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    Varun’s globetrotting to the tropical cove of Sri Lanka

    Hiding in plain sight, Sri Lanka is a treasure island. The treasure, however, is aesthetic… glorious infinite shorelines, the glee of plunging into the clear blue ocean, leisurely basking in the sunshine, getting engrossed in the timeless ruins of ancient cities trying to relate it to the mythological folklore, cordial hosts, oodles of wildlife and a cup of refreshing tea while watching the sun drowning into the heart of ocean at sunset.

    That’s what a trip to Sri Lanka is all about.

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    The first destination was Bentota, a destination at the south coast. It’s around 120 Km drive from Bandaranaike International Airport to Saman Villas in Bentota – our sojourn for comfy stay over a couple of days. A little about the place: opulent premium villas, with a long extended pool with sun-deck style patio overlooking the bay. Besides the relaxing ambience and excellent hospitality, Saman Villa is renowned for its authentic Sri Lankan recipe as well as multi-cuisine serving in pure vegetarian variety. Trust me it’s a hard catch when travelling abroad.

    The myriad charms of usual tour plans Include:

    • Magnificent beaches across the vast dazzling shoreline.
    • Galle, famous for its amazing Dutch streets and chill environment.
    • Hill slope country village of Ella.
    • Wildlife safari at Udawalawe National Park.
    • The Great Basses lighthouse on rocky coast.
    • Climb up Little Adams Peak for a sanguine sunrise.
    • The scenic rail tour from Ella to Nuwara Eliya.
    • The alluring Gregory Lake in Nuwara Eliya.
    • A glimpse of tea plantations and fresh brew at tea estate.
    • The famed Lake Kiri Muhuda and famous tooth temple at Kandy.
    • The Golden Temple and Spice Garden of Dambula
    • UNESCO world heritage site the Lion Rock at Sigiriya
    • The Negombo Lagoon in the west.

     

    Ella – a mix of serenity and sightseeing

    Prepare your senses for an overwhelming odyssey of Sri Lankan countryside. The Ella gap and the waterfall that rumbles from between the crevices of two mammoth mountains is not just a picture perfect treat to the eye and idyllic spot for photoshoots, but you can actually play and splash in the cool natural waters. It’s an easy climb and also there are specific spots that are less risky to get drenched. Next comes the safari at Udawalawe National Park, comprising portions of both wet and dry land is home to various species… elephants are the major attraction, further, rusty spotted cat, golden jackal, sambar deer,  Asian palm civet are some of the other inhabitants of this wildlife sanctuary.

    Don’t be over optimistic, you might just caught site of elephants far and some rodents or wild hare crossing the red-earthen road that proceeds spiltting the lush grasslands on either side. At night catch the spying spotlight from the Great Basses lighthouse revolving around as if dancing to the tunes of the sound of waves striking at the bouldered shore.

    To me it was mesmerizingly eerie… reminded me of the scene from Hollywood movies before someone sulking in the shadows would jump out and grasp you.

    Nuwara Eliya – the tea country of central highlands

    The Rail journey from Ella to Nuwara Eliya is one of a kind and if you’re an ardent fan of vivid and charismatic landscapes you need to take this rail route. If you ask me personally, I was feeling like I’m on-board the Hogwarts express… except the fluffy white clouds everything looked similar

    We checked into the Grand and enjoyed the hi-tea hosted by them; it was amusing to be a part of it. The Gregory lake, splendid foliage around it and the victoria park was nice to stroll through. The grand visit to Damro Teaestate and Blue Fields TeaEstate was wonderful and invigorating… a complementary Black Tea (BOP) Single Ceylon and bought tea cakes for 200 LKR to have along with doubled up the pleasure.

    Did I tell you Nuwara Eliya means “new England” in the regional dialect of Sri Lanka.

    Spare yourself the 1200 steps up climb to the Legendary Lion Rock – UNESCO world heritage site at Sigiriya, It’s definitely beautiful but my suggestion to anyone who isn’t willing to take that much pain for photography. I was totally drained with this expedition. The stay at Fresco Water Villa was regal and rejuvenating.

    The trip concludes with a visit to the Nagombo Lagoon as I bid adieu to the wondrous land of Sri Lanka. Intrigued by the esteem of travels to yonder lands – our view gets blurred and judgements muddled as to side-line the wonderful places that lie right within our reach…. I pondered over this feeling all the way back home.

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    Crescent beaches overspread with golden sand fringed by towering coconut trees – that’s how everyone defines the eternal sunny sea shores of the splendorous island country, Sri Lanka. The true essence of the land is, however, in its diversity; the terrain ranges from central highlands that gradually slope down to meet the coastline at the edges through the emerald stretches of dense forest across plains and plateau. The description might not be sufficiently enticing but the panoramic scenes and the wildlife watching tours along with the warm welcoming hosts will surely get you besotted with this underdiscovered destination.

    Thanks to our super-cordial guide friend Krishna who we befriended during out taxi and Tuk-Tuk tours for taking us to places that weren’t in our itinerary initially… without him we’d have missed out a lot.

    Editor in Chief

    VARUN J.

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    All Together (A2G) is where age’s no bar

    It’s all about how we look at things; the founders (mother and her daughter) of A2G possess the best of perceptions for everyone who would want to enjoy food and endless entertainment. We are not here to just focus on A2G as a café but Flavours 24 as well which is the best place for yummy non fat frozen yogurts.

    A destination you can count on for your get togethers, birthday parties, Kitty Parties and corporate event to never leave from here with a heavy heart! This multi-cuisine restaurant serves you with all time snacks, hot tea, filling main course, chilled ice creams and non fat Frozen Yogurts. If you are looking for Corporate Thalis, Food Packets, Breakfast Packets, Catering, etc., then, go ahead and shoot their contact number.

    Calling everyone to be a part of this interesting venture where fun is unlimited, food is irresistible and age doesn’t really matter!

    Address: A2G Cafe & Flavours24, Sahkar Marg, Jyoti Nagar, Diagonally Opposite Harley Davidson showroom.

    Contact (WhatsApp/Call) – 9983164642, 9928124004.

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    Trouser styles for men – get the irresistibly debonair look in classic semi-formals

    A man in formal; that’s just 10 times more appealing than shredded or lower-hips dangling jeans. Contemporary fashion mix up formals and casuals profusely even for men, to create a “carry-on” look…. that suits multi-occasion.

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    The trouser design is an important aspect of men’s’ fashion, because it has the maximum potential to primarily distinguish between several styles and the same piece can be paired in many different ways to groom a whole new look. Hence, trendy trouser designs needs to be your priority, men; to accentuate the lasting impression of virility.

    Here are a few versatile options to give you a heads-up!

    • Pleated trouser

    This is a timeless trend and comfort-wear that you can put-up with effortlessly, all day long. You don’t need to stick to the high-waist basics though… decide your preferred spot. Also, the style can be modified with either tapering slim-line fir and adjusted to ankle length for convenience. The pleated design, however, doesn’t complement smooth fabrics – better suited to generic cotton varieties, wool and linen.

    Tip – Wear polo shirts or similar styled t-shirts, anything with a stripe of buttons.

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    • Straight-fit Corduroy Trousers

    Straight-fit isn’t an emergent design but unlike pleated alternatives it’s comparatively newer version and also has less room for comfort. The corduroy material decked in wales adds texture to the otherwise blunt straight-fit style and fabric is naturally flexible; ideal for a charming layered look of the autumn. Avoid bright shades as it’ll make the wales more prominent, restricting its use to ragged look only. Keep it mid-waist and don’t chop the length… you can add a fold if you want though, to adjust according to your pair of shoes.

    Tip – Throw in blazers for formal and jackets for semi-formal look.

    Source: Fashion Beans

    • Twill Chinos

    It’s a perfect blend of masculine prototype and modern slim-fit that highlights a great physique. Hailing from heavyweight cotton, twill tends to have more life…. being soft, stretchy and durable….it can retain stable styling as well as withstand man handing. It’s just the right piece of work-wear that’s totally reliable for long hours of comfort without having to overthink about the creases dampening the style quotient.

    Tip – All light colours looks good but beige should be one of your picks.

    So, with these semi-formal styles you can head off to the Saturday night party straight from work.

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    Pilates: the ultimate fitness and flexibility regime

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    Pilates is a fitness training system that focus on flexibility and endurance involving control movements techniques to boost muscle toning and optimum physiological exuberance; it trains your body for an overall health and wellness. It’s a timeless process, there are several benefits for everyone and the long term effects are colossal.

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    “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”, said Joseph Pilates the pioneer of this form of exercise.

    It gets a little monotonous between 10th and 20th sessions, that’s when variations needs to be included in the Pilates regime to keep you motivated… anyone who makes it across this period will surely retain their fervent for Pilates over the amazing results.

    Benefits:

    • A stable weight loss programme that not only helps reduce-up but maintain an ideal weight.
    • Pilates combines with weight training has muscle toning effect; flat abs and stiff glutens.
    • It alleviates back pain, neck pain and corrects posture trigged problems.
    • The balancing and flexibility that comes with Pilates make strong legs.
    • The training involves controlled movements, unlike gym puts minimal impact on joints.
    • Besides the obvious physical transformation, Pilates also helps improve concentration.
    • The training process involves stabilizing breathing and eliminating inconsistencies in breathing.
    • The whole regime contributes to control blood circulation and normalises blood pressure.
    • It’s an absolute de-stress workout – as it zone outs the unnecessary rants in your mind.
    • Certain postures of Pilates help complement your Kagels – enhance libido and intercourse.
    • All the listed advantages contribute is benefits during pregnancy and post-partum.

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    The devil is in the details…. the output of Pilates hugely depends on the scheduling. Four times each week is ideal for the best benefits; also, the training being mostly postures, balance and endurance doesn’t strain your body or cause enormous amount of lassitude to give you enough scope for pairing up Pilates with your on-going fitness .

    The Pilates session follows a certain pattern; it begins with stabilizing your breathing practices and enhances concentration. The process continues with training your body through controlled movements, postural alignments and developing stamina, while the mind in centred to one point, without the hovering, it channels power that boosts your memory, mental agility, imbibe relaxation and keeps you in a far more healthy lifestyle.

    5 easy Pilates to get you started

    The curl-up

    Lie on back, body straight posture and knees bent at 90 degrees with feet firm on the floor. Now rise like you would if you were to do crunches only hands by the side … till your shoulder are pulled-up from the floor and chin perpendicular to your chest. Hold for 1 breath and descend back.

    The hundred

    Lie face up on your back and hands right on the side palms on floor. Lift upper body channelling the energy on breastbone till shoulders are in the air, followed by raising your legs in the parallel formation, heels together tows apart and extend at a 120 degree angle with abdomen. Move the arms up and down in the high position breathing in rhythm for 5 counts. Lower to starting position and repeat after 5 seconds.

    The feet reach

    Sit straight with legs wide apart on the either side, as much as can be stretched. Now exhale as you try to reach and hold the toe of each foot with the hand on that particular side. Do this for 10 reps as beginners. It’s a Pilates that helps pregnant women as well… only keep the other leg folded and touching your thigh on the stretched leg while you reach out for it.

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    The Roll-on

    Sit straight on mat with spine straight, knees folded up drawn to the chest and hands wrapping around the folded legs to keep it close to chest. Now balance your body and engage abs muscle to control momentum as you roll on your back up to the tailbone while being in the same crouching position, feet in the air. Inhale while raising your shoulder blade and then on exhale as you keep rolling forward pushing yourself up in the starting position.

    Leg stretches

    Lie on the mat face up and knees folded. As you balance your body bending upwards powering your torso pull back one leg at a time towards your chest. At full recede position hold with your arms and let go after a count of 5. Do this rapidly. After 10 minutes do the same with open legs… raise up and pulled back in stretched position one at a time for same duration.

    Pilates is a great tool for a renewed life.

    Image Sources: Abouttimemagazine, mensjournal, barcin.com, Getty Images & Pilates Studio

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    The Bread-Time Stories

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    Regardless of the land or the epicurean culture, bread is an omnipresent variety on the food menu….from Cheese Buns to Pretzel to corn made flat bread tortillas; it’s like a never ending list of savoury. While we’re so engrossed and enthusiastic about the taste trysts from around the world, the heterogeneity of flavours and texture of these vast assortment of breads are underrated and sadly, never much discussed or drooled on.

    So, let’s get started now!

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    Pan de Muerto

    • Mexican Savoury – Pan de Muerto

    In colloquial language it means bread of dead…as offered to dead love-ones for thanksgiving; but the taste can actually enliven your taste buds. For most of the part it’s a home-made simple egg bread recipe on the sweet side, takes a bit of dough sculpting skill too, to add-in the delicious undertone to its very sight that might get you gorging on it. The exquisiteness of this plain bread variety isn’t all about how good it looks or its purpose, but its delectable sweet taste that sync in with a mild sweet flavour of anise or orange flowers water… a taste that lingers on, even after you’ve gulped it down the throat.

    • Every evolving German Pretzel

    The name is a sure hint the taste conjure won’t be an easy guess… yes, Pretzel is one of a kind salty variety of bread in the garlic loving German cuisine…. bit of a gustatory puzzle to the flavour fanatics from other parts of the world. Nonetheless, it’s very popular and well known even outside the borders of CEST time-zone. The dough can be from among whole wheat or rye or spelt that will be apt for the less puffy baking while allowing melt-in-mouth texture and milliard reaction to help retain the brown skin succulence. Initially, seasoned with from among sesame, poppy, sunflower, pumpkin, caraway seeds to complement the salty piquant flavour or smothered in melted cheese… but modern day Pretzel adapted to the savour swerve swiftly. Available in vast assortment of stuffed varieties, pizza like toppings or are simply dunked in melted chocolate or glazed in honey and icing.

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    Stuffed Pretzel

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    Rosemary Honey Challah

    • Jewish braid bread Challah

    Stemming from the traditional baking of this golden brown braid bread to commemorate a mythological belief in the Jewish culture… modern day Challah has evolved over the years to become moreish and mouthful. The aboriginal sesame or poppy seed sprinkles on the bun has been revamped with fresh flavors of strong garlic, cinnamon, olives or sweet fragrant of rosemary, thyme, basil; folded in the reins of the dough to resonate the taste throughout. Stuffed variety is only made with the tang of roasted tomatoes within as milk or meat will spoil the originality of this relish.

    Image Courtesy

    (Featured Image) – Mysanitas.com

    Other Images: The Spruce Eats, The food network, Cindy’s Blog

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    Book Review – Shiva Trilogy (Amish Tripathi)

    Shiva Trilogy, as the name suggests is a collection of three series (Immortals of Meluha, Secrets of Nagas & Oath of the Vayuputras) woven together celebrating Shiva as the Epic Hero and his voyage as a saviour of this world.

    Vikram Singh, Assistant Professor in a College in Hisar very rightly puts “Amish Tripathi has taken a lead in Indian Fictional Writing by deconstructing the old-age myth of Shiva and providing a new perspective in Shiva Trilogy.” Every book has its own story which is open ended and closes the loop in Book 3.

    Immortals of Meluha: It is the story of a rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant, Shiva placed somewhere in 1900 B.C. Believed to always have been a person who was curated since his childhood to be a saviour of the man’s land. A normal person belonging from the clan of the Kshatriyas is re-cast by the believers of the Legend of Mahadev (having a blue throat). The Chandravanshis conspire with the Nagas (deformed humans) and plan terrorist attacks. It ends on a gripping note for the other part.

    Secret of the Nagas: the book opens on a sad note (killing of Shiva’s dear one, Brahaspati). Now, the Nagas are behind Sati. This concern follows revelation of secrets, alliance with the unexpected, search of the actual cause of the problems, discovery of betrayals and fierce battles.  The Book 2 closes its loop leaving some space for the Book 3 to begin and take over the story.

    Oath of the Vayuputras: The prophecy taken forward as “Evil has risen, only God can stop it.” encapsulates all the miseries and difficulties that the team of Lord Shiva has to suffer during the battle for saving the Nation, India. The book brings to us the real identity of Lord Shiva as the destroyer for which he has to lose his love, Sati. Though he succeeds in saving India in alliance with the Vayuputras leaving behind the scars of numerous battles. The Legend is proved virtuous.

    To comment upon his Narrative style, he mixes linear and cyclical which keeps continuity and discontinuity of the preceding Mythical Narrative. He very diligently uses a blend of Mythology and History as his concepts captured by his sub-conscious mind and plays with his world of fiction overpowering his writing style.

    The Trilogy shifts you from spearheading towards the big-big mythological epics. It, undoubtedly, renders a different perception to look at our History and Mythology together. Moreover, to be a little more honest about the Book, after reading Book 1, one tends to expect for the Trilogy to end on a grand level which doesn’t happen. But the writing style and the school of thought of the three books are amazingly given shape which makes one to buy all the three books. The Trilogy should be given a read, at least once.

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    Popular

    Wedding gifts? Plan some unforgettable ones!

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    A Wedding Ceremony is a memorable time. A peculiar space when each and every second adds to the beauty of bride and groom’s life. Invitations to one of these weddings gather up a kind of excitement to grace the occasion. And, an addition to the vim is the selection of the gift to be given to the Wedding Couple. The Gifts are taken into account keeping in mind the budget, the relationship with the concerned bride, groom or couple and many other factors that influence the type of the gift.

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    What? Got muddled up as to what is apposite for a good gift/present? Here’s a guide for bestowing the right choice to the right person (of any relativity).

    • Wedding of a Neighbour: Living in a colony, neighbours are the helping hands for one or the other person. And, when it’s time to attend a wedding of a close neighbour, the main thought that ponders in our mind is the determination of a gift. For a close neighbour, one can think of Home Appliances, Furniture, Holiday/ Honeymoon package, Spa Session, Grooming Kit (for groom), Gadgets (for groom) and decoration of the Honeymoon Suite are some of the generic and apt ideas. For a distant neighbour, one can plan to gift items like Gift Vouchers of certain good lifestyle stores, Home Décor items, flowers & cards and much more.

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    • Wedding of a Friend: Friends play a lovely role in one’s life. They add rainbow colours to make a life colourful. Every friend impatiently waits for a friend’s wedding (be it a girl or a boy). Although, the gift of friendship is the biggest gift one can get. But, make your friends’ biggest day by gifting something priceless like organisation of a Bachelor’s/ Bachelorette, bridal makeup, Spa Session, Photo Montage, an unforgettable dance performance or hosting an entertaining show, decoration of Honeymoon Suite, a beautiful Holiday/Honeymoon Package, and many more interesting and unparalleled presents (not in cash but in kind).

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    • Wedding of a close relative: A close relative (uncles, cousins and aunts) is called upon just before the marriage ceremonies even take their first step. Their marriage gift should be something very priceless and exclusive. Contribution towards their Home Décor, their different ceremony’s organisation and execution, Home Appliances, adding to their closet to be used after marriage, taking up the decor of the Honeymoon Suite, planning of a Holiday/ Honeymoon Package, Gadgets (for the groom), a dance performance by the kids of the house or the teenagers for the Bride, Groom or the couples per say.

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    • Wedding of a distant relative: There are some relatives who keep you in their bucket list for invitations but are not that close in relation. Gifts, here also, play a very crucial role to determine the kind of beauty that still exists in a relationship even if not too close. Therefore, you can plan to gift certain things like Gift Vouchers of high-end Lifestyle stores, small decorative items for home, Watches for couples, fragrant and elegant perfumes, toiletries, flowers & cards, some wardrobe additions, aromatherapy basket and gadgets are the best picks for a wedding present.

     

    November, December and January are all soaked in the spirit of the wedding season! Have you also been called for one? Plan and buy your gifts as this guide takes you through the right gifting strategy!

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    A heart-to-heart with a versatile artist! In Focus – Mrinalika Jain

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    The word Kaushalam means skill set. The creator named it after her father Shri Kaushal Kishor Jain.

    Kaushalam is the flow of creativity. It is a Studio of unique hand painted Home Decor & Lifestyle products. The creator of beauty, Ms. Mrinalika Jain’s has taken a step towards keeping the Indian traditions alive.

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    It is a creative idea of Mrinalika Jain who is an artist herself. Hailing from Jaipur, she has done her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Rajasthan University and Masters in Portrait Painting from Arts and crafts College, Lucknow University. She is a disciple of legendry artist Pandit Dwarka Prasad Sharma from Jaipur. She gives the credit to her Guru to give her a rock solid foundation in painting that turned her into a great observant, skilled and curious artist.

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    Living in USA for almost a decade and visiting many countries, she cumulated a global perspective. The exposure helped her a lot in shaping up “Kaushalam”. The place is magical because many Artisans and needy people who are working there are earning their livelihood through Kaushalam.

    When a product is being sold at the Kaushalam, many lives get benefited.

    As nothing can be achieved without facing challenges, Mrinalika also had to face a lot of them and they which pop up every now and then. Managing finances is one of the biggest challenges when one starts a business of their own. Being a handmade product, skilling artisans and maintaining good quality is one of an ongoing challenge that she keeps on facing.

    To shape a successful journey one ought to have supporters, be it just a single person at times, but one needs somebody. Therefore, her family and friends were a great support throughout the journey. And they still are because balancing work and family wouldn’t have been easy otherwise.

     

    Having her own Studio and Art Gallery was her dream since college days. She puts her heart and soul in her work which keeps showing her the next path. Today, she has her own manufacturing unit (studio) where a lot of artisans work and a Retail store. She is exporting across the globe and selling in all parts of India. That’s how she is a product of her own passion and advises everyone to follow the same!

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    Trending

    A Road Side Experience of Fine Dining @RJ 14

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    Oh Factor: A Dhaba with a Fine Dining experience!

    Cost: Rs. 900 for two people (Approx)

    Address: 132,133,151, Ajmera Garden, Main DCM Road, Opposite IndusInd Bank, Ajmer Road, Ajmer Highway, Jaipur

    Phone Number: +91 9887288849

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    Situated on Ajmer Highway RJ 14 brings together a Fine Dining escapade with what you may call a Dhaba experience. The ambience is a class apart with well lit indoor and outdoor dining areas. The seating is large enough if you’re even with a small party and the furnishing is quite snazzy and with the times. RJ 14 gives you an extensive list of options for seating yourself, being spread over such a large area.

    The cuisine here specialises in North Indian, South Indian and Street Food.

    With plating and presentation, this place gives to you your favourite Indian dishes with a contemporary flair. The Kababs here are well recommended. Tasteful and well made with ample spice. Go for the Makai Seekh Kabab or Subz Seekh ke Kabab to get your juices flowing.

    For main course options, go for the Dal Bukhara, Kadhai Paneer or Dal Makhni. But if not in the mood for something heavy, you can just as easily binge on delectable chaats. You can choose from Aloo Tikki, Dahi Bhalle or Raaj Kachori. You even have the option of sitting in comfort and binging on Golgappas or Puchkas.

    And for whatever reason if in the middle of your road trip you find yourself here and realise too late that you don’t feel like binging on chaat or North Indian cuisine for that matter, you can just as easily go for the South Indian side of the menu without hesitation. In a menu section dubbed, “Dakshin Se” (From the South), one can find all the classics like Vada Sambhar, Masala Dosa, Rava Dosa to more complex South India dishes such as Masala Uttapam, Idli and the rest.

    Conclusively, RJ 14 does well in not only successfully catering to all Indian Palates but also appropriately sets the dining mood whether you choose to be indoors or outside!

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    Hot

    InFocus: Gopal Swami Khetanchi

    Gopal Swami Khetanchi from a young age knew his roots and where he was meant to be heading in life. Born in 1958, he was introduced to his family’s artistic heritage at a mere age and at 15 he began learning to make it his own, from his father.

    “It was hard to not get influenced by art with the kind of environment at home.” He says about his art influence in younger years. “Though I went on to make more painters such as Mr. Manak Joshi my Guru.” The now well known artist hails from the small town of Sardarshahar in the Churu District of Rajasthan.

    By 28 years of age, Gopal Swami was ready to take up the mantle of a Master Painter himself. Gaining experience in Mumbai, painting pedestrians at Juhu Beach, he expanded his talent tree. Until he found himself in Bollywood as an assistant art director to Manzoor ul Haq in several Bollywood films like Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (1978), Abdullah (1980), Jwalamukhi (1980) and Kaalia (1981).

    Post his Bollywood experience, Mr. Khetanchi decided to return to Rajasthan and channelise his creativity into only painting. He returned to Rajasthan and started with painting forts and culture of the state. His Rajasthani landscapes drew a lot of momentum with his renditions of Jaisalmer Fort, Amber Fort and many others. His exhibition titled Rajputana in 2012 displayed eleven paintings of various forts in Rajasthan depicted in his painting style.

    In 2006 Khetanchi did what possibly was his most influential work, a reinterpretation of one of his favourite artists Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa. It was a part of his series A Tribute to Masters, which included his own interpretations of some of the world’s most influential artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, etc. Devashree and Bani-Thani were the two Mona Lisa renditions, the latter of which is a combination of the Mona Lisa and the renowned Indian miniature painting, Bani-Thani by Nihal Chand.

    Mr. Khetanchi’s Bani-Thani was used in the promotion for Le Festival des Écrivains du monde: Écrivains de l’Inde held in Paris in 2014 and on the cover of the November–December 2014 edition of Nouvelles De L’Inde, the bimonthly publication of the Indian embassy in Paris.

    This year, Gopal Swami Khetanchi received the State level Maharana Sajjan Singh Award that recognizes contribution to the arts, culture and heritage. He says, “The way we translate various languages, in quite a similar way my paintings are an Indian translation of artists from different ages.”

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    Why Mehendi is believed to be a Significant Take at the Wedding

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    It’s believed that this festival is all about gearing up in versatile outfits and why not, when we are getting a chance to utilise probably all colors of the palette.

    Mehendi, a traditional artistic expression from India’s ancient history that has stuck into the ritual books even today. From celebrations to marriages, the use of henna paste has had various uses and significance. Usage of mehendi is an old Vedic custom.

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    Mehendi ceremony is just not lending colour to the hands but a recipe of an excitement and a nervous anticipation that can take its toll of the bride and groom. Adding on, the aesthetic beauty of mehendi designs, there is a deep belief in its significance during a wedding. Mehendi represents the love of the fusion between the soon-to- be-married couple, rather also believes that the deeper the shades of the bride’s mehendi, the relationship writes the lost lasting destiny. The ceremony, however, entails an elaborate application of mehendi designs on a bride’s hands and feet. As for the groom, a mere token of application of henna is a mark of good omen. The darkness of the mehendi colour on a bride’s hand represents the deep love between the would-be-couple. The mehendi colour also shows the love and understanding between the bride and her mother-in-law. The longer the mehendi retains its colour, the more auspicious it is the newlyweds. The mehendi ceremony is a rumination of a rich Indian culture, binded with the loads of loving sentiments and beliefs. This is the day when the amazing moments are pinned up in the diary of fun and joy that won’t be swiped out ever.

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    Hot Popular

    It’s not just about the success, but the beginning! In Focus – Kirti Rathore

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    Today’s modern woman balances all the work with family. I feel, everyday is a new learning for me, there’s a lot more to do in this field. This is not the end and it has a long way to go. Says Ms. Kirti

    A dream that was living in the eyes of a 10 year old, royal blooded girl residing in Alwar named Kirti Rathore.

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    The designing ideology took over the psyche of this little girl making her sit with the tailors of her own family for getting made the designs of her choice for Thakurji (Lord Krishna). Struggling with her dreams, her family, after her graduation, wanted her to get into the Rajasthan Administration. She always wanted to study with NIFT and after a lot of resistance, she took her admission there. After 2 months she got to know that she cleared the entrance of RAS (Rajasthan Administrative Services). Hence, she was called back to her home by her family and she couldn’t cope up with the designing career. Very soon she was married off at a very early age of 19 years and became a typical purdah-clad dulhan of a reputed Rajput Family. Leaving all her dreams and career orientation for designing back in her desires, she felt lonely and helpless towards her own self. “I studied so much and wasn’t doing anything with it. This thought used to bother me a lot.” says Kirti Rathore. After her first baby grew up, she again came back to the same yearning of doing something with her life. And after certain turmoils that she went through every now and then, her career took a turn, she herself chose the road that was not taken. Then dawned upon her was an idea of a small boutique which could only get fruition when her husband allowed her to do so. The challenge that was coming her way was the capital, which she had to herself arrange. “If you really want to do it keenly and take this responsibility on your shoulders, then you can do it.” as was very rightly put into words by her husband.

    “Savings of just Rs. 5000 and an old garage with no tailor or sewing machine, I just accepted it as a challenge and moved ahead.” as is said by the valiant Miss Kirti Rathore. Menswear was the design orders that she got from the very beginning, as and when she established her small boutique. Appreciation at the very beginning of something new like “Designs are very creative, different.”, “Concepts are very nice.” was a very big word of mouth for the designer on a very small scale at that point of time. From there on she got to work upon the idea of designing the uniforms of the Hotels. And, she signed a contract, her very first contract of designing the uniforms of the Chomu Palace of Rajasthan. People noticed the beauty of my designs and she got to see articles being published on her book of being because she was the very first woman designer from Jaipur designing for Men!

    Now, it was time for some real action. Hence, some people from Rajasthan Fashion Week connected Ms. Kirti and this was her very first Fashion Show. “This was a no-looking-back and turning-back point in my life!” Unaware of how a Fashion Show functions, she was invited among 20-25 top Designers wherein very luckily she was chosen as the designer for the show stopper (Mr. Vivek Oberoi). From there on she got her first break and started working for Bollywood Movies and actors/actresses.

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    Life has never been a bed of roses, so was her own life as well. But she has been a fighter, go-getter and a rebel who stepped all the stones that came her way to establish her name throughout the world in the present as well coming future years (Boswell, London, New York and Middle East, New Jersey and other countries). “The people who used to talk behind my back related to my Menswear designs, they are the only people who now fight for front rows of my shows.” that is where my success lies!

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