Saturday, 31 May 2014

Tulip-mania in Singapore!

Beautiful Tulips.
The beauty of Singapore is that though it is a small place with limited resources but it has unlimited planning and execution will. It is called a Tiny Red dot on the World map but if you happen to visit the place there are plenty of ‘must-see’ locations here. One of them is the Garden’s By The Bay.

It is built on a 100 hectare of reclaimed land to transform Singapore from ‘Garden City’ to ‘City in a Garden’. International competition was held back in 2006 to design the master plan. Today it boasts beautiful themed Horticulture, two conservatories - Flower Dome and Cloud Forest and Supertrees Groves. The place is considered as an outing place for urban social class. Various initiatives are taken round the year to keep the entertainment and fun quotient high for the local people. One such even is the Tulipmania started in the year 2013.

We happen to visit it this year and it was a delight to see so many Tulips of different colours and species under one roof flown directly from Netherlands. Miniatures of Netherland, Tulips gardens, Windmills, houses in Netherlands where for show and was quite a refreshing one.

It was certainly a delight for photographers for exploring different camera modes and lenses and projections. To our surprise, there was queue of roughly 20 minutes inside the dome to view the tulip arrangements but it was worth the wait. If you are planning to go there next, try a weekday!

Here are some of the pics that I took during our visit:

Windmill with Yellow Tulips.

Miniature of Neatherland house with Tulips.

Breath-taking view!

Monday, 26 May 2014

Bikanerwala - Tasty & Value for Money!

Mouth-watering Deluxe thali served with Sewai Kheer.
If somebody visits same restaurant 5 times in 10 days, either it is too cheap, situated in close proximity or too good. For Bikanerwala, it is the last case.

Located in Little India, in a narrow lane, this place has never disappointed me. I have been here with my family (twice), with friends (thrice) and enjoyed my own company a couple of times, till now. And I am not done with it. It is always on my cards when I am hungry and want to eat good, variety and a lot!

You get what you see on the images. Food quality is high and have been improving ever since I came first time here. Taste is awesome if you are a North-Indian food lover. They offer wide range of cuisine from Chinese, Quick bites, Indian Continental, etc. Various combos are also available which is value for money. Range of sweet is wide and you would feel as if you are standing in a sweet shop in India, though I found the sweets priced at a higher side.

What to try: Veg Burger is good. Raj Kachori, Samosa, Dhokla, all good. Various Chat options are there which are worth a try atleast once.

But the best part here, for me, is the North Indian thali that is worth the money. For SGD 10, you get a wholesome delicious meal. I get craving to get back here and have the platter again and again. Authentic whole wheat (aata) Tandoori roti and Dal Makhani are worth mentioning along with other food items.

Some of pics of food I tried here:

Executive thali with amazing hot and fresh Roti, Pakoda Kadhi and other stuff.

One of the Snacks display counter. It is full of variety of Dhoklas, Samosas, Kachoris, Pani Puri, etc.
Fresh and irrestible!

Special Sweet from Executive thali.

Location: 1 Dalhousie Lane, Little India, Singapore 209664

Ambience: Normal, nothing heavy or extra ordinary.
Price: Reasonable considering quality and quantity.
Quality: Good.
Quantity: Sufficient.
Taste: You will love it.
Service: Responsive to customers.
Rating: 7.5 - Good place for casual lunch/ dinner and Snacking.

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: Sometimes I feel, we Indians are too much fussy about having 5 different types of breads (rotis), 4 different types of vegetables (Sabjis), rice, dal to complete a meal! And then I feel, what is life for? To have good, delicious, variety of dishes, each time to eat!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

…ting ting ting and my Nokia battery dried up!

…ting ting ting and my Nokia battery dried up. I forgot to charge my cellphone the other day and did not carry charger with me.

The moment I heard the dying sound of my cell, I knew I was in trouble. I was hesitant to ask for a charger since I already knew the responses I would get. If you don’t have an iPhone or a Samsung high-end phone, you are considered as outdated. Reluctantly, I did ask office colleagues only to confirm that my thoughts were correct.

“Buddy we belong to Apple family now!” with some chuckle came most of the replies.

That took me back to those days, not too long ago, may be a 4 years back when you never had to worry about carrying a charger if you had Nokia phones. It was a universal handset for communicating with people around the world. The acceptance and usage was so much so that you would find a Nokia charger hanging perpetually in every room of a house belonging to each member of that house. Even while traveling on train, only first person had to put a charger in plug and then only the handsets use to get changed turn by turn.

Nokia truly connected people. Especially in India, it has taught people how to communicate on mobile phones. It came with a standard Menu Options and varieties of phones at different price points. It was a common saying that if you bought a Nokia phone, you never had to buy another one. Throw it from table, give it to kids to play, nothing would happen. That was the kind of sturdy display and durable handset Nokia use to offer. It worked in its favor and people opted for Nokia for its simple to use and longitivity it offered. Back then mobile phone was primarily used for talking, sending sms messages, listening Radio and finding Cricket scores from the service providers. Few high ends had radio, 2-3 Megapixel camera and limited music space.

Samsung was one of the key competitors in Indian markets but was always second to Nokia in all respect. It came with a black coloured rectangular box kind of bulky handset. LG, Sony Ericson and other did exist but were not among the preferred ones. Apple iPhone was perceived as a ‘very costly’ phone and meant only for the so called rich class.

In 2007, Steve Jobs showed the world what a cell phone could do beyond talking. And the world never remained the same.  Samsung was quick enough to realize the market trend and re-aligned its portfolio. Samsung created handsets with iPhone-like features and flooded market with variety of them at every price point. Google introduced Android, sophisticated, Open source mobile operating system. USP for mobile phones was shifting from hardware to software. It mattered more as to what the phone was carrying inside the small rectangular box.

Social behavior was responsive creating a new trend. The world no longer looked for longitivity or durability in a handset. Consumers wanted to swipe on the screen with their fingers and unlock phones instead of pressing ‘Unlock + *’. ‘Touch screen’, ‘High resolution camera’, sharing and connecting with ‘Facebook’, easy access to Twitter, GPS became new minimal to-have features for a phone. ‘App’ (Applications) became new buzz word. It simplified life of people drastically. From being a personal device, mobile phones became a medium for social connect.

The world of technology changes so rapidly that between the time I thought writing this post to the time actually putting it on paper, Nokia as a handset company seizes to exist. It will henceforth be recognized as Microsoft Mobiles.
Companies need to be more innovative and cannot depend on its existing products forever. Innovation is at the heart of technology, rewriting the history each day.  If companies cannot innovate from scratch, it should at least try for what we call in marketing parlance – ‘a second movers advantage’.

Blame Steve Jobs for changing the rules of the game or Nokia’s inability to embrace the new trend of App world, the company which dominated the handset market with a very high brand recall, no longer exist and all this in a matter of 4-5 years.

The once abundantly found Nokia chargers no more hang in drawing rooms of house. I must admit that I take out my handset from pocket only when it rings, when in public. 9.5 people out of 10 are found with an Apple or a Samsung product including school going kids. Despite this fact, I am happy with my phone because I don’t spend much time using it, only as required. It offers camera, wassup, sms and I can make and receive calls. O yes, it is a touch screen phone with a QWERTY keypad. This helps me spending more time with my kid and family rather than hooked to phone with virtual people.

fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: Use product and love people and not vice-versa. I know few of my colleagues who don’t use mobile phones at all, I would say that is the best way to live!


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