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20 reasons to fall in love with India


Monica Bhide
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Very nice - If it wasn't for the fact that I have a ticket booked for Feburary; I'd have been intensely envious.

Grand Maratha @ Sahar Airport had a fairly decent free buffet breakfast for guests. I remember it to be good when it opened. With exception to clubs/gymkhana's 5* hotels still have fairly decent restaurants and 24 hour coffeshops.

anil

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haai! tauba!

monica what a lovely set of pictures...

i really feel sad to think what my kids are missing

out living in the us....

but am thrilled to hear about the hygienic ganne-ka-ras,

as when we drank sugarcane juice as kids it was

definitely from the "ugly" version of the machine.

we all escaped without any ill effects, but used to

get scolded by our parents for taking these risks.

now i'm glad my kids can taste this ambrosia without

me worrying about various diseases.

does the cleaned up version taste as good as the

one with flies, street dust, and operator sweat in the formula?

:biggrin:

milagai

ps: its perfectly easy to travel with kids in india if you

take a few elementary precautions re immunizations,

bottled water, mosquito repellant, etc.

nothing more complicated than camping in yosemite.....

no lack of good pediatricians either.

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I hope that this list I have made up will be of interest to you and make you want to do what I love to do – go and visit and marvel.

Great story Monica. Definitely makes me feel like visiting India even more: I have a collegue who's an India fan and she's been fascinating me with her description of the places, people and food too.

Just a question, since I understand from your post that you have a son: is it doable to travel through India (or let's say, a particular region) with a young kid? Or am I being a wimpy European just because I'm even asking :biggrin: ?

Well - since my son is raised here I had to take a few simple precautions -- only bottled water, no milk products and also nothing off the street. I am happy to say he has stayed fine thru multiple trips.

When traveling with kids, in my opinion, it just pays to carry some of their favorite foods with you - that way if they get hungry in remote places you are not stuck.

Also India is VERY kid friendly. When my son was six months old, we went to a lovely restaurant in Delhi for dinner. The waiter came by as dinner was served and took the baby for a stroll as we ate our meal. He actually took him near the cash register and they all took turns playing with him while we ate.

Also when he was nine months I travelled by the Indian airline Jet Airways - they are awesome. As they served food, same thing happened - the stewardess came by and said - Why dont I take him till finish eating? They took him to first class where I caught a peak at him in the lap of a Bollywood celebrity!

He loves it there.. there is so much more exposure to what is real. I feel he is very protected here in what he sees and does not see. Traveling is so important to kids to get their souls open to new worlds. Spoken like a true mom eh? :laugh:

I am getting ready to post more pics.

Hope this helps

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Wow, Monica, thank you for sharing such a varied range of experiences!  I am in Delhi on my first trip to India and am looking forward to trying out some of your tips.  If you don't mind my asking, what is the name of the market where your family buys veggies?

Edited to add:  I've seen the same corn trend here at a couple of the local markets!  Corn kernels in a cup?!  Also lots of popcorn vendors around the city.

This is the GK 2 market. One point - someone PMed me to say that there are many more larger markets - true there are but this was more about what I saw where my family lives. If you live in Manhanttan and want to show people what your life is like why will you send people pictures of Idaho :rolleyes::laugh:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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does the cleaned up version taste as good as the

one with flies, street dust, and operator sweat in the formula?

:biggrin:

Well - it isnt quite same without the files. :laugh: Actually it was good and the proof is in the pudding - I did not get sick :biggrin:

They have cleaned up so wonderfully.

I am tired of media showing pathetic pitcures of India. This is what modern urban India is and I am trying to help people get a feel of it. Are there problems? Sure. Is there a lot of poverty, yes there is. No doubt. But there is also a beautiful, growing, cosmopolitan, fun and vibrant side. And here is my small view into a country that tugs at my heartstrings each time I visit

:wub:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Very nice - If it wasn't for the fact that I have a ticket booked for Feburary; I'd have been intensely envious.

Grand Maratha @ Sahar Airport had a fairly decent free buffet breakfast for guests. I remember it to be good when it opened. With exception to clubs/gymkhana's 5* hotels still have  fairly decent restaurants and 24 hour coffeshops.

They still do.

Are you headed to Delhi at all? If so try the breakfast buffet at the Mariott and ask them to make you an Indian breakfast.. trust me.. it is to die for.. Five star hotels have really improved their food and the stuff they serve is no longer for the tourists.. they are serving real meals. For the most anyway :cool:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Many thanks to Jason for cropping, brightening and uploading these!

Mumbai Racecourse gallery_6825_0_29142.jpg

At the Grand Maratha in Mumbai - I think this is so cool -- have a drink and read the paper here.. dreamy

gallery_6825_0_18026.jpg

Indian at Tiffin at the Oberoi's in Mumbai

gallery_6825_0_54696.jpg

CHicken sandwich with fries at the Tiffin

gallery_6825_0_72423.jpg

My pics of their sushi bar really sucked so sorry I wont be posting them

Club sandwich at the Tiffin

gallery_6825_0_42993.jpg

I'm lovin it in Mumbai

gallery_6825_0_37641.jpg

Lamb kebabs at Tiffin

gallery_6825_0_14811.jpg

Yes, dear its Dominos gallery_6825_0_44688.jpg

Nachos withyour sugar cane juice? Or cold flavored milk from the stall on the extreme left

gallery_6825_0_47758.jpg

Bengali fish curry loaded with sharp mustard flavors in Mumbai

gallery_6825_0_29092.jpg

Chilli Chicken to die for (and a damn good reason to live for too)

gallery_6825_0_66864.jpg

Sea lounge does pista muffins and melon parafaits

gallery_6825_0_90589.jpg

gallery_6825_0_60437.jpg

Still twenty :raz::laugh:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Oh. My. Oh. Oh. Oh.

I was fortunate to get a little bit of a wonderful written review of Monica's trip, but this is one case where her pictures complement it sooooooo well. I am especially fascinated by the machinery at the gola stand -- is that to crush the ice?

And I wonder if we could convince the McDonald's here in "Curry Hill" to bring in their menu from home? If so, I would definitely eat there! :laugh:

Thank you so much, Monica, for sharing all that! (And for giving hope to this digitalcamerailliterate! :raz: )

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Monica, thank you so much for transporting all of us to India. Proof, once again, that you made the right move launching your writing career.  :smile:

Oh Monica! Such wonderful pictures and such a great variety of them too. I couldn't agree more with your sentiment about media protrayals of "poor, depressed India" because nothing seemed further from the truth. Most people were twice as happy with half as much, economically anyway.

You've motivated me to scan and post some of my pictures too. I think I have a picture of the diesel-powered cane juice extractor that would make a great "then vs. now" shot!

You've also left me clamouring for a return trip.

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Monica, your narrative and pictures are wonderful -- thanks so much for posting them. For years I've wanted to visit India -- this only further whets my appetite!

di

Diana Burrell, freelance writer/author

The Renegade Writer's Query Letters That Rock (Marion Street Press, Nov. 2006)

DianaCooks.com

My eGullet blog

The Renegade Writer Blog

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Monica,

The tips of my fingers are tingling with anticipation for my first trip to India.

I land in Delhi on 2/12 and these pix and your editorial transported me.

Thx mucho,

Mark

"Your girlfriend is a vegetarian, tell her she should eat rabbit...they're vegetarians too" Ali

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Monica,

The tips of my fingers are tingling with anticipation for my first trip to India.

I land in Delhi on 2/12 and these pix and your editorial transported me.

Thx mucho,

Mark

I envy you. You will have a smashing time I am sure. if you need anything at all please email me and I will try to help

:smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica -- The photo from McD's show prices which leads me to wonder what's the conversion rate between dollars and rupees?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Monica, you have the top 20 reasons to fall in love with India, I already love India and I’m countering with the top 5 reasons I enjoyed your post:

5. I loved your photos, they really illustrated what you were conveying with words (and by the way, knowing what kind of camera you have is overrated—so long as you know how to get good pictures, what does it matter?)

4. You whetted my appetite and now I want to know more--particularly about the details of your time spent in the kitchen with Chef Qureshi

3. Your cousin is beautiful—and I love the photo—what a field day I could have taking her picture!

2. The buffet looked delicious—can you tell us more? And is that the same buffet as the high tea you made mention of at the Sea Lounge? If I assume correctly that it isn’t, can you post some photos of that too? You’ve piqued my interest and I’m a sucker for high tea.

And the number one reason I enjoyed your post:

1. I particularly liked your neighborhood “encounter” walk with your father. It really gives a sense of what the streets around your home are like and what one might find in visiting a residential neighborhood.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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The meeting with the Chef was awesome, we talked and cooked together. He is 75 and boy can he tell a story!

The high tea had some of the dessets I posted and the potato on a stick... let me go back over the buffet pics from ITC'w new place in Parel, Mumbai and see what all there was.

Ellen - we should go together next time :smile:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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Monica, this is just the most wonderful journal of your trip, I can't thank you enough as I feel like I had my own little mini break to India this morning! The pictures of the food look awesome. I have had a love affair with Indian food since an Indian friend introduced me to it via her mother's home cooking. My SO loves it as well and we have a couple favourite Indian places we go to and just ask them to make/reccomend something for us. I must remember to keep track of what I eat! I cannot wait to actually take a trip to India.

Please post more details of your experiences in the kitchen with the chef, I'd love to hear. What were the most striking differences between kitchens/chefs there and those in North America?

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Those pics of Bangalore are great: my dad's in Bangalore right now, visting with his Mom and all the Uncles and Aunties. Now I know what I'm missing! Hopefully this upcoming December, we'll be heading over there to check out the city again (haven't been to India since... 1993. I was 11, and too young to appreciate good food!)

Once again, Monica kills us softly with her song. Awesome pictorial, and I can't wait to read your pieces on Mumbai. :smile: --Jayanthi

P.S. Because of Monica, I absolutely intend on eating McDonald's and Domino's in India!

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Those pics of Bangalore are great: my dad's in Bangalore right now, visting with his Mom and all the Uncles and Aunties. Now I know what I'm missing! Hopefully this upcoming December, we'll be heading over there to check out the city again (haven't been to India since... 1993. I was 11, and too young to appreciate good food!)

Once again, Monica kills us softly with her song. Awesome pictorial, and I can't wait to read your pieces on Mumbai. :smile: --Jayanthi

P.S. Because of Monica, I absolutely intend on eating McDonald's and Domino's in India!

I like Mcd and Domino's there. People can say what they want but until you have tasted what they did to the chicken tikka pizza, you wont know. It is very nice - basically spiced chicken on bread - they dont add Italian style sauces and add only a bit of cheese. Pizza is just to make it sound Italian :laugh:

I owe you recipes dont I :huh::sad: -- okay will send soon. :wub:

Monica Bhide

A Life of Spice

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