Here is a little account of my visit to Srirangam,Srivilliputhur and Oppilliappan Temples.
Thanjavur is my personal favourite city in the Tamil Nadu. I am not sure what is it about the city, that draws me to it. Is it the temple with its beautiful architecture, or is it the paintings and…
I am going through a new phase. The mornings now a days are very dear to me, unlike earlier, where I used to feel like battering the clock when the alarm would go off in the morning. I am not sure how long this phase will last, but it is here and I am going to bask in it. There is a serenity in the morning sitting by the kitchen door, listening to music playing on the radio, munching on hot, home-cooked breakfast, sipping hot coffee, watching the birds swoop in and perch on tree tops or on fences, beads of dew glistening on the grass and feeling the warmth of the coffee and of the morning sun . It awakens the senses with a gentle nudge, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the dew soaked green grass, the music, the aroma of warm breakfast wafting in the kitchen, the birds with their open wings swishing around, the sounds,smells and sights mingling together, kind of lulls the mind in to silence. The unwanted thoughts and chattering of the mind vanish like a vapour. The tranquillity of standing by and watching the little nuances of life is wonderful.I have a sense of contentment, and as if this is the moment I was waiting for, a moment of peace, a state of mind,being in present. I truly understood the meaning of the Italian phrase ” Dolce far Niente” made so famous by the book Eat, Pray and Love. Ah the sweetness of doing nothing !!!
It all started with a nagging feeling to take a break from work and prompted me take a soul searching trip to Southern India. Thanjavur- the rice basket of south, will always have a fond place in my heart, where I have had beautiful trip with my friends and had felt a sense of peace there. I always wanted to revisit the place and I grabbed the opportunity with both my hands when it arose and am glad to say, I went there again. Here is a little account my trip to Thanjavur.
Being on a break from work, my day starts on a different note. I am usually looking out of the kitchen door on to the garden, gazing aimlessly at the sky or at a new shoot or a bloom in the garde…
Source: Onwards Journey to India
Starting off from Mumbai, I was looking forward to wandering off in the temple towns of Tamil Nadu, getting lost in the fragrance of the jasmine flowers, sandalwood incense, ea…
I had been contemplating for a while about whether I need a break from my work. I have had series of long chats with my near and dear ones, on pros and cons of a break. I had reached a point where I was not sure whether what I was doing was what I want to do. When I started to work after my university I was passionate about my work and loved it and I was sure about it. I have made such wonderful friends through work, I have learnt a great deal, have earned my living and evolved professionally in to what I am today. I want to discover who I am without my work. Does my work define me or I am to define my work? I decided until I disengage myself from my work, I will not be able to find the answer. I have taken the plunge and am going to live the next one year of my life as it comes and do things at a leisure and do a little bit of soul searching. I will try and learn something new. On a break
The leaves are changing colours, there is a burst of yellow and orange on trees,there is a chill in the air, pumpkins are on the aisles of all stores and it’s time to take out my sea green cowl. And it was the time for Apple Weekend at Fenton House. I have been volunteering at Fenton house for five years now and I started with Apple weekend . Fenton house is a 17th century house with amazing collection of Porcelain and musical instruments.It s located in Hampstead, London. It’s sort of become a family tradition for me and my hubby to volunteer on the Apple weekend every Autumn.
Visted Liverpool over the Easter break. Liverpool is so synonymous with Beatles. It has much more to its credit than Beatles Mania. It is the European Capital city of culture and is a UNESCO World heritage site. I loved walking around the city, it has beautiful architecture, muesuems, independent shops and the famous Liverpool One mall. Personally I loved the Bold Street full of independent Shops and stores, my favourite being the bookshop News from Nowhere, which is celebrating its 41st birthday.
Albert Docks is equally charming and is lovely to walk around. It reminded me a little of West India Quays,in East London. It was beautiful crisp morning to be walking along River Merseyside, gazing around and just soaking in the atmosphere
The central Library which has been recently refurbished,is a must see for all book lovers. I was mesmerised by the beautiful architecture and sheer abundance and proximity of books. Beautifully bound, catalogued and scientifically arranged books, ready to be borrowed and bury your nose in to lovely yellowing pages, leaving the hustle and bustle of daily life ….
Just outside Liverpool there is an interesting National Trust property. It’s Tudor property and which has been renovated over the years and is now an Victorian property as per the interiors. It’s has a display of two different architectural time periods in one site. The property is called Speak House. Our guide educated us on how many words that we use today in English originated from Tudor times., like cupboard, board games, side board.
It was a beautiful Sunny day, the house was filled with golden rays and casting beautiful shadows and creating a lovely display of light and shade. I enjoyed taking photos and capturing the memories and storing them on to a photo. It is a tiny speck of time frozen, frozen by camera and stored in a photograph….
I decided that in 2015 to do things that you never got around to do…
So I enrolled myself to “An introduction to History of European Art”
When I was young, I wanted to study History and be a Historian. Well, to be precise all I wanted was to was study History. I am not sure at that point of time whether I knew there was profession called Historian. I need to begin this story from a decade back. I am from India, where mostly everyone studies and becomes an engineer or doctor. And a few more study to become accountants. Once you choose a major,it sticks with you for your lifetime. So when it was my turn to chose a major field to study, I declared to my parents I want to study Ancient Indian History. My parents were not perturbed unlike many. Like every thing has its exception, my parents never chalked out my life, contrarily they taught me to make my own decisions and take responsibilities for all actions good or bad. They would be around to support when it all went pear shaped or cheer and clap for you if it went well.
So I went in to my School I told them I want to choose History as major. I had to have a long chat with my teachers as to what I will become if I studied History. Was I becoming a teacher? No I didn’t want to be a teacher. I want to study History.
Finally, after searching many high schools I found there were none which offered History. There was Science – you could be Engineer or Doctor, Commerce – be an accountant, and Fine Arts.- which was mainly Music and dance. Let’s just say I have two left feet and only stone deaf can be around if I sing or play any instrument. And maths is not my personal favourite. It was much before advent of Internet in India. My knowledge then was limited to asking people around me like teachers, neighbours, and my family.
So I came back home and told my mother” Well I can not study History since there is no school that offers it.” So we came up with Accountancy as a Major, since I had to study something, as everyone goes to high school and then goes to college and gets a Bachelors degree in India. So I ended up studying Accounts and working in Financial world my entire adult life and would continue to do so.
Dear Reader Please do not mistake me, I love my job, and I am not trying to be resentful. Nor am I saying I would have made a great Historian. I am merely stating facts. I could have braved to another city and studied History, but I didn’t. I just took what life through at me.
As someone who lives in London now and as a Londoners we are spoilt for choice when it comes to museums, historic architectures, exhibitions and places of historical interests. Many of them equipped with well read and Knowledgeable guides.
So one late evening last summer I went to National Gallery on a guided tour with my husband. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The guide was very knowledgeable, who had been working for the Gallery for the past fifteen years. At the end of the tour, the guide got a standing ovation from all the visitors on his tour. I have been to several museums and historical buildings in various cities. But this was the tour which reminded me of an interest which I had long forgotten.
So when, 2015 began and I was thinking of starting something I never got around to taking up. So I enrolled my self in to a class for Introduction to History of European Arts.
I am merely again taking up something which life has thrown at me.
PS: I enrolled in the class to find my teacher was the Guide from National Gallery.
It had been on our minds to do the Lands End to John O Groats for several years. Last year we were able to accomplish our dream of driving across the country from Land s End to John O Groats. It was a very memorable journey. Here is an account of our trip. Hope you enjoy reading it and are inspired to undertake a cross country road trip.
These are some of my experiments with photography with an I pad. I am not a photographer. These are my attempts to capture some of the lovely moments spent amidst nature. Walking through these beautiful trails is an experience which cannot be expressed in words nor the camera can capture the entire beauty and the profound experience!!!!
First and third photo are of River Severn in Wales
The Middle one is of Buttermere, Lake District
It was the harvest festival in India, this week. It is called by various names in different parts of India. Where I come from , it’s called Pongal. With the weather turning colder, it made me wonder how would it be to have a White Pongal, like a White Christmas !!!
“Ironical ” says a little voice in my head, since Pongal is a way of thanking Sun. But flipping the argument, there is nothing wrong in wishing for a White Pongal, and thinking of warmth of Sun in the cold. Heart goes fonder in absence as the wise have said in past.
My wish of having a White Pongal did not get fulfilled, but my husband’s wish of eating White Pongal did certainly get fulfilled .Venn Pongal,simply translated in English means White Pongal!!!.
My wish is fulfilled today,we are having the first Snow flurry of this winter.
Welcome to my blog. So far, I have been a talker, texter and tweeter. Now I am a blogger. I am very excited to start blogging as well. I hope you enjoy my posts.
Usha aka Bobby