Articles by Somali K Chakrabarti

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 –

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…

Personal Finance

What insurance covers should you opt for when you start your first job

  Landing with a first full-time job is an exciting and memorable occasion, no matter who you are or where you live. You’re perhaps in your twenties, recently graduated or maybe you’ve done your masters, and now you have embarked upon the professional journey. The thrill of getting disposable income in your hand makes you want to spend it lavishly. You’re in an upbeat mood, and do not you may not want to be weighed down by serious issues. Things like insurance may not interest you at the moment, rather it may seem like something that can surely be put off for a later date. But should it be? Here are three reasons that tell you why you should buy insurance right at the onset of your career.   Life and health insurance get increasingly more expensive with age. Insuring early in your life also means that you save money by locking in a lower premium amount for the rest of your life. In your twenties, your liabilities are comparatively less, and so it is easier to develop the discipline of setting aside a part of your income for the insurance premium. Insuring early in life makes you financially savvy,…

Home and Interiors

A hassle free way to paint my home!

A coloured wall enlivens the room. I have always felt that a differently coloured wall renders a character to the room. For example, an orange- red wall adds vibrancy to a room, a blue wall renders a soothing touch, whereas a purple wall gives a luxurious feel to the room. To add an atheistic touch, I usually get one wall in each room in my house painted in a different colour.   With time, the same look starts to get a little boring. Then begins the craving for a change! The wall in the hall of my house has been orange-red since a number of years. When I look at that wall, I often feel the need to try out a different colour. But then, the thought of having to scrap off the colour to paint the walls in a completely different colour is a big put off. Getting the house painted has always been a big ordeal. With the amount of dust that covers the entire place, we have to keep ourselves locked and confined in one room while the men are working. Not to mention, the condition of the men at work who inhale all that dust makes us feel…

Health and Fitness

Resolution to walk my way to a healthy Lifestyle

Walking is a physical exercise but it also impacts the psyche. The process of walking makes the mind clutter free and paves the way for a clear and fresh thinking. I have quoted these lines from a blog post on the site ‘Makeup & Breakup‘. The post by Nihar Pradhan details out the physical as well as psychological benefits of walking. When I came across this post last week, it struck me that for a long time I had been deliberating on following a regime for walking every day, but for some reason or the other have been desisting from doing so. Though I walk on the weekends, but during the week procrastination takes over and I usually convince myself that walking through the same route is not much enjoyable, or it is irksome to navigate through the streets, jostling alongside the vehicles that honk every now and then. With all these excuses, I could manage an extra half an hour of sleep, knowing all the way that it did nothing to help me to live a healthy lifestyle. Yet, it was hard to break away from the habit to procrastinate. So, when I read the post written by one of my…

Hotel and Food Chains

Café Mojo – A cool hangout in Mumbai

  A weekend clears away the rust of the whole week. Come Friday, and I start looking forward to the weekend ahead to break the monotony of the week. As much as I love to explore new places, but what usually happens is that I and my husband often end up going to the same places over and over again. So much so that at times I yearn for a change from the places that we usually hang out in during the weekends. Last weekend a change came in form of an invite to an exclusive dinner for bloggers at Café Mojo.

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