Wednesday, December 01, 2010

One of the many reasons to shop

Why does it happen that despite several, several shopping sprees; whenever you open the cupboard to wear something, you never find anything to wear! I feel, I am perpetually short of clothes. The list maniac that I am, I have even made lists of must-have cloth items, but every time I go for shopping, I end up buying something totally different.

I have a couple of dresses that I have never worn or worn may be once or twice. But while cleaning the cupboard, I reason with myself that I would certainly find an apt occasion pretty soon, and well, throwing away the dress without properly utilizing it would be such a waste of money. But, alas, that never happens, and I face the dilemma again the next time I am on my cupboard-cleaning ritual.

So, this Diwali, I made up my mind that whatever I have not been wearing regularly will go, and I parted with 2 bags of clothes - some given away to maids, some to charity. And it was a good feeling. Even according to Feng Shui, hoarding is not a good thing (of course, it does not apply to books), it attracts negativity.

So, now that I am free of negativity, I can look for adding some positive vibes (read more shopping).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

If I had more time...

I have recently changed my blog’s template and let me confide, I don’t like it too much. The formatting is all disturbed and I don’t even know what all links I have lost. There are so many things, which we keep postponing to ‘when we have more time on hand’. Changing the template is certainly one of those for me. Actually, I have quite a long list of ‘to-dos’…’when I have more time’.

Well, when I have time, I would like to
  • Finally read so many wonderful books that I have been diligently collecting every month
  • Finally read millions of magazines, stuffed in all corners of my home. May be I would agree to part with a few then
  • Blog more frequently and much more regularly
  • Watch all those wonderful movies which I have only been hearing about. Catch all the good movies on TV
  • Spend more time with family (not just ‘quality time’)
  • Talk to family and friends more often
  • Create many more expressions of art
  • Finally do up my home, the way I have been dreaming about
  • Do store-hopping to find that perfect dress or furniture, rather than just buying what is available; even haggle!
  • Leisurely shop in those little boutiques, which I usually cross while going to some Mall (will totally give up going to malls for sure)
  • Play games on Playstation. Never gone beyond ‘take down’ despite pleas from husband who is a Playstation junkie
  • Spend more driving hours and hone my driving skills (well, I can drive to save my life but just that)
  • Learn something new, something creative….. something like pottery, or may be knitting
  • Work on my vocabulary, never really did it consciously after taking admission in MBA
  • Read newspaper from front to back (does not apply to Pune Times or Pune Mirror)
  • Explore photography. I know I will be good at it
  • Get up really early, and sip my green tea with the rising sun ;-) (yeah, when I have time, I spend minimum time in sleeping)
  • Read all those wonderful blogs out there on every imaginable topic
  • Brush up my general knowledge (it is at all time low, since I proudly don’t watch TV & don’t read newspaper)
  • Travel a lot, see every corner of India, and write travelogues
  • Discover several more kitschy, India-inspired home décor stores
  • Finally brush off the dust from my poor cycle, and get going
  • Do something good, self-less
  • Play chess
  • Plan my investments well, rather than just putting everything in whatever comes up first
  • Acquire a green way of living (in the best way possible)
  • Learn all applications of my mobile
  • Waste less, use every product to maximum possible
  • Click a lot of pictures, and finally get them developed into Albums, and not just keep in Folders on computer. The joy that a physical album or a hardcopy of a beautiful picture gives, cannot be compared with just tapping keys and skimming through the pictures
  • Write a book (life will perhaps never be complete without writing something worthwhile, even if it is not a book)

I could think of only these couple of things right now, I am sure I would have millions of other things on the list….if I had more time.

Would love to hear what you would like to do if you had more time on hand! I am sure all of us have these ‘to-dos’

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In the name of Charity

I had a horrible experience at Lifestyle recently. Well, I wanted to buy sandals and went for the billing. My friend was standing ahead of me in the queue. The lady at the billing counter asked her if she wanted to donate Re 1 for the charity. My friend asked her, what charity. She pointed towards some Poster, which basically was about some charity initiative by Lifestyle group or something. Anyways, she did go for it reluctantly. What’s Re 1/- right? Well, not with me, if I am not in the right mood.

I went in next. She swiped my card adding the Re 1/-. I asked her that the sandals were for Rs 750 right, so why the bill says Rs 751! She said, (now, note carefully) we have been asked by the management to bill everyone with Re 1/- extra by default. And if somebody argues (please note…argues!), we have been asked to give back Re 1/- coin. Well, if you think about it does anybody visiting a mall really count till the last rupee while paying? We never even total it ever ourselves, and always dole out the money whatever we are asked for. Imaging the unsuspecting buyers, who are paying Re 1/- without their consent.

I was about to get into a full blown lecture but well, at the end I just gave her an earful that this is wrong! Even if it is just Re 1/- you are not supposed to add it with my bill. It is just human tendency. We will just let it go….why make a scene for just Re 1/- (like I did).

But this is really not OK. I have found this in several malls, they are asking for charity (Re 1/- or Rs 10 whatever). God knows, where this money goes! Who accounts for these cash? Why should I support a cause which I am not even aware of!Why should I pay for some company's CSR activity!

If I want to do charity, I would do it on my own, to the cause of my choice. Regardless of the fact that Re 1/- is nothing, I want the option of making a choice!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Amateur photography

I have always been fascinated by the sky. I can just sit for hours and look at the sky - clouds / day / night / star-studded....doesn't matter! It is always beautiful. Some pictures that I clicked recently from my balcony!

I will be back with more pictures soon. Though I am still exploring the options on my regular Digi-cam, we are planning to get a good one pretty soon. I am not so much into video-shooting. I love pictures, of people or nature. So, well, watch out for more :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekend fun

This weekend was superb. Saturday was all about shopping. I bought this kitschy poster for a neat Rs 115/-, which is going to adorn one of my doors, pretty soon!

I discovered another splurging opportunity for myself. I realised that I have fascination for interesting notebooks as well, and I have actually been collecting them for sometime now! In fact, the name of my blog ‘Pen-Paper’ comes from my fascination with all kinds of stationery. I am not too much into Pens though, so no Lamy, Cross pens for me. I can happily write with a 5 rupee pen.

I visited Either Or, and absolutely loved this travel notebook but priced at over Rs 700/-, I stopped short of buying it. May be sometime later. So, I settled for a pretty hand-made paper notebook, which can fit in nicely in my handbag. I have always been accused of carrying mini-luggage with me. This reminds me of a funny incident that happened 2 years back (completely unrelated to this post, but it’s funny)

I was on an official travel to Delhi with my team. The trip was for 2 days with just a night’s stay. Everyone was carrying a suitcase. When I reached, I just had a small overnight bag with me. Everyone kept saying how smart I was and how I have planned it so well that I need not carry too many things. One of them even pointed out that his daughter, who was 4-5 year old at that time, had a bigger bag on such trips. Well, well…………….and then they saw my handbag! “No wonder”, they exclaimed. “Your handbag is as big as your overnight bag. You are keeping half your stuff in that”. The bigger my bag gets, the more ambitious I become with my stuff and eventually, the bag falls apart. I never learn, and I do get a new bag at the end!

Coming back to my happening weekend story, I also went to Crossword (yeah, even after buying 10 books just a couple of days back!). This time they have a really good Sale, 15% off on all books and extra 5% if you are a member….needless to say that I am! So, I picked up 2 books – Braking News and First Proof. It was not an impulse buy. I had been eyeing these 2 books for sometime now!

Sunday was fun too. I was totally hooked on to FRIENDS the entire day, and I have completed Season 2. Nothing works better for cheering me up instantly!

Pssst.... For people in Pune, there's a fabulous Sale going on at College of Engineering. Books are available for as low as Rs 50. I bought 5 books (including hardbound) for Rs 300 only. Quite a steal!

Image Source: Chumbak & Either Or

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Social Networking!

I think I am done with Social Networking sites. To begin with, I am not at all ‘social’ and I don’t ‘network’. I am happy in the place I am, with the people I am! But I do still love blogging. Blogging is one of the very few things that has been able to sustain my interest for so long (yup, I’m in blogworld since 2004).

I read about blog or weblog in paper, and was thrilled by this online diary which can be accessed at anytime and can be shared with everyone. So, of course, you need to be careful on what you write there.

I was introduced to Orkut somewhere in 2005 and got acquainted with Facebook quite recently. Since Orkut was my first brush with networking with friends, I always felt more comfortable there, but soon I realised, everyone moved to Facebook, so I moved too. Well, I’m not really active in either of them. I have a presence in LinkedIn, though I hardly ever log in. I am there on Twitter also, but it is really too much to update status frequently. And anyways, whatever I update will invariably about or around books. I don't solicit or encourage friendship with total strangers, so I neither accept, nor deny "frandship" requests. But I love blogging, it is the only thing which I have enjoyed so much to have continued doing! Especially, when I started my Book blog, because I love books, and I can blabber quite a lot about them. while I am blogging to glory, I hear some voices in the background. I hear closely,guess what! it’s my father-in-law cursing the director of a particular TV serial of fooling us with stupid, illogical sequences, wherein people take a good 15 minutes to complete one sentence, and everyone encourages and contributes to confusion and misunderstanding. I hate TV serials, they just make me agitated and restless.

So well, coming back to Social Networking, I read in newspaper recently how putting any work-related status update is poor etiquette, things like how you are toiling hard at work, how you are staying late …getting it? Apparently, that will not go down well with your colleagues, when you are trying to befriend the senior management on social networking, and positioning yourself as a hard worker! See, exactly the reason why I just refrain from writing anything about work.

But I do love looking at updates of friends, of people I have lost touch with, how they are, what are they doing in their lives…looking at their pictures…..its nice :-)


I also wanted to share something completely unrelated to the post above. Two days back when I was going to office, I read this cheeky message at the back of a gypsy:

“You can go fast, I can go everywhere……..”

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Using Credit Cards well

I am quite surprised by the fact that there are several people who have no idea how Credit Cards work. First of all, most of these them think that if they have paid the ‘Minimum amount due’, they can pay the ‘outstanding amount’ whenever they feel like, and no extra amount needs to be paid.

I had 3 such discussions with different people. The first one had splurged huge amount of money on his credit card and paid half the amount. He thought, he will pay the balance next month but he did not know that he will be paying interest to the tune of 2.5 to 3.5 % per month on the outstanding balance.

Second one had spent a few thousands on his card, and paid back most of it, except Rs 1000. He had linked his account to the credit card, so the ‘minimum amount due’ was debited every month to his bank account. He thought he just needs to pay Rs 1000, but the fact is he would be paying huge interest per month on the outstanding balance.

Well, I got my first Credit Card when my first salary account was created. I was scared of credit cards then, since I had heard too many stories of people ending up paying huge amounts of interest on their cards. So, I did not use it for an entire year. Then I moved to a different city and started getting to know the ‘credit cards’ better. So, I took the initiative and used it. And well, there has never been looking back thereafter.

Somewhere in the middle, I had spent a lot of money on my card but over the years I have learnt to limit my expenses and work around the cards well.

So, the rule of the game is you should always memorize the statement and due dates well. Say your statement date is 20th of July, so once your statement is generated, the best time to use the card is immediately after that. So, you can use it on 21st, 22nd, 23rd and so on. This amount that you have spent on your credit card will feature on your bill only on 20th of August and the due date before which you need to make the payment, will be somewhere around 5th of September, so you will have ample time to pay back! Easy.

Also, it works well if you use only 1 card, or maximum 2. It is easier to remember all important dates plus you accumulate all points on a single card, which you can redeem for several benefits!

So, use your Credit Card intelligently and enjoy the benefits!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Ubiquitous TV and the school days!

Reading At the Edge, I was transported into my early school days. Those ads from yesteryears, those visuals….they are delightful and nostalgic. As a kid, I used to sing along all the ads.

Sunday mornings were devoted to Ramayan and Mahabharat. They were engaging and fascinating, especially for us kids because we did not know the stories of Indian mythology. It was our first brush with these great Indian epics. Of course, right now, owing to my fascination for Mahabharata, I have read several versions. I still don’t know and am not able to remember a lot of characters, but I know more than an average Joe! I used to be so upset, when the casting would appear and the programme would end, because then you would have to wait an entire week for the next episode. Those were the days when there would be ads before and after the programmes, never in-between. Now look at the idiot box today, there are daily soaps dime-a-dozen, which are repeated twice or thrice during the course of the day. There are atleast 2-3 breaks in-between the programmes, so that you can do channel hopping and watch multiple serials at one time. I just hate watching movies on TV with others. I hate surfing channels when there’s a good movie on, because invariably, somebody gets interested in another programme and then begins the continuous surfing and watching 2 programmes at one time. I just hate it! It just ruins the impact of a good movie.

Schools used to be from Monday till Saturday. Sunday would be a free, relaxing day. In those days, kids were free to do whatever we want to, no rushing for tennis classes or dance classes or any such classes. Invariably, the breakfast would be Upma or Idli / Dosa. You would get up to the grinding sounds of mixer, huffing / puffing / grinding the rice batter for Idli / Dosa! No such hassles now though. Idli batters are available ready-made on the kirana store next door!

Sunday afternoons will invariably be dedicated for delicious chicken cooked by mum, and afternoon siesta. Doordarshan would play regional language movies. Now I realise those were Award winning, great movies but at that age I never could appreciate the dark (read art) movies. I also regret not giving enough attention to ‘Discovery of India’. I would fall asleep watching it. I also remember trying to watch a movie (can’t remember the name right now) which had Shabana Azmi, Roopa Ganguly and few others. It started on a rainy day and ends on the same or some other rainy day. It never made any sense to me.

Those were the days when our lives would not revolve around TV, we kids would actually play in the evenings, which I rarely see with kids these days. If I had to grow up in this age, I don’t know what kind of childhood I would have got. I would have been spoilt for choices.

After coming back from school, we would take lunch. Though my brother would conveniently pass on his bag to me and go for playing football. He knew he would get bashing after coming back but he did not mind as long as he had fun! I would also make a ‘bechari’ face after carrying 2 bags, and try to increase his punishment for making me do it. You cannot win from an elder brother, we had enough fights for me to understand this, but you can certainly work your ‘little sister’ tag well to make up for the bullying he did to you to get some thrashing from mum-dad ;-) Sorry brother! But I was the ‘good’ one, and he was the ‘naughty’ one. I would listen wide eyed to his made-up stories, and he would make me laugh hysterically, which would prompt my dad to scold me for complaining later on getting thrashed by my brother! But I would always, always vouch for an elder brother. It is comforting, and fun!

So, where was I? Afternoons were meant for siestas, and we were supposed to go out for playing only after 4pm. Of course, many times I would sneak out even before that. I was supposed to be back before sunset. But those times were fun – running, cycling, playing! The entire neighbourhood would come alive with the laughter of children.

Cable channels, initially meant the local channels which would play new movies. Then we had Zee TV. I used to love ‘Farman’ on Doordarshan; and ‘Campus’ on Zee TV – may be they were on air during different time periods but those are the memories of my school days. My mum never let me watch ‘Banegi Apni Baat’ and ‘Hip Hip Hurray’ because she felt they promoted too much of metro culture. Whatever! I was also hooked to ‘I dream of Jeanie’, ‘Bewitched’ and ‘Small Wonder’.

TV should not rule our lives. I see it happening increasingly these days. They are always on. One of the things I nag my husband about is, unsubscribing Tata Sky. I hate the persistent noise of TV in my home. TV has certainly come to invade our personal space. There is always so much time in a day, but we still keep complaining about not having enough time because we waste a lot of time sitting unblinkingly in front of the TV. I completely disapprove of it. I consciously avoid wasting my time on idiot box. I only like to catch good movies on TV, or watch FRIENDS while I am doing something like cooking or making collage or reading a magazine etc. I will never only watch TV. People argue that atleast for News we should watch TV. I think, the kind of news they keep on ranting about is anyways worthless. Nobody really watches much TV at my home, but whenever somebody visits – my parents or his – it is always spent more on following the serials and less on talking amongst us.

Perhaps, in the earlier days, we were much better because TV was in moderation. There were 2-3 good programmes in a week. With so much of choice in everything, I don’t know where are we going!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Expressions of creativity

I mostly ride my 2-wheeler for several reasons. I am still not too comfortable behind the driving wheel, it is tedious to find place for parking, it is much easier to whiz past in heavy traffic….blah, blah, blah! So, I get too see a lot of things while commuting. I am especially enamoured by the variety of number plates people have, and even diverse messages on their car, on their bikes!

Earlier I had mentioned about this extremely cute message on a car “not so close darling. I hardly know you”. It really made me smile!

Most common ones are inscribing your religion on your vehicle, be it the stickers of various gods (ganesha is the most preferred, some also go for sai baba), you would also occasionally find a ‘786’ or a ‘cross’. ‘Aai-baba cha aashirwad’, ‘Daddy’s gift’, etc, also can be seen a lot.

Anther trend is creating names or words out of numbers. Many times some numbers are more prominent, rest are too small to even be legible.

In fact, what really prompted this post was the number plate I saw today. It said “careful! Stunter ahead!”. ‘Army’, ‘Press’, Doctor’s cross sign are also very, very common.

Trucks, cars and few bikes display names of the kids of the family. In fact, I also came across 1 car with the photograph of the children on the back.

Many times when I see distorted numbers, I fee strongly that there should be a standardized format for Number plates. In accident cases, one would never be able to make out the correct number of the offenders. A number plate should not be an expression of creativity, it has some purpose and when there is too much of clutter, distorted numbers and creativity at play, it just beats the purpose. A standardized format also orients people in grasping the numbers much more quickly. In current context, even an alert person on the road might take several precious minutes to make out what the number exactly is.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blabbering of the mind!

It is said grass is always greener on the other side. And not for nothing! In my hectic professional life, I sometimes wonder what could life be as a fulltime housewife. When I look at long hours at work, continuous stressful state of mind, follow ups and more follow ups; it seems such an idyllic state of being! But is it so? I cannot even survive one weekend doing nothing. People have called me weird at different stages of life. I like getting up really early on a holiday, others prefer sleeping till late. And well, with the entire day on hand, I keep wondering how to best utilize the day. I have this inherent quest for a perfect, balanced life. My passion for books and magazines is strange and all-consuming. I have them in every imaginable corner of my home. But we all have our idiosyncrasies.

I am overjoyed with the sense of achievement when a job is accomplished well. It is exhilarating, and it makes all the sweat worthwhile. But I have romantic notions of stay-at-home life…… getting up early (at sunrise), exercising, cycling, having green tea, taking in the fresh air of early morning, cooking, catching up on good movies (which I always miss, since I am at office), spending time with family, finally complete all the filing, bank-related work that I always wanted to do, finally read ALL magazines, books which I have hoarded since so many years now (!), finally read newspaper (from front to back). Ah! If only life was so simple and ideal. I am certain that I will not survive this ‘do-nothing’ phase for more than a week. It is something else to take time off from work and enjoy holidays, and something else to be completely out of touch from professional life. After all, it has contributed to my being.

Perhaps, perfect life is a misnomer. Perhaps, after a while, everything becomes mundane, and routine. Perhaps, there is merit in enjoying the moment.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Movie Review: Raavan

I was inquisitive about ‘Raavan’, when I first heard about it. But as I slowly got to know more about it, I was really not planning to watch this one….but this time, a movie happened to me. Unfortunately, I watched this one, immediately after ‘Rajneeti’ and really did not know how to pass time till the end! It is such a boring movie. Interestingly, Rajneeti was inspired by Mahabharat and Raavan by Ramayan.

My comments:

Mani Ratnam: I have seen Dil Se, Guru, Yuva, etc, and the only movie that has impressed me is Yuva, nothing else. ‘Guru’ also did not work for me. Why is he so besotted with Abhishek and Aishwarya is beyond me! No doubt, the cinematography is breath-taking, but at some point, I got irritated with very close camera angles. And it rained throughout the movie, as if it was being shot at Cherrapunji.

The Movie: The movie lacked story and any high point in the plot. There was no chemistry between Vikram and Aishwarya, and not even between Abhishek and Aishwarya. How all of a sudden he gets besotted with her, was not really established. I kept wondering why Mani Ratnam felt the compelling need to make this movie, wasting so much time and money of the entire crew involved in making it, and of all the people who would attempt to see it.

Abhishek: I don’t know why media is even saying this has got mixed reviews. Nobody liked it – plain and simple! What Abhishek tries to establish with all his mumbling and over-acting, was not too clear. His character was supposed to look menacing, but that never happens. His character portrayal was too similar to ‘Yuva’, which in any case, was much better.

Aishwarya: She looks bloated and not the ethereal beauty she generally does. I wonder why she is supposed to be the highest paid actress in India. She is extremely pretty, agreed, but acting……puh-lease!

Vikram: Can’t comment much on him. He was OK in whatever role he had. May be “Ravanan” would have much better scope for him.

Others: Ravi Kisen was good, while Govinda was OK. His weight does not convince us that he could be the tree-jumping forest native. But over-all, he had some spark.

Priyamani: She looked promising in her small role but what kind of conservative village has such revealing outfits. I don’t understand why in the name of village belle, the actresses are supposed to wear skimpy clothes. I am yet to see such villages.

Songs: Not too great. I don’t even like “Beera” that much. There was a slow number which I liked passingly, but not as much to even be able to recall it now.

I read somewhere today that Amitabh thought Abhishek’s character comes across such half-baked because the film has not been edited well!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Movie Review: Rajneeti

I was destined to watch ‘Rajneeti’ and ‘Raavan’ back to back this Saturday. So, well, I went along with my destiny, though I never wanted to watch ‘Raavan’ because I know Aishwarya cannot act, and Abhishek just overdoes it. Also, Mani Ratnam looks like besotted with this couple and just wanted to make a movie with them, no matter what the story. I will do ‘Raavan’ bashing later.

Overall, ‘Rajneeti’ was an engaging movie though it has received mixed reviews. I kind of liked this multi-starrer. Here’s what I thought about the actors and their roles, etc….

Nana Patekar: I read somewhere that he wasn’t too happy with his role or something. I thought, he had a good role. He was the ‘Krishna’, the strategist, always in control of the situation

Katrina Kaif: Why I chose to write about her first? Because, I loved her. She truly stands out in her role. And she has really learnt Hindi well. So, now she looks good, speaks Hindi and acts too, what else do you want guys?! I loved her effervescent self in the first half and the lady-like persona in the second half. She does justice to her role.

Manoj Bajpai: He was truly remarkable in his negative character. I think he should do more films, he is quite good

Ajay Devgan: Ajay can walk through this role with his eyes closed. It is the same old, brooding character that he has mastered long, long time back. But I don’t want to take away from his acting, he was good

Arjun Rampal: I think, his character was not really etched out too well. I never could decide if he was white or grey! He uses Shruti Seth’s character (why she did such a pathetic role is beyond me, and she really did it horribly) and yet has a certain vulnerability to it. He looks terribly good with his long hair and kurta look, but he looks too urbane and sophisticated

Ranbir Kapoor: He was fine but I think we have overrated him a lot. He tends to do a bit of over-acting but frankly he is okay. He can do better. His role was good but it required someone sharp and shrewd, he looked such a bhola-bhala. A laptop does not make you a scheming strategist (have I let out too much! Anyways, I am sure I am one of the last people to see this movie!)

Naseeruddin Shah: I don’t know why he was there in the movie, and the kiss between him and that lady (her name is Nikhila Trikha – just googled) looked highly inappropriate and uncalled for (‘script ki demand’!!!!)

Thankfully, there weren’t any full-fledged song to break the pace of the movie. Actually, there were too many things happening, so we weren’t bored at any point of time. But at the end, it seems Politics is a dirty business!

And how can I forget, the cameo by Praksh Jha! It was hilarious since I knew it was Prakash Jha, of course, many aren’t so updated about movies!!

But certainly, go for it!

(Image source: IMDb)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Book can happen to you!

I went to Landmark last Sunday because I had collected sufficient points to exchange for a book, and well, I just needed a reason to go there. So, I persuaded my husband and my friends to drop by Landmark, so that I could pick a book. I prefer “buying” books from online shops but here I wasn’t spending anything, right! So no guilt feelings!

I spent quite some time browsing through books and whenever I actually go buying books, I never can remember the books on my wish list. Most of the times, these books are so rare that even if I am able to remember a name or two, I am never able to find it on the shelf!

Anyways, I finalised on “We are Iran” by Nasrin Alavi and “Deaf Heaven” by Pinki Virani. The first one sounded interesting as it was a meticulous compilation of lives in contemporary Iran through several blogs, while I picked up the other one because I had recently read two of Pinki Virani’s books and I had been impressed by both. So, did not even think twice before picking it up.

Anyways, I went to the billing counter, proudly gave my Citibank card and asked to bill while redeeming my 293 points also. The lady left for a while to check the points, came back and said it is not honouring the points, not even 150 points. So, what to do, I became a fool coming all the way to redeem points and shelling out money. So, I quickly decided, I will take only 1 book and showed that I want “Deaf Heaven”.

I came back home and when I pulled the book outside, what did I see? The book tat came back was “We are Iran”. I was totally mad at that lady – first she told me the points could not be redeemed, and then she billed the wrong book. But after a while, I looked at the other side of this whole event and realised how a book can happen to you. I did not choose this book but I still got it. I would buy “Deaf Heaven” anyways, but I may not have got back to buying “We are Iran” again. That makes me feel nice and positive.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tea and Will Power

For a while, I had been thinking about quitting something which I absolutely love, almost addicted to. And the obvious answer was Tea! I know, some might find this whole post very funny, but people who know me, also know how obsessed I have been with Tea since very young age. The more my mum would discourage me to have tea, the more it became an obsession. I have gone to the length of being so badly fixated on tea, that the moment mum would go out, the first thing I would do was make tea for myself. What fascinated me more about late-night studies or early morning studies was being officially allowed to have Tea!

But anyways, the point is I have quit tea for a week now and it feels tremendously liberating. Whenever somebody would have tea, I would consciously say it loud that I don’t drink tea anymore! It feels good and it sort of reassures me, it boosts my confidence. I feel extremely proud of myself, and I know it is definitely going to have a positive impact on me health-wise as well.

I’m really not into soft drinks, so when it is the point of having something to drink, I go for salted fresh lime water or plain water. The amount of sugar, I have cut down, as a result is also quite a lot. I used to have anywhere between 2 to 4 cups of tea everyday. So there 

A week back, I thought it would be impossible for me to quit tea, ever. I decided to try this first for a month. In just a week, I’m almost on the verge of quitting tea forever.

As I am thinking and writing about this, what is clear to me is that it is really not so much about tea, as much as it is about my will power to overcome something which I thought was indispensable for me. It is all in the mind. The mind convinces us that there are things we would not be able to do or live without, but if you take it as a challenge and give it a try, you can surely make it possible. Because it is always possible, we should have that much conviction!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Contemporary Indian Design

The first time I got acquainted with ‘Contemporary Indian Art’ was in The Mint’s Saturday supplement ‘Lounge’. It featured a couple of Indian design companies which create quirky / kitschy home and fashion accessories that are essentially Indian. I immediately googled all these firms, looked through their products and since then I have bought several products from their range, and they have all been smashing, beautiful and definitely unique. After that I came across similar write-ups and features in Elle Décor as well as Femina. And it has been one awesome revelation.

After my initiation into ‘Contemporary Indian Art’, I have come across several such firms which promote ‘Indian’-ness in their designs.

Check out the links and get bowled over by the eye-catching collection each one of these have.

Design Temple

Happily Unmarried
Loose Ends
Play Clan
Fluke By Design
Art by Aarohi

And well, I have also designed a few things for my home, which I have talked about earlier, and which I will surely showcase on my blog some day.

Image courtesy: Happily Unmarried

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Movie Review: A Wednesday

‘A Wednesday’ has been on my wish list for a long, long time now. Unfortunately, every time I would catch it on TV, it would be somewhere half way through. I really wanted to see the complete movie. As the luck would have it, hubby went out partying for the financial year closing, so no IPL matches to dominate our living room, as usual I started surfing channels and as luck would have it, ‘A Wednesday’ had just about started on Doordarshan. Yipee!

It is a wonderful movie. Right from the casting to the narration of the story, the screenplay, the whole mood and essence of the movie, everything was good. Though everyone did justice to their characters, including Deepal Shaw (I’m not sure if that funny voice is really her’s), I think Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher matched each other too well. Anupam Kher as the Commissioner of Police and Nasseruddin Shah as the common man were absolutely effortless. Aamir Bashir did complete justice to his role. Jimmy Shergill was good too but may not be perfect as the no-nonsense tough cop. The other actors playing terrorists did not look too menacing but that was not the point. The main thing was that the movie did drive home the point.

My thoughts on why you should watch this movie?

• It is not run-of-the-mill song and dance routine drama, it is different

• The story is engaging and completely hooks you on, even though at the back of your mind you know where all this is going

• It translates the exact same thoughts that haunts everyone today all the time, into words

• It speaks out the feelings of a common man – you, me, us!

• I absolutely loved the monologue by Naseer where he speaks out for common man

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Mumbai has always enticed me but I never really explored it when I was here during my first job for more than a year. Whenever I come back, I always feel there’s so much to be explored, to be seen, to experience. Mumbai is so huge, unlike any other city. One gets overwhelmed by just sheer size of it. I have promised myself time and again that next time I am going to spend more time hunting for great deals on books to build up my ever growing collection, some more time for all the quirky stuff I have located in hordes of shops in the length and breadth of the city, some more time catch to the Irish coffee at Prithvi theatres and a little more time to just gawk at the endless, restless crowd of people who are perpetually in mad rush of their life!

Image courtesy:

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

SERIAL - killer!

These days with so much time spent at home, I could not save myself from the hordes of serials on the tube! Here’s a round-up on what I have been watching since last 1 week:

Sania – Shoaib marriage controversy - Yes, I’m guilty of encouraging the intrusion of News channels in the private lives of celebrities, but it does hook you on! And it is getting wilder day by day. If you ask me, I don’t know what is wrong with Sania? I mean, all of us know it is never going to work. But well, all the best to her if after all this, she still wants to go ahead!

Mann ki Awaaz, Pratigya - Briefly, it is the story of a small town, where a goonda-type guy Boy A (rich Thakur) falls for a middle-class girl Girl A and who keeps following her everywhere, and literally makes her life miserable. Finally, she decides to save her family from all the trouble the guy causes, and marry the guy to put an end to all the misery. Well, the girl’s brother, Boy B, asks to get married to the 1st guy’s sister, Girl B. I missed the earlier episodes in order to really throw light on why he does that. But anyways, Girl B is a pretty thing with a hot head and a colorful language. She calls her brother as “kutte”, “sale”. The conversation between brother-sister duo is quite entertaining, though filled with a lot of abuses.

I think they should not have shown marriage between Boy A and Girl A. It will surely give wrong signals to young people in small town and villages, and they would think that through this way they will be able to marry the girl of their choice! I truly feel that in the wake of showing the wrong things prevailing in the society, well we are ending up showing all the wrong things, if not encouraging!

Pavitra Rishta - Ok, there’s this girl Girl A, who is married to Boy A, but they are in the middle of a divorce, so Boy A can get married to Girl B, who is pregnant with Boy A’s deceased brother's child, phew! Strange, isn’t it? Not if you regularly watch these serials.

Dance India Dance - This is the only programme which I really watch….sometimes! All the finalists are amazing, but I absolutely love Shakti. I totally bet on her, she is going to win hands down!

Well, that’s that, I have consciously stayed away from rest of the grind. Those are totally intolerable and extremely, extremely slow-paced. I lose all my patience.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Life's not FAIR!

What is common between Shahrukh Khan, Johan Abraham, Genelia Dsouza, Deepika Padukone, Sonam Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor and Kajol? Apart from the fact that they are all actors? If you watch even a little bit of TV, you would surely know that all these actors promote different brands of creams that promise fairness! I think these days the frequency of fairness creams have also increased manyfolds.

I don’t know what kind of fake culture we are promoting. 90% of the ads would tell you that if you are not fair, slim and without scars, pimples or any other kind of blemishes, you don’t deserve to socialise! Are we giving too much importance to appearance? What kind of ‘healthy’ environment are we giving to our next generation?

No wonder kids have matured much beyond their age. It is sickening to see girls barely in their teens frequenting beauty parlours!

P.S. Read an interesting news

If you look at the film stars who are promoting the fairness creams, most of them are from the current generation. The companies need to expand their market. So where would they sell their product? Guys!

I had read somewhere that the idea of the first fairness cream generated from everyone’s fixation on “gori” bride. So, naturally, all the girls and girls’ parents flocked to buy the cream that could change their lives. The only party to benefit in this scenario was the company selling the fairness cream. Read a related article here.

There’s an interesting (read feminist) book called The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf. Read about it here. Needless to say, I’m gonna get it :-) You can buy it from Indiaplaza @ Rs 327. I'm getting it at Rs 299 because I have Indiaplaza Bookclub Membership!

Well, now it seems ‘beauty’ is no longer a domain for women. Hail the powerful people of Marketing and Advertising!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Good Homes

Of all the things I love doing, doing up my home is one of my passions. It is good that my husband does not have similar passion otherwise we would end up fighting on what we want to do with it.

I absolutely love Interior magazines. There are so many inspirations in so many different forms, one thing leads to another and you get something absolutely perfect for your home.

I am also a cleanliness freak. Everything has to be absolutely on it’s place whether or not there is anybody around to see it that everything is laid out perfectly. The last thing I do before leaving home for office is put everything in place (as much as possible, in whatever little time I have while rushing to office). And well, the first thing I do on entering my home, no matter how tired I am, is put everything is place. Starting from shoes, to cushions to our lunch boxes, the rug, the several remotes, newspaper, magazines, moving on to putting away the clean clothes inside cupboard…..and I do not settle for my cup of tea, before making everything picture perfect. Yeah, I’m very much like Monica (from FRIENDS). I remember, once Phoebe said about living with Monica, “yeah, eating cookies while standing on sink, is fun!” yeah, I’m like that too.

Sometimes when I find my husband cleaning the kitchen and putting everything in order, I feel overwhelmed. How one person gets conditioned to live with the other person! But frankly, I feel too grateful to whatever he does, because cleanliness is my one of the passions (read vices) not his!

Anyways, reading and skimming through hoards of interior magazines, I cut-out whatever colors, items or accessories appeal to me. I have bought a lot of things by just getting a glimpse of it in any of those glitzy magazines like BBC Good Homes, Living etc, Ideal Homes & Gardens and Elle Décor. These are some of my favourites, but I absolutely love BBC Good Homes. It is fabulous.

Since I’m also on to collage and scrapbooks big time, (I will share some of my collages sometime) I am right now working on my dream home scrapbook. It has color combinations, home accessories, etc that I would like to adapt into my home. I buy a lot of photo frames and wall frames. I love retro-style posters. Right now, my bedroom has the huge collage done by me on our special moments over he years. It is quite huge, about 4.5 ft (w) X 2.5 ft (h). My guest bedroom showcases, another collage done by me with colourful cover page of books (well, I did not cut my books, these are cut-outs collates from different newspapers and magazines). I have recently bought a colourful Mario Miranda poster (inspired from one of the ‘real homes’ showcased in BBC Good Homes), and it is just waiting to be framed. I also intend to have a lot of smaller frames for both our families’ photographs, which I will put on wall.

Perhaps I should seriously consider home styling as an alternate career option. It is truly fun!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Trip to the romantic city - Udaipur

Since I am on to travelogues, here’s a quick round-up on my trip to Udaipur recently. Udaipur is a quaint, little town in Rajasthan – no crowd, beautiful palaces, heritage hotels, no traffic, not too many places to go….what else can you ask for on a holiday!
Usually, people want to check out as many places in and around the city as possible; but we don’t get into that maddening urge to see anything and everything. A holiday is a holiday, so the most important thing is to slow down the pace, just go wherever you feel like, no plans, no hundred places to see. As a rule, we neither plan, nor attempt to check out all the ‘popular’ tourist places. We shortlist 2-3 places and take our time to go around those only.

Day 1We selected the hotel on our own. Just visited a couple of sites, read a few reviews and zeroed in on The Rampratap Palace, and it really looks exactly like it does in the pictures. It is a beautiful heritage hotel with excellent service, and just 25 rooms so there are never too many people around. I fell in love with this hotel, the moment I saw it. The structure is completely reminiscent of the old times, and the framed pictures of maharajahs, old advertisements, etc add to the aura.

We got a room in the first floor, which also had a quite decent balcony overlooking the road. Just outside our room, was the tiny restaurant that served breakfasts in the mornings – Continental and Indian. Outside the restaurants were lounging garden chairs and little lanterns. Right next to I,t was the hotel’s in-house shop of local items and also a spa. The spiralling stairs led to an open and spacious terrace, which had a fabulous view of around the hotel.

The first day, we hired a cab and selected a few places closer to our Hotel like Nehru park, Saheliyon ki baadi, which, everything said and done, are all parks. There is nothing to ‘see’ as such in these places, so we decided no more parks, and we straightaway went to the beautiful ‘City Palace’. What to say about this beautiful place, it just takes you back to many centuries ago. The Palace is huge and cameras are not allowed inside. We got a guide with us, so that he could tell us about the story around that palace. Apparently, a lot of movies or parts of movies have been shot in this palace like Guide, Hum Saath Saath Hain, a song from Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, etc, etc. There are old weapons too stacked in a room. Read all about City Palace here.

The Palace keeps hosting a lot of events and marriages. In fact, Udaipur had been in news for hosting Raveena Tandon’s marriage and Vikram Chatwal’s marriage. Now who’s Vikram Chatwal?! That’s the reason, I say, read PEOPLE or Page 3 more often, guys!
Well, anyways, I was so drawn to the place that I wanted to buy a book on the City Palace, and luckily there was a little shop within the palace. I bought a book called “Udaipur”. It has everything told by the guide to us and a lot of information about the city as well – about its festivals, generations of maharajas, etc.

That day we did a little bit of shopping in the local market and bought the usual batik print dress material, kurtas and the jaipuri razaai!

Our Hotel had a beautiful restaurant, located across the road. The hotel had their own collection of vintage cars on display. The combination of candle-lights, cool breeze, the heritage hotel in the background, made an extremely romantic setting. It was one of such moments, when you don’t think about anything and the moment stands still, which you would want to hold on in your memories forever!

Day 2
The second day, we visited the “Aapni Dhaani
, which is on the same platform as “Chowki Dhaani” and encapsulates games, culture and food of Rajasthan.
We also did a little bit of shopping of the rajasthani mojris. I bought 2 footwears – 1 in reddish leather and the other is quite colourful, but haven’t had chance to wear any of those in last so many days!
There is a Monsoon Palace at Sajjangarh, which is in the outskirts of Udaipur. It is not as big as the City Palace but is frequented by tourists to catch the mesmerising sunrises and sunsets!

There is a small cafeteria there to take a break while coming back to the city after watching the sunset.
Dinner again was at the beautiful restaurant of Rampratap hotel!

Day 3
We had an early morning flight for home. The airport is quite nice at Udaipur and not too many people boarding from there. We saw Dia Mirza, Priti Janghiani, Prachi Desai, Shweta Kwatra and Manav Gohil coming in to board the same flight for Mumbai. Apparently, there was some event the previous night.
It usually happens to me that whenever I see any celebrity (so to say), I don’t know what to do. I feel like staring at the person but feel embarrassed to do so! So, we checked in with all of them, without trying to stare too hard at them.

Overall, the trip was short yet memorable. Though a popular tourist place, yet Udaipur is still not such a hot spot. The quiet, little, laid back town is just the right place to spend some peaceful time. Hope I do get an opportunity to go back there again!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Goa again!

Yeah! Believe it or not, I’m just back from yet another trip to Goa! I hadn’t had a clue about this trip till last week but opportunity knocked in and I was asked to attend a Seminar in Goa, with another friend from office. I was not too keen because I had just got back from Goa and secondly, I am too homebound. I hate leaving my home for long period. Quite recently, we had been on a holiday in Goa. Succeeding week, my hubby went on another office incentive trip and hey, while he was still there, I got the news that I have to attend this seminar in the week after that.

Nevertheless, what you gotta do is what you gotta do! Usually, when I had been reluctant in going on such trips, it has always turned out to be fun. So, I thought, let’s not think about it much, and just do it.

The journey to Goa was painful! I would say whoever thought that overnight buses are comfortable and most logical option, don’t know what they are talking about. It absolutely did not work for me! I had the most horrible experience of my life, and I’m still so much in pain because of that one journey!

Anyways, we reached Goa at 6.30 am, and checked into Hotel Mandovi. What can I say! The story goes that once this hotel was the pride of Panjim and even Lal Bahudar Shastri has stayed there during his visit. It is well located, facing the Mandovi River and the entire stretch of road around it, is a delight for any tourist or culture enthusiast. You just need to take a walk down the lane. There is the famous Ferry boats taking off from close by, the lanes are cosy and charming, reminiscent of old times with buildings of yesteryears lined up along the roads. There is Entertainment Society, Kala Kendra and a lot of branded stores too.

The first day we took a little time to get used to the fact that the hotel was not upto our expectations. My friend was keen on even trying to change the hotel, later in the day; but I was quite OK. The hotel obviously has seen better days, but the hospitality is good, bathrooms are good and location was perfect, since our seminar was at Goa Mariott, which is quite close. We did check out ‘Fidalgo’ in the evening but I did not find it too appealing. It is a typical modern hotel, and looks just like that. There is no charm. It could be anywhere in India. It is quite good but then it is not special. And yeah, though Mandovi definitely has seen better days, it still has that charm. I had no issues about it. It was cosy and comfortable!

The seminar used to stretch from 9 am till 6.30 pm during all three days. We used to rush back to the hotel, put on our sports shoes and quickly get off to do some shopping because shops in Goa get closed very, very early by any standards.

The first day, we strolled around the hotel, bought the usual dose of Kajus. Then my friend bought some cute, little clothes for her daughter, we bought a little bit of knick-knacks and settled for dinner at ‘Rajdhani’ (which is almost next to Mandovi Hotel). Filled with excruciating pain of last night’s journey and wearing heels for the whole day at seminar, I just wanted to doze off (which I did)!

The second day got a little better of us. We slipped into our shoes and walked down the lane to check out Mandovi market. I bought some wooden coasters (which I had been looking for quite sometime now) but it was surely overpriced. Bought it anyways. We also bought the cowboy hats for our husbands (now we really don’t know where they would wear it! Well, that’s what they need to figure out!) I also bought cute Hot Wheels car for my hubby (well, yeah, I collect books…he collects toy cars…big deal! To each, his own. ) We also bought Mario Miranda Postcards about Goan life from our Hotel bookshop. It is a set of 16 Black and white post cards, and absolutely adorable! I also bought a book on Goa lifestyle and culture, and a magnet with wooden auto rickshaw that said “Goa”. So we played “tourists” to the hilt. This time we settled for an open restaurant just opposite Hotel Mandovi called “Quarterdeck”. It is facing the sea and you can just look at the water for hours!
My friend was keen on the Ferry but I did not want to go so late in the night on our own. I admire her enthusiasm to try new things, but I’m a bit cautious by nature, so we gave it a miss.

The only thing which was missing from my list was a nice Mario Miranda Poster. I had seen one in BBC Good Homes, and I really wanted to get hold of one! I must say, I have been infinitely lucky in this one. By checking a lot from our local friends, we came to know that a retail store near our Hotel stocks those. That’s the reason I have no questions that there is God! We almost ran to the place after getting back from the last day at Seminar, I did not want to miss it after getting so close. I must say, the price was exorbitant, so we just settled for color Posters, which we can get framed later. At Rs 800 each, I think it was OK. I also loved a notebook there but I put it back looking at the price of Rs 600. They had truly interesting stuff.

I also had plans to strike a good deal for some handful of Archies comics with the raddiwallah, sitting next to our Hotel. I had seen Tinkle with him while crossing, but they were closed for Mahashivratri. Imagine!

Catching the return bus was another experience in itself. When at 8.45 pm, we reached the rickshaw stand to get a ride to catch the 9 o’clock bus, guess what! We were welcomed with no rickshaws!!! From somewhere, we located a private taxi, even had the guts to negotiate rates for the drop at that hour! I must confess, I was extremely scared of getting into that taxi. I am not the one to do something like this! But he did drop us to the place, only to see the back of our bus…………….leaving! I made quite a spectacle, running after the bus and even hitting on one side of the bus, but to no avail, the bus just wheezed off. I was totally aghast at what happened! We missed the bus! When I returned, there was another bus standing there. The driver checked with me, which bus were I looking for. I said, ‘sleeper’ and simultaneously realized that the one which was standing, actually was the Sleeper bus. See I did tell you, there is God! No doubts about that!

My friend had a great laugh at my expense but I really had no energy for finding another bus for our return journey! So, I was just happy to be in that bus! When we settled in, then did we see that it was 9 pm then, so that bus could not have been our bus anyways!

Well, I would say, it was quite a trip. We did so much in such little time. Let’s see when I return to Goa again. By the way, we totally missed the Carnival, which begins today right in front of our Hotel. Such losers! And we also missed the Gala Dinner at Cita de Goa, since we had to catch the bus back.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Greatest Of All - GOA

It may appear like I am no more blogging here, but I’m very much ‘active’. I sew million of thoughts together hundreds of times, but they never got expressed into words. I have had a very hectic 3 months – work, travel, books, movies….I did it all…and ironically, what I did not do, is what I love the most…write!

Last couple of months have been good. First there was a quick vacation to the romantic city, Udaipur and last week, we went to Goa (finally!).

Goa is just 12 hours journey from Pune but it took us ages to plan one. I’m not a sea person, I love the hills. I hate frolicking in water. I would much rather, sit back and marvel at the expanse of green hills or beautiful, faraway mountains. But this trip was fun.

It was a family visit – cum – pleasure trip. One day was entirely dedicated to spending time with family there. On day 2, when finally we picked up our bags and left for our resort, we decided on taking Non-Stop local buses, rather than a taxi. Buses take longer routes and take you around the place, while taxi would drop you to the resort without bothering much about so-called sight-seeing.

It was fun to catch a bus after so long, and it did not really matter because the bus had only one final stop. I was enamoured by the brightly colored houses, along the way. From dark purple to deep pink, from bright yellow to bottle green, there were brightest of hues. There were quite a few quaint churches, as well. Unfortunately, I did not get opportunity to visit any church this time, but next time I would surely keep more time on hand.

The bus journey till Madgaon, and then yet another bus to Panjim were one of the most cherishable memories of Goa! Our place of stay ‘Colonia Santa Maria’ was yet another beautiful colonial style resort. It was just 2 minutes away from the Baga beach. The rooms were cozy and comfortable. I was amazed to see that 80% of the crowd was of foreign tourists.

We hired an Activa and rode to Calangute beach. We, atleast I, had not planned on any water sport. But just as we entered the beach, we were continuously hounded by those people. So, we finally decided to go for Parasailing. We were taken on a boat towards a Motor boat, which was already inside. We had to shift into the bigger motor boat. There we took turns to go up and fly. That is what Parasailing is all about!

Soaked in salty water, we decided to make way for our resort. In the evening, we took a stroll on the Baga beach and it was one of the most picture-perfect, romantic moments of life. You look at the sea and even at night the ambience is breath-taking with chairs and tables lined up along the sea with cute candle-lights! I always pictured Goa as a noisy, crowded place but all such moments made this trip worthwhile.

We went back to our room quite late. Not really wanting to go to the restaurant, we ordered Sandwiches and Tea for dinner at our room! Our room balcony overlooked the pavement and you could listen to the live music playing at the restaurant, so there was really no need to go there.

Next morning, we returned to enjoy the sun and to look at the mesmerizing beauty that is the Sea. So far, I had always associated beaches with noisy, cramming people, a lot of garbage and humidity. Goa was absolutely the opposite. Looking at the blue-green color of the sea, the short and high waves, everything was breath-taking and beautiful!

Our return trip was quite an adventure too. When we sat for dinner at 1.15 pm, our return tickets in Train were not confirmed. So, we were looking for bus tickets. The Sleeper, Semi-Sleepers were not available. The basic AC Volvos were charging 1400 bucks for a single ticket. We thought why don’t we hire a car, if it anyways will go upto Rs 3000. We got the shock of our lives when neither of the cabbies was ready to go below Rs 9000 for the trip. I even told them “we are from India only”. And suddenly, at about 1.40 pm, we came to know that our Train tickets were confirmed. We got our ordered food packed, called a cab and checked out from our room - all in a frenzy. The station at Vasco was about 1 hour away. Since we booked on sleeper, so that atleast we can get some confirmed tickets, so we had to bother about blankets as well. Finally, we reached station at 3 pm for the 3.10 pm train!

We had some interesting co-passengers. Since, those were foreign tourists’ quota seats, we had only foreigners as co-passengers. The one guy, who started with us from Vasco, was from Chili and has been traveling since last 1.5 years! From Greece to South America to entire Europe to India and then plan was to go to Nepal and few more countries. We asked the obvious question – “don’t you work?” He said, “I worked for 4 years, saved some money and started traveling.” Then we said, “so you must have saved a lot of money!”. He said, “the idea is to travel cheap. If you are careful in what you eat, where you stay and how you travel, then you can save a lot of money!” Great wisdom indeed, and I have seen this in a lot of foreign tourists who come to India.

As a culture, we don’t encourage traveling without proper plan, while these foreign travelers, just go on their own (many times alone) to explore unknown countries and unknown culture. Really inspiring indeed! I would not go on unknown excursions but I surely understood the advantage of traveling cheaper.

If I look at this Goa trip; since we booked tickets etc at the last moment, we spent 40% of all expenses only in traveling, another 30% in hotel room and rest all miscellaneous. Just 2 day trip! In fact, we stayed 1 day at home and only 1 day at the resort and ended up spending almost 14-15K!

Well, this is just our 5th trip in 2 years, and we are still learning. I want to travel across India and then, Europe ;-)