Tushar Gargava

An ardent reader, writer and fervid admirer of quality music.

| Author's Blog

First Read: “Complete/Convenient” Ketan Bhagat’s Debut

If we talk about the newest generation of our country, we’d find that a majority of enthusiastic youth dream to settle down somewhere in abroad, even if for pursuing higher studies. Something about this idea never fails to excite the ambitious. But is this opinion well founded? Is it really a dream life out there? This is the idea that Ketan Bhagat’s novel Complete/Convenient deals with and takes you through the interesting journey of Kabir, the protagonist in the story.

By the way, for those wondering who is Ketan Bhagat? Let me introduce him. Ketan Bhagat is a typical 35 year old middle class common man living in Mumbai. And, he also happens to be the younger sibling of India’s one of the most successful writers, Chetan Bhagat.

About his book, Ketan has opined on the lines that he has been inspired by the real life incidents. The story is about a working chap turning his life to face an entirely new set of challenges when he gets transferred to Australia. [..]

Twilight Saga’s Gorgeous Conclusion

Rating: 7/10

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner

Movie Reviewed at: PVR Cinemas


Only the rare few devoted fans who sat through the credits of the first part and the book readers knew that the Volturi was returning in the ultimate part of the series. And boy they sure were excited! Twilight series is best known for the controversies it has churned by being incredibly popular among teenagers yet being abysmally poor in the quality of grandiosity it appears to offer. This part, though, can be called the best attempt the team has made so far in the series. The actors have got a little better, the music has finally transformed to a background score as opposed to a random playlist of numbers and the director has learned to focus on the things that matter, which is apparent in the first shot of the film when Bella wakes up from being dead. The editing still is very poor, but that can be easily ignored. [..]

[Food Review] A Silent Retreat at Hariyali Restaurant

In the left bend of the perpendicular lane down the Gulab Bagh is located a beautiful cozy restaurant by the name, Hariyali. Most of the localites already recognize the restaurant and its name is marked in the list of favorites of many among them.

Hariyali restaurant is an open garden plus a dining hall venture, featuring a mini playground for the active kids. The kitchen is well away from the seating area and the cleanliness is an asset that registers at first sight.

We were two of us and immensely chatty that day. We talked to the manager as we ordered the food. To be frank, we only wanted to know when they do start preparing Gajar Ka Halwa and which are the best weeks to enjoy it. In our defense: it’s a dish that’s very rare to find in a Menu! [..]

[Movie Review] Skyfall: The Bond hits back

Director: Sam Mendes Stars: Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem and Naomie Harris

Movie Reviewed at PVR Cinemas, Udaipur


Ever since we’ve been watching movies, the name ‘James Bond’ has stuck with us for an overwhelming amount of time and at a curious level of supremacy. The most superior style statement casually thrown in with a blend of chic action stunts and visually stunning frames replete with intense gallantry and loyalty towards the country is what makes Bond the most ideal agent.

Amidst the speculations arising by Sam Mendes being the director and the disastrous appeal of Quantum of Solace, the new sequel breaks the heavy suffocating chains of traditionalism and rises up to greet the ardent Bond followers with a new fashion.

Daniel Craig showcases the most beautiful interpretation of the character everyone puts faith in and etches the perfect facade of cavalrous attitude Bond is known for against a former agent turned villain Javier Bardem. Ralph Fiennes, featuring as the Chairman of Intelligence and Security Committee makes an appearance that becomes very prominent by the end. [..]

[Restaurant Review] Quick Bite at Mini Meals

Mini Meals, a new endeavor by Biryani House is located at Chetak Circle. The restaurant’s aim is to provide fixed thali/platter with food quantity that would suffice an ordinary meal intake.

We chose to sit in Biryani House’s dining hall, which is a big let down for a Pure Veg if there are people dining inside.

The hall is closely packed with tables and chairs and is devoid of ventilation which directly means that you have to breathe in Chicken aroma while trying to enjoy your Kadhai Paneer.

A person can also choose to eat by the outlet itself because the lunch is a hurried one, providing mini version of a filling thali. They also offer a-la-carte for those who like customizing their choices.

The waiters use a sealed water bottle to fill the glasses and are extremely humble while talking. The vintage photographs of Udaipur City hanging on the pale walls also attempt to make one feel like they belong. [..]

[Restaurant Review] Caramel: Off the City’s din

Travelling is excellent for a dull heart. Spending quality time with nature not only helps physically, but has a great impact on the mind as well.

This, I understood well, after I stepped in the gateway of Aravali Tent Resort.

The rough unkempt path to the entrance isolated at lunchtime is both charming and alarming at the same time. Locals know the resort as ‘That Tenthouse place’. And thank goodness, I knew the alias because searching for ‘Caramel Restaurant’ was proving to be unsuccessful. [..]

The Oriental Brunch at Wok by The Lake

Sometimes it is when we’re surprised that we are gifted with the most amazing co-incidences. I say this because along with the Food Review of WOK by the Lake at Hotel Sheraton, I have an amusing story to share.

We were exploring our way to the Hotel on our own cobbling through the residential lanes and were truly grateful for the manual activity when we had the chance to watch a troop of deaf school students get on a bus managing their feat with no sound at all. It was the first time I’d ever seen a school so quiet!

Later disheartened by the slow progress we were making, we asked for directions from a well-built, natty young man who chimed in that his was the same destination and guided us for whatever was left of the small journey. It was not until later that we were to realize that we were going to meet this man again!

Sheraton is one of those structures that are shockingly beautiful but hidden smartly from the humdrum of the city. The entire arrangement is such that it overlooks the sprawling Fatehsagar lake . The guard at the gate marks the first checkpoint, which, surprisingly, let us through without a security check. [..]

Metro Man and Dream Girl conferred PhD in Singhania University

Dream Girl Hema Malini and the Metro Man Dr E Sreedharan accepted their Doctorates in Philosophy yesterday along with 255 BTech and 27 MBA students at the 2nd Convocation Ceremony in Sir Padampat Singhania University.

The University conferred degrees to their 2008 BTech batch and 2010 MBA batch. Gracing the stage, the panel seated consisted of Chancellor and Chairman- Yadupati Singhania, Vice-Chancellor – P C Deka, President – Ashok Ghosh and Vice-President- Rinu Ghosh.

The Guest of Honor were: Dr John Christensen Chancellor, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA; Prof. H Shimada President, Chiba University of Commerce, Japan. [..]

Fresher’s Day Celebration at Singhania University

Sir Padampat Singhania University hosted Orion’s Night ’12, a cultural program yesterday in accordance with the Freshers’ Day celebration.

The most awaited attraction being the selection of Mr and Miss Personality, the evening consisted of a slew of dance numbers and band performances to welcome the students.

The evening started at 7pm with the arrival of the band ‘Jobless Workers’. The talented and extremely popular band revived old memories with jams like Shaktiman intro song, Vande Mataram and classic olds like Kali Kali Akhein and Om Shanti Om. Following the band were two solo singing acts and two dance acts till the Dinner break.

funky-freaks

The program resumed with the same energy and excitement as the night continued and presented the first round of Mr and Miss Personality Competition. The ten contestants went through two question-answer rounds, where in the first one, they had been fired questions at in quick succession for limited time, while in second round, they were asked a single question each, by the judge.

The results, which were announced later, awarded the witty and sharp Nandit Gupta with the title of Mr Fresher and the zealous Suchismita Dey with the title of Miss Fresher. [..]

Death by Chocolate @ The Chocolate Room

My love for chocolates is unprecedented and unmatched.  I’d once read that chocolate can increase serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain and act as an anti-depressant when consumed.  And since then, I’ve known that the author of this fact is the only person in the world who admires chocolate more than me!

I’ve been keeping off The Chocolate Room for quite a while because I’d heard it from ‘the little birds’ that TCR is still developing and they need improvement.  After 10 months now, I finally made up my mind to pay them a visit.

Before the review I want to share some personal developments.

Someone once suggested (offline) that because I talk to the Manager and Staff while placing an order, I get excellent treatment and the food is prepared with increased caution for me.  I did speculate on the thought and have given up the practice of introducing myself to the restaurant staff.

Now all they get is the courtesy of witnessing a classic event where a silent and seemingly insane person visits their restaurant with a chaperone, plays with the food, models it to click some weird photos, writes remarks in a short notepad with a serious face and leaves the restaurant with a smile to the Manager.  One restaurant exploded in the middle of the process accusing me of stealing their Menu and recipe.  I had to calm them down by revealing my true intentions before carrying on with the task!

This is the reason why the readers might have noticed the sudden decrease in background information about the owner and the restaurant’s future plans.  I want to apologize for the inconvenience caused, if any, and state that this is how it must go to determine the true quality of the food.

Back to the topic! The Chocolate Room inhabits the burly part of the Madhuban society where the big shot banks are located.  This franchise is part of The Chocolate Room chain of cafes located around the globe.  It was time our Udaipur had one for itself!

The Room is actually small, cozy and comfortable with seating arrangement limited to 20 individuals at a time.  This is a sign of confidence about the service and also eases the staff to provide better quality.

We were two of us and were immediately talked to by the waiter who handed us the Menu.  The restaurant was completely empty save us at noon.  The Menu was exhaustive and descriptive.  Each item had an accompanying text to make it easier to be understood.  We conferred quickly and started ordering with snacks and ended with a shake and a sundae. [..]