Restaurant Diaries: Colaba Junction 

A couple of days ago, Dev and I decided to go out for dinner and try a new Mumbai street food restaurant in downtown Toronto. Colaba Junction is located at the corner of College St. and Bay St. It’s a fairly small restaurant with roughly 15-20 seats. The decor of the restaurant is fantastic and well designed. 

When we first arrived, I started looking at the menus hanging against the wall and immediately the cashier asked me to ignore those menus as those were the new menus and weren’t currently valid. 

He handed me a paper menu and told me to order from there. I started looking at the menu realizing it was slightly higher priced than the menu hanging above. So, I jokingly said to the cashier that had we come the next day, we’d probably save a bit of money since the new menu was lower priced. He said, “yeah but there’s nothing I can do about it.” Probably not the best first impression to give a customer that’s about to write a review about you. After that disappointing start, we still ordered tons of food and took a seat as we waiting for it to arrive. 

The arrival of the food was reassuring and had me extremely excited. The presentation was extraordinary and looked amazing. 

Dev ordered the Vegetable Thali and a vara pau and I ordered a Meat Thali. The thalis looked completely different than any of the thalis I’ve ever had before. There was ample food served that could easily feed at least two other people. 

However, the food wasn’t hot, it was lukewarm and by the time we got to our second naan, it was cold. I complained to the cashier that the temperature of the food was quite cold but he assured me that the food was fresh and because of the front door opening it may have gotten cold. 

I later went to order a paratha and noticed the “chef” or guy behind the counter take out a frozen paratha wrapped in plastic; the same way that you receive Shaana parathas from the grocery store. I immediately changed my order and asked for a naan instead hoping that it would be freshly made. Unfortunately, that too looked like a grocery store frozen naan. 

Disappointed and turned off from the frozen naan and paratha, I folded my napkin over my plate and decided to end my meal. 

The curries and gravies taste good aside from the cold temperature. But paying $49+ for two thalis and a vara pau just to receive frozen naan was extremely disappointing; that I didn’t even bother to finish my review of the meal.

Before leaving, I spoke to the cashier again and explained how disappointing it was to see their chef take out frozen naans and parathas from the freezer to serve us and he kind of just shrugged his shoulders as if that was normal. 

This restaurant could have been a big hit with its decor and food presentation, had the food actually been up to the standard it was expected at. Needless to say, we will not be visiting or recommending this place to anyone. 

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5 Year Anniversary 

Yesterday, Dev and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. We didn’t do anything extravagant or buy any gifts for each other this time around. We just spent the whole day together, with Nid and my family as my mother had prepared an amazing lunch for us. It was a nice day. 

As we were driving home from their house, I reminisced on all we had gone through over the past five years. All the ups and all the downs, all the fun trips, exploring and experiencing new things. All of the disagreements and moments when our personalities clashed. All the times we held each other and overcame our doubts and fears. And through all the those years and events, I realized that I married a gem-of-a-person because not once did he make me feel inferior to him or give me a doubt that we’d separate. He held my hand through it all and always reassured me that we’d get through it. 

As I remember everything we’ve done and experienced, I cannot help but count my blessings for having met the love of my life. I cannot thank him enough for loving me and taking care of me the way that he does. 

Happy Anniversary, babe. I love you and forever will and can’t wait to hold your hand through the next 50-60-70 years with you!

What Are We Leaving Our Children Behind To?

People encourage me to have another child. My parents, relatives, friends and even regulars at the restaurant tell me that I should have another child before Nid gets too old. I tell them I’m not ready and physiologically and financially cannot afford another child right now.

The fact of the matter is that I am horrified to have the one that I already have grow up in this world and what it’s becoming. Isis killing the Europeans. Americans killing Americans. A race fight. Honour killings. Pedophiles. Gang rapes. People overdosing on drugs that even experts can’t explain. The world is pretty much fucked and it’s just going to get worst.

It scares me shitless thinking my little Nid will one day walk this earth without her parents. How will she deal with everything this world is turning into? How will she cope with all of this? Especially, when her own parents are having a hell of a time handling everything happening in the world.

Sometimes I turn on the news first thing in the morning and nearly end up crying. It’s devastating seeing what human beings are doing to each other and to our planet. How can I imagine another child in this world? I mean, tough luck for Nidhi, she was a golden child so she’s here without a choice of her’s or mine. And I will do everything in my power to leave her in a place where she is strong, brave and capable of handling anything that comes her way. But to intentionally bring another child into this world knowing everything that is happening seems a bit stupid. 

On the flip side, I think God forbid something were to happen to Dev and I, at least Nid would have a sibling. She would need a sibling and companion who knew exactly what she was going through. 

But will they actually be there for each other? I mean, look at me and my brother, we haven’t spoken in nearly 10 years and quite frankly, I’m happy it’s that way. So when I think about that relationship, I figure its best not to have a sibling at all. But that’s my own drama that we’ll keep out of this post for the sake of sanity.

The important matter is that if I bring another child into this world knowing that I haven’t done anything to better it would be a sin and lack of compassion for this world and my children. So, I’ve decided to pay it forward. As most of you know, I can be an incredibly selfish person but equally caring and loving. I am taking a new step in my life to help others and give a little back to this sometimes bitter world. 

Along with changing my career completely so I may help people (details to come), I am also going to be taking Nid with me to help clean our community on afternoon walks on the weekends. Aside from that, I will begin collecting clothes, toys, food from my own home to donate to shelters for youth. I think our youth need the most support right now because after we leave, it will be them that walk this earth and I hope with my efforts, I can change someone’s life for the betterment of their future and cause them to do a little good. 

I know, it’s not a lot but every effort helps and will better our world a bit at a time. I hope my new outlook to better this world for my child, will spark a flame inside of you to also do a little for the betterment of your children and the world they’ll live in. 

A Lesson On Judging Before Knowing The Whole Story

I recently saw this Facebook post about a lesson a teacher taught her students and thought of sharing it with all of you. I feel like sometimes we don’t look at the whole picture and judge or make assumptions. This story is the perfect example of it and a great read for this gloomy Wednesday. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the author is or what website it was posted to, so I can’t give the proper credit to the author. If anyone knows where this was originally posted, please comment and I’ll add the credits to the story. 

A teacher was tutoring a class of students when she relayed a story about a cruise ship capsized while at sea, and on the ship was a couple that managed to make their way to a lifeboat but realized there was only space for one. You’ll never guess what lesson they learned from the story.A cruise ship met with an incident at sea. On the ship was a couple, after having made their way to the lifeboat, they realized that there was only space for one person left.
At this moment, the man pushed the woman behind him and jumped onto the lifeboat himself.
The lady stood on the sinking ship and shouted one sentence to her husband.
The teacher stopped and asked, “What do you think she shouted?”
Most of the students excitedly answered, “I hate you! I was blind!”
Now, the teacher noticed a boy who was silent throughout, she got him to answer and he replied, “Teacher, I believe she would have shouted – Take care of our child!”
The teacher was surprised, asking “Have you heard this story before?”
The boy shook his head, “Nope, but that was what my mom told my dad before she died to disease”.
The teacher lamented, “The answer is right”.
The cruise ship sunk. The man went home and brought up their daughter single-handedly.
Many years later after the death of the man, their daughter found his diary while tidying his belongings.
It turns out that when parents went onto the cruise ship, the mother was already diagnosed with a terminal illness. At the critical moment, the father rushed to the only chance of survival.
He wrote in his diary, “How I wished to sink to the bottom of the ocean with you, but for the sake of our daughter, I can only let you lie forever below the sea alone”.
The story is finished, the class was silent.
The teacher knows that the student has understood the moral of the story, that of the good and the evil in the world, there are many complications behind them which are hard to understand.
Which is why we should never only focus on the surface and judge others without understanding them first.
Those who like to pay the bill, do so not because they are loaded but because they value friendship above money.
Those who take the initiative at work, do so not because they are stupid but because they understand the concept of responsibility.
Those who apologize first after a fight, do so not because they are wrong but because they value the people around them.
Those who are willing to help you, do so not because they owe you anything but because they see you as a true friend.
Those who often text you, do so not because they have nothing better to do but because you are in their heart.
One day, all of us will get separated from each other; we will miss our conversations of everything and nothing; the dreams that we had. Days will pass by, months, years, until this contact becomes rare… One day our children will see our pictures and ask “Who are these people?” And we will smile with invisible tears because a heart is touched with a strong word and you will say: “It was them that I had the best days of my life with.”

He Wasn’t My Best Friend, After All. 

I had a best friend; he was one of the closest people to me. He knew all my secrets and all of my fears. I shared everything with him and went out of my way to always make him smile. When he asked me for a favour, I made it my priority to fulfill it. I was always there. He was my best friend in the whole world. 
Or so I thought.

He was never actually my best friend. I was never actually his priority. He never went out of his way to make me smile or happy. He was just a friend. Yes, he made me smile and he helped me out when I asked. 

But he let my friendship with him nearly end over another relationship. 

He left a year ago and recently came back. Prior to coming back, we spoke once. He apologized for everything and I forgave him. 

When I found out he was finally coming back, I thought I was getting my best friend back. I thought everything would go back to how it previously was. I thought…so much. But none of it did.

He came back completely changed. He wasn’t the person I called my best friend. The fact that I even consider him a friend now is surprising to me. Although jokingly, he denies being my friend at all. We argue now and he puts me down in front of other people. He questions my decisions and motives. He treats me as if he is just tolerating me because we work together. 

Since he’s been back, I’ve tried talking to him and figuring out why he acts the way he does towards me. But he just responds with sarcasm or ignores the question all together. I’ve tried to leave things as they are and move on but find it ridiculously hard to do so. This person was supposed to be the person I called my best friend. He was supposed to be my support system and one of the ones making me laugh and smile. 

But he no longer was any of those things. Or maybe he was never any of those things to start with and it was an illusion of my own mind. I was his best friend but he was never mine and may never be.

Happy 35th Birthday, My Love

On the 27th of February, we celebrated my husband’s 35th birthday. I was at work all day as was he. But I prepared an amazing dinner before I left for work and set the table with champagne, a flower and cake in the fridge. It would’ve been the perfect surprise had he not been expecting something more elaborate and fun filled. 

For past 6 years that my husband and I have been together, I have always thrown him a birthday bash; cooked all the food myself and invited all his friends over for a night of drinking and dinner. In previous years, I would shower him with gifts starting early in the month, as I did this time. 

But I didn’t throw the big birthday bash this year. There was a bash but at a friend’s house for husband and another friend. It was supposed to be a trio birthday bash. But I had to cancel my portion of it and now I feel like I let Dev down. He’s a simple and sweet guy, he doesn’t ask for much but I’m sure he was expecting a big bash with all his friends present. I’ve felt terrible all week that I didn’t throw the big bash.

So, today, all of his friends are joining us at a restaurant for a surprise birthday dinner for him. He doesn’t know and thinks it’s just Nid, me and him going. I’m super excited that all his friends are going to be there and I’ve arranged for a cake and drinks will be on me for the whole gang. Hopefully, my love will enjoy his dinner. 

I’ll post pics of tonight’s dinner and celebration in a couple of days. Have a blessed weekend and hope my dinner plans go smoothly!

~Tamana