In Love with Shah Rukh Khan – Book Review

In Love with Shah Rukh Khan
By Ajitabha Bose
Review By Ila Garg

In Love with Shah Rukh Khan, a novel by Ajitabha Bose, is published by Author’s Ink Publications. The size of the book is so miniscule that I felt I was almost holding a baby book in my hands. So obviously, I was extra careful while turning over its tiny pages and the feel was ‘wow’. Cover design has an illustration by Noriko Kasai which beautifully brings out the star’s personality.

Ajitabha Bose is an author, filmmaker, designer and an entrepreneur. He is a world record holder for publishing the smallest love story book in India. Currently based at Delhi, he was born and brought up in Jamshedpur. He introduced the first pocket love story book in India. He is the co-founder of BDL Studios, a renowned production house based in Delhi/NCR. He has worked in 135+ videos and made 1600+ designs till date. Ajitabha is a graduate from Institute of Management Studies, Ghaziabad.

Along with that, he has written numerous short stories and edited an anthology, The Untold Love Stories. He has published 5 books – It’s A Love Story (2013), Love: A Sweet Poison (2014), Zindagi: The Story of Life (2014), The Untold Love Stories (2014), and The Pocket Love Story (2014). The Pocket Love Story was featured in India book of records and incredible book of records.

The blurb reads as, “Everyone has a dream. It’s just that some dreams get fulfilled and others remain confined in hearts.
Aanya was a small town girl and Vivaan was a flirt. Life takes a different turn when love brought them together.
She had a dream of meeting Shah Rukh Khan. He promised to fulfill it.
What lies ahead?
Where will destiny lead them?
Read this heart-warming tale of love, dreams and emotions.”

At first glance, I thought it would be a fan telling the world about his/her love for King Khan, but it wasn’t exactly that. It tells the tale of Aanya, who like millions of other girls of her age loves SRK and dreams to meet him someday. Vivaan who is a flirt is the protagonist of the story and he promises Aanya to fulfil her dream.

The story takes a turn when both of them fall in love with each other. The author has sketched both the characters—Aanya and Vivaan—beautifully. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. I found it quite engaging. It’s so small that one can easily manage to read it in 20 minutes!

How Aanya and Vivaan met, how they fell in love, where will the destiny take them, will Vivaan be able to fulfill Aanya’s dream, will Shah Rukh Khan meet Aanya, how tough will it be for Vivaan to get to SRK are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in In Love with Shah Rukh Khan.

Further, this 50-page book is a must read for all SRK fans as it makes you cry and laugh at the same time, bringing you a step closer to the man himself. I also loved the author’s philosophy behind such light pocket books “to meet with the demands of busy generation”.

4.5/5 (Read it immediately!) 

Buying Links: Amazon | Pustakmandi | Ebook

Also read review by Kanika Sharma at TGC – In Love with SRK

Leading A Hassle-Free and Healthy Life

Health – a word of five letters, and yet it is often seen struggling with a four-letter word, that is, ‘life’.
Life often gets in the way of good health; in the moments when we want to gobble the junk food available in tempting packages, when we neglect our sleep to earn few extra bucks, when we callously plug in earphones and hear loud music at parties, and even when we neglect hygiene and brushing teeth properly.

In our day to day life, we thus tend to mess up our health. Some of our habits and prolonged ignorance towards health care, can also lead to such diseases which are incurable or may cause lasting damage to our body system.

Then should we stop living life? No! We can live a healthy life even while living each moment and enjoying the sinful indulgence. How?

To start with, visiting hospitals for regular heath check-ups is highly advisable.

Supplementing bad with good is equally crucial; if you have hogged on to street food for evening snacks, make sure you keep the dinner light and choose a healthy menu. A well-cooked bowl of oats can be a good option here.

Diet is an important factor that controls our health. Mindful eating is the key to a good health. Try to avoid unhealthy food options as much as possible. Once in a while, if you do indulge in such food items, make sure that you always compensate for the junk that you put in your body. Incorporate regular exercise in your routine. Take stairs instead of elevators whenever possible. Drink a lot of water to avoid dehydration. Include a serving of fresh fruits in your breakfast to stay active through the day and enhance your body immunity. Morning or evening walks and keeping stress away can bring about a lot of difference in our life. These small little steps can take you a long way!

With technology blooming at a fast pace, advancement in health care is visible too. Leading a healthy life is now just a phone call away. Yes, now people can easily call and have doctors and nurses coming to their homes to treat them and take care of them. Home care is a convenient option for those who can’t go for regular check-ups because of some serious ailments.

Now, with a little care and awareness, we can be healthy and don’t have to compromise on living our life the way we want.

Exploring ‘FashionHutGirl’ #BlingOn

So you always wanted to shine like a star… Accessorize like celebs! But worried about overdoing it? Or more still confused what to wear, what to match it with, how much to spend on it? 
I have been exploring the market for a long time now and finally came across some great stores that are selling these trendy earcuffs and double pearl rings at an affordable price. Delivering at your doorsteps scores brownie points too! Yay!

Now who doesn’t want to adorn some earcuffs this season… they have been ruling the fashion shows lately and our Bollywood Celebs love to flaunt them. So why should we be left behind? FashionHutGirl is one such store that operates from Instagram and Facebook to showcase their stuff and promise to deliver the products at your doorsteps (sometimes free of charge while at times, they do this at a nominal amount). This store is run by three vivacious Jain sisters – Kanika, Alika and Aanchal. Recently, they showered me with some of their exquisite pieces which I’m in love with.

The packaging was okayish but I liked the way they sent me the products with a personalized note. It adds to the delight of unpacking. The double pearl ring came in a box and I adored the quality. It looked beautiful on my finger and I’m sure you are aware of the fact that it is a hot-selling product and a must have for all fashion lovers. The cherry on the cake is the price that is just Rs. 175 (including shipping).

The earcuffs are glam and gradually becoming everyone’s favorite. They can be paired with a traditional as well as a western outfit, perhaps that is their USP. They look ultra chic and pep up your looks in seconds. There are clip on earcuffs like the famous leaf earcuff that Deepika Padukone adorned in her recent appearances and there are simple dangling earcuffs. Both look stylish and are comfortable to wear. Have a look at these tempting designs that FashionHutGirl is offering at just Rs. 200. Yay or Nay? 

If you are forever wondering how they would look on you, be assured they look fab on everyone. If you have doubts, best is to test it yourself. And it doesn’t cost much so what are you waiting for? Go grab your earcuffs and double pearl rings and spice up your outfits to stand out among your friends.
Do send me your queries/suggestions and join my blog for more trend alerts at pocket friendly prices.

Follow me on twitter: @ilagarg_smile
And for regular updates, follow me on Instagram: @ila_licious
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Black Metal Jewelry #AStudy #BlingOn

The newest emerging trend is that of the black metal jewelry. So I decided to do some research on this latest rage in the world of fashion as asked by one of the followers on Instagram.

Though not emerged in India, this is fast venturing into the domains. Black metal jewelry generally is made of Black Ceramic that is a modern alternative for the traditional gold, silver and even platinum. Its cheap price and yet the unparalleled luster scores brownie points. Known for its glossy appearance, this looks exceptionally beautiful and classy. Also, it shows no sign of wear which adds to its demand. Many celebs have been seen flaunting their style in black metals. The midi rings are not left behind too. These pieces are readily available at any junk store. I have recently come across a lot of Instagram accounts selling these jewels at an affordable price.

I personally loved these pieces as not only they are pocket friendly but they are attention grabbers. The beautiful ear cuffs, neck pieces, midi rings, etc. are getting popular with the girls now-a-days. These can be paired with your western clothes and for college goes this is an utter bliss! While going for the monochrome trend if your pair one of these, of course you can never go wrong!

As the saying goes like, ‘When in doubt, wear black’. So, go for it girl and for the girls who have creative instincts and like to live life over the edge, you can refer to these DIY videos and try making your own personalized jewelry. I am actually going to try some of these myself and I will be gifting them to my beautiful friends. Let me know if you tried them and how they turned out to be. Inbox, DM, or tag me in pictures. 🙂 Get ready to bling on in the new trend!

Follow me on twitter: @ilagarg_smile
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Khel the writings – Book Review

Khel – the writings
By Vishal Goswami
Review By Ila Garg

Khel – the writings, a novel by Vishal Goswami, is published by Frog Books in association with Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd. I found the cover very dull and too gaudy. It clearly didn’t click with me as I was left totally unimpressed.

Vishal Goswami is a MBA-Finance graduate from Boston, U.S.A and is passionate about reading and writing in all its forms, whether fiction or non-fiction and also all other genres. He is active on Twitter as @WritetoFite tweeting about more contemporary topics.

The blurb reads as, “The abandoned Haveli in Brahmdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is known amongst the local population to be haunted. People keep away from it. A group of youngsters decide to explore it and what follows is a horrifying reality they do not live to relate. Sanya Sharma is an investigative journalist, with a shattered life and a grieving past. Having lost her husband and little daughter within a span of six months, her once perfect life is a distant dream. Depressed, unable to concentrate on work and barely paying attention to her ten-year-old son, she takes help in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist. Her last chance at redemption in a case of mysterious deaths on small hill station. What follows is a series of mysterious, eerie and horrifying events that Sanya cannot understand and finally with the help of a local police inspector turned friend, it draws upon her that the Haunted Haveli is not just small town hocus-pocus but a reality that had turned on her. The evil that she encounters slowly affects everything around her and she knows that it will finally consume her. But why? What were the deep, dark secrets of the Haveli’s past? What was the Nawab family’s past? Who is the old woman haunting her? What are the cards and what is the card game? How is such a horrifying situation merely a game and how is she to play it? Why do the writings on the cards come true and people die? She has to find a way to save herself and her son from the evil and the game of cards that makes everything come true. People around her are dying one by one making her wonder why she is spared. Will she play the final KHEL – The Writings – or will it be the evil that will end the game?”

After reading the blurb, I was instantly intrigued. Opening scene introduces the reader to a group of four youngsters who want to make a documentary. They reach an abandoned Haveli seeking an adventurous story for the same. This Haveli was situated in Brahmdev which is a hill station near Mumbai. As the youngsters begin to explore the Haveli, some unexpected events occur which eventually lead to their deaths one by one.

News of their deaths spread like wild fire the next day. Yeah, almost like a film script! I will give this to the author that he has built up an amazing plot. Writing a horror story isn’t as easy as often thought of!

So soon this news catches the attention of an investigative journalist, Sanya Sharma, whose job is at stake. She sees these mysterious deaths as her only hope to save her job, and jumps into the case. She was already shattered and on the verge of depression as she had lost her husband and young daughter in a very short span of time. This case thus is the best she could have think about to free herself from the thoughts of her lost family.

The story afterwards moves at a slow pace, but manages to send to scare the readers every now and then. The language is simple and easy to comprehend; thus newbie readers would find it readable. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect as the author has maintained a smooth flow.
However, I did find some grammatical errors in the book which marred the effect of the plot and made reading this story a bumpy ride for me, especially the misspelt names of the characters. The plot wasn’t too extraordinary as well.

How the youngsters reach the Haveli and decide to explore it, how they die one by one, the unraveled mystery behind the haunted Haveli, the card game and its significance, how Sanya dealt with the case, was she successful in saving her job, was the Haveli actually haunted are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Khel – the writings.

Further, this 140-page book is good enough to keep you hooked till the end. The author could have got it edited in a better way. Rest was good. Best wishes to the author for his future writings!

Ratings: 3/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Flipkart | Amazon

A Broken Man – Book Review

A Broken Man
By Akash Verma
Review By Ila Garg

A Broken Man, a novel by Akash Verma, is published by Srishti Publishers. The cover shows a psychedelic man who seem depressed as his head lies low. The cover has a very simple feel to it which makes it highly attractive as it is clutter-free.

Akash Verma is a management graduate and the co-founder of an Advertising Venture. He has worked across the leading companies in the FMCG and media sector. He has a deep interest in music, history and travel. His work has taken him across the country and he finds this experience very relevant while giving shape to his stories. He has published two bestsellers till now, namely It Happened That Night and Three Times Loser. Akash is currently based out of Gurgaon, India. He is fascinated by Cinema, Literature, History and Travel.

A Broken Man is his third book.

The blurb reads as, “Take a deep breath before you are born here, my child!
You take birth in a land where I struggled; gave it my sweat and blood. A land that I thought belonged to me… unbridled, uncompromising.
Krishna is a Dalit boy from Bihar who struggles to overthrow the chains that hold him back. Chhavi is a high caste Brahman girl fighting for the rights of others, propagating equality in a politically charged Lucknow University campus. After Krishna saves Chhavi from getting torched during a protest against reservation, love slowly blossoms, only to be ruthlessly crushed by a society that thrives on divisions of caste and religion. From student politics in Lucknow to the interiors of Bihar, from the corridors of power to the glitz of media and the film industry in Mumbai.
A Broken Man is the quest of a deprived Krishna to redeem hope from despair, love from separation and success out of repeated failures. From the bestselling author of It Happened That Night and Three Times Loser, this is a story that reinforces our faith in what love can accomplish as it pushes us to achieve the impossible, making us tap our true inner potential.”

A story is about a Dalit boy, Krishna and fairly exposes the challenges faced by him in the course of his life. Krishna, the protagonist of the story falls in love with a Brahmin girl, Chhavi. She is an activist in college and daughter of a local politician. Thus, trouble brews up as anticipated.

The story moves smoothly and deals with matters of love and faith. Because of his low caste, Krishna often gets insulted and lives under undue pressure of getting selected for a government job. It could have helped him and his family come out of the poverty.

The author has sketched both the characters—Krishna and Chhavi—beautifully. The poems in the book seem quite realistic and successfully portray deep and intricate emotions. The language is simple and easy to comprehend. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

How Krishna tackled with the problems of poverty and how he bore the innumerable insults, how He met Chhavi and fell in love with her, will he be able to get the reciprocation of his love for her, will Krishna and Chhavi be able to have a ‘together forever’ are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in A Broken Man.

Further, this 240 page book is good enough to expose the double standards of society we live in, the caste differences that still continue to exist in our mind sets. It’s a light read and overall a compelling book.

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Links: Amazon | Infibeam | Shimply | Flipkart

Tamanna – Book Review

By Tejeshwar Singh
Review By Ila Garg

Tamanna, a novel by Tejeshwar Singh, is published by FingerPrint Publication. The cover shows a girl who seems to have an independent streak. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. The sub-title ‘a true story of forbidden love’ does raise several questions in the mind of a prospective reader.

Tejeshwar Singh is a multi talented person, who runs a software consultancy firm in the heart throb of the country – Delhi. A little late in acknowledging his yearning for creative writing, he confidently pursues his passion now. He has had a keen interest in the mysteries and the truths about relationships and the human emotions associated with them. Tamanna is his attempt to portray what lay in his sub conscious mind. It is not just a book but an emotional journey of a man who fell in love twice!

Tamanna is the second book by Tejeshwar Singh, the first being I’ve had enough… God, which was published by Rupa in 2009.

The blurb reads as, “True love is like a permanent state of madness, one that makes us end up doing things we always thought ourselves incapable of.
The same happened with Delhi-based Arjun Singh. As a teenager, he made fun of romantic movies and love songs. Even when he got married, he only gradually fell in love with his wife—their love was mature and pure and had none of the madness that love stories are made of.
But his story only begins here . . .
One day at a party, he meets Tamanna, who looks breath-taking beside her overweight and pompous husband. Her arrival turns Arjun’s life around. He does everything love-struck teenagers are known to do—from writing poetry and letters to checking his phone every few minutes. He pines, he sings, he cries, he obsesses, he hyperventilates, he regrets, he scolds himself, he broods, he dreams, and he loves—truly and helplessly.
And as time passes, the gradual revelation of Tamanna’s maturity, her thoughtfulness, and her witty personality leave Arjun completely awestruck. But his is not a usual love story, for he is married, and so is she.
Heart-breaking and inspired by the author’s life story, Tamanna is a journey through a man’s heart, exploring, as it does, how it is possible to love more than one person at the same time, and how love heeds no reason and no boundaries.”

So what exactly happens when a married man comes face to face with a wonderful woman in all respects? Well, Tamanna is a story reflecting this side of encounter – a forbidden arena – a love that is a taboo in our society!

A married man and a doting father, Arjun meets this crazy, fun to be with, amazing woman, Tamanna at a dinner party and instantly falls for her. The author has given real details of this forbidden love and how Arjun dealt with these emotions and turmoil, how he curbed them. Tamanna too is a married woman with a child. Dinners between both the families and some friends become a regular affair soon. His friends persuade him that it’s only lust but gradually Arjun realises that it’s pure love. It’s almost like a confession!

The story moves in a flow and nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. It’s so well-written that once you pick up, you cannot keep it down without finishing it off. I found it quite engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author. It seems a real account, in fact. The language is easy to comprehend. However, some parts seem repetitive marring the reader-interest.

How Arjun met Tamanna, how he discovered his true feelings for her, how he tried confessing his love for her, was he able to tell her about his feelings, did his wife find out about this forbidden love, will Tamanna understand if Arjun comes out clean in front of her are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Tamanna. Another reason that would keep you glued to this book would be the fact that the blurb states the book is inspired by author’s life.

Further, this 240 page book is good enough to expose the different set of emotions that a married man goes through when tangled in a situation like this. What makes it stands out is the realistic approach that the author took in narrating the entire episode. However, the characterization could have been better; it looks very stagnant. It’s a light read and overall a compelling book.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Buying Links: Flipkart | Infibeam

From Where I See – Book Review

From Where I See
By Ajay Yadav
Review By Ila Garg

From Where I See, a novel by Ajay Yadav, is published by Lifi Publications Pvt. Ltd. The cover shows two sides of a tree – one is full of leaves and other is leafless. Just as the title speaks about perspectives, the cover design reflects that very beautifully. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. The book from the cover and title seems to be all about one’s opinion, the way one sees life and things around oneself.

The blurb reads as, “Ajay meets his childhood friend Shruti on a social network site. He finds her to be struggling with intrapersonal, interpersonal, inter-social and inter-religious conflicts. Eventually the conflicts killed her. Police could solve the case but will it prevent hundreds of Shrutis from getting killed? How long will we aim ‘who’ killed, more important is to find out ‘what’ killed. Till we don’t address this issue and work on it, many Shrutis will keep on getting killed. We need to cure the disease not only the symptoms.
This book is an effort of the author to find the root cause and probable remedies of these conflicts, exploration of hundreds of pertinent questions like “why in one religion it becomes so easy to get volunteers to blow themselves and others for the sake of religion? Does the religion divides or unites? Have the immature and wrong interpretation of female emancipation the reason for 13 times rise in divorce rates in last 5 years?
It’s not only a book; it’s the path to revolution, it’s a journey towards Utopian world. If you are open minded, have courage to accept truth and have a desire to change the world; then be the part of change. Let’s take our first step to build a road to the Utopian Dream.”

Like already unveiled by the cover, the book has characters that give in their real perspectives about issues of real concern. The book is therefore laced with instances of realism and precisely, this is one reason why readers will find themselves hooked to the book despite its length.

The story is about two childhood friends Ajay and Shruti—two childhood friends. Opening on the scene where Shruti is found dead and speculations are on, the book essentially is centered on Ajay. The plot is very different from regular chicklets. In fact, the genre is very different from the ones floating in the market.

Shruti’s dead body creates a lot of stir. It is believed to be a case of suicide and not murder. Investigation begun with immediacy. Ajay is confronted by the police regarding the case, and thus the main plot begins. The story is mainly about Ajay’s childhood and adulthood, how his perceptions change over the time, and then emerges an eye-opening discussion on topics that we all come across but choose to turn a blind eye to—religion, history, women emancipation, etc. In a nutshell, the story is quite relevant in our present lives and also makes us realise how some decisions if taken correctly in the past would have benefited the humanity at large. The story also moves ahead to talk about the measures that we can take today to make the future better.

Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect as the book brings to light some very crucial topics. People who take interest in such subjects will find it engaging. The subjects are tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

The detailed insight into the controversial subjects like religion and history add to the USP of the book. Also the language is easy to comprehend. Though there are some serious editing flaws in the book which were a major put off!

Further, this 400 page book is good enough to exposes a lot of debatable topics. However, it tends to get boring at places and treating the book as fiction seemed a little wrong as the topics dealt with are real problems.

Ratings: 3/5

Buying Links: Infibeam | Shimply | Flipkart | Amazon

Let the Game Begin – Book Review

Let the Game Begin
By Sandeep Sharma
Review By Ila Garg

Let the Game Begin, a novel by Sandeep Sharma, is published by Inspire India Publishers. The cover is impressive and at the same time, quite appealing. It speaks volumes about the plot of the book and manages to attract the readers. In India, the game of chess has been of great importance since ages, after all. The title too sounds good. It instantly made me turn to the back cover of the book to glance at the blurb.

Sandeep Sharma made his debut in the writing industry with Hey Dad! Meet my mom, the book which is still a hot topic of discussion amongst readers. He is currently working on his start-up venture named ‘Author Paradise’ that works for the benefit of Authors to provide them well-organised online and offline publicity. By profession, he is a civil engineer who graduated from JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida.

He is very passionate about writing and has been writing short stories for his personal blog for six years and they were published various times. He is deeply passionate about reading and writing and mostly prefers subjects which provide an insight into issues concerning contemporary Indian social reality. Other genres that he is fond of are travel writing, thriller and crime fiction.

Let the Game Begin is his second book.

The blurb reads as, “Two kingdoms, Chaturanga and Sarprakt, separated by a mystic mountain range are at war with each other since ages. Chaturanga, ruled by King Viratha, is soon bestowed with a dynamic heir, and the whole kingdom is drowned in rituals and festivity. On the other side, Sarprakt is executing a cruel conspiracy. King Viratha, crippled by the conspiracy, urges the mysterious man of the mountain to devise a method to recreate the conspiracy and that gave birth to ‘The Game of Chess’.

Serial killings shock the nation as the police are rendered clueless. The killer leaves behind a trail of chess pieces with a strange message. Random people are murdered. Connoisseurs of different fields – History, Chess and the Security forces – have united as the next intended victim is the most powerful person of the country. How is Chess involved in the whole scenario? How will they find a man who died 4000 years ago? Can a person defy the laws of nature? Does history really repeat itself? Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ”

Intriguing, isn’t it?

From Hey dad! Meet my mom to Let the Game Begin, the author hasn’t disappointed his readers.

The 170 page book is laced with historical mysticism. It talks about the history of Chaturanga, the kingdom where the game of chess finds its origin. The rest of the story then unveils how chess became the central reason for the gory history, bloodshed and the destruction of various other kingdoms.

This is the story that makes you believe in karma philosophy—that our previous births do carry forward—our previous deeds do make us pay for! This is also a story of revenge. Without revealing much of the plot, I would just say that the story is quite intriguing and enthralling as the revenge angle comes into play.

4000 years is almost unthinkable time period, but in view of a soul burning in vengeance—it is still not that long! Hence, the son of a lovable father dies only to return and take his revenge—paint the kingdoms in blood.

This story surely has the caliber to be expanded in a series of novels penetrating deep into the unknown world of history, the dark alleys which need to see the light NOW!

The story moves in a flow and nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect. People who enjoy thriller and mystery will find it engaging. The subject is tackled beautifully by the skillful author.

The detailed account of the game of chess and the two empires sharing a history of revenge becomes the crux of the novel and also the USP. The language is easy to comprehend. There were some editing and proofreading flaws, but they can be ignored in the light of a good plot.

How the game of chess originated, how it became the reason for bloodshed and destruction, why were the two empires seeking revenge are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Let the Game Begin.

Sandeep has a long way to go! Let’s wish him good luck till his next book comes to take us further into the plot!

Ratings: 4/5

Buying Link: Amazon

Jaipur Junction – 10 things to do in Pink City

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you say – JAIPUR…?
Jaipur… well… Pink City? Think more… Culture? Art? History? Colors? Yes… now you are moving in right direction… Jaipur is full of colors. You step out in the streets, and your eyes instantly meet a feast of colors! The markets are full of irresistible clothes and jewellery… Yes, the ethnic jewellery! It’s like a revisit to the traditional India that we all hear about or read in textbooks. It will leave you mesmerized and let you breathe… Unlike big cities, where life is lived in a haste, Jaipur provides you a calm aura. It like to move at ease. Nobody is in a hurry, Jaipurwalas believe that life should be enjoyed and they make sure that it is reflected throughout the city. The cuisine, the clothes, the way they speak, all of it has a grace and charm of its own that will surely leave a lasting impression on you. The apnapan of Jaipur is hard to ignore and that is why, today I take you through the lanes of this beautiful city. Here are 10 things that you just can’t miss to indulge in while on a trip to Jaipur.
1. Treat yourself to some Delicacies: Jaipur maybe known for a lot of things but the food stands out among all its specialties. It’s a paradise for food lovers. This time when you visit Jaipur, take out time to explore some of the popular joints here – Nand Gol Gappe Wala, located in Raja Park, offers hands down the best economical and hygienic gol gappes in the city. Julie Furniture Bhel Puri Wala will leave you claiming that you have had the best bhel puri ever! Sampat’s kachori is yet another thing to look out for… Banna Ji Coffee Shop, located aside Mr. Beans at 22 Godam, is definitely a great coffee shop and a nice hangout spot with just the best ambiance. Jaipur aaye aur paan na khaaye!! Don’t even think of missing this out… you dare not call yourself a fan of paan if you haven’t heard the name of Anu Mobile Paan Bhandar. Initially run in a Maruti Van, with time and efforts this joint earned a big name for itself, big enough to supply Jaipuriya paan for Saifeena’s wedding. Winters and ice creams… sounds like crazy! Saras Parlour offers the best ice cream for you to gorge on… And the list goes on and on… C’mon… Get, set, and eat…

    2.   Click-o-Mania: Photography lovers get your shutters ready… and click, click, click. The best thing to do in Jaipur is to wake up early in the morning and go on a photo-walk… The view from Nahargarh Fort at 6 in the morning is breath-taking and you can’t afford to let it go. You can rope in some of your friends and experience the calmness of the city. The Jaipurwalas are never in a rush, so the city stays peaceful till late morning hours…. In a nutshell, the ideal time to explore the city is 6-10 in the morning. An evening can be well spent at Birla Mandir.

     3.  The Royal Appeal: The list goes bigger and better here… Jaipur is the Royal City full of majestic Palaces and Forts that sing of its timeless glory. Amber Fort, City Palace, Jaigarh Fort, Rambagh Palace, Sheesh Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Samodh Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jantar Mantar observatory… and so on. The city has been an eyewitness to the days of galore, when legends and sagas were sung in traditional folk songs for the beautiful queens and princesses. Jaipur is a mysterious land of snake charmers, enigmatic royal safaris, vivid colors and festivities!
     4.   Cultural Treat: Jaipur epitomizes the adventurous spirit of Rajputana. In spite of growing into a busy metropolis, it has managed to retain its character and rich cultural heritage. It has carried forth with it the traditions of yesteryear… Jaipur thus is a beautiful fusion of age old values and modernity. The music and dance reflects the culture of the city most aptly. Rajasthani music is so appealing to the senses that the listener can’t stop his/her feet from swaying to the beats. The iktara is used to play soothing tunes and the famous dance forms include ghoomer and kalbelia. Mehndi too plays an important role at times of celebration. Kite flying tradition of the city seems to be undying too. The language of Jaipurwalas is a very soft spoken language and can win hearts of other people. Learning the language and engaging in dialogues with local people is one way to have fun.
    5.   Puppet Shows: Jaipur’s most popular form of folk entertainment and traditional occupation is the Puppet Shows. The art of puppetry is practiced by a community of agricultural laborers of Rajasthan, known as the Bhats. No village fair, no religious festival and no social gathering in Jaipur can be complete without these shows. The puppets are also known as kathputlis, where kath is wood and putli is doll. These puppets are readily available in markets of Jaipur and form a wonderful gift. The puppeteers use the strings to move the puppets around the stage. A lot of interesting short stories are narrated through these puppets, making it a thorough learning experience. The pair of Moomal-Mahendra, Dhola-Maru and other legendary pairs are still popular with the general and local folk in Jaipur. Such shows can be seen at Nahargarh Fort, Hawa Mahal, and many more places in Jaipur.

       6.   Bike Racing: I know what you are thinking!! Jaipur and Bikes? How’s that even possible… but then Jaipur is a blend of both the worlds. As much as its cultural roots are strong, it has embraced the modern source of entertainment too. There are various clubs and organizations taking this forward. SAAHAS (Society for Adventure Awareness Humanity & Automobile Sports) is dedicated to promote motor sports and is on the way to develop Jaipur, Rajasthan as the most popular International destination for Motor Racing by regularly organizing variety of Motor Sport Events which provide a platform to Amateur Motor Racing Enthusiasts. SAAHAS also offers proper guidance to the youngsters who are passionate for Adventure on Wheels. This organization is registered under Rajasthan Society Registration Act, 1958 & is affiliated member of The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India.
      7.   The Safaris: Completely drenched in extravagance, the city offers camel, horse, and elephant

safaris. Camel Safari is arranged by Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC). Camel rides in Jaipur city attract large number of tourist every year. In ancient times, the elephant was used as a Royal Vehicle for the Kings. One can enjoy the heritage trip of the Pink City on these elephants and get a feel of royalty, especially while visiting Amber Fort. During Holi festival, an elephant festival is also held every year in Jaipur. A game of Polo is the main highlight of the program. The horses were earlier used by the Rajputs and Royal families of Rajasthan in battle fields and for hunting. Nowadays, one can enjoy horse riding during Jaipur Tour. For security reasons, tamed camels, elephants, and horses are used for the ride. These safaris will add to your memories of the city and give it a tinge of adventure.

   8. The colorful markets: Did you say shopping? I can see that smile across your face broadening! For the shopaholics, Jaipur is a perfect destination. The markets in Jaipur are full of hand-looms and trinkets. The multi-hued dresses add to the color and vividness of the markets. The bangles are a sure shot buy. You can take a lot of good stuff for family and friends. The bazaar offers a wide range of ethnic jewellery, handicrafts, textiles, the mirror work on clothes and other items, the colorful dupattas, precious gemstones, the pottery, and the leather goods. The Johri Bazaar is most famous for inexpensive gold and silver jewellery, the Bapu Bazaar offers crafts and home décor items. Also, you can find camel leather bags near Hawa Mahal. 
   9.  The Literature Hub: The city of palaces date literature and it is magical. Jaipur attracts the lovers of literature from all around the globe every year. The Jaipur Literature Festival is widely known and hundreds of people visit the historic Diggi Palace Hotel to attend it. Authors from India and abroad address the various sessions that consist of readings, discussions, and questions and answers segment. One can catch up with these authors, buy their books, and get them signed too. In addition, drink the Pushkari chai, eat the Diggipuri and slurp on the molten choco lava. Live music performances are also staged in the evenings.

10.   Of hot air balloons and the metros: The city is also acknowledged for its hot air balloon rides. As you sail over the Pink City, the beauty of the historical monuments, placidlake and the never-ending stretch of golden sand will surely leave you in a trance. Please mind the gap, there may be short delays in the journey, please do not sit on the floor, beware of pickpockets inside the train, male passengers are advised not to sit on the seats reserved for ladies, please do not obstruct the automatic doors; doing this is a punishable offense… Oh! By the way Jaipur City is now enjoying metro rides too. Do I need to say more?

You can also visit chowki dhani for a mini Rajasthan’s experience and can taste the traditional food items like daal, baati, choorma. And by the time you will relax in the afternoon, you will find yourself crooning to – Shaam Gulabi, Sehar Gulabi, Dopaher gulabi, hai gulabi ye sheher. Main bhi gulabi, tu hai gulabi, Din bhi gulabi, hai gulabi ye keher… The city will make you fall in love with the aura!

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