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

Dont worry be Happy

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Either I’m getting old, or life’s stress is catching up with me. For all you know it might just be the heat. Remember how I told you about the heat here in Mumbai in my previous post?

Anyway, since a couple of days my body’s been signaling to me that I need to slow down a little, maybe take a weekend trip or just simply relax and pamper myself. Keeping work in mind, telling my manager I need to slow down would not be a feasible option, and I’ve planned my next trip in June already. The other alternative left? Relax, and pamper myself. Sure, why not!

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Ideally I would have loved to get me some pampering done over the weekend, but the procrastinator that I am, I knew there were high chances that I’d just sleep and stupor, cancelling all appointments. Instead of letting that happen to myself, I decided to fix an appointment on a weekday itself after work at the Four Fountains De- stress Spa, Bandra. Why the Four Fountains De-stress Spa? Well, I’d been there previously (at the Pali Naka branch) and it was a lovely experience. Also, since I was heading there after work, it seemed close by and convenient.

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About the Four Fountains De-stress Spa:
They are India’s largest chain of affordable day spas with over 20 spas and 300 employees. Their mission is to create stress-free and healthy India. They’re operational in Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Pune.

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Branch:
Bandra, Mumbai. (Note the nearest Station is Khar, not Bandra)

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Summer Splash:
This is the season’s refreshing massage with Lime extracts in Aloe-Mint gel. As the heat is getting to me, this particular type of Swedish massage seemed like what my body exactly needed. It’s a 60min massage that does not just help the body cool down, but also helps in replenishing lost moisture and leaves the skin supple.

Price of the Summer Splash massage:
INR 2,699/-

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My review of the overall experience:
My appointment was scheduled for 7pm on a weekday. About 45 mins prior to the scheduled time, I received a call from the spa to confirm my appointment. Knowing some last minute work had come up, I did inform them I’ll be about 10 mins late. As soon as I was on my way, I tried calling them to get directions but hung up due to the long hold time.
The spa looked alright. The man at the reception was courteous. Within 5 minutes of reaching, I was introduced to Urvashi, my masseur of the evening. Urvashi was sweet and polite while interacting with me. She was presentable in her uniform and during the massage I observed the well painted ox blood shade on her toes. Although I read about
the Summer splash massage, I asked her which oils were used, to which she explained these weren’t oils but extracts of lime, mint and aloe. Knowing mint’s cooling effect, she asked me to let her know when I’m feeling cold so that she could switch off the AC. Right enough 15mins later, I asked her to switch it off.
The instrumental music and the Summer Splash massage definitely kept me relaxed. I’m glad that the spa scored well on the hygiene factor as the room I was in as well as the attached Bathroom (although tiny) were in perfect condition. Brownie points for Urvashi as she got me a hair band and tied my tresses in a bun and later a shower cap as I didn’t want to wet it.

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A picture with Urvashi, after she was done with her shift

Negatives:
The common washroom at the spa could be better maintained. Also, I don’t like the idea of sitting on a pot and seeing a urinal less than 1 foot away from me.
A lesson I learnt was, if anytime during the massage you feel that the pressure of the masseur’s fingers is too strong for you or you’re not enjoying the cracking of your bones, you should speak up. Other wise, like me, you will end up with an ache that wasn’t even there before. Here’s hoping that my shoulders stop aching soon. Thankfully I’ve got the weekend to rest.

The Silent Hummer’s overall rating: ★★★☆☆

And now this is why I didn’t want to wet my hair. Just the previous day I had a haircut and my hair was falling so well, I didn’t want to touch it!
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Hope you enjoyed reading this post. Let me know how do you de-stress yourself? Is spa your ideal way too? Also, how do you like my haircut? Waiting to hear from you guys!

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Note: This post is in association with Four Fountains De-stress Spa. However, the review is given in complete honesty. If you too would like me to review your product/ service on the blog, you may contact me thesilenthummer@gmail.com

Roses are red my love

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Who wants gola

Roses are red, yellow, orange, pink, black and what not! Flowers are beautiful, there’s no denying. They smell lovely is an added incentive. Frankly I’m not quite a floral person when it comes to gifting them, as it’s disheartening that they last for just a few days. I’m more into practical gifting. However as I mentioned, flowers are beautiful no doubt and even a bunch of them make can make some peoples’ day bright. They have the ability to turn a dull day into a romantic one and a depressing day into a motivating one. Imagine what happens when you see a complex full of flowers everywhere, like literally. That too in Mumbai!

Over the weekend, a few of us accepted an invitation to attend a flower exhibition put up in town. If you’ve lived in Mumbai, you’d know that unfortunately we are not lucky enough to see nature in all it’s glory. So the invite seemed too lucrative to be ignored. The complex that hosted the exhibition had about 35 gardens with different floral set ups, each one-better-than-the-other. The organisers did everything possible to make this event grand. They set up the place like a dream- the flowers were the stars, they got 1853-style trams to take us around all the gardens, and they even got the navy band to perform live. Refreshments were served at a few corners so even the 4pm heat couldn’t do much to bother us. Looking at all this beauty, we completely forgot that we were still in Mumbai and realization only struck after exiting the complex.

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SheepJust chit chatting with the bird inside

My pics are just a glance of the weekend that was. I bet you will have to return to see the actual flower display. It’s going to blow your mind!

In the mean time you can check the previous time I posted about my floral experience.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. I’ve even joined Roposo- @franchua  recently, I’m yet to learn it, but join me there too!

Photography credits : Nolasco Alphonso, he’s the best.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

I’m gonna see my ma chère amie-o

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This “Jambalaya” Song is so apt for a date night right? It has love and food in it 🙂

Recently, no I’m not talking Valentines’ Day, but just another ordinary day I stepped out for a dinner date. It’s something I do not do on a regular basis. We decided to give ‘Byblos Kitchen’ a try after reading some good reviews on popular food and restaurant recommendation engines. If you’re following me on Instagram (Follow now, if you’re not already), you would’ve seen my little review of the place there, along with a few pics. It’s located just next to the parking lot of Phoenix Mills- Lower Parel, which doesn’t make the location very striking. The food and service however was definitely note worthy. Not to take their credit away, but it could’ve also been since we were the only diners at 9 pm! I almost got tricked into believing a Private restaurant was booked especially for me.. and we’re talking about a 130 seats Restaurant!! 🙂

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Dinner was wonderful just like I had expected. We’ve captured pics so that I could share them here and look them up whenever I wanted to. The steward was kind to even click a few pics of us. Although this wasn’t Valentine’s Day dinner, it felt like one. Co-incidentally I even wore Red! We should do this more often.

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OOTD Details:-

Red dress: Sister’s closet
Beige Bag: Esbeda
Chain: Forever21
Makeup by: Estee Lauder

Date night- Red

Let me know how you like the post and pics. Would love to know what you think of them. Hope you all had a love filled Valentine’s Day. Comment and Share the love.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram Now.

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

We had Joy, We had Fun

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Any guesses from which song did I choose the title? Write it in the comments below 🙂

This post is a dedication to Children’s Day (celebrated on 14th Nov).
Not too long ago, we friends visited Phoenix Mills for breakfast. Breakfast at Haagen Daz disappointed us but the over all visit to the mall was worth our time spent. Besides checking out the sales and offers (I love sales and offers), we randomly walked into this beautiful kids world of Hamleys. Considering we’re all grown ups and I’m not into kiddish sort of stuff, I didn’t think I’d have fun here. I was so wrong! Easily I spent more than an hour and half here!

Look Camel!

Their whole set-up, their collection of toys, board games, rides, legos, cartoon and animal replicas- everything were awesome! Even their staff looked like they had a fun job when they went about in roller skates, shooting bubbles, throwing Boomerangs around etc. Seriously, such an amazing job guys!
Also usually I do not get carried away by soft toys or squishy stuff but aww these things here were so soo sooooo cute!

Walking with Bubbles

Some our time

Guess what, they even had a gorgeous little white piano which I instantly fell in love with. And why not, I’m the silent hummer after all, remember? Anything to do with music immediately attracts my attention and the next thing I do is take a pic! Like this one.

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More bubbles

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I think this post is beginning to seem like I’m promoting Hamley’s a little too much and this may be a sponsored post. But NO! This is not a sponsored post. I genuinely had an amazing time here. It’s right to say I actually went back to my childhood memories where there was absolutely no worries in life besides surprise tests and exams. Sigh!

If you’re around Phoenix Mills anytime, drop in here, see the variety of fun things they have to offer and you will forget the real world outside. You will definitely not want to leave the store empty handed. There’s nothing more perfect than visiting this place when you have to gift a kid something (or even an adult who’s fond of these things).

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When was the last time you visited your childhood memories? What was your favorite toy? Which cartoon character tickled you the most? How do you make it special for today’s technology driven kids? Let me know in the comments section, I love hearing from you.

Photography: Nolasco Alphonso

Hope you enjoyed this post and the pics. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter & Instagram

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

I need more of you

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Hello Everyone,

Yes I actually need more of you. I need to reach out to a larger audience now that it’s been a year blogging and I’ve achieved over 100 of you as followers from WordPress. Now I feel more confident about doing this and I’d really want for this blog to grow. In no way does that mean I’m going to compromise on my style/ quality of blogging. If anything, I’d love to improve like so many of you. I will one hundred percent stay truthful to my blogging. No brand/ PR company can change that.
I’d already hopped on to the Twitter and Instagram bandwagon recently, and now the latest is Bloglovin. Follow Me.

I'm now on Bloglovin

Let’s see where it goes from here. Hope all of you continue to be an active part of this experience. Would love if you’d follow me on these social sites. Honestly it’s like treading new waters for me.

Do share with me blogging tips to increase my readership. Or in case you’re on either of these sites, let’s connect. Thanks in advance.

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

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