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Category Archives: Trips & Rides

Year End Roadtrip & More

So this year’s been pretty fun with roadtrips. If you have been following our blog, you’ll know we’ve been to Pune & Goa in the last 3 months, and most recently, that is last week, we decided to go to Baroda or Vadodra as people call it. Details of that trip are captured on this post. Do have a read, good people!!!

Brilliant Weather & Highway

Brilliant Weather & Highway

Danger Ha ha ha ha!!!

Danger Ha ha ha ha!!!

So Ekta has been in Baroda for a while. We have a house there & she had been inviting us there for some general chilling. Fortunately, the house was going to be empty, parents were vacationing in Kolkata so this was enough reason to go there & party!!! So last Thursday, Rachita, Vishal & me decided to drive down to Baroda in our trusty ride, the Skoda Laura aka Motilal. Also accompanying us on the journey there was Rachita’s grandmom who needed to be dropped off in Baroda at Rachita’s aunts’ and her daughter’s house. We started the journey from South Bombay in early hours of the morning, at about 4:30 am, & basis the fantastic roads and awesome weather, reached Baroda by in about 6.5 hours which was pretty awesome…

Gooooooooooooo!!!

Gooooooooooooo!!!

Super Awesomeness!!!

Super Awesomeness!!!

Reaching the house, we were greeted by Ekta who we think was in quite a shock as it was taking her a while to digest that we had actually made it there! In the past, there have been instances where in she has invited us there & for some reason or the other we haven’t been able to make it. Anyways, there was some awesome dhokla & khaman awaiting us which we hogged. Also had a few beers to kick start the party, please note Gujarat is a dry state & thus Baroda also is encompassed within that law, though if you have a permit you can legally get Alcohol; the good news is that Ekta’s dad has a permit :-). Post a quick nap, we moved to having Bailey’s Irish Cream on the rocks which was our drink of the trip i.e. Ekta’s & mine. For dinner we went to Yoko’s sizzlers had some good chicken sizzlers & starters & called it a day… Oh! before I forget, on reaching Baroda, Ekta & me went for a bike ride on her Royal Enfield fondly known as Goo after the game World of Goo. People in Baroda do not follow traffic rules & drive pretty crazy is what I learnt on my 1st bike ride in Baroda.

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Heaven with a dash of Butter...

Heaven with a dash of Butter…

Pure Brilliance!!!

Pure Brilliance!!!

Day 2 kicked off in the morning early. The weather was absolutely brilliant so I decided to take Goo out for a ride. In about 10 minutes on the bike, I froze stiff the temperature was about 14 degrees, though on the bike, at about 60 kmph it felt like it had dropped to about 8 degrees & lower – was pretty crazy, but fun. Got back home & played some blues on my blue guitar (that was cheezy, the line, but wanted to use it so what the heck). Playing the guitar in the brilliant Baroda weather felt sensational. Post that, watched some NBA on TV the Clippers take on the Celtics; this game saw Clippers win their 16th game in a row which was totally awesome! Hands down currently the most exciting in the NBA is the Los Angeles Clippers.

Slept again for a bit, woke up to beers & general chilling with Vishal, Ekta & Rachita. For a brunch, we ate some puffs & biscuits from a local bakery called Goodies. For dinner, decided to go have Raju Omelet; this time around, we went to another location which apparently is being run by Rajubhai’s brother who was the original cook for Rajubhai at the original flagship store. Yes, Raju Omelet has now got multiple branches! We ate some awesome egg preparations drowning in butter as you can see in the pictures! This time tried a new dish on the menu the Bhurji Wrap which was unbelievably delicious, diced egg bhurji & shredded boiled egg wrapped in an omelet floating in butter!!! Doesn’t get better than that…

Goodies!!!

Goodies!!!

Day 3 was similar to 2. Started off playing the guitar, though in the chilly weather gave the bike ride a skip, watched TV & passed out while Ekta & Rachita went shopping; slept for a good 4 hours & woke up to the fact that Rachu & Eku had bought out the whole of Baroda! For lunch, Baingan ka Bharta was had (Eggplant Preparation); post that there was like a fashion parade where in the girls were trying out outfits – were generally super excited about the whole experience. I was watching TV, while Vishal had passed out for a bit. In the night, we were going to get a few buckets from KFC, though when we went to pick them up, we found out that the store was still closed and that they were planning on opening come new year. So, next to our residence is this quaint eatery called Midday Munchies, where we went and picked up wraps & pizzas. We went home, ate & passed out.

Yayyyyy More Beer!!!

Yayyyyy More Beer!!!

Day 4 started off watching UFC 155….. Junior Dos Santos being walloped by Cane Valesquez; lots of beers were drunk. Lunch was a severely gujju style Bajra ni Khichdi with Lasan Chutney & Buttermilk. After this, we decided to watch some crazy south Indian movies dubbed in hindi on Tata Sky; we watched 2 movies back to back 1 of them was brilliant called Return of Chandramookhi starring Maamooty, also note in the middle of the movie, we kinda got hungry so decided to go grab some food & record the movie. We went to this place called 22nd Parallel which serves awesome South Indian food. We didn’t realise it was a Sunday evening when we left! The eatery was packed & we had to wait for about 20 minutes to get a table. Though, it was totally worth the wait as we ate some awesome Dosas, Wadas, Idlis, Rasam, Rice, etc. etc. Post getting home, we watched the recorded movie which was totally spectacular & went to sleep as Rachita & me had to head back to Bombay the next morning. Woke up again early & left by 4:30 am, I drove after eons for about half the journey & Rachita drove the other half; the roads & weather were super! Also add to that it was the 31st, so there was minimal traffic & we reached home by 11:00 am.

Shopping!!!

Shopping!!!

Woke up again early & left by 4:30 am, I drove after eons for about half the journey & Rachita drove the other half; the roads & weather were super! Also add to that it was the 31st, so there was minimal traffic & we reached home by 11:00 am. Overall, the Baroda trip was super awesome! For any of you planning a trip from Bombay to Baroda, I strongly suggest that you drive down; also the weather will be sensational till mid February so plan something soon. 2 places which are a must visit in case you are in Baroda – Raju Omlet & 22nd Parallel. Trust me, you wont be disappointed. Also here’s wishing all our readers a very happy new year, have a lucky 13!!!

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Mumbai Museum

The Prince of Wales MuseumFor this week’s photo-walk, I decided to visit the Prince of Wales Museum; the idea to go there is basis the comfort of taking pictures without people bothering you, also it had been a while since I had gone to the Museum, so kind of 2 birds with one stone thing happening. Like most of my trips this one also was on a weekday, but it also was a public holiday so there were hordes of people there. From a search engine point of view must also add the new name of the museum  is called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya- Like VT now referred to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)

The first thing you notice with tStone Sculpture 1he museum is that the ticket counter is very polished, not like the one at the Zoo, the people also are rather helpful, I walked in with my camera bag, the gaurd informed me I need to get a clearaStone Sculpturesnce for the same, hence I requested the ticket vendor, he quickly took out two passes one for mobile phone and one for my DSLR the cost for the same 300 rupees. The guard then wrapped a thin strip of paper around my hand this to inform all other guards that I can use a phone camera, they also tied a badge onto my DSLR this to further ensure I don’t get probed at every security zone, the only request they made is that I don’t use flash in the museum and disturb people. I walked towards the entrance shooting pictures of statues that areplaced all over the lawns, the entrance is deceiving and opens into the reception area of the museum, here you can rent translators and tape guides to help you through the museum, I have been here so quickly moved towards the stone sculptures exhibit. I was very surprised they had added lighting to most idols and they made for some great pictures, as with everything I got bored fairly quickly and moved to the 2nd floor, herThe Samurai Dolle there was an exhibit that I had not seen before, it had ornaments, dolls, cutlery, decorative items stocked in a room that looked like it was straight from Hogwarts. I loved the samurai dolls on display absolutely amazing.The Painting Exibit

From here I moved to the painting exhibit, this one is sponsored by the Tata group and is spectacular, they also have benches with paper and pencil for artist to draw inspiration from the paintings on display, they also have some awesome benches there, it’s quite a sight feel like you are in a Museum in Paris. Next on the agenda the 2nd floor and the weapons exhibit, this use to be my most favourite displays as a kid, I never got the sculptors, but stuffed animals and weapons always rocked. Unfortunately the weapons are encased in glass aThe Rhino nd don’t photograph to well so I moved on changed my lens to a zoom lens and went on trying to capture some raVintage Furniturendom portraits. While on my way out I also dropped by the animal/bird exhibit, missed the large whale there but the rhino compensated for it – from there I backtracked towards the exit, there I spotted a paint exhibition sign, unfortunately it said no pictures so totally avoided it, sat in the lawn for a bit taking HDR shots and then headed out (featured on the top). The museum in Mumbai is awesome, the exhibits are brilliant and the place is really well maintained. I would definitely recommend it to all, if you have not seen it it’s a definitely must visit.

Our trip does not end there,Statues Decorating the lawns froGreat Workmanshipm there I moved towards Jahangir Art Gallery which is about 1 minute away from the museum, the footpath is layered with artist who have some awesome pictures on display, as I moved ahead I saw a boy desperately trying to pose so some photographer (currently me) would take his picture, he had a wierd hat on but really I could not take his picture did not call out to me, what can I say too bad…from there on to my regular destination Rhythm House – its an old music store which has been in Mumbai forever, did not end up buying anything but going through the very large collections of DVDs was a lot of fun. Finally I took a cab and headed home. If you are in Mumbai and end up visiting the Museum, do take some time off to walk around that are, its called Kala Ghoda and has some awesome places to see , eat and just window shop. (The gallery plugin is not working to well so could upload all the pictures – if you have a solution to the issue please write back to us)

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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Winter Bike Rides & More

The weather in Bombay at most times is at an average of 28 to 32 degrees celcius, Come December into January & February is the only time the weather cools down a bit going to an average of about 24 to as low as 18 to 16 degrees Celsius. All times are good for a bike ride but these 3 months are the best 🙂

Early Winter View of the Moon

Early Winter View of the Moon

This is my first winter (if you can call Bombay climate & temperature winter) with my Bike, so the last few days of November where the temperature dipped have been absolutely brilliant for Bike rides. More often than not, I leave for a bike ride early in the morning between 5:30 am & 6:00 am – yup! a lot of you may think this is crazy but trust me, this is the best time to ride on the streets of Bombay which go crazy with traffic post 8:00 am. The weather around daybreak is absolutely amazing, add to that the roads have absolutely no traffic & its just you & your bike cruising, the wind has a brilliant chill & you can hear some awesome birds & sounds other than cars honking away & people abusing. Also, it’s not yet sunny considering Sunrise is at its peak post 6:45 am.

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Daybreak to Happen soon!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Interesting View to Start the Day!

Awesomeness!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Most of the time, the route I take is from my house towards Nariman Point past Marine Drive. This, according to me, is one of the most scenic & open view places left in Bombay; cruising past Chowpatty & the different Gymkhana’s (Club Houses) towards Pizza by the Bay is absolutely brilliant. Nariman Point itself offers a great view with people jogging, walking, exercising right next to the sea. Also from NP you can see the complete Queen’s Necklace which is what the stretch from Nariman Point to end of Chowpatty looks like when seen from a vantage point :-). Heading back from Nariman Point, you are riding next to the sea & the breeze literally moves the bike…. this is a super feeling! From there, I take the route towards Walkeshwar & past Hanging gardens down Malabar Hill, this is by far & I kid you not, the best part of my bike ride in the morning. The descent from Hanging Gardens & Malabar Hill towards Peddar Road is like you get transported into another zone, there is a clear drop in temperature by about 5 degrees, lush greenery around & the peace & quiet. You have to ride this stretch, it is an absolute must for all whether you are on a bike, car or taking walk do visit this area in the morning it is an experience you will love…

The Queen's Necklace

The Queen’s Necklace

The Best Place for a Bike Ride...

The Best Place for a Bike Ride…

Worli Seaface

Worli Seaface

From the Malabar Hill descent I move past Peddar Road, stop below my in-laws building (in my mind at that point I am stalking them 😉 ). Moving on from how my devious mind works, to the bike ride past Mahalakshmi temple towards Haji Ali & Worli Seaface, the Haji Ali Stretch past the racecource towards Worli is again highly recommended, not for any other reason except the wind which literally smacks you in the face & the trafficless 5 lane road. Worli seaface, again like Marine Drive, is an experiance as you ride next to to the sea. Also, the view overlooks the Sea Link Bridge which is totally spectacular. This is where my ride ends & I head home passing the Atria Mall where the BMW & Ducati bikes’ showroom forces me to stop & stare aimlessly at some stupendous bikes. From there, riding past the race cource always is special considering I learnt how to ride at this place i.e. in the parking lot of the race course which is massive & totally empty in the early hours of the morning. For people who want to learn how to ride a bike in Bombay, I strongly suggest you come here to learn & practice.

The Sea Link

The Sea Link

All in all, I ride for about an hour in the morning which is also kind of therapeutic. Over a period of time, I have realized I have 3 really good shrinks 1) My wife 2) My bike 3) Alcohol  ha ha ha ha ha seriously twisted I am :-). Having said that & before I end this article, let me just reiterate to all reading this blog & are planning to visit Bombay or are living in Bombay, you have to take your ride out past the mentioned route whether the same be a car, bike, shoes or flip flops in the early winter morning, Trust me, you wont be disappointed with the awesomeness you experience!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

That be my Awesome Bike!!!

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Drinks, Diwali & Pune

Bombay Pune Expressway

So the Diwali celebrations for us started on the 11th of November 2012; Rachita, my parents and I left for Pune as we were celebrating the festive season with the in-laws at their Pune house. We over packed, as always, stuffed the luggage all over the Ritz added 4 people to the same & started the journey. The weather was awesome & there was no traffic so we made some good time, reaching our destination in about 3 hours. Reaching there, we realized the house was in chaos – too many people and too little space, so quickly freshened up & then decided  to head out with Aashay, Ekta & Rachita. This is when the fun began…

Awesome Decor at Hidden Place

The Tower of Power

Day 1- Also, please note, going forward we will refer to Aashay as Alpana because he in Pune is the equivalent of the house help whose name is Kalpana; in effect, he is the male Kalpana – Alpana!!! So Alpana decided to take me to this pub he has been raving about called Hidden Place. Reaching the destination i.e. HP we realized it doesn’t open till 12:30 & we’d reached by about 11:45 am so we requested the manager to allow us inside a bit early considering I had travelled all the way from Bombay. The guys were kind and let us in by noon :-). The place, overall, had a superb feel to it; nice retro decor with posters on the wall & bottles used as lights, also good music playing. We went in and ordered the King Fisher Tower which is about 3 litres of Beer; side by side, we ordered some chicken wings also which Alpana had highly recommended. By the time we went through the Tower of Power, the girls had also joined us and by now food & alco was flowing seamlessly :-).  We decided to have a pint of Stella & moved to another Japanese brand, the name of which I cannot remember. Ekta was having some cocktails while Rachita & Analushka were ordering food & more food. The afternoon was well spent being drunk & catching up on all the happenings in Ekta, Alpana & Analushka’s life!!! The evening was then spent with family at home eating Dosas & generally chilling.

Tower of Power & Mojito Pitcher

Day 2 – Post getting up the next day, decided to chill on the terrace for a bit considering the weather was a lot cooler than Bombay, played the blues, felt pretty awesome about it then made waffles for breakfast for all & then decided to go a new place at Koregaon Park called Kebab Studio; this was where Turtulia was originally. Reached the place & ordered another King Fisher Tower; also there was a super happy hours scheme wherein Pitcher of Mojito was availaible for Rs. 499/- so like, defo dude, ordered the same as well.

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Kebab Studio

To accompany the crazy amounts of alcohol, we also ordered some Crispy Roomali Roti with Kheema & a Choora Paratha which were like totally out of this world…the kheema just melted, actually disappeared in your mouth & it was like marinated in super masala. An absolute must try if you are visiting this place. Post a crazy drinking session (considering we ordered another pitcher of Mojito), we headed home totally drunk, chilled at home for a bit. Then Disha decided to learn how to ride the Bike; Ekta’s Royal Enfield aka Goo was there so taught her the basics of the same. For dinner there was barbecue, though by the time things were ready, I had passed out as post coming home from KS, I was OD’ing on Millers…

Tower of Power for Day 3

Day 3 – The last day in Pune, went over to the Taj Vivanta to meet the parents & check how the Hotel has been treating them; post which, intiially we decided to go to Machester United Cafe though, after a few discussions & miscomunications with Ekta who went of in the direction of Man U Cafe, we decided to go to this place called The Ship; as the name suggests, the decor of this place is like a Ship. Here also & for the 3rd consecutive day, Alpana & me ordered a Tower, Ekta, who had gone in another direction came back and ordered a few cocktails. For food, we ordered some Nachos & Onion rings which were pretty decent, also this was Diwali day, so there was lots of crackers being burst on the roads etc. Got home, crashed for a bit. In the evening, there was a full on celebration happening with Bhajiyas, some awesome Grilled Non-Veg & Icecream on the menu…..obviously unlimited alcohol & crazy bollywood music was also part of the POA. The Non veg included masala sausages, salami, bacon, chorizo & seekh kebab which were absolutely amazing. There was also masala khichya & fried papad with the alcohol. All in all, the evening was a lot of fun; a few crackers were also burst to celebrate the occasion…

The Ship

All in all, the Diwali Pune trip went off well. Next morning, left for Bombay early & got home. The places in Pune to eat & drink were sensational, also considering it was Diwali time the water holes were empty and we had the places all to ourselves. It was great catching up with Aashay & going drinking with him, Ekta & Rachita. I also strongly recommend Hidden Place & Kebab Studio for anyone visiting Pune & looking for good places to chill at. Closing the article with a slide show of our experience of the 3 days & the awesome 3 places we visited in Pune & the festive Celebrations!!!

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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Super Chinese Brunch & More

About a week ago, Ritika & I were planning to meet up on a Sunday; during a random discussion we were having, we decided to go have duck & that’s when we zeroed in on Vong Wong, one of my most favorite Chinese restaurants in South Bombay. Before I forget, on Saturday, the day before we went to Vong Wong, Rachita, Ekta & me visited Smooth, a lounge at Shalimar Hotel at Kemps Corner. This was the 1st time Rachita & me went to this place. Details of both these places & our awesome experience there follows…

Smooth!!!

Caipirojka & Watermelon Martini

Saturday morning started off with a bike ride past Marine Drive & Nariman Point. The morning was then spent strumming the guitar & playing NBA2K13 on the Xbox360. Ekta & me decided to go get drunk in the afternoon & were trying to figure where we should go for the same. Also, we were looking at trying out a new place, so post a bit of thinking, I decided on this place which I had heard about during my work days at Hungama called “Smooth”, located at Hotel Shalimar at Kemps Corner. We decided to head there at about 1 p.m. On entering the place, I was pleasantly surprised as the the look & feel of the same was pretty damn snazzy.

This be Smooth!!!

The decor was sofas & chairs in silver with white coloured walls which looked very cool. For a Saturday afternoon, the place was surprisingly empty & when i say empty there was 3 of us and the staff …. which worked well for us :-). The menu also had a great mix of food & lot of choice around alco… For food we ordered some starters which were pretty damn good & for the drinks we ordered some fruit flavored Martini’s & Caipirojka’s. Post having a couple of those, Ekta decide she wanted to have Rum, Thumbs Up & I decided to have a Bloody Marry followed by some Johnny Walker Red Label… Yup! By now we were pretty damn high / shit faced, came home & crashed. If you guys are looking at a place to hang through the afternoon which is not very noisy then Smooth is ideal; also evening is when this place gets decently crowded. Pretty well priced also for the drinks as well as food…

Best Brunch Spread Ever!!!

Yummmmy!!!

Moving onto Sunday & the brunch at Vong Wong with Ritika, Mihir, Yooti, Ekta & yours truly. Ekta & me decided to ride to Nariman point where the restaurant is located, Rachita & Ritika were out shopping at Crawford market & were joining us directly, while Mihir & Yooti took a cab. Considering it was afternoon, the weather wasn’t ideal for a bike ride but what the heck, we were totally kicked about it as we were dressed like we were in Goa & were living the same experience on the bike!!! Reaching Vong Wong, we realized they had a buffet brunch going on which was priced at about Rs 2000/- a pop with unlimited cocktails. After doing some mental math, we decided to go for the same & make the most of the food as well as the cocktails & mocktails…

Awesomeness!!!

Before I get into the awesomeness of the cocktails & super duper food, let me tell you about the ambiance of this place. The same is pretty classy, the furniture has an authentic feel; there are these giant Chinese vases, also the restaurant is very spacious and if you are a big group of people then you can book the round tables which have curtains to enclose the space & give you privacy; there are 3 tables of this sort. Also, the bar is amazing & most importantly, the view is absolutely stunning as it looks into the sea, past Nariman Point & what used to be the Oberoi Hotel which now is the Trident Hotel.

Sensational!!!

It Doesn’t Get Any Better…

Now for the food & drinks! We immediately ordered some caipirojka & some martini’s to start off with…….. the agenda, clearly, was to try all the cocktails on offer and get shitfaced, atleast Ekta & me had decided the same. Starters were served on the table – there was chilli chicken, momo’s / dim sum (5 different kinds – pork, vegetable, chicken, pakchoy and mushroom), crispy vegetables in a spicy wasabi, etc.  There were some awesome salads like Som Tam, Kimchi, tofu & french bean salad, absolutely sensational stuff!There were 3 live counters serving, make to order eggs i.e. omelets, poached eggs & eggs benedict; there was also a khao suey counter which was the hands down the best we have eaten & a counter serving duck rolls with plum sauce which was super yummy!!! There was this guy who was strumming the guitar & singing songs on request which added to the overall experience. This guy’s singing had an amazing voice at least Ekta & Ritika thought so… Another cool thing they had on offer during brunch was shots & to take that experience to the next level they had this waiter & waitress come to your table get you to open your mouth stuff it with Watermelon, Magic pops and then pour in loads of Grey Goose vodka which was the highlight :-). Post going through all of this & a crazy amount of dessert, we moved to some exotic fruit cocktails – those also were delicious & exceedingly potent but by now we didn’t care & were loving the whole experience!!!

Must Visit Vong Wong!!!

We were there for a good 3 hours and loved every moment of it! After that I rode back with Ekta which was an absolutely amazing experience  we also switched between who was riding across Marine Drive as that feeling was totally surreal. Also before I sign off, let me very highly & strongly recommend Vong Wong to all; if you like super yummy food & cocktails with a dash of an awesome experience then you must must visit this place. Finally do check out the slide show below, it has some awesome visuals which to us are like a full-on spiritual trip!!!

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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Zoo Visit

For the longest time I have wanted to visit the Zoo in Mumbai. Over the last year I regularly passed by it while coming back from work, but never visited it. Finally, over the weekend, I decided a little photography needs to happen and hence the visit to the Zoo was planned. For people who want to visit the Zoo, it is open Tues-Sun 9:00am to 6:00pm.

I picked Friday to go there, I thought it was a weekday and there would be less people, unfortunately that was not the case; due to it being Friday, there were schools and menacing kids waiting outside, yelling and creating general hooliganism. I manoeuvred through the crowds and managed to reach the front gate; it took about 5 odd minutes before they opened. I quickly ran to the ticket counter, out running about 50 kids and waving my hands as if I have won the 100 meters world championship. It cost about 5 rupees to enter the zoo and another 20 if you have a camera, I had 2 cameras so cost me double. As soon as you enter the zoo, the first thing you notice is all the greenery and vast space. I was surprised to see a dedicated work force of people running to keep the place clean and also take care of the animals in the there. I moved clockwise. The first thing I came across was a green house, the same can only be seen from the outside, visitors can’t actually walk through it, next on the cards the monkey cages; please note our zoo is prehistoric we don’t have open areas for animals we still have cages, which is very sad. It was early so there was limited activity in the cages just a guy cleaning the place. From there I moved on to the deers, these guys had it set, large open grounds where they can move around; unfortunately, taking pictures was a challenge, purely based on my distance but managed to sneak a few in courtesy the zoom lens. Next on the cards the elephant enclosure and the crocodile enclosure. The elephants were kept very far away and were having their breakfast so could only spot one of them, the crocodiles were lying in a dirty swamp motionless, onlookers watching them kept saying they’re dead……I wanted to throw one of them in the pond to test the theory 🙂

From there, I moved to the Hippopotamus shelter. There were two large hippos resting in the water all I could see was their backs, I was disappointed I was really looking forward to seeing a hippo in all its glory. As I moved away from the enclosure, I heard a loud noise that startled me a little, moving towards the sound I saw there was another enclosure where a Hippo was eating. I quickly grabbed a picture of the enclosure with a smile on my face. From there I moved to the lion cages, unfortunately there were 2 domestic cats sitting in the cage, the cleaner informed me the lion had passed away. Next was the birds, the smaller birds are kept in small cages which is sad, the silver lining here is the cages are clean and the birds are fed well. The bear enclosure was massive, but unfortunately I could not spot the bear, he probably was trying to avoid the morning sun. While I was near the bear enclosure, some kids yelled out “UNCLE, UNCLE”. I walked there, they called me to show me a Porcupine cage, where they had spotted an albino Porcupine, I quickly took a few shots and moved towards the last exhibit in the Zoo.

Final destination in the Zoo the very large Bird cages. While on my way there, I noticed a few large statues, placed in the middle of floral arrangements – these immediately reminded me of Gears Of Wars, do have a look at the picture to your left. After a fairly long walk and empty enclosures I reached the massive bird cages, these were birds that lived around water, Flamingos, Swans and so on, I was fairly impressed with the way these birds were kept, of course I could only stand a few minutes near the enclosure, annoying kids came and started going “Uncle one photo, one photo”. After not taking their pictures finally decided to exit the Zoo, all in all I was disappointed with the experience, not only the photography, the Zoo has become a barren place with hardly any animals; I would not recommend a visit here unless you want to be very depressed. Do check out some of the pictures around the blog and comment or send us feedback in the section below. All images shot using Nikon D5100.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Ganpati Photowalk

It’s that time of the year when everyone in India welcomes the Elephant God into their house, fondly known as Ganpati. 10 days of every Indian’s life revolve around the worship of the God.  Ganesh has been an annual feature in our house for as long as I can remember, we don’t get in the clay idol, we have an idol made of silver which we offer prayers to. As kids, mom would make us clean the idol and also decorate temples made of cardboard or Styrofoam. We would also get a whole lot of guests who came to our house during these 10 days to offer prayers and generally socialize with the family.  Over the years our beliefs have changed, we are no longer actively involved in the ceremonies pretty much Mom, Dad, Uncle and Aunty who manage the same. We on the other hand definitely go to see the awesome idols around where we live and take pictures creating our very own unique Ganpati Photowalk.

The biggest challenge with the photowalk is the crazy and erratic Mumbai rains, I personally don’t like my camera and gear getting wet and hence have to wait for the right time to get out there. Saturday began with crazy rains in the morning but eventually the day turned out to be sunny, at about 4:00pm I decided to head out for the photowalk, please note the objective was clear take pictures of Idols, a few minutes away from our house is Grant Road vegetable market, this also houses the biggest Ganesh idol in our area – I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was no security in and around the Pandal (temporary temple), people moved in an out easily and it was not mad crowded, I quickly setup my camera and started taking shots, to my surprise nobody disturbed me or said not to take pictures, instead they were more than happy to let me keep shooting, the kids there also volunteered to look after my bag so I could move around easily -Absolutely awesome

From there on every pandal I went to I was extended the same courtesy, my next destination was Grant road station, the Ganpati there was lit up, so time to crank ISO and shoot, note I hate using flash, I think it takes away from the reality of the image. I retraced my steps from the station towards the BMC station at D-Ward, this area has always had very creative idols, I was surprised this time around instead of going creative, the committee there had gone for a simpler much larger idol, it was very impressive. This pandal also had some kids playing carom; they were very excited when I took their picture. Next destination Papanas Wadi, this is a small lane next to my house, their theme eco friendly Ganesh, I did not realise I had friends here, these were kids who I had grown up with, in turn I was treated like a star, they cleared the floor and let me take pictures and fed me a whole lot of sweet meats. Next I moved onto a lesser known destination, this is a small bylane near Nana Chowk, they generally get a small idol but it is always very unique, this time around was exactly the same. Moving uphill I got to Kemps Corner, the Pan Gali idol was a black and gold idol and was huge, post taking pictures I moved towards my final 3 destinations August Kranti Maidan (Tejpal)  and Geeta building and old Gamdevi.

The final destinations are also the oldest as far as we are concerned, they have been housing idols long before it was fashionable to host them. The Tejpal idol was simple but they had surrounded it by envelopes of Ganpati, to my suprise there was nobody around the mini pandal, forgot to mention, I missed the Ganpati which use to be there at the Kharegat intersection, don’t know why it was not there. Anyways moving on the Geeta building Ganesh, was mounted on the shoulders of Hanuman, very different from anything I had seen so far. The volunteers there let me get close to the idol and take pictures, by now I was losing light so cranked up the ISO even more. From here I quickly rushed to Old Gamdevi, this idol was surrounded by women who were waiting for the evening Aarti, I did not waste time here, moved quickly and shot a few images and headed home. All in all the photowalk was an amazing experience the pandals are amazingly peaceful and people don’t bother you, also there are no annoying kids going ‘uncle take photo, my photo please’ and so on.  Really enjoyed this walk, and will definitely do this again on the day of immersion, this time around with my zoom lens.

Do check out our awesome Slideshow of Ganesh Pics below – Shot using a Nikon D5100 with a 18-55mm lens

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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Weekend , Bike Ride & Food Update

Sausage & Meat Yummmyness!!!

Goo!

This weekend was pretty crazy, with a lot of things happening beyond the normal R & C (resting & chilling). Beyond thee pictures attached, do also check out the slide show below for all the brilliant & yummy pictures. Started off the same early Friday afternoon, wherein post work from our fort office, Vishal & I decided to head to Mocambo’s which is a restaurant opposite our office and have a few pints. Reached there, zeroed in on Miller, which we had drunk in Goa, though now the same was in Bombay so happiness happened! We had a few pints; from there, we decided to head to Kobe’s for lunch. Mihir & Rachita also joined us for lunch. Sizzlers were had which were pretty awesome – Sausage Sizzler, Hamburger Steak Sizzler & Nasi goreng which is a rice based Sizzler were devoured. Post this, we finished some work and then were going to crash at our relevant homes. Please note, Ekta wasn’t there as she was in Sanpada and post that was heading to Baroda. In the evening, I got a call from Ekta saying she is not going to Baroda and that she will be going the next day on her bike… Full on drinking session happened post that with Rum & beer, post which we passed out. Ekta got up the next day by 4:00 a.m. and left for Baroda.

Basilico

Miller!!!

Saturday morning started off with deciding a brunch date with the Mrs. We decided to go to Colaba & then figure a place to go and eat. Post loitering across Colaba Causeway we decided to go to Basilico. Reached Basilico by 11:30 a.m., the place was pretty empty. Rachita ordered a Ginger Cooler & I had some Orange Pekoe Tea (Yup! I had tea, as Basilico doesn’t serve Alcoholic Beverages); also by then we had called Anushka & asked her to join us. While waiting for her, we ordered a Cajun Chicken Salad which was superb! Once Anushka aka Anus arrived, we bitched about a lot of general things and then ordered some Chicken & Steak for our mains. Also ordered some insanely yummy Pizza & finally ended the leisurely brunch with a New York Syle Cheese Cake. For those who don’t know the difference between Philedelphia & New York Cheesecake, Philly is Baked while NY is steamed :-). The afternoon was spent sleeping, woke up and then went for an awesome bike ride past Marine Drive & Nariman Point, got home & figured Rachita had made some awesome burritos for dinner. The dinner spread was awesome – there was sour cream, guacamole, salsa, refried beans & tortilla’s for dinner. Also to top all of that, Rachita made some super duper cheesecake (eggless, that too!). Post the crazily awesome dinner, we watched a few episode of Game of Thrones Season 2 & passed out.

Worlds Best Burrito!!!

Baked Cheese Cake!!!

Awesomeness!!!

Sunday morning started off with Astro’s walk, then bath as always. Then there was a session of personal grooming in the bathroom, accompanied by some dhinchak regional music. Played a session of Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 with Mihir before heading to the inlaws for brunch. Please to note, Rachita had baked cheesecake for the brunch as well :-). There were some awesome dosas made for brunch which were eaten; again, overate so went home and passed out. Woke up, went for bike ride, which was superb considering Sunday evenings Marine Drive & Nariman Point is always packed with people so sights & sounds were ever so intresting. Came home, played NBA2k12 & UFC Undisputed on the Xbox360 while listening to some Blues & Jazz by Muddy Waters, BB King & Eric Clapton. Dinner was some chinese ordered from China Gate at Atria Mall. On the ordered list was some Hunan Wanton Soup, Crispy Fried Potatoes, Burnt Garlic Pot Rice, Shezwan Mein foon (Rice noodles), Sui Mai & Stir Fried Chinese Greens. Post dinner, watched some UFC on Sony Six & finally ended the day with a few episodes of Game of Thrones season 2. Woke up Monday morning, realized the weather was good and went for a bike ride & some photagraphy which is featured in the slide show below. All in all, a great weekend which has set a precedence for the others to come 😉

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Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Food & More Food

Gujrati Thali Rocks!!!

So by now, most of you who have been reading our blog know that we are obsessed with Bikes, Movies, Gaming & Good Food!!! This post is more or less a tribute to the good food part and is basis the awesomeness which has been eaten in the past 2 weeks 🙂

David & Goliath Papad Style 🙂

CupCakes

So a couple of weeks ago, Ekta & me from work went to Bhagat Tarachand  where we ate some awesome Gujju style Thali. As you can see in the picture above, it was pretty damn crazy! We also ordered some masala papad and khichiya’s :-). The overall experiance was decently phenomenal!!! Another day, over the weekend we decided to go to Soul Fry Casa and ate some awesome prawns, crab, chicken & naans; this meal was the breakthrough variety as Mihir & I have been allergic to Shellfish & some other seafood, but after eating the meal here nothing happened in terms of allergies.

One fine day at home & this is post Rachita & Ritika’s shopping escapades at Crawford Market, my wife decided to make cupcakes and ice them using fondant which was like super cool! Not only did she make some awesome cupcakes but covered them with all these cool & cute designs using fondant the same was absolutely and totally exceptional :-). Another day, we decided to eat Ceaser Salad and Mushrooms on Toast; the same was accompanied by Carrot Soup with Cheese Balls! The Mushrooms on toast were made like the ones you get in Goa, sauted in butter and garlic which is totally super duper yummy. Going with the fillings on toast bit, we also made some awesome american corn in white sauce with barbecued onions and chilli sauce…

Mushrooms on Toast!!!

Crazy Tiffin!!!

Giant Puri’s

Now the part in office, where Mother in Law sent across a tiffin for lunch with a meal fit for kings. Just to give you a perspective, there was Roti, Panner veggie, Black Daal, Sliced Onion & Chilli, Papad (3 kinds, no less!) pickle! Yup! Unbelivable but true, after eating so much you just cant work! One fine day from work we (Rachita & me) went to the mall where we ate some Chole Bhatura which is basically chick peas made in a gravy and add to that 2 giant puri’s (deep fried) as you can see in the picture below. Further to the same, we revisited Soul Fry Casa with Ekta got drunk on Boondi (Self invented, our Rum Based Cocktail) & Watermelon Martini. Watched a few movies like Avengers which is hands down the bestest movie ever! Also saw The Cabin in the Woods which is one crazy-ass twisted movie. In Hindi movies, saw Jism 2 which is so seriously bad it ain’t funny; also saw Ek Tha Tiger wherein Salman Khan rocked, though the movie was only decent. Watched the entire season 4 of Fringe & started Game of Thrones which is totally unbeleivable!!! Finally, played Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox360 & did some general chilling with Vishal, Beers & Rum!!! Interesting 2 weeks if i say so myself 😉

Yummmmmmmyyyyy!!!

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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My First Road Trip part 2

The next part of our awesome road trip was about 30 Kms from Pune, a small village known as Saswad, which houses an awesome Fort known as Jadhavgadh. We started our journey early, had breakfast at the Machan and got out buy around 9:30 am. The drive back to Lonavala took about half an hour considering the crazy fog, we also got lost in one of the by lanes, anyways we hit the expressway soon enough and made it to the outskirts of Pune in about an hour and a half. Here it gets tricky passing Pune and onto Saswad took a good 2 hours, crazy traffic and bad road. At a time even google Maps failed and we had to ask a cop for directions (surprisingly he looked and behaved like Manoj Bajpai). After a fairly crazy ride up a fairly broad ghat (Mountain) we reached our destination.

The first thing you notice about the fort is the people, they are all dressed in traditional Maratha outfits. Our welcome was accompanied by a blow of trumpets and a crazy beating of drums by a frenzied security guard, we also got the very firangi “tilak on the forehead” treatment. We quickly finished all the formalities and headed towards our room, please to note had booked a suite which was a surprise for the lovely Mrs. I was surprised by the room – it was big and had a large balcony with a crazy view – do check the image below for the view. We settled in and ordered food, some traditional chicken in coconut gravy with bread, the food was finger licking good. I would strongly recommend that you try the local cuisine in the Hotel; it’s absolutely to die for. After a quick siesta we moved towards the pool, the Mrs quickly jumped in, me on the other hand thought the water was a little too cold for my liking and hence went on to check the Fort.

The Fort is not very large, if you have been to Rajasthan it may almost seem like a Haveli what stands out is how well it has been maintained and how the entire Hotel has been built around it. The lawns surrounding the Fort are massive and make for some great bird and flower photography. I ended up spending quite a lot of my time taking pictures. Late evening we decided to head back to the room – post more chilling time we went for dinner – the dining room is pretty standard looks like something out of a clubhouse, but the waiter suggested that we dine at the balcony. This turned out to be a great suggestion as it was only us and the experience of eating there was amazing. The starter we ordered was something called Jadhavgadh ke Sholay (Fires of Jadhavgadh – loosely translated) a tandoori paneer dish; we ordered it basis the interesting name – not bad it was, for main course we ordered mutton for a change, a dish called Mutton Tambya Cha Rassa – hands down the best mutton dish we have eaten, the mutton was softer than the paneer, we finished the meal with an awesome Kulfi (local hand churned ice-cream).

Day 2 was pretty much filled with photography, swimming, dinning had an absolute blast, before I forget the Breakfast – absolutely amazing and they had a decent spread also; to give you an idea, my breakfast included muffins, breads, juice, cereal, poha, parathas, grilled veggies, juice, eggs to order and milk shake – I could not move for a few hours after that but totally loved it. Moving on, day 3 is when we left for Mumbai, again got out by about 10:00 am the drive this time was surprisingly fast, the roads were empty and we reached the expressway in about 40 minutes. From there on it was a 2 hour drive to Mumbai – we stopped at a Khopoli, did not feel like eating so had ice-cream and then drove on. Took about an hour 15 to get to home once we hit Mumbai, the little Ashoooooo as usual welcomed us (he also makes an appearance on our blog 🙂 All in all, our first roadtrip was kick-ass we had a blast stayed amongst trees and in a Fort, drove across some of the best roads in the country, could not have asked for more during our mini vacation.

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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