Pages

June 20, 2016

Random Travel Gyan (Europe)

After two days of sever jet lag I decided to write something from mental notes I'd taken mentally during my trip to Copenhagen and Norway! This is for all those who love to travel but always gets confused while packing/sight seeing/staying etc. So for myself for the next trip and for all those travelers who wish to get little less confused in the next trip...


  • AirBNB is the Best ever thing in the world for people like us who generally love to spend on travelling but not for luxury all the time. It is economical (Almost half sometimes!) specially in Europe. Our experience with AirBNB in Norway was so warm, comfortable and enjoyable that even a five star hotel would not have given us the same kind of an experience. Apart from saving money, AirBNB makes you interact with local buddies and make new friends! Experiencing different cultures can not become more interesting. 
  • If you are not going for a dinner or shopping in the place you are travelling but for sight seeing/leisure walk - Please Please keep a bag pack and not a shoulder bag with you. It is a real trouble when suddenly you plan to hike a mountain near by or even have to walk kilometers due to unavailability of public transportation. You might end up climbing a mountain with a fancy handbag on your shoulder enjoying pendulum motion of the same. You can might as well carry a fold able bag pack I spotted in European markets and keep it in the sling/shoulder bag for such times.
  • A pair of Eye wear is not only for your eyes but also for shiny photos. If you are like me who does not really like to even apply kohl properly on holidays. A lipstick is just fine! 
  • A smart comfy jacket is a must if travelling to Europe. (You do not have to bother much about blouses you wear if you are travelling in the cold weather- a fashion cheat?). If it gets hot, remove- roll the jacket and put it in your bag. Preferably hang with those tied up strings on your bag pack, but going out without a jacket is not a good idea. A pair of good looking scarves would also help you looking chic without really being one! ( Fashion Fiestas- ignore!)
  • A pair of sports shoes is a must apart from an easy comfy pair of slippers and a classy sandal. Most of my trips include long hours of walking so I generally avoid even sandals but if you are planning for a formal dinner or something -a pair of sandals would do better. Otherwise a dashing pair of shoes can go all the way while slippers would help when indoor. I am so so impressed by Danish and Norwegian people when it comes to fashion- they flaunt sport shoes/comfy sneakers with anything like no body's business. 
  • A pull down jacket is a must if visiting cold countries in winter. Light weight, easy to roll and fit into a bag.
  • Please please please divide the load by keeping one trolley bag for each if travelling in a group or with the partner. It breaks a heart and a hand if the common bag becomes too heavy and bulky which needs to be carried by only one person at a time. A bag pack per person would be even better if going for a medium to short vacation.
  • Power banks and a portable extension board would do wonders as most of the European rooms give one or two plug points. If you are one of those, who come to the room just to sleep , it is a struggle to recharge all the gadgets - ipads, mobiles, tablets, powerbanks in six to seven hours every day. I am in search of a portable USB extension board! 
  • Offline Google maps/Paper copies of the maps would help a lot in case like us - without mobile data, hunting for wifi all the time. Also it is wise to download local public transport app beforehand. Generally all tourist cities provide 24 hours passes which turn out to be cheaper or the same but extremely convenient as you do not have to buy tickets every time you travel or do not have to worry about cash in local currency. 
  • Water all over Europe is an expensive commodity. Refilling from the tap would save you bucks, if you like the taste of local tap water. We could not drink Tap water from any other cities apart from Bergen in Norway. (Interesting to note that the water in Bergen comes from Voss; Voss water is famous within Hollywood celebrities!) 
  • Control on chocolate cravings and soda cravings. For some reasons I could not in the last part of the trip but some how I could not eat much due to the change in food/weather/health in the day part and binged after sunsets! 
  • Each country has a unique set of Bactria and so 80% of travelers suffer from mild to medium diarrhea after the commute. Read it some where on the Airport and I guess it is true! It is good to maintain hygiene and avoid street food for first few hours.
  • If you are bookworms like us, each country has a unique book collection- closer to their culture and thought process. It is interesting to visit a book store. 
  • If you love Netflix, the country specific collection becomes enjoyable as well! If you have the luxury of spending time while enjoying the trip.
  • Vegetarians, do not fret. Travelling can not devoid you of yummy food each country has to offer.Almost all European countries have tasty yogurt, fruits,veggies and chocolates to offer. Do keep in some snack boxes in the bag but what fun if you do not eat local. I personally prefer to eat local food- may be cooked indoor if needed after a local super market haul or by talking to the waiters, chefs of cafes. Believe me, if you are good, they will help you. In fact for this experience, Scandinavians were more than helpful to us. Now a days people are going vegan and vegetarian, hence we did not find issues with the food.Options were less but we could feed ouself outside every single time. Be it fast food, authentic Italian or Maxican food or even Indian food! 
Do you have any such travel gyan? Share?

June 16, 2016

Not 'Two' Much

While walking in the streets of Copenhagen (Now our one of the favorite cities!)

On seeing a board displaying a brand name,

Me: Meko mari par tere ko nahi mari..
Mr.ISB who otherwise successfully controls his expressions by showing 'null' emotions, failed and gave that sad smile.

(I'm sure the 'Mekkomari' brand cried silently that day!)

Thank you Mr.ISB for being supportive through all of my sad (but creative,come on!) jokes!

***

While going back to the home stay in Bergen, Norway..

Me: So, what next!
Mr.ISB: You watch the series you were watching. I watch series I want to watch. (On that huge soft bed.) Fun?
Me: *Smiles* Yuuuppp!

Thank you  Mr.ISB, for giving space and still be there all the time. (I know you need that silent space which I raid and disturb whenever I want!)

***

After returning after the hike with two wooden block legs, to cover up for my anger I showed while hiking down which was actually my frustration about now uncovered weak stamina of yours truly..

Me: What if I would have given up in between..
Mr.ISB: I would have lifted you like 'Vikram' and you would have been my 'Betal'.
Me: ...........

Thank you Mr.ISB,For pushing my limits, for the superb hiking experience, I would not have done this without you. Kind of conquering the highest peak of seven mountains of Bergen,Norway.

***

We just celebrated our second wedding anniversary with two weeks long vacation in Scandinavia.

Not Two much, I know!

May 27, 2016

Celebration for a soul

She was the epitome of emotions. She was the kind mother's heart. She was the only person who could handle the baby me when my brother was born.She was the cuddle in summer vacations. She was the support to sleep on the floor, in summer vacations. She was the library of stories just like my grand mother. (They were so much like each other)

She was my second grand mother. She had the abundance of calmness and fun in her voice. She was the one who even when from older generations,supported in whatever I chose to do.

But there was a pinch of pain. In fact Two, in her life. She was hurt by many people in her life but some how the love she showered on us never had a hint of it.

She never met the most important person of my life but chose to bid us a good bye. Painful it was for her,we just remember that she smiled and laughed off her pain. She chose to sleep forever

Fai, If you are reading this. If you can hear me talking to you in real like you do in my dreams..

'I'm not really upset that you left us because I know you are there with us, all the time. You left for the better life. You still laugh from your heart and smile from your soul but then I must tell you that this only daughter of our family always and always remembers you. Dad and mom feel the vacuum which would never escape from our lives but then those sputters of your giggles fill us with happiness when we see your photo. I choose not to be sad today. Because, that is not you would ever want me to be. I choose to be kind today, To celebrate you in our lives.'

May 18, 2016

Arty-iest Wishes

I was & I am always a fan of hand made personalized cards.Not just plain flowers on it or wishes written in artsy fonts but something written/painted related to the person to whom you are gifting. Something which is close to him/her. Something about which he/she is passionate about. His/her unique personality trait.If you can what he/she hates the most, The Best. Yes, I am a big believer in gifting funny birthday/greeting cards apart from a handwritten notes in it.

Some how I have been failing to make such cards for near and dear ones in the way I always wanted to. Call it lack of time or energy,I either choose not to give any cards or play some pranks or gift something he/she wants. This card making business is something I avoided many a time last year. In fact I'm horrible at it since a couple of years.

So, after reading this , convincing my mom to paint like she used to in her childhood days and seeing a cousin experimenting with crayons - my usually tired soul last night suddenly picked the old compass water color box and started painting. (Okay,that is a bit dramatic but it happened.)

Today is my director-friend-mentor-foe's birthday and I thought of experimenting my old but yet to be rejuvenated painting skill on him!  This is what I made! :D



Now this 'Out Of The World' chap is going through Emotional Global Warming.


:D

May 13, 2016

Transformation

Declaimer: My Singapore-roomie told me I've become a Buzz Feed writer.One more for you! :D


Not a movie or some topic from Chemistry to talk about. It is my own story. Story of transformations which I feel is still going on.(Isn't it always 'On' in life?)

I have blogged about my Tom-Boyish self in college days before. I am extremely positive about them but I was not what I was then. I was this strong girl with a lot of self respect but still Girlish during school days. I loved dancing - classical and folk. I loved dressing up. I remember myself imaging myself in mom's beautiful saree in front of the mirror. Next I remember is becoming extremely not-interested in dresses, cosmetics or any other lady like interests. Apart from dancing (Who can leave dancing?!) This was because of my professional interest - I was sure to excel in a male dominating field with self respect, I have to act like Boys!!That is what I felt& I did.I achieved the respect. (That is another story how I fought sexism many a times but found super strong buddies in boys) By this time with no exposure to latest fads and fashion I was well behind other girls of my age. (To my mom's dismay)

When I joined my first job within cosmopolitan crowd outside my home town, slowly it stuck to me that I was not what I was pretending to be. I loved kohl clad eyes. I loved bright popping lip colors. I loved cooking.I loved dances intensively. The teen age which should have appeared in my brains in college days, started getting out on the surface while my other batch mates were already taking matured decisions of life. (There were trade offs both sides) At the age of 23, I actually started having crush on boys around or on the screen! (Can you imagine!?) I was suddenly comfortable with the idea of being girlish but still independent, fierce and trendy. But that was still the idea.Even my tenure in Singapore never grew me in that direction but my next job did a bit. I got married in between,with Mr.ISB and his love for this super confused -lazy to dress-still-a-fashion lover-tomboyish girl.

Now after almost two years of wedding, knocking on the door of 30s I have started knowing myself a little more than ever.



  • I love dressing up when I am in the mood to dress up. I am not the foundation and corrector kind of a girl but yes,I do love flaunting bright lipsticks and big ear rings. My dislike for Gold or Diamond jewelry does not put any hindrance here because hey, we have other stones and beads as well. 
  • I do not like shopping in over crowded places and seeing many things together overwhelms me. I am also picky about my companion while I shop. Mr.ISB is very patient and hence he becomes the first choice after my mommy dearest who is my fashion fiesta. (Yes, because she could not be one she wants me to be one, oh she dreams a lot!) My bro-buddy in Delhi and my friend R from Mumbai(or Ahmedabad) make my shopping experience awesome. Oh how I miss shopping for cosmetics when I did not know anything about fashion at all with them. In short,these four persons in my life can make me shop well. Nobody else can. (Frock buddy N,time to shop together?Time to 'not only talk' about shopping!)
  • You tell me what to wear, if you are not my mommy I would dress up like a beggar in front of you. I work that way. My fashion sense can float across extremely comfortable old clothes to traditional sarees with beads. If I really (A big deal!) put my ideas in practice, they would be very very unique and hence not digested by many. Well, I have stopped caring about it. 
  • I do not agree with most of the suggestions given by slim ladies.Hey, I have a fuller figure and that means what works on them, does not work for me. I do really have to dig into current trends at all to understand the logic. 
  • Colors. I love Black irrespective of seasons and functions. I love Red as well. With age, I have grown to love baby pinks and creams too. But, you give me a cultural excuse to not to wear a specific color (which is usually Black),I'm disliking you for one or two hours. I love Black fiercely. Oh wait, I love Dark Purple and Maroon too!
  • Make up. The only cosmetic product I am comfortable with is Lipstick. With Humidity of Mumbai- Kohl or an eyeliner is difficult to love forever. So to avoid looking like a Panda, I keep on ditching eye make up often. I think,I am doing fine with it in daily life. Of course an ethnic attire or the western dinner dress is not complete without kohl rimmed eyes. I seldom use foundations/corrector/Blush etc.
  • I was never so much aware of my fitness level. The relation between the look and the fitness is no more a secret for me. I consciously try to not to binge or to under eat. I try to workout a bit if not for an hour. Approaching 30s with your exhausted self is not something I want.
  • I was never into Sarees before.I so love the attire. The wedding and the post wedding life changed me forever. I still do not get the chance to wear sarees much,in the way I want to. I still dream of buying ethnic-rich sarees. Girls will be girls!
  • I've been craving for a huge wardrobe make over because this small town girl is weaving the idea of wearing super smart outfits after giving away old stuff. I want to buy classy lipstick shades, over sized tee shirts, super comfy pants, big tote bags and a watch may be? A black flatforms and a cute little pair of sneakers.I think now I have got the shoe-loving-bite. Better late than never.
  • I'm eyeing on trips outside India because I do not want to drill my pocket with ridiculously priced Estee Lauders or Mac.Mango or Guess. While I am not a pro-brand girl,I have come to become cautious about choosing cosmetics and shoes. I do not really buy any of them just because they are super cheap.

If my twenty years old self would read this, her heart would pop out of the body. Seriously.

Oh,I love where I have come to in the journey!

May 2, 2016

Z is for Zonkified

I could not believe my eyes when in Online Urban Dictionary I found this word! Check here and hover over words- Funny and New English Actually!

By Definition the meaning is 'Totally Messed Up' and you know now why I'writing about it. Messing up any situation is actually not my way, I do mess up with my own mind but I do not generally mess up with situations. Oh well, they do mess up with me. (If the whole explanation has kept you sane, move ahead!)

I've hundred of things to do which are absolutely mandatory. It would cost me a bomb if I'd miss any of them. That is how I have been feeling Zonkified.

Applying for my visa, oh well the list of documents even for a tourist visa is putting me under stress because I do not have many days and some embassies decided to not to work!

Going to Ahmedabad and make a plan to save myself from 45 degrees there.Coming back to Ahmedabad without any sickness.

Wrapping up office stuff and mentoring my subordinate to do my work for two weeks. If everything goes well, my vacation would shape up. Ah well, Booking tickets for Norway. (Yes, planning for a Norway vacation guys!) *Keeping my fingers crossed~*

That reminds me I have to shop a little before I shop there like crazy in case I go to Denmark :D

I'm not really good at investing money hence when my Dad-In-Law being a CA himself  is managing my portfolio. I should at least sign on all the forms now! The useless Daughter-in-Law is being Daughter-Out-Law now!

I need Visa!!! Mercy, Danish Embassy!

Oh the title should have been 'Zapped'!



April 29, 2016

Y for Yearnings

My blog is full of them as I am a person with extreme sentiments. Either I have yearnings and cravings or I would be turned off to the extend of totally feeling number about things. I tried to change myself and I still do but at the end of the day I'm at peace when I am full of expressions as well as emotions which again is a result of those yearnings and dislikes close to detachments.

Nonetheless when it came to 'Y', I could think of this word only after rejecting 'Y for Yogurt' (Strawberry specifically) and 'Y for Yesterday' because of the boring explanations I had about them. Anyway, talking about Yearnings!


  • I want a day off. Surprisingly in the office and not from the office even when reaching office is more like hiking due to the scorching heat in Mumbai.I love my work and have a lot many assignments to finish off but there are ideas floating on which I need to focus without any disturbance. May be my office cafeteria would like to welcome an early morning visitor. 
  • I want a day off from the domestic stuff. Mainly because I am exhausted and not because I do not enjoy the work. Domestic stuff actually clears my mind off. Chatting with others while working or just getting things sorted out brings joy to me but then it is my body which gives up. I really do not know how people manage to take time off for their own health by working out, by sleeping eight full hours or postponing the cleaning session of those dirty kitchens. I respect them A LOT. People like me can not stand an elderly person working in front of me or a dirty kitchen unattended,a table suffering under a dusty coat- hence we suffer. 
  • I yearn for a few hours alone in my room which I conveniently get since two three days after dinner. If I do not come to my room and lye down reading a book- my body does not support me. My mind gets messier by next morning with only six hours of sleep which is really not enough for me. 
  • I wish to dance every single day and I have been failing to do it. Dance is like meditation for me and I can observe myself loosing the ability to start doing it, forget about having the stamina to do it. Though this is a conscious decision taken due to the No Maid-No Cook situation at home.  I wish they come back or I kind of sort out the situation by being super independent super woman. 
  • I yearn to have salads,fruits, sprouts and smoothies all the time. Very bad that I ever really have them.I'm already horrible in taking meals on time. Now my diet is full of carbs and over cooked Sabjis. I do try to get a fruit dish every single day in the office but my veggie intake is close to half than what I should ideally be taking.
  • Planning for a vacation in June and this time I want to really do a solo day trip to someplace in between the vacation. A day trip because in future I am totally planning to spend my time in Singapore as a tourist. Alone. For four-five days, nothing less. Of course I want Mr.ISB to join in for a few days afterwords! 
  • Sarees. One cotton, One Silk.I so wish to buy. I do not have any functions to wear but I want to buy. This sort of yearnings are better not entertained. Please koi shadi kar lo!
  • An off shoulder dress I really wish to have because I can not flaunt my flabby arms or fatty legs :D I have awesome shoulders. 
If you are still reading these yearnings of mine which anyway appear on this blog every now and then, in different forms or shapes -Hats off to you!

:D