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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poshvine - Creating Great Food Memories With Amazing Deals!!!

The season of celebrations is here, and one thing we absolutely love doing is eating out, with friends and family, to celebrate the joys and share more magic. But add to that the festival crowd, the long waiting time, the problems of not getting a table, and also the big numbers that come at the end of the meal. Quite a lot to not make it feel that magical, right?

So it was quite interesting when I got a message from PoshVine, as it launches in Mumbai.

The idea for PoshVine's new initiative is that, unforgettable food memories are shaped by the special experiences shared with friends and family. But they're often difficult to find and organise.

Now PoshVine is here to change this. Partnering with some of the best dining destinations and experts from the community, they are here to offer quality foodie experiences for both locals and travelers. From instant reservations with insider benefits at the best dining destinations to pop-up dining, from gourmet safaris to unique masterclasses and awesome hikes guided by passionate people in the community, PoshVine promises to be your personal dining concierge.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Through Jungles and No-Man's Land: On An Evening With Suranjana Bose


It was quite a few weeks now that I was planning my sister's trip to Mumbai. You see, I'm talking here of the famous Indian classical singer Suranjana Bose, the lady who has been recently awarded the Girija Devi Puraskar for Sarvottam Kalakar in Thumri. Please forgive me, but as for classical music, that's all the information and knowledge I have.

She was coming to Mumbai from her home in Kolkata, as there was a performance in Kalyan, Maharashtra, where she would be the honorary performer. For whatever reasons, in the end, it was me, Suranjana Bose, and my driver Santosh, who decided to embark on this journey, oops, actually adventure...and WHAT AN ADVENTURE it turned out to be!!!!

The organiser, I forget his name, but he was some Doctor, had informed us that he had arranged for our evening snacks and dinner, and confirmed if we were non-vegetarians, there would be a special dish of chicken on the menu. The performance was at 8 in the evening, and given that Kalyan is quite far from our place in Navi Mumbai, we decided it would be a safe bet to leave around 3 and reach there around 5, so that there was ample time for her to get acquainted with the assisting artists and practice. We headed out.

All was well. It was a nice sunny afternoon, and the two of us chatted up in the comfortable cooling of the car (there was no way we could keep the windows down at that hour and let the sun and the dust come in...naahhhh). We hadn't got together for years, just the two of us, and this drive seemed perfect to talk about everything and anything under the sun. It was going great. And we were looking forward to the evening, especially me, as I have never ever been to a pure classical concert (the only other one I had been to was Suranjana Bose's performance at The India Habitat Center, New Delhi, and that wasn't all classical either) and don't understand much of it (I can safely say that I'm illiterate in that department).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Hand Rickshaw

image courtesy thehindu.com
 Does this image mean anything to you? To me, it instantly brings up words like An Evening In The Streets, A cosy day with books, nostalgia, many cups of ginger tea, old-world charm, crowded streets, footpaths, bargain.....will add more words here as they come to mind.

 Isn't this just gorgeous? Though I completely condemn the practice, I found this hand-rickshaw parked outside my guest house when I was staying in Kolkata, India, a few months back.

- Debolina Raja Gupta


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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Morning Cuppa


 I can't begin my mornings without a big mug of tea. I have it with milk, without sugar. And a little strong boiled. It's my daily requirement to have at least 2 cups of tea each day, reduced from my earlier crazy number of almost 20 cups a day/night! This click was at a small home-stay we rented in Panchgani. The tables in the dining area would be lined with these cups, a plate of Marie biscuits and a little bowl of sugar (at the back of the pic) along each of the cups.


 Then again, I need to have this in my tea all the time - ginger! These are freshly bought ginger brought home from the market. I had to click them as they are a main part of my tea-time.

Do you like tea? What kinds?

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:

"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920: Release Date and Specifications

(image courtesy crave.cnet.co.uk)
 
I had really thought that the US and Europe would be the first ones to lay their eyes and hands on the Nokia Lumia 920, but it's being said that the Canadian market is the one that gets to be the first buyers of the 920 almost immediately after its been announced - on 30th October 2012, that's today!
The Nokia Lumia 920 was first showcased by Nokia in September 2012, so its pretty immediately that stores in Canada get it!

In the US, AT&T gets the sole rights to sell the Nokia Lumia 920 for a limited period of time. It's been said that the 920 should be in the US stores by early November, while some are speculating that it will actually be the 04th of November. Another fast-spreading rumour around the blogging world says that the 920 will be available in AT&T stores on the 11th of November.

In China, China Mobile, the world's largest telecom carrier has agreed to launch Nokia Lumia 920 on its network. 

According to Rediff, the 920 was set to reach Indian stores by 23rd October but that was a wrong information floated online!

As per Nokia, the Lumia 920 will reach 15 countries in November. These countries include India, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States.

There has yet been no confirmation on when the same will be available in stores in India, but it looks like it should be available here during Diwali festivities, as this is a massive shopping time for Indians all over the country.  

(image courtesy businessinsider.com)

Features:

Dimensions: Height 130.3mm; Width 70.8 mm; Thickness 10.7 mm; Weight 185 gm; Display size 4.5 ''; Display Resolution 1280X768 pixels

Comes With: recorder, calculator, clock, calendar, phonebook, notes, reminders, to-do list, social networks in phonebook, onenote, wallet

Mumbai International Beer Festival 2012

So the Mumbai International Beer Fest 2012 got over this weekend ( 27th Oct, Saturday). We were so excited about the event that we had been waiting for it ever since we heard its coming to Mumbai.

The event was held at D'Monte Park Recreation Centre in Bandra and was hosted by the Gymkhana Club (I think!). The event was scheduled to begin at 5:30 and go on till 11pm. We took the group booking option, where we signed up for a group of 5 and for a tasting of ALL the international beers that were going to be specially showcased in the event - 13 in all. Of course there were the other regular beer names too, but these 13 were the special ones that were the attraction of the fest.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sitting And Staring And Sitting And Staring....

Oh, I've been doing this for quite a few weeks now! And I absolutely hate it!!!

You know how sometimes you start working on something and then something else comes up in between, like a mail from a contact, or an sms or a phone call, or even a random look at the newspaper or something, and you get on to something else altogether. Well, I'm sure you know what I mean...

So for these last few weeks, even as I'm working the entire day on my laptop, some or the other interesting link,article,post,topic,discussion, site comes up and I get hooked on. One thing leads to another, and by the time I'm done with work and ready to shut down the laptop, there are a gazillion other things running around in my mind, waiting for me to try and check them out - which I do!! And once I'm done with all that, I am so completely drained out that I wonder why did I spend so much additional time on the screen while I could've done without. And each day I promise myself I won't do it again, that I will leave these things for a time that I'm relatively free and alone, and each day again I promise...and next day...and next day...and right now.....

Okay gotta go :-)

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Destination For Bong Food Lovers In Navi Mumbai

(image courtesy sublime creativity)

Yes yes yes...finally I found it! THE destination for all bong food lovers here in Navi Mumbai (I'm afraid they don't yet have a chain in Mumbai).

Navi Mumbai had the bong chain Pet Pujo, and it was good till the time there wasn't Bong Adda. And once I had a meal here, I completely gave up on Pet Pujo, and even started feeling that the food at Pet Pujo was quite oily and over-done in comparison. Sadly for those who may have liked it, Pet Pujo shut shop quite soon after Bong Adda arrived. Other than Bong Adda, Navi Mumbai does have Iti, another bong-food chain, but its really really bad...and I suggest you don't eat there. 

I've been craving for the typical bong food ever since I moved to Mumbai from Delhi almost 7 years ago (earlier my mum used to still make the bong khaana for me, which I didn't much appreciate then!!) but ever since it came on me to handle the kitchen, I must say I'm pretty handicapped, in the sense that I can cook only a few select bong dishes...others don't turn out the typical bong style, though they turn out quite interesting and yummy ;-)

Now this place I'm all gastronomically in love with is called Bong Adda (how apt!) and its in Sector 15 CBD Belapur Navi Mumbai, near the Aarcee Electronics showroom. Also, this has a 5/5 rating on Burrp!!! So, not only did I tell you about this, but burrp.com highly recommends this too!

I'm going to come back here with my own favourite dishes of the place and will try and give you a peek into their menu...but yes, for almost anything you've ever had in a bengali kitchen and more (and for those bongs like me who've never lived in bengal and don't know everything on the bong menu) there's lots lots and lots to hog on! And trust me, if you want to show off your roots and impress your non-bong friends, this is the place to go to.....they're gonna love bengali cuisine ;-)

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Durga Puja The Mumbai Way


Durga Thakur at the Vashi Kali Bari Durga Pujo 

Had a fabulous 05 days of Durga Pujo, one of the first times I ever enjoyed Durga Pujo so much in Mumbai (coming away from Delhi's Durga Pujo after living there all my life was quite sad and nostalgic).

Shoshthi, Shoptomi, Oshtomi, Nobomi and Doshomi - every single day was a special celebration, a nostalgic moment that went by quite too soon. I wish it would last for just a few more days.

Now, after the 05 days of celebrations, sarees, bhog, delicacies and dhaak and aaroti, I'm looking forward to next year's Durga Puja all over again.

Did you guys enjoy the festival days too? I hope you did, and I wish you and your loved ones a shubho bijoya...

- Debolina Raja Gupta

And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm - Lusting After

Wow, so I've already been informed by my beauty SA at the counter that Maybelline is launching their Baby Lips in India (and if you've followed them on FB, I'm sure you've changed your profile pic to that of when you were a baby...didn't get the drift? Check them out on FB and you'll know!!)

The main reason I'm looking forward to this is that as many of us girls out here, I suffer from terribly dry lips. No matter how much I try to keep them moisturised, they do end up getting dry and chapped, and over these last so many years, I've only really liked one lip balm that seems to have somewhat worked for me.


So why am I so looking forward to the Maybelline Baby Lips? 
I'm a huge Maybelline fan...and for the past few months, I'm unashamed to say, I've almost COMPLETELY drifted away from all other beauty brands, instead giving all my love to Maybelline - and they deserve it.
So now that the brand promises to come out with a lip-balm that only promises to keep my lips hydrated for 8 hours and ALSO has SPF 20, I just can't wait to try it out!!!

Also, I would love it if my lip balm had some tint or colour to it, so that I could wear it on its own, even while going out, and when I wanted some colour...the Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm comes in 7 exciting shades (see below) and I already know which colours Im going to try out....

Read the entire article here

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Pond's Femina Miss India 2013 - Femina Miss India Completes 50 Glorious Years



Femina Miss India joins hands with Pond’s to host Pond’s Femina Miss India 2013
(Ex-Femina Miss India's Vanya Mishra, Prachi Mishra and Rochelle Maria Rao with Marc Robinson)
Femina Miss India, the country’s most prestigious and credible pageant turns 50! Fifty golden successful years! The national platform that created actors and celebrities like Zeenat Aman, Juhi Chawla, Aishwariya Rai, Sushmita Sen, Diana Hayden Dia Mirza, Neha Dupia, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta to name a few, who represent the perfect Woman, a woman who has the classic combination of beauty with brains.
(Marc Robinson, Ankita Shorey Miss India International with Mehar Castilino, India's First Miss India)
To celebrate this remarkable journey and to unveil the new logo of this historic brand Femina Miss India joined hands with the most credible and oldest name in beauty-- Pond's. Taking this further, Femina Miss India has also partnered with the leading general entertainment channel, COLORS, to take the viewers through this exhilarating journey. 
(Vanya Mishra with Arun Srinivas, VP Skincare - Hindustan Unilever Ltd.)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Torturing Babies In The Name of Television!

Unbelievable! If you are a regular TV-addict, you've no doubt seen this being played out on television many many times. On Indian Television that is....

Tell me, haven't YOU seen such scenes on Indian television? I don't know about other regional channels (though Im sure they do this as well), but I have seen this cruelty being played out on Hindi as well as Bengali channels time and time again.

A small baby crying, a small baby being scolded, a small baby constantly crying while the characters keep talking/arguing to each other. The little baby keeps looking here and there, waiting for its parents maybe, while the show goes on....Is that it? Is that what Indian television is stooping down to?

One thing I constantly fail to understand is from where do these people bring in these babies? 
Orphanages?
Poor Families?
Parents Hungry For Fame?
Own Children?

I earlier used to think these TV channels/shows bring in babies from orphanages...coz I just couldn't believe that a parent would allow for such atrocities. But remember the show where so-called small-time 'celebs' were called in to stay in set-created homes and manage babies???!!!!! And remember how Rakhi Sawant and Juhi Parmar treated the babies!!!

That is when I realised that some parents will go to any length to get that much-crazed about fame, no matter how they need to stoop down to grab it for even a few seconds! I mean, imagine otherwise normal families with sound economic standing and good education, giving away their babies on television to be looked after, cared for and 'maybe loved' by contestants! All the while as you sit at a monitor somewhere and watch your baby lying on the floor and crying out to you!!! Are these people even worthy of being parents? Forget everything and everyone else, don't they for once feel what they will tell their babies when they grow up and ask their parents why they did it?

And these channels and shows, don't these people have babies back home, or are they blind enough to not see the innocence and the need for love in these little one's eyes? Its a shame for Indian Television.

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Sunday, September 2, 2012

A Few Thoughts, Pages and Pen.....

I don't write to share....many times I do...but many times, my notebooks are my only soulmates, listening to me without judging, giving me an ear, keeping my thoughts, my secrets all tucked in.

And I've been quite in love with them in turn. Each time I go to a stationery store, I invariably wander off to the hand-made notebooks section. The unevenness of these pages, the less-than-perfect look is what make them even more beautiful for me. The rough and coarse pages of the re-cycled papers, as I run my fingers through them, feel filled with many stories from the past.








This is one of my oldest notebooks. Quite worn-down now....I made the odd drawing on the cover by putting some ink blotches and making it out in the shape of a girl and boy...As you can see, Im pretty lousy at it!

Im currently using this one as my workpad...

Picked it up from Staples.




This is how the inside of the notebook looks. I love writing down my name and playing with it in different styles and colours. So here's my name Debolina Raja Gupta in two different shades of colour that I happened to be fiddling with in at that time - blue and green :-)











 I really liked this one the moment I saw it. Im not a very floral-print kind of person, but there was something quite attractive about this cover. The cover of the notebook is soft, its a kind of cloth with real hand-made embroidery...I found that quite interesting.....

Using it as an on-off jot down notebook.

Picked up at The Bombay Store.










 Wow...just look at her..Isn't she a beauty? I wasn't really looking for a notebook when I walked in to the store, but one look at this one and I knew I had to keep it with me. This is a one-of-its-kind notebook that Iv seen till date, whether as a regular notebook or as a hand-made paper one. The cover is like a painting frame and actually feels really smooth and varnish-y to the touch.

I haven't got down to use this one yet.

Picked it up at The Bombay Store.





 - Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Anupam Roy Fans ONLY

Anupam Roy: The Man and His Music

- Debolina Raja Gupta

****************************************
And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Anupam Roy: Music Mania and Butterflies





It was exactly 5pm when I closed the door and put the key in my bag. It was a humid evening in Kolkata, but I wasn’t perspiring from the hide-n-seek of the rain. As I walked down the now-familiar path from the local guest house where I love to stay sometimes, hiding away from the crowd and the faces, I hailed the yellow cab and headed to that so-looked-forward spot, and that oh-so-dreading now place! As the Kolkata buildings and streets started to whizz past, I could feel the butterflies in my tummy…oh no..why was I doing this? Could I still run back?


It was the Anupam Roy concert at Rabindra Sadan in Kolkata and I had travelled all the way from Mumbai only for this one evening. I had arrived alone after a 32-hour train journey to the city, and after the concert, was due to fly out the next morning. A cross-country journey, alone, to first time see that man perform live, whose music happened to change my life so significantly – was I being silly?
If anything else, I was sure this was all worth it.


As I entered the green room I was nervous. Of course it wasn’t green, but a wooden feel space with the typical light-bulbs around the mirrors that we’ve seen so many times in movies. Trust me, it gives quite a feel! 

I immediately scanned the room and could see that Anupam was still not there. Instead, there was a live current going on, pre-concert. The entire gang comprising the Anupam Roy band was there - Nabarun Bose (keyboards and background vocals), Sandipan Parial (drums), Roheet Mukherjee and Ronodeep Bose (guitar) and Rana Singharoy and Raja, who manage and look after the entire smooth functioning of the band. Just a few minutes and we were off chatting and singing and fooling around. But my mind was really quite elsewhere. 

How does it feel when you are standing right there where you are about to meet that voice that you’ve been listening to for so long? The voice that told you so many things your heart always kind of knew, but really couldn’t say. Exciting, scary, nervous, confused, shy, tongue-tied, ready to run out the door – just a few feelings that were racing through my entire ‘nervous’ system.

And then……………………….


(* with Anupam Roy and the gang after the performance)

The door opened and a tall fair guy with black-and-red-rimmed glasses, dressed in a black silk kurta and cream corduroys entered. Greetings and chatting and talking about what’s been done, what’s to be done and the usual camaraderie where a lot of young and creative minds are involved. After a smile and a hi, I of course crept to the farthest corner I could without looking too obviously rude. Of course my tongue had decided to get tied at that very moment, and I was trying to come up with a dozen excuses of somehow getting out of there.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

David Beckham And His Collection Of Tattoos

The above pic shows David Beckham posing for a shoot for retail fashion chain H&M. The shoot showed off not only his fab physique, but also his love for tattoos.

 1999: Lower Back - Brooklyn: His first tattoo, done in Gothic script, after the birth of his son Brooklyn

2000: Upper Back - Guardian Angel: The angel was designed to watch over Brooklyn's name a few inches below.

2000: Left Inner Arm, Victoria, Hindi Script: Pledged his devotion to wife Victoria. Considering the English script far too ordinary, he decided to go for the Hindi script.

2002: Upper Back - Romeo: The name of his second son, Romeo, above the guardian angel. The angel's wings had been added in the meanwhile.

2002: Right Inner Arm - Roman Numerals: A tattoo of the number 7, in Roman numbers. This number is special to David as it's his shirt number for Manchester United and England

2003: Right and Left Inner Arms - Roman Lettering: The one below Victoria's name on the left arm says 'So That I Love and Cherish' and the one in the right says 'Spiritual Perfection'

2003: Back of Neck - Winged Cross: It's like a protective talisman over his children

2004: Right Arm - Angel: A month after allegations of his affair with Rebecca Loos, he got a large angel design on his bicep, with the motto: 'In The Face of Adversity'


 2005: Centre of Back - Cruz: Third son Cruz's name below the angel's feet

2006: Right Wrist - Roman Numerals: Following a secret ceremony in 2006, the Beckhams opted for a set of matching tattoos on their wrists. The numerals stand for the date of the ceremony - May 8, 2006

2006: Right Wrist - Pray For Me: First 'Sleeve'


2007: Left Arm - Victoria: A recreation of his favourite Brigitte-Bardot style photo of Victoria. The phrase 'Forever By Your Side' was later added

2008: Left Rib-Cage and Left Arm - Chinese Motif and Second Sleeve: The Chinese motif translates as 'Death and Life have determined appointments. Riches and honour depend upon heaven. To match his right arm, he started colouring in the gaps on his left arm's design

2009: Left Arm - Ring of Roses: David got ten roses around his arm to mark his tenth wedding anniversary

2010: Ribs - Jesus On The Way To The Cross: Paying tribute to his grandfather, on his passing away, with a black and white image of Christ drawn on his side, based on the painting The Man of Sorrows by Catholic artist Matthew R. Brooks

2011: Left Upper Chest - Jesus and Cherubs, Harper: A portrait of Jesus, styled to look like Beckham, being lifted from his tomb by cherubs, said to represent his three sons. He etched daughter Harper's name above the tattoo after she was born

2011: Left Hand - Love & Swallow: The word LOVE has been added next to the first of the two swallow designs - supposedly a symbol of family love and loyalty

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And like I always believe in and say:
"Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children" - MJ

Debolina Raja Gupta