A Painful part of Indian History – Jalianwala Bagh

There isn’t one Indian whose heart doesn’t ache on hearing the name Jalianwala Bagh. For those who aren’t aware, here is the history behind Jalianwala Bagh in brief. General Dyer had heard about something major planned by the Indian freedom fighters. Punjab celebrates Baisakhi on 13th April. People had come together to celebrate Baisakhi at Jalianwala Bagh. General Dyer arrived there with the British Indian army and ordered firing at the people congregated there without looking into the agenda of the meeting. Innocent men, women and small children were shot at with machine guns. Many people jumped into the well there to save themselves. While British sources say that approximately 379 died with 1,100 wounded, the real estimate is said to be 1,500 people injured and approximately 1,000 people dead. This place has been turned into a memorial for those who lost their lives on that day.

When I visited Jalianwala Bagh, I was really appalled to see that people treat it as a picnic spot, taking selfies and picnicking there. It is not a picnic spot. Where is our sensitivity? Some pictures of the memorial.

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Names of the people who died there.

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The entry from where firing was done, leaving people with no escape route.

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The Memorial.

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The well in which people jumped in to save themselves. 120 dead bodies were extracted from the well.

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The Foodie’s Paradise – Amritsar.


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If there is anything Punjab and Punjabis are known for, it is their love for food. Amritsar is the perfect place to experience the culinary delights of Punjab. Be it their dhabas or restaurants, the food is rich in taste and aroma. My trip to Amritsar was very short because of some flight cancellations that happened from the Airlines end. But I still tried to experience whatever I could of the delicious food there in my short stay.

It is seriously a crime if you go to Amritsar and don’t taste their Amritsari Kulcha. So, on the first day that we landed, we set off to sample the food. We went to Kulchaland. The Amritsari Kulcha there is simply out of this world, floating in butter, melting in your mouth and transporting you to culinary heaven. Along with that, we had the Punjabi lassi(thin in consistency and rich in taste, the way I love it). If the lassi is too thick, I think it’s better to have shrikhand or dahi.

Feast your eyes on the amazing Kulcha and lassi.

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The lassi looks thick because it has a layer of Malai on top, you can remove the malai or eat it separately and enjoy the thin lassi under it 🙂

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The other thing that really delighted me was the variety of paan flavours available at the shop next to Kulchaland. I tried the Chocolate Paan, Rasmalai Paan, Imli Paan and Aam Papad Paan. I was not impressed by the Aam Papad Paan and Imli Paan but the chocolate and rasmalai paan were awesome. Unfortunately, I did not have time to go back and try the other flavours. Last but not the least, I have fallen in love with the Amritsari Mango pickle which mom bought there as she loves it and it has gained one more lifelong fan.

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Chocolate Paan

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Rasmalai Paan

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A Place that was my dream to visit since forever – Golden Temple, Amritsar.


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I don’t even remember from when it was my dream to visit Amritsar – it was a childhood dream. i have even lived in Punjab when I was really small since my father was posted there. Finally my dream came true in this month – November 2017. These will be a series of different blog posts as they won’t fit into one post. I start with Day 1 at Amritsar. This is the Golden Temple at night. There can never be a more beautiful sight than this.IMG_1911

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A Place to Revisit!

This post is written as a part of Indispire Edition # 175 – Share about any place that you would love to revisit. What makes the place special? #TimeToRevisit

From a very young age, I have been passionate about travelling with a list of many dream destinations. The love for travelling comes from my army background and frequent transfers. The place that topped the list of my dream destinations is Paris. So it was a dream come true when in 2008, my dad said that we will go on a holiday to Paris. I was ecstatic and on Cloud Nine. I made all the preparations, we applied for a visa and got it quite easily. My brother was a frequent traveller all over the world for work purposes. We were travelling in April and we checked with him if we need to carry warm clothes. He advised us to carry light woollens. So we were all set and left in April 2008.

On the day that we landed in Paris, it snowed heavily and the temperature dropped drastically to 3 degrees centigrade. I was carrying a very light jacket as were my parents. We all got exposed to the cold but I was the only one who got a terrible viral fever attack. I was sightseeing in Paris with a fever of 103 degrees, sometimes touching 104 degrees. I was at a loss at how to buy medicines as the employees at the pharmacies there only spoke and understood French. We were strolling in Paris one day and we came across an Indian restaurant. I had been dying for some Masala chai(we all know how good that tastes in cold and fever). I walked into the restaurant with mom and we started chatting with the owner. We ordered food and very hestitantly I asked if I could get some adrak chai(Ginger Tea) as I have a cold. He personally made it for me and henceforth, whenever I visited his restaurant, my ginger tea would be ready. I will never forget his kindness and warm hospitality. The restaurant was quite close to our hotel.

Because of my sickness, I could not enjoy my time at Paris at all. It is all a hazy blur. My worst regret is when we went to see the cabaret at Moulin Rouge. I took a heavy dose of medicine so that I could enjoy the show. It had a different adverse effect on me and the medicines made me drowsy and I slept through the show.

So the place that I really want to revisit in good health and good weather is Paris. I really hope I get to see Paris again in my lifetime. Here is a picture of Eiffel Tower at night that i took with my mom standing in front of it. You can gauge the size of Eiffel Tower by comparing it with the size of people standing under and in front of it.

Datsun redi-GO – Be Ready to take on the World!

Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross – Datsun redi-GO – the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.

The Datsun redi-Go promises us this and more!

 

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Image Courtesy: http://autos.maxabout.com/cars/datsun/redi-go

 

The Datsun redi-GO follows the ‘YUKAN’ (勇敢) design philosophy that seeks to create cars that are Brave and Bold, Compact yet Sleek with crisp and clean lines. India’s first urban-cross, Datsun redi-GO blends the modern styling of an urban hatchback with the spirit of a crossover. Its high, wide stance gives you a commanding feel on the road, while retaining the agility of a compact vehicle – truly the best of both worlds.

With roomy interiors for that sense of space, an amazing mileage of 25.17 kmpl and a commanding seating position to help you enjoy all the sights and sounds of the world around you, long drives will never be the same again. On first glance you’ll notice redi-GO’s sporty good looks and smart dimensions. Inside you’ll find spacious room for all passengers and a high eye-point for the driver, making Datsun redi-GO both smart and stylish.

I was very impressed when I read about this new car that has hit the Indian roads. It has some exceptional features that make it the perfect car for the Indian Roads. There are three features that make it the perfect car for me.

High Ground Clearance 

It has the best in ground clearance of 185 mm which helps in dealing with the low obstacles that we encounter on the street. Having sprained my back many times because of the low obstacles on the road which are not visible sometimes, this feels like the best feature ever in a car.

Cabin Space

I am quite tall and in most of the cars, I feel very cramped in the back seat, especially if the people sitting in the front seat are also tall. The Datsun redi-Go has ample second row knee room for those sitting at the back.

Room for More Storage Space

The Datsun redi-Go  has a 222 litre boot, enough to keep a lot of luggage or other items even when all the seats are occupied. This makes it the perfect car for the long road trips that I love to go on.

Test-Driving the Datsun redi-Go

I stay in Mumbai and most of us know how stressful it is to drive in a big city where people are in a hurry to get to their destination and low on patience. Combine that with the poor quality of roads full of potholes and it becomes a nightmare for the person driving the car. 

I would like to test the Datsun redi-Go on the Mumbai roads as the roads here are very bumpy and full of people driving haphazardly and pedestrians crossing the road from wherever they want to. It has the shortest breaking distance because of its PAB performance augmented brakes due to which the responsive time from brake pedals to wheels is very short. 

The other feature for which I would like to test drive the car in Mumbai is the Tall Boy Stance. I am an animal lover and many times, we have small cats and dogs crossing the roads in Mumbai and it becomes difficult to see them. I would like to see if the Tall Boy Stance helps overcome this hurdle while driving.

With these features, this is one car I would love to own!

 

 

Tribal Museum, Bhopal

Recently, I went on a vacation to Mhow, Indore and Bhopal. I visited many beautiful places there but the highlight of my visit was definitely the Tribal Museum in Bhopal. It is so beautifully made, reflecting the tribal life of olden days with such beautiful structures that I was left awestruck. This place is a must visit for anyone going to Bhopal. Take a look at the pictures. There are a lot of pictures, but trust me, browsing through them will be an experience.

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Narmada Ghat, Omkareshwar

Living in a city takes you away from the beauty and grandeur of nature and makes you long for the serenity and peace that only nature can provide. We were on the way to Omkareshwar to see the Jyotiringa there. Unfortunately, we could not see it due to the Kumbh Mela Rush. However, on the way we stopped at the beautiful Narmada Ghat. A very serene and beautiful spot with clean river water and relatively clean Ghat(river bank). Pictures of the beautiful spot:

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Taj Mahal – a painting in the sky!

We have all heard about the beauty of the Taj Mahal, but we can only understand the perfect beauty when we actually see the Taj Mahal. Such technical excellence in those times is absolutely astounding.
We took a trip to Agra in the month of March. The logical order of starting the Agra trip is to start with a visit to the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal after that.
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When you come close to the entrance gate, this is the first view of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is right outside the gate, right?

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Wrong. This is the actual distance of the Taj Mahal from the Gate.

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This is an optical illusion. The Taj Mahal is full of optical illusions like this which were created to make it the a complete marvel.
When you enter the gate, the first view of the Taj Mahal made me feel like I was looking at a painting in the sky. No construction has been allowed behind the Taj Mahal so that the view of the Taj Mahal is not spoilt. This picture doesn’t even do 1/4th justice to the actual beauty of the Taj Mahal. You have to see it in real. It will take your breath away.

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This is the famous bench outside Taj Mahal where so many film shootings have happened.

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The iconic pose

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When you stand facing the gate with your back towards the Taj Mahal, you will see the gate is exactly in the same spot as the Taj Mahal, on the other side. The entire monument is an example of perfect symmetry.

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The four minarets around the Taj Mahal are slightly tiliting outwards. Look at the picture.

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Do you know why this is so? It is because, if there is ever an earthquake, the minarets will fall outwards and not on the main building.

The architecture of Taj Mahal has all the influences of Hindu, Muslim and Persian Architecture.

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A huge kalash engraved into the floor at Taj Mahal.

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A beautiful view of the River Yamuna from behind the Taj Mahal. This place is so serene that I just wanted to sit here and spend the entire day.

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Another view. That’s the Agra Fort on the opposite bank of the river.

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There are 16 gardens in front of the Taj Mahal. There are lot of mysteries and stories surrounding the numbers around Taj Mahal which I am not revealing. That should be heard when you go there. It is absolutely essential to get a Guide for first time visitors.

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There is a Jama Masjid(Mosque) inside the complex. It is on the left side of the Taj Mahal. The sides of the Taj Mahal have this design which is called the Honeycomb design. Through each opening, you can see the entire Jama Masjid. This is an optical illusion again.

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The main bulding is surrounded by this Persian carpet design on all four sides.

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The garden that you see in the picture is Mehtab Bagh which is behind the Taj Mahal.

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Shah Jahan had built the white Taj Mahal as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. In the same way, he had planned to built a black Taj Mahal as a tomb for himself opposite the white Taj Mahal near Mehtab Bagh, so that his and Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb could be near each other’s and they would be close even after death.

The marked circular spot that you see is where he had planned to build the Black Taj Mahal.

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However, by then Aurangzeb(Shah Jahan’s son) had usurped power from his father and he disapproved of such extravagance. He had already put Shah Jahan under house arrest. He stopped the construction of the Black Taj Mahal. Imagine what a sight it would have been to see the white and black Taj Mahal on the opposite sides of the river Yamuna. We have been deprived of something so beautiful.

Shah Jahan was buried in the Taj Mahal next to Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb. You can see the two tombs together. Photography is not allowed inside.

Please don’t believe all those stupid stories about how Taj Mahal was a Hindu monument which was usurped by the Mughals. This is sheer nonsense. Shah Jahan had a Hindu mother and a Hindu wife and Mumtaz Mahal was a Persian. That’s where all these varied influences come from.