Amritsar -25th Birthday! 

You really don’t realise how long it has actually been,Until you sit down and think when was the last time… As my parents have been visiting the Golden Temple for years but for the last 5 years and I have missed the opportunity of visiting Amritsar , because of work commitments.This Year I decided for my 25th I wanted to visit the Holy city of Punjab,Amritsar.
It’s been more than two weeks already since we have got  back.But,my birthday weekend was a memorable one.Eating the typical street food from the city,Having the Banta (Lemon juice+Soda+Shikanji) a type of Lemonade.But you just don’t get the same taste.This time I watched him closely,Should try again making at home. 
The Chole+Kulcha and the Kulcha’s had the perfect weather to digest them all,When you  could  Hogg  all day.The Weather being all breezy and Cold.Couldn’t have been a better time to visit the city. 
The Visit to the Golden Temple on our first day in the evening was the calmest and most peaceful visit to any temple so far. 
With just the family-4 of us Mom,Dad,Sister and Me of Course it was a great trip! 
Oh! Not to forget our Amritsar Guide -Ggunjan  for the hospitality and warmth made it a Memorable trip to remember.

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2018 Dairies !!

2018 has been a Journey filled with lots of travel Stories. Right From Jaipur to Jodhpur in India to Monoco and Morocco for Work. And not to forget the highlight –  Japan for Family Holiday. 
Culture
Experiencing the Rajasthan culture in India to experiencing the Japanese culture and living the  Moroccan life. 
All these places either had Food, lifestyle or architecture. And these  Culture  became another Journey in itself.
Books worth the Read In 2018. 
Journeys through the books. 
Starting from Exiting West to Landing at the port of Mokha and Many reads in between from open by Andre Agassi to “Killing Commendatore by Murakami  below are the top 5 reads of 2018.
1.Exit West – by Mohsin Hamid  stories of immigrants. 
2.Homo Deus – by Yuval Harari  How the Technology  is collecting data and using it. 
3.Born a Crime – by Trevor Noah A true story of a comedian born in South Africa with a mother being a black and father a white. 
4.Monk of Mokha –  by Dave  Eggers – Story of how The port of Mocha coffee travelled across the international waters.
5.Killing Commendatore – by Murakami
Noteworthy Movies of 2018 
1.Puzzle -How a simple gift of a puzzle changes the perspective of one individual 
2.Crazy Rich Asians – The Big fat Indian wedding going global 
3.Searching – How technology helps track down a father daughter and her murderer. 
4.Ben is Back – A  young drug addict and his mother’s story to come in terms with reality. 
And the Hindi film industry had many movies to choose to watch this year! 
But there a few out there you couldn’t miss at all . 
1.Pad Man by R.Balki was one of the great stories the year began with and continued till Raid, The income tax issue can sometime come as a surprise-Ajay Devgn needs to experiment.
2.Hichki -Though a inspiration from the west.Brought Rani Mukherji Back as a actor and the production house for their content. 
3.Missing the only missing from this psychology thriller was the audience who missed one of the best thrillers of the year.
4.October – Simple stories are the most difficult to tell.And October by Shoojit Sircar was one such story.
5.Beyond the cloud by Majid Majidi -Had the world  take notice of Ishan Khattar as an actor & performer 
Raazi,Soorma,Parmanu,Andhadhun,Badhaai Ho ! And Manmarziyaan were a few movies to watch out. 

Open -Andre Agassi

Open – Andre Aggasi’s Autobiography teaches you so much about tennis and a life of a sportsman.

This autobiography interested me because,There was so much to learn about the sport & about a personality who never liked Tennis.But played it anyway until he retried in 2006.

From the day he was born Andre’s Was born to be a tennis player ,and at a age when you are still learning and enjoying your childhood.

Andre’s Father bet $10,000 on his son for a match against Jim Brown.

While the father went home to get the cash. A senior tennis club manager begged Jim Brown to lower his stakes…

The only thing Andre did was Play Tennis.A sport which he hated all his life.But,Became his life and became one of the few greats in Tennis we know today.

This blog ain’t about him personally,But on what do the different tournaments means, The different types of courts and the common terms that are used in tennis.

The first (and now oldest) tennis tournament was held at Wimbledon in 1877 and hence it’s called the Wimbledon and considered the prestigious Grand Slam. The Grand Slam  tournaments , are the four most important annual tennis events. The Grand Slam consists of the Australian Open in  midJanuary, the French Open in May and June, Wimbledon in June and July, and the US Open in August and September. Each tournament is played over a period of two weeks.

The matches in the Wimbledon

are known as Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s singles and doubles.

and not the men’s and women’s singles and doubles as known in the other tournaments.

Trivia on the Wimbledon:

1. An important Wimbledon Member Rufus the Hawak , flies around the court each day to move on any trouble-making pigeons.

2.34,000kg of strawberries and 10,000 litres of cream are consumed at Wimbledon.- Strawberry & Cream

The Types of surfaces in tennis – There are mainly 4 types of surfaces. clay courts, hard courts, grass courts and carpet courts.

Wimbledon is the only tournament in tennis that still since 1877.uses the Grass courts.Grass courts are the fastest type of courts. And another reason why they aren’t used in any of the other Grand slams (Australian Open  from 1905 to 1987, the US Open  from 1881 to 1974) It’s because its difficult to maintain and the cost of maintance is very high.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament to use clay courts.

Clay courts slow down the ball and produce a high bounce.

hard courts have been in use at the Australian Open since 1988 and the US Open  since 1978.

Carpet” Yes that makes you wonder – What type of court would this be infact in it tennis means any removable court covering.Since 2009, their use has been discontinued on the top tier of the ATP.

I am sure, you must have come across these terms,and for someone who doesn’t follow tennis this is what the terms related to the term ‘Grand Slam‘ really mean.

* ‘Grand Slam’Winning all 4 Grand Slams of the year

* ‘Golden Slam‘- Winning all 4 Grand Slams along with an Olympic gold       medal in the same year

* ‘Super Slam’– Winning all 4 Grand Slams along with the ATP/WTA finals in the same year.

* ‘Calendar  Slam‘- Winning the Slam in the same year or in a single year

* ‘Non-Calendar Slam’-Winning the slam in a period of 12 months

* ‘Career Slam‘- Winning the slam overall in the career i.e. winning all the    events of a slam in the career once

They are each called “Grand Slam tournaments” because they are the tournaments that make up the “Grand Slam”.

Weekend in Sri Lanka !

Having visited Sri Lanka five years ago.I was familiar with the city.

And the excitement of working on Project for a Destination that I would be visting again after a five years was on another level.

I did not know what to expect in the five years that had gone by .And after travelling extensively to all Major countries in the World. I really had no Idea what to expect from the country,Once I visit it again.

A Couple of weeks later,We were considering going for a Recce to Sri Lanka to finalise the venues & Hotel with the client.

We Landed in Sri lanka and the complete Journey was a revelation of how much the country had developed in terms of it’s infrastrcture expressways throughout Galle,Colombo to cities around sri lanka last time there were no such Roads like these.

Galle Fort was very much the same with quite a few restaurants newly opened and stores like Barefoot still being one of the stores to visit in Galle.

The Cricket Stadium being in the city and connecting the fort is something that most unusal about the City.

Visited some New places around Galle.

Mirissa – which is popular for the whale watching experience & Weligama where so many hotels chains have opened and are opening for the breathtaking view of the blue waters from the rooftop terraces.

Colombo felt like the city that has developed so much with real estate investments from around the world & within the country.So Many Hotels chains to have opened while some had gone through the reovations to still be considred as one of the hotel options to stay & experience their hospitality while others want the tourist & locals to experience thiers.

Ministry of Crab – The only Resturant in Sri lanka to be part of the Asia’s 50 Best Resturant 2017 And to have Sri Lanka on the World Map for it’s Food.. And the Man behind is the celebratory Chef Dharshan Mundaisa- Is behind the fame Resturant (Nihonbashi)

Ministry of Crab is in with Partnership with Sri lankan cricketers Mahela Jawardene & Kumar Sangakkara.

I also had the opporunity to meet Mahela Jawardene at the Ministry of crab when we visited the restaurant during our visit.

Dharshan Mundaisa has also partnered with Jacquline ferandez for Keamesutra another restaurant that specialises in Japanese Food at the Shangri-la Colombo.

Dutch Hospital Street is the most lively street to be on weekend with live music performances,Bars and a resturants to choose from.

Sri lanka has more to offer than just Cinamon & Tea.

It’s the Goa of Sri Lanka .

FIFA 2018

The 21st  Edition of the World Cup that began in 1930 had  been full of surprises and Shocks. 

It began with Realising Italy wasn’t part of this edition for the first time in 60 Years  

Then Came the Saudi Arabian side who played their first ever World Cup in the 21st edition since the championship has been taking place. 

And Iceland had became the smallest nation to qualify in this year editions and had the Support of the country people came down to Russia for their Games. 

They did give it a fight,But weren’t really as good as the teams they were grouped with. 

But,This is just the beginning for them. 

From the World class team nations like Brazil– Who were as always expected to qualify from the group stage and Qualified for the Quarters were a complete disappointment.The Country that’s been 5 times Champions Had only one team player they were dependent on – Neymar. 

Argentina captain Messi -Messed up the game

Cristiano Ronaldo proved himself by Scoring Goals,But the Team did not Qualify to the next stage of Semi’s and the Dream of Ronaldo wining the cup must have ended forever. 

Uruguay proved themselves yet again.But France  was Better then them.

Spain was utter disappointment as they seemed overconfident against the host.

Sweden was a pleasant surprise. 

Germany the Champions of 2014 just did not have luck by their side.

With the Top 4 France,Belgium, Croatia and England part of the last stage, It seemed more like a Euro league with not a single South American team qualifying this time.

Croatia seemed like the Best side in the World Cup this time.As since 1998 was  the only time they appeared in the semi’s against France and 20 years later they played England and the 5 times they have qualified they hardly progressed to the next stage.

Belgium since the last edition of the World Cup has only become a better side as this time they qualified for the Semis and had some great come backs in the games which they nearly lost.But unfortunately couldn’t make it to the finals 

It’s was hard to believe the French  hadn’t won a title again until 20 years ago.The last time they came close to victory was in Germany 12 Years ago  and were Runner up’s.

The English Team- A team that’s not won in 52 Years. A team in the last 4 World Cup that  faced challenges to even qualify to the stages closer to the final one. 

This year too,The English team failed to qualify to final and even finished 4th .The wait will Continue. 

The Croatian team had reached the finals and it was hard to believe this side had played for the first time 20 years ago in 1998 when we saw them play and  they had finished 3rd In the competition.Now 20 years later they played the team they lost to in the semifinal of 1998 FIFA World Cup and my they were unstoppable but they couldn’t really win the World Cup.France was the Best. 

France coach Dider Deschamps is only the Third Man, after Mario Zagallo from Brazil who captained his side to two successive World Cup titles (1958& 1962 ) and 1970 as a coach and Franz Beckenbauer from Germany who won the cup for the team in 1974 &  in 1990  as a coach, to winning the Cup as a captain in 1998 and as a coach for the country in 2018.