A Wishlist

I made my first wishlist some 4 years ago and lost it and did not bother to write one until few days ago. My first wishlist had long-term goals/aspirations etc etc….nothing that could be achieved in the foreseeable future so this time I made it a point to add some short-term goals. For example, one of the items’ on my wishlist is to watch an Indian ODI match and hopefully, it will happen this August. We’ve already bought our tickets and now hoping that it doesn’t rain in Manchester that day 😀 If everything goes well, I’ll be able to strike that off my list and I will start working towards the next one.

Another item on my wishlist is to experience eagle-flying. For me, an eagle is one of the most majestic creatures’ ….regal and warrior-like. I am presuming it won’t be long before I fulfil this wish of mine. During Summer, many Zoos in UK will give its visitors an opportunity to experience this first hand. So now, it’s a matter of change in the seasons 🙂

Some of the other things on my wishlist, both long-term and short-term…

A Rolex for S

Diamonds and Rubies…my favourite gem stones. A necklace will do just fine 😀

My one and only ‘love machine’

A World Tour for the family

and last but by no means the least……

…..128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond Ring…which the husband can buy for me 😀

Hopefully, I’ll be able to strike out a few items before I am 50???

Do you guys and girls have wishlist that you’d like to share?

Happy New Year!!!

What a fantastic start to the New Year. I hope this continues. S and I were in London. I’ve always loved fire work displays and I cannot think of one better than the New Year’s eve fireworks from the London Eye. We were there some years ago but were not placed strategically so the view wasn’t too good. But this time round, we made it a point to get to one of the viewing areas by 7 and were rewarded by securing a place just in front of the Eye on Victoria Embankment. The wait was loooonggg and tiring but once the DJ started playing his tunes, the last two hours passed off quickly. We had slept little the previous night and the 5 hours wait did not help…but once the fireworks display began…it was like a dream. We were so close that I felt the lights and the fireworks were just for us. So bright, so colourful, so full of life!!! It was just amazing!!! One of the best experiences of my life. The display itself was for 10 minutes but DJ Nihal had some awesome tunes if one wanted to shake their booty a li’l 😉 What was more tiring than the 5 hour standing was going back home. All the tube stations around Westminster were closed so we had to walk to Victoria tube station which is about 1.5 miles and took us about 40 mins. There were thousands and thousands of people trying to get home and the queue at Victoria was atleast 1/4th of a mile. S and I were lucky enough to get a bus to Vauxhall station and once we got there, the journey back to the hotel was pretty smooth. It was 3.30 AM by the time we got back and after a quick chat with folks back home and went to bed.

So if any of you plan to be at the London Eye for next year’s new year celebrations, here are some pointers which could be helpful:

  1. Victoria Embankment is the best place to view the fireworks.
  2. Get there by atleast 8 but if you want the best viewing area for you and your family, get there by 6.30 or 7. You might think this is a bit too early but let me tell you this, S and I were there by 7 and it was already filling up. We were lucky to be standing where we did.
  3. Carry a couple of hand held fold-able chairs. There will be lot of standing and even if you want to sit on the footpath, it’s not really comfortable. Your bum starts to ache after a while 😀
  4. Get lots of water and food.
  5. While going back to your destinations, try and catch a bus and get off at any tube station outside the borough of Westminster….Green Park, Vuaxhall, Pimplico are some of the tube stations that were open. Do not go to Victoria unless you are fine with queuing for at least an hour or more.
  6. Last but not the least, charge up your cameras ‘cuz what you will see will be the most amazing thing and you wound’t want to miss a single shot!!!

Channel 4 and its Love Affair with the Slums of Mumbai

OK…at first when I saw a bunch of  Indians (and cows) getting out of a truck in their various outfits, holding variety of props…I had my doubts of how this Indian winter would turn out on Channel 4 and wallahh….it’s lived up to my expectations. It’s totally crap!!! What’s with channel 4 and its love affair with slums. Gimme a break but India is not all slums and stray dogs. I am not saying channel 4 should not show the slums at all, but I guess one program should’ve been enough. But no, the season started off with Slumdog Millionaire the movie, and then Kevin McCloud Slumming It, and Slumdog Secret Millionaire with Seema Sharma and The Slumdog Children of Mumbai. There’s just one show that appealed to me in this season and that is Gordon Ramsay’s The Great Escape. Watched the first episode yesterday and I really liked it. His trip to Lucknow and his meeting with the really old muslim chef (whose name I cannot remember now) was fantastic…and the biriyani…wow!

But enough with the slums already! India is not all slums and open drains and cows roaming about on the roads. There is so much more. Discovering Indian food is a step in the right direction. It is so diverse. Every state has its own cuisine. Classical dance of India, like its food, is unique to the states. The history of India is immense. The architecture of India does not end with the Taj Mahal…there is so much more…like Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, Sun Temple in Orissa, the Meenakshi Temple in Tamil Nadu, Golconda Fort in Hyderabad just to name a few.

We really don’t need Kevin McCloud and Seema Sharma slumming it out for us to understand the problems of the slum dwellers. Though I really appreciate what they are doing…I think most of us already know that dreadful conditions these people live in. It is good if we can help but please please do not portray India as a country of slums. If you cannot resist, then at lease show some positives along with the negatives. I think Slumdog Millionaire did its jobs well when it comes to slums and Mumbai. We do not need anymore!!

Recently Captured :)

Our long weekend will be ending in about 5 hours from now and what a wonderful weekend it was. S, I and couple of our friends went to Blemheim Palace near Oxford City. Except for the cloudy weather and the elaborate history on the life of Sir Winston Churchill at the Palace, it was excellent. The gardens were beautiful. Apparently, the current resident of the Palace is John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough (No…I didn’t by heart the whole thing…I cut and paste it :D) and how lucky is he to be living in such a beautiful place.

The pictures below were taken in one of the palace gardens’ called the ‘Secret Garden’…sounds mystical doesn’t it? And it is equally beautiful. Two of the pics below…

PS: I thought the pictures looked good in Black & White. If anyone wants to take a look at the coloured ones….let me know 🙂 Hope you guys like ’em.

I will also be posting some pics of Jousting.…sport of the rich and noble 😀 If you don’t know what I mean…watch A Knight’s Tale starring the late Heath Ledger. So Stay Tuned….! 

8 Things About Me You Didn’t Know :)

Thanks Liju for tagging me on this one 🙂 I love writing about myself. So when I was reading Homemaker’s blog about some of the things she likes…I decided to write one for myself and that is when Liju tagged me:)

I am doing this whilst watching Law and Order – Criminal Intent. So if you find some irrelevant stuff…please ignore! 😀

Here goes,

Eight things I am passionate about

  1. Travelling
  2. Photography
  3. Movies
  4. Music & Dance (Since they go together)
  5. History
  6. Books
  7. Social Work (Children and Women)
  8. and most importantly My Family!

Eight things I want to do before I die

  1. Skydiving. I am an Acrophobic.…so me going Skydiving is a BIG DEAL!
  2. Learn to ride a Bicycle and graduate to riding a Bike. I know. You guys might think I am pathetic…not knowing how to ride a bicycle? I fell once while riding on a slope and I haven’t given it a try since….and I was 10 yrs old then. The same goes for Swimming. So basically, I want to try and accomplish all the things I am scared of and overcome my fear
  3. Involve myself in the upliftment of abused, destitute and vulnerable Children and Women…not just by writing cheques but my including in person with the various NGO’s working for them at grassroot level. God Willing, one day, I will set up one of my own
  4. Travel the whole world…from the Americas to Australia…From Iceland to South Africa. To keep it simple….wherever there is Oxygen and Water 🙂
  5. Go on a tour of India. Discover the various temples, mosques, churches and many other religious places my country is the birth place of…the wonderful beaches, the ancient architechture, the ghat sections, the sanctuaries…everything!!!
  6. Get a body like Deepika Padukone 😀
  7. Watch my country ruled by politicians who have B**** to say NO to the West. Indian public who will treat everyone equally and a Governemt which will not divide us on the basis of Caste and Religion. Upliftment of the scores of people who still live under the poverty line and see the Capital Punishment being implemented on convicted Rapists and Paedophiles (This list will go on…so I will stop here until the next person tags me on this 🙂
  8. Last but not the least..work in the NHS. It’s been long avoiding me…but before I leave this country, I’d want to work….even for a month…and say ‘Mission Accomplished’!

Eight things I say often

  1. Mentlaa (as in Mental’aa’)
  2. This is called S*** with a Cherry on Top 😀
  3. Waste Fellow
  4. Chaaaa…..Nijanganaaa
  5. Antha Scene Ledu
  6. Over actionoddu (as in Over Action Vaddu)
  7. Bore Koduthundiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii 😦
  8. and the classic South Indian expression – Ayyayyoooooo  (my all time fav) 😀

Eight Two books I have read recently

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  2. Days That Changed the World by Hywel Williams

Eight songs I could listen to over and over

Eight’s a little difficult…’cuz I got loadzzzz of them…but I will try and reduce it to eight with a mix of Hindi, Telugu and English Songs

Eight things that attract me to my friends

I can think of one…for the rest….you’ll have to ask them 😀

  1. My ability to continuously blabber…..sense and nonsense!

Njoy!!!

Neelakurinji

PS: Click on the image for its full size

|I took this picture when we went on a tour of a ‘Spice Garden’ near Munnar in Kerala.

Below is some fascinating information for those interested about the flowe in the picture.

The Neelakurinji or Kurinji is a unique shrub species that blooms in Munnar and the hills across Western Ghats. Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) belongs to the family of Acanthaceae. The species name Kunthiana has been derived from the River Kunthi. The genus has around 300 species, of which at least 46 occur in India.

Apart from its beauty, is that it blooms only once in 12 years. The mass flowering and subsequent death of the Kurinji is the subject of hill folklore.

Neela means blue in Malayalam language and Kurinji is the local name of the flower. For those in Munnar, the blooming of Kurinji flower is a reminder that their lives have gone past another twelve years and for those from far off places it maybe once in a life time opportunity to witness the Kurinji flowers covering the hills of Munnar in a blanket of blue.

More about the flower here.

Is it Italy or Switzerland?!

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I was showing random pictures to my parents and asked them if they thought this picture was taken during my trip to Switzerland or Italy. They said together ‘Switzerland!!!’. They were surprised when I told them it was taken in Munnar (Kerala) 😀

Doesn’t the place look beautiful. S and I went on a high-speed boat ride on the lake (and we both don’t swim).