Thursday, December 31, 2009

It’s that time of the year again!

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 Time to reflect on a year gone by and time to welcome a brand new year!
Here's wishing you life's best... May 2010 bring you all that you dream of.

Love and light to all!

PS: Picture taken at the very pretty Candies, Bandra. Batti Bandh was being observed one evening!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

2009 reasons!

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Yes, I've dropped the "postcard from j" prefix. Thought it's time I grew up.

After my last-minute August trip out of Bombay, I had resolved to blog often. If nothing else, the least I was expecting myself to do was update pictures on my photo-blog* and find an outlet of expression. But work and the attractions (and ease) of social media (read: Facebook, and of late, Twitter) ended up mocking my so-called resolve.

2009 is coming to a close. And I, for one, have HATED this year. Funnily, my reasons are beyond comprehension. 2009 came, sat around, and is now leaving, and somewhere inside me, I feel a sense of loss. A terrible sense of loss. I really don't know what I did with this year. It was supposed to be MY year when January came along. I promised myself that I will look after myself, make amends for my unhealthy lifestyle, find ways to make my life more meaningful, give more of my time to those who need it...

The only time I invested in me was that week-long escape from Mumbai. I clicked lots of photographs, ensured they were updated on the go through Facebook, got some rest, sampled good food, rummaged through a local market for traditional pickle jars... I absolutely loved that time even though it was a bit rushed.

And now that the months, weeks, days have flown past in no time, here I am... wondering why I let things be, why I never had ambition, why I never push myself to excel when I know I can...

Ok, I exaggerated with the "2009 reasons" title... but then, I've always sucked at self-motivation. I was never the one who wanted an insanely high "percentage" on my marksheet, never wanted to give CAT, GMAT, GRE, IELTS and a zillion other abbreviated examinations, never believed in competing and competition...

So, where does that leave me today? I stopped counting my age after I turned 26 (which probably happened in another lifetime). If someone asks me my age, I'm embarrassed to answer that. Not because of the number it is, but because I think I haven't achieved much to be at that age. And of course, being a single Indian woman (single by choice so far) brings its own share of grief.

Guess it's time. Time to stop brooding and making plans. Time to actually be alive and living those plans.

What does 2010 have in store for me? I don't know. But I want to welcome it with arms wide open and live my life to the fullest. There are a few good things that happened this year (probably a good idea for another blogpost) but the overall mood has been sombre.

As I await the final candles to blow out from the cake called 2009, I hope and pray that next year will be more fulfilling not just for me, but also for many of you. Whatever your hopes and dreams, may they all find their true destination.

PS: I've changed the look of this blog. Would love your feedback on the same... Suggestions to improve are welcome.

* I did post a few pictures on that photo-blog. Did you see them?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

postcard from j: thank you, mr. hosseini

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It had been a rather emotional roller-coaster of a week before today.

He said, "Nice to see you smiling today..." It was his birthday.

And I could only say in the silence of my heart, "For you, a thousand times over."

Thank you, Mr. Hosseini.

Friday, September 04, 2009

postcard from j: pudchya varshi lavkar yaa...

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Snapshots from the final day of Ganeshotsav near my home...

 Ganpati Bappa Morya!

 A passing truck of devotees taking their Ganesha idol for immersion ('visarjan')

 The traditional 'mandal' band guys waiting to kickstart proceedings...
Fireworks to signal merriment

 Traffic snarls and crowds everywhere

Gulal and dancing

The talented 'mandal' band

Drumming up a frenzy...


With every ounce of energy...

We bid adieu!

Monday, August 24, 2009

postcard from j: what i learnt from my sojourn...

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It's been more than a week since I got back from my last-minute trip to Mangalore and Bangalore. This was NOT a holiday as most people believe. And as the days wore on, I knew it was the right thing to do. All the long-distance travel was solo – train from Mumbai to Mulki (Dakshin Kannad), bus from Kinnigoli to Bengaluru and finally flight out of the Garden City back home to Mumbai – and it was very important I spent a lot of time being by myself and away from the chaos that is Mumbai.

I'm not sure if the trip fulfilled its purpose entirely, but it just felt great being on my own for a bit and as I look back, I realise there have been quite a few lessons from my 8-day jaunt:

1. First and foremost, it is extremely important to take a break from people sometimes. Coming from an HR person, that sounds ironical. But trust me, this has been one of the most significant learnings on this trip. Okay, I can't really take a complete break from people, but at least a break from people that I live with, work with, or see every single day.

2. I may not have returned with any life-altering solutions to any of my problems but my time away taught me to see things in a new light. That it's crucial to hit the "pause" button to my crazy routine and get away to just stop and smell the flowers.

3. Travelling solo gives you the time to think without anyone interfering in your thoughts. Time then becomes a gift, not something you had to kill.

4. As a woman going solo also meant I had to be more aware of my surroundings, more alert to sounds, sights, smells... Safety of self and stuff was a priority, and that made me more observant to people, movement, and whatnot.

5. Travel is definitely one of the best investments one can make. It is education, adventure, fun, bliss – all rolled into one giant experience and much more.

6. There's no better friend than a good book on your journeys. My book companion this time around was Khaled Hosseini's 'A Thousand Splendid Suns', which was long overdue.

7. Make a memory. Or two. It's so easy now to capture moments around you with a digicam. But can you capture the wonderful aroma of piping hot sambhar as the vadas drown themselves in it? Or the serenity of that lovely chapel you stopped by on your way? Or that feeling of wonderful anticipation when you hear the approaching rain clouds? Nah, no digicam or modern technology can help capture those moments. Just close your eyes and make a memory for yourself.

Well, these are some random learnings I've had. I'd like to hear if anyone out there has anything like this to share from their travels.

PS: Also, hope this post marks a return to blogging more frequently :)

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