biggest zest to my life is an adventure.
The adventure may vary from river rafting in the major rivers , or a mountain climbing experience in the great mountains of Himalayas or scuba diving in the deep Indian oceans to explore the sealife

C) Speed : There are several ways in which people get a rush . For some it could be getting a hot girlfriend, for some, it could frequently escaping the jaws of death and for some , including me, its speed
Speed to me is like amphetamine, a powerful stimulating drug that triggers the brain giving a immediate rush and a sense of pleasure , thrill adding to a maximum zest one can ever experience

D) First Job  : One of the key moments / situations in life that gave me a great zest to my life was getting my first job. Almost unexpected ,things happened so fast over night and I landed a wonderful job in a great company . The way in which the events unfolded and my life changing almost upside down , from almost nobody to a professional with a respectable designation has given me the biggest zest in life till date


E) My Car :What better joy and happiness can one get , apart from getting their very own car . A zestful dream that was fulfilled by one's hard work and savings , that they can proudly drive it around the city  . An object that's almost taken care like their own child than any other object .

The thrill of driving around the city , the loud thumping beats , with a leather paneled reclining seats in my beautiful shining car can add a massive zest to my life 



This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com



Indian Sub 12K Phone Segment

Karthik Murali
After almost a gap of two years , I am deliberating to change my phone from my fully functioning Samsung Galaxy . The recent "Autonomistic" launches by Flikpart has posed quite a disarray in the no of choices available to me.
Its quite clear however that I can get a very decent phone with some really good specs for the  < 12 K segment
These choices include  :

Moto G : 12,499 INR

Moto E : 7,000 INR

Asus Zenfone 5 : 10,000 INR

Xiaomi MI Rednote : 10,000 INR

Xiaomi MI3 : 14,000 INR

Alcatel Idol X : 17,000 INR


And currently narrowing it down to : Asus Zenfone 5 , Moto G or the Xiaomi RedNote

Quite strange for me to believe I havent selected any of the top brands in the world that include Samsung, Nokia, HTC or Blackberry , even in my purchase consideration list

Do drop in your suggestions as well

Happiness in a box

Karthik Murali
    If music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken and die
    That strain again ! it had a dying fall:
     O,it came o'er my ear like the sweet Sound

                        - William Shakespeare

As described so aptly by the great Shakespeare, food is a propellent fuel for love that can create an unparalleled sensation to the olfactory senses and to the sense of taste
The greatest gift of god to mankind is giving him the ability to not just cook food for survival but to give an enriching experience by making him learn to adapt to more beautiful things in the art of cooking
Cooking was no longer a ritual but an art form that was learnt over the years and revered among the greats in this industry. People who had this gift was looked upon as magical masters who could create something extraordinary from basic natural ingredients
One of those life defining moments came when i saw the movie Ratatouille , a wonderful movie about food, where the chief critic Anton Ego says

    "Not everyone can become a great artist
    But a great artist can come from anywhere"

On similar lines, the Chef Gusteau , "Anyone can cook, but only the fearless can become great".With this inspiration I sat down to make a fine meal ,after scouring hundreds of recipe books and finally decided upon a beautiful dish called Corn Au Gratin
 Corn au Gratin is one of the finest , yet a difficult dish to prepare and basically made up of Corn Kernels baked in white sauce with Spinach
One of the main items for cooking a Corn Au Gratin is the microwave vessel which is of paramount importance in maintaining the balance, texture and heat of the food while inside the oven
What other choice do I have than to use the Borosil Microwave Mixing Bowl and Serving plate to prepare this delicious dish
The cooking process :

Summary :
Vegetables, Baby corn ,sauce & paneer are baked together till the cheese melts and nicely browned. It is  then later served with garlic breadsticks

Ingredients

2 cups chopped mixed vegetables
1 cup of  baby corn
1/2 cup of fresh paneer or cheese cubes (whichever available)
1 tablespoon of oil

White Sauce preparation :
2 table spoons of  maida
1-2 cups of  milk
1/4 cup grated & processed cheese
1/2 table spoon of garlic ( optional !)
1/2 tsp dry red chilli flakes (probably from an old pizza sachet)
2 spoons of butter 

Toppings
Grated cheese or cheese slices
Bread crumbs (preferably from toasted bread)

Microwave Vessels :
Borosil Mixing Bowl
Borosil Pizza plate or serving plate
Borosil Gourmet Cook & Serve Plate

Serving

For the white sauce
Heat the butter in a pan and sprinkle chilli flakes for 1 to 2 seconds.
Add the maida/dough it for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the milk gradually stirring continuously so that lumps do not form. Keep adding water and mix it well
Almost boil it , further which add the cheese, salt and pepper and mix it well.

Main Dish
Cook the paneer cubes in oil on a non stick pan till they are lightly browned.
Combine the vegetables,baby corn and the white sauce and mix well.
Pour into an Borosil Pizza plate or a serving plate and sprinkle the grated cheese,bread crumbs on top.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 to 15 minutes till the cheese melts and is lightly browned using the Borosil Microwave plate
Serve with warm garlic breadsticks

The Visual Spectacle
The corn au gratin that has come out of the Microwave looks like a delicious treat , like finding a diamond mine in a barren desert
The  milk and chilly flakes adds to the colour  of the golden or light yellow cheese colour with the molten corn and vegetables interlaced with white sauce
The borosil serving plate adds to the  richness of the food with the glistening glass bowl reflecting the multilayered corn cheese dish to make it look it like a food served only to the royalty
Do try out the dish and let me know how it came out for you

To check out more borosil items, do login to http://www.myborosil.com/

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