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One Decade, Split into Two. The Journey So far.

It feels like yesterday when I turned 21.( Hmmm..maybe not really) Naïve, hard-working, dreamy-eyed perhaps like any other person at that age. Full of ideals, idols and beans.How life has changed since! I am still that hard-working and dreamy-eyed girl. Although, not that naïve any longer. My one grey hair can certainly vouch for that! The 20’s have certainly broken the rose tinted glasses. Heartbreaks, Adversity, Anxiety, Disappointments (not just from the boys), Depression and Letting go.I have battled them all and I will battle them again.Just, a little stronger this time nonetheless wiser.There I was at 21, standing in front of the prestigious buildings in the business districts in Mumbai with a simple wish to work there in my lifetime. Little did I know, that I will land up a placement in that very building within the next six months! Here I am at 29, walking across the bridge every morning, with the giant ferris wheel in the back-drop in one of the demanding cities in the world.My twenties have been split into two. The first half in Bombay and second in London. Do I love my present? Yes. And do I sneer at my Bombay self? No.It wouldn’t have been possible without the other.It is but One Decade, split into Two. Bollywood nights and ice-cream + coffee lates, Beer, Reds and Pimms dates.Nerves with round rotis to dishing out fish moilees.Boarding a crowded local to whizzing into tubes, from […]

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Time Stops at Konshi

‘Shutting down’ sign blinked on the screen as I swung my handbag on my shoulder. I ran down from the stairs of my office building, straight to the Embankment station ignoring the lovely gardens in full bloom. ‘Not today’, I waved off to the mighty Thames. I managed my way dodging people on the escalators in the underground. A right, a left, a squeeze, manoeuvring my way between stations. I laughed at my silly three year old Londoner self. Travelling through the massive network seemed so daunting then and here I was ticking off the boxes. London is slowly becoming home.I have two homes. Well, rather three. It was almost two years since I visited Mera Bharat Mahan and four since I witnessed the Monsoon. So, we packed our bags for some family time.Yes, the travel bug had almost caught us until reality of adult world said, “Slow down, you need to certain aspects of your life sorted. Well, that’s what saner responsible people do.’’ So began our search for a new beginning, a place of our own in London which drained us physically and mentally. (I will narrate the drama over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, whichever you prefer). We were proud London home owners finally and then began the next phase of settling in (and we are still at it). The chaotic traffic, the aroma filled streets, the ugly buildings grabbing every inch of […]

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La Dolce Vita : Eating in Europe's food heaven

We work for the sake of the stomach. Ah! Surely, we do and what better way to celebrate the love for food and wine than to visit Europe’s food heaven: Eat-at-ly!!The country whose signature dish has made its stamp in all corners of the world. Yes, Pizza features as a default weekend staple in our diet. Of course, they have been modified to suit variety of palettes. (Gathiya Pizza and coconut pizza sure sound scary)The aim was to be in land of Pizzas. For a purist it would be to flight to Naples but we decided to venture to Rome first on this holiday. Italian cuisine takes pride in regional cooking much like Indian. Would a Marathi mulgi accept a gujarati style puran-poli? No. Would macher-jhol pass-off as a machi-kalwan for a Bengali? That would be a heinous crime. In the same manner, a person from Northern Italy would vouch for a risotto infused with saffron whereas a southerner will be delighted by fish. The Italians take immense pride in their food and prefer food served from scratch and use the best seasonal produce. Now, my Indian friends reading this would rather find it strange….obvious isn’t it? A key to good food? Well, spend some time in London my dearies and you would understand the moolah you pay for the food and quality you are served are not always proportional. Now coming back to expeditions.After a tiring morning at the […]

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Senātus Populusque Rōmānus (SPQR) : A page from history

The blazing sun shines over your head as you clench your fists. You have waited for hours together for that entry of the superstar. You have watched an exciting performance last year and the stakes are up high. Cheering, hooting, whistling, you are the crowd. As the drums roll, the action begins, your adrenaline rushes grow stronger. Every low is yours, every high is personal. No, you are not at a football stadium but watching a gladiator fight. The games have begun.  Somebody’s sword has cut your hero, you cry deep inside while he perishes to the ground.Entertainment and thrill go hand in hand at the Colosseum. The age old story of heroism and glory continues till date. Perhaps our tastes have civilised over ages but the emotions….who could conquer those?Our journey of Rome began at the magnificent Colosseum, a poetry in stone and concrete. The crown jewel of the Flavian dynasty. A witness to the glorious multi-cultural Roman Empire which stretched from Europe to Asia and Africa. A celebration of architecture and engineering. A place of valour and heroism.  A ticket to someone’s freedom. We wanted to take it easy on our Roman holiday. To absorb so much of history, we thought it was best to take it slow. Just at a stone’s throw from the Colosseum, we dragged our bags into a dingy lift in an old building.  Our clandestine affair with the ochre washed lanes began we gently unlocked the large […]

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Brussels, Mussels and more

Have a holiday, will travel is the mantra we follow. Especially with Europe at doorsteps, it is hard to resist. Bank holidays are a good excuse to escape the weary routine. So we took this opportunity to pay a visit to our neighbour. Belgium. Our travelling mates Priti and Dev decided to barge into our plan for two as well. We simply dropped off our bags in the hotel at Brussels and basked into the blazing Belgian sun starting with a visit to the famous Atomium. As we were too cool for a queue to the top, we simply went around the connecting colourfully lit up escalators of this 1958 structure which was built for a World Fair. The famous coach tour special ‘Mini Europe’ is conveniently located next to the Atomium. We tried to identify the places we had already seen and started making mental notes of the places on the to-do list. ’We can no longer bear the heat’’, we moaned unanimously. Any one up for a beer? Well, who could resist in the land of Beers. We strolled in the Grand Place and Markt that evening which had ornamental buildings and intricate sculptures.  The next day we left for the historic town of Bruges. Yes the same place where Anushka Sharma meets that whats his name guy in the movie PK. But unlike the idyllic town in the movie, it gets really really busy in the summer. After […]

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Paris is for Girls

It was a balmy evening in Bangkok as we sat down at a food court in mall with tired feet. Suddenly, tears flowed down my eyes. We were on our honeymoon and poor Adi had horror on his face, he had no idea what his new bride was thinking. (Ah! The sweet joy of arranged marriages) ‘’Actually, I didn’t really have a good time with you today. Shopping is so boring with you. I miss my girlfriends!’’ (Oh! Woman) So I was on cloud 9 when my two besties since school decided to visit me in London. It was the most awaited trip of the year, the one which had taken several months of planning over ‘watsapp’. Several versions of the itinerary were created and discarded. The best version was ditching the husbands, of course (two of us are married). The super cool version was when we decided to include ‘Paris’ in the list. As a new Londoner, I have always wondered about the bitter-sweet rivalry of the two cities. With two drastic views, I had no idea what to expect in the City of Lights. My only concern was our ability to survive with zero French speaking ability. But thanks to technology and some planning beforehand, we found it easy to travel in the city. From the super cool St.Pancras International station at London, the Gard du Nord at Paris seemed a little dull to the Londoner in me. […]

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Travel : Discovering places and beyond

People travel to faraway places to watch,                                                  In fascination The kind of people they ignore at home. ‘’What is the best time to visit to London?’’, a lot of our friends and family ask us, after all its their ‘’Hakkach  ghar ani manasa’’. We equally love having people at our place or atleast make it a point to see them in London considering its just the two of us throughout the year.With travel, curiosity fills the minds of our guests, ‘’ Oh! It is so quiet here’’ to ‘’ The pubs open at 11 am!’’ General observations and discussions follow and we are happy to give all insider tips and experiences.  But the best part of it, is the to do lists people have when in London. When Shruti visited London, she had every attraction on her agenda . The two of us were delighted to roam arround every nook and corner of the city. I was two months old in London myself and it helped me get acquainted into cultural ways of the English. The history and museums fascinated our geeky brain whilst accidentally attending a practice session of musicians at Cambridge made our faces smile. When Teju visited us on a cold autumn weekend, she couldn’t be happier posing at the ‘Bridge’ on Thames where Shahrukh Khan dances to Challa song. I couldn’t be more delighted to see Adi at Lords souvenir shop, he spent half hour selecting his merchandise whilst […]

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Paradise found : The mountains, the sea and a little adventure

The sky was twinkling bright and our stomachs were filled to the bream as we entered our cute villas by the sea. Just as I was relaxing in the shower after an exhausted day, Preeti knocked on the door. ‘’Dev has big hives on his body!’’, she declared panic-stricken. Very unlike Preeti. It was nearly midnight on this largest but quiet island in Greece. The sweet resort manager was not answering his call (save his otherwise hospitable demeanour), we did not have a single medicine in our travel kit (surprise, surprise!) and the four of us were frantically trying to call emergency medical help.Our prayers were answered as an ambulance took apna party-boy Dev away to Chania, the next major town which was 12 miles away for an exciting night-out. So as Adi and I tried to catch forty winks, Preeti being the Pativrata Naari spent her night with very loud nurses. We were the early visitors on this serene island where the ‘season’ actually begins mid April. The winds were still strong, restricting any sailing or diving activities. The gorgeous looking snow covered White Mountains were not accessible either as the water flows through the gorges till early spring.   Feeling a little dejected, we hired a taxi ( No, we don’t drive in London ) and drove from north to south of the western side of the island. The island spans 270 km from east to west, has two international airports […]

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South Africa: Top tips for your travel

It is an exciting continent! Its mysteries always alluring to the world.We have watched documentaries. We have read it in history. We have seen it in Bollywood songs.It is Africa. It is South Africa, the nation which altered history and has been witness to a saga of 21st century human rights movement. A true ‘Rainbow’ nation with 11 official languages and multi-ethnic groups.My imagination had been engulfed  with endless possiblities before I left London for Johannesburg, the financial capital of the nation unfortunately notorious for its crime rate. I didn’t know what to expect. Pretty sights, good food was a safe bet. But essentially the question was how will the people be? How good is the infrastructure? My journey began at the Apartheid Museum at Johannesburg. Just the thought of walking through two different entrances – ‘’White’’ and ‘’Not-White’’ a concept made at the museum to remind of those dark days shattered me. Tear drops trickled easily. Imagine not able to play cricket as you were a ‘black’ person. Humanity is the greatest faith. I am truly thankful for being raised in much free society, a safe place of today. The rest of the trip only had pleasant surprises and the interactions with locals were warm.The food has been greatly influenced by the migrants. The Dutch specialities include the malva pudding/the banting cusine, the French brought the wine, the Indonesian slaves introduced the famous Cape malay cuisine and us Indians invented the Durban […]

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South Africa : Cape Town : Cape of Good Eats and Priceless Views

It was a Big Day! The most awaited part of the trip. A drive around the Cape Peninsula. We had infact drove almost half way through the Peninsula over the False Bay from Fansschoek via Grabouw to the boutique hotel near Simons town. ‘‘Oooohhss, Ahhhhs’’ , I marvelled at every turn a bit to Adi’s annoyance. Adi only punctuated with choicest Marathi words instead!This route was so picturesque. We wondered what views the rest of the Peninsula had for us. Soon,  we drove off on the winding road with mountain to our right and emerald blue waters to our left. Dil Chahta Hai…..We sang merrirly (with twisted lyrics…..Rangile Din, Masti ke din :P) Within 10 minutes we reached the Table Mountain nature park gate at  Buffelsfontein for Cape Point or Cape of Good Hope . One can drive around the nature park to soak up in the gorgeous views and bright sunlight.  If you are little adventurous you can cycle or trek in the area or have a picnic if you have bunch of kids.  It was a Big Day! We were posing at the Cape of Good Hope! Later we hiked our way to Cape Point and the Light house. The flying Dutchman is an excellent way of going up and enjoying excellent views if you are tired. The sun was shining bright and Mr.Sun (Adi) was hungry. Time for Birthday lunch at Two Oceans Restaurant which was packed with tourists! The […]

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