*7.30 pm* Had a stressful day today with too many things to do and very little time.
So I picked up a pen and began writing in my diary about everything on my mind. That’s when I thought of going back and reading about some Septembers from the past. I wondered what I was doing 1 year, 2-years or 3-years ago. Turns out, there’s nothing. Even on my blog site, barring last year’s sad update I haven’t written anything in September. I was intrigued. So I searched my Google photos to look at any pictures I might’ve taken in September, or any event I might’ve attended. Nada! I have literally no memories of September. Probably because nothing ever really happens in September. The weather isn’t hot enough to go to the beaches, nor is it cold enough to go to the hills for a trip. I think the only way to describe September is the leftover showers it brings from July and August. It is an uneventful, dull month and if it isn’t obvious already, I don’t like it very much. But here I am, breaking the no-writing spree of September and putting out something today.
I am like any average person. I complain and stress myself out for having too many things to do but I also thrive in such situations. The rush before deadlines, or the sigh of satisfaction while marking a task complete gives me a crazy high. That’s the sort of a day I’ve just had. The weekend, however, was extra-ordinarily amazing.
I went for a long drive with my friends, Sam & Apmg (or as Alexa says Apmm) in the outskirts of Pune. We walked around farms and grazing pastures trying to shoot a cool video. This is the first time the three of us created something together and the process was extremely exciting. I couldn’t believe how smoothly we all played our parts and brought our little vision of a video to life.
Despite the receding monsoon season that brings sudden rains, we were lucky to have a pleasant weather & good lighting throughout the day. The sun wasn’t too harsh and it hardly rained. It was a beautiful day to walk through Sugarcane fields and Chrysanthemums beds. We also found a random off-road secret spot. A huge rock under a tree that cast its massive branches like the tentacles of an octopus hovering above, overlooking a pond.
Enjoy a little glimpse of my weekend.
Heading out to meet those two goofs again for a little tea party. See ya next week. Ting!
Last Sunday, I stepped out of my house after two months. My parents and I planned to visit some old family friends who had lost a loved one recently. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be a much-needed getaway after months of digital screen time. So, post a light lunch, we wore our masks, sanitized our hands and got in the car. Our destination was Kadus – a village where both Mom and Dad were born and raised.
We drove on a fairly empty highway that had luscious green carpets on either side of the road. The sky was filled with various patterns of clouds and the sun rays peeked from the crevices. Every year I make it a point to go on at least one road trip in the monsoon season. It couldn’t happen this year, but this unplanned visit to my village was close enough to be considered my annual monsoon getaway.
Once we reached the village and met with the family we were visiting, Dad and I took off to pay respects to the local deity that he has been worshiping since his childhood. At the temple, he surprisingly met two of his school teachers. He had last seen them in 1980; he was overjoyed. They were equally delighted to see him as he was. As he spoke to his teachers, I saw my father become a 15-year old school boy again. He stood before them with a smile that stretched ear to ear, his hands automatically folded behind the back as he addressed them ‘Sir’. In that fleeting moment, Dad had transported back to his childhood and it opened the floodgates to nostalgia. For the next two hours, I just listened as he shared countless anecdotes from his younger days with a childlike glee on his face.
Later, we went to the dam and walked on the wall that stood between the clean blue water on one side and the vast green fields on the other. It was a beautiful view made even better with Dad’s stories. He told me how he and his friends would drop their school bags in the classroom and run to their farm, roam around bare feet in the sun or take a nap under the trees. He told me how they would climb atop the hill, face the strong gusts of wind and have the best time of their lives. He also told me how they would camp near the dam, cook their own dinner and even try some beer. I couldn’t stop wondering how fun Dad’s childhood must’ve been, and how much he had changed on the outside now. I could sense that he wanted to be a mischievous little village boy, run atop the hill and face the winds once again.
Dad has always been a good storyteller. He always has the most detailed descriptions of his adventures. I also know that he used to write a diary in his younger days and that makes me wonder if I got the story-telling gene from him. After our fun day-out, I urged him to take up writing again. I asked him to pen down one page, a single memory of whatever he remembers, every day. He seemed quite interested in the idea, I hope he does it. What a fascinating memoir it would make!
Our last stop was my mother’s childhood home which is currently under reconstruction. We are hoping it will be ready soon so we could visit our quiet little village more often. Until then, here are some pictures from the unplanned Sunday visit to my village.
*12.43 pm* I love Decembers. The cold winds, cozy sleep under the blanket, the warmth of hoodies, holidays and the party mood, hot chocolate at any time of the day and conclusions. December has it all.
For the last two weeks I was occupied with a lot of work. On the first weekend of December, I attended the Comic Con event in Mumbai where the company I work for also had a fun stall selling Superhero merch.
Next week, it was the usual 10-7 routine, but then on Friday night I attended my office’s annual party. It was the craziest night in months! A karaoke-slash-dance party where everyone was sloshed and how. I got home late at night and just after two hours of sleep, I had to wake up and go on a road trip with my friends.
The weekend road trip was a much needed detox from the routine I’ve been stuck in. We hopped on the train from Mumbai to Mangoan, a small village near the Kokan sea shore. Next, an ST bus ride on the undone rural rode from Mangoan to Mhasala, and two tum-tums (six-seat autos) from Mhasala to Borli to Diveagar beach were as tiresome as they sound, especially after the exhausting party the night before.
Despite the long journey, the country roads and the clean, fresh air made it extremely pleasant.
Once we reached our abode, everything seemed worth it. We walked down to a little Konkani place to have the most authentic and wholesome seafood meal and then headed over to the beach to see the most beautiful sunset over the sea. The sky was painted in vivid shades of white and blue to yellow, orange and red. We were stunned, sitting on the wet sand by the sea, wondering at the spotless beauty of nature!
Post a scrumptious dinner of fried masala prawns we walked back to the beach at night and the sky surprised us even more. It was the peak night of the Geminid meteor shower and we spot a couple of shooting stars while the sea waves gushed back and forth near our feet.
It was a calm, fun and tiring weekend that charged me up for the upcoming week where I have tons of things to do before I leave for my year-end vacation to Kerala to attend the wedding of my favourite couple.
I visited Leh-Ladakh in July 2017 – a trip that has been etched in my memory permanently for various reasons. I had planned to write this post right after the trip, and it has been two years (almost) I have procrastinated to put it down. But the memories are still so vivid that I can remember each day like it happened yesterday.
It is quite impossible to put down the Leh experience into words. The beauty and serenity of Leh just cannot be frozen into mere adjectives and photographs. The real depth and magnificence can be (and should be) experienced only with the naked eye.
I had been planning to visit this quaint little town located amidst the Himalayas for quite some time. So, when my friends and I boarded an early morning flight here, I couldn’t be more excited. It was heavenly to watch the golden rays of the rising sun bounce off of the snow-clad peaks of Himalayas.
Looking at such exquisite landscapes even before reaching Leh, was purely a divine feeling. As our flight receded down, we circled around the magnanimous Himalayas and the excitement doubled.
We landed in front of a tiny airport and were taken to Hotel Shambhala for accommodation.
We dropped our bags and couldn’t help but adore the artsy decor of our cozy wooden rooms. When we asked the significance of all the art in this place, the hotel staff informed us that it symbolized myths and stories from the Tibetan culture. The ambience of Shambhala was pure and fascinating. It was so much more than just comfortable rooms. It felt like I was at home, a home that had been waiting for our arrival.
After we freshened up, we were welcomed to the town in the true-Ladakhi style by the locals as they performed a beautiful song and dance. Not only did we enjoy their performance to the folk songs but even shook a leg with them. “Julley!” – the local word for Hello became the only way greeted each other thereon.
Then, we left for an acclimatization hike to Shanti Stupa. As the name suggests, it was an extremely peaceful place located on top of a hill and was frequented by monks for meditation. Our hike here wasn’t about meditation though. We simply wanted our bodies to get adjusted to the altitude of 11500 feet and the clean, pollution free air.
When we reached the top, it was almost sunset and in the golden hour, we saw the bird’s eye view of the entire town flushed in green, nestled in the valley created by the mighty, barren mountains.
We strolled around the Shanti Stupa for a while, inhaling the clean air and absorbing the purity. It was a peaceful day one.
Next up on our journey at Leh was Indus-Zanskar Rafting. On Day two, we left for White water rafting from Scorpoche to Nimu Sangam – a stretch of about 16 kms. Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to do rafting on the Ganges many times. It is probably the only river in India with the highest grade of rapids. But the Zanskar has a charm of its own. Its fresh and white like ice just melted (it literally is a glacier) so we were asked to wear bodysuits and they were umm.. well, here it is..
Rafting is probably one of my favorite adventure activities. It is both thrilling and calm. I have some really special memories attached to the sport. One of them being the Zanskar experience.
Post rafting, we visited the Thicksey Monastery and saw the Future Buddha- a tall and really huge structure of the Buddha.
Next day, left for the Pangong Lake. A six-hour road trip through the gorgeous Himalayan valleys and plains was worth it all. On the way, we took a stop at the Changla Pass (altitude 17688 ft) and at Khardongla Pass (18380 ft) where we also experienced our first snow fall. Our roadtrip also included multiple dance sessions whenever we took a break. It was a crazy fun time. Beautiful beyond expression. I’m just going to let the pictures speak for themselves here on.
It was almost dinner time when we reached our campsite beside the Pnagong, we were at the highest altitude ever and freezing beside a lake. We had a little dance party at the campsite and then a chilly night followed. Next morning, when we woke up to the sight of the blue spread of water on the backdrop of dull mountains and a bright blue sky, we were spellbound. No matter how I describe this place, it will be an understatement.
(…to be continued)
photos by me and my friends Apoorva, Rishabh, Sammy
There is a lot of catching up to do on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing for the last month.
Although it is not quite necessary to put it on my blog, I feel happy and oddly satisfied to have my thoughts organized, relive the events that happened over the week (or sometimes, over the month)and recollect moments that I must have missed pondering over, in the hustle of my daily routine.
More importantly, I do it because I know it will bring a smile on my face when I read these blogs in the future. It is a way of keeping a record and documenting all the details of my journey of life.
In my last blog, I had expressed my excitement about my upcoming trip to a shrine in North India. And as expected, it was a blissful experience. Especially because I went on this trip with someone whose company I enjoy the most. Solo trips must be cool, I’m sure. But travelling with someone you love being around gives the journey a whole new meaning.
Apart from discovering qualities and characteristics we love and hate about our companion, we also discover ourselves in ways we never knew were possible. We explore the world around us with a new perspective and it makes all the difference.
This was the first of many more travels to come. I’m looking forward to many more with double the excitement.
Sharing some moments from our trip.
Snaps from day one-
The first night at Amritsar was amazing as we gorged on the street food served right across our home. The Chicken Malai Momos were the tastiest of momos I have ever had. The next day was even more beautiful as we visited the Partition museum- where we heard heart-breaking stories of our nation’s past, witnessed Ranjit Singh’s bravery at the light show of Guru Gobindgarh fort and roamed around the markets buying kataars and talwaar- the famous possessions of Sikh people. It ended with an evening show at the Wagah Atari border by the men in uniform. This is one of the borders India shares with Pakistan and a message of brotherhood, peace and love is all over. Loved the experience!
Is it normal to break-up with a friend you’ve known for many years just because you don’t enjoy their company anymore?
I’ve been confused. I’ve been feeling upset and unsettled over the recent surge of feelings I’ve developed about someone I’ve known for almost my entire life. I ‘ve literally grown up with them and loved them dearly for all these years. But lately, I’ve been feeling distant, bored, frustrated and highly negative in their company. The only one thing I don’t feel is understood. So, what’s the point?
I’m not sure if this is normal. Can you really stop wanting a person in your life for no specific reason, but only because their presence doesn’t make you happy anymore? Should you stick to a friend only because you’ve stuck by for long and have to keep it going even if doesn’t provide you with any real happiness?
Or is this just a phase?
I read a lot of quotes and inspirational blogs to seek answers and mental peace on this subject. Oddly, nothing and no-one seems to understand my problem!
In fact, they have confused me more. While some said I should let go of people who bring negative energy into my life, others said true friends accept each other with their flaws and stick through everything.
But, I’ve had such weirdly serious thoughts about breaking up this friendship not because I cannot put up with the flaws of my friend and accept them as is, but I have come to a realization that maybe nothing was true between us, ever. These thoughts have come up a lot of times over the last few years and I have finally decided to put them into words, analyze them and try to find some (if not all) answers to this confusion.
I’ve decided to take a small break, a time-off from them (although they have no idea about it) to clear my mind and arrive at a decision.
Until then, waiting for the Diwali vacation to begin. I’m flying to North India for a special special trip!