Monday, March 3, 2008

Show me the money

Its one thirty in the morning, im sitting at home sipping on the last of some lovely cherry vodka from Poland courtesy my friend Michel, wondering why im sitting here at home by myself on a Saturday night and not at Pmatka filling the place with 100 party deprived Hyderabadies. Words, keep repeating themselves in my head over and over again. “Don’t promote this place as an after-party place sudeip” “It’s too much of a risk sudeip”. He’s probably right I tell myself, but what business isn’t a risk goddammit. I put my heart into the place and I want this place to make money and be successful so you need to understand that it kills me to switch my phone off not wanting to take another call and explain to another guest willing to spend anywhere between 3-5 grand that the place shut at 11:30 when we could have easily run it till 4 in the morning.

There’s no extent to the risk I would take to ensure a place does well. I’ve had a bottle broken on my head only to put it behind me and come back for another Saturday night albeit bruised but a little wiser. But then again, for countless reasons I fail to understand, there are times where your hands are just tied too tight and you have to restrain your emotions. I’d promised myself after my last experience with being part of a restaurant, not to get into the same situation again. But here I am again.

I knew 4 people when I first arrived to Hyderabad, all of whom studied with me in school. But I told myself that everybody here would know me in a year. 6 months on and there are probably very few people who party that don’t know where Pmatka is. I cant be blamed for where its located, and the fact that its not a regular party destination but when u see an opportunity, albeit a risky one to promote a place that’s open till 5 in the morning when everything around you shuts at 12, you don’t let it pass by you, you grab it and squeeze all you can out of it.

I agree that it’s not something you can keep doing, primarily because it invites the wrath of other club owners who also would want to keep their establishment open till the wee hours of the morning. But here we are, unknowns in a city with established local restaurateurs doing something very few other people dare to do. Its funny when people walk up and ask what political connections we have or if it’s a cop that’s running the place and they are pleasantly surprised to find people with no influence whatsoever doing something as risky as this. I would do this for as long as it takes, but then again….its not really in my hands now is it.

Free publicity is something that you would never want to turn down. From some of the best Dj’s in the country sitting by your bar at 2 in the morning requesting you to let them play, to some of the south’s finest actors and models dancing on your floor with the crowd all looking on whispering….THIS PLACE ROCKS!!! All I can say is that it’s immensely gratifying to head home early the next day and sleep with a smile knowing you had another successful night only wondering when this run would end. Well ladies and gentlemen, it just probably has. There’s always another place looking to pick up what we leave behind, and the party animal is always on the prowl for that other place that is going to satisfy his hunger for dance, drink and make merry. Its time I need to step back and head home. It’s probably just temporary anyways and a good thing we stopped the after party before something really serious happened anyway. But I guess only time will tell. I would love to be proved wrong and walk into the place at 3 in the afternoon to find people waiting outside desperate to get in, or have to shut the gates at 10 on a Saturday evening because I cant accommodate any more people. I would probably be at my happiest. But till that time, all I can say is that I wish I knew how much longer I’d have been able to pull this off. I’m leaving this city with fond memories and new found friendships. Home is where the heart is, and this city isn’t quite home yet. Goodnight Hyderabad. I’ll be back to take you on again…..

“Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones and I will try to fix you”…not really relevant, but it’s the ending of a song I was just listening to.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Phones to die for!!

Some of this years most anticipated phones......
Im saving up for this phone...too beautiful

Sony Ericsson has, along with a couple of other models, released the XPERIA X1. This multimedia/communication combo phone has an "arc slider," which means you can slide the screen sideways to bring out the full-QWERTY keyboard. The rumor mills say Sony Ericsson has outsourced the manufacture of the model to HTC

The front features a 3-inch WVGA (800 x 480) touchscreen display. In a first for Sony Ericsson, this model will run the Windows Mobile operating system with Outlook and Office Mobile. The user interface can be operated either by the touch interface, an optical joystick, a 4-way navi-pad, or the QWERTY keyboard.

Connectivity options come in the form of Wi-Fi, 3.5G HSDPA/HSUPA, and aGPS. A 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera sits at the back. The 400 MB of internal memory can be expanded via microSD cards. The XPERIA X1 weighs around 145 gm and is 16.7 mm thick.

The phone is expected to get to store shelves in some regions around the world by the second quarter of 2008. No word on pricing yet.
(Review Source: WWW.TECHTREE.COM

Polymer Vision announced the Readius mobile phone with a display as large as two business cards. In other words the Dutch company R&D department has managed to squeeze a screen with twice the surface area of Apple iPhone in a device not much larger than most mobiles around.
The 3G HSDPA-enabled tri-band Readius mobile has a sparkling 5" display that can be folded so the phone takes the dimensions of 115 x 57 x 21mm.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Up Close and Personal - The Great Indian Medical System

In the sick room, ten cents' worth of human understanding equals ten dollars' worth of medical science. ~Martin H. Fischer
One of the many perils of running your own pub/bar/nightclub is the more than occasional drunken brawl. Though i have 9 times out of 10 managed to stay away from the intoxicated argument and let my manager handle it. yesterday was when that 1 time came looking for me. Its 5 in the morning and we've successfully managed to be the only place in hyderabad open so late ( the dead-line is 11:30). My guests are happy, alcohol is flowing off the bar, the till is filling up faster than ever before and im generally in a super mood. Last song, announces Nash our brilliant DJ and its quiet time. Guests dragging themselves out slowly one by one. When all of a sudden a guy brushes against a girl which in 5 minutes escalates into a comunal argument. Well sensing that the argument would soon escalate into something a lot more violent, i decide to step in.......

So what started of as a peaceful Saturday night ended with two groups out for blood. Now it’s always best to let people decide how many times they want to stab kick punch beat each other outside your establishment. Its best not to let the other guests bear witness to the fight, also this creates bad publicity for the place. So we’re shutting the place down and im told that somebody’s taken a couple of skewers from our tandoor and run down to the fight, somebody’s going to die and im running down. My manager and I manage to settle the argument and they were both set to leave when a totally unrelated group decides to get into the middle of the action. They don’t know who we are so they start abusing us, and now we’re running after them trying to get them to stop. A bottle broken on your head is just how the movies show it. I would never imagine anybody going down, because in the movies all the countless times when I’d seen people passing out from a bang on the head, I’ve always laughed and said it’s not possible. But when that bottle hit my head, everything goes quiet, there’s just this constant ringing sound and I hit the pavement. I get up almost instantly to find my face and neck wet, I assume it’s the beer from the bottle and look up to see srinivas my manager running after him. I manage to pull myself up and start hitting the first person I see, my staff pull me aside and I look at my manager crying in one corner. Its only then do I realize the blood on my hands and im wondering why srinivas is covered in blood. Looking closer only then do I realize that in an attempt to flee, the assailant swung the bottle only to find his neck. It was a deep cut, and the blood just didn’t stop.

In all this we manage to find an auto that would take us there(considering we both stood there bleeding at 5 in the morning with 4 autos stop, only to zoom off looking at the amount of blood we’re covered in. so we reach the hospital and we’re rushed to the ER immediately. Srinivas needed to be rushed to the operating theater and I needed someone to clean the cuts on my head. “I’m sorry” says the doctor in charge, “Please pay 10000 Rs and only then will I admit you two in”. Wow, this was straight out of a Hindi movie, the wounded begging to be treated and the doctor, following some dub protocol refusing to do so. Well I started abusing them, cursing them and srinivas followed suit shouting. I told them “you’ll have the money in an hour, just treat us” They got the guards to throw us out. I can hardly walk, srinivas has almost passed out. We leave for the next hospital. Fortunate the next hospital we reach, rushes us in and starts treatment. They cleaned us up but said that we needed to operate on srinivas immediately. I reasoned and told them to start, id be back in half an hour with the money. Bless the doctor, he rushed him straight in. I ask our man Friday ramu to run to the restaurant and get the money. He’s back in an hour. Its almost 8 and I wobble out of the hospital on my way home. Want to get out of these blood stained clothes, have a shower and cup of coffee and pass out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


I was just going thorough a mail my dear friend kenneth just sent me. Its about the movie Ratatouille which he watched with brother Keegan this week. It's about a rat with aspirations of becoming a chef. Ken has included in his mail this concluding speech by the food critic, won over by the rat's cooking.

It is something that everybody whos faced criticism in his or her life can relate to.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: Anyone can cook. But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The Bird loves travelling. Its something i've always enjoyed. Since ive started work, theres always been something or the other thats come in the way of my travel. Money mostly. So ive decided to set up the HELP ME TRAVEL account, where I have consciously decided to deposit 40$ everymonth towards a future travel fund. I'm expecting a lot of help from everybody on the internet. From 10cents to a dollar and upward. Its not the amount but the thought. So thank you all in advance for helping me see the world!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The 10Best & 10Worst

I love cinema. Most people(broadly speaking) would stick to or shun a movie based on actors, genre, language, director, IMDB rating, colour/black & white, year etc. But i watch them all irrespective of the moans, the groans and the thousand insults i get after getting a group to go and watch a movie. My last memorable insult was when I coaxed my friends to come watch Stephen Kings Dreamcatcher. If you've seen the movie or plan on seeing it, you'll understand the related abuses after we finished watching the movie.

Ive been meaning to put together a list of the 10 best and the 10 worst movies ive had the pleasure of watching. Im going to start with the 10 worst in no order of how badly they suck, cos they all suck. Let me know what you think. Putting up one right now, the rest to follow tommorrow

Experiments in Torture

I think this is one was made by a blind screen writer and deaf music composer and a retarted director with a group of busty/dumb primates for actors. They've effectively managed to use cinema as a medium to torture the audience. When i picked the dvd with the saw/hostel like poster, i was immediatly curious. Turn the dvd around and the synopsis sings of a group of woman being tortured in ways too graphic to imagine, stuff that would put saw and hostel to shame. "A breakthrough" some dumb asshole reporter from some bankrupt newspaper was quoted as saying on the cover. Well as soon as it starts, im telling myself "fucked up movie, fucked up movie" and that should have been advice well taken but i pushed on waiting for the movie to save itself. never happened. This movie wouldnt shock a 90 year old with a heart ailment. Stupid bimbos running around, getting stoned or drunk. Then getting tortured by some lame ass bad guy with a mask on his face. I remember waking up to the credits... thats how bad it was

9 isnt the best time to start

"I'm going to sleep after the next 10 pages" i keep telling myself. But i reach page 40 and before you know it, my squint tell me its 4 in the morning. I pay my maid a daily wage, so you can understand her determination to clean my room and my frustration when i hear her knock non stop at 8 in the morning to get in. I slowly drag myself out of bed to let her in, crawl back in again and supervise her in my comatose state. half an hour passes and i close the door behind her. My warm bed calls out to me like a nymph that's never satisfied and i so desperately want to give in to her.

"One quick cold shower sudeip" I keep repeating to myself and run into the bath. its 8:45 and I'm out of the bath, fresh as i can be, Louis Armstrong softly playing in the background telling me what a beautiful world I'm walking out into. I would love to finish the song, but i rudely remind myself that i need to be at the restaurant before everybody else and so I'm out of my room half hopping getting my shoes on.I don't exercise and so satisfy my latent urge to exercise everyday by walking down 4 floors to reach a fleet of gleaming "autos" all waiting to take me to work. You see, I'm very short-tempered and the auto rickshaws in Hyderabad and their insane drivers 9 times out of 10 very sweetly tell you to go fuck a tree cos he dosen't feel like taking you. I end up catching an auto with an sweet old man behind the wheel and after a bit of emotional blackmail about how he's taking advantage of the fact that nobody else wants to take me, and that he looks like a god fearing man and if his son were urgently looking for an auto would he want his son to be denied the way he's denying me, you see, thankfully sometimes i love the fact that we run very high on emotions and so I'm off to work.

Most people who come to India for the first time either love autos or are left terrified vowing never to sit in one again. I for one love the fact that there are no doors and you adjust your weight depending on where he's turning so you don't fall off, but all in all its something i love doing every morning. Another things about autos in general are that 9 times out of 10 the fare meter is rigged. its one small disc inside that they change( you look at the number of security seals on a meter and you wonder how) and that makes it jump all the more faster. its sounds like your heart rate if you had a naked buxom blond sitting next to you in the auto every day waiting to satisfy your every desire. Over trial and error, i usually use the "I'm your friend" trick to get past paying more. Emotions run high here and we just love to talk, so i usually start with a random issue. In fact for the past month Ive been using an issue that is very dear to all my fellow auto drivers hearts..... the replacement of the old meters with tamper free electronic ones, something a majority have resisted but have now had to adopt. I start by saying "I dont think you should change your meters". Thats all i need to say, i have conversation albeit one way for the entire duration of my journey. All i do is nod and before you know it im at work paying the exact fare instead of the 6-10 Rupee mark up on most autos.

I LOVE IT!! My first post...