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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Saturday, 6 April 2013

The Hues of Hyderabad

Last year, I got a chance to visit the City of Nizams, Hyderabad. My sojourn to this city gave me great experiences, loads of pictures and of course, memories unlimited.

I started my trip with something rather un-touristy. I went to watch a movie. Not just any movie but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. After lunch at Ohri’s, I began my city tour of Hyderabad. Char Minar was a disappointing sight as it is not at all well maintained. However, the bazaars around, where I shopped for the famous Hyderabadi pearls, surely made up for it. Street side chaats and chai were on offer everywhere as I walked through the bazaars. My traverse through the markets brought me upfront with the old world charm that this city has.

My next stop was at Lumbini Park. The huge floral clock at the entrance left me awestruck. I’d never seen such a work of art before and was completely enchanted by the perfection and beauty of it. The grand entrance led to the lush greenery and further, to the Hussain Sagar Lake. The view of the palm trees overlooking the water was simply breathtaking. 

A ferry ride took me to the center of the lake to the Buddha Statue. The lofty moonlit statue was a sight to watch and it also gave us some great opportunities to click pictures and create beautiful memories.

After breakfast at Chutneys the next day, I headed to Snow World. There were ice tables and chairs and huge slides that took you to the depths of the snow. Getting in to igloos, indulging in snowball fights, making snowmen and devouring on hot coffee and chilled kulfi – this was just some of what I did.
My trip to Hyderabad came to an official end at the famous restaurant chain, Paradise where I devoured some Hyderabadi biryani. My last shopping binge was at the airport where I picked up boxes of Karachi Bakery biscuits that Hyderabad is famous for.

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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

All Things Bright and Beautiful

A portion of my first salary was saved for the animals at Sanjay Gandhi Animal Care Centre. I can’t believe that it is today, after having been employed for eight months, that I have found the time to go to the centre. But I did, and for good!

The cows seemed to be very happy to see me…my friends of many years. Drooling, they came towards me with eyes full of love and expectation.

And...this is how they loved the food

I felt content.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.’

I totally agree with this quote by Anatole France and have actually experienced this awakening. Animals are innocent, expecting nothing but love, and offering an abundance of it in return. Trust me, to love an animal and to be loved by him is the best feeling in the world. 

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small;
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all! 

Every time I visit the hospital, I feel the world is a beautiful place and there is no ill. Would end this piece at this note and would encourage you to try this exercise once and experience the high yourself :)