HIGH ON HOTELS:Canaves Oia

Hey, so first up today is Happy Anniversary to us!!! And we couldn’t have thought of a better post than this one to celebrate the occasion…A place with which we are head over heels in love without even visiting it in person is Santorini, Greece… For it houses such gorgeous and jaw-dropping properties that our love for it only increases by the day.

So, today in our High on Hotels series we throw some light on Canaves Oia. The property strongly believes in turning moments into fond memories for all their guests! And talking about guests, it has been the preferred choice for celebrities like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Gerrard Butler, Angelina Jolie, Chiara Ferragni, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Laila Monteiro, Tata Werneck and Layla Monteiro.

We have learnt that Canaves Oia Luxury Resorts and Villas is located on the southern tip of Oia in Santorini, comprising of four properties: Canaves Oia Hotel, Canaves Oia Suites, Canaves Oia Villa and Canaves Oia Sunday Suites. Each property delivers a boutique, luxury and private experience to all guests.

The Canaves Oia brand began with the launch of the hotel, which led to the property’s “boutique” concept. 18 uniquely designed suites are complemented by uninterrupted caldera views and a pristine pool with hanging chandelier, among other assets.

With the success of Canaves Oia Hotel, Canaves Oia Suites soon followed. Featuring a similar concept to the hotel with an extra touch of sophistication, each of the 29 suites includes either a plunge or infinity pool and an unrivaled level of comfort and service.

Canaves Oia Villa is right next door. This impressive property follows the minimalist style of its neighbours with whitewashed walls and splashes of colourful art. It features three en-suite king-sized bedrooms, spacious living areas, a fully equipped kitchen, private dining experiences and easy access to Canaves Oia Suites’ holistic spa.

Canaves Oia Sunday Suites launched in 2017 with an alternative luxe style. White sculpted donkeys line the outdoor infinity pool while a nautical décor adds elegance to each of the eight independently designed suites.Here, a new level of privacy is provided to guests during their Canaves Oia experience.

Wow, are already dreaming holidaying here with our loved ones 🙂  And this time we shall talk less and let the place absolutely overwhelm you!

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Binging time at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Grand Suite at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Honeymoon Suite at Canaves Oia Hotel

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Stunning capture of Canaves Oia Hotel

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Dining time at Canaves Oia Suites

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A beautiful capture of Canaves Oia Suites

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How about some pool time at Canaves Oia Suites?

Spa with a stunning view at Canaves Oia Suites

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Canaves Oia Villa

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Meal time at Canaves Oia Sunday Suites

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A capture of Canaves Oia Sunday Suites

Few other important details to note about the properties is that you could reach here from the airport either in a private transfer or shuttle transfer. Also, reference the connectivity with public transport, these are situated about 50 meters away from the bus station. And, their last order on room service is 10.45 pm!

Finally, closing with a quote of Kylie Bax with which we can surely agree, “Greece is the most magical place on Earth.”

Pictures Courtesy: Canaves Oia

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WITH LOVE FROM THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY OF INDIA-UDAIPUR

I am a complete dreamer and I don’t shy away from admitting to it either. I love to dream…Dream about countries, cities, beaches, mountains, lakes and so much more. So, while conversing if you feel that I have switched off, maybe I actually have switched off… And have commenced my day-dreaming probably about being on this beach I came across while glancing through my social media account.

For many of these dreams have turned to reality and many are on the wish-list but I am in a happy space as I gradually want to unravel these places spread through the length and breadth of the World Map. Eagerness to visit any destination makes me think more, makes me read more and most importantly it make me work more (harder) so that I can savour the destination in its true spirit.

Today, I am going to throw some light on my very first holiday and trip of 2017… The trip was made to Udaipur- the city of lakes where I had been to-long time ago. But yet again there was something about it which was making me want to visit it sooner than soon and so it happened! Having a loved sister in company just added the right colour and laughter to the trip.

So, without any further delay-sharing as much from our trip…

  1. When visiting this rather romantic city- best is to stay closest to the lakes. I love the water, so there was no way that I was going to be away from the water. We chose- Udai Kothi to be our home for 2 nights and 3 days. Yes, you can see the lake from several parts of the hotel and I must share that our stay was cozy and comfortable. Though we didn’t eat much here, but we would certainly look forward to the breakfast area by the pool to just sit and relax. We clicked umpteen pictures, for the property is gorgeous in white and gets decorated with gorgeous marigold flowers in the common areas. I must add our room was much bigger than expected and was stocked with all the essentials.
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  2. We had amazing gastronomic experiences, like each meal surpassed the one before. For the very reason that we ate to our heart’s content- we are actually happy that we got to walk quite a bit! Hear me out on this one-whenever you decide to visit the City Palace Museum- you must make time to eat at the Palki Khana as this restaurant lets you enjoy the view of the overwhelming structure.
    Also, when both of us were wanting to try out a nice café- we landed in front of the Udai Art Café which was established by Meropi, a vibrant lady hailing from Greece who is a photographer, a coffee connoisseur, a chef and an adventurer. Wow, impressive right? She impressed us equally while she passionately helped us decide our order. We binged big on their pesto pasta and crepe with mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese and bell peppers. We loved our meal which was light on our tummies and pockets!
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  3. For our evening meals we opted for the Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel where we binged on some Laal Maas and the second evening we ate our all-time favourite, Chicken Biryani at this spectacular restaurant right opposite our hotel called Hari Garh. In both cases, we enjoyed views of the lake (both were different lakes), had amazing food and didn’t land up paying all that much. At Radisson Blu, while we enjoyed a live flute performance, the next evening- we played and enjoyed some soothing music from our own phones as we got the best table which only made us pray that the time should freeze as we were having the best time ever!

    Glimpses from  Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel-
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  4. Two things which must feature on your itinerary when in Udaipur- the Lake Pichola Boat Ride and a visit to the City Palace Museum. You are able to soak in much of the city on opting for these two!

    Views from the boat-
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  5. When in Rajasthan, you would certainly have a strong urge to shop everything colourful that meets your eyes. At the Hathipole market– we shopped dupattas like there’s no tomorrow. Also, while passing through several lanes. we picked up jhumkas and lovely neckpieces! Ghewar and Pyaazki kachori are must buys from the Jodhpur Misthan Bhandar for all loved ones back home.
  6.  So, here’s the funniest account-just when someone advised us to head to Sajjangarh for a picturesque panoramic view of the city- we did get there but without looking around much straight away got the tickets for their biological park. Yes, you got that right!!! Little did we know that the very next gate leads to their rather pretty Monsoon Palace… Want to know what next? We were on a golf cart scaling through the park and giggling like little girls spotting the lion, tiger and much more…

  7. For our divine calling, we headed to the Jagdish Temple which is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur…And we were thoroughly satisfied with our visit.
  8. We thought of ending our trip on a high note and hence, headed to The Oberoi Udai Vilas. Words fall short to describe the beauty that this place is. We had made a reservation for their restaurant-Chandni and post arrival,were soon guided to our table which was facing the lake on one side and gave us a beautiful view of the property on the other. The quality and taste of the food was extremely impressive and we enjoyed every bit of it.
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    Here are few handy tips if you are planning to visit Udaipur anytime soon-

    1. Be ready to scroll around with your luggage in case your hotel is situated in some narrow lane as sometimes the taxi drivers don’t want to risk taking their cars through the congested routes.
    2. Some of the locals take art classes which seem very interesting. Make sure if interested, you keep aside approximately 3 hours for it.
    3. Commuting isn’t an issue, you’ll find autos mostly everywhere…We also made good use of Uber!
    4. Make sure you take reservations in case you are planning to visit one of the plush properties and even check if they allow non-residential guests at all.
    5. We did hear much about the Bagore ki Haveli for its popular evening show with a variety of Indian dance- maybe you could check it out!


    Happy Travelling, always!!!
    -Sonali

Well Travelled Tenerife

Summers by definition (our definition atleast) mean a beach holiday. Bikinis, tankinis, summer hats, sunscreens, flip-flops, pina-coladas and more become the key essentials. My recent trip to Tenerife, Spain was all about these and here I am sharing a tiny part of my Travel Diary with you guys. To tell you a little about it, Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands. Being a volcanic island, it is not exactly green but a beautiful blend of high peaks, clear waters, barren roads and lot of adventure. On the one hand there are famous beaches such as Playa de La Vistas, Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas that will make you feel like a small part of a big tourist crowd and on the other hand there are those like Playa de La Teresitas that don´t just beautifully beam with their golden sand but also give you enough sense of peace and alone time. Saying that, this island will give you enough space to meditate and party your head down when you like.

Tenerife is not that big and is well connected by a highway. We had hired a cute little Audi for 9 days (its actually cheap) and encircled the island in just a few hours. Since, our experience was good, I can actually suggest hiring from Gold Car. Its a beautiful experience to drive on a smooth highway running through small mountains and right next to the sea.

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Starting with my favourite beach of all, Del Duque is for people who constantly seek all things chic. Being located in the buzzing Costa Adeje, this beach was in fact a short walk away from our hotel, H10 Costa Adeje. The sand is a beautiful mix of white and grey and the water is all blue (I know that is a little obvious). However, this beach is a a little rocky and not the best place for swimmers. But girls have something more to look forward to. Check out below the images of this shopping center, `Centro Commercial El Mirador´ lining the beach. It is super stylish with tiny cosy cafes and shops selling everything luxurious.

That also reminds me that you can´t hit a chic beach without a fit body. Well, I myself  love Gymondo for being the new age way to fitness. Whenever, I find time during the day, I switch on my laptop and start training with this online fitness studio. I specially love their beach body workouts. At the moment the videos are only in German but exercises ask for no language. 😉 Subscribe for the trial period and see how you like it and do share the feedback.

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And when you be done with water, sand and sun, then take a drive down to a pretty little town, La Oratova in North Tenerife. Here you can spend a day walking through old lanes featuring the typical ancient Spanish wooden doors and balconies. When tired, rest by at some cafe and drink local wine for prices so cheap that you will be surprised. I am sharing below lots of pictures from this small pretty town simply because small towns and countryside fascinates me like nothing else.

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Every other door got my attention with its exquisite carvings.

 

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And the lanes in which you can just get lost and not care about the world…

 

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There is something very royal about Spanish wooden architecture.

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Tenerife is also a proud owner of Parque Nacional Del Teide (Del Teide National Park). It is one of the the most visited heritage sites of the world. To excite you a little bit, this place is extremely similar to Mars in terms of geographical conditions and serves as a testing site for robots. This place is a must see for it makes you feel like in a different world that of rocks and lava. And just BTW films like ‘Planet of the Apes’ and ‘Star Wars’ were also shot here. The way to Teida is an experience in itself that you should not miss and you can easily drive to the highest permissible point from where you can take a rope-way and get further up to the peak.

TIP- Book your tickets beforehand for the rope-way. Also, if you want to trek up till the crater then you have to make prior reservation on their official website. Lastly, do carry a warm jacket with yourself as the temperature keeps falling as you go higher.

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Way  to the Teida is extremely beautiful and one that you will always remember.

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Mount Del Teida

On our way back, we stopped by at this beautiful and quiet beach, El Medano. It´s a black sand beach but great if you don’t want to see lot of people and get some alone time. However, know that there is a section of the beach that is exclusively for naturists.

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Another of my favourite things from this place was whale and dolphin watching. Seeing them in the most natural surroundings is way more chic and fun than seeing them dance in a zoo. I am sharing this picture below to give a fair impression of how close you can see them from. I could hear the whales breath. Yea, that close!

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And now getting to my favourite part- `fashion´, here are my beach essentials for 2014. You can click on any photo to view enlarged gallery (and also read captions).

Orange 5

xoxo

Calendar for Good Times

Boys and girls, we have already ushered in the New Year, so any guess what we will be talking next? Bingo! The rather glamorous Kingfisher Calendar is making news in its 12th year as well. Shot at the pristine beaches of Boracay & Cebu, one of the most diverse and enchanting locations in the world, this edition of the Kingfisher Calendar is a true work of art.

The girls have been styled by the talented Leepakshi Ellawadi and wore bikinis from some of the top designer labels such as Falguni & Shane Peacock, Roberto Cavalli, Shivan & Naresh, Sanchita Ajampur, Armani swimsuits embellished by Farah Khan Fine Jewellery.

The preview party was recently hosted by Dr. Mallya at his residence in Mandwa.

Brace yourself and watch out for this coveted and precious possession…

 ImageKatheleno Kenze

ImageNichole Faria

Image Rikee Chatterjee

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Atul Kasbekar and the finalists at unveiling 

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Dr. Vijay Mallaya, Chairman, UB Group with the finalists unveiling the 12th edition of Kingfisher Calendar 

My Roman Holiday

Years back when I saw Roman Holiday not only did I fall for Audrey Hepburn´s ethereal charm, I also formed a dreamy picture of Rome in my head- a place I badly wanted to visit and feel.  Recently, my sweetheart gifted me so much happiness by materializing this dream into a real vacation. I was full of excitement and packed as many clothes I could imagine wearing in the land of history.

We chose November as the month of visit and naturally I was a little scared of facing a bad pouring weather. But sometimes the weather gods are way too kind and do go out of the way to bless. Luckily, it only rained on one day during our trip and was pretty manageable. Now the good thing about going in an off season is that the places of attraction do not look like a scene of mad rush. In fact, I personally like visiting places when everyone else is detesting going there.

Starting with the touristic places, Colosseum falls first on anyone´s list. What today is nearly ruined, once was a huge amphitheater built in 70-80 AD by Vespasian and Titus. The place held the famous gladiator fights, mock sea battles, animal hunts etc. I was really fascinated to know about the sea battles for which the place used to be filled with water and swimming sea horses and bulls did their show.

TIP: Make sure you have a pre booked online ticket otherwise be prepared to stand in a queue longer than you can imagine. (EVEN IN OFF SEASON)

Colosseum
Colosseum

Colosseum

After seeing the Colosseum, we headed to The Roman Forum (Foro Romano). Very simply stating it is a forum surrounded by ruins of many important government buildings of The Roman Empire. Located between the Palantine Hill and the Capitonline Hill, it is a huge ruin full of many architectural buildings such as The Temple of Vesta, Temple of Saturn, Temple of Vespasian and Titus, Forum Main Square and more. 

TIP: Don´t forget to wear comfortable shoes and clothes because you will need to walk through the rocky ways and also climb up and down the two hills. See the pics below and you will exactly what I mean 😉 

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

Roman Forum

View from The Palatine Hill

Next day was all dedicated to the home of the Pope, The Vatican and what is also known as the smallest country of the world. Indeed it is the smallest one for you will cover it on foot in few hours and the population is merely 800 people.

Even if I try hard I cannot get over the intoxicating magic that this place spelled. You will feel the same if you love art and creative magnificence. Others will find it boring. St. Peter´s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums are the three things you will see. St. Peter´s Basilica is not just the most important church in the world but also the biggest. For those who are enthusiastic about heights can reach up to the highest point of the dome via an elevator and 300 something steps. The place has great and wow works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini and also Michelangelo’s Pietà.

Vatican museum is not like any regular museum for it was never meant to be one. It is the amount of art works and sculptures that turned it into one. You will often thank Bernini as you keep moving ahead, soaking in the great works. Honestly, I cant much describe in words.

Even before you are completely over the charm, you will enter the Sistine Chapel that has Michelangelo´s wall and ceiling artwork. The most famous attraction being- The Last Judgement, painted again my Michelangelo on the wall. What´s interesting to know is that this great artist was forced to paint here as he preferred sculpting way more.  I wonder how did he still manage to create such beautiful paintings that became a cornerstone work of Renaissance of art.

St. Peter´s Basilica

St. Peter´s Basilica

Vatican City

Vatican City

See the picture below. It is one of the ceilings in the museum. From first to last thought, I would pass it as sculpting and carving but guess what- its a painted ceiling. You will see such and many mesmerizing and surprising arty works at this place.

3D Painting on the ceilings of The Vatican museum

3D Painting on the ceilings of The Vatican museum

Below is the very famous Michelangelo’s Pietà. My husband like many others find it more realistic and beautiful than David. Well, being a girl I would choose David´s strong and handsome frame over this one. 😉

Michelangelo's Pieta

Michelangelo’s Pieta

See the yellow beaming window in the picture below. Looks like regular stained glass but like many other things even this is not what it looks like. Instead it´s a work of mosaic art. St. Peter´s Basilica has so many such paintings that don´t even remotely look like mosaic but are just that. You will hardly see the cracks that mosaic is suppose to have. Maybe that is the reason behind the beautiful colours that have not faded away.

Saint Peter's Basilica

Saint Peter’s Basilica

The Vatican City

The Vatican City

And below is the exterior of the Sistine Chapel and the place we see the Pope waving out from after being elected by the cardinals.

The Vatican

The Vatican

The Vatican City

The Vatican City

I generally don´t indulge in very touristic things but even I could not resist sending a postcard back home from The Vatican. Actually, I realised that it´s so exciting. 🙂

Typically touristic doings- Sending postcard back home from The Vatican

TIP: There is no way you can really enjoy The Vatican without a guided tour. Invest in a good one. Also, be prepared to walk a lot and don´t go empty stomach because you will only get food after coming out of the place and that takes a couple of hours.

Needless, to say have as much gelato as you can everyday while in you are in Italy. After all, you only have so many days to taste every possible flavour.

Gelato

Too Confused in choosing a flavour. Get a mix of few!

Another thing that I was crazy about since Roman Holiday was The Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi). It was infact the first thing I saw the night I landed in Rome and the only thing I saw thrice on any holiday ever. It´s the most beautiful fountain I have seen so far and there is something truly enigmatic about it and of course I threw the coin to make a wish.

TIP: Visit later in the night as it not only looks extremely beautiful but is also relatively less crowded. 

Trevi fountain at night

Trevi fountain at night

Now that you are at Trevi, there is no way you should be missing on the yummiest gelato available in Rome at San Crispino located at Via della Panetteria. I tried their famous Honey flavour along with Cinnamon and trust me I can still feel my taste buds tingling.

San Crispino, Rome

From here you can walk towards The Pantheon for a night view. I could not see it in daylight for some reasons but I am sure it will be as enchanting with its enormity.

Pantheon

Pantheon

By now we were starving and thanks to our research we had a list of some great pizza places around this area. If you too are a fan of thin crust pizzas then there is no way you should miss Ristornate La Sagrestia at Via Del Seminario. We had a veg pizza with egg-plant, mushrooms, spinach, avocado and more along with mushroom sauce penne pasta. The huge pizza and the pasta were finished by the two of us in minutes. Do I need to say more?

Ristorante La Sagrestia, Rome

Ristorante La Sagrestia, Rome

The evening will be incomplete without a cup of great tasting cappuccino. For the same we headed to the cafe that claims to be serving the best cappuccino in Rome- Sant Eustachio located at Piazza di Sant’Eustachio. The place is easy to get to and falls between The Pantheon and Piazza Navona and is a must visit because who wants to miss such a good cup of aromatic and frothy cappuccino. What turned me off a little bit was that you have to pay extra to sit down and enjoy the coffee. And not everyone would want to pay double the price for sitting on not so well maintained old-school chairs lying outside.

Rome

You must also go to Piazza Navona as its beautiful and less crowded. Plus you don’t want to miss on the yummy and famous  Tartufo. You can try it sitting at Ristorante Tre Scalini while also enjoying the view.

Rome is a place of ruins and history and after a while you do miss serene greens. That day head to The Appian Way, the oldest road built connecting Rome to the port city of Brindisi. It was a brainchild of Appius Cladius who was known for making public life easy. At the start of the road you can rent a bike/bicycle and enjoy the many tombs and monuments on the way. It´s one of the most soothing experiences you can get. Throughout I felt like I am cycling my way into paradise!

Cycling The Appian Way

Cycling The Appian Way

Blissful and Serenity

Blissful and Serenity

The Appian Way

The Appian Way

By now you will be tired and starving and probably cycling your way back and this is when you will start seeing some restaurants and cafes. Serving great food and wine at rates cheaper than the city, these restaurants are perfect to rest at.

Wine & Dine at The Appian WayWine & Dine at The Appian Way

TIP: Plan going only on a sunny day and go in the morning as you want some hours under the sun to enjoy this place. Later in the evenings it turns dingy and unsafe. 

After spending a day at The Appian Village, we got back to the city and went around exploring the shopping streets and vintage markets in Rome. I was not too impressed with the vintage finds but what really turned me on was Via Condotti. This is the same street that Audrey Hepburn passes while checking out shops. Today, it has every possible luxury label you can think of. And as the street ends, it hits right at the famous Spanish Steps. Look at the picture below and you will know what I am talking about. How badly I wanted to enjoy a gelato sitting here just like Audrey did but sadly it was all drizzling.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

Luxury lies at Via Condotti

Luxury lies at Via Condotti

TIP: Also, my biggest tip to you would be that go with enough savings because there is so much leather to splurge on. There are so many small boutiques everywhere selling exquisite leather bags, jackets and shoes that you will be only regretting if shopping is not a big part of your budget plan. 

Lastly, no vacation is complete without a crazy partying night. For the same look nowhere else and head to Trastavere situated on the west bank of river Tiber. It´s a buzzing place full of cafes, restaurants, bars, vendors and happy people. You can easily get bus 170 from Termini that goes straight to this place.

Love,

Shagun

Say Cheese!

“Wherever we be and whatever we be, the only thing all of us in a way starve for is a smile. We work hard, we love with dedication, we drink and we dine. Sometimes for us and sometimes for our dear ones we steal moments and a bit of material to get that smile.”

Ah! getting philosophical is not exactly what I intend to do right now but share some of my picks from Zubair’s pictures collection that depict just that ‘smile’ and ‘liberation’.

Zubair Ishai Darzi is one of the finest young photographers I have come across. I like him not because he clicks the finest pictures but because his heart acts as his lenses. Just like Alexander McQueen he has the ability to see beauty in what others might perceive as ugly.   To make a living he works with the leading e-commerce company, Jabong.com and to live he shoots people, places and life as a whole. He also plays drums, writes beautiful poems, kicks football to hit a goal and talks enough to be called a story-teller. I will now let his pictures talk and if you like him then visit him at http://www.facebook.com/zooblossom

P.S: All images are subject to copyright.

Love,

Shagun