Author Archives: ravhundal

About ravhundal

I'm not sure if I can, but I certainly will.

Put Your Space To Work

While the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, us middle-income earners are left.. Well, stuck in the middle. Living paycheck to paycheck and working long, unending hours chasing that elusive promise of promotion being dangled over our heads and still we come up short. With our current economic situation looking dismal at best, the perpetual increase of cost of living, i.e. parking charges, toll charges, groceries and quite recently, to the collective outrage of the daily commuters, LRT prices, it seems like you just can’t win these days. So it should come as no surprise then that almost everyone is looking to make a quick buck to sustain their lifestyles. Whilst this counts as the third recession I’ve seen to pass in my lifetime, this is probably the very first of which I can fully grasp the implications of. Curse you, adulthood. You’re suffocating me. I need some space.

Although having one job is the current norm, many are in desperate need of other (legal) ways to bring in secondary income because, let’s be real, we’re all feeling the pinch. I’m not married (yet), nor do I have to pay rent (Thanks, mom!), but those married with families to support are already struggling to manage with monthly bills, let alone savings. And I think it goes without saying that cultivating savings for a rainy day is crucial future planning.

Now, before running off in a panic to moonlight as a burger ramly stall cook, look around you; what do you have that you can offer others for a small sum? Be it extra space, an unused room, or even a house that is yet to be occupied? Or perhaps a beautiful garden that you’ve painstakingly and lovingly tended to that only sees appreciation when you host the rare function. If so, consider transforming your extra space, room, or garden into an event venue for private parties instead. For all you know, your house might be an ideal venue for social parties, weddings, as well as corporate functions.

I know, you must be thinking, an event venue surely has to be a grand ballroom or a nice and fancy restaurant with tiny hard to pronounce French foods that make you hungrier than full. Well, while you aren’t wrong, that is but one aspect of the multitudes of options that people are open to these days. People are increasingly looking beyond traditional, conventional places and spaces to offer their guests a memorable, one-of-kind experience that ends up being ‘the best party I’ve attended in a while’. The idea of having a birthday party in someone’s beautifully landscaped garden does have its own appeal, don’t you think? I have seen, first hand, many of these unconventional (so to speak) spaces and let me tell you, they are selling like hot cakes.

We often crave the new and the novel; whether it’s a new pair of running shoes or that latest phone model which came at a steal, that insatiable desire for novelty is bound to catch our eye. Imagine the excitement of introducing a new and exciting place to friends and family that you just know they’ll love. While we actively seek novelty we are hardwired just the same to share that appreciation with our loved ones.

In my line of work, I am constantly faced with people who are on the lookout for unique, fresh places to host their private parties on a daily basis. And no, I’m not talking about the hyper-teenage-yuppie parties. Think birthdays, family functions, corporate appreciation and annual dinners, press conferences, product launches as well as intimate weddings and ROM ceremonies (Registration of Marriage). If you have a space that’s great for playing host to a variety of events, please, consider this: We humans are celebratory creatures. We are perpetually looking for excuses to celebrate each and every milestone of our lives and are perfectly willing to bear the costs of these festivities- be it your baby’s very first birthday, landing that big client for your company and, of course, your daughter’s wedding day.

Despite the almost doubling of wedding costs over the years, I know couples (guilty of being one myself, here) who are willing to spend their savings and money they do not have because the once-in-a-lifetime union of two people ‘deserves’ an extravagant celebration. When I started the process that is the insanity of planning my very own wedding, the outrageous and over-the-top figures that came along with it has made me question my very own rationale. While the PM can afford to spend RM3 Mil. on flowers for his daughter’s wedding, unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the rest of us normal folk.

Nowadays, hotel hosted wedding banquets cost nothing less than RM120 per head. I am a Punjabi, my fiancé is Malayalee and we both come with big extended families. So between the two of us, realistically speaking, we are looking at around 300 guests, at the very least. The numbers alone were making me dizzy. Did I mention that these figures do not yet include our surely sizable alcohol budget? So instead, we are opting for unique venues that wouldn’t cost us an arm, a leg and our first born child, while allowing us to hire our preferred caterers and still ‘wow’ our guests.

A chief example of venues that have recently come up in demand are places like Glasshouse at Seputeh. These spaces cost an average of RM15,000 for a full day rental and event planners are allowed to bring in their own caterers at RM25 per head. Do the math, it’s a steal! And let me tell you, Glasshouse has since created waves by hosting notable events such as Facebook Malaysia’s launch, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah’s birthday party, as well as numerous weddings and corporate events.

When lifestyles suffer, businesses are affected too. Don’t worry, businesses, I have not forgotten you. Companies too are often on the lookout for spaces to host their meetings and town hall discussions and every year, a nice place to host their annual dinners. Most (if not all) companies have a meeting or a conference room which often goes underutilised. More often than not, these rooms are well equipped with state of the art facilities and garner a creative and conducive environment essential for brainstorming sessions and meetings. Consider renting out these rooms to like minded people who would appreciate the space, for additional revenue.

The events industry is a lucrative one. Regardless of budget cuts, people will always have something to celebrate at least once a year, and here’s where you can leverage on this market. If you have extra space, a gorgeous backyard, or a home which can be transformed into an event venue, you have a cash cow right there. Lend your space to people who are looking for ingenious, resourceful places that won’t burn a hole in their pockets while retaining the elements of a unique experience. You are, quite literally, sitting on a potential gold mine.

At the end of the day, we all have something or another that we can offer to other like-minded individuals that have the potential to earn us that little bit of extra income to cushion us in the future. We’ve got people willingly providing their homes to travelers during their adventures; sometimes a room and sometimes a whole house, we’ve got people (our very own personal driver for the day) who drive us around with their own car to our destination when we are without a car, and we’ve even volunteered to pick up or run some stranger’s errands all for a little bit of cold hard cash. Why not a company’s meeting room or an entire home that has yet to be rented out?

So the next time you look at your extra space, meeting room, and/or unoccupied home, think about the mutual benefits of the sharing economy and transform your extra space into an event space for private events. You money, they happy, everyone party.

 

Ocean-minded

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I’m what you call a true blue beach bum. I love everything about the beach. From the sound of the waves right up to the sand on my feet. Let’s not forget about being sun kissed. That glowing tan (for everyone else)! I’m dark skinned, and when I tan, well, I’ll look ten shades darker than midnight, and you know what? That’s completely fine by me!

When I was younger, I hated it. I hated being dark and I blame my culture for it. Where I come from, most ads on TV featured whitening products. The whiter (fairer) you are, the better. What a load of *ahem*!

Now, I can’t wait to be sun-kissed again. The picture above was taken in Boracay, Philippines. And yes, #nofilter and #nophotoshop! Spent a week there with my girlfriends and what an amazing trip. Beautiful sky, gorgeous sea, white white sands, and exhilarating experience. However, the food? Utter rubbish. Overpriced, barely edible, horrible horrible food.

Boracay is definitely overly commercialised, but worth the experience. Would I go back? If I had a tree with money for leaves, sure!

This trip taught me many things. To learn and discover things I never knew, and to add a different perspective to an already familiar world.

10 Easy Steps To Plan The Perfect Bachelorette Party

Planning a bachelorette party? This might help 🙂

Venuescape

So, your best friend just got engaged and has announced that YOU (the bridesmaids) will be in charge of planning her hen’s night. Planning a bachelorette party is no easy task and the fear of disappointing the bachelorette can be daunting! The sooner you start planning, the easier it will be. We’ve laid it down for you, follow these 10 easy steps to plan the perfect bachelorette party!

bachelorette-party-venuescape

1. Find out what the bride wants

Find out exactly what she wants. Whether she wants a night out to paint the town red or a getaway for the weekend. Perhaps, she wants to let loose and sing her night away at a Karaoke joint? Or maybe she just wants to get outta town and have a nice relaxing spa retreat. Either way, plan according to what she wants to do.

clubbing-party-venuescapespa-party

hotel-room-party

2. Choose a theme

Here’s where you get creative. Come up with…

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Big BIG day.

So, I’m about to attend a very important meeting, one that could possibly change the year’s course of action, for the better. I’m a little nervous and am currently running on little to practically no sleep, I’ve got my head up high and my senses in check (weird, I know, I mean how can our senses NOT be in place). 

Hoping, wishing and praying for nothing but the best. Let’s do this ish!

If you don’t try, how will you succeed?

At one point in my life, I took the lemons life gave me and I looked at it, wondering ‘What the hell am I supposed to do with this?’ You can only imagine what I did after, and no, I did not make lemonade. What I did instead, I took em and threw em in the first trash can I saw. Yeap, just flung it out like it didn’t mean a thing and I was completely OKAY with that. How silly. How silly I was in my early 20s. Actually, silly does not even begin to cut it. I was downright stupid. But then, something changed.

I was a brat during my younger years which eventually turned me into a rebellious teenager (when things did not go my way) and let’s just say I hit rock bottom when I approached “adulthood” thereafter. But that’s a story for another day. So, getting back to that moment that changed, it was kinda like ‘the big bang’ moment in my life. I tried. I gave it a shot. I (as cliche as this may sound) fell in love. I fell in with trying. I fell in love with the possibility of making it happen. I fell in love with the thought that I could do so much more. I fell in love with the idea of living and allowing myself to feel deeply for things I never appreciated. I fell in love with wanting to pursue my dreams. I fell in love, with me and all that I have to give.

After having my eyes open to these new possibilities around me, I began my new journey. I embarked on a new adventure where I did the impossible (in my eyes) and joined university at the age of 24. In a nutshell, going to school and beginning a new degree at the age of 24 while the other 24 year olds were busy graduating was perhaps, one of the more tougher decisions I had to make. And I’m glad I made it. I’m glad I tried. I was always so playful when it came to actual studying and I always felt I belonged to the second group of people: those who were not good at anything as opposed to those who are good at something. Well, whaddya know! I graduate in a month! And I can safely say, I know what I CAN BE good at now.

I tried and I made it. While I’m almost done with my degree, I have also set in place a company that runs events, advertising and a lil bit of marketing. My role? Content. How apt. My 15 year old self should be proud! I wasted many nights, wasting many sheets of paper penning down my thoughts, happiness and frustrations growing up. It’s funny how the world has evolved to truly define working as a means to feed your passion. I love to write, and to do it for a living? My 15 year old self would have never believed this was possible as I honestly did not see myself being a journalist and back in 2002, the revolutionary digitalized world was still in its infancy and if you liked to write then, your only options were to either be an author or a writer with the newspapers and magazines. At least that was what I thought. Now, it’s time to uncover the next chapter!

I’m glad I tried. I’m glad I tried to fall in love. I’m glad I tried to see beyond the unimaginable and pursue my passion. I’m glad I tried.

A Pleasant Rarity.

I’m no coffee connoisseur but I do appreciate a good cup of coffee every now and then. Okay, I’m lying. I enjoy coffee, everyday. Having been to different cafés’, mamaks, restaurants and bars, I’ve tried a whole load of coffee ranging from extreme bitterness to soothingly mild. One place, however, keeps me coming back for more. Coffea coffee, where have you been all my life! Here’s the thing, having good coffee is great and all but to be served by great baristas is always an added advantage. Customer service in Malaysia, as we all know is crap and that is me putting it lightly, and once in a while it’s like a breeze of fresh air when I occasionally come across really good service. It just makes my coffee (or whatever I’m having) taste much better.

In the last year, I can only think of two places that I’ve been to which offered not only great food or drinks, but great service as well. One being Coffea Coffee and the other being Brass Monkey in Kota Kinabalu. My boyfriend and I decided to try out the latter as a friend suggested it to us. Food? Good. Ambience? Good. Service? Top notch! The waiters were so friendly and warm. My boyfriend ran out of cigarettes and this restaurant does not sell cigarettes, the waiter volunteered to grab a box for him. Yeah, what’s the big deal in that right? But here’s the shocker, a box costs RM12 and Jonathan passed RM15 to the waiter with the intention of tipping the guy with the balance. However, the waiter comes back to the table with box of cigarettes in hand and hands Jonathan the change, Jonathan naturally tells him to keep it, and he refused to take it.

I know there are places where employees are not allowed to be tipped like this, but this waiter was all smiley and returned Jonathan’s thanks with a ‘it’s my pleasure sir, don’t worry’ and I can tell if someone isn’t being sincere. We returned to Brass Monkey for a meal again soon after only to have a better dining experience the second time. All the servers are nice and make you feel so comfortable. Even the owner’s a nice guy. It’s nice going to a place on your second visit and having them recognise you. It’s a different sort of feeling all together. As rare as it may be, sometimes I do believe that there’s still hope for us all. Somewhere.