Friday, 5 August 2016

On the Other Side of the Rainbow Bridge

Meadows, meandering streams and butterflies that I can run to catch without a worry.
A fairytale like setting, with sunshine and smiles all around.

And the best part? So many fellow four-legged companions to play with, date (once in a while!) and eat my favourite chew toys with.

Let me take you around to the other side of Heaven, just a few paws away. Let me tell you all about the Rainbow Bridge so you see me off happily.

When I came here first, I looked back and saw the world I left behind. The fur on my tail had withered but as I approached this idyllic setting, my bushy tail was right up there, out and about. The many years had given me a white snout over my pretty black furry face. But this Bridge is almost like the Mirror of Erised, showing me all that my heart desired, making everything so approachable. Yet again, I have a huge black furry face that everyone loves to cuddle. Trust me when I say I’m free of the pain and my eyes have the sparkle of a puppy again!

This side of the Rainbow Bridge has welcomed me with warmth, comfort, food, love and the most wonderful company of my furry friends, everything I could ever have wished for! All I miss here is you! But with so much to do, I’m surrounded by happiness all the time and passing it on to you from above.

Take your time because my favourite humans need you right now but when you come, we’ll walk down the path together. We’ll jump to pluck the prettiest flower, we’ll run around after the colourful balloons and we’ll cuddle each other like there’s no tomorrow. I’ll be the drool machine I was, you be my love, my two-legged partner! We’ll walk down the path to Heaven, we’ll cross the Rainbow Bridge together.

Till then, always remember…

“क्या बताऊँ माँ कहाँ हूँ मैं...

यहाँ उड़ने को मेरे खुला आसमान है!

तेरे क़िस्सों जैसा भोला, सलोना जहान है यहाँ सपनो वाला

मेरी पतंग हो बिफ़िकर उड़ रही है माँ...

डोर कोई लूटे नहीं, बीच से काटे ना||”

Saturday, 2 August 2014

For The Fur Kids Charity Event

A thousand discussions, months of preparations and hours of planning the prices and decorating our drawing room - this is what went into the success of the first ever charity event by For The Fur Kids. Yes, it is with great happiness that I can say that the event was a success :-) 

This is what the room looked like after we had set up everything:

For those of you who missed seeing the invitation, here it is:

Yes, I should have written about the event two months back but we had received some orders from the sale and I was busy completing those. Got done with everything last week and here I am, sharing the story of THE Charity Event with you. 

My sister Anubha used to make beautiful sagan envelopes in her free time - and that's where the idea came from. This was the first product we decided to keep for our event. Anubha designed all sagan envelopes and boy, how everyone loved her designs! :-)

Want to see how they looked like? 

She also gave me the inspiration to start quilling and I made some quilling envelopes for the sale. Couldn't make more than 12, but was really excited for all I could make! Here are some of them:

What next? With both Anubha and I being bookworms, the answer to this question wasn't tough and we started working towards having our little collection of bookmarks. Harry Potter, warli, dog love and reading - these were the themes we picked. A BIG thank you to Namrata once again for making so many bookmarks for us <3

Apart from handmade envelopes and bookmarks, we had junk jewellery, jewellery boxes, stoles and other such trinkets on sale. However, on the night before the charity event, Anubha suggested that we could make greeting cards from some colourful sheets of paper we had. We spent the night adding price tags, packing envelopes,  decorating the room and putting up dog pictures, and of course making greeting cards! 

The satisfaction of a thought becoming an idea and finally, a full-fledged event is immense. It was also very touching to see the support that everyone in the family gave. Dad and Bhaiyya did all the running around and handled the financial bit. Did I mention that Mom made beautiful handmade paper bags on her own? 

This was not just an event for me but another step towards animal welfare which is what made it so special.

All proceeds from here will go to Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre. Will be back in a week's time to tell you how the visit was!  

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

The American West Coast Road Trip Planned

Summers are back and it is that time of the year when most of you are looking for suggestions for that ultimate vacation. This time, do something different; get set for a road trip. But not just any road trip; this one’s set across the West Coast of the United States, considered to be among the most beautiful places on Earth. Here’s a route that offers the best of West Coast and its attractions. While on this road trip, be prepared to be charmed by natural wonders, rich national parks, incredible cities and mesmerising coastlines.
This West Coast road trip itinerary will take you from Seattle in the north towards Nevada and its surrounds. And that’s not all! There’s a lot in and around California too that is waiting for you to discover it.
Starting in Seattle: Start your American Road Trip on US Route 101, which runs on the West Coast of the United States through Washington, Oregon and California. Seattle in Washington is a great starting point courtesy its location. Take in views of the city from the Space Needle or go around exploring the many neighbourhoods here. Did you know that the first outlet of Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971? Do stop by to sip the famous frappuccinos and cappuccinos at the original store at 1912 Pike Place.
Standing Tall: The Space Needle in Seattle
Bainbridge Island Day Trip: After all the local exploration, get set for a day trip to the nearby Bainbridge Island. Board the Washington State Ferry from Pier 52 on Seattle’s waterfront to get to the island which is at a mere distance of 35 minutes from here. The ferry ride offers spectacular views of the Seattle skyline. Once you reach your destination, there’s a lot to keep you occupied. Bainbridge is known for its boutiques, cafes and galleries which are a great reflection of life in the northwest.
Bainbridge Island is dotted with many pretty little boutique shops |Photo Credit: Sue Manus/flickr
Exploring Oregon Coast: Once you get back to Seattle, drive down south on US Route 101 along the Oregon Coast. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is worth a stop for its 200 feet tall sand dunes situated right on the coastline. Adventure enthusiasts can hit the dunes in a monstrous 4×4 SUV or opt for quad biking.
Adventure enthusiasts are in for a treat at the Oregon Dunes!
Off to Redwood National Park: After the Oregon adventure, gear up for a 6.5-hour drive on Route 101 to Redwood National Park. Highway 101 will take you to all parks of Redwood Forest where you can set out for a hike. Feel dwarfed as you pass through the many Redwood trees, some of which are five times the size of the Statue of Liberty and more than 2,000 years old. The Lady Bird Johnson Grove and Big Tree are two famous tourist spots you must cover as you walk through the tall redwoods.
Make a beeline for the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile stretch on Highway 101 covering the Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This scenic drive promises to be a very rewarding experience, with countless giant trees from the California Redwood Belt surrounding you.
Don’t miss a drive through the scenic Avenue of the Giants
Cruising on Pacific Coast Highway: After crossing the Redwood Belt, continue onto Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Highway 1). This is one of the most charming drives and you should not rush through it. Since it is a long drive, we recommend you stop at Fort Bragg, located on the picturesque Mendocino Coast of California along Highway 1. The Glass Beach is the highlight of any visit to Mendocino and offers an out-of-the-box experience to all travellers. If you happen to visit during the Memorial Day weekend in May, make sure to attend the annual Glass Festival.
Something unique…the Glass Beach on Mendocino Coast, California
Get Set for SFO: Stay overnight at Mendocino and begin your journey to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway the next morning. Dig out your Janis Joplinor and Grateful Dead music collections and follow the hippie trail in San Francisco. As Scott McKenzie puts it, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.” Spend your day exploring the historic neighbourhood of Fisherman’s Wharf and go on to discover the happiness quotient of Haight Street. Food lovers, delight! The range of exotic seafood delicacies you will find at Fisherman’s Wharf is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
The posh localities of San Francisco have been a favourite among filmmakers. The popular Shahrukh Khan and Kajol starrer My Name Is Khan was shot here, along with other Bollywood films like Love Aaj Kal and Biwi No. 1.
A beautiful neighbourhood in San Francisco
The Golden Gate Bridge: Yet another unmissable attraction when visiting San Francisco, this engineering marvel stands on two towers which extend 700 feet in to the sky and about 100 feet beneath sea level. Its impressive location, graceful Art Deco detailing and characteristic orange colour make it one of the most striking bridges in the world. This 1.2 mile long stretch is best covered on foot or by bike. The Bridge Walk is open from 7 am to 7 pm.
The majestic Golden Gate Bridge awaits you
Unveiling Secrets: The Coast Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles takes you through many pleasant landscapes and reveals some lesser known California secrets. Even though it’s a day long drive, the variety you will come across will make you love every bit of it. A leisurely drive on this route will acquaint you with the offbeat and quaint town of Carmel, Santa Barbara and the popular Big Sur coastline. Here’s a quick tip for you: Head to Nepenthe Restaurant at Big Sur, which is not just famous for its American cuisine but also for the commanding views of the coast it offers.
Take a pitstop at the Big Sur Nepenthe Restaurant | Photo Credit: Roy Montgomery/flickr
Welcome to LA: Greater Los Angeles area is a 100 mile drive from Santa Barbara. Los Angeles is your gateway to all that’s hip and happening. Be welcomed to one of the busiest movie studios in the world, Universal Studios. A walk on the Hollywood Boulevard and a souvenir photo with the famed Hollywood sign in the backdrop is a must when in LA. If you’d like, you can take a Celebrity And Movie Stars Homes Tour.
The 1971 Bond Film Diamonds Are Forever was shot in Los Angeles. Some other famous Hollywood films shot here are City Of Angels, Gone In 60 Seconds (1974 and 2000), Father Of The Bride (I and II) and Iron man (I, II and III).
Hollywood sign on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills area, LA
Vegas Baby!: A 4-hour drive from Los Angeles will take you to Nevada’s Sin City, Las Vegas. Tantalizing, enticing and electrifying – that’s how Las Vegas is. It welcomes you with a dramatic backdrop of brightly lit casinos, enthralling nightclubs and some really exciting gourmet options. On reaching Las Vegas, head straight to the Strip for a true essence of the city. Don’t leave Vegas without visiting the world famous Tryst Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas and we promise that your tryst with Tryst will be one to remember!
Vegas has also been the shooting location for Bollywood films like PardesKites and Anjaana Anjaani. Hollywood films shot in Vegas are What Happens In VegasThe HangoverOcean’s ElevenIron Man and Rush Hour II, to name a few.
The dazzling Las Vegas Strip at night | Photo Credit: Marco Verch/flickr
‘Grand’ Canyon: There are many more adventures planned for you ahead. The 5-hour driving distance from Vegas to the Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona will seem nothing in front of the excitement to see the natural wonder. If you can plan your visit to see the sunrise and/or sunset, there’s nothing like it. Those views from the National Park are simply brilliant. Hiking through the mighty canyon and seeing the famous Horseshoe Bend are a must if you wish to experience the grandeur of Grand Canyon.
The Horse Shoe Bend at Grand Canyon is a must-not-miss
You can also include the nearby Hoover Dam, built on the Colorado River, on your getaway to the Canyon. It is one of the largest dams in the world and has been featured in the 1964 Elvis Presley movie Viva Las Vegas. The drive to Hoover and Grand Canyon will take you through a desert landscape.
Hoover Dam built on Colorado River is one of the largest dams in the world
Viva Las Vegas and Beyond: Get back to Vegas and catch an evening live show if you can. Cirque du Soleil plays host to some great art and entertainment shows regularly. Next morning, make a start for Death Valley National Park which is 2.5 hours away by road. Brave the hot and dry climate at Death Valley, marvel at the salt flats that are 282 feet below sea level and witness the kaleidoscope of colours that is created as sun sets here. Despite its name, a great diversity of life can be found at Death Valley. If the weather allows, take a walk in the sands to see how life survives here.
The many hues of Death Valley National Park at sunset
San Diego Calling: The last (but definitely not the least) stop of your road trip is 5 hours away from Las Vegas. The sandy California beaches are at their best in San Diego, a must-visit destination for all beach bums. While it has many other extremely popular attractions like San Diego Zoo, Sea World and more, a visit to the beaches here will make your trip worthwhile. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the beauty of Mission Beach or La Jolla Cove and the sunset views these beaches offer. Movie buffs, here’s a trivia for you: San Diego was the shooting location for the 1997 Hollywood filmThe Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Romantic La Jolla Cove at sunset
The roadside attractions, ever-changing landscapes and picturesque pit stops are some things that will keep you hooked throughout the West Coast route, making you longing for more. Adventurous and calm, vibrant and pristine – the US West Coast has all that you could ask for. So, are you prepared for the next big journey of your life?

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A Christmas Wishlist For Dogs

While all of you are busy making your own wishlists and dreaming of gifts Santa might get for you, how about giving the homeless animals around you some love on Christmas too? Here’s some food for thought for all of you…for each one of you is a Santa for the four-legged angels around you. You have the power to make someone smile…will you? J

This Christmas wishlist is as simple as life could get. No big demands, no love for money, no wish to compete with the fast pace of life. Just a little love, a little bit of care and some pampering…Nothing more, nothing less.

Wish #1

I want neither diamond nor any gold
All I wish for is a sweater to stand the cold 

Wish #2

Warmth and comfort as it is said
One can only get with a cosy bed

Wish #3

Day or night - when all alone you have to roam
Then you know how vital it is to have a home

 Wish #4

All through the year, I have been loving and good
Will you love me back for I have always by you stood?

Wish #5

Food when I’m hungry and light when I’m lost
I know you’ll be there for everything,
I have my fingers crossed!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Dear Dogs...I Love You!

My sister-friend recently shared an article which listed some qualities about dogs, something which truly expressed my feelings too. Needless to say, all of them are absolutely true. I feel sad about not penning them down earlier but nevertheless, I am happy I got a chance now.

1.       Regular dog walking improves fitness levels.
It sure does. With Chip, I used to happily go for a walk every evening and seldom in the mornings too. And of course, the running around all day after the little baby. That saved me from becoming TOO fat and kept me healthy. And now, it seems like an effort...going for a walk, exercising…and the result DISAPPOINTS me! :o 
Tired Chip....after a walk :)
2.       Patting a dog lowers your blood pressure, therefore lowering your chances of cardiovascular disease.
WOW. I am so glad Mr. Chip happened to me. J And very happy that Mr. Kalu and Ms Daisy let me do it too :p


3.       Kids have fewer sick days off of school.
Well, we adopted Chip when I was in 10th standard…And after that, I only took those offs to play with the little baby! 

Playing with Chip :)
4.       Dog owners often recover faster from illnesses.
Thank you Dr. Chip, for being there. Thank you Dr. Kalu and Dr. Daisy for taking such good care of me! *much love*

Dr. Chip!
5.       Children with dogs tend to have better self-esteem.
A great tip for all the parents out there!

6.       Owning a dog can alleviate symptoms of seasonal affective disorder or depression.
Now I know why I was so happy all the time when the little baby was around. I never hated those winter evenings and loved going out with Chip even when it was dark. I can never thank you enough for the wonderful times you have given me little Chip. And I am sure you are passing on the love to everyone up there. You are truly an angel.

Little Chip!
Hope you enjoyed reading this and are doubly sure about the benefits of adopting a dog now. :)

Monday, 13 May 2013

Chronicles of my Last Summer Vacation: The Beauty that North-East Is

Of all the things to do during summer vacations, going on a trip is, without doubt, the most exciting! Planning one for your summer holidays is a big task but doing it well in time surely saves you loads of trouble. Take this advice for it comes from experience. I had planned right and well in advance and so, I had the most wonderful vacation of my life last summer. North-East India had been on my list for long and I finally decided to explore it. This is the route I took:


As soon as I landed at Bagdogra airport, I couldn’t wait to board a taxi to Kalimpong. Every sight in this quaint town overlooking River Teesta with snow-capped peaks in the backdrop is picture-postcard-perfect. Really, Mother Nature couldn’t have been more kind!

A priceless gem of the Eastern Himalayas, Kalimpong is a 3 hour drive from Bagdogra and (surprise surprise!) is a great place to shop at. It wasn’t long before my bags were filled with Tibetan handicrafts, artifacts and junk jewellery. After satisfying the shopaholic in me, Kalimpong greeted me with ancient monasteries, beautiful temples, serene churches and bustling flower markets. I also discovered that paragliding is the best way to enjoy the magnificent mountains there.

Enjoy stunning panoramic views in Kalimpong | Photo Credit: wikimedia commons/Anuj Kumar Pradhan
Gangtok was my next stop and it had loads to offer in terms of sightseeing, shopping and culture. It is home to the third highest mountain peak in the world, Mt. Kanchendzonga. The sight of the mountain peak from Tashi View Point was one to behold. Rumtek and Enchey monasteries, Hanuman Tok and Namgyal Institute of Tibetology were other attractions I covered at leisure in the two days that I spent in Gangtok. To my surprise, Gangtok had a very vibrant nightlife too with loads of bars and pubs dotting the city.

An unforgettable and extremely enjoyable experience was the yak ride at Tsomgo Lake and the visit to Baba Mandir (about 38 kilometres away from Gangtok.) The yak I rode was christened Tshering and he was adorned with colourful pieces of cloth. Also, for anyone visiting Gangtok, I would highly recommend an excursion to Nathu La Pass, the mountain pass on the India-China border. About 55 kilometres from Gangtok, this pass is among the highest motorable roads in India. One thing to keep in mind while visiting Tsomgo Lake and Nathu La Pass is that you need permits for entry.

The breathtaking Tsomgo Lake, 38 kilometres from Gangtok

My next stop was Lachung. I booked an SUV from Gangtok and halted en route at Kabi Longtsok, Seven Sisters Waterfall and Singhik View Point to capture some memories of the mesmerising scenery. For a perfect ending to my day, I hiked up to the Lachung Monastery, which is open only during the Losar festival in February.

My excursions around Lachung began the next morning. The many shades of green, countless rhododendrons, hot springs and a meandering river made Yumthang Valley (25 kilometres from Lachung) truly picturesque. And how could I miss Zero Point, 30 kilometres ahead of Yumthang, famous for the beautiful views it offers and its snow. As you would have guessed, fun pictures, snow fights and a snow man followed.

The picturesque Yumthang Valley
The next day, I headed back to Gangtok and this time paused on the way to click marvellous pictures of the Bhim Nala Waterfall and Twin Waterfall. After spending a day and a night in Gangtok, I departed for Pelling, where the serenity was enough to levitate my senses. There are monasteries, waterfalls, views of Mt. Kanchendzonga, pretty valleys and loads of opportunities for adventure enthusiasts like hiking, fishing, rafting and mountain biking in Pelling. After the adrenaline-pumping paragliding tour in Kalimpong, I thought trekking would be a great idea for me.

Entrance to Pemangytse Monastery, Pelling | Photo Credit: wikimedia commons/Kothanda Srinivasan
 At last, I reached Darjeeling. The unadulterated beauty of the tea town stole my heart. It is, without a doubt one of the best travel destinations in India. To treat my senses to even more visual delights and for some adventure, I decided to board the toy train of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. As the train was winding through the mountains, I hummed the popular song from the movie Parineeta, “Kasto mazza hai lelaima ramailo o kaali odhali” which literally translates to ‘it is great fun when the train twists and turns in the hilly terrain’.

Take a joy ride aboard the toy train in Darjeeling | Photo Credit:wikimedia commons/Vikramjit Kakati
Tasting the uplifting Darjeeling tea at a local café was a wonderful way to begin my tour of this town. I headed towards Tiger Hill to capture the amazing sunrise on camera. My love for animals also took me to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Zoo where the sight of the endangered red panda fascinated me. The majestic hill views, ornate monasteries, lovely tea gardens and the warmth in the air are reasons enough to make anyone fall in love with Darjeeling. They sure did for me!

Welcome to the Tea Town of India, Darjeeling
I left for Bagdogra airport with my packs of Darjeeling tea, a refreshed mind and a million beautiful memories. If you too are looking to have a peaceful and relaxing holiday like me, then this is the ideal route for you. The fresh air and scenic beauty in these parts of India will be the perfect recipe for rejuvenating your senses. MakeMyTrip offers various all inclusive vacation packages with flights and hotels to make your stay comfortable.

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