Monday, 30 January 2017

ICICI Academy for Skills-an initiative that helps youth take the first step in the right direction

Vikki Khatik, who has received vocational training from ICICI Academy for Skills & is now placed at Vijay Electric Service in Jaipur, life has been kind to provide an opportunity to earn a sustainable livelihood. Having passed his 12th standard, he was looking for suitable direction & came across the work done by ICICI Academy for Skills centres across the country. For R.Kavya from a small town in Coimbatore who could not pursue electrical engineering due to her economic conditions, the opportunity to learn a 3 month course in Electrical & Home Appliance Repair was a dream come true. Menaka D from Bengaluru overcame many personal hurdles & is now place as a customer relations officer at a premium watch company. She undertook training in Office Administration course at ICICI Academy for Skills. Menaka now aims to become a national head at her present company. Sounds inspiring? Yes, these are real life stories of empowering youth from less privileged backgrounds with industry relevant training on a pro bono basis to make them employable.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Unmissable Winter Food of Gujarat- Umbadiyu

As you cruise along the smooth roads of NH 48 towards Valsad, stalls emitting smoke beckon you. Like us, if you have started early from Mumbai towards Ahmedabad, your rumbling belly will make you stop & take a look. Probability is you will sit down at one of these humble stalls & relish this delicacy called Umbadiyu or Ubadiyu with a chilled glass of Chaas (buttermilk) & some mint green chutney on the side. 

Monday, 23 January 2017

Review: Sri Lankan Food Festival at Sofitel, Mumbai BKC

Influenced by geography, colonization & intertwining cultures with other countries, Sri Lankan cuisine is a melting pot of flavors. Fiery curries made with meat- chicken, mutton/goat, pork, local vegetables & seafood in coconut gravy are paired with boiled or steamed rice, served with a dash of sambol (made with freshly grated coconut, red chilies, shallots & dried fish) can be enjoyed across restaurants or homes in this tropical paradise. Many say a visit to Sri Lanka is worth for its food alone....but prepare those taste buds to sample spicy flavors :)

An interesting amalgamation of history, cultural factors & geographical conditions, Sri Lankan cuisine is distinct & has gained wide spread popularity. Have we now tempted you to try Sri Lankan cuisine? Want to try it closer to home? Pondicherry cafe- the 24 hour dining outlet of Sofitel Mumbai, BKC is serving delicious traditional Sri Lankan delicacies in a 9 day festival prepared by Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

Chef Julinda Pushpa Kumara.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Coming Home to the Great Rann of Kutch

It took me eighteen years to visit the mystical land known to the world as Kutch. Born & brought up in maximum city, my travel cravings took me everywhere but the land of my ancestors. School holidays coming up? I pestered Ma for a visit to Bengaluru (they had one of the biggest mall in the country), Shimla ( all seniors had been there) even Kashmir (paradise on earth). But never Kutch. Why visit a wet, salty & marshy dessert when there were other options?

Monday, 9 January 2017

My Getaway to Rann Riders at Dasada, Gujarat

Being on the road, driving through changing landscapes endlessly makes you more appreciative of simple comforts. Comforts like hot food, clean changing/dressing rooms, beds to rest your tired bones & long walks in a refreshing setting. Having arrived into Ahmedabad a night earlier, en-route Kutch (read about our fantastic road trip here), we decided to rejuvenate before heading to our final destination- The Great Rann of Kutch. Our research led us to Rann Riders, located at Dasada, a comforting 2 hour drive for Ahmedabad & we took an instant liking to it. An Eco resort, surrounded by wetlands, Rann Riders is a great place to explore the vibrant weaves of the Surendranagar district & visit the Asiatic Wild Ass sanctuary- home to the endangered species & migratory birds.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Road Trip: Mumbai to Rann of Kutch

Lovelle Brachman said "Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures." Oh! I was curious. Very curious. Every year a magical pull edged me to undertake a road trip & come across surprises that became beautiful memories. But every year, I opted out. The fear of the unknown you see. As 2016 culminated to a mixed bag of emotions, I decided to take the plunge. I planned a road trip from Mumbai to the Rann of Kutch via Ahmedabad. Believe me the magical experience has got etched in my mind like it just happened yesterday :)