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My Sri Lankan Sojourn

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Part 1
“Whattt? You are getting hitched in Sri Lanka? Whoa! That’s something.” I almost jumped off my bed as my cousin unveiled this fabulous news to me on the phone earlier this year.  I was totally zapped. Didn’t know what to say. Almost seemed like a scene from one of those Romedy Now films! Nevertheless, after giving my cousin a virtual bear hug, I asked her the dates, and so it was settled. I was supposed to be there in the Land of Spices, Ravana and coconuts in a couple of months to attend her wedding. A chain of activities was triggered – from making a plan for sightseeing (typical Indian me - phir kaha jayenge alag se Sri Lanka main, abhi ghoom lete hain ;P) to getting the flight tickets, visa, et al. My cousin’s friend wanted to do that too, so we hatched a plan and decided to visit Colombo, Galle, Bentota, Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park and Kandy. The fabulous wedding venue was Negombo, around an hour’s drive from Colombo. It was the first week of February and Sri Lanka was…

When London Dreams Came True - Part 2

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Act 1 Take 2

Shortlisting the travel agencies to get me some sightseeing was an uphill task.  There were so many of them that at one point of time I told my dad that I quit.  Why can’t there be someone who can do all this for me and I just enjoy the whole experience without this arduous researching, enquiring and the works. But don’t they say no pain no gain? This exercise of going through websites of travel agencies, sending emails seemed to be unending. Then to add to my confusion there were alternatives like hop on hop off tours, 1 day tours and the likes.  A bit of researching later, I decided it was time to put a stop to running around travel agencies based locally. I thought of checking out travel agencies in London itself. There were quite a few who had 4 day packages or 3 day packages in and around England. However, most of them did not seem to be practical for a solo traveler like me. They were better suited for two individuals. I also found out to my surprise that the hoste…

When London Dreams Came True

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Act 1, Take 1
Me- Circa December 2015 - “I want to go out some place in summer next year, out of India, preferably Europe and more specifically UK.  Oh and yes, if possible on my birthday.“ Me – Circa May 6th 2016, I am on my way to – lo and behold, to the land where Thames flows, London. Flashback, 2016 January –  I was frantically scouring through brochures and websites of travel agencies in Pune to check out if they have London only packages. It was a unanimous opinion that since it is my first time in a really far off, phoren land, it will be better if I go with a tour agency. And so started my research on tour packages to Londres, and how and what all to do there. Unfortunately or fortunately (mostly fortunately), after almost couple of months of reading and browsing through websites of travel agencies in India and in London, I finally gave up. I simply could not find a package which fit into my budget and the duration I was looking for. One of the major reasons was probably th…

Sensational Shreya Regales Puneites

There was a shimmering veil of melody ensconcing the air on the evening of 21st February, 2016 at Law College Ground, Pune. The audience was mesmerized, ecstatic, excited and touched, all at the same time. And this can only happen when the queen of melody herself, Shreya Ghoshal creates magic with her singing. In what was her first solo concert in Pune, organized by ‘Sa’ Creations, Shreya Ghoshal (once again) proved as to why she has been touted as the queen of melody.  She also reiterated the reason why almost no film made in the past decade or so has been without atleast one song sung by her. Absolutely beautiful renditions dotted this musical evening.  The yesteryear Saregamapa winner started off with ‘bahara’ from ‘I hate Luv stories’. From that point onwards, it was a fabulous treat for the ‘Rasik Punekars.’  In Shreya’s words, it is as great a pleasure as well as a responsibility to sing in front of such a knowledgeable and musically inclined audience.  Shreya went on to regale …

Is the Society Becoming Intolerant Towards Single People?

These individuals can sense that feeling of being ‘misfits’ especially at weddings or get togethers. Or, even at party held at a friend’s place. Yes, I am talking about a special species here known as the single individuals. As if the caste hierarchy in our Indian society was not enough, this is another type of casteism. It won’t require those extraordinary wings of imagination to understand what I am talking about here.  Here, those who are married are at the top of the ladder. If they have children, even better. The next in line are those who are engaged to be married (the most adored category). The next is those who are in a serious and committed relationship with the opposite sex (same sex is somewhat okay, but beta, marry a Brahmin only). The last ones in the hierarchy, who almost do not feature anywhere and are looked at with pity and sympathy, are those who are single. They say that actions speak louder than words. In this case it comes across prominently. At any gathering or t…

Hang on Bengaluru, It is James Kingston!

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From climbing London’s iconic Southbank Tower to an under construction sky scraper in Bengaluru, this real British Spiderman can give the Marvel Comics’ superhero a tough fight. We know this Spiderman better as James Kingston. A professional adventurer and free runner, he needs no introduction. Climbing the Southbank Tower is a part of Kingston’s journey around the globe wherein he seeks to get the better of world’s tallest buildings. Following the immense popularity and unprecedented viral reach of the Southbank feat, EpicTV, online extreme adventure channel based in London, recently released the third leg of Kingston’s travels. The adventurer’s trysts with tallest buildings have been documented by EpicTV in its 'On the Edge', a web series. The third leg involved Kingston travelling to the Silicon Valley of India, Bengaluru and pull of an unimaginable stunt. Do I need say that this was an instant hit on the internet and went viral like crazy? Well no! But what he did on 19 …

The Queen of Hearts!

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Okay, now this has to be one of the most endearing films I have seen for a while. Yes, and that has to be Queen, of course. It was an absolute delight to watch that film. It made me realize the phrase totally- ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. Queen did seem to be completely non descript to say the least. But, voila! It had all that a film buff like me could ask for – drama, emotions, comedy and most of all, a realistic touch. I haven’t stopped thinking about the film and what lies at the core of the film ever since I came out of the theatre the other night after watching it. What got me thinking was the sensitive, yet funny and non preachy yet a deep message which the film put across. It spoke about empowering women in a very subtle way, at the same time it was not like a bunch of overtly enthusiastic feminists breathing down your neck. It was all about a simple, na├»ve (Delhi girl (rare species) Rani (Queen) who has a desire to visit Paris from the bottom of her heart. She even ha…