Category: Musings

#ThursdayTreeLove: Pristine & Gracious 

“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers, and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther King

On a mid-monsoon morning, the wispy clouds powdered across the sky, draw out designs of divinity over the glimmering river Kali. The gracious trees bow and behold the sight in reverence, as if becoming one with this symphony rendered by the heavens above.

The large tree under which we sit, relishing this spectacle put together by nature, nods its head in agreement. It roots for the smaller tree whose branches lie sprawled, reaching out to the river Kali, asking her to sway to its tune. But Kali refuses petulantly and continues to flow in all its placid glory.

– By the River of Kali, Dandeli, Karnataka I sat down and smiled.

This post is written for Parul’s lovely prompt #ThursdayTreeLove.

#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.

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#ThursdayTreeLove: Standing Tall, Arm in Arm

It’s balmy sunset at Thalassa, the Greek restaurant that lies ensconced on top of a cliff, at the Vagator beach in Goa.

As the sun peers through the cloudy sky; the wisps of cobalt yellow rays or are they pixie dust, tumble into the evening sea that placidly shimmers in a magical glory.

The twin coconut trees, though a distance apart,  sway arm in arm as they behold the spectacular sight. Together they stand steadfast, each others pillar of strength that they are.

I take sips of my refreshing watermelon juice and stop short to capture this enthralling performance that only nature can present to us; one unique from the other, every single day.

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Linking up with another nature lover Parul’s prompt for #ThursdayTreeLove. 

Journey Down Memory Lane: #AtoZ 2017 Reflection Post

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Aloha! I wrote this post during my travels but due to poor connectivity was unable to post it. Do pardon the tardiness. I’m now back from my break and will be returning to my regular blogging schedule.

Journey Down Memory Lane: #AtoZ Challenge Reflections 2017

5 April, 2017, Morjim beach, Goa, India

I’m cooling my heels at Morjim’s black, sandy beach, Pinacolada on one side and a plate overflowing with the fresh morning catch of jumbo fried Pomfret, salad and some fries on the other. The balmy breeze is caressing my skin, and the sea is roaring a sensuous song. Reclining on a comfy beach chair, I gaze at the sea, and then back at my Pages file and the jumbo Pomfret (what were these guys thinking when they rustled this up for me!) and I’m totally one with the moment. I haven’t been on a solo holiday ever. It’s my first time, and I think it’s a great thing to do and every one should. I’ve been in Goa since yesterday. My bestie, soul sister and partner in crime joins me later today.

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Solo & Susegard

I’m currently relaxing in Goa and experiencing a sense of “susegard” which in Portuguese translates to being relaxed, contented and in a state of bliss when one chills by the seaside.

This is my first solo trip, though for just a day. My bestie joins me in a few minutes. And we will spend the weekend here; a weekend of madness and some mindless banter that we specialise in.

 

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{K} is for Kitschy Trip to Kasauli : #AtoZChallenge

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K is for Kitschy Trip to Kasauli

March 2015

Imagine you are undertaking a meandering journey to the mountains; all excited, hopeful and with that sparkle of anticipation in your eyes. Away from the busyness and monotony of life in the plains. As your MPV starts making that climb uphill, you literally clutch your heart in excitement, in prescience (apparently) of what the climb ahead holds. Life will be peaking with joy during the next 5 days of your holiday in Kasauli. But little do you know that there’s more to it than meets the eye.

You realise your travel agent has booked you in a dilapidated, non- scenic place, right in the middle of a bustling market. You didn’t leave the plains to land yourself in another crowded place, did you? Fortunately, you have a very kind, helpful classmate from school who generously helps book you in her family resort which is gorgeous, but the food doesn’t go well with your teenager’s tummy.
Then, there is not much to do in this sleepy, little township. You are happy with the nothingness, but the family wants some adventure, some good food-to assuage the stomach bug, some places to explore and some more. But a peak will not always translate to a peak. What might peak for you might not peak for others.

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You return to you hearth in the plains. A flurry of activities over powers your being. It’s time to spring clean, move the woollens inside, donate the old clothes and tidy up the cupboards with summer wear. It’s suddenly a lot of work, after having put your feet up and having done nothing for a few days. The vacation is over (did it really start?) and reality has bitten you. Hard.

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You speak to some wise friends and family.They dispense some nuggets of wisdom.
Your friend says it’s pertinent to find the work and play balance every day. It’s different when you are on vacation. It’s all play, then (as if I didn’t know!). I translate this in my head as “When in the plains; keep a mind that is plain, simple and balanced. Focus on things, chores and work that need to be done, after all there is no escaping from the rigours of a routine. And yes, take that time out for “play” as well.
The family member tells you, “Derive satisfaction from within. Do things that will nurture you as a person. Also do things that will nurture you as a family unit.” Quite bang on indeed.
And I have followed the advice now for a while now.

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These days more and more of us are seeking out for external sources to make us happy. Be it friends, partying, dining out, technology, social media, the mall visits or holidays and so on so forth. In the process we forget to cherish the simple pleasures that can be derived from our every day life. A steaming cup of coffee in the balcony or garden, a walk in the park, watching movies on the DVD on a lazy weekend, reading a gratifying book, having a soulful conversation, gardening, listening to music, playing with our pets, a board game with the family, rustling up that meal, baking; all this can uplift us beyond imagination.
You don’t always need to get away; you need to find your inner peace right here where you are;  within yourself.

Note to Self: It’s uncanny this piece was scheduled for today, as I can’t wait to get away this Good Friday weekend, for a little break to a valley nearby. Yes, it’s something to look forward to, but I need to remember that when I return I will have no choice but to return to my schedule and a big job list awaiting me.  A holiday might not always translate into happiness. Or even if it does, that happiness might be short-lived. Happiness is a state of mind. It finally boils down to being content with what we have, where we are and how we make the most of the situations or circumstances that life throws upon us.

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My theme for this year’s Blogging from A-Z Challenge is Travel Epiphanies that are my very own tales of adventure and revelation. I will be writing 26 posts throughout the month of April. You can read my theme here.

{I} is for Intimidating – Yes; Imaginary – No: #AtoZChallenge

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I is for Intimidating, Yes; Imaginary, No

2006, Manila, The Philippines

2006 was about new beginnings, an exciting start to a new life, of chasing adventures and dreams. We had moved to Manila. My now 18 year old was all of 8. The DH had already shifted to Manila from work. He had painstakingly searched and found a beautiful condominium called Spanish Bay, in the lovely Bonifacio Ridge that we rented out. We took to Manila like fish to water. We would love jumping into the pool most evenings, as the sun went down. The three of us spent the evenings taking long walks around the wide open roads of Bonifacio Ridge, hanging out at Jollibee for Palabok (a local dish made of rice noodles that I love, love, love). On many weekend mornings we would go for idyllic breakfasts at Pancake House, around the neighbourhood.

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{F} is for Far Far Away #AtoZChallenge

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F is for Far Far Away

1988-1990, G.B Pant University, Pantnagar, District Nainital, Current: G.B. Pant University, Pantnagar, District Udham Singh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India

Far far away, in the late 80’s, there lived a teenager in a small, lush green, well-knit community, called the GB Pant University, Pantnagar that lay nestled in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas and was the teenager’s birthplace. She spent most of her growing up years in this beautiful campus that had meandering landscapes of foliage and a multitude of trees. These included the fruiting varieties like mango, guava, banana, papaya, litchi, and gooseberry, to name just a few. These grew in almost everybody’s backyard. People also cultivated their fresh food produce of organic vegetables and harvested their own rice and wheat. (more…)

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 http://everydaygyaan.com/let-go-of-heartache/ hosted by Corinne Rodrigues.

Also linking up with #mg http://www.reflectionsfromme.com/mg-link-highlights-living-fearlessly-authentic/hosted by Mackenzie Glanville

 

#MondayMommyMoments: 5 Lessons I Learnt as a Mother

Motherhood is an experience that is difficult to describe but has to be felt to be understood completely. Only a mother knows what it is to bring up a child, and to go through the motions of carrying her baby in her womb for 9 months, to give birth, to experience postpartum blues, to be rendered with sleepless nights and yet experience the bliss of watching ones little cherub grow into a young woman or man.

I’m a mother to two girls: 8 and 18 years-old. So when the second one was born it was like starting afresh. It felt like I’d never had a baby before and I had to re-start my learnings all over again. At times I floundered but I got up and strode with confident steps. And at times I was a winner all the way, hands on and doing a brilliant job. Since the age difference between the two is a wide 10 years, I have had to practice two different styles of parenting – between parenting a crabby teenager and then pacifying a clingy toddler. Of course, though with the basic ground rules the same. But believe you me, It’s been a fun journey despite the thorns here and there. After all, a rose wouldn’t bloom minus those thorns would it?

My older one is almost completing First year of college and the younger one is set to go to Grade 4. They are both at a very entertaining age I must say. The older one doubles up as my best friend. Only the other day we went together and got our tattoos done. It was a fulfilling, emotionally bonding experience; where she held on to my hands as I tried to forget the pain. She got my mother’s words engraved on her heart, “Ki Khushi” meaning “How Happy” in Bengali. She is very attached to her grandma. And just had to put up this little declaration of love on her heart.

The younger one is a sucker for art and crafts. She has stoked my long-lost interest in art so much that we started Zentangling-a form of doodling together. It’s a fun, engaging, relaxing experience we both indulge in each others company while exchange notes.

So here are just five lessons that my angel brats have taught me over the years. Lessons that are more precious than any gift one could ever have. And I’m so grateful for them and for having them in my life.

To Stay Young, To Behave Young, To Feel Young: Yes, I’ve always been pretty much young at heart, but then I give a lot of credit to my two girls for also keeping me that way. I have spent innumerable afternoons and mornings shopping with the 18-year-old, and then stopping by for a hearty meal, and then catching a movie after a long day of all this. It keeps my energy rolling and my zest for life high. We have scrounged through the Sarojini Nagar market looking for clothes in the latest trends and my 18-year-old dispenses fashion tips like a pro. So she ends up helping me pick what makes me look younger and natty. She does my make up when I step out for a party. I’m terrible at doing eye make-up as I barely do them for myself. She spends a long time putting together hues of eyeshadow to match my clothes and accessories. The younger one, on the other hand, makes sure we have Game nights on some weekends wherein we as a family indulge in various games like Dumbcharades, Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble and the works. We have even played Hop Scotch together. We do cycling races together. We go butterfly and snail hunting together. Reminds me of our growing up years.

To Lead By Example: As a mother, I can’t be telling my kids not to do something that I myself would be engaging in. So if I raise my voice and shout at them, they will replicate my behaviour and do the same. It has taken me years of training to watch what I say, how I say it, what I do and how I do it. After all, our kids are watching us every moment and will follow our footsteps. I have learned that action speaks louder than words. So if I’m calm and collected in a taxing situation my kids will see me and follow suit.  If my kids see me positive and happy most of the time they will tend to become such human being themselves too. If they see I’m courteous and helpful towards others they will do the same. Thus it is essential to preach only what we are able to practice ourselves.

To Nurture Myself: Kids require a lot of investment of our time, if we want them to blossom and grow into all-rounded, well-turned out human being. So to nurture them, it’s important we as mothers nurture ourselves first. For a work-out-of-home Mom like me, it’s not easy to juggle between a career, home, husband, and kids. It requires a lot of patience and time strictly allocated to each of these. Earlier I used to spend all my time with them, with very little time left for myself leaving me overwhelmed, irritable and exhausted. I realised the importance of “me time” and now I make it a point to spend some time in the morning sipping my cup of coffee in peace, looking out of the balcony our gazing at the plants on the terrace. In the afternoons after having wrapped up work, and eaten lunch, I grab time to read and catch up on a short afternoon siesta before the younger one comes from school. That way I’m far more rested and ready to spend quality and valuable time with the her. I also make sure I go for some pampering to the Spa or Salon or get myself a coffee and a lavender cake and at the nearby cafe, all by myself.

To Be Open Minded and Communicative: I’m reminded of the lyrics from the delightful Bob Dylan song, “The Times They Are A-‘Changin'” : Come, mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly aging
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
Cause the times they are a-changing

I firmly believe it’s important for parents to adapt and acclimatize to the changing times. Else the generation gap will only widen. It is so very important to keep our channels of communications open with our kids and that will only happen if we try to understand them, instead of berating them for their little faults. Our kids will only open out to us if we share a strong bond, one that keeps the scope for communication open. This applies a lot to parents who have teenagers and are grappling trying to bring them up with their tantrums and mood swings. We cannot expect to parent our kids the way our parents did. Things have changed and they will continue to. When we start understanding and talking to our kids, we realise where they actually are coming from. Silencing them with angry words or reprimands is not the solution all the time. A calm, listening ear goes a long way to tide the generation gap and adapt to “The times they are A-Changin'”

Money Can’t Buy Happiness and Their Love. Our Time Can: I have always known this, but living in a metro for over 8 years I see how more and more parents are succumbing to the bait of buying gifts, toys, clothes, time at a Funzone; to make up for the lost time with their kids. Since they have long working hours, they barely get to see or spend time with their kids. So out of sheer guilt, I notice some parents trying to fill the void of their time with things that money can buy. You cannot buy your kids love, you can only receive it by reciprocating it back with your time. Though not easy given the busy lifestyles people lead juggling between, work, home, technology, social media; it is so pertinent to invest in quality time with our kids. Quality time versus quantity is the ideal mantra. It’s a good idea to keep our phones away when our kids are sharing their day at school with us, or when we are having dinner with them. I have been guilty of getting distracted by social media many times, but I do now consciously try and keep the phone away when the kids are around.

These are just five of the things I have learned from my kids. There are lot many though. But I assure you making an effort to follow these 5 lessons are in themselves a great way to get started. I’m glad I could reiterate these lessons to myself by blogging about them. Thank you #MondayMommyMoments

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Linking this blog piece for #MondayMommyMoments to Amrita http://www.healthwealthbridge.com and Deepa http://www.kreativemommy.com

 

 

 

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