skyscanner- Your best buddy for planning trips

This post is a part of Skyscanner travel wizard activity at BlogAdda.com

“I haven’t seen everywhere but it’s on my list- Susan Sontag.”

I would be lying if said, I have travelled the world or I have seen a lot of places or I am an ardent traveler. In fact I have never travelled alone till date to any place outside my state. I have never been allowed. But to travel is a hidden passion of mine which I unravel only to a few. I have always wanted to pack my bags and just go. I want to go to Cherrapunji, Goa( yes sadly I never went to Goa), Jaipur, Italy, Paris, Egypt, Netherlands, London, and it is an endless list. I know reaching all these places will take a while but I make it up by reading about these places(I secretly wanted to be a travel guide, I imagine myself on a open top double-decker bus with a map in my hand and telling people about the history of the place),or by watching shows on TLC or just making castles in air about visiting these places with friends who are as crazy as me. I want to wander and not be lost at the same time. I am such a poor planner, that I am scared to even order in a restaurant on others’ behalf, forget planning a trip. . I am perceived as a very coward sort of a person, who would never take risks in life but I only wish I could just set out on a journey with no date of return. But like always blog adda is here, for a new adventure this time, and yes planning a trip, though a virtual one, is no less than an adventure for me.

India to Paris
Given a chance to plan my dream trip with 1 Lakh rupees. I would choose the heaven of love, Paris. I thought planning it would be a herculean task, but I finished it in a short while with Sky scanner. You have almost everything on the site, just name it for your trip and you will find it. So I came up with the below Itinerary , a very rough one though and realized, that I chose a pretty expensive location to go.

So all I did was searched flights from Hyderabad to Paris(round trip- though if I got a chance I would never come back ;)) and a range of flights popped up(from 45k to 80k). So I picked a marginally cheaper one which came in about 48K.
Then I searched for a hotel in Paris, which would ideally be located somewhere in central Paris, and as I was searching a flight, I got a popup, hotels in Paris, and one click on it and I was seeing a range of hotels there. Since I would mostly use the hotel just to freshen up and spend the night, I was preferably looking for a hostel sort of accommodation. And I found Le- regent hostel Montmartre which is near Gare Du Nord. One night stay with complimentary breakfast is 1690 only. From the reviews it was rated 7, which is good enough. And yes, from review, to map, to price, of the hotel it is all at one place in the site. I am really amazed as to how much information is so well organized on the sky scanner site. So my trip can last for a max of 2 nights , 3 days, so I would spend 4K on my stay.
There is another interesting feature on this site is it helps you book cars for hire with a driver. It is always more comfortable if you are travelling in your own car, you can stop wherever and whenever. You just have to mention for how many days/hours you want and your drop and pick up location and voila you get the prices. So if I take a hire car, which is actually pretty suitable given that from the hostel , all the places are in about 10-15 km, it would be a good deal. So I could hire a car for two days, and it would cost about 10k.

eiffel-tower-souvenir-statue-key-chain-belt-Favim.com-481663
With accommodation and transport ready, we just have to decide on the places. I would definitely want to see Eiffel tower, Louvre, Avenue des Champs Elysees, and also take a short city tour. The entry tickets at all of these places will come to another 15k. And not to forget the lunches and dinners are not complimentary and I would want to try French cuisine. Yet another 5-7K.
With about 10-15k in my kitty, I would shop    and save a little for getting mementos for friends back in India.
Ha, I just blew 1 lakh, so easily. I almost felt like it was a real plan and I would leave for Paris very soon. Thank you Blog adda for this wonderful experience.

You all zest up my life :)

This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com

Happy

Happiness is a state of mind ;). In a day of any average human being like you and me, we laugh a countless times, cry some times, but most of the time we are busy working towards our careers. We forget to notice those little things which really zests up our life. For about some time now I am mostly quiet and don’t interact much with people unless required. There are few things which changed my thought process, made me stronger and may be a little less motivated. But it is not that I am no longer interested in my life, I know there a handful of people who love me a lot and I live my life for them.

If I have to list down the 5 things/people/situations that add spice to my life and make me look forward to everyday then they would be as below.

My mumma and papa – I am the youngest in my family and have always been the irresponsible, pampered little baby at home. But my relationship with my parents has changed a lot in the past few years and so have I. My elder brothers are married now and stay far off for their jobs and my parents’ only focus is me. Initially I used to miss my brothers, cracking jokes which only we siblings understood and hated my mom’s 24X7 attention on me. But gradually I have grown much more attached to my parents and I feel they have grown very fond of me. Previously they used to be protective and not let me go places, but now they enjoy my company so much that they tell that they will miss me when I am gone (though this does not deter my mom from searching matches for me 😛 ). They both start planning from the morning, what will be cooked for me, which place we should travel next and now I enjoy their attention so much that I almost feel like the only child. When my brothers come home, and use my room or talk much to mom and dad, I almost feel like there are trespassers in my territory :P. I travel far for work and at times get vexed up and plan to stay close to office, but I immediately feel responsible for my parents back home. (PS. Also the comfort 😉 ). One day I would make them very proud and hope I can be by their side when they need me the most.

My Best friend Shruti – One person who knows the deepest of my secrets and with whom I can be myself completely is Shruti. We know each other from five years now and seen each other through the worst of our times. We are two poles apart and think very differently. So it is obvious we disagree on a lot of things, but in the end I dominate her and she has to agree to what I say 😛 (she is a sweetheart basically). Even if the whole world forgets to call me, she would call daily to ask about my well being. She is kind, polite, obedient, and pretty and all the nice adjectives you can think off. On the other hand I am blunt, impolite , argumentative , bossy (no wonder my mom always says, wish I had a daughter like shruti). But we look up to each other for little things and advice each other like we have seen the world. She makes me feel I can never be alone and have a support system to fall back on.

My Job– I work for a very reputed software company and every time I tell people where I work, there is a pride in my eyes. As I said my work place is far, my work timings are longer than normal. I spend more than twelve hrs of the day outside. The struggle begins right in the morning to catch a bus/cab and why I call it a struggle because here supply is much less than the demand. This keeps me on my toes and always attentive. It’s like first come, first serve. I work as a part of pretty big team and to be one of the star candidates in the team really matters. Though people say that our work is not very intellectual and does not require a lot of mind play, I feel it is crucial, demanding and we produce substantial results. Every day I strive to do better, to make the work easier for others and also I make work place a happier place for my colleagues. I have learnt in my short stint of working in this corporate world is that, we can improvise every day. There is a huge villa from improvement :P, if you know what i mean.  When I’m not doing well on the personal side I run to office where it’s only work and fun with my peers and I forget all my worries. Most importantly, it makes me feel independent. 🙂

Teaching: Right from my school days I used to like teaching, when I was kid I would tie a sari and put tick marks in my note books. So to fulfill this little dream I became a part of a NGO which aimed at improving communication and math skills for kids in shelter homes. This is the only and only way I give back to this world. When I signed up for this initiative I felt it’s going to be cake walk. I had nothing to do on weekends and I thought you just have to teach basic English and math. How difficult can it get anyway. It was a shelter home for boys of age 7-12 years. The struggle started after entering the place. It was a small tattered one floor building, in very bad condition. There was no drainage system at all, and used to smell all the time. It was difficult for me to imagine that these little kids actually stayed there for years together. They would cook food, go to nearby school and on weekends try to learn from us. And teaching them made me realize how painful it can be to teach 2+2 to a person. But when I meet them, I feel my life is no less than a paradise. These little kids, inspire me, play holi with me, laugh at my PJs and teach me to be patient. Success has no shortcuts. Nowadays I love my life and live it to the fullest. What you and I have, many of them in this world even cannot dream of.

Books, Music, Calvin and I – The final set of things which add zest to my life are my novels, old Hindi tracks , slow jazz, Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strips and me myself. There are times when to rejuvenate myself, I just grab a bestselling novel, tune into a nice soothing song and get lost in my own world. Reading books is like travelling to where the author takes you. Every day morning I read Calvin and Hobbes without fail. It either makes me laugh or amazes me at Calvin’s thoughts. When I cannot tell what I feel, I write it. It gives me clarity what I really should do in a situation. One should learn to enjoy one’s own company to be happy in life.

Thank you Blogadda for making me write this post. I know I have not listed very happening things to do. But these little things make my life perfect. When I started writing this blog post, I was as usual low but gradually as I started penning down my thoughts I realized that I actually have much more than others and there are many more things to achieve before I go to sleep.

Black, the Baap of all colors!!

This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com

At a lot of homes in India, the black color happens to be one of the most underrated colors. It is always associated with bad luck and ruthlessly debarred from all sacred occasions. Unfortunately mine is a home like that. My mom did not let us buy a single two wheeler or four wheeler in black, and poor black always stayed outside my door. But then as I grew up, I started dominating mom at least in selecting my clothes, shoes or gadgets. I mean thanks to these weird superstitious omens in peoples mind, that even a black cat crossing your path is considered unlucky. Like ugly duckling, there should probably be a children’s movie on The black cat. Why punish the cat, because its black. That’s so racist.
My fascination with the color black started in my college days. There was a time, when whatever I used to shop would be in color black. But I gradually realized that, a black flip flop can go with any colored clothes, a black blouse would go with any sari (my mom told me that), and so emerged black as the baap of all colors. It is now supposed to be one of the sexiest colors and suits almost everything and everyone.
My personal favorites for things in black color would be:

 

Black.
1. A gorgeous netted black sari– I mean, who is more pretty, the model or the color. Or rather is the color black making her glow? I love wearing saris and consider it to be one of most beautiful attires and suitable for any occasion.
2. Black Nail color- I know, with rock bands promoting this nail color, it is now associated with wild things. But honestly it adds a bling to your fingers. And in my case, it was a blessing, because I don’t usually shape my nails, and like them blunt and black on blunt nails looks the best.
3. A black dog- Man’s best friend when in black is the cutest. They shine. They are already so adorable; black just makes them more cuter. Sadly I never had a pet and a few incidents have made me really scared of dogs, but there was a time when my neighbor’s black Labrador was my best friend.
4. A black phone/tablet. These days gadgets come in more colors than nail polish, and if they don’t, there are flashy, phone or tablet covers in vibrant colors. But I always liked it simple and elegant when in black. For me certain things are meant to be in certain shades and for a phone it is hands down black.
5. A black stiletto– Though I am usually a person very comfortable in flats, but If given a chance (and training :P), I would like to wear these. They are absolutely sexy.
6. A Black car– Look at that beauty. Though I know I might never be able to drive this car, but a black car is any day superior than other colored cars. Please moms, a black car is not unlucky.
7. A man in black suit– Though I would be biased to any guy wearing formals(because that’s what they look best in for me), if he has put on a black suit on his first date with me, he definitely has the second one on( *conditions apply :P). Men in black definitely make a statement.
8. Black wayfarers– I don’t even have to say how cool they look. My readers would already be nodding their heads for this one.
I am so glad, through a contest I’m getting to write this post, or else I would have just missed writing about the most amazing color of all times. Black you rock !! 
PS: That reminds me, please stop making kajal in colors like white at least(they look scary), Kajal is supposed in black.