About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Agasthiyar Falls.. Tirunelveli

There I was in the train, lying on the Side Lower berth, unable to sleep [well cos the 6 foot me wouldn't fit into that small berth and cos it was lovely and cold, I had left one window open] thinking about how its been ages since I was back in Tirunelveli & Kallidaikurichi... I was travelling with 10 others, including the bride & groom. This was a wedding we had all been looking forward to forever and was kicked that it was finally happening. 

The wedding was set for Friday morning, we reached Tirunelveli from where we made the hour long journey to Kallidaikurichi on Thursday morning. Sitting in a mini bus of sorts with all but the bride [ she had been whisked away home by her mom], we were in for a day of sight seeing. The first stop was Agasthiyar Falls ...  The last time I had been here was during a trip from dad's office [must be a good two decades or so ago]

A bit of trivia about the place - Agasthiyar Falls (also called Papanasam Falls) is located quite close to Papanasam in Tirunelveli district. Infact, what makes it so awesome is that it is on the Western Ghats and story goes that this is the place where sage Agasthya got a view of Shiva in his wedding attire [Agasthiyar could not attend Shiva Parvathy's wedding in Kailasam and so requested the God to grant him  a view of the event.. pleased with his prayers, Shiva appeared in front of him.] And that is how the place earned its name. 

When driving towards the parking lot, you will cross the power plant that helps generate power for the towns around [from the Papanasam Dam]. It is also known to be a place where people have sighted tigers and leopards [ not a surprise considering it is quite close to Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger reserve] .. 

We had reached the parking lot, the vans were halted, we got out and began making the short walk to the falls. I could hear the water at a distance and wondered how heavy it was this time around. Along the way, we walked across little streams formed by the other smaller falls coming down the smaller mountains. The place is teeming with monkeys, and they make a go for anything that looks like food. So best to keep your belongings close to you, and avoid carrying food items. Heck, don't even carry your phones in your hand, they just might mistake it for food. 

Since it was off season, there wasn't a mad rush. One thing I noticed instantly was the wall at the foot of the falls- diving the male and female visitor section. Interesting.... And then ofcoruse the sight of people happily lathering themselves with soap and shampoo, letting it all wash off and float down the river.. kinda wish people wouldn't do that and pollute the water.. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

And we meet again Bangalore

It has been nearly 2.5yrs since my last visit to Bangalore, and that was also a short one. I remember having a full day meeting in Coimbatore, and from there heading to Bangalore for few days with friends and family before getting back home. Well, this time it was a short trip,but must say it was a good one at that. 

I see this change in me, a visible one and that extends to my trips as well. Few months ago, when I planned my Bombay trip I had a similar plan in the head. I was done doing the rounds of the city, visiting a million places, catching up with all of them and la la la.. This time, in Bangalore I knew I wanted to meet a few who I have known through the virtual world, and reconnect with a few I had drifted from.  And that is exactly how the trip went , not to mention the few lovely surprises it threw my way... 

It was one of those trips when I was travelling with a friend, a first time with this one.. We had a blast, though I am sure we provided some interesting entertainment to the rest around us with our constant squabbles and laughter. As I always say, travel with someone to know if you can tolerate them in your life or not.. well, this one is a keeper alright.. :-) 

Lal Bagh gardens clicked during one of my earlier visits..

I spent a lot of time walking around the hotel we stayed at, it was down the road from Lal Bagh gardens, a km maybe.. The area was fairly quiet, there was a children's park next door, the lal bagh wall across the hotel and was generally nice to wander in. 

I enjoyed lazing, and doing things at my own pace, not worried about sticking to a set time or trying to achieve way too many things in the short duration I was there. I had a meeting, spent time with people who mattered/connected, did some book shopping at Blossoms, enjoyed a quiet cup of coffee while watching people at Cafe Matteo ... 

Overall, must say it was one helluva trip~ Until next time.. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Metro Rail ride..koo chug chug chug with pride.....

Sometime last week I posted this in one of the whatsapp groups am a part of- “we spoke about doing a Metro ride, but haven’t done one yet as a group. Each of us have done it on our own “. Two replied saying they haven’t been on the metro yet and few of us replied yes, a group trip was pending. And that was how the train got rolling. Plans were made, we decided to go for it on Sunday -25th Sep. After a bit of to and fro, it was decided we would all meet at Guindy Metro station by 11am. From there, we would ride all the way to the Airport and back.

Madras a suthi parka porein...puthusa vandirukkum metrovilyerrriiiii ... lolz.. 

The easiest way for me to get to Guindy is by electric train [ well, I can be fancy and take a cab] but then hey, its all about the experience. So, Sunday morning around 10.15 I walked down the road to Chetpet Station, bought tickets[Rs10], and waited for the Emu to arrive. It did take its own sweet time. There were a few stray souls like me waiting and a few commented that trains were lesser since it was Sunday. Ah, finally I spotted the train, got into the compartment [wasn’t too crowded] and sat down to enjoy the ride. It had been years since I plied by these trains and must say it was still fun.

I reached Guindy station around 10:40, got out of the station to see where my friends were[there is a way to get to the Metro station without actually getting out], but it was too hot and so I turned around and headed up the Escalator at Guindy Metro Station [ there are normal staircases to climb as well, and the escalators are only for going up]. Friends were waiting on the landing. We waited for the others, and made our way to one of the ticket kiosks. It was all very similar to what I had seen in Bangkok.

You had to touch the destination station, it would then show the ticket rate, you choose number of tickets, confirm, and feed the machine your money [you can put in cash notes upto Rs100]- For us it was Rs40 one way per pax. It was fun watching the chips fall into the slot once the money went in. One by one they arrived, small blue colour circular poker chip like tokens.

From there, you go through a small security check area, show the token on top of the unit that opens up for you to pass through. You then go two floors up to the train platform [these escalators were really long and high, there are lifts as well]

The view around was breathtaking, and the flights that were taking off seemed to fly so close by. There was a screen displaying details about next train, ours was 13 mins away. Meanwhile a train heading to Little Mount arrived in theother platform.

Our train came, doors opened, we got in and tra la la laa, it was a fun ride... . Since it is still new, it wasn’t too crowded. The announcements were clear, there are route maps on both sides of the door [English and Tamil with light indicators].. We saw the Golf Course, the runway till we reached the Airport station.. There was a portion that went underground, it was dark and fun…

At the airport, you can hop out of the rain, go down the steps/lift and walk it out to the domestic or international terminals. I heard they are planning on launching shuttle services soon. The airport looked super cool from up here.. we decided to do this rate later in the evening one day. 

It was getting hot, and so once again we did the merry go round... went downstairs, picked up tickets to Little Mount [this too costed us Rs 40 one way per pax] and enjoyed our ride back… While the entire journey was a good experience, I found there were no security guards on the platform.  hmmmm... hopefully it is in the plan~! Oh and how can I forget to mention this- am super kicked and proud that my city has this cool system .... :D 

Once the entire route is complete, it would be so easy to get to the Airport from home… J

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday Challenge... Glitters

The prompt for this week's Thursday Challenge was "EXPENSIVE" (Clothes, Cars, Jewelry, Money, Gold, Coins,...)

Clicked these during my trip to haridwar earlier this year for the ardh kumbh mela...  there was a guy selling old coins just off the steps along the gushing Ganges river

For other Thursday Challenge posts, visit here 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday Challenge- Memories

The prompt for this week's Thursday Challenge was "GROUND (1 of 2 weeks)" (Things on the ground, Soil, Garden, Lawn,...)

Clicked this near our gate, on the road. Reminded me of grandpa, he used to step out every morning and pick up all the flowers that had fallen down... Bring home a handful and keep them for Gods, here and there.... 

For other Thursday Challenge posts, visit here 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Thursday Challenge- Bright and sunny

The prompt for this week's Thursday Challenge was "SUNNY (1 of 2 weeks)" (Bright, Sunrise, Sunset, Sunshiny, Sunlit, Cheerful, Happy,...)

Clicked this at the Chennai airport while waiting for the flight that was to take us to mumbai. I had a 7 year old for company and he was full of questions and chatted away nonstop... :-)) 

For other Thursday Challenge posts, visit here

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Phoenix Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai

I was wondering what other new places to visit, when a friend spoke about how the mills in Mumbai had all become malls, and one of them was the infamous Phoenix Mills... Story goes that the Phoenix Mills was erected back in 1905 to manufacture cotton textiles. Owned by the Ruia family., it was intact listed in the Bombay Stock exchange as well. But then sometime in 1938 during the British government rule, quite a few workers were fired. This led to a protest in 1939 that lasted for a few months. Business was affected tremendously and eventually the mill became just a loss making business. The management in turn chose to redevelop the land and this began with the establishment of the Bowling Co. Workers were unhappy with the management's decision, alleging that it was illegal. 

And today that is where you find the Phoenix Mall, also known as High Street Phoenix. The mall is spread across 3,300,000 square feet. Apart from shops and restaurants, cafes, the campus also has a five-star hotel, a multiplex, commercial space and a residential tower.
The mall is divided into three zones- The Palladium, SkyZone and Grand Galleria.  This mall is also where the country's first Big Bazaar was opened. 

[image courtesy: mumbai.mallsmarket.com]

                                                [image courtesy: www.uppercrustindia.com]

Friend of mine raved about the Palladium, saying it was one of those places I should visit. Well, lets just say it is meant for those who are into high end brands, especially international fashion labels. While I must have spent about half an hour walking the length of the place, it sure wasn't my kind of place. Too much bling everywhere..lol.. I did check out the Food Hall on the top floor , it was far bigger and better than the one in Bangalore. I ended up buying some cheese that friend wanted and a pretzel to nibble on.

The second building is where you find familiar brands and quite a few small eat outs including Subway, Coffee Bean & Tea leaf,etc... Well, it is one of those places you either feel right at home or want to run away from. No guesses which category I belong to.
But must say while it is sad that the Mills went down, atleast there is something in its place standing tall, as a landmark. 

The Phoenix Mills Limited
High Street Phoenix
462, Senapati Bapat Marg,
Lower Parel (West),
Mumbai - 400 013 
Tel: +91-22-43339994

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thursday Challenge- spreading some love

The prompt for this week's Thursday Challenge was "WARM" (Sunny, Pleasant, Warm Colors, Food, Drink,...)

Almost looks like is laughing away, enjoying the wind on his face,not to forget the warm sun [maybe the lady had the AC on for a while].. I clicked this while in a traffic jam in #mumbai... Me, my friend and her son couldn't take our eyes off this cutie pie.. He was happily moving from one window to the other.. #love #dogsarefamily #travel #destination#Experience #travelblogger #oneplustwo#igersChennai #instaclick #nofilterneeded#adoptdontbuy #pets #petparent #dog

For other Thursday Challenge posts, visit here

Sunday, July 3, 2016

A walk through history at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Bombay

I was heading back to Bombay after a gap of about 5years and this time I had no agenda at all. I had informed about 4-5 folks that I am coming there, and hoped to meet them if possible. I knew I wanted to spend time and catch up with a friend who had moved there 3years ago and of course explore some parts that I had not explored earlier. 

We spent the weekend generally hanging out, visiting a mall, doing some shopping [ she convinced a non shopper such as moi to also shop] and playing with their 7yr old bunny boy.. I had also made plans to catch up with a few [among the 4-5] for lunch or coffee. I knew I had a few hours and my friend mentioned the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum. I had been to the Prince Wales museum [Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya,] few years back, but this one I hadn't heard of. Did some research on the net and discovered it was in Byculla East. If the pictures and blogs I read were anything to go by, the museum promised to be magnificent visit and I headed out towards the place. 

The museum name board..

The elephant from the Elephant Islands 

The Museum in all its glory.

 Artists at work, semi precious stones, silver jug, Ganjifa is an ancient Indian card game, originally played with a set of 120 cards and asnake etched out of soap stone

 Men from Different communities on display

 Coppersmith at work

 Shell Carving 

 Beautiful peacocks at the bottom of a heavy ceramic vase.

The grand place that greets you as you walk into the museum..

The majestic statues and bust that sit in the museum centre.

One of the beautiful sculptures..

 And he stands tall...

 Ornate staircase leading to the top floor

 The entire upstairs.. was completely empty when i went.. was such a silent space..

The Tower of Silence

The structure standing outside, on the side

Took me a good hour to reach the museum, the journey was quite a revelation. I realised Bombay folks had taken to radio cabs like fish to water and many had stopped commuting by train. Traffic was bad, and not to mention increase in number of vehicles. The cabbie took me via the Bandra Sea link which was beautiful, quite a sight. 

Anyways, as I walked into the museum campus, I noticed there was a ticket counter with a board saying "zoo". I was surprised to see that, and anyways made my way towards the museum. On the side sat the majestic elephant [it is a Basalt elephant sculpture from Elephanta Island] with a canon of sorts guarding it. There was a guy sitting next to it, but he very sweetly got up and walked aside when he saw me position my camera for a capture. After buying an entry ticket for Rs10 [reminded me of the ticket at Albert Museum in Jaipur, same price], I made my way inside. There was no major security checks, only thing the staff inside told me was to not speak on the phone while inside. 

Also known as the Victoria and Albert Museum, this museum was built back in 1872 and is a treasure house of anything related to history- Historical artefacts  paintings, pots, pans, photographs, and so much more from across the country. What made the visit interesting were the information cards near the exhibits. They were in both Hindi & English and quite detailed. The displays themselves had boards in both languages and they were all neat and organised.  The instant you step inside, you are in awe of the architecture of the place. It was like a palace, simply wow.I must have spent close to two hours here, walking the length of the museum, exploring the two floors. 

As you head towards the staircase you can't help but notice the cluster of sculptures that stand tall. The man standing tall is David Sassoon – opium baron, trader and architect of Colonial Bombay. There are quite a few buildings around the city named after him- David Sassoon Library & Reading Room at Kalaghoda. Apart from Sasoon the other statues belong to Prince Albert who stands just behind him. There are two women who are on either side of the Prince, did not notice their names though.  

While the ground floor was filled with artefacts and pieces from across the country, the top floor showcased historic maps, model ships, models of Bombay life in the 19th and 20th centuries. the one fascinating exhibit was the Towers of Silence.. I have not heard of it and so it had me enthralled. I learnt that it  is where the bodies of Parsis or Zorashtrians are laid after they die. It’s an open well of sorts, and vultures eat the remains of the departed.

As I walked out towards the Museum Shop, I spotted the tall tower on the side of the museum. The museum shop has a small but cool collection of items that you could purchase, from bookmarks to t-shirts, mugs, posters, games, coasters and so on. 

Interesting insights.. [source http://www.mumbai.org.uk/museums/victoria-albert-museum.html]


The Victoria and Albert Museum was originally established in 1855 in Mumbai. During this time, the museum was used as a treasure house of the decorative and industrial arts. The thought of establishing a museum was suggested by a collector known as Dr. Buist, when the India was under the control of British East India Company. Dr. Ramkrishna Vitthal Lad, also known as Dr. Bhau planned the construction of the museum with an amount of Rs. 6000. After a committee was formed, the foundation for building the museum was laid down in 1862. The construction was complete only in 1871 and the museum was opened in 1872. The museum is presently known as 'Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum'. It was renamed after Dr Bhau Daji Lad because of his dedication to the museum.

The initial appearance of the Victoria and Albert Museum had a gloomy look but now, after the various contributions put forth by the 'Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), the museum has improved in its appearance. The museum is adorned with gold ornamentations on the corners of the walls, railings and ceilings. The blue-painted pillars add magnificence to the museum's look. The entire construction of the museum is inspired by the Greco-Roman style of architecture. Apart from the arches that are elegantly designed and the heavy glass cases, the high painted ceilings of the museum is also a work of expertise. The 'Victoria Gardens' or 'Rani Jijamata Udyan', serves as a backdrop for this ancient museum.

91 A, Rani Baug, 
Veer Mata Jijbai Bhonsle Udyan,
Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Marg, 
Byculla East, 
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400027.