Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Road Trip to Remember

Who doesn't get super excited when your Hubby clubs his business trip with some leisure and tags you along with him? A couple of weekends back, Mr. Hubby had a conference in Mahabalipuram and we decided to drive down. What a bleisure trip it was!! Sharing some glimpses of the trip below:

Imagine road tripping along this scenic route:

We stayed in a beach resort. The room opened to the most breathtaking view ever I've seen from a room. The Bay of Bengal exuded calm with it's magnificence. 

It was a lovely bright morning as we took a stroll along the beach and collected sea shells. 

And played with water...

The beach resort had typical floating flower decorations at the entrance.

The visit to Pancha Ratha or the Chariot Temples built by the Pandavas was totally worth it. All the five chariots were carved out of a single rock by the Pallava Kings in 6th Century. 

Sometimes the shortest of the trips are the sweetest. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

New Year's Trip to Coffee Estate, Somwarpet

A bunch of our friends and we decided to celebrate New Year 2016 Weekend amidst the very serene Coffee Plantations of Somwarpet, near Coorg.

Our stay was planned at The Pulper House located in privately owned Coffee Estates. As the name suggests, the Pulper House, has a coffee pulping unit, where fresh coffee cherries are pulped, the resulting beans are washed, fermented, dried and then roasted to produce a great variety of Coffee.
Whats special about the Coorg Coffee is that it is the only shade grown coffee in the world.

At the estate we were hosted by very hospitable bunch of caretakers who brewed coffee for us from time to time and made us delicious local dishes. To our surprise, the owner of the estate had made a rule that the guests would only be served coffee and no tea. We were happy in either case.

Situated in the middle of the rain forests, Somwarpet is nothing less than a philosopher's dreamland. A nature-lover, I took long walks around the pristine estate. When in confusion, I turn to mother nature to seek answers. Connecting with nature, helps me clear my mind. And with a place as breathtaking at this, I was completely smitten.


It turned out that in and around Coorg there are many privately owned coffee estates, pepper and cardamom plantations, which were originally English settlements.

On day one - our host took us to the estates that were owned by his friends. The lush estates, misty hills, orange grooves made for a breathtaking view along the way. We reached a hill top, as the Sun was just about to set.

On day 2, we visited Pushpagiri, which is 20 kms from Somwarpet. We trekked up small hills.
We plucked oranges from trees laden with the citrus fruit and came across the locals - plucking coffee cherries and pepper clusters.

New Year Week in Somwarpet had quite chilly nights. We had a bon-fire to keep us warm and cozy in the forest. We played word games, played music and had loads of fun. The most amazing part of the night was when I looked up at the night sky. The sight of the star-filled night sky melted me. I had a moment of pure bliss as I looked at the gazillion tiny twinkling stars of the Milky Way.

To sum it up, the trip to Somwarpet on the New Year's Weekend was a treat for the soul and rejuvenating for the senses.

2016 has 13 long weekends, hope to travel to some new place every long weekend and share my experiences.

Monday, February 16, 2015


Hey Guys

What's keeping you excited these days ?
Well, I had been longing to buy Madhubani Paintings for my home for a long time now.
And I found a few good ones at Chithra Santhe, an annual art fair held in Bangalore. The set of three paintings I got frame one wall of my living room completely with a traditional Rajasthani bench below.

I just love the vibrant colors used in Madhubani art form. The free hand drawings and natural dyes give these paintings a raw rural charm . You can read more about Madhubani paitings here.

Madhubani either depicts Hindu gods and goddesses or nature. I got paintings with peacocks, fishes, elephants, trees and the sun on them. These birds and animals are supposed to symbolize happiness, good luck, prosperity and fertility.

Here are few pictures from my home:

How do you like them? Do let me know.

With Love


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Of India & Ethnic Love

I love..

Decor, Design, Vignettes, Creative Corners, 
Indian Art, Handicraft, Eco-friendly
Fab India, Anokhi, Good Earth
Raw Silks, Cotton, Chiffon, 
Madhubani, Tanjore, Mysore, 
Ravi Verma, Vintage, Antique
Block Prints, Bagh Prints, Kalamkari, Meenakari
Copper, Brass, Bronze
Fall, Summer, Spring, 
Sunday Soul Santhe, Chithra Santhe, Delhi Haat
Dhokhra Art, Pipli Applique, Warli Art
Coasters, Table Runners and Palcemats
Ikat, Batique, Bandhej
Terracota, Cermamics, Wooden
Urlis and Pots and Kettles
Peacocks, Parakeets, Lotuses
Rajanigandha, Frangipani, Roses,
Corals, Mint Green, Peaches
Modern, Contemporary, Chic
Ethnic, Bohemian, Traditional 
Brocades, Tussars and Georgettes 
Heritage Hotels, Boutique Cafes, Palaces

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Visit to NYC

Today I went to visit the city of New York. NYC has been among my top dream-destinations, so I feel very peaceful to have roamed on the streets of Manhattan. But I can not deny the fact that it is extremely overwhelming to see the vast ocean of crowds, the magnificence of sky-scrappers, the grandeur of the museums and the ubiquitous billboards.

I first went to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum on the Times Square. Luckily I met Sara, beautiful Canadian girl who was also all by herself. In the museum, I almost hugged Shahrukh Khan, touched the feet of Mahatma Gandhi and stood gracefully by the side of Bollywood Badshah Amitabh Bachchan. Overall I felt that the wax museum is over-rated.
Shahrukh Khan wax statue
Next, I decided to go to the Madison Square Garden, the biggest arena in the world for hosting events. I walked all the way to this place and on the way kept playing peekaboo with all the Sephoras and the Beauty Arcades and the High-Fashion shops, followed by a cab ride by the Hudson and the barren Central Park. It’s so hard to resist those shops, which sell the most chic and the most stylish of clothes and accessories. I also went to the street-side shops to buy some souvenirs.
As the sun was about to set, I marched towards the Empire State Building. It is considered as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. After the security checks, the we were taken to the 86th floor of the observatory, where we could have a 360 degree view of the gleaming Manhattan. The observatory was flooded with people, couples getting all lovey-dovey and kissing each other, photography enthusiasts trying to capture their best-shots, excited kids and tourists like me who had long carried the dream of visiting the place. 
Manhattan Downtown view from 86th floor of the Empire State.
I was also swindled by a desi-“I love souvenir”-gift-shop-guy, which in a way enriched my experience as a tourist. All in all I had an amazing trip to Manhattan, New York. Every city has its own character, its soul.  I felt as much as you get lost in the vastness of New York, the city lets you be yourself. Though the grandeur of New York consumes you, it’s spirit liberates you.  

I <3 NYC. 
London is next on the list.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Gentleman from Guatemala

It is 9:30 pm. The sky is still dark blue after the sun-set. I wait for the escort with the Giant Eagle poly-bags in my hand in front of the Hamburg Hall. The escort arrives and as I get in, a cheerful voice of a 60 something man greets me. He says "Hallo!" in his heavy accent. His happy disposition leads me to reciprocate his greetings and I ask him out of courtesy, "Hows your day been?" And this kick-starts my conversation with the Gentleman from Guatemala.

He tells me that he came 34 years back to Pittsburgh.And that it took him six years to learn English. When he first came to the US, he went to Washington DC area. He has family there but everyone speaks Spanish. His grand-mother was an Indian and that is why he has black hair even at the age of 60.  He runs his hand through his black thin hair and proudly announces that he doesn't have a single grey hair. He continues
When I was in Guatemala city I was a teacher and spoke Spanish. But I got transferred to a new place and had to learn Indian languages. There are 23 Indian languages and I learned the ones which were easiest to learn. I can speak K'iche (Quiche) and Kaqchikel. These are two of the 23 officially recognized Amerindian languages.
I ask him about Guatemala.  He happily talks about his native place in the central America. He says there is the lake Atitlan surrounded by three volcanoes in his place.

The Pacific is a one and half hours drive and the Atlantic is seven to eight hours drive from his home-town. A lover of the sea and the beautiful beaches, I ask him which ocean does he like better. He beams for a moment and says, as a child his mother used to take him to the Pacific coast. The beach has black sand. It is volcanic in nature and during the day it's very hot. He has always hated the Pacific coast. While the Atlantic coast has white sand and he loves it. He loves it because the white sand is rare.

To me, beaches without coconuts is like a party without desserts. I ask him do you get coconuts there?
He says that his mother had a farm along the Pacific. She used to grow Coconuts and peppers: red, green and black. He continues with excitement that he loves spicy food and his wife cooks delicious meat with lots of pepper in it.

I imagine this short, little-stout Latin man, with black hair and slightly wrinkled face in a tropical setting. I'm lost in my own world intrigued by his tales. He speaks almost animatedly looking at me through his rear-view mirror
Guatemala has all sorts of fruits: mangoes, apples, peaches, coconuts and he names some 5 other fruits. Guatemala has 60 varieties of mangoes ! I tell him that India has around 20 varieties of mangoes and the best mango is called as Mango Alfonso. To this he says that the best variety of Guatemalan Mango is called "Pashte". Its very sweet and has strings in it which get stuck in the teeth.
I guessed the specie of mango must be very fibrous in nature. And he talked away about some Pashte, that is found in the sea and is used to scrub one's body. But, I was swept by the memories of how every summer my parents used to take my brother and me to a fruit-farm and we used to gorge on amazingly sweet desi-mangoes to our hearts content. We had arrived at my stop and it was time to get down the escort. I thanked him for driving me home and bade him good-night.