The First Man

The first manBook: The First Man
Author: Tobias Wade

Publisher: A-Argus Better Book Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: ISBN No: 9780662326237
Pages: 356

Availability: Paperback | Kindle

Farris Mathalion did not believe in the old stories, not until her own brother was kidnapped by monsters to send her on a fantastical journey. She travels both within the mind and without, taking a path of harrowing adventure and personal enlightenment as she strives to rescue him.

 

THE FIRST MAN is the first volume in a two-part young adult/fantasy series that can be read on many different levels; whether the reader appreciates the excitement of the many fast-paced action scenes, the surreal beauty and mystery of new worlds, the philosophical musings of the guides along the way, or the spiritual path of overcoming reality that Farris finds before her. She will travel through the seven kingdoms of the earth, each woven into the deep mythology of the land she passes, and each representative of one aspect of spiritual enlightenment.
In the first volume she passes through the surface world as well as the lands of fear, pleasure and illusion below the earth. She is accompanied in her journeys by a variety of strange creatures, including her faithful pet goat Bumble, Gloria the magical fish, and a romantic interest that makes uncertain love and looming betrayal pervasive themes throughout.

About Author: As a child I constructed a spaceship capable of superluminal speeds powered by a fusion core reactor. The submission was denied by NASA on the grounds that it was made entirely of Legos. In high school I was told that I could do anything I wanted in life, while only being taught everything that I didn’t want to be. I probably deserved the detentions I received. In college I completed two bachelors of science in psychology and physiology, working as a neuroscientist with plans towards medical school. At last I had life figured out! Then a horrible thing happened. I actually achieved my dream. The infinite potential of my future lay down into ordered lines, and I knew that the only logical choice was to give it all up and become a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Kind of Street Cafe

photo 4I am a regular to SDA Market (New Delhi) for my coffee fix at Cafe Qahwa and Costa, and recently discovered this small joint by the name of ‘My Kind of Street Cafe’. It has got basic seating in a casual dining setting, with a quirky DIY menu, which is like a mix of ‘Choose your own at Subway’ and Nick’s Kitchen at Mcleodganj. You gotta choose the ingredients of your sandwich from the given list on the menu and mark them with a sketch pen. The idea is novel, however it photo 2could have been better if I didn’t have to repeat what I had chosen to the host. Simpler option could have been had they given me a pen/paper to write what I wanted! Knowing that its a start-up and they have their chinks to fix, kudos to their novelty and food quality. Their Ham-n-Cheese sandwich was utterly delicious. Its good value for money with sumptuous servings and mouth-watering food.

Dinner for Two would cost around Rs 1,000.

My Rating: 4/5 (Taste, Service, Ambience, Value for money, Variety)

Must Try: Ham/Cheese Sandwich, Lemon Grilled Fish, Chicken Pita, any of their cake slices, Stuffed chicken

Sagar Ratna at Defence Colony Market

photo (10)When it comes to eating south Indian fast food, we often go for Sagar Ratna, which is more like a byword for the southern cuisine.  Recently we went for dinner the restaurant’s Defcol market outlet. This chain offer wallet-friendly fair for vegetarians,serving  Karnataka photo (12)cuisine, which tastes a little different from more commonly available Tamil style of making idlis and dosas. Menu is simple with a variety of finger licking snacks, dosas, utthapams, , desserts and beverages on a double-sided single card menu tab. Seating is not very fancy but is very clean and functional. Service is courteous and fast. You will hardly ever find a Sagar Ratna joint empty!

Dinner for four would cost around Rs 1,500.

My Rating: 3.5/5 (Taste, Service, Ambience, Value for money, Variety)

Must Try: Rava Onion Dosa, Paper Masala Dosa, Aaloo Bonda, Dahi Vada

Old Rao Dhaba on NH 8

photo (7)As a frequent road traveler to Alwar starting early morning from Delhi, I often make a pit-stop at Dharuhera, Rewari for breakfast. NH-8 is dotted by several highway dhabas, and the most common name among them is ‘Rao’ with different prefixes & suffixes. The most authentic and oldest one is called ‘Old Rao Hotels & Caterers‘, which is 24 X 7 super busy joint and its parking lot is filled with small and big cars. It’s a large yet simple eating joint with plastic tables and chairs, and an photo (9)open kitchen, and you are not going to find the servers in neat uniforms. However if you are looking for some fresh and hot food desi style, this place offers good value for money. I have had numerous breakfasts and have tried them for a few dinners too. The dishes that I always stick to here are Aaloo Paranthas & Curd for breakfast, and Butter Chicken & Naan for dinner. Their stuffed bread offerings are good and mouth watering. Breakfast for four would cost around Rs 500.

My Rating: 3/5 (Taste, Service, Ambience, Value for money, Variety)

Must Try: Stuffed Parantha, Butter Chicken

 

Smoke House Deli

Smoke House Deli

Smoke House Deli

I had planned a lazy breakfast at All American Diner at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi this Sunday (20 Oct 2013) . All American Diner has been among my favorite breakfast joints for years. We reached around 10.30 AM only to find it packed with a wait period of 30 mins. After getting our names put on the wait list we were frolicking around appreciating gold fish amidst blooming lotuses and acrylic art to pass the time only to be told later to ourphoto (1) disappointment that we will have to wait for an hour! At 11.15 we were hungry and not in a mood to wait. Names of joints and locations were suggested as alternative and finally Khan Market was chosen. Rest was decided through the help of Zomato, and Smoke House Deli it was. We four ordered for our favorite breakfast including eggs Benedict, hash brown, wedges, beans, scrambled eggs, pasta, bacon, juice photo (4)complemented with flavored water. We indeed enjoyed a breakfast fit for kings. The joint had awesome food, nice interiors and courteous service. A must go if you enjoy continental cuisine. Breakfast for four would cost around Rs 2,500 and It’s worth every rupee spent. Find the joint at 17, Khan Market.

My Rating: 5/5 (Taste, Service, Ambience, Value for money, Variety)photo (3)

Breakfast Timing: 0800 AM – 1200 Noon
Must Try: Eggs Benedict, Hash Browns, Breakfast Bacon
Phone: 011 3014 6022

Lost in Space

Lost in SpaceGenre: Sci-fi | Year: 1998 | Duration: 130 mins | Director: Stephen Hopkins | Medium: VCD (Eagle Entertainment) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 2.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: “Robot: Warning! Warning! Alien approaching!”

The plot of this film is an adaptation from the 1960s TV series by the same name. In year 2058, the Robinson family comprising of five members, who apparently are all nerds and space explorers, along with Major Don West (Matt Leblanc) begins their journey from the dying Earth to another planet, Alpha Prime, using the newly built Hyper-drive for the next 10 years in stasis. However a terrorist re-programs an on-board robot, that changes the course of pre-fixed trajectory, and all of them gets lost in space, and crash-lands on a dying planet, after fighting off alien spiders, and rescuing a chameleon variety of monkey from a broken space ship from future. The rest of the movie is about entering bubbled time-warps and meeting Robinson Jr. in future where he has successfully built a time machine, and escape from being sucked into the black hole to the vast outer space.

Even though the special effects and animation are brilliant considering 1990s , the story line is totally unfocused and depressing. The future looked as bleak as the past with similar domestic problems and realities, so much so that sometimes the sci-fi turned into a family drama. The end was very bleak, and even a viewer with low IQ can conjure up the time vortex goof-up. I think i would have enjoyed the movie if I was 10!

This ‘lost & incoherent’ sci-fi with hollow adventure is my Movie of the Day.

The Usual Suspects

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Photo source: http://imdb.com

Genre: Thriller| Year: 1995 | Duration: 106 mins | Director: Bryan Singer | Medium: DVD (Sony Home Video) | Trailer: HERE | My rating: 4.5*/5*

Favorite Dialogue: Verbal: Keaton always said, “I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.” Well, I believe in God…and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Söze.”

A group of five unlucky small time criminals, Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne), a corrupt former police officer; Michael McManus (Stephen Baldwin), a short-tempered professional thief; Fred Fenster (Benicio del Toro); Todd Hockney (Kevin Pollak), a hijacker; and Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), a con artist with cerebral palsy, are brought to a police station for interrogation in regards to a mass murder on a ship by a semi-mythical Hungarian crime kingpin feared as ‘the devil himself’ and known by others as ‘Keyser Soze’. With the promise of $91 million and the opportunity to keep their lives, the enigmatic Keyser sends this group on a fool’s errand in San Pedro harbor to stop a competitor’s huge cocaine sale that would interfere with Keyser’s own drug operation, using Kobayashi. In the end, the director brilliantly reveals the identity of Keyser Soze.

This visually stunning thriller full of black comedy with intricate twists is my Movie of the Day.

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