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Gulab Jamun -The Most Popular Sweet in India

gulab-jamun

Gulab Jamun is popular Indian sweet. It is made of khoya, dough, often including double cream and a little flour in a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom, rosewater or saffron. It is usually made with “essence of rose”, but in the past rose petals were used.

The preparation of the dough is fast, usually made up with using only khoya; condensed milk thickened till it turns into moist dough. In some places, a little amount of flour is added to give consistency to the dough. If there is too much flour, the balls tend to break or crack while frying. The balls are then deep fried in oil or clarified butter until golden brown and soaked in sugar syrup, which is most commonly rose flavoured. Another variation is to use dilute maple syrup to soak the gulab jamun.

Learn how to make/prepare Gulab Jamun by following this easy recipe.

Gulab Jamun Recipe No. 1

Ingredients:

• 1 Cup heaped flour
• 2 Pinch soda powder
• 3 Cups Sugar
• 3 Cups Water
• 100 gms Ghee
• 3/4 Litre milk
• 6 Crushed cardamom
• 1 tbsp Sugar
• 1 tsp Rose essence
• 2 Pinch saffron

Method

• Boil the milk till it reduces to half cup.
• Cool and add soda powder and 1tbsp sugar.
• Mix properly and make it smooth.
• Slowly add flour and prepare a fine dough. Leave it for an hour.
• Apply little ghee on the your palms.
• Make small balls from the prepared mixture.
• Pour ghee in a pan and heat. Fry the balls in ghee on a low flame.
• Boil 3 cups of water with equal amout of sugar. Also add cardamom and saffron.
• Filter and add rose essence to it.
• Put the fried balls in this solution.
• Remove after 3-4 hours.
• Gulab Jamuns are ready to serve.

Gulab Jamun Recipe No. 2

Ingredients

• 1 cup Carnation Milk Powder
• 1/2 cup Bisquick – Pancake mix (Instead of Bisquick Pancake mix, use 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 tsp baking soda)
• 2 tablespoons butter – melted
• Whole milk just enough to make the dough
• 2 cups Sugar
• 1 cup water
• Oil for frying

Method

• Make the dough by combining the milk powder, Bisquick, butter. Add just enough whole milk to make a medium-hard dough. Divide the dough into 18-20 portions. Make balls by gently rolling each portion between your palms into a smooth ball. Place the balls on a plate. Cover with a damp yet dry kitchen towel.
• Heat the oil on high and then lower the heat to medium. Slip in the balls into the hot oil from the side of the pan, one by one. They will sink to the bottom of the pan, but do not try to move them. Instead, gently shake the pan to keep the balls from browning on just one side. After about 5 mins, the balls will rise to the surface. The Gulab Jamuns should rise slowly to the top if the temperature is just right. Now they must be gently and constantly agitated to ensure even browning on all sides.
• If the temperature of the oil is too high then the gulab jamuns will tend to break. So adjust the temperature to ensure that the gulab jamuns do not break or cook too quickly.
• The balls must be fried very slowly under medium temperatures. This will ensure complete cooking from inside and even browning.
• The syrup should be made earlier and kept warm. To make the hot sugar syrup add mix the 2 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water. Add 4-5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed and a few strands of “Kesar”. Mix with a spoon and then heat at medium heat for 5-10 minutes until sugar is all dissolved in water. Do not overheat, that will caramelize the sugar.
• Transfer this hot syrup into a Corning serving dish. Keep warm on stove. Add the fried gulab jamuns directly into the warm syrup. Leave gulab jamuns in syrup overnight for best results. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

Gulab Jamun Recipe No. 3

Ingredients

• 1 cup Bisquick
• 2 cup Carnation Powder
• 2 cup Water
• 1 1/2 cup Sugar
• 4 pods Cardamom Seeds
• 4 tbsp Butter
• 6-8 drops Rose Water
• 1/8 cup Yogurt
• 1/2 cup Milk
• Oil

Method

• Heat butter and pour in a bowl. Add bisquick, carnation powder and yogurt and blend together. Knead well adding milk if necessary.
• Make a smooth ball, cover and let rest for around 30 minutes. Make 12-14 small balls.
• Heat the water, add sugar, and bring to boil, add cardamom seeds and simmer.
• Boil, then simmer to reduce the water by half. Heat the oil until hot and fry the balls to a golden brown or until they are dark brown, almost black.
• Soak in sugar syrup for a few hours until they double in size • Serve hot or cold

Best Hotels in India

Hotels in India

Being a country where guests are treated like gods, India is a proud holder of some of the best hotels in the world.

Taj Mahal Palace – Grand Old Lady of Mumbai

About the Hotel

The Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai was born out of Jamsetji N. Tata’s dream. Mr. Tata believed that Bombay (now Mumbai), the commercial capital of India, required a grand hotel, one that would enhance its reputation amongst the great cities of the world. Jamsetji N. Tata was the visionary founder of India’s premier business house – the Tata Group. The Taj preceded 20 years before the Gateway of India.
The Taj is just 35 kms away from the international airport. Overlooking the Gateway Of India with a panoramic view of the bay, the hotel is situated minutes away from the central business districts of the city.

Features and Facilities

1. Great View – For a great view of Mumbai, go up to the ‘Sea Lounge’ and ask for a table by the window. Its also worth seeing the grand central stairway in the Hotel’s Old Wing.

2. Rooms and Services – The rooms are designed as per the victorian designs which prevailed when the hotel was made. It has not changed its style and is quite comfortable and large. Service staff are very attentive and at your beck and call.

3. Dining – The Taj has a number of Restaurants & Bars on the premises.

  • Shamiana : 24-hour coffee shop
  • Sea Lounge : Meeting place in Bombay for tea and light meals
  • Harbour Bar : Bombay’s oldest bar
  • Apollo Bar: The rooftop bar
  • Lounge Bar: For the finest selection of wines
  • Zodiac Grill : Continental gourmet dining. Also serves Power Breakfast. Being one of the most expensive restaurants in the city, dinner for two can come upto Rs.8000/-
  • Golden Dragon : Authentic Sichuan cuisine
  • Tanjore: Indian cuisine with classical dance performances in the evening
  • 1900s : Bombay’s newest night club

4. Sightseeing and other events – The hotel is built near the Arabian Sea. Visitors can enjoy a walk after dinner in the moon light near the sea. Next to the hotel is the famous Gateway of India which is a must-visit monument for all tourists. Then one can go to the Elephanta Islands, which is an hour travel by boat, which is available near Gateway of India.

Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur

About the Hotel

Named the “best hotel in the world” by the US Travel and Leisure magazine, Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur is located in the heart of the Udaipur city. Built on the banks of the sparkling Lake Pichola, the hotel overlooks both the Aravalli Mountains and the latticed towers of Udaipur’s most beautiful historic landmark, the 16th-century City Palace.
Though the hotel is fully serviced by roads, guests are chauffeured from the airport to a jetty to make the final part of the journey by boat in order to enjoy the hotel’s best aspect.

Features and Facilities

1. Accommodation – Lavishly designed deluxe air conditioned rooms, luxury suites with swimming pools and tented dining accommodations, premiere rooms with excellent amenities and elegant décor and excellent view of the Lake Pichola.

The best of them all is the Kohinoor Suite which has fountained courtyards, massive private pools and wooden sauna for that perfect royal comfort.

2. Room Facilities – Centrally Air Conditioned, attached Baths, direct dial telephones, Channel Music, Tea/ Coffee Maker, Mini Bar, Safe Deposit Lockers, Morning Newspaper, Wake Up Facility, Television.

3. Dining – In-house restaurants that provide International cuisines and Authentic Rajasthani delicacies. Guests can can enjoy their lunch while boating on the blue waters of Lake Pichola or also inside the elegant interiors of the restaurants. The connoisseurs can also visit the well stocked bar of Oberoi Udaivilas Palace Udaipur.
Restaurants in the Palace:

  • Udaimahal: Indian
  • Suryamahal: Western and Continental
  • Chandni: Open air dining space
  • Bar: Well stocked bar

4. Business Facilities – The Oberoi Udaivilas Palace Udaipur is quite close to Delhi. One of the much preferred destinations, the Oberoi Udaivilas Palace Udaipur offers the facility of 7 equally equipped halls for meetings and conferences. The rooms have the best of audiovisual equipments and secretarial services.

The Oberoi Wildflower Hall

Situated in the beautiful city of Shimla, the Oberoi Wildflower Hall is perched on the mountain top. It looks like a castle in the air among the luscious green lofts covering the mountains. The hotel used to be an abode for King Kitchener of Khartoum.

Spice Village, Kerala

Spice Village is one of the hotels belonging to of the Casino group of hotels. Adjacent to the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and 190 kms from Cochin and 145 kms from Madurai.

Spice Village is in Kumily, a small settlement three kilometres from Thekkady which is the main entrance to the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The design of each cottage was inspired by the native tribesmen of Periyar, the Oorali and Mannan, who lived in similar dwellings.

Water Safari

There are several ways to explore the Periyar Tiger Reserve. The most popular is by boat, which allows visitors to watch animals drinking at the lakeside. Two hour trips are booked at Spice Village, and the best chance of sighting animals is in the early morning or at dusk. It’s an eerie sensation passing by the forest branches which poke out from the water, stretching through the mist like dead men’s fingers. Many animals come to the water’s edge and it is one of the few places in the world where elephants can be observed at close quarters from the safety of a boat.

Forest Treks

It can be arranged for you to venture deep into the tropical forests. Accompanied by a tribal guide, you will be dropped off by boat at the far end of the lake, from where you proceed on foot, quickly leaving behind the crowds. It is only safe to travel at certain times of the day, but your guide will know more about the jungle than the wild animals which roam the savannah grasslands and woods.

Cookery Demonstration

For those who want more than just a taste of the delicious Kerala cuisine, cooking classes are held by the chef every evening. You get a chance to see for yourself how the dishes are so carefully made. You could also try your hand with the earthenware pots and pans and make your own variation of the Kerala savouries. The Kerala fish curry, appam, avial etc. have a very exotic flavour. The method of preparation is so different that it makes Kerala cuisine very distinct and liked by all. Enough reasons to watch, learn and try for yourself.

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kerala

Kumarakom Lake Resorts resides on the banks of the beautiful Vembanad river. The best feature of this resort is its artificially built ‘Meandering swimming pool’, which is built inside the resort. If your lucky to stay in the Meandering pool villa, you can step into the swimming pool right outside your door.

Gujarat : Where Life is a Celebration

Where azure seas meet sparkling sands, blushing sunsets embrace rosy dawns. The jungles are verdant, lush and green, where lions prowl and flamingos preen. Marble temples white and pure, reflect the glory of the days of yore. Age-old palaces browned in the sun and water parks for a day of fun. Here tribal life is a celebration, of music, dance and multicolored traditions.

Gujarat, one of the most industrialized states in India is situated on the west coast of India between 20o-6′ N to 24o-42′ N north latitude and 68o-10’E to 74o-28’E east longitude. It came into existence as a separate State on 1st May 1960. Gujarat is bounded by the Arabian Sea in the West, by the States of Rajasthan in the North and Northeast, by Madhya Pradesh in the East and by Maharashtra in the South and South East. The State has an international border and has a common frontier with the Pakistan at the northwestern fringe. Gandhinagar, located near Ahmedabad is its capital. At present, Gujarat comprises of 25 districts. The official and primary language spoken is Gujarati.

The People of Gujarat

The Aryans were the first people to come from the north who either conquered or drove away the Bhils, the traditional rulers of Gujarat. Apart from these two distinct classes, a third class of people known as ‘Kolis’ are equally important and occupy an intermediate social position between the Aryans and the Bhils. Aryans are now commonly recognized as Hindus. The immigration during the medieval period brought Islam and Zoroastrianism to Gujarat and initiated the growth of a multi-religious society.

The peninsula of Kathiawar is named after the Kathis who came to Saurashtra at the close of the fourteenth century. Their origin is not fully known but it is possible that they were driven southwards by the Muslim invaders. ‘Khachar’ and ‘Chotila’ were the most important seats of the Kathis. Worshippers of the Sun, they were essentially nomadic and had developed, among other pastoral occupations, the art of horse-breeding. Successive waves of immigrants from other parts of India have led to a superimposition of different communities and cultures in Kathiawar. The powerful royal families, which conquered Saurashtra later on established their rule over there.

‘Rabaris’ are a community of cattle-breeders who have migrated from Sindh and Marwar and claim a Rajput ancestry. The Rabaris stand out prominently by their features and dress. They lead a nomadic life.

The Gujaratis, the people of Gujarat, are found all over the state. These people trace their lineage from the people originally known as Gurjars. They are believed to have come to India with the Huns and while passing through Punjab, settled in Gujarat. Gujaratis were highly influenced by the cultural waves from the mainland and accepted the monarchies that ruled over them. Various Hindu traditions like Shavism and Vaishnavism which sprang upon the mainland were imbibed by Gujarat which in turn developed its own galaxy of saints and devotees and its own art and culture. The successive waves of immigration were absorbed in the society that was fast evolving and today the word Gujarati does not seem to suggest any definite association with a particular stock, a tribe of immigrants or a specific group of people.

The Kutchis, who were the natives of the peninsula of Kutch, have their own dialects. The Kutchis are both Hindus and Muslims and a large number of them have migrated from Sindh.

The Jadeja Rajputs, the Lohanas and even the Muslims many of whom are ‘Maldharis’, the cattle-breeders, have all come from Sindh consequent upon their defeat at the hands of some kings or as a result of some religious persecution.

Festivals of Gujarat

Gujarat can be termed as the land of fairs and Festivals. Thousands of small and big fairs, and festivals are celebrated in different parts of Gujarat every year. The festivals are based on the lunar or solar calendar. Whether the festival is religious, social or related to agricultural, the people of Gujarat enjoy them with the same fervor. Many of the festivals are linked with myths and traditions. A tourist can experience the diversity of the cultural and religious traditions of the Gujarati people during the festival season. The main fairs and festivals celebrated here are International Kite festival, Diwali, Janmashtami, Holi, Tarnetar fair, Modhera Dance festival etc.

Navratri

The festival of nine nights in October, preceding the Dussera is a special feature of Gujarat when people assemble in village squares and temple compounds and sing and dance till the wee hours in the morning. They worship the mother goddess and her numerous manifestations during the festival. The festival ends on the Dussera day, when artisans worship their instruments, agriculturists their ploughs, warriors their weapons and students their books. The Navaratri festival is closely followed by the Sharad Purnima, the full moon night in the Asvina month, when under the moon light people partake of prasad rice and milk. The people of Surat make merry on the Tapi bank.
Gujarat has two temples dedicated to two most popular mother goddesses of Gujarat, Amba Mata and Becharji Mata. On Kartika and Chaitra Purnima days and during the Navaratri days, people visit these temples and enjoy Gujarati’s typical folk drama, the Bhavai.

Modhera Dance Festival

The sun temple at Modhera in Mehsana district (102 km from Ahmedabad, capital city of Gujarat), in north Gujarat, built during the reign of the Solanki king Bhimdev I, represents one of the most magnificent monuments of Gujarat. The temple, though in ruins, is considered one of the best specimens of Indian art and architecture of the by gone era. The temple dedicated to Lord Surya, the sun god has its outer walls covered with sculptures in which the figures of Lord Surya are prominent.

Diwali

Asvina is a month which marks the end of the harvesting season. This month ends with the festival of lights Diwali, which is a four-day festival. The first day of the festival starts with the Lakshmi Puja. The second day is considered as the day of casting off evils. The third day is the main Diwali day. On this day every home is illuminated with earthen lamps and the courtyards decorated with Rangoli designs. The fourth and the last day is the New year day for the Gujarati’s when people visit temples in colourful costumes and greet each other. The day following the new year day is called the Bhai bij day when brothers are invited by their sisters to partake of sweets with them.
The full moon day of the Kartika month, with its preceding eleventh (ekadashi) day is called the Dev-Diwali. On these days the marriage of the Tulsi plant with the Shaligram, symbolising Lord Vishnu, is celebrated in every Hindu home in Gujarat. It also marks the termination of the Chaturmans (fast), observed for the four months of rainy season, during which Hindus, mostly ladies, miss a meal on every Ekadashi day and the ascetics do not move about.

Holi

Like the Diwali, the spring festival of Holi on the full moon day in the month of Phalguna has a universal appeal. While Diwali marks the end of the monsoon and therefore the agricultural season of the Kharif crop, Holi marks the agricultural season of the Rabi crop. The next day after Holi is celebrated as Dhuleti (Dhuli Padvo) when people throw colour powder at each other and make merry.

International Kite Festival

Kite Festival, a national festival for Gujarat is observed on the 14th of January, the day when the sun enters the tropic of cancer. On this day young boys and girls and even old people, are on their house tops flying kites. Now the festival, held at Ahmedabad attracts the connoisseurs of kites from all corners of the world and is known as International Kite Festival. Started in the year 1989, it coincides with the festival of Uttarayan or Makar Sankranti. The change in the direction of winds on Makar Sankranti is marked by thousands of colourful kites of all patterns and dimensions which dot the blue sky. The festival lures expert kite-makers and fliers not only from major cities of India but also from around the world.

Janmashtami

Janmasthami, the Birthday of Lord Krishna, is celebrated on the twenty-third day in the month of Shravan as per Hindu calender (August/September). It is celebrated with great fervor at Jagat Mandir in Dwaraka. The idol of Krishna as an infant is worshipped, bhajans are sung all over the state. A fair is held on this day at Jamnagar.

Balev and Raksha Bandhan

No festival except the Balev, when Brahmins change their sacred threads, is exclusive to any particular community or section. The same day sisters tie Rakhi on their brother’s wrist wishing them a happy life. The day is also celebrated as Nariyeli Poonam in the coastal areas of the State, where people worship the sea offering coconuts.

Saptak Music Festival

A festival of Indian classical music usually conducted on the First week of January in Ahmedabad every year. This festival was inaugurated by Pt. Ravi Shankar in 1980. The musical event is organized by a public charitable trust which runs the Saptak School of Music. This festival which spans the first 11 days of January, showcases the best talents and presents as many as a hundred plus musicians with sincere commitment to standards.

Gujarati Handicraft

Gujarat has a very rich heritage of art crafts. The excavations at the Harappan sites in Gujarat at Lothal, Rangpur, Rozdi etc. have brought to light some of the very ancient handicraft articles.

Patola

The Patola of Patan is a unique fabric of Gujarat. This special variety of women’s wear is strikingly attractive with its colourful geometrical patterns. This lovely silken fabric, which resembles a printed sari is not an apparel printed by blocks. Its tie and weave method resulting in identical patterns on both sides of the fabric, involving complicated calculations, is entirely based on the geometry of the design. The process consists of dyeing the warp and the weft threads in conformity with the proposed design on the fabric. Hand-woven and silk yarn is used for weaving. The process is both costly and time consuming and the market is limited with the result that the families doing this work are fast dwindling.

Jari Industry and Embroidery

The Jari industry of Surat is one of the oldest handicrafts whose origin can be traced to the Mughal period. Surat is one of the biggest and important Jari manufacturing centres in India. The principal types of products are real gold and silver threads, imitation gold and silver threads, embroidery such as the Chalak, the Salama, the Kangari, the Tiki, mainly the Ring and the Katori for motifying in the Kinkhab (cloth of gold) and the Jari border weaving, embroidery, laces, caps, turbans, saris, and blouse pieces.
The Tanchoi or silk brocade is woven on silk cloth is decorated with the designs of birds, animals, leaves, fruits etc. The cloth is used for costly saris, blouses and tapestry. The Kinkhab or the Indian brocade is woven on the silk with gold and silver threads.
Embroidery has been a craft for women, Banni, a small village in the Rann of Kutch is known for its artistic embroidery work. Small mirrors are interspersed to lend glitter and charm. The finest type of such embroidery work with small mirrors is called Abhla-Bharat. When a bride is sent to her husband’s house, she carries with her some pieces of skirts and cholis exquisitely embroidered with minute details.

Dyeing

Dyeing is a hereditary art. In the past cloth was dyed in colours extracted from trees and flowers. The Sarkhei suburb of Ahmedabad was one of the indigo manufacturing and exporting centres.
The Bandhani, tie and dye variety of sari is a very popular women’s wear. It involves an intricate process of tying knots on the fine white fabrics, which are dipped in colours. The hues of deeper shades are used over the previous ones to form the coloured back ground of the cloth.

Cloth printing

Cloth painting is a complicated and specialised job. It is done with engraved wooden blocks and with screens. Certain craftsman are doing superbly the work of printing different varieties which are locally called Chundadi, Patola Plain Gala, Lehria, Bandhani, Pomcha, Nagaria and so on. House hold utility and decorative materials such as table-cloths, bed -covers, curtains, tapestries, handbags and carpets are also prepared by this type of printing processes.
Temple curtains popularly known as Mat-no-Chandarvo is another type of printing work. The Vahari-Harijan families of Ahmedabad were engaged in this type of printing. It is prepared in the old madder process and depicts goddess Durga seated on the throne or on the back of a tiger and surrounded by her devotees.

Wood-carving

Wood carving is an ancient art of the state which has attained a very high standard of technical skill. Some of the best examples of wood-carvings are found in temples and houses in many parts of Gujarat. The wood carvers produce life-like figures of animals, artistic objects of every-day use such as teapoys, table lamps, stools and toys for children. Mahuva and Idar are famous for their lacquer toys. Sankheda in Baroda district is known for its lacquer work. The work is done on country-wood which gives darker shades. The coating is done with fine lac. Women folk of Saurashtra prepare idols, toys, ash-trays, toilet-boxes, lamp-stands and flower-pots from the pulp of rags, banana stumps and bamboos. Artistic Jars, water-pots and other utility articled are prepared from clay.

Bead-work

Bead- work is a speciality of Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar and Junagadh. Decorative pieces like torans, chopat, carpets, caps, and belts are some of the fine articles of bead-work. The art of making jewellery and precious stone-cutting and processing is a traditional handicrafts of Gujarat. Gold smithy includes filigree-work, open-wire-work, carving etc. The folk jewellery of excellent designs, characteristic of each village and each community as a typical art of Gujarat. The silver craft is a specialty of Kutch, in which light embossing is done on thin silver plates and is enhanced by etching and scrapping. Attardanis, Gulsbdanis, Flower-vases, trays, jewellery-boxes, powder-boxes, ash-trays and cigarette-boxes are some of the articles of silver craft.

Flying High – Indian Aviation Industry

Indian Aviation Industry

The Indian Economy is booming with a steady pace for quite some time. With this many job opportunities are being created in various domains. The Aviation industry is one such domain. In early days, scope of a career in this sector was very limited. But now, due to the arrival of a number of domestic and international Airlines with cheap airfares, the need for airline staff has risen.

The current growth rate in domestic and international travel exceeds 25%, the highest in the world. The Indian domestic market grew at almost 50% in the first half of 2006.

Key Segments in Aviation Industry

The jobs in the Indian Aviation Industry basically falls under the following categories:

1. Aviation Manufacturing

This domain is related to designing, construction, operation and analysis of airplanes,missiles and spacecraft. This is a field for aspiring Aeronautical Engineers. This industry offers interesting opportunities to do research, design and development. Aeronautical engineers supervise the manufacture of air and space vehicles. The technologies that are developed by the aeronautical engineers are deployed in defence systems, as well as space exploration, in addition to aviation.

2. Airlines

An airline owns aircrafts and has partnership with a number of airlines in order to attain mutual benefit. Airlines jobs include the jobs of flight attendant, air hostess, cabin crew, front desk jobs, airline ground crew jobs and so on.

An Air hostess takes care of the passengers. They see whether the guests are served properly, their comfort demands are met and they have to display the safety instructions etc.

A front desk job requires the employee to properly handle the flight booking, verification procedures, ticket bookings, allotting other seats to customers in case of flight cancellation, to check that the flight is available or not and so on.

A Flight attendant is responsible for the enjoyable and safe journey of the passengers. S/he has to check that the safety belts are tightly wound or not, all the airplane doors are secured, all bins are closed. S/he also has to give a warm welcome to the passengers.

3. General Aviation

The job of ‘Flying’ other than those done by the registered airlines and the military is considered General Aviation(GA). In the US, General Aviation have 1.3 million jobs all across the country. The jobs in this industry ranges from flight instructor to mechanic to dispatcher to executive chef. Many of these positions require a college degree, technical school education, specialized career training, or Federal Aviation Administration certification and offer high wages with good job security.

However, in India,GA has not yet found its potential. It has been the most neglected sector in Civil Aviation. There are no separate guidelines for general aviation, no concept of FBO’s, helicopters or GA terminals. During the ‘Civil Aviation Week 2007’, Captain Karan Singh said, “The general aviation sector still has large scope for growth, by the intervention of private players and the availability of the purchasing power among the classes. Financing has become easier, banks are ready to invest in this new sector and the change in mindset of the new generation leaders has a new rise for general aviation.”

4. Aviation-related Government Agencies

These include airport management and operations, airport planning, aviation safety regulation, etc. The jobs in this category include air traffic control, aviation safety, customs, immigration, airport security and airport authority staff and met department. This is again based on the Airport Authority of India policies.

Training courses in Aviation

In order to get into the industry, there are various courses available:
1. PPL/CPL: CPL
2. Flight Attendant Training: This includes training for becoming air hostess, flight attendants and cabin crew.
3. IATA course:International Air Transport Association(IATA)

Bhangra The Folk Dance of Punjab

Folk Dance of Punjab

Folk Dance of Punjab

Bhangra originated in the Western Punjab’s district of Shekhpura, Gujrat and Sialkot. It is the folk dance of Punjab and an integral part of Punjabi culture. Bhangra celebrates the harvest and is associated with the festival of Vaisakhi (April 13th) when the sight of tall heaps of golden wheat fill the farmer’s heart with joy. To the accompaniment of large drums called dhols, S/he and his/her fellow villagers circle round and round in a leaping, laughing caper. It’s a dance that cuts across all divisions of class and education. At marriages, parties, or celebrations of any sort, it is quite common for men and women to break out in Bhangra. There are few sights more cheering than that of a dignified elder in three-piece suit getting up to join the young fellows for a moment of Bhangra revelry.

History

Bhangra is a lively form of music and dance that originated in the Punjab region in Southeast Asia. As many Bhangra lyrics reflect the long and often tumultuous history of the Punjab, knowledge of Punjabi history offers important insights into the meaning of the music. While Bhangra began as a part of harvest festival celebrations, it eventually became a part of such diverse occasions as weddings and New Year celebrations. Moreover, during the last thirty years, Bhangra has enjoyed a surge in popularity worldwide, both in traditional form and as a fusion with genres such as hip-hop, house, and reggae. As Bhangra continues to move into mainstream culture, an understanding of its history and tradition helps to appreciate it.

The Bhangra

Although Bhangra has possibly existed since as long ago as 300 BC, over the past forty years it has experienced new highs in popularity and innovation. The term “Bhangra” has gradually evolved and now refers to many different sub-classes of dance and music for many occasions.The Origin of Bhangra While Bhangra historians speculate the dance may have originated in the time of the wars with Alexander no one is sure it existed until about five hundred years ago. Around the 14th or 15th Century, Punjabi wheat farmers danced and sang songs about village life to help pass the time while working in the fields. With time, these became part of harvest celebrations at Bhaisakhi (April 13) festivals, as the sight of their crops growing invigorated the farmers. From here the dance quickly moved through all divisions of class and education, eventually becoming a part of weddings, New Year parties, and other important occasions.

The Many Sub-Dances of Bhangra

Bhangra has developed as a combination of dances from different parts of the Punjab region. The term “Bhangra” now refers to several kinds of dances and arts, including Jhumar, Luddi, Giddha, Julli, Daankara, Dhamal, Saami, Kikli, and Gatka. Jhumar, originally from Sandalbar, Punjab, comprises an important part of Punjab folk heritage.

It is a graceful dance, based on a specific Jhumar rhythm. Dancers circle around a drum player while singing a soft chorus. A person performing the Luddi dance places one hand behind his head and the other in front of his face, while swaying his head and arms. He typically wears a plain loose shirt and sways in a snake-like manner. Like a Jhumar dancer, the Luddi dancer moves around a dhol player. Women have a different but equally exuberant dance called Giddha. The dancers enact verses called bolis, representing a wide variety of subjects – everything from arguments with a sister-in-law to political affairs.

The rhythm of the dance depends not only the drums, but also on the handclaps of the dancers. Julli is a dance associated with Muslim holy men called pirs and is generally performed in their hermitages. Typically the dancers dress all in black, and perform Julli in a sitting posture, but it is sometimes also done around the grave of a preceptor. Julli is unique in that one person, alone, can perform the dance if he so desires.

Daankara is a dance of celebration, typically performed at weddings. Two men, each holding colorful staves, dance around each other in a circle while tapping their sticks together in rhythm with the drums. Dancers also form a circle while performing Dhamal. They also hold their arms high, shake their shoulders and heads, and yell and scream.

Dhamal is a true folk-dance, representing the heart of Bhangra. Women of the Sandalbar region traditionally are known for the Saami. The dancers dress in brightly colored kurtas and full flowing skirts called lehengas.

Like Daankara, Kikli features pairs of dancers, this time women. The dancers cross their arms, hold each other`s hands, and whirl around singing folk songs. Occasionally four girls join hands to perform this dance.

Gatka is a Sikh martial art in which people use swords, sticks, or daggers. Historians believe that the sixth Sikh guru started the art of gatka after the martyrdom of fifth guru Guru Arjan Dev. Wherever there is a large Khalsa Sikh population, there will be Gatka participants, often including small children and adults. These participants usually perform Gatka on special Punjabi holidays. In addition to these different dances, a Bhangra performance typically contains many energetic stunts. The most popular stunt is called the moor, or peacock, in which a dancer sits on someone`s shoulders, while another person hangs from his torso by his legs. Two-person towers, pyramids, and various spinning stunts are also popular.

Bhangra Costumes

Traditionally, men wear a lungi while doing Bhangra. A lungi is a colorful piece of cloth wrapped around the waist. Men also wear a kurta, which is a long Punjabi-style shirt. In addition, men wear Bhugaris – also known as turbins – to cover their heads.Women wear the traditional Punjabi dress, salvar kameez. A salvar kameez is composed of a long colorful shirt and baggy, vibrant pants. Women also wear duppattas, colorful pieces of cloth wrapped around the neck. Many Bhangra songs make references to the duppatta.

Bhangra Instruments

Many different Punjabi instruments contribute to the sound of Bhangra. Although the most important instrument is the dhol drum, Bhangra also features a variety of string and other drum instruments. The primary and most important instrument that defines Bhangra is the dhol. The dhol is a large, high-bass drum, played by beating it with two sticks. The width of a dhol skin is about fifteen inches in general, and the dhol player holds his instrument with a strap around his neck. The string instruments include the tumbi, sarangi, sapera, supp, and chimta. The dhad, dafli, dholki, and damru are the other drums. The tumbi, famously mastered by Amar Singh Chamkila, a famous Punjabi singer, is a high-tone, single-string instrument. Although it has only one string, mastering the tumbi takes many years. The sarangi is a multi-stringed instrument, somewhat similar to the violin. The sapera produces a beautiful, high-pitched stringy beat, while the supp and chimta add extra, light sound to Bhangra music. Finally, the dhad, dafli, dholki, and damru are instruments that produce more drum beats, but with much less bass than the dhol drum.

Bhangra Lyrics

Bhangra lyrics, always sung in the Punjabi language, generally cover social issues such as love, relationships, alcohol, dancing, and marriage. Additionally, there are countless Bhangra songs devoted to Punjabi pride themes and Punjabi heroes. The lyrics are tributes to the rich cultural traditions of the Punjabis. In particular, many Bhangra tracks have been written about Udham Singh and Bhagat Singh. Less serious topics include beautiful ladies with their colorful duppattas, and dancing and drinking in the fields of the Punjab. Bhangra singers do not sing in the same tone of voice as their Southeast Asian counterparts. Rather, they employ a high, energetic tone of voice. Singing fiercely, and with great pride, they typically add nonsensical, random noises to their singing. Likewise, often people dancing to Bhangra will yell phrases such as “Hey hey hey,”Balle balle,” or”Hey aripa” to the music.

Rock in India

Rock in India

Rock culture has quite few takers in India. But there is a selective fan-following of Rock Music. Right from the 90’s when MTV beamed the international music scenario into our living rooms, Indians have been exposed to some extremely popular pop, jazz and western classics.

Even in the 70’s many of the popular bollywood hits numbers have their tunes music derived from top-rated billboards charted songs. But that is whole another topic of discussion. Though not many, India has got some good Rock bands, who have maintained their passion and devotion to music. In recent times, many rock bands are springing up and they do show strikes of originality and the karisma to make it BIG…

The Early Days of Indian Rock Culture

The beginning of Rock culture in India started during the 60’s and 70’s. The only source of western music for India were through radios like AIR and Radio Ceylon, but that too only in Metropolitan cities.

Gramophone Company of India and Polydor, the German Label, began distributing rock music records from US and Britain. Those days, Cassette companies like T-series also started selling pirated compilations of popular music in the West. That time, few contemporary Indian rock bands were also coming into making. The initial rock bands were ‘MotherJane’, ‘Indus Creed’, ‘Pentagram’, ‘Parikrama’ being the most famous.

Indus Creed

Formed in 1984, known as the ‘Rock Machine’, this is the very first rock band from India. When they started back in the 80’s, their songs were heavily influenced by international rock bands like Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and others. Based on these exposure, their first album was ‘Rock and Roll Renegade’ in 1988.
The band members were Mahesh Tinaikar (lead guitar), Mark Selwyn (bass), Uday Benegal (vocals), Jayesh Gandhi (rhythm and lead guitar), Mark Menezes (drums) and Zubin Balaporia (keyboard). This line up toured the length and breadth of India (and the USSR and Middle East) for 6 years. In 1992 Mark Menezes left to be replaced by Bobby Duggal. In 1995 Bobby left and was replaced by Adrian Fernandes.

In their second album,’The Second Coming’ in 1990, a change in their style of music was noticed. They introduced fusion with Indian instruments like the ‘tabla’. Then onwards, the band adapted a new style with a more global and modern image. In 1993, they changed their name to ‘Indus Creed’. Their third album titled after their band name was promoted extensively on MTV and even got them a hit single (“Trapped”). However, the band split up in the late 90’s. Uday Benegal and Jayesh Gandhi have come together to form ‘Alms for Shanti’.

Motherjane

This is only rock band from India whose songs have been played in the international rock circuit. Their music was played across radio stations in Mexico, Japan and America.

Motherjane is a Cochin-based progressive-rock band from Kerala which was formed in 1996. The band went on to make an explosive debut wowing their peers within a week of their formation. The band consists of Suraj (Vocalist), Baiju (lead guitarist), John (Drummer), Clyde (Bass Guitarist) and Deepu (Rhythm Guitarist).
Motherjane, (the band’s guardian angel-named in homage to the bands belief that music is by far the best and purest drug in the world) was making her presence felt and her sons heard! Motherjane has two original compilations – ‘Insane biography’ released in 2001- 02. The song ‘Mind street’ was noted world wide for its high quality lyrics and wild performances on stage by the band.
‘Insane biography’ is awarded as the best Indian rock album in the year 2002-2003. DNA network rates Motherjane as one of the top 3 live acts in India.

Parikrama

Among the notable rock bands, that came up during the 80’s and 90’s, ‘Parikrama’ is the Last Man Standing. Officially formed in 1991, this band has maintained its original style and plays only english songs. The band often fuses Indian classical music instruments like mridangam, tabla and flute with conventional instruments like guitar, drums and keyboards.

They have been inspired and influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimi Hendrix, Allman Brothers and The Doors. The band members are Nitin Malik (lead vocals), Sonam Sherpa (lead guitars), Saurabh Choudhary (guitar), Subir Malik (keyboard, synthesizers), Chintan Kalra (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Srijan Mahajan (drums),

Their first hit single was ‘Till I’m No One Again’, released in 1995. Their biggest hit, “But it rained”, was released next year 1996. This song was dedicated to the kidnappings that had occurred in the Kashmir Valley, during that period. A Parikrama original “Rhythm and Blues” was created in course of their jam session with Usha Uthup.

Being a complete English-based band, they aren’t too popular among music label companies. So, they promote their music through free downloads and concerts. Currently a number of recordings are available as free MP3 downloads on the bands official site.

Agnee

Agnee, initially know as ‘Agni’ in the 90’s, is a contemporary rock band. Their first hit ‘Wind Dance with Fire’, was a landmark album in Indian Rock Music History when it was released in 1993 and their other album ‘Mrityunjaya’ was released in 1995.

The new Agnee was formed during 2006 and after approaching a couple of big record labels, the band was signed on by Sony BMG. Agnee is one of the few lucky rock bands to actually get signed on by a big music label. The members of the band are Mohan (lead vocals, percussion and guitar), Koko (lead guitarist and backing vocalist) and Arijit (bass and lead vocals). Agnee is the first Indian rock band to have seen a huge celebrated main stream release. MusicTheir debut album titled Agnee was launched on May 15, 2007, and soon they became ‘the new face of Indi-Rock’.

Famous Folk Dances of North India

folk dances of India

Indian culture includes a treasure of a variety of folk dances. The diversity in culture and tradition is reflected in the variety of Indian folk dances too. Land of the Hindu Gods and of the Buddha of mystics and militants of Mughals and Sikhs, here are spectacles of dances that fascinate and enchant.

Dumhal (Jammu & Kashmir)

The dance of the Kashmiris is called as ‘Dumhal’ with long colourful robes, tall conical caps, studded with beads and shells; the menfolk of the Wattal perform this dance on specific occasions. While dancing, the performers sing too, with drums to assist their music. The party of performers move in a ritual manner and dig a banner into the ground at a set location on set occasions. The dance begins with men dancing around this banner.

Hikat (Himachal Pradesh)

Hikat, danced by women, is a modification of a game played by children. Forming pairs, the participants extend their arms to the front gripping each other’s wrists and with the body inclined back, go round and round at the same spot.

Dance and music is a way of expression for the people of Himachal Pradesh. In all regions, people living in this place of natural beauty, embellish themselves for the dance at all times. The breathtaking landscapes and artistic history is garlanded by the passion for dance in this land.

The valley of Kulu, celebrates Dussehra with great grandeur and splendour. There is singing and dancing, around a collection of images of Raghunathji, brought from different temples. There are different dances for different occasions. Collectively all dances are called Natio. No festivals or social ceremonies go without dancing.

Namagen (Himachal Pradesh)

Different regions in Himachal Pradesh have different dances. In most of the dances, men and women dance together in a close formation.

The autumnal hue is celebrated in September by a dance performance called Namagen. The most striking dance amongst these is the Gaddis. The costumes are largely woollen and richly studded ornaments of silver are worn by women.

The dances in Uttar Pradesh range from simple performances to ceremonious ones. They are called the Doms and the Bhotiyas. Among these the Dhurang or Dhuring are related to death ceremonies. These dances aim to free the soul of the dead person from evil spirits. This dance has robust movements and remind one of the hunting dances of Nagas on the eastern borders of India.

Hurka Baul (Uttar Pradesh)

The Jhumeila, the Chaunfla of Garhwal and the Hurka Baul of Kumaon are seasonal dances. The Hurka Baul is performed during paddy and maize cultivation. On a fixed day, after the preliminary ritual, the dance is performed in different fields by turns. The name of the dance is derived from hurka, the drum which constitutes the only musical accompaniment, and baul, the song. The singer narrates the story of battles and heroic deeds, the players enter from two opposite sides and enact the stories in a series of crisp movements. The farmers form two rows and move backwards in unison, while responding to the tunes of the song and the rhythm of the players.

A famous dance of Kumaon, Uttar Pradesh, is the Chholiya, performed during marriages. As the procession proceeds to the bride’s house, male dancers, armed with swords and shields, dance spiritedly.

Amongst the occupational groups, the most enthusiastic dancers are the dhobis, the chamars and the ahirs. The dhobis dance to celebrate any significant occasion. They sing and dance on the occasion of a birth or marriage, and during Holi or Dussehra. There are Rasa Dances that revolve around the early life of Krishna.

The most interesting group of dances are the dances of the agricultural community which revolve round the annual seasons and which have a ritualistic and a functional dimension.

Bhangra (Punjab)

One of the most popular dances of India performed during Baisakhi by the men in Punjab is the ‘Bhangra’. Among the most virile and captivating dances of India it includes tricks and acrobatic feats. The songs include recitation of meaningless ‘bolis’, words, such as hoay, hoay.

The drummer usually in the centre of the circle, is surrounded by men dressed in lungis and turbans. The dance performed by the women folk of Punjab is called the ‘Gidha’. In the Gidha, at a time a woman or a pair of women dance while the others clap in rhythm. The dance is performed in the festival of Teeyan to welcome the rains. This dance also includes a step when women go round and round with feet planted at one place.

Jhoomer is a dance of graceful gait and self-surrender and is, sometimes called the cool dance of Punjab. This is also performed in a circle. Dancers dance around a single drummer standing in the centre.

Luddi is also a male dance of Punjab. It is danced to celebrate a victory. The performers place one hand at the back and the other before the face copying the movement of a snake’s head.

Jalli is a religious dance associated with the Pirs. It is usually performed in a sitting posture. Sometimes it is also danced round the grave of a preceptor.

Dhamyal (Haryana)

The folk dance of Haryana is known as the ‘Dhamyal’ or the ‘Duph’. The dance can be performed by men alone or with women. The Duph which is a circular drum is played nimbly by the male dancers as they dance. In Haryana during the spring after work in the fields has been done with comes the time for celebration. Lahoor is the dance performed by women accompanied with songs which are phrased by witty questions and witty replies.

Which Streets to Shop in Mumbai

Mumbai Street shopping

To Shop the Streets of Mumbai can be confusing to those new to the city but memorable and rewarding at the same time. Mumbai’s streets, corners and pavements are lined with shops and virtually everything is available in it’s bazaars and markets. Here are the specialties of some of the main shopping streets and areas of Mumbai and do read my ‘Shopping the Streets of Mumbai’ post for Tips & Tricks to street shopping in Mumbai.

Colaba Causeway

One of the busiest shopping areas in south Mumbai is Colaba Causeway, home to everyone, from backpackers seeking nirvana, briskly efficient Far Eastern airline crews out to get the best bargains, to price-conscious housewives who know it is a good place to find shoes, cotton clothes, caftans, and children’s clothes. There are shoe shops galore all along Colaba Causeway: should one want authentic Maharashtrian Kolhapuri chappals, there are any number of stalls selling them in the little streets off Colaba Causeway, opposite Cusrow Bagh Parsi Colony. This market is located at a walking distance from Bombay VT and Churchgate railway stations. You’ll get wonderful faux jewelry here in brass, terracotta and silver for no more than US$ 2 apiece and lots of ethnic artifacts. Barring the Government emporia or some of the elegant boutiques, nobody will raise an icy eyebrow if you haggle.

Fashion Street

For shirts, tee-shirts and wonderful cotton clothes for children, all at rock-bottom prices, visit Fashion Street, a street market opposite one of Mumbai’s smartest clubs, the Bombay Gymkhana, but known to everyone as the Bombay Gym. Fashion Street stacks export rejects, and export ‘over runs’, often at knockdown prices.With clothes keeping up with the latest market craze, fashion street is always flanked by college goers and enthusiastic shoppers. The clothes and garments found here are trendy, amazingly cheap and mostly of a good quality. Fashion Street is a paradise for bargain-shoppers.

Crawford Market

Crawford market, between the once British Fort and a local town has traces of both, with a bas relief that depicts Indian farmers in the wheat field, just above the main entrance. The fresco of the Crawford market was designed by Lockyard Kipling, father of the renowned writer Rudyard Kipling. Crawford Market is famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish along with a whole lot of imported food stuff that are difficult to find elsewhere in India. It also has a wide range of fabric shops and decoration shops. The color and vibrancy of this market is something you will want to capture with your camera.

Chor Bazaar

For more off-beat souvenirs, go to Chor Bazaar, the literal meaning of which is ‘Thieves’ Market’. It’s the ideal place for bargain hungry buyers and antique lovers. Chor Bazaar has everything, from the genuine bargain to downright mass-produced junk. One can find brass ware and copper galore, a profusion of pots, jugs, boxes, kettles, vases, and cups; old wooden blocks used for fabric printing that make good paperweights; beautiful old glass lamps; cast-iron café-style tables and chairs, perfect for a terrace or garden; superbly carved Gujarati dowry chests; round, wooden millstone bases, easily converted into coffee tables, and delightfully scented camphor chests…the list is endless.You need to be really alert to save yourself from being easily hoodwinked by the street smart sellers here.

Zaveri Bazaar

For silver, the best place to go is Zaveri Bazaar. There are stacks of lovely things to be found in Zaveri Bazaar: old, heavy jewelry as well as newer, lighter styles, pretty little coasters, statues of animals, old coins, napkin rings, ornately worked picture frames, and boxes galore. But, just be careful about the prices and do not forget to bargain. In-fact before buying do compare the prices with other shops.

Bandra: Linking Road

Bandra is the residential abode of Mumbai’s elites,film stars, industrialists and the likes. Linking Road joins Bandra to Khar and is lined up on both sides with showrooms for the affluent. But the striking contest here is the pavement selling, a world of contrast from a posh showroom. Linking road is popular with local street shopping for Shoes, bags, fake jewelry, clothing and lots more. The amusing thing is that most of them sell replicas of same things sold by the posh shops they stand in front of and lure hoards of shoppers. There is usually a mad rush in the evening that even causes traffic jams in the area so the best time to shop peacefully there is in the morning or afternoon.

Shopping the Streets of Mumbai

Shopping streets of Mumbai

Mumbai (formally Bombay) is one of the shopping Hot-spots in India. It’s one of those rare cities where you can buy some of the most expensive designer brands at plush-looking shops like Pierre Cardin and Louis Vitton and just a stone’s throw away you can buy cheap knock offs of the same and more at a cheap roadside bazaar. The shops and bazaars offer a truly amazing diversity of goods, as well as being worth a visit in their own right.

Everyone can shop at regular stores and malls in Mumbai where there’s no searching for that one of a kind piece or haggling to get a good price. But to truly experience the Shopping Mumbai has to offer you need to take to the streets. For that you need to know where to start. So here’s a guide one of many more to come about Street Shopping in Mumbai the best that I know how.

Street Shopping in Mumbai

Shopping the Streets of Mumbai is what I enjoy the most. It’s an Experience in itself. The rush of finding a good piece that catches your eye amongst a whole lot of other stuff is exciting. Then comes the haggling and bargaining (which is an acquired skill) that can go one of two ways- feeling like you could have got it cheaper and you paid more than its worth, or the disbelief that he sold it to you so cheap, making you feel like you cheated him of making a profit. If it’s the latter you feel, let me just tell you that NO ONE…..not even guys selling on the streets will sell you anything for a loss! It’s their margin of profit you are deciding when you bargain so don’t fall for it when they try to guilt trip you into believing that you just caused them a loss.

I tell you this from experience as I have been down that road, felt that guilt, gone back and paid more….just to walk down the road to find another vendor selling the same thing for less than what I had agreed to pay in the first place…without bargaining!!

Here are some tips to better your Mumbai Street Shopping experience:

Spotting a Good Buy!

  • Needless to say but I’ll say it anyway- Keep your eyes open at all times it will not only help you spot something you like from a street vendor, but also prevent you from stepping into a puddle, man-hole, rubbish or a land mine left by a cow on Mumbai’s Streets.
  • Spotting the real from the fakes, yes there are ‘reals’ out there! Many of the vendors sell export surplus stocks of real brands or defective stock of the brands. But Beware- There are fakes too. Examine the logo carefully and look closely at the writing if any. Usually it’s just the shabbily copied logo that gives it away but the easier to miss signs are the simple spelling mistakes on the box or label.
  • Look for irregularities and defects. Sometimes it’s pretty minor like in clothing a crooked stitch or a small stain that can be washed, but other times you have to watch out for things like a t-shirt that looks ok but when you try it on at home one sleeve is noticeably shorter than the other or too narrower to put your arms through. Holes in garments, stitching come loose, odd smells (yes…odd smells), cracks, runny dyes, glued products and so on are things to look out for.
  • Be suspicious. It’s alright to be a bit suspicious of a vendor who seems too eager to get rid of something or doesn’t allow you the time to carefully examine it. If your instinct tells you that he wants to make a too quick of a sale, there more often than not must be a problem with the product. Take your time and examine the product.

Bargaining & Haggling

  • BE TOUGH
  • If you spot something you like don’t gush about how much you like or love it to either the vendor nor your shopping companion. If the vendor knows your heart is set on something, he’s got the upper hand and he’s not going to encourage any bargaining. So it becomes even tougher for you to break him and he knows you won’t walk away without it. You have to make him feel that the product is not something you NEED but wouldn’t mind having.
  • Let him state his price. Then start bargaining. Start LOW. By low I mean ‘Really Low’ like He says 200 I’d say 50. He says 500 you say 100. Then it’s really important to see how much he comes down. If he comes down a lot like 500 to 300 then you know you can bargain some more and get it for less. But if he goes from 500 to 450 there’s not much scope to bargain. You then raise your price…but remember it works both ways so don’t go up too high in one go instead do it slowly, say 125 or 150 at the most in this case. And he may come down some more, but when he says the same price over and over while you increase your offer slowly you know your stuck. Then follow the next step.
  • If he isn’t budging and your sure you can get it for less or you just want to make sure you can’t, then the next step is what I like to call the ‘Walk Away Technique’. This is where you just say forget it and act like it’s not worth it and Walk Away. Most of the time they call you back and say ok they’ll give it to you for less, maybe not what you said but less than what they were offering earlier. Sometimes they won’t call you back, that’s when you know no amount of haggling is going to budge him, then you have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth it and if you really want it or not. When that happens I usually walk away and look around some more (you’d be surprised at the number of times I’ve found a similar piece with another vendor more willing to bargain)and if by the time I’m done for the day I still want it, I go back….and get it.

Other Tips

  • Avoid buying Shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics and skin care products from the roadside or even small shops and stalls. A lot of the time they use the original containers but refill it or mix it with other cheaper substances which may do more damage than good.
  • Cheap Sunglasses may look good on the outside and when you try them on for a moment, but constantly wearing them can if they are not good quality or can give you a headache or worse spoil your vision.
  • Handicrafts and antiques are good road-side buys. Plastic goods, toys, clothing, carpets and textiles are not bad either. Electronics are a No-No..unless your looking for one time use only.
  • Carry along Water cause you’ll really need it in the Mumbai weather even in the winter.
  • Carry Cash cos there’s no swiping a credit card while street shopping though ATM’s are available if you fall short.
  • Go street shopping when you have ample time. It’s never a good experience shopping when your in a rush. Hurried purchases are often regretted and opportunities missed.

At the End of the Day

Shopping the streets of Mumbai is a memorable experience whether you buy 1 thing or a whole bunch of stuff. Look closely cause you never know what you may find amidst the junk. Remember to be tough and don’t fall for or get sweet talked into buying things you don’t want or which you will regret buying later.

My Next Post…Which Streets to Shop in Mumbai!

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Big B’s Blog is Superhit

amitabh Bachchan's Blog

Like his signature style he begins by saying, ” I am still illiterate towards this medium and beg to be excused for any errors or expectations from me. But as time goes by and the systems fall into place, there shall hopefully be a more refined presentation. ”

When asked him how actively he plans to blog, given his busy schedule, he said, “I shall try to attend to it on a daily basis. I am new to this, so I am yet uncertain about the kind of time constraint it will involve. But I would like to make my blogs as personal as possible.”

The Hindu Says

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s blog has turned out to be an instant hit in the cyber world inviting comments from zealous fans and hawkish critics across the globe.

Fans are happy to find Big B within their reach and are lapping up every detail about the life of their favourite icon, who is whetting their appetite by blogging with unfailing regularity.

Bachchan is certainly going to have a tough time answering bloggers as they are not only querying Big B on his work, life and family but also filing details about their own life and seeking his advice on various issues as well.

The actor has been bombarded by fans from as far away as Poland, America, Europe, UK, Australia and Canada.

On his part Amitabh Bachchan is taking the job of blogging very seriously, going online about the latest developments in his life, discussing his daily routine or updating readers about the injury he incurred during the shooting of ‘Aladin’.

Most comments directed to the actor are remarks about his family and he does not flinch from giving a point blank answer to one and all.

When a female blogger from Pakistan expressed her reservations on Abhishek’s wedding with Aishwarya, Bachchan responded instantly, “You may differ with her in her work her profession, but if you will cast aspersions on her personally, I will defend her, fight for her and not tolerate this kind of talk, as I am sure neither would you, were someone to speak ill of a member of your family.”