Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thoughts about today...........26th Jan 2010

Today is India's 60th Anniversary of the Republic Day. Have read a lot of articles in the newspapers on our achievements or lack of it. Received a lot of wishes, wonder if people actually understand the significance of the day or are just wishing because it is a fad.....like "Happy Women's day", or "Happy Valentine's day".....etc.

Anyway, for me, I was just glad it was a holiday....that too on a Tuesday. Well the initial plan was to fly out to Fiji to join up with my sister and her husband on a short vacation but the logistics did not work out. So I stayed put in Bombay. Spent the day in a relaxed manner - went for Bikram Hot Yoga; enjoyed the class and meditation. Came home and had a leisurely lunch, read my book (Cyclops by Clive Cussler), napped a bit and then went to the spa for a foot massage. After that headed to Theobroma, Bandra with my friend Smita and had a delicious hummus and feta sandwich, blueberry cheese cake and a cappuchino. Smita ordered a New York style cheese cake which was excellent as well.

We then went to Crosswords and browsed around the shop. Resisted the temptation to pick up books! and finally made our way to St. Andrew's to watch Shabana Azmi's powerful performance in "Broken Images". I thought the play was excellent and I had a great time.

Just a passing thought.........26 days of the New Year have flown so quickly. Am trying to make the most of my time in the best way possible.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Wanderers ...................the first getaway

The Wanderers is an offshoot of the Thursday Club where like minded people from work go out on weekends together. The only difference is that this includes family and friends as well.

The last weekend was our first getaway to Hideout, an eco resort 3 hours from Bombay. We had actually planned to go to Aamby Valley but we had quite a time making arrangements for the stay there as well as trying to find out information about the place. Since the week was a hectic one, we put Aamby Valley on hold and instead settled for the Hideout.

We booked a mud hut and it worked out to Rs 1700 per head with all meals included. An honest review - the mud hut was completely basic and was nothing like the one we stayed in at Hodka, Gujarat. It was literally made up of mud and bamboos with a badly thatched roof which could not keep the cold out. In fact it was freezing cold and even though they had warned us to carry our own blankets, we spent the night in discomfort as we had not anticipated that the temperature would go so low!! The food was average and totally unlike the reviews that I had got from my friend Simmi. I was told that the owners grew their own vegetables and fruits organically and this in turn made the food extremely delicious. I personally thought it was average.

But the great company of my friends more than made up for these shortcomings of the eco resort. We had a great time playing Boggle and Jenga. We played 20 questions with Sanjai's gizmo and laughed all the time. We read a little, washed our lunch down with a wonderful Australian Merlot - Yellow tail - drunk in chai glasses and later in the evening had some Bacardi Reserve (8 Annos) once again in chai glasses! The night sky was absolutely beautiful, the sky was clear, the stars shone brightly and our only regret was that none of us were proficient in astronomy.

We also drove to a nearby dam, if you could call it that. Spent some serene time near the water and reflected on our present and wondered about our future. We also cycled a bit and figured that we could do more about our fitness levels. Watched a beautiful sunset and in short had a relaxing, destressing time in the quiet of the country, away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

All in all, it was an eventful trip. A great start for the concept of the Wanderers.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bye 2009...........Welcome 2010

2009 was a good year...................cannot complain. I got promoted, enhanced my team at work, completed the system implementation, went for the carnival in Goa, visited some amazing museums, visited ancient historical sites like Petra, Jerash, Hampi, Dholavira, went to the Golden Temple, walked on the Great Wall in Beijing, started Portuguese classes, spent some serious time with family and friends, maintained my weight, joined Bikram Hot Yoga, started Salsa classes, saw some amazing airplanes at Geneva and Dubai, started the Thursday Club, witnessed my first snowfall and experienced the German Christmas Markets. Finished the year with some wonderful people, amazing food and yummy mulled wine under the Blue Moon!!

What does 2010 have in store for me? No idea...........but am ready to face it and enjoy it.

I would like to be able to:
- continue with my Bikram Yoga practice
- travel around India a bit and discover this amazing country
- ensure Thursday Club continues with the same enthusiasm
- continue with Portuguese classes
- concentrate on being healthy in mind and body
- find happiness in the little things in life which we take for granted
- accept people for who they are and not for who I want them to be

In the bargain I am sure, I will be richer for the experience. Welcome 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cologne, Germany (Part 3)

On Monday, we decided to visit Aachen which is an old town from Roman times. The Cathedral was really nice but not as spectacular as the one in Cologne.

It is now a university town with lots of sculptures at every street corner.

We also found one of the narrowest buildings..........

The Christmas Market was also interesting..................

as were the treats in the pastry shops.

 I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed all the different experiences at the Christmas Markets and in and around Cologne.