We’ve known each other 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 the beginning to a cute love story and bring out the popcorn to hear it all, I’m going to burst your bubble. 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. Continue reading
If it is a random personal experience that I want to talk about or anything that is unrelated with the other themes I write about, then you will find it here.
2015 in review
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,200 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
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 – or ‘music’ as they call it – in the background. Blaring tunes, old regional melodies and instrumental songs, nothing spares the city’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.
“Most 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,” 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. “The 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,” says Nithin S, music enthusiast and artist manager, recalling how he never returned to a particular restaurant because he didn’t like their music.
Some eateries and malls prefer the ‘safer’ choice of instrumental music which is either peppy or melodious. “When they use such music, it just shows their lack of interest in choosing tracks,” 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) – 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 – 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. “I change the music depending on the crowd and I have a diverse collection which connects to different audiences,” 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. “In fine dining restaurants like Dakshin at the Crowne Plaza, the traditional instrumental pieces played live by musicians complements the food and ambience,” 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
STAND-UPISM: THE STAND UP TEES – PART II
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Sat down for too long? Well, be a part of the new era – StandUpism. Stand Up against injustice, violence and inequality. Buy the Stand Up collection today!
These t-shirts come with a strong message. They are thought-provoking and ensure that whoever reads your tee, takes back something to ponder on. They are unique since they combine design with a message. It is the right balance of quirk with meaningful design. These t-shirts are unisex and a must-add to your collection.
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Marylin And Ella
A nice gesture 🙂
When Marilyn Monroe learned that the Mocambo, a popular Hollywood night club, would not book Ella Fitzgerald because of segregation, Marilyn phoned the manager and told him that she would reserve a front row table every night that Ella performed there, knowing that her presence would get a lot of press and publicity for the club. As per usual the colour green shouted louder than any other colour issue and Ella became the first African-American to perform at the Mocambo.
As promised, Marilyn was seated right up front to enjoy her favorite singer.
Did you know that?
My sister rang the bell from downstairs. I was on the floor above. I ran to the stairs and asked her what it was. She told me the cart had come. I could hear the characteristic tune of Sai Baba’sbhajans ringing from the street. It was the cart indeed. I wore my slippers and went out. Continue reading