Tuesday, 3 May 2022

My Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj | Places to Visit, Transport, Cafes and More

In my earlier post, I mentioned that I travelled a lot in past few months...this one is another walk down the memory lane. I travelled to Dharamshala and McLeodganj knowing nothing of it and with friends who share the same love for mountains as I do.

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj-Naddi View Point

Transport:

As most of my trips so far, this one also was through public transport, we took a bus from Delhi to Dharamshala, an overnight journey and by the morning we were at Dharamshala bus stop. If you are going as a tourist, you will be taken aback as you enter Dharamshala because by the first look of it, places are far and transport during morning hour is less. Don't be dis-heartened, switch on your GPS and walk towards Dharamshala City, just few minutes away from the bus stop. There you will see hotels, lanes full of shops and accommodation.

my trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala

In transport we opted for bus(to reach Dharamshala), taxi (to reach McLeodganj), rented bike (to commute around town) and on foot while exploring cafes.

Funds:

For this trip thanks to my friend as it was funded mostly.

Places to Visit:

We stayed one day in Dharamshala mostly because of the heavy rainfall, then moved up to McLeodganj from there we rented a bike for 2 days and visited:
  • Bhagsunag Waterfall
  • Church
  • Tea Garden
  • HPCA Stadium
  • War Memorial
  • Naddi and Dal Lake
  • Chinmaya Tapovan
  • Karmapa Gyuto Monastery
I would suggest to make plans for Triund as well, ours was ruined due to rainfall and mostly we were bound to sit in our rooms.

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- War Memorial Museum
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala-HPCA Stadium
Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Church McLeodganj

Trip to Mcleodganj and Dharamshala- Gyuto Monastery

Places to Eat:

Dolma Chowk in McLeodganj offers some of the best restaurants and cafes serving some of the best cuisines I have ever eaten. The 2, I am listing here are my best experience plus momos from the small shop in front of café Anonymous (I didn't like Anonymous that much) and fish fry plus bhuna chicken as street food from the same lane

Hotels and Accommodations:

We stayed in hotels, lodging is not that cheap in Dharamshala but in McLeoganj you get fair options and good deals. I am giving out the number of hotel we stayed in McLeodganj as it was nice and at considerable price with the cutest café on the ground floor(try their chocolate or banana desserts and don't try lemon-curd pie).

Plus I am attaching the visiting cards of taxi service we hired(he was a friendly guy) and cafes, make sure to try those as they serve really nice food plus Tibet Kitchen is doing good deed serving free of cost to ones in need and offers the best Tibetan food plus generous servings is another ad-on.

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj and placed to eat at and visit

My Experience:

My experience of Dharamshala and McLeodganj was full of rainfall, dessert in cafes, sitting for hours at some cosy location, enjoying lemon tea at Dolma Chowk(you should try it, it's a small counter shop which only serves tea and you will see monks sitting on the seat infront sipping on their tea, that's what inspired this chai lover) and near death experience with our confidence of bike riding. This place has so much scenic beauty to offer along the roads, I would suggest you to rent a bike(if you are pro as riding on mountains is a risky business and bikes on rents are really roughly used so it would take quite a skill to safely ride along the roads, we switched from Bullet to Scooty in a jiffy after almost escaping the fall into the valley) and then from McLeodganj come downhill to Dharamshala exploring places and uphill enjoy the scenery in every nook and corner. People here are friendly to talk to, mind your business and they will mind theirs.

Even though rainfall was really taking our case but whatever we explored, I enjoyed every bit of it. I could sit at Bhagsu Falls for ages(it was a feeling that clock stopped ticking and take every ounce of the location in), Church was a serene place as the route to it builds up the expectation wild and the church doesn't disappoint, Karmapa Gyuto Monastery was also a calming experience, so was scenic beauty of the location of War Memorial and Naddi.


Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Bhagsu Falls

Trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- War Memorial Location

My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- a Chai Lover



I sat by the roads for the longest time enjoying the scenery, rains, watching clouds doing all kinds of crazy things, riding along the green mountains and this place didn't disappoint me at all.

My Suggestions:

There are many hotels available near Bhagsunag in McLeodganj but I would suggest you stay near Dolma Chowk as nice joints to eat are accessible and shops are open till late. For the roads if you are not a rider full time, avoid renting a bike as roads are steeper and curves are dangerous but if you are get your hands on the bike you are comfortable with and roam the hill station. If you are on the money crunch, spend most of it exploring eating joints as they really are worth it. Plan a hike to Triund and night camp there, have heard it's an amazing experience of which I was devoid due to heavy rainfall. Check for the weather reports prior to your plans as in McLeodganj, it pours crazy (I went in July end). If you are visiting in rain or snow season, you can buy those plastic overalls you get in shops there, its cheap and if worn/handled carefully lasts long. Mine saved me through my Agra trip and is still kept folded for the next season.


My trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj- Temple

Don't underestimate the power of mountains, rest if you are going with friends and family or solo, this place will be worth in every aspect. McLeodganj has so much to offer, don't go for the norms but go for the extraordinary as it offers that if you know where to look. Enjoy nature in it's full glory.

Share you trip stories in the comment or have any query regarding trip to Dharamshala and McLeodganj, ask me. I will try to solve it or provide you with the alternatives.




Minimalist Indian|Exploring the lifestyle myself

Never thought I would be writing an article about this topic as I never thought myself to be a minimalist rather I have always been good at collecting junk. As Indians we are bred to optimize the utilization of whatever we have or whatever we get. We are never taught the art of returning, giving away, de-cluttering until the item breaks(our status has nothing to do with it, I will come to it later).

Living minimalist lifestyle in India


If I go into understanding the major cause of why I collected unwanted items over the period, there is no answer but one because 'It's in good condition, It might come handy some day'(like seriously😕). Parting with things in good condition has always been hard for me but I as well have started getting agitated with the things not coming to their full usage and eating up my storage.

Understanding Minimalism:

I have seen the idea of minimalism getting mis-understood on many occasions when I myself was trying to get acquainted with it. For me its not about having equivalent to nothing or a particular décor style throughout your house (It might be if that's what you prefer as your lifestyle). Minimalism as a lifestyle is a choice to opt for items which add value to your life.

Acknowledging it:

In India, it's tradition to pass on heirlooms to children which I admire being from the apparel background. To my understanding fabric in good condition should never go to waste specially the older ones but do we really need all that set of clothes hanging for ages in our closet, that heavily embroidered saree which we have worn only once or twice.

No.

Alter it, make it into wearable attire like a suit or anarkali, sell it, donate it. Give your not so worn clothes a new home. For selling there are site like Elanic, OLX or Quikr and for donating there are organisations like Goonj or if you are searching locally there are Kusht Ashrams in every locality.

Realisation:

Feeling of adding value to life not objects as a minimalist

I am from a middle class family, so most of my buys earlier or the buys at home are very old-fashioned and un-organised(in terms of choices). Like most Indian households no 2 furniture sets at my home matches and I have grown this old seeing all that but with time I have come to realisation that I am a being who loves to make most out of her possessions and make thoughtful choices than the tentative ones.

Story Time-As an Indian, our weddings are grand affair and with it comes many rituals and with rituals comes the dresses(one hardly repeats dresses during weddings). With my second cousin's marriage my wardrobe was all set for glitz and glamour and since then 2 more of my cousins got married but the budget spent on the next two was limited and choices were mostly fusion from the first wedding outfits plus most of my attires I can wear otherwise/casually too. For a girl in me this was an achievement and a realisation that LESS(if chosen wisely) IS MORE.

Working towards being A MINIMALIST:

Still a long to go Minimalist as an Indian


Recently enough, I came to acknowledge that I am very organised person but not a minimalist.I yet don't count myself to be a minimalist but I am learning one day at a time and being an Indian only makes it harder. With number of traditions, chaotic approaches, different mindsets, various buying choices I still have a long way to go. I am a bachelor living away from home, am a master of my choices at this point of life so when I decide whether to keep or bring an item in my room I measure it only on 2 parameters:

  • Value Addition: From clothes to utilities, I evaluate whether or not it will add value to my life. With winter coming I was tempted to buy some new winter clothing but then I already have so much of it from the last season. Since, I already have prepped up my winter wardrobe and buying list I will be sticking to it.
  • Usage: Winter remains hardly for 2 months in most places in India, the clothing remains buried inside the trunk through out the year. Is it really wise to spend all that money on those expensive sweaters which you already have 5 of? My whole winter wardrobe is limited to a one travel suitcase in my apartment and I am not even planning to buy. Rather if you see my travels they are mostly to cold mountains, I have managed successfully.

Minimalist Lifestyle:

Being minimalist doesn't mean I am living on a rug , I love greys/whites, have no decorations in my room or just have one colour in my wardrobe. Sorry to disappoint but I have multi colours, I love vibrancy and find pleasure decorating/organising. I am really new at this but sharing this experience is going to document it  and as well might help others make a conscious decision. Now when I am going into it knowingly, I keep these things in mind:

  • Travelling Light
  • Experimenting with my attires
  • Fusion with my outfits
  • De-cluttering from time to time
  • Evaluating duplicates and expired products
  • Making list of things to buy in advance
  • Finding proper utility items, utensils and multi functional appliances
  • Buying loose products or to re-use the plastic packets I already have(working hard on this one)
With Diwali cleaning of my apartment, I recently de-cluttered all that which was sitting under the clothes away from eyes, reach and dust for ages. I am making conscious effort to either sell, donate or find new home for the items in good condition and the items which were no more usable have already been thrown out. I live in a rented apartment and keep hoping from one to other more often than others so this is also an effort to make the moving process simpler. I only will be buying things which are of utmost importance and make my daily chores simpler.

If you want to be a MINIMALIST:

Recently, I have read somewhere, ' We are advertisements.' and this stuck to my head.

In India, often more than to please ourselves we buy things to please others. For example-If we are office goers, how can we repeat outfits so often, what will others think of my wardrobe or if there is a family function how can we repeat attire more than once(I have been told this many a times and by none other than my family members). How can we invite friends to our houses if we don't have beautiful furniture? or time and gain we question our living status by the amount of things we have.
This behaviour on the other hand makes others jealous or forces them to get into same action and the loop continues.
First and foremost we need to get rid of this mentality, it's not easy to get out of it but buy things which make you happy and add value to your house.
Second is to understand that it's really easy to say 'YES' to things than to turn them away. Minimalism will only happen if you learn to look, evaluate and if not required turn it away.
Third is to understand your idea of success, is it to get a degree, then a career, then earn money, buy a big house(dream of many in county like India), buy fancy things for that house or is it to get successful by your measures, have a big enough house to accommodate you and your loved ones, buy the things which make you feel happy in the house you created together. 
Fourth is to not to give into the judgement. With every change, people have a tendency to judge but soon they will learn to respect your choices or as well might be inspired by your idea.
Fifth is to understand that sales are not  always your best friend. Bring an item after a thoughtful process, stick to your list and spend on quality than quantity.

Pros of living as a minimalist:
  1. Everywhere outside my room,is chaotic enough at least my house is free of it
  2. Its a budget saver
  3. With fewer things on list, I have fewer things to take care of
  4. Open and clean spaces makes mind feel at peace
  5. Focus on things that make me happy
Cons -
  1. If you aren't in it with all your heart, you will always feel deprived
  2. Possibility of being judged for your choices
  3. Forced by others to maintain lifestyle otherwise
Living a minimalist lifestyle in India


Happily inspired and promoting this lifestyle, try it if you are keen to and I am sure this is only going to help you. Don't let yourself fall into the category where your status is judged by the amount of things you have and money you spent on fancy items for showcasing.

This is my story of learning at my pace and following minimalism as a lifestyle in India, what's yours? Do share it in the comment section and show this one some love by sharing it.



Wedding Shopping Checklist - Budget Savvy Tips


Hello Pom-Poms!
Weddings…costumes, dance, guests, food and grand affair for one night. I have always been a fan of Indian weddings, we celebrate decision of two people getting together for lifetime in such grand way and with this wedding season upon us, I thought of making a checklist in a way I do my shopping as a wedding guest but if you are a bride or groom…steps are almost same.
With this developing economy budget is always the priority. We make sure to cut down on wherever the possibility occurs and in this post I will also keep that in mind. So let’s dive right into the planning and plotting or our GARMENT SAGA:







Plan your BUDGET:
Before the start of anything, decide the budget you are going to spend on your garments, shoes, jewellery etc. This is a step from where I generally start, always keep aside some budget…prices while you shop may vary but only allow yourself minimum over the budget. This decision gives you clarity of many things, like when the shopkeeper asks you your budget, you are ready to guide him and not the other way around because each and every shopkeeper in the market is there to make maximum profit which is easily possible with gullible customers.

Do some RESEARCH:

It’s always a plus to do some homework, this way you are sure of what styles you want and how much pieces do you want exactly. I am generally a very organized person so I like to count the no. and pair of dresses I can re-use and what new things do I have to buy. If you have sorted certain designs then it will be a good idea to show it to your designer of shopkeeper for reference. This habit saves you lot of time and in weddings every bit of time counts.


Re-Use your clothes with twist:

In this era or mix & match, it’s not always necessary to run for new clothes for every occasion. You can always hunt your wardrobe for statement pieces which can be re-used with different combinations and voila you have one more pair with lil bit of twist. Like I have re-used my skirt as a lehnga bottom and my lehnga as an inner skirt many a times. Plan out your pieces well and combinations are just a vision away.


DO NOT fear to try:

Whether it’s some weird combination colour or a different looking pattern, do not hesitate to try because sometimes it so happens that whatever we think of it in our head, the outcome in reality looks better. Like for me, I have never been a fan of pastels but for a recent wedding I have made a kurta and skirt combo of the same.


Keep DAY or TWO in hand:

When it comes to wedding garment shopping, it’s always a good idea to do it in advance because everyone needs time in hand for fitting, finishing, trial and alterations. Plus it saves you hell lot of hustle and hurried decisions. To look your absolute best and feel comfortable throughout the event, requires lil bit of effort and planning from your end, do keep it on priority as the moments last for lifetime in photograph form.


Explore the AREA: 
While you are planning your visit to market, don’t be shop specific as many a time it so happens that you get a lot cheaper deal of the same product in other shops but you lost that deal because you had so much faith in your old shopkeeper. Explore various shops for more styles and trends, once you find your statement piece in your budget that’s where you should pick from and that’s why I said keep the day or two in hand.

Don’t be afraid of OPINIONS:
It many a times happens that what somebody else can figure out in the fabric/garment you chose is unseen to your eyes. So go along with your best friend, your mother, sister, you colleague’s company to shop for the attire and it might help you making the clearer decision with their advise or these days you can also take social media poles for the options to choose from. Click the photos, post online and in few minutes you may have a winner, Instagram is helping many in taking such decisions but it again depends on your choice of media and followership.

Invest in good TAILOR: 
It seldom happens that the suit you tried on fits you perfectly, many a times a perfect looking piece can be ruined by off alterations. Hence my biggest advice is to invest in a good tailor. The stitching can make or break the whole look. Be specific to the tailor that what you want in a look, it helps him with his job.

With these many tips, I advise you ladies and gents to have fun while you at it, think of it as a stress buster rather than a job and surely come home with some amazing buys.

Have a HAPPY SHOPPING.

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KURTI - Women's Wear Classic | Trend and Shop

Hello statement Makers!

My pick for women's wear in this post is Kurti - Ultra Chic and Comfortable attire which is a choice of so many ladies just like me for so many reasons. In case you live in some third world and you haven't tried them yet, I am giving you few reason to wear it right away:

a.) Comfort: There is no other attire which provides so much of comfort when you are out and about with your business. Hardly you have to bother about it slipping or the unwanted curves showing through. Pair it the right way and you are good to go.

b.) Variety: Have you ever been to Kurti/Kurta shopping? Its so much fun to chose from all those options at such reasonable price. I stay in Delhi and 2 most adored Kurti heaven for me to shop are Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar but if you are bulk buying (in case of marriage and functions), Chandni Chowk is your spot.

c.) Looks: Kurtis are such versatile and with upcoming trend you can fit it into any category. Make it formal to attend office, make it chic to attend a birthday party, pair it with denims and you are ready for some street shopping or make it traditional to attend a party or family function.

d.) Traditional Quotient: Since kurtis/Kurtas are second most preferred option after saree in India, its high on ethnic value too. You just need to find the right kurta to blend in the gathering.

With all this awesomeness, KURTI has become a REVOLUTIONARY TREND in women's wear. All you need is find a right one to suit your personality and occasion. My personal favourites to suit my body type are the STRAIGHT A-LINE, they make me look taller as I am one SHMALL person (5.1'') :D . Just find the look you are going for and voila -



GO CASUAL


Pair those straight or button kurti tops with denims and there you have your casuals ready. For more modish and minimal classic look find something in solid or checks. To complete off the look pair it with scarf or peep toes.

In this one, I have paired my blue buttoned kurta top with handbag, blue tapered jeans and black peep toe shoes (keeping it casual). Plus a watch from my must have fashion essentials.





GO FORMAL

Straight line kurtis with pencil cut bottoms make it an awesome formal combo. This black straight fir A-Line Kurti paired with golden trousers make the look just perfect and the plus point you get pockets with it.


Sometimes pair a peplum short kurta with cigarette pants to give your formal wear a twist. This look from AJIO sums up my point quite perfectly.

https://www.looksgud.in/5vrz-ajio-maroon-peplum-kurti-with-pants


DRESS IT UP

Kurtis make really awesome dresses, throw on a belt or your statement jewellery and you are good to go. See didn't I tell you these are making some revolutionary trends to follow and so versatile. One pair can be dressed in so many possible ways. Pants or no-pants, rock the style and make it a staple wardrobe piece. Like this La-Firangi kurta on Amazon has no slits on sides and will make a perfect summer dress with green belt on the empress line and pink clutch.


TRADITION WITH QUIRK

We are not here to follow that age old trend of plain Salwaar-Kameez(though they make an awesome looks in themselves), we are going to jazz it up with our own quirk....RIGHT LADIES? (*WINK*). Pair an asymmetric kurta with skirt and you will have a style like never before. This one falls right between the Patiala and Punjabi combo except the salwar.



I like to keep my dressing minimal, for me less is more except if its some real fancy occasion and I feel like twinkling up. Mostly I pair my garment with single jewellery piece it might be a necklace, a ring, bracelet or earrings.

Hopefully these style tips are beneficial for your next kurti shopping, I would love to hear your experiences, in the COMMENT section.

SHARE the LOVE.

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Finding Symmetry in Asymmetrical

So, I have been MIA for long again but I have come up with something good, I promise. More organised, devoted and to say the least I will post here more than earlier in the hopes that you folks find it useful and can take away something from here. First with little update that New Year celebration was muted as I was under the weather and X-Mas was meant to be spent in Dalhousie but came back a day earlier for photo updates of which head over to Instagram and follow if you haven't already, I would love to connect with you.





More on this might come later but starting with the current style topic, recently went to Qutub Minar and as it is built by Mughal architects, my attire of that day blended seamlessly (No! It wasn't planned and was just by mere fate). The perfect assymetric mehndi green Top/Kurta paired with Pathani Salwar(Mughal inspired just like the architect) along with Vintage Black Waist length Coat with bow details on the back was the best ensemble I could have come up with to visit the place this regal and full of architectural beauty.





This flowy outfit blended right with the structured beauty that is Qutub Minar and other sculptures within the premises. This was for the casual winter look but for more festive look you can opt for chunky statement jewellery without the coat and the set the tone right with the occasion. I love how this asymmetric ensemble flowed giving my walk that airy feel, I strutted around happily just to feel the blow...That's a happy feeling I say. 

Outfit Details-
Top- Sarojini Nagar(Delhi)
Coat- Sarojini Nagar (Delhi)
Pants- Khadi (Tailored)

Sarojini Nagar for sure is a holy grail for finding some vintage, thrifted, second-hands, budget friendly, factory made fashion. Share some of your go-to places for shopping in the comments..

Friday, 11 September 2020

Celebrate Your Colour

Celebrate Your Colour

Being an Indian, I am always surrounded by multi-colours. From my wardrobe to my functions all are jazzy, bright and colourful (You all know what I mean 😉). With time if I look into my style, I do not find myself loving the browns or whites as much as I love the splash of colours. 


This blog is inspired by Reading My Tea Leaves’ blog which is mostly about finding your colour and Mr. Kate’s rendition of any minimalist style where former has neutral colours in her kitty and later has tons of colours even if it is minimalist style. 


At one place I love the wise words of former, I will like to add my own insight to it. When I enter the room, my eye starts finding pop of colours be it the minimal tone of pink, blue, magenta any. Hence, when I go for styling any area…


I would always love to incorporate colours in it. 


My idea is not to shy away from your choice but to celebrate it in all honesty.


I will not succumb to the minimalist idea of mostly browns and neutral. I wish to keep my style simple and minimal but I can never let go of my other colours.


I lean more towards the pop of blues, pinks and oranges whereas my base is mostly neutral and earthy. Like if my wall colour is pastel pink, then my furniture will be white, dark or earthy brown but there will be a huge bold blue painting framed in black on the wall, a pop pink or magenta flower vase on the mantle and a multi tone pot with some greenery. 


I like to differentiate between the neutrals and brights… and giving them there perfect spot. I would never shy away with the use of pop pink if I feel there is a need but for me the overdose kills. I guess the love of texture and colour for me comes from variety India has in terms of clothes and culture. 


The key is to celebrate your choice and not fall the victim of trends. These days there is so much content floating that when you come to narrow it down, it becomes really difficult to pin point that one star colour which you need to work on or it becomes difficult to assess your style. 


My suggestion is to arrange various clothes, colours and textures of your choice and narrow it to form your pallete. Before creating your oasis, you need to create the mess. Don’t shy away from using the colour you love, just because it is not someone else’s choice.


Celebrate your colour whatever your style is.

Thursday, 26 December 2019

DIY Watercolour Holiday, Christmas and New Year Cards | Youtube Tutorial

Here is What Happened when I played with colors😅. So, did I update that I am teaching these days and for  the holidays I planned to give my students a reminder to enjoy to the fullest (though they do not need any). These are few DIY cards made on a glossy sheet with some vibrant watercolors and paintbrush.

Hope you find some last minute inspirations for your loved ones from these. I sneaked in few for my beloveds too. For more help there is YOUTUBE TUTORIAL by the end of the blog.

Supplies:-
  • Glossy Sheets
  • Black Gel Pen
  • Paintbrush
  • Water Colors
  • Sparkle











































Enjoy the HOLIDAYS and a NEW YEAR with your loved ones. Spread Love and Warmth with these beauties. Subscribe to the blog for more ideas like these and why keep this goodness to yourself, spread the word by sharing the content with your friends.




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