What I’ve learnt so far…(love, relationships,women and men!)

So I was listening to the Sunscreen Song…a fave of mine whenever I’m down! And before you ask why….I am overtired and overworked and sometimes an instant pep up is in order…! The song got me thinking….I love relationships, love and dispensing advice ;-)…so maybe i should list out some of the things I’ve learnt so far…

  1. Love has got to make you smile…if there are more tears than cheers…you are in the wrong relationship!
  2. Women cry when they get hurt…men may not…that doesn’t mean what you say doesn’t hurt them!
  3. Dates are important…never let the woo-ing period ever end….even when the honeymoon does!
  4. Life is hard- cut yourself a break sometimes!
  5. Smile- even if you have nothing to smile about…just smile…it’s better than a caffeine pick up (and with my love for coffee if I’m saying that-it must be!)
  6. Whenever you’re going thru a bad day…there’s probably someone who’s going thru worse…so still count ur blessings!
  7. We’re all equally scared and doing things for the first time- women and men- it’s not that either sex is less scared; it’s just that certain people hide their worries a little better!
  8. Travel. See the world. Learn how amazing it is. The magnificence and largeness of the world makes you understand how you are just a small part of something incredible.
  9. You don’t know what someone else is going through… so give them a break if they seem unreasonable sometimes. You probably seem unreasonable to some people too!
  10.  Celebrate everything- the wins, the losses and everything in between.
  11. Care for at least one person more than you care for yourself. And don’t expect that back. Just care – cos you do!
  12. It’s never too late to start over.It’s never too late to change career path, life, relationships, anything. Follow your heart.
  13. Believe. Even when it seems impossible- believe.
  14. You are younger today, than you will ever be- enjoy it.
  15. Find friends. Make friends. Be a friend.
  16. Say ‘I love you’ to those you love for absolutely no reason at all. It makes you both feel good.
  17. Any conversation you have could be the last you have with that person… so be careful with your words.
  18. Write your angry emails and then save them to drafts. Go back to them later, read them to somebody- and only then send them.
  19. Show up or don’t be there…. Don’t just turn up. Give something your full focus else don’t be there…
  20. You are much more beautiful / handsome than you think you are!

P.s. (Palat says)-: I am trying to focus on a few of these this week… will let you know how it goes. And yuppp I did tone down the angry email before I sent it !

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The Royal Touch at the Taj Faluknama Palace Hyderabad

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The Taj Falaknuma Palace was a hotel I chose to stay on on a whim. It had just opened and I was curious! I had stayed in all the iconic Taj Palaces across the country and this was a hotel I had heard amazing things about…so after a show in Hyderabad , we decided to check in for the night at this iconic hotel!Falaknuma Palace is also known as the ’mirror of the sky‘ because at 2000 feet, it was built in the clouds and reflects the ever-changing moods of the sky.

Driving thru the old city of hyderabad you cannot but help see this magnificent beauty in white perched on a hill staring at the bustling city below. Calm, peaceful and detached – a beautiful painting from an era gone by… The chauffeur pointed out the hotel and it was beautiful just looking at it from afar. As you go to the gates, the car is stopped and you have the option to travel by a golf cart type buggy or horse carriage. We chose the horse carriage and enjoyed the horse hoof patter up the walkway to the entrance of the glorious hotel.

Showered by flower petals on our arrival , we were ushered into our suite….If you do choose to occupy a suite, each suite is completely different from the others and is furnished and upholstered completely uniquely. Ours was plush and comfortable and I sank into the beautiful bed, suddenly exhausted after the previous night’s theatrical performance! Choose a historical suite…it is filled with history and perfect in every way!

A few hours of rest , I found out that I was unfortunately running a fever. The hotel staff was very worried- sending me medicines and home remedies. Never one to stop exploring, we were off to eat a delicious lunch at Adaa the Indian restaurant. Fabulous biryani, succulent kebabs and authentic hyderabadi cuisine at it’s best… I was already feeling a bit better.

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And then it was off to the spa- the Jiva spa calmed me down and relaxed my aches and pains and after a quick dip in the small yet perfect pool, it was off to take a champagne tour of this iconic, historical hotel!The stories were interesting and funny. The rooms were well preserved and iconic. Every wall had a story. Every room had history. The Palace had been commissioned by Sir Nawab Vikar-Ul Umra, a Hyderabadi nobleman but caught the eye of the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, Mahbub Ali Pasha, Sir Vikar’s brother-in-law, and Sir Vikar had no choice but to offer the Palace as a gift or ‘nazar’ to the Nizam! Later it was used as a guest house to several royal dignitaries heads of state and my very own Great-Great-Grandfather a member of the Viceroy’s Privy Council and a former President of the indian National Congress ( then a High Court Judge) had been a guest years earlier and it was absolutely wonderful to be able to see his signature (the one in red!) in the iconic comment book. Years ago, he had stood where we stood today !

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After a truly thrilling afternoon, we were off to the verandah to watch live dancing and singing of sufi music and qawallis as the sun set on a perfect day. Dinner was at Celeste the italian restaurant and after a Royal bath that had been prepared for us in our room we were fast asleep cocooned in the soft, plush bed. A very filled but truly memorable day…!

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We slept so soundly ,we almost missed our flight…and I was sad that I hadn’t been that well thru the one day we had spent at this beautiful hotel…!

But as luck would have it… I was back again…soon and this time with my whole family…! They loved it as much as I did and I was able to explore and wander around more of the hotel than I did the previous visit!

Would I go back? In a heart beat….! Hospitality that books are written about, incredible beauty and unforgettable experiences… Taj Faluknama Palace has all of that!

Cost-:$600 – $700 a night…well worth it to be treated like royalty!

Best Time to Travel-: October thru to February when the weather is cool , and slightly nippy else it does get more than a little hot in the summers…!

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Balinese adventures!

It was the end of the year and I had let the year win. Exhausted, fed up and trudging along at a miserable pace- the year showed no signs of ending. It was on one such a week where Aditya asked me what my plans were for the next week. Life had become so routine that I recited my daily schedule in a single breath. “Not really,” he said. My Dad and him had taken my life in their very able hands and planned a perfect break-ation!

So it was off to Bali. I had never been to Indonesia before and was very, very excited. We arrived in Bali and checked in to luxurious  Melia Bali in the Exclusive Nusa Dua. Nusa Dua is home to luxury hotel properties and Melia Bali was a magnificently beautiful hotel with a private beach and gorgeous lagoon pool that was so, so inviting! Now Nusa Dua is more serene and is rather private so it is a bit cut away from all the action and madness of Bali but we had come here for a break and it was absolutely perfect for us! Ubud , in the hills is also wonderfully luxurious and relaxing but I’m a beach girl and Nusa Dua was PERFECT for us!

For more of the action and fun head to Kuta. Kuta also has several hotels, but none of them have their own beaches. It is also a more touristy part of Bali and so much as I loved hanging out in Kuta during the day, I absolutely loved heading back to my beautiful paradise in Nusa Dua to have romantic dinners on the beach with my husband! Kuta has great shopping and drinking and bargains! It is very touristy, always bustling and always fun.

Nusa Dua was quiet, relaxing and the perfect unwind.

Indonesia is a Hindu Country. They are so proud about the culture, the religion and their temples, it’s hard not to be proud of how well preserved the culture is. Furniture is made on shops along the road and is amazingly cheap , hardy and perfectly crafted. However shipping is often a problem and most of the local artisans would rather have you take responsibility for the shipping entirely and as a tourist with very few days in a country- that’s often not something you can do. Next time I go back, I’ll research the shipping plans better; so I can pick up some amazing furniture or a beautifully crafted Lord Ganesha!

Obviously in Bali , it’s all about the sea.  So after a quick city tour we were in the sea and racing each other till we couldn’t see land any more!

And then we discovered white water rafting. We were picked up with 3 other couples and taken to the Ayung River and then we had to walk down ridiculously steep steps. A quick change and even quicker set of instructions later we were off on  our own learning how to deal with the rapids and weaving our way through the river. At one point, we were allowed to get off and swim and the cool water after a hard bit of rowing was so refreshing we didn’t want to get out! After the rowing, you are taken for a quick bite to eat and something to drink and packed into the bus again and sent back to the hotel. What I really loved was a group of Japanese tourists who had used the river as a treasure hunt-team building experience. Different teams would rush to points on a map and pick up clues. Fun, exhilarating and a huge team building experience and suddenly I wished we had come with the whole family. Nothing like a good , fun competition to make a fun day even better!

Bali is beautiful, unspoiled and serene. It’s the perfect quick getaway from Singapore or Malaysia and a place I definitely must go back to! The sun shone brighter in Bali. My smile was bigger in Bali and I relaxed so completely in Bali!

Best Times To Travel- RIGHT NOW! ALWAYS ! ANY TIME! But on a more serious note…May to October is the best time to travel to Bali. Bali is always warm….so pack lots of shorts and lots of swimwear.

Price Factor-:  $300 a night for a good hotel! But check the fine print. Several don’t have private beaches/ all the facilities you’d like! So choose well!

IMPORTANT NOTE-: ONE DOLLAR is approximately 9500 INDONESIAN RUPIAH. SO WHEN YOU’RE TIPPING, DON’T BE STINGY WITH THE TIPS AND EXPECT A SMILE AFTER TIPPING SOMEONE 10/20 RUPIAH! THAT ISN’T MORE THAN A FEW CENTS!

ALSO A COKE BOTTLE IS APPROXIMATELY 20,000 RUPIAH! 

You’re beautiful* (*Conditions apply)

Courtesy Divya Palat’s Times of India Celebrity Blog 

You’re too fat, too skinny, too anorexic, too curvy. Your hair is too straight, too curly, too messy, too styled, too black, too red! You’re out of fashion, you’re too much of a wannabe! If you’re a celebrity, it seems nothing you do will ever be perfect and then you blame the celebrities for airbrushing photographs or for fighting for privacy! How are they to keep their sanity with the unending glare of the harshest of spotlights on them?

The week started with a photograph of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan leaving a party. A new mother, she had come to the party as a guest and to represent her family. Immediately her weight was front page news! Is she too fat? Is she retiring? Is she not planning to lose the baby weight? Give her a break! She was at a party! She wasn’t trying to romance you on screen or pretend to be an 18 year old college student in a new movie…she was at a party just having a good time! As an actress critique her work, her looks, her performance on screen. On the red carpet, talk about her fashion, her style, her makeup but when she’s at a party with friends and is not the ‘Actress Aishwarya’ or the ‘Miss World Aishwarya’ surely then we can reserve our comments. She must be critiqued, but critique her in her work. Personal lives for a celebrity may make for good gossip but surely we can give a new mother a few months or years off to just enjoy her new family? Surely we can be less harsh.

The end of the week was almost the same. Sachin Tendulkar’s photograph in a retro shirt went viral with people making fun of his hairstyle, his fashion sense and even him! Newspapers knew that this would once again sell and so he was front page news. And front page news for what? Because you didn’t like his hairstyle and didn’t like his shirt? So? He never claimed to be a fashionista or a model!! Critique him on his cricket, his career, his decisions but hitting out at someone because of how they look I believe is pathetic, weak ,spineless and thoughtless!

You hide behind the guise of a fan or a well wisher and you hit a person where it hurts most for no reason at all and tomorrow though your news is just yesterday’s news, the hurt is always remembered!

I get so angry about this because when I got sick I was on a very high dosage of steroids for months on end! I had lost use of my  left side completely and had to re-learn everything from smiling, to walking , to even seeing properly. Steroids make you put on weight and that weight takes time to knock off and the effects of steroids cause many other scary side effects (many which I unfortunately went through). My first event post my illness was a the opening of my best friend’s restaurant. I went to support him with the extra weight and stayed for about 30 minutes. I wasn’t allowed to stay longer. The following day in the newspapers comments and jokes were made about my weight. These newspapers were hidden from me then by my family and Aditya, because I was in too fragile a state and any amount of stress could trigger a relapse. I did however read them when I opened a drawer by mistake looking for a stapler a few months later.

It hurt. You didn’t attack my shows or my work. You attacked me. You hid behind a paper, hid behind a curtain of words and fired a machine gun straight at me. It still hurts! Yes, maybe we should all get thicker skin, maybe we should all stop caring about what people say or what people write but honestly when a reporter asks me, as she did this week- ”after you put on weight, after your illness, and your beauty went, did your perception of beauty change?,”I had to take a moment to ease that painful lump in the throat and give an appropriate answer without losing my temper.

To all the faceless critics out there-:

Aishwarya won Miss World, did you?

Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the world’s greatest cricketer, are you?

I survived death, have you?

If you can’t, haven’t or aren’t maybe take a moment in someone else’s shoes and show a little more class, a little more respect and a little restraint when writing!

After all there would be a lot less news without them…so instead of looking at just selling a single day’s newspaper, start looking at the big picture!

P.s. (Palat says)-: If you have nothing nice to say about someone , do the world and yourself a favour , just SHUT UP!

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re-communicating in no network and my vacation ;-)

 

 

Soooo the last few weeks have been un-blogged and un-talked about cos i wasn’t in town!!! and no…before you say….i could’ve still taken 5 minutes to update my blog…i have an excuse….i quite literally went to heaven…. and to places where there were no televisions forget phone networks!!! and for those of you who think that switching off might be tough and had someone told me this earlier , i would’ve probably changed my trip….i have to say- i made the right choice! i was in heaven. un-connected, un-fettered and free!

kangaroo island (australia…off the coast of adelaide) was the most beautiful place in the world i have ever been to and that’s saying alot cos i love travel and i travel a heck of a lot…but as we arrived to the cottage that masqueraded as an airport and while we drove on the narrow rode richly covered with green trees and bushes on either side. The beauty was stunning …almost like an Agatha Christie book opening where she describes a chauffeur driving her to an ‘old manor,….’ the ground still moist with a mixture of dew and rain!

Far from an old manor….when we arrived to the Southern Ocean Lodge , it was not even remotely old …or a lodge except for the beautiful fireplace in the central lobby. The hotel looked straight out of a James Bond flick! Sheer glass and then an incredible cliff drop! Cliff faces and more sea then the eyes could even see. The cliff overlooked virgin beaches and more incredible forest area!

I felt like dancing. I glanced a quick look at my phone…The usually ominous words of ‘No network’ seemed like music in this calm serenity. The fact that our rooms …also sheer glass front with nothing and nobody outside ( it was a cliff edge) had no television only inspired me to watch the most fabulous television ,I’d ever seen….I looked at nature and marveled at how incredible this glorious island was and it was infinitely more interesting than some of my favourite shows! I felt alive. I felt free. I felt inspired!

This is when I knew I was in heaven.

kangaroo island created 2 scripts off me!I wrote, I dreamt, I slept !

I saw seals in their natural habitat at seal bay–watched a mom suckle her pup and the pup roll over satisfied and happy… i stared at koalas as they tried to camouflage themselves in the foliage to fall asleep. I watched 2 kangaroos playful punching each other and watched wallabies rush across the roads shocked that cars would even think of driving across their terrain!

And most importantly I laughed with Aditya and we talked and we dressed for dinner and we hiked! Without being tied down to communication which in it’s essence is supposed to bring you closer…we became closer!

Sitting across a table eating, laugh , sharing –is alot more satisfying than tweeting ‘i love you!’