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Just A Little Something

Travel, adventure, food, lifestyle blogger and writer. Focus on India travel, tips, guides, photo stories and features. Partial to tea, wine and cats. Most likely found outdoors indulging in activities like running, cycling, hiking, swimming. Based in Cal

Last Build Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 19:38:38 +0000


Starry nights and the glamping experience with Under Canvas, Utah

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 06:13:17 +0000

A road trip covering four national parks – Canyonlands, Arches, Bryce and Zion – gave us the opportunity to go “glamping” in Utah and we found the perfect location – Under Canvas A recent road trip saw us journey through four national parks in Utah. We began exploring Canyonlands, and the Arches (which are in the same vicinity). From there, we drove to Bryce and after two days, continued to Zion. Though there’s tons to write about and share about the trip, what I wanted to do is write about the fantastic place we stayed in. The concept reminded me a bit of the tents in Jungle Lodges back home in India. If you’re looking for a camping experience, but with comfort, look no further Under Canvas is a “glamping” alternative to camping, or staying in a hotel (or B&B). The first location we stayed in was located near Moab town in Utah. Though it seemed remote, the site was just off the highway, so you can actually hear the sound of cars whizzing by. …

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For the love of Mustard

Tue, 03 Jan 2017 18:43:17 +0000

You either love it or hate it… The smell could make you go into raptures. The taste will leave you longing for more. It’s the rather strong sensory experience called mustard. Or as they say in France, ‘moutarde’. While the western palette might be used to the slightly blander version of the French mustard, the Bengali version is definitely stronger and more potent. One can liken it to the ‘wasabi’ taste as a comparison. Good mustard should get into your nose and leave with you a feeling of sheer (culinary) pleasure. Widely used in Bengali (and Assamese) cuisine, mustard gives a fresh and unmistakable intense flavor to dishes. Teamed with fish—it’s what we Bengalis and Assamese folk crave as our comfort food. The cheery blue and white interiors of the restaurant, as we walk in, are a bit Mediterranean, but we’re assured we’re in the right place as the sign says ‘Mustard‘. The fare is Bengali and French. Might sound a bit surprising at first. But then, they are both cuisines which are centered around …

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Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Walk

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 05:06:18 +0000

This picture pretty much sums up the challenge that lay ahead of us. The swim was done and I had survived the biking – it was now time for the final leg. A couple of days ago, on the way to Mammoth Lakes, we took Tioga Road that goes past Tuolomne Meadows and then reaches the top of Tioga Pass. From there, we descend towards Lee Vining. This is the same road that we’re going to be walking. Except in the opposite direction. So I’d already had a glimpse of what I’d signed up for. When I estimated the number of hours when I signed up for the event, I thought 4 hours. On day 3, I wasn’t so sure. I had survived the swim and the bike ride. And walking or running after biking is always the toughest for me. I was glad I wasn’t doing it all in the same day. (At least, not yet!). The Tioga Pass Run/Walk is advertised as 12.4 miles and “one hill”. The walk/run had 3,162 feet of …

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Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Bike Ride

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:12:50 +0000

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, they say. And I’m hoping it’s true. After the swim, having been sufficiently nourished and rested, we land up at the bike venue at 8 am in the morning. It’s pretty cool, but the weather forecast promises a warm day and I discard my wind cheater at the start itself. I have arm warmers which I hope will do the job. There are around 400 riders at the start point. An impressive turnout for an event in this part of the country. Mammoth Lakes is a little town in Mono country, surrounded by mountains. The 100 mile riders started off earlier – at 7 am. Bike rides are always unpredictable. You could be feeling fit and fine at the beginning and then like you’ve gone through hell and back a couple of hours later. Or you could start off feeling crappy and then blossom, like a flower, your legs opening up as the miles add up. Thanks to one tough practice ride a weekend prior, I was feeling …

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Mammoth Lakes Adventure: The Swim

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 03:57:04 +0000

To swim, bike and run on the same day is always a challenge. And though I enjoy all three sports, I’m still testing out the waters with shorter distances right now. Last year, I wrote about getting into triathlons and also doing my first triathlon – a sprint distance. This year, I did a slightly longer distance – called Olympic distance at the Auburn Triathlon. Longer distances though are still daunting at this stage. But when one of our coaches suggested we check out the Graniteman Challenge event that involves all the sports, but over three days, I began to think it might be more feasible. Impulsive decisions come quite naturally to me, so I decided to add another one to my list and sign up. The big event, which earns you the title of “Graniteman”, involves half Ironman distances (or nearly) – 2.4 mile swim, 100 mile ride and a 12.4 mile run/walk. However, they also had shorter distances in two categories – 1.2 mile swim, 71 mile ride, while the 3rd category (run/walk) …

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The Penland Diaries: Washing dishes and making them

Fri, 05 Aug 2016 14:31:52 +0000

From washing dishes to making them has been the tagline of these last few days. And I’m borrowing and modifying the phrase from my very talented sister Ranjita (who used to be a chef and is now a potter) who says she went from: “Making dishes to making dishes”. Exhausting. Hectic. Overwhelming. Intense. Fantastic. A few words to sum up my experience at Penland so far. Time flies when you’re having fun and it really did. I have no idea how 10 days went by–it’s like one of those sprint races with Usain Bolt. It’s over before it started. The 18 member group worked at breakneck speed to fire “Rosie”, Penland’s three-chambered wood kiln. After 24 hours of stoking and firing, making sure all the three chambers were heated up, we stopped a bit past midnight on Wednesday. It was a first time for me working together with a team to fire a wood kiln and it was memorable. Now, I can see the reason why people fire these things. It’s tough and challenging–I still …

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The Penland Diaries: Arriving and settling in

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 03:26:08 +0000

The Penland School of Crafts has been on my “wish” list for a few years now. In 2013, when I was visiting friends in Virginia, I did a 2 month ceramics course down at Manassas. Around that time, I happened to chance upon the school and the workshops it offers and instantly put it down as something I’d like to try and do someday. Workshops are on a wide variety of mediums—glass, metal, wood, drawing, painting, clay – check out the current workshops and also future ones here. A peek at some of the workshops During the last year I’ve been able to explore both jewelry making and ceramics to a greater extent with access to more resources than I had earlier. Some of the artistes I’ve been able to learn from are Edith Schneider (jewelry), Elaine Pinkernell, Linda Mau and Jamie Meador—all three being fantastic handbuilders. And then towards the beginning of the year, I was browsing and came across a link asking those interested to apply for the summer sessions that would be …

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Adventures in India: A 12 day trip to the South

Sun, 03 Apr 2016 17:39:39 +0000

Join me on an adventure of a lifetime! A vibrant and diverse country, India can be fascinating and yet also be pretty challenging for a traveler. Especially, if you haven’t been to the country before. But don’t worry – you’ll be in good hands! I’ve traveled to many parts of the country, on many occasions on my own, and have a fair idea of the dos and don’ts to ensure that we have a great time, and ensure we keep out of trouble. If you did have India on your mind—this could be the perfect opportunity to join in on an active adventure—indulge in fun activities like running, swimming, hiking and cycling (and if we have time, we can even squeeze in a few other local activities). Besides of course, tasting some of the local delicacies—every state in India has a different cuisine, language/s and customs. On this trip, we’ll cover 3 states. Trip Description: An adventure trip and we’ll make sure you keep fit and active with hearty doses of cycling, running, hiking and …

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Winter destination: Manali for romance and adventure

Wed, 20 Jan 2016 06:31:20 +0000

It’s been years but I have some nice memories of the town of Manali. I first landed there maybe 10 years ago for a trek and spent a few days hungrily drinking in the fresh crisp air (after the city, you can imagine the feeling). And then, in 2011, Manali was our base as we prepared for a trip to cycle up to Leh and I got to experience the town again. If I lived in Delhi, I would probably step out much more often to escape the blazing summer heat and spend time enjoying the much needed respite – amidst lofty hills, lush greenery and cool breeze. Or even in winter, for a dose of snow and sub-zero temperatures, perhaps. As a destination, it’s the perfect place. Set amidst a picturesque backdrop of the snow-capped Himalayan range, the only things that should be on your mind are: romance… or adventure! So whether it’s a luxury vacation, a romantic getaway or an adventure filled trip (like it was for me), I would head back to …

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In search of the perfect dim sum: An anniversary special menu at Yauatcha

Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:32:19 +0000

A dim sum evokes all kinds of feelings in me. I associate it with comfort food. Though traditionally it was meant to be an appetiser, I can eat it any time during the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. And in between. There are moments I could do anything for that perfect steaming mouth-watering dim sum. It’s a seemingly simple dish – but one bite and you’re in foodie heaven. If you read this detailed guide, it will tell you that dim sum means “touch the heart” – it definitely does something to mine! My fellow foodie in Bangalore, Mukta Chakravorty, braved the incessant rains (and risked being stranded thanks to our infamous local disappearing cabbies of Bangalore), and came back with this report. Enjoy and bon appétit! ~~~~ A Michelin-star restaurant, baskets of steaming hot dim sums and cocktails – perfect combination for a rain-drenched Wednesday evening. We all know how the rains in the city throws everything off course. Afraid it would put a dampener and the traffic already looking menacing, it was …

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