Posted in Beauty, Love, poem, Poetry, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Will you?

You and I
We have seen enough sun rises alone
Welcoming the days with our
Solitariness

So will you see the sun sets with me?
When the orange ball
Turns a glorious red
And fades away a lovely day.

My cloister equals yours
My mind is in you heart
And your heart in my mind

So will you be the ocean
To my rivers and waterfalls
Gently absorbing me
Into another universe
And allowing me to consume you
Into my world

We have been alone
For far too
Too long

So will you climb those mountains with me?
That reside in mother nature
And in our minds..

Our souls are fashioned
Out of the same stardust
And the same emptiness
Resides in our hearts

So will you fill my desolation
With your kindness
And allow me to fill yours
With my happiness

And when this companionship
Over burdens us
Will you go for a temporary recluse?
And let me enjoy my own presence

And when this distance
Overwhelms us
Will you build a life with me?
And enable me to forge this world with you.

Advertisements
Posted in Home, Memories, Prose, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Departing conversations

Dear old home,

The first time I saw you, I was not much impressed. You were slightly bigger than our previous abode and a tad not too welcoming because the sunlight only shone over my parents’ room, hall and kitchen. My room, the living room and the closed balcony were left at the mercy of the cold winds and a dense peepal tree. One of my brothers named you “Cold Storage” because of the sudden drop in temperatures experienced in the shadow regions.

I never believed in love at first sight, so here we are. Slowly yet steadily, I fell for you. Not just me, but my whole family.

You have seen me growing up from a nasty tantrum throwing over achieving arrogant teenager to a calmed down woman who prefers to lose temper once a year. Thirteen years is indeed a long time.

And today, as I sat on your terrace, I marveled at the sight of the dancing leaves of the Pipal tree. Their swaying motion reminded me of my yester years when I frequently came to the terrace for contemplation time.
And this peepal tree housed the naughty cuckoo bird whom we used to mimic now and then, only to irritate her. She got so frustrated that once her voice became shriller than the contestants’ of Big Boss.
Many Winters back, there used to be a cat and her three extremely adorable kittens and I played with them while studying for my 12th class boards.

And while I sat lonesome there, an angry bird (they have fiery eyes – they actually look like “angry birds”) came and rustled the fallen leaves. Their pitter-patter kept us entertained whenever the cats went hunting.

And the mango tree will be soarely missed. The way we used to collect the ripe and the raw ones was an unforgettable experience. And those mischievous parrots which ate the raw mangoes while chirping away with glee.

And of course the medieval era tomb which graced our eyes for such a long time. The view from the terrace and of course the dining hall transported us to those vintage railway/cantonement colonies.

IMG_20181217_103104

I let the December sun burn my skin as I sat there. I wanted to shed a tear or two because of the heaviness in my heart. I did but couldn’t anymore as you have already embraced my crying for a very long time. (I stopped shedding rivers a long time back.)

However hard I have tried to kept myself numb and cold, one day I had to break down and embrace my emmotions. I always thought it’ll be a man but you had to be the one to do it. (Now my husband will be very jealous of you.)

Soon you’ll have a new family to welcome and you’ll forget me. You’ll forget my tantrums, the colourful songs I used to sing and of course my booming voice. The answered prayers, the vibrant conversations I had with my friends and family, they’ll be a part of your ancient history.

After all I was just another girl for you.

Yours truly
A girl who is dearly missing you

P.S.: Have you swallowed my bottle of Brandy? My father seems to think that way. Wink wink.

Posted in Prose, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Maids of honour

Statutory warning: This is not yet another post on my wishes about my wedding and mother in law. I would rather call it an emotional one and I usually prefer to stay away from such poignant rants.

After thirteen long years, my family will be shifting from a plush south Delhi home to another lavish south west Delhi home. And as the date draws nearer, all of us start recounting our last shifting memories more than a decade back.

I am seriously not going to write poems here about my over-privileged south Delhi lifestyle where everything is available at a stone’s throw, the greenery and the cleanliness.

When you reside at a place for a very long time, you make recollections with the people you interact with, the trees that grow around you, the roads you walk on and the birds that come twittering to your balcony/terrace for their daily dose of leftovers. The mongrels which chase on your morning runs and the local cats who swoop into your lap like an attention crazy kid.

But the most important people with whom you forge an unforgettable bond are the house maids. Apart from keeping our homes in a sparkling state, our days are incomplete without the neighbourhood gossip they bring to our mothers’ otherwise monotonous days when we are occupied.

My Mom like any other mother has always been very particular about the cleanliness affairs and hence her affinity with the maids. There are good moments apart from the usual bitter-batter about “this corner was left un-swept”. I sometimes get a very peculiar feeling that she miser the maids when they are on their quarterly/annual/sick/casual leaves.

So when the last time we left Vasant Vihar, we were leaving a very understanding and hard working maid who had been loyal to our household for more than eight years. More than my Mom, the maid, named “Basanti” (colourful name though!) was more emmotional about our departure. On our last day, she controlled her heart and flatly told my Mom that she won’t be coming to see her off and would sit at a corner far away from us and would watch us leaving (teary eyed). In fact she was so attached to my Mom that she even wanted to travel to our current place (a 3km drive) and keep working for us. My mom still misses her I guess.

Here, at R.K. Puram, we had a spate of Chamelis, Lolitas and Maya. Maya is a fiery Nepali with a glass shattering voice but a good heart. She is a smart business woman and very sharp in finances. She does have a liking for my sister considering her homely and introvert nature. It always seemed to me that she was not much fond of us. But the last time my sister came for Diwali holidays, she was actually delighted to have her around. She even hugged her with teary eyes.

So let us see what Maaya does when we finally leave the place.

 

P.S.: Maaya and Chameli always liked me more because of my talkative nature and my ability to donate my new clothes to them. I can not help being conceited even here. Wink wink.

 

Posted in bakery, dehradun, himalayan resort, himalayan river, himalayas, india, indian, indian cuisine, indian food, landour, mountain, mountains, mussoorie, north indian, poha, Sunset, the lesser himalayas, travel, travel diaries, travel writing, traveller, travelogue, trek, trekking, Uncategorized, uttarakhand, writer, writing

Corn Village and Landour Exploration curated by Transforming Travels

Call it co-incidence, but I have been travelling more frequently to Uttarakhand this year than I ever did before. And although I am not really fond of the pebble laden trails here, the distinct Pahadi culture never fails to baffle me.

And the fact that the magnificent views here are still hidden from my prying eyes, I yearn to return here more often.

This unique experience was curated by the Transforming Travels and the organizers Chandni Aggarwal and Mihir Panda were their usual informative and cheery best.

Day 0

We, a group of six travellers, boarded an Innova from Mandi House Metro station at 11pm in the night.  After getting acquainted with each other, we retired for the day in our car seats.

Day 1

This day started early at 6:30 a.m. as we reached our hotel Grand Galaxy, a few kilometres from Mussoorie. Since road journeys tend to leave you exhausted, I preferred to sleep till 8:30 although that comforting sleep felt like eternity.

The breakfast ritual was performed in the blazing sun at the hotel courtyard from where you could get a magnificent view of the Mussoorie-Dehardun landscape. The usual poha, poori and aloo sabzi tend to become tastier in the mountains, I feel.

IMG_20181027_093610-01

Corn Village was the first place in our itinerary and before visiting the village, our first stoppage was at an elderly couple’s place. The husband Mr. Kunwar is the head of the village and his lady is a Canadian who decided to adopt the Pahadi culture. The lovely couple greeted us with a freshly prepared lemongrass tea and to sip it in the lap of the mountains while listening to the twittering of mountain birds was priceless! The couple have opened an English medium school for the children of Corn Village and are working tirelessly for literacy here.

IMG-20181028-WA0052-01

The vibrant yellow hues of the sweet corn cobs welcome you as you traverse through the village. The smiling villagers while going around their daily chores make you forget the tiredness from the road journey. The smiling children will pester you to play with them while the elderly ladies will oblige when you ask for a photograph to capture their earthy beauty.

DSC_0040-01

1541602916420_DSC_0037-01

Lunch was a delicious affaire with make ki roti (corn chappatis), spiced wheat pancakes, sautéed pumpkins, mixed lentils, rice and sautéed greens. Each and every item was lip smacking to say the least.

IMG_20181027_132623-01

After Corn Village, Landour was not far behind. It is at a greater height than Mussoorie (some 2000m) and delicate cold winds will hit you abruptly. The colonial touches are more prominent here – stony pathways, wooden cottages, British conifers, deserted lanes and of course the bakeries.

IMG-20181028-WA0055-01

And I forgot to mention the very sophisticated boarding school kids scouting the Landour bakehouse. The bakery is pretty old – the puny roofs, the wooden interiors and the bone china cutlery will remind you of the bygone days. There is an extensive dessert menu with fresh bakes though I preferred to take chicken croissant sandwich which was ohh-so-warm. Not to forget the fresh ginger lemon tea with organic honey.

IMG-20181028-WA0050-01

Sunsets are not to be missed when you are in the mountains and the view from Lal Tibba is unforgettable.

DSC_0120-01

The day ended with a late dinner in the courtyard at the hotel and a sleep full of snores.

Day 2

The trek towards the origins of Kempty Falls had to begin early though we started late at 9a.m. A half an hour journey from our hotel to Cloud’s End where George Everest’s home stands tall. The building is in a dilapidated state with some hideous caricatures of undying love drawn on the walls. Nevertheless, the views are a thing of beauty at the canyon. The short hike to the top was a warm up for our trek and we successfully passed it.

DSC_0148-01

DSC_0164-01

IMG-20181028-WA0086-01

The trek towards the Kempty Falls origins is a descending one so expect sore calf muscles. You have to trudge very carefully as the well defined trail does get slippery in between. But the dense forests and the meadows encountered leave you breathless, quite literary. The trail foes through the Mussoorie Wildlife Sanctuary and we were told by some officials that bears and leopards are regular visitors there. Not to mention my chance encounter with a tiny snake that preferred to ran away instead of biting me.

DSC_0200-01

When you finally reach the gushing crystal clear blue-green waters of the many streams which ultimately form Kempty Falls, you can not help basking in the enchanting music. The long journey of 11km lays forgotten in the quiet of these streams.

After snacking on sweet corn and chai, we geared ourselves for Dehardun where we decided to have a grand dinner at Kalsang Ama café. I somehow never understood how these mountain cafes are able to dish out better pizzas, pastas and sandwiches than our high grade Delhi restaurants. The café scored excellent on quality as well as quantity.

And as usual, we decided to retire for the day in our car seats and reached Delhi in the morning hours.

Such rural explorations with unchartered trails are a speciality of Transforming Travels. Not to forget the comfort factor involved during road journey as well as hotel/resort stay.

 

Posted in gemstones, musings, ruby, sapphire, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Rubies all the way!

For a rationale human being, wearing astrological gemstones does come at a price. For instance, people calling you religious and superstitious. And trust me, it is a big price to pay!

I have been made to wear about four of them – pearl, coral, ruby and yellow sapphire/amber in chronological order. I threw away my first pearl ring (which my departed maternal grandfather gifted me in 10th grade) because I could not write fast enough in my pre-board exams. (Ring in pinky finger does slows you down).

Then I wore it again, but I had a tendency to throw it away – I believe it was never meant for me.

Then came the coral because apparently my planets were misaligned and blah blah! Truth be told, my mind was misaligned more than my planets. At God knows how many astronomical units, these bloody planets can not affect me at the same rate as my mind can.

Getting back to our topic, coral was on my left finger and then the ravishing blood red ruby on my right one. I did not pay much attention to the ruby one, though I always relished looking at rubies in my childhood. After a year I was advised pearl again and that too combined with the coral one as a pendant. Imagine having to carry that much weight around your neck. Harry Potter, you have my sympathies when you wore Slytherin’s locket around your neck.

Last but not the least, the yellow sapphire came and trust me I can not afford to lose it or even throw it away. No puns intended. I might have spent a good smartphone’s worth on it.

I never knew the value of my blood red ruby ring until the day one of my colleagues pointed out her fondness for the same. Not once but more than thrice.

She still asks me from where did I get it and I always tell her I will tell you, though I forget to ask the friend who got me the ring, the name of jeweler.

There are more than thirty faces on this ring and I counted these after five years of first adorning it on my ring finger. You know why? Because I took it for granted, I took its sheen, its beauty for granted like we always do with so many people and things in our life. My colleague made me realize the lovely shine it reflected and refracted whenever I moved my hands or gestured angrily or threw my palms into my head when I wanted to pull away my hair.

Too bad, it took me five years and a person to finally see the beauty of this stone…..

But now I love to savour the shine of the ruby ring and deliberately move my finger at different angles so that I can bask in those little rays of light from the gemstone. They do make me happy, however small that might be.

Imagine what a solitaire would do!

Meanwhile that Slytherin’s locket or rather the coral-pearl duet lies away in my Mom’s dressing table. I think it has become a horcrux now because when I finally took it off, a wave of relief swept me. It probably took a part of my darkness away.

I can not believe what I am writing but it is 2 a.m. in the night and spookiness prevails.

But yes, the ruby stone is beautiful, better than any piece of jewellery I ever had.