A Snapshot of Vidyanand Joshi

Vidyanand_JoshiIncredibly charismatic, this communication skills professor is like a dream come true for any student; his massive and ever-growing fan following is a proof of that. Prof. Vidyanand Joshi aka VJ is and will always be on the top of my list of favourite teachers/professors. I still remember every detail of our interactions… From the very moment he entered into the classroom for the first lecture to the day he and Gowri Ma’am came to see me at my place just before my wedding. I was super-emotional on his last day with our batch and I am glad we stayed in touch after college. He’s very gentle, incredibly courteous, totally supportive, an amazing teacher, has a great sense of humour… I can go on and on. I think he’s just amazing and it was a total privilege to be his student.

In this sizzling interview, VJ (http://www.facebook.com/vidyanand.joshi.9) reveals his first crush, talks about his favourite music, his favourite book, awesome Mondays, his love for wildlife and a lot more. Read on…

  • Give me a brief description about yourself.

I am a 36 years young, positive, cheerful motivator! A nature-lover by passion and a teacher by profession. Anything mysterious in nature excites me and fascinates me to the core! I find routine and mundane tasks boring, so I have by choice selected a self-employed career of a behavioural trainer and educator. People say I am friendly, popular, flirty, approachable and understanding. And I add by saying that I am also egoistic, judgemental, lazy, overconfident and low on risks! Let others discover who I am… So, everyone is most welcome to get a peep into who am I. But remember, only a peep allowed! Lol!

  • Describe your Sundays.

All my Sundays are working. I conduct academic lectures and workshops for people who have enrolled for executive MBA. So, it’s 10 to 7 full day work! But my Monday mornings are highly exciting; when the whole world cribs and moans about a manic Monday, I am normally off to a nice nature trail.

  • What music are you listening to at the moment?

Various genres interest me. Right now I am listening to mostly heavy metal songs on my car CD player. So, when bands like Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica are blasting their drums off, my speed takes off at a new level as well.

  • What was the last film you saw?

Kai Po Che. It’s a brilliantly directed, well-written and very naturally performed entertainer. It had a bit of everything: romance, friendships, ambitions, violence, socio-political drama and even pre-marital sex! Loved the movie… I’d give it four out of five stars.

  • What would be your dream holiday location and why?

There are many. I’d love to visit Amazon rainforest in South America, Borneo islands of Indonesia, Kalahari desert in Africa, Alaska in North America, Mt. Everest in Nepal, the Siachen Glacier on Indo-Pak border, Komodo islands near Philippines, Namdapha in Arunachal Pradesh and many many more. The reason for all these places is common: exclusive and adventurous wildlife experience. Each place has a unique wildlife offering and I am a die-hard nature-lover waiting to explore the mysteries of Mother Nature.

  • What is your favourite book? What was the last book you read?

My favourite book that I’ll recommend to everyone is – ‘Pulling your own strings’ by Dr. Wayne Dyer. It’s about understanding that life is in your own control so don’t let others rule you! Currently, I am reading a Marathi book – ‘Paakharmaya’ by Maruti Chittampalli. It’s about birds and their social behavior.

  • Tell me about your first crush.

My first crush was in the 2nd standard! Yeah, you read it correct! Sheetal was her name. We used to sit together on the same desk from 1st standard to 3rd standard. We used to share our tiffin food, play a lot, fight a lot, have long telephonic chats after school (at age 5-6). I don’t know where she is now, but I hope she too remembers me as her first crush. Lol. I hope my wife is not reading this.

  • What’s a food treat for you? What foods do you detest?

I am an emotional eater, so it is more of mood poisoning for me. A treat for me would be a large bowl full of freshly cut nice juicy fruits; I am aging, you know. Also, I can’t resist any egg preparations, gujarati snacks, pav bhaji, nutritious dals, kebabs and lots of creative sandwiches. Foods that I detest would be anything that floats in oil, has hot red gravy, is too spicy; also I don’t like sweets nowadays!

  • Do you have a bucket list?

While I believe that I have already achieved much more than what I was expecting in life, but being human, I always have that urge to want more and more. So, before I say goodbye, I wish to travel around the world and see all the animal species in the nature, want to learn some instrument like violin or guitar, learn basics of dancing and singing, want to act in a movie or a serial in a brief role, eat all the interesting cuisines around the globe, want to meet god face-to-face, want to spend each and every moment of my life with my wife and my doggies, want to say sorry to all those who are hurt because of me, want to say thank you to all those who made a great difference in my life, want to own some classic cars like Buick Roadster and Rolls Royce, want to try my hand at writing poems, want to be a mentor to millions of youngsters, want to see Van Halen and Whitesnake perform live, want to be a proud son to my parents and the list goes on and on!

http://poojachopragoel.com/snapshots-interviews-profiles/

A Snapshot of Urmi Mukherjee

Tj8f6aMBues0Jw9vNB29hwAlmost ten years ago, this dynamic, fun, unapologetic, explosive, brilliantly sharp and utterly fearless diva came into my life. I am so glad she did. She is someone who made me realise it is okay to say, “Screw you, world. This is what I am. And this is what I will be!” If anything has made me love her so much, it’s her attitude about staying true to yourself and knowing the right people will love you because of it. I love and respect her for being who she is.

Miss Mukherjee, I still remember all our late night chats; yes yes, with all the details :P Of course, I won’t/can’t share what we discussed but those conversations were fun for sure. Fun in true sense, fun to the core.

This conversation unveils the Urmi I know, it reveals the other side of her. The side not many people know I believe. The sensitive and emotional side of her. Beneath that tough exterior she puts on, lies a soft and mushy centre.

In this exclusive interview, Urmi Mukherjee (http://www.facebook.com/urmuk) talks candidly and a little fiercely about her crazy experiences, her bucket list, her first crush and a lot more. Read on…

  • Give me a brief description about yourself.

I can never go brief (in description and otherwise LOL). I also have two sides to me, which one would you like me to introduce? The sober side of me is writing this. Drop by after dusk to see the other me :D I live life in extremes which of course creates serious imbalance and chaos but I don’t care and I love the drama! I thrive on family, friends and protection of nature and vulnerable elements. I am sleazily emotional in matters of the heart, but I remain unapologetic. It makes me what/who I am (good, bad or ugly). I reserve logic and willpower for worldly experiences and achievements. My motto is life dictates me to be true to my soul (irrespective of having to follow wrong over right; unethical over moral, sin over good and other such man made criterions of assessment), and I am notorious for being unpredictable, intense, stubborn, and a slave to my passions. I enjoy giving myself completely to everything I do – and that includes doing something as small as cleaning my bathroom or kitchen.

  • Describe your Sundays.

If not sulking, brooding or working, I can be found cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and dishes, catching up with friends and volunteering at a local rehab centre.

  • What music are you listening to at the moment?

Heart stops beating, Paul Van Dyk.

  • What was the last film you saw?

A blue film (joke). The Fighter.

  • What would be your dream holiday location and why?

Considering I love movement and change, my ultimate dream travel experience would see me explore every nook and corner of India through a couple months long expedition, living out of a backpack (which I have done on several occasions) and follow the local life (including customs, food, clothing, lodging, etc.) of that place for a couple days before I move on to the next destination.

  • What is your favorite book? What was the last book you read?

I am a voracious reader and harbour interest in a wide array of topics including philosophy and biographies. I am currently reading The Litigators by John Grisham. The book is special because it was gifted to me by a stranger I bumped in to at London. He turned out to be a world renowned 28 year old Mathematician from Oxford, and I baffled him demanding we never stay in touch after that day. Haa haa (Blame it on my attraction towards the extraordinary!). He never found out my name, all I disclosed was my field of work (although he told me a great deal about himself not knowing what was coming). True to my wishes, we never spoke after that meet. He signed the book, “To a lovely crazy lady!”

  • Tell me about your first crush.

I was 8, a nuisance and trouble maker in class, while he was the ideal role model student. I never did anything about it, but turns out, years later, he confessed I was his first crush too! Nothing ever happened, and we are great friends today.

  • What’s a food treat for you? What foods do you detest?

Until a year ago, I ate everything and I mean everything. Today I appreciate healthier food choices, and I prefer fixing my own meals (let me boast a bit and mention the accolades my culinary skills have garnered over the years :P). I cannot resist Chinese cuisine. I detest sugary food.

  • Do you have a bucket list?

Absolutely. I intend to own a sports car, live in a real house (not an apartment) with a vegetable patch and a little farm type set up with animals, adopt a daughter (I don’t care about marriage but soul mate I do care about), write columns, give out baking lessons, own a wellness centre, and partner up in a law firm.

http://poojachopragoel.com/snapshots-interviews-profiles/

A Snapshot of Neeraj Tiwari

PhotoFunia-b88ccc_oFood and business – these are the two words that come to my mind when I think about Neeraj; his two steady lovers. It isn’t an easy task to describe a man like him. I met him in 2007 at work. We were part of the same team. He had these hilarious code words like merger and acquisition for wedding/relationships, stock split for females who were expecting and god knows what. I was quite naive back then and it took lot of networking for me to understand what he actually meant. Another patent Neeraj Tiwari dialogue, “Maal laao.” That was his way of congratulating you for absolutely anything and everything :P His charming smile, his confidence, his sense of humour, that naughty streak makes him an instantly likeable personality. What I admire the most about him or the most striking quality in him is his fierce independence. He quit his job to tread into unknown waters of entrepreneurship. And he has succeeded big-time. He never gave up; the idea of giving up irks him the most.

In this exclusive interview, Neeraj Tiwari (http://dhirubhaism.com/) talks about his first crush, his love for food & business and a lot more.

  • Give me a brief description about yourself.

I like travelling, reading books, writing and most importantly I love my dream, my business. Most of the time you can find me working; and yes like a typical Aquarian, I am an absent-minded genius (self appreciation :P).

The idea of exploring new places gives me a kick. In fact, my New Year’s Resolution is to visit/explore at least 7 places in 2013. Seven probably is not practical but I already have plans in place for four destinations (starting April).

My mantra in life is to never give up, keep walking. I firmly believe it doesn’t matter how many times you fall, what counts is, you rise every time you fall. You give up in two conditions. One, when you are down and things are going against you and second when you find something better. But either way giving up is depressing. Once you decide to do something, just do it. Believe in yourself. Give your best.

Now, let’s talk about my love for food; I have a steady affair with it and our love is quite unconditional :P I can’t cook but I can eat a lot… And a lot more.

Call me crazy, but there are two things I just can’t live without – shoes and books. I have like 16 pairs of shoes and a collection of 190+ books. I feel one should read and walk all the time.

  • What was the last film you saw?

Robot and Frank and The Dictator.

  • What kind of music do you love the most?

The kind that expresses feelings and emotions, the kind that is engaging, bewitching and hypnotizing.

  • Describe your Sundays.

On Sundays, I get more sleep. When I say more I mean I wake up around 8 am. It is the only day I actually get to be with my entire family and I love that. A regular Sunday ends with a good movie or work.

  • What would be your dream holiday location and why?

Egypt and Rome… I like ancient monuments, structures and cities… An unexplored island is also on my list perfect holidays.

  • What is your favorite book? What was the last book you read?

I have two – The 48 Law of Power and The Art of Seduction. The last one I read was – Every street is paved with Gold, by Kim Woo Choong, Founder Chairman Daewoo. I am currently reading The Black Flag.

  • Tell me about your first crush.

This memory is very close to my heart and reminds me of someone. It is funny but I did not even know her name. I still don’t. I do have a vague memory of what she looked like. I wasted three years just looking at her in college. I had a big crush on her but I never said anything. She knew I liked her all those years but I was just too shy to talk to her. My bad.

  • What’s a food treat for you? What foods do you detest?

Food treat? Get me anything from the south – idli, medu vada, dosa, uttapam with authentic coconut coriander chutney and sambar. I don’t enjoy non-vegetarian food anymore.

  • Do you have a bucket list?

Yes, I do. One thing on the list is to own a Royal Enfield and get it modified from Rajputana Customs. I would love to share the rest but it is all a little crazy and scary. From the list, I have already accomplished four things. Hopefully, next four will be achieved in coming 5-7 years. Two will take time but if it happens I will be able to say I lived my life to the fullest.

http://poojachopragoel.com/snapshots-interviews-profiles/

The dilemma of my vegetarian better half

Most of us would have had at least one ghastly dining experience in our lives… Before you start guessing, let me tell you that this blog is not about one of my dining disasters; it is about my super finicky pure vegetarian husband’s (Pulkit)! :P Last night, we went out for a nice dinner at this local restaurant. We had planned to have an especially elaborate dinner. So I quickly ordered some starters and soup as my better half was busy on the phone. Everything was pure pure (read again) vegetarian.

Bite by bite, we finished our veg platter… After we finished our soups, I started going through the menu all over again to order the main course. I was quite stuffed by this time, but Pulkit wanted to have another round of soup. So, he ordered one. He said, “Please get me one manchow soup.” The guy at the restaurant replied, “Okay Sir.” The soup was on our table within 5 minutes. My better half had it. I ordered the main course and we hogged like there’s no tomorrow.

Our tummy was stuffed, taste buds were contented, senses satiated and, we were waiting for our restaurant bill… The bill arrived. My better half went through everything on the bill. And, BOOOOOM…! “WHAT!!” That is all he managed to say. The bill loudly, clearly and hilariously said, “Non-veg Soup.” That was it! Pulkit called the manager at the restaurant to check. They were not sure what was served but when they saw Pulkit getting a little nervous they said it was vegetarian. But I still have my doubts… And so does my better half. From the moment we left the restaurant he is describing to me what he had and trying to check with me if that could be non-vegetarian :P How does chicken soup look like? Does it taste any different? How can you differentiate between the two? Lol… I just can’t stop laughing. My poor poor hubby! Mind you… We can’t do anything about it now… Even if it was non-vegetarian. :D By the way, did you like it hubby? Haa haa haa… It seems to me the vegetable family too is having some fun discussing this. :P

A super little visit to the city I love

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a very small bite of the city I love – Aamchi Mumbai. :) I was in Mumbai last week for 2 days to attend one of my friend’s wedding…

I shopped, ate, wandered about… And, yes, I did attend the pre-wedding sangeet and the big fat shaadi!

Believe me, I just blinked and it was all over.

Walking through the malls, buildings, cafes, local railway stations, travelling in buses, trains, being the part of the CROWD, being at my home in Mumbai, meeting siblings (Poonam Di and Abhay) and Mumma, sharing and discussing the CURRENT events and secrets in our lives… All of it now seems like a book that I just read. :) I wish it was that… A book… I would read it over and over again… :)

I’ve added a few photographs. In one of the photographs, I have captured my hairstylist at work. Hee hee… Just take a look.

Back in Kandla now…