Monday, November 25, 2013

Pine Forests and Wild-flowers

What happens when you just realize that this is the only weekend till next 10 weeks, which is somewhat un-engaged for the most of it? You choose a place near your city, figure out the logistics (especially a quiet place to stay), pack your bags & head straight for it! And that’s what I did…so what if it was a tiring Friday or a Monday that loomed large with an early morning meeting at 7:30 that I’ve to attend in person at office?! 

For me, a weekend break is
1.      I don’t have to put on my contact lens & brush my hair
2.      I can take mindless walks without looking at the watch
3.      I can curl up on a couch without worrying about the next meal or a to-do list
4.      I’d be secretly happy that the data-connectivity is bad which means I’m not tempted to check FB & chat on whatsapp
5.      Most importantly I don’t HAVE to do anything.

With a little less effort most of it gets fulfilled actually.

And hence I head out to the hills crossing the plains & the forests. The meandering Nilgiris Mountain train brought much joy. The 19th century colonial bungalow was as cosy as I could have imagined…and a real fireplace with smell of the burning wood, in front of which I curled up most of the evening got me grinning like a Cheshire cat! I let my thoughts wander away to faraway places, people I love thinking about….the conversations that I have had with them and imagined I would have. When I saw a white-washed, red-roof house on a slope of a hill…I wondered what the owner must-be like, does he feel lucky that he smells the pine-forests every morning…what is his World like?

In my mindless walks, I stop by to pick up ferns and wild-flowers that’d be dried and kept inside the pages of my books…time will fly, there’d be work to do, milestones to achieve, more trips to make…but the brown colour of the ferns & flowers would remind me of those moments that photographs and written words fail to capture. So what if I am bleary-eyed on a Monday morning…it’s all worth it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tring Tring …it is the wake-up call!

The alarm rang, as always by habit. I fumbled for it…something felt different. Yes, it is not my pillow & not my bed certainly. This bed is too soft. Oh yes…this is England…right! Arrived last night…& then hit the realization…I am on holiday, I don’t have to go to work…I mean I don’t have to go to work today, I don’t have to go to work tomorrow or day after or even the day after…oh damn! It doesn’t really feel as happy as it should! What does one do when there’s no work and no study either? I don’t know that life….maybe I should wear a nice dress, wear a smile & go out for a walk….Explore the World Pooja…I whispered to myself!

Summers in England are not really as warm as they should be and the mood swings of the weather is worse than a woman PMSing…any moment without a warning it’d start pouring! Did I really need this holiday, I wonder?!

I made way for a cafĂ©. Okay…so the cheapest coffee is £1.30 ….rapid calculation inside the head, that would be Rs. 104…what if I have a sandwich too…so that’d be £4.80 in total…once again rapid calculation…Rs. 384…oh damn! Am not I spending too much?! Never mind, it is the first day & the Husband is earning in Pound Sterling! Scraping off the last morsel off my plate and draining the last drop of liquid I walk here and there soaking in all around me. Just in one corner, I see a theatre…if I stay back here, oh well, if I am ever allowed to stay back here, maybe I would perform in one of these theatres…I smile to myself…who needs logic while day-dreaming anyway! Then I spot a dome-shaped building. I walk in greeted by smiles. There is the young and the old; smart women and roly-poly Mums…whoa! A library!

“you mean I can take 6 books at a time?”
“There is no membership fee also?” I felt like they have pushed me in a heaven! Books neatly kept even better than the swanky stores in India…oh man! There’s Hillary Mantel’s latest!...oh god…isn’t that what Jeffrey Archer released last month?! Sigh…happiness…there’s a lot to do when one is not working and not studying after all!

Swindon…small town England. The trees. The cobblestone roads. The Parks. The Pubs. And the Library.