In the deep blue sky are millions of stars,And on this green land are only a few stars,
To know more about the twinklin star,we all gape using a telescope,
To know more about this shinning star. All you have is my blogspot in your scope

Welcome to the ROMANTIC brackets of { Vinuthan }

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pack me

Time to travel? Happy Journey. Confused as to what Items to purchase? Checking out with friends/ colleagues/ HR for details? Missed few things to carry...hmmm. Relax, you are at the right place at the right time. This article should definitely help you.

Well, Years back when I travelled for the first time, I remember asking my friends, my managers, HR and people around me as to what to take. I did a search in google too. Getting information is a very tough and tiring task. It is very stressful too. Let me help de-stress yourself. 

Based on the experience and information gathered I have prepared a checklist and I believe it has helped me a lot, saved my time and mostly reduced the stress. Just take a print and start purchasing and packing. The checklist prepared has helped many colleagues and friends of mine too. 
You get most of these items in stores like Walmart. But sometimes it is all about saving some penny. We get into this mindset of multiplying $ * Rs whenever we buy things in US and then end up telling "Na, I don't want to buy" Don't we?
When you are on a short term (3 month term or on B1) travel, the trick is to carry more food items and get more gift items when you return.
First thing you need to do is buy a good bag (2 Samsonite). Most companies pay for these when you travel for the first time. When you buy the bag, make sure you buy a unique bag (by color or style) so that it is easily identifiable when you search them @ Baggage claim or else tie some satin ribbon around. Make sure you weigh the bag and is < baggage limit. Also do not lock the bag. Sometimes they break open for security reasons.
I have categorized and put across various items that you may want to carry.
Food Items:

Note: All need to be packed food item and no seeds. Glass items are risky. Use your food coupons here wisely

Visit you store http://www.spencersretail.com/http://www.foodworld.net/main/index.html or Reliance Fresh outlets.

Personal Items

All these need to be carried in checked-in bag.

Get into http://www.spencersretail.com store to use your coupons


Make sure to carry one pair of casual and formal wear in your cabin bag. Sometime arrival of baggage may get delayed.


If possible declare all these items when you leave airport so that when you come back there are no custom issues.

Rush to http://www.nike.com; http://www.reebok.com; http://www.adidas.com; http://www.shoppersstop.com and many more outlets


Make sure that one copy of passport and itinerary is kept in each of the bags you carry.
Keep all your documents in the cabin bag. Make sure all the bags are tagged in airport.
Take medicines that you think is very important for you. Would not list items here as it is personal to many and vary.
Hope this article is useful to the readers. Do provide your feedback to improvize the article.

Printable format can be downloaded @
Other interesting articles that you may also want to look at

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Eating with Banana Leaf

Let me write an interesting topic today that struck my mind while eating...."Eating Banana Leaf". Oops sorry...I have not gulped the word "WITH", let me call it "Eating with Banana Leaf". 

It is Very common in South India to have food with banana leaves. Banana Tree is called as the Kalpavriksha. Traditionally brahmins have their breakfast, lunch and dinner with banana leaves...most of us now have in ceremonies and in temples.

At times in ceremonies, my MOM asks me to help my relatives in serving the food. GRRRRRRRRR....would be my first reaction and would feel embarrassed as I do not know "In what order to serve and where to serve". So I decided to put some effort in gathering information around it by asking people around me. 

Finally was successful in coming up with an Image that looks interesting. The food item placeholders are mentioned with the name and ordering of serve is indicated by different colors. In the Image, I am there with my head facing you and an image to your left shows how people actually sit and eat. You can see them do a prayer too.

Firstly the leaf is laid with the broader side to my right. Then the drinking water is served.  Before being served, you need to clean the leaf with the water served or water is sprinkled on the leaf for cleaning. Traditionally we eat sitting on the ground and now it is served in dining table as well. 

Round 1 of serving now starts. In Round 1, the squares or circles marked in WHITE are served. Serving starts from top left corner item (Salt) to the top right corner item(Masala Palya). Then the bottom right corner (Payasa, Thove) and left bottom corner (Chitranna, Kadubu, Papad, Prasadam/Fruits) is served. Finally the rice is served. That ends Round 1. Now what? Start eating...not Yet...Priests signal people to start eating by telling Govinda. Now start eating.

Then after 5 min, Round 2 starts (Light Blue). Sihi bajji, Tambli, Mosary bajji followed by Rasam completes the Round 2. All the items from Round 1 are served twice. If one does not not want the item, then one need to put his left hand across the leaf (parallel to leaf) indicating "No Thank you. Please do not serve". The person serving keeps telling the name of the food item being serving. 

Then Round 3 starts (Sky Blue). Here Rice, Dhodda Huli, Menaskayi and Bolu Huli is served. 

Now it is the time for Round 4 (Red and Green Color) that is awaited eagerly. 
WHY?. Because it's sweet and spicy (kaara) item time!! The sweet items are called as baksha. There would be around 3, 5 or 7 baksha (I guess all odd numbered) depending on how much money one wants to spend. Based on the number of baksha generally the food is appreciated  and is one of the Richness Indicators. To neutralize the sweet there would be around 2-3 spicy items.

Then comes an interesting Money round. The person organizing the event generally gives Rs 5/10/20/50/100 rupees to brahmins/priests). It is termed as Dakshina. The brahmins are supposed to remove their shirt and have the food. Mostly these days we do not have this round as we have "Presents in Blessing only". So no give and takes. Close relatives and friends have no exceptions though :). Meanwhile the event organizer visit everyone eating and conveys his "Thanks for coming" feeling.

Then starts the final round Round 5 (Dark blue). Here the Rice, Curd and Neeru Majige is served. Salt and pickle is used along with curd rice. Between all rounds people keep  asking if one requires any cold or hot water to drink.

This completes the lunch or dinner! Do not dare to see the size of your stomach now!!! The tough part is to get up and wash your hand after eating so much. The cleaners then come and clean the place. You are supposed to leave the leaf there itself.
Do we eat so much? oh yes....when I retire, now I know for sure what to do...just attend ceremonies and eat. Need to make sure that my health is good without any diabetes or blood pressure.

Some open ended questions still are why eat with Banana Leaf? Some obvious reasons which I could think of without reading any books, without asking people or without a Google are: 
  • One time use and then throw the leaves. No washing plates. SAVE WATER
  • May be some health benefits are there.
  • Those days plates were not there and our ancestors followed cause their ancestors followed and there was no logic..

Why do we sit down and eat?. There were no tables in earlier days or may be it helps better digestion....the readers can add some logic here....

Hope I can help serving now...ha ha...and not just eat, come home and sleep.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Tiger Dance (Huli Vesha)

Related Posts with Thumbnails