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In Romania, 2 Canadians become First people to Survive a Night at Dracula’s Castle in 70 Years

The pair outdid 88,000 people who entered a competition hosted by Airbnb to get the chance to dine and sleep at the castle in Romania

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Tami Varma (R) and her brother Robin, grandchildren of an expert in vampire lore, pose in coffins at Dracula's Castle, in Bran, Romania, Oct. 31, 2016. The pair bested 88,000 people in a competition to win the chance of a night at the famed landmark. VOA
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Romania, November 2, 2016: All night long, a cold wind howled around the gothic castle that inspired the Dracula legend, as a Canadian brother and sister became the first people to pass the night there in 70 years.

But it wasn’t the wind that kept Robin Varma, a PhD student in political science, awake at Bran Castle in Transylvania. Rather it was the incessant chattering of his sister.

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“He put the lid on his coffin so he could sleep…. He was sick of hearing me talk,” Tami Varma, an events manager from Ottawa, told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The pair outdid 88,000 people who entered a competition hosted by Airbnb to get the chance to dine and sleep at the castle in Romania, by describing how their grandfather – Devendra P. Varma, a scholar of English gothic tales and an expert in vampire lore – had visited the medieval fortress in 1971.

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They arrived at dusk Monday in a stagecoach, and were welcomed by Dacre Stoker the great-nephew of Bram Stoker who wrote the 1897 horror novel. They later dined on chicken paprikash and red wine, serenaded by a string quartet, before curling up for the night in red-velvet-lined coffins – but sleep eluded them.

It wasn’t just the talking, or the wind howling, though. Another mysterious sound spooked the pair.

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“We have a strong feeling there were invisible guests walking along the castle corridors last night,” Tami Varma said, hinting that Count Dracula may have paid a fleeting visit. “But we did live to see sunrise.” (VOA)

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  • Shivani Vohra

    Thtat’s such an adventurous way to spend the night.

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

You may like to read more on Indian cuisine: Indian ‘masala’, among other condiments spicing up global food palate.

Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)