Darjeeling & Gangtok 2023

We have been planning this for last two years! Ever since, we were frequently visiting Kolkata for my sister’s work!

And once we visited the Durga Pooja and visited the Pandals!

But, the more we were trying to club our darjeeling trip with the kolkata trip!

It wasn’t making sense!

And then we searched and found a direct flight to Bagdora airport! Which was the closest to darjeeling city. But a few hour’s drive from the airport!

Well! If we needed to travel to darjeeling.It had to happen soon!!

So we planned this three days trip earlier!!but realised gangtok is just another few hours away, so why don’t we do that too!

And so we braved both!

Through the mountains round and round!

We travelled on roads so narrow! It seemed it was made for one way, but they were cars coming from both ways!

The drive itself was so exhausting! We could think of another road journey for our destinations!

The hotels were our most beautiful parts of the journey apart from the road journey we drove around.

The closest hotel from Darjeeling is Taj Chia Kutir!! Where we stayed For a night.

Before we took off for our flight.

There have been quite a few cafes! We visited for coffee and bakes!

But, surprisingly the bakes had no taste! It was disappointing! We only had coffee most of the time then!

The Cafe Fiction, Rachna Books! Was the highlight of my gangtok experience!

They had amazing coffee! And the book collection they had was very impressive! They had a frame of all the Murakami book covers too! The asian and indian regional books they had were unbelievable! I had most of them on my Amazon cart and here all are under one roof!

Meeting Hilton the pet at the gangtok Elgin! Was our entertainment for our stay with Sikimmese and Tibetan food we tried during our stay.

The drive-through tea estate and staying around one was another experience we experienced.

The darjeeling city mall road was a nice stroll! Bakes at Glenary we’re not that good!

But the vibe, and the setting of the cafe were an experience you need to experience.

Darjeeling & Gangtok 2023… 

Closest Airport : 


#pakyongairport is another option. Major Flights start soon from this airport. 

Stay : 

@elgingangtok @elgindarjeeling @tajchiakutir 

Tea Experience: 



Himalayan Cafe #Darjeeling 

@thelocalcafe.in #Gangtok 

@cafe.fiction #Gangtok #darjeelingaltura 



Momos & Ramen 

@glenarys @glenarysdarjeeling 

@tashidelek #gangtok 

Fried Momos, Pork Belly and Thukpa 


@nerdvana_books_and_coffee #Darjeeling 

#Bibliothéque Cafe #gangtok 

@rachnabooks #Gangtok 

The Relationship’s Today!

I worked on a Wedding show for television.
And learnt something that would make me teach how things worked in the years to come. “Storytelling” and “stories” are the two things that connect us the most. A good story, Told beautifully or interestingly would hook us on immediately. That was the foundation of marriage: Make someone believe they are in love with you over and over again until the “Drama” and “Nonsense” won’t be tolerated or “You are exposed” and can’t hide the truth behind the “affair” or sudden suspicion that you are dealing with. Going over hundreds of stories and looking for the right one was “Essential” The one that should be telecasted and would bring the eyeballs to keep the audience interested. “The Love” “The second marriage” The divorce, The triangle and the backgrounds were all some of the criteria. While this you would believe is just a real story. The Reel Story is made to be believed and looked more real in many ways.

When I look around people who have either been married for too long or haven’t got married at all. All I see is that they are trying to make it work, have made a deal to make it work or are too afraid to leave the marriage to start all over again. Many reasons ( Family Pressure, Society Pressure, Confidence, Pain of going through loneliness and afraid they might fall into the trap with somebody else)(At this moment a known devil is better than the unknown. )
Marriage/Relationship: Shouldn’t be something we fall under “Peer or Family” Pressure. The post-marriage, if it doesn’t work out can be hard to deal with psychologically
Coming back to the question, how do we choose the one?

Well, Today there are many factors to consider when getting into a relationship besides of course Compatibility and how can this transition become more successful rather than getting declined.
Environmental factors, Geographical factors, and others are very critical of the political factors (If we follow the ideology of the same political party) if we are tolerant with humour, Sarcasm and Freedom.
Considering so many filters that one has to consider when looking for a relationship/marriage to last or vice versa for a relationship first to last until marriage and marriage to last until one becomes intolerant of each other.
It has only made it more difficult to find the right one rather than believing too many filters would help us in giving more clarity to the choices.

And now imagine the worst of the lot: You suddenly notice people moving from smaller towns to bigger cities and this brings its own set of challenges and problems. While trust issues aren’t the real issues. It’s the how will one settle when one goes back home or how will they take the changes of all the bigger city? Wouldn’t one definition, meaning and expectation of love, relationships and marriage change from this exposure?
Will Love, relationships and words that are associated with bonding, friendship and companionship just remain words in the dictionary like a glossary used for historical references?

Dhaka 2023!

Dear Bangladesh,

Dhaka! A foreign city that I visited more than any other city in the world!

First time about 5 years ago! It was all about being curious of one of our closest neighbourhood. 

And today after three visits, you realise it’s so much like India and Sri Lanka! People here are Warm, Hospitable, and Kind.

Some of the things Dhaka beats us in is the traffic, it’s faster to walk and travel than to use a public transport or vehicle. 

The Mosquitoes, Gosh! No amount of fumigation, odomos repelient, Odomos scent sticks, Odomos Roll on would stop the mosquitoes from sucking your blood!

And the language barrier- Bengali! If you know the language, you would not be lost in translation!

But, if you don’t know the language. 

You would struggle to get things right! 

The food it’s a non-vegetarians paradise!

And a vegetarian’s walk to hell!

You would need to keep looking until you find options!

Some of the chaat items too have egg in them! 

And an eggless cake is a mystery to them.

The roads are wide, but everyone has taken the sides. You can’t turn, you can’t run you are stuck.

Most of the best designer clothes are manufactured here! But, you won’t find a single store selling them. Rather you would need to just visit one store for all the original’s first copies Astorian!

A lot of African, Australian, Malaysian chains of restaurant are there! 

Surprisingly Coffee is big here too! A lot of small interesting coffee shops there! 

With one or two coffee roasters selling homegrown coffee that’s grown in Bangladesh!

They enjoy a lot of Music and Movies! One of the reasons Bollywood is a big craze here!

Bollywood movies don’t release as often and as much since they believe they loose money from local cultural entertainment. 

And if they are Die-Hard Bollywood fans they travel to Kolkata. a 40 minute journey by Air or about 7 Hrs by road

No! Bangladesh isn’t cheap! 

In fact it’s one of the most expensive cities in the world for expats living there! 

Facts about Dhaka:

The world’s least livable city.

Longest female-led government.

There are a lot of Bangladeshis who live out of the country.

Currently only the below flights go to Dhaka directly. 

Mumbai: Indigo – Tue, Thurs, Saturday, Sunday, ( 30 Kg allowance) 

Mumbai: Vistara – Tue, Thurs(30 Kg allowance) 

Delhi : Indigo – Mon- Saturday 

Delhi : Vistara – Daily 

Hotels to stay: 

  • Amari : Is Centrally located 
  • Sheraton : Is also in the heart of the city 
  • Westin : Westin & Amari are very close by. 
  • Intercontinental: The hotel is a little far away from the main city. 

Places to Eat

Premium Sweets: Misthi Doi, Chaat and local bengali food. 

Sajna: Indian food restaurant, that’s neatly done with indian food options for all specially vegetrains. 

O’Play: Italian Food Restaurant  

SOI 71 :  Thai Food Restaurant. 

Galitos: For Wraps and Salad 


North End Roasters: Coffee Roasters which you would find across all over Dhaka City. 

Tabaaq Coffee: A cafe chain again from Bangladesh that you would find in select locations. 

Arabika Coffee: A coffee shop that serves coffee from beans that come from coffee regions. 

Butlers: Irish chocolate brand cafe that serves good milk shakes & Waffles 


The Reading Room: Here you will find a range of international books and interesting coffee table books. They also have a small cafe setup inside here. 

Here you will find books that are more in Bengali and a few bestsellers from around the world. 

Currency: 1 Taka = 0.80 INR

Visa: You need to apply for a visa before you visit. It’s not on arrival for indians yet.

Writing #7

Benelux 2022!!!

This trip to Europe! Was long overdue!
Not because it was another trip to Europe.
But, because of the countries, we were visiting. We have been planning this route for the last 3 years as I remember. Two years of travel were taken away by corona and the only thing we missed was travelling.
So, before we could plan a trip to any other European country. This had to be struck off my bucket list.
This trip was very unlike the trips we have taken before.
Starting with Antwerp we had a friend, Ambassador, An Artist and our local tour guide that was added into his profile as the day concluded since the way he showcased Antwerp. The cobbled streets, the Parks, the cafés and visiting Caffenation. Caffeination is a speciality coffee pioneer in Belgium.
Jeff Vervellen a barista from Caffenation has won the world championship a couple of times.
by giving us insights into the landmarks we were passing by walking around towards the centre of Antwerp by the end of the day our legs were crushed walking 30K steps on the 1st Day of our trip!
Little did we know it was just the beginning of the warm hospitality from the locals we were going to be meeting ahead of our trip.
Bruges & Gent felt light on the feet.
Exploring the canals and small stores while we walked around to get a feel of the place.
Bruges was beautiful the free shuttle service from the station to the centre of the city is another way of looking around the city before you start to explore on your own.
While gent had interesting graffiti street art and cafés it also had an interesting book store. Booze & Books! With some of the finest alcohol and Designer bottles, you wouldn’t have come across until you visited the store. It was also good to notice Paul John a whiskey from India that has gained an international recognition.
Gent & Bruges reminded me a lot about Scotland a lot with so many castles around.
One looked like the younger side of Scotland while the other seemed like the older side of Scotland.
Brussels on Sunday! Was zooming in with the Ferrari which was on display at the central square for the start of a perfect Sunday!
Sun & Ferraris!
Meeting the local person who we have known for a decade now and for someone who we make sure to visit Brussels. It was nice walking around the Sunday markets, Eating Belgium fries, and having Coffee & Waffles at the Galleria from Aksum Coffee house. Had some local Belgium food.
Luxembourg! We had initially planned to stay here for two days! But ended up doing a day trip from Antwerp.
Luxembourg’s view of the bridge from the centre was breathtaking. Two days would have been more than enough to enjoy the country.
The Netherlands journey began with a lot of delays & going in the wrong direction for us because of a train accident on the other tracks. So, we did explore Delft a small town in the Netherlands close to Antwerp & Amsterdam and known for its blue pottery. And tasted a lot of handmade cheese from the Netherlands while we explored Utrecht too on the same day having hot chocolate from Hop & Stork a popular Chocolate cafe in the Netherlands.
The next destination was Amsterdam!
We had a few local guides here! Giving us a tour of the city!
While we explored one thing with each of the guides!
One day! We took the canal cruise from Amsterdam central with one local guide,
Amsterdam is known as the North of Venice. As the water connects you to the other side of the city too. Quite a few people have started renting out boats since there isn’t enough housing space available.
And had local Dutch food in a restaurant while this day it had poured all day long.
With the other guide, we explored the Straat Museum. It’s a street art museum showcasing about 150 artists from the world and Europe.
We also visited Tony’s chocolate cafe a chocolate brand that’s popular in Amsterdam. While the United States have Hershey’s, Germany has Riter Sport, the UK has Cadbury’s. Amsterdam has Tony’s. Chocolate flowing on the taps at the cafés, chandelier made is tony chocolate wrappers and a store, where you can see the process of chocolate making, this was the sugar rush we needed with the variety of homemade fries we had on our trip! We were the typical tourist!
While walking the streets to get some coffee beans from screaming beans one of the popular speciality coffee that is gaining popularity across the globe!
While purchasing my beans I had an interesting conversation with James who was preparing a cup of V60 of the Guatemala beans I was planning to purchase. While the coffee was being brewed James was speaking about the backpacking trip 14 years ago to India! And the places he visited in India one city that he mentioned! I just couldn’t get over it! Nashik! Part of his cities Of Kumbh Mela! Since I am too from Nashik!
Oh! Wait!
The last local guide we met were schoolmates & classmates with whom we walked around the red light street of Amsterdam and caught up with life in the Netherlands.
While the bicycles were all over the Netherlands. We explored most of our cities by foot and trains to get there. Since with Europe, it’s all about the centre of the city, which can be covered by foot.

Travel to Brussels, Gent & Bruges from Antwerp one-way journey.

Antwerp to Brussels : 45 Min

Antwerp to Bruges: 90 Min

Antwerp to Ghent: 1 Hr.

Antwerp to Luxembourg: 4 Hrs.

Antwerp to Hague :45 Min

Antwerp to Amsterdam: 1 Hr 50 Min


Artotel Amasterdam

NH Hotel Antwerp



Waffles :

Fries :




Bloemenmarkt: World’s only floating flower market

Cities to Visit: #Antwerp #Bruges #Gent #brussels

Travelling to these cities by @eurarail is easy.


Sightseeing :

Grote Market
City Hall
Het Steen







Bruges : * Free Shuttle Service available from the station to the Market every 10-15 minutes.

Sightseeing :

Market Square
Groeninge Museum





%d bloggers like this: