Friday, February 29, 2008

Dr. Vijay Mallya writes to me...

On Feb 17, We flew back from our Jammu trip with the Kingfisher Airlines. We noticed a few things amiss about the ground staff and I decided to take 'em up with the chairman (who else?). So I wrote an email to Dr. Vijay Mallya about my whole experience with his airline. Now, even at my optimist best, I did not expect any reply. And when a couple of days had passed away, I almost chided myself for wasting time on that email.

But yesterday, Mr. Chairman did reply to my email and in such great words! I just couldn't stop myself from smiling........and also from forwarding the email to mom, dad, nitin, deeks and di. C'mon, I never said modesty was one of my virtues!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In-Laws Coming

My dear sis-in-law Aarti is coming to India with her hubby Naren and little daughter Meghna sometime in March. They are visiting us for 10-15 days. Bua will also be coming along with them. Maybe Aarti brings her mom-in-law too. We have asked her to.

I was a little worried initially, considering the little space we have. And add to that the water and power trouble we have in Delhi. We considered putting them up at a hotel. But yesterday, I spoke to my mama abt it and he said he'd take care of it. He'll arrange a flat in his own apartment society. This means I need not worry abt water or ower as the society provides 100 % back up. A big load taken off my head!

We will take them all to Ldh for 2 days. They plan to go to Amritsar also. There are lots of places to see in Delhi also. Since Aarti has never been to Delhi, this could be a lot of fun for her.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Di doesn't sleep for 24 hours: Can you believe that?

Saturday morning we woke up at 8 and Di did not get to catch his 'umpteen' winks till around 12 on sunday. Doesn't he look too cute trying to nap at the airport? Even at home he just wouldn't get out of the bed. But nevertheless, it's an achievement, guys!!!

Meanwhile, I am down with a sore throat and fever. My fault, actually. I had some vinegar laden food last night and my throat has been hurting ever since. Di says it's not cold anymore. But I'm feeling cold. Guess I need a couple of days to recuperate.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Painful Climb Down

The climb up was rather easy. We felt really really blessed and overjoyed after doing the darshan through the ancient cave. The cave was quite small and narrow and it required some maneouvering skills to get through it. There was a constant stream of cold water inside. On the whole, it was an out-of-the-world experience and we just loved it.

after the darshan, we immediately started the climb down as we did not want to miss our flight the next day. We expected to make it down in 4 hours flat, but it took a little more than that. As we trudged downwards, we realised how fatigued our bodies were. Legs ached-knees, calves, thighs, everything! There was a point when every step hurt. The last phase of the trail almost had me in tears. Finally we made it down-alive! But the experience was worth all the effort and the pain.

Vaishno Devi: The Climb Up

Vaishno Devi is one of our most adored Godesses. She is a form of Maa Durga and there is an ancient temple dedicated to this deity high up in the mountains of Jammu. The trail leading to the temple is quite a long one and if you are not in perfect physical condition, it's also a difficult one! The actual temple was originally located inside a cave. The shrine Board has preserved a part of the cave, but it remains closed to the public because it is not easy to climb in and out of. Considering the huge number of devotees visiting every day, it is rather difficult to let everyone in through the small cave. So the shrine Board had a new entrance constructed a few years back. Now, the original cave is opened to the public only in the month of February every year. February is a lean season because of the harsh cold weather. This is the opportunity we decided to make full use of and started off for paying our respects to the Devi.

We reached Katra by 2:30, thanks to a very slow moving bus. We checked our stuff into a cloak room, had lunch and started the climb up. We started the climb at exactly 4 p.m. We expected to reach our destination by 10 p.m

We stopped at quite a few places. The uphill trail had both of us catching our breath at times. But overall, we did it rather nicely and reached the top at around 9 p.m. We freshened up and got in the line for darshan by 10 p.m. It was going to be a long night for us...

Jammu: The First Two Days

As we landed at the Jammu airport, I realised that the city was a rather small one. We were picked up by a colleague of Di's, and dropped at a nice luxury hotel. I saw that there was the famous "Raghunath Temple" just near the hotel. I made a mental note of visiting it later in the day. Di left for work immediately after having breakfast and I was left to entertain myself.

Unfortunately, there was no cyber cafe near the hotel. I was also a little scared about going out alone. The city did not seem too safe to me. I could be wrong, but I saw few women on the roads. So I remained cooped up in the hotel room. Thankfully, I'd brought along a book and it (with a lot of help from the TV) kept me entertained. In the evening we went out for a stroll and missed the Raghunath Temple" coz we were carrying cell phones and digi cam. All that stuff is not allowed in there, you see. The temple looked lovely from outside. Its exterior is done in gold and they light it up beautifully in the evening.

We walked through the bazaars and were appalled at the huge discounts being offered on all woollens and knitwear- in practically every shop. Of course, even the discounted prices were way too high!

Nothing eventful happened in both the days we were at the hotel. We had originally planned to leave for Katra on Friday evening (our second day in Jammu). But people scared us with warnings of extreme cold on the trail leading to the Vaishno Devi Temple. So we decided to leave on Saturday morning.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Chalo Bulaawa Aaya Hai, Maata Ne Bulaaya Hai.

As if the holiday in Shimla were not enough, Di's taking me to Jammu- on an official trip!!!!!

He's actually supposed to go there for two days. But since there's the weekend attached with those two days, we decided to give Vaishno Devi a shot. We have been hearing of bad weather conditions in the region. but we also heard that the Shrine Board has opened the Pracheen Dvaar of the cave and that has been drawing hordes of devotees.

So we have booked our flights in such a way that we can trudge all the way up to the Maata's darbaar if we feel like it. Otherwise, we'll just spend the weekend in Jammu.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Birthday Memories

Ever since Molls joined me and Biji in the 3rd Feb gang, I have made it a point to celebrate my birthday with the two of them in Ludhiana. This year was no different. But maybe next year will see some change. I miss being the 'birthday gal'. I miss feeling excited about my birthday. Being around kids makes me just feel old!!!!! So no baccha party on my next birthday, people. Wot say?

Monday, February 11, 2008

29th January, 2008

It's been five years! Really? Have we really come this far? Seems incredible!

Yes, it's been five years since we got married. These five years have been absolutely fantastic for us. Our love has only grown stronger over these 5 years and we feel blessed to be with each other. we celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary by taking a 4 day trip to Shimla.

Shimla was fun and verrrry cold. Last time we had gone to Shimla, we missed catching the snow by 2-3 days. But this time, we were lucky to be there in the snow. shimla is one of our favorite places to holiday in, especially in winters. I especially recommend the goodies at the "City Point" on the lower mall. They have chocolate pastries like no other place anywhere. The coffee and the rolls are great too.

We stayed for two days at the Brightland Hotel, and it turned out to be a nightmare. We had booked the hotel on the basis of our past 'very good' experience there. But this time we found out that they had completely abandoned the old building and the new one was all commerce. We wanted a valley view room. And what we got could not give us a view of anything, as there was no window!!!!!! And we could not do much as we had already paid the whole amount in advance when we made the booking.

So we stayed there for two days, ordered all our meals and chai coffee etc from the room service, and stomped out on day 3. We checked into this nice 5-star hotel called "The Leela Regency" and we had a great room there, plus lots of other benefits. Not to say that the move was easy or quick. We had to literally fight with the Brightland folks to let us leave. They wanted us to cough up more money. But we were in no mood to do that. So there was an ugly battle of words and finally a scene was created that was driving away other people. The proprieter had to finally apologise for bad service (thandi chai, no heating, constant noise outside room, cold food etc)

But apart from that, Shimla was great.

Another blog

So a few people asked me why my fitness blog looked deserted. Simple, people! I'm off for a break that will last till 'God knows when'! Jokes apart, gimme a few more days and I'll be back. And for those of you who follow my blogs on memsaab, you might as well stop. The last thing those blogs are is a record of my life. That's work guys, just a task that I have to do. So save yourself the trouble, unless you enjoy those tid bits.

And if you are interested in catching up with Shalz and Di, this is the place to be. We will be recording the ups and downs of our life in this blog. Let's hope there are more ups and fewer downs;-)

Have a good time!!!