Outdoor, Offbeat, Adventure Traveler- adding AND in my life

Globetrotting, Travel, Paris, dubai, Saudi, Beaches, Sea

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. 

Continue reading Outdoor, Offbeat, Adventure Traveler- adding AND in my life

Travel Talk: I learnt about 7 ‘Thainess’ Charms and met Mary Kom

Muay Thai, Amazing Thailand, Discover Thainess

While writing this blog post, I have been reading about Amazing Tastes of Thailand, Thai Handicrafts- The Art of Wisdom,  Thai Massage and  Muay Thai and 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. 

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Continue reading Travel Talk: I learnt about 7 ‘Thainess’ Charms and met Mary Kom

Our Boltilicious conversation…

 

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.

 

Boltified, Get Set Bolt, Bolt Ahead, The Bolt Life

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. 

Continue reading Our Boltilicious conversation…

Myriad is Me

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…

Manjulika.

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.

AND

  Continue reading Myriad is Me

How about the Twitter proposal this valentine?

@My love    Be mine, Come Twitter way! Lets #Closeup this #VDay.

Wow, how cool it would be if my sweetest tweet for my guy trended! I would love to surprise him in my creatively put 140 words.  If he’s right in front of me, I am sure it would be a pleasure to see his reaction. What fun it would be to wait for the reply and gradually when our friends would retweet and favor the gesture. If in case, its long distance, it wouldn’t matter because I would be able to propose sharp at 12.   And then the tweeting that would follow would be exciting.

But it ins’t easy until your valentine is a social media chap or atleast has an account. Thank God, a few months ago, my guy agreed to join twitter and is gradually getting a hang of the birdie talk.  Yes, he checks the trending updates and tweets…

If you ask me, I would say I love the whole social media jazz and my latest crush is the birdie that makes you say things in 140 words.

Continue reading How about the Twitter proposal this valentine?

Shaaluji

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.

——-

Continue reading Shaaluji

Lets talk over the laundry…

 

 

laundry is women job only

 

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.

Continue reading Lets talk over the laundry…

Oman: My visit to the ornate Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

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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.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Oman, Muscat, Muslim-Place of Worship
The First Click of the dome of the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Jpeg
The three bloggers in the Mosque periphery                                                                             L to R: Aseem, I and Mithun

  Continue reading Oman: My visit to the ornate Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muscat in Oman: Lets Discover Pearl of Arabia

My trip to the land of Arabian Nights was no less than a fairy tale.

Destinations Asia, Oman, Muscat, Middle East, Oman, Travel

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.

Beautiful and Varied Landscape

Muscat, Oman: An Undiscovered Middle Eastern Treasure, Oman, Muscat, Travel

Jalali and Mirani forts, Al ALam Palace, Muscat, Seaview, Travel Continue reading Muscat in Oman: Lets Discover Pearl of Arabia

2014: Oh joy! It was a super blogging year…

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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.

Continue reading 2014: Oh joy! It was a super blogging year…

Melbourne, one can’t resist it, Can you?

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.

 

—————————–

 

 

You find Flower Drum, the world’s best Chinese restaurant in Melbourne
Gorge on the fish and eggplant chips, Lamingtons, Jam Donuts and the Meat pies,
How about some jazz at the “Paris Cat”, the Labor In Vain Hotel,  Espy in St Kilda,
Nothing beats Der Raum in the cocktails and some shorthand for espresso drinks,
Grab a cuppa of ‘Seven Seeds’ freshly ground beans,
Choose from the Short Black, Long Black or Flat White,
The city stands alive with dynamic fashion scene,
Grab a chance to wear interesting hats to the Melbourne Cup horse race,
With great swirls of rich colour and noise,
You will love the cyclists and runners go past,
Explore the State Library, Hepburn Springs, the spa town, Escape room or the Healesville Sanctuary,
There is Tote in inner-city Collingwood and the lane life at Café Creperie Salon AIX,
Fix a date with the Australian green and the wildlife,
And go for the tour to Koala research,
Explore Mount Dandenong and greatest Luna Park.

 

——————————–

 

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!

Melbourne, Art Centre
The sketch depicts its love for Creative Graffiti, Coffee Buzz, Dazzling Skyline And Victorian heritage, the Arts Centre Melbourne!

 

Indeed there is so much to Come Alive in Melbourne…

 

“Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?”.

The best answer, chosen by me wins a shopping voucher worth Rs.500.

You may answer in a comment below or tweet with the hash tag #visitmelbourne

Last date for the contest is 5th Jan 2015, Hurry!

 Tourism Victoria Website

 

This is my post for blogging contest organized by Indiblogger and Tourism Victoria

Vote for me at Kerala Blog Express- Trip 2

Kerala Tourism, Vote For Me, Kerala Blog Express 2, Travel

                                                                            

First thing first!

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 VOTE for me.

 

Beautiful Kerala, Kerala Trip, Adventure Trip, Travel Bloggers

If you love traveling, Register soon for Kerala Blog Express.

 

Blogging took me to Skyscanner’s Office, Singapore

Singapore, Changi, My trip, Travel

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. 

 

Singapore Ticket, Yahoo mail, Manjulika

You may read the winning post at the below link.

Z to A of a Skyscanning Day, Come along for the trip…

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.

Sksycanner Tweet, Direct Message, Twitter

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. 

                                 Skyscanner, Singapore Office from Inside

Skyscanner at Robinson Point, SIngapore, Travel Search company Continue reading Blogging took me to Skyscanner’s Office, Singapore

When DAN BROWN spoke in Delhi

Dan Brown Books, Dan Brown in Delhi, Author, Penguin Random House Lecture
DAN BROWN
Dan Brown, Lecture, Delhi, Sirifort Complex
THE PENGUIN ANNUAL LECTURE 2104
Dan Brown Lecture, Dan Brown, Delhi, Event, Penguin Lecture
DAN BROWN LECTURE IN SIRIFORT AUDITORIUM, NEW DELHI
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.

Continue reading When DAN BROWN spoke in Delhi

Marhaba OMAN: It gave me a beautiful experience

The Sultanate of Oman, Marina Bander, Oman , Muscat, Dolphin watching, Rugged Mountains

 

 Traveling is Awesome!!!

I am back from my trip to SULTANATE OF OMAN and 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

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.

Visit Oman, Oman, Muscat, Oman Tourism, Sultanate of Oman

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.

 

Continue reading Marhaba OMAN: It gave me a beautiful experience

A memorable day that was all about CRICKET!

Salaam Cricket, Cricket, Conclave, India Today, Aaj Tak

 

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-Haq came 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.

 

Cricket, 2014, World Cup 2015, Salaam Cric Continue reading A memorable day that was all about CRICKET!

Halloween Special : Five spooky forests for petrifying picnics in the dark

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…….

 

Epping Forest

Essex, England, UK

 

Epping Forest, Halloween, England, Spooky, 31st Oct

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.

Continue reading Halloween Special : Five spooky forests for petrifying picnics in the dark

India Enchanted

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. 

World Peace Gong in Bali
World Peace Gong in Bali

Incredible India!

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

Lets have a Photo-Walk Through Kuala Lumpur

Howdy Readers,

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.

 

 

Kuala Lumpur

1. Petronas Twin Towers, National Monument, Batu Caves, The Revolving Restaurant in KL Tower

  Continue reading Lets have a Photo-Walk Through Kuala Lumpur

Mango Cheeks, Metal Teeth

 

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!!!    :(

 

Mango, cheeks, Metal, teeth, Book Review, Aruna Nambiar, Westland

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.
Read the complete Review of the book on WRITERSMELON
Happy Reading!!!

Crisis Angels have different human faces


No, I never saw an ANGEL,
but it is irrelevant whether I saw one or not.
I feel their presence around me.
Paulo Coelho

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.

Continue reading Crisis Angels have different human faces

A Healthy Talk

HEALTH IS WEALTH

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

Gift me a Dairy, with Love…

Love for DIARY…  (my story)

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

Diary

 

Matrikas Paper Products have sent in more and I am all happy.

  The brand  matrikas  hails 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.

 

Continue reading Gift me a Dairy, with Love…

Chirpy, Colorful, Charming BIRDS of all sorts in KL Bird Park

KL Birds , Flamingos, Hornbills, Waterhens, Parrots, Cockatoos, Storks, Pheasants, Mynahs Pigeons, Macaws. Ducks, KL Bird Park, Malaysia

 

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.

 

Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, KL Bird Park, Bird Watching
Taman Burung Kuala Lumpur

“The World’s Largest Covered Bird Park” or “The World’s largest Free Flight Aviary”.

Continue reading Chirpy, Colorful, Charming BIRDS of all sorts in KL Bird Park

Fraudster

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.

 

Fraudster, book review, book, RV Raman

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.  :)

Continue reading Fraudster

I can #ENDviolence because #ItStartsWithMe

Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF, #Baapwalibaat, #ItsStartsWithMe

 

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 UNICEF and 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.

 

10th October

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 Girl Child, 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.

Happy Blogging!!!

The mixed cultural flavor of Jonker Walk in Melaka

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Melaka Town

 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.

 

Melaka, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Travel, History

 

Before my blogpost about the Museums, National Sultanate of Malacca, Dutch Square, Porta Santiago and 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

Jonker Wall, Melaka, Malaysia, Travel, Shopping, Asia

 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.


 

Jpeg

Continue reading The mixed cultural flavor of Jonker Walk in Melaka

6N/7D of awesomeness in Malaysia with Malaysia Tourism

Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia, Travel, FAM, Petronas
Kuala Lumpur City Centre at the Petronas

 

 

‘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 which I 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.

Merdeka, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Travel, FAM trip
Theme of FAM trip: Merdeka celebrations

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.

 

Kuala Lumpur, FAM trip, Malaysia, Truly Aisa
Kuala Lumpur Gallery

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.

Continue reading 6N/7D of awesomeness in Malaysia with Malaysia Tourism

PhotoWalk: Ram Leela Fun and Food at the Red Fort Lawns

 

Its Dusshera Time!!!

Jpeg

     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!!!

 

Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee

  25th September- 4 October 2014

Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, Dusshera, Ramleela
Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee

 

Red Fort, Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, Dusshera, Chandni Chowk, Food, Festival, New Delhi
The beautiful and huge Pandal of Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee in Red Fort Lawns

Continue reading PhotoWalk: Ram Leela Fun and Food at the Red Fort Lawns

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates at INAP launch

Top Post, Blog post, Indiblogger

 

 

wpid-p_20140925_221055.jpg

 

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.

 

WHAT IS INAP?

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.

Continue reading Bill Gates and Melinda Gates at INAP launch

Chapter 16: Duplicity

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I am part of team “Writers’ Express”

 Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

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Cyrus did not return Jenny’s call.

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.

READ NEXT CHAPTER HERE

“Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at BlogAdda.com. #CelebrateBlogging with us.

 

 

Jennifer new 1 copy

Cyrus

Love Lasts Forever…

book, bookreview, love, lasts. forever, love lasts forever, vikrant khanna
You all know that , I am die hard romantic one , completely swear by SRK and his films and romance is a genre that always thrills me.  So when one of my closest friend @Prankyy decided to review this book , I was more than happy to host the column on my blog. This is what she has to say about one of the mushiest romantic novel that she has picked up off late.
LOVE LASTS FOREVER
Many a times we all dream live in our wonderlands. It is a world that is not just beautiful and perfect but also free from confusions , heartbreaks, anger and hate. Wow! That sounds like amazing corner of the world but then, no such perfect place exists in reality. Because we as human beings are not perfect , we are fallible , we fail , we create confusions , we express our anger in as many ways that we can and that eventually leads to heart breaks.

Love lasts forever By Vikrant Khanna - Is a story of that real world , a world that exists beyond the honey moon period, beyond the rosy promises of love and beyond all admirations of love.

 
Every love story goes through trials and relationships are tested to their core. This book depicts all those nuances of a relationship.
 
Two love stories set in two different generation , still have similar challenges . A unique setting of a ship which eventually gets hijacked adds a freshness to the storyline. Though the mush may get too much to handle beyond a point but in the end it is all worth it. The feeling of being in love , falling into it and falling out of it – all these have been described soulfully by the author.

Will the two men be able to conquer those challenges and re gain the love that they always thought lasts forever ?

 
Go find out.
 
A very relatable book , will make you think and re-think the way you approach love and relationships in your life.
 
— Reviewed by @Prankyy
This review is her personal view on the book and the review copy was sent to her from www.writersmelon.com.

Chapter 12: Duplicity

Writersexpress, Celebrateblogging, Storywriting, Bloggers activity, groups blogg

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18

Read the previous chapter 11 here

 

After hearing the tale of Maya’s disappearance and then her brutal murder, Tara was done with her distrust for Cyrus. Jennifer had answered it all for her and now she felt guilty for being too harsh with Cyrus since his arrival.  At the end of the conversation, she had felt most of it was sorted, even the look on Shekhar’s face said that he was all satisfied. Cyrus looked smug with a sign of relief on his face. No doubt Jennifer’s story did make sense and when she remembered that Shailesh was an eye witness, she gave up her worrying thoughts.

It was all peaceful in the house and Tara happily walked in her kitchen. She began to chop some vegetable just then it flashed to her—

Was a stranger’s call enough to snub off the anxieties related to Roohi’s safety in presence of Cyrus?

 Just then Shekhar walked in and handed over the phone. It was Roohi on the other side. She was sounding all happy and chirpy which meant the stay at her friend’s place was turning out enjoyable. In all the fun, she did not miss asking about her Cyrus uncle and Tara for a change answered it to her satisfaction.

Everyone is doing good my baby, you make the most of your night out, have fun and I will come to pick you tomorrow…. said Tara before conveying the customary goodnight, sweet-dreams, take-care and bye.

After retiring to their bedroom, Shekhar and Tara discussed about Maya and expressed both sadness and shock.

Life is just so unpredictable. One never knows whats in store for us. I wonder if Maya ever thought that going for a boy would cost her life.expressed Tara

I know!!! And I fear the cruel world too.

What makes people so violent that they fear not in taking someone’s life thats so precious? … added Shekhar

Lets forget it all Shekhar and pray to God to keep us all together and happy. We have to be careful about Roohi and her friends always even when she grows up… the God fearing and doting mother in Tara said before dozing off to sleep.

Next day, it all went well.  Cyrus felt wanted in the house because Tara asked him for a second helping of sandwich during the breakfast. They all returned to their daily routines and when Roohi returned she brought back giggles and chirpiness in the house.

Continue reading Chapter 12: Duplicity

Chapter 5: Duplicity

Writersexpress, Celebrateblogging, Storywriting, Bloggers activity, groups blogg

Team : Writers’ Express
Read the Chapters of the story here

Chapter 1: Pawan Hegde

Chapter 2 : Partha Sadhukhan

 Chapter 3 : Sujata Tawde

Chapter 4: Shilpa Halwe

Chapter 6: Shazneen Pathak 

Chapter 7:  Anuradha

Chapter 8 : Anuradha

Round 1 ended after 8 chapters and now we are through the second round along with other teams.

 

 


 

The diamond danglers shone bright, the wedding trousseau looked stunning and decked up to the full, the bride looked happily intoxicated with joy. The grand hall buzzed with music, chit-chats and laughter. It was a wedding reception hosted by a rich Indian businessman at Le Meridien, Kochi. One man in white felt relieved by looking at his handsome son, who was all happy to lose his bachelorhood to his school time sweetheart. Aside from her exquisite engagement ring from the bridegroom Ravi, the bride Kanchana had ensured that she wore completely traditional look. Every accessory that she adorned looked just perfect for the moment.

From one corner of the hall, there was someone who was loving every bit of it through her DSLR.  She was the only one in the room who had the courage to put on a denim with a cool tee.  The tattoo of the sweet little bird was about her true calling. She wanted to keep  flying here and there. Nothing could make Jennifer happy but photography and Indian weddings were her favorite. She loved the grandness about the North Indian weddings. Jennifer dreamt of two ceremonies for her own wedding, one in the church in the elaborate white gown and the other like Kanchana’s.

Jennifer had thanked her friend and partner in crime ( photography passionate) Maya more than once for cracking this opportunity. She had got bored of the church weddings and was in need of something grand as this. Maya was blessed with persuasive PR skills and her talking had helped them bag this assignment. Not one but five professional photographers were covering the reception party. Five years back when she had started as an amateur, she has shot weddings for free, for friends of friends who couldn’t afford to hire a professional but now she was one among the elite.

Jennifer new 1 copy

Continue reading Chapter 5: Duplicity

My experience of flying with Malaysian Airlines

Hi Readers,
 
I am back from Malaysia with beautiful experiences to share with you all. My first international exposure that happened due to blogging was full of great fun, excitement and learning. Remember the Malaysian Familiarization trip that I had won in the first quarter of the year? Yes, so it happened in last week of August as I had opted for this month. I was invited over to be a part of the Merdeka (Independence Day) celebrations and now when I am back, I want to shout out loud and tell everyone that the trip was absolutely amazing.  Malaysia Tourism deserves many thanks because they made it rock beyond words. I thoroughly enjoyed my company with two travel bloggers Ragini and Vaishakhi. The 6 days trip turned out to be an experience that will be savored for a lifetime for sure.
I am gonna share every bit of it right from where it began…
 

Malaysia Airlines, Travel, Kuala Lumpur, Airlines, Flight

Are you flying with Malaysia Airlines?

In the last week of August when I was due to travel to Kuala Lumpur to be a part of the the Merdeka celebrations, every other friend, colleague and acquaintance did not miss the chance to ask – ‘Are you flying with Malaysia Airlines?’ 

I would smile in an affirmation. Each one tried to show concern. Honestly, I felt bothered. To all their queries and suggestions, I had only one thing to say and that was that the carrier had been plain unlucky this year otherwise it had always been the best in Malaysia. I did a reality check too when I questioned myself and others that how often do we check safety records of our own flights and trains when we book them? The answer is we all love to travel cheap and best. Convenient and cost effective is the mantra!!!

And now with my experience on-board MAS, I would say they are doing the best in their hard time.  They aren’t using the tragedies as an excuse to get away with just anything. The cost cuttings if any weren’t visible to me. On the day one, when I was flying from New Delhi, the plane was completely packed and thus this proved that the Indians trusted MA no less.

Inflight Food, Malaysia AirlinesThere were no hassles with the boarding pass, luggage drop in, etc. The announcements were right on time. The aircraft was neat and clean. The inflight entertainment was good. Since my seat was very last one, I missed some legroom space but otherwise things were good.  The food and drinks were served punctually. I would rate it as standard quality of catering. I absolutely enjoyed my non-veg meal. The cabin crew wore their friendly smiles throughout and they acted professional and obliging all along the journey.

 

  The journey to Kaula Lumpur was not at all tiring and I say so even when I took no nap on the way rather I read the in-flight magazine ‘Going Places’, chatted with my friend and fellow blogger and watched some animated movies (my favorite past time on board flights).

Malaysian Airlines, In flight, Boeing

2014 was themed as Visit Malaysia, Truly Asia by the country. The year is aimed to be all about tourism and hospitality. To take the idea forward and enhance travel experiences, Malaysian Airlines has incorporated two new offerings- ‘MH Gourmet’ and ‘On Air Celebration’.  First one enables flyers to enhance their normal economy meals to premium meals and with second passengers can pre-order a special celebratory cake to be served on board to commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, honeymoon or wedding. I also came to know  about Enrich, the frequent flyer programme of Malaysia Airlines.

By the end of the flight, I had developed a liking for their Kelantan kite symbol in red and blue all around. :)

Going Places
The In flight magazine ‘Going Places’

At the Kuala Lumpur Airport

The return flight was hassle free too. However, before I boarded the flight, there was a chance to explore the Platinum and Golden Lounge which was not meant to be missed especially when Malaysia Airlines’ Golden Lounge had won the Asia’s Leading Airline Lounge, 2011 by the World Travel Awards. It was easy to locate the lounge.

The food, drinks, seats, space were all comforting and luxurious.  There were magazines to keep oneself busy, the wifi was working very well and also the computer spaces were available for those who needed to access the internet. I hopped around checking facilities and making the best of my time. More than the words, my pictures will do the talking.

“Malaysian Hospitality”, Plaza Platinum Lounge, Malaysian airlines Continue reading My experience of flying with Malaysian Airlines

Private India

Private India, Ashwin Sanghi, James Patterson, book, bookreview

 

In the last few weeks and still going, one book that has created serious buzz among the Indian book lovers/critiques is PRIVATE INDIA. When Blogadda offered copies of the book, we all went grabbing happily. Two things that led to my excitement were, first the book-cover read- ‘It’s the season for murder in Mumbai’ (leading to a high thrill quotient ) and second  the creative piece was a result of labor and love of not one but two popular authors ASHWIN SANGHI and JAMES PATTERSON. 

A thriller usually calls for a quick bite but this one was savored by me in three weeks. Firstly, it was work, then travel and further bad health that prevented me from wrapping it up soon. Finally, the trail of murders and the twisty journey came to its end yesterday and here I come up with the book review.  :)

In one sentence:   A page turner that starts on a high note with exciting series of murders and suspense, however it ends as a disarrayed storyline with messed-up subplots.

Cover Page and the Blurb

An interesting blurb promises chills and thrills. The mention of world’s finest investigation agency, dying people, killer, gang lord, godman, race of time, innocent Mumbai citizens sets the pace perfectly. At the same time, the cover page fails to impress.  The architectural icons from Mumbai at the top and the ‘man running for his life’ in the below left corner do not complement the title well enough. 

Continue reading Private India

Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2014: Believe in strength of mind and follow your heart

Last year when I attended Mind Rocks 2013 in New Delhi, a youth summit organized by India Today I was completely floored at the end of the day. In one single day I had got to see and hear from the best of best. The star brigade was absolutely impressive. For days, the inspiring take-away quotes from the event had lingered on in my mind.  Since then I have always been catching up with its live streaming when its held in other cities. However, now was the time for it to return to Delhi and I was anxious to cover the event live. Honestly, I would also confess that being invited to events of such grand stature are perks to bloggers and I love them. There is no doubt about it that the events organized by India Today group are one of the best.

If I was asked to describe Mind Rocks in one sentence, I would say it is a great programme that has been designed to help the youth realize their own potential after hearing from the youth icons in real. Inspiring talks provide great fuel to both mind and heart and the school-college children must attend such sessions. I wish things like this happened ten years back when I had joined college. When I hear the icons talk now, the realization that descends on me is that success is not about a day’s work and passion needs to be complemented with utmost perseverance.

Let me take you around the event that rocked this Saturday in New Delhi at Siri Fort Auditorium. The below stage was set afire by ideas, interactions, politics music, fashion, dance and performances.

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The guest list was power packed. To begin with India’s  power and coal minister, Mr. Piyush Goyal charged up the audience by assuring that the power crisis would have a solution soon. His outspoken nature and confident attitude was amazing. His image revamp advises to Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were on the mark absolutely. His consulting background made him sound an intellectual politician. Taking forward the government’s thought process he urged the youth to join http://www.mygov.in to be a part of nation’s growth. Personally I liked this well-read, energetic and inspiring minister. Honestly, I am not very fond of politics but I am sure smart and promising ministers of such kinds will very soon get the nation’s youth take interest in politics.

image

 

Soon walked in the Ishqzaada boy Arjun Kapoor. He looked charming and handsome. It sounded unbelievable when he said that he was 140 kg a few years ago. And he said that now flaunting his six packs on a magazine cover page was no less than a proud moment for him. Keeping his talk full of enthusiasm and entertainment he talked out his new film ‘Finding Fanny’.

 

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Continue reading Mind Rocks Youth Summit 2014: Believe in strength of mind and follow your heart

UNICEF: Let’s unite for children

“At 33, I wanna go back to school.”

“The girls in school in Rajasthan said they loved coming here every morning and were happy in their school. They also said they felt protected. I was happy to know that the school had a girls toilet too.”

“When I was young, I was not keen on school because I did not like going there. Being an average student, the teachers did not pamper me and thus school did not attract me. It is important to be heard and feel loved in school”

“There is nothing to do with bollywood here, I am associated with UNICEF because as a girl I connect and feel for the cause from my heart.”

All the above were said by Bollywood heartthrob and UNICEF celebrity advocate Kareena Kapoor at the launch of CFSS at India Habitat Center, New Delhi.

 

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Child-friendly Schools and Systems (CFSS), a new package (guidelines) was launched by UNICEF on 4th September 2014 in New Delhi by celebrity advocate Kareena Kapoor. On the eve of teacher’s day it was a well chosen day to commence a new effort for bringing a positive transformation in the school environment. This one not just talks about education in schools but about its quality. The proposal is beautiful because it aims to bring a dynamic change in the teaching pattern as well as school environment so that a child makes the most of its time when he or she is there. Its time the government schools build up a reputation.

 

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The RTE Act was passed in 2009 and it has been a wonderful initiative which entitles children aged between 6-14 years to learning and education. The enrollments did increase but the quality of education taken in by children is still poor. Parents were not keen on sending their children to schools because they were not learning. Children do no like schools because they are not happy there, the learning environment is not cheerful. Thus, we take a lesson that education is not just about enrolling to schools but also getting groomed positively. The new concept of CFSS is about child-friendly schools and systems which has some successful stories as to how the focus of schools and teachers should be on the overall personality development of the children. A perceived average student is not always average but he has to be heard. The teachers have to be trained methodically and they should know how to encourage such students to perform better in other things.

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Continue reading UNICEF: Let’s unite for children

Here is the fun of having a Tablet!

Book, Tablet, Dell, Venue 7
I love the combo… A thriller Book and my DELL VENUE 7

 

 

Tablet!

 

I aren’t talking about the colorful pills that are our saving grace in times of immunity fights but the device that has come to add power to the gizmo world. The discussions are on and people are debating where does it fall and what will it replace. But I have a whole new perspective to add, a tablet is born to provide convenience to our eyes and our arms. I say eyes because for reading and writing, tablet is absolutely comforting in comparison to our phones and in case of bulkiness its a relief over the laptop which cannot be carried everywhere. Moreover, a tablet is empowered to do most of the things that a phone and a laptop do for us. However, its not about having one and not the other, its the age of having all the devices.. watsay!!!

Continue reading Here is the fun of having a Tablet!

Reading and Flaunting some Awesome BOOKS this month!

Some LOVELY Books have arrive this Week..
Some LOVELY Books have arrived this Week..
A Song For The Dying by Stuart MacBride
A Song For The Dying by Stuart MacBride
Ashwin Sanghi, James Patterson, Thriller, Private India
Private India by ASHWIN SANGHI & JAMES PATTERSON
Jpeg
FASTER Than LIGHTNING USAIN BOLT
INVISIBLE by James Patterson
INVISIBLE by James Patterson

Continue reading Reading and Flaunting some Awesome BOOKS this month!

Sweet Little Room for the Cute one

2nd September is my niece’s first birthday and we are all very excited. She has been a bundle of joy for all these months. We love to kiss her, cuddle her, pamper her and more and now its time when she will move from the club set of months to an ‘Year old Gurl’. Wow!  We are all so anxious to see her crawl, walk and then run around but there is time to all of it. I am just rushing into things..

Her birthday is a big day for all for us. We have been planning a number of things for her, the birthday dress, the party theme, gifts, guests and lots more. Of course she is the apple of the eye of her parents but she isn’t less for me. She is adorable. I so love to play with her and watch her antics.

When everyone is planning to buy lavish gifts for her, I wish to do something different. I want to decorate her room in the most adorable fashion. Now that the little one is growing, there is so much that catches her fancy. She looks here and there all the time and is attracted to bright colors more than others. How about giving her a beautiful palette of colors and patterns all around her?

I want to decorate a beautiful thematic room for her and I have come to know about Make my Home, a decor website just at the right time.  I have delicately selected three items which symbolize Fun, Family and Femininity for my girl of one!

 

Smiley Clock , Baby Room,
Smiley Clock that inspires her to SMILE always.

Continue reading Sweet Little Room for the Cute one

I was wowed by the Iron Lady, The Eiffel Tower

Paris for me had always been about two beautiful things- ‘Eiffel Tower and Romantic City’.

I was introduced to it for the first time by my G.K. teacher in school when she had asked the class to do a project on 7 wonders of the world. I remember we asked her if she had been to any of these places and she had proudly said Taj Mahal in India and Eiffel Tower in France.  Gradually when I grew up and learnt more about the fascinating things to see around the world, I often heard about Eiffel Tower. This architectural icon has always had a global admiration and has stood the test of time.

In Sweden, when hubby said he wanted to take me to Paris, I couldn’t believe my ears. I double checked and soon realized he was serious. Of course I was jumping with joy, my happiness knew no bounds!!!!  Some very beautiful things in life happen when you have never schemed them. They drop in your lap as God’s blessing. My visit to Europe, Paris and many other places is one such thing.

In Paris, there is no escape from Eiffel Tower and I was totally excited about seeing it real. Eiffel was my first tryst with something really superlative tall and one that had been known as the tallest monument till 1930. For four decades it ruled as the tallest.

Even now when I have visited the top of Kingdom Centre (100 Floor building in Riyadh) and Burj Khalifa in Dubai, my fascination for Eiffel hasn’t reduced.

As Eiffel Tower turned 125 years old this year, I am dedicating this blogpost about my date with it.

Eiffel Tower, Iron Lady, Paris, Farnce, Travel, Europe
My First and Closest Encounter with Eiffel Tower
Paris has one of the world’s best rail network and connects the city end to end. There are two close metro stations to Eiffel Tower. In my 4 days stay in Paris, I dedicated two evenings to Eiffel  tower. The two metro stations closest to it are Champ de Mars / Tour Eiffel on line RER C and other closest metro station is Bir-Hakeim.  And then there is a 500 meter walk that separates you from the stunning iron clad lady.

Continue reading I was wowed by the Iron Lady, The Eiffel Tower

My heart goes to Oslo again and again

 

Oslo, Norway
Vigeland Park
Oslo city, shopping centre, Norway, Travel
I spent a lot of Norwegian Kronas shopping around in here

The memories are still fresh. I was seriously unhappy as I couldn’t be with my hubby on our first anniversary. He was far away in Norway, the beautiful one, the land of Midnight sun and I was in India.

The Norwegian Embassy had put my visa application on hold (even though I had had a Schenegan stamp before). I was mad at everyone but I continued to pray. The people at the embassy invited me face to face to know my story. From their side the reason of hold was that  I had no marriage registration certificate to prove that I was actually going to join my hubby there. Since I had all other details, I requested them on this part. A lady heard me attentively in the small room at the embassy. It seemed she wanted to help me.

But I was surprised when she also said, Oslo isn’t like Zurich, it isn’t a tourist place, why do you want to go for 25 days. Its too long a period.

I replied back, ‘I want to be with my husband and by the way the Google shows Oslo is amazingly beautiful.’ Let me go and see myself.

She smiled.  I waited with fingers crossed.

Next thing that I had read about Oslo was…. ‘Its drains your wallet.’  Expensive it is !!!!

After three days, the passport returned to me with the approved stamp. The lonely anniversary was done away with, good times were ahead. Very next day I was on the flight, flying to Oslo by Finnair. The stopover at Finland came to be familiar and easy going since it was my second time there in five months.

Thereafter, the next twenty five days I lived in a dreamland…It was close to meditation.

The glorious landscapes of the Oslo Fjord,  sprawling northern forests, architectural fantasies, unique Frogner Park, Museums, Scream painting and Holmenkollen amazed me thoroughly.

Continue reading My heart goes to Oslo again and again

Book Review: Catching The Departed

wpid-p_20140803_235533.jpg

 

I finished the book in 3 days snuggling with it everyday after office hours and house chores.  It is a brave man’s story.  The storyline is spaced out with thrilling twists and turns every now and then.  You would want to read it till the end to put the bits together. The first murder knocks right in the first two pages.

 

STORY from my eyes…

The cold blooded murder of the lawyer at Rewari, a hamlet close to New Delhi gripped me right at the outset. Next I took an immediate fondness for Andy Karan, an investigative journalist who is bold, courageous and absolutely sincere about his work. When Andy visits  Delhi-Haryana border and is brushed aside violently, one can sense that  the ploy around the place isn’t just a newspaper story but a dangerous play of minds. Soon it all comes tumbling out. The Army Intelligence Bureau, the terrorists, the magazine that he works for and the government all have been eying it. There is a foul play  in Tilkapur for sure!

Gulabo, the wife of the lawyer and the undercover officer Dewanchand come to be of help to Andy but soon the plot thickens as the miscreants go packing from Rewari. Yes, the big plan shifts its base to Mumbai and it becomes violently dangerous. By this time, Andy realizes his love for his boss Monica and thus wishes for a settled and safe life. For one moment he does decide to re-track from the case (working as a special agent since he is an ex army man) but something in him holds him back.

South Block, Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi and Murud Janjira in Mumbai were words picked from Tilakpur and when all put together meant something big and creepy.  The run of things and his patriotic feelings soon take Andy Karan to Mumbai where he is attacked at every nook and corner till he has a narrow escape with death and is declared dead in the eyes of the world.  The bad man happily rejoices and laughs at the culmination of the worst in his mind. He thinks he would have his way and there is no stopping.

Things becomes murkier at the enemy front. One by one, everyone is put to death…even Andy’s love life goes for a toss forever.  Andy gears up to unmask the miscreants but the enemy is unstoppable.  Read to know who wins and how.

Continue reading Book Review: Catching The Departed

Beautiful Food traverses from Eyes to Mouth to Stomach

 

                     Temptations… Tantalization… Tasty… Taste Buds..

Cake in Borosil Serving bowls

 

 

Kachoris, Jackfruit, Katahal

Continue reading Beautiful Food traverses from Eyes to Mouth to Stomach

Love Kills

 

A hardcore romantic person like me absolutely agrees that ‘Love does Kill’ but then it isn’t my story yet. This one is a crime thriller written by ISMITA TANDON

I have read and stood by Ismita’s work right from her first offering ‘Love on the Rocks’.  I remember meeting her in the first book launch at IHC, New Delhi. In person she came out to be absolutely warm and friendly and so she has been forever.  Her first work was naive, unique and promising. When the second one ‘Jacob Hills’  happened,  she emerged as a writer to be taken seriously. Her uniqueness stands out in her work as she always provides unique voices to her characters in the story and glorifies them with caricatures. And amidst the thrillers that she writes, she never misses to touch upon many aspects of life between the lines.

Her third book and the most recent one from her creative bag is ‘Love Kills’. This one is the best from her till date. It elevates her to a new pedestal for sure.

Love Kills, Book review, Ismita Tandon

COVER PAGE and the BLURB

The sketch of the girl who has been murdered aptly qualifies as an eye-catching cover page. Dominance of red color makes for love, passion and murder.  I bet the taut blurb will get you going almost instantly. Lets move on…

GIST

It all happens in the place called Monele, in proximity to Ooty.  The protagonist, Johnny Will has a lethal combination of  a master’s degree in psychiatry and a high IQ.  He runs a de-addiction center called Thy Will. The rehab is in the being so that he can help the people get over their lust for alcohol. He desires to revive their senses to judge right and wrong. Johnny knows how alcohol can be dangerous, he had seen his alcoholic father die mysteriously.  He has a girlfriend Mira Kermani, who is a woman of not just games and sex. And more she is a character no less as she happens to be the daughter of the richest man in the town.  More than one in the hill station is not happy with the love birds. Johnny has a family too in the form of Aunt Adele Will and his cousin Zac.  They have been family but Johnny isn’t close to them. Are they happy with their share in the ancestral property or they want more…?

Continue reading Love Kills

#WhattheBlack Day 2+Day 3 thrill and the solution of the Mysterious case

Day 2 of #WhattheBlack was hugely exciting… An interesting black colored newspaper was delivered at our doorstep with clues all over.  Black sheets of paper had prints in white…It was fun and intriguing to the core and nonetheless we all donned our Sherlock Homles hats looking for friends in the form of Watson on twiiter and facebooks.

There was news about black balls…

The White tissue papers having turned black…

The poultry farmers spotting black egg

Day 6 of test match was a black day…

 

Reading the newspaper came out to be exciting and fun. My guesses were based on the fact that everything that usually exists as white was turning black…

It had to be something that we had always seen as white…. Was it Milk? No it wasn’t possible until it was some black coffee or  a black drink…

 

#WHATTHEBLACK Day 2

 

What the Black Day 2

Continue reading #WhattheBlack Day 2+Day 3 thrill and the solution of the Mysterious case

ASUS, packed in sleek style and perpetual power!

 

Honestly, a bad hair day doesn’t irritates me as much as a bad writing day. No, I aren’t talking about writers block because I have not experienced it yet or maybe I have learnt to smartly dodge it. On the days when I don’t wanna write, I simply photo-blog and earn satisfaction that I did something creative for my blog. But what I actually dread is failure of my writing tools, gadgets that keep me on the go, their slow and unresponsive behavior,  data loss due to power failures etc.

As a blogger, I love my creative independence, the feeling of being on the go and being able to put across my views across social media from anywhere, any time of the day.  Though our smartphones allow us to be on the go, but they can never replace the utility of our laptops. And more I am not convinced that one can do everything on the phone.

In this technology age, pen and paper and diary writing habits have been replaced by blogging and micro blogging sites. As much as we love to write, we love to be connected every moment. I love going to blogging events where I can tweet, update facebook and even do some live blogging.  I love my smartphone but I always wish for a larger screen. For my lifestyle, I am absolutely in need of something that can be said the lightest laptop and of course that isn’t pricey.

Notebooks are heavy or there are some really expensive, light weight gadgets which I have not been able to buy but ASUS EeeBook X205TA looks promising.  I am quite liking its ultra sleek, chic look and the good news it weighs less than 1 kg, really? How cool is this. Looking at its size, I am confident that it will fit in my sling bag, the kind that I am comfortable in carrying. I am a person who loves traveling light so tugging along a heavy gadget is not my idea of attending events. For all my needs that require me to go from one place to another, I would any day love to have it. Its optimized battery life for all day computing is making it irresistible. One can watch videos for 11 hrs, listening music 13 hrs and non stop browse web for 12 hrs. And the best of all it comes with Microsoft office 365 and cloud storage. What more can I ask for.

ASUS, other new gadget too looks super interesting and suits me home requirement. ASUS All In One PC ET2040  built in back up power is definitely very useful feature.  So here we have something which will not shut down suddenly. I live in Faridabad and the power issues here are so worse that sometimes the back up also fails and I end up losing data.  This will be end my woes. I like its space saving design too. Intel’s processor, one doesn’t need to say much. Yes, this one is super fast and extremely responsive.

I want them both, hubby hope you are listening.  If not I can always buy them on my own.  I am not complaining about the prices seriously! And as a blogger, social media enthusiast, light traveler, the long battery life is something to vouch for.

This is my post for Indi Happy Hour with Asus.