Thursday, July 28, 2016

Chennai's very own Food Street

Chennai has had its fair share of restaurants, coffee shops , dessert places and lounge bars. However, one thing it always lacked was a food street area where all food outlets converged together to provide a complete food experience. One would argue that all the malls had food courts which had plenty of options that ranged from Biryani to Pizza to Juice Shops. But almost every outlet in this food court was very overpriced and not affordable to many. The taste also wasn't authentic to say the least and the experience was equally bad . It mostly turned out to be a once in a blue moon visit to these places and never really a happening place

So when I got to know about a new place that opened up called "OMR Food Street", I was pretty much excited to try it out and revitalize my taste buds .

Location : The location to be precise was in Thoraipakkam, around 2.7  Kms from the first OMR Toll plaza, in the left hand side of the road. With a large board, it was almost impossible to miss and pretty distinct

Restaurant Choices : This happening place has nearly 20 food outlets , each offering a totally different cuisine and food option. Rest assured, this is one such place that caters to the entire family across all age groups.



Some of the top restaurants include : Ajnabi , Mexi-Khana ,Stuf-fed,  MilkyWay(Ice Cream), Wrapaholics, Ar-Rab, Cake Park among other things

You can probably check out the detailed list from their site : http://www.omrfoodstreet.com/

From the name itself you may have guessed that this place offers more than 5-6 different types of cuisines including South Indian, North Indian, Mexican, Organic,Arabian and other Continental dishes .

MexiKhana


Mexikhana - OMR Food Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 Being a huge fan of Mexican food, my first choice was to try out the
 Mexi-Khana restaurant. Situated on the first floor , this small joint had a bunch of interesting items like Tacos, Nachos, Paneer Burritos , Veg Quesadilla Platters etc. To order a safe option, I chose the Paneer Taco. Within few minutes, my order was ready and to make it even better they wrote my name on top of the Taco with white Mayo sauce and that added to the overall experience. The taco was priced at 75rs ( incl of taxes) and this to me was really well priced , given that most mexican restaurants in town charge 175+ for tacos and burritos.  On the taste side, I felt it could have been slight better and the stuffing could have been improved.  On the whole , I'd rate it at   3.5/5

Stuf-Fed

Stuf-fed - OMR Food Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After having the Mexican food, I was craving for some good North Indian  food. So I headed straight to the Stuf-fed Restaurant. This joint specialized in Paranthas and Chole Baturas. Straightaway ordered my evertime favourite Chole Batura ( priced at 100). Once again the preparation time was just 5 mins and two pieces of crispy Baturas with piping hot chole was given. The taste seemed very authentic and definitely consider it to be a value for money




New Town


New Town - OMR Food Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Right below this, I was quite surprised to find a small branch of the famous New  Town Restaurant. Having a limited menu , they still served some interesting dishes. Those included Nasi Goreng (you can get them here for as little as 65) , Roti Rolls, Paneer Tikkas among other stuffs



The Finale :

I finished off my meal with a masala soda at the Soda Hub, a wonderful Chocolate truffle cake at  Cake Park followed by a Black Currant Softy at Milky Way ice creams. All 3 were excellent and I have to admit, I couldn't have had a much better variety of desserts even in the most premium food courts ( though technically I shouldn't be including the Soda part in the dessert section of my review)

       
                

The Positives

To summarize, I'd rate this overall concept 5/5 for successful execution, good variety of cuisines and at the same time keeping the prices to a very minimum and more importantly maintaining a good quality overall. Thankfully they dont demand to have a central food card like food courts (Which can be a huge pain sometimes, having to recharge everytime you need to order something).

Things that can improve :

More organized parking space for both 2 wheelers and 4 wheelers (Car being parked right outside the food counters takes the fun out of the street eating concept).  They can try implementing something like this within the city (finding a spot inside the city can be close to impossible, but if they can pull it off, nothing like that).

I like the variety of choices now, but even more choices for vegetarians is always a welcome thing for everybody. Better Marketing to ensure it reaches to a wider audience and not just restricted to the ones who drive down this road or located nearby.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A World of Stories

If I were to name the few amazing qualities present in most kids, I'd probably say it would be their innocence, the creativity, learning skills and of course the way they come up with stories.

The way, kids look into a situation or scene is entirely different, from the way we see it. They see everything as a story, filled with characters, imagination and interesting things that can capture their rapt attention. The recently released movie, "Tamasha" also happened to highlight this in quite a beautiful way. We probably imagine things only in a dream, but to a child it’s always a story that’s unraveling in front of them.

My interaction with several of my cousin’s kids and neighbors kids has given me interesting insights and an idea of their imaginations. Immediately after school, they come back with fresh memories, new stories, almost on a daily basis. It may have been a small incident that happened, but to them it was a story that had a beginning, middle and an end.

I remember this one time when my cousin’s kid had gone on a big trip to Singapore with his parents and family. The trip included a visit to a big aquarium which consisted of thousands of fishes, sharks, whales and other sea creatures.

When the kid had returned and I happened to visit him, what I got to see wasn’t just a photo album or a video of his visit. Instead the kid chose to recreate it by describing the whole scene as a story.  With the help of sea animal pictures cut out from the specially designed Colgate Strong Teeth Pack, he began to craft his story.

The story began right from the entrance where he was enchanted by the giant building that hosted the aquarium, which also happened to be in a tunnel form. He referred to this as the underwater castle, which he obtained from the pack, by cutting out neatly along the dotted lines



He began by giving a creative name to all the fishes he had seen in the aquarium. One of them was of course his favourite Nemo which he happened to recollect from the famous movie, Finding Nemo. He began by telling how these fishes and sea horses were all housed inside one giant huge aquarium. He said that the fishes were also part of a big gang and the sharks were the villains.



In particular Nemo was the most favourite among all fishes and was the head of this gang.  The sharks were the villains, which kept attacking them and eating them. These fishes began to then swim away quickly before the sharks could swallow them.


At a later stage in time, the sharks were then transferred to a different tank while the fishes were kept separate. This allowed a fearless movement for fishes and they were now much safer, thanks to the true heroes in the form of aquarium guards 

If I was in his place, I would have probably have described this whole incident in a couple of lines, saying that I had been to an aquarium and happened to see lots of fishes and sharks. But instead, I was surprised at this kid’s imagination and creativity to come up with a beautiful story in a simple visit and the impact it had on the kid.

To me, this is the most amazing attribute any child has and it should be encouraged and motivated in every way possible by parents. This can also cultivate him/her to become a fine artist (be it painter/singer/dancer or even a Drama artist) in the future, which also happens to demand a lot of creativity. 

On these lines, Colgate has come up with an interesting activity to boost children’s story telling creativity. In all their Colgate Strong Teeth packs, they have added interesting sea creatures and some trivia inside them. There are 4 different packs which kids can cut, play & learn as a part of  the #colgatemagicalstories initiative

Here's a few packs which I happened to collect (these can be cut into individual items and even made to stand on its own) to fit into a sand castle.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Filing Income Tax Returns

It's the time of the year , where each salaried person has to fulfill his required duty to the Government, being filing his income tax returns.


Income tax filing is a process by which every salaried professional or businessman have to declare to the government  , the total tax he has paid in the previous financial year, any other undeclared income, fixed deposit interests( which is also considered as income) and so forth. 

PAN Card being the central linking key, it tracks all our incomes from various sources including our company, bank interests, freelance income etc . This information is available in a report called "Form 16" that summarizes the previous financial year's tax paid summary

This process of filing tax returns is a mandatory process, failing by which can lead to excessive fines and penalties proposed by the Income Tax Department. Filing IT returns on the other hand however provides numerous benefits for any individual. They are as follows:

1.     A person who has paid his income taxes correctly and filed his returns shows him as an exemplary citizen of the country. It reflects his honesty, straightforwardness and taking care of his responsibility on behalf of the nation.

2.     Filing IT returns in a way indicates his stability, a steady influx of regular income and thereby making him a trustworthy individual. So the next time he steps into a bank with a loan request, he’d be immediately processed and given security clearance for the loan ( if the amount is within the eligibility amount).

3.     A VISA guarantee : You may have finally set your eyes on a fancy tourism destination like Dubai , UK or even the United states. The first document you have to submit to request a VISA is your IT Returns. This gives a guarantee to the foreign government that you are indeed a citizen , and have no outstanding money that you owe to the government in terms of unpaid taxes. This also reduces your flight risk factor and makes it easy for them to trust and approve your visa status.

4.     Career Change : You may have moved to a different company to pursue a new career. Even the new company may require your IT returns to compare the previous salary earned, current tax brackets etc.

5. Most important however is refund of excessive tax : Your employer may have deducted more tax than what should have been actually required. Filing tax returns will highlight the extra tax you may have paid and you'll be receiving the tax refund within months directly to your bank account 

The last date for filing the IT returns for the financial year 2015-2016 is July 31' 2016
Dont wait till the end and file it now .

Process of filing IT returns is simple. All you have to do is download your Form 16 from your company payroll website , and get it filed. 



I’m taking the #TaxPledge to file IT returns with the easy Income Tax efiling option from H&R Block at BlogAdda.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

How to Download Pokemon Go Game : (Pokemon Go APK)

Guess I wasn't spared the temptation to try the recently launched Pokemon GO game.
However I was a bit disappointed to know that they haven't yet rolled out for users in India
So I managed to dig deep in the web and find a reliable, tested and verified version of the game file.



Here are the steps to download and play the game : This applies to any Android user

1. Download the file from the below link (Verified and Tested)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hcgaa4mpipec8uq/Pokemon%20GO_Version-0.29.0-.apk?dl=0

2.  Copy the file to your phone from your PC ( ignore the step if the above was downloaded directly in phone) to any folder.. Preferably in a Downloads folder for easy rememberance

3. Change security setting in phone
In your phone, go to settings, security option and then select : Allow installation of apps from external sources other than Play store
(This step is required to install any file when you are manually installing instead of the playstore route)

4. Install APK
Go to the downloads folder in your phone, open the Pokemon GO - Version 0.29.APK and click install. . The installation process starts and once over, just sign up for the game and start playing :)

Note : The above version has been uploaded only after verifying, testing, scanning and was later uploaded after confirmation that it's clean

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Importance of Lost Growth

Importance of Lost Growth

Growing up is one of the best things that can ever happen to a kid. Looking after that growing kid is a task that's even more tougher than you may have expected. It is imperative that extreme care and importance is needed to take care of the kid and the right amount of nutrients, vitamins and other minerals is included in their balanced diet.

The kid is exposed to extreme heat, high pressure in schools and tuitions and a lot of physical activity in playgrounds. So in order to compensate for the lost energy and boost stamina, rich high nutrient foods should be given to the kids

There have been millions of instances where kids have faced a lot of diseases, fallen sick quite often, mainly because of lack of good food or consumption of harmful items. Some kids are just given a loaf of bread and some small amount of rice in the afternoon which can never fully enrich them or provide them the balanced nutrients they require.

Growth happens only when you are given complete care in a 360 degree holistic way. Good education alone cannot ensure that a kid will grow to be a successful person. It all depends on psychological and physical factors as well. Good counseling, sufficient amount of parental advice at key stages in life and of course a well planned food supplements are needed to ensure the kid can sustain the difficulties in life, overcome it and become a top achiever. If you go and ask any top achiever, their reply will be good food at right intervals and of course proper care given by elders and parents in the family. It is well known that maximum growth happens between the age of 3-10 years which also the prime age of childhood. So if you end up comparing your kid with the neighbour's kid, dont blame him. Look within yourself and ask if you are feeding him the right kind of food for his growth

Due to office pressures, if a kid is neglected, it can have harmful effects later on in his life. Bone Deficiencies, vitamin deficiency, lack of stamina, falling ill almost once a week can be a regular occurrence. There will be more trips to the doctor than schools and it’ll become a tough life to tread.
A concept of BMI is there to keep track of the right amount of weight and height a child should have at any stage in his life. BMI stands for Body Mass Index and stipulates that given a child’s age, he or she should have a minimum height and weight of a given standard. Anything below that or higher than that ( especially weight) should be immediately treated for deficiency or obesity.

Kids require a healthy balanced drink like Horlicks Growth +, which acts as a specialized nutrition product , designed by International food experts, especially for kids in the age of 3-9 years. It contains a lot of nutrients,proteins and other key minerals,that can definitely target high growth for these children. This can once again re energize themselves, attain the required growth levels needed for their age and compete successfully with other kids

Importance of growth cannot be stressed any lesser as it’s the most important factor to ensure that a child can succeed.

As a responsible parent each one  should work towards bringing up the kids with all possible motivation and provide them with good food and care to ensure their children's future.

After all they are the ones who's gonna shape the nation in the next few decades