Onam Feast @ Kerala Cafe, Hinjewadi, Pune

India is a land of diverse culture. With this diversity comes with lot of local traditions and each tradition has its own cuisine. It is the onset of festive season in India, which starts with Janmashthami (birth of Lord Krishna) and goes right up to Makar Sakranti in the month of January.

Onam is a traditional harvest festival of Kerala, a beautiful state in the southern part of India; known as “God’s Own Country”. Onam is a week-long festival that happens during the harvest time, typically around the month of September/August, depends upon the season. One of the most important element of Onam is the grand feast, which is also known as Onam Sadhya (in Malayalam). The word Sadhya actually means a Banquet. It is a traditional feast where lot of vegetarian dishes are served on a traditional banana leaf. Typically an Onam Sadhya has around 25 to 26 different dishes that are served.

The traditional method is to prepare these dishes at home where men and women both participate and they spend good 4-5 hours in preparing all of these dishes. However, over a period of time we have seen various restaurants who have started offering the Sadhya to people in urban towns. I happened to visit one such restaurant in the IT hub of Pune – Hinjewadi.

Kerala Cafe, Hinjewadi is a South Indian restaurant that serves variety of South Indian dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Kerala Cafe, Hinjewadi had organized the Onam Sadhya on the occasion of the festival on 11th September 2019. I had visited the restaurant in the afternoon along with my family and friends.

If you need to enjoy the feast, you need to imbibe the tradition of Kerala. It can be done by wearing the traditional “mundu”, a white cloth that comes with colourful borders or even a golden border. Being a South Indian, it was not that difficult for me to wear the mundu, even though I wear it only on such special occasions. We reached the place thirty minutes before time but it was crowded. After a long wait we did get a table and we were served with the Sadhya thali.

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Every item in the Sadhya was prepared traditionally and one can smell the spices as you enter the restaurant. If you really want to enjoy the feast, use your hands instead of a spoon and fork; and trust me you can enjoy it when you have it with your hands. I had the best sambar and payasam (kheer/pudding).  The payasam is a dessert that they serve in two varieties. There was one with coconut and jaggery and the other was with Vermicelli cooked in milk.

All-in-all, it was a truly breathtaking experience to have the sadhya and my request to everyone to have this during Onam. It is worth the experience and Kerala Cafe, Hinjewadi had delivered it to the expectation.

Wish you all a Happy Onam!

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Be True To Yourself

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Pic Credit: Quotefancy

Life is never a straight line. It is bound to have some ups and downs. However, what is important is the fact that how we as an individual face these obstacles. The most critical factor is to keep your calm and have a strong and mature head on your shoulder. This can be attained if you are true to yourself and you know that the action that you are taking is true and know the outcome. For a family person, it is imperative that all decisions are weighed effectively because it has a direct impact on your near and dear ones.

We all have heard about the saying, “honesty is the best policy.” However, just by saying that you are honest doesn’t serve the purpose. Are you honest and true to yourself? If your actions don’t speak, then the word “honest” is just a mere word; doesn’t have any significance in your life and don’t expect your family to believe in you. How do I know? Let’s say I have learned it the hard way and it was a major eye-opener for me.

Men particularly have the habit of holding on to things and not sharing it with their wives and immediate family members. Whatever be the reason, but you are not being true to yourself and by not sharing, you are not true to your family. Share the smallest of the things that you feel is bothering you and trust me, it gives you a great feeling.

Be true to yourself and accept the positivity that the universe has to bestow upon you.

This is not a secret.

Emotions! Don’t go overboard

Emotions are feelings or traits that are inside an individual. They determine the mood of a person and it also depicts the overall characteristics of an individual. It is always great to be emotional and express oneself, but if one does not have control over it, things can go topsy-turvy. Imagine a startup founder, who is extremely passionate about his creation. Does he have the liberty to blow some steam on his team in case of an error? Nope, not at all! In fact, that is the time when he has to be the calmest person and come up with a solution.

Being emotional, it is very easy to just vent it out on anyone because one does not have any control over those emotions. However, as and when you grow up, both in age and in stature, it is imperative that you have complete control over your emotions and ensure that no one bears your wrath for something that you are solely attributable.

Hence, don’t jump overboard when it comes to emotions and emotional outbursts is a complete NO! NO!

Have a wonderful evening my friends and thank you for reading this short snippet around Emotions!

 

 

Communication 1.2 | Email Communication

email-3249062_1280Thanks to technology, sending messages across to people who are not physically present, has become easy as a pie. Emails have become an integral part of our lives. They are used in every aspect of our lives. However, a major usage of email is seen in B2B communications. Unlike sending an email to a friend or a relative, business email communication has certain etiquettes that are to be followed by individuals who are sending out messages and those who are responding. Let us look at some of the key elements of email communication

  1. Clear subject
    It is important to have a clear subject-line when you are sending an email. This ensures that the recipient gets a fair idea of what the contents of the email might be
  2. Importance
    Not all emails carry high importance. Hence, it is important to set the right priority for the particular email that you are sending. Emails that require immediate attention need to be marked with High importance.
  3. Concise Body
    You may have lot of things to convey in an email, but putting the message in a structured format is very critical as it helps the reader understand clearly the message.
  4. Avoid Lengthy Emails
    Don’t go overboard with lot of content and try to compile your email is 2-3 paragraphs.
  5. Maintain a Calm Tone
    It doesn’t matter what your mood is. Even if the other person has not responded to your multiple emails earlier and if you are frustrated, you can’t let the frustration reflect in your email. Keep the tone as mellow as possible.

If you look at the aforementioned pointers, they are not rocket science, but still, we end up making the same mistakes. Every email, be it formal or informal has a structure as mentioned below

  • Greetings
  • Opening Statement
  • Body
  • Closing Statement
  • Ending

Follow this structure and have an “Eye-Catchy” subject line (formal of course) and it will help you in having a better conversation over emails.

On that note, I take your leave and will connect with you tomorrow.

Cheers
AM

Communication 1.1 | Face -to-Face Interaction

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Today, I will be talking about communication over face-to-face interaction. Even though we are surrounded by technology and have different means of communicating, thanks to the latest apps and tools for communicating, there is a different impact when we speak with the other person over an in-person meeting.

There are few factors to be taken care of when you are talking to someone face-to-face. Let us look at some key elements

  1. Eye-contact
    It is important to maintain eye-contact with the person with whom you are conversing. In case you have a larger audience, ensure you throw a glance at everyone who is participating in the discussion.
  2. Body Language
    How you sit and how you carry and conduct yourself matters a lot. Never! Ever! slouch on the seat or sit with folded hands. It is a sign of either you being too casual or too nervous. Sit with your arms open and upright posture.
  3. Attentive Listening
    Once the conversation starts, wait for the person speaking to complete his or her point. Pay attention to every individual who is in the room. This goes in combination with eye contact.

These are the fundamental elements that one needs to take care of when you are in face-to-face interaction.

Cheers
AM

Communication 1.0

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Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

This is a series of blog posts that will put emphasis on the importance of communication in every facet of your life. We are so used to people commenting about communication of others. However, seldom people understand the crux of communication. There are a few pockets of people who think that communication is all about speaking. I am afraid, that is a great misconception that we all deal with on a day-to-day basis.

Here is a thumb-rule as part of Communication 1.0. Communication is more about paying attention to what the other person is saying and then subtly putting forward your point. Remember, people value your words; so don’t be a blabber. Be careful in choosing the right set of words and more importantly, select the appropriate time.

Being a communication trainer, I always tell my students – first get into the habit of listening. Do you actually have anything to say on the subject being spoken about, or are you just trying to grab attention? If it is the latter, then you can land up in trouble. And hey! there is no harm in accepting that you are not an expert in the subject, which will go down well in the good books of others.

However, it is important for you to be well-informed and well-read to ensure effective participation in every conversation.

This being the first post of the series, will only give a bird’s eye-view of communication per se.

Subsequent posts will have specifics around various types of communication and also focus on etiquettes.

Till then, keep communicating

Cheers,
AM

Just be yourself

2019

Every year we take a vow to do something different. We set up our yearly agenda, write down our vows & resolutions and try to chase them. However, the fact of the matter is that all your resolutions and bucket-list items can be accomplished, if you just be yourself

The point here is that we try to change ourselves so much that we forget about who we are. Each one of us has the same 24 hours a day and the same 365 days a year. However, what differentiates a good from the better and better from the best is the way one utilizes this time. I have observed that people who invest in themselves, end up being more successful. However, that doesn’t mean you keep changing yourself. Change is only required in case of adversity or diversity.

If you be yourself, the person who you truly are and demonstrate the capacity and capability to have a steady head and grounded feet can easily wade through any situations. Remember! a steady mind can help in solving any problem, face any challenges. Don’t let problems fluster your mind. It’s better to stay calm and things will be clear. The mind is like water; if you disturb it, nothing is visible beyond. However, if you allow it to settle down, you can clearly see things inside.

I really wish that the year 2019 allows you to face life the way you want to and live it the way you want to. May the year 2019 bring you, my reader friends, all Happiness, Prosperity & Good Health.

Wish You All a HAPPY NEW YEAR

Love.
AM