2017 - One of the Best Years for My Blog

In this blog post, I cover my blogging accomplishments in the year 2017.


The last year was in all probability one of the best years for my blog in terms of its reach, influence, and engagement. From being featured as one of the Top 5 Lifestyle Bloggers in the country (courtesy: Better Homes and Gardens Lifestyle Magazine in association with Social Samosa) to being invited to present at international conferences such as the STC Summit in Washington, 2017 was nothing short of a miracle.

Last year I wrote 60 stories on my blog, that is five stories per month on an average. Besides that, I was interviewed twice on TV - first, on NDTV Good Times for their show 'Britannia Nutrichoice presents Diabetic Food Trail', and then on Delhi Aaj Tak for their feature on the 'Nawabi Food Festival' at Ardor 2.1 Restaurant and Lounge in Connaught Place, New Delhi.



I was the official blogger for the second edition of the Serendipity Arts Festival, India's biggest multidisciplinary arts festival that brings together some of the finest names from the world of craft, music, theater, dance, culinary arts, visual arts, and photography.



 The festival took place along the banks of the river Mandovi in Panaji, Goa last year from December 15 to December 22.


I covered the third edition of the PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3) held at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi, from July 26 to July 28. The JBC 3 tournament is pegged as the biggest national open-platform for promoting badminton at the grassroots level for school children, including the underprivileged. Over the years, the tournament has grown significantly and hosted over 15,000 children cumulatively from all three seasons.

New post on my blog: Are you ready for the Grand Finale of the 3rd PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3)? URL: http://www.rahulprabhakar.com/2017/07/are-you-ready-for-grand-finale-of-3rd.html Excerpt: In this blog post, I cover the third edition of the PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3), which is currently underway at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex, New Delhi, from July 26 to July 28, 2017. The sports event is sponsored by PNB MetLife, one of India's leading life insurance companies and organized by SARA Foundation, an organization for the promotion of Sports, Education and Culture (SEC) globally. For more updates, follow @rahulprabhakar ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #PlayForHappiness #winning #badminton #workout #instasport #training #instasports #excercise #gametime #active #jbc #jbc3 #fan #fit #fun #win #fitness #shuttle #fans #game #pass #racquet #sports #pnbmetlife #crowd #games #sport #throw #delhi
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That wasn't all!

My blog was listed as one of the Top 300 blogs in the 7th edition of the Directory of Best Indian Blogs, published every year since 2011. Yours truly also featured among the Top 200 Outstanding Content Experience Strategists for 2017.


I will fondly remember 2017 for two major international conferences I was privileged to be a part of. In May, I was invited to present a paper on 'How Social Media Can Be Part of Your Set of Technical Communication Skills' at the 64th STC Summit in Washington, DC.


Two months later, I was part of the media delegation at RISE 2017, which was held in Hong Kong from July 11 to July 13. RISE is produced by the same team that is behind the Web Summit. In six short years, Web Summit has become Europe's largest tech conference which last year attracted 53,000 attendees from 136 countries around the world.


I felt a great sense of accomplishment last year to see my name in print. My article on 'How social media can be part of your set of tc skills' was published in the July edition of the tcworld magazine, tekom's English language magazine on international information management. I was also featured in ET Panache - the lifestyle supplement of The Economic Times, published on August 25, 2017.


In several ways, last year was all about pushing boundaries and exploring my real potential. I conducted a half-day training on Influencer Marketing in April to a small yet engaged audience.


The success of this training encouraged me to conduct another half-day training - on Media Relations this time - at Chicco India's head office in Gurgaon on August 1, 2017. Chicco is a premium Italian brand with nearly sixty years of worldwide expertise, offering a wide range of baby products in India related to feeding, baby toiletries, travel, toys, etc.

New post on my blog: Wherever There's A Baby, There's Chicco URL: http://www.rahulprabhakar.com/2017/09/wherever-theres-baby-theres-chicco.html Excerpt: In this blog post, I cover Chicco - one of the biggest global baby care brands from Italy. I know of a young couple who had a visit from the stork recently and were running from pillar to post inquiring about baby products. It instantly reminded me of the time when I had my first child (and more specifically of my struggles back then in truly understanding his psychophysical, emotional, and social needs). Even though there are a plethora of baby products available in the market right now, as a parent you're always going back and forth in terms of deciding what will work for your baby. Since the first few years are vital for the growth of children, it is important we choose the best products for them; products that are reliable, tested thoroughly in state-of-the-art research labs, and consulted/recommended by experts. Chicco offers an entire range of innovative products* for babies, who are in the 0 to 36-month range. As a brand, they believe in offering the same global product experience to all their consumers across the globe. Yours truly was invited to see these products firsthand at Chicco's corporate office in Gurgaon, which also houses an exclusive brand store. It was here that I discovered the world's first Anti-Hiccup Teat, Trio System stroller, and Bee Hive projector. For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ
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Here is a recap of the year gone by for me.

January

In the month of January, I wrote a blog post on Prankster, which is India's first food and brewery campus. I also wrote three detailed stories on Pier 38 Bar and Kitchen, Soi 7 Pub and Brewery, and Circus.

My Instagram followers were agog over my posts on Cafe Gatherings, Nosh, Agent Jack's Bidding Bar, Warehouse Cafe, Flying Saucer Cafe, Chocolate Desire, Smokey's BBQ and Grill, 18+ Cafe and Lounge, Feel Alive, Noorjahan restaurant, Farzi Cafe, etc.

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I covered the sixth edition of the World Children Expo, India's first integrated children event, which since 2012 has attracted over 100,000 visitors and marquee children brands such as Disney, Cartoon Network, POGO, ZeeQ, Nickelodeon, Discovery Channel Networks, Microsoft Xbox, etc.

The highlight of January was a chance meeting with MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor and a visit to Anna Maya Delhi, India's first European food hall promoting mindful eating.


February

February was a rather slow month as far as the blog was concerned. I only managed to publish two stories on the blog; however, my Instagram page was abuzz over my coverage of F&B properties like Khaaja Chowk, Nukkad Cafe, Guppy, t Lounge by Dilmah, Cafe Southall, Vega, Paan Singh, Goldfinch Hotel, Nariyal Cafe, Zaffran, Norenj, Brauhaus, Butterfly Lounge and Bar, etc.


I blogged about Pling, which is the most vibrant lux-lounge at Pullman New Delhi. My second blog post in February was about a tea tasting session hosted by Teamonk Global at the DLF Club 5 in Gurgaon.

@teamonkglobal I was ecstatic to participate in a tea tasting session hosted by Teamonk Global today at the DLF Club 5 in Gurgaon. One of the biggest reasons for me to be a part of this session was to know more about the specialty teas from the Teamonk brand. The session was an eye-opener of sorts - as tea specialists from the company trained us on the tea basics, food pairing, blending, and most importantly, the history and health benefits of tea. For me, the best part of the session was the unveiling of Valentine's Collection by Teamonk Global. These are customized gift packs, lovingly crafted just for tea lovers. And the timing could not have been apter! Just the perfect Valentine's gift for your loved ones. My recommendation would be to try out the new Azaya Rose Tea with the exquisite Signature Pottery collection. It's the ideal handpicked teaware collection for the choicest tea. The purity, rich aroma, quality, and peerless taste of whole leaf teas were further demonstrated through the Pyramid Tea Bags, which I absolutely loved btw! During the tasting session, I developed a particular liking for the white tea which is both hand rolled as well as sundried. It contains antioxidant properties which are good both for your skin and digestion. I also enjoyed sipping the spearmint and jasmine green teas. The brewing of oolong and black teas was a fun exercise! Finally, Teamonk Global offers tea from exclusive gardens in India - the eastern home of spirituality - where the organically grown tea leaves are plucked with great love and precision by artisan tea pluckers, processed with great attention to detail by craftsmen, and packaged in the best manner to preserve its freshness and delivered to customers in record time. I'm so glad the transition from coffee to tea is taking place in our country right now; slowly yet surely companies like Teamonk will play a pivotal role in making people feel healthier about the lifestyle choices they're making this year. #ForLoveOfTea #TeaTastingWithTeamonk #ValentinesDayGiftGuide #ValentinesDayGift
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I was the official blogger at the Lloyd Palate Fest 2017. It was during the course of this festival that I'd met Chef Sabyasachi Gorai (a.k.a. Chef Saby).

I did a sponsored Instagram post for 'Rent a Closet', a site that allows you to choose from a wide variety of luxury designer brands of national and international repute.


In February, I attended the only Indiblogger meet held in Delhi last year to promote Berger Express Painting. I also traveled to Bangalore to be a part of the Seventh Annual tcworld India Conference that took place on February 23–24 at ITC Gardenia.


I promoted Zurie Design Studio, a luxury marketplace for ethnic and handcrafted artificial jewelry when they'd launched their first outlet in February at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Paschim Vihar.


The highlight of February was a gala 'Dine with Royalty' event hosted at the Embassy of Belgium on February 25. The event showcased the culinary delights of India with the members and representatives from 50 erstwhile royal families of India and about 20 embassy representatives. Food from the Rampur and Kangra royal kitchens was served, followed by an enthralling session of soulful music by Nizami Brothers, reliving the magic of the era gone by.

Nizami Brothers in action ๐Ÿ˜‰ A preview event to announce a gala 'Dine With Royalty' event, showcasing culinary delights of India with the heads of the erstwhile Royal families of India playing host in October this year, was hosted at the Embassy of Begium on Feb 25, 2017. Members and representatives from 50 erstwhile Royal families of India and about 20 embassy representatives attended this showcase event where food from the Rampur and Kangra Royal kitchens was served, followed by an enthralling session of soulful music by Nizami Brothers, reliving the magic of the era gone by. A panel discussion on "Royal cuisines of India: historical perspective and insight" was chaired by eminent food expert Sourish Bhattacharya, along with panelists: Pushpesh Pant, food historian; Neha Prasada, author of “Dining with the Maharajas: A Thousand Years of Culinary Tradition”; Sonal Saxena, co-founder, eatwithIndia; Nawab Kazmi Ali Khan, Nawab of Rampur; and Tikaraj Aishwarya Chandra Katoch, 489th descendant of the royal Katoch clan. The discussion explored and shared cultural insights into the food coming out of royal kitchens and demystified heavily guarded traditions. The event was graced by the presence of well known guests: Mr. V.P. Singh Badnore, Governor of Punjab; Indian painter sculptor Mr. Satish Gujral & Ms. Kiran Gujral; political figure Mr. Naresh Gujral & Ms. Anjali Gujral; Raja Randhir Singh from the royal family of Patiala; MP Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy & Ms. Neelam Pratap Rudy; Maharani Uma Devi Jadhav of the Gwalior royal family; Mr. Jiggs Kalra, the “czar of Indian cuisine”. Special merchandise comprising of a range of spices mixes, pickles and preserves from the royal kitchen of India and well known chefs from across the country under the label of eatwithIndia was also launched to invoke the magic of regional cuisines in home cooking. #dinewithroyalty #culinary #royalfamilies #royalfamily #embassy #Belgium #India #Delhi #Rampur #Kangra #eatwithIndia #chandelier #food #music #tradition #culture
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March

In March, I covered the Yin and Yang festival at the Empress of China restaurant in Eros Hotel Delhi. Through this food promotion activity, I got a bird's eye view of the Cantonese and Sichuan cuisines.

I also wrote a blog post on Taksim, which offers the best of world cuisine, with a special focus on Turkish and Indian food.

I was the official blogger at the 12th Culinary Art India event where more than 300 national level senior and apprentice chefs had participated to exhibit their culinary skills to the public.

More than 300 chefs participated to present the culinary excellence at 12th Culinary Art India ๐Ÿ˜‰ Indian Culinary Forum, Hospitality First and ITPO in association with the apex body and IFCA presents its 5-day battle of chefs at '12th Culinary Art India, 2017', organized alongside AAHAR International Fair at Pragati Maidan, Hall No 14. Culinary Art India marks the participation of around 300 national level senior and apprentice chefs including 14 entries from Chennai, exhibiting their culinary skills to the general public. The prime objective of the CAI is to establish a professional platform where culinary professionals across India could display their individual and combined skills, creative talent, learn and share the experiences. The event saw the culinary skills of chefs in Authentic Indian Regional Cuisine, Three Course Set Dinner Menu, Chocolate Mania, Artistic Pastry Showpiece and Fruit and Vegetable Carving, Plated Appetizers, Three Tier Wedding Cake, Artistic Bakery Showpiece, Contemporary Sushi Platter, Plated Desserts, Petit Fours and Pralines, Dress The cake, Mocktails, etc. This platform is to create awareness about the profession of chefs and felicitate the achievers in this profession. Renowned chefs from across India and abroad will participate in the event as honorary Guests and Juries. Chef Willment Leong from Thailand is presiding as the Chairperson of the jury in this year’s competitions along with chefs from across India including Chef Abhiru Biswas (Mumbai), Chef Nilesh Limaya (Mumbai), Chef Mohan Krishnan (Chennai), and Chef Boopesh Pichaimani (Chennai). Chef Willment Leong is Chairman of World Chefs without Borders, Founder Chairman of Thailand Culinary Academy and Vice President of Thailand Chefs Association. #bakery #sweet #delicious #yum #desserts #sugar #bakedgoods #baked #love #instafood #foodporn #cafe #์นดํŽ˜ #ใ‚ซใƒ•ใ‚ง #vscocam #๋จน์Šคํƒ€๊ทธ๋žจ #instagood #ใ‚ณใƒผใƒ’ใƒผ #ใƒฉใƒณใƒ #์ผ์ƒ #foodie #instadaily #happy #sweets #travel #yummy #dessert #art #design #food
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I covered the first edition of the Arunachal Pradesh Tourism Conclave at Hotel Leela Palace, Delhi.


On my Instagram page, I promoted premium tea blends and tisanes from Rangsaa.

The concept of healthy, nutritious tea goes way beyond the popular green tea or flavored tea bags. A fitness and wellness movement, Rangsaa operates in a unique space. With all-natural ingredients curated to transform and energize, Rangsaa is all about complex and novel layers of flavors, undertones, and aromas. Rangsaa's tea blends and tisanes are the result of a precise and careful selection of evocative herbs with proven health benefits, designed for the modern tea drinker. The blends are multi-versatile, finding use in cooking, nutritious drinks, and healthy cocktails. Rangsaa brings to you a product that not just tastes amazing, but also looks absolutely amazing. @rangsaa_tea #tea #healthy #drink #morning #cup #mug #teapot #delicious #chai #teacup #afternoontea #detox #happy #goodmorning #tealover #teavana #icedtea #cocktails #drinks #cocktail #goodtimes #instagood #teatime #love #sweet #ั‡ะฐะน #รงay #yummy #cuppa #instafood
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Other F&B properties promoted on Instagram included the likes of Biryani Art, Mother India, Me Kong Bowl, Cafe Sweet Obsession, Old School Brewhouse, AMPM, Sushi Haus, Papaya, The Classroom, Nukkadwala, India On My Plate restaurant at Fortune Select Excalibur Hotel, etc. I also promoted the "All You Can Eat" menu from Johnny Rockets.

The highlight of March was a B2B roadshow organized by the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. Through my social posts, I was able to introduce new initiatives, experiences, and attractions that Kerala has in store for visitors.

A standout international accolade for Kerala Tourism was the ‘Best Stand Feature’ at the World Trade Market, London. The showpiece display, themed around Kerala’s fabled snake-boat races, included spectacular snake-boat replicas as well as video and images of a ‘vallam kali’. The pavilion wowed visitors and judges alike; one of the latter remarking that it made them “want to go to Kerala just to see the action”. Within India too, Kerala Tourism was a prominent winner, returning from the prestigious National Tourism Awards with a rich haul. The string of innovative measures helped it sweep three of the six marketing categories for states. Two more awards including one for Responsible Tourism (RT) and seven awards won by its trade partners swelled the kitty to 12. #kerala #tourism #travel #tourist #trip #traveling #instatravel #vacation #holiday #travelgram #beautiful #tour #instagood #city #wanderlust #visiting #sightseeing #traveler #instatraveling #instago #mytravelgram #ุณูŠุงุญุฉ #ั‚ัƒั€ะธะทะผ #backwaters #ayurveda #medicaltourism #dance #food
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Another highlight was the coverage of Namaste Thailand Festival 2017 from March 3 to 5 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India.


April

In April, I wrote a blog post on Nagai, a new fine-dining property in Gurgaon that specializes in contemporary Japanese cuisine and Sake bar.

My second blog post was about Baris, a new fine-dining restaurant where you can experience authentic and traditional Turkish cuisine blended in deep Mediterranean flavors.

Kuzu Inzik (Lamb Shank) at BARIS ๐Ÿ˜Š BARIS is a new authentic Mediterranean restaurant in Greater Kailash Delhi created to provide a rejuvenating fine-dining experience. Located in the heart of the city, this experience based restaurant takes you on a gastronomical journey to the land of the crescent moon, with scrupulous attention to detail, food created with the intention to represent the entire Mediterranean landmass and peace which naturally belongs to BARIS. The dynamic food of BARIS can be relished in both fine-dining section and laidback lounge. The place adopts its name from the Turkish word for 'peace', BarฤฑลŸ, and it truly is a peaceful Epicurean retreat from the noise of the city. Living up to its name, BARIS attempts to serve peace layer by layer; first through its ambience, second through its divine food and third through the feeling of ecstatic contentment that you experience only after spending time at BARIS. #mediterranean #food #foodporn #delicious #photooftheday #turkish #turkey #instafood #yummy #dinner #foodie #yum #outdoor #fun #ใ‚ขใ‚ฆใƒˆใƒ‰ใ‚ข #photoshoot #instagood #picoftheday #view #vscocam #shooting #happy #explore #finedining #restaurant #chef #gourmet #cuisine #foodstagram #foodgasm
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The third blog post I published was about the AMPM Cafe and Bar, which offers innovative casual and comfort food, taking into account the best of Continental, American, Mexican, Italian, and Indian fusion cuisines.

My fourth blog post was about Jom Jom Malay, the first Malaysian restaurant of its kind to open up in the newly resuscitated Ansal Plaza, Khel Gaon Marg, Delhi.

Malaysia meets India at Jom Jom Malay ๐Ÿ˜‰ Asian cuisine has always left a big indelible mark on foodies across the country, and Delhi is no exception. While we have seen a number of Oriental restaurants ruling the roost, over the years, Japanese, Thai and (my favorite) Korean restaurants have come up, reflecting the growing appetite for cuisine from these regions. To add to this existing cache is Jom Jom Malay, Delhi's first Malaysian restaurant, conveniently located at the new-look Ansal Plaza Delhi. The name reflects the fun element that the restaurant hopes to replicate ๐Ÿ˜„ #malay #malaysia #malaysian #asian #food #foodporn #cuisine #malaysianfood #instafood #foodie #foodstagram #asianfood #yummy #delicious #foodlover #foodgasm #dinner #lunch #vscocam #foodpic #chicken #malayfood #foodoftheday #foodphotography #foodies #malaysianstyle #vscofood #eat #localfood #vsco
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One of my favorite posts in April featured Andrea's Eatery, a modern yet classic European bistro in the heart of Select Citywalk mall, Delhi.

I also wrote about the much-awaited sixth edition of India Internet Day, held on April 7 at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi.

On my Instagram page, I promoted F&B properties like The Junction, Bronx Brewery and Bar Exchange, Uncultured Cafe and Bar, The GT Road, Chai Point, etc.


The highlight of April was the magnificent Kolkata Food Festival, organized at the Dilli 32 restaurant of The Leela Ambience Delhi Convention Hotel. Patrons like myself visit the hotel time and again just to get a touch of class and grandeur, and festivals like these provide all the more reason to be there.

May

In the month of May, I traveled to the US to present a paper on 'How Social Media Can Be Part of Your Set of Technical Communication Skills' at the 64th STC Summit in Washington, DC. I also accepted the Gold Community Award on behalf of the STC India Chapter from Adriane Hunt (immediate past president of the STC) and Alyssa Fox (current president of the STC) at the Honors Reception.


June

In June, I wrote a blog post on Lady Baga, Olive's newest kid on the block which is thoroughly Goan in spirit, at heart, and in kitchen - a place so quirky, you just cannot afford to miss!

I also reviewed a new boutique club called BED, located in the busy N Block market of Greater Kailash 1 Delhi.


On my Instagram page, I promoted F&B properties like Rule the Rolls, Jamie's Pizzeria, etc.

The highlight of June was an invitation by the Best Western Resort Country Club in Manesar.

July

In July, I wrote a series of three blog posts covering the Grand Finale of the 3rd PNB MetLife Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3) as an official blogger. The sports event was sponsored by PNB MetLife, one of India's leading life insurance companies and organized by SARA Foundation, an organization for the promotion of Sports, Education and Culture (SEC) globally.

In conversation with Ashwini Ponnappa, an Indian badminton player who represents the country at the international badminton circuit in both the women's and mixed doubles disciplines. Ashwani was the Guest of Honor at the Grand Finale of the 3rd Junior Badminton Championship (JBC 3) at the Thyagaraj Stadium. She has a successful partnership with Jwala Gutta as the pair have won many medals in international events including a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a historic bronze at the World Championships. The pair have also been consistently ranked among the top 20 in the BWF World Ranking reaching as high as no. 10. Ponnappa alongside Gutta won the bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in 2011 becoming the first Indian pair and women and only the second overall to win a medal at the worlds. For more updates, follow @rahulprabhakar ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #PlayForHappiness #winning #badminton #workout #instasport #training #instasports #excercise #gametime #active #jbc #jbc3 #fan #fit #fun #win #fitness #shuttle #fans #game #pass #racquet #sports #pnbmetlife #crowd #games #sport #throw #delhi
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I reviewed the Hawaiian theme brunch at Pavilion 75, WelcomHotel Dwarka's stylish round-the-clock restaurant.

Other F&B properties reviewed on the blog were Instapizza (a new pizza delivery concept with stores across Gurgaon, Delhi, and Noida), Majeed's (a new Mughlai takeaway and delivery outlet in Gurgaon), and two unique ice-cream cafes by the name of Fumo Creams and Ice Pan Creamery.


I covered the 8th Jagran Film Festival held at the Siri Fort Auditorium, Delhi from July 1 to 5. It was here that I got to meet Rishi Kapoor, famous Indian film actor, producer, and director known for his works in Hindi cinema.

I wrote a sponsored post on Artisans, Dwarka's first premium concept salon, makeup studio and academy, which was launched on July 9.


I was part of the media delegation at RISE 2017, which was held in Hong Kong from July 11 to 13. RISE is the largest and most exciting tech conference in Asia.

I covered the Delhi Regional Casting of Elite Model Look India 2017 and interviewed jury which included the likes of Supermodel Diandra Soares, model and actor Marc Robinson, fashion editor Vinod Nair, and fashion designer Rina Dhaka.


The highlight of July was my coverage of the International Street Food Fiesta at Mosaic - a multi-cuisine, all-day dining restaurant located in the lobby of Crowne Plaza hotel in Rohini, New Delhi.

August

In August, I was swamped with blogging projects from Trabug (India's first travel phone available to inbound tourists for rent, with delivery and pickup included), Pitstop BrewPub by SMAAASH (a new bar and restaurant with a microbrewery in Sector 29 Gurgaon), Chaayos (one of the most cherished Chai Cafe brands in Delhi-NCR), Hyper Local (a new multistoried thematic restaurant in SDA market, Delhi), Sasuraal (an Indian specialty restaurant in Sector 29 Gurgaon), and Sumeru Classiques Paratha 2.0 (a new range of frozen parathas from Innovative Foods Limited, one of the Top 4 Frozen Food Brands in the country).


I interviewed the gorgeous Mrs. Earth 2015 winner Priyanka Khurana Goyal at Khwaish - The Rav Fashions exhibition. Priyanka represented India at the Mrs. Earth 2015 pageant at the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa on October 18, 2015. The pageant hosted contestants from 20 countries, who participated in various rounds like personal interview, evening gown, and high fashion modeling.

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The highlight of August was meeting and interviewing the star cast of the Bollywood flick, Baadshaho, including Ajay Devgn, Ileana D'Cruz, Emraan Hashmi, and Esha Gupta. Baadshaho was a period heist action thriller set in the emergency era of 1975-77, written by Rajat Arora and directed and co-produced by Milan Luthria.


Another highlight was my coverage of Kidzania, a global indoor theme park for families that emulates the workings of a real city built-to-scale for kids.

September

In September, I did a story on Trend Bar and Kitchen - a newly opened casual dining restaurant in Ansal Plaza Delhi. This was followed by a feature on Wildfire, the only Brazilian Churrascaria in North India.

On my Instagram page, I posted about a chance meeting with Masterchef Vikas Khanna, who I met at the 'Cook for Smile' event, organized in support of Nutrition for Children.

I also posted about a High Tea Party with Chef Saransh Goila (courtesy: Olives From Spain) at Villa Serenity. Not only did I learn how to marinade olives using Indian condiments such as Idli Gunpowder (Molagapodi), it was a culinary treat to see Chef Saransh teach how to cook two mouth-watering Indian recipes namely Olives and Jackfruit Birjani and Mustard Prawns with Olive Rice Poha.

I also attended exclusive launch events for brands like MyTravelPie, 3X3 'Road to Mexico' basketball, Wonderchef (for their first brand store in North India), Housefull (Ramola Bachchan's Home Decor Show), ASUS 'Beyond The Edge' (to launch ZenBook UX430 - the thinnest-ever ZenBook with discrete graphics and VivoBook S15 - their latest flagship mainstream notebook), etc.


I attended the launch event of the Pop Smart TV, a 'Make in India' initiative from leading Smart TV manufacturer VU Luxury Televisions. At the event, Devita Saraf, CEO and Design Head at VU Luxury Televisions, announced a quiz contest. Up for grabs was a brand new 43" Pop Smart TV worth ₹ 41,999. And guess what, who was declared the winner? Who else but yours truly!

The highlight of September was my coverage of two leading food festivals - the Sizzlers and Beer Festival at Olive Bistro Gurgaon and the Dakshin Food Festival at Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini.

Another highlight was my coverage of Chicco - one of the biggest global baby care brands from Italy.

October

In October, I wrote a blog post on Gola Sizzlers - Delhi's Oldest Sizzler Makers.

This month one of my favorite restaurants at The Bristol - Palmyra - was relaunched after undergoing a massive revamp. To kick things off in style, Executive Chef Anil Dahiya hosted an exclusive Masterclass for patrons at Palmyra. I covered the masterclass and wrote a blog post on Palmyra - the all-day dining multi-cuisine restaurant at The Bristol.

New post on my blog: A Day at Palmyra - The All-day Dining Multi-cuisine Restaurant at The Bristol URL: http://www.rahulprabhakar.com/2017/10/a-day-at-palmyra-all-day-dining-multi.html Excerpt: In this blog post, I cover Palmyra, the all-day dining multi-cuisine restaurant at The Bristol, Gurugram. Did you know that The Bristol is just a few blocks away from where I live? Hailed as a landmark of royalty, comfort, and elegance, the hotel has over the years emerged as a pioneer among luxury deluxe hotels in Gurugram. Revered by business and leisure travelers alike and complemented with a variety of restaurants and a 24-hour coffee shop, The Bristol has continued to be my preferred foodie destination for many years in a row. #palmyra #favorite #fooddiary #foodie #foodblogger #love #foodblog #foodstagram #sharefood #foodisfuel #tagsta #getinmybelly #foodspotting #dessert #tagsta_food #foodphotography #foods #foodies #foodgram #foodart #foodshare #fastfood #foodforthought #yumyum #stuffed #foodlove #foodpic #foodlover #beautiful #foodcoma
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I also wrote blog posts on Mr. Mamagoto (Mamagoto's new cousin in town who's slightly sophisticated still fully quirky), Twist (a vibrant Pan-Asian Bistro located in DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon), Oh So Stoned! (a new dessert parlor in DLF Cyber Hub Gurgaon), and Arriba (Delhi's first Mexican Grill and Tequilieria).

New post on my blog: Mr. Mamagoto - Classic Quirk For The Real Urban Hipsters URL: http://www.rahulprabhakar.com/2017/10/mr-mamagoto-classic-quirk-for-real.html Excerpt: In this blog post, I cover Mr. Mamagoto, Mamagoto's new cousin in town who's slightly sophisticated still fully quirky. Since 2009, Azure Hospitality Private Limited has aimed to create leading businesses within the food and beverage and accommodation sectors. They continue to churn out one after the other value-driven signature brands, each with a distinct mix of cutting-edge design, intrinsic quality, and international appeal. From Pan Asian cafe (Mamagoto) to Punjabi themed restaurant (Dhaba), from QSR (Rollmaal/Speedychow) to boutique/institutional catering (Mamapati), Azure has a collection of individual characters, setting it apart amongst the competition. In keeping with the tradition of excellence, Azure Hospitality now presents a brand extension to its flagship brand Mamagoto. A new cousin to the more young/playful Mamagoto, Mr. Mamagoto is a bespoke, finely curated Asian brasserie serving posh hawker food for a niche audience of smart urban people who are "in the know". #mrmamagoto #favorite #fooddiary #foodie #foodblogger #love #foodblog #foodstagram #sharefood #foodisfuel #tagsta #getinmybelly #foodspotting #dessert #tagsta_food #foodphotography #foods #foodies #foodgram #foodart #foodshare #fastfood #foodforthought #yumyum #stuffed #foodlove #foodpic #foodlover #beautiful #foodcoma
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Apart from the F&B stories, I also shared my perspective on Vodafone's super initiatives for the betterment of Delhi-NCR and Cashify, which is the best online platform to sell your old or used gadgets.

My Instagram page was abuzz over the coverage of Lager N Barrel Festival (hailed as Gurgaon’s first music and beer festival, sponsored by Gaana.com and Carling -Britain's favorite lager). Other promotions in October included a masterclass on the newest fashion trends for women by Priyanka Kapadia, Senior Fashion Editor, Vogue India at the overview of Massimo Dutti Autumn-Winter 2017 Collection. The event was held at the Massimo Dutti store in DLF Mall of India.


I interviewed Yangdup Lama (mixologist and entrepreneur who heads Cocktails & Dreams, Speakeasy, one of the best bars in Gurgaon) and Parul Pratap (professional food stylist and food blogger) who curated special cocktails at Molecule, the official bar partner for Asian Hawkers Market last year.


The highlight of October was covering the Tomorrow's India Global Summit - an annual summit which sparks your imagination, inspires empathy, celebrates art, culture, and history, bridges the familiar with the unfamiliar, promotes business ideas, empowers knowledge, and enlivens young intellectual minds. Basically, a summit that encourages you to think for a 'Better India, Better Future'.

Have you ever been to a summit which sparks your imagination, inspires empathy, celebrates art, culture and history, bridges the familiar with the unfamiliar, promotes business ideas, empowers knowledge, and enlivens young intellectual minds? Basically, a summit that encourages you to think for a ‘Better India, Better Future’. The third edition of Tomorrow’s India Global Summit in New Delhi brought together likeminded folks from different walks of life on a common platform, with the intent to dialogue and discuss 15 key issues of national interest that would help to engage and drive change for a better tomorrow. Tomorrow’s India is managed by Global Social (India) Foundation, a not-for-profit company. Incorporated on August 24, 2015, it is classified as an Indian non-government company, registered with the Registrar of Companies, Delhi. Tomorrow’s India Global Summit provides a platform for knowledge sharing – with experts from Technology, Indian Cinema, Human Rights, Philanthropy, etc. sharing their vision for tomorrow. The first of its kind event took place on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at Siri Fort auditorium from 10 am to 10 pm, and was curated by Tomorrow’s India, a leading public interest organization. The one-day ‘global’ summit was graced by 40 experts from the fields of economy, science and technology, cinema, human rights, law, sports and culture, journalism, food, farming, philanthropy, and so on. The grand event was inaugurated by Satyadev Pachauri, who is an Indian politician and Minister of Khadi, Village Industries, Sericulture, Textile, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises and Export Promotion in the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Among the eminent speakers were: · Arun Shourie – Indian economist, journalist, author and politician · Rama Subramaniam Gandhi – Retired Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India · Chetan Bhagat – Indian author, columnist, screenwriter, television personality and motivational speaker · Harish Iyer – Activist for several causes, including promoting the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, children, women, animals, and survivors of child sexual abuse
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Another highlight was my talk on 'Don't Quit Your Job To Travel' at the 4th edition of #JustGoDelhi. This event was organized by F5 Escapes on October 14 at the Kunzum Travel Cafe.

"I quit my job to travel & here's how I did it" series of articles have been making rounds in this internet world in the last couple of years. At the 4th edition of Just Go in Delhi, there is a twist! We are calling out all the amazing people who have been traveling, exploring new places all around the world without having to sacrifice their job! Wait, "Is the sacrifice really necessary?" "Can I do both without losing charm at both ends?" Do you have questions about managing the best of both worlds? Hear it from experts who have been there, doing it. Date: 14th October, Saturday, 5 pm - 7 pm Venue: Kunzum Travel Cafe ENTRY FREE!  Please confirm your attendance by filling this form: https://goo.gl/forms/1lPOqS4CW1Xx0qiJ3 SPEAKER LINE-UP #1 Philippa Kaye, Managing Director of Indian Experiences and author of a travel-related blog, Memsahib in India, has made a career out of travel. By the time she was 26, she had been a ski bum in the French Alps, a walking guide in the mountains of Austria, a scuba dive salesperson in the south of France (by day) and a restaurant manager in the South of France by night, a resort rep in Corfu and a resort manager in Whistler, British Columbia. She then discovered India. Since then, she has traveled extensively around India, the Indian Ocean Islands, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan and not only that, she has been paid to do it! #2 Rahul Prabhakar is a full-time blogger and social media influencer from Delhi, who writes at 'When The Muse Strikes!'. He is extremely passionate about traveling; in fact, if he had it his way, he would like to globetrot for life. Rahul loves taking unplanned road trips with his wife and two tiny tots, who also share the same passion for exploring uncharted territories. Outside India, Rahul has lived in South Korea for 7 years and has traveled to 10 other countries as well, both for work and leisure, including the US, the UK, the UAE, Netherlands, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Italy. #3 Abhinav Singh After working in a corporate job for 7yrs, a trek to Everest Base Camp cleared many things for Abhinav. He has been traveling since 2008, mostly as a solo traveler.
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November

In November, I wrote blog posts on Burma Burma (a new, wholesome and innovative casual dining Burmese restaurant in Gurgaon), SodaBottleOpenerWala (your Quintessential Bombay Irani Cafรฉ and Bar), Gung The Palace (a casual dining restaurant in Sector 29, Gurgaon), Nueva (a new South American/Peruvian fine-dining restaurant in Delhi), TGI Friday's (an American restaurant chain focused on casual dining), and Saints 'N' Sinners (a new restro-bar in Global Foyer Mall, Golf Course Road, Gurgaon).

November started on a wonderful note as I was chosen as the official blogger for the 'Delhi Times Lifestyle Week 2017' held in association with Kohler and Panasonic Beauty.


I interviewed the crรจme-de-la-crรจme of the fashion and lifestyle world such as Diana Penty (Bollywood star and model), Evelyn Lakshmi Sharma (German model and actress), Rocky S (fashion designer), Mandira Wirk (fashion designer), Sana Dua (1st runner-up at Femina Miss India 2017), etc.

In conversation with the pretty Bollywood star and model, Diana Penty. Diana walked the ramp for Falguni & Shane Peacock's new collection at Delhi Times Lifestyle Week 2017. Penty began a full-time modelling career in 2005 when she was signed up by Elite Models India. She soon established a successful career as a model after walking the ramp for many of India's top designers. In 2012, Penty made her acting debut in Homi Adajania's commercially successful romantic comedy Cocktail. Her performance in the film garnered praise, and earned her a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut. After a four year break from acting, Penty played the title role in the sleeper hit Happy Bhag Jayegi (2016). Penty is an active celebrity endorser and has been associated with brands like TRESemmรฉ and Nokia. #DTLW
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In another event, I met and interviewed popular Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who has invested in a 'food on move' company, IchakDana LLP.

In conversation with popular Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who has made a strategic investment in 'food on move' company, IchakDana LLP, a food and beverages franchise management company. Giving a further boost to his involvement with the company, Oberoi will also be the brand ambassador of IchakDana, it was announced at the 15th International Franchise and Retail show. IchakDana aims at making available convenience food that is commercially prepared, optimizing ease of food consumption through the F&B channel. This is both effortless and quick to serve. In addition, IchakDana announced their collaboration with two leading quick-serve-restaurants, namely - Cafรฉ Udupi Ruchi and Chicken Xpress with exclusive franchise rights. Cafรฉ Udupi Ruchi is the world first chef-less concept with a diversified menu that comes with authentic taste with assured quality that's backed by a systemized process. Chicken Xpress, a brand originating from South Africa, is based on the concept called 'Ubuntu', which means 'human kindness or humanity towards others'. Commenting on his association with IchakDana, Oberoi said, 'I am a huge proponent of health and fitness and I take pride in being part of IchakDana. I chose this food chain as an investment choice based on the consideration that it is in sync with my philosophy of having healthy, hygienic and convenient food. IchakDana was the perfect fit while evaluating other options that promises synergy for both of us.' For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ @vivekoberoi #IchakDana #InternationalFranchiseAndRetailShow #CafรฉUdupiRuchi #ChickenXpress #Ubuntu #Zefmo @zefmomedia
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I also covered the first ever Seoul-India Friendship Festival organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government at Cyber Hub, Gurgaon on November 8 and 9.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is organizing the first ever Seoul-India Friendship Festival at Cyber Hub, Gurugram on the 8th & 9th of November 2017. The two-day festival intends to promote cultural ties and exchange between the City of Seoul and the Delhi NCR region. It will showcase various aspects of Seoul’s art, culture and entertainment to enthrall Indian audience. While the Indian audience will have an opportunity to witness Korean cultural performances such as Nanta & Taekwondo, Korean delegates & guests will experience the best of Bollywood as an endeavor to encourage cultural exchange between the two countries. The festival is a chance for local people, including Korean expatriates in India, to experience Korean heritage & enjoy enchanting art performances by artistes from both countries. Seoul, the Capital of South Korea, a metropolis teeming with modern skyscrapers and high-tech subways, offers a fascinating fragment of the past at its World Heritage–listed sites. The city ranked as the favorite world city by Asian tourists has boomed to become the world's 10th most economically powerful city and the second-largest metropolitan in the last 50 years. Seoul is emerging to be an attractive destination among Indians at present. Indian outbound travel to South Korea is also on the rise. The influx of Indian tourists to Seoul recorded in 2016 stood at 152,811 (source: Seoul open data plaza) and is expected to increase in the near future. Seoul, an intersection between pop culture & Buddhism, offers an unadulterated tinge of adventure to international travelers with its authentic and diverse culture. #ISeoulU #seoulindiafriendshipfestival #dlfcyberhub #gurgaon #seoul #india #southkorea
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When Kingdom of Dreams (KoD) introduced 'Theater on Ice' for the first time in India, I was the first one to cover it on my Instagram page.

Kingdom of Dreams (KoD), the first to introduce a unique, broadway style theatre in the country are now taking it a step ahead. KoD has now added four new shows to their schedule, which are performed on ice. Called ‘Theatre on Ice’, the first performance is on the childhood fantasy tale, Alice in Wonderland. Ice Vision, a troupe from St Petersburg, Russia, is bringing the theatrical extravaganza to life. Ice Vision is famous for their unique style of performance and has worked with leading music composers like Gennadiy Gladkov and Alexsey Rybinkov. The troupe consists of more than 25 actors and stars, known world-wide like Alexey Urmanov, Irina Slutskaya etc. With a healthy mix of projections and props, the performers will tell the tale of Alice and her adventures in Wonderland. The troupe will also perform 3 other stories namely, ‘Dracula - The story of eternal love ’, ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Nutcracker and lord of the darkness’. These shows will be added to the current schedule of Kingdom of Dreams. Zangoora and Jumroo will continue to be performed. The Theatre on Ice shows will be performed only for a limited period at the Nautanki Mahal. #theateronice #aliceonice #queenofhearts #kingdomofdreams #kod #gurgaon #Gurugram #aliceinwonderland #icevision
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Ditto for the launch of Argentina's National drink 'Yerba Mate Tea' in India, where I'd interviewed tea sommelier Anamika Singh.

The Instituto Nacional de la Yerba Mate (INYM) has come to India with the agenda of opening its route to the Indian tea market by means of popularizing the benefits and scientific significance of the Argentine tea. The Residence of the Embassy of Argentina recently hosted a high tea event in New Delhi in the honorary presence of Instituto Nacional de la Yerba Mate (INYM) along with the esteemed participation of tea sommeliers and food bloggers. INYM recognizes the fact that like the people in Argentina, households in India have immense love for tea and endorses the therapeutic effects of the tea, also dubbed as the drink of the Guarani Indians. With a higher count of antioxidants, it is a greener version of the healthy Green Tea, which increases one's immunity and also satisfies the taste buds - with the Indian blends such as Ginger, Cardamom, Tulsi, Ginger, Honey and Green Tea. The event marked the launch of Argentina’s National drink ‘Yerba Mate Tea’ in India. It was organized in a bid to commemorate Indian herbs and Yerba Mate Tea for its health-giving effects. Yerba Mate Tea is not only a delicious drink but also has ingredients that boost the body’s defences. The main event was followed by an elaborate tango performance and interaction session between the launch team and guests. Distributors and manufacturers of various other tea brands graced the event with their presence in obligation to partner with the Argentinian tea manufacturers. The guest list for the evening tea included renowned food bloggers from Delhi, who imparted their expert advice on global tea culture and variety of teas as well as shared their valuable feedback on Yerba Mate Tea. Ace tea sommelier, Anamika Singh, enriched the occasion with her special blends followed by a session on the world of brewing. The event had a bright attendance of tea enthusiasts as well. #mateinmylife #argentina #yerbamate #tango
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I promoted The Indian Luxury Expo, which is a two-day extravaganza held in the Kingdom of Dreams Gurgaon on November 18 - 19. The expo brings together leading luxury brands across 20 lifestyle segments to an elite and discerning target audience.

The Indian Luxury Expo (http://www.theindianluxuryexpo.com) brings together leading luxury brands across 20 lifestyle segments to an elite and discerning target audience. The two-day extravaganza held in the Kingdom of Dreams Gurugram on 18th and 19th November 2017 showcased a glittering line-up of prestigious high-end brands under one roof. Redefining the wave of luxury and opulence in the city of Gurugram, The Indian Luxury Expo (TILE) made its impact felt across the length and breadth of the city. The high-octane luxury extravaganza presented a batch of successfully curated products, exclusive launches and previews, and bespoke pop-up experiences. The days were marked with a slew of events alongside showcases, to increase the engagement and enjoyment quotient of the expo. Every single component associated with the expo was magnificent. The evenings were lavishly designed, with a homogeneous mix of sumptuous food, highly entertaining stand-up comedy, plays, live music, and champagne. Guests visiting the show (including yours truly) were invited via personal invitation. The expo aims to explore the luxury segments in the cities of Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, and Coimbatore. Prominent brand categories participating in the event included travel, fashion accessories, jewelry, real estate, hospitality, art and collectibles, apparel, home dรฉcor and luxury automobile brands. Some noteworthy luxury brands that participated in the Gurugram event were Jaguar and Land Rover, Gitanjali Nakshatra Diamonds, Hand Painted Stories, Think Tonk, Tie Hub, Mr. Fox (Bespoke), Mahindra Lifespaces, Grohe, Shobha Developers, Raymond Made To Measure, The Smoke Company, INV Homes, Ford Mustang, Embassy, Amex, DAG, Porshe, Gallerie Splash, Kawasaki, and Harley Davidson, to name a few. A successful book launch of 'She & He' by engineer-turned-author Astha Mittal also took place on Day 1 of the expo. For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #TheIndianLuxuryExpo #TILEGurgaon
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I even promoted Belgium based brand Deceuninck's first experiential store in Delhi. Deceuninck deals in UPVC Door and Window System, and with its first experiential store, the brand is eyeing to expand its footprint in the Indian Renovation and Individual Home Owners market.

Did you know that Deceuninck has opened its first experiential store in Delhi, owing to the ever-increasing pollution woes? Exciting, isn't it ๐Ÿ˜„ With its first experiential store, Belgium based brand Deceuninck (dealing in UPVC Door and Window System) is eyeing to expand its footprint in the Indian Renovation and Individual Home Owners Market. CEO Mr. Francis VanEeckhout and Director – Turkey and Emerging Markets Mr. Ergun Cicekci, Director – International Business Development –Mr. Moez Mohmedali - Deceuninck inaugurated the new showroom today in Metropolitan Mall, Saket, New Delhi. Deceuninck products are used worldwide in varied climatic conditions i.e., tropical climates like that of Chile/Brazil or hot climates like in the Middle East or the high UV areas in parts of Australia. As for India, at a time when Delhi and other parts of India are struggling to keep its noise and air pollution under permissible limits and extreme temperatures at bay, Deceuninck’s UPVC Doors and Windows will help in reducing the noise and pollution levels considerably and save individuals from extreme hot weathers. Through the new store, Deceuninck will be catering to B2B as well as B2C customers at the same time. The experiential store will offer architects and interior designers too so that the customers can explore the infinite design possibilities with UPVC Windows and Doors. For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #deceuninck #upvc #doors #windows #b2b #b2c #pollution #experiential #store #showroom #laminatedprofiles #liftandslidedoor #tiltandturnwindows #casement #slidingwindow #tiltwindow #foldandslide #louvre
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I attended the Signature Start-up Master Class Season 2 with Boman Irani, who is an Indian film and theater actor, voice artist, and photographer of Parsi Irani descent.

So here's what happened today. I was invited by a leading global public relations and communications firm (name withheld) to a closed door event at Ministry of Beer Gurgaon, where famous Bollywood actor Boman Irani was speaking live at 7.30 P.M. The media interactions were planned at 3 P.M. at Westin, Gurgaon (probably because Boman was staying in the same hotel). Earlier in the afternoon, around 1 P.M., I was informed by a lady coordinating on behalf of this PR and communications firm that Boman was not feeling well and that the media interactions were CANCELED as a result. After that, there were a few more SMSes by the same lady that the media interactions will not be possible altogether today ... and that I could still come and attend the event at 7.30 P.M. As soon as I reached the Ministry of Beer Gurgaon, I bumped into a journalist friend at the entrance, who informed me about her media interaction session with Boman at Westin, Gurgaon, at 5 P.M. When she told me that no blogger was present for the media interaction, she literally rubbed it in. Baffled to see that the firm had lied to me, I immediately caught hold of the PR and asked why she had lied in the first place. And guess what, she had no answer! Guilty as charged, huh ... Later, when Boman arrived, the traditional media was invited again by the same lady to get bytes. I stood there aghast looking at how such agencies treat bloggers, showing utter disrespect and indifference. In any case, I stood my ground, and got to meet Boman eventually through his manager. Boman also apologized for the miscommunication, though he didn't have to! Dear PR agencies: What's the point in inviting bloggers to events if you cannot respect their body of work? And why would you think that traditional media deserves to get all the bytes whereas it is OK to just ignore bloggers? Everyone has a role to play in this ecosystem, so why such high-handedness? #TreatBloggersWithRespect
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In November, I joined an enlightening evening of wine tasting with French Winemaker Patrick Clerget at the Leela Gurgaon. Patrick introduced eight different wines under the aegis of Patrick Clerget in association with Lakeforest Wines.


It was a dream come true to see and hear the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar live in person at the newly launched SMAAASH - India's most popular urban sports park - in Ambience Malls, Vasant Kunj.

It was indeed a dream come true to see and hear the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar​ live in person today at the newly​ launched SMAAASH - India's most popular urban sports park ​- ​in Ambience Malls, Vasant Kunj. After the recent acquisition, SMAAASH has transformed the earlier bluOs into the multi-sensorial experience of SMAAASH. There were double celebrations at the event, as the master blaster also unveiled the new brand logo of SMAAASH and the brand ethos of "Can't Stop Playing." The newly revived 50,000 sq. ft center​ is the next link in the chain of the country's premier urban sports parks. ​This new outlet of SMAAASH has LaserBlast - a trippy Laser Tag arena for group games. All the sports enthusiasts can experience unique adrenaline rush with a variety of highly advanced virtual reality games like Finger Coaster, Jurassic Park, Walk The Plank and much more, at th​is outlet. SMAAASH Cricket - the 360 degree cricket simulator is the only one where one can experience firsthand the exhilaration of facing cricket legends like Anil Kumble, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram and of course the ​little master Sachin Tendulkar. The outlet also has ​Twilight Bowling - the very romantic and exhilarating UV lit bowling lanes, which will get many a heart racing. The space maintains a vibrant balance between energizing and yet a chilled out ambiance, where one can hang with friends and family. Meanwhile, the in-house cafe and bar at SMAAASH ensure​s​ that one enjoys hearty meals and heady drinks during the fun gaming sessions with the gang. In NCR, SMAAASH already had three centers in Gurugram (Cyberhub and Sector 29) and in Noida (Mall of India), which are immensely popular with guests. SMAAASH in Vasant Kunj will attract the fun-loving and thrill-seeking consumers to come and experience a new level of entertainment with cutting edge thrills. https://smaaash.in/ For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #smaaash #sachintendulkar #masterblaster #littlemaster #cricket #entertainment #arcadegames #bowling #lasergame #cantstopplaying #gamepark
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The highlight of November was interviewing Rannvijay Singha, an Indian television host, film actor, and presenter, best known for hosting the adventure reality TV show, MTV Roadies.


Rannvijay was flown from Mumbai to host two-time Formula 1 World Champion, Mika Hakkinen at Ambience Island. Mika drove the Caparo T1 in support of Johnnie Walker The Journey's #JoinThePact initiative.


Another highlight was my visit to the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation in Palwal Haryana on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The trip was first of its kind, aimed to witness how large quantity of sattvic food is prepared in ISKCON's mega kitchen.

For the uninitiated, yours truly was invited to visit the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation in Palwal Haryana on Saturday, November 18, 2017. The trip was no doubt first of its kind, aimed to witness how large quantity of sattvik food is prepared in ISKCON's mega kitchen. Would you believe that in this kitchen alone 10 to 20 thousand chapatis are rolled per hour? We also visited a government school in the vicinity, where we lent a helping hand in serving kheer (rice pudding) and distributing new tiffin boxes to the kids. My tiny tots, Rishab and Saanvi, actively participated in gifting tiffin boxes to their new friends. After the school visit, we proceeded towards Krishna's sattvik kitchen and ate a hearty lunch. ISKCON Food Relief Foundation Haryana is a Food for Life organization that serves more than 3.5 lakh meals per day in more than 2500 schools of Haryana. The foundation has been serving hot and fresh nutritious meals prepared with the highest standards of hygiene and quality ingredients that meet the nutritional requirements of growing children. The mid-day meals are prepared in four ISO certified state-of-the-art kitchens located in different cities of Haryana. Mid-Day meal is provided as an incentive for children to attend school. It is necessary to attract children otherwise some parents from the lower socio-economic group would rather engage them in child labor. ISKCON Food Relief Foundation is a not-for-profit, non-religious, non-sectarian public charitable trust formed on April 23, 2004. It is registered under the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950. Midday Meal is a strategic program of the Government of India and is being implemented by ISKCON Food Relief Foundation Haryana in some parts of the state. The nutritious cooked meal is served to the students in Municipal and Government aided schools, free of charge. It was lovely to observe and participate in the mid-day meal program at the ISKCON Food Relief Foundation. For more updates, keep following @rahulprabhakar on Instagram ๐Ÿ‘ˆ #iskcon #palwal #haryana #sattvik #food #chapati #tiffin #zerohungerharyana #children #middaymeal #lunch #breakfast #krishna #hareramaharekrishna #hygiene #quality
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December

In December, I wrote blog posts on Gurgaon Pub Exchange (Cyber Hub's most pocket-friendly bar), Spice Art (a specialty fine-dining restaurant at Hotel Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini), Tea Street (a new venture from Mittal Teas, a 60-year-old brand known to bring the finest qualities of tea, herbs, and spices - with lingering taste, full-bodied flavor, and seductive aroma), Cafe Hawkers (a new casual dining restaurant in Ansal Plaza Delhi), and Cafe Delhi Heights (a new casual/comfort food dining restaurant in Connaught Place, Delhi).

I interviewed Darshan Raval who is a Singer, Composer, Lyricist, Actor, Performer, Artist, Musician, and Public Figure. Darshan visited the Airtel HQ in Gurgaon to celebrate the success of his new single 'Tera Zikr' which was promoted by Wynk Music app and is now #4 on the charts. On YouTube, the song has been viewed over 14 million times.


I also covered the launch of Apollo Munich's WINSURE, a new category in health insurance by launching first-of-its-kind Health Wallet plan. Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar is appointed as the brand ambassador for the company.

Apollo Munich introduces WINSURE: a new category in health insurance by launching first-of-its-kind Health Wallet plan. In an endeavor to offer a unique winning proposition to its customers, Apollo Munich Health Insurance has introduced a new category WINSURE with its revolutionary WIN-WIN health insurance plan called HEALTH WALLET. This one-of-a-kind policy is set to redefine the health insurance category by addressing pertinent questions such as value for money, ease and great service. Health Wallet not only addresses the current needs of the customers by paying for their hospitalisation and OPD expenses that are usually not covered by health insurance policies, but also ensures affordability of continuing their policy in later years. Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the company. He is an eminent multi-facet personality, who has succeeded in various aspects of life from being an actor, writer, director, songwriter to a doting father and fitness enthusiast. Sharing his views on the association, Farhan Akhtar opined, "I have always believed that healthcare is not a privilege but a right. In a country where on one hand healthcare is becoming so sophisticated that people around the world come to India for treatment; on the other hand most Indians can't afford these services. It saddens me to know that over 7 crore families in India get pushed below poverty line every year while trying to tend to the healthcare needs of their loved one. Seeing what an unforeseen health episode can do to a family, I believe health insurance is a necessity for all as it not only enables access to quality healthcare but also protects the dreams of a family. I feel a sense of pride to be associated with the concept of health insurance and more so with Apollo Munich for their passion and purpose of making India health confident." #style #swag #colorful #socialenvy #actor #instamovies #star #moviestar #photooftheday #bollywood #instagood #love #followback #instagramers #tweegram #20likes #amazing #smile #follow4follow #like4like #look #instalike #igers #picoftheday #instadaily #instafollow #followme #bestoftheday #instacool
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I walked the yellow carpet at Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFFCY), a unique platform to encourage and support the growing interest in meaningful cinema among young, aspiring, independent people without any favoritism.

Walking the yellow carpet with @docdivatraveller at SIFFCY ๐Ÿ˜Š Smile International Film Festival for Children & Youth (SIFFCY) is a unique platform to encourage and support the growing interest in meaningful cinema among young, aspiring, independent people without any favouritism. This year SIFFCY has been fortunate enough to have many international partners, who have extended their support towards the initiative to entertain, engage, educate & empower the children & youth through various cinematic experiences & related capacity building workshops. SIFFCY has scheduled panels discussions and forums on ‘Environment & Climate change’, ‘Road Safety’, ‘Life Skill development’ and 'Role of Cinema', apart from the regular technical workshops by industry experts on film making, cinematography, sound design, production design, storytelling & photography. #siffcy #smilefoundation #internationalfilmfestival #children #youth
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I interviewed MasterChef Vikas Khanna yet again when he was in Delhi to unveil the new frost-free range of refrigerators from LG Electronics, powered by Linear Cooling Technology.

I also interviewed actor, model, singer, and drag queen Sushant Divgikar, who was crowned as Mr. Gay India 2014 and immensely popular for his participation in Bigg Boss season 8. Sushant participated in Kitty Su presents "Under the Rainbow" - India's first ever-fashion show featuring Transgender Models, Drag Queens and People with Disability.

In conversation with actor, model, singer, and drag queen Sushant Divgikar, who was crowned as Mr. Gay India 2014 and immensely popular for his participation in Bigg Boss season 8. Kitty Su presents "Under the Rainbow - India's first ever-fashion show featuring Transgender Models, Drag Queens and People with Disability" In a country with 1.3 Billion citizens, where identifying as LGBTQIA is criminal and still highly stigmatized, there is a bright side to the story brewing up alongside. The power of IPC 377 is diminishing, and freedom of expression and identity can be witnessed more strongly than ever for the next generation. 10 years into the LGBTQI Pride movement going national, cross dressing or drag is still looked down upon but thanks to the influence of shows like Rupaul's Drag Race, the so called deviant act is being considered an art form which is revolutionizing the performing arts industry especially in India. Kitty Su is the first and only nightclub in the country to have hosted popular international drag artists such as Alaska 5000, Violet Chachki, Derrick Barry, and Kitty Glitter. In fact, at one such event, the venue that can absorb up 2000 guests was packed beyond capacity and people had to be turned away. Thrilled with the past encouragement, Kitty Su is proud to present India's first ever-local Drag Queen Tour featuring actor, model and singer Sushant Divgikar, crowned as Mr. Gay India 2014 and immensely popular for his participation in Bigg Boss season 8. Mr. Keshav Suri, Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group and the brainchild behind Kitty Su recently initiated Sushant as Rani Ko-He-Nur into drag and together they curated a few shows already receiving a packed house. The show features Alex Mathew popularly known as Maya The Drag Queen. Alex comes from Kerala and has been a successful drag artist since 2014. Her ideals are to fight against inequality, towards individualism, gender equality and feminism. Along with that, she loves to sing, dance to Broadway musical songs and entertain people. The multicity drag tour will be presented in a fashion show format in New Delhi. @sushantdivgikr @kittysuindia #undertherainbow
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In the same event, I interviewed Nitasha Biswas, a trans woman who hails from Kolkata, who was crowned the first Miss Transqueen India.


The highlight of December was to meet Priyanka Chopra in person. Priyanka is an Indian actress, singer, film producer, philanthropist, and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant. She was speaking at The Penguin Annual Lecture 2017 and the topic of her talk was 'Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Chasing a Dream'.


Thanks to all those who have continued to support my blogging journey in 2017.
[If you wish to collaborate with me on a blogging/social media project, feel free to drop an email at prabhakar.rahul@gmail.com or call 9958750992.]