In life, more than joys and sorrows, its about happy and sad moments and how we live them. The wise people always say that we should try and maintain calm and composure in all situations of life and look forward to positively always.
If we really look around to stand and stare, the joys and happiness of life lie in little things. A sumptuous breakfast of your choice, a beautiful flower in the garden, little baby’s smile, parents encouraging words, partner’s hug, favorite lunch box, appreciation mail, an easy fulfilling day etc. These are about everyday sweet nothings but there are some things in life for which we plan and set goals and their achievement too gives us optimism and hope for the future. Graduating with flying colors, doing good in career, booking a car, moving in your own house, getting married, giving birth are other things in life that bring optimism in life, our world and future.
On most of the days, I wake up all excited and enthusiastic looking forward to a meaningful day. I am happy and positive about the proceedings of the day. Even if some of the things do not go as planned, they do not affect me. But on the contrary there are few days in month when I feel hopeless and drained on energy especially when I am ill or physically unfit.
Fiver years ago it happened so that I was diagnosed with jaundice and I had to opt for bed rest for more than a month. Even post recuperation, I felt too low in my life. Since I always felt weak and less on energy, I could not walk around much, attend work etc. Even my favorite job of reading books did not put the smile back on my house. The doctors were saying that I was improving but something inside me did not give me a very encouraging feel.
As promised, I am back with yet another post in the ‘Discover Thainess’ series.
Did you know that last year (2014) Thailand won eight Indian tourism awards- Best Wedding Destination, Best Spa Destination, Best Destination, Best International Tourism Board, Best Value Destination, etc? Read on to know more…
I traveled from New Delhi to Mumbai to attend ‘Discover Thainess launch’ in Mumbai on 25th February.
If you have been to Thailand, I bet the pictures in the blog-post will remind you of many nostalgic memories but if you are still planning to discover Thainess, let me arouse the urge in you. This wonderful treat of Thai culture which will convince you more to take the trip soon. However, I was lucky enough to experience it all in India itself. The trip to Thailand will happen soon. Amen!
The Ball room in Palladium hotel in Mumbai was decked up beautifully. No one could guess the occasion was a press conference. Honestly, the lavish theme event organized by Thailand Tourism board spoke of their commitment in growing a deep bond with Indian travelers. I must say that a marketing campaign should speak for itself and and this one absolutely hit the nail.
I bet everyone in the room must have experienced the thought of traveling to Thailand soon. The Amphawa floating market was my favorite.
Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.
I have complete faith in the above quote but I have addition to make. One is just a number, it actually means each one has to come forward for the change. I want to be part of the revolution of #TheWorldRemade but before that I have my long list to share.
It starts in the house- boys and girls, men and women are not treated equal. Everyday I question it but no one knows why. Where did it start? None has an answer. I wish of a world of role reversals.
Who is a woman? Someone who is weak, born to be a home-maker, get married, bear children, meant to entertain, judged every now and then, not taken seriously at work, to be kept in the cage and anytime be ogled, raped and killed. I seek a new meaning for ‘Woman’.
Enough is enough! Wish there would come a day when the poor would have enough courage to stand for their rights. None should feel a victim of injustice, harassment, suppression.
Wish the below list of words could be eradicated from the society forever- Law and order chaos, political coups, Social and economic injustice, civil disorders, brutal killings, hijack, bomb blasts, nuclear warfare.
Believe in our own strength and idea is what we need. Small ideas can contribute to the big change. We ordinary people can bring a wonderful change if we all work together. Let us all put our foot forward to make the world a happy place.
Let us all not cling to dogmas, superstitions, blinding faiths of religion. The world and its happenings are progressive in nature. Lets adopt the change with open arms and more than that lets be the change we want to see.
So there is everyone who is working for something or the other. Many are working for the betterment of climate, poverty eradication, deforestation, peace prevail, water and hunger, conservation, ecological degradation, human rights, and more. But for the world to be remade, we have to say we are working to bring the change in ourselves.
Delhi is a vast city and with a huge population taking shelter in its magnanimous expanse, it definitely has large expectations to serve. In the last fifteen years, I have seen Delhi emerge as a metropolitan city. From the flyovers to civic constructions to Delhi Metro I have seen things happen to help us around better. But even today, after the presence of huge number of buses and autos we have not been able to connect the dots.
In all these years the number of cars has severely multiplied choking the traffic on every city road. Have we ever bothered to think that why people in Europe prefer public transport and we in India still shrug the idea of it? The answer is known to all that the public transport has yet not earned a satisfactory place in our day to day life. Our private vehicles and hired taxis only take us to the absolute corners otherwise it can be a very tiresome journey. Taking best advantage of this situation the Delhi cab service have thrived.
With rising pace and expanding periphery, the capital city still has many remote areas and weak connectivity. There are so many routes that one doesn’t find a Metro line and the only saviours are the buses which are overcrowded, dirty at times and that which take the longest route. Also buses can never be a solution for door to door, convenient movement until our destination lies close to the bus stop. Even getting an auto in some areas is not easy many a times. For example if you have to reach airport, it often becomes a hapless situation for me as a lady to change bus, then auto and then reach in time. Thus, the taxi service in Delhi comes very handy and comfortable.
India is my country and I live in its vibrant capital city, New Delhi. I love traveling and exploring other countries and culture but at the same time I am mesmerized by the vastness of my own homeland. If you have been fascinated by our beautiful tales, its time to pack your bags, come and visit our magical land.
The below picture was taken in Kochi in India. The country is as beautiful and colorful as this.
India with its century old civilization, grand historic monuments, exotic locations and interesting culture is one of the most popular country for the tourists. India is a vast country, which is blessed with diverse climatic conditions and terrain, the fact which should be kept in mind before planning trip to India. Also, it is a developing country which can prove to be daunting and chaotic for newcomers, if proper planning is not done. Here, are some tips which can help you in getting maximum out of your trip and would assist in enjoying to the fullest.
1. Plan places to visit and things to do
As I have said earlier, India is a vast country that has plethora of tourist attractions with its own charm and beauty. There are beautiful beaches and tropical scenery in the South, lush green hill stations in the North, popular forests in the center, the thriving metropolises spread all across country and the birth place of Buddhism in the East. Among tourist hotspots Taj Mahal in Agra, the red fort and Qutub Minar in Delhi and Golden Temple in Amritsar are most popular. In the south, Kerala is known as God’s own country. As you have seen that these attractions are spread all over country, which makes it important to plan where you want to go. If this isn’t done you may waste lot of time in travelling rather than enjoying your trip.
Before the World Cup Season while we have been jittery answering this tough one- Will India be able to defend their title at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015?, the team has already given us two wins and taken away the nervousness. Yes, the team deserves all the cheers and applauds for a superb start. I am sure in this age of technology there isn’t a cricket fan left who hasn’t updated or tweeted about it yet. On the last two Sundays, the timelines on my twitter and Facebook pages absolutely went berserk. The happiness oozed out in gallons on the social media where fans cheered at every ball.
Well we all know that India is a nation where Cricket is considered more than a game. It is almost like a religion that emotionally binds and blinds the fans. Just like we love to celebrate our festivals together, we also love to watch our cricket matches together. Rather I have learnt that people in different parts of the country have always had their own way of cheering for the Indian team. While some do lunch and dinner parties with friends and family, others gang around in restaurants. The older generations still loves to hook to their television/radio while the on-the-go people keep an update through cricinfo now and no one cares for the pollution from crackers if India wins. Well the crux of the story is all of us madly love to cheer for cricket and none wishes to be on the losing side. ;)
Tale Spin, the book by Nickunj Malik is a compilation of her short stories/published columns reflecting a part of her life in Amman and other places. Nickunj herself is a columnist in Jordan Times, a leading newspaper in Republic of Jordan. Apart from that, she has also written articles for Khaleej Times (Dubai), Star (South Africa), Business Times (Tanzania) and Bahrain Tribune (Bahrain).
If the pictures have made you hungry, read on to know about the place where you can treat yourself with the above food.
On the days when Indian cricket team plays one of the most hyped IndVsPak World Cup match, you least expect your husband to accompany you out for lunch. But I am glad that my hubby isn’t one of those who sleep, breathe and eat ‘Cricket’. When India had put up a good score of 300 he almost declared that the game was in our kitty and was not very keen to follow it ball by ball. However I wasn’t convinced until the batting line up of our neighbors collapsed in a row. (Thanks to cricinfo we followed it all on our mobile phone)
Well that was just about the cricket fervor. This sunday I had a media invite for a restaurant celebration and I had invited hubby to come along with me.
To my delight, he had said, I would love to go and explore the yogic delights of sattvik eating. Here he was talking about Sattviko, a fast casual Pure vegetarian Chain in Delhi/NCR that turned 1 on 15th February 2015 and I had an invite to its anniversary celebration. (One of the advantages of having a blogger wife.) Since my parents live in Nanakpura-New Delhi and we had plans to visit them too, we chose the nearest branch. Sattviko has 4 branches in Delhi-NCR.
At DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj it was easy to locate Sattviko in the food court. The outlet stood all vibrant, colorful and inviting on its first birthday. Here, I must tell you that this branch is just two months old but the celebrations were meant for its inception that led to its first branch in Greater Kailash an year ago. And to commemorate the first successful year, its owners also launched a very needful initiative- “Khana Bachao, Desh Badao“.
This campaign is focused on reminding people that we must not waste food. I must say its a good message and many more outlets should join this campaign. If you have been following my blog, you must be aware that I do not talk about food or restaurants until the place or event has something different to offer. The words ‘Sattvik’, ‘healthy dining’, ‘ food for soul’, ‘yoga benefits’ with ‘modern food’, ‘global chain’, ‘best Debutante restaurant’ made me curious about this one.
We have all grown up to our parents, teachers or elders telling us ‘Don’t do this!’ or ‘Don’t Do that!.’ What I can remember of my childhood is that my parents too never missed a chance to correct me for the little things of life which they thought were very important for my growing up. Restrictions, constraints and circumstances that hold back are things that we humans have learnt to adapt with.
First the people around us tell us and gradually the circumstances, ways of life mold us in a way that we ourselves learn to live with the restrictions. Take for instance, even though I may love to sleep for more than seven hours, can I really afford to do so when I am married, working and have a family to look after. No, not really. Even though I may strive hard everyday to balance my work and home but so often I fail because either work demands my attention or on some of the days I am not in my best of health. With my expanding waistline, its becomes so important to hold my indulgences in junk food. So the truth is that there are many things that contribute to our stopping.
Hey, have you heard about the Underwater Wedding Ceremony that takes place in Thailand? Did you visit the ‘Romantic Destination-Trang’ when you went holidaying in Thailand?
Well, while I waited to throw this question to my readers through my blog, I did not lose a minute in querying my friends (two couples) who had visited Thailand for their honeymoon last year. To my surprise they answered in a ‘No’. This made me genuinely curious about Trang because with best known sand beaches, beautiful nature side, interesting caves, rain forest valleys, lovely pristine waterfalls and rubber plantations, the land of love is still not known to many people.
I often see mommies crib that their kiddos return without eating their packed food which mummy dears pack lovingly. Gladly my Mumma never had issues with me . She tells me that I was a no fuss kid and one of those rare kindergarten student who always returned with a clean, empty box. I guess I did this because I was a born foodie. And my Mum is an amazing cook (All Mums are). Everyday she would give me an interesting lunch box and I would happily devour it. :)
I have fond memories in connection with my school Lunch Box. My friends would bribe me with canteen food in exchange of the Aloo-parathas, Spinach sandwiches and ladyfinger vegetable made by her. Back home I would announce these stories to her and she would feel flattered. Next morning I would get a fatter lunch box for my friends too. She never packed me Maggi, chowmein, idli or pav bhaji. My friends from other states brought these delicacies sometimes and only on those days I would agree to give them my lunch and they would happily agree to the deal. Even today when we meet in the school reunions, we often discuss the tasty lunches that we have shared and what our Mums cooked best.
This is the story of bold confession from the pages of my love-diary.
Six months old in a job as a graduate intern, I had a huge crush on my team lead. As I look back, honestly it was too daring an act to tell him what I thought of him. The reason was he wasn’t too friendly, we had known each other only for a few months, he was older in age and position and more, he was a super workaholic person. No matter what, I have to confess I was totally smitten by his charming smiles and comforting mannerisms.
As cupid played it for me, we were soon teamed for a special project. Thus, my love took over both my heart and mind in a couple of weeks of knowing him better. It became imperative to ease my heartbeats that echoed love at his mere sight. The arrival of Valentines day came as a signal from God that it was time to move forward. Just out of engineering college, in 2008 I actually raked my brains to produce an innovative, crazy, whacky way of expressing my love to him but I chose to go expressive and bold through my artistic touch, something that I had been doing since my childhood. I wanted him to hear the #SoundOfLove created bymy paint brush.
I replayed the above video a couple of times till it compelled me to blog about it.The video shows a father reflecting on the question if he really plays a great Dad, while he puts up his responsibilities towards his son. I quite liked the emotional appeal and human connect about the video. It instantly made me think about my relationship with my father and how he has been a great Dad forever. He is the strongest wall on which I can lean anytime.
To be a great father, there isn’t a guide but yes every man definitely want nothing less but the best for their kids. What makes them great is making every possible attempt to redefine the meaning of fatherhood each and every day. No doubt, we owe so much to these handsome men of our life. They discipline us, love us, lead us, teach us, befriend us, protect us, support us and much more think about our future too . From wiping the poopie butt, running nose to phlegmatic spit-outs in infancy to reading out story-books, satiating queries of my curious mind in childhood to keeping track of doctors, teachers, friends for my overall development in the teenage to standing by my side in all decisions of my life in adulthood, my Dad has done it all for me.
I have confessed it many times that Bollywood fraternity has a fan in me and I never fail to take my daily dose of gossips from entertainment section of newspapers, websites or magazines. So when I was offered to read a book that has ‘bollywood’ in its title and much to offer in the blurb, I did not have the courage to deny it. Further more, I had read Author Rishi Vohra’s first book and had appreciated it for its touching and unique story line.
Everyone who’s been sharing their interesting list of ‘Where to Travel in 2015?’ has definitely touted ‘Oman’ as the next tourist destination. The oldest independent state in the Arab world with an eclectic mix of both offbeat and adventure, magical and mystic, mountains and deserts, forts and souqs truly deserves to be marked in bold on every traveler’s map.
Those who have visited it are lovingly writing about it. Of course, I have been reading and eyeing the details. I enjoy, relate to their opinions and get nostalgic as the beautiful memories of this unspoilt destination are freshly etched in my mind too. My 5 days trip to Oman in last week of October 2014 was definitely one of its kinds. Blogging about it is a great way to relive the fun and glories of the trip.
I am glad my Author friend, Ismita Tandon ensured that I read the below book from Om Swami ji. I could not attend the launch of the book in Delhi but however my first read of the year has been truly wonderful. To each one, this will affect differently. Yes, It helped me to extract many answers to the anxious questions of my heart and soul.
Living in the Himalayas in solitude with only a piece of cloth to cover the body and a thin bedding to lie down, it isn’t any man’s forte but after reading his survival and spiritually enlightening story I have developed immense respect for him. Om Swami is the monk who stood through all testing times until he made his inner soul’s cup empty and met Mother Divine in the Himalayan cave.
Do you know of the Hindu festival where devotees pierce their tongue and cheek with skewers and hooks ?Everyone is heavily pierced and strangely the piercing leads to no blood because it is believed that it happens due to the blessing of Lord. Also the devotees do not feel the pain, no scar because they go in a trance state when they get it done. This unique one that is celebrated in places which has South Indians populace (India, South East Asia) but at Batu Caves in Malaysia it is a thrilling spectacle.
I was looking forward to a 2 week awesome trip to discover Kerala this March but sadly I did not get selected among Top 25 in the Kerala Blog Express 2 organized by Kerala tourism . Well, not taking the disappointment too much to my heart, I am hoping that there is always a next time. And before I forget I must thank all 218 well wishers who voted for me. Yes, I was sixth among the Indian applicants. :)
Well, Kerala connection doesn’t end here with one contest because I was also excited for my parents south India trip which I had helped them with. Recently, Mum Dad went for a week’s trip to beautiful Kerala and later Trivandrum and came back rejuvenated perfectly. They are back now and I am glad they had a great time there. So with a smartphone in Dad’s pocket and a lovely bag in Mum’s tow, my parents made the best of their trip. I am glad they have brought me great photos and lots of Banana and tapioca chips to gorge on. No doubt Kerala is immersed in natural colors and God has painted it amazingly.
Since their return my Mum has been talking about the beaches, temples, lush green landscapes, thundering waterfalls, coconut grooves of Kerala and other natural attractions. (I must tell you she is a much traveled person, thanks to my Nanaji who was in Railways) while Dad has brought organic spices, ayurvedic oils, medicines and lovely pictures. Before going for the trip, my Dad told me that he was bored of his phone and wanted a smartphone which could click great pictures. I instantly helped him with Asus Zenphone 5 and see how judiciously he used it. I am so proud of him.
This post is dedicated to Kerala and my lovely parents who are gradually taking up traveling and moving out of the Indian mentality where ‘Indians never come out of their responsibilities, keep saving money for their kids and do not travel’. We need to inspire our parents to travel too.
Moving on I am keeping my fingers crossed too. Soon I will go on my own discovery trip to one of the top destinations in India. Hope you enjoy the photo-walk below.
The city of Kochi in Kerala ranks first in inviting over tourists from all over the world
Abode of Snow,
Remote, dynamic, majestic and romantic,
One that breathes out diversity of cultures, Adorned in lengths and breaths of superlatives,
The deepest, the tallest, the highest and the grandest,
Breath-taking and wondrous there couldn’t be anything more,
One that is incredibly beautiful and culturally fascinating,
Ah! the mortal traveler in me has caught fascination of the spectacular Himalayas!
It is the one that houses it all,
Enticing and Exhilarating experiences,
Lovely peaks, gushing rivers and glaciers,
The lush green valleys, pristine lakes,
Snow-capped peaks and scenic rivers,
Not to forget the Iconoclastic landmarks,
Varied and rich vegetation,
No less, the mecca for great adventurers and mountaineers.
Honestly, I have been a shy, self conscious and introvert kind of person all my life. For my engineering, when I had chosen a hostel life in a reputed govt. college over being a day scholar in a private college, my parents had gone for a shock. Even I was not sure if I would be able to live 500 kms away for long set of months and my parents were quite much convinced that it was not my cup of tea and I would return soon.
No doubt it took me an year to adjust in the conditions away from home comforts and not once but twice I was overpowered by the thought of running back home but every time an inside thought held me back and told me that I had to be brave and live my decision. This was a challenge that I had to win over myself. I did it too.
While writing this blog post, I have been reading about Amazing Tastes of Thailand, Thai Handicrafts- The Art of Wisdom, Thai Massageand Muay Thaiand honestly I have discovered new things which I did not know before. In fact this was just an extension to a well spent afternoon which I spent discovering ‘Thainess’ in Leela Palace, New Delhi today. I am glad I was a part of this ‘2015 Discover Thainess’ campaign where Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) officially declared Mary Kom as their Thai Boxing ambassador.
As a blogger, when I had got a chance to attend TATA ZEST’s launch in GOA last year, honestly two things had impressed me most. One, I had loved the interaction with the team of designers and engineers behind the new car. The members of the design team were young in age, high on energy and open to experimentation. Two, I had returned with three vibrant newly coined terms- DriveNext, DesignNext and ConnectNext. They sounded absolutely upbeat and creative and I could bet they were here to stay. These terms not just had a peppy feel around them but they also wrapped up the new TATA strategy of smart looks, connectivity on-the-go and enhanced driving features.
I had returned convinced that TATA, the reliable brand was eager to change its passenger car’s perception and claim its presence in the business. Six months down, the hatchback sibling of sedan has come in full gear to put forward its ‘Horizonext’ strategy smartly and aggressively. Recently opened up for bookings, this new budget car named ‘BOLT’ is firing up the 400+ Tata centers across India.
Read below to know why in my view BOLT definitely makes for BuyNext if you are looking for a budget car with smart looks, powerful engine and value for money. And before you reject my thoughts and say ‘ oh that’s a women telling me about a car like the other baseless notion ‘girls can’t drive’ let me tell you women have a great say and role to play in a new car purchasing decision. Nowadays, women love to buy their own car and because they earn, they love to choose what they want to drive. We all know that Men are fond of cars but rarely does a man buy a car just for himself. Mostly its meant to impress the women in their life or Mum-Dad in the family. When my Dad bought a car, ofcourse Mum and I had all the influencing power on his decision. In fact my hubby asks for my opinion whenever we discuss any new car in the market.
Rarely do I recommend a video but this one has got me speaking. #UseYourAnd - The latest campaign from Gillete Venus is impressive. Its inspiring. The rhyme, rhythm and the depth of words not only celebrates women and her versatility but also inspires women folk to grow beyond our inhibitions and enlarge our capabilities.
This video tells you more about #UseYourAnd
Here I have crafted a poem to celebrate my own-self and Things that define me…
I am no Cindrella or Rapunzel but fairy-tale life is mine, I have not the perfect looks, But I stand unique and beautiful in my own way, I am the princess of my parents. 3D is my name (Daddy’s Darling Daughter), Mumma’s naughtiest and lazy ‘one and only’ kiddo, And Hubby’s best-est friend is me.
Shaaluji is a little tensed, She has been practising her’speech’ since 2 days, But she knows not why she minces with words here and there. She sits down to mug it up again, Afterall she has to be impressive, She is aspiring to be the new secretary of the society of her building, Excitement and happiness shines on her face, She has so much to talk about, And enlighten the neighbors with her views, Ofcourse, she is inspired, Its Election time after all.
‘Congenital litterbugs we are’-she forgets the sentence again, She had insisted her husband Sharmaji to prepare an easy one for her, But he had said- If you want to win, talk in good English, Everyone is talking about general lack of cleanliness and hygiene, He showed her the photo of our PM ji with the broom, Inspired again, she swooned with pride, Happily she thought to herself, Not much did Fashionable Jassi and Mrs.Gupta know about clean India, They only talked about their foreign beauty products and rising maid rates, Just then she starts cutting vegetables on the dirty chopping board, Oops the all swabbing kitchen cloth is utterly unclean too.
If the cloth tag says “hand wash” or “dry clean only”, its means help but if it says like the above cloth-line ‘ Give it to your Woman, ITS HER JOB’, its time to scissor the thought as well as the cloth in pieces.
Honestly, for the initial twenty years of my life, I never saw my Dad participating in any household chores. He would always do things which required an outdoor visit, mechanical fixings or physical repairs. In fact in the early years of my life I grew up thinking that- ‘this was a man’s job and that was a woman’s job’. To say the least, I sensed an imbalance inside my own house. I sincerely did not like the fact that my Dad, whom I loved and respected so much was not helping Mum in the house when they both were working. Of course there were many things that Dad was doing and Mum was not but still I felt why was cooking, cleaning and laundry only her job.
It was my first ever visit to a mosque and I was excited. Of course, I consider myself blessed that I got a chance to start from the one that has many superlatives attached to it (Largest, grandest, one of the biggest). Even though, I was aware that the entry in the mosque was allowed to only those whose arms and legs till the feet were covered, ignorantly I ended up turning at its gates in a dress that reached a little above my ankles. I thought it wouldn’t bother anyone. In addition my arms were covered and I carried a scarf too to cover my head but I was stopped at the gate. The religious guards at the iron gate suggested that I wasn’t appropriately dressed and I rent a burqa from the room at one corner. Soon I realized it was my mistake and I should have worn a trouser or pants to cover the ankle portion too, even a little skin peep is not allowed.
In the last week of October 2014, I traveled to Oman, Arab world’s natural beauty destination. With no second thoughts, I absolutely agree, the Sultanate is naturally blessed. Along with everything that Oman is known for, it is an Undiscovered Middle Eastern Treasure.
With a sweet taste of the past…I am excited for the new year but then I am nervous too…
5 days in the new year, its high time that I thank the year that has been, the one that deserves appreciation for the wonderful memories it gave me. No doubt, the 365 days of the year brought my shares of ups and downs but they gave me some awesome lessons and realizations. Choosing not to mull over the broken resolutions, the unending visits to hospitals and super-low days of the year, I wanna talk about the days when I slept like a baby, happy and satisfied over my blogging prizes.
It’s charming! It’s opulent! It’s amazing! I feel a smile spread over my face, As I talk about the city that is creative and colorful as its graffiti lane-ways, From the “North of the Yarra” to the “South of the Yarra” Ecstatically, it shines when the glorious sun beams down on it, It isn’t a magical city; it exits in real situated on the Port Phillip Bay, And more it thrives as the most live-able city in the world, Victoria is the second most populous state of Australia and Melbourne is its capital, No doubt the capital city has enough to arrest us in its charming tentacles, It is culturally diverse, boasts of colorful dozes of Art and has some real coffee buzz, The magnificent skyline, the Eureka Tower and the Rialto, The man-made facades shining through nature’s lovely canvas, The vibrant mid-day and the beautiful Sunset at St Kilda, The stretch of 151 miles of scenic drive at Great Ocean Road, Yes, let’s talk about it all and more!
To get touristy around the city that changes from lane to lane, Let’s Tram (in the European-designed lozenges) on free City Circle route to mingle with the locals, And overhear the conversations that tell us where to indulge in its food and cling to its fashion, “Myki” the smart card system and Melways, the traditional map will take you around, After your sunny days on the beach, you will love to stroll down St Kilda pier, There is Swanston, Bourke Street and Flinders Street Station which makes a great meeting point, I love it more for the murmur, the music of the footsteps of the Federation Square, And the look of the city from the hanging glass box ‘The Edge’ on the 88th floor of the Eureka Sky-deck, The urban art and outdoor art gallery in the Melbourne’s lively laneways, The rainbow of colors and artists moods will arrest your eyes at the Hosier Lane, You got to check out the creative piece of Movida, a famous restaurant in Australia, The intricate facades and the aromatic coffee of the Degraves Street, There is rocking nightlife at the Central Business District, Brunswick Street and in Chapel Street, To the tourist’s delight, it’s fun to walk around the Block Arcade, Royal Arcade, Royal Exhibition Building, There is Melbourne Museum, Queen Victoria Market to China Town.
The extended tram tracks take you to Telstra Dome Stadium and new Docklands, There are Penguins inviting over from the Philip Island, And they have a smaller colony in St. Kilda too, The fascinating skyline 300m high Eureka Tower, the tallest building And there is the Mitre Tavern, built in 1837, the oldest building, The greatest sporting arena from 1853, MCG (the Melbourne Cricket Ground) Its home to Australian Rules football (AFL) too, Watch it live for its speed and acrobatics, There is cricket and football too that stirs an excitement in the gut, With some awesome Tennis action at the Australian Open Tennis Championship in Jan, Not to forget the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November, Formula One Grand Prix, Or the famously known Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Its happening from Summer Night Market, Fringe Festival, Boat Show to Moonlight Cinema Melbourne, There is Multiculturalism in the city.
There is more to love about Melbourne, It’s a melting pot of cultures from people all over the world, It rich in human element, environment, culture, technology, better planning and legacy, It welcomes musicians, journalists, artists, writers to live their creative dreams, Best place for immigrants, The Melbournians love when it rains and later when it shines, And it’s the musical capital of Australia, The world’s largest dedicated screen gallery is at ACMI’s, The Neighbors tour is awesome, And of course everyone loves the traditional Boxing Day sales, In the Downtown Melbourne, streets are laid out at neat right angles, The eggs on the Brunswick St., Halava with custard at the Crossways where you can find lots in vegetarian, Sunshine, as its name is a sunny suburb which is the property hot spot of Melbourne, Across several venues happens Melbourne Festival for 17 days in October, And Author Dave Eggers called Melbourne as New York City’s spiritual cousin.
Through this poem and art, I have made an attempt to tell that how much I know about Melbourne!
Honestly, I didn’t know about this exciting and adventurous FAM trip until I read Desi Traveler’s blog post.
Wow, he was one of the lucky few who had a superb ride on Trip 1. The awesome clicks from his lenses and the lovely memories of his travel with bloggers from all over the world can get almost anyone dreaming about a trip to Kerala. A big congratulations for the last trip and thank you for blogging about Trip 2.
Earlier in this year, I have traveled with fellow bloggers and I know how much fun trips can be if you have people around you who share the same passion as you. Without wasting a minute I made a run to the registration page. It was a quick and easy application form. Done with it, I sat with fingers crossed! Like every profile, mine too was supposed to undergo a moderation process.
But its not as simple as it seems. 2 weeks down and I found myself waiting. Everyday I would visit the page to see the list of contestants growing but there was no news about mine. By the third week, I was disheartened and the fear of rejection got stronger but taking a last chance I tweeted to Kerala Tourism. The good social media people were quick to reply and clear the air that many profiles were still in the queue to pass the moderation stage. Thankfully, in the following week my profile was finally selected. For me it was like a half battle won! :)
Of course, I do not deny the fact that there is still a long way to board the bus. But dear readers, now you got to help me take me to the next level. :):)
The best thing that has come out of this FAM trip is that from the first day I have been reading blogs of global and Indian participants and voting for passionate travelers. It has helped me connect with so many awesome travel bloggers. Kerala absolutely makes a beautiful attraction and travel lovers from all over the world are super excited to come over for the exotic bus ride to explore the natural beauty. May the love for India last forever.
Now the real thing, I too wish to witness the beauty of Kerala and thus please, please VOTEfor me.
Blogging has made me believe that if you follow your passion and keep working hard without worrying about the results, good things are sure to happen. When I had started blogging I had never thought it would turn out to be a beautiful journey of amazing experiences. Now, blogging has become priceless for me. While the year 2013 was about events and celebrities (remember I got a chance to interact with Shahrukh Khan and many bigwigs), 2014 was about International traveling. If you have been reading my blog, you would know I went on fully paid trips to Malaysia and Oman through my blogging wins. And thats not all, I also won an international ticket to Singapore for my post that I wrote for Skyscanner Blogging meet that happened in New Delhi via Indiblogger.
Through this post I will share my experience of being hosted at the Skyscanner office in Singapore. If I look back I would say my Singapore story kicked off on the day itself when the Blogging Meet happened on 1st March 2014 in New Delhi, India. Being bitten with the travel bug, it was natural for me to fall in love with everything that had the slightest mention of ‘Travel’. In those five hours, Skyscanner people and bloggers talked nothing but travel and thus I was smitten by the brand. Honestly I love their name too since sky has always fascinated me since childhood.
Back home when I went ga- ga over it and told my family about my new discovery that how this site could help plan travels and compare the best flights, hotels, car hire rates etc, hubby was quick to add to its credibility. He said ‘Its a known name in Europe and I have used it there’. But one thing I did not tell them was that I could win a big prize with Skyscanner if I wrote a blogpost about the meet. I schemed it silently and submitted my post in time.
On 4th June 2014, what landed in my inbox will always remain one of my #Wowmoment. My best friend had been living in Singapore since 2010 and her picture uploads on FB had made me absolutely curious about this sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. Now, I had the tickets to my travel too.
In the following week, I decided my dates for travel and Skyscanner people acted super quick on it. By 18th June, I had the e-tickets in my inbox. Not just this, they were accommodating too. Initially I was asked to avail the tickets till October end but on my request they let me plan my travel from 1st to 7th November. Thankfully they did because on 30th October I returned from Muscat and 31st night I was again boarding a plane to Singapore. (Two blogging trips one after the other)
I had planned to explore Singapore with hubby and celebrate our third anniversary in this tiny but beautiful country which was once a British colony and now basks in the glory of beautiful blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western cultures. While my tickets were already intact, hubby got his done on the same flight, we booked a hotel on the Lavender street and were all set for our visit that one day I got a DM from Skscanner on twitter. By this time Skyscanner India and I were mutually following each other. I had recommended it to everyone who had mentioned travel to me and Skyscanner ensured that they retweeted all my travel posts.
I felt so happy about the below message. And obviously I accepted the invitation.
And on our 5th day in Singapore, I visited their office. All this while I dint know that I was interacting with Mr. Ravish Doctor, (Marketing Manager, Skyscanner) on twitter until he shared his number. Reaching the office was hassle free just that I got late because it began to drizzle and then rain on that day. We had planned the fifth day such that we walked down from the colorful Chinatown to magnificent Buddha Tooth and Relic Temple to Singapore Gallery to and then finally to Skyscanner office at 8th floor, Robinson Point, 39 Robinson Road, Singapore 068911.
The readers in the capital had an enlightening date with the renowned writer Dan Brown when he returned to India after 30 years to a packed house at Sirifort Sports Complex in New Delhi on 10th November 2014. The occasion was the one of its kind, Penguin Annual Lecture 2014. The theme of his talk was “Codes, Science and Religion”, interestingly the topics around which Mr. Brown’s books revolve around.
The Author was zestfully cheered by a crowd of more than 2000 young faces, mostly comprising of college students. The adulation and love was visible as the boys and girls patiently queued up outside the Sirfort complex starting early evening when the event was supposed to begin at 7 p.m. The moderator of the event, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, celebrity journalist, warmly welcomed Mr. Brown on the stage. One of the slides on the screen read that his books are available in 52 languages and 220 million print copies, the spectacular numbers are enough to tell us that Dan Brown is one of the highest paid authors globally.
I am back from my trip to SULTANATE OF OMANand it has been a soulful treat. I was there when the cyclone Nilofar was deciding on its directions and was zeroing in Oman too, however later it decided to change its course. The adventure did not die down because on the last day of our trip (29th October), the deserts were lashed by heavy rainfall while we traced the roads from Wahiba Sands to Sur to Muscat. It was all so surreal.
My senses have come back rejuvenated and a happy chapter has been added in my travel experiences. The 5 day all-expenses paid trip came through a blogging contest win and it was absolutely well planned. The visa was hassle free, flying experience through Oman Air was comfortable and once I landed at Muscat International Airport, I was well looked after by Ministry of Tourism, Oman.
Oman, the land of spectacular landscape on the Arabian peninsula is impressive. Its blended uniquely with nature at its best. It not just boasts of rugged mountains, soft sand beaches, blue-green coastline, wild dolphins, ornate Mosques, fascinating forts, deep canyons, traditional Bedouins, limestone caves, Omani falaj, Frankincense, Jabel Shams, ancient forts, vibrating Souqs, Eastern Hajar Mountains, Wahiba Sands , Museums, Royal Opera House but they were all part of my itinerary.
With no second thoughts, I would say Oman is exotic and beautiful and I had a time of my life in exploring its deserts, mountains, peaks , gorges, wadis and seaside.
Jewel of Arabia
If you have a view of the gulf countries and Dubai seemed all man made glitter to you on your last holiday, Oman’s beauty isn’t in competition. It falls in a completely different league. I was both surprised and amazed with his awesome combination of browns, greens and blue. I loved the spectacular desert mountains that followed me everywhere I went. The emerald blue water appeared so relaxing and soothing to the eyes that I wanted to dive in deep.
Oman’s amazing diversity of landscape adds to the traveler’s delight . The forts, citadels and watchtowers are in plenty to tell you much about Oman’s heritage and culture. The golden sand dunes stand huge and unmoving. The Wadi bashing using a 4×4 called for adrenalin rush and ultimate fun. The Desert Night camp experience was one of its kinds.
My impression of Muscat was that it is a blend of both, modern and traditional. The souqs are liberating and the Grand Mosque is gorgeous. Our search for dolphins in the sea at the Marina Bander was met with lovely scenic views and hundreds of dolphins playing around our speed boat. We were told it was one of the days when we were absolutely lucky to spot so many of them together. Our upwards drive to the heights of Al Hajar mountain region was no less than breath taking. A night spent each in Jebel Shams and Wahiba Sands were both humbling and adventurous experience for me.
The cricketing legends of the world Clive Lloyd, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Allan Border, Arjuna Ranatunga, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Saurav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Aamer Sohail, Inzamam-ul-Haqcame together under one roof at the event ‘Salaam Cricket’, a cricket conclave organized in New Delhi on 18th October, 2014.
Yes, I heard them , saw them, experienced the thrill of having them around in real, outside the stadium or the television box. Its been more than twenty days that I attended the event but due to my travel sprees was not able to blog about it. But Cricket needs no special reason to be talked about. We Indians are obsessed about the game in all its avatars, be it One-day, Test match or IPL.
India Today thoughtfully conceived this idea of discussing cricket right before World Cup 2015. The event was themed around analyzing the favorite teams before the World Cup. Would it be India or Australia or Sril Lanka or Pakistan? No doubt the room thought Australia was one of the top contenders. India had good chances and at present Pakistan did not have game changing players. However, they all agreed that the other teams that were strong and could change equations of the game were Sri Lanka, West Indies and Africa. New Zealand might be the dark horse.
I was impressed with Clive Lloyd. Not only did he apologize for West Indies calling off India tour midway but he appeared thorough gentleman in many aspects. Best of all, he did not even shy from shaking a leg on the Punjabi dhol. He displayed perfect sportsmanship.
Halloween is upon us and a host of supernatural creatures is ready to appear on our doorsteps. Fortunately, most of these monsters are easily turned away with the help of chocolate and jelly beans.
But if you’d like to return the favor and pay the phantoms a visit on their own turf, dig out your trekking boots and head for the nearest big forest: supernatural beings are known to make their home in great woods, and it’s (probably) safe to drop by and say hello.
Do I sound spooky, read on!!
Erik Boman of Holidaylettings (a service from TripAdvisor) discovers five of the scariest woodlands on the planet…….
Essex, England, UK
Photo by martin_vmorris (edited) (license) via Flickr
Epping Forest has earned its ghastly reputation from being a notorious crime scene. Several of the victims rumored to be buried here are believed to be restless in their graves.
Strange reported happenings include the sound of drums, eerie lights, strange mists and phantoms, including the ghost of highwayman Dick Turpin, whose soul is said to linger near the cave where he lived.
The forest’s most peculiar feature is the so-called Hangman’s Hill, located near High Beach. This spot is known to have a strange pull strong enough to tug a car uphill. Legends say this pull is an unseen hangman’s noose that draws its victims closer.
India has been called the golden bird in history. In the past like it enamored the traders with its gold and richness, today its expanding economy seems a lucrative market to investors world over. Not only the Indian talent is being invited world over but also the country itself is becoming a magnet for foreigners. Our distinctive and varied culture attracts huge number of foreign tourists every year . No doubt we have a huge population, but the talent and education in India is well appreciated. Creative and strong headed people are proving their prowess on the global map.
If you have a passion for peace and commitment to practice non-violence, I am sure you know the honored man from India, the Father of the Nation, Mahatama Gandhi. He has been a figure of inspiration for countries that have undergone suppression and more. He was the man who stood for each one and he preached the same to every one. While in Oslo I loved his poster hanging outside the Nobel Peace Prize Center, I equally felt proud to see his statue in Bali next to the World Peace Gong. From London to America his memorials, paintings, sculptures, and statues are hosted world over. Through his principles, globally people are more Indian than we think.
Did you know UK’s town Leicester in East Midlands celebrates Diwali grandly? It was the place where Indians were openly unwelcome years ago and today the people there celebrate grandest Diwali outside India. People from different communities enjoy the spirit of Diwali together. When I was in Oslo on one of the Diwali night and with limited resources, I celebrated it in my own unique Indian way. Continue reading India Enchanted→
If you did not notice my last travel posts, I must tell you that you have been missing a series on MALAYSIA. I am writing posts after posts because I have so much to talk about my recent trip there. Oh yes!!! I won the MalaysiaJao blogging contest and my trip was hosted superbly by Malaysia Tourism.
CAPITAL of MALAYSIA is KUALA LUMPUR.
Lets photo-walk it through my lenses…
Kuala Lumpur’s history proudly talks about its ‘evolution from the Mud where two of its rivers met. The name Kuala Lumpur means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay. The two rivers Klang and Gombak which flow through Kuala Lumpur led the clumsy village to its course of urban civilization. A leader of the chinese community, Yap ah Loy came to be known as the founder of KL. After several outbursts, Chinese and British interventions, racial riots and its own set of struggle, KL became the capital of the independent Federation of Malaya in 1957 and of Malaysia in 1963.
I was awed to learn about the wonderful transformation the capital city has undergone! The skyscrapers and the gleaming buildings shine like jewels in the night in Asia’s richest capitals. After it became a federal territory, the city has undergone phenomenal growth in terms of population and architecture. The mere tin-mining village in 1857 which was discovered by a group of 87 Chinese miners has come to be one of the sought-after travel destination. Earlier when the Chinese, English and others came here in search of tin, today it is known world over because of its iconic buildings , the Petronas Towers and KL Tower.
I thoroughly enjoyed my three days of stay in KL. Apart from visiting the ‘Must-Visit’ places- KL Tower, Batu Caves, National Monument, National Museum, Petronas Twin Towers , Merdeka Square, Chinatown, National Monument, Fascinating malls etc, I did not miss to capture many fascinating things about the city. They give us a peek into its taste for history, art and culture.
1. Petronas Twin Towers, National Monument, Batu Caves, The Revolving Restaurant in KL Tower
While I read this one, I lusted to be a child again. I wished to relive my summer vacations and return to lavish ancestral house of my grandparents in Gorakhpur where I played around with my cousins under the scorching sun. :)
Gone are those days!!! :(
This #BOOKREVIEW has been originally published on Writersmelon.
With a unique title and catchy cover design, this one will take you on a breezy ride through one playful and warm summer vacation. A beautiful and thoughtful book it is and it comes with a great message!
Not many books manage to leave back a lingering sweetness but this one does. And while you read the book, you are sure to enjoy the quirky humor and the playful storyline against the backdrop of a small fictional town of Ambalakunnu at Kerala. The blurb says the story is of the era when Sridevi and Kapil Dev were at the peak of their glories, in the 80’s. Yes, it brings back memories of the times when we lived in a lesser technology-complicated world.
The annual vacations were so innocent, joyous and playful when they did not mean international trips, gadget freaking, luxury summer camps or project making. They meant packing bags, boarding one train, following the usual route that took us to our ancestral grandparent’s place. Nothing in the world could be exchanged for them and nothing can bring them back- Fun with cousins, bathing and sleeping at wish, lazy afternoons, grandfather’s stories, grandma’s pampering, running around the verandahs-gardens, playing with servants of the house, feeding the pets and befriending the locals. Gone are those carefree, charming days but long live the memories! Thanks to the author as she takes us through Geeta’s vacation story.
No, I never saw an ANGEL, but it is irrelevant whether I saw one or not. I feel their presence around me.
My faith in the meaning of the words is unquestionable. From the time we are born, we are carefully handed over to two special people who never fear from their angelic deeds when it comes to preventing us from all harms. And gradually we find our own people in life who cross us on roads, in the trains, flights, offices, adverse situations and extend a helping hand. Through this post I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of them who have saved me from the toughest times and brought a smile back on my face. I am thankful to God that I have been blessed with wonderful people around me.
Great deeds have long lives and one should never let them die. Once there was a man who pulled me back from the speeding car on the road and in my state of shock I didn’t even realize that I missed saying a thank you to him. In a crucial phase of life, I was too lucky to meet a friend who took absolute care of me when I was severely ill. And now there is a guy in my life who stands for me always and bails me out from peering questions of others. So for me, my Crisis Angels have had many faces. But there is one person who deserves the biggest gratitude and he is my Dad. From the smallest troubles to the biggest goof ups of life, I have never feared to confess to my Dad and he, being my super angel has heard me lovingly and pulled me unaffected from all. Unlike Mum who prefers to give her lectures first before soothing the wounds (ofcourse she loves me too), Daddy prefers to hold hands till the hard times are gone. I see my biggest Crisis Angel in him.
I am sure each one of us has heard this time and again. My Dad would often reiterate it every time when I fell ill as a kid and even today he sounds the same when he hears me talk low. I believe this oldest cliché can never be called old and it holds key to a pot of gold. We all dread illness and those are the days when we wish for a magical wand to set things right for us. You may possess the world’s glorious things in your closet but until you are fit and healthy, it holds no good for you. When we are ill, do we ever think of money? No we don’t. This is what it means that Health is wealth because money can’t buy it. It took me more than twenty years to understand this but I want my next generation to realize it soon.
Health and Kids
Lets compare the two days, a day when the kids are running around the house all happy, chirpy and active with no ailments in the body and the other day when they come back home from school with a throbbing head and hurting stomach. No wonder we pray for former days always because we love the kids happy going.
It wasn’t easy for my mum to get me into spinach but she won me over with Popeye’s cartoons. She ensured that I ate fruits and vegetables in my meals. One sneeze meant a huge lecture on the importance of daily intake of nuts and Chyawanprash. Milk was a daily on the menu. I am sure all our parents have done this but now the onus lies on us that how we pass it on to our next generation. Nowadays more than us its the kids who are enticed with junk food. They prefer television and gadgets than cycling and playing in parks. Eventually they are getting more prone to obesity, weak eyes, unhygienic habits etc. The attack of virus and bacteria often attacks the learning and developmental abilities of the kids.
A healthy child makes a happy home
A child is the apple of eye of every family and no one wants them ill. For the parents, their whole life revolves around kids. Their smile makes our day, their hug warms us and their sweet voice keeps us going. When they fall ill, the house comes down to pin drop silence and its tough to see them in pain. I had never seen my brother so worried and sad till the day his kiddo was hospitalized for the first time. The prankster in him was quite, had sullen eyes and not a smile escaped his lips. Kids are absolutely our darling. We love them and we want the best for them, don’t we?
A strong immunity is important for children so that they grow up strong.Thus, its absolutely important to prevent them from falling ill. Lets nurture healthy food habits in ourselves so that the kids follow our steps. Children imitate elders around them therefore they must be shown what we want them to imbibe. As grown ups we must encourage a good living. More we should embrace green, non-toxic, anti oxidant ingredients in our fancy cooking styles to attract them to home made food. Other food products that keep us healthy should be made part of our routine diet. Good eating habits go a long way in keeping the ailments away. A diet that helps to build a strong immunity is a necessity and it should be encouraged in our children. Whatever way possible they must be convinced to eat food items that help fight infections and diseases.
I write all of the above and equally value the beautiful love of my parents that made Mum or Dad run after me everyday to eat a spoon of Chyawanprash and a glass of milk without a miss.
This is my post for Happy Hour via Indiblogger and Dabur
My fascination for stationery dates back to the times when laptops were in the making and tablets, touchscreens were yet to be manufactured and my Dad proudly owned and loved his typewriter. It was my eighth birthday and Daddy gifted me my first dairy. By that time I was already in love with stationery items like books, notepads, pencils, sketch pens etc. , thus a bundle of crisp pages bound by a spiral with a peacock on the outer hard side looked enamoring. I had seen Daddy writing in his diary every night but had never wanted one for myself yet.
With not a minute to waste I had asked him, Is this Mine?
Yes, he said..
‘ What do I do with this Daddy?’
He had put it gently, its time you put down your thoughts, do some cursive writing and scribble your heart Beta.
By that time I had only used a School diary which was a medium for conversation between parents and teachers and also for noting down homework. Having an all new, thick diary made me giddy with happiness and I did not give up until I had shown it to my friends next day in school. That time I did not know that more than owning a diary, it was important to use it wisely. Gradually Daddy taught me to use the calendar to mark the important dates. He introduced the other uses as well and one thing that I adopted soon was the practice of regularly making diary entries. From spilling ink on myself to the broken toy to maggi noodles that I loved, I wrote everything in there. By the time my next birthday came, he was very happy with my work. And then it became a ritual, a dairy a year is the most precious gift that comes from him to me.
Yes!!! I love to scribble. When people love to shop for chocolates, dresses, gifts, I am charmed with stationery items. And no less I admit I love the smell of neat, fresh paper. I thoroughly enjoy collecting notebooks and diaries.
The picture below shows some of the diaries that my DAD has gifted me over the years of growing up. I have an amazing collection and I love to flaunt it. So next time when you are thinking of gifting me, as I have always said give me a book or something in paper where I can scribble my heart out.
My Mid Year Collection of Notebook and Diaries
Matrikas Paper Products have sent in more and I am all happy.
The brandhails from SFA print (P) Ltd., and they have come up with refreshing range of products including Notebooks,Journals,Diaries and high quality book making services. Recently, I took a glance at their products and honestly couldn’t stay away from being a part of their “Scribble your heart away….” Campaign!
I am thankful to them that they sent me a gift pack of three different kind of notebooks. How thoughtful of them to give the bloggers/ writers just what they love most. For me, Diary is an important keepsake forever.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park (Malay: Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur)
If you are in Kuala Lumpur with or without children, the KL bird park is a must visit. From African Grey Parrot, Yellow-billed Stork, Silver Pheasant, Red Lory, Indian Blue Peafowl, Straw-headed Bulbul, Flamingos, Hornbills, Waterhens, Parrots, Cockatoos, Storks, Pheasants, Mynahs, Pigeons, Macaws. Ducks one gets to see them all and many more. I didn’t even know so many unique species of birds existed before visiting this place. It was an awesome learning experience. For me, it was a unique as well as a fulfilling experience. It made me nostalgic about the childhood days when my parents took me around in the zoo. It was similar to spotting animals. Here too some of the birds moved around in the open in their segmented and separated spaces while there were others which were caged.
If you are a bird lover, you will find it a paradise and make the best of the day in the KL Bird Park.At the entrance, one buys a ticket and gets wrist-let. It guarantees your journey inside where you can spot different varieties of birds from the smallest to the tallest. The colorful sight amidst the green spread is all the more heartening when the birds walk down close to you. The Park has been designed in a way that it is covered from the above and many birds move and fly around freely in the semi-natural environment.
“The World’s Largest Covered Bird Park” or “The World’s largest Free Flight Aviary”.
Thank God! Man wrote books and discovered a beautiful way of appeasing humankind.
Reading is bliss. Ya-ya I know I always say that and I can never get over this feeling. After every book, my faith in the world of words and imagination strengthens. Recently I wrapped up two very interesting books- ‘Mango Cheeks Metal Teeth’ by Aruna Nambiar and ‘Fraudster’ by R.V. Raman. Both the books were strikingly different in make and style and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Rom-Com alternatively with the Corporate Thriller.
What keeps me on my toes?
Corporate thrillers have to be churned out skillfully to be able to capture the interest of readers till the end. The storyline has to be strong, the plot has to be the king and the characters have to be well sketched. And to top it all, gritty suspense and racy action make it a winner any day. So when a new book of a similar genre hits the bookshelves, my expectations are no less than above.
I chose FRAUDSTER because I loved its blurb and thrillers are my favorite. I must say this one kept me on my toes. Mr. R.V. Raman has delivered quite a promising debut novel.
Title and Cover Page
FRAUDSTER, as the name stands is about one big financial fraud that entails account books of not one but many companies and banks. To cover up things, cold blooded murders, assaults, database hackings and email deletions follow. The blurb starts it off well with terms like corruption, greed, crime, murder, treachery etc. The title of the book stands with the storyline however I wasn’t impressed with the cover page. It looked quite similar to others that I have read already.
About the Author
R V Raman is an Indian author and was the head of the KPMG’s Consulting Practice and a member of the Risky Advisory Services. During the course of his three-decade career, the author has successfully managed many banks, companies and stock exchanges in over four continents. This is his first book.
I usually enjoy reading about the Author part. This section is important because it breaks the ice between the author and the reader as well as hints upon as to where the story is coming from. The consulting jargon and the storyline based on ‘audit, fraud, bank’ in the story reiterate the fact that its Mr. Raman’s forte. And the best part I personally enjoyed it all because my husband is a manager with KPMG and his line of service is Risk Advisory too. He often tells me stories of Telecom frauds and some day I would love to see him author a book around it. :)
10th October is celebrated as International Girl Child Day. On this day, UNICEF is coming forward with a strong message and mass campaign to end violence against girl child by launching
“yeah hui naa baap wali baat” music video by Ryan Beifus
Here is the video after the launch
The post that I wrote before the event….
I have always been shocked about how a boy child is always loved and wanted over female child. I condemn female foeticide. But the girl child woes are not just it, some shocking stats are as below:
21% of girls in India, 12 million, have been subjected to physical violence since age 15
- 4.5% of girls aged 15 to 19, 2.6 million, have suffered some form of sexual violence.
- 13% of girls aged 15 to 19 married or in union suffered from sexual violence
Recently, a three years old girl child Jhanvi went missing in Delhi. She was kidnapped from India Gate when she was playing with her family friends. Except the parents and the close ones it did not panic anyone because such news are like everyday affairs. Children are forced in to begging, they are hit, abducted and physically abused so often. We know it all but we keep silent. Also imagine for most of them who belong to the underprivileged class, the cruelties done to them do not even find a place in the newspapers.
After three days thankfully the three kid was rescued but in most of the cases children don’t return back home. Most of the times we read such articles as news because we aren’t directly affected but when it happens in the family, thunder strikes. Coming back to Jhanvi’s story, I also read that when the young girl was crying in the market where she was spotted by a 21 yr old boy, there were many people in the buzzing market but none came forward to help her. How shocking is this? Thankfully there was one boy who thought of helping her and thus she was rescued. I wonder how self obsessed we have become in our lives that we don’t even bother to reach out to a crying child. From this incident, I take a lesson myself that next time I see a child in need of help, I will not shy away from doing the needful.
However, severe violence exists in our society. Its shameful but it thrives. Young girls and boys are abused and physically tortured and the numbers are extremely high for females. I wonder what kind of people are those who have the heart to harm children.
Lets join UNICEFand be catalysts of change within society. For long we have been bystanders, onlookers. We love passing the buck to others, “You should…”, “The Government should…”, this time lets say I can #ENDviolence because #ItStartsWithMe !!!
Yes, we can definitely do our part by ensuring that such acts do not take place in our surroundings and we do not shy away from bringing the culprit to law-book. As parents too sometimes act blind to save a family member or they feel it will impact their image in society, such parents need to change their perspective and act for their own children.
To fortify the importance of providing enabling environment for the Girl Child, UNICEF India is conducting the launch of a music video “Yea Hui Naa Baap walli Baat” by Ryan Beifus as part of #ItStartsWithMe campaign to celebrate International Girl Child Day. The emotive music is composed to inspire men to stand up for the rights of girls, their right to an education, to protection against violence and their right to no early marriage.
Ryan Beifus was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and has worked in over 50 countries on human rights as composer and music video producer.
Bollywood and the Sports World has come forward to support UNICEF’s Campaign to #ENDviolence against children.
On the Day of the GirlChild, tomorrow is the launch of the Baap Waali Baat song on 10 October.
Kareena Kapoor, Virendra Sehwag, Priyanka Chopra, Rahul Bose, Madhuri Dixit Nene, Farhan Akhtar and Saina Nehwal can be seen and heard standing by the theme.
Watch the video:
I scribbled two lines with respect to the cause.
I may not be your daughter but treat me no different. You may not be my father but do stand for me because I wish to respect you no different.
I have had a fascination for History since childhood and I am one of those who would love to chose a museum tour over beach walk any-day. Getting into dates and being charmed by intriguing history thrills me. So when Malaysia Tourism took us to Melaka after the three days fun in Kuala Lumpur, I was more than happy. And I would say Melaka is absolutely wonderful. I loved the small and big intricate historical charms of the city.
Melaka is situated one and a half hour away from Kuala Lumpur by car. The UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka thrives on rich history that dates back to 600 years in the past. Its unique and ancient buildings create a lot of interest for the eyes of the travelers.Different shapes, sizes and architecture speak of tradition and culture of different communities that came here in the past.Since Melaka was an important trading post, along the historic Straits of Malacca, it charmed traders from all over the world. The Portuguese, Dutch, British, Chinese came, conquered, thrived and contributed to its customs and cultures. In its quaint and peaceful roads, one feels an excitement in experiencing the historical Melaka.
Our guide, Jeevan told us more about Melaka. He said that Melaka was first discovered by Parameswara, a young Hindu Prince who later moved to Singapore.
Before my blogpost about the Museums, National Sultanate of Malacca, Dutch Square, Porta Santiagoand many more places of interest in Melaka, I wanna write about the Jonker street/Walk that has an interesting influence of colonial rule period on Melaka. Now it has array of antique shops of artifacts and relics.
Jalan Hang Jebat, also known as Jonker Street has colorful houses which date back to 17th century. We also learnt that Jonker Street is popular for getting hand on big bargains and antique collections. I was tempted to go for Souvenir shopping here. The tempting cuisines, the street food and souvenir shopping are the highlights of Jonker Street.
Jonker Walk was turned into a touristy cultural street on 19th June 2000. It was a great step by the Malaccan government as it helped the locals and tourists to know about the multi cultural facets of this place.
Jonker Walk, Jonker Street or Jalan Hang Jebat
The grand gate at the start of the street welcomes one to a colorful and interesting walk. Three girls/bloggers (Ragini, Vaisakhi and I who went together to Malaysia) can never be more excited if left to explore a shopping arena. Of course girls love shopping but for a change I loved it because it wasn’t a mall neither a cluttered street but a artistic market. Unlike the other china towns that I have seen, this one had influence of European culture. The narrow and wide streets, cute small and big shops and side cafes looked very impressive. We were curious and in no time we started walking further.
Also, this Chinatown is renowned for its antique shops, clothing and craft outlets. More, pineapple tarts and durian puffs are famous here. Durian cendol is another delicacy not to be missed if you are here.
‘Malaysia is Truly Asia’ – We hear it quite often but I have returned back from Malaysia nearly convinced to its theme.
28th August to 3rd September–The duration in whichI experienced my first and beautiful trip to Malaysia. Yes! it turned out to be enriching, fascinating and truly refreshing one. The theme on Merdeka was fabulous and I felt honored to be a part of 57th Independence Day celebrations of Malaysia. Apart from the big day celebrations, each day of the trip was full of memorable experiences.
My trip to Malaysia!!
It was a FAM trip that I had a won as a prize in the ‘MalaysiaJao 2014′ blogging contest. The badge perched on the right side says it all. Gladly I would like to thank Blogadda and Malaysia Tourism who together made it happen. Its been a month to the rocking trip but since I was sick, I couldn’t write my pieces. I have been lusting to pendown all that happened there, the beautiful pictures I clicked and the experiences I had.
What is a FAM trip?
I had never been on a FAM trip until this one happened. What I only knew was that FAM was an acronym for familiarization. The veteran bloggers did guide and shared their pleasant experiences but honestly I had never thought FAM trip could be so awesome.
Before the travel I had my set of apprehensions. I was nervous, not sure about many things. The itinerary was all to be taken care by someone else and the thought made me quirky. But now I know when its organized by the tourism of a country, its got to be the best. Malaysia Tourism rocked all the way. They pampered us to the core. (We were three bloggers who traveled from India for the Merdeka theme)
And the ride went this way…
DAY 0:Ragini (fellow blogger) and I flew from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur. We were super excited. By the time we arrived in Kaula Lumpur it was night. At the exit we were met by a guy holding the placard of my name. He introduced himself as Jeevan and told us that for the next 6 days he was our friend and guide. As we headed to our hotel, he ensured he told us many new things about Malaysia since we both were visiting it for the first time. Later, we were only left to have dinner and settle ourselves in our hotel rooms on the 21st floor. We stayed at Seri Pacific, Kuala Lumpur. It was a comfortable stay with great breakfast buffet.
I got nostalgic looking at the bow and arrow, the masks and the battle armor toys. As a kid, I wouldn’t return from the Ram Leela ground until my parents bought these for me. On Saturday, I was once again thrilled to be reminded of childhood antics. I couldn’t resist the temptation to buy one for myself at the Lal Quila Maidan (Red Fort Lawns).
In our busy lives, festivals always return to refresh and rejoice us. With the commencement of Navratris, its the beginning of festive season. Planning family time during holidays, returning to homeland to celebrate with family and enjoying delicacies associated with fests are the three things that happen during this time. Since I am a great foodie, what charms me most about festivals is food and exploring new places to eat always thrills me.
I have been living in Delhi for last fifteen years but had never known about Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee. And its not just famous because the Ramlila ground has the tallest effigy of Ravan but also because of its display of mouth watering Delhi street food. When we reached there, we were met with colorful pandal which housed a huge Dusshera mela and more the food display boasted that of a big fat Indian wedding. The Saturday turned into a delicious one. Hubby and I had a great evening digging into some amazing Chaat papdri, Golgappas, Chilla, Matar-kulcha, Stuffed mango, Rola icecream and more. The Ice-creams, Kulfi were novelty items available there and simply irresistible. I bet, as you walk down the pictures, you ought to get hungry!!!
Last Thursday on 18th September 2014, it was an insightful experience to attend the launch of INAP,India New Born Action Plan programme. We all know the success story of India’s triumph over polio and learning from the past and following the same lines it was the day designated to start the crusade against newborn deaths. Yes, it was called a great day because it marked the launch of a ambitious plan that aims to save newborn deaths and bring down the number of deaths per 1000 in single digit.
The honorable guests of the event were Bill Gates and Melinda Gates. For this great cause, the chiefs of UNICEF, WHO, USAID came together to extend their utmost support. The other guests of honor who shared the dais were Mr. Louis George Arsenault, UNICEF representative India, Ms. Nata Menabde, WR India, Mr. John Beed, Mission Director, USAID India along with our Health and Welfare Minister, Mr. Harsh Vardhan.
The disturbing numbers…
Preventable newborn deaths account for 44 percent of all deaths among children under the age of five globally.
Four out of five newborn deaths result from three treatable conditions.
In India, 0.76 million newborns die each year mainly due to preventable causes.
Urban NMR is no good, it is also half of Rural NMR. Delhi IMR is also quite high.
There is zero, actually no health structure in cities.
The India Newborn Action Plan (INAP) is developed in response to to the Global Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) which was launched at World Health Assembly in June 2014. The programme outlines a targeted strategy for accelerating the reduction of preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths in the country. With this programme and effective interventions, it is a commitment to bring NMR (neonatal mortality rate) and SBR (Still born rate) to single digits by 2020.
There was slight disappointment on her face because he hadn’t called her to speak of any progress in Maya’s case. But just then she was quick to console herself that Cyrus was trying his best to hunt down Varun and soon some important lead would definitely help them nab the culprit. The flashbacks of Maya’s body in pool of blood returned and next moment Jenny clenched her fist and teeth. Soon, her body began to shiver too. The killer had not just murdered Maya but her soul sister and it was great loss to her.
Jenny was a strong person and Maya too was no less. Rather it was their adventurous, art land sports love, thinking from the heart attitude which had bonded them together. There was one more thing other than photography which never bored them and that was music. Jenny played their favorite peppy numbers to lift her mood but it did not really help. She felt both restless and helpless. Thoughts of Maya or Cyrus played around in her mind. Since Maya was gone and Cyrus was busy with his freelance case, studies and follow up with police on Maya’s murder, Jenny decided to read his blog.
Eunomia’s Quill, Cyrus blog’s name was too interesting and Jennifer felt a curiosity to read it word to word. Crime and law were not her subjects of interest but with Maya’s shocking death she wanted to read and research things related to murders, mysteries and thrillers. She came across many jargons which were unknown to her. The thoughts and views of Cyrus on some cases were eye opening for her. Soon Jenny was in awe of not only his writing skills but also his investigating ideas. Was Cyrus a law student or a psychologist who could read a criminal’s mind? Boss, this guy could script some real crime series which are sure to get terrific TRP ratings… Jenny thought to herself.
Next day Jenny woke up with the ringing of her mobile phone.
Oh! she realized she had been awake till wee hours in the night and now her head was throbbing hard because maybe she had tried to gulp down excessive doze of crime and law stories the night before.
She missed the call but soon bent down to check the number. It was more than one. First it was her Mum early in the morning which obviously had felt on deaf ears and after two hours now it was Cyrus who had called her.
Jenny felt happy to return each of their calls.
Since Jenny was too impressed with Cyrus’s blog, she couldn’t keep this to herself. That day in a casual chat (facebook messenger) with Tara, she mentioned it the first thing. Jennifer disclosed to Tara about the blogs that Cyrus wrote and how fascinated she was with his writing style. Tara was taken for surprise too. Jennifer and Tara had gotten quite friendly over time. Tara’s heart went out to Jennifer for her lose of her closest friend. She did her best to give Jennifer the moral support that she so needed. They had quickly opened up to each other, become friends on Facebook and now chatted with each other quite often.