Why Travel?

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Journey to a new place, for me, is like the best kind of love affair; where you learn a new language to express your love, where you seize who you are, who you’re in love with, where sometimes lose track of where you’re going but still carry on for the thrill and adventure, and where with every journey begins a love story, some classic, some great and some which last forever. For all you know, it doesn’t even matter if the story has been written before, because no two love stories can ever be the same.

Journey to a foreign land, for me, is like a quest for the unknown, where we travel in search of both self and anonymity. We battle between who we are and who we should be, where we are and where we should be. We travel to lose ourselves, and sometimes to find ourselves. As Pico Iyer sagely puts it, ” What we find outside ourselves has to be inside ourselves for us to find it.”

So, when I ask myself, why do I want to see the world? Why is it essential to go to a place, and then why write about it later? My head says, “Because I want to examine different cultures, experience different lifestyles, explore different opportunities, embrace different moments.” While my heart says, “Because I just want to try and find a piece of myself everywhere I go to put together one day.” I would say, a tourist is merely a person who complains, “It’s not the same as in my country.” Whereas a traveler claims, “It’s not the same anywhere I go.” Traveling is not a just a hobby or holiday, it’s a way of life. For this life I would travel everywhere, anywhere, sometimes again, and sometimes even if it means falling in love over a 100 times.

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From tyre to tired!

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Every time I drive, I have this constant fear that what if the car’s tyre gets punctured and I have no one to help around. Every time the car goes over a hump or even over a pebble on the road, I would think about the tyre going flat. Thanks to the movies that just augmented my fear; where they show a girl stranded on a deserted highway waiting for someone to help her change the flat tyre, which in turn leads her in a difficult situation. I get shivers thinking what if I end up in a situation like that? What would I do?

So I decided. I need to learn how to change a flat tyre. It’s been on my bucket list for a while now and it was time I got someone to teach me how to change the tyre. It was a hot day with the sun sizzling over. But a dear friend of mine was sweet enough to teach me how to change a flat tyre. He asked me if I had a spare tyre in my car, and I confidently said no. Whereas when he opened the boot of my car, he showed me where the spare tyre is kept. 2 years into driving my car and I never realized there was a spare tyre in my boot all these years hiding snugly below the carpet of the boot :s !!??!! So, now that we discovered where the spare tyre laid, the next step was to learn how to remove the tyre from the boot and replace the flat tyre with it.

All ready to get dirty and sweaty, he started to demonstrate the process.

  1. Place the jack in contact with the metal portion of the car’s frame near the tyre. Raise it to a level enough to support the car and not completely lift it off the ground.
  2. Remove the hub cap and loosen the nuts by unscrewing them clockwise. (Definitely not as easy as it sounds, I was huffing and puffing at the end of this step.)
  3. Remove the flat tyre and replace with the spare one.
  4. Screw back the nuts and lower the jack to put car back to position.
  5. Put the flat tyre and other tools back in the boot. Make sure to get the car to a mechanic asap.

Sounds pretty simple right. It definitely wasn’t. After we were finished with the lesson, I was seriously exhausted. I never thought changing a tyre would require so much strength and stamina. Anyways, the good part is that at least now I know how to change a flat tyre if I ever need to do it. Although on the down side, now I worry if I ever end up with a flat tyre, would I be able to do it on my own?

All that starts well, ends well.

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Life takes such different turns every day. Every day we go through different experiences and feelings; learn something new about ourselves. Every new day might not be special but there is something new and special in each day. It’s the first month of a brand new year, a first of many firsts. A first of many months to comes, many opportunities yet to explore, many experiences still to undergo and many more reasons to celebrate life. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence to experience so many firsts in the first month of the year, but it’s definitely a revelation of good things to come in the year ahead. Here is the list of some of the firsts that happened in January of the many yet to come this year:

1st January 2013: The first time I spent the first day of a new year with my entire family around. We have never been together on 1st January, someone or the other would always be missing from the picture. It was a day well spent since I didn’t sleep through the entire first day of the year. It’s been a sort of tradition for me to spend the 1st of January every year sleeping through the day. I  used to believe that if I slept on the first day of the year, I would get sound sleep all through the year. But this year for a change I ended up waking up early even after a heavy night the previous day (being new year’s eve). It was a pleasant change though,  since I spent the day with my entire family around for a change.

4th January 2013: The day I taught my first ever student. The first time I got to impart my knowledge and wisdom to someone. Even though I wasn’t the best teacher she could have found, but hope that the experience was as enriching for her as a student as it was for me as her teacher. To know more about my experience as a teacher for the first time, you could read my post Back & Forth.

11th January 2013: It was the first time that I posted a 1000 word post. I love to write, but generally never exceed 500 words or so. I think its a side effect of being a part of the advertising industry; when crafting or scripting an ad you always try and tell the story in as few a words as you can. The more concise your thought is, the more effective the ad is. My creative head always tells me to think of an ad that can be fit into six frames. I feel, if my post is crisp and to the point, it is more interesting to read. But with this post I didn’t realize, words were just flowing on it’s own. You can read the post here.

14th January 2013: The first time I realized the value of my boyfriend. That was the day we didn’t communicate with each other for the entire day, which generally never happens. But that day I ended up being so restless, I was unable to sleep properly at night. Even then my tiny little ego kept holding me back from messaging or calling him. That’s when it dawned upon me that I have always ignored the importance of his presence in my life. I am not a very expressive person and generally hesitate to tell the other person what I feel. My best form of expression would be through my writing. Maybe, it will be a first when I hopefully manage to tell him how I feel face to face (which even the thought of it scares me). You can read my first poem that I wrote for him here.

16th January 2013: It was by far the best day this year, the first time I gave a creative presentation as part of my job. I was so nervous the previous day, I couldn’t stop quivering. It’s not like I haven’t addressed a crowd or given presentations earlier, but whenever I have to present something in front of people I am not comfortable with I end up fumbling or talking very fast. Even though my seniors showed a lot of support, pushed me into doing it saying it was a great opportunity and most of all a great learning experience; they kept explaining to me how we had nothing to lose even if I messed up and they were going to be right there to back me up if I stumbled. Even then I was nervous as hell. But then it ended up being the best day, the feeling after giving the presentation well was one very exhilarating, and the fact that my script was the one to be approved of the many that were presented by numerous agencies was a feeling of being on top of the world. I couldn’t content my happiness that day with tears of happiness pouring down my cheek.    

17th January 2013: I went on my first client visit on this day. I had to go to an amusement park called Wonderla, meet the marketing manager and go around the place to get a feel of it. It was the first time I got bored in an amusement park (maybe because I didn’t end up going on any of the rides and stuff). Although it was an interesting experience to explore a theme park from a spectator’s point of view. Looking at the crowd enjoying, making observations and jotting down notes. It was an experience of a kind.

21st January 2013: The days you think are the big ones, they’re never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It’s the regular days, the ones that started out normal, those are the days that end up being the biggest. Today was the first time I stood up for what I believe in. Today was the day I stood up for the person I believe in. I never thought I could do it, to be strong, to be sure. Today I confronted the biggest decision of my life, confronting my parents about marrying the one person I truly love. Even though I am shit scared and nervous, but it feels right and I believe it is. I realized that you can never be sure until you take the first step, the hardest step. After which, it all seems worth it.

24th January 2013: It was a bright and sunny morning, the day of my first product photo shoot. I was expecting it to be really shady, low budget and boring experience. Since being a copywriter I assumed I wouldn’t have any work on the set and would spend the day staring at models posing for the perfect click. The moment I entered I thought I’ll cook up an excuse and leave by lunch time. But as I spent 10 minutes there, there was no going back. Turned out to be one the busiest and longest day I have had at work till date. It was a great shoot, the people were fun-loving and friendly, models were very nice to talk to (not their snobbish self), a pretty great learning experience and definitely was the perfect time to put my organisation skills to use. I am generally not a people’s person, but I was surprised at myself for talking so much to people I was meeting for the first time. Talking to the models, helped me get a first-hand world-view into the modelling industry as well. In the end it was a day well spent.

27th January 2013: Sometimes strangers seem closer than people you know. The first time I went for a wedding without an invite or knowing the bride or the groom. It was truly an exotic experience walking into a wedding with people you’ve known only for the last few hours yet still feel connected as though meeting long lost friends. I was extremely skeptical, felt a little weird to walk-in just like that, but once I got there it felt like I belonged there. The excitement of mingling with new people, experiencing new cultures, understanding different perspectives then striking a common ground. The entire experience was absolutely amazing. Sometimes it’s good to be around people you don’t know or rather who don’t know you, because you can be yourself; it’s like starting a story from scratch. We often seem to over look these opportunities that life gives us since we live in the fear of being judged constantly. Sometimes we need to let go and grab whatever life throws at us and make the best of it.

28th January 2013: There has never been an occasion where I don’t feel like putting down a call. At some point in time I do run out of things to say or feel tired and sleepy. But this was the first time when I didn’t feel like hanging up, even after 13 continuous hours of non-stop talking. It wasn’t like any other regular conversation I have, it   felt weird to have a connection with someone like this. Someone I never thought I would even get remotely close to feeling intellectually connected. There was something special that made me contradict my own norms of conversations. Things I found silly about phone calls, I suddenly felt like a victim of them and not find them silly after all. It felt like as though, if I ended the call I would never get to talk to him again. I just couldn’t let go. But it was a matter of just 4 hours till we started talking again.

The year that was…

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Another year over. Another end to a new beginning. Another disguise for old mistakes. Another chapter now part of history. Here is looking back at a year that was packed with risks, lessons, betrayal, love, hope, smiles, decisions, choices, moments, answers, questions…a year that was an experience.

January: Stay strong

You will always have friends around you, but sometimes even enemies can be disguised as friends.

January taught me to be strong and to be able to stand up for myself. Because sometimes, you are the only one who can help yourself.

February: Stay inspired

Appreciation follows one who truly deserves it. No matter how hard you try to dodge it, if it belongs to you, it will come around.

February taught me that no matter how hard people try to steal from you, they can never rob you off from what you truly deserve. The mantra is to remain inspired. To enjoy what ever you do, and if you don’t then don’t do it.

March: Stay patient

There is a golden thread of time that crosses every person once in the day, no one knows when or where it happens, the key is to keep wishing what you truly want and it is most likely to come true some day.

March taught that if you remain patient good things, good people and good times will come along your way. It was one of the best month’s in the entire year, including the part that my birthday falls in this month.

April: Stay confident 

Confidence is not about having all the answers, but being open to any question.

April taught me that anxiety will get you no where. If I had to do something well, I had to be confident that I could. For the first time in my life, I wrote my exams without panicking and still managed to ace it.

May: Stay calm

When you make a decision, the next step is to wait till it shapes up.

May taught me that things don’t always go the way you planned them to, because it only means that there was always something better planned. I got my heart broken, my career diverted and had results awaiting. Next thing I know, life had a better plan.

June: Stay true

True to your family. True to your friends. True to your dreams. True to yourself.

June was a difficult month. Everything changed but still remained the same. Coming back home seemed like a nightmare soon turned luxury. It taught me to accept life for what it is rather than what it wasn’t.

July: Stay spirited

Enjoy every moment that you have with all you have till you have.

July taught me that you don’t always need somebody to enjoy life. It was the time I was taking a break from life, when I spent most of my time exploring things I have always wanted to do, reading books waiting on my shelf, watching movies back to back, discovering what I wanted from the next few months of my life and in the process spent some quality time with myself.

August: Stay focused

One can do anything, but not everything.

Sometimes you needed to distance yourself to see the bigger picture more clearly. But August was the time to act on the decisions made and remain focused on them. It taught to continue following my dream no matter how hard people try to divert it.

September: Stay passionate

When you are passionate about something; when, where, what, who, why don’t matter.

After the long wait, I finally cracked a job in September, even though it wasn’t what I wanted. But at the end of the day, I was following my dream, my passion for creative writing. As long as I got to write, it didn’t matter when and where it was.

October: Stay grateful

Gratitude turns what you have into enough.

October taught me that what ever happens, family stays with you always. I was grateful for the loving and supportive family I have. I always thought that being independent meant living alone. Till I realized that independence is only enjoyed when it is backed with happiness, which comes from being with your loved ones.

November: Stay devoted

Devotion is not being truthful to your religion but being thankful to God in any form.

November helped me realize the meaning and value of true devotion. I felt closer to God, being mentally and spiritually at peace. It was the month of finding answers that always laid within.

December: Stay determined

We only regret the chances we didn’t take. But when life gives a second chance, don’t think of it as fate.

December taught me to take risks in life, that it is alright to make mistakes in life. Most likely there is nothing you can possibly lose, because if it is lost then probably it was not meant to be there in the first place. In life, things aren’t always what they appear to be, sometimes you need to take a risk, explore it and chances are it will leave you amazed!