Breakfast Love

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Some days, I love this fulfilling breakfast. Normally, I have a toast, peanut butter, eggs, cheese, nuts and a cup of tea(ginger flavoured) for everyday breakfast. But, there are days, when I love an Indian spread. I have grown up mostly having rotis or paranthas for breakfast. There was a time, when I also skipped and did not like eating anything in the mornings. But that was catastrophic to my health. Having breakfast is so very important – to fuel your rest of the day.

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Here’s a very filling and nutritious breakfast – daal parantha(flatbread made of lentil and multigrain flour), omelette, cabbage stir fry with some green peas(cooked in a very bengali way), some nuts and my favourite adrak chai(ginger tea). 🙂 After all some days you must indulge in

Daal paranthas, I learnt making it from my mom, who used leftover daal(lentil soup), and mixed it with flour,  roughly chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, caraway seeds and spices to make the dough and roll them into thin chapaatis and then with a little clarified butter fry them on pan. Loved them when she served with omelette and homemade pickle. I miss having her cooked food.. & that she is so good at it.

And yes, happy friday!! Have a good, healthy weekend you all beautiful people. 🙂

 

Then it was Bangkok

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We were unstoppable, and one more long weekend. Bangkok it was then, to explore a  little bit cityscape. It was humid, hot, polluted but colourful, bright & fun.

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Pink taxis were quite a sight 😀

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Bridges and wide streets and tall buildings, kissing the sky

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Our hotel was pretty much in the heart of the city

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The day we reached, we cruised the Chao Phraya River and what a sight it was!!

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We headed to visit the Grand Palace…

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Beautiful art and a gorgeous palace

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Interesting paintings that was telling tales of history gone by

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Quite a beauty, if you have an eye for art and history

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We had a local friend there, who helped us try out some local cuisine. It was yummy. That was some deep fried crisp bread with chicken curry

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Some chicken curry with rice. It had a strong peanut base and yummy!!

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A little bit fun in the night – Sky bar, Bangkok

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And you get a sparkling night view of the entire city, bright and beautiful

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The following day was a trip down to the famous chatuchak weekend market – an array of tiny make-shift shops of every possible stuff – clothes, shoes,  home decor, art & craft,   etc etc. We did buy small stuff, like spices, few souvenirs, but overall enjoyed the vibrance and tidbit of small eats like this coconut ice-cream.

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It was incomplete without visiting the Golden Buddha…and all I can say is that it was just so calming.

So, Bangkok was a short, fun trip worth covered. Dalai Lama, quoted “Once a year, go someplace You’ve never been before” I add, it doesn’t matter if you get a chance to go twice or more than once a year, but go….!! 😀

Srilanka, 2016

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Normally, there is so much you can explore in Srilanka. But we wanted a relaxed long weekend tied to a beach-resort, and we wanted to save the exploratory mode for a later date.

Booked flights, sorted VISAs, zeroed on the resort, packed bags and off we went to enjoy the sun soaked beach in Srilanka. This particular resort had a lagoon as well, but we chose our room sea-facing but to our dismay we could only hear the divine sea shores as the beach was some 100-200 mts away and slightly downwards (am guessing to avoid cyclone havoc). I guess if we had a room slightly above in terms of floors, perhaps we could get the view – this resort mostly had private cottages.

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This nice looking view otherwise had some coffee tables for the evenings, but who wanted this when we had the beach to relish. It was not bad though.

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It was serene.

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The first floor where normally food was laid for all guests, you can catch the glimpse of this beauty called BEACH.

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And what should I say about this…. pure love. Salt induced love in the air. Golden beach. And distant horizon. Yes, you can now drown in dreams.

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I swayed for sometime on the hammock dreaming…and occasionally looking at the sky.

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And to soak in completely, and remain hydrated, I had something to drink too, yes, by the beach. Sounds so much fun. No? It was 😉

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Please do not judge me by my plate, after a lot of swimming, and walking around, I was tired and lazy to fetch myself a second or later helpings, yet wanted a bit of everything to taste srilankan food, so got it all.. & It was delicious. Though I would not classify hotel /resort food as authentic, I would really wish to taste local delicacies in homestays, cooked by home cooks. None the less, it wasn’t bad and gave us an idea of what and how locals ate. I feel, it was quite similar to food from Kerela.

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Some local sweet …stuffed with coconut

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I don’t know why they are called string hoppers, but they were my favourites every breakfast morning!!! Yumm!!

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To offer a glimpse of cultural dance, the resort did organise a folk dance. That was sweet.

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The palm trees were a saviour in the sunny and humid weather.. On a separate note, whoever is reading this, please save trees or plant more trees and make it green around you. The earth needs it so much and so does human beings.

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Such a beauty

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I tried to distract and read a bit…, the idea of book by the beach is a poem to me.

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Srilankan currency – interesting graphics of ethnicity.

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And how exotic the beach looks by the sun downing. No?? I fall in love every time looking at this. 🙂

Hope it was worth stopping by my reviving blog :p

Am on sugar high!!

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Yes, I am a crazy Gemini!! Looks like the blog love is slowly reviving and I am completely kicked about it, the result is this back to back post and a little free time of course 😉

The title is however meant to be the key point of attention. I did not have a major sweet tooth earlier, and now I admit, I do – and mostly my cravings to have anything divine and excessively chocolaty – dark ones (not the milky). I was never a big chocolate fan but now, I can not give it a miss – the store visits are never complete without the chocolate buys or indulging in some cake. Really. I do wonder why.

No am not eating a chocolate as I have none at the moment, but I am dreaming of course of a rich, nutty or berried chocolaty sweet something…like this

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Pic Courtesy: Google

 

 

 

Photographs

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Gone are the days, when we would sit and flip the album pages and reminisce the good times captured and stored in photographs, and smile inadvertently. Now, it’s mostly the digital way – scrolling through the pictures on the phone or the tab or laptops – I can assure it doesn’t give the same joy, not to me personally. Yes, it’s quick and easy however.

Nevertheless, I am adaptable to the new ways and don’t complain at all, as I care much about the essence of it – “time’s forever frozen still”… (a beautiful line and one of my favorite songs, from Ed Sheeran’s photograph)

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(..as I was going through the images from my folders, I could remember having this delicious cake and hot chocolate on a very wintry afternoon)

Hope everyone’s having a good week otherwise!! 🙂

 

 

High Up There Somewhere

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My better half, and I are both travel freaks. We love nature trails. And at any given moment we jump on to explore something new and exciting. So, it was Madikeri, Coorg. A beautiful little town surrounded by hills, valleys and rain-forest.

The Nature Trail

The Nature Trail

 

Peak

Not so high.. but some 4000 above sea level… @ the peak!! After huffing and puffing ofcourse

 

The downhill!!

And the downhill and the breeze and the low hanging clouds….were just so heavenly

 

Wilderness of the Flowers

Wilderness of the flowers . Did you know the air and the smell up there….was just so fresh and intoxicating.

 

Heaven

Umm….I never wanted to return!!! 😦

Whenever we go trekking, we both start spinning our dreams of living up somewhere on the hills in a little wooden home, filled with love. We hope to fulfil it someday!!! 😀

 

With the right person you simply evolve!

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Endless notes have been written on love and relationships. While actually, the truth is what works for a certain couple may not work for others and likewise! Hence, every relationship is different. Unique. Because, it’s the marriage between two individuals who are different, and cannot be what the prints define, or how someone else opines. It’s a constant work in progress, a perennial discovery, adapting to changes, accepting situations, and above all respecting each other!

Love, is beautiful. Divine. Pure. And, when you find the right person, love follows. It helps you overcome all the barriers and helps you grow and evolve significantly as a person. It also gives you the much desired strength and courage to fight against all odds. Of course, sometimes, experiences are not so good, but that should never change our faith in love. And I have come to believe this strongly, when the faith is strong, nothing goes wrong ever!! 🙂

Who says, Life’s perfect anyway…! 😉 But, with the right person, the journey becomes easier, exciting and adventurous!

A Slice of Heaven

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If. If, only this breathtakingly, magnificently crafted slice of heaven belonged to me, I promise, I would never ever..ever…EVER… want to leave this for anyone or anything else on earth, even if the God of death, came knocking at my door :p

A piece of heaven

A piece of heaven (Image Courtesy: An Indian Summer)

I am a huge fan of this Indian Summer blog, it makes me dream insanely. Even more. I recently shifted to a beautiful place. Something really close as this, overlooking a patch of green. Stay tuned to sneak peek.. am just kind of putting it up altogether  😉

Have a great week ahead! 🙂

Unending Love ~ Rabindranath Tagore

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I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times…
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the same distressful tears of farewell-
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours –
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

Reblogging Day …

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The toughest thing about writing is …some days, the mind is all set to explode with thoughts, but the hands refuse to synchronize and the words somewhere fumble and fail to get expressed. May be this is what is called a writer’s block. Those days, you know… you simply sit and read…and RT or just RB (ReTweet / ReBlog,) or simply share what your like-minded bloggers, tweeple, post and publish.

Today, is one such day…and I couldn’t agree more than this…such a beautifully and carefully worded post.. Thanks Cloudcutter…you are a star 🙂

Souveniers by The Cloudcutter

“Some friendships are like our most prized possessions – a favourite old toy or a souvenir from the past. Things that we’ve probably misplaced or even mistreated at times, but have weathered many storms to still hold that special place in our hearts. If you look superficially, you can still see the wear and tear, the undone stitches and sewn-up holes, but it takes a keen eye to understand that these are the friendships that will always tug at our heartstrings no matter what happens or where we go. They are the ones we will always seek when we’re lost, and they’re the ones that will continue to guide us home when darkness falls. And just like our favourite old toys and souvenirs from childhood, these are the friends we will never give up.”

Home. Heaven. Happiness.

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Finally!! Sharing a little glance of my nest 😉

The Tea-Poy…. Ancient. Classic. Teak Wood. One of my Favorites.

My Little Corner

My Little Corner

Place of my all time love – Reading. Me-Time. Relaxing. Peace. 🙂

My Reading Corner

My Reading Corner

And… yes..my little joy of cooking, baking and inviting friends and sharing the joy is priceless 🙂

Tea Time

Tea Time

Every corner tells a story, as it’s weaved with so much love & care and attention 🙂

Heinous. Horrifying.

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Rape has almost become a synonym to women…these days. Sigh. Nothing seem to scare them. No death threats, not even worldwide protests, awareness, campaigns seem to help. It’s very very sad. And what’s more disheartening is there seems to be no solution to this and people think – in this country, they can get away with everything attitude, and it is their birth right to treat women JUST the way they feel like.

Down south, in India, seemed like a safe zone, until a few years ago for women to thrive in… unlike Delhi and some other North Indian states, but not anymore. All this f****** media furor everyday, is just adding fuel to the fire. And, that, “Kuch Bhi Kar Lo…Kuch Nai Hone Wala…” belief (Nothing is going to happen..no matter what you do) is just giving birth to more culprits on the way…more rape prospects and free will to abuse and mistreat. It’s a shame to mankind.

While I know there’s change happening, I know men who respect women too, treat them well, but it’s just not helping on the massive scale. Verbal Abuse, and ill treatment is no less. Read this, a very very recent incident, written by my friend and the victim of it, was shaken to death almost with absolutely zero fault. Who was this, supposedly, well educated, tamed, so called, civilized guy? I do not wish to run any campaigns, do not wish to take up any protest march, cause everything seems to be futile. All we wish(my friend, my friend’s family and ofcourse I) that this guy, reads this some day, and realizes what he did was not something to feel proud of, and that, will he ever be able to live with his conscience ever, causing so much disgust to someone for no reason). As of now, all I can do is thank God, that you are safe.

” Am I safe? People watched as he verbally abused me – By P.C. 

“ladki parhao..ladki bachao” – Lekin kyun?

Our Prime Minister has started a long overdue campaign to save the girl child. To further support his campaign we have ads on-air from prominent brands like “Ariel” and “Vogue” saying “ladke rote nahi, ladke rulati nahi hain sekhao” and “is laundry a women’s task only”. But then I wonder….. for what purpose are we asking our society to save the girl child .So that they are available to be further abused and berated..? So that a man’s bad day can be vented out on his wife, sister, mother, friend…or in this case a total stranger. Like me.

Yesterday, the 26th of Feb 2015 at around 1:30, I met my friend for lunch. It was a normal day wherein we chatted had lunch and then she walked back to her office and I got into my car to drive back to mine, which is across the Domlur flyover. As I was taking the turn to join the traffic on inner ring road, right in front of Mast Kalander and the Honda Showroom (Amar Jyothi Layout, Domlur, Inner Ring Road), the time must have been 2:15 in the afternoon, a well-dressed man appeared out of nowhere as I was trying to maneuver my way out of that narrow lane, and started banging the car, on the back windsheild asking me to stop…..and that’s when my nightmare started.

This man verbally abused me for the next 15 minutes, claiming that I just tried to run him over! Called me a “Bitch” a zillion times, asking me to get off of my car saying that “we” people are apparently continuously trying to run down pedestrians. At this juncture I would like to point out that I drive an 8-year-old Maruti 800, that can barely go beyond 40kms!! And I am all of 5ft tall and couldn’t harm a fly even if I wanted to, and have been driving for the past 6 years in this very city, without killing myself or another soul.

So, this man in the meanwhile who was dressed in a purple check shirt and a pair of jeans, brown ankle type boots and must be around 5-8″ kept abusing me non-stop in English using the word “f*****g bitch” and “f**k you” every 5 seconds…and kept insisting I get out of the car. I was in shock, but had the presence of mind to stay in the car and lock my doors. I couldn’t drive away because a crowd had gathered and had blocked my path.

Ah the crowd….that patiently waited and watched while this man continued abusing me, not one person thought to tell him, that perhaps you could use proper language. All the while he kept banging the car too, if it was not enough to scare me with his abusive language. I was trying to tell him, that I had not seen him at all, and if I DID try to run him over, that I was sorry….to which he replied…”then you better watch how you drive you f*****g bitch”. Finally after what seemed like ages, when I had a little space I took my car and drove away.

I took the U-turn and stopped the car cause I was shaking like a leaf….and I didn’t think I could drive a mile more. I think I sat there in my car…for how long I have no clue.

Today I am thinking to myself do I feel safe being out on the streets in this city? No. This happened in broad daylight with about at least 50-60 people around…and no one thought it was necessary to stop this obvious Psycho ,because it’s okay to be abusive. Is it? Cause it’s a man’s right in this country? Are we seriously in the same city where in one hand we are paving pathways to Mars and running campaigns to save the girl child?

Yes let us save the girl or else who will we abuse??

Link to the original article here.

Wednesday Photography Entry – Little pot of Joy

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Drinking tea in these little claypots, has always been my most preferred way of drinking tea/chai. The tea lover that I am, I can rave about its endless joys – the earthy smell, the earthy flavor, its simplicity, and of course that …it’s completely eco-friendly. Feeling the warmth.. cupping with my both hands and enjoying every sip, is what I call divine. 🙂

Cup of Joy

Cup of Joy

Heaven ….

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Tell me, won’t you just love to sit under the shade of a huge tree with its arms wide spread across, overlooking a magnanimous sea, and do just about nothing…! And let yourself relax every bit. And may be let every inch of your body soak in nature’s glory.

The Beach

The Beach

South Goa, is magnificent. Now, I experienced Goa in just another season, peak wintry time… trust me, evenings were really chilly and mornings were just so perfectly calming. And, there are some beaches which are absolutely untouched – you just need to ride a bike and explore aimlessly.

 South Goa

South Goa

Nature, every time you surprise me with your absolute charm.

Have a great weekend ahead everyone, and travel as much as you can 😉

Another Year that Passed…

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2014, when I look back,

you were not that harsh.

There were moments of joy, and moments of sorrows,

that quiet amusingly passed.

I traveled & explored, and lived some dreams.

Met new people, made some friends,

found love and much more.

Acquired new experiences & lessons in life.

2015, now I look forward to you,

hopefully, that you would be even better…

bringing in more love, happiness and good health.

For me, and for my loved ones around me.

Here’s wishing all those who have enjoyed reading me…a very very warm and prosperous New Year. I genuinely mean it. 🙂

Travel Journal – North Goa – 20 Sep

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As the dinner simmers slowly on the stove… I sit down to write, collecting my thoughts, with stillness around, about my beautiful sojourn in the quaint little place called Aldona, in Goa.

You know, I never need an excuse to travel. All I need is an urge to runaway to the wilderness of a new destination – to explore something new. So, when the urge sparked, I went ahead and booked my tickets to Goa, for a weekend. Well, it had to be Goa, North Goa, as monsoons cast a mysterious spell in that coastal belt. This time, certainly, I intended to explore more of its native life, unlike the last luxurious excursion, to consume more about the general lifestyle and cultural norms, and of course to taste the food, cooked home style. Hence, I preferred a homestay, which I thought, would help me experience it well. I feel, hotels, can’t fulfil that quest to savor the local flavors, both in terms of food and culture.

The North Goa

The North Goa

During my brief research I stumbled upon “The Only Olive”, a supposedly century old Portuguese style villa, restored and renovated. The lonely planet, Outlook, Condo Nast` and several other travel journals had strongly recommended. I looked up for reviews too, which seemed to me, a reasonably good place to lodge. They all recommended its hospitality and the feel-good-experience, well that is, only if you like the kinds – the rustic, timeless, classic touch. I went ahead, made my reservations. Though it was a brief conversation with the owner, I could figure out, this gentleman, was not here to do just business, but instead, he wanted to leave a fine imprint on the visitors with an ever-so-rich experience in true Goan customary style.

The Only Olive, The Homestay

The Only Olive, The Homestay

As soon as I landed, a fresh most air, welcomed me in Goa. There were soft clouds, all over the sky, but did not promise rains.  It was green – lush greenery sprawling all over. I was picked up from the airport, and on my way, I observed how calm and serene the place was, where people were in no particular hurry, and they wore a smile, which was not plastic – I like to explore this bit, during the transit time, from airport to hotel or whatsoever, in my car, as it helps me gauge a bit about the place. Monsoon had bathed the floras and faunas abundantly, that almost everything sparkled and winked in happiness. The roads were clean and smooth – buttery, magnificently maintained. I thought, it would be fun to drive.

The Journey

The Journey

Maneuvering through the narrow roads, and having crossed, several old terracotta roofed old homes and little markets, we reached the homestay.  It was an hour’s drive from the airport to the destination, Village Aldona, where The Only Olive was perched on a hillock, – a quaint little place, in North Goa, along the sides, there’s a calm river, that flows silently, cautious enough not to stir the tranquility of the place.. And as I walked up to the porch, I could take a sweeping view of the surrounding village, and listened to the constantly chirping birds, that need to be located with careful attention somewhere behind the flowering bushes and fruit trees, specially, an olive one, that the patch of garden boasts of.

The Only Olive

The Only Olive

The caretaker welcomed me with a gentle smile, helped me carry the little bag inside and escorted me to the room. I was amazed to look around – A very high celling, roofed using terracotta tiles, the old teak wood beds, tall wooden doors, the old style iron hooks to lock them, terracotta tiled floor, my favorite unfinished wooden table, positioned for dining outdoors in the courtyard, the old, style, caned arm-chairs.

The Only Olive

The Only Olive

Mug of Joy

Mug of Joy

I simply felt, I could touch the era that’s gone by. Santosh, the very humble, polite caretaker, quickly got some tea, bread and eggs for breakfast. The bread was a local one – rich in fibre, husk and pocketed ones, like pita, slightly chewy but very fresh and enjoyable, that was sold door to door in a little motor bike, piled in a cane basket, covered tightly with a plastic sheet, to ensure its freshness was sealed and intact. I enjoyed my every bite, and then decided to take a power nap, so that the rest of the day could be well explored, unaffected by lack of rest.

The Poi & The Breakfast

The Poi & The Breakfast

Around noon, I could not resist. I woke up, dressed up, to venture out in my rented car. Decided to start with the local market, where the magnificent church, little shops, general stores, etc. were all closely knit.

The Mapsua Market

The Mapsua Market

I drove down, all through the narrow roads, reached the Mapsua Market, photographed the vibrant, colorful fresh stocks, of spices, flowers, breads, vegetables, fresh supplies, in little makeshift shops and push carts.

The Beach

The Beach

After some time, went further to a couple of beaches – famous enough as the party hubs – Baga, Candolim, Calangute and further explored the Fort Aguada and the beach alongside.

The North Goa

The North Goa

The enroute was not so smooth – but it was fun wading through the roads, breathing in the air, that was so relaxed with a tinge of humidity. I walked along, splashed the salty water, looked across the horizon, and slowly retreated to the homestay. It was late evening, where silence enveloped the night and stars twinkled up there in the sky, which was fairly clear, signaling me, it was time to say goodnight…after a tiring day. Of course, on the dinner table, the steaming hot, fresh prawns curry, some rice, crumb fried fish, a veg curry and a green salad, awaited to be devoured. Santosh had neatly cooked and served the food. His services for the day had ended, and he headed home, to spend time with his flock, that stayed right behind.

Goan Fish Curry

Goan Fish Curry

Sigh!!!! Two days of absolute fun thus came to an end. Well, Goa is beyond parties and beaches, only if you wish to explore.

After a long time here!

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“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

It took sometime to actually think, after I came across this quote on Goodreads. What do I plan to do with this one wild and precious life… ? All my bucket list started popping up… I want to do this .. and that….but, all in all,  want to live life to the fullest, would make every moment a special one, add different colors to life, explore the world, become a wanderer and then at some point in time, ignoring all the worldly affairs, I would simply want to sit back and drink the nature’s chalice of joy…and jot down my experiences under the bright, sunny and azure sky, overlooking a green pasture.

P.S. No harm in being an absolute dreamer. 😉 BTW, please share if you can, what is it YOU plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Monsoon Love

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The parched earth

Those pregnant, joyful clouds

Scented moist air

Whistling wind, and the sweet chill

The steaming cup

A book in hand

Some dreams

Some love

Melodious downpour

Rain, monsoon, and more rain….!

 

The Ruins of Vijayanagara Empire

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History was never interesting before. But, for some reasons I find it now. The quest to discover more about the gone by era, sort of, intrigues me, which possibly has several poignant tales entwined around the forlorn remains of the times and people and their lives. Hampi has always been on my wish list to explore, especially to learn more about the crumbling architecture. And, I did not leave this opportunity when this sudden plan cropped up with a bunch of friends.

Well, Hampi, being UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, a sprawling boulder-laden region of the then rulers of Vijayangara Empire… is amazingly magnificent. The weather was hot but tolerable due to pleasant breeze and partial clouds playing hide and seek in this month of June, so, it was not so discomforting. However, ideal season to visit the site is post November.

So, here I present a set of pictures that I managed to capture through my lenses – The beautiful rustic, ruins and architectural beauty of Vijaynagara Empire, based on the southern bank of Tunga Bhadra river.

The Little Shed

The Little Shed

Boulder laden Hampi

Boulder laden Hampi

Disintegrating Architecture

Disintegrating Architecture

The Bazaar

The Bazaar

The Temple Remains

The Temple Remains

The Chariot

The Chariot

Danseuse

Danseuse

Tunga Bhadra River Bank

Tunga Bhadra River Bank

The intricate wall arts, sculpted figurines, stone laid floors and walls present a remarkable and picturesque outline of the empire and speaks volumes about the mighty skilled artistes of the then era. There are about 80 monuments, spread across, we managed to explore quite a bit. The place, where we used for lodging had some good books, I did spend some time too to read about the history surrounding the place, and it was fun.

A Note: The photographs exclusively belong to me, please do not steal. I would be happy, if you bear reference or seek my permission. Thank you! 🙂

Sun Kissed Summer Flowers

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Flowers have a mysterious way of hypnotizing me, be it in any form. Whether it’s wild or exotic, whether it has fragrance or not, they never fail to bring a smile. Fragile, timid, in variant shades and colors, they look strikingly beautiful.

Golden Marigold

Golden Marigold

The Rose

The Rose

Pink Blossoms

Pink Blossoms

Sun Kissed Wild Flower

Sun Kissed Wild Flower

On a recent trip to a nearby hilltop, I noticed this pastel colored wild flower, sans any scent, perched delicately against the mighty hills. It was beaming with joy, as it bathed in the abundance of golden sunlight,  so nonchalantly, happy & bright, oblivious to any uncertainty, any hail or storm, bad weather conditions, unlike we humans, who spend most of our time worrying what the future beholds, errr.. let me correct, what the next minute holds. 😉 Strange. No?

I loved it, found it inspiring. Hope you like it too. Sharing this to spread some brightness around…well, not quite on a Wordless Wednesday! 🙂

How Our Preferences Change…

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There’s nothing called “My all time favorites”, or “Love Forever”. I have realized, with passing time, our tastes, likes, dislikes and preferences change. Things we used to like as kids or adolescents,  might not be something we like anymore, of course, that’s the process of growing up and discovering life and blah blah.. but am a bit surprised. You know, I have noticed, few things I used to like before, I have started disliking them.. And things I’d hated, I’ve started liking them…Just for instance, I’d never liked long hair, especially since it involves so much care, you know for good, long, shiny hair. So always preferred keeping it shoulder length, but, for the last one year or so, I have started liking it, and am growing my tresses now…! Sharing a pic too 😀

Long Tresses

Long Tresses

Right now, it’s reached…just a bit above my waist. 🙂 But, with this …comes in a lot of trouble to maintain its texture and quality… Sigh!!!!

The Crunch, Taste & Yum Factor

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So, my fitness instructor / personal trainer, has put me on some sort of a diet and restricted me from eating any carb after 8:00 PM. And, all I can feed my tummy is with loads of vegetables, some egg whites and milk …. or grilled chicken/fish etc. The latter part isn’t convenient after work :/

Now, I kind of get severe hunger pangs in the evening, and since my training is in the evening, it’s nearly impossible to eat just veggies, so here’s the cheat bit – I sauteed lots of fresh vegetables – broccoli, french beans, carrots, mushrooms, spring onions etc, and then added just a little boiled, strained Maggie noodles with its masala-powder 😉 And I  did not complain .. 🙂

Good Food, Good Health

Good Food, Good Health

Morning Splendor

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This morning, the sky looked this vibrant. Yes, bright and happy mornings inspire me amazingly. And how we are going to spend the rest of the day quite depends on how well we’ve opened our mornings. For me it surely does.  Even if there are struggles that lay ahead, we possibly would have enough positive energy to fight it.  I believe so. No? 🙂

I have just had my morning cup of tea, and as I type this, my breakfast of fried eggs and toasts are in the making, followed by some chopped apples and nuts.

A New Day

A New Day

Stay fit, happy and inspired!! 🙂

…Your Dreams are Valid!!!

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The much anticipated Oscar ceremony is over. I think these awards thingy is a tad too hyped. Though, I don’t care much, but I guess, it matters to those who work hard to get recognized in the field of cinema. So amidst all the honorary give-aways, what really caught my attention, the most, was this bit of Nyong’o’s acceptance speech – “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid”.

Yes, her words, kind of sound magic to me. And reinforces my belief that we should not put our dreams to rest. We must dream big. We must live to see our dreams come true. Yes, that’s what Life is all about  – to give wings to your dreams and fly high in the scale of life…:-)

Out of all the nominated movies, I did watch Blue Jasmine, and I think Cate was very natural, and she delivered a fine performance. Her acceptance speech was genuine too. And, I am going to watch “12 Years a Slave” very soon.

Congratulations to the winners!!

Sweet People Around…

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Bangalore has been tough when it comes to auto rickshaws. It really is difficult. My everyday tyranny is inexplicable in words – especially with the drivers. I have observed they are even worse with people who are not the natives of Karnataka., or cannot speak the local language.  Few are good though. Just few. But yesterday, my experience was sweet. Extra sweet.

So, usually, after workout, I wait for an auto. At times, if I am lucky, I get one, in not less than 10 mins, and at times, it’s 15 mins or over. Some pass by, ask and refuse to go to the direction I say. Some ask blatantly for 3 times more. All this leaves me exhausted and irritated, imagine after a day at work and the gym. Yesterday, it took me quite sometime again, but I saw an auto cross, with a passenger in it. My heart sank. But, the auto suddenly stopped ahead, and the passenger, I saw stepped out, after paying him. I sighed a relief, I immediately rushed to ask the auto, if he would go. He agreed too, without asking extra fare or anything else. I softly whispered a little prayer, thanking God and sat inside.

Apparently, the driver told me, “Madam, the guy got down, seeing that you were waiting anxiously, and decided to walk ahead. He had to get down further ahead.” I could not help but smile. Little ahead, I almost screamed out a big “Thank You” to the guy, I noticed, who was walking ahead. He smiled and gently waved. 🙂

This world would have been a difficult place to live, without these sweet people around. Let us show our kindness in whatever little way, possibly we can.

I am Me, Myself

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I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.” – Virginia Satir

Every Picture Has a Story – Kolkata Diary

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Calcutta, hasn’t changed much. And, I hope it does not. There is something very intriguing about the city – I wonder if it is the fragments of history in some nook and corner or it’s the prominence of modern day progressions. Or may be it is just the fine amalgamation of both. Definitely not to forget.. its rich, vibrant, boisterous life & culture, that will impress you instantly.

My recent visit to Kolkata, and some nearby towns and countryside was quite satisfactory. It was a photo journey, so to say… and most pictures reflected a very classic frame, so I have processed them slightly, to retain and radiate the age-old effect!

Stillness

Stillness

I’d wished if time just paused. The bridge as a backdrop and the dawdling cargo ships, over the holy river Ganga, far from the rat race and hustle bustle was a perfect prop and pinch to the nostalgic feel.

The Bridge

The Bridge

And life was just the opposite at the other end. People, of all sorts – Babu Sahibs, Clerks, Hawkers, Peddlers.. and also probably a few… who simply came to tour the city, rushed to board these economical launches, and longed to be ferried to the opposite bank, so that they don’t get late to work.

Timeless Gaze

Timeless Gaze

Many come and wait at the dockyards, aiming to reach their destinations sooner… to make their both ends meet and probably also those…who can’t afford the comforts of a taxi or a metro ride.

Tough Ride

Tough Ride

So the river is frequented by these fishermen too, who struggle for their everyday catch.

The Window Love

The Window Love

Off the river, you witness these beautiful buildings that exude such intricate nuances of old, colonial architecture. The distinct wooden window frames, paints peeling off, and a home that whispers a story.

The Wait

The Wait

Calcutta diary would be incomplete without mentioning these yellow colored vehicles, which stops at just a mere call “TAXI” and the driver pulls over and cranes his neck to ask “ko thai jaaben” (where to?)”

The Enchanting Victoria

The Enchanting Victoria

This classic heritage piece, the monument, the museum, holds on to a significant past. You strangely feel you are taken back to the not so golden period, politically I mean.

Still there... The Mighty Hand Rickshaw

Still there… The Mighty Hand Rickshaw

I was quite baffled, to see the hand rickshaws being used. Still. This can be the worst form of bearing the burden – the human burden I mean.

Nearby towns and countryside picture posts, has to wait, but will do it shortly. 🙂

A Promise to Myself, This Year! Promise Yourself…too!

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To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”  – Christian D. Larson

Travel Wonders

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Holidays don’t have to be to exotic locations always, or luxurious, or for that matter extravagant. Even visiting a small town, or a countryside can be a very interesting experience in itself.

Evening Muse

Evening Muse

It not just soothes you, but helps you connect with the roots, when you meet with common folks and get introduced to their simple life with no artifice at all.  I took one such, very recently. Will write more soon. 

And the snowfall begins…!

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On WordPress I meant… 😀

I have never personally witnessed a snowfall, and I am aiming to visit some place next year to experience that. One of the MUST do things, from my Bucket List!!

Source: Natural HD Wallpapers.com

Source: Natural HD Wallpapers.com

And yes, loving the onset of slight wintry chills here 🙂

Gulzaar Sa’b – A Mere Reflection of Eternal Classic

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I had the golden opportunity to meet Gulzar Sa’b, at the Blr Lit fest, this season. And believe me, I could not have been happier meeting anyone else on earth. His poetry has always mesmerized me, and after meeting him, I am in complete awe of this man. It actually left me wondering, if men … do exist with such a fine demeanor and eloquence..! Do they? In reality? 😀

Look at his face, it exudes such wisdom, poise and charm.  And, his aura is equally infectious when you meet him up, close & personal – Very humble, polite and grounded.

The charming Man

The charming Man

“Dil dhoondhta hai, phir wahi, fursat ke raat din” (Once more, my heart yearns for those leisurely days) – The Great Gulzaar Sa’b (If you can… listen to the music. It will stir up your mind surely)

Recipe on Request :-)

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Dear Girl Next Door, this post is specially for you, on your request. So, here’s how I made this Khichdi; 🙂

Portion: Can serve two people

Ingredients

  • Half Cup, Basmati rice, washed and drained
  • 1/4 cup yellow mung dal
  • Mediium size, ripe tomato, coarsely chopped, 1 (Optional
  • One medium size potato, peeled and diced
  • One Onion, thinly sliced
  • A cup of cauliflower florets(little bigger chunks if you are to pressure cook), french beans, carrots
  • Handful of green peas
  • One tablespoon of ginger paste
  • Couple of green chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala powder (green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper)
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • One or two bay leaves, 1 black cardamom, 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • Mustard Oil / Ghee / Refined Oil
  • Sugar / Salt as per your taste

The Know How;

  • In a pan, dry roast the mung dal until the lentils are gently browned. Once, done, let it cool and keep it separate
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil / ghee, and add bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon stick. Saute for a few seconds
  • Add the onions, green chillies and the veggies(green peas, save it to add towards the end) and a pinch of sugar. Now stir fry for a couple of minutes until the veggies are slightly colored
One Pot Meal - Khichdi

One Pot Meal – Khichdi

  • Add the ginger paste, and the spices. Mix everything and keep stirring
  • Now you can add the lentils and rice. Mix it well
  • Add one and a half cup of hot water and sprinkle some salt and garam masala.
  • Cover the lid and pressure cook until two whistles, and then lower the flame of stove and let it rest for a couple of minutes
  • Turn off the stove and wait for the pressure to drop on its own.
  • You can then add some clarified butter and serve it hot with pickle and fritters or fries
Moong Dal Khichdi

Moong Dal Khichdi

A few things:

  • You can add more of veggies and little rice and make it healthier
  • You can cook this in a pot too, but the cooking time would be extra, plus more water would be needed(hot water in both cases)
  • You can also use a mix of lentils (Masoor Dal, Mung Dal, and Tuar Dal)
  • If you are using frozen peas, put them in a bowl of water(room temperature) and keep changing it for a couple of times unless they defrost. This will retain the texture and not make the peas chewy

Please try and let me know if you liked it. 🙂

You Know Why Books Are My Best Pals?

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Because you can always reach out to them whenever you want, whichever hour you want. They impart indefinite knowledge. They inspire you in several ways. They are so dependable and the bond only grows stronger day by day!

Books (marketmybook.in)

Books (marketmybook.in)

They are the most reliable companions of all times. 🙂

Getting Used to New Gadgets & OS

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It’s only when you switch to new, trending gadgets and its Operating Systems, you realize that it can drive you nuts with its multiple features and apps. Have recently owned a new sleek Ultrabook, Windows 8, Sony Vaio series, and the sexy HTC, Desire 600 – needless to say… am slowly lowwving it 🙂

Well, laptop, I bought from a very convenient standpoint, wanted something lighter, primarily since I travel a lot and a little heavier in size becomes unnecessary burden on my shoulders.

Sony Vaio Ultrabook(engadget.com)

Sony Vaio Ultrabook(engadget.com)

The battle over phone was between Apple and other sleek phones, and my brother rightly convinced me for an HTC. it’s again lighter and very user friendly.

HTC Desire 600 (htc.com)

HTC Desire 600 (htc.com)

– Gadget Freak, me!

A Mesmerizing Song Today!

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The classic movie, “Umrao Jaan“, has some of the best musical scores of lifetime. But this one, in particular, I find it so soulful. The lyrics, the music, the song, the rythm, is so very mesmerizing.

Asha Bhosle, has always been the most favorite, awe-inspiring singer to me. She has mysteriously weaved some sort of magical ecstasy into this piece, that it leaves you nothing but poignant, and makes you want to dance in trance.

“Dil cheez kya hai, aap meri jaan leejiye, bas ek baar…bas ek baar… mera kahaa, maan leejiye” – …And yes, this, I am not translating…’cause it will lose its essence otherwise. 🙂