July 21, 2016

Travelogue: Kannur

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As I have said before, my new city Bangalore provides zillions of options for weekend getaways and we have been travelling more than ever before since we moved here!

Now, even though places like Pondicherry, Ooty, Coorg etc. are temptingly beautiful and all in stone's-throw distances from Bangalore; but all these places are pretty commercial & too popular, thus being full of tourists most of the time.

But sometimes, the heart craves some solitude, respite from the madding crowds and a place where one can just let go of everything & just breathe. While craving a weekend of much-needed peace and browsing through hundreds of websites looking for a name that'll not sound popular, I chanced upon the existence of a quaint seaside town located in beautiful Kerala - Kannur.
Fortunately, it proved to be just a overnight bus journey from Bangalore and I knew I had found my weekend haven. 

Quick online bookings and a sway-ing sleep on a KSRTC bus (their overnight AC Sleeper buses are really good - awesome buses, great service & perfect punctuality - totally worth a mention) later, me & the husband found ourselves in the small town of Kannur, Kerala.

Our homestay was near the ocean and an early morning auto-rickshaw ride took us through a quiet town and burgeoning green outskirts to Ocean Green Homestay - our abode for the weekend. The owner, Mr. Sajeev, courteously welcomed us into a tiled white house with a porch & a dense garden and it was almost love at first sight. 

After freshening up and a hearty breakfast, which the owner's wife herself cooks & serves, we set out down the garden path, through a li'l gate, down a flight of rocky steps into a coconut grove that was as dense as it was green. The monsoons had washed over this town in all its glory and the .lush green view everywhere was a refreshing sight for city-sore eyes!

Through the coconut grove, there was a meandering stream of backwater, flanked by tilted coconut trees on both sides and which opened up into the ocean. The backwater was quintessentially Kerala and proved why this state is called "God's Own Country".

We followed the backwater and climbed a rocky embankment to witness one of the most beautiful views ever! There lay a pristine beach, with an azure blue sky seamlessly merging with a serene sea. We finally congratulated ourselves for choosing Kannur over other seaside towns, as there was not a person in sight and we literally had the whole pretty beach to ourselves! #win #neverpossibleinGoa

Picture-postcard perfect, eh?

So, apart from chilling at this amazingly beautiful beach, we also played tourist and went to visit the St. Angelo's Fort which used to be a Portugese fort in older days and which still stands tall in the town. The fort was not very big, but the view from the turrets is impressive and the canons are still holding their heads high all around the fort walls, as if guarding the city from any possibilities of attack from the ocean-side till date.
We spent a happy & lazy rainy afternoon strolling around the fort, exploring its turrets, dungeons & courtyard.

You can understand that this fort was a pretty active one back in its day by the fact that there's still a moat running around it.

There's nothing much else to see in the town, but you mustn't leave Kannur town without visiting the MRA bakery & restaurant near Kannur railway station. I went there on the recommendation of a fellow blogger who hails from the town, and to say I was impressed, would be an understatement. I was blown away by the sheer size of the place and the variety of confections it had to offer. I was told to try their fish biriyani, but unfortunately, this popular dish gets sold out by afternoon, so we had to be happy with our numerous boxes of cookies and snacks.
But, we did satiate our quest for the famous Fish Biriyani at yet another recommended restaurant, MVK and it was a yummy dish of awesomeness - spicy & fragrant rice with a well-fried fish - another must-have when in Kannur.

The rest of the weekend was spent relaxing in the homestay, taking strolls on the beach and exploring the lush green gardens & groves around. 
The monsoon had painted the whole area in gorgeous shades of green and my walks in the garden gave me a lot of pretty captures - of beautiful blooms, majestic trees, lovely plants & even unperturbed insects. 

On one of our explorations, we even came upon a beautiful temple nestled in the woods, its serene beauty shining like a beacon of peace in the lap of nature.

Even though officially monsoon is off-season in Kannur and most homestays were closed, and we hardly saw any other tourist around; I found this time to be perfect for visiting the place due to the lush green hues painted by the showers and the vivid colours we got to see all around.
Thankfully, we didn't get much rains and could enjoy the tourist-less town to our hearts' content.

Leaving you with a stunning panoramic view of the lovely beach at Kannur that still makes up a chunk of my dreams.

Can't wait to go back and spend another rejuvenating weekend at this beautiful Kerala town.

I bet most of you didn't know about this lovely place. But I hope I have convinced you to plan your next vacay there!
Let me know how it was!

July 12, 2016

The Perfect Shift

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My Bangalore life has been good to me. I work from home; get time to binge-watch Crime Patrol re-runs (don't judge me, pls); bake to my heart's content; cook fancy dishes for hubby and go out on shopping & ice-cream dates with my girlfriends.
You might even envy my chilled-out life in this city a bit. 
But this laid-back life, which majorly lacks in all the running-around I do while in Kolkata, is also giving me a few things that I would rather do without - namely; my love handles, slowly growing layers of cellulite and steadily-increasing digits of my weight. :(

Why don't I do something about it, you say? 
Well, for one, I'm too lazy to exercise at home and since I am in Bangalore half the month and in Kolkata rest of the time, enrolling in a gym is not of any use!
So, for the time being, I'm trying to keep my ever-growing curves in check. Any ideas are most welcome!


Ever since I have started to put on a bit (ok, maybe more than a bit) of weight, I have been on the lookout for the perfect shift dress - one that would not draw attention to my too-curvy-for-my-own-good curves, but not make me look like I am wearing a sack as well! 

I have my on-again, off-again love relationships with the numerous empire line & A-line dresses that I have, but finding the right shift dress was proving to be as elusive as getting yourself an eligible bachelor who's neither engaged, nor homosexual. (no offense pls)

I generally don't have much faith on Sale-time shopping, as most of the stuff I come home with are bought on whims that prove to be a so-so deal later. But sometimes, just sometimes, you get that item which becomes a lifelong love story.

Last week, while browsing through the sale at H&M - would you believe it if I said that I bought only a pair of black basic leggings from there? - I spotted a well-built woman wearing a chic pinstriped shift dress with bell sleeves that was the perfect shape & length. I eyed the dress for a good 10 minutes and was almost on the verge of asking the lady the origin of her buy!

Around an hour later, while looking through the racks at the Zara sale, I chanced upon the very same dress - there was only one piece hanging there, tempting me, that too in my size! 
Well, Karma might be a bitch to those who indulge in her bad side, but for others, she's an angel, right?

[Shift dress: Zara | Bag: Only | Slider sandals: Westside | Necklace: FabIndia | Watch: Fossil | On my nails: Sally Hansen | On my lips: Flaming Function by Lakme 9to5]

Well, now you see why I think I have found my shift dress soul-mate, don't you?

I took this red & white striped beauty for its maiden outing on my weekend Pondicherry trip and since it was way too hot there, I kept the look minimal with a contrast necklace, summer sandals and a big hobo to tote around my travel essentials in!

I can already think up of umpteen ways to style this number! You might just come across this dress a lot more times on the blog in the future...so, be prepared! 

On the other hand, can't believe it's July already!!! Where's the year rushing by?

Have a great week ahead peeps!



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