4 things that I miss terribly about India!

I have been meaning to write this one since the longest time, but so are a 100 other posts. Better leave it at that. You know how you go somewhere & miss things that you left behind. I don’t mean loved ones & memories, even things. I had few strange revelations regarding  what all I miss from India after I moved to Berlin. That’s why I felt the need to document it. Some are really obvious things, but read on to know the weird ones:

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  1. For-granted things: There are many things whose existence I didn’t even register in my daily life and I miss them. No, I am not talking about easy access to water instead of toilet paper in the toilet :D.  I am talking of things that I really didn’t register in mind while living in India! Coriander, for example. My mom is a coriander lover and she puts excess of it in every dish if she has coriander at hand. I used to be super mad about it and tell her that I don’t want coriander leaves in my food every time and that too so many. Now, here, many times, I miss coriander leaves in my food & I don’t like the other breed available at regular supermarkets (is it parsley?). So, I sometimes buy it for a very high price at Indian grocery stores. Imagine, dhania (coriander), something that is given for free many times by veggie sellers in India! 😀 I can also mention missing Chole Bhature, something that is definitely not one of my favourite fast foods back home but I still ordered it once while eating out.
  2.  Street Markets: Talking of veggie sellers back home brings me to street markets. This is a fairly obvious one. Indian street markets, especially if you live in Delhi, have a character of their own, each one of them and I miss every one of those. Be it the strictly hipster Paharganj, the book lover’s paradise on Sundays – Daryaganj, the shopper’s delight Janpath, the truly Tibetan experience – Majnu ka Tila or the shiny, bling-y wedding shopping haunt but with tiny, dirty streets – Chandni Chowk. Phewww! I miss all of them. cl3a5jd
  3. Street Food: This is so cliched, it isn’t even funny. It’s hard to find someone who has lived in India throughout their lives and they do not miss Indian street food while in abroad. I am going to go ahead and put a picture here so that everyone is salivating right on their laptops! Go people! 😀 I think I should also mention here Berlin is very cosmopolitan when it comes to food & it’s so much easy to find Indian food, even if not street food. By the way, a place near my house here sells Indian street food, yet to try it.IMG_0423_Fotor
  4.  Fabindia: Haha! Never could have even imagined this one. The only article I have from Fabindia right now is a toner spray, which is actually a gift. The last thing I bought from them was Kurtas for my father with his money. Fab India is expensive for my student life right now but whenever I am near a store, I enter it for window shopping & now I miss doing that. 😀
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    Source: http://www.urbandesis.com/2014/10/urban-bites-fabindia-singapore/

    5. Taking my friends to Big Chill: Not a thing about India this is, but it is on my to-do list when I am back. That’s why the post is not called ‘5 things’ 😛 Big Chill is one of Delhi’s favourite places to dine at, including myself, when wanting to have Italian and I don’t know how I have never written about it. I wanted to take my B-school friends once there because none of them have been there. We came to our respective campuses in Europe before that could happen. So, yes, it is on the cards once I am back!

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    Source: nomadicrider.com/2011/02/khan-ka-khaana-eating-out-at-khan-market/

     

That’s all I could think of. I know many of you are living abroad since so long, PB, Shruti di, Bikramjit & so many of you whose blogs I love reading! 🙂 Do share what it is that you miss, if anything at all!

 

Rains and bargains | When LimeRoad meets monsoon

Okay, how psychic is this? I have mentioned on the blog about LimeRoad & had planned a post in my head long back about the online places I like to shop from, with LimeRoad in my mind. Finally, there is a blog festival organized by them and I am going to be a part of it. Some of you may remember that I mentioned them and I had a very good experience shopping with them. The fact that they are called ‘LimeRoad’ (I mean how cool is that!) and I received the product in a lime and grey colored compact packaging is only an added bonus.

I wanted to be a part of their first ever blog fest because I get to do a super fun thing to be a part of it! Pick some of my favorite monsoon-themed products from their website for this post! Yes, simply that. Now who doesn’t like window shipping? 😀

Before I begin, I should mention that mostly when I shop online, I try sticking to known brands because then you know what kind of quality to expect. However, since LimeRoad stocks up on some really fun things from lesser known brands, I am going to pick things that I love and are reasonable enough from even unknown brands!

Let the fun begin!

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1. My highlight of the rainy season has to be pakoras (Indian fried snacks), especially since I am not in love with monsoons otherwise. For most of us, the tea and pakoras combination spells heaven. Hence, a Moroccan-themed plate to serve your pakoras in and same theme cups to pour your tea! Why Moroccan theme? Simply because I love the Moroccan designs like these ones!

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2. While we are at the topic of tea & pakoras, why not pick a vintage, kitschy, beyond beautiful kettle for your tea? Of course, only if you can afford it, since this one ain’t cheap but look at that!!

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3. Most clichéd statement, but monsoons = flip-flops. Especially, if you can get your hands at such cute ones. Click on the picture and you will know that it’s not pricey as hell either.

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4. I am not very fond of anklets but I know for some of you, that and flip-flops together spell beauty. See if this delicate one floats your boat.

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5. I thought I have used way too many totes in my life to be bored with them but this one reminds me of the havelis in my paternal hometown, Churu, Rajasthan. They look exactly like this picture and hence, I feel very drawn to this bag!

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6. There are few things in this world that are as perfect as a midi skirt (at least as far as I am concerned). Midi skirts for monsoons? How perfect is that? They won’t get dirty as they don’t touch the ground and, oh my God, can we just stay put for a moment and appreciate this beauty? 🙂

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7. It’s a little too pricey for my liking but look at how comfortable, delicate and feminine this looks! Just the color of clouds. Dress in this during monsoons and look like one of ’em clouds!

So, anyone who wants to gift me anything from the above list is free to do so. 😀 Oh, and, I would love to know what all you liked from their website. Do share that in the comments, one of the most fun things for me is knowing what others are buying or want to buy. Did that creep you out? 😀

Also, more importantly, you can create scrapbooks on LimeRoad for different looks. Check the below one for example created by someone.

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That’s all. Thanks for giving this a read! 🙂

Disclaimer: All pictures are taken from Limeroad.com. I don’t claim ownership.

Four things.

Maggie from The Novel Orange and Nishita di from Nishita’s Rants & Raves did a really fun tag on their blogs, the ‘four things’ tag. I thought I’ll do it too because it sounded so cool (and I had answers in my mind when I was reading the posts 😛 ). So, here I go with my 4 things:

Four Things People Call Me Other Than My Real Name

  1. Shishtu (called my Best Friend)
  2. TT (called by my cousins as it is easier to say T-T than say Srish-ty)
  3. Krish (called by some friends, it’s the name of a really annoying superhero character from a Bollywood movie)
  4. Srish (called by anyone randomly, it’s funny how I don’t like this name a lot but it is actually the name of the blog)

Four Places I Have Been 

  1. Lots of places in Rajasthan, India which are considered must visit (read Jodhpur, Jaisalmer etc)
  2. Kashmir, India
  3. Bangalore, India
  4. Makati, Philippines

Four Things I Do Not Eat 

  1. Meat (If I start again, I’ll be able to manage only chicken)
  2. Seafood
  3. I did not use to eat bananas since around class 5 but I started liking them since sometime back
  4. Umm, flowers? I know people who like chewing roses.

Four Things I Am Always Saying 

  1. sun! (it’s a Hindi word that means listen)
  2. yo mama so fat (when I have nothing better to say 😛 )
  3. hahahaha
  4. matlab? (it’s a Hindi word that means ‘as in?’, i am always asking people to explain :P)

Four Places I Have Lived 

  1. Kaithal, Haryana, India
  2. Delhi-NCR
  3. Technically, I have lived in only two places but I can say Churu, Rajasthan for having experienced it from close
  4. Does living for a week count? Then Bangalore/Philippines

Four Things I Am Looking Forward To in the Next Year 

  1. Living up my first year in the B-school I am awaiting results of (hopefully :/, pray for me, you guys, I’ll know by next week)
  2. Being able to bake a good whole wheat bread
  3. Positive results in few things I am worried about
  4. Success of my loved ones

Four Movies I Have Watched More Than Once 

  1. Hum Aapke Hain Koun (Bollywood)
  2. Chhoti Si Baat (Bollywood, one of my all time favorites)
  3. 10 things I hate about you (Hollywood)
  4. Hum Saath Saath Hain (Bollywood)

Four Places I Would Rather Be Right Now 

  1. Varanasi, India
  2. Okay, this place whose name I keep forgetting, let me Google. I can’t find it, it’s this really beautiful hill station in probably Canada whose name starts with B (probably). Anyone?
  3. Eating my heart out in Kolkata, India with my favorite people
  4. Having the time of my life in Shimla, India. I love that place beyond limits, I don’t care how commercialized it has become!

Four Books I Recommend 

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Nobody can Love You More by Mayank Austen Soofi
  4. All stories/novels by Munshi Premchand

Four Television Shows I Watch 

  1. Sarabhai versus Sarabhai
  2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. I don’t follow any, but I watch many randomly. Heck, I don’t even follow Game of Thrones religiously.

Four Jobs I Have Had 

  1. I interned at this NGO where they were collating healthcare related and hospital data from all across India. It was boring and a little scary but we were some friends together, so we had a ton of fun! 😀
  2. My first job, where I am working right now. I am in Consulting, working with KPMG, India. I still remember telling way before our campus placement season that I wish KPMG picks me. They did, but I did not get to work in the domain I wanted to. So, yes, I am thankful but still can’t wait to quit. 😛 😀
  3. A couple of other internships but I can’t think of a JOB job.
  4. I read in Nishita Di’s post that she worked as a sales person in a bookstore. If it is not perfection, its few steps closer to that, I am sure. :’)

That will be it. If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

Meeting William Dalrymple | A Visit to ‘Serendipity Delhi’

I am having an ‘Oh-my-God-I-am-so-star-struck’ moment here. 🙂

I am not sure how I came across this place called ‘Serendipity Delhi‘ on Instagram but I was happy with what I saw. It’s a concept store for home decor and apparel set in a refurbished haveli in Chattarpur, Delhi, India.

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And soon after I started following them, they posted a picture about them hosting a story telling event by William Dalrymple. Wait. What? What did I just read? I have to go here (even though I have read only one of his works but I know I want to meet him in person).

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So, it was a fund-raiser for an Animal Welfare NGO – All Creatures Great and Small where William Dalrymple was going to do a book reading session of his book ‘Return of a King‘ along with a Ghazal performance by Vidya Rao. As you might have guessed, I went simply because it was a great chance to see him in person. Would it be okay if I do a dissection of my star struck moment? Either way, I really, really want to do it.

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When we reached there, the event hadn’t started and I assumed that the author mustn’t have reached. Some people were having tea in the balcony and I started to look around. After a few minutes, I see some people shifting in the balcony and I realize that he is also sitting there in the balcony. Shock. Wow. I kept looking wide-eyed when it was about time to go to the terrace where the event was to be held. He stood and started walking towards the staircase. I was in the way. Still looking wide-eyed with a smile.

‘Hi’, he says.

‘Hi Sir! Big fan’, I say. We shake hands. I get a bit out-of-the-way to let him and others reach the staircase. My best friend signals me to start for the staircase myself. Still smiling.

We go upstairs and get seated. Since the event was delayed, we assumed that we won’t be able to stick around for the entire do. My best friend tells me that I won’t get a proper time later to get autograph and all. I should do it now because everything is chilled out and it’s the best time. That totally was the best time. No rush and I would get a huge time span to get the autograph and a photo as the event was yet to begin. It was a little embarrassing though because no one else was doing it but he pushed me enough and I realized I should gather some courage now. Off I went and greeted him and his wife and took an autograph and a selfie too. 😛 He even asked me about what I do and stuff. His wife, by the way, the painter Olivia Fraser, is a super sweet person and she was a breath of fresh air. Later, I realized that I was so nervous, I couldn’t comprehend most of the things he said. And he did say quite a lot of things. 😦

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After I came back to where I was sitting, everyone started gathering around him for autographs. Yes, my best friend rocks. He always has the best ideas!

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As you can see from the pictures, the haveli, Serendipity, is quite a beauty. You may want to check it out someday, if it appeals from the pictures. Take care of one thing though. It’s tucked away in a very remote area in Chattarpur and you should not go alone at any cost. I think the only way to reach here is through your own conveyance as I couldn’t spot any autos around even though it’s quite near to the Chattarpur metro station distance-wise.

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I have one major regret. Both I and the author were dressed appropriately for the theme of the book, Afghan history, he in a black Pathani suit and I in a black anarkali with wide-legged pants (like Pakistani Shararas). I don’t know if this was all a coincidence but it’s just sad that I did not get a full picture clicked. I know I am getting judged now for being so shallow! 😛

Anyway, such is life. 🙂

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Of hopes and believing in oneself

I am scared of adventure sports. I am not even talking about the likes of skydiving, even the basic steep rock climbing kinds. I am scared of heights, water, basically every ‘fun’ thing. I really wish that I was the sporty kinds.

On a college trip to Jim Corbett some 3 years back, we had some adventure sports planned in the resort we were staying in. I actually did not pay attention to the fact that I may make a fool of myself because I am scared of even the simplest of adventure sports. So, the day for the activities came and if you had been there, you would have known how amateurish those activities were! There is no reason why an adult should be scared. Still, I made sure that I gather the attention for all the wrong reasons what with crying (with actual tears, people) and saying things like ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it’ repeatedly like a maniac. Many people actually started feeling bad for me and asked my friends to let go if I don’t want to do it. I remember what my best friend said, “I know that she really wants to do this”. Yes, I did want to. I just wanted to get done with it. I did not want to think about it for the rest of my life about how I couldn’t even do some small, amateurish activities but when he actually said it, it is then that I got the ray of optimism that I eventually will be able to pull it off, after all the crying subsides. It is then that I realized there’s no other choice, I just have to do it.

I did manage to complete all the activities. Of course, not without making a fool of myself. I can remember a particularly funny incident. I know that I am scared of heights more than I am scared of the actual activity/task in any adventure sport. So, there was this one activity where you had to go the other side on a rope and I did not feel scared about it at all but I was scared to stand at that place from where they tied the safety belts on you because it was too high. My best friend told me that you can’t come back and I knew it would mean a lot to me and him both if I did just that. People who know me in real life would know that I tend to swear a lot in Hindi. Throughout this process of tying belts, I was mumbling swears in Hindi and the guy who was doing the belts for me just couldn’t stop laughing. That lightened the entire process and I completed this one activity in much better spirits.

I am still scared of adventure sports but that confidence that my best friend put in me, the way he gave me a ray of hope, a ray of optimism, a sense of believing in myself made me do what I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people who bring out the best in me, help me have an optimistic view towards things with their own optimism.

The folks at Housing believe in just that. Being together, helping each other out to get back on the track of a positive attitude towards life. Don’t forget to check out their website for details about what they do!