For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

The ‘Wild’ Side…

Animal spotting in a jungle safari at Jim Corbett, Uttarakhand. 🙂
Now if only I could spot a tiger or two in the ‘tiger reserve’, none-the-less, nature has just so much to offer, and this would just be a minuscule fraction of it…










Pictures by: Me.. 🙂


Ship Lofting*

'Shipping' in the Summer Sun

 This is a picture I took at a lake at Ambey Valley, Lonavala, Maharashtra.

What does this remind you of? 😉

*’Ship lofting’ is just a spoonerism for ‘shop lifting’. 😛

Look Who’s Visiting :)

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Pictures taken by me in my college garden. 🙂

No Biggie, The Common ‘Wealth’ Games Will be Great!

I have been trying to keep a positive attitude ever since the Common Wealth Games ’10 preparations (if we must call it that) started. And I still am trying my best to (In case you can’t see, I am saying that with a straight face).

Kalmadi may have pocketed every penny of the taxpayers’ money (okay fine, he spared 0.0000000000002% for the CWG, he isn’t that bad you see). But all said and done (literally), he means well. Our dear Mr. Kalmadi has set an ultimate example and an un-matched parameter for patriotism. All the ‘unfortunate’ incidents which led to all the countries pulling out of the Games was so that India outshines among the three countries that are participating, India, Lesotho and Somalia.

What? Somalia pulled out? That leaves us with India and Lesotho. Now at least we have an assured silver medal, if not gold. See, didn’t I tell you Kalmadi is a good man? He always means well. He is such a good man, that he even extended invitations for participation in the CWG to every other animal species and not only man. Mosquitoes and snakes have already accepted this invitation, but the other animals were too scared to participate due to unhygienic conditions (their hygiene levels are different from ours, you see).

I still believe Kalmadi is a good man. Oh yeah, and of course, Madam Dixit is a wonderful person too. Both of them have taken a stand for the anti-terrorism campaign. It is due to their effort, that we are not going to face any terrorism problem during the CWG because the terrorists said that they are going to skip CWG due to its un-liveable conditions and fear for their safety.

Aren’t all the organisers of the CWG just the most wonderful people? They’re doing so much for the welfare of the country. They tried to curb one of the major problems India faces-‘population’. But alas! The footbridge collapsed a little earlier than planned. But don’t you worry organisers-ji, your efforts are not going to go waste. ‘Dengue’ is doing the needful for you.

Organisers-ji have also ensured that nothing can go wrong. And even if anything does go wrong. They’ve dug out ample hiding space for us (come on, don’t tell me you haven’t seen the beautiful, picturesque bunkers they’ve made on the CP roads).

Madam Dixit is doing her bit of welfare too. By banning the blue-line buses, she’s ensuring that no one gets to work on time (or gets to work at all), and hence the Indian economy slows down (when did I say she was limiting the welfare to India?).

And who said they are ill-prepared? The wrestling event is already on. Mr. Kalmadi and Mr. Iyer are already rehearsing for it. Since Mr. Kalmadi is Jack of all trades, I’d probably put my money on him (and even if I don’t, he’d probably take it from me himself).

All said and done, I still believe the Games will be a success (still with a straight face). My family’s hard-earned money is lying in Kalmadi’s Swiss bank vault, but the Games will be great. There is hardly anyone participating (except India and Lesotho of course), but the games will be great. The stadiums are falling apart (come on, don’t they make for a wonderful heritage sight?), but the Games will be great. The traffic is going crazy (no no, it’s a wonderful opportunity to sit for about an hour and review all the swanky car models), but the Games will be great.

No biggie, Mr. Kalmadi and Madam Dixit, after all the efforts you’ve put in, the CWG will be great. Don’t you think?

courtesy google

To Chennai, With Love

This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday picks on 28th September ’10

It isn’t the best city in the country. The weather isn’t what I’d look forward to. The people aren’t all extremely welcoming or non-judgemental. But just four days in Chennai with K made it one of my favourite places.

The feeling started to crop in the moment I spotted that familiar face at the airport. K stood there looking through the glass, at a clumsy me trying to handle my baggage off the conveyor belt on to the trolley. Two years with K, and it still feels like love at first sight whenever I see him.

The tightest hug ever, dissolved all the little embarrassment of being spotted in a candid moment.

In no time after that we were in his masculine and rustic open Jeep (aka, his baby), driving around town to reach the hotel. K is a brilliant driver, and was probably also trying to show off his driving skills. And it did work, must say. 😉

The next morning we braced ourselves for an entire day at the video game parlour, ‘Blur‘ (yes, I love video games, I almost become a 10-year old boy when it comes to video games). Sometimes all you have to do to feel happy is bring back that childhood feeling of playfulness. K likes to believe that he beat me at bowling, his claim being that the one with the lower score wins, but I know I won, fair and square (and of course, fluke). It’s not really male ego, but more of the adorable-ness, I’d say. 😛

The next day we hogged on sizzlers and brownies. We aren’t the most dignified when it comes to food. And I’m not always the shy woman who doesn’t like to be a glutton in front of a man. If you’ve got it (the skills to eat like a pig), then you’ve got to flaunt it.

Sometimes I find little things like snuggling and watching a movie on a laptop and sipping coke, to be the most romantic things ever. ‘500 Days of Summer‘- not really the greatest movie ever made, but definitely one of the most enjoyable movies.

The day that followed, K showed me around (rather proudly at that) Loyola College. One of the most magnificent structures I saw in Chennai. I loved seeing that expression on his face, clearly saying ‘see how beautiful my college is’. 🙂

K’s Jeep is a sight in itself. Just driving around in it feels like you’re in a safari (not the SUV, I mean the one you do in a jungle).

My last day, involved us waking up at four in the morning and going to the beach to watch the sunrise. One of the most beautiful sights in the world is undoubtedly the sunrise/sunset. And when you have someone to watch it with, it just makes it all the more worthwhile. You can almost hear invisible violinists playing in the background.

A buffet breakfast at the Taj, was the best way to savour the pleasures of watching the sunrise, and a perfect way to end a wonderful trip. Next stop, departure terminal at the airport, and off to Delhi.

There is a lot more that I did in those four days and a lot more places that I visited, but if I start to pen down all of that, It’ll probably suck-up space sufficient for a hundred posts.

I did come with my set of apprehensions. I did have a lot of hangups about how the place and people here would be. But never did I foresee all the fun I had, and the happiness I brought back with me. I’m not very quick to love anything, but the place changed a little bit of that in me.

I may be biased because of K, but this was one of my best holidays ever. I may not remember it for it’s architecture, weather or people. But Chennai would always have a special place in my heart, for bringing back that childlike feeling of playfulness, for breaking barriers of our so-called societal norms and going on my own to meet my beloved, for giving me joy in the simplest things like the wind blowing in my face while being driven in an open Jeep and snuggling and watching a movie, and most of all for making me fall in love with K every day. 🙂

Almost Sunrise

Auto Diaries (Part II)-Don’t judge a book by its cover.

This one’s not about travelling in the auto. Not even about the auto itself. But just about the universal fact, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ reinforced.

My friend V and I were travelling in my car to The American Centre near CP. As, we both are condemned to be forever ‘directionally-challenged’ we had no clue where to go when we were half way through, floating around the road to Janpath (Geography may not have been one of our best for the both of us in school). A lost and confused bunch that we were (Me, V and the driver), we were asking for directions helter-skelter. None of which, really helped as such.

It finally took us ten minutes to find a helpful auto-driver by the road, who looked like he could make sense of our whereabouts to us. At once I made the driver stop, and rolled down my window. I made a gesture as if I were calling out to him, and said, “Bhaia, American centre kaise jaana hai?” (How do we get to American Centre?). The auto driver stepped out of the auto, and came up to our car.

After he reached the co-driver seat window, he said, “Would you like to go in my Rickshaw, or do you need directions?” (mind you, he said all this in pure, grammatically correct English with perfect diction!!). This was one of those times me and V felt our  jaw drop spontaneously. There was a pause for a few seconds before I mentally shook myself after what I had just heard. And finally when I did get out of the miniature trance, I meekly said, “Can we please have just the directions?”

At once he promptly replied, “Now see, you have to go straight till you spot the first signal, and then from there…” when I interrupted (still in the lingering state of miniature trance), and pointing towards my driver, I said, “Umm.. Can you please explain it to him in Hindi?”.

It took me some time to carry out that interruption as well. Me and V were still giving each other the dumbfounded looks, with the embarrassed smile.

He finished explaining to my driver and I finally, truly and wholeheartedly, said thank you and smiled till it reached my ear. To which, I received a spontaneous, “My pleasure!” from him.

As we drove passed, V and I couldn’t avoid thinking about it. We still couldn’t believe what had just hit us. It’s amazing how we’re so quick to judge and place people in these little brackets known as ‘stereotypes’. Thinking about it further, if it weren’t for that little monster known as stereotype, the auto driver talking in English would have just been, though uncommon, but such a normal thing, and instead of getting temporary mental paralysis, we would’ve acted like civilized human beings and been normal. Because of the mental picture we had in mind about them, we could never imagine it even being an actuality.

This day today taught me, (and very well at that) that under absolutely no circumstances, should we ever judge a book by its covers. And we, as petty human beings have no right whatsoever to put others into brackets that ‘society’ apparently laid out for them.

Coffee and the Solitary Onlooker

Sometimes just drinking a cup of coffee in solitude gives you so much time to just sit and think, and moreover makes you notice so much. My day at Cafe Coffee Day today made me notice so many things and so many different kinds of people.

Cafe Coffee Day, Delhi

The moment I entered ‘Cafe Coffee Day’, I was enticed by the intoxicating aroma of coffee beans which immediately captured my senses and worked like a magnet and drew me into the divine world of the flavour of coffee.

The catchy burst of the vibrant colours of purple and red and the brilliant lighting brightens up one’s mood, contrary to the gloomy textures and dim lighting of the other ‘fine-dining’ restaurants.

The wooden panels and warm coloured floor added to the warm and welcoming ambience of the Cafe.

As I walked in to find a seat, I was greeted by the background music of U2’s ‘With or Without you’ playing like a nearly symbolic description of my presence in the place.

Coffee in its truest sense has many more connotations than merely being a refreshing drink. Coffee to many, is a form of refreshment, to others, it’s an excuse to socialise. It’s just the beauty of the word which can be used as many a parts of speech, a noun, a verb and an adjective.

As I sat on my seat in CCD (as we usually address it), I saw various people of the most diverse kind.

A waiter flocked around my table waiting for me to order. And to get my peace of mind and a clear view of the entire place and moreover to refresh my senses, I ordered a cup of my favourite Cafe Mocha.

There is never really an isolated reason for having coffee or so the people here believe.

I caught hold of the most centrally located table, being the only one vacant.

The first thing that caught my eye was the table right in front of me, occupied by a bunch of teenagers celebrating the freedom they just acquired after a month full of torturous exams. The noisiest of them all was ironically, a girl who was trying to hush anyone who was discussing the paper.

But there was genuine happiness on their faces. Even though they did not toast with bottle of champagne, they drank to life and to happiness with a cup of coffee.

Right in the corner was a couple, who looked much in love and did not care about the world around them. They had strategically placed themselves at the corner table sipping a blend of chilled coffee and chocolate from a common tall glass. Looking into each others’ eyes, they drank to love.

The song changed to Taylor Swift’s ‘Love Story’. Oh! The mysterious symbolism of music. The waiter brought my coffee and with it, the refreshing aroma of coffee with a hint of hazelnut.

At the other side, was a table occupied by two girls in their youth, engaged in therapeutic bitching and lightening their burden of frustration. They were getting happier by the minute as they ate a plateful of sin, the ‘chocolate fantasy’, and shared their bad experiences, almost competing with each other as to whose boyfriend was a bigger chauvinist or whose boss was a bigger bully.

The place was also flocked by the solo type. All around me, I could see tables occupied by a single person and that too of various kinds.

Like the workaholic type, who even brought his work to an innocent coffee shop. The type who came to drown their sorrows in coffee, probably because of a bad day or an ongoing bad phase, crying internally and trying hard to not let the waiter know what was wrong. The self-obsessed type, a woman who was sitting right next to a table beside the mirror. And finally, the type who just needed some time to them self, a middle-aged woman drinking a steaming cup of black coffee, and reading a book.

The song now changed to ‘Uff Teri Ada’ bearing no such blatant symbolic meaning as did the previous ones and my coffee was nearly half finished.

Right in front of me was a carefree, dating couple, quite evidently, well into the second anniversary of their relationship, not caring about what the other thought about the enormous amounts the other was consuming. Truly a ‘healthy’ relationship, must say.

Somewhere in the other side was a table with the most noisy and hence noticeable people, a bunch of girls celebrating their shopping bags. And admiring each others’ attire and nail-art.

My coffee was now over and so was my time. The song changed to the Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Iris’. And as I walked towards the counter to pay the bill, the song made an imaginary me, sway in my head, adding to the miniature high coffee tends to give you, and the taste of the coffee lingered in my mouth.

As I walked out after paying the bill the only thoughts in my head were the ones about the various people who came to Cafe Coffee Day. They drank to happiness, to joy, to sorrow and to love. But most of all they drank to life.

The tagline of CCD is true to its word, saying, “a lot can happen over coffee”.