2 never to miss places in China

If you ever plan a trip to China with short duration there 2 never to miss places in my travel recommendation

  1. Disneyland in Shanghai
  2. Great wall of China

My main visit to Disneyland in Shanghai was also because of its one of the largest in the world and huge in the expanse. My 3.5-year-old was already knowing the key characters of Disney which made it exciting for him as well

One tip: Avoid visiting on weekends as the waiting time for rides is too long.

My first experience was also very special after all we get a chance to view the magical place

The first ride was a merry-go-round – which reminds the poem Merry go round the mulberry bush… and of course, the demand of the purple horse was fulfilled

 

Meeting with the Starwars

 

Disney Castle

 

Meeting Winnie the Pooh

Meeting Winnie the Pooh

 

Disney Clock

 

Entrance of Disneyland

 

Beijing:-

Beijing is a very historical place, hence if you are a history person then this is a must visit. I was thoroughly impressed with the Great Wall of China. I call it “A long Beast”. It takes at least half a day hence carry food and water, though there are enough restaurants.

 

The best way to start your walk is via ropeway or cable car and once you finish either you can come back the same route else take Toboggan and have a fun sliding all the way down

 

Ropeway

 

Toboggan ride

 

Great wall of China

 

 

 

If Clouds became a Genie…

Have you ever thought in your wild dreams if clouds ever became a genie… then how would you have seen yourself as…

Well, Arabian nights have always fascinated me so maybe I would love being Aladdin with my magic lamp. I love traveling so Clouds can become my Aeroplane and take me all over the world:)

When I am thirsty it can pour water right into my mouth… Oh!!! I am being a bit lazy…

When my kid wants to have a bubble bath I can just have all the clouds around him making  white lather on his head and face

If I want to eat pasta and Pizza he will take me to Italy to have the most authentic one…

If I want to eat chocolates then he will make a candy rainfall for me…

He would pour the clouds on to my hair like a hot coconut oil giving a nice spa.. god I saved time from going to spa center…

If ever I wanted to see god dancing he would transform clouds into 7 headed Serpents and dance above them. The thunder and lighting and storm would form the background score…

Above all my wish to him would be:-

  1. If ever the world had a water crisis he would make a downpour and free the place out of water problems and
  2. If ever there was a flood disaster he would fight the monster clouds and save the people…

 

Joy of riding!!!

While on an outing to a garden small kids were riding cycle. Some riding fluently some learning, some falling, dads teaching how to ride a cycle and some kids want to race.

Seeing them it took me down memory lane as to how we could rent cycle in our locality for as low as INR 25 Paise for half an hr and 50 paise of 1 hr. I do remember my father running behind me and scolding me when I didn’t press the brakes on time or didn’t see people walking on road etc… but that was learning. The fun moments were when the proficiency became a “JOY of RIDING”.

Incidentally one day one of my friends in the condominium pinged and asked if I would want to join Cycling to Bukit Batok Nature Park, I immediately said yes but had a lot of apprehension in mind. I had not driven cycle for a long time.

Thanks to all cycle companies like ofo, o bike, grab cycles now riding becomes easy and less hassle. Just to try if I could, I took the cycle from my child’s kindergarten back home.

First I wobbled, then braked, then stopped… Hurray!!!!!! I can ride I haven’t forgotten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We set on taking our cycles to Batok Nature Park. The beauty of the riding path is that there are pavements meant for park connectors that make the route less confusing.

We were 4 and as we took off the fun had started… my olden days were flashing in front of my eyes, the laughter, smiles and the shoutings, the traffic, the honks, the falling, getting the puncture fixed.. everything just came up just in front of the eyes within a second…..

Then I realized……

When you are young riding cycle is fun… As you grow older its becomes “Joy of Riding”

 

 

 

Italian connection

When you think of a romantic date a candlelight dinner can never be complete without wine and pasta. Pasta always has been seen as food for special occasions, but in due course, the way the dish is looked at has changed.

My liking to explore pasta got enthusiasm when a little one at home expressed his liking for pasta. Yes, Pasta!!!

There began a journey to the world of colorful kinds of pasta… We know pasta is white which is cream cheese, red which is arrabiatta , pesto which is green… BUT have you ever imagined a pink or orange pasta in front of you

Yes, it’s different to eyes but healthy to eat… So here’s my version of healthy pasta

 

PINK Pasta

  1. Pick Pasta of your choice – Usually, either penne, fusilli or spaghetti is most preferred..

Method:-

  • Boil Pasta in water with oil and bit of salt. Cook it well, strain and run with cold water
  • Sauce:-
    • 2 tbsp of refined flour, saute in butter until the raw fragrance goes,
    • Add 2 cups of milk – I prefer low fat, mix well and add a bit of salt
    • Add crushed pepper and Italian seasoning

Now for the color – Kids like vibrant colors, so healthy always goes colorful. The icing to this is to add a combination of veggies to get the pink …

Carrots+ Beetroots – yes that’s the combo!!!

Beetroot is rich in fibre, exerting favorable effects on bowel function, which may assist in preventing constipation and help to lower cholesterol levels too.

Carrot The health benefits of carrots include reduced cholesterol, lower risk of heart attacks, prevention of certain cancers, improved vision, and reduced signs of premature aging. premature aging. Furthermore, they are rich in vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

So Knowing the benefits how do we get the colors… Take the number of carrots more and less of beetroot in the ratio of 1:0.5 to get the perfect pink……

Pink Pasta with spinach

Orange Pasta – Follow the same steps except that there is no Beetroot.

Orange Pasta

 

When emotions get mixed with pasta the below is the abbreviation is what I see. This is my abbreviation of Pasta….

P – Passion

A – Accurate

S – Soulful

T – Timeless

A – Ageless

“Happy meal Always healthy meal”

Swachh Bharat Shining Bharat #BlogToPM

Dear Modiji,

Its truly appreciative effort from your ends to aim to make India a #Swachh Bharat. However, there is much to do..

Every year we see so much written about sanitization, garbage, flooding, bribes, punishment, tougher laws, better access to citizens on basic laws, better transportation etc etc.. but I would like to highlight certain key issues still prevailing in our system.

 

  1. Toilets – 3 years ago was launched India’s biggest cleanliness movement – Swachh Bharat Mission, states were given money to build toilets and monetary incentives to private players to process municipal waste and make compost or generate electricity, we have already passed 2 years from the action date is there any way to gauge how effective the toilet construction exercise has been in bringing about the sanitization behavioural change? In first world countries be it mall or station the toilets are just worth visiting without even a single rupee paid.
    Hence as tourists, it gives a different perspective on cleanliness. Can we ensure that the toilets at tourist places and local places are well kept? at least to make it a good feel for the locals and tourists
  2. Basic Education to Girl child – Can there be a rule in the country that every girl child must have a right to basic education?. Make it compulsory for them to go to schools. Let the  NGO’s be given this fruitful task.
  3.  Fine on trains – It not just the metro or the monorails the local trains that carry lakhs of passengers to work every day, Can there be a system to not eat in trains? First world countries have taken serious steps to ensure that their transport system is neat. Can the govt take steps to educate this in the minds of people and instill a discipline to not eat in trains? Heavy fines must be imposed on those caught

      4. Garbage segregation in the minds of people – While giving importance to segregate wet and dry waste

why not  remove the garbage out of peoples mind

– Educate them about throwing garbage on any roads, especially in front of schools, medical places like hospitals

– Impose a heavy fine on theft and other scrupulous activities. If caught should be punished. Speed up the process. Justice takes too much time.  They must be deterred to behave in that way.

– Impose food and water sanitization. Compulsory washing of hands before cooking or eating

– Traffic signal defaults and over speeding be caught and fined heavily

5. Better roads – Can we have pot-free roads? Can the government ensure that before every rain all the garbage and plastic is taken off roads?  Can the roads be so good that the office commuters don’t face the trouble of traffic jams? Trains can they have closed doors to avoid accidents? Mumbai trains carry lakhs of people. People sitting on the trains, leaning out etc… can this stop?

Can there be shades on the footpath and make it easy for travelers and also protection from rain?Can we look at other international countries the laws, facilities, and life the citizens?

  It must just not be Swachh Bharat it must be  Shining Bharat #BlogToPM

Thank you blogadda for this opportunity

#BlogToPM

Thanks for your consideration # Blog To PM

 

Super foods make Super brains

Super foods make Super brains

 

When it comes to kids it’s always a thought that goes into a moms head… So is mine .. my three years old boy is someone who always keeps me busy..

As elders say eating is not important, what the kids eat is important hence, from a young age it’s important to give foods which will help them stay healthy…

Some foods which I believe as a mom kids can have are below:-

  1. Dal khichdi – Moong dal is protein and Rice has the carb. Mixed with veggies like carrots, beans, pumpkin, cabbage, beetroot, potatoes make a good meal…
  2.  Ghee – Ghee made from cows milk make a good bowel movement. Everyday dabble a spoon either in rice or Chappatis ..
  3. Dry fruits – Cashews, Badam, Pista, Dates, walnuts.. these contain, Vitamins and essential oils which give energy and sharper brains
  4. Oats – A source of high fiber and extremely healthy. Either make it like a porridge with toppings if different fruits like apples and bananas
  5. Eggs- High source of  protein, very good source of Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium and Zinc
  6. Supplements – Fish oil or gummies which contain fish oils of shark or tuna is extremely healthy. This is a good option for veggies…
  7. Milk – High source of calcium and good for bones. You can always make shakes or give the favorite drink of kids like Milo or Horlicks
  8. Raagi – High protein content and very healthy

It’s so amazing to see our kids develop and that they become much smarter and super …..

I love experimenting foods, so do you as well?

That one click!!!!

 

The day you turn 23 the word marriage has already hit your head… yes and its swirling all around you.

At family functions, visitors at home, on the telephone while chatting .. Gosh it’s everywhere.. like sugar… it’s everywhere…

Radhika was the eldest daughter of 2 in a small nuclear family in Mumbai she was known by that house name … after completing her MBA the next agenda of her life was Marriage… Her mother was already going nuts as if the marriage was to happen in the next one hour. She just wanted to run away.. but she knew that one day or the other she had to get married.

As usual her profile was registered on Tamil Matrimony and if this was not enough few other recommendations from aunties and elderly folks. Time passed things were going not so smooth. First of all, there was this astrologer whom her mother consults who asked her to do some poojas… a list of problems, star, time, raasi and what and all…

One astrologer to another sending and receiving emails. The common answer from boys side the horoscope doesn’t match, the girl needs to be in US and blah… blah.. The boys she met for coffee couldn’t get materialized.

This was on for some time until she decided that now she will take some steps. She re-registered her profile and didn’t let her parents know it. It was a pretty open information compared to what her parents had put. She changed her photo as she was prettier at 26 now… Having worked abroad gave her more scope to alliances.

One day, as usual, she was browsing the internet and logged in to the matrimony site. Little did she know that this time it’s going to change her life. As she was browsing she came across a profile which she felt was a good fit. But she was in a dilemma if she must or not. But a bit of confusion in mind she sent a mail to the boy’s party. Little did she know that this would be a turning point in her life.

To her surprise, the boy accepted the profile. It was a Sunday afternoon and the phone bell rang. A female voice said can I talk to your father, thinking of a regular phone call I passed it on to my dad. As they were talking Radhika figured that it was the same profile she had sent an interest in. Her joy knew no boundaries…..

Post discussion of parents it finally came to both her and the boy talking and as time went by they liked each other and the marriage was fixed. It was a happy moment for both the families. The marriage went off well…

Radhika today is a wife to a guy who is a cute, smart and charming boy.. and as years passed by both of them joke of the crazy people they met during their search for alliance and in between a small cute boys voice comes and out and her loving son just jumps in to the bed filling their times with laughter and happiness…

What I want to be?

 

 

Synopsis:

All kids have this dream of being someone. A usual phenomenon in the brain that gets fed from childhood.. I want to be this and that…

Here’s the journey of a cute little boy Sammy’s with his genie in his dreamland where he discovers what he can and what he must go through to achieve that…..

After all, he had to win the grandma’s surprise gift….

Story:

Sammy was a sweet boy of 5 years old. He loved painting, cycling and seeing his favorite cartoons… Now he was all set to enter his primary classes.

Vacation was approaching and as always every year Sammy and his cousins would visit grandma for 15 days in a year. Sammy was all excited as he was all set ready to share his experiences with his dearest grandma. After all, he was the smallest of all the cousins.

Grandma at her home had made all delicacies for her dearest grandchildren and her special pudding as a gift to someone special. After all, she had planned a special task for all her grandchildren…

Grandma lived in a beautiful village with lush green coconut trees, cows, green paddy fields.. Kids would often get a drink of the fresh coconut waters right from the trees, milk the cows and get a tour of the paddy fields…..

All the kids arrived with great happiness. It was late in the evening and all of them were tired. They had a great supper prepared by their grandma…

Grandma said, ok children now have a good night sleep and look for an envelope in your rooms… there is a surprise!!!!

Wow, grandma surprise!!!! Yes, and we will talk about this tomorrow at the breakfast table …

All the kids went to their rooms. Sammy’s room had a lovely view of the sky … he opened the balcony and breathed the fresh air. He then looked at the envelope grandma had kept for all.

The topic to be discussed the next day was What do you want to be when you grow up?” Sammy always had many things in his young mind on whom he wanted to be …

Sammy lay in his bed gazing at the stars. He closed his eyes but his mind was wandering on the question grandma had asked…

As he fell asleep… he started dreaming ..ok I want to be Doctor… What? said a voice, doctor? a genie whom Sammy always liked in his cartoons…

Do you know you have to put in so much of hard work and have to be on duty even at night… are you ready to do that? asked the genie

Sammy said  Oh no .. I can’t do so much of studying and can’t stay too late at night…

Ok… Then how about being an engineer? After all, I like playing with tools

 

Genie said: you have to live and breathe machines. You will have to all time do checks of machines.. instead, your brains will have to function like them…

Oh, no said Sammy… ok so what about being a teacher. That’s fairly an easy job

Genie said What a teacher?? Sammy, aren’t you the naughtiest kid in the class?

Do you know what it takes to handle so many kids… You need to know everything in the book and outside. Kids ask so many questions.

You will have no vacations. You will be loaded with huge exam papers to correct, prepare report cards and also study for the class…

Sammy said what .. yes that’s true…He and genie discussed on multiple options of professions like being an actor, scientist, banker and what not.

Genie then held Sammy’s hand and said, Sammy, you have a long way to go… You are now a small kid.. enjoy your childhood. You have lots of time to think of this…

You now have to study, play with your friends, do your hobby, develop your likings and eventually a day will come when you know exactly what you want to be…

As the dream passed by, the ray of morning sun hit Sammy’s eyes… he slowly rubbed his eyes and sat on his bed. The morning chirps of birds and fresh air in the garden was just a perfect morning.

Sammy opened the balcony and stood there looking at the beautiful sight he always wanted to see…

Grandma came from behind and said “Good Morning Sammy, hope you had a good night sleep. Yes, grandma. I feel fresh…

Alright then see you soon at the breakfast table…

Grandma had made lovely breakfast.. french toast, pudding, fresh coconut water from their farm… The kids had a lovely breakfast…

Grandma then said, kids hope you have read the surprise letter in your rooms. Let’s meet at 11 am to know your thoughts. All the kids assembled in the courtyard.

Grandma sat on her rocking chair. Sammy and his six cousins Ryan, Tina, Charles, Rommie, Sia, and Bryan sat in circles…

Grandma said, Ryan since you are the eldest you start first. All the children told their wish to be when they grow up.

Some wanted to be a scientist, some writer, poet, singer …. and finally, it was Sammy;s turn…

Grand ma asked so Sammy’s what’s your thought on this .. I know that you are too small for this, but you are a part of the group. So you also will have to tell your thoughts.

Sammy looked at Grand Ma.. and said, I would like to be my myself, Sammy .. I have a long way to go. I have to still explore the world to know exactly what I want to be.

For now, I just want to be myself and enjoy my life with all of you, my friends, do what I like to do… But one day Grand ma I will grow big and will come and tell you what I want to be?

Grand ma gave a smile.. her eyes were filled with tears. She stood up and gave a big hug to Sammy. She ran her hand over his head and said, Dear child, I always knew you that you will be someone big in life.

She announced that Sammy will get the surprise cake as she found him to be the best of all .. All the cousins hugged Sammy and tossed him in the air…  they all had the lovely cake Grandma had made…

As days passed by the vacation also came to an end and all the kids bid goodbye to grandma… Sammy was sad to leave but he also remembered what the genie had to told him…

He kissed grandma goodbye and said grandma, this is a special gift I bought for you. Thank you for everything… he waved a goodbye and promised to see her soon next year…..

Grandma waved her hand and gave a flying kiss as Sammy’s car drove outside her house…….

Who was he?

 

Who was he?

Rani was a vivacious, beautiful and charming girl. She was always fashion conscious and dreamt of owning a 5-carat diamond ring some day… She would always think that one day a rich handsome guy would propose her with a diamond ring. Nevertheless, her parents were trying to find a perfect match and being a middle-class family girl these were just a mere dream in her life….

Working in an MNC for almost 5 years finally knocked her doors of international opportunity to Paris  … the mecca of style and fashion. Rani was as much excited as it was one opportunity that she saw to get to where she wanted to.

Her friends always told her that it’s an amazing chance to find her love life an Indian rich NRI and Rani would blush…. She bid good bye to her parents and her excitements grew no bounds… As she landed in Paris she was just too overwhelmed with the culture and style and fashion she had never seen before….

Being a shopaholic she was always falling short of money but was saving enough to buy her dream ring. Rani’s office was in the main business area. The place she lived was near a mall which had everything she wanted from clothes, shoes, cosmetics and diamond jewelry. One evening Rani set out to explore the mall and stood in front of a jewelry shop and would keep staring at the diamond ring. Her mind would say Wow.. so beautiful. I wish I had it.. every day from work she would stand in front of the same shop. One day she noticed a shadow…. it was a man …

She was scared and pushed off. The shadow followed her for a while and then disappeared. Rani literally held her breath… This happened every day…. Rani then stopped going to the shop and started taking the other route to go home. She would fear of the black coat guy whom she saw in the Hindi films.

Rani’s birthday was approaching and she had invited her office collaeagues at home… Rani had always loved to dress up. She had bought a red dress from a near buy mall. Her  friend had bought her a lovely cake and they had a nice dinner with songs and dance and of-course her favorite Bollywood track…

Her friends had showered her with gifts and it made her day. It was 10 pm at night and was pretty cold. Her friends bid her a good-bye and she thanked them as well.

After freshening up she started opening the gifts one by one and till then a bell rang…. Rani froze….. It was 11.30 in the night… She was so scared and thought if the shadow of the man in the black coat reached her house. She went to the door and peeped through the peephole. There was no one. Her heart was beating so fast and she was sweating.

With great strength, she opened the door and gave a voice asking “Who is it? There was absolute silence .. the cold wind hit her face. She was about to close the door and something hit her toes.

It was a tiny packet. Rani picked the gift and there was a card attached to the gift, it read to the Most Beautiful Girl…. Happy Birthday!!!!.. She was exited as well as tensed…

She sat on her bed and as she opened the tiny box she couldn’t believe her eyes.. It was the same diamond ring and it came it with a message

Will you marry me?… Rani’s eyes watered.. she was so over whelmed and didnt know what to do….

She stood across the window gazing at the sky.. the stars were never so beautiful … and she thought to herself and with a smile she said Who was he?…..

 

 

 

Why Vietnam is my next destination in August

When it comes to South East Asia Vietnam was one the countries that I always wanted to visit. I had heard so much about the country in terms of Food, culture, places to see and of course shopping.

Vietnam has distinctive climates in northern, Central and Southern parts of the country. In Hanoi & the north, May to October is hot and humid with high rainfall; November to April is cooler and dry. In the far north, December & January can be particularly cold.

Central Vietnam experiences hot, dry weather between January & August whilst high levels of rainfall can occur in September, October & November. Southern Vietnam is generally dry and hot from November to April, and warm and wet between May & October, with the highest rainfall in June, July & August.

Since different parts of Vietnam has different climates, hence it gives you a choice to visit the place of your choice.

The place that I would choose to go in Hanoi and Ninbinh.  Being a big country it’s not possible to see all the places in a weeks time.

There are some interesting places that can be explored

  1. Water Puppet Theatre

A unique ancient art form of water puppetry has a long association with Hanoi. The original – and widely regarded as the best – theater in town is the Thang Long Puppet Theatre. It’s roots in an art form that dates back to the 11th century.
Using large rods to support the puppets it appears as if they are moving across the water with the puppeteers hidden behind a screen.

Water-puppet-show-in-Hanoi Thang Long Puppet Theatre

2. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is an important  artifact of Vietnam’s history and, signifies  its historical and cultural importance. Its s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

 

3. Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son temple:-
Hoan Kiem Lake  is a central feature of Hanoi and is a popular hangout spot  with locals and international tourists. Ngoc Son Temple sits on a small island in the centre of the lake. It is connected by a bridge and that makes a beautiful scenic view.  This area becomes especially busy with joggers in the mornings and evenings , couples enjoying the relaxing views across the lake, and the elderly practising Tai Chi and line dancing.

hoan-kiem-lake Hanoi

 

ngoc-son-temple-hanoi
ngoc-son-temple-hanoi
Ngoc Son Temple has Bridge connecting
Ngoc Son Temple has Bridge connecting

4. Dong Xuan Market

Dong Xuan Market is the largest of its kind in Hanoi.  It is housed within a four-storey Soviet-style building on the northern edge of Hanoi Old Quarter

You can buy printed T-shirts or cheap sunglasses, it is still fascinating to see the comings and goings of the local traders, and there is a wet market on the ground floor where the sights and smells of exotic produce.

take visitors past islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets. The region is popular for scuba diving, rock climbing and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park.

4. Halong Bay

Hạ Long Bay, in northeast Vietnam, is known for its emerald waters and thousands of towering limestone islands topped by rainforests. Junk Boat tours , kayaking. These attractions take visitors past islands named for their shapes, including Stone Dog and Teapot islets. The region is popular for scuba diving, rock climbing, and hiking, particularly in mountainous Cát Bà National Park.

One can choose to do an overnight cruise. This is a must experience but beware of the storms the cruise may get cancelled.

Junk Cruise Halong bay
Junk Cruise Halong bay

A day trip to Nin Binh – When it comes to Nin Binh I would personally recommend is Tom Coc. Tam Coc which means 3 caves, is a zone of Vietnam that elapses between rice paddies, bathed by the Ngo Dong River punctuated by karstic rock formations and limestone caves. The most impressive of Tam Coc are rice fields when at its best, with a bright green with yellow, ending in the beginning of the cliffs of the rock formations.
The Vietnamese call the paddy fields of Tam Coc as the Green Sea.

Nin Binh boasts of the most majestic and impressive natural landscapes in Southeast Asia, yet  many travelers overlook it.

How to Get to Nin Binh:- From Hanoi, you can reach Ninh Binh city by train. There are at least 3 southbound trains available (SE5, SE7, SE19).Another more convenient option is the bus. There are regular buses from Hanoi’s southern bus terminal (Giap Bat). The Journey takes around 2 to 2.5 hrs via train and bus.

The rainy season is also when the rice fields are at their best vivid green, so there’s really a reason to visit all year round.

Boat ride in Tom Coc

Tam coc boat ride in the paddy fields


These are in my places to see and that’s what makes it special to visit Hanoi in August.. look forward to go here soon…..