Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 A Quick RECAP

I clearly remember, last 31st December I had boozed (actual boozing and not pretending to do so) for the very first time. Three mid night tequila shots at Slice of lime, with my husband Avishek and two of our closest friends Shalaka and Nilesh. My first ever high, Shalaka’s strange laugh after the shots, we returning home leaving our cars in the mall’s parking area etc.  With complete madness and sheer joy, the year started only to unfold some lovely moments and off course its share of sadness.

Nilesh and Avishek, 31st Dec 2013

Unfortunately, this was the first year since I left Kolkata, that for the 365 days I did not get to visit my city of joy. But every cloud has a silver lining, and my mom’s and my mom in law’s visit to Mumbai was that. So even though we could not go to visit our family, our family came down to visit us.

Ma at Mumbai

Career wise, this year was critical. I changed my job after a long period of dissatisfaction and anguish. And finally felt better and more settled professionally.

This was a year marked with many small but fun trips to nearby places. When monsoon dawned with its signature grey clouds, heavy downpour and thirst quenching greenery, we along with mom went to explore the illustrious and untouched jungles of Matheran. Avishek had his most thrilling driving experience so far. Then started the Goa fever, we along with some lovely friends conquered the Tropical paradise, not once but twice this year. Once during the festival of lights and again during Christmas. The first trip was to the lively and colorful Baga beach and the last to the serenity of Cavelossim.


Dancing by the bay, Baga beach

The entire group, Cavelossim

This Durga Puja was special too, I and Avishek both participated in plays and the best part was, both the plays attracted lot of positive reviews.

Avishek's play

My play

This year I also discovered my knack of fashion sense, I discovered a newer me this Puja. Frankly I never before, gave fashion a thought, though I was always choosy. But mixing the traditional with the contemporary, playing with different colors and fabrics came to me lately.

In a white Dhakai

In a monotone silk


This year gave me blogging, a passion which always laid dormant within my inner self surfaced in 2014. I thank all the people who took out few minutes to read my narratives. Lastly I enrolled in the Dancing Hobby Club today (30th of December 2014).  And am about to indulge, in another form of art, very close to my heart. I thank all my friends, family and specially my husband for giving me all the happiness. In 2014 I have discovered myself.

I don't know what madness awaits for me tomorrow (31st December 2014), but I am looking forward to it. Wish all of you a very happy 2015, just remember now is what we have. So live life to the fullest and don't waste energy in negative feelings, rather exhaust yourself in creativity. 

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Why I want to experience Exotic Melbourne!!

“We travel not to escape life,
But for life not to escape us”
I love to travel and dream to travel. As they say “I have not traveled everywhere, but it’s on my list.” To me traveling is a way of living, and it’s much more than just exploring exotic locales and staying in luxurious hotels. It’s an opportunity to know the world and the beauty of its diversity. It’s knowing different cultures and different people. It’s like unfolding papers of the manuscript of an un-published book.

Melbourne Night

There are many places across the globe which attracts and intrigues my fancies, Melbourne in Australia is one such names in my wish-list. I think Melbourne can be termed as a complete treat to the traveler’s needs. From sun kissed beaches, to exotic vineyards, from outlandish wildlife to road side coffee culture, Melbourne has it all. It offers an exotic spread to quench the thirst of the traveler, and that too traveler of all types. Some who loves to bathe in the crimson rays of the sun and enjoy the sea kissing their feet, some who loves to enjoy a steaming cup coffee by the road side and watch the flow of colorful life on the streets.

Colorful beaches

Coffee shop lined streets

The reasons why Melbourne has a special place in my heart and I aspire to witness the extravaganza are many. As I earlier mentioned, to me traveling is a way of life, and Melbourne has a rhythm which I find very attractive. The pictures and videos that I have seen of Melbourne narrates a story which intrigues me. It has too much to offer. Its chic culture, colorful and happy living and nature’s bounty makes it a traveler’s delight.

Australia as a whole has been at the top of my international travel wishlist for long. And Melbourne was among the most important destinations, that I wanted to capture in my memory during my visit to the land of kangaroos. So when I came across this contest in Indivine "What's your reason of falling love with Melbourne, the most livable city in the world?", I was overjoyed and wanted to pen down my reasons, which I am sure are obvious. I also went through their tourism site namely Tourism Victoria Website for more insight. Many of my acquaintances have had the privilege of experiencing Melbourne and have shared their travel stories with me, but I admit that this website has particularity covered every aspect of tourism, from scenic beauty, art and culture to food  and shopping. 

But I think Rohan and Tanmay's Melbourne adventures and its videos are best ways of actually falling in love with the place. The heavenly landscape backdrop and these two exceptionally talented funny men, come together and does the magic. Of all that they have captured in the videos, which I am sure is only a part of the spectacle, the following are my favorite:

Loch Ard Gorge Beach

a. Loch Ard Gorge Beach : This beautiful beach, with the looming hillocks, actually attract my beach loving self. As truly pointed out by the gentlemen, the place does evoke poetry out of a non poet.
Please see the following link: Rohan and Tanmay at Loch Ard Gorge beach

b.Hot Air Balloon: I am an ardent lover of adventure sports. Though a Hot Balloon experience cannot exactly be termed as one, but the thrill and newness of the experience attracted me a lot. The exotic, jaw dropping beauty of the vineyards, the soft crimson rays of the early morning sun and the fly high thing is just awesome.
Please see the following link: Rohan and Tanmay, and the Hot air balloon.

Hot balloon gliding past the vineyards

c. Montalto Vineyard and the Olive Grove: I literally felt jealous to watch these gentlemen in the stupendous beauty of the Vineyard and Olive Grove, I just wish to see it in person some day (sad expression).

12 Apostles 

d. 12 Apostles from the Sky: I love to see the world from an eagle's eye, each time when I board an aircraft and look down, I feel its much more beautiful than we can actually perceive. And if the scenery down is that breath taking, the joy of viewing increases manifold.
Please see the following link: 12 Apostles from the Sky

Eureka Sky Deck

e. Eureka Sky Deck:  Buying an adrenaline rush, is very important in any vacation. The experience of Eureka Sky deck, I am sure, is one such goose bump episode of Melbourne Trip and hence my favorite.
Please see the following link: Tanmay and Rohan get high on Eureka Sky Deck

Though I have mentioned a few of my favorites in Melbourne, but the list is longer than just five. Infact each place had an inherent uniqueness attached to it, a flavor, a rhythm and a story to narrate.

Now there is some good news for my readers as well. Everyone who lays an eye or spares a moment to go through my narrative, is invited to participate in a Quiz Contest.

Of all the places mentioned in the link shared below, which place in Melbourne attracts your fancies the most and compels you to visit and Why?
Please see the following link: Places to visit in Melbourne

The best answer will get a gift voucher from Melbourne Tourism. Hurry the contest closes on 4th of January 2015!

Lastly I end up with the hope of visiting this exotica someday and experience its natural beauty, art , food and lively cosmopolitan culture. See you soon Melbourne.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Hubby’s birthday special

In this hectic fast paced life, special days should essentially be enjoyed to the fullest. The fun, the surprise and the euphoria acts as a rejuvenating mixture and breathes fresh life. I enjoy getting pleasantly surprised,the sudden hit of extreme gaiety acts like tequila shots and gives an immediate high. But as much as I enjoy the pampering, I also enjoy to pamper. I will never forget how my mother had burst into tears of joy, when I had sent her a surprise birthday cake for the first time.

Similarly every year, I try to do something new on Avishek, my husband's birthday, to bring a smile to his face. This year I had a great idea in my mind.His birthday comes on the 24th of December and we had plans to be in Goa  till the 22nd. So I planned of having a Pre-birthday cake cutting session by the bay. I felt great imagining him cutting his birthday cake, amidst the candle lights, the soft sand beneath and the gushing waves of the Arabian Sea.

However health was not too much in my favor and I got a bad migraine attack that day, but I did not loose hope. By evening when I had almost recovered from the excruciating headache, I started planning to get the cake. With drowsiness still weighing heavy on other emotions due to pain killer intake, I managed to ask my friends to get the cake before we reach the spot. But unfortunately they could not get to a good cake shop.  I could not let the beautiful moment pass by, so by God's grace I got hold of a guy who said he will get a cake for me from the famous beach shack in Baga,Brittos.

Yummy cream cake from Brittos

Cake cutting by the bay

Though I could not manage to plan a great beach birthday for him, but we did cut a yummy cream cake by the bay. The star studded sky, the cold sand,the waves and we all wished him a happy birthday. I am glad I could bring a smile to his face. Later after returning back home, I again arranged a proper mid night cake cutting, followed by birthday evening dinner for him.

Our mid night cake cutting moments

Life is not great always, but it's on us what we do to make it special. It's not a compulsion to celebrate special days, but I firmly believe when we look back such moments become high points in any relationship and brings smile to our face. So enjoy every moment as much as you can, create memories, because afterlife and reborn theories may just be myths, so all we have is this one life.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

The confession Room!!

"Kitna chain hota hai na sachchai mein!" by Kinley

I am believer of existence of true love. In this era of internet dating, one night stands and vulnerable relationships, I still believe that unconditional love very much exists and weighs heavy on the philosophies of ego clashes and short term relationships. Many people believe that it's the impact of the western lifestyle and fast living that tolerance level of people have decreased and to an extent that ego clashes are frequent and sometimes strong enough to break the soft bonding love and passion. But I agree to disagree to this philosophy. To me a relationship is like a sky scrapper, the strength and lastingness of which, solely depend on the foundation. The stronger the foundation, the stronger the bonding. Again there are many elements that conglomerate to build a Herculean foundation. Love is the most prominent building block, however no passion can last long without mutual respect and more importantly TRUST. The vulnerabilities and intolerance attached to the relationships of the so called young generation, is more due to insufficient gauging of each other's emotions and plunging into a relationship prematurely. And then unable to keep up the trust factor.

Love can happen once, twice or many times, it's definitely not infidelity to fall in love again after parting ways with your partner. But keeping the TRUST factor going strong is very important. And it is also of utmost importance to make your partner aware of your past instead of keeping him or her in darkness. After-all the peace of  mind associated with truth and honesty is priceless and the initial hurdles of discomfort are meagre compared to it. I have always chosen the tough way of truthfulness in my life so far, an ability I have inherited from my late father. 

When I came across the new indivine topic by Kinley "Kitna Chain hota hai na sachchai mein", I was in a state of dilemma. I did not actually wanted to enter the confession room. But later I decided to take a plunge and a share a bit of my life with you. Frankly Kinley's video acted as an inspiration (included at the beginning of the post).

When I fell in love for the first time, I was a kid in class X. Everything seemed to be the unfolding of a fairy tale, rosy and beautiful. However things did not turn out to be too well later and we parted ways months before I had joined my Engineering college. The trauma and the excruciating pain, left  me shattered to believe, never to fall in love again. Life moved on, and I confined myself inside an invisible cocoon and stayed away from all these painful emotions. It was simpler to be a loner than to be left alone, whatever may be the reason.

It was not too long before I met my now husband and then senior. I do not remember the sparks to ignite in our first or second meet. I guess it was very gradual. Basically my frame of mind, was not allowing me to feel the magic again. He did express his feeling of liking but the relationship started much later, after months of introspection, long discussions over the phone and some infrequent meetings. During this whole phase of knowing each other and getting friendly, my mind always drifted to think of disclosing my past to him. I hesitated, fearing his reaction. But I knew I had to face it some day. After all even that day, I was a firm believer of true love and strong foundation of a relationship. I wanted him to be able to TRUST me always, I wanted him to know me clearly. 

That day we were seated next to each other, in a pleasant February morning, on the benches in front of the college canteen. I had decided to express what I felt for him and also the reason of my reluctance to getting into a relationship. Confiding was not as difficult as I had imagined, he supported me to bring myself out. It's not that, a frown did not appear  on his forehead at my revelation, but he was actually and completely fine with it. That day I knew, he was my best buddy, which I believe till date.

I felt light and happy, I felt honest and loved the feeling of it. Its very true that the path to honest living is not hurdle free but the peace of mind is priceless. KITNA CHAIN HOTA HAI NA SACHCHAI MEIN!!!!

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Water sports at Mobor Beach, Cavelossim

It was an inadequately short trip to Goa, yet it had its share of great and greatest moments. Moments that remains with us, moments that are cherished for long, moments of loosing oneself and gliding with euphoria! A great place of stay, promises comfort! Compatible co travelers promise relaxation! An exotic destination promises food for thought in ways more than one. Our stay by the serene Mobor beach in the luxurious Holiday Inn resort, did promise to give us some precious moments and indeed it kept its promise.

 I always loved water sports, although it tires a little but the ecstatic moments that surface through it are worth exhausting energy and inviting body ache (wink). The high point of this trip was our water sport indulgence. Holiday Inn has its private beach, which is extraordinarily maintained clean. Hence the transparent blue waters, the soft glorious sand and the inviting extended blueness above, made our sporting all the more enjoyable.

 At a rate little higher than you get in beaches like Baga and Calangute, Mobor beach promised a session in much more cleaner waters and significantly lesser crowd and chaos. They had Banana Ride, Ringo, Paragliding and Jet skiing.  And each had its share of fun, fear and joy of getting over it.

In Ringo they make two people sit in an air filled small boat and then with the help of a speed boat, they pull it with enormous speed, invading commendable distance from the sea shore. The best part of this ride is the speed, which is incredible and nerve wrecking.
In Banana Ride which very similar to Ringo, maximum five people can sit on the banana shaped boat, however the speed in this case is not that high. But the fun is, you are thrown out from the boat mid sea, the very idea can be scary and fun at the same time.
We all know, the fun attached with Jet Ski and paragliding, as a bonus we got a good share of Dolphin Sighting while we were aboard for our paragliding session.

Life is about living, and it depends on us how we want to live. Sometimes adrenaline rushes are great for our being, it kind of rejuvenates and infuses fresh life with the never dying quest to live life king size.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Friday, 26 December 2014

A few Glimpses of Basilica Of Bom Jesus, Old Goa

Picture courtesy Avishek Sengupta and Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta

Pre-Christmas Goa with Luxurious Holiday Inn Resort

It does not take too long for the sun kissed Goan beaches to attract us towards its allure. We are frequent and dedicated visitors of the tropical paradise. The shacks, the silky touch of the sand, the Arabian Seaside, the food, the music and the euphoria attached is far too irresistible to fall short of consideration. After our last visit in October, we decided to pay one last one in 2014 in the festive December months.

As they say, travel and stay has to be comfortable for making a vacation spend worthy in fact remember worthy. This time we chose “Holiday Inn Resort” on the picturesque Mobor beach in Cavelossim, South Goa. And I think the very stay became one of the high points of our vacation.

Spread over acres of land, Holiday Inn Resort is a property apt for spending some magical moments with family and friends. The chic decor of the lobby and the welcoming and warm faces of the staff, gives you a lovely feeling of what you are heading towards. Though I thought the check in formalities are a bit too clumsy yet the ambiance makes it up.  Fortunately we had chosen the Christmas time and had the added privilege of witnessing some extra light and glitter here and there, keeping in tune to festivities around. Two giant Christmas trees and a refreshing apple drink welcomed us with open arms to experience the indulgence.

The rooms were spacious, cozy and chic, as if tailor made for repose. The balcony of ours had the exotic view of the glittering blue poolside.  As we walked past the poolside, lush green lawns awaited us to quench the thirst of our tired eyes. The velvet touch of the superbly maintained green carpet lined with palm trees sends a rejuvenating energy across your veins. It’s best to lie down and relax forgetting all worldly gains and losses.

The greenery ends to kiss the soft and lustrous golden sand, lined with sun bath chairs. Mobor beach is really nature’s Magnum opus. However maintenance of the beauty and keeping intact the untouched feeling of the place depends solely on the Hotel authorities, keeping in view the number of tourists that set foot to invade each year. And very evidently they do their job too well.

From dawn when the crimson rays of the sun start to spread it’s hue to dusk when it gradually sinks to the massive sea, the blue waters and golden sand looks majestic. As gradually darkness embraces the entire property is illuminated with thousands of tastefully placed lamps, a special mention of the blue lights at the pool.

At last, I would like to add, that choosing the appropriate place to put up is most important to have a stay studded with cherished memories and Holiday Inn Resort can very well serve this purpose.

Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta
All the pictures are captured by Aritra Chakrabarty Sengupta