Lets take a walk!

Long walks help you clear your head, pace your thoughts and calm you down. The benefits of walking seem so obvious that they’re rarely discussed. We forget how it’s great exercise that also helps you tone your legs, shed the extra weight and doesn’t need you to have an exclusive gym membership. It fastens your heart beat, circulates more blood and oxygen to your muscles and your organs, including the brain. Experts suggest that brisk walking for 30 minutes at a moderate speed can help you burn 150 to 200 calories.

What’s not to like about walking? It’s free. It’s easy to do, and it’s easy on the joints. And there’s no question that walking is good for you. Walking is an aerobic exercise; a University of Tennessee study found that women who walked had less body fat than those who didn’t walk. It also lowers the risk of blood clots, since the calf acts as a venous pump, contracting and pumping blood from the feet and legs back to the heart, reducing the load on the heart. Walking is good for you in other ways as well. Right from improving circulation to lightening your mood, to supporting your joints, to lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s

So get on your walking shoes, and lets get set and going!!

 

 

Love is in the air!

Ye ishq nahi aasa, Itna samjh lejiye,
Ek Aag ka dariya hai, aur doob ke jana hai,

masoom si mohabbat ka bus itna sa fasana hai,
kagaj ki haveli hai, baarish ka zamaana hai,

kya shart-e-mohabbat hai, kya shart-e-zamana hai,
aawaz bhi jakhmi hai aur wo geet bhi gana hai,

uss par utrne ki umeed bahut kam hai,
kashti bhi puraani hai, tufaan bhi aana hai,

samajhe ya na samjhe wo andaaz-e-mohabbat ka,
bheegi hui ankho se ek sher sunaana hai,

bholi si ada, koi fir ishq ki jid par hai,
fir aag ka dariya hai, aur doob hi jana hai.

With these couplets in my head, I start my quest for the famous Ghalib ki Haveli in Balimaran. Arriving on a rickshaw, with a book on Ghalib’s Shayari i reach the old Haveli

Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan was a famous Urdu & Persian poet who used ‘Ghalib’ & ‘Asad’ as his pseudo names. Well known for his literary works such as poems & couplets, he is mostly known for the various ghazals (poetry) he wrote, which have been sung by different people in many different ways. Regarded as one of the most influential poets of the British-occupied India. His married life is believed to have been tragic as none of his seven children lived beyond infancy. His sadness & grief are apparent in many of the couplets written by him.

His haveli still preserves some of the belongings of Ghalib & also has a typical replica statue of him . His handwritten ghazals, selected works from his books, his couplets along with some personal things. The charm & the beauty of the old world is still intact and tries its best to keep the tourists & the visitors in a transfixed state of awe.

The 300 year old haveli- a heritage site that offers you an insight into the legendary poet’s life and times. Going in the city, with an intention of exploring and reading out some verses from the walls to your special one- my idea of a desi-Valentine day!

Whats your pup doing this new year

 

Life in an urban city like Delhi is fast and stressful. The moment we open our eyes in the morning we have an entire day scheduled for us, so many things on priority- work, family or friends. After the long day we come back home pet our dogs, play with them for 10- 15 mins and get back to our priorities again. But for our pooches we are the only priority, those 10-15mins is the only time they wait for all day long.

We don’t even realize that feeding our dog thrice a day or walking our dog twice is not the only responsibility we have.What is most important is to spend quality time with them which we all fail to do. An initiative to help people spend quality time with their pooches.

Pet Socializing

Pet socialisastion is an important part of their temperament training which most pet owners miss out on. Dogs were always pack animals, in today’s time we keep single dogs at home as pets. They don’t get to socialize with other dogs as a result of which they have a lot of behavioral issues. Keeping this in mind Doggie’s Day Out is a full day of Pet Picnic that you and your dogs can enjoy.

Run Your Master

Exercising is an important aspect of health care for both our dogs as well as us, because of our busy schedule we most tend to ignore our physical exercise and at times don’t get the time to run our dogs aswell, to encourage this we decided to have a fun game Called “Run your master” where the owner runs with their dogs and competes in the race with other pets and their pet parents.

Who’s Hungry

“Who’s Hungry” is a run eating competition for your pooches, where your dogs will compete with each other on who licks the dog bowl clean the fastest.

Doggie Treasure Hunt

We have all played the fun game of treasure hunt as kids but at whatspup we do everything with a twist. “Doggie’s Treasure Hunt” will be a game where your pooches have to sniff and win their treats that will be hidden in different parts of the park.

Fund Raising for the homeless

Not everyone can take a homeless stray home but surely everyone can contribute to making their life a little more comfortable. Fund raising activities will help keep the homeless warm this winter and keep their bellies full.

Shop with and for your Pooches

We often shop for our pooches, but don’t get an opportunity to shop with them very often. At Doggie’s Day Out will have a variety of pet products that one can shop for their pooches.

GoInTheCity is organizing an endearing event, Doggies Day Out from 11 – 4 PM, 15th January, 2017 at PSOI Club, Nehru Park; wherein every dog owner, and dog lover, can participate and spend a nice evening enjoying the pleasant union with their cute fur balls! Folks, an opportunity to strengthen the bond that you share with dogs, through a plethora of fun activities and plenty of dulcet emotions to feel at the same time.
Sounds fun, right? Save the date folks.

 

Exploring the Markets of Chandni Chowk

My latest stint at Delhi, has been spent in working in the concrete jungle-Gurgaon. Figuring out a list of things to do in Delhi, I realize, I haven’t been to Chandni Chowk. So, I pick up my camera and head out to one of the most pristine locations of all times. My interest lies across street photography, so Chandni Chowk, is a one-stop shop for the shopaholic and photographer in me.

While the Delhi metro has been Delhi’s lifeline and my life line too, for the two years I spent here, in winters, walking is a boon. A comfortable pair of shoes, a point and shoot camera, a bottle of water, and few bucks in the pocket, and I am ready to explore, to walk the unknown, uncharted routes. While Purani Dilli, or old Delhi, is an eclectic mix of the ancient era, and unparalleled commercial activity, it is a pure haven, for the walkers like me, explorers who, believe, walking on your own, makes you discover the true spirit of the city.

A shopper’s delight it is, there is not even a single thing that you wouldn’t get in this market, dry fruits, apparel, shoes, electronics, consumer durables, diamond, you name it, and they have it. I explore the lost world, the markets owned by the age old merchants, singing tunes for the Gen next. The narrow lanes, the chaos, the dingy corners, where life sings a new song!

Listing the markets and their famous fares below would make you travel with me!

1.      Kinari Bazaar: Located in Chandni Chowk adjacent to the Gali Paranthe Wali, near Gurudwara Sisganj. It is a little away from the Chandni Chowk Metro Station & you can either walk down or take a rickshaw. The street is an opulent display of what India stands for, sheen and color. Apart from that Kinari Bazaar also specializes in selling other embroidery items like lace, threadwork embellishment, different borders, stonework, gold/silver work & garlands. Call it subtle, call it gaudy, but a walk in this market surely takes you to the Bollywood land!

2.      Dariba Kalan:  Translated to ‘Street of Incomparable Pearl,’ is literally beyond compare. Scores of shops, with glitterati, all the way, are surely to leave you spell-bound. Diamonds, precious, semi-precious gems and stones, being strewn into strings by roadside vendors, makes it a very photogenic sight.

3.      Lajpat Rai Market: Rows of small shops greet you when you enter this market from any of its multiple entries. With scores of people selling mobile phones (Chinese duplicates & secondhand pieces of major brands & local models too), pirated CDs giving you the chance to view the latest movies before the originals hit the cinema & various electronic products like LED’s, TV’s, this is where most shoppers find delight!

4.      Khari Baoli, :Delhi’s bustling wholesale spice market. It’s well worth a wander simply to take in the sights and aroma because things have changed little here for centuries. Huge sacks of herbs and spices are brought to the wholesalers on long, narrow barrows pushed by labourers, and there are eye-catching displays of everything from lentils and rice to giant jars of chutneys, pickles, nuts and tea.

5.      Chawri Bazaar: Apart from a significant number of brass and copper shops selling kitchen utensils, Chawri Bazaar, is mainly famous for the wedding card shops, selling a variety of designs.

Though, the moonlight square, is a shopper’s paradise, it doesn’t let the tummy, growl and roar, the mouthwatering dishes ,the Parathas, the Daulat ki Chaat, the Channe Bhature, the Dahi Bhalle are available all over the “Gullis” and “Mohallas”. Well, I will come back for doing full justice to the foodie in me, in yet another walk through these busy lanes, bustling with life.

Nestled with heritage, is life waiting to be discovered, a life that exists and flourishes beyond the concrete jungle of Gurgaon, where presentations and deadlines mark your lives!

Oh Delhi, I love the experiences you provide me!

 

http://www.gointhecity.com/tours/5/A-Wedding-Shopping-Experience

Changing Perceptions about the Tawaifs of Old Delhi

A foggy winter morning, a group of us, covered in layers of woolens, waiting with our kulhads of chai, at the Chawri bazaar metro station. While there was a large group, everyone seemed to be reserved. A sensitive topic it was, everyone was skeptical about the content of the walk.

As we started walking, we realized this walk from the Bordellos to the Brothels, was aimed at clearing the myths associated with the “Tawaif” culture that Delhi had. A culture that was really rich. Merchants sent their children to learn the mannerisms. Filled with facts and stories, of the past, told with a lot of passion and fervor.

I expected to be visiting some real, Bordelos, or the Kothas, that were homes to the various courtesans of those times. But what I understood, while we walked, was that there are none that remain. Well, why did this art die, or was it killed. Some facts shared, made me wonder, what really happened to the real”heritage” of India.

The women of those times, the kothas of those times, the musicians of those times, the bazaars that were set up, the wares that were sold, did form an ecosystem. Comparing the whole ecosystem of yesterday, stands our new world of entertainment: the Bollywood. The entire industry, with a single point agenda of entertainment.

Walking with the explorers, does one realize, that certain words used now, like the tawaifs, the nautch girls, had a completely different connotation,back then. Hearing the origin of the words, like the nautch girls, the tawaifs, one gains a different respect for the so-called Tawaifs, the kothas!

The walk was a wonderful way of  meeting the old traditions, the culture and the art forms, that died a death they didnt deserve. While we sign off, I am reminded of the famous song from the movie Pakeezah,

Chalte chalte, chalte chalte
Yunhi koi mil gaya tha…
Sare raah chalte chalet…
Vahin thamke reh gayi hai..
Meri raat dhalte dhalte…
Jo kahi gayi na mujhse…
Voh zamaana keh raha hai…
Ke fasaana
Ke fasaana ban gayi hai…
Meri baat chalte chalet…
Yunhi koi mil gaya tha…
Sare raah chalte chalet…
Yunhi koi mil gaya tha
Sare raah chalte chalte

http://www.gointhecity.com/tours/68/Tawaifs-of-Chawri-Bazar—From-Bordello-to-Brothel

 

A special gift, an experiential walk

Been married for the last ten years, I had gotten bored out of giving my husband shirts, expensive perfumes, watches,and gadgets as gifts for our anniversary. Understandably the few grey strands of hair had made me move an inch up the Maslow’s hierarchy. A little research on the internet, and I realized, the gifting options were very restricted. They reminded me of my teenage days, heart shaped teddy bears and some mushy cards. Having given up on my idea of gifting him something different, something meaningful, I opened up a few booking engines, to book ourselves a movie date. Was pleasantly surprised, when I spoke to a company that organizes experiential walks in the city, and I realized I hit a gold mine. Why not look at an experiential walk, something that they could customize, looking at both our interests.

We are a pair of opposites, my husband and I, he is a complete foodie, anything that walks, is edible, and I am someone who loves heritage, art and culture. They were able to customize a walk exclusively for “us” Tailor made, it was. An experienced traveler, greeted us with a lovely bouquet of red roses at the meeting point. We walked the bylanes of Chandni Chowk, exploring the old and bygone havelis. We walked, saw the old mansions, now in a bad shape, jostling through the crowds. Building our appetite, we were taken to the food guli. The mere sight of such authentic delights, brought a BIG Smile on my husband’s face. It was a feast, right from the word go, having given the most special treatment on all the food stalls.

Having a candid photographer accompany us while the walking treats lasted, was a blessing in disguise. It was a surreal experience, walking the streets of Old Delhi. The surprise for us, was a special treat from the organizers. At the Chawri Bazaar metro station, where we were supposed to end our walk, was a beautiful Tanga, beautifully decorated and bejeweled. A tanga ride, in Chandni Chowk, was a real dream come true. A complete surprise, and what a way to end the most royal experience.

Must say, this was the most well planned anniversary celebrations by the group. We seemed to truly enjoy the differences in our interests. An evening, that really deserves a special mention. We really look forward to enjoying more such experiences in the future, with them. We have already planned an evening at the Sufi dargah, of Nizamuddin Auliya, for his birthday celebrations!

 

 

Lets UN-BOX our lives!

The lives of our children revolve around the various gadgets, laptops, ipads, TV Cartoons, mobiles. Their addiction levels, are beyond comprehension. With the evolving world, it becomes difficult to keep them away from these technological devils. Being a parent, I wonder how can we change this situation for the next generations.

Studies show outdoor time helps children grow lean and strong, enhances imagination and attention spans, decreases aggression, and boosts classroom performance. In addition, children who spend time in nature regularly are shown to become better advocates of the cleaner environment.

Delhi with the vagaries of seasons, gives us ample opportunity to enjoy the winter sunshine. Gone are the days when the children would enjoy the warmth of joint families, and lovely picnics. Gadgets have replaced the outdoor activities, that we as children enjoyed

Walking,sunbathing and enjoying the winter sun, and ensuring we give our children time off the artificial world is what we need. Just recently I got my son, enrolled for a storytelling workshop, and admist a session of lovely stories with a moral, he came back with his sunny smile, and some new friends he made.

A walk along the nature trail, some birds spotting, some drawings, his childish pranks, we came back with some lovely memories. While he enjoyed his storytelling session, my husband and I sat down and enjoyed the lush green gardens, with the backdrop of the Bada Gumbad, birds chirping, and frisbees flying around.

We need to stop over-expecting from ourselves, and just ensure we all have fun, while we do something that we enjoy! So would say, lets “un-box” our lives, lets get our picnic baskets and have some sun shine on our children

 

Morning at Connaught Place – Exploring the Other Side!

Guest article By Jibin George.

Every resident of Delhi must have visited Delhi’s epicentre, Connaught Place aka CP. The place is a familiar one to most people, and if asked for their experience at CP, the answer would be close to being “great and crowded.” Great implies to the wonderful social experience the place has to offer with a range of shopping sites laid out in a two-layered circular field, whereas Crowded, is simply an understatement. The term Rush Hour is the true nature of this place, with the never ending wave of people coming to CP, especially using the equally crowded Metro Station, Rajiv Chawk. This place is collection of people, vehicles, shops, clubs, and everything else people need to relax and make merry.

Morning at Connaught Place 1But, ever wondered how it looks at the early hours of the day? In an aim to see the different side of this area, I set out to for this place at 7:00 AM. And I realized that this place’s another face was as exciting as the primary well-known face. The experience was almost the same, yet extremely different. To me, it felt like a different world altogether.

Morning at Connaught Place 2The first thing I noticed was the near-empty streets and roads. I used the term Near-Empty, not because of the presence of ordinary vehicles and people roaming around, but due to the numerous people who were involved in the cleaning process of the area. I was wonderstruck at the clean environment that I was at, which earlier I’ve always found to be dirty to the limits.

Morning at Connaught Place 3Morning at Connaught Place 4 Morning at Connaught Place 5

The first spot that I reached on my journey towards CP was the Janpath market. Unlike the main market of CP where every stuff comes in a moderately good premium, Janpath market deals in non-goodbranded items and a pretty good price. However, this place is also a typical market with shopkeepers and Sherpa’s yelling out prices and discounts. But this time, this place seemed like a deserted town, with only two people present there. One was a merchant who was setting up his shop of wood crafted idols of Buddha. The other was an old-aged man who was fixing the board of a shop. I don’t know if he was a shopkeeper or just a service man since he did not respond to anything I asked him, but kept on staring at me like I’m not from this world, and so I moved on. I was liking this freedom of free walking.

Morning at Connaught Place 6Morning at Connaught Place 7 Morning at Connaught Place 8

 

Morning at Connaught Place 9

After crossing the Janpath market, towards the left was clearly visible the British architecture of Connaught Place. The first board that caught my eye was of ‘Teddy Boy’. Its amusing name with yellow accent on red background was an eye-catching combination. Walking through the various blocks of the market, there were many interesting stores I saw, well interesting store names, which included ‘Farzi Café’ and ‘Lord of the Drinks’. There were also many spots that appealed to me due to the inclusion of the year of establishment in the name banner, like the ‘United Coffee House since 1942’. These types of minute details are often not observed while coming to this place during the regular working hours of this place.

Morning at Connaught Place 10 Morning at Connaught Place 11

Morning at Connaught Place 12Morning at Connaught Place 13
Morning at Connaught Place 14As far as the population here was concerned, what I observed was that there were many people who were here for a good nap. Some of these people were here due to calmness of nature, and others were here because they had no place. Among such a crowd of sleeping people, presence of dogs was also a common sight. They were also enjoying their sleep time as though they knew that by the time the clock reaches 11, their sleep will be disturbed for sure. Then there were the street urchins here and there, getting ready with their work objects, which usually was either stationary items or cobbler’s shoe polishing kit.

Morning at Connaught Place 15 Morning at Connaught Place 16

The most welcoming sight of all of these was the bird feeding areas, how the pigeons were present in big groups to attack on the food people gave them, and there were a hearty number of people present to give them food. There were few shops especially set up for people to buy bird food. I was happy that there was a bond between humans and birds.

Morning at Connaught Place 17 Morning at Connaught Place 18 Morning at Connaught Place 19 Morning at Connaught Place 20 Morning at Connaught Place 21

Around 9:30 AM, there was an evident increase of the population of people in that area. Security people were opening up shops and most shops had their shutters half open. The buying population was waiting for the shops to say that they were open. They crowd in the roads had bumped up and traffic signals had started functioning by now. The post office of CP was already attending to customers while the cleaning staff were doing their part. All in all, the CP as I had known and experienced earlier, was taking back its form.

Making the run up to the big day memorable and hassle free!

A wedding is the most special occasion for the bride and the groom. Shopping for weddings can often become stressful and time consuming if you don’t know where to shop and what to shop for.

A personalized shopping walk packed with tips and tricks is the key to make wedding shopping memorable, fun and hassle free. The concept is catching up fast with the new and arrived. Whether you are staying in India or abroad, shopping for an Indian wedding is incomplete without visiting the markets bursting with color, fashion, aromas and food to tantalize your taste buds.

The Wedding shopping walk has been designed in a way that you can experience the best shops suited to your taste and budget while soaking in the local history and culture of Delhi. Your personalized shopper will take you around the bustling streets of Delhi – both old and new, adding to the charms of the experience.

Critical Tatvas of wedding shopping

The Wedding Outfit: Say yes to the dress

The wedding outfit is the key element while planning the dream wedding. It captures the unique signature of the bride and groom. As we walk through the wedding outfit vendors in Delhi, you’ll find yourself romancing age-old antique Zardosi in fine silk, Resham thread work over layers of romantic Tulle will catch your fancy, Gota, mirror work and colorful borders will instantly attract and let’s not forget how those vivid Indian colours can be ‘Oh-so-found-only-in India’. The dress will be matched with the perfect footwear and accessories.

Jewelry – Adding bling to your special day

You know how timeless and out of this world, Indian royalty looks in pictures, posing in beautiful textiles and jaw dropping jewellery. Jadau jewellery layered looks glamorous and makes you look like royalty when paired with Indian ensembles. It’s not just the traditional necklaces and earrings that work, brides now want to go all out and wear a Mathapatti, Hathphool, Kamarbandh, Nath, Bajubandh and more. Delhi has some of the best places to shop for wedding jewellery. The Churas, and Kaleeras, accessories for D-Day, are also available in various contours, and need to be matched with your wedding Lehnga. Walk in to the jewel hubs in Delhi, you can choose from a range of artificial or real pieces to bling up your special day.

Trousseau: Fabrics for a lifetime

Every mother starts buying the most exquisite fabrics that she would gift to her daughter or daughter in law on that special day. The traditional trousseau constituted of only traditional garments but the contemporary bride and groom look forward to a mix of everyday wear and traditional garments in their trousseau. Choose fabrics, clothes and traditional fabrics for suits like Banarasi, Chanderi, Kotas, Organzas & Kanjeevaram saris to complete the treasured trousseau.

Gifts for family and friends: Making your loved ones feel special

The wedding celebration is not complete without pampering the special ones in your life and expressing your gratitude towards them. We will help you pick the fabrics, jewels and unique gifts for your loved ones. Get packaging ideas and materials to add a special touch to gifting your loved ones.

Unleash the potential in your child this summer (Part 2)

This is the concluding part of a two part blog. Read the introductory part here.

The mercury has been soaring high and my little one and me, strangely enough, enjoy our walking tours. We both wake up early, get ready, ready to take on another day – the day that starts with us, the day that stays with us.

Purana Qila (Old Fort) on Mathura Rd is another walled fort with a calmer vibe than the Red Fort, and lots of green space and ruins to ramble around. There’s another boating lake in the former moat of the fort. Nearby is Delhi’s ramshackle but well-stocked National Zoological Gardens, which treats its animals fairly well and is a reliable winner with kids. Give her a camera, and unleash the wildlife or bird photographer in your kid! We ended up attending a Heritage and Photography combo walk at the Old Fort and next door zoo and ended up being enthralled with the stories surrounding the Fort and the amazing clicks we were able to take of the flora and fauna at the zoo, thanks to our awesome host – Parth.

We come back home, and she wants to share all of her treasure trove. It’s the world environment day she reminds me, tomorrow. Let’s do something mom, lets head out and explore our city in the light of the sun that shines for more than just the heat. She is inquisitive, she wants to read, but much rather than making her learn about the various trees and shrubs and herbs, I much rather take this opportunity to visit the Sunder Nursery (referred to us by Parth), spread across 70 acres and situated adjacent to Humayun’s Tomb. The nursery not only retails plants, seedlings, saplings and foliage but is a great place to spot some birds as well – a hidden paradise for birders and photographers without leaving the city! We practice the skills gained in our Old Fort Photowalk and end up with even more amazing clicks, buy some plants, get home, and sow seeds for a better tomorrow. My girl loves her new nursery, with just about a few marigolds and a budding rose! We look forward to water the sapling and discuss about nature over our breakfast around the new members of our family! She is even showing an aptitude for photography – simple tips on lighting and discovering moments and angles have opened up a beautiful world for my child.

She wants more and we book ourselves for a nature walk, it’s a walk we take around the Rose Garden. The nature lover in me, explodes with excitement. We walk, we talk, we learn, we hear stories about nothing more than trees, well just trees. To the normal person it might seem boring, but it is one of the most interesting walks we attended. The stories associated with the origin, medicinal values, anecdotes of the most common trees like the Amaltas, the Eucalyptus, the Neem and others has really tickled a bug within the botany graduate I am or was. I yearn to read more, to teach more, maybe even become a walk leader J

As the vacations are nearing the end, we start penning down our thoughts, we love the myriad experiences we got in Delhi. The Delhi Metro provides a fast link to Mehrauli, one of Delhi’s seven ancient cities, with spectacular and fascinating ruins at the Qutab Minar, the sprawling Mehrauli Archaeological Park and the adjacent Mehrauli Village. My girl dons the photographer’s hat, as we walk with a group of seven people, each of them having a different reason to attend a walk, and explore Delhi through the eyes of Moby, our friendly and chirpy walk leader. Her enthusiasm is infectious, even though we have over shot our two hour time limit, we are all raring to go!

And then there’s the Hauz Khas village, with a deer park, Mughal ruins, cute cafes and an ancient man-made lake.  We wrap up our summer vacations exploring, experiencing Delhi our way, we learn heaps, but hello there is a familiar voice on the phone, her friend’s mother what about the holiday homework?