Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Birthday Rewind



Google Images


I turn 27  today.Sounds like a very big number to me.But I love the journey, every bit of it. It seems like a  month  when I won the best student award at my high school. Seems just as if a week before, I graduated as an engineer.5 years of IT career and 3 years of married life all seems like yesterday.Days are not rolling by but flying away.If not for the number on my cake I feel I am still 10 at heart.But isn't age just a number?. 

My sister is 2 years younger to me.Her birthday falls on Dec 5. My parents used to celebrate our birthdays together.It was celebrated like a festival with our friends and close family.I so much miss her in my life.She suffered a cardiac problem from her birth and passed away 6 years before. Every year we celebrate her birthday at a blind school and wish she is happy and healthy in her next birth, where ever she is.The joy of buying birthday clothes together, both our names on the cake and the photos clicked as a treasured memory by my dad every year will be missed forever.

Every birthday, I enter this self-introspection mode asking what I did all through the year from my previous birthday.Success, friends, learning, mistakes, opportunities, goals come on the rush and wait for my approval, as if they had waited for this day.(P.S-This mode does happen quite regularly but birthday one is the master of all- come on I am turning old and I need to get hold of my life:))


Google Images



Here are 27 lessons I have listed out. Mostly I have been matured to think about them more seriously this year than ever before.

1) Listening to the inner GPS- Sounds like some spiritual slogan right.But this has been my catchy line of late. Respecting my instincts and listening to my inner voice.

2)Family first, the rest next - Needs no explanation. This year being a little bad to me proved once again that my parents and my family stands just there, not letting me feel weak in my knees.

3)Number of certificates don't matter- Over a period of time, I have realized ALL those people holding high degrees or more number of certificates are not intelligent.There is something called 'common sense'  and 'basic human behavior' which is an integral part of a person.

4)Explore every bit of the opportunity -I mean turning your back to opportunities and regretting for it later is not appreciated. I am proud to have explored the challenges that came my way.

5)Money is essential but not everything - Money doesn't speak but swears.I know. But, there are more important things in life that money cannot buy.

6)Health is wealth - Can't be stressed enough to me. Health first and everything else follows.

7)Every body is born special and gifted - Looking down upon others insulting others is a foolish and an inhuman act. 

8)Appreciations are not mandatory - Keeping expectations low.

9)Making peace with past - For this to happen, keep your today clean. Else, past is sure to haunt any day.

10)Dream high -  Because its free. I always hope  that if I fall from sky I should at least land on the clouds but never on ground.

11)Friends are extended family - Number of friends does not matter. They are the integral part of my life.Period.

12)Being practical - Theories are said nice and easy. Being practical about them matters a lot.

13)Knock down your fear- Bring it on. Face your fears straight up. You will either win the race or win the experience.Like a warm up to the next challenge :-P

14)Parenting my parents- I am more than happy to do this job. After a certain age parents become like kids of grown up children.I have learnt the importance and joy this job gives me.

15)Comfort over brand - Craze over the brands is a long ago story to me. I prefer to choose comfort over brand. I must be happy in what ever I wear.

16)Foodie by choice - I have indulged in a lot of food experiments and learnt a lot about food.  Not just the taste but  also with respect to health.

17) Creativity is the key- Cannot deny this. The more you want to be creative the more it will surprise you.

18)Communication is not talking alone - Listening and understanding what is a spoken is important. This is a recent and most valued lesson this year.Thanks to all my odd times.

19)Don't wait to celebrating any moment - If we continue to wait to celebrate life, I have seen it never came. 

20)To let go and to let be- Holding to things which don't deserve to be loved or respected is of no use.So, just let it go.Some things can never be changed, so let it be.Accept it as it comes along.

21)Being Judgmental- Doesn't help a wee-bit and hampers our personality.

22)My man my world- This is supposed to be on the top of the list because he makes me feel on top of the world every single day. He is the best thing happened to me in my life.*blush*.

23)Dogs are our best friends- I am a dog-hater turned dog-lover. Snoopy did all the magic.

24)Give it some time- any problem be it major or minor we just need to allow some time for it to settle down.Barging in and getting frustrated are futile efforts.

25)Death does not take a person away, entirely - having born in a family of around 200 and odd people, missing a member every few years has taken a mental toll. I could not take it when my own sister and my best friend were consumed by death. I was worried , sad all the time and cried every single night. I discovered a new way to live with them, be with them.Memories.They help me heal.

26)Helping others- healthy habit for mind and body.Do it as frequently as you can.

27)Self love- saved the best for the last. Love yourself.More than anybody actually. Be comfortable with your body and your thoughts. If we could follow 1% of what we advice to others we can live happily.

Until next birthday rewind,





Join Corinne, Rachna and me by writing a #MondayMusings post on your blog.Write your heart out on any topic you would want to.We believe any story told by you is worth listening and sharing .Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and then add your link here or on the Write Tribe post. We would love to read your thoughts and stories.









Wednesday, November 25, 2015

#WordlessWednesday-3



View from the balcony of the log house we stayed in- from my Tennessee road trip


High Point-One day #TravelTaleTuesday-3

On a normal weekend when we do not have a long road trip in mind, we go to the close by state parks to relax and spend some time in nature's lap. Locking up ourselves at home and sitting in front of the TV for hours is a rarest thing we do (probably only on  those hell of a lazy days). We decided to go to High Point state park after we saw good reviews about the place. It is a 90 minute drive from our place. (Jersey city). It was in the mid of September just when the green trees had begun to turn colorful. The drive to the place was awesome. Over to the pictures.
1)High Point Monument
The view from High Point Monument, at 1,803 feet above sea level, is a spectacular panorama of farmland and forest, soft hills and lush valleys. The blue line of the Delaware River divides the verdant ridges of New Jersey from those of Pennsylvania. High Point offers superb trails for hikers and skiers and quiet spots for campers and anglers.
The High Point Monument


The Soft array of trees


Wiki says: The monument was built through the generosity of the Kusers, in honor of all war veterans. Construction was started in 1928 and completed in 1930. At the top of the 220-foot structure, observers have a breathtaking view of the ridges of the Pocono Mountains toward the west, the Catskill Mountains to the north and the Wallkill River Valley in the southeast.

Since I had visited the Washington monument in the earlier month, I could relate this to a smaller version of it. The skyline watch was mesmerizing. The greens of the forest merges into the blues of the sky to create a picturesque in different delicate shades of their own.
The beauty of the view took over everything around and within us. We simply sat there giving ourselves the me-nature-time which we also call as the detox time.


2)Lake Marcia

The spring-fed 20-acre natural lake is cool and refreshing for swimmers which is protected by lifeguards and there is a bathhouse and food concession adjacent to the beach. This one looks like a private beach. We day camped here spending all our time in serenity. We made quick sandwiches for lunch.Listening to our favorite trance albums and reading our favorite books, clicking pictures was done for the rest of the day. What more can I ask for?.
The Foooood!
The Reflection of the tower


The clear water


Getting ready for fish reflexology


We two:)



The whole picture
The best thing I liked about the place is- It has all the elements I like to be in. The beach with clear water and white sand and  the green patch of fresh grass- all next to a play area where one can also swing and glide. Isn't that a perfect spot?. We took a walk around the area in our bare foot to feel the sand, water and the freshly mown grass(hypnotizes me).
Thanks to Mr. K, for buying this tent. It feels like a home on wheels where ever we go. Little house for two. Did I tell you about the free fish reflexology we got in the clear waters? It was a splendid experience. 
TOT: Tent of two
Picnicking, cycling, hiking, swimming and doing nothing are few among the list of options one can choose to do here.
3)Paterson/Great falls
The evening was reserved to visit the Great falls at Paterson. Located in the district's core, it is the natural landmark Great Falls, the second largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi.
Wiki says: The famous Silk Strike" of 1913 happened here, when the skilled workers demanded an eight-hour day. This was truly an important emergence of America's industrial prosperity and the labor rights movement. It has been described as America's very first systematic attempt to develop extensive waterpower for manufacturing purposes.
Watching the cascade of the waterfalls, a walk over the bridge are some things one cant miss to do here.
The view from the parking lot of Great falls

Closer view

The Complete view
 On the whole, it was a very calm and pleasant one day trip where we could see more than a single place without much exhaustion in our journey time as they were very close by from my place.
Until next travel tale,

Linking it up with #MondayMusings at Writetribe

Sunday, November 22, 2015

My Writing Rituals

There was a mental probe today morning when I read one of my blogger friend share about her writing process. I started thinking what rituals do I follow when I write? Do I have laid out rules I stick to?(that's not me:-P), Do I write vaguely?(Not at all..). What are the key thing I focus on while I write?... The web of abstract questions went on spinning and without drowning in it, I just wanted to write the answers.

Source: Google Images


Here are some things I do(/follow mostly) when I write a blog.

1)Either unplanned or procrastinated

The topics that I write are usually from real life incidents.Some times I write on word or picture prompts but I choose mostly from my travel stories. I love to read or share any inspirational potion with my fellow bloggers. I believe in getting better than yesterday, each day. Most of the thoughts are mentally weaved. I am lazy enough to put things on paper when it comes to writing. Mental lists works for me but it becomes volatile if there is too much gap between thinking and writing. Many stories have escaped my mind like this. Sudden urge, strong thoughts, writing impulse also make it to my blog. While some have been procrastinated from a real long time to be written, some are as quick as 15 minutes.

2)Weave the highlights mentally

 As already mentioned, I weave most of the story in mind,in no specific sequence. When I sit in front of the system or a notepad I just let it pour nice and easy from my mind onto the paper. When I feel there is a overwhelming list that is jugging in my head, I make a note in my mobile- just a line or two so that I know what I was thinking of that moment. Not poor memory but one thought gushes over the other leaving me confused. Mobile notes are also a good aid for a person like me.

3)Go with the flow, ignore mistakes for now

 When I start writing I avoid other disturbances around me and focus only on the flow. I let it flow as and when the words crop up and thought follows naturally. I do this until the end. Meanwhile, I ignore any spelling or grammatical mistakes for that moment. I reserve a slot for it later. Putting what is in mind on paper is the first thing I want to do. The story first.

4)Quotes, poems, pictures are an aid

 I always love to use pictures in places where ever necessary as I believe images convey a lot more than words. They are mostly the pictures I click or I also resort to Google for help. It is very generous you see:).Quotes are something I love to add in my posts . I personally feel they make the read strong. Few lines of poetry are written only if I had a surge of rhymes humming inside me.

5)Do not target other's sentiments

 I do not want to hurt any person in specific when I wrrite. I write about general topics that bothers me. I write to share my opinion towards any petty thing on earth but I don't rush to hurt other's sentiments. If my intention is to hurt someone I know better means than using my blog to do so (punching in face:-P) . To the best of my ability I try to keep it that way. Beyond this if it pricks somebody, then it could also be their guilty consciousness haunting them.

6)Read and re-read

After all this, I read it twice or more times to correct the spelling and other mistakes. I also preview just to make sure that alignment, font and other things are proper. The necessary highlighting and link ups are done in this phase.

7)Read it through other's eyes

 For one time before I post, I forget that I am the author of the post. I  read it through other's eyes/perspective and try to see if any modification is necessary. I strongly feel that once I begin to read ,thinking what I write is absolutely flawless then there is no room for improvement/change. To my surprise, I will definitely catch hold of some mistakes and will fix them up immediately. This method is implemented in every post I publish.


So what are your writing rituals? Do  you also do some crazy  techniques to check  before you post? or do you genuinely stick to some rules? 




Also linking it up with  #MondayMusings hosted by Corrine at Write tribe


 
 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesdays-2

Magical Hues of sky after sunset captured during an evening stroll

 

Everything is Possible #madeofgreat-Dedication

Source:Google Images
I quite agree that Facebook has reduced our face-to-face conversations and taken our social lives online. One reason I like FB is when I get  connected to people especially the old friends from school, college and  other acquaintances with whom I have lost touch years ago. I was catching up with  one of my old friend recently on FB.It is always a feel good factor to reminisce those fond and lovely memories at college. What a golden period college life is:)
It has been close to a decade since we spoke. We had so much to talk and ask the whereabouts of our current lives like what we were up to, saying hellos to their families, asking about  married life, getting contacts of other classmates.. oh the list goes on.. I don't want to mention her identity here hence  I will call her Ann .
Ann was affected with polio at a very young age due to which she had lost strength in both her legs. She used wheel chair and other arm aids to walk. But at mind she is as strong as a rock. According to me she is not physically challenged but extraordinarily abled. She is a confident and independent girl. She never expected help from  other students. I can still recall a day when I offered to carry her bag when she had to take the stairs to reach the Botany lab.She smiled and politely said thank you but she could do it herself. Looking into her confident eyes I did not want to force her- instead walked with her. She was very good at her academics, especially an expert in zoology. Ask her anything about studies and she had the answers ready. She is  a very dedicated girl . I used to always find her in the library after the college hours sitting in the biology section of books to research more on the topics apart from the usual text books. It needs an undaunted focus to do that. She always knew what she wanted to see herself as in  the future. She worked for it. She believed  that her strength in her heart and passion for her dream had surpassed her physical weakness. Long ago.
Source:Google Images
She is a doctor today specializing in human anatomy. Not only she made her parents and her friends proud but she became a source of inspiration to many around her. The 'many' is a lot who are blessed with all the parts in the body working perfectly fine, have been given fair opportunities and facilitates to study, given ample chances to try and prove themselves. But, instead of putting them to use they find innumerable reasons not to succeed. I mean forget about success, as it is not every body's thing they don't dare to even try.Their mind does the out-of-the-box thinking why it is impossible for them instead of looking the positive shade of it.For such folks, Ann is a living example from whom one can learn  to focus on what God is bestowed and blessed us with, rather than cribbing and yelling at what we don not have. I have also seen her family undoubted about her or her dreams  because they strongly believed in her. Trust was all that was required to do the magic.Oh! did I tell you about  the drive with her on her scooty? She can drive effortlessly to commute from her house to college. After the farewell, she took me to her home and introduced her family to me. What a lovely people they were:) The house shone with positivity, confidence and trust.
I felt so good and inspired after talking to her in years time.She also said that she has huge plans to make difference in peoples live especially the kids who are deprived of nutritious food and basic education. My dreams on the similar lines became strong and determined after our conversation. Two old friends coming together with a common dream. I felt strong. Awesome experience it is.
Source:Google Images


For those of us who search reasons for not doing what we want /have to do when we are showered with opportunities I  think we should go ahead and call them handicapped. Mentally handicapped  to be precise. A serious disorder to consider. Isn't it??

Thank you Ann. 


Tell me who inspired you lately? Is it your old friend/ a family member/ a stranger or anyone else.

Linking it up with Indivine #madeofgreat contest



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finally ..The Niagara - #TravelTaleTuesday-2

To read the first part of the road trip, how we enjoyed in the best scenes of nature read here.
 
After the much needed sleep and not so good but highly priced American breakfast at Holiday-Inn, we set out on wheels towards our destination. En-route to Niagara  we stopped at various places to click and experience the freshness in air. We drove on the roads which were laden with scenic beauty on both the sides of the highway. The pristine lakes, the lush green patches in the state parks, million color in the trees, the clear blue sky, the whipped cream-like-clouds, the cattle grounds, the deer crossings and many more things were a visual treat to us. It was a perfect way to unwind from our usual routine.
 
We were very aware that the world famous ferry "Maid of the Mist"  will be closed after that day and it will be operational only in the summer next year. One of our best friend had come to New Jersey just a week before and we had planned this trip for him. Our idea was to make it to the Niagara in the same year and we did it. Yes, we did anticipate a huge rush(and probably a stampede-mentally) and what we saw tumbled our imagination.

We reached the Niagara state park well within time and hardly found any rush for tickets.(May be everyone had thought that it will be crowded and preferred to stay back home). Oh yes, the biting cold weather is the main factor for not taking up road trips this month. Since we had a lot of time we wanted to walk the Gorge trail  to get to the ticket counter. The tiny hike we signed up for was not as easy as we thought. The marshy land the and slippery leaves on the  ground were clenching our feet, making it tuff to take the next step. Without giving up, we finished what we started. A little discovery on the way to an old cave which was once used by the U.S army was a thrilling experience.

Though it was my second time at the grand falls Niagara, I was no less amused than the first time. Niagara is a collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between Canada and USA. More specifically at the province of Ontario and the state of  New York. From largest to smallest are Horshoe Falls, the American falls and the Bridal Veil falls The Horshoe falls is mostly on the Canada side and the American falls is mostly towards USA separated by a goat island (not sure why it is named so.. reminds me of mekedaatu in Karnataka for some reason).The smaller Bridal Veil falls is also located on the American side separated from other waterfalls by Luna island. The international boundary was originally drawn through Horshoe Falls in 1819.Enough said, here  are the pictures I clicked.

The Horse Shoe Falls
 
 
The American Falls. Towards the end is the goat island.It is not clear in this image.

 

I am sure  you won't miss the rainbow




Bridge that connects Canada and USA




The Overall view




Just another click of American falls. Can you see the mist raising from the falls towards the  clouds?






Tired of the hike but not tired enough to pose


The huge walls


Oops ! how can I miss the picture of ferry boat here.



Maid of The Mist

 
 
The Cave of mystery.. Not the real name  though! It was mystery to me  to reach there. 

 
The first time we came here, we also visited the Niagara Fort .It is a  fortification built in 16th century by a French engineer to protect the interest of French in North America. It has its own history to say regarding the Battle of Fort Niagara.
 
We saw the dungeons, museums, the hides of animals used to protect the soldiers from cold, the place they slept and saw a lot of history alive. The life of any soldier is worth so much admiration for all the sacrifices they do to protect their nation. Real heroes they are.
 
The hand operated missile guns to launch the bombs

Prayer center of soldiers

 
The entrance of the grand Fort

 
View of the Lake Ontario through the museum window


Serene view of the Lake

Demo of how soldiers operated guns in those days

The complete view


 
After the magical experience and body all frozen in the chilling yet refreshing  wind, we noticed our tummies grumbling for food. Niagara has good options for food, spanning from Chinese to continental, English to Indian and anything you want to eat. My taste buds were dying for some spicy food .We opted to go to  the near by Punjabi restaurant for our lunch. Food is how my husband pampers and comforts me with. That works perfectly every single time:)
 
After a lavish Indian buffet lunch, we geared up to the last to-visit place of the day. It is a 3 hour drive from Niagara to the Grand canyon of the east .It is located in the southeast of Buffalo, Livingstone. The waterfalls of the Genessa river at the Letchworth state park is famous as the Grand Canyon of the east. Going to the  Grand Canyon at Arizona is still a dream, but I am sure I will be planning soon. It was very late by the time we reached there(It was dark by 5PM). The dim view of the place was soothing and a perfect place to relax. The highest waterfall in New York is located in this park known as the Inspiration falls (the name is quite interesting. Isn't it?)
 
It is a spectacular falls located on the tributary creek with a drop of 350 feet. The park which stretches for 17 miles has around 50 tributary waterfalls which flow into the deep gorge formed by the river
 
 
The  night view of the gushing water along with star gazing is a perfect combo 

 
 
The dim view of The Eat Grand Canyon

 
 
 
 
 
This is what my passion thrives for and my wander lust says ...Just go places.....!!
 
 
 
It was a lovely trip altogether where we were not worried about covering places but took our time to learn and make memories in each place we visited. We were back home safe and exhausted after the next 6 hour drive.
 
 
 
Tell me how you feel about travelling? What are the places you visited recently and what is on your list next?
 
Linking it up with #MondayMusings