Top 5 Cricket World Cup Destinations

With the ICC Cricket World Cup in full swing, I have decided to bring you my specially curated travel-list for the cricket-lover in you! From the first World Cup in 1975 to the one that you’re watching on your big screens right now, cricket has taken us across 16 beautiful nations, spanning 4 continents. While most will be engrossed in the game, there are many of us who yearn to go beyond the stadium and explore the wondrous sights each host country has to offer. Let’s set the ball rolling!

1. United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales)

The World Cup tradition began in England, and this country hosted the first three World Cups until India and Pakistan ended the hat-trick. Once you are done gaping in awe at the Lord’s Cricket Ground, you must grab a seat on one of the 32 capsules of the London Eye. You will get a bird’s eye view of over 55 famous landmarks of London while the giant wheels takes 30 minutes to complete a round. Don’t forget to take some selfies on the London Bridge – one of the seven wonders of the world! Then, as the Big Ben strikes six, head on over to Madam Tussaud’s and marvel at the lifelike wax statues of celebrities from all over the world. If you have more time, don’t forget to visit the Buckingham Palace and several state-of-the-art museums.

Scotland is a country straight out of a fairytale! Home to the magnificent castle of Edinburgh and the haunted waters of Loch Ness. (Remember the sea monster, Nessie?) Explore Skara Brae, a stone-age village, and ruins of imposing castles and brochs. The beaches and hills are sure to take your breath away!

Wales, not unlike Scotland, has scores of alluring castles. But the prettiest attraction here is surely Snowdonia – a visually appealing national park. You might also want to take a look at Sygun Copper Mine and National Slate Museum.

2. India



India has hosted the World Cups thrice so far, and it arguably has the highest number of cricket fans in the world. My country is one of the most diverse, both in terms of terrain and culture. You can enjoy the snow in Gulmarg, up North, or laze inside a boathouse in the backwaters of Kerala, down South. India has the mighty Thar desert, the holy land of Gaya, the crazy party-scene in Goa, the beautiful Taj Mahal and the beguiling Sundarbans all in between. Your experiences in India will be as unique and colourful as its people and cuisines!

3. Australasia (Australia and New Zealand)



The largest country in Australasia, Oz is a spectacle of natural and man-made beauty. The Great Barrier Reef, the 12 Apostles, the Blue Mountains and clear beaches are nature’s gift to the Aussies. By the same token, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, the Eureka Tower and the Great Ocean Road are gifts from the Aussies to the rest of the world. As Australia hosts various matches for this season, let’s hope India lifts the cup again!



Kiwiland is co-hosting this year, and it’s a wonderful excuse to explore its two islands. If you’re an LOTR fan, hop over to Hobbiton and feel like a hobbit yourself! NZ gives you plenty of chances to interact with its indigenous Maori people and taste their scrumptious food. After a long match, relax at one of the hot springs. New Zealand is chock a block with volcanoes and the natural geysers and hot springs come as no surprise. The beauty of it all will surprise you though! 😉

4. The Netherlands



Holland is a small European country that has only co-hosted the World Cup once, but it packs quite a punch! The land of windmills has enough to keep you here for several days. Its charming streets are best explored on a rented bicycle and its canals, best crossed in a gondola. The Netherlands is steeped in history. From Anne Frank’s House to Rijksmuseum, there’s so much to see! Holland is also famous for its liberal laws on weed. One can order “magic mushrooms” and “space cakes” in restaurants! The best thing about “NE” of BENELUX is that it’s a part of the Schengen region, and a Schengen visa gives you the power to travel through most of Europe! 😀

5. Kenya



Africa’s lesser known cricket destination is a magical country which is true to its roots. The Kenyan cricket team may not have been able to beat South Africa too many times, but Kenya sure beat it to make it to my travel-list for this year! This West African country is the abode of a mind-boggling variety of wild animals and birds. Maasai Mara is a global-favourite when it comes to observing animals in their natural habitat. Animal-watching does not have to be all about roughing it out. You can opt for elegant luxury tents and try “glamping” (glamorous camping) if your budget allows it.

Do you ever plan a trip around cricket matches? Have you been to any of the destinations on my top-5? Let me hear your stories in the comments below!

This blog is part of the Blogger Dream Team.

Must Go to Melbourne!

It is still 2014, and I’m already dreaming about the places I want to visit in 2015. I made dozens of wishlists of things I want to try and food I want to gorge on. But I threw those lists out of the window when somebody told me I could do it all in one place! Last month, my friend from Melbourne flew down to Mumbai and he couldn’t stop telling me about all the lovely things one can find in Victoria. He flew back to Australia but left me dreaming about that city down under…

Breathtaking Drive on the Great Ocean Road

That magnificent stretch of silver is surrounded by pure gold – the golden sun above, the golden reflection of the sunny skies on the Pacific Ocean, and the Twelve Apostles jutting out of the waters from a golden era! What wouldn’t I give to go on a long, long drive with my best buddies (a la ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’! 😉 )

Top Secret: The 12 Apostles change colours at sunrise and sunset! Those rock statues sure know how to rock! 😀

Squeal at the Seals or Point at the Penguins



Now, there are some birds and animals you don’t get to see everywhere. When in Victoria, make the best use of the opportunity and head to Phillip Island! If you go on a boat cruise, you’ll get to wave your hands at the slippery seals barking from the rocks. And once you’re on the Island, you’ll witness the wondrous sight of thousands of little penguins wading across the sand to head to their burrows on Summerland Beach! (Yes, you don’t always need snow to spot penguins! 😉 ) While we’re on the topic of wildlife, let’s not forget koalas! These cuddly furballs are only found on this continent. You can take a peek at their joeys in their pouches at koala conservation centres or treetop boardwalks that let you watch the playful marsupials scurry along trees and bushes.

Slurp some Chocolate or Swirl some Wine



If you are on Phillip Island, you might as well drop in at Panny’s Chocolate Factory and feel like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. If the brown elixir is not your cup of tea, head to The Coffee Collective for your shot of caffeine in this coffee capital of Australia! For wine lovers like me, Melbourne has acres and acres of lush vineyards and a whopping 850 wineries! The cool climate and fertile lands of Victoria make it one of the best places to produce fine quality wines. Take a tour of a winery and indulge in some wine tasting with a sommelier.

Fly Over the Yarra Valley



Touring this beautiful wine region shouldn’t all be about walking. One can zip through the estates on a Segway, or even better – float in the air on a hot air balloon! The best thing about the ballooning experience is that you get to test your own balloon and watch how the hydrogen-filled giant is propped up. Yarra Valley has an ideal terroir. The harvests produce the country’s best wines with fruity notes. And, there’s always grape-stomping for the teetotallers! 😉

Pick Your Own Strawberries and Relish them with Cheese



For the ultimate “farm-to-plate” experience, spend a day at the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm which is open from November to April. They’ll let you pick strawberries straight off the ground! You can either eat them on their own or try some exotic strawberry liqueurs and jams. Melbourne also produces some interesting artisanal cheeses. You might want to try the deliciously creamy sheep-cheese varieties! However, if your are on a budget and wish to try everything under the Victorian sun, catch a tram to the Queen Victoria Market. It is the largest open air market in the Southern Hemisphere and sees footfalls of over 10 million a year!

Melbourne is not called cosmopolitan for nothing! You will find almost every cuisine you crave for. Cafes and restaurants dot this megacity where fresh organic produces are in demand. You cannot visit Australia and not try barbecued dishes or craft beers! Microbreweries and streetfood are insanely popular with the local crowd here. And the variety you can have is mindblowing! There’s Greek souvlaki and Indian samosas in the same block sometimes! 😀

Relax in a Thermal Pool



Too much travel can tire me out. This is why I shall pre-book a session at the Peninsula Hot Springs and let my body and soul unwind with a mud wrap and hot stone treatment. The natural spas in this region have therapeutic properties in their minerals. After I’m rejuvenated, I shall get back to more activities in Melbourne! 🙂

Gawk at Artsy Streets

Melbourne is very progressive when it comes to street art. This is so liberating for budding artists and expressionists! Hosier Lane and a few others are dedicated to creative and edgy street art. One can lose oneself in this maze-like place full of messages displayed through spray-paintings. Even the street-name is a work of graffiti!

And Do A Million Other Things…



Melbourne cannot be seen in a day. Not even in a week. And no, even a month won’t suffice! This multicultural city has SO MANY SURPRISES that you will want to move here permanently for a couple of years to truly enjoy the spirit of this place. There’s something for every kind of traveller. The budget tourist can take the hop-on-hop-off City Circle tram which is free! The well heeled can book a helicopter ride over the Southern Ocean to watch the 12 apostles from the sky. The sports enthusiast will find the Aussie Open, the ICC World Cup and many other matches to keep her busy. The History buff can take the Gold Mine Tour at Sovereign Hill, and the architecture-phile can awe in wonder at the sweeping arches and towering skyscrapers. Even little kids can let their feet hang out of a window on the Puffing Billy! 🙂 It’s hardly a surprise then that Melbourne has been titled the “most livable city in the world”! You wouldn’t just live here, you would THRIVE!!!

When I woke up from my daydream, I was so amazed with the variety of activities I could take part in that I decided to pull my friends into this dream too. Without re-creating any scenes from Inception (the movie), I simply asked them a few questions:-

I set the ball rolling on Twitter

I set the ball rolling on Twitter

My tweet got my followers dreaming on Twitterland! 😉 And I picked out some replies for you to see:-

Picture5 Picture3 Picture10

Surfing was something even I did not think of! And even though I’m not a big fan of cricket, I love stadium tours. This virtual interaction taught me I could dream better if I spread the dream to more spheres. So I threw the same questions to my fans on my Facebook page:-

The excitement spread to Facebook! :-)

The excitement spread to Facebook! 🙂

The number of replies I received did not even fit into a screenshot! 😀 See how community dreaming is better than fantasizing on your own? I don’t want to leave my WordPress followers out of the excitement, so I have a special New Year Contest for all of you!!! 🙂

All you have to do is answer the following question and send in your replies as comments to this post:-

Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?

(Psst… You can reread this article to make a decision. 😉 ) The most creative reply will win a shopping voucher worth Rs.500! (Yay!! 😀 ) Send in your entries by 5th Jan, 2015.

Travelling With Children

On my blog, I’ve always written about travelling solo or with adult friends. But in reality, most vacationers are family-trippers. And while it’s wonderful to have your close people around you, it becomes a little challenging if you have little kids. 🙂

I have fond memories of travelling to multiple destinations with my parents and sister as a child. I loved each and every one of those moments, but it is only today that I realize what my folks must have gone through, handling two mischievous kids! 😉 Kids add a kind of excitement to every vacation as they view the world with their innocent minds. To help you experience magical trips and avoid misery as you tag along your little ones, I have curated a list of things to do and know when travelling with children:-

Kids Love the Sand and the Sun

If there’s any group of people that loves beaches the most, it is children! If you want to have a relaxing vacation, head to the beach. Leave your kids with some plastic spades and buckets so they can make their own sand castles, and sunbathe without their constant chatter! But remember to slather some sunscreen lotion on them as their sensitive skin is prone to sunburns.

Kids are the world's cutest beach-bums!

Kids are the world’s cutest beach-bums!

Snacks Can Save the Day!

Do you know the main reason kids are always agitated on a trip? They are hungry! Always carry titbits for your toddlers, especially when on a long road trip. You may not always find kid-friendly restaurants or food  on your way. As far as I know, road-side dhabas make food that’s way too spicy for children. So pack some sandwiches, nuts, crackers and chocolates when your bundle of joy accompanies you on that weekend break. Remember, not to make the food boring. Your kids don’t have to drink milk or eat bitter veggies when they are on holiday! Cut them some slack and indulge them with some junk food. (It’s okay once a while!)

The Bangali puchka

Food can keep your kids calm when all else fails!

Playgrounds Are Kid-Magnets

When you need some quiet time with your better half, head to the local park and let your kids have the time of their lives. Children can be surprisingly easy to manage if they have something or somebody to play with. The slides, see-saws and swings at playgrounds will keep your kids happy and active at the same time! Be careful of ride-injuries though. Make sure you carry some basic first-aid stuff with you. Nothing fancy, just band-aids and ointment. You can always buy other things from the local pharma-store. And this reminds me of medication! Do not forget to keep a few tablets or syrups for stomache-ache, acidity and fever. Dehydration can be quite common in the summers. A packet of Electral will see you through any eventuality.

Footloose in Kodagu

Swings and slides and swing your kids’ mood in your favour! 😉

Theme-Parks and Cartoons

Your trips with your children should not just be about keeping them busy or out of your way. You must plan something that they will truly enjoy. And what better than a trip to a theme park! From my visits to Ramoji Film City, Essel World, Water Kingdom and a few others, I have realized how wonderful it feels to go back to being a kid again. If you can take your kids to any of the Disneyland(s), there’s nothing like it! If you can’t, there’s plenty of other stuff you can plan. There are doll-museums around the world (one in New Delhi) and toy trains in many touristy places.

Nordic nights

Children love animated experiences

Children have their own way of perceiving vacations. They can give us some interesting insights into the places we take them to. You will be amazed to know how kids write their travelogues. Catch a glimpse of their words here –

The Big Bird Comes to India!

I was browsing through my old photographs the other day and I noticed how rapidly I had been outgrowing my clothes. I grew so much and so fast in my preteen years that my parents always bought me a size bigger… just in case. It’s funny how this “growth” is not localized to our bodies. A lot of things keep growing in this world – incomes, aspirations, appetites, and especially for India, population!

As a country gets bigger, so does its aspiration. The rising middle class now wants to vacation abroad, try exotic cuisines, and fly higher! So, the arrival of the world’s largest commercial aircraft in India was a logical progression. What we did not expect though was that the Lufthansa A380 would not only be the largest but also one of the finest!

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Picture Courtesy:

This big birdie flew into Delhi’s IGI airport last month and received a landmark welcome. I predict that aviation in our country will soon be revolutionized by a wave of giant planes cruising in our skies. And this is great news because “bigger” is certainly better for Indian aviation! This will be a slightly long post, so fasten your seatbelts as I take you on a vicarious flight aboard the #LufthansaA380! But first, watch this timelapse video of the “green giant”:-

The biggest bird in our sky is a blessing that has finally been bestowed upon us frequent fliers. Here’s why we need more double-decker planes flying in and out of India:

1. Rising Population

With over a billion people jostling for space on the Indian land, imagine what would happen if we all decided to take to the skies one fine day! And this may be hypothetical today, but in the future, as more Indians decide to fly, most of India’s residents will be airborne at any given time. So many people require multiple decks on an aircraft and a LOT of seats (not to mention, frequent flights). Lufthansa has taken one step in that direction. We need more operators to follow suit.

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2. Rising Wealth

As our wages increase, we’re not going to put up with the cheap experiences that come with cheap flights. We’ll need our champagne and shawarmas when we make that expensive honeymoon trip to the Bahamas. This is why it is heartening to see the easy-on-the-eye beige interiors of the Lufthansa A380’s First Class. You can actually sleep on a fully flat bed under warm blankets with your privacy-partition up. After all, you need to look like a million bucks on your million-buck vacation!

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3. Rising Stinginess

Yes, you read that right! We have become very stingy after we started making so much money. We suddenly don’t want to waste our hard earned green bills on things that hurt the environment and rob us of our natural resources. We buy energy-efficient LED lights, install motion detecting bath fixtures and only buy cars that run 20 kilometres per litre. Good thing the A380 has four turbofan engines which bring down the fuel consumption per passenger. The 3-metre diameter is quite impressive too!

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4. Rising Love for Shiny Things

Everybody knows that every Indian family worth its salt will buy gold before they buy life insurance. This love is not restricted to the yellow metal. We now also love shiny steel parts of Harley Davidsons, shiny diamonds studded on shiny platinum jewellery, and shiny new shoes. It’s interesting to know that the Lufthansa A380 has a shiny body because of a transparent protective coat over one layer of colour. This high tech paint keeps the plane working in -60 degrees Celsius and +60 with equal ease.

5. Rising Interest in Weight-Loss

We are so busy working off our flab at the gym that we hardly noticed the A380’s single-paint design. That saves so much weight and ultimately, kerosene. (Fuel efficiency is inversely proportional to weight.) This plane is not called the “green giant” for nothing! It is giant, but surprisingly light!

6. Rising Sizes (despite that “thing” for weight loss 😛 )

The great Indian feasts ensure that all our plans of shedding those extra kilos are tossed out of the window. We have our big waists and tired feet flapping all over the place. This is why the A380 has more legroom (even for Economy), and a nice footrest in the Business Class.

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7. Rising Tech-Savviness

With the number of tech-wizards that India is churning out every year, it’s easy to see how tech savvy our nation is set to become.  The green giant is sure to impress this group of people with its tail-camera that relays live video (on to the in-flight entertainment screens) of the sky and the view around. This camera was initially installed for the pilot’s benefit, but looks like we’ll all reap some.

8. Rising Obsession over Meditation

The concept and art of meditation was developed in India many years ago. It is in fashion again now, thanks to the world-citizens who have been popularizing this art in several countries. So when you are on that long haul flight, you wouldn’t have to miss your Yoga practice, thanks to the quiet interiors of the plane. If you wish to go further, you can also change into your Yoga-clothes and stash your travel-clothes in your personal wardrobe (first class only).

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9. Rising Urgency to “Take a Leak” 😛

I don’t think I need to mention how many Indians without toilets have to trek miles to relieve themselves. While these are not the same people who fly high today, they will someday. It’s good to have nice washrooms aboard the Lufthansa A380, so you don’t have to avoid eating or drinking when you’re up in the air. You will forget you’re on a plane when you see the lavish fittings and spacious wash cabin for the first class.

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Now you know why we need BIGGER and smarter things to carry us around! You will certainly agree that ‘bigger is better’ for the Indian aviation industry, won’t you?

When a Traveller Comes Home…

As travellers, we pack our bags and set out to explore places far and wide. But most of us come back to a place we call “home”… a place where we bring back our memories… recharge the batteries of our system… and plot our next quest! It is with the aim of reflecting on our own spaces, our homes, our green-rooms (that help us prepare for our performances in the world), that I write this post today.

Where do you dream?

Where do you dream?

A globe by my night table – to help me dream of unseen places

Pictures of my hosts strung on a wall – to remind me of their faces

Soft cushions to rest my tired limbs that’ll hike up a hundred hills

Fluffy blankets to dig my fingers into before they play again with quills

My bedroom is where I dream after I’m done with my dose of reality for the day. It is very important for a travel blogger to dream if she wants to bring her dreams to life the next morning. Last Saturday, I met one such dreamer who had succeeded in making his dreams come true. I was in the company of Sonu Sood, the Bollywood heartthrob, whose aspirations took him from Chandigarh to Mumbai.

Sonu has recently gotten his home in Punjab transformed by Godrej Interio. He was at the Interio showroom to share his experience with the world (before he agreed for some private time with your favourite travel blogger 🙂 ).

Sonu Sood talks about the transformation of his home

Sonu Sood talks about the transformation of his home

He took us through the video of the transformation process. He has a beautiful, spacious home in Chandigarh where his father lives. After Sonu lost his mother, he decided to give their home a makeover because his mum had always wanted one. The Godrej Interio team of interior decorators had several meetings with Sonu and his family to understand their personalities and choices before they worked on a plan to transform the house.

Sonu prefers simplicity. He likes minimalism, straight lines and light colours. The entire project took about 25 days when the Interio team redid every room, brought in new furniture (some shipped all the way from Mumbai) and painted the walls in soothing colours. Sonu’s room was given a tint of green to match his lively character. Their living room is where Sonu spends most of his time – relaxing and reading a book. The transformation gave this Bollywood star a much needed break and brought his family together – even his sister flew down from the States.

You too can be lucky and have your home transformed by interior decor specialists! All you have to do is enter Godrej Interio’s Upload & Transform Season 3 contest. Here’s what you could win:-

Living Room

Your drawing room is what your guests see first thing when they enter your abode. Is it not wise then to ensure this room reflects your personality accurately? Your taste in sofa, wall unit or even rug can reveal whether you prefer the good life or crave simplicity. The size and organization of your seating space can tell if you love company or like to be on your own.


If you have managed to “draw” people into your “drawing” room, you must share your dining and cooking space next. A modular kitchen tells visitors that you love fine dining and exquisite cuisines. If you have a small bar table in your living room with bar-stools to match, you project that you like to pour some drinks and have a good time every so often.


Bedrooms are not for everyone to see. Only a close friend or somebody who will stay over is privy to your most intimate living-space. And this is why your deepest thoughts should emanate from this room. A comfortable bed helps you sleep and dream better. That translates to better executed plans. Your bedroom is your private place where you let all our thoughts loose and think about deep questions (like the meaning of life, perhaps?). This is why the furniture should keep you in your element.

Does your room "sport" your character?

Does your room “sport” your character?

If you are an active person like I, your room will show that. Many have their gyms (or at least treadmills) built into their bedrooms. Does your room betray your loyalty to your favourite football club? Do you have bedsheets and pillowcases screaming who you support? Your space tells people if you wish to be a painter or a cricketer! Use your furniture with care – it reveals more about your soul than you’d imagine.

Kid’s Room

For those of us who have or live with little children, we must be considerate towards their tastes and preferences. Most kids love vibrant colours and elements that have a theme or tell a story. Make sure your kid’s furniture is safe and easy for her/him to use. Their rooms are where your kids will grow and spend their “me” time.

Safe to keep your stuff safe

Safe to keep your stuff safe


All the furniture ideas I presented here are thanks to the creativity of the Godrej Interio team. They design one other gadget that every home must install – a safe. Travellers like us are often away from home. Most of us don’t have an extra pair of eyes to watch over our precious things. This is where a safe comes in to put your minds to rest – so you can enjoy your vacation without having to think about thieves partying at your place. 😉

Goodies to mark this good day

Goodies to mark this good day

I’d like to thank the Godrej team for inviting me to cover their meet-and-greet event and gifting me this beautiful goodie-basket (full of my favourite things from Godrej Nature’s Basket 🙂 ).

This post is part of the Godrej Interio activity at