Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Old Phone EnCash karo Ash Karo #CleanupCashout

Whenever I buy a new phone or a laptop I always put away my old gadget in the rear shelf of my almirah as I never knew a better way of getting rid of them.
Since I am a big fan of technology I regularly update my devices as a result my almirah is overflowing with old gadgets.
When there was no more space left to put away the old laptops and mobiles I had no other option but to get rid of them.
I visited my local market where I met a shopkeeper who dealt with buying and selling of old mobiles and laptops. I showed him my mobile and he offered me a ridiculously low price.

 When I argued that it was only 6 months old he argued back that everyone wants a new phone and there are not many takers of a second hand phone. The price that he offered was ridiculously low and even at that price the shopkeeper insisted that I leave my phone with him and I would get paid after he sold it.

I was in no mood to either sell my phone at such a low price or leave it siting endlessly in that dusty mobile shop. I thought me and my phone deserved a better deal. So I left the shop disappointed.

My best friend suggested that I try selling my phone online as there are so many online websites that help you sell stuff you do not need.
I listed my phone for selling online and quoted a reasonable price for it. Here the response was better.
From next day itself I got a regular flow of calls. The problem was that the calls came during odd hours as well as during night.(despite my having specified the timings to call)
The buyers had all sorts of queries
The flow of calls would go as follows day and night
Ring Ring
Me: Hello
Would Be Buyer: you want to sell your phone
Me: Yes
Would Be Buyer: So why do you want to sell it?
Me: Because I got a new phone
Would Be Buyer: Why did you get a new phone?
Me: I saw this new phone and I liked it
Would Be Buyer: As if he did not understand it interrupts me- So your phone is not working
Me: No it works fine
Would Be Buyer: So how much you want for it.
Me: I tell the price (though I have already published it online)
Would Be Buyer: What is the model
Me: I tell the model
Would Be Buyer: And the color
Me: Black
I ask him back did you not read the listing on the site
Would Be Buyer: I saw so many listings so got confused
Would Be Buyer: I don't like black don't you have a white one
Me(agitated by now):Look I am not a shopkeeper who has 50 phones to sell this is the only piece I have
Would Be Buyer: Then give me in xyz Rupees (He simply slashes my price by half)
Me: Cannot give you in that price
Would Be Buyer: Soch Lo (Think again) I cannot give you more as I do not like the black color.
Me: Cannot give you at that price and the Would Be Buyer disconnects the phone.

That was the first of one hundred twenty three (123) calls that I received not only from my own city but from the far off places as well.

This went on for about a week and a unique pattern developed. At that point in time I was located in Delhi and I got calls from as far of places as Kashmir to Kerela.
It seemed the whole country wanted to buy my phone.

I discovered a new law of sales and marketing.
The further the buyer was from the product that is my phone the keener they were that I courier the phone to them. However these “Would Be Buyers” were quite clueless as to how they would pay me.

For that week it seems the national pastime had become to call me and make me repeat the details and the technical specs of my phone.
For me it was a one week long course in sales and marketing
My takeaways from this course:
#The buyers interest are inversely proportional from this distance of the product that is my phone. The keenest buyers are those who are at the other extreme of the city or country and who probably cannot come to complete the sale.
#There are plenty of people who are just their to chit chat and not much interested in making a purchase. Perhaps these are the equivalent of the window shoppers.
#There are those who are direct or indirect incarnations of rats: Their only question is “Phone Ka Bill hai Kya” Do you have a bill of the phone. I call them incarnation of rats because they always use the term “Bill” and never a “receipt” These buyers were only interested in the bill and nothing else. For the sake of mathematical statistics I tried both options. Whether I said I had a bill or claimed that I did not have a bill the deal never went ahead with these kind of buyers.

By the end of week 2 my whole office had come to know that I have advertised for the sale of my old phone and by the number of times I have repeated the technical specs of my phone everyone from the office boy who moves the files around to chotu the tea wala knew the specs of my phone by heart.
I have not sold the phone still but having graduated in dealing with these Would Be Buyers I was beginning to get the hang of how to classify the buyer into categories he or she fell into.
It is that phase of life for the seller when he she gets into this groove of life and begins to make peace with the situation. You get used to this ordeal and begin to feel a sense of calm and peace.
Little do you realise that this is the calm before the storm as I discovered when
my phone number got discovered by a new species, the pesky tele-callers, callers who wanted to sell me everything from a credit card, a loan to  slimming pills.
I become the easy target for them and despite having my number registered with the DND services and blocking innumerable numbers the sellers find a way to dodge my defense and call me from a new number every time.
I find my self defenseless and it is now that I discovered a new selling service called https://www.cashify.in/ that I can access through an app as well.
What it did for me is something beyond my wildest dreams for
it let me find about the best price of my mobile phone
I can sell my phone in 60 seconds.

The phone was picked up from my door step and hard cash delivered to me then and there.
It all happened seamlessly and without any hassles.
With one phone sold and money in my pocket I have understood the principal of #CleanupCashout

At https://www.cashify.in one can easily sell old gadgets at the best possible price as they provide an Instant Quote.
Once you as a seller accepts the price offered and agrees to the terms, there is an assured sale and a  Hassle free Doorstep Pickup and on the spot payment for your old devices.

Can selling your old gadgets get any easier then that?

Diwali is the perfect time to clean up and get rid of the old stuff.
So why not #CleanupCashout those old gadgets and make some space and money this Diwali.

It is so simple to sell your old electronic gadgets that I am ready to sell all my old phones and gadgets through https://www.cashify.in/

Dear Readers you can use the coupon CLEANCASH to get an additional Rs.250 on the sale of your gadgets.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Shop till you drop in London & Europe and take a tax refund

If you are travelling to the United Kingdom or Europe on a non EU passport that is you are not a EU citizen then you are eligible to claim a VAT tax refund on the bills you pay at stores.

London offers some of the most amazing sales and Paris and rest of Europe has deals not to be missed.

So what is VAT refund?
Whenever you buy anything at a store look at the bill. Along with the amount it would be written VAT and some amount next to it.
As a person who is visiting on a non EU or British Passport you are eligible to claim the amount of VAT as a tax refund.

So what does one need to get a VAT refund.
1) Carry your passport with you to the store (The store may want to see it before iniatiating the VAT refund process)
2) At the time of making the payment or later tell them you want a tax refund. The store most likely would guide you to a department that would look at your passport or proof of identity that you are eligible for a tax refund.
You need to show them the receipts of the stuff you have purchased. They would fill a form for you and you need to furnish your details such as name, address, passport number etc.
Make sure that the store signs and stamps the form as without this you would not be eligible for a VAT refund.
Make sure you reach the airport much earlier then you are supposed to for catching your flight out of EU/England as you would need time to get your tax refund processed.

When you reach the airport : Look for the tax refund department .
make sure you carry the form given to you by the store, the receipts and the goods on which you want a tax refund. So do this before you checking your bags

An officer at the department might want to look at the form, receipts and the goods before processing your refunds. A lot of airports have tax refund machines that have automated the process of a tax refund.

At the time of filling up the tax refund form you may get an option of giving your credit card details. Providing these details enables the refund to directly credit back to your credit card. This way you are saved the trouble of changing currency at the last minute.

Your tax refund is processed at the last port from which you leave the EU or UK.
Say for instance You travel from your country to
London ====>Paris====>Rome====>Switzerland====>Austria ====>London
So you would not have to get the tax refund from each of these cities/ countries. Instead collect all the form and get the tax refund processed from the last port of departure before going back to your country.
In the example above London (UK) happens to be the last port of departure so approach that particular tax refund department.

So when I take a taxi even the taxi receipt had a VAT on it can I claim that too?
No VAT that can be claimed is on goods and not on services so go ahead and shop till you drop but make sure you get your VAT refunded before you leave for your country and save big on your shoppings.
Happy shopping.

Besides tax refunds in UK and Europe there are other places around the world where you can get a tax refund Let me know if you are interested and I would do a post on it here.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Yes you read the title of my post right. There is no typo. Traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini in particular can be a memorable experience.
Ships have long been used to transport goods and people from one place to another. However in today's world luxury Cruises represent the epitome of luxury and comfort. I experienced this first hand when I got the opportunity to travel on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini.

To begin with it is a luxury cruise liner that can accommodate over 1500 passengers.
To make this journey comfortable they have a staff 1:2 ratio who manage the ship and look after the guests and keep the cruise liner in top shape.

Different people have different reasons to take a cruise and I found people from various nationalities and age groups.

There were families with children, young couples who had chosen this cruise as part of their Honeymoon and there were Senior Couples who were enjoying a leisurely life that SuperStar Gemini has to offer.
Life on the ship can be luxurious as well as rewarding. Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini offers a number of activities, food and entertainment options to its guests. I found the game of Bingo “Go for gold Jackpot Bingo” was not just easy to play but also quite rewarding as I witnessed quite a few guests walk away with winning the Bingo games .If you want to try your luck there is a full-fledged casino.
The best part is that I found that this cruise offered something for everyone. For those traveling with children there is a full-fledged activity center. It has a care taker and a large number of games and activities to keep the young ones productively occupied. It is an experience that every child should have for a positive Impact on their lives.

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini Activity Centre

Apart from this there are regular activities like Cake Decorations ,Pizza Making,ice cream party ,paper art, Pajama Party and the list goes on and there are enough activities to keep the young ones not just occupied but they can also learn a new skill and enhance their knowledge about the ship and the world.
For the entire family there are game shows that the entire family can play, experience the Chinese Tea making demonstration or simply go to the deck and enjoy breathtaking view of Sunrise and Sunset.
For the honeymooners and the young couples there are plenty of opportunities to bond and spend quality time together. If you want to spend quality time with your loved ones then Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini is the place to be.

You could laze on the deck 11 breathe in that fresh air that is so refreshing.
Go for a Jog together on deck 7 or maybe request a song as the live band plays peppy music at various places and locations of the ship. One can request a song and if the band knows it then they eagerly play it for you. I heard beautiful Bollywood song renditions by the various artists on the ship.

The cruise lays a lot of emphasis on entertainment. So there are a number of shows lined up for you when you are on board.
These add to the charm of being on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini and without attending them the experience would never be complete.

Food: Star Cruise SuperStarGemini has a number of restaurants and places to eat and drink. They offer a wide range of cuisines to suit its various guests. They serve Indian , Chinese ,Asian  and Western Cuisines.
There is so much food with so much variety to suit each palate that one cannot possibly go hungry if one is looking in the right places. If you are a vegetarian or a Jain, do not get worried these meals are readily available.
I have listed the restaurants on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini. These specialize in different kind of foods. The restaurants on board are of two type’s  all inclusive restaurants that one can go to and eat without paying anything extra. You can go and eat here and your meal cost is covered in the ticket. The restaurants not in the inclusive list are the ones that one can go eat and pay.
For each day you can check the list of inclusive restaurants in the Navigator which is the Navigation tool or map to follow the activities for the day on the ship. This is the daily sheet of paper delivered to you in in your cabin.
For the early risers there is Observatory Lounge/KTV on Deck 12 Fwd
Mariners on Deck 9 Mid offer International & Indian Cuisines (Pork and Lard Free)
Dynasty Deck 11 Aft
Bella Vista
Blue Lagoon is the 24 Hour Open restaurants
Taipan: Chinese and A La carte
Topsiders Bar : They offer some wonderful Wraps and Hotdogs

So when you are traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini be prepared for having a fantastic experience on board the ship.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Superstar Gemini Where the food never fails to surprise you

The food on board superstar Gemini never failed to surprise me. It was a positive surprise to find so much delicious food on a cruise ship. Whatever your preference in food and whatever part of the world you are coming from you are bound to find plenty of good food.

There are plenty of places to Wine & Dine on board Superstar Gemini they are namely
Bella Vista
Oceana Barbecue
Blue Lagoon
Taipan For chinese Food
Food & Beverage Outlets
Observatory Lounge / KTV
Maxims Lounge
Topsiders Bar
Rendezvous Bar
Champs Bar

For a daily schedule and timings of the restaurants  check out your copy of the Star Navigator that is delivered to your cabin everyday.

A guest travelling on board Star Cruise's Superstar Gemini can also tune in to Star Navigator channel on the in cabin TV and view the Star Navigator for the day.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

Time for me to #LoveJatao

Looking back at my childhood I consider myself to be extremely lucky that I got the opportunity to spend quality time with my grandparents.

I have fond memories of spending time with them. My grandfather used to take me to the garden to play and read out stories to me from his collection of books.

A lot changed over time. As I grew up so did the role of my grandparents. From a caregiver they became my constant companion, my best friends and the pillars of my life.

The first day when I went to school was the big day for me and I was apprehensive about stepping alone into the big world outside.

My grandfather took the responsibility of taking me to school. With him by my side I felt protected and prepared myself to enter a new environment. From that day onwards my grandfather took upon himself the responsibility of taking me to school. As a routine he would take me to school every morning on his scooter and I loved the experience.

In those days his scooter was his pride and he loved riding it.

His scooter used to be his prized possession. He was the only person to have one in the locality and no one was allowed to even touch it. I was special to him and I was the only one allowed to touch it or even press the horn button. Every time he offered me a ride, it used to be a treat to remember.

I am a foodie like him and I remember how he used to go to a particular restaurant in another part of the city and get sweet and savory treats for us.

It was one of his favorite places to hang out. It is here that he would meet up with friends or go around meeting old neighbors as he grew up in that locality.

So to make the day special I have secretly contacted all his friends and arranged a small getogether at the same restaurant and I plan to go with him and enjoy the sight when he finds all his old friends at one place waiting to greet him and spend quality time together.

The trip would be a special day for me too and for making the day that much more special I have got his old scooter serviced and to relive those old days I plan to recreate the drive on the scooter experience. The only difference would be that this time it would be a reversal of roles. I would be driving it and he would sit pillion, a role reversal of sorts from the day when I used to hold him tightly and sit behind him on the scooter.

After all with grandparents day on the 10th of September it is time to #LoveJatao for our grandparents.

I look forward to hear from you how would you celebrate Grandparents DayDo share a selfie with your grandparents on Sept. 10, 2017 on Twitter or Facebook with #LoveJatao & tag @blogadda to win a goodie from Parachute Advansed.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Watch The House of Cards Season 5 before the Cards Reshuffle

House of Cards Season 5 "Homecoming of Terror" is a gripping political drama with several under currents and with an element of the unexpected built into the story line. There is much more then meets the eye. People take a stand not based on what is right or wrong but on what benefits them.

The story line is interesting and acting is up to the mark. The female protagonist Claire played by Robin Wright is shown to be calculating and cold and Kevin Spacey as Francis "Frank" J. Underwood matches her calculative and manipulative character.

The Underwood's portray cold and ruthless politician's who have a hidden agenda in whatever they do.

House of Cards Season 5 "Homecoming of Terror" is here and indeed it starts in a style of its own.

The show starts with Claire staring into the camera looking right into your eyes .Her cold stare is enough to bring a chill down your spine.

Spoiler for House of Cards Season 5 Episode 1

Even though this is shown as a scene of a shoot but one thing is quite clear from the narrative style that this series does not use any scene to gain footage. Everything is deftly woven into the story line as a tale of power and political intrigue unfolds.

The story continues from the concluding episode of season 4 in which the supposedly ICO terrorists had captured the Miller family.

The Underwood's had managed to negotiate the release of the mother daughter duo Caroline and Melisa however Melissa's father was ruthlessly beheaded live on TV.

So what do the Underwood's do? They do what they are best at. They use the attack on the American family to their advantage as they declare a war on the face of terror ICO to meet their own political ends.

Going by the narrative style of the series the story unfolds at two levels. On the surface the Underwood's use their power to manipulate the situations to meet their own ends and on a more subtle level there is an underlying narrative that drops hints into what may or may not happen in the coming episodes as the story unfolds.To add to the drama there are plenty of hints that Claire's own political aspirations are ready to take wings.

It is interesting to see how the series progresses.
On the surface of it their would be the power wielding Underwood's trying hard to cling on to power and use every trick in the book to come up trumps and on the other hand are their political rivals doing everything they can to uncover their misdoings

Over all it is a gripping story line with scenes well placed and interconnected. The portrayal of the characters makes it even more riveting.

With references to real life political events, House of Cards Season 5 manages to open a window into the dark aisles of power and give an insight into the games of power that are played.

A must watch political drama that is not to be missed.
“Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee CafĂ©!”
You can catch more information here https://www.facebook.com/ZeeCafe

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

My Indian Jugaad

Flash back to the year 2002's I find myself in a foreign land as part of a team where I am the lone Indian. We are visiting a remote site for project evaluation.

One of the foreign team members has a digital camera and I am quite enamoured by the technology.
On my part I am carrying a roll camera. I click pictures and they would have to be developed and printed on to a photographic paper before they can be used.

My foreign counterpart is merrily clicking pictures so that he can use to create the project report or email them to everyone.
I am fascinated by the technology, My colleague is gracious and lets me handle his tech toy. He explains the features and tells me how technically advanced it is. In the evening on our way back we are greeted with rain and thunder storm.
There is a lot of moisture in the air. My foreign colleague is merrily clicking pictures of everything around.
The next morning when he turns on his camera it just would not come on. There is just a blob of wetness in the areas of the display screen. The non functioning of the camera makes him panic. After all it has almost 3 days of pictures related to work that he would like to use in the project report. Just to calm him down a fellow colleague jokingly said looks like you camera caught a cold. But this did not amuse my colleague. Luckily his camera came with a phone support option. He called up and had a long talk. The support guy took him through a number of steps but did not get any success. Finally he reached the conclusion that the camera would have to be sent back to the factory for fixing. Either they would fix it or give him a new one in case it cannot be fixed as the camera was still under warranty. However in either case the photos stored in the cameras internal memory would be lost. That particular camera had an internal memory storage which could not be removed or backed up in a non functional camera state.
This meant that all the work would had to be done again.
This news caused a lot of panic in our team. There were frantic phone calls made to the office as a result our team was told to travel back again to the site to complete the report and the evaluation. This is the last thing that we want to do but what could be done? With heavy hearts we started packing ….
Then my Indian mind came up with a very Indian Jugaad
For those who do not know what a Jugaad is, it is a hack or an innovation.
I told him that I would like to make an attempt to fix his camera.
Rightfully he seemed doubtful about the outcome of my attempts to fix the camera. I could not blame him for his doubts. He was the technology expert and it was his country with access to so much technological advancement. Even the tech support team had given up on fixing up the camera over the phone and in all probability the photographs had been lost. Yet here I was standing in front of him sans any tools or technology offering to help him fix his camera and perhaps even recover his photos. Reluctantly he gave me the camera. I inspected it and took it to my room. Outside my room it was quite sunny. I could feel the warmth of the sun and that is all I needed to fix the camera.
I took a polythene bag and put the camera inside. I then hung it outside my window. The camera hung there in the warm shade not under direct sunlight, I let it remain there for about two hours.
Then there was a knock at the door I opened the door and found my colleague standing there he was curious to know how my attempt was going along. When he saw his digital camera hanging outside my window in a polythene bag he was quite petrified and I saw his jaws drop. I accompanied him to the window and carefully took the polythene bag holding the camera in. I unwrapped the bag and tried to turn on the camera. With a flicker of red light the dead camera came to life. I handed over the camera to him and he frantically scrolled through the pictures saved in the memory. They were all intact. I suggested that he should back up the pictures. It was an advice he promptly followed.
So that day when some of the best technology had failed an Indian Jugaad had saved not just the day but also saved us from a lot of trouble at the office. From now on my tech savvy colleague began to see me in a new light. I became the new tech expert, the expert of Jugaad the Indian way of looking at and solving problems. I am not the only one wherever we Indian's go we make our mark. People around the world take note of our talents and try to emulate them bit.ly/2oQTj8q

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Rs2000 Genuine or Fake

Do you know that there are 17 Checks to find if the Rs2000 note is real or fake.

To find out hold the note with the Mahatma Gandhi's image side facing you

1) When held against the light
Check the see through register. Here the 2000 can be seen when held against the light
2) Tilt the note to check the latent image of 2000.
3)Devnagri Denomination of 2000.
4)Portrait of Mahatama Gandhi
5)The Micro letter of RBI and 2000 (These are missing on the fake note)
6)Check the color shift security thread. This has 2000 and Bharat written.
7)Guarantee Clause & The governers Signature & RBI emblem towards right.
8)Check the watermark of Mahatama Gandhi and electrotype 2000 numeral.
9)Number Panel with numerals growing from small to big on top left and top bottom right sides.
10) Check the Denominational numeral with the rupee symbol and 2000
11) The Ashoka pillar emblem should be visible.
12)Check out the rectangle with rupee 2000 symbol on the right.
Feel it with finger. In the original it feels raised. In the fake one it is not a raised print.
13)Check the 7 angular bleed lines In the genuine currency they are raised but in the fake currency they are present but not raised.
Now check the reverse side

14)Year of issuance (2016) for the first set of notes
15) Check the Swatch Bharat Logo
16) Check the 16 Languages, language panel

17)Check the Motif of Mangalyaan.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Live a Royal Holiday at ITC Mughal Agra

Why does a tourist go to Agra?
More often then not it is to visit the Taj Mahal and if you are a true romantic like me you cannot help but imagine the luxurious lives the mughal emperors and their families would have enjoyed?
When they could so painstakingly build the Taj Mahal the ultimate epitome of undying love of an emperor for his beloved queen so what would be it like  to live the grandeur experienced by the mughals at the peak of their glory.
Fortunately for me this dream of imagining the grandeur was to be transformed seamlessly into a reality when I booked a stay at the ITC Mughal, A Luxury Collection Hotel at Agra for a weekend stay at this beauitful 5 star property.
The beauty of booking a weekend break to Agra is that it is so well connected by road that it seems to be the most obvious choice for a weekend destination. The newly built and the well maintained Yamuna expressway was another incentive for me as I was driving to Agra from Delhi.

The distance between Delhi to Agra is about 232.7 Km via the Taj Expressway / Yamuna Expressway.
It  can easily be covered in about four and a half hours.
I found the road to be good and the drive was smooth and quite enjoyable.

To live like royalty I had opted to stay at the ITC Mughal located at Taj Ganj, Agra It is a strategically located property from where all the major attractions of the Agra city can be easily accessed.

The moment I stepped into this hotel I realized how correct I was to book my stay at this magnificent property sprawling on a 35 acre land.The hotel is situated close both to the city centre and the gardens and Agra's main attraction the Taj Mahal.
Being here I was never too far from the Agra fort built by Akbar.
Even Fathepur Sikri which was built by the side of an artificial lake is not too far.In fact it is about 3 Km away

On the advice of the concierge I visited the Sikandra tomb which is a combination of the muslim and the hindu style of architecture.

Talking about architecture and style my hotel ITC Mughal did capture and recreate the grandeur and luxury of the mughal era for its guests.
To experience the royal luxury with the addition of modern amenities and technology I had to look no further.
There is opulence all around you.

What would you stay if this is the view of the main entrance

The view of the lobby left me speechless.

With so much opulence around me I was at a loss for words

View of Taj Bano my favourite place to eat.

With every step I was taken into a deeper realm of luxury.

bagh e bahar lounge. It seemed the time stood still.

Who says you have to be born as a king. You can always opt to stay here in the Royal Mughal suite and enjoy the modernized luxury of the ITC Mughal

If you want to step back into time just visit the SPA reception and be mesmerised by the view. This is what I saw


SPA Reception at Kaya Kalp the royal Spa.
Need I say more, it was a timeless classic royal holiday at ITC Mughal A Luxury Collection Hotel.
Here the food was great and an experience beyond words.

“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip

image credits: http://www.starwoodhotels.com

Luxury in the heart of Mumbai

The one thing I like best about going to Mumbai is the moment when my plane lands
and I step out of the aeroplane. There is something magical in the air.

“ I always get the feeling that the big city of Mumbai spreads its arms to welcome
“The warmth filled breeze at the Mumbai airport and the bright
sun kissed tarmac never fails to fill me with a new found enthusiasm and vigor.”

As I stepped out of the airport I found a person from the Novotel Juhu Beach
waiting for me at the arrival. Dressed in a crisp white uniform he was there to
welcome me and lead me to my car.
A cool breeze escorted me and gently caressed my face and ruffled my hair ever
so gently and made me feel so wanted and welcome in this big and beautiful
The ride to the Novotel Juhu beach hotel is short as the hotel is not very far
from the airport. En route I found a large sea of people who were going about
their business of life.
As my car meandered through the Mumbai roads I wondered
"So these are the people who make Mumbai tick and make Mumbai the city that
never sleeps"
So many people always on the move making it a sea of people, it felt good
however my eyes were searching for a sea of a different kind.
I was looking forward to get a glimpse of the Arabian Sea. As the hotel car in
which I was traveling took a turn I got my first glimpse of the Arabian Sea.
The sun light drenched waves appeared to have donned a silver edge and were
merrily dancing to the song of the sea. I rolled down the window of my car and
I could experience the cool see breeze getting mixed with the air of the car
air conditioner. I felt excited and I wanted to get out of the car and run towards the sea but I resisted the temptation as I knew that there would be many opportunities to observe the Arabian sea at close quarters as I was going to stay in a Sea facing room at the Novotel Juhu beach hotel.
The Check in
The Check in was smooth and quick and I was escorted to my room.
I could not wait to see the view of the sea from my room. Moving the curtains to one side I got a breathtakingly beautiful view of the Juhu beach from my room.
The A.C was on and I was sipping my welcome drink observing the bright shimmering waves hitting the clean sands of the Juhu beach.
As a hotel guest I could access

Free WiFi
work space
32-inch LCD TV
Lavish buffet breakfast
24-hour fitness centre
O2 Spa
Choice of flexible spaces for hosting an event

A Hotel by the beach in a city like Mumbai is indeed a luxury and my eyes searched for a path to go to the beach. I found a door in front of the hotels swimming pool leading to the beach.
“A mere 2-3 meter walk to the clean part of the Juhu beach from my hotel room! “

The luxury was getting even better.
I hurriedly made my way to the beach through the exclusive hotel gate reserved for its guests and walked up to the waves that were playfully inviting me to join them in a game of sorts.

Luxury continues ~ No place is too far from the Juhu beach.

Spending time at the beach had a calming effect on me and I got geared up to take on the hustle and bustle of Mumbai's city life. The twin effect of the rejuvenating experience at the beach and the fact that the Novotel is so centrally located in Juhu makes it easy to travel to any destination. I for instance wanted to visit the Sidhi Vinayak temple to get Bappa's blessings and it was a short drive away.
So was a trip to Bandra linking road.

Rubbing into celebrities at Novotel Juhu Mumbai ~ The trip is getting better and better.
In the evening when I returned to my hotel and entered its main gate I witnessed Mr Anupam Kher walk out of the hotel. That was not all My Akshay Kumar and Prabhudeva were also spotted on the next day. The feeling of being in such close proximity of such celebrities indeed adds to the experience of your holiday.
It Food Food and more Food
There are a plenty of food options at this beautiful hotel

GADDA DA VIDA-Chic Sea Lounge
I found this to be a great place to sit and relax. Enjoy a drink and a quick snack as I watched the boats and the waves of the Arabian Sea.
Olio is the go to place for Italian food. The hot Pizza from the wood fired oven is a must try and made me go here again and again.

BAGEECHA-Indian Dining
This place is so wonderful. I enjoyed siting and dining here in the evening and it used to be a great sight to watch food being prepared in the open kitchen. The aroma of fresh hot food mixed with the fresh air from the sea never failed to work up my appetite.

SAMPAN-Chinese Dining
This place offers fine Chinese dining options at the hotel.

THE SQUARE-Pan Indian All Day
This is the place where I could find delicious Indian food throughout the day and I loved eating here. The range of food was elaborate and it becomes difficult to make a choice as to what to eat and what to leave.

PECHE MIGNON is my favourite part of the hotel for it is Juhu's Only French Pâtisserie. It presents a lavish array of fresh and vibrantly flavoured pastries, breads with a variety of chocolates.

At times when you are travelling to a new city finding food of choice can be a luxury however the next morning I had a sumptuous buffet breakfast at the restaurant and was a great way to begin my day.
The French pastry shop is another attraction not to be missed at this facility as It is a famous and renowned french pastry shop in Juhu that lives to its reputation of offering authentic french pastries and breads.
Since It was a Sunday morning I got to experience a lot of activities that were planned for the hotel guest. There were activities for kids and a bangle maker was making lakh (laquer) bangles for the ladies.

A few laps in the open air pool were enough to work up a good appetite. There were a number of food options available from an open air restaurant to an interior air conditioned seating.

Sitting under the shade getting a good view of the pool and the ocean beyond, biting into some hot, delicious and nutritious lunch with not a worry in the world is the best luxury I could wish for at that moment and more then wishing I was living it.

“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip

Saturday, 28 January 2017

The Warmth of Friendship

It is often said opposites attract but who ever coined this phrase did not know about me and my classmate Suraj. We were complete opposites. I was meticulous and studious and he was the complete opposite, always busy playing pranks and troubling me. Being the son of a teacher he got preferential treatment from the rest of the teachers. If this was not enough injustice he was always assigned to my group. So I was the one who did all the hard work be it any class projects or any activity but he would walk away with all the laurels. Even in the school plays he was the one who would get the best roles and most of us including me would be assigned some insignificant part. From raiding my lunchbox to hiding my homework and getting me into trouble was his favorite past time. One could say that ours was a love hate relationship. I hated him and he loved to create more trouble for me.
The fact that he was also my lab partner made things even more difficult for me. It was the time of the year when the school session was coming to a close and the only silver lining for me was that since it was boards exams time I would no longer have to be the target of the pranks of Suraj.
On the penultimate day of school during the chemistry revision practicals he spilled some chemicals on my practical note book ruining it completely. As it was the record of a full years of work which was now lost due to his prank made me feel miserable. I was angry and I sulked but what could be done all my hard work had been wasted. As it was the year of my board exams so I was required to present my practical workbook in front of the external examiner. I felt very depressed and I fell ill and skipped the last day of school before the exam preparation holidays began.
Even at home I found it very hard to concentrate on my studies even when I recovered from the illness. The anger and frustration made me very bitter. I was neither able to focus on my revision nor was I able to rewrite my practicals notebook.
Then one day in the morning the door bell rang. When I opened the door I found the same bully classmate of mine Suraj standing at the door. He was the last person whom I expected or wanted to see and even before I could react he extended his right hand. In his hand I saw a practical note book neatly covered in brown paper. On its cover was my name handwritten in bold letters. I took the notebook from him and flipped through it. It had all the records of the experiments and the readings recreated and completed. He had even got it checked and signed by our chemistry teacher.
I was surprised and asked me how did he manage to do this to which he said that as he was my lab partner he had all the readings in his notebook and all he had to do was to copy it in to a new notebook. Being a teachers son had its perks and he had no problems getting it checked and signed by our chemistry teacher, As he said this his cold impish grin did not seem impish anymore. Instead what I saw was a new warm side of Suraj. He had sacrificed almost a week of our study leave in completing my project book and yes he had admitted in front of our chemistry teacher that it was his fault.

Till date I have preserved that practical notebook with great care as it holds for me warm loving memories of #MagicOfWarmth moment of finding a new friend.

“I’m blogging about my #MagicOfWarmth moment at BlogAdda in association with Parachute Advansed Hot Oil