Some people swear by New York and others swear at New York. Love it or hate it, this pulsating city that never sleeps consumes you with passion. Every time I visit, I fall a little more in love with this city. There’s no one way to describe New York City, it sort of lends itself differently to every person, every visit. Every neighborhood, every borough, every island is a different realm in its own right. I don’t believe anyone can do justice with a comprehensive guide so to speak, so this is just my list of favorite things to do in this city. Pick an area on the map, don’t cram your day, pick a few places, and wander aimlessly with no abandon, at your own pace. It’s the best way to soak in the city. You never know, one visit may just encourage you to make the move to…Continue Reading
Deepesh and Divya, Indian wedding, Big day
A few days before the wedding, someone I ran into told me that our wedding week would be the best few days of our life. I smiled and nodded but skeptically thought to myself: There’s no way her words would ring true. Deepesh and I have had our fair share of exciting and tumultuous moments both together and separately in life and while the wedding would perhaps be really enjoyable, we didn’t think it would end up being the “best”. We were so caught up in organizing the whole affair and our best hope at that point was that it should all go smoothly. Oh, what fun it turned out to be. In retrospect, how could it possibly not be?! I was marrying my best friend and both our families and friends are the most loving, and happy people ever. However, even though you know that you love this person,…Continue Reading
Allahabad’s Khusro Bagh, the Taj Mahal you never heard of In the heart of Allahabad, forgotten in the sands of time, lies a stunning Mughal monument called Khusro Bagh meaning “the gardens of Khusro”. People around the world have heard of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor and the commissioner of the Taj Mahal. In contrast, very few have heard of Khusro, his half-brother and the original heir to the Mughal throne. Even fewer have visited Khusro Bagh. If the rebellious (and just?) Khusro had been successful in his attempts to overthrow his father, Shah Jahan might not have become an emperor and there would have been no Taj Mahal. Before you paint Khusro in a bad light, it’s important to understand his tragic life. I present to you, a Mughal Game of Thrones if you will.Allahabad’s Khusro bagh the Taj Mahal you never heard of The tragic life of…Continue Reading
Amazing wall murals with dragons, Chinatown, Gems of San Francisco, USA -- // San Francisco Chinatown
Chinese immigrants arrive in Chinatown Since the time many Chinese immigrants arrived from the Pearl River Delta to the port town of San Francisco in the 1800s— the history of the city has been entwined with Chinatown, as it came to be town. A wave of Chinese prostitutes followed during the California Gold Rush and set up many Chinese sexual businesses in the early 1900s. This led to various clashes with the government and culminated in the overhaul of immigration policies. Around the 1960s, working-class Hong Kong Chinese descended in large numbers in the 1960s. Crippled by a lack of English skills, a majority of these settlers including the well-qualified ended up with low-paying jobs in restaurants and factories in and around Chinatown. Chinatown today Fast-forward to today, San Francisco’s Chinatown is home to a thriving community that continues to preserve its traditions, practices, languages, places of worship, and all…Continue Reading
Postcards traveling to Nice, France and falling in love with south of France || Falling for France: Day One
Landing shenanigans. Around this time last year, I flew over the Atlantic and landed in Nice. Nice is sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps and when you land, you can see the blue skies and the shimmering water stretch for miles and miles. My jaw dropped. Partly because of the bumpy landing but mostly because the landing was spectacular. I go numb with excitement and disbelief every time I visit a new town or city and this is especially true every time I land in France. Not wanting to waste a single minute, I hustled out of the terminal to catch the airport shuttle to the bus station. Less than 20 minutes of landing my tootsie there and I already committed my first stupid act of the trip, even though I swore to myself to be extra alert and careful. In the South of France, when you get on…Continue Reading
Arnab and Shivangi, Atlanta Piedmont Park, Atlanta wedding photographer
I’m still smiling from the photoshoot in the park last weekend with the lovely Çan and Didem. They have known each other since they were in kindergarten and they are getting married later this year. #lobsters? 🙂 One of the photos from our shoot is going to be on their engagement card, I’m so psyched. That brings me to my big announcement: TADA!! I have been flirting with the idea of becoming a professional photographer for a while now and it seems like the universe is nudging me in that direction. I’m a sucker for happy endings and happy people and what I love even more than that is capturing moments that reflect that. So it’s official now!! Take a look at some of my photos from yesterday and earlier. I’ve been uploading some of my photographs onto this blog, but one of my friends recommended that I should look…Continue Reading
Postcards from Mexico City at Christmas
Impromptu escape to Mexico City for Christmas When my (secret) plans to escape to the snowcapped Himalayas and train to be a ninja and spend the holidays with my family went downhill, I fell into an emotional rut. Thank you, US visa complications! After getting the vaccinations required for mexico, on a whim, I just booked a one-way ticket to Mexico city. Common sense dictated that I stay put in the US because I didn’t know if I could re-enter the US or afford to fly to India from Mexico city without selling both my kidneys. Of course logic didn’t prevail and I just hopped on the flight and headed straight to Mexico’s capital. My idea was to spend a night in Mexico city and take the first bus out to Guanajuato the next morning. Guanajuato is a former silver-mining town about five hours way from the city and Christmas…Continue Reading
In an (ongoing) attempt to become better netsec ninjas, Gree and I attended a technical conference in DC last week. The conf was about an open-source security engine called Suricata that Arbor Networks uses. Open-source loosely means free + full access to source code of the product. It’s crazy. All in all, it was a productive trip and I was very inspired and humbled to be in the presence of a bunch of good-hearted, passionate, and really smart people. We had a wine and dine event at the British Embassy the first night and it was really exciting too. The weather was cool and crisp and it seemed like all of the leaves were a little bit past peak fall, but DC was beautiful nonetheless. Kramerbooks and Café Even though it was a whirlwind of a work week, I managed to squeeze in a few walks along the National mall…Continue Reading
The crisp autumn days haven’t quite descended upon us in the south (of the US). I am desperately clinging on to every remaining moment and memory of summer; which began with a few glorious weeks in the south of France. I was not expecting to fall in love with Nice or the French Riveria, in fact, I almost decided not to go there for I presumed that the glitz and glamor might overshadow its charm and authenticity. I came to discover (after a lot of convincing to go by my friend Lucinda who spends a month in Villefranche every year) that it’s only a part of the picture. The French Riveria intertwines old-world charm and history with affluence and luxury like no other. It was everything I was scared of expecting and better, much better 🙂 Traveling to France and Italy teaches me to slow down, savor the simple pleasures,…Continue Reading
I’m a firm believer that food always tastes best at the place where it originated. I’m also the kind of crazy/dedicated person who will go to a city just for a slice of pie. After spending an awesome week at Ann Arbor at our annual summer picnic, I jumped on a plane to Chicago to reconnect with my good buddy Krishna from Chennai and PIZZAARGHH. Yes, you read that right, pizza. Good old cheesy Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Also, Krishna lives in Chicago now and creates drugs for a living 😛 It had been nearly two years and it was about time I caught up with both. Last time I visited, a big group of us came to stay so we got a minibus rental chicago and used that to get around. We didn’t want to risk getting split up on public transport so it was a good idea. As…Continue Reading
When I shut my eyes sometimes and daydream about my time in Nice, I picture the narrow alleys of the old town dappled in sunlight , the distressed building walls’ drenched in bright cheerful hues and one important detail sticks out. The window shutters. Or volets as the French call them. Mint volets. Blue volets. Volets with laundry hanging in front on their wrought-iron balconies. Volet with flower boxes. Closed volets. Open volets. Partially open volets. The whole nine yards. My first night in Nice, my host bustled into my room, closed the volets stated something in rapid French, motioned to the windows and walked out. I nodded furiously, even though I had no idea what she just said. Turns out that most houses and apartments in the South of France have volets. As the sun goes down every day, so do the volets. People shut them tight after sunset…Continue Reading
May 2016 Some of my closest friends and I happened to be in Rome at the same time, for a day. We made no plans whatsoever and spent most of the day aimlessly strolling in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere, laughing uncontrollably, worrying only about what our next meal would be and if we would explode if we had at least one gelato every hour. The struggle was real. We got off the plane perfectly in time for lunch and prosecco and made a beeline for the charming Pianostrada in Trastevere. The place is really tiny and it was packed tush to elbow all the way in. But that’s a good thing; we made friends with the super-fun Norwegian people sitting at the next table and they made sure we drank enough prosecco for all the time we already “lost” not drinking prosecco – aka 8 am- lunch time. The postage-stamp size restaurant is…Continue Reading
Highlights from a week in Croatia April 2015 A year ago I embarked on my epic 5-week trip to Milan, Croatia, and Paris. It would have an epic five-week SOLO trip to France, but my best friend decided to play “kabab-mein-haddi”/a gooseberry/third-wheel (whatever your drift is) between Paris and me. Nonetheless, the trip was fantastic and so is she, so I’ll let her transgressions slide. Why Croatia? Four weeks before my trip, I asked Sukanya if she wanted to travel with me to Europe and she called rain-check. To be precise, she said, “I don’t have time; I want to save money and focus on getting married in December, Europe doesn’t excite me that much and I would much rather visit these cities in my sixties, blah blah blah.” Me: “Bummer”. Fast-forward 1 week => disastrous yet successful Schengen visa incident. Fast-forward another week. Right after I bought my tickets,…Continue Reading
March madness in Milan, Italy, Easter, travel
March Madness in Milan March 27, 2015 In an effort to prevent millions of photos from disappearing into a black hole forever, I have decided to start a #lastyearthisday series (Today is Easter, so it’s very symbolic 🙂 ) First up, Milan. Sukanya and I flew into Malpensa airport last year around 10 in the am. Our ultimate destination was Croatia but tickets to Milan were cheaper, so we decided to fly into Milan, explore the city for two days and then hop onto an overnight bus to Zagreb. Quick tip: If you are looking for cheap tickets from North America to Europe, I suggest looking for tickets to Milan and then taking a low-cost airline/train to your intended destination… and thank me later of course. Anyway, Sukanya flew in directly from India and landed at the international terminal and I got into the domestic terminal. When she asked an…Continue Reading
postcards atrani Amalfi coast Italy The sleepy and adorable village of Atrani is a hop, skip and a handful of medieval watchtowers away from Amalfi. Whether you are there for a couple of days or just an evening (like me), this stamp-sized village will charm your pantalonis (Italian for pants ;)) off. I like to believe I saw a shooting start. 🙂 Don’t miss Atrani for the world and don’t tell me I didn’t warn ya 🙂 Ciao!
Amalfi beach
December 2014 Sigh! Yes, that’s more than a year ago, clearly Pomodoro is not working out for me. My friends joke that all the photos in my camera get sucked into a black hole. Not too far from the truth, I guess 😛 Winter sunsets in Italy are awfully early. (Boo!) It was 4:30 pm and we drove to Amalfi, (the entire coast is named after this town) from Minori just when the sun was setting the sky ablaze. The sight of the coast at dusk, with the twinkling lights shining from the colorful houses stacked so neatly on top of the other, the Christmas trees, the rocky landscape and the glistening water was simply.. magical. As luck would have it, our hotel was in the heart of the town. NOT. We drove into the city, through the city and kept driving past it. After about ten minutes, we discovered…Continue Reading
In a NY state of mind, en route to world’s happiest city. Ever since I landed in New York City for the first time in 2011, 22 and starry-eyed, playing Alicia keys’ “concrete jungles where dreams are made of ” on a loop (corny much?), I have been re-visiting at least twice a year and falling a little more in love with each adventure in this chaotic bustling city with its dizzying skyscrapers, sprawling parks, and delicious bagels and pizzas. The first time I got here, I was here for an interview for an internship with Morgan Stanley. The interview went incredibly well; I kicked ass (Not bragging; this was my first great interview after a series of hysterically-awful ones) and, needless to say, I snagged the internship for 3 months in NYC. But along came another company with a better offer shattering my dreams and robbing me of my stay…Continue Reading
Day 1 I’m not going to lie; I have high expectations from Copenhagen, the capital of the world’s happiest country and all. Also, after reading blog sites like I was very enthusiastic about what Denmark had to offer me! I have only been here for a couple of hours and I am yet to fall in love or truly connect with this city, but then again I have not been able to see much at the moment. To get things moving here are some postcards of things that caught my fancy and top 8 things about Copenhagen/Denmark. 😉 This is my Airbnb in Copenhagen, I’m staying with a Danish couple in a neighborhood called Osterbro and their charming apartment is oozing with hygge. 1) Teach me how to Hygge Hard to pronounce and even harder to describe, Danish hygge (pronounced ‘hooga’) roughly translates to coziness. If you have wondered…Continue Reading
The concept of cat café is not really novel; cat cafes have been around since 1998 in Taiwan. While Paris, Montreal, Copenhagen, NYC and other western countries opened their first cat cafés last year, Japan expanded its monkey business beyond the realm of cats and dogs. Today, Japan boasts of goat cafés (no kidding, goat cafés are a real thing), reptile cafes, rabbit cafes and what not. If you didn’t know already, I’m obsessed with cats. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the company of many whiskered four-legged friends. I fed and befriended all the strays and pets I bumped into, and soon my apartment was swarming with cats of all tail-sizes. When word got around about this in the neighborhood, I was nominated the go-to cat whisperer and was called upon to solve any cat-a-clysms that arose. My parents put up a tough front initially but…Continue Reading
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