Sunday, December 30, 2012

Apology

To the 23 yr old gang rape victim, who first fought for her dignity and then her survival, who passed away today and to the countless other nameless and unheard of victims of gang rapes, rapes and crime against women - 
                                                                         Sorry
                                                  WE let you all down, each one of us. 

We all as individuals and as a society owe them an apology, because the only fault of all of these Women was that they were born as a Woman in this morally bankrupt apathetic society called India.

And the only apology that I can offer them is to begin to seek a change, not just in the government, judiciary, police, health care, but within each one of us and this society as a whole.Because WE have come to this kind of social degeneration because of our own apathy as individuals to each other and to the issues plaguing us as a society. And NO amount of social, police, judicial, medical or electoral reforms are going to bring about a change unless WE as individuals change our myopic outlook towards our responsibilities, unless WE give up this attitude of 'OUT OF NEWS, OUT OF MIND', unless WE awaken the empathy that is dying within us. 

We are waiting for some institution, somebody to take the initiative to bring the change which has to start from within each of us. That change will not come by playing the blame game that the government or the police or the judiciary are not doing their job, that CHANGE will come only when we become that change.

Let us not just stand as mute spectator when a woman or for that matter any fellow citizen is being harassed or bullied. Let us agree not to encourage corruption. Let us agree to respect and protect not just our women, but our children and our elders. Let us agree to Vote in the elections that are coming ahead, in an unbiased manner candidates who deserve to be elected and let that be our answer to the Inefficient government. Let us agree each one of us to do our duty sincerely not just as professionals, but also towards our environment, our families and our society. 

       Let us agree to be better human beings and to help nurture a better society for all of us to live in. 

I am promising myself today that I am going to seek a change in the whole process of the way these cases are investigated, conducted and the ordeal that these victims have to go. I realized that a few months back when I was helping my Sister-in-law in her thesis on the treatment of gang rape victims in India. I had decided to do something about this then, but then I let the din of everyday life and work take over, but this time I am not going to give up. This my way of not letting the loss of the life of that child go in vain.

     

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Awakening

A few lines that I wrote, as I saw the protests at India Gate, showing solidarity with the New Delhi gang rape victim and countless others that happen all over India and not just gang rapes, but crime against women in general and the anger that I could feel bubbling in the heart of people against the apathy that is shown not just by the authorities, but also by society in general. And it's after a long time that I have seen the Indian mindset so ruffled and awakened, questioning itself and it's psyche. And I hope that this ruffling will not settle down, rather that it will bring about a change that has been long awaited.

Naked
alone
she lay waiting
for
the rage,
to melt into her veins
for
the rage,
to turn cold
and turn into
the wrath
that shall become
the unbecoming
of the chains that had long held her tied.

She lay waiting
to be reborn
from the embers
of the fire of the rage
that had been long contained
beneath
her
endurance
that has lasted centuries long.

She lay waiting
the carcass frail now,
after
tolerating since centuries
discrimination
suppression,
oppression
to turn
her patient unbending endurance
into an Inferno.

After centuries
of having waited
for the change,
She is now awake
milk in her breast curdled
her womb barren
her heart beating with rage
She will now not rest
till
she sees
her daughters and sisters safe
she will now not surrender
till
she sees
their dignity restored
she will not let her wrath die
till
she sees
their shackles forever torn
she will now stand guard
against
the society
that trod upon her,
strangled her voice,
forced her into becoming a shadow
THE WOMAN
now lies wide awake from her long slumber
and
she shall not sleep again
till
she seeks
the justice that has for so long has been denied to her.







Friday, December 28, 2012

Travelogue Phuket 2012 - The arrival

The thing about traveling is that before u begin it seems so intimidating, with all the planning, organizing that needs to be done and of course the fact that u are stepping out of your comfort zone, into a new place ( a new country), but once it starts it just begins, it turns into an exciting journey, an adventure u don't wish to get over.

The one trick that I have learnt to get the most out of travels is never to set up any expectations, just a rough idea what the travel will be about but no expectations, that ways I get more to enjoy and less disappointment. I used the same trick this time, the rough idea was to take a break and enjoy while doing a bit of sight seeing, exploring, trying out Thai cuisine, trying Muay Thai (it was my first time and Jacob's main focus of the trip), relax and make the most of the opportunity that I have.

The flight was uneventful, of course I had to make a dash to catch my connecting flight across Bangkok airport but that was fun and I reached Phuket, the moment I walked out I realized what was it that I'd forgotten while packing - Umbrella and of course it was raining when I reached.

Found the cab Jacob had pre-arranged for me, the cab driver was the owner of the service and he had been thoughtful and kind enough to bring his wife along, just so that I won't feel uncomfortable traveling with him alone at night from the airport to Chalong where we were staying ( a thing that made me fall in love with Thai people, they are so thoughtful and always ready to help, to the extent of going way out of their way to do so that too for complete strangers without hesitating once, it just leaves one feeling so warm inside). By the way if u wish to know Phuket better and it's always a good idea to do so before travel, going through wikitravel is a very good option, followed by whatever other sites u find.

Phew so I was in Phuket, the first night we stayed at The Signature, in Chalong, located near Tiger Muay Thai (the camp where we were training) it's like this long street of one resort after another with restaurants and bars here and there. Checked out the whole street, had dinner and dropped off to sleep 'cuz I had to wake up early to start training at 6!!!!! (Wham!! yep I'm one of those crazy people who crib about having to wake up early for work everyday and say that there was no way that they would get out of bed early if they had it their way, and then bloody end up waking up early everyday on a holiday)

Of course, I did manage to wake up in time next day (and everyday after that because I had relentless and unyielding alarm clock called Jacob with me, Sigh). Went for the training (I was panting, sweating and aching more than I was training, but considering that it was my first day, I survived 3 and a half hrs of yoga with kick boxing and warm ups pretty well!!).

When we started we used to have this one hour yoga session before our workout (we skipped it later 'cuz it was too much and left us low on energy for our training) but on the first day the Yoga instructor mentioned somewhere during the training 'hold what would u want to hold on to and let go what u want to let go' this got me pondering, I hardly ever know what to hold on to and what to let go, but both are equally important things in life to be aware of, otherwise we just add onto the mental, emotional and physical burden and end up wasting a good chunk of our energy and time which could have been used better to things which are pointless. And so I have been contemplating and working on who and what to hold on to and to let go.

The other thing that I realized while I was training was, that I wasn't pushing myself hard enough. I stopped when I thought my body had had enough, I wasn't trying to push against it's limits and I realized that, not just in for this training, I had been doing this to everything else in life. I don't know whether it's a good thing to do or not, but it did irk me and left me pondering.

Have I become too complacent? I am letting myself getting trapped within the limits of my comfort zone? I think yes, Is it good? Honestly, I haven't figured out yet, but I did resolve to push against my limits over the next few days and I did, slowly and realized that I could challenge my limits and I could push against them and that it was something I enjoyed. And I think I am going to apply this in other aspects of my everyday life.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Wishlist


  • To not be lonely anymore. To find someone who would love me and whom I would love and to share our lives together for a lifetime. I am shameless enough to wish that may I have him in my stockings.
  • To find and do something that I would love doing. To stop being directionless and aimless.
  • Surprises - many, many and many of them.
  • A White Christmas.
  • Christmas party with friends.
  • To travel to Hampi, Spain, Turkey, Paris, Australia, Dublin, Greece, Koh Samui for full moon party.
  • To learn baking and bake cakes, cakes and more cakes.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas is about hope, love, joy of giving and sharing, of being together and the merry feeling it fills me with. It's a feeling that comes from deep within my heart and soul.

So, I can't help loving it, no matter if it's not the White Christmas that I have been wishing for, no matter if it's  without friends, Christmas cake, Christmas tree, Christmas eve party, Christmas dinner, no matter if my stockings shall remain empty, no matter if I can't get family to join me in my enthusiasm for Christmas.

It's still Christmas, my Christmas, and I'll be celebrating it's spirit, so I'll still make my Christmas wishlist, I'll still hang my stockings, I'll still sing jingle bells, I'll be thankful for the family and friends I have, for a lovely vacation that I have just had, for being well fed, clothed, for the luxuries I take for granted, for being healthy and alive and I'll makes wishes for the happiness and health of all those who I know and with all that I'll wait for another Christmas to come next year, with the hope that, it shall be my Christmas.

                    'Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.' - Calvin Coolidge




Travelogue Phuket 2012 - The Beginning

free
momentarily
from the chains that hold me
joyous
I
open my arms
to embrace
the wind and skies
I
wish to find
my wings
and beyond the clouds
I
want to fly
to
find somewhere my own sky
to
paint it with the hue of my joy
let me be
a bird
free to fly.

Why do I want to travel? the inevitable question that I get asked before and after my every trip by family, by friends, by colleagues, so much so that I have started asking this question from myself before and after every trip.

Why do I travel?

And every time when I ponder over this question at the start of my trip,
Surprisingly, I never have a sure answer, and every time it's a different one. But the most two compelling reasons that make me perennially itchy and restless for traveling are - One, to seek a change from my regular everyday life, to take a break from the boredom of daily routine of work and life and the stress it brings along, helping my body and mind refresh and rejuvenate. Second is my love for food and travel provides me countless opportunities to experience a new cuisine, discover countless new dishes, so traveling can always get me excited with the idea of all the unexplored flavors that I shall get to experience.

But when I ponder over the same question at the end of my trip,
I do have a few more reasons for wanting to travel and to keep doing so once and again, it's because of all the wide range of experiences that accompany traveling. These experiences (some good, some not so good) range from meeting new people, listening to their stories, making new friends, coming across varied cultural experiences, exploring new places, dealing with new and at times unforeseen situations and challenges, the process of discovering something new. And more importantly the change that this whole experience brings about in me as a person, in my outlook towards the world and towards myself.

In the end traveling is important to me because this process of exploring places and people, helps me explore myself as a person, discover aspects of me that I was unaware of, it makes me more dynamic by helping me look beyond my comfort zone and explore the limits that I have set for myself and going beyond them, and in this whole process bringing within me changes, for the better or for the worse I can not say. But changes for sure.

This is how this trip also began,
me wanting to go somewhere traveling to take a break from my routine, when my friend Jacob was kind enough to ask me if I would like to join him in Phuket, for a Muay Thai fitness camp that he would be attending. And I agreed glad for company of a friend, eager to explore a new place and a new sport and thus began all the planning, research and preparations.

And finally after quite a few hiccoughs, many brain storming sessions about tickets, stay and other logistics (the credit for most of which goes to Jacob, I really do marvel at his ability to get so much more and valuable information from net than I do) I was all set to begin with my December break and now that I can look back at it, it was a wonderful one.

A few tips, if u are an Indian Citizen traveling to Phuket, Thailand -


  • Plan your trip in advance if u can, it gets you cheaper deals on air tickets as well as hotel reservations.
  • Even though VISA on arrival is not a big deal, just an extra hour of delay at the airport (and u shall have to show currency worth 35000 Bhat in hand), U can get it done from the Thai Embassy and it's a very simple process. (which takes about 3-4 days with proper planning and information, which is available online)
  • I found it a better deal to get my money converted to US Dollars here and then converting Dollars to Thai Bhat in Thailand. (There are ample money exchange counter at and near both Bangkok and Phuket airport)
  • Thailand is one of the countries which u can fit in any budget, all u need to do is research well, and be it hotels, to planning activities, to cab services all information is easily available and even on arrival, the locals ( at least in Phuket) are very helpful.


P.S - for more details about the travel please follow the next few posts

Friday, December 21, 2012

Phuket Dec 2012

I have been away for a while now, because I was on a vacation.

Phang Nga Bay, Phuket

Destination - Phuket
Duration - 10 days
Activities - I'll need a while a to put everything down in words, a travelogue is in process, though I doubt if i'll
                 to see it to the finish line and of course loads of pictures, which need to be sorted out.

What now? - Now that the vacation is over, I am feeling blue. This is the crazy thing about vacations, before     they begin, U can't wait for them to start and once they do, u just don't want them to get over.

I think the only way to get over a vacation is by planning another one.

So this is what is on the cards - work, party, write the travelogue, plan a new trip and of course work on some of the personal projects that are pending.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy December

December
I stopped midway in the mad rush
as the realization struck that
It's December again.

I
took a deep breath,
welcoming the Winters,
letting the chill seep in
letting the calm set in.

For 
the first time in so many weeks
I stopped feeling like a string
tense, taut, ready to snap.

love December,
it reminds me that a year has gone by
that time has been lost
But
it also fills me with hope
that there's another year waiting just around the corner.

Waiting
with so many days, so many months
to be filled with
all that is yet to be done.
It's the time
of the year to take a break.

To 
Hibernate,
Rejuvenate
to 
Begin again.

It's 
the time to let go what is gone,
to dream and hope for what is to come,
with Christmas and snow
just around the corner
it's the time
to spread joy
and to let cheer take over
and let the soul heal.

Happy December


(P.S. - I wish there was a movie titled 'happy December' showing the essence of December, and like every year I wish I would get to see and enjoy a white December and a merry Christmas)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Small treats

This post is inspired by this lovely post by my blogger friend Relyn http://comesitbymyfire.blogspot.in/2012/11/small-treats.html on her blog 'Come sit by my fire'

Small Treats, those tiny little things that, can brighten an otherwise dull, crazy or bad day in just a moment. The magical little things that make up magical little moments, which make life vibrant and beautiful.

My Small Treats
 include 
Surprises, getting them and giving them * getting flowers * Daisies * Sunsets * Teddy Bears * watching my gold wish swimming in it's bowl at night * walking on the cold damp grass * enjoying a walk in the cool breeze on a silent night * star gazing * dancing * listening to music with lights dulled and letting it take me on a high * watching one of my fav movies at home on a Saturday night with bowl of soup, burger and ice cream tub * warm nice smelling bubble bath with music in the back ground * talking to friends * writing letters * making personalized gifts * crafts * painting shirts * watching children play * a warm glass of milk with ginger bread * watching the first snow of the season sitting on the porch * reading a nice book tucked up in my quilt on a winter night * dreaming about finding love and spending a lifetime being in love * spa * helping someone in need * the look on the face of an elderly after spending some time with them * hugging someone when they are feeling low * long drive in the country at night with music and wine * cooking * baking cakes and cookies * desserts * the feeling after doing my one good deed for the day * getting hugged and kissed by mom while I'm still in bed * sharing a casual laughing moment with dad * feeling of being taken care off* pillow fights * shoes * a well fitted party dress * sitting in a bar with a drink and music * lying on the grass under the sun on a cold winter's day * the smell of autumn * the spirit of festive season * singing * sitting in a coffee shop on a rainy day with a warm mug of coffee while I write a few lines * rich creamy hot chocolate * painting * the smell of sunday mornings * dreamless peaceful sleep * memories * good times with friends * eating roasted marsh mallows * halloween parties * saying thank you * picnics * travelling * open air candle light dinners * reading poetry *

all that I can remember at the moment, but it's just the tip of the ice-berg. What are your small treats?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Believe...

The way u treat people describes your character.
 So if u want to know what people feel about u, look back and see how u treated them.
 U treat someone well, they feel good about u, u treat someone like shit, they feel crappy about u. 
Perception is relative. 

So be careful about the way u treat people.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Musing

Been a while,
 since I have done some writing, 
apart from maybe a few lines,
 bits and pieces here and there, not much.

I was wondering why?
 because writing gives me joy, 
joy because it is an instrument through which I communicate
  not just with people around me, 
but also with myself. 

most of the times
I express thoughts better while writing than speaking
In fact
as I begin writing about them
my thoughts start getting clearer
problems start making sense
I understand myself better
And
solutions start coming to me
And I end up in a better shape
then when I began.

Then why haven't I written in such a long time
actually
why haven't I been able to write?

The answer,
I guess is that I write,
when my conscious and unconscious mind communicate with each other


The conscious mind,
 struggling with it endless queries and confusions
While
The unconscious mind
tries to help it look at things
with a clearer perspective
in the process
clearing the clutter,
making sense out of the chaos.

I have not been able to write
because
I have not been at peace
I have been galloping, worrying, chasing
while 
the unconscious mind 
has been trying
to tell me 
to 
slow down
calm down
quit chasing
to accept what I have heard
but 
I am refusing to acknowledge.

That
what has to happen shall happen
that for everything
under the sun, there is a season and reason
and 
that 
I need to only do what I can
do what I want to
do what I feel is right
and 
forget about the rest.
no amount of 
chasing
wanting
worrying
is going to make a difference.

I am not writing
because
I am refusing to listen to the dialogue
happening within.

(P.S - at the end of this post of course I will start the process of trying to listen)




Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Randomness

Many a times I meet people to whom, silent empathy is all I can offer, that is when my heart grows heavy
 wishing, that silent empathy could be of any help. 
With that empathy comes Silent gratitude, for what I have. 
At these times I realize, that, It is such a beautiful life that I have, and such a mess that I have turned it into. 
And
I wish I was a better person.
And
I strive to make myself a better person, than I am.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Experience Melbourne

'The most important lesson that u learn from travelling is, To Begin. Travelling teaches u, that, unless u take that first step which takes you down the road, ideas just remain ideas, dreams just remain dreams.It's After the first step, when the journey begins, that u realize the road just goes on, all u have to do is begin, and the treasure that life has to offer is waiting to engulf you at every step you take.'



And, so, it was exasperating for the traveler within me, when I could not decide how to begin writing this post. It was not the first time that I was writing about travel or a travel destinations, but I was struggling to find a beginning.

And then I realized, It was in fact, the first time that I was trying to write about an experience that I was yet to have. How does one write about experiencing a place that one hasn't yet been to? To put down in words, the experience that I want, but have not had yet, was challenging. To pen down expectations and not experiences, it always is challenging, it's like being blindfolded for a surprise birthday cake, u want it to be the flavor u love, but u don't know what u are going to get, so I decided to begin...

Not with, Why Melbourne, but with Why Travel?

It's curiosity that drives me, curiosity to know more, curiosity to break free from the bubble I live in and challenge myself with the new, the unknown, the unexpected and discover how that experience teaches me, changes me.
Travelling gives me that chance, a break from the monotony of everyday life, as I explore a new place, a chance to discover a new culture, a new cuisine and celebrate it's existence by experiencing it. A chance to meet new people, make friends and in the process looking at the world from a perspective different from my own, chance to discover the past and learn from it by visiting the relics of times gone by, a chance to challenge myself with a new adventure, a chance to enjoy the richness and beauty of nature, and let the experience relax and rejuvenate me.

Why Melbourne?

Melbourne has become a beautiful and vibrant melting pot of both the old and modern era, of people and cultures and has everything to offer that makes travelling a fulfilling experience.


The capital city of  the South eastern province,Victoria, Australia, located along Yarra river, "Melbourne" was named after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, the British Prime Minister at that time, and has been ranked as the most livable city since 2011. It's a well planned beautiful city, with large parks, gardens and a beautiful mix of modern infrastructure and building and and Victorian era architecture. 

Melbourne is called the 'cultural capital' of Australia and it lives up to it's title. Melbourne became a cultural melting pot, since it's Gold rush day in 1800's and the pot has just got richer with time. Melbourne has multitude of experiences to offer be it arts, music, literature, dance, theater, cuisines, sports, history, fun, nature walk. 

It's a city well connected to the rest of the world through air links, safe to move around, with range of accommodation varying from budget to splurge and a traveler's haven with the experiences it has to offer.
You can explore it on foot, with public transport, by hiring a cab, but I wish to explore Melbourne on a bike exploring the nook and corners of it's lane, checking out it's cafe's, bristo's  and gardens. Another experience that I wish to enjoy is to tour the city in a hot air balloon (http://www.visitmelbourne.com/Regions/Melbourne/Activities-and-attractions/Outdoor-activities/Ballooning-and-scenic-flights.aspx ) and watch the Melbourne skyline against the backdrop of Yarra river as the sunsets and the lights start flickering out.

If you are into arts, movies, theater and culture, then, The South side Percinct with it's countless art galleries is where you should head, also Melbourne hosts the International Art festival in October (another experience which is on my to do in Melbourne list) and the International Films festival in August

If it is history of the city, it's Gold rush days interest you, you could stop by The Melbourne Museum or The Fitzroy Gardens to see the Cook's cottage, the home of one of the first European navigator. St. Paul's and St. Patrick's cathedrals are beautiful relics of Victorian era architecture and you could also visit Montsalvat, to experience the French architecture ans food.

Melbourne, was formed by The Kulin Nation, home to five Aboriginal tribes, before European settlers settled here and hence is also home to rich Aboriginal culture and heritage. I had love to the Heritage walk in the Royal Botanical garden and discover Aboriginal traditions, painting and learn about their day to day activities.

Not just that, I had love to enjoy the rich night life, fine dining experience and shopping at offer in The Bourke Street Mall, Collins Street and Flinders quarter, take a casual walk at The St. Kilda Road and picnic around the Yarra Precinct, visit China town and experience candy and chocolate making at Koko Black (as described by a friend who recently visited Melbourne)

And it's not just Melbourne that I'd like to experience, I would love to travel to Mornington Peninsula, Phillip Island and hopefully catch a glimpse of penguins there and travel to the Great Ocean Road and and enjoy the view of the 12 apostles and experience wine making in the Yarra valley vineyards.

And of course I am looking forward to meeting and spending time again with Jacob, my Australian travel mate, an hardcore Melbournian, as we explore Melbourne together and continue our impromptu date that started as a travel rendezvous and has just continued ever since. 

With all this waiting for you on the plate, It's your time to visit Melbourne NOW and satiate your travel lust because Melbourne is a beautiful example of a city telling the beautiful story of it's own cultural evolution, as the technology revolution gradually melts distances and boundaries and the world becomes one small village, it depicts how beautifully the old and the new can blend and coexist in harmony, with the old laying the foundation of the new modern era, and the modern preserving the old and building on it's strong foundations and in the process enriching the experience that is available for a hungry traveler to savior. 

For more information and to plan your trip you could visit http://www.visitmelbourne.com/in 






Thursday, August 23, 2012

From the Bookshelf


Steve Jobs in his Autobiography  -

'What drove me?' I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of work that's been done by others before us.

I didn't invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and add something to the flow. It's about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how ---- because we can't write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show oour appreciation of all the contributions that camme before us, and to add something to that flow. That's what has driven me.


I read this today as I finished reading Steve Jobs biography and It was weird reading something that I have been telling myself to move on every time I come to a standstill facing the chaos of life, as somebody else's words.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

सारांश

चाँद की खूंटी पे टंगी रात 
रात की खूंटी पे टंगी नींद 
नींद की खूंटी पे टंगे सपनें 

सपनों की खूंटी पे टंगी आस 
आस की खूंटी पे टंगी साँस 
जीवन का सारांश ।

Sunday Morning


Sunday mornings are magical, the bright sunny lazy one's especially. I woke up to one today, hence you have to suffer the pleasure of reading this post.

Unlike Sunday evenings that threaten to suck away all the happiness out of me, Sunday mornings give me the feeling of cuddling a soft toy or receiving a big tight hug. I simply love the smell of them.

The smell takes me far far away to a grassy meadow by a lake in the mountains filled with the sweet smell of grass and flowers, the song of the birds and wings, and the fresh air of the open.

I think there's something special in the air that makes them delightful. Something fresh, peaceful, comforting and blissful. Something that makes you feel warm inside.

It's wonderful to wake up on a quiet Sunday morning, stretch myself, walk out, close my eyes and take a deep breath and relax while the feeling of warmth and bliss seeps within my being, suspending me in the moment now, washing away everything else into oblivion, relaxing my mind and making my heart joyous.

It's the feeling I wish I could cork in a bottle and keep forever with me as a talisman against all the dark and dreadful feelings that might come my way.

Wish u a Happy and wonderful day ahead. 

Happy Sunday.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Believe...

I Believe....

Life Will make us face our worst fears, no matter what,
Until,
we learn, that the our sense of security is probably the only illusion to be feared.
That life is nothing but a ride out there in the wild.

And that only those who dare to break out of the bubble of that illusion will experience what it means to be alive, Everyone else is just whiling away their precious lifetime secured in the cage.

 like the mother bird pushes the baby bird out of it's nest into the open sky to fly away to greater heights, so does life, 'cuz it wishes us to go farther, rise higher, fly free, explore the world and experience the best that is out there.

So, the time when u stand facing the worst u had ever thought could happen, don't give up, don't fall down go and grab it by the arm, it'll be opportunity knocking on your door. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Roots

where lie thy roots?
they asked the traveler.
buried,
'neath the soil of love,
in the garden of his heart, she replied.

Why then you wander?
they asked the traveler.
In search of the garden,
where I shall bury my roots.

till when would u wander?
they asked the traveler.
till mine heart shall find his
till our souls shall entwine
our lives becoming one
and as one we shall roam again. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kasauli

Finally took my much awaited weekend break and went off to Kasauli, a tiny little mountain town, located in Himachal Pradesh India, approx 6 hours drive away from Delhi also well connected via trains (the nearest railway station being Kalka, from where u can take a cab, also from Chandigarh, 2 hrs away). I took the road, 'cuz I had heard a lot about the Himalayan Express Highway, and every word of what I had heard was true (clean roads, with rarely any potholes or rough stretch all this in the mountains!!! hats off). Stopped over in Dharampur, a small town at the outskirts of Kasauli and enjoyed a yummy meal at it's roadside diners.

 I stayed at 'The Kasauli Resort', a lovely property
(also recommend The Kasauli Regency, with a rooftop open air bar and diner) both of them are 2-3 kms away from the main town Kasauli but very well connected via state transport. The main attractions of the trip  for me were hiking through the countless trails in the valley, the scenery and of course the tiny little town of Kasauli, with it's stone cobbled streets and quiet life and The Live Guitar night at the Kasauli Regency.

For two days, I walked in the wonderland, surrounded by plush green valleys, watching the sun playing hide and seek with clouds over the tree covered mountains. I hiked through the valley, sometimes in silence, sometimes listening to the sound of wind, the birds singing, all the while drinking with hungry eyes of a drunkard the scenic greens of the valley, feeling delighted at discovering hidden tracks, stairways covered with carpets of green moss, corners hidden beyond the curtains of greens. Mersmerized by walls, trees covered with pearls of greens I walked surrounded by the mist, playing with the wisps of clouds, saw the sunset painting the sky orange while listening to the temple bells tolling far away, and spent the nights gazing at the star studded sky. Had impromptu conversations with locals, was baffled by a stray dog who adopted me and accompanied me all through my hike, I shall forever remember the look of kindness and affection that I had seen in the eyes of that tiny little animal.

I walked as if in a dream, letting the beauty of nature overwhelm my eyes, letting the peaceful calm silence the storm raging within me. I gazed longingly at the roads winding away beyond the curtain of the mist, wishing I could disappear around the next corner, to walk lost in the beautiful spectacle of nature surrounding me.

For two days I was a little girl walking in the wonderland of her dreams, wishing that the dream would never end and She would be left alone in her wonderland.

But all dreams end, and so I wished my wonderland adieu, with the promise to return again.

Green Green, Green every where

The Valley

View from my Balcony


Cobbled street at the Heritage Market Kasauli

The road goes on and on and on
To whence it goes, knows not a soul
beckoning the wanderer within to follow.

'Neath the sun,
sleep the dead,
lives, that once were
now remain just
names entombed.

the moss covered staircase, a cosy little place with sun and shade





The Gardener, tending his beautiful little garden, toiling hard, to  bring to our sight the joy  and beauties of his tiny little garden.

Artistic Recycling

A souvenir shop, run by a man who's turned his hobby into a living. 








Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Been a while since I have blogged (not that anyone would have missed me here, but I missed being here). What have I been upto??

I wish I could answer loads, but actually nothing. I have been for the most of my time confused, struggling to sort out my confusion, make decisions, get back my focus....no luck so far.

I have started work out, dancing and healthy eating to get back in shape, the diet has been working well so far, been partying a lot, and am going to Kasauli for weekend break this week and looking forward to exploring the place, write and paint.

Shall get back to u with tid bits from Kasauli, till then have a great time, stay safe and happy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

For those who write and read


“A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man – or this woman – may use a typewriter, profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I have done for 30 years. As he writes, he can drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time he may rise from his table to look out through the window at the children playing in the street, and, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or he can gaze out at a black wall. He can write poems, plays, or novels, as I do. All these differences come after the crucial task of sitting down at the table and patiently turning inwards. To write is to turn this inward gaze into words, to study the world into which that person passes when he retires into himself, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy. As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding new words to the empty page, I feel as if I am creating a new world, as if I am bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way someone might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. The stones we writers use are words. As we hold them in our hands, sensing the ways in which each of them is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes almost caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds.”
― Orhan Pamuk
(This was posted on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/OrhanPamukAuthor of the author today. I am merely sharing it here)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Amritsar

http://travel.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?280207

This mouth watering food blog got me interested in Amritsar the first time (Yes, not the Golden temple or Jalianwala Bagh or Wagah border but a food blog!!!) because I just happen to love good food and I am ready to become a travelling mule for it, and thus this article had me drooling.

Thus, the moment, Jacob, mentioned that he wanted to explore Amritsar and invited me to join in, the weekend trip was set and we plunged with our usual enthusiasm to plan how to reach, where to stay, what to do, in short how to get the maximum travel experience we could get out of the 3 days we had. And after countless the usual second thoughts and discussions later we were ready with everything in place.

Amritsar located in Punjab, India, is known for being the seat of Sikh religion and culture due to the Golden Temple. It is well connected from New Delhi by trains and flights ( u can check any travel websites for the details or click http://wikitravel.org/en/Amritsar ) best time to visit being from October to March.

Deciding to brave the 42 degree summer heat, we landed in Amritsar after an uneventful 6 hr train ride, went over to Radisson Blu, a relatively new but beautiful property, on the outskirts of the city (it's location being it's disadvantage, as u are left with very little options to explore the city, if u wish to explore the city and enjoy the food this property is not for you). That night we decided to explore a punjabi cultural haat called Rangala Punjab at the Haveli Resorts in Jalandhar about 2 hours away from Amritsar. Instead of the hotel cab, we used a local cab service (Arora Travel Agency), which charged us half the price with excellent service.

Rangla Punjab is set in the form of a small punjab village, with tableau showing life in a punjabi village, a cultural  programme of Bhangra, Gidda, plays etc with an open air stage and sitting arrangements on traditional jute cots, an amateur magic show, some games and a traditional punjabi meal  at the restaurant (all this in 440 INR)


Bhangra

The India way of doing popcorns

Punjabi thali in Punjabi dining style.

playing Stapu

Trying my hands at Pottery.




The open air sitting area.

It was fun imbibing the ambience of rural punjab and indulging in games, trying hands at pottery, watching the performances (which were pretty average though).

The next day was dedicated to being tourists, we started at 1 (this time taking the hotel tour package), went to Jalianwala Bagh, in the crazy heat ( U can google for the gory history associated with it. ) then enjoyed a finger licking meal at Surjit food plaza (one of the yummiest chicken that I  have ever had) before heading off to the Wagah border (about 30 - 40 mins away from Amritsar) for the evening time closing of gates ceremony at the India Pakistan border. (The ceremony takes place twice a day once in morning and once in evening any local person or hotel staff where u are staying can provide u with the information)

Wagah border 

The Jallianwala Bagh


Guard Ceremony at Wagah.
Huge crowd and street dancing.

Flag races



The ceremony included patriotic songs and street dancing, a few races by some enthusiastic adults, flag lowering and salutation ceremony by the army on both sides of the gates, but to get to all of this meant braving a long walk of about 1-2kms (because the car parking is about 3 kms from the area of the actual event) in the heat with dust, a mammoth crowd and  a huge scare, when for a silly security theater, I and Jacob got separated in the male and female queue, not knowing where and how we would meet in the crowd (more scary since cell phones don't work in the area due to army jamming). But we did manage to catch up with each other again and then using the entrance for foreigner's gallery (basically it's a huge stadium like area with steps for seats, a part of which is reserved only for foreign visitors) which leads to a sitting area reserved for foreign travelers we were seated on the stone steps of the open air auditorium (which turned out to be a real time pain in ass). As for me I found the whole ceremony pointless (probably 'cuz I believe in world with out border, thus making it difficult for me to identify with the concept of nationalism) but to Jacob it was a celebration of nationalism, but we were both glad when 45 mins later the ceremony was over and our poor bums were relieved.  

After getting back, we had our usual lengthy dinner (lengthy enough to make two or three food posts) before leaving to visit the Golden temple. The temple is a beautiful sight at night, the Gurudwara, decorated with real Gold is situated in midst of a man made lake and thronged with devotees. And being a Sunday the queue was thousands long, when we reached, but thanks to some cooperation from the locals we managed to get in. (Tip - u need to keep your heads covered within the complex)
The Golden Temple at night


The temple periphery.

Golden Temple during the day.

It was beautiful experience, followed by an equally wonderful discussion sitting on the edge of the lake before we decided to call it a day. The next day I decided to visit the golden temple again to see it during the day, while Jacob explored the city. We decided to get lunch from Beera's (which was good, but not as amazing as Surjit's) before returning back via an adventurous and hilarious train journey (I'll leave that story for another blog post)


We had an amazing time, which could have been much more amazing if it would have been winters, 
 but still we had our fill of the travelling experience and memories.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Believe..

I like to travel for many reasons...

But sometimes I just want to travel, to break free from the bubble I live in, to challenge myself with the new, the unknown, the unexpected and to let the experience teach me, change me, but more importantly to remind myself that fear is just a figment of my sense of security and that it exists only as long as I let it exist. To remind myself, that it's not my fears that hold me back, rather my lack of will to fight them.

I simply travel, to wake up within me, the thrill lying dormant, the thrill of 'Being alive' that comes through the experience of living boundlessly.

So, Why is it that you travel?






Friday, April 27, 2012

Quoted in The Rivered Earth from Tirukkural

'They say love is the reason why


This soul of ours is bound with bone.


Then,


My soul will find yours.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

26

Someone once told me, birthdays are magical days, but this year, there was no magic and I kept wondering why!! and then I realized that it's probably because -  

Even after 25 years of having been alive and kicking, I am still blundering around, trying to find my road, to find the fuel that shall turn on the light within into a raging inferno.....25 yrs of not coming in terms with my own self, of lacking an understanding of my self....What a shame and What a huge waste of a life.
            I am angry with myself for wasting away the gift of life, angry with myself at being so confused, angry with myself when I see people who've found their passions and what that passion can do to a human being and how that drive can make life such a beauty, angry that I can't still find mine because I had rather be a flower of a day, filled with passion, purpose and to have done something worthwhile in that one day, than having had a life time of nothing but existing....being passionless, makes me angry and my anger makes me weary of myself.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wish List

March happens to be my birthday month (25th being the day), I am a disaster when it comes to wishing, most of the times I begin with 'I wish......Full stop. And I end up saying, go ahead life, give me whatever u think is best for me.'  And this I think is the reason of my disastrous wish response record, 'cuz I read it somewhere, 'If u want something, be specific about it.' So this year I have decided to break free from my usual wish making and make a tiny wish list of my own.

So for my 25th Birthday and the year to come ahead I wish for -

Surprise, surprise and lots of surprises.
A bunch of white daisies :D :D
A white and blue party dress and sexy sandals.
A beach vacation.
Hot air balloon ride and sand dune party.
A trekking trip and cottage vacation.
Determination and perseverance and patience to work hard and Clear the exams I am targeting this year.
May love find me and may I find love (of course I have lots of people of love), but here I am referring to the one and only ;).

This my tiny little Birthday wishlist. I shall keep u updated about it's progress through blog posts.

Love and smiles.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mesmerizing Udaipur


The Jagmandir Island - floating in midst of the lake
the ferry dropped us here and then we never wanted to leave.
While we sat watching the mainland, the hill lined lake side lazing
under the peace and quiet afternoon sun.




The pool at the palace I was staying in
and if u think it's lovely by the day, It just turns magical by the night
I lay counting stars at night,
watching the night grow older, quieter
while I grew calmer within.




I went for a work trip to Udaipur, in Rajasthan, India for a couple of days. A beautiful town situated around three main lakes Udaisagar, Fateh Sagar and Lake Picola. Known as the 'Venice of East' It did live up to the description it has been adorned with.

It turned out to be a smashing fun trip as I and my friend Jacob, decided to explore the city on our own, walking it's streets (with a little help of helpful locals and internet) we discovered that the city had more than just stone palaces to offer, in terms of folk art, innovative ideas and experiences.

For three days, I broke free from the usual rush of life, and lived life in slow motion, holding on to each moment that came by, savoring each moment while it lasted before moving into the next. For three days I walked mesmerized by the beautiful city with it's majestic palaces, lakes, island hotel, moonlight lake view diners, peaceful lakeside afternoons and magical sunsets.

While we were mostly too busy capturing the moments and imprinting them as memories on the film of our minds, we did manage to capture a few as photographs on the lens of our camera. Here are a few


The City Palace, Udaipur all lighted up at night


I watched the sun slowly set, heard the birds calling those still
wandering away from homes back, and I knew why those
who were still out were not back in their nests
'cuz they were just as spellbound as I was with the magic the setting sun was weaving.

I never wanted to get out of the spell,
I never wanted to get down the hill we had climbed
I never wanted the music of the blowing wind to stop
I never wanted that moment to end
I just wanted to continue living in this moment
In fact in some corner of my mind I will continue living in that moment forever.



And not to be left behind,
the city began lightening up, to match up with the sunset with it's grandeur
while we just stood by as The Enchanted Spectators

And if u think it were only the nights that were magical
the days were no less, it was a magic of different kind.









This was a puppet show we attended, amateur but not bad with the music and dance.


This was at a vegetarian food joint 'the millets of Marwar' run by young cooks, who have worked
hard on their own recipes, tested them, added their own innovative touch
to the traditional Indian food, we were bowled over by their food
and I found this artist of Marwar paintings  and decided to get a few tips for this hobby of mine.

This was just plain hilarious, at a cultural haat  on the outskirts of Udaipur, showcasing different
dance forms that Rajasthan has to offer

The Aghori Dance

Taran taal another amazing dance form of Rajasthan


 The palace and it's beauties, the windows, the gateways, the beautiful glass work in and around.



















This was terrifying, trust me it was one hell of a scary ride
I'm done with camel rides for a lifetime now.