A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Namnam,

You’ll soon be starting a new school year, ushering in a new chapter in your life. Much as it makes me anxious to know how well you will eventually take to the new surrounding, your excitement about the prospect of going back to school is just so infectious, darling!

I know you miss your old school, your friends and your teachers a lot. You constantly reminisce about the fun you had with them, the lessons you learned, sometimes amazing me with the knowledge you’ve gained on various subjects for which I have no-one but your teachers to thank, making it all so obvious how much you have cherished those moments. Why, you even asked me if you could keep your old uniforms safe and wear them sometimes just because you loved them so much!

And now you can’t wait for the new school to reopen for I can see how much you hope to recreate those experiences of your previous school in your current one just as well. I’m so happy to see that eagerness in you! May you always be as positive as you are, sweetheart.

But do keep one thing in mind, Namnam. While it’s fine to relate the experiences that you may go through here with the ones you had in your previous school, please avoid comparing the two for the simple fact that each school is different and each experience, each person that comes your way may be different.

Embrace each moment with open arms and mind while preserving the memories of the moments gone by in your heart.

I can see how eager you are to join your new school, but I can also feel in your words a feeble sense of uncertainty about fitting in well. It’s perfectly normal to have such uncertainties, Namnam. But let me tell you, there is no need for you to be doubtful in any way. Be yourself, your kind, loving, fun, adapting self and you’ll be just fine πŸ™‚

That’s not to say that you should compromise over your views. No, never. If you believe in something, stick to it, be assertive. Having said that, be also willing to accept if you are in the wrong.

Trust me, you’ll feel much better and more confident to face not just others but also your own self, if you can recognize the mistakes, whatsoever you have made and learn from them.

Take your time to make friends. There’s no hurry. Don’t fret if you can’t get along with your fellow mates. Understand that its not possible to get along with all of them out there! Make friends with children who may not necessarily agree with you, but who understand and respect you for who or what you are.

However, there’s one quality that I would really like you to work on. And thats your shyness. You’re still wary of going out there and opening up to fellow kids. It’s perfectly fine to be an introvert, Namnam. I am so I know. But if you like someone, be bold and go upto the person and introduce yourself. You never know, he/she may turn out to be a friend waiting to be made for life!

I know I don’t have to tell you what I am about to, for you know this already and you have adhered to it beautifully so far. Still let me tell you again πŸ™‚

You’ll be away from home for a good part of the day.

And you will be in the care of teachers who would be trying their best to bring the best out of you.

Do cooperate with them and hear them out. Give them the respect you would give your Papa and Amma. Do listen to them and speak up if and when you have any concerns or doubts. Your teachers will be happy to clarify any doubt for you. I keep telling you this..please do not keep your thoughts cooped up inside you. You have a beautifully curious mind, express it!

You have been extremely lucky to have been blessed with wonderful teachers who have always been able to bring you out of your shell, help you become more and more confident in every which way possible. I hope and pray that you are blessed with such teachers here in the new school too.

While I realize, with a heavy heart, that with each passing year, you’ll be moving further away from me and papa..oh how I wish we could keep you safely cocooned in our protective hold always.. it overwhelms me to see you growing into an independent confident girl with a mind of her own.

So go out there and have fun, dear girl! A new door filled with wonderful opportunities is all set to open out for you.

Papa and I will be standing right here on this side of the door, looking forward to hearing about all your experiences of the day.

May God bless you, kanna!

Love you


The Great Himalayan Escape- 1

**Disclaimer 1: LONG LONG post alert..kindly read at your own risk of dozing off πŸ˜›

*/Disclaimer 2: All the snaps have been uploaded `from my phone, so kindly bear with the picture quality

Life can be funny sometimes, you know! There are plans that, despite being made well in advance, with meticulous precision, can fall flat and wreck the whole experience. And then there are plans that are made on the spur of the moment, with the least amount of preparation, yet they turn into an unforgettable experience that you want to cherish forever.

I have just got back from a holiday with an experience of the latter.


Namnam and I reached Delhi on 15th of July with no plans but to stay put right here and spend our vacation with our folks. But..just one week into the stay and I was cribbing and cursing the unbearably hot weather. It didn’t seem like we had changed places. Rather it just felt as though we had simply travelled from one hot weather of Dubai to be in the other hot weather of Delhi. From one furnace to be in another!

I was itching to get to some place cooler. To add to that, some friends were already holidaying in places like Manali, Coorg and sharing pics of beautiful views thereby tempting the hell out of me, which made me want to get out of here with my folks in tow, even more!

And I did just that!

In no time I got around to planning a short getaway with my parents, dad in law and Namnam. My parents were super charged up! Especially my Ma. Her child-like excitement made this impromptu holiday planning even more worthwhile πŸ™‚

I started out with Manali since 2 of my friends were already there holidaying with their families. So I knew the weather was totally favourable and conducive. And it was closer to Delhi than Coorg was.

Train tickets for Chandigarh were bought and it was decided that we would book a cab to drive up to Manali. Then I learnt that the drive in itself was about 9hours long. Not to forget the 3 hour train journey to Chandigarh. Since my father and father in law had health issues, I felt that it would be risky to engage in such a long journey. So we dropped Manali and chose another hilly destination, which entailed slightly lesser amount of travel time.

Dharamsala, the holy land of The Dalai Lama.

Needless to say, the pater and the mater were super thrilled at the prospect of visiting Buddhist temples and a chance to explore Tibetan culture and cuisines.

Then began the search for a good hotel. I checked with a group of friends on What’s App and Monika recommended with a link to this particular hotel where she had stayed a couple of years ago. The 8 Auspicious Him View Hotel.

Mon, thanks a bunch again, for the recco! We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in the hotel as you would find out in the post ahead πŸ™‚

I loved the whole look and feel of the website. So did my travel companions :). I had some concerns about my parents and dad in law’s health and their acclimatization to the high altitude weather considering the long steep drive up. But a few calls to the hotel and a couple of mail exchanges later I was assured and reassured of a stay as comfortable as possible. I also read some reviews on Tripadvisor, which is where I turn to whenever I need some more clarity about the destinations I am travelling to, which further helped me in deciding to go ahead with this choice. Most of the reviewers had only good things to say about the hotel.

I booked 3 nights for the five of us. And also arranged a car transfer from Chandigarh station to all the way up to Mcleodganj where the hotel was located.

Mcleodganj is about 9 kms further up from Dharamsala.

We left Delhi at around 740 on the morning of 28th July by Kalka Shatabdi. We reached Chandigarh by 11. From where we got into the cab that was waiting to take us to the hills.

It was a comfortable ride, with lovely weather to keep us company. Add to that, old Hindi melodies being played in the car while on the go and my father humming along with them with pure nostalgia writ large on his face! It’s moments like this that make memories to treasure, isn’t it?


Now as per the internet search a car ride from Chandigarh to Dharamsala usually would take about 5 hours and 30 minutes. And when I spoke to the hotel staff, I was told the same. But in actual the whole journey took us 6 hours and 45 minutes.

That could have been because we halted in between to have lunch on the way. Speaking of which here’s a peek into a plate of supremely delicious chole bhaturey that we had from Heritage Haveli on Chandigarh highway..


Also a glass of masala chai which is not to be missed if in case you halt here to refuel your tummy!


And yes this restaurant, aside from the yummy food and scenic lush surrounding, also has extremely clean washrooms! Trust me when I say this.. my opinion on any place automatically rises a few notches up if the place can boast of a clean washroom/toilet.

So a double thumbs up to Heritage Haveli!

Anyway after a filling lunch, we set out on the remaining journey which was no less than a roller coaster ride with narrow winding roads and hairpin bends at every turn. All of us sat firmly fixed to our seats, jaw-dropped in awe of our driver who maneuvered the vehicle along those edgy routes with such deftness and ease!

We reached the hotel after the thrilling ride at about 6.15 in the evening. We were greeted by warm welcoming staff who treated us to hot chocolate and herbal tea as welcome drinks.

The hotel which was tucked away from the hustle bustle of the city with fresh and green surrounding felt cosy and more homely than ‘hotely’ ( had to coin this term for want of a better word..forgive me all you guardians of the English language :D).



We were then guided to our rooms with balconies looking out to the most beautiful views of the Himalayas! As my father in law remarked, “We are literally in the midst of clouds!”


Right there and then we fell in love with the place. We couldn’t have asked for a better sight to kick start our holiday. A sight that we were to wake up to every morning for the next 3 days..



The weather was heavenly too with Namnam & my favourite season in town…the monsoon πŸ™‚
We turned in for the day after a long overwhelming ride with an amazing sense of calm listening to the pitter patter of rains…

To be continued…

Day 1- Red+White

Well, I must be crazy! I’ve a packed month already with a pile of things to take care of. I’m already in the thick of moving in to a house. And here I am adding yet another challenge to my list of things to do! The July Photo A Day 2014 Challenge. I have no idea how I am going to manage or whether I can even. But I am going to try anyway for as long as I can!

Thank you Smita, your post prompted and tempted me to take this up! πŸ™‚

So here’s my photo of the day! With a bit of red, a bit of white and a few other colours thrown around. A click of a house that is waiting to be turned into a home.

My home…



Happy Diwali to everyone..

in advance πŸ™‚


We celebrated the festival last night.

And run-up to this day was preceded by days of rigorous pre-Diwali cleaning. Yes, I was bitten by the safai virus too! How could I escape it when so many of you were putting up posts and tweets on how you all were so engaged in getting your homes clean and set for the festival of lights. Watching and reading you all drove me to turn my heavily cluttered house to a neater and decluttered home just in time :).

The kitchen cabinets were reorganized. Floors were bleach cleaned. Even those far ends that hadn’t had any contact with cleanliness for weeks were reunited with the vaccum cleaner. Thanks to which, the sharpener that was last seen some 7 months back was found lying in a chunk of dust under the child’s bunk bed! Piles and piles of unwanted papers and stationaries cluttering inside the study table were shown the door. Wardrobes and bookshelves were reset. Windows were brushed off the dust. The front and back yards were broomed and washed. Of course I had some able help from my domestic help, who diligently took my suggestions and instructions to clean every nook and corner of the house . God bless him!

I can’t begin to tell how satisfying and calming it felt to see all those shelves and cabinets and drawers that looked as though hurricane-hit, transformed into neatly stacked counters. Even though, as Rachna rightly pointed out, others may hardly notice the hard work put in.

Having said that, isn’t it a bit of an irony that Diwali, which brings in so much of cleansing and decluttering to our homes and lives would eventually entail a sense of mess and unkemptness the very next day with all the crackers and poppers and snappers strewn all over the street?

Thats not to say that I don’t appreciate the positivity, brightness and cheer that the festival brings with it. It is after all, my favourite festival!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful Diwali this year! May the festival of lights brighten up your lives with happiness joy and fervour to last forever πŸ™‚