Doing that thing you do

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Hi all,

Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Christmas season. The year has almost wrapped up & honestly I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I think I’m otherwise a kind person, so when I say 2018 has beaten the shit out of me, you should believe.

Anyway now that I’m glad it’s coming to an end, to keep some distracting thoughts away I started thinking about plans for the coming year. Not resolutions per se, but more like a bucket list. In the past I’ve attempted making a list of things I’d like to accomplish but I’ve somehow put it away after drafting 2-3 points. Maybe I should’ve tried after chugging some chilled beer, well it’s never too late!

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Bucket list for 2019:

– Visit Pondicherry in South India. I’m keen on exploring those French colonies on bicycles and seeing the beautiful Auroville ashram. I will be picky about whom I go with here because honestly I wanted to do a solo trip.

– Take up a new class. There are a couple of things that seem interesting but I need to figure how feasible it really is with my work timings. I’m thinking of contemporary dance, learning a musical instrument, or even attending a bar tending workshop.

– 2018 has damaged my hair (and me) and by the looks of it, it’s beyond repair. I’m thinking maybe Hair spa? Need to do a little research on how this works.

– Here’s a fact that I often use to get away from the marriage topic. I cannot cook. And that’s 100% true, I don’t know how to prepare a single dish from scratch, let alone an entire meal.  No plans of marriage for me, but it certainly wouldn’t harm to learn some easy to cook recipes.

– Commit to a charitable cause. It’s been on my mind for sometime now. I want to spend my time with the old & the lonely, with under privileged kids, with cancer patients. And I do not want it to be a Birthday or a Lenten or a Christmas deed. I want to definitely commit to this. If possible, I request you to add this to your bucket list too.

– A tattoo. For close to 2 years, I’ve pushed the thought away. But maybe the tattoo was destined to happen in 2019. Hint : It will have a musical sign for sure.

– Take mom on a holiday, whether domestic or International doesn’t matter, but a nice pampered vacay is what we need. Look at us from the recent Goa trip!

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– Post a lot more here on the blog

– Maybe get a life!

I’ve tried to keep my bucket list as basic and achievable as possible.  I really don’t care about things like Bungee jumping off a cliff or sky diving or scuba diving or seeing the Eiffel Tower. Maybe at some point I did, but with time these things have changed.

Let me know what do you look forward to in 2019.

Anyway wishing you all a fantastic end to 2018. Be happy, be safe. Travel a lot, read and blog a lot more!

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

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You know I dream in colour

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To be honest, I do not understand abstract art. With all due respect to the artists, I don’t understand random patterns, shapes, designs, colours splashed around in the name of art. It must be very rare that I look at a painting and feel the depth of it. These things just don’t hit me if you understand what I’m saying.

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The kind of art I understand are those that are clear and direct. Those where I don’t need to think deep or use my imagination to figure out what the artist is trying to say. Recently while strutting around Hollywood Road, Soho Street, and areas around Sheung Wan, Central and Lan Kwai Fong in Hong Kong, I came across some absolutely beautiful works of art. These were spray paintings or wall scrapings across random street walls, some in restaurants and galleries and others outside busy streets & Hotels.

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A fact that really impressed me was that many of these paintings looked good in real, but when I held a camera to take a picture, the painting was just something else. It’s like the painting came to life. In fact quite a few of them had this unique quality. It made me want to click so many more pictures.

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I’ve never gone Street art hunting in the past on any of my trips , but after Hong Kong, that’s definitely going to change.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures and the post. I’ve got plenty of street art pictures, it’s just so difficult to share them all here.

Let me know which of these are your favourite. Have you seen any of these on your visit to Hong Kong? Would love to know your thoughts in the comments below

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

Take a sad song and make it better

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This line from the famous song “Hey Jude” strikes a chord with me. Love how it inspires to improve whatever it is that’s not good.

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2017 so far has been an eventful year for me personally. It started with bringing in the new year in beautiful #Thailand. In case you have missed out on that post, you can check it here. I’ve even completed my swimming classes, have learnt enough to enjoy picnics at water parks and resorts. There’s still room for improvement though. Then, I’ve moved into a new challenging role on the work front. It’s something that keeps me occupied 12 hours on weekdays (which is why my blogging has taken a back seat, sorry).

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Call it growing up, getting mature, caring a damn or anything you’d like.. But I’ve even become calmer in my ways of dealing with life and it’s pressures. There used to be a time when I’d get hyper at the drop of a hat, but now I’ve learnt the art of letting go or simply ignoring all unwanted mess. ‘Keep calm’ is my new mantra.
In fact I’ve even reduced my social media usage altogether.

The travel bug has definitely bitten me and in fact I’m even open to exploring places as a solo traveller. Can’t wait for my next trip whenever and wherever that is.

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Of course l enjoy writing and that’s why this blog came into existence in the first place, but lately I tried my hand at getting poetic too. Here’s something I had recently put up on my Instagram account. In case you aren’t already following me on Instagram, follow @franchuadsouza now!
The intention is to get better at whatever I do and improve the overall quality of my life.

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay happy always.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza.

Take me home, to the place I belong

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Hellooo everyone!

I may be a little late, but wishing each and every one of you a very Happy New Year! Let’s make the most of 2017!

Firstly I’m super excited writing this post as I have recently returned from my Thai holiday. I’ve had the opportunity to see some wonderful places there, and I’ve soaked in everything I could. Can’t wait to share all the details about my trip.

In Thailand I covered Rayong , Pattaya and Bangkok. Each of them were visibly different from each other and most of the time I had some lovely experiences. Two things that I can happily cross off my bucket list now are Zip lining and sea walking. Both completely differ from each other, One had this whole adrenaline rush taking over while I was zipping through and the other that needed me to be calm under sea  while I walked in it and fed fishes. In  Bangkok, I felt all those happening city vibes and it reminded me of things back home (minus the pat- pong shows). Something I’ve gone a step further in, is eating Thai food. I did not experiment too much with street food but managed to try and enjoy the food at a few restaurants here and there (unlike Singa..).

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Of course I enjoyed my holiday and everything but the one thing I missed besides my loved ones was the food! The first evening after arriving in Bangkok, while walking down the Phloen Chit road, I decided to stop for dinner at this Indian restaurant Bawarchi Indian that served authentic North Indian food. Located at the Intercontinental , I knew there were fewer chances of disappointment. Plus, I really craved Indian food by then.

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It’s funny how when I introduced myself to the VP Mr. Vinay Chawla , he mistook me for an Indian girl who was to come in for an interview that evening. It did seem a bit off with the kind interview questions he put forward, until he realized his boo-boo. 🙂
*good luck to all those that interview here- I hope Mr Chawla doesn’t intimidate you*
Trust me, he was way too kind after that.

Now talking about the restaurant.

Firstly I felt at home, looking at the Indian staff around to greet us and offer the best service they could. The walls, painting, decor, ceiling, the swing, the music set up, the instrumental hindi music that played – everything made me forget that I was actually in Bangkok!  The staff (mostly Indian too) were quick on their feet right from our cocktails to dessert.

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The papadum cones itself along with their dips already set the quotient high. For starters, out of the Tandoor Jhinga (tandoor prawns), Stuffed wild mushrooms, Ajwani mahi tikka (red snapper- again the tandoor way), and murgh tikka (chicken tikka), my favorite was the huge Tandoor Prawn and the mushroom. The spices they used for the tandoor were mouth watering. Loved how it was very Indian, yet had an interesting twist.

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As a mushroom fan, I went on to try the Cream of Mushroom soup. As rightly described in the menu ,it is pretty much a classic creamy soup tampered with some Indian flavour. Don’t be surprised when you find some tadka to your soup.

When you’re in a restaurant that tells you straight that they’re full-on into North Indian kind of food, you must try the Biryani. Exactly the next dish I’m discussing.

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Served in cute little kadais, the portion is just right for 2.  The aroma itself screamed yum! The long grains, the fried onions, the spices in the biryani masala, the earthiness from that chicken in there were bang on! I’m glad this wasn’t a fusion kind of dish.
There cannot be a bigger compliment to a restaurant than for a person who is on holiday, staying at a hotel , is ready to take the food home and eat it the next day for lunch/ dinner, cold if need be, but will have it anyhow. Yes, I took the parcel, err 2 of them- chicken and the Lamb biryani (they get the lamb especially from Mongolia I understand). Did I say it’s yum??

It’s strange and funny how even though I claim I’m stuffed after eating a-lottt of food, I have plenty of space for dessert. It’s like I have a separate compartment within my tummy for it. Indian sweets are mostly extremely high on sugar and rasmalai is no less.But who’s complaining? I had it all. 😀 nuff said.

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I dined here on a Monday evening, the only day there’s no live Indian music. I strongly suggest if you plan on visiting this place, make sure you get to listen to some Indian music too.

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Hope you enjoyed reading my take on #bawarchiindian
If any of you have visited or plan on visiting this restaurant or any place in Thailand, give me a shout in the comments below! I love reading what you’ve to say.

Until my next post..

Lots of love,
The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Shine on

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I know my hair is in safe hands each time I visit the BBlunt salon, once every 6 months. Infact you must read how my hair lost it’s color virginity at one of their outlets. I’ve not only been a fan of their haircuts and hairstyles but also of all those fancy products they use for each separate hairtype. When they came up with their own line of styling products a few months back, to be honest I did have my doubts about how user friendly they’d actually be. I often thought these required expert hands only. The last thing I wanted was to buy a product I didn’t know how to use.

Today I’m going to share my thoughts and review BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish.

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BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish

When I laid my hands on the simple and sleek bottle of BBlunt Spotlight Hair Polish, I couldn’t wait to try it. With this horrible heat here in Mumbai, my hair has indeed lost it’s shine.

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The instructions on the bottle clearly mention it’s to be sprayed on dry hair. However I really didn’t want to “waste” the product on unwashed and sweaty hair, so I played smart and washed my hair first thing in the morning. I made sure my hair was totally dry by early evening and then went all foos-foos with that spray! Unfortunately we do not yet live in that universe where like those shampoo ads on tv, your hair will suddenly bounce off shine. So expecting that is silly.

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I made sure my eyes were protected with one hand, while the other hand was spraying the hair polish. Using it was pretty exciting as I was interested in the instant result. After spraying it over my hair, I combed my hair so that the polish was evenly distributed across all parts of my hair.

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The result: Very impressive! It indeed makes your hair shinier than before. Unfortunately the shine isn’t captured here in my pics. But it really really does work.

150ml of this bottle costs about Rs 469/- on Amazon. It’s got this mild, pleasant and lasting scent which typically reminds me of that scent I usually experience after my haircut at the BBlunt salon. It doesn’t weigh your hair down or make it look flat at all. Infact I noticed a few hours after this shoot it even tamed some friz. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the product, there’s no reason not to be.

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Do I recommend it? Yes Absolutely!

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Would love to know what products do you swear by.

Pics: Nolasco Alphonso.

Twitter handle: @thesilenthummer

Instagram : franchuadsouza

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

Manwa emotion jaage

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As a Fashion and Lifestyle blogger, getting invited to Press conferences and launches is great! It’s obvious that when there’s something great happening they’ll want you to cover it and deliver it to their audience. All that is super you know, and I absolutely thrive on the thrill of being around the who’s who, especially if there are celebrities I follow!

Note to self: For future Varun Dhawan events I should carry a photographer especially to click pics so that I can just enjoy myself looking at Varun 🙂

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Last evening was the finale of #Varunsstylebuddy by FBB, in association with Kara wipes. The 15 contestants from different backgrounds and cities showcased their beauty along with their brains. They had 4 rounds , the first being the ethnic wear round, the second the western wear round, third the Q & A round and fourth the walk to the judges for a closer look.

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The participants were gorgeous and confident. Clearly they wanted to win and made sure they put their best foot forward. Judges Vikram Bawa, Meiyang Chang, Riddhi- Siddhi, and Mayank Gandhi were extremely sweet to the participants which made it easier for them to stay calm and relaxed during the show. Even when one of the contestants blanked out during her Introduction and fumbled for words, they encouraged her to go on.

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The highlight of the evening besides the crowning of the girls was Varun Dhawan! Yes, #Varunsstylebuddy would be incomplete if the man himself wasn’t around. Dressed in ripped jeans and a sweatshirt with keds, he looked his cool self. He motivated the girls, wished them his best, took selfies & posed with them and did all he could to keep everyone smiling! On being presented with a bouquet of flowers, he said he felt old accepting flowers as he belongs to the age group where he should be giving them, and not be on the other end. He immediately presented it to the anchor of the evening (lucky girl, I know).

Varun Dhawan, the brand ambassador of FBB believes that “You don’t have to spend too much to be Fashionable” and said he’s not at all “Brand conscious”. He added that whatever is worn should be done with confidence! He was a thorough gentleman and even though he was in a haste as he rushed out,he posed for a couple of pics with fans.

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While the Jury were doing the calculation of points and deciding who the winners were, Meiyang Chang obliged with singing a line or 2 for the audience. Since the audience requested for yester-year Bollywood songs, Chang sang “Pal Pal Dil ke paas” and “Gulabi Aakhein” and later joked saying he often wondered who has pink eyes 😀

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Here below is a picture of the first seven girls to be out of the contest:

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And here are the winners of the evening! Congratulations to the 5 gorgeous beauties who will shoot with Varun for the next FBB  campaign. Your journey to success has officially kick started.

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Heartiest Congratulations to FBB and Varun’s style buddies!

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Desert Rose

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Floral exhibition

When was the last time you visited a garden? Even if you did, were you there to just stand and admire it’s beauty? Did you stop by to smell the flowers? Did you notice how the birds flock around particular types of plants and trees? It’s exactly these things that make venues like gardens so peaceful and calming.

If you have read the previous post, I had mentioned that I’d visited a beautiful flower exhibition over the weekend. This was solely to see and admire the blossomy beauty. The entire corporate complex in South Mumbai, was full of over 10,00,000 flowers (no exaggeration) varying in colors, sizes and structures and uses. Little gardens were set up to particular themes ranging from the Rajasthan desert garden , the Portugal garden, St. Nicolas’ garden, to the Victoria Orchid Hunter’s garden etc. Not just that, they even had a sparrow garden, which actually had sparrows happily flying around it.

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Up for a climb

There were huge installations which were marvelous. My favorite flower installation was the Tea- set, I mean you have to see it. The quarter plate even had biscuits and sugar cubes! Simply marvelous.

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It is impossible to name all the flowers I’d seen but just the names of a few that I recognized are Asters, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Daisies, Hibiscus, Lilies, Marigold, Orchids, Roses.

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My tram ride

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I had pre-decided to take just a few pics at the floral exhibition, but it was challenging to not capture everything. The garden, the water fountains, the navy band, the trams.. everything was spectacular and click worthy! Who wouldn’t be mesmerized, I wonder. I’m glad Nolasco had accompanied me, I didn’t have to bother at all about photography or the quality of my pictures. He’s such a pro, I didn’t even have to tell him what to click or at what angles I want my pictures. He’s fab at what he does. Glancing through the pics, I’m certain you will agree.

This exhibition was beautiful enough to make us feel like we were out of Mumbai on a mini vacation. Sadly this vacation got over quicker than we would have wished for.

Let me know if you enjoyed reading the post or simply liked Nolasco’s photography of my floral experience. We would love to know what you think.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza