Back 2 Fitness physiotherapy, New Delhi

In desperation because of continuous post-arthroscopy knee pain, and in equal despair because I could not imagine a life without trekking and walking, I was advised by a friend who is a professional sportswoman, to try Back 2 Fitness physiotherapists in New Delhi’s Sheik Sarai district.

Run by the energetic Dr. Rajat Chauhan, a keen marathon runner and trekker himself, the first thing that struck me was the cheerfulness and frankness of both Dr. Chahan and all his dedicated staff.  I was briskly told that yes, my knees would improve, but no, they would never be a 100%.   Yes, I would be back to trekking, but probably not running marathons.

With that in mind, the treatment began.

Exercises, work on the machines, dry needling, manipulation –  all the tools and skills are available, and the physios regularly follow up on their patients.  If you are feeling unwell, you get a call to check up.  If you are travelling, they e-mail exercises and expect the completed exercise diary on your return.

The focus of the clinic is on sports injury and maintaining an active lifestyle, and you are regularly quizzed as to how much exercise you have done, and if not, why not.

Unflaggingly cheerful and highly competent staff, clean and well-equipped with an extensive range of machines, this professionally run set-up has given me hope.

•    Consultation: Rs.1000

•   B2F ‘A’ Sessions 3 week- Rs.10,200 (Includes Consultation)
•    B2F ‘A’ Sessions 6 week- Rs.19,300 (Includes Consultation)

B2F ‘A’ Sessions includes 2 sessions of Strengthening & Conditioning and 1 Session of
Manual Therapy.

Each Session is of 45-60 minutes.

•    B2F ‘B’ Sessions 3 week- Rs.13,500 (Includes Consultation)
•    B2F ‘B’ Sessions 6 week- Rs.25,850 (Includes Consultation)
B2F ‘B’ Sessions includes 2 sessions of Strengthening & Conditioning and 1 Session of Manual Therapy per week.

Each Session is of 75-90 minutes.


website :


Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, Jaipur

In a state seemingly awash with heritage hotels and palaces, this centrally located hotel in Jaipur, in India’s Rajasthan state, ticks all the right boxes.  Approached through noisy congested streets in the city centre,  and located opposite a nondescript modern shopping complex, one’s heart initially sinks at the approach.  But the second you turn into the huge walled entrance to the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, spirits lift again.  The noise from the street recedes, blocked by acres of garden and lawns, and all you hear is the splash of water from the fountain, and bird-song.

The hotel is a succession of  gardens and courtyards, with little staircases leading up and down to rooms and yet more rooms, and balconies and terraces.  No boring corridors with repetitive rooms here, thank goodness.

Our room was charming –  all shades of green and blue, and giving onto a beautiful large terrace, shared with a few other rooms.

The pretty little restaurant had friendly service, and when I told the waiters I wanted to try typical local Rajasthani cuisine, the cook came out for a chat, pleased at my interest.

The grounds were lovely, in a slightly charming, neglected way, with lawns and pavilions, and a pool scattered all over the large compound.

Service was friendly and relaxed.

Room rates, which include breakfast, are :

Standard Rs 4000 single/Rs 5500 double

Deluxe double Rs 7100

Kanota Suite Rs 8100

Garden suite Rs 12000

The charge for an extra person is Rs 2000


Narain Niwas Palace Hotel

Kanota Bagh

Narain Singh Road

Jaipur 302 004

Tel : +91 141 256 1291/256 3448



Pindi Restaurant, New Delhi

Pindi in New Delhi’s Pandara Road Market used to be an iconic “dhaba”, so I was told.  Simple but with fantastic food.

Buoyed up with a nostalgic memory from his student days, my husband took me there in February 2011.  Gone was the dhaba  – which is basically an ultra-simple food joint – to be replaced with a large, but nondescript restaurant.  Patterned walls and alcove-type seating.  We were a party of four, two of whom remembered Pindi fondly.

The wall next to our table was filthy, so perhaps they had kept some of the old-style dhaba, after all.

Famous for its offal –  brain curry and brain fry were remembered specialities –  my 3 dinner companions chose brain, brain and brain.  I had tandoori prawns which turned out to be the wisest choice, and the mushroom masala was fine, though eye-wateringly spicy.

The brain curry was apparently not as good as remembered, the brain fry was good, and the “gurda kapura” (kidneys and testicles, another speciality remembered from yore) were a disaster.  No testicles, just kidney and liver.  The first plate was sent back, a replacement dish cheerfully supplied, but this too was deemed not to contain testicles (I didn’t taste any of this, just watched the proceedings) and – yet again cheerfully – removed from the bill.

Bread came long before the food did, so had to be sent back.

My prawn curry came long before the brain dishes, so also had to be sent back to be kept warm.

Morale of the story ?

Let good memories stay that way.



Bharat Mahal Palace, Jaipur

Although seemingly every hotel in India’s Rajasthan state is either a palace or a self-proclaimed heritage property, to describe the Bharat Mahal Palace as a “royal residence” (as their own brochure does) or a heritage hotel (as the sign in the garden does) is an exaggeration.  This poorly maintained, decidedly grubby hotel is nothing more than a large house overlooking the railway lines, and when we stayed there in January 2011, building work was in full swing.

Although the individual members of staff couldn’t have been sweeter and more obliging, goodness knows where management with a capital M was.  On checking in, our room was not ready, which meant that we were able to supervise the re-cleaning of the otherwise dirty bathroom, and get the unironed, stained sheets taken off one of the beds.

As I said, the staff couldn’t have been sweeter, which is just as well, since we asked them to change the coffee table, the glass top of which was smashed, with a gaping hole in it.  We also asked them to separate the beds, bring a bedside table, and finally bring a bedside light, all of which was cheerfully done.  The bedside light ended up working for one day, and then that was it, but we never managed to get it fixed.

There was, however, nothing the staff could do about the room’s light switches all being in the corridor outside our room.

This meant that the options early in the morning were, either crashing around in the dark or switching every single light in the room on, since we never figured out how to turn just one light on at a time.  All or nothing was the choice.

What else ?  Ridiculously small geyser, which meant 2 people couldn’t have consecutive bucket baths.  And the bucket baths were because the shower head was too clogged to give anything than the thinnest trickle of water.

The whole place was unkempt, and way beyond room-service trays left lying around in the corridors for hours : the litter left on the tiny front lawn after a wedding one night, stayed there for the remaining 2 nights of our stay.

In all fairness, the noisy location cannot be blamed on the owner of the “royal residence”, but it isn’t a nice one for all that.  Railway tracks, a level crossing and a public urinal are pretty soul-destroying.

The food was acceptable : regular buffet breakfast, and the 2 quick lunches we had there were, once again, acceptable.

The only good thing about the Bharat Mahal Palace ?  The sweet staff.

Address :

16 Parivahan Marg, near Civil Lines, “C” Scheme, Jaipur 302001

Phone : 0141-2365498, 2362627

Tariff as per the hotel’s own brochure (which had the old prices crossed out and new ones written in )

Deluxe Room Rs 2700 single/Rs 3000 double

Suite Rs 3800 single/Rs 4000 double

Taxes are extra

Parking in the street outside – the driveway is tiny and taken up by an old red vintage car.