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Decoding the women in the Delhi Metro’s Ladies Coach.

This piece has been triggered by an observation made by a male colleague of mine who said that women in the Delhi Metro tend to cling to each other far more than men. Although at that point of time, I vehemently denied it; on retrospection I realized it was absolutely true!

Picture this, any bench inside the Delhi metro can seat up to seven people. But the moment an empty Metro enters the platform; a mob of womankind darts ahead to wiggle and wag, twist and turn, almost throwing you into the ‘mind the gap’ territory that they keep warning you about. In the end, at least nine of them fit into one single bench. This only means that each of the girls sitting on the bench has one butt-cheek up in the air and is in far worse shape than the ones standing. It also means that the girls have a much lower size assessment of their behinds. Come on girls, your asses are not as small as you think. I mean those demarcations on the benches are there for a reason.

If for some reason, one of them doesn’t get a seat, they simply stand hovering over you, silently willing you to shrink in size. Or simply glaring and staring till you get off at your metro station. Some of them will demand outright “thoda adjust kar lo”, which basically means you have to adjust her bum, her laptop bag, her lunch bag as well as some shopping bags. Few minutes into the journey, when one of your butt has already been mid-air for some time, your shoulder has got used to stooping over your bag simply because there isn’t enough space to adjust both the shoulders, your lunch bag been kicked around some and you have overheard the choicest Honey Singh songs on your neighbour’s phone, begins the game of bhutta eating. No matter what, there will be one woman who is eating bhutta in the Delhi Metro while you are busy trying to breathe and banging you on your face.

Now the question arises, why is there such a huge overwhelming mind-boggling passion to sit down? Most of these women are either going to or coming from their office or home or college. At any of the given places, they were obviously already sitting for few hours at a stretch. Then why this huge urge to sit down again?

It also makes me think, what actually happens when you are standing. If it is a very crowded metro, you are clearly pushed and pulled about, and you obviously can’t sit. But what if it is not that crowded? What is the desperation then to sit down? I mean do you get an instant heart attack or something like a meteor comes and strikes you down if are standing?

Often these women might be the ones who carry salads in their tiffin dabbas and hit the gym regularly. Haven’t you people heard that by simply standing, you can burn so much of calories?
There is this other problem that women in the metro have. They very conveniently tend to forget that they have elbows. I, hereby, declare that we womenfolk do have a necessary bendable part residing in the middle of our hands, known as, and referred to hereinafter as ‘elbows’.

When there is just a centimeter of space between you and the girl next to you, you can’t fold your elbows. Not to watsapp, not to fiddle with your bag, definitely not to stuff chips in your mouth and not even to remove that errant strand of hair. Your elbows need to be ram rod straight, under any circumstance in a crowded metro.

On second thoughts, add your ass to that list as well. Bending down to pick up your bag every now and then, unmindful of where your ass is, is simply unacceptable.


Goa as a place is full of character. It can be throbbing with music one moment and poignantly serene the next moment. It is like light reflected on a drop of water, shinning with many colours.

Much has already been said about this captivating place of sun, sand and surf. What more could I possibly say to add to its glory? As I mulled over this, it struck me that even now a lot of people are confused as to which part of Goa they should head to – North or South.

An ideal trip would be one which includes a stay at both North and South. For such a trip anything between 5 nights to a week would suffice. But if time and budget are a constraint, you will be better off if you plan ahead.

To begin with, Goa with its numerous beaches has something for everyone. However, it is important to figure out what you are expecting from the trip beforehand. If you are a party and action loving person, North Goa is the place to be. On the other hand, if you want tranquility away from the maddening crowds, head straight to the picturesque South Goa.

Now let’s look at both these parts of Goa at some length.

Lighthouse at Fort Aguada

North Goa
Calangute, Candolim, Baga and Vagator are the must visit beaches in North Goa. If you love water sports, staying close to Baga or Calangute makes sense. Both the beaches are speckled with many budget friendly shacks which come for as low as Rs. 500 during the off season.

Get up early in the morning and hit the beach to try your luck at jet skiing, para sailing, kayaking, boat rides, etc. It is best to start early for a number of reasons. Firstly, the rates for the rides are not fixed and we were quoted different prices on different days. By starting early, you get to recce the rates a bit and strike a good bargain. Also as the day proceeds, the rates become more and more steeper.

When I went for jet skiing, the life guard offered me to ride the boat by myself for an extra 200Rs. Don’t be fooled by this ruse, as he will only allow you to hold the steering of the boat and not ride it.

While in Goa water sports seems to be the thing to do. However, I would highly recommend you to try your hands at go karting. You can have a taste of go karting on the way to Fort Chapora and it is the best that I have experienced till date.

If you are not a sports lover, don’t fret. Baga beach is also frequented by temporary tattoo artists, masseurs and sea shell trinket sellers.

North Goa is famous for its pulsating nightlife. Right from Club Tito’s to Café Mambo, North Goa is abuzz with activity. What’s amazing is that even the small timers, hidden in the lanes behind Calangute come alive with music in the evening.

If you like alfresco arrangements try one of the shacks on the beaches or the Calangute Towers, which is located on the main road behind Calangute Beach. They play awesome live music on the weekends.
While in Goa don’t forget to try some of the mouth watering delicacies like King Prawns, Chicken Xacuti, Grilled Pomfrets, Prawn Vindaloo, Sea Food platters, etc.

You can also take a short river cruise at river Mandovi, Panjim. The area is also famous for its casinos.
A Chapel at Old Goa

Sight Seeing
Very close to Calangute is Fort Aguada with the lighthouse. Visit it on a sunny day to click some great snaps. Another place that is a must visit is Fort Chapora of Dil Chahta Hai fame. The fort being at a little height, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes for the short trek.

The drive down to the Fort  was truly memorable with yellow fields soaked in sunlight strewn on both sides. The sight that awaited us at the top is one of the best things that I have seen in my life. The sunset seen from the fort was breathtaking and definitely not something you would want to miss. In fact, we liked the place so much that we decided to revisit it again the next day.

North Goa is also close to old Goa which the home to Basilica Bom Jesus, Church of St Francis of Assisi and the museum within it. Both these places are marvels of Portuguese architecture. A word of caution though that old Goa doesn’t have good eateries and it is better to eat in advance.

View of Vagator Beach

Tourists at Calanguate Beach

South Goa
South Goa is an ideal destination for couples and those who want an idyllic and laid back trip. The most popular beaches of South Goa are Palolem, Agonda, Varca and Cola beach. Go for long walks along the coastline, read a book, watch the sun set and spend some time in the company of silence.

The beautiful Palolem beach surrounded by coconut trees is a great place to spend half a day. It offers a number of competitively priced water sports. However, do not venture too far into the water as the beaches in South Goa are not safe for swimming.

If you don’t mind spending a bit of money, then book a sea facing cottage at H2O Agonda. These spacious and tastefully done cottages are the kind of places which are in itself complete. You just arrive and spend all your time enjoying the beauty around you.

The place has a live bar and also a beach restaurant which provides good food. Another good news is that they are soon starting a spa in their premises.

There are a lot of other budget-friendly cottages available at Palolem beach. You can also explore a variety of cuisines in the restaurant lined close to the beach.

Entrance of the Plantation

Visitors taking the Plantation tour
Close to Palolem, about 9km south is Cotiago Wildlife Sanctuary. Don’t expect to bump into its more exotic residents (including gaurs, sambars, leopards and spotted deer), but you can easily spot plumed birds, frogs, snakes and monkeys at the scenic santuacry. Set off early morning for the best sighting prospects from one of the sanctuary’s two forest watchtowers, 6km and 9km from the entrance.

Although I wanted to visit the sanctuary I couldn’t manage the time. In its place, I chose the Tropical Spice Plantation. I will talk about it in detail in the next segment.

A tourist enjoying the elephant bath

Sunset at the beach restaurant of H2O Agonda

Sight Seeing
Besides spending time in the beautiful beaches , you could also visit Fort Cabo Da Rama. While the drive to the spot is through hilly lanes and fields of rice, the fort itself is not much to look forward to. The fort is not well maintained and is quite deserted. However, if you have the time and want to ride around in a scooty this could be a good place to head to.

On the way to South Goa, we also stopped over at Tropical Spice Plantation. I thought this would be a good opportunity to see some of the plants and trees inside the plantation. The tour of the plantation was slightly disappointing as I was expecting a much longer trek. Also I was already familiar with most of the plants as they are commonly found in my hometown.

The tour was however, compensated by the tasty traditional Goan lunch at the plantation. You can also try elephant rides, horse rides and elephant bath at the plantation.

In conclusion, I would say that both North and South Goa has its own charms. What are you looking for? 

Note: This article was first published on The Thumprint Mag


For a long time, Mcleodganj has been overshadowed by the more popular hill stations like Shimla, Manali and even Nainital. What couples tend to miss is that Mcleodganj along with Dharamshala has a lot more to offer in terms of things to do as well as see. While it has some claim to fame as far as adventure tourism is concerned, its scenic beauty, quaint cafes, spiritual atmosphere deserves a special mention.
To begin with, most hotels and home stays in Mcleodganj are adorned with beautiful rooftop terraces. It is the perfect way to spend hours lazing over a delicious breakfast. In the evening, the balconies that open out into the hills prove to be the ideal place to spend some quality time with your loved one. An impromptu round of antakshari can also be fun. Those who want to explore the place better can head on a directionless walk around the town. You will find many warm cafes with happy music awaiting you.

Some interesting ways to spend time with your beloved are summed up below.
A tourist taking a closer look of the Dhauladhar at the Naddi View Point

Dharamshala Stadium flanked by the Dhauladhar Range

Take a day trip to Dharamshala Stadium – If your better half is into sports, he or she will totally dig this. On the other hand, don’t worry if you, yourself aren’t much into sports. The sights at the top of the stadium will more than make up for everything. Situated 1,457m above sea level and set against the backdrop of the picturesque Dhauladhar range, this is a stadium you will never forget. No wonder Dharamshala is Aussie cricketer Mathew Hayden’s favourite holiday destination.
A small section of the stadium is open to tourists and offers a delightful view. You can spend a couple of hours in the gallery, simply gazing at the lush green field and the snowy mountain tops. By the end of it, don’t be surprised if your partner ends up thanking you profusely for suggesting this place.

Learn a skill together at Norbulingka Institute – For couples who love trying out new things together, a day trip to Norbulingka is a must. Named after a palace of the same name in Tibet, Norbulingka Institute brings together the best of Tibetan hospitality, spirituality, craftsmanship, tours and workshops. Within its premises, you will be able to enroll together for different short courses, right from wood crafting to finishing your own thangka painting. You can also take guided tours of varied types, visit a doll’s museum, sample local delicacies at their restaurant, shop artifacts and spent some peaceful moments in their monastery.

The Golden Buddha at the Norbulingka Monastery

Tribal Tibetan couple at the Doll's Museum, Norbulingka

Spend a day in the open, War Memorial – Built in memory of Indian soldiers who martyred in 1971 war with China and the Kargil war, War Memorial is placed within a pretty park in Dharamshala. The place is lined with beautiful trees and small artificial rivulets. Spend a couple of hours sitting on the benches doing absolutely nothing. Try the canteen for basic snacks.

Pray for something nice at St John’s Church in the Wilderness – Little outside the market of Mcleodganj is the beautiful neo gothic Church of St John, built in dedication to John the Baptist. This is a perfect place to spend some quiet leisurely time, resting in the dreamy sunlight. Stroll around the campus, click some photographs at sunset and walk back to the town at dusk.

Conquer a waterfall at Bhagsu – If you are the kind of couple who love hitting the gym together or playing a sport together, this is for you. Set out early for the Bhagsu Falls located right beside the Bhagsunath temple. Come prepared to walk a bit and be surrounded by a touristy crowd. At the top of the falls, you can dip your feet in the water and savour piping hot Maggi.

Spend a night under the stars at Triund – The trek to Triund can easily be one of the highlights of the trip. The best way to reach Triund is to save some energy by taking a taxi till Galu from Mcleodganj and then start on the 7km trek. The trek is medium to easy except for the last 1km. It can be a delightful way to spend time with your loved one. There are many places to spend the night at top, be it a bungalow with modern facilities or a camp with basic amenities. But it is better if you plan something ahead. 

A woman at the Mcleodganj Market

Few hours before sunset at the Naddi View Point

 Complete a kora around the Monastery – Mcleodganj being the home to the 14th Dalai Lama, most visitors and pilgrims embark on a kora at the Tsuglagkhang complex. A kora is a clockwise walk around the complex beginning at the end of the Temple Road, passing through excellent views of the valley, buzzing of sound of Om Mani Pad Me Hum, a forest strewn with prayer flags and Tibetan shrines.
The monastery can provide a tranquil escape for those couples for whom rejuvenation is a priority. But do keep in mind that this is a religious place, and the best way to enjoy it is to sit on one of the sheltered benches, under the canvas awning, and listen to constant chants of the monks. All in all, it is the perfect place to get nostalgic and weave new memories.

Drive into the tea gardens of Palampur - What could be more romantic than driving down to a picturesque tea garden? The journey itself is the destination in this case. Plan a surprise trip for your beloved without revealing the destination. You can pack your picnic basket in advance and set up your little corner amidst the gardens. However, make sure not to dirty the beautiful surroundings. Spend the day enjoying your surrounding and clicking some wonderful pictures. End the trip by gifting your partner a pack of exotic tea sold at the garden itself. For those who can’t make it to Palampur, Dharamshala too has its own tea garden.

Watch the sunset at Naddi View Point – Away from the hustle and bustle of the town, Naddi offers a beautiful view of the Dhauladhar Mountain range. Consider it as an evening date idea to spend a couple of hours before heading for dinner. You can either trek down to Naddi, a 3km trek or take a ride on one of the taxis plying that way. On arriving, do catch the view with one of the telescopes for just Rs 10. It is amazing to discover what lies hidden on the mountains. And afterwards don’t forget to compare notes with your partner.  
Verdant tea gardens of Dharamshala

Buddha at the Norbulingka Monastery

Constantly spinning Buddhist prayer wheels 

Witness a witty debate at Tsuglagkhang Complex – A great way to strike a conversation to remember is to listen to the monks debate at the Tsuglagkhang Complex. On any given afternoon, you can find them sitting in groups and engaging in a stirring debate in the courtyard. These debates done in good humor are usually conducted with energetic gestures, shouts, clapping and stomping of the foot. While it may not be possible to follow what the debate is actually about, watching the monks in action is an experience in itself.
Embark on a gastronomic journey Mcleodganj is known to be a food lover’s paradise. Apart from the famous roadside potato and chicken momos, the town has a number of cafes which serve delicious Tibetan, Bhutanese and Nepali fares. A few good options would be - the Shiva Café, Khana Nirvana, Café Moonspeak, Café Mc’llo and Café Hummingbird. Head over to Khana Nirvana, located in the main market of Mcleodganj for dinner and listen to lively music as you enjoy a delicious meal. For vegetarians Café Hummingbird at the Norbulingka Institute offers a great spread of Continental and Italian food along with local delicacies. Most of the cafes at the main market have free Wi-Fi too.

Monk with a Mission

Mutton in Apricot Gravy, served hot at Cafe Moonspeak

Chonor House – If you don’t mind spending a bit of money for traditional Tibetan hospitality, book your room way in advance at the Chonor House. It is a branch of Norbulingka Hotels and set amidst tall cedar trees very close to Dalai Lama’s residence.
Norling House – Located within the Norbulingka premises, this guest house provides many advantages. You get easy access to cultural workshops, a chance to be part of many organized tours, access to the in-house monastery and a taste of local life. However, the guest house is located off Dharamshala and main Mcleodganj market.
Deodar Villa – Situated bang at the centre of the Mcleodganj market, Deodar Villa is your best bet for great views in medium budget. Most rooms are accompanied by balconies and the hotel also boasts of a rooftop restaurant.
Mcleodganj Home Stay – If you want to stay in a beautiful private house that has modern amenities yet an earthy feel, go for Mcleodganj home stay. You again need to book your room way in advance to ensure that you actually get one. The place also serves organic home cooked food and has a stand-alone hill-top wooden hut with stellar views.

Note: This article was first published in Zee News India


While it is a known fact that Delhi owes much of its cultural glory and grandeur to the Mughals, not many know much about Mughal Architecture. In fact, one out of every four people residing in Delhi  hasn't even visited any of these architectural marvels.

The arrival of the Mughals was a turning point in Indian history, more so in its architecture. Greatly influenced by the Persian styles, all the early Mughal rulers constructed excellent mausoleums, mosques, forts, gardens and cities. The Mughal buildings show a uniform pattern both in structure and character. The main characteristic features of Mughal architecture are its bulbous domes, slender minarets with cupolas at four corners, large halls, lattice work, massive vaulted gateways and delicate ornamentation.

The beginning of the Mughal era under Babar, followed by  Humayun doesn't have much architectural significance for Delhi. Akbar on the other hand, was spiritually inclined and with him began a flourishing era of Mughal architecture. His son Jahangir, an aesthete contributed to this era with many tombs built in the glory of nobility who had been at court since his father’s times. The chief amongst his works was refurbishing and restoring the tomb of the venerated Sheikh Nizamuddin Auliya. 

Shah Jahan needs no introduction to the architectural world. While his masterpiece Taj Mahal is located in Agra, his magic touched Delhi also in form of the city of Shahjahanabad, built along the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi. Architecture of Delhi during his era was done at a very idyllic pace, as if the entire city was in love with the process of building itself. His son, Auranzeb on the other hand,  proved to be a disappointment in the annals of Mughal architecture. Busy dealing with political strife, whatever little he contributed was within the walled city of Shahjahanabad itself. Gradually, as the Mughal Dynasty declined and the British rose to power, the rulers to seemed to have less and less resources in their hand to devote much to architecture.

Mention must however; be made of the women in the Mughal Empire who despite being behind the purdah, yielded immense wealth and power to contribute radiant architectural wonders. The first amongst them is Haji Begum, wife of Mughal emperor Humayun who built the Humayun’s tomb. Again, Nur Jahan was known as a great patron of architecture and built many beautiful palaces, gardens and mosques. Jahangir’s daughter Princess Jahanara participated in major architectural projects in the new Mughal capital, Shahjahanabad. She was the patron of at least five important buildings there. The pulse of Shahjahanabad - the bazaar of Chandni Chowk (“moonlight square”) - was designed by Jahanara.

While it might not be possible for everyone to devote time to each and every architectural marvel of the Mughal era, the best of it can’t be resisted. Here’s a list of ten Delhi Mughal monuments you have to  make time for.
Humayun’s Tomb
Right up on this list is Humayun’s Tomb, built as mentioned before by Haji Begum in memory of her loving husband, Humayun. Listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, it is the first garden tomb to be built in the Indian subcontinent. This original masterpiece made in red sandstone is known to be the inspiration for Taj Mahal. Ironically, neither this monument nor the love story associated with it is not as popular as the one it inspired.  

Red Fort
If you are history junkie, there’s no way you can miss out on this one. Though not as well maintained as the Agra Fort, this fortified palace built by Shah Jahan brings alive the stateliness of the Mughal court. Diwani - i - Aam and Diwani - i - Khas, Rang Mahal, Khas Mahal, Hamam, Delhi Gate, Lahori Gate, Moti Masjid, Naubat Khana, Hira Mahal, Shahi Burj are some of its memorable structures. It combines the architecture of Islamic era with that of Persian, Timurid and Hindu design. Spend some time here imagining that you are a Mughal royalty.

Purana Quila
Built on the site of the most ancient of Delhi’s city Indraprastha, the Purana Quila as the name suggests stands stoically against the vagaries of time and nature. This can be an ideal place to spend a winter afternoon, basking in the sun and figuring the three huge gateways out. Once you are done with admiring Humayun’s ambitious plan for his city Dinpannah, there’s also a moat surrounding the fort for boating. 

Jama Masjid
With a courtyard capable of holding 25000 devotees and innumerable pigeons, this ancient masjid brings you one step closer to divinity. Commissioned by Shah Jahan, the mosque was a result of the hard work of about 6000 workers, over a period of 6 years. Visit the place with your socks on, as the red sandstone flooring of the mosque can be very hot to your bare feet.

Safdarjung Tomb
The last flicker of the Mughal architecture can be seen in this monumental tomb garden. This enclosed tomb was built in the memory of Safdarjung, the minister of Avadh during the reign of Muhammad Shah. While it bears resemblance to the Humayun’s Tomb, it is of a much lesser stature. Some interesting structures of this monument are Jangli Mahal, Badshah Pasand, Moti Mahal, etc.

Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk or the moonlight market was commissioned by Shah Jahan and designed by princess Jahanara. Originally criss crossed by canals, this densely populated area still remains one of India’s largest wholesale markets. Visit this place to check out the old havelis of Ghalib, Begum Samru and Chunnamal. Binge at places running since Mughal era like Ghantewala Halwai and shop anything and everything.

Zafar Mahal
The last monument constructed by the Mughals is the Zafar Mahal. Situated in the heart of Mehrauli, to the western gate of the dargah of Khawaja Bakhtiyar Kaki, this Mahal was named by Emperor Akbar II after his son Bahadur Shah Zafar. Much of this summer palace is today in ruins. However, one can still see glimpses of the gone era in its white marble Moti Majid.

Fatehpuri Masjid
A 17th century mosque built by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Shah Jahan’s wives this mosque is located in  Chandni Chowk. Built with red sandstone, the mosque has a prayer hall and a fluted dome on top. It is flanked by both single and double storeyed apartments.

Tomb of Atgah Khan
This quaint little tomb was built for a noble man in Akbar’s court, who was murdered by a rival. Located in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti, this 16th century monument remains a secret to many. Sadly, not much has been done to maintain its beauty. Visit it before its gone.

Khan – i – Khana’s Tomb
Abdul Rahim Khan - i - Khana, was the son of Bairam Khan and one of Navratnas of Akbar’s courts. Situated in Nizamuddin, this tomb was meant for his wife but eventually he himself was buried here. A paved lane lined by trees leads to this weathered tomb highlighted by a dome and chattris. Ironically, the marble used for this monument was stripped of the Safdarjung tomb later on. 


This has to be documented. Delhi summers have made me partially demented. Take a look at the events of the past few days.

Night One.

I am unable to sleep even after showering three times in the evening. My flat being a corner flat kept locked up throughout the sweltering hot day is like a furnace at night. Unfortunately, I can’t afford an AC either. It doesn’t matter that I spend all my money on shopping and eating, this is the only thing I am going to be miser about and suffer in pain.

Somehow late at night, I fall asleep with my Symphony Cooler so close to me that had I been wearing a wig it would have flown away. Sometime in the middle of the night, I wake up feeling extremely hot. The room is humid and heavy with the cooler’s constant thud thud.

In my sleep induced state, I imagine that the water in my cooler has finished. It lasts precisely for 3hrs in Delhi heat. Perhaps that’s the reason why the copywriter christened it Junior Jumbo, ‘Jumbo’ being the addition made by the client. I sleep walk to the bathroom and fix the pipe to the cooler. Opening the tap, I go outside to the balcony for some fresh air.

Not finding any respite there either, I turn back only to be greeted by a sound heard when water pouring from the tap hits the floor. I frantically search for the source of the sound and discover that my cooler has been designed with a hole to drain out the excess water automatically in case of an overflow. By the time I figure this out, my bedroom floor is a pool of water and my slippers and laptop cord is floating in that pool of water. Quickly, I throw the laptop cord on my bed and start disaster management.

After staring at the hole for quite some time, I decide to stick my finger into it. Luckily it works, and the water stops pouring out. I vaguely remember the Dutch story of Hans Brinker that I had read as a child and find great similarity in our situations. The only difference being that while he was rescued, nobody was coming to my rescue.

Few minutes pass. While still standing in a pool of water, and not too sure whether I was dreaming or not; I look around myself for divine inspiration. I see my bucket lying near the door. For once I am happy that I keep my buckets in the living room not inside the bathroom. But here too things cannot be simple, the bucket has to be out of my reach. Now I am calculating whether it would be wise to pull my finger out of the hole and let my room submerge in some more water or come up with some other plan.

Operation ‘other plan’ begins. I twist and turn my body, till I am almost lying on the floor, while my finger is still stuck in the hole. I try to widen my legs and push the bucket towards me. I can hear my mom saying in my subconscious mind ‘Keep your feet together. Sit properly’. Instead of the pulling the bucket towards me, I push it further away from me and fall almost flat on my face. Wide awake now, I resume once again. This time, I am able to stick my toe under the bucket’s handle.

With a sigh of relief I pass the bucket from my toe to my other hand and finally place it under the ‘overflow’ hole. Like a weirdo, I watch the excess water empty into the bucket, not daring to move an inch away, lest some new adventure begins in my absence. By 3 am it’s all done. There is still a lot of water on the floor. I tell myself it will all dry up by itself and proceed to crash once again thinking something about the concept of evaporation.

... to be contd.


You bump into them in the virtual world every other day. They might annoy you, they might pester you or they might entertain you. Read further to see how many of them you know personally. And to find out if you are one of them.
Their profile picture would probably be a selfie or a shot taken in front of the mirror wearing the skimpiest of clothes and a pout. They are here to make ‘frans’ preferably of the opposite sex and spend their free time sending friend requests to strangers. Most of them in reality, perhaps, wouldn’t dare to step out of their rooms in those clothes but online they are someone else. 

These fools have a deep love for gross photographs of strange diseases. They truly believe liking a page can save someone. And with good intention plead with you to like the same, send you invites to join the most extraordinary causes from saving crows to cleaning roads! What they actually need is to be told that to make a difference they need to first get up from that comfortable chair of theirs. 

If you look at their friend list, you will have a mini-heart attack. They have a fan following as big as the Schinderler’s list. They consider themselves to be the center of the world and don’t let go of any opportunity to flaunt their narcissism. They’ll bombard your homepage with pictures of themselves bathing, hallucinating, sleeping, crying, and the list simply goes on. 

They can only talk in puns, without them they are mum. Every comment of theirs, every link they share, every tag, every status needs to be witty. Else they get constipation.

These fellows might not have read a single play written by Shakespeare but will quote him every other day. For them a status is equivalent to a quote. Rumi, Einstein, Osho, Neruda, and Eliot no one is spared from their quoting spree. 

They are like the silent observers of the social networking world. They lie dormant for months at a stretch making you to forget them completely. And then suddenly they give you the creeps by commenting on your oldest possible photo.

The poor souls don’t believe in letting a like go waste. They practice what they preach and begin by liking their own status and photos! For them random statements about the weather, everyday laments, falling ill and even a person’s demise is like-worthy. They follow it up by pinging and pestering you to like their cousin’s daughter’s baby’s photo. And lord save you from their wrath if you fail to like them. 


This festival has permanently damaged my sanity and erased all the good memories I had of it. When I was a child, Holi always meant playing with friends and family. But as I grew up things seemed to change drastically.

I am sure many girls will agree with me that Holi is a not-so-nice festival. This is not to discourage you from playing Holi but to steer clear of some morons. Here is a list of people I am definitely not playing Holi with along with my fundas to deal with them.

#1. You see me walking down the same road everyday. We might have smiled at each other someday. But please bhaiya for you, holi nahi hai.

#2. You are half my height and very excited about your new pichkari. You are a kid so no one’s going to say anything. Sure I will not say anything, I will just squeeze your ear so hard you will forget that you had an ear in the first place.

#3. You were an acrobat in your past life and therefore, suffer from an acrobatic hangover. You will twist and turn your body till you get to hit me inside the auto or cycle rickshaw. Well let me tell you one thing, now that you have ruined more than my clothes and mood, I will happily go ahead and spoil your day,week or even month.

#4. You feel I don’t understand Hindi, so I am a wall where you can throw anything and keep smirking. Wait till you hear the profanities I can scream in Hindi.

#5. You have locked up your kid inside your house and feel your duty is over. Just one word, if that monster of yours dares to throw a balloon at me from the balcony, I won’t feel too bad to lock it behind the bars.

#6. You have grown up but haven’t really grown up. You hide in your balcony and throw balloons at passerbys. I see who you are creep! And I might just start playing Holi with you with my favourite pepperspray.

#7. You want to dry up the entire Brahmaputura in the course of a week, go ahead. But I refuse to take bath just to satisfy your whims each time I get dressed to go somewhere. Why don’t you take a bath yourself? You seem to need it anyways dirty mind!

#8. You pretend you are high and you have the license to grope anyone who comes your way. Then please continue to be high, for I think I know where I am going to hit you hard.



When you have a name like Ahuja No.1, do we need to say more? This dhaba can easily be spotted on your left when you reach Murthal, on Delhi Karnal Highway. The journey itself, could prove to be one of the fun ways to spend a day if you want to go for a long drive and end it with some good food.

The moment you enter Murthal, a number of Dhaba’s welcome you. There’s Gulshan’s Dhaba, Pehelwan’s Dhaba, Jhilmil, Sukhdev apart from the one I am talking about here. We chose Ahuja No.1 because the crowd seemed better here. They have a separate sitting area for the families too.

Had it been located in Delhi, Ahuja No. 1’s paranthes would definitely given the Paranthe Wali Gali a run for its money. Firstly, because unlike the paranthas served at Paranthe Wali Gali none of the paranthas are deep fried. They are all made in the tandoor.

There is a whole list of paranthas to choose from, some of which are listed below –
Aloo Parantha – The classic mashed potato stuffed parantha sprinkled with red chilli powder.
Aloo Piyaaj Parantha – Same as above except that you will bite into crunchy pieces of onion every now and then.
Pudina Parantha – This is a type of lachha parantha peppered with mint. It looks quite different from the other parathas and is best savoured when hot.
Gobi Parantha – Cauliflower chopped into tiny bits and stuffed inside a usual parantha. Tastes quite nice and different.
Mooli Parantha – This is the only form in which I find radishes tolerable and quite tasty actually.

All the paranthas are served with panchranga pickle, sirce wala pyaaj, and huge dollops of white cow butter which is amazingly yum. Team it with Dal Fry or Dal Makhani and your day is made. Curd could also be a god option.

It is best not to think of calories that day. Have your fill and then head out for a stroll in the nearby fields. You can always hit the gym later.

Quite funnily these dhabas have started serving noodles and burgers too. I just hope people stop demanding noodles at such places and let authentic food survive.


Among other things, people do have the strangest of questions on their mind when it comes to food from north east (of India, just in case you got confused with the north east of China, Africa or the antipodes). In fact, I have often replied the polite enquiries of my colleagues of what I was cooking for dinner with a cold glare. I was bored of explaining time and again that Assamese food also  consisted of dal chawal, arguably the most common Indian meal.

But when I pondered over this topic deeper, I realised this lack of information was actually a lack of the availability of the food itself in other parts of the country. Rosang Café is an exception in this regard. For all those who have no clue what food from north east is like, do head to Rosang Cafe. Located near Upahar Cinema in Green Park, it brings the finest food of the seven north eastern states.

Jokes apart, despite being an Assamese, I myself have limited knowledge about the north eastern cuisines. I am desperately trying to rectify this problem by visiting Rosang frequently. While I would highly recommend the place to everyone, here are a few things to keep in mind before trying out food from north east.

#1. North eastern food is light on your taste buds and tummy. Not excited? Then try the piping hot dry fish chutney!

#2. Some of the dishes may have strong aromas, often not so pleasant if you aren't used to it. Come prepared.

#3. All the dishes are extremely healthy. Do tell your trainer about it.

#4. It’s not only about noodles and momos. What were you expecting a chocolate momo or a paneer one?

#5. Do not expect it to be spicy and oily. But count on it to be flavoursome.

#6. For God's sake don't come and ask for a roti or naan. Didn't you know the best thing on earth is rice?

#7. You think it will be like Chinese and Thai. You couldn't be more wrong. The spices, herbs and process of preparing the dishes are all different.

#8. Vegetarians are welcome too. We don’t sit at the slaughterhouse 24 x 7.

#9. The curries won’t look red; turmeric is not a favourite here. Did you say you already knew it?

#10. Taste a new vegetable like kol posola (banana stem). You’ll soon realise vegetables go beyond cauliflowers and peas.

While trying food from north east, please do remember that they are seven states not one. This is another problem I want to deal with it. But let’s just stick to the food here. Being neighbouring states the cuisines of the north eastern states do have similarities, however, they are as varied as the seven states and the people living in them are. Thankfully, Rosang Café picks some of the best dishes from the seven states.

Go with an open mind. Do try the spicy Dry Fish Chutney, Aksa Meh a delicious chicken curry, Fried Fish in Burmese paste and Dohneiihong, a Meghalayan pork dish cooked in black seasame seeds. Yes, the names are difficult. But admit it they can’t be more difficult than that of the Thai, Mexican or French dishes.

Enjoy the hospitality of the super friendly owner, Mary. And hopefully you’ll get to understand that part of the country slightly better.

P.S. These pictures have been taken on a mobile phone by a not so great photographer. The food actually looks much better than this.