For the Restaurants

I have had a long history with the restaurants of my favourite towns, and I had already written about those five towns already. The restaurants at Aluva, Perumbavoor, Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam and Angamaly have been part of my life for quite a long time because they are part of the routes which I have traveled a lot. Yes, a good number of restaurants around the city of Cochin also got a big part to play in the same. Throughout my life, I have loved many restaurants and decided not to visit a few ever.

I have rarely hated any of the restaurants because I have always found one interesting item in one form or the other. Most of my favourite restaurants were vegetarian, with only a few exceptions in each town. I have already written about how much of an integral part of my life, Indian Coffee House has been. But talking about the restaurants, or at least most of them, there are a few things which I would like to see atĀ all of them. I am sharing them here.

Try providing only the needed amount of curry: When there is only one person having food, I am surprised that there is so much of the curry being provided whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. When I go outside with friends, if we are only two, we share one curry with the rice, Chappathi, Porotta, Appam or whatever we are having. This is the reason why I have some Dosa, Idli or Biriyani items which don’t require separate curry when I am alone. I am sure that I won’t be able to finish one full curry, but the restaurants can have the option of providing half-curry or sometimes even quarter-curry?

There Dal Fry which you see is usually enough for me and my friend :)

The Dal Fry which you see here with the roti is usually enough for me and my friend šŸ™‚

Try not to make random assumptions: I have seen that many non-vegetarian restaurants bring Chicken Noodles, Chicken Fried Rice or Chicken Biriyani whenever we ask for Noodles, Fried Rice or Biriyani. This has happened to me on a number of occasions. There was a time when I had to chase the waiter to tell him that I actually meant Vegetable Biriyani only. This is really not fair. You can’t make me eat non-vegetarian just because the restaurant is non-vegetarian. I might have chosen this restaurant because of its location or due to the fact that someone who is with me wants to have non-vegetarian, and it needn’t be even chicken – it can be fish, mutton or anything else.

Make tea available at all times: Having anything cold might not be the right thing to do at all times, and so I would like to say, let there be tea! Yes, it has to be there all the time, from the moment the restaurant opens to the time when it closes. It has been a nice feature of restaurant chains like Indian Coffee House, but a lot of restaurants have failed to keep that property even as some combinations of bakeries and restaurants do manage the same. As the common man’s drink, tea should be available at all times, and at the cheapest possible price; it is rather a necessity.

Dosa means enough free sambhar, and tea at any time makes it better.

Dosa means enough free sambar, and tea at any time makes the situation a lot better.

Don’t hesitate to bring us the menu: Yes, please do bring that because even if you talk about what all are available in slower pace than that usual high-speed talk, we might not be able to follow that exactly as it is supposed to be. We might end up hearing something else, or may be you will just forget one name, and we won’t get that thing which we really want to have. It is really a loss on both sides, and lets keep things clear with the menu. Knowing the prices of all those things will also help. May be there can be a huge menu board on the wall like we usually see at the branches of Indian Coffee House – they are very useful.

Do have the restrooms for customers: Yes, this is very significant because when we are on the long drives, the presence of the same will only help to make sure that the customers make the visit. I have rarely been interested in visiting a restaurant without them, and hasn’t added them to my list of favourite restaurants. It is better to have them outside the restaurant too, or at least on the other side, quite far away from the kitchen. Some restaurants are really careful about the same, like the Carnival Food Court near Angamaly which maintains the cleanliness really well.

***The images used in this blog post were taken by me only.

TeNy

Littering in the Moonlight

The vampires were having a tough discussion just outside the Dracula Castle, as the Vampire Bat, the Vampire Owl and the Vampire Snake were present with Uncle Dracula.

“No, not even in the moonlight, said Uncle Dracula. “You are not even supposed to litter in the sunlight, and then how can you litter in the awesome moonlight which is more precious to us vampires?” asked Dracula.

“But it was the Halloween moonlight with cool vampire people all around, and I was drunk. Really, really drunk” said the Vampire Snake.

“He is a snake with special venomous spit superpower. Even if he doesn’t throw waste around, how can you ask him not to spit?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Because all of you have taken the pledge to keep the Dracula Castle and its premises clean. Being drunk is not an excuse. Nothing is an excuse” screamed Dracula.

“But the Mummy spat over that tree on the side of the road, and you don’t want to know what the local werewolves do. The ghosts of the living dead did something even worse” said the Vampire Snake.

lttr

“They do not belong to the vampire category, and won’t come under me. The Mummy is level three desert catgeory. They don’t even come inside the castle. Our current collaboration is with the zombies. Cleanliness begins at home. This is our vampire ancestral home. Do you understand the highly intellectual and vampirically superior words of unlimited wisdom which come out of my mouth?” yelled Dracula.

“Yes, listen to Uncle Dracula. If he raises his blood pressure too much at this age, we might have no uncle, and I might inherit this castle. I will end up being so rich and may be construct a tennis court on the front right corner and the statue of myself holding a tea cup on the left side” added the Vampire Bat.

“What? Wait, no. I am not raising my blood pressure. I am just asking this new vampire apprentice whom you brought from that local tea shop to behave and be a good citizen rather than being a Great Litterburg” said Dracula.

“But I promise not to litter again” said the Vampire Snake.

“See, he is a good vampire apprentice” added the Vampire Bat.

“Or I shall feed him to the snakes in the pond” threatened Dracula.

“But he is the Vampire Snake. What is the point in putting him with normal snakes?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Oh, yes. I meant the crocodiles. Those little crocodiles that I have like the early villains of cinema. I will throw him to the crocodile pound and clap once, laughing loudly like an awesome villain. Damn, I am really getting old; my memory is failing me” Dracula made it clear.

“Thank you, great old vampire lord” said the Vampire Snake while taking a bow.

“See, this is why I bite people. Always use the trash can. Littering is bad. By doing such things, you are working against the environment as well as your nation. And for the sake of each and every living vampire, please don’t spit” advised Dracula.

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“As if he doesn’t already have enough reasons” murmered the Vampire Owl.

“I have heard that he is going to act in a commerical against drinking and smoking, plus supporting care for stray dogs by making them join the werewolves. He is into social causes now” whispered the Vampire Bat.

“We were never the real villains, right?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Why? No, never. We are not even remotely evil; just see these litterbugs and the rest of the minions of the real dark world. Uncle Dracula can’t even fly around in the invisible mode these days with people leople littering from their vehicles” added the Vampire Bat.

“We vampires realize this. When will the humans understand the same?” wondered the Vampire Owl.

This blog post at The Tea Cerebrations is for the Happy Hours Campaign from The Times of India in association with Indiblogger. It is written as a part of TOI’s “The Great Indian”, a humorous initiative for a better India; this time on “The Great Indian Litterbug” who considers littering as a birth right – the kind of people that we see almost everywhere in India. Please check the following link for further details of this funny and thought-provoking campaign: http://greatindian.timesofindia.com/

*The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Page of The Great Indian, meant to support this work.

TeNy

The Need for Cleanliness

We ask for many things in this world. Isn’t cleanliness among them? My hope is that it will be a basic requirement soon, and people will get to realize the same. During my earlier visit to Singapore, I did wonder if India can one day have the same cleanliness. I wondered about what they had that India didn’t. I have found the state of Kerala cleaner as a whole, but never really steady in its cleanliness, especially these days as waste is indeed being thrown on the side of the roads. All photos used here were taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310 except for the one mentioned otherwise.

What is it that a beautiful country needs? It is not the tourist attractions, because nature and history has already provided the same as long as they are not vandalized. What every nation needs is cleanliness, as it is very important for the health and hygiene of the citizens of the nations as well as the visitors. Without good sanitation, we can’t say that we are good hosts and follow the policy of “Athithi Devo Bhava”. Yes, some people might think that we are awesome hosts just because there is a phrase about it, but the real fact is that we have to work on it.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don't think so.

Is it fair towards the animals? I don’t think so.

The first thing that can come to some people might be to act that they should try to create a show for the others, acting as if trying to clean, just because it is the trend. No, you are not doing any favour to the nation by doing so. The first thing to do is to keep your house and premises clean, and then your neighbourhood area. It is how the whole thing should begin. Haven’t we all heard about the saying “charity begins at home”? Well, so does the health and hygiene – we can’t make the society any better without changing ourselves, can we?

Our responsibility to our nation begins at home. Whatever we do at home is significant, even as not many people are aware of what we do in our room or on the backside of our house. It is what we practice at home that we take to the world outside. It is our actions between our own that is reflected even when we are outside and nobody is looking. Yes, this has to start with oneself, and not with a bigger group. If you walk around a broom and keep your house untidy, you are to blame despite what show you can come up with in the public.

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

We have polluted our world, made it terrible for many creatures of nature, and it is all because we don’t care much. With that pollution, we have spread diseases, and these begin when we don’t care about waste disposal. Check all those rivers; are they any cleaner than they used to be? So much waste has been thrown into the rivers, and it is almost impossible to drink directly from there days or even clean. Even the holy rivers are not spared. This proves that clean India doesn’t mean that we should dispose our waste anywhere.

Yes, we have people who get rid of their waste by throwing it to the properties of others. We also have those who put their waste anywhere when nobody is looking. They are no lesser evil than those big industries which pollute our air as well as water, some of them even directly causing deadly diseases to humans and killing off a lot of creatures and plants. It is a need to raise our voice against these practices, but only when we keep cleanliness in our own home that we are worthy of the same, and it is what we should strive for.

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This should be applicable everywhere, but why is that we need signs?

This blog post is written in relation to Dettol NDTV Banega Swachh India campaign in association with Indiblogger, and it is a much needed move towards a better India. Please check http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/ for more details, and lets contribute to making and keeping our nation clean not as something which we are forced to do, but as a part of our lives as a duty towards our nation and the fellow countrymen.

This initiative is aĀ program to address the rising need of hygiene and sanitation in India. It will try to create awareness aboutĀ the same, and will also work for construction and maintenance of toilets. The brand ambassador is none other than Big B – Amitabh Bachchan. NDTV Dettol – Banega Swachh India bus is supposed to cover about four hundred villages across eight Indian states – Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, MP and Maharashtra. With the same, they will create awareness around hygiene and sanitation through a number of ways which can connect the best with the common man.

Cheers to http://swachhindia.ndtv.com/.
TeNy

Attempt for a Clean India

We are all proud Indians, and our national awareness and patriotism reaches new heights when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or during some other international event. We are extremely happy if an Indian somehow makes to the next round of a big tennis tournament or wins a medal in any of the games. But do we have the same feeling concerning cleanliness? Do we find a clean India as something to be proud of? Shouldnt we consider it the more significant thing and not abusing the players from other countries?

Our new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi also came up with a request for the same, as the new government seems to have their attention on cleanliness. There are advertisements all around the movie theatres and multiplxes concerning the same, asking us to respect and follow the path set by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. They have raised their voice through the media and made things clear. It has actually made a lot of people aware of the need to the same. But have most of us changed, or is it limited to a few people or practiced only when camera is rolling?

Kitty caught in what humans litter (taken on my Galaxy Duos)

Kitty caught in what humans’ litter (Photo taken on my Samsung Galaxy Duos)

People still throw their waste on the road, and even relieves themselves in the open, leading to the spread of diseases through mosquitoes and rats. A lot of big cities are facing this problem in a bigger way. One has to wonder why people are so careless about it. There are big garbage collections on the side of the major roads and nobody cares? Isn’t that one of the most depressing things a fast developing nation can have? Are we not better than this? Than why does this happen? The bigger question is about why nobody is saying anything about it?

We have the tendency to avoid a few things which don’t directly affect us, especially if we don’t consider them as a big deal. We might look at the world around us and try to adjust with the lack of cleanliness rather than doing something with it. We are determined to make adjustments to the situations. But things are surely changing. #AbMontuBolega is a campaign for the same reason, and it reminds us that it has been a long time since the need has arisen for the common man to come up and do something about it. One can try raising his or her voice, and see what happens.

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Not among the cleaner beaches, right? (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

We have the right to do so, as much as concerning any other thing. Cleaning and maintaining that cleanliness have been a thing of problem for our nation. We haven’t been known to be among the cleaner countries in the world. There exists a lot of foreigners as well as NRIs who have complained about the same. But no right step has been taken. People become more and more aware of the same, but don’t care to do anything about it, because we adjust too much. We need to keep calm and speak about it like Montu at theĀ websiteĀ http://www.abmontubolega.com/.

So, next time when we see some garbage, let’s make sure that we make an impact. LetĀ it be certainĀ that we don’t drop garbage on the streets, and also try to do a certain amount of cleaning by ourselves. If we see someone doing that, there is the need to raise our voice and talk to them about it. If there is a real bad situation concerning the waste disposal, it is our duty to inform the authorities and make sure that they take the right action concerning it. Our nation needs collective efforts and one or two people can begin to make a difference.

Every place needs to make sure about the trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

Every place needs to make sure about trash (Photo taken on my Sony Cybershot DSC W310)

This blog post was written in association with #AbMontuBolega campaign from Strepsils in association with Indiblogger. The campaign asks us to raise our voice against the lack of cleanliness, and deal with everything dirty, as there are places which needs our attention. It is only if we raise our voice that the desired results are achieved. Please do check the website http://www.abmontubolega.com/, as well as Strepsils on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/StrepsilsIndia) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/StrepsilsIndia) for further details.

TeNy

Hoping for a Better Situation

There is no problem as big as the lack of toilets in India, and that too in the twenty first century. Even as such problems have been a lesser thing of horror in Kerala as I have felt during my travel throughout the state, it has been much more during my journeys through the less urban areas of the other states. There is no difficulty in knowing about the same either, as we can realize that just from the smell itself.

Considering the fact that the situation hasn’t got much better is really a cause of concern. We have gone through so many years after independence, and not much has changed as we can see. The progress that we have achieved is tremendous, but going to Mars and still not having toilets? What does that mean? There are serious health problems which can result due the same, and health is just one of the troubles – as we hope and believe that the new government will take good measure for the same, lets take the case of Babli.

The kitty warns you about the health hazards :D (taken on my GT-S7562)

The kitty warns you about the health hazards šŸ˜€ (taken on my GT-S7562)

It was early morning, and Babli got out of her room to the terrible smell of faeces. It was a cloudy morning and rain kept on pouring down like it has no other job to do. Babli’s area had not more than five toilets in total for the large number of people who lived around. She knew that India is one of the fastest developing nations in the world, and admired how much progress it had in the last few years – she had learnt about the same. But she wondered why there was no toilet for her.

It was worse when she had to go to school. She had to travel fifty five kilometres to reach the school in heavy traffic. It was near impossible to find a toilet on the way, and the boys always did it on the roadside, and she knew that it would have a terrible impact on her dignity if she would even think about the same. The time taken to travel that much distance was about three hours, and it was sometimes impossible to reach the school on time after waiting in the long queue for the toilet.

Babli knew that what she wanted was not a worship place; temples, churches and the rest of the places for God were not her concern. But the closest church had toilets and the temple also had a toilet for ladies in the premises, and due to the same, she had become closer to God. She never really prayed, but did hope for the abode of any God to appear so that she could relieve herself. She had decided that when she grow up, she would go to a restaurant and have some food there just to use the toilet there.

She knew that India was progressing, but isn’t a toilet part of progress? She wondered. May be she could write about it, but there was no point. She remembered the man who made a speech about it in the school. He had said that a clean toilet is the right of every Indian, and it is very essential for good health. Why was she deprived of her right? Why was he even without her privacy? She continued to ponder over the same. When she asked that man, he had said that there was nothing he could do.

How can we make the beautiful nature a toilet? (taken on my DSC-W310)

How can we make the beautiful nature a toilet? (taken on my DSC-W310)

This has been a problem for not just one Babli, but a lot of her friends who lived near her home and also those who came to the same school from different areas. Yes, each and every Babli in India needs a toilet, and it is a basic requirement that needs to be fulfilled before hoping for a lot of other things which arrive in the name of development. But what is the first step to development? It is time we start thinking about the same. Not malls, not multi-national companies, not high profile industries, but toilets for everyone. This is where Domex is doing a wonderful job with their initiative to bring toilets to as many villages as possible.

This is for the Happy Hours campaign at Indiblogger in association with Domex, a writing for “Toilet for Babli” which is part of “You Click Domex Contributes” initiative at http://www.domex.in/. Do click on the link for more on the same. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is ā€œclickā€ on the ā€œContribute Tabā€ on http://www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.

TeNy