Sunday, October 11, 2020

The rainbow effect:)

The evening sky has a rainbow effect, holding me captive and with feelings of hope fo
r the future.

Here is a poem by William Wordsworth that I always remember, so simple and beautiful.

My heart leaps up when I behold 

     A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began; 
So is it now I am a man; 
So be it when I shall grow old, 
   Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be 
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Festive times ...where are they?

Every year during this time I would generally be counting days for the festive time to begin... 

Especially Durga pujas, which is so much more than puja and rituals, it is celebration and fun time...With less than a month to go, if this were a regular year, Kolkata would have started transforming....creative puja pandals would be coming up, shopping places would be buzzing with people, and a general sense of happiness would prevail. 

Year 2020 changed it all! This year I feel none of the excitement :( 

Can't imagine I won't go out to see those creative and artistic pandals, each more unique than the other. The pujas will be held but on a low scale and in a controlled way given that the pandemic is continuing to be. Don't know if there will be those out of the world creative pandals to see this year, and even if there are, I would have to stay home and watch on TV 😢

I was going through the pictures I had clicked from the 2019 Durga pujas.  Just going through the artistic and beautiful pandals makes me yearn for those times. Will miss those moments this year...

I missed sharing pictures of  some of my favourite puja pandals from South Kolkata. Posting those down below.Stay safe and let’s throw this relentless virus out of our lives!

The below pandal was on a jungle theme, very well created:)

The below Durga puja pandal was a gem, my personal favourite. They created an old time Kolkata street with shops, houses, cycle repair stores, perfectly done. This is what I am so amazed about, every year, year after year...the creation is mind boggling...not seen any such creative puja pandals anywhere!

The below was unique too, the faces that you see...would keep changing as you approached them, from  Goddess Durga's to famaous women in history.

Another beautiful and artistic one:)

The below was on recycling plastic, and they used it in the decorations:

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From my archives: North Kolkata Durga pujas 2019, the popular ones

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The setting sun and the contrasting colours of the sky tells a story


I love sunsets; there is something indescribably beautiful about them. Time comes to a standstill; the changing colours and contrasts of the sky leaves me mesmerizied. One moment dark and cloudy, and the next moment clear and a brilliant blue; the canvas of sky changes so beautifully and completely...

Isn’t it so much like the contrasting experiences we face in our lives?

Even more so now with the entire world in the grips of a pandemic that has changed and is changing so much around us, and in us. I wonder why contrasts come into our lives...and when they do, the tunnel seems inordinately long without any light in sight :(  All is not lost for sure, and the good news is, nothing lasts forever:)

Here is one of my favourite poems by Rumi, so relevant and so beautiful; it fills me with hope:

Seeker, when you feel your soul contracting

know it is for your own good.
Allow not your heart to burn with grief.
In times of expansion you spend
and this expenditure requires
an income of painful soul searching.

If it was always summer, the roots would burn 
the gardens would never become green.
Winter seems bitter but it is also kind.
When contraction comes, my friend,
behold the expansion within
be cheerful, do not complain.

The eyes of a child are fixed on the wants of now 
while the eyes of the wise see to the end.
When you close your mouth 
another one will open, 
seeking nourishment 
in the mysteries 
of Spirit.
The sugar of sensual joy 
is the fruit of the 
garden of sorrow 
this joy is the wound, 
the sorrow is the plaster.

Learn to embrace sorrow 
look straight at its 
face and joy will reappear.
All action sways between contraction and expansion 
both as important as the opening 
and closing 
of the wings of a bird in flight.

Sharing some more pictures taken from my mobile during the time of Sunset (from my home)

Every cloud has a sliver lining
Every cloud has a silver lining:)

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Oh Darjeeling there is something about you:)

The mesmerising Sunrise viewed at Tiger Hill

The travel bug in me continues to bite …it is raining and this weather so reminds me of Darjeeling. Perhaps the most crowded and most visited hill station in West Bengal …yet I so love it. There is something about Darjeeling.

An hour’s flight to Bagdogra, or an overnight train from Kolkata to NJP, and then another 3 hours by road, takes you to Darjeeling.

The best part about Darjeeling is you can chill in the city, it has so many places where you can eat out, listen to live music, and drink gallons of the oh so aromatic Darjeeling tea.Or, you can get out of the city, and visit the innumerable places in and around Darjeeling that offer you such picturesque surroundings amidst a tranquil and cool weather.

Just writing about it makes me want to pack up and get there.  However I know I can’t
;( given the pandemic situation…but I can certainly imagine I am there…and that gives me some relief….I am sharing some pictures from my last trip to Darjeeling.

From the mesmerising sunrise at Tiger Hill, to Glenary’s yummy bakery and dinner with live music, the mall, Keventers, the small cosy places to have tea, the breathtaking views right outside your hotel window…it is just so ideal for a weekend getaway.

The mall
Darjeeling...the quieter part

The beautiful houses of Darjeeling
The crowded city centre:)

Ghum Station, opened in 1881
Glenary's, my favourite hangout in Darjeeling

View of the city
The Red Panda at the Darjeeling Zoo

The picturesque tea gardens, Darjeeling
The misty roads


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Nuwara Eliya, the picturesque hill station of Sri Lanka

Nuwara Eliya, Tea Plantation

My Sri Lanka diary would not be complete without Nuwara Eliya, a beautiful hill station and one of the main locations in Sri Lanka for Tea plantations. Located at a height of 1,868 m with an awesome climate (it was around 19° with a min of around 12-13...when we visited in December). 

We went by road, the drive was beautiful and we could stop over at various places for refreshments; it was just perfect (it takes around 5 hrs from Colombo). 

This was a perfect getaway to just relax, eat, drink and be merry:)  It was a treat to be among the sylvan surroundings, the endless beautiful tea plantations, the pristine lake, and just do nothing:)

I am missing traveling so much, and when I was going through these pictures my thirst for travel came alive. I felt like taking off to someplace like this right now…sadly it is so not possible now:(    ....the next best thing I could do is re-live the experience. Just by writing about  Nuwara Eliya I could re-live the experience and am feeling better...have driven the travel bug away for a will come back soon though:)

Sharing a whole lot of pictures here...especially from in and around Nuwara Eliya and the Lake Gregory area. If you like water sports, you will love the speed boats, and bike rides and even the float plane experience! I hope you enjoy these pictures. If you plan to visit Sri Lanka when things are back to the good old days when we could travel easily, you must include Nuwara Eliya in your itinerary. You'll love it!

On the way to Nuwara Eliya
Picturesque Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya, Tea Plantation
Water falls on the way to Nuwara Eliya

Post-office- Nuwara Eliya
Around Nuwara Eliya

Tea Plantations
On the way to Post-office- Nuwara Eliya

About to rain
Sylvan and breathtakingly beautiful

View from Gregory Lake
Beautiful buildings

Gregory Lake Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya Sri Lanka

Boating on the lake
Snake charmer near the lake

Beautiful buildings as viewed from the boat ride

Going under the bridge

Float plane
Speed bike

You may like the following posts on Sri Lanka: