Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lounge Diaries - Part 2

Many of my dear readers messaged /  emailed and connected via my social media channels to complete the missing part of my earlier 'most read monthly ' blogpost : the Lounge Diaries- Part 1.  

Honestly, technology was keeping me busy and hence the delay in sharing Part 2. As I sit in the luxurious American Express proprietary lounge at T3 , I wonder how it feels to fly a plane . Yes , random thoughts and even more complex me. Its a beautiful sight seeing airplanes fly in and out of the sky to the stars and back to the ground .

Eventually , life is also like this . You aim for the stars and then land up back to where you started , the ground . 

You get to meet interesting people when you travel provided you are game to say a hello or a hi to the strangest of people whom you meet. 

I happened to meet an interior designer who was actually scribbling something onto her notebook while I was hand-typing this on my tablet. While she thought I was busy doing some official work , I actually saw her pen down an interesting design of a sea-side villa which caught my eye and hence began a conversation.




While the wait to the flight was a little over 2 hours , we chatted on a number of things -  from demonetization , to the red color of the Starbucks cups , to the art of writing and sharing thoughts to designing something unique for every customer . 

When you are creative it shows.  We talked about TumBin 1 and TumBin 2 and how we miss Jagjit Singh and his soulful voice and we also chatted on the best airline travel credit cards . 

So basically, everything we could think .  It feels nice when you get to talk to someone who doesn't know you and everything is so white , so pure. You feel to be 100% honest , even if this first time is the last time you are meeting ....


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Saying goodbye to November

2016 has been an interesting year by far . With about a month and half  to go for the switch to happen to 2017 , I hope a positive momentum sustains ; for all of us. 

Like every year , this year as well , till date, I have met some amazing people and some not so genuine ones. I always try to pen down the names and the date when I first met them and see if I would want to carry them ahead with me in the coming year.

Agree , not everyone makes the cut and not everyone needs to. 

Till date , have met people who are elder to me yet immature inside out in a dream world of their own , met people younger to me who have given me food for thought and have also met people that are so pure at heart you just can't make them sad and also the ones that get onto your nerves.

Yes , I will be not in touch with a couple of them and 'me being me' not being in touch means ' game over' for this life for sure . For the remaining , I am sure the bond will continue to grow not because ' I' want it more so since ' we ' want it . And that is life in a nutshell .




In this smart world everyone has a right to be smart . But assuming the other person less smarter than you is a big mistake we make for ourselves . So as an important insight , remove and de-clutter people who are negative in heart and soul and engage and meet with people who charge you up and lift your inner spirits. This small 'edit'  in your life can go a long way by yourself to be happy and spread the cheer around you.

As I sip my flavorful of freshly brewed hand-picked Assam tea overlooking the beautiful Nilgiri Hills at my friend's tea estate , all I can think is life at such places is what I call as real life . I smell an equally scrumptious Irish breakfast awaiting us. 

A beautiful quote right in front me reads as - "  The best thing about keeping busy in your life is there is less time to pick at old wounds ."  

Perfectly summarizes , I guess for the day. 


Check this November song  . Hope you'll like it .

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Shooting Stars and the power of wishing

Often in life , whenever we have free time , we actually end up wasting it . And once , wasted we think we never really get 'free time ' these days.

We all are the same . Genuinely , by working hard on myself , I try whenever I have so called 'free time ' I take look at things / people / surroundings / nature , around us.

And it's in these I find and learn so many small things and stories  .  You know at certain places of high altitude you can actually see a star -studded sky  . What's more . You can see ' shooting stars' .

I remember way back in my engineering college days , we used to wake up till late ( not necessary closing our engineering drawing projects , but to find a shooting star ) and we did , a couple of times.

The open space ( since the campus was close 100 acres ) far from the city , used to be an easy sight.



It was a sight so beautiful . You see and want to capture it but its long gone even before you can blink. Science says they are just floating rocks or dust from space yet stories have it saying that if you 'wish for something from your heart and its pure and genuine'  , you can actually get it.  I won't say if I got what I wished for , it's for you to try and share with all  , the thought in all of this is our life also blinks and goes . In everyday struggles we 'miss'  the littlest of the things and gestures that can do so much of  'wow'  to everyone around us .

It's tough , I know , but then life was never meant to be easy , right ?!

A song on shooting stars ,  -  LISTEN 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lounge Diaries - Part 1

During one of my recent visits to Goa , I happen to bump into one of my old ( lost ) colleagues way back from my engineering days at the airport lounge . Life is full of surprises and when you least expect someone , they are there . 




We had a close 1.5 hrs - 2 hrs stop over before our next flights and we thought to do a quick catch up. Life indeed is not the same  for us as human beings. Everyone is at a different chapter of their individual books which the other person has no clue about. 

The friend told me how she got married , the entire arrangement was a very hush-hush affair , she left her job in Bangalore and moved to Gurgaon to be with her husband and within a year they were separated .

While I may not have been prepared for a conversation like this , but then there isn't anything you can say or do in such scenarios besides keeping your ears open and listening actively . She told a lot about how tough life was and how till date she is not ready to settle down and she had no options but to give in to her parent's wishes ( or requests , if I may say so ) .

Again , coming back from Delhi she had a long conversation with her parents about deciding to resettle in life and this time she had no options but to fly out . I was being asked for my thoughts when all I could think of , was when does one know that one is truly ready to settle in life.  

Here she was -  A top class graduate with a masters working a leading firm and earning pretty well and yet she was unclear on what and when she wants . Now , more so , with a failed marriage she was completely shut to the idea of settling down. She was , as she shared , seeing / involved with two people but had no plans to settle down. 

Her parents , away from all of this were in the process of searching for someone for their only daughter.  Her father had recently suffered a stroke and was not in the best of health. Yet , she did not have the courage or the thinking to share or talk them through .

Its tough being at her place and I could feel the pain in her voice. But ,there was just nothing I could possibly do / share  . I hate times like these when you can't do anything even if you want to do. 

So , the only think that I shared with her was to take a break away from all this for a week  and then come back straight to her parents and talk them through this .  Often we don't understand what the other person feels and more importantly we don't put in the effort to make them understand our side of the story and this is where everything falls apart.  

Communication is and will always be a key here . And if you wrap it up with all the honesty , believe me it will do wonders  .  

As Aldous Huxley once said -  There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Enchanting Kashmir - #DreamTrails

Shikara ride on Dal lake



There are very few places which make you 'miss them ' the moment you 'leave them ' . 

Kashmir is one of them .  Ever since I was a kid always thought of visiting this 'paradise on earth ' .  For the political unrest , alternate options always crept in . 

These were equally good  though .I traveled across almost the whole of India . But this time for my annual summer break I was keen to visit Kashmir  and more importantly ; Gulmarg , Yusmarg , Pahalgam , Sonmarg and Srinagar as the key ones. 

Flights 

Since every other day you get to see and read about flash sales and with a little planning and playing smart you can get yourself a good deal and earn some 'miles' as well . I used a mix-n-match of Jet and Indigo and it costed me under INR 4000 one side from Delhi to Srinagar.

Stay 

I have a bias at staying at places which are beautiful and more importantly have excellent service levels. Sringar was The Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar which was the earlier palace of the Maharaja of Kashmir . You can get a good deal if you are a regular at the Lalit and book minimum 5 months in advance .   

For Gulmarg and Pahalgam you don't have much options.  The preferred places are Hotel Grand Mumtaz ( Gulmarg ) and Hotel MountView ( Pahalgam ) .   

If you are a vegetarian , food may not taste the way you are used to so have rice and local produce . If you are a non-vegetarian you are in for a delight and a treat. 

Must Do :

Srinagar-  Visit the ancient 'Shankarachraya Temple '  , A ride on the 'shikara'at the Dal Lake and the Hazratbal Mosque and the famous Mughal gardens .

Pahalgam  - I am in love with this place.   Aru Valley , Betaab Valley ( the debut place of Sunny Deol and Amrita Singh ) , Chandanwari and Sheshnaag Lake.  The real hero though is the 'Lidder river'  where you can spend hours just seeing it flow.  

Gulmarg -  The only thing to do in Gulmarg Gondola ride. You need to book the tickets for both Round 1 and Round 2 in advance online . The ride is worth it  . 


PS :  I have kept the review short and crisp since there are many small things on the way that you can pick and explore. In case you are planning a trip , feel free to reach out to me.



I am blogging about my dreams and passions for the Club Mahindra#DreamTrails activity at BlogAdda. You can get a Club Mahindra Membership to own your holidays!


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hot tea at a cool place

There is something 'special '  in 'rains' that makes everyone smile .For different reasons though . 

During one my recent travel trips , we took a detour , stopped our  vehicle at a small -kind a cute , well lit and neat tea stall . Normally or abnormally I like being spontaneous - it helps in more than ways . Breaks free from the otherwise stressed and strained life and also helps you do things you want to , for sure. 

As we entered the tea stall , a middle aged server smiled at us , greeted us in the local dialect and made sit in the ' best area ' that was available . This spot was overlooking a beautiful white water fall coming from lush green mountain ranges with white snow capped peaks . 

People in this part of the world ,love 'putting in a lot of sugar ' , dil kholke . The tea was amazing and he served fresh home made momo's  steamed .   Possibly the best tea snack I ever had . 




It was pouring cats and dogs but thats how life is in the mountains . Sudden , spontaneous , beautiful and relaxing.  As we chatted up with the owner we realized that we was not an Indian but an Italian who had settled in here since a decade .He teaches yoga at his small home to the locals , grows fresh farm produce in his little garden and every year treks to unknown territories . What's more - he sings and plays guitar .

Meeting people like him make you feel ' live' again . Being modest ,being happy with whatever you have and most importantly being content in life -  are somethings you need to reiterate to yourself. 

May be we may not meet him again but the 1 hour we spent together chatting away with him will be a memory way more special .


So you must be wondering where is Karan - Far from the madding crowd, Triund in , Kangra valley. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Negative ; Relationships

Have you ever seen a small child holding onto her father tightly while he drives a two wheeler? While the father battles the streets and ensures he drives safe, he however has no one to hold onto but his steering handles.  The child however is unaware of what all the roads bring. 

For her it’s her father’s shirt that she’s holding so tightly without realizing that it’s not the best bet but still she believes so much in that person that she knows no matter what he will take good care of her and ensure she doesn’t fall.



This is a belief which is based on trust and love which is unbiased and ever so pure.  It only grows with time and becomes further stronger.  

Relationships like these are at a different level of build up. They are free from any expectations any preconceived notions and most importantly any hatred or animosity.

The little girl knows that she is safe with this person. She has so much belief and trust that no one can shake this. This also reciprocates in a way that the father knows that this girl holding her tight is her responsibility and he will do everything that it takes to deliver on this commitment.

I am just imagining how easy life would be if we all of us have these qualities no matter what role are we playing.  

Relationships would be so strong that it would be impossible for any element of negativity to ever creep in.  Sadly, the world we live in today or the social world we are all a part of takes less than 30 seconds to spoil a beautiful relationship. 

It can be a single tweet or FaceBook post or a Whatsapp DP and it’s all gone with the wind.That’s how vulnerable we are and also how less trusting we have become.  

There could multiple factors to this but the bottom-line remains we have become so prone to external factors that everyone of us carry a list of wish list of a person or thing and even if one pointer is missed out we go all out against them . Sad !

Wish people could understand that instead of making ours and others life so complex , we should try to make life easier for everyone around us and not just us .

**

PS : This blogpost featured as the 'most read post' on IndiBlogger for May-June. 


Little one and her journeys

Time surely moves on . At times during my travels I often wonder we as human beings take breaks or vacations to stop from our daily routines . In a way trying to give time a break . 

Yet , time itself never takes a break . Its always on , always moving irrespective of what one is thinking or doing . It silently keeps on ticking .  Suddenly , you are excited for your long planned vacation making 'plans' on what all to do and then next on a working morning you are actually discussing 'how' the vacation was. 

So many people all across the world , so many life's moving in parallel and in between time just skips heart beats all around us.




I met a small girl ,around 7 in of my 'flight' tours . She was a little cranky but when we started discussing Jungle book her face lit up ; bright and shiny.  You re-look at your childhood and imagine that you were a really nice and 'chup-chap'  kid and yet here she is - all talking , all talking cute filled with innocence and sheer positivity .   We became friends if I can say so and I always have a soft corner for cute and sweet little girls . Its a delight to see them speak , share and above all - get that trust going. 

The flight went superb and even after landing I was already missing her.  That happens when you connect with someone w/t any expectations .  Wow!

I asked her what does she like doing on weekends and the answers which she gave made me like , really am I talking to a kid .  So on Fridays'she learns salsa  , Saturdays she goes for swimming and piano classes and on Sunday ( this one is cool ) she likes to go to her nearby NGO to spend time their with the kids . 

Wonderful ,isn't she and if I am saying so , there has to be merit. 

Journeys , I tell you - they at times just make you see the mirror or switch-off from the life that you are living. 

Time just went by reading it till here , right ..... See, gotcha  !!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Indias Top Food Blogger and Food reviewer




What happens when you start getting calls and emails that you are in the top 10 PAN India food bloggers reviewers on Zomato having 8000 plus followers


You smile , grab a coffee and a brownie 


Link :  www.zomato.com/karansayz


Monday, April 4, 2016

Traffic Signal and the life around it

Traffic in Delhi or for that matter any other part of the world can do two things to you . First , it can make you angry and annoyed or you can see and observe the things around you that people or nature are doing.

Today I did the same. As we were waiting for the traffic signal to turn green I was closely observing how a person was setting up his small kiosk / or as we call in Delhi - Pan and cigarette shop .  The person was a handicap with a missing right leg. 

Yet , in close 10 minutes flat he cleaned the place around him ,set up colorful packets of pan masala , a small tea kettle , two stools and did a small prayer.  In this entire time I did not see him once sitting or taking a break . He had ear plugs onto his ears and may be a song that was playing  . 

In all this Monday madness , he was calm and cool and happy with what life has give him .He was giving his 100% and without a sweat I am sure .

People like me and may be you would be thinking why do we need to go to office so early  , why can't we have four Saturdays in a week or why is it that we only work so hard .




Believe me , these sour points will always remain . What is in your hands is to find a way of responding to these. Not always people or circumstances around us will change. But we can change for sure. We can find a purpose to live life to fullest and be happy with whatever God has given us .

It's not that tough a world or life that we make out of it .  

On a separate note , traffic signals these days have become a marketplace of sorts -  you can get car cleans , chargers , balloons , flowers , magazines and yes people begging for your monetary gesture .

And with so much happening you have so much to learn partner!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Exclusive Launch Review of Hive - Kitchen & Bar Green Park, New Delhi

 : About Karan :

I always appreciate places and people where both vibe and sync in , with each other . More so , when in today's day and age you have new places mushrooming every nook and corner and at the same place shutting down.

Whenever I am visiting a place which I am 100% sure that I'll review , I love to do my reading / background check , if you call so as to better understand the 'brains' behind the venture and see how does the entire ecosystem works henceforth. 

: Did you know: 

The beehive's internal structure is a densely packed group of hexagonal cells made of beeswax, called a honeycomb.

: Hive :

The hexagonal beehive motif, used extensively in the decor of the restaurant, represents community bonding. 

Hive Kitchen & Bar seeks to actively promote such a way of life with food promotions, regular musical recitals and performances, giving its diners and visitors to the bar something more to come together for.

After all , like we say , dine-in ; in a group and you may become family !! I loved the concept and thought here.

: The Team at HIVE : 

A lawyer turned social media influencer; Abhinav Mathur - and his younger brother Abhishek Mathur are team at HIVE ; both having impressive credentials. 

They also have Ms.Wamika Sunda Mathur, a celebrity fashion stylist who has now transitioned towards the hospitality business is the person behind the innovation, campaign strategies as well as creative design at Hive. 

: Guess what :

The duo run Moonshine and HKV Theka at Hauz Khas Village; and Mind Cafe at Fortis Hospital.

: Inside Decor : 

I love water and anything to do with it . More so when you have a glass ceiling with a water installation from where the sun shines / moon lifts up the ambience right above you , you are dining in with the stars . Look forward to being seated below a mesmerizing glass ceiling with water trickling along its surface for mock-rain effect. Wow !

: USPs :

The cafe at Hive serves lively World fare with diverse global flavours. From Moroccan tagine cookery, heart Italian dishes to Spanish elements in outstanding fusion food - there’s something for everyone on the menu. Weight watchers and the health conscious have plenty options in the starters’ and mains’ section, as well as a delicious selection of smoothies to choose from. 

: Levels and Seating : 

The lower level houses a cheerful cafe style eatery with informal table settings; the upper level is the pub cum lounge area with a grungy New York attic aesthetic, mono-cycle bar stools and industrial chic furniture. Every Friday and Saturday diners can look forward to jazz performances, stand-up comedy nights and a live DJ and as they step up , expect more.

:Food: 

Their Head Chef Mr. Ramesh Man Shrestha. The menu though limited is focussed with a bang of tasty order or meals and you can pick up an interesting array of them .

Fettuccini with roasted Artichoke in a Horseradish sauce

We started with the small plates:

 o Bruschetta’s of Roasted Mushrooms (Oysters, Shiitake & Button) cooked in red wine & herbs over Goats Cheese Mousse spread and the Classic Tomato & Basil

o Arancini – Crumbed risotto balls stuffed with Mozzarella served with tomato & olive relish

o Naan Pizza topped with Mushrooms, Black Olives, Jalapeno & Mozzarella Cheese

o Chicken meat balls flavoured with Jalapeno and sundried tomato, topped with sundried tomato sauce

o Calamari & Chorizo served with Garlic-Paprika Aioli 

The Arancini is a delight and so are the mushrooms . For non vegetarians the Calamari and Meat balls are a big show –stopper. 

Chicken & Sundried Tomato meat balls topped with sundried tomato sauce

 For mains try : 

o Creamy Mushroom, Water Chestnut and Nutmeg Mash Pie

o Hearty Bean Burger served with French Fries

o Tarragon flavoured creamy chicken breast served on a bed of Fettuccini

o Braised Lamb Shank Braised for 4.5 hours, served with mashed potatoes & Red Wine

o Moroccan flavoured Lamb Stew & Couscous Bake

 Non vegetarians are in for a treat and Moroccan styled Lamb is delight to watch and eat . The bean burger is healthy and filling and so is the Nutmeg pie. 

Half Roast Chicken Served with Garden Style veggies & Fondant Potatoes


For Desserts we grabbed : 

1) Red Velvet Cake

2) Chocolate orange cake

3) Classic carrot cake  - the cutest of all ; 

 The presentations of all the dishes is amazing and the servers are super fast and courteous.   

:Drinks : 

I loved the clove and mint lemonade infusion and the cosmopolitan served in an interesting piece of art. They do have sheesha as well.

: Overall : 

Green Park as a market may have just got a 'big surprise ' in the form of HIVE and a good options when you don't wanna walk down / drive all the way to HKV . This is just above FabIndia , near Evergreen .

: Women Friendly : YES 

You can follow me on Zomato , Instagram , Twitter , FaceBook by searching for : karansayz and I’ll be all ears and eyes for your thoughts and ideas . 

Happy eating !! 

** 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Heart of Delhi : Connaught Place

The Khan Market and Lodhi Market may not like this ; but the key change that I have observed over the last couple of months is that I have started frequenting the good old Connaught Place or CP as we usually call , a lot.

There are a couple of reasons as to why this change has happened and the foremost is that though  I am not much a fan of the mall culture but overtime and with my travels have become more and more an appreciator ; of open spaces . 

After all what is life if you are just going round and round in levels without an open sky moving with you . CP over time has donned a new look and it makes it as a perfect hangout destination.  Not to forget the large number of eateries opening in every circle in and around CP .



You have the best of brands in attendance , a whole lot of bargain for your coveted mobile handsets from covers to screens , old legacy places like Keventers  , Wengers and United Coffee House to name a few and a lot of open seating wherever you wanna catch a breath.

What also is fun is CP is easily approachable and its a central meeting place for anyone and everyone . The state emporia buildings are also located in this area so are the head offices of major banks, airlines and other such things of importance to the tourist.

Did you know when CP came into being, the sprawling circular market was the largest of its kind in India. The British believed that the horseshoe-shaped market would prove lucky for the shoppers and the shopkeepers both.   Guess that's true now.

Not to forget the  national capital got its highest flagpole installed at the Central Park in CP . 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Winter Essential - Overcoats & Boots - For him & her

This season in Delhi is a sweet surprise. Sweet , because you get to relish all those interesting winter deserts that are filled with pure ghee and lots of sweetness and surprise , since its actually not the 'real' winters Delhi is used to .

However, not many people realize that winters are also a time to come and walk along your best winter attires . As I sat down in what I call one of Delhi's most hip boutiques in Shahpur Jat of Punit Jasuja, owner of Second Floor Studio I saw a number of people , both males and females wearing one thing which was common , to either sides. 

Men wearing 'over-coats' and Women wearing interesting 'boots'  .

Classic by name, classic by nature – the overcoat’s minimalist construction is timeless. This winter weather essential in heritage fabrics is a timeless style that catches my eye every-time I see it.

Usually you can see shades of camel , black , dark blue overcoats or its cousin trench-coats . There are a close dozen types of overcoats but the 'real ' overcoat is typically — a heavy, ankle-to-thigh-length piece of outerwear with a collar and lapels — is one of the most classic and flattering staples of menswear. It projects confidence and authority and enhances a man’s silhouette — widening the shoulders, lengthening the body, and draping over any problem areas. 

Remember the three key things when picking up one -  

  • Fabric  -  If you want something durable and long lasting pick a made of thick fabric like 100% wool as it’ll protect you from the elements and keep you warm all winter long. Best of all, it works when worn over both casual and formal wear. 
  • Sleeves-  The coat sleeves should completely cover the suit sleeve as well as the shirt cuff, and even reach a little further down. This way, you should not get cold on your wrists when you wear gloves with it.
  • Length & Fit -  Mostly these days people wear their coats knee-length, which is anywhere between the lower part of the knee to slightly above. This only compliments men with trim builds and who wear the coat closer to the body. It’s a convenient option if you find yourself entering and exiting your automobile multiple times a day

Kenneth Cole

I still wear my good old Kenneth Cole Italian wool overcoat which was a gift long back . Its still the same warm piece of attire and goes well with almost any of my ensembles. 

Fashion Tip -  A double-breasted coat is more traditional and formal, and looks best with tailored clothes like a suit. A single-breasted coat is more versatile and can be worn with both casual and formal wear.

Preferred Shopping Place - Nordstrom

**

Coming to the ladies , a great pair of boots can spice up your wardrobe. And the trick is to pick something which is 'not-in-the-style' but something which makes you feel happy to carry along and ensures balance posture. Often, I have seen so many of my friends pick up things just because someone else brought it / its ' in-the-fashion' .   Don't do this please.

In India specifically , females do walk a distance and hence try to avoid Calfhigh leather boots with stiletto heels . Not only they make you prone to falling but also have a side effect on your overall walking posture. 


Boots are the most preferred footwear during the fall. With the so many options available: over the knee, flat, heel, wedge, pointed toe, ankle there is a boot to go with every outfit style. There are boots for casual outfits, dressing up and work professionally.


But if you’re a boot enthusiast then you’ll want to wear flat embellished ankle boots, heeled ankle boots in black and brown, of course some furry boots for the snow.

Remember these two key things when picking up one -  

  • Understand your height and the height category you belong into 
  • Always consider your body shape- Pear, Apple, Triangle , Rectangle or a Hour-glass

Tabitha Simmons


Fashion tip - Boots can be appropriate for the office when worn with work appropriate clothing. Pair ankle boots with cropped trousers and a sweater, if it’s very chilly then add a scarf. Pair them with burgundy trousers and matching gray knits and see the sun-shine through.

Preferred Designer - Tabitha Simmons

No matter what your body looks like, the best fashion accessory you can wear is your confidence. So love your body, channel your inner rock star, walk tall, and you will glow.

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