Tag Archives: Delhi NCR

Yoghurt Setting Made Easy

Ever wondered why your yoghurt is so watery and not set properly?

Here is a tried and tested tip.

Just before keeping aside the warm milk-yoghurt mixture for setting, pour it into another container and then pour it back to the first one. Do this about 6 to 8 times.

The yoghurt or dahi, as we call it in India, will be far better and well-set.

Here are the pics.

The final stage is below, frothy and ready to be kept aside for setting.

Winter Flowers

Winter is always such a dull, grey, depressing thing, isn’t it? Chills, fog, mist, sore throats, cough, and a lot of discomfort. But in spite of all this, your day is  made when you find lovely flowers hanging from the trees and balconies in the midst of all this like jewelry with the sun light streaming through the gaps between branches and leaves. It feels great to be alive…Here are some pics…




Fast Food Stunts

Developing countries like India are, I think, like curious, innocent toddlers. They eagerly put everything they find into their mouths and provide ready, lucrative markets for the multinationals.

Take CCD (Cafe’ Coffee Day) outlets in Delhi NCR, for instance. Their food items and beverages are exorbitantly priced. But they still have a huge clientele because their overall ambience provides an ideal setting for many special occasions where price is not the main consideration…A quiet date, a family outing, a business meeting, an interview, etc…And sometimes, you might even spot a small group of young people just lounging around over coffee and clicking selfies with pouting lips.

But India is changing. Very fast. Living standards and expectations are improving. New fast food chains like Burger King and some local outlets in are proliferating. Not only are they offering healthy, wholesome food at reasonable prices, they have swanky premises too.

CCD is, I think, already beginning to feel the pinch of rising competition and decreasing profits. You often find them using different marketing gimmicks, which looks rather pitiable and amusing, as their basic characteristic of high prices remains immutable.

Recently while passing by through Rajiv Chowk Metro Station on my way home from work , I came across this poster outside a CCD outlet. (See below)

It gave the impression that all those tasty items were on sale for Rs.29. Out of curiosity, I walked in. To my utter disappointment, however, I discovered that the only item costing Rs.29 was their ‘Bun Chaska Masala,’ which after adding GST changed to Rs.30.

Their counter sales person must have sensed the way I felt at that time and he urged me to try a combo instead. But that was going to be from Rs.51 onwards, he said. Not being someone who gives up easily, I told him I will have just the bun.

His next question was, “Will you eat it here or should we pack it?”

“Pack it, please,” I said.

“Okay, please wait for 5 minutes.”

The dish that finally arrived on my table wasn’t packed and I had to eat it there. Here, take a look.

Waiting, waiting, waiting….

Just a pair of buns, butter, and sauce; no filling!

Well, the burger disappeared into my belly soon thereafter without giving me any joy. So I came out and searched for something else…

While I walked on, I came across another CCD. They had a pair of counter sales persons repeatedly calling out in a chorus, “Welcome to Cafe’ Coffee Day.” That was obviously another sales gimmick and coming from CCD, it seemed to be very self-demeaning indeed. See this pic below.

And then, further ahead, I found a Burger King restaurant.

To my pleasant surprise, they had a scheme of 2 veg. burgers at Rs. 62, that is, one for Rs.31, with each veg. burger containing a potato-and-peas patty, onion, and some mayonnaise. By the time I boarded the metro train at Rajiv Chowk, my hunger pangs were gone and I had a surprise treat too in my bag for my daughter, a Burger King veg. burger!

There you go! See these pics below.

Well, it does pay to be a discerning customer, doesn’t it?

Night Beauties





Flowers and trees have their own sweet ways of adding glamour to a place. This photo was clicked near M.G. Road Metro Station in Gurgaon…

The place has an avenue lined with Champa trees laden with white flowers, which combine with their shadows and the fluroscent lights to give you a beautiful feeling of walking through someone else’s dream.

Here are some more pics…







When Post Offices Don’t Have Stamps…

It is always with great pomp and ceremony that our leaders launch new stamps to commemorate special historical events and to honor individuals for making significant contributions to the world as we know it.

Here is one such link.


But things at the ground level are quite different. Our world as we know it is longer the same. The post offices, in particular, in Delhi at least, no longer sell stamps! Can you believe that? What’s the use of releasing all those new stamps, if they’re not going to be sold, one might ask?

I discovered this fact recently while trying to send my tax returns statement to the income tax office in Bangalore through the local post office.

The income tax office always insists that they will accept only those forms that arrive through ordinary or speed post.

I went to 3 post offices that day and all of them had the same answer, “Sorry. No stamps available, but you can send through speed post.” I had neither the time nor the patience to try my luck at the 4th one, so I opted for speed post. I had to pay around Rs.50 for it, which was 10 times the cost of sending a letter through ordinary post. Just one Rs.5 stamp would have sufficed!

I enquired about this at the 3rd post office. The clerk at the speed post counter was courteous enough to answer my queries. Given below is the conversation we had.

“Why have stamps suddenly gone out of stock?”

“The person who gave them to us took them back.”

“Who? Prime Minister Modi?”


“But what will he get out of it? Maybe you guys are simply trying to push your speed post business, since not too many stamps are sold anyway these days because of so many other faster options available.”

“No, that’s not true. Modiji is trying to bring in transparency in financial transactions in government departments. To avoid repetition of scams like the latest one of Nirav Modi, he has ordered that all stamps be taken back and re-issued.”

Well, that made sense and I had nothing left to say.

With a wry smile, I picked up my things and came out, feeling very helpless….

It was like somebody offering bananas to monkeys and beating up the poor, hapless owners of those vanished bananas…

A Wheel Of Progress

This patch of land in Sector 63, Noida, Delhi NCR, is a constantly changing panaroma. Development activities go on here throughout the year. A Delhi Metro station is also coming up nearby in sector 62. 

The big, round wheel in this pic is that symbol of constant change.