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Archive for the ‘LAUGHING ALL THE WAY’ Category

A PERFECT SUNDAY

A PERFECT SUNDAY

I think most of you women, if not all, would agree with me, that after marriage, weekends are the days you would dread the most..You have so many roles to play, so many wishes to  fulfill, so many chores to be completed so on and so forth..where’s my space, where’s my time!! Are the questions constantly running through our minds..but never the less, every weekend is a circus and we put up a brave front with a beaming smile on our faces and end up getting more tired than a week day.

This weekend I wasn’t game for all this. I remember, in my childhood, mom used to just pack the lunch she would prepare and would take us out along with few colony ladies for a lunch picnic. I thought why not do the same. I told Ravi (as I never ask:)), that we are going to pack lunch and go to some place and have it there, preferably under a tree:) in some park..I know it sounds very funny, but what the heck, wanted a breath of  fresh air. Ravi readily agreed, with the passing thought that he has to drive and battle the traffic on a Sunday too..

Besides, in a place like B’lore, if you have to think of spending time on a weekend, it would either be at a movie, or a mall or visit some one or call someone over. Was kinda bored of doing all these things..

As enthusiastic I can be, I just packed the lunch prepared and some fruits in my small picnic bag. My mom used to be a bigger ‘enthu cutlet’ than I am. She would prepare a non messy meal etc..I didn’t bother about all that and packed our usual office lunch boxes with some bisibelebhath, curdrice and some sweets. We shortlisted on Nehru Planetarium as our picnic spot and it was the best thing that ever happened on a Sunday.

Many of us do not feel the need to visit all these places as we keep postponing for ‘the day’ to arrive..the constant statement is , “anyways we are in B’lore only, we can do it the next time”..the next time never happens.

It was a nice feeling, the place is also beautiful, flanked with a lovely garden and a science park. There were lot of people picnicking just like us and waiting for the show to start. There are shows throughout the day. The kids I’m sure, were having a blast. There are shows on solar system and the wonderworld of stars. We happened to get the tickets for  the Wonderworld of stars and it was truly amazing. It was actually ‘seeing stars in the day time’:)

Ravi located a perfect spot to lay our picnic mat under a nice tree. He was experiencing this for the first time and was a little apprehensive about how it would turn out and was hanging in there only due to my enthusiasm. The sun wasn’t too harsh and there was a nice breeze blowing making the whole set up romantic:)..we sat and had a relaxed lunch and just lazed around till our show started at 2.45. We also tried the science park which polished our physics sense quite a bit..after ages, I recollected things like, angular momentum, gravity, centrifugal force etc. We were as excited as kids whilst trying those experiments. We were like children ourselves and that was the best part of the whole day.

A perfect Sunday

Ravi enjoyed it the most and I couldn’t have asked  for more. We always feel that, just staying at home and watching TV is relaxing, but I feel change in activity is a better form of relaxation. We felt rejuvenated as we had a good dose of fresh oxygen. We actually took some time off to ‘smell the roses’as they would say… We’ve decided that from now on we are going to make things like this happen atleast once a month. I suggest that all of you must try this experience, I’m sure you will cherish it.

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DASARA AT MYSORE

Mysore Dasara:

Mysore Palace Illumination

Mysore Palace Illumination

Heres wishing all my friends and fellow bloggers ‘A Happy Dasara’.

I ‘ve always been hearing about Mysore whenever Dasara is round the corner. Since  5 years (that I’m in Karnataka), I’ve been trying to make it for Dasara, but my husband Ravi was never game as he says it’s too crowded and he hates crowded places. This year since we had 2 long weekends for navratri we decided we could make it without any hassle. We visited Mysore last weekend when Navratri celebrations had just about started.

Ravi and I have a special liking for this place Mysore and we would love to settle there after our retirement. The place was beautifully decked for the festival with lovely floral gateways everywhere. There were stages placed everywhere in the city for various cultural activities.  The highlights were the food mela, flower and vegetable show, doll house and ofcourse the magnificent Palace lighting.

The palace lighting was the highlight and despite some showers, the people’s spirit couldn’t be dampened. I think it’s worth a trip to Mysore Palace during Dasara. The present day heir, Srikantdutta Wodeyar actually sits on the throne symbolic to earlier times. The palace is beautifully decorated with flowers and it’s only during dasara celebrations that the palace is lit with innumerable lights. It’s an experience to witness and cannot be explained… the whole crowd keeps waiting for the illumination and in a split second all the lights turn on and you say nothing but ‘wow’..it’s an enduring image..

Navratri for us South Indians is also a festival of dolls. Many people showcase a series of colourful dolls. The dolls are arranged on steps with some theme, the main dolls being a couple i.e. husband -wife refered to as ‘Patada Bombe’..the various themes for doll house  could be dasha avtar, ashta laxmi, village scenes, school scenes, marriage scenes..For the first time, I also displayed my doll collection which I had collected on my trips to mysore and channa patna.

A visit to Mysore for Dasara has been a wonderful experience and it’s a photographer’s delight.

My Doll House 'Bombe mane'

My Doll House 'Bombe mane'

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‘A WALK IN THE CLOUDS’-TRIP TO SAMSE

THE FIRST GLIMPSE..

THE FIRST GLIMPSE..

 

 

 As Mark Twain rightly quoted if you ever want to live happily then, “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth.

 Samse truly is a heaven on earth. I think God wanted us to get a glimpse and taste of heaven, therefore he created such beautiful places on earth. I always wish my camera was as powerful as my eyes to capture the things as I see it and save it till eternity. That again is a shortcoming of human technology. Every time He makes us realize that He’s the best.

 Samse is 350kms from Bangalore towards Chikmagalur. It’s a very small village nestled amongst the vast tea plantations on a hill. The drive though a little long, was very enjoyable with lots of twists and turns. Numerous small lakes and waterfalls adorn this place and it’s truly a small paradise by itself.

 Our friends Shrikanth and Veena recommended this place to us. Samse has a homestay called ‘Upasana’ and I feel it’s this abode that makes it even more memorable. Upasana is a dream venture of Sukumar, who is into Yoga and also imparts training sessions in Yoga.  The house is very well designed with a very beautiful garden overlooking the hills. I’m sure this place would be spectacular during the rains. Every effort is made to make your stay very comfortable and pleasant, and this task wouldn’t have been possible without the help of two multitalented people Leena and Abhinandan. Besides being very good at hospitality, all of them are super cooks and you can taste some best authentic south canara cuisine in their warm open kitchen.

 This place is apt to beat the city stress. There’s no better place for soul-searching and deep thinking..One wakes up to the chirping of numerous birds and flattering of multi coloured butterflies. All you need in your knapsack is a good camera, your favourite book and not to forget a small note pad to jot down your observations and tag along a guitar as this place is very inspiring.Trust me your luggage is done  and ofcourse with some necessary clothes packed…rest everything is provided at the homestay.During my nature trips, I generally never miss the first rays and the last rays of the sun. The true beauty of the place always stands out during these times of the day, always giving us a sense of calm. The dawn and dusk never seemed so beautiful before. The first rays of sun struggling to beam out through the dense clouds were truly mesmerizing. Just sitting there on the steps watching the sunrise with a hot piping chikmagalur coffee is ‘to die for’. The hills are always covered with clouds and it is indeed a ‘Walk in the clouds.’it’s a perfect picture post card.

 There are a lot of unbeaten tracks to be trekked and you’ll always find something new and fresh in the flora there. Don’t be surprised if you are greeted by creepy snakes on your trek; just let them have their right of way!! The scenery is breathtaking and any creative person will always get inspired to either start painting or take innumerable photographs. It was such a coincidence that I was reading a book called ‘walk in the woods’ by Bill Bryson and I could easily relate the woods to this place.

 

 I guess every nature trip be it the hills, the beach side, the river front or the forests have their own eternal beauty and nothing man made can ever come close to it. God is indeed ‘the best artist’ you can ever find…

NIRVANA-GET LIBERATED..

NIRVANA-GET LIBERATED..

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 “It is so Simple to be Happy, but so Difficult to be Simple!”

 

I’m sure, we have all come across this saying once in our lifetime, atleast the movie buffs would have. This dialogue is from my all time favorite Hrishida’s (Hrishikesh mukherjee) movie “ bawarchi”…

 

This was the feeling I had the moment I visited the Gandhi Ashram at Ahmedabad. I was touched by its simplicity. I guess the very word ‘simplicity’ symbolizes Gandhi, somebody I never understood for a long time and then when I understood him, he failed to go away from my mind…That’s the power of GANDHI.. He was one man who practiced first and then preached.. The world needs leaders like him today. Always being persistent and focused. I truly feel that I was lucky to have had the opportunity to pay a visit to the ashram.

 

It’s places and people like this which make you wonder, is it worth wasting all your precious time for some perishable materialistic goals. A small humble home with bare necessities and lots of garden space and a breathtaking view of the Sabarmati river…this is all that the place has.. Of course the beautiful display building designed by renowned Architect Charles Correa is worth a mention..

 

 

 

 

 

He has designed the whole building with so much care and Gandhiji’s ideas and thoughts are the highlights. The building only emphasizes gandhiji’s principles. It’s a beautiful work of art. One feature which impressed me the most and which will always be in my everlasting memory is a white wall with Gandhiji’s dictum on it..  It said: “My life is my Message”….I just sat in front of that wall and kept staring into it aimlessly.. that was the power of simplicity. One has to see it to experience it. This place also has lovely rare photographs of Gandhi, which instantly bring a smile onto your face.. Especially photos where, Gandhiji is looking thru a microscope etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I can say is, there is “beauty in simplicity”..one should have an eye for it..

 

 

 

The meaning of life lies not in the grand moments of happiness we are pursuing, but in those millions of tiny moments of pleasure which we often comfortably choose to ignore or postpone.

 

I just heard Joyce Meyer on TV the other day and was laughing and agreeing at the same time to what she said. She said” Life is so simple that sometimes smart people fail to get it.” Isn’t this true!!!

 

Happy living..

 

 

THE WHITE WALL

THE WHITE WALL

 

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Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New Year…May this year shower a lot of happiness on this world.

 

Sometimes blessings do come in disguise. With the ongoing economic crisis, I’m sure the whole world is gripped with worries of uncertainties…but guess what, I was secretly very happy that my husband’s company actually declared a shutdown for Christmas and that too for 2 weeks.. Now  isn’t that a blessing for a couple who never get to see each others face on daily basis:).. 

 

My parents still live in Goa ,  I was brought up in Goa in the port town of Vasco-da-gama.We decided to go for a week long trip to Goa. A vacation for my husband and  for me it was nostalgiaaaa.. It’s been quite a while that I had visited and stayed in Goa. Naturally was missing every bit of it. The greenery, the beach, the humidity, the aroma of fish being cooked in every household and this time the festive yuletide spirit.. Goa being a small place, everybody knows everybody.. Earlier I would tell my mom that no matter what time I start to work, I’m always late. Well, this is because you meet so many people you know on the way and we used to exchange pleasantries.. this also kind of made my day, as people were really concerned about how things were with me etc etc (atleast that’s what I thoughtJ)..I was surrounded by warm people unlike this metro life that I’m leading, where people are so caught up in their own world. We don’t even know our next door neighbour. Ironical isn’t it! They are the first ones who are supposed to help you in your difficult times.

 

Goa is a paradise for tourists, but for me its HOME..  While travelling, when  I first opened my eyes in the bus in the morning, I could see those beautiful palm trees along the roads swaying to the cool sea breeze and lush greenery. I was so tempted to open the window and put my head out like a doggy to enjoy the fresh air:)..

I miss so many things about Goa.Most of all I truly miss my friends out there.. I’m sure every married lady who has relocated would agree with my feelings on this. I guess friends are the only people who have grown with you, who know you and who understand you..

 

I generally take sometime to get friends with people and thats why I have very few friends…But every time I make it a point to meet all of them when I visit home. I guess, with time and distance friendships always get stronger and better. I may have not called up on regular basis, but the feeling is always warm when ever we meet and we are never short of words when we startJ.. There’s nothing like meeting a good old friend during christmas, having some rum cake and sipping some red wine with carols singing in the background…sounds amazing isn’t it. In Goa christmas is a grand affair and you find many households having a cute little crib outside their homes. Cribs generally depict the birth of baby Jesus.

 

I think I’ve discovered more of Goa from the time I’ve relocated to Bangalore.. Earlier,sitting in a packed bus to Panjim, I would always wonder, gosh! what do these tourists find here and why do they flock this way and make our lives miserable. Well, now I know the magical touch of Goa. I now know what Goa has and Bangalore (or for that matter any other place) lacks.

 

Ravi and I always target places that we want to see and in Goa I’m his official guide and interpreter..This time I decided that we would check out Old Goa and the Chapora Fort.. I think I had visited Old Goa more than 10 years ago and had never seen Chapora fort. Strange as it may seem, I lived in Goa for 26 years and still haven’t been to many places out there. So now I make it a point that I visit all these happening places.

 

Old Goa as usual was quite crowded but the serenity still exists and the churches were beautifully done up for the feast and Christmas spirit was everywhere. Chapora was breathetaking. The view was ‘to die for’. We went to Chapora during the sunset time. I feel time has stood still in these places, so untouched, so serene and divine..I also love the Saligao Church which is so differently built from the conventional Goan churches. It’s a beautiful church in Saligao village. The church is lit up beautifully in the night but I missed that site.

 

Time is never enough to see all these beautiful places.I always say God is indeed a super artist to have created so much of variety in this world for us to enjoy.

Every time I visit home to Goa I always tell my self that –I want to come back someday.

 

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This is the most memorable trip of my life for 2 reasons.. one is, it was my first trip abroad which my husband took me out for our first anniversary and second, this is where due to scuba diving I acquired ‘Hydrophobia’…still haven’t been able to get over itL..

 

Well, Thailand is pretty much like Goa or Kerala, it’s a lot more cleaner with wide and well organized road system.. A goan or a keralite would definitely feel at home here.. Thailand being so much on the east, dawns a little early, but no complains as we automatically got up early and felt that we had long days.. A very nice place to relax,  clean beaches and loads of trendy and cheap shopping.

 

We happened to visit Pattaya and Bangkok, We had 2 nites in Pattaya and 3 nites in Bangkok.. Though we felt it was better if we extended our stay in Pattaya.. Pattaya is a very laid back town , easy going and relaxing…Whereas Bangkok is very commercialized, pretty much like B’lore.. so we had planned a holiday to get away from the traffic jams and sound and noise pollution, but luck had it that, on our way back to the airport, we got stuck in a traffic jam…so this was like getting back to reality for us.

 

 

Amongst the places that we saw, Pattaya is something I will always remember.. We visited a botanical garden in a village called ‘Nugh nuch’ and also visited the famous cabaret ‘Alcazar’…we had no clue of what this cabaret was all like and people kept telling us it’s a ‘ladyboy show’.. we only understood what they meant after we ventured in thereJ..but the stage design was breathtaking and so were their costumes.. I thoroughly enjoyed as the architect in me was wide awake observing all the minute details..while my husband slept off and even snored away to glory.. 

 

We also tried some water sports there like Para gliding and scuba diving.. it’s fun for people who love water…scuba diving is a little scary if you are not used to water. .but once you get in there some 20 ft under the sea the world is so different and beautiful…it’s dark blue everywhere and a lot of colourful fishes welcoming you…you are directly transferred to a new world and you are made to walk, kneel, on the seabed.. it’s a lovely experience.. a must try if you are adventurous types.. As for me, as I said I’m not a very athletic person, I was scared even before I entered the water.. I stayed for 15 min then came back as I was not used to the feeling of imbalance in water…can’t explain the fear factorJ.. For shopping one can find lovely beach wear accessories in Pattaya for a good price. A gem factory is also there for all those precious stones enthusiasts..Otherwise the place doesn’t have much of shopping.

 

Bangkok is a big metro with skytrains, metros everywhere.. a shoppers delight. Please take a ride in a traditional tuk-tuk when you get there…that’s our very own autoricks addressed as Tuk-tuk.. Also do not miss the canal ride and the market along the canal.. it’s one of it’s kind like Venice.. All the villagers assemble to sell their items on canoes and boats.. These are generally not included in the packages people offer..There are also lovely temples specially the one with reclining Buddha and another temple called Wat po which has a golden Buddha which weighs 60 tons.. This temple also has a Buddha whose attire keeps changing according to the four seasons..and believe it or not all the attires are studded with precious stones.. Many of the travel packages also do not include the Grand Palace.. I would advice you to take special time out and take a tour around the palace. it’s an amazing place, it glitters from all directions as it’s painted in gold with lovely colourful dragons every where…a must see.

 

All in all, Thailand is a beautiful experience an don’t forget to get a Buddha from there as a souvenir as Thai Buddha has a different hairstyle as compared to Indian one.. Also if you can afford you can get precious gems and silk form there, but don’t look for a hole in the pocketJ..

 

Keep traveling and keep enjoying.

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