{V} is for Valiant & Victorious Ride: #AtoZChallenge

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Post Alert: Slightly long post, but honest to God, you won’t regret it. 

V is for Valiant & Victorious Ride

12 February, 2017, Bhuvaneshwari Devi, Gurugram, New Delhi Capital Region, India

I’m an avid cyclist. A passion that I engage in it with as much ardor as writing. Though I wish I would ride more often, and have a time set aside each day to cycle, just like the way I have for writing. Well, hopefully someday soon that thought will turn that into a reality.

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{U} is for Upstream & Upbeat : #AtoZChallenge

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U is for Upstream & Upbeat

15 April 2017, Bah, Chambal, District Agra, India

By the rivers of Chambal where we sat down,

Yeah, yeah we wept, when we remembered downtown

When the wicked

Carried us away in captivity

Requiring of us a song

Now how shall we sing the lord’s song in a strange land

Let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts

Be accepted in thy sight here tonight

By the rivers of Chambal where we sat down,

Yeah, yeah we wept, when we remembered downtown!

(Corny yes, and you know very well, snitched from Boney-M’s Rivers of Babylon. Apologies, but couldn’t help this one!)

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{T} is for Tides of Togetherness: #AtoZChallenge

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T is for Tides of Togetherness

April 2016, Kovalam, Kerala, India

Kerala was a destination that I was anxiously waiting to visit and experience for a very, very long time. So when we visited God’s own Country last year, we not only fell heads over heels in love with this breathtaking paradise, but I along with the 8-year-old wanted to leave the big, bad city and move here lock, stock and barrel. DH are you listening?! Sigh!

The simplicity, the surreal beauty of this land, the unending lush landscapes, the reinvigorating salty sea breeze, the food-every gourmet’s delight, the petty women – oiled hair (in coconut oil of course), secured in a plait or bun, adorned with the fragrant jasmines and their gentle demeanour, the mundu (a kind of sarong, clustered above the knees) clad men, the dreamy backwaters, the creative dance forms, the musical performances, the grand houseboat, the spice plantations, the magnificent temples, the abundant flora and fauna; you name it and Kerala has it.

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{S} is for Spiritual Journey: #AtoZChallenge

S is for Spiritual Journey 

2014, Gurugram, NCR, India

My quest for spiritualism is undying. I have been in the spiritual path ever since I can remember. As a kid I used to pray each morning before I left for school, decorating the alter with fresh flowers. Since I studied in a convent school and a convent college too, Jesus was in my life too as one of my saviour’s. This along with Hanuman ji, and the Hanuman challisa that I diligently recited to overcome fear of exams, ghosts or any such thing. Over the years I tried my hand at various healing and spiritual practises like Reiki and Isha Yoga which were extremely beneficial. I still continue to practise Reiki. But I needed one such practise that would change my life forever. Not that the above didn’t; they did in their own ways.

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{R} is for Reflections by Resplendent Kali: #AtoZChallenge

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R is for Reflections By Resplendent Kali

20 September 2016, Dandeli, Karnataka, India

The DH and I took a memorable sojourn to the Western Ghats, in Karnataka last year. It was monsoons and the weather was wet; and nature was at its lush best. (This is before we drove down to Goa through the wondrous Western Ghats. You could read about our Goa adventures at Gobsmacked in Goa.) Dandeli has a fascinating forest cover in the midst of which lies the River Kali. Our getaway lay cradled by the banks of this serene river. Right after we reached the Hornbill Resort we dumped our luggage in our interesting tent house and went and sat by the banks of Kali, becoming one with the tranquility around it.

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{Q} is for Quintessential Cafe : #AtoZChallenge

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Q is for Quintessential Cafe

2014 and beyond, Nirvana Courtyard, Nirvana Country, Gurugram, NCR, India,

We all have our cosy nook don’t we? A place away from home that we sometimes like to get away to and unwind. Well, I have mine right next door, in my neighbourhood. It’s my go-to-place when I’m bogged down with home management, need a solitary break, or want to write or work – away from the confines of my home (basically a change in place helps those creative juices flow you see). It’s my cubby hole that invigorates and cheers me up. So I take quite a few journeys to this little café of “mine”, on my bicycle, in the car or through a languorous or sometimes brisk walk. This quintessential little café is called Madison and Pike, located in Nirvana Courtyard, Gurugram.

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{P} is for Precious “Cotton”: #AtoZChallenge

P is for Precious Cotton

October 2007, Singapore

We had moved to Singapore in 2007 after one adventurous stint at Manila. You’ll know what I mean if you read : Bohol-Mighty Cerulean Ocean & Intimidating yes, Imaginary no

Singapore, as you know is a stunning island country. A paradise for families. It’s curated, refreshing columns of green, pristine roads and alleys, simple-soft spoken, down-to-earth population, the lip smacking cuisine; all adds up to a residents delight. Life is so much more easy paced. Much like it is by a countryside, I would say. It has everything that a city has to offer yet it has an old world, simple charm. So it wasn’t surprising that we fell in love instantly with Clark Quay, East Coast Park, Orchard etc and of course Simei where we lived.

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{O} is for Opal Sunsets & Ochre Sunrise: #AtoZChallenge

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O is for Opal Sunsets and Ochre Sunrise

Timeless Classics, Around the Earth till infinity

I LOVE sunsets and sunrises. Well who doesn’t? They leave me spell-bound, contemplative and grateful. Opal sunsets and Ochre sunrises transport me to a world beyond the scheduled grind of life. Though they come and go each day, yes that too as per routine; but each sunset and sunrise is distinctively different from the other. Every time I lay my eyes on the transiting colours of the sky that encapsulates the setting sun, I gape at the unique spectacle. This holds true for the ochre sunrise each morning, as well. The lustrous new morning sky takes a back seat when the massive ball of orange rises from it’s slumber and washes the earth with it’s golden, healing glow. I have been blessed to witness some wondrous sunsets and sunrises during my travels and right here at home, or when I’m journeying around my city.

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Sunset from the 18-year-old’s balcony

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{N} Nebulous Night Adventure : #AtoZChallenge

N is for Nebulous Adventure of the Night

15 April, 2017, Bah, Chambal, District Agra, Uttar Pradesh

This was possibly the most adventurous Easter weekend I’ve ever had.

We just returned this evening and I look back incredulously and marvel at the arm loads of memories I have carried back, of my rendezvous with the different creatures of the wild. That too in a matter two days! Something I’ve never witnessed in my entire life.

These beautiful beasts of the wild included over 50 species of birds, the deadly Crocs, the timid, vegetarian Gharials, the gorgeous Back Bucks made famous by our Indian actor Salman Khan (when he was penalised for hunting one a few years back), “I’ll-stare-you-back-in-the-eye”- Nilgais, the coy Gangetic Dolphin, the strong and silent Tortoises and the intriguing Asian Palm civet.

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{M} is for Mighty Cerulean Sea: #AtoZChallenge

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M is for Mighty Cerulean Sea

October 2006, Panglao Island, Bohol, Central Visayas, The Philippines

Our vacation to Bohol is one experience that we will continue to cherish the most. It was our first holiday destination in the gorgeous Philippines, where we lived from 2006-2007. Bohol is an island province in the Central Visayas region, consisting of the island itself and 75 minor surrounding islands. We took a short flight to Tagbilaran, Bohol’s capital city, from Manila. The fresh balmy tropical breeze started seducing us or was it just me; the moment we landed. I love the tropics. I thrive in that weather just like the nature there does. My hair and skin feel healthier, and I’m far more energetic. The humidity doesn’t bother me as much. The option of jumping into the sea is the cherry on the cake.

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