Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My letter to PJ

Dearest PJ,

Its an evening filled with fun, laughter, singing, dancing, friends and family... all the things you love...
I look around and i catch a glimpse of you... watching us...
I see you smile and raise a toast....
Can anyone else see you?

You tell me to hold back those tears one more time... you are here... with me and with all of us....
So clearly... like the last time we spoke....

We sing songs you used to sing, and I can hear you sing too....
Can anyone else hear you?

Did I forget to tell you how much I have missed you? How lucky I was to have a father figure, a friend, a confidant in one person? Did i forget to tell you i miss our long conversations? The taste of the food you make, because no one else can ever cook like that! Did i forget to tell you that when you scolded me, I learnt some valuable lessons in life.

That the last time we spoke, I wish we had spoken longer..... Did i ever tell you that?

I have not had words in all these months to express my loss.... But today I see you here... with all of us, I know my family is complete and will always be.
I can tell you all of this today, I tell you that I have missed you.... I have missed talking to you....

And you just smile and answer, that you have always been here, I just never looked.

A teardrop still rolls down my cheek... as we exchange a goodbye... only to meet again, very soon.

I know you are here.... in a place not very far away....


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The second concpet - Memories

The whole idea came from A and me discussing how we have smelt our husband's/Boyfriends tee shirt and the Cologne smell has reminded us of them when they are not around ...
That's when we went to list down a million things smells remind us off ... home, food, childhood, vacations ...
Everyone we spoke to had an amazing insight to give ... I thought i was the only smell obsessed person.. but smells do really invoke memories...

That's when we came up with Re: .... read on ... (I'm seriously thinking of copy writing now... or these guys better pay me more money ! ) ... pls. note. the first three lines have been inspired by a poem .. memory lane... the rest is original :)

Tickles and hugs
Of gentle moments in the sun
These things that memory brings when sitting alone….

As I walk down the memory lane
Reviving those moments that we left behind
A whiff of your perfume
Makes me snuggle inside….

Outside the rain falls again
As I look out into an ocean of reflections
The smell of the whispering breeze takes me into a realm
I left far far behind …

The sweet aroma of lilies
Like a walk in the clouds
Takes me to a place distant …
A home

Breathe life into you
Relive moments
Re-discover yourself.

Introducing Re: blah blah blah ....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Om Nahmah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya : I honor the divinity that resides within me.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The 'Ten things i do before I die' list

Inspired by the movie, an attempt to make my list - (in order of what first comes into my mind)

1. Visit Greece .. stay there for sometime (hope this is counted as one!)
2. Sky Dive
3. Learn to dance (I am the self confessed worst dancer ever, someday I shall learn!)
4. Relive a day at Symbiosis college once again :)
5. Be home with Mom, dad and Anubhav and do NOTHING for a day
6. Taste every possible cuisine I can
7. Get a tattoo (hopefully this should be happening very soon)
8. Play the violin
9. Experience motherhood

I have been thinking for ten minutes and nothing substantial has come into my mind .... so I guess my list ends at 9 things to do... at least for now....
The list will change very soon I'm sure. Maybe I should keep it as 'things to do before I'm 30' list .....

2am concept development!!!

It is two in the morning, just came back after watching Dasvadaniya. Vinay Pathak is outstanding. The movie reminded me of ‘The bucket list’, it’s a bit slow… The message is strong, so worth a watch.. I love the song “mumma”.

I came back thinking I should make my ‘ten things to do before I die’ list.

The list hasn’t been worked out till now, but finally a concept for a new product has.. :)
So we have been working on this since a year, Abhilasha and me, struggling to keep it alive and kicking… the little new product we want to christen!!

Today we were stuck on concepts. We have presented a good one, but like a typical client… HE WANTS MORE!!!!! So yeah dude… take MORE!!!

Anyways, the mind block/writers block or whatever you might call it had come big time when suddenly enlightenment dawned … Thanks to Rohit … yet again!!!!
He will always save my ass where writing is concerned!!!

Rohit used to sing the song – She’s always a woman to me (Billy Joel) for me :)
And there it was, right in front of me … my concept ….
The song will be made into a sweet, teary AV… and the concept will be something like this …..

The idea is that there are no ugly women, only lazy ones!! Every woman is beautiful…

She is mystery
She is mischief
She can flutter, and she can fly

She can be many people at one time
She can run and she might hide
She can be what she wants
Just swaying in her stride

Unveil her splendor

Unwrap those layers
Unleash her passions

She is beauty
She is a story untold

She is a woman
She is you.

Love yourself again, Be you, Be a woman.

And .. blah blah blah .. product window... :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The boy who ate alone...

I sat around cribbing about the mundane things that were going around
The job that didn’t seem quite right
The dress that didn’t fit
The boy who didn’t love me
The shoe that broke
The friends who weren’t there
The list went on and on….

And then, in a brief moment of enlightenment
I saw a man, The photocopy man as I know him
His back towards me, and the world I knew
Slowly eating his measly lunch from a small Tiffin box

I made my own copies
While I continued to stare at him
His loneliness piercing my eyes
His simplicity overwhelming me

In a brief moment of enlightenment
Gratitude filling in my skin.. rushing deep into my veins
I thanked and thanked
For what, I don’t know
Life, problems, people, love….
I just thanked.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The end of innocence

There are certain people who come into your life to teach you certain lessons. Sometimes they make you understand yourself; sometimes they pick you up and transcend you into another universe.
Eventually they just vanish.
It takes an art to recognize these people. They are teachers of a higher kind; they can show you faces of your personality you didn’t even know existed.
They are not always nice to you and most often they will leave you wondering what hit you…where did that wind blew from and took everything away, stripped your emotions naked, exposed and open.

When you recognize, understand, comprehend, experience and let go of these people is when you eventually lose and end your innocence.

Moving out of home was when this process started for me, meeting people from all around, consciously exploring as much as I could. Trying to decipher people with their distinct personalities and growing, evolving along the way.
I lived with ideals and certain set of rules… presuming I could control destiny and fate.
But life has many lessons to offer.

People who live with a set of rules have the hardest time ending their innocence.

It took me ten years to do something I don’t believe in, would have never thought I would do, to break my rules, to end my innocence.

It took me ten years to recognize that my teachers can come in any form, teach me hard lessons and vanish as fast as they came into my life.

I will reason and question the sudden popping up of these people in my life but I will be helpless to destiny and fate. So helpless that I will have to bend, twist and turn, at times turn a blind eye to protect myself.

It took me ten years to close this circle, tie a knot and throw it away in a corner of my life.

The process is complete, the cycle has ended.

I have ended my innocence……embarked upon a new ship, a new journey on an endless ocean till I find another port, another island, another time to rest.

A couple of days for – eating, praying and loving. : PUNE and BOMBAY

Our diet for the three days in Pune.. :)

@ east street cafe in the bus...

I never write about my trips to Bombay for merely two reasons: 1) I go there way to often 2) they are always weekend trips, filled with the usual Chinese restaurants, out of the blue type coffee shops and the evening spent at Hawaiian shack.

This trip however is worth mentioning…..

Last week, with a generous six day paid holiday from office I took off to Bombay and Pune.
Bombay was great, busy and stressed - All the things we love and hate about it.
The girls bonded, ate, laughed, drank and shopped (shamelessly)
Two highlights in Bombay were eating awesome chicken and duck lasagna at DelItalia at Juhu. The place has an amazing location right opposite the Juhu beach with an enclosed patio where you can enjoy your dinner while watching the world go by.
The second highlight was Olive, supposed to be a hi-end restaurant and lounge but for some reason was packed with jerks the one night J, M and I went there. We had guys spilling drinks, eavesdropping on our conversation, a very dumb Yuvraj singh looking at the menu for 15 odd minutes. The evening was eventfully entertaining!

The next day we left for Pune ….

Pune has changed and how!!! I was shocked, from the city I remember to the city it has become is commendable. The roads are wide, traffic is sorted and there is food.. good food… very good food. :)

Restaurants like The ship (serves excellent Moroccan cuisine), Gaya (for the beauty of the place) and Stone water grill (for the ambiance and the chicken pate) and east street café (its just the cutest place ever) are world class and can give any place in Bombay and Delhi a run for their money.
Of course Vaishali still exists :) and we hogged on uttapas and idlis for breakfast one day…..

Jahnvis house in Pune is one of the few places in the world that give me peace, security and relaxation at the same time. I guess I have seen myself grow up in that place for the five years I was in this city,
The house was bare though… we slept on the floor. Can’t thank Rohan enough for his kindness and the supply of mattress, pillows, chocolates, odomos and an IPOD doc!

Three days in Pune did to us what a million trips anywhere haven’t done. The closest that comes to this trip is Kihim where J, M and I took off on a whim, had a blast and came back HAPPY.

I guess that’s what they call getting back to your roots. We would sit in the garden, enjoying the evening chill… not talking, not thinking… just being.
You can just BE only with people who knew you before you knew yourself…
To be with people like that is the luckiest one can get…. And well, we were lucky.

I let go in every possible way, ate, prayed and loved.
Soothed my soul, relived my memories, and revived something that was dead in me….

Monday, October 20, 2008

The expansion of my life....

" The expansion of one person, the magnification of one life is indeed an act of worth in this world, even if that life... just this one time happens to be nobody's but my own" - Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love.

I started reading this book a month back, have finished only one fourth of it, but I am inspired.
A lot of Ms. Gilbert reminds me of me. Maybe its her thirst for answers, her indecisiveness, her longing, her spirit for survival...
Her ability to finally understand that life comes around only once (no guarantees on that, but why take a chance? :) )

An expansion of my life would mean so much ... for once, to do myself a favour... live for myself... accept selfishness as a virtue (I have always believed we all live for what makes us happy, so we all are selfish, we just don't ..well.... accept it.) .. take a few more risks... eat without guilt...
pray when i want to ... and when i don't want to.... love without boundaries, without conditions...
listen to my heart a little more... listen to my head a little less.... experience more and more....
take off on a whim... pamper my self without guilt....

For once... live for no one but myself.....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Falling out of love

How do u fall out of love?
How do you stop loving someone....

You didn't fall in love with conditions, terms and rules
You didn't fall in love to fall out of it...

How do you forget?
How do you go back to when there was nothing?

You didn't fall in love to fall out of it....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Found this while browsing .... very interesting very true... very 20 something, single, mumbai chic

To Delhi......

On my way from Amritsar to Delhi in the train… a cup of hot tea in my hands and I am looking outside the wide train window at endless fields stretching to eternity…
The sun is rising as I look at it through the smoke…
It’s a blur…
Like every change, like everything new, like every new beginning…

Wagah border

Carnival time at the Wagah Border, the crowd dances on rang de basanti while BSF jawans look on ....

Bringing down the flag....

Amritsar almost borders with Pakistan and a 30 minute drive takes you to the Wagah Border.
We decided to go for the border closing ceremony that takes place everyday in the evening… Not expecting too much of a ho-hum, we took a cab through lush green fields .. so Punjab … the whole air speaks of that … !
Just before the border gate somewhere around Atari station there is a milestone that says – Lahore 23.
So I ask the driver … why cant we just keep driving … straight to a road that leads to where I come from?
He just laughs at my absurd question….
But that milestone haunts me …

The ceremony is nothing less than a carnival … 2000 people … blaring music… screaming crowds and dancing children!
Who dances on the border… ? well we do ….

Indians… with the undying sprit to make the most of nothing… with the spirit to celebrate for no reason… to let go in front of strangers… if we can pee on the road .. we can certainly break into a jig at our country’s border!

I get goose bumps when we scream in unison – Vande Mataram….

100 meters from where I sit, I can see roofs and small houses… In Pakistan … The people sitting on the other side of the gate look the same, are wearing the same clothes…
They talk the same language …..

61 years ago, there was no gate… there weren’t lines and borders…
I don’t mean to sound idealistic… but I really wonder …. Because I am confused ….
With the feeling of love for my country there is also a feeling of compassion for people who are sitting across and are connected to me… to my roots…

I wonder why we fight..why we draw lines and why we never let go…..
Why links that are broken once cannot be joined again….

As the Indian and Pakistani flags are bought down as the sun sets, I am aware that there is a sun rising in another part of the world…. There is enlightenment happening somewhere else….

Can I capture a bit of that …. Can WE capture a bit of that?

Monday, October 6, 2008


The Golden Temple is surreal… It is peace encompassed in one complex. Which is weird because I don’t like crowded places of worship, the reason I don’t like visiting temples because I cant pray in peace.
This place has a certain aura about it which commands peace.
It is exactly like my dream… so I’m sure of a past life connection and the events that have bought me here…. Suddenly it is all very clear and linked.

I see the temple in the morning and then at night… at both times there is a certain calmness that engulfs me…

I am glad I came here, I am glad for everything ….

Sunday, September 21, 2008


@ the Albert hall museum

They say when you are happy, time passes really slow... you enjoy each moment...
The vacation started exactly like that....
a train journey, after a long long time, with a group of people and lots of food !! I had forgotten how much fun it was to be in a train eat aaloo bhaji and puris in paper plates... offering the fellow passengers and for the next half an hour we were a one big happy family !!!!
More so because the train we were travelling in (Garib rath !!!!!!) is a budget ac train .. I am amazed and proud of Mr. Laloo Prasad .. he has liberated the Indian common man!!!!!
So we reached Jaipur and started the morning with a glass of chilled beer with breakfast ... now life cant get better than that ... when you're with friends.. happy... sharing a beer and good food. Its perfect.
We went sightseeing during the day .. Albert hall museum and the City palace... shopping at Johari bazar which is a treat for silver lovers... an auto ride later we were exhausted and stayed in just drank through the evening.... :)
hmmmm.... i am soaking in every second ....
somethings are perfect.. you don't know how to make them better ...
There are very few places in the world where you can be yourself.... there are very few times in life when you can be honest .... this is one of them ...

Another palace (Amer) and 5 alloo parathas for lunch later we are now getting ready for dinner ... to Nargarh fort and Choker Dani ... some authentic Rajasthani cuisine...
Tomorrow we head to Delhi ... and later in the evening to Amritsar ...

Friday, September 19, 2008

vacation time

So my much awaited vacation time is here... After much speculation of where to go and where not to go ... I am off to jaipur, delhi and amritsar.
I am excited and queasy at the same time... After the way the past few months have been, there is a feeling of guilt while having fun... there is also the perpetual reminder of what i am leaving behind. Perhaps forever. I don't know if i am ready to let go yet... and I know this trip will make me do just that....
so with mixed emotions I embark ....
Hope to blog through the week ...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bless us God

There are times when you feel helpless... truly helpless and truly sad.
that's when you realise that all the emotions you felt and perceived as sadness were nothing but disappointment.
True sadness comes with helplessness where you are bound by time, place, distance... where you have no right words, no right things to do and say.
The sadness for someone else.....
That's when you turn to God, to The Power or whatever one may call it and Pray.
In this time of trouble all I can do is pray... I am so helpless that all I can do is pray.

Bless us God, Bless us all.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

5 sure shot ways to lose a girl (friend)

1. Start as friends, move to the next level and then chicken out
2. Tell her it was a MISTAKE. (after you have sort of dated for a while)
3. Treat her as a buddy one moment and as a girlfriend the other
4. Think saying sorry on SMS and EMAIL is OK … (cz you’re actually just friends)
5. Keep the developments under wraps (between the two of you!!!!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


What an amazing start to the day, I get into work, switch on my computer and there it is … a long email from a friend … it was more of a letter…
Im not used to getting emails like that.. I get facebook alerts, Google alerts and newsletters by the hour … but like emails where people talk about their lives … haven’t got those in a while…

This got me thinking that less than 10 years ago I could never imagine this would happen. I used tow rite a letter to my family everyday and at least a letter to a friend once in two days … I used to receive letters everyday too…

The maximum I do now is occasional chats … random pointless chats … checking my facebook account for news on other friends (thanks to news feed) I know what’s happening in their lives and don’t have the time to know more.

What a pity… I love technology and I don’t know how I would function without Google search and windows…. But what also amazes me is the irony…

I am isolated even though I am always connected.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ever wondered..... ???

Have you ever felt lonely in a crowd?
Have you ever waited knowing there is nothing like time?
Have you ever searched for something that was eternally yours?
Have you ever looked inside the eyes of a complete stranger hoping to see the light?

Have you ever looked inside and seen a different person?
Someone you didn’t know existed…
Have you ever wished you were that person?

Have you ever wanted to turn back time?
Or jump way into the future?
Have you forgotten that there was a today…..

Ever wondered what this life could be.. if it weren’t for the choices you made….

Ever wondered that the simplest of questions have the deepest of answers….

....Love was all that there is … eternal, encompassing and fulfilling.

Aanchal - 28 july 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


There is so much to say
Yet words fail to express
My deepest desires
My reasons to be
My questions of existence
My answers to life

Thursday, June 19, 2008

hazaaron khwaishein aisi - Mirza Ghalib

"Hazaaron khwaishein

har khwaish pe dum nikle

Bahut nikle mere armaan

lekin phir bhi kam nikle"

- Mirza Ghalib

Friday, June 13, 2008

For a crime you did not commit....

How many times have we lived with a guilt which was worthless?

How many times have we lived in the fear that we might displease someone?

For a crime we have not committed ... we continue to bear the brunt ... to live for other peoples expectations.....

why would we do that?

It saddens me .... to see why expectations become bigger than accepting. Why an ideal picture for someone else never seems to be the perfect one for another....

why such simple truths we fail to recognise.

why we end up loosing every minute of our day to the past...

I see this all around me ... with people i know so well... people i love so much .... and thats what saddens me so much .... because somewhere im sure it saddens them too.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The big fat punjabi wedding!!!!!

The past week has passed in such chaos … chaos that was fun. My younger cousin got engaged on Friday ….. With the whole family in tow … 3 days of drinking.. eating and family gossip for a 5 minute ceremony :)
Punjabis are a loveable race!! I am so proud to be one because I love the way the whole family connects even if we meet once in two years… suddenly there is so much to talk about .. so much to do …
There is a major problem with the punjus though …. They all have opinions...everyone thinks they know best… So what typically happens in every Punjabi wedding, groups are formed …. One person trying to head the whole show (that’s usually the one who was missing from all the action earlier and arrives at the last minute trying to be one up !!! )
I find all this very amusing, more amusing is the whole ceremony which takes place in a mere 5 minutes. The whole show according to me needs to be a very close knit, sweet and personal occasion. In the crazy frenzy of rituals and rites the sweetest moments are forgotten ….
In pleasing the whole world the most important moments pass by without soaking them in to the hearts content.
I see the typical Punjabi affair and hope and pray I don’t go through this someday even though I love being a part of it…

I can’t have a million strangers stuffing my face with ladoos …. !!!! :D

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The end of the GM diet

I finally ended the GM yesterday .... I have lost around 3 kgs.... my jeans fit very comfortably...
The best part is my skin looks great... i guess all the water has done its trick...!!!

will I try it again???

Yes!!!!! for nothing else but the way it has made me feel, more energetic... fresh and lighter ...
I guess the detoxifying thing really works and I recommend everyone to do this at least once in two months to cleanse your system....!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thank You

I have been writing since i was a kid .. random poems.. articles... but i never let anyone read them ... I always thought they were too personal...
Years later I met Rohit Khajuria... one of my best friends ... and I let him read them .... he loved them and i always thought he was joking.... but he encouraged me to write... even during the times when i was busy with the numerous things a 20 year old is (today i don't remember what any of that was) ... I wrote because i knew someone liked what i wrote....

We moved on ... left Pune .... and I stopped writing ... busy in Bombay with a new job and the exciting life Bombay had to offer .... once in a while i would speak to Rohit or meet him and i would write... just out of the blue... lately I have started writing again ... my poems might be dark ... but they reflect my deepest emotions ... and I feel complete again ....

After Rohit read this blog he messaged me .. that he remembered all he used to say about my poetry....

Thank you Rohit !! we don't meet that often or talk as much as we would want to .. but you are always in my thought ... each time i get on to the computer to pen a few words .. I think of you ... your encouragement is always somewhere ringing at the back of my head....

You are one of the few people who know the real me .. who have seen me grow up ... gosh its been ten years !!!! Thank you for everything !!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

My experience with the GM diet

I need to fit into a dress next week.... i need to look thin ... everyday, i sleep with an alarm for 6.15 am and never end up waking and going for a walk.. and throughout the day i feel horrid about it...
So heres my plan for the next one and a half week .... I will get up at 7.30 (my usual time) and exercise a bit... evenings will be reserved for a walk ... (15 rounds of the building ...)
Food.... i feel hungry all day .... so i have decided to get on the GM diet ... at least i get to eat.
Day 1 is fruits - I dont usually eat breakfast so im surviving till now... had an orange at 11 am ... im in office and its lunch time the wonerful aromas of everyones food are all around me .... I am going to eat musk melon and water melon .. (they say you loose more weight if u eat melons on the first day) ...
I hope I can survive 7 days of not eating junk.

Day 2 - veges : had a splitting headache last evening... i have never been on a diet and thought i should give up... so i ate a mango watched a nice film - Americano ... they have shown spain in a beautiful way... i kind of related to that movie (with my ever wandering and searching soul)... i slept early... and like a baby ... and i woke up feeling awesome !!! very surprising since i was feeling like crap last evening, had a boiled potato for breakfast and believe me i have never enjoyed it that much ... have three boxes full of boiled veges for the day ... so far im feelnig great ... reminds me of that song ... i feel good .. la la la la la ..... :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Change ....

Quote of the day .....
"change ..... but start slowly because direction is more important than speed."

The past 6 months....

When it rains it pours... The past six months have been crazy ... Half the year has zoomed by and it has been quite a journey....

1. I am going to be an aunt soon !!!! very excited about that ... makes my belief that the circle of life goes on and on ... and I hope we can make a better life for the ones to come ....

2. Kabir started big school .... i adore that kid so much ... and would do anything to protect him ... he has become such a big boy ... It is so beautiful to see someone you held as a child grow up to become a beautiful human being.

3. I travelled ... not too many places as i would want to ... went to Abu, Delhi , Bombay

4. I have finally settled in this city .... and I have not yet started to feel the urge to run away ... (and that's a big deal for me). I am enjoying my stay at home ... other than the ups and downs i have not witnessed in the ten years of my staying on my own

5. I said goodbye to two people i love a lot. the good byes were different.. I let go of someone so that they have a better life.. a life without me ...., and I lost my uncle... someone more than a father to me ... a goodbye that was very hard to say... with so many things unsaid and undone ... I wish i could reverse time just a little bit...

Good byes are not that easy .... but that reminds me of the Richard Bach book - 'There's no such place as far away'... that somewhere, somehow we will meet again ....
It makes me go back to the time i did my past life regression and experienced life after death ....
After all this reasoning I still have been trying to get over the goodbyes I have bid this year....

I know tomorrow will bring a brighter sun ... tomorrow will be happier and more joys will be showered upon us...
We will soon experience the birth of a new life... and see how he/she grows into a world that we build for him/her ....

We will learn to move on... to celebrate ... to reminisce ... to forget .... to remember....

Tomorrow will be another day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Into mystery ... the inexplicable
To be free...
To feel the wind caress my skin
To open the windows of my trapped soul.
Aanchal - 21/may/08

Friday, February 15, 2008

Letting go

As I look back on all that's happened..growing up, growing together, changing you, changing me -- there were times when we dreamed together, when we laughed and cried together. As I look back on those days, I realize how much I truly miss you and how much I truly love you. The past may be gone forever..and whatever the future holds, our todays make the memories of tomorrow. So, my lifetime friend, it is with all my heart that I send you my love, hoping that you'll always carry my smile with you, for all we have meant to each other and for whatever the future may hold.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Letting go...

“When you have nothing left but love, then for the first time you become aware that love is enough.”

Love is never enough ... we never love just to love ... we love to please people around us, to please our families, our friends and relatives...

love alone is never enough... it needs the acceptance, it needs the stamp of 'being right'

When you have nothing left but love, then you realise that maybe it was never worth it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Weekend at Mount Abu

all of us ....

One of the best things one can ever do is an impromptu trip somewhere, even if it is for a day.. moments feel like a lifetime.

I guess the reason is we make sure we make the most of it.

This weekend we took a day trip to Mount abu, I've been there earlier and that was during the rains its green and beautiful at that time with numerous water falls and clouds touching the ground.

January is not the season to go there (any one from ahmedabad would agree to that) but there is a certain beauty in that as well... it might not be green but its cold! its isolated but peaceful at the same time...

We left at 3.00pm from ahmedabad hoping to make it there by 7.00... we missed the road to abu.. went into the bypass... but nevertheless made it there by 8.00..

The good part was we were not staying in a hotel, we spent 30 mins trying to find the bungalow which was quite scary. (an isolated bungalow near guru shikhar with no civilization around.. can be a bit creepy.. esp. if you have three boys trying to act cheeky and telling you that there is going to be a house of wax part 2 happening at night!!!)

The house was beautiful ... filmi in a way ... huge staircases leading up to massive doors that creak.. weird paintings (even in the bathrooms) swords on display... carved pelmets... and the works.

The caretaker- Jabbar Singh a.k.a Jeetendra as Mr. Gandhi would nickname him as the night proceeded is quite a sweet guy. though he will charge you for everything you ask for...

Once you have all your provisions, food, alcohol you're set. Jabbar will light you a fire in the awesome out house (see picture) and you can sit there or the garden and look at the most beautiful sky ever.
I have yet to see so many stars.....

The night proceeds and well... we never sleep... we get drunk and we act funny .... but jabbar doesn't complain...either he pretends he cant hear us or he is just very used to it ... we behave like this is the last time we drink... sleep in cupboards, have sword fights, dance, sing and make merry... most of all we laugh ... we really laugh.....

The morning is beautiful ... crisp, chilly breeze and a bright sun... Jabbar makes awesome omelette's, we hog and leave ....

If it was not for Niyati we would have stayed longer... enjoyed the quiet and the peace and maybe another night of madness...
But we form bonds... 'fix you' becomes an anthem... and jokes that will last for quite sometime ....

with jabbar singh :)

so .... we plan to do this once again ... very soon.......

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Rajasthan road trip

Pushkar ghatChttorgarh fortSarsoon khets view from udaipur city palaceshikarbadiRajasthan is beautiful. A million people must have said that, but when you experience it you know that they are so right. Maybe it’s the feeling of going back into time, the palaces, the lakes, and the color that comes out so well in the dull sandy background or maybe it’s the history that is so enchanting and full of mystery.

A road trip through Rajasthan is what makes you really taste the flavor of the place, especially when it is done in a span of two days!!

We started our journey on early Saturday morning. The highway to Udaipur is beautiful the roads are amazing; all throughout there are bright bougainvillea flowers, which is a treat for sore eyes!
The terrain changes from dull and boring to rocky hillocks. The air was chilly this time of the year making it more enjoyable.

There is a resort called the Shikarbadi resort around 5 km before one enters Udaipur, I recommend a good English breakfast by the pool side overlooking a great landscape, just be careful of monkeys! The resort is actually the stud farm of a Maharaja and as one enters the place one can see great looking horses galloping around the place. We had made it to Udaipur in good time and could relax and have a good breakfast before we went to see the city palace. Located right in the middle of the busy city is the city palace, but as soon as you enter the gigantic gates the world transforms. The view is amazing of Udaipur city on one side and the lakes on the other.
They have a museum and one can roam around the palace and its tiny corridors.

I was amused, amazed and in wonder, every one dreams of a royal life and I guess that’s what I was also thinking looking at the palace.

The small lanes that lead to the palace have shops for jewelry, bags, stationary, and a lot of knick knacks. I got great bargains on lehriya dupattas and stationary which is great for gifts. After all the shopping we decided to visit the Fateh Sagar lake. We went boating at one in the afternoon, the breeze was chilly, and there was no one in the lake at that time, just us, the shikara and a very sweet shikara wala who was so concerned why we were not spending more time boating.
That was the most peaceful content and happy part of the trip; moments like this don’t come along everyday.

On our way to Chttorgarh, our next destination we stopped at Chattris, the burial places for Maharajas and Maharanis.
The terrain changes to just saroon ke khet on both sides and a nice blue sky in the background. We stopped and I fulfilled my wish of running through the sarsoon ke khet like in DDLJ singing tujhe dekha ….
We reached Chittor just before sunset and went straight to the fort where we met Luv sharma, our host for the night. We got a guide to take us around, the fort is huge and in a lot of parts, it has more than a hundred temples all of them either broken or defaced by Mughal and British rulers. But they are still beautiful and they still stand tall. There is a beautiful Kali temple, a sun temple with the Trimurti idol. We visited the main palace, the padmani mahal, vijay stambh and the site where the jauhar was done. We spent 3 hours there and the guide spoke non stop in one tone but he did take us back into history, culture and tradition.

It was around 8 when we left the fort and went to the Sharma house, I have not seen many or infact any joint families and this was great because they are really close knit. They have a certain respect for each other which is so nice to see. They are above all great hosts, they will make you eat till you don’t put your hands on your plate and beg NO! Neelam, Luv’s wife was about to deliver her baby any day yet she was the perfect host taking care of our every need.
The next freezing morning we took a walk around the house, every thing is organic here because they have their very own vegetable farm in the backyard and their own cows for milk! Butter is made fresh everyday and vegetables and fruits are plucked fresh too!!
After a heavy breakfast (I didn’t eat, was full with the previous nights meal) we left for Ajmer. I wanted to visit the Dargah, I had visited it 12 years ago and had great memories, but I was wrong this time.
It took us an hour to get through the traffic and get there. The place is a mess, everyone is asking for money, be it the parking guy, the guy selling Prasad, chadar or even a beggar. They are just out there calling for you and running for money. It was a Sunday and there were not less than five thousand people over there, we managed to keep our shoes in a shop and the security stopped us, apparently you cant take cameras inside anymore. Another thirty minutes and money is spent to deposit the camera. We went in hoping for some peace but all we found was people pushing us screaming and a lot of pickpockets. Scared and suffocated we got out tied a thread as tradition and literally ran out of that place. I prefer to remember the visit 12 years ago which was peaceful and beautiful, not this one.

Ajmer to pushkar is around a half hours drive, the drive is beautiful, Pushkar remains peaceful despite of guides and the likes of them wanting to make money from each and every tourist.
We spent around an hour there, sitting not talking.. just being with ourselves.

The last leg of the journey was to Jaipur, I had to take a flight back to Ahmedabad at six and for once it was on time! We stopped for lunch at jo hukum recommended by Luv. The place serves amazing dal and chappatis.
Being a Sunday Jiapur was shut so we didn’t see much there. The Airport is fascinating its small and the airplane comes and stands right next to the gate!

Listening to bawara mann a million times, laughing, crying…. Two days of numerous emotions and bonding’s that will last a lifetime.
People were skeptical if we would ever manage to see five places in two days, I would discount jaipur so we ended up seeing four beautiful places, met great people and strengthened our friendship for life.


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