Friday, December 27, 2013

Gratitude 2013

Just five more days and it will be time to bid adieu to 2013. Jogging my memory for a quick review of what 2013 offered me.

To begin with, i had planned that this would be my year of HEALING.

The year started with a wonderful discovery. I grew up in Allahabad and for a long time felt deeply nostalgic. I felt a strong pull to visit Allahabad. I would surf the net to get info about the town and on one such search i discovered to my utter surprise that 2013 was the year of Mahakumbh. I could not believe this at first but when the news finally sunk in, i drooped all plans and put Allahabad on top of my travel plans. And the year kick started with a life changing experience at he Mahakumbh with my elder daughter.

I traveled to Allahabad via Varanasi and got to  go through the town briefly and visit thee Kashi Vishwanath temple, one of the 12 Jyotirlingas.

I visited Allahabad after 36 years. And my joy knew no bounds when i made a second trip to the town and had an opportunity to attend a grand function at my Alma mater St Mary's convent.

My next travel trip was to Madurai. I  read about the ten day temple festival in Meenakshi temple and decoded there was no way i could miss the celestial wedding of  Lord Siva aka Sounderaeshar to Meenakshi. So hubby and i packed out bags and flew to Madurai even though we did not know a soul there

The Celestial wedding in action in Meenakshi Temple In Madurai.
The ticket for the Celestial wedding

. The very friendly hotel staff and the locals made our trip extremely beautiful . During thee connecting flight and halt at Chennai we had just enough tie to visit a friend who was kind enough to take us to Marina beach. Spent a lovely thirty minutes at the beach.

The travel tale continued......

When my elder daughter expressed a desire for an International holiday, i spontaneously planned a trip to Thailand. We had the most awesome family holdup in Pattaya and Bangkok and came hoe with wonderful memories . without any doubt the highlight  of the trip was the day spent at Safari World , up close and personal with animals.

 Totally fell in love with these Orangutans.

Some other highlights

The younger daughter starting her career in Hospitality with a reputed Hotel chain

The elder daughter finally getting her much awaited dream job.

Settling scores with two negatives in my life. Aaaaaaah, the joy of calling a spade a spade :)

Saving the best for the last, becoming a published author with my debut Travelogue

, BARFANI BABA, to Amarnath Happily.

2013 you have given me far more than i ever anticipated. The two greatest gifts have been Healing anf contentment. Hence i wrote the post, The Autumn of My Life..  The feel good factor cntined at the year end when i decided to reflect on all the good things 2013 had offered and wrote three posts in two hours:

Little Moments of Happiness 4

Little Moments of Happiness 5

Little Moments of Happiness 6

Any resolutions for 2014? Only one:


Any major hopes and expectations from 2014?

Just TWO!!

Let us see whether these two expectations come true in 2014.

For now it is time to say, GRATITUDE 2013. You have been an awesome year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Little moments of Happiness 6

Setting goals and running a marathon after them.

When life gives you ample reasons to embrace gratitude.

The color of Agni,  deep  orange.

Being kissed by a couple of Orangoutans in Thailand.

Feeding giraffes up close and personal in Thailand.

Offering Lotus flower in the temple.

Sipping green tea with loved ones.

The bliss of having walked through the storm as a survivor.

A vegetarian Sushi meal.

Nail art.

A day at the spa.


The joys of slowing down.

The jingle of pajeb.

Two back to back visits to your childhood town.

Old photographs of my girls in  'Himachal ki kali' attire.

Reading quotes by Ann Frank.

A Helicopter ride.

Cheese Omlettee.

A Dolphin show.

Little Moments of Happiness 5

Dahlias and Chrysanthemum dancing in the Winter breeze.

Eating a custard Apple just to revive childhood memories.

Discovering a succulent new fruit called RAAMPHAL.

Going through my Book collection.

Drinking Chaaj at Sagar Ratna.

Eating salted cashew nuts in Winters.

Gifting home made chocolates at Diwali.

A three course meal for Rs 99 at Pizza Hut.

Attending a scintillating Annual Day function in my neighborhood school.

Kada prasad at  the local Gurudwara.

Listening  to a live recital of 'Ek Radha ek Meera, dono ne Shyam ko chaha....".

Thee sight of a vibrant rainbow colored lahariya odhni.

Buying ethnic studded  jhumkas from an exhibition.

Attending a  Lifestyle exhibition under the open wintry Sun.

Whipping up a quick breakfast of potato and cheese bread rolls with coriander chutney for the family.

Stopping by at a dhaba that is surrounded by lush green fields.

A burst of huge beaming Sunflowers along side of a highway.

Once- in- six months treat of a meetha Paan.

Sitting in the passenger treat while your kids drive you around.

The sound of  bells of the neighborhood temple as you go for an early morning prayer.

Little Moments of Happiness 4

Listening to Arif Lohar sing Jugni, complete with the Chimta

Snuggling into the quilt  for an extra two hours in the morning on a wintry day

When your younger kid announces she is coming home to spend the weekend

A family outing comprising of an English movie followed by a meal

Becoming a Vegetarian

Embracing the spiritual life

Tucking into a meal of Hakka noodles and sauteed  Broccoli, Black mushrooms and tender bamboo shoots

A jumbo size Virgin Mojito

Watching Sachin with mousatches in advertisement

Enjoying a meal of Mushroom-do- Pyaza at the highway dhaba

Buying Imli candies at the highway dhaba

Watching tow soldiers  open a five tier home cooked food and gulp it down with masala Chai at the highway dhaba

That moment when you are biting into stuffed tandoori parantha and the Dhaba plays your favorite song...'kisi nazar ko ter intezaar aaj bhi hai :)"

An impromptu visit to a sprawling Shiva temple on the highway

Endless discussions with Mum over the phone

Gifting Hubby a collage of photographs from  those youthful days

Watching your kids Para sail for the first time

Taking your kids to a holiday to your maternal ancestral  home town

Reviving patchy  childhood memories by endless talks with your parents 

Daring yourself to go  riding on a motor bike  wishing across the azure blue waters of coral island in Pattaya