Why gift?

Just this morning, a dear friend got some sweets from his holiday and my mind began wondering – When we travel on vacation or on work, we tend to bring some form or the other of a gift. Why? How did this ritual originate?

I don’t know but I do have a list of my own to shop for when I travel. Could be for my cousin, my friends, colleagues or whoever but shop I must.

Maybe it is just a small gesture of having remembered them when traveling? Or maybe returning the gesture they made when they traveled. I don’t know the real reason. The soul searching continues as the sweets are being relished.

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Bhutan – A memorable holiday we had

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This is what happens when you decide to write a long post like a travelogue. I started this post on November 18, 2013 and never got to finishing it. Just releasing it today, May 11, 2014 to let it off.

Just returned last Thursday from a memorable 9 day holiday in Bhutan. And believe me it was worth every minute spent there. Unpolluted air, pristine nature…. Floored me completely. The population of Bhutan is less than 0.7 million which would probably be the population of Matunga, the locality where I live!!! Small wonder that there is no noise there, the people are happy and they LIVE life unlike us in the city who are always running from one place to another like the world is coming to an end.

We traveled from Mumbai to Baghdogra via Delhi by Air India and it was a smooth ride. From the airport we got into the Tavera which would be our vehicle for the rest of the journey driven by our Bengali driver Navin (Nobin as he called himself). He drove like any Formula 1 driver and reached the border town of Jaigaon. The border crossing was no big deal and he just drove across. You are allowed to cross the border at will just that you need to get your travel permits done once inside to travel further. We stayed in Hotel Druk which was about 500 metres from the border. Infact it was so close that we got the Indian mobile network and used it to call home:-)

The next day we first got the travel permits done. Navin had it all organised and all we needed to do was to get ourselves photographed and he collected the permit after an hour. In the mean time we went to the mobile shop nearby and got a prepaid SIM card (for which you need to submit a copy of your Travel permit). Costs Rs. 5 a minute to make a call to India which wasn’t as bad.

We started for Thimphu, our first destination. The roads are winding and treacherous. People with motion sickness beware. My nephew, Dhruvit threw up big time on the way. The stop over at a small Bhutanese joint was avoidable honestly as the food was completely different from what we are used to. The weather en route was COLD so make sure you are adequately covered.

Happy Explosion

I have loved this blog http://www.happsters.com and enjoy their weekly posts. This weekend, the post has been all about spreading as much happiness as possible. So what is my target for the coming week? Kavya is heading for a holiday for the first time all by herself. While she is extra excited about going with her friends (and getting a break from pesky parents), Pauravi is very very edgy and is most worried as any other Mom. Her life revolves around Kavya so to let her out of sight for a week is a big big sacrifice, I can sense that. My mission for the forthcoming week is not to get into the usual argumentative mood that I usually am in and instead teach her basics of using the computer, email and Facebook and mobile phone including Whatsapp:-). And remain calm when teaching her! Strange as it may seem, she is eons away from technology even as I am glued to it. Now Kavya too is getting into it as part of her school curriculum and even without the school she uses the tablets and smart phones with aplomb. So it is only imperative to have Pauravi join the technological bandwagon. Hope to see a happier wifey next week:-)

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To Yeoor Hills

Thursday, May 1, 2014 was a holiday on account of Maharashtra Day and it was pre planned that we (Cyclist Rony Bill and me) would be cycling to Yeoor Hills near Thane. Another cyclist friend, Nitin Mainthia decided to join in so that made it three of us. The ride is about 30 kms one way so we decided to leave early. Rony left at 0530 from Dadar TT and I met him at 0535 at Ruia Signal and Nitin met us at Sion so the trio left early before the break of dawn and started our ride. Rony was the most experienced of the three of us and had warned us about a few dos and don’ts so had some food before leaving in the morning. I for one had 2 sweet limes and was munching some almonds along the way as advised by my sister. Had about 1.75 litres of water on me with a little salt added to that (I can’t have sugar being a diabetic) The ride to Thane was uneventful as the road was nice and we did the straight road and avoided the bridges with maybe 3 or 4 stops to sip some water. At the entrance of Yeoor hills we were met by the cyclists from Mira Bhayendar who had just come down. The climb upward is steep I was forewarned by all but I decided to take the plunge. A little into it and I was huffing and puffing so stopped and caught up my breath. The slope is treacherous no doubt so then decided to walk up. Met some walking regulars along the way including senior citizens and that I think kept me going. After a kilometre or so the road isn’t as steep and so I was back in the saddle. Nitin knew I wasn’t seen so came looking for me and we then went together. Met Rony who was searching for us and the three of us went in again. Took some pictures and then decided to leave. The downhill ride is tougher as I was in the highest gear and yet had my brakes on just to control the cycle at such a high speed. It was fun indeed. As we came out of the gates, I remembered another tip by Diabetic Cyclist Mulla Yusuf that there is good bitter gourd (Karela) juice available there so saw the juice vendor right across. Had two servings of pure juice with a glass of beetroot carrot juice too. Rony asked the juice vendor about a breakfast joint recommendation and he was only to happy to tell us about this Anna who serves idlis and wadas near Vartak Nagar circle a couple of kilometres down. We ended up going there and relished the freshest wadas and idlis with some extra awesome chutney. Washed that down with Tea and Coffee. Left on the journey back which was longer than the one going as the sun was out all guns blazing at us. It was fun even if the heat sapped us. Came home and realised that ended up at just about 65 kms which to date is my best ever. Enjoyed a lot thanks to Rony and Nitin and also the tips from Mulla Yusuf and the juice walla. Looking forward to the next big ride.May 1, 2014 with Mira Bhayendar Cyclists at Yeoor

Rony and me at Yeoor Hills on May 1, 2014
Rony and me at Yeoor Hills on May 1, 2014
Nitin and Rony at Yeoor Hills on May 1, 2014
Nitin and Rony at Yeoor Hills on May 1, 2014

Republic Day January 26, 2012

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Today is the first time in my life that I am attending the Republic Day celebrations with my Dad and Kavya at Otters Club. This day so far always meant a holiday and no more. But Kavya was very enthusiastic about what it was all about. Just as I was leaving office yesterday I received an e mail about the celebrations at Otters so it was fresh in my mind. When the topic came up, I told her about the flag hoisting at 9 am and she was all set. So we went there this morning, enjoyed the patriotic songs. One thing I learnt was the significance of Republic Day aside of being a public holiday and I had to read up to answer her queries. So yes I did learn something thanks to her posers.

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