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.

 

Reviews

Well, I am not sure how much I have been touched by TV Shows lately, but this intense legal drama seems to inspire me for something that I find missing in my everyday life.

Before I tell you with what is the one thing that shakes my spine when I watch that show, I’d like to apprise you of other things that I like about the show. Although the show is based on a law firm, all of them consider each other as their family members. That made me think, how many of us actually think that way about the people we work for. I know that all of them are partners, and the majority of us are working for someone, who too is working for someone else, but despite of that I am amazed by it. All of us give an adage that money is not everything when we are asked to stand on a stage and talk, but if we really believed in it, we wouldn’t mind treating our seniors as our mentors. I understand that sometimes are difficult to deal with, but more often than not, our outlook decides the role and functioning of the people we deal with.

So, the thing that I love the most is – Loyalty. If you ever happen to get a chance to see the show, look at it from this angle. Once any of the main characters takes a stance, he will stick to it. They have shown how people who are out of the family zone can also be loyal, and sometimes you expect loyalty from the wrong person. But loyalty is the one thing that the show has taught me. Even when their asses were on fire, they would be loyal. Even when breaching loyalty could have gotten them more money or more power, they decide to stick to the people whom they are loyal to. They are not easily baited, or rather baited at all! Don’t you think if this is something that we adopted, it could make our lives much more simple? I’ve always considered sleeping at peace as the highest ordeal, and I think this attribute would make your nights better.

What do you think? 🙂

Lifestyle

So recently I got a chance to meet this beautiful person on earth, Mr Hardy Sandhu. Okay, so he is just like a handsome young man, whose face shines brightly, confident and grounded.

I met him in an Uber Ride and he was there to promote his Crossblade event, but I managed to have a decent conversation with him.

So for those of you, who think he is just a singer, let me tell you, he was a cricketer for good 12 years of his life. 12 years, just ask yourself here, how many years have you been in your career? Can you still try to get your dream job? I I were you, I would have said Yes, but I’d urge you to read his story.

So 12 years, mornings, afternoons, evenings, playing cricket- batting, bowling, catches, fielding, warm up, and what not, he reached a decent level in the game. The next step would have seemed like playing for India, or practicing for that one big match with a tough team, but he met with an injury. The day that flushed his toil of 12 years and let it go down the drain. He went into depression, locked him in a door, and decided to give up in his life.

But after a month, he came out with a plan. Plan B- Singing. What!?

If I were his friend, I’d say he is unreasonable. Everyone likes to sing once in a while, but how can a cricketer choose to be a singer now! But he started learning music, and now has a big fan following.

I asked him, if he ever felt that he was too late to start, he said that time is just in the mind.

There’s nothing sweeter than the fruits of success, and I’d commend everyone who is still working, not seeing the light at the end of the tunned, including myself as a future reader, to not stop. Go on. There is light. And you will find it. 🙂

Poetry

Hello World.

Thank you for today. I don’t feel any of my days are anything less than a miracle, and today was so beautiful!

You know I feel being grateful really helps, so I first thanked for today just to keep universe on my side on days like these. ????

Story 1.

So I have an external event planned on Sunday for which I needed approvals from my company to conduct the event at office. We have generally been doing such events and been getting permissions, but this time there were so many roadblocks, and even on some midnights I used to feel anxious about getting the permissions.

I decided to go to the other office to convince our head to give us the approval. I just entered the office and what I see on my right is that man driving out of office! I was almost heartbroken ???? but as always, I tried to keep myself composed. I could not even call him to ask when he would be back because of his seniority. I slowly walked inside and then decided to wait outside his office. His PA wasn’t there either so I was clueless whether I could even get this done today. Nevertheless I waited outside and started doing my work. After about an hour long wait, he came back! I don’t think even if my man would have come in a shining armour at that time, I would have cared to even look at him. He asked me to wait. So I patiently stood outside and then called me after 15mins. He is such a sweet person, he understood my problem and finally gave me the solution that I was struggling with. The length of the event would be a little longer now but rest everything will work perfectly!

Story 2.

If you don’t know how much I love innocent stray dogs, then keep calm, because now you know it. Also I feel easily guilty if I cannot feed the ones that are struggling for food.

Recently, I found 4 puppies who live right on the side of a main road that attracts huge traffic, and is very close to my office. I was so touched. It is different in a locality, where people can feed those tiny puppies, but right on the side of a busy road puts their lives in a lot of jeopardy.

So, after office, I took some eggs and bread slices, and went to feed them, but couldn’t find them anywhere. And eggs smell, so my entire car was full of the smell of the eggs but I couldn’t feed them. I thought I’d probably feed the mother of 3 puppies in the temple that I visit, so I took the eggs to a temple. If you are a from the priest community in India, you’d understand that this counts as a huge irreverent act but I thought Godliness was more about feeding a mother than caring about whether counts as reverence. To my amazement, I could not find any dog on the road that led to the temple, and I was heartbroken. Then while I was in a temple, one of my dogfriend came, and I was ecstatic to see atleast one dog around! I tried to woo him by my words so that he’d come down to the car with me, to eat but he behaved as if I was a total stranger and could not be trusted! To win over his trust, I decided to go back to my car, get the eggs in the temple premises, bait the dog and finally feed him outside. But sometimes your strategies have absolutely no power! I went up, inside the temple with the eggs in my hand, searching for the dog, and he was gone! For 10minutes, I was in the premises of the temple whistling, calling, trying to spread the smell of the eggs in the temple (trust me it felt more ridiculous than it sounds!) but I couldn’t find him. I felt defeated, came back to my car, kept the eggs and the bread, and went up. Voila! The mother of the three puppies was standing right outside! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I asked her to come down with me and she came! Never did I feel more successful in a long time. She ate everything, I went back to the temple, and then came back in the car. The smell of the eggs was still there. But it was the smell of victory!

 

If there is any takeaway from that day, I’d say, things happen, just keep trying. If you are not getting what you want, keep walking if you are tired of running, but don’t stop. It’ll happen anyway. 🙂

Reviews

IMG_1085 IMG_1086

So today after all these days I finally got a chance to be at this place with a very special person. I think, a place has to do a lot with the person you go with along with the food. So I’ll tell you everything about my experience at their place, from food to conversations with my friend and also other people. I will not be just if I do not tell you what I loved about this place by just telling you about the food and ambience.

So, I’ll start with the food and the place so that those of you who just want to know about the food can get the relevant review and move on. For those who want to know about my experience of the place, read on. 🙂

Food I ordered:

Punjabi Paneer Pizza ????

This was supposed to be a healthy alternative to Pizza but I am not really sure if it was healthy. It had cheese ???? and paneer. Definitely not vegan, but yes it did feel lighter than the regular pizza and I don’t feel any uneasiness in my stomach that I generally have to address if mistakenly I eat something from Dominos or Pizza Hut. The sauce was very tangy and nice! I liked it overall.

Smoked Salmon Pizza ????

At this point you must be wondering how many pizzas two girls can eat! But yes, we eat! So this pizza had a nice sour cream, onions, red sauce but had more cheese than the paneer pizza. It was nice but I think I liked the veg pizza more because the flavours were more complimentary to each other.

Penne Mixed Sauce Pasta ????

This was as usual served with a piece of garlic bread ????. I think for the first time ever I really felt that I could eat pasta guilt free! So generally whenever I go close to Pasta, it has a lot of cream and cheese. Unlike the regular Pasta, their Pasta was full of flavour but the sauce was more water based than cream or cheese based, and thus felt great! If you are really going to this place with the intention to eat something healthy yet something that does not seem healthy, this is what you should order!

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate ???? ☕️

Okay, so if I have one obsession in sweet it is hot chocolate and I order hot chocolate wherever I go, but I don’t like it really sweet. Their hot chocolate was perfect! Neither too sweet nor too dark. It had a texture of chocolate which I really liked. I have never had such hot chocolate. People have recommended me hot chocolate with rum at Gusto but I think it’s too sweet even after adding the rum. This one however was perfect! Must try when you land here!

Ambience of the place:

There is something about the window side couch that I love. It makes you less confined to the place I believe. Also there were plants as the decoratives that I really loved! You know my love for green is endless. I can spend hours in gardens and nature, so this place made me feel more at home. Moreover I think, if the theme of the cafe is health, keeping plants inside is a really good idea. The counter was bright and lit well. Also there is an obsession of warm white light these days and personally I would be lying if I said that I don’t like them. But this cafe has tried to break the norm and has the regular white light, just like our tube lights at home, but mind you, it has done a great job even with the white light!

Cost: So we were gluttons who had a big meal, which costed us Rs. 2000, which included 2 pizzas, three hot chocolates and one Pasta. Yes, we had one and a half hot chocolate each, but you can easily manage under a 1000 for 2 people if you order a little like normal people.

My recommendation: I think you can go to this place when you are full of guilt of overeating but still want to satisfy yourself by choosing a healthy meal. Go and share what you had and how much you liked it.

Coming to the revelation part, which has made a deeper impact on me than the food. We talked about how we were broken, how we have healed, and also how life has just been fine despite of all the brokenness. She said, we must express ourselves to the ones we loved but I felt the more we talk, the more we exaggerate our problems.

Also, she shares a very touching story about her school life that has impacted me deeply. She went to KV during her schooling for some time after attending an affluent school. She studied with so many students coming from a much humble background, whereas she had seen affluent friends showing off their money. Once, she took Re. 1 from one of her friends to buy something from a local vendor, and the next day that girl came asking for her money. She was so moved by the gesture, and appreciated the value of money and simplicity of people. I was having goosebumps all throughout our conversations and I think my hair must have grown a centimetre because of those discussions!

And then there were little puppies just outside the restaurant trying to come inside but couldn’t so I asked waiter to get me something in chicken for those dogs. He told me that the quantity would be too less, so I should buy something from outside and feed. I agreed, but later had to run quickly because of calls from my family so I asked him if he could help me buy and feed something to those dogs. He seemed very touched by the gesture and agreed to do so. He was pretty kind and shared how he has seen poverty in Nepal, but how we, the coming generation can contribute little and eliminate it. I completely supported him. I think if I can spend 2K for one meal of mine, we can definitely eat a little less or also donate a little to people who are starving.

So, I had a wonderful evening all thanks to my dearest friend, Aja Fresh, their very humble staff and the universe!

I hope you too visit the place soon and share a similar vibe. Happy living. 🙂

Poetry

In my beautiful spring of 2016,

With the birds chirruping,

The flowers blooming,

And the lush green trees,

Making an extravagant sidewalk,

You first came like a fragrant breeze,

But then brought the forest fire

And took away,

Not just the fragrance,

But also my happy spring.

~Namita Satija

Poetry, Uncategorized

Today, again

I looked at his pictures

His smiling face

Yet again

After a few days

And a few months

As a few years pass by

Just to remember

How love tasted

The flaws in love

The lost dizzy evenings

The volcano of feelings

Which ousted with every word

You said to me

Good or bad

Dear or mundane

The song of your voice

And your humming that old song

And how I melted,

Erupted and evaporated

As I sat beside you.

Noticing every movement of your finger

And how it made patterns

On the Steering wheel

As if you hands shed love

As your eyes craved for my gaze

As I made them run

On far off lands

Just to see how far you’d come

To keep them with yourself.

And now, I am far

Very far away from you

But on some dry days

I still look at your pictures

I see you smile

Without me by your side

And that smile still triggers

A volcano in my tiny heart

Shattering some dreams

But leaving at least half of the frame

In which you rest

Your face over another shoulder

Soothing the spur of emotions

And leaving vicarious happiness

Because that’s what I learnt

When you left

To give and To smile

~Namita Satija