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.

Black swans—the males are the better halves

In New Zealand, we saw black swans for the first time. They mate for life and are monogamous, the males share the responsibility of bringing up their offspring. When I first saw them, it was a little late in the evening, and they reminded of tiny Loch Ness monsters….they are graceful, with a red bill, which has a spot of white on it.

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Mizo cigarettes-N-E India

Some people in the N-E parts of India smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, which are popularly known as ‘Mizo Cigarettes”. It is postulated that they originated in the state of Mizoram. They are supposed to contain tobacco……while some swear that they are safer than the commercially available cigarettes, others say they are more harmful, as they are more potent and may contain certain hallucinogenic agents….


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When the child leaves…..try to be happy

Happiness is a bubble….as beautiful and enjoyable as it is transitory and impossible to freeze/ capture forever……when a child leaves…one can focus on….

  • Be glad he has admission in a wonderful university!!!
  • Rejoice that you get to spend holidays with him
  • Laugh, love….say it all and do it all……
  • Do things you all love
  • Share….the sinful treats, thoughts, views, advice….let him advise you as well
  • Listen…each word and moment is precious
  • Sing off key, dance terribly….involve him 
  • Eat, travel, work out…spend time with the generation that produced you as well…..your parents and sibling are as precious to him and you
  • Enjoy blowing soap bubbles and getting on a swing……
  • Happiness is like a bubble….do not try to grab it, enjoy it…blow more before the first bursts…….

You are lucky he wants to rush back home in the holidays…..send him off with a hug, a kiss and a smile…..and the promise of the next meeting…..


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Clouds below us

When we fly high

In the non-polluted sky

We realize that things exist outside our realm of imagination

It makes us  wonder, brings joy and elation

Innocence and purity, Mother Nature in her glory

The outer space tells many a story

Coming back to Mother Earth is a delight as well

As this is home, where we live, love, fight and dwell…..

 

 


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Helirafting-Whataroa River, NZ

White water rafting takes on a whole new thrill when it becomes helirafting- taken by helicopter for rafting. The Whataroa River is near the Franz Josef Glacier, the largest glacier in the South Island of New Zealand. The river flows from the Alps, through a picturesque, fairy land landscape between mountains and rugged terrain, to merge into the Tasman Sea. The river is ideal for canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting. There is the imminent danger of falling headfirst into the water and getting one’s skull crashed by the Grade 5 rapids and the stones and boulders which lurk above and beneath the surface of the river. After we had been transported by helicopter, I asked “Can I go back, please?”

I was told, “Sure, just hike for three days through the forest.”

Thus began the journey of our family on that day. After the basic drill, we were told it would take 7 hours for us to complete the journey!

Now I wish it had been longer. Bitten by sand flies, bruised shins, 3 broken finger nails and sunburn….and we were longing for more! The most amazing experience ever. At the start, we were given suits and shoes and life jackets and helmets.IMG_5917 - Copy IMG_6011 IMG_6010 IMG_6007 IMG_6005 IMG_6006 IMG_5921 - Copy IMG_5922 - Copy IMG_5923 - Copy IMG_5927 - Copy IMG_5928 - Copy IMG_5929 - Copy IMG_5930 - Copy IMG_5931 - Copy IMG_5944 - Copy IMG_5948 - Copy IMG_5953 - Copy IMG_5954 - Copy IMG_5988 IMG_5989 IMG_5990 IMG_5991 IMG_5992 IMG_5993 IMG_5995 IMG_5996 IMG_5998 IMG_5999 IMG_6000 IMG_6001 IMG_6003

Thank God…there was a break for the traditional lunch, served from a bucket, with a rafting paddle!!!!

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Breathtaking scenery…

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Spellbound…..time stops here

The family that rafts together…either dies together or laughs together 🙂

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The pros bringing the rafts over Grade 5 rapids…by jumping on to it….

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Kayaking too !

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A perfect day…the aches, sprains, bruises were medals of honour …..

 


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Pyramid Orchid–Himalayas

Pyramids are magnificent, whether they are made of brisks and stone, or composed entirely of tiny pink orchids!!! In the Himalayas, the pyramid orchids stand erect, with tiny orchids wound tightly around the stem. A beautiful plant, worth a second, actually a thousand looks…..

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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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