Our first road trip to Nainital!

Located in the Uttarakhand state of India in the Kumaon foothills of  the outer Himalayas  Nainital is a famous hill station. It is at about 6000ft from the sea level. It is in a valley with a pear shaped lake. “Naina” is the highest of all the mountains surrounding the lake. “Tal” means lake and hence the name of the place became Nainital . Nainital lake is also called as Naini Lake.

Last year in the sweltering May month we planned a sudden road trip to Nainital from Delhi for 2 days. Needless to say it was heavenly. My husband had a compensation off and after a long dilemma whether to go or not we packed our bags and started to Nainital with only Google maps in the I phone being the path finder and me a navigator next to the driver’s seat .I couldn’t enjoy the journey much as I was keeping an eye on the maps. The combination of chilling AC in car and the burning sun outside the car gave me an immediate migraine.

I felt bad as I might not enjoy the trip. Getting mislead thrice due to google maps + Indian roads combo added to the frustration. After losing the blue line on google map on Moradabad route finally came back on the track at Rampur. By then time was 9O’clock in the night and we reached the ghat road of Nainital at around 10 O’clock. After two tea and snack breaks we entered the ghat road and Imran who was driving got totally tired. I was exhausted too. Google maps showed a journey of 5 hrs but it took nearly 8-9 hrs to reach Nainital from Delhi.

Every one drives crazy in hill stations. They must be used to it but my heart beat fast when ever I came across rash drivers on the ghat road. I literally closed my eyes at some points. The drive was adventurous as it was pitch black and we even missed the road and went in opposite direction to Nainital. We reversed the car on that narrow ghat road with deep valleys. As soon as we entered the check post I saw the gorgeous lake at the center. The view looked straight out of the poster. I was not in a position to click it but the cool breeze soothed every nerve and my migraine miraculously was gone by that time. We rushed in to a near by hotel. There were up hills or down hills and after reversing for 15minutes and then parking our car we crashed in the room once we gobbled some fried rice.

Next day we first visited the Cave Garden where there were caves of different shapes. We enjoyed entering in to the cave and finding the exits with the help of a  bleak of light.

The Cave Garden

We went on a horse ride which was thrilling and undoubtedly it was the best part of the trip. At first the horse rider assisted us and then we were on our own . It was adventurous to ride on the extreme narrow passages of the hill where there was a path way made for horses. We traveled for 1 hour to reach the Tiffin top or Dorothy’s seat . You can have majestic view of Himalayas from there. Dorothy seat is a stone work picnic perch on tiffin top built in memory of an English lady painter Dorothy Keller by her husband and admirers after her death in a plain crash.

From the tiffin top. Koi milgaya was shot in a school
some where down the valley (The red bricked building is the school)
Horse ride. This was before getting tired.
our horses “Sultan” and “Rustum” (L-R)

By the time the horse ride was over our backs almost got paralyzed  There are many lakes around nainital. “Naini” is the center of attraction. There are other lakes like Bhimtal , Sattal  and Naukichiatal. Naukichiatal is the largest lake with nine corners where we did our boating. There are other places like Ranikhet but we did not have time to visit.

Himalaya View point

The view was awesome and you can actually see the snow caps during winter but as it was summer we could not see any snow ! It was all foggy.

At the Bhimtal lake. 

I liked Bhimtal more than Nainital as it was vacant.

Solitude can be bliss at times

Our next stop was Naukichiatal – the largest lake with nine corners where we did  boating for long. By the time we went to Nainital in the evening boating was closed but the view was heavenly. Below are my most favorite shots.
My most favorite click

Water in the middle surrounded by a calm peaceful town, away from the noise and pollution of the city with cool breeze saying “hi” every moment. Serenity at its best and I for sure felt that nature and people are equally happy with each other in that place!

In the evening we went to Mall road which was very vibrant ,happening and above all extremely clean. I did loads of shopping there and had the bestest jalebi in the world , hot chocolate coffee and wonderful samosa chat. It was a magical evening when compared to the power cuts and sweaty night outs at Gurgaon. The cool breeze lifted our moods instantly.
I saw some thing like this for the first time

The colors !

Candle making is the flourishing business in Nainital. I was so amazed to see candles of various sizes and designs that I ended up buying few.

The center brown one is my fav

Two more things which you should taste for sure in Nainital are Apricots and plums. They are yum!

Colorful Apricots and plum we bought!

Our 2 day pleasant trip ended and we came back to hot and sultry Delhi where we could sit only under AC’s . Nainital is definitely the best summer hang out. A stroll on Mall road in the evening and the horse ride should not be missed.

Nainital looks like below when lit up in the night.I had no good camera then hence could not capture it

Nainital Night view. Image courtesy :Google
This post is written for Indiblogger’s “The Perfect Road Trip” contest in association with “Ambipur“.
When you are here do visit Ambipur’s face book page- “AmiPurIndia”
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Learning from the "Chaos"

There is chaos every where. Where ever you go , what ever you do, you can’t stay shielded from chaos. It will attack you in one way or the other. What surprises me most is not the chaos finding its way, it is how thick and mum people stay when it attacks! The basic identity of Indians , well most of them is to “get used to” anything and every thing . In an “old” post I mentioned the heavy rents and advance payments in Bangalore. It is the standard here . Every one follows the norm. No one questions or objects . If you object you will be outcasted with the statement “You are the only one who has problem with this !”  This is a very common statement which is bombarded at me every day. The below are few scenarios !

I live in an apartment in the 4th floor . It is  new and pretty comfortable one with a good view early in the morning and full moon view in the nights which is dreamy. We moved only with the hope that lift/elevator will be ready in 10 days as per the owner’s promise. It has been 2 and 1/2 months now and only the machine is installed. MEN are STILL AT WORK and God knows when it will be ready. I objected and questioned the broker who apologized and said it is the supplier’s mistake. Owner is not to be blamed. I took the supplier’s number and called him. He said he is not the one to be blamed. He did not get the full payment and hence the supply is delayed . I was sandwiched between the supplier and the owner! I was not sure whom to trust. My mom had to visit me and she cannot easily climb stairs. Hulk entered in me and I called up the owner all-set revising the conversation I was about to have. The man who stands tall at 6′ 3 almost shouted at me saying I am reacting a lot and if I have so much problem I should vacate the house. God knows how loud I sounded in phone after that. The maid became a statue and her daughter almost ran out of the house looking at my Hulk aka Kaali(Goddess Kaali) avtar. If only I was a real hulk I would have smashed the owner’s office !! *sigh*

“Hulk”

I gave him left right and center and we didn’t pay rent for the last month and obviously we are not paying maintenance since we moved in. He understood the severity of reaction and apologized . Why does every one wait for the situation to become fierce? I fail to understand. Why should I always have to shout in a booming voice to make people understand the intensity of situation!? My friend suggested filing RTI (Right to Information Act) . I am still thinking on it !

Every thing is heavily priced these days . The movies in multiplexes , clothes and other products in  malls ,furniture , groceries,  petrol, rate card of autowalas, every damn expenditure seems expensive. Even the salary of the maid makes me shudder every month. There are too many reasons for this economy imbalance. Not digging in to them but in a nut shell “Rich get richer. Poor get poorer” and the middle class folks like us always try surviving in the flood of richness by saving our asses from getting burnt by Richie Richs’ and the demands of the poor folks. I really am not sure whose condition is more pitiable. The laborers and servants who demand heavy salaries due to day to day rising economy or “we” who have to bend to their demands and needs! There are even maids who purchased houses in Bangalore- I mean just imagine it is in Bangalore!!

Anyway, the chaos doesn’t end here. Each and every dawn starts with chaos and ends in chaos. Chaos is like a daily ritual in my life. I have to go out. I have to bargain with the taxi or auto driver. I have to argue and make my point that so and so  area is not too far. Why should I pay 10 rupees extra on meter ?! 😦 I go to restaurant and my eyes pop out when I look at the VAT ! I mean seriously man it is too pricey. Once I was treating my friends with pizza at Dominos. The actual bill was some 700-800. Along with VAT it was 1000+ . I shouted even there. I asked to show the rules which decide this. No one had a proper answer and no one had patience to ask and know the facts . We all are bloody used to all this!

Few like me who want to bring change fight , lose their cool and try their level best . Some times even if I come across one or two sensible people who are empathetic and not pathetic it makes me immensely happy. For instance I went to a restaurant called Bhagini Paradise few weeks back . I am planning to actually defame them on every possible site. Its a long pending task. He served us heavily priced starters and was so lazy that he forgot about main course even after taking the order as if his ass was on fire. We waited and waited and as my anger clock ticked at the threshold point I bombed the waiter questioning him ,” The restaurant is totally empty then what was the reason for the delay?“. He gave all weird reasons and guess what he took more revenge on us by supplying the lemon soda before lunch and all the six of us were totally starving. Our eyes were transfixed to the kitchen door but there was no sign of food. He was taking his own sweet time. That was the limit . After a wait of an hour we bombed the manager. He was scared. We didn’t pay for the lemon soda as no one sipped it. I promised him a horrible feed back in-spite of his apology and came out.  Bhagini paradise’s site- http://www.zomato.com/bangalore/bhagini-paradise-marathahalli . My request to all Bangaloreans is to never visit this place !

We then went to Ammi’s biryani outlet. It is quite famous in Bangalore. A small take away with limited seating arrangement but their service was prompt and biryani delicious. He has only biryani and not even veg salad or some thing to garnish . Its a true village style biryani which I loved ! We just mentioned that it would be good if there were onions and lemon . He got them from vegetable vendor and in five min came back with a plate filled with neatly sliced onions and lemon. I felt like just giving a standing ovation after the horrible Bhagini experience. There are very less people who don’t create chaos and make us feel comfortable. The below is their face book page
https://www.facebook.com/AmmisBiryani. It definitely hit me that second that its not always about look and feel of the place!

“Frustrated girl at work”

Chaos is in the day to day chores, at work place while dealing with the boss or a head strong onsite
manager or a team mate who is non co- operative , when a boy friend never understands your needs , a girl friend who just uses you to flaunt you and you come handy as an ATM card and a  security guard , when you are in a bad/failed marriage, when you don’t marry your lover, when you are rejected what you deserve,when you are eve teased, when some one continuously honks in a traffic-jammed road, when you come across highly impatient folks around you , when you answer to nosy people , when you mumble and resist your grumble while talking to boasty people, so on so forth. To that matter chaos is every where around you. It has engulfed you like those electro-magnetic signals which are generated from all electronic devices.

My only advice is please don’t resist the chaos. React when you have to. Shut up and bounce when you need to but never stop the pursuit to make a situation better one and if you happen to be in Bangalore tasting Ammi’s biryani is must 🙂

I am sharing what ‘I Saw and I Learnt‘ at BlogAdda.com in association with DoRight.in.

Thanks for the opportunity 🙂 Do share your views!


PS: I don’t own the images. Image sources:  “Hulk”  and “Frustrated girl at work”

"Z" for "Ze end" and "Zillions of Thanks!" – My A to Z reflections post : The April Experience

Before I embarked on this journey of  “A to Z” I was skeptical , conscious and little scared as I felt I would never be able to make it to “Z”. I have been blogging from nearly 5-6 years. Initially it was just a once in a blue moon blogging which started with my first poem “here” . I started with poems and slowly progressed to short stories , articles and much more. I still remember that amazing evening when a fellow team mate encouraged me by saying that I should move all the poems from email drafts and rusted folder with title “personal” on my office desktop to a personal blog 🙂 Those were initial days of corporate life and I had my doubts. My language was bad and my skills were minimal and who will read it on my blog ?

He insisted and after too many thoughts I went ahead and created my blog on “Infyblogs” (blogs of Infosys where I worked.) I was surprised to see the response. Slowly my network increased and as every one suffers due to mundane working hours there was an instant connection and a “feel good” factor when ever I read the blogs. It was my respite in office and I can’t narrate in words how much I miss that space now !  I made many friends and also enemies via blogs but all in all the roller coaster ride was a life time memory. I am still in touch with them via few groups on FB.


As part of the A2 Z challenge “Corinne” the best cheer leader ever came up with this brilliant idea of creating a group “A2Zers” which motivated me in every possible way. I loved all the Pablo tales and the rest of the posts too :). There were sunny days , balmy days and also rainy days but no complaints and no regrets as I am about to end this journey. Zillions of thanks to all those thoughtful people who bothered to read my lengthy posts till the last full stop and traveled that extra mile to comment. It definitely boosted me. I came across many bloggers out side India. I really enjoyed reading Deecoded by Dee (http://deecoded.blogspot.in/) and Kristen’s blog (http://kristenhead.blogspot.in/) which were a mix of all emotions. Commenting for sure was challenging and I couldn’t cover many blogs which I wanted to due to difference in timezones and due to lack of time. I did what all I could and made it sure that I atleast visit those who visited me. All in all it was a great journey and I would love to travel through the same path again next year. Have to see how it goes. I am both happy and sad that the journey is ending. Happy as I can give more attention to my husband and sleep little more 😛  Sad as there won’t be something entertaining and exciting to look forward to from tomorrow!


Anyway I want to keep this post as short as possible so that many read it 🙂   Lastly a big thanks to Corinne and also a special thanks to “laxmi” for her unfathomable support and appraisal and needless to say I love the way she weaves magic around words!


I simply loved the every day tid bits by Cynthia (http://cynthology.blogspot.in) . Will for sure be missing them. Liked Preeti’s posts and her thoughtfulness to read and acknowledge back (http://mywhitewindow.blogspot.in/). Enjoyed Roshni’s Kiddo’s tales. Revived my own childhood ( http://www.bigaandlittlea.com/) . Got tempted by Ruchira’s travelogues (http://nirjharani.blogspot.in/) . Loved the out of the box thinking of Shilpa (http://shilpaagarg.blogspot.in/) and thoroughly enjoyed her comments too :). If Sridevi’s (http://sridevi-datta.blogspot.in/) poetry made me thoughtful Vidya Sury’s every day posts and ideas (http://vidyasury.com) increased my knowledge! Missed her comments due to her vacation :-/.  Had fun interacting with Priya and reading her .( http://iwrite-myblog.blogspot.in/). Vinita ‘s posts made me laugh and also think (www.blogwatig.com). Janaki’s poems were warm (http://www.janakinagaraj.com/). Few of Meera Srilakshmi’s posts (http://meeraah.blogspot.in/) were my favorites! I used to wait for a thoughtful and straight from the heart post by Naina Madan (http://whilethecoffeebrews.blogspot.in/) even if it was posted late some times 🙂 . Nandana’s (http://cheerfultornado.blogspot.in/) posts are always enjoyable . Loved Shail’s clicks at http://shutterbuglady.wordpress.com/– and needless to say Lucy stole the show.  Bhavya’s story idea is great and am still waiting to see how it ends today i.e. the “Z” day (http://ursilence.blogspot.in) .Some day Some where’s Suzy Que (http://suzysomedaysomewhere.blogspot.co.nz/) took me every day to some where  !


There are few more blogs and many more unique people whom I read as part of the challenge. The response I got back was overwhelming and inspiring. I sincerely hope this camaraderie doesnt fade . “Ze” in french means “The” ! Some native french speakers pronounce English article “the” as “Ze”. Ze end always marks ze new beginning. Till then aurevoir !! ( I wish to learn french soon 😉 ) and once again zillions of thanks to all the readers! Lastly two images made by me to represent the group effort we had put through out this April month!



That Pooh is definitely you Corinne:)

Miss you all !

I felt this reflects what ever I felt during the month of April hence this is my reflections post too! I will surely be taking this challenge again in April 2014 provided I have no major obstacles.

Thanks to Arlee bird and the whole 
 “A to Z”  family once again.
Love
Afshan.


"Y" for "You all made it possible!"

I am what I am and I write what I can.
I was alone in this field when the journey began.
Slowly I gained speed and some times I ran.
I strived a lot to be one in the huge clan.

Like  the penguin of the happy feet I didn’t know my song.
Some times the posts are right and some times seem wrong.
I stopped stressing on the rhythm or a coherent beat.
I danced with my blog which was my only partner and tapped my happy feet.


You all slowly came along and I realised every one has their own music.
Playing your own song and enjoying it to the fullest does the trick.
The essence of “you” is lost when you are all set to mimick.
There is cement which strengthens the wall and to hold up a brick.

The wall of fame is a combination of compliments and brickbats.
Some times you sit a top like a humpty dumpty receiving many pats.
You feel royal and feel sunshine ,glitter and hue around you.
The world is in your fist and every thing you say feels wise and true.

The phase doesnt last long as some one pushes you from behind.
They may sense nonsense around and they are not the encouraging kind.
On those days rather than giving a piece of your mind it is always wise to turn blind.
Be strong like the wall on which you are seated and your place and pace you will soon find!


There are few who praise you to the skies and there are few who push you in to the valley.
There are few who don’t hesitate to call a spade a spade and pass on opinions genuinely.
And there are few who just let you be and be with you in your ups and downs.
They accept you and embrace you during your smiles , cries and frowns!


Those special few are always close to the heart which dances in a mood jolly.
 They praise you when you need it and correct you if you have done a folly.
 When you are short of words they make you laugh by cutting a joke silly.
 They dance to their own songs but they make you feel you are in their family!!

Thanks  to the  “A to Z”  challenge ! Poetry is my strength and I wanted to test it on the last but one day by writing a poem which is straight from my heart 🙂 Thanks to all with out whom the challenge would have been a bland one. Thanks to all the compliments and brickbats. More on the “Z” day . Till then cheerio !
This is my 25th and last but one post for “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” !  Phew- A sigh of relief

"X" for "X" . Finding the unknown "X" , Xenophobia and much more

“X” is a wonderful alphabet even if it gives us very few options to write as there are less no. of words with X on which we can think and write.

“X” is an alphabet much loved by mathematicians.  It is very normal to find a huge equation in which “X” is “unknown” and you have to solve and find it. We have to find “Y” too some times but it is X which is the heart favorite. You always have to find it and the eureka feeling when you finally find it gives a great relief . I never liked maths. Other than simple equations like X+2=5 rest all used to scare me. Some times I used to feel that this “X” had pasted a big bold X on my face and I used to do many silly mistakes which lead to bad scores in Maths ! Years have passed and we still solve the equations and find the “unknown” . Some times I feel I should solve “X” like below 

or may be console algebra by giving some reply like below 😛

I may or may not like maths but I started disliking “X” due to its desperation to be found. It is unknown till we don’t assign a value to it. Similarly there are many “X-Men” and “X-Women” in our lives. No I am not talking about mutant heroes and heroines from the Marvel world. I am talking about those strangers and unknowns who keep bumping in to us every now and then. The fast pace of life gives us a chance to come across many new people. Even If I don’t suffer a lot from “xenophobia” which is  an irrational or unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange I some times despise strangers . I cannot randomly talk to some “X” and get friendly. Some people make friends in trains , flights , metros but I am not in to it. These days due to alarmingly increasing crimes as soon as I enter in to a bus or train I bury myself in a book or plug my ear phones and act dead to any passer by if I am travelling alone.

I cannot trust any one easily and I absolutely talk crap when a stranger initiates a random conversation. Later I wonder if it was me who spoke all that . Few conversation snippets I had with few random people are like below.

Once I was going home from hostel for holidays. There was an old man sitting opposite to us and unfortunately we had a train-crossing  signal and our train halted for more than half an hour. Old man started talking to me and my friends who were all girls about the importance of education and getting jobs and how to be strong individuals and how it is most important for a girl to earn. He suddenly looked at me and told, “Tomorrow when you get married you should also be able to stand on your feet!” He was talking as if he was possessed. My friends were giggling and I was feeling sleepy due to his perennial gyaan (lecture). I nodded and couteously smiled every time . The train was not moving but his words were definitely speeding up. From college to country to politicians to cine actors to superstitions the man spoke everything.

At one point I wanted to ask him , ” Ye sab aap muft ka gyaan dete hai or paise lagte hai iske?” (the famous jab we met dialogue by Kareena Kapoor which means do you preach all this for free or do you charge?). From that second I was literally scared to respond or start conversation with some “X” . Instead I will die of boredom . If I have nothing to do I can even count the number of electric poles in the station or just get down and explore  it but I can never talk to strangers! I acted as if I dozed off and by God’s grace train moved that fateful day.

Due to hostel life I used to travel frequently and I have had “X”treme “X”periences with few “X”es . Oops Its sounding like my ex’s 😉 . I meant some “X” again! Few Seniors who were strangers used to rag us in trains. Few random people used to ask random questions to which other than giving polite replies there was no escapade.  My book reading habit immensely increased due to my journeys and half of the credit goes to Xes! This is the only good outcome of the interaction with all those Xes.

Not all Xes are bad. Some Xes leave us in peace and are definitely not very nosy. Two days back I met a girl working in Wipro in my sleeper coach bus. She suddenly asked if I belonged to Hyderabad. As my experiences were not great in past I replied hesitantly. She initiated the conversation and we spoke a lot. Strangely I didn’t get bored. We discussed job market , bench rate in IT companies , monotonous work , Infosys Vs Wipro and so on so forth.  She said as if she is giving an explanation that she is the only child and hence she talks a lot when ever she finds a person with whom she can talk. I smiled and said , “It’s ok. I would have been bored . Good that I have company.” We spoke little more and slept off. Mine was the first stop and hence had to bade good bye when I suddenly realised I didn’t even ask her name. We hurriedly exchanged names and email ids 😛 
I am sure I might not mail back but who knows we might bump in to each other. This is a small world of  X, Y, Zs.

Hence all the “X”periences were not scary and didn’t lead to xenophobia. What are your “X”periences ? Are you Xenophilic or phobic ?
Do you usually talk when some “X” intrudes ?
X is interesting when you shed it and shift from XL to L.

X is not so interesting when you realise you have a fracture in the X-ray.

X can lead to disasters when even a single alphabet is misplaced in the X-chromosomal chain.

X again gets interesting when you know that Xerophilous plants are those which grow in deserts and in limited supply of water 😉 This reminds we used to have a plant opuntia at home ages back. Its flowers are so welcoming even if it has thorns – The plant reflects “life” a lot 🙂



Good day!
Am so glad I finally found “X”. This was much tougher than the algebraic equation 🙂
This is my 24th post for “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” ! 

"W" for "Wishlist" and "Wonderla"


As the challenge is about to end my brain is getting roasted so much so that cannibals can have it as their favorite dish. Anyway today I am keeping it simple and silly by bragging a bit about me . I want to list down my wish list here with my top 10 wishes which are like below. I want to fulfill few immediately and few can wait!

1.) I wish to read more and more books. I face few changes , challenges and too many obstacles at times and I get carried away and the book I am reading hibernates forever. I am reading “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott  from the past 4 months . God knows when I will be finishing it. I am planning to schedule and read at least 2-3 books for month. I am a slow reader and hence cannot challenge my self a 100 books a year !


2.) I want to travel around the world. The places I want to cover for sure are India, Europe , China , and Australia. Europe for alps , grasslands and for the romance they can offer. I particularly want to visit Switzerland and Italy. Italy for its culture and food. China for its traditions. Egypt for history and to watch pyramids. Australia to feel romantic again 🙂

Australia- Sydney
london eye

Before travelling around the world I want to cover all the dreamy places in India – Kashmir (Leh-Ladakh) , Kerala , many North East places, Goa , Pondicherry and many more.

Kerala House boat
Ladakh



3.)  I wish to get my poems published . Its not just a wish. I want my poems to be published by mid 2014 atleast. Trying for the same.


4.) I wish to get a job. Actually I desire to shift gears to writing but have to see how it turns out for me and ya I wish to get rid of my laziness!


5.) I wish to buy a small resort hill side or sea side and spend my old age there. If not hills and mountains I would love to stay in a house with a beach view or a river view, calm and peaceful away from the buzz of the city! My dream resort should be something like Vythri resorts in Wayanad Kerala .It is a honeymoon resort . The image gallery always steals my heart. Below is a glimpse of the resort.

                                 
I know buying a resort needs butt load of money but fingers crossed to atleast save and buy a teensy weensy resort 🙂

6.)I wish to get rid of few of my fears. I did rafting in Manali and felt good about it. I am highly scared of heights and couldnot attempt paragliding.  I have paragliding , snorkelling  and trekking in my list. There are few more like trying few adventure rides in an amusement park :-/ and also singing infront of a huge crowd. I tried once in college and due to fear was not able to give my best.

7.) I wish I get a chance to shake hands with SRK 😉 and spend some time with him. A coffee , 5minute chat or anything is fine to me and I hope I don’t need an ambulance when I look in to the sparkling brown eyes when I am inch away from him. Oooooh. My heart is already skipping a beat 😉 . I also want to ask many questions one of which would be- how he resists all the brick bats? Needless to say I will get all witty answers and I would make sure to get 1000s of pics clicked with him.

8.) I wish to open a restaraunt or a take-away along with my husband who is a great cook. We even decided the name : “Khan’s kitchen”. Not sure if its already taken. The specialities of Khan’s Kitchen are Haleem , Hyderabadi Biryani and grilled chicken. He makes the bestest grilled chicken I ever tasted.  His veg dishes taste equally good.

9.) I want to sign my own book and give the first copy to mom and share the limelight with few who are near and dear!!

10.) Last but not the least I always want to be in touch with my bestest girl friends. I need them to stay sane. 

PS: All pics above are googled.  I dont own them.

Wonderla and “Water” rides:

Wonder la is an amusement and theme park in Bangalore which we recently visited and became kids again. There are water rides and land rides in wonderla. As we went late we could only do water rides. We were totally drenched and had loads of fun. There was a wave pool , slider , rain dance and many more rides. It was all rain , splashes , waves and unlimited fun. Reverse osmosis treated water is used and it is clean and safe. Few snap shots from wonderla are below
An apt pic to show the fun around

Water slide. I was too scared to try

Wave pool as good as the sea!

If you are in Bangalore wonder la is the best place to visit in summer. It surely is a wonder land!


This is my 23rd post for “A to Z blogging Challenge 2013” ! 

"V" for "Vizag"

Located in south east India in the state of Andhra Pradesh Visakhapatnam/ Vizag is a port city which is also called “City of destiny.” It is the second largest city in A.P. and luckily my in-laws city. As it is my favorite place I can visit quite often! It has a huge ship yard , naval base and a steel plant. Slowly IT giants are also trying to get their space in the city. It is called “Goa of the East Coast.” Today I am here to present you few magnificent snapshots of beaches in Vizag. The city is situated among the hills of Eastern Ghats facing Bay of Bengal.

There are many beaches in Vizag. The below are my favorite ones . I shall start with Bheemunipatnam/ Bheemli which is just 3-5kms from my In-laws’ house. I deeply love this beach as it is mostly vacant . You can spot fisher men here and there but they mind their own business and it always feels like I own the beach ! Late evenings beach gets crowded and it is the only busy time for all the vendors who usually sell coconut water , chat , corn , bhelpuri or anything chat pata and spicy. I sit for long there just to admire God and his creation.

One of the Bheemli beaches. This one is most vacant
This is Vizag beach road. My friend asked me if I clicked this in Mumbai 🙂
This was at the harbor road.

One should have Mirchi bajji and garam garam (hot hot ) Onion pakodas and soda from soda hub while lazing on the beach road.

Totlakonda Buddhist complex

The above magnificent view is at Totlakonda Buddhist Complex. It is about 15 kms from the city on the way to Bheemli. It is 128 mts above sea level.

The Telugu name Thotlakonda is derived from the presence of a number of a rock-cut throughs hewn in the bedrock of the hillock (cisterns).Thotlakonda was well within the influence of ancient Kalinga region which was an important source of dissemination of Buddhist culture to Srilanka and various parts of south-east Asia. It provides an insight into the process of Trans Oceanic diffusion of Indian culture, especially Buddhism.(Source : wiki)
The monasteries of buddhist monks and the calm and peaceful sea surrounding them gives a sense of peace. The view is breath taking too . It is as good as the Dil chahta hai view of Goa:) There are many other scenic spots like Pavuralla konda and Bavi konda which I didn’t visit yet.

The below is the snapshot from DCH movie.

At the Buddhist monastery remains

vast and lavish greenery of Totlakonda
The rooms of Buddhist monks. I don’t think any other place
can be as holy as this . The only sound came from the
splashes of distant waves.

Rushi konda beach is one more awesome beach of vizag. It is little crowded. Nevertheless best place for love birds , friends and kids. At few points the depth is unpredictable and many accidents happen here. Hence one should be careful after entering the sea.


Late in the evening the waves started roaring.
Beyond this point the sea is dangerous and every
one is warned not to go in to sea beyond the rocks!

This is my favorite capture at Rushikonda !


Sunset at RK beach

Yaarada beach is the mother of all beaches in Vizag. It is 35kms from the city . One can see the Dolphin’s nose on the way to Yaarada beach. The way is uphill and then down the hill with beach in between the hills. I have never seen such a beautiful sight in my life. Lush green shrubs around, sharp rocks and roaring waves made me fall in love with nature all over again. It is not advisable to swim or go in to depths here as currents are unusually high. Many people tried swimming and got drowned it seems. We did not go to depths. The sea was deep even at the starting point which scared me.

Milky white Yaarada beach. This proves the intensity of waves

Our foot steps. walk ,jog, walk steps

A high wave attacked us and my husband was standing on
a 4-5ft rock which was totally covered by the water. 2-3 waves were speeding up
when he was thinking of ways to escape 😛


The Araku Valley, 112 km (70 mi) from Visakhapatnam, is a tourist destination. The Araku hill station is at an elevation of over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) and known for its gardens, valleys, waterfalls and streams.On the way to the Araku hill station are the Borra Caves, (from Wiki)
Araku valley is inhabited by different tribes and best place to visit during summer. If you go there bamboo chicken should be tasted for sure. The bamboo when kept on fire oozes salt which gives a spicy salty taste to chicken. Its unbelievably yummy, For 500 /- you will get unlimited chicken sufficient for 5-6 people. Below are few snapshots from Araku.  Araku is close to orissa border.
At botanical gardens- Araku
Tree house cottages in botanical gardens

Bamboo chicken at araku! Image is googled 

The below pic is taken at Chaparai water cascade-  which is 11 kms from Araku. It is a water slope where people enjoy sliding . It is harmless but it is better to be careful on the slippery rocks. In the below pic the heart you see on the rock shows Swapna and Sadhu’s strong bond of love 😛 .Where ever we went this heart followed us. It was engraved with chalk or brick on trees and walls at every hair pin bend of the road. If you happen to visit Araku do check out for these names and let me know 🙂

Me at Chaparai
Chaparai slope

Sunset at araku valley

Some other snapshots of vizag which I googled as I don’t have pics now.

Borra caves.They come on the way to Araku. Must visit. Image is googled
Sub marine museum on the beach road. Image is googled
This is view from Kailashagiri where you have the idols of Siva Parvathi. Image is googled


Kailashgiri view taken by me with mobile years back when I went
with friends
The rope car ride at Kailash giri
I am re-posting a poem “Life in Nature” which I posted a few months back when I was mesmerized by these magnificent beaches.

The deep blue sea is timeless, restless and endless any day.
Who doesn’t want their good times to stay?
Funny to see the timeless sea surrounded by sand.
It slips away like time even if you hold tight in your hand!


Sky and sea are merged with an invisible border line between.
Our hearts are intertwined with strong strings unseen!
Sand, trees, rock, hill and sky surround the sea making it beautiful.
I need you and only you to be around me and make me feel beautiful! 

The waves roaring loud, rise high and fall down.
They look small in front of a swimming fish which won’t drown.
The waves are in a rage when they hit a stone.
We create havoc in hard times and we moan!

The sky is huge interspersed with sun moon and clouds here and there.
Our life is big interspersed with challenges and smiles here and there.
The effort is endless and for a life time we make a living.
The huge sky is tiny compared to a flying bird’s wing!



The clouds too turn grey once in a while and shed the rain.
The smiles may turn to tears once in a while to shed the pain.
The sun sets every day between the hills only to rise again.
We fall down and get up to fight even if we are in strain!


Many movies are shot in and around Vizag and sea follows you where you go. Now don’t you think Vizag is the Goa of East coast ? There are many more gorgeous places and beaches which I haven’t covered yet. My favorite holiday destination any time  is the “City of Destiny.”