Apollo White Dental – A Nice Experience

One fine day, I received a call from an unknown number. The lady on the phone was polite and said if I would be interested to go for a dental check-up at Apollo White Dental. All I would have to do is to visit the centre for a check up and write a blog post about my experience. I said that’s wonderful and accepted the offer.

After some confusion on the alloted time – my appointment was slated for 4 Pm finally on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I visited the Kilpauk centre on P.H. Road as it is the easiest centre for me to access from my distant village :)

After an early lunch and two bus-rides later I found myself walking on PH ROad and saw boys walking out of school lost in their own worlds discussing movies, girl friends and ice creams and that’s when I fele a tinge of embarassment that right from grandpas like Digvijay Singh and kids in class ten have girlfriends and like one useless rebel without a cause, I seem to be leading a monotonous existence. OK we seem to be digressing from the essence of the post!! Back to “moti jaise daant”.

So I found the centre after a phone call for directions and walked into a well-designed office. The receptionist was a young gentleman who asked me to sit in the comfortable leather sofa and switched the plasma TV on and asked me to pick any channel while the doctor/dentist was busy attending another patient. In a few minutes the dentist arrived from another consulting room. It was a pleasant experience as I was explained the importance of dental hygiene and had my teeth thoroughly cleaned by a minor process wherein pressurised water and a metallic instrument was used to clean my teeth.

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The dentist said, sir don’t exert so much force while brushing, be gentle! You see brushing my teeth is a ritual. I spend a good ten minutes focusing on my day ahead and as my thoughts race up I exert tremendous pressure on my teeth. I was given two dental creams that are to be applied as a coating after brushing, these will help reduce sensitivity.

The staff are very courteous and knowledgable and I also got to drink a cup of tea! The office and the consulting chambers are well done and are fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment. I really loved the kids suite which had painting from Disney movies on the walls.

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Apollo White Dental redefines dental care with its professionalism and friendly staff. Do take good care of your teeth and visit a dentist once in every six months!

Thank you Influencer Network and Apollo  White Dental!

The Last Bout

I saw him today,
One in a crowd,
Of endless humanity,
Going about its chores.
17 years have gone by.

It was the day,
I called it quits,
And bid adieu,
To the boxing ring.

He wanted me to throw,
Away a bout,
The money was good,
I could have crossed over!

I just let it go,
Stayed true to myself,
Gave it my best shot,
Seven rounds – nothing conclusive.

That day something,
Broke within me,
When the judges were bought,
A verdict that was bitter.

I just let it go,
I walked away,
As he smiled a crooked smile,
I was disgusted at the system.

Disgusted at myself,
I thought I had made,
Peace with myself,
And quit the arc-lights.

Today I saw him,
Standing on the subway,
Wasted and lost,
The typical ‘druggie’.

He reeked of cheap alcohol,
The eyes had a hollow gloom,
He was begging for alms,
The bravado was gone the snicker no longer there!

As I put a coin,
Into his begging bowl,
For a moment I stared into his eyes,
I think he recognized me!

For his face turned red,
He just muttered a curse,
And walked away!
You know the saddest part?

I think he in his penury,
Is content and happy,
While I still chase my inner demons,
Every single day and night!

That my dear friends,
Is the irony of Life!!
No fame no name!
Just some faded memories!!!

“Charlie” – Malayalam Movie Review

Dear readers, wishing all of you a prosperous and joyous 2016 full of good health and cheer!

Name of movie – Charlie
Language – Malayalam
Release year – 2015
Director – Martin Prakaat
Principal Star Cast – Dulquer Salman as Charlie, Parvathy as Tessa, Aparna Gopinath as Kani, Nedumudi Venu as Kunjappan.
Music – Gopi Sundar
Cinematography – Jomon T. John

Dulquer Salman is slowly and steadily carving a place for himself with his sensible choice of movies and inspired acting. Though he is still a long way away from matching the talents of his father – Mammootty, he is on his way to stardom for sure!

“Charlie” is a difficult movie to categorise, part road-movie, part-adventure, part slice of life, quest for purpose in life, romance, love lost and found, the movie mixes lots of elements to serve a delightful gem.

The movie starts with Tessa arriving to attend a family function where her brother is set to be engaged. We learn that she is a rebel of sorts and refuses to acknowledge the proposal of a family-friend from the USA who is incidentally her soon-to-be-sister-in-law’s brother. She runs away to her friend’s place in Kochi and secures accommodation in a flat in the Old Kochi or Fort Kochi area. The flat is full of stuff belonging to the previous occupant. There is sense of mystery as she starts arranging the things in the flat, that’s when Tessa stumbles upon a graphic novel and is drawn into the story. It is about a thief who lands in the flat and meets the occupant of the flat and their adventures over the course of one night! The tale is incomplete and thus starts the fascination of Tessa for Charlie.

Tessa seeks to find out more about Charlie through the various faces sketched as a part of the graphic novel and a fascinating tale of the do-gooder and the lives he touches emerges. I am not going to reveal further spoilers. All I will say is that this is a tale of Tessa seeking Charlie! Does she find Charlie? Who is Charlie? Why is he the way he is? What’s the mystery behind him? What’s his past? Watch the movie!!

Special mention for the cinematographer, the art-direction and the costume designers involved in the project. The kurtas that DS wears and the dresses worn by Parvathy are really great. “Sundari Pennae” is the song that keeps playing in the head!

Worth a watch for the sheer energy of the performances of the star-cast. Nedumudi Venu has a lovely cameo in the movie with a tale of old-school love woven into it. Please go watch the movie!!!

The Best Seller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian

Ravi Subramanian’s – “The Bestseller She Wrote” carries the tag-line – “Love. Betrayal. Redem[tion.” As a reader, what you should note is that these three words are not separated by commas but have periods in between them.

This book was received by the blogger as a part of the “BlogAdda Book Reviews Program” The book has been published by Westland Publishers and is priced at Rs 295 and has 391 pages. The cover of the book has been designed by “Think Why Not” and shows an open book separating a man and a woman. It is as if the book is a by-product of two great minds! As we read the book, we realize how apt the cover is for the title.

For an author who was handed the moniker of being India’s John Grisham for his banking/suspense thrillers; the author takes a shot at romance, as romance and candyfloss tales are setting the cash registers ringing for many publishers across the country.

Aditya Kapoor is an established author with a strong and secure career as a banker. At a ceremony organized at his alma-mater – IIM-Bengaluru, Aditya speaks about a book being a product and a feisty young lady bruises the novelist’s ego with her strong stand on a book being a labour of love and not a product. I for a fact know where this scene started because Ravi was in conversation at the Hindu Lit-Fest where he had a discussion/argument of sorts with novelist Anita Nair (if memory serves me right), Ashwin Sanghi was the moderator!

In true cinema style, the girl Shreya becomes a fan of the novelist after finishing his book overnight and sending an apology/thank you email of sorts to him. Next we have the readers being introduced to the novelist’s wife Maya who works as a teacher in the Dhirubhai Ambani School, she also manages the social initiatives of the group for the upliftment and education of the children in the slums. We learn how the two were batchmates at IIM-Bengaluru and get a brief about their live so far. The two are blessed with a boy Aryan as well.

We are also introduced to another interesting character – Sanjay who is Aditya’s batchmate and now a colleague at work. As I read the book, I felt Sanjay’s character was the one who had a finer tale, perhaps a book centered around Sanjay’s rise, fall, rise, divorce and love and his passion for books, wherein he refuses to let anyone else touch his books would really work wonders!!

Let us return to the tale that the novelist Ravi has woven, we see how in a twist of sorts, Aditya becomes a part of an interview panel and Shreya is hired at the bank and eventually gets to work in Aditya’s team. As usual, the sparks fly and in the guise of seeking assistance in getting her first novel written, a mutual seduction of sorts happens as both the novelist and his protégé fall for each other. The complications that follow, the betrayal that happens and the very convenient illness Ebola that affects Maya and the various twists that follow are presented by the novelist Ravi with ease.

Somehow, I seriously think that the author has let down his genuine fans in an attempt to garner sales with the romantic attempt! There are a couple of lines that I really liked in the book and I reproduce them below:
Life is binary in many ways. There is no way that we can move away from each other slowly and painlessly. It has to be a complete exit.

With the book already carrying a line indicating that it is being going to be made into a movie, one wonders if the novelist was made to make a compromise somewhere! Lovers of romance may enjoy this book for more, but for a chap like me somehow this book does not tick all the right boxes.

Dear Ravi Sir – Awaiting a return to the thriller genre from you soon!

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggestBook Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Heart of Darkness

She sent me a message on Facebook,
Nothing complex, nothing extraordinary,
Just a photo of her wedding invitation.
She had just typed, “please come”.
I loked back at all those memories.
It was a foolish infatuation,
A Lolitaesque craze for a child??
Or was it something deeper?
At the end of the day!
What mattered was religion!
Nativity, language, caste, community!
It is a bitter truth!
I have had to swallow it.
I wish you all the very best.

No drama, no beards, no drinking binges,
Life just goes on,
From one pay-check to another.
Somewhere a part of me died.
When she called me Bhaiyya!
Does life have to be like this!
Can an adult man and woman,
Only be lovers, husband and wife,
Or brother and sister!
Does friendship have no value?
What makes people think!
That after everything!
Calling one as brother or sister!
Solves every problem in between?

In Search of Madras in Chennai

One wonders at the time of writing this post, why the Indiblogger Team seems to have forgotten Chennai completely this year! Nothing of note this year in Chennai Team IB!!

Perhaps the bloggers in this city seem to have been forgotten akin to how the national television channels, very conveniently forgot to highlight the disaster that hit Chennai and Cuddalore earlier this month.

Well let us not digress and come to the crux of this blogging competition being conducted in partnership with Tata Motors, which essentially divides the bloggers in the country into four zones and seeks to award the zones and the bloggers based on the number of posts that are submitted. The contest also asks the participating bloggers to choose a city and state why it is a great place to live, connecting the themes of – Design, Drive and Connect – which are in the DNA of Tata Motors and their cars.

Design of Chennai:
The city of Chennai or Madras as we still choose to call it, because ‘Chennai’ is a city and ‘Madras’ is an emotion and a way of life! From the ancient Kapaleeshwarar Temple and Mylapore around which the cultural hub of the city exists, Fort St. George and the old town that the British set up, the city has gone on extending. Anna Nagar, T.Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Ambattur, AVADI where the defence factories exist and Tambaram; the city is built around the suburban railway network throughout.

Drive of Chennai:
Let’s interpret this in two ways! What drives the city and its folk? An innate desire to stay true to one’s dreams and succeed! This is what brings in people from all over the country and around the world to live here. Be it the man from a remote village in Bihar who ekes out a living here selling pani-puri or the German girl who enrols for a classical dance programme at Kalakshetra; there is a bit of sunshine and joy for everyone. ‘Resilience’ is what is ascribed to Mumbai/Bombay again and again, but the calamity that struck the city recently proved the collective strength of the dwellers of this beautiful city called ‘home’. The night-life is restrained, the people stick to their own thoughts, the heat is terrible, just some thoughts that have been propagated for ages! Come live here, and then you will understand the warmth of the people! It is genuine!

Driving in Chennai:
The scenic East Coast Road or ECR that connects Chennai to Pondicherry is a beautiful stretch that runs along the sea and is a wonderful stretch to drive. The highway to Bangalore is good in most places and is a great drive as well. Traffic jams are there like every metro but not as insane as Bangalore or Mumbai. The roads within the city are fairly good though the rains have ravaged them badly now! But we will be back on track soon!

Connect in Chennai:
Connectivity is ensured by Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses that connect the city with districts as far away as Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram. The suburban train network is the life-line with passenger trains running right up to Nellore, Tirupati and Thirumalpur. Woe betide if the train network faces a problem, thousands will face a problem reporting to work on time!!

Connect with like-minded people, enjoy a music concert, join a book club, participate in a beach cleaning drive, join the Turtle Walk, run a marathon for a cause, join the Chennai Trekkers Club, if you love to blog then join the Chennai Bloggers Club! Go hunting for used books at Moore Market and Triplicane, admire ancient architecture in the temples dotting the city, or enjoy the caramelised popcorn and catch a movie at the Sathyam theatre.

I was born in Calcutta but by a twist of sorts landed up here and have lived here for 18 years now! I am a Madrasi and proud of that! Though the ‘Bangali’ in me will always stay, this is the city that made a boy into a man and taught him the harsh realities of life and taught him to forge on in life and I shall always remain grateful to this city for that!

Visit the Tata Motors website – http://www.madeofgreat.tatamotors.com! Cars that are designed for a great city of a great country!

The Andhra Mess – A Legacy of Affordable Food

Andhra cuisine and now with the state being bifurcated food from Telanganana and the distinctly different area of Rayalseema is a mix of rich colours and vibrant flavours. From sattvic cuisne of rice, lentils and vegetables to fiery, tangy fish fries and tender-cooked chicken there is a huge variety on offer.

As we all know a majority of the IT crowd that functions in Chennai is supported by thousands of young men and women from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Across Chennai and you will fund small functional resturants with the tag – “Andhra Mess”. The name is written in English, Telugu and Tamil. These are quick lunch and dineer places offering limited and unlimited meals.

The decor is spartan, one does not worry about lighting and fancy designs on the table cloth or bottled water and costly imported cutlery. There are plane simple plastic tables and chairs, some places just have plastic stools. The food is served on a banana leaf, there is the paruppu podi, oil, salt and pickle on every table. Rice gets served, this is followed by one vegetable curry mostly brinjal, a semi-solid vegetable stew, sambhar, rasam, and a cup of curd. Earlier people used to get one round appalam, with rising costs everyone seems to have settled for the small fryums. The slightly better-off estblishments add a cup of payasam to the menu.

Some establishments give their customers the choice to add an omelette or chicken curry to the meals at an additional cost!

All in all the costs range from Rs 60 to Rs 80. Safe and sound eating places, no harm to the tummy or the wallet! The Andhra Mess is an integral part of life in Chennai it is a massive boon to bachelors who have come here to eke out a living.

What are you waiting for? head out to your nearest Andhra Mess for a satisfying meal :)