Did you know that Bahrain and Gujarat share a relationship that harks back to the Indus civilization?

Lothal, in Gujarat, and Bahrain were both important trading ports, in centuries gone by. And coins from Lothal have been excavated in present-day Bahrain. We also share a history when it comes to traditional arts and crafts. And that’s what I wrote about in the October 2017 issue of Travel and Leisure (India and South Asia). Read below:

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Because our metros are noisy!

Every now and then I write a city based feature. Here’s one on noise pollution. As I was writing it, I was shocked by the stories I heard. In particular was that of an infant who went deaf thanks to a fire-cracker. Here’s a link to my story that printed in Hindu Business Line: Lend your ears, Mumbaikars

Mumbai, are we ready to segregate and compost?

While I concentrate on travel features, I also write on several other topics. Here’s my piece, that printed in The Hindu (Mumbai edition), on a pressing issue in aamchi Mumbai (and other Indian metros): waste segregation.

Come on peeps, let’s be responsible citizens or we will have the pay the price (some of us already are). To read the article, click here: Changing the way we trash

 

 

 

 

Where to eat in Switzerland?

Switzerland is more than cheese and chocolate. Here’s my article in the October 2017 issue of Man’s World Magazine, on some of the must-visit restaurants, across the country:

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85 FOB - Swiss fine dining (1)-1

Into the Wild

I haven’t logged into the blog in a very long time. Thankfully, during this time, I’ve had several articles printed in magazines, online and in newspapers. I cannot recollect them all, or you dear reader – yes, singular – would be subjected to it all.

Here’s my latest piece on Sri Lanka, printed in the October 2017 issue of Spice Route (Spice Jet’s in-flight magazine), where I recount my visit to Minneriya National Park. To watch elephants bathe in the wild, playfully nudge each other into the water, cormorants piggyback the gentle giants, is really something else. Read more here:

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What do Nasik and France have in common?

jpgApart from the love of wine, there’s a spunky new Formule 1 Hotel in the heart of the city. For those unfamiliar with the brand, it is headquartered in Paris and is considered one of the most affordable hotels in France. The reasonably priced yet chic brand has recently entered Nasik. And I checked it out. Here’s what to expect at the recently opened hotel:

The very first thing I notice, just as I walk into the lobby, is the attention to detail: the decor is funky yet minimalistic. Everywhere there are  quirky little touches – a tiny fish bowl near the elevator, a vintage telephone, a painting that’s nothing but brush-strokes of lime green, a mauve cushion loosely placed on a sofa. The soothing colours coupled with the whispers of central air-conditioning are perfect to beat the summer heat. And just what one needs after a 4-odd-hour journey from Mumbai.

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Add to this, the hospitality: women draped in nine-yard saris greet us at the entrance lobby. In keeping with the atithi devo bhava spirit, we’re welcomed  with a red tilak smeared on our foreheads, and a diya is lit for an auspicious start to our holiday.

Armed with an electronic key-card, I make my way to my 3rd floor room. Without this techy card, one cannot use the lift. It’s this emphasis on security that is appreciated, particularly by the solo woman traveller.  As I enter the room, the first thing I hear is the silence. Noise proof windows and doors have been used to offer you greater privacy. The decor once again is minimalistic with calming colours. A king-size sink-into bed, a huge flat screen television with one-too-many channels, a large window that overlooks nothing but an expanse of endless fields.

But manage to pull yourself away from the comfort and seclusion, and make your way to the restaurants  – there are two to choose from – and you’re in for a treat.  The in-house one in which a full buffet breakfast awaits you . And an outsourced one (with entry from within the hotel itself), which functions for lunch and dinner, with a choice of Indian and continental.

But if you’re craving local cuisine – the sort that you can’t stop eating even when your eyes are watering – head to Divtiya Budhlya (yep, that’s the name!). The restaurant was a fabulous suggestion by the hotel staff. And it was about a half-hour drive from Formule 1 (they are only too happy to help you order an Uber). At this no-frills restaurant, you’ll be seated under a thatched roof held up by bamboo, while you’re served zesty, flavourful dishes which is typical of Maharashtrian cuisine. Go for the signature, finger-licking-good mutton thali, a meal that we know will bring you back to this city, time and again.

And that’s the thing about Nasik. She has maintained her simplicity, culture and traditions. The city hosts the Kumbh Mela – legend  has it that Lord Vishnu accidently spilled a drop of Amrit over Nasik, making it a sacred site. Pilgrims and visitors alike come to visit her ghats and age-old sacred shrines. Despite being rooted in mythology and celebrating her past, she is keeping up with the times. So the next time you’re here, take in the old city, and slip into the comforts of a global brand, when you’re ready to call it a night.

Your children could live on Mars

That’s what I was told when I visited Florida’s Space Coast. NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre on this Coast, is one of those rare places on Earth where no dream is too far fetched; where everything is impossible only until someone achieves it!

Here’s more from my visit to the Space Centre.