Ni Hao Singapore



So most of us living in India are familiar with Singapore (corporate jobs, seminars,honeymoons,you get the drill)

And why shouldn’t we misuse the place for being so close? It takes only about 4.5-5 hours on an average from most cities, is relatively affordable (may not be true, 1 Singapore Dollar = 50 INR),and has very less visa hassles.

So the husband and I too keeping all these factors in mind and the fact that we had friends who were more than happy to host us,decided to travel to Singapore for our first anniversary (yes yes we turned one already) *inserts happy dance*

Now this wasn’t the first trip for either of us. I had visited the place before with family (though visiting a place,a decade later changes pretty much everything) and the boy had visited friends before. So the idea was to take the week off just to chill,eat,drink and repeat (and oh boy,did we not do just that?)


Ya Kun Kaya Toast is one of the oldest chains serving Kaya Toast

This is traditional singaporean breakfast (image above). It is essentially Kopi (coffee), half boiled eggs eaten with dark soy sauce and pepper and Kaya toast. Kaya toast is basically bread filled with butter and kaya, a jam made from eggs, sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves.

The humble Chicken Rice


This was our lunch, evening snack and dinner on most days and I think I am having withdrawal symptoms already. Sigh. (image above)

How can something as simple as Chicken rice be so damn good? But it is.. So the trick is to boil the chicken to a point where it is almost cooked and then dip it in freezing water to ensure the chicken retains its moistness. The rice is prepared with oil and seasoning. The clincher though is the orange tangy sauce (looks alot like our dumpling sauce) but is very different in taste and texture. This is sometimes garnished with cherry tomatoes and salad leaves. This I am told is the go-to everyday food for most Singaporeans.

This is usually paired with beer (see image on top) or sugar cane juice (see image below).

Tiger or Anchor beer are the usuals and both are absolutely easy on the palate and are brilliant thirst quenchers.

But even for hardcore beer loyalists like us,the sugarcane juice was so refreshing. Refreshing also because when they call something “Large” they deliver it.


Now what one must remember in Singapore is to ditch the fancy diners and eat at what are called as ‘Hawker Centres”. These are somewhat like food courts,offer local authentic cuisine and are at affordable prices. Hawker centres are located almost everywhere so all you have to do is to find one close to you and die in food heaven.





Now since this wasn’t a regular touristy trip so we decided to spend the anniversary day at the beach. East Coast Park is not only beautiful but it is also the most scenic places to workout.We walked over 5 kms just to get to the hawker centre, and that was  just half the distance, as we took a bus post the 5k to avoid getting drenched in rain. There is something for everybody.. Kids making sand castles, dogs playing fetch, barbeque stands and covered canopies to find a spot, grab a beer and snooze.

View from 1-Altitude

How can the anniversary celebration be complete without some fancy wining and dining? So the husband decided to book a table at the highest rooftop bar in Singapore ‘1-Altitude’. It is on the 63rd floor and oversees the entire city and even the borders of Malaysia and Indonesia (I am not making this up). The club is divided into three parts,the Alfresco rooftop bar (highest in the world), level 62 is the restraunt and level 61 is the club.(Must visit)



Haji Lane

This was one place that we absolutely loved hanging out at..Haji Lane was a burst of color, graffiti and so much fun. The lane has outdoor bars and small cafes all along the stretch. It is perfect for a day time buzz *hic hic*

The lane also has small shops selling artifacts and clothes too (not the cheapest though) If you love your Polaroid as much as I do, please visit.

Let’s get ‘KINKI’

This place (KINKI) was a find by accident. It was way past 11 pm and not too many bars were open and we really wanted beer. We were walking across Collyer Quay and stumbled upon this bar. It was 11.30 pm and we had half an hour to finish the beer bucket. Did we disappoint? Of course not 😀

Until next time, stay VOGUE(ish)



Dear Carolyn,

Thank you for the unlimited coffee, snacks, wine, chocolates and your warmth. Best host ever.








europe · eurotrip

Hola Vienna

I traveled to Vienna this August..Travelling within Europe is extremely fun and easy. Inter city and country trains are affordable, classy and oh so punctual. We traveled from Bratislava,Slovakia to reach Vienna..Being Austria’s capital, Vienna boasts of a population of 1.8 million people. It lies on the east on the Danube River. Its artistic and intellectual legacy was shaped by residents including Mozart, Beethoven and Sigmund Freud.

Ornate streetscape. Theatre. Food. Warmth.


Vienna boasts of what is called Baroque architecture, which denotes a style of European architecture, music, and art of the 17th and 18th centuries that followed Mannerism. Every turn and corner is a postcard shot.

So lets begin with the basics? What to do and what to eat?

Vienna is all about architecture. Architecture that you cannot get enough of.

Vienna from Belvedere

Schloss Belvedere is one of the world’s finest baroque palaces. Designed by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, it was built for military strategist Prince Eugene of Savoy, conqueror of the Turks in 1718. The palace is replete with artworks by Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka.

The palace building is divided into what is called the the Upper Belvedere, showcasing Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1908) and the  The Lower Belvedere, with its richly frescoed Marble Hall, which sits at the end of sculpture-dotted gardens.

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt was the highpoint of his “Golden Period”, when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style.

The Kiss  is an allegorical depiction of lovers locked together in an embrace. Covering a surface of almost four square metres. The Kiss (Lovers) marks the culmination of the phase in Klimt’s art in which he explored the contrast between naturalistic, delicately painted passages of skin, and a planar, ornamental approach. The role of ornament was to communicate the pictures’ symbolic messages.

Traveling is fun..traveling with the partner is even better

Schonbrunn was the summer palace for the Emperor and his family. The 1,441-room palace has vast gardens which span over 300 years, reflecting the changing tastes, interests, and aspirations of successive Habsburgmonarchs.

The tour of the Schonbrunn palace is a must..It is a walking audio tour that transports you right into the lives of the Imperial Apartments. The tour of the Imperial Apartments and the magnificent state rooms includes the residential suite of rooms occupied by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth in the west wing, which were furnished in nineteenth-century style..(photography is not allowed inside)

My favorite room was the Dressing Room ..Empress Elisabeth had her own dressing room made of rosewood furnishings ,carefully chosen ornaments,silver ware and a giant mirror for her adornment. Her daily routine was dominated by a strict regime of beauty care and exercise which she followed to preserve her appearance.


Schnitzel.Schnitzel.Schnitzel. You beauty.

One of the definite must-try foods in Vienna is the traditional Wiener Schnitzel, a thin cut of meat – originally veal – coated in breadcrumbs and fried. It is available in pork, chicken and turkey.

How can you eat something that looks so pretty? ‘Sachertorte’
Undoubtedly one of the tastiest Viennese desserts – Sachertorte – is a chocolate cake with a thin mid layer of apricot jam, usually served with whipped cream on top. The recipe was invented in Austria in 1832 by Franz Sacher for Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. Ever since, the original Sachertorte is said to be served only at Hotel Sacher (which is where we ate), although, Sachertorte can be found all over Vienna in various cafés. They say that the recipe of the original Sachertorte is a heavily guarded secret.

I cannot put everything in a blog simply because Vienna has so much to offer and so much to experience.

Quick tips for Vienna:

*Take tours. They are absolutely worth it. Open bus tours, palace tours or the city walking tours.

*Eat local food. Vienna is a culinary experience. Forget the diet and gorge on the yumminess.

*Vienna is an expensive city. Be smart about where to spend and on what. It is not a shopping destination so leaving the souvenirs ,you should spend all the money on watching theater, eating or enjoying the city-scape.


Praha is next 🙂

people · self

2017: :) or :(

2017! Oh Boy! What do I say about you? Have you been great? Have you been annoying? Have you been stressful? All I can say is that,you have  tested me..tested me in a way I didn’t envisage this year to be. This year was supposed to be what fairy tales are made of..I was kick starting the year marrying my long standing boyfriend turned fiance’. How could it not have been great?

So the year started off with me frantically meeting deadlines, making lists, checking off those lists, making frequent home trips and in between all of this also trying to enjoy the last of being the ‘single’ phase..

Time was on its own crazy clock..It was ‘The Day’ already and just like that we were ‘Man & Wife’. 

We had planned to put off the honeymoon for a bit as we were both in between new jobs,setting up our house and doing the obligatory family visits.

Things were fine..We had finally set up the house..Had shifted to new jobs..It was pretty much back to basics..

But as I said, this year was anything but that. I remember calling my husband one day from work and cribbing about a sore throat,cold and how he joked about it by saying ‘don’t worry, we shall get some brandy in your system’. The next day I could barely talk and had to visit the doc, who prescribed the usual medicines for a flu. 6 months down today, I still don’t know what that flu was. What followed after that doctor visit was endless hospital trips, days on saline drips, blood tests and insane mood swings.

I remember one doctor casually telling me and my mother that ‘maybe its ‘Swine Flu’.. Maybe? Another said it was the wedding stress..Maybe? Another thought I was pregnant..Maybe? Maybe it was diarrhea and flu? Maybe? Maybe it wasn’t diagnosed correctly in the first place.. Maybe? The list of maybe’s didn’t end for me for months ..My immunity levels touched zero and my patience beneath that..

Being in a regular Indian family, the first thing told was ‘someone must have cursed you’. Maybe again..This went on for months..

I had to drop out of the new job to recover my immunity,to start from scratch..I had never taken a break in my career..Never..I even interned through my college holidays..This was a new territory..It was frustrating on most days and even more stifling on others. Yes you have your family and friends but at the end of each day, all of them have their own lives and a job to get to, a house to maintain,work to do and the drill..I was tired of all the sympathy calls and messages and after a point, I honestly didn’t wish to respond to anybody..I am sure most people genuinely cared but I am sure most were just being polite, obligatory and maybe some actually didn’t really care.

//Slowly the health improved and I thought all this was a bad dream..But BOOM!The next thing we know is that I have had a fall and needed stitches on my jaw..STITCHES..I have never been there before too.. By now I had started to fall for the ‘maybe I was cursed theory’. ///

The reason I am penning this down is because I am not going to make this an ‘I want to thank a 1000 people post’…

I have learnt a great deal about myself..I have usually been very harsh on myself growing up.. I have led a pretty much non-controversial mundane life where I have always thought that I have a list to tick, people to impress and an image to maintain..This phase has taught me to LET GO. And I couldn’t have been more thankful. I have spent days internalizing, days talking to myself, writing-re-writing and thinking..Today as I look back to January,2017 I can only smile thinking of what a whirlwind this has been..As the year draws to a close, yes I am still grateful for being married, grateful for having a family and supportive friends ..But I am most grateful for being put through this test to see a new me.

Today I love myself (more), value the little things (more), value self time (even more)…This is to all of you out there going through anything similar..It is ‘not okay’ that you are going through this,it is not easy and it was definitely not supposedly ‘meant to be’..

But as I said can we ever imagine what tomorrow will bring?

To 2017! The shutters are coming down..

Thank you ..

To 2018..I have never been more hopeful.



bridal wear · indian weddings · wedding

For the love of ‘dull’.


For all of you who love suttle (read dull for many), this one is for you.


For all those who have been following me, you would know that I got married this year and so it has been a year of firsts for me in alot of ways. Festivals, family get togethers, anniversaries..


We indians love our festivals and just by the sheer number of festivals we have, it is an year long party.

So for those unaware of the festival called “Karvachauth”, it is simply a fast kept by the wife praying for her husbands long life. Now over the years I have seen my mother keep it religiously for my father and occasionally my father has kept it too.

So when I got closer to the festival, I was in two minds. On one hand,my feminist side thought it to be sexist and on the other I wasn’t sure if I could stay hungry all day.

So when I did mention it to husband, he promptly jumped and said “I will fast with you too”. That took care of the first doubt.

Now it became a matter of what to wear for the big occasion?

(Tip: When in doubt, raid the mother’s closet)

So this lehenga is actually been made from one of my mothers saree. It pairs dull gold and pink with a net dupatta with a border of pearls. The saree has beautiful intricate golden thread work that really lifts the dull pink hues.

I wore it with a multicoloured blouse made of mix silk and paired it with dull pink heels.


europe · eurotrip

Bratislava: The toy town .

Hello Slovakia!
Hello Slovakia!

Bratislava was an unusual choice for us. But as we researched more about this city tucked between the bustling Prague and romantic Vienna,we were sold.

For people like us who live in Mumbai (India), you can never really escape people, so Bratislava was a toy town for us,straight out of an Enid Blyton book.

People do two things here- drink and drink some more. We remember having coffee at a local cafe (yeah,we drank coffee too) and I remember getting distracted by a loud happy laugh from a group sitting behind us. I awkwardly turned and continued to sip my coffee..Minutes later they gestured saying they were sorry for being so loud ( awkward).. Mr and me decided to make small talk to cut the awkwardness asking them how everybody in the city only seems to be drinking and making merry. They laughed and said ‘it’s a cold country.. we work till about 6 in the evening and than gather here to chat and have a drink’. Simple, un-complicated life.

That is Bratislava.

Award for cutest tourist shuttle

There is not much to see in terms of landmarks in the city but it’s all about enjoying the solace and serenity of the place. You could walk around the entire city in half a day and would know all signals and lanes by night. Bratislava is not in a race to prove anything, its not trying to be vogue, loud or fast. Despite that it boasts of a highly enjoyable night life 🙂 (highly recommended)

The Bratislava castle is a must visit and can be covered in a couple of hours.

The sunshine falls right on you.

There are also some hidden gems like the ‘Blue Church’. Why is it called so? (Look below)


The church is a Hungarian Secessionist Catholic church located in the eastern part of the Old Town. It was initially part of the neighboring gymnázium and served as the school chapel.

UFO Bridge

Its just a small walk from the Old Town to get to this bridge. The closest well known spot is the Hviezdoslav’s square with the Slovak national theater or the St. Martin’s Cathedral. The bridge gives a great view of the castle too.

One of the best local brews 

Tip while visiting Bratislava: Keep the trip short, do not take any coach tours (the city is too small to be covered on a coach or a bus) and keep and eye out on off season sales ( shopping is unbelievably cheap).


See you In Vienna next.

europe · eurotrip

Once upon a time in Europe.

So if most of you have recovered from the tag line. Let me explain..

I got married this March and decided to put off the honeymoon for a bit as both the Mr and me wanted a longer break, didn’t want to be exhausted (you get the drill)..

So we decided to take the trip in August. One because the weather would be perfect for the countries we wanted to visit and two it would give us enough time to research for the trip ( no amount of research can match impromptu on-ground plans).

So where all did we plan to visit?

Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria) and Prague (Czech Republic). Than we were suggested Bratislava (Slovakia) by a friend and trust me we couldn’t thank him enough.

So why the love affair and what really happened? Europe is so vast that even the most traveled lot can never have enough of it. And for first timers , it changes them forever.

I remember telling my husband the minute we landed, that the vibe was so happy and young that it itself transports you to another world.

So let’s begin with Budapest.


Now historically Budapest as most of you would know,is bisected by the River Danube. The iconic Chain Bridge connects the hilly Buda district with the now more commercial Pest.

Budapest is a city best explored, loved and experienced on foot. We started our three -day tour by visiting the most touristy street of the city ‘Vaci Utica’. We started from there simply because we were famished.

If you are a beer lover like us, you will love this place. I cannot pick out one bad  beer experience.

Arany Aszok is a local Hungarian beer that is neither too sweet nor too bitter.

Moving to the food..There are two other things famous in Budapest other than it’s beer and that is ‘Langos’ and Paprika chicken.


Langos is the anti-healthy Hungarian food. In most places they call it ‘pasta’. The dough is crispy is on the outer ring and fluffy from inside. Best with sour cream and cheese.

So what should you visit? Well every traveler is unique so can never have ‘one list’. Our agenda was to cover the city on foot we started by shortlisting three places-The Buda Castle, Gellert hill top and the ruin pubs (should do one post just for them,I think).

The Budapest Castle..just so that you don’t get confused, the castle is not on particular building but its a district called the Castle district. You have trams going right upto the castle or you can always walk up to it.


The walk to the castle is beautiful. It is flanked by the majestic Danube on one side and eateries on the other. Walk, beer, walk is pretty much how we covered the city (also beer is cheaper than water).



Buda Castle is the result of many palaces built and destroyed over the centuries, after numerous invasions and attacks on the Hungarian nation. Buda Castle was built by King Béla IV in the 13th century, enlarged in a Gothic style by King Zsigmond of Luxemburg and expanded upon with a Renaissance flair by King Mátyás (1443-1490).

It was then reduced to debris when Buda was liberated from the Turks by the Christian forces (1686) ((Info taken from the castles official tour pamphlet)).



The royal palace, museums and the embassies are all part of this district. The change of guard is a must watch if visiting during tourist season.

Okay lets move to the next destination now..Gellert hill top. This is one of the most prominent landmarks of the city and rightly so. The walk up is no mean task and takes a while before you reach the Citadel.

The Citadel in Budapest is a 19th century fortification on top of Gellert Hill (part of the UNESCO World Heritage site) – the fortress was turned into a lookout tower / stronghold, which provides one of the most stunning views over the river Danube. ((Info taken from the official tour pamphlet)).

By the time we got done with the walk back, it was night and time to party.

The beginning of the 21st century was an exciting turning point in the nightlife of Budapest: in the central area of the city new places were opened one after another in tenement houses and factory buildings doomed to destruction. These were equipped with rejected furniture of old community centres, cinemas, and grandmothers´ flats, bringing a retro feeling into these places. They were soon called ruinpubs and became popular very fast among the youth of Budapest – ruinpub is the exact translation of the Hungarian name. ((Info taken from the official tour pamphlet)).

Szimpla Kert is one of such pub. It is definitely an experience and is open till 3am in the morning 🙂

Well lets talk a little more about the Pest side of the town. Pest is more commercial, is the official hub and also houses the parliament. A quick and relaxing way of covering Pest is by taking the day or night cruise on the Danube.

The Hungarian Parliament is the world’s third largest Parliament building. The Parliament building, a magnificent example of Neo-Gothic architecture (although displaying Renaissance and Baroque characters too), is just over 100 years old.

There is just so much to do in this culturally vibrant and happy city but we could pack only this much in our short trip.

     ((Coming up: Bratislava))

bridal wear · indian weddings · wedding

Chapter 3. The Day.

So this should have happened alot earlier but due to health issues,well this had to wait…

Now is it funny that despite having known ,courted and dated someone for so long, you still feel like its day one of seeing them on the day of the wedding? I had woken up early, had a small ritual in the house and than was advised to sleep for bit as I would be needing all of it ,come evening..


As evening descended it was all a blur..

(Picture blog)

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”I had the whole sky in my eyes..It was blue and gold’

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‘A girl needs two things in and a closet to keep them’


Photos by @Simran Oberoi.