PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday To August Love!

Love is in the air!

Have you also been hearing this, lately? All #twitter contests are revolving around Valentine’s Day, the Facebook updates have started to pour in, of the plans and vacations and specials planned for the 14th! And well, it is endearing indeed. Cliched, but endearing!

And so, I have today’s #throwbackthursday post dedicated to a travel destination best synonymous with love, and only love! Here, quite literally love is all around you. Continue reading “PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday To August Love!”

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PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday To ‘The Land Of Clouds’

Conversing with a tweet-friend earlier today, I was reminded of my childhood days. I spent a good ten years of that in the then Bihar, one of the eastern states in India, growing up in the wild among hills! It is an iron-ore mining township, located above and among the hills of the Bonai range. Life there was fun, to put it simply. And very simple too! There were two schools – if you didn’t get into one, you went to the other; one shopping centre – anything you wanted you got there; friends and classmates meant the same thing; all the roads were our playground and the big colony lived like one big family – everyone knew everyone else, sometimes even if they didn’t want to!

And today, sitting in my warm apartment on a cold winter night in London, I cannot help but feel terribly nostalgic about those ‘Wonder Years’! Sal trees, heavy rains, warm sunshine, elephants, waterfalls, picnics – things that are synonymous with my childhood. And no better day than this to dedicate my #ThrowbackThursday post to this wonderful small town called Meghahatuburu (meaning: the land of clouds), where I spent the most blissful of times!

I took this photo during my visit with my family in 2007. This is close to the guest house we stayed in, right next to the colony – of course quite away from the main road. I couldn’t resist the call of the valleys and hills!

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PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday to Venice

The cobbled streets, the souvenirs shops, the small stylish cafes lining up their wooden chairs, the hustle bustle in the by lanes, the pretty gondole and charming gondoliers – oh how much I miss my time in Venice! And dedicate my #throwbackthursday to this wonderful place where time comes to a standstill as the old meets new.

I walked all through the crowded streets, taking my time to try on the Venetian masks, capturing the domes of the churches into my camera, and listening to the water boats make a splash in the grand canal; and of course treating myself to a ride in the gondola. The romance of the place is slightly overrated, but for what it’s worth, a trip for Venice’s artistic sensibilities and sustenance in the modern times will not disappoint you!

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NEW: PHOTO Series on #ThrowbackThursday

I am delighted to announce I am starting a new section on my blog from today! I am going to publish a series of photographs, one every Thursday, on the #ThrowbackThursday theme, to share and look back fondly on some of my favorite memories. I decided to add this photo series to my blog for two simple reasons. One, to be able store all those fleeting moments of nostalgia in one place together; second, to connect with my readers via an alternate medium and what best than a picture every week!

I hope you enjoy what I have to share. Never miss a photo by following me on Instagram!

Here is today’s PHOTO: #throwbackthursday to the fascinating Colosseum in Rome! In ruins now yet standing tall.

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My Five Little Things of 2014

It only seems like yesterday that we packed our bags and with them our lives to move to London, which by the way was exactly a year ago! Life changed after that 9-hour flight. Settling into a new city, our new home, new jobs, newer (better!) lifestyle, and the totally unpredictable weather was not only challenging but also most remarkable, in every sense of the word.

And as we settled in, I began to appreciate life’s little things a little more, and with them have chanced upon some of life’s important truths too. Perhaps it was the distance from home and loved ones that made me think a lot more and these realizations slowly made their way into me /us.

Here are my top 5 things:

1. Sunshine

Living in the UK definitely makes you appreciate sunshine a lot more than you might have ever done in the past, especially if you have lived closer to the equator before. Longing for some golden rays into your bedroom as you wake up or in your living room as you sip your evening coffee, or even while you step out for a walk in Hyde Park – sunshine makes everything that bit sweeter.

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2. Homemade food

There is absolutely nothing better than a home-cooked meal. But it took me almost 4-5 months to realize this! I used to venture out everyday during lunch – from Habibi’s katsu curry, Whitecross farmers market’s stalls, Pilpel’s falafels to even the light-n-healthy soup-places like Pret and Eat. They sounded fancy, and tasted fancy too but all of them were lost on me in a few months. And eating out adversely affected my health too. Thankfully, Amma’s simple recipes came to my rescue and I began to carry packed lunch from home. Not only do I feel better after eating homemade meals but also have started to enjoy cooking in my kitchen, along with exploring the healthier options from time to time.

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3. Importance of exercise / discipline

I am still quite surprised how almost everyone here has at least one hour dedicated to exercising, every day! It does not come naturally to me at all. But, call it peer pressure or just a sense of inspiration from seeing people all around, I have managed to introduce exercise into my routine, albeit very slowly. I go to practice yoga at the sessions held near my home by www.ourparks.org.uk/ – If you live in London and love group exercise sessions, then you must sign up for these – the best part is they are free!

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4. Ties to our roots

Without sounding too melodramatic about it, I admit that it feels great to celebrate all our festivals no matter where we are. It reminds us of our traditions, our simple joys, our ways to get-together with family and friends and create more memories. Thankfully, London has all the avenues to help you celebrate any Indian festival that you want to. From Mehendis at parlours to Durga Puja pandals to firecrackers and colours of Holi, you name it!

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5. There is no greater support system than Family

I don’t think I need to elaborate much here. We thoroughly enjoyed the numerous skype and facetime sessions, the groups on whatsapp only added more colour to daily conversations and occasional long ones helped me steer away from any self-doubting traps. I cannot emphasize enough how satisfying it is to be close and in constant touch with one’s family and how happy it can make one feel!

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And I’d be lying I didn’t admit and add, that 2014 has only been about London! I constantly looked for newer experiences – whether it was in trying a new cuisine or discovering unusual cafes in the small alleys or the chic champagne bars of the city. More on all of that in a later post. Despite the grave requests from our friends and our own brave attempts, we could not manage to speak the accent (yet!) but we are so chuffed about the progress we’ve made to make our language sound a bit more colloquial! 😀

And with that thought, here’s hoping to an even better 2015!