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Jul 2 / Anoop Menon

YHA – Youth Hostel Association India and International

After a months wait I received my YHA Membership about which I had blogged in my previous post Books-Cafe-Travel .

Its a one time payment for lifetime membership and have many benefits for the members traveling in India and abroad, especially for budget travelers, I wish I knew about it before, could have saved some then, anyways better late than never, looking forward to travel with YHA.

Jun 8 / Anoop Menon

Books, Cafe’ and Travel

Books, Cafe and Travel are some of my areas of interest, recently I have come across few good blogs, sites and organizations which I have shared here for those who have same kind of interest, hope this will be as helpful for you as it is for me.

Listed it below, numbers are not to rank it as all 5 links have its own importance.

1. Youth Hostel Association of India :

“YHAI is an associate member of the Hostelling International (Welwyn Garden City, England, U.K.), which has the world’s largest network of 4500+ Youth Hostels in 90 countries across the globe, and, world’s largest youth membership organization.”

It has no limit for age, and I have already applied for its lifetime membership which is available at less than 2000 Rs. They even organize adventure camps and provide affordable hostel facility across country and abroad for youth with limited means during their travel at affordable rates on a sustainable basis. Can be best used by budget traveller. Youth Hostel Link

2. India Book Store :

is a super quick and simple search engine for books that helps you find the price and availability of books across various online bookstores. It also provides user store reviews, which further help users to choose the best deal on the right store.Indi Book Store Link

3. Kumzum Travel Cafe :

The Kunzum Travel Cafe in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi is “a place for travellers to meet.In the real world – not on social media.To simply bum around.Exchange travel stories. Make travel plans.Read up travel books in the library.Post travelogues & pics. Even write books.And buy travel books and photographic art.Over coffee and cookies. PAY WHAT YOU LIKE.Use free Wi-Fi. Only at the…Kunzum Travel Café!”

I loved the concept,never visited though, It has all the three elements I love……Books, Cafe and Travel Travel Cafe Link

4. Cafe Book Store :

Not in India but still another concept which I liked “This cafe & bookstore is a haven of tranquillity where you can relax in a vibrant atmosphere, read a good book, drink our home-made Chai Tea relished for its rich exotic flavours of cardamom, cinnamon and ginger, or enjoy one of our delicious cupcakes. “ Book Cafe Link

5. MatadorU :

HOW TO TRAVEL FOR FREE…….for all travel enthusiast MatadorU creates opportunity and necessary education which not only helps you to travel free but also provide source of income and a career.

“Matador is on a mission to create travel journalists. It hasn’t been easy, but passionate readers have joined us, making Matador the largest independent travel publication online, nearing 2 million unique visitors per month.

We’ve also won two consecutive Lowell Thomas awards for travel journalism excellence, and developed new models for partnering with brands, host countries, and major outlets such as National Geographic, CNN, and Google.

MatadorU is our online education community. Since launching in 2009, thousands of students have graduated from our programs. We hope you’ll join the MatadorU writers, photographers, and filmmakers winning awards, landing media jobs, and getting paid assignments around the world.” Matador Network Link

Last Year I had posted 5 useful site which I am using still now : Useful-Sites Link

Jun 7 / Anoop Menon


Ice Cream works, tried it the other day when I was in Inorbit Vashi. Saw good tempting range of Cassatas in their fridge and tried one King of Cassata, but then was quite disappointed, taste dint match the looks and was billed 128 Rs.

But more than me I guess the guy next to me was disappointed, I would say he was rather shocked as I saw him taking just a cone with chocolate scoop, am not sure exactly what his order was but I heard the cashier telling him “280 rupees sir” I was like wtf, he was kind of stunned and had to reach back to his wallet to get another 180 rupees.

May 30 / Anoop Menon

Blogging from Mumbai…

Now that am in Panvel, Mumbai I will be posting more from here…

To start with I had a great experience with few of my friends, we visited two of Bandra’s famous joints one is a cool chocolate lounge  and another a Multi-Cuisine Restaurant.

   The Obrama is cake shop with wide range of hand made and Belgian styled chocolate products, with an average price range of Rs. 50, they have a nice and relaxed interiors with friendly staffs.

 I ordered their Oreo Brownie, and friends tried eggless Chocolate Mint Pastry and a 3 layered mousse cake which were quite good.

located in Bandra, Link Square Mall, Off Linking Road, 33rd Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai,  Maharashtra 400050.


Candies a multi-Cuisine Restaurant at Bandra, Pali Hill….

I have no words to explain how surprised and astonished I was when I entered inside through a small entrance which would otherwise look like a normal ordinary restaurant in a small and hidden streets but have a huge interior with around 5 levels including many hidden sit outs, mezzanine floors, terrace etc etc…..

Its not what any one would see or expect to see anywhere, frankly I have not seen anything like this ever… I have no words, one need to visit it to experience it, I got few pics, excuse me for the bad photography, was due to my over excitement.


May 27 / Anoop Menon

IKEA Gets Green Signal

IKEA is one of the best furniture mall I have ever seen when in Kuwait, And was the only thing which I missed when I returned to India, and since then always followed any news of it coming to India.


According to ET Bureau May 3, 2013, 02.05AM IST – ARTICLE

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday cleared Swedish home furnishing major IKEA’s Rs 10,500-crore investment proposal, the biggest investment in single-brand retail sector after the government liberalised policy in November 2011.

IKEA, which has already been sourcing products from India over the last 25 years, initially plans to set up 10 furnishing and homeware stores over a period of ten years. Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma called the decision a ‘historic’ one.

Apr 22 / Anoop Menon

I Love Pune..

Some interesting and true facts of Pune shared in FB and I kind of like and agree so thought to post it here….

1) Pune has the impeccable record of highest growth within a span of 20 years.

2) Pune is the 6th highest in software companies in India and 1st in Maharashtra. Hence called the Silicon Valley of Maharashtra.

3) Pune has 40 engineering colleges, which is 2nd highest in the world in a given city. Pune University has 57 Engineering colleges affiliated to it.

4) Pune is the only 2nd city in India to have commercial and defence Airport operating from the same strip.

5) Pune has highest number of public sectors and government Organizations in India.

6) Pune university has highest number of students going abroad for higher studies taking the first place from IIT-Kanpur.

7) Religion Percent Hindus 71.0%, Muslims 12.0%, Buddhist 10.0%, Jains 4.5%, Christian 2.0% Others 0.5%. Pune has 55% of local population (i.e.Marathi).

8) Last year Constucted Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, also known as MCA Pune International Cricket Centre.

9) Pune, having highest two wheelers in the World.

10) Pune has produced the maximum international sportsmen in India for all sports next to Mumbai & Delhi.

11) Pune has produced the maximum number of scientists considered for many high profile Prize nominations.

12) Pune has produced the highest number of professionals in USA almost 3.5% of the Indian population abroad is from Pune (except Gulf).

13) Pune is famous for THREE:
Puneri Pagdi ( पगडी )
Puneri Patee ( पाटी = Sign boards ) &
Puneri Pride

14) Pune is the only city in India where there are 7 Universities.

15) IPL team Pune Warriors.

16) I stay in Pune….

Apr 9 / Anoop Menon

Starbucks in Mumbai

2011 I had posted about Starbucks coming to India,LINK

It dint open in Market City Pune till now and no update on it whatsoever but then I saw it in Oberoi Mall Goregaon the other day when I was in Mumbai.
October 19, 2012 first Starbucks store was opened in Elphinstone Building, Horniman Circle, Mumbai, joint venture with Tata.

so they have 3 stores now in Mumbai, Elphinstone Building, Oberoi Mall and the Taj Mahal Palace Annexe.

Mar 27 / Anoop Menon

15 Funny 404 pages

15 pages which have interesting, creative and funny 404 (page redirected to when wrong web address typed) pages.

15 Funny 404 pages


Mar 15 / Anoop Menon

Search Engine to protect the rainforest

Not literally but there is a search engine called Ecosia that generates revenue to protect the rainforest. Ecosia donates at least 80% of this income to support WWF’s work in amazon.

If you like it help them spread the word

Mar 9 / Anoop Menon

Vim and Dettol – ad war?


Mar 8 / Anoop Menon


I remember first time when I had been to passport office in Mumbai, a decade back, Long Ques, long hours which I didn’t have patience for and came back home paid an agent got the work done, I was really terrified to know that agents are not anymore entertained and have to go in person, for my renewal.

But was surprised to see the make over of the process, thanks to Tata Consultancy Services Limited, very systematic and smooth with good services from young staffs with full of patience and energy, looks more like a BPO, to run through the process and my experience at Thane, it goes some what this way :

1. Take an appointment or apply online LINK

2. Reach at the gate on time and date of appointment with all necessary documents and a photo ID to be shown with the printout of the appointment (cant enter without this both)

3. Inside at the right you get your token number, once your documents are checked.

4. Once you are issued with token you are in Que of 3 process A, B, C

A. All documents are verified , scanned , picture taken, finger print  downloaded, fee collected and documents filed and you are   requested to seat for next processes.

B. Your documents are verified approved, this is when you start seeing senior persons , but thankfully they started smiling.

C. Here is where your application is either granted or rejected by super seniors or granting officers.

Then you exit after you submit your fee paid receipt or refund, incase application is rejected. Whole thing took 2 hours which was not at all tiring.

Feb 26 / Anoop Menon

Passport Photos of Iconic Figures

                      Albert Einstein

More passport photos of iconic figures(HERE)