Early Bird

For as long as i can remember, i have always been the early bird. Sleep, in my opinion is overrated. I would like to be awake as long as i can to soak in all the books, art and music that is there to offer. This life just seems to short for it.

In the meanwhile, here’s a photo of sun cracking through the clouds. Took this one at Panchgani – a hill station that’s an overnight journey from Mumbai. We got off our bus at 5.30 AM and just kept walking to these scenic points. Bliss .

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Early Bird.”

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Re-springing my steps

Tell us about the last experience you had that left you feeling fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. What was it that had such a positive effect on you? That’s what they asked today.

Those words instantly brought back memories of the Himalayas. This image briefly captures them in the background amidst clouds. We were holed up in the monsoon at this serene hill station called Nagarkot located nearly 32 kms north east of Kathmandu. The stillness of the mountains and simplicity of the village folk helped to pause and reflect. It would get awfully quiet at times and that helped us calm ourselves down since we’re so used to the noisy hustle and bustle in city. The chill at 8000+ feet was a welcome relief from the blistering and humid heat in Mumbai. Hoping to head back soon!

Mohammed Ali Road – Mumbai Food Hop at Iftar

If you’re in Mumbai during Ramzan, the holy fasting period for Muslims then going to Mohammed Ali Road for Iftari / Sehri has to be on your to-do list. While some of the eateries are available round the year, there is a special fare during the holy month. Everything seems to be cooked with ingredients especially for Ramzan. Of course, there is the flavor of an insatiable appetite in the air the moment you step in.

We decided to flock to the road this weekend and were pleasantly surprised. Minus the crowd. If you’re claustrophobic or are uncomfortable in crowds then i’d recommend going in the wee hours. We reached at 08.30 pm and had no place to stand or walk at times. The good point is that the crowd keeps moving, so you would only be carried around by the sea of people from stall to stall.

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We savored the  mutton rolls and baida roti near the stalls around Hindustan Restaurant. Mind you, some of the best kebabs are outside the restaurant so keep moving till you find a place to sit. How do you know if you’re there? Just look around for skewers of meat colorfully marinated. Chota kebabs and lamba pav are highly recommended. While we were warned that food would be spicy, i surprisingly found that not to be the case. The meats were perfectly cooked and marinated. We moved on to sweets and were flooded with an overload of phirni, malai and the giant malpua. All in all the food packed in quite a punch. I would recommend skipping lunch to make the most of it.

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I have a ready list of places to visit as compiled by Mumbai Boss.

Sarvi Seekh kebab sells out fast; paya (Rs38) served hot all night long. 184/196 Dimtimkar Road, Nagpada Junction. 6608 6347.

Chand Harissa Hyderabadi khichda, Rs30 (from 4pm); tender mutton seekh, Rs25. Until 1am.YMCA basketball court, Mastan Talao.

Nawab Seekh Kebab Corner Seekh with deep-fried parathas, Rs40 per plate, until 3am.Corner of M. S. Ali (Grant) & Duncan Roads, behind Do Tanki police chowky. 99679 87561.

Zaika Juicy tangdi kebab Rs50, until 3am. M. S. Ali (Grant) Road at J.J. Junction. 98212 06285.

National Dry Fruit Stores Dates! “Ayurvedic” herb-stuffed (Rs500/kg) to Basra (Rs100/kg); saffron from Rs160/g. Shop No. 3, M. S. Ali (Grant) Road. at J. J. Junction. 99202 33886.

H. M. Jalil Cold Drink & Juice Centre Year-round source for Swadeshi teetotaler soda Sosyo. 79/83, R. C. Wala Building, corner of Raudat Tahera Street & Khara Tank Road. 2346 2237.

Indian Hotel All-purpose tava joint, from naan-chop (Rs18) to bheja (Rs120). 92/96, Shop No. 1/2, Khara Tank Road. 2346 0687.

Bar-B-Que Corner Takes down its sign and sigdi by 11.30pm, so hurry for kheeri and kaleji (Rs20). Khara Tank Road.

Tawakkal Sweets Malai in many flavours (Rs600/kg) complements a perfect malpuwa. 26, Khara Tank Road. 2346 6360.

Jilani Fast Food Corner Bada baida from Rs30. Shop No. 6, Sana Manzil, 92/95, Pakmodia Street.

Idris Colddrink Sharbat delights like vari yalli (saunf), Rs10. 101, Pakmodia Street. 98202 19035.

Surti 12 Handi Gulam Mustafa’s family recipe from Surat turns a nihari (stew) into a meal, Rs80. 10pm–4am. 12, Gujar Street.

KGN Juice Thick anjeer shake Rs25. Corner of Gujar Street.

Noor Mohammedi Hotel Live goats, Husain original on display; nalli nihari Rs60. 179, Wazir Building, Abdul Hakim Chowk. 2345 6008.

Shalimar Cold Drinks Falooda from Rs22. S.V.P. Road, around corner from Shalimar. 2345 6632.

Suleiman Usman Mithaiwala Classic firni Rs25, flavoured Rs32–Rs34; lurid halwas. 175, I. M. Merchant Road, Minara Masjid. 2346 5059.

Hindustan Hotel Chota kebabs and lamba pav. 2347 6241.

Burhanpur Jalebi Centre Churns out hot, crisp mawa jalebis, Rs160/kg. 27/74, Memonwada Road. 98193 12072.

A list as comprehensive as that would be need at least 3 or more visits i assure you. With Eid just a week away, make the most of the time left and go ahead feed the glutton in you!

 

My monsoon playlist – top rain songs

Wherever one may be, rains have their own way of sparking creativity. Art imitates life in the form of music. So here are my top 5 songs as the monsoon swallows Mumbai in its full fury.

*Especially if you’re stuck in traffic and wondering if you will be waiting until eternity to reach home*

“When the sun shines, when the sun shines.
Rain, I don’t mind.
Shine, the weather’s fine”

Who could have captured it more beautifully?

No, The Doors cannot be left behind. We’re riding through this storm with ’em.

This one’s a balm for the times when not only the rain but the day is also getting on your nerves in general.

Got more favorites? Feel free to add on!

 

Zeal – Keeping up with it

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Zeal is an important characteristic in life. I think it’s very strongly linked to things or activities we are passionate about.

While I have several things I’m passionate about, travel is an important one of them. It’s enthralling to open up to new experiences, culture and people. Plus explore new places and cuisines as you go along. So as I sit and watch the planes take off, it feels great to keep up with the zeal in life as we go along 🙂

Unwind – Tuning back

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Like the tree blowing in the wind. I’m taking the easy way out for today. There are varied approaches people take to de-stress. Popular methods include listening / playing music, travelling, watching movies, hitting the gym, cooking or creating some work of art.

For me, there are three approaches that work the best:

1. Music – My eternal love. In a retrospective mood, I listen to some of the older tracks. No matter what mood I’m in music is an instant lift-me-up. A playlist is in order for now.

2. Reading – Being a voracious reader I can devour any magazine / book / website. My kindle serves me well 🙂

3. Photography – Random clicks, candid shots and capturing nature are some of my interests. I think there is no dearth of interesting images one can capture if they have the eye for it.

So those are some of the top ways I unwind. It’s time to stretch those limbs now 🙂

Perseverance – Never say die

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. – Newt Gingrich

Many a times I wonder about how long can one keep going at a particular task / situation / person in life. Let’s face it when we start off with anything new in life, everything seems achievable. Doable to state the least. Think about that new project you got, the first year at college or even the first day at work. We feel really empowered to take on things and prove ourselves.

However when time passes by and the ground realities begin to show up, we need a lot more to keep going. Motivation at times will help in the short term but what is required is perseverance. It doesn’t come easy. An example that a lot of girls can relate to is dieting. We start off with a set of goals and convince ourself that we will turn this around this time. For me, a few days in to a diet I fell ill and that was my undoing. That’s a really simple example. There are more complex areas we deal with regularly. The most important being people. I’m sure we all have one person amongst family / friends who may be extremely negative or difficult to deal with. While others may have the patience, I find it really hard to push myself with someone like that. Sometimes I fail and at times a win doesn’t seem like it.

The point is I never give up. I don’t let the situation get the better part of me. At the end of the day I think that is the key that keeps me going. Self motivation works better than any other method. Somewhere the quote kind of resonated with what I feel. When I feel that the real hard work is done, that’s when the game has just begun and it’s perseverance that will keep me going!