Travel and Culture

Kathmandu Top attractions – My trip to the City of Temples

I frankly admit that the impression that I had formed of Kathmandu, until recently, was solely on the basis of the scenes of some of the Hindi movies (such as Hare Rama Hare Krishna, and more recently Baby) and Indiana Jones movies that I had seen. That was before we (husband and me) packed off for a short trip, leaving our cat in the safe custody of my daughter, who has come home on vacation. The destination obviously was Kathmandu – an offbeat place but well suited for a short summer getaway, especially for heritage lovers like me. Arrival at Kathmandu Taking a morning flight from Mumbai, we landed in Kathmandu by noon. It had rained in the morning, due to which the temperature had dropped and the weather had turned pleasant.  A huge poster of Deepika Padukone with an Oppo phone greeted us at the Tribhuvan International airport, where I was expecting to see posters of people in their traditional Nepali costumes. Repair work was being carried on at the airport escalators, which made me a little sceptical while using those. The hotel Annapurna was not very far away and we reached the hotel in half an hour. While…

Health and Fitness

Depression is treatable: Let’s Talk

For someone living with #depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment & recovery.  ~Tweet by WHO. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Depression, as an illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. It is surprising to note that depression is the leading cause of ill – health and disability worldwide. While there is a perception that feeble minded people suffer from depression and anxiety, it is not so. Depression is an illness that can happen to anybody, at any age, or in any place. People with depression normally have a loss of energy, change in appetite, anxiety, reduced concentration, indecisiveness, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Fortunately, depression can be prevented and treated. Here, I present a guest post on this topic written by Sarbani Chowdhury, a Clinical Psychologist with the Indian Air Force. Read on what Sarbani says about depression…

Travel and Culture

Have you been to the oldest museum in Mumbai yet?

Real museums are places where time is transformed into space. ~ Orhan Pamuk I have always enjoyed trips to museums. My penchant for a visit to museums goes back to my school days when our teachers would take us for trips to museums and gardens. In most of the cities that I have visited, I have gone to see the city museum to get a hang of the history and heritage of the place. I find the museums to be treasure houses of wealth where one gets to see and know how generations have lived and progressed through the ages, understand their way of life, and appreciate their art and culture. Furthermore, the entry to most of the museums is either free or highly subsidised. The oldest museum in Mumbai Last weekend, my husband asked me if I wanted to go to the oldest museum in Mumbai. Needless to say, I was more than happy at the suggestion. Off we went to see Mumbai’s city museum, which was first opened to the public in 1872 as Victoria and Albert Museum. The readers of this blog may recall that some time back I had written about my visit to the  Albert Hall Museum…

Health and Fitness

Fifty plus and restless: How older Indians are working on unfulfilled dreams

Changing perception about turning fifty   Fifty seems to be the new thirty. Not very long ago, hitting the big ‘five-oh’ was considered a time to slow down in life; a time to take things easy and relax. That’s no longer the norm. With advances in medical care and growing self-awareness, perceptions are changing. People turning 50 are starting to invest in themselves and have no intention of applying the brakes; their goal is to #LiveNonstop. The new generation of people turning 50 is all about staying active in a way that doesn’t just keep them busy, but also energized and strong. From taking up new languages, travelling to exotic destinations, taking up dance and yoga to hitting the gym or prepping for a marathon, its go, go go! Age, after all, is just a number and this concept seems truer now, more than ever before. It seems like it’s a great time to hit 50 and I was extremely curious to know just how some of my friends, who are in their fifties have made changes to their lifestyle. So, I asked around and here’s what I found out –

Personal Finance

Wealth Ultima – A New Age ULIP

 By Somali K Chakrabarti In life, as in chess, forethought wins. ~ Charles Buxton The birth of a healthy daughter was a happy occasion for Rakesh Prasad and his wife Ravina.  Along with the couple, their respective parents were also ecstatic with joy at the arrival of the little one. By the time the child was barely 3 days old, the grandparents were already talking about what the little girl would be when she grows up. Rakesh’s parents wanted their granddaughter to be a doctor, Ravina’s father wanted her to be a lawyer, while her mother wanted the child to be a fashion designer. Rakesh was getting a little weary of all these discussions. Several thoughts began to play in his mind. In a time span of 20 years, his daughter will be ready for college. They would need to plan adequately for her future. He shared his thoughts with his wife, who was already thinking of putting aside some money into fixed deposits. Rakesh was more inclined towards mutual funds. Like any other well-settled young man, he wanted to gain from the uptrend in the market. Though he was financially savvy, the couple had a busy life, which left them…

Home and Interiors

Turkish Mosaic Lamps in Mumbai

A new lamp, a piece of art can transform a room. ~ Madonna This is exactly why I love to collect decoration pieces and wall hangings. Recently, I had been to a furniture exhibition at NSE Ground in Goregaon in Mumbai. Just at the entrance of the exhibition was a stall that had mosaic lamps hanging from the ceiling, with patterns and colours so attractive that it caught the attention of all visitors coming to the exhibition. Beautiful mementoes, figures, ceramics bowls and table trays with floral designs occupied a table, and coloured discs adorned one of the walls. As I looked at the displays, the arabesque lamps reminded me of Aladdin’s lamp. Those exotic looking multicoloured lamps had deep jewel toned colours. The lamp globes were made of many finely cut, tiny pieces of coloured glass held by brass frames. Soft light emanating from the lamps along with the shadows cast by the lamps created an ambience of romantic intrigue. It almost felt like a genie would appear anytime around the corner! My husband pointed out that the mosaic lamps were Turkish lamps.

Hotel and Food Chains

Savor fine dining experience at these five places

Fine dining is an occasional treat for most people. ~ Rene Redzepi Having great food in an exceptional restaurant in the company of our loved ones is an experience that most of us cherish. Last month, I had met up with my college classmates for our silver jubilee alumni meet. It was an out and out fun experience sitting out in sunshine and dining with old classmates at a club resort in Delhi, while recalling the memories of our college days.   We decided to meet up once each year thereafter in a different city, and so we zeroed in on a few of the finest dining places. Friends, who are now settled in different places suggested their local favourites. So, the list that emerged included some of the finest restaurants in different parts of the world. The top 5 names that came up are as follows. Woodpecker at Aamby Valley in Maharashtra : Being from Mumbai, I had put forth the name of this stylishly designed world cuisine restaurant, which overlooks a water body, and serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. Cloud 9, at Grand Hyatt, Shanghai: This was suggested by a batch mate who had flown in all the way…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 3

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Continued from Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2 Part 1 can be found here : Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1 Afternoon Safari The second safari was in the afternoon. The zone allotted for our safari was Kanha. The gate, this time was far off from the resort. It would take about an hour to reach the forest. We started at 2.30 p.m.  The hot afternoon Sun was radiating its intense fury in the form of oppressive heat. With a scarf and hat on my head and a wet towel over my face, I endured the gruelling heat and the dry hot wind in the open gypsy. Somehow we managed to reach the forest gate. Inside the forest, it was much more manageable as the shadowy trees absorbed much of the heat. A stray hare or two would suddenly cross the road, and jungle fowl would crow cock – a- doodle –do every now and then.  During the drive, we caught the sight of birds such as the Black drongo, Golden oriole, White-rumped shama, Kingfisher and Indian rollers hovering between the trees.   Barasinga Deer While…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 2

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Continued from Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1 Morning Safari At 5 AM in the morning, there was a slight nip in the air. We had a cup of tea and were ready to leave for the morning safari. Two jeeps were booked for our group of 8 people, with each jeep accommodating four people, and a driver. As we got into the Gypsy earmarked for us, the attendants handed out blankets to us. The jungle, they said, is cold in the morning. And, so we set out for our jungle sojourn. The National park is divided into 4 zones – Kanha, Kisli, Mukki and Sarhi. It took us around 15 minutes to reach the Mukki Gate. As early as 5.30 AM, there were already 8-10 vehicles lined in front of us. At the gate, a guide from the Forest Department accompanied us on the Gypsy and we entered the Kisli Zone. As soon as we entered the forest, we could feel the fresh morning breeze. On either of the road were sal and bamboo forests, with an undergrowth of wild grass and thorny bushes. We could hear different bird songs coming…

Travel and Culture

Kanha : A jungle safari in the forest of Mowgli- Part 1

 By Somali K Chakrabarti   Summer, they say, is the best season for wildlife sightings. The scorching summer heat dries up the water sources in the forests, affecting the animals and birds. So, these denizens of the forest frequently gather around the waterholes to quench their thirst, after those are refilled by the Forest Department.  “A good tiger sighting would more than make up for the sweltering heat.” This piece of advice from a trusted friend made us agree to plan for a Jungle Safari to Kanha National Park, in Madhya Pradesh, in the month of April last year. We knew that the trip would require us to brave the soaring mercury levels. A thrilling sensation of adventure took over as we as we set out for our trip to Raipur from Mumbai. We would soon be heading for the jungle, which provided the inspiration for the tales of Mowgli and Bagheera in Kipling’s Jungle Book.

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