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Monday, 24 December 2012

Season's Greetings

Thank you for visiting my blog :)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

The Tune

I saw him today! After listening to him for so long, finally I could spot him. Oh what a relief!
It is amazing how some sites, sounds and smell can transmit you to another time and place instantly! This is what happened when I first listened to this man in this city called Mumbai. The first time I heard him was a Sunday morning. I was preparing my cup of morning tea, when I heard the soothing tune of a flute. I was wondering who it was! The tune took me back to my childhood immediately, when my momma and me used to admire a similar distant playing flute in our comfortable home in Guwahati. 
Every night, after around 8.30 pm when we would ready the dining table for dinner, a melodious flute played somewhere in the background. Unlike now, there were not many houses in the neighbourhood and we always wondered which house the tune emanated from! The tune was so melodious that we would eat without exchanging a single word. In my young mind, I used to even relate that tune to many story book stories that I was so fond of. That tune made my childhood so perfect!
Listening to that tune, the curiosity kept growing bigger and more intense in my mind. My repeated questions to my mom made her enquire on who played that tune. We finally found out. The tune was played by two Bodo labourers who were staying in a small bamboo hut a little far from our home. I was astonished to learn that! Such amazing and melancholic music from such simple people! I asked mother, “They are poor labourers; they spend the whole day slogging outside under the sun, where did they learn it from?” Mother said, “They didn’t learn it from anyone. Such music comes from the heart.” I asked again, “Why would they play the flute at the same time every night?” Mother replied, “They play it post dinner, while they are about to sleep.” Knowing that I would ask her why do they eat so early and almost get ready to sleep when it’s just time for our dinner, mom continued, “They do very hard physical labour. They need enough rest to work again the next day. So, they eat early and go to sleep early too.” I couldn’t be more touched by her statement! Of course, when I heard that as a kid, I didn’t know what to say; I just kept quiet and got lost in my own thoughts.
Now, on the Sunday, when I heard the flute for the first time in Mumbai, I got lost in my childhood memory. I started imagining who that person could be! After sometime, I got busy in the daily chores and the flute playing stopped too! I assumed, maybe he has a Sunday filled with activities and chores too! The next Sunday, I heard that flute again! It made me restless, just like I was in my childhood, when curiosity got the better part of me. But I possibly won’t be able to find out which one of these skyscrapers around it was coming from. I almost gave up hope. But yes, every Sunday, I enjoyed the flute like a routine.
One of my many Balcony Gardens
Today, while watering my pots in the balcony, I heard that flute again! This time, it felt as if it was coming from the road! I tried to spot it manoeuvring my eyes from our fifth floor apartment through the Gulmohar tree below. I could spot him! He is a flute seller! Wearing a white shirt, khaki trousers, he was supporting the huge display of different coloured flutes on his right shoulder while playing the flute. Oh how wonderful the tune was! Unlike my childhood times, when I couldn’t make out the song the Bodo boys played, this time, I could recognize the song. It was a Hindi movie song from the 70s. I could relate many similarities between those Bodo boys and this man. The single remarkable similarity was – their tunes came from the heart, that’s why the tunes were so melodious!

Today, (March 17, 2013,) another Sunday, there was a little development to this "Flute Story". Here it goes:

It’s Sunday and I hear that soulful melody again. Every Sunday it reminds me how beautiful life is! Listening to the tune, I could recognise the song the flute seller was playing and I started singing along. While continuing my Sunday chores humming the song along, I got surprised when my partner ;) asked me to get ready with my camera, as the flute seller was coming upstairs! Whoa! I was thrilled. Yes, I always enjoyed the music he played, but never thought of calling him home. (In my opinion, some things are best enjoyed from a distance. When you start knowing it too well, you may not feel as good as you do now. The same rule is applicable to people. Some people are likeable only from a distance. :) )

Well, the doorbell rang and I opened the door. He looked like a simple man. I told him how well he plays and how we enjoy his flute every Sunday. I asked him where he learnt playing the flute. He said that it was self-learnt. He also displayed all the flutes he was carrying to sell. He explained which flute is what and how it was to be played. Displayed his skill by playing different sets of flutes and also gave us to try some. Obviously we do not know how to play the flute. Still, we bought 2 flutes. Apart from the cost of the flutes, we gave him a small gift for playing so well. He was happy. My day was made. :)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s been really long since I blogged here. I have been missing it. My being absent from the blogosphere doesn’t necessarily mean that I have not been writing at all. To be honest, I wrote quite a few. Lack of time and opportunity kept me from posting here. I will post those soon. But I am here for another reason today.
Every year on the fourth Thursday of November, the residents of USA celebrate “Thanksgiving” in a big big way. In 2012, this auspicious occasion will fall on November 22 (that is tomorrow) and it is a national holiday for them too. Yes, this is a big deal because this is the day when people appreciate and understand the meaning of having a family and the joy of eating together. Attending a real traditional Thanksgiving dinner is one of the things in my bucket list. I know I will someday!
My heartiest greetings to everyone celebrating Thanksgiving!
Let me share some factoids about Thanksgiving:
  • The first Thanksgiving was a simpler event than many people think.
  • In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies.
  • For more than two centuries, the days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.
  • It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the national Thanksgiving Day to be held on the last Thursday of November.
  • Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October.
For more info you may also visit:

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Living Life with Passion & Gratitude

Passion makes everything possible. The inception of an idea to start my own e-magazine happened way back in 2010. As a full time working Editor of a publishing house then, I didn’t have the time and energy to actually work on my idea. But the way a pregnant woman cannot pretend after a few months of conception, as “it” starts to show; my desire to start an online magazine grew bigger and I couldn’t hide it anymore. Hence, I started the groundwork despite having very little time to spare. The groundwork was what I used to look forward to more than my every day job. I loved my job, but I could realise the difference between love and passion. My passion towards my e-magazine turned out to be stronger than the love for my job. Soon, the day of judgement had arrived. It was time for the expecting mother to take her maternity leave; in my case — it was time to quit my job to pursue my dream, my passion and my belief — my own online travel magazine.

Just the way the doctor is there to help the pregnant woman to go through the entire period of extreme mood swings, crankiness and intolerable nonsenses; I had my web designer for me. During my journey, my web designer cum developer cum counsellor had suffered a lot with me. The calmness he possessed was remarkable. Even members of my family say I am very difficult to handle. The patience the Web Counsellor cum the IT Guy portrayed while handling my eccentricities really needs a mention here. He never gave up on me or my dream even when I made his life extra difficult, particularly when it was time to launch the website online.
Now, my baby is born and I love this motherhood, the peace of having this baby - my own website with an e-magazine. Today I have a complete website with a monthly e-zine called the World Luxury Travel Magazine.
It would not have been possible without my Web Counsellor cum IT Guy – the one stop solution for all things technical. My sincere gratitude to Mr. Pramathesh N. Borkotoky for being the most patient Web Counsellor ever!
During these recent few months, I have been neglecting this blog, not intentionally, but due to the scarcity of time. But I am back to get in touch with myself through this blog. What can be a better way to restart blogging than by conveying my heartfelt gratitude to those who helped me in realising my dream? My sincere gratitude goes to my partner for life Prakash, my father Prahlad, writer Prabha and graphic designer Pranab.
Whoa! Saw the relation here? Everyone’s name starts with “Pra”!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Boss is Always Right, Right?

It was Sunday. I was about to have lunch. My boss called. He told me to write and send two news reports - one on the flood situation of the Kaziranga National Park and another on... [Click here to read more]

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Gauri Khan - The first lady of Bollywood

How different can the family of a superstar be? Well, I had no clue. Although, not much of a star gazer, post my shifting to Mumbai, I have seen and happened to travel in the same flight as many celebrities. 

One flight, the one I took on March 3 this year, was different in many ways. I was flying Business Class from New Delhi to Mumbai in a Jet Airways international service craft. While boarding, I saw the poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar walking aboard the flight. A celebrity boarding a Mumbai bound flight is not a big deal. It happens all the time. But it was different today. Read on... (You may add your comments here.)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Magic Stone

In life, it is amazing how everything has a cute story to tell. I have been sharing stories of my life here - however big or small they are. Today I am going to share another one. It’s about my Magic Stone.
If you are a regular visitor of my blog, you would know that I have started practicing the Magic one day at a time, just as suggested by the author Rhonda Byrne. You already know about Day 1. But I couldn’t quite complete the Day 2. It needed me to have a stone that’s smooth to hold and fits in my fist comfortably. The time I started to practice the book was not really a great time for me. I couldn’t continue the practice for many reasons, including a trip to China. However, the actual reason I couldn’t continue the practice on Day 2 was the absence of a pebble or a stone that fitted the description of the book. Then I went to China for the conference. Practicing the Magic was put in the back burner for now.

The conference went well. I took a post-event tour organized by the Wu Zhen Tourism Board and visited the water town that was so serene that I wanted to spend a few more days there. Anyway, during the walking tour, we were accompanied by the PR representative of the hotel. Jade was a perfect fit for a PR role as she had a very pleasant personality apart from being a people’s person. As we were walking by a landscaped garden path, I saw many white pebbles lying on the lawn. I picked two. Jade asked if I liked pebbles too. The conversation went like this:

I said: I love pebbles. Do you?
Jade: Oh, I love them. Let me pick some too.

We both started collecting some pebbles from the lawn. Then we showed our collection to each other. They were not that great really. Dirty and defective with pores.

Jade: Nah, these are not that good.
Me: Yes, let’s throw them. May be, we’ll get some more on the way.
Jade: (Throwing them back on the lawn) Yes.

We continued our walk along a stoned walkway. There was a stop where people were taken to a tour of one of the hotels in the area. I stayed back at the entrance, as I didn’t want to tour. Jade too stayed back, along with a few more members of the group. There were two huge flower pots at the entrance of the hotel and the soil of the pot was covered with beautiful black and grey pebbles collected from the river. Jade came to me and asked, “Do you still need a pebble?” I replied with an affirmative. She announced, “Okay, nobody sees me now, alright?” I smiled. She went to the pot and slyly picked one pebble and came towards me. She held my right hand and put it on my palm. Then she covered the pebble on my palm with her palm and said, “Here, take it. You have got your pebble.” I thanked her and smiled from ear to ear with thrill. She smiled too. It was such a happy and bonding moment for us.

Now, do you remember, I was not finding a pebble to continue the practice of the Magic book? I found my pebble. Since the pebble has such a sweet story to it, it is more precious for me now. I thank Jade for finding my Magic Stone.

Day 2

The Magic Book says, if you miss a day, restart the practice back from the last three days of the missed day. Well, I missed the second day itself. So, I restarted the practice from Day 1. However, I agree with my friend Nina from Germany that we must read the entire book first, as it needs some preparation before we start the practice. Read more...

Saturday, 31 March 2012


Today was the Day 1 of practicing the book called the Magic. The first chapter or the first day practice wants you to “Count your Blessings”. I did. According to the book, if you count your blessings, you will have more such blessings to keep counting. In other words, you will get what you think more of. Read more...

Friday, 30 March 2012

The Attitude of Gratitude

On March 25, 2012, on my way back from a weekend trip to Agra, I picked up this book by Rhonda Byrne, called, the Magic. While waiting in the airport lounge, I read the first two chapters of the book and I realized that it is a day-by-day practice of 28 days. Today, since my desk is clean of office work, I thought of continuing my read of the Magic and started reading it in the morning. The moment I continued reading, I realized that the Law of Attraction worked on the day of my purchasing this book too. Yes, I do believe in it.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

March :)

The March wind roars 
Like a lion in the sky,
And makes us shiver
As he passes by.

When winds are soft,
And the days are warm and clear,
Just like a gentle lamb,
Then spring is here. 

                                           ~ Anonymous

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The cuckoos are here

Kopou (in Assamese)
or Foxtail Orchid
Today, I heard the first cuckoo song of the year. Yes, the coo of a cuckoo is like a melodious song to me, filled with deep emotions! I can feel it inside me whenever I hear a cuckoo sing.

Every year, the day I first hear a cuckoo sing, my mind registers it - immediately. I feel a restlessness to go home, no matter where I am. Home means Assam. Yes, my Assam- the Assam that is so beautiful with mountains filled with blooming Indian laburnum and gulmohar trees, vibrant coloured flowers and the smell of freshness in the air... Oh, how I long to be in the middle of all that!

This cuckoo craze is not really a new phenomenon for me. I have been experiencing it ever since I learnt to recognise the call of birds.  While thinking of the beauty of how nature follows its course despite the mankind’s ruthless and seemingly tireless effort to ruin it, I truly appreciate the fact that there are people who still relate to nature and its happenings.

A Cuckoo
It is said that birds of same feather flock together and it is true! I have some childhood friends who also get thrilled listening to the cuckoo sing or seeing the kopou (foxtail orchid) flowering. Every time they experience the season's first song or the first bloom, they call me, we con-call each other in different locations and argue on who heard it or saw it first. It is such a "feel good" for all of us. It keeps us connected, not only with each other, but also with Mother Nature, the way we grew up in her lap.

Today, when I see small children captivated in apartments, happy with their Barbie dolls or x-box, I feel sad. They are missing that touch with Mother Nature. I wish I could help!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


This is not the continuation of my Australia travelogue. This I am writing just as a reflection on the month that is passing by. Today is the last day of January and 2012 has already unfolded in a pretty new way for me. Here's what I've learnt this month:

1. I must get my priorities right. I did already.
2. Celebrate being alive.
3. Health is the only wealth we need.
4. You are as important for me as I am for you. No less, no more.
5. Work is a part of my life, it is not life itself.

It always feels great to grow up a little more. Thank you Jan! :)

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Love at first sight - Australia

Sydney Opera House
Yes, I know it’s been a few days already and it’s high time I wrote about my trip to Down Under. Many of my blog readers, who are also some of my great friends, are shouting at me for not writing about my trip to Australia yet.

The road in Kangaroo Island
The reason I wasn't posting anything was just one - my confusion on where to start! When the heart is full words are few and my trip of 20 days in OZ has definitely filled my heart. More so, because we went on a well-researched trip (by my partner) minus any annoying tour agent who treats you like a herd of animals.
There cannot be a better teacher than travel itself. Traveling has enriched my life in many ways. However, this 20 days’ vacation trip to Australia has changed me as a person. In many ways, my priorities have changed. Australia has taught me how to celebrate life and celebrate being alive.

Somewhere with the guiding light
This trip to Down Under will always remain as one of my most cherished trips - also because, I have done some of the things for the first time in my life here. This has helped me tick off a few of the “to dos” from my “must do before I die” list. These include celebrating New Year Eve at Sydney Harbour, seeing Uluru, helicopter ride, taking a cruise in the Pacific Ocean and snorkelling.

Our journey started on December 31, 2011 in Sydney. New Year Eves have always been very important for me. Call me “typical” but I do believe that if you start the year well, it will go well. I was getting tired of the usual good food for dinner, some TV and bursting of crackers at midnight routine for last few years. 2012 had to be different. We wanted to go somewhere. After considering a few options, we decided to welcome the New Year by going to the New Year (read: to welcome it before it actually reaches our country) in Sydney.

The crowd at Sydney Harbour
Australia was always a mystery for me, a country that is so far away from the rest of the world and we knew so little about it, except the unbelievably strong cricket team, Uluru and kangaroos! The moment I landed in Sydney, it was a series of surprises for me. Being a country in the Southern Hemisphere, it was to be hot as hell there in December and we were prepared for the summer in OZ. But to our surprise, it was cooler than the winter in Mumbai. Thankfully we had “just in case” jackets with us and we were saved. Even though we took a thirteen hours halt in Singapore, the eight hours flight to Sydney took a toll on us. We wanted to go to the hotel and take a nap so that the body clock gets confused (or cheated) to adjust to the new time zone we were in. Moreover, we had a ballroom cruise to take on the Sydney Harbour that evening to celebrate the New Year Eve. 

Happy New Year! ;)
We had reservation at Hotel Radisson Blu in Sydney. So from the airport, we headed to the hotel and slept for some time. As the suggested cruise boarding time approached, we got ready for the evening and went to the Kingston Wharf to board the Majestic Cruise Line. The crowd, the atmosphere at the wharf and the enthusiasm of the people, especially those who were reserving seats at the bank since 12 noon were absolutely overwhelming. A little effort later, we found our ship and boarded the cruise of a lifetime!

What a great way to start the 2012! I couldn’t have asked for more!


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