29 April, 2014

Z for Zafran Exotica, Hyderabad #AtoZChallenge

We have been to this  multi-cuisine restaurant 'Zafran Exotica' long back which is in Banjara hills, road no.12. At that time, i was looking for a restaurant with good rooftop garden. It was excellent in all aspects.

Ambiance, food quality and service are the best. It is a multi-cuisine restaurant and we tried Thai food. I would recommend it for a quite romantic candle light dinner. Lighting and decoration are also good. Even though we visited this restaurant long back, from the recent reviews in zomato, it's clear that still it is the same. 

On that day we received some dish which is not hot and when we complained, they gave it reheated and also reduced that amount from the bill. Service is good, but it is a bit expensive. The shrubs and huts outside, cool breeze and mini fountains are a plus. Lighting is dim and enhances the interiors.

So, i hope you are convinced to visit this place, though my intention is not to advertise :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: http://hyderabadsirfhamara.com/city/hyderabad/listing/zafraan-exotica-restaurant-in-banjara-hills/
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

PS: Oh GOD! I completed my first #AtoZChallenge.. yippee :)

Y for Yahoo Messenger #AtoZChallenge

I remember Yahoo mail and messenger for letter 'Y', which were forgotten by many long back . No one might have thought those days that importance of yahoo messenger will reduce to this level. But, no one can deny the first best chat experience we faced around 15 years ago. The basic Yahoo messenger version came into existence on March 9, 1998.

I personally, support gmail and MS outlook over any other mail service as i believe it is more secure and reliable. I was never a fan of online chatting, but saw students go ga ga over yahoo chat spending many hours in browsing centers in past. Now, we have facebook, google talk, whatsapp and lot more which give best chat experience not only in laptops or desktops but also on mobiles. Everyone has a 3G connection on phone these days and it's not very exciting to chat online anymore. 

Even though life changed with more apps and gadgets for the better, Yahoo always stays in my mind as first best chat experience. 

Until the last post in #AtoZChallenge,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

28 April, 2014

X for Xoom #AtoZChallenge

This letter is toughest of all the letters in the challenge.. couldn't think of any thing that starts with 'X', have some words in my mind - Xylophone, X-ray, Xylum, Xenon, but nothing to tie a story with or something that i can relate to.

Xoom.com is a site that came to my rescue :) When i was at onsite, i thought about various options to transfer money to my India account and my colleagues suggested this. Site is very user friendly, simple and easy to navigate. Home page gives the exchange rate information and the day you create your account by adding bank details, you are ready to go and money transfers in 24hrs without much hassle. No service fee/ extra hidden charges for an amount lower than $1000. From the time we transfer, the exchange rate will be locked till the money is transferred. No changes in the middle, so no need to worry. Periodic email notifications about the status of transaction are also good.

I have been using mobile app of xoom too, which is also very quick. So, that's about this cool new app for money transfer.

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

W for Washington DC #AtoZChallenge

Washington DC, formerly known as District of Columbia is capital for United states. It is a historic city with many monuments, memorials and museums. So, this is a quick post with few pics :)

This tour is also a self guided one that i went with my colleagues on a sunny day. We took hop-on-hop-off tour buses and few attractions that i liked are The white house, The tall Washington monument and US capitol building. More details on the trip can be found in this post.

Sharing few more pictures..

Sunset near Jefferson memorial

Washington Monument (My favorite)

Lincoln Memorial statue

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

25 April, 2014

V for Vote India Vote! #AtoZChallenge

It's election time.. Iam going to vote on Apr 30th, what about you?

Even though, vote is a duty for Indian citizens, i don't understand why we still feel proud of voting instead of feeling it as a responsibility/ duty for the nation. Whatever may be the reason, we are seeing celebrities  posting their pictures online with that blue mark representing that they voted :) Hope, it inspires a few more to vote.

I know, there are many questions in the minds of Indian voters. Some of them being..

a) What if everyone contesting in my constituency are corrupt, whom to vote?
 Is there a solution for this? 

       Yes. You have the option None of the Above (NOTA). At least, it would help reduce one           vote for corrupt candidate, what say?

b) How do i know which candidate is good out of all contesting in my constituency?

       Google introduced a feature 'Know your candidate' from        https://www.google.co.in/elections/ed/in/districts
 It will only show public information about the candidate. Might not be very useful. 
There are other sites like www.empoweringindia.org which provide affidavit information of candidates. Popular working method is to talk to elders in the constituency to understand who won in previous years and their performance in all these years.

Do we have dare to choose right, efficient candidate without being influenced by the caste/ religious community that the candidate belongs to and money that they distribute? 

I hope, India chooses best leadership in these elections 2014. 

Until next time, 

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

24 April, 2014

U for Unexpected error messages #AtoZChallenge

Being a software tester, i love these unexpected errors in software applications. Having errors in software is most common but how user reacts to the error, how he interprets the error message and what action he can take after getting an error message are important for user 's perspective.

Errors are of different types. Some being,

a) Errors for which reason is known - they usually show a message with the reason and might give options to solve it, or just inform user about the reason without giving any next steps or just some message which doesn't give any information. Some funny error messages :)

b) Errors which are really unexpected - Application doesn't know why this happened, it wont give any useful information to users. It will just inform that something went wrong and user needs to try again. Many websites give funny messages for the same.. have a look :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google images
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

23 April, 2014

T for Travel #AtoZChallenge

Life is short and world is wide, then why to miss wonderful places in less time that we have?  Go to a place at least once a year where you have never been before. It will give you a lot of memories and refreshes your mind for the remaining part of the year. 

Never stop wondering.Never stop wandering.

This is the new quote that i read in Google search. How true it is! when we travel, we see different things, mysterious, charming, enchanting, wonderful etc., There are many learning's tied to travel, one can learn different customs, meet different people, understand different religions, taste variety of food and experience the beauty of Mother nature. This might be the reason why Kings used to travel around the world after completing their education, before taking reins of their kingdom. Travel improves knowledge and widens our thought process. 

Out of all the places that i traveled till now, top 5 links are below. 

1. Fall foliage trip - Day 2 : Cannot forget the Rim walk in Ausable chasm, walking in forest watching water falls, narrow valleys and greenery around. This experience cannot be measured with anything else and completely worth the money.

2. A day trip to New York : A complete self guided trip on the streets of New York with my friend is fantastic. Loved the sub way trains, sky scrappers and Times square :)

3. A tour to Tanjore : A wonderful place with biggest  'Brihadeswara temple'. Gigantic Nandi and traditional Tanjore food are excellent.

4. Mysore - The City of Palaces : So many places to visit in and around Mysore. Brindavan gardens, Mysore palace, Chamundi hills, Belmuri falls, Sriranga pattanam, everything unique and great!

5. Warangal trip II : Have been to Warangal many times, peaceful historic place with lakes, temple, forts etc., Don't forget to visit Ramappa temple, Ramappa lake, Bhadrakali temple, Warangal fort and thousand pillars temple.

I hope, these will motivate you to pack your bags for your next trip soon :)

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014
Image courtesy: From creative common license flickr images.

22 April, 2014

S for my Sister #AtoZChallenge

Siblings support us emotionally and they are first friends after parents. Do you agree?

My sister and myself are completely different as individuals, but we never had fights due to that. We are like these pretty flowers from same pond. We complement and support each other and enjoy our differences. My friends don't believe when i say, my sister and myself never fought over anything all these years. Unbelievable but true! It might be because of the parenting that we got or the environment that we were grown up together with.

  • My sister is outspoken and i was introvert from childhood.
  • She loved action, whereas i loved reading.
  • She is a good host, good cook, whereas i talk less and an average cook.
  • She learnt music and myself dance, but we both know about the other arts very well to criticize each other's work.
  • She is more emotional, me too same in that aspect but somewhat stronger than her.
  • I was good at studies, she excelled at activities other than studies.
  • We both love unconditionally, but she thinks of more ideal aspect of love, whereas i think about it in practical way.

There are many and many to list out.. But, these differences never cropped up problems in our relationship and one's positive always helped in overcoming other person's negative aspect. This is what i mean, complementing each other. We don't talk daily now a days, but we catch up with everything naturally with ease whenever we talk. We have our own lives and there is still a strong emotional bond that supports the relationship. 

Relationships are complex these days, sometimes i wonder, its only by mere luck that we can get an understanding and supporting sibling like this. I wish her all success, happiness and good health :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy: From creative common license flickr images.
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

R for Rainbow colors #AtoZChallenge

R is for rainbow and its colors for me. I remember the acronym VIBGYOR for rainbow colors.

VIBGYOR - Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red.

We used to perform every year for our school annual day. The theme for one year was rainbow. It was actually our annual sports day function and we have to dance on our ground. 7 students were selected representing each color. I was selected for violet. We all wore Gagra of 7 different colors.  The song that we performed was about the significance of each color.

Do you know about color therapy? Why black is intimidating for few? Why blue is soothing and most preferred for bedroom wall paints? Why white signifies pure mind? See this chart for more info about each color. Download and 
zoom it!

Hope you liked the information on colors and rainbow :)

Until next time,

Info and images: http://ldesigns-colortheory.blogspot.in/2011/02/chakras-and-color-theorytherapy-images.html, www.fotothing.com
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

21 April, 2014

Q for Queen (Hindi movie) #AtoZChallenge

What else it can be? We know that Kangana Raunat dominates in the movie whatever role she plays.. If movie's focus is only on our Rani (Kanagana), our queen, it is really impressive. 

Rani(Queen) is a middle class girl, dreaming to marry the person she loved for a few years. His fiancee, who is working now in London, feels there is status mismatch between them or feels like Rani couldn't change, even though he worked in different countries and changed to modern thinking. Whatever may be the reason, he clearly tells Rani that this alliance cannot happen just before their marriage day. This comes like a blow on her life, of course, same thing happens for any Indian bride. She is devastated, spends some time alone crying and later decides to go to her dream honeymoon to Paris all alone. 

Rani, as an Indian girl who always obeyed their parent's words and fiancee's / took their opinion always on any important decisions, tastes the freedom in foreign land for the first time. Once, she mentions to her friend Vijaya Lakshmi, that girls are not allowed to drink, dance with freedom in India. Even to work, they have to take opinion of their Father/ Fiancee/ husband. She roams to Amsterdam, stays there with 3 male roommates from other countries, who later become her best friends of life. Even though her fiancee comes again proposing her, she rejects him and at the end of the movie, she is relieved and clear on her choices. 

The old remixed club song, "Hangamma hogaya" is too good that you will be singing it at least for few days.. Pace of the movie is very slow, which is very big minus point i see. Other than that, movie is believable and cool. Dialogues are nice. Characterizations are perfect.

So, take time to watch it.. i feel, it might be worth your money, especially for Indian women.

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014
Image courtesywww.boxoffice18.com

20 April, 2014

P for Point Pleasant Beach, NJ #AtoZChallenge

This was a sunny afternoon in 2012. I just reached Princeton from Jersey city after visiting my friend's house by afternoon. My colleagues were out, planning for a drive to Point pleasant beach which was around 43 miles. They asked me if i would love to join and how can i skip? Although tired, iam a hard core travel junkie, joined them in 15 mins :-)

The beach has both public access and private area. There is an entry fee for public access beach and life guards will be present between 9 to 5PM. There are arcades, rides, food and several gift shops on the boardwalk. There is an option of scuba diving and Jenkinson's aquarium to visit. But, we just had a stroll around the beach and spent most of the time chit chatting in beach. Not a must visit place, but good for a summer evening :)

See the nice photos i captured in beach.. Hope you like it :)

Until next time,

18 April, 2014

O for Organized way #AtoZChallenge

Organization is important in every phase of our life. But, it needs lot of patience to organize things around us without keeping them as mess. It saves time.. If you always keep your keys at the same place, can't you save one minute of time that you spend on searching it before leaving to office?

An organized home office
I used to be very organized from childhood. I don't remember things easily, so it is impossible for me, if iam not organized. :) 

It's not only about keeping things at the same place always. It is also about making our routine life easier. This influences a lot on our own behavior at work / at home. How many times you got angry and irritated when you can't find something you are searching for? It influences your attitude as well, right? So, this is a pretty quick post delayed by one day, but this word is very important throughout our life. Don't you agree?

Until next time,

Image courtesy: From creative common license flickr images.
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014

17 April, 2014

N for Naughty Kids #AtoZChallenge

Being a mother of 3 year old kid, i can correlate only naughtiness of kids for letter 'N' :) 


My Son loves crayons. Usually, i stay with him when he does painting. Once, i left him with crayons and was busy in Kitchen and when i cam and saw, he painted floor also with colours along with painting on paper. Iam habituated to all these mess though :) Iam afraid to give sketch pens to him. Since he experiments a lot with sketch pens, obviously his whole hand will have pen colour and you know how difficult it is to wash these from hands :( He also enjoys being at wash basin washing his hands again and again with Dettol hand wash, leaving the water (sigh).

This was one year back. Whenever we go to any restaurant, he will be the center of attraction to the whole restaurant. All excited, he would be speaking loudly, playing with spoon, forks and glasses, almost banging them on the table. Taking out paper napkins, playing with salt and pepper etc are most common. Now he understands how to behave in restaurants, but one year ago, we almost banned going to restaurants. 

So, these naughty stories are many.. My grand mother used to say, " who else will do naughty things other than children?" Ok, agree with this statement. Sometimes, even though naughty, kids are adorable with their innocent minds. Isn't it?

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google images
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 

15 April, 2014

M for Make it on your own #AtoZChallenge

M signifies many important words in our lives. So, it's difficult to stick with one.

Money blah blah..

So, i chose a simple one instead. M for 'Make it on your Own' :)

Did you ever try art/ craft making in childhood. In our school, we used to have a specific class for this. Objective of this class is to make something useful from unnecessary waste. It would be real fun. We also had classes on Japanese craft of paper cutting and making designs in school. We get satisfaction when we make something on our own without buying it. What do you say?

 For every new year, my sister and myself used to prepare greeting cards on our own and used to send to friends and relatives. Process is simple. 

1. Buy a colored chart paper. Preferably, light green/ yellow so that our drawing / painting would be clearly visible and dominating.
2. Cut the chart paper and fold it like a book to look like a greeting card.
3. Draw some lovely simple picture like a mickey mouse or a scenery or cut some painting and paste it or prepare a photo collage or a simple flower filled with small cut papers pasted.
4. Paint with colors. Decorate by sticking glitters/small beads wherever required.
5. Draw boarders with any good design, stick some glitters so that it gives overall good look to the card.
6. Choose a cover, write a personal message wishing friends/ relative with names inside and send them.

Since we studied in a christian missionary school, we had enough Christmas holidays in December to try on all these activities. Of course, there were half yearly exams ready in Jan/ feb to spoil the fun :(

Until next time,

Image courtesy: From creative common licence flickr photos
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 

14 April, 2014

L for Library #AtoZChallenge

L is for nothing else but Library. :)

I started going to library in my school days with my aunty. Initially, i read many story books, later graduated to technical books. But, after i graduated from college, my love for story and cartoon books increased. Did you see 'Adventures of Tintin' in television? Wonderful series, interesting throughout. I used to read these series of books like a craze. Then, started a time, when i used to rent good novels and complete 1 or 2 novels per 15 days and return them, when i was in Chennai. It was such a jolly time, going to Library with friends, selecting books and discussing stories. Iam a good story teller from my college days, so, obviously used to read stories to my roommates. Now, i don't have time for library, except to buy few good books or order online and complete them slowly once in a month or so. 

Even though i love visiting libraries, never thought of maintaining my own personal library at home. Basically, i don't like reading the same book again and again even though how good it is. So, i usually give my books to friends and colleagues after i complete. That's the story about my bond with library.. :)

Until next time,

Image courtesy:from creative common license flickr images. 
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 

K for Kindle, Gadget #AtoZChallenge

This has been in my thoughts from 2 years.. A dilemma whether to buy Kindle or not.. Iam talking about the wonderful gadget which is dedicated to download and read e-books, magazines, newspapers, blogs etc.,
Me, being a book worm, many friends suggested me to buy a Kindle fire. But, every time Iam drawn back on the decision due to may reasons.

a) Usage : Usually, I read books only before sleeping time. So, very less time dedicated to book reading per day. May not make sense to spend for less usage.

b) Less family time : I don't like using gadgets at home, which may reduce family time and affect communication. What do you say? would it be nice if all family members are browsing through phones and gadgets or watching tv instead of talking and sharing a laugh?

c) Other aspects : Kindle can be used by me alone.. other family members may like an Ipad instead so that they can play games and do other internet surfing too.. one dedicated device only for book reading? no majority votes :)

So, this is my decision till today, lets see if it changes in future :)

Until next time,
Image courtesy of kodomut via Flickr.
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 

11 April, 2014

J for Jack of All trades #AtoZChallenge

The Phrase 'Jack of all trades, Master of none' was in use from 1592. It means, an individual who is competent in many skills, but not necessarily outstanding in any one of them. 

This phrase is used both as positive and negative, because if you are jack of all trades, which is not easy, it's great. But, if you are not mastering anything and having half knowledge it's dangerous, what say?

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong in learning many skills. But, at least mastering one would be good. As a Gemini woman, i try my hands on everything possible, be it painting, writing, dancing, singing, playing instrument, embroidery, cooking etc., I wouldn't say, i mastered Kuchipudi dance, but have put more energy and focus on this art than anything else. These days, A number of skills at once are introduced to children during summer holidays by joining them in summer camps, but they get confused to learn all at one go and lose interest very fast. In case of children, it is always better to introduce arts/ sports one after the other. Also, Parents shouldn't expect them to be experts in those art forms very soon. Art forms like dance, music and painting need lot of practice and more dedicated time over years. They shouldn't be pressurized to learn them fast. 
What's your opinion? Please share in comments.

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 
Image courtesy: Google images

09 April, 2014

I for Ilayaraja #AtoZChallenge

When i used my first Sony walkman to listen to this song in Dalapathi, i became fan of Ilayaraja. I was mesmerized listening  to the beats in this song. I feel, this can be included in syllabus of music course to give an example on rythm for students.

There are many melodious songs which are ever green hits by Ilayaraja, which iam not mentioning in this post as everyone knows them. But, will tell you one specialty in his music other than melody and beat. He uses chorus to the best in his songs! Did you notice chorus in his songs ever?

The below song link from you tube is from a Telugu movie 'Sitara'. In this song, you cannot imagine how song might be without the word 'kukkokoo' by S.Janaki . That sound itself is the soul for this song, which is pronounced in different ways throughout. Ilayaraja has experimented a lot with music to give excellent experience for audience. 

So, I is for music maestro Ilayaraja for me :) Do you also agree with me about his music?

Until next time,

This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 

H for Halloween #AtoZChallenge

I don't know much about Halloween festival until i visited US. But, the funny and mystic decorations outside homes, trick or treats and Zombie walks intrigue me.

Pin it for later!

Halloween which is also known as 'All Hallows' eve' is celebrated annually on Oct 31st in many countries. This day is to remember dead people including saints (hallows) and martyrs. 

Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating , attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted house attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. 

Trick or treat is customary practice done by children. Children wearing Halloween costumes go to every house and ask a question 'Trick or treat?'. 

The Trick is a threat to do some mischievous thing on the property of house owner. If they choose treat, the owner had to offer some candy to the children. 

Sharing a few photos on Halloween decorations i observed when I was in US.

Hope you like these!

Until next time,

Information source: wikipedia
This is my entry for AtoZ blogging challenge 2014. 
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