I’m from Lucknow, capital city of Uttar Pradesh in North India, also known as the City of Nawabs. I choose to call it xenial as every pore of this ancient, city exudes hospitality, love and a deep-rooted pride for the cultural heritage. The people of Lucknow are warm, soft-spoken and courteous. The rich cultural heritage of the city is pretty much influenced by the Mughal era. This includes the ancient monuments, Awadhi cuisine, dance forms, music, language, clothing and embroidery; all of which have a touch of royal splendour. Lucknow is called the City of Nawabs as once upon a time it was ruled by Nawabs (semi-autonomous muslim leaders of princely states or province).
Sometimes it’s uncanny how your little ones will dispense pearls of wisdom your way, at the most unexpected moments. Wisdom that you probably didn’t give a fleeting thought to and that never really crossed the so-called deep recesses of your mind. I have had many such experiences with both my girls. I continue to learn from them each day. I feel, we as parents learn from our children as much as they learn from us, if not more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.