Author Archives: Simi K. Rao

Delhi Diaries: Waste to Wonder

If you live in India and have a desire to visit all the seven “Wonders of the World” and are finding it difficult to travel across the globe then Delhi is the place where your desire will be fulfilled. Waste to Wonder Park in Delhi  is a theme park which is the first of its kind in the entire world to have replicas of all the wonders of the world. These are made from 150 tonnes of industrial waste, automobile waste and other scrap materials.The park has replicas of Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, Colosseum, Pyramid of Giza and Christ the redeemer. Scrap metal pipes, car wheels, cycle chains, bike chains, disposed off park benches have been creatively used by designers to create these artistic monuments. These beautiful architectural monuments will mesmerise you especially during evenings when they are lit up. The park uses solar and wind energy for all its electricity needs.

There is an entry ticket of Rs 25 for children and Rs 50 for adults during weekdays and Rs 100 on Sundays.

How to reach: Waste to Wonder Park is in Sarai Kale Khan which is in South East Delhi. The nearest metro station is Nizamuddin from where it is a 10 minute walk. Auto rickshaws, Ola and Uber cabs can directly drop you at the theme park.

Deepika Pawar is a native of New Delhi, India. She is a Counsellor and Family Therapist in private practice. She is ‘a gypsy at heart’, a wanderer and travel enthusiast, who loves to explore new places.

Delhi Diaries- Garden of Five Senses

Delhi has a beautiful or rather a colourful charm when flowers are in full bloom. It is an ideal time to visit some gardens around this time.

Garden of Fives Senses is a beautiful garden spread over 20 acres in Saket, Delhi. There are theme areas like Khaas Bagh on the lines of the Mughal Gardens, herbal garden, pool of water lilies. The other highlights include sandstone elephants, sun clock, stone crafted students reading their books, amphitheater and the replica of the Mexican Mayan Labna Arc. I suggest that the best time to visit this place is during the Annual Garden Tourism Festival.

Once you have seen the garden and taken selfies with the sun kissed flowers, head straight to “Champa Gali” which is just 850 mts away (5 mins drive) for a scrumptious meal, refreshing coffee. Champa gali has its own charm with numerous Cafetarias with different themes welcoming you.

How to reach: Garden of Fives Senses is in south Delhi and the nearest metro station is Saket from where you can take an auto rickshaw. Else Ola and Uber cabs can drop you directly till the garden.

Deepika Pawar is a native of New Delhi, India. She is a Counsellor and Family Therapist in private practice. She is ‘a gypsy at heart’, a wanderer and travel enthusiast, who loves to explore new places.

Delhi Diaries: Lodhi Art District

Travel series by Deepika Pawar

Delhi Diaries

Delhi, the capital of India is fondly called Dilli dilawalon ki, meaning an abode of large hearted people. Growing up in Delhi I have been visiting places of tourist interest since childhood. But now I travel in Delhi as a traveler, exploring and admiring  the places and sharing my experiences. Delhi has a lot to offer from the Mughal era buildings to Colonial architecture to the modern day attractions for the travelers.

I thought that my travel blog series should begin from Delhi, the place where I live and where my heart ❤️ belongs.

Lodhi Art District is India’s First Open Air Art District where 20+ artists from India and overseas have transformed this public space into a beautiful canvas. If you are in Delhi, take a stroll on the streets of Lodhi Colony and get mesmerised by the Art Work. This place reminded me of the East Side Gallery Berlin Wall graffiti in Germany. Wear comfortable footwear since you will walk a lot and don’t forget a water bottle.

How to get there: Lodhi Colony is in South Delhi and is on the metro train route. You can take a private cab or an autorickshaw to reach the place.

Deepika Pawar is a native of New Delhi, India. She is a Counsellor and Family Therapist in private practice. She is ‘a gypsy at heart’, a wanderer and travel enthusiast, who loves to explore new places.

Romance Of The Railroad

Long winding roads, verdent mountains, dotted blue skies, fresh chill in the air, and yes– The Choo! Choo! train.
“Bye, bye Choo choo train!” says a mother to her toddler as they descended the train. The nostalgia and the romance of the steam engine is unique. It brings an immediate smile all faces and a faraway look in those of us who have experienced traveling long distances in them. The sharp sound of the whistle and the smoke plume billowing over the length of the train has a plaintive ring to it– as if seeking for a lost era.

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The Duomo (An Architectural Marvel).

The Duomo of the Florence Cathedral

The Duomo, as Florence’s cathedral is fondly called, sports the largest masonry dome in the world. It sits across the Baptistry- the oldest religious site in Florence. Florence is a city in central Italy and the capital of Tuscany region.

The construction of the cathedral was begun by Arnolfo di Cambio at the end of the13th century, while the dome was added in the 15th century. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1146). Unlike designers and builders nowadays, Brunelleschi did not go to architecture school, rather he was trained to become a goldsmith. But thanks to the Renaissance, which encouraged and patronized art of all kinds, he became interested in architecture, and worked to enhance his knowledge and skills. He designed and invented an array of sophisticated hoists and tools in order to bring his ambitious design to fruition. It is even more astonishing to note that the cathedral dome is entirely self-supporting. It is actually made of two domes. An inner dome made of sandstone and marble and outer dome made of brick and mortar. A copper clad, two ton stone ball that sits on top of the dome provided the finishing touch in 1469. It was built by Verucchio and his students, among whom happened to be the incomparable Leonardo Da Vinci.

To see this and many other wonders visit Florence or Firenze, Italy- the cradle of Renaissance.

Human After All Chap 25: Vampires and Encounters with Dr. D

Image by codymonser from Pixabay

Chapter 24

Khanak turned on her heels.

“Surprise. Surprise.She also wears cute glasses. Soon she will change into a bat and make me her latest meal. I’m loving it.”

“You!” Khanak rushed to remove her glasses.  

“No, don’t. You look like a pretty nerdy prof. And ridiculously sexy on top of that.”

As she looked at him in nervous confusion, he came up to her, took her glasses from her hand and put them back on her face, flicking the tip of her nose in the process. She tried to back away as he moved closer and ended up getting hedged into a corner. She leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, knowing that looking at him would make her thoughts run wild.

“Get away from me;” She croaked.

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Meatless Monday- Mung lentil soup.

The complaint I often hear from omnivores is that they would like to go meatless but don’t have enough options. Sorry, that is a myth. Infact, there are so many delicious options that you will not crave meat anymore. And many of them are very easy to prepare. Here’s one of them- Mung bean lentil soup. Mung beans are a great source of plant based protein, fiber, B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants plus, they are easy to digest.

Pressure cook split mung bean lentils (without husk) 1-2 cups, add grated ginger and sauteed red onion. Add turmeric, chili powder and salt to taste. Top off with tadka of mustard and cumin seeds in ghee. Garnish with cilantro leaves. It’s absolutely delicious on it own, or as a side dish with chapatis, naan bread or rice. Try it!

Keepsakes for Old Age

I’m not old, I think. Not yet. But I’m getting there. Everyone is getting there. Maybe I’m a little ahead in the line because I’m thinking about it. About getting old. 

Am I sad? Not really. Maybe, just a little disappointed. Because I really didn’t have much of a youth. Because I spent most of it preparing for the future– for getting old. 

I don’t think I’m old because I’m still a productive member of society. People still seek my opinion and try to take it seriously (I hope). My opinion still counts for something. I’m not just someone to be tolerated. But then what is ‘old’? It is a state of mind. There are people who are old in their youth and others who are young when they are old. 

I think I’m at the best time of my life. There is still a skip in my step and I’m not preoccupied with the condition of my joints. I still get excited to see new things, experience new places.

I don’t have any regrets. I’ve dealt with them all. In fact, I’ve dealt with them so well I don’t even recall what they were.  My desires are limited to traveling, reading, assimilating new ideas, and perhaps guiding others to live a better, more informed life. I’ve reconciled with my ambitions and disappointments.

But a day will come when I won’t matter any more; my opinions will be just that–opinions. So, I’m collecting keepsakes. Little memories– that’ll keep me company and help me pass the time. It could be anything– like the flavor of something delicious– from a long time ago–that perhaps I’d never get the chance to taste again. It could be a bird call; a chance conversation with a stranger; timeless streets through which I walked and walked but wasn’t afraid of getting lost because I had wonderful company. It could be the brilliant blue of the sky, the soothing silence of the forest, the dust on my shoes as I embarked eagerly on a different trail.

I hope that time will be short. I hope I won’t become bitter. I hope when you think of me it’ll be with a smile.