Thursday, 29 September 2016

A Step Closer To My Dreams

A journalist, a photographer, a writer, a public relations professional, a graphic designer, a social media analyst and many more of such out-of-the-box career options pulled me towards a Communications course. But to ace any of these jobs, you need right education, and after my high school, this is where I thought I’d hit a roadblock. Just like my classmates, even I dreamt of entering one of the top global universities. But unlike them, I struggled with my final exams, ending up with, as they say, just average marks.

After researching for a while, I found out about the University of Technology Sydney, one of the best schools for my choice of course. Obviously, I wanted to get there, but ‘how’ was the only stress. I spent some more time trying to figure it out and that is when I stumbled upon UTS:INSEARCH

University of Technology, Sydney

Why would a university enroll me when I don’t have the required marks? With that thought, I was a little apprehensive initially - even you would be, if you were in my position. But fortunately, I came across ‘The Insiders’ who made everything a lot clearer. 

Dipal Patel, Communications Student at UTS

“The path is simple, the journey is a promising adventure and the end will be as I dreamt of!” This is what Dipal, one of the UTS Insiders, told me. Hearing this straight from a UTS student, I convinced my parents to apply for an international university, and then there was no stopping! 

From faculty to campus, assignments to student life, to even holidays, Dipal cleared even the smallest doubts that I had in my mind. All I had to do was follow her on Instagram and directly message her my doubts. Her Instagram feed totally gave me the feel of the UTS life. Every time there was something I wanted to know, I would just randomly drop a message and get a reply. 

What assured me further was their website:, where I found Dipal and got to know about the other Insiders. I had the freedom to talk to all of them and get multiple perspectives about the university. So for every prominent course that UTS offers, there’s an Insider to help you out at every step. Whether it’s engineering, designing, business or medical science, you can get a student tip for it all! 

By now, I was all up for UTS but living in a new city, by myself, was also another thing on my mind. But as I spoke to Dipal and other university mates, I was excited about being in Sydney. Sydney ranks fourth in the world as per the QS Best Student Cities Survey 2016, which gave me another reason to study at UTS! From safety, to cost of living, to social life, to commutation, finally there was nothing that I was worried about. 

You can also feel assured about all the problems that you might face before going to Sydney by getting in touch with the UTS Insiders. You will gain knowledge and much more by asking the relevant and right questions to them. 

The UTS Insiders

Dipal encouraged me to do things differently and take up this opportunity, and so I gladly say, I did!
UTS: INSEARCH is a stepping stone to one of Australia’s most innovative, international and prestigious universities - the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) which offers degrees in leading academic courses of higher education. 

And the UTS Insiders, is undoubtedly a great platform to connect with the right people who can guide you to a better future at UTS.
I highly recommend you to get in touch with any one of the 12 UTS Insiders on Instagram if you would like to study at UTS or know more about it and experience what I did!

All the best! 

Friday, 23 September 2016

The Elegance Of Oudh At India Runway Week

Designer Yoshita Yadav's 'Yoshita Couture' was unveiled at India Runway Week. The new collection from Yoshita Yadav is christened 'Oudh'. The collection is undoubtedly fabulous. On top of it, the graceful Esha Gupta walked the ramp for Yoshita Couture.

Hundreds of photographers and smartphones were busy clicking the models presenting the 'Oudh' collection. The moment Esha Gupta landed on the ramp, it was a freeze-frame moment for everyone to witness her grace so closely. In fact, the dress she was wearing was perfectly complementing her style and personality.

It was almost a storm that had been witnessed on her appearance in the jam-packed hall. Esha was wearing a Pink Trail Lehenga that was sparkling with mirror-work. The excitement was at its peak while everyone was busy in witnessing the flowing trail. There were claps and clicks all around. It was a perfect moment of a perfect statement from a perfect beauty in a perfect outfit. It was as if Yoshita Yadav designed the outfit keeping Esha Gupta in mind. It was also as if the outfit was meant to be worn by Esha alone and no one else.

"In this season's collection, we at Yoshita Couture have used 100 percent raw silks, woven in Varanasi and Bengaluru. In this collection, one can see a vivid representation of motifs taken from Bara Imambara, Chhota Imambara, and the Rumi Darwaza", Esha said in a statement. 

The motive behind 'Oudh' collection is to revive the continuum of our cultural legacy. Our cultural legacy is so rich and precious but is fading away in today's rat race. To revive it back, Designer Yoshita Yadav has mixed the characteristic resplendence and grandeur of ethnicity along with the perfect proportion of contemporary chic. And this results in a superb and unmatched collection titled 'Oudh'. 

'Oudh' is a Pre-Bridal Couture Collection. Its inspiration comes from the ethereal style and legacy of Lucknow. As its name indicates, the motifs are inspired by the architecture of the flourishing and rich Awadh. This richness and grace reflect in the outfits. In fact, Yoshita Yadav stole the show by showcasing her fabulous collection and turning many heads during the show at IRW 2016. 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Spooky Innovations At The Addams House

The Addams House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Addams House is located in the bustling Sector 29 Market and my visit to this place came about as a consequence of the tasting of their Chef's Special Menu, inviting me to an 'Inverted Feast'.

Inspired by a family that went by the same name and whose spooky shenanigans (fictional, of course) have been emulated and adapted in print, through feature films, being televised, or gaming, ever since the 60's, though the 90's kids may fondly remember The Addams Family as being on TV, through the erstwhile Cartoon Network, once you step into this outlet, it feels like this fiction from Charles Addams has come alive in its full form, right before your eyes.

From the facade that resembles a spooky castle to the entwining staircase that leads you to the first floor, and beyond that to the rooftop, to portraits of the family members, to the lamps that are held by hands that resemble Thing, to the chandeliers that draw from barren foliage, and the most awesome life-size mural of The Addams Family - Gomez, Morticia, Uncle Fester, Lurch, Grandmama, Wednesday, Pugsley and Thing, to a mannequin of Lurch that is bowing down to welcome patrons, The Addams House is The Addams Family personified.

If you're new to the concept or inspiration behind this establishment, worry not, as there is a detailed inscription on one of the walls, tracing the history of The Addams Family and its inception by Charles Addams.

Being a gastro-brewery, I liked the fact that they have separate seating areas for the Dining Area and Bar. Freshly brewed beer is available to order if one may like, though. Even in their food menu, classic as well as molecular gastronomic dishes are on offer, so that one is spoiled for choice.

Coming to the meal and its nuances, we begun by ordering mocktails - Plum Passion Cooler and Raspberry Orange Cooler - both boasting of well-defined flavors of each of their core ingredients. What stuck me was the presentation, in a glass with a twisted stem - a fine detail taken care of, in line with the theme of the establishment.

Went ahead their Golgappas - served on a platter with a bed of fuming nitrogen underneath and plated dynamically with the quintessential Mint Chutney being piped through a star shaped nozzle. I would prefer their Chick In Balls as opposed to The Modern Classical Way.

The Rajma Chawal Balls - Addams Way are a must-have starter as it presents a crunch and spice on the palate, with the melt-in-mouth home-made Rajma Chawal. Another one to try are the Streaky Bacon Chicken Bites - an overload of chicken, cheese, and BBQ sauce.

Their Paneer Roulade's gravy is the most flavorful one I've had in a long time. The Grilled Fish Fillets form for yet another molecular presentation with micro greens and Nitrogen foam on a bed of Lemon Rice, Risotto Style, with a dash of pepper. I would recommend a second helping of both the Mains.

Halfway through the meal, also tried their Shakes - Hazelnut Cheesecake and Red Velvette - both flavorful and with a creamy consistency.

Also their Wood Fired Pizza named Horny Cowboy is a vegetarian's paradise, with its mushrooms, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes layered with melted cheese on a thin crust.

The desserts at The Addams House are to die for, and I do not do this generally, but I must admit, that despite being full, we ordered a second portion of both Winter Rose and Chocolate Hazelnut Royal Crackle.

The burst of the coolness of rose is just beyond pleasant in the former, while the smoothness of the layers is impeccable in the latter.

I hope that The Addams House keeps up all the good work and I am surely heading here for a repeat visit whenever I am in this area next.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Grover Zampa Vineyards Unveils La Réserve

Grover Zampa Vineyards unveiled the new look of their signature wine La Réserve on 24 August, last month. The launch at JW Marriott was a gala event to remember for long. This unique offering from India's premium wine maker, Grover Zampa Vineyards, is fabulous in many respects.

In fact, its signature wine La Réserve is coming with their unique new offering La Réserve Barbecues. It was a spectacular celebration in association with JW Marriott New Delhi Aerocity. The quaint evening comprised of the créme de la créme of Delhi.

It was a bonanza enjoyment of fine wines and La Réserve Barbecue. The attendees had a unique offering of award winning wine 'La Réserve' with delectable and unique barbecue delicacies.

The first vintage of La Réserve was launched in 1998. The whole concept is a brainchild of Grover Zampa Vineyards and world's finest oenologue, Michel Rolland. The new signature launch denotes an age old tradition and reverence, unmarked finesse, the state of the art sophistication, superb elegance, unbeatable maturity, and international levels of quality.

In fact, Indian wine La Réserve is the best Réserve in India. As a matter of fact, it has won over nine awards across Asia, USA, North America, Europe, and the UK. And this is achieved in the last three years itself. In addition, La Réserve has won Bronze & Silver medals at Decanter awards, and Bronze medal at New York World Wine & Spirits competition.

La Réserve is proudly loved by epicureans in the most prestigious and exclusive restaurants in more than twenty countries across the globe. In fact, it was the first wine from India that made it to the table of a 3 Michelin-star restaurant.

This restaurant is among the most prestigious restaurants in the world. As a matter of fact, it was L'Arpége in Paris that chose this wine to be a part of its menu. Moreover, Steven Spurrier, the most popular wine expert from the famous English wine magazine Decanter rated La Réserve as the Best New World Wine in August 2005. That was during a tasting in Germany.

It was a good evening encompassing wine and dine. Looking forward for Grover Zampa to add many more feathers to its cap in the near future.

Friday, 2 September 2016

#DecathlonHUDAOpens A Sporting World...

Launch of Decathlon India's newest Sports Store in Gurgaon - #DecathlonHUDAOpens.

Tuesday, August 30.

HUDA City Center Metro Station.

The end of August was all set to be marked as a Sporty Affair, all because of Decathlon and their decision to proclaim to Delhi/NCR that it is time when #DecathlonHUDAOpens in a few days' time on September 3, 2016.

It was my pleasure to have been invited to the Blogger's Preview Launch at their newest kid on the block. In my opinion, it was a sporting extravaganza and any sportsperson's paradise.

You name it, and they have it, only because Decathlon has been a one-stop-shop for all things Sports. And, by Sports, I certainly do not mean just Cricket. The term 'Sports' is more than just this one game that we Indians are obsessed with.

Whichever physical activity involving skill, exertion, competition and sportsmanship spirit comes to your mind, at the mention of the term - be it cricket, tennis, badminton, golf, skateboarding, cycling, swimming, hiking - or even fitness equipment - the necessary sportswear, equipment, and accessories (if any) to participate in all such sporting tournaments is all available at Decathlon, be it in India or worldwide.


Catering to an array of 50 sports and 5,000+ products, there is a bleak chance that Decathlon's sheer range won't sweep an athlete or even common men or women off their feet. It is not that Decathlon is a mere museum for all things sports. They know their business and they know it quite well.

In case you didn't realize, their business is Customer Satisfaction, sans the trickery to impose their products on a potential client who walks into their stores.

The newest outlet in Gurgaon at HUDA City Centre Metro Station which is bound to be open to public tomorrow morning - #DecathlonHUDAOpens - is no different. It follows in the footsteps of, and mirrors the brand philosophy at Decathlon.

Theirs is an interesting way of recruiting staff. An enthusiastic persona who makes their work their play is what they look for, given that he/she also reflects Decathlon's mission and vision i.e. each employee at Decathlon Stores across the globe would be well-versed with at least one sport - having played it or followed it quite religiously!

So, the first question you ask any of the staff whom you come across inside the store is - 'Which sport are you into?' Each one would have at least one sport's name to tell you.

And,  the one who assists you in choosing the right product from their range matching your requirements regarding a particular sport is the one who is well-versed with that sport, inside-out.

The interaction with Mr. Prajval (Operations Head - North India) and Ms. Sabrina (Store Manager - Decathlon HUDA) was extremely insightful and they were more than happy to address all queries coming from us Bloggers.

What is also impressive is that Decathlon source their sporting equipment from places where a particular sport is most prevalent and has the suited environmental conditions to test. No, they do not approve a sporting equipment to be put on the shelves from the comfort of an air-conditioned office cabin, but test in it in real-time rugged conditions to check if it fares well before being presented to their customers across Stores.

I wish Decathlon India luck with the opening tomorrow, hoping that this store too, caters to Decathlon's client-base with panache. :)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Cooking With Le Creuset & Chef Ranveer Brar...

A Masterclass Session by Chef Ranveer Brar in association with Le Creuset.

Monday, August 26.

Select CityWalk, Saket.

Le Creuset, world’s leading cookware brand famous for its cast-iron products, hosted a live gastronomical session with renowned Celebrity Chef Ranveer Brar, who curated recipes that were beautifully prepared in Le Creuset cookware at Select Citywalk, New Delhi.

On the occasion, Ankur Damani, Country Head - India and SAARC, Le Creuset said “We are thrilled to have associated with Chef Ranveer Brar. Le Creuset is most particular about quality and innovation that is why we feel that the talented Chef Ranveer Brar is perfect to demonstrate the difference that comes in cooking with Le Creuset cookware and to help the audience make it a part of their lifestyle”.

Speaking about his association with Le Creuset, Chef Ranveer said, “Le Creuset is an international leader in luxury cookware and I am absolutely pleased to be associated with this reputed brand. Cooking with Le Creuset cookware is an experience in its own and it’s a great opportunity to be able to share that with people who share the same interest”.

In a short personal interaction that I had with him, he also recollected moments from his journey as a Chef, recalling how he had begun quite early, owing to his love for Awadhi Cuisine, the opportunity he's had in the past to cook for Heads of State, in India and abroad, his time at Boston, the dynamic and challenging environment that he'd gone into, in the hospitality sector at Boston, his newly launched book titled 'Come Into My Kitchen' and some tidbits from it.

He also quipped how you only had to get the basics right, when you're cooking for Heads of State. It is real fun that lies in cooking for Chefs that cook in such an environment routinely, also letting me into the trivia that one of his upcoming projects 'Chef for Chefs' is based on the very principle.

On the outset of it, he also revealed that he was looking forward to the launch of his upcoming ventures Dowtown Mayura and Tag By Ranveer.

Also, he reminisced his Signature Recipe - Dorra Kebab - Cooked on a smoked silken thread, it is as tender as the Kakori (if not more) with tones of sandal and rose. It is a sandalwood scented lamb mince kebab cooked on a smoked silk thread, the recipe to which is available on Chef's website.

He stated how he considers himself to be an Understated Chef and let his work do the talking, which goes in line with the brand philosophy of Le Creuset. He believed his association with the brand to be a dynamic one, and was looking forward to a great reception of the product and his association by the client base of Le Creuset and his followers alike.

He also said that he believed in the philosophy of भाव का निर्वाह i.e. your mood reflects in your food, on your plate. If you'd be happy, your food would smile back at you, look beautiful and taste delicious.

Chef Ranveer Brar cooked and plated aesthetic, delectable dishes that were prepared in beautiful Le Creuset cookware featuring the following recipes from a specialty cookbook curated by Chef Brar:

  • Achaari Paneer Tikka with Grilled Watermelon

  • Thai Basil Chicken
  • Butter Chicken Slider 

  • One Pot Bean Taco Soup 

  • Red Rice Coconut Pudding Arancini

These gastronomical delights made for a Live Masterclass in the Central Atrium of Select City Walk Mall where guests were able to interact with the chef throughout the session to recreate the magic at home.

Sharing some of the following anecdotes from Chef Ranveer, which are easy to overlook, yet essential to abide by:

  • LAZY Cooks are SMART Cooks. 
  • Presence of Mind and Instinct are two essentials to being a good cook. 
  • Food cooks in its own residual heat. Cook your food till 80-85% and it will keep cooking by itself. 
  • Colors should be used intelligently in Plating, for instance, to create contrast. 
  • While plating, keep in mind that your crockery has a geometry too, has a certain line. If you plate keeping in mind, that line, food will come out aesthetically. Don't scatter your food. 
  • Pineapple and Papaya are high-enzyme foods - must not be paired with milk. 
  • Yogurt = Richness of Milk - Fat of Ghee 
  • Vegetable, Nut, and Seed are the three types of oils that the body requires, in a fair mix, throughout the year. 
  • Non-stick cookware cools faster than it heats. It's best to use a thick-bottomed pan/pot. 

With such an insightful and delicious session coming to a close, I was delighted to take back Le Creuset cookware, in which to attempt to follow Chef's recipes and savor these delicacies yet again.