Friday, December 31, 2010

Some randomn Konkan moments

I love beach vacations. Mostly because I have grown lazy I think.

* * *

In Maharashtra, if you trip and fall, you could find yourself at a fort. Sitting on the waters and jutting into the sea, the fortress walls of Sindhudurg make for a lovely walk. Reaching the edge facing the sea is the best, offering views of the boats on the sea and long coconut groves along the coast.

Sindhudurg fort

The view through a rifle point
* * *

There is something soulful about sunsets. Doesn’t matter if it’s behind buildings or setting into the sea – it somehow never fails to calm. We were cheated of the latter with the sun disappearing into some clouds, but I didn’t mind.

Sunset at Malvan
* * *

Thursday, December 30, 2010

An evening in Deobagh

At around five, when N (the younger N) and I headed out for a walk, the previously deserted beach (but for the odd dog), was starting to bustle. The boats were back after a day in the sea. Some fishermen were drawing their nets out from the sea and laying them to dry. Others had laid out their catch from the day and were sorting through it. Some women were waiting with their baskets – probably for the market for the next day? Two eagles were also bidding their time, circling overhead and repeatedly swooping low in a kind of duet for a chance to flick a fish or 2 from the piles. A few local children were playing on the beach, chasing a hoop with a stick. There was the odd tourist family as well.

As the sun turned pink, the spoils of the day were divided, and the crowd separated slowly… I expected them to have all retired to their homes but was surprised to see several boats making their way into the sea once again. A second fishing expedition? Possibly. Much later in the night, I could see lights from the boats twinkling from the dark depths in an otherwise starlit night.

It was just another day on Deobagh

The Deobagh beach

Fishermen pulling out the nets

Laying it out to dry

The impromptu fish market on the beach

Women waiting for their share

Some kids on the beach

Bring 'em home

A lone one out at sea

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Discovering Bernini's

I went to Rome, and I discovered Bernini’s.

Walking into Piazza Navona, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi or the fountain of the four rivers is the most central piece of the square. Four powerful men, sculpted in a circle representing and celebrating the worlds’ four great rivers of those time – Ganges, Nile, Danube and Plate – and a an obelisk right in the center. Standing beneath the fountain – I was amazed by the gigantic proportions... (everything in Rome is so gigantic) and impressed by its magnificence. Needless to say, the concept of a dedication to 4 rivers was a beautiful one.

Piazza Navona at night

The next time I came up close with a Bernini sculpture was in the Villa Borghese in Rome. Pluto, is holding or rather carrying Persephone, like he doesn’t want to let her go. His hand is circled around her and holding her above, catching her in her hip and thigh, and denting her soft, smooth flesh as his fingers press into her. The force in holding her is etched in his stance, in his every taut muscle. I was stumped. Persephone is pushing away from him - I just couldn’t understand why! Her toes are delicately curled, to show her distraught it seemed. Even the swing of her hair, the tendrils of his beard capture the struggle. The intenseness, and the power of the moment so beautifully captured in an inanimate sculpture.

I couldn’t look away.

Ratto di Proserpina. This image is taken from

The sculpture is Ratto di Proserpina or Rape of Persephone, based on the story of her abduction. (I have a strong dislike of the word, and am happy that may be the word wasn’t intended in its crudest). Wiki says(according to one of the legends), she was picking flowers with other nymphs when Hades aka Pluto abducted her. Although she was later returned, she was tricked into eating a few pomegranate seed and therefore is tied to the Underworld. So she returns every year in winter to Hades and the Underworld; during which time her mother doesn’t allow crops to prosper until Persephone returns to her.

Bernini was 23 when he produced this masterpiece. And I was in love with it.

There is so much Art in Italy that it can overwhelm you. As an uninitiated person to art, I didn’t expect to find something that would thrill me this much. Bernini’s work is all over Rome. You can’t miss the imposing double colonnade in the Vatican City. You are likely to run across the cute (but also forlorn, I thought) Elephant in the vicinity of the Pantheon. If you like these Bernini’s, I would definitely recommend a stop at Villa Borghese to see Ratto di Proserpina and the equally impressive Apollo and Daphne.

This was a guest blog post and can also be found here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A guest post...

Hey all, a guest post of mine has come up over here.

Do hop over and take a look. Thanks!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Stop and Stare: Atop Shanti Stupa

And then there are those places – really, moments – where you want to just be. You don’t go seeking, you can’t plan for them, but they do happen, creeping upon you unaware. Across the sidewalk as you watch life passing by. Or, in the beach, watching the waves. Moments where you lose a sense of time. You shrug your shoulders and sigh, just content to be right there. With no place else to be.

It was a tiring walk up to the Shanti Stupa. Once on top, we played the fool, clicking photos. There were people sitting around the terrace - catching up with friends, exchanging travel tips, and some just observing. We soon joined the group and sank into our own "silent" zones. Interrupted only by an odd comment here and there. Somewhere in between, I blanked out. Not sure if it was sleep, but the next thing I was conscious of was the cold creeping up. We then made our move!

Relaxing at Shanti Stupa

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Christmas break, remembering Rann!

Christmas break is around the corner, and I’ve finally convinced my sis to take a few days off from work. Yeay!

Thinking of Christmas reminds me of the Rann of Kutch trip last year.

I can still remember the December chill in the air, even as the sun burned down on us. The bright colours of the women’s Sarees and Ghagras (a long skirt and blouse teemed with a shawl) contrasting with their heavy jewellery. Men in white dhotis and shoes. Sleepy, sleepy village towns with old traditional havellis, but all in disrepair. A shepherd with his sheep blocking our jeep. Camel’s pulling carts with people and loads. A fat fati in the middle of nowehere. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my four years in another desert state – the landscape, people, the dryness, the heat and chill, all had a familiarity of yesterday.

I had always meant to post Devjibhai’s details (we stayed at his camp), and also some more photos. Meanwhile, I am looking forward to going someplace with my sis this time!

How to get there? There are several points of entry into the Rann of Kutch. Through bhuj and Gandhidham, you can enter the Greater Rann, and through Dhrangadhra or Zainabad, you can enter Little Rann. We went to Dhrangadhra. From Mumbai, we took a sleeper bus to Ahmedabad. From here, you can take both buses and vans to Dhrangadhra. From Dhrangadra, there was a jeep drive to the camp.

Where did we stay? Devjibhai Damecha runs a camp here and offers both huts and tents for accommodation. He is a nature photographer, environmentalist and birder. We found him very helpful – despite the lateness of our request, he was able to accommodate us. The safari’s were also well organized. In the evening, he even offered us a short ride to catch the sunset.

Devji's website is here.
Other options include: Desert coursers, and the Rann riders. Best way is to shortlist among these and call them for info!

How many days? We spent about 2 and half days. Reserving a day for the safari is good, but we were on a much slower pace, with nowhere else to be.

In a crowded van, chugging towards ...

Road blocked!

Mr. Shepherd

A beautiful sunset

Our hut or Kbooba

Cute dog in the camp

Friday, October 08, 2010

The moment when it started

We were back from an unexciting day at Skofja Loka (a nearby sleepy village), and making it to some of the landmarks for last photos. Eventually we found our way back to Presern’s square (the most important, central square in Ljubljana).

Six o clock at Preseren is bustling. After a cloudy day, the sun was finally out, warming us all up. People walking past or cycling by, some sipping their coffee, tourists just hanging around at the foot of the statue, parents with strollers, shoppers... A street musician was playing and a small crowd was gathering. And then he struck the chords for ‘My girl’.

Preseren square in the evening

We had had a bit of grey weather in the first few days. And then, I had gotten to know that an exam I had given hadn’t gone for the best. Funny how such a small thing can come snowballing and make you see things in extreme gloom.

And then as the song began, it felt like – so what? Here I was in one of the prettiest, liveliest squares, - one of the most ‘realest’ squares filled with people who actually lived, and worked and belonged to Ljubljana. I imagine I would have been doing exactly this on any other evening if I was living in the city - walking by the square, stopping to see the river, catch a glimpse of the evening sun and soaking in the life in general. The sun was warming me to the core. I had a slight buzz from the bookshop I had dropped into, and the couple of books I had picked up. And then there was the song calling to me. I think that was the moment when I felt, yes I am here, here now. The moment when it felt like the trip was beginning to take off.

The triple bridge

Preseren’s square is not the most remarkable or even bigger squares in Europe. But what is nice is that it is a part of the daily life of Ljubljana rather than just being on the tourist trail. We saw a few girls with H&M bags and decided to ask them where the store was. They laughed, “Oh you caught us. Don’t worry we’ve left something for you”. The square is along the river Ljubljana’s banks, with landmarks like the Franciscan church, Triple bridge (Tromostovje). Preseren is a national poet who wrote the Slovenian anthem and his statue stands tall in the square. Story goes, he is looking across the square at the building of his lady love.

Preseren and his Muse

Us just hanging out

Later that evening, after some shopping at H&M, we stopped by a cafe offering apperitivos - it means drinks, but typically many cafe’s offer a filling but free plate of side eats. We had been looking for these bars/restaurants in Venice, but found these first in Ljubljana. Our first day in Ljubljana had started off in Preseren Square – where our walking tour began. On our last, we left with a glorious final image of the square blazing in lights at night.

Night lights

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gadget attack!!!

I wasted a good 8 hours worth of blogging transit time today from Manila all because 1) I didn't have the right converter for my India plug points and 2) my laptop battery drains battery faster than the steam in a cup of coffee....

Agree, issue#1 is because of poor planning - so in the Singapore airport, I decide I am going to buy the WORLD CONVERTER ... which converts any kind of plugpoint to any kind of point... and guess which ones it doesnt support? The India 3 pins. We account for 1/6th of the world population - how can a world coverter not support my laptop power point??? Come on!!!

And now I have another useless converter, in addition to 4 chargers - for my phone, my laptop, my camera and my blackberry...And now, I will still go find another world charger, a world which includes India.

And just today I was just thinking how heavy my laptop was and whether I should get a net book... then I think of all accomapniments that may follow, the trouble of keeping both the laptop and netbook charged and backed up and the inevitable hours of delibaration before every trip - should i take the laptop or the net book or any one at all... I am dizzy

How many gadgets can we handle???

I am drowining...

ps: Just all my chargers took so much of luggage space :( :(

Friday, August 13, 2010

All roads lead to Italy

... or so it seems! Every time I mentioned to someone that I was planning a vacation to Italy, either they were also planning or knew someone who was going there. :) Well, my road is now taking me to Italy, and taking me there quite soon - and I can't wait!

It's been a packed last few weeks - goodbyes to old friends (an end which seemed to arrive even before it started it seems), a girls weekend to sula, planning (and going mad in the process) of the Italy itinerary, wading through one of the busiest cycle of work, and all this amidst different personal crises. However, now that I am here, the crazy dash to the finish line seems good!

Anyway, goodbye for now and see you on the other side!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Finding friends in Bratislava

We were all nicely settled in the couches the living room – there was K & R, our hosts and my friend R and me. We had just finished polishing K’s homemade cake and were enjoying a night cap after our day in Bratislava.

We discussed a lot of things that night – the different places we had traveled to, our jobs, our lives; K had been a part of an international agency and had some insight into caste system and its issues in India as well as female infanticide. She has never been to India, but wanted to hear more about it. (And if I may say so, explaining India is so difficult!) They told us a bit about the velvet divorce (the separation of Czech and Slovakia), R’s grudge that lonely planet still puts Slovakia after Czech; their pride in making into Euro (before Prague), even though the timing was a bit off with the crisis.

They were very surprised at our English; We were surprised how European middle class families can so easily travel abroad. Then followed weightier topics of religion - both Czech and Slovak are dominantly atheists (after years under the communist influence). We shared some conspiracy theories– though at some point it did cross our minds that the lateness of the hour, and the languidness of mind and body was not ideal for such a heavy topic!

Outside R's gallery in Old Town

We were "Couchsurfing" with K & R and that is how we came to stay with them. In other words, they offered their hospitality and their home for an opportunity to meet different travelers like us. Over coffee, R helped us find our way, pointed out key places. We may not have found the Blue Church or the fantastic pizza place – Pizza Mizza - on our own. Staying in one of the city's neighbourhoods also helped us see a bit of the non-regular Bratislava.

K&R's neighbourhood

This was my first and was a pretty nice experience with couchsurfing. Obviously, you should definitely feel comfortable about this, but it does seem to be a nice way to meet people and other travelers. If this has piqued your interest, and are 2 sites that come to mind, that help facilitate this exchange.

Dos & Don'ts
1. Be comfortable with the idea– this to me seems most important. A lot of my friends aren’t. On the other hand, I’ve heard some very positive stories, and that was encouraging. So we decided to give it a go, since it was also 2 of us.

2. Couchsurfing is not just about finding a place to stay. You could use it to meet people for a coffee in a new city or find company for a museum visit, which could be a more comfortable starting point. Many cities have regular CS meets on weekends and that would be a great inclusion to your itinerary. I regret not making it to the Saturday Beer garden meet up in Prague.

3. Be comfortable with your hosts – First thing would be to see if your and the hosts requirements match. Time restrictions (you may not have 24/7 access to the flat), smoking/non smoking, do you have room or just a couch in the living room etc. We spent quite a bit of time exchanging emails with K & R where they sounded very enthusiastic and also helpful and we were so glad they could host us.

4. CS has an option where by a member can choose to be verified for a fee, and so adding authenticity. But not all members get it done for their profile (I am not). Also, members leave references for each other – that could help you know your host a bit better (though I have never seen a negative reference, I have to say!). CS is an open community (anyone can join), so no harm in being careful!

5. And lastly, being sensitive to what the host expects out of you and making sure you have time for that.

Bratislava's blue church

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do Up My House 2 - a cane obsession

Cane furniture is an obsession. Almost. I think they can be very pretty, and elegant – without crowding the room and most importantly, they are cheaper than traditional wood furniture

In Mumbai, I began my search 3 years back. Many evenings, I would just take an auto, ask to be taken me to a near-by locality and then start of enquiring around those areas. After months of effort, I am happy to say, there is no cane furniture available in Powai, Vikhroli, Bhandup, Ghatkopar (all neighbourhoods close to where I stay). In another attempt, I found a shop in a locality farther away and paid him an advance. 3 or 4 weeks later, the furniture guy tells me that he is unable to deliver and that I should come back and get my advance. The auto fare up and down would have been expensive than the money I would have recovered!!!

Cane shopping can get quite interesting and also frustrating – just as shopping for anything else in teeny weeny local market shops in Indian can be. You won’t find cane in the regular furniture shops. You may find them in high priced “ethnic” or “Indian” specialty stores – and obviously, ”cheap” is not the selling point. Most often than not, you have to go poking around very small one-room shops. Or sometimes, they are displayed outside the shacks which line Mumbai’s roads by the million.

Firstly, there is nothing in the shop itself that will convince you are in the right place – you are there out of blind faith or on recommendation. Then there is the process of customization – better not to, I think . The price haggling is inevitable – although either I am losing my touch, or may be bargaining really doesn’t get you much these days in Mumbai. And then the constant follow-up on delivery. But, hey, this is a different kind of fun, and the pretty piece that may soon adorn your living room is of will be worth it.

So this time, when I needed a few pieces to fill my house, guess what I thought of??? Cane again. I told myself I was on a fool’s errand. But, 3 times proved lucky.... and now I have what I’d like to think is a cute book shelf, and 2 lovely chairs and a coffee table – I am most thankful for the chairs, as I spent most evenings during my one week break sitting on the balcony with a cup of tea and watching the sun go down in splendid colours.

My own reading nook

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Travel secrets - now an eBook!

Remember this post? It was a Tripbase tag asking bloggers to share their travel secrets. Well, Tripbase has decided to take it to the next level after they recieved an enthusiastic response. These tips/secrets have been collated to create a downloadable eBook. Moreover, for every person who downloads an e-book, Tripbase will make a $1 donation to Charity:Water.

The Mission
1) To provide funds to build freshwater wells and clean drinking water to people in developing nations.
2) To raise awareness about this fantastic cause, encourage hundreds more people to donate and to make a real difference on the ground.

And all you need to do is download these books for free. So, please go ahead and take a look at these e-books! And as a personal favor, don't forget to specifically look up As I See It featured on the Worldwide Travel eBook and Worldwide Beaches eBook.

Personally, I am kicked - feels good to see my name against something other than my research reports! :) :) :)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

10 million fireflies lighting up the world...

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep
Because they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude but I'd just stand and stare

- Owl City

This song has gotten under my skin. Although I am sure the writer intended a more profound association for his lyrics, it is bringing back memories of all those nights when I couldn’t stop admiring the beautiful inky midnight blue spread above filled with dancing fireflies. It feels like I am uncorking a jar of glorious nights, stumbled into unknowingly and collected little by little over the years.

Nights which amazed me – I thought I have never seen it this beautiful; nights which made me wistful, sometimes poetically lonely; nights, the beauty of which, brought pure joy and happiness and you wanted to sing out loud; and then nights where there couldn’t have been a more heady combination than that of stars and silence .

Most of all, nights that make you believe that nights like these is purpose enough for life. Now, if only I could remember that...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Language trouble

It was a hot and sweltering day as I landed in Chennai, after a long break of 4 months since my last visit. I was taking in every small sign – the chattering in Tamizh, signboards, the Saravana Bhawan, movie posters – all making me feel home again. I was almost sporting a silly smile as I floated into the taxi and told the driver ‘Thoraipakkam poganum’ (I have to go to Thoraipakkam in tamizh). Maybe he didn’t hear me, but minutes later he turned around and asked ‘Kahan jaana hai?”(Where to? in Hindi). I snapped out of my reverie - ‘had I heard that right?’ I had flown down all the way to a certified no-Hindi-land and the cabbie addresses me in the language that they refuse to acknowledge? Was the sun rising in the west these days?

I tried again – repeated where I needed to get to and asked him which route he planned to take. He didn’t respond for a bit; and then seemingly disappointed at an opportunity lost to hone his Hindi skills (I presume, or maybe he was disappointed that I was just a boring local and not an exotic tourist) answered me in Tamil. Still, a few minutes later he did try again - ‘Very very hot no today???”. I couldn’t but help smile.

Are the winds of change sweeping through the city after all?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Little Prague - Cesky Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is mostly a day trip for visitors to Prague. But, stories of Bohemian fairytale castles, and the idea of a laid back halt, possible a day or 2 of cycling made this a longer stop for us. Cesky Krumlov is a part of the greenways project – a project to create and maintain trails between Southern Bohemia and Vienna for hikers and cyclists to explore the region. I was fascinated and I would have loved to spend a week or so, moving between towns and checking out a few castles. In the end, we decided to base in Cesky and do day trips.

Town of Cesky Krumlov

We hadn’t made any specific plans for our activities here and sadly, the tourist info center wasn’t the most helpful on trails around the place. But then we ran into an outfitter shop and Yana here was most helpful. We bonded over travel stories and she selected a wonderful trail for us for cycling. Canoeing on the second day was an experience too – R is terrified of water and in the first half hour we struggled to navigate on the river. And not to mention R’s hysterics at one juncture where we thought the canoe may topple and she thought she may drown. The depth of the river would have come up to our torso only – something we found out later. All in all a great day!

A sculptor at work on the streets

The best times to be in Cesky is in the early mornings, where you can get a quiet breakfast watching the castle spires, as you see the small town stir to life. And then after 5, when you can walk through the fairy tale like alleys, admire the endless but tastefully done tourist knick knack shops (they are clichéd but still have a lure to them) and have some of our best dinners in some really classy restaurants by the river. In the end, we never did properly see the Cesky castle.

Of the many shop fronts

Ideas for inspiration
Cold war legacy: peaceful hiking in Bohemia
Bohemia: where fairytales may be true

Where we stayed in Cesky – Town Theatre in Cesky Krumlov
There is a small pension in the attic of the Town Theatre- the place was very comfortable, right at the start of the town. The lady here however doesn’t speak English and reservations have to be done through the tourist information center. In the evenings, we saw some performances happening in the theatre, something you could pencil in. Despite being a smaller town, room rates were not very different from Prague.

Sports outfitters- I can’t recollect their name, but run by Jana and Peter, they are by the bridge in Cesky. Very helpful, if not the cheapest.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

In the heart of Bohemia

I the last couple of weeks, every time I have a breather at work, I find my mind wandering to my past vacations, and most often than not the couple of days we spent in Cesky Krumlov. I still remember this one moment – R and I were sitting under a bush after an excruciating stretch of uphill cycling, which we mostly walked, catching our breathe. We could feel the heat beating down steadily, radiating in the air, lulling the moment into silence, creating a buzz in our heads –beads of sweat rolling down our faces and a bottle of water, our respite. Our cycles carelessly lay on the ground. In front of us were slopes of green grass, undulating hills, houses here and there and distant forests forming the horizon.

And then it hit us – we are actually sitting in a random spot – a place we may not been able to spot on the map later, between 2 no-name villages in the heart of Czech Republic. We are actually there- no; we are actually here in Czech Republic. In Boehmia. And yes, Bohemia is a real place. It was real, yet surreal.

Gearing for the day

Our lunch stop on our cycling trail and an impromptu dip in the lake!

Ruins of Divci Kamen - an abandoned castle

The landscape

On the Vlatava - from Cesky to Zlata Koruna

Saturday, March 06, 2010

When a work trip starts to kill

‘You no bored?’ she laughs as she keys in my order for 1 veggie delight. I try to laugh away telling her I am vegetarian- although, I am sure she was referring to the fact that I’ve nearly been having subs for dinner and lunch every day for the last 2-odd weeks. I have a sneaking suspicion that the 2 women at Toast Box have been sniggering for the exact same reason. Every day it has been the same order – coffee, thick toast, to go.

Ah yes. That is how I was also speaking at shops and restaurants. Why need connectors like ‘and’,‘is’ when you can convey the meaning with just the important words. It is funny how you unconsciously changes your accent in a new place to be better understood. Sometimes, you change to broken English too. Like, after one month of eating at Denny’s in the US, I was all into thannnk you’s from my nose.

3 weeks in Singapore once again – but buried in work, and smothered in stress this time. I don’t think I have found myself in as much stress before. The second Sunday in office, I found myself crying in the ladies room - I was having my first panic attack imagining a life full of sundays at work. One part of my brain said, I should be working and that way I'll get the hell out faster. But the other part just refused to contemplate the thought of work. In the end I just left and slept through the panic.

I had no energy to call up friends. No energy for a meal in a restaurant. And yes, I came to the point I was too tired to shop! That, is the bottom of bottoms I hit. And so, I think I have finally arrived at that point where work trips may no longer be thought of as fun and a welcome change!

Highlights of the trip – yes, there were some at least

In my first week, we had a team party held on a yacht in Sentosa. The weather was great, wine was flowing and we were after all in a place reserved for the rich and beautiful. Although, like any office party, I - the lowly associate – hardly had much to say compared with the high-flying and fabulous experiences of the big guns. So it was more an evening of smiles and head nodding, but fun anyway.

A day trip to Manila – a mix up of bit of the chaos of India, a bit of Mexico with old tin tiled houses and the Spanish names, and bit of posh tall rise buildings of Singapore and Hong Kong. I tried some ‘orginal’ Philippines food – a dish of glass noodles – and I have to say I don’t care for it! One day was hardly enough to understand the city, but the hope is for another trip. Hopefully to explore the country’s beaches and mountains away from Manila. And hopefully, when there are no typhoons.

And, there was fantastic book sale close to work and I found some very interesting travel titles – I had been considering picking up one of them at borders for 30 dollars, and I ended up getting it for 6 dollars in the sale. Also, a book on the next country on my list... it will be revealed when it happens!

On my last day, I woke up at 11 at night, made a dash for ‘Spices of India’ in hotel Rendezvous. Yes, they were still serving dinner, and the guy actually remembered me! One order of half portion peas pilaf, mushroom curry and raita please.

PS: Anyways, I am back after a long time. The hope is to get back to my routine of visiting blogs, travel planning and hopefully blogging.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

My very own Do Up My House story

This story has a happy ending. Oh well, a happy beginning too. :)

My new place.

I was almost despairing when one of the places that I had somewhat liked (didn’t like the owner, I admit) and was in the process of finalizing fell through. Despairing also because by then, I knew the design, type, pros and cons of flats in every building in the area and hadn’t found anything that would suit. Making a big move like moving out alone, you don’t want to settle for anything less than a house that screams ‘Come and Get Me’!!!

I was indulging in honest I Hate the World and Why do I Always Get the Raw End of the Deal, depression and self-pity, when this place came up. I was sure it wouldn’t fit in my budget, but what the hell, it would expand my real estate knowledge and so I went to take a look at it. It was an apartment on the 13th floor, with space like a football field (well, for a one bedroom place anyway!), french windows on all rooms and BALCONIES!!! What clinched the deal was that the balconies and windows DID NOT overlook another flat. What more could one ask for in Bombay??? And yes, it does help to be living in a banished suburb.

The living room

I moved in a few weeks back and I have to say it’s been great. Somewhere along the way, I realized I was in the middle of my Do Up Your House story. He He, nothing extravagant like restoring a villa in Tuscany or in Morocco. But MY scaled down version of it. Matching curtains and cushion covers and drapes, getting the right TV table, lamp shades – such complex decisions and such fun!

Distant buildings that light up at night

From a more day to day standpoint, I like that I have become more disciplined. True, I could have been that in my old place, but at some point I had lost the will to care. Now I have no choice but to care and make time for more mundane stuff like running errands, organizing the house, or to get an odd job fixed. OK, that doesn’t sound fun, but trust me, it is.

Sometimes, I almost feel like The Heroine in the Book of My Life, like there is a narration which makes the most banal of activities very soulful and insightful - ‘It was a lazy Saturday morning and she woke up to the sun streaming from behind tall far away high rises through her window. The image of a hotcup of chai drew her out and she walked to the balcony, feeling the cold early morning chill as she sipped a cup, lost in her thoughts...”. He He, I’ll stop here!!!

Anyway, there is no single verdict on living alone. But it’s an experience worth trying!My only tip, get a place u see yourself in. This was a big step for me last year, and I am more than thankful it came together. I may tired of living alone soon enough, but until then...

The view from my bedroom!

The view I wake up to