Category: etc.

July 15th, 2011 by Magandeep SINGH

If you can tell, I am feeling a bit Bond, James Bond. If he can have a movie called the Quantum of Solace then I jolly well am justified writing a blog entry titled such.
But it is true folks, life is about the bigger picture, not the 300mm zoom version shot from a voyeuristic angle that you often get to see, although, I admit, that is not a bad angle to see things.
Annyhoos…Enough deep talk; let’s get shallow…today I am in the mood to administer a little get-to-know-me true-false quiz-format kinda’ entry. It is my (vain) attempt at trying to make my mundane details sound intriguingly exciting! Here goes… Read more of this article »

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December 7th, 2009 by Magandeep SINGH

The new corporate conglomerate is a very scared body. So traumatised are they by the very people that they try to almost italian balsamico vinegar serve and save that they don’t know anymore how to get up in the morning and breathe without pissing off some activist, a minority community, or an endangered species of a rare marsupial. What started as America’s favourite past time – suing someone over something they did or didn’t do, suing someone else who thought that this idea was silly to begin with and then going and suing the entire legal system just to keep things animated – has now definitely blown out of proportions. Read more of this article »

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October 3rd, 2009 by Magandeep SINGH

Doing business is easy, but not in India. On the degree of being a difficult thing to do, business in India ranks right behind removing your own appendix without enough anaesthetic. Sure there may be government subsidies but that means dealing with government officials in the first place. Save having in-laws over for your honeymoon, nothing can be more unpleasant.
But fear not. I am experienced in the ways of at least this world. I have tackled numerous slimy officials, bribed many a clerk, sweet-talked an equal number of ‘babus’ and bought the wedding decorations for a few ministerial secretaries, and all that only before my morning tea today.
Read on then to your own fortunes. Here are things they don’t teach you at night school.

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March 13th, 2009 by Magandeep SINGH

Like a mild rash in the nether regions, we have all got it at one point or another. At all odd hours, odd situations – “Hello, Good evening sir/ma’am, would you like a credit card/loan/phone connection…they are like spam in your mailbox except that unlike spam they arrive at the most inauspicious of occasions.
I remember reading somewhere that the telephone was invented about three decades or so after the bath tub (don’t ask me where I find such stuff). I sure as hell doubt its authenticity but the point made was very relevant. It said that for about thirty years you could step into a warm comfortable bath without the telephone going off! Read more of this article »

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September 1st, 2008 by Magandeep SINGH

The world is full of places and institutions that we collectively refer to as the hospitality industry – bars, cafes, restaurants, hotels, motels – all are a dot on the hospitality map. Hospitality itself can be defined as the combination of an array of products (tangible) and a series of actions (intangible) which together help facilitate productive and effective employment of one’s time and also to make one feel welcome and at home.

So when we go and buy a meal or a glass of wine we are contributing to the hospitality industry in exchange for services that can and cannot be quantified. A room we hire is a certain size and we can hence calculate how much a hotel charges per square inch of space they rent out. The bottle of water they sell too has a similar measurable cost component. But what about a bed that is always made and the fact that at some places they buff-shine your shoes and arrange your clothes in neat folded piles? What about the steward who always greets you by your name and remembers your favourite dish and the way you like your drinks? There is no defined way of measuring the worth of all such gests and instances which although almost invisible are an intrinsic and important part of the hospitality product.

These are services and for a sceptic like me they remain the most desirable and yet the least offered part of the hospitality component. Are we, the people of an independent democratic republic, really being served?

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Posted in etc., Wines

August 22nd, 2008 by Magandeep SINGH

India is (finally) shining. It may not seem like a complete even sheen but it sure does have a certain lustrous appeal about it. It’s the beam of a satiated belly, a good Indian meal downed with some good wine.
No, wait, I am not going to rant about Indian food and wine pairing for 2 reasons: I have bored too many too often with it and secondly, I charge for it.
What I am on about is how restaurants in the capital have upped the ante thus taking local competition to a whole new level. Having reached a certain sense of peak with respect to decor and dining props – cutlery, crockery, freshly flown-in fish et al – the stripes now belong to the one who can slickly and superbly pair off the food with some wine. Gone are the days of Punjabi Chinese and stale Sushi. The new places take every precaution to make sure that you get great food and superb service – supreme satisfaction. But they are still not cheap, who said anything about cheap.
So here is a list of restaurants which I feel are doing a fairly good job of choosing the right food and wine and then making sure that the two come together at the right time on the right table to culminate in unparalleled culinary delight, or big tips, whichever happens first or more often.

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Posted in etc., Food Show, Wines