First Day of Holy Month of Shravan 2013


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 25 , 2013           00.40 A.M.

While writing this blog on the first day of Shravan of 2013 , I have to make one thing very clear . I am ashamed today that I am unable to write my blogs regularly and more frequently . After I started in March 2009 , only once could I write 31 blogs in a month .  It was in December 2012 . And the lowest was 1 blog in March 2009 . It was the month when I started tentatively , hesitatingly and with lots of doubt .

Today as I write this blog , I remember two other avid bloggers , whom I admire and try to follow . They are ; Shri Lal Krishna Advani and Shri Amitabh Bachchan . Amitabh Bachchan would be completing 71 years in October 2013 . And he writes and posts 1 blog daily . Shri Advani ji would be completing 86 years in November 2013 . And he writes minimum 2 blogs every week . And here I am …….. I would be completing 61 years in December 2013 . I am 10 years junior to Mr. Bachchan and 25 years junior to Shri Advani ji . And still I am not so consistent and regular like them . Sometimes I could write only 3 / 4 blogs in a month . I , instead of admonishing myself , try to convince that I am busy . Could I be busier than Shri Lal Krishna Advani or Mr. Amitabh Bachchan ? No I am not . I sometimes procrastinate . I am definitely busy but not as busy as Shri Advani ji or Mr. Bachchan . Apart from writing blogs , Shri Advani ji wrote a voluminous autobiography also , which was published in March 2008 . Advani ji’s autobiography , My Country , My Life is a 1040 page tome . It became the best seller book in non-fiction category . Till date it sold more than 1,000,000 copies . Incredible ! Unbelievable ! A remarkable feat by a 86 year young national leader and ex Dy. Prime Minister of India .

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Malayalam loves Wikimedia event – 2011 April BJP Leader L K Advani (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amitabh Bachchan

Amitabh Bachchan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apart from Shri Advani ji and Mr. Bachchan , I am a huge fan of Roger Ebert , the American film critic . He was so prolific . How could he managed ? Apart from watching all the released films of the particular week , he wrote reviews , articles , columns , interviews and books , yes books . He wrote everything with gusto and regular alacrity . If he could do it , why can’t I ?

Roger Ebert, american film critic.

Roger Ebert, american film critic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I follow Vir Sanghvi too . He writes articles in newspapers . Writes regular weekly columns about politics , food , and good life . He travels a lot and comes and writes travelogues . How is he managing ? Can I have gumption to say that I am more busy than these eminent writers and columnists . No . Its sheer inertia , laziness and procrastination .

Therefore on the first day of holy Shravan , I make a resolution that from now onwards I will be more regular . As least a target of 2 blogs per week or 8 blogs per month is not difficult . It is achievable . Holy Shravan of 2013 will mark a new beginning in my life as a blogger .

AMEN !!!!

I am writing this blog on the 1st day of Shravan and when I will post it , it will be 2nd day of Shravan .

 

FULL EDITNG STUDIO

NEWS LETTER

Through my blogs I would like to serve  VIDUR Acting Institute , which is known as Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  . VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also benefit from this endeavour .

 

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

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World of Designer Suits


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           SEPTEMBER  25, 2012           00.20 A.M.

I was obsessed with suits since my childhood days . But I did not have any . During my childhood I had Sweaters , Chester and Jerkins as my winter – wears . I used to wear Coats also but they were rare . I have very early memories of woolen coats [ now known as Jackets ] , but Jerkins and Sweaters were my most favourite winter – wears .

I had proper suits at the time of my marriage . I got 3 suits stitched for myself and used to feel like a prince . Little did I realize that my so-called 3 suits were merely a blot on the name of suits .

When I came to Mumbai and settled here , I bought my first proper suit . It was Kuoton . Later on I got a designer for myself . His name is Sheikh and now he cuts suits for me and at least now I can claim that I have some fine suits in my wardrobe .

But the world of designer suits is very much different . In the world of designer suits , there are certain names , which stand out . James Bond is always associated with Savile Row Suits . In Great Britain Savile Row still reigns supreme .

English: Savile Row, a shopping street in Lond...

Savile Row, a shopping street in London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row 1 in Lo...

Gieves & Hawkes on Savile Row 1 in London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Savile Row 2

Savile Row 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Routes of Savile Row

Routes of Savile Row (Photo credit: NYSartorialist (Michael Cress Photography))

Abercrombie & Fitch, Savile Row, London

Abercrombie & Fitch, Savile Row, London (Photo credit: chrisjohnbeckett)

Savile Row

Savile Row (Photo credit: Oliver Joe)

But slowly the scenario changed and now Italy sets the world standard in suits . Giorgio Armani and Canali easily symbolized the best in Italian suits . Brioni , Zegna and Kiton are other names of repute .

In the September 09 , 2012 issue of  Hindustan Times Brunch , I read Mr. Vir Sanghvi’s article about Canali Suits and was tempted to write my encounter with suits . It is astonishing to know that Canali’s started stitching suits in a village called Lombardy in Italy in 1934 and the third generation of Canalis are  still doing the business with same passion and keeping the flag high .

I wont be able to buy a designer suit in near future but like famous watches which I intend to own , I would love to order a Made to Measure Canali suit at least once in my lifetime .

Hoping to happen it soon !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.kreatingcharakters.net

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Hotel – 1 : Udaipur [ Hotel Akshay Niwas ]


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 10 , 2012           11.15 P.M.

I have always admired two journalists cum columnists cum TV show anchors of my country . They are Ms. Anupama Chopra and Mr. Vir Sanghvi .

Ms. Anupama Chopra is a film journalist , who writes her movie review columns in Hindustan Times and India Today . She also writes for international papers like ; The New York Times , The Los Angeles Times , Variety and Sight & Sound and she also writes and anchors her well – known TV shows ” Picture This “ on NDTV 24 x 7  and ” The Front Row “ on Star World channel .

Mr. Vir Sanghvi is a political journalist , writes his column about Food & Culinary and Hotel & Hospitality in Sunday Brunch of Hindustan Times and also presents his famous shows ” A Matter of Taste “ on Discovery channel and ” Custom Made for Vir Sanghvi “ on NDTV Good Times . His other two successful TV shows are ” Foodistan “ for NDTV Good Times and ” Achievers Club “ on Star World .

Wow , what a life man ! They both have authored several books also . And they are globe – trotting celebrities . It’s a life worth living when you are get paid to live in 5 / 7 star hotels . You are offered best of cuisines on platter and instead of you paying the bill , you are offered money in lieu of tasting that exotic food . You interview mightiest of stars in swanky hotels and demand and get remuneration for it . God , this is the life I fancy !!

I always wanted to be like them . I wanted to do what they have done and would love to write on several subjects as they do .

Therefore I started writing , though tentatively , my travel diaries . Then slowly I wrote few blogs on Food & Culinary also . This is my first blog on Hotel & Hospitality . I have clubbed these three topics in a category called Vidur’s Random Musings on my blog space . I know these blogs are very amateurish , but as I have stated earlier , I am simply trying to emulate the above mentioned two journalists cum columnists cum TV show anchors .

I am a wanderer . Initially when I started travelling , I used to stay in ordinary , cheap hotels . So there is nothing to write about them . I can say without hesitation that my first stay in a decent hotel was when I visited Udaipur on October 04 , 2010 .

I was called to train Dev Patel for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and was put in Akshay Niwas Hotel by the production team .

Stars of ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “ were staying in Udaivilas Palace Hotel and the director and his team members were staying at Hotel Trident . I have posted photos of Udaivilas Palace Hotel and Hotel Trident in my blog ” Vidur’s Travel Diary : Udaipur ” .

I was put in Akshay Niwas Hotel , which is very close to these iconic hotels of Udaipur . Its exterior is like typical havelis of Rajasthan . If you don’t know that this is a hotel then you might confuse it with a residence of a wealthy Rajasthani family .

Reception area and the lobby of this 4 storied Akshay Niwas Hotel are also very spacious , airy and sunlit .

The Lobby

The Lobby

Dinning Table in The Lobby

Dinning Table in The Lobby

When I entered my room on the 3rd floor , I found it exceptionally spacious . Some hotel rooms are so claustrophobic that you feel suffocated in them . But not here . Spacious room , huge windows , equally huge bathroom and a room to keep my bags and baggage , wow , I felt nice .

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

My Room in Akshay Niwas Hotel

While going through the above posted photos , you can feel that the sun-kissed room is airy and full of light .

The bathroom is adorned with anti – skid tiles and is more spacious than the hall of some of the flats of Mumbai .

Wash Basin in The Bath Room

Wash Basin in The Bath Room

One plus point which I would like to mention is that the room has many plug sockets , so that you can charge your multiple mobile phones and can also work on your laptop simultaneously . Some hotel rooms don’t have enough sockets and you have to struggle to recharge your mobiles and laptops , specially when you don’t have enough time . But not here . They have taken extra care .

If you open the windows , you can feel the aroma of fresh and pure wind coming from Aravali Hills . If you decide to switch of the air conditioner and just open the windows , fresh wind and enough sunlight will force you to think that you are in another world .

It is a feeling which is unimaginable in Mumbai .

View From My Room's Window

View From My Room’s Window

View From My Room's Window

View From My Room’s Window

View from My Hotel Room

View from My Hotel Room

View of Udaipur from My Room's Window

View of Udaipur from My Room’s Window

Maintenance of the hotel is praiseworthy . Room service is prompt and quick and food is delicious .

Staff is courteous and well – behaved .

If you are not going for star hotels and looking for budget hotel in Udaipur , this Akshay Niwas Hotel is highly recommended by me .

I would love to give it 4 star out of 5 .

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

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Vidur’s Travel Diary – 1 : Udaipur [ A ]


I always fancied Mr. Vir Sanghvi‘s flair for writing on the topics as varied as politics, food, wine and travel. It would be asinine for me to compare myself with legendary Vir Sanghvi, but I do have some flair for writing on politics and films. Though I always fancied and wanted to write on Travel and Food also. But I did not want to start my travel writing on some pleasure trip. I wanted to write about a visit , about a trip which is worthwhile. And I found an opportunity now. I was called to Udaipur to train Dev Patel of  ” Slumdog Millionaire ” fame as  dialogue coach by the team of a British film, ” The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel “. The film being directed by Mr. John Madden, who incidentally directed ” Shakespeare in Love “, is a comedy based in Rajasthan. I can’t disclose more about the film at this juncture. I will write a separate blog on my this international foray, later on.

Maharana Pratap by Raja Ravi Varma ((1848 CE -...

Image via Wikipedia - Painting by Raja Ravi Varma

I took 11.00 AM flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai on October 04, 2010 and landed at Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur at 12.15 PM. I was thrilled, as Udaipur is the part of Mewar, kingdom of Sisodia Rajputs. It is the clan which gave birth to warriors like Bappa Rawal, Maharana Kumbha, Maharana Sanga and Maharana Pratap. This clan is known by the names of  queens like Maharani Padmini and Maharani [ later on Saint Poetess ] like Meera Bai. It is the land of  Jaimal and Patta and of Panna Dhai, who sacrificed her own son for the safety of the crown prince Udai Singh, father of Maharana Pratap. It is the land of Haldighati. I got goose bumps when I landed at the Maharana Pratap Airport of Udaipur. I was received at the airport by Casting Director Seher Latif and was driven straightaway to Udaivilas Palace Hotel.

UDAIVILAS PALACE HOTEL :

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I had read about this hotel in the column – Rude Travel , of Vir Singhvi, a weekly column which he writes in the Sunday edition of Hindustan Times – Cafe. I was anticipating the grandeur but what I saw , left me awestruck and numb. Udaivilas Palace Hotel is simply beyond words. When I came out my car and started walking inside, the entrance, the courtyard, the lobby and the elegant galleries leading towards the suites left me speechless. There were several people continuously working for the upkeep. No wonder Udaivilas is so immaculately maintained. I have special place in my heart for the staff of this hotel. They are courtessy personified, very polite and humble. I have some really bad experience with the snooty staff of some of the lesser known hotels. But I will always remember warm smile and polite namaste with folded hands of the staff of Udaivilas Palace Hotel. Their dresses are also elegantly done. I don’t have enough money to stay here on my own. But if ever I have my coffers full by any chance, I shall come with my family and stay here for at least one night. It is an earnest wish. I am putting some photos of Udaivilas Palace Hotel here :

1 – Main Entrance of Udaivilas Palace Hotel :

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2 – The Courtyard of Udaivilas Palace Hotel :

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3 – The Courtyard – One More View

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4 – The Corridors Leading Towards Suites :

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5 – A Suite of Udaivilas Palace Hotel

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Udaipur – The City :

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This last capital of Mewar was founded by Maharana Udai Singh in 1559. It is surrounded by Aravalli Hills and adorned by several natural and man – made lakes. It is because of this that Udaipur is known as the Venice of the East. Its largest lake Fateh Sagar looks like this :

CITY PALACE :

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Udaipur/Rajasthan/India City Palace

Image via Wikipedia

Ferguson has described City Palace as the largest in Rajputana.  Situated on the banks of Lake Pichola, it is not a uniformed structure. It is a cluster of buildings, made by every ruler as per his needs, whims and fancies since 1571. Nevertheless it is a spectacle to watch. On one side there is the magnificent view of Udaipur city and on the other side there is beautiful Lake Pichola.

The exterior of the Palace ;

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The Manak Mahal :

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The Khush Mahal :

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It is not possible to write the complete account of Udaipur in one blog. So I am concluding it today and shall write another blog about other places of Udaipur and about immortal Haldighati. In the last I am putting a photo of Mor Chouk of City Palace. This is the same peacock, which Dev Anand shows to the tourists in his film ” Guide “.

Vidur

Udaipur – Rajasthan – India

http://www.vidur.co.in

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