Sunday, July 10, 2016

How to snag an awesome luxury suite for less

So while my poor little blog has been dead for a while now, I've been traveling the world a bit and logging it in my new blog The Good Life. Yep, life has been good.

Anyway, here are some hacks when you need to book a suite, in fact sometime a really nice luxury suite on a budget.

  • Book in advance to save more. You can even negotiate with the hotel when you book in advance. If you're booking via OTA, you might save right away. 
  • Plan your stay during the off-season. For eg: You can save on a nice suite if you visit Las Vegas during mid-week or late summer. It’s hot though - temperatures can sore up to 90F and above, but it's cheap.
  • Don't just straight away log onto the hotel's website and be disheartened when you see most of the really sweet suites aren't available online. Third party websites might be able to get you one, and sometimes at a better rate. Try Expedia, or Booking.Com. In fact, there's a new website, that's just for suites. Most of them offer a best price guarantee, and so you get the lowest price. 
  • Book a suite if you’re traveling in a group. You save a whole lot because not only do you get all that extra space that you can fill with roll-away beds or sofa beds, you also get multiple rooms for added privacy. 
  • In fact, connecting rooms are the best way to go. You might be able to get a 2-bedroom suite with 3 real beds (plus extra beds) for around $100 average per night per person at a 4 star hotel in Las Vegas. I promise you, I know for sure this to be true. 
I hope these hacks help you! The sure did work for me on my trip to Vegas and New York!
  • Saturday, February 9, 2013

    Once upon a time?

    There was a happy little girl and her cloud castle of love;
    of hope, of dreams and of a beautiful tomorrow.
    And then one day an ugly wind came along.
    And it huffed.  And it puffed.  And it blew her castle down.

    The shards lay there; glittering in the red ray of light
    that streams through the broken window - once rose tinted;
    her looking glass reflection laughing at her – ‘oh my dear fool!’.

    But as she looked on, she saw a glint of feeble gold
    And she shook her head and wiped a tear –
    ‘Thank you, oh ugly wind. No cloud castles no more’.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Accidental Adventurist

    Friend 1: She has gone rock climbing, river rafting, bungee jumping. Divya, what have YOU done?

    Thought bubble over my head:
    - Chased by a giant, one-eyed, thawb clad Arabian guy? Check.
    - Been yelled at by a drunk cross dresser for no apparent reason and then almost been thrown a stone at by him.. err.. her. Check.
    - Been approached by a random stranger with a cheesy, worn out old line- you look like my long lost girlfriend, are you her sister/cousin/relative/ghost? Check. Seriously,in THIS decade, check!
    - Tumbled down a foot-over-bridge in a crowded railway station and then stopping only because the cause of halt was my leg ramming into an old man's ass and then yelled at in a language I don't understand. Check.

    I don't have to DO anything. Weird things just happen to me.

    Update on 20th Sept:

    You know how some people are just born with a lightning bolt hanging over their heads? No? Well, welcome to my world.

    I fell.. AGAIN. No big surprise I know. I mean, what do you expect from someone who just has to take up any dare thrown her way and just HAS to prove to the world that she is stupid enough to run up an escalator that comes down? 
    I had to convince my doctor that I am indeed doing my MBA and contrary to popular opinion, such dumbness is a common trait everywhere. 

    So this year's fall is over and I managed to not get myself too hurt this time. A few stitches on the knee, a limp in my walk and I'm good for now. Except that everyone knows how I fell and well, it doesn't take much to get me embarrassed in public now. Someone even  suggested that I be tied up, lest I should climb up and fall from a tree next. Sigh. 

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    'BOO' says quarter life crisis

    There's so much I want...
    so much I do not want...
    so much I want to be...
    so much I could've been...
    so much I could not have been...

    'it's been a long time since 20 too'.... then again, life is not over yet. not even close.

    'BOO' says quarter life crisis.
    Lucky for me, I've got the perfect antidote - very patient friends.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Slim, fair, good looking- Score 1!

    So, what can an arranged marriage do to you apart from wreck the precious 1 or 2 hours that you manage to steal for yourself after endless hours at office, to watch sitcoms or call up friends by forcing you to go through 'profiles' and 'photos' of guys/girls you don't know?

    It can be the cause of complete and total annihilation of your self-confidence.
    I am not going to take sides of the male or female kind here because it is an equally humiliating experience for both. But since I have seen and heard more of the latter kind, my source of feeling of angst, sorrow, and misgiving to this whole concept stems from the experiences of the ‘fairer’ sex (what a thoroughly apt term if one considers the first and foremost point in the Basic Checklist for Arranged Marriage for Dummies)
    Going by common standards, God save the poor souls who don’t come under the slim, fair and good-looking cadre (the first and foremost point in the Basic Checklist for Arranged Marriage for Dummies!).
    Anyone who thought that being an ‘engineer’ is enough qualification for a girl, I’m sorry, you will now be wronged by the mighty ‘MBA’. The girl HAS to be MBA, okay I’ll cut some slack here, a ‘PG degree holder’ by 24.
    So even if you have just a 3 point groom specification check list, you might have to cut it short if you’re just an ‘engineer’. So the presentably good looking becomes, not too frightening; PG degree holder becomes at least another ‘engineer’ and able to communicate properly becomes, able to communicate. Why do I limit myself to just ‘engineer’s? Because, most people want a ‘professionally’ qualified girl as their partner (followed by should not work after marriage in some cases, beat that!). Funny fact being, engineers, now that there are more engineering colleges than ‘Nair Tea Kada’s, have long ceased to be professionals.
    So the next time your interview panelist asks ‘Why MBA?’, you know you have another reason nagging at the back of your head along with money-money- money as you put on a grim, thoughtful face and begin to bore his brains out with ‘passion’ and ‘destiny’ and ‘making the world a better place’ (yeah, as if!)
    And again, it is not an easy ‘Swayamvar’ story for guys either. I’ll have to admit, it’s tougher for a guy than a girl in this road show (for more, refer: ). But this post just aims at avenging the slaughter of the confidence of a friend (heh).
    I am not against the concept of arranged marriages (I mean, me!, I’ve had some pretty lousy crushes. I, of all people, should be grateful for the existence of such a procedure); but I’m just appalled at the effect that this method of groom/bride hunt has on the people well, ‘victimized’ by it. And rejection at the profile round is not even half bad…I’ve heard worse about rejections at subsequent rounds of selections.
    One could argue that so much importance shouldn’t be attached to this rejection- selection game. But then people should stop associating the worth of a person depending on the number of profiles that have rejected/selected that person. This, I’m sorry to notice never happens. ‘already rejected by 50 people.. maybe you shouldn’t be so particular even if he/she looks 10 years older …maybe you should be okay even if you have to go to Siberia, maybe you should be okay even if he/she has a tail…’ and the standards reduce till you arrive at such a low morale that you’re just happy you’re getting married.
    Who wants to get married like that?
    Oh, and also, where is the love??

    Entering this post for an indiblogger contest! do visit:

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    So high!

    Posting this just for the heck of it.

    Because I'm so friggin' happy today.

    Ad because FB status updates will be gone and forgotten after a while.

    And this is a day I don't ever want to forget. Ever. For more reasons than one :)
    PS: I love you my darlings :)

    PPS: I am so awesome (And this is just so that I don't forget that. Ever again!)

    Pic courtesy:

    Saturday, July 31, 2010

    Hitchcock- in black, white and red.

    My normal weekend would be either working at office or refreshing my facebook page at home or at home, thinking about work and wondering why a particular module failed. Anything apart from this is not a 'normal' weekend.
    So when Renie from Indiblogger called me to tell me i had tickets to watch a play at the Theatre Museum, Chennai, he did tell me that I did not 'have to' write a review for the same. But without resorting to my usual lame excuse of 'crazy mundane IT job' I decided to post this review- even though it comes a week too late (thanks to my crazy mundane IT job of course), because it was a weekend that was not 'normal' after a very long time. And thank God, Renie and Stray Factory for that.
    At the outset, i must tell you that I'm not a regular theatre person. So, my review might not comply with standard reviewing regulations! Also, I do not know who played who in the play (not all of them, that is) so I will be referring to the character names here - apologies for that.
    Anyway, the play is Hitchcock by the theatre group Stray Factory. It is a compilation of three short plays for 90 minutes based on the TV series 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents' and it has Hitchcock written all over it.- the acting, the sets, the colours, the lighting, the dialogues, the music and of course the plot. The behind-the-screen shadows and silhouettes was a fantastic idea (pardon me my ignorance, but is that a pretty common thing??). And keeping the theme black, white and red- brilliant!What did i like best? The music, the lighting, the Emcee and the third act.What did i like least? the second act, the predictable endings, the location of my seat and the mosquitoes outside.The opening, though a bit late, was charmingly done by the emcee. The bit that i liked in particular was his rather murderous manner of asking the audience to switch their mobiles off. His subtle humour was in true Hitchcock style and delivered with a straight face, it was perfect! -> Like! 
    Play 1 was 'The Right Kind of House'. The first scene opened to what seemed like a humorous play - Sally and Mr. Hacker, though they sounded a bit too rehearsed were adorable. But as the play progressed to the second scene, the mood and nature took a complete turn and this transition was so smooth and gradual that i really did not notice the first 30 minutes fly by. I must say it was the second scene that I really liked- especially the part where Evelyn (Aishwarya Mahesh) narrates her story and the past and present is shown back to back - while the audience is given enough clues to differentiate between the time frames. I thought the conversation between Evelyn and Mr. White was successful in holding the audience's attention, and both of them were really good, although I'd tip the scales in favour of Mr. White :-)

    Play 2 was 'Triggers in Leash'. Now, I wouldn't say I didn't like the play but I liked it the least. It maybe because it did not involve any murder or suspense :-) but mainly because the end was too predictable, plain and quite honestly, i thought it dragged a bit. The cowboy chauvinism was evident in the actors' posture and mannerisms, and Maggie- i would have imagined someone much older and a bit crude to play that part- definitely not someone so elegant! But I thought she did a great job- nice smug smile to the end :-)
    Play 3 was 'The Motive'. Definitely the best of the lot. Predictable though it was, I thought the actors did a brilliant job. Mathivanan Raghavan and Vivek Hariharan - *applause applause*. The plot, the music, the acting, the dialogue delivery, the expressions- i thought it was perfect. Although i liked the drunk Mathivanan as opposed to the sober version :-) What i liked best was that this play looked the least rehearsed (in a good way!) and the actors seemed to be very much at ease with the characters that they played. Loved it! As they say, save the best for the last!
    To sum up, I had a wonderful evening and enjoyed the play. Kudos, Stray Factory :-)

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Ugly Duckling?

    A few days back, a senior colleague of mine dropped me a very thought provoking mail. I was surprised at the onset but I'm glad the person did so. First, it's been a long time since I've talked/mailed about something like this to anyone. Not that it involved much intellectual stimulation; it is a topic that should come naturally to the affected, but to discuss something that had nothing to do with movies, music, career, marriage or relationships was a welcome change. Second, this becomes my first blog post in a long time :)

    I am just pasting here my reply to the statement that the aforementioned colleague of mine made. The statement, in parts, was, "...not rooted anywhere and so do not have a solid idea of ‘self’..."
    I beg to differ here. Instead of seeing it as 'not rooted anywhere' I would like to believe that I find my roots in more than one place. Sure it is difficult to come up with a specific place when someone asks me where I am from. My parents are from Kerala. But I am hardly a Malayalee. Then again, I do stand by my culture and customs. I was not born a Mumbaiite but my outlook and thinking are that of a Mumbaikar. And now, influenced by that of a Chennaiite :)
    In that respect, I am not fenku. I've had the best of all the worlds :)
    [---deleted sentence---]
    I believe the idea of self has nothing to with where you are from. It has more to do with what you want yourself to be. Which, in our cases, is easy because we have the choice to be what we want to be- to convince ourselves, if that be necessary, and also to give selective first impressions to the world- who are actually the ones obsessing with communal groupism. Among a South Indian crowd, I am a Malayalee. Among a North Indian crowd, I'm a Mumbaikar. But to myself- I am both. That way, everyone's happy :)
    We need not be type casted as the 'typical' crowd. We're the hybrids! Maybe I will agree that we do not have a solid idea of native identity. But that of self, that has nothing to do with where our origins lie.
    I am sorry I've ranted on like a wanna-be philosopher. But clearly, one doesn't need to possess profound erudition to talk about such things :)
    It's all perception really. One needn't feel like a misfit for too long.
    One is brought up a particular way only till she/he chooses to be brought up that way. After which, maturity makes it become free will.
    I do not believe that has influenced or hampered, in any way, my idea of self. I just have a problem with the society's idea of myself :P :)

    But that is my take, anyone to agree or oppose?

    My question is, would it matter to someone if a friend/partner does not completely belong to one place, in every sense of the word, even if the person himself/herself is at peace with it?

    pic courtesy:

    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    The other life.

    " Monica: What's that noise you just made?
    Chandler: Oh that? That's my work laugh.
    Monica: Your work laugh?
    Chandler: Yeah, and if you want to survive this party, you'll need to come up with one too.
    " Chandler: Okay, I don't sound like some crazed, drunken pirate.
    Monica: I know you don't. But work Chandler does! "

    From: FRIENDS- The One With Chandler's Work Laugh
    Now I have a work laugh too.
    And a work talk (no talk rather)
    And a work smile.
    In fact, I'm living a different person's life at work.
    And I have no idea why!
    I'm hoping it will change though...

    Anyway, Hi! I am Work Divya.
    Not an avid blogger apparently. She'll come around. Hopefully, soon.

    Monday, August 10, 2009


    Such hypocrites I tell you!
    For the records, I have finally joined Cognizant and am officially a working woman! *taaliyan taaliyan*
    So anyway, as I was saying, such hypocrites! Who? Well, here's who:
    I am a straight girl, as in non lesbian (just stating a relevant fact, no revelations). So what do straight girls do? They look at guys; attractive guys most of the time. And that's what I did. I happened to spot one good looking guy in a batch of 270 and well, I used to look at him whenever he was around. I'm pretty sure it wasn't the dreamy 'oh-I-wish-you-were-mine' look; I know better than that! Yeah so well, what's so controversial about that? Don't guys ogle at girls almost ALL the time? Like, duh-huh! But when a girl does it, and it becomes slightly(ok, very :P) obvious, people have to create a big hullabaloo. Suddenly there are friends' of the guys inquiring about the girl as to, 'what kind of a person she is'. Ermm.. a normal heterosexual girl, thank you! Suddenly a whole bunch of the guys' batch mates gang up and act like goons when the girl is around, in an attempt to ridicule her. Suddenly the guy has on the spot bouts of extreme unnecessary attitude. Suddenly everyone in the batch thinks all the girl thinks about is the guy and everything the girl does is an attempt to get to talk to him. Hold it you buncha nincompoops! She's already bored of the guy!
    Ok, so most of it is just either acts of unconditional immaturity or outcomes of lack of social evolution. But to question the intentions and may I say, integrity of a person just because she (I will not say, he because that circumstance never arises) found someone attractive? That's taking it too far. And why is that it is okay for a guy to check out girls but not vice versa? I don't get it! Such hypocrites I tell you!