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!! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 14... What kind of a traveller are you?

I have been travelling and been wanting to travel only in the recent past, the bug has bit me... The urge to up and go is quite high, come weekend or holidays...  I had recently written about Travelling means to me ... 
Now, i wanna write about what kinda traveller i think i am....

The lighthouse in mahabalipuram

  • I enjoy going to places that arent too crowded
  • I look fwd to exploring a new town, that not many know of
  • I do read up a bit before the journey, but dont go overboard and grab whatever info i can 
  • With every trip, i have started travelling light, but no matter how much i throw out, it seems too much .. :D 
  • I come back from the trip, and cant stop sharing stories,interesting experiences with people i meet/know
  • And yes, when am not travelling, am constantly reading Travel blogs, or about exotic places...
  • I love travelling alone - can wander about lost in thoughts, or sit in a shack/cafe with a book and be content.... 
  • I have no qualms about eating/watching movies alone - yes, the 1st time it was awkward,but since then its cool... Cos, when am on a holiday, and if there are friends in that town, i cant really expect them to be free when i am.. :)
  • Am not a big shopper, i will buy a few things- souvenirs, local art, etc- for a select bunch of people 
  • Love trying out local cuisine/drinks..
The Pamban bridge... with the railway track on it... was quite a beauty

Today,while surfing across a few sites, i came upon a Travel quiz, and here is what it said for me... Interesting.. and so true!! eerie!! :)

Your Travel Personality Is: 
The Adventurer

For you, travel is how you learn about the world. And you like to learn the stuff that's not in guidebooks.

You truly have wanderlust. When you're not traveling, you're dreaming about where you'll go next.

And your travels are truly legendary - they leave you with stories you'll be telling for the rest of your life!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 13 - to the hills we go

I think this was the 1st time my Mom was going on a Holiday Holiday... When we were in Tirunelveli, dad used to have these office trips - uber fun... Been to so many places thanks to that opportunity!! 

In May, finally, after many pushes and shoves, mom gramma and uncle K [who was visiting from USA] decided to pack their bags and head off to the Hills , to spend a few days with another uncle-aunt.. This uncle built a home in Kodaikanal few years back, and has been asking gramma to come stay since then... Not one to take holidays, my gramma/mom never bothered until this year... I had just returned from Ooty, and would have accompanied them had it not been for work... My sis was busy with her last few days in Chennai, and cousin,well, he was just lost in his world... 

The troops were in Kodai after over a decade, and came back gushing about their trip... The days were filled walking along the lakethe kurinji andavar temple, visiting other family friends, enjoying the cool climate, experimenting with cooking, the warmth and fun of being away from home... granpa dint go- he has a bit of heart condition and so, no hill stations for him!!

We got some beautiful pashmina shawls, interesting cheese [ garlic, pepper and basil], a box of home made chocolates and oodles of scintilating gossip and tales.... Gramma couldnt stop talking about how wonderful 
the home was, or the garden, or the hospitality of aunt[s]/uncle, the maid... Apparently, one night all had gone out to dinner at Rasoi, subsequent to which most of them fell ill with a bad tummy!! Interesting adventures...Uncle came back refreshed, mom and gramma came back wowwed[hopefully they will take more holidays]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 12 Bells

The city that we all love
A city with a lot of power
beautiful buildings
tall towers

A place surrounded with history
Rooted deep with our country
Gates and gardens
scattered across we shall see

Who am i? 

If you are able to identify these 2pics [both are from the same place],
you'll know the name of the place/city.... :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 11 - The Race

As i sat today's post, i was suddenly reminded of the Tv Show- THE AMAZING RACE, on AXN!! I've been totally fascinated with the show, not for the 100,000$ prize money, but for the fact that the participants get to travel literally around the globe, and try out local art/culture/sport/activity. Am sure it requires a lot of talent, endurance, patience, understanding from them, but still would love to be a part of it.... just to see if i have it in me to do it... 

Travelling also took on a new meaning thanks to this show.. With every city visited, i started noting down pointers, places, things in my mind and today i have a cache that is large, and brimming with information.. About time i put it to some use, before it rots and rusts away!! 

Go to a park and ride the roller coaster, or try a local dish, fix a boat and then ride it to the next destination, find your way through a maze, herd sheep into their pen, shoot arrows into a small basket,  look for a diamond inside a pot of dead fish... the tasks are crazy, some seem next to impossible, but it is a challenge and seems fun.......... Some even require people to face their fears and see if they can overcome them.... For some,money is the motivation.. Infact, i've also seen an estranged couple get back together because of the show!!

Whenever i travel with friends,i keep telling them " Travelling together is the best way to know if you can live /put up/share life/ strengthen a bond with someone or not.. "

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 10 Camels and Cheats

Few years ago, when i made a visit to Delhi, we decided to up and do a mini trip with few other friends... one of the destinations we hit was Pushkar. One of the most popular destination in Rajasthan, its a town famous for its sacred lake, for its Brahma temple, and of course, the infamous Camel fair. Infact, we missed the Camel fair by a day, but oh well, we were on a tight schedule... We had been on the road for nearly 10hrs, and were tired as we reached this temple town.

Got out of the car, and what do we see- a camel cart behind our car and a snake charmer on the street across, the guy had painted the snake red [unfortunately, cant find the pic]... The street was crammed with people, locals all sitting about staring at passer-by...  We weaved through the narrow alleys making our way to the Brahma temple and the sacred lake. What is fascinating about this lake, is that there are mini ghats, or canopy kind of arches where people bathe and do pujas. 

Hindu Mythology says Pushkar was where the creator Brahma began the work of creation.  Locals claim that it happened on the banks of the sacred lake, which is one of the reasons that so many temples and bathing ghats have been built around it.  

As we were walking down the steps to catch a glimpse ofthe river, we were cornered by a man who looked like a priest. And next thing we know, the 4 of us are sitting on the steps, and reciting mantras... After about 10mins, the pujari asked us how much w were willing to contribute... That was it, we knew we were being taken for a ride, and managed to weasel out of this with a mini dent in our pockets.. 

They kept saying = either 500 or 1000 must be contributed and that is what will bring you prosperity... This had us gaping at each other, and the next minute we parted about 100 bucks and departed from there, totally shaken up and pissed off at what was happening.... 
[The hotel name was on a background exactly like this....]

Suddenly, we all felt hunger pangs ringing aloud in our tummies... On the pursuit of finding a place to eat, we saw a street sign that said "Brick on the wall" and like the fools we were, we went on a wild goose chase only to find a literal wall, where a hotel was being constructed!! So much for that, bah!!  we spotted a cafe on the top floor of a building nearby, and after crawling through 4 flights of stairs we found paradise. Run by foreigners, this cafe was quite nice- food was good, and the view was totally worth it.... 

Am hoping to make another trip to this part of the country and to Pushkar,spending more time exploring the sights...

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 9 - Fiery

Ah, its Friday again and time for Skywatch Friday

Shot during the window on my flight to Bombay last year on my N95 8Gb phone!! the sun was just about to shine bright.... beautiful sight.... :-)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 8- Up Up and Away

The joy of being up above the clouds
Watching the city down below disappear under fluffly masses
Feasting on the beautiful sun rising/setting
Wanting to reach out the window and grab some of the white cotton like cloud

I love the clouds and can spend hours staring at them, wondering how they glide across the sky so gracefully... At times, they form shapes, and other times are of different shades of grey, especially before rains

Though i prefer taking the train to my destination, there were times when i chose to fly [mostly to save time].. and staring out the window, i lose myself in the beauty... 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 7 - Hello there

It amazes me to no end watching people - i can do this for hours and not go bored.. NO, i am not stalking them or being creepy crawly... While sitting in the station waiting for the train, or at the airport to pick up my uncle or friend, there are times when we are early or the vehicle is late...

There are some who keep moving their feet, prancing about, while staring on either side , at times i wonder if they have to "go" :P

Few others keep fidgiting with their bags, maybe they have some bombs or people hidden inside that need some space..;-)

The elderly people who i've seen at the station are usually most calm, they come with a porter, stand right next to their bags, get the porter to wait so he is there when the train arrives.. They dont look around, dont talk loud or give wierd glares to others... 

The kids are the most fun... some will just sit like good kids on the bags, while others will keep tugging at their dad's shirt or mom's handbag/duptatta asking them to buy a chocolate or a drink... the little ones are adorable, they are full of life, so many questions and never ending curiosity to know more... But am amazed at the parents who patiently answer and help the child kill time... 

College kids and teen gals are always so hyper, giggling, talking amidst themselves, anxious and excited... sometimes they jump and other times they just seem to want to disappear.... 

In the airport, i've noticed people keep walking up and down, either to the Arrival or Departure notice board to see when the flight lands/departs... This they do every few seconds like its gonna make a big difference... 

The first timers will keep checking their bags, wallets, asking each other if they packed this and that... :-) 
I love watching kids sitting on suitcases which are loaded on trolleys and wheeled about... What fun it must be for them... :D 

The minute a person sees their friend/family/etc arriving, they start waving through the glass, all the way across the airport... sometimes the other waves back, and other times they just walk along, totally oblivious to the excitement waiting to receive them outside... 

Infact, the 1st time my cousin came visiting, me my sister and uncle had gone to the airport... After about 2hrs of waiting, we spotted the lanky 6foot brat walking down to the baggage conveyor... We texted him and my sister started franctically waving, hoping to catch his eye.. Did he? nope, kept walking around.... but a random guy waved towards us... "Ahem, do we know you ? or are you randomly waving ?" but what the heck.. my sister got all excited that someone waved back..... 

I get so touched when i see families sending off loved ones and shedding a tear... I am so used to travelling alone, going to airport/station/bus stand on my own and finding my way home that i miss the bye and hi i used to look forward to when i was small ...

The one thing that AMUSES me the most has to be people rushing to get into the train/flight/bus and get off it.. like as if the vehicle is going to disappear or vanish into thin air if they dont wait... The destination would be the LAST one, but still the rush you see happening inside is mind boggling.. "where's my bag, which exit do we go to.. is this the last stop....and best of all is -How long does it stop here?" [hullo, it aint going anywhere after this... maybe to the shed...!! i wanna say, but smile and politely reply]

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 6 - To travel is

To spend time with oneself...
To learn more about ME

To wander the land i've not set foot in
To explore more of places that i've visited before

To learn about the rich heritage
To take some history lessons
To gain insight to how others live
To shop for interesting trinkets and knick knacks

To go away from the hustle bustle of routine life
To leap and fly away...

To taste the local culture, and life
To live like a nomad

To try something new
To not plan and go with the flow

To bring back fond memories and keep adding to them
To share the wealth of information collected

To bond with friends and family
To create new connections

To savour the journey
To simply travel................................

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 5 Lean on me

"Heavy pillars, carved from the rock, bear the roof. Slowly, one's eyes become accustomed to the dim light; then they can make out marvelous representations from Indian mythology carved on the walls".....
These were thoughts that ran through my head as we walked along the Basadi Halli , a group of Jain temples famous for their pillars which are so highly polished that they resemble a mirror.Although this place consists of three Temples of Hoysala, around Halebid... 

Was talking to a dear friend today, we generally catch up once in 2 weeks, rehash our lives, boost each others' morale, lend a listening ear, blah blah and i realised She is truly my PILLAR .... I dedicate this post to N.... :-)

“Friends are the pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, sometimes they lean on you, and sometimes it's just enough to know that they are standing by.”

This post is my contribuytion to Wordless wednesday [well, they have it open through the week :)]

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 4 Celebrations and memory

As i wrote the post on Coimbatore 2days ago, i remembered another incident that flashes before me every now and then... It was my uncle R's wedding [gramma's brother, last one in the string of 4, and he was about 2yrs older than my mom].. He is one of those with whom you can have a conversation on any topic, and be comfortable enough to debate/discuss... Someone chilled out, who we were/are all very fond of... Sigh!!

We were living in Madurai am guessing and had gone to Coimbatore for the wedding few days ahead of time!! And one evening,we had gone to Richie Rich for ice cream [ again , dont ask how i remember, but it is one of those things that is registered deep in my mind].. As we were getting out i slipped on the steps, fell and sprained my legs to a point where i could not walk... Yep!! i couldn't walk at all .. Was home, and literally bed ridden for couple of days.... Recall all coming to the room i was in to give me food,help me with other stuff... 

Thankfully was alright by the time wedding date arrived and then over the years, this incident keeps popping in my head at the most random moments... 

Today, as i was heading home from the movie, i saw a man with a prosthetic arm and though of uncle R, when a lone tear trickled down my cheek.. He passed away couple of years back, sudden heart attack..totally unexpected ................Why did i think of him? well, he had a factory accident few months after marriage, and lost his right arm,shoulder down...But went about life without showing pain or expecting people to go the extra mile cos he was forced to use his left hand for everything!! Amazing person, spunky and lively.....!! Sigh............ life.............

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 3 - Burnt milk and life

It was time to pack our bags & belongings and move to a new town..Agreed, i was a baby and wasnt aware of the chaos that my parents went through during this transition, but what the heck, this is my blog, am gonna write the way i wanna cook it up!! :D

The place we called home for the next 4years was the beautiful city filled with Temples - Madurai ... The only home i remember was where we lived on the 1st floor and owners/rentals were on the ground floor..I know there were more than few families that moved in and out... the one family that left a mark was one with 2kids- a boy and a girl with whom i used to play, and also because i was totally fascinated with their fish cooking process.. there were these 2other girls from neighboring houses who used to come home, and i distinctly remember going to the terrace and  playing around with skipping rope.. and how one girl would simply lay the rope on the floor and hop across... :D 

Oh, did i mention i started school in this town? yep, TVS school [Am amazed, surprised and feel good to see there is a wiki pagefor the school] was where i learnt the alphabets and that there were more than one Aarti in this planet!! :D  .. There were 4 Aarti's in my class, don't ask me their initials or surnames, i was a little girl back then...

The highlight of school was the cup of milk and biscuits we got during lunch time... we would all have our lunch, and before nap time[we would roll out mats and knock off for a while on the floor in our classroom].. For some strange reason, these are instances that are registered in my brain very clearly, as if it happened yesterday. An aayya would bring a huge vessel with milk and serve us in small stainless steel tumblers, and i used to love that milk.. and a milk bikis [did we have them back then?] following that before zzz... We used to grate through the biscuit, almost like a game among us to see whose biscuit lasted longest. 

Even today, mom mocks me saying "she used to love that burnt milk in school, asking for 2nd helpings and at home wouldnt drink a glass of good milk"... :D 

I got a chance to revisit Madurai last month,and the sense of deja vu that hit me as i got out of the station was wow, cant be described in words! felt proud, felt like i was home...  The majestic Meenakshi amman temple welcomed us with open arms, giving us good darshan and heping me relive my childhood days.. 

So wish we cold have visited the famous Thirumalai nayakar palace, but no time- vaguely remember the Sound & light show i've seen there... 

Did drag friend and her cousin to the College House hotel, near the station to have a masala dosa and coffee.. Back when we lived in madurai, apparently we visited the hotel so often, that after a point the waiter knew what to bring the minute they saw my face - a plate of poori and one rasagolla...!!! 

Such fond memories!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 2 - Travel in style

When my parents got married, they lived in this then small town called Coimbatore for about 2-3yrs... i dont remember much about the place, or the house we lived in, but mom says it was a good bunch of years... Apparently, gramma's cousin's kids were studying nearby and would come visiting over weekends; an uncle lived in the same town ;another aunt was also around the corner[ she apparently helped mom fine tune her cooking as well].. All this was before i was born... so, well, what i know is from what they've told me...  

I was born and then they moved to Madurai, and then to Tirunelveli and back to Chennai eventually....

I visited Coimbatore [also known as Kovai] recently, about 2yrs ago, no Nostalgia but did have a few sweet memories from the family trip we had taken and the drive/visit to Dhyanalingam.... 

This time, i was there for my best friend's wedding...Jk and i have known each other since 3rd std, and top it off, i was the only girl friend at the wedding!!!  Was one hell of an experience, his parents took me around to introduce to their relatives, beaming that they had known me since i was small ... 

Fun started after the wedding was over.. I grabbed my bags from the room, had lunch and headed off to my [late uncle] aunt's house to say hello to her and the boys before taking the evening train back to Chennai... I had a ticket which was Waitlist1, and what i dint know back then was that if you are holding an e-ticket, that too one that was WL, it gets cancelled automatically and is null and void, unfit for travel.. I thought it would have been confirmed and happily hopped on the train, only to be reprimanded by the TTC that it was a void ticket... Not knowing what to do, i called my uncle, who in turn spoke to his friend,G working with the Railways!! The TTC literally stood up and spoke to G with respect and asked me to be seated.. After a few minutes, he came over to where i sat, asking me how i knew G.. Honestly, i dint know who G was, but couldnt let on that... The TTC promised me a ticket, but when i said am headed to Chennai, he shook his head saying "not possible ma, no seats to chennai available on this train" .. 

Damn.... only option was to get off in Erode, pick up an unreserved ticket and travel on the next train.. My uncle meanwhile spoke to an excolleague, who came received me in Erode station, took me home, fed me dinner and dropped me back in the station... Within this time span, G had pulled some strings, and thereon asked me to meet a particular TTC who'll help me with a berth!  Walked the length of erode Station, found the TTC in a coach all the way at the other end, he asked me to go sit in S10 or S11, dont remember!!

Sat in the TTC's seat for a while, with cops and others passing by staring like i had the Rabies... a cop even paused to ask where i was headed, etc and then would smile everyt ime he walked by... The TTC was grumpy as he sat for dinner,, barking at me while he asked about "how i knew G" and after about 2hrs called me aside, instructed me to go to A2, which is a good 10coaches away... Made my way to A2, where i met another TTC, who said  "i have an upper berth here , its all yours"... I travelled in 1st class AC for the rest of the journey... Finally landed in Chennai and live to tell the tale of my train adventure!!  when i narrated this to my newly married friend, all that schmuck told me was " woman, you should have called me, am now married to a gal who's dad is a Cop in Coimbatore..". haha... 

What is even more amazing is that about 7months back i was travelling to Blore- i saw the TTC approaching and he was none other than the TTC who gave me the A2 berth!!  He remembered me and  asked if i remembered him..!!

Looking fwd to making another trip to this land, and explore some places around!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 1 - The Skies Speaketh

The little spot of fire through the flurry of smoky clouds...

Almost like a glowing ember hidden amidst the skies

Swish swish, the magic wand waves

Starting NaBloPoMo today on this blog and hoping to keep going as i did on Life Goes on .. 
Also submitting today's post for Skywatch Friday