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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. (Mindscape Reviews)




Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is another book I decided to read from Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club! From her recommendations, so far, I had read Daisy Jones & The Six which I had loved a lot & Little Fires Everywhere which I didn’t like much. So, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ was a tie breaker. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one either. Given that the story didn’t please me much, I am going to cut the review short this time! Here you go.





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Eleanor is a lonely person who has a routine & likes to stick to it. Monday through Friday she goes to work where she has been working since 9 years, wears the same white blouse & black trousers. On weekends, she doesn’t leave her apartment & downs 2 bottles of vodka. Every Wednesday, she talks to her mother. That is it. That’s her life. No family. No friends. Just Eleanor. Existing. Not living. And, she is completely fine.

The book is divided in 3 parts – Good Days, Bad Days & Better Days. The good days constitute 70 % of the book, Bad Days are 15% & Better days 5%. Of course, there is always some good in bad & vice versa.

In the beginning, I found it extremely weird to read the book. It is written by a Scottish author Gail Honeyman, so I didn’t get any references. Also, Eleanor’s character is very different; the way she speaks to people & also the way she behaves. Everything is a bit weird, like a human person but robotic speech. You see how she changes through the course of the book.

At the start, it’s an outward change; such as getting a manicure, shopping for clothes & makeup. At a later stage, the change is inward; loving herself, forgiving herself & letting people in. The book focuses on issues like loneliness, mental health, depression, child care, friendship. I also hoped it would focus on self-care in detail, but it’s not portrayed very well.


Reading this book is not a pleasant journey. At least for 70% of it, it feels like reading a random routine story of a person. And the reveals at the end aren’t so unpredictable either because of the hints placed poorly in the earlier parts of the book. It also feels a lot rushed toward the end. Being such an experienced reader, you can always predict how a book will end. And, it was very easy to predict this one. All in all, not so great. I have rated it at 2/5 on Goodreads.

~~QUOTES~~


There are scars on my heart, just as thick, as disfiguring as those on my face. I know they’re there. I hope some undamaged tissue remains, a patch through which love can come in and flow out. I hope.


Popular people sometimes have to laugh at things they don’t find very funny, do things they don’t particularly want to, to people whose company they don’t particularly enjoy.


They call young people in care “looked after”. But every child should be “looked after”… it really ought to be the default.

Until next time,

Friday, 6 September 2019

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. (Mindscape Reviews)




Hi Readers! Lately, I have been off the reading game. I’m unable to concentrate or binge read anything at all, no matter how interesting. But, yesterday, I finally finished this book by Lori Gottlieb titled ‘Maybe You Should Talk To Someone’. To be honest, I read it over a period of a month & got to its end yesterday. When I started reading it, I did not think I would be able to complete it, but as I got really into it, I absolutely started enjoying it. I think this is the kind of book everyone should read. Here goes the review!




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~~INTRODUCTION~~
As the title suggests, ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ is about therapy. Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist & talks about her different patients who see her for a lot of different reasons. Their therapy journey is beautifully showcased from start till end. We also get to see Lori’s therapist & their sessions. Throughout the book, there is SO MUCH character development from all these characters that is nothing but inspiring. Lori, her patients, her therapist! It’s brilliantly written & after reading it, even you will take something from it in the form of therapy.

~~CHARACTERS & PLOT~~
Lori’s main patients are John, Julie, Rita & Charlotte.

JOHN is shown as a famous TV writer who tends to feel that everyone is an idiot. He has intimacy issues & a secret he has hidden deep inside him. It is even irritating, at first, to read about his sessions. But, his journey from there & after he rediscovers the real problem layers underneath is so evolutionary. At the end, you won’t even feel that this was the same person in the first chapter!

JULIE is a newlywed young woman who has recently detected cancer. One can only imagine what happens to a person when they know that they are dying. Keeping that in perspective, she still goes to therapy & it helps her to face her death more bravely unlike before. To Lori, Julie seems like her younger self & they happen to create a bond like you have never seen between a patient & their therapist. Julie’s journey is just too sad & lovely at the same time.

RITA is a 69-year-old lonely lady who comes to therapy announcing that she will end her life when she is 70 unless she finds something worth living for. Her past is full of regrets in which she goes through domestic violence along with her children. It consists of a lot of bad choices, neglect, abandonment, hurt & pain, so much that she finally decides to die. But, in that one year of therapy, so many beautiful things happen to her! She finds a man she loves & who loves her despite her past. She makes another proxy family. Her art website grows so much. All in all, you never know what one year can do for you.

CHARLOTTE is someone who drinks a lot & sleeps around a lot. She always seems to choose the wrong emotionally unavailable man to get involved with. But even she finds her way back. There isn’t much focus on her story.

And finally, now LORI herself! You can see her story unravel in flashbacks. In the PRESENT, you know she is a successful therapist who is having a lot of trouble dealing with her breakup with Boyfriend. To be honest, it seems unreal even for her, how she was at the beginning & how much she changes too. And, in the PAST, we see how she ends up being a therapist. She starts her journey from working as a journalist, which leads to writing for medical drama shows, which then makes her want to go to medical school. But, she is not able to go through with it entirely, which is why she quits med school. A lot of years go by not really knowing what her career path would be & age wasn’t on her side. I think this is why she decides to have & raise a baby all by herself, to take control of her life. And then, finally, she finds herself on the path of being a therapist. Her story sends such an important message. No matter what your age, you can always choose a new career path!

Her problems start with her breakup & then she goes to discover other things, like, the book she cannot make herself to write, her health issues & ultimately leading to her fear of death! It is amazing how Wendell, her therapist puts all of this into perspective for her. In his own way, Wendell was just the therapist Lori needed.

~~OVERALL THOUGHTS~~
In each & every case, you see how these people change & grow by tremendous amounts. Even though the book is non-fiction, because of its therapy-oriented narrative, the character stories feel so real & make it almost fictional. There are parts where Lori talks about emotions & feelings in the non-fiction way. But there are also so many parts with her patients where it is real! You actually feel the things her patients are feeling.
“Be it Julie’s cancer or Rita’s loneliness. You feel it in your bones!”
There is a part where Julie’s cancer resurfaces & she tells Lori how she will miss herself! It is so incredibly emotional! There is another part where John tells his dream to Lori & that too is just so heart breaking! There is another chapter where Rita talks about Myron & of true love, which just melts you. I think Lori’s writing skills are incredibly powerful. Being a therapist, she can put feelings into words remarkably! I loved this book for that.

My only complaint, if I may, is that the book is TOO LONG. It must have taken me a month to finish it. But, when you have read it more than half, it becomes more interesting. You get keen on knowing how the stories of these fictional people will end up like. While I am happy about Rita’s fortunate turn of events & Julie’s unexpected changes, I wasn’t so pleased about Charlotte & John. John is one of the most focused-on patient & his journey is shown in a very slow transition. Even his breakthrough is not a Eureka moment, which was weird for me. And, there could have been more content for Charlotte too. Given that so many people these days face drinking & addiction problems, more highlight on that could have worked better. But, anyway, there isn’t a book quite like this one. I think this will be one of the classics of our century & definitely needs more acclamation! Whether it helps you or not, it sure will leave an impact.

~~OTHER QUOTES~~
·       “Before you speak, ask yourself, What is this going to feel like to the person I’m speaking to?”
·       Don’t judge your feelings; notice them. Use them as your map. Don’t be afraid of the truth.
·       Happiness equals reality minus expectations.
·       It’s impossible to grow without first becoming vulnerable.
·       Love can often look like so many things that don’t seem like love.
·       Avoidance is almost always about fear.
·       You can’t get through your pain by diminishing it. You get through your pain by accepting it and figuring out what to do with it.
·       In a way, our silences serve another purpose: They give us the illusion of stopping time.

Until next time,

Monday, 2 September 2019

FIFTH BLOGOVERSARY!!!


TODAY marks the 5TH BLOG ANNIVERSARY OF MINDSCAPE IN WORDS & I am EXAGGERATINGLY ECSTATIC that we have come so far! I take it as a milestone, something that I will forever be proud of! In all my 25 years of existence, writing this blog has made me the most committed to something. My relationship with my blog is longer than some of my best friendships. It is longer than my corporate work experience. It is longer than the making & release of all seasons of Stranger Things. It is the most fulfilling, amazing & rewarding thing that keeps me sane enough to deal with other mundane activities in life.

I thought a lot about how I should celebrate my 5th Blogoversary. It is incredibly important that I do it right, with humility & grandeur!

To be HUMBLE, I decided to write about writing & also review the Top 5 posts I had this year.
And, to keep it GRAND, there will be so many celebrations! The 5th Blogoversary falls on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi. I already offered some sweets to the God & prayed that this blog relationship lasts for many more years. I’m also going to celebrate at home with family with a fancy dinner!




~~HOW WRITING HAS CHANGED ME~~
I have been writing my blog since 5 years now, but I have been writing since long back. I have always found solace in the written word. I can think better in writing than I can in my own mind. Being an introvert, it helps me showcase my talent in this best way. It is extremely rewarding that I am able to do that. I feel privileged that I get to write on my blog for the whole world to see. It not only keeps me sane, but also gives me a sense of responsibility & purpose.

When I write book reviews, I hope to change someone’s life because of my awesome book recommendations. When I write travel journals, I hope to help someone who is planning a trip to that city. When I write stories & diary logs, I hope to connect with someone who is also feeling those emotions. Not only does it help me understand myself, it is also, always an attempt to help others. And, even though I don’t have many followers, I sincerely hope that I have helped someone.

Many people ask me why don’t I blog full time & make money from it. Well, for me, that’s quite complicated. I blog for my LOVE OF WRITING. I do it to get some solidarity & to find some peace. When you monetize your blog, it all becomes about the money. (I sound like Phoebe Buffay.) Yes, I consider SEO & I have a few advertisements on the website. But, that doesn’t come in way of my writing. Sure, I can do some sponsored book reviews or sponsored travel posts. But, I do not want to write meaningless sponsored posts promoting hotels or body lotions or skin care routines which aren’t the niche of my blog. It becomes very restricting. And, I know all about that because that’s what my corporate job is. I don’t want any restrictions on the content I create for my own blog, just to make a few bucks. I like it when my words flow, without any constraints & when everything from my mind & heart is poured on to that post! That’s just how my writing process works.

~~TRAVELLING & WRITING TRAVEL JOURNALS~~

Those of you who have been reading my blog know that my main areas are book reviews, travel posts & diary logs. Writing my travel adventures on my blog is something I enjoy more than travelling itself! Travel writing feels like a calling for me, because travelling & writing are literally my favourite things to do. Every time I visit a new place, I try my best to soak it in. Even if I stay for just 3 days, I always find at least one thing which will make that place memorable for me! Every place leaves a part in me & when I am back home, I put this part in so many words which come directly from my heart. I think it is a mutual relationship. Travelling makes me a better writer & writing makes me a better traveler! I cannot be happier & more blessed about this!

As I’ve stated innumerable times, in Udaipur, the moment was the Fateh Sagar Lake. In Darjeeling, obviously the view of Kanchenjunga at sunrise. In Pondicherry, it was the Promenade Beach. In Kochi, funnily enough, it was the Mocha Art Café! In Jaipur, it is difficult to pick, but definitely the Patrika Gate & Amer Palace.

Check out the Top 5 Travel Posts:

~~READING & WRITING BOOK REVIEWS~~

The same logic applies to reading & writing. Reading makes me a better writer & vice versa. I think this is universal because all the writers I know are readers. When I read REALLY GOOD crime thrillers, I am left in shock & also admiration. It is amazing how the authors think the way they do & create such amazing stories. I have a LOT OF RESPECT for CRIME & THRILLER AUTHORS. They have so many levels to achieve – nail-biting plot on every page, unpredictable ending, compelling characters! So much pressure. Everything has to be perfect. One loophole & we reviewers jump from admiration to criticism.

Second to that, I admire NON-FICTION HUMOUR AUTHORS. I read a lot of those this year. Nora Ephron & Ellen Degeneres! It takes a lot of effort to make the readers laugh, unlike a stand-up comedy show. But, they are also the ones who will make you laugh when you have had a bad day. It’s a good way to relax. When you laugh out loud when you are in a train or bus & have all eyes staring at you, that’s when you say, “Damn, this book is good!”

In addition to a book, when you watch a REALLY FASCINATING SERIES with great writing, it again leaves you in an amazed state. Reading such different genres of writing improves my thinking process & also my writing process. After watching Dark on Netflix, I was so impressed with their writers. It left me in a thought zone for weeks! I want to write a story that good! I haven’t been writing short stories, but I have one in works. I really hope it turns out to be good. For me, books are stimulants! And, writing book reviews becomes really essential at times. Because either it’s so good that it needs to be rewarded or it’s so bad that others need to be made aware to not read it. It’s a fun process to write reviews.

Check out my Top 5 Book Reviews:

~~WRITING DIARY LOGS~~

Writing fictional diary entries is, I think, the best way to actually connect with the audience. I write these mini stories revolving around bullying, depression, stress, trauma, single life, feminism, irrevocable love, heartbreaks, friendships, loneliness & so on. Many of these are inspired from what happens around me. At times, people are in denial & not aware what they are feeling. But, when they read something RELATABLE TO THEIR LIFE, they can then identify the problem & try to come at a solution. I haven’t written one of these in a long time. But, given its importance I really need to start doing it more often.

Check out my Top 3 Diary Logs:






In conclusion, everything that forms a part of my blog has made me better at being a writer & a blogger. And, in turn, it has impacted my life in the most beautiful manner. If it weren’t for MINDSCAPE IN WORDS, I would have stopped writing altogether. As I read the posts from 5 years back & the ones now, I can see the change. I can see improvement. And, that makes me eternally happy! I will continue to write, for Mindscape in Words, for you all & also for myself! Hope I keep creating content that will make you want to come back for more!










Until next time,


Saturday, 31 August 2019

Where to Eat! (Jaipur Journals, Part 4)






Hi All! I’m sure you have read all 3 parts of Jaipur Journals. You can check them out here – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 ! This is going to be Part 4 to conclude the Jaipur tour blogs! To be honest, for me, a journey to a place starts the moment I book tickets (no matter how prior) & it ends with the last blog post (no matter how later). So, I’ve got a heavy feeling in my heart because I don’t want it to be over just yet. This Jaipur journey has been on-going since March when the bookings were done. Now that I am on the last post, I have bitter-sweet feelings. I know that I will treasure the memories for a lifetime, but even so, I feel a little blue!


This post being about restaurant recommendations is sure to make me feel a little less blue. When we were planning the trip, we had decided to go to 9 restaurants, of which we went to 7. I think that’s a pretty great record, given how busy our days in Jaipur turned out to be! Check out the restaurants below!






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~~MUST RECOMMENDED RESTAURANTS~~
On the House


Best restaurant in Jaipur if you want to eat really good & delicious food. The aroma of rich coffee is the first thing you'll notice after entering the place. Along with good food, ambience is also pretty amazing. Nothing extraordinary, but pleasant!


We had French fries, Nachos & Veg Quesadilla, of which Nachos were exceedingly good! The drinks were good as well. Turkish style Coffee (3/5) & Strawberry Banana Smoothie (4.5/5) tasted good.
The best part was the dessert - Oreo Cheesecake. 10/10!
Cheesecake is a must try when you're here. I have given OTH 4/5 stars on Zomato!




Tapri



This is one of the best places for good food in Jaipur. They have a rooftop restaurant which opens at 7 AM so you can have your breakfast there. The rooftop actually has the décor of a chai tapri!

Obviously, they have a variety of options of teas. We tried the traditional Masala Tea & fancy Hibiscus Tea. Both were perfect! We ate Vada Pav & Grilled Aloo Masala Sandwich. Both were really good in taste & had good quantity as well. Definitely recommended! Rated at 5/5 on Zomato!







~~AUTHENTIC JAIPUR FOOD~~
LMB
Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar (LMB) is one of the famous restaurants where you get authentic Rajasthani food. There’s a thali which is quite famous. We reached there at an odd time, so we had Chole Bhature instead. It was good, so you can try it out! We also had the famous Pyaz Kachori & Dal Kachori, which tasted absolutely delicious! Most of the sweets have a lot of ghee in it & I hate ghee, which is why I couldn’t eat Jaipur specialties like ghewar, jilebi etc.
You can also visit the all time famous Choki Dhani to have Rajasthani food.

Lassiwala

This was definitely the best drink I had in Jaipur & the best lassi I ever had in my life! We started our day with this lassi & the wonders it did to start our day in a positive note! It was so good that you don’t even feel bloated after having a glass full of it! Must recommended when in Jaipur! I have given it 5/5 stars on Zomato!


~~GOOD AMBIENCE BUT NOT GOOD FOOD~~

Samode Haveli



If you're looking to dine in a royal fashion, this is the place for you. But, if you're looking for good food, I suggest you think twice before eating here.

I had Mac N Cheese which was undercooked, chewy & didn't taste good. Also had Spaghetti which was okay enough but not worth the cost. Mashed Potatoes tasted good but lacked the flavour.
The Red Sangria & the dessert Tiramisu were the best ones. It was hands down the best Tiramisu I had tasted.

2 drinks, 3 dishes & 1 dessert costed us above Rs. 4000
Overall experience was very unsatisfactory. I rated it at 2/5 on Zomato.






Bar Palladio
We went for dinner at Bar Palladio on one of the nights. We had been wanting to go here as much as we wanted to go to Amer Fort & City Palace! In our view, it was not just a restaurant. The whole royal Palace theme was what we were excited about! The interiors are no doubt AMAZING! Blue walls, chandeliers, different rooms, stylish bar! It is a Palace turned into a restaurant.
However, the food did not meet our expectations at all. It’s an Italian restaurant where you cannot even understand the menu, leaving us with very little vegetarian options. While the drinks were good, the food was too simple for our taste. No average Indian would like the food here. The only thing we liked was the dessert Blueberry Panna Cotta! I rated Bar Palladio at 2/5 on Zomato.

Peacock Rooftop
It’s a lovely setting for a dinner. It’s on the rooftop & the place is set up with nice lights to give you peaceful vibes. But that’s about it. The food & drinks were not so good. Everything was on the sweeter side with nothing spicy. Not even the Burnt Garlic Noodles! It must be the first restaurant that had a high level of inhospitable service, not to mention the never-ending stairs that you have to climb to reach the top! The waiters were rude & ignored our calls. You can definitely skip this restaurant! I rated it at 1/5 on Zomato.

Some other restaurants that you can check out are Choki Dhani, Sultanat, Café Bae, Kokum Bistro, 1135 AD.

Now that I have poured all my Jaipur knowledge on to my blog, I feel complete. Only one thing is left to do. This was the first time I went with a friend & not having it ruin our friendship. So, here’s to you, Suruchi!

~~OFFICIAL TRAVELLING PARTNER~~


Suruchi! This was our first trip together & never in my wildest dreams would I had imagined it to be so AMAZING! I know I have already AWKWARDLY & FORMALLY thanked you enough. But here it goes again! Thank you for accompanying me on what was easily one of the best trips of my life! I’m glad we finally have one successful tour to check off the bucket list! And, I feel our friendship to be stronger than before & I am SO GLAD for it! While everything might not always be perfect, I’m happy to have you by my side. It’s nice to have a friend! Now that our Pivot Tour was great, you’re going to be my official travelling partner for future trips! No backsies! Here’s to many more memories in the most beautiful places!






All of you, thank you for sticking with me for these FOUR POSTS on Jaipur. For some, it might have been a lot, but I’m sure for some it might have been just what you were looking for. I’m sure there are obsessive planners like me out there & I’m glad to help you out! Let me know in the comments below which was your favourite place in Jaipur!
Goodbye, Jaipur! You were TRULY BEAUTIFUL & BEYOND STUNNING! Thank you for all the memories! I’ll always treasure my time with you.
Until next time,


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

What to Explore – Day 2! (Jaipur Journals, Part 3)









Hi fellows! How are you all doing this last week of August!? It has been a lovely month & year so far! Having said that, check out the Part 1 & Part 2 of Jaipur Journals before reading this one! As I mentioned, Day 1 was a day with a lot of sight-seeing. Well, Day 2 wasn’t that different! It was probably more taxing but covering lesser places. Shall we begin?


In this post, I will cover the most famous places in Jaipur such as Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Albert Hall Museum & Bapu Bazaar! I will also tell you all a bit about the places we skipped just so you are informed about ALL OF JAIPUR!










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~~HAWA MAHAL~~

Much to our misfortune, it was RAINING ALL DAY! Yes, it was frustrating! For 2 reasons; One – my shoes got wet & Two – I couldn’t take my camera with me. There are other reasons too such as ‘I have been wanting to visit Jaipur since years & when I finally get there, it is raining, nay, pouring on the day I am supposed to view the MAIN SPOTS IN JAIPUR! But, I won’t bore you with such reasons.

Picture it. 2 girls in front of the Hawa Mahal while it was POURING. Suruchi with her umbrella & I halfway inside her umbrella wearing a rain coat clicking photos with my mobile inside the umbrella & the umbrella making an appearance in the photo too. And when I tell Suruchi to hold the umbrella a bit upwards, rain starts coming in on my phone & then soon enough it gets windy with umbrella being reversed & upturned, leaving me, my phone, Suruchi, her phone all wet in a whole watery chaos! That’s how our day started! Lovely, ain’t it?

I didn’t let this upset me like it did on the day we had arrived in Jaipur. It was raining cats & dogs when we were in Jantar Mantar. It rained, I smiled through it. It poured, I danced through it. I’m not making shit up! I got pictures to prove it! But first, let’s focus on Hawa Mahal! We had allotted 1 hour for Hawa Mahal, which included taking photos from the front, doing a small tour inside it & lastly going at a café opposite Hawa Mahal to take our photos with the background of Hawa Mahal! Instead, we ended up doing the umbrella-rain-mobile circus mentioned above & moved on to City Palace in less than 15 minutes! If you visit Hawa Mahal, I insist you go to the cafes opposite it (Wind View Cafe / Tattoo Cafe & Lounge) to get the most scenic photos!

Check out some of the photos below but do not be too amazed. I had seen such fantastic photos of the place earlier, but when I actually saw Hawa Mahal, I was utterly disappointed! It does not look as grand as it looks in the photos. It looked like just another pink building in the Pink City. The mantra is to not be fooled by the photos & not have too many expectations!

Other Details:
·        5 minutes from City Palace.
·        Open from 9 AM to 4.30 PM.
·        Entry Fees – Rs. 50
·        Takes 45-50 minutes to explore.

~~CITY PALACE: PRITAM NIWAS CHOWK~~
The main spot in the lovely city of Jaipur is the City Palace. And, dare I say, also the most OVERRATED. There is A LOT TO SEE in City Palace, but they choose to show THE LEAST PART OF IT, while charging exorbitant rates for the MORE ROYAL places. I mean, you are literally the royals, why are the charges so high? This cannot be your only source of income!

First, we visited the Pritam Niwas Chowk which has the 4 seasonal gates namely The Lotus Gate (Summer), Green/Leheriya Gate (Spring), Rose Gate (Winter) & Peacock Gate (Monsoon.) From the inner courtyard, you can view the Chandra Mahal, where the King of Jaipur resides with his family. I think Suruchi & I spent at least 30-40 minutes at these Gates alone! I was looking forward to get amazing photos here & so I did! 
The Lotus Gate
Green/Leheriya Gate
Peacock Gate
Rose Gate

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CITY PALACE: SHOBHA NIVAS~~
After the Gates, we went inside the Palace to the Shobha Nivas & oh, what a beauty! It was filled with walls full of mirrors & glasses & gold! It was as royal as it gets! The royal family uses this room only once a year, that is for Laxmi Pooja in Diwali festival. We got to sit where the King sits! How awesome is that? Check out the grandeur of that one room in the photos below!




Outside Shobha Nivas

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CITY PALACE: GUEST HOUSE~~
Next was the royal guest house. It may not sound royal, but it sure is GRAND! This guest room was for all the guests of the royal family! It had quite an antique look which made it look like it belonged to a different era. Of course, we loved it! 

~~CITY PALACE MUSEUM~~
After the all the main spots in City Palace, we visited the Museum at the end. It was a small hall filled mostly with paintings & history of the place. Not that great & definitely nothing compared to the Udaipur City Palace Museum tour!
There were a few more spots where we wanted to click photos, but since Salman Khan (Bollywood actor) was shooting a song scene in City Palace, we had to miss out on those spots.


Other Details:
·        Open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees for Museum & Pritam Chowk – Rs. 200
·        Charges for the extended tour: Rs 1500 & Rs. 3000 for Indians.
·        Takes 1.5-2 hours to explore.

~~JANTAR MANTAR OBSERVATORY~~
The Jantar Mantar Observatory is at a 5 minutes distance from the City Palace. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site which has a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments. The area was naturally quite spread out. So, here, it was very windy & with it came the crazy rains! Because it was raining, most of the places were restricted from entry. So, I couldn’t take photos in the manner I wanted. We took a few shots & were out in 20 minutes. With my wet shoes all day long, all I wanted was to go for lunch at On The House & that’s what we did.
Here are some photos I which I’m throwing a tantrum like a kid & other in which I accepted my fate!























Other Details:
·        5 minutes from City Palace Upset one moment..
·        Open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees - Rs. 50
·        Takes 30-45 minutes to explore.

~~ALBERT HALL MUSEUM~~
After a heavy & delicious lunch, we moved ahead for the tour of Albert Hall museum. This one was the longest & too tiring. Like any typical museum, it consisted of all typical things of historical importance. I had visited Hyderabad’s Salarjung Museum, which is the biggest museum in India. And after that never-ending & tiring yet interesting experience, I steer clear of museums! I have very little patience for it. All the items are anyway similar to any other museum. You have your armour, paintings, vases, hookah pipe (oddly everywhere!), kitchen utensils, carpets, coins, & so on! After the first floor, I was too tired, but we completed the second floor & then the basement.
The irony is that I couldn’t get a shot of the museum from the outside, because it was restricted! So, it was all for nothing!

Other Details:
·        10 minutes from City Palace
·        Open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
·        Entry Fees - Rs. 40
·        Takes 45 minutes-1 hour to explore.

~~BAPU BAZAAR~~
After a long day accompanied with constant rain, dampened clothes & wet shoes, we went to Bapu Bazaar with little enthusiasm for shopping. Nevertheless, we gave it a try. The only nice thing here is that all the lanes are Pink. Similar yet unique. But, all of them are in little stores where they have fixed prices. So, we didn’t bother to shop because we had no energy to bargain. The streets are really nice for a walk though, if it isn’t raining incessantly.

~~OTHER PLACES IN JAIPUR~~
As I mentioned before, we skipped a few places because they weren’t as amazing as others, in my opinion & some of them were very far off! You can check out these places if you have the time!
Jaigarh Fort
Birla Mandir
Galtaji Temple
Samode Palace

To sum it up, we had a lot of disappointments; restricted entries at Jantar Mantar & Albert Hall Museum, expensive tickets at City Palace & not doing the whole routine at Hawa Mahal. All of this combined with rains (have I mentioned this enough times?) made the whole day tiring. But despite the challenges, we ended up having a great time! I think more the setbacks, more it gives you opportunities to say screw it all, let’s roam around anyway!!

Day 2 was shorter than Day 1, but it became quite intolerable & we ended up more tired than the day before. We almost caved about not going out for dinner. But, since it was our last day in Jaipur, we had to go out! We had one disappointing meal on the last night at Peacock Rooftop restaurant.


Until next time,

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