Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live to Love Ladakh!

Spectacular mountain ranges, inspirationally pristine blue skies, colourful prayer flags fluttering in the mountain breeze, the awe inducing dance of light and colour performed by the sun and the rivers…Every waking second spent in Ladakh was breathtaking, but there are some experiences which instantly transport me back to Ladakh, my new happy place.

  • The sight of the beautiful snow capped peaks that greeted me every morning as I woke up.
  • The first time I enjoyed a cup of chai.
  • Plucking crisp, luscious apples from the tree in our garden. Every bite filling my mouth with the delicious juice and my heart with joy
  • The carefully orchestrated routine of wearing the thermals, the sweater, the jacket the sunscreen, the gloves, the helmet and then realising that the bike keys are in your pocket.
  • The furry, shaggy dogs in Leh, like Leh itself, silent, serene, sedate. Observing other not so enlightened creatures go about their daily business.
  • Breaking into a suryanamaskar in the middle of nowhere out of sheer gratitude to Apollo.
  • The quaint little medicine man we met at Thiksey monastery. He was the most vibrant; most full of life person I have ever met.
  • The nightly post dinner huddle on a bed to see the pictures of the day and sigh collectively at the sheer beauty we were in the presence of.
  • The delightfully cute, pink cheeked kids trotting off merrily to school.
  • Juley -The most marvellously multipurpose word. It’s hi, its bye and its thanks.
  • The treacherous yet starkly beautiful landscapes of mountains and snow that kept us company on the bumpy ride to Khardung la. The sense of satisfaction and achievement after actually getting there.
  • The sizzling hot chai at 18380 feet that almost literally brought us back to life.
  • Wonderfully warm army men who thought we were insane to come so far and so high up.
  •     The ridiculously simple yet superbly delicious thukpa.
  • Looking at a striking blue river flowing through virgin white sands against the robust brown of the mountains. Good jab Mother Nature!
  • Chang la- the most unbelievable contrast I have experienced. The freezing winds, the icy roads and the warmest friendliest people giving out free chai.
  • Pangong Tso- I’m not going to describe her and reduce her beauty to mere words. You have not lived fully if you have not been there.
  • Lamayuru- the thought of this day always makes me laugh. The arduous ride through horrifying, dusty, stony roads. The mountain being blown up fifty feet ahead of us. All for a view of the elusive moon land which remained outside our reach.
  •  The love I feel for the lovely people I shared this trip with. They will always be part of my most beautiful memories and we will always be Team LEH!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Everytime it rains!!

Its been a long while since I wrote but theres nothing 'bloggable' about accounts and audit and TDS certificates..the things that have been occupying my mind,my daysand most of my nights..but something did revive me from my occupation induced coma..and it was indeed like the sweet kiss of a prince charming on my lips..it was a drop of rain..The monsoons have always been special in my life..to me it is the season where nature celebrates after the scorching heat of the summer..Since childhood, at every stage in my life I have had fond memories of monsoons..

In primary school I had this bright orange raincoat I was insanely proud of...I used to silently beg for rain everyday so I could flaunt it in front of my friends in school.

The days when we used to walk back from school, when it has just stopped raining but Im not done getting wet, I would tug at every branch that I could reach gettting soaked in my own version of rain..:)

The paper boats we made for the streams of water that flowed outside our house after a good shower..some unfortunate test results have sailed away in those streams.. ;)

We grew up in a family of five cousins..so heavy rains meant unexpected holidays which meant watching TV and eating out of our lunch boxes..which was so much more fun at home!!

I went to a beautifully green college..on the days that it came down really hard, our gang of girls would come to college..make full use of the free lectures standing in the corridors,taking in the gorgeous smell of wet earth and feeling the gentle spray on our faces..

My sisters and I have gone for innumerable long rides on the bike in AOC just after a heavy downpour, singing loudly our favourite songs from Sound of Music.

My darling layla doggie and the rain are worst enemies. She doesnt like the water in her eyes and is petrified of thunder, but when the rain stops and she steps out there is no stopping her. She steps in every puddle and will drag you across the street to sample the new delicious scents the rain has unearthed..

I started dating the love of my life in the monsoons..so our first long drives,long walks, long bike rides are all in the rain..its been five years and every year the monsoons reinforce why we fell in love along with renewing our bond.

My first rain in Mumbai, which I shared with a spirited firecracker of a dog I call Zubi.. we were both completely soaked and completely covered in mud and a pure uninhibited joy.

Cant wait to make some more rainsoaked memories in the Mumbai monsoon..

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Smells like Love!

Valentines day is around the corner, Im away from my man, love is in the air and love is on my mind.As I wandered through a mall, bedecked with fluffy red heart men with their arms extended in love and red balloons hanging from everywhere, I felt mushy and light headed, the hopeless romantic that I am. For this I blame the below mentioned people (some names changed, some completely eliminated to protect their privacy ;) )
  • My mum, who after 27 years of being married to my dad, still blushes when my he pulls her into her arms for a photo.
  • My super amazing boyfriend  Kushang (who is not at all an sms person) sends me a sweet good morning message, that I can wake up to every morning
  • A dear friend of mine, travels 700 kms and then sneaks into his girlfriends house at midnight to surprise her for her birthday.
  • My doggie Layla has met and flirted with tonnes of other doggies but she only rolls over and shows her belly to her true love Tyson.
  • My french brother in law Philippe got into a dhoti at 430 am and sat in front of a fire for hours so he can be united in holy matrimony to the love of his life.
  • My darling yah- yah sends sweet notes and packages by post to her boyfriend so he feels less lonely in the strange place he lives in.
  • Every time he leaves home, my dad calls my mum to tell her he reached his destination safely.
  • A beautiful young lady travels in the ladies coach with me everyday but as soon as she gets down , she finds her husband, holds his hand and walks out of the station.
  • I saw a couple at Naturals today, at least 60 years old..one scoop of ice cream, one spoon, two happy people.
  • My cousin, who was terrified of dogs, learned to love and has also adopted a stray out of the love she has for her gorgeous husband.
  • An awesome guy I know, brings chocolate to his girlfriends doorstep when he knows shes PMSing and needs a pick me up.
  • My grand parents might not seem like the most in love couple, but my granddad always holds my grndmoms hand when they cross the road together.
Some of these couples say "I love you" everyday, some have never said it in their lives but when I see them together it reassures me that "Love will keep us alive!"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mumbai Musings

As I packed my bags and moved to Mumbai, I didn’t know what to expect from this place…the crowds, the local trains, the crazy schedules, the unbelievable shopping, the pigeon holes pretending to be houses, the fantastic food, the slums, the high rises, the MNS, Bollywood. The city is a sensory overload. After careful consideration, I have picked out some of my favourite first impressions of Mumbai.

1) In Mumbai, no matter how fast I walk, someone always walks past me.

2) In this city, where people are supposed to be completely oblivious to others, 8 out of 10 people (these are real numbers from a test conducted by me) smile back at you when you smile at them.

3) I catch the 8:37 local train every morning…odd times like 8:37, 5:12 didn’t mean anything to me till I came to Mumbai.

4) Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus..the throbbing epicentre of all activity in Mumbai.. I see it every day..and everyday it takes my breath away.

5) I love the black n yellow taxis; they add a certain old world charm to the streets of this bustling city.

6) Mumbai is so super chaotic that I appear like a patient, peaceful person here ;) (Its all relative, huh?)

7) Naturals Icecream!! Thank you Mumbai for bringing it to us!

8) People from slums call WSD (a super awesome NGO) saying a dog that lives with them needs first aid, and when we go and do it, buy us a cold drink.( n then there are the rich idiots who abandon their Dalmatians on the street)

9) The most awesome food is available on the streets.

10) I can eat alone…..and enjoy it..

11) The local trains are a study in human nature..the people who read newspapers, standing, the ladies who chop their vegetables, the people who push n shove for seats,those who hang out by the door listening to music.. I can hardly get myself to read my book, there is so much to observe.

12) Fruit cream at Haji Ali!! Its ‘Christmas in my mouth’!!

13) Walking on Marine drive, watching the sunset over the horizon, works wonders after a bad day at work

14) The Gateway of India and the Taj hotel, facing each other, watching over the city.. they represent for me the acceptance that no matter what, life will go on.

15) I have been in what is perhaps the most crowded city in the country and no one has ‘accidentally’ touched me or called me ‘sexy’ or ‘item’ or some other such obscene thing. I feel liberated and I am loving it!!