12 June 2018

Keeping up with Kaneda: Book Review

The title of this book transported me to the times when a friend of mine would jokingly call Canada - Kaneda during college days, with a stress on 'e'. That's how actually a lot of us Indians amusingly refer to it as. 

'Keeping up with Kaneda' written by Gaurav Kumar takes us through the first-person view of being in a foreign country for the first time with a score of desis around you who somehow still haven't gotten over their ability to judge you for doing things like back home (we Indians are almost everywhere). 

The story is funny and relatable at so many levels. Right from hilarious encounters in the foreign land to the mindset showcased. Relatable because I have heard about them from friends and ex-colleagues who live there and somehow experienced it within the initial days of shifting to Canada. The story is an easy read and if you have a habit of sitting with the book with an aim to read it continuously, a day is enough. 

The story begins with journeying through the moments one lives while shifting to another country. You not only have to get accustomed to the place and people but also the language, food and the culture. 

While the book starts on a hilarious note and him landing in Canada to doing odd jobs, completing his college while it ends on a philosophical note which somehow doesn't go with the entire flow. 

Nevertheless, it makes for a fun read. 

It is priced at Rs.175 and on a discounted rate of Rs. 88 on Amazon, you can buy it here: Keeping up with Kaneda

06 May 2018

Baaya Reimagined!

Home is where the heart is and we all dream to make an exclusive space in our home which we can go back to for solace and infusing creativity every day! Baaya Reimagined aims to do that by unleashing a whole new area of imagination in your life.

An evening with people admiring artworks from Baaya Reimagined. The event was inaugurated by none other than architects Sanjay and Nina Puri along with founders Shibani and Vipul Jain. There was an outstanding performance by acclaimed fusion singer Isheeta Ganguly who specially curated a fusion track for Baaya to make it more personlised. 

Baaya Ver 4.0 - a new avatar- one that is sure to inspire amazement and appreciation about our artisan skills and the tantalising possibilities that emerge with the help of contemporary design. 

To grace the occasion they had the beautiful Mamta Raja, hair stylist Colleen Khan who came along with husband, Derek Affonso, Ashwini Kakkar and Dennis Metzger. 

The new and improved store is designed to re-imagine your interiors, providing well thought-out mock-ups for visualisation of various living spaces like a living room, home office and dining area. The renovated store offers more space, new product categories and a lot more choice! 

You can expect a mix of new, innovative art, artefacts, zany furniture, mirrors and rugs apart from the classic range available at Baaya. The range has been curated from the corners of India to add the quintessential ‘Baaya appeal’ to your home. The perfect eclectic blend, the place where tradition meets design.

The store will also feature Baaya Design Studio, where we help design and execute customised solutions for interiors - be it a residence, office or a hotel. Customisation enables possibilities that are only limited by your imagination. The Design Studio will have a full-time design consultant available to suggest exciting concepts for your spaces.

Prepare to have your imagination unleashed!

29 April 2018

The subtle art of Serendipity

I can hear the waves splashing onto the shore. There are birds chirping in the vicinity. It is probably an early morning. I can also hear cricket in symphony. I can imagine the smell of leaves, freshly covered with morning dew. The grass feels just about right under my feet. 
It's this very moment when I realize I have conveniently managed to forego the reality of this hot and sweaty Mumbai evening and embraced the sounds and feel of this unknown place through my earphones.

I often resort to doing nothing on one day of the week and find myself listening to the sounds of nature, the rain, the forest. It is my way of meditating and cutting myself from the stress. There are umpteen options to choose from online and I haven't found a better therapy in recent times. (apart from an occasional Spa and coloring)

Stress. Exhaustion. Anxiety. Trying to achieve too many things. Trying your best to keep everyone happy. Trying to tick off tasks on your list. It's more than important to find a time out of this. 

Doing overtime ain't an achievement. Neither is being miserable running behind more money for that lavish life. What's an achievement is to find time for yourself, for your family and friends. From the times which are surrounded with the number of likes and shares on your timeline.

Coming from a job which expects me to be on social media almost the entire day has been exhaustive. This subtle art of doing nothing, absolutely nothing promises to be a bliss. Fighting the tendency of tweeting, checking out trending videos, catching up with several amount of posts scrolling through your timeline. 

So when people ask me the next time, what did I do this weekend; I want to say, "absolutely nothing. And yet, it was everything."

Reading a book. Taking a nap. Finding time to talk to your best friend. Finding time to help your mother in the kitchen. Making sure your Dad knows what you are upto. Taking out some time to sketch or simply clean your wardrobe. Asking your brother or sister out on a dinner. Spending time with your love on a slow date. 

Take some time out so you look forward to Monday.
Take some time out so you feel fresher.
Take some time out so you don't feel drained out.
Take some time out so you don't look back and say, "why didn't I?" 
Take some time out and do absolutely nothing to say 
YES to serendipity.

*Itching to sit by a beach in Goa*

04 April 2018

Borderless Love

When I sat down to write about one of the experiences am most passionate about in life, I stopped at the topic. I have attempted to share my cherished moments and lessons learnt from traveling earlier as well but couldn’t do justice to it because there was so much to share and also for the fact that I have hardly travelled much. There are so many destinations to explore that one might want to write and rewrite about each one of them and yet yearn to go back or move to next.

For me, Traveling is not just about checking off another destination from my list. It’s about sharing the same world, albeit different time zones. In many ways, traveling is about rekindling communities, reviving abandoned spaces and stories and simply exploring the world on your own terms and decreasing the distances and borders, one step at a time.

Traveling has helped me look at things, people and situations in a different perspective. One of the things being – a common passion can bring people together. 

I never thought I would live in a hostel, but I did.

PC: The Brown Scooter
When you breathe in an unfamiliar atmosphere or try out a completely new cuisine or getting to know about different cultures – you are letting yourself out of comfort zone and that’s what I love about traveling. It need not be a solo travel to experience such things – it could even be a short trip with friends like the one I had in Jaisalmer where I met this young fellow who sings traditional/Folk songs of Rajasthan to meet the ends of his daily life and cannot afford to go to school since it is far. One day, he wants to earn enough so his family has to suffer less.

Another incident being from the same trip where I met this Airbnb Host who knows more than 7 languages and is yearning to learn more so he can serve his residents in a better way and promote it to a wider audience. If this is not passion, what is?

I never thought I would get to experience Wildlife in a way I had never imagined. But I did. And how!

I still call this moment my 'beginner's luck'
PC: The Brown Scooter
Back home, we are a person made out of the work we do, the family we have, the people we interact with on a daily basis – when traveling – the story is a little different. Traveling has made me much more confident and convey it in a way people can take a cue from and implement in their lives. 

Traveling has taught me to think of the little things in life. I have become conscious about my surroundings, about the people whom I see on a daily basis. It has given me an all new perspective about exploration and inspiration. Which reminds me of this young local man who hosted me and my friends in a desert and made sure his camels and midnight stories make for a great stay. His ultimate goal in life? To visit China with the help of a man from that country he hosted several years back. He comes back to India every year to meet him and take an update on his VISA update (the time I met him, he had got his passport!)

Another fellow whom I met on my trip this year in Uttar Pradesh – a guide who made sure that I get to know each and every single thing about the monument to go back home and write about and share their story with the world, a lady whose idea of traveling is not just about being in one place today and another tomorrow but to stay in different cities and do community service. 

Just because a culture is alien to you doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a chance to explore. People are largely the same; though they speak in a different language in a foreign land, ultimately, their expectations from life are similar to ours.

These are some of the people who make for a cherished memory for me and you will always find me #SayYEStotheWorld for it will always give an opportunity to learn, retrospect, be a more creative person, help me prioritise in life and last but not the least – Live it to the fullest!

Traveling is unpredictable, it can make the world look small one day and the other - vast. But, it is such a rewarding and enriching experience that you will never have to find an excuse to say YES to it. Watch this video to get ready to visit this beauuu-tiful world with Lufthansa!

01 April 2018

Instagram Accounts one must follow!

When most of us spend our maximum time online, it is all the more important to follow the right accounts to make the most of it! I have recently started a #FridayFollow on my Instagram page and the response has been quite well. 

Below are some of my personal favorites that one must follow on to welcome good vibes on timeline. I shall keep updating this blog as and when new ones' make it to my list!

(In no particular order)

This artist has been traveling around the world and articulating her trips in the form of beautiful sketches. She is currently in India and journeying through Rajasthan. Take a look.

A postcard a day is what this account follows on Instagram. Whether food, or travel, or moments you want to keep a picture of - there's a painted sketch for all of it. 

Go follow!


Next one - Kresha Bajaj
A designer, Kresha is a known name in the industry. Her feed is beautiful! The way she composes her photos is something to learn from.

Have a look!

Courtney from New York - ColorMeCourtney
From her fashion sense to beautiful photography, Courtney is one of my favorite fashion blogger since a while! Her carefree attitude is what makes her feed 'colorful'. 

Check it out.

If you would like to recommend an Instagram account, do leave their links/username in the comments section below.

I will update this particular blog every fortnight :)

Until then,

20 March 2018

Whirlpool’s Haute Kitchen - now in Pune!

Don't you think that, with new culinary techniques of modern cuisine, cooking these days is more fashionable than ever? In addition to how the food is presented, we are now increasingly aware of what is delectable yet easy and faster to cook.

With more and more number of foodies out there, it is no wonder people love spending time in their kitchen. However, space constraints or limitations in the kitchen can indeed be frustrating when the meal you plan to prepare calls for meticulous and quick actions.

So all you folks who love cooking and are looking to add a touch of quality, perfection and class to your kitchen, be all ears!

Whirlpool of India launches its exclusive Built-in experimental centre ‘Whirlpool’s Haute Kitchen’ in Pune in association with Maharashtra Electronics Corporation in Dorabjee Heritage Mall.

I got a chance to attend the inaugural ceremony this month which was graced by this real heart-throb in the cooking industry- celebrity MasterChef Kunal Kapur!

Mr. Kapur chose a recipe that’s loved by many of us and is commonly found in all Indian households. 

Discussing the advantages of built-in kitchen appliances and giving the attendees an opportunity to interact with him, he began demonstrating his impressive cooking skills with the Whirlpool’s smart Ovens.

He prepared baked “Tinde ki Sabji” by using Whirlpool’s Built-in Oven and Steam Ovens that were equipped with 6th Sense Technology which controls the cooking process of the dishes by maintaining the temperature and time, and producing the right amount of steam that is required for ideal cooking.

While most of the young ladies and other women voluntarily chose to help him, he also engaged kids in cooking by offering them some smaller tasks.

All the gourmands present there were offered plenty to whet their palates, with soup, dessert, cutlets, samosas, coffee and champagne too ;). After 20 mins, the dish was ready which he then garnished and offered people to taste.

Tinde di Sabji by Master Chef Kunal Kapoor
It indeed was a perfect blend of the unmatchable culinary skills of Kunal Kapur and the world class technology by Whirlpool. I then took the opportunity to try out the state of the art European appliances and was left impressed!

If you too are looking to add a touch of style to your kitchen and take your cooking experience to the next level, go ahead and pre-book the live demonstration at the store. These easy to use appliances will not only make your cooking a pleasure but also increase your cooking efficiency!

Contributed and attended by,