Uncategorized

Roaming around Hyderabad with Ola Rental

My Ola Rental Cab!
My Ola Rental Cab!

Recently I made a trip to Hyderabad again and this time I took a couple of days to roam around the city solo. While I believe the best way to explore a place is by foot, when it comes to huge cities like Hyderabad that is not really possible. Destinations are far off and when I don’t really know a city that well, I prefer cabs. The thing with cabs though, is whenever I have booked all day cabs with local vendors, I have found them to be very expensive, in any city.

I had noticed #OlaRental on my Ola app before as I use the app daily to commute to work, but never really used it. Decided to use it during my trip to Hyderabad. The best part is that I was able to book the cab on an hourly basis and had a car at my disposal throughout my day.

Ola Rental is a great option for those days when you are out for hours and hours whether it is for meetings or shopping or sightseeing, like I did. My driver Shekar picked me up sharp on time and I headed to my first stop, Shilparamam.

Shilparamam is an arts and crafts village (something like Delhi haat) created with the objective of preserving traditional crafts. There are rural themed museums, sculptures, gardens, sketch artists, an amphitheatre and of course shopping.

Artisans from all over the country are here selling their artifacts in haat like stalls. You will find everything from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, literally! I spent about three hours walking around Shilparamam!

Shilparamam is situated in the buzzing IT area and the traffic gets crazy. Fortunately, I had my Ola Rental waiting for me! After exiting Shilparamam, I headed to my brother’s apartment to pick him up as we had plans for coffee and dinner. I had heard great things about The Roastery Coffee House in Banjara Hills and that is where we headed. I have a thing for cafes that are pretty, serve great coffee and have books, and that is exactly what Roastery is!

I was delighted! While the coffee is amazing, the desserts were incredible! Definitely going back there during the next visit.

After the lovely coffee and dessert, it was time for dinner. Bro and I had been craving sushi for a couple of days. We looked up a few places, and zeroed in on Hashi. Our Ola Rental guy Shekar quickly took us there as he swiftly yet safely navigated the crazy Hyderabad traffic. We ordered Salmon Nigiri and Tuna Maki. Both were oh so good!

And then after a fabulous day we headed home! The ability to keep changing destinations on your Ola app during the journey is such a time saver. No need to book cabs again and again throughout the day.

All in all, had a great day because I got the best car to travel thanks to OLA Rentals.   

With the mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
Travel

[PHOTO ESSAY] Lakes of Ladakh: Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri

A mystical lake, an animated sky.

A love undefined, and I watched time go by.

The way the sun shone on the water,

Making it sparkle like a thousand suns,

How I wish, your love shines on me above.

Just like this lake was once frozen and is now afloat,

Your love might just revive me, my love.

Neha Ramneek Kapoor

One of my favorite memories from the recent Ladakh road trip, is the visit to the breathtaking lakes.

Ladakh, the land of mountain passes. A cold desert surrounded by mountains. When one hears this description, one doesn’t really expect the area to have lakes. Well, Ladakh has quite a few! Tso Kar, Mirpal Tso, Chagar Tso, Kiagar Tso, Kyun Tso, and of course the famous Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. (The word Tso translates to “lake”).

I believe there are a few more, and I hope to spend some time on each of the lakes of Ladakh, but this post is about Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri. These are the two lakes where we spent the most time at. We actually camped at both, and that was really fun! Especially Tso Moriri. Our tents were pretty unadorned and modest, and for me that’s the beauty of camping. Also it was really cold!

If you have been following my social media posts you’d have noticed that my recent Ladakh visit was a road trip with Scout My Trip, OYO and some fellow bloggers. After leaving from Delhi and eventually holding #HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La, we headed to Pangong Tso from Hunder, and on this day the tone of the trip changed for me completely. On this day we crossed Chang La, which is one of the most difficult and hence thrilling mountain passes in the region. Crossing this pass while being in the Thar was quite an experience. The vehicle is perfect for offroading and that’s what this journey was! There are very few roads! In fact one of the SUVs in our caravan decided not to do this route because of the wear and tear the vehicle had already endured, and that was a great call taken by the Scout My Trip team. Throughout the trip they ensured that the safety of the group was paramount. Hats off to Vineet, Deepak and Dada. Unfortunately Vineet and Deepak had to miss Pangong. Hey V and D, hope the pictures make up for it!

The sheer beauty of Pangong Tso is that the lake changes colors as the sun changes its position. Hues of blue, green and aqua appear to dance on the surface of the water.

A view of the mighty mountains, lush green fields and deep blue water, is what Tso Moriri has to offer.

Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri are paradise for anyone into birding. In fact I will soon be sharing more pictures of the birds Karan, a fellow blogger and traveler, spotted. He is so good at it! This post has one picture of the Bar Headed Geese, which is quite a rare sighting.

If you are planning a trip to Ladakh, make sure you visit both these lakes and if possible, more of them. It is quite an experience, and trust me the views are so breathtaking that they cannot be captured in pictures perfectly. You gotta see it to believe it. In the meantime, hope you enjoy these pictures.

xoxo

Neha

PS: Thank you Amit and Deepak for help with this post!

With the mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
With the mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The mystical Pangong Tso, Ladakh
The mystical Pangong Tso, Ladakh
The magical blues of Pangong Lake
The magical blues of Pangong Lake
The mystical Pangong Tso
Aqua hues at Pangong Tso
Walking along the banks of Pangong Tso
Walking along the banks of Pangong Tso
The mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The fierce Thar at Pangong Tso #LikeABoss
Cairns of stones, at Pangong Tso
Cairns of stones, at Pangong Tso. Previously used as signs and landmarks in unoccupied lands, locals say that they are also known to bring good luck for travelers.
A rare sighting: Bar Headed Geese at Pangong Ladakh.
A rare sighting: Bar Headed Geese at Pangong Ladakh
The mighty Thar at Pangong Tso
The savage Thar at Pangong Tso
Pangong Tso
A riot of blue at Pangong Tso, Ladakh
Chillin' like a bawse at Pangong
Chillin’ like a bawse at Pangong

 

Our camp at Tso Moriri
Our camp at Tso Moriri. It was so beautifully cold there!
Thar aka Thor chilling at Tso Moriri
Thar aka Thor chilling at Tso Moriri
Breathtaking views at Tso Moriri
Breathtaking views at Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri and the adjoining area is stunning
Tso Moriri and the adjoining area is stunning
A view of the snow capped mountains from Tso Moriri
A view of the snow capped mountains from Tso Moriri
The rugged Thar taking a much deserved halt at Tso Moriri
The rugged Thar taking a much deserved halt at Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri
Tso Moriri

 

For more, follow me on instagram, twitter and/or Facebook!

 

 

 

 

Entertainment, Uncategorized

The rise of VOD – and the top 3 shows I want to watch on OZEE

The far-reaching impact of the internet and innovations in computers paved the way for many cool things and one of the best ones is online VOD streaming. VOD entertainment is one of my favorite things about the internet, and also why I don’t own a television anymore. We live in an era of instant gratification. You know what I’m talking about. We like our relationships to begin with a right swipe, we like our noodles instant and we like our content available immediately on demand. One of the newest entrants in the ever growing VOD market is Ozee, Zee Network’s  OTT platform. Zindagi went digital since July 1, 2017 on OZEE and this has come as a fabulous news for content consumers like me who like to watch their favorite shows anytime, anywhere.

Here are some of the shows I am looking forward to watching on Ozee:

Kuzey Guney: The story of two brothers who are as different as chalk and cheese fall for the same girl. And then their lives take an unexpected turn. Looks really interesting! Looks like this one has romance, mystery and drama. Season 2 is currently running and season 1 is available on VOD. Time to binge watch!

Kuzey Guney

Total Dreamer: This show from Brazil is the story of a young girl who lives on the streets and suddenly finds the opportunity to follow her dreams. She runs into someone who offers her a dream career.  I love a good rags to riches story. Also, this one is also available  uncensored, which is always a plus.

Total Dreamer

Boys Over Flowers: I have always wanted to watch South Korean shows and this love story seems so intriguing! Jan Di, the female lead is someone who enters a new high school. How she responds to the other characters is what will make this so fun to watch. There’s also this notorious group of teenagers who kind of “rule” the high school. What fun!

Boys Over Flowers

Zee network has always brought us the best of international entertainment to us. And oh, who didn’t like looking at them beautiful faces on their channel Zindagi!

 

Media consumption is more and more happening in digital formats. The swift boost in the number of devices capable of supporting digital media along with the increasing internet speed has offered consumers an alternative to access the media content of choice.

Because of popular demand, Video on Demand services are all set to surpass TV viewership. The term “demand” is key, here. It illustrates a sense of urgency and want – an aversion to wait around for one’s favorite show to get on air. If we want to watch our show, we want to watch it now. And that is why online media consumption has witnessed extraordinary expansion over the last few years. Each year, an increasing number of viewers are letting go of expensive TV subscriptions and choosing subscription based VOD services instead.

And why not? Here are a few reasons why I prefer consuming my entertainment online on VOD rather than a television set.

  • Anytime, anywhere: The best thing about Video On Demand, is exactly what the name says. I can watch my favorite shows and programs, on demand, on my terms, at any time and at any place.
  • Binge watching: I am a binge watcher and love to watch tv shows episode after episode, instead of waiting for a day or sometimes even a week for the next episode. No need to break the storyline in your head!
  • No breaks between shows: Often, television shows have a commercial break every 5 minutes. While the internet has ads as well, the commercial breaks are either absent or not that many. And of course, one can get an ad free subscription.

For these reasons and more, it is not surprising that Zindagi has now gone completely digital and the shows are now available on their OTT platform Ozee. This move was made with the intent to develop digital engagement with audiences who love time-shifted viewing.

PS: This is a sponsored post.

Zindagi

Khardung La
Travel

#HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La, with OYO and Scout My Trip

A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from the affable Vineet of Scout My Trip, knocking my socks off by telling me that I am going to be a part of the First Ever Blogger Meet being held at Khardung La, and the Highest Blogger Meet in India. At an elevation of 18380 feet above sea level. The highest motorable road in the world. Woot! I could not have asked for more as I had always wanted to visit Ladakh and being a road trip buff, I jumped on this opportunity.

Our journey began on 11 July and lasted 12 days, the details of which cannot be contained in one blog post. Brace yourself for more! These 12 days have been life changing, as I met some wonderful people who are going to be an inseparable part of my life from now on. And moreover, there’s just something about the mountains. You come back transformed, every time.

The highlight of the trip was of course Khardung La, where history was created as we all collectively made not one but two records. Steering through tough terrains, braving the cold, getting over tire punctures, reveling in the beautiful views and laughing through it all, we made it to Khardung La on 16 July. It was as remarkable as we expected. Blankets of snow on the mighty mountains, cold winds and the thrill of being there.

Khardung La, Ladakh
Khardung La, Ladakh

The cherry on top of the snowy cake was the announcement made by OYO about #OYOnauts. It is a huge step forward for the travel community. What us travelers really cherish, are stories. OYOnauts is providing a platform where travelers, photographers, writers and bloggers can share their travel stories and bag all expenses paid trips. Doesn’t that sound amazing? It is! Go check it out.

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#HighestBloggerMeet at Khardung La. Pic courtesy OYO.

After touching the highest point of Khardung La top, we gathered at Tsolding Buddha Park, a pristine little area with a small water body. Almost 30 of us sat there for 2 hours, relished our Maggi and had brilliant conversations! I have to say, this bit wasn’t easy. Oxygen was scarce and the weather kept changing from really cold to really sunny. Records don’t come easy!

#HighestBloggerMeet
#HighestBloggerMeet. Pic Courtesy OYO.

While making the records was such a thrill, the best part about the trip was the people. The immensely talented bloggers, and the gifted scouts. It was an honor being a part of this with them. I will need another blog post to talk about the bloggers, but here’s a quick thank you to the scouts. Because this feat of #HighestBloggerMeet would not have been possible without them.

Scout My Trip
L to R: Pratik, Dr. Amit, Dr. Shakeel, Samarth, Neeraj.
#highestbloggermeet
All smiles after making two records. Pic by Raza.

Vineet, Co-Founder, CMO, ScoutMyTrip. And the literal glue of the group! Sab saath me chalenge!

Deepak, Co-Founder, CEO, ScoutMyTrip. Such swag much wow. PS I like the beard.

Neeraj aka Yayawar aka Dada. The encyclopedia of the mountains! 

Samarth. Fellow retro music buff. Fab dancer. Life of the party. Cheers for the good times!

Dr Amit Nikam. Rescue team leader. Friend for life. #hippiecar core team member. More on that later.

Dr Shakeel Khan. Scientist. XUV lover. Faster than F1 racers. We would still be revving our engines when Shakeel bhai would reach the destination.

Pratik aka Nano Seth. Cutest and funniest. Kaafi nakhre and kaafi swag.

I am getting all senti now so will continue in the next blog post. Missing these people and the mountains. Seems like I left a part of me there itself.

Adios.

Khardung La
Happy happy at Khardung La

 

 

Events

Say No To Compromise – A Roundup of #AbSamjhautaNahin Sessions at Kolkata Literary Meet

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The majestic Victoria Memorial

I was fortunate to have attended the recently concluded Kolkata Literary Meet. Surrounded by books, authors, poets, artists and filmmakers, what more could I have asked for? The venue was charming as well. Kolkata and the Victoria Memorial served as great hosts for this fabulous event.

As a vocal advocate of women’s rights, I was delighted to see that Vivel had organized some very engaging sessions under their property #AbSamjhautaNahin. Do you remember the video that Big B had done? These sessions at Kolkata Literary Meet were in continuation of this.

These sessions were mainly on how it is high time that women lead a life of no compromise. For centuries, women have led half lives. Compromising for their familes, their husbands, their children. Holding back their desires, their dreams, their aspirations. Women have lived with clipped wings. I am so glad to see that the conversation to lead a full life as a woman, is happening now.

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Chitra Banerjee talks about her books, her poetry and life as a female writer

The first session featured Chitra Banerjee, who is a delight to listen to. She is eloquent and smart. Just like her books! Got to learn so much about the life of an author, and as an aspiring one, I cherish that.

“Any man who has any sort of a relationship with a woman, is involved in women’s issues”. I will always remember this apt and powerful line that Ashley Judd said during her session. It was a delight watching her speak. She is unabashed, brave and a total badass. The feminist in me was so happy and honored to be in her presence. Did you see her speaking at the women’s march held at Washington? You must!

Ashley Judd, in conversation with Sagarika Ghose and Ruchira Gupta
Ashley Judd, in conversation with Sagarika Ghose and Ruchira Gupta

Also had the opportunity to interact with the makers of the movie Pink. It is really commendable that they spoke through their film on consent, something that is so simple, but something we don’t talk about or acknowledge enough.

Andrea Tariang and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury talking about their film Pink
Andrea Tariang and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury talking about their film Pink

Team of Pink

img_4705

 

A life of no compromise is a basic human right, which millions of women around the world have been denied. Let us hope via the awareness spread by such initiatives, people understand that everyone deserves a full life. Because women’s rights, are human rights.

Neha

Travel

Travel Snapshots – Goa 2016

Oh hi!

Just thought I’ll share some snaps from a recent vacation.

I was in Goa recently for a short vacay with my brother and some friends. Goa is my happy place. I can go there over and over and never get bored. I crave for it more in fact.

This time I went to Vagator, Arambol, Anjuna, Candolim and Calangute. North only, because it wasn’t peak season and we wanted to party and all that jazz. Next time I’m staying in South for sure. Palolem is on my wishlist! Here are some photos from my latest Goa trip.

If you would like some suggestions on where to go, where to party, where to eat, do let me know in the comments below 🙂

sunset at vagator beach goa
Sunset at Vagator

(I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter)

indian fashion blogger
Blogging

Let’s Talk about Blogging

indian fashion blogger

I am currently baffled. Today I thought of writing about my blogging journey and experience, so I went back to my first ever post to see when I wrote it…and I am amazed to see that I had published it exactly 8 years ago. Unbelievable. How did I think about writing this exactly on the same date? Aren’t such coincidences bizarre? Is this a sign…of something? Continue reading “Let’s Talk about Blogging”

Fashion, Outfit

Retro Blues – The Off Shoulder Maxi Dress

You know, I am one of those people who is really glad to live in a city like Mumbai, where the weather is tropical pretty much all year round. I have no problems whatsoever dealing with hot weather, in fact I quite love it. That is partly because I can wear summery dresses any time I want. You can probably tell by now that I am currently obsessing over off-shoulder silhouettes. Here are a few pictures in a blue bardot/off-shoulder maxi dress, which my sweet brother clicked during Rakhi. This dress is probably sold out now but here are a few similar ones. Happy shopping!

http://www.jabong.com/dorothy-perkins-Floral-Ruffle-Bardot-Maxi-Dress-2161435.html

http://www.stalkbuylove.com/blue-pine-dress-SBLPR.html

http://www.stalkbuylove.com/median-dress-SBLPR.html

My outfit details:

Bardot Maxi Dress – Femella  | Sunglasses – Koovs | Necklace – Candidly Couture

I decided to go with an elegant, retro inspired look with the braid and the oversized sunglasses, to let the dress have it’s own moment.

20160829-1142943065-2

bardot off shoulder maxi dress

bardot off shoulder maxi dress

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bardot off shoulder maxi dress

Fashion, Outfit

Ode to the LBD

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Photography: Jai Ranjit

Location: Kombava Cafe, The Art Loft, Bandra

Dress: What’s Up!, Bandra

Shoes: Forever 21

Rings: Colaba Causeway and YouShine

Bracelet: Colaba Causeway

On my eyes:

Estee Lauder Deluxe Pure Color Eyeshadow in Plum Pop, Copper Penny and Ivory Box

Lakme Eyeconic Kajal

Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express Mascara

Blush: Christian Dior in 849

On my lips:

Estee Lauder Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Maraschino

Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Gloss in Yummy Plum
(Had blogged this outfit before the blog was renamed and everything. Thought I’d share it again because this dress deserves that 😉

giving up sugar
Health, Lifestyle

Breaking Up With Sugar

giving up sugar
Break ups are difficult. And this one was too. But I have to say, this one has been the most rewarding.

My torrid love affair with sugar gave me great highs and crashing lows. It wasn’t long before I became aware that it is so unnecessary. Continue reading “Breaking Up With Sugar”

Events

The Land Rover Experience

IMG_20160108_131104-003

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be one of the few bloggers to be invited by Jaguar Land Rover India and Blogadda to the Land Rover Experience. An opportunity to drive the Land Rover off-road. I had never gone off-roading before and was really kicked about this.

We left for Aambey Valley at 7am, and by the time we reached, the weather was sunny yet pleasant enough for a day full of adventure. After a hearty breakfast, we were introduced to the Land Rover range, and an intriguing lil’ feature called Hill Descent Control (HDC). A feature that controls the car on a hill descent, without any need for braking. I couldn’t wait.

The Land Rover Experience
The Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery

We were all given one car each, with an instructor. An instructor was necessary as the terrain was rocky and difficult, and the instructor was familiar with it. I got a white Land Rover Discovery, and off we went.

Throughout the drive, I was amazed at the capabilities of the car. Despite the rocky terrain, driving felt like a piece of cake. The car did most of the work, and the HDC feature is clearly a win. I could literally feel the car braking without me doing anything.

The interiors of the entire range of these cars are plush with leather seats and equipped with the latest amenities.

The Land Rover Experience

The Land Rover Experience
My drive for the day
The Land Rover Experience
The terrain at Aambey Valley

It was such a thrill driving on the rocky, hilly and slippery terrain. Thank you to my instructor Dijay for having the confidence in me! At one point, the car was literally at a 60 degree angle, and had it not been for the encouraging instructor, I would have lost it!

Overall, it was a fabulous day and one that I would always remember.

red and gold Christmas dress
Fashion, Outfit

Red and Gold

Power. Desire. Strength. Passion. Love.

One color, many expressions. The power of a red lipstick, the amorous symbol of a red heart, the sanguine shades of blood. And also the color of celebration. The color of Christmas. The color of the promise of a new beginning. A bright and shiny new year.

This Christmas I decided to stop traffic in this red and gold number. I bought this dress for my birthday party last year and hadn’t worn it ever since. What better time to make a statement in gold and red than the holidays, am I right?

Styled it with simple gold accessories. Shot on the streets of Versova on Christmas early morning with my lovely Amrita.

Enjoy the pictures! Hope you had a beautiful Christmas. And oh yes, have a Happy New Year! 🙂

Neha

xoxo

neha1-001

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

red and gold Christmas dress

Dress: What’s Up. Gold heels: From a boutique. Earrings: Custom. Hand harness: Koovs.

Fashion, Outfit

Fringe Skirt and Gladiator Sandals

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt and gladiator shoes

Fringe skirt: Sarojini nagar | Gladiator sandals: Bali

White tee: Forever 21 | Tan bag: Lavie | Necklace: Colaba causeway

Photography by Amrita Rana

Spring 2015 runways were overflowing with fringe. And luckily for me, the trend continues. I absolutely love it. It is so much fun! Case in point, this skirt. Every time I sway my hips, the fringe moves in fluid movements! I couldn’t stop dancing when I wore this! Amrita got this for me, and the moment I saw it, I knew why we’re best friends. She just knows what I would like.

Fringe has been around for years. During the 20s. The 70s. The 90s. Fringe went from glamorous to bohemian and at the same time was ruling every rebel’s wardrobe.  It’s the easiest trend to flaunt because of its ease to intermingle with any style. See me do fringe here too.

I teamed this fringe mini skirt with another trend. Gladiator sandals. I love any trend that makes things more comfortable. Flats have been in for quite some time and that makes my feet happy! A fun way to jazz up a flats look is gladiators.

Teaming tan accessories with black has always been one of my favourite things to do. Takes the edge off of the starkness of black and makes the look more casual.

Kept the rest of the look simple with fresh, clean makeup.

I can’t wait to style the skirt in more different ways!

Until next time, stay stylish.

Neha

xoxo

Outfit

Back to Basics : With White, Denim and Fringe

Denim, white and fringe

Denim, white and fringe

Denim, white and fringe

Denim, white and fringe

Denim, white and fringe

I have always been a fan of white shirts with denim. It’s a classic combination that looks casual and sophisticated at the same time. Simple and chic.

And now that I have coloured my hair red, I have been gravitating more towards simple and clean looks. I guess because it makes the hair stand out even more. The hair is my statement accessory now.

Speaking of accessories, I love how these blue shoes and the fringe bag have completed the look. Totally in love with the bag. Very boho and chic. Fringe is huge this year! It has been taking spotlight on the runway and the streets. It has become so popular that it can be considered a wardrobe staple now.

This look just goes to show that a classic look can be pepped up with accessories. You can take the most basic ensemble and tweak it to your own style.

For those days when you feel like you have nothing to wear and need to get dressed in minutes, go ahead and pull out the basics and your favourite accessories. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with “trends” and tend to over-think our outfits. Basics are the saviours.

Photographs by Amrita Rana

White Shirt : Wills (similar here) | Denim Shorts : Forever 21 (similar here)

Blue Shoes : Tresmode (similar here) | Fringe Bag : Koovs (here)

Necklace : Bali | Blue ring : Forever 21

Charm Bracelet : Colaba Causeway | Silver anklet : Gift from mom

On the Lips: LA Splash Lip Couture in Poison Apple (here)

Until next time, stay stylish!

Neha

xoxo

Events, Travel

Goa Weekend with Renault Lodgy and Blogadda

As you know, I was in Goa last weekend having a ball driving the Renault Lodgy and interacting with wonderful bloggers. Because when Harish from Blogadda calls and invites you to Goa, you don’t say no! I attended an event with them last year in Goa and had such a great time that I obviously jumped onto the bandwagon this time too.

Monsoon, driving, great food, incredible location and wonderful people. What’s not to love? Bring together people who are zealous about blogging and life, and you get a diverse pool of potential consumers to try out your new product.

Bombay bid us a tearful (read rainy) farewell and delayed our flight by an hour or so but we managed to land in Goa in one piece. A warm welcome by Harish, Ankita, Sushma and gang at The Leela and we were off to our warm, beautiful rooms.

We were introduced to the pretty remarkable Renault Lodgy by the able and very talented Renault team in an interactive session hosted by the gorgeous Archana. By now, we were dying to get our hands on the steering wheel and the next morning, we did.

Pic courtesy : Renault
Pic courtesy : Renault
Pic courtesy : Renault

We drove through the stunning roads of South Goa, to The Lalit. Interspersed with good conversation, great music and lots of photo clicking, our drive was one hell of an experience, with my awesome team Deepak ji, Ashwini and Bhumika.

The car is spacious, with ample head and leg space. 7 full-size seats over three rows. The interiors are plush, classy and sporty; has a decent music/entertainment system; has charging points on all seats (yay!); a rear view camera for easy navigation.

In all, I felt the car is perfect for drives outside the city with your family. I would love to take my dog for a drive in the Lodgy. She would love the ample space! However, I am not sure if it is the perfect car to drive around the city traffic. I see it more as a second car for long distance travel.

My awesome team
My awesome team

A sturdy drive, an adrenaline-charged experience, a smooth pick up and gorgeous interiors. That’s all I really need in my kind of car. And as a lifestyle blogger and lover of all things stylish, my eyes first look for style in any product and I think Lodgy has got it. They have managed a balance between sportiness and beauty.

Pic courtesy : Renault
Pic courtesy : Renault

Tired and supremely happy, we partied through the night post the drive. I got an opportunity to sing for my fellow bloggers and I have to say, they were the most amazing audience.

Picture courtesy @ankitdavv. #LiveLodgycal

A post shared by Neha Ramneek Kapoor (@pwneha) on

A beautiful weekend was spent in beautiful Goa and I got to meet so many new wonderful people. A huge thank you to the Renault and Blogadda teams and the blogging community. It was an honour being amongst the top 40 bloggers of the country.

Until next time,

Neha

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by BlogAdda.com in association with Renault India.

Travel

5 reasons I want to go back to McLeodganj

This time last year, I was in Mcleodganj. As someone who has traveled a lot within the country right from childhood, I have visited many hill stations, especially in the North, but hadn’t been to Mcleodganj before. And I’m so glad I decided to.

After much deliberation on where to go, we settled on Mcleodganj on my brother’s recommendation. And so we left for Delhi, I from Mumbai and my brothers from Indore. From Delhi, Dharamshala is an overnight bus ride away. The not-so-comfortable bus journey was oh so worth it and I can’t wait to go back. Here’s why:

1. The scenery

Every time you look up, no matter where you are in Mcleodganj, you can see snow-capped mountains glittering in the sun like colossal diamonds.

image

You could be sipping coffee in a humble Mcleodganj café and still be enjoying the outstanding view. Speaking of cafés…

2. The cafés

I have a thing for tiny little cafés. The aroma of freshly ground beans wafting through a rustic-looking, quaint little place is magical to me. I was utterly enthralled by the cafés dotting the streets of Mcleodganj. Most of these places are run by locals, or former travelers who settled down in this charming little town.

Illiterati Café
Illiterati

One of the most amazing places I visited is called Illiterati. This place spoke to the book lover, dog lover and coffee lover within me. What with hundreds of books lining the shelves and a dog called Fondue walking around, I could basically live here.

Other cafés I liked: Chocolate Log. Pretty place!

3. The Food

The momos. The thukpa. The desserts! Mcleodganj is home to comfort food that complements the weather perfectly.

One of my favorite places to eat there is Woeser bakery. We went there every day! It is a tiny little place home to amazing desserts made by a lovely, charming lady who was so sweet to talk to! We basically survived on her desserts during our trip while we burned off the calories with all the walking.

Image Courtesy Kaumudi Bhardwaj
Image Courtesy Kaumudi Bhardwaj

Other than that, almost every café has an excellent European and American style breakfast menu. As far as Tibetan cuisine goes, while a lot of restaurants serve momos, the ones with the street side vendors are the best.

Other restaurants I liked: Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen, Moonpeak Espresso.

4. The Buddhist Vibe

Mcleodganj is home to thousands of Buddhist monks and monasteries. Wherever you look, you can spot prayer flags fluttering in the crisp mountain breeze.  The town has a vibe of peace and spirituality that engulfs you the minute you step into it.

Perhaps it is the prayers being said day in day out, or perhaps it is the history and the culture, there is just something that lends a mystic aura to the charming little town.

5. Triund

A four hour uphill trek from Mcleodganj leads to Triund, from where you can see Dhauladhar mountains on one side and the Kangra valley on the other.

On the way to Triund
On the way to Triund

While the trek in considered relatively easier compared to other treks in the Himalayan region, I found it pretty challenging! Especially the last 1 km before reaching the top of the hill. The route is peppered with tea shops where we took breathers and enjoyed the view.

With aching legs and enthusiastic hearts, we arrived at Triund after a 4 hour trek but to our utter dismay, it began raining! Hoping it’ll stop and we’d be able to camp the night there, we stayed for a bit gobbling up omelets but the rain showed no signs of stopping.

Triund
Triund

Sadly, we had to trek back the same day. And the climb down was much harder because of the rain and slippery slopes! My brother and I almost lost our way. I would love to visit Triund again on a non-rainy day and probably camp for a night. I have heard the view of the starry night is unbelievable!

Hoping to visit soon. One of my closest friends just moved there so I have another reason to go!

Until next time,

Neha

Events, Food and Beverage, Uncategorized

The New Quaker Oats + Milk. Launch Update, First Impressions And Review

If you have been following me for a while on my instagram and snapchat, you would be aware that I am a big fan of finding alternatives for a fit lifestyle, and especially alternatives that fit perfectly in a fast, busy life. I recently posted an oatmeal pancake recipe (which I LOVE) on my instagram so I am clearly a fan of oats.

Serving up something for the busy bee who still wants nutritious alternatives, Pepsico India recently launched the Quaker Oats + Milk, co-created with the God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar. Sachiiiin Sachin!

Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch
Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch
Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch
Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch

The Quaker Oats + Milk is a beverage that has been currently unveiled in two flavors: Mango and Almond. The beverage is priced at Rs 30 and will be rolled out in 17 cities. I was happy to have attended the launch.

Now what did I think about the beverage?

You can actually taste the oats and the goodness of milk. The almond one is delicious and the mango is good too. Just make sure they are cold when you drink them. Did not like the taste when it wasn’t chilled.

This is a good thing to either carry with yourself to work and have on the go, or as a quick breakfast on a lazy morning. It does contain sugar so be mindful of that.

Overall, this is tasty and quick. Good on brands like Quaker that are thinking of such innovative products.

Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch
Sachin Tendulkar at the Quaker Oats + Milk Launch
This is a sponsored post. However, as always, the opinion is my own.