Effloresce23

Chronicling my thoughts, one post at a time..


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Countdown

In exactly one month I will be celebrating a milestone birthday, the big Three-Oh, and unsurprisingly I am completely freaked out! I felt exactly this way when I was turning 20 (and now I think, awww how cute, that I was actually worried about turning 20!), when I realized I’ll never be a teen ever again, and THAT was a decade ago. Where does the time go?

Milestone birthdays always give me a bittersweet feeling, it makes me feel like time is passing me by so quickly, even though it happens one day at a time, and I always countdown big events, it still manages to catch me by surprise and I can’t help but wonder how I got here.

Anyway, after the surprise (shock) has subsided, I generally tend to feel a little sad that perhaps some of the most fun moments are behind me, but I hope to heaven that I’m wrong and whats coming is way better than what I’ve left behind. After all life is about moving forward, even if we do sometimes look back just to reminisce for a little while.

Nonetheless, my 20s have been (and still is for another month) a very memorable decade, so many firsts, so many memories made, so many epiphanies, its been wonderful so far, and as I sit here making plans for the coming month, I can’t help but think of some of my favorite moments of the last decade.

In my 20s, I –

  1. learnt how to drive;
  2. got my first tattoo;
  3. met my Best friend/sister in law school – I don’t know what I’d do without her;
  4. graduated from Law School;
  5. got my first job;
  6. had my BIG heartbreak, and survived it;
  7. re-connected with my other best friend, after almost 10 years (or more) of having lost touch – and boy am I blessed to have met him again;
  8. reconnected with many many old friends;
  9. drove in my first TSD car rally and won;
  10. battled with numerous insecurities and overcame most of them;
  11. did my first bungee jump;
  12. drove a tractor;
  13. started this blog – my own little corner of the internet, which gives me so much joy;
  14. tried my hand at teaching – a lifelong dream;
  15. finally learnt to swim;
  16. solo-traveled for the first time, don’t get what the fuss is all about, I enjoy travelling with loved ones more;
  17. learnt some pretty major “life-lessons”;
  18. started to actually enjoy good White Wines – and even have a favorite one;
  19. started painting more, and I realized I love it – maybe this will turn into something more substantial someday, only time will tell;
  20. learnt to crochet – and now making a scarf for myself;
  21. dealt with chronic back pain, and realized the biggest thing needed for recovery is TLC;
  22. learnt that I can perform miracles when I am kinder to myself, and forgave myself for all the times I wasn’t; and
  23. finally fell in love with myself – and started my life long romance..

I’m sure there are many more of my favorite highlights of the last decade and numerous “full-circle” moments, but for now this is a pretty good list!

I am looking forward to the next month to cherish these last few days of being a 20-something, I obviously intend to make the most of it.

Life sure is full of surprises, ten years ago I would’ve never believed this would be my life, and despite all the challenging moments, I would never change anything. I get to wake up as me, and that is pretty spectacular.

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Until next time, embrace your life. This day will never happen again, make the most of it.

Love more.

xo


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Dés Vu – Long weekends

October has been a month of travels and making memories that my heart will cherish forever, with one more to go before the month ends.

The month started off  with the first long weekend road trip to Bandipur, a tiger reserve which is about 250 kilometers away from the City. This entire weekend was about memorizing the details like – driving in the jungle, the the person, the conversations, the mountains, the trees, the sounds, the smells, and the all the feelings that came with it, because as it was happening, I knew that this would be a memory that I will revisit when my heart needs some solace from the world.

But this post is not about that weekend. Simply because I’m afraid if I write about it, I might not remember the details with as sharp a clarity as I do now, and somethings are meant only for our souls. But here are two of my favorite photos from that weekend.

Now back to the weekend that this post is actually about- the super long weekend road trip which started off with the promise of elephants and the golden temple, and yes I got to see both, so my heart is still reveling in the memories of this trip.

Coorg or Kodagu, as it is more colloquially known is about 270 kilometers from Bangalore.It took us about six and a half hours to drive up, with an hour and a half long breakfast stop.

The place is utterly beautiful, and has all the elements of a small town, enough to give city girls like me all the feels.

On day One – After reaching the hotel and having lunch, I went to the spa, got a wonderful massage and spent the whole evening (extending up to the wee hours of the morning) playing cards with my people.

On day Two – I went to the Golden Temple at the Tibetan settlement of Bylakuppe, it is also called Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery, which is about 15 kilometers from Kushalnagara. The Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery is the largest teaching center of the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism in the world.

The temple is beautiful and peaceful, despite the big crowd. If you can, plan your trip during an off season month, so you can actually sit and enjoy the present moment at the temple, and spend the afternoon listening to the monks chant their prayers accompanied by the rhythmic beating of the drums. I can almost hear it now.

The place itself is beautiful, colorful paintings on every wall, and beautiful gold details everywhere you see, its all too much and deserves a longer visit to soak up all the little details, after all, love is in the details. And the folks that built this temple know it.

One thing I would definitely recommend is to plan to spend a whole day here, you can see the monks do their chores with so much sincerity, which is a living embodiment of simple tasks done well.

On day three – I went to Dubare Elephant Camp, one of my most awaited places of which I’ve been dreaming, for close to a year. When I finally got there, it was a mixed bag, as is with anything that has been long anticipated.

Mixed feeling number 1 came in the form of less elephants on the campsite owing to the Dasara celebrations and parade at the neighboring town of Mysore. There were about ten elephants in all, including a baby. The baby playing with no care in the world was a joy to watch.

Mixed feeling number 2 came in the form of long lines. We had to wait for an hour to get on the boat that took us to the campsite, and another hour to get on the boat again to come back to shore. The waiting didn’t bother me as much as the number of people around. There were people EVERYWHERE.

It was our own doing I suppose, having planned the trip during one of the biggest festivals in India (Durga Puja & Dasara).

Now back to the elephants – heavens know that I love elephants, I love them for their kindness, their humanity, their majesty, their sheer existence. I would have loved this place more if the elephants weren’t chained. It broke my heart too much to see these gentle beasts chained up and shackled, and dragged around for our amusement.

But it did make me happy to be in such close proximity of them, enough to hug, feed and pet them, but my mind registered their chains as well. It was a bittersweet moment.

My biggest recommendation for anyone planning a trip to Dubare is to plan it on a weekday during an off-season. Get there early, so you can even play with the elephants as they bathe, and basically chill with them for half the day. The camp is open from 7 am to 12:30 noon. And reopens only between 4 pm and 5 pm. I personally would recommend mornings to visit this place.

On day three (evening) – we drove uphill to Madikeri, and wandered around the town aimlessly, before heading back to our hotel for a late dinner.

On day four – Which was my dad’s birthday, we had cake and breakfast and drove back to the City.

And just like that the trip had concluded, we were back at home, back to checking work emails, back to real life.

But here is something I noticed on both the weekends – during the time spent with all the people I was with, I noticed as they were happening that these would be moments that I will keep going back to. The memories that are now part of my happy place.

Life is short, our time here is so limited, and often we forget that and get busy in our routines. As I am writing this post, I can’t help but smile with gratitude for all that has happened so far.

To the people that were part of my weekends, we will always have those moments, and you will always have a piece of me that no one else will. For you, and our time, I will forever be grateful.

Until next time, love.

xo


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90s Nostaligia

Being a true blue 90s child, I wanted to be Posh Spice and Barbie girl, but for the longest time, my most favorite song has been by the gorgeous Shania Twain… I still remember the day when we kept pausing the cassette player after each line trying to learn the lyrics to all her songs, especially this one..

Feeling nostalgic and sassy!!! Enjoy!

Until my next post..

xo


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Bombay Diaries: 5 things that make me Smile!

After a wonderful long weekend spent at Bombay (I can never call it Mumbai, I don’t know why?), I can’t stop smiling and thinking about all the fun I’ve had there. A more detailed post will definitely follow with a lot of photographs and details about what all one can do in that busy busy city will be up shortly. But before I get to that, here are 5 things about Bombay that make me smile endlessly:

# 5- The Sea, the sound and sight of the foamy waves, the salty air, the breeze as we walked by marine plaza. I could have sat there forever just looking at the water. It still makes me smile.. 😀
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# 4- The Chariot Ride at midnight, we went on a ride on chariots (called Victoria) with twinkling lights and colorful flowers, giggling like little kids and waving at everyone on the street. The fact that we were “out of town-ers” was obvious to everyone, I’m sure. And we didn’t care one bit! It was super fun and every time I Think about it, it still makes me smile! 😀

# 3- Kitab Khana, a quaint book shop with a tiny cafe that sells yummy food. I had a Dabeli and a coffee and walked around the book shop and it felt just like heaven. If I ever make it back to Bombay, Kitab Khana is one of the places I’m definitely going to revisit. Just the memory of that building, those books and all the food makes me smile. 😀

# 2- The beautiful buildings, I lost track of how many beautiful buildings I saw in Bombay, be it while walking around in Kala Ghoda or Flora fountain, Horniman Circle or Ballard Estate (I can’t recollect many of the names of the places), the vintage look of the city and the beautiful sights that left me starry eyed, it still makes me smile… 😀
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And finally the # 1 fact about Bombay that I love and gush about….

*Drum Roll*

# 1- Bombay, the city where the boy who has my heart was born!! And that was something that made me smile long before my trip. And its not the kind that just touches my face for all to see, its the kind that makes my heart swell with joy.. ❤ 😀

So finally, after my first trip of 2015, with photos, memories and stories to tell, I just have to say, Bombay, its been a pleasure. I see why so many people fall in love with the city. And I will definitely come back soon!

Here’s wishing you, my dear reader, a year filled with smiles, laughter and merry memories… See you next time..

Until then,

xo