The KalaGhoda Arts Festival is loved by every Mumbaiite and visited every year without fail. I am one of those Mumbaiites who never misses the festival. Here are excerpts from my visit this year.
I travelled to Dehradun last summer to meet my childhood friends whose parents are staying there and they all come together in the parents’ home every summer. We are family friends with uncle and aunty being very close to my parents, especially aunty and my mom.
When I thought of Dehradun, I was expecting a very scenic and pretty place. But it’s even dirtier, crowded and dustier than our big cities, hotter than Mumbai and Delhi, which was a shock for me. Just before my vacation, I had caught a terrible viral fever with fever ranging between 102-103. I had thought I would have to cancel the trip. But my fever went down and I took the trip though weak. The heat was unbearable to bear with my weakness, but I took the trip. i was meeting my childhood friends after 20 years, not something I wanted to miss out on. Some places I visited on this trip:
Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir
Tapkeshwar Mahadev Mandir is situated on the bank of the river. It has a cave with one of the oldest natural Shivalings where the river enters and the water from the river naturally falls in drops on the Shivalinga.
The small cave also has another history behind it. It is said to be once resided by Dronacharya – the teacher of Pandavas and Kauravas. The cave is named Drona cave after him. There is a statue of Dronacharya here, the only one I have seen.
There is also a Vaishno Devi Gupha Mandir which is an exact replica of the original. It’s very beautiful but a very cramped and tiny cave. Go inside only if closed places don’t scare you and you don’t suffer from claustrophobia.
Robbers Cave, Dehradun has a legend behind it that a long time back, robbers would come down from the mountains and hide in this cave from the police. It added the sense of adventure of the place for me. It is a beautiful cave with a stream and waterfall inside it. It should not be missed at all.
Forest Research Institute(FRI)
Forest Research Institute is an institute which researches on the preservation of trees and plants in that region. The entire complex has European style buildings and beautiful gardens in the french style. It is also the institute that served as the college in Student of the Year.
The only other place where I saw such beautiful Buddha Monasteries were in Bangkok. Dehradun has a lot of Tibetan influence in Dehradun. You must try the Tibetan cuisine if you go there, especially if you eat Non-Vegeterian food. The Wok and The Orchard have awesome food there. The Orchard also is located at a very beautiful spot. Go there in the daytime preferably, it has beautiful scenery around.
I just needed to go out with friends after a long day of work. My friends were going for a movie and I went along with them. The movie we were seeing was Badlapur.
The movie promos said Don’t Miss the Beginning. And it’s right. If you miss the beginning, don’t watch the movie, because the movie’s first scene is the most important of the scene.
The movie is hard-hitting from the first scene to the last scene. It is a story of what extents can someone go to in order to take revenge. It is a story of impulsive mistakes, cold blooded murders. Varun Dhawan is absolutely esceptional in the movie. His pain, anger and intensity will sear your heart through and through.
Each character in the movie comes with a moral to the story. It is the first movie where I have seen the criminal who destroys the victim’s life giving the victim a new lease of life at the end of the movie.
I won’t give you a synopsis of the movie because the movie must be seen and even the smallest hint of the story will be a spoiler. Hence, this is the shortest movie ever.
Please do go and watch the movie, you will come out raving about it.
Dear Prospective (my) Car Owner,
We study hard in school and college, get a really well-paying, work hard day in and day out, enjoying a little with our hard earned cash and saving the rest of it for fulfilling our dreams of buying the things we have always wanted. For me, a car of my own topped the list, something I had dreamt of since childhood. When we bring a car into our family, it is not just a car. It is a friend, a companion, a travel buddy, a playground for children, a place to de-stress after a long hard day of work with your favourite music on and a long empty road in front of you. I love to travel and see new places, experience different worlds.
Finally, the day arrived when I had saved enough to buy a car. I was abuzz with excitement and nervousness at the same time while travelling to the showroom to buy my first car. I had my favourite all time companion with me who has been through all my good and bad times with me – my mom.
My car entered my life with a lot of pomp and celebration, with a smile on my mom’s face and a visit to the temple. It is my first car and very special for me. I took long drives with it on beautiful coastal roads with the sea travelling along with me. It saw my smiles, my beautiful moments, my funny moments, and poignant moments. It enveloped me in a hug when I was crying and rejoiced with me when I was happy.
It has seen my nieces frolicking in it happily, my mother happily going for a ride along with me. It has seen my father driving it for the first time and felt his happiness when he was driving a car bought from his daughter’s salary and that was the day he thought he was truly successful. My car has seen my dad laughing while he was sitting in the passenger and seeing me trying to learn how to drive.
It has been my friend in good and bad times. Recently, I have been thinking that this car and I are too used to each other now and not enjoying each other as much as we used to. Maybe it is time for both of us to move ahead and find a new companion to build memories with.
Which place will be better than http://www.quikr.com to give my car a new home? This car is very precious to me. I love it like family and will always cherish the beautiful memories we have built together. You are looking at this page, so something in this car has definitely appealed to you. It is looking for its next friend, companion and a new family to love.
Me….I will give this car that I love to you, content in the though knowing that you will love it as much as I do and with this money, I will find my next car using Quikr Nxt.
Why a used car and not a brand new car? Because I have realized how much more precious and loved used cars are and I want to continue adding to that love. My car is waiting for you with all its love and another used car is waiting for me with all its love. Now meet your new car.
Image Courtesy: http://bit.ly/1wvJIgd
A Quikr Seller and a Quikr Prospective Buyer.
This post is part of the IndiBlogger Happy Hours Topic “Get a better Car with Quikr NXT!”
I am an Indian and I love my tea. My morning starts with tea and sometimes ends with it too. I can have tea at anytime of the day. It is my companion in happiness, sadness, excitement, stress, for cooling off after a fight or after a client has driven me to the edge. My cup of tea is what I can’t do without most.
I have been in Mumbai for many years but had never heard of this place, until one day I was roaming around in Churchgate and saw this sign outside a cafe – the sign said Tea Center.
Being a tea lover, I was intrigued. But I was running short of time, so I went on without stopping. So this time, when I went to Kalaghoda festival, I knew I would feel incomplete unless I ended my day with a visit to the Tea Center. So here I was exhausted and dusty after roaming around Kalaghoda in the afternoon heat. It was about 6 p.m, the perfect time for a refreshing cuppa tea. I have two friends who absolutely love this place and come here a lot. It is the only tea shop where you will have to wait to get a table and be served tea, it is that popular. But you will find the wait totally worth it.
I had heard a lot of praises for the Hot Buttered Apple Tea at this place and I decided to try it out. And was it simply the most sinfully delicious tea I have ever tasted. It has a lingering rich buttery taste enveloped by the fruity freshness of apple. I am in love with it.
I paired it with Lemon Tart and this was the most perfect Tea I have ever had. The tangy sweetness of the Lemon Tarts was the perfect accompaniment to the rich flavour of Hot Buttered Apple Tea, This will have your mouth watering. It is even more delicious than it looks.
Now, I want to try their Banana Caramel Tea, Glasier Mint Tea, Almond Tea, Irish Tea, Rose Tea -ohh the list is endless. I wish I was staying near it. I would be at the Tea Centre everyday. My dream is to spend an entire day there and try all the Tea flavours I want to. I am sure I’ll spend a day like that soon at the Tea Centre. Ohh, did I mention that it is managed by the Government? There are some things that our Government gets right, The Tea Center is one of them.
© Arti Deshpande
The beginning of every year would be an incomplete for me if I didn’t go to the Kalaghoda Arts Festival. So, I went to the festival this year too on the first day that it started. Here are excerpts from my day at Kalaghoda.
Water, Mumbai’s most precious resource
Shops with Interesting art like this are one of the main reasons for me to go to the festival every year.
A Tribute to Cinema – both Hollywood and Bollywood
Ethno Mod – a Tribute to the Spirit of Womanhood by artist Kisalay Vora(my favourite work of art this year)
The artist himself
A quaint car
I love these characters at a stall in Kalaghoda
With the world increasingly getting full of disconnected people, the artwork on this car talks about the power of the human touch.
I simply loved this.
CST Station at Night
The Treasures that I brought back from the Festival
© Arti Deshpande
I am always up for an English movie whenever I get a chance to see it in a movie hall. So, on Wednesday, when my friends said that they were going to see a movie called American Sniper, I simply said I would go too. I had never heard of the movie before that day as I had been really busy and not paid attention to the recent and new releases in movie halls.
We made the plans for the movie three days in advance and it was only when I was leaving for the movie that I got a little time to check what the story was about. That’s when I first heard the name of Chris Kyle, Legend. I thought that the storyline sounded interesting and would be a good watch and I am getting to watch it with friends. That’s all that I thought. Boy, was I wrong!
The movie will shake you to the core, touch your heart like you never imagined. It will fill your heart with the utmost respect and awe for these men who go into war-torn areas so that we can live peacefully in our happy lives. You will feel their pain, shiver with tears in your eyes and fall in love with each of them.
Chris Kyle is a Texan cowboy who is an amazing shooter. His father taught him to shoot with a rifle when he was a young boy. Years, later, he sees a news coverage of the bombings on the U.S Embassy in 1998. He enlists in the U.S Navy and is accepted for SEAL(Sea, Air, Land Teams) Training. He becomes a US Navy Seal Sniper.
Kyle gets married to Taya Renae and immediately after, he is sent to Iraq after the September 11 attacks on USA. The first person he shoots is a small boy who is running towards his troops with a grenade in his hand. The experience upsets him emotionally. However, he earns the nickname ‘Legend’ for his many kills. He kills 255 people, 165 are officially confirmed by the Department of Defense. He returns to his wife and two children after the war is over. But, he has difficulty forgetting his wartime experiences and starts withdrawing to himself and stops communicating with Taya also, with whom he has a warm and a loving relationship.
He had been four tours to Iraq, coming back to his wife in between the tours. At the end of the last tour, he returns for good. He is taken by Taya to a Veteran Affairs psychiatrist who is perturbed by the change in him. He tells the psychiatrist that he is haunted by all the guys he couldn’t save.
The pyschiatrist gets him on the path to helping other war veterans who had a more tragic experience while on duty. He teaches them shooting and spends time with them. Soon, he starts returning to normal. And then the movie has a sudden tragic end.
This movie is a 100% worth watch. I loved every bit of it and you will too.Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller are exceptional as Chris Kyle and Taya Renae.
The real Chris Kyle
Image Courtesy: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Chris-Kyles-Children-Offer-Special-Goodbye-190767341.html
Chris Kyle with his wife
Image Courtesy: http://bit.ly/1EHB97j
Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller in American Sniper
Image Courtesy: http://collider.com/american-sniper-trailer-bradley-cooper/
© Arti Deshpande
I had heard a lot about Ghatkopar’s Khau Galli(Food Street) from my friends and colleagues. Ghatkopar is a suburb of Mumbai. I had heard that you get atleast 25 different types of Dosas there and they are a must try. i had been longing to go since a long time. On Friday, a friend and I made an impromptu plan to go there.
We reached there at about 9 p.m. We were just roaming around and wondering where to start. The food there is all vegetarian street food and it is amazingly clean there and the taste of street food is retained. The dosa seller was right in front of us. However, we wanted to try something also before that. Here are the things that we tried and would completely recommend to everyone.
We saw this guy who was selling Tikkas. His business name is Hot Spot and he also has his stall in front of Worli Seaface. We had the most amazing Paneer Tikka there. The masala that he uses for marinating the Paneer is something simply different and the Paneer Tikka tastes out of this world.
Sai Swad Dosa
After this, we were ready to try the dosa now at Sai Swad Dosa. We went through the list and actually saw that there are more than 25 varieties of dosas. Experimental that I am with food, I decided to try the Maggi Cheese Dosa. My friend took the Special Schezwan and Manchurian Cheese Dosa. Though all the dosas there are out of this world, nothing can taste better than the Maggi Cheese Dosa – take my word for it. It is simply delicious. That stall is so popular that they have 8 tawas set up and 8 dosas being made at the same time. Still, the waiting time is atleast 20 mins. But, believe me when I say that every minute of wait is worth it. Take a look at this picture of the magic men at work.
Naughty Sips and Slices
While we were waiting for the dosas, I saw a small eatery behind Sai Swad Dosa. They had displayed Chocolate Pizza in the menu. I was completely tempted and decided to try it out after the dosa. My friend and I shared the Chocolate Pizza as we were too full after the dosa. But one taste of the pizza and we were hooked completely. It was extraordinary. Take a look at this picture and get ready to drool.
After this, we thought we were completely done and then the owner of the eatery came and told us that they had very good Falooda. He told us about the Fusion Falooda – it is a combination of vanilla icecream. rose syrup, dryfruits and fruits. We accepted his suggestion and decided to try it out. It was mindblowing to to say the least. Take a look at the picture and see for yourself.
In the end there were two totally happy faces after stuffing ourselves so much who were not able to even walk at all. A trip to Khau Galli at Ghatkopar is a must and an experience you will never forget.
© Arti Deshpande
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.
© Arti Deshpande
Vipasha(Vee) has the world at her feet. She is eighteen, beautiful with a promising modelling career and a terrific relationship. She has a troubled relationship with her mother who put her in a boarding school at a very young age. She is not very close to her father either. She continues her modelling career only for the money it brings her and she doesn’t care much about it otherwise. The only thing that matters most to her is her relationship with Ankush, whom she considers the love of her life.
Life takes an unexpected turn when Vee discovers she is pregnant with Ankush’s kid. Ankush looks reluctant to accept the baby and Vee breaks all ties with him and decides to have the baby. Nothing can dissuade her from her decision.
Fifteen years down the line, Vee is living a happy life with her son Aryan and has a flourishing business and is also a personal trainer at a gym. Her childhood best friend Suchi is the rock solid support in her life. And then life takes an unexpected twist again.
Overnight, Vee’s business shuts down and she has an insecure future now. How she copes with it and what happens to her future is the crux of the story now.
The main message in the book that everything in your life happens for a reason, though you may not understand the reason yet. It gives out the message about how someone’s behaviour towards you may have a lot of underlying reasons. Life is all about second chances. The book speaks to you and says that if you face an obstacle in life, it is because it is supposed to take you to the future that will be infinitely better.
I really enjoyed the book and found it very encouraging and inspirational. I totally recommend it.
© Arti Deshpande
When I was growing up, I had a clear plan of the things I had a clear list of the things I would achieve by the time I turned 25. Here is my list.
1) I would be highly educated.
2) I would be working in a top organization with a cushy salary at a high post.
3) I would have built my dream home in a beautiful city.
4) I would have met the love of my life and would be happily married.
5) I would have travelled to my dream location,Switzerland.
At the age of 36, I look back at this list and though I have not achieved many things in this list, I have understood the things that truly matter in my life. Love, laughter, friendship, living each day to the fullest, compassion towards others, being grateful for the blessings that I have instead of regretting the things that I don’t have. I have learnt to enjoy my present and not worry about the future, work and play to the fullest and I am happier than I ever thought I could be.
I saw the new Kinley TVC where a young girl goes off to Lonavla without telling her parents who think she is studying at a friend’s place. The girl starts feeling guilty when she reaches Lonavla and is not able to enjoy herself. Eventually, not being able to control herself, she calls up her father and confesses to him that she had lied to him that she is studying at a friend’s place and she is actually in Lonavla. When her father sternly asks her, ” Why are you telling me now?” She says that she was unable to have fun as she had lied to him. The father is touched and forgives her on the spot.
Watch the TVC here:
This TVC took me back to my childhood days. My parents were very strict and would take a lot of care to know where I was going and with whom and for how long. Many times, they would deny permission to me outright and I would be very angry. Even when I turned 18, they were strict with me. We were living in the north east, so they would worry even more. They wouldn’t allow me to go out after dark.
I was the rebellious kid and the restrictions would annoy me a lot. It would lead to big fights in the house, especially between my mom and myself as my dad would smartly leave the disciplining to her. One day, it happened that my friends were going to Shillong Peak, my favourite spot. I really wanted to go. Mom refused as my friends were going in the evening and it would be dark by the time they returned. My parents then went out for some work.
I was very upset and very keen on going. I knew my parents would take quite a lot of time to come back home. I decided to go with my friends. i left with my friends in the car. We had a lot of fun and I came back home before my parents returned. But, I was feeling guilty as my parents were very affectionate, just very concerned about me.
When they came back home, I was feeling very uncomfortable. They didn’t sense anything amiss and were normal with me. We sat down to have dinner together. I was normal from outside and feeling guilty from inside. Eventually, I gathered all my courage and told my parents that I had gone to Shillong Peak with my friends. There was absolute silence at the table. Then suddenly to my surprise, my dad burst out laughing. It really broke the ice between us. We had a long talk and arrived at an understanding with each other.
I resolved to never ever lie to my parents again and always talk it out with my them and only go out when they would be comfortable with it. As soon as I decided this, my parents were far more understanding and relaxed the rules a lot for me.