sri lanka, colombo, travel, fromthecornertable, black sunday, easter sunday, travel blog, from the corner table

That Week in Sri Lanka

It’s been over a week now since my best girl ‘A’ and I returned from a week-long trip to Sri Lanka. It was the first trip that we had managed to embark on together in the 13 years (or is it more?) that we’ve been friends. There are a lot of hangovers here – of memories, of photographs, of instances. While on…

Memory String 2018 Unravelled #1

It’s been a few days since the giveaway was announced. The winners have been declared and handed over their loot. While in the process of putting together bags for the giveaway winners, I decided to send out a few to friends who’ve been a rock for me in the past year; and some to people who’ve inspired me time and…

From the corner table #fromthecornertable #giveaways #newyear

‘Tis the season to be Jolly!

It’s the holiday season again and for us here at From The Corner Table, it’s a special holiday season; its been a whole year of this wonderful journey of blogging and sharing my experiences and trysts with all of you. And to celebrate it, I just felt like giving out something more than just my words. So, we put together…

fromthecornertable, from the corner table, food shaming, body shaming, fat shaming

Food Shaming is a Reality

It’s the wedding season in town and I’ve been busy attending related functions and receptions. My attendance at these events depends on three factors1) WHO is getting hitched and my relationship with them.2) WHO among my friends or family will be in attendance?3) FOOD! There’s always something interesting about shaadi ka khaana and if the venue is known for good…

fromthecornertable, from the corner table, blogging, blogging benefits

Top 10 Reasons To Blog

A year! Wow! It’s been a year and a few days to that first click on the ‘publish’ button – that click marking the roller coaster ride that From The Corner Table is! Another upload and click sometime today will mark another milestone for the blog – I’ve got a logo that is a visual representation of the idea that…

Kamini Patel, Kitchen Therapy, #fromthecornertable, #kitchentherapy

Finding Therapy in Pots and Pans

I was all of 18 when I marked the first international trip of my life. It was with the elder sister Raka, and we flew to Bangkok where she was pursuing a Masters’ degree. We stayed in her boarding room, part of a two-room unit with a shared bathroom and kitchenette. My first memory of that trip – other than…

Capturing Food in Art Frames

One of my biggest concerns, when the blog was taking off five months ago, was photographs. I could manage the touristy/birthday photos with my little camera. But I needed better. While I was struggling with these issues and hoping I could get the blog rolling on time, someone told me that an “awesome” photographer was about to conduct a food styling…

Tea time tête-à-tête

This is the tale of a young princess, a little packet, a treasure chest and a childhood dream of unravelling tales stored in a trunk.

This is the tale of the princess who turned her passion and love for the little packet into a lucrative business.

This is the tale of Snigdha Manchanda, corporate slave-turned-tea sommelier and teapreneur, who is among the handful of people working to guide a nation of chai lovers towards understanding their teas better.

Those of you who’ve been with me for a while might remember my post ‘Tale of three teas’ when I had attempted three tea recipes. I’ve come a long way since. While my love for coffee remains unparalleled, I am now learning to appreciate tea. More after a visit to a tea estate in Munnar, Kerala, and a fun meet-and-greet session with Snigdha in Ahmedabad.

Snigdha’s is not a rags-to-riches story nor is it a saga of a battle-against-evils. Her story is more of a journey that started when her father gifted the young Snigdha his old trunk and a packet of tea that she stored in her precious trunk. This tea packet was joined by several others from across the globe – at one point she owned 100 types of tea – fanning her love for tea. A sabbatical from work, an interest in tea translating into training at a school in Sri Lanka led to Snigdha becoming India’s youngest tea sommelier in 2012.

Since then, through her passion and persistence, the now 33-year-old has shattered the ‘rules’ of the tea industry where, unlike her male counterparts, she has had to prove her ability and efficiency time and again. After all, one does not become a trendsetter with a company like Tea Trunk that curates ‘the finest teas of India and craft them into unique blends with all-natural ingredients without shooting down the odds.

Excerpts from a chat over chai with Snigdha Manchanda, tea sommelier and owner of Tea Trunk

from the corner table , #fromthecornertable

“50 Countries and Counting”

I first heard about him when a friend and I were doing trial runs for the blog, sharing them with a select group of people for feedback. “He is an avid traveller. He used to blog too but it’s been a while since he wrote,” said Rem, explaining why his inputs on this blog would be helpful. “He has travelled to at least 50 countries and more. He is spending the New Year in Sri Lanka,” she added.

“Wait! What? Fifty countries at 33 and he has managed that while he works? Are you kidding me! How? Is travelling his job? Can he get me a job like his? Which places has he travelled to? How does he decide on his travel destinations? Where is he off to next?” Part jealous and part amazed, I sent a volley of questions Rem’s way, wondering how someone so young has managed to achieve a traveller’s dream while balancing his professional life. I was impressed.

Well aware of the way my mind works – and probably a little irritated by my questions – Rem decided to connect me with Varun so I could pepper him with questions, from one traveller to another.

What does a girl who has travelled to just a handful of places and only recently made her debut as a solo traveller ask a veteran solo traveller? A lot apparently, ranging from the obvious to the philosophical, including the million-dollar question “What does travelling give you.”

Here are bits and pieces from an hour-long conversation that turned out to be a treasure trove of information and inspiration.

Bansari Pandey | Copyright Image | From The Corner Table

Painting Stories in a New Language

One of my resolutions for 2018 is to get a better grip on my mother tongue, Bengali. While I can converse in the language, I cannot read or write in it and that creates a feeling of disconnect. There is also a lot of literature in Bengali that I am missing out on and the bookworm in me bemoans that.…