Author: Nish

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Things to Remember When Booking Your Dream Vacation in Orlando

Orlando is the roller coaster capital of the United States, so there is no wonder why so many families choose it as their dream destination. There is no shortage of things to keep the kids entertained. From whooshing down water slides to discovering all there is to know about space. It sure will be a jam-packed trip! Here are some things to remember when booking your trip to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun. Keep Travel And Hotels Cheap Entrance to all the theme parks and various attractions can add up to a princely sum. So it is best to keep your travel and accommodation as cheap as possible. There are lots of websites that offer hotel deals, such as Hotwire.com. When it comes to booking your travel, look at budget airlines. It might even be worth flying to a different city and traveling to Orlando by train or bus. Price comparison websites can help you figure out the best way to get there. Book Theme Park Tickets In Advance …

Going Vegan

Is Going Vegan the Next Big Thing?

More and more people seem to be going vegan lately. There are many reasons, both ethical and health wise to eat less meat. You don’t need to do much research to realise just how much energy it takes up making the meat sold in supermarkets – so much of it tends to get wasted too. However, it seems that some people are becoming vegan now for the wrong reasons. If you can’t go 5 minutes without talking about being vegan, are you doing it for yourself, or to try to portray some sort of distorted self-image to others? I seriously respect people who want to help the environment. But do we have to put a label on it? Vegan, vegetarian, whatever you say or think you are – is a label necessary? As long as you’re doing your best, that’s all that really matters! With that in mind, here’s how to take some steps to help make the world a better place: Start With Yourself If you want to make the world a better place, …

Chilling together at the event

A Little Gyan (Knowledge) on Children’s Nutrition

On Mother’s Day, quite a few mommy or parent bloggers arrived for a short session hosted by Horlicks and Indiblogger at Taj Vivanta to learn about children’s nutrition, its importance, and also spread the message as far as we can. The fact is: the status of children’s health (which is directly linked to nutrition) in India is not good. This is not something new, but some of the stats shared at the conference were extremely alarming. Currently, India has: More than 50% of children who are nutrient deficient. Largest number of Vitamin A deficiency in the world. Largest number of children prone to iodine deficiency. If the above stats were not shocking enough, the presenters also spoke about the phenomenon of hidden hunger, where children who you might think were perfectly nourished and doing well also were not developing to their fullest potential because of eating the wrong type of foods. The technical term for this is malnutrition. This is not because of any economic constraints, but more due to a simple lack of knowledge …

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The Mortal Instruments – Books 1 to 3

So, yet again, I embark on a Fantasy series. Unlike previous efforts though, when I stopped at just 1 (think A Discovery of Witches), I actually managed to rush through 4 of these books back to back. Why? Two things: I was on vacation for part of last week. These books though flawed are addictive as hell. As soon as one was finished, I found myself picking up the next book and racing through. Something that rarely happens. Note: Not that these books are perfect, nowhere close. There is just an addictive quality to it, and enough cliff-hangers, and teenage-y angst to keep me rolling my eyes and LOL’ing but still reading on. So what’s the series about? The series so far is set in New York but in an alterna-reality where New York (and the rest of the world actually) is populated by werewolves, vampires, demons, and fae. There is also a mysterious group of people who maintain the peace between all the different races called Shadowhunters. One day while Clary and her best …

Insalata di asparagi - an asparagus salad with sundried tomatoes, sesame seeds, and pinenuts

The Spring Asparagus Sojourn at Ottimo, ITC Gardenia

Inspired by the Spring weather in Italy, Chefs Vittorio and Sasha from Ottimo, ITC Gardenia have come up with a set of unique dishes that showcase all the best qualities of the asparagus – both green and white versions. And of course K and I had to visit and try out their delectable creations. We started out with a fresh and crunchy salad consisting of asparagus, lettuce, sesame seeds, and pine nuts, with a light sauce drizzled over them. I really loved the combination of the ingredients that went into this salad, and I think I’m going to try recreating this one at home. I guarantee though that it will not come out so pretty as the one we ate 🙂 . We then moved on to the tartara asparagi, pomdori, sechi e burratta. This consisted of an asparagus tartare layered on top of sun-dried tomatoes on top of the creamiest, richest burratta cheese I have met. For a dish that was so cheese heavy, this one was surprisingly light and easy. And now we …

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Teaser Tuesdays: City of Glass

Am on a binge-reading session of Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, and while the books have their flaws, I love the snark element in some of the characters – especially Magnus Bane is a fast favorite with me. Here’s an excerpt from the third book in the series – City of Glass. Have you read this series? What do you think about these books? Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Colorful salad

Fine Dining Options on Outer Ring Road – The Courtyard Marriott and Fairfield

If you live or work in the Outer Ring Road section of Bangalore (particularly in the IT hub from KR Puram to Sarjapur), you would know and lament the lack of decent dining options available. For quite some time, it seemed that for office gatherings, you were confined to the Park Plaza hotel (a good option but gets tired if you go there every time), or Absolute Barbecue (which is impossible if you are trying to book a place on short notice). If you opted out of these, well, there was pretty much nothing decent on offer close by. All that’s changed now with the fine dining options at Courtyard Marriott / Fairfield hotel near Kadubeesanahalli. We tried out MoMo Cafe and Kava, and absolutely enjoyed our experience there. The folks from Marriott took us all over their property, and I was really impressed by how well-laid out the place was. We stopped off at Kava first to generally look over the place, and then proceeded to MoMo Cafe, where we tried out their regular …

Beautiful Mexico

Amazing Things to do in Mexico With Your Family

When you’re traveling with your family, or you want to enjoy a big vacation together, it can be tricky to find the right destination to suit you all. There may be young children and older teenagers together. You need a place that will allow everyone to enjoy activities that cater for each age group. And there are bound to be a few things the grown-ups would like to do too! Mexico is one of those destinations that offers so much for a family group. The landscape is as diverse as you can get. Here, you’ll find jungles, beaches, mountains and deserts. This means there are countless activities to choose from. How often does a family get to enjoy so many sights in one place? And even on a budget, you can find cheap holidays in Mexico. With a big family, packing can be tricky to do. Consider using accommodation that includes laundry facilities when there are a lot of you. If you need to carry small children, you can’t possibly manage large, heavy cases as …

The beautiful illustrations

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery. ~ Synopsis from goodreads This is my first time reading a novel that depends so much on illustrations for the telling of the story. I don’t know how to qualify this book exactly, it’s not really a graphic novel, or a picture book. It’s a combination of text and images to tell a story. And it’s really well-done in my opinion. The interesting thing is that the graphics are not an addition to the text. There are pages and pages of drawings that you have …

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Fun Ideas For A Vacation With Friends

Going on holiday with friends is an excellent way to let your hair down and just have some fun. The more of you, the better to make the holiday extra special. Whether it’s for a birthday or to celebrate the end of your exams, it will be an unforgettable holiday. It can be hard to decide what to do for your big holiday, though. Here are some fun ideas for a vacation with friends. Camping If you want to have a fun vacation with your friends, you should consider going on a camping trip. You can go camping anywhere in the world, and it’s perfect for all sorts of weather. Camping is great as it’s cheap and you can sleep outside under the stars. Staying in a tent means at least four people can stay together at once. It also means you can get some space if you want a break from anyone. And you can all have a campfire at night, where you tell stories and roast some marshmallows! Skiing If you want a …

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The Jungle Book

The moment I heard that a new version of The Jungle Book was going to release this summer, I had earmarked it as THE movie to watch. As a family, we don’t go to the cinemas much at all: Snubnose has a tendency to get scared and panicky in the dark (yes, even at 10). And anything even mildly disturbing seen in the dark cinema hall bothers her a lot. This leaves us with only kiddy cartoony movies – Minions and the like. Piglet also has a tendency to get scared and panicky in the dark. However, to cover it up, he just behaves more noisy and rowdy. It’s really weird because he is perfectly fine during dance performances and live plays and such. But I guess the combination of the dark and the loud sound effects in a cinema hall just gets to him. In spite of all these issues, I was determined to see the film. The Jungle Book story is one of my all-time childhood favorites, and I have read the book …

A Magnificent Buddha

WW: Children’s Art Display at Rangoli, MG Road

I am finally getting around to posting all the photographs that I took of the children’s art exhibition that Snubnose participated in last month. I was mindblown by their work and went a little too click-happy taking photos of absolutely everything, but thought these here were an accurate representation of the quality and range of the work that was on display. Click on the images to see the pictures in more detail. The quality of the photos are a bit hit and miss. I have never quite figured out the technique of shooting glass without forming bad reflections in the picture. All art work done by children between the ages of 5 and 12.

Loved digging into this whopper

The #AngriestWhopper in Town

Last weekend, Burger King unveiled a new limited-edition whopper called appropriately enough Angriest Whopper. It has been available in other countries It comes with an extremely angry looking red bun (red because it is baked with hot spices, and not because of any food coloring). Between the red-hot buns is a totally delicious and mouth-watering combination of crispy angry onion petals, spicy angry Habanero sauce and zesty jalapenos piled high atop the patty and layered with a slice of cheese, lettuce, ripe tomatoes, and creamy spicy mayonnaise. I tried out the veg angriest whopper on Sunday at the Burger King on CMH Road, and I came away with my heart singing. The whopper just hit all the right notes – it’s spicy but not too spicy, and the mayonnaise of the burger mellowed down the heat from the sauces and the bun. I also loved the flavoring of the jalapenos, and the habanero sauce, mixed in with the paprika flavoring of the bun. I think I”ll go a step further and say that I actually …

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Teaser Tuesdays: Pretties

After sitting on the fence for ages, I finally started and zipped through the second book in the Uglies trilogy last week. Second time around, the language in the book didn’t bother me as much as the first book did, and I even liked and bookmarked some snippets to share here. Everyone in the world was programmed by the place they were born, hemmed in by their beliefs, but you had to at least try to grow your own brain. Otherwise, you might as well be living on a reservation, worshiping a bunch of bogus gods. ~ Pretties by Scott Westerfield This is a dystopian YA series that is slowly starting to grow on me. Have you read this book or the series? What do you think about it? Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO …

A cutie-pie umbrella I got from Innisfree

Shopping – Malaysia and Singapore

As I said in my post on Singapore, all hopes of good shopping in Singapore were dashed by the outrageous prices there. Probably because we went to the wrong place there – Orchard Road is after all a luxe shopping destination. But frankly it was not just the sky-high prices that were a deterrent. It was the fact that there were so many huge standalone department stores there, and until we visited and browsed we never knew which one was worth the visit – we walked until we were dead on our feet, visiting dozens of stores, before we got to the one really worth visiting – Takashimaya. Great stock there. So, if you’re looking to shop on Orchard Road, just do this one department store, and whichever standalone brand name store you want to visit. That’s more than enough to blow your budget. My two cents of advice. Or you could just head on over to Kuala Lumpur, and visit the Pavillion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall. Unlike Orchard Road, which was a walking in …

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The Cuckoo’s Calling

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office. Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man. ~ Synopsis from goodreads OK. I take back my opinion of Strike. When I read The Silkworm, I thought he was a bit of a tosser. Now after reading The Cuckoo’s Calling, I am starting to warm up to him a bit. That said, I still struggled with this book. Where in …

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The Martian

You must be living behind some rock on this planet if you’ve not heard of this book or the movie. So, I’m not going to get into too much detail on it. It’s enough to say that this was the goodreads choice winner of 2014 in the science-fiction category. In a nutshell: Crap! My astronaut crewmates accidentally left me behind on Mars. I’m fucked! I’m going to die. Poor astronaut/botanist Mark Watney is thought dead in a freak storm in Mars. His crewmates just about manage to make it to their spacecraft, and make it out of Mars. Poor Mark is not dead however, and he now has to learn how to survive on the planet till he gets rescued. Some Cool Info About This Book I read somewhere online and now can’t find the link, but it seems this book found no takers and so Weir put the book online in serial format one chapter at a time for free at his website. He started getting readers and on their request he made a …

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Top Tips to Plan the Perfect Road Trip

There is no better way to travel the world than to hit the open road and see the sights. As far as travelling goes, a road trip is the perfect way to see as many towns, cities and countries as possible. And, it is also one of the most enjoyable experiences ever. But, it is only enjoyable if you plan it properly. People that turn-up and wing it tend to come across problems that are hard to solve. To make sure that doesn’t happen, just take a look at the tips below. Here’s how to plan the perfect road trip. Pick Your Route The beauty of a road trip is the flexibility. When you are behind the wheel, you can go wherever you fancy when you fancy. Still, it is always nice to plan a route in advance. Even though it is more restricting, it is the best way to ensure that you hit all of the sights. Otherwise, you could drive right past them and miss them altogether. There is no need to have …

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Recent Reads

Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list our recent 5-star reads. Since I rarely classify books as 5-stars, let’s face it, no book is perfect, I am instead going to list the top ten books I read and loved recently. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson – This book was sitting on my shelf for ages. I don’t know why I never picked it up before (probably the gloomy cover did not attract me), but once I started reading it, I loved this slow, melancholic tale about life and racism in a small town in America. Here’s a teaser from the book. The Martian by Andy Weir – Loved the humor in this book. A funny read was not what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but the self-deprecating humor in this book totally slayed me. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare – Fun YA Fantasy novel, a little predictable but I loved some of the main characters (read heroes), and I look forward …

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Teaser Tuesdays: Snow Falling on Cedars

This book was on my TBR list for the longest time. Finally, I got around to it a couple of weeks ago, and all I can tell you right now, is that it is definitely worth the wait. This book is primarily about the isolation and discrimination against the Japanese living in USA during the time of World War 2. Here’s an excerpt where he beautifully describes the landscape while at the same time talking about the futility of fighting over land: The snowfall obliterated the borders between the fields and made Kabuo Miyamoto’s long-cherished seven acres indistinguishable from the land that surrounded them. All human claims to the landscape were superseded, made null and void by the snow. The world was one world, and the notion that a man might kill another over some small patch of it did not make sense – though Ishmael knew that such things happened. He had been to war, after all. ~ Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by …

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Art Exhibition

Snubnose and her friends will be having an exhibition of some of the work they have done in the past couple of years. I’ve just come back from setting up all the paintings at the gallery, and though we are not fully done arranging everything just yet, I already can see it is going to be pretty mind-blowing, and I am so proud of all the hard work these kids (and their teachers) have put into making this happen. When and Where The exhibition will be up this weekend on March 26th and 27th. It will be at the Rangoli Art Gallery center on M.G.Road, between 9 to 5 pm. The easiest way to get there (depending on where you live) is the Metro, as it is right next to it, and taking public transportation ensures no parking hassles. Some of Snubnose’s works featured are her Vaikuntam, Subramaniam Ravishankar, this Picasso, her favorite Krishna, and my all-time favorite Modigliani. Really excited for tomorrow, and hoping that we will get a good amount of enthusiastic attendance …

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Desi Crime

Been busy, busy, busy with I don’t know what – too many social occasions, too many dinners out, and just too many errands to run in general, so my reading has stayed on the most basic level. Which is why there are thrillers galore being featured on the blog these days, as short pacey thrillers are the only books I’ve been able to focus on lately. Here are a couple of Indian crime novels that I quite enjoyed. In the Shadows of Death Sheetal Mehra, HR executive with Crescent Technologies, is found murdered in the toilet of a Kolkata hotel after an office party. ACP Agni Mitra finds out about her adulterous ways as he starts investigating into the murder. The miffed husband, a lecherous boss, one of her many jilted admirers – anyone could have killed her. The investigation is stuck in myriad perplexing questions when the murder of Meenakshi Menon, a Director with Altius Finance, hits the headlines. As more murders rock the city, it is not too long before the battle of …

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Teaser Tuesdays: City of Bones

I’ve been reading this book all weekend, and it’s pretty addictive and enjoyable. I particularly enjoy the references to Indian mythology and history scattered throughout. “It’s a chakhram,” said Jace, looking up as Clary came into the room. “A Sikh weapon. You whirl it around your index finger before releasing it. They’re rare and hard to use. ~ City of Bones by Cassandra Clare Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Cheesecake, ice cream, and mousse for dessert

Arigato Edo

When I received an invite from the wonderful people at ITC Gardenia to give their Japanese fine dining restaurant Edo a try, I was in two minds. Being a vegetarian, did it really make sense for me to accept a blogger review invitation where most of the dishes would be beyond me? I mean, what would I even talk about? I was then sat down and made to listen to their spiel – about how passionate Chef Joshi was about his restaurant and his food, how light and healthy Japanese food is, and then the convincing argument – that even Jain vegetarians (one of the stricter forms of vegetarianism) have been able to eat at Edo and still been able to enjoy the food. So finally got convinced into trying out their set vegetarian meal one rainy weeknight. A set meal? That seems like a lot, right? And if you know me, you will also know that I am a person of very poor appetite. I enjoy food but I tend to just nibble along …

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Barbeque Nation – Bringing Arabian Flavors into Their Dining Experience

Snubnose and I are always up for a dinner at Barbeque Nation. The food is consistently good, Snubnose never tires of the table-side grilling experience, and the food appeals to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. What more do you need? Well, how about an Arabian food festival to add to the fun? Well, the Wahrabia food festival is going on in all Barbeque Nation food outlets in Bangalore till March 18th. As part of this food festival, Barbeque Nation offers all diners the opportunity to taste traditional Arabian delicacies. Here’s a sampler of some of their offerings to excite your taste buds: Jojeh Kebab – chunks of chicken marinated in saffron and grilled to perfection, Rubian Mashwi – chargrilled prawns marinated with Lebanese spices, Dabel Kebab, Arabian Kafta Lamb Seekh – minced lamb on seekh, Farareej el Fahem and Samak Harrrah Al Shara – Pomfret baked with crushed garlic and coriander and served with pepper sauce. And fear not, you vegetarians, there are Arabian specialties for you too: Afelia Batata, Felafel Pita pockets, Curried Chickpeas, Sheesh …

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Binge-reading Michael Connelly

When work is hectic, and the personal life even more so, rereads and easy thrillers are the order of the day. Michael Connelly has always been one of my fallback authors during such times and hence these two books. Blood Work Blood Work is practically a vintage read. This is the first in Connelly’s Terry McCaleb crime series, and is set, I gather in the late 90s (mainly due to the unavailability of cell phones in the novel). Synopsis When Graciella Rivers steps onto his boat, ex-FBI agent Terrell McCaleb has no idea he’s about to come out of retirement. He’s recuperating from a heart transplant and avoiding anything stressful. But when Graciella tells him the way her sister Gloria was murdered, it leaves Terry no choice. Now the man with the new heart vows to take down a predator without a soul. ~ Synopsis from Goodreads This book started strongly with an interesting premise, and maintains the tension and the thrills till about three-quarters into the novel. And even after the reveal, the book …

Enjoying her introduction to the world of Narnia

Online Book Shopping at #Bookle

A couple of weeks back, Snubnose got the most wonderful surprise, just a couple of days before her birthday. She had hurt her leg pretty badly falling off her cycle and was sitting at home moping about how her hurt left leg wouldn’t allow her to dance at her birthday party coming on the weekend. Just when I was beginning to get exasperated with her theatrics, the bell rang. It was a postal worker with a parcel in hand. And it was so amusing to see how quickly Snubnose hobbled on one good leg to tear open what she was sure was a parcel for her. And so it was. It was a parcel from Bookle. I had a voucher from them which I used up to get her an advance birthday gift. So What is Bookle? It’s the newest online book store on the block. The only thing is this one is just for kids. It’s also a used book store, which I think is a great idea. I hate spending so much moolah …

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Teaser Tuesdays: The Martian

After the intensity of The Lives of Others, Mark Watney (the protagonist)’s wisecracks in The Martian come as a breath of fresh air. Even though he is stranded all alone on Mars, he retains his sense of humor and how! At first, this writing style was a bit unexpected, but now I am just racing through these pages and enjoying this book. Problem is (follow me closely here, the science is pretty complicated), if I cut a hole in the Hab, the air won’t stay inside anymore. The Martian by Andy Weir Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book …

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The Lives of Others

The aging patriarch and matriarch of the Ghosh family preside over their large household, made up of their five adult children and their respective children, unaware that beneath the barely ruffled surface of their lives the sands are shifting. Each set of family members occupies a floor of the home, in accordance to their standing within the family. Poisonous rivalries between sisters-in-law, destructive secrets, and the implosion of the family business threaten to unravel bonds of kinship as social unrest brews in 1960s West Bengali society. This is a moment of turbulence, of inevitable and unstoppable change: the chasm between the generations, and between those who have and those who have not, has never been wider. The eldest grandchild, Supratik, compelled by his idealism, becomes dangerously involved in extremist political activism—an action that further catalyzes the decay of the Ghosh home. ~ Synopsis from goodreads When I reviewed The Lowland, I received some responses (one from Booker Talk) saying that The Lives of Others, which also deals with some of the same subjects as The …

Crisp and crunchy okra for starters

Sri Lankan – South Indian Fusion Food Fest at Cubbon Pavilion in ITC Gardenia

The Cubbon Pavilion restaurant in ITC Gardenia is hosting a special food event (from February 26th to March 6th) showcasing the food of Southern Tamil Nadu that has absorbed the Sinhalese culinary techniques and ingredients. I’m increasingly prone to eating simply these days, so when I got an invite to try South-Indian/Sinhalese food, I was quite happy to give my tummy and digestion a break, and have something different from the usual pizza and pasta offerings at various dining events. The menu and recipes were planned and curated by Priya Bala, the renowned food writer and chef, who loves exotic dishes, but is also a fan of well-prepared homegrown, simple, and wholesome food. And true to her mantra – the menu offered to us was simple, true to the locales, and just note-perfect for the mood I was in. The Starters For starters, we sampled the ladies finger sambol – crisp slivers of okra (ladies finger) with onion and tomatoes, and drizzled with lime. It made a tangy start to the meal and was perfectly …

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Weekend Mixing: At Home Margaritas

In honor of National Margarita Day, I’d like to share with you a simple n sweet recipe that my hubby K used for creating at-home margaritas for us last weekend. People who know me well know that my go-to drink of choice is always a margarita, preferably accompanied by super-salty nachos. There’s just something about the tanginess of the lime, and the saltiness of the chips that always hits the right spot. That said, too many times I am served inferior stuff in Bangalore’s bars. And quite a few times I don’t actually want to drive far to the really good joints in Indra Nagar, Koramangala, or MG Road, just to get a drink. So, I’ve been googling for recipes that I can make right at home in my kitchen. I had posted a recipe earlier, and while that is nice, I really liked the simplicity of the one we tried last week. My two criteria for a recipe was: Doesn’t need shakers or any mixing equipment that I don’t have Doesn’t need exotic or …

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Malaysia – Langkawi

After our Singapore and Legoland excursions, we turned our attention to Langkawi – an island just south of Malaysia for our tropical beach fix. Any holiday we take has to involve some beach activity before we term it complete. While trip-planning, we found mixed information about Langkawi on trip advisor and other such sites. It seemed like it was an over-developed touristy kind of spot, with a few cleanliness issues. Keeping that feedback in mind, we limited our time in Langkawi, a decision which we regret in hindsight. It’s a really beautiful place and not over-developed at all. Actually, I would say the opposite, it’s fairly undeveloped and it’s a really beautiful island. However, cleanliness definitely was an issue in some places (awful loos!) and customer service or professionalism was practically non-existent in the hotel we stayed at. The Hotel We were on a budget and opted for a 3-star hotel – Bella Vista with middling reviews on trip advisor, purely because it looked pretty in the photos, and it was dirt-cheap. The Bella Vista …