Thursday 26 September 2013

Review: Lake Pavna Resort-Lonavla.

Just like I promised, I am here to write about my latest trip to Lonavla. (By latest I mean 3 months ago. That's like centuries in the blog world..but I guess my readers have learned to excuse my procastination..or so I would like to assume.wink)

Trips to Lonavla always make me happy, but this time it was much more.

Because.. we were putting up at The Lake Pavna Resort- A Club Mahindra Property. I had read several reviews about this one and was so glad, as all of them were really good.

At the time we left, it was drizzling in Mumbai. The weather was lovely and so beautiful.
Wonder how rains can have a soothing effect on you when you are leaving on a holiday, and the exact opposite when you are leaving for work.

It was a long drive, but so green and serene, and by the time we reached Lonavla it was raining like crazy. It takes a little longer to reach this place, as this resort is on the outskirts of the main Lonavla city.
From the moment we stepped on this Club Mahindra felt like a dream. The scenic beauty that surrounds this resort is mind-blowing, and too good to be true. While on one side you have the Lake Pavna gorgeously stretching till your eyes can reach, the other side is the hill view which did a disappearing act every now and then... thanks to the cloudy weather.

The reception area is beautifully done and the staff is really sweet and helpful.
Though we had requested for a Lake view room, due to heavy bookings, we were allotted a Hill View room which was not bad at all. (Tip: Please book in advance, coz this place was booked entirely even on a Monday.)
The room allotted to us was beautiful as expected and as per Club Mahindra Standards.
We had the hill view from our dining area while the farm view from our bedroom.

The resort is huge and the rooms allotted to you, may be far away from the reception and the activity area. So for those who are too lazy to walk, Lake Pavna has an Eco Friendly Mini Train that picks you up from your location and drops you wherever you want. The frequency of this train is every 30 minutes, so make sure you keep a track of the time to get a lift in it. Commuting in this train again is an experience in itself and reminded me of the mini trains in Matheran.

Since we have been to Lonavla numerous times, we had decided not to indulge in any sight seeing and use this time for plain relaxation.
Unfortunately I was having an upset stomach, so we had decided to carry home cooked meals.
Did you know that Club Mahindra Apartments have a well equiped kitchenette, so you can cook your meals in case you don't want to eat in their restaurant(which by the way is excellent too). Perfect for people travelling with kids..isn't it?

After we had our lunch, we dozed off on our comfy bed. After our nap, we headed straight to towards the swimming pool. How could a Piscian stay away from water?

Now wait to hear this ..this resort has.. not 1..not 2..but 4 swimming pools including an Infinity Pool.
The Infinity pool is soo gorgeous..I just didn't want to leave that place.
We decided to return to our rooms, only because it got really cold and chilly especially in the evening, and the rains made it worse. (Tip: Please carry a jacket/stole to save yourself from the chilly evenings. I carried a stole just to be on a safer side coz I get cold really easily, and I am so glad I did. Also, everyone I saw at the resort had a jacket on, so I guess they had better researched than me.)

After that, we checked out the gym coz Husband and I didn't want to miss out on our workouts during this holiday, and also coz we had planned not to do anything else.
The gym again is really Up-Class and very well maintained.

This resort has a Basket Ball Court, a Volley Ball court, Bikes on Rent, and a host of other games in their activity centre. So be sure not to have a single dull moment.

The activity centre hosts a number of events and workshops, a time-table of which is provided to you at the time of check-in. They have Karaoke nights, Salsa Classes, Early Morning Yoga classes and what not!!! Plus they have a Library, in case you need to grab a book, and a Cyber Cafe as well so that you keep in touch with the virtual word.

I am really tired of writing such good stuff about this place, and I am sure you are bored too. If I have to mention one flip side, it would be that there are power cuts in the evening which by the way is restored within a minute. But if you are strolling in the resort during late evenings, the power cuts can really scare you off. So please carry a torch or at least a phone that has an in-built torch to save you from such scenarios.

So let me just end this really long post by saying that if you are planning to visit Lonavla any time soon, Lake Pavna is the place to be. This place for me has to be the best one in Lonavla. We stayed there for 2 nights 3 days, and were sad that we didn't book any longer.

Now finally, I let the pictures speak ..go ahead and enjoy.

The Mini Train

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P.S. This is not a sponsored post. :(

Friday 20 September 2013

Why I love Blogging?

I had been toying with the idea of writing a blog for some time..but when I finally decided on doing it, I encountered mixed reactions.
My MIL was too happy, but my husband was a bit concerned.
With a full time job and household responsibilities, I hardly had a breather. Adding a blog to my already packed schedule, would only complicate things for me.
But my decision was made and there was no way I was backing out. My husband supported me on only one condition that if he sees me overstressed, he would put his foot down and me my blog down. :(
Instead of getting discouraged by his words, I took it as a challenge.
There was one thing I knew for sure... that I wanted my blog to be consistent and regular.
I wanted to make sure that my blog had atleast 4 posts in a month if not more. Considering my schedule, even that seemed tough, but I was determined.
And instead of creating a blog immediately, I decided to sketch a rough draft of my blog to be. The name, topics, social media involvement, etc. all this needed a thorough thought before I could take the plunge.
I decided to pen down a few posts, which I call the ER/Emergency posts. These posts are saved in my drafts, to go live, when I am super busy, or traveling..just to keep the flow going.
After all this and much more, So-Saree was officially born, and eight months down, I say we are going strong. I am loving each and every aspect of it and learning so much each day. I have a new set of friends-my blogger friends who are so fabulous and supportive. But more so I am content, because I am finally doing something that makes 'ME' very happy.:)
All this and much more has made my journey worthwhile.
No wonder I love blogging so much.

And for those who have always asked: What drew me to blogging? I had an ER post saved in my drafts, waiting for the best time to go live.
And I guess, we couldn't have a much better reason than Miss Malini and Mega Haul Contest to publish it.
Why I started Blogging?
>I love to write..I seriously do..! I love to capture memories and revive it years later.
>I have so many awesome friends who happen to be bloggers, and they inspire me a lot.
>I am a complete chatter box, and can't find enough people to listen to me. Yes...I insist on listening, not just hearing! I have a husband for that..! ;)
>I think I can make a difference by sharing my thoughts..! (to whom??? me of course!)
and finally...
>I took notice of my husband (a friend then) after I read his blog for the first time. :)
His blog is not active now. Any guesses why? The very same blog landed him with me...he is too petrified to venture it again.
Guess this is his way of penance....!;)

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Disclaimer: I do not own the images used in this post.

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Ganpati Darshan.

Can't believe it's already end of the 10 day Ganesh festival. I am gonna miss Bappa so much. But knowing that he will be back next year, just makes it a little better.
Do scroll down to see pics of my weekend sightings of Bappa. Hope you like them.

Taking a piece of Bappa Home.:)

Some Interesting Decorations outside the pandals.

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P.S. Apologies for the poor quality of pics, it was really tough to take pics in the crazy crowd.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Krishna and the Syamantaka Jewel.

Hello Everyone..
Ganesh Utsav is proceeding on a full swing in Mumbai and I am loving every bit of it.
Work has been keeping me away from visting most of the Ganesh Pandals, but I intend to make the most of it during the weekend.
Like I promised in my last post, I am going to tell you a way to redeem oneself from the curse of the moon.
What if you accidently see the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi??
You need not worry, as we have an anitidote for it. For that, you just have to be patient and read the story I have written below. It sure looks long, but is an interesting one.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)

Satrajit was a nobleman of the Yadava dynasty and a big devotee of Surya or the Sun God.  Humbled and pleased by his devotion, the Sun God had presented him with a jewel called Syamantaka. This jewel is believed to posess magical powers and would mutiply the weath of the owner. It is also mentioned in some religious literatures that wherever this jewel is worshipped there would be no poverty..ever.
And hence, Lord Krishna had requested Satrajit to hand this jewel to Ugrasen who was the Supreme Leader of the Yadavas, so that the entire dynasty could benefit from it. But Satrajit had blatantly refused the Lord.
Once Satrajit had given the jewel to his brother to wear it, who went hunting adorning the jewel. Unfortunately, he was attacked and killed by a lion. This lion seeing the gleaming jewel, decided to take it with him to his cave.
On his way, the lion spotted a bear nearby, and he attacked the bear to make him his meal.
This bear was actually Jambavan, the king of Bears who had helped Lord Rama in his fight against Ravana.
Jambavan, beingh his mighty self, defeated and killed the lion in no time. He took the jewel to his cave and gave it to his children to play.
Soon the news of Prasena gone missing spread like wild fire. Satrajit did not take a minute to accuse Krishna of his brother's death, to acquire the Syamantaka jewel.

On hearing this false accusation, Lord Krishna decided to investigate this matter himself, to wipe off the stain of his reputation. Krishna started tracking Prasena's footseps which led him to the jungle. There he finally landed up at Jambavan's cave. Seeing the jewel there, Lord Krishna requested Jambavan to hand him the jewel, but Jambavan seeing him as an intruder, challenged him for a fight.

The fight lasted for about 28 days, after which Jambavan started feeling weak. That is when he realised that the person he was fighting should be a divine being. He recognized Lord Krishna and offered his apologies. He then handed over the jewel to Lord Krishna and also the hand of his beautiful daughter Jambavati.
Lord Krishna accepted both. He then returned to Dwarka and surrendered the jewel to Satrajit after narrating him the entire story. Satrajit felt sorry fo his doings and to make ammends requested Lord Krishna to accept the jewel and the hand of his lovely daughter Satyabhama.
Lord Krishna accepted the hand of Satyabhama but refused to accept the jewel.

This is the story of Krishna and the Syamantaka jewel.
So, how is this story connected to the story of Ganpati and the cursed moon?
Let me elaborate a little.
Weeks later after this incident, Narada with an intension to seek Lord Krishna's Darshan decided to visit Dwarka. When he entered the Lord's room, he was surprised to see the Lord in a sad state of mind. When he prayed and requested the Lord to tell him the reason for his upset mood, Lord Krishna narrated him the above incident. He was happy that all this ended on a good note, but he wondered why did this have to happen in the first place. The whole incident and the accusations had caused the Lord a lot of agony and pain.
Though Lord Krishna is omnipotent and omnipresent, when they choose to be born as mortals, they make sure to abide and follows all rules applicable to normal mortal beings. And though Narada knew that the Lord, had complete knowledge of all the incidents and the reasons behind them, he decided to play along. Narada narrated Lord Krishna the entire story of Ganesh and the cursed moon, and reminded him of the curse that whoever sees the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi shall be falsely accused. On hearing this story, Lord Krishna immediately recollected that he had seen the reflection of the moon on the precise same day.
He felt bad that if he himself had to face such hardships on seeing the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi, what would be the fate of ordinary mortal beings committing this act. And hence, Lord Krishna granted a boon that anyone who hears this story of Lord Krishna and the Syamantaka jewel, and how he proved all the false accusations on him to be untrue; shall be saved from the curse themselves. that was one long story, but at the end of it, atleast all of you reading it are curse proof.

What say?? ;)

Below are the glimpses of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival through my eyes. Hope you enjoy them.

The Choorme Ke Laddo that we made for Bappa. :)
The Saran wrap nails that I tried for the first time. Not too happy with it. :(

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Sunday 8 September 2013

Ganpati Bappa Morya..!

Ganpati Bappa Morya..
Pudchya Varshi Lavkar Ya..

Yes..its that time of the year again, when we are all set to welcome our favourite GOD.
It's Ganesh Chaturthi again, and So-Saree can't contain its excitement to welcome Ganesha on So-Saree.
Each Indian festival has a story behind it, and Ganesh Chaturthi is no different.
There are so many stories associated with this festival, and though we would love to cover each and every story, we have our limitations.
Lord Ganesha with his parents Shiva and Parvati.(Picture Source)
Ganesha/Ganpati or simply Bappa is the son of Shiva and Parvati.
And Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the birth day of Ganesha. It is a 10 day festival, and it is believed that Lord Ganesha blesses all his devotees with his presence on Earth.
There is an interesting story associated to this festival. Some call it a myth while some follow it religiously.
It is believed that we are not supposed to see the Moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, else you will be falsely accused in the coming year.
You ask why?? Well, there's a story behind it, and I really enjoyed hearing this story every year from my mom on the evening of Ganesh Chaturthi. I remember my dad used to close all the windows and curtains of the house while we heard our mom for the umpteenth time. It was sooo much fun.
So the story goes like this..!
One fine evening, somehwere in the month of Bhadrapad, Lord Ganesha was returning home on his vehicle i.e. the Mouse.
Lord Ganesha's weakness for food is well known, and his devotees had made sure that the Lord was completed satiated.
The little Mouse was tired of carrying Lord Ganesha on his back, but was trying hard to keep up. On a particular turn, the mouse slipped and Lord Ganesha fell from his back. On seeing the mighty Lord fall, the radiant and proud Moon started laughing aloud from the sky. He was amused at the sight of the Mighty Lord on the Tiny Mouse.
In order to teach him a lesson, Lord Ganesha cursed him that no light would ever fall on the moon.
{Like you know, Moon does not emit light on it own, its light is a reflection of the Sun.}
Thus, the moon went into the dark, and was invisible.
On realising his mistake, the Moon got apologetic and seeked forgiveness from Ganesha. However, a curse once given cannot be taken back or reversed, but it can be modified for sure.
Seeing the sorry Moon, Lord Ganesha modified the curse and said that the Moon would undergo regular waxing and waning so as to remind him of his mistake. Also on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, no one would see his face and those who do, will face false accusations and hardships.
And so..the belief.
This is the story of the Cursed moon. Like it???

But what if..
what if you accidently see the Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi...??
No need to worry ..!
Coz we have an antidote for it.
But for that you will have to wait a little..
Until we meet next time..!!!!
Ganpati Bappa Morya...!

Disclaimer: Like I always say, this may not neseccarily be the correct version of the story, but this is how my mom recited it to me, and I am just putting it down in words. Thanks for reading.

Sunday 1 September 2013

What's Your Good Name???

India is predominantly a Non-English speaking country.
Stats say that close to 90% of India's population, cannot speak or understand English, forget writing about it. { No need to feel sad..considering India's population, even the 10% English speaking population is HUGE  and the Best.:) }

The English ruled us for about 150 years, but could never really rule over our languages.
Considering all this and much more I do understand if everyone in India cannot speak English fluently. It is just fine...its not like ..its the end of this world.
But what I do have a problem with that in order to pick up on their English speaking skills; people tend to do a literal transaltion of phrases and sentences of regional Indian languages in English.

My top pick: AAPKA SHUB NAAM aka What's Your Good Name?
GOD..can u believe it??
Do you also have a bad/inauspicious name??
While I do try to explain anyone and everyone around me who utter these words, I feel it's just not enough. I wonder why bad/wrong habits are much more contagious and far reaching than the good/correct ones?
Anyways, while I am on a noble mission to save people from making a joke out of themselves, I wish you all join me in this noble cause to build a better tomorrow.

Or what the heck..just leave a nice comment on the pics below and save my day. That's much easier I guess...!

For this nail art, my inspiration was the Mixing Prints Trend, and so I decided to combine dots with stripes. What do you think?

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