Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Food and travel to rule the hearts of travellers in India in 2017

An interesting survey held recently reckons that more than 60% of the people in India would be traveling for their sheer love of food. This is indeed a new trend that would set its imprints in the Indian travel industry. As more and more foodie havens get explored, within a year, you would have a list of great places to travel and dine at. Good food is definitely a mood-lifter, and so is good travel. If you are among those who want to explore places first-hand, you should start packing your luggage and roll out your travel plans as soon as you finish reading this. Well, wait a minute. Want a hint for your itinerary? The following list gives you a lot to consider about the food scene across India. Take a look:

Goa


One thing incredible about Goa is that not only it is a coastal paradise for the tourists, it is also a foodie heaven with so many things to gorge on when your appetite makes the call. Goa cuisine is a year round hit among the food lovers. Whether it is the Goan fish curry, chicken vindaloo, king prawns, or a variety of seafood, Goa serves it all in a scrumptious way. Next time you are cruising at this party hotspot, order a seafood platter for the ultimate gastronomical delight.

Lucknow
This is one city that has always been on the radar of the true food connoisseurs. The moment you arrive in Lucknow, two things simply overwhelm you without any delay – the culture and the food, both of which are warm and nourishing. The famous Awadhi cuisine is a trademark style of cooking in this city. Kebabs and biryanis are always the top favorite choices among the visitors. Taste these savory delights to treat your taste buds with the best.

Mumbai


When it comes to fine dining in this nation, Mumbai simply tops the list. Yet, that is not the only accolade it gets when it comes to food. The sense of taste and flavor lingers for a long while as you try one street food after another here in Mumbai. From bhel puri, falooda, frankies, to modaks (laddoo) and seafood, Mumbai offers an extensive range of delicacies and dishes for the hungry souls. A tourist destination and a vast metropolitan, Mumbai is one of the happiest tourist paradises in India.

Delhi
This city was bound to come into this exclusive list for all the right reasons. Delhi is not just the national capital and a big metro city, it is also the place which is often called the foodie capital of the country. With delicacies of almost all states in India, the city offers a gala time for all the foodies who want to try everything delicious and new. Try anything – tikki chaat, bhalla papadi, haleem, nahari, chhole bhature, paranthe, kebabs, etc. and you would have a great time on the city tour.

Kashmir

This paradise on earth is another heavenly place for the food lovers. All the efforts of coming to this beautiful region gets paid eventually as you bask in its enchanting scenery, verdant valleys, and lofty, snow-covered mountains. The Kashmir experience becomes even more nostalgic with a few flavors to associate it with, as you taste the signature goshtaba. Yakhni, Rogan Josh, Stew, and Dum Olav are some other mouth-watering delicacies here. You can also try the Kashmiri drink, Kahwa.

So, plan your food travel itinerary well this time. Get your train ticket bookings to these wonderful destinations well in advance to indulge in nice gastronomic adventures much ahead of others. Of course, you a year to figure out what you missed out yet. Check PNR status online of your ticket for updated info before you head for the railway station. As a lot many people might already be planning to travel to these places, it’s best to to cancel a low probability PNR ticket and get on with an alternative destination or mode of transport. Have a nice tour.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Jai Veeru of 21st Century

The story of Jai and Veeru reminds us of ideal friendship.  That's how true friends should be! Everyone craves to have a friend like Jai or Veeru with whom you  could share all your secrets.  You could blindly trust that friend. Very few are blessed  with such friendship. I consider myself lucky to have found a Jai in my life in form of my friend Ankit Jain who happens to be my blogger friend.



I could talk for hours and days about this special friend of mine. He holds a special place in my heart. During the young days of blogging, I remained anonymous. That was when I was actively involved in writing short fiction stories in form of series. It was then he discovered me through random blog hops. I never knew that he saw me as an inspiration. He soon  shifted to Mumbai, the city of dreams, to join a multinational software organisation as a Mainframe Developer. By then only my close friends used to know the real me.  It was during a book project, I met him. We used to meet quite often and it was one such occasion that he confessed that my blog was an inspiration to him. I was flabbergasted at first. I remained speechless for a while. I hardly knew him then. 

 From strangers, we got to know each other well. There was something that bothered him much. And it was food. Trust me, for someone who was used to eating homemade food, adapting to outside food is a terrible thing. My home away days made me transform into a better individual. During one such instance, I got to know that he was missing his mother badly and the food cooked by her.  Whenever we met, I used to bring home food for him. That was the least I could do for a friend like him. Since, then our friendship grew, even more, stronger. We used to travel together for various blogger meets. I used to call him at Andheri and he would arrive in time. But it would still take hours for us to locate as he would be at the rear end of the platform and me at the front side. And then we would greet each other abusing. Such was the bond! He is a numismatist and his love for collecting rare coins is admirable.  He used to cajole me to accompany him at various coin exhibitions. It wasn't my cup of tea but he made me realise the importance of hobbies. 


 I sought inspiration from him and I again started collecting postcards from different countries of the world. Table Tennis is a sport that is played across the world. Ankit is a die hard fan of table tennis.  During a birthday treat, we happened to bump across a venue at Versova. We spotted a table tennis  bat and a table. That was the first time when I played table tennis for the first time.  This friend of mine taught me to play table tennis. I am not a great fan of sports  but through his passion for Table Tennis, I developed a deep interest for Foosball. Ankit  loves writing. He loves writing Erotica. During our Bookster team meeting, he came up with a story of a mistress. I still remember to what extent we made fun of him. He is good at photography.  His Instagram account  is a proof of his photography talent. He has clicked some amazing photos and they are outstanding and picturesque. 



During his professional exile of  one year in the States, I missed this friend a lot. Of course, he was my partner in crime and a friend with whom I could go for various events. We used to talk through Facebook and Whatsapp but virtual communication is not as effective as a face to face meet up. That was when the memories of our South Mumbai travel, frequent HUB Mall movies flashed through my mind. Ankit loved a woman badly. But due to some personal reasons, the bond collapsed just like an old bridge. It was the most depressing moment of his life. All my  attempts to soothe him remained futile. I had never seen him upset before and for the first time, I saw tears rolling down his cheeks. I felt weird and helpless for not being able to help him much. But life moves on and he bounced back to normalcy soon. He is defiant and a rebel and his never say never attitude is something that I admire in him.  Ankit is back to town after 1 year of Firangi days. 



Everyone needs a friend like Ankit. He is my go-to man with whom you could talk when you are upset. He is a guy with whom you could share all your secrets and trust him because he is a trustworthy guy. You could abuse him and still find comfort in his company. In short, a friend like him is essential in life. I found my close friend in Ankit. What about you ?

Here is something I dedicate to my friend Ankit.

 Yeh dosti hum nahin todenge

Todenge dam magar tera saatha na chhodenge
Aye meri jeet teri jeet teri haar meri haar
Sun aye mere yaar
Tera gham mera gham teri jaan meri jaan
Aisa apna pyaar
Khana pinaa sath hai, marna jeena sath hai (2)
Saari zindagi
Yeh dosti...

Oh yes, we both call ourselves as the Jai Veeru of the 21st century :)

Did you like this post? Get The Solitary Writers updates via Facebook or Twitter, better yet, subscribe to it via RSS Feed. It’s easy, and free! Comments are just another way to let me know how you feel.Don't forget to comment.