Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Beautiful Belgique!

When S and I met, we decided we would travel as much as possible and we would take at least 2 breaks every year! Boy! I am glad we stuck to it ( one common interest we have!)and every year has been a series of lovely holidays and wonderful memories! Travel exposes you to a different world, gives you a perspective into a different world and makes you feel really small at the same time! You feel you have been a frog in a well, literally!! We y(earn) to travel, that's all we look forward to! Its wonderful to have a glimpse of different people, their lifestyle, cuisines, the lovely locales, clothes, practices...this list goes on and never ceases to surprise me! I believe, you live only once, live life queen size and the way you want to! what say?

Even as a kid, I went all over India, thanks to Maa's passion for travel, every vacation was a new city, Mumbai, Kerala, Sikkim, Varanasi, Calcutta, Shimla, Haridwar-Rishikesh, Bangalore, Delhi....we have had fun times and long vacations! International travel begun after I got married. I travelled to the UK alone and we frolicked in Singapore for 10 days!! I have said enough about Italy here and here and here! We are lucky enough to be in Paris now, and it gives us a chance to travel all over Europe. We just about managed to see a bit of Paris, in about 3 months!! For the long weekend, we made a trip to Antwerp and on a whim, stopped on the way in Brussels too. Some glimpses...

Belgium is quaint and beautiful with an old-world charm....especially Antwerp with its cobbled streets, trams and old towers and big fountains...reminds of a slightly modern Calcutta!

Haute Couture!

Beautiful Clock Tower you can see from any part of Antwerp!

The man lying on the floor is impersonating the statues!

Amazing food at a Thai Restaurant....I was so happy to see Buddha EVERYWHERE!! From the decor to the candle holder!! I am inspired to learn Thai cooking now...very similar ingredients to Indian cooking but with a lot of aroma...

A beautiful ship stuck on the wall, in Brussels!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

We welcome people into our home with fanfare and bells!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fondly remember...

As I finished reading 'The White Tiger' ( I didn't like it so much, it is a dark story and I felt a lot of negativity. Call me naive, but I like to read positive stories with happy endings!), I wistfully, looked at the light seeping in through the curtains...and the curtains caught my attention. They have moved with me everywhere for the past 6 years, and holds a lot of importance to me. It was the first expensive ( It cost me 5000 bucks which was maybe, half my salary when we bought it)....I had just got married and these silk curtains adorned my new life with S....I have carefully maintained it and guarded it with my life, when we moved....from one place to another! I never trusted the packers with it! I still have it in my home in Paris now, in the living room and it looks as new as it was when we first bought it. Our first home, had brick walls for pillars on the was a nice cozy home...I have good memories of that place! :-)

I remember, having a a mom's friend or someone, i don't remember, got it for me from abroad....she was a pretty doll with long eyelashes and beautiful eyes wearing a pinaform? I had that doll with me for a long time, even in my teen years, I had her! Then, on Holi, all of us were playing in the neighbourhood with colors, and my neighbour V had been splashed with color by yours truly(me)! He came chasing after me and I ran inside our home. He looked for me everywhere and he couldn't find me. In a fit of rage, he took the doll and scribbled on her face with a sketch pen saying 'Happy Holi'. Only kids can be that cruel. I was sooo angry first, and was really very upset later. Maa tried consoling me that we can remove the stains...with a remover or whatever! But sketch pen marks do not go easily....I lost her! I can never forgive him for doing that, to this day! ( I don't have a picture of the doll, am sure my parents threw it away later...she was totally spoilt with the clear big marks on her face, anyway!)

I must have been in III standard, my dad went on a tour to Mumbai and when he got back, he got me a beautiful frock. It was an off-white one with a chocolate brown waist coat. At that time, I had never seen something like it, and I was absolutely thrilled to bits....

On my 15th birthday, as is the ritual in our home, both Maa, Appa and my dear brother woke me up singing a cheery 'Happy Birthday to you...' and voila! I see a big pink teddy bear with a big 'I love you' badge on it. I can't explain my happiness in words. I was elated, jumping with joy...Maa got me expensive pearls... I didn't even glance at it! I still have that bear with me...comes with me wherever I go! My brother was in college then, and he was not earning or anything. So the teddy bear meant a lot to me.Even now, wherever my brother goes, he always gets something really nice for me! :-)

Is any post complete without mentioning my dear S? :-) He bought me a lovely Gili Diamond pendant as our engagement gift. I loved it and wore it for a long time with a thin golden chain my two closest friends, S and K got me for my wedding. It became loose one day and I didn't want to lose the chain/pendant somewhere. So I carefully put it inside my purse so that I can wear it after I tighten the hook. You would think I am smart? No! I lost the purse!!! I can never forgive myself for losing it. S has bought me numerous things from all over the world, everytime he travels...but that pendant was his first gift to me....and I lost it!

I am glad I have so many people in my life, who love me deeply and the gifts are an added bonus. After all, it is the thought that counts! I associate every single gift and gesture with happiness and good memories. Isn't that what life is about, good memories? I choose to ignore the bad ones!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our very own breakfast table!

My little spring project....

The Masked Man poked his nose in everything,
so I broke his nose into pieces!! :D

The Lavender flowers are amazing to look at, as soon as we get up in the morning!

Real flowers from our very own plants!

Candle-holders for a romantic night out, Dinner maybe? ;-)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Love makes this world go round!

As I get to know people and make friends from different in Paris, I realize that we are worlds apart yet similar in some really basic sense! As we discuss our lives, love, upbringing and views about people and life, it seems like we are not so different. There is an underlying common thread that binds us - we all ultimately want the same things, you know - Love and Happiness!

As their( people from other countries/cultures) lives unfold, it all drives down to simple wants - LOVE, to remain in love and to be loved in return and happiness forever! The words seem so simple as I type, but seems like a huge struggle in some people's lives. I guess everyone is not lucky in love.
As I listen to my friend's woes and all the hurt and resentment that has ruined her life, I fervently hope the inimitable love is waiting round the corner, and she can feel the snuggly warmth that I experience!

At the same time, a shiver runs through me, and I send a silent prayer for all the love and happiness I am blessed with. I can't feel anything but gratitude. I think maybe I have done atleast something right? ;-) Often, when I enjoy something or feel happy about something, for that matter anything remotely positive or good news, I just can't wait to tell S ( I am counting the minutes to see or talk to him). Now that I have him, I can't imagine what I did before him? I used to give a verbatim account to my Maa. I still do, with elaborate details :-). Come to think of it, I am glad I have someone who shares my enthusiasm and happiness. Of course, these epiphanies happen only once in a while. Most times, I am greedy and want EVERYTHING! :-)

I guess, that's when God says, my dear child, 'Have Patience, I will fulfill all your desires at the right time'. When I feel its the RIGHT time :-).
So I am learning to be patient. ( Damn, its difficult sometimes)

For once, let me try to think beyond myself and I say a lil prayer for you my friend, I hope you find warm fuzzy love and happiness in abundance, that will keep your spirits up, when you have your lows! ( Life is full of highs and lows, we all know that! Nothing is constant!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Voila! Taa daa!!

A few extra big cushions, some precious space left in the corner, girly fashion magazines...

Voila! I have a nice cozy corner to chill with books/magazines!! :-) Nothing matches the comfort sitting on the floor, does it?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A visit to Versailles...

We set foot into the garden...literally!
One of the numerous French Kings in the Chateau...

Paintings - Baby?
Our effort at photography...