A Sunday in the History of Sundays

 

Sundays are supposed to be days for basking in utmost rest and slumber. But that rarely happens. Every week we plan to take that 8-10 hr sleep on the “this Sunday” but, alas, only few dreams come true!

 

But this week I got lucky enough and got a golden chance to actually spend my Sunday the way I had always wanted. So here goes my short writeup on my Dream Sunday!

 

I had a healthy breakfast, comprising sprouts, juice, almonds and walnuts at home. I lazed around in my bed for a while and then took a shower with my husband.

 

We had planned on having a luxurious stay in a 5 star hotel, so I put my best dress on and a dab of makeup. We drove our way to the hotel, and had a gala lunch with our families. The food seemed so welcoming and scrumptious after my 6-day long diet. We moved to our room and I checked my weight. Woah, I had a good surprise! I had shed 4 good kilos which added icing on my cakey Sunday.

 

We hopped into our beds and had a cosy sleep in the silky smooth bedding. I drew a nice hot bubble bath and had a good 2-hour stress-free time amid sweet fragrance and music from my Amazon playlist. For a while I literally dozed off to sleep. We had planned on going to the swimming pool too, but sometimes the best comes when you go slow. After all, you can’t do all the good things in a day!

 

In the late evening we walked to the nearby restaurant and had a light meal. We returned and watched a hollywood movie and slept all night in utmost comfort. An 8-hour sleep and we were good to go in the morning.

 

Phew! A Sunday well spent! A Sunday which we all dream of. A Sunday bound to make anyone jealous! A Sunday where your body gets the pampering and love it needs.

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Another Beautiful Feather in my Travel Hat: Meghalaya-Assam

So recently my husband and I got lucky to shell out some time from our jobs and visit this hidden cozy corner in the North-east India.

To be honest, a trip to north-east is synonymous with Sikkim, Darjeeling or may be Assam. But against the much sough-after options, we decided to take our battered backpacks to the off-beat Meghalaya.

To those who don’t believe in love, I challenge you; visit this gem and you’ll fall in love with it! So did I.

So here’s a brutally honest review of our 10-day long trip to the more beautiful part of North-East. And yes, it’s a long one, so brace yourselves to go through some of the intricate details you won’t find anywhere else.

Day 1: We took an early morning flight from New Delhi to Guwahati and reached the city by 12.30. We booked a taxi on sharing basis to reach Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. The road network was amazing and the scenic beauty on the way was pristine. The temperature too dropped by 10 degrees as we headed to Shillong. Unfortunately there was a curfew that day in Shillong and we had to while our times sitting in still car for hours. Finally we reached Police Bazaar at 6.20 PM. We had booked a home stay named Bi & Ti, around 1.5 km from Police Bazar. We walked our way up. It was an average-sized home with 4 rooms. We took one on the first floor. The room was ok. The host however was extremely helpful and recommended us few places for the upcoming days. We had our dinner around 7 at Galooz restaurant which was at a stone’s throw from our house. The day ended quickly with us sleeping around 9.30. Yes, the night life in Meghalaya isn’t something we actually saw because the sun sets at 6.30 here and people hit their sacks quite early. So 9 PM at Shillong is like midnight in Delhi.

 

Day 2: We started our day early and caught a reserved cab from Police Bazar to reach Mawsynram, the wettest place on the earth. The driver asked for Rs 2500 and we bargained it to 2200. We stopped at Elephant Falls on the way. It’s a set of 3 falls. The falls were beautiful but you can’t get into the water for a dip.

We made our way to Mawphlang. This place will blow your mind. The cleanliness, vastness, quietude and pristine beauty will drench your soul in serenity. I would recommend you to carry badminton rackets or any other sports to play here. This place will give you a hell of time. I played football with few locals here. Sunlight keeps fading and glowing here because of an ample lot of clouds. You can expect a few spells every 15 mins. There is a Sacred Grove forest here and you can go trekking and explore its depths.

We drove uphill to reach Mawsynram. There is nothing much to visit in Mawsynram; the panoramas of the drive alone are sufficient to lure you to visit the place. I have seen almost all the hill stations of North, I have seen Munnar and Ooty too, but Mawsynram is something which literally left me awestruck. This place is almost untouched by human “invasion” and that enunciates its beauty many folds. It is here that I realised the aptness of the name “Megh” “Aalya”. The perfect blend of grey clouds and lush green hills is marvelous. So what could be more charming than such beauty along with non stop drizzles! This 90 minute drive will be unforgettable. Nevertheless, you can visit the Shiv linga here. It’s a natural Shiv linga resting in a cave where water keeps dripping on its head from within the cave all naturally. We got drenched in the rain and another waterfall on the way and drove back to Shillong praising the utter beauty of the place.

 

Day 3: We decided to spend this day at leisure, which made it pretty uneventful yet relaxing. We left the house at 12.30 and headed to Police Bazar in a shared taxi (which cost us Rs. 10 each). We scoured the entire bazar to get a souvenir or something, but nothing could lure us to spend some bucks. We had our lunch at Subway and KFC. We then walked to Ward’s Lake which took us 16 minutes. The lake is amid a beautiful vast garden and we spent 3-4 hours sitting there and taking some shots. We did boating in the lake in the evening which was tiring yet rejuvenating. We again headed to the Police Bazar and had an early dinner at Dominoz. By this time we were dead tired but couldn’t find a taxi back to hotel as it was pretty late by then (7.30 PM). So we walked our way back in a light drizzle.

 

Day 4: It rained all night the previous night and continued in the morning too, which delayed the entire plan. Nevertheless we made our way to Cherrapunjee. On the way we stopped at Mawkdok view point which is engulfed in amazing falls. We took a dip in the ice cold water of the falls which quite chilled our bones. The falls were way down and one has to descend down the stairs to reach there. We had Maggie and coffee in a cafeteria set in the area and had a little relief. The heavy rain throughout the journey made the drive astounding. The weather could be no better. We reached Nohkalika falls in another 40 minutes and hopped our way to reach the view point as it was all dotted up with puddles. We were able to catch the picturesque vistas of the gurgling falls before the scene became all foggy. As a matter of fact, it was difficult to distinguish whether it was cloudy or foggy. Yet the view was breathtaking. We then drove to Eco Park, Mawsmai caves (which were absolutely stunning. I have visited caves before but these were different because of their depth and the water which kept pouring down from nowhere in the caves.) We couldn’t catch sight of the 7 Sister falls because it was raining heavily and all foggy.

Finally after savoring every bit of these mesmerizing spots, we drove to Sohra where we had booked a home stay.

I had always dreamt of English cottages surrounded by grasslands and beautiful meadows, and secluded by the rest of the world. And this dream finally came alive with the homestay at Sohra. Never knew it would turn out to be this tranquil and antique. I took a stroll amid the meadows in the drizzle and truly this was magical!

The rest of the day was spent resting in the comfortable house.

 

 

Day 5: On this day we took the plunge to trek to the Double-decker bridge. It took us half an hour to reach the start of this trek from the hotel and we started it around 10.30. It’s a 3 km trek with 3600 steps till the double-decker bridge. It is a living roots bridge made of the roots of a 400-year long tree. It took us nearly 1.5 hours to reach there. And once you reach there all the tiredness of the difficult trek would go away. The beautiful bridge, gurgling waterfall and rainfall make a perfect amalgamation. To be honest, never have I ever seen such mesmerising a place. You can also enjoy natural foot spa over there with shoal of fish. We had Maggi and tea there, which was icing on the cake. There is also a Rainbow fall which is another 1.5 hrs away, but the water level was so high due to the constant rain that we decided against it. So we made our way back. Climbing up the steps is a hell difficult task and not as easy as it sounds. But we did it in less than 2 hours. The entire way uphill it was raining heavily which made the trek more difficult. By 4 PM we reached the beginning point and by that time not only were we dripping with water but also had our legs trembling. We reached the house, had a cup of hot coffee and went off to sleep. There was a terrible thunderstorm that night. Even after such tiredness we couldn’t sleep because it rained cats and dogs that night and every two seconds there was a horrifying lightning. Clouds were roaring loudly which chilled our blood to the spine.

 

Day 6: The next morning we woke up with no electricity and a running nose. I had caught fever and a bad cold. Nevertheless we bid goodbye to our host and took our leave. That day was planned for Mawlynnong, the cleanest village of Asia.

Reaching there was a very difficult thing we came across in this journey. I won’t bother you with much details, but will tell the transit points we took.

Sohra homestay —> main bazar taxi point —> Laitlyngkot —> Pyrunsula —> Mawlynnong

 

My advice would be to either directly book a reserved cab from Cherrapunjee to Mawlynnong (which will cost you around Rs. 3000) or take a cab from Cherrapunjee to Shillong then Shillong to Mawlynnong ( which will cost you much less in shared booking).

The journey to Mawlynnong will appease your eyes with amazing vistas of various villages which come on the way. You will literally see cotton-like clouds floating beneath you because you will be almost on the top. Meghalaya will give you various instances to sing,” Aaj mai upar, aasman niche…”

 

Anyway, coming back to Mawlynnong village. Yes, it indeed was a clean village and there were basket like dustbins on every other corner. It’s a completely green village echoing with the merry laughter of little kids playing in the vastness of the village. There are 6-7 food stalls in the village, with not many options though. They serve very simple food and don’t offer a vast variety. If you don’t find electricity in the village, it’s not news. And when we went there wasn’t electricity for 2 days in the village because of the thunderstorm. We couldn’t charge our mobile phones or see the inside of our house in proper light. We had booked a homestay there which was good, but not recommended for people like I who is afraid of lizards and other insects. The villagers sleep amid the creepy nocturnal sounds and if that doesn’t sound very good to you, then a homestay isn’t recommended. Otherwise everything was good about the stay. After all, it’s good to say goodbye to the monotonous city life every once in a while and embrace the rural charm. The night life there also has its own charm. I saw fireflies for the first time in my life, and according to the villagers those were only few. There are more when it’s not raining. The best part was when I caught one! This is just so thrilling. We also played with the children of the owner of our homestay. Khasi people are truly generous and merry. Another thing I found about that place was there was no such

thing as robbery there. People can leave their stuff anywhere and will find it there forever. They don’t lock their houses! This sounded ancient to me. Wow! Another thing which quite pepped my interest was no interest in cricket. People don’t follow the matches and are rather perked up by football. The local children too, play football there.

 

Day 7: We spent some morning hours amid the greenery and fog of the village. We also visited the local school of the village which runs till class XIII. There was one big classroom which was sectioned into various smaller units for teaching different standards. The school usually started around 11 AM and went on till 2 PM. There were no school uniforms and the education was given free under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan. We bid farewell to our host and took leave around 1.30. We had booked a taxi till Shillong and enjoyed the picturesque vistas on the way. There were a lot of jackfruit trees in the village and on the way, and it’s also one of the primary dishes of the locals. We reached Shillong in the evening and had our hotel booked at the Police Bazaar. We window-shopped a bit in the market, bought an umbrella for 200 bucks and had our dinner at 3Olives restaurant (a fine dining restaurant but with reasonable prices). The food was good and satiated our craving for proper north-Indian food we’d been having for days.

 

Day 8: We left for Guwahati in the late afternoon by a shared cab. We had booked a homestay there. It was comparatively hot and humid in Guwahati. We decided to spend the day lazing off. In the evening we went to the revered Kamakhya Temple which is located at a height. It was bustling due to the weekend but we managed. Finally, we watched a flick at Cinepolis at GS Road.

 

Day 9: This was the final day of the lovely trip. In the afternoon, we went to the Fancy Bazaar by a local bus. We strolled around it for some time and grabbed lunch at GM Restaurant, the only good option for vegetarians at that place. We ended this beautiful trip with a dinner cruise at the Brahmaputra river. We had booked Alfresco Grand cruise. They had a live singing show at the boat which made the night amazing.

The next morning we flew back to Delhi with a little pitara of sweet memories to cherish forever.

Hope

Hope is the tiniest of the fireflies which never turns out even during the darkest hour. It keeps hovering above you, making you feel its presence, whispering in your ears that everything is going to be okay. 

And then, gradually it summons all the fireflies to illuminate your darkest night till the sun blazes out the next morn. 

No Strings Attached

It’s  funny how internships and crash jobs are like a “fling”. The intern or the employee begins by enjoying it to the core. They enjoy the “no-commitment” benefits and the liberty of doing what they want and how they want things done. Actually, everything is their way. Similarly, the employer too enjoys getting the same job done at a dirt cheap price.

These are just like flings. None of the parties expect much from each other. They both enjoy each other’s company. It’s like a honeymoon period in the initial days. The rosy period. Only initially.

Gradually things begin to change. The intern or the employee starts expecting more. He becomes serious, and starts attaching a strand or two of himself with the company. Now he wants to enter into a “committed relationship” with the company. He starts seeing himself working in the company. And with such future prospects he attempts to make a place for himself there. He burns candles at both ends to woo the boss. Who knows what the outcomes will be! Either the intern leaves with a 2-month experience certificate, or becomes a permanent employee of that company.

Sometimes flings change into serious relationships. Mere friendships become marriages. Rest of the times they end up being unrequited love!

But in the end, it’s all about “experience”. It’s about learning! Every phase of life teaches us something. We get beaten umpteen times, but this is how we become a diamond in the end!

Gossip Girls

One of the weird “perks” of getting married is that you find yourself suitable among a much broader horizon of people. You begin to be a part of married folks. Earlier you enjoy being there, you savour every bit of their conversation since you are now married and feel empathetic and get a platform to share your bunch of new stories of your changing life and get an ample lot of suggestions, tricks and unnecessary advices to manage and handle your new marriage. You feel privileged of being “welcomed to the new world” of yours. But gradually…

So I being in the same aura for a few months had the “privilege” (pun intended) of being among those gossip girls, rather gossip women. Initially, I enjoyed to the core, I’ll be brutally honest. But as the conversations mushroomed, they began to stretch endlessly like a chewing gum. Perhaps they have never been different, but this realisation dawned upon me much later.
And now I feel, WHERE AM I?
So it goes something like this,
One woman sparks (not starts) a topic, topic of their stale and rotten married life (if it’s not even rotten, they make it appear to be), and then the other woman in the group without even listening to the then ongoing story, relates that topic to hers and begins her own string of sufferings. And then a third woman gears up and then the entire group. And then there are futile and junk gossips on their mothers-in-law or daughters-in-law being Hitlers, the mean doings of their next door neighbours, and if nothing else, discussing the prices of vegetables. If that doesn’t fulfil their daily dose of gossips they discuss their sex lives! And then there comes a moment, a secret notorious moment which they don’t realise have struck on their lunchtime clock, when every single woman of the group is singing her own suffering and feeling good sitting amidst “empathetic” people, but none of them realises that they haven’t got a single ear to their story. And if I may be allowed to portray it brutally – NOBODY GIVES A SHIT TO WHAT’S UP WITH YOU!!!
These women seem like a gangster of drunkards, who, after drinking a good amount of their share start to blurt out their regular sufferings (dukhde).

Women!
The biggest irony is I myself am a part of such gossip girls, so have got nothing more to say to this, except for the fact that I’m being cruelly judgemental because it’s high time!

So if an intellectual woman has been privileged enough to read this post, open your little brain and stop feeling good about being a part of “gossip girls”! Stop fooling your own self! Come out of it before you actually reward yourself with the “Aunty” tag!

P.S. I wonder what conversations crop up among a bunch of men, entirely men!

Convalescing…

Recovery is probably the sweetest pleasure in the world. ‘Cause when you recover you know you are now embracing your old self and swishing past the illnesses and pains you endeavoured. You realise you will be back to normal, your regular life which once seemed so monotonous will resume and you will embrace it with a smile. This period of one week had largely taken a toll on me. It was a hell of a phase, has cancelled several good, long awaited plans and did many more bads. But bygones are bygones. This period of convalescence seems to bring a fragranted start which will make the life welcoming and pleasing.
Now mustering courage to welcome the advent of winters along with my normal life with a bang!

#DengueHit

#convalescent

About my Recent Trip to Dalhousie: A Real Adventure

The trip was no less than a pitara of colourful adventures. To start with, our bus got cancelled 4 hours before the boarding time. Apparently there was some issue because of Independence Day. So we had to book another bus with quite some difficulty. Luckily we got the sleeper class for our 13-hour long journey.

We boarded the bus at 10.30 PM. Soon after boarding, we realized that we didn’t get the berth we had booked. We hung over to an upper berth and made a tiresome journey to Pathankot (in Punjab).

On reaching Pathankot bus stand we saw an endlessly long queue of passengers trying their luck out to get their tickets. Some of those passengers were sadhu mahatmas who seemed quite horrendous to an ordinary man. It was difficult to stand in the queue, though. After a havoc of 20-25 minutes the ticket window closed. We got agitated and enquired about the problem. It turned out that the window will reopen after an hour, which meant waiting for the bus for another 2 hours.

Finally, we decided to take a taxi to our hotel. We had to wait for the taxi for half an hour and shared it with another passenger. Luckily our fare got cut down by 700 rupees.

 

We started our journey to the hotel. It was quite a hot one. Gradually we went uphill and the weather became cool. We reached the hotel and went to the reception to check-in. There, we realised that our hotel had not confirmed our booking to Goibibo, however Goibibo had confirmed our booking to us. We were in a fix. After a myriad of making calls which took us more 3 hours, we were finally given another hotel by Goibibo and we had to go 3 km downhill with all our bag and baggage to reach the new hotel. We were dog tired till then.

We reached the new hotel and decided to take a warm water bath to rejuvenate ourselves. So we got into the shower, and after 10 minutes of getting our hair and body wet, the water was out.

We were stuck in the middle of the bath in the cold evening. My husband wrapped a towel and got out of the bathroom to call up for the room service. To make things worse, we were informed that water won’t be available for the next 15 minutes since there had been a blockage in the main pipe and it was going under treatment. We waited. After 20 minutes when the water supply was still unavailable we called them back. To our bad luck it started raining heavily, so the treatment was not possible then.

We cursed the hotel and came back to the room shivering.

It’s a hell of task to dry the hair in a rainy cold weather, and my hair is already long.

Nevertheless, I grabbed the blanket and dozed off to sleep.

When we woke up it was still raining so we couldn’t go out of our hotels.  We stayed shut in and finally it was time for dinner. Dinner wasn’t good either and I just pecked at few bites. I was still hungry, and felt like having Thumbsup so I ordered it. They gave us coke, but I managed. When I took the first sip my husband caught sight of the manufacturing date. Alas, it was expired.

We went back to our room and decided to watch TV. We switched it on but it wasn’t catching any signal. We came to the conclusion that it wasn’t our day so we slept back again.

 

The next day was pretty cool and fine. We visited the falls of Punjpulla and spent some relaxing moments there. We then headed to the Mall Road where I bought some wooden stuff along with the locally produced honey. We retreated back to the hotel at night and slept peacefully.

 

The day of 15 Aug came as a surprise because we couldn’t search any return tickets for Delhi; thanks to my husband who hadn’t booked it in advance.

We set our journey to Dent Kund and was mesmerised to see its calm and serenity. We sat there for few hours and felt the zephyr blow against our face. The best part were the clouds which hovered right above us. We drove back to the hotel and decided to leave for Delhi that night itself.  We also went to a church near our hotel. I bought a wooden flower vase from the Indo-Tibetan market, which was at a stone’s throw from the hotel.

It was quite difficult to find for a way back to Delhi. We luckily booked 2 seats to Delhi on a sleeper train which started from Pathankot. But the plunge lied in reaching Pathankot. Somebody told us that a bus to Pathankot arrives at 6.20 PM; so we waited. We waited till 6.35 but it never came. There were a few more people who had their train tickets booked to Delhi via Pathankot. We were a group of 7 people sailing in the same boat. We decided to hire a taxi and reach the destination on time. So we did. It was a journey of 4 hours when we were just taking the never ending spiral turns of the mountains. It grew dark and our journey became scarier. A guy played some good music and we felt better.

The driver dropped us at Pathankot railway station. Actually, not at the railway station. He dropped us at the outskirts of a jungle, and told that that is the way to the railway station. Yes, at a jungle. Although the distance to cross it was merely a 500-700 metres of walk, but that short journey was a horrendous one. The jungle was reverberating with a creepy sound and it was basked in utter darkness. We turned on our mobiles’ flashlights and made way along a narrow non-grassy way. We reached the station heaving. We looked for the platform mentioned on our tickets, but couldn’t find it. So, we, once again lifted the heavy baggage and went across to the other platform climbing the stairs up and down. We couldn’t find our train. At last, my husband, along with another fellow of our cab went to inquire at the Help Desk. We were at the wrong railway station! This news came to us like a big black heavy cloud, ready to burst over us. The silver lining it had was, we could reach the other railway station by catching a train from the current railway station. We waited for half an hour for the train, and phew! We reached the railway station; this time the right one. We were literally drenched in sweat by then. We located our train, climbed onto our respective berths, dozed off in a never-ending slumber, only to open our eyes on arriving in Delhi.

These crispy memories will forever remain etched in our hearts, like a soldier’s name on his grave.

 

ABC of Happiness

A- Appreciate what you have

B- Be Yourself

C- Cherish Every Moment

D- Dream Big

E- Exercise Regularly

F- Forget and Forgive

G- Get Going

H- Have Faith

I- Introspect

J- Just Do It

K- Keep Calm

L- Love Yourself

M- Move on

N- Nothing is Impossible

O- Optimism is the Key

P- Patience Pays

Q- Quit Addiction

R- Rejuvenate your Ideas

S- Sharing is Caring

T- Try Everything

U- Use, Don’t Misuse

V- Visualize

W- Work Smartly

X- X-ray Your Own Character First

Y- YOLO

Z- Zeroes Count

The New End

The laughter died

Gloom invaded

Sunlight dwindled

The hues faded

For the house basked in death.

 

The truck remained new

The clothes unworn

Darkness shrouded

The Moon arose with every morn

For the house basked in death.

 

Barren lap, empty arm

Shrieks were clouded with the calm

Her breasts deprived the mirth

The beginning ended with the birth

For the house basked in death.