The Perfect Road Trip!

Saturday, July 20, 2013
We all undertake a lot of trips in life- from the daily travelling between home and workplace to the short trips to friends and relatives, but everyone has one perfect trip in mind. The "one" they will go on one day - well to be honest, I have four of these "the one" :P

Yeah yeah I am a bit greedy, but well, I have my own idea of a perfect trip by each of the modes- so one I will go to my dreamland (by air), another is to take a cruise trip, the third and fourth are both road trips but the mode is different. The third is a bike trip to Ladakh (every one's dream I know) and the last is what I am gonna describe right here, right now!

The most important part of planning a trip - any guesses? The luggage, itinerary, clothing, food arrangement, accommodation? All wrong! The most important part of a trip is your company - and visit to even the most boring places can be fun if you have the right company - FRIENDS
Yeah we do look like this when there is
something to eat in front of us :P

Of course, convincing all of them to firstly take the trip is a major task in itself but what follows is even worse - The location! As all my friends are idiots just like me, so we all stuck on different places- yeah yeah everybody has a dream these days! PHEW! One wanted Jaipur, the other one wanted the golden quadrilateral (connecting all the metros), the third had a dream suddenly - and that too copied- the golden triangle! LOL! Where's the innovation in that? You just turned the quadrilateral into triangle, chor! 

Anyway, as adamant as I am, I convinced them for my trip idea- wait wait, before I tell you all about it, lets decide the mode we will use! Another discussion ensues! I had one in mind but no one agreed, don't know why! :( 

You tell me if you like the idea, I'll go with you then ;)

So, knowing how bad choice my friends have, I have decided I'll plan this perfect trip of mine all by myself! And obviously no one will follow what I decide but that's the fun, isn't it? So here's my plan: Delhi-Shimla-Kufri-Narkanda-Shimla-Chandigarh-Delhi during the winters because Shimla, Kufri and Narkanda are like heaven during the snowfall. See problem solved! :P Now the car: I would love to go in Range Rover (Already in love with it ;) )
See for yourself

Range Rover- The perfect car for Perfect Trip!

Now here's the itinerary: (with slide shows - so look carefully at the slide shows or you might miss some very beautiful views)

Day 1 : Delhi to Shimla via Murthal (GT road-366 km)

We will leave early morning on Day 1 from Delhi for Shimla but it has to be via Murthal! If you haven't tasted paranthas in Murthal dhaba, you are really missing out on a lot in life! After eating the yum 10-20 paranthas, we will proceed for our journey to Shimla. Our Range Rover will move on the GT Karnal Road like the butter on our paranthas! The total distance to Shimla is 370 km which will require approximately 6 hours in our beast. 

The scent of the nature intermingled with the Ambi Pur in our car will leave us elated and grasped in the moments of never-ending memories. I would love to try the toy-train ride for some distance. I tried it when I was a kid and I would definitely like to relive that joy again. After covering the long road-trip, clicking pictures, sleeping, fighting, we will reach Shimla just in time for our lunch.

Majorly there are 4 locations in Shimla that I would love to visit:
1. The Ridge: It is the heart of the city - this road runs east to west alongside the Mall Road, and joins to lakkar Bazaar - the woods craft market. Also it is beautifully decorated during the winters for Christmas and New year's eve. 

2. Christ's Church - It is the second oldest church in North India which lied on the Ridge Road. It was built in the neo-Gothic Style during Britisher's rule in India.

3. Jakhu Temple - It has a large idol of Hanuman ji which is situated at the height of 8000 feet

4. Viceregal lodge aka Rashtrapati Niwas - It was the house of British Viceroy of India. Now it has been converted to the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies. It is so beautifully built that it deserves a visit however short possible!

After the sight-seeing for the day, we will go to sleep after a bonfire night with the series of made-up personal experiences with ghosts!

Day 2: Shimla-kufri-narkanda (NH 22, 65km) 

On our second day, after morning walk on the steep roads of Shimla and breakfast, we will leave for Kufri. Kufri has 3 attractions- 

1. Indira Tourist park

2. Zoological park

3. Mahasu peak

The first two have to be included for my professional knowledge (I am an environmentalist :P) after which comes fun time - the snowball game. We will almost kill each other with balls of snow, make a snowman, get lots of pictures clicked. It will be second most-fav part of the trip. Stop wondering about the most-fav part, I'll come to it in a little while. 

Anyway, we will have to leave early to reach Narkanda in time. It will require approximately an hour or so in our Range Rover. I am pretty sure after the tiring snow-fights, I'll fall asleep due to the soothing and pleasant scent of Ambi Pur in our car. :D *already dreaming*

Here comes my most-fav part- Narkanda has, apart from the silent and serene Agyaat Vaas, arrangements for Skiing. If you don't believe me, Google it - people go up to Narkanda specially for Skiing. As I have zero knowledge and experience in skiing, I am bound to become the laughing stock for my friends - but I so have to try it! So looking forward to it! *Jumping and dancing with joy*

After the tiresome day filled with snow and memories, we will drive back to Shimla, and take a midnight stroll on the Mall Road - Being a girl, I cannot return from a place without shopping yaar! Good night for today, see you tomorrow! :D

Day 3: Shimla-Chandigarh via Pinjore (SH 16 and NH 22, 124 km)
The drive from Shimla to Chandigarh isn't that long - it requires approx 2.5 hours or maybe lesser if we can leave early in the morning.As we will leave via Pinjore, a short stay at Pinjore Gardens is a must - they have terraced gardens with lots of fountains. Also they have Mughal style Shish Mahal (made from glasses), Rang Mahal (made from vibrant colors), etc.

Our next stop will be Chandigarh:

1. Rock Garden - Do I really have to describe the rock gardens for you? It is so famous for the sculptures it has which have been made from recycled ceramics. The other sculptures are all made from waste or recycled materials like bottles, pieces of glass, bangles, electrical waste (see in the slide show above). They were all made by Nek Chand. This place also has artificial waterfall - hot spot for photography! 

2. Sukhna Lake - It is an artificial lake built in Chandigarh and is mostly rain-fed. After snow-fights and skiing, a bit of boating would be like icing on cake, isn't it?

3. Open hand Monument - It is a sign of peace and reconciliation. It was built by Le Corbusier and shows hat it open to receive and give ideas - people believe he was depicting his own personality in it. 

4. Sec 17 Market - It has been made famous by Honey Singh songs. It has been so hyped that I have to visit it once and maybe I'll too get something great from it.

5. Leisure Valley - for lazy people like us to be captivated in its beauty and be lost. 

Day 4: Chandigarh to Delhi via Murthal (GT road, 260 km) 

Finally the day to come back home - watching the serene silent beauty of Narkanda Agyaat Vaas, snowfall, skiing, boating, rock garden - so much in a trip that too with friends - I bet it will be the most memorable trips of all time! And yes, how can I forget - my Murthal k Paranthe- on the way back too! :D

The post is a part of Ambipur Contest at IndiBlogger.
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Lootera - worst choice!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

I have been dying to watch Raanjhanaa - the Kolaveri Di guy starrer :P Yes, everybody has been talking about how romantic the movie is, unrequited love! I wanna see Dhanush in a Banarasi role, the pretty Sonam Kapoor and the much talked about Abhay Deol! But as they say movie movie pe likha hai dekhne wale ka naam, I haven't been able to watch it till date! :'(

The last weekend I planned to watch it, I couldn't find a decent seat (excluding the first two rows and corner seats for obvious reasons) for both the days in any movie halls near my place. SO I ended up watching Fuk-Fuk-Fukreyyyy! Fukrey- the movie about the Delhiites as my non-Delhiites friends described it- was a good timepass. Obviously no major storyline but the acting of these new guys made up for it, pretty much. The highlight was a guy named Chucha - the best character in the movie! :D The movie is slow in the first half, but picks up the pace in second half and so fun!  

Talking of slow reminds of the worst two and a half hour spent in a movie hall - Lootera! The same happened this weekend and I decided to watch Lootera -  a decision I will regret for a mjority of my life! I am still in a state of shock! how could anyone make a movie like that! It was set up in the backdrop of 1950s, yet I can bet the people in those times would have been faster than the movie! The other problem I have is with the cast - Ranveer Singh looks like a DU dropout, not a sincere guy they "tried" to portray him in the movie. And Sonakshi - well I rather not get started on her. But in my opinion, choosing a better cast could have given the movie a better position than it is in right now!

I will not kill your "fun" by revealing any of the story, but I have to tell you the end is the worst part of the movie. You'll literally be surprised that it actually ended just like that! and yet it'll be the happiest time of the movie for you in the complete two and a half hours! :D

I cannot give the movie a rating of more than 1.5 out of 5 stars! A detailed review about the movie will be provided by The Furobiker very soon! :D

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My Stroke Of Luck: Alphabet to Author

Sunday, July 7, 2013
Life has been pretty busy these days - chilling! :P I have seen a lot of movies in the past few days, read a book and slept! - all in this weekend. And the day is still left! :D Well I will talk about the movies part later but here's my fourth book in First Read Authors Pledge - My Stroke with Luck. It's actually pretty interesting to read new authors as everyone has touched upon a different genre. This book talks about a man's emotional and physical journey from his stroke to his full recovery.

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Now this is the first book where I cannot reveal much details about the story to you. In a jist, it's the story of a common man who like all of us ignore's the body's warning signs till they take over and leave us in the worst of conditions. This man suffers a stroke which affects his left part of the brain and thus the right body (arms, hands, legs). This also affects his mental abilities, his speech, his vocabulary - almost all the essential things in life. But his will power and determination leads him to a path of success.

He had so much will-power that he had to learn from the basics - alphabets, numbers, everything - and yet post stroke he has managed to write two books before this one! That surely deserves a standing applause! Hats off man! *Respect*

About the author:
Vijay Santhanam was born in Madras (now Chennai), India. He is graduated from the University of Roorkee – now Indian Institute of technology (IIT), Roorkee – in 1986 and the IIM – Ahmedabad in 1988. His 21 years of corporate career included senior marketing roles with Procter and Gamble and BP. Having Planned for, and happily taken, early retirement from corporate life, Vijay is now able to pursue his passions more fully – writing, teaching, following sports and other interest. His published books include (co-authored with Shyam Balasubramanian). If Cricket is a Religion, Sachin is God in 2009 and The Business of Cricket: The story of Sports Marketing in India in 2011. Vijay is also a visiting professor at IIM-A and IIM-Lucknow. He is currently based in Singapore.

In my opinion, apart from his motivational journey, this book can also act as a rule-book for people who have suffered a stroke and their relatives. It not only talks about his success and failures during the course of recovery, it also emphasizes on how the patient felt at all times, what he expected of people and what he didn't. His wife, a strong character, very patiently and maturely handles his situation by supporting him yet not treating him like a child who cannot manage anything on his own. 

There are a lots of parts in the book which I really liked - like the time when he goes to his home on a one-day visit in between his therapies, his interaction with his son which didn't require much words but was still heart touching.

I would recommend people to read this book to know what will power id, and how effective it is. If this guy also spent his life cursing destiny and God and asking questions like Why Me, he wouldn't have achieved as much as he did in the past couple of years. He is leading a pretty much normal life now - which is remarkable in itself.

I would give this book a rating of 4 out of 5. In its own genre, it is pretty remarkable.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books! 

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