Life is one big bundle of emotions. There is sadness, joy, relief, disgust, remorse, love et al. Sometimes life might seem to be bed of roses while at other times, you might just think of it as a claptrap. Whatever and however it is, life goes on, time flies by and only fittest survive. Yes – I’m on the survival of the fittest track. Might sound cliche, but yes – repeat it with me- only the fittest survive.
Have you ever thought how the essence of life has always hid itself in the concept of survival? As kids, we all thought, we were here to live. Eventually, science and society taught us that survival is all that we are here for. This rat race for survival, why? Why is it so important to be the fittest? Show’s a every superficial side of the mankind, doesn’t it?
Is life a competition? Is life a race? Are you a guinea pig that needs to keeping running to survive? For once, let us divert our attention from survival to living and from fittest to strongest.
Honestly, the idea of merely surviving sounds miserable to me. Why do you have to compete for your identity, for your survival? Can we not just live peacefully? Is earning money, finding the roof above our heads, marrying the right person; just all about it? I fail to understand why we keep wasting our life in trying to survive, while all this time we’ve been presented with this life to live. Yes- LIVE!
Just stop for a while and think! Give yourself time. Give your interests time. Don’t waste your time in the monotony of society and life that it pushes you to lead. Everyone in the world id unique and so should be the plans of our lives.
Banish the concept of societal dogmas from your mind. Set your heart, mind and soul on a journey where you find yourself.
Have you been finding it difficult to sit on the same chair for hours every day? Do you often catch yourself browsing the Internet for exotic destinations across the world? Has your boss caught you doing that too? If yes, here’s the moment of truth; you’re in a bad need of a vacation. And, if you think that a single vacation won’t satiate your wanderlust, here’s an even bigger truth you need to come in terms with! Dear, you and traveling are a match made in heaven; soul mates indeed and all you should be doing now is, ditch that 9 to 5 job, pack your bags and get going!
Not sure whether you want to do that? Here are 7 signs that you need to watch! If you’re showing even 5 of these, its time your reconsider your plans to continue the couch potato job!
1. Your New Year Resolutions Talk Highly About Traveling: Yes, every year when you create a list of resolutions, traveling takes the first place. Every new year is an opportunity for you to create a new travel bucket-list.
2. Your Social Media Accounts are Full of Travel Quotes: If some one would have to find a perfect travel quote for a school project, they would find the best ones on your Facebook and Pinterest. You are absolutely crazy about inspiring travel quotations. You have a hidden urge and capacity to post a quote every 5 seconds!
3. You Have a Special #TBT Strategy: It is like your personal social media travel promotion strategy. You have an entire collection of pictures from your old trips that you have planned to put up on Instagram with the Throwback hashtag in future. #TBT is your thing!
4. Your Friends Turn To You For Every Travel Info They Need: Your friends and colleagues know it that you’re the best person to turn to when it comes to planning vacations. You will be there best source when they come up with travel plans. Even if you have not visited a place, you will find every bits of information hidden in every corner of the Internet for your friends. It’s like a thrilling project for you!
5. You Often Fall Asleep Dreaming About Travel: And, the next morning that you wake up, all you have is an afterglow of the night you spent dreaming about traveling to far off places.
6. You Have a Capacity to Pre-Plan a Year in Advance:
You: “OMG! I’m going to Goa Sunburn in December”
Friend: “Wow, this December is going to cool for you!”
You: “December 2016, I meant.”
This is a common conversation. And every day, you spend hours creating you Goa itinerary.
7. You Feel the Happiest While on the Road: Lastly, travel infuses a certain peace in you. It refreshes your mind and makes you unstoppable. You find yourself smiling looking out of the window while traveling. It brings you peace!
*Do you relate to these? Yes!!! Go, catch a plane now, you wouldn’t want to miss on the one true love of your life, would you?*
15 more days and 2015 will be there staring at us. Every year all of us try to bring out a set of resolutions; some of us succeed while some fail. Personally, I’ve had a tough time standing up on my bucket list 2014(I still think, I accomplished a few things). And yet again, with my undying zest to complete a bucket list, I’ve come up with a new one. Go through my crazy list here!
1. T R A V E L ! T R A V E L ! T R A V E L! Yes, I mention it every time and just like the last year, I’m doing it again! Eversince this Manali sojourn, I’m even more smitten by the hills. Atleast 4 new places, I aim to travel in 2015.
2. R E A D! R E AD! Yes- after traveling that is the next thing which keeps my me going. One new book every month! (I could use some suggestions in the comments :) )
3. Buy a New Laptop! So yes, I’ve got to save money and then work my ass off for this one!
4. Last year, my bucket list had a thing about joining a Master’s Course and a Creative Writing one. The latter is done! Former still in the winds. So, a Master’s Course again!
5. Tattoo number 3. My Tattoo spree for 2014 is done! It is a beautiful quill tattoo on the wrist. This year, I’ll get something small, beautiful yet strong! (Open to suggestions)
6. Be a Better Writer. I’ve been writing for 2 years now. I still feel that I’m not putting my soul into it. I want to explore the better side of it.
7. Be a Good Human. Yes- the more you grow, the better person you should aim at being. I don’t want to be a person who seems cold and bitter. An act of kindness can definitely bring you a lot of peace.
8. Mediate and Exercise: In short, Feel Good and Look Good :)
9. Get Atleast One Write-up Published. I want to write one story or one piece which really helps in changing the mindsets of the masses. If not hundreds, only a handful would go!
10. Be a Storyteller. I just want to create my own world of stories now!
11. Spend One Month in the Lap of the Mountains. Come flood or fire, I’m going to do this and for real!
12. Relocate– Well, maybe! I think I need a change from the place now. It’s high time I explore my options, career and the life!
13. Forgive! Mastering the act of forgiveness is a big thing. I want to take the first step towards it now.
14. Meet New People and Make new Friends.( I love talking…I just love talking to people, listening to their stories and blabbering my own!)
15. Let go atleast one bad habit.( I still have to figure out which one! :P)
I know, it isn’t a very fancy list. It’s do-able though. Do let me know about your resolutions and bucket-list for the next year, in the comments below!
Love might be a free bird or some, whereas for others it might be a chained feeling.
Happiness might be a child’s smile for some whereas, for others it might be about buying a swanky car.
We all have different definitions for everything. My idea of life might be totally different than that of yours. Just a little pensive today, thought I’d ask you about your definition of success. Of course, we all have our versions of it! *I promise, this is going to be a short and quick post. :)*
So what’s you idea of being successful?
Is it about graduating from an IIT and grabbing a hefty pay-package from Google? Is it about choosing your passion over profession? Is it about falling in love with right person? Is it about buying all the riches of the world? Is it about winning a girl’s heart? Is it about traveling to the ends of the earth? Or is it about it all? If it is, shut your ears because what I’m going to write might not win your hearts!
Materialism; is that success? Yes, that is what success if for us; only that! So fickle, so small! Have you ever noticed that you succeed in your life everyday. Yes, we’re actually ignoring the small things of life that together make up the big picture. *What am I talking about?*
Well, every day when you wake up hale and hearty; that’s success. Every second that you breathe is success. Every time you eat a yummy meal, that is success (Not everyone gets to have that!) Every time your mother smile’s at you, that is success. Every time you reach home safely and sleep in your cozy beds, that is again success. (You know millions out there sleep on cold floors and tattered clothes.)
The fact that you’re living this life, my friend -That- is Success!
Appreciate what you have and success will follow; the quote in itself holds a huge meaning.
*Finally, I’ve fished out some time to write. I’m suddenly a changed person; a changed perspective! I’ve always written about my love for writing and travel. I’m sure by this time you’ve all understood that when I start writing a blog with how I’m evolving as a person, it is either about writing or traveling. It’s been a while now and I haven’t really shared a travel-story. Obviously, it is because I did not have enough time to get my backpack to use!*
*Get your reading glasses ready! I’m taking you to Manali. On a journey that I started with soul-searching as the only thing on mind.*
I would call November the most eventful month of the year. Just before lying on its deathbed, 2014 gave me memories for life!
Writing down a few last mails of the day, I rushed past the office door early that evening. With a child-like excitement, I drove across the honking cars and traffic signals knowing that in next 10 hours I would be staring at the glorious mountains! *4 days, 3 friends and the lap of mountains, P E A C E*
Departure: 5th November 2014, 6:30 PM: Our cab was waiting for us! After a few hugs to the families and we three left our homes for a vacation *a much-needed vacation*. After a 40-minute drive from Panchkula to Sector 22 Chandigarh and then another 15-minute hop to a dark and spooky spot (waiting there for a few minutes), we sat in our bus around 8 PM. This is that time of the year when Manali attracts a lesser number of tourists. So, the bus just had us, a few honeymooners and a few groups of students, heading back to their hometowns for the weekend. The bus left Chandigarh at 8:30 and thus, began a journey, I’m never going to forget. It was bumpy yet peaceful. The stars shone above our heads, the nip in the air slowly turned into spine-chilling cold as we slowly moved towards our destination. The bus only stopped twice or thrice on its way to Manali; once for dinner and the next for a breather ( as I call it). While the other two slept for a while, I spent a good part of the traveling just gazing at the stars. They just made me forget everything about the stress, the work, the studies et al. I did sleep for good 3 hours curled up in my seat. And, when I woke up, we had almost reached Manali. The river, the mountains, the forest; I fell in love with the place the moment I opened eyes that day. *It was the third time, I falling in love with Manali, had visited the place twice back in the year 2007 and 2008. It was the same; even more beautiful. Maybe, November made it look even more fresh!*
Day 1: 6th November 2014, 6:30 AM: Exactly 12 hours later, we jumped out of our bus; looking no less than backpackers this time. We came across a nosey taxi-driver who had some real plans to spoil our good mood. He spoiled good two hours of the day by taking us from one hotel to another. *Lesson to be learned: Pre-book your hotel, even if it is off-season!* Finally at 8:30 AM, we checked into our hotel, Hotel Chichoga Holiday Inn Manali. Decent, Good Service, Clean Rooms, Good View: In Short, Value for Money.
We freshened up a little a got ready for the second eventful and thrilling journey of the day. Rohtang and Solang were calling. We hopped into a cab; the hotel manager had arranged one for us. 12:30 and we left for the beautiful and enthralling journey. The weather was in our favor; it was a sunny, bright day. *I’m a lover of sunny days.*
Though, this was my second trip to Rohtang, it was even more beautiful around this time. Warm yet chilly, every inch of the mountains was glistening under the November sun. Just B E A U T I F U L! We reached Rohtang around 2 PM, climbed up the mountain to find some snow.* Excruciating and breathtaking ’twas!* And, then, there at one spot, you could see the mighty mountains smiling at you and the sky trying to hug you. This one moment, that I heard the winds whistling; I can never forget it. Pious and cleansing! I had forgotten the world and just wanted to sit there on the stone for hours altogether. *Though, the altitude was killing me.* Some pictures:
After spending a few hours in Rohtang, we moved towards Solang. The valley wasn’t was that eventful this time around; off-season to be blamed. Sipping some coffee and soup, we returned to our base in Manali around 7PM. We were tired of all the traveling, so had dinner at hotel and slept tight!
Day 2: 7th November 2014, 10:30 AM: We woke up a little late and rushed out of the hotel after a scrumptious breakfast. Manali sight-seeing was the plan! The weather showed us its cold side on the second with absolutely no sun. Our first stop was at Van Vihar. It was funny how Manali had been left to its solitude with very less tourists. Although, no rush and traffic jams; it totally worked for us. Here, we sat at the banks of River Beas. A photo-session and then rushed to Hadibma Temple which was at a distance of 3 kilometers from the main Manali Mall Road area.
At first, we decided to walk but then these street dogs din’t left us alone and we took a short auto-ride. Just as beautiful as ever. The temple premises were so peaceful and tranquil. The pictures have everything to say!
After an hour or so, we headed towards the Old Manali. Roamed around in the streets here and shopped a little for the families. After stopping for dinner at a cafe in the vicinity, we headed back to our hotel early. The next day, we knew was going to one hell of a journey!
Day 3: 8th November 2014, 11:30 AM: That is when we checked out of the hotel. Where were we headed? Into the magical valley; the Parvati Valley. We boarded a bus from the Manali Bus Stand for Kasol, a townlet near the pilgrimage area Manikaran Sahab. This is where we had decided to pitch our base for the next two days of our journey. The day was cold but slowly as we took the turn towards the valley, the smiling sun welcomed us. The mountains and the gradient, all singing joyous welcome songs for us. River Parvati flowing on the side, was just amazing. The lush green trees, the narrow curvy roads, soaring mountains and the turquoise blue river; what more could I have asked for. It was thrilling, scary and gorgeous. We reached Kasol around 4:00 PM and got comfy in a hotel. This was one called Deep Forest; and hell! Deep in the forest it almost was.
The best part about Kasol was that it was silent and enticing in every form. The food, the people, the gorgeous mountains- it was all crazily beautiful. Food was a main highlight. We tried some yummy street food and then gorged onto the delightful Israeli cuisine for dinner, and my goodness, wasn’t it some tasty meal! I’m big time foodie and am always a game for trying new food. If you’re visiting Kasol soon, try stopping at the Evergreen for a meal. They’ve got a wonderful ambiance, soulful music and super-yummy food. Italian, Spanish, Israeli, India- Everything!
*I’m quickly jumping to day four: this is the best part*
Day 4: 9th November 2014, 11:30 AM: After night watching the stars and mountains, we woke up around 10 that morning. Food was of course, the first thing that came to our minds and we headed to Little Italy. This is where the testament came into play. They say, you ought to save the best for the last and thus, the last day of our vacation started with a platter of awesomely deliciously scrumptiously yummmmmmyyy food. Italian breakfast! Goddddd, what more could you ask for! Good food, favorite people and mountains: I was falling in love with my life.
After stuffing up our tummies, we moved further to Manikaran Sahab. I have my faith vested in Gurdwaras and so visiting Manikaran was really important for me. The vacation would have been incomplete. River Parvati was at its melodious flow here; steamy yet soft. Another part of the trip that brought peace to me!
A few peaceful moments here and then we moved to Kasol Camps. A place where you can sit near the beautifully flowing river just bask in the nature’s bounties. This was the best part of the vacation. Just the river, the mountains, the winds and us. This is where my soul-searching ended. I knew I was taking back a lot of sanity, peace and calm. In those two hours of my stay there, the river, the mountains gave me so much about life. I noticed how the river started from a source and moved along with its course, romancing with the boulders, seducing the rocks and flirting with its banks; covering a journey towards a destination unknown. So much like our lives.
The towering mountains picked up my dampened spirits and said, “Look, don’t be weak and stressed! You can do this.” I was going back a changed person that day.
Our next stop was a cafe hidden in the mountains. You can to take a scary suspension bridge to reach this one. Concluding the trip, we shopped a little in the town market and then started the packing spree back in the hotel.
Back Home: We checked out of our hotels on 10th November and took a bus from Kasol to Bhuntar. The vacation had not yet ended. River Parvati flowing back with us, was bidding us adieu and telling us its life stories all the way. We jumped off our bus in Bhuntar and took another bus to Chandigarh!
*November 11, 11 AM: Sitting at the office desks, creating the songs and chatters with our keywords. And thus, the saga came to an end. Indeed, it left us enriched with stories and memories for life. I did find the peace. Also, this journey left me with a question, the soul that I was searching for; was that of a gypsy! Eversince, I’ve come back to Chandigarh, all I have thought about is going back again! Am I turning into a Gypsy?*