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December 20, 2015

The year it was, 2015!

I had missed this post last year, amidst some allergy breakouts ,confusions regarding relocation and new career opportunities. But, the year 2015 was so so happening that I have to give it a try to summarize every single thing I can recollect.

Such a summary (Am I talking like a smart ass wife of an MBA?) helps me to know myself a bit more, give myself that push to achieve more and spread happiness more. So here I go..

January: This month was crazy. I kept on thinking about a job opportunity knocking on the door.It was one of the biggest decision I had made last year, as it included our relocation back home- Mumbai. Apart from this going confusion my mom came to Pune to stay with us. The bad part about the stay (The good part- she was not at home alone as dad and brother both were out of town) appeared when her blood pressure shot beyond the highest limit. We had to take her to the hospital urgently and run through cardiograms, ECG and some other tests. I also posted this.By God's grace and prayers offered by so so many people her heart and other organs were not affected and she was just asked to adjust medicines for some time. My dad flew down to our place and once they were back home at Ahmedabad she was treated. The root cause was found and now she is doing well. Touch wood. I realized the value of loved ones more than ever in those two days. It also made me aware that I am super efficient when in crisis.

February: In February unlike January, I was in peaceful chaos. I had decided to relocate. I celebrated each of my office day with my friends! We kept on drinking cutting chai. We kept on discussing future plans. We did every thing fun possible in office! Yes.

March: I did not blog much in March. We decided to club a friend's wedding at Jaipur with a trip to Sariska - A place forgotten by human beings but remembered by animals, 'ghosts' and Club Mahindra! I loved Jaipur so much for its colours, history and food! Colours of Rajsthan can brighten up my life, every single time!I resigned after the trip to grow my inner 'kida' of getting into a start up! Our second set of parents (In laws)  and SIL visited us and we all three kids (?) of the family had a good time cooking and resting in the lovely colony. March also included four farewells my friends and colleagues threw up for me!

April:April was a month of big change for this April baby. I started working in Mumbai on the fool's day which is still the hot topic of teasing me in now-not-so-new office. My friends and Mr.ISB arranged for a lovely surprise party in Pune and for that I was pushed to be in Pune! Mr.ISB threw up big little surprises in the form of books, a chef knife set, a set of mortal and pastel.I worked from Pune for many days thanks to the support I got from office, which included those days without power which compelled me to spend my whole day at different cafeterias. Quite an experience for me who can not survive at a place for a long period of time but home. By the way I also started A to Z blogging challenge! 

May: I just talked on and on (on the blog) finishing at Z.

June: June was a different world. I was getting into the new job and roaming around Mumbai like crazy. June brought knowledge of transportation/roads of this lovely city. I had to cancel an all female's Goa trip but got a gift of a Pondicherry trip from Mr.ISB. Ah, wait! Did I say we celebrated our first year of marriage there, eating delicious (Understatement) french food in cute cafes of Pondicherry, walking for miles together and not sticking to any time line? I wanted to blog about those memories but some how could not! (Shameful!) I started missing cooking here and later stopped doing it.

July: I was in love with my new work suddenly. The office was my another home. July was peaceful in a way and tiresome in a way. I was ignoring my health but settling down was a priority. Monsoons were dull and so was the life. Without Mr.ISB and rains.

August: August was no different than July but I was slowly getting into the groove. I witnessed a super awesome musical night with the family sans Mr.ISB. Some new singers who just turned the boring atmosphere around me in to the nostalgic one.

September: The most exciting month it turned out to be with our adventurous trip to Spiti Valley!
I grew wiser, thanks to this vacation! I can not describe the untouched beauty of this Himalayan Valley. After ages I had managed to spend my vacation with my bro-buddy (and husband and SIL together!) Life was on cloud 9 there, literally.

October: My Singapore room mate decided to fulfill her (forcefully taken?) promise of writing a guest post on the blog! She blabbered and people praised. and I loved it too! Mr.ISB also got inspired and wrote a guest post for me which never got posted due to several debatable reasons! :D
I also decided to help my buddies in the mammoth task of selecting a birthday gift for me six months in advance! :D I also took up my hobby of applying Mehendi to another level and created designs on my hand on four occasions.

November: November was relaxed and festive. I enjoyed every bit of Diwali preparations and celebrations. A whole week to spend with Mr.ISB was a luxury! Also, he got a good job offer from a company from Mumbai which made it the best month of the year?

December: My Frock buddy N got married and how! I started flaunting my sarees I got as wedding gifts, finally! The Ahmedabad trip with Mr.ISB was a blast. After ages I could spend my parent's anniversary day with them! Also the biggest reason to celebrate happened. Mr.ISB moved back home! :) :) My Masi from Canada came to Mumbai for a wedding and my parents are visiting us as well. I hope I can add a lot here before this year ends! :)

So, How was your 2015?

Mine was full of excitements, upturns, downturns and four major trips! :)


December 18, 2015

That Weirdo Girl

Yours truly. Bubblegum. A weirdo of the highest order. How?

  • I love Orange juice and can drink liters of it after dinner too. Tropicana 100%? Even better.
  • I hate the sensation which gets created in my body if I see some one scratching the wall with nails or even with a cutter or the key. It kills me.
  • I can get high on water if with Frock buddy N. It has happened millions of time before. 
  • I disapproved even a drop of alcohol in the system. It was a taboo for me. I have opened some doors of my mind and I enjoy Mojito and Sangria now :D 
  • I hate Rasgulla and Jalebi. I do not like Gulab jamun as well. In short, any sweet with Sugar syrup turns me off. 
  • Wet towels on beds, paper chits on the floor and open cupboards irritate me. Almost an OCD.
  • I love sandals, boots and heals. I rarely have all of them in functional state. I stick to a sandal or a shoes every day,which induces comfort zone in me and I never buy other stuff which I otherwise adore. If you can get, what I mean.
  • I hate Gold. Due to the sheer craze of owning gold stuff and multiplying its value. Due to the madness and thus heart burns it brings to a joined family. Due to the risk it brings to me when I wear them. Due to mothers and aunties who judges a bride/a lady on the basis of Gold she is wearing in the wedding or other occasions. I hate it on men. 
  • I love stones. :D Don't stare. I do not like Gold but I love stones. 
  • I love gadgets. I am very possessive about each of them, at the risk of appearing stubborn and selfish. If I share some of my gadgets with you, even for an hour - You are lucky.
  • I was a toddler whose eyes never got kohl'ed thanks to my doctor Grand father who doubted this tradition since very beginning and also solved cases where toddler eyes were infected due to application of  home made kohl. I think this was quite ahead of  time and a bit weird to appear non-kohl'ed among a bunch of kids.
  • I was a pre-matured baby who survived on butter milk and not milk for many years.
  • In my teens I wore six pocket pants with ten something things in those pockets. Exactly the age when girls would start learning how to apply make up and appear beautiful. Sheesh.
  • I do not believe in religions but culture. 
  • I do count books I read. It just destroys the fun. I actually can't. 
  • I am not a Shahrukh/ Amitabh/ Any Hollywood actor fan. Not even Hrithik Roshan. 
  • I do not like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Yeah,whack me. 
  • I secretly loved History and Languages in the school. So much that always finished reading them before the first day of the new school year.
  • I am punctual. So much that I start developing judgments about people who do not hit the time line. Even worst, make me wait. 
  • I love Panipuris. I crave for mom made ones. So she knows whenever I come to Ahmedabad two meals would be Panipuris. Over the period of time some how I have stopped indulging into them for some reasons. May be I need a good company and a relaxed state of mind to enjoy the best food dish India collectively has produced. 
  • I love root vegetables. Not potatoes but sweet potatoes, yam, water chest nuts, radish, carrots,garlic, 'Kand' etc. Just steam them with Chaat Masala on them or eat them raw if you can. Some believe I have gone nuts when I eat Beet roots without boiling them. 
Are you a weirdo too, like me?

December 15, 2015

Big Fours


  1. Mr.ISB has moved to Mumbai for the good!
  2. Mr.ISB has moved to Mumbai for the good!
  3. Mr.ISB has moved to Mumbai for the good!
  4. Mr.ISB has moved to Mumbai for the good!
Yeah, pinch me and it is a fact. He is back and so we are finally in Mumbai with a good career prospect for both of us. Above all, with our family. We are famous five now here. If I was into maths I would have described in situation as {(Bubblegum, Mr.ISB) U (MIL,FIL,SIL)}.

It was the biggest ever relocation I have made, among thirteen house shifting tasks I have experienced in last four years. Most likely to be the last of lasts. Who knows! 

Otherwise life is quite exciting. Cold, fever, injury, weddings and office. With four major functions to go, I would like to stop writing for now.

I am busy in dancing on the tunes of 'Mera Piya Ghar Aya', of course virtually.

How have you been guys?

December 8, 2015

To frock buddy N

You got married. It is unbelievable. In fact, it is almost paradoxical! :D

It was one of the few weddings the first wedding which I attended super closely, not one but all functions. (How I wished I could have been there for every single thing in which you got involved!) It was almost an experience only a sister can get. Your wedding, for me was re-living my life. Almost twenty six years of our lives!

Rushing to your place on the very first day of my trip (After missing your Mehendi) with wet henna on both my hands, with the help of Mr.ISB was predictable. But, going to my old home beside your home with you and Mr.ISB was something I did not predict. It was like entering back into our childhood. Being in the same old hall, flipping through kids' literature. I hope your relatives did not notice the bride running away to be with the childhood friend for as silly as visiting old home of hers!

I have been eyeing on some gorgeous sarees to flaunt in all functions but I realized the Mandap would leave me messy if I would drape any of them. I easily slipped into my Anarkali and got ready to enjoy the most awaited wedding of my life, even before mine - I had planned to enjoy yours, remember? Right from running to the parlor with you, with my limited fashion sense helping you to decide your hair style and make up - one of the most serious suggestions I have ever made for you in my life. (Talk about being younger to your best friend!)

Your Haldi and the tradiational garbas on the tunes of the Dhols! That too after hogging on the delicious Kathiyawadi food along with a few liters of Chhash! It was 'a dream best friend's wedding' - if something like that ever existed in the world.

The wedding day of course stored more fun for me and frustration as well for both of us. Running after ornaments and flowers for your wedding wear with the driver was something I had missed during my wedding and believe me - doing it for the best friend is very very fulfilling. Seeing you dressed up in the bridal wear was not fun, but we being confused about the beautiful 'Pir' patterns/ Nath options was fun. (Yeah, you can kill me for calling it 'Fun'!)

Dancing in your Baarat, stealing Jutas and giving them back, managing your stress (And Didi's stress for you), managing your chunari, throwing flowers on people who threw flowers on you during pheras (Yes, I was worried about your look and your eyes both!), even receiving guests.  - each and every thing was beautiful. I do not exactly remember how many people I met from our lives - school, college, family members, offices. I only realized the fact that our lives and our childhood days can not be separated. Ever.

It was fun to pose with 'The married you'. It was fun all the way. It was super tiresome but in a brilliant way.

It was the sense of satisfaction of seeing a best friend sister getting married.

I wish we be the same. I wish we do not become too mature to miss the fun we always have in life!

(Of course I wish A can handle you just like how Mr.ISB manages me! :D )

November 24, 2015

aPOINTment # 9


  • My work is keeping me busy, super busy. So much that I come home and feel as if it is a hotel room where I come to sleep. Just to go back to the office in the morning. Hey, but I love what I am doing. I am not slogging in a way. I do not wish anything else apart from some more money right now! :D
  • My walk to the station, from station to the office (To and For) is so precious to me. I manage to call my people, hear some good music and virtually dance with it as well. I think I am addicted to such walking sessions. 
  • I think about Sarees when I am not thinking about office or decorating home. Thanks to upcoming wedding seasons where I would be flaunting my sarees. Hopefully! 
  • Our house was broke. I did not blog about it intentionally, as I had hopes of getting my favorite watch (gifted by my aunt from USA) back but things are not moving and jinxing it won't make any difference. Yes, our house was broke. I am not scared forsome reasons. At all. Thanks to Crime Patrol? Other family members are. That is why I try to not get into panic every night when we lock doors and windows like we wont open any of them for years. 
  • My body needs rest. For some reasons I feel like sleeping for eight hours unlike my old self not sleeping for even seven full hours. My stamina has gone for a toss. I listen to my body though. I sleep for eight hours. Only if I can sleep early and avoid the mess in the kitchen I create due to lack of time. How much I miss my morning jogging sessions. High time?
  • My office people think I get high on Nimbu Paani. Blame it on the sweltering sun or my frequent vendor visits. I gulp down two to three beer mugs of Nimbu Pani, (Haanji, our cafeteria contractor gives Nimbu Paani and Chhash in Beer mugs!)
  • The beer mug of Nimbu pani could replace my cup of tea but not every day. It was not Nimbu Pani's cup of tea (Mehwahahaha). I still love my Adarakh wali kadak chai. So much that when I catch cold and ask my cafeteria person to use exactly 1.75 times of ginger in my precise recipe of making tea. My team mate dreads this tea and calls it Pani Puri Ka Pani. Talk about spices! In fact I generally do not get the kadak tea every morning unless my dad-in-law makes it, so I have found my share of joy here. Ah ya, my dad in law loves Kadak Adarakh wali chai!
  • My dream of visiting a cold country in the Christmas is getting transformed into a wish. How I miss winter in Mumbai, how I love mountains even when I feel as if I would pass out in the cold. How I want to wear long boots and over coats once in my life, to play with snow and other red green shiny stuff called Christmas trees. 
How is life treating you guys?  :)

November 16, 2015

Di(l)wali updates!

- I did Rangolis. Yes. Three different Rangolis with Diya decorations around. My neighbor is kind enough to not to let me think about Diyas at all as she manages to decorate the whole floor. While I was confused about my feelings regarding the same, I managed to make other things beautiful. (I am fiercely possessive about my Rangoli and decoration plan, only if I could tell her)

- Our maid was not there for a day before Diwali which meant we (Me, My sister in law and my mother in law) had to clean up the last moment stuff on our own. Which included cleaning and decorating the drawing room - lobby, cleaning kitchen, decorating the house with new table-mats and show pieces (which any way we would have done). We were exhausted but thrilled.

- We went to Crawford market. The messiest and brightest place in Mumbai which I always wanted to explore. Though we could only dig out the tip of the iceberg and not the whole market, shopping for cosmetics, LET lights, some crockery for kitchen etc was done. A shining experience for the new Mumbaikar, which ended with the awesome milk shake with 'Takhmariya' at the famous 'Badshah'!

- As Mr.ISB was home and so our bedroom was alive. Messy. Lovely. I tried to put some 'Jaan' in it by decorating it with photos and a newly gifted silk rug on the bed. Some day I would be able to decorate my bedroom with really classy stuff.

-I tried making Cinnamon rolls again. With a hardly functional oven and new but not so good yeast. Results were okay but it did not make me sad. I am not sure why. Mumbai does not give me the spirit to cook or experiment some how. 

- Sarees. Yes, yes I could not only independently handle them, I could also feel awesome while flaunting them. I had decided to give myself the opportunity of  loving the pieces of six yards by wearing them and not only by buying them! I realized it is not about creating those perfect pleats. It is more about feeling the fabric. I am looking forward to those hundreds of weddings I am going to attend this year. 

- Met my Bro-buddy. The visit was fun but not the way I wanted it to be. May be every one else around me are growing up and I am left to carry out immature acts. I like to be like that. May be.

- I watched the worst movie of the century. Prem Ratan Dhan Butt payo. Butt smacking actions and CID Chhap graphics. Sonam did not prove herself only as a worst actress ever, but she managed to snatched the trophy of worst dancer from Tabbu. We did not watch it on a big screen but we used almost one GB of our data by downloading it online. I am not sure how we are going to recover this monetary and emotional loss. Two minutes of silence for all, who watched this movie last week.

-We visited hundreds of relatives in these four days. Okay, frankly we visited only six close relatives/family friend. Ended up eating various types of sweets and namkeens in tons. Due to which I became the patient of 'Sugar Rush' and slipped (Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen.. I managed to tumble one more time!) while walking on a straight , not at all defective road. I lost my favorite black cotton pant which was torn apart due to the accident when I lost the balance. (Sugar rush theory is better than telling people 'I do not know how I slipped'!) 

- I am happy I could create a bucket of beautiful memories while missing my Amdavad home.


November 9, 2015

A home to remember!


  • It would have a big book chest with antique polish, parallel to one of the walls. On it, would be my valuable possessions increasing the charm of my room. Traditional art pieces and old brass Diyas would find their rightful place. 
  • One wall would be a photo wall. Period.
  • The kitchen would be ergonomically designed and so would be all cupboards. They should not make users bend all the time or fuss over tiny jobs like taking something out while making some one stuck while cooking. I do not want them to be expensive, I am sure I can find solutions to revamp cheaper ones too!
  • My drawing room would not be out of theme. Flowers to show cases. Things would be little and classy. No candles and No tacky frames. Only simple traditional art stuff and they would be white, cream, golden, copper and happy :)
  • There would be no clothes on the floor or on the bed. Everything on hangers, nails or in baskets. Organizing things should not be complex. They should be easy to engrave as habits in daily routine.
  • Idols we love would be in a classic marble wooden temple. Gods from all religions. 
  • Each of the big section of the house would have a dustbin. No, Dustbins carry wastage and no negative power or black magic! 
  • There would be no open storage system in the drawing room or the dining room. 
  • There would be a space for my beloved oven. May be below the platform or on a side panel.
  • Beds would be more beautiful due to the presence of side tables. They would have have space to keep our watches, remotes, books we are reading, torches and medicines. 'Place for all these things should be right next to the beds'. Talk about user experience! 
  • Rooms would have big open windows which would have flower pots or a couple of bottled plantations. They won't be covered with clothes hanged for drying all the time. 
  • Washrooms have nothing in metal except fittings. Brush holders to soap holders. Rusting is so not hygienic and they are dangerous if you get injured.
  • Shirts and Sarees would be hanged nicely on hangers. Thin metallic ones. No harmful plastic.
  • Liquid soap dispenser would be there near all basins with Dettol giving strong smell for my own satisfaction! 
  • I will have bottles turned into 'Bagichas' all around. I love these tiny ecosystems.
  • The passage near the main door would be classier than the entire house. Bright and crafty. In Diwalis Diyas would charm guests away or they would be smitten by fancy small Christmas sock in the Christmas. 
  • News papers and magazines would have their own cute holder in the drawing room. 
Do you have such ideas for your home? 

How do you make home?

October 31, 2015

'One of the li'l rebels' -The ex-roomie (guest) blogs!

The mail I received  popped up some days back which reminded me of one of those random promises I had taken from people. (Yeah, a couple of my people had to promise me that they would write guest posts on my blog) And here she was with a guest post written about me!! Well, in return she took my word of not disclosing her name ,so I must hint you that from time to time she appears on my blog since last few years! Oh by the way, her posts are like an act of meditation. You need to focus. *Duck* *I can see her kicking my butt* *Ignore random mention of random things every where!*


****

Tedha hai par mera hai. - That's my motto with a face like hers. After all, she's put up with with my kind so far. The following might sound like a National Geographic narration on a Dama Gazelle. Please read as though Professor Snape was reading it to you.

The kind of text a person presents to the world is a really good indication of the real deal. A first encounter with her blog brings me to a haphazard train of thoughts. This was three very eventful years ago when I was a different person altogether. Her writings caught my curiosity only after a few Facebook conversations before which, I thought this was 'yet another My Diary' kinda blog. She pours them out on her keyboard, I notice, just as one would pour piping hot tea in a ceramic cup and invariably spilling that tad bit on the counter for posterity and well, the lack of a sound mind body coordination. I truly believe, that slight spillage in thoughts is most beautiful. It is real. It is inclusive. It is expensive.

Tea also happens to be one of the most used word on her blog. A 'Verbal Tea' instead of a herbal tea for her this time I guess. Digress.

Our meeting happened, to put it in an uncomfortable way, in presence of my parents. I agreed to them dropping me/picking me up to/from the meeting point just to brush off their worries that their very gullible daughter wasn't living in a foreign nation with 
  1. A guy, given that name 
  2. A freakishly odd person, given my nature
What followed was a fantastic year and I would roughly say a good half of another. 'A lot can happen over a cup of coffee', they say at Cafe Coffee Day. That bubbly chatter which was just text on a blog had finally got a face during that meeting when she was running between cities of West India and the most courageous thing is, there is very little difference between the online and offline versions of this person. Immediate conclusion: she's a communicator. Doesn't come naturally to most of us. In some situations it doesn't to her either, but she tries and succeeds. She has opinions and she voices them without undermining that of others.

A set of healthy arguments about various things in life, general experience sharing, countless midnight chocolate based walk and a lot of accommodation, books, examination related emotional moments later, here I have a wannabe-bully in my room who really wants to gang up against me with the fellow housemates but all that can come out is her Houdini-sneezing. That's nothing different that what anybody else knows about her. The fears, insecurities, anger, the face-palms and all those attributes that make a beautiful, real emoting human being are there somewhere underneath those bling-bling eyes and a head full rapid thoughts. (I know, super poetic n all). This one kept on blabbering on the phone in Gujarati, Hindi, English and all other made up languages at the ground floor of the hostel while I used to sit on the 4th and 9th floor (9th floor!) thinking it'd really solve half of the world peace problems if she stopped pacing here and there so much. Pretty much everyone I knew in the hostel knew that voice and more importantly, that laughter. She comes back once and late into the night asks me with a poker face if I thought she had a boyfriend just because she talked on the phone so much. Then after a blink she generally goes and becomes this basis of me finding a family in Singapore, the strange land. Sigh, girls. Can't do anything with them and can't do anything without.

Part of this creature's 'upbringing' so to speak, seems to have happened in the company of her friends and around people who are not her immediate family (only by biological definitions albeit not social). Generally has a calm disposition when it comes to actual executions even though she may be panicking until nearly seconds earlier during a decision phase.  Among other things music is a big part of both our lives. If I think about some very specific moments we probably belong to the 'Kantaas Gharana'. Her passion for literature is a lit lamp against the wind but unfortunately her passion for dance is something would remain a grey tick as per Whats-app standards. As I now continue to be around and included, I see her trying to bring a balance between her yen and her zen (yes, her yen and her zen). While doing that I am continuously hoping she has a source to replenish from and smile with. This piece of writing intends to be one too. Maybe years later.

*Kellogs pose* for life.

- Chai walli

PS: If you thought the title didn't go with the text, gotta put it in context.

October 26, 2015

aPOINTment # 8

Long time, no see? Well, lets talk then. Are you ready with a cup of tea 'Adarakh marke?' Let me be frank, the atmosphere in Mumbai is demanding a chilled Nimbu Pani but the love for tea is compelling me to sit in the air conditioned room. So that after sneezing for the hundredth time, my soul would scream for a cup of tea!

  • I am waiting for the upcoming wedding era. My cousins and all best friends ( ALL except one!) have decided to get married (not with each other!) in December and January. I need to attend each of the functions (all out of Mumbai except one!) by risking my job. Okay, kidding. I have started preparing my team mentally for the wedding vacations I would be taking in coming months! 
  • I have rekindled my love for Saree and  so while I participated in the most gorgous and fulfilling (?) Durga Pujo, I conveniently bought a Kalkatti Saree. Now may Ma Durga gives me the strength to flaunt the most sexy attire in this world. 
  • I have been bugged by the sleepiness bug which usually bites my Husband and Sister-in-law. How much I try, neither I go to bed on time nor I get up early. Ultimately I loose on working out session I love to the core. 
  • I enjoyed Navratri this year unlike the last one. Right from dancing amidst professional players to people who barely could move their feet. It was fun. It was fulfilling. If any activity can propel you inside the flow zone (Yes, I read psychology sometimes!) that activity is your meditation. Dance for me!
  • I have been looking forward to nurture my interest in Henna application and Rangoli. It also means I need to take time out to practice. I am determined to take out that 8th day from the 7 days a week concept we humans follow.
  • I am in love with  Fawad Khan all over again. I am not alone, the craziness is shared by my Sister-in-law too. So much that our chitchatting sessions are now Humsafar-Behadd-Youtubing sessions. Believe me, we are now staying away from Youtube, just to get rid of the madness. I can hear the filmy-me screaming, 'Sambhalo Apne Aap ko'! :/
  • I miss my iphone now a days for some reasons. Either it is the camera or 'the look and finish'. It is an absurd idea to invest in it when I can buy a two wheeler with a super powerful engine in the same amount. Just to hate it for it's iTunes software afterwards. Apple, are you listening? 
  • I am considering buying iPod Nano. Ah, damn iTunes. Okay, I am fine with my MotoG and a Phillips media player.
  • I saw the movie 'Martian' and  unlike 'Gravity' and 'Interstellar' which could not lure me this movie managed to impress me. It revived my love for Science fiction movies! Yey! I must thank Mr.ISB for it.
My chai is about to get over and I need to go back to work. I would be back - same time, same place, next week hopefully! Hope you enjoyed this aPOITment! 

:)

October 15, 2015

Gifting Blues

If you are one of those persons who gets nervous on his/her birthdays, you better don't read this post.
I am the one who wears the glitter on my birthday to spread the 'awareness'. You might have problems with my attitude! :D

It was my customary annual act of charity to provide an excel sheet to loved ones (Who loved me and not otherwise!) which would have a list of potential birthday gifts/surprises they can I plan for me. Since last two years, I got wiser (I think) and stopped doing it.  (Wait, On my last birthday my buddy Daya, asked me my choices which I gladly mentioned and helped them. Not including this act anyway) Now, when I am again under influence 'Be young at heart' kind of phrases I thought of doing the same albeit, with a bit of change. I would like to blog about guidelines which can help them (My same old pals) to plan a surprise for me!

You might feel this is a very selfish act, but do not stop me from helping these guys who either goof up or get confused for days to solve this 'Birthday gift - surprise for Bubbegum' issue. Also note, as I am not too shameless to provide the guidelines only on the request, I chose this month to publish the same. Five months to plan, you guyeeees!


  • Do not buy clothes for me,unless it is a scarf. I am picky about colors, styles and fitting. I do not possess figure to die for as well! Why to bother, buddy?
  • Books, mugs, frames, bookmarks and the best - a pair of classy ear-rings (Imitation) would make me happier than those two glamorous but not at all pocket friendly (Pocket breaking in face) diamonds. 
  • A mean meal of  Pani puri , Indian Chinese, Italian/ Maxican/ Chocolaty(?) cuisine would be seized with more enthusiasm than a luxurious candle light dinner. Company of loved ones is more important, provided they let me talk! Last note is not for Mr.ISB, he always lets me talk!
  • Home made dinner, even better. Cooking for loved one is warmer than giving his/her some fresh roses, in my rule book. 
  • No flowers. If they are Gerberas, I would be totally loving it! Something like this. If at all you want to get whacked by me, try to give them to me in Public. Oh by the way, only one person has dared to give me a rose in my whole life. In public. Just to embarrass me to death. Mr.ISB, Do not grin!  By the way, I love plants, so gift me saplings! Some day in life, I would love to have a balcony full of plants in bright colored pots. May be a post retirement activity. Ah, wait ! Having an empty balcony in Mumbai itself would be a gift!
  • Body spa voucher? Do not even think about it. Just for your reference, pre-wedding Spa was the most stressful experience for me and not the whole bridezilla-thing! Well, a hair spa session or better, a pedicure session is more than welcome!
  • Creative and brilliantly made cards, post cards and little notes (mails would do too!) can make me feel high. Real high. I collect all of them and they are my best buddies when I am dull, Believe me. I have in fact asked a friend or two to write long mails to me on my birthdays, as birthday gifts! :D
  • Give me a chance to throw a home party. Let me be the host. We would play Antakshari and chit chat. I would cook everything from scratch, and no,you need not enter the kitchen to help me out. I love cooking for my own people experimenting on others and the first rule is to leave me alone while I cook.
  • Do not buy me gadgets, unless you are 110.999% sure about the one I want. Chances are, I won't be. 
  • An Ice-cream cake from Singapore (the one which she gets) would be a dream, but a chocolate cake from here or here would do the same magic on me. Do not waste it by applying it on my face.  A big dairy milk silk with roasted almonds wont do any harm as well!
I guess for the next birthday I have dropped enough hints. I am sure this blog post would guide the seeker to the reach the ultimate (my) happiness!

PS: A kick on the butt for those who still feels I am a confused personality! 

October 9, 2015

Con-fusion!

Some days are happy and some days are sad. Some days can be super happy and some days would be horribly sad. I got a week (and more) of fusion of such diverse feelings.

Let me explain. Since a week, I have been into this state.

For an hour I would be low and for an hour I would be feeling positive or even dwell on cloud nine. I feel calm for some hours and something tragic (Okay, exaggeration) happens which would make me feel horrified. This phenomenon is not going anywhere or even not ending anyway. ( No, my hormones are in harmony and I am not pregnant either!)

Work is going hectic in crazy ways. Beyond my wildest imagination. Pricing to production, printing to logistics. Every other thing goes haywire one moment and the other moment we invent an idea to step up a bit. The whole team, professionally if not personally is going through the same wave whirlpool. 

Personal life. It was never so happening. Birthdays in the family, goof-ups in gift planning. Roaming around in the morning, before going to the office to dig out precious gifts for loved ones. Nights goes in staring shut shops in the hope of developing a bright surprising gift idea in this fertile mind (For me at least) I posses, while I take the road to reach home from the railway station. Some time I get irritated and throw the irritation on any one I meet and sometimes I just want to freeze the time. 

It is the hoch-poch in the mind and some times in the dinner plate. 

Life is such and so it is 'Life' , fused in Con-fusion. 

;-)

October 2, 2015

Money matters (And the wallet too!)

So last night when my sister-in-law came back from a get together, she was really in a good mood and yet sleepy. It was kind of a high moment for her to type (with sanity) and so by mistake she floated a message to a wrong window in her WhatsApp. A window where my Spiti Group does all the blabbering.

(The truth is she had opened the chat window and asked me to type in her Nexus 5, which was a tough task for me as I am a woman of habit and I was really bad at using a diffrent keypad of Nexus 5.)

Night

Sister-in-Law: C0Ol wjll take The vwallet on Monday.

(We both slept off, saying smart people in the group would understand that it was a mistake!)

Morning

Just when I was getting ready for the office Mr.ISB called me, asking was my sister-in-law sane while typing gibberish on the group. I informed it was a mistake. He started laughing and asked me to check the latest reply on it by my very own bro-buddy. I opened the mobile hastily before leaving home..

Bro Buddy 1: (After reading sister-in-law's message) It's an app? Rite? 

*I could not control and thought of stretching this. I meant techie guys behave like fanatics sometimes but on a random message?*

Bubblegum: No re, it is a startup. The whole line is a title (of the start up!)

*Now, some members of this group are startup fanatics and bro-buddies are leaders!* *Here comes the number two.*

Bro buddy 2: ???

Bubblegum: Google (it)

Brobuddy 1: But they have an app.. It's abt personal finance if I remember correctly! 

Brobuddy 2: Vwallet? I read it but not much information Also no reviews to judge. Can you explain a bit more?

(Now who asked him to download the so called app was out of my mind! Out of any one why would we promote it?)

Bubblegum : *Remembering  his weak point* Do you want a job there? Arey cant type much, would tell you in face!

By this time Mr.ISB was laughing out loud on Whatsapp (Dont' ask how)

Brobuddy 2: :D :D

Bubblegum: Google to ata hai na tum ko.

Bubblegum: Taunt mat mar, Mile tab batana.

And then the whole game plan got destroyed as my sister-in-law's message popped up (No, I would not really forgive you for spoiling the fun!) ..

Sister-in-law: Yaar kya bakwas chal raha hai. That message was wrongly sent to you guys. I forgot my wallet and was going to collect on Monday. That's all. 

* I was furious but still laughing out loud, with other members of the group who were silent till now.*

Just then my sister-in-law asked the million dollar question to my bro-buddies. (Who were dying to know the truth of vwallet just two minutes back.)

Sister-in-law: How the hell did that statmenet make you think that I was talking about some app!

Well, I also want to know the same sistah! May be the Spitian hangover has taken a toll on them. 

Poor Startup conscious crackpot guys. 

:D

PS: Friend K knew I would blog about this. Well, of course I would. Bro-buddies were saved by my sister-in-law otherwise the damage to their image would have been devastating. 

September 29, 2015

Yaar Bina Chain Kahan re

"Friends are relatives we get to choose."

I had read this quote some where and every time I remember it, I agree to it like never before.

Every friend is unique but if I segregate all of them, they would fall into three categories.

1. Friends, who are 'Hi Hello type' and when they meet up we manage to have a blast. 
2. Friends, with whom you share details of every second of your life. I suspect after certain age we do not get into such friendships. Unless you marry your very best friend. (But then who the hell keeps on poking nose in the spouses' life every now and then? Talk about independence)
3. Friends whom you don't meet frequently, you talk to them once in a while but they still remain close. (or they are childhood buddies) So much that you never feel the distance. They are always there. Always.

Catching up with the third category is fun. Supreme fun. There would be new stories and new discussions in the air (WhatsApp is on cloud, remember?) and yet there would that thick old connection. Thicker than blood. I believe, at least. So when yesterday I was getting bored at home (After a super hectic day and cold syndromes striking back) I decided to catch up with some friends from the third category.

Singapore flatmate 1: This blogger mam has recently shifted her butts along with her body to India from Singapore which leaves only three close friends to meet in Singapore,if at all I implement the dream plan of visiting 'my second most favorite country to live'.  While we were discussing about her 'Groom Hunting' activities I realized, the fun we had in Singapore with Chai can never be experienced again, Unless our flat mate mentioned below decides to buy her wedding gown from Mumbai :D

Singapore flatmate 2: This celebrity who  represents Indian diversity like nobody's business,had shifted to India from Singapore long back. You might spot her with a drawing of the kind of wedding gown she wants for herself in Bangalore. With this she also collects data which proves India's inability to manufacture designer wedding gowns. Here we are not talking about 'Make In India'.

Friend D: This friend who is going through the most difficult phase of his life, surprises me with his maturity to handle turmoils almost every time I talk to him. The kind of friendship we share has to be decorated with titles like "Together from Kindergarten but never bothered to actively grow the friendship" or "Age old friends-who-don't-talk-much, are better than new friends who talk and still can not understand each other".

After talking to these three friends, content with the way I had ended the day I dozed off in no time.

Such are some friends and friendships. Connecting to them makes you fill the void created by 'nothingness' in your life.

                                                                   ***

I heard the alarm next morning, and was surprised to find myself start the day and not snoozing it off. Very much my old self. After suffering from the hangover, I was struggling to fill my day with enough doze of adrenaline or satisfaction, just enough to get up early and get going.


September 25, 2015

Targeted in advance

I love throwing surprises and host parties. There was a time when I used to plan surprise farewells like a pro ( A good number of seven in total) and enjoy the whole process of surprising/shocking friends - family. From a small personalized letter to big farewell parties - Surprises I planned were in all shapes and sizes! They include a carton of Buttermilk packs, story books, self made birthday cards, home baked cakes and air fryers! Planning surprises do give me a sense of life, my joyful life. Some time back, while reading my own blog I realized I had stopped experiencing such big small joys in life. I made a come back last week, which I mentioned some time back.

I want to create such moments of affection for all people I am close to. I had one opportunity at office too, yesterday. So I grabbed it (Read: Tried).One of my two company partners (AS(S), ah A & S) who are friends, philosophers & mentors were taken aback when they found we were having our hands full with a card, a cylinder like barrel and a chocolate cake which we took out from that 'under the table' cabinet we share. We, three poor (okay, what is the point when they are not going to read this ever!) team members have been planning for this celebration some two months back led by yours truly.

One of us don't come every day to the office and handles IT stuff from his own office. So when we realized A's birthday has to be celebrated when all are there (and not on the actual birthday), we were not worried about the 'surprise' factor! We were going to celebrate some three days in advance, it would be a surprise itself! :D

We had decided not to include S- the other company partner in the planning committee, as he was busy in his dad's hospitalization. (Also, we were scared that he would hint A being a true partner.) We were not too resourceful anyway.After many brain storming sessions where our cafeteria waiter also contributed by creating a storm of tea every single time, we could not decide on a gift or a any other plan. I was running out  of those imaginary blood cells who carry a virtue called 'Patience'.

Then exactly two days back, some auspicious star formation was created day & so we could decide on one single gift. That cylinder barrel which we we took out from the cabinet along with a cake and a card was nothing but a rolled magnetic dart board for the in house game champion A. Something which A wanted to play in the office in those moments of stress, but never got the chance.The cake and the venue (what else, but our own small office) management was done by our IT officer. I had sourced the card and the cake, while our designer had happily approved the aesthetics for both.

A, being the introvert was a bit conscious seeing all smiling faces, but could brave the cake cutting sessions. The birthday boy (Hah!) was blushing for exactly 37 minutes before going back to work.

To protect their privacy I can not put the image of our card here but it had ten small cards stuck inside one big card. Talk about cost cutting and start ups! (*Coyly looking at keyboard* Yours truly was appreciated for the concept!) Design approval and the cake manager got their credits as well, along with our background noise - the other mentor S who was surprised by our game plan along with A.

After observing the card many times, the targeted birthday boy raised his eyebrows and asked,
"Bubblegum, you are good at creating surprises for people haan."

I grinned and said, " I know"!

S, Some day (Highly unlikely) if you read this I just want to let you know. This was the most boring surprise I have ever thrown. I owe you one kick ass surprise birthday party, next year may be?

September 21, 2015

aPOINTment # 6

When you just keep on running and the endorphin starts kicking in the body, you can not/ should not do anything but enjoy the 'Runner's high'. Well, do not widen your eyes. I did not run enough to get the high but my life ran. It is still running and I am merely coping up with the speed, huffing puffing sometimes but still enjoying the 'High'.


  • A trip to my home was more than fun. Panipuri and Kulfi, Gupshup and shopping. Those three days were so much packed, I tell you. All I had wished was to rest and do nothing (No, My in laws don't do Zor Zulam on me. I was just plain bored of some things.) when I planned for the home trip. What I realized is, 'resting' is even more boring for me. A day completely without doing nothing does not work for me. I feel depressed. 
  • Baking-vaking happened at home. Baked a really chocolaty cake for my cousin and my mother. Yes, both of them have their birthdays this week. My frock buddy N. What to say, I just missed meeting her. Why? Because a lot of social meetings, upcoming marriages in the family. If you are reading this, shoot me :D Oh, well I am trying to call you in a while, better you pick my call.
  • I fell in love with Sarees one more time. I took out all sarees proudly owned by my mom and conveniently declared ownership on all of them. Only if I can flaunt sarees the way every graceful Indian woman does. Talk about dreams. 
  • I started a new tradition in my family. In Mumbai, as writing & reading in my mother tongue has almost become a code language between me and mom-in-law, I wrote her a birthday letter in my mother tongue without using a single English word. Yes, I feel so good about it. No, it was not a threatening letter, guys. Chill. She liked it. In fact, loved it.
  • I am feeling so close to Hindi now a days. Like never before, I feel the language.(Don't ask) I want to practice speaking in Pure Hindi, hopefully mixed with Urdu more and more in my life.
  • Buying a gift for my mom with my brother was a fun move. A ride on his bike while getting drenched in the rain can not be plain. Not at all. More fun was checking out his expressions when I asked him to accompany me in a shop which had already accommodated around twenty females hunting for sarees and their male partners lined up in the lobby, doing nothing. 
  • My team at work as expected, did not bother me while I was happily enjoying my second 'much needed' holiday this month. A break from a break is needed now. 'Much Needed'.
  • Ah, all these things happened while I kept on sneezing time to time. To my dad's horror, it seems I am allergic to milk. (Yey, not the Chai okay?) Which if proven, gates of guilt can be opened and I can have the strong Adarakhwali chai every single day!

September 15, 2015

Loss of the (ear)ring

To both mothers' dismay, I am not into Gold. Or diamonds.Or even Silver. No, I am not the one who hates ornaments. In fact, I love ear rings ,anklets and rings sometimes. Only if they are imitation. I was given many gold ornaments and some diamond ones when I got married. I love all of them but who wears them everyday?! They happily rest in a locker of a nearby bank most of the time.

Coming back to ear rings. My great love for ear rings. I have collected, preserved and flaunted many many of them, right from the day I started buying imitated ear rings when I was in the high school. I still have that 'Smiley wale earrings' bought while I was in the college. ( I kid you not!) I was pretty clear about the (only) self-made fashion rule: "The ear ring should match exactly match my attire." Hence, the enthusiastic shopper in me would go gaga over every big or small ear-ring stall my eyes could find, wherever I go. So much that, I also had bought a pair from 'Saputara' which is a small tribal hill station in the corner of Gujarat. Who buys ear rings from such hill stations?

I am actually a person who hates superstitions, but when it comes to 'Lucky' stuff I am stumped! I had my 'Lucky watch' which was my dad's watch (Oops), I used to believe in my 'Lucky hair style'and I have my 'Lucky ear rings'. No, I had my luckiest ear ring. :/

I lost one (and the only), a couple of weeks bag. The small white semi-star (Don't ask!) shaped studs which I flaunted in all the interviews I have given so far, in my life. Not to brag but each of the interview had got successfully converted into jobs/admissions.

So when I lost this luckiest pair, my heart sank. I silently cried invisible tears. No, it was not real or even an expensive piece of an imitation ornament set. It was more than that, the luckiest pair. I have preserved  the one piece from the pair which was left with me, thinking I might turn lucky and other piece would magically come back to me.

I am still waiting for the magic to happen.May be I would get the piece back? May be I would get another luckier pair? May be I would get rid of this superstition.

May be.

The Spiti Story-5

Part 1, 2, 3 and 4 here.

There were bumpier roads. There were bikers. There were rugged riders riding them. There were a couple of sturdy cars with high horse power engines roaring on the path. More than anything else, it was Adrenaline getting sprinkled every where, for me. We were on the way to Chandratal.



I was quite excited by the idea of living in a camp, hiking to the lake and framing splendid beauty if I can. I wanted to let me eyes wide open and fill them with blues, grays and greens till they over flow.

When we spotted our tents, it brought excitement in some of us and some were nervous at the thought of spending the night inside those tiny fabric toy-looking rooms. We ate something, kept our luggage there and started for the most spectacular site in Spiti.



Chandratal is a 'moon' lake at the height of 4300 meters in Spiti. It is one of the two highest wetlands in India. Once the road ends, there is a hike of around 30 minutes to reach the lake. One should always acclimatize to the high lands before starting for this place. I can not explain the beauty of this place with words any more.




When we saw the lake from distance after taking the turn from the peak we were hiking on...


We were closer to the lake.. A small stream of water below the track,,,


When we reached the lake, Felt the lake. The Chandra Tal. I almost thought if this is Chandratal, how would be the mighty 'Maansarovar'!


The colour of the lake changed with the direction of sun rays. It was not a magic but still a magic.

We spent good amount of time in the super windy atmosphere. We saw some crazy pupils jumping in the water without clothes and having fun while I refused to remove my shoes too! We jumped, we sat peacefully ( Okay, not me!), we clicked, we admired nature. Almost a sense of Niravana, may be.

Coming back to the base was quick as almost every one was stunned by the beauty of the valley. We were not knowing the actual thrill was in braving cold that night! :D

The chilling wind was trying to penetrate in the multiple layers of sweaters - jackets we were wearing. Getting inside the tent could help a bit,but not much. Our driver T came to our rescue and offered us the local wine made out of 'Jawar' which they drink to save themselves from cold. We all enjoyed it to the core, yeah me and Mr.ISB - the almost teetotalers of the gang also took shots!

We were hungry and so in the dining tent, along with other 17 ( Ah,, random) foreigners (mostly from Israel) we had Rajma Chawal and Achar. The simple menu appealed to our stomach and not to our taste buds. After dining we all decided to occupy the tent shared by me and SIL to play games. While they could enjoy cards, I the-no-cards-gamer sealed my self in the sleeping bag. After struggling for a while in the chilling weather, every one decided to sleep as the next day our return journey was to kick off.

Next morning when I unsealed myself to switch off the Auto Alarm in the phone, we had to carry a search operation to find the mobile as multiple layers of clothes and sleeping bags had engulfed us completely.

A cup of Kawah and a bit courage we all started our return journey. A journey, I did not have a heart to make. I wanted to stay there forever.This never happened to me before!

Spiti, Stay Special! 

September 14, 2015

The Spiti Story-4

You can find the first three parts of the story, here , here and here.

Visiting Ki Monastery was a treat to our eyes and hearts. For me it was eyes, for many it was the heart. Talk about having a camera in your hands, but then nothing to regret. Some people believe in 'Dharma' and some people believe in 'Dharma thorough Karma'! :D

We had to visit one more monastery near by and so when a Lama approached us with a request of dropping him there we were more than happy. We wanted to know more about Lamas and so it was a win-win situation. The Lama talked about those cold months where Spiti wears the blanket of snow. Each monastery stocks one year inventory of  eatables and other necessary things. The supply chain engineers in the gang approved of the complex supply conditions here.

When we reached the next Monastery, he said he would take us around which made us happier. We walked down to the village, chit chatting about the life cultivated here by locals. We saw a group of foreigners with their geared bicycles and silently paid respect to them. We kept on climbing wherever the Lama took us, we saw amazing scenic beauty from different levels of the hill. SIL, Mr.ISB and Friend K managed to climb the last level where he declared that we can see fields here but for some reasons the temple is closed. We, left outs had lost interest in climbing by now and were more into framing those green fields with Himalayan peaks in background.




The Lama now wanted to be with us for our journey to the next destination - Losar, which was more than a couple of hours away, where we had to stay that night. Now, SIL and Bro-Buddy found something fishy and we took the help of our driver T. He listened to us and formed a plan to get away with the Lama. We all sat in the bus and our helpful driver T told him something which we did not understand but Lama asked us to continue without him. We were relieved. The Driver T told us that the Lama was mentally unstable. We were, :O

Our next destination was coming closer after some hours, which were killed by sleeping , talking, sleeping, eating, again sleeping ,some shopping - local crafty stuff and talking. Our driver took us to a small field which had one single yellow roofed house with cattle grazing near by. Similar to what we as kids used to draw in our drawing books! :)


Our bus was now riding on a straight Kachcha road under an umbrella of  the dark black sky. The sky was cloudless. It was like that Navratri traditional ghaghra with a lot of 'Aabhala' (Mirrors like buttons in different shapes and sizes) stitched on to the fabric. My SIL also managed to lose her fancy woolen cap by peeping out of the window of the car to see that lonely yet glamorous sky. The Bro buddy was mentally ready for the star-shooting activity, ah, clicking this sky with his fancy devices and tripod.

By the time we reached the Guest house arranged by Nomadic, it was Dark. Darkness was more than frightening. People went straight to their rooms to freshen up. While SIL managed to take her Not-So-Powerful nap, rest of us gathered in Friend N's room to chitchat. Listening to some humorous incidents in Friend N's life was so unique that first time I felt, some body had my eyes and ears (and mouth too) to register generic and yet not normal incidents happening in life. Once we were told that the dinner was ready we all went to the most warmest room we had seen in last few days.

This room had an old coal based heater, Indian sitting, frames with Spiti photos and books all around. The heat we all wanted that night was coating our bodies slowly thanks to the heater. After the dinner some of us went to our respective rooms while the two male species of our gang went to the terrace which was a part of the coldest dessert in the world that night, I along with SIL tried to cover ourselves as much as we could and went there to meet them. We managed to stay there for 5.57 minutes there and decided to go back to our room. We were anticipating the end of the day, little less we knew that the night was the 'Gyan ki Raat'. We found wisdom that night.

Friend N came to our place to ask how was our trip to the terrace,where guys were trying to click the gorgeous sky. We started talking on it and on different people around us and different situations we are/were facing and philosophy and Bro-buddy and marriages and quotes and spiritualism and love stories and,. One guy attempted to join us while Mr.ISB was fast asleep in the next room. At 3 am we decided we should sleep and the collective wisdom later on made the 3/4th of my post here.

When we got up in the morning with  sweet day dreams of seeing the most beautiful place in  Spiti-  'Chandratal' that day, we were surprised by the beautiful landscape in the day light when we peeped out from the balcony. Last night, it was difficult to see and feel the beauty around the guest house. Some times our mind does not permit us to see the silver lining in our lives. Because we judge the situation, the person and the face. That is how worries and bias generate.

A mug full of coffee and good old Alu ke Parathe made us ready to seize the famous Chandratal!

September 11, 2015

The Spiti Story-3

If you have come across this link by fluke, you can soak in madness here in story-1 & story-2!

When  I came to know what Marial Rukeyser said long back, I could not agree more.
 "The world is made up of stories and not atoms."

If you come across some wise and some adrenaline provoking quotes in a cozy place which you never want to leave, while the rest of the world around it freezes in the cold, how do you feel? Well, I can not describe the feeling but it was not the only quote I read that night.

When we left Sisu, we did not really know that those six hours of travelling would be so worth our efforts to keep our bums glued to car-seats and struggles to keep our bodies intact while travelling on those rocky roads. We were heading to Kaza. Crossing cold streams and white clouds had become usual. Himalayan peaks kept on peeping to trace our presence. Mr.ISB kept on sleeping during the ride while some of us praised his super natural ability to sleep anywhere. Touchwood.





This trip if nothing, proved one thing. In front of Nature the man is very small. When we worship 'Panch Mahatatva' or 'Five elements' - Sky, Water, Land, Fire and Air - we pray the nature. The nature is nothing but almighty!

The atmosphere in the car while travelling to Kaza (Tempo Traveler is a car, okay?) changed from sleepy to hungry, junk to musical. Music made us travel in the old world of melodies. Also made us float in the air of new hippy songs. "College mein nayi nayi aai ik ladaki hai", "Sawanr lu" & some other peppy songs were sung together thanks to playlists created friend N and SIL.

When we saw Hotel Denzor after getting drenched in the beauty of this valley, we felt like home. The yellow blue door with lots of stickers was just a window to the sunshine. Walls with quotes, book shelves filled with books (my favorite part!), beautifully made rooms and hot water in buckets made us realize our mistake of staying here only for a night.




To my good, we also got Wifi (No network for mobile phones!) which made me message our parents about our whereabouts. Honestly none of us were really into 'the getting back to the virtual world' mode. Mobile phones were only cameras now. We had started living in the real world, in the present. Some lines from the song 'Yeh Moh Moh ke dhage' can justify the feeling,

"Tez hai Dhara, Behete hai hum Awara..
Aa tham ke saanse le Yahan...."  

Ah, this is also the place where my SIL asked Friend N to lock herself up in the room which was shared by me and SIL. No, I am not that 'Khaufnak Aurat' who can burn her SIL but while I was floating around & flipping books downstairs, all she (SIL) wanted to do was to take bath in hot water. She just wanted to make sure that I enter the room whenever I want to, without waiting for her to come out. Some how I managed to find that friend N had the key to my room! :D

After devouring delicious food (Kheer on top of that!) and checking some good books, some of us walked in the cold dessert as I would like to call it. Some like me I chose to just bundle myself in the blanket and sleep. Just to get up at 6 am in the morning next day!

I felt surprisingly fresh when I got up and went down stairs to read those Travel Magazines collected by himI walked for some time in the lobby and the backyard while waiting for others to get up. I was keen on feeding myself some porridge, omelettes and fruits. I also grabbed a mug of coffee which tasted better than the over hyped coffee Start-bucks of the world make.

Some where I wanted to implement this quote I read there, and sail the Spiti without 'Baggage'!



From Denzor, we traveled to the Ki Monastery. A world of Lamas situated right at the peak from where you can appreciate the mighty Spiti Valley with wide eyes!





The Monastery was enjoyed by inhaling the peace inside the temple. We could meet a team making a documentary on the life of Lamas. Child monks in maroon robes shied away from us while a monk with a smart jacket (?) managed to get into the car with us. 

The fun had just started as we had to visit one more monetary with the 'Lama' and experience the sky with hundreds of shining stars!

PS: Whenever I age and you, Mr.ISB want me to cherish my memories with your bank account full of money, you can gift ourselves a stay for 4-5 days at Denzor. I would just say,'Welcome' and start preparing for the journey. 





September 10, 2015

The Spiti Story-2

If you have not got the generic story of  the Gyan Summary of our trip, you better read this first!

If you are not privileged to listen to my long blabbers, you might as well test your patience by reading this story further. For others, you have no choice guys! Friendship, remember?

It was the moment of 'Non-Conformance' when my Sister-In-Law warned me saying 'Somethings can go for a toss if I join a well planned trip'.I being a very punctual person, ridiculed the statement thinking I would manage to push every one and every thing on time and stick to the plan. I was wrong. Let me start from 'The Starting'.

The random question to me by my bro buddy about visiting Spiti this year was answered by a big 'NO' around one and a half months back. This was followed by 'Why NO?, Let us go yaar' by my Sister in Law. One by one names were clubbed together to form a group of people visiting the valley with their complex demographics and different personality traits! The planning was done by Nomad and the co-ordination was done by Bro-buddy and Mr.ISB. ( If you think MBA and Operations together can create that 'Perfect Plan' you are wrong here!! *Spoiler*!)

Now we were Seven! 

1. Yours truly
2. Mr.ISB : Who seems to be more popular than yours truly thanks to his powerful silence and sixers
3. Sister-In-Law: Who by law is a sister, otherwise an in house friend
4. Bro-Buddy: The one encouraged many kids to go for higher studies and get married without implementing any of those acts
5. Friend N: A significant contributor to Wisdom collected in the trip
6. Friend K: Sister of N by balancing her open expressions by her very own introvert nature
7. Aunty: Mother of N & K who believed in her fitness more than any of us! 

Days passed and tickets were booked. Funds were transferred and leaves got approved using several methods from 'Saam Daam Dand Bhed' techniques. The only thing left in me was the consciousness that screamed out loud - 'I am really going to be on Himalayas after more than a decade',which appeared at 5 pm on the day before the trip. I am precise when I say 5 pm because it is the time when I re-look at my to-do list in the  office!! Any how I managed to finish the list partially and create a list of tasks to finish before leaving for the airport, the next day. Things were in full control till I entered my room to pack the bag,after returning from the office. I saw a big black mouse jumping on the table (!) which postponed the bag packing activity to the next morning! It called for my super efficient packing skill developed by my history of relocation within/out of the city.We (me and SIL) had kept some more tasks for the last hour as well. A serious problem occurred when we failed to book a cab for the airport drop due to the taxi driver's strike. I recalled 'The warning by SIL' the very moment. 

With the help of mom & dad we both reached Mumbai airport from where we were suppose to fly to Delhi. We killed more time than a couple of hours there doing nothing, thanks to the Air Traffic Control who managed to delay the departure of the flight by 1.5 hours. By the time we started from Mumbai, I guess Mr.ISB was already waiting for us on the Delhi Airport. Other members from Delhi reached the bus station from where we had to board a bus to Manali. The so called practical 'Planning' of both guys could not manage to bring us to the bus station on time & so friends, we missed the bus while others started off with the journey! After pulling luggage like a real sport, rushing in all the directions a person can find, changing Metros - we three (Me, SIL and Mr.ISB) found ourselves on the last row of that heavily engineered bus which did nothing but raised my doubts about the design of the Suspension it had after a few hours.

When the universe wants you to sit on the other row than the last, you get a helpful bus conductor. So while Mr.ISB decided to accompany the foreigner neighbor as a translator and keep the conductor sane, I accompanied my Sister In Law who was more than ready to sleep for twelve hours in that scary bus. Talk about dreams. God played the dice and we were tortured by the movie 'All Is Well' for three hours which did not let us sleep at all. I do not blame Abhishek Bachchan as he could make one uncle in the bus snore so loud that the jealousy surfaced out from every one around him - or I would like to  believe so, to console myself that I was not alone!

With some sleepy chatting sessions and a lot of confusion regarding the name of the station where we had to get down ( Pretty cool confusion - Patharcool, Pattharikundi or Patharikulh) our bus we managed to over take the bus with our friends on board. (A note for Bro-Buddy!) It was my first time in Manali and the only thing I could feel cool breeze, smell of fresh fruits and observe a monk in smarty sneakers! Poof! 

While waiting for our friends, we met our super matured and helpful driver for the tour - Let's call him Mr.T. Two awesome Aloo Paratha and a failed attempt to feel fresh, our friends arrived and now we were a gang which started for the guest house to dress up/freshen up to look like humans before our embark to Spiti. I would also like to mention that while reaching the guest house, I managed to start our conversation with a lot of bashing designed for Bro buddy and Mr.ISB who had planned the super tight schedule which failed to accommodate any buffer resulted by traffic situations at the Mumbai Airport and Delhi Metro.

The Manali guest house which was owned by Nomadic, where we met him for the first time, provided all basic necessities to fill our stomach and freshen up along with a beautiful view from the lovely terrace garden. Just when warnings by SIL had started to fade away in my mind, we got to know that there was a strike (one more!) which can make us come back from the Rohtang Pass itself. Then we can only dream about going to the next destination 'Sisu'! Phew. We decided to take the plunge!

Discussing about the strike situations and a bit of nervousness for the second longest travel track for the journey, we started off for Spiti! 



I know the above photo is not that great, especially if you are talking about 'Spiti' let me hop to the moment when we had yummy 'Maggie' (?!?!!?!?), Rajma Chawal, Kadhi and Momos on the way! Talk about tasty yet simple local food ( Some people did not like it, but I did it!) and cozy Dhabas. This was just a starting!

We crossed 'Rohtang Pass' which is 3978 mt above sea level and one of the highest passes in India, without suffering any bottlenecks resulted from the strike. This pass gave us some hints about what was in store for us in Spiti! 


The above photo is of Beas Kund which is a small temple with a small shallow well full of Sulfuric water, a cure for most of the skin problems. Not for people like me who are allergic to Sulfa!

After going down hill after passing Rohtang pass, we climbed to Kunzum Pass which is 4590 ft above sea level!


In case of Spiti, it is true, " The journey to the goal in life is more beautiful than the goal itself!"

After hogging on some Uncle Chips, Dairy milk Silks and biscuits, trying to make the Aux port work so that our journey can be musical and chatting with our driver Mr.T for six more hours, we reached our first ever destination Sisu. 

Snow laden mountain peaks peeping from the balcony of the sky and bone shivering wind hugging all around- The first feel of Spiti it was!



By the time we reached our guest house, we were shaken off by the intensity of  the wind. Super warm blankets in the room obviously were welcomed with open arms! The love for blanket which actually created silly idea of sewing a gown out of the same wool for the dinner,  made it a bit difficult for me to step out for the dinner. Too many of such 'lovely' thoughts provoked a headache which led us to go the 'Boys room' and settle there once again inside the blanket to watch TV while boys decided to do some random stuff.

The 'Papi Pet' finally won over all random acts and we attacked on the most yummiest Aloo sabji, tandoori roti, Paneer sabji with tangy achar. Some of us decided to digest food with a session of walk in the cold while some like me decided to hug that same blanket again dreaming fearing the head-bath I was to take next morning. 

Next day,the MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE to live in Spiti was waiting for us! Stay tuned, if you have stayed till this line! :D

September 9, 2015

The Spiti Story-1

This post was published on Spicy Saturday by BlogAdda on 12th September! 

I have been bubbling with eagerness to paint my memories and some after effects of the trip on the blog. From the moment my Bro-Buddy asked told me to blog about the trip, I have been pondering over ways to collect all those tiny moments we lived together in Himalays and decorate them on a blog page. The pondering mind slowly gave up and the heart took over which asked me to start with the generic post about the trip to start with, just to be followed by detailed& S report. I promise.

Let me tell you something about Spiti. This valley which is now a part of the district called 'Lahaul & Spiti' in Himachal Pradesh is still in its ancient shape. As ancient as Himalayas, I felt. Contrary to the usual belief, this valley is not made by rivers flowing near by. It is the valley created by the ancient sea Tyths when Himalaya was created. Fossil exploration is very interestingly taken by researchers here, which proves the marine life in http://blog.blogadda.com/2015/09/12/spicy-saturday-picks-september-12-2015this region before the Himalayan era. This story we discovered later on, while reading the material we found in one of the very cozy home stay at Kaza.

We friends, who collectively held calendars of 'friends of friends' and 'family members of the friends' together to draft a plan for this trip. The gang included an Amdavadi from Mumbai, A Mumbaikar from Mumbai, a Mumbaiakr from Pune, a Mumbaikar from Delhi and three Delhites from Delhi.If you think we are done with the complex demographics, let me tell you a member whom we lovingly call Aunty (A mother of two friends!) single handedly brought up the average age of the group. (Of course Aunty never stopped us from doing anything - including late night chatting which caused severe fatigue and zombie like symptoms in some of us.)

I am leaving the details of the trip to the next post, but the summary is I got more from this trip then I had thought of!

They say, " Make Peace With Yourself In Spiti"! We found wisdom too.



What do you expect when a gang with complex demographics goes to the Himalayan lonely highland which is largely unexplored. So much that at the end of the trip, Manali looked disturbingly crowded! Each of us had traveled, studied and worked in different places. Each of us was going through different stages of life - Denial for the wedding, finding grooms/brides, already married but still in the Boyfriend-Girlfriend phase etc. When we talked about life, we started noting down some conclusions whom we call 'Wisdom Points' with pride. '

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Wisdom Number #1 : "When you are suffering, compare your pain with even worst sufferings in the world."

This was concluded by the Sister-In-Law when our bones were screaming due to the cold wind while going out for the dinner form the bus and also when the suspension of the bus cried with each of those billions of bumps hurt punched them, and us. We also immediately found an application of the wisdom which of course made my plump self a bit more confident!! ;-)

Wisdom Number #101: Do not expect anything from any one!

Being in the land of Spiti which has many Buddhist followers I believe, this is the message or the Brahmgyan by Buddha himself. Our friend N who concluded this is just the messenger, I suppose! On a serious note, not implementing this wisdom itself is the root cause of all complexities in our lives. I think "Karmanye-vadhika Raste Mafaleshu Kadachan" has to be the second part of this saying, which means "Do your work without expecting any results"!

Wisdom Number # 501: Duniya mein sabse bada Rog, Mere bare mein kya kahenge Log! In English: " The biggest sickness in the world is the craving for the approval from the society"

A master stroke for me. The friend N again proved herself while we discussed our own struggles and stories. It is the root cause of each of my worries and actions since long. I pondered over it that night. Digesting it,was almost like throwing a big heavy bag from my shoulder which has its handle still in my hand. Some day I would throw the handle as well from my hand. I understand my problem better than ever now!

Wisdom Number # 1001: Guys have a box called 'Nothingness' in their mind, which they tend to use the most.

Friend N, described the video she had seen before, in that small warm room where I along with Bro-buddy and Sister-In-Law were ready to take the knowledge! This wisdom brought a clouser to my doubt which said the same about Mr.ISB and my dad. The state of nothingness is a fictitious state for a female but I always doubted that it existed in some of the guys. Bro-buddy and Mr.ISB approved of the fact as well, and with that this wisdom became 'the biggest truth of life ever found for my Sister-In-Law!'

Wisdom Number # 007: "Jinki Gadi lagi hoti hai unko kabhi nind nahi ati!"

Directly from the bus driver. Yes. While coming back to Delhi from Manali , a truck driver whom we doubt was drunk could not apply the hand break or even change the gear on the slope which crashed the driver glass of our bus. He was caught with all papers of the truck and made to sit in our bus which took him to the police station  on the way. Unlike normal physical fights, our bus driver took it to his heart to put some sense in the young truck driver's mind. He asked him to call the truck owner, which was not picked. Our bus driver now believed that the owner knew that this truck driver was a lost cause and so he was not picking up the phone. The truck driver tried to convince him that the owner would have been asleep as it was 12 am already. This was the moment when the wisdom was delivered by our bus driver, approved by four supply chain officers in our gang including yours truly.

When a logistic company owner hires a driver and puts the truck with goods on the road he can not sleep properly till the truck reaches the destination. The floating possession which gives him bread and butter holds the risk of being stolen, meeting with an accident and many more. This is true for any dream-chaser or a risk taker. Once you are in the water, you can not sleep. You have to swim.

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While making peace, we derived some wisdom. Does that happen to you too?