A Trip Close to Heart, Pondicherry

The mental trip was done, several times, even before the actual one started! And yet, when the time came, I didn’t feel I was prepared for it. But in a better sense of the experience! The excitement was almost overwhelming and the trip that followed, didn’t disappoint! So, I started my Pondicherry trip on 28th March on a decent Friday evening, from Secunderabad. On arrival in Chennai, I boarded on my pre-booked cab to Pondi, reached Ginger Pondicherry, got refreshed and started visiting places I chalked down in my two days itinerary. The cafes, the Promenade, Auroville and 1-2 surprising finds, the treasures, on the way. Here is a picturesque memoir of my journey at the French Capital, in India.

 

A Glimpse of the East-Coast Route from the Cab

A Glimpse of the East-Coast Route from the Cab

Day 1 comprised of relaxing at the hotel room, a visit to the Baker Street Cafe and the Promenade.

 

My Room @Ginger Pondicherry

My Room @Ginger Pondicherry

A View of the Baker Street Bakery

A View of the Baker Street Bakery

Sea View from the Promenade

Sea View from the Promenade

Day 2 visits comprised of a trip in Auroville, Baker Street, Cafe Food Habit and again, the Promenade.

 

Boutique Shops @Auroville

Boutique Shops @Auroville

Concrete plaque on the way to Matri-Mandir @Auroville

Concrete plaque on the way to Matri-Mandir @Auroville

Matri-Mandir, the meditation center @Auroville

Matri-Mandir, the meditation center @Auroville

 

Earth without art is just "eh"!!!

Earth without art is just “eh”!!!

 

 

Food Habit

A quiet & comfy evening @Food Habit

The yummy fares @Food Habit

The yummy fares @Food Habit

A View of the Promenade, Pondi

A View of the Promenade, Pondi

AND the collectibles for my loved ones! I admit, I had most fun in purchasing these as each made me think of my friends’ choices and likes and about them 🙂

Pondi Souvenir

Pondi Souvenir

So, another night of refreshing sleep followed and I started for Hyderabad. Some moments that I could capture from the cab on the way to Chennai Central Station.

Backwater

Backwater

A glimpse of the azure sea n the sky...

A glimpse of the azure sea n the sky…

Thus, Pondicherry bid me adieu, with a bag-full of souvenir, a heart-full of sweet memories and a soul full of yearnings to return again 🙂

 

Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hyderabad Krav Maga Featured in India Today

Hyderabad Krav Maga Featured in India Today

Knife Disarming Technique

A Krav Maga Session

Krav Maga in Hyderabad is getting popular each day with new people joining in almost every weekend! It is a good sign that awareness is spreading regarding self-defense and people are turning towards this practical self-defense art.

Stats apart, posting this picture here simply reflects my happiness to be featured in the picture, a session in the dojo 😀

Categories: Health & Fitness, Hyderabad Life, Krav Maga | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Yet Another Facet I Call ‘Me’!

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” used to buzz in my ears as I used to sink back under my comforter. And the few days that I did run and cycled it was no motivational gibberish or any stories or the wish of weight loss that used to play in my head but pure simple counting numbers and trying to breathe in tune were my saviors. So I got up, ran, crossed my own limits, bought a cycle, took pictures with it to post on FB, took some more time to take it out, made some rounds with it, improved on that and then DONE! Practice was over and with an unsure heart just stood there at the starting line on the D-Day of Duathlon and finished it.

Then came the realization! I gave myself a nice gift on the eve of my 31st birthday, my first Duathlon medal! 😀

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Now, for the record, the Great Hyderabad Adventure Club (GHAC) Duathlon was conducted on 20th October 2013 and consisted of 5KM run, 20KM cycling followed by 3KM run. And I could finish it within 2 hour 17 minutes.

Did I mention my major inspirations behind the participation? Here are they 😀

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The HKMites Ajit sir, Ram n Me 🙂

And the personal photography & cheer-leading team consisting of Hubby, Rahul and Suvidha 😀

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And now the beautiful memories of the event as it went and captured in pixels.

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I sure enjoyed the run; both 5km and 3km…

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Cycling back proved to be a pain!!!

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The spirit of sportsmanship; Ram continued even after much pain and Sir helped like a true inspiration 🙂

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A piece of cake!

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Ram sure had an injury day!!! But kudos for continuing and finishing it even with a much better timing than me!

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Uff ye ada!! 😀

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U sure proved ur mettle!!!

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The satisfied me! 😀

An eventful day ended with a nice group dinner at Mast Kalandar and now I am looking for the next such event to enjoy the gala time again 🙂 . Thanks GHAC for such a nice event.

Categories: Adventures, Friends, Health & Fitness, Hyderabad Life, Personal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Training on Close-Space Combat Skills

When the ghastly rape and brutal murder of the Delhi girl left the nation in a miasma of rage, blame-game, sheepish statements and utter confusion, IKMF India efficiently organized a workshop on close-spaced combative techniques. Instead of raving on the situations with numerous attacks at every nook and corner of the country or rather the world, the need of the hour is to be prepared. To be able to defend yourself is not a luxury or extra curriculum activity any more. It has become a ‘requirement’. So, I happily jumped at the very first chance of learning these techniques and be part of an international workshop with fellow Kravists in the stalwart presence and expert supervision of Sensei Vikram Kapoor, the India head of IKMF.

While the technical details of the workshop very soon will be available at IKMF Hyderabad blog site, I would mainly concentrate on ‘the day’ as I experienced it 🙂 .

Let me begin with the pathetic search for the Kangaroo School ground, a pre-school, where the workshop took place. A constant 1 and 20 minutes search ultimately made me feel proud that I succeeded in helping the event by locating and informing our Hyderabad instructor Ajit Varma about the place accordingly. The joy was a flicker! The very next stroll dawned the information on me that the place could be reached in 5 minutes from the main road! But I chose to be happy…that’s it!

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The school ground where we practiced

The School Van

The School Van

The closed-spaced bus in which we practiced

Next is the D-day! Both me and my hubby were oddly excited to think that we’ll be meeting Vicky Sir! Odd, cause the meeting with Sensei doesn’t mean a usual coffee table meeting but a strenuous workout session and we were getting happy to be ‘killed’! And he didn’t disappointed us 😀

Vikram Kapoor, IKMF India Head

Vikram Kapoor, IKMF India Head

That’s almost similar to the look when he first met us 😀

After a full 3 hours huffing-puffing we were thoroughly satisfied and the instructors called it a day. Here are some memorabilia from one of the events in my life which left me fully happy and brimming with joy!

The Hyderabad IKMF Group and other participants after the workshop

The Hyderabad IKMF Group and other participants after the workshop

Krav Maga for life, it is!

Categories: Hyderabad Life, Krav Maga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Refreshing Dip into the Ocean – My Blue Ocean

What would you do to stop a screaming mind, enraged with the power cut and heat wave after a long office day? My solution is a slice of ocean! No, I don’t live near the ocean, not even close to a lake or smaller even, to a pond! I get or rather create my slice of ocean in my cocktail glass 🙂 . Yes! I was talking about a refreshing cocktail; an immediate relief that cools me down and prepares me for the next fight.

Go ahead, take a dip 🙂

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Photo courtesy Shubhajit Chowdhury

In The Mix:

  • 30 ml Curacao
  • 30 ml Vodka
  • 15 ml mixed fruit juice
  • Club soda
  • Lime/lemon juice
  • Loads of ice-cubes
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Photo courtesy Shubhajit Chowdhury

Conjure Up the ‘Spirit’:

Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake to mix well. Load up ice in the glass and pour the cocktail; garnish with lemon and serve chilled.

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Photo courtesy Shubhajit Chowdhury

Now, ENJOY…Cheers!

Categories: Food, Food & Drinks, Hyderabad Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Master Avi Moyal

Master Avi Moyal.

Curious Play; A Curious Li’l Part of My Life, Always!

“Curious Play” (Fushigi Yuugi) played what curious part in my life, I am yet to fathom. May be wouldn’t ever understand also. But the journey I took with this Japanese animation series, episode after episode, were filled with some of the most memorable moments of my life that I’ll keep on cherishing ever.

The stomach aching laughter in the hilarious situations, the deepest of human emotions, the tears, the anger and the love I have shared with these animated characters, are unforgettable.

Categories: Animation | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Krav Maga Team Outing – Part Doux

A Peep into The Historic Vijayawada With KM Team-mates

It was as if a mini election (read selection) session for the Houses, the way voting went on in our cosy little Krav Maga group on Facebook! And after loads of references Raada in Vijayawada region of AP claimed the victory. Our itinerary included historic caves, a picturesque lake and flaked out fort, this much we knew. What we didn’t know and what constituted the major fun part were the cuisines and their spellings, potential candidates for any spelling-bee contest, I would say and also the telephonic conversation with the resort guys that can any day give a steep competition to the hilarious “He is Mi and I am Yu” compilation from Rush Hour 3!!! 😀

But the trip gifted us a store-house of nice moments and loads of picture to relish again and again. Here are some…Enjoy 🙂

The ‘footfall’ of Krav-Magaites Hyderabad

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A view of the lake from our balcony in the resort

The lake and the ferry ghat to the Bhavani Island

The lake and the ferry ghat to the Bhavani Island

Undavalli Caves

A short drive away from Guntur and Vijayawada are these Undavalli caves (4th-5th century); a series of weather-worn architectural wonders that houses Vishnu temple and several rock-cut idols and of course loyal monkey guards!

The temple inside

The temple inside

Ancient Rock-Cut Idol

Ancient Rock-Cut Idol

The cameramen getting photographed!

The cameramen getting photographed!

A view from the caves

A view from the caves

Whispering timeless corridors

Whispering timeless corridors

Bhavani Island

Our next day destination after the caves was this picturesque lake and the picture-postcard estuary island. The so-called tree-houses (actually just made of wood and elevated to the height of the surrounding trees) looked really something awesome to covet for!

The scenic lake

The lake towards Bhavani Island, A.P.

The lake towards Bhavani Island, A.P.

An example of what made our time there FUN! 😉

Understood what is communicated!!!

Understood what is communicated!!!

Tree House in Bhavani Island

Tree House in Bhavani Island

Kondapalli Fort

A long winding road to the fort and oozing tension in Clarence’s mind due to the possible scratches to his car n gosh it got one! 😥  Bad, no doubt but the fort-visit was nice. This 7th C fort on the hill amazes the visitor with the very question – ‘how did they manage to construct this???!!!”

Kondapalli Fort

Kondapalli Fort

Outside the Kondapalli Fort

Outside the Kondapalli Fort

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A Bird's Eye View from the Kondapalli Fort

A Bird’s Eye View from the Kondapalli Fort

A magnificent and humongous Lord Hanuman Temple on the way!

Hanuman Temple

Hanuman Temple

Categories: Hyderabad Life, Krav Maga, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Slouching Time is Over! Hyderabad’s Drowning in Water Crisis!

What do you do when a crisis of international standard creeps into your secure home and tugs at your comforter? You wake up with a start. And this is exactly the situation I am facing right now. Water crisis! So long just two words in my world, suddenly makes an appearance in a real avatar pushing my day-to-day life at such an edge as to force me to consider leaving the city for good! But that’s not a digestible solution at all!

So, I spent my morning half in daze shifting uneasily from one washroom to the other to the kitchen to the wash-basin to fill up the buckets and my evening soiree sees the repetition, only this time daze is replaced by the tiredness of a grinding day at work.

Here, let me leave nothing to imagination…

WC1

The Indian Express ‘expresses’ rightly…

WC2

The Times of India captures the resentment and helplessness…

WC3

The Hindu shows the real face…

WC4

Got the real picture? The catastrophe? The Doomsday? Well, if we don’t become aware and start taking actions in preserving rain water and making other arrangements to abate the Global Warming, the picture is going to become much more menacing in coming years! 😦

Categories: Hyderabad Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Muri-Ghonto, An Exquisite Bengali Fish Fare!

“Muri Ghonto”, an exotic Bengali fare, which will instantly remind any Bengali of the regional festivals or family events. The aromatic journey down the memory lane that this soulful Fish-Head-Curry is capable of enticing you with cannot be missed, if you want to experience the delight of Bengali fish cuisines. One of those signature dishes that propagates ‘Bangaliana’, Muri Ghonto actually is a dish for common folks. Made of very easily available ingredients in Bengal like fish head, potato and some rice, the beauty of this mouth-watering fare lies in its rise to be recognized among festival foods from the every-day home-made varieties.

 

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Here is the simple recipe for this easy-to-make appetizing fish curry from Bengal.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-4 Rohu/Katla fish head
  • 4 table spoon of Basmati/Dehradun rice
  • 2-3 potatoes
  • 2-3 green chilli
  • 1 ½ spoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 spoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 4-5 cardamom
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tea-spoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
  • 1 tea-spoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tea-spoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Some sugar
  • 3-4 cup water
  • Sufficient oil to fry
  • ½ tea-spoon of ghee

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Preparation:

Soak the rice in little water, dry on paper towel and keep aside. Heat some oil in a wok/pan and fry the rice until they become white. Keep the fried rice aside.

Dice and cube the potatoes and fry them till they are brown. Soak the oil on paper towel once fried and keep aside.

Next you have to deep fry the fish heads so that they can be easily broken down in parts. However, do not burn them. Once done, keep these aside also.

Now heat oil in a pan and splatter the cumin seeds, coarsely crushed cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves. Add the green chilli at the same time. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till oil separates.

Add cumin powder, salt, turmeric powder and stir for 2-3 mins. Now add the fried potato and rice and keep on mixing the masala with these. Add some water so that the masala doesn’t stick to the pan.

Now add the fried fish heads and stir well. Add rest of the water, adjust salt and add the sugar. Place a lid on the wok and let the potato and rice to be well cooked. Stir the curry occasionally to keep it away from sticking on the pan.

Once the water consistency lessen, add garam masala powder and ghee. Stir well. Again place the lid on and let the water evaporate gradually leaving well cooked rice, potato and succulent fish head curry behind.

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Once ready, serve it hot with some steamed rice and hot daal or just with parata. 🙂

 

Categories: Food, Hyderabad Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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