Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

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The Magic of an Arabian Weekend

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This is my real story…

Every girl has a dream. A dream that one day, a prince would come and take her to his kingdom. After marrying ofcourse 😉

When young, I was in awe with the cartoon character of Jasmine (from Disney’s Aladdin). I always wanted to live Jasmine’s life. And though not publically, I kept waiting for my own Aladdin to appear in my life. 🙂

Years passed by and it seemed, that Genie did grant me my wish. I met my very own version of Aladdin. And coincidentally, we both, like Aladdin and Jasmine, met in real deserts of Rajasthan!! One thing led to another and a few months back, we got engaged.

Just a few days back, when I was having a girl talk with few girlfriends of mine, this topic of similarities between Jasmine and my life came up. And all of them were of the view that since ‘the Genie had indeed granted me my wish’, it called for a party!! A party which would celebrate this Arabian magic. At first this seemed like a ridiculous reason. But I gave in to their demand because in a way, I would be celebrating my own happiness. 🙂

And just to bring some extra excitement and involvement among my friends, I proposed that we have a weekend party with the theme – ‘Arabian Nights.’

Since it was just 4 of us, we decided to use one of our living rooms as the party venue. The dress code for the party was to be Harem pants (loose fitted pants, which hold the ankles tightly. (These would definitely be comfortable for the kind of seating arrangement which I would detail later). I chose Harem because even Jasmine used to wear one. 🙂


To go with the Harem, I chose a fitted plainer top and a hair band to match the colors. Now the most important part was the hair-do and I am really glad that all my friends have long hairs… 🙂 And they can easily manage to copy Jasmine’s hairstyle 🙂 And definitely the flat pointed open belly, in silver or golden to complete the look 🙂

Once I shared my thoughts with my friends, everyone became super excited about carrying this ‘Jasmine’ look. I myself went on a hunt for the perfect outfit, as I was the Jasmine in this entire buildup. J And since this small party was about celebrating the most important relation of my life, it became all the more important to keep the theme alive and not to miss out on anything.

Now a theme-party cannot be successful without proper ambiance.  And a proper Arabian ambiance would require lots of colors and yellow lights…

Having spent most of my life in Rajasthan, best colors for an Arabian ambiance which I could relate to were colorful splash of bright tones of Fuchsia Pink, Turquoise Blue, Bright Orange, and Shiny Purple, i.e., all warm and dark colors for creating a typical desert-like ambiance of the room.

We used our dupattas for making tri-color drapes falling on one wall. And to have a soft yellow lighting, we went ahead and replaced 2 CFLs of the room with low wattage yellow bulbs!!

The seating arrangement was to be a round table with soft cushions in different colors. Since it was a small gathering, it was nice to gather around a round table.

And yes… how can I forget the most important thing, the flying carpet??

🙂 That became our dance floor (for a later stage)

I chose few more things to add as props. Long candle stands were placed in one corner of the room and few shorter ones were spread in an irregular fashion in the room. I also managed to borrow 2 brass cut work lamps from my aunts’ place to be hanged at two different corners of the room. And believe me, these lamps did perfect justice to the theme 🙂

And last thing to add to this ambiance were aromas. I specially picked up a few perfumed candles from the market to gel with party’s theme.

Outfits – Done

Ambiance – Done

Props – Done

What’s left was food. And with everything Arabic, how could food be far behind?

I must say that I was really relieved by the fact that, like me, all my friends were fond of authentic non vegetarian food. This really made my task a little easy, since the whole theme and whole ambiance would get complete with good and authentic non vegetarian food. Food was to be something that would eventually give credibility to my efforts and I personally believe that food is something which makes or spoils a party.

And when I wanted good non vegetarian food, I wanted dishes which came with fine taste, fine quality and fine aroma. These according to me are the 3 most important things that make a perfect dish.

So when I think of good food, and that too of good ‘authentic’ non-vegetarian  food at a decent price, one name comes to my mind – ‘Kitchens of India‘ . Whenever I think of the curries I bought from here last, my mouth starts watering. They have some of the most amazing chicken curries and of course not to forget their chutneys, which are simply un-put-downable. 🙂

Since my gathering was not that big, I planned that everyone should enjoy a good variety of amazing and authentic Mughlai food.

So, this is how the food was done:

I started the dinner by serving light shorba, Malai Chicken Tikka and smoked Red Chicken Tikka (most preferred chicken starters). I chose two types of tikkas keeping in mind the different taste-bud preferences for spices. Now, the chicken starters would be incomplete without nice dips (chutneys what you call in local language) and shredded salad. So for the dips, I served Carrot Black Pepper Chutney and Mango Garlic Chutney from Kitchens of India.


And here is a confession. While preparing for the party, I really had a tough time resisting myself from having a go at these chutneys..  🙂

Once starters were done, we moved on to the main course. Here also, I was bamboozled with the options which Kitchens of India had!! But, I had no choice but to choose just a few since the party was only for four of us. I chose to add one of the chicken curries, one of my favourite paneer preparations and a daal.

So for the chicken gravy, I used two varieties of curries amongst the available ones. One of them was Chicken Darbari, and the other one was Murgh Methi. Chicken Darbari as the name suggests is the dish for the royal courts. And because of this royal connection, the dish was rich in taste and flavours. Murgh Methi on the other hand focused on the rich aroma and taste of an Indian herb Methi (English: Fenugreek), which is yet another rich ingredient of the Indian food .


And I am telling you guys, when I was preparing these dishes, I was supremely confident that my party is going to be a grand success. 🙂

Though we all were hard-core non vegetarians, I also had a few vegetarian aces up my sleeves. I prepared Paneer Malai. As the name suggests, this dish had chunks of tender & mouth melting pieces of paneer in rich tomato gravy.

I also prepared a daal using Kitchens of India’s Daal Bukhara (the default favourite of mine). And to complete the course, I ordered a Rumali Rotis from a nearby restaurant.


Once the main course was done, I jokingly announced that the party was over. And as expected, there were loud boos about the absence of sweet dish. And this is what I was waiting for. 🙂

I had planned to surprise everyone with the most traditional form of sweet , i.e., the Halwa. And for that, I choose a personal favourite – Hazoori Petha Halwa (from Kitchens of India). This was a childhood favourite of mine, the one with shredded petha cooked with milk and ghee, rich in color and aroma.


And once we were done with the food, I played a playlist of Arabian musicals on my laptop and external surround sound speakers. And I swear to God, we had 4 Shakira(s) dancing on those belly dancing numbers for hours…(on the magic carpet ofcourse…) 😉

Seriously, I could have never imagined having such an innovative and exciting party at my very own home!!

Note- This post is an entry for Kitchens of India’s My Weekend Party with Gourmet Food competition.

PS -This post is by Aditi Agrawal


Written by Dev

June 21, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Just for fun, Randomzz

5 Intelligent People – One Dead, Four Alive

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Note -This post is an entry for a contest titled “WeChat with Anyone, Anywhere!”


If I could connect with 5 people in a WeChat group, I would invite the following five–

Barack Obama (Head of United States of America)

Some-Mohan Singh (So called Head of some south Asian country)

Leonardo DiCaprio (Head of Hollywood Actors – according to me)

Late Osama Bin Laden (Head of the group “Screw US”)

Paris Hilton (Head of intelligent blondes, a hypothetical species)



As you can see, all these people have been carefully selected to create a group of intelligent people who are supposedly holding positions of great responsibility & authority. 🙂 I understand your concern on using the word intelligent in same sentence which also has Paris Hilton’s name. But rest assured, being blond is tough. It takes a lot of intelligence to be stupid!!

So with the group members selected, I leave it to them to take over the discussion forward…


[Osama Bin Laden has created a WeChat group Dead People Talking]

[Obama, Some-Mohan, Leonardo & Paris join the group Dead People Talking]

Osama: Hi guys…

Obama: How dare you add me in your stupid group? I am not dead like you!!

Osama: Relax Barack… I did this because I had a dream last night.

Leonardo: Within a dream? Which level? Man, these inceptions are tough…

Osama: Why are you Americans so aggressive about everything? Cant you people just listen to someone? Look at our Indian group member… He is so silent and relaxed.

Some-Mohan: “……………………………………”

Osama: Now that was one hell of a thought for the day Some-Mohan!!

Obama: What??

Paris: I didn’t hear anything!!!

Leonardo: Even if you did hear anything, would it make any sense to you Paris? By the way, you are looking great.

Paris: Gee…thanks Leo. Are you single? I am famous. Actually, I am famous for being famous. I hope you saw my blockbuster ‘One Night in Paris’ [winks]

Leonardo: Yeah yeah…whatever. But tell me Osama, I didn’t hear anything. How can you say that what he just said was something close to a quote of the day?

Osama: Can we just stop it? This is what I don’t like about you Americans…You don’t let anyone talk. And when they do, you can’t listen. This is the reason why everybody is after USA.

Leonardo: Yeah…true. All the movies having aliens also show that Aliens attack America first.

Paris: Who is an Alien? Is he smart?

Some-Mohan: It(Alien)

Osama: Ha ha…good one bro…I know how you must be feeling ;-). But lets go ahead with what I was telling you people and the reason for which I created this group. I don’t have much time. I am a dead man and I still kill dead people. Last night I had a dream. And before you ask me anything Leonardo, it was a level one, plain and simple dream with no inceptions at all.

Leonardo: [blushes]

Obama: But why should we listen to terrorists? We don’t negotiate with terrorists!!

Osama: Oh shut up… You people do listen to me. I had forced you to listen to me during 9/11 too. But I am no more. And the day your navy seals shot me, I realized what wrong I had been doing during my stay on earth.

Paris: So now you are an alien? You don’t live on earth? But you don’t look smart 😦

[Everyone ignores Paris]

Osama: In the dream, the supreme creator asked me to have a discussion with a few intelligent people about how all 7 billion humans should shape the future of humanity. This is the reason I created this group. We need to discuss about our, I mean, your future.

Paris: Finally people have realized that blondes are intelligent. Or is it that all intelligent people are blondes? I am confused. 😦 You people don’t look like blondes.

Leonardo: Humanity….hmm…We can create a world of dreams. We bring all the subjects into that dream and they fill it with their secrets. This way we can shape humanity.

Obama: I think Osama has made a valid point. I think we shouldn’t have shot him. But please Leonardo. We already have a world. We don’t need another world of dreams. We need to see the reality. Can’t you just stop talking as if you are going to remake your Hollywood flick Inception??

Leonardo: I am just trying to be a contributor to the betterment of humanity. But it seems like this dream is collapsing.

Paris: Don’t worry Leo. I will listen to you personally. I love Inceptions. [winks]

Leonardo: [Evil Smile & looking at Osama and Some-Mohan] Atleast I won’t become an old man filled with regret. 😉

Obama: Hmm… Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change we seek. Our societies are deteriorating. We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should realize their full potential.

Paris: Oh myyy gaaaawd!! Are you single sir?

Obama: Different religions are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Some-Mohan: [thinking: If I could just talk like that 😦]

Leonardo: You have my vote for the next election too!!! [wolf whistle]

Obama: We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times….and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. That’s not leadership. That’s not going to happen.

Some-Mohan: Ok

Osama: This is what I was telling you when I was alive. And you people killed me for that.

Obama: May be. But your ways were different. And your ways hurt everyone. And in the end, you paid the price.

Leonardo & Paris: [Holding hands and crying]

Obama: The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.

Osama: I understand what you are telling. And what you say makes a lot of sense. Atleast now it does. I so much miss being alive. 😦

Obama: You know, one of the things I think you understand as president is that you are responsible for everything, but you don’t always have control of everything, right?

Some-Mohan: [Shouting] I agree with you on this one!! Completely!! Even I will vote for you in next elections.

Leonardo: [Pushing aside Paris] Wait a minute. You yourself are head of some south Asian country. You can’t vote in our elections!!

Some-Mohan: Oh yes. I forgot about it. I need to ask her…

Leonardo: Who?

Paris: Me?

Osama: No…no.. He is referring to some It(alien) I guess 😉

Osama: I fought so I could die and go to heaven to meet God. But it seems that dying alone is not enough. The World is not enough for me. I should have died another day.

Leonardo: You know us Hollywood people well 🙂

Osama: True story. What else did you think gave me ideas about my plans? 😉 But, I must take leave. I am a dead man now. I have to go back. I think that though I am sad that I am not there, I feel that world is in safe hands.

Obama: Don’t worry dude. America will take care of this world.

Some-Mohan: [thinks: There he goes again]

Osama: Whatever… so it’s a good bye from me people.

Paris: Wait a minute. Since you are dead, you need to answer my question.

Osama: I am getting late. It better not be as dumb as it is expected of blondes.

Paris: Hmm…. Why is it that everyone wants to goto heaven but nobody wants to die?

Leonardo: Oooooooo…. Yeah Paris….I am single!!!

Obama: Is she a black who has dyed her hair blonde?

Some-Mohan: Zabardast!!!

Osama: I was not wrong in adding her to this WeChat group of intelligent people. 🙂


Written by Dev

June 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm

14 Ways an Economist Says I Love You (by Elizabeth)

with 6 comments

Caution: If you are not an Eco(nomics)-maniac, this post is not for you. 🙂

Source : Fosslien (Awesome stuff Elizabeth!)


Written by Dev

February 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Tagged, in my dreams

with 14 comments

You were tagged!

A notification has struck your online life.

Did you expect it coming? No? Doesn’t matter. You have still been tagged.

I was discussing the Culture of Tagging with a close friend AA. And not surprisingly, both of us agreed that life is not as it used to be. [Last sentence makes me feel as if ours is a generation past its prime]. In good old days, we were required to make phone calls, write SMSs or letters (!)/emails to make people realize that we still remembered them. But now, all it takes is a few keystrokes, i.e. @Name and bingo! You have achieved a feat that did not even exist a few years back. You have tagged someone! And the tagged person gets to know that you care for them. You have him/her in your mind. You have not forgotten them.

Disclaimer – If by now, it seems like another of my loud-thinking posts, I won’t blame you. The reason for taking up such redundant topics ‘may’ be attributed to this.

So, ladies and non-gentlemen (men should not be gentle 🙂 ), being a part of this revolutionary Age of Tagging, I put forward a radical and disturbing thought.

You would agree with the fact that only time, when you are socially inactive is when you are sleeping. Now what t. f. would happen, if thanks to technological advancements, people are given the ability to tag you in their dreams??

Just imagine 😦

Written by Dev

August 20, 2011 at 2:51 am

Decision analysis in parallel universes

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Performance should never be measured by end results, but by cost of alternatives. i.e., what would have happened, if during the course of a process (for which the performance is to be judged), just one event had not happened in the way it actually did? What would have happened if atleast one of the events decided to take a different course?

You wouldn’t be wrong to say that I am referring to MultiVerse (Multiple Possible Universes). In which, the only difference between 2 logically ‘adjacent’ universes is one event. For simpler understanding, read the next few lines –

Look back and think of a particular juncture of your life, when you had to make an important decision. You obviously have an idea about what you decided. Now, assume that you had taken an altogether different decision at that moment. How would have things changed after that? What course would have your life taken after that? Where are you in your life and where ‘could’ you have been?

This leads us to deduce that the life we are living right now is one of the many possible ones. Even Bhagvad Purana (a Hindu scripture) has a similar take on the issue–

The countless universes, each enveloped in its shell, are compelled by the wheel of time to wander within you, like particles of dust blowing about in the sky. The śrutis, following their method of eliminating everything separate from the Supreme, become successful by revealing You as their final conclusion.

Decision Making in Parallel Universes

The post is neither meant to be judgemental of anyone’s decisions nor a way to prompt others to start evaluating their past lives. Past is past. Period.

The post is more of a Lazy–Sunday–Morning-Loud-Thinking.

PS – “Far more than our abilities, it is our choices that show what we truly are” (Albus Dumbledore)

Written by Dev

August 7, 2011 at 1:23 pm

The Mystical Art of Record Keeping (in office)

with 9 comments

If I were to ask you about the toughest part of your job, then I am pretty much sure, that ‘record-keeping’ would rank in the top three.

So how to tackle this demon?

The picture given below, speaks a thousand words (but if you can’t hear from the picture, just read the next 175 words)

Record-Breaking Record-Keeping
  • Though as primitive as offices themselves, stacking files, one on top of another, is still the best way to manage your files. This is LIFO (Last In First Out) at its best (read more on LIFO here). The more recent documents get your attention first. This is assuming that the top of stack is below your eye level.
  • The height of stack, is symbolic and directly proportional to the amount of work, people think you have. (notice the underlined text)
  • Prevents boredom. The older files ‘magically’ move towards the bottom of the heap (read: stack).
  • If there is an urgent need of some information or a file, you don’t need to physically move from one room to other. Nor you need to double click all those hierarchical folders in you computers. Just pull the file you need! Which, almost always, will be within the ‘reach of your hand’.
  • Nobody can tamper with your data. Everything is (always) in front of your eyes.

PS – Source of the picture above, is unknown.

Written by Dev

February 17, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Business Lessons from FarmVille

with 21 comments

1. You should never use your working capital to expand your business. Never!

In a rush to reach level 35 in FarmVille (read : expand my business presence), I used up all my coins to buy some properties, which gave me enough XPs (experience) to reach the higher level. But what I did not foresee was that I was left with a large farm, larger presence, but absolutely no money (read: working capital) to buy seeds! No seeds meant no crops. No crops meant no harvesting. And disastrously, no harvesting meant no money! Solution? I had to sell some of my buildings and animals to get enough money to buy seeds or else, I would have had to file for bankruptcy.

2. Too many acquaintances can be harmful to your business

There can be times that in an effort to increase the count of your neighbors (read: popularity), you end up having so much of ‘bull shit’ in your friend list. This practice should be avoided at all costs. In businesses too, maintaining an unmanageable number of acquaintances (for the sake of networking & marketing) is not recommended. People come to associate you with the type of people you are visible with.

3. Business is cyclical by nature. Always!

While playing the game, after you have harvested your crops (read : have been paid for your services), you need to plough as well as sow the seeds again (read : find customers & deliver them your services). And even after you provide your services, there is a waiting time before you receive your payments. So, businesses need to keep going on and on in this cycle. As soon as they decide to stop after harvesting, they will lose value. There is no stagnation in business. It either goes up or down. Period.

4. Look for other sources of revenue

When you are not harvesting, plowing or sowing (read : finding customers, providing services or getting paid), look for other avenues of revenue generation like fertilizing crops of your neighbors, etc. which in turn give you fuel to harvest/seed/plough in a more efficient way. Though rare, helping can be profitable at times. 😉

5. You can’t have everything & your core competency should be known to you

There may be times in business when you might get some exciting ‘never-before’ kind of opportunities (read : you get a building/animal/tree as free gift in FarmVille). You would love to take a plunge. But on deeper analysis, you will understand that this is not your core competency (read : farming). So, if you do place a building on your plot of land, you will be stopping the future cash flows from the farm you could have harvested at regular intervals. So, as evident, sometimes freebies are not that free. 😉

And finally, as the old one goes – You reap as you sow. 🙂

Written by Dev

June 4, 2010 at 9:07 pm

Posted in Just for fun, Money Matters

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