Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trigger Points

Hi Peeps, I hope you had a wonderful Memorial day weekend. Today I want to keep it short and simple. So just a few bullets!
  • I just got back from a weekend trip to Cleveland. Surprisingly had some amazing food at Lucky cafe. More on that in the next post. 
  • Spent the whole evening catching up on Keeping up with the Kardashians. It's a love -hate relationship. I hate the whole family, but its easy to watch their mindless drama and forget about your own.
  • It’s an Olympic year. The countdown to the opening ceremony is on. Only 59 days left!! 
  • My favorite picture from this weekends trip is of the St. Theodosius church in the Tremont  neighborhood, Cleveland. I just fell in love with the church! 
  • And finally, we are heading for a short trip to Europe. My favorite part of the year! This year we will be visiting Brussels, Netherlands and Paris. 
What are you looking forward to in the next few weeks? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Satyamev Jayate

Every Sunday the thing I look forward to most is watching an episode of Aamir Khan's new serial Satyamev Jayate. It airs in India every Sunday morning at 11am and the episodes are available for viewing on their official website. 

I absolutely love this show for several reasons:
1. It belongs to my favorite actor Aamir Khan. No more needs to be said about him. He is brilliant at everything he does.
2. The topics/issues are common, but just the ones that need our attention. We have for long turned a blind eye/deaf ear to these issues. Finally someone took the initiative to speak up.
3. I think India might have found it's own Oprah Winfrey :) (That remains to be seen!!)

Source: Koimoi.com
Satyamev Jayate is an attempt to bring the truth out. To look around and recognize the truth around us and give it the attention it deserves. The serial sheds light on those issues which have been plaguing our Indian society for centuries. We have blindly been following certain practices in India in the name of caste, religion and social norms. The serial inspires us to stop, look around and think about it aloud. To decide whether doing so is right or so wrong?

It's been three weeks since Aamir Khan has been hosting this show and the response from the people has been phenomenal. 84 million people watched episode one of the show making it the highest rated show with a 4.27 television rating (TVR) across 6 metropolitan cities, according to Television Audience Measurement (TAM) data. [1]  In an online poll conducted by Hindustan Times, 88% people agreed that they liked the show. [2]
Every week the show tackles a new issue.  The 1st episode focused on female infanticide, the 2nd one talked about child abuse and the 3rd one touched the topic of dowry. It's encouraging to watch people share their personal stories and become an example for everyone else. I have personally been moved by a lot of these stories and feel sad as I watch some of the incidences. Sometimes the truth is so ugly and horrifying that it makes me angry.

My fear though is that this is another wave on which people are riding and as soon as the serial is over, the waters will recede and the uproar will die out. Look at how many people stood up to support Anna Hazare and his cause. It felt like a revolution. Outcome? None!!  In the past we have seen many incidences of people getting all excited and charged up but then the fever soon dies out and things go back to normal. I hope the same does not happen here. I sincerely hope through this show people speak up and fight for a good cause. These are issues that will take time and perseverance and we must not give up and forget after the wave has passed.

I am excited to watch all the 13 episodes. Have you watched any of these episodes? What are your views?


Thursday, May 17, 2012

The City of Angels - Los Angeles

Having lived and loved LA for many years I almost feel guilty for not writing a piece on LA. So here it is, my to do list in LA.

1 Day in LA: Must Visits

Universal Studios - Who does not know about universal studios. A fun place for both kids and adults. Rides, movie-sets, excitement, all packaged in one. This place is packed with fun and is doable in a few hours. It's an exciting place and a must do for anyone interested in movies/sets/entertainment. CA residents get a discount on tickets so ask your friends and family in advance

Santa Monica - My favorite place in LA. Visit the Santa Monica pier, take a ride on the solar powered ferris wheel. Enjoy the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean. Then walk to 3rd street promenade where performers and stores will keep you entertained and busy. This is the place to go if you only have a day in LA. It's got it all, the romantic setting, shopping, views, ocean, restaurants and the BUZZ. A must see for all.
Santa Monica Pier

3rd Street Promenade
 Hollywood - If you are a movie aficionado, a visit to the Kodak theater is a must. Each year the Kodak theater hosts the famous Oscars and the red carpet greets hundreds of movie celebrities and fans. Right next to the theater is the world famous Grauman's Chinese theater. There are nearly 200 Hollywood celebrity handprints, footprints, and autographs in the concrete of the theater's forecourt. You can also spot the famous Hollywood sign and walk on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Walk of Fame
Kodak Theater
2 Days in LA: Must Visits
Everything in Day 1 +

Rodeo Drive - If you are a shopaholic and love brands, Rodeo drive is your mecca. This world famous street is lined with high end designer stores. Ferraris and Lambos zoom past every minute and if you get lucky, star sighting is not uncommon too.  A beautiful street, with all the glitz and glamor that can definitely leave a big hole in your wallet but a smile on your face!! 

Getty Museum -  Perched on a hill, this museum stores some of the most exquisite collections of all times. It houses paintings, drawings, sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photographs. Love the view of the city from the top of the museum. The entry is free and it's a perfect spot to spend an hour or more with your family. They also have a Getty villa which is smaller in size located in Malibu. Here are some more pictures.

Getty Museum Gardens
View from the Getty Museum
Malibu - The drive on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to Malibu has the most breathtaking views. Driving along the coast line, this 2-3 lane highway will make you want to stop every few minutes just to absorb the wonderful views. Once in Malibu you can dine at my favorite restaurant Geoffreys which not only has spectacular views of the pacific coast but some scrumptious food too. Check out the beautiful campus of Pepperdine university or just stroll in this beautiful park right next to the ocean and enjoy the fresh air and a great picnic

Geoffrey's Restaurant, Malibu
3 + Days in LA: Must Visits

Hollywood movie star homes tour - If you are a big movie buff like me, I definitely recommend the Hollywood movie star homes tour. It's extremely exhilarating to drive on the beautiful Sunset Drive and see the beautiful mansions - I love a good house!! It's another story that you might not see anything past the main gates but you can definitely admire the gorgeous and luxurious neighborhood. There are plenty of tours out there who will be happy to take you on a ride.
Star Homes on Sunset Blvd
The Grove -  Another absolute favorite spot of mine is the Grove. This open air shopping mall has it all. The charm, the romance, the musical fountains, movies, and shopping. It's a beautiful space and perfect for a day trip or an evening stroll. Tonnes of stores, restaurants and even a great farmer's market. You can walk around and just enjoy the buzz, or shop till you drop. It's got a beautiful European setting to it and I just love spending time here. Shop, grab a bite, walk around or watch a movie. Perfect place for kids and family.
The Toy train in Grove
Some other places to see in LA depending on your tastes and preferences:

Century City mall - Great shopping and food

Melrose Avenue - A good hang out place with unique boutiques and restaurants

Griffith Observatory -  For beautiful views of the city and for some star gazing...a perfect spot
Griffith Observatory
Venice beach - Famous for its boardwalk,  the mystique that lured Jim Morrison to find 'The Doors,' and a culture that gave birth to modern skateboarding. Venice Beach, California, is a unique destination unto itself, where shopping, dining, sports, recreation, and entertainment abound.

Venice Beach
LA is also very conveniently located and driving distance from these famous tourist spots:

Disney Land (40 minutes drive) - The world's happiest place :)

Las Vegas (3.5 - 4 hours drive) - The sin city, famous for gambling, shows, beautiful hotels and spectacular entertainment.

San Diego ( 2.5 hours drive) - Visit Sea World, beaches, San Diego Zoo etc. Check out these top 25 things to do in San Diego

Santa Barbara ( 2-2.5 hours drive) - Things to do

San Francisco (6-7 hours drive) - For Golden Gate bridge, Napa Valley, Silicon Valley and much more

Temecula - (2 hours drive) Famous for its vineyards

Favorite Restaurants in LA - there are hundreds of great restaurants in LA. For some quick suggestions refer to my earlier post here

I hope you enjoy this beautiful city and come back for some more!!