Things Bong Parents Say

Globe-Slother

  1. Thanda lege jabe – To the naked or even the many spectacled eye of the Bong parents, you never have enough layers of woollens on. They will not let you out without the muffler or its twin, the monkey cap even in sweltering Kolkata
  2.  Oparaye jas na – If you grew up in a true-blooded Bong household, you were always warned about opara, anything outside 3.14 metres from your house. That is the place infested by dusthu lok. Remember what happened to Mukul
  3. Oma! Ki roga hoye gachis – Everytime you returned after an overnight stay at a friend’s place. And then baba is dutifully dispatched to buy half of the world’s food for you. While mom fusses over how you lost appetite in 8 hours of staying away from home
  4. Amar chele toh kichui khaye na – Who did George Bush blame again for world hunger? He should have…

View original post 595 more words

Kashmiri Houseboats

Unlike their counterparts in Kerala, the houseboats in SrinagarJammu & Kashmir are usually stationary. They are usually moored at the edges of the Dal Lake and Nageen lakes. Some of the houseboats there were built in the early 1900s, and are still being rented out to tourists. These houseboats are made of wood, and usually have intricately carved wood paneling. The houseboats are of different sizes, some having up to three bedrooms apart from a living room and kitchen.

Many tourists are attracted to Srinagar by the charm of staying on a houseboat, which provides the unique experience of living on the water in a cedar-paneled elegant bedroom, with all the conveniences of a luxury hotel. Srinagar’s thousand or so houseboats are moored along sections of the Dal and Nagin Lakes and theJhelum River, each decorated fancifully and named romantically and even whimsically. Like hotels, houseboats vary in degree of luxury and have been accordingly graded by the Department of Tourism. A luxury houseboat, like a luxury hotel has fine furniture, good carpets and modern bathroom fittings, while the ‘D category’ (the lowest category) of houseboats, like low-budget hotels, is spartanly furnished. Like hotels too, houseboats vary widely in their locations. Some overlook the main road, others look out onto lotus gardens and yet others face tiny local markets and villages, which are also floating on the lake. All houseboats, regardless of category, have highly personalized service. Not only is there always a “houseboy” for every boat, but the owner and his family are often close by. The cost per day of hiring a houseboat includes all meals and free rides from the houseboat to the nearest jetty and back, as no houseboat on the lakes is directly accessible from the banks.

Every standard houseboat provides a balcony in the front, a lounge, dining room, pantry and 3 or more bedrooms with attached bathrooms. All houseboats not moored to the bank of the river or lakes provide a shikara as a free service from the houseboat to the nearest Ghat (jetty). Virtually every houseboat in Srinagar has been provided with a municipal water connection.

Bangalore

Bangalore (or Bengaluru About this sound [‘beŋgəɭuːɾu] (help·info)) is the capital city of the Indian state of Karnataka. Located on the Deccan Plateau in the south-eastern part of Karnataka, Bangalore is India’s third most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration. Bangalore is well known as the hub of India’s information technology sector. The city is amongst the top 10 preferred entrepreneurial locations in the world.[5] As a growing metropolitan city in a developing country, Bangalore confronts substantial pollution and other logistical and socio-economic problems.[6][7]

A succession of South Indian dynasties ruled the region of Bangalore until in 1537 CE, Kempé Gowdā — a feudatory ruler under the Vijayanagara Empire — established a mud fort considered to be the foundation of modern Bangalore. Following transitory occupation by the Marāthās and Mughals, the city remained under the Mysore kingdom, which is now a part of the Indian state of Karnataka. Bangalore continued to be a cantonment of the British and a major city of the Princely State of Mysore which existed as a nominally sovereign entity of the British Raj. Following the independence of India in 1947, Bangalore became the capital of Mysore state, and remained capital when the new Indian state of Karnataka was formed in 1956. With a Gross domestic product of US$83 billion, Bangalore is listed 4th among the top 15 cities contributing to India‘s overall GDP.[8]

The photo was taken by me at UB City, the biggest commercial property project in BangaloreIndia. Pioneered by the chairman of UB Group, Dr.Vijay Mallya, in Joint Venture with Prestige Group,[1] it is built on 13 acres (53,000 m2) of land and hosts 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2) of high-end commercial, retail and service apartment space.[2] UB City has four towers namely, UB Tower (19 Floors), Comet (11 Floors), Canberra (17 Floors) and Concorde (19 Floors). the subject is the fountain in front of the mall.

Pondicherry

Pondicherry (/pɒndɨˈɛri/ (Tamil: பாண்டிச்சேரி) or /pɒndɨˈʃɛri/) or Puducherry (Tamil: புதுச்சேரி) is a city, an urban agglomeration and a municipality in Pondicherry district in theIndian union territory of Puducherry. It is affectionately known as Pondy, and has been officially known by the alternative name Puducherry since 2006.

Pondicherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city has many beautiful colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambiance. Pondicherry is also a popular weekend destination. It is a blend of spiritual aura, French colonial heritage, Tamil culture, virgin beaches and the cosmopolitan flair of many nationalities in a small but varied city.

The most popular tourist destinations are the four beaches in Pondicherry, which are Promenade Beach, Paradise Beach, The Auroville Beach and Serenity Beach. Sri Aurobindo Ashram, located on rue de la Marine, is one of the most well known and wealthiest ashrams in India. Auroville (City of Dawn) is an “experimental” township located 8 km north-west of Pondicherry. It is meant to be a universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities.

The photo above was taken at, what I feel, is the best restaurant in Pondy; The Rendezvous. You must try it around lunch time when they get the fresh catch from the sea.

Kashmir

The Mughal Emperor Jehangeer is said to have once written about Kashmir: Agar firdaus bar rue zamin ast hamin asto, hamin asto, hamin ast! (“If there be paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!”). He was writing about Kashmir, a land divided between the northern half of the northern-most state of IndiaJammu and Kashmir and the district of Kashmir in Pakistan. Torn by war, terrorism and violence since 1948, this beautiful valley has long been considered a dangerous place to go to, but tourism is slowly coming back to the valley as militancy, which began in the early 90s (as a means of protest against what some describe as forceful Indian occupation) has come down. The most famous places to visit in Kashmir are SrinagarPahalgam and Gulmarg. Other places include Sonamarg and Verinag. There are various trekking routes available across whole of Kashmir. Adventure sports in the form of water rafting and paragliding, among others, are available at various tourist locations. The Royal Springs’ Golf course in the heart of Srinagar on the shores of the world famous Dal Lake is one of the most beautiful golf courses around. There is a small 18-hole golf course in Gulmarg.