Thursday 10 April 2014

Big changes...

I was born in Delhi. And have lived here for most of my life. I grew up here, went to school, made the most amazing friends one could hope for. I had my first crush here and my first innocent heartbreak too. I traveled to most of North India from here and ate at some of the most amazing places. Barring a few years to do my graduation and post graduation, I have lived in this city, loved it passionately, defended it from the naysayers and can call no other place home.

But change is good and time to change it is. As I move out of the city, I have a flutter of excitement in my belly but also a knot of anxiety. I leave behind family, friends, familiarity and anything that I have ever known. Not one to shy away from an adventure, it is not that I don't look forward to what tomorrow holds. I am. I love the thought of exploring new towns, discovering new joints to feast in, shortcuts to drive through and a new vibe to imbibe. But on some level it also feels like taking a step off the cliff. Into the unknown. Without a cushion to fall on, without a rope to keep me secure.

Mixed emotions. But god is kind. And my faith remains strong. As Maria says in one of the most iconic films of all times:

What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what's the matter with me?

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why.. am I... so scared...

Sunday 6 April 2014

Just


What happens when you put a muzzle on a writer? You get stilted content. The past few months, my blog has been just a shadow of what it used to be...and I, a shadow of me. Thoughts that remain in my head, fingers that type but don't save, posts that I delete moments after publishing them.

The biggest complement to me as a writer was a recent post which was written in sarcasm. A satirical piece that got read as the truth. I underestimated my skills in fiction, perhaps a book beckons after all.

On a professional level, I am doing some fantastic work that involves all the areas that I love - food, marketing, writing and social media. Involving myself completely in my work is the new me.

Until later...

Thursday 20 March 2014

Jo tu samjhe


Mohabbat ek ehsasson ki pawan si kahaani hai
Kabhi kabira deewana tha, kabhi meera diwani hai

Yahaan sab log kehte hain meri aankhon mein aasoon hain
Jo tu samjhe to moti hai, jo naa samjhe to paani hai.

***


Saturday 15 March 2014

Tattoo



What could be a bigger complement? A friend loved my line (in my blog introduction) so much that she got it permanently tattooed on her arm!!!

The line- A contradiction, if there ever was one. Me.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday 7 March 2014

What a wonderful life

It's been 2 weeks since I blogged. And usually that should ring alarm bells if you are someone who cares for me. The only times I wean off my blog are either when I don't have internet access or when I feel something so deep or so dark that I rather not share it.

But no worries, this time it's neither of these. I feel wonderful. Life is amazing, has never been better. It's like walking along the winding mountain trails, cutting through clouds. Like lying down on a beach recliner, sipping on something and just staring at the sea. Like getting lost in a good book, one you just can't put down and read all night long. Like being so loved that you sometimes want to pinch yourself that this is just a dream. Like being the center of someone's life such that he has no want to ever look at another face or hear his name from lips other than yours. Life for me right now, is like taking a bite of a dish which is so phenomenal that I can not stop eating it. Like a helium filled balloon let loose in the sky.

Life is absolutely wonderful. It can never get any better than this :)

Sunday 23 February 2014

And then life happened...


I closed my eyes
And saw the light
I saw the clear blue skies
I heard the flutter
Of a butterfly’s wings
I couldn't help but sigh

I felt the warmth
Of the sun above
Shining down on me
I opened my arms
Embracing life
My heart filled with glee

The cold breeze
The colourful bloom
Heaven it seemed to be
Alas I woke
All too soon
I guess it wasn't meant to be...

Saturday 15 February 2014

Churu - The Rajasthani town that fell off the radar

Sometimes the road less traveled leads you to discover places others just overlooked. If you're lucky..if you're very lucky..you may find a little gem hidden away from the tourist map.

The stunning skyline in Churu
Last month took us towards Bikaner but we got off a few stops before in a small town called Churu. A place that took our breath away with its haunted beauty.

Just 'another' haveli's door

My latest article on Rediff take you through these lanes that whisper stories yet untold...read the article here.

The opulence of the Jain temple in Churu

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Food Review - Set'z/ Auma/ Cavalli Caffe



DLF Emporio is not just a mall, it is a destination for the privileged. My latest food feature published in the exclusive DLF Emporio Magazine reviews 3 outstanding restaurants in the mall:
  1. Set'z
  2. Auma
  3. Cavalli Caffe
My favorite dessert in town - Hot Chocolate Foam on Rum Granita 

Interiors of the Cavalli Caffe

The review also talks about 'The Cellar', a wine shop that has vintages that you may not find elsewhere. 

Read the article online or get a copy of the magazine from the mall (it is a limited circulation magazine to maintain the exclusivity). 

Review on Page 60 of the magazine available here

Friday 31 January 2014

Don't Date a Girl Who Travels

The husband sent me this link and I couldn't help laughing as I read it. I'm not half as cool as what is portrayed but I would love to project so :)

Don't Date a Girl Who Travels

She’s the one with the messy unkempt hair colored by the sun. Her skin is now far from fair like it once was. Not even sun kissed. It’s burnt with multiple tan lines, wounds and bites here and there. But for every flaw on her skin, she has an interesting story to tell.
Don’t date a girl who travels. She is hard to please. The usual dinner-movie date at the mall will suck the life out of her. Her soul craves for new experiences and adventures. She will be unimpressed with your new car and your expensive watch. She would rather climb a rock or jump out of an airplane than hear you brag about it.
Don’t date a girl who travels because she will bug you to book a flight every time there’s an airline seat sale. She wont party at Republiq. And she will never pay over $100 for Avicii because she knows that one weekend of clubbing is equivalent to one week somewhere far more exciting.
Chances are, she can’t hold a steady job. Or she’s probably daydreaming about quitting. She doesn’t want to keep working her ass off for someone else’s dream. She has her own and is working towards it. She is a freelancer. She makes money from designing, writing, photography or something that requires creativity and imagination. Don’t waste her time complaining about your boring job.
Don’t date a girl who travels. She might have wasted her college degree and switched careers entirely. She is now a dive instructor or a yoga teacher. She’s not sure when the next paycheck is coming. But she doesn’t work like a robot all day, she goes out and takes what life has to offer and challenges you to do the same.
Don’t date a girl who travels for she has chosen a life of uncertainty. She doesn’t have a plan or a permanent address. She goes with the flow and follows her heart. She dances to the beat of her own drum. She doesn’t wear a watch. Her days are ruled by the sun and the moon. When the waves are calling, life stops and she will be oblivious to everything else for a moment. But she has learned that the most important thing in life isn’t surfing.
Don’t date a girl who travels as she tends to speak her mind. She will never try to impress your parents or friends. She knows respect, but isn’t afraid to hold a debate about global issues or social responsibility.
She will never need you. She knows how to pitch a tent and screw her own fins without your help. She cooks well and doesn’t need you to pay for her meals. She is too independent and wont care whether you travel with her or not. She will forget to check in with you when she arrives at her destination. 
So never date a girl who travels unless you can keep up with her. And if you unintentionally fall in love with one, don’t you dare keep her. Let her go.
PS - R, I still need you to pay for my meals coz' you see, I just can't seem to hold on to a steady job :P!!


Thursday 23 January 2014

Top 10 Comfort Foods I Can't Live Without

I read this article recently which defined the author's take on Indian Comfort food. As drool worthy as the article was, it inspired me to come up with my own list. Below is my list of comfort food available only in India that I miss if I don't eat often (and crave like crazy when I travel abroad):

1) Chole Bhature - This has to be highest on the list. My only grouse with a sore throat is that I can't have the spicy chole. Chacha in DU and Sita Ram aside, my fav in Noida are those at a stall outside ICICI in Sector 18 and the ones in Nathus.

2) Pakode and Chai - These should ideally be separate points but together these are just killer. Crispy hot pakodas teamed with steaming hot ketli type chai can beat away all blues!


3) Samosas and Jalebis - Though I can never eat spicy filling inside the samosa and leave it out, there are few street foods in the world that can beat this crispy wonder. Sharing the crust can start the Third World War! I don't really have a sweet tooth but a bite of the thin crispy jalebi helps cut the spice in the samosa.


4) Gol Gappe - Call it puchka or pani puri or good ol' gol gappa, the satisfaction of savoring this tangy water filled deliciousness is unparalleled. I like mine as sooji puris with a little sonth and lots of cold teekha pani. And yes, staying in Ahmedabad has spoilt me such that I must end my gol gappa spree with a 'sukha', ie. an atta puri with aalu sprinkled with their chaat masala.   


5) Prawn with Vodka in Tomato Cream Sauce - Replacing my earlier favorite Fusilli Chicken Piri Piri, this is my ultimate Pasta dish in the whole world..no literally...all the pasta I have eaten elsewhere on my travels pales in comparison to Big Chill's sinful gorgeousness. I like mine with added bacon and paired with the Belgian Chocolate Shake. Oooohh, heaven! 


6) Aalu/ Mooli/ Gobi Paranthas - As far as my memory goes, every Sunday morning breakfast has been stuffed paranthas. Something of a tradition now, I find my weekend incomplete if I do not start my Sunday with these. I like mine crispy with loads of malai on them and aam ka achaar on the side. 


7) Rolls - The famous kathi roll gets a makeover at every corner wala stall. I love egg in my chicken roll and my new favorite is the Chicken Egg roll at Rolls King. Otherwise, just about any street vendor will do!


8) Dhaaba food- I absolutely am nuts about dhaaba food. Served piping hot, authentic to the core and it doesn't burn a hole in my wallet. My usual order is paneer bhurji, dal fry and butter roti. Food for gods! There have actually been times that we have driven all the way to Murthal, just to eat at the dhaabas and drive back. Yes, we are insane.


9) Hot Choc Fudge - This one is impossible to get outside the city. Nirula's Hot Choc Fudge is unbeatable. Decadent enough to break the strictest of diets, this tall Sundae is something of an institution in itself.


10) Bread Roll - This is a hidden secret of mine. Not something that I eat often, if I get my hands on hot off the kadai bread rolls, I can never stop at one. There was this time I went for a very important and formal meeting and was presented with a plate of lipsmacking rolls and I forgot all about the meeting, shamelessly wolfing down roll after roll :) 

Tuesday 21 January 2014

You're lucky

You don't know how lucky you are. No, truly. Even if you think life is terrible and you hate your job, you're lucky. You have a job to hate. If you fight with your wife everyday, you're still lucky. You have someone to love. If you think your parents are too intruding, you have parents who want the best for you. If your friend doesn't seem to have much time for you anymore, you still have people you can call friends. If you're not with the one you love anymore, atleast you have a lifetime of memories to smile in the dark about.

You're lucky.

I forget to say this to myself sometimes. Human nature prompts me to look at the darker side of life. But once in a while, a jolt shakes me and reminds me, I'm not just lucky, I'm downright blessed.

One of my close friends, an absolute angel, one of those few people who go that extra mile for people they love, is going through a tough time. Sometimes, when bad happens, it all happens together and light seems so far away. I know, because in completely different contexts, I have felt like that myself. But P, this is just to remind you that we're with you, always. You're in our thoughts, and those of all those people whose lives you have touched and made special just by being the person you are. The bad times are gone now...its all good from here on. Be strong... 

Thursday 16 January 2014

Your Lazy Winter Lunch Guide

College like feel at Triveni Tea Terrace
A nip in the air (ok, a little more than just a nip), sun rays filtering through the foggy skies and lazy weekends. There is something intoxicating about winter lunches, especially alfresco ones. Nothing beats good food, pleasing ambience and intriguing company. If you still haven't made plans on where to go this weekend for lunch, here's help.
Crispy Palak Patta Chaat at Cafe lota
My latest article on Rediff lists my 5 top picks for lazy winter lunches. Whatever be your budget, there is an option to suit everyone.

Read the article here.  

Monday 30 December 2013

New Year Resolution 2014

The New Year is just around the corner. Time to reflect on the year gone by. An interesting year, landmark in many ways. A little nephew to love, godmother to my best friend's angel, four new countries visited, connected with family whom I have known all my life but barely ever met, a personal loss for my father, letting go of expectations from some relationships, professionally a mind blowing year having done numerous projects with a leading food critic of the country, a new laptop, a new phone, invested in our second house, daughter's admission in the best school...at the end of the day, so much to thank god for. 

What I learnt this year is also important. I learnt that you can never be truly happy if you keep putting yourself last. Because then you base your own happiness on other people's actions and words. My resolution this year is simple. To love myself. That's it. No long lists, no dramas. I vow to love myself and put myself a few notches higher on my own priority list. To remain fit and dress to kill, not to show anyone but for the confidence that the image in the mirror gives me. To do work that makes me happy and gives me validation of my professional choices. To respect people but draw the line for those who do not respect me or value my feelings. To laugh more, worry less, hope more, repent less. To try new flavors, travel to new places, hold my dear ones close, do all the things that make me happy. 


Happy New Year everyone...what's your resolution??

Friday 27 December 2013

Say Something....

From my favourite television series (Grey's Anatomy):

If you love someone...you tell them...
Even if you're scared it's not the right thing...
Even if you're scared that it will cause problems...
Even if you're scared that it will burn your life to the ground...
You say it...say it loud...
And then you go from there...

Say something....I'm giving up on you....


Wednesday 25 December 2013

A traveller's Christmas


It is 10pm on Christmas and I'm tucked in my warm quilt after a dinner of Maggi and sausages, tired as hell but happy. I had a lovely day today...as is fast becoming a Christmas tradition, we packed our car and drove off out of the city, this time towards Garh Mukteshwar.

Enroute, we stopped at the famous Shiva Dhaba and had lovely kulhar chai with delicious pakodas. They were even kind enough to heat the paranthas mom had carried from home. The pakoras were crisp and yummy, highly recommended. We also stopped to walk into a sugarcane field and took some gorgeous snaps of the farms.


Chatting up with a farmer and hearing stories of progressive India. He has 4 daughters, all having done their post graduation and one living in London.

A Yash Raj set....train in the background, sarson ke khet, village boys running....ghar aaja pardesi tera des bulae re :)

The closest that the Holy Ganges comes to Delhi, people from the city flock to Garh Mukteshwar to wash off their sins. If you remain with the obvious, you'll see a dirty ghat on the banks of a muddy river crowded with touts pestering you. But if you can see beyond that, you may see what I saw. A brave display of faith, with people of all ages taking a dip in the icy water. Or the stalls that sold the most innovative little toys for kids (yes, my Sonu went crazy)! Or as the highlight for me is in any trip- hot lipsmacking food.


The ghats

The streets near the ghat selling interesting lil stuff

We asked around and the locals unanimously pointed us towards Raju halwai who's famous for his khasta kachori and puri sabzi. The puris were gobbled up in no time at all, especially as they were accompabied by a tangy kaddu sabzi, aalu sabzi and methi dana chutney.






200kms driven, a day full of laughter, surrounded by family, enjoying all that my gorgeous country has to offer. A very merry christmas indeed!!

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday 21 December 2013

Twilight - A love for eternity



“No one’s ever loved anyone as much as I love you.”
― Stephenie MeyerBreaking Dawn

There is something amazing about Bella and Edward. Something almost magical. Something real, something pure...untouched. Having someone who can reach inside you and touch your very soul...someone who doesn't judge you. Where words are not needed, you just know how the other person is feeling instinctively. The absolute certainty about each other. Not even a flicker of doubt that this is the person that you want in front of your eyes when you wake up every morning. The sureness, of being born for each other and none else.

My favorite Twilight film is perhaps the one in which Edward leaves Bella and goes away...in the hope that she will be safe. The helplessness that Bella feels, how it drives her crazy. There is nothing that she will not do to get him back, even if it is only a glimpse of him. What happens to her is not important in her scheme of things. How incomplete she feels, how nothing is normal, nothing is real without him.

“I don’t have the strength to stay away from you anymore”


Complete and utter love. Selfless. Possessive. Eternal. Hopeless. Unrelenting. Forever...and a day. 

Thursday 5 December 2013

The irony of it all


Never have I been richer
My bank bursting at its seams
Never have I felt poorer
The thought of indulgence being a dream.

People surrounding me all around
Never have there been so many
Yet an island I feel like sometimes
For my thoughts, no one to give a penny.

Never have my hair looked as glossy
Or have I been in better shape
But thoughtless I am now in getting dressed
With a quick pony at my nape.

Ironic as life is
The image in the mirror seems
To others so fulfilled
In real so bleak.

Friday 29 November 2013

On a Thali Trail

One of the best parts of being a food critic is that I get to sample lots of delicious food. My work, besides my interest, takes me to unknown or lesser known places in the search for good food. The last few months, we went around town checking out the State Bhawan canteens and what we found was lipsmacking good food (in some of them) at prices which were a fraction of what you would pay in a fancier place. 



My latest article on Rediff helps you navigate the food scene at the State Bhawans in Delhi. What not to miss and more importantly, what to completely miss. You'd be surprised at some of these, I'm sure. 

Check out the article here. 


Monday 25 November 2013

Balmy weather!

So I am in Canada. In the month of November. There is snow on the ground outside though indoors we are nice and toasty. But I'm not allowed to say it's cold. You see, whenever we step out of the car into the bitter chill and my nose is almost falling off from frostbite, my sister..my crazy Canadian sister...looks around, smells the air and coos "Oh it's sooo niiiiice"!! Atleast that is what I think she says as the sound filters in through my scarf, earmuffs and fur lined cap. And if I wasn't in such a hurry to unbuckle the car seat and save my only offspring from the onslaught of the arctic winds, I am sure I would have a fitting reply (ably supported by an incredulous expression).

Ok I admit it's not so bad. But it IS cold. Whatever your definition is, this fits it! And finally....finally today my sister succumbed! She actually changed plans and we chose to go home instead of shopping because today, wait for it....my crazy sis R finally said "OK, it's slightly cold".

It is only -10°C, with windchill freaking -16°C so yes, you could say that there is a nip in the air!!

AV decides enough is enough...I'm outta here!
Jokes apart, though my first snowfall was at Yosemite in California (and that was surreal in it's own way), yesterday's snowfall was just ethereal. From indoors ofcourse ;). With soft snowflakes gently falling on the ground, transforming the landscape into a winter wonderland. The trees seemed like someone had sprinkled powdered sugar on them with a sieve. Time seemed to stand still. It was unreal. It was pristine. It was gorgeous.

If only he was here to share this with me...


Wednesday 20 November 2013

Of Dreams and Reality

You're here, at this point in your life, for a reason.

No, this is not a post about fate and destiny. A few years back it may have been. But today, older and none the wiser, I believe in reality. My profound reaslisation is this...are you ready for it....(drumroll....)

"We are where we are because of the choices we make and those that others make affecting us". 

There is no greater hand involved, no guiding light, no stars of destiny. At every crossroad of life, we are presented with options. And we make the choice we believe to be the best one at that point in time. Sometimes, people make choices or decisions that affect our lives too. And an amalgamation of these choices brings us to where we eventually land up.

Movies and books have us believing otherwise. Entire generations have grown up counting stars and looking for signs or waiting for the perfect moment or person. One often lives in retrospect, fantasizing about 'what if' or look outside your life, dissatisfied with today, with the hope that something outside is better. This post is not about acceptance or resigning yourself either. It is merely about the fact that fantasies are always rosy. No one has a dull one. They seem exciting and promising, for the sole reason that they are untouchable and unreal. Reality has a way of sinking into your life and peeling away the magic. But if you look at your life in the mirror, you may realise that your reality could be the fantasy of millions of others. You may realise that you have been too harsh on yourself and on life. That you have everything around you to smile. And to be grateful. Because of the people who chose to be with you. To nurture you and stand by you, through good decisions and bad. To dream and to live with you. And as far as places go....that is a good place to be....  

Tuesday 12 November 2013

The kids figure it out

3 adults, 2 toddlers and 1 dog. Piece of cake, right? Oh, you have no idea!

Living with my sister has never been so eventful. Reporting in from Canada, we're holed up in the house today for my benefit, outside temperature being -9*. This trip has been super interesting, especially in terms of observing how N behaves around other kids. Growing up with doting adults around, my Sonu has always been the center of attention and always has someone to pamper her. Her cousins in Delhi are 5-7 years older than her so they also treat her like a doll, giving in to her every whim.

Act 1, Scene 2. Little Miss Muffet arrives in California where her 4 year old cousin has enjoyed a similar status in her kingdom. Thus ensues a constant battle for supremacy, each trying to come out on top. They enjoyed each other company thoroughly, yet always bickered over who gets what.

And the plot thickens. Canada brings her to her little brother A. For the first time, N finds herself to be a big sister, asked to be responsible. She did resist at first, wanting to remain the little baby. But eventually she started enjoying the role of being 'elder'. She now has learnt to share toys, be gentle with him (sometimes) and whisper when he is asleep. It is especially touching to see her overwhelming concern when he cries...she goes to him and asks him if everything is ok...even offers him toys to distract him. Being all of 2 years old herself.

Its strange that as a travel writer, my post from my Canadian travels centers around 2 kids. But then, with 2 toddlers in the house, it is far more action packed than any Jackie Chan film...

In my next post, I promise to talk more about this gorgeous land...the yum food...the unlimited shopping. Till then, I hear a baby call me upstairs....adios amigos. 

Thursday 7 November 2013

American Diaries

In work environments where we have to fight superiors to avail our own annual leave, the concept of an annual international vacation is becoming rarer as we talk. Thankfully, by hook or by crook, we're still managing to see wonderful parts of the world. My week in US seemed like a long time to spend only in California when I booked tickets but I couldn't have been more wrong. The 6 days that we were there, no single day was wasted, every moment used to see something new, experience something we haven't before. 

I think one of the most difficult parts of going back home is going to be getting used to houses that don't have huge driveways and backyards opening onto lakes! I could gush for hours about the houses we stayed in, the lovely gorgeous and yet homely spaces, but frankly with the hectic schedules, we barely got much time to just sit back and enjoy them. There was so much to do! N ofcourse believes that in North America, every house has to have atleast 2 dogs...every family member we have been staying with has had atleast a couple. 

My nephew training his horse
It is a humbling experience living in the Silicon Valley. There is something intangibly exciting about driving through the lanes of Palo Alto or San Jose...addresses we've only seen on the HQ locations of iconic companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay etc. There is an energy in the place, of new things being done, the next big thing being cracked! 

Stanford - where I should have studied rather than go as a visitor!!
 We spent our first day in Sacramento, walking around the restored old town (which looks like something out of a wild wild west movie). The evening had a part of the gang from Morgan Hill driving in to spend the night ...though we all knew that it wasn't love for us that brought them..it was the promise of the world's most delectable Tandoori Chicken that one of my brothers grills up. The chicken was as mindblowing as promised and the nip in the air couldn't keep us indoors as we sat around the bonfire till late night, doing more tequilla shots than I remember doing in college! AND we all woke up early without a headache...what else can one ask for :) 

Winery in Napa
You can't go to California and not go to Napa Valley. The vineyards stretching over undulating landscapes was a treat to the eyes but to be honest, it seemed to be more hyped than the experience itself. We did manage to do a wine tasting and then headed straight for an absolutely delicious lunch of burgers, pizzas and some appetizers that we couldn't get enough of. Burgers we had plenty of in our week there...and not so surprisingly, the best burger we had there was from a chain (not unlike McD) called In&Out. The crisp and fresh lettuce added a crunch that set it apart from all else. Must do if you are visiting the west coast. 

The Golden Gate itself
The other awesome experience we had was when we drove up to Yosemite, home to the granite mountains. We expected it to be a little chilly but we did not expect to drive through snowfall, with snow flakes daintily floating down to earth all around us. The landscape was transformed into a winter wonderland, something out of a fairytale. Snow in October...in California!!! Who would have thought!

Winter Dreamland at Yosemite
Our 6 days in US flew by in the blink of an eye. But more than the things we did, I remember the warmth and love we received, how each person made an effort to make us feel special! My brother who has NEVER taken a single day off in the 6 years that he has been with Apple actually took 2 days off just for us! My bhabhis cooked delicious food for us....from Chole Bhature to Thai Curry, from Sticky Meatballs to Mutton Curry, we were spoilt for choice. And at the unearthly hour of 7am when we had to leave for the airport, we had everyone dropping in to say bye...enroute while dropping kids to school, while cycling to work or just out for a jog. BB, I know I probably wasn't as radical and exciting as you pictured me but you all were everything I hoped to find you to be...

Halloween time
A trip that was long overdue and one that will be cherished for a long time. The cold lands of Canada beckoned...but that's another travel diary. Over and out. 
 
Gold Rush in California
 

Saturday 26 October 2013

Hum to chale pardes...

Sometimes fantasies do come true.

When I was growing up, travelling abroad was a big deal. A really big deal. You talked about it for months before you even took that flight and don't even ask about bragging rights once you returned! If you went to London, you were pretty cool...but the top of the social pyramid was reserved for those who travelled to the Promised Land-America!! They came back with stories of exotic food, mesmerizing cities and the land of plenty!

When my brothers moved across the oceans some two decades back, my interaction with them was reduced to sending them rakhis every year with a handwritten note about the year gone by. This ofcourse was before Zuckerman came into our lives.

Our love for travel has shown us a glimpse of beauty scattered around the globe. But when I landed at San Francisco 2 days back, I felt like the school girl who had finally 'arrived'.

And it is all that it promised to be. The burgers are sinful, the drinks supersized and meeting my brothers as if they had never left.

Travel diaries to follow...but for now, let me sip my tea as I feed the ducks in the lake in the backyard...its a tough life, you see!!



posted from Bloggeroid

Friday 4 October 2013

A ray of sunshine


Something amazing happened today.

Yesterday started off on a terrible note. Someone who I thought knew me well misjudged my intentions and the very core of who I am (no, that's not the amazing part obviously :)). I play it cool most of the time but the few people I make myself vulnerable to can reach inside me and cause me unbelievable pain. Which is what I felt.

How did I cope with it? I did the only thing I know how to. I wrote. I poured myself out on my blog and the moment I did, I felt lighter. I was reminded of who I am and not who people may perceive me to be. Once I felt better thanks to the catharsis, I deleted the post, knowing that seeing me upset would only upset my parents (the drawbacks of having your family follow your blog).

Now for the amazing part. In the past 24 hours since I deleted the post, I received mails from three completely different and disconnected people. A friend, an acquaintance and one who only connects with me through my words here. And these three people, in their own way, just sent in a word to see how I am. To tell me that they cared.

That is nothing short of a miracle. In today's seemingly fast life where we all seem to rush past each other, brushing away anything that may cause a diversion, I was touched that there were people who were concerned enough to notice that I had removed a post about feeling bad. People who wanted to make me feel better.

And make me feel better they did.

Thank you. You all know who you are.  

Here is a poem I read on Suchitra Krishnamoorthy's blog 4 years back and I still draw strength from it. 

Thursday 19 September 2013

Parenting Thoughts


A parent’s worst nightmare is not being able to shield their child from something terrible happening. When a toddler learns how to take his first few steps, the mother instinctively lunges forward to cushion his fall. A father teaching his daughter how to ride a bicycle walks half a step behind letting her feel independent enough and yet not be too far so as to be able to catch her when she heads for the trees. Perhaps the most difficult thing for a parent is to let go. To not be there with their child 24/7 protecting her from the trials and tribulations of life.

But the horror and pain that Nirbhaya’s and countless other parents felt is nothing short of unimaginable. The only thing worse than going through something as horrific is that is the knowledge that your child did. But if we fear and hide ourselves at home, we let the perpetrators win. The laughable sentences do no justice to the nature of the crime. Besides raising our voices to change the laws, what else can we do, you ask?

The answer lies at home. We hold the power of raising and moulding the thoughts of the children we raise. Here is what you can do.

Teach you son:
1) That women are to be respected and honoured.
2) Display affection and respect at home with your spouse. Your son sees the relationship between his parents as benchmarks for how an ideal relationship should be.
3) Teach him that chivalry is never dead. As he grows older, tell him that women will always adore a man who treats them like a princess
4) Never make fun of the judicial system. He must know that there are consequences for every action.
5) That his friends, girls and boys alike, are welcome in his home and on your dining table.
6) That defending a woman’s honour or helping a fellow human is the greatest act of bravery one can do.
7) That women and men are equal. Help your wife in the household work and respect her opinions so that he models the same.
8) As he grows up that love is a long lasting commitment but the true objective of love is to serve and seek her best interests.
9) That gender stereotypes are backward and redundant. If a mother routinely cleans up her son’s room and picks up his plate after he eats, she is unconsciously telling him that it’s what women are supposed to do, serve men.
10) Don’t trivialise harassment, aggression or abuse – verbal or non verbal.  

Teach your daughter:
1) Martial arts. Self defence can give a woman those precious few seconds to raise an alarm.
2) That she can come to you and talk about anything under the sun without you judging her.
3) That the wrongdoings of a handful of monsters doesn’t mean that the rest of mankind is unworthy. Tell her that there are wonderful men out there too.
4) Respect her individuality and treat her like an adult when she is in her teens. Rebellion can lead to terrible mistakes.
5) Be open minded and let her feel comfortable enough to bring her friends of both genders home. She should never feel that she needs to hide from you.  
6) Presence of mind. Teach her to be calm in moments of crisis and not to panic. If she can think on her feet, it’s a great gift you have given her.
7) That men and women are equal. Model this behaviour at home and never let her feel that men are superior to women or that different standards apply to them.
8) To embrace her assertiveness. Teach her that she has the power to say no.
9) Give her enough confidence that she doesn’t feel the need to bend to peer pressure or to conform to any perceived ‘acceptable’ social behaviour.
10) That her choices in life are limitless. That she really can become anything she wants to in life..and that you will support her choices.  


Wednesday 11 September 2013

Casting blooper of '50 Shades of Grey'

Highly disapprove and disagree with the casting of Christian Grey for the movies on 50 Shades of Grey. Does this guy below really remind you of the drop dead gorgeous Grey who makes women weak in their knees just by his presence? Casting blooper. This Anastasia Steel is way too pretty and Christian Grey not bad boy enough.


If they had listened to E.L. James, Ian Somerhalder below would have and should have got the part!! Now come on....just look at him!



Tuesday 3 September 2013

10 Things You Must Do Today



Have you ever lived a day as if it may have been your last? Everyone should have a list of Top 10 Things They Must Do NOW (and not wait for a sunnier tomorrow). My latest article on Rediff is a mere suggestion of what your own personal list could look like.

Read the article HERE.