Friday, May 6, 2016

Shifting of Blog Address


I'm in the process of slowly shifting the blogs over to TickerEatsTheWorld.Wordpress.Com

There's going to be a lot about food along with travel on the page, so please follow the blog and visit it whenever you can.

Thank you

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Walk of Stars, Broad Street, Birmingham

Did you know there was a Walk of Stars in Birmingham, UK? It might not be as grand as the Walk of Fame in the US, but nevertheless this little tribute to the local artists is something that should be celebrated.

You won’t find tourists or locals getting down on their knees to take photos with the “stars”, but this little initiative from the Broad Street businesses does pay homage to the various “celebrities”, mostly from the fields of TV, Cinema, Sports, Music, and other such arts, who have strong linkage to Birmingham or the surrounding areas, and those who have made prominent contributions to their respective fields.

The first in the series of the stars than can be found along the length of Broad Street at different locations, was presented to Ozzy Osbourne on 6th July 2007. Since then there have been 27 more stars that have been added including influencers like Chris Tarrant, Beverly Knight, Julie Walters, Frank Skinner, Noddy Holder, Jasper Carrot and the likes.  

Since the stars are placed without any real order and are not marked, it does make for a nice trip as you walk along Broad Street to try and find your favourite local artist. On the other hand, without any guide one can miss out on a number of these. Another reason why the Walk of Stars is not as popular as its counterparts is that it features local artists and thus overseas tourists might not be aware of most of them.

Nevertheless, the Walk of Stars remains a well appreciated initiative that does make a first timer stop and look and if they are familiar with the celebrity, maybe even smile and take a photo of/with the star.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pottery Show Film Cups

Isn't the world a wonderful place? Take these Pottery Show Film Cups that I picked up in Fuengirola, Spain where I, an Indian, was holidaying with two of my college friends who happened to be from Finland and Switzerland. Small world right?

So, what tickled my fancy about these cups that my friend told me about when we went to one of the many local restaurants on this beachside haven in the Costa Del Sol, Spain; well, they hold a secret that can both entice and excite you at the same time.

The big question, before we get into what these cups can do, is about their origins. I have a faint memory of someone suggesting that they originated in Japan, but the restaurant we were in was Chinese, so they could very well be Chinese in origin.

Nevertheless, the story told to me about these "film cups" is that men in Japan/China (my apologies to the nation that should not be listed here), when they want to have a little fun while at a party at someone's house or at a place where one has to be respectable, they can use these cups that each holds a picture, of the "adult" nature, revealed only to the keen eye, if a clear liquid (for example, rice wine) is poured into the cup. How cool is that?

There is obviously a small design flaw in this; I mean if your wife were happen to do the dishes (I’m not saying she should, but if she did) and poured water into the cup, imagine her shock. I guess you might just say hello to the couch for a very long time.

I've had these films cups in the depths of my cupboard for years now and with kids around the house I don't think they will see the light of day anytime soon, but if you ever come over and are in need of some excitement, remind me to show them to your, but don't tell you wife about them, and especially not my wife.       

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Stupid Guy Goes to India (Book Review)

There are a number of interesting facts that make Stupid Guy Goes to India a must read; it’s a travelogue in its soul, a Manga comic at heart, but most importantly it is a celebration of the human spirit.

Being a Manga comic, written by Yukichi Yamamatsu, the first thing that strikes you, the reader, is that you need get used to reading it from back to front and from left to right. Not a gargantuan task mind you, as it takes about a couple of pages and then you get used to it. So, you would imagine this is the first ever “Indian Manga”. Well, you would be wrong in thinking that.

The book, translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian, is the true story of the author, a Manga artist in his native Japan, coming to India to sell Manga comics translated in the local language. What follows is a chaotic journey into the underbelly of Delhi and a lesson in life, primarily for the author, but also for those that read the book.

Stupid Guy Goes to India is clich├ęd, to the core. You get to read about situations that we, as Indians, have been hearing of or know of for years; the food and water being unhygienic, the language barriers, people trying to rip off tourists and the likes. It’s all there and yes being an Indian it hurts, but there is honesty in what we see on the pages. In fact that is the one aspect of the book that stands up and above everything else, that Yamamatsu doesn’t hold back and writes/draws it as it is, with unashamed honesty, including the time he decides to go and pay for a prostitute.

Although the book has a very limited outlook towards Delhi, almost forgoing the more “rich” parts of the city, it serves as a way to study the thriving backpacking culture of the city. Living in small crowded areas, getting a Japanese book translated in Hindi, multiple frustrating visits to the publishers, and trying to make ends meet with one ingenious idea after another, Stupid Guy Goes to India is also a story of human nature and its resilience to overcome the hardest of situations. Yamamatsu’s grand plan to publish a Manga in India, while having battled cancer, and readily face one obstacle after another, is nothing short of the triumph of human will.

The reader needs to look at Stupid Guy Goes to India in depth. On the surface it might seem like the any story of a tourist who has spent some time in India. It might even serve as a great guide to help you prepare for a trip to India, but it is Yamamamtsu and his never say die attitude that emerges as the “real story” and what makes the book a heart-warming and crazy adventure that one can only dream about.        

This is an unbiased review of the book that was sent by Blaft Publications. Thank you to the publishers for the opportunity.