Monday, November 01, 2010

Let me introduce "Shack Coffee Company".

In my last to last post I had mentioned the reason behind starting Shack Design Co. And the reason was Shack Coffee Co. , which I had set out to establish in the autumn of 2007. For the first two years nothing much happened. Initially  I was learning about coffee on my own and dreaming to open a café. Later  I chanced upon meeting founders of Finca Coffee, probably the only boutique roasters in the country then and even today. After I met them I started learning the nuances of coffee, which I will rather explain in the Shack Coffee’s blog.

With the never ending enthusiasm and the eyes dreaming endlessly I was never in a position to think of opening the café because of various reasons ,which now seem foolish. Finally the first opportunity knocked in June, this year, when Ajay Jain of Kunzum offered me to set up and run a manual coffee bar at his travel café. I set up the coffee bar and ran it for three months before the differences cropped up between Ajay and I . We amicably decided to part our ways . All the while I was also running my New Media business and scaling it up brick by brick . I was slightly sad as my first attempt to start the café had kind of failed. I went about running the business thinking that I would only open the café when I have enough money.

It seems that again I am being proved wrong. Few days back I came across a vacant shop front near our office in Shahpurjat . I asked my roaster friends if they would like to open a café in partnership with me . They came to see the property. After we had seen the place, my roaster friends took me along to meet a friend of theirs, who run an organic foods venture called Dubden Green . I came to know that promoters of Dubden green Ganesh and Jayshree had been wanting to open a café, but since they were busy running their business, they were unable to do so. During the course of our conversation we realized that all of us are in the same boat and it occurred to us that we relook at the idea of opening the café at their property.

I am once again excited at the prospect of opening the café , as I see café as a platform where people meet each other, participate in genuine conversations and gradually form a community around good things in life. I have this gut feeling that people growing organic food and buying the same will also believe in the things above and eventually lay the foundation for a sustainable café. So, here I am presenting Shack Coffee Co. again where you will get  coffee, the way it should be. Cheers!

Posted via email from Be

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The best statistical graphic ever drawn?

While I run New Media Firm, Shack , I need to do things which are tasks handed over to us by our clients which needs to be finished within deadlines. We tend to focus more on the end results and less on the processes . Clients  ask for things which are newer and more interesting.  I have always thought about how to make existing  things better. Similarly I think  that presentations is one such thing , which is our primary vehicle to shuttle our ideas to clients in the form of proposals. Therefore, they also seek for presentations which consist  ‘out of box’ ideas. Some take pride in fifty slider presentation, while some take pride in visually rich presentations, and some try to be minimalist in their approach. Focus seems to be more towards audio visual spectacle and not towards looking at a problem or a solution.

I remember a saying by Paramhansa Ramakrishna who said that to kill oneself one only needs a razor blade ,while to kill others one needs a big weapon. In a similar fashion we do not need numerous objectives or goals to do good work. Intrepid is one such company which works towards solutions and I have begun to admire their work in the field of social media analytics and market research consultancy. I was going through their blog and this post in particular, which says ,” There always has to be a better and richer way of showing something than through piles of histograms and pie charts.” I think that similar approach is what makes striving for excellence worthy of a goal in one’s life or work.  The image above is the graphical representation of Napoleon’s march on Moscow and its retreat , which is explained in the above mentioned blog , gives so much information in so less a space, in the process fortifying my belief in “less is more”.

Posted via email from Be

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Shack : Long Story Short Part I

After three seven years and innumerous disappointments I have realized that if there is anything in this world worth living, it  is one’s tiny, irrelevant and inconsequential pursuit or purpose . I have tried to tell myself that with a few more bunch of currencies , a bit more fortified walls of security and a few more pantheons of recognition and praise life will be better, but all in vain.

Yes, I am talking about my journey after I passed out from Delhi University with a third division to a shady college to a few years of complete obscurity and confusion to the first unsuccessful steps towards entrepreneurship to unbroken chain of disappointments and failures to the current stage. Currently I am building a new Media Marketing Agency ( ) , which was formalized in 2008 and also working towards opening India’s first genuine Specialty Coffee Café.

I had thought a lot about sharing this inconsequential story , but I have decided against it time and again for the simple reason that who would want to know what have I done in my life. But then I thought that sharing one’s story is not just for the achievers, successful professionals, popular personalities and so called great men. Why can’t someone who has not achieved professional heights , earned fortune by getting funded and still struggling to figure out his life ,share his story. And with that very thought  I am doing this.

Three main characters in the story are coffee, a friend and the city called Delhi. In my next post I will share how the muck filled Yamuna can fill someone with hope and desire to excel. So, at times we should love Sheila Dixit for prodding us to better things in life.

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Monday, August 02, 2010

दुपहिये में बैठ सीधे घर चले आओ…

दुपहिये में बैठ सीधे घर चले आओ,आज तो प्रिये कोई बहाना ना बनाओ;

घिर आये हैं बादल, गिरने लगी हैं बुँदे,फिर दिखे हैं सपने, फिर जागी है उम्मीदें;

मरने दो उम्मीदों को, मुझे सपनों से जगाओ, घिर आये है बादल प्रिये, अब घर चले आओ.

खरीद लाई मैं बेसन, कट गए हैं प्याज, टप-टप कर रिझा रही मुझे बुँदों कि आवाज; मुझे जल्दी बताओ कितुम भीगने लगेहो, बिना बहाना बनाए अबघर को चले हो

फिर मैं भी नाचूंगी उन्ही बूंदों में आज; टपटप कर बुलारही मुझे बुँदों किआवाज. अबतो दुपहिये में बैठ सीधे घर चलेआओ, आजतो प्रिये कोई बहाना बनाओ

फिरआएगा सावन पुरे एकबरस के बाद, यदाकदा ही होती अब बिन सावन बरसात; इस अवसर को मुझसे तुम छीन लेनाआज, टपटप करके चिड़ा रही मुझे बुँदों कि आवाज

अब तो दुपहिये में बैठ सीधे घर चले आओ, आज तो... आज तो प्रिये कोई बहाना ना बनाओ.

श्रंगार रस - बड़े समय के बाद:)

दुपहिये में बैठ सीधे घर चले आओ, आज तो प्रिये जहाज ना उडाओ!

By Navin Pangti

Follow him on Twitter at

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Nero's Guest.

Everybody Loves a Good Drought- Authored by P Sainath is a book which shows our apathy towards who toil endlessly to feed us, help us to avail our comforts and then in return are ignored and forgotten to obscurity. Our own little pursuits are the most important things for us. Our own sadness is the heaviest. Our own ambitions loom larger than anyone else’s.

Poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition , corruption and the resulting hopelessness are not mere facts about our country, they are also a way of life for the millions. Imagine if one of us , the blogging souls will never ever have access to internet, electricity, cars, books, homes, beds, toilets, etc. what will our existence be like. Are we really aware of this situation in the lives of the countless , inconsequential millions?

I am looking forward to watch this documentary. It will put us at unease, but it is better to be poked by truth rather than be caressed by utopian falsehood.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

All Things Banaras

“The Ganges front is the supreme showplace of Benares.
Its tall bluffs are solidly caked from water to summit, along a stretch of three miles, with a splendid jumble of massive and picturesque masonry, a bewildering and beautiful confusion of stone platforms, temples, stair flights, rich and stately palaces....soaring stairways, sculptured temples, majestic palaces, softening away into the distances; and there is movement, motion, human life everywhere, and brilliantly costumed - streaming in rainbows up and down the lofty stairways, and massed in metaphorical gardens on the mile of great platforms at the river's edge.”
(Mark Twain, American Writer - 1835-1910

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

God's Own Temple.


A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself. -John Muir, naturalist, explorer, and writer (1838-1914)

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Fiery Bangla Chicken

I work with an ecclectic group of people who are involved with few projects we do. Half are crazy and the rest crazier. Most of them have inclination towards fine arts while they have to work in the industry to earn their livlihoods. There are also people from other walks of lives with inflated egos and deflated confidence.Therefore we have a heady mix of creativity, love life, joy, angst, hope, frustration and so much more. Once in a while we get together and cook offs take place, where the best cook cooks something and then the second best rustles up somethng edible, while the rest bullshit and drink .

One such day we got together and the bawarchis cooked, chatterjees chatted and one patrakarji ranted against the world. He taught a lesson to a liquor baron and instructed an agency to just do it while he obliged to eat with us . Who knows that it takes very little for a bubble to burst and that is what happened. Patrakarji's ex and his current also joined in. We thought that it is cool these days to be friends with your ex and show affection to your current. Patakar ji blamed the host for inviting his ex and they exchanged some fiery notes, made sombre with some east indian langage which makes abuses sound rounded .

In the meanwhile host's wife and I were involved in cooking. Now S, the host's wife is one great cook I have ever across. She says that she has learnt her cooking from her mother and grandmother who live in Calcutta. Her mother instructed her that one should be able to distinguish the smell of the dish, and strive to replicate the same . I would call it intuitive cooking and may be the best. The other day she cooked chicken in caramelized onion and tomatoes and added red chilli powder, haldi, few cloves, few cardamom for the flavor. She did not add garlic, ginger or garam masala which otherwise is a norm. The end product was the most flavorful chicken I had ever eaten. Follwoing is the recipe which I named Fiery Bangla Chicken.

Fiery Bangla Chicken

Serves: 4 Gluttons.


Chicken 1kg

Onion 500gms Cut into small pieces.

Tomatoes 250 Gms cut into small pieces.

Cardamom 8 pods

Cloves 8 nos. ( Remove the head or pod )

Red Chilli Dried 8 nos. ( Make a paste of it)

Red Chilli powder 1tsp

Turmeric 1tsp


Take oil and heat it. Put two dried red chillis and wait till it starts to crackle. Put onions and wait till starts to turn translucent which is five minutes. Add turmeric and cloves. Wait till onion leaves oil. Add tomato, stir. Add chilli paste, and don't wipe your sweat. Add chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir and keep stirring for five minutes. Add chicken . Turn down flame to minimum and cover with the lid. Let the chicken cook for half an hour. Check if it is cooked. Add warm water if you want more gravy.

Fiery Chicken tastes with Steamed Rice and coke/beer.*

*I have cooked it twice and bot the times it has turned out wonderful.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010



Science is touching new frontiers, but the basic human emotions have remained same even after millenia  .Today is the nth Solar Eclipse , a phenomenon which catches the fancy of an illiterate as well as the educated. On one hand superstitious try to save  themselves from the ill effects, which might bring bad fortunes. On the other hand the educated gaze right into the eyes of the sun  and tell how the fortunes of the star called Sun ,have changed. Overall the spectacle drwas attention from all quarters.

If an eclipse , taking place once in several years can be of so much interest, then why not the eclipse which has covered our hearts and minds be of any interest? Our hearts and minds are now muddled with the darkness akin to the eclipse. We do not care about relationships. We do not care about elders. We do not care about children as we teach them virtues of vices. We smile without and scoul within. We count excellence and quantify love.We are on a spree to gather more and better things in life, ranging from car, gadgets and so much more. We ignore each other while we sheepishly outnumber, outcompete and out win others. Well, if this is what we term development and advancement, then we might have to rethink over it.

It was only yesterday that  the country was celebrating pongal/uttrayan and sankranti while nearly half a million people have lost thier lives in Haiti. People rejoiced yesterday ushering good luck with the first harvest by the farmers. But behold there was no farmer involved in our celebrations. Farmers are somewhere aloof from all the developments which the urban elite is soaking up, dreaming about a future whcih gives them fair price for their produce. At least we are ensuring them celebration for what they did. After we have rejoiced the produce we will go back to haggling for the prices in the vegetable market and then hop on to the nearest mall and change into our serence and calm selves when we purchase a 1.5k branded pair of jens and a pair of shoes worth 5k.

With massive devastation people have discovered one more side of theirs, which is being competetive in donations. So, when poeple donate an x amount they are going to shout at the top of their voices on all social platforms about their nobility. Now the world should know that I have donated something, and believe me I am not here to opt out. I will consume more than others, compete with others and ten sing praise of my goodness and greatness for I have eclipsed myself. Yes, Eclipsed!


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Friday, January 15, 2010


Science is touching new frontiers, but the basic human emotions have remained same millennium after millennium  . Today is the nth Solar Eclipse of the world, a phenomenon which catches the fancy of an illiterate as well as the scientific community. One forgets all the worries of the world and tries to save himself from the ill effects which will destroy the person and his already ill fated fortune. On the other hand scientists gaze right into the eyes of the sun and predict the age of one particular phenomenon which might have occurred a million years ago. Both loose themselves into the dimmed reflections of the day .

If people care so much about this natural phenomenon and are affected so much, why cannot we take some time out and see what all have eclipsed our minds and hearts. We are on a spree to gather more and better things in life, ranging from car, gadgets and so much more. We ignore each other while we sheepishly outnumber, outcompete and out win others. Nature is being devastated, our relationships with our communities( anything from the family to the place where one lives) are on the brink of collapse. Writers on all platforms proudly claim to own think tanks, and spit poisonous fumes of hatred, war and destruction. Competition , numbers, targets, deadlines and target segments are more important to us than our own lives. With every passing day we shall invent more potent ways to eclipse ourselves. People die and people create a social scorecard of how much one has denoted .

It was only yesterday that  the country was greeting pongal/uttrayan and sankranti. People are ready to go to any extent to show how good they are and also how zonked out they are, but we will never care about the farmers, about whom the festival was. Farmers are committing suicides for the people do not care about them. Look at people haggling for the vegetables in the market and their face turns serene and calm when they buy a pair of jeans or a pair of expensive shoes in a mall. Now that is what I call real eclipse, and not the one which occurred today.

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