Skip to main content

Panchgani - Episode III - With Lord Bhathena and Lady Batliwala (2007-08)

Our guests of 2006 - Mamu, the Queen, alongwith F&B madam Shirin - already had my vote as the best guests that we have ever had in our home in the hills. Because they are most accommodating, not demanding at all, willing to eat and drink whatever we give without any qualms and are very down-to-earth.

Quite unlike some of our greedy and shameless guests who expect to be served chicken and mutton extravagances day in and out. For instance, we’ve had some guests over at our house that treat our home as a hotel, have a hearty breakfast and set out for sightseeing leaving mom alone in the house to cook lunch and dinner for them. Then, there was this family who despite knowing the acute water shortage, used to bathe, each of them, twice a day, daily. Then, there was this person who took offence once just because mom did not offer her own Pond’s cream to her. Or so we heard from somewhere. Guess there are such types of guests also.

So having the Lord and the Queen (“I’m so sorry”), with us on the hills, is always a pleasure and besides they’re good company. We went to Mahableshwar on Sunday and took a stroll through their market. At the end of the market is a departmental store called ‘Imperial Stores’. It’s a tradition for us. Whenever we go to Mahableshwar and visit their market, we always visit the Imperial Stores – the last shop right at the edge of the market – and have our dinner or lunch (whatever the case may be) there. This time, we opted for their pizzas, chicken kebabs and roast chicken.

Their pizzas turned out to be quite useless considering they were around Rs 120. There were hardly any layers. The vegetable pizzas was woefully short of tomato sauce, had only capsicum and a few slices of onions. Even the pizzas at the Mapro garden that we visited the next day looked tastier. While the kebabs were good, the roast chicken was passable.


Popular posts from this blog


As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

My first ever Rajdhani experiance

As a kid, the Mumbai-New Delhi Rajdhani Express used to be this legend that I dreamt often. Although train travel was an integral part of my childhood, Rajdhani remained a distant dream. A dream that only zipped past me at 120 km/hr overtime I saw it. A dream that announced it arrival from a great, great distance by the sounds of twin diesel locomotives and its generator cars at either sides of the rake. A sound that was as intimidating to rail enthusiasts like me as a Bullet motorcycle is to a biker. In those days, it used to be hauled by two diesel locomotives so that it wouldn't need to spend much time at Vadodra station changing its locomotives. One of the two diesel locos would detach itself from the train and the other one who simply haul it al the way to Delhi. When I used to go to Valsad during some of my summer holidays at my cousin's house, it was a ritual. Take a picnic basket, leave the house at sharp 6, go to the yard just before the station, position ourselves on…