Campus Life :’)

Hello there!

I don’t feel good about not writing here since a long time. However, this is not the only thing in my life that’s facing the wrath of procrastination, almost everything in my life is a witness to that.

I am a promise keeper though, I mentioned that I’ll do a post about my MBA campus in India before moving to Germany for the second leg of my course. I wasn’t able to write a post because the last few days in college went by super fast, before moving to Berlin, but I took lots of pictures on my last day in college, simply to save for this post. 🙂

So, here it is, MDI Gurgaon, India in all its glory. I should also mention here that campuses outside India are usually not very huge but then, I have a hundred more reasons to miss my campus life, definitely one of my most cherished times!

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That would be ‘Gurukul’, the block where all the classes and lectures happen. Gurukul is a Sanskrit/Hindi word meaning the place of the teacher where people used to go for studies in olden times, the name of this block is quite fitting!  That small pantry like canteen you see is always booming with people despite the fact that everyone hates the canteen guy in this particular canteen. After all, its the easiest way to grab a bite in the 15-minute breaks between lectures.

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This is the garden in front of the block that you just saw and some set of hostels.

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‘Change Masters’, fancy name for our mess and few hostels are also situated in this building. Since the girls hostel for my batch was a little far off, most of our time was spent in this particular building only. Oh, I miss having hearty breakfasts in the mess now! 😛

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This is the customary campus picture, if you search for images of MDI Gurgaon, you’ll find prettier and photoshop versions of this block – ‘Scholars’! I cannot say why. 😛 This block houses library, auditorium, faculty offices and other such things.

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This is the other side of Scholars and I believe that this side also deserves some love when it comes to the pictures on-line of our campus.

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I really, really miss walking on this road. It was simply perfect, taking strolls on this road. It is the main road in our campus connecting all the blocks.

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I consider myself lucky that the dual degree has given me an opportunity to have a taste of studying here in abroad, as it is an altogether different experience. However, even before coming here, I knew that nothing would be able to replicate the charm of campus life. Chilling in hostels all day long when you have so much pending work to do, going to places only because you have a discount coupon or a free Uber ride for that place, taking strolls at midnight in the campus or playing cricket ( 😀 ), checking the autowallahs right outside the campus smoking up, walking up to the tea stall right outside the campus and feeling immediately secure when you enter the campus premises after coming back from somewhere in the night. Every campus has some peculiar and fun things attached to it, one that is gloriously peculiar for MDI is ‘Jha ji’. He is a parantha (Indian stuffed flat bread) stall owner who comes to our campus only at midnight, say, from 12 am to 5 am. He probably makes the best paranthas I have tasted in my entire life, and a lot of people can vouch for that. Keeping aside the paranthas even, this guy Jha ji is so peculiar in himself. He is a super slow guy and probably a lazy one at that because he skips coming to campus many a time. Finally when he comes, the crowds outside his stall are huge in the middle of the night and due to his slow nature, people have to wait for hours to get a single parantha (no exaggeration there). Well worth the wait though. In the bone chilling Delhi winters, he reduces the frequency of his ‘campus visits’, so during that time, whenever he comes, a mail to all the batches is circulated by someone who sees him coming or whoever calls him to check whether he is coming. ‘Jha ji on campus’ is a celebration time.

Writing all this, I am now acutely aware of how much I miss the campus life. All kinds of experiences have their own charm but campus life is literally irreplaceable in the strictest sense. I wish I had lived more semesters in hostel during my engineering too because engineering life is anyway so different, a good hostel life on top of it would have been perfect. I really envy NITs & IITs people (two major engineering colleges in India) where it is almost compulsory for students to live in hostels. Not to mention that NITs & IITs have gorgeous campuses! I am sure for many of them, their engineering time was the best time of their lives. For me, it may be my post graduation time, the time that I spent in this campus! 🙂

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Sights & Sounds of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi

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I convinced my classmates to make a morning trip to Chandni Chowk for a food walk of sorts.

Now, who wakes up in hostels at 8 in the morning on a weekend? So, the trip obviously got delayed and we were rushing through things because everyone had other commitments too.

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Yes, that’s an excuse why I couldn’t click enough but a valid one at that. Here’s whatever I could manage.

Can I please begin by saying that I lovvvvvvvvvveeee (yes, I had to write it like this) Chandni Chowk for the old world charm that it exudes?

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The famous Chaat shop ‘Natraj’

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Parathas getting made. This is a phone photo.

I am totally in awe of the tiny old style shops where the owner (or manager) still sits on a gaddi (cushioned seater) and the shops are stocked with all sorts of bling, as this market is known for wedding-related things.

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The beautiful doors

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The area I visited for the famous parathas (Indian flat bread, Google for details :)) is famously known as Kinari Bazaar or the market of borders. Borders, the bling-y, glitter-y and all other kinds that women buy to design their clothes and put these across their saris, dupattas, suits and so on. This market is thronged by women from all across Delhi (and beyond) going crazy for the beautiful, beautiful borders. How I wish I could click some of them! Also the even more beautiful shops they were housed in! Apart from the reason mentioned in the post’s beginning, I could also not click because shopkeepers at such rugged places generally get offended when you click. However, I am definitely going to take chances next time.

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A stroll through Delhi

Hello there! 🙂

Long time, no see. Well, yes, I do take the responsibility of not being around but I would rather make good use of whatever time I got here today. 🙂 Before I begin, I just wanted to say that I have made some really good bonds over the internet through this blog and I never ever expected that! Now this has become something I look forward to as part of writing here. So, if you missed reading the posts or just wish to say hi or anything else really, please do drop a comment. It will certainly make my day!

About this post, I know a few readers here who love my Delhi posts more than anything else. Probably, they turn out the best too because I love them a lot myself. As some of you have heard a million times already, I LOVE exploring places and cultures and, of course, writing about them and shooting them.

This reminds me that I finally got a DSLR. 😀 I know many people here were tired of hearing me crib about not having one. Let’s see how that goes. I really had no time to learn its workings so far and I think it has already been 2 months!

Cutting the blabber right here, this is what I did on a warm autumn afternoon in Delhi when I had to meet a very good friend of mine.

I think you will like this little photo walk. (Yes, the pictures are taken with the new camera).

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We first went to the Shri Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in the heart of Delhi, Connaught Place. For those of you who don’t know, Gurudwaras are praying shrines for primarily the Sikh community. But some of us who have been brought up in a Punjabi culture do visit them too.

As far as Delhi is concerned, it is so cosmopolitan that you will see people of all sorts visiting all sorts of shrines, irrespective of their faith (or lack thereof).IMG_0302

Look at the beautiful lake inside the Gurudwara.

After this, we moved towards one of my favorite places in Delhi. Guess, guess. I can’t wait anyway. The Oxford Bookstore or ‘Cha Bar’, the very famous bookstore cum cafe famous for the n types of teas or ‘chai’ it stocks up on.

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This blue part of the bookstore is super enticing. Look at how beautiful and colorful it is with all the kids’ books. *Sigh*

What is only barely visible in the picture is that baby blue colored pool-like sitting arrangement. It’s one of the coolest ways to sit around in a bookstore (but I am not too sure if people sit inside that cavity as I never saw anyone doing that).

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The lighting arrangement at the cafe was on point, what with the Diwali theme going on. That girl with a cap is one of the servers.

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That’s just me trying different lighting.

I am sorry for not having any food photos. We were too hungry to click when the food came in.

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Oh, by the way, this piece of art right at the entrance was a little scary. Does she not look like a real human being? Oh, well.

That’s pretty much it. I hope you enjoyed this, really. 🙂

Cafe Tafri – Sector 14, Gurgaon

Hello people from this part of the world!

I know I talked about being more regular but it is what it is. No excuses. I just don’t get the time to post or I am way too exhausted when I get the time. Before entering the B-School life, I would never have even imagined that I’ll sleep for only 3-4 hours a day but again, it is what it is. 🙂

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Keeping those things aside, I wanted to let you know guys know about this place that I visited a long time ago near my campus. So, there’s this homely market near my college. It belongs to the sector-14 residential area, so we call it Sector-14 market. The Cafe Tafri is located there.

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My experience here was really, really good. I loved the things that I tried from the menu, although they were only two. However, both were supremely tasty. The pizza was thin crust and while thin crusts can be problematic for some, this crust was very well-done and the toppings were also very satiating. The lasagne was the other thing and that was also super tasty, although heavy. I enjoyed both the pizza and lasagne a lot.

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The prices at Cafe Tafri are also bearable, if not affordable. For one person, it would set you back around 150 – 250 INR.

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The thing that I really need to mention is the ambience. Look at the picture where a scooted (yes, scooter!) is hanging as a show piece. Do you see the floor seating arrangement in that photo? How awesome is that? You sit and hang your legs downwards. It looks so comfortable (although I sat on a regular table there).

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I definitely wish to visit this place again to try out other things on the menu, considering how close it is to campus. I’ll see if I can update this post when I get to try other foods. If you live nearby, definitely check this place out!

That would be it from my side and I hopefully will write the next post sooner! 🙂

Oh, and, don’t forget to tell me your experience if you have been here.

4 fabulous white sauce pasta places in Delhi

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I cannot say whether I am a pasta lover, because it’s definitely not one of my favorite things to eat. However, I like it quite a lot and most times when I am eating out, I can be found gorging on white sauce pasta. I love white sauce over red. I think that’s the case with most people? If you too are one of them, you need to check out these 4 places in Delhi. Hey, pasta lover or not, a blog post about food never hurt anyone. 🙂

Let’s begin, shall we?

1. Rodeo, Connaught Place

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Who orders a white sauce pasta in a Mexican restaurant? We do and we are glad we did. This is one of the best pastas I have ever tried. So, so yummy. I generally think that the Italian fair we all eat (pastas, pizzas, ravioli etc) is less salty for my tastes but this one was perfection. Not completely Indian-ized but not bland either. This is a must try. A word of caution: don’t try if you can’t handle overload of cheese. (I know you want to ;)).

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2. Uber Cafe, GK 2

I have forgotten the pasta’s taste now since I tried it a long time ago 😀 but I clearly remember going crazy. It was very creamy, that’s what I remember. This place has great food otherwise too, I mean apart from the pasta. I am definitely going here again soon!

3. Pizza Hut

Yes, I said it. I know you are thinking that I probably haven’t tried enough places. Well, I haven’t because there’s really a lot to try in Delhi and I don’t go out all that much. Still, I have tried my fair share of things and let me just say that I love Pizza Hut’s creamy mushroom pasta more than a lot of cults. Yes, I do.

4. Cha Bar, Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place

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Okay, I am cheating a bit. I have heard good things about their white sauce pasta but it is never available whenever I am there. Hmph. I specially went one day so that I can eat it and complete this post afterwards (look at the dedication, you guys! ) but no, it wasn’t available. I ate the red sauce pasta instead which I did not like. Why is this place in the post then? 3 reasons: 1) The title ‘4 fabulous’ sounds better than ‘3 fabulous’, 2) I have a picture of the red sauce pasta that I ate, so I can use it in this post, 3) I am hopeful that the white sauce pasta will be good.

Lastly, I want to mention that if it crossed your mind why I haven’t mentioned Big Chill in this post, then that’s because I love Big Chill but their pastas are not salty enough for my taste, so its pasta comes after these 4 in my list. 🙂

Happy eating!

More importantly, happy exploring! 🙂

Those chaotic places |Monday Mumbles 13

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India is a place of mesmerizing chaos. Sounds clichéd but it is that. India is so full of places, vintage and modern, urban and rural, that can send your senses on a journey unexpected. Even those who have lived here their entire lives. No matter where you live, you will know few places that are chaotic but still enticing and even though they are difficult to roam around in, you like the charm of these places. Share those places in the comments section. 🙂

I had India in my mind when I wrote this but I am sure these places are there in other parts of the world too, even though most parts are less culturally diverse and less populated. So, if you are reading this but you are from somewhere outside India, consider answering this. 🙂

My answer: 

Well, Delhi has endless places like these. There are numerous places where modern meets Mughal Delhi and it is captivating as hell. One such place I can think right now is Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. I think this was built as part of Shahjahan’s Delhi when every architecture was all prim & proper and beautiful. This place is in a very poor state today as far as infrastructure is concerned, but it houses a huge, huge market of bridal wear & other wedding shopping. A market that garners unexpectedly high turnovers every year, or rather, every minute with the shops in the dark alleys of Chandni Chowk doing huge business. The place also is famous for its cult favorite food joints which have been here since forever and are still loved like nobody’s business! The place gets its touch of modern by the Delhi metro and the McDonald’s outlets open here but how much we would wish that nothing new is introduced here but whatever is already there gets back its glory!