Posted in chicken, cochin, custard, fish, fish tikka, fried fish, grilled fish, kayaking, scuba diving, soup, south indian, south indian cuisine, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, upma

Travelogue – Come and enjoy the pristine white sand beaches of Lakshwadeep

Can you keep yourself away from the clear turquoise blue waters of Lakshwadeep after you have visited the Andamans? An absolute no!


Compared to the Andaman islands, Laccadive and Minicoy are difficult to visit because prior permission is required from the Government of India. There is only one aeroplane which flies from Cochin to Agatti island once a day and the ships plying between different islands has a frequency of three days. Helicopter services are also available but at an added cost.

We could only visit one island but you should plan your trip in a way that you visit not only Kavaratti(where you can indulge in water sports) but also Bangaram(where you can enjoy the mesmerising view).

Day 1

We boarded the evening flight from Delhi to Cochin and reached the latter at 9pm. We had booked a studio apartment in the Atlas hotel which is just 2 kms from the airport. The pick up and drop services were provided by the hotel.

The studio apartment was nothing short of extraordinary. There was a big hall with a television, a dining area, a spacious kitchenette, two bedrooms, one with the attached washroom and a stand alone washroom. The amenities are top notch considering the price – 4800 for four people.

Day 2

Waking up early to relish the Cochin skyline was a good thought. A beautiful view with towering coconut trees awaited us as we opened the balcony doors. But we could not keep basking in this magnificence as we had a flight to catch at 8am.

A 36 seater Air India plane is responsible for carrying the dreamy eyed travellers heading for Lakshwadeep. The turbulent airs above the Arabian Sea make this journey a tad scary considering the small size of the plane. But adventure is always welcome!

We reached Agatti at around 10:30am. Since this is a military airport, we are not allowed to shoot once we are out of the plane – army personnel make sure of that. This is the smallest airstrip we had ever landed on. The surrounding turquoise blue waters do seduce you once in a while to steal a photo shoot but no rule breaking here.

From Agatti, ships and helicopters are the means of transport to the other islands. We were headed to the capital Kavaratti and a two hour eventful ship journey awaited us as we clambered on the slippery deck. We had booked our stay at SPORTS complex and one of their people accompanied us and carried our entire luggage, which was a relief as it is a huge task to carry heavy items across a boat which is swaying dangerously.

The waters of the Arabian Sea are ferocious and the waves have a tendency to move the ship by 1 or 2 metres – enough to give you nausea.

We reached Kavaratti around 1pm and had a delicious lunch at the SPORTS complex where we had booked a stay for three nights. It was a lovely change to hog on the authentic Lakshwadeep cuisine which has evolved from the Keralite one. And to have this while sitting at the beach and listening to the roaring waves is another experience in itself.

Lunch – a delectable spread of fried tuna, chicken curry, beetroot prepared with coconut and rai seeds, chappati and rice.


Dinner – Slurpy sweet corn soup, spicy fried tuna, dry matar paneer, yellow dal, chicken curry and beans cooked in coconut milk.

Day 2

The second day started with us gearing ourselves for SCUBA diving in the lagoon area around Kavaratti. The SPORTS complex offers experienced instructors who first teach you about the do’s and don’ts of breathing underwater and then they give you a first hand training in the shallow waters of the beach, thus allowing you enough time to practise. While Shrenee was able to cope with equalising pressure, I had a difficult time getting used to venting air pressure through my ears.

After 10 minutes of practise, we were taken by a motor boat to the area where corals are in plenty with colourful shoals of fish and sea creatures residing in them. The deep turquoise blue waters hide a vibrant world reminding me of The Little Mermaid.


The evening was spent in a jeep which took us to all the nooks and crannies of the island. We also got to see the eastern section of the island where the general public is not allowed to roam because of the shallowness of the continental shelf.

The Kavaratti light house is one place that you should visit. The view from the top is mesmerising and comes after a hard climb of 180 stairs. And you have to clamber the steps without your foot wear which are definitely not allowed inside.


Breakfast: Idli, sambhar and chutney.

Lunch: North Indian spread

Dinner: Two types of chicken, mixed vegetables and caramel custard

Day 3

The third day started with a lovely breakfast spread of fluffy omelettes, breads and upma. The upma was prepared in a different way – finely grated carrots mixed well with roasted semolina.

We were taken a small glass boat to the borderline lagoon area from where we could relish the colourful corals and fishes. Bread crumbs were thrown to the fishes which merrily ate them and kept swimming near our boat for more treats. The zebra fish and the parrot fish are regular here and the boat men said that they actually wait for their arrival.

Lunch: Dal, roti and chicken cooked with caramelized onions. The dessert was a mouth watering coconut cheese cake.

Evening was spent in kayaking around the shallow waters. You can get the kayaking boat for 200 bucks for an hour. It is one of a kind of experience to row the boat yourself and go wherever you desire. The water is so clear that you can clearly view the sea bed.


One more advantage of staying at the SPORTS complex was that you are always on the beach where you can sit back and relax. The hospitality here was top notch. We might have missed out on Bangaram but where could we have enjoyed seeing those colourful fishes and beautiful corals! There is so much more to enjoy in Lakshwadeep that we are not crossing it off our bucket list anytime soon!!


Posted in Letter, Prose, Satire, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Open letter to my future mother-in-law

Respected Mother-in-law

Funny, how people close to me keep teasing me that you are to be dreaded and revered at. And funny, how my previous manager said that you’ll be the one to straighten me up ( I have already improved myself a lot, so lesser tasks in your kitty now)

Let’s get somethings straight, you’ll never be my mother and I’ll never be your daughter. So that formality must go when I’m with you. I tease my mother a lot and I can not think of doing the same with you, out of respect. At 28, I still play pranks on my dear Mommy and having a good time after that. But I can’t do that with you. I have no intention of replacing your daughter ( if you have one) or becoming one (if you don’t have one).
You’ll always love your own progeny more than me and I accept that.

But yes, we can have our fun moments too. Since you and I are going to spend a lot of time together, we’ll make the most of it.

I’ll take some time in getting acquainted with you, I can not be pally with you in the first meeting itself. We have all had our trust broken and I learn from my mistakes. But once I’m comfortable with you, we are going to have a hell of a ride.

You might find me arrogant and an introvert the first time you meet me, this is my first impression to the majority of population. But I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time knowing this volcano of a person.

I know how to ride a motorcycle and since my Mom doesn’t trust me with any vehicle, so I’ll take you on those adventurous bike rides. And I know how to cook a delicious meal (God bless my genes and creativity) and you’ll see a lot of experimentation in your kitchen.
I don’t have any grand plans of ruling your home with a bundle of keys on my waist (as depicted in Hindi soap operas) but your kitchen has to be mine. No compromises on that. One of my cousins gifted us a lovely set of knives (chef’s and butcher’s knife included) and I’m bringing that set as dowry. And yes, a wooden chopping board too because I have developed a habit of cutting edibles like a chef after watching those numerous cookery shows.
Please don’t worry, your kitchen will be fine, it is in safe hands.
I love to shower onstentatious gifts on the people close to me, so please do not be surprised if you receive a Kanjeevaram or a Banarasi silk on your birthday. My taste in Indian attire is pretty developed because of those innumerable shopping sprees with my Mom.
Coming to your pampered brat of a son, I have no intention of mollycoddling him the way you do. You can continue doing that, he can continue being a Momma’s boy, I really don’t mind. But when he is with me, he has to be a responsible man – independent and capable of taking his own decisions.
I know that I can never shower the sort of affection that you do on him. I somehow understand this because of my late grandmother’s fondness for her sons.

I have developed travelling as a hobby, and sometimes I go for solo travel. My mom is too scared to travel with me to unknown destinations (though we have gone together to Lucknow countless times) but I would love to take you on those travels. Please don’t worry, I won’t go for trekking with you. But wherever we go, I’ll take care of you and your dear son will feel pretty jealous of us.
My sheer adamancy will sometimes give you a hard time but trust me when I say that diplomacy wins more wars than ammunition.
My previous manager and many of my friends would also like to express their best wishes to you on my wedding day since you are taking me in your household. You are my mother-in-law, you’ll have own your swagger.
I wish to express more here, but I’ll keep those points for our conversations. Because after all, what is the fun if I reveal everything here?

Hoping to meet you soon,
Shreya Srivastava
(The surname won’t change, even if yours is different from mine. Yes but Shreya S. whatever your son’s surname is can be negotiated)

Posted in chicken, chicken dimsums, chocolate, dimsums, hot and sour soup, lamb, momos, noodles, soup, thai red curry, Uncategorized, wantons

Orient Heritage, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

Lamb with ginger spring onion chilli – Fashioned in chips with julliened vegetables – carrots and bell peppers, these were way too chewy.


Fiery chicken dimsums – Thin translucent skin enclosing finely minced chicken with the lovely flavours of garlic and chilli, these were BOMB.


Chilli Basil chicken dimsums – Mellow and adorned with caramelized garlic – a perfect amalgamation of sweet and spicy flavours.

Chicken Hot n Sour Soup – Thin consistency with loads of vegetables – carrots, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage with shredded chicken – good but could have been better.


Lemon coriander soup – It was subtle and good in taste but the ingredients didn’t justify the name. A plethora of vegetables – broccoli, lemongrass and mushrooms drenched in a tangy thin soup. Coriander was missing here.


Noodles – Plain, slurpy, moist and excellent.


Sichuan lamb curry – Thin consistency and way too oily, but goes well with the noodles.

Thai basil chicken cups – Minced chicken mixture with the loveliness of chopped garlic and onions adorned with red chilli and filled in wanton sheets and crispy fried to perfection – boy, I was in a dream while eating them.


Thai Red curry with rice – Perfection at it’s best – the right quantity of coconut milk, lemongrass and curry leaves in which the boneless chicken pieces are drenched to the core.


Chocolate peanut butter wantons – Crunchy exterior with warm gooey choco – peanut butter mixture is surely a heavenly dessert.


Orient Heritage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in girl, poem, Uncategorized, women, women's day, writer, writing


Sleeping in my mother’s womb,

I dream about empty rooms,

I hear happy voices from outside,

as I kick the surrounding walls wide.


Nine months hence, I finally come out,

and I get the love of everyone without any doubt,

Lined with kohl, my eyes see pink,

as that is the colour of a baby girl as everyone winks.


Some of them say that I bring good luck,

But many of my fellow mates get treated like muck,

They get killed for no reason at all,

because being a girl makes the parents’ life stall.


As I grow up, I fight the war of sexes,

I battle each and every prejudice with my verbal axes,

So what if I am a girl or a woman?

We are and have never been less than men.


I speak my mind wherever I go,

to those sexist remarks; I always say no,

I am not borne for a man’s pleasure,

Nor I am the object of some one’s leisure.


“Speak in whispers and laugh slowly”, they say,

But I yearn to live life my own way,

At least, I have the power to aim for skies,

What about my fellow mates who are eager to fly?


My wings are still there but their’s have been cut,

Our parochial society has stuck their lives in a rut.

But, I still believe a day will come,

when I will shine along with my chums,

We will fight for the respect we deserve,

until all those culprits are rightly served.

Posted in awadhi biryani, biryani, carrot halwa, chicken, chicken biryani, delhi, delivery outlet, dum biryani, gaajar halwa, halwa, hyderabadi biryani, lucknawi biryani, mutton, mutton biryani, rice, things to do in delhi, Uncategorized

Rice and Spice Delhi, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi

Packaging: Good

On time delivery

Awadhi mutton dum biryani: The mutton pieces were available in plenty and were mellow in taste but the biryani was way too spicy. Awadhi dum biryani is supposed to be high on flavours and low on spices but the case was opposite here. There were bundles of raw spices, burnt flavour of caramelized onions and absence of saffron – for a biryani, these are not good signs.


Hyderabadi chicken dum biryani: Well well, these folks surely know how to dish out the most juicy, spice loaded non vegetarian but again, this biryani was not as spicy as a Hyderabadi should be. RECOMMENDED.


Gaajar ka halwa: This fabulous Indian dessert deserves a worthy mention here. First, this has to be the best gaajar ka halwa I have had apart from my home. Second, the melt in the mouth consistency will leave you love struck. Third, the moderate sweetness and the subtle finesse with which it has been prepared will compel you to have more of it. The owner told me that they stir the grated carrots in ghee for a longer duration and this activity gives the halwa the requisite mouth warming texture. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Rice and Spice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Posted in amber fort, amer fort, fort, forts in jaipur, Iphone, Iphonex, jaigarh fort, jaipur, jaipur city, jaipur diaries, Rajasthan, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, Uncategorized, writer

Travel musings #2

And they tell you that travel is fun
They tell you to travel is to invite the hues of life
They tell you to take your bulky DSLR’S
Waiting to click the myriad images
But they never tell you
That it is unpredictable
And will sometimes make you cry
Will tire your body
And wear out your mind. IMG-20171225-WA0004-01

Posted in macaroni, Pasta, pasta recipe, recipe, Uncategorized, veg recipe, whole wheat pasta

Recipe of macaroni


250 gm Macaroni

3-4 cloves of garlic

3-4 green chillies

5 tomatoes

2 medium sized onions

Garam masala




  1. Boil water in a pan and add salt and oil to it.
  2. Add macaroni to the pan and let it boil for 5-10 mins or till the time it becomes firm.
  3. Drain the water and add some oil to the macaroni so that it doesn’t stick together.
  4. In another pan heat some oil and add chopped green chillies and chopped garlic.
  5. Add chopped onions and sauté it till it becomes golden brown.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and cook them till they become squishy.
  7. Now add garam masala, salt and macaroni to the pan and cook it till its done.

PS- if you are using whole wheat pasta then add tomato sauce also as whole wheat pasta doesn’t easily absorb the juice from the cooked tomatoes. The tomato sauce will make your pasta sweet so add a pinch of red chilli powder to it.