• So-Saree
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  • Autism Speaks… Story of a mother's tryst with Autism

    April 2, 2013

  • So-Saree's One year of Blogging - A Journey Back in Time

    January 9, 2014

  • Nikhil Thampi Love Through Nail Art

    January 27, 2014

  • Saree Style Tips from the Royalty Rajmata Gayatri Devi

    March 4, 2014

  • Life's Lessons The Intriguing Case of Jiah Khan’s Suicide

    June 13, 2013

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Bridge to Bridge Cruise in SFO

After a long walk and photo shoot at the wonderland called Muir Woods, we moved on to our next excursion.
We did the Bridge to Bridge Cruise on the Red&White Fleet and it was the most surreal experience ever. On this 90 minutes cruise you see the entire San Francisco skyline while you sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, get prime views of Alcatraz Island apart from the breathtaking views of the SF skyline. It offers an audio tour (in 16 languages) that tell you about the city’s rich cultural history as you cruise past the area’s most famous landmarks.
We were here in the month of February, so carrying our winter jackets and gloves was a good idea.
Scroll down to see pictures.

In this post, I also wanted to give credit to our fabulous friends Jaya and Manoj for capturing these gorgeous pictures for my blog and my memories on this entire SFO Trip.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Muir Woods

The second day of our SFO trip started with the tour of the Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument is a U.S. national park and a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Muir Woods are old  Redwood forests, and such forests grew throughout the United States about millions of years ago. But with the advent of the logging industry most of these forests were destroyed. This forest is named after John Muir, a naturalist whose efforts and campaigns helped save and preserve this forest.

Tips while visiting Muir Woods:
  • Try to reach as early as possible, in order to get a good parking spot. Or else you might have to wait for hours to even get one.
  • Wear your most comfortable shoes, as there's a lot of walking involved.
  • The forest is dense and it rains quite often here, so the place gets muddy most of the times. If possible carry a light windcheater/umbrella.
  • As you enter deep into the forests, it gets cold as well, so carrying  jacket wouldn't hurt.
  • This is a beautiful place, so be ready with your cameras, but do respect the privacy of the birds here.
We spent only a couple of hours here, but if you are a nature lover and have the time I would recommend you spend at least half a day here, if not more. Scroll down for pictures.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Angry Birds At Viviana Mall, Thane

Watching Jungle Book at Viviana Mall's Cinepolis IMax 4DX theatre was one hell of an experience.
And it will be etched in my memory forever.
So, when team So-Saree was invited for a screening of the latest Angry Birds movie at the Cineopolis IMax 4DX theatre again, we couldn't turn it down for any reason.
Today's post has been penned down by my friend and the official guest post publisher on So-Saree, Paras Masurekar.Over to you Paras....
Oh boy.. oh boy...oh boy... it was one hell of a catapult flight with the Angry Birds this weekend !
An amazing experience at Viviana Mall's Cinepolis IMax 4DX theater enjoying the 1st movie of the Angry Bird franchise.
I wonder why this flock of cute birds are named Angry Birds, they make you laugh your guts out through out the movie and you fall in love with them all over.
But believe me the movie gets Grander with the 4DX experience for sure.

Cinepolis is the 1st 4DX theater in India and the only one in Mumbai.
The real stimulation effects of the moving seats makes you run, fall, jump with the characters and this is accompanied by effects of wind, water splash, lightning, scent, making the over all experience surreal !
So it's not only the kids who enjoy the movie, the adults too have a fun time.
This was not all... the Viviana Mall team had set up a couple of fun games with the Angry Birds in the Mall too. A theme decor at the entrance will catch the attention of everyone in the premises.
The movie is still in theaters, so if you want to fly with the Angry Birds, be at Viviana Mall Thane and book your tickets to experience their magical world in 4DX !
I had a great time with my son - Siddhesh. It was his 2nd time at the 4DX theater, the earlier one was - Jungle Book.
Just hearing that we are watching Angry Birds in 4DX, he was all excited and eager to reach the venue on time. During the entire movie, I could hear his giggles and laughter and his anxiety over the dramatic scenes. His confirmation on his overall movie experience was clear when as soon as we were out of the theater, the 1st question he asked was, "when are we coming back to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 4DX now?"

Sharing a few clicks of this wonderful time with you all.

So-Saree recommends you stop over at Viviana mall and experience the hilarious fury of Angry Birds with your family as soon as possible.


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dosa Restaurant in Fillmore, SFO

After our tour of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum, we were really hungry.
Our friends suggested that we try the very popular Indian Restaurant Dosa in Fillmore, SFO.
I am not a big fan of South Indian Food, but I was too tired to argue.
We reached Dosa at 7.30 pm on a Sunday evening and this place was bustling with foodies. We were told to wait for an hour to get a seat and so we thought, we would roam around a bit more on the streets of SFO.
Though are feet were dead tired, we still dragged on.
Some more pics from our tour of SFO in the late evening.

We finally reached Dosa at 8.30 pm and were offered a seat.

Dosa is not like the ordinary Desi restaurants you visit in America.
It's chic, classy and has a very welcoming ambiance.

I apologize that I couldn't take any pics of the food, as we were too hungry.
But I wanted to mention this restaurant on my blog, because it is the Best Indian Restaurant I have visited in the United States.
The food was not the cliche South Indian food you would expect in America.
It's authentic yet has its own interesting take on South Indian Cuisine.
For example, they have a masala dosa that is stuffed with sweet potatoes instead of the regular potatoes and have naans stuffed with shrimps.
The dosa that we ordered was stuffed with kheema and it was so delicious.
The Sambhar was thick and very flavorful, like the one's you might have tasted in some of the best South Indian Restaurant's in India and the chutney was equally appetizing.
The fact the waiters give guests tips on eating dosa's is something I really appreciated.
Our waiter recommended that we try the Bhatura with a  Veg curry that was made in cashewnut gravy(sorry, forgot the name). And we loved it too much.
I absolutely loved this place and can't wait to go back again.
If you ever visit SFO, this a place that you must add on your must visit place.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Book Review: Dronacharya at the Workplace

The Mahabharata remains the most popular epic in India. Be it the childhood stories narrated by mom or granny or the story books that filled the quiet afternoons of summer vacations. Not to forget the immensely popular television serial from the 90’s where one would find deserted roads & bazaars on otherwise busy Sunday mornings. For a typical Indian, at some or other point in our lives we have crossed paths with this epic. But have you tried correlating the situations in the Mahabharata with our day-to-day corporate life? Sounds absurd doesn’t it? How come a day full of spreadsheets & presentations can be compared with archery competitions, battles & family feuds? But when you give it a thought the line of difference seems to be disappearing. Fights over targets in a conference room & that over ownership of land start to look similar though on a very different levels. It’s often said that Mahabharata covers every aspect of life. Hardly any character is either good or evil. Most are pictured in grey shade & that is what it makes so real & humane.   

Meghdoot Karnik’s compilation of short stories, Dronacharya at the Workplace, reflects on these patterns & provides a different perspective to look at the day-to-day corporate life. Though for someone who is an ardent reader of Mahabharata the references from this epic seem elementary, it’s interesting nonetheless. Also the real life circumstances narrated in the stories makes one relate to them. Meghdoot’s book deals with the most intriguing part of Mahabharata that is the politics. It provides solutions to common conflicts in corporate life from Mahabharata. It thus demonstrates that whatever is the era the human psyche remains the same with its frailties and forte.     
In recent time we have come across multiple commentaries on Mahabharata. But one thing that sets this book apart from others is the thought provoking narration. Such reflection on real life is the true success of this book.
A number of times the conversation between the characters is in Hindi which retains the Indianism of the plot. For non-Hindi readers, the author has provided quick translation so the story line is intact. The language is fluid & keeps with the pacey plot. The book cover gives a good impression of the theme of the stories. ‘Dronacharya at the Workplace’ makes a good read and we can expect interesting novels from Meghdoot Karnik in future.

-Team So-Saree

P.S. The book was sent to us for a review, but the opinions expressed here are completely ours.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Spa Review: Kairali Ayurvedic Centre, Mumbai

I was invited to review the Mumbai centre of the Kairali Ayurvedic centre on a Sunday afternoon. And no one can refuse some weekend pampering especially if it's in a spa.
The Kairali Ayurvedic Centre is not exactly a spa, it's a healing centre. But all things that involve massages and relaxation I tend to refer to them as spas, so excuse me for it.

About Kairali Ayurvedic Group 
Kairali Ayurvedic Group was established on solid ground of Ayurveda research. Since its inception in 1989, by Mr. K.V. Ramesh and Mrs. Gita Ramesh, Kairali has built on the achievements of its forefathers, developing its product infrastructure to make a diverse range of Ayurvedic medicines available to a multi-national audience. The Group is also into AyurvedicMedicines & Healing Centers. Its signature Ayurvedic health retreat and multiple award winning hotel and spa TheAyurvedic Healing Village is one of the leading Ayurvedic health retreats in Asia, and among the best wellness centers in the world.
Kairali Group is founded on authentic Ayurvedic medicine and philosophy, delivering high quality natural Ayurvedic therapy by providing luxury Ayurvedic spas.

They have recently entered the US market and opened a centre called
Kairali World of Ayurveda in Connecticut, USA. It will offer Relaxing Massages, Refreshing Body Works, Reviving Wellness Techniques, Rejuvenating Body Treatments, Health & Diet Counselling, Holistic Healing Services & a full range of authentic Ayurvedic Therapies. For further details please visit www.kairali.com

Health Thru Ayurveda....The first thing that I noticed when I entered the Kairali Ayurvedic Centre in Chembur, Mumbai.The centre was a cozy and compact place with tastefully done interiors. Inspired by the Keralite culture, there was a Ganesh Idol at the entrance with fresh flowers strewn in a big brass bowl filled with water.
At the reception, there was a tall brass diya with beautifully decorated marigold flowers and the ceiling had bells hanging from them.
Even the water that was served to me was served in copper glasses. And I was pleased with the overall welcome at this place.
I was then oriented with the various services that the centre offered.

I chose the Abhyangam massage which is a head to toe 50 minute massage with medicinal oils and offers complete relaxation accompanied with a steam bath.

After learning more about the centre, I was escorted to the massage room.
Like every Kerala massage centre that I have visited, this place too smelled of oil.
The massage room had a wooden table where I had to lie down and a platform which had 3 bowls of oil. One for my hair, one for my face and one for my body.

After changing, I was made to sit on a wooden stool, where the masseuse first started with oiling my hair and massaging it.

The hair massage graduated to a back massage where the masseuse gave special attention on the spine and her massage began from the end of my nape ad ended on the tail bone.

Then I was asked to lie down on the wooden massage table, as she started pouring generous amounts of warm oil on me. And the massage began.
Solid but uniform strokes with the correct amount of pressure ensured that each part of my body was well massaged.
At the end of the 45 minute massage I was almost ready to doze off, but I was woken up for a steam bath. The steam bath made sure that the pores of my skin were opened and the massage oil was well absorbed.
After a quick shower, I was rejuvenated to an extent that I felt like a new person. I was served a special herbal tea after the massage which was quite soothing and refreshing.

If I have to mention one flip side, it would be that the massage rooms only have fans and no air conditioning, so it gets a little sweaty especially during summers.
When I took up this issue with the staff, they told me that almost all Ayurvedic massages require the absence of fans/air conditioning for better results of the treatments.
So that answered my query.

They also have a variety of massages/treatments to heal various health problems like arthritis, insomnia, obesity, etc.
I was surprised to see that they also have a host of beauty treatments, facials, scrubs and wraps which will give you a makeover fit for the royals. And all the ingredients for these treatments are sourced from Kerala.

I was happy with the experience I had and would recommend it to anyone and everyone who would like to get an authentic Kerala massage in Mumbai itself.
The Abhyangam massage costs Rs. 2,000 and lasted 50 minutes including the steam.

Address: Bungalow No:3, CHS, Near Atur Park S.T. Road, VN Purav Marg, Basant Garden, 
               Chembur, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400071

Timings: 8 am to 1pm and 4pm to 7 pm, all 7 days a week


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