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The Netherlands – Windmills, Cheese and the Dark Swan

The ReasonThe glimpse of vast green fields lined with canal streams and windmills of all sizes greeted me from the tiny plane window as I landed the Schipol Airport and the drive to Leiden to meet Suruchi tai added to the eagerness of exploring a foreign land. Such is the beauty of the online world, that it gives you opportunities to meet a seemingly stranger over a few pleasant exchanges. Tai is Aditya’s cousin and we know each other only through facebook!The Dutch styled home felt so welcoming thanks to the hospitality of the hosts! My humble rented apartment at wimbeldon seemed like a pigeon hole compared to their spacious home. Chatter with tai gathered momentum over garam garam polis and experiences we had while staying abroad. We spoke as if we knew each other for a long time.  The next noon, I took a train to Amsterdam to continue the rest of my trip to meet my dear friend Hrishi and his new wife Sonal who were coming from Mumbai via Germany. The plan was to spend a weekend at Amsterdam with our spouses. However hubby couldn’t join and I decided to go ahead. The last time I met Hrishi was the day when I left India for London and I was really looking forward for this trip. I might add that our friendship has lasted over years now as also across continents! (In Mumbai we have been breakfast buddies […]

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On the Banks of Danube : Budapest

I have a confession to make. I cannot do a selfie. But I have this secret desire to get a professional photo shoot done in Black and White wearing a period costume in a historic backdrop.I think I have found my location. Budapest. I was pretty excited as this was my first European destination outside UK. We had no intentions to visit it soon but we tagged along with Dev and Preeti to bring in the new year.As our taxi from the airport drove from the outskirts to the city centre of Pest, we could see shabby looking flat style housing complexes indicating that we were indeed in Eastern Europe.Look at that! All of us exclaimed looking at a grand building with a Green-Yellow mosaic roof-top. The colours stood out so well amidst the blackened, old buildings in the city. As we said good bye to our friendly taxi driver to alight at our hotel round the corner, all of us gasped at the building which stood next to it.With the windows broken, it reminded me of the old bombed Passport office building in Mumbai. Was the hotel alright? Oh! Yes it was! It had retained its old world interiors and was bit too warm for Londoners. We speedily got ready to explore the city and feed ourselves to Hungarian cuisine. Preeti moaned that she couldn’t take the old world buildings anymore. They were simply everywhere. The streets were sparsely […]

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(Continuing my series on Parks in cities. This one on Central Park) माया नगरी, माया बाजार,भांडवलशाही राज्यांचे हे सुवर्ण दार.काम नाही तर राम नाही,काम नाही तर राम नाही,शहराला या आराम नाही. तरीही, भाग्यवान मँहँटनकरांनाआहे एक हक्काचा हिरवा गालिचा,सामान्य माणसाच्या यादीत असतोCentral Park चा फेरफटका. भटकता भटकता दिसते, त्या एखाद्या गरीब बापड्याला,Park मधून डोकावणारे ते पंचतारांकित शहर.तेंव्हा चंमचंमणार्या त्या मंझिंलींचीही भिडते […]

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