UpCountry Tea!

@ One of the many tea factories in Nuwara Eliya.

Possibly cause Nuwara Eliya is located at a height ~~ on a hill station ~~ they call it "Up Country". And the "Up Country Tea" u bet is the best seller in Srilanka! If you ask me, for the Indian palette the upcountry black tea is a safer bet. Their regular milk-tea jus doesnt hv our "Kick" ~~ Can be a litt too mild for our taste!

But indeed What more can one ask for when you get the air of the mountains and a chance to taste lovely unblended black tea. Its a combination to live for (or die for?? ) :)

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(T is for Tea)

Ha n with this I succesfuly finish the NaBloPoMo... Indeed it was maddening this time esp with the crazy schedule at office... Glad I finished it thou :)

Ice Ice Baby!

The first time you sit in front of a fire place not cause its fancy but cause you are chilled to the bone ~~ Now thts a memory you'll treasure for your life.....

Possibly the only reason why NuwaraEliya and more Importantly Binota Residency will remain special (We figured out later that its not NuwaraEliya which is chilling cold ~~ This hotel we staying in is so positioned that it gets hit by the cold mountain wind n tht explains the freezing temp there!). N ofcourse for ma hubba ~~ no hol is comp if theres no hill station in the iternary!

Linking this to our world


... Sizzling 5 years tht I met ma hubbs!

To be noted tht its not yet 5 years of marriage but the day marks 5 years of the 'Bride-Seeing' Ceremony.... You can read my 'Jab We Met' story here.  Doesnt it seem a non-consequential day to be remembered n celebrated! But if you ask me... It was this day (22nd of November) 5 years ago tht kickstarted this new phase of my life :). A day to be treasured rt........... N wht betta way to celebrate a 'Sizzling' life than with a 'Sizzler'

@ Kobe in Koramangala - This place gets a Thumbs-Up from my side! Almost lip-smacking!!!

Linking this to Color Deckors.......

Aye Captian!

Almost every other day we met somebody ~at work, among frnds, among colleagues who are well jus toooo big for their shoes n this invariably when they must be jus a step or two above you in the value-chain!

But then you meet somebody, who defines what "Humility" means ~~ Somebody at work whose style of operation can be described only as ~~ "Underplay"! So here hes been working with a minion in the value-chain for the past few weeks (yours truly) and me in my ignorance have been treating him jus as one would yet another peer. Its only by chance that I learn that he is right there at the top in the value chain and all I could do was "Gulp" with surprise at his humility, humbleness!

The topping on the cake thou should be his story of "How I met my Life partner" ~~ Not publishing it here as well its his story to tell....

Somebody, who you would truly want to bow down to and say "Aye Captain" ~~ Its not everyday that you meet a true blue gentleman! Aye Captain!

Happy Bday.....

Sax! Ho yeap the same Sabina Zacharias who keeps popping in v frequently into this blog! Well if you go here and read, you will know tht she is goodness personified. But well well, if u think shes this Miss. Goody-two-shoes, you couldn't be more wronger. Sample her latest FB msg to know what am speaking....

May those who love us love us,
and those who do not love us,
may God turn their hearts,
and if He cannot turn their hearts
may He turn their ankles
that we may know them by their limping ;)))))

She can be this imp and well I guess its tht mixture  which makes her this perfectly lovable n interesting person :). Heres hoping tht this year, she ends up finding the much-awaited professional happiness in her life..... Something which as she keeps saying is "More Than A Job".... This I believe will be the elixir to all her maladies!

Leaving u with the cake tht we baked(ho yes! More of it later thou) to mark the occasion.....

Book Review: Resident Dormitus!

Pic courtesy: Google.
This book came in via Blog Adda's Book review program! Even before I start the review, I should tell u the first thing tht stuck me about this book is the intro of the author on back cover, a part of which read something like this "He has random obsessions which include dropping one-liners, missing deadlines, and an unhealthy emotional attachment to his slippers". Lol! Esp as the first and the last bit reminded of ma hubbs. Ma hubs n his shoes deserve a post in themselves :)

So back to the review, Frankly, I flipped thru the first few pages jus cause  I had to do this review. The book started off jus as yet another of those boring chiklits ~~ couple of disillusioned boys straight out of college n well u can guess the rest of the plot.

But am happy that I dint give up reading it at tht instant...... The way the book took a shape slowly but steadily was indeep a pleasant surprise! A surprising mix of "chiklit" with a v healthy dose of "Gyaan"(The variety tht really doesnt breath down ur neck). It indeed comes as a whiff of fresh air to meet characters who are from larger-than-life but by design n sometimes by chance reach their goals in life...... As a afterthought, this book thou seem to be skimming on the surface does in reality makes u pause n think twice. Here is a piece that you would want to sample to ow what am talking:

"You Know why we construct these walls around our homes" Achet(the hero in the book) is asked by his father. "To Keep unwanted elements at bay" answers Achet trying to humour his father.  But of course the father has the final word -  "And to keep the desired elements within. The trick is to know which is which" - simple lines but thot provoking rt!

Thou to be fair, I wouldnt still rate it as "Must Read" ~~ But if this is somebody’s first attempt at writing, then trust my words, he is author to watch out for!

Book: Resident Dormitus
Author: Vikas Rathi (Yet another IIM Suspect)
Rating - 7\10.

This review is a part of Blog Adda ~~ Book review program! If u ask me, its quite a innovative way to market ur books ~~ reaches the audience without spending a bomb on marketing! Thank You BlogAdda :)

PS: Edited to add this bit this bit tht remained with me even a good week post reading this book ~~ a desc of the IT Crowd. As the author says "The IT crowd can roughly be divided into three groups. The first group consisted of those who were new in their jobs. They thought were smart, except they were not ~~ They were a lethal combination of arrogance and absurdity. The second group consisted of those who had been around for a while. They were either sufficiently numbed or were smart enuf to realize that the minuscule impact they could make on any project. The third group consisted of a minority of employees who had been doing very well, in line with their ambitions. They took every meeting as an opportunity to show how smart they were" ... LOl! A good one rt... no prizes for guessing which group I belong to......


A click By hubs! Captured here for the simplicity yet the elegance tht only nature can eva personify...

The KodiMaram has a Story to Tell tooo......

If u from certain parts of India(esp south), you will realize tht the pic in here is tht of a Kodimaram - you can read about it and it s significance in a temple here.

But whats interesting abt the pic here is tht it wasnt clicked at a temple but instead at a church. Here's  is a closeup of the pole-mast!.

 This I guess must be the influence of the local culture and people on the church! Clicked in a small nondescript town in kerala!

Linked to SWF

One God ~ One Religion!

This is a pic tht adorned (in the theme at least if not a exact replica), not a political office not a govt office but across the walls of bakeries, travel offices, shops and even on the glass panels of public transport in a small town tucked somewhere in the heart of Kerala. A point to note is that these areas are the ones where typically  riots regularly break out in name of religion! Kudos to them!!!!

Linking this to ABC Wednesay(S is for sacred), wordless wednesday

The Stories a Tomb says...

Clicked at a church in Kerala. Jus look at the date of Death in the first few entries to know why this tomb deserves a click....

Linked to MyWorld

The wedding Scene....

A typical marriage (esp if its a arranged marr) will hv a bashful groom n a shy-n-demure bride ...... But times change; Today's bride is a confident and self-assured gal ready to take life heads-on ~~ No more walking down the aisle clinging to her father with her  "Head Bowed Down" ~~ Today she walks in proudly with her head held high and will welcome you with a bright smile, firm handshake n a warm hug!! As for he groom ~~ He's the one with butterflies in his tummy :). This BTW is no fictional description... its straight-off from the wedding we were off to attend this weekend!

Here's wishing this lovely couple a v happy Married Life......

N speaking of the groom ~~ Hes been more of my virtual friend than a real one ~~ strictly speaking this must be one of the first instances we are really "Meeting"! Jus so that its on records, neither of us are known for our "social" skills ~~ So much so that Mr.Groom is almost famous as the "Loner"! But today as I settle back into the hustle-bustle of daily life, it strikes me that at no point over the weekend, did I feel the usual awkwardness of meeting a person for the first time ~~ Not to say that we were speaking eighteen to a dozen but there was none of ths usual "When DoeS this Get Over" Moments" ~~ It was almost as if hes been somebody I hv known for few years now....

Linking this to ColorDeckors weekly stories...

Cause am way this weekend....

In this space, you must hv seen book reviews, hotel reviews, restaurant reviews but one thing if you realized tht I hv rarely posted on is movies... for simple reason tht I don enjoy them as much as food\books\travel.

But cause am away for the weekend with no Internet access(thank god!) and cause I have to schedule a post in next few mins(thnx to Nablopomo) n cause I cant come up with any other viable post here's a movie that I saw in recent times which I think deserves a mention.....

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. It was possibly the well taken graphics n the 3D effects tht added to the lure. Mind you, this is from somebody who is a self confessed critic of cartoons.. Have never been a fan of the mindless cartoons except say Nancy, Calvin n Hobbes, Dennis the Menace which if you ask me is more 'real to life'... Must be the the very grounded taurean in me speaking!.

Junior Bachans Girl Can be Named...

... 'Phoenix' coz she is rising from Ash... :)))

Courtesy Hubbs

Book Review: To kill a Mocking Bird

My rating on the book - Full 5 stars!

This was one book tht was lying around at home for ages - I dismissed it as yet another of those hi-funda book tht ma hubbs devours! But its a book that once you pick up you jus cannot put it down ~~ Not one of those breezy reads thou. This is book tht has to be savoured slowly - page by page. N before you know the country side and the lives of inhabitants there has grown on you. Truly its a book about growing up ~ About making peace with decisions that you make for your conscience thou they may be the most unpopular idea in the society!

A must read is my verdict!

Books... Very Old Books :)

Theme of the Week:

When the topic of week said books, my mind was swarmed with images of... what else but books, books n books! It seemed a diff choice to pick up one or two. N then there in the corner I saw these books. Look closely....

These are the books of ma hubbs from his school boy days v longingly n painstakingly preserved by ma FIL in the fond hope tht it will be passed onto his grandchild :) A v personal family heirloom wont u say.....


A click from the Ooty Toy train ~ Yeap the same tht every tourist who steps into Ooty has to by default hop onto!

Heres my one dollar worth suggestion if you planning to ~~ Make sure you hit the place before the crowd starts pouring in if you intend to enjoy the ride! Else its gona be one big fight to even get onto the train which takes me to the most imp pre-requisite for this trip.  Get a ticket for the first class ~~ the extra peanuts u shell out for it is more than worth the money simply cause the seats are reserved here! So if you don manage to get tickets for it in the first shot(The no. of seats on first class if I remember it rt is a little10!) , don worry jus hang in there for the next round-trip!

The next one dollar tip ~ ooty is no place to go for a one day hurried trip! N if u intend to stay over, you will want to book a place far away from the milling crowd cause on any holiday Ooty is so swarmed that you will get claustrophobic(No kidding)~  I hv been told tht Coonor is a betta bet!

Linking this to ABC Wednesday(R is for Railways - Niligiri Railways) n wordless wednesday

Cakes for you...

Can U guess whats the topping on this pic?

here take a closer look

Any  luck? Lemme give u a hint.......This is a click from the small cake I got to celebrate ma litt sis(not so litt anymore!) convocation as she finished her MS (Gulp! Gulp!)........

Still no bells ringing? The topping on tht is supposed to resemble the convocation hat... something like this!

U will not believe as to how non imaginative the people working in these so called top-rung eateries can be.... This one was dished out from Cakewala @ Koramangala in B'lore! I (yea, go ahead roll ur eyes) had to tell them how to get tht topping together....

While am still not happy with what they conjured up, it did serve the purpose of pulling together a small nice surprise for ma sis..... Her expression when she was caught clueless on this was priceless :). At the end of the day thts all matters rt......

Linking this to Color Deckors - weekly stories....

PS: I luv the visual appeal these pics add to the post :)

Monday Blues..

... Well they jus dissapear the moment u land at office. N if u thinking its cause I enjoy ma work n so dono what it means... Ha all I will say is "I Wish!".

The answer is that on an odd day like this I don seem to hv even a min to breathe :(. Heres hoping tht these workaholic days don arrive  too often for my convenience!

Thoosi Gr8 Ho!

This story am relating is well no story but what actually happened on our trip to Hogganekkal.....

As I said it was a rainy day n in attendance were ma hubbs, sis n ma frnd! Now ma mom isnt v agile for her age. Despite that with with all our coaxing she did hop onto the coracle n was indeed wowed by the sight of waterfalls! But the unrelenting rain n the sight of gushing waters had her lose her courage soon...... This landed us all in a true dilemma! Leaving amma alone wasnt an option as the round trip can take a couple of hrs(thou she was more than game for it!) ..... so the million dollar question was who would say back with her....

There stepped in am eva generous frnd who with no fuss offered to give my mom company giving all of us the chance to hv fun for next few hrs....... Given tht shes been to this place once but still the v selfless act of hers is worth a bow rt.....

N this frnd for those who know her is Sabina Zacharias! ... You do drive me up the wall, but its these small acts of urs that continue to surprise me(on afterthought in most cases)

Book Review: Arranged Marriage

My constant grouse wheneva I read short stories is the fact that the characters arent really fully developed! They seem to end jus as they begin n so u rarely get lost in them... U know what am talking of don u!

But one book tht broke this opinion was "Arranged Marriage" by  Chitra Divakarunni! This book has chronicled the chemistry of Indian Marriages like no other...

Hats off to you Chitra Divarakunni! Like I said here you are indeed a amazing writer!

PS: Another book of hers that came in highly recommended was "Mistress of spices" ~~ yeap it dint disappoint but "Palace Of Illusions" and then "Arranged marriage" win hands down if you ask me!


Clicked at Vengurla in Maharashtra, India. This stretch of beaches should definitely classify as 'Undisovered Gems of India'.... The beach is clean, wide n v sparsely crowded.... U cant ask for anything more from a beach can u!

Dint get a chance to stay over last time we were there, but theres a MTDC resort right on the beach which am told doesnt really burn a hole in your pocket! Definitely something in my "to-so" list in near
\distant future!

Linking this to friday skies...

@ Sita Eliya!

Pic clicked @ Sita Eliya in Nuwara Eliya, Srilanka . Theres' this temple there, which they claim is where Sita was kept imprisoned. And as the story goes, Hanuman lands there to save her and thts the huge footsteps you see in the Left side of the pic! At a distance from the temple theres this huge boulder which when viewed from a side resembles Hanumans face ~~ A fable possibly ~~ Look at the pic n decide for yourself....

Linking this to thursday challenge - HARD (Rock, Ice, Brick, Steel, Cement,...)

The quintessential Indian Meal....

... is Never complete without a dash of Green chilli, onion smeared with salt n pepper!

N yes there are connoisseurs of good food who swear by this... Ma hubbs being one point in case!

Linking this to ABC Wednesdays (Q is for quintessential )

Hogenakkal ~~ A rainy Affair!

Imagine sailing in a coracle in a valley ~~ A valley of waterfalls ~~ as you are sprayed with the jetting water from all sides.....

Will let  the pics to do more talking......

All these pics were shot @ Hogganekkal!, a few hrs drive from Bangalore

The day I stepped out for this trip it was raining cats n dogs n the downpour jus seemed to increase as the time went by... So much so that we had to stop the coracle in between n use it as a shelter! But on afterthought, the rain proved a blessing in disguise..... No scorching sun (N this place is famed for the heat that can make u go grrr) n more importantly no crowd (Jus a handful of coracles were out tht day as against the 100s tht usually frequent this place)!

The best part of this trip? Hot piping fresh fish fried on the river side... Imagine devouring this as u step out soaking wet :)

Linking this to Myworld tuesday

title n the coracle pic is courtesy sabina zacarias!

Kaash Ye Halwa Hotha!

If you been reading this space, you know tht am foodie. But me in kitchen, now thts a sure shot recipe for disaster :). Tthankfully I hv a sis who as siblings are meant to boosts up my morale ... she almost makes me feel as if am a pro at kitchen.. lol! Now am sure you need no explanations of how gr8 her culinary skills are!!!!!!

Given all this, a dessert she dished out by her(Her First I should add) surely deserves a entry here rt.... So heres presenting to you the sumptuous 'Kasi Halwa'

Do not go by its 'dubious' looks. It was finger-licking yummmm!

The best part of it is its recipe... Custome made for any novice!

  1. Grate a white pumpkin and roast it in ghee till it seems to change colors (Which means standing near the gas-stove for a good 15-20 mins!)
  2. Now add sugar to it until it dissolves (More hard work! ANother 15 mins! Nobody said making sweets is no-sweat!)
  3. N abracadabra! Ur Halwa is ready! Go ahead n garnish it with cashews, dry grapes, pista......
PS: The title is courtesy hubbs, who went chanting 'Kaash Ye Halwa Hotha!' from the time the pumpkins were bought.. LOL!

Linking this to Color Deckors.....

When in Bangalore...

... Make sure you drop in at The Selct BookShop @ Brigade Road. Not as this is a one stop shop for all your books - actually the books there seem all scattered with absolutely no order - but simply cause its a experience in itself!

Forget air conditioned, this place is so cramped with books that you jus hv about enuf place to sit around n browse the books. The best surprise thou lies in meeting the shop owner ~~ A gentleman in his  70s(80s) ~~ his love for books so comes thru! Its not everyday that you meet a man who runs a bookshop not for a profit but well for the passion that he has for books!

Its jus a added bonus that you may end up finding a rare and almost out-of-print books!

Book Review - Dork

One line review ~~ Yet another Chicklit novel, Not worth a read!

The Blushing Bride

Clicked at  BasicHalli, an outdoor kind of retreat near Kanakapura, Karnataka about 70 kms from Bangalore. The name BasicHalli literally means Basic Halli(Village). Go here to read more abt the place....

The pic n title is courtesy  mister hubbs....

Linking it to Skywatch Friday

Creative - Handicap!

I dono if I mentioned this before... I cant for the life of me paint, draw - even a straight line, sing the simplest tune, Dance the easiest steps....  I always wonder if this is cause of some kinda 'Handicap'... Jus like dyslexia was undiscovered for quite a log time, am I suffering from some conditions that yet to be discovered :)
So I look up with aaw (n a bit of J i should add) at anybody who can sing, dance or paint! So next time you see this lady gawking open mouthed at a child dancing away, you know who it is!

The only minute creative(if I may call it that) streak tht I hv displayed till date is been in drawing out flower rangolis (they arent a eye sore at least!) of course with more than a generous help from ma sis. Now doesnt tht explain why u saw a flower rangoli not jus for Onam but again for Diwali... lol!

Linking this to Thursday Challenge - "CREATIVE" (Fine Arts, Crafts, Engineering, Music, Clothing,...)

Portraits Of India

Heres a click by ma hubbs tht was recently picked as one of the winning entries in "Portraits Of India" :) . You can look up the other winning entries here...

Did you observe a common theme running thru these pics... Atleast one out of three seems to be on poverty or old people! I wonder why? ??

Not jus in photos, the dominant theme in books, paintings are more often than not on 'Melanchoy'... Wonder why? Why this preference to romance the sadder aspects of life.... Is it what we as readers, onlookers lap up or is it jus the "I'm Not OK, You're OK" syndrome!

Linking this to ABC Wednesdays ( P is for Portraits Of India)... BTW the intro for 'P'  is done by Mr. Hubbs (ala Pheno)  himself :)

PS: These pics will supposedly be displayed in an exhibition at Chennai... Cant wait for ma hubbs 'first exhibition' :-D

Edited to add: One of the comments I recieved, so v summarized the issue, " It would be wrong to ignore poverty but in a country with so much to celebrate it's a shame it was emphasised so much."

Buddha and Buddhism!

When somebody asks me hows Sri Lanka, My ans invariably is tht its v much like kerala except for the inherent differences that Buddhism has infused..... Buddhism there is a way of life jus as Hinduism is in India! Hers a pictorial walk thru of the diff Buddhist temples tht we hopped into....

The Most Famous Buddhist Temple inb whole of Srilanka - The tooth Temple, Kandy

 Then we reach the ancient Buddhist city ~~ The Dambulla temple which is almost prehistoric.. being built somewhere in the early BCs.... The finesse of the work is worth marvelling at.....

Heres a closeup shot of the sole of the recling buddha ~~ I wish I knew what the figures in there signify....

Signing off with the Buddha that I picked up for ma home when in Srilanka :)

Heres a suggestion for you if you intend to go buddha-shopping in Srilanka ~~ The best bets are the buddhsit centeres or Laksala by Srilanka Handicrafts board

Linking this upto Myworld tuesday and with this I kickstart NaBloPoMo for noevember ... Imagine 500+ bloggers from across the world bloggin everyday for  month... wow huh!