Follow me on @phoenixinindia

Hello there!

Like many of you know, I am an illustrator and a designer. I design under the banner of The Phoenix Company (www.thephoenixcompany.in). I make doodles, design graphic tees, ethnic jackets, mugs and other stationery. We also have handmade jewellery and stoles. Our stuff is unique, niche and known to win hearts. We ship across India!

So, if you are looking to get some quirky stuff into your life, then head over to our site!

Also, all you lovely people out there can follow my regular updates on my instagram page – @phoenixinindia ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also find the link on my home page.

Here’s a tiny glimpse of the account!

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Follow @phoenixinindia on instagram and visit http://www.thephoenixcompany.in for the products ๐Ÿ™‚

More updates from me on our products and the stuff we make coming up soon! Until then, spread the word and shop away!

A HAPPY NEW YEAR NOTE FROM ME!

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year! ๐Ÿ™‚

2016 has been a busy year. I rarely got time to post content only for my blog except in the last few months. But this year, I promise to be more regular. Many of you have written to me saying that my content is thought-provoking and worth a read. There is no greater joy than having my readers write to me with positive feedback.

So to ensure that all of you have a little something from me more often, I have downloaded the WordPress app. I can now upload snippets and short travel encounters. It makes traveloguing a lot easier too.

I’ll be beginning with some tit-bits from my 2.5 week-long Euro-trip in 2016. What I did, where I went, who I met, what I ate (or rather managed to) and my experiences. If you’re planning a trip there, I hope my travel journeys will be of help to you to avoid the mistakes I made and at the same time, relish the pleasures like I did.

Hope you have an amazing year ahead! Keep reading ๐Ÿ™‚ A big thank you for your support ๐Ÿ™‚

PS: All the photographs on my blog are my own. They are protected by copyright. Please do not download them for any purpose. It is strictly prohibited.

 

UNCERTAINTY

Uncertainty.

They say that change is constant. But whoโ€™re we fooling? Uncertainty is.

It hits you like a cloud burst on a summer morning,

Leaving you numb, shaken and motionless,

Plunging you in blinding darkness.

A parched tongue,

A lump in your throat,

A stomach churn,

A sinking boat.

When the rosy pink turns to a pale white,

You wonder, if it finally was,

Worth the fight.

 

Uncertainty.

The unwanted visitor

Who knocks at your door,

To tell you blatantly,

Family is one less than four.

You pause, you stagger, you scream, you fall,

Whatโ€™s that you said about standing tall?

 

Uncertainty.

Its destiny playing an unfair game,

Forcing you down memory lane.

Taking the road back to home,

Asking you why you live alone?

Urging you to cut the distance,

Trying hard to knock some sense.

Bringing you back to family and friends,

Making you wonder if it had to end?

TO THAT NARROW-MINDED PERSON?

We’ve known each otherย since the time I learnt the alphabet. He’s heard me sing my rhymes animatedly and I’ve seen him zoom around the classroom with a Hot Wheel car. He’s poked fun at me combing my Barbie’s blonde curls and I’ve teased him about his WWF cards and Pokemon tazos. But before you go all ‘awwww’ and assume that this is theย beginning to a cute love story and bring out the popcorn to hear it all, I’m going to burst your bubble. ย He isn’t my boyfriend but my guy best friend. And before your narrow mind brushes it off as being the same thing, stop. Guy best friends exist. They belong to a species different from boyfriends. And their life span is always longer than your romantic relationship.ย  Continue reading

DID THE TUNES SPOIL YOUR MEAL?

Chennai: Delicious food, aesthetic ambience and good service usually make the dining experience worthwhile except for that mild cacophony โ€“ or โ€˜musicโ€™ as they call it – in the background. Blaring tunes, old regional melodies and instrumental songs, nothing spares the cityโ€™s mall goers, movie lovers and foodies. But things may be changing with younger restaurateurs paying closer attention to their playlists.

Bad music is akin to a lingering bitter taste in your mouth after a scrumptious meal. What constitutes good and bad music may be subjective, but most Chennaiites seem to agree that except for a few, not many places take the effort to play pleasant music.

โ€œMost restaurants focus only on food, ambience and service. Music is usually a last minute addition and often includes songs which are a personal favourite of the staff, instead of gauging the crowd,โ€ says music buff Vidyuth Subramanian, who also works in the restaurant industry, adding that customers should also be active listeners rather than pay attention only to familiar tunes.

But there are many elements that go into choosing melodies. โ€œThe songs must suit the ambience and cuisine of a restaurant. If the music is too loud or repetitive or old, it can put off customers,โ€ says Nithin S, music enthusiast and artist manager, recalling how he never returned to a particular restaurant because he didnโ€™t like their music.

Some eateries and malls prefer the โ€˜saferโ€™ choice of instrumental music which is either peppy or melodious. โ€œWhen they use such music, it just shows their lack of interest in choosing tracks,โ€ says Nithin, adding that in cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai restaurateurs invest time in picking songs, understanding its importance in attracting customers.

While some may think that licences and royalties may be the reason for fewer options, members of the Phonographic Performance Limited (Chennai) โ€“ which gives out licenses, say most malls and restaurants renew their licences annually.

Malls take a different route to music. While some like Phoenix Marketcity live streams music from websites like BM Asia, certain others like Express Avenue (EA) change the music according to the time of the day. For instance, in EA, slow instrumental music is played in the morning; retro melodies are broadcast post lunch and fast-paced beats in the evening as more youngsters come then, says Raajrishi Tiwari, general manager โ€“ events, EA. Yet, many visitors say the music scene can be improved especially in multiplexes of these malls.

A handful of malls, bistros and fine dining restaurants stand out for their music. For Praveen Raj, CEO Barbeque Grill, investing in good acoustics was important too. โ€œI change the music depending on the crowd and I have a diverse collection which connects to different audiences,โ€ says Raj, adding that music blogs are a good way for restaurateurs to keep upbeat on trends and select tracks.

Interestingly, many places prefer English songs as they have a wider reach and usually south Indian joints opt for local favourites while their north Indian counterparts choose Bollywood hits.

When live music suits the ambience, it enhances the dining experience. โ€œIn fine dining restaurants like Dakshin at the Crowne Plaza, the traditional instrumental pieces played live by musicians complements the food and ambience,โ€ says M Mohamed Ali, founder, Chennai Food Guide.

Similarly, many customers say weekly solo performances in the evening at places like La Amandier make for pleasant dinners. In fact, customers say making music a crucial factor for rating places can incentivise owners to pay more attention to the tracks.

(Written for the Times of India, Chennai. )

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME?

I pondered over how I want to write this. But there is nothing that struck me. It’s been a month and perhaps the best way to say it, is by keeping it simple and sweet.

Simple questions with simple answers. It all started with a suggestion from one of my blog followers. Since then, it got me thinking.

When was the last time we actually enjoyed life? To pinpoint what enjoy means is definitely a bit hard. But if you had to pick one from the recent past, which incident would you recollect? Continue reading