Travelogue: The Mangalore Chapter


Karnataka couldn’t have been explored better than a trip with a bunch of friends. Living in Bangalore paints a very different picture of what the interiors of the state are, and this trip to Mangalore, Udupi and parts of Karnataka made me realize just that.

Usually I prefer travelling via train. First because, its cheaper and second, I hate travelling in buses. This time we were travelling in a car. It was a very convenient option, as we had to travel hopping places. Although it was on the expensive side, yet for the sake of convenience and ease of moving around this was comparatively the best option.

Our first stop and anchor for the trip was Mangalore, it was where our hotel was booked. We started late at night and reach early morning while enjoying the Ghats along the way during dusk.

Our first stop after checking in the hotel, was at Diesel Cafe. Breakfast of sandwiches, omelette, Scrambled eggs and Coffee.

We moved to the church of St. Aloysious nearby, which is around 130 years old. Carved with intricate pictures explaining the life of Jesus Christ and other saints. It was indeed a wonderful experience. The church is surrounded by college and nusring home in the same premises as well. The chapel is an architectural marvel in itself, built by Italian Antonio Moscheni.

It was almost time for lunch, but the place we had bookmarked for our lunch was closed. Reason being “Dry day” (2nd Oct) and since the restaurant comes along with a Bar. Instead we ended up having our “lunch” in an ice-cream parlour, called Paabba’s Ice cream, with only Ice-creams. If you ever visit Mangalore, this is a not-to-miss place.

Evening was reserved for a trip down to the beach and enjoy ourselves.

The Day-2 of the trip involved a lot of travelling as we moved from Mangalore to Udupi, after finishing our breakfast. Again, it was Diesel Cafe and instead of the English breakfast, this was more of a little taste of Mangalorean food. Neer dosa, Rice Rotis were had.

On our way to Udupi, we stopped at the 1000pillar temple.

During the trip, my eyes just turned green with the sight that was before me. All throughout the trip, it was just the green trees spread across everywhere that I could see.

The Neminath Basadi Temple in Karkala, overlooking the Gomateshwara statue and finally climbing the stairs to see the Huge statue.

The best part of the trip was yet to come, and like every trip you take, there remains that one place which stands out. Malpe beach was that place for me. I’ve never been on a beach with rain for company, but with this visit even that has been accomplished.

There were cocnuts lying around the beach, and one of my friend even broke it up for us to eat. :P

Coconuts in Malpe beach

Coconuts in Malpe beach

Dead fishes were thrown across with the incoming waves and so was garbage.

But we enjoyed the fishes. No, not those of course, but these. I always prefer the river ones over the Salt water fishes, but these were damn yummy.

While the fish was being fried, we indulged in some Gola and bhutta eating.

Although we went to Malpe beach with the hope of going over to St. Mary’s island, but thanks to timing, we just missed the ferry that takes people to the island. Sad part is, we had to watch the ferry leave in front of our eyes. :(

Consoled ourselves with the view of the dockyard and the crazy smell of fishes all over the place :P

Finally it was time to head back to Mangalore and finish of the trip.

For me ,the trip ended here at the beach with the taste of the fish still amalgamated in my mouth.

Must say, although I love travelling alone, this one with friends was very relaxing. Agreed that I missed out on lots of places to visit, authentic food to be tried, getting to know the locals or travelling in public transport while interacting with them. But this had a certain charm in itself.

Social media Bootcamp: My Experience


It is not every day that you get to sit, talk and most importantly listen to people having the same interests as you. I was literally bubbling with excitement, after getting to be there in the Social media bootcamp in Bangalore, on Wednesday, 15th October. 

The camp was organized by Helen Issar, who runs the Social media Management group called Penny Lane Social. Coming with a vast experience in this domain from the dawn of social media, she has a profile to be envy of. Making things happen digitally, making brands come alive and register themselves in the consumers mind, is what she had been doing. Oh Yes, I am envious.

Social media Bootcamp, Bangalore

Social media Bootcamp, Bangalore

The 3-hour long, with a little break of amazing biscuits and cakes in between, session started with basics of Social media. It would be rude of me to simply say that this part was boring, as this was basics, but it was. Nevertheless, it was nice to start this off to ease everyone in, on the big elephant everyone is looking to tame, i.e., Social media.

As the session went on, things got interesting. From nitty-gritties of social media to tips on how to take care of twitter/facebook/Youtube to stats detailing how the full scope of Social media in India is yet to be explored completely.

Targeting: The target user profiling on each of these social networks vary. The stats throw up a beautiful picture on how this can be done effectively. Filtering out your target is a very important step in starting off your campaign.

Content Generation: The content generation requires empathizing with the reader and customizing it to their liking. Different rules apply on different social media platforms. While the 80:20 Rule of Curated: Created content works for Twitter, a 70:20:10 rule of Created: Curated: Promotional content works best for Facebook. The correct proportion will aid in making the recipe of engagement on these platforms better, and give the ultimate dish a great taste.

One size does not fit all, and hence content tone varies across platforms. While a blog reader is expected to at least read 300+ words, a tweet message has to be contained within 140 characters. (Makes me wonder, are you still there reading this “more than 300 word blog”? :P )

Pictures work wonder on all the platforms and so, a picture + quote + small description is ideally the correct syntax to be used to code for Social media success.  

Create stories: The most effective way to capture an audience is to tell a story to them. This can be in the form of a picture flow chart (A How-to guide?), making your users share experience of their use or sharing your knowledge about what you do best to the world.

Read insights and statistics: Tailor the social media content through insights and analytics gathered from user behavior.

Brand all your content, make it your own. Pictures/Videos/pdfs should all bear your logo, wherever you share them.

It all boils down to one very important fact, Create content to build a community with an expectation to build it into a marketplace.

Important question is not why to use Social media? Question is How to use it to our advantage?

 

…In search of Clarity..


Clarity.

Clean glass container filled with water, clean water, you see bubbles. That represents clarity. Nothing explains it better. You drop even a small pebble, a small part of anything which doesn’t dissolve and just wanders around. You watch it, move around, forming symmetries and asymmetries all along. That small pebble is irritating enough that has disturbed your view of the clear water and distracted you.

Imagine more of those pebbles jumping in. more distractions. Less clarity. To put it simply, that’s how life is.

Pebbles or problems keep jumping in from time to time. What we are always looking to do is, find that clarity again. At least I am.

There’s no one way, where this can be achieved. Or rather can never be achieved. But this does not mean we never try. The quest for clarity is the single most important things we should look forward to run after.

Life through its various facets gives us that chance to look for answers and look for clarity. It is not necessary to go to the Himalayas to attain that. It is something that you can find in between a very crowded market, or a park where all you could hear are the birds chirping. You can find it while travelling, standing on the door of a train or bobbing your head out of the window in a moving bus or even riding a bike too.

Answers are everywhere. Clarity too.

There are lots of pebbles and probably lots of questions to be answered to. But hopefully at the end of it, we can look back and say, yes!! We tried.

Clarity.

…just straight out of my pen…


It suddenly strikes. The zeal to write again, to immerse yourself in the beauty of the words. Words, written words, have a way to let you express yourself. They never disappoint.

A lot happens. A lot of ideas to write on, flows along the way too. but the effort required to open up the word document after coming from work, seems more hectic than the session in gym. At least, there’s a trainer to push you, to put those muscles to work. Back in home, that laziness won’t let you do anything apart from clicking on the play button on the VLC player while watching a random TV series. Such is life. Work life.

Although, I should add, it is just my attempt to throw the blame of this whole thing onto something. It has always been like that, getting into a shell where writing something which I want, get pushed away. Procrastination sweeps in and makes you sleep with it. and believe me, it is only the time when we are with it, it feels good, but just when we wake up next day, the intense hangover of having done nothing fills up the head.

I’ve been trying hard to get life a little disciplined. Starting to manage time a little better, and do a lot of other things that will just give me space and time to do things that I like. And yet, this ardouous process never seems to take off. But then, one should keep trying right ?

And so, here’s a start to a better disciplined life. Maybe it is too late, or maybe it is not. Heard somewhere, Your “rest of the life” starts now!! So, I’m making a start. To start writing again, just for the pure love of it, without any obligations to cater to. Just simply write. To express.

Daawat-e-Ishq: A dawat you should definitely miss


Cast: Parineeti Chopra, Aditya Roy kapoor, Anupam Kher

Director: Habib Faisal

Runtime: 125 Minutes

Hyedrabad and Lucknow. What do these two cities have in common ? Well, a lt of things and food (read Non-veg food) is one of the bissgest one. Now, a story which moves between these two cities and has a tagline of a “mouth-watering love story” just fits the description, right ? Only, Daawat-e-Ishq does Not.

The biggest flaw of the story is the way it has been captured. Cinematography is the worst that you’ve seen in ages. Especially, with a story concept as such. The instagram food pictures look far better than the how the mouth-watering dishes (names which make you crave for some) have been shot, that too when the hero (Aditya Roy Kapoor) runs a restaurant!!!

Daawat-e-Ishq

Definitely, the foodie in me was deeply hurt. But, anyways, the story (atleast the concept) is something to ponder into. Its about Dowry and how even the padha-likha youth of our country still doesn’t see it as the evil it is.

But apart from this concept, there’s hardly anything that goes right for this movie. It makes you wonder, whether you are watching the unedited and still unpolished version of the movie.

Anupam kher puts in a solid performance as Habibullah and that is probably the only character you’ll remember once this boring saga ends on the seen-it-thousand-times-before climax.

Although a lot of detailing and effort has gon into the accent (hyedrabadi as well as lucknowi), supporting characters, location and food details, yet it all seems like a school skit in front of your eyes and when you have to pay for this, you feel wronged.

This happens to be Parineeti’s worst performance till date, while for some strange reasons Aditya Roy kappor manages to make a little mark. Of course, giving those terrible song-and-dance routines would have been better. There are moments and typical Hyedrabadi dialogues that do make you laugh, but unless you have been associated/familiar with it, it won’t have much of an effect.

daawat-e-ishq-movie

Daawat-e-Ishq is an opportunity gone wasted to highlight the terrible plight of dowry system prevalent in India. What it does however is bore you out with something that is not even close to mediocre. Sadly, it doesn’t bring out the simplicity of Do dooni Char not catches up with the flamboyance of Ladies vs Ricki behl by the same director, Habib Faisal.

I’m going with 1/5 for the movie. Go enjoy the biryani at a hyedrabadi joint near you, instead of qubooling this daawat.

Finding Fanny: My Review


Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Pankaj Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Dimple Kapadia, Arjun Kapoor

Director: Homi Adjania

Running Time: 102 Minutes

Finding fanny

A rare occasion for bollywood to indulge in an off-beat, mad and tragic comedy and that is what makes Finding Fanny special. It eases you into the story, as if they have all the time in the world, to give it a perfect ending.

Story is about Finding Fanny. Fanny, who? The love of Fernando’s (Naseeruddin Shah) life, which leads to a road trip for all. For finding fanny and for answers for their own lives.

Finding-Fanny

Performances are all gems. No points for guessing, Naseeruddin Shah and Pankaj Kapoor, steal the show. The ensemble of cast perfectly suits the story as well as the setting. While the first half eases you into the story, the second half shows the characters seamlessly exploring each other’s characters. So, while the first half shows an Old-child in Naseeruddin shah, the second half showcases his emphatic and sensible nature. While the crazy-perv-looking painter brings his own nuances.

Naseeruddin Shah in Finding Fanny

Deepika Padukone, Arjun Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia fit perfectly into their roles, but the film definitely belonged to the two veterans.

An important part of the story is how it has been shot. More than the fact that it has been shot in the not-so-thronged part of Goa, the cinematography is brilliant. Capturing details, focusing on visuals as well as characterizations, it has been nicely done.

I’m going with 3/5 for Finding Fanny.

It is not for the average-masala-fare-expecting viewer, but if you ease yourself into it, you’ll love it. It’s more like forgetting about the world while reading a book in your balcony.

Travelogue: The Mumbai Chapter


A 3-day trip to Mumbai, a city which is magical and perfectly fits as the commercial capital of India. There is so much to do in mumbai and I had so little time. Even Rain didn’t spared me. (Although, surprisingly I enjoyed that too there :P )!! From Travelling in locals, to being stuck in platforms, really helpful Taxi drivers, great choices for food, sight-seeing, hangouts and simply strolling around, it has it all.

Couldn’t take many pictures due to rain, but whatever have taken, posting them here in collages. I enjoyed my stay there, hope you enjoy them through these pics too.

Khandala

Khandala: Lucky enough to catch a few glimpses of the place before entering Mumbai. Pics taken while during running train, and hence doesn’t capture the full beauty that the place offers.

Gateway of india

Gateway of India. Visited this marvel during early evening, the crowd, the liveliness and just the structure is gigantic. Of course, you get to see The taj hotel just on the opposite side, horse-carts around for rent, a statue of Chatrapati Shivaji and photographers :P

Bandstand!!

band stand, Mumbai

Things to see (apart from the creepy couples :P ), the Bandra-worli sea-link, amazing view, lots of bungalows of filmstars. I got one-clicked near SRK’s Mannat, although the security wasn’t allowing even that!!

Mohammad ali Road, Mumbai

Muhammad Ali Road!! The place to be! Street food: Awesome. This includes, kebabs, rolls, and all sorts of non-veg, also are places for sweets (Suleman Usman is a must), and all of this is dirt-cheap. Old bombay and the muslim food, makes this place amazing.

Racecourse, Mumbai

Racecourse: This was my first visit to a racecourse, and even though there were no race in progress, one in Pune was in progress and Live in the big screens over there. The best part was to see how people, bet ,get excited when they win and disheartened when they lose.

Haji ali, Mumbai

Haji Ali: Dargah of Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari, a place which is always crowded. Even though it was raining, and the pathway over the sea was continuopusly gushing waves, the numbers were still high. Just went there to take pictures, but the rains made it really difficult.

On the outside, there is the famous Haji Ali juice centre. Must say, this is one of the MOST hyped joint, I’ve ever visited. terrible service, juices are decent but really over priced!! Had two, for the sake of it.

Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus: One of the busiest stations in India

CST!! Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus, this Italian gothic-cum-mughal architecture inspired station, which runs long-distance as well as suburban station is a Sight!! The area in and around is even more amazing.

Dhobi Ghaat, Mumbai

Dhobi Ghaat: Very close to Racecourse road, a trip down to these lanes is sure to make you experience something different. This sure is bound to make you understand a lot of things, including being a little more humble.

Bade Miyan, Mumbai

Bade Miyan.. This place is famous for its non-veg food. Although general recommendations were to come here after midnight, I ended up going a lil early. Gives you the feel of old-muslim hotels, with a going-big approach!!

Art gallery, Near Jahangir art gallery, Mumbai

Art, Creativity and simply off-beat stuff. Along the Jahangir Art gallery, a place place the Kala ghoda festival takes place, these gems can be seen.

Near Colaba  causeway, Mumbai

Near Colaba causeway, away from the market, you get to see this sight. I’ve never seen ships, so close. Even noticed the helipad in between the huts, when one landed just in between them.

Fort Area, Mumbai

Fort area!! This area simply vows you with British era buildings sprawled around. Its classy, pleasing and Mumbai!!

Food in Mumbai

Food!! YES, that’s one of the most important part of my trips anywhere.

Sadly, due to the rains, it was tough to explore the street food for which Mumbai is famous for, and the ones I did, couldn’t take pics of. Some of the lucky ones, which got clicked are here!! Must add, the options for food of all kind, are unlimited!!

Me, Rains and Nariman Point

Rains all around, wind cheater and a cap on, I strolled around!! This one is from Nariman point. Rains, Bhutta, sea-side and Me. Best moment of the trip.

Mumbai Police busy in their phones :P

Jokes apart, they seemed to be really helpful. I asked about a particular location and where I can get a cab, he told me in marathi (which i understood somehow :P), its near only beta, go take a walk!!

Security seemed pretty tight in most places, and just like you’ll see CCD’s at every nukkad here in Bangalore, you get Police station there!!

Magic of Mumbai

The magic of Mumbai, cannot be captured in just 3 days. It needs a lot of time to sink in, immerse and enjoy the whole of it. I’m pretty sure that this place will be visited again, very soon.

So, until my next trip, the travelogue will get a little rest now.