Top five ‘to do’ list – Singapore travel guide

Traveling to Singapore? My top five ‘to do’ list covers stay, food, shopping and sight-seeing. If you have the budget, chose from the hotels around the Marina Bay. I booked the Ritz Carlton Millenia through Tripadvisor. My daughter and I were spoiled silly by their gracious hospitality and stunning room views. Next – eat. Start with an ice kachang at the Makansutra Gluttons Bay, next to the famed Esplanade Theatre.  Three – explore. Visit the unusual Gardens by Bay in the vicinity. Four – check out Bugis Junction and Little India for budget shopping. Throw in Haji Street for a … Continue reading Top five ‘to do’ list – Singapore travel guide

Jazirah Aviation Club – my first microlight flight in UAE

Originally posted on Nomad NRI in Dubai:
Saw a microlight plane whizzing past as I was returning from a trip to Ras Al Khaimah over the Eid holidays.. On a lark, I drive down the dirt road and sign up for a 15 mins chakkar at the Jazirah Aviation Club, which has all the necessary government approvals. Heart thudding. Thought of running back to the safe confines of the car… After all, I did not know how to swim.  And sea was very much a part of this trip. But having forced my friend to sign up, my gargantuan ego… Continue reading Jazirah Aviation Club – my first microlight flight in UAE

Paris and Mumbai : a tale of two cities

Tea at Mariage Freres, Paris

As I bite into a tangy green chutney sandwich at the 54-year-old historic Tea Centre in Mumbai, I know that this is the year of serendipity. The magical affair with tea and all things fragrant and fashionable started two weeks ago when I said yes to a trip to Paris. Thereby getting a chance to witness the mysterious ways of the in-house tea taster at Mariage Frères, a haute couture tea salon on Faubourg Saint-Honoréin Paris. Continue reading “Paris and Mumbai : a tale of two cities”

Bridging the generation gap – a tale from Fujairah, UAE


The stone house in the mountains is a stark contrast to the village dotted with modern villas. The white graffiti on a wall says Amna in Arabic and Suzuki in English.
Last year, I had gone to stay with my Emirati friend Amna, who is from the Asmah village in Fujairah. Her family has always welcomed me with open arms on my sporadic visits — making it an extended home in the UAE. The trip has always involved a leisurely drive through the village and mountains — to their farms and other areas. Till then, I had not seen this stone home — just farms full of lettuce, parsley, papayas, roses and many other fruits and vegetables (sometimes oranges). When asked if it was abandoned, I was told that this was the home of a relative, Amna Khamis Ahmed Alshehyari, an 88-year-old woman who chooses to live here during the daytime. Despite her children’s numerous pleas and requests, she will agree to stay in their modern homes only for the night. Continue reading “Bridging the generation gap – a tale from Fujairah, UAE”

It is so nice, they had to name it twice – Baden-Baden


If you are an innately lazy human being, take a horse-drawn carriage to experience the old world charm of Baden-Baden. Else lace up your sneakers and pick from the many tours at the local tourist centre of this beautiful city in Germany, once the summer capital of Europe.

Culture fanatics can follow the music trail to Brahmshaus or choose the novelists’ route to the Dostoyevsky House, which was the Russian writer’s retreat during the summer of 1867 when he incurred colossal losses while gambling at the famed casino. Nature lovers can try the ‘With the Gardener in the Park’ tour or pay one euro and walk into the Rose Garden on Beutig Hill, open daily from June to September. Or visit the Fabergé Museum, which opened in May 2009 and holds the last Fabergé egg ever made.  Continue reading “It is so nice, they had to name it twice – Baden-Baden”