The Taj Mahal

I remember visiting the Taj Mahal with my parents back in 1998 at the age of 12 in Agra, India. It is the kind of place which gave me the goosebumps and I still get goosebumps whenever I think of that experience. This is because the place and the architecture is like no other.

First of all it is the biggest and the most beautiful tombstone I have ever seen. Two, the mere symbolism of it – A great love story. It was built in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It eventually houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The tomb made entirely out of ivory-white marble, is a complex of 17-hectare, which includes a mosque, a guest house, and a garden. The Taj Mahal is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which would be around 53 billion rupees (U.S. $830 million) in our times.

The architecture is not only majestic but the design is very intricate. It includes elaborate calligraphy and the insertion of precious gemstones. The place is peaceful despite of the presence of the millions of visitors. No wonder it is known to be one of the 7 wonders of the world.

🥕Veggie Infused Water🥒

Summer is here and let’s make the most out of it till it lasts. From my previous post, another idea strucked – a veggie version infused water.

All you need are carrots, slices of green cucumber and one of my favourite and most flavourful herb – a few rosemary leaves. Add water and refrigerate. Green tea and a few drops of lemon can also be added if you wish.

Serve chilled & enjoy!

Carrots and Cucumber in a refreshing drink

Niagara Falls 🌊

 

Canada is a huge country (2nd largest country by area) and it is blessed with many natural treasures. One of these amazing natural treasures is the Niagara Falls, a.k.a. the horse shoe, which in my opinion should be amongst the wonders of the world.

The place is today a very popular destination for tourists. It is packed with entertainment, shopping and food shops. But the most breath-taking part are the falls itself. It is huge and it gives you goosebumps when you go near to it.

Whenever I go there, I can’t stop myself from thinking about the first person who actually discovered it. It must have been both a scary and jaw-dropping experience at the same time. Most probably, it was a Native who discovered it while exploring the dense forests. I just hope nobody actually fell into it by accident.

It is definitely one of the best destination in North America. It can be visited from both sides of Canada and the United States. So make it a point to put it on your travel bucket list!

Happy Birthday 🎂

Image result for happy birthday

Today I turn 33 (Hoorray!) and I want to celebrate myself. I am not much of a party person with a crowd of friends. Today, I took the day off from work and I don’t mind spending the day doing house chores, reading one of my favourite books and watching an old movie on Netflix.

So how do you really celebrate yourself? It is simply by realising you exist on this day and you made it from the storm. Turn off all your distractions and negative emotions and give yourself a pat on the shoulder. Tell yourself there is more to come but you did it! Pat! Pat!

The journey you share with yourself is not comparable to the other relationships you share with other people. It is the most important one. It is like a shadow that never leaves you and it can be the most reliable one. The other relationships should not take precedence over this one.

Therefore, it is important to focus most of your energy on this one. It does not mean you have to be selfish. Don’t get me wrong. People are important too. But if you don’t work on yourself first, you will not be able to manage your relationship with others. For example, I have trouble trusting people because I think they can harm me. But I never figure out why is it so easy for me to get hurt. It could be because of my own insecurities.

So the purpose here is to work on yourself to make yourself a much stronger and a better person. And the first step is to acknowledge what you already have. You have to celebrate your accomplishments and this is what birthdays are for! So Happy Birthday!

Montréal

#Montreal can be both a fascinating and charming place to visit. I happen to visit in the cold winter around Christmas season and it was anything but boring.

This is what I recommend , if you are open to suggestions:

  • Place to stay: #Chateau Versailles Hotel

This 4 star hotel, situated in downtown Montreal is easily accessible to public transport, shops – 2 minutes walk from #Ste Catherine street, which is definitely on the must-do shopping list. The hotel has a cold breakfast buffet. It has an old French style deco – if you are in that sort of thing.

  • Places to eat: #L’Usine de Spaghetti

This traditional restaurant located in Old Montreal will surprise your taste buds. The ravioli and the peach sangria was the best. But they do have a good collection for wine-lovers as well.

Speaking of food, you cannot ignore dessert if you have a sweet tooth. I would recommend the macarons (moist inside and hard outside – just the way they should be!) from #Première Moisson. The products are an absolute treat.

  • Places to visit:

Religious: # St-Joseph Oratory, #Notre Dame Basilica

Shopping: #Underground City, #Rue Ste-Catherines, #Complexe Desjardins #Places Versailles

Recreational: #La Ronde, #Biosphère

These are just a few suggestions. There are other places you can visit. For me, one visit to Montreal is not enough. The city is endearing and you want to go again and again.

Life of a Cactus

I find cacti fascinating. They are tough plants with limited resources. They don’t have everything yet they flourish in the most austere place on earth. They bloom with flowers and produce fruit (Prickly pear/Indian fig), which are used mostly in Mexican cuisine and in some European cuisines.

The fruit of the saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) are preserved by boiling to produce syrup and by drying. The syrup can also be fermented to produce an alcoholic drink. The bodies of some cacti are prepared and eaten like potatoes in upland Bolivia.The cactus fruit has many other uses. It is used in dye production, cosmetics, water purification, herbal medicine, fodder and as ornamental plants.

In Arabic, the cactus is called صبار ṣubbār; the related term sabr also translates to “patience” or “tenacity”. The allusion is to a thorny, spiky skin on the outside, but a soft, sweet interior, suggesting, though the Israeli sabras are rough on the outside, they are sweet and sensitive once one gets to know them. The cactus is also a symbol of strength and endurance as it is a plant that can really stand up to the test of time and the elements. They are given as gifts when someone is going through a tough time. In some cultures, they are grown to ward away negativities.

Cacti are alien types of plants because of their frightful appearance. But they are great examples of the notion that appearances are deceptive.

I relate to the cactus. As a woman in today’s time, I don’t relate to a pretty, beautiful and fragile flower that is used for decoration and needs to be taken care of. Cacti are independent and self-sufficient. The face harsh surroundings and store their own nutrients. Cacti are not only moody people. They are beautiful.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Be a Cactus!