Happy Second Anniversary

Had a busy-busy last week, and didn’t get the time to log on but when I did, I was gently reminded by WordPress that I had passed my second anniversary of  of being on this blog. So this is a good time as any to take stock.

It has been an eventful year. I’d decided last year that I would do more posts about India, it’s people, it’s festivals and culture. I can’t say I’ve done a great job but I’ve tried, honestly. India is a large country, with a huge spectrum of cultures belonging to the different regions. The people are different and yet the same. The quest shall continue. I’ll have to shed some inhibitions though, because whenever I try to take pictures in a crowd or in public, I suddenly become the centre of attention. The moment the people see a woman (me)with a big camera (read DSLR) moving among them, taking pictures, they think I’m some press reporter from the local newspaper. I can almost see them going nudge-nudge, whispering, “she’s from the news paper, she’s from the news paper”. Then they try to get my attention or get me to take their pictures, the older ones will push their kids in front and beg me to take their photos. It becomes funny and embarrassing at times.

Also, somewhere during the last few months, I crossed another milestone; that of completing my 100th post. Now that may not be a big deal for most of the bloggers here but for me it was. I’d started this blog with a lot of apprehensions, not knowing how far I’ll be able to go, what I’ll write about and what I’ll share and learn. But this has been a beautiful journey so far. I’ve learnt so much about people and places, have stood corrected on so many of my preconceived notions about certain people and cultures and I’ve learnt to view the world around me with a more open mind and without being too judgemental.

And now the awards-

During the course of this year some of my fellow bloggers were really kind to bestow a few awards on me. I’d like to mention them and their blogs with a big thank you..

First it was Eva from Healthy glow Nutrition who nominated me for ‘A very Inspiring Blogger’ award.

Then again she was kind enough to nominate me for yet another award- ‘the Leibster award’.

Next was the ‘Beautiful Blogger award’  that was bestowed upon me by TKSoni from his blog ‘and life smiles

And most recently, Deb from ‘unexpectedincommonhours, nominated me for the ‘Leibster Award’

I thank them all from the bottom of my heart.

‘But why haven’t I accepted the awards?’ you may ask. Wellll! The problem lies with me. The first time I got an award, I was relatively new to blogging. I tried to accept the award, and get the picture of the award on my page but somehow managed to bungle it all up, and made a complete mess of the whole situation. After that experience I’ve developed a sort of a phobia for trying to accept the awards. Add to it another fear, of that of sharing a few things about myself, as one of the requirements for accepting most of the awards.

Now if I were a celebrity anything and everything about me would make an interesting read. My readers would be dying to know more. Maybe then I could get away with disclosures like-

I love to sleep in my pyjamas.

I got a tattoo of my ex somewhere and I’m desperately trying to find it.

I eat only grass in this extremely amazing diet that I’m following.

I love Calvin-Klein… Calvin and Hobbs…  and so on.

But sadly that’s not the case and I, for the life of me, cannot think of anything interesting enough about me that will increase the traffic to my page. So I would like to say a big thank you once again and hope that some day I’ll find the courage to accept the awards.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who’ve liked my posts and followed my blog. I haven’t been able to acknowledge everyone and for that I’m sorry. I shall try to rectify this slowly but surely.

Now for the coming year, I have not made any specific plans as I’ve gotten a bit busy with my job as a teacher and that takes up a lot of my time and energy, but one thing’s for sure.. I’ll still be posting, as regularly as possible. Maybe I’ll get to share some teaching anecdotes with everyone, as I’ve already realised that teaching adolescent students is one big lesson in itself.   I would also like to learn the art of taking better pictures than just ‘aim and shoot’ varieties, so cross my fingers for that.

Signing out with that. Hope to continue receiving love, appreciation and feed-backs from my readers.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

Nothing can be more nostalgic than revisiting your school or college after more than two decades. My school and college happen to be across the road to each other- a catholic boarding institution run by nuns, where I spent eight years of my  student life. A few years back , my college completed it’s 50 years and the ex-students were invited for the celebrations. A few of my friends, from different parts of the country, decided that we couldn’t miss the chance and reached there, all excited like the teenagers that we were back then, to meet each other again after so many years.

sophMy school,the main building- just the same even after so many years

100_5050Friends-together once again

100_5038The school building with the classroom windows behind me, and in front of me is the playground with the Basketball court(not in picture) where I spent so many evenings.

100_5039These set of stairs were a favourite sitting and gossiping spot for the girls

100_5040We called this place-the grotto. It was the most peaceful place in the school and we would sit here with our books during exams for undisturbed preparations.

100_5073And finally the nuns- this is Sr. Francina. She was our warden in school, and she hadn’t changed a bit when we met her.

100_5010The nun on the left is Sr. Terezina. She used to teach us English and back then we used to call her ‘Terror’. The one I’m sitting with is Sr. Maud. She was our warden and more importantly -the librarian. She saw my interest in reading and introduced me to lot of good books. And even though I got into quite a few scraps with her, she remained my favourite, so imagine my delight when I saw her after all these years. The best part- she remembered me too..

100_5076My college building all decked up for the celebrations

100_5054The college basket ball courts

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And lastly- the gardens. Both , my school and my college maintained beautiful gardens. Our favourite were the bougainvilleas that always provided us with colourful backgrounds for our various photo-shoots .

Travel Theme: Peaceful

When I saw this last week’s travel theme, ‘Peaceful’ the pictures that came to my mind were those taken in Ladakh. I know, I’ve done a lot of posts with a lot of pictures from that place but I just can’t seem to get over that place. The pictures that I post here are taken during our visit to the Diksit monastery. The route, and the place itself made you feel at peace- with the world and with your self.

leh 467The white sand desert of Nubra valley in Ladakh.

leh 490The monastery is built into the slope of a hill, hence the climb..

leh 470The giant statue of Buddha on the hill opposite to the monastery..

leh 492The monks’ quarters

leh 491The bells

leh 503In deep contemplation!!

leh 513The Buddha!!

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P.S. have used some of these pictures in my earlier posts also but I thought they fit here just fine…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sign Says

This week’s photo challenge is- sign says. My entry for the same has a little story behind it.

This was four years back. My Cardiologist (and not so old) husband suffered a heart attack. He was hospitalized and underwent an angioplasty. By God’s blessings and everyone’s prayers he returned home safe and sound. Those were some real traumatic days for the family.

Once he was home, friends, family, colleagues, all turned up to visit him. That was expected. What we also expected was that these people would come with serious faces and ask the same questions again and again. So my daughter and me decided to put up this sign on our door-

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Needless to say, it worked perfectly. People came in laughing and smiling and we did not talk about the illness at all.

Imperfect=Empathy

I loved “even with the best of intentions, people make mistakes” , in fact I loved the entire post. Your daughter is really lucky that she has such a wonderful mother to guide her. I’m taking some pointers myself, from what you’ve written here… inspiring!! 🙂

Mountains and Patterns

This week’s (almost gone) photo challenge was ‘Patterns‘ and A word a week challenge was ‘Mountains’.  Having spent the last few vacations in the mountains I have a whole horde of pictures of beautiful mountains and I decided to combine the two themes. SO here goes–

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

A very interesting challenge this week : Pattern. Patterns are everywhere around us. Nature shows off her patterns everywhere; in plants and in animals. Man created patterns, sometimes plagiarizing nature itself. Today I share with you two patterns that are an intricate part of our lives… or should I say our wardrobe.

These are two very famous styles of Tie-dye patterns of Rajasthan.

The first one is called the ‘Bandhani’ or ‘Bandhej’

IMG_0499A saree in this pattern is a must in every bride’s trousseau.

The second pattern is called ‘the Laheriya’. “Laher” in Hindi means waves and that’s how this print in tie-dye looks.

IMG_0496Sarees in this pattern is a favorite of women, specially during the festivals of the Monsoon(rainy) season.