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Bhutan: Immigration and then en route to Thimpu

Our first day of the trip included procuring the permits and then proceeding to Thimpu, the capital city. The drive to Thimpu was slated to take about 5-6 hrs. It was therefore vital that our permits got processed in decent time so that we could commence our journey at least post lunch. To the question, "how long can it take for the permits to be processed?" we were given a similar response from everyone to whom we posed the query.

It really depends on the number of people for the given day. It could take as less as 2 hours or sometimes even the entire day, we were told. Our travel operator from Mumbai had forewarned us that we adjust our trip schedule to let this crucial step fall somewhere mid-week. The office is closed on weekends and hence Fridays and Mondays see a maximum footfall, so it's best to plan for the remaining days of the week, we were told.

So, we chose the first suitable day, Tuesday and planned our itinerary around it. The immigration office opens arou…

Bhutan: stepping into the neighbourhood paradise

I have always wanted to travel far and wide within India and, of course, outside. Well, who does not want to travel to picturesque foreign locales? Destinations like Europe or the US are probably on every traveller's wishlist but how many of us lust after Sri Lanka or Bhutan, our immediate neighbours? To be honest, even after covering the former five years ago and returning with a delightful experience, I never revised my bucket list to push Bhutan towards the top. How sad, yes! I'm, however, extremely glad that providence brought up this underrated destination in our conversation early this year and the sister and I decided to club our summer holiday plans to this beautiful country.

By the time our plans firmed up, we were short of two months from our travel dates and that's when we realized it was too late to opt for direct flights into Bhutan. There are only two airlines-Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air- that operate out of India and that too only from Kolkatta or Delhi. T…

Moments that make me a mother

I've always maintained that I'm not a motherly person. By that what I mean is I'm not overly mushy about this whole parenting gig nor do I love being around kids. Shocking to hear a mother say that? Well, I love my son to bits but put me in a crowded room of boisterous kids and I'm going to run miles away. I used to feel embarrassed to admit this but I've realized that as long as my child feels loved, cared for and safe in my company, I'm doing OK.

It's been a good seven years of motherhood but parenting still baffles me and I have my days of insecurity, worrying if I'm doing enough for my son. Despite all this, I've had beautiful moments that define me as a mother on this parenting journey and as I sit today to reminisce a few of them, my heart is full.

The initial months of handling a newborn were the toughest. I was not prepared to handle an infant who fed constantly but barely slept during the day making me antsy, sleep-deprived and very worrie…

Of boosting the morale and coping with failure

The niece and the son, both always looking for something new and exciting, were elated to discover a new game to play. It was a word-game I loved to play as a child and even today. After teaching them the basic guidelines and rules, I sat down to work, satisfied to listen to happy, animated chatter from the sibling duo in the adjacent room. They seemed to like the game too, I thought satisfactorily.

A few minutes later, silence had descended in the room and my niece emerged out. A clear winner writ on her face, she complained of R not taking it all well. I wasn't really surprised. It was routine. In the few times that I had played board or card games with R, each time he lost a round of the game, I had to double up as a counselor to make him see beyond the win and loss in a game.

I went in to find him sullen-faced, disturbed and about to burst into tears. A slight nudge was all it took for the dam to burst. What overflowed were a set of complicated feelings that threw me off guar…

Cross over- Micro-prose in 50 words

Tread on gently.

It's tough to say goodbye. Even when you know it's desirable. Explain, if you must, but keep it short. Do not mock the tears that might flow out. Don't utter words that you'd regret.

A schism has been formed, but there's no need to burn the bridge.

_______

A decade of togetherness!

It's our tenth this year a magical number, for sure Has it been that long  since we intertwined our future?
Sometimes it feels like yesterday and at times an eternity So different we are how did we find similarity?
I'm the idealist, prefer the order you're pragmatic, find beauty in chaos I like to plan, you're spontaneous I crave for newness You love the familiarity
How did we survive? I ask in mock wonder We had faith, you affirm and the trust in each other
Where's the mush? but I whimper You smile, wide with humour remark that you'd rather  warmth, share and care gather
It's true, I know the answer Indeed I cannot remember a time when I haven't  enjoyed a status that's equal full of respect that's mutual
From the time I stepped in as your wedded bride you've held my hand as a friend, philosopher, guide
You've chosen to lace the romance with grace the love, never a blatant show burning a constant, subtle glow
A supportive co-parent,  a…

Why I cannot be the quintessential shopper

Strolling in a swanky mall, I check into a multi-brand chain. My eyes quickly scan through the array of sections, each of them screaming for attention with the popular brand names. I don't have a shopping plan with me and breeze into the clothes section. I flit from one rack to another stand, feeling the fabric at a counter or checking out the size at another. I linger a bit longer when something particular catches my eye. Invariably, my fingers reach for the price tag even as I look. It's almost a reflex, I realize.

With a special occasion coming up, the better half encourages me to simply take what I liked. I really like to call the man my better half at such times. While I love taking a dig at him for not surprising me with expensive gifts, the truth is that he has never stopped me or questioned my purchases ever. Perhaps, he's really confident that I won't go overboard.

Indeed, I cannot help feel that almost everything on board is ridiculously priced. Buyers are c…