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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Beach Picnic With A Traitor Tea, Tantrums And Toxicated Beach Bums





I am a 90’s kid, I grew up not on gadgets all together barring the video games and computer games like Prince, age of empire and the likes which came later on. Oh and those hi tech toys we didn’t have so many of them. Childhood meant, playing naturally in the nature, going for picnics with family, reading the likes of Enid Blyton and the perfect picnics and adventures, improvised games. Fast food whipped up wholesomely from mummas kitchen. Childhood was a bliss. So no wonder I am big on nature and outings -Oh I love picnics, being in the natural elements and just enjoying them, feeling the raw emotions. Unfiltered joy, unfiltered surroundings. Of laying down a picnic mat, getting out the goodies and then just lazying around enjoying the bounty of nature. 
So I just did that on one of the weekend, headed to the nearby beach. 
This was my first beach picnic to be arranged on my own (batting the resort ones we all experience and set our standards high) now whenever I picture a beach picnic in my mind, it’s the most romantic set up, with beach umbrella, mat, some nibbles and perfect drinks. Taking leisurely dips in the sea and then lounging on the mat, looking at the sky above, hearing the waves crash, smelling the sea. Reading a book and the day just goes by .. sounds perfect, doesn’t it ? Perfect date, perfect picnic (told you high resort standards).
We being in Chennai, couldn’t do the dip or swim in the sea. Didn’t want to go too far after a tiring busy week. 
Neither could I take some fancy drinks nor could I be on the beach the entire day in the crazy sun and humid weather. 
So well equipped with all this knowledge I prepared myself with a small picnic basket - containing a cute colourful mat, hot thermos of tea (hubby’s drink of choice) some cookies, chips, water and other small paraphernalia and bingo we were ready to roll. A picnic at sun down sounded the best and practical given the weather conditions. 
We decided to head to a far off beach, less crowded and less known. 
All happy and satisfied with the pre picnic work we reached the sight and our first observation was aren’t the vendors increased in number at the entrance (there were just two stalls on bicycles run by home ladies). Were we right not only had the vendors increased the beach visitors had too, it was really crowded. Too late to turn back or go anywhere else.
We started walking towards a place which was a bit less crowded and settled there with our mat and laid down all the works. There were quite a few couples.
As soon as we settled, a family with a group of kids came and decided they wanted to be our neighbours, their picnic paraphernalia was fancier than ours as it had loads of sand toys and works. 
As we sat taking in the sea and the beach activities, the beach was dirtier owing to the crowd (when will people realise ) nevertheless beautiful and so peaceful. 
The peace part quickly shattered to pieces as we were still discussing it amongst ourself - a shrill scream which doubled and then went on in a full bout of tantrums on our right. 
A little time into their play and half built castles the kids had decided to wreck havoc on the serenity and others calm whilst their parents ignored them and continued with their own little banter happily or should I say calmly to the chagrin of others. 
As I was cribbing about the parents and their lack of enthusiasm of minding their kids to my hubby another group of localite gentlemen without any gentle demeanour or clothing sense parked themselves on our left a little distance further away. They ran in the sea as if their whole being was on fire and then crash landed in the massive waves. 
Such outrageous behaviour by these aged men who were sloshed and had boys with them fit to be their kids equally sloshed. 
I don’t understand how they insult them selves, their upbringing, their culture. Without even giving it a second thought that people who come their as guests or travellers take this behaviour as to be the mannerism and culture of that place. Due to such people who cause inconvenience to others and show lack of etiquette, the entire place gets bad named. This sad state exists in all pockets of our country which we need to be ashamed of and changed. Be it the hooligans or the uncaring parents. Don’t let your manners, lack of them or enjoyment disrupt others joy. We need to take this into consideration while having a good time in public places. 
One of the kids out of nowhere landed near this group of men and that was the time when the parents shouted for the girl finally. In her plight to run towards her parents she showered us with all the sand. 
Some romantic date - reminded me of a song- jaana tha Japan pahunch gaye Chin (had to visit Japan but we landed in China ) samajh gaye na.
Oh well, didn’t need another cue we got up as fast as we could, collected the neatly laid picnic and ran for our life further away. 
Found another spot next to an old couple which we deemed safe in all attributes and settled nicely. Oh, the comfort of the old (pun very much intended ).
Happily we gazed at the sea again and I decided it was time for some tea to relax and lay back after that experience. 
I poured in some tea and sat with my feet digging deep in the cool sand. 
Took a sip and well the tea was tasteless, yeah I made it, the same way as usual but god knew what went wrong. Alas, Tea - the traitor, it also decided to act funny in the literal words. Well I was not going to give up so easily. 
We just took a few sips and enjoyed the sea and each other’s company. 
That moment was perfect inspite of all imperfections - just gazing at the setting sunset and waves crashing, a cool wind caressing our face and hands intertwined leaving the tea and everything else aside. It was still a perfect romantic picnic. 
There were the crashing waves, the sky with its magical hues, the calming music of the sea, the soothing sand, us hand in hand, there were couples, families with children and elders, friends, there were dogs playing on the beach, few crows flying down to pick up some dead fish, crabs scuttling in their holes, a gentle breeze bringing with it the sea smells.
We just sat there taking it all in and our hearts joined in all this din. 
We didn’t get our sea swim but nevertheless how could we let go off playing in the waves and that’s what we did. 






I love to run away from the waves and then eventually one naughty wave catches up with me. The water lapping on the feet leaving foot prints behind for the waves again to erase it.. 
As the sun set and it got dark we packed our picnic with a joyous heart. 
Walking in the sand, hand in hand - happy hearts singing to the tune of some young romantic band... 
it’s not about perfect moments or romance it’s about finding love in all the moments, it’s about making the most of what you have. It’s all about romanticising the simple life. 
And just like that it was a perfect picnic .... 
Finding perfection in all the imperfections you have..




one snap does not tell the whole story of what goes behind, that’s what happens on social media these days. So don’t judge a picture on its face value. Don’t have the pressure of living big dreams and perfect bucket lists. Just go with the flow, life happens in the small moments .. Happiness is not a destination it’s this random journey through crazy sloshed gentlemen, tantrum throwing kids and old people ... you just need to hold on to each other, your sanity and find those moments in between and live them - that’s happiness ..


xoxo
Bhakti 

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Top Romantic Places in Chennai - Valentines Day Special


Best Romantic dates and things to do/ Places to visit in Chennai for Couples. Celebrate your Valentines day in Chennai.
Click on the tags to go to the main videos of specific places to know more about them in detail.
Music credit https://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music/track/memories
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xoxo
Bhakti 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Starting The New Year With Acceptance






A bit late but nevertheless, I meant to post this in the first week, better late than never though. 
So as I bid Good Bye to 2019, in a quiet way with my family wanted to end the year on a good note and start the new year with a smile like everybody else. 
A good movie and then some lovely food was the laid back plan to bid farewell to 2019. 
I, myself wanted to watch a light, happy movie but my sister wanted to go for Mardani. 
Honestly till the time the movie started I was skeptical of not wanting to watch a serious movie. I wanted to end the previous one and start the new year on high spirits with a gay heart. Absolutely understandable, nothing wrong in it, right ? 
However, After watching the movie which is based on the true story in our country - a story of A rapist, about sick mentality, about the society we live in - A gruesome truth, a grotesque reality ; (An outstanding movie and performance by Rani Mukherjee, must watch)I was forced to think and the first thought that came to me was - we are just living in our bubble, our own happy bubble. Again nothing wrong in that; we need to protect ourself, our happiness.  But We also need on a larger scale to accept the fact, the scary truth, to accept reality, the society that we live in. Things will change only after we acknowledge that yes we do have a problem as a nation, as a society. We need to embrace this truth, this bitter poison which isn’t happy but which is reality in the new year. Because the first step towards change is only through acceptance. Only with acceptance can we strive to change what is wrong. We cannot overlook the reality under any pretext. We are entering 2020 with things to be proud of,  achievements, happiness on one hand and on the other we are entering another decade with some barbarian acts, heinous crimes, narrow mindset, inequality in all aspects, crumbling environment and we need to bring the change as a society. We need to raise our voice for humanity. 
Let’s burst the bubble, let’s face fear, let’s stand together and welcome this decade not only on a happy note but on the right note, with a right mindset. 

Happy New Year 2020 !
xoxo
Bhakti 

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Family Circus, Drama And Politics


I have been absent from the blog a while now, haven’t written anything and suddenly I just got these random thoughts popping in my head and a strong urge to share them. You must have read the tittle and by now wondering what exactly is this, that too just before the year ends. 
Yes, this is my last post for 2019 and it isn’t rosy but real raw. Some lessons I learnt along the way. Brace yourself with some coffee because I am going on with full steam. 



It’s holiday season- ‘Tis the season to be jolly and merry but is it really or are some of us having a silent syndrome of family dynamics and feeling lonely. Let’s be honest family is anything but easy, they are the people who know us at our worst and best and they are the people with whom we are most vulnerable. 
So it’s safe to say that we all are in our own little family circus, with our own version of clowns, adventurers, eccentrics and other characters with unique characteristics. 
But quite often than not we forget to enjoy our own little private circus the way we enjoy the one we pay to see. 
After all Nobody likes their own drama, others drama is easier to watch and enjoy, but not many speak of our own, or even chose not to accept our own. No one really talks about this Family Shamily business, it’s always under wraps, portraying the best of behaviour and perfect family pictures for holidays and vacations for the spectators delight and owners pride. 
In today’s social world this exhibition is all the more prevalent of showcasing the prized family moments and perfect pictures captured. Nothing wrong with this, but it becomes easy for the person viewing or the one even posting it or portraying it to get entangled in this trap - a pressure to believe that family is supposed to be a particular way. 
More often than not we compare our lives to others pretty pictures and check ins, perfect family getaways and dinners and think what they have is better. To want a life which doesn’t belong to you, to crave for something which is picture perfect, to feel jealous, let down and often angry with our own self. To feel small and insignificant is another biproduct of today’s social age. 
The truth is far from what’s seen or in this case shown, the pictures we see - the portrayed reality is just one small part of everyone’s life. There is family drama in every house, there ought to be especially if so many characters live together, traits will clash sometimes or the other. Everyone has some family things which are painful, unhealthy, which people don’t share, which is considered taboo to do so. That’s another point I have learned in this year, if you don’t share the good or the bad with each other, how will you know, how will a person know he is good if you don’t tell them enough. Someone might feel less lonely or let down or insignificant if we share that yes we too experience similar things at one point or the other. Wouldn’t an open dialogue or just sharing that it’s normal to have family and its problems, it’s a package, it’s normal to get hurt till a certain extent. And it’s equally normal to maintain a distance to safeguard your sanity. You are not a failure, it’s not your fault. It’s ok also to feel low looking at others family. It’s ok, you don’t have to be guilty to have such feelings. It’s ok to feel the pain. It’s ok to let it go. You are not alone, life throws all of us curve balls at one point or the other. 
Perfection is overrated, flaws are beautiful, flaws are unique, they set us apart from others. That’s what makes us special. 
That’s what sets us apart. That’s what makes every family different. So why judge, why judge ourself, why judge our spouses, our parents, siblings our immediate relatives. They are the best we will ever have, we can’t go out and get another one of these from the market. So making peace with it in our own way shouldn’t it be our best foot forward? 
Instead of judging what if we enjoy the ride in our very own private circus with its unique traits and characters with a VIP seat, that too free ( if you don’t count paying in drama ) After all what family is complete without some drama, isn’t it ? 
If we stop looking with our rose tinted glasses cause even roses have thorns. 
This is what I learnt in this year, acceptance in all relationships, in family, in friendship. 
And it’s ok to feel it all, you needn’t be guilty for it or make others feel guilty for feeling it. Relationships are bliss they are meant to make you stronger, if we compare them with others life, we’ll rob ourself of the joy in the lifelong journey we need to take with these people. In the end these are some of the people who love us unconditionally right. 
Acceptance is the key to everything in this world. We need to learn to accept certain things, of the way people are and learn to live together with differences but happily. 
(Wish that applied to the current scenario in the country too - isn’t that similar too a bigger family, then why we differentiating on the basis of religion, aren’t all of us Indian) 
Another point I wanted to make before this year ends - 
Is why do we have to question or again judge people if they speak on some issue, why we take it for granted that if someone talks about a certain disease he must be having it. If someone talks about family, feelings - I am sure, must be going through a rough patch, someone doesn’t believe in CAB or differentiation on the grounds of religion - isn’t Indian enough, doesn’t have the brain to see the bigger picture. Why do we have this urge to hush every voice which is against the current? Why do we feel the need to brush our feelings under the carpet and suffer with our pain alone? Why this insecurity? Why can’t we be more vocal and accepted ? 
I just voiced my opinion, things I believed and learned in this year, things I wanted to talk about before the year ends. Things I wanted to put out in the world. 
Will I be judged? - yes mostly 
Was I sceptical to put this out for the fear of being judged ? Kind of 
Yet I am setting these thoughts free, someone, somewhere might need them this holiday season; someone somewhere will read, may be it will make a difference- a possibility. That’s enough for me today. 

Stay happy guys and make yourself happy  as someone very aptly said - in the end only when you are happy and only when you are contributing to humanity, can you provide happiness and can you contribute to others. 
On that Note wish you Happy Holidays !and A Very Happy New Year in advance. 

xoxo
Bhakti 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

A Haunting Beautiful Date


As I researched and researched and scratched my brains to visit a place which was nearby yet far from the city chaos and traffic on the weekend. Well that's our thing, we like quaint places which are not crowded, throw in some nature and I am a happy bunny my friends.
I came across one that fit all the bills and ticked all the boxes right.
Now I have this thing for taking hubby on surprise dates, well I would like to believe that I am more of a romantic adventurous types in some aspects among both of us. To say the least I throw caution  to the wind and still have my carefree attitude whereas hubby how do I say is the more cautioned more grounded, practical, safe one, if that makes sense to you. He is the one who is the safety net i return to, the one who takes all the blows and hard hits and surprises whilst wondering what next is in store. I am thankful to God in so many ways and instances that he is, for God knows where we would be if it wasn't for his stickler ways once in a blue moon.
So I took him on a surprise date, after about an hours drive, we reached the Besant Nagar beach popularly known as the Elliots beach. From there on I started the Google map as there was a diversion. The path that we landed on or ended on was a bit dicey. Albeit, no proper roads, houses of local fisherman lined up in a row, no cars, very narrow path, kids playing without a worry, the ladies engrossed in their daily banter or just sitting outside their houses, boats parked after a day of some hard core work and no tell a tale sign of any visitors or other people.
It looked like a secluded and empty road leading to nothingness. A small fishing hamlet tucked away in the further most corner of the city.
With that view and us looking like an only car with another state number plate which believe me is not a welcome sign to any locals. We were the ones encroaching according to hubby and we shouldn't be there, either I had lost my way or like always I had thrown caution to the wind for too soon for an adventure to begin were the voices I heard in the car. That was not my voice however it sure did join the party for I started doubting myself was that really right and am I the irresponsible, irrevocably wild one in the car and was going to give up my chance to explore and be in nature. How my heart loves those two words unconditionally but sometimes you have to let it go for your own safety as well peace of mind, was this going to be one of those time when I gave in to settle for another cup of coffee in a pretty city cafe. I don't have anything against pretty little cafes I adore them but how can you compare them with a wild sunset waiting to be experienced and to bathe you in its golden light from head to toe all the way to your soul. When to my great relief a car was approaching in our direction from the other side and which didn't look like it belonged to a fisherman. I pointed it out excitedly to hubby without saying anything and trying to maintain my confidence and there he looked unconvinced still. Well, he is a tough nut to crack. What followed was a trail of vehicles, cars, couples, friends coming or in this case going from this place to the husband's dismay and my visible gay. A hesitant husband still not completely convinced started driving towards the destination.
As usual we were late due to the traffic, I wanted to take hubby for a sunset date here but thanks to his always questioning nature and arguing streak we wasted quite a lot of time on contemplating to take the road or no. But as soon as we took the road, it lead us to a series of surprises, of stone doors leading nowhere, of pretty stone benches located, bushes, sand beach on one side. All this was almost virgin land apart from the young and young at heart like me who still want to be in natural rugged places like this. As it was my turn to lecture him back for how untrustworthy he thinks I am and how he has problems trusting others, to how I do my research, to how safe I am and to all the destinations we explore, he was saved half way by the nature which just drew us right in and took us by surprise.
Standing out of nowhere the bridge located on the mouth of the river Adyar lying broken but in all its beauty with green ivy covering the river in a carpet adjacent to blues and browns of the Coromandel Coast and sand stretching as far as the eye can see. One could see the skyline of Adyar and behind it stood the wall of Theosophical garden, the thick trees peeping from inside. What a pretty place to be.
As soon as we started exploring and taking in the beauty, the quiet of the nature, the music of the sea, the expanse of the bridge and the orange sky watching. I just closed my eyes as I took all of it in, I heard a siren going off somewhere, banter and many things. The siren instead of going dim was getting louder by the minute and then at its full volume it stopped right where I was standing. The cops were there to take a look and empty the place out. I understand all that if only they could stop that crazy ear piercing noise, they did not and thus it was the end of our beach bridge time.



Well I must have forgotten or skipped mentioning to hubby dear that this place is out of bounds after dark, it is one of the haunted places in Chennai. Well honestly I did tell him it is hauntingly beautiful. Oh, that's just us. All's well that ends well.
We didn't get the sunset completely but we got us together in this beautiful setting at the golden hour.
 Bickering, trusting exploring life, love and travel together now that is our story forever.
After all beautiful moments with beautiful people make beautiful memories for a beautiful life. 
and it was a beautiful date.

xoxo
Bhakti Khade Rangoonwala

Read all about the Broken Bridge here
Check out our trip in the video below






Monday, September 23, 2019

Broken Bridge - Chennai - Adyar - Things to do



A Bridge going no where - does make for a beautiful landscape add to it an adjoining seashore and a beach for miles.
This place lies between Theosophical Society Adyar near the Elliot's beach located on the Adyar river, this collapsed bridge (1977) makes for one rugged nature place off the beaten track. Its a bit secluded, also lists on the haunted and spooky places in Chennai. You can see and hear eerie things at night. Having said that the sunsets and sunrises are spectacular here, you will find this place inhibited by youngsters and couples make a bee line quite obviously too. No wonder it is also termed as a romantic place. Having no light, this place is out of bound after sunset. Picture perfect nature at its best, no wonder this place has been featured in lots of movies and shootings taking place over here is a common norm. A place for nature lovers those who like to do off beat things more than the normal touristy feel.







Bhakti Khade Rangoonwala 

P.s. Do not visit after sunset not safe. 
Do not litter please. 
You can easily take a cab or uber to this place if you are visiting Chennai. 
30 - 60 minutes are enough to visit this place. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Dakshinachitra Museum Chennai | Weekend Getaway- Day trip - Chennai | Mu...





A living museum in Chennai which depicts the lifestyle, art, culture, traditions, architecture and history of 4 regions in Southern India. Its a must do day trip from Chennai. Great place if you are a lover of art, handicrafts and culture. Otherwise too, you won't be disappointed.
There are 18 houses (100 - 150 years old )from all over southern India reconstructed here.
They depict the lifestyle, occupation, region, art, architecture, living conditions, professions of the regions. The Museum has lot of exhibitions, things you can buy, experience, small workshops, classes , restaurants, shops, curio stores, bazaar, souvenir store, art gallery and a gamut of things to do.
The place is serene and takes you down memory lane of the olden era. Its a great teaching and learning for children as well as adults alike. They encourage the rural craftsmen and the old dying art. Its amazing when you see whats on offer in the handlooms and handicrafts here. Things that we haven't seen outside which are not available in shops or otherwise not commercial. These art need to be safeguarded and it needs to live on.
I genuinely recommend this day trip when in Chennai. It should be at the top of your list.
One of the best museums I have seen in India. You can check out more details of the same on their website - www.dakshinachitra.ne
Explore Chennai with Klook 

Some tips for a better visit. 
It gets really hot. Wear light breathing clothes. Carry Hat, sunglasses, umbrella if you wish.
Stay hydrated.
There is a lot to cover so lot of walking- comfortable shoes must.
Carry your own water bottle you can refill that inside. Small eco travelling steps to follow.
You can easily take a Uber there and same for returning (it takes a bit longer to book one from there as its on the outskirts). 
You can also book Klook transport.
The store at the entrance of the museum has some really good stuff do check it out. Perfect for souvenirs to take back home for friends and family.
Don't miss the orientation video at the starting really takes you through the entire place with all the information.
The folk performances are worth waiting for, do find out at the entrance what are the timings they take place at.
There is Sangeetha restaurant right outside the Museum you can grab a coffee or wait there whilst your transport arrives. It serves some delicious fare. Rava Masala Dosa and filter coffee recommended with the day's paneer starter to go with.


Do let me know how your visit was, hope this helps in anyway.


Bhakti Khade Rangoonwala 

Some Snippets 

















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