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.”

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!

 

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 🙂

Waterfront – A view to enjoy

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I love watching water bodies. So lakes, rivers or the sea – you name it and it works for me. I mentioned only watching because I’m dead scared to venture in to any of these. Not really sure what drives my fear of these, but I wouldn’t try my luck at least for now.

Sometime in life I hope to do some scuba diving to explore the reefs and sea life. While that’s one of my long shot items to do in this lifetime, I will only start with extensive training to move on to that. For now, I enjoy the views as much as I get.

The photo above is a view of the harbour near the gateway of India in Mumbai. The sea was fairly quiet and a good number of ferries were doing the rounds on this sunny day!

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Travel – More is less

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Travelling has to be one of my top favorite things to do. I think travelling is such an enriching experience. Not only are you thrown out of your comfort zone, you’re also pushed beyond your boundaries. We’re more acceptable to change when subjected to sudden plan upsets. More agile, if i may use the word.

I read somewhere that if one has the money to spend and needs to choose between an expensive gift / holiday, then they must choose the latter. We pick up so much more in terms of culture, experiences and memories to relish. Plus for a photo freak like me – more chances to click pictures! I don’t think there is a line i would draw to the extent i wish to travel. In my case, more is less!

So here is a photo i clicked to capture the western ghats near mumbai 🙂

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Sunsets & Sunrises – Moving On

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Sunrises and sunsets. The normal day begins and ends with those. At the end of it, i wonder do we long more for what’s gone by or wait for what’s coming. When the lonely owl makes noises at night, is it because it doesn’t want the darkness to fade away. Or rather when birds sing in the morning, are they welcoming the day or happy that the night is over?

From the little bit of all that i know, i’m looking forward to the next day. As they say, it all gets better with time.

 

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