On this day after Valentine’s Day…!


Apparently, I almost forgot that I had a blog. Now when I revisit at the 11th hour, I see the last post I ever wrote was on a Feb 14th of yesteryear 2013 and simply nothing thereafter?? How could that be possible…was it that the last ever sulky solitude I had to showcase on my blog was my last post scribbled in the then bachelor’s diary? Or perhaps it’s How-This-Lovelorn-Met-You post V-day that year that I completely lost score of time and the virtual life I lived on socially, by choice, or by no other choice!

2 years on, as I hit this online diary, I have an identity crisis. But that’s how destiny has it all. Never did I again get a chance to sulk in solitude or worse, loneliness on a Feb 14th. What St. Valentine did on Feb 14th, in that era, is what we were destined to do – a day after – Feb 15th – WE GOT MARRIED – barring those great grand walls of caste, fateful (astro) lines, oriental society norms, parental pressures…so my darling, I’ll take some time off here to retrospect how I came along to spend this One Complete Year of Bliss with you, just to take it forever ahead in this juggernaut filled with love, traveling through the sands of time and stopping today to celebrate our 1st ever Wedding AnniversaryFeb 15th, 2015 – 02152015!

At the outset, Huney! A big – Thank You! And this note of gratitude is for being so awesome that I never felt the need to come back to this virtual world of Social Media and even a total abstinence from my so-called passions are unregrettable. Yet, am grateful to these times of technology which is why we’re together!

That fateful day “jab we met” and were sure that we won’t meet ever again. But who knew destiny had different plans. From a delayed unexpected response to a final bye from my end to the days where I spent nights talking to you and slept as dawn broke…the feeling deep within was simply getting profound. So profound and strong that it costed us to be bonded into a knot forever, for good. Everything else looks pale when you’re truly, madly, deeply in love and get into that “come-what-may” attitude the moment you listen to your heart, through your mind. And this is how we met and we continued…

When I met you for the 1st time, and this funny pic was clicked by your sister (then) & my sis-in-law now, followed by a disapproval.

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When I gave you the 1st kiss ( the color in the wallpaper will always remind you) –

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When I took you to a surprise date to a place close to my heart – Gokarna

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And when we took our 1st #selfie

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And when I clicked your 1st Portrait

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As I kept knowing you better –

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When our parents met (it was worth the struggle) –

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When we got “happily engaged” –

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And continued the courtship –

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When we got “Just Married” –

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When we went to an Adventure Trip with our idea of Honeymoon –

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And then continued the Honeymoon with some leisure –

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When we celebrated our 1st Holi together –

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  • When we knew my father was diagnosed with Colon Cancer …………………
  • When you gave me an unstinting, selfless single-handed support for continuous 6 months in overcoming this agonizing trauma and hugged me with a hope that those unstoppable tears of the only son for his admitted father could subside…
  • When you gave me strength to yet again admit my father in ICU despite we both suffering from Dengue …
  • When you were beside me as I was admitted in one Hospital and went to see my father who was admitted at the other on the same day…

When we collected our shattered bits n pieces to smile our ways from grief to rejoice at Goa

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When we celebrated Diwali together –

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And continuing the celebration streak on NYE –

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And to sum it all up, we’re heading for yet another celebration to have overcome all the ups & downs and faced all odds of life to even it out in an Island Nation on our 1st Wedding Anniversary………..(to be continued….)

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Travelogue: Solo backpacking trip – Gokarna

THUMB RULE – If your trip is accompanied by a gang of gurls, then guys might just cancel their prior appointments, could even take sick leaves. If it’s not, then even after  ‘coaxing’  they wouldn’t show up. Anyways, so I made my own Ekla Chalo Re trip on the long weekend starting 29th Sep, as I had taken a leave on 1st Oct n 2nd Oct is Bapu Jayanti – National Holiday. Locking yourself up for 4 days is Bangalore is well-nigh unthinkable for me.

The journey:

29th Sep: Initial plans with a gang, was to Goa….(few dropped – plan changed)…Pondicherry…(rest dropped – plan dropped)….finally, thought of Gokarna. I had never been to this place but have heard quite often about this. Woke up on a Saturday morning, so why not make it there – I said to myself.  Immediately logged into RedBus/ TravelYaari and was lucky enough to get a single to-fro ticket as all seats were packed for the weekend. Boarded the bus at 7:30pm sharp near the East End stop. Plugged in the headphones and went on to my good old pal – FB. The best thing about Social Networks is that they too travel with you – Thanks to the power of 3G! Updated few statuses – a self-assuring one’s here. And after hours of listening to music, went into the limboland.

The arrival and stay:

Day 1(30th Sep):

The view through the mountains to the arrival point reminded of my Saklespur trip. Reached Gokarna check-post around 8:30am, also known as Maruti Katte point (this is where you have to come to board the bus back to Bangalore). Next thing to do was to reach the beach side. Surfed through Wikitravel on my BB and called up few hotels at Om Beach which were filled. Hence, boarded an auto to Kudle Beach for I had a gut-feel that Kudle has more reasonable and better places to stay. Bargained the auto-ricks from 150bucks to 90 (they might not come down from 100/- though). On my way saw this board Namaste Yoga Farm (the contact no. given in the page may not work, do contact Amit – 96205 69868 for bookings), asked him to take me there. I fell in love with this cottage the moment I went to the reception! I checked-in. It was time to take a shower and relax! But before that, I shot a few pics of this wonderful lush green farm-house.

This is where I stayed

This is where I stayed with my blissful solitude.

A neighboring cottage at Namaste Yoga Farm

Namaste Yoga Farm – The way to my cottage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now, I headed to the beach for some breakfast. After walking for a while I found this lovely beach-side restaurant (Mango Cafe) which is going to be the pivot point of my entire trip as I keep narrating.

The cafe in yellow is Mango cafe. Here most of my trip time was spent. Lazing, relaxing, hogging n sipping in solitude. 🙂

1st view from the cafe to Kudle beach as I had my Spanish Breakfast + a glassful of tea (oh it was a long glass):

The ebb and flow

After having breakfast and lazing at the cafe for an hour, gazing the vast expanse of the sea along with the greenery formed by the surrounding mountains and headed by coconut trees (the cafe boys are very sweet as they won’t get you the bill until you asked them even though I sit for hours without a jolt), I started walking towards OM Beach after asking directions to the locals by the beach side. It’s a small trek at the fag-end of the beach, the trek is around 20mins to OM Beach.

A couple walking hand-in-hand at Kudle

View of Kudle Beach from its left end

There are navigation marks from Kudle to Om Beach as you trek up and reach the plains are somewhat like these:

Navigation marks en route Om Beach

On my way to Om Beach (a bird couple busy on their date)

Reached Om Beach:

The shape of the beach depicts the sacred Hindu symbol – OM, hence the name.

I thought of spending some time at the beach, n get a few shots of me clicked. Couldn’t find a decent looking chap at that moment, so, approached some dude who was half-naked (from bottom). Gave some SLR lessons prior to clicking only to notice – this time I am a victim of Photography Fail!!!. Below pic explains:

A worse victim of Photography fail. This time the photographer himself!

After spending some time at Om, I headed back to Kudle to experience the twilight walking through the beach, sipping beer at Mango Cafe.

As I reached Mango cafe around 5:45pm, the dark clouds suddenly started invading the beach with a heavy shower imminent – it looked some what like this:

As I sit at Mango cafe at twilight with suddenly the dark clouds invading n hovering over Kudle. A heavy shower imminent.

And as expected, it started pouring heavy after some 30mins and just when I was sipping my beer on my own with some firangs and nice people around who I cracked a conversation until 10:30pm which is when I left the Cafe and headed to rest in my cottage.

Sheer bliss – U’re back 2 ur beach…seated at a beach side cafe, with d small surrounding mountains sipping beer…n just at twilight – the rains start pouring heavily with thunders n lightning.

Day 2 (31st Sep):

Woke up around 8am to freshness of the farm-house and felt the aroma of nature. Now today’s agenda – draw some cash from Gokarna town, come back to the cottage, take a shower and explore Half-moon beach after a brunch.

A view of the Gokarna beach while heading to the town to draw cash and explore the temples.

As I enter the town:

A beautiful street as I enter Gokarna town

Vendors ready outside the temples with offerings to the Lord

Some different flowers in front of Ganapati temple

I was back to my farm house, after some uphill/downhill walks and clicks, draped in just a towel relaxing in a jute chair. This is when I found a thud beside me as if someone threw something to me. Suddenly, I discovered it was a snake and it wasn’t moving. Looking at it, even I cautioned myself, did not move (there was a sense of shock and awe in the mind) and gave a frantic call to the cottage assistant so that he keeps a watch on it movement. Thereafter, I rushed to grab my cam ASAP and asked the helper boy not to disturb the snake. And here are some vivid pictures that would tell you the story on what I saw:

Snake that felt with a thud besides my chair on which I was seated with a lizard head in its mouth

The snake is now aware of human beings around him, so perhaps cautioned on any attacks to it

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And wasting no time, it had to escape from unreliable ruthless human beings, with the prey slowly gulping into its  throat:

With no 2nd thought, gobbling up the lizard head in its mouth

I have never known snakes too camouflage. The color blue changing to the dry wood underneath it.

Soon after the ordeal, I started on my mission to explore Half-moon beach,which does mean I’ll have to walk through Kudle and Om as well. Already one beach had been covered i.e. Gokarna beach. Now rest 3. (Paradise beach, is yet another secluded (5th) beach but has been taken away by Forest deptt. and is closed now for general public) Had my usual lunch at Mango cafe who’s prices are way reasonable than any pub in Bangalore or shack in Goa. Had a beer and then got going.

Few folks I met at Kudle beach on Day 2

A kid playing football as his mom quite oblivious in her game against the sands.

As I headed Om beach again, made few friends on my way:

Met this nice chap Hari who’s now a facebook friend. Happy to get him few portraits/memories that he wanted. 🙂

So after around 90 mins of walking and some small treks, I did some photoshoot of these folks at OM Beach and without wasting much time headed towards Halfmoon beach. I had to keep time in mind for this was my 2nd and final day when I have to board a bus to return back.

Greeted by eagles that flew across the path to Halfmoon Beach

As I trek towards Halfmoon beach through these serene and breathtaking views

A light house or possibly a view point to the Paradise beach that comes as u head further. It’s more secluded.

Finally, I reached Halfmoon beach. It was totally secluded. It was just me and me. The time was around 4:40 pm. I could even run naked on the beach and there won’t be anyone to notice. 😉

A sense of accomplishment as the trek was little longer around 40mins, than the other beaches. And also a bit more adventurous as there wasn’t anybody who accompanied me.

Few shots of the beautiful and serene Halfmoon beach:

Half moon beach, towards the Paradise beach side

Half moon beach, towards the OM beach side

Spending some 15-20 mins, I headed back. And the thrill and jitters and stress were never so evident on my face than this moment when I actually lost my way back as there were no such marks that lead to OM beach or vice-versa. There were bifurcations. I had no clues which path I took but to realize that I went back to Half-moon Beach again!! I was petrified at this moment as it was getting late and I dint have a torch with me once there’s a nightfall!  I gave a call to one of my friend and let her know the situation. I called up the farm-house owner to keep him informed. He too couldn’t help much. There was no one as it was a Monday and already evening. I had to catch my bus back too. I can’t afford to waste time. Then, i tried searching for some polythenes, bottles (U know this is India, so litters are the marks), plastic to trace my way back. Somehow I found the directions correct. But never had I been this panicky. Below picture is the outcome of it. I tried clicking some snaps there from my Blackberry, so in case I never made it, someone should find them and make a movie on me like Christopher McCandeless ‘s in Into the Wild.

All pictures were shaky even though I tried to make my hands firm.

Eventually made my way back and reached Kudle. Was happy to see fire, if not bonfire but the Firangs burning the coconut tree branches.

Hence, came to the end of my trip on Day 2. I made it bang on my estimated time. Grabbed a beer at Mango cafe. It was around 5:45pm. I headed for a shower in my farm-house. My bus was at 7:30pm. The farmhouse dude booked an auto-rick for me which was waiting for me around 6:30pm. As I stepped out of my guest house, there were some nicely clad pretty ladies heading to the same point where their autos were stranded. I am never short of cracking a conversation, am I? So figured out they too were traveling back in the same bus to Bangalore – SeaBird Tourists .… 😉

Real Beauty is felt, seldom seen.

Beauty is a manifestation of secret natural laws, which otherwise would have been hidden from us forever ~ Johann Wolfgang

Real beauty to me is a sensation felt with sheer delight. As the old adage goes, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Real beauty is precious, is prevalent among all of us but the irony is we so less often are able to identify it and for some it’s very much relative. Real Beauty commands respect, never demands.

As of today, commodification of humans have changed our perception of Beauty. When we say he/she is beautiful, it has definitely to do with someone’s physical appearance. The boom in showbiz and glamour has given a great setback to our pride of possessing melanin. A fair skin is considered beautiful by the so-called fairness creams and ads that simply boast to beat what nature has bestowed upon the not-so-fair you.

But 1st let me elucidate a few beautiful instances/people who most of us can’t deny of their real beauty.

  • Beauty is not in that hot skimpy nurse walking down to Charlie Sheen for a room service (Two and a Half Men types) but in a lady who had devoted her entire life in the service of the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying! I consider Mother Teresa beautiful.
  • Beauty is not in featuring in the Top 10 Forbes list of World’s Most Powerful People, heading a leading Political Party just to eyewash the poor and stash away billions of black money in Swiss Banks but in braving alone to fight for her people to ensure calm and peace amid an Empire’s unrest! I consider Rani Lakshmi Bai beautiful.
  • Beauty is not in being a glamorous star-daughter and heading to the red carpet with an ultra-expensive designer attire, posing for the cameras (None many even recognize them there) but in winning a billion hearts through their simplicity and mellifluous voice! I consider Lata Mangeskar beautiful.
  • Real Beauty is in every mother who is always by the side of her son/daughter, fasts for his/her well-being even if they’re the most notorious types. Is any child on earth ‘ugly’ for his/her mother? Motherhood is real beauty!
  • Real Beauty is Sunitha Krishnan who has never breathed easy as she grew up but fighting for so many helpless, trafficked women/girls to breathe easy and survive in this ruthless world. Please find some time out to watch and listen to this video (my blog may not be that important right now).

Those wannabe models, gaudy women, drowned in sheer opulence and covered by Page 3 are seldom beautiful, as others perceive with their eyes but not brains.

Some definitely are pretty. But would you call a lady out of this elite league (who would seem to have spent a fortune on her get up for one single night) to be beautiful who litters the restrooms? Who falls flat in that disco tipsy – out-of-order with liquor spilled all around? Who throws a cigar bud on the floor right in front of an astray in a public place? Or who throws a Cola can or Bisleri bottle on the road or somebody else’s yard while driving the Mercedes??

Real Beauty is never confined to a race, sex or age. It is seamless; it doesn’t have boundaries. It is perpetual. It is to be felt and rejoiced; just like the beautiful verses of Kalidasa.

Beauty is in innocence; that helping hand; that shoulder to rest upon when you are in tears; a simple smile that heals; this precious life we live each moment & the entire creation of mankind. Everything is beautiful. Life is beautiful.

A snap of the jubilant schoolgoer kids I took as I trekked down Triund to Dharamkot (Himalayas)

Beauty is relative. Real Beauty should be apparently clear. To behold real beauty, all you need is a beautiful mind.

P.S. My post is biased towards women since the Yahoo Specials on Real Beauty is powered by Dove, where as Men prefer Cinthol or Durex. 😉

(This blog-post is a part of the Indiblogger Real Beauty contest)