Monday, December 26, 2016

Things Government Can Do Instead Of Building a Shivaji Statue

Pic taken from:

At times stupid, oh so stupid things happens around us and we do nothing but just wait and watch. For a while now I had been reading random articles online that the government was planning to build a Statue of Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea. The statue was apparently going to be the world’s tallest statues costing up to INR 3,600 crore! 

Initially I thought these were just rumors and that nothing concrete was ever going to happen, partly because such a huge project seemed a little unreal. However a few weeks ago I got to know that this was really happening and I was furious with the news. I am a Maharashtrian, I respect Shivaji and have loved studying about him in school but spending such a huge amount on a statue seems ridiculous to me. 

We are not even a developing nation anymore ( source: ) and to do something like this after that shows how we conveniently choose to ignore real issues and focus on something that may help us with the vote bank. 

I am listing down a few things that I, as a citizen of this country, as a layman, can think of doing with INR 3600 crore instead of building a statue which basically would not serve any purpose.

  1. Build a library which would include books from all over the globe
  2. Provide sanitation facilities
  3. Provide girls in rural areas with sanitary pads, educate them about menstruation
  4. Provide better facilities at government hospitals and police stations
  5. Provide irrigation facilities to farmers
  6. Educate farmers on how to take care of their crops / provide them with better equipment and facilities
  7. We have so many forts built by Shivaji Maharaj in Maharashtra which are in a bad state, why not restore them?
  8. Invest in tourism, make the city safer
  9. India has a ratio of 138 police personnel per lakh of population, why not employ more people? ( Source: )
  10. Provide better public transport
  11. Fix the pothole filled roads
  12. Cancel toll on highways
  13. The statue is going to affect the local fishermen, provide them with better fishing equipment rather than spending on the statue
  14. Making provisions and implementing solar energy
  15. Making provisions for rain water harvesting
  16. The statue is going to damage nature, why not plant more trees instead?
  17. Why not have a screening everyday at Gateway of India depicting life stories of every eminent personalities and not just Shivaji? This could include, Scientist, Politicians, Freedom Fighters, Kings And Maharajas, Social Workers etc. when useful information is taken out of classroom and showcased in a fun and interactive way then even students and kids will be interested in learning about them.
  18. How about not charging us a number of taxes every time we eat in a restaurant? The tax itself comes up to half of our food bill
  19. Build more sports facilities, parks and open grounds 
  20. Beautification of the city

Now, if I can come up with 20 ways of using the same amount of money then I am sure that people in power who are actually the decision makers can come up with many more, if not, please don’t shy away from using one of the above ideas.

And you, I am sure you can come up with more ideas to utilize INR 3600 crore in a productive way. Mention them in the comments below so that we have more options for our dear government. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Are We Our Own Villains?

Earlier whenever we spoke about getting married the first thought that used to come to our mind was if our parents were going to be alright with our decisions. Breaking the news to your parents about your boyfriend was a big deal! Generally after informing the parents, the first meeting used to be arranged where your parents will meet (read: interrogate) the guy and try to figure if he is good enough for you. If I am to believe the popular stories then the parents would obviously feel that you have picked the wrong guy and now it is a challenge for you to prove to your parents that the guy is right for you.

Depending on how well you are able to convince your parents, you get or not get married to the guy.
I was totally prepared to follow these steps. I had even convinced myself that I would be challenged by the guy’s family and will be judged for my looks, walk, cooking and cleaning skills. As I grew up and entered adolescence I began to realise that dating rules had changed a little bit, people were a little relaxed about the concept. As I started growing up I was introduced to independence and that we are allowed to make decisions for ourselves. As long as we are not doing something that is going to harm us in the long run, our parents were more or less okay about it. Mind you, I am talking about the urban, educated and a little liberal set of people here. The story in the rural and a major part of urban population is still different.

Soon I was approaching the marriageable and although my parents did not start the “You are next to get married”, my extended family and family friends did wonder when I was getting married. My standard reply to that was that I am too young to get married, I still have to achieve my dreams and that I need to secure my career before getting married.

Me, who as a child had readied myself for all the typical issues that I might have to face before getting married to the love of my life was suddenly talking about things that postponed marriage for me.

Back in the day, parents and family used to be the villain. These days, it is us!

Look at the contemporary books and movies, it is all about the youth trying to figure their life out and not just focus on getting married. We have evolved past the notion that marriage is the ultimate goal.
Viral articles about how travelling is better than getting married, why the youth is opting to get a pet instead of wishing for a child and how it is okay to be single beyond the age of 30 or 40 are making rounds. People are actually connecting to these ideas and believing that it is alright to not follow the norm and pursue what your heart wishes.

I know someone who broke up with her boyfriend of 9 years just because she was not ready to get married and he wanted to get married. Ideally, people would have judged her, she got judged even then but she knew that if she is not ready for it means she is not ready for it. Getting married because according to the society that is “the right thing to do” was something that she didn’t believe in. For her, getting married was going to start a new and the best phase of her life and if she is going to feel forced to get married then that would be nothing more than suffocating herself.

I am not sure if we are right or wrong, I am not sure if I am right or wrong but it does seem like things are changing and it is okay to not panic about not finding “the one”. It is okay to focus on your career, dreams and aspirations and keep marriage on the back burner.  

This post was just the product of what I was thinking yesterday, has the independence, career goals and progressive thinking made us go away from the roots, traditions and norms? Are we becoming our own villains? Are we scared to commit or are we just looking for something more?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Things to Remember Before Your First Trek

Easy first
You are trekking for the first time, even if you are healthy and fit, you wouldn’t know what your body can take and what not. It is always advisable to go on an easy trek first just to check if you are able to do it. It is like testing waters before going in for the dive. If you think you are able to the trek easily then you can go ahead for the bigger treks. If you are not able to then this would be your alarm clocking telling you to work on yourself before going for the trek.

 It is always nice to read up about the place you are going to especially if the place is a remote location where it would be difficult to get help. There are a number of blogs, online articles available online to guide you. Check out the map, routes and roads and also the nearest police station, accommodation, hospital etc. just so you are prepared in any kind of an emergency.

Plan your trip; don’t let any surprises throw you off your budget. Always check with hotels, find about the transport facilities and the food options available.

List it down
Make a list of everything that you might need for the trip. Refer to this list while packing for the trek so that you don not miss out on anything. List down things that you would have to buy on the way or when you reach your location. Maintaining a list will help you stay organised and will make sure that you do not forget the essentials. If you know someone who is a regular trekker or who has trekked where you are headed then ask them for things that you might need.

Comfort is the key
It is very important to be comfortable throughout the trek. Make sure your clothes and shoes are comfortable. Check the weather conditions of the place you are headed to, this will help you understand what kind of clothes you need to carry.

Pack light
You would be walking with the luggage so make sure that you backpack is light and easy to carry. Pack just the essentials and not the things that you may not need during the trek. Packing right is the key here.

Stop smoking and build stamina
Make sure you are prepared for the trek. Stop smoking and go for runs and hike near your house before the trek. This would help improve your stamina and make the trek more enjoyable for you.

Carry a stick, it helps you walk better.
Carry medication and glucose powder to give you instant energy.

It’s not a race
Remember, it is not a race. Don’t rush into it, you might trip or fall or hurt yourself. Trekking is about getting one with the nature. Pause, look around and enjoy the nature around you.

If you wish to take part in a Everest Base Camp trek then have a look at

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Lake, fog, rain and me 😎 Walked almost for 20mins from the town market to this lake. The way to go to this place is narrow, covered with trees walk way. It almost feels like you are in a jungle ( technically you are! But in a civilised jungle) the walk is beautiful in monsoon. I initially did get a little skeptical about going as it was all Misty and seemed deserted but later that added to the fun. More on the this place on my blog soon. The Link is in the bio. Or you can visit #Blogger #Bblogger #Travel #Youtuber #Matheran #Neral #Maharashtra #MaharashtraTourism #travelblogger #Weekend #Hillstation #Raigad #Monkey #Indianyoutuber #Mumbai #Girl #Femaletraveller #travelblog #travelblog #trip #holiday #travelling #tourism #instatraveling #Clouds #Valley #Trek #trekking #Monsoon #charlottelake
A photo posted by Pooja Mahimkar (@poojamahimkar) on

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sula and York Vineyard, Nashik | Romantic and Fun Weekend Getaway Near Mumbai

Nashik is just 180kms away from Mumbai and houses a number of vineyards for a nice, calming and a little tipsy weekend getaway.

Nashik is almost a three hour drive away from Mumbai, we did get a bit of traffic between Thane and Kalyan post which it was smooth drive. We made our way to Nashik on a Saturday afternoon and reached there by 7pm. After checking into the hotel we left for Sula, which is a 15minutes drive away. We had already made reservations at Treebo 07 Inn, Nashik. The hotel was budget friendly and very nice. I would recommend it if you are looking for budget friendly accommodation.

As it was already late, we decided to postpone the tour to the next day and head straight for dinner. We got a nice table at the Sula restaurant. The view was nice, the music was good and the wine was just perfect. It was a little noisy and crowded initially but soon people started to head home. If you are looking for a romantic getaway, this is one of the places that you could consider.

We left for the hotel around 10pm.

Sula, which impressed me at dinner, disappointed me in the morning. We reached Sula at around 1pm and booked for the wine tour which was scheduled to be at 2.30pm. We spend one and a half hour taking pictures and going around the vineyard and reached the place from where the tour was supposed to start at 2.25pm only to gather that the tour had already started. It really did annoy me, how can they start the tour early? And if they generally do that then shouldn’t they inform us to reach the venue early?

This should have been my que that this was going to be a disappointment. The tour involves you going into three rooms and the guide talking about the wine making process. The first room has huge wine tanks, the second room has oak barrels and the tasting is conducted in the third room. A quick google search about wine making process would give you more information about wine than what they provide you there. The tour ends with a tasting session, the tour costs INR 350/- which includes the tour and the wine tasting at the end. You get to taste 6 wines. I honestly was not very impressed with the tour.

Post the tour, we moved on to York Vineyard, which is a 5minutes drive from Sula. The place is beautiful. It overlooks the river and the vineyard. Although Sula was hot, York vineyard was cool and quite. The cool breeze from the river makes you not want to go back home. We got a table near the window and had a wonderful view of the river and the vineyard. York also conducts wine tours but I am sure they will be no different than the one at Sula.  

We left from York at 5.30pm and reached Mumbai by 9pm. If you have time then you can check out other vineyards as well, there a number of them in Nashik. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Himalaya Foot Care Cream – Review

Winter is here and that means that we need to pay some extra attention and care to our feet. Ideally we should be taking care of our feet throughout the year but winters do call for that extra love.

Himalaya sent me their Foot Care Cream and I have been trying to for a week now. The cream comes in a nice tube which makes it easy to apply directly on the feet and heels. It claims to give you soft supple feet in one week. They also claim that it moisturises and soothes your feet.

You need to apply the cream twice on clean feet and allow it to dry. Ideally they recommend to apply it after bath and before bedtime. I have cheated here; I applied only once, before bed. But it has worked for me anyway. Now I don’t really have really cracked or dry feet but it does make my feet feel nice and soft after a hectic day.

I apply a generous amount on my feet and massage it in and then wear socks over it to retain the moisture. I have been loving it.

We wear heels, are all over the town most of the time and our feet do deserve some caring. This is the best way to pamper your feet.

It retails for INR 110/- for 50gms of product.