Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Never Shy Away From Expressing Gratitude - My September List

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
― Maya Angelou

Few days back, we celebrated “World Gratitude Day” on 21st September. I always wanted to write something on this topic but missed the opportunity then. However, thanks to Janice Kaplan and Vidya Sury  for their initiative of The Gratitude Diaries which gave me the second chance to write on this topic. 

I am also overjoyed about the fact of being a part of their gratitude circle. Gratitude always enhances the best out of any person. It will most certainly help me to stay level-headed at times when situations go out of order.

On this last hour of the last day of September, I sit here and try to recollect how my entire month has been so far. September has been a roller-coaster ride for me in every aspect. Time for being thankful for the tough days that aroused the hidden strength, the emotional upheaval when I had to vanquish my pain and tears to entrust strength in some dear ones, the hard laughs that made my stomach ache. The list seems to go on and on.

Hence, starting off with my gratitude list for September.

  • I am grateful for the friends I have in my life. Without them, I would have gone askew. Friends, who help me deciding on which dress to go for while shopping, friends who accompany me on those crazy treks I go, friends who wipe my tears when I am unable to do so myself, friends who share those deep breaths after that hard laugh, friends with whom I can share any and everything that I do and friends who always bring out the best in me.

  • For all the evenness that has been going around with my parents’ health. I am grateful that they are healthy and for the time being (since the past 2 weeks) have stopped cribbing about me going on treks which would otherwise bother them the most.  

  • Testing times and Wake Up Call. I have received maximum number of bad news (horrible should be the word) during the month of September. I have learned to be even more stronger. Also accepted the fact that it’s time to get a medical insurance done. Yet again. (I had reneged on my previous insurance due to differences in opinion with the service provider). Sometimes, adversities teach us a great deal in life and I am grateful for all challenges life tried to throw on me. I have evolved as a much stronger person, both emotionally and mentally.

  • Visiting Lord Ganesha during Ganesh Chaturthi. When it comes to being religious, I would be the most imbecile one in the crowd. However, I do visit temples every now and then to respect the belief of my parents’ and to make them happy. Sometimes, we do things that we ourselves do not approve of just for the sake of someone else’s happiness. I am thankful that I had done it during the festival. There was a different aura in the surroundings during the evening aarti (prayer) followed by the distribution of prasadam. I somehow felt overwhelmed. I am grateful that I have this do-something-to-make-others-happy streak in me. It emphasizes some credence in me.

  • I am supremely thankful for the books I was suggested by couple of friends. They are lying on the shelf of my mini library as of now. But I am happy about the fact that I got them home and would start reading them very soon. 

  • Listening to my heart’s say. I go for weekend treks quite regularly and trekking is like a kind of meditation for me. At the start of September, I had decided that I would stop going on further treks. However, I listened to my heart and went ahead for another trek. I am grateful that I had decided not to quit trekking. Mentioned my experience on the same in my previous post here.

  • Cooking. I absolutely love cooking but had stopped cooking for the past 1 year due to some circumstances. Few weeks ago, I had moved to a new home and my roomie insisted that I start cooking all over again. After a long period of discontinuity, I started with biryani. And yes, it was yum. I was all smiles and felt content. I cannot thank my friend enough for the long needed coercion.

  • Meeting my best friend. Monday was the day I decided to visit my best friend after work. Her parents were in town and I got to meet uncle and aunty after a decade. I am happy that I made the sudden decision to visit her and stay over. As a customary, we skipped our sleep and kept on chatting the entire night. “Apne sukh-dukh ki kahani baatne me lage rahe saari raat”. It’s always pure bliss to talk things out with your best friend. You can never have enough of it.

Here comes a pause till next month’s gratitude expressions come in.

To wrap things up, I would love to know your share of gratitude in attitude during September. Please do mention and spread the joy of sharing and caring.

Linking with The Gratitude Diaries

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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Half-Done, Half-Baked

Some things in life are meant to remain incomplete and patchy. Like incomplete love, incomplete resolutions, incomplete dreams, incomplete conversations and the list goes on. I too have quite a few in my kitty. Like my incomplete poems.

Today, I am posting one such half-done piece.

Only if I could;
Hold your hand and walk up the hills,
I would disregard my woes,
Of the blistered toes.

And if I had;
The wings to soar and stride above the clouds,
I would touch the sunshine, 
Carve our names across the alpine.

Pic Credit- Me- Early Morning Flight To Mumbai

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Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Sunday Sunbathing – Trek To Matheran Via Garbett Plateau

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
― Roman Payne

When you are bitten by that crazy bug called wanderlust, your heart always wants to run away from the usual humdrums of everyday life at any given chance. And, if you get to wander every weekend, nothing like it.

I always promise myself that I would remain at home during weekends but my heart keeps nagging me to let loose, run away and escape. After returning from Dudhsagar a week before, I had decided to take a break from trekking for sometime. Yes, you heard me right… “Take a break from trekking”. There has hardly been any weekend that I was home since the start of May 2015 hence, my guilt ridden conscience advised me on the above.

Well, come Friday evening and my feet started itching, fingers already on the keyboard searching for next trekking schedule on Trek Mates India.  ;)

Couple of friends had already planned to tempt me by sharing pictures of the upcoming Sunday trek. The conclusion, I decided to keep my promise of staying at home over the weekend for some other time. Booked myself for the Sunday trek, “Trek to Matheran via Garbett Plateau”

I have been supremely late in posting about this trek due to some xyz reasons but it’s better to be late than never.

 Fact File:

Matheran is a splendid hill station in Raigad district of Maharashtra. Located around 90 kms from Mumbai and 120 kms from Pune, Matheran is also known as the smallest hill station of India. It is also known to be the most unpolluted hill station of Maharashtra and Asia’s only automobile-free hill station.

This exquisite place was discovered in 1850 by Hugh Poyntz Malet, the then district collector of Thane.

Matheran is located at an elevation of 2625 feet above MSL. It covers an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadris, The Western Ghats. It has also been declared as the eco-sensitive region by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India.

 The close proximity to Mumbai and Pune makes it a popular weekend getaway destination.
The hill station is also a home for large population of monkeys including Bonnet Macaques and Hanuman Langurs. This place is a haven for snakes from harmless keelbacks to pythons to deadly cobras and vipers.

There are several trekking routes to Matheran to reach the famous Sunset Point, Garbett Point and One Tree Hill Point

The Trek:

The complete story is published in Tripoto.


The Garbett Plateau - At our Right

And here comes 1st Groupie

Get Blown Away


Beating the heat

The Rain Dance

Through the Fields



The Headstrong Group
Trekmates- Keep trekking, keep adventuring and keep smiling.

**Click on the pictures for better resolution

Picture Credits- Vaibhav, Arun and Dipanwita

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Friday, 4 September 2015

The Unforeseen Plan B- Jungle Trek To Tamdi Surla Waterfall

Indian Bloggers

“Our way is unplanned and our path is unknown. Yet our journey is made whole when we travel as one”
 – Anonymous 

Sometimes, life gives us sudden surprises. It depends on how we react to those situations and how calmly we try to handle something which has gone wide of the mark. We can either make the most of it or waste time cribbing and throwing tantrums. Something similar happened when we started for the most awaited trek of the year, “The Dudhsagar Waterfall and Jungle Trek”.

They say, the best things in life always come unplanned. So, instead of trekking via Dudhsagar Waterfall, we went for jungle trek to Tamdi Surla Waterfall. And, an entire new itinerary added to Trek Mates India’s trekking schedules.

History and Facts:

The Tamdi Surla Waterfalls (The Hidden Falls) is at a distance of 32 kms from Margao, 22 kms from Kulem and 65 kms from Panajim, the capital of Goa. It is situated deep in an area that has to be trekked. The last stop before reaching the place is Darbondora village from where visitors have to trek through dense forest and several streams which makes the walk very refreshing.

The Tamdi Surla temple is considered the most ancient temple in Goa. The intricate design and architecture is best example of a 12th century classic marvel. There are some interesting details about the construction which has led to debates about the actual origins of the temple. The size of the temple is quite small as compared to the size of an average Goan temple.

The Tamdi Surla Temple

The beautifully carved and perfectly proportioned black basalt temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is reminiscent of the temples at Aihole in neighboring Karnataka. The temple has survived Muslim invasions and Portuguese persecution, in its almost perfect condition mainly due to its remote location in a clearing deep in the forest at the foot of the Western Ghats which surround the site in a sheer wall of impenetrable vegetation.

The temple is located at the foot of the Anmod Ghat, which connects Goa to the state of Karnataka. It is considered to be the only specimen of Kadamba-Yadava architecture in basalt stone preserved and available in Goa. The Kadamba dynasty ruled Goa between the 10th and 14th centuries and built the temple from finest weather-resistant grey-black basalt.

The temple is protected as a National Heritage Monument by Archeological Survey of India (ASI).

The river Surla flows nearby and can be reached via a flight of stone steps.

The Trek:

Please read the journey ahead in Tripoto.

Outside Pune Station

The Dudhsagar Waterfall- As seen during night

Timepass at Kulem

Crossing the Stream

The TS Waterfall

Trekmates- Keep trekking, keep adventuring and keep smiling.

**Click on the pictures for better resolution

Picture Credits - Sandesh, Amrita, Vaibhav, Kunal, Arun, Shilpa and Rajesh Prabhu

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