Category Archives: West

A trip down the memory lanes of Rajasthan

The land of the Kings! Certainly an enchanting aura that it carries, Rajasthan has always titillated my soul and senses and the one time I have been to this place, very early in my life as a travel blogger or as a wanderer, I’ve enjoyed the range of diversities and ethnicity of culture, craziness and beauty of the deserts and landscapes that take your breath away.

Throughout my week long escapade in the beautiful state of Rajasthan, I admired it not just for its true heritage and flamboyant art encompassed among the roots of its people, palaces and food, but also for the feeling it gave me of a rustic but divine revelation of sorts. Every different city that I explored had a native yet interesting niche that made it a tad different from every other city within the state. The museums, the forts and the cultural expose that I saw, made me believe in a grand heritage that actually told a lot of stories.

Be it the journey from Udaipur to Ajmer in a rugged jeep with locals staring at you with their sense of warmth and helping other locals out like the story of Bindaas Baaji, or be it the long stretches of just nothing but marble quarries on the road the roads told a story that no other could. Even the mile markers had their fascinating bits to add to the spice of the journey. Be it exploring the different admirable aspects of Jain architecture in Jaisalmer Fort or enjoying a chilled beer in the desert after a camel ride there was a stark contrast to every little thing we did in our travels across the state of Rajasthan. The amazing food we ate every evening at a different place, the warm milk and hot jalebis in a chilling weather in Japiur or the Rajasthani thali we hogged in Udaipur or the Parathas we ate outside Udaipur Palace, every memory is still etched in my mind till date. The ride to Pushkar encompassing the mountainous travails still remind me of the ride in the local bus. The beautiful sight of vintage cars in the Mueseum in Udaipur and how can I forget the huge and beautiful architecture of the Hawa Mahal! Not to mention the impulse that we carried at every step of the way, so much so that we managed to ditch a bus to Jaislmer and take a detour towards Ajmer, or extend the trip into Agra and back, every little incident was trivial and at the same time memorable till date.

Baaji

Baaji

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Into the Jaisalmer Desert

Into the Jaisalmer Desert

Vintage Car Mueseum: Udaipur

Vintage Car Mueseum: Udaipur

This probably carries a lot of significance in terms of the way I decided to travel across the country, the rugged trip across 7 cities in 6 days, the camel rides, the cycle rickshaws, the autos the desert the sleeping at night in buses and exploring cities during the day probably added to the beauty of the journey across Rajasthan. The almost getting beaten up in a fight that was not ours to get into, the almost getting ripped off by an auto driver, the street food and the drinking of beer in every city kind of made the journey as rugged as possible. This trip had an essence to itself, which denotes a lot of the style of travel I’ve adopted over a period of time. A style that gives me a reproach in terms of the freedom I need to feel when I wake up in a different city across the country, probably telling me that my wandering feet are free to choose their calling and all they need is a fresh smell of the road and the path that is available for the taking. Something that told me right at the beginning of my journey across various destinations that I was yet to take… Rajasthan will most certainly be one of those destinations and most certainly on my list to go to once every while…

Rural & Real – Rajasthan at it’s best

Sometimes life has a way of letting you explore some of the best paths in a funniest way possible.

You tend to explore some beautiful rustic paths when you hadn’t even imagined you’d end up doing so. Meandering across the paths of life, some taking you far, some taking you close. Close to your destiny.

I always imagine someday, something’s going to give and I’d be happily dreaming in the mountains, farms and a beautiful life full of enchantments that a traveler, a semi-hippie like me would love to die for!

That’s exactly what my experience with Rural Odyssey was a couple of weeks ago. Some traversing through the wildlife, some experiencing local food, climbing hilltops, and of course a little bit of magic of the forts of Rajasthan! Beauty at it’s best I must say…

We had a really amazing cultural experience in a small village a little away from Jodhpur. A Marwari home, some really down to earth people and boy, should I say some really amazing food! Not to mention an evening musical delight of Rajasthani folk songs, sung by a maestro, a local but internationally acclaimed musician, a certain Sagun Ram!

Add to that was a short visit to Bishnoi village to know an interesting community that laid their lives to protect trees and what principles Bishnoi follow. And of course what better way to experience the wildlife than to get a glimpse of the rich wildlife hidden in desert where we saw a black buck!

Was certainly a good unwind for a long weekend, and most importantly a great start to the new year, with many more trips to come soon hopefully!

Some glimpses of our experience in a short photo essay below!

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Smoking Pure Tobacco like a Bishnoi in a Chillum (Smoking Pipe)

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Camels grazing on cacti in the wild

black-buck

The infamous Black Buck, in the wild forests of Bishnoi

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City Dwellers experiencing folk music, dressed like locals! Not the old guy 😉

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Shadows of Music!

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Beauty of Sunset on a hilltop nearby!

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Squirrels Inside Fort Mehrangarh – Goddess Temple

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Fort Mehrangarh as seen from the Fateh Pol view

 

#DiscoveringMurud the @GSBeachResort way…

“Great travel experiences are the ones which you remember because of the people you met, the things you saw and the food you ate!”

In this case, I had each and every bit of it, considering the amazing time and place that I chose to visit. About a month ago, when the weather was certainly at its pleasant best in Mumbai, Feet On the Map and I decided to take up the Golden Swan Beach Resort, Murud on their offer to host a few travel bloggers at their amazing Beach Resort with a fantastic view over a weekend.

My tryst with the beautiful location, Murud has been continuing over 10 years. Even before I started travel blogging, I’ve had a penchant for this amazing beach location and have taken bike rides over many weekends to this place. Most of the times, with friends, a couple of times alone and on other occasions with family. I’ve written about this place from my last trip about a year or so ago when we visited Murud in the scorching heat of May. But this time around, it was quite a different experience considering that we were going there in January and the weather was going to be really beautiful and the experience more luxurious, thanks to Golden Swan Beach Resort’s Beach facing Villa! That’s where we were hosted. And this time around, the trip was a little more than just the beach, or the Murud Janjira fort. It was also an opportunity where we were literally #DiscoveringMurud from a different lens!

While, the place, the people, the location in itself wasn’t something new, the interesting activities we did, thanks to the amazing staff at the resort, I found out some really enchanting travel tales to talk about on this visit of ours. Here are some of the things, that I’d recommend for you to try out, especially if you are here at their resort.

Tantalize your Malvani Tastebuds

While Murud may not be the closest destination for people from Mumbai, Pune when it comes to the Maharashtrian, coastal or Malvani cuisine, it certainly has a penchant for being one of the tastiest around this trail. We had an opportunity to try out a live kitchen on the beach and do some really interesting food tasting session where the head chef, who made a variety of dishes to soak in the Malvani taste on to our tongues and get a real-time understanding of the various spices, the preparations and the pre-preparations that the cuisine requires. With the breezy evening wind blowing from the coast and the amazing view at our behest, we literally felt like we were at an exotic destination beach resort with the best food in our plates!

Golden Swan Resort, Murud, KAshid, Beach, Alibag, Murud Janjira

A dash of Malvani Spices

Golden Swan Resort, Murud, KAshid, Beach, Alibag, Murud Janjira

Malvani Fish Fry, Golden Swan Style!

Golden Swan Resort, Murud, KAshid, Beach, Alibag, Murud Janjira

The Chef dishing out a Potato Fry, Malvani way!

Malvani Bhindi Fry and Potatoe Vegetable

A Vegetarian’s Delight

Villa View by the Beach

Another interesting thing I recommend if you’re planning to come here, is to ask for the Villas, especially number 3, and number 4 as they’re beach facing and secluded so if you come as a group of 4 to 6 or a family, you can always camp there with a yard to yourself and recliners with a view that is mesmerizing to your eyes. And if you do decide to head to the beach, it’s just a 5 minute walk and in the night, you can hear the waves clashing as the sea hums it’s way into your mind and your thoughts.

Golden Swan Resort Villa

The Villas by the Beach!

 

Beach View from the Villa of Golden Swan Resort

Beach View from the Villa!

Recliners beside the resort for the best view to the beach

Recliners beside the resort for the best view to the beach

 A view of Murud from the Hill top

One of the things I mostly do during my travels is find a hill view spot to get  a perspective of the city or the destinations that I visit. Mostly a huge encompassing view of the destination gives you a bird eye’s view of the heritage, the enchanting serenity that the place brings to your travel experience. If you can do that at Sunset, even better! One such opportunity for you is to go to the hill top near the Maruti temple in Murud. You can ask the locals, the route to that place or you can also take one of the staff from the resort. They’d be happy to oblige I’m sure. One of the best views, of Murud, can be seen from here, including a breathtaking view of the lesser known, abandoned, Padmadurg fort, also known as Kasa fort, built by the great Maratha ruler King Shivaji to the northwest of the fort Janjira.

Sunset from the Murud Hill top

Sunset from the Murud Hill top

Murud Janjira, Golden Swan, Hill Top, Murud

Beautiful View of Murud at Sunset

Maruti Temple atop the Hill

Maruti Temple atop the Hill

Friday Prayer Place

A 40 year old structure constructed as a spot for Friday Namaz offerings

 

Mingling with the folks on the way to Janjira

While the relaxation around the beach and the Malvani cuisine added the flair to our visit, nothing could be an icing on the cake than a visit to the Historic Murud Janjira Fort. Thanks to the team at Golden Swan Beach resort, for the first time, I got a little more perspective from our visit, as they arranged for a local guide to share the chronicles of the ancient and the unconquered fort of Murud Janjira. And of course, your visit to this place is enchanting in itself, when you go on to a small sailboat along with a bunch of other locals, talk to them, get sights of interesting things, people and a lot more especially when you are glaring upon the magnificent ruins of the fort while you slowly arrive at the fort in your sail boat.

Local Fisherwomen selling dried fish

Local Fisherwomen selling dried fish

Sail Boat to Janjira Fort

Sail Boat to Janjira Fort

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A grand view of the fort as you approach it in your boat

 

 

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A view of the sail boats from inside the fort!

The Cannons of Janjira Fort

The Cannons of Janjira Fort

Bonfire by the beach over dinner

This I must say was one of the most memorable moments of our trip. A breezy evening, overhearing the waves of the sea, and a few travel enthusiasts sharing our travel experiences and engaging in really meaningful conversations about travel. Most certainly it was a great time for us to know a little more about ourselves and sharing interesting anecdotes from our travel travails. If you really want to unwind over food and conversations, then this is certainly a meaningful way to do this and one of the best experiences from this trip.

Bonfire by the beach over dinner
All in all, this place certainly has to be on your list especially if you want to spend that weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Mumbai. And in fact, rather than driving down here, an interesting option for you would be to take a ferry from Gateway of India, early in the morning and soak in the sea alongside the flying birds to accompany you on the hour long journey! Do let me know if you’ve visited this place and what your experience was like!

Gateway of India

View at Gateway

Birds accompanying you on the ferry1

P.S: This was a complementary trip, thanks to the Hospitality of the Golden Swan Beach Resort, Murud and was certainly a great experience for both me and my travel partner Feet on the Map, who took most of the lovely photos you see on this blog. Also a mention to the two amazing travel bloggers we met on this trip. Was lovely meeting and interacting with you Renuka and Harsh! You can read their blogs at here: Voyager for Life  | Travel Byts

Golven – White Sands of Vengurla

One of the best things about traveling to a beach, even though I’m not so much a beach person is to absolve myself of all worldly existence and let the waves reach out to my ears and see the horizon across the ocean to drive a beautiful point home.

Sunset at Vengurla

Other than that of course is the Sand, Solitude and most importantly the Serenity! That is something I must say was a plentiful when we had an opportunity last weekend, a long one I must say to head out to the pristine, clean and virgin beach of Vengurla! Usually, beaches for people in Mumbai mixed with a long weekend always amounts to a trip to Goa and back. Having been there umpteen number of times, this time around we decided to take a short detour, though not that far away from Goa, yet seculded enough to give us our very own version of a ‘Private Beach’ destination at Golven Beach Resort.

Golven Resort

Beautiful AC Cottages, with great design at Golven Resort

Golven – Solituded De Strand  is aptly named, with all the solitude you can get especially if you are the kind who likes the view of the beach more than actually passing out on the beach, the sound of the waves more than the whiplash of the stirring ocean. Golven in French means ‘White Sand’, White Sand indeed and How! The sand is truly grained, white and a blessing for your feet when you lay your feet down and sink in the surreal view and the magnificence of the simplicity this place offers you.

White Sand Footsteps

White Sands of Vengurla

One of the best things about this place, besides the quiet and serene nature of the surrounding has to be it’s comfortable and cozy cottages laid meticulously across the landscape so as to provide each and every one of them a really good view to the beach. Other than that of course is what one needs the most. The comfort of a nice bed, clean and minimal interiors and a great balcony to sit, ponder, think and get back to your soul, especially when time is aplenty.

Beach View

A great blend of good architecture, by an architect from Pondicherry, as I’m told by Mrs. Pandit, the caretaker and owner’s mother shows a contemporary belief in minimal, modern and blend of both good rustic cottage like ambience, coupled with great glass and steel decor with lamp shades, AC and a remote controlled Fan. I must say we were quite impressed especially when we went in first. Not to mention the local ‘Kokam Sharbat’ for a welcome drink. Yep, Konkan has it’s specialties and Golven Resort too. First impressions, were most suitably the best impressions.

Mrs. Pandit, Golven Resort Owner's Mother

Mrs. Pandit, Golven Resort Owner’s Mother

Interior

Kokam

Besides the beautiful ambience, the nicely cleared pathways, a garden with beautiful flowers and of course hammocks and bean bags staring into the ocean, you realize that you’ve come home to your vacation. Post freshening up, we decided to head to lunch. And might I add, no Konkan lunch is complete, unless you have the most infamous Kokam Kadi.

Malvani Food

Kokam Kadi is to die for…

If you are the romantic type and want to have a dinner date in the evening, the ambiance picks up really well and gets you in the mood for the perfect dinner!

Ambient Lighting after Sunset at the Restaurant

Ambient Lighting after Sunset at the Restaurant

Other than lazying around and vacationing in style, there are a few things you can do to feel relaxed especially when the sun is down. Taking scooty ride across to a nearby village and find some still water to Kayak towards the ocean was a beautiful experience. The ride to this place was full of greenery and it also rained a bit, something that added to the magic of the weekend trip.

Greenery

Beautiful Lush greenery surrounded with tall trees!

Boat

View en route the Lake to go Kayaking!

And of course another interesting thing to do, especially if you want to take a hike is to go to the Lighthouse nearby. Walking about 300 steps amidst a few Mimosa Pudica (Touch Me Not) leaves and some really beautiful plantations to come across to a magical view of the expansive ocean, the Vengurla beach and the breezy feel of nothing but some really encapsulating touch to the whole experience.

Trek to Lighthouse

View from Lighthouse

Special Note: Our trip to Vengurla was possible thanks to the invitation and hospitality extended byGolven Beach Resort.  Situated bang in the center of Bagayati or Vengurla beach, Golven Beach Resorts offer 10 self-contained AC cottages with an open-deck restaurant open air conference hall and provision for beach camping since December 2013. Owing its roots to the French, the resort is named as  a tribute to the white sand beaches in the area. Our accommodation and  food was sponsored by them on this trip. A special mention of their lovely staff for extending their warm hospitality to us. 

The Golven Team

The Golven Team

A grand @WelcomHeritage experience at Pench

With so many long weekends in October, it’s certainly a great opportunity to buckle up, strap your backpack on and go travel! And if you are living in the vicinity of Mumba, Pune or Nagpur, then I certainly have one of the most amazing places to recommend. If nature and quiet escape over a refreshing visit to the woods is your perfect idea of a long weekend, then you’re certainly in for a treat with this post of mine.

Jungle Home

I had the opportunity to visit WelcomHeritage‘s Jungle Home in Pench, Nagpur some time back. Considering this is a long weekend and the Pench Tiger Reserve will open up, there’s a great chance for you to visit the beautiful place to not only enjoy the beauty of nature, but also surround yourself with some of the most amazing experiences, views and a few activities that completely define the heritage of the beautiful wilderness across the jungle.

Entrance to Jungle Home

Situated across the border of Madhya Pradhesh and Nagpur on the banks of Pench River, this tiger reserve and national park is gloriously famous for it being the original setting of Rudyard Kipling’s most famous work, The Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book and its character Mowgli is based on Pench National Park. While many naturalists and wildlife lovers would like to visit this place for it’s natural beauty, our trip at the Welcom Heritage Jungle Home gave us an opportunity to experience a lot more than just the trip across wilderness.

The almost magical feeling of leaving behind the hustle and bustle and driving into the woods of solitude gives you an enchanting experience of what was to come. With a magical sight of the beautifully rustic and amazingly comfortable feeling of being in a Jungle Home as soon as you reach WelcomHeritage made us realize that we were in for a treat.

The quacking ducks in the yard, ambiance of the cottage like room, comfort and luxury of a great accommodation, the balcony view surrounded by plantations, a great swimming pool view and of course the friendly staff and really delicious food set the precedent for a great long weekend stay to come. We reached the place around noon and after a few hours of rest we were all geared up to start sinking in the feeling of being actually away yet, being connected with ourselves.

Ducks, Pench WelcomHeritage

The quacking ducks going on about themselves in the yard…

Vintage

A Vintage Car at the entrance of the Hotel.

WelcomHeritage Pench

The rustic Statues welcome you as soon as you enter the hotel lobby

Corridor

While we waited for our rooms to get arranged, we took a look at a few magazines giving us a sneak peek at what we could expect here.

Swimming Pool

A beautiful pool view as soon as you leave the lobby to head to your room

Hotel Doorway

The ambiance set, just right to start off this experience…

Comfort in the Jungle

Best thing after a long drive to lay down and get absolutely ready for the long weekend ahead.

Chairs

A balcony view accompanied by a hot cup of tea or coffee should be a perfect idea if you want some fresh air.

Lunch

A sumptuous Lunch at Panache Restaurant within WelcomHeritage

Terrace Food

Terrace Restaurant surrounded by some amazing view, makes for the best place to enjoy delicious food.

After settling down and relaxing for a few hours, one of the first things that we did was a visit to a Pottery Farm near Khawasa village. Driving up there in a open Gypsy meandering across the highway into a village was quite surreal.

Gypsy

The WelcomHeritage in house Gypsy

Gypsy Hood

We’re all set to head toward Khawasa Village

Tree

Away from the comforts of our luxury, the rustic views, cloudy skies and rooftops await us for a magical spectacle.

Off beaten Village roads

Some really good shots if you’re into Rural Exploration of sorts

Pots

A first view of the abundant handmade pots within the Pottery Village

Village children

We catch a glimpse of some childhood innocence and happiness as they wave out to our lens

Potter in Action

The Master potter Tukaram Gonde in action!

Pottery

Carving out some really amazing magic with his expert hands!

Pots

Art in Action – Finished Pots

But what was much more than just surreal, was the artistic experience of the Potter who not only showed that Pottery is one of the most beautiful art forms, but also gave us a chance to try some of it hands on. Considering I had an injured finger from an accident earlier that week, my partner and travel blogger of the Feet On the Map fame, decided to give it a shot.

Besides enjoying the art form itself, the fascinating curiosity of how these folks have been doing this for years and the skills they show gave us an understanding of how difficult this art is to master and what kind of practice these guys must have had to come to this state of artisan expertise.

The next day was going to be an early beginning. The fresh cold air in the morning, the quiet and serene feeling of the woods, muddy trails, since it had rained the night before made for a great environment to sink in the true feeling of the woods and what would be even more exciting would be a sight of the Tiger. The good folks at Welcom Heritage arranged for a Safari into the deep woods of the Tiger reserve and we hoped for a sighting of the great wild cat of the Pench Tiger Reserve. But mind you, the Jungle is not just popular for it’s tigers, but also a host of other animals, which will have you really delighted if you’re one of the nature loving and interested in wildlife photography. A satiation for your soul and your lens for sure. They have two Safaris, one in the morning and another in the afternoon where you will be driven into the park with the Hotel gypsy along with an official guide of the park. You can truly experience the wilderness in its true colors. Some of which as you see here.

Jackal

A Jackal resting in style!

Monkey and Daughter

Some Motherly love in the wild…

Baboon

Langoor

Indian Roller

The Indian Roller

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Oriental Honey Buzzard

Peacock

A Peacock going on about behind some trees.

Owlet

A pair of Owlet. This was hard to spot, because of the camouflage… But it made for a great candid shot.

Spotted Deer

Spotted Deer! You’ll find quite some herds of these in the Jungle

Sambar

Sambar grazing on some grass.

The Blue Bull

The Blue Bull

Wild Hog

Wild Hog

There was a kill made a few days ago where one of the Tiger’s had hunted down a Sambar and had been feeding off it along with a couple of it’s tiger cubs. Unfortunately, we weren’t fortunate enough to get a glimpse of the Tiger, while one of the gypsies who went along with us from our Hotel, were lucky enough to spot the Tiger. But we kind of make did with his paw!

Tiger Paw

Tiger Paw

But if you head down to the reserve now, since it’s hot, you might be able to spot it, especially near water bodies. If not for once, maybe a second trip should seal the deal. Still, it was a great run as we spotted quite a lot of animals, the rare bird, Indian Hornbill was quite the sight and some of the beauty lies in the fact that we got to experience the wild in it’s truest sense. That made up for everything for sure!

Hornbill

The Indian Hornbill – A very rare bird, endangered species.

If you have some time to kill in this month full of long weekends and holidays, and if you are a nature lover then this place is certainly something that deserves your attention.

A special Note:  This trip into the wild was possible, on the invitation of WelcomHeritage, a joint venture between ITC Ltd and Jodhana Heritage that represents some of the best traditions of heritage hospitality and tourism in India. It offer’s over 40 exclusive heritage destinations, ranging from grand palaces to traditional havelis and magnificent forts; quiet nature resorts in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir, West Bengal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Sikkim, Uttar Pradesh & Goa. In Pench, we stayed at WelcomHeritage’s Jungle Home.

Have you been to Pench National Park yet? Did you experience anything beyond the wild? If not, do give it a shot and let me know how you found it. What say?

Blueberry Travel Trails over the weekend

One of the best things about Mumbai is that there are plenty of options that you get over the weekend for getaways. Monsoon typically is a great time for people in and around the city to just take a hike to some really amazing destinations that offer them plenty of respite especially from the hectic buzz most people face during the weekdays, slogging it out in the City of Dreams! While otherwise most nearby destinations like Alibaug, Murud, Gorai, Vasai, Mandva offer great beach destinations, monsoons is all about some really amazing nature trails! And of course for that we have the great Sahayadaris to trek over the weekend. Almost every other trekking group in and around Mumbai becomes really active during this time and most people love to go for these treks. Some people are hardcore trekkers, while others, not so much.

In such case one of the best things that people who don’t trek as much and still love nature could always opt for eco-trails. On one such day before the onset of monsoon, Feet on the Map and I decided to head for a Blueberry Trails weekend getaway to Kolad! While most people enjoy going to Kolad for river rafting and adventure activities, this was more of a weekend getaway with a bit of nature, waterfalls and some adventure activities lined up for us. What started off as a little off day cause of no sight of rains, turned out to be an enticing journey especially with some really great captures that we got and most importantly, the beautiful people we met on this trip. Memories to cherish forever. A short photo-essay of this trip will hopefully try to recreate the magic!

Railway tracks enroute Kolad

Railway tracks enroute Kolad

Enroute Kolad - Picture Perfect Painting

A quick snap captured from inside the bus en route Kolad!

River Trail Kolad

The boat we took to River Trail

cat, kolad, nature

A cute kitty at Eco-Trails Nature resort where we stayed

Warli Painting

Warli Painting on the walls of River Trail resort

Ecotrail Kolad

A trail laden with beautiful plantations on our way to our cottages!            

Swing at Ecotrail

Swing in the woods at River Trail

 

Kundalika @ Sunset

Sunset at the Kundalika River

Laughing Frog

Laughing Frog

Me holding Striped Keelback

A striped Keelback, before we set it free in the wild.

Striped Bronzeback

Striped Bronzeback we discovered on our way to the waterfalls


Gems of Mumbai!

Mumbai, Fort, Colaba, Dwarka, Restaurant, Food, Mumbai, Bombay, India, Travel

Gajanana, the gem of Dwarka Restaurant

Meet Gajanana of Dwarka Restaurant at Nagindas Master Road (Fort). Every time I’ve been here I’ve found him to be one of the most enterprising and welcoming people at that busy, hectic, always packed restaurant during lunch time. His job probably is to just offer nothing but a smile, excellent customer service, talk to the customer, not sell them on anything but pure joy!

A couple of things I noticed a few times. Unlike many other restaurants where people are just going on and about taking orders, delivering them, giving the bill and letting the customers walk away, he has a very personalized interaction with a lot of customers who come in everyday.

“Come, come, I have reserved a seat for you.” He says that with a smile to almost anyone and everyone who come in during lunch.

A true conversationalist that he is, yesterday I noticed him talking to two customers across the table:

Gajanana: “Have the Lassi! It’s the best out here.”
Customers: “Is it, really?”
Gajanana: “I’m telling you the truth, I don’t lie. The times for me to lie are gone.”

Holding his forearm ahead and pointing to his elbow and then to his palms, he measures them and says

“This much of my life is over! Now only this much is left. So I won’t lie.” And then smiles cheekily…  The customers smile back and I do too, without him noticing that.

He hails from Murudeshwar, Karnataka and probably is also the owner of the place, pretty much like the old uncle at Britannia Restaurant! He truly spreads a lot of joy and happiness especially in a city where we need some smiles rather than the frowning, grumpy faces. Such people are gems of this city. With the busy, hectic, rat race driven rut that people live in, Mumbai needs more freshness like him!