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Saturday, 03 August 2013 10:29

Friendship Day, 2013

Did you plan your friendship day yet? Now this is one big day that requires a lot of planning. Thats because the polymer chain of buddies have been consistently growing. . . No matter how busy you have been or how indifferently social category you fall in, you still won't miss a chance to wish your friends this day.

Now what is it that you often do? Catch up a film, hang over for coffee or simply step into a restaurant for a sumptuous food? Well considering the beeline everywhere at cafes and gift shops, it's obviously predicted that we are still friend fanatic beings.

Just think for a while that if your mate wasn't around, how would the rolling years have been? Who you would have rang up in those "save me" times and who would have laughed at all your bizarre behaviours.

Friends, with friendship day knocking soon, it's time you connect to all your pals, no matter how less you have been in touch, no matter how close or distant friend you are. This day is a blessed one. Celebrate it by giving your friend a wide smile and a warm hug.

Thursday, 01 August 2013 14:06

Graffiti in Vadodara

If art is considered an evolutionary act, then graffiti is one of the modern-day art form which is not about straight lines, dazzling colours and fine-looking blends. The scribbled art form has flourished, not only within the metropolitan environment of the state, but in nearly every other corner of the world. Graffiti gives the artists the liberty to express their vision and paint life's commotion on public property or walls.

In continuation of previous article about graffiti in Ahmedabad depicting social issues, below graffiti images captured at several landmarks in and around Vadodara exemplifies what graffiti is all about. This extraordinary art form is breathing life into dull and ruined walls around the city. The different styles and forms of this art are ever changing and evolving, which can clearly be seen on the walls near Genda Circle, MS University Pavilion and Vadadara Central.

Behind every impeccable piece of graffiti there lies a profound thought, which is reflected by the unseen message. Every artist needs a clean canvas or walls in this case. The diversification and uniqueness is seen in their own right on these painted walls which put up a strong view on the current state of affairs. Every sprayed or scratched wall comes alive and speaks volumes of the philosophical thought put in by the artist.

Graffiti is generally considered to be a type of vandalism and is punishable by law in several countries for being provoking, bold and uncompromising. As a result, this kind of artwork hasn’t gone down well with the authorities around the globe. Graffiti usually has an agenda, partially because it is a cheap way of canvassing from verses, argumentative to comic strips and catchphrases. There can also be a positive side to the scribbled art form which can strengthen the youth of the city, contribute remarkable solutions and give a sense of public pride and responsibility.

Gradually the attitude of the society is changing towards the modern street art form and is trying to accept it. “All works of art look as though they were done in joy”; the underlined beauty of graffiti is to express satire in a very subtle way.

Thank you “Crescendo Arts” for the wonderful photographs. 

Thursday, 01 August 2013 08:12

New Age Fitness Mantras

1-Fitness Mantras

Workouts are no longer limited to gyms and equipments; they have moved way beyond that to mix wellness with pleasure to strike a perfect blend so enjoy them thoroughly.

There was a time when working out was considered boring and known to stick to rigid patterns that caused a lot of pain and fatigue. But now, the regime that offers complete well-being without compromising your pleasure and fun is the ideal one. Here are nine new age workout trends that have gathered numerous takers and deliver a complete wellness package:

TAI CHI: Also referred to as ‘yoga in motion’ its non-intense, slow and smooth movements help you synergize your positive side and energies. It has rejuvenating properties; it elevates your mood and balances you emotionally while also improving your agility and flexibility. It is slow and hard but yielding and never harsh. It facilitates generation of certain emotion controlling hormones that help you stay positive, focused and upbeat.

PILATES: Provides better strength and stability by targeting your core muscles. It is quite an intense regime that works on the principle of ‘control-concentrate-center’.

KICK BOXING: A popular cardiovascular workout that combines boxing, martial arts and aerobics. It is not only a workout regime but also teaches self-defense. It holds you in good stead improves flexibility, coordination, endurance and ensures high burnout. It is a good option if you desire those toned thighs and butt.

CALISTHENICS: Known to impart better muscular strength, grace and flexibility while requiring minimum usage of any sort of equipments. It involves a lot of bending, twisting, kicking and swinging different parts of your body. It is highly popular with sports teams and defense personnel.

DANCERCISE: A highly intense workout that never lets you realize that you just danced away tons of calories. It provides options like belly-dancing, salsa, hip-hop, bhangra, etc. It improves blood circulation, enhances memory, coordination, balance and muscular strength.

BOOT CAMP: Involves using your own body weight in exercises and cardio-drills like jumping jacks to burn calories at a faster rate. It focuses on your heart and muscles to increase your body metabolism and push your body to its limits.

BOLLYBICS: Those pelvic thrusts and thumkas and many other such steps popular in Bollywood when worked in a combination with the conventional aerobics in a structured manner yields bollybics. It is a frequent yet sustained activity in a rhythmic manner that combines stretching as well as strength training routines. It promotes oxygenation of the entire system. It improves body’s metabolic and energy generating processes. Besides it is a great fun and recreation activity.

SWIMMING & AQUA AEROBICS: A highly effective routine that improves stamina and flexibility and gives a full body workout & ideal regime for weight management. It is one of the finest aerobic regimes. It is highly suitable for people with weak limbs, injuries or motor problems and issues. Moreover, since it is done inside water, and water carries your weight for you, it is a hot favorite among the obese people.

YOGA & POWER YOGA: Popularized by actresses like Kareena Kapoor, Lara Dutta, Shilpa Shetty, this age means of fitness has become the ‘in’ thing. Even off the shores of India, Yoga holds immense popularity thanks to the likes of Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston and Madonna. The most important feature of yoga is that it works on your mind at the same time as it works on your body & can be done by people of any age. With regular practice, it can enhance your creative and analytical side of your mind and even help gain focus. People who wish to control their obesity should opt for a more energy driven version called as Power Yoga. It is much more dynamic and works on body stability, postures, tone and balance.

Thursday, 01 August 2013 04:48

Maharashtra Lodge, Baroda

Maharastra Lodge-The ancestral building

Why we referring this lodge as the ancestral building
That's because this lodge is almost 95 years old! Phew, it means this is the second oldest building in Dandiya Bazaar in Vadodara. The lodge was started by Purushotam Dans and the current owner is Ketan Joshi.

The place is exceptionally famous for cheapest Gujarati food across the city. Despite its name being Maharashtra, it serves lip smacking Gujarati delicacies. The cooks and people there take utmost care of hygiene and food quality standards.

Sam Pitroda used to take his dinner and lunch daily at this place during his College days in M.S University. One can eat a wholesome here or carry a tiffin and savour it all on the menu!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013 08:19

Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary, Rajkot

A day’s visit to Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary:

You might want to take a break from the hussle and bussle of the city. Its time you consider hanging around some nearby places and venture the nature’s serene beauty. 
rajkot-rampara-wildlife-sanctuary

The Rampara Wildlife Sancuatry is one of the ideal places to soothe your mind and spend a Sunday in nature’s lap. If you are a keen nature lover, a hiker or into some natural photography, then this place is surely going to be your Sunday eye candy!

For all the obsessed kitchen lovers out there, you can consider carrying your own picnic basket filled with yummy sandwiches, packets of chips, cakes and cola.

Established in 1988, Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary received its ‘reserve’ forest status in the year 1983. The place was originally a shooting reserve that belonged to the former princely state of Wankaner in central Saurashta.

Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary situated at a distance of less than 50 km from the city of Rajkot, is a permanent abode for a huge variety of flora and fauna including reptiles, mammals and birds

You can start your day by having a sumptuous breakfast at one of the local joints in the city. Give your tongue a little breakfast treat by enjoying some roadside omelettes, idlis, Maggie and chai before heading out for the day. If you plan to walk out a little late, than a Sunday brunch could also be a great idea.

Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal spot for wildlife enthusiasts. It is a place amidst greenery and a home to some mystifying creatures. It is one of the most famous adventure tourist destinations across Saurashtra.

The Sanctuary hosts an elevated Watch-Tower that offers a picturesque view to eager visitors. The Tar road connects the main gate of the Sanctuary to the interiors. One could see two streams rajkot-wankaner-palacewith gushing water and quenching the thirst of the water-scarce land in the sanctuary.

The Sanctuary remains open from 7am to 7 pm.

Places of interest around Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary:

Palaces of Wankaner & Morbi

Marine National Park and Khijadia Sanctuary - 100 km. away

How to reach here:

By Air: Rajkot (47 kms), Ahmedabad (270 kms)

By Bus or Train: Nearest bus/railway stations is at Wankaner (15 kms) or Sidhpur

Best Time to Visit:

Post Monsoon to Mid-Winter (September – January)

Eat out:

A long day excursion visit could leave you hungry. A sumptuous dinner would simply be a best idea to rejuvenate yourself. If you don’t mind to spend a little extra, then the ‘Choki Dhani Restaurant’ would surely make your day. With a relaxing garden circling the restaurant, it offers both a good ambience and a playtime for kids. The restaurant offers everything that you could ever desire on your platter. You can choose from the widest possible latitude of choices for one of the most exotic delicacies.

The restaurant serves Gujarati, Rajasthani and Kathiawar delicacies. They also serve Punjabi platters with a tinge of Mughlai zayka. The huge place is an open restaurant that serves ethnic ‘thali’. The place also has an air-conditioned restaurant to sit and disco for recreation. There are frivolous and camel rides for children The place hosts a large number of activities like classical Rajasthan, swimming, live music Programme and more. You could easily spend more than a couple of hours here without getting bored. Besides delicious food, ‘Choki Dhani’ offers a lot more to keep you entertained!

For ideas and opinions for weekends holiday destinations and plans write to us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 11:15

Khanderao Market, Baroda

A visitor once said, "Khanderao Market is like a traditional supermarket where you can buy things useful through out your life, from birth to death.”

The Khanderao Market in Dandiya Bazaar, Vadodara is one of the most vibrant and architecturally striking places in the city. The market comes to life at the crack of the dawn and is occupied by vegetable sellers, vendors and flower and fruit sellers. The market poses a picturesque panorama with a palatial beauty and equipped with lanterns during the early morning hours.

Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III built this magnificent structure in memory of his late father. The structure has one of the most remarkable architecture in terms of Maratha and Jain along with European and Islamic craftsmanship.

The building was gifted by the king to the people of the city on the silver jubilee of his administration. Since then, the place has been an important center for whole and retail sales of vegetables and fruits. One can also find here colorful flowers, groceries, and items necessary for Hindu rituals and ceremonies and earthen wares.

The building consists of two domed shaped structures that resembles a Hindu temple and a clock tower in its center. The domes are united with a KALASH like structure that resembles the Hindu craftsmanship with a blend of Victorian making. A step towards the gateway contains a beautifully carved toran on the ceiling. There is a floral fountain in the center surrounded by stalls selling produce. Some stalls also spread out around the corners of the circle. The retail market is encased by an array of shops on the ground floor and city municipal corporation offices at the top. The fountain lies in the center and the carved jharokhas enclosed by grilles with floral motifs on the surrounding architecture show the presence of Islamic culture.

Alleys passing through the stalls lead to the whole sale market on the right and the flower and earthen ware market on the left. The whole sale market in the neighboring premises was designed as per the typical Indian sabji mandi or vegetable market where the stalls are set up in rows one after the other.

Sukhjit Roy Choudhury- A musician with a breathtaking voice and pleasing personality.

We have amidst us Sukhjit Roy Choudhury. It would be good to call him a magician rather than a musician, since he knows the tricks to capture people's hearts through his enthralling music. You Sukhjit Roy Choudhurycan't have enough when you start listening him sing, and we would say that if there is bright new musician in the making-then it’s him.

Hi, Let’s start taking this forward by telling something about yourself?  “Sukhjit Roy Choudhury." - that people have most often heard singing on the stage and wished could have known him personally!

Let me tell you I am already flattered. I am no good in talking to people and you will have to literally suck in your teeth to expect a good conversation here. All I can add is that I am a typical Barodian, who has loitered around the lobbys at MS University while completing my degree in Performing Arts (Sitar specifically, which can help me with classical music). Earlier, I did my schooling from Bright School.

I stay with my brother whom I very fond of.  I am currently single and I am not expecting to give up my bachelorhood anytime soon. :)

Awe... Now you have almost broken hearts of many of our Gujarati Fatkas out there. However, we are all keen in knowing more about your Band. It’s quite interesting to have this kind of activity, something to rock your heart and tap your feet.

True...our “UNPLUGGED” Band is meant to rock your heart and tap your feet. Music is what I was always inclined for. I started my career path by performing under the name Feel Live Music. And then just like life brings surprises for everyone, I met VYOMI, and together we formed the UNPLUGGED. All in all, we are three members in our band, myself (Vocals & Guitar), Vyomi (Classical Vocals) and Siddharth (Drums)

On stage I do hire random musicians for a perfect stage show. We mostly believe in raw n simple music that is played on our acoustic instruments so we are called ‘unplugged’. Music has no limits but it does have genres… we mostly perform SUFI /FOLK/CLASSICAL. But our music instruments are western so we present that as a ROCK band…

Amazing. I think we need to listen to that one! When did you step into this line? Rock Music in Gujarat is still quite a rare thing.

Yes it is... most people don’t think it to be a serious genre of music. I started this in 2007. But UNPLUGGED was born in 2012. It’s like our baby, that’s rapidly growing by every performance we offer.

How did you get into this field? Did you know from an early stage that you are going to sing, like most artists do? Or it just flew into your window one fine day?

Yep, like most people, I knew I had this thing for music right since I was a child. But I had never thought it will take me so far. As soon as I finished with my H.S.C. I decided to learn music standards. One thing led to another and it finally it took me in this direction.

Who has been the mental backbone behind your success?

After my father, my brother Samarjit supported me a lot. There were times when I would almost lose hope and confidence in myself. He was always there with me. He is currently into Defence Services.

Live Performance  Live Performance  Live Performance

I am sure UNPLUGGED must have stemmed out in a very planned way. You guys must have done a little brainstorming, a little hide and seek with music. It wouldn’t have been an overnight venture,

That’s about correct. Vyomi is also a MSU student. We randomly decided to come up with a band. So yes you can say it was like an out of the blue idea. Initially were not quite serious about the band but as people appreciated our performances, UNPLUGGED became the core of our lives. I cannot imagine moving around without having a band. Over the years I have learnt that even thought music is more governed by heart, a mindful planning will surely help.

Is this music targeted for some specific age group, or you design it in a way that appeals to one and all?

We have a very sensible play list which is for youngsters and seniors too. So anybody who walks in will enjoy our music. We also make the list according to audience and where we are performing as well.

What’s your platform to reach out to people? I mean how to you connect to the masses and tell them that you exist?

By God’s grace, we have always attracted the audience. We don’t really need to go hunting for them. But I post events on Facebook,  put up some posters in public places and we also give interviews in Media.

You think what you do currently satisfy you?

Yes I am all fine with the current progress. But I do look my future much ahead. I want my band to be famous. And for that we are really working out hard.

How much time you devote to your work? I am sure it would be more on mood than on timings.

You have already told a smart thing here. I practice a minimum of 3 hours a day. We do our practices at my guitar workshop, where I teach guitar.

I think I will come sometime soon to learn guitar from you..? You will find a very difficult student. Anyway, you think a small and rapidly growing city like Vadodara puts you into fierce competition?

Anytime… This is the only Vadodara’s band which includes Rock Music with SUFI/ FOLK / CLASSICAL. We don’t have any competitors in our City.

Any tips you would like to give to new comers?

Like I said, you are flattering me. There are two important things to become a good musician. It is what I call the PP formula. P as in Practice and P as in Patience. Both practice and patience should be continued to become Beethoven in the making. 

How would like people to connect to you?

We are on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RawLiveMusic OR https://www.facebook.com/feellivemuzic

OR you can always get into touch by calling us:

SUKHJIT – 9824194086, 8511149317

VYOMI -    9998308703

You can even drop a email at : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  /  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:55

Shaking Minarets, Ahmedabad

The Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmedabad is famous for its unique construction. The mosque is known as Jhulta Minar or the Shaking Minarets.

The mosque was constructed by Sidi Bashir, a slave of Ahmed Shah Sultan. There are two minarets in the mosque, each of which are three story tall. They contain carved balconies. As the name refers, a gentle shake in one minaret, results the shake of other minaret after a brief interval of few seconds. The actual making or cause of this vibration is yet unknown.

Due to some mishap the climb on the shaking minarets is restricted. However, one can visit the mosque to observe its heritage architecture and to witness its historical magnificence.

Browse http://www.beyondkhidki.com/places-of-interest for Places of Interest all around Gujarat.

Saturday, 27 July 2013 10:30

Toy Train - Kankariya Lake, Ahmedabad

Choo choo… beware, the train is coming!
Tame betha... Atal express ma, we mean “Swarnim Jayanti Express” ma....?

Arey no, you don't have to go to the railway station, go to Kankaria this weekend...

Ahmedabad is just not about freaking out in expensive restaurants, hang around on SG road or empty your wallet on a weekend movie plan. How about buying an ice cream, sitting in the toy train and sharing it with someone you love...

Now you'll say, 'Seni majja...its always over crowded', Le that’s the fun part right... Imagine you sit in the train, you don't wait in the line to buy your tickets, and you don't wait with anticipation for your turn to sit in it...toh majja ave..?

The Atal Express was imported from London. The train circles the lake on a 4.5 km track at a speed of 10 km/h. Its fits 150 passengers at a time. During the first 11 months of introducing the train, it attracted nearly a million visitors.

To aa train khaas to thai ne...tame betha..??

Thursday, 25 July 2013 12:34

Cheese & Chips, Baroda

Who Moved My Cheese?

Well, we are not talking about the book here, (though the book has something to shake you up), but we are talking about Cheese and Bites. That’s correct- your favourite finger licking food joint in Vadodara.

Obviously, you don’t need a description for this place. The yummy delicacies are enough to tickle your taste buds. This place is dripped with cheese. All most all items sold here are made out of cheese and for cheese lovers, the joint is a heaven. Despite its remote location, the place has made a big time contribution for the ‘foodies’ in the city.

Next time you hit the Vadodara express highway, make it a point to taste their cheese garlic bread and Kathi roll! It will surely leave you asking for more.

Location: G/F Atlantis, opp Sardar Bugh, Vadi Vaadi , Vadodara

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