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 7 must see must do’s in Mumbai

I love Mumbai, why? It’s a can-do, fabulously frantic city where anything is possible provided you have the fortitude to stick it out! I love it because it’s the only city in the country where people appreciate the value of time. Only in Mumbai, I saw old and new worlds at the same time; I saw and visited five-stars and dhaba’s at the same time. It’s such a variety of culture for me that I don’t think I can find anywhere else in the world.

This is my list of what 7 must see must do’s are in Mumbai.

1. Marine Drive: This three kilometre long promenade is perhaps the most iconic spot in Mumbai. Featured in numerous Bollywood films, Marine Drive is always populated with people that come here to sit by the ocean and enjoy the cool evening sea breeze. The stretch is often referred to as Queen’s Necklace, since the lights along the promenade look like a string of glowing jewels.

2. Colaba Causeway Market: With a number of shops, restaurants and street vendors located along the bustling Causeway, this sure is a shoppers’ paradise. Once here, look for ethnic jewellery, footwear from mojris to stilettos, bags, clothes, scarves, books, carpets, antiques and more.

3. Siddhivinayak Temple: This 200 year old temple, made of gold and marble occupies a pivotal position in the city, both figuratively and literally. Devotees from across the world visit this temple to pray for their wishes to come true.

4. Haji Ali Dargah: Dargah is located in the middle of the Arabian Sea and is spread over 4,000 square metres. A meandering concrete footpath running over the sea leads to this holy place which is visited by thousands of people every day.

5. Bandra-Worli sea link: India’s first cable-stayed bridge constructed over open seas. Drive down this eight lane bridge and the travel time from Bandra to Worli is reduced from 45 minutes to a mere 10. The best time to take a ride is during late evening when the cable on the link is illuminated.

6. Second hand books: SoBo’s most famous business area Flora Fountain’s pavements are home to second hand book sellers during the day. Whether it’s marketing genius Philip Cotler’s words of wisdom or Sidney Sheldon’s mystery novels, you can find almost all authors and titles here. These books are in decent condition and one can easily bargain for a good price.

7. Monetary Museum: This is the one stop shop for all your questions on the history of currency. Apart from valuable artefacts like coins used by Tipu Sultan, the museum also showcases information on our current currency.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

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PS: Click here to read my another post on Mumbai written a few months back.

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Festival Of Words – 4

7 Desserts I like

The very mention of the word, ‘desserts’ brings water in my mouth and many images of my favourite sweet dish pops up in my head. There are innumerable kinds of mouth watering sweet treats and to be counted among the best 7 I like is a very big task. This list depicts the desserts that have gained appreciation from me . If you have tried them, great, and if you haven’t, then go for them immediately and make your life sweeter.

1. Rabdi – Although the rasgulla and gulab jamun give it tough competition, rabdi, with it’s thick, creamy texture and heavenly milky taste is a cut above the rest.

2. Gelato – There is no denying that the Italians treated the world when they invented the gelato. Gelatos is my favourite ice cream because of their low fat content as compared to traditional ice creams and their creamy smooth texture that melts in the mouth.

3. Tiramisu – The layer upon layer of captivatingly yummy ingredients, make this an irresistible deal. It is a combination of layers of savoiardi biscuits soaked in strong espresso and alcohol along with the heavenly zabaglione cream and topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder.

4. Baklava – By the sound of it, Baklava may seem too rich and too sweet for most people’s tastes, what with the ingredients being pastries of flour, rose water, sweet sugary syrup, dried fruits, nuts, spices and honey. But the beauty of this treat is that inspite of such heavy sounding ingredients; it actually is a pretty light.

5. Cheesecake – I absolutely love cheesecake! Plain, with strawberries, cherries, whatever topping, I love it!

6. Mango mousse – A delicious, airy, light mango mousse definitely hit the spot. It is delightfully tasty.

7. Gajar ka halwa-  It is an absolute delight to my taste buds. Very delicious and healthy. It does taste much better during winters, but whenever possible I do make a point to have a bowl full of it.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

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7 places to visit

Everyone has their own opinion about the best places to visit in the world. The world is obviously a big place and there are so many gorgeous places.

This is my list of what I believe are the top 7 places to visit.

1. El Nido – By far one of the most beautiful places you will find in all of the Philippines. It is quite worth the journey if you love crystal clear waters, gorgeous limestone cliffs, and vegetation galore.

2. Rome – Want to take a trip back in time about 2000 years? This city is filled with amazing architecture that dates back hundreds and thousands of years. Rome specifically has so many marvels to see, such as Il Colliseo, or the Colliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and others. One will never have enough time visiting this city. That is for sure!

3. Giza -Many mysteries surround the construction of these huge pyramids, which are part of a massive mausoleum complex in the heart of the Sahara desert. No one knows exactly how they were built, but they are man built.

4. Stonehenge –  No one really knows what was the initial meaning of this huge 25-ton sandstone blocks was, though there are many theories. However, its mystery, combined with an amazing view created by the setting sun, causes a magnificent glow through the arches, and makes it a place definitely worth seeing before you keel over.

5. Paris – There is a romantic hidden in each of us, and France’s capital, Paris, is the best place to reveal it. You can go together with your significant other, or with your family, it doesn’t matter, because Paris will find something to amaze you. The list of interesting things to see in Paris might be very long, but some of the most beautiful are the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame de Paris, Versailles, and the Disney Land.

6. London – The magnificent city of London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is the place that everyone must visit. Being one of the biggest urban areas of Europe, London has many places of attraction to offer like the Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. The beauty of this old, historic city, and the large amount of places to see, made it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, let alone the entire world.

7. Hong Kong –  The city attracts 7 million visitors per year. The personal feature of this city is that attracts with the diverse contrasts of stunning cityscapes and soaring mountains, heritage sites and extensive green countryside.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

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7 things I can’t live without

It’s hard to think of vital because not just very few things are actually essential but are many. Let me give you a little peek into what I find essential in my life. I should say things I can’t live without.

1.A bowl of fresh almond cereals with fruits for breakfast. It is actually a must for me.

2. My Samsung galaxy note phone – I rarely leave home without it.

3.My family and friends who love and adore me. I don’t think I can survive if I don’t have my family and close friends around as they always give me support when I need it and they are also always there when I’m in trouble by chance.

4.A possible success in all areas of life, emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, social and financial.

5. My collection of books. They are my best friends.

6. Chocolates, of all the wonderful things created on Earth, chocolate hits the highest note for me.

7.Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress. Not a surprise. It’s like living 2 lives, one in reality and one in cyberspace. There’s just a constant need to interact with people. Because man is a social animal.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

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Festival Of Words – 1

7 books in my to-read pile

 Not just a hobby but reading is my obsession. I started reading when I was 4 years old. I enjoy reading because I like to explore the imaginative world of the authors.

I read at least 2 hours every day. At the end of every month I write a note with to read/buy book list for the next month. In this way I always have books in hand and shelf to read.

Books in my to-read pile have a mix of fiction and non-fiction, poetry and essays.

1.The Other Dimension by Amrita Pritam

2.Neglected Poems By Gulzar

3.And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

4.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

5.Life of Pi by Yann Martel

6.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

7.Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

 I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013.

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Cold Feet

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After reading her blog, tweets & columns in the newspaper, I finally decided to read Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s third book COLD FEET as the first book of this month’s reading quota.

COLD FEET was launched last year (2012 December).  She was everywhere, touring major Indian cities, bookstores with reading sessions. I had an invite too but I did not go for it, I thank my stars now that I gave a miss to the session of hers.

I usually finish a book in a day or two days but this dragged on and on. I could not connect with the book.  I was a bit curious to be frank after reading about so much about it in the newspapers & websites but it turned out to be discontent.

PRO’s

  1.  Set up in Bombay ( not Mumbai), my favourite city in India
  2. No grammatical errors at all. Perfect English language used.
  3. Handy and not much heavy ( my hands still ache with that Inferno’s weight)

CON’s

  1. ‘Should I leave it or should I read it to finish’ was my reaction after reading 3chapters, but I did finish it.
  2. Not a page turner, no well-built characters, ends unexpectedly, and no plot at all.
  3. Definitely not a blockbuster, but below average.
  4. Horribly slow and boring.
  5. I became cold after finishing the book.

Verdict: 2/5

Publisher – Penguin
Publication – Year 2012
Language – English
Pages – 248

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Compass Box Killer

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Compass Box Killer, is my fourth book received from Tales Pensieve to be reviewed.

Category: Crime Fiction

Price: Rs 195

Paperback: 240 pages

Publisher: Rupa & Co (July 1, 2013)

Language: English

About the author: Piyush Jha  is an acclaimed film director, ad filmmaker and the author of the bestselling novel, Mumbaistan. A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. His films include Chalo America, King of Bollywood and Sikandar. He lives in Mumbai.

Story description: A crime thriller set in the by-lanes of Mumbai. One afternoon, a senior police officer is found murdered. When Inspector Virkar arrives at the scene, he finds a cryptic note that spills out of a student’s compass box. Then begins a series of killings and in each, a telltale compass box reveals more clues. Accompanied by TV reporter, Raashi Virkar has to race against time to catch the Compass Box Killer before the bodies pile up. As the investigation shuttles from Mumbai to Khandala to Belgaum, Virkar is taken deep into a labyrinth of backroom deals that lead to shocking revelations about the ruthless killer’s motives.

Review: I like reading fast paced and easy reading stories, this present book belongs to that category. Crime thrillers are exciting to read for me. The very effortless language used by the author made it a quick read. I liked the way Piyush Jha has given thorough clarification of scenes with superb depiction of each personalities of the story. I finished reading it in a single stretch of 3hours. It managed to keep me hooked. It is my first book of Piyush Jha, though I heard about Mumbaistan series but never read. If one has got bored of reading non-Indian author’s crime fiction than one can definitely read Piyush Jha for a change.

Verdict: 4/5

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.

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My Rainbow: Seven Riveting Short Stories

My Rainbow – Seven Riveting Short Stories, is my third book received from Tales Pensieve to be reviewed.

Title: My Rainbow – Seven Riveting Short Stories

Author(s) – Khush Agrawal, Isha Setia, Dhritika Dhawan, Harshavardhini Pareek, Aditya Agarwal, Isha Rautela & Shivangi Singh.

Pages: 169

Publisher: Quill Club Writers

Genre: Fiction

Release: 2013

Cost: Rs 180/-

Buy the book at – Amazon

About the authors – Khush Agrawal, Isha Setia, Dhritika Dhawan, Harshavardhini Pareek, Aditya Agarwal, Isha Rautela & Shivangi Singh are the students of Delhi Public School Jaipur. The book has 7 short stories and every student has written one short story each.

The Book – It is the first ever collection of stories by students, oldest being not more than 15years and the youngest aged below 13.

When I read about the 7 authors, my life moved back 17years ago from today when I was 13years old and I had written my first piece on unemployment and which luckily got published in the school magazine, that shall remain my life’s one of the best moments. I am an award(s) winning writer today and hope to become a published author someday provided the publishing house accepts my work.

I wish Quill Club Writers good luck for their next book Baker’s Dozen. I hope to get a copy to read it.

My review – Given any day I prefer reading and penning short stories than the long novellas and non-fiction papers. I grew up reading Ruskin Bond (English) and Premchand (Hindi) who are unquestionably the world’s best short story writers.  The tagline of this book ‘Seven Riveting Short Stories’ is one of the main reasons for me to read this book and second the young authors. I finished reading the 7 stories (not in the way they are published) in less than 4hours time.

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The first story I read was ‘The Interview’ written by Shivangi Singh- I liked the way she ended the story. In her story she mentions her childhood was spent in Noida, but as the time passes on she joins college but never talked about her current city. As Shivangi is based in Jaipur so does that mean the current city in the story is also Jaipur? The story lacks clarity.

The next story ‘Water under the Bridge’ by Dhritika Dhawan – according to me was a bookish disaster. The English language used was really bad. I felt I was reading an essay of a primary school student but not a story. She has put up lot of efforts but the result was not satisfactory at all. I think she was hurry to finish what she was writing without herself reading it.

In the story of Aditya Agrawal ‘Adventures of the Mysterious Flagstone’, there many grammatical errors. ‘So, Too and Also’ seemed to be his favourite words.  The story lacked punctuations.

Ishal Rautela’s story ‘The Decision’ began with mistakes. Many words are wrongly used. The meanings of the words don’t sync with the sentences. Words are repeatedly used in twice in the same line. The usage of there and their are goofed up.

The story ‘Fate’ by Isha Setia, had no spelling mistakes but she used the words had/has wrongly. The major error in this story was the use of dates. She talks about January 26th 1960, Republic Day on which the protagonist watches the movie Miughal-e-Azam, where as the movie had released on Independence Day of the year 1960.

Harshavardhini’s story ‘Carnival in Lousy Town’ had no spelling mistakes in large but the word ‘also’ were repeatedly used many times.

The last story I read was of Khush Agrawal’s ‘The Legend of Zalim Khan’. There were many sentences wrongly formed, with no importance given to the tenses. It was one of the most boring and longest stories of the book.

Verdict-1/5

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

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Age of Hiblisk: A Story with a Soul

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Age of Hiblisk is the 2nd book received from Tales Pensieve to be reviewed.

Title: Age Of Hiblisk
Author: Sumukh Naik
Pages: 400
Publisher: APK
Genre: Fiction/Thriller
Release: 2012

Author:  Sumukh Naik is a Hotel Management graduate from IHM-Goa. He is Human Resources Professional and stays in Mumbai. He likes to keep things simple, very down to earth and believes in the message of spreading love and peace. His blogs are a reflection of the world around him.

Story Description: It is the journey of Prince William and Princess Sara, the protagonists , through the magical and spiritual worlds of Pantolis, Hiblisk, and Ikra. As their voyage unfolds, they realize the true motive behind the terror employed by the forces of Dushtt to claim supremacy over the lands of Pantolis and beyond. Every new revelation brings to light the methodical madness employed by the dark forces and secrets of Mother Nature, which have been safely guarded for ages by the various civilizations of the secret worlds. Their journey also introduces them to the divine forces that monitor the functions of the world and gives them access to legendary, mystical weapons and advanced spiritual knowledge which illuminates the flow of their understanding actions towards various aspects of life. They use the knowledge gained, to try and bring peace to their war ravaged lands and fight the ever growing might and influence of the mysterious dark forces that haunt their kingdoms.Will the light of all that is divine, fighting under the banner of Prince William and Princess Sara, flicker away into oblivion against the might of the dark forces under Dushtt, or will they survive? … Only time in her womb holds the answer, potent enough to change the outlook of the very world we live in.’

My review: The book is very much of those fairy tales that I grow up reading to – prince, princess, masters, rulers, villains and the usual clash between two bordering kingdoms. I don’t like fantasy stories as they stretch a lot and this book was the same too lengthy with 31 chapters accompanied by a boring narration. I had to stop the book in between as I could not take it anymore. The frequent grammatical and punctuation errors all over the book made it a devastating read. Typographical errors were more, I am sure the book went into publishing without an editor reading and checking the mistakes.

Verdict: 1/5

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

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