Friday, January 23, 2009

Kerala Trip - Day 2

Day 2
Wayanad to Thrissur

*Wake up at 6am at Morning Dew Homestay---must go to explore the area, don't know when we will be back.

* So beautiful, so lush, so verdant, so blue, and oh so peaceful!

*Morning tea sitting on the swing--must get one of these at home too--something so soothing about them.

*Lots of photos with the owners family and then we're off to Calicut.

*We head to the's hot, hot, hot on the sand, but must dip my toes tinto the waters where Vasco Da Gama landed....well, it was nearby at Kappad Beach anyhow!

*Search for Bombay Restaurant after hearing about their famous biryani...but it's closed for renovations.

*Head to the Beach Hotel to eat...nice charming place!

*Delayed to puncture and subsequent repair and wheel balancing.

*Excitement of the Day---> We need to wear sarees over our capris and t-shirts to enter the Guruvayoor temple. We change in our mini-van in the parking lot....the driver has a good laugh too! Now I can definitely wear a saree anywhere :-)

*The line was endless, so we did our darshan from the lookout point outside...what an anticlimax!

*Finding our way to the River Retreat resort on the narrow and dark roads.

*We finally reach just before's been a long and tiring day!

as a writer....

As a writer, I get to write about a lot of things, some I like and others I don't. It's all part of being a writer, especially a freelance writer. These days I've been getting a lot of research assignments for things like Decaslim coupled with articles about studying in the US! Yes, they don't exactly go together, oh wait, maybe they do! The thing about freelancing is that one has to be very open minded, very flexible and very adaptable, so you can take advantage of the available opportunities. And, if you're looking for more information on either how to lose weight or how to go to the US to study, well I've got it all!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

See our home!

Yay, thrilling news!

Archana at Rang Decor has featured our home on her blog. I've always admired her sense of style and eye for detail and was very honored when she asked me to share photos of my home for a series she is doing on homes of her blog readers. Take a look here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There's always plenty to read in my home

I've been keeping track of all the books I have read since May 2000 and I'm trying to read at least 2 books each month. Here's my recent tally.

March 2008:
1) Princess-Jean Sasoon
2) The Kite Runner-Khaled Hosseini
3) A Thousand Splendid Suns-Khaled Hosseini
4) A Shift in the Wind-Aminuddin Khan
5) Girl Alone-Rupa Gulab
6) Fire on the Mountain-Anita Desai

April 2008
1)Fatima's good fortune-J & G Dryansky
2) Passion India-Javier Moro

May 2008
1) Three Cups of Tea-Greg Mortenson and David Relin
2) Dark Lady-Charles Higham

June 2008
1) The Family-Kitty Kelley
2) Never Let Me Go-Kazuo ishiguro

July 2008
1) The Fall of the House of Bush-Craig Unger
2) Takeover-Charlie Savage
3) The Boleyn Inheritance-Philippa Gregory
4) Deep France-Celia Brayfield

August 2008
1) The Post American World-Fareed Zakaria
2) A Good Year-Peter Mayle

September 2008
1) Getting Rich First-Duncan Hewitt
2) Scenes from a Writer's Life-Ruskin Bond
3) Roads to Mussoorie-Ruskin Bond
4) The Men and Women in my life-Kushwant Singh

October 2008
1) The Gypsy Madonna-Sante Montefiore
2) Girls of Riyadh-Rajaa Alsea

November 2008
1) The Last Testament-Sam Bourne
2) Mother without a Mask-Patricia Holton
3) The Lamp is Lit-Ruskin Bond
4) Blue Earth-Jules Hardy
5) Marley and Me-Josh Grogan

December 2008
1)In Lucia's eyes-Arthur Jaipan
2) Dubai Tales-Muhammad Al Mur

Currently reading
The Kindness of Strangers, by a number of writers. These are accounts of how strangers have helped while being far from home, lost and alone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Kerala trip--Day 1

I'm starting on a series about our Kerala Road post per day of our travels, hopefully encompassing the gist of the day.

Day 1

Bangalore to Wayanad

*Ah the anticipation of a trip! Magical :-)

*Waking up at 4:30am has never been so easy.

*Breakfast at Kamat on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. We sit outside and watch the monkey's in the bamboo grove as we eat.

*Stop over for Cafe Coffee Day before entering Bandipur Sanctuary for lunch/snacks and drinks.

*Driving through the hills of Wayanad is simply beautiful.

*Arrive at Mountain Dew Homestay in the afternoon. It is a delightful little place on the northern slope of a hill, overlooking misty valleys.

*Quick round of tea and then we're off for a plantation walk, through coffee bushes and pepper vines. The path is quite wide, jeep-able, but also quite steep. We're promised a fantastic view up above, so we continue on. I start my leaf collection for the trip.

*The hill has wonderful mineral water. I'd loved to have seen the spring....but must keep something for next time!

*Climbing, climbing, slowly climbing.....don't want to strain my knee on the very first day but then, I definitely don't want to miss the sights either.

*We're rewarded with a wonderful view, not at the top, but quite close to it!

*We have a nice tapioca dish (with rye and curry leaf tarka) as a snack....sent to us by the owners family.

*Dinner is a relaxed affair on the terrace upstairs, with lots of local flavours. The vegetable stew is delicious. A superb start!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Well, I finally did something that I'd been wanted to do for ages and ages.....I added my own picture to the header. I admit it's not the right size and I need to crop it at the bottom a bit, but it's a start at least. I really have not been paying as much attention to my blog as I should have, and now it's time to change that.

on writing...

As a writer, I often get asked why my blog isn't more about writing. Well, it's because there is a lot more to me than just my work. Don't get me wrong, I do love to write, but it's because I like to keep things balanced, between work and fun. I started this blog out as a travel log of sorts, as a journal of my travels, of living in different cities, in different countries and our experiences of setting up homes in new surroundings. So the focus is quite wide and the topics very varied.....which is something that I'd still like to continue.

searching right

Post-Christmas, some of the most popular Internet searches are for weight loss. Most people are struggling to lose that extra holiday weight, even though the extra layers of clothing disguises it quite well. Searching for the best weight loss pills is no easy task, especially if you're a bit indecisive as I am! Since I'm a good researcher, I often get asked by friends and neighbors to find something on the Internet, and I'm quite flattered and willing to do it for them. It just goes to show that flattery will get you everywhere! To get back to what I was saying earlier, yes it is possible to find even the hardest things online, but you have to know how to search and pick out the right keywords. Happy hunting!

Let the show begin...

One of my recent shots of the Dubai Mall. It's not the kind of shots one generally sees of the mall, well there are no shops or hallways or even people to be seen here. But to me it's just perfect. I'm not much of a mall person, but I do like to go there for specific visiting the bookstore, sitting at a cafe and doing some reading and people watching....ok, ok, lots of people watching and some pretend reading! Isn't that what everyone does?

let the show begin..

colorful street flowers

Traveling to new places is a wonderful way to explore and open one's mind to new and different things. I got to see and photograph lots of very interesting sights in the course of my trip to Kerala last month and I'm sure I will remember it for a long time to come. I definitely want to go back to some of the places we visited and stay for a longer time.

colorful street flowers

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

home theatre dreaming

Seeing movies at home has become quite a fave past time lately, that we're seriously considering getting one of these home theater seating arrangements! I never thought I would be so keen on them, but apart from the comfort factor, it is the complete setting and environment that is so magical. Watching a movie in the right atmosphere is half the enjoyment, I have found. We've been collecting movies for ages, so maybe they will all come to good use now! The number of consumers going in for such a system has really been increasing quite fast. There was a trend to these earlier as well, but when theaters improved their seating, sound and ambiance, many went back to them. This time around, many consumers are wanting to save money on constantly rising tickets by taking care of their own entertainment.

back at home

Back home to my warm home....
to a welcoming light that streams into the windows....
to comfort and joy in the little things....
to reliving the memories of a wonderful vacation....
to relishing the time spent with family....
to plan for the next vacation :-)

We have found that the best way to overcome the blues of a vacation ending is to start planing the next one! Next winter's family getogether destination has been decided and hopefully even more people will be able to attend.

back home....

new faucets

In our travels, several of the places we stayed at, had the most interesting bath fixtures, including faucets from global brands such as Price Pfister. I was quite surprised to see such things, especially when one is traveling in a somewhat remote area of the world, but the area is actually quite forward and progressive, so I should not have been surprised at all. Traveling is a great way to see what is happening in the world, I suppose!

the birth of modern retail in india

Traveling through South India, made me see the places where organized retail got it's start in India. A lot of people might not realize that thanks to the money coming in from Gulf workers, shopping and retailing is a major past time in the region. The shops are well stocked with goods from all over the world and generally have a high service standard. While modern retailing formats are somewhat of a recent phenomenon (in the past 5 years) in the northern regions of the country, in South India, they have been flourishing for quite some time.

on POS systems

Retailers world wide are realizing the benefits of having the right kind of POS system in their stores. For some reason many small retailers have hesitated in installing a POS systems in their stores, simply for the fact that they have managed without one before and can continue to do so in the future as well. Unfortunately, it has not been quite so simple and those who did make the investment in a POS system, have seen a difference in their inventory levels and stocks on hand. It's just basic science, but having a system to take care of it is not only much more professional, but financially wise in the long term.


Back from my travels, but haven't had time to sort out the photos and notes to write a blog as yet. Kerala is just amazingly beautiful that I'm enjoying reliving my trip through my memories. And since the trip was super hectic, it's been such a requirement just to do nothing at all, go nowhere at all, and just be. All one has to do is to plan for the next trip.... where ever it might be.... when ever it might be!

traveling right

Often people don't realize the value of having good luggage. I find that if I have the right set of luggage, then I am able to fit everything in with ease and also find it quickly later on. I don't like to unpack in hotels, since I always end up leaving stuff behind, so essentially I live out of the luggage if I'm going to be there for just a few days. It just makes it all so much simpler when you have to leave...although I do have to repack everything, since I hate to just dump everything in just like that. These days, it is also essential to have luggage that is a bit different from everyone else so you can spot it easily at the baggage carousel!