Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Being on the cover page of a prestigious magazine!

This one comes from the diary of a page from my childhood. I still remember the day clearly while sitting on the bench in a park outside our house, my sister once asked me, “If God decides to fulfill any 3 of your wishes what all would those be?” To her surprise my dream list was just not restricted to 3 - To walk ramp as a model for one of the biggest brands, to appear on the cover page of a prestigious magazine, to win a trophy after beating many participants in rough car rallies, to climb the highest of mountains, to jump from a plane in sky, to give dance stage performances, to win awards for my work. There was no end to them just like the countless stars that night.

All those dreams emerged next to impossible at that time considering the fact that no one from my family even thought of such crazy dreams. She listened to me patiently with a smile on her face, hugged me hard and assured, if I believe in them, they all will come true.

Call it luck or my commitment and desire so strong that all the dreams I saw for myself came to life. I lived up to each and every dream that seemed impossible that time. I was not a model, but I walked ramp for Provogue, I was not a rally driver, still I mustered the courage and participated in one, I was not the best employee of my organization, still I won deal of the year award, the girl that was not even allowed to stay out of home after 9 pm in childhood, traveled various parts of country alone to explore herself.

This month has been really special for me, as I lived one more dream of my childhood fantasy. I got a chance to appear on the cover page of one of the most prestigious magazines “ NRI Achievers” , representing Indian Culture and freedom in “66th Anniversary of Independence” August 2013 Issue. This prestigious magazine’s readership profile includes NRIs and PIOs from across the globe, embassies, Indian High Commissions and embassies abroad, Central/State ministries, central libraries, top hotels, major clubs, international cultural centres, trade and industry associations, chambers of commerce, the railways and different airlines, apart from the regular subscription based circulation throughout the country. 

As I hold this magazine in my hands today and see that proud smile on my dad’s face, only my heart knows how it feels. You know you are doing good, when sometimes you even get inspired by yourself J As I write this blog today, I am thinking of those countless stars that night in park and promising myself to live up to these endless beautiful dreams so that the day I die, I should be able to say, “ Kya zindagi thi yaar, maza aa gaya” J

Friday, 28 December 2012

Experiencing Life’s ultimate thrill – Sky diving! - Who says sky is the limit?

Dreams! Just a word to say but with meaning so profound… I still remember my childhood days when I used to watch adventure shows on TV that showcased skilled skydiving. It was my dream since then to fly in the blue sky and the very thought of skydiving used to instill a feeling of excitement in me.  The mere idea of jumping out of an airplane from 12,000 feet had this amazing appeal to me. It symbolized freedom and true adventure of life. As I grew older, the desire to skydive kept on getting stronger. It was among my top bucket list of things to do before I die. And one fine day, I decided to finally take the push and go for a tandem skydive.

Upon arrival at Skydive Ambey Valley, I checked in at the reception and completed the paperwork which basically requires you to sign your life away and waive the instructor of any liability in the event of a mishap (which could even be an injury or death). I could feel the butterflies in my stomach but they weren’t the scared butterflies, they were the “Oh Yeah, finally Let’s Do this” kinds. That’s when I met my Instructor Paul. He is the same guy who instructed Hritik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol for sky diving in movie “Zindagi na milegi dobara” Call it mere Luck or my supreme fortune that day, on entering the training room I met Farhan Akhtar getting ready to do sky dive next to me. It was nice talking to him briefly and gettig us clicked together :) Post that Paul suited me up and walked me through the procedure.

Paul and I became friendly soon and as we were about to board the plane, I turned to him and said please continue chatting as much as you want but just don’t say any thing that sounds like “Oh No” during dive. Ok I have a funny sense of humor at times. Paul just laughed and promised me a good ride and I am happy that he came through on that promise.

On reaching the altitude of 12,000 feet finally the moment was there. It was really frightening to watch the houses become smaller and knowing that we would, in a few minutes, be jumping from the safety of the plane. As the plane’s engine was cut and the propeller up front slowed to a halt, I saw the plane door getting opened. A loud burst of wind entered and we were ready for the jump. While standing at the edge of the door and looking out at the vast high space below, I questioned my sanity. Was I actually crazy enough to do some thing like this? A signal from Paul and woohhhhh we were on roll for free fall ride of lifetime.

I took a deep breath. Thanked God for this beautiful life and made the jump. Those 45 seconds of free fall actually felt like an eternity and the fastest minute of my life. If you have ever sky dived before, you know the feeling.  It’s difficult for me to describe the feeling because there’s really nothing I can compare it to. Suffice to say, it was exhilarating.

It’s like you are flying through the air at a speed close to 120 mph feeling the wild wind in your face. Your thoughts are running untamed and a camera guy is capturing it all on movie. This jump gave me the biggest adrenaline rush I have ever felt. Post this  45 seconds of free fall, Paul taught me how to steer the parachute, and after few minutes of floating blisss, we made soft landing at dropout zone.

The entire experience from boarding to landing lasted only about 45 minutes, but it gave me a whole new perspective on life. It's liberating, exhilarating and gives a real rush to life.

I saw people stood around in circle applauding for me. Paul draped his arms round my shoulders  as we posed. When I finally landed, I was extremely euphoric, feeling a sense of accomplishment and victory. This experience was in a class of its own, incomparable to anything else I have ever experienced.

I knew that from that moment on, my perspective on life would never be the same. I had just jumped out of an airplane at 12,000 feet, and survived without injury. I would say put your fears aside and just do it once in life. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. It’s an life altering experience and is also the closest experience humans can have to flying. It’s like you do something that most people don't even have the courage to do, so enjoy the accomplishment!

I would like to close this most special blog of mine with one of my favorite skydiver saying:

If riding in an airplane is “flying,” then riding in a boat is “swimming.” To experience the element, get out of the vehicle!

So 28 Dec, 2012 you have been officially recorded in my memory for forever now :)

Monday, 24 December 2012

And the countdown has begun……

 "One" – For the sake it’s just a number but how it impacts our lives is really interesting!!!!

When your long awaited holidays are just one day away, how even the thoughts of the upcoming fun keeps on exciting you whole day, when you have just one hour left at work prior to call it off  to enjoy the Friday evening, how the promise of lovely upcoming weekend fires you to do that extra bit of work. When you have fixed a time to meet that special some one, how the needles of watch passes by slowest in that last one hour.

The butterflies you feel in the stomach when you are just one day away from the big day in you life…. Be it your marriage, engagement, graduation, first day of job…..I even wonder at times what all would be going through mind of a lady one day before who is about to give birth to a child. The pleasure in her mind for nurturing a life in her body for nine long months, and the happiness and bliss that child would bring in her life would fulfill her.

I am also feeling this “one” day excitement pattern right now. My longggggg awaited holiday is just a day away now. My travel for next seven days -  I will be going to the places I have never been before, I will be meeting the people I have not seen in years now, I will be getting the complete taste of freedom once again and last but not the least I will be spending these last days of my year with my besties in my fav city Mumbai !!! :)

So dial of my dear clock, please run fast as I am feeling like this excited bunny who can't hold the patience to embrace next seven days :)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Just for today, I will wear the crown and be my own princess!!!

 This post of mine was long due. Somehow I could not get time to pen down this experience of mine. So today, I write once again as words never fail me when I want to express something!

It happens with us all, that some day's we fall asleep to an ordinary night and wake up to an extraordinary morning. Something similar happened to me recently. It was not my birthday, neither did I win some lottery, there was no personal emergency at home, nor was I sick. I had no reason to call it off from work in middle of the week but I decided to do the same. I woke up that morning with a smile on my face. I was just happy and thankfully I didn’t have to find the reason why??? 

I feel that we all deserve a day where no worries get in the way of our happiness. Generally we search for happiness in others neglecting the most important person we see in the mirror. This is the only person who has witnessed the entire journey of our lives. From joys to heart breaks, from ecstatic highs to deep lows and from triumphs to failures. Someone who has been with us since the inception of life and will continue to be with us till the last breath. For this life long commitment, we have to make sure that we place a high respect for this reflection. So I decided to wear the crown and be my own princess for that day.

I took an hour long bath, picked the best dress from the wardrobe, wore my favorite perfume and completed the look with my best accessory – my smile :) The day was special, for it was my date with myself. I have a simple funda in life. On special days like this, drive safe but dress to kill :P

I started the day with my visit to temple. It’s not that I am very religious but some how the chants, the smell of scents, the positive vibrations and purity in prayers elate me. I was not there to ask for something this time but just to thank god for this beautiful life and express my gratitude for all the blessings that he has showered upon me. The next move was to a cinema theater. It was for the first time in my entire life that I decided to watch a movie alone. I purchased the premium seat and sat in middle of the hall with nachos and coke in hand. I was laughing at the top of my voice at every comic scene in the movie until I realized that the aunty sitting next to me is staring at me with “Do not disturb” look into her eyes. Lol Luckily it turned out to be a nice experience as after some time she also joined me in my giggles.

The movie was followed by a queen size lunch in one of the most elite and exclusive restaurants of Delhi. I ate like a proper punju girl is expected to eat, without being cautious of calories :P I had promised to treat myself with exquisite luxury that day so I purchased that every single thing that caught my fancy that day in mall without even looking at the price tag. That’s another case that I dedicated the next free evening sorting the shopping bills with a horror movie on TV to provide the sound track which was just apt for the situation. Hahahaha :D But does it really matter when you had such a beautiful day added to your life and can say with proud that yes, I love and respect the person I meet every day in mirror? Nah! It was worth every single bit of it :)

Last but not the least; I did something special for some one unknown that day. That someone doesn’t even know my name, who am I and how I landed up unexpectedly in that life that day. For a princess is not a princess if she doesn’t have a hand open to give to others. The most valuable lessons of all that I have learned from my sister is - “Never keep your fist locked. For the people who open it for others and be a giver, are the favorite children of God and they don’t have to look at some one else ever for happiness in their own lives”

As I end my post here, I wonder, if all things in life could be the way I want them to be, life would be so awesome! But then even without them, life is Max awesome!! :D

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

A joyful experience: Durga Puja in bengali tradition!!

So ever since I heard this quote from one of my friends "One Bengali is a poet, two Bengalis are a Union and three Bengalis form a Puja Committee", I was quite curious about experiencing Durga Puja. Goddess Durga is one who is worshiped all over the country and I have grown up watching my parents worshiping goddess in our house every navratras. For us it has always been waking up early during these days and filling our house with chants of “Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive sarvartha sadhike, Sharanye trayambake Gauri Narayani namostute”

I don’t really know what all one needs to do for the puja, but what I know is the bells of devotion from my heart are surely heard by goddess and that’s shakti puja for me.

I have always found it very interesting to learn about different cultures and experiencing the unknown to enhance the colorful vibrations of life. So when I got this invitation from one of my Bengali colleagues to be his guest and attend the puja in Chitranjan Park , I immediately said yes to it.  This place is a home to the affluent Bengali community and has been the epicenter for Durga Puja celebrations. 

So on the day of Puja, I draped the Bengali sari and dressed up like a proper Bengali woman. Excited to the core I stepped out of the house and left home with a friend to drive to the pandal. The picture in this post is completely misleading showing how comfortably I carried off the Sari. The initial half hour was no less than a fright for some one who is not even used to walk 4 steps wearing it :P But then, where there is a will there is a way ;-). I have tried it earlier long before and this time also i got rid off my sari consciousness in some time.

On reaching there I was like this child in a candy shop, loving every thing I saw. It seemed that the city is filled with colors, joy and lights all around. Sparkling smiles, jovial faces, music and above them, the Goddess in all her glory with her attendants.

I got the chance to attend a very popular traditional dance called “dhunuchi dance” during Puja. I followed the steps of these beautiful Bengali women and danced with mud pot in my hands for long. It was an amazing experience to do this devotional dance to the beats of drum with earthen pots lit with coconut husk, camphor, coal and sprinkled scents before the idol of Ma Durga. I was feeling one among them all. I captured these beautiful images in my camera so that I can savor these memories when the moments are gone.

Durga Puja is much more than just devotion and is a welcome break from our regular lives. The intoxicating crowd, sound, the road side puchka, dhunuchi naach, the heart beating to the rhythm of the dhol, I experienced it all and loved to the core. Now the festive season is ending with these lovely idols being submerged into the River. The idol is gone, but her spirit is staying back with all the people. This entire experience has left me with the hunger to learn and explore more. I know that the life is too short but if it can be lived well, this ‘one ‘is also enough :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Kyunki har ghar kuch kehta hai!

Which color to design my walls from, the new window that will open up my world to a new sunlight, hours of discussion with mom for the style of furniture to buy, Yup! I am super excited these days being an interior designer for the new look in my old home - Kyunki har ghar ye kehta hai, Ke ismain kaun rehta hai ;-)

They say that our surroundings are a reflection of our thoughts and express to a large extent the kind of person we are. Big or small, our home is that one place in entire world that gives us the satisfaction that no other luxury can match. The more comfortable we feel, the more a house feels like home and the more motivated we are to return to this place where we live with our loved ones!

So these days I am occupied with decorating my world. I know that the kitchen that me and muma are designing will not win any awards. I know that my shopping for that every little thing in market that reflect my choice will not make me a design expert. But I know for a fact that just the liberty to express the kind of surroundings I aspire around me makes my heart soar high. As it's not about constructing, It's about making a home :)

So I will take a short break here till my twinkled eyes and dusty hands finish the job at hand.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The world full of endless possibilities!!

Life has it's own ways of dealing with us, giving us or taking things from us... It bowls at us the series of things - celebrations, friendships, heartaches, acceptance, denials and we learn to handle it all. We grow up being more cautious than we have to, trusting people less than we intended to and also learning to behave in social gatherings with a plastic smile. Yes, we transform with time, we grow up!!

Somehow I could never relate to those growing up sensibilities too much and have always been more inclined towards younger ones. The times when we actually trusted people, when we were happy; it showed on our face and when we were sad, tears could tell the entire story, when impressing people was never on front seat, when feeling of forgiveness was always mutual and when Sunday morning cartoons were more important than global warming :) When we were 5 years of age and people asked us what do we want to be when we grow up, our lives were full of possibilities. Our dreams were inspired of travelling to moon, to be a snorkeler, to build a castle, in my case - be a princess like Snow White :P We grew 10 and people asked us again. We replied little differently - an engineer, businessman, writer, artist, in my case - Travel Anchor :) These dreams kept on changing as we grew old.

And now that we have grown up they are expecting a sober answer from us. Well, if you ask me I would say, who the hell knows? This surely is not time to bind our lives with some firm and quick rules; it's time to make mistakes. Take the wrong road and get stuck somewhere. Live it up! Fall in love - Open your heart to love even when it feels broken, no matter if world warns you to be cautious because you have experienced heart break in past. Follow your dreams even if it means walking many miles on rough road of struggle, make as many mistakes as you can, take the adventure trip of living this life.  Believe even if your faith has been shattered. Go on despite broken wings and have courage in the face of darkest emotional storms. That way, some day, when they ask what do we want to be, we won't have to guess.... We will know.

Life is amazing and is about living it to the fullest and if a mistake it made, dust yourself off, stand tall and keep moving. No longer beat yourself up for mistakes made, but learn from them. make a positive impact on those around you! But most of all, don't wait until tomorrow to start what your heart longs for today.

We are humans after all, and if we don't make mistakes, we become boring. Isn't it? So let us all grow back to being young and get wiser along the way as there is nothing more fulfilling than experiencing endless possibilities and reaching our goals. Stay Childish!