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Showing posts from 2011

The bread of life

The Portuguese had food on their mind from the moment that they arrived in India – after all it was the scent of spices that lured them across the oceans in the first place. Right alongside, the diet of the subcontinent changed permanently: potatoes were introduced ( India is now the world’s largest producer); chilies came in for the first time. Corn, cashews, guavas, pineapples, custard-apples, papayas, all came into the Indian diet through the Portuguese. But bread came to be the most famous import of the Europeans, who found no substitute in India ’s versions of unleavened chapattis and rotis, thin dosas and appams, soft breads made from ground rice and lentils. Wheat bread did not merely signify subsistence; it was required for the celebration of Mass. The early Portuguese presence in India was missionary-heavy, and they made bakeries and baking into a priority. It was missionaries who trained a large number of converts from the ‘Chardo’ caste (of Kshatriyas), from South

“Jhulley Ladakh.”

“Jhulley” means greetings, thank you, good wishes, bye all in one in Ladakhi. You say Jhulley at the beginning and end of every conversation. The built up to the trip was climatically dramatic. We went wearing raincoats to the airport in Goa, by the time we were in Delhi we did not need it, then we changed to light clothing as it was dry and slightly hot in Delhi, by the time we were in Ladakh we were freezing in the dress as it was quite cold and we could feel the cold breeze as soon as we came out of the airport. In a matter of hours we came from heavy rains to dry & hot climate to the cold winds of Himalayas . Leh is one of the highest livable cities in the world, higher than any city in Europe . Being at 13500 feet has its perils – nausea, headache, breathlessness are all part of the package here. The first couple of days are the most difficult as you try to cope up with the high altitude then your body slowly adjusts. In the meanwhile you discover more about the Himal

Restaurant Review – Dandey’s Grill House

Most accessible restaurants in Goa have the similar cuisine & similar menu, you look around and you will have signage’s saying – Goan, Chinese, Indian, Mughlai, Tandoor & Continental and the menu will have the standard butter, chilly, xacuthi variations along with a few steaks. What ever happened to innovations our menu is frozen for ages. The ones which offer different experiences make you slightly poorer and guilty for a while. The restaurants in 5 star resorts, according to us are over rated and seldom value for money. We, after all are from the “Sasta …. Sundar….. Tiaku” (a phrase in Hindi used to describe consumer behavior in the early 90’s which emphasized on products that looked good, lasted long and was cheap as well)   era of consumerism and like the menu we have also conveniently frozen our selves in certain aspects, though we are breaking free slowly. So for a different menu and different culinary experience do visit “Dandey’s Grill House” which serves you good va

Goa Unplugged..........

Goa Unplugged…….. A time to experience apna Goa a little differently, ever wondered what Goa is beyond the beaches, seafood, water sports and night parties. “ Goa goes through a beauty treatment during the monsoons”. With the beaches to risky to venture into all you can do is eat, drink party and sleep. Actually not a very bad thing to do, but we are sure you have done it many times in the past and will keep doing it every time a public holiday comes on either Friday or Monday. If you dare to look beyond and experience the other side of Goa here are a few options that you might want to try. The islands of Chorao & Divar Green, fertile, in the middle of Mandovi River : with areca nut plantations, coconut trees, paddy fields and many temples and churches. What Goa must have looked like when the Portuguese chanced upon it, it is here for you to discover. Surrounded by ferry’s which take you along with your bikes and cars to the island on all sides, here is where you can

Bollywood loves Goa……..It’s implications.

Alcoholic husbands & brothers wearing berets and pants with suspenders, mini skirt wearing young women easily available, drugs sex etc. A story for 3 old men to have a good time in their late life time or that of the drug nexus in the state, Goa has been the backdrop of many bolywood movies. The portrayal of Goa & Goan’s has created an image among many of a free for all sin city in India.  The reason why bolywood keeps coming back to Goa is less for the demand of the script and the storyline and more about the financials & convenience. The ESG or Entertainment Society of Goa which is a government body gives a single window clearance for all permissions for filming in Goa, unlike in Mumbai and elsewhere you need permissions from local governing bodies, railways, police etc. In March 2011 alone there were about 20 films being shot in Goa in different parts. The handicap in this initiative is the non availability of good equipments of shooting for this the Entertainment Soc

Goa to Markets - "Thank You Very Much"

Goa should be thankful to markets. The hippie markets of the 80’s put Goa on the tourist map. Back packers from across India would gather at Anjuna beach in North Goa to exchange stuff and sell many of their possessions before they went back to their homelands. This small gathering slowly started getting famous, many came to Goa enjoyed the hospitality, natural beauty, pristine white beaches and also took part in the flee market. Bikes, jackets, fishing rods, woolen wear, cameras, binoculars etc were either sold or bartered. In the years to come many realized the potential of Goa in Tourism and it went on to become a famous destination. A good decade after shopping malls started tasting success across the cities in India , now Goa has its first shopping mall. Markets have started changing here which seemed immune to the retail revolution happening around. The local markets here are very simple though vibrant and colorful in its own way. The normal markets are open all days exce

A Carnival of Carnivals……..

A Carnival of Carnivals…….. Merry making, singing and dancing are all an integral part of the Goan Life. There is a renewed vigor and excitement in doing it when you know that you will have to socially abstain from it for the next 40 days. The end result a Carnival which is celebrated world over in Catholic dominated countries just before Lent leading to Good Friday and then Easter. In India we celebrate the similar concept in another form called “Gattari” just before the Holy month of Shravan. In the past people used to come together drink, sing, dance and have fun on the Mandovi promenade depicting various social and mythical characters followed by masquerade and ending with lovely Goan food and fenny. Over the years tourists have relished and enjoyed all of what Goa has to offer. The increasing footfalls in certain pockets of the state attracted various brands. Initially they came in the form of hoardings and then the creative and the most competitive of them found more ways

Goa – Mumbai by bus, train, air, car, and bike………..missed the water ways.

It's been a decade of traveling in this sector by all the possible modes. The route is very scenic and beautiful, especially through the trains but unfortunately most of the travel happens in the nights so most of us miss the topography and laid back country side of Konkan. The buses filled with happy and jovial tourists, young Goans traveling for interviews in Cruise line ships and the Middle East returned Goans traveling with large luggage used to hip hop through the ghats and roads of NH17 through Konkan to finally reach Goa . The better air connectivity and the introduction of Volvo buses have now managed to segregate the travelers further. The trains are generally filled by the large Konkani population from coastal Maharashtra settled in Mumbai. The trains generally get empty after Kankavli and Kudal just off Goa . Earlier the water ways were active and the Damania shipping company used to ply between Mumbai and Goa , they wound up their operation just before the millenni

New Year in Goa

The New Year has just arrived and probably by now all the new year resolutions that were efficiently pursued for the past few days might have started to erode as we give in to our temptations and desires. The one New Year resolution that I managed to keep for the past 2 years is to enter into the New Year away from the land I love, probable the only time so far I do not like to be in Goa . Post Christmas the Lakhs of Party lovers start descending on the shores of Goa to welcome the New Year which means many of   us who frequent to the beaches, restaurants and friendly pubs must surrender our land and retreat to safer heavens. The coastline of Goa becomes one large party place. The tourists come in hoards but along with it comes accidents, traffic jams, long lines, petty fights, crowded beaches and garbage every where. All the things Goa is not associated with. I wonder how much these aspects of Goa during the peak season the guests enjoy.  A similar experience from much younger yea