Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Our little daughter Elisha.

In this photo, she is 6 months old, although now, she is 7 and a half months old. I love taking her pictures and she loves the camera and is completely at ease with it, since I've been taking daily pics of her since she was born. I love being a mother, especially Elisha's mother.

Here she is as a newborn.

can you hear me now?

Our new apartment is in a cluster of close to 80 high rises, so the number of people living her is quite high. With so many people living here, cell phone reception is not a problem that one would have anticipated, but that is what has been happening here. A lot of people have been using things like a wireless cell booster to get a better signal. Even our landline audio quality is not that great, but the company is not able to find why this might be happening...or rather even bother to do anything about it.

is it time for a new laptop?

Since we've moved to our new apartment, we've had either computer or networking problems on my hubby's comp and now it's time to really do something to fix it once and for all. So that either means that we get a new custom laptop or change our internet provider or both actually. It's nothing to do with the new house, just bad timing and of course the fact that the chaps who did the servicing on the laptop messed up with the updates etc.

and I'm back....

Hello everyone!

I'm back from my month long trip back home. It's been a good trip, but it's nice to be back home too. Here are some shots of the wedding house. I loved the combination of colors used and the delicate hand painted lampshades instead of the usual chandeliers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

photo: fog in the morning

fog in the morning

A few weeks ago, we woke up to fog enveloping us. We couldn't see the ground, we couldn't see the next building and we couldn't see the sun of course. Up on the 16th floor, it almost felt a bit cozy, as if we were wrapped in a large comfy white blanket :-))

I'm going to be away for a while, on vacation and without my laptop for a change. So no posts, no updates and no photos for a while. I should be back online in a month or so, till then, keep smiling!

I'm at, where are you?

I've never been a video recorder kind of person. In fact, I hated them so much, I even convinced my parents not to hire a video recording chap at my wedding. No one watches video recordings of weddings anyway, right? Now, I've had to change my tune a little bit, thanks to little E, who is now doing something interesting everyday and I want to be able to capture it. And if I'm in some of the video too, then that's ok. It's all ok, thanks to my little one! So, I went over to to see if they had any good offers and I found that the weekly deals is a treasure trove of amazing deals, with everything from the coolest and smallest camcorders to digital photo frames and e-readers. Before I buy, I want to try out a couple of them in the store to see how it feels and then I'm going to find the one with the best price and order!

Could you survive without money or resources in a new city?

Hey, don't we all dream of working as spies at some point of growing up or another? I certainly did and still love to watch all kinds of spy movies and TV shows. The one that has been really catching my attention lately is Burn Notice with the dreamy Michael Weston played by Jeffrey Donovan as a CIA agent. To be a spy and to be a successful spy is not an easy task, but I think Jeffrey Donovan is perfect for the role. Spies always need to have their wits about them and to be able to bounce back from any situation. I wonder if I were to get stuck in a city without money or resources, if I could manage? I think I would manage to survive but nowhere near as well as Michael Weston would, of course.

all the wrong books

All the bookstores here have been having huge sales with rock bottom prices and I've wandered through the tables and shelves several times to find something interesting to add to my ever growing collection of books. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything that I really wanted, or even something that I'd never heard of before but fell in love with the book cover, and instead all I've seen are book after book on losing weight and how to keep the weight off and about crash diet that works and I'm wondering is that a sign that the heavens are trying to tell me. No way, it doesn't work like that I know, but then in a store full of books, why do I keep just seeing these? I'm getting paranoid aren't I? I feel it. I need a break. That's it.

a medical spa trend

When was the last time you got a full medical check done? This year, last year or earlier than that? I got a brochure of a medical facility that was advertising it's plans for health checks and I was surprised to see several add ons such a spa treatments and many optional items such as checks for colon etc, including a spa treatment with things like a colon cleanse to really improve the way your body handles waste. I do know that many people use it as a way to lose weight but I wonder how effective it really would be or how long term. The trend of making medical checks more glamorous and therefore combining them with spas is getting rather popular.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

repost: What's in a name?

When I read the "nomenclature" post on Shilpa's blog a few weeks back, I was reminded of a post on apartment names in Bombay that I wrote ages ago. I dug it up and am reposting it here.

----the original post-----

When we moved to Bombay, we found it quite odd how everyone wants to know not only the locality you live in, but also the name of the apartment complex. Its something that we've not seen anywhere else, not in Kansas City, not it Providence, not in Bangalore and not in Delhi either. Housing complex/society names are a big deal here. Most names are cringe-worthy and corny as hell.

There seems to a definite tilt towards girls names I've noticed...with names like Akanksha, Pratibha, Shirin (manzil, mansion, apts), Suman, Manju...

Then there's the guys names like Vinit, Abhinav, Gautam, Sudesh...

Then come the double name ones like Ashish Manish, Jeevan Anand, Mahavir Vaibhav, Om Rajan...

There have to be the religious ones too like Sai Kripa, Sai Trishul, Guru Krupa...

There are ones named after other places like Patliputra, Nalanda, Allahabad, Takshila...

There are the ones with a 'View' like Garden View, Ocean View, Park View, Sea View...

Not to forget the ones tagged onto 'Sea' like Sea Legend, Sea Wood, Sea Green, Sea Glimpse (there have to be some really gullible people living here), Sea Lord...

There also plenty with nature inspired names like Primrose, Orchid, Garden Rose...

There are the over the top grand names like Royal Accord, Gold Coin (where we saw and almost rented an apt), Kamal Diamond...

And of course the ones taken from foreign lands like Highland Park (in Lokhandwala, from where I used to catch the A2 when the main market road was being constructed), Green Park (Delhi has a Green Park, and well, its almost like a foreign country to Mumbaikars), Sheffield Towers, Sunny Side (like the cottage in Kasauli that Henry Lawrence built), Woodstock, Oak Land Park (inspired by Oakland, CA, maybe?), Beverly Park...

There are the off the wall names like Magic Carpet, Good Gift, Ben Hur (why, why?)...

Only in Bombay. Definitely only in Bombay.

adapting with the times

Have you noticed a change in the kind of products and services that are being offered in the past year? With the changed economic situation, people have an altered and mostly reduced purchasing power, so many retailers have tapped into the situation. Instead of buying larger quantities, consumers are buying only what they need and shopping more often instead. Gone are the days when consumers stocked up for a month at a time. In my local grocery store, the offering of ready to eat food has increased substantially, simply because it's one of the cheapest and quickest places to get good, healthy food. In the newspapers and online, I see a host of business debt consolidation companies to help small and medium enterprises that are facing a losing battle. Keeping up with the times is the best way to handle such situations, and these savvy businessmen deserve some kudos.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

photo: tea and raisin bread

Nothing like a cup of tea to relax in the late afternoon, isn't it! I don't always get to have a relaxed cup of tea, and often when I do get a chance, I'm busy clicking some quick pics and by the time I get done, little E decides to wake up or cry for me. But taking those quick pics is still worth it!

the good and bad of changes

As with all moves, one undergoes a sense of upheaval and renewal at the same time. I find that I want to get rid of all my stuff, all the furniture, all the books (yes, all the books too), all the cd's and movies, all the decorative stuff and just start with a complete blank slate. When one stays in the same place for a while, one accumulates so much stuff and one can only account for it when one moves, and with this move, since I wasn't able to edit before we shifted, I find that I need to do that now and only then will I feel settled.

It's almost like I just want to have some simple mattresses or a divan arrangement on the floor or close to it and keep things as simple as that. We've always wanted to have a music room and having something simple like that, would create the right mood. Plus, we have great views from our windows, so then we could focus on that, instead of putting sofa's and tables in front of the windows.

I know it's probably a stage I'm going through, god knows, I don't like sitting so low on a daily basis...I already have a knee problem....but I'm craving a completely different look this time, so it's time to change things around. First to go is the sofa set and then the other furniture.

old is gold, really!

Gold is what the festival season is all about, right! This year, it seems a bit different though, the jewelery stores are not as full as they should be and the level of excitement seems a bit less due to the high price of gold. It would be nice to give a nice solid gift such as gold bullion but this is not the right year for that unless you're up for a splurge, but a gold coin is a great shagun to give or get during this time of the year. I have some nice old, old coins which I have been gifted over the years and they are treasured possessions.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

North Carolina beaches

Looking through my old posts, I found this one that I'd written in late 2006 but never published.

This past summer when we traveled to the US, I was looking for a good vacation spot somewhere along the east coast, close to Washington DC. We eventually found a nice place to visit in southern Maryland, but on our next trip, the North Carolina beaches will definitely be on our itinerary. I have been to a couple of beaches in North Carolina, when I was in college, and would love to go back to spend some more time again.

North Carolina has 300 miles of shoreline encompassing a wide variety of landscapes, varying from sunny and temperate to marshes and wetlands. Some of the most romantic places to go to are located on the beaches of North Carolina. For history buffs too, there is lots of locations such as Cape Hatteras, that was designated the country's first national seashore in 1953. The Cape was actually discovered by Giovanni da Verrazano, an Italian explorer who set out to look for Asia.

The first English settlement in North America was also in North Carolina, on Roanoke Island, situated between the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds, where explorers settled in 1585. One of the most popular activities on NC Beaches is fishing, which brings enthusiasts from all over the country. The North Carolina beaches are a perfect mix of family, romantic and sporting activities to provide great vacations.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

photo: by the window

Winter flowers by the window. Nothing like enjoying the winter when you're inside, all nice and snug. Yellow flowers are always cheery and even more so in the winter. I love how they look here against the window.

Traveling in Virginia

How often do you send flowers? A couple of times a year? Is that more than the number of times you've received a bouquet of flowers? As easy as it is to send flowers, especially sending flowers online, a lot of consumers still hesitate. There is something special about getting flowers on a whim that everyone should be treated to. Whether you are sending flowers to family members or to fellow workers, it's always going to be a hit.

I remember from when I was in Richmond Virginia, there was a really great place that delivered flowers in the city and has been in the business for ages, and was known to be one of the best florists in the city. In fact, Virginia is famous for a lot of things, such as Virginia Beach, which is a great place to relax whether on the beach or elsewhere. The city has a great nightlife and lots of attractions close by. In nearby Norfolk, you can visit the Naticus National Maritime Center, USS Wisconsin and the Naval base.

Setting up a laundry area

While I have most of my furniture already set up, I still have to organize the laundry and pantry areas. I am an organization madcap and love to have a house that is well organized and sorted out, with messy areas like the laundry room being on the top of my list. On searching online, I found lot of ideas for laundry room cabinets that will probably fit in quite easily in my space. I'm not too big on DIY, so would definitely want someone to fix it up for me, so now that's my next agenda. I also need to get hold of a carpenter to drill holes to put up some new towel racks, hooks and shelves in the kitchen. Thankfully, we have a good support system here that provides people to take care of all these jobs.

the teenage view

Don't you just love it when you're standing in line at the grocery store and the people around you are talking loudly about something funny? Well, we had a couple of teenager girls behind us in line and they were going on and on about what the best way to pop a zit is and my god did they get gory about it or not. I mean, if E wasn't already asleep I'd have wanted to cover her ears to spare her the bloody details. I looked to see their selection of products to control the zits so that they wouldn't get to the gory stage, but all they had in their shopping basket was chips, cola and chocolates. Oh well, it's like an endless circle of destruction.

redistributing the weight

I never ever thought I would think like this, but the last time I was in the pharmacy to buy Vitamin D drops for little E, I happened to spot the weight loss products and actually stopped to look at them. Yes, I stopped and looked at them, trying to figure out which would be effective diet pills and then suddenly realized what I was doing. Now I feel guilty at even thinking of taking the easy way out, especially since I need more to tone up rather than lose weight. But at times it's just so easy to dream of the extra weight melting away, but it never happens like that of course, unless you're 20 years old or a supermodel from Brazil. Unfortunately, I am neither, so must struggle with the extra baggage, emotionally and physically. I must admit that I am struggling much more emotionally about it rather than physically, since I've always been a thin girl. The extra weight I'm talking about is just a couple of kilos, so it's really not much, but I'd like it "re-distributed" I suppose.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

photo: some quiet time

A photo from a few weeks back, before the chaos of the packing and moving started. I am so eager to reach this same level of relaxation here at our new home as well, but after the first initial rush of unpacking, I've been slacking a bit and things are lying as they were a week back, waiting for me to get to them. Oh well, I reason that it's better to enjoy my time with little E, rather than place emphasis on having a neat and tidy home. So that's it.

some quiet time

Lemon yogurt crumble coffee cake that I made in time for the weekend. This is the second time I made it and it came out much nicer this time. It looked different too, since I used brown sugar in the crumble topping instead of the usual white sugar.

discovering my neighborhood market

I always seem to have very interesting experiences at the supermarket, don't I? Today was no exception. This was my second trip to this new supermarket since we've moved here to our new apartment 2 weeks back. At first, I was really disappointed with it, but today I discovered several new aisles, well, I guess discovered is too strong a word, they were there earlier too, and I was most impressed. The international food section is awesome with a really huge range of food available from all over the world and the health and beauty section is chock-a-block full of some really cool international items. I spotted lots of natural acne treatments since that is the store's specialty, along with an entire range of organic and eco-friendly products.

busy busy busy

So, I had a super busy day, shopping for groceries, shopping for winter clothes for Elisha for our trip home next month, shopping at the awesome 10 bucks a book sale at Borders....oh how hard it was to resist, and I was so thrilled not, yes, not to find any book that I Really Really wanted in the 10 minutes that I browsed the tables. A little more time and I knew I would have found something which I would not have been able to resist, and here I am really trying to cut back on my collection of everything, including books.

That reminds me, while I was at the grocery store, the lady at the health and beauty counter was having a lecture in the section about fat burning supplements and had gathered quite a crowd, which was really very interesting to see. If I'd had some free time, I'd have stuck around to see what the fuss was all about.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

iPod batteries driving us batty

We've tried hard to make the move as simple and straight forward for Elisha, so made several daily events repetitive for her sake. One of the things she calms down with immediately is listening to our morning dose of Pt. Jasraj. We've been listening to this cd for over 2 years, and she's probably familiar with it from when she was in my tummy too. The problem has been that the batteries in our iPod remote have died completely with the volume on the speaker is up at full and there's no way to reduce it from the iPod itself, since that is already set at the minimum.

Now, you wouldn't think it would be so hard to find iPod batteries would it, but we've been going from one electronic superstore to sidey corner store looking for this super specialized battery that doesn't seem to be available anywhere at all. We even went back to the Bose store where we bought the iPod and the Speaker Dock and they didn't seem to know where we could find a battery for the iPod remote either. So, in the meantime, we turn the speaker away from where we are and even cover it with a magazine to reduce the sound. It works but only slightly. By and large all remote batteries are just the usual AAA pencil cell variety, but this iPod remote battery is a flat round disc like a quarter and most electronic stores are unfamiliar with it. I do hope we can find it fast, since our new neighbours might not be too happy about it.

Edited to add: Ok, so the thing is that we need batteries for the remote of the Bose SoundDock, which by default call the iPod batteries. Sorry for not writing clearly enough.

One week in...

So, we're kind of settled into our new home and it's only been a week. Exactly one week actually and I'm quite pleased with myself for the initial rush of unpacking since now I'm feeling all tuckered out with it all. I've still got all my books in boxes and several suitcases of clothes that are still sitting there waiting for me and if I don't get to it soon, I'm just going to get used to them sitting there and not even see them after a while. The hardest part of packing and unpacking has been the organizing and discarding stuff. I always find moving to be a great time to sort out stuff and edit one's collection, but this time around, I've just been so caught up with Elisha that I didn't do it, so I've got lots of stuff still to sort out, including my ever growing collection of fashion jewelry. I love changing the jewelry I wear, so wearing real jewelry is not really the best option, so casual fun jewelry is what I do for daily wear. But now it's really time to edit my collection and maybe change its tone and look. Wish me luck :-)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Goodbye house

Yes, we're moving to a new apartment in Dubai.

Our new home is going to be radically different from where we currently are. It's on the 16th floor of a 39 floor building, which is one of approximately 79 high rise buildings, of which some are still coming up. So yes, we will finally experience what is the "real Dubai experience", living in a high-rise, living in the New Dubai area, and of course living with on-going construction. But we do get a bit of sea view, hopefully the sun will line up perfectly for us as it dips into the water.

I'm feeling all nostalgic since the past few days and will really miss this house. Change is good, I know, but this house has given us some wonderful times and I'll always hold it close to my heart. On the other hand, I'm really excited about getting to do up the house again, although I have no idea how long it will take, with little E keeping me busy most of the time.

Here are some of my fave shots from our current home!

Goodbye house

goodbye morning walks around my park
In the stillness of the morning....

goodbye finding a burst of flowers like these
a touch of Mediterranean...

goodbye finding modernity in old villas

goodbye neem leaves from the tree behind the house
the light, the light

goodbye gently blowing curtains and mango trees outside
breezy breezy

goodbye everchanging patterns formed by the window grill
light and shadow

goodbye baby mangoes that I used to pick up after my morning walks
baby mangoes....

goodbye glorious light
a stack of books...

goodbye collecting fallen dates from the trees outside
fallen dates

goodbye home
a corner...

burn upon reading!

Don't you hate it when you start getting unwanted mail from a trusted source? Or rather, from a once trusted source. I think one of my ex-colleagues has sold out my email id to an agency that sends me a ton of mail, usually something to do with health related stuff, but I say that in a very general sense. Sometimes there are cleanse smart reviews and at other times, just quotations about how to live a good life. Those really aren't too bad, although I'm not big on getting unsolicited mail of this variety, especially the kind that you have to forward to 10 people within 5 minutes of reading the mail, else all hell will break lose, like the burn upon reading kind of spy thing. I delete this kind of mail as soon as I see it or as soon as I realize that it is one of those mails. Maybe it's time to change my email id.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

photo: zinnia


Something so lovely about finding interesting old books around the house, isn't there? I found a set of these books, one each on flowers, birds, living and a couple of other topics and I was quite intrigued. Printed in the 1960's, they are quite a treasure.

where has patience gone

I've noticed in the past few years that I have been doing research assignments, that younger people are getting more and more impatient these days. No one is willing to wait even a little bit for anything, everything is to be done and had at this very instant. This can be put to every aspect of their lives, weather it's instant weight loss with hgh supplements or instant riches with fly-by-night schemes to get rich quick. Patience seems to be a virtue completely lost on the current generation.

no pain no gain

Ok, there are some crazy things that one does from time to time right? Everyone does that! But would you knowingly jeopardize your health just to look better? No way, right? I think like this, but am surprised at how many people try risky procedures trying to look like celebrities they adore or radical surgeries to lose weight or trying things like human growth hormone even when you don't fit the safe profile and have a history of high blood pressure. Come on people, wake up and smell the sweat for once at least. Do some work and get rewarded.

work on your emotions first

If you ask me, then there are some things that are best left alone, such as acne, volcanoes and testy animals. Why do people bother so much about them when actually they just need a bit of quiet time to solve their own problems. While everyone in the teenage market is searching for acne products that actually work, I think that it's often an emotional issue that causes them in the first place and so that needs to be tackled first. And what works best, is some quiet time, some introspection, some meditation and some thinking about whats really bothering you. I've seen this work so many times that there has to be something to it. Once this is figured out, all products you put on your face will just work better. Weird but true.

adjusting to our new life

Very frankly, I really didn't think I would be able to get back to a somewhat familiar routine this quickly once the baby was here. It has been such a hectic and exhausting time that I really had no interest in doing what I did earlier. All I wanted to do was to take care of her and that's it. But, little by little I started doing a few things like blogging and now it's almost like a get-away from all the baby related stuff for me. Everyone needs a bit of me-time and I always needed it even more than others....remember my morning walks. Well, those still haven't started, although I tell my hubby every second night that the Snugli baby carrier is ready to be strapped on to take little E for a walk the next morning. Unfortunately, the "next" morning always remains "next"!

We usually go out for a walk every evening and most days it's been miserable, simply miserable to be out of the AC, but since yesterday, something is different. The breeze has picked up, the air is cooler, the moisture in the air has reduced and inside the house the AC is more effective. I think the weather is finally changing for the better. I can't wait to take Elisha for her first walk in the park, and see her reactions. What fun to see everything for the first time!

as the body changes

Am I cribbing too much about having a tough time losing the last bit of baby weight? It's almost 5 months now and it hasn't magically disappeared as many people say it does. Oh it just melted away, I never even did a thing about it and when I checked my weight I weighed even less than before and so on. Well, I can't say any such dialogue since it hasn't happened to me. It's still there, hanging on, loving my body and not budging. Ok, maybe I'm making too big a deal of it, after all it's just a couple of kilos we're taking about. But no, it isn't, the whole body changes with just that much extra and it's really not as if I'm reaching for the thermogenic fat burners to get it off, it's just that I feel really funny sometimes. I notice that I walk differently now, my balance is different and I just want to feel like the old me again. I know, it's never the same thing, and I'm not that much into looks that I will go overboard. I haven't even joined a gym after all. I really did want it all to melt away, so I could say that line. What fun that would have been!

a cure all for all!

Now that I'm back to blogging somewhat regularly, I'm often asked by my family why I'm in a rush to get back to things so quickly. Well, for one it's nice to have something of my old routine and secondly, it's just blogging after all. I'm not announcing that I've found a cures for herpes or some such momentous feat am I? Actually, herpes already has a cure, so no worries about that, let me find something more fantastic to do :-)

Monday, September 20, 2010

photo: getting ready for the weekend

getting ready for the weekend

There is something so magical about an upcoming weekend, isn't there! We love planning our weekends, especially since ours are on Friday and Saturday, so the planning starts on Thursday morning itself and we are already in a weekendy mood by the time it actually starts. This is a shot of our coffee cups one afternoon at home while we browsed the newspapers.

do you still have your prom dress?

Did you have a prom? Wasn't it the biggest deal ever at the time? We never called them proms, and instead called them Socials, since that was what we did, socialize. Getting the clothes right was a big deal for them as well. The importance of the prom dress is understood if you were to enter the words in google and see just how many results turn up. It's amazing how much of the teenage clothing industry is attuned to them, especially since like a wedding dress, they're only worn once.

yay to home offices

We've been planing to set up a home office for both of us, since he does a good amount of work on the weekends and evenings and I, well, I kind of work from home all the time. I've always loved looking at office furniture stores since everything seems so tempting, but I definitely don't want to make our space look too office like. For me, it has to be a creative space, with a place for a changeable art wall, where I can put up my artwork and keep changing it without too much of a hassle. For him, the space must be functional and have a space for every single thing, else it ends up a mess. Obviously, we want to have our own spaces, so it cannot be a lavish set up for either one of us, but must fit into our home quite naturally.

Monday, September 13, 2010

monsoon magic

There's something special about seeing rain drops isn't there? I love to watch them as they drip of leaves and flowers, and to be able to capture them with my new (well, bought in March this year) camera has been a lot of fun. I wouldn't have even tried to take pics like some of these with the old one.

I took these shots one rainy morning when I was in Delhi. It had been a damp squib of a monsoon till then, barely one rainy day per week so weather like this was highly anticipated by me.

Of course, now days the monsoon has gone into over drive and it's pouring cats and dogs everyday, causing all the roads to flood and most of them to disintegrate in the process as well.

I love the view we have from the balcony. It's unusual for Delhi and it's a great treat during the monsoons.

Even the reflections of the plants looks so interesting thanks to the rain.

I love that I caught the imprint of my slipper on the rain splattered floor.

A fallen bougainvillea bloom caught in the branches.

Something so earthy and simple about these blooms. I don't think I could ever get tired of them.

More rain splattered shots.

just ok isn't good enough anymore

Nothing changes your priorities more than having a baby. You see everything in a new light, in a new and different way. I was never too bothered by things like insurance earlier, but now realize the importance of getting some coverage. At some point of one's life getting any kind of cheap life insurance is an OK thing, but not so any more. I want a good plan, I want a logical plan, I want a plan that suits my needs. Besides seeing my little girl change and learn new things everyday, I am enjoying discovering these new aspects to my personality as well.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

trend: health care jobs on the rise

What is this I'm hearing about a rising number of jobs available in some sectors? It seems that the end of the tunnel is appearing for some industries, since there has been a revived interest in healthcare jobs in the past few months. In fact, healthcare was one of the stable industries to begin with, although salaries did not rise, but by and large jobs were safe, but now there has been a surge in available positions that are showing a positive trend in other related sectors as well.

Friday, July 30, 2010

the simpler things

Some things are best left simple.

The beauty of the everyday appeals to me even more now. I don't have time to all the things I would like to do since Elisha takes up so much of my time, but I relish living a simpler life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weekend in Kasauli

Last weekend we drove up to Kasauli for a couple of days of relaxation. It was Elisha's first vacation and her first trip to the hills. She was so good, slept the entire journey, but woke up when we stopped at Cafe Coffee Day on the way, cooing and looking around contentedly, then falling off the sleep again once the car was in motion.

Kasauli is one of our favorite close-by destinations and somewhere that I have been going since I myself was a baby. I studied in boarding school on the next hill and on Sundays we would walk to Kas as we called it and indulge in bun-sams, or bun-samosa's, g-jams (gulab jamuns) and hot jalebs. We always went to Gupta Bros to check out the photos, as he was and still is the official school photographer.

When we visit we always stay at the Kasauli Club which has really great views both of Chandigarh as well as Sanawar, Dagshai and the Simla Hills. The club has a several blocks of rooms, many with very interesting names such as Arcadia, Shangri-La, and some boring ones such as Snow-View (overlooking the snow covered peaks beyond Simla), Court View (overlooking the tennis courts) and Capital View (overlooking Chandigarh). There are of course the requisite Honeymoon cottages as well. We stayed in Court View 1 which has a full kitchen in it for long term stay.

The Clubhouse itself has lots of facilities, including a reading room and a great library, pool and billiards, table tennis, and card and bridge rooms. For most of the year the Club is quiet, with visitors only coming on the weekends, but June (due to Kasauli week and the heat of course) and the first week of October (due to Founders celebration at Sanawar) are super busy and very crowded.

There are always lots of flowers blooming all year round. The windows are of the card room.

The back verandah is a great place to sit and have a beer. On clear days the views of Chandigarh are great, and there's always a lovely cool breeze here.

The large window of the Bridge room, with the verandah on one side and a passageway on the other. I love how the photo is part reflection, part reality.

Clear blue skies and passing clouds make for some interesting sights. As good as people watching while sitting at a cafe!

Nothing like a tall glass of chilled shandy to sit back and relax.

And, if you've got company then it's all the better!

A close up of a lovely colored geranium on the back verandah.

Window in our room overlooking the Sanawar hill. I wanted to move the sofa-chair by the window to read, but it was too noisy and little E was sleeping, so made do with this chair.

A window in the kitchenette of our room. The area outside was a little private garden of sorts.

All the cooking and eating utensils you could need stacked up nicely in front of another window in the kitchenette.

The rooms are decorated very simply, but the floral chintz curtains are a must for every room!

We woke up to a rainy and misty day. I went out to explore and loved the chilly breeze and thick mists that one could actually see moving.

Such a wonderful feeling to be enveloped by such lovely coolness!

That's me wandering around in my nightie and a jacket. How could I resist a vacation foot shot!

A misty view of my old school, Lawrence School Sanawar, through the wire mesh of the window.

As is always the case, it always clears up to lovely clear skies in Kasauli, which gave me good opportunity to go explore and take photos. This is on the front sitting area of the club.

A view of the main clubhouse (on the left) taken from the side verandah. The large red sloping roof is of the squash court.

 A new gazebo overlooking Chandigarh. It was great to find it empty, since it's a popular spot.

Detail of a hanging plant at the gazebo.

So that was our trip to Kasauli. Wasn't it a wonderful time!