Category: #MondayMusings

Keeping that Happiness Intact : #MondayMusings #mg #HighlightsofHappy

I haven’t written since last Thursday. For some reason weekends snow ball into a busy time, and though I did try sitting down to write last evening, I drew simple blanks. So this morning after much thought and deliberation which also included exploring writing prompts, I chose to write yet again on happiness. I recently wrote one guest post on Isheita’s blog, as part of her birthday week celebration. You can read it here – Do I Deserve to Be Happy?


#MondayMusings:Way Back into Time 

We set out for a road trip yesterday, a rainy May morning. The rains were a pleasant respite from the sweltering summer, and they made our journey an intensely happy one. 

I was excited as hell as we were making a pit stop to my birth place, Pantnagar before heading out to the cool climes of Dhanachali, a hamlet tucked in the mountains of Uttarakhand. You can read about my memories as a kid from Pantnagar here – Far, Far Away

This was a long awaited family trip, the DH, girls and our nephew. We drove down through Gajraula, Moradabad, Rudrapur and finally through the ancient trees of Pattharchatta that formed a lovely green canopy. This majestic road led to the Pantnagar University campus. The kids kept those spirits soaring and the bonhomie going by blaring some Sia, Artic Monkeys, Lenon on the boom box and engaging in some mindless chatter. The eight year old continued to sleep most of the time on the backseat. A survival technique she uses for her car sickness!

The pristine beauty of Pantnagar with its perfectly manicured roads and huge palm trees, the plethora of litchi and mango laden trees made us all squeal in delight. There were abundant mango laden trees growing across the length and breadth of the place and ripe, red juicy litchis that were ready to to plucked, staring back at us enticingly. 

We were put up at the Lambert square guest house. We reached in time for an atypical home cooked lunch of yellow daal, pumpkin sabji, kofta, piping hot rotis was devoured by us in no time. It’s funny how ravenous one gets on holidays! 

The DH and I took a walk to the market, which had by no means changed from the time I was a kid; almost thirty years back. It still had a bit of squalor here and there. Our favourite stationary store Kamal book sellers, Pammi Bhaiya’s confectionary shop continued to dot the market. Pammi bhaiya still insists on pampering me just the way he did when I was a kid. He refused to listen us and sent tetrapacks of juice for the kids. Embarrassing for us yes, but that’s his own little way of showing his affection for me. I remember buying the multi coloured saunf ( fennel) packets, Phantom cigarette candies, orange hard boiled candies from him when I was a kid and how he thrust a free bottle of Goldspot my way each time, despite me and my parents insisting that he shouldn’t. He and my brother were friends too. He fondly asked for him and my parents. 

In the evening I took the family to the market again for Phattu’s samosas. They were as yummy as they had always been. Tad cleaner and more hygienic though. 

We then went for a tour around the university campus. I took the family to my school where we posed for a few snapshots, a sweet reminder of the place where I finished my senior high school from. We drove around the colleges that were surrounded by grand lofty flowering trees, like Amaltas, Gulmohars and a few others; names of which I don’t really know. One looked so much like a big cherry blossom tree with its pink, orange blossoms that veiyed for our attention. Then there was another of those stately ones covered in pristine white flowers. 

We were invited for tea to the current Vice Chancellors Dr. J. Kumar’s majestic abode, Tarai Bhavan. Dr J Kumar or Jeetu Bhaiya as I have always called him since I was a kid was one of my father’s favourite students. Incidentally my father was a scientist and Dean of the Agriculture college of this university. Yet again, Tarai Bhavan looked the same, the way it did 30 years back. After some conversations over tea, Jeetu Bhaiya and his sweet natured wife Neeta Bhabhi took us for a tour around the premises. We thoroughly enjoyed looking at the ancient Banyan tree where the erstwhile VCs wife would host teej celebrations and a swing would be strapped to the tree and adorned with flowers. She would invite the ladies of the campus for a grand celebration. There was now a little tree house on the Banyan tree.  The beautifully kept garden with the various trees planted by dignitaries like Abdul Kalam, M.S. Swaminathan, Pranab Mukherjee etc. made for a bewitching sight. The sprawling mango and litchi orchard were also another attraction. The entire Terai Bhavan is spread out in an area of  7.2 acres!!!! If that isn’t huge don’t know what is!

This morning my eighteen year old tells me, “Ma you were truly blessed to have lived and grown up in such a beautiful, green, clean and peaceful location with such a wonderful quality of life.” Yes I truly was. Though when I was growing up I always dreamt of moving to a city. But now having lived in the city for so many years I truly appreciate the gifts I received from having lived in this wondrous university campus that gave me unconditional love and still continues to, even when I return back after so many decades.

We may move across the seven seas but I guess our love for the place where we originally belong and comfrom will always be an intrinsic part of our being. 
Note: I’m currently in a low network zone. I will be uploading more pictures once I get back home later this week. 

Linking up with Corrine’s #MondayMusings and Mackinzie’s #mg

#MondayMusings: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Read : Girls Must Have Fun!

Early this month I took a trip to Goa with my bestie. She has a little Enid Blytonish pad, beautifully furnished with immaculate whites, where we spent three dreamy days. It was my first girlie trip. Having heard so much about all the fun girls have when they go on the much talked about “girlie trips”, this was a much-anticipated one. We had planned to do this for a while, but you know sometimes plans have a way of crashing mid-flight, or the flight never takes off. But this time we resolved to not to dilly-dally any further and take the plunge.


Ode to the Wo(man)?


It’s that time of the year when spring has set in and nature is romancing with us wildly showing off its wondrous hues. It’s also that time of the year when women are celebrating their identity and the wonderful being that they are. They are coming together to commemorate sisterhood and all the qualities God bestowed upon them; while he created these Goddesses at a leisurely pace.

Women’s day celebrations have been upon us, a week in advance.

Social media is agog with women’s day messages splashed all over the place. You are being tagged on “celebrate womanhood and tag all the women in your life by posting a picture of you” posts. The blogging community has been writing prompts that honor women. PVR cinemas have a special screening of women-centric cinemas on 8th March. The print and news media are doing their bit too.

But aren’t we kind of going a bit overboard? Or is it the trend to over do everything these days, whether it is Valentine’s day or Father’s Day or Mother’s Day. Though personally, I do like the idea of a day assigned to celebrate something or someone special. But this “celebrate the women” spiel is getting a bit too over the top. My views totally.

Agreed women, especially those in India have been an oppressed lot for many years. But things have changed over the years, and are still changing. Women are receiving their due rights in different walks of life. But suddenly there has been a gender reversal, especially in cities. Women are wearing the pants, and husband bashing is the order of the day.

It’s all very nice to celebrate the “fairer sex’s’ coming of age, but at what cost? Why are we forgetting equality of sexes? We are going overboard fighting for women’s rights, and putting a lot of energy on husband/man bashing. While some of those good guys who had no hand in persecuting women have to bear the brunt. 

It’s great, women of today’s times have a voice of their own. They are going out and making a mark. Some are trailblazers and forces to reckon with. They have brought about remarkable change in our society. Sudha Moorthy, Indra Nyooi, Sairee Chahal of Sheroes are just a few names that come to my mind when I think of women who have been game changers.

 But why are we seeing a sudden role reversal? Are women getting back at men with vengeance because they are now independent and juggling between being a homemaker and a professional? The tolerance levels have really come down in marriages today. No wonder, marriages are crumbling and the divorce rates are spiking in India.  Why can’t we treat each other equally and have equal rights? Men have changed dramatically, especially in Indian cities. They are juggling the role of a Father, Son, House Husband pretty well. They are equally engaged at home, cooking, helping with household chores and with the kids. So why are we not acknowledging any of that?

Can’t we have a day dedicated to our strong and resilient men too? And if we can’t then let’s remember to celebrate the man who shields us against the rowdy guys on the streets, the man who teaches our child Math and spends hours baby-sitting when we are out for the day with our girlfriends, the man who cooks a meal or two over the weekends, the man who listens to us rant and understands our emotional outbursts when we are PMSing, the man who is our partner and best friend all rolled into one – ready to lend those strong shoulders when we need to cry our heart out, the man who embraces us at the end of a long, stressful day at work and still continues to smile. 

So while all of you are busy celebrating Women’s day, I’d like to give a big shout out to our not always conspicuous, but remarkable men!

Cheers to you too!!!!

Linking up with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues.

Also linking up with #mg by Mackenzie Glanville


#MondayMusings: For The Love of Ink

Last Sunday I went and got inked. For the fourth time. :-)) This time it was kind of impromptu. Though the 18-year-old had been toying with the idea of us getting inked together for a while now, I had been putting it off each time. I believe you have to be in a certain frame of mind to get inked. Call it adventurous, call it creatively inspired, call it welcoming a new addition to your body or just-for-the-kicks frame of mind. A is in college now, and when she came home over the weekend I asked if she was game. Ofcourse, she was! The weather was perfect to get inked. Not too hot and muggy and not too cold. Bad idea to get inked in the summers. The sweat can mar it’s beauty. 

So off we went on a Saturday noon with her friend who very sweetly agreed to join us and be our saviour, if we were to cringe and cry. Arusha and I both knew what we wanted. I had planned mine almost 4 years back when I’d got my “humming bird” tattoo on the calf. It reads, “Carpe Diem”.  But I was unable to go ahead with the other one as it required a lot of time and this was on a short trip to Banglore, when we were returning from a holiday in Coorg. At that point of time, I believed Delhi didn’t have very good tattoo artists, so I, along with the DH got inked in Banglore. The DH got an Ahura Mazda that trails across his neck and shoulder-blades.

Well, so here we were in Gurugram, sitting at Funky Monkey, the tattoo studio and finalising our designs. Arusha already had the “script” in place. She just wanted two words written in Bengali, inscribed on her heart- “Kee Khushi” which essentially means “How Happy” It was a line my Mom had once said to her as a kid and stayed with her and she wanted it to be right there by her heart, for the rest of her life. Ma and Arusha are very close. Ma spent many years baby sitting and bring her up while I toiled at work.

I, however, wanted a detailed armlet. I have always had a thing for armlets and the design in my head was a wind chime with hanging butterflies. When I, along with Raju and the designer started putting together the final design, it turned out to be a bit different from what I had visualised, but simply perfect. A single medium sized butterfly with strings of chimes hanging out from two pretty creepers. And two small butterflies hovering over the creeper. 

Arusha’s was done in Ma’s handwriting, as she had kept a copy in her diary. It took barely 10 minutes for “Kee Khushi” to be inked on her.  She called her grandma all excited and gung-ho. Meanwhile, we got started on mine. Since the design was very intricate it took about two hours to get it done completely. I cringed in pain off and on, but kept chanting Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo to ease the pain. Arusha very sweetly like the last time, squeezed my hand and held it tight. She and her friend played some nice music also, to keep me distracted. But then if you want a tattoo you got to live with pain. No Pain, no gain! I hadn’t eaten since breakfast but who gets hungry when you have such an incredible adventure to undertake.

It was 5:30 PM and the three of us headed to Burger King to grab some junk for nourishment. I devoured a medium size Lamb burger which looked more like a XL burger. The tattoo was snugly covered in cling wrap after some vaseline application.

We returned home smug, complacent and pretty much over the moon. I kept preening like a peacock, showing off the tattoo to my DH and the 8-year-old. I’m so glad I finally have my armlet in place. “It’s very pretty”, so says Moi. Just that I’m not allowed to work out for two weeks. A week is already over, and I’m itching to get back to the saddle and cycle my way to the Aravallis. 

My current tattoo signifies, my love for nature, my first two tattoos that were done in Manila are the Ying and Yang. The  moon-stars and the Sun respectively. I am blessed and connected to be one with nature, also through my body art.

Tattoos aren’t for the faint-hearted. It requires guts, a streak of madness and some amount of pain threshold to get one done. But the whole process is fun and worth enduring. After all, it’s like decorating your hair with flowers or adorning your neck with a pretty neckpiece.

Hail Tattoo enthusiasts!!

Linking up with #MondayMusings hosted by Corinne Rodrigues.

Also linking up with #mg hosted by Mackenzie Glanville 

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