Tag: #TravelEpiphanies

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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{Z} is for Zesty & Zany Life: #AtoZChallenge

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Z is for Zesty & Zany Life

The Conclusion, that continues…

As the curtains draw to a remarkable close to the month of A to Z Challenge 2017, a part of me is despondent and the other part, happy as a lark. Despondent at the thought of the closure, happy at the idea of taking a break from the rigours of writing, researching, editing, posting, cross posting, commenting etc (for a bit). I intend to turn these 26 posts into a book. I’m considering an e-book for now. But before I step into the process I will take a week-long break from writing and cool my heels by the seaside, where who knows another travel epiphany will strike.

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{Y} Yonder and Beyond: #AtoZChallenge

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Y  is for Yonder & Beyond

Henceforth, and till I live, The World at Large

Today is the penultimate day of the great AtoZ writing challenge It’s been a long, fascinating, yet demanding month-long ride. Also my first journey with AtoZ. It was a pleasure compiling 26 different stories of my enthralling travels experiences. Some replete with adventure, some plain simple revelations that the places brought with them and some life’s little nuggets of wisdom lent during the course of these travels. I’m humbled by the love I have received from my very talented fellow bloggers and all the brilliant bloggers I have chanced upon during the course of this challenge. I hope to be back again next year, though better prepared than this time and armed with another bunch of interesting stories.

My torrid love affair with travel will continue today, as I’d like to share with you my long-standing dreams of visiting some places around the globe. Reading and hearing about them has left me spell-bound and intrigued. So come, join me in my travels yonder and beyond.

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{X} is for Xenial City of Nawabs: #AtoZChallenge

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X is for Xenial City of Nawabs

Another timeless classic

 

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).

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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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{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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{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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{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.

#AtoZChallenge2017- Theme Reveal : {Travel Epiphanies}

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Ahoy Amigos!

So, it’s that time of the year when a whole lot of bloggers are whipping up their pens, or polishing their keyboards, and gearing up with bated breath for the much awaited AtoZ Challenge 2017. I’m a complete newbie to this but I’m so very excited. I’ve written for as long as I can remember; way back in school, then re-starting after years of hibernation and then again falling back and re-starting. I recently chose to take a sabbatical from my professional career as a Communication Consultant and seriously pursue my calling and passion for writing. I must confess that I have never taken any challenge of this sort, ever, and I’m super, super excited.

I’m a travel bug who has had some remarkable epiphanies during the course of my journeys on foot, on the cycle, in the air and on water. A few journeys have been life altering, some lesson imparting and some a sheer delight to behold and savour. Each place that I travelled to, left me not only with its sweet and savoury memories but also brought with it a certain awakening of sorts. Sometimes spiritual, sometimes ephemeral yet surreal. I guess the credit goes to the people, the beings of the universe, the meandering rivers, the indomitable hills and at times just the plain rolling mist. They’ve all left me bewildered, bewitched and thirsting for more.

So this A to Z 2017, come, let’s embark together on this journey of my travel epiphanies, as I spin 26 tales of adventure and realisation and revelation.

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