Berjaya – the cold hospitality

Image source: Google.

While we were at Langkawi we got to stay at the Berjaya Langkawi Resort and it brought back memories from when I was a child.  You know the ones, when my mom went for  Parents Teacher meetings in my school, with least expectations possible  so she isn’t disappointed but somehow my progress (if you could call it that) always ALWAYS put to shame her already plunging hopes.


Staying at Berjaya was my decision and my situation was exactly like my mom’s who at the heat of the moment made a decision of having me and therefore will have to pretend  her entire life – like I am the best thing that has ever happened to her. But I would rather call a spade a spade. I did try to bear a strong impressed expression on my face until I could no longer do that, broke down and admitted that I was disappointed indeed and the sad part is my expectation weren’t even high in the first place.

So let’s start with what Mr Berjaya has to say about himself.

Home to Unesco’s World GeoPark, discover the island said to have inspired love and miracles. Cocooned within a rainforest sanctuary, Berjaya Langkawi Resort embraces boundless views of emerald sea and lush green mountains. With an array of convention facilities and spa treatments complemented with warm hospitality, your retreat will be filled with success happiness and memorable moments.

Like you see, most of it is true and I have struck off the ones which aren’t.  Let me start with the boundless views and then we will talk about the warm hospitality and cold shoulders.

Berjaya is a beautiful Resort, a world in its own. The chalets among  striking greenery, the magnificence of the sea in sight from the beach, everything about it rings so close to nature.

We stayed at sea view chalet. Pictures can tell a thousand words so let us just sit back and let them do the talking.


This is where the monkeys come from, to greet you.

sea view chalet

berjaya 6

berjaya 7

Now you know, who’s the boss in the house

berjaya 4

In love with this space

berjaya 5

View from our “Sea view” Chalet

berjaya 2

berjaya beach

Spectacular view of the Andaman sea.

berjaya beach 3


berjaya beach 2

The beach

It’s close proximity to oriental village is favorable. Just a stone throw away from cable car, duck tour and seven wells.

And people, this is where it ends like all things good!

The beauty of the resort couldn’t possibly match up to the amazing impression that we got from its staff. The faces of we saw everyday, everywhere while in Berjaya.


constipated mode on

The check-in was long and boring like they usually are but this time they looked a lot less welcoming. Waiting for our buggy to take to our room was another story. We had to constantly remind the staff standing there to add our chalet no. tag to our luggage. But may be they knew that we won’t be making to our chalet anywhere soon so they took their time. Our chalet was quite close to the reception area so from then on we resolved to just walk up to it on our own. When at around 7:30 pm we showed them interest in using their car services for Oriental Village, the man there in a very indifferently, to the point of being rude,  replied that the Village closes by 7 pm and looked away with a rather remarkable jerk of his head, if he had long luscious hair it would look something like this


I mean just tell us if we could use the services or may be politely tell us that you don’t operate the service after 7 pm which I am sure you do. Don’t give guests misleading information because not everything closes at oriental village by 7. How do you know we weren’t going there for teh halia.


The Beach restaurant is located right on the beach front and the menu does have good options for vegetarians too, I mean if you don’t count the accidental worms here and there.


This is what I ordered and as I am about to be done with it, I unwrap it. I am blessed with sixth sense like that. No, but when in retrospect I think about it I really can’t remember for sure what made me look inside it, to look in the ingredients, to chuck out onions. I don’t know. But when I did, I saw it right before me.

The vegetable worm, dead though! Oh the horror. I am vegetarian for a reason and Mr Berjaya I would want things to be kept like that. No thank you sir, I don’t need to top up my wraps with extra worms. Anyways I brought it to staff’s  notice. She was sorry and then didn’t charge us for that wrap. umm that’s resolved?  Right? Apart from the fiasco, this restaurant was a relief. The staff was friendly and smiled all the time and even took interest in asking us about our stay which is a something we rarely saw during our stay. There was a band which played here while we had a dinner, they took efforts to go to every table and played the requested song. It was wonderful. And I am telling you this because when somebody asks me how was my experience in Berjaya, I don’t tell them about the worm incident but the ones that preceded and the one that follows. The answer lies in your face. A smile or a frown can make oodles of difference in how you will be remembered and perceived.

And oh did I tell you about the cafe where guests had their breakfast? That’s what takes the cake.  More than their half-cooked omelette and frozen prata (yeah its funny how I go all the way to Malaysia to have frozen prata), what irritated me was their lack of interest in what they are serving their guest.  I go to the waffle station and the lady making them doesn’t even acknowledge me, I look into the basket and there is a burnt waffle there. So I ask her

Me: “Could you make one for me please?”*insert  over enthusiastic smile*



Me: “Umm…this one is a little burnt”*insert a reasonable smile*



Me: Should I wait?*insert needy smile*



 Me: “okay I will wait”*insert a high pitch embarrassed laugh*

I wait for a good 5 minutes, meanwhile she gets busy talking and laughing with another staff. All the time I am thinking about the waffle in the maker which is likely to come out burnt too. So having had enough and my son tugging at my skirt wanting chocolate waffle. I take the one from the basket and come back to my table. My toddler rejected it outright. In your face lady. In your face.


Verdict: If you don’t care for inattentive and discourteous staff then Berjaya is a beautiful place to stay but I would advise you to travel light because the buggy driver might just be a jerk to not help you with the luggage (a quick shutout to you).

PS: I am not being harsh, you can’t afford to be impolite if you work in service sector. The staff failed at their basic duties. I have had such great experiences before with other hotels where the staff carry a happy holiday mood, takes initiative to strike a conversation with you, ask you about your day and the stay that I was all the more let down by Berjaya Resort Langkawi.



Finding Fanny and weighty Issues.

Finding_Fanny_Theatrical_release_poster I watched “Finding Fanny” and I wouldn’t beat around the bush. I loved it. Even after I had to watch it in a chair with a broken armrest, chewing rubbery cold  pop corns, a cringe worthy ceiling and a lingering perpetual scent of stale Urine. There! You just   got a perfect picture of Jade,  the sole theater for Indian movies in Singapore. Finding Fanny  is about love, Hope, Lust, egos and changing equations. Its a story about a man, Ferdie, who embarks on the journey seeking the love of his life along with a twisted painter, a virginal(pun intended), the love sick, an uptight  and a cat. Its a Journey that’s both metaphorical as it is literal. Now I can go on, give you an outline of the story, the performances, the glitch.


Now what do you expect when to go to watch a movie like finding fanny? A movie by the one who gave us “being Cyrus”.

CYRUSSeriously? I am perplexed by the way some people are bashing up the movie and writing it off. I don’t go watch a Sajid khan movie if I am looking out for a social message. Do I? Well who am i kidding? I don’t watch a sajid khan’s movie in any case. But what I am trying to say is don’t write off a movie because it isn’t what you thought it to would be. When a director makes a movie like that he knows the risks. He will miss out on a major chunk of audience. But he goes ahead, may be because that’s what he believes in. And there are people who enjoy them, because it breaks the gazillion  stereotypical notions we are bound by.

So I post this after watching the movie “Actors that can act, a modest but refreshing story , movie worth my time. “Finding Fanny” does manage to revive some of my lost faith in Indian cinema.” So it basically sums up my views on the movie. And you see why I liked the movie.

But then there are people who post “third grade movie”, “bakwaas”, “not recommended”.

That’s what gets me every time. E-V-E-R-Y-T-I-M-E. .


And I by no means am saying that I liked it so everyone should like it. Of course not. You have all rights to not like it. But its definitely not a unsuccessful attempt at a movie. It is an intelligent movie and worth a watch. Had I  gone by the reviews doing rounds on the internet and not watched it the first day, I could have easily be fooled into not seeing it. And I personally know people  who would love this movie for its clear resemblance to a good Literary drama.

Having said that, I am not as irritated by the bad reviews this movie has been receiving as the following episode that happened during the movie.

So there is a scene in the movie where Don Pedro  (Pankaj Kapoor) a exaggerated version of himself  paints a disgraceful picture of  Rosie(Dimple Kapadia) and for sometime its actually funny. And then  he says the words “I am done with you” and lift up the painting at an angle where audience can see. Needless to say there were saggy b**bs and a loose belly. Now an actress as good as Dimple wordlessly but explicitly puts it across that she is shattered and feels used. I guess, this is the first time in the movie she sees herself  from eyes that’s not her own. And very perverted at that. It made me sad. of course there were squeals of delight all around. What got me were a small group of women who kept laughing for the next minute at the beauty of the scene. Literally and that too, loudly, even after everyone stopped.

I am sorry? What was funny? A woman being disrobed and demeaned. The naked body? The insults hurled at her?Now its not my place to judge anyone.  May be I am the one reading too much. But I just could relate it to  the fact how insensitive we are. It We are so used to watching movie where a joke on a woman is funny and we don’t know where to stop? It reminds me of women who giggle while thier guy friends make fun of another woman passing by. And it reminds me of all the insensitive comments made on a postpartum body of a woman.****(Kinda spoiler alert)***** So did it give me a relief when the self proclaimed painter got shot right in his face and was thrown out of the car and drowned in the water? Hell Ya! The death by the way had so much similarity to the death of the cat. Abrupt, oblivious and disregarded. But at least the cat got a proper burial.

To end it on a funny note, sharing this oh-so-true portray of an epic dumb Salman’s reaction to the movie, done by  The Indian Express.


DISCLAIMER: I don’t claim copyrights for the images used above. 

An eagle, some chocolates and a lot of change.

My Langkawi Experience

Well, I have recently been to Langkawi and I really wanted to get an introduction picture like this for you all

Image courtesy: Google

Image courtesy: Google

but all I could get was this

Image Courtesy: yours truly.

Image Courtesy: yours truly.

That’s because of all the people who were clinging on to the alphabets for their dear poses.

For people who don’t know, Langkawi is a cluster of numerous small islands in Malaysia of which only a few are inhabited. We were at Pulau Langkawi, the main island. Air Asia was the flight of our choice, not that you are spoilt for choices when travelling from Singapore. But nevertheless it was a smooth flight after the initial delay of an hour. Now Langkawi has pretty straightforward road network. You can either rent a car or even hire a taxi on hourly basis – we opted for the former. The agents were flooding the entire airport and we selected ours very sensibly and diligently. We stood there played a little – Inky pinky ponky father had a donkey-and Maystar it was. Well who goes all sensible and diligent on a holiday. Bla! Luckily for us we faced no problems with the car during our entire trip. For directions you could either use hard copies of maps or a better option would be to download the Langkawi map if you happen to have a Nokia Lumia and it would work offline.

After some sea goodness we headed to the oriental village the next day. A word of advice, don’t keep your plans of the cable car for last day because you never know when it gets windy and rainy and the cable cars are put on halt. So whenever you feel the weather is permissible, go for it. We did take the package at the Oriental Village which included the cable car, Duck tour and the 6D movie. Worth every penny. The sky bridge was closed for maintenance though.

Oriental Village


View from the cable car.


The next day we decided on the Seven Wells waterfall and off we went with a toddler in tow. The name Seven Wells originates from the seven natural water bodies situated at Mount Mat Cincang.

The picture is just my tired attempt to capture what lay ahead, like words can’t even describe how it is to walk all the way up and be rewarded. So let me just try to give you a recap. Look, I love adventure I really do. Just look at me all happy and ready for a cat -ahem- uphill walk.

oh! This is just a cake walk.

And then we take the endless flight of stairs. We walk a little, huff a lot and reach the  waterfall at the lowest level. The first “waterfall” I see is this.


All the way for this?!!!



All the way for this!

Well! What to say? I have seen better. May be the one highest up the hill is a lot better than this but seriously I didn’t want to take the risk. But if you don’t happen to have a demanding toddler carried by a cranky partner – go for it. I love waterfalls, but this one was far from what I was hoping for. And about the legendary tales of fairies coming down to bathe, that just might be because of its difficult accessibility to an average human!

In the evening we headed for Pantai Ceneng  and loved the buzz there. This is one market you could go for some local shopping.


Shopping was last on our list, so we didn’t go around much with it in mind.

In regards to eating out, there are numerous options. And food is mostly kind even to poor vegetarians as us. If you happen to stay at Berjaya , just five minutes away is a gas station at perdana quay and right behind it is  Maharaja . The food is good and the staff friendly. Nice of them to top up our food with free naans.






The next day while at Pantai Ceneng we decided to dine in a place called Mumbai Palace. As we settled down I could not help but notice the stark similarity between the restaurant and the Maharaja we went to the previous night. Just as I was about to inquire a staff,  if the restaurant had a brother lost somewhere, he totally surprised me by asking us  whether we had dined at Maharaja a night ago which happened to be  another one of their restaurant. Well how did he know we dined there? Your guess is as good as mine.  That is how creepy  friendly the staff is. I would totally recommend these restaurants if you happen to be around them.

Finally a  very important piece of information if you are planning a trip to Langkawi  – carry loose change wherever you go because you need to pay to pee. Everywhere. Even in the malls. And in the malls you might have to pay twice as much as you paid to pee at the peak of Gunung Machinchang(you know where the cable car took you!) but I guess it’s because the toilets in the mall  came with this really kind and thoughtful instruction.


Just sayin!

All in all we really loved the place. Usually with so many places to see in this recklessly beautiful world, this is one place I would like to visit again. Even being a tourist attraction it has that serenity about it, that calms you down and makes you a happier person. It’s not as crazy populous as Phuket and therefore you can afford to leave behind all your city qualms behind and just enjoy this amazing place.

PS. We stayed at Berjaya and my-my, wouldn’t I dedicate an entire blog post for the love of it? Oh Ya! Am I being sarcastic? Hell ya! Coming soon!