For how long have I wanted to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival? I don’t even remember that anymore. This was the first time I was least interested in going but the only time I had everything conducive towards making me go and, so, it happened.
I planned to attend it alone, because it did not work out with one of my friends, she did not feel like going although previously whenever I planned for JLF, it was with her. I am happy to report that it’s actually pretty darn good to go to such places alone, because you are flexible to attend different sessions then and you have the chances to explore more as you are the only decision maker for which session to attend next.
I cannot even begin to tell how awesome it was. I attended the LitFest for only two days and I could totally sense that I would have loved attending the sessions for all five days. It was so enriching to attend the different sessions by so many learned people. Even if you haven’t read the authors attending the festival ever or you don’t even read generally, there’s still quite a lot of chance that you are going to love the experience because the sessions are very, very enriching. Mostly, the sessions are around the books that are getting launched by the speakers of that session but they try to make it relevant to some current topic or a topic that always interests people. Listening to these enthralling sessions and witty one-liners is pure pleasure.
The only thing you should know as someone who is willing to attend it the next year is that it is an extremely crowded affair, especially on weekends. The thing is that JLF is a free entry festival for regular people (people other than delegates or writers or publishers) because it started off with a concept that LitFests should be easily accessible for people to reach or listen to their favourite writers, or on a broad level, literature or liberal arts should be easily accessible to people. The crowds at the JLF also end up including a lot of people who are just there for the lack of a better weekend plan and these people are mostly willing to attend sessions by popular people who are somehow related to Bollywood. Now nothing wrong with that but the point is that sessions can get extremely crowded and, therefore, exhausting. One strategy that I applied was leaving my ongoing session around 10-20 minutes before and reach the venue of my next session as soon as possible. Usually, I left the ongoing session as soon as the question answer part started.
One of my favorite sessions was by Neelesh Misra who is a lyricist and writes stories, he is pretty popular because of his radio show where he reads out stories, and I also loved the fact that the session was hosted by Rahul Pandita, one author whose work I admire. I attended two different sessions in which Shashi Tharoor was one of the speakers. I was pretty exhausted and bored in one of them, still I could sense that he is such an amazing speaker. The next day next session proved that completely! I don’t read as much as many people think, therefore I did not know many authors, but still attending their sessions was amazing. If any of you know the YouTuber Mallika Dua, she also had a session and it was so fun just like her videos and personality.
I would love to go back someday to attend the JLF but this time definitely along with the evening musical events!
Hello guys! 🙂
I hope you are all doing super good, and, if not, I am praying that 2017 brings tons of happiness for all of us.
I went through a huge uninspired phase where I just did not feel like writing here. I visited so many places in the last few months before coming back to India, but I was in such a trance of missing India that I did not feel like blogging it all. I will get to it pretty soon and hopefully we will have a fun ride in bringing back all the memories!
Now coming to a book roundup of 2016, I read very less this year for reason mentioned above. It’s funny because the circumstances were so conducive for reading. Anyway, I read less but I wanted to share it all. So, here are all the 6 books that I read in 2016, irrespective of whether I liked them or not. I am talking below how I found them to be:
- East of Love, West of Desire by Dinesh Prasad: I have written a whole blog post (which is one of my favorites on this blog) about this book. I loved it to the core, it was a pretty book to hold first of all. Secondly, it was one of my favorite themes – India Pakistan partition. Thirdly, I love reading short stories, these were stories woven around partition. Naturally, I loved it. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who likes partition tales of love and emotions.
- If You Could See Me Now by Cecelia Ahern: Okay, it was a positive book and a light read, so all was good with the world. I quite enjoyed reading it but it is definitely not a must read.
- Premchand ki Shreshtha Kahaniyan (Hindi): You know how much I love his stories, it’s a surprising thing even for myself that I have not read any of his novels so far. This year I am definitely going to change that. I am going to start reading his novels finally. As always, I thoroughly loved this collection of short stories.
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Oh my God! Where do I even start? Can someone please take a moment to tell me why exactly is this book so famous? It was so painful to finish this book. There came a point when I started liking it and it had its share of good moments but, overall, it was just about okay. Its a love story, so to say, but as far as I am concerned, I found it so difficult to feel connected to the protagonists or feel their pain or whatever.
- The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh: I finally read something by him, can I now qualify for the serious readers tag? 😛 Kidding, okay! It is a good book and if you are reading it away from your home (whatever it is that you consider home 🙂 ), this will strike a chord at so many levels.
- The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh: Here’s to my favorite book of 2016 which I happened to read right before the year ended. It is only a coincidence that my 2 books were back to back Amitav Ghosh’s. The first one I picked in a lovely bookshop in Berlin and the second one is from MDI’s library. This one is a medical thriller, building fiction around the fact that Dr Ronald Ross discovered the malaria parasite in India. It is an excruciatingly confusing read but, for me, it all paid off well in the end because I loved it thoroughly. Such an amazing read!
And with this, I wrap up 2016 in this space. I cannot wait to talk to you again in 2017! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
Lately I have been so uninspired to write here. Maybe that’s why I just feel like scribbling so randomly that you are getting a consecutive Monday Mumbles post. It’s funny because I am the least busy right now in the evenings to write but I just don’t feel like it. Not even a tiny bit. Like, I cannot say that this is just laziness. It is more than that, I just do not want to write, I can sense that. However, earlier when I used to write posts I actually had to take time out for them. Anyway, today I am in a much better mood and unlike my other posts, where I usually share something in a planned way, I just genuinely feel like scribbling away today.
Lately whoever has visited my blog, they have got an impression that I am a ‘travel blogger’ or my main interest is in writing about travel. Well, most of my posts in the recent times have been about places I am travelling to, so its really not their fault that they thought so. Since I know neither of these things are true (I being a travel blogger or my main interest area being writing about travel), I thought I’ll clarify:
- I like to write about things I experience in my day to day life – a book that I read, a restaurant that I visited, a dish that I cooked, a market that I loved or a city that I visited. Since these days travelling is happening a lot, you see more of it on the blog because its recent. That is all. Its definitely not my favourite thing to write about (I actually don’t know what’s my favourite).
- I am not even an awesome traveller. Oh, I have wanted to write about this thing since so long! You know how people are bitten by ‘wanderlust’ (especially on social media these days 😛 ) Guess that never happened with me. I like visiting new places, seeing new things, eating at new places and so on, but that’s about it. I have never craved badly to visit any place and I am not someone who would want to always, always travel. You know most people say ‘If I could just quit my job and travel forever’, I would never be that person. Even if I was a billionaire, I cannot love travelling forever. I would rather be at one of my favourite places and take short trips. Or long ones with people I love. So, we are all different. Some of us want to travel really badly, not necessarily by quitting other jobs, but maybe that or maybe getaway as much as possible. For me, travel is one of the activities that I like to do time to time but definitely not one of my favourite things to do. (These days its happening a lot because the opportunity is such, nothing more, its not like I have got some extra love for travel).
My random scribbling is more or less over. If you read till here, thank you so much for putting up with this. ❤
(If you wish to share something in the next Monday Mumbles, do write to me at email@example.com or in the comments section, or even on any social media).
Life is a gift. It is a truth, not just another cliche. You have had a wonderful life so far, with its own share of ups & downs, but would you go back & change much? Very little, maybe. In any case, you are thankful for whatever happened & is happening which means that you are happy for being chosen to have this life. Then why bother about the small, really insignificant lows? Why not enjoy your peace of mind doing things you love instead of always keeping your mind occupied with random things that won’t matter?
Please STOP doing that & keep on living your life fully.
You know that you are lucky to have this life. You know that the things bothering you will pass. Seriously, these things do not define your life, or happiness. You will continue smiling and being happy. These are not even problems, just small obstacles which you have to keep aside to move further. Don’t take them to heart. Remember they will end soon.
PS: This is my first real ‘letter to myself’. I have written to me previously in diaries & stuff because I wanted to experience how it feels like since writing a diary is such a popular thing. However, it never felt anything very relieving or awesome. This one does better, comparatively. So I am glad I wrote this.
PPS: Monday Mumbles is a series meant for us to chit chat. So, if there’s anything you want to talk about in the next Monday Mumbles, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also tell me in the comments section or any of the social media. I would love to have another voice in the next Monday Mumbles! 🙂
Today I am writing an unplanned post after a really long time. I am more than just excited for this, you will soon know why. Read on.
I am writing this post for this week’s Discover Challenge: The Poetry of List-Making. Discover Challenge is a weekly challenge hosted by WordPress with different themes every week & the reason you are reading this post is because this week’s theme fit like a glove to a life situation right now. When I moved from India to Berlin & then to Ljubljana, like most Indians, what I missed most was the food. I LOVE INDIAN & INDIAN-ISED FOOD. I love writing lists too, especially physical lists – with pen & notebook. So, I started making a list of places in my notebook where I want to eat at once I am back to India, random food places that popped in my head at any time. This list was meant purely for fun & now I am sharing the joy with you.
The original list
If you are in India right now and you are a food lover, you can try some of these because, well, you only live once.
Disclaimer 1: This is not a ‘must-eat’ list because it isn’t even my favourite places, heck, I haven’t even eaten at most of these. They are just food places that came to my head while I was missing my home country & its food. So, I just noted the places for future. Also, most places are in Delhi, because that’s where I live & that’s where I will be eating immediately after going back. Haha! So, its natural.
Disclaimer 2: I personally believe that the heart of eating in India resides in its street food, more than the fancy restaurants. However, this list may not represent that because I am more inclined to note down fancy restaurants lest I forget them, but street food & important street food joints are so ingrained in my being that I know even if I forget noting them down, I’ll remember them when I am around. 🙂
Now that we have the important bits covered, let’s move to the 30 places in India (mostly Delhi) where you can eat right now. I have also tried to reason why a particular place came to my head. 🙂
- Big Chill: This is one of my favourite Italian joints & I have explained here why I miss it.
- Kake Da Hotel, Chandni Chowk: I liked the food of number 3 in the list & since they have the same names, I got reminded that a friend highly recommends this.
- Kake Da Hotel, CP: I like the spicy, rugged North Indian food here.
- Cafe Hawkers, CP: I visited this with few friends & realized that thankfully it does not do just average food with amazing ambience, like most ‘cafes’ these days. I really liked the food & they have huge portions. Yes, I am going again.
- Hunger Strike: This is a small momos joint in Lajpat Nagar & I have been wanting to go here since my B.Tech days, so the craving is at least 4 years old. They are supposed to have one of the tastiest momos in Delhi & momos is my drug of choice, haha!
- Majnu ka Tila: Not a food joint, it is a Tibetan refugee area in Delhi & I have this feeling that I would love to try the food that most restaurants & cafes sell here.
- Andhra Bhawan: A very simple, no-fuss Andhra food canteen that everyone seems to rave about. I have to try.
- Diggin: A super pretty, really dreamy cafe. I always thought its famous due to its ambience, but I have heard the food’s very good.
- Wow Momos: I have been around this joint so many times & always acted stingy because why spend even slightly more on momos when you can have them for so cheap. You can judge me.
- Woodbox Cafe: They have pretty food photos on their social media & many people I know like them, although they don’t seem to be exceptionally wow or something.
- Blue Door Cafe: I don’t know, long ago I read a blogger’s review of this place & it stayed with me, although doesn’t seem to be very out of the box.
- Big Yellow Door: Lot of people recommend & food seems to be delicious!
- QDs: Because, oh, just go here
- Uber Cafe, GK: We celebrated a friend’s bachelorette here & quite unexpectedly, I loved the food here, almost all the things I tried were fabulous.
- Cafe Lota:Recommended by friends
- Sakley’s – The Mountain Cafe: Recommended by friends & read about it somewhere
- Ivy & Bean: Many bloggers I follow seem to love it
- Moet’s Sizzlers: Everyone who has lived in Delhi as a child seems to love it, they have old memories with their families here, I think I should give it a go!
- Sitaram’s Chole Bhature:The iconic Chole Bhature joint in Old Delhi, I have tasted here & the food is heavenly!
- Rajma Chawal at Shanker Market: I am not a rajma chawal person but this joint is super popular & the way rajma chawal is served here – chaotically arranged on a plate with extras – makes me miss my chaotic & flavorful India so much! ❤
- Epicuria: Curiosity! Is it a fancy food court? Is it just something overhyped? I want to know. This new place in Nehru Place that every one of my generation seems to visit is on my list, just for the heck of it.
- Cafe Di Ghent, Meharchand Market: Anyone who has been here loves it so bad, I feel criminal to not go & check it out.
- Theos, Noida:I am not a dessert person, but this comes so highly recommended, I have to see for myself what’s the big deal.
- Dolma Aunty’s Momos: I am a momos lover & if there was an award for the thing that I missed most in Europe, then please hand the award to momos! (They are available in Asian stores, but only non-veg ones, and Berlin being the cosmopolitan baby that it is, has some momos’ joints but they don’t manage to match up, sadly).
- Elma’s Bakery, HKV: Same as point 3.
- Various street vendors selling Gol Gappe: Because obviously.
- Various street vendors selling Momos: Because obviously.
- Kota Kachori, Jaipur: Kachori is an Indian snack, a fried puff filled with spicy lentil or onion mixture, it is super yummy & the ‘Kota Kachori’, a specialized version from a place called Kota, is my favourite version so far.
- 5 pani wale gol gappe, Jaipur: These are super popular in Jaipur, although not exceptionally delicious, still eating gol gappe with 5 differently flavored waters along with my cousins who live in Jaipur is one of my most fun experiences!
- Visiting new cities in India & eating there: Truly, when you go somewhere, you start appreciating home more. In my case, though, I am feeling bad that I am almost 25 years old & there are so many unchartered food in India yet unexplored. Can’t wait to change that.
Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed compiling it! Please let me know in comments if you happen to check out any of these places. Also, you can read these if you want more foodie recommendations.