The Hippieque | 2017 January
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

January 2017

Sunday, January 29, 2017

HippiequeTravels – Sri Lanka

#HippiequeTravels - Sri Lanka

This blog could’ve come to you sooner only if I could’ve fought my own demons in time! Sri Lanka was my last very cherished and happy vacation of 2016. The most special thing about the trip was not the place but the people who came along (isn’t that the case every time?). A month of research, split into four people and a visa issue later we were all set for Ceylon – Sri Lanka’s old name. And even though your travel list might not go any less than Bali but Sri Lanka is definitely a place you shouldn’t miss out on!

Image Source: Dream Holiday Srilanka

Image Source: Dream Holiday Srilanka

So since we had only a week in hand we could either choose North or South of Lanka. We choose to go South and touch a bit of central. Our group of four was divided into beach loving and hill loving people so we had to see the best of both worlds Lanka had to offer. We started off with the beauty of hills and ended up under the coconut trees and musical waves. Let’s take you through place by place.

1. Kandy

This little township nestled between the hills is great to enjoy a laid back day walk around the Kandy lake and doing some street shopping. This town houses many sacred Buddhist sites among which Buddha Tooth Relic Temple a.k.a Temple Of Tooth is a popular attraction.

  • Keep 2 hours minimum to explore the Temple Of Tooth as it has a park, many shrines and museums inside.
  • We stayed at Muduna Walawwa resort which is a great place with a very hospitable host.
  • Kandy town is extremely small, you can walk from the epicenter of the city to anywhere.
  • You can even shop around the town as they have some great wholesale retail shops.
  • Keep an eye out for some great local food shops and some cozy cafes.

2. Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is just 2-3 hours away from Kandy so we decided to take a train ride to the hill station, which backfired as the train was so crowded that we had to get off after a couple of stops and reach our destination via bus. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station, just like Munnar or Ooty and it is famous for it’s lush, tea plantation and the typical hill station vibe (of course there is a lake!).

  • If you love the hills then you can book a cute hotel by the lake and re-kindle some romantic memories or do a quick day trip from Kandy (which is what we did).
  • Single Tree Hill Trek is an easy one for anyone to go for. It starts from a Buddha Temple, which has a giant elephant right outside.
  • You can also go to the highest peak of the hill station but you need your own vehicle to reach the peak. You cannot walk to the place or use a taxi.
  • If you ask any local there, they would point you towards the small restaurant that claims to have the best burgers in town. Since we were too early for the burger place, we stuck to a recommended place from the Lonely Planet guide.
  • DO NOT MISS the popular bakeries on the streets to grab delicious chicken patties and puffy muffins! (I still dream about them).

After completing the hilly areas it was time to hit the beaches, but we made a pit stop on the way to Colombo at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. And boy, we had never seen anything like it before! Imagine seeing a river bed filled with at least 50 Asian elephants having fun in the water. It’s a sight worth seeing. Make sure you time your visit to the place when the elephants are going to bathe in the river, that’s the highlight of the place and we were in luck!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Check out more images in the gallery below:

3. Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is by far my favourite place in Sri Lanka (as I am a beach person). Imagine clean white sand with gorgeous hues of water right next to some restaurants serving sumptuous meal and draanks! The road parallel to the beach has all the cool shops for shopping, boutique hotels and restaurants.

  • Best place to buy a new bikini. They have one of every kind!
  • Must take some surf lessons while you’re there.
  • Hire a bike and explore the entire stretch of the beach.
  • Crowd is mostly all firangs and locals who provide the stay/ food or activities and services.
  • One can even go for a relaxing Ayurveda massage, they claim to be really good at.
  • Galle is only 20 mins away from Hikkaduwa, so it’s a good idea to take a day trip to Galle while you’re there.

4. Galle

Apart from being the Southern most tip of Sri Lanka, Galle is a cute little Portuguese city 20 mins away from Hikkaduwa. It has romantic vintage lanes among the cluster of cozy boutique hotels and eateries, historical museums and over-priced shops (because firangs everywhere!).

  • You can visit the Dutch fort, the light house and take a walk in the winding streets that have a lot to offer
  • A day trip is perfect but even a night stay in one of the boutique hotels will be great for the experience.
  • Shopping can be restricted as it is highly-priced but I still managed to buy a pair of shades (hey they are really cool, okay?).
  • Do have a meal at The Heritage Cafe (it’s worth it being on their waiting list if you have to).

5. Bentota

Again a place worth visiting to experience the beach bliss. Bentota reminded me a lot of Galle with it’s little miniature-city-like design. The beach only has luxurious resorts and hotels by the waves, so it’s worth to splurge and wake up to the waves in your hotel comfort.

  • Bentota has a cute railway station – that’s a must visit.
  • A river safari is worth the morning wake up alarm.
  • The Golden Grill, Bentota is one of the best places to dine in the vicinity.

Before heading back to Colombo we made a pit stop at one of the many Turtle Conservatories and Protection Institutes you will see spread all over the coastline. This place definitely goes in to my must-visit list as it shows how wildlife is being conserved in the best way possible.

  • Hunting for turtles is banned in Si Lanka and therefore they protect them.
  • Such institutes are not always funded by the government so it is great to see how individuals have set up such turtle rescue farms on their own, charging a small entry fee from tourists.
  • One can even volunteer to work at the institute for few months and visitors who stay for a long time in Sri Lanka tend do to this.
  • They take care of a varied breeds of turtles and even the ones who are wounded by the hunting/attack.

6. Colombo

By the time we reached back to Colombo we were extremely exhausted hence by default the urge to constantly click pictures decreased. Colombo is like a typical city and like all capitals has great nightlife and shopping stores. We were to ring in the new year in the capital and catch a noon flight the next day. So we had a low key NYE which ended up in Casino Marina and me winning 8,000 Rs on the black jack table! Woohoo!

  • Shopping places: Odel Store, Paradise road & House Of Fashion
  • Places to chill: Must visit Dutch hospital and courtyard, it has great cafes and shopping in one ground.
  • We stayed at Lafala Services Apartments and Hotel which was really comfortable but recomended place is the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

7. Home sweet home

A week of Sri Lankan madness is more than enough to love the experience and the culture. After all ‘aakhir dil hai Hindustani!.’ Here are a couple of quick take-aways you need to see, if Sri Lanka is on your travel list for 2017. Sri Lanka can definitely see me again but maybe this time I shall explore the North – Jaffna.

Date of travelling: 26th-1st Jan 2016

Currency: Srilankan Rupees (which is half of INR Yay!)

Places visited: Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Bentota (yes, we left nothing!)

Must visit: Hikkaduwa (beach) and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Must try: EGB (ginger beer), Kottu with curry and Arrack (local daru!)

Need to be careful about: Local crowd in Colombo (especially if you’re a girl or have girls in your group). 

Activities to do: Shopping in Colombo, River safari in Bentota, beach water activities at any beach, tea-picking at Nuwara Eilya and trekking

Key Observations:

  • The country is extremely clean and well kept.
  • Most workers/laborers you see in the city areas are all sent from China (yes, China is being their BFF!).
  • The people are hospitable and sweet but you might face little bias as they too are obsessed with fair skin firangs.
  • If you’re a girl then you need to be as cautious to travel around the country as you need to be in India (in fact a little more).
  • The food is amazing, must try their Kottu with curry (prawn/chicken)
  • Since the currency is 50% lesser than INR, one can afford to have a great time but do not go overboard because everything might seem cheap to you (I am guilty!).
  • Make sure you always carry your passport with you as the entry fee will differ according to your nationality.
  • If you plan to travel by train then you need to make a reservation first, travelling without a seat will result in a very uncomfortable journey. Picture yourself in a Virar fast during peak hours with firangs stomping on you instead of Indians!

Hope this blog could help you plan a good trip to the Lanka land. have a great trip!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

1 Bomber 3 Way


Resolutions are for the naive so this year I have goals. And among them blogging consistently is on the top of my list. And considering the amount of photo shoots I do on a weekend-ly basis, this goal is totes achievable! Speaking of goals, is Mumbai competing with Delhi when it comes to cold? This is the coldest I have found Mumbai weather to be in 7 years! But I believe there’s nothing a bomber jacket can’t handle! I got this velvet bomber from the good folks over at Redesyn and we have been inseparable ever since. Tracks, skirts or shorts no matter what you prefer – here’s how you can style any bomber like a total fashion fleeka a.k.a chica who is on fleek (yes, I will take all the credit of making this term up!).

1. Track On Some Monochrome Magic

Kicks: Adidas Superstars | Tracks: Thrifted | Black Bralette: Zivame | Necklace: Anupama Dayal | Photography: Vincent King

A pair of comfy tracks and jacket has got to be the current fave of all the celebs from Khloe Kardashian to our desi doll Jacqueline Fernandez. Trust me when I say this, This is also the combo the models wear off-duty no matter which fashion week we’re talking about. So this staple look was a no brainer. I added my superstars and a cute cloth necklace and it made me feel like I am Kanye’s hommie! (Yeah, I made that bitch famous!)

2. Swag With Some Shorts

Block Heels: Topshop | Swag Socks: Forever 21 | Denims: Levis | Crochet Cover-Up: Thrifted | Hamza Chain: Hippieque | Photography: Vincent King

This is my favourite look mostly because of my bias of being a shorts gal all the way. Currently I am also obsessed with cover-ups especially when I discovered the secret – they are not just for the beach! It only took a while to hunt down my swag-licious socks to go with the street-chic look and we’re back in business!

3. Skirt Up The Shirt

Kicks: Adidas Superstars | Skirt: Beneton | Boyfriend Shirt: It’s Boyfriend’s! | Tank: Koovs | Peach Cuff: Thrifted | Tote: H&M | Photography: Vincent King

Apparently a crisp white shirt looks even better when layered under any jacket. The proof is right in front of you! That’s how you spice up the styling for a simple tank and skirt combo. I wouldn’t recommend layering if you have a boxy figure because it might not suit you. But a cheat sheet to that is ‘confidence’ and there’s nothing you can’t pull off no matter what size or shape you are! So go forth and experiment with your favourite bomber, I’d love to see some pictures so tag me!

Monday, January 9, 2017

How To Win In 2017

How to win in 2017

If I were to go with the memes I saw during the last leg of 2016, I’d say it was a pretty shitty year for the most of us. Again, the basis of this theory is what people have put out there in the mighty universe a.k.a social media. In my honest opinion the year had given me countless moments to be thankful for but also enough reasons to ‘like’ an anti-2016 meme floating out there (no kidding!).

For people like you and me who consider themselves WIP, I’d say a new year is another opportunity of brushing off all our bruises and giving it another go! Just work to your best potential to get to where you aspire to be.

Most people enter the year with a wild bash and a hungovered morning with a promise of quitting alcohol that year or that month (lol, good luck!). But I on the other hand try to ponder as to what the year brought me and what I shared with the world. Now, I know some of you might think of me as ‘how very saint-ly of you!’ but being the volatile Cancerian that I am, I do like to ‘reflect’. However, this NYE I did not feel like we’re about to dive into a new year. Maybe it was because I was travelling for a week and I was little disconnected from the world outside my wanderlust bubble, but it just didn’t give me a moment to STOP and think.

Believe it or not, the day I landed back to the city, I was diagnosed with chickenpox! Universe gave me a full week (and still counting) of thinking (and itchiness). This little time was more of an un-wanted vacation where it was just me, myself and my isolation. A hundred naps and countless pills later, I took some time out to blog the things I’ve learnt  after assessing my 2016! Are you ready for the pearls of wisdom? Read on.

1. Don’t Look back don’t hold back

It’s not always bad to look back. Sometimes the uncertainty of tomorrow can be comforted by a sweet memory from the past. Be it an ex- boyfriend/ girlfriend or an old friend who’s drifted apart with time, always regard your past with positiveness as it does have an impact on your present whether you like it or not.

2. It’s not always your fault

‘Guilt’ is a major factor that plays a strong role in our everyday lives. You’ll be surprised how the small things of not doing something (or doing something wrong) can turn painful for your conscience. Don’t be so hard on yourself sometime it’s just not your fault. But if it is, then stop being a dick and find a way to fix it!

3. A Relationship is a two-way street

Be it lovers, colleagues, friends, or relatives a relationship is always reciprocal. Now I’m not saying start counting everything you’ve done for that person but hey, know when you’re being taken for a ride and quit! It’s easier said than done but you’ll be surprised at how much it de-clutters your life by leaving the ‘anchors’ behind you.

4. Show gratitude for the little joys of life

If you open your eye for a little detail you will realize there are certain things that put a smile on your face everyday. Appreciate them and show some gratitude. From the morning hug of your dog to your mom making your favourite food, from the office boy getting you coffee (the way you like it) to the boss who let’s you leave early (if that ever happens) … we all get ‘the small joys of life’ on a daily basis but we often overlook them and move on to facing the big bad world!

5. You can be a perfectionist but your life can’t

You can picture me as a black woman with Mindy Lahiri‘s swag telling you that “girl, you can fix your face airbrushing  all you want but you sure as hell can’t airbrush your life to perfection.” Perfect is nothing! Your perfect might be Beyonce’s average and your bad can be your Instagram follower’s amazing. Comprende? Just be glad with what you have. (And this is coming from a person who’s suffering from chickenpox ATM!).

6. Holding on to something will not make it work

Something I am guilty of. I’m not the kinds who will quit the first time around (or apparently a millionth) but like most of you guys, I like to stick to my comfort zone even when it stops feeling comfortable. This is something I have to overcome this year, but I am pretty sure I am not the only one. Be it your job, a long time relationship or anyone who you thought will make you happy but now has turned it all up-side down. You need to take the exit. #GesturesLikeAnAirHostess

7. It takes time to heal but you will heal

When things don’t go the way we want them to go often we are heartbroken. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry. Let it out of your system everyday till the day you don’t have to do that. You can get past anything if you just believe that one day you will heal and you will get better. Don’t wait for anyone to fix you. You ain’t a Coldplay song!

8. The only person you need to unconditionally love is yourself

Please take this pointer in a less selfish way but we all love the (hand-picked) people in our lives and things that we are attached to, but we often forget to love ourselves. Insecurities and competitiveness consume us and we struggle to be ‘good enough.’ Now this is not the Hailee Steinfeld in me speaking but gotta love myself, no I don’t need anybody else!

9. Do something ordinary for the world and make an extraordinary impact

Now even if you had the heart to do something selfless, where would you begin? Lucky for you this step is the easiest of them all. I can actually guide you on this one if you really want to do some good to the world. All you have to do is pick something you are passionate or empathetic about. Nature conservation, poverty, children’s education and welfare, animal welfare, women’s protection, recycling… the list goes on and on. It hurts everywhere and there’s always something you can do to help. Once you have homed down to your cause, research and see what people are already doing for that cause. You can either join them and be a helping hand or you start a campaign/ project of your own to help the cause. Trust me, the love you feel doing something for a community that really needs your help can over-power the love you feel seeing the new collection of Louboutins.

10. This is it!

Lastly and most importantly, no matter what you’ve done in the past or what you’re planning for the future – THIS IS IT! Live every moment like it’s the last one. Life is happening now! Not yesterday, not tomorrow it’s happening right fucking NOW!

So you’ve sat around your buried ambitions for far too long. Life is happening NOW. Go forth and slay!