Travel


So my mom and dad wanted to have this religious trip and I chose to tag along because I love to travel! But then since we had a day in Chennai, I told myself to make the most of it!

I have always dreaded Chennai, because I never heard anything great about it. The climate was bad, the people uncooperative, and the food too not palatable for any North Indian.

So let me tell you how I made my one day in Chennai beautiful! What I ate, where I went, and why. I am not sure whether I have missed visiting some place but what I can definitely say is that I enjoyed myself. Now going to all these places may not really be your choice considering where you are coming from, but if you have a little bit of travel streak, come from north India, and want to buffet of a day served to you, this blog will help you!

  1. At about 10AM, we left the Naval Officers Mess ???? and went to Parthasarathy Temple. This is a Vishnu temple and has a lot of stone carvings. This is the most famous temple of Chennai, so we decided to pay it a visit. It took about an hour there, and then we headed the a church.
  2. Saint Thomas Basilica is one of the only three churches in the world that has been built on the tomb of one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ, the other two in Rome and Spain. You have to see the church and the tomb Area. The father was really sweet even though I was taking a lot of pictures. Because of the rarity of this type of church, and the fact that it is over a hundred years old, we went there. The church was quiet and nice. Being a convent student, I liked the church atmosphere and enjoyed reading a few poems in old English.
  3. At this point, we were a little hungry, so we headed to Besant Nagar, and made a quick errand to Elliot’s Beach. This is a quieter beach, but really not worth visiting in the afternoon. Since we were hard pressed for time, we made a quick errand.
  4.  Now came the best part of the day. Trying the fooooood! There apparently is a special Biryani of Tamil Nadu, Thalappakatti Biryani, and we bought a plate of Paneer Biryani try from Dindigul Thalappakatti Biryani. I must say, it was rich in aroma and very well prepared. It did not look as delectable when we first saw it, but when we tried it, I thought to myself that we should have bought more of it!
  5. Then the much awaited and the very acclaimed- Murugan Idli Shop, for the South Indian food. We first ordered the idlis, vadas, then Paneer butter dosa, and finally the best- a good cup of filter coffee. It wasn’t very strong on the spices. Subtle, fresh and nice- just as I hoped!
  6. After this bit of experimenting with the flavours of the city of Chennai, we checked in to our hotel- Crown Plaza which was right opposite Starbucks. I must say, this is one of the finest five star hotels I have ever seen. Ethnic plus modern at the same time, this place was beautiful.
  7. In the evening, we decided to take a stroll at the Marina Beach and try the street food. I had the roasted sweet corn ????, which was good, bhel puri- soggy and bad, apparently because it is being sold at sea side, and the rice puff absorb moisture, and finally some Cauliflower, Potato, Green chilli and raw banana pakodas, which tasted well with a yellow mint chutney (sounded very strange, but the lady insisted that it was indeed mint!)
  8. And dinner time. So after having so much food already from the street, we were absolutely confused as to what should we eat for dinner. ????‍♀️ But we couldn’t really waste the chance to try one last meal at Chennai, and ended up going to Bombay Brasserie. I read the reviews and they said that it’s North Indian food with a twist. We ordered less because of having only a little appetite, but nevertheless our choices turned out to be good. A regular Dal Tadka, Parda Paneer, ulte tawe ki roti, and khameeri roti. The only thing that I did not like was Khameeri Roti, which was sour as it was made with leavened wheat dough. Unless, you have a taste of that, I am very certain you will not like it. They also serve a nice tomato chutney on the side, which was worth giving a shot.

After visiting this place, I have realised that no place is bad, it’s just what we want to see. What most people try to do when they travel is that they want to get the same experience as they receive at home even at strange far away lands. Be open. Try. Travel. Live!

Poetry

It has been long

Since I uttered that tale.

My eyes are parched

As I know not how now his eyes shine

My ribs shrink with his thoughts

As I know not whether he has moved past

The thoughts of us.

There is a craving,

A deep longing,

To forget, forgive and sink,

In the love that is still alive,

Even after giving it

A grueling torture,

And waiting for its impending death.

But how do I tell

When I don’t have any words

That are yet unsaid.

Just counting on the depth

Of this endless silence.

~Namita Satija

Lifestyle

I think the last week was the beginning of the cynical swings in my life. I somehow don’t like to be cynical at all but some things happen and then you just can’t stop being cynical at all. Even if your people mean the best for you, you’d doubt them without a cause, or point out a possible cause which is most likely not true. I watched Forrest Gump yesterday and one of the most outstanding things I found in his life is that he has very limited words and expressions. If you think about it, the amount of guesswork we can all make about others is incredibly high. Some people were here from abroad recently, and I was thinking, why are they doing such a small talk! I went to get a hair spa and I was wondering whether they are using genuine products or not, so I asked them to get a sealed pack to check the authenticity. When people try to be sweet, I wonder whether they are actually sweet. These questions are not plain obvious, of course if that someone is trying to say sweet things, he could be having an ulterior motive, or the spa guy could be using fake products.

I wanted to find a remedy, so I called one of my close friends and told him to give me any thought to counter with cynicism when I came across. He laughed at me, so I again said, please anything that I should do when I am at my cynical worst. He waited and told me that I have an issue in thinking that all people are good, and that all people, if not good, can be dealt with good words and good deeds. He said that I need to exclude those people from the list of those people who matter to me, and then deal with right.

He was very correct in analyzing me that I often tend to assume the best in people, and want to overlook their bad points. But I still couldn’t buy being neutral. But in my attempt to deal with this, I got a half answer, worth trying maybe.

“STOP” “PAUSE”, are the words I’d like to recommend because they did work for me. Stop thinking and Pause. Try to stay in that state for as long as possible. Think that your mind should not react. If you smoke, try and smoke out the bad thoughts, and if you don’t smoke or don’t understand this term, exhale from your mouth!

Do this as often as you want, till the time you feel you are better.

But the most important thought you need to be lesser and lesser cynical everyday is that no matter how bad today looks like, you need to trust life and trust people because they are just like who you are. And then understand yourself so that you can understand them better.  The problem that I have with my cynicism is not that it’s a bad habit or that I am becoming negative, but the fact that I know I am on the verge of becoming a deal maker myself. More often than not, we see ourselves in other people. And I know the consequences of doubting life. It happens when you are not able to focus on what is truly important in your life, when you do not have a clear objective, and your mind has no prowess to do anything that is meaningful to itself. It happens because we have seen other people being deceitful, but when our state of mind is good enough, we will attribute their mindset to them. On the other hand when our minds are in a mess, we think the entire world is a copy of those who cheated us. Eventually, we lose the good people in our life as well as those who are kind, and people are the center of our lives. Money, clothes, houses, food, none of these things can give you the happiness that people can.

Reviews

Since I shared a post of Sadhguru a long time ago, one of my friends recommended me this book, and I managed to finish it today.

It is a small book, 160 pages to be exact. But I don’t think it is any less effective in what it tries to communicate.

So, as mentioned in the cover, it is a story of a boy Siddhartha who takes his journey to quench his thirst of knowledge, to be able to reach a point where there was nothing to learn, or rather reach the end of the journey.

So, as an additional fact, I like Robin Sharma and how he communicates various ideas especially when I am low on energy, but for me those kind of words that tell me what other people do that make them stand out, don’t stick to me for long.

This book is not at all preachy. In fact, the boy whose story is being narrated mocks the general ways in which people have been doing things, which makes you doubt the protagonist at times, and that is the point of the story.

It does not complicate things by getting into detail, else it would have been a 500 page book. But still the author has tried to not loose the essence.

The central theme is that of seeking, and if you have ever wondered about the below things, it would be worth your time:

a) If you have thought that running away was the answer to solve everything.

b) There is a a good world, and there is a bad world, in this one world that we live in.

c) You have to be detached to be happy.

d) Karma is everything. If one is performing his karma right, then there is nothing else to do.

e) You have been absolutely right, or absolutely wrong with your life. Even if you’re or have been depressed, this book will help you if you read it slowly and with an open mind.

f) Or a cocktail of the above thoughts.

If you haven’t had any of the above thoughts ever in your life, you can chuck the idea of reading this altogether. But I like it rather love to delve in such issues, and I liked the book very much. Because you see your own journey of life in Siddhartha, and although you do not get into any extremes, you can relive the extremes of your life with this book, and ultimately come to an end where you feel that it was all okay. Though, I felt the need for a little more detail and a few pages were blank in my book(this was very irritating!), whatever I read made me think. Maybe all this is just playing with your thoughts at the end of the day, but I guess I had fun.