Category Archives: Life

Unravel the Travel!

As promised (to no one in general), here’s a continued set of anecdotes from my trip to Gujarat!

Let’s begin right from the beginning of the trip, like is the norm unless I choose to write in reverse chronology. That’s a good idea but for another day!

Anyone who’s spent even a day on Bangalore roads would know how terrible a nightmare they can be, especially if you have a flight to catch. So  for my own mental peace and for all practical purposes, I left from home, four hours before my flight was to take off! And lo behold, I reached in just about an hour and a half, much to my annoyance and my cabbie’s surprise at my annoyance. The good people at the flight customer support counter however sent me off on an early flight as reward for my unacceptable promptness.

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That’s a long way to go! At Ahmedabad Airport.
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That’s a lot of lights! And white. At Mumbai Airport.

We came across not one or two but three locations where there were rubber band sellers – and when I say rubber band sellers, they were only selling rubber bands! A handcart full of crimson, kale, azure, gold, grey, fuchsia, violet, saffron, striped, polka dotted rubber bands! Out of curiosity, I asked one of those vendors what the price of the bands were and he said 1 rupee! Yes, you read it right – freaking 100 paise! 1 rupee! My first thought was how are they even surviving! My second thought was to buy a dozen or so of the bands. My third thought was exactly how much is the production cost of these bands if people are managing to sell these at such a nominal price!

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You get transported to the era of mutinies and sepoys with your first step in. At Diu Fort.

At one of the beaches, my sister was polite enough to do the human thing of clicking a picture for a couple of guys who requested her to. One of them started making small talk with her asking her if she was a resident of the town, did she know any good places to eat, et al. Having answered in monosyllables, we started walking away when one of them called out to her asking her, “I’m from the States. Would you want a picture with me?” Surprised, she refused. He insisted again asking, “Are you sure you don’t want  a picture with me?” While I was wondering if I could place his face to any of the Indian Americans I’d seen on the USA shows, my sister was muttering, “He’s freaking flirting with a 20 year old! He is almost double my age!”

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That’s vandalism, in modern times! At least something is changing with times. At Diu Fort.

We had visited a set of caves, to which there’s dispute about whether it was a geological formation or dug by the Portuguese for formation of the Diu Fort. Either ways, it was a beautiful maze of earth cut out in a variety of eerie and curiously un-human ways. There were stairs ending into nowhere, rocks hanging out precariously, cuts in the ceiling which didn’t seem to explain the purpose or history of its creation! And because it was so huge and devoid of many tourists, there were spaces where you couldn’t see another person as far as your sight and the maze allowed. The silence was harsh enough for you to hear your own breathing and each step you took creaked the twigs and dry grass below. I was thankful to have gone there during the day! In the midst of this little nowhere, was a bunch of DSLR equipped photographers capturing a to-be married couple’s shots. The pictures will turn out to be pretty, I tell you!

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Photoshoot, in progress. At Naida Caves.

When I recounted the saga of being stuck on the highway in a three hour traffic jam in the early hours of a new day, I did not mention a first I encountered! I managed to locate and confirm my first constellation sighting in the skies! It was the Big Dipper constellation, as confirmed by the StarTracker app I use, when I was very sure that it was Big Dipper! I wish I could have captured the night sky as pristine as I saw it, but technology has its limits and sometimes, what you see is too beautiful to be captured as is on camera. The camera just cannot do justice.

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Grainy, but memorable. At a resort in Gir.

Graciously Yours!

2016 flew by!

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We are pleased to announce that another trip round the Sun is almost complete! Ushering in the new year! Hoping it be it brighter and better for all. Picture courtesy : Gopal Goel. Idea courtesy : Yours truly! 😉

What is time?

The ticking of the seconds hand. Dawn giving way to dusk. Mondays coming back! The turning of the pages on a calendar. The change of calendars itself!

Wikipedia has a more interesting explanation :

Time is a component quantity of various measurements used to sequence events, to compare the duration of events or the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change of quantities in material reality or in the conscious experience.

We are at the edge of changing of calendars now. We throw out all things 2016 and bring in 2017. It’s a chance for people to start afresh, break away from the routine and monotony of dreams being chipped off, make new resolutions again and hoping this would be the year when they get completed!

2016 was a mixed year. Like any other year. And as we have less than 24 hours left to complete another trip around the Sun, I am going to grab this chance to end 2016 on a happy note!

  • Here’s to parents who are supportive, understanding, strict yet loving, caring and worrying, give me so much freedom that I want to go and put my life’s reins in their hands.
  • To the sister who relishes every chance to laugh at me, life would be incomplete without her constant support.
  • The mentor who toes the line of friend, philosopher and guide to the dot! Thank you for reminding me what my dreams are made of.
  • To that friend who stitched my open wounds and has been my pillar of emotional support. I wish people saw you in the light I see you in.
  • To the Sherlock fan who makes it a point to keep a smile on my face, whose care melts a little of the walls I built, each time.
  • To friends with whom I explored places, wandered down new lanes in old cities, sang to tunes, danced till our feet hurt and welcomed sunrises happier and livelier!
  • To the new city, new people I met – some drifted away, others came close – all taught me more about life, myself and that there are so many things to do in life that an existential crisis should start having an existential crisis about its’ own existence!
  • Special mention to the co-workers and seniors who encouraged me to follow my passions, enjoy work, be fearless, learn from mistakes and keep stress at bay.
  • To John Green and Hank Green for reminding me every day to be awesome, to Elon Musk for really being awesome, to Justin Trudeau for giving me hope, to Warsan Shire for making me fall in love with your words, to Praveen Sethia for keeping my laughs alive, to those life stories which fed me with courage, faith, honesty and dreams, and to those innumerable supportive bloggers and friends who make me look forward to writing and keeping the flame of my passion alive!

Here’s to a happier, healthier, crazier and love filled new year for all of you! ❤

Welcome 2017. Be better than 2016.

Graciously Yours!

Pssst : Do you even recall what your 2016 resolutions were? How much of it did you manage to achieve? Let me know! And then I’ll share mine! Till then, I am trying to recall exactly what they were! 😀

The Pixel Way.

Four days ago, I was awkward, silent and judgmentally observant. Four days later, I am lively, chirpy and still observant but not judgmentally! Oh and 104% tired!

What happened in these four days, you ask? PIXELS ~ the photography club at the company I work in. They organised a three day trip to Kodaikanal, Madurai and Rameshwaram and those three days have by far been the best in the last couple of months! Except the family reunion, of course! Jeez Mom, don’t doubt my love for you fellas! 😉

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#EarlyRisingPerks! P.C. : Ajit Singh

Waking up to such scenes may be difficult but when you have friends to capture them for you, there’s nothing better! 😉 Kodaikanal at 13 degrees Celsius in the morning is the best way to wake up to! Until you realize that the geyser in the bathrooms doesn’t necessarily spout hot water.

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VIBGYOR and beyond! P.C.: Nishant Aggarwal
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Clicking the clickers. P.C.: Deepanshu Tiwari.

Sightseeing had never been this interesting! With so many cameras clicking around me, for once I didn’t have to bother about capturing places. I only had to live through moments in the best way possible.

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Making Memories ~ One Day At A Time!

Sometimes you meet the most unexpected people in the most unexpected places. Period.

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Wanna go for dinner, Darling!
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Note the logo. Says the Professional, captures the Amateur. (Hint – Baskin Robbins!)

The names of the restaurants, schools, colleges we came across were hilarious! Apart from these, a few that stood out were Booty’s. And the *drum roll begins* ‘American University of India’.

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Yeah, visiting date and time at the temple noted. #VandalismMuch

From temples to beaches, parks to caves, waterfalls to forests – we covered it all. And the one most obvious thing which I couldn’t manage to squeeze in? Shopping! Such a relief, I tell you 😉

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The Flowing Light. P.C. : Janakiraman G.

And that right there is how each of these talented photographers’ create magic! The Pamban bridge connecting Rameshwaram island to the Indian mainland is one of those marvelous pieces of architecture that we’re forgetting about.

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Nothing tires us ever. Except office!

Three days of fun has never been called long and short in the same sentence! Until now. To each of those who came together for this trip ~ thank you for making the heat, the hunger, the pain, the sleeplessness and the wait at the temples all bearable! 😉

Graciously Yours!

 

To Be Or Not To Be Human.

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I have fallen into the habit of keeping a Google News tab open on my laptop every day, choosing to read the daily news update as I get to the mails for the day. This morning, however, turned out to be quite depressing!

The top news trending on Google News was about the death of a HUMAN who was left on the roads to bleed to death after being hit by another HUMAN. If that wasn’t enough, a rotten, stinking, lousy mushed tomato of a man actually stole the victim’s phone and made off.

Accident Victim Bleeds To Death On Road In Delhi, Gets His Phone Stolen But No Help

If that wasn’t enough, video grabs showed that the hit-and-run driver did stop his vehicle and alight from it; but only to check the stupid, God-damned vehicle which is totally valueless in comparison to a human life.

And that is not how you want to start your day.

But how I end it is still my choice (well, almost, always. Unless you have some other blighted idiot choosing to trend on the world news). So I choose #Mission500K.

ThinkQuisitive  has collaborated with the Robin Hood Army this Independence Day to feed over 5 million people from India and Pakistan (In your face you country-splitters)!  They require your time and also your money (Let’s be practical, they will require contributions).

For a country hitting global news for leaving men to die alone on the roads, let’s get out on to the roads to feed people living there. And though #RHAKolkata does it every day, for one day let’s be a part of their team and make a difference to our own lives.

I will leave you to choose if you want to end your day better than I started mine. #TQThoughts coming up :

Event Page https://www.facebook.com/events/1257273490950810/

Music Video Link : https://www.facebook.com/robinhoodarmy/videos/1812778005621205

Newspaper article : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/vishal-dadlani-farhan-akhtar-uday-benegal-robin-hood-army-india-pakistan/1/735843.html

Graciously Yours!

 

The Past Week.

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Considering I am writing this post half-asleep, ignore any errors that creep through, deliberately or not.

And now the question is why am I half-asleep halfway through the day?

Because I have traveled over 1500 kilometers over the past week.

Because I’ve put band aids on hurt toes to continue walking in damned new heels!

Because I have packed, repacked, unpacked at least four times in the last seven days!

Because I have slept in five different beds in those number of days.

Because I spent more awake hours in Bangalore traffic day before than  I slept in the night.

Because my kitchen is packed in boxes and my combs stashed with shoes, clothes buried under toiletries and phone charger all but lost.

Because I was searching for an apartment to sleep in at 2 AM, blankets in hand, friend by side, giggles the only sound and the winds our long time companion!

Because my leg is cramping, hands typing and mind fogging!

Hope to have weirded you out by now,

Graciously Yours!

P.S. : Please don’t ask ‘how are you’!

Quote Challenge – Day 3.

The blogger over at Just A Small Town Girl nominated me for a quote challenge recently. Go check her blog out, y’all!

Challenge’s rules:

  1. Post on three consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

Today’s quotes come from none other than the lady who not only weaved magic through the childhood of most of us but probably made Quidditch the world’s most popular sport! An imagination like hers would be a priceless possession indeed. Here’s some of the best from Joanne Kathleen Rowling :

“The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and must therefore be treated with great caution.”

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”

“I sometimes have a tendency to walk on the dark side.” Don’t we all have that tendency?

Graciously Yours!

The Drop.

The old man had been unwell for more than a couple of days now. The fever wasn’t breaking. He wasn’t worried about himself though. He was worried about his garden. He’d newly planted Canna Lilies in them. They were Madam’s favourite. He would have instructed his helper how to care for them well but the helper was on leave. Either ways, he wasn’t too keen on his helper’s work.

This evening, he’d tried walking out to the garden but he barely managed to reach the door of his own room. The doctor had been called. He prescribed some medicines and assured it wasn’t anything to worry about. The old man chided the cook, “I told you so.”

It hadn’t rained for a week now. It was unusually hot. If it didn’t rain soon, his garden would start wilting. In a long time, he wished his helper was here. Or at least the rains were. Either wish seemed far from being realized.

His son was around the same age as his helper. Every time he saw his helper, it reminded him of his son; a reminder that wasn’t happy or heart-stopping, a reminder that was melancholic and heartbreaking. His son was a charm with plants, but didn’t see the charm in them. “I want to do something bigger,” he used to say.

But the old man didn’t know anything bigger. Sure enough, there were bigger businesses he knew about, like the one Sir and Madam were doing. But at the end of the day, even they would come and admire his work. “What was bigger then?”, he thought. Even after his son had started working in another city, he stayed back with Sir and Madam. They loved his work and he used to love working for them. They’d given him a place to stay in their servants quarters.

After the doctor left, he tried sitting up to look at what he could of his gardens. It was dim now post dusk and his feeble eyes didn’t help either. He spent his evening alternately watching the blades of the fan rotate and dozing.

Night fell early and in spite of having slept almost all day, he slept like a log through the night too. He awoke well after the Sun had risen. He was rolling in sweat and blankets. The fever had broken. He turned towards the window and there were drops of water clinging onto the grills of the window.


Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.
Picture Courtesy : @main_samay_hoon on Instagram.

Hopeful, he went up to the window. It wasn’t an easy walk but far less painful than yesterday. Indeed, they were water droplets. As he stood in the pool of water below his window, his eyes saw moist and glistening grass outside his window. The flowers were gleaming and waving at him in the morning breeze. He was ecstatic. The God loved His work too!

Graciously Yours!

Still looking…

Silently he stood, wrinkled eyes wide, mouth pursed,
Putting together the world piece by piece.

The trees had grown up only to be sheared,
The jungles turned into concrete.

The view from his window of nesting birds,
Had been replaced by hoardings of beautiful girls.

The balcony of the next house never opened,
The children too busy becoming ‘smart’.

A school bus stopped by their building,
The mother busy typing, blind to the child’s smiles!

The ice cream vendors had died out over the summers,
The playground became the lover’s park.

He would miss the view from his balcony,
However changed it may have become.

The truth of life still scared him,
Now that the doctors had given up too.

Who knew what would entail his death,
Would he be happier there, or just not unhappy?

Graciously Yours!

Little Sister.

The Little Sister is going away to study. Time for another blog dedication ❤

2015

The little birdie fluffed her wings,

Pruned the tips, Twitched her tail,

Cleared her voice, sang melodious rings,

Announcing her departure, she was ready to sail!


So now I have the whole bed to me!

But no one to wake up to.

I don’t have to share my clothes.

But I don’t have anyone to borrow from.

I can stay up talking all night long,

But there’s no one in my room I can talk to.

Those crazy, scratchy cat fights,

The late night snacking,

The binge television watching,

The dreamy eyed plannings,

The sessions of motivation,

The patience, the innovation.

I am going to miss it all!

Mary is going to miss her Little Lamb. And I know you’ll miss me too. The 21st century tech will be blessed more than before now!

Go rock it, girl! Make us proud ❤

Graciously Yours!

Quote Challenge – Day 3.

Next time, Mommy dear tells you to get up by 7, tell her ‘time is a concept humans created’!

Next time your friend calls you an insomniac for being up at 3 am, let him know ‘time is a concept humans created’!

Next time, that relative asks you when you’ll get married, tell them ‘time is a concept humans created’!

Next time you think you’re too young to hit the road in your running shoes, tell yourself ‘time is a concept humans created’!

Next time, you want to play with that kid’s toy, tell the kid ‘time is a concept humans created’!

Enjoy what you get of time! Because though we created it, we don’t control it!

Thank you, Akiraa, for nominating me for the 3 day Quote challenge.

Graciously Yours!