Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kutchi gets new Script

Recently saw the news that Kutchi language is all set to get a new script of it's own! Till date, Kutchi has been a language without any script, so this was some news to me. The topic for discussion is what is being tried to be achieved by creating a script for Kutchi? Is this going to be detrimental to Kutchi language instead of increasing it's use?

Dr. Rajul Shah took the onus of creating the script for Kutchi after much research - the script seems to be quite symbolic in the current form.

For Kutchis, all current education is imparted mostly in English or at the least in Gujarati / Hindi. All the Kutchi literature has traditionally been written in Gujarati too. Since ages, Kutchi has been a language passed down orally.

In the light of above, has a study been done to ascertain whether we even require the script? Who is going to adopt this new script and how? Is there a plan in place for it's adoption and propogation?

Kutchis are multi-lingual already, having to learn, English, Hindi, Gujarati and few more languages depending on which region they live / work in. Introducing one more alphabet to learn and use would increase the burden on the people. The new generation is on the verge of moving away from the language as they already have at least 4 languages to handle. Adding more burden could be detrimental to the popularity of the language and could drive people away from it instead of making it more popular.

Read the full article here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Baluchis good for small groups

Had been to Baluchis on East 53rd Street, between 2nd & 3rd Avenue, NYC and here's my review.
Ambience: 8/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Verdict: Good Indian food, poor service / management for large groups.

Ambience & decor is very nice and tastefully done with beautiful Belgian glass chandeliers, large mirrors, etc.

Prices are at par with the NYC standards, maybe slightly on the higher side - the curries cost between $10 - $15.

We tried Malai Kofta, Veg Jalfrazie, Saag Paneer & Dal with Aloo Paratha & Naan and it was excellent. Food was awesome, however since we had been there in a very large group (over 35 people), they had a very hard time managing & serving us.

Go to Baluchis only if you are in a small group and was excellent Indian food.

Deals for Friday, August 21, 2009

Here are some good Deals for Friday, August 21, 2009.
Note: These have been mined from D2B, SD, FW, etc, so all the credit for finding these deals goes to the OPs!

  • Nintendo Wii at Dell for $225
  • 8X10 Scrap Book Page at Walgreens for FREE using the coupon code SCRAPIT
  • Unlimited Calling to 60 Countries from Vonage for $24.99/mo

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Galway Hooker Pub NYC

Had been to Galway Hooker Pub on East 36th Street, between 5th and Madison Avenues, NYC, and here's my review.
Ambience: 6/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Verdict: Good ambience and appetizers, poor service.

This place is very conveniently located and its two level setup is very good. There are a few private party rooms in the rear on both floors. The ambience is quite good, but the sofa/seats are not very comfortable.

Good feature of this place is that they have Happy Hours every day between 3 and 7 p.m. - draught beers were half off and cost $4!

We tried Quesadilla and Pita Bread with Hummus for Vegetarians - both cost under $10 and were very good. The Quesadilla was really very good and we re-ordered it several times as the quantity was very less - it had only 4 small pieces.
Others tried Buffalo Wings and mentioned that they were quite average, nothing very good to deserve special mention.

Juices were quite good and pretty cheap at $3 each, but had too much ice.
Long Island Ice Tea was very good and tasted excellent but this too had too much ice.
Blue Moon Wheat Beer (Draught) was very good, but would have been better had it been served colder.

Service was quite average, at times below par. The order was forgotten several times and we had to remind them to get it. Drinks were served in batches of 2-3 glasses with a good 5-10 minutes gap between each batch. So the group got their drinks in parts and had to wait for the toast!

Note that for tables with more than 6 people, a gratuity of 18% is charged automatically to the bill.

Good if going during Happy Hour and interested in good appetizers & Draught Blue Moon Beer and ready to tolerate average service.

Desi style Pizza

Had been to Singas Famous Pizza on Oaktree Road next to Mithaas & Moghul, and here's my review along with a comparison of Guallpa's Famous Pizza.
Ambience: 6/10
Food: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Verdict: Very good & economical Desi style Pizzas.

Had been to Singas Famous Pizza for Desi style Pizzas last night. Have tried Guallpa's Famous Pizza too, but Singas has been my favorite.

Singas Famous Pizza is located on Oaktree Road next to Mithaas & Moghul and is not visible from the street. Guallpa's Famous Pizza is located in the complex next to Subzi Mandi, opposite to Sukhadia's on Oaktree Road.

Good feature of both these places is that they offer a Cheese Pizza free if you order two pizzas with toppings. Generally the bill comes to $12 as most pizzas with 1 topping cost $5.50 and and extra topping on the "free" pizza costs $1. Till date, I or most people I know have never seen or even heard anyone buying only 1 pizza at these places!

I have tried the Cheese pizza and pizza with the Jalapeno, Pineapple or Green Pepper & Onion toppings. All of them are awesome, however my favorite has always been Jalapeno.

Very good value for money desi style Pizzas

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chandni good value for money

Had been to Chandni on 29th Street, Between 5th Ave & Broadway, NYC and here's my review.
Ambience: 5/10
Food: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Verdict: Very good (Pakistani) Punjabi food; not much choice for Vegetarians.

This place is located next to the Masjid on 29th Street and can easily be missed due to the street vendors taking up sidewalk space outside it's doors.

Ambience & decor of the place reminded me of Shadman in Grove St in Jersey City, NJ. In fact the food & prices were pretty similar too! However, it is a bit bigger compared to Shadman. The ambience too did not feel conducive for Vegetarians.

Prices are very economical by NYC standards - cup of good Masala Chai costs a buck, as does a Naan! Curries cost $6 for a good quantity medium box and come with 1 Naan free. We tried Bhindi masala and Chhole - complete with the layer of red colored oil floating on top! The taste was quite good and the Chhole tasted much closer to the taste one would get in Delhi or most of Northern India. Note that this taste is quite different from that made in the remaining parts of the country.

Another notable similarity (which is also a very remarkable feature) between Chandni & Shadman was the huge size, softness and freshness of the Naan. For most people with average diet, 1-1.5 naan should be more than enough. I have not seen such soft & inviting naan even in best of the desi restaurants.

However, this place is known more for its $2 stuffed parathas which they make in the morning from 8-11 am only. It is advisable to call them on 212.686.4456 as soon as you come out of Penn Station so that by the time you reach there, fresh Parathas are awaiting you!

Good value for money Punjabi food.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's a Perfect Mis-Match!

Saw the American Desi movie "It's a Perfect Mis-Match" starring Nandana Sen, Anupam Kher, Boman Irani & deutante Anubhav Anand.

It was a pretty good movie with good performances by the stalwarts Anupam Kher & Boman Irani holding the stage.

Rating: 7/10 - Watchable

Correlation of Small Nations becoming Tax Havens

Is there a Correlation of Small Nations becoming Tax Havens & involved in Money Laundering?
Do most small nations become tax-havens and get involved in money laundering schemes?

Was reading about two small nations - Nauru near Australia and San Marino near Italy.

Nauru on one hand is close to Australia and depends on it totally for existence after its Phosphate reserves were mined out.

San Marino is a micro-country land-locked by Italy and has expertise in managing money mostly for the wealthy people of Italy.

Both of them, even though being on the extreme ends geographically, financially as well as in the kind of environment & history, were well-known tax havens and involved in money laundering. Is it the karma of all or most small nations to be these at least once in their life time?!

Geo-Locate your Server!

Found a very good website which allows you to lookup where your web server is really located geographically.

Check out infosniper - it provides a good API, XML interface, lots of related free scripts, and lots of simple to use features!

This is a very good tool if you want to verify whether the server is actually located where the hosting company claims it to be!

Or it can be a fun tool just to put up on your website/blog just for the heck of it!


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