Turning 40…

If ageing gives me an opportunity to indulge more and more in the warmth of the wonderful family that I am part of , I am happy to age !

If ageing gives me many more occasions to laugh like crazy and talk forever, like there’s no beginning or end , with dear friends, I am happy to age !

If ageing gives me chances to read more books, travel to more places, enjoy more foods, I am happy to age !

If ageing gives me more avenues to keep learning something new and experience that nice feeling, I am happy to age !

As Groucho Marx said, “Anyone can get old; all you have to do is to live long enough”, I am happy to age and I am happy to have turned 40 last Sunday !!!

Although we had different plans of celebrating turning 40, the birthday partner of mine, V, was down with cough and fever and the plans couldn’t get executed. Nevertheless, the ecstasy of turning 40 remains in tact , thanks to all the beautiful people that are part of my life ! Words fail to convey the gratitude I feel towards each one of them. Love you all to bits !!!

Some highlights of the milestone…

Pre-birthday :

V gifted these about 10 days ago to mark the milestone !

On the day :

College friends sent a surprise through Dunzo services on the day !

Post-birthday :

Dear friend N placed this surprise at my office desk today !

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Strict mom ?

I try to meet as many teachers of A as possible whenever I go to school to either check the answer scripts or collect the report card. My questions to them mostly remain the same, asking any feedback about A and their recommendations / suggestions for her in general. I met her Biology teacher for the first time last month as she started teaching A’s class this academic year only. She looked at me and told that she could infer that I am A’s mother without stating it. ( I was surprised to hear that !! ) I requested her to help A to change her attitude of feeling tensed for exams. And then she told me that she thought I was a strict mother 😳 I clarified that I have debates with A when I urge A to sleep little early and wake-up little late but A wants to do the contrary so that she could read more.

Dear A, if my debates of these nature categorise me as a strict mom, then yes, I am one because I believe that proper sleep is the right thing for everyone. I know many of your classmates study late into the night, around 12 and more and wake-up too early, around 3. I believe this isn’t essential as long as you plan your stuff in advance.

A participated in basketball tournament last month and she was a substitute in the team. She practised for the matches and did play in multiple matches during the tournament for varying amounts of time and contributed to the team. The team that she was part of won second place in U-17 category. I shared the photos of the event with family happily and my brother commented out that A is an all-rounder. When I responded that she was lucky to be part of the team which had some of the best players , he said that I was a strict mom !

Dear A, I do not want to give any undue credit to you. A fact is a fact ! If this makes me a strict mom, then yes, I am one !

During some random conversation with A, which I am not able to recollect entirely, I asked her why she didn’t buy something. She immediately answered that she knew that I wouldn’t approve of it as I advocate the idea that things should be bought only when necessary and she should buy stuff only when she has used up similar stuff that’s already present at home.

Dear A, I do not mind spending to use something but I sincerely object to wasting anything. If this makes me a strict mom, then yes, I am one !

Loads of love to you from your strict mom 🥰

Darjeeling – Day 5

We booked accommodation for 2 nights at Riverside Dwelling homestay in Tabakoshi, which is located approximately midway between Darjeeling and Bagdogra.

It was a very impulsive, last minute, unplanned decision that we took , which is not the usual case on our trips but it proved to be a very good choice. This homestay is in a very small village where the usual tourist crowd is absent and everything is pure, clean and simple giving one an opportunity to just relax and do nothing else. The homestay premises are immaculate and the rooms are very well maintained . The staff is extremely hospitable and the food is simply scrumptious. It felt so good to be taken care of by them, asking us our choices and serving with so much of personal care. It was a perfect place for us to end the vacation. I would strongly recommend this for anyone who is looking for a place where one could stay very close to the nature and very far from the crowds.

Some of the many beautiful spots of the home stay
Some of the many wonderful dishes served by the staff

For most of the time that we were here, we focused on eating, sleeping and relaxing which is our definition of a perfect holiday. For a little time, we walked over to the village and visited temples of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu, Rangbhang river and Tabakoshi park, all of them next to each other and at a walking distance from the home stay.

We checked out the next morning and drove to Bagdogra airport and flew back to Hyderabad, completing our long pending trip.

What was your recent trip and what were your experiences ? I would love to read them…

Darjeeling – Day 4

We couldn’t experience the Toy train on our vacations to Ooty or Shimla. We wanted to experience it at least on the Darjeeling trip. We read some reviews that the tickets weren’t available for them when they tried on the day of the travel and suggested to book in advance. Some others mentioned that the ride wasn’t that great. So we lowered our expectations to the minimum and booked tickets for steam joy ride through IRCTC.

The plan was to check out from Dekeling in Darjeeling, take a ride on the toy train up to Ghoom and then head to Tabakoshi, where we had made a booking in advance for 2 nights. The travel desk at Dekeling planned everything and made all the arrangements that suited our requirements. The cab driver picked our luggage and waited for us at Ghoom at the time we had planned to reach there.

The ride on toy train goes through the towns and one cannot expect to view scenic locations. But the experience is definitely a worthy one. I got reminded of all the Bollywood movies which had scenes on the toy trains.

Stop at Batasia Loop

The train stops over at Ghoom museum which has got quite a nice collection of various things and portrays history of the place.

As planned, we completed our ride on the toy train, covered Ghoom museum and then headed to join the cab driver who would take us to Tabakoshi. But what’s a trip with no twists and adventures ? The cab driver was waiting at some place and we were looking for him at some other place. We walked and walked in the directions that we understood after speaking with the driver and the locals but we got lost completely. Good thing was that it was during the day and so we did not get worried except for the fact that V got frustrated while trying to locate the driver. We finally reached some place and asked a local to communicate to the driver the whereabouts of it so that he could come there and we would just wait for him over there. Finally we got into the cab and resumed our trip. In the cab, the driver handed over Darjeeling special Tea leaves, a gift from the owner of Dekeling hotel. It was a very sweet gesture and I was blown away by it.

We had our first stop at the place that has got one of the borders to Nepal. We didn’t enter the lands of Nepal but strolled around in the No Man’s land doing some souvenir shopping. We had one more stop at Gopaldhara Tea estate and bought souvenirs and different kinds of tea packets for family and friends.

We had lunch by the Mirik lake, a real beauty !

After strolling around the lake for a while, we completed the last part of the trip and reached Tabakoshi. We spent the evening exploring the home stay and basking in the beauty of it and had an awesome dinner served by the very sweet staff over there !

More on the awesome Tabakoshi in the next post !!!