Feb 8, 2017

What I ate in Seoul, Korea

Check out the yumminess I belted in while I went tripping to Seoul, South Korea.

Taken across Gangnam, Jamsil, Samseong and Myongdong regions of Seoul city.
All images are clicked by Gayatri and are copyrighted. 

The tasty Bento box a.k.a Lunch Box- This contains a fine assortment of fish cakes, filleted Salmon and rice/ noodles to go. Fine dining at Samseong

Mandu - Dumplings with fillings of beef, pork or both, mostly.

A Prawn dish made of batter-fried prawns, topped by a poached egg on a bed of white rice. 

Dakgangjeong - Korean honey fried chicken; less spicy, hint of honey, comes with drinks.

Dakgangjeong Anju- Korean spicy fried chicken- taken with drinks

Tofu with Kimchi, a Korean “anju”( a type of dish that generally comes along alcohol)

Golbaengimuchim - Spicy whelks with noodles. A typical Korean Anju

An assortment of chinese sticky sweet made of rice

Spicy Seafood noodle soup - clams, mussels, fish cakes and soy noodles in a chilly filled broth

Manjoo. A roadside sweet made of waffle batter and filled with Limecurd/ Beanpaste. I liked the beanpaste flavour better. The Limecurd was more like egg yolk; hardly any lime flavour. Jamsil station UG shopping centre.

Seafood Ramen noodle soup - topped by Mizuna leaves, fried prawn and some spicy notes/ chilies

Pork belly Lardon strips, batter-fried and served as a starter

Mandu soup with seafood. In Korean, Mandu means dumpling. At a small roadside eatery; Gangnam

A dry seafood noodle; filled with the goodness of mussels, octopus stubs, prawns, fishcakes and fine scallions, topped with spring onions!

Street Food. Fish Skewers. Fish paste is mixed with spices, battered, breaded and fried in oil. Myongdeong market.

Beef Skewers. Myongdeong market

Korean Ka-re rice. aka Curry Rice.  Over a bed of rice we have chicken pieces, vegetables, crunches all dunked in a gravy, thickened with cornflour.

Korean Ka-re rice. Over a bed of rice we have a beef steak,  vegetables, crunches all dunked in a gravy, thickened with cornflour topped by a sunny side up egg,

Will post more yumyums in a while! Sorting the photos yet as the journey was exciting, helping me load some more calories and a very fantastic one in all!

Nov 6, 2016

The W Files.

It has been a while that I have actually written something here.
Mostly because I have turned into a lazy lump (except when I jump into the swimming pool; then I swim as though all the alligators in the world are chasing after me). Teehee.

Ever since I plunged into the dating stint, I have been muddled with this question from everyone around- "When are you marrying?" Suffices to say that I have been rolling my eyes at that question for a long time, evading it, brushing it aside and changing the topic to food.


Not until R proposed a few weeks ago. R and I have been seeing each other since a while.
Should I mumble the "meeting" story here? Oh well, what's there to lose?

R and I met in 2008, at a common friend's birthday party held at Bangalore. I was on vacation from Mumbai then, and took a train from Kochi to Bangalore, because Bangalore weather was enticing enough. Duh!

I was sipping some berry punch at a quite spot in the hall of the Sankey Tank apartment when this tall dude walked in. We were introduced and began to chat. Unlike popular thoughts, no, we didn't hit it off in the beginning itself. He was from Faridabad he said; typical Haryanvi, I thought.

He spoke a lot, and generally didn't like him much. We moved on. A year later, I met him at Ahmedabad unexpectedly while I was shopping at Law garden for Navratri bling. I was bargaining at a stall and I hear this strong "Hai" behind me. He took me by surprise. And again, we casually spoke.


Since I was wandering alone that day and so was he, he asked me if I had visited Manekchowk for the yummiest food. I told him that I had heard of it but never got a chance to go and so he offered to take me there. Great offer, I thought in my mind.
My brain whizzed with many questions simultaneously at that point.

1) I do not know this guy much, what if he is a psycho?
2) He is talking about food. How bad could a man be if he is offering to take you to Manekchowk?

Food won. Eventually.

He took me in an auto to the best Halwa Puri wala at Manekchowk and we gobbled food like starved turkies. We stall-hopped; from jalebis to amazing cheese idlis, it was like food gods blessed us for real. We spoke randomly and ate as though there was no tomorrow. He told me that he was a malayali who was born and brought-up at Faridabad. I told him about my home and little silent life.

We spoke and ate, and it turned from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm.

He dropped me back to where I was staying and took my number.
That was the only beginning I remember.
It was followed by coquettish conversations and coy smiles.

But, I also remember a "brief" END. Which was not so brief.
It was so because after 2 years of sort of dating, from 2008 to 2010, I got an internship at Kochi and not Bangalore. Or rather, I decided to be at Kochi and not Bangalore for my internship despite me getting offers in Bangalore.

I chose Kochi because I missed my home and familiarity so bad. I thought that with my salary a month I can buy my grandparents some treats and pizzas, help my home; and I just generally wanted to be with them. But that decision broke R and I apart. It broke our hearts and relation to bits.

After the internship, I dreaded to get back to Bangalore. Which explains why I jumped at the offer I got from Chennai. From August 2012 to March 2013, I was at Chennai, trying to balance my wits.

In early February 2013, I decided to move on and start afresh in Bangalore once and for all. I am glad I decided so.
So, yet again, I met R at Costa Coffee at Brigade Road in April 2013 just "as friends". We decided to keep off for a bit, and focus on our lives. He was kind of seeing someone who I knew and although that hurt me to bits, I was happy too; happy that he was happy.

The truth is that I never got fully over him. Neither did he. We shook hands and bid goodbye, tearing apart our hugging hearts. We made sure that we tugged hard at our leaping minds because we had our respective egos to please.
I just didn't want to date anyone and wanted to be at peace, relax for a bit, travel,watch movies when he called me one day in a cold late October 2013.

"G, I want to talk to you. Can we meet?"
I ask him what was this catch up for. "Haven't we moved on?"

"I request you to make it, because I have to do it some day and it better be today".

I am someone who hates being pressured and coerced into doing something. Although so, I obliged because yes, I wanted to meet him desperately too!
Shh, don't tell him.

So we meet at Costa that evening, where he tells me that he is going to the US for 2 months for work. I felt really bad when I heard that because in all honestly, the knowledge of his presence had kept me sane all that while, although we never spoke in months. His regular FB posts made sure that I get him somehow and made me feel loved by someone other than family.

I said good luck to him. And then he told me the words that I wanted to hear for so long.
"Do you want to try this for one more time?"
Straight-faces turned into teary smiles and we ended up sharing more than hearts that evening.

He left for the US and the two months tried us in all possible ways. We argued and we fought over phone, late night calls and beautiful surprises came to us in multitudes.

Just that this time, we held each other in our heart walls. In early December he came back to Bangalore.
We met for coffee. I'll never forget that day when he took me home to his apartment where he couldn't let me go, held me closer to him than before, as we conversed, hugged, held each other for hours, like there was no tomorrow.
We began living in by the end of 2014, hiding that trivial fact from our families. We told our curious neighbors that we were married although neither of us ever harbored any notion of that sort. Or atleast I thought so.

Until R proposed. A sentence it was. Sweet and simple but made me the cherubic young lady I was, when I fell in love.
"G, I am thinking of getting married, and I know for sure that you'd be the best mother to my kids".

He told me one day while we were on a brunch date.
"Are you sure?" I asked him.

He brought his chair closer and told me that I was his best friend.
That was enough for me. Enough for my heart to pour out the love.

Getting married is a big responsibility. I cannot wait to start a life with my handsome bestie- Not Living in, but Married.
Now please don't ask us when we're making babies.

Oct 20, 2016

When you walked back in

When you both left us one day,
into your heavenly abode,
it felt numb; spaced and cold
Like a thousand roses suddenly turned to bricks

Shutting my doors tight for days.
not letting even a ray of hope to let go,
falling back again into bursts of grief palpitations,
I held on the memories that you gave; with every heart strand of mine.

I couldn't believe the absence of your presence,
I shook my mind in disbelief, as though I heard a big lie,
Letting go off you and your memories is not easy.
Until one day when you surprised me in my dreams.

I saw you both, sitting on the verandah of our home you so loved;
I saw you both in your usual attires, hands folded on your laps
Creased hands, white hair;
smiling at happiness of being back there,
Waiting for us to come and talk to you, with that familiar starry eyes,
but wet with tears- for you'd  moved away from us.

I saw you clearly and began gallopping to the love you were.
I was tired but that didn't matter.
All that made sense then was the fact that you've come back
As I leaped onto your laps and asked you, 'are you going to stay?'

You touched me with your cold hands,
My forehead; that which was burning with sweat.
and the tears that ran down my heart,
with all my might, I asked you again,

"Come back just once?"

"we can't"; you replied. You replied slow that it rang my ears for sure,
"We aren't allowed to"; you say, as I sat looking at both of you, deep grief on your face, with glistening tears in your eyes,
"they won't let us come back; they have never let anyone go back, so you should know"
As I wept on clutching your fist close to my heart.

You let loose your hands and went away,
I woke up suddenly and felt my heart go astray.

Grandma and Grandpa, I will never let your memory go.
Miss you every single day.

Sep 28, 2016


Italy; what a magical place to be!

It has always been a wish in my heart to visit this phenomenal land ever since I jealously chanced over a friend's Facebook profile, who was honeymooning at Rome! x-(
And now when it was my chance with my R, I couldn't have been happier! Venice, Padova, Rome and Vatican; Thankyou and I am happy!

Some photos to share and care

Venice is all about Love!

Delicious Deli roll with Mozzarella!

Age old charm. Unbeatable.

Sep 27, 2016

To Stop Waste

The sense of waste that dawns to you after you have crossed a convincing age is miraculous. To some really old humans, such a sense has hardly ever dawned and hence, do not even consider such exceptions.
I am talking about the educated, well-read humans, with at least some sensitivity to the world and people around, to who the dawning of 'waste' is a mere matter of time.

Waste is inevitable if you are a living being. And because we are humans, our wastage is exponentially macabre. We dump waste at every nook and cranny of our earth and nature and it pretty much holds up as to why we are termed by ourselves often as the most destructive of all species. Well, if you think of it even dung beetles love the shit they roll in, except for us humans; we throw 'em all.

And it looks like I am in that phase of realization; that phase where I realize that I belong to this species that can only destruct and destroy. And that ain't a good feeling. So, I have decided to  take  a step back from worldly progress and begin with 'self-waste- reduction'.

India is a populous country. And say, atleast 40% of the country is women. Within which, the women of menstruating age is atleast a good 25%? Now, I don't expect all women in India to be using sanitary pads and hence those who use sanitary pads are say another 15%? That itself is such a huge number!

Every month atleast a tonne of sanitary waste is dumped in every city in India and it breaks my heart to see that I was also a cause of that waste accumulation.This turning point in my life comes from this fact; that I am not ready to use non-biodegradable period blockers anymore. Enough is enough. I am going to shift into an alternative that could range from cotton cloth to mooncups, both of which sound utterly uncomfortable.

On second thoughts, 'the discomfort' is all a matter of 'getting used to' as afterall, humans are indeed creatures of habit.


Dec 29, 2015

My share of Chlorine juice.

It's extremely important to be healthy, strong and grateful for what we have with us. 

From the time I have been swimming regularly for about 5 months now ( I started swimming regularly from 2013, had to take a break after 8 months, continued barely in 2014, and now this stint since August), I have felt an increased urge to lookout for the holistic well-being of myself and my dears, with each passing day. I can state with conviction that when we find one 'activity' that we feel suits us the best and follow it religiously, it let's us maintain our physical and mental well being for a long time to come. It boosts the morale, increases confidence and lets you prepare well.

Anything trivial that bothered me in the morning, disappears the moment I jump into the pool as I concentrate on my breathing/ stroke. The power of conditioning your body and soul is crucial and only lies in your hands.

Eat what's required. Find some activity that moves you (physically and emotionally), hold on to it and work with it for your body and self, just gives out a better you in very few days. Promise.

Oct 19, 2015

When New York came beckoning!

The trees shed their crimson leaves
The pine cones lay scattered and in heaps
Believe me and the narrow charcoal roads
where a thousand colors of fall bestows.

Spray me some water from the splendid Niagara,
Shut me some of nature's might,
paint me some blue from Lake Ontario
Or from the North pond as ducks wade, not so shallow

Burst me the sea breeze around Lady Liberty
or the sour metal smell of the Subway doors.
Couples kiss in the quaint corners of the bogie
As the Hudson smiles beneath Brooklyn's core.

Fly me a kite, fly me a paradise,
Fly me the spin of lows and highs
Fly me those canaries, cooing in calm,
Fly me Oh! NewYork, Fly me once again! 

All pictures copyright attributed to Gayatri Sivakumar © and cannot be replicated/ reused without prior permission.

Mar 9, 2015

Ayubowan! ආයුබෝවන්

I see that glistening trinklet not so far away from me; hanging amongst a pile of other small stashes of treasures. It's beautiful and just what the doctor prescribes to convert one's sense of beauty into tangible possessions. I walk along, towards it and make it mine; quickly; only so that the discovery of that form of beauty, becomes mine.

It is Hikkaduwa and its hot outside. Aroma rises from nearby shacks and shops to serve customers. It's early noon and I am at my prim. Last day in the island nation and I wish it never turned 'last day'. The song 'All good things' rush into my mind, when I think of parting with this form of natural beauty. Which probably explains why we all try the possession of beauty into a tangible form; like a souvenir or a piece of jewelry. Such possessions keep alive the memory of beauty; and not probably the beauty itself.

Sri Lanka, always gave me memories.
All images are copyrighted and will require prior permission to replicate/ reuse.

Fish roll and Fish+ egg dumpling

Attention seeker just too adorable

Dambulla Temple

SriLankan lunch - Rice, Dal, Veggies, Fish

Cheers ! Lion Lager

Date Lunch Menu



Ancient cities

Feb 8, 2015


I miss you a lot. And I love you no matter what! 

ഞങ്ങളെ വിട്ടു പിരിഞ്ഞിട്ട് ഇന്നേക്ക് ഒരു വർഷം... heart emoticon എത്രയും പ്രിയപ്പെട്ട അച്ഛച്ചാ, ഞങ്ങൾക്ക് ഓർമ്മ വെക്കാൻ നല്ല ഒരു കുട്ടിക്കാലം തന്നതിന് ഒരായിരം നന്ദി.
'It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that it purloined."-
The God of Small Things

Jan 7, 2015


Rowing the little vallom through the backwaters of Alappey. Throwback Thursday from September 2014.

Dec 24, 2014


From 2014

Where should I begin about 2014? 
It was such a bittersweet year-a total mixed one; with precious gains and unimaginable losses. Gains so like coarse honey and losses that last a lifetime. It seemed so true when people say that as you gain so shall you loose. But with 2014, there was no beginning or an end.

Rewinding is not a good idea. But at this juncture when a new year is dawning, I need to sit back and re-look at what I have gone through, what I cherish, what I miss, what to keep close, what to not let go!

1) Love came by my way; and I knew when I met that soul

2) Lost two most important people from my life: and I never expected them to vanish so soon: grandma and grandpa. Always stay etched in my heart you two, and bless us from where you are.

3) took up a new job, closer to specializing in my area. Feels better.

4) My own home. decorating it, being with it, living in it.

5) Got an opportunity to travel to Alappey; wanted to, since long. Houseboats, valloms and God of small things mega-rushed into my brain.

7) Wrote a book: being appreciated on it just makes my day, every day.

8) Started to design icons on a regular basis.

9) Started the building blocks of the second book; may take some time, with what I have in mind.

10) Learnt to cook sambar! YES! been on the hit-list that, and it was time, I mastered it.

11) Started actually dedicating my time to learning CSS + HTML. It's tough, I'll not lie, but hey, what isn't?

12) developing a weird taste for coffee. Really weird. 

13) Started my own new garden; 5-6 plants now. On the run for a terrarium now. Soon. Soon.

14) Traveled to Yercaud. It was OK but needed the break.

15) Learning to bake. Cinnamon rolls, Boom!

Let's figure what 2015's got to give. Hoping for love and peace. Praying that it be so.
Have an exceptionally awesome 2015.