Category: Events and Festivals

This category shall have posts on events and festivals from India and around the world.

Thanksgiving day

Thanksgiving Day is this week. Here is a video you may not want to miss. Find out which traditional recipes weren’t served at the first Thanksgiving celebration.


Bet You Didn’t Know

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~ Oprah Winfrey


SMW Mumbai- Day 4- Travel Workshop

Social Media Week (SMW) was held in Mumbai from November 16 to 20, 2015. I was invited by Blogadda to attend Day 4 sessions of #SMWMumbai. It was at IMDI. Social Media Week (SMW)  was one of the hyper-social week-long festivals in the country. This event  focuses on digital, social & innovation. The overarching theme for this SMW Mumbai 2015 is – ‘Upwardly Mobile: The Rise of Connected Class’. SMW was happening in three cities  simultaneously – Mumbai, Chicago & Santiago.

For more:

SMW Mumbai was hosted by R SQUARE Consulting a marketing firm focusing on building Communities through Brand Properties and executing Marketing Communication strategies for Clients through Events & Activations, Digital Marketing & Technology and Creative Services. For more visit

Ansoo Gupta 10420197_423409004516358_9039384605163828409_n

The first session for the day was ‘Come, Plan, Go’ –travel workshop. Ansoo Gupta started off by saying that “Travel is our best teacher. It opens up your mind. The world is an oyster.”

She focussed on how you can travel the world on a limited budget (budget travel). There are many kinds of travellers one who are on a shoe-string budget and the other who travels the world in a private jet. She also differentiated between a traveller and a tourist. A tourist is one who travels a planned itinerary whereas a traveller does not have a set itinerary but makes one of his own through locals and exploring new places.

Travel workshop in progress with Ansoo Gupta
Travel workshop in progress with Ansoo Gupta

Another aspect that was spoken about was group travel vs solo travel. Solo travel makes a difference. It allows you to slow down and connect with the environment. The magic happens when you leave your comfort zone.

Planning your trip. See the tips below:

Where to go?
Where to go?

Bucket list







  • Once you fill up the visa form on your own. Then you will be able to handle Visa process on your own. It is said that if you need to learn, do it 3 times so that you become a master in it.

Air travel (Resources)- The following are few mobile apps that shall help you in planning your trip

  • Skyscanner
  • Kayak/Ixigo
  • Expedia
  • Cleartrip
  • Seat Guru
  • Flyertalk


Resources on stay
Resources on stay


  • Hostelworld
  • Airbnb
  • Couchsurfing
  • Onenightstay
  • Hospitality world
  • Globalfreeloaders
  • Wwwoof- Worldwide opportunities for organic farms
  • How I got ‘free stays’ and friends for life



Few other tips

-Get a railway pass eg. Eurail

– Standard Indian License works everywhere. You do not need an international license.

-Use GPS

-Don’t use SLR. Take a mobile phone as it is light to carry and improved camera features are available.

-Turn off mobile data on the smart phone as it is expensive abroad.

-Lots of places have Free WiFi access, so make use of it.



-Youth hostels of India

-International Student Card



-Thorntree (Ask specific questions in relation to your travel here)



  • Rail passes
  • RTW tickets
  • Bus tickets
  • Local SIM cards
  • Currency –ATM
  • Biggest saving- Avoid buying souvenirs


Safety emergencies: Here are a few emergencies while travelling abroad that you should prepare yourself for:

-Lost passport

-Lost money

-Street food


-Women travelling alone


To conclude, here are quick tips while planning  your next trip

-Money available

-Time available

-Estimate your departure





Life is all about balancing and so is travel.

Thank you Blogadda for this amazing workshop.


Navaratri Festival and Dusshera

Continuing from my previous posts on Navratri …….

On the days of Indian rituals and religious festivals, vegetarian food is prepared at home.  There are households who do not have onions and garlic. Thus, the choice becomes limited about what to cook.

The most common dishes for Navaratri are:

  1. Sabudana puris and vadas which are made of tapioca
  2. Sabudana kheer- Pudding made of tapioca
  3. Sabudana khichdi- Made from tapioca
  4. Vrat ke chawal- The rice that is made during fasting
  5. Singhare ka halwa- Water chestnut pudding.
  6. Lauki halwa- Pudding made from Bottle gourd
  7. Vegetable rice cutlets- cutlets made of mixed vegetables and rice.

Below are videos where Manjula shows how to prepare these dishes for Navratri in her kitchen

Tomorrow shall mark the tenth day of Ashwin in the Hindu lunisolar calendar. The first nine days being celebrated as Navaratri. This Hindu festival is celebrated across India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Dussehra or Vijayadashami marks the victory of Goddess Durga over Mahishasur, the demon. Durga Puja ends on this day with the immersion of idols. People visit each other’s house and exchange gifts. The saffron-colored Marigold are particularly associated with this festival and sold in abundance during this festive period. They are used for worship and decorating workplaces and homes.

Marigold garlands
Marigold garlands

In northern India, mainly Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and western Bihar, there is a tradition to plant barley seeds in earthen pots on the first day of Navratri. The sprouts on the tenth day, Dussehra, are used as symbols of luck. Many plays and dramas based on Ramayana are performed during this period known as ‘Ramlila’. The effigies of Ravana filled with firecrackers containing phosphorus are burned on Dussehra. The ceremonial burning of effigies of Ravana celebrates the victory of Rama. Dussehra is a festival of victory of Good over Evil.

Effigy of Ravana
Effigy of Ravana

Wish u all a Happy Dusshera


Navaratri Festival

Navaratri is a festival devoted to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri signifies ‘nine evenings’ in Sanskrit, ‘nava’ which means nine and ‘ratri’ which means nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine types of Devi are venerated. The tenth day is known as Vijayadashami or ‘Dussehra’ (Dasera). Navaratri is a vivacious celebration all over India and Nepal. This year Navratri started on October 13, 2015 and shall end on October 22, 2015

Jai Durga Maa
Jai Durga Maa

Durga is “Devi” (goddess) or “Shakti” (vitality or force). It is this vitality, which helps God to continue with the work of creation, safeguarding and demolition. As such, you can say that God is still, totally immutable, and the Divine Mother Durga, does everything. Really talking, our love of Shakti re-affirms the exploratory hypothesis that vitality is perpetual. It can’t be made or annihilated. It is always there.

Navaratri is bifurcated into sets of three days to revere diverse parts of the incomparable goddess. On the initial three days, the Mother’s power is invoked called Durga keeping in mind the end goal to annihilate every one of our debasements, vices and imperfections. The following three days, the Mother is loved as a supplier of otherworldly riches, Lakshmi, is considered to have the influence of presenting to her devotees the endless riches. The last arrangement of three days is spent in revering the mother as the goddess of wisdom, Saraswati. All together have all-round accomplishment in life, we require the gifts of every one of the three parts of the perfect mother; thus, the worship for nine nights.

Devotees have nine different colors for each day of this festival. The nine colors are

First Day- Yellow

Second Day- Green

Third Day-Grey

Fourth Day- Orange

Fifth Day- White

Sixth Day- Red

Seventh Day-Blue

Eight Day- Pink

Ninth Day/ Tenth Day-Purple

Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas

‘Garba Raas’ and ‘Dandiya Raas’ are the most celebrated Indian folk dance during Navratri garba festival. A popular dance from Gujarat and is being performed not only all over India but all over the world by the Gujaratis.

Devotees observe fast for all nine days during Navaratri. Fasting is not just for spirituality, but it makes us self-disciplined also. It trains our mind and body to be prepared for any hardship in life. It teaches us not to give up!

You may like to read 4 finger-licking recipes for this festive season

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