Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Can't Make The Rainbow If There's No Rain

I was feeling quite low yesterday after a rough week. My blues continued out into today, well through the morning and I had little energy to do anything. 
Then I logged on to the internet, obviously to check out some aviation videos on YouTube, something that gives me immense peace and satisfaction. 
That's when I came across a video that showed a very spirited elderly Russian on board a Delta Airlines flight from Moscow to New York entertaining stewardesses with his song and music. The old man's face was wrinkled and it seemed to have a long story to tell. 
Yes, I takes a lot to be as spirited like that, despite all of one's troubles.


Then we decided to step out for a drive. We drove down to an Eastern suburb to check out a recently opened cafe and after the food had its therapeutic effect we took the long road back home.
As we passed by CST Road at Santa Cruz, a lovely big rainbow showed up, the first I had seen after 2005 at Le Morne, Mauritius. 
Such is the beauty of Nature!
Maybe that was God's way of saying, "Chill! There is a rainbow that comes after every dark cloud!"

Then I came across a lovely tweet by @ItsLifeNotes which said "You can't make the rainbow if there's no rain."
Perhaps, I still have to make my own rainbow!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gourmet Sunday Breakfasts!

Sunday is here again, and its time for another great breakfast, probably the best and the most enjoyable breakfasts of the entire week.
Neeti and I absolutely love this kind of stuff, baked beans with eggs and toast. But recently, we have given all this an interesting twist a few weeks back. Read on...

Mushrooms and olives stuffed with pimiento being sautéed in a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. The concoction has been sprinkled with oregano, pepper and herbs...

Baked beans cooked with mushrooms, olives and jalapeno peppers!

Finally on the plate, with eggs sunny-side up and toast!

That was about two weeks back! Today we give these concoctions a healthier twist, by including vegetables - broccoli, bell-peppers and capsicum.

Baked beans alongwith veggies and olives!

Sautéed vegeteables with mushrooms, olives and herbs. Today, we added diced onions at the very beginning in a few drops of extra virgin olive oil. Then the other veggies were added...

That's my cheese omelette with onions, coriander and mint, and yes lots of pepper!

It all looks yummy on the plate, alongwith grilled tomatoes. I could have added pâté de foié to this serving, but I am watching my diet! Can't wait to dig in!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bombaypolis Moments.... Part 11

Just as we get ready to welcome the Monsoons into the city, here comes the next edition of Bombaypolis Moments, a testimony to the beauty of this city!

The pre-Monsoons make the green of the leaves look so wonderful

A wet avenue at Shivaji Park, Dadar

"I Love Pets"

The statue of Senapati Bapat

Towering us!

A rare leafy avenue at Churchgate

A distant view of the world's costliest real estate, Malabar Hill

Nariman Point - Air-India Building looks a big odd without the Centaur

Waves crash against the tetrapods at Marine Drive

Chaityabhoomi at Dadar

The sealink

Buddhist symbols!

The waves come crashing!

An old Banyan at Parel!

A construction site at Parel - that's big business

Golden words at Bo Concept, High Street Phoenix 

The mill is long gone, but the chimney still stands at High Street Phoenix

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mango Orgy Time!!!!

The Monsoon is around the corner and the mango season is going to get over soon.
This mango season began with Alphonso mangoes priced at Rs. 100 per piece, way back in early April. Now the rates have fallen down to about Rs. 30-40 apiece.
Alphonso mangoes are native to the Konkan coast. The sweltering heat makes the mangoes ripen to a warm-sweet aroma. Dealers at Mumbai's Crawford Market are said to make a fortune exporting Alphonsos - some are gossiped to make upto a crore a day exporting Alphonsos to the Gulf and the West.
But, for us the falling mango prices are boon. Yesterday, despite glares and admonishments from Neeti, I picked up a dozen, yes, it's right - a dozen organically ripened Alphonsos at Godrej Nature's Basket yesterday. And after we got the box of Alphonsoes home, the kitchen filled up with a unique sweet aroma in no time at all.
And now its time for a mango orgy. Neeti has a magical way with mangoes - the mangoes have been neatly deskinned and diced. They would go into a bowl of sweetened cream and right into the fridge for at least half an hour.

But for us to continue to enjoy Alphonsoes, climate change has to be controlled. Changes in climate patterns and shift in the Monsoon cycles can wreak havoc on the king of all fruits. 
As I ponder over the future and wait expectedly for the magically aromatic orange-hued mango cream to emerge from the fridge, I got an unexpected bonus from Neeti - a chilled large glass of mango-shake!
Thank God, its mango orgy time!!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Experience Onboard AI 610

One of the activities many aviation enthusiasts engage themselves in, enthusiastically, are flight reviews. I have been keenly following ones posted by Gavin Leow who video-blogs  about his journeys through East and South East Asia under the alias RvXKaz on his YouTube channel.
Till now I never felt the need to review my inflight experiences, until yesterday when after a long time I did really enjoy a flight, and guess what, it was a flight on the much maligned Air-India.
I was flying on flight AI 610, Air-India's 1910 departure from Bangalore to Mumbai operated on an Airbus A321, a stretched version of the A320.
The aircraft, registered as VT-PPV, was docked at Gate 5 and boarding commenced at 1830.
Google told me that this aircraft, VT-PPV was manufactured in 2009, evidently as part of Air-India's fleet renewal plan.
It was evident from there on that change was happening at Air-India. Our boarding passes were checked by SATS personnel not Air-India staff, who looked quite smart in their attire.

As I proceed towards VT-PPV through Gate 5 on to the aerobridge, I was amazed on how neat and spotless the aircraft looked. That was a welcome change from the very dusty Jet Airways 737s I had seen recently.

On board, the cabin smelt very fresh. The seats were upholstered in saffron and vermillion - two colours of great significance in Indian mythology!

I got seat 8A, an emergency exit seat, which an astounding leg space. Even the other seats had a good leg space, certainly much better than that on Jet Airways. I was given a brief, by 6 feet tall male steward, on how to handle the exit in the event of an emergency. 
I must admit that I was pretty impressed by the crew's clinical efficiency. Some of my friends used to obliquely joke about Indian Airlines and Air-India stewardesses calling the aircraft "Aunties' Bar"! Truly, they aren't as young, pretty and sexy as the stewardesses elsewhere, but they sure know their job, their experience shows.
For me, I got my cotton plugs, newspapers and bottle of water without reminders. That's what the high and mighty Jet Airways needs to learn from Air-India a thing or two. Having sexy girls or "chikna" guys serving passengers on board is useless unless they know what service is all about.
Take-off from Bangalore's Runway 27-09 was smooth. Just about that time the IFE was switched on. Somehow, despite the aesthetic appeal of welcome screen, the on-board flight path display was too jarring and bright. I decided to give IFE a miss.

In a few moments, the meal service started - Aunties' work at the Bar! I chose a vegetarian meal - a generous helping of saagwala paneer, aloo gobhi, biryani rice, fresh salad, a dinner roll with butter and large chocolate brownie on a thick mousse base!
The paneer saag was authentic Punjabi, so was the aloo gobhi, while the rice was okay, though certainly not as bad as in Jet Airways, where the rice is somewhat hard and raw, and gives me a tummy ache. The salad was really fresh and juicy. The dinner roll was okay, but really soft and went along very well with butter. The brownie was dark, rich and chocolatey, just the right way! Tea was served by an "Aunty" with a beatific smile, something that is rare up in the air these days!
The approach to Mumbai was smooth. We descended over Vashi, Vikhroli and Ghatkopar in our final approach towards Runway 9-27. All along the approach, my face was glued to the tiny window. From up in the air, Mumbai doesn't look chaotic at all! At night the illuminated city appears as though a thousand diamonds have been scattered all over, an aweinspiring sight!
After the meal was over, on the pretext of visiting the loo, I checked out the galleys and cabin. The load factor was abysmal. Barely half the seats were occupied, which I would imagine would have filled up an Airbus A319 but certainly did not deserve A321 equipment. The galley was neat, the loo was clean and smelt fresh.
Touchdown was amazingly smooth, just like running a knife through softened butter. The reverse thrust which often abused on Jet Airways' Boeing 737s, in their rush to get off the active runway within the stipulated 45 seconds was hardly perceptible on this Airbus beauty, perhaps the smoothness of touchdown can be attributed to the skill and experience of those two souls on the flightdeck to whom we entrust our lives.
Though the flight came to an end, I was thinking that why despite a good product, Air-India is in such deep shit. Undoubtedly, Air-India is honest, the product is neat and slick then why the low load factor?
As logic would suggest a 1810 departure from Bangalore to Mumbai should be full. So is Air-India a pure marketing failure despite having a superior product as compared to Jet Airways? I guess so.
Aviation Photo Search Engine
Biggest aviation photo database on the 'Net
Aircraft Type...[ Help ]
Airline...[ Help ]
Country / Airport...[ Help ]
Category...[ Help ]
Uploaded... [ Help ]
Keywords... [ Help ]
Range...[ Help ]
Sort By...

Include only photos for sale

Stop searching after hits [ Help ]