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Tuesday, 5 December 2017

I write and delete many poems 

it is an old habit which may not die young.

The worthiness worries me 

but I ask today, who decides our worth?


It’s in our hands

 whom we shall give  the reins.

Our soul is the real cart puller, 

I want it to know it’s worth today.


Thursday, 9 November 2017

We capture moments in our hearts and create memories for our souls. The happy memories make us smile and the sad ones remind of our tears and the years gone by. Love is the basic ingredient of making a happy life. I love you with an open heart whether you're far or near, a plant or a flower, a boy or a girl, a messed up teen or a too difficult to handle adult.
Flower picking, car driving, talking, smiling, laughing, talking, dancing, listening to music, reading a book, riding a horse, rafting, parasailing and some other little and big things give me joy.
What gives you happiness? Count and share to spread smiles.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Piece of Art

"Isn't it beautiful?" I asked myself after clicking several pictures of this beauty. It isn't just a pendant or piece of jewellery for me but a work of art.
The story of this turquoise baby goes back to a few years to Jaisalmer.  Even today people live in the narrow alleys of the old Jaisalmer fort. There were houses attached to each other, small and similar. Suddenly, the guide stopped outside one of the homes and escorted us in. I was mesmerized by the uniqueness of that house which was a silversmiths workshop from the inside.
For the first time, I saw silver jewellery being made. The workshop was on the ground floor and hundreds and hundreds of boxes of beautiful works of art like these were spread on the mattresses in the room on the first floor.
There were countless chains, earrings, necklaces, rings, antique silver boxes and some of the never ever seen before artecrafts.
The jeweller told that many neighbouring families like his had shifted to Jaisalmer after the India - Pakistan partition.
 Most of them export jewellery to many countries and buyers, tourists, travellers from different nations visit their doorsteps and never go empty- handed.
This beauty stayed in my almirah until today, November 3,2017.
I went to the jewellery market in Khandwa and looked for some magicians who could accentuate the beauty of this turquoise piece to hold it properly. Luckily, I found a jewellery artist and I discussed about the thread or chain which could hold this precious piece of art for me. After a few minutes of discussion, we finalsed the colours and the sequence. Still anxious about the outcome I waited for sometime. My aunt who accompanied me all this time had faith in the artist.
Finally when I looked at it and tried it on, my body felt an unimaginable bliss as I could feel the effort, time and travel this precious beauty has gone through.
It's a creation of many creators and let's value and respect art and artists who create works of art from their imagination.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sahastradhara Maheshwar

20.10.2017
One must take a boat ride from the Ahilya Fort to Sahastradhara to listen to the roaring sound of the waves of the river Narmada, soak one's feet in the cold turquoise water and become one with Nature.
Sitting at one of the rocks just for a few moments have always been magical for me, the unstoppable water flowing speedily towards oneself is a reminder to be alert and enjoy the surreal experience at the same time. The fish in the stagnant water come only when we wait patiently which reminds us again to keep looking for the beauty in the ugliness of algae and sticky slimy situations of life.
The river reminds us to become one with ourselves by reaching a point in life, listen to the silence of our souls while experiencing the gigantic and scary waves coming towards us, wait for the sight of the most beautiful fish after walking the rocky path. It also teaches us to listen to the unspoken words when we meet someone, listen to their emotional,  physical or mental needs of by looking into their eyes.
We all face ordeals in life but a constant reminder to ourselves "I am there for myself" or by asking someone by looking deep into his/her eyes "Are you doing good?" or genuinely asking "How are you?" helps in some way or the other. Sometimes,  just listening helps. #maheshwar #madhyapradesh #india #indiantraveller #narmada #boatride #life #midnightmusings #words #experiences #writersofinstagram

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Hide and Seek

I didn't want to blink my eyes while watching the gigantic hot ball of Sun playing hide and seek with me. Like every lesson taught by Nature,  it left a message for me and you "Do not worry, the Sun will shine through the little holes of Hope." #midnightmusings #words #thoughts

Diwali 19.10.2017

Some experiences are best felt by the heart and the photograph is just a visual memory. This Diwali night will be remembered forever as I spent a couple of hours at the Ahilya Fort,  Maheshwar with my loved ones.
The ever flowing Narmada River was pitch dark but the water was alive with the innumerable fish which jumped in and out of water when they were given something to eat.
A local girl was pouring oil in the diyas and she told me I could do the same. Igniting the diyas was a surreal experience along with the local family who has been enhancing the beauty of the Ahilya Fort for a few years now by igniting diyas at the banks of the river Narmada. It's a selfless service to show their gratitude to the River and the Hindu gods and goddesses. Like this year, the family had put 551 diyas from their savings and little donations from their neighbourhood.
There are a few legends involved about the history of Maheshwar so I talked and discussed until it was almost midnight with a promise to be back again in the city which is close to my heart to meet that local girl who ran a tea stall at the fort.
#ahilyafort #madhyapradesh #holkar #diwalinight #surrealexperience #india #maheshwar #indiantraveller


Saturday, 7 October 2017

The Flute Seller

Reference - I was sitting outside my home and suddenly heard a magical and melodious sound. This post is a reminder to ourselves to take out time to listen to the enchanting music of Nature and value artists in our vicinity.

A cup of cappuccino and a book;
Picture Courtesy- Sumiran Caprihan
I sit in the garden at a nook.

Chatter of the people,
twitter of the birds,
dogs bark and cats purr.
Trees shed the leaves on the earth.

Musical instrument afar is heard.
"It's a flute!" I abruptly jump and 
run towards the man;
who holds a bunch of flutes.

I call him out and he gives me a look;
disappointed with me he was
as I didn't wish to buy his flutes.

I asked him, Would you like to earn by playing the flute?"
He answered, "That's not my job. 
It is to sell the flute.
Many like you have asked me to play 
but I don't wish to.

My job is only to sell the flute."

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Instameet


Indore Instameet 
September 9 2017
Picture Courtesy - Madhur


It was a chance to connect with writers, bloggers, RJs and social media influencers.
Words were exchanged and knowledge was gained when a few got together.

Talent is everywhere and such meets help to nurture,
Inquisitive questions and elaborate answers awakened the lazy souls to get up from their stupor. 

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Kids at SEA

6.9.2017
Shaista's English Academy (SEA) Khandwa
Kids at SEA


Peppa Pig, Sunita Williams
 or Kalam,
These kids have watched them all.

They love the time spent here at SEA,
They reach the class too early
and peep the door to look for me.

The latch opens, they rush inside like the local train passengers
whose train will stop only for a little while.

The queries, giggles, book reading, dictation,  writing activities and permissions for going to the loo.
For an hour the optimism can be felt in the room.

How much shall I write?
There's so much to share about the
these honest eyes and real smiles,
tired bodies with fresh minds.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Period

Picture Courtesy-Anonymous

At midnight she felt the spasm
sleepily dragged the hand
to the drawer and wore the pad.
Sleep disturbed, feet got cold
a hot bottle soothed the pain.


Stomach groaned of hunger
and the uterus of unbearable pain.

The half-eaten chocolate in the shelf
melted in the golden wrap.
The fingers dug deep in the chocolate ball
She slept until morning all curled up.

- Shaista Dhanda
4.9.2017

This post on 'Period' is a part of photo series on Instagram. The picture is anonymous. I have written on the topic as asked by @youthspowerindia on Instagram. I hope many girls and women will relate to the words and the boys may understand.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Omkareshwar

I was sitting in the Narmada resort restaurant today in the evening while watching the constantly changing hues of the sky. This particular moment pulled me towards the balcony and I opened the latch of the glass door as quickly possible as I wished to click this moment and share the natural beauty with you all. 

The sky is wide and blue with boats sailing in the Narmada river and the yellow dim lights make the landscape prettier than before the lights were on. Such moments of silence, beauty and serenity are rare to be observed in today's hustle bustle. The drive was worthwhile to this place. I felt it called me to see its enchanting beauty and I was pulled to this place to never come back. I wished for the sky, the river, the view to stay the way it was forever. 

Monday, 14 August 2017

Rishikesh Zostel: Solo traveller

Hello readers
I travel to explore the unknown lands and meet people on the journey called life. One should move out of the comfort zone of one's body, mind and spirit to explore the unexplored. Here I write about what and how I did in Rishikesh.
Day 1 & 2
5.6.2017 & 6.6.2017
I left for Rishikesh via Agra- Dehradun Volvo which left from Agra ISBT at 20:40 PM IST. The bus reached at 4:30 AM with a half an hour halt at 2 AM in Gopal Resorts Muzaffarnagar. On the way, I watched the moon, felt the breeze, watched the Ramadan feasting at Meerut, talked with the co-passenger Archana, Marriott Agra employee travelling to Mussoorie.
At 4 AM, the Ganges ghats at Haridwar were silent, the water flowed smoothly, a few locals were out for a walk. I reached Haridwar bus stop at 4:45 AM and after waiting for five-ten minutes boarded a local bus and reached Rishikesh bus stop at 5:50 AM.

The journey in the tranquil town began at dawn sitting in an auto dropping me to my home for a few days, Zostel Rishikesh at 6:10 AM. I was informed at the Zostel reception that the bed in the dorm I booked will be vacated by 10:00 AM and I can chill till then at the rooftop cafe or take a cat's nap in the colourful and cosy hangout zone. I went upstairs and had two cups of coffee while enjoying the serene view and feeling the soft breeze. After sitting there for almost one and a half hours, I headed to the hangout zone for a few minutes.
The Yoga class at the garden area instructed by Savanna began at 8:30 till 10 AM where a bunch of people stretched and listened to their bodies. After the yoga session, I headed up to the hangout zone where I met Divya and Swapnil from Mumbai later joined by Loveneesh from Chandigarh. All of us spent hours chit chatting, knowing each others' lives over food and shakes we had ordered.
In the afternoon, I spent some time with three girls in my dorm, two of them were friends from South Africa and the third one was a lawyer from Jabalpur.
Most of the hours at the Zostel were spent in the hangout zone chatting with travellers and trekkers. There I met Pooja from Indore who was intrigued to see a lot of female solo travellers and decided to blog about all of them.
In the evening, the Zostel arranged a visit for everyone to the Triveni Ghat to experience the Ganga Aarti. We left at 5:30 PM with Shashi, the man who was handling the Zostel with a fantastic team. While returning we all got drenched as it rained heavily. We were sixteen people divided into two autos reached the Zostel at 7:30 PM.
For dinner, I landed up to Cafe Moktan, a beautiful Tibetan style decorated the place with Gurshisan and Loveneesh where we had a big serving of Mushaka and shakes along with a dish of spaghetti. After dinner, we sat at the rooftop cafe at the Zostel listening to some music and meeting more people there.
I headed up to my upper bunk bed and closed my eyes with so many beautiful memories.

Day 3
7.6.2017
I dressed up for the Yoga class in the garden area but the class got cancelled as it rained. I left the Zostel at 8ish in the morning to Cafe Moktan where I was the previous night for a hot cup of coffee. Wet with drops of heavenly rain I jumped up my seat, crossed my legs and listened to the Buddhist chant played there. The day started with the perfect blend of coffee, music and rain. After an hour, I ran on the road under the falling drops of rain to quickly get dressed up for the river rafting as the meeting time at the reception was 10 AM. Fortunately, the Ringo dorm was empty so I quickly had a shower and met the fellow enthusiastic bunch of people at the reception. Due to the rains, the water level of Ganges had risen, so instead of twenty-six kilometres, we were allowed to raft for eleven kilometres. Seven of us left the Zostel excitedly, filled up the forms and sat in the jeep which took us to Kalabaos, an area from where we started. Vinod, the instructor from the Unique Himalayan Adventure instructed us the ways to wage through the roaring waves of the river, quickly thereafter we sailed for about eleven kilometres. I was scared to go for rafting alone but found strength in the group. Laura and Anna two strong sisters, as they had just done the Everest base camp from New Zealand, Sarah from Luxembourg, Rajath from Bengaluru, Ellie from Liverpool, the UK, Lavneesh and Gurshisan from Chandigarh.
Rafting is not only an adventurous but spiritual experience where you connect with the mountains afar and the river under whose lap you find comfort. Everyone jumped out of the raft in the middle of the river at the instruction of Vinod but I was scared and was the last one to jump and tightly held the rope connected with the raft. In reality, the lifejackets were our saviours but the river felt like comfort to me. I enjoyed the moment of bliss.
The Internet has been buzzing a lot about the 60s cafe in Rishikesh so we all famished (food & travel) fellows trod our path this Beatles / 60s cafe after having a quick shower at the Zostel. The food was scrumptious, well presented and the place had a view of the flowing Ganges. From there, few of us left for a stroll, sat for almost half an hour at the German Bakery overlooking the jam-packed and narrow Laxman Jhula. I really wished to observe the graffiti on the walls of Beatles' Ashram where the famous 60s Beatles band stayed back then. It was scorching hot but none of us had further plans so Abhijeet, Loveneesh, Rajath and I started walking on the bridge which made me go dizzy and I had to literally close my eyes and hold one guy's hand to cross that constantly shaky bridge. We walked and walked and I suddenly saw a man playing the didgeridoo. I had read about this man named Mukesh and his little hut called Jungle Vibes on one of the blogs on the internet. All of us were amazed at the breath control of the musician. I had a little chat with this man and he told me you're talking about my father who was at the Dayanand Ashram then meeting Mooji baba. He even gave me his contact number as I looked eager to have a chat with Mukesh Ji. Then our ears turned to a man probably blind sitting on a cemented bench next to Jungle Vibes. He was chanting "Radhe Radhe Govind Radhe" musically and his voice soothed my ears, had a little conversation with him.
All of us were thirsty by then and landed up to Little Buddha rooftop Cafe which had a wonderful view of the river and the scary Laxman Jhula. There we decided not to go ahead to the Beatles Ashram as it was further a half an hour walk. We chilled at the cafe and talked till the sun had beautifully set. It wasn't dark yet so we decided to take a speedboat ride but didn't go as it was expensive and not even lasted for five minutes. We crossed the river and walked the Cafe De Goa lane and reached the Ghat opposite Trayambakeshwar Temple which was a hidden gem known by Abhijeet. All of us sat at distances to enjoy solitude and dipped our happily tired feet in the cold and comforting waters of the Ganges. After a silent and happy time at the Ghats, we left for the Zostel. On the way, Rajath made us meet some of his fellow trekkers from the Roopkund Trek at one of the hostels near Laxman Jhula. Three of us left for the Zostel had our dinner there and then spent some time listening to Ankit play the beautiful strings of guitar at the lobby area. The night was beautifully spent in the hangout zone chatting and sharing experiences of lives and then finally hitting the beds.

Day 4
8.6.2017
I had no plans for the day like I never have every day. I wish to go with the flow and do what I feel at each and every moment.  Rajath had planned and booked for bungee jumping at Jumpin' Heights at Mohanchhatti and as invited by the group I joined them to the site. The ride was spectacular as I could feel the breeze and hear the Nature's blissful sounds. I was a pillion so could easily enjoy seating at the backseat. It was twice we could look at Iguanas crossing the road like obedient citizens of the city.  Loveneesh, Abhijeet and I spent hours at the viewpoint while gutsy Rajath and his friends jumped nonchalantly from the height of 83 feet.  
The day got over clicking videos of the brave people and having Maggi for lunch. We reached the Zostel in the evening and quickly then Abhijeet left to catch his train to Delhi.  After a while, Loveneesh left too for Chandigarh. The realization hit me that it's time to go for me too.  I wished to linger but in the journey of life, we all have to move on.  So I booked my bus ticket for the 9th of June for Agra. In the evening we spent some time in the dorm meeting new travellers from different parts of the world.  For dinner, Rajath and I went to a Pizza place next to the Zostel. I played Ludo with fellow travellers from Gurugram in the hangout zone and then slept in the comfortable bed in the dorm.

Day 5
9.6.2017 
Rajath had to leave for Bengaluru in the morning. In another dorm, I met Jason who was travelling all around the world for the past ten months after quitting his job in Bermuda. Rajath, Jason left the Zostel fort heir journeys ahead and three of us decided to have brunch together at Cafe Moktan.  There we talked about our lives and enjoyed each others' company. We clicked a few pictures and bid adieu. I went back to the Zostel and talked with Shashi at the reception. In the evening, met Rebecca with whom I went to have kulcha chhola in the market.  While returning it rained heavily we ran towards the Zostel and reached there all drenched. Shashi had organized a Bollywood dance class for the inmates. Few of us,  all girls learned dancing on the song Tamma Tamma by a local dance teacher named Gokul.  I quickly rushed,  took a shower,  changed and left the Zostel bidding goodbye to the people I met there and left with a backpack full of beautiful memories. 
This journey will always be fresh in my mind as I connected to a lot of people,  shared life experiences and returned home with inner happiness to return again to an unknown destination.













Saturday, 24 June 2017

Hope

I write to share the emotions I feel
I shall tell you it's okay to weep

Don't close the shell
come out, open as a pearl

Only in the hard times
one finds courage 

As hopelessness leads to the search of hope.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

एक सवाल

लहरें सी दौड़ रहीं हैं मन में
छूना चाहती हैं किनारा।
तुम पूछोगे, "कौन रोक रहा?"
जवाब नहीं है मेरे मन में।

समाज की बेड़ियाँ मैं जानूँ ना
पर कोई तो है जो रोक रहा
सवाल पूछने से ही मिलेंगे जवाब
पूछो अपने मन से।

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A Creation

The pen glides as the sailboat does
 on the smooth waters of the ocean;
words dance, punctuation marks prance
at the right places marked by the artist.

The ocean is endless like the blank pages
 on which the artist continues
with her embellished words and phrases;
she sways her pen and opens up her eyes
to many emotions, she had hidden
in her hijaab for seasons.

The emotions flow, the face uncovers
and here she stands to row the boat
as she is the artist of her own creation.

Picture Credit- Shaista Dhanda