Monday, September 19, 2016

Kasauli

Kasauli is a beautiful hill station just an hour and half away from Chandigarh. This small little town was once a British territory during British  colonisation. Remnants of that era can still be seen in this hill station.


Kasauli has a small little market Street which is called the mall road. Tibetan clothes , street good and garam garam jalebis are some of the things to look forward to.
Right on the mall road is the ancient church built by the British.
Another place worth visiting is the Man key point. It us at a hill Top which has a great view and a hanuman temple. There is a long flight of stairs that have to be stepped on to get there but all worth the effort.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mamagotos, Sector 29 Gurgaon

After seeing much success on opening their outlet in Khan Market , Mamagotos has come to Gurgaon. This cozy Chinese restaurant offers a range of Oriental food and beverages. It is located in the spare next to the main square therefore parking is never a problem.



I especially liked the comfortable black cushy sofas which are the main seating options.

A large Budha mural adorns one of the walls while right next to the mural, a rack full of similar golden cat statues gives thd place it's own unique touch. The ambience gives a very oriental feel, music is soft and food is good.

Great place for a hot scrumptious dinner. Try their grilled fish, chestnut spring roles, schezwan chicken, soups! All good.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

ADDAMS HOUSE, Gurgaon

This quirky new restraunt which will be opening shortly in Gurgaon is something to look forward to. The decor inside is quite different from the usual restaurant and bars in Gurgaon. It is a theme based restraunt focused on  fictional Aadams family ( The  Addamses are a close knit extended family  with decidedly macabre interests and supernatural abilities from the American soap and comic book hit series) and presenting a spooky ambiance. 









Located in sector 29, gurgaon , I was happy to see the small details that they had looked into to get the theme correct. They had various statues of these characters from the aadams house series, dim lighting , a lot of red lighting along the staircase, cobweb designed back rest for chairs, chandeliers etc. Also various unique cocktails and mock tails to go with the theme of the restraunt. The food was really good and so was the music.

They definitely got the spook on!


Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Run for Kids!

This Sunday was just very special. It all began with a idea which was circulated by one of our riders during a casual bike ride. The idea was that we encourage kids staying at nearby villages to run by organising a race for them. Little by little we put together the logistics and requirements for the race and finally today was the D day.
These kids belonged to economically weaker backgrounds and took to preparing for the race like it was an olympic to be run and prepared hard for it.

It was joy to see them come for the race in good numbers and run so enthusiastically!

We had organized 2 runs! One for 12 years and below age group and one for 13 years and above age group. Distance to be covered was 2 kilometers for the younger ones and 3 kilometers for the elder ones.

Here are some of the clicks.
The whole bunch of adorable kids who ran the race!

Getting ready to race..taking positions

And they run enthusiastically


Kids gathering for some refreshments





And a session on introductions and their likes and dislikes
Winners of the Race for older kids


Award ceremony
Award ceremony..The smile on this kids face on getting the football was just adorable!


Rehydration themselves with some fruit juice and biscuits


Monday, March 21, 2016

Thoughts unplugged

Heaven is not a place,  it's a state of mind!
A state of mind where you are content and happy.
It can be achieved hereon earth.

A beautiful place , where life is comfortable and all fun and games is a myth...heaven is a myth. Cause humans tend to get bored of monotony!heaven is a state of mind!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Rustic Ride

The alarms were set for 6 am yesterday night in order to start early for the Sunday ride. It had been raining cats and dogs the whole night and I was not sure the if the weather would be conducive for riding the next morning but surprisingly the rain Gods relented and it was all clear in the morning.

The target was another 50 kilometer ride to be completed in 2 hours. We started on time and maintained a speed of about 25 kilometers /hr.

On completing half of the distance, just before we were ready to make a pit stop for breakfast and tea, we met with a massive road block. Not a vehicular roadblock but a sheep herd road block! The sheep had been herded all the way from Jodhpur,  Rajasthan to Gurgaon. Here are some of the clicks.

The road block by herd of sheep.



We reached the camp site where the shepherds were camping with these herds. On interacting with them we realised that they had herded the sheep over 500 kms by road from their desert land to the fertile lands of haryana so that the sheep could feed on the freshly cut mustard plants thrown off by farmers here.

With a baby goat..as I held it close to me I admired it's soft shiny coat. The shepherd was ready to sell it to me for a 1000 bucks. I didn't have the heart to seperate it from its mother St such a tender age!

 The shepherd with his visibly loud coloured turban! Admire his traditional attire of pristine white dhoti (pants) and Kurta (shirt) and the bright red turban.
I






With the whole shepherd family. This was really the high point of the ride today! Meeting the shepherd family, listening to their sob stories on life struggles and poor money, offering them money for a few clicks, admiring their attire and petting their sheep! Fun!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Rain ride!

The Thunder God was exceptionally generous on Gurgaon today! It's been raining cats and dogs since last night. My biking buddies were not sure whether we will be doing a ride in the morning today cause of the treacherous weather but the Rain God was smarter. It was all clear when we started out at 6.15 in the morning but a few kilometers into the ride , when it was too late for us to turn back,  it started to rain heavily.

Clear skies when we started out


On the way

The rain Gods sending their army in

Pit stop for chai at a local pawn shop. The locals warming themselves up by lighting a fire as the rain comes in and it gets a bit chilli.

Drenched in the rain

Scary Sky
Rode for 25 kilometers during which half of the time it rained. But that didn't deter us. We continued forward as the rain pelted down on us. Horrible as it may sound but the truth was that it was an amazing experience. I had mud all over me by the time we got to our mid way destinition but riding in the rain was pure pleasure.

Stopped at a resort for some hot tea and breakfast.

By the time we reached midway and stopped for breakfast , the sun was up and smiling at us again. We sat out in the gardens , soaked in the sun and leg those drenched clothes dry up. 



The ride back was eventless and smooth . A new buddy had joined us and we had to stop a couple of times to make sure her could catch up. But kudos to him, he did not give up.

Friday, February 12, 2016

My Oscar Winner

So, I have chosen my Oscar winner! It's the Bridge of spies. Steven Spielberg has created yet another gripping thriller with some excellent cinematography thrown in.

Image from Google


Tom Hanks plays the lead role of an insurance lawyer based in America who is coerced into being the criminal defence lawyer for a Russian spy caught by US intelligence. This is set in the Cold war era , post world war 2 when espionage was  common. 

The general expectation from him is not to plead the case much so that the Russian spy loses the case and is given a death sentence. However Tom Hanks fights the case tooth and nail and gets the sentence reduced to a life imprisonment. 

Meanwhile an American pilot who is sent to capture certain photos of sensitive areas in Russia is captured by the Russians. Also an American student studying in Germany is caught by East Germans while he stealthily moves in for West Germany to East Germany without proper papers. 

Tom Hanks is then sent to Germany to negotiate with the Germans and the Russians to release the 2 Americans in exchange for the Russian spy. He is able to do that even though the other side talks tough.

For me the high point of the movie was the brilliant creation of the aircraft crash scene where the airforce pilot ejects from the plane once it is hit by a missile. That was some brilliant cinematography. Another ace by Mr Spielberg!

The reasons why I like this movie so much are:
  1. It's based on a true story
  2. It has a historical element in it. It captures the friction between USSR and USA during the Cold war era and also the division of Germany into East and West Germany
  3. It portrays how innocent people are sacrificed for bigger national interests. How the so called spies are driven into espionage by intelligence agencies and helpless they are on being captured by the enemy.
  4. Great acting by Tom Hank and the rest of actors in the movie.
  5. Gripping thriller. It never slows down even once in the movie.
  6. Tells a story about a humane lawyer who can understand the individual and his desires (the Russian spy) rather than being driven by nationalities and patriotism.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Oscar Ritual

I am so excited! The list of Oscar nominated movies is out! As the run up to the awards continues, I am following my yearly ritual of catching up on all the Oscar nominated movies.

The list this time includes: Big short, Bridge of spices, Brooklyn, mad Max fury: road, the Martian,  Spotlight, Room, The revenant.
photo from google

photo from google


photo from google


photo from google
Here in India, there is a big hullabaloo over the release of Bollywood Indian movies and it's hard to miss a new release. However for Hollywood releases not much marketing is done and it can be a blink and miss situation. Thus, I look forward to the Oscar list which ensures that the creme Dela creme of the past year will be announced and I make it a point to catch up on all the movies which make it to the list.
photo from google


photo from google


photo from google

I started my Oscar movie marathon with Brooklyn.  This movie, directed by John Crowley, is a historical period drama set in 1952. The movie is about a simple story of an ordinary young girl from Ireland who moves to Brooklyn, USA in hope of better oppurtunity for work , leaving behind her mother and sister in her hometown. Her initial days in Brooklyn are full of struggle to fit in to everything new,  right from the all women boarding house to the ways of the large new city to her new job. Things begin to settle for as she finds happiness in a relationship with an Italian American boy whom she eventually marries. In a sad turn of events her sister suddenly dies and she plans a trip back to her hometown. There she meets a boy who shows interest in her and offers a bright future to her if she decides to stay back and not return to Brooklyn. She is torn between the two places but in the end decides to move to Brooklyn to be with her husband. The lead actress, Saoirse Roman does justice to the role.

The movie has been nominated for Best Picture. It's been beautifully shot and was enjoyable to watch,  although I would not really call it exceptional or a brilliant piece of work. 

The high point of the movie for me was the scene where in Brooklyn at a dinner for elderly Irish expats one of the Irishmen sings a soul stirring native song and this leaves of the people present there reminiscing and longing to be in their own land.

Waiting for the Oscar results to see what the verdict on this one!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cycling diaries: My first 60 Kilometer ride!

Biking on weekends is my passion and I generally cycle with a group of friends who are equally passionate about biking.
We start early in the morning to avoid traffic and because starting a holiday with some good exercise makes us feel like the holiday was well spent. We generally make a pit stop after completing half the journey to catch some tea and snacks. It's invigorating to head out to the outskirts of the city, away from city life, catching glimpses of the farm lands, fresh air and good conversation on the way. I ride a hybrid bike , 20 crossway by Merida. On an average we complete 50 kilometers every time we cycle.

I was starting to get comfortable with a 50 kilometer cycle ride and it was time to push the boundaries a bit and get out of my comfort zone. So today was an attempt to target 60 kilometers on the road.
Start time : 7.30 Am
Kilometers covered:  60 kilometers
Total duration of the Ride: 3 hours


Early morning start
 So today we choose an extremely good road which was smooth as butter. The Farukhnagar- Jhajjar road. The road is good to ride in winters but may not be so rider friendly in summers as no trees line it and shade is what you are looking for when it gets too sunny on a hot day.



The road is mostly flat without any uphills or downhills.




But for a cold winter day, this road was just perfect. Less traffic, smooth and lined by beautiful green fields on both sides.
Extending my usual 50 kilometer ride by another 10 kilometers was not so easy and I did feel a little more exhaustion than usual but all in all it was doable.

It was foggy and cold when we started but by the time we started back it was nice and sunny and the jackets were off.



We made a pit stop at a road side Dhaba and today the snacks on the menu were aloo pyaz paranthas  with dollops of butter on it and piping hot tea.




The fog shed away as the sun brighten up on our way back to reveal lush green fields! Delightful. Good ride today , totally enjoyed it.