Friday, July 29, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX:

WAKAD FOOD SCENE - INDIAN IN A BOX

WAKAD FOOD SCENE
INDIAN IN A BOX
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The best thing about Wakad is the beautiful view from my house, the eye-soothing spectacle of the resplendent Mula River Valley, the serene green expanse and the verdant hills in the distance, with the mighty sentinel Sinhagad just visible quite far away. However, a breathtaking view will not fill your stomach and this afternoon I was hungry. Now if you are hungry you better not be in Wakad. There are just no decent affordable eateries in Wakad, except the New Poona Bakery NPB Food Square, but then I was in no mood to drive down there, though the place is quite nearby and has a good variety of food and snacks, both veg and non-veg, and desserts and ice creams too. I did not want to order a pizza or burger, which are the only home delivery options out here in the wilderness.

I was wondering whether I should warm up my staple NTR Veg Biryani in the microwave when I suddenly remembered that a PYT Techie who lives in my building had once given me a home delivery menu card of a place in Hinjewadi called Indian in a Box (Yes, there are PYT’s in IT and my building has so many of them, besides the geeks, nerds and dorks) .

INDIAN IN A BOX – we take your taste buds far off imagination, said the blurb on the takeaway menu card. The contents of the menu were not very exciting, just a few Indian and “Chinese” dishes, so I played safe, dialled their number and ordered a FAVOURITE CHICKEN BOX comprising (as the menu said) Aloo Tuk Tuk + Chicken Tikka Masala + Laccha Paratha.

The food arrived promptly and was really good. The aloo tikkis were yummy, the chicken tikka gravy was delicious and the Parathas were quite soft and tasty. I liked the packing – neat, hygienic and microwaveable – and for Rs. 129/- it was indeed a value-for-money meal. A simple yet scrumptious, satisfying, affordable meal.

Well, I think they must skip the “aloo tuk tuk” starters and include a bit of pulao instead to embellish and complete the meal.

Now that I have an option (to pizzas and burgers) I am going to patronize Indian in a Box whenever I am lonely and hungry in Wakad and want to order a home delivery meal, or maybe when my forever-hungry daughter or my friends suddenly land up. I’ll try their Biryani, Wraps, the Tandoori and Butter Chicken, some vegetarian curries for my wife, and if I am feeling adventurous I’ll order some “Chinese – Made in India” as the menu card says.

If you live in Wakad or work in Hinjewadi, I am sure you have tried the place, so why don’t you tell us your experience, or about some other good foodie joints nearby.

Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Dear Foodie, how about a COCKTAIL as an appetizer to go with your meal.
To order your Cocktail please click the links below:


About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: JOB SATISFACTION and MOTIVATION - a myth?

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: JOB SATISFACTION and MOTIVATION - a myth?:

"The Myth of Job Satisfaction Does JOB SATISFACTION truly Motivate ? By VIKRAM KARVE In today’s world, it is naive to assume t..."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DOBERMAN X Part 2 - DOG AND THE BONE : vikram karve blogs on sulekha, Cities blogs, vikram karve blog from india

DOBERMAN X Part 2 - DOG AND THE BONE : vikram karve blogs on sulekha, Cities blogs, vikram karve blog from india


DOBERMAN X GIRL Part 2 - DOG AND THE BONE

I am sure you enjoyed the first part of my life story. Here is the second part of the memoirs of Sherry Karve:

DOG AND THE BONE


“Sherry… Sherry… Bone… Bone…”
My father is calling me for playing the “bone-game” but before that let me tell you about my home.
In front there is a huge garden, or rather an orchard, with all types of trees and bushes, and a lush green lawn on which I love to frolic, prance and roll upside down, and lots of flower beds which I love digging up to my mother’s horror.
I love digging up the mud – it’s so tasty – and there is plenty of it in the spacious kitchen garden behind the house where I create havoc digging up to my heart’s content, and the only thing I’ve spared are the tomatoes and some horrible tasting leaves called Alu because they itch.
I’m lucky – they don’t tie me up but leave me free to roam and play around as I please.
And there is so much to explore and investigate, in the nooks and corners of our verdant garden with plenty of trees, bushes and hedges.
There is so much to sniff, so much to dig, and so much to chase - squirrels, mongooses and birds to chase.
The cats have disappeared though; ever since the day I almost caught one.

When I was small, and my gums itched, and my milk teeth began to break through, I could not resist chewing up anything I could lay my teeth upon – like shoes, slippers, clothes, toothbrushes, furniture. I especially loved my father’s favourite Kolhapuri kapshi chappals which were so soft and yummy.

So my father bought me a chewy bone which, it said on the wrapper, was guaranteed to save everything else.

I don’t know why I did it, maybe by natural instinct, but I secretly buried the bone in a hole I dug below the Mango tree, and I used to dig it out when I thought no one was looking, chew it a bit, and bury it in some other secret place.

One day my inquisitive mother found out, and she dug up the bone when I was sleeping and hid the bone under the pomegranate tree.

When I didn’t find my bone, at first I was confused, maybe it was my neighbour Bruno, but then he was too old for chewy toy bones.

Then I tracked the bone down with my nose, and when I spied my mother giggling and grinning like a Cheshire cat, I knew who the culprit was, it was my mother who had mischievously hidden my bone.

This started the “bone-game”.

First they (the humans – my mother and father) would give me the bone, and after I hid it they would rush out into the garden and dig it out.

Then they would hide the bone (after locking me in the house so I could not see) and if was my turn to find the bone, which I did using my nose and keen sense of smell.

I wondered how they found the bone so fast; till one day I caught them, both my mother and my father, spying crouching behind the hedge when they thought I wasn’t looking and the mystery was solved.

So now I first let them see where I’m hiding the bone, and when they complacently and confidently go inside thinking they know everything, I dig out the bone and hide it some other place which they do not know and then watch the fun as they search in vain.

Then when they give up searching and go inside and my father asks me to get the bone, I run out and get it, for which I earn a titbit.

The way these humans act sometimes, I really wonder who is more intelligent – dogs or humans...?


BONE GAME

Here I am sniffing out a bone hidden by my father and mother in my garden [this was taken long back when I was a small girl]. My Human Papa was just beginning to teach me all the vocabulary - the first word he taught me was DuDu [which means Milk in Marathi] - he used to give me a bowl of Milk and keep saying DuDu DuDu while I drank the milk till I finished. I've a large vocabulary now - I listen to the Human Language, but speak my own Doggie language which my Papa understands. I'll tell you more about that later. Now you have a look at my photos and then please read the second part of my childhood story.


WAITING FOR THE NEWSPAPER BOY
FETCHING THE NEWSPAPER

I am lucky – they don’t tie me up but leave me free to roam and play around as I please. And there is so much to explore and investigate, in the nooks and corners of our verdant garden with plenty of trees, bushes and hedges. There is so much to sniff, so much to dig, and so much to chase - squirrels, mongooses and birds to chase. The cats have disappeared though; ever since the day I almost caught one.
When I want to go out I tap the front door with my paws and they let me out, and when I want to come in I peep through the windows, and if no one notices I bang the door from the outside or make entreating sounds.
My father has warned me not to leave the compound, but sometimes I can’t resist the temptation, and slither under a gap I’ve discovered under the barbed wire and go across to meet my neighbour Sigmund, a five year old pure breed Golden Retriever, in case he is tied outside. He’s an old fogey, quite a boring condescending pompous fellow, and I hate his snooty and snobbish manner, but he’s the only canine company I have so I really don’t have much of a choice. Also, the poor guy is locked inside or tied up most of the time so I have to do my bit to cheer him up. If he’s inside I bark and sometimes he returns my bark, but most of the time he is quite stuck-up and gloomy.
The only time he seemed to be all excited and active, and was desperately chasing me all over, was when I had my first chums a few days ago, but he had no chance as my suddenly overprotective father was guarding me like a shadow, never taking me off the leash when I was outdoors. Those were the only few days he totally restricted my freedom, and when I managed to slip away across the fence once, all hell broke loose, and I was located, chased, captured and soundly scolded for the first time. I felt miserable, and sulked, but then my father caressed and baby-talked me and I knew how much he loved and cared for me, and it was all okay.
And during those sensitive days my father used to specially pamper me and take me for long walks, on a tight leash, keeping an eagle eye and stick ready in his hand for those desperate rowdy rascal mongrels who suddenly appeared from nowhere and used to frantically hang around and follow me, looking at me in a lewd restless manner. Once they even had the gumption to sneak into the compound at night, and growl outside, till my father chased them away.



A SNAP FROM MY CHAPPAL CHEWING DAYS
( HERE I AM JUST A THREE MONTH OLD "BABY")
When I was small, and my gums itched, and my milk teeth began to break through, I could not resist chewing up anything I could lay my teeth upon – like shoes, slippers, clothes, toothbrushes, furniture . I especially loved my father’s favourite Kolhapurikapshi chappals which were so soft and yummy. So my father bought me a chewy bone which, it said on the wrapper, was guaranteed to save everything else. I don’t know why, but I secretly buried the bone in a hole I dug below the Mango tree, and I used to dig it out when I thought no one was looking, chew it a bit, and bury it in some other secret place.
One day my inquisitive mother found out, and she dug up the bone when I was sleeping and hid in under the pomegranate tree. When I didn’t find it, at first I was confused, maybe it was my neighbour Sigmund, but then he was too old for chewy toy bones. Then I tracked the bone down with my nose, and when I spied my mother giggling and grinning like a Cheshire cat, I knew who the culprit was. This started the “bone-game”. First they (the humans – my mother and father) would give me the bone, and after I hid it they would rush out into the garden and dig it out – then they would hide the bone (after locking me in the house so I could not see) and make me find it, which I did using my nose.
I wondered how they found the bone so fast, and one day I caught them spying crouching behind the hedge when they thought I wasn’t looking and the mystery was solved. So now I first let them see where I’m hiding the bone, and when they complacently and confidently go inside thinking they know everything, I dig out the bone and hide it some other place which they do not know and then watch the fun as they search in vain. Then when they go inside and my father asks me to get the bone, I run out and get it, for which I earn a tidbit.
The way these humans act sometimes, I really wonder who is more intelligent – they or I? Apart from my mother and father, who I’ve told you about, there are some more humans who live in my house – my sister, my brother, grandmothers, and a grandfather – and I’ll tell you all about them next time. And I’ll also tell you about the long exploratory walks I go on with my father. First we walked on the banks of the Mula River in Aundh, then in the verdant hills and forests of Girinagar and now we walk in the muddy fields of Wakad and play in the park near the Mula. I will tell you a bit more about my childhood pranks too.
I hear my father’s voice again: “Sherry… Sherry… Bone… Bone…”

So he has hidden the bone and I am off to find it…

Till then, Bow Wow…

SHERRY KARVE

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

ARE YOU WAITING FOR THE SWEET CHILLY

ARE YOU WAITING FOR THE SWEET CHILLY

ARE YOU WAITING FOR THE SWEET CHILLY

A "Food for Thought" Story By VIKRAM KARVE
I look around me and wonder why so many people continue to cling on endlessly to suffocating inharmonious relationships,unrewarding careers, harmful activities, unhealthy habits and all sorts of infructuous, incompatible, negative, deteriorating, dissipatingand dead-end situations in life.
Why don't we just let go of all these detrimental things and move on in life...?
Maybe the answers lies in this apocryphal story I heard long back, whose inner meaning has had a profound positive effect in formulating my philosophy of life:
On his first visit to India, a rich merchant saw a man selling a small green fruit which he had never seen before. The merchant was hungry and the luscious green fruit looked so fresh and appetizing and the merchant was tempted and curious so he asked the vendor, “What is this...?”
Hirvee Mirchi. Chillies, fresh green chillies,” said the hawker.
The merchant held out a gold coin and the vendor was so overjoyed that he gave the merchant the full basket of chillies.
The merchant sat down under a tree and stared to munch the chillies.
Within a few seconds his tongue was on fire, his mouth burning and tears streamed down his cheeks.
But despite this discomfort, the merchant went on eating the chillies, chewing them one by one, scrutinizing each chilli carefully before he put the piquant hot green chilli into his burning mouth.
Seeing his condition, a passerby remarked, “What’s wrong with you...? Why don’t you stop eating those spicy hot chillies... ? ”
“Maybe out of all these chillies there is one that is sweet,” the merchant answered, “I am waiting for the sweet chilli.”
And the merchant continued eating the chillies.
On his way back, the passerby noticed that the merchant’s condition had become miserable, his face red with agony and copious tears pouring out of his burning eyes.
But the merchant kept on eating the chillies, in his search for the ‘sweet one’.
“Stop at once, or you will die,” the passerby shouted. “There are no sweet chillies... Haven’t you realized that...? Look at the basket – it is almost empty. And have you found even one sweet chilli yet...? ”
“I cannot stop until I eat all the chillies. I have to finish the whole basketful,” the merchant croaked in agony, “I have paid for the full basket and I will make sure I get my full money’s worth – my full paisa vasool - now I am no longer eating chillies, I am eating my money...”
Dear Reader:
Read this story once more, reflect on it, and apply it to your life.
Don’t we cling on to ungratifying things and uncongenial people even when our inner voice tells us to let go and move on in life. Sometimes, a relationship is so demoralized by distrust that it is better to terminate and put an end to the relationship and break up rather than make futile attempts to patch up and continue searching in vain and pain for the elusive "sweet chilli".
We know some things are not good for us and we should let go of these things, but we continue to persist, at first hoping to find ‘sweet one’ and even when we discover that there is no ‘sweet chilli’, we still continue to shackle ourselves to painful people, harmful habits, negative careers and detrimental things just for paisa vasool to ‘get our money’s worth’ when we should let go, move on and liberate ourselves and be happy. Remember there is no sweet chilli, so don't cling to painful relationships and harmful things in vain hope of discovering a "sweet chilli" - sometimes it is better not to cling but to let go.

I wonder why we try to paisa vasool everything in our lives, even harmful aspects that deserve to be let go immediately?

Do you agree? Please comment and let us know your views.


VIKRAM KARVE
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Dear Reader, if you like reading short stories I am sure you will like the stories in COCKTAIL my recently published collection of 27 short stories about relationships. To know more, please click the link below:
About Vikram Karve
A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures(2008) and is currently working on his novel. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 14 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Fiction Short Stories Book
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY FAVOURITE SHORT STORIES Part 4 – JUST LATHER, T...

Click the link below and read on my creative writing journal

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY FAVOURITE SHORT STORIES Part 4 – JUST LATHER, T...:

"MY FAVOURITE SHORT STORIES Part 4 – JUST LATHER, THAT’S ALL By VIKRAM KARVE Here is one of the most powerfully written stories I have ever..."

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: From BENCO to ITBHU to IIT Varanasi

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: From BENCO to ITBHU to IIT Varanasi:

"THOSE GLORIOUS DAYS AT ITBHU MEMORIES OF MY ALMA MATER By VIKRAM KARVE One of my ITBHU classmates told me that soon ITBHU is going ..."

Click the link above and read on my academic journal

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: STATE BANK OF INDIA

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: STATE BANK OF INDIA

STATE BANK OF INDIA

STATE BANK OF INDIA

If you want to observe sheer incompetence and insensitive customer service please go to The State Bank of India (SBI) especially the Tilak Road Branch of SBI in Pune. If you thought Information Technology (IT) improves efficiency, think again, because at SBI things have gone from bad to worse with the introduction of IT and the much hyped Core Banking. In fact, Core Banking has given an excuse to employees at the branch to say that now nothing is in their hands and to abdicate themselves of all responsibility and pass on the blame to the SBI headquarters.

Every time I raise a grievance at my home branch I am told to enter an online complaint on the State Bank of India website on the internet. I duly forward the complaint online and promptly receive an acknowledgement. After that a number of emails follow but nothing happens. Then, after a few days I am told to contact the home branch for redressal of my grievance. When I go to my home branch I am again told that they can do nothing about it as everything is controlled by SBI Headquarters and again I am told to raise an online complaint on the internet. I must say this is a most insensitive customer service style – to put the aggrieved customer into a spin, into circles, until he gets exasperated and gives up. I am sorry to say but the State Bank of India treats its customers like dirt.

Let me give you a recent example.

An year ago I got a letter asking me to submit some documents like PAN Card, Address Proof, Photo etc towards Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. Though I had submitted these documents before, I once again promptly submitted all these documents at the Tilak Road Branch of State Bank ofIndia and it was confirmed to me that my KYC details had been updated against my customer-id in the Core Banking System for all my accounts. I again submitted all KYC documents when I opened a pension account in the same customer-id. I personally checked on the monitor of the SBI employee and saw for myself that all my KYC details including photo, PAN and address were updated and linked to all my accounts.

Despite this I keep receiving letters from State Bank Of India Tilak Road Branch Pune asking to personally come to the branch and submit the KYC documents. I visit the branch and tell the concerned employee that I have repeatedly submitted all relevant details (PAN Card, Address Proof, Photos etc) for KYC norms to State Bank of India Tilak Road Branch Pune and my KYC details are held in the records of State Bank of India. The State Bank of India counter staff personally checks on his monitor and confirms to me that my KYC norms are updated in State Bank of India Records and there is no need to submit the documents again. However I receive another letter (this time in Marathi language) asking me to come to the branch and submit KYC Norms documents. As expected, the Staff at Tilak Road Pune Branch express their helplessness and blame it on SBI Headquarters and Core Banking and ask me to raise a complaint on the internet which I promptly do.

And guess what?

I get an email from State Bank of India Local Head Office Mumbai asking me to contact the home branch State Bank of India Tilak Road Pune. Life has moved a full circle. Can someone tell me what to do.

I think it is high time State Bank of India revamps its Core Banking System, improves its Grievance Redressal Mechanism and focuses on training its employees to be more efficient, competent and give better Customer Service.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

STORYTELLING and LEARNING

STORYTELLING and LEARNING

TEACHING STORIES
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Once upon a time, long long ago, an old wise man walked past a shipyard. Seeing a fire, which he had not expected to be associated with the sea, he asked a workman why they had lit a fire.

“We make tar,” said the workman, “and cover the cracks in the underside of the boat. That makes the vessel go faster.”

The wise man went straight home and made a bonfire. Then he tied up his dog and melted some tar in a pan. As soon as he brought the smoking hot tar near the underside of the mortified animal, the dog broke loose and ran like the wind.

“It works all right!” observed the wise old man.

Don’t we see it happening all around – trying to apply the right solutions to the wrong problems (or maybe the wrong solutions to the right problems?).

This is a Teaching Story. Teaching stories have a special quality – if read in a certain kind of way they enlighten you.

There are three ways to read teaching stories:-

· Read the story once. Then move on to another. This manner of reading will give you entertainment – maybe produce a laugh, like jokes do.
· Read the story twice. Reflect on it. Apply it to your life. You will feel enriched.
· Read the story again, after you have reflected on it. Carry the story around in your mind all day and allow its fragrance, its melody to haunt you. Create a silence within you and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning. Let it speak to your heart, not to your brain. This will give you a feel for the mystical and you will develop the art of tasting and feeling the inner meaning of such stories to the point that they transform you.

Teaching stories relate events that are funny, foolish, bemusing, even apparently stupid. But they usually have deeper meanings. A good teaching story has several levels of meaning and interpretation and offer us opportunities to think in new ways. At first you may just have a good laugh but as you think and reflect, the significance becomes more and more profound.

Each story veils its knowledge and as you ruminate, the walls of its outer meanings crumble away and the beauty of the previously invisible inner wisdom is revealed, and you begin to identify yourself in the story, and to acknowledge that you too could be as foolish or as lacking in discernment as the characters in these classic tales.

From time to time, I will try to regale and illuminate you with a few of my favorite Teaching Stories in my blog. And we shall have an enlightened laugh together!

VIKRAM KARVE

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.