Thursday, 31 March 2016

Goa Diaries #2: Colva Beach

#Travel  #GoaDiaries

Sexy beaches is the first thing that comes to mind when we talk about Goa. And yes, Goa is indeed famous for Baga beach and Calangute beach but what most people miss is the beautiful Colva beach. If you have been there then you would know what I mean. You would fall in love with its white sand and clean water.

Goa is divided in 2: North Goa and South Goa.
Where North Goa is happening with all clubs and action, South Goa is more peaceful and serene. So the choice is yours where you want to be and it totally depends on type of vacation you want. You can decide accordingly.
As for us, we did both and it was cool.

Talking about beaches, given North Goa is commercialized, the beaches get exceptionally crowded and dirty. I am one of those people who like to visit less crowded and clean places, hence we chose Colva beach. And it was so beautiful.
Honestly, playing in the ocean on Colva beach reminded me of my experiences in South Africa. Yes, Durban and Cape Town have lovely, clean and beautiful beaches. For two days we stayed in South Goa and yes, there was nothing much to do in the night but still it was epic. Sometimes it is good to play and have fun throughout the day and then just spend the evening with your loved ones. 

The water activities on this beach are also awesome however it is a little expensive. Given it is only beach in South Goa, they charge monopoly prices. If you want water activities like Paragliding, Jet Ski etc. then go to Calangute. Similar experience at much cheaper rates.

All in all, it was an awesome relaxing fun experience and if you want to just chill out then Colva is the place to be. :)

Love and Cheers

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Goa Diaries #1: Traveling via Sleeper Coach Bus

#Travel  #GoaDiaries

Recently I went to Goa with my dear husband and it was an experience of a lifetime. All those people who have been to Goa will agree with my following sentiment - 'I went to Goa for first time ever and I am sad that I never been there in past 28 years'. [Ha! Ha!]


I want to share so much, about the experiences that I had there and I would like to start with the one I was most skeptical about. Believe me but in my entire life I have traveled via bus only like 4-5 times. When my husband informed me that no trains are available I was worried but many people including him assured me that it would be a fine experience and honestly it was.

Given it was like a twelve hours run from Mumbai to Goa, we took sleeper bus and it was way above my expectations. The moment I stepped in the bus it was like I have stepped in some other world. I had a weird peculiar image for the experience but I could not be more wrong. The bus was very clean and everything was in order. It was quiet and peaceful inside and I could not have asked for more.


If you have traveled via a sleeper bus before than you can relate to what I mean but below are the pros and cons of travelling via bus:

Pros:

  • It is very comfortable
  • Single beds for stags and doubles for couples or people travelling together
  • Curtains for privacy
  • Much better sleeping arrangements in comparison to train. My hubby is suffering from severe back issue for a week and I was exceptionally worried. But the moment I sat on bed my worries faded away
Cons:
  • Availability of washroom. If you have a weak bladder than you might want to skip on water as you can pee only when bus stops
  • Lot of noise and bumps on road. If you are a light sleeper than it can be very painful
Point to note: while booking try to book lower deck and seat closer to driver as it is very bumpy in the end of the bus.


I traveled in two buses in this trip and I admit Purple bus is fantastic. Superior quality stuff and sensible staff. Another I traveled was Siash and it was okay-okay. However but were comfortable.

I hope my post helps.

Love and Cheers.



Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Get to know Preethi Venugopala: Bestseller author at Amazon.com

#AuthorInterview

1. Hi Preethi, please tell us something about yourself.
Hello, Kritika. Thank you for inviting me to your blog. It is a pleasure to be here.
I am a Civil Engineer by education who stumbled onto writing by accident during a sabbatical from my day job. I’ve been writing ever since then. 
I’ve been part of four anthologies till now.  My debut Novel ‘Without You,’ released in June 2015, is receiving rave reviews till date. The eBook has become an Amazon Bestseller in its category.  I have two other eBooks on Kindle, a short story anthology, and a children’s book.

2. You are a blogger and an author, how do you manage both along with your home?
I am a lazy blogger. Most of my blog posts consist of free writing. I don’t promote my posts nor do I go blog hopping, which is mandatory when you are a blogger. My blog is my place to vent and my workbook where I scribble random pieces of fiction or poetry. Interviews with established and newbie authors are something else that I do on my blog. I do that earnestly as I learn a lot from those interviews and get inspired.

As an author, I work with passion. I dedicate myself to learning the craft as well as writing. If I am not writing, I will be learning about writing techniques or reading books by authors I love. I make sure I read or write every day.

3. What do you like more – being a blogger or an author?
I definitely like being an author more. Blogging is my hobby. I can create a blog post with a picture or even a piece of art.  But writing stories is my passion and requires time and energy. To write a 60,000 plus words novel is dedicated work. I enjoy accomplishing that goal.

4. You have 3 books under your name. Which one is your favourite?
I like all three of my books. But, my debut novel ‘Without You’ is a little closer to my heart. Hours
and hours of writing went into it. I almost lived the life of my characters during its creation.

5. What kind of books do you read? Any favourite authors/books?
I used to be a casual reader. I read anything and everything. It just had to be a book. Nowadays I am a bit choosy. I like more of literary reads, romances and self-help. No thrillers or murder mysteries for me.
My favourite authors keep changing. My current favourites are Anita Nair, Chitra Divakaruni, and JoJo Moyes.

6. What is your inspiration for writing your stories?
I have a belief that each story comes to a writer when the time is ripe. Sometimes a particular incident can trigger a story idea. Sometimes an experience narrated by a friend might haunt me. The story idea for ‘Without You’ came from a dream. So inspiration to me is always random and unpredictable in origin.

7. What are the key challenges that you face while you write? 
Time and energy. Being a mother to a seven-year-old is demanding in its own way. I love being a mom and indulge all his idiosyncrasies. Hence, I don’t get enough time to dedicate towards writing. When I get time, I might not have any energy left in me to type or even scribble in a notebook. All I wish then would be to crash onto a bed and sleep. Sigh!

8. Are there any words of wisdom that you would like to share with new authors?
I will share a quote that has always inspired me.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

9. Any other projects you are working on? If yes, what are they?
I am part of a ‘Humour anthology’ being edited by Shinie Antony, one of the pillars behind the Bangalore Literature Festival, a gifted writer, and editor. I have completed the second draft of my second novel. Further editing is being done.

10. Lastly, if you have to describe your book in few lines, how will you do it?
‘Without You’ is the tale of a young girl who falls into a whirlpool of love and betrayal. It talks about her struggles with depression and how life throws a second chance at her, making her life bloom again.


Get to know Preethi on:

Blog:  TulipsAndMe 




You can also order her books on:




Love and Cheers.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Happy Holi - Sweet Memories :)

#KhulKeKheloHoli  #ShortStories

Indian Bloggers Holi, the festival of colors and by far my favorite holiday. I like Diwali too, we get to wear new clothes and decorate the house on Diwali but I am against crackers, I don't like the noise and smoke. However Holi is completely different. It is beautiful, peaceful and one day to be yourself with the people you love.

Unfortunately, now we don't get the chance to play Holi like we played before, you see we all are grown ups and all the cousins and friends are scattered. Most of my friends are allergic to colors so the fun has gone, however, when I close my eyes and think about this festival I remember my childhood days.

I don't remember exactly how old I was back then but there is one year which I relive each time. Back then we lived in one big house with seven families in it. Our home had five kids (four girls and one boy) around ten years old (including myself) and six teenagers. As you can imagine, when one house has so many kids what would happen on Holi. My aunt, badi taiji, had warned us all for weeks to play outside as every year we spray color all over walls and ruin them. Yes, we were very scared of her but we didn't pay any heed to her warnings, well you know - bura na mano Holi hai. 

Our plans always pre-dated its date. My mother massaged our hairs for a week with coconut oil to save them from damage and made us apply mustard oil each day so that it is able to protect our skin on the D-day. Also, you see Holi always fell around our exams and our parents were exceptionally cautious for us to play with water. They didn't want us to fall sick but we always successfully sneaked out and get all wet. Well, once you are wet thoroughly, no one can stop you. So we did the same that year. We all woke up early and began our day filling water balloons. Now I think about it, it is not very polite to throw water-balloons - especially filled with hard color water but try it to explain to a ten year old. We filled all the buckets with colored water and planted them around the house to throw it on everyone who comes in today. We were all ready but our taiji caught us. She threw us out of the house but we had our fun. We played for hours and enjoyed. Tore each other's clothes and played in mud. It was epic. However when we came in all colored she hit my cousin brother. Yes, sometimes she just lost it. You ruined the floors, she yelled.

All fun lost we went to our rooms crying. However my brother, who was naughtiest and seriously
pissed for being hit decided to take revenge. He came up with a conspiracy. See we had two water tanks in our house, one on roof which was connected to all bathrooms and second underground which was used in case of emergencies. My naughty brother pulled out the trick we were planning (but never executing) for two-three years now. He gathered all the packets of hard colors from us and poured them in the main tank right before our taiji was about to take a shower. She doesn't play Holi, it ruins her skin. When she started her shower, water was all clean but during her bathe it turned colorful and she came out yelling and screaming and in all shades of pink, blue and black.

No, that's not us!
Well, we could not have laughed harder that day or beaten up as well. But it was totally worth it. Every time since then we think about Holi we only remember her colored face and every time we are not able to contain our laughter. Yes, we were very naughty. It took our family more than  a week to get the tank cleaned up, they put us to the task and we had a blast doing so.

Yeah, now when I think about it, we never celebrate Holi like we before. I wish I could be back in my childhood and spend one more Holi with all my cousins. Dance with them on all epic songs and eat my mother's famous Holi special samosas again. Sigh! 

Hope you have fun with Holi and are blessed with loving moments.

"I’m pledging to #KhulKeKheloHoli this year by sharing my Holi memories at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed.”



Love and Cheers

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

London has Fallen: Yes a One-Man Show but apparently it is Good.

#LondonHasFallen  #MovieReviews

The movie is the sequel of 'Olympus has fallen' movie. Where it's prequel didn't do much good, I found Olympus has fallen an average movie, I actually liked 'London has fallen' a lot more. I watched the movie for Gerard Butler and it was totally worth it.

Yes, the movie is a one-man show. It is unrealistic and ridiculous at so many places, i.e. where the entire London force has fallen and a man is able to kill everyone, but it has its own charm. When I was watching the movie I was only into the moment. It is a fast-paced movie where you see action, drama and thriller. Many people are criticizing it and rating it low for same reason, but what I fail to understand is that how is it different to James Bond movie or MI series? There too it is a one-man show and personally, I love them too :)
However what I find hilarious is that, where so many world leaders have fallen, in the end it is all about American President in London. Well, it is Hollywood movie so I guess that is justified.

Also I read that many people are saying that it is racist. I and a lot of people who watched it didn't think so. There is terrorism in certain parts of the world and that is used as a plot. I don't know if there are any hidden political agendas but to me it is as simple as any other action movie.

In terms of casting, there are two important characters: Gerard Butler as Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent and Special Agent in charge of the Presidential Protection Division and Aaron Eckhart as Benjamin Asher, the President of the United States. They both have a done wonderful job. The acting is good and dialogue delivery is perfect. Rest all are support characters who fill in various blanks and they did a nice job too.


Overall I liked the  movie. If you are looking for an action packed drama with a good plot, then I am not sure what else you are looking for. 

Hope my review helps. Do share your views if you feel otherwise.

Love and Cheers


Friday, 11 March 2016

Please Take Care...!

#RandomThoughts


Hi Friends...

It is not a regular post but a post where I just want to say - 'Please take care'

Very recently I lost a very dear friend in a terrible car accident and it reminded me of fact how precious life is. There are so many times where we drive rashly just for adrenaline or fear of delay. We forget the saying - 'better safe than sorry'
Indian Bloggers


So, I just want to say, it is okay to be couple of minutes late then to not reach at all.

You are very precious, please be safe and drive carefully.


Love and Cheers


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Laundry: Why a women's chore?

#ShortStories  Ariel #ShareTheLoad

When I saw this video and this campaign I realised how lucky I am. Yes, it is so true that more than 90% people believe that laundry is women's chore. Not just men, but also our mothers', mother-in-laws and whole society believes that. But that is not the case in my lucky home.

I used to do my laundry before marriage but I have seen something very different growing up. Both my parents are doctors and we only had maid for cleaning i.e. jhadu pocha. My mom, despite her 12 hours job, always took care of us and our home. She cooked for us, helped us with our homework and always looked out for us. Seeing how busy my mom is, and how much she struggles especially in the morning, my dad helped her with laundry. Yes, it is not a big chore but having semi-automatic washing machine, it is a task. He helped her all the time.

So, yes, I grew up seeing my mother struggle and seeing that wherever my dad could help, he did. I expected the same from my husband, small help here and there and luckily I got it.

The house he grew up, everything was done by his mom. Starting from morning tea until late night kitchen cleaning. His father, well I cant comment much as I was not there, was busy with his own work. So yes, my husband grew up in a very different home economics. 

When we got married and I started my journey as a wife it was rather difficult for me. But eventually he understood the amount of work I was doing at home along with office. Also, once visiting my parents when he saw my dad help out my mom, a revelation struck him. When we came back he started helping me. He started with all the things my dad does for my mom, i.e. morning tea and laundry. And I was speechless. Not to mention, his parents were not very keen with this development at first, but they have learnt to live with it. [Ha! Ha!]

I thank my dad for bringing this change in my home. I now know how much he does for my mother just by doing these small things. It is a blessing to have such partner and all women should cherish.

I love my father, I love my husband and I hope all women should also have partners like these. Who help you in small things here and there, because although standalone they don't look so big, but in conjunction with other tasks, they can be as big as Mount Everest.

Kudos to Ariel for starting up this campaign.

I am joining the Ariel #ShareTheLoad campaign at BlogAdda and blogging about the prejudice related to household chores being passed on to the next generation


Love and Cheers,


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