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A short story – the journey of a lifetime

Image courtesy of http://footage.shutterstock.com/clip-1191091-stock-footage-palms-and-trees-waving-to-the-wind-of-a-storm-and-rain-in-a-tropical-jungle-surrounding.html

Image courtesy of Shutterstock 

As the rain poured down, drenching Thev’s entire body and his unruly head of hair that never quite did what he wanted, he realised that he was lost in a state he never thought he would feel. A state of utter bewilderment. As Thev continued walking along the footpath swamped with muddy water, and watched as the palm leaves swung ferociously, almost delivering the anger his heart has felt all his life, he kept wondering why he suddenly felt such confusion. After twenty eight years, he was finally back to the country he last left as a young toddler crying out in anguish for his parents. This young, accomplished man was back to end his pain and suffering, but coming back has only confused his soul, and left him wondering why he decided on this trip in the first place. The walk that started at a slow pace, suddenly turned into a jog, as Thev began to feel ever so slightly heavier due to all the water seeping through his clothes and quickly, he entered his pin code into the keypad and leapt onto his sofa, away from the rain, away from the angry palm trees, but not any more closed off from his own mind.

This was the beginning of an altogether different journey for Thev, the more he thought about his rationale for being in this foreign place, the more he was beginning to realise he could have been wrong. So very wrong.

The noise startled Thev as he awoke from what was a short lived sense of calm in his sleep, and he feebly answered his mobile ‘Hello, Thev here?’ ‘Thevu, where have you gone? I’ve been leaving so many messages but you haven’t picked up your house phone for three days!’, said Ritu marmie (marmie meaning aunty). Ritu marmie, is the ‘L’ in lady, always so angelic in appearance, with her beautifully ornate saris and her hair tied back and her forehead doused in Kum-kum. Not only this, she is one of the only living relatives of Thev, of whom, who would kill herself if anything bad should happen to Thevu. Thev could hear the panic in her voice and it made him morbidly sad.’ Marmie, I’m fine, I just came for a holiday, a quick one, I will be back in a week.’ ‘Where are you Thevu, you could have told me before you left na?’ ‘Marms, I’m just visiting friends and doing some work out here, I will call you when I get better signal. Don’t worry ok? Love you and Marmu.’ Before, the poor ageing lady had a chance to answer, the moment was gone, as Thev hung up quickly, still deciding it would be best if no-one knew he was here. They would only try to stop him anyway.

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Friday night customer service…

I have to assure you, I am not the type who would complain at every small thing that goes wrong as I totally understand mistakes happen. Particularly if it’s a busy night. However, what I’m not amused by is what happened, on Friday night.

Friday night. An evening I had been planning for months as a surprise to my sister. It was all organised, a great restaurant with rave reviews which was almost fine dining but not too formal. I had spoken to two members of staff on the phone, one of whom promised me I could have any table I like and put as many birthday balloons as I wanted, another who told me I could only have the downstairs seating and that the other person I’d spoken to was clearly new and therefore knew nothing. I would have been prepared to not even mention that in this blog post had it be been for great customer service on the night, only you guessed it, it wasn’t.

Toilets at Nopi

Toilets at Nopi of which I did spend about 10 minutes of our 45 minute wait in! #selfies

We arrived to Nopi and I had called about ten minutes prior to say we were running a couple of minutes late which the lady I spoke to said that was fine, we actually came in at four minutes late and were told our table would be ready in five minutes. 40 minutes ticked on, and a frustrated friend of mine finally had had enough and complained to which she was told we would be seated in five minutes. A 9:15 reservation ended up seating us at approximately 10 -10:05pm. I have to say, if they had communicated that they had misjudged the situation and that they were running late, that would have atleast made this ok, but on the contrary, our first communication with the initial lady, ended in her arguing with her colleague, them telling us it would be five minutes and then only when we complained, telling us that we would need to wait a further five. Considering, I had to book months in advance and was told that cancellation was charged heftily per head, suffice to say I wasn’t amused.

Apple, cranberry and cucumber was great!

Apple, cranberry and cucumber was great!

We were finally seated, to what wasn’t the table I was hoping for but was fine none the less considering by now, we were all famished, and this was by far the latest dinner I’d ever had. Our orders came relatively quickly and some of which were delightful. The manager came over and apologised on the delay and was incredibly friendly which did infact help them score some brownie points, particularly as he seemed to understand the value of the customer experience.Kudos also to our waiter for the night, a guy who looked like side show bob from The Simpsons. He and his afro hair was awesome. The meal was a good experience though one I think we would have appreciated more had we ate at the time we were meant to.

Nopi is a restaurant by one of my biggest foodie inspirations, Yottam Ottolenghi. I have pretty much seen all his cookery shows, his books are on my wishlist with Amazon, and if I had been there a day earlier then we had gone, I would have maybe seen him?! However, for someone who holds his name on this and other restaurants, some of the staff could really do with a lesson in customer service, or the manager could train a couple of those on the phone to either not be so strict on timings if it means nothing, or be more transparent with us the heavily paying customer.aubergines

Overall, the experience was good as we had a brilliant time and most importantly my sister had a fantastic night out with the girls, which was the entire aim. *brownie points to the surprise organising team*

Check out tomorrow night where I will narrate the story of the Italian restaurant fail… in the meantime, do you have any restaurant horrors?

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Shine on me, my first ever Blog award!

Okay, so I haven’t QUITE won a Brit, yet. Anything is possible so hey, I’m not ruling it out. What I have won however, is my first ever Award for my blog! It’s called the Shine ON Award and it’s basically a virtuous love of all blogs!

It’s incredibly humbling to be awarded it as I’ve been blogging for a couple of years but on and off for the past year. Don’t worry all, I’m back for good as I missed it so very dearly and now that my time management skills are improving, I’m here!

So thank you to the awesome Marta Mendes of Mimosas and Fashion, she has become a great virtual friend over the past couple of months and girly, I cannot wait to meet you soon!  To continue this beautiful sharing of love, I am going to share with you 7 things you didn’t know about me:

Maldon-Sea-Salt-Flakes

- I quite like the taste of sea salt, to the point where I think I’m a bit obsessed with Maldon sea salt flakes. There I’ve said it. Don’t mock me, just try and eat one flake…

- A Beautiful Mind – is one of my all time favourite films, the sound track is mind blowing and Russell Crowe is exceptional in this.

- When I was little I wanted to be an architect. True story, I used to love sketching ideas for temple designs and actually did my entire Art A-Level on temple architecture. I realised I just loved looking at pretty buildings as opposed to actually designing them.

- I love cool lighting. This is true, I have a really big crush on epic lighting, not traffic lights but fancy shades, lights that change according to your mood etc. You name it, I love it. If anyone remembers the Millenium Dome back when it wasn’t the 02, there used to a mood room in there, I LOVED that room. *sigh* I miss that place!

Marbled tabby- I’m beginning to like cats. This is weird for me. I never was much of a pet lover besides my fish, I was always too scared. I’m still a little weary with four legged creatures but I have to say, I’m liking cats when they aren’t looking at you with the ‘I’mgoingtoscratchyoureyesout’ look.

- I love candles – particularly Yankee but I’m not that fussy. I just love the warmth, the light, the scents… everything about a candle is fun!

- Baby clothes. I absolutely love buying clothes for little babies. With a couple of friends recently having given birth and some about to, I guess this can only be a good thing!

There you go, my seven random facts and along with this, I now nominate 7 bloggers to keep shining their light and they are:

- The ramblings

-Joypassiondesire

-Serendipity 

-Lattes and Leggings

-ChefHermes

-Sweetandcrumby

-Irishgypsy 

Now all that’s left to say, is that if you would like to accept and forward the award on the ‘Shine On’ Award rules are :

1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog, and link back
3. Share seven random, interesting things about yourself
4. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the ‘Shine On’ Award, provide a link to their blogs in your post, and notify them on their blogs.

That’s it. I’ve nominated many of the blogs that I follow and love, they make me laugh, they inspire me and they make me want to continue this blogging journey.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this, if so, why not subscribe to get my awesomeness to your email!

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Breaking the glass ceiling

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A rather long time ago, in fact one of my first ever blog posts, was about life from a British-Asian perspective and I have to say my opinions haven’t changed much. If anything I’ve only become more determined than ever to achieve what I want to whilst retaining my culture, heritage and my pride of being a British born Asian.

That’s why it is great to see Microsoft put an Indian born man at the helm of their company, at a time where leadership has never been so important.

So why is it that we don’t see this in all industry sectors? Are we afraid to break the glass ceiling?

Industry sectors

I’m sure many of you reading this work or have worked in various industries where moving up the ladder is totally achievable and it’s never stopped you. Now tell me if you haven’t managed to move and why that isn’t the case.  The ‘D’ word of discrimination is used here there and everywhere these days, with prominence often held on this based on gender and inequality of pay.  I am a believer in the PERSON for the job, regardless of gender and I only hope that the same could be said in the glass ceiling organisations that I have heard, discriminate against race.

Glass ceilings

OK, I know there are two camps. Those that will complain about a situation and do absolutely nothing to rectify it. These are the people that want that bonus or that pay rise but haven’t done any further qualifications or talent development in years but still feel that just by being there makes them entitled.

Then there’s the other camp. The camp that work hard, have a career drive and want a bonus based on performance not time entitlement.

So why are not as many ethnic minority not in the senior roles in any organisation no matter what size? I personally think its down to drive. If I’ve wanted something, even if the world says I can’t, I’m the sort of person who will achieve it. It’s not a ‘want to achieve’ or ‘like to’ it’s a very firm, resolution of WILL.   Satya Nadella is not the first Indian to become a front runner of a global organisation; the outstanding drive of Indira Nooyi as CEO of Pepsi Co is a huge inspiration and there will certainly be many more.  What is interesting is that these people, particularly Indira (I’ve seen many a YT clip) has a thirst, a passion and a yearning to succeed. She challenged when challenges were hushed, she pushed the glass ceiling til it broke and with this vigour, she shaped a company and brought pride to a beautiful land.

I’m also always stunned when I constantly read articles and statistics about the state of equal pay. Are we not in the 21st Century anymore where pay based on gender just shouldn’t be accepted without exception? Regardless of this, I always prove my worth, by my work. The quality of my work is what puts me above the competition irrespective of gender, race or creed as I’m sure it does for everyone of you.

So what will you do? Are you going to break a glass ceiling or two? I know I will, and that’s not just in the corporate world- if you’ve read this blog post, I’m already breaking a ceiling! ;-)