Monday, December 26, 2011

Sands of time..

I was born in a desert and my family is from the coast so I'd like to believe I have some connection with both the desert and the ocean. Watching the sun set in the sand dunes of Rajasthan I began to wonder which of the two I liked better. I've always loved the ocean, its beaches and the calming sound of the waves but the wide expanse of the golden sand was therapeutic as well. Both the desert and the ocean tell stories of survival. Both have stood the tests of time. Vast and endless...both can be unforgiving. However I think there is an element of sadness attached to the desert,the barrenness can be depressing while the water shows some hope. For this reason alone I pick the ocean, it is a pity though that I have to live far away from both in this concrete jungle!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

From Paris to Pondicherry

Wedding in June means Honeymooning in July. Paris beautiful Paris! A city by design that is charming. Sipping coffee and watching the world go by. Drinking wine by the river Seine. Singing along with other Parisians. Drinking champagne in Champagne!

August is when we turn old. A Cousin's wedding, a quick visit to Srirangam temple and the Brihadeshwara temple in Tanjore. Our combined birthday celebrations in Redhills. Breathtaking views of the hills, tea gardens and the emerald lake. A mischievous dog for company who doubles up as a shoe thief. People so warm in contrast to the cold weather. Good food and good times.

September was a quiet month. A sad month. Unexpected trips to Chennai.

October dictated that a long pending trip be taken off the list - Hampi. Enchanting and mysterious Hampi. Hiring a moped to discover a lost empire. Falling asleep by the banks of Tungabhadra where Purandaradasa once drew inspiration from. Mirchi bajji, girmit and hot chai - hot food in hot hot Hampi.

Come November, a friend's wedding and a weekend in Pondicherry. Moonlit beach, should I say anything more?

December is here. Where are we to go?

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

How is married life?

How is one to answer that? Also when does one stop being 'newly' wed? Important questions. It feels like I have been on one long holiday this whole year giving 'marriage' as an excuse. Time to pull out the To-Do list and start doing things, which also includes blogging more often. Maybe starting next year?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flying High!

Hello new readers (if any!). My best kept secret is suddenly out in the open for all my facebook friends to see, thanks to the husband (still can't get used to the fact that I have one!). Funny how I liked to keep my virtual worlds separate - my blogging self/twitter persona different from the 'social me'. It wasn't intentional, just that I started writing really personal and embarrassing details, I didn't want people I knew to read it. In any case, not much harm done. Who has the time to read blogs these days!

Coming back to the being married part, this whole wedding business makes you think you are the center of the universe and everything revolves around you. I've been on a high past few days, don't think I've gotten this much attention before. And facebook further reinforces this with all the likes and comments people shower on you. But then for others it is just another event, another item on their news feed. Anyhow, its a nice feeling this, let me enjoy while it lasts.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Strange coincidences

On March 31 2006, I wrote a post on which a stranger left a comment.
On June 26 2011, I married the commenter!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Beijing trip 2 (aka Adventure in Peking)

As I set out on my second trip to Beijing, I called myself a seasoned 'international' traveler. Ok, I haven't traveled that much, but enough times to have mastered the drill and not get worked up. It was going to be a short trip anyway and was looking forward to get back more than ever.

The only weekend I was there started of with my visiting the Lama temple, a beautiful monastery. Sunday evening after a day's shopping or rather window shopping I took the usual subway back home parted ways with my friends who stayed in another hotel. It was dark and very very cold, just the kind of day for me to forget my jacket. I hugged myself tight and started to walk the short distance to my hotel. As I neared I could hear footsteps match mine and someone closing in. I've felt this way many times before, even in Bangalore, this thing about being a woman makes you suspicious all the time. I didn't have the courage to look back though, I just wanted to get back as early as I could. I relaxed entering the hotel premises but the footsteps were only getting closer, perhaps it was another guest eager to avoid the cold harsh winds. Not stopping, I continued, in the instant that I entered the revolving doors I could feel a man's hand grab my wallet from the bag I was carrying. I turned and saw a look on his face that I'll never forget. By the time I came out of the revolving door again he was gone.

Cash, cards and my beautiful wallet..all gone. Gone! I walked back coolly to my room and blocked all my cards within no time like a pro. This is what experience does to you. This has happened to me 3 times now. Yes THREE. First time in a foreign country though. (first time I just misplaced my wallet, was in college and broke so doesn't count I guess) What would have happened if I had decided to look back. Knowing how close he was to me, he might have done something stupid. Would he have brandished a knife? Or would he have ran? Also, I am out of kickboxing practice, he was a small man but I don't think I could have taken him on.

I told the hotel manager what had happened and I asked them to check the security camera. After long wait they said it hadn't capture anything. I insisted that I see the video. They made several calls to get permissions and allowed me to walk to the control room. Turns out they hadn't made much effort to look for the clip. After much sorting we finally found the tape and everything was caught on camera crystal clear.

Watching the video had a 2 fold effect on me. One I was convinced I wasn't imagining things. The hotel guys repeatedly were telling me that I probably lost it in the subway. I had a look of triumph when I finally found the video but I don't think the Chinese get 'I told you so'.
Second, watching myself on the screen and being robbed spooked me more than I could imagine. All the confidence I had built up vanished. I avoided the subway for the rest of my stay, borrowed money to pay my hotel bill and waited anxiously to return home safely.

Everyone says its not my fault, could have happened to anyone. I blame myself though. I let my guard slip. Was over confident and didn't take the necessary precautions I normally take before every travel. I have this natural tendency to attract disaster (Bridge Jones Syndrome) so should have been more careful. Losing the money didn't matter much. Money comes money goes. What I find very difficult to get over is the queasy feeling in my stomach, combination of guilt, being made a fool of, being gullible. On the plus side, it gave me something to blog about!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A walk to remember

I've always wanted to go on one of the Bangalore Walks but hadn't for lack of company. Last Sunday on a cold foggy morning, I signed up for the Victorian Walk. I must admit having lived here for 20+ years I know very little about the city's past (Ok, so I don't know about the city's present, heck I cant find my way around here!) The walk started at the Trinity church which I had never entered before, with an enthusiastic group of about 30 people from all over the world. I was one of the few (ignorant) locals present. Arun, the man behind the walks was the guide for the day taking us back in time and enlightening us on little known facts about this city. For eg. How many of you know the significance of the names of the roads - Infantry road, Cavalry road, Residency road. Or can identify the statue erected in front of the Mayo hall and know its significance? The metro construction played spoil sport not only making it difficult to walk but also obstructing some beautiful spots along the walk. He was generous in his praising Bangalore, I didn't mind it one bit and was beaming all through out. It ended with a surprise breakfast (and was I surprised!) on a positive note with him saying we are a 'forward looking' city. The metros, the IT boom are all a promise of a better future.

For me, this city other than being home means so much more for the same promise it holds now - A bright new future!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Books 2010

I kept track of all books I read this year. Not an impressive list but here it is. The ones in bold are the books I couldn't finish reading.
1. Roadrunner - Dilip D'Souza (Travellogue & Only non fiction that I read)
2. The Kalahari typing school for men - Alexander McCall Smith
3. Animal Farm - George Orwell
4. Dork - Sidin Vadukut
5. Lunatic in my head - Anjum Hasan (Must read)
6. Wizard of Oz - Frank L Baum
7. The Girl - Sonia Faleiro
8. Chasing Harry Winston - Lauren Weisberger (chick lit!)
9. Pride and prejudice and Zombies
10. Piggies on the railway - Smita Jain (chick lit!)
11. Neti, Neti - Anjum Hasan
12. Confessions of a listmaniac - Meenakshi reddy madhavan
13. Madam Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
14. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald (Must read)
15. Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
16. Sam's Story - Elmo Jayavardhane
17. Confederacy of dunces - John Kennedy Toole (Must read)
18. Carrie diaries - Candace Bushnell (chick lit!)
19. Diary of a wimpy Kid - Jeff Kinney
20. Love in a Torn land – Jean Sasson (still reading)

Update - forgot to add this one!
21. Turbulence - Samit Basu.

Wanted to write a one line review on all the books but that will have to wait. Am glad I discovered Anjum Hassan and Murakami, beautiful writers both.

Happy new year folks!