WOAP: World On A Plate- India’s Largest Gourmet Food Festival Comes to Delhi!

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The weather in Delhi has finally taken a turn, and we are nearing the end of ‘food festival’ season! As a fitting end to this year’s season, I visited “India’s largest gourmet food festival” called WOAP: World on a Plate, that took place from February 14-16, 2020 at DLF Avenue in Saket. This was the fifth edition of this festival, and the first one in Delhi. Interaction with a renowned celebrity chef has always been the USP of World on a Plate, and this time Delhiites had the opportunity to meet 3 star Michelin chef, Marco Pierre White. Read on to know about this specially curated food event, and if you should visit it the next time it comes to your city.

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With 3 Michelin Star Chef, Marco Pierre White

‘WORLD ON A PLATE’ FOOD FESTIVAL:

The last few years have seen a burgeoning of restaurants in metropolitan cities that cater to middle-income and higher-income spenders. World on a Plate or WOAP, is aimed at discerning and well-heeled foodies that live in these cities. This festival brings a few of the best names in the food and beverage industry together, by curating a memorable dining experience.

In addition, the festival organises master classes by renowned master chefs, as well as exclusive dinners and lunches for select invitees. The event also sees competitions amongst amateur chefs, and the WOAP ‘Restaurant of the Year’ award is judged by top chefs from around the world.

WOAP’s first edition took place in 2016 in Bangalore, where the three ‘Masterchef Australia’ judges- Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Gary Mehigan- were the main attractions. Every edition offers interactive sessions with celebrity chefs, and Delhi was lucky to get Marco Pierre White this year.

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Master Classes at the Taste Theatre at WOAP

WHAT TO EXPECT AT ‘WORLD ON A PLATE’ FESTIVAL:

Apart from numerous award-winning food stalls that cover a variety of cuisines, you can access fully-stocked bars, meet celebrity chefs, enjoy live music, improve your culinary skills by attending numerous master classes, and get a chance to win prizes. Open green spaces encourage picnic-ing with families, while sampling the best dishes from many restaurants of the city, in one place.

An exclusive VIP Zone offers a comfortable and memorable experience, where you can interact with the celebrity chefs while enjoy appetisers and high-end alcohol.

Clockwise from Top Left: Margherita Pizza from Fio; Chicken Wings from Plats; Dimsum from Plats; Nutella Waffles from The Whiz Cafe; Dimsum from You Mee

WHAT I ATE AT THE ‘WORLD ON A PLATE’ FESTIVAL:

I visited the WOAP festival with my family. Together we were five adults and one child. Since we visited at lunch time, and shared most of what we ordered, we were able to sample many small bites from different stalls.

My son enjoyed his Margherita Pizza from ‘Fio’, and I liked the non-vegetarian sushi roll from ‘Kampai’. The cheesy dumplings and Noodle Soup from ‘You Mee’, as well as the Chicken Wings and Dumplings from ‘Plats’ were quite good. I felt that the batter-fried fish served with rice from ‘Neung Roi’ was too spicy to be enjoyable, and the Three Bean Salad from ‘The Whiz Café’ was average at best.

I enjoyed some Absolut vodka to counter the unusual heat of the afternoon and my brother enjoyed the Bhutanese ‘Kati Patang’ beer.

Dessert options were few and far between, so we ordered a Nutella waffle from ‘The Whiz Café’, which was good but certainly not the best I’ve had!

Lack of a shade was a problem on a sunny afternoon; the Festival Bar, though well-stocked was separate for hard liquor and beer

REVIEW OF ‘WORLD ON A PLATE’ FESTIVAL:

The WOAP festival stands apart from others, because of the additional gourmet experiences it offers. The event was quite enjoyable, but there are a few things you should keep in mind, if you plan to visit the next edition of this fest in your city.

What I Liked:

  • The location in the heart of South Delhi, though not exactly central, is quite convenient.
  • The food festival took place in the open area in front of the mall. This allowed access to the mall, clean toilets and easy parking.
  • The stalls offered varied cuisines among them, so we were spoilt for choice when it came to picking what to eat.
  • Benches were available, and so was plenty of open grassy area for picnickers.
  • As members of the audience, we had the chance to hear legendary 3 Michelin Star Chef Marco Pierre White.
  • At 1 p.m. in the afternoon on Sunday, the third day, the venue was full but not over-crowded which made the experience quite comfortable.
  • You could get VIP access for a reasonable price, which also included vouchers for food and drinks.

What I Did Not Like:

  • February 16 was an unusually hot day in Delhi. People without VIP access were forced to boil under the sun, as there was no shade cover in the regular areas. Perhaps the structures or tents could’ve been designed differently, or at the very least, there should’ve been fans installed as back-up!
  • The dessert options were very limited, with ‘The Artful Baker’ being the only bakery to have its own stall. Other stalls served one or two signature desserts, but on this hot day, we had to go inside the mall to get ice-cream. Quite a disappointment!
  • It was nearly impossible to get a photograph with Marco Pierre White, unless you had VIP access. I had to call in a favour to get one!
  • We had to install money on smartcards to make payments. This system is quite popular during large events and festivals, but personally, I find it cumbersome and annoying.
  • The bar was divided in two sections, one for the hard liquor and one solely serving beer. This meant a lot of unnecessary running around.
  • For an exclusive food festival, I felt the food options were limited. Perhaps that was to maintain the ‘exclusivity factor’, but I’m only stating persona preference here!

Overall, I felt it was an enjoyable event but I would do a few things differently next time. My family had received promotional passes that granted free entry but denied access to the VIP area. We would’ve preferred shelling out the INR 2500 for a family VIP pass, of which INR 1200 was redeemable in food and drinks. This would’ve allowed us to be cool in the shade and even have a conversation with Marco Pierre White himself. I recommend you do the same.

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Marco Pierre White

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Stay up-to-date on the WOAP annual festival calendar on their website here.

Follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/world_onaplate/

Follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldonaplate/

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This month, I will be uploading a lot of Delhi-specific content, showing you some fun and offbeat things you can do in the capital city. Follow my blog by subscribing here, or follow me on Instagram @theladylawyer for more real-time content.

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.

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A Taste of Morocco in Delhi: Moroccan Food Festival at ITC Maurya Hotel

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What image comes first to mind when you think of Morocco? For me, it’s the hauntingly beautiful Ingrid Bergman in the black & white epic “Casablanca”. Though memorable, this image is quite dated. In 2019, Morocco has far more to offer culture enthusiasts and foodies alike. I admit, I haven’t been to this mesmerizing country yet, but till then, I can enjoy the authentic Moroccan cuisine, currently being served at Ottimo by West View at ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi; at the ongoing Moroccan Food Festival.

With H.E. Mohamed Maliki, the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, at the pre-launch event; with Hicham Bayer from the Embassy of Morocco on the day of the launch of the Food Festival

MOROCCAN FOOD FESTIVAL:

To promote Moroccan cuisine and culture among discerning Indians, the Ambassador of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco, H. E. Mohamed Maliki, has championed this food festival. ITC Maurya is the ideal location and brand to showcase the rich heritage of this ancient cuisine and culture. The festival is on till March 30, and I highly recommend a visit.

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Attendees of the pre-launch event posing with H. E the Ambassador

THE PREVIEW OF THE FOOD FESTIVAL:

Stalwarts from Delhi’s food industry were invited to an exclusive preview before the food festival was launched to public. The event started with the Ambassador introducing us to his vibrant country through a detailed presentation. We then tasted a plethora of curated dishes, served buffet style. The Ambassadress had personally designed the menu and explained Indian tastes and exigencies to the Moroccan chefs, flown in specially for this festival.

The first course includes salad-like preparations called Zalouk, Bakkoula, Carrot Macharmale, and a yummy beet dish. The main course consists of fish tagine with vegetables, pastry encrusted meatballs called Pastilla, soft and flavorful Lamb Koufta’s, a chicken dish served with olives, delightful vegetarian couscous, sweet and savoury safa (akin to sevaiyaan) served with lentils.

Each dish is unique in flavor, and beautifully presented. My favourites were the Lamb Koufta, vegetarian couscous, and the crusty Pastilla.

A wide variety of desserts are being served, including Mango Mud Cake, a cream Chalha and delectable almond fillo pastries. To wash down the richness of the food, we were served hot and flavorful Moroccan tea.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THE MOROCCAN FOOD FESTIVAL AT ITC MAURYA:

The world is now more connected than it’s ever been. We can binge-watch the sceneries and cultural aspects of every country on social media, but we can’t possibly taste its authentic cuisine. To do so, I highly recommend a visit to Ottimo by West View at ITC Maurya, this coming week. You’ll sample fantastic Moroccan cuisine, and may be inspired to visit the beautiful country. I’m definitely planning a visit soon!

INFORMATION ABOUT THE MOROCCAN FOOD FESTIVAL:

Dates: 22nd March to 30th March, 2019

Time: 7:00 p.m. onward

Venue: Ottimo at West View, ITC Maurya Hotel, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi

Price: INR 3750 plus taxes per person

Contact for reservation: 011-66325153

Email: mytable.itcmaurya@itchotels.in

A taste of morocco in Delhi

*Unless specified, all pictures are taken on my phone. Copyright belongs to nooranandchawla. Featured image courtesy- http://www.thespruceeats.com

** I was invited to the launch of this event, but this is not a sponsored post. My opinions are honest and completely my own.

Review of Zomaland Food Festival, Delhi: Should You Visit It?

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It’s raining food festivals in Delhi! After reviewing the Grub Fest (read here) and Horn OK Please (read here), I visited Zomaland yesterday. Read on to know my thoughts.

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ZOMALAND FOOD FESTIVAL:

Organized by the team at Zomato India, a giant food related app, Zomaland is being described as the “grandest” food and entertainment carnival. It certainly stood out in comparison to other food fests.

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WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE ZOMALAND FESTIVAL:

Zomaland offers over 100 eateries divided in 8 cuisine categories, such as Indian, Oriental, Italian, Mexican etc., as well as a couple of bars serving a variety of alcohol.

There’s a carnival section with games and a Ferris (giant) wheel. Two separate stages host singers and live bands, as well as theatre artists and comedians. A dedicated kids zone and multiple photo booths are added attractions. The website also promises ‘food parades’, though I didn’t see one in person.

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Singer Raghav’s performance

WHAT I ATE AT ZOMALAND:

We took advantage of the food festival and tried many restaurants. We whet our appetites at ‘Namaste Asia’ (read my review here). Their chicken chili oil dimsum and beautifully designed sushi cakes, were easy on the eyes and the stomach! We then proceeded to the bar, and ordered Absoluts and Ballantine. Our next snack was the potato tornado stick from ‘Bombay Food Factory’, I liked the chatpata variant, but the Peri Peri and Dynamite were excessively spicy.

For main course, we shared chicken Biryani from ‘Biryani by Kilo’; and mutton and chicken kebabs served with roomali roti from ‘Lucknow Tunda Kebab’. The Biryani was too spicy to be eaten in large quantities, though flavorful. The mutton galouti kebabs were delicious but the roomali rotis were a tad too thick. My vegetarian friends enjoyed their appams and potato stew from ‘Ammas Haus’, but their veggie seekh kebabs from ‘Baba Rolls’ were forgettable. We then shared a yummy margherita pizza from ‘Fat Lulu’s’.

We ended the night with dessert. The chocolate fries from ‘World of Fries’ were disappointing, as was the chocolate ice-cream from ‘Moi’. The star of the night was the delicious Nutella and Kit Kat waffle from ‘Wafl’.

From L-R: Chicken chilli oil dimsum from Namaste Asia, Potato Tornado from Bombay Food Factory, Chicken Biryani from Biryani by Kilo

From L-R: Appams and potato stew from Ammas Haus; Galouti kebab and roomali roti from Lucknow Tunda Kebab; Margherita pizza from Fat Lulu’s

From L-R: Chocolate fries from World of Fries; Nutella and Kit-Kat waffle from Wafl

REVIEW OF ZOMALAND: SHOULD YOU VISIT IT?

Unlike other festivals, Zomaland is very well-organized. To streamline the crowds, a smooth process with multiple security checks, is in place. The decoration is beautiful and classy, with plenty photo ops, that’ll resonate with millennial sensibilities. A lot of thought went into the design and lay-out. The food stalls line the peripheries, with stages on either end. The Ferris wheel and photo booths are placed in the center. This allows free movement, and makes it easy for you to choose what to eat.

Unfortunately, very few people attended the first day. The grounds were almost empty compared to other food festivals I’ve attended on their first days. The food stall owners were dissatisfied with the footfall, though I enjoyed the freedom of movement I had! The low attendance could be attributed to the high price of the ticket (all details below), or the cold weather of January, or simply to people being bored of endless melas and food festivals.

Unfortunately, the Ferris wheel wasn’t functioning when we were there. The coupons for the bar shut at 9:30 p.m. and food stalls wrap up by 10:30 p.m. The music stages also shut at 10:00 p.m, so go in the evening rather than at night. We were there for Raghav’s show, but the overly-loud sound system brought his performance down.

Of everything we ate, Namaste Asia, Ammas Haus, Fat Lulu’s and Wafl stood out the most. Pay them a visit when you’re there. You can also stop by Koyla Kebab, which is an all-time favorite of mine. The drinks are very expensive, a small glass of wine will set you back INR 500, but the vodka and whisky with mixers are better priced.

Overall, I recommend a visit to Zomaland this weekend with your family and friends. The tickets are expensive, but that ensures quality control of the crowd. There’s plenty to do and loads to eat, and you’re sure to have a memorable visit.

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INFORMATION ABOUT ZOMALAND:

Days: 18-19-20 January 2019

Time: 12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi

Ticket Price: INR 400 online; INR 500 on the spot

Book Tickets on Zomato here

View the artist and singer line up here

*All pictures have been clicked by my friend Harpriya Kaur. You can check her Instagram page here

** This is not a sponsored post

Review of Horn OK Please Food Festival, Delhi

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Having reviewed ‘The Grub Fest’(read here) earlier, I recently visited ‘Horn OK Please’ Food Festival, at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

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HORN OK PLEASE FESTIVAL:

Organized by Delhi based events website ‘So Delhi’, Horn OK Please, claims to be Delhi’s “biggest” and “happiest” food festival. They offer different food experiences and unique activities.

You can shop, skateboard, bull-ride or enjoy children’s activities at the Horn Ok Please Food Festival

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT AT THE HORN OK PLEASE FESTIVAL:

There are food trucks, food carts, beer & cocktails (but not my current favorite beer, Hopper!), loads of momo and kebab options, an entire area dedicated to Chinese food, and a plethora of desserts.

You can also shop at the “Quirk Bazaar”, enjoy numerous activities like skateboarding on a half-pipe, a mechanical bull, a silent disco area, musical performances, and a children’s play area.

Clockwise from top: Hot Chill Garlic momos from Dilli 19, gol-gappas from Evergreen, lemon shikanji from Lemonji, galouti kebabs and ulte tawe ka paratha from Food’s Fever truck, strawberry bubble tea from Dr. Bubble’s, black chocolate monster from Icekraft

WHAT I ATE AT THE HORN OK PLEASE FESTIVAL:

My brother and I shared different options, to try a larger variety. We started at momo-land, ideal for the cool weather. At “Dilli 19”, the momo king, we ate the most popular dish- hot chilli garlic chicken momos. These tasted more like Chinese chilli chicken than momos! I recommend trying their tandoori momos or going to a different stall, if you’re looking for authentic momos.

My brother enjoyed gol-gappas at the “Evergreen Chaat” counter. The khatta pani was disappointing but the hing pani was tasty.

We washed all that fieriness down with a delicious but extremely overpriced lemon shikanji from “Lemonji”.

For main course, we zeroed in on Gurgaon based “Food’s Fever” truck, serving Lucknowi and Chinese food. Our galouti kebabs served with ulte tawa ke parathe, were delicious and complete value for money. They’re located in the middle row, and I highly recommend a visit.

For dessert, I tried the bubble tea from “Dr. Bubbles”. Unfortunately, they weren’t serving the milk based tapioca drink I love, only fruity variants. The strawberry bubble tea with cranberry bubbles was too sweet for my palate. My brother tried the seriously chocolatey ‘black chocolate monster’ from “Icekraft”, which was yum!

Silent disco and musical performances

REVIEW OF THE FESTIVAL: SHOULD YOU VISIT IT?

The footfall on Friday evening was surprisingly low. This could be because it was the first day. It could also be due to a failure in targeted marketing and a clearly disorganized layout. Food trucks were languishing in the middle, while food stalls were lined up on the sides. There was no clear demarcation of where everything was. One randomly walked in to the dessert area, without being led there with signages etc. This led to major confusion in choosing what to eat.

The extra activities are unique to the Indian festive space, but seem unnecessary. There weren’t many takers for skateboarding and bull-riding in this crowd! The silent disco only picked up after 8:00 p.m. but seemed more popular than other activities.

The children’s area was almost empty, as children were few and far between. The shopping wasn’t much to my taste, clearly catering to a younger crowd. “Bandish Unchained” was the band playing when I was there, and they were quite bad.

However, organizational mishaps and pointless activities aside, all the food I tried was fantastic. Food festivals are the best way to try eating joints in your city and find new favorites.

I recommend a visit if you like exploring fun things in your city. The Horn OK Please Food Festival may not be Delhi’s largest or happiest festival, but it’s certainly an enjoyable weekend outing.

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE FESTIVAL:

Venue: Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium

Days: 16th– 18thNovember, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Ticket Price: INR 300

Kids under age 8 go free

Bira offers Happy Hours till 6:00 p.m.

Follow me on Instagram @theladylawyer for more real-time content.

*This is not a sponsored post.

**All photos are taken on my phone. Copyright belongs to nooranandchawla.

Inherit Festival in Delhi: A Cultural Shopping Fest with a Difference!

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‘Tis the season, folks! For Christmassy merriment, of course, but also for lovely outdoor fairs and fests in Delhi. I’m on a mission to attend and review as many of them as I can for you. Read about Zomaland, the Li’l flea, the Grub Fest, Horn OK Please, the Cocktail Village at India Cocktail Week, India International Trade Fair, Surajkund Mela, and Dastkar Nature Bazaar by clicking on each link. Today, I’m reviewing a fest I attended over the weekend at Sunder Bagh Nursery. Read on to know about Inherit 2019- a festival for Craft, Fashion, Design, Lifestyle and Heritage Tourism.

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The stage is set for Sonam Kalra’s performance

INHERIT FESTIVAL:

Inherit is organised by the Fashion Design Council of India, in association with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in India. In addition to these lofty names, the festival is sponsored by Dabur Honey, Mrignayanee- Madhya Pradesh Government Emporium, Gujarat Tourism, Pepperfry, Central Park, Centrum, and Forest Essentials- Luxurious Ayurveda. The event is curated and produced by Teamwork. Its recent edition took place over two days in December in the sprawling lawns of Sunder Nursery, in the heart of Delhi; perfectly timed with the gifting/Christmas as well as the wedding season.

Various exhibitors at Inherit Festival

WHAT TO EXPECT AT INHERIT FESTIVAL:

Primarily a shopping festival, Inherit offers live entertainment and eating options as well. One section is dedicated entirely to haute couture by upcoming and established Indian designers. These names are popular with celebrities, and regularly showcase at the India Fashion Weeks. The Inherit Festival is a great opportunity for fashion lovers to buy hot-off-the-shelf clothes, as most of them are sold at discounted rates.

Behind the higher-priced designer stalls, there are regular exhibitors selling arts and crafts, garments, jewellery- both real and costume, handicrafts, handmade toys etc. from across India.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic in India’s sizeable counter sells traditional Czech goodies, with a Christmas theme. There are also cuisine-specific stalls in a demarcated food court, to make it easy for people to pick what they want to eat.

The live entertainment focuses on Indian folk and contemporary classical music, in a nice twist from the regular offerings at other fests.

You can buy quirky sunglasses and beautiful clothing, among other things

THE THINGS I BOUGHT AT THE INHERIT FESTIVAL:

Honestly, I didn’t visit this festival with the intention of shopping, but as a hardcore shopaholic, it was hard for ,e to leave empty-handed! I first visited the fair on Sunday morning, while my family was at the Earth Collective Organic Farmer’s Market, next door.

In quite a rush, I hurriedly picked a pair of sunglasses from local brand, India Eye. I also bought handicraft batik blocks and puzzle toys as Christmas presents for two of my son’s friends. These DIY educational activity kits were sold by the Fair Trade Forum India, and were designed by a Noida-based group called Art Bunker. I was particularly impressed with this stall. They sold a host of children’s activities (age 3 and up), as well as some interesting Indian card games from the 16th century, for adults.

Due to paucity of time, I had to leave early but I returned that evening with my favourite shopping companion- my mother! This time we roamed the entire fair, saw everything, but picked only one necklace from a contemporary jeweller.

I didn’t sample any of the food but enjoyed my cappuccino while my mom savored her tea.

The Czech Embassy stall selling special Christmas goodies; beer and mulled wine were both available

REVIEW OF THE INHERIT FESTIVAL:

Had I not been invited for this festival, I would not have known about it. There was no advertising to speak of, and no buzz around this festival at all. This was rather surprising, considering the entry was free (you have to pay only for entry to Sunder Bagh Nursery), and that it was a mix of premium and affordable shopping. However, this kept the excessive crowds away, making the overall experience quite pleasant.

I really appreciated the convenient location of this festival, the fact that they offered an eclectic mix of things to shop, and the easy layout of the festival. Sunder Nursery is equipped with clean toilets and ample parking space, making visits here easy and convenient. What really sets this festival apart from other wedding and lifestyle exhibitions, is the beautiful outdoor setting. The winter weather adds an extra charm to the affair.

I will definitely visit Inherit Festival when it comes to Delhi next, and I recommend you do as well. Bear in mind, however, this one is purely for shoppers!

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Pretty decor as interesting photo-shoot backgrounds!

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

To stays informed about future Inherit Festivals in Delhi, follow them on their social media handles:

Instagram.com/inheritfestival

Facebook.com/inheritfestival

Twitter.com/inheritfestival

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action.