Book Review – Bastard of Istanbul!

Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak’s is a story of Nineteen year old unmarried woman who walks into a doctor’s surgery.

‘I need to have an abortion,’ she announces. And twenty years later the daughter is born from the unmarried woman, Asya Kazanci who lives with her extended family in Istanbul. But, All the Kazanci men die in their early forties, Victims of mysterious family curse, so it’s a house of women. Asya’s cousin visit‘s the family in Istanbul and she bringing long- hidden family secrets connected with turkey’s past. Elif Shafak the author had been on my reading list for a long time and my sister got this book as a souvenir from turkey. In many ways It was like revisiting Turkey, Istanbul and enjoying all the local delicacies through the storytelling as the story unfolds and explores sides of Istanbul that only a local could show you around. The locals delicacies described in the book from Pilaf a popular rice dish in the middle east to Bastrima – Beef cold cuts like Salami is more commonly known as Pastrami to the Manti a type of Turkish dumpling to musaqa baked dish that mainly consist of eggplants ( Aubergines) or potatoes with meat. Very popular in Greece and the Middle East.To the last but not the least Kaburga a Turkish term used for Ribs make the book more authentic and enjoyable.And besides the food, the whole experience and details written, Are more relatable and deepens the connect to understands the country and locals. A Book that will make you want to travel to turkey if you haven’t. And if you have would make you want to revisit turkey.

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Hyderabad!!

 

City Of Pearls –  Known Because of the trading of Pearls and Diamond. 

Today Hyderbad is also known as an IT Hub & the first city in the country to have IKEA- The Swedish Furtniture store in the country.

Earlier this month.I had travelled to Hyderbad for the  second time and until then had no idea about the City,Trafiic and the distances between each of the places. But, Had heard about the Hyderabad Biryani was one of the delicaces of the city. 

 Hyderbad biryani was invented/Introduced during the Nizam Period. 

Nizam was known as the king of Hyderbad. The Current Nizam is Mukkaram Jah and he is the Grandson Mir Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII and has been the nizam since 1967 and is the owner of Falaknuma Palace which is now leased to Taj hotels. 

The Palace has 60 Rooms, And a dining Table  that can seat 101 guest. And is also the world’s largest  Dining table. A Dining Table   made of a single piece of wood. And the Acoustic of the Dining room is so good. You can hear each and every guest from one end to another.

Hyderbad besides the Palace is  also known for  it’s main landmark that  you can identify to begin any conversation with  the local. The first one being Charminar.Until very recently I wasn’t area what Charminar  signifies exactly. Did you know it is a mosque?And the second The Golcando Fort. I am sure the name sounds familiar. The Indian kids have learnt it in History books. 

Besides some historic Palaces and Landmarks the city also has the biggest single rock statue in the world.18m Tall (54 ft) and weighs  around 450 tons-Monolithic Buddha Statue!

Kohinoor , a 105 karat priceless diamond is one of the most expensive diamonds in the world is believed to be mined in Hyderabad too. Now How many of you knew that ? 

The city is also known for the world’s Biggest Film Studio. Ramoji Film City . A sight that Is the only faint memory I had of the city.Which I visited after 20 years.

And last but not the least. The worlds biggest snow world theme park.

And with India – Myths & Believe are always part of the travels and its believed 

A fish medicine prescribed by the Bathini Goud brothers to asthma patients claims to fully cure asthma. This magic fish medicine is only served once a year in the month of June. This medicine is believed to have cured a million patients suffering from asthma.

Hyderbad besides the mining diamonds,is   been mining business students  from  top business schools like Indian School of Business, IIT and BITS.

 

Lonesome!

I often go to coffee shops and sit by myself on a table. But,Whenever I have visited and just sat at a coffee shop,the waiters and service people keep asking me if anyone is coming or for that matter the other people out there wondering if anyone would be coming before they could grab the chairs for their friends or business meets.Go into any Starbucks, and you’ll probably see two kinds of tables: round tables and rectangular tables. There’s a reason for the round tables. According to Reader’s Digest, the round tables are supposed to make you feel more at home when you’re by yourself.Then why do the service people question,When you are by yourself at coffee shops or for that matter restaurants.Why can’t I go to restaurant and occupy a table and have a meal by myself. I mean,Where in The rule book is it written,That you need company to enjoy a meal? I completely understand it’s considered logically that meals are eaten together,But haven’t you heard or experienced teenagers eating meals by themselves when watching television or streaming online websites ?Is it to difficult to accept and welcome people who are loners.Is this a reason why a huge number of people around are preferring to order food online and be socially isolated rather than going out and enjoying a meal at the restaurant or cafe and experience a meal with all their sense being involved ? The Visual appeal,The fragrance,The taste and the feel of the meal with the freshness sizzling around. I completely understand occasionally this would not make sense commercially,But you don’t have to be rude to the one’s who would be having meals by themselves.

Horse Betting!!

Always seemed curious to know exactly how does betting in horse races actually happen. No,Not that I had no idea at all.
Of course I knew a little or to confess actually nothing,You really can’t believe and trust what the movies show is actually that happens,They of course take the creative liberty, that’s why It’s known as a creative field.
So when I did get an invite for an event at the race course,As this was also the last race of the season.I not only made sure,I was in town.But, had my parents and their friends to come down for this particular event. For which I accidentally got invited and grabbed it with both my hands literally! Had a total number of nine people from my side.
We after absorbing the atmosphere out there, finally paid attention to one of the actual reasons why we made it a point to attend the evening. The races, So as the rush to go and bet on the horses was really high, without having any clue. We all chose are numbers,Keeping in mind the most popular Horse number, Numerology (The lucky numbers) and going with the instinct Of which horse might win and placed our bets on a couple of numbers. And out of the five number we had placed the bet on we were lucky the ”7” was one of them that won. This was just the beginning of the circle, well.If I have won this let me try out my luck once again (No,We did not want to consciously keep in mind that this would be our beginner’s luck .) So we go again and this time we learn something. What numbers would you like to place for the “WIN” and what numbers would you like to keep on Place”. We were now literally glued to know more and kept wondering what “Place” would be. No,We did not want to ask anybody We did not want to embarrass ourselves. So came up with a theory it might be an alternative number, that we would like to “Place” a bet on. So, not happy with the validation our last resort,”Google” will know it for sure and it happens “Place” Is the Horse number that you believe is going to either be finishing in the first Postion or the second position.While I got to know “Place” besides the “Win” options. I thought i knew the basic for the next season. I learnt a few more things.
There is something known as “Show” too in horse betting.
Well,Hold your horses! I am coming to that point, What exactly is “Show” now. Well! you will have to excuse me because here I will have to tell you and wouldn’t able to show it to you. Unlike the show business Where you show and don’t tell. “Show” is your horse has to either finish first,Second or Third.

There are a few other terms too, which I am going to share out here right now! For you to brag when you too would be going to experience the races.

Exactia – Who would the first two finisher’s (Pick them)
Trifecta – Who would be the first three finishers (Pick them)
Superfecta – Who would be the first four Finishers
Hi- 5 – Any guess what would this be? The first five finishers obviously.

Food Tasting – Being the Food Taster!

Food Taster –  Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.

I Don’t know exactly when I became a trustworthy food taster.Ever since I tasted food on my pallete. I Criticised food to be nearly perfect according to my taste buds.

This was much more Masterchef or cooking shows being popular.

Right from my teenage First for my Mom -( kitchen701)Tasting food and giving the feedback to get the perfect meal out of it.

Indian,Chinese and continental – The Salt,The cheese and the richness of the food.

Than slowly became a taster for Mami’s Baking (Teaser) criticising the sweetness,The missing element and ocassinally the texture – Whether its too soft or hard.

This I hardly knew,One day would help me professionally too and when I began working with an Luxury events & Wedding company. And Given the profile of F&B (Food & Beverage ) For most of the projects I have done so far.

I hardly knew – It could become a challenge and my taste matters

So for an upcoming wedding – We had to do a food tasting to choose the menu from the shortlisted Caterer. And to be really honest.I was tired of eating – (6 Types of starters,5 Mocktails,Indian Chaat,Tasting Molecular Gastronomy food,Nibbling on indian food and trying out the desserts ) It was an interesting evening and after the initial tasting when the couple realised we were on the same page.They trusted us to try and choose from the rest of the menu.When they couldn’t eat more.

Also the whole experience was wonderful with the complete banquet space being booked solely for the client & us. The set up too was done like what the actual one would be like.

This particular experience has been one of the most interesting one so far. And as they truly say – People in the wedding will remember the food & the experience the most.Rather than anything else.