Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Best Firsts

Hello = שלום (Shalom)
Oh it feels great to be back again.
Yeah sure i am alive and kicking and finally life seems easy in that same way it was a few forgotten months ago when i  could go on untiringly and endlessly about my intense feelings and random thoughts.
Also i am getting some revelation of a new kind in which i see myself as empathizing instead of criticizing my gender for being more eager and most keen to take up some office job rather than being an educated and brimming with potentials but lost to the world homemakers. Trust me! i'm beginning to appreciate the choice with more clarity in the brain and genuine kindness in my heart than ever.
i wish i could go on and on about how taxing life is for just a homemaker who is struggling hard to settle down in a new metropolis sans any assistance but i'd rather not because that's not what would give me any bit of pleasure.
i assume that by now if one is familiar with my rantings it should be easy to guess what constitutes my favorite topic for uninterrupted monologues.
That's another thing however how many would be willing to be patient enough to go through these monologues.
i would care less. For this opportunity has presented itself after a long and abrupt hiatus.

Moreover if i stuck to explaining what took me so long then the post would appear even more ridiculous. For one thing it would be a cribbing archive of rantings. Rantings of someone who is more confused than ever.
Confused !?
Even now after i have taken my own sweet time of about one year to settle down with all the amenities and privileges that modern life has to offer in a modern metropolis i am still unable to realize if i am comfortable here or was more comfortable there where i had spent twenty one years of my gradually evolving life.
Ironical indeed!
All the modernity, fast foods, home deliveries, assistance at the press of a button or buttons failed to provide any shortcuts for me.
Anyways i am back and can't tell how this luxury called free ranting time feels. Can't express enough through words how soothing it is to hear the sound of the keyboard once again.

i have just returned from a short vacation too which actually means that life is finally getting back to it's normal but smooth and exciting routine. No more juggling rapid fire chores but the kind where mundane jobs are accomplished with the pace that suits and if and when one holiday provides an extended weekend then a short tour through hills and valleys.
This vacation was another major milestone for not only did it rejuvenate us and provide succor to our bored out of our wits end soul but also that it has a list of firsts to it's credit.

This was the first time when the road tour was wholly planned, designed and executed by my husband and i can't seem to thank him enough.
It was also the first time we actually experienced the joys of being in a hill station which did not bore us with it's usual topography. That of a lake with jejune pedal boating, a botanical garden with varieties galore that leave you in the lurch as the most endearing ones that you choose and bring to the city wither and die a pathetic death for lacking what they need more than just abundant fake promises of keeping them in the shade, a suicide point for the unfortunate who decided to kill himself/herself but a major spot for landscape, honeymoon and last but not the least family photography , a golf course where X Y Z Bollywood film dance sequences/ scenes were/ are shot...

Manali  took us by complete surprise as it supplied us with our first and new list of thrills and chills to talk about for days on. The romantic and picturesque landscape that justifies it as the Switzerland of India  stopped us in our tracks as we laid our sights on the breath taking view of well defined snow capped peaks, the Beas river with it's clear, singing waters as it meandered through the town , the deodar and pine trees and the bonus of the season the sights all around of the fruit orchards in full bloom. Any side we turned, the eyes lingered upon the apple, cherry and pear trees in full bloom. Some virgin white, some pink and still others which had a mix of both pink and white blossoms. The entire tree covered with blooms over which bees and butterflies hovered. The eyes feasted on the beautiful  sights while the heart craved for a permanent lodge here. Enjoy the moment! Don't crib... the moment is now!

Thus onwards we had to try all that we could.
Skiing at Gulaba, Paragliding in the Solang valley and River Rafting in river Beas in the Kullu valley unleased the throttled and bottled kids in the 46 something enthusiastic couple to the extent that a failed attempt first at Zorbing and then not daring to try River Crossing did nothing to dampen their spirits rather left them in fits of laughter at their own ridiculous self which battled with the eternal question ' To Do or Not to Do'. What they lacked in their agility and confidence they made up in their fervor at applauding and congratulating the physically fit and fine young somethings perform the same activities with panache. And btw somethings are best enjoyed if you are a spectator instead of being a participant.
Like this spectacle...
A stunning profusion of purple...with a delicately, jasminely aroma that could elicit reactions of a varied kind.
For me it made me think of the invisible creator and all that i could hear inside me was...Oh God x n number of times.
This was the most incredible first for me of the ever so surprising nature which has endless but amazing firsts to offer. i had never seen anything so beautifully lavender, lilac, mauve, light purple before. i used to think that i have some connection with Jacaranda but i think it's the color i have some unexplained connection with.  Love is... The color makes me forget everything around me. At that time when i was close to this purple veil, this shower of fragrant mauve i felt like bidding goodbye to everything else. Just be there and to mull, reflect, cogitate and find an answer to my connection with the color purple...lavender...mauve.
i may have done a shoddy job at picture shooting but then not only am i a below average shooter but also that the excitement, the joy of that eureka moment was making me more jittery than ever. i kept taking shots after shots as if taking endless pictures would conjure some magic and the creeping tree would creep along with me and be by my side forever filling me with its royal color and fragrance.

For those who are interested kindly tilt your laptop screens away from you and you shall see the amazing hues of the purple i am talking about. Please excuse me for not having made any adjustments to the amount of light that should suit for i confess i am an absolute sifar (zero) at doing all that. Actually i am seriously thinking of joining an amateur photography course and if he finds time enough to go through this post of mine then perhaps now my son should understand why i rejected his generous offer of gifting me an SLR camera.

The blog of mine would be incomplete without giving due credits to the warm, humble and affectionate owners of not only this beautiful woody creeper that adorned the front of their old typically Manali style wooden house but also the owner of another equally beautiful concrete cottage complete with all modern amenities which they have newly constructed and which lay just behind the front wooden cottage. In fact they told me that i was lucky to see the wooden cottage standing for soon it is to be dismantled. My prayer for the time being is that for eternity the fragrant creeper should remain just like the lush mountains of Kasol where i chanced upon what i now presume to be Wisteria. i hope i am not wrong in identifying the fragrant creeper and if i am please help me with the correction Mr Karthik.
Anita Singh with her daughter Punit Kaur

The house belonged to Sardar Iqbal Singh. Although i did not meet him in person yet i consider myself fortunate to have befriended his gracious wife Anita and his two lovely daughters Punit and Amrita. There was an instant bonding of the sort which saw Anita ushering me inside her new home and showing me around. All this while she offered to treat me with some hot snacks and tea. In barely 15 minutes we had exchanged all about each other enough to make us feel like long lost friends. i hope when she visits Delhi  i am able to reciprocate. Punit who has just finished her air hostess training at Frankfinn is engaged to be married soon. i wished her the very best for that exciting new chapter in her life. And while i reluctantly moved towards the waiting cab with my patiently waiting husband i couldn't help but turn back and have just one last look at the beautiful people who had an amazing fragrant Wisteria caparisoning their house. Don't know how or why a sadness too stole it's way inside me. Probably it was that feeling of uncertainty about having another rendezvous with friendly people who suddenly meander into your journey and create memories for you to cherish. Or else it was that sad feeling that stealthily ambushes you when you realize that no matter how effervescent anything might seem at first it is just a matter of time when effervescent turns evanescent.  http://waterbug.homestead.com/wisteria.html

  The ride back to the hotel was suddenly filled with thoughts of my next door neighbor. Here in Kasol of all the places i meet strangers who are comfortable and eager to share so much with me and back home in my new metropolis my next door neighbor who stays just a few footsteps away can't find time enough to have an unhurried conversation with me. Not to mention that in these past few months she has not obliged me with a single visit even. Although undeterred by the not interested in socializing insinuations i have shamelessly intruded her private cloister quite a number of times and gladly had conversations with her. That's another thing that those conversations always left me in the lurch because they ended abruptly with unfinished chronicles. Empty dialogues the aftermath of  which saw me feeling more apologetic than ever for stealing some moments from that precious busy time of hers.
Now after many failed attempts at bonding i have gifted my screaming for company soul other kinds of involving and intense activities to indulge into. Watching with renewed vigor Dexter on Fox Crime for instance is one. My ever so coming to my rescue son has obliged me by gifting me all the previous seasons that i have missed. OOPS!! need i feel apologetic again to have digressed...

Please excuse me again for the irritating ads which features before and after the report on the Mini Israel- Kasol.

For most tourist this town/village Kasol situated in the Parvati Valley in Manali on route to Manikaran is a must visit site for it being the little Israel of the Himalayas. They can try and decipher the signboards which are in Hebrew. Perhaps even taste the typical Israeli cuisine staring at the beautiful/handsome Israelis. Some who stay in Kasol for months while others who have blended well, married locals and bought properties here. As far as i am concerned Kasol will forever be etched in my heart as that amazing valley where i had my first encounter with all that we as Indians vouch for. That soon to be evanescent glorious tradition called " Atithi Devo Bhava" and my first encounter with the delicately fragrant Wisteria. And i consider myself blessed on all accounts for a loving husband whose decision to take me to Manali in the not so peak season provided me with feasts of all kinds. Visual as well as gastronomical.  And i shall talk about these feasts in my next post. If by any chance my post has once again become exhaustive blame it on Sunny my savior who has arrived finally to gift me generously of that leisure that can only see just a homemaker chattering away to God's glory. Assistance indeed is a boon for some and bane for...(fill in the blanks whichever way you choose)
Till then... 
Good Bye = להתראות (Lehitra'ot)


  1. Hi !

    It indeed looks like Wisteria.

  2. Hey Karthik :)
    As always...
    Thank you :)

  3. Wow, I love to read any travelogue about the Himalayas. You wrote it beautifully. I've been to all these places (including Manikaran) but never knew that it's the little Israel of India (why?)!
    Btw, I'd love to see more photos of the snow peaks and meadows, and take an SLR so that we can really see the amazig hues of purple :-)

  4. hey Raja!
    Thanks for not only being so prompt but for going through my travelogue.
    Just a small reminder...not Manikaran but this place on route to Manikaran called KASOL is the little Israel of India. It's because of the many Israelis who have sort of made it their fav. Some have in fact settled there.
    When and if u have the time and the inclination then chk out this blog
    About the SLR i will convince myself to consider and approve.
    Thanks :)

    1. Checked the other blog. crisp images.

      I've been to Himachal twice, but to Uttaranchal a lot of times. Don't have many pics excepting for these:

  5. Wow it sounds like you had a enjoyable time, making new memories and refreshinng your life... a very long long post, lovely pictures..

    Thanks so much for your comment, it helps to hear understanding.


  6. BM...THANK YOU.
    Yeah i sure did have a gud time and just like always i had to put down all.
    Brevity is not my forte but i feel grateful that u could stop by and go through.
    Take Care

  7. Very interesting. I am not sure, but i think seen similar purple/lavender flowers in Bangalore.
    Also , glad to know that India has a mini Israel.It can happen only in India, mini tibet,African descendants somewhere in Karnataka, Italian running a travel agency, French running the poshest hotel in Karaikudi

  8. Bhabhi as usual with ur blogs u make the person reading the same actually feel his presence in those surroundings. One can actually imagine being their and experiencing the beauty of the place through ur writings. As always convert this passion into profession and start writing.

  9. Welcome back. As usual gr8 stuff... its nature calling. Nice to know all is fine. Keep posting!!

  10. @ Anonymous...dear friend thank God we had that talk and i know that anonymous has a face for me. Navi... nature has many synonyms. If at all u have seen this beauty then it's nice. Although i feel what u might have seen is Petrea volubilis and those are special too but next time if u can then stop by and let the fragrance fill you for you to be sure that it definitely is Wisteria.
    Thanks Navita not only for commenting but also for being there always.
    love and hugs

  11. @Vineet thank you but ur words are just too flattering.
    Maybe through these i might be able to hone what i lack in my prowess. And when i feel confident enough then i will seriously consider ur suggestion.
    Abhi toh bilkul kacchi hoon. Can't even dream of being a writer.
    Hope to see more of you on my page.

  12. @Tandarin...OMG where have u been? i was beginning to feel so lost in the blogosphere without you.
    Thank You Blogdost...thank u for ur words and for dropping in suddenly and providing me that happiness that one gets when one meets a long lost frnd.
    Sure will keep posting knowing very well that u will always be there to encourage me.

  13. Hi

    Nice to see you here once again-Wonderful, refreshing post:)

  14. Rashmi...hey,
    Sure it makes my day to hear words of encouragement from the writer lady herself.
    And i grab this opportunity to wish u more success.
    Thank you :)

  15. Yeah long time no see :-)
    Did hear a lot about Lulu Manali but never been to the place so far.
    But now after reading about Kasol, I am more eager to visit the place.
    That profusion of purple...... simply beautiful

  16. @Haddock thank you so much for stopping by. Yeah was off for a long time but now hope to have fruitful and satisfying exchanges once in a while if not too frequently.
    Definitely if i was as skillful u would've seen it better but even now when u see the beauty of the purple... you have made my day.
    The next post should be on food and perhaps will give u a new joint to try if and when u plan to visit Manali.You will have to if u want to visit the mini Israel in the Himalayas.:)
    Stay put.