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About me

Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie..

Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... Love reading books- sometimes i read 3books simultaneously, crazy about music- need it all around me, all the time and ofcourse, i totally am ga ga goo goo over my 7yr old naughty brat- Floppy!! errr, Prince Floppy!! :)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Sharing travel stories...


Travelling is super fun, I love it. And even though I haven't  travelled as much as I would like to, am still glad I am doing what I can. I do manage to get away once every few weeks/months and go somewhere new. It has become a habit of sorts, I don't go back to the same place more than once unless the company requests, or if there is a new festival or event happening that I am keen on experiencing. 

I come back and am constantly sharing stories and my experiences with friends and family. Some are just plain curious, while others are the  "Oh I don't think am gonna go, but shall live through your experiences vicariously" and then there are others who wanna hear so they can compare stories ...  it is always exciting and fun, cos I get to relive my experiences all over again. 

About a month or so back, I got an email from The Soul Window and they wanted to know if I would be interested in talking at one of their events.  The Soul window is a travel start up, they are into providing experiences, and building communities through dialogues... quite an interesting duo... 

I was zapped, touched and overwhelmed when I saw the invite email. I wrote back asking them what the event was about, and what they were looking for from me. After a few exchanges, we decided to meet to see how we can take this forward. I met the two ladies from The Soul window, we spent about 4hours yapping about everything from the event to general travel and personal experiences and stories. Time flew by, conversations so interesting and fun, that at the end of the meet it felt like we had known each other awhile!

It was decided that they would roll out a Save the date, get people to register and we would have the event 2 weeks from that day. I put together a small note for them to use, and  we kinda chalked out a map for the talk…  The audience would be max of 10 people :-) 

The D-day arrived, it was a warm Saturday evening and I made my way to M’s house where the event was happening. I did not have butterflies in my stomach, but did wonder who would be coming and how it would be. A friend of mine also joined in, which was nice! Soon it was time to begin, and the next few hours just whizzed by.

After a round of introductions, I opened with 2 interesting incidents from my travels, and then spoke about how travelling happened, and has evolved over the years. There was plenty of interaction, comments, insights, and fun elements thrown in from the others who had come… We had coffee, some cookies and soon the evening drew to an end. The ladies gave me a personal Thank You note along with a book- Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


From the event -



Videos [recorded by friend]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ki6Ot8ofQFA&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZkptr8UP4o&feature=youtu.be

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Day out with Nature in Sikkim.... Part II


After spending a few hours near the river and grabbing lunch at Tenzing's farm, we were off to a beach of sorts. Along the way, we drove near a raging waterfall, that seemed to put even the Niagara falls to shame... The bends and curves on the raw roads had us holding on to our seats, and finally we reached a point where there was no road ahead... It was all water..

On the right was a mountain range and ahead was what the locals call "The beach". Came to know that there was a enormous landslide in 2016 which led to the formation of the beach. The Mantam landslide in 2016 has created an artificial lake in the river Rongyoung by almost blocking the river. A massive silt-sand bar has been formed which the local people call the ‘beach’ is what Tenzing told us when I probed. There was a also a bridge that helped people get to the other side which was washed away and now in its place sits a make shift metal bridge. So, people looking to go to the village beyond the river, come by car, get off where we had parked, on this side of Dzongu, walk through waist deep water, with coolies [ local boys who carry their luggage] , get into another car waiting on the other side in the sand and make their way beyond... 

Tenzing told us this is the beach, and we would be doing some fly fishing here. I was tad sceptical, considering the water was flowing albeit in a peaceful pace. But then, throwing caution to wind, decided to join the others, with the bamboo fishing pole acting as my third leg. The water was till my mid thighs [ am 6ft tall], so for Tenzing who is under 5ft, it was nearly chest high. The sand was white, with pebbles strewn all across [ from what must have been once been the river bed]. It was fun walking on the sand, enjoying the flowing river on one side and nothing but emptiness on the other side. We paused for a while along the water, when a cute pup came over to say hello.

Btw, on the other side of the river is the remaining part of the beach, and one can access it via the makeshift wooden bridge, and doing a bit of trek along the water.. I passed up on the opportunity and chilled by myself for a while near the water. Soon after, one of the girls came back and suggested we head back to the van, which is when we noticed the water levels had gone up quite a bit. It was now till my waist... We did see lorries/heavy duty trucks drive through the water to the road, dripping oil into the water, making it dirty... 

After an hour or so, the others returned and we made our way back to the property [with thoughts of the steps lingering in my mind all through the journey, but this time it was lot easier than the 1st two..yayy] Phew, what a fun day it had been~!! Talk about pushing boundaries and doing things I would never have gotten to do... 












And onto another story.... stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Day out with Nature in Sikkim.... Part I



A day out at River Rungkyung and beyond...












It had been about 4 days in Sikkim, and we were just done exploring Yumthang Valley and Zero Point.. From there, we were headed to another destination where we would be spending not one but two days, yes, probably the 1st time we were spending more than a day at a location/property. We were driving towards Dzongu, which was supposed to be quite untouched and inside a forest area. It was around 6 by the time we got there, and there was nothing but darkness surrounding us. On either side was thick forests, with a few mountains along with bumpy non existent roads. 

After about an hour inside the Dzongu region, we finally came to a halt. I saw on the right side a flight of stairs that went into the dark, beyond which lay the property we were staying at. Armed with our rucksacks and backpacks we made our way up the flight of steps. This was probably the one time when I had a bit of difficulty but the guys in my group, our driver and one of the guys from the property stuck with me, gave me immense support to reach the top. Infact, they were my pillars the next two days. 

This property belonged to Tenzing and his wife, the rooms we stayed was perched on top of stilts, almost like a tree house, looking over endless forest around. It was cool, green and felt like we were high up in the hills. The 2nd day, our host announced he had a full day planned for us. He was going to take us fishing to the river, cook us a meal right there, and then serve us lunch at his farm, before taking us beyond to see all that the region had to offer. 

We were fascinated, curious and well, I was tad anxious [ the thought of dealing with the steps, not once but twice was daunting].. Next morning, after breakfast, dressed in casual shirt and 3/4th with nothing but my wallet and camera, I joined the others down the stairs. The River Rungkyung was a few kms away, and a short walk from the main road [near the bridge], down some rugged path.  

Was I glad I made the trip.. The river was beautiful, crystal clear water flowed down the boulders, surrounded by hills and greenery. The water was cold, and I managed to walk to the middle where others were standing.. Soon after our host came armed with couple of beers and some meat, which he proceeded to cook in a makeshift barbeque of sorts right there on the banks of the river.  Being vegetarian, two of us stood by as the guys dug into the meat.. The beer was good~! 

We spent have been by the river for a good 5-6hours when Tenzing announced it was time to head to his farm for lunch. What he dint mention was that involved quite a bit of trek downhill, on steps paved out of the mountain.. lolz.. With the help of the guys, and a long bamboo stick, I made it alive to his little house near the farm. The property had been carved out of the mountain, and one room had a natural bathtub in it. 

Soon hot cases arrived, then came plates and cutlery and voila, our lunch was served. Many of the dishes were made using greens that had been foraged from the area around the property. From the property a few yards down slippery slope was the river, we could hear it raging away.. We happily lounged for a while, before we were told it was time to leave and explore more of the region and maybe do some fishing as well. 

Phew, we did so much that day, I am still reeling from it. stay tuned, shall share more in the next post... 

Friday, July 6, 2018

The blue blue skies in Leh



A few days back a friend pinged and asked how my Leh trip was, how much did it cost, how many days, etc etc.... She went on to ask if there was good wi-fi signal there, and that made me chuckle. Cos once you are up in the hills, mobile connectivity is dicey, leave alone wifi. Told her the same and she gasped, asking how we survived there for ten days with no connectivity...  

I told her the blue skies and long stretches of roads, the local people, food, activities kept us busy and we were all happy to be lost in the hills. Well, here are some of the blue blue skies that came along with us during the Leh trip... 

And then there is the other group of people who ask me "Why did you go to Leh, Ladakh?", "What is there to do there?" 

To them I say "If you are looking for botanical gardens or zoo or maybe a whole bunch of churches, temples or beaches like Goa, then dont go to Leh.. Leh is all about the hills, what you see beyond the horizon, the endless stretches of roads, the monestaries, the few palaces and the millions of other sights that will leave you breathless.. It is not a destination you go expecting a zillion fun activities, but then it is fun if you like being in the middle of nowhere, walking aimlessly following the snow capped mountains, or sitting by the river/lake freezing your butt off and clicking pictures... " 

For me it is the sheer joy of being away, away from the city, away from the craziness of daily routine, an opportunity to experience a new town, meet new people, try their local food, enjoy their culture and to just unwind ..

What is your kind of holiday? Have you been to the Hills? What did you think of them?