All posts filed under “Culture

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A Dynasty in Shambles: Bangalore Palace

This February, I spent some time in Bangalore. Intending to delve into the city’s past, I made a trip to the iconic Bangalore Palace, the seat of the Wadiyar (or Wodeyar) dynasty. It may sound like an incredibly touristy thing to do, but if you’re a history buff like me, then exploring old museums and monuments is always a fun way to get to know a city better.

I had heard a lot of mixed reviews, but decided to keep an open mind and no expectations. Paying about Rs. 200-something for the entry ticket (it’s more for foreign nationals), with an audio guide included was fine, but being compelled to pay an additional Rs. 500 to be able to take photographs with my smartphone was not something I saw coming! It’s quite a heavy fee, but one I also imagine is necessary in order to maintain the huge costs that the Palace and grounds must be incurring for the basic general upkeep.

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LetsCampOut at The Lost Party!

A little sunburnt, with blistered feet and a satanic flu, but nonetheless happy – I returned from a new camp-out music festival in the Sahyadri hills, called The Lost Party, held this past weekend. Invited to stay by LetsCampOut, I was rather intrigued – having only been camping at a music festival once before (actually, it was rather like glamping), this experience sounded a little outside of my comfort zone – so of course I said yes!

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10 Things That Disappointed at the Emerge Music and Arts Festival

I will travel for music.

Not only is it a great way to see new places and meet new people, but experiencing music you love and discovering new sounds is something I highly recommend. Far from the days when we could only pine for music festivals to be held in India, we’ve come a long way, with a multitude of Indian music festivals putting themselves on the map. Of course, there are the commercial ones targeted at the masses, engineered to churn out money like machines, but there are also those beautifully curated, smaller scale ones that renew my faith in the industry. Of the latter, the ‘Emerge Music & Arts Festival’ caught my eye mostly because of it’s lineup – Alt-J (an English indie rock band) and Rudimental (they are a quartet with a blend of live instrumental and electronic music), two of the best acts (in my opinion) to come out of the UK in the past couple of years and definitely not what I expected to see on an Indian music festival lineup, let alone together! With feverish excitement, I booked my tickets to the Bangalore edition of the festival (Emerge is a bi-city festival, which was to be held in Delhi and Bangalore).

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Eat, See, Do: Toronto – Part I

Having spent some time in Toronto this past October, I got to experience a lot more than I had initially thought. Besides being a cultural mosaic, Toronto is also Canada’s largest city (the 4th largest in North America) and has been consistently named one of the world’s ‘most livable cities‘. Apart from exploring the world’s #1 Food Market St. Lawrence – and re-discovering my love for Thai food at local favourite PAI, I did manage to soak in as much of Toronto’s attractions as I could, thanks to my friends.

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Dastkari Haat – Artisans of India

In a country like India, with such a wide range of cultures, there is no dearth of talented artisans. No matter where you travel – you’ll always find indigenous handicrafts in some form or the other, because not only are my countrymen (and women) extremely gifted, they are also very enterprising. Of course, in this day and age and with the rise of superstores and online stores which can deliver to your doorstep at the click of a button, the Indian artisan is somewhat shunted aside – or even worse, does not even earn enough for their dedicated efforts. Fortunately for these men and women, there has also been a rise in the number of NGOs that bring their talent to light and one of them is the Dastkari Haat Samiti, a national association of artisans and craftspeople from all over India. Based in Delhi, this 26 year old organisation has done wonderful things for the upliftment and empowerment of artisans, affording them a better platform to showcase their skills as well as a direct income.

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Exploring St. Lawrence Market, Toronto

Ranked the #1 Food Market in the World by National Geographic, the historic St. Lawrence Market in Old Toronto is a must-see for any food lover. A congregation of the City’s best local producers, this historic landmark is one of two famous Markets (the other being a hipster’s paradise – Kensington Market) and I can safely say, that if I lived in Toronto I would most definitely spend every earned penny on produce from St. Lawrence.

“Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” -Anthony Bourdain

Vegetarians, Fruitarians, Pescatarians, Meat Lovers, Wine Connoisseurs and Confectionery Lovers – there’s something for everyone (especially if you’re a Bacon Lover). To make it easier for the discerning traveller, here are a few recommendations on what to try at St. Lawrence:

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Feast Your Eyes: 10 Instagram Accounts You’ll Drool Over

If you own a smartphone, chances are you also have an Instagram account (no it’s not just for Millennials!). Research indicates that the now Facebook-owned network is the Fastest Growing Social Site Globally‘, with over 200 million users worldwide. Used to document everything – from beautiful landscapes to war zones, festival celebrations to protests, beauty tips to fitness transformations, last night’s drunken selfies to this morning/noon’s hangover brunch – and so much more. If you’re not on Instagram, you should be. Ignore the pretentious hipster hashtags and join in for the same reason I did – FOOD, or more accurately – FOODPORN. After all, we do eat with our eyes, too! Seriously, guys. Here are 10 delicious ‘Insta-food’ accounts you need in your life:

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A Life Worth Eating: 5 Fabulous Foodies

When I’m not experimenting in the kitchen, or stuffing my face with food, I can be found scouring all forms of Social Media for the best Recipes and Photos of food. ‘Foodporn‘ or rather ‘#foodporn‘ is definitely one of my favourite search terms when it comes to all things culinary and though it doesn’t have a ‘Dictionary’ meaning, I like to interpret it as beautifully presented, mouthwatering, luscious food that makes you feel lightheaded and giddy at the thought of eating it.

Now, I do follow a whole lot of Chefs, Food Channels, Home Cooks and Food Photographers, but these 5 lovely people I’m about to introduce you to are my go-to Foodies! They pour their heart and soul into everything they do and any time of day or night, they always have something interesting going on, some new place to try out or a new recipe to share. Alphabetically, they are:

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