Review: Hotel Chetana, Kala Ghoda

I had been to Chetana Veg. Restaurant @ Kala Ghoda last month. It is located close to Prince of Wales Museum, Opposite Jehangir Art Gallery and is within walking distance from Westside Store. It was established in 1946 as a sandwich/coffee corner and currently serves Marathi/Rajasthani food along with Thali and buffet. I had heard a lot about this hotel from my friends and the IIT connection, so was always curious visiting it.

The ambiance of the hostel was good. A person was singing a birth day song, along with guitar, near one of the table. The singer was standing close to the table and singing and hence had a very personal touch but at the same time for people like us, it was a strict no no.

We were four people and selected a corner table. The menu included variety of items, mostly Marathi and Rajasthani. We were not very hungry and hence had a small order consisting of Dal-Bati, Baingan Bharta, Fulka Roti, Bharki, Bajre ki Roti. All the items were good in taste and had that typcial Marathi/Rajasthani taste, although not spicy as general Rajasthani dishes are. The ghee and gud were a delight on the bhakari. The bill also was under Rs. 500/-, which was a surprise for all of us.

All the main Marathi items and sweets are on the menu. I don't know much of Rajasthani items, but must be there. The service is pretty fast and over all behaviour of the staff is good and helpful. They even served us only two pieces of Bati (half plate) in the next round.

One of the key element of any public place is the availability and cleanliness of the toilets. The toilet there was under renovation and hence was in poor state but I hope will be up to the standards after the repair work is done.

Ambiance: ***
Service: ****
Food : ****
Value for Money: ****


A topic on which I always wanted to write and also knew that its very difficult. Luckily Bawa has posted a nice article on this topic and every one must go through it :
Blog on Suicide by BAWA .

The second article by Ashwani, which I like because of its reasoning, is also a must read.
Permanent solution to temporary problem



I got promoted this week and now no more the youngest member of the family. My bhabhi gave birth to a baby girl this week. Happy moments in the family. Every one rejoicing, distributing sweets, taking snaps, and all that.

She is so cute and so small that I feared to take control of her. Just touched her and she is so soft-soft. Eyes wide open, open mouth, long fingers, big nose are all the special effects.

Till my niece gets an official name, I named her Chutki :)

Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven, but Nobody Wants to Die

I read this slogan on a T-shirt in the hostel mess and that touched my heart immediately. It touched my heart and not the intellect as I had gone through two bad news in the recent past. First, suicide of one of my very close friend, who had called me up a week before he committed suicide and second, death of a close relative.
Being away from my home since last 8 years, I only get death news but never was part of any cremation process. Hence although I knew death is certain, I hardly had the realization about it.

The realization that death is certain has changed the whole perspective for me। Last week I had been to ICICI bank and a couple was demanding, very furiously, an apology letter from the bank manager. The statement I overheard was "You don't know with whom you are talking" and the first thought that came to my mind was that they are not going to carry the apology letter with them after they die. I kept smiling at the whole incidence and was watching the couple how they were reacting to the whole incidence. I don't know what exactly happened before I reached there but in any case the way apology was asked for, was a fun to watch. It reminded me of many knowledge points that I learned over my one year of The Art of Living life. Finally the couple asked the concerned person (who might have mis-behaved with them earlier or like that) to sign the letter and the couple left the bank. I thought for a moment, what they will they do with that letter? A photo frame put up in office or home, or in the Devghar at home. What will they do about it? Finally its just to satisfy their EGO, nothing else. I even thought that in case I am in similar situation and I ask for an apology letter, how am I going to react. The immediate answer was to tear it off, may be in front of the person itself. Now if I am going to tear it off then why ask for it. Well, the whole exercise is for that person to realize his/her mistake and not to satisfy my EGO. Tearing in front of the person, I will tell the person to understand the mistake and learn from it and forget about the whole episode. All said and done, its easy to write here, or may be, think while observing others, and difficult to be aware at the very moment when its required.

The other realization is more on the spiritual front. In spirituality, it is believed that you are immortal. Birth and death processes are just like changing clothes. You are not dying, its just that you have completed your part of the journey here and you are moving on to the next one. Its as good as we coming to this college, completing your karma/dharma here and then passing out. You feel bad or little sad while leaving but then the thought that you are moving on makes you happy. If the same analogy is applied to the death process, all the close ones will not feel that deep shock. It is true that the close ones are going to feel that void due the absence of their dear one, with whom they had been sharing their thoughts for so long, were partying, eating, etc. But then that person was to die, today or tomorrow. With this realization the sorrow will reduce and even the death can be celebrated.

To me birth is the start of life on this planet and death is end of it. If I am born, then death is certain. On my death, I would like people to celebrate than mourn, just as they celebrated my birth. People should have satsangs, sing, dance, and yes, definitely have Natural ICE cream on the 13th or 14th day to make me even more happy.

Life is a celebration, death can also be.

PS: In the first para I said that the slogan touched my heart and not the intellect because when some thing touches your intellect, you ask questions but when it touches your heart, you accept it from with in and wonder about its beauty.

You may be implicated as a thief if ...

Reproduced from :

It was Ganesh's birthday and he had been invited for dinner at a devotee's house.

Ganesh had a very heavy meal and was returning home on his mouse, when a snake crossed their path. Seeing this, the mouse got very frightened and ran away, in the process felling Ganesh. Ganesh fell and his stomach, which was very full, burst open. Seeing this the moon burst out laughing. Ganesh felt very humiliated, so he killed the snake and tied it around his stomach. He then gave chase to the moon who ran for his life. The moon managed to evade Ganesh and hid in his palace. Ganesh soon came there and stood guard outside, telling the moon, "Where will you go now? You have to come out sooner or later and then I'll take my revenge". It became very dark, as the moon refused to come out. This resulted in chaos on earth. The gods went and pled with Ganesh to free the moon. Ganesh finally relented and let the moon come out, but cursed him saying, " You hid in your house like a thief. Therefore, anybody who sees you on my birthday, will be implicated as a thief".

This is the reason why we are not supposed to look at the moon on the auspices of Ganesh Chaturthi. This was also the reason why Shri Krishna was accused of stealing the Shymantaka gem.

Ganeshotsav Special: How it started?

It was in 1893, freedom fighter Lokmanya Tilak started public Ganeshotsav (सार्वज़्नीक गणेशोत्सव) as a mean to unite people against the Britishers. Before that it was celebrated only as a family festival. The public celebrations also had people perform and various artists showing their talent.

Its more than 100 years now and things have changed a lot. In old days, small amount of money (वर्गनी) used to be collected from all and every thing was managed in that. Local people used to work hard, set some play and perform. But now its all commercialization happening. Money comes as sponsorship, people are forced to give more and more money and professionals from outside are invited to perform. The decoration is awesome but very costly. Things are also being controlled by the political parties or underworld.

I remember, back in late 1980s, when I was a kid, Ganeshotsav used to be all fun. When I was in 4th std, in Nagpur, I participated in a play as a lead character. The play used to involve all the small children of our locality and hence the play of 5 characters used to have at least 30 performers. Used to be all fun. Each dialogue being split into one sentence by one kid. Being all kids zone, the whole locality used to enjoy it. On the last day, we also got the consolation prize for participation. I even danced with a girl who was in 7th std. That was my first and last dance performance in public.

Next year I moved to a new locality and it was the first time our locality was having Ganeshotsav. All happy moments, I did well in most of the competitions: sports, literature etc. I used to be a start performer there in my age group and used to very happy on the last day to get so many prizes.

It was only in my first year of engineering that I got an opportunity to handle the sports division, which included all the competitions right from sports, to literature, to cultural. I still remember fighting with my elders, double my age, on an issue about giving first prize to two people who have got equal marks by the judges or arbitrarily giving one person the first and the other second. As the budget was low, every year they used to give only one first prize and of course then you can choose who can be the first. I made sure that the prizes are given to both the participants with no partiality. The end result: people felt that justice was done to their talent and there was no result which was managed, as used to be previously. I was happy that I was part of the system cleaning process in a small way.

Those were my first lessons of organization skills and I cherish them a lot.