Wednesday, June 14

Being Alive

Call it destiny or call it timing, I last wrote to you about all the jazzy pubs and resto's I'd been to, and as it happens, most of them are now going sober due to the rule which states no alcohol selling/consumption close to highways. 

(I'm sure that's not stopping the "dedicated" boozers and sellers. Where there is one rule, there are ten ways to flout it. Human mentality!)

I'm writing to you after quite a hiatus. Been busy (yet again) with work, travel (Bangalore pub-hopping and staff connects) and home. The kid is in his troublesome two's and it's a pain even to survive, forget blog and do something fun. However, I seem to be managing pretty okay with mt work-life balance. I recently went paragliding with some colleagues to Kamshet, and was it an otherworldly experience! Truly thrilling and adrenaline-racing! Right from the fun local train ride to the trek uphill to the flying platform and back home by auto. 

I enjoyed my aerosport experience with Indus paragliding and you can locate them online. They charge about 3000 bucks as do most others in the vicinity, and it's called tandem paragliding, which means a trained pilot flies with you steering and manoeuvring while you only sit and drink in the sights and excitement. I was lucky to find a Nepali pilot who did everything imaginable on the flight, including somersaults and swinging to and fro, and going to heights and dips. I guess I should also thank my weight, because my poor colleague was almost denied a ride as she was underweight and hence a risk to take off and land owing to the breeze. The ideal weight, I believe is 60-80 kgs so here's a reason to celebrate your kilos!

I realised many things on the trip and during the flight, and I'm going to share them with you just in case they change something in you or resonate within you. Life is too short to keep complaining about what's happening and what's not, who did what to you, and why things did not work out. There is no point in waiting for that one single person to fulfil your dreams and imagination. Be your own hero, take charge of your life. Find the time to do things that you love. Everything else will fall in place. There are many new friends waiting for you to take the first step and plan something that you've always wanted to do but never managed to tick off your bucket list. Just take the plunge. It might fail, but it might succeed too. And once it does, it will be a memory for life and maybe friends for a lifetime.

I found out that what makes me feel alive is not just random peregrinating, but a bloodrush when I engage in something thrilling. 

Paragliding was one, and I topped it with Nitro and Scream at the Imagica theme park in Khopoli. The tickets are expensive, so try to visit on  weekday, especially as groups/students so that you get some discounts. In any case, my paisa vasool moment was when I was lifted in the air and plunged to the ground face first on the 360 spiral of the Nitro rollercoaster. Ditto on the Scream which swings and rotates like a massive pendulum making your hair sway and your heart dance. While I skipped most rides since Aarush could not join (he was short of 3 inches and entered free as he's not yet 3), the day sure was refreshing. I also went to the kiddy rides - TeaCup ride and Magic Carousel, Rajasaurus (slow documentary boatride with crazy, wet climax!) and Wild West (okayish after Nitro). I would like to go back for sure and check all the other rides and the Aqua water park next door. Oh and FYI - the restaurant is pretty decent since you are forbidden to carry any outside eatables, and you don't really need an Express pass which is even costlier than the regular ticket. Must visit, so much better than Esselworld and truly a world class destination!

Planning some underwater adventure soon... Won't tell you where and how. But you know I will stop by again, soon. 

Oh and for the record, I watched the spooky Dobara (inspired by Occulus) and visited Bannerghata National Park (amazing safari!) in Bangalore replete with white and Indian tigers, elephants, lions and bears. I finished reading Grown Up by Gillian Flynn (writer of Gone Girl) and it's a great short story, with my entire theme of thrill and chill. 

Be happy, enjoy the rains. See you when I see you :-) 


Friday, March 24

Reads and feeds


9 years and 9 months old, phew. Been here almost a decade. Thanks for allowing me to thrive and survive, bask in your love and appreciation, dear readers! Love you all. 

I've been reading and I've been out hanging about. So this post brings you some reviews from my latest experiences.

But before that, let me tell you, I watched Logan and absolutely loved it. Brilliant movie, though I'm not an X Men fan, and I'm the types that sleeps through Martian and Expendable like films. While some folks were sniggering about it being a copy of Bajrangi Bhaijaan, I totally adored the father-daughter chemistry. To confess, I actually identified with Laura, what with her quick temper and ability to scar and scratch! I'm a difficult person to be around, and then probably yak the way she does later in the movie. Ha ha. Worth a watch, ya'all.

I've halfway through the third book in the Divergent series. Veronica Roth has kept me glued through Divergent, Insurgent and now Allegiant. While I find my head wandering at some detailed, methodical, fictional descriptions, I find the book has overall appeal for both young adults and oldies alike. I am in love with Four, which isn't a secret really. And I find Tris quite like me, Divergent in so many ways, messed up yet sorted in her own unique manner. By the by, I think I'm equal 30% Candor and Erudite, 25% Dauntless and 15% Amity. Not Abegnation at all. My co-reading friend agrees. He's out and out Amity, so well, we manage to trudge along together, especially as we hang out in the joints that I'm about to describe below. 

Teddy Boy in Baner - amazing ambience, good spread, decent service, wonderful music, amazing crowd. Checks all the boxes as a must visit joint with friends. They have a huge screen as well where you can enjoy a match and a show. 

Cafe 1730 in Koregaon Park - Went there a while ago after many folks insisted it was an awesome place. I found it just satisfactory, nothing extraordinary. Ok food, service and drinks.

Raaste Cafe near Station / Camp - Now this was so much better than 1730. They serve shisha / sheesha / hookah in some pretty stunning flavors and they also have some mindblowing cocktails and desserts. Good crowd, but an expensive place. Considering it still is a part of the old Shaantai hotel. Definite place to visit on your afternoon venue list.

Classic Rock Coffee in Kalyani Nagar - Have been here before, liked it then and loved it now. It's obviously much better in the evenings with exciting crowd, music, food and happy hours. Doesn't have a great variety of soups, though. Why soups? Just thought I'd let you know.

Sin Envy Pride in Mundhwa - Rooftop Lounge and Club. Good food and crowd and music. Expensive, but memorable. 

Elephant and Co and Little Next Door  - Both in Kalyani Nagar - Ok joints both, nothing worth a thunderous applause. Want a change, could make a pit stop. 

Bar Bar, Phoenix Mall - Good one. They have a unique concept of happy hours, where the more you drink, the less you pay per drink. So nothing that ties you down to the time of the day. Interesting spread of starters and satisfactory service and crowd, too.  

Rude Lounge near Phoenix Mall - Had been wanting to go here for a long time, but never managed to for many reasons. When I finally went, I saw that they were an okay place for family as well as friends, and okay in terms of food and drinks as well. The rooftop certainly is a crowd puller as is the location and music. Not bad at all. 

Spice Factory on Nagar Bypass Road - They've renovated a few months ago, and this time round, this place is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoy their menu right from appetizers to mains and desserts.  Their concept of pitcher is a tad warped, it only means a small jug which holds about 2 glasses of beer. But they do have happy hours and theme days, with nice crowd and music so it's a hit for me.

Texas Bar and Grill in Kharadi -  Happy hours until much later in the day, that's what takes the cake first and foremost. Apart from that, their ambience, proximity to my home, music and crowd is all fine. 

There are some old and new pubs and lounges in Seasons Mall and Amanora, which I am not sure if I have mentioned or not, but just to name a few that I have been to that worked (TGIF, TJ Brew works, Agent Jacks, Sigree, Hoppipola, Cuba Libre, Fly High) and haven't been to (Bottle Street and Altitude, heard it's too dear to go just yet without occasion).

So well, all in all, that's my take on the places you can add or strike off your hangout list. Not too many details, I know, but there's got to be some novelty and discovery even in predictability! 

Got some new destinations up your sleeve? Let me know, or better still, take me!

Party on :-) 


Monday, March 20

Generational Gap

So Simon Sinek has spoken about millenials and that's got me thinking. 
(Watch video here: 

Since I'm born in the mid-1980s, I am a millenial by definition and I do find myself identifying with some (not all) of the things mentioned in the video. I do, however, see how it applies to folks (kids!) born in the 1990s and later. For example, instant gratification, which is truly evidenced by the presence of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder. Millenials do not want to cultivate lasting, trustworthy relationships. Instead, what gets them excited and motivated is the prospect of likes and speed dates. How well you can sell yourselves to strangers and almost-strangers is more critical than having that one friend for life, that you can turn to come rain or storm. No wonder then, that they feel lonely and burned out, depressed and stressed more and sooner than folks from the previous generations. 

My parents are Baby Boomers (1946-64) and my elder brother is Gen X (1960-80) while my husband is a millenial (1981-2000) so we have a fair mix of all thoughts and perspectives in the fam. 

I see how failure impacts us millenials far worse than it does the other generations. We often leave the company or the relation because we cannot deal with or accept the lesson that comes with it, making us resilient and far more effective and tolerant. No, so much easier to give up and start again in a fresh place rather than undo and re-do some of the bits that need mending to make life smoother in the long run. Everywhere around us are people who change jobs and partners every 6 months, so much so, that when someone mentions a 5-yr old tenure at work or with a partner, it receives applause and even a snide comment about complacency!  

We want our drinks and showers fast, we want to be told that nothing is impossible, and that nothing is too tough. Anything that we aspire is ours, without trying too hard, since we're worth it and more. 

It makes me sad, this thought that we're setting millenials up for failure - the pressure on them is immense and their heads are so messed up, it brings a sense of foreboding. I know some of them out there, wiser even than the rest. But, overall this simple categorization brings with it a lot of scope for introspection and improvement. 

And opportunity for training in organizations, which is how this actually struck me in the first place.  

So, the next time you pause to either reprimand or recommend someone, do keep this idea in mind - the concept of generational differences. It does explain quite a bit about our differing reactions and thought processing. 


Wednesday, March 8

Just Another Women's Day

Women’s Day they cheer,
Fortune favors the brave;
And yet this “kick-ass” woman,
Cannot her sanity save.
I marvel at the ladies
That saunter tough with grace,
I fail at half they do
And scamper to save face.    
Fear and anxiety
Are my eternal mates,
I can’t help but wonder,
At folks who accept their fates.
I am my self’s enemy,
I am my own friend,
Everything starts with me,
And I beget my own end.
I’m tired of fighting my soul,
A creature so wild and free;
Taming it takes up all I got,
And leaves not an ounce of peace wee.
Torn between good and immoral,
I toil and douse the fire in my heart;
Doing what the world deems right,
Yet feel so empty in every part.
My soul claims each breath,
Every step I take is mine,
And still at the close of it all,
Nothing seems fine.
Coz some like me who appear,
To have it all together;
Are the weakest when dawn breaks,
As we assemble in our cap each feather.  
When the sun comes up,
We rise with determination new,
Wish all the good we do unto you,
Would come back to us someday, too.
For now we wait and watch,
And go with the flow but fickle;
Veiling our powers and dreams,
That you sell for a dime and nickel.

More power to all of us, ladies.
And the men, who sometimes need more confidence, support and motivation than the erstwhile “weaker” sex.  



Monday, January 16

New Year, Old Ambitions

I find it funny and frustrating when people say they are waiting for the "right" time to do/start something that they call a passion or goal. 

We have the proverb " No time like the present" thrown to us from the pages on the web and even before that, from the our grammar books in school, and yet people don't get the message.

I find it ironic and infuriating that I am one of these people. 

This procrastinating tendency has kept my childhood dream of writing a book under cover for years. 

I watch the bursting shelves in bookstores and the endless views online for books published by individuals who don't even qualify to be called a writer. Writing endless supplements during matriculation and college sure isn't a pre-requisite (or precursor) for this talent. But if I'm such a whiz in this area, then why the hell have I not done anything to keep bookworms content with my potential?

No answer.

Just too busy with life to even write on my blog called Life...

A blog that you wonderful people have decided to follow and subscribe, visit and motivate. 

Work happened, marriage and motherhood. Other goals became priority and this item on my wish list was pushed deeper below. Despite my uncle promising to publish my book of poems, and despite my husband encouraging me to commence on my writing journey, I have managed to take a step and a few more, but never reached the destination. The intent is there, the effort missing. 

I am not brave enough to quit my full-time, well-paying, cushy, satisfying job and pursue this hobby. Quick gratification and security is blinding my eyes to the glimmer of fame and freedom. Even before I have worked on the plot of my story, writer's block and laziness are scarring my dedication. What if it doesn't work out? What if it's just another book on the shelf, a tale in the saga? What if the book fails? What if people ridicule and shun it? What if I don't get published? What if my books lie untouched in bookstores? What if I become the laughing stock of the society?

I know none of this will happen. Even if it does, I won't be the first, or the last, or the only one. Yet, I am afraid. 

Venting on this blog to you is one thing, friends. Writing a book and exposing myself to the world is an entirely different ball game. 

Wise men ponder while fools rush through. My dillydallying is leading me nowhere. 

Show me the way, God. 

Show all of us uninitiated ones where we need to be and what we need to do to get there.

I put myself in your hands. 

Coz I'm so clueless and lost...

Riding pillion, with no passion of my own. Just going with the flow, and yet having to battle it out with the waves. Helpless in my aggression and stumped in my frustration. 

I need a time out. 

Anuja, OUT. 

- Princess