Thursday, 23 December, 2010

Amongst the rustling mustard fields in a 700 year old Fort!

 

What a wonderful way to end the year! Here is my recently published article on Hill Fort Kesroli, a weekend getaway from Delhi.

Read it here.

 

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Wednesday, 22 December, 2010

Coastal cuisine in Delhi

After months of hearing about ‘Gunpowder’, the little nook of a coastal restaurant in the eclectic Hauz Khaz Village market, one sunny Sunday we decided to make the long trek down from dear ol’ Noida. The drive took us an hour, the parking 15 mins (finally settling for the DDA maidan) and finding the place another 15 mins. Lovely as it may be, wandering the cobbled winding lanes of this market, finding this place is quite a task. There’s an interesting shop we passed on the way which stocked old movie posters and maps, an old passion of mine. We even crossed the popular Kumzum cafe which works on a non payment model and is a place where travellers just go and chat with each other, sharing experiences and leaving tips to keep the kitchen running. Finally, after asking 3 people and getting exact instructions from a pan wala, we found our way around the block, over dumps of garbage and street dogs sunning themselves and found the building. Surprisingly, the restaurant has chosen not to put up a board declaring its presence. The only clue you get is an A4 sheet stuck on the ground floor declaring its arrogance of allowing only pre-booked customers.

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Well, we decided to take the chance, climbed the very steep 3 floors and cajoled the manager to give us a table. Which he thankfully did, considering he refused 4 groups of people right in front of us! The first thing that strikes you about this place, is its view. Set in the back lane, directly overlooking the little known Deer Park and lake nestled in it, this place is a hidden gem. One can sit for hours in the sun, sipping coffee and staring at the unexpected oasis in this populated city. The second thing one notices is the crowd. It’s the kind of crowd I would often see in Ahmedabad in some hidden eateries only known to students of NID, CEPT, IIM and MICA. Journalists, students, expats…people discussing grass root microfinance or a heritage walk in chandni chowk!

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The menu was not a very extravagant affair, in terms of the options. The prices on the other hand, rivalled even Swagath which I believe is very steep! We decided to order the dry Andhra Prawn Masala(Rs.350) and for main course we settled for the Kerala Mutton Korma (Rs.260) with Appams (Rs50 each) and buttermilk (Rs.65). The prawns,unfortunately were a huge let-down. Not that they were bad…just that they did nothing to excite the taste buds like a mutton fry in Andhra Bhawan would have….at 1/10th the cost!! The korma was flavourful but not one for which I would repeat the cross country drive I had undertaken. The buttermilk thankfully salvaged the situation and was absolutely delightful. Alas, a bill of Rs.1100 just wouldn’t let itself be justified by an exceptional buttermilk.

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As much as I liked the view, the next time I want some Andhra food, I’m heading to Andhra Bhawan and Swagath for Kerala food! Gunpowder just doesn’t pack the punch!!

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Rating: 2 on 5

Must Try: Buttermilk

Go for: The view…and the poster shop in the market

Address: 22, Hauz Khaz Village, 3rd Floor, New Delhi. Ph. 26535700

Website: www.gunpowder.co.in

Wednesday, 1 December, 2010

My Book List

Apparently BBC came out with a list of 100 books that they term as 'must-have-reads' and they reckon that the average person has read just 6 out of them. Well, dont know about that but their list of books left much to be desired in my opinion. So here is my list of 49 books that I have thoroughly enjoyed over time and recommended at some point of time. How many of these have you read?

  1. Sister of my heart - Chitra Bannerjee
  2. Secret Daughter - Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  3. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  4. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  5. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
  6. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  7. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  9. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  13. Comedies by Shakespeare
  14. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  15. Emma -Jane Austen
  16. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  17. A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  18. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  19. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  20. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  21. Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  22. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  23. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  24. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  25. Mallory Towers Collection - Enid Blyton
  26. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  27. Jeffrey Archer - Paths of Glory
  28. John Grisham's courtroom dramas
  29. City of Djinns - William Dalrymple
  30. Nine Lives - William Dalrymple
  31. Two States- Chetan Bhagat
  32. Inscrutable Americans - Anurag Mathur
  33. Mayada - Jean Sasson
  34. Shantaram - Gregory Roberts
  35. Not without my daughter -Betty Mahmoody
  36. One Amazing Thing - Chitra Bannerjee
  37. Seven Years in Tibet - Heinrich Harrer
  38. Q&A - Vikas Swarup
  39. Love Story - Eric Segal
  40. Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
  41. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  42. The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
  43. The Godfather - Mario Puzo
  44. Flora Rheta Schreiber - Sybil
  45. Right Ho, Jeeves - P. G. Wodehouse
  46. Papillon - Henri Charriere
  47. Curfewed Night - Basharat Peer
  48. PS I Love You - Cecelia Ahern
  49. Tuesdays with Morrie -Mitch Albom

Tuesday, 30 November, 2010

Ek 'Guzaarish' Hai Bas Itni Si....

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is in a league of his own. When you start your career writing a movie like '1942 A love story'....move on to making the very touching 'Khamoshi' after 2 years....prove that you are not a one movie director by releasing the absolutely beautifully made 'Hum dil de chuke sanam'...and then further hone yourself with 'Devdas' and 'Black'.....not only you but the world then knows what you are capable of! Except for Sawaria, each movie made by this man has been nothing less than iconic. And when you take an actress like Aishwarya Rai who has been repeatedly slandered for being such a plastic heroine and make her deliver absolutely breathtaking performances like these, you know you have got to give the director some credit!



Guzaarish comes with the heavy expectation load of Black on its back. Another Bhansali film with the main protagonist severely disabled (in this case, a quadriplegic - paralysed from the neck down) and the dark hues that characterize his films of late. But no, like each of his films, this one stands firmly on its own two feet, refusing to be compared to any other and stands tall.

Hritik Roshan plays the very successful magician who loses his best friend, career, mobility and almost his life in a magic act gone wrong. Refusing to let life beat him down, he becomes a radio jockey, a favourite of all in Goa. He is taken care of since the past 12 years by Aishwarya Rai Bachhan who plays his nurse. Hritik does an exceptional job with his role, portraying the helplessness of not being able to move or live with dignity inspite of having an especially sharp mind. Look out for a particular scene involving a fly and also the way he sits on his wheelchair...the way his shoulders stoop, make him smaller than he really is. Phenomenal. Aishwarya chooses to hold her own and delivers a performance par excellence. Part nurse, part friend, part secret lover...she is the outside world to him. Dressed in beatiful long skirts and dresses, often with a tasteful scarf, she not only looks pretty, but acts and even dances with elan. Some other performances worth a mention...or even more are by Hritik's friend Devyani who is also his lawyer, his doctor played by Suhel Seth, Rajit Kapoor as the prosecutor and many more. But equal credit as the main protagonists must be given to Aditya Roy Kapoor, an upcoming actor and VJ who plays Omar Siddiqui, an amateur magician who wishes to learn magic from Hritik.



Set in Goa, the film gives a glimpse of the portugese town unlike ever done before. The stately but delapitated villa in which Hritik lives, the lush green fields that they drive through...all of this allows the viewer to see this beautiful town through the eyes of a local and not a tourist.

The only flaw in the film is a stretched out farewell party thrown by Hritik for his friends that seems like a deliberate tear jerker. But you forgive Bhansali of these 10 minutes for the other 99 minutes of pure genius that he lets you be a part of. It is not a sad portrayal of a disabled man's life. Instead, it is almost a celebration of the life he lives, his quick humor and wit bringing more smiles than tears.

Dont think twice. Watch it.

Rating: 4 on 5
Paisa Wasool Moment: The scene with the fly

Wednesday, 24 November, 2010

Without you

You are the jigsaw piece
That makes me complete
You are the melody
To which my heart beats
Your smile
Keeps me warm all night
Your breath
Gives my soul respite
Days stretch out without you
Nights seem to last forever
No sense
No purpose
Till when we’re together
Life without you
Just seems so still
A test of love
Seems god’s will

Tuesday, 23 November, 2010

The Deathly Hallows doesn't live up to it!!

I've been avoiding writing this review. It seems like a sort of a betrayal. To an era of loyalty and of pure reverence of the wizarding world. So I take a deep breath and here I go, hoping now that the ministry has fallen, they dont send me off to Azkaban as a traitor.



Potter films are expected with a fevered anticipation perhaps never seen before. With each book, the mania for this magical beautiful world increased and made the producers, actors and ofcourse Rowling very rich people!! But it was justified as each book outdid the earlier one with the grand finale spiralling into a lovely piece of work which tied up the entire series together closing loops and ends that dint quite fit before making it the best book in the entire series in my opinion.

Unfortunately, the movie couldn't match up. I feel the same disappointment I felt when I saw Goblet of Fire. The book provides so much fodder and such a lovely base to characterize but the films just couldn't match up. They tried hard, I give them that, but they couldn't reach the pinnacle.

Perhaps because there was so much to tell, which the very thick book takes its time weaving, the film seemed to be edited in a manner that it was hacked and then stacked together. Scenes changed too fast, were not easy to comprehend and continuity seemed to break much too often.
I do believe that Draco is one character who has grown into his role and must be given his due adulation. No other character except for the 3 on their camping trip seem to be given much prominence in this film, though Dobby did get some minutes of well deserved prime time. And yes, I could really have done without that completely random scene in which Harry and Hermoine start dancing together in their tent right after Ron has left, seemingly to celebrate their freedom from him at last!!!



All in all, if you've read the books, you would probably enjoy the film living out each scene and seeing it played out before your eyes for the last time but one. But if you are a fan of the films and havent read the books, I have a feeling you may leave that hall with a sense of frustration and need to google up how things fit in and who said what why. Watch it, but dont go with stars in your eyes.

Rating: 2.5 on 5

Thursday, 18 November, 2010

DON'T WORK. BE HATED. LOVE SOMEONE

Similar to Steve Job's speech....long but a good read...

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Written by Adrian Tan, author of The Teenage Textbook (1988), was the guest-of-honour at a recent NTU convocation ceremony. This was his speech to the graduating class of 2008.

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I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It’s a wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.

My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.
On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.
Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs is always the wife.
And so I want to start by giving one piece of advice to the men: when you’ve already won her heart, you don’t need to win every argument.
Marriage is considered one milestone of life. Some of you may already be married. Some of you may never be married. Some of you will be married. Some of you will enjoy the experience so much, you will be married many, many times. Good for you.
The next big milestone in your life is today: your graduation. The end of education. You’re done learning.
You’ve probably been told the big lie that “Learning is a lifelong process” and that therefore you will continue studying and taking masters’ degrees and doctorates and professorships and so on. You know the sort of people who tell you that? Teachers. Don’t you think there is some measure of conflict of interest? They are in the business of learning, after all. Where would they be without you? They need you to be repeat customers.
The good news is that they’re wrong.
The bad news is that you don’t need further education because your entire life is over. It is gone. That may come as a shock to some of you. You’re in your teens or early twenties. People may tell you that you will live to be 70, 80, 90 years old. That is your life expectancy.
I love that term: life expectancy. We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I’m here to talk about a bigger idea, which is what you expect from your life.
You may be very happy to know that Singapore is currently ranked as the country with the third highest life expectancy. We are behind Andorra and Japan, and tied with San Marino. It seems quite clear why people in those countries, and ours, live so long. We share one thing in common: our football teams are all hopeless. There’s very little danger of any of our citizens having their pulses raised by watching us play in the World Cup. Spectators are more likely to be lulled into a gentle and restful nap.
Singaporeans have a life expectancy of 81.8 years. Singapore men live to an average of 79.21 years, while Singapore women live more than five years longer, probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in the bathroom.
So here you are, in your twenties, thinking that you’ll have another 40 years to go. Four decades in which to live long and prosper.
Bad news. Read the papers. There are people dropping dead when they’re 50, 40, 30 years old. Or quite possibly just after finishing their convocation. They would be very disappointed that they didn’t meet their life expectancy.
I’m here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.
After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.
Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.
That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.
If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.
LIFE'S A MESS.
What you should prepare for is mess. Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armour against fate.
Don’t expect anything. Erase all life expectancies. Just live. Your life is over as of today. At this point in time, you have grown as tall as you will ever be, you are physically the fittest you will ever be in your entire life and you are probably looking the best that you will ever look. This is as good as it gets. It is all downhill from here. Or up. No one knows.
What does this mean for you? It is good that your life is over.
Since your life is over, you are free. Let me tell you the many wonderful things that you can do when you are free.
RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO GET A JOB. INSTEAD, PLAY.
The most important is this: do not work.
Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.
Work kills. The Japanese have a term “Karoshi”, which means death from overwork. That’s the most dramatic form of how work can kill. But it can also kill you in more subtle ways. If you work, then day by day, bit by bit, your soul is chipped away, disintegrating until there’s nothing left. A rock has been ground into sand and dust.
There’s a common misconception that work is necessary. You will meet people working at miserable jobs. They tell you they are “making a living”. No, they’re not. They’re dying, frittering away their fast-extinguishing lives doing things which are, at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful.
People will tell you that work ennobles you, that work lends you a certain dignity. Work makes you free. The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. Utter nonsense.

Do not waste the vast majority of your life doing something you hate so that you can spend the small remainder sliver of your life in modest comfort. You may never reach that end anyway.
Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.
I like arguing, and I love language. So, I became a litigator. I enjoy it and I would do it for free. If I didn’t do that, I would’ve been in some other type of work that still involved writing fiction – probably a sports journalist.
So what should you do? You will find your own niche. I don’t imagine you will need to look very hard. By this time in your life, you will have a very good idea of what you will want to do. In fact, I’ll go further and say the ideal situation would be that you will not be able to stop yourself pursuing your passions. By this time you should know what your obsessions are. If you enjoy showing off your knowledge and feeling superior, you might become a teacher.
Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don’t, you are working.
Most of you will end up in activities which involve communication. To those of you I have a second message: be wary of the truth. I’m not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth. Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.
In order to be wary of the truth, you must first know it. That requires great frankness to yourself. Never fool the person in the mirror.
BE HATED.
I have told you that your life is over, that you should not work, and that you should avoid telling the truth. I now say this to you: be hated.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.
One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong.
LOVE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.
The other side of the coin is this: fall in love.
I didn’t say “be loved”. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.
Rather, I exhort you to love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.
Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.
Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.
You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.
Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.
Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.

Friday, 12 November, 2010

‘Secret Daughter’ reviewed

 

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One of my all time favourite books has been ‘Sister of my heart’ by Chitra Bannerjee. It’s heartening to know that it wasn’t a one-off gem by an Indian author. ‘Secret Daughter’, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda is written with a similar empathy and understanding of human relations. I personally despise books that use the English language as a baton to tom tom in front of the reader convincing him/her of not being intellectual enough to appreciate it. Thus, I could never really find myself singing praises of Salman Rushdie and the likes (oh no, how uncool am I??). What attracts me to a writer is the ability to communicate emotions in a manner that they find their way straight to the heart of the reader.

Secret Daughter is the story of a girl born in a village in Maharashtra. To save the life of her unwanted girl child, her mother secretly gives her up for adoption where she is taken in by an Indian/American couple. The story traces the lives of the 2 mothers and this secret daughter that ties them. Not only does it delve deep into the psyche of an adopted child, it also intermingles that with the yearning of a person trying to find roots when they were growing right under her feet.

Secret Daughter is a tale that touches the heart. It is beautifully crafted, wonderfully narrated and begs to be read. Get yourself a copy.

 

Rating: 4 on 5

Sunday, 7 November, 2010

The beauty of change

My uncle loves to keep reminding me time and again – the moment you feel complacent that your life is perfect and don’t want things to change, they will. You can not stop that. Just accept that they will.

In my humble few years in adulthood, I have realised the truth in those words. As children, we are insulated by the love that surrounds us and we believe that people mean what they say and clearly demarcate between friends, acquaintances and foes. As we grow older and not-so-wiser, we slowly become jaded. Things, yes. Circumstances, definitely. They all change. But what affects us most is when people change and thus do relationships. Friends that one made along the way slowly keep falling through that sieve of life and losing themselves. New ones get added but our new found cynicism refuses to allow ourselves to open up as much to them.

Its not such a dark thing either. People change for the better too. Relationships evolve. When you grow together, sometimes you have the benefit of being a part of the journey and this brings us closer. My relationship with my sister, parents, relatives, husband, best friends – each of these has changed many times over and continues to do so. What makes some of these relationships special is the belief that if I don’t like the changes that are happening, they are momentary – they will change again.

And that is what gives me the humility of holding myself back from trying to control each of these relationships (or so I like to believe). Que sera sera….what will be will be.

Wednesday, 3 November, 2010

Adarsh Scam & the Nation's Ire

The collective fury over the Adarsh Apartments scam confuses me. For the uninitiated, it is an apartment complex built in the prime area of South Mumbai on land that was allocated for war widows of the Indian Defence Forces. The permission to build 10 stories was flouted and a sky scraper built in its place. Each flat whose market worth was actually around Rs.8.5Cr was bought by people of high standing like some ex chiefs of the Indian army etc. for Rs.85lakhs.

Since this scam has been brought to light by the media, there has been an uproar on the fact that flats were wrongfully allocated to ministers, private owners and other people of public standing. This uproar doesn’t confuse me. I believe we all like to vent our frustrations on these occasional scams. It just changes face from a CWG to an Adarsh. Corruption itself is not a phenomenon new to India or to all of us. Neither is it new to any country in the world. Corruption exists in most countries at various levels – some larger than the other. Financial frauds, economic busts like the recent one, political payoffs – all of these are faces of corruption at some level.

So what confuses me is what it really is that has irked us so much about this. CWG I understand – we felt that we all pay taxes and those taxes were being misappropriated. But in this case we all know of someone who had gone to see these apartments being built when they were being built and their only regret at that time was that they did not have the funds to get a flat of their own. Everyone loves a deal! They knew that the market cost of the flats were atleast 10 times of what they were being asked for. I am not too sure if the knowledge that this land was originally meant for war widows would really have changed any of our minds to purchase one of these flats being offered at a pittance.

So is the ire really regret that found translation into a smug smile if-I-did-not-manage-to-get-this-one-no-one-else-did-either! Or if it really is anger at corruption – and if it is, how deep does this corruption truly run?

Tuesday, 12 October, 2010

Why this is a great time to visit Delhi

My 2 bits in optimism for this city that I love....in its full glory in the festive season that it is best visited in.

Read my latest article published on Rediff on why its a great time to visit Delhi. Click here



Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

The grand epic saga of the CWG 2010

----Cynicism Alert ----


As someone very wise said once...."Hindi filmon ki tarah humari zindagi mein bhi akhir tak sab thik ho hi jaata hai....happies endings" (like in Hindi films, in our lives too towards the end, it all falls into place). Little did the respectable king khan know at the time, he may as well have been refering to the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010.

First things first. Before we won the bid for them, I (like most of us) had no clue that these games even existed. How archaic to have a world sporting event named after the collection of colonies of the British Empire! And our Raj hangover for us to rejoice over hosting them!! Nevertheless, I put my cynicism aside and like every Delhiite started hoping that this would help clean up my beautiful city and once the hullaboo was over, we would be left with some great infrastructure to our disposal like the Asian Games did 3 decades back!

And then the media frenzy started. It suddenly became fashionable to criticise the games, the infrastructure, the money spent, the hygene standards. Barely would anyone of prominence have given a byte and media would be all over him like a pack of hounds! And the smart statesmen like Rahul Gandhi and Manmohan Singh did not dirty their hands in this mudslinging and justifying.

So overwhelmed  were we all with this crazied attacking that most Indians almost involuntarily started hoping that the Games would be cancelled or a big disaster so that they could shake their heads in dismay and say - I told you so.

And then a strange thing happened. 2 days before the games, suddenly there came this positive publicity when athletes started arriving. Canadian, Australian and other athletes started pouring in from 68 nations and seemed quite happy with the arrangements and the infrastructure. They gave interviews to the same effect completely ignorant to the fact that Indians were rooting for them to say the opposite! And miraculously overnight Indians developed sudden patriotism and started facebooking on how they wished the games well. How it was fantastic that Delhi had 18 new flyovers, a spanking new CP complex, Metro that now reached most corners of this vast metropolitan, an airport terminal 3kms long, cultural festivals, the Delhi Eye so on and so forth. The coup de grace ofcourse was the opening ceremony. I wouldnt compare it with the Beijing Olympics but frankly, the ceremony was spectacular, beautifully designed and executed and world class (the buzz word of the day)! And we all rejoiced on how we had triumphed.

Hindi filmon ki tarah humari zindagi mein bhi akhir tak sab thik ho hi jaata hai....happies endings.

Sunday, 26 September, 2010

Changing hues

Change is inevitable they say. The only constant. And yet, the mind wonders whether people ever change? Some schools of thought say that once a person’s personality has been defined (in the formative years), events may alter short term behaviour but long term behaviour and attitude can not change.

This comes as a blow to most people who wish one aspect or another of someone they love changes. It could be anything – a habit, the way a person reacts, extent of expressiveness or even as simple as tidiness. But if you really think about people you know, you may realise that at the core of it, in the long term, the intrinsic person remains the same. Does this mean we should not believe in giving second and third chances? Does it mean it is easier to accept something rather than hope that the future will be different?

I have mixed feelings on this. I know in my heart that people don’t truly change. They learn to curb their behaviour or pretend otherwise. On the other hand, in my not-so-long lifetime, I have met a few people who changed completely. Some overnight, some over a period of time. Such that they often become the complete antithesis of who they were. Is this a phase, one wonders? Or is it the reality? 

Thursday, 23 September, 2010

Adios for now

Dear readers - or well those of you who patiently waited me through my blog's silence these past few months! As you may have noticed, the frequency of the posts has been erratic and not very promising. So I figured it is probably best to take a short sabbatical and come back with renewed thoughts. Check back with me in a few weeks....I'll be back!!!

Tuesday, 14 September, 2010

Unspoken love

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms,
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Sunday, 29 August, 2010

Sex and the City 2 Reviewed

When I look at my logs from August and realise that I have only blogged once this month, my head hangs in shame (well, not really, but almost)!! And my bday month too...not good! So, I'm back, with a review that has been zooming around in my head like an irritating fly since I saw the film.

The show Sex and the City did not really demand a cult following but had its set of people who enjoyed it. The concept of friends growing up together..at different stages in life and yet so similar, worked for some of us. And thus, when the producers went ahead and made a complete motion picture out of this show, it had some of us looking forward to it. The first movie was cute enough - with a sprinkling of drama, lots of fashion, some heart break and friends that tide over it all! But the second film in the series has even soft targets like me gagging!

SATC 2 is an example of the kind of cinema America should refrain from. It's racist, sexist, portrays Americans as ignorant and very very brainless. Even the fashion isnt good enough! The girls are getting old and a 50 year old's sexual escapades dont make for interesting cinema. Neither does a gang of over aged giggly girls who still call Dubai and Abu Dhabi 'the New Middle East' and are so entranced and enamoured by the gold and the spices abundant there. All of this may still have made a bland but tolerant film. But when you over emphasize on how aghast they are at seeing women in Burquas or how they have been told to cover up and not wear revealing clothes coz they will be jailed - you run the risk of disrespecting a section of society.

The film bored me. I, the one who is usually not so tough to please in a chick flick situation, find it difficult to recommend this to you. Absolutely avoidable.

Rating: 1.5 on 5

Monday, 9 August, 2010

Semiotics of 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai'


This is a controversial post to write. In a country where Shahrukh Khan is almost god and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai has something of a cult following, to dig it up after almost 15 years and tear it apart gives me goose bumps. But a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

The problem arises from the fact that I myself am a self confessed member of this cult. When I was seeing this film for the 21st time yesterday (yes, I need a life), it finally hit me on how incredibly chauvinistic this film really is. So if you havent seen the film (how???), let me give you the lowdown. Girl and boy are best friends in college, girl loves boy but boy falls for mini skirt clad hot chick but only after she has properly displayed her 'indian values'. Girl disappears. Hot chick dies, leaves behind a daughter who vows to find girl and make boy marry her finally. Which, ofcourse they do.

So lets start at the begining. Perfect stereotyping - boy and girl are best friends but he doesnt love her because she is a tomboy. The day he sees hot chick in tiny skirt, all friendship goes out of the window. But no, he is the quintessential male! So he waits for hot chick to sing 'om jai jagdish' and also don a suit, cover her head and go to a temple before he decides to shower his love on her!

It gets better. So some 10 years later, hot chick is not in the scene anymore and her daughter is trying her best to get boy to chance encounter with girl again. Which he does. And what does he find? That girl is not the tomboy he knew...she has transformed almost like a butterfly and evolved into long hair and chiffon saris which keep blowing in the wind to show her midriff. Ofcourse, boy finally decides that he loves her. Now that she is feminine enough for his taste!



But here is the clincher. The girl has only ever loved him. Even after 10 years of unrequited love and after being rejected for hot chick she doesnt so much as bat an eyelid before running back to him.

And the boy, remains happy ever after!

PS- all those wondering why in the world I have been calling Rani Mukherjee hot chick...come on guys, this is 15 years back when Kajol still had a unibrow and Karishma wore her brother's clothes!

Saturday, 24 July, 2010

Monsoon Getaways for you this season...

Back from an amazingly relaxing vacation in the Kagra Valley. Covered Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and Palampur, the last destination being the least popular but the most deserving in my opinion. As I have already covered Palampur in one of my earlier works almost 5 years back (you can read it here), Mcleodganj found its way into a more broad based article of mine, one that I will share with you today.

I come back from my trip, reinforced in the belief that monsoons are the perfect time to travel. Splendid weather, lack of tourist crowds and a slight drizzle, just the most romantic setting one can ask for.

So here are some options for you to choose from, if the travel bug bites you soon. My latest article on Rediff suggests a few such Monsoon Getaways.

And if you're still undecided, here's a lil something to change your mind.


Idyllic in Mcleodganj

Tibetian Colorful Tablets around the Dalai Lama's residence
Norbuligka Institute for preserving Tibetian Arts

Bhagsu Waterfall

Valleys that take your breath away

Tea Gardens in Palampur
Lush Green walkways inside Kaya Kalp - an Ayurvedic retreat in Palampur

Friday, 16 July, 2010

This monsoon, don’t hide in – head out!!

 

I love the rains. Yes, I know you’ve heard that before from just about any girl you have met, but I truly do. I love the feel of the cold drops on my face after a sultry Delhi day. I love splashing my car in puddles of water and hearing the whoosh (am pretty sure that its not very good for my car) and I love the smell of the mud when water falls on the parched earth. Monsoons are a great time to travel too. I understand people’s aversion to travelling during the rains – it can get messy, one can’t walk around and its tough to stick to itineraries. But if you ask me, the monsoons are my favourite travelling season. India literally comes alive during this time. The green loses its layer of dust and shines a bright neon colour. The air is fresh and cool. And the rest of the tourists stay home so one doesn’t have to jostle elbow to elbow with hordes of them. I HATE flying during this time (or any other time for that matter) but besides that, its a peach!

 

Last year, around this time my company was kind enough to organise our top management meet in Goa. It was perhaps aided by the fact that it was off season in Goa and they probably got a fantastic deal. Nevertheless, around 20 of us found ourselves making our way through the narrow lanes of this beach paradise. And you know all those people who told you that one should avoid Goa during the monsoons -  ignore them! Goa is at its most beautiful in this month. The town transforms itself into a sleepy village adorning a green shawl. Ofcourse, the view from Taj Fort Aguada helped as well!

 

So this year, we pack our bags again and are off to another adventure. Another set of towns to explore, a few more tales to string. It is to the hills this time. Ignoring those who warn of landslides and floods. With our raincoats packed in, can’t wait to smell the fresh mountain air again! Adios amigos….till we talk again!!

Wednesday, 7 July, 2010

Bandh karo yeh bandh!!!

 

Yes, the petrol prices are getting out of hand. No I am not an economist so I am not going to argue about how the energy costs are going up globally and how our fiscal deficit will be affected if our energy rates be forcefully reduced. It is not the issue itself with which I have issues. It is the manner of dealing with them.

 

There is a very competent set of people that we have chosen to run our country. And to ensure that they do not become autocratic, we have chosen a set of people we call the opposition. Now, both these sets of knowledgeable and opinionated people are given a place and a time to debate on matters such as this called the Parliament. The Indian Parliament is not just a pretty building (and it IS a pretty building), it is the citizen’s charter to the government to discuss, debate and decide on matters that affect the common man.

 

What does damage democracy though is when this exercise is abused. I hang my head in shame when I witness Parliamentary sessions where people shout like shepherds and start throwing chairs and microphones to display their dissent. If they did that at home, they would probably have been given one whack by their mothers, thus displaying their serious need for babysitting.

 

But what angers me even more is when these very people abuse democracy and make it into one big show. A Bharat Bandh used to be a tool used in extreme cases like the British Raj or to protest the emergency. It was about voicing an opinion. It has now been reduced to a ticket to vandalism. Who are these people who think they can dictate whether a billion people in India should work on a specific day? Who are they who have the audacity to burn busses and public property and then demand that it is the government’s treasury that should pay for the damage? And who are these sadly illiterate people who assume that the common man is so dumb as to not understand the difference between the right to voice one’s opinion and the removal of the fundamental rights of all citizens for one day. 

 

I protest. Not against dissent but against the assumption that we are cattle who will approve of this. If you have the guts, sit on a round table with the economists of the government, the Prime Minister being one of them, suggest ways of tackling the problem of reducing the burden on the citizen while ensuring that the burden doesn’t bend our economy too much. And if you don’t have the courage or the intellect to do so, kindly stop wasting our time. We have miles to go before we sleep.

Thursday, 1 July, 2010

Sleeping with the Kings - Orchha revisited



LOVE the way I wrote this one!! Check out my latest article published on Rediff. Its a travelogue on Orchha, a place you may never have heard of, a place you definitely should visit once in your lifetime!!

For the movie buffs, this is also the location where the latest film Raavan has shot an entire song and marriage scene of Beera's sister. Trust me, its nothing less than visual nirvana.

Read the article HERE



Monday, 21 June, 2010

Mahabharata & Ramayana in a new avatar – Rajneeti and Raavan reviewed

In a day and age where generations are increasingly ignorant about the intricacies of our cultural heritage and more importantly, literary epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, television did what books couldn’t. When I was growing up, these epics were depicted in TV serials that ran for years and such was the fan following that people would literally drop what they were doing to watch them. We have come a long way from there but the audio visual route still remains the best hope for passing on these stories to our children.

 

Which is why I looked forward to the fact that skilful filmmakers like Mani Ratnam and Prakash Jha had decided to portray these epics superimposed into today’s scenario. It is a thin line to tread, knowing which elements to keep and which to modernise, how to keep it realistic and let the audience make the parallels without spelling it out for them. And in both these regards, Rajneeti did what Raavan could not.

 

Rajneeti took the concept of Indian Politics and played it into the mould of Mahabharata. With an ensemble cast of credible actors, Jha managed to give characters individuality and yet shadowed them on the Mahabharata character they represented. Ranbir Kapoor played an excellent Arjuna and Arjun Rampal getting better ever day with his performance with traces of Yudhishthir. But it was Bhishmapitama played by Nana Patekar which really took the cake. Always behind the scenes and yet directing everyone wisely, he did the role justice. As expected, Manoj Bajpaye did a decent job as Duryodhana and Katrina Kaif not only looked stunning but pulled off quite a good performance (and no, its not modelled on Sonia Gandhi). The only person who I believe got shot changed is Ajay Devgan as Karana. The role was perfect for Devgan yet one left feeling he was under-used.

 

The music and tracks in the film are phenomenal. Each track worth humming, my favourite being “Mora Piya Mose Bolat Naahi”, a soulful ballad. Unfortunately, what the movie achieved in 2 hours, the last half hour destroyed. The climax of the film seemed to stretch forever and ended up making the film seem amateurish. I truly wish they had just chopped off the last reel, I would have left the hall a happier person!

 

Raavan on the other hand, is an example of how not to do it. Don’t get me wrong. It is a beautiful piece of art. It sweeps over stunning locales, with cinematography such that at times you feel like it may just be National Geographic. But what the director set out to do, he failed to achieve. The story is not even disguised, it is Ramayana with the names changed. Dialogues like “woh dus sar wala raakshas hai” when refering to the villain Bira or “Woh bhagwan hain” when refering to Dev modelled on lord Rama dont leave much to the imagination. I wish I had seen the Tamil version instead where Vikram who plays the hero in the Hindi version plays Raavan instead. He would undoubtedly have done a much better job than the half baked performance by a plump Mr.Bachhan (and not the one with a beard  who can act). Aishwarya Rai looks absolutely beautiful in some shots and one wishes that cinema halls also came with a mute button when she starts screaming in her incredibly shrill voice (in the same league as that of Diya Mirza or Riya Sen). To her credit, we do get a reminder of how beautiful and graceful an Indian woman can look during a dance sequence in which she seduces her husband doing classical dance. The man with the smallest role, Govinda who plays Hanuman does absolute justice to his role and perhaps even he may have played a better Raavan.

 

The movie fails to build a plot, fails to make the audience empathise with Bira. The villagers love him and the police hates him but we are never given to understand why so. What really are the socio economic reasons for this almost naxal leader. Instead, the film seems like a personal feud – your wife for my sister kind of an approach. Very lame. The songs are upbeat and in a certain wedding sequence, don’t miss the locale in the background – it is Orchha, the hidden gem we found in MP when we travelled a couple of months back. All in all, unfortunately very boring and avoidable. See it on mute and marvel at Incredible India.

 

Ratings: Rajneeti (3 on 5 with .5 deleted for the last half hour)

       Raavan(1.5 on 5)

Saturday, 19 June, 2010

Ideas for Father's Day



New article published on Rediff. Funky ideas on how to celebrate Fathers Day. Read it HERE.

Monday, 14 June, 2010

8888 visitors to the blog till date

8,888 says the site meter. It is a humbling feeling, if you pause to think about it. Over the past few years, my blog was read 8888 times. It never fails to bring a smile to my face when I bump into people I may not have met for years and they tell me that they read my blog and love it. My readers who recommend my blog further to their friends and it is followed by people whom I have never met! And my friends and colleagues who I know follow my blog, but as silently slip away without commenting! The best part is that my best friends probably don’t even know the url of my blog. Why do I need to share my life with others, they ask? When I have them.

 

I write because I am. I have never written a page that I did not believe in, or because I had to. I wrote because I had something to say. That’s it. And what is wonderful is that so many people were interested in what I had to say. They debated my opinions, countered my viewpoints, encouraged my arguments. At The Thought Express, one doesn’t need to agree, that would be too boring. The name of the blog was kept because my thoughts race through my head, desperately begging to be poured out into words. What my personality doesn’t let me do with my voice, I do with my words. Some people can converse with strangers, some can dance with them, some can even travel with strangers. I share my words with friends and strangers. Only because I have something to say.

 

Thank you. For saving this in your favourites. For typing this url in the address bar. And for clicking on a new post. For making this a dialogue from a one sided rave.

 

And yes, the reviews for Karate Kid and Rajneeti will follow soon!!! 

Wednesday, 9 June, 2010

When the line between fact & fiction blurs

 

Being a writer in constant search for her genre where I write most expressively, I have often been interested in how did best selling authors know which genre would work for them. Did Jeffrey Archer wake up one morning and decide to write fiction? Did JK Rowling pen down a drowsy biography before coming up with her masterpiece?

 

This question must have haunted them as it haunts me. What is even more interesting though, is that once an author has established himself in a particular genre, is he able to ever break out of it and try a new genre? Take for example Jeffrey Archer himself. What do you want when you are one of the most celebrated fiction writers of all time? He took a risk and wrote ‘Paths of Glory’, mostly based on real events around the life of George Mallory. The risk paid off, the book turned out as much a page turner as the others. This transition hasn’t been easy for all though. Equally famous writer, John Grisham tried his hand at fact in the book ‘The Innocent Man’. Though a compelling story, the book was too leading and having read the first chapter, it was easy to guess where it is headed. Take for example the factual writing of William Dalrymple. Based on real events, he has the flair of weaving a tale so intriguing that it makes history lessons interesting.

 

The one person in my opinion who manages to blur the lines between fact and fiction is Dan Brown in ‘The Da Vinci Code’. He took facts and then he put in a dollop of his imagination and skilfully stirred the two together in such a way that the reader never knew where fact ended and fiction started.

 

So the question remains. How does an author find his genre? And having found it, is it wise to experiment outside of it? Do you know any other person whom it worked for? 

Wednesday, 2 June, 2010

Prince Of Persia - The sands of time reviewed


Prince of Persia, Sands of Time is a movie based on the legendary videogame in which an adventurous young prince teams up with a fiery princess to stop an angry ruler unleashing a sandstorm which could destroy the world. The young prince, Dastan is not of royal blood but adopted by the king after he demonstrated a rare act of courage and skill. The story is quite straightforward and doesn’t have too many sub-plots. But the characterisation done for each individual is crisp and real. Be it the wise King Sharaman who wants nothing more than his 3 sons to trust each other to Tus, a befitting heir. Ben Kingsley plays the role of King Sharaman’s brother and his particular character has many traits of our very own Shakuni from Mahabharat.


Prince Tus, the heir to the king decides to attack Alamut, a sacred and holy kingdom when he is misinformed of their efforts against his empire. When the kingdom falls, with it comes the beautiful Princess Tamina (Gemma Arterton) who is offered to Dastan as his wife. Tamina though only has her eyes on a sacred dagger that has come into Dastan’s hands which if misused can result in catastrophe. And what follows is in typical bollywood fashion – treachery, escape, fights, misunderstandings and finally love. And as Shahrukh Khan says – “In our films, everything becomes ok in the end”. Prince of Persia too goes the poetic justice way and all’s well that ends well.


Why you should watch this film, besides the fact that Dastan is hot and rakish and Tamina fiery and stunning, is for the effects. See it in a hall, don’t bother with a DVD. No, it is nothing new, no you will not be sitting on the edge of your seat – but it is a well made and honest entertainer. Dont go there expecting to be enthralled, but go to be entertained. And you will.

Rating: 3.5 on 5
Paisa Wasool Moment: Tamina looks at the oncoming sandstorm and says, let’s run. Dastan smirks and replies “Trust a princess to think she can manage to outrun a sandstorm”!!

Wednesday, 26 May, 2010

JourneyMyWay on Facebook

Yes yes, I know I'm behind in my reviews. Thats what juggling does to you! My latest article on Rediff looks great (the snaps could have been better I agree) and JourneyMyWay is gaining momentum.

Which made me realise just how Facebook is not such an easy tool. The JourneyMyWay group was almost touching 100 when we realised that everytime we posted something, the members wouldnt even get an alert, thus you would miss out on all the exciting new places we found.

Corrective measures have been taken, and from now on, please visit the JourneyMyWay company page instead. The restrictions in the FB group was not helping us grow.

Please click on the link below and join the JourneyMyWay company page instead:

Just click on this LINK and when the page opens, click on the 'like' button on top of the page.

We promise to keep you entertained with our new discoveries, photographs and more!!

Tuesday, 25 May, 2010

Legends of Delhi’s Belly

 

Legends are a complex animal. They may not be the fad of the day, there may be shinier and better things coming up everyday, be they actors, stories or restaurants. But legends hold their own as places, people or things that have stood the test of time. You must experience them to have an opinion on them, whichever way your opinion may swing!

 

Rediff recently published my article on Legends of Delhi’s Belly. It traces legendary restaurants in each cuisine in Delhi and includes places of worship for Delhiites like Big Chill, Karims and the eternal HCF from Nirulas.

 

Check out the article HERE.

 

Disclaimer: The photographs in the article need an apology. Could have been and will be way better in the future. Food tends to make me lose focus!!

 

Big Chill Fusilli Chicken Piri Piri

Big Chill’s signature Fuseli Chicken Piri Piri

 

karim 1

Mutton Burra at Karims

 

Chungwa 5

Gigantic Golden Fried Prawns at Chungwa

 

Nirulas 2

The Mecca of all deserts – Nirulas for their HCF

Tuesday, 18 May, 2010

Iraqi Restaurant Reviewed – Don’t say I didn’t warn you!!

 

No…this is not the description of the restaurant. Actually, it may as well have been. The Iraqi Restaurant, set in a bylane in Lajpat Nagar 1’s residential E Block (E-178 near the gurudwara) is indeed an Iraqi Restaurant and for the sake of simplicity, the owners decided to use the description for it’s name as well!! It takes a little bit of searching to find this nook and its best if one asks around for Krishna Market and thereafter locates it. On a hot Delhi afternoon (and the afternoons are getting sweltering hot these days), we braved the weather and went ahead in our endeavour of constantly trying to find new places to eat.

 Photo0115

The decor was much better than we expected. Expecting bare tables and chairs like Bline (the Russian restaurant that is now shut), we were pleasantly surprised to see the minimalistic yet aesthetic look of black tables and sofa seats. The waiting staff, like the owner, are all Iraqi students and speak just a tad bit of English but pointing and hand gestures should get you by.

 

Very interested in exploring a new cuisine, we decided to start with the appetizers. A platter of kebabs, a mix seasonal salad and a dal (lentil) soup. The kebabs came impressively on their skewers but were dry and very bland in comparison to their Indian counterparts. The salad was great though – was one part an eggplant and onion salad, one part cucumber and tomato and a part of hummus. The dal soup was a large bowl of ..well what did you expect…dal! It had some boiled rice thrown in, so your quintessential khichdi!!

Photo0124

Telling ourselves that there must be an upside to this place, we went ahead and ordered the main course. The Qosi Rice is the most recommended dish to eat here so we ordered a plate of that with a bowl of beans for our vegetarian friend. Trying to figure out what the beans dish is like, we asked the waiter and he said it was like baked beans…we thought that perhaps that is just a metaphor. Alas, he was forewarning us, it was indeed just a plate of baked beans! Having said that, I have a feeling that our vegetarian friend had a better meal than us because the Qosi Rice turned out to be one large mound of rice with a ‘boiled’ piece of sheep meat on the side. Thats it. No gravy, no flavor. Literally just a boiled piece of meat! Thinking we must have ordered wrong (rather desperately praying that we had), we asked him to get any other dish with a gravy – the house speciality. What he plonked on our table though looked like he was very very mad at us. In the huge bowl, there was a lot of runny red water, submerged in this water was 2 huge rotis broken into bits and on top of this pile was yet another piece of the boiled sheep meat similar to the one that we had been struggling with!

 Photo0125

The prices are low. A meal for 4 cost us just Rs.1000. Yet, we walked out hungry, discontent and very very unhappy. Nothing that a quick stop at the Def Col Nirulas couldn’t fix with their Hot Choc Fudge though!

 

All in all, a very disappointing experience. If Iraqi food is like this, then perhaps this is one country I’m not planning on visiting soon! If not, I hope to find a restaurant that does it justice!!

 

Rating: –0.5 out of 5

Monday, 17 May, 2010

Journey My Way

woman planning

Some things are just meant to be – they have been staring you in the face for so long and you just never saw them! Often I get calls from friends and family who are in a particular part of the city and want a restaurant recommendation for a specific cuisine in that area. Or colleagues who are going out of town and just wanted my suggestions on where they should go, what to eat there, how to travel, where to stay etc. Add to this, the fact that I have been writing about Travel and Food for many years now, on websites like Rediff etc. When you put this all together, I saw what had been staring me in the face. A Travel Advisory. Sharing local insights about North India with inbound travellers – helping them experience India in a unique way!

Thus, Ladies and Gentlemen, was born JourneyMyWay. The Travel Advisory helps travellers customise their itineraries to suit their personalities and not go for the tried and tested packages which make them adjust their personalities to their itineraries.

JourneyMyWay (JmW) first tries to understand the clients in terms of their preferences, their comfort levels, what aspect of a city would they be most interested in, what cuisines, how much would they want to spend on the trip etc. Taking these personality traits into account, JmW creates a unique itinerary for them, giving them recommendations on what to see, how to schedule their day, what to eat and where, what to wear, weather temperaments, how best to travel, where and what to shop etc.

Whenever one goes for a trip, the most credible source of information are friends who have already visited your destination and thus may have local insights. JmW is a traveller’s local friend who can help plan and guide him/her for the duration of their trip.

Please visit www.journeymyway.com to explore more of the concept. Also, don’t forget to become a part of the Facebook Group by clicking HERE. Keep tuned in for some great insights, reviews and tips!

Wednesday, 5 May, 2010

Feature on Lakshadweep published



.
My latest travel feature on vacationing in Lakshadweep is up on Rediff. Lakshadweep is like a string of pearls. The islands untouched, the white sand and crystal clear water - its a vacation that dreams are made up of.

If you have a week to spare and 25K per head to spend, take my advise and take this path less trodden. It will be a week you will remember for a long time to come!

You can read the feature here

If you're still in 2 minds, check these out: