Exploring the world through blind dates over the years #SayYesToTheWorld #TheBlindList


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I grew up as a single child in a small town in Bengal called Berhampore. Every year my Professor father ensured that we had two vacations. The first one was always planned and it took us to Kolkata, then Calcutta. My mother had her parents staying in that city and I was amazed how different a metro city was from my town. But what I would look forward to was the unplanned vacation to a new destination during summer holidays. My parents would keep me guessing until we reached the spot. As I grew up, I would try to open the bags to see if winter clothes were packed because that would mean a vacation in the hills. Every year that I went back home, I took back fond memories of places I have visited and left a part of me in those places.

Victoria Memorial Kolkata
Victoria Memorial Kolkata

Much later, when I asked them about this game of suspense, my Dad had disclosed that he wanted me to feel the thrill of exploring the world without any preset ideas. He believed in striking a balance between bucket list, which helped tick off items after fulfilling of wishes and #TheBlindList which taught me to keep my heart and mind open to experiencing new things. This is how began my journey of travel to explore new destinations. Darjeeling, which was one of the first ever vacation spot for me is a personal favorite even today.

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Marina Beach – Chennai

As I grew up, I moved to Kolkata for higher studies. This was my first date with the world. An eighteen-year-old was trusted by her parents and Permitted to stay on her own so that she could pursue her dreams. There were deterrents in the form of discriminatory behavior in college, heart breaks in the form of relationships gone wrong, harassment by random men that led to cringeworthy moments but I didn’t let the negativity ruin my journey.

Varkala
Varkala

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Thirty things that bring happiness to my life

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WOW Post badge

If someone asks me what makes me happy, I can probably recollect only a couple of things that really make me feel like I’m on top of the world. But till date, I have never really sat down and listed them. This prompt gave me an opportunity to take a break from the usual routine and reflect instead. I started remembering moments, people and things that made me happy. So here’s my most precious thirty –

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30 things that make you happy – BlogAdda WOW prompt
  • The three men in my life

My toddler, my husband and my father bring out the best in me. I am the happiest when I am around them. Spending time with my father, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and cuddling my toddler always bring a smile to my face. Also, the story time that I have with my toddler before he sleeps every night last is our moment of togetherness and bonding.

  • Friends

I have a handful of friends but I am grateful for their presence in my life. Conversations with them really lift up my spirits.

  • Writing

I quit my job as a Banker to chase my passion for writing last year. And till date, I consider this to be the best decision of my life. When I write, I am the happiest.

  • The tag of a published author

This year in the month of May, I published my debut novella ‘Deal of Death’ on the Blogchatter platform. Until then I was a blogger but this opportunity made me an author. While I am still giving it finishing touches before putting it up on Amazon, I will always consider the moment of transitioning into a published author as one of the happiest ones of my life.

  • Rains

I love the rainy season, especially if I have the option to stay indoors. The smell of the earth after rains is probably one of my most favorite ones.

  • Books

Purchasing and reading them, especially thrillers gives me a high. I am still orthodox in the way I read my books. I prefer to hold them while reading instead of the e-book version. Also, the smell of a new book is beautiful.

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A dollop of Bengal – Victoria Memorial

V could have been Vidyasagar Setu (Second Hooghly bridge) – one of the longest cable stayed bridge in Asia connecting Kolkata with Howrah or Vivekananda Setu (Bally Bridge) – the multi-span steel bridge linking Bally to Kolkata . But the one that deserves to be featured is the heritage monument that has been a representation of the city for age – the gorgeous Victoria Memorial.

Victoria Memorial –

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Victoria Memorial during sunset

Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata, built between 1906 and 1921 dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria (1819–1901). Located on 1 Queen’s way, it is now a popular tourist destination. Representing the resplendent and majestic British architecture, Victoria Memorial Hall stands as a veritable icon of the city of Kolkata.

History –

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The lions at the entry gate

The Victoria Memorial Hall was built in memory of the Queen Victoria by the then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon. The memorial celebrated the 25 year reign of the Queen over India. Lord Curzon wanted to demonstrate his gratitude by dedicating a monument to her.Along with the memorial, Curzon had plans for a museum within the premises. The historical museum  was intended to be a standing record of history.

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Theme Reveal A2Z challenge with Blogchatter

The A2Z blogging challenge with Blogchatter is all about blogging on every single day through April except on Sundays. So essentially there’s an alphabet associated with every single day. A on the first day, B on the second and so on until it’s Z on the twenty-sixth day. When I took up this challenge, I had already been posting two to four blog posts every week. However it looked like a Herculean task to post every single day and that too on the basis an alphabet. I felt challenged and there’s no best way to overcome the fear than to face it. So, here I go with my theme reveal of my first ever A2Z challenge.

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Theme reveal of A2Z Blogchatter Challenge – A DOLLOP OF BENGAL

 

 

Through a series of twenty-six posts, I am going to help the readers enjoy a journey down my state West Bengal through ‘A dollop of Bengal’. My blog belongs to a multi-niche category and through this theme, I intend to cover cities, places, food, restaurants, personalities, characters, festivals and a lot more that define this state. So that looks like a huge list right?

Wait, there’s a twist! Among the multiple options in various categories starting with any particular alphabet, I am going to choose and write only about the one that has a connection to my life. Stay tuned to know who makes it to the list and what is their significance in my journey.

I am waiting to make this my biggest project till date. Can’t wait for you to come sooner, April to get this started.

Resort review – Vivanta by Taj, Fort Aguda, Goa

Last September, we planned a trip to Goa with our eleven month old son. This was going to be our first holiday together and thus I was equally excited and anxious. While browsing through the various options for an accommodation, we decided to settle for a resort that could customize our requirements related to the infant and his baby food.  A quiet beach like Sinquerim was an additional advantage. That is how we started considering Vivanta by Taj, Fort Aguda (also known as Taj Fort Aguda resort and spa) as a viable option.

Reservation

My husband had called the central reservation number of Taj group to initiate the process. For confirmation, we had to send a mail detailing out the number of families and total members( we were two families each comprising of a couple and infant) along with our credit card details. They sent us the confirmation mail the very next day. Just the day before we were scheduled to leave, we received a call from the resort re-confirming our booking and arrangement for a pick up from Dabolim Airport.

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Sinquerim Beach

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The beauty called Varkala(Kerala) through my lens

Until two years back, my husband and I were obsessive wanderers. My posting in a leading private sector bank and my husbands’ medical specialization course landed us both in Mysore. While the city is beautiful and someday I intend to write about our experiences there,weekends left us high and dry. Since both of us had working Saturdays, any extended weekend would see us planning a short trip to the beautiful places in Tamil Nadu,Karnataka, A.P. or our favorite state Kerala.

During an extended Christmas and new year holiday, I happened to take a mini break before switching jobs.That was when we planned for Varkala which was a unknown name to us,until then. But with a little help from friends, a lot of suggestions from Trip Advsior and unmatched enthusiasm from my husband got us visiting Varkala in the winters of that year. After hunting down for options, we decided to stay at Hill View Beach Resort since it assured us of a magnificent view of the sea through its website and reviews. We drove down to Bangalore from Mysore in 4 hours.At Yeshwantpur station, we took Trivandrum Express.The idea was to get down at Trivandrum and take a cab from there to Varkala. But a helpful co-passenger guided us to get down at Kollam and it took us less than an hour to reach Varkala. the resorts are situated on the cliff the it is one long stretch that can’t be missed.
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Resort review – Aqua Marina Drive Inn, Mandarmoni, West Bengal 

In the last few years, Mandarmoni has turned out to be one of the most favorite destination in Bengal. The distance between Kolkata and Mandarmoni can be covered in 3.5 to 4hours by car. Roads are in good condition. Train options are available till Contai/Ramnagar/Digha and the resort can arrange for a pick up from there.

Trying to avoid the much crowded Digha, people have started moving to the more tranquil and serene Mandarmoni. While the town has ample options for stay and most of them are on or near the beach, Aqua Marina Drive Inn takes the cake away for being not only right on the beach but having rooms that let one view the sea from both the room and balcony.DSC00409
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