Category Archives: Travel

Without Travel, we begin to unravel. Some of us can afford to go to exotic destinations while others can experience the thrill in ways that don’t require money.

Flowers flourish in murky waters….

My Mumma told me long ago….’try not to blame your circumstances, do your best wherever and whenever you can, the lotus flourishes in muddy waters’…… .(almost everything I see connects to her telling me fascinating things)……at that time….I had thought ‘I have the best of circumstances, why does Mum think I’ll be in terrible situations?’…..While traveling in the North-East, we came across a beautiful little pond..with pink and purple water flowers…I call them that as I can not distinguish between the lotus and the lily! we stopped awhile and sat on the grassy banks to enjoy a ‘hot beverage’ ( Sheldon Cooper’s copyright)……the only sound was of the chirping of the birds and the dragonflies as they swooped over the flowers….I peeped into the barely-visible water…..it was muddy and murky………without the mud, these flowers can not thrive, without the flowers, the water is just a muddy ditch…….

 


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Jacarandas- Himalayas

The Jacaranda tree has always been one of my favourites….to see them blossom in the Himalayas was icing on the cake for me! The vibrant trees seem more beautiful on the mountain paths……


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Cocoban, the ‘Village on a Cliff’, Yemen

When we heard about a village that is on a cliff in Yemen, we were fascinated. We were very lucky to be taken on a visit there,as permission is required ( rarely given!!!). The view on the way from the capital of Yemen, Sana’a to Cocoban is uniquely breathtaking, as it is through a Wadi and rocky mountains. The road itself is very well maintained, in the middle of the journey there is a heavily guarded check post that turns people back. We were allowed to pass through to a winding road above the plains that led to a rocky/ stone door that guards the village. When we reached the top of the cliff, a village appeared miraculously. There was silence all around, though we were told there were people in all the mud, brick and stone houses that lines our path. It was a beautiful village with a clearing in the center. Hawkers materialized out of thin air,  to sell their wares, composed of ear rings made of semi precious stones and brass-ware. There was a rope way which was not in use. It gave us a spectacular view of the sheer drop to the ground below. From the ground, it was impossible to imagine that such a place existed,as the homes and buildings are carved into the cliff itself. We spent time exploring the village and returned before sundown, as we had been warned not to stay beyond dusk…..DSC_0539 DSC_0507 DSC_0514 DSC_0512 DSC_0517 DSC_0550 DSC_0548 DSC_0557 DSC_0545 DSC_0542 DSC_0535 DSC_0531 DSC_0526 DSC_0523 DSC_0522 DSC_0519 DSC_0502 DSC_0500 DSC_0491 DSC_0494 DSC_0493 DSC_0496 DSC_0481 DSC_0478 DSC_0466 DSC_0460 DSC_0457 DSC_0434

 

Inaccessible?? you bet!!! Beyond beautiful??? Oh yes!!! 


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23 years of partnership

When we decided to spend our lives together, we knew a certificate or ceremony was not important to us, but for the sake of the family and to avoid unpleasant never ending arguments in society, we got hitched the traditional way.

What makes us tick??? A heart that pumps blood, a brain that sometimes functions well and a deep rooted attraction for the mental, physical and spiritual constitution of the other half. What makes the attraction last forever???

  • Making a list of non-negotiable traits before taking the plunge (for some cheating or dishonesty may not be a big deal, while for others it will destroy a relationship, make your own list of things you can not live with and say goodbye if the other does not agree ). Once you agree on morality and a lifestyle and choices, you have it made. All other things/ qualities are secondary and a bonus.
  • Focusing on the other’s good points.
  • The biggest gift of all is time, make time for each other, which is exclusive.
  • Not teaching each other swimming, driving or how to play a musical instrument.
  • Not sharing a washroom in the morning if you both have to leave at the same time for work.
  • Allowing the other person to pick a vacation spot/ movie/ hotel allows you both to really enjoy yourselves. 
  • Pampering the other on a birthday, anniversary and….on every day you are together.
  • Doing things for the first time on each anniversary ( we went kayaking last year and took a helicopter ride to the Kedarnath temple in the Himalayas, while both were strapped in the front seat next to the pilot).
  • Spending 2 days exclusively with each other at least once a year ( a child will have to be taken care of by the grandparents, which they and the child will enjoy).
  • Teasing each other, flirting and laughing together.
  • Never abusing each other/ fighting in public or in front of your child.
  • Telling each other every single day that you love each other and are in the relationship out of choice, not compulsion.
  • Making each other’s fantasies come true (yeah, about that, if they love you they would want something you both long for).
  • Make your voice heard, you are an intelligent, unique human being who is more interesting because you do disagree.
  • Doing everything with all your energy and passion…be it an argument, a fight, showering love and affection…be uninhibited with each other.
  • Life is too short…walk out if you are in a abusive relationship or are unhappy……Cheers to whatever life we all have left 🙂                                                                Do NOT marry a man because ‘nobody understands him, he’s lonely and he has nobody in his life but you’……You are not his mother, do not try to improve his life or change him. Some other woman may be unfortunate enough to accept him and be content to mother him……..                                                                                                                  Please so not make the mistake of pitying a person and being with them.                          Do not try to change yourself for anybody. There will be plenty of people who need and want you….at any rate, you should want yourself the way you are.                        For those who are bored or dissatisfied with a relationship….end it before cheating with someone else. Remember, if they cheat with you, they will cheat on you too……Most importantly, do not listen to me, I was lucky to meet a great person who is perfect for me….I take no credit for it.                                                                                         When my guy proposed, I wrote him a letter listing all my awful traits. He read through it seriously, then said…’You have left out so many’!!!. He ran before the vase hit him….Choose the one who wants the wicked and crazy in you, that’s what makes life fun. Do not compromise, fall in love, it is all right if you make blunders, it is not worth it to settle down just because you feel it is the ‘right time’.   It;s wonderful to share the secrets of your soul with your mate (all passwords included)….but it’s vital to enjoy your own company and be complete in yourself.                                                                         DSC07855
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Nandaprayag….Himalayas

There are 5 Prayags or confluences of the Alaknanda River in the Himalayas. I have written about all except Nandaprayag. In the massive destruction which began from around the Kedarnath temple a few years ago, Nandaprayag was the only one affected…..It took some effort and probing to see it, as people have now begun the planning for the reconstruction of a temple at that site…..The Alaknanda and Nandakini rivers meet here….


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Spoonbill bird….near our home

The Spoonbills are back…..another bird which migrates to India around winter….and has been named so that non-knowledgeable people like me can identify them!

Since ancient times species of the animal world, and the homo sapiens have traveled far and wide to survive and thrive….it would be really cool if we have gigantic birds, who would want to carry us to magical places!!!!

 


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Traffic jam!!!…reactions vary

it’s that time of the year….festival time…..shopping…it seems like the whole world is on the road…..here is how people react….

  • The Honkers…they are the creators of noise pollution, it serves no purpose
  • The Inch-ers…they inch their way into a lane
  • The Yellers…they yell at the people, the cars and the lights
  • The Switch-ers..they switch between lanes
  • The Chauffeurs…..they are paid to maintain their composure
  • The Readers and Callers….they read, call, text
  • The Masters…..those who have drivers and are not necessarily affected
  • The Rushers….they are late for an appointment/ flight and they honk, they inch, they yell, they switch 
  • The Watchers….they get out of their cars and watch everyone!!

And then there is my Mom….once when we were stuck and I almost became a yeller….I was saying that our country needs less cars and people……she put her hand on my arm and said….”This population is the reason that we have someone cleaning our toilets and home, driving our car, cooking our food and being grateful for a job!!”…..Mumma could see the good in everyone and make a bad situation a wonderful experience….we talked to each other after that and forgot about the sea of metallic monsters all around us…..


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Ancient Vyasa cave in Mana, India

Veda Vyasa is an avatar of Lord Vishnu according to Hindu mythology. He is the one who separated the ancient Hindu scripture into the Vedas. He is the author of the Mahabharata. The cave where he recounted the story of the Mahabharata is located in Mana village in India and is over 5,000 years old. No photography is allowed inside, but it is quiet inside and time seems to stand still. Some people say they hear his voice……DSC05685 DSC05686 DSC05687


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Pollination–Cinquefoil

While trekking up a mountain, the joy one feels allows one to appreciate the glory of Nature in a way that one has never felt before……..Imagine going up a never-ending path, turning around a sharp bend and coming across a field of bright red ruby flowers!!! Red flowers with heart shaped petals…….after you rub your eyes and thank the powers-that-be, you identify the exotic flowers…….

Cinquefoil or Potentilla Nepalensis produces bright red flowers, with 5 heart shaped petals. The leaves are like those of the strawberry plant, and the fruit is a pseudo-strawberry. These plants brighten up the Himalayan landscape with their vibrant colour. A bee is seen within the single flower, with pollen scattered on the petals…..

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Khonoma Green Village, Nagaland, India

Our traveling had led us to hidden treasures, tucked away in the remote corners of India. One such gem is the Khonoma Green Village, tucked away in the hills and clouds……the people have decided against cutting down trees, the villagers have made beautiful stone cut paths up and down the hilly terrain, with flowerpots along the paths!!! this enchanted land has several species of birds and butterflies unique to the area, and flowers and trees that thrive……


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