Adult’s Day Out! Visit to the Alipore Zoo, Kolkata.

We all associate the zoo with our childhood. But I, and my group of friends aged 20-21 decided to visit the zoo and it was the most fun we’d had in ages!

We started our day off early in the morning and reached the zoo at 10 A.M. The zoo is located very centrally with easy access via the underground metro system. The passes to the zoo were very affordable (read: cheap) being only Rs. 20 each.

We entered and the first thing we saw was the deer. So many different kinds of deer! There were black-bucks, spotted deer, and antelopes. It was impossible to remember all the names but they were all so graceful, grazing around and eating grass. We saw some crows piggyback riding on their backs and they did not seem to mind at all, being the peaceful creatures that they are.  Various pictures were clicked, obviously since we were all super excited and the deer seemed very exotic at that time.

Next things took a very wild turn, literally as we took the path that forked left and landed at the bear enclosure! We saw the Sloth bear who did not look all that interested in us spectators and was busy cleaning himself. He looked peaceful enough from afar and then we read the sign saying that he is indeed insectivorous. So, it wasn’t as wild an encounter as we thought!

We went back to our peaceful path and we saw some monkeys and the Chimpanzee. Just a few stages of evolution before us really, as we marveled their human-like abilities. Next we went on to the bird section. And this was the highlight of the trip, surprising as that may be. We saw some peacock. We saw one of the majestic birds flare out his tail (again, a dozen pictures).

Then we reached the Hill Mayna, and this was where we spent half an hour. There was one particular Mayna who was closer to the edge of the cage and I was clicking pictures of it. We suddenly realized that even after I was done clicking, the camera noise was coming from somewhere. The sound of the lens focusing, and then the click. There weren’t people around us so we were naturally confused. And then the Mayna flew to the edge of the cage and perched on the wire and made the noise again! It was the exact same noise that my camera makes! We were absolutely amazed.  We whistled some tunes and the Mayna copied it effortlessly.  We tried meowing, thinking it was futile.  After all how can a bird make a cat’s noise? It listened carefully tilting his head back but didn’t make any sounds. He whistled a few times so after a while we gave up and were about to move on when suddenly, Meow! We all turned back shocked. Was it one of us who made that sound? After all it couldn’t be the Mayna! But it was. And that’s when we decided that this bird was our new best friend. We said Hello, which it repeated; same with Hey. We think it might have known these words previously as it took no time. He also learnt how to say my surname which was amazing! “Ray” was the name he learnt and repeated a lot of times much to my joy. All of the others were not as lucky as their names aren’t one syllable. But nevertheless it was amazing and we were all stunned. Every time we said Hello, he said it back. Whatever tune we whistled, he copied it to perfection. When it was finally time to move on, we said Bye to him and yes, he said it back. Bye bye! It was the icing on the cake. He definitely took a fancy to us as we came back once after after touring the entire zoo and he immediately flew to the wire of the cage when he saw us. We were greeted with Hello’s and some Bye’s as well. After another exchange of words, we definitely decided that he was by far the coolest bird we’d ever met. We all wanted to take him home with us as our pet though I’m not sure my cat, Billie would be particularly thrilled. But he was a pleasure to meet! If you can, definitely visit a bird enclosure and talk to a Mayna because they will literally talk back to you!

Then we went on to see the Royal Bengal tiger. He was majestic. And lazy. Lying around in his very large enclosure and lazily looking around at us. He reminded me of a much bigger version of my cat at home. They have the same movements, the same head scratching and the huge yawn. My cat is very lazy as well. We saw some other tigers in another enclosure but they were very active. They were prowling up and down and pretty much posing for pictures. They were the showstoppers and they were enjoying the attention. One of them roared which almost deafened us but was also very exciting. We saw the white tiger after this, which was sleeping. We got a good look at him though since he was sleeping facing the crowd. As majestic as the Royal Bengal tiger was, this was pretty. The white coat with the stripes really stood out! We saw leopards as well, who were considerably smaller than their Royal (Bengal tiger) feline counterparts. We even saw the King of the Jungle – The Lion – sleeping. Lions are lazy, so the Lionesses make up. The Lioness was happy to pose for pictures and was sitting peacefully looking elegant. While the lion slept, hidden in his huge mane!

We saw giraffes, the gentle giants and got some selfies with them in the background. It was very hard to make the tall animals fit in the frame! We saw crocodiles, who didn’t move an inch, we saw the Rhino who really looked like a warrior who had some armor on, we saw a Hippo so was relaxing in the water.

We even visited the reptile room which reminded me of the Harry Potter books. And there too was a python, except the glass didn’t vanish; thankfully! We saw many snakes, cobras and rattlesnakes. Spotting them was a task since the smaller ones are really easy to miss.

Overall, the zoo was an incredibly fun experience which had all of us reminiscing about our childhood and it brought out the inner child in us. We had ice cream, cotton candy, sweets; everything that a child would have. And we, the grown up adults had the time of our lives!

Top 5 Movies to Inspire you to Travel the World.

The Motorcycle Diaries – A movie about two friends who go on a trip through South America. They encounter a number of problems on the way, as their mode of travel – the motorcycle breaks down, they get into disagreements, deal with illness. It is a movie about discovering the true meaning of your life, as the hero of the movie went on to become the leader of the Cuban revolution, Che Guevara. Travelling is more than just packing your bags and visiting places, it teaches you the meaning of life and sets you on the right path sometimes. The movie was filmed in Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Cuba and has beautiful scenic shots that will make you want to visit the beauty that is South America.


Queen (Hindi) – The movie starts with a marriage being called off and the story is centered around the conservative Indian girl, who decides to go on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam alone. And this sets her on a journey where she discovers herself, makes many new friends, learns to open her mind to the modern ways and have fun in ways she wouldn’t imagine before. She learns to be an independent woman who doesn’t need a husband to depend on. This is the perfect movie to watch to inspire you to travel alone because it shows you how much you mature as a person when you travel alone.

Up – This movie proves that there is no age limit for travelling. It is an animated movie about an old man who sets about on a trip with a young boy scout, by hoisting his entire house up by millions of balloons. He goes on a trip that him and his wife, who has now passed on; have always dreamed of going on – to a place called Paradise Falls. A touching story that will have everyone shedding a few tears, it is truly a heart-warming story. It shows that no matter how old you are, and no matter what the circumstances are against you, nothing can stop you from finishing the journey that will complete your life. A must watch.

 EuroTrip – A movie all teenagers will love. This movie is about a boy who travels all across Europe to search for the girl he loves who lives in Germany. He travels to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Bratislava, Berlin, and Rome with his three best friends and they have some crazy adventures along the way. They lose all their money, end up in a deserted town, take a lot of detours, make a lot of new and some unwanted friends, discover love, meet the Pope and wreak utter havoc! This movie will make you want to call up your best friends and arrange for a road trip with them and take on any situation as it comes because sometimes the best plans are the ones that aren’t planned at all!

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (Hindi) –  A Movie about three friends going on a road trip to Spain, and these childhood friends have a pact to take part in adventure sports there. The movie has the thrills of skydiving, scuba diving, the adrenaline rush of the Bull Run, some catchy Bollywood songs and preppy dances. It’s the perfect movie to watch to know how to get over your fears and how to just enjoy life. These three friends who take a break from their busy lives and jobs find adventure, fun, and even love during their travels.

Grab a Large tub of popcorn and be ready to be inspired to travel after watching these amazing movies!

Vintage Car Rally, 2016 in Kolkata, India.


Kolkata, the city of joy hosts annual car rallies where car lovers can go to see vintage cars in action. It is called the Statesman Vintage and Classic Car Rally. In the early hours of the morning, people go to see the majestic cars start the rally from Eastern Command stadium. The owners most people even dress up in vintage fashion, with large hats and fashionable suits. These was a wide array of colors, clothes from different periods in time, some people choosing to dress up in the vintage European way while others went for the more traditional sari.


The clothes are all suited to the era that their cars are from. These tiny details make the whole affair much more grand and enjoyable. Since it takes place in January, the weather is perfect. The cars are assembled in the Eastern Command stadium from around 7 in the morning, and that is the time that you can go and admire the beauties, interact with the owners if you want to inquire about details, or you can click pictures to your heart’s content.


The rally starts off at 9 A.M and has a designated course and it is always on a Sunday when the traffic is relaxed and there isn’t much interference. Overall, it is a very unique experience and one that any car lover will thoroughly love!


And in the meantime, here are some pictures for you all to enjoy!





Santorini, Greece and Retirement Plans.

I want to retire in Santorini.

I’ve never visited a more peaceful place where all the houses and hotels overlook the ocean, where the people are super friendly, and where there are a million cats, and who doesn’t like cats! Greek people are the nicest warmest people with a great love for music. The houses there are all white with blue dome shaped tops to conserve rain water as they do not get much rainfall in Santorini. They are laid out in a picturesque manner and the entire city looks very aesthetically pleasing. It makes for a great honeymoon spot too as it has a very romantic and calm environment. For food lover, there are Greek restaurants called taverns at every turn where you can relax, have tasty Greek food, and listen to the locals strumming guitars, banjos and singing. Santorini is also known to have restaurants with beautiful views overlooking the ocean for those days when you are feeling fancy. Most of the restaurants are outside and stray cats and dogs walk in and out. They’re treated very well so they’re very friendly and brave; they’ll come up to you to be petted. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my life after I retire. Santorini is known for its beautiful scenic sunset point in its village Oia and trust me; it’s famous for a reason. Imagine spending the time of your life when you deserve some well earned peace being able to witness that sunset every day. It’s one thing to look at photographs, but witnessing it in real life is a surreal experience that cannot be described in words. Apart from dogs and cats Santorini also has donkeys! You can take a donkey ride and go down a hill to get to one of the many beaches Santorini has. From there you can take a cruise and enjoy the Mediterranean ocean. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also swim to the hot springs, as the cruises can drop you off close by. Relaxing there is as magical as it sounds. Greek wine is famous all around the world. So all you need after retirement is, Santorini, a glass of Greek wine and a loved one to share it with.

Santorini is a place which cannot be read or heard about, it has to be experienced. It is simply paradise on Earth and definitely the place where I want to retire. The magic of Santorini can never be forgotten by someone who visits it! Many people think that it Santorini is in fact the fabled city of Atlantis, and it is a wise idea to visit it before the beautiful city becomes like the Lost City of Atlantis!

The Perks of Being A Traveler!

I can’t imagine my life without travelling.

To many people, travelling isn’t a very big deal. They would rather spend that money on material things like new clothes, phones or luxuries like cars etc. To me and many other wanderers like me the choice between an expensive car and a trip is very easy to make – it will always be travelling.

Travelling requires extensive planning, calculations, some compromises and I love every single part of it. Because all that leads to an incredible journey to a new place, where every sight is new, every sound is new and every taste is new.

You get to visit places and see all the famous places, all of its natural beauty, learn all about its culture. There are so many new things to be learnt from people of different countries. You learn about their customs and beliefs. The different language that seems so foreign to you, but is so familiar to the locals causes problems in communication. But it’s getting past the language gap that makes it fun, used mostly gestures to get your point across or sometimes picking up key words in the native language which makes things so much easier and helpful for the future.

Then there’s the food. Of course now you get different cuisines from across the world in one city itself, but trying local dishes is completely different. Those flavors cannot be duplicated even by the best chef. Sitting in a small restaurant and trying the authentic food is such a unique experience. After all no Dominos or Pizza Hut can make pizza the way the Italians makes it!

When you’re travelling, there’s not one boring second. You’re always going somewhere new, doing something interesting. Travelling let’s you discover a new you – a fearless new you. Maybe you’re scared of heights, but that don’t keep you from exploring the Grand Canyon will it? Or getting on the amazing rides at Disneyland? Travelling helps overcome your fears. The adrenaline rush you get while travelling makes absolutely everything possible!

Travelling alone may seem lonely to some people but it’s actually the opposite! You get to meet many new people and you make friends who you’ll cherish forever. And the best part is, most likely than not, they’ll also be fellow travelers. Sharing adventures with a stranger who you befriend is a great experience. You make people who are locals as well which gives you a better insight to their city. The best way to explore a place in depth is with someone who knows the city like the back of their hand, and who knows that better than the locals of a place?

But just because I love travelling doesn’t mean I don’t miss home. The feeling when your plane descends and you see the tiny houses of your hometown or the lights below cannot be rivaled. Even the most comfortable beds of luxury hotels cannot beat the comfort of one’s own bed and room. Travelling makes you appreciate the small things about your home and family.

Travelling also helps in building your character. It makes you more understanding. You try to accommodate more especially if you’re travelling with someone. You have to make some compromises along the way, you also have to be able to deal with every situation as it comes along, be it illness or getting lost in a foreign place. Things may go completely south but you have to be able to tackle that and turn things around.

There’s a reason why most people in the world love travelling so much and if you’re one of the few who don’t, I urge you to visit a foreign place; alone or with close ones and I’m sure you’ll be converted to a wanderer like the rest of us!

“Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R. Tolkien