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Moscow Diaries: An evening at the Red Square

Red Square is considered as one of the most important landmarks in Moscow as it includes a varied set of monuments including Kremlin (the official residence of the Russian president), St. Basil’s Cathedral, Lenin’s Mausoleum, Kazan Cathedral, Gum Store and the State Historical Museum among others.

It is said that Putin generally works in Kremlin but stays on the outskirts of Moscow. Legend has it that Lenin’s body is still embalmed and kept at the mausoleum. Whether tourists or even Russians believe this or not is another matter altogether.

One evening, when a few of my office colleagues asked me if I am interested to make a visit to the square, I was quite excited at the opportunity. Little did I know that it would be about -15 degrees that night. It was so cold that I was starting to feel my hands getting frost bitten. The Starbucks coffee I was holding became cold in no time ;). Nonetheless, the experience was fantastic.

St. Basil's Cathedral

St. Basil’s Cathedral (the garlic shaped domes of different colours look amazing, don’t they?)

Kremlin

Kremlin

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Moscow Diaries: A walk at the Gorky park

Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure (Центральный парк культуры и отдыха имени Горького) is one of Moscow’s Central parks located next to the Moskva river and spans an area of about 300 acres. It’s the perfect place to see the way Russians spend their free time. The park gets its name from the famous Soviet writer, Maxim Gorky.

While at an earlier point of time, the park had various rides including roller-coasters, today it is more of an eco-friendly park which also has an ice-skating rink and wi-fi.

I had come to the park with the intention of taking the Radisson Cruise on the tranquil waters of the Moskva river. Since I missed it by a few minutes, I decided to take a walk along the river itself. And mind you, while it does look sunny, the temperatures were still hovering around -5 degrees.

Moskva River

Moskva River

With all the snow round, Gorky Park looked really beautiful.

Gorky Park

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Moscow Diaries: A trip to the Moscow Metro

The Moscow Metro (Московский метрополитен) is the 6th largest metro system in the world and also one of the most busiest. It has 198 stations and has a route length of about 330 km making it one of the most ambitious projects in Russia. Along with having some of the deepest stations in the world like Park Pobedy at 243 feet and many lines and stations under construction, the Moscow Metro is a constantly evolving architectural marvel.

And to add to that, it is also a tourist attraction as can be seen from some of the metro stations I visited. They have such lovely architecture that you feel you are entering a museum. Many of these stations have been built in the 1950s. Can you even imagine the expenditure incurred to make them during those times?

Our first stop is the Arbatskaya (Арба́тская) station on the dark blue line.

Arbatskaya Station (Dark Blue Line)

Arbatskaya station

The Ploshchad Revolyutsii (Пло́щадь Револю́ции) station on the dark blue line is full of bronze statues of men, women, soldiers, farmers, atheletes, school children etc. It is named after the Revolution Square in Tverskoy District.

Ploshchad Revolyutsii

Ploshchad Revolyutsii

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2015 – The year that was..

And another year goes by..

And another year goes by..

Source: http://www.thedailychronic.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/2015-16.jpg

And another year has gone past us. This was the year when I moved back to the Gulf again. I say again since more than half my life has been spent in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. The last 365 days have been quite interesting meeting people from various countries and learning about various cultures.

From a blogging perspective, I continued taking part in various short fiction prompts and challenges like 5 sentence fiction, 100 word fiction, 42 word fiction, 6 word fiction and so on and so forth. These challenges have always been helpful in keeping the creative juices flowing.

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Moscow Diaries: Ice-cream at -10 degrees

Want some ice-cream?

Want some ice-cream?

Source: http://www.guernseycresticecream.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/snow-2013-02-16-0172.jpg

Are you a winter kid who would love to go out for a walk when it’s bone-chilling cold?

It was around -10 degrees in the evening when I was out for one of the City Tours in Moscow. While I had quite a few reservations about handling the cold before I landed in the city, I adapted myself quickly enough with more than enough layers of clothing. While on the tour, all of us decided to head to an ice-cream parlour.

Ice-cream in the middle of winter? You gotta be kidding me. But I must say that this is an experience all ice-cream lovers would truly appreciate ;). That feeling of taking each bite of the ice-cream without worrying about it melting away is priceless.

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Moscow diaries: The walk to the office..

Moscow has one of the oldest and longest tram networks in the world

Moscow has one of the oldest and longest tram networks in the world

As someone had rightly said, the best way to experience any city is by walking through the streets and taking in the sights and sounds all around. While on the first morning, I had asked my colleague to pick me up from the hotel, I decided that from the evening onwards, I would make the 20 minute journey on foot between Правды ул (Pravdy Street) and Лесная ул (Lesnaya street) where my hotel was located.

The barren trees enroute

The barren trees en-route

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Moscow Diaries: The beginning..

View from my hotel room..

View from my hotel room..

привет из Москвы

During school, we have all studied about the Tundra region characterized with shrubs, mosses, pine trees along with dark and gloomy winters full of snow. I had always seen snowfall in movies but as I stepped out of the Domodedovo Airport at the outskirts of Moscow in late November, I immediately got my first experience of how snowfall felt.

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My dream to roam the world..

A travel freak..

A travel freak..

Source: http://travelobservers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Traveler-Christian-Stock-Images.jpg

All of us have dreams and aspirations in our lives. While some of us are doing what we aspire, there are many who aspire to do a particular thing but end up doing something totally different all through their lives. But what if you have the chance to live your dreams and aspirations without any issues of money, family or any other obstacles. Would you live your life differently?

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Book Review – Clear Line of Fire

clear-line-of-fire-275x275-imadgshgnhtyrger
Source: http://img8.flixcart.com/image/book/8/1/3/clear-line-of-fire-275×275-imadgshgnhtyrger.jpeg

‘Clear Line of Fire’ is Badrinath Nuggehalli’s first novel. He has dabbled for many years in advertising and marketing and has also started a marketing consultancy (Aqumena) of his own in Mumbai. This is his first novel. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

For the first time in history, the USA and Russia have perceived a threat from Indian military technology. They must put it down.

Satyan Sharma, a young entrepreneur, dreams of building a world class software powerhouse. His big chance comes when his company is selected to design the ‘brains’ of high – tech artillery to be produced through collaboration between India and Uzbekistan. Neither the USA nor Russia wants third world upstarts in the global arms industry. They deploy their secret services to manipulate corrupt Indian politicians at the highest level and sabotage the project. Satyan and his fiance Rubita, a feisty TV presenter, find themselves in a dangerous hunt – or – be – hunted game. They use wits and guile to shift the battle to the ground they are familiar with – the media and India’s corporate circles. The deadly struggle takes it toll while Satyan and those around him find both physical courage and moral strength put to extreme tests. What price will Satyan have to pay to turn the tables against the establishment in this high – stakes game?

Clear Line of Fire is a fast – paced thriller; the action moving across Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Washington and Moscow as well as the cold mountains of the Kumaon range.

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Book Review – Zero Percentile 2.0

Note: Read this review with the knowledge that I haven’t read ‘Zero Percentile (ZP)’

‘Zero Percentile 2.0’ is Neeraj Chhibba’s sequel to ‘Zero Percentile’ which was a bestseller when it released a couple of years back. Frankly speaking when I got the book from the author, I presumed that it was going to be another college love story, something which has become too common these days in the contemporary Indian literary world. Does it live up to those expectations or traverses a completely different path? Let’s see.

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