Guest post : Fellowship of travelling!

I have missing in action for almost a month now. And I am not liking it AT ALL! There have been so many things to tell, half of my Euro tales still untold, and the exciting travel back home. But the office has been super hectic post vacation and combined with the festivals, it has left with no time to write.

 

So, the other day, I jokingly told the husband to ghost write my blog for me since I don’t have the time to do it these days. Also, considering that he, being the travel junkie that he is, has been on a Euro trip for almost 7 months now, he has SO much to tell. And so he agreed to do a guest post for my blog. This is the first post of a three part series of the husband’s Europe travel experience. He is as excited about seeing this in words as much as he’s been on the trips 🙂
————————————————————————————————————

I love the Quote from the movie “ UP(2009) ” which goes #Let the wilderness be explored , and I got a fair chance to apply this quote on my first onsite assignment . Modesty be damned,  I made sure no weekends got wasted in the comfy service apartment.

We all know how onsite assignments come our way. It is combination of being at right place at the right time and most importantly saying the right thing ! And voila, my company decided to send me to Germany , Dusseldorf in the month of April for strictly 30 days.

I landed in Dusseldorf on Saturday and so obviously, Sunday was wisely used 😉 The nearest happening city is Koln(Cologne)- city from where EAU DE COLOGNE originated. I can go writing about my crazy experiences but I will keep it short to 1 special thing I liked about each of the destinations and may be about their food and beer.

Koln is all about Churches – they are magnificent and I have a lasting impression of all the churches I visited.It is also famous for Kolsch beer. I could tell it was different from the ones I had before . It had to be good. After all its coming from Germany, the land of beer! 😛

 

Koln’s oldest church….still under construction. Irony?

Amsterdam <Holland>– Heineken brewery experience – Being a beer fan I could relate to Darwin’s theory of origin. Food is about big French fries called Pommes Frites . In the chilly summer it was a perfect snack. I’d prefer to write about the (in)famous Amsterdam nightlife in an anonymous blog 😀

The Heinken brewery in Amsterdam!
Brussels <Belgium> Autoworld – Most comprehensive and live models of cars from 1800 . I could relate to most of models as I have played them in NFS and midtown madness video games. “When in Belgium, do the chocolate”, and so that’s the first thing I had when I landed there – Chocolate waffle beside Mannekan Piss. That boy was pissing and I was gorging hot Belgium chocolate 😉
With THE cars!
 
Hamburg<Germany> – 1 hour ferry ride by Hamburg docking station. Amazing view of gigantic ships,city and sunset on far side of the river. 
 
 
Dusseldorf <Germany>– Visiting the Alstadt old town and Uerige brewery which over 150 years old .And ordering food by the Rhine river marks the day complete. Been staying in this city for 6 months now, and there is nothing much to do except have beer with locals and admire Germany’s weather and their perfection of trains, metro and clean roads. 
 
Snack served with the local beer- a piece of meat, loaf of bread, onion rings and spicy mustard sauce!
And that’s how a month got over – sweating it out in office 5 days and wandering endlessly on weekends. I returned to India with chocolates for colleagues and stories for family. My assignment got extended for next 3 months and I flew back to Germany again in May .This time determined to explore more than the natives have done. 

To be continued …..

Separation anxiety of a different kind !

The husband has been away for a while now. It will take him another couple of months to be back. The little one is keeping me very busy and on some days, I do not even remember that he is not there. Some days we do manage to squeeze in to talk for a few minutes. On most days, thanks to the time difference, we just about manage to acknowledge that we are doing fine by messages that are replied to, hours later.

There was a time when I could not bear to be away from him, even for a couple of days. I would call him all the time or chat and invariably miss him when I got home. I also wrote about how strong I was while he was leaving the country here. Any other time would have had me crying and bawling and being depressed for entire days after he was gone. The other day I was just wondering about this. All sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. Had I changed after becoming a mother? Did my love for the child overpower my love for him?
Or was I just over imagining things because I was so busy at all the other times?

I got my answer when I was watching “Two States”. It’s one of two movies I have watched in the past 7 months (all thanks to the entry of the little one in our lives). I am known to be a book lover and I, almost, never (except a few times) like a movie adapted from a book. And this was a book I did not even rate too high. It was OK, average. But I liked the movie. I loved the way Alia’s character was portrayed. I loved all the cliched drama of the loud Punjabi family and not-so-convincing South Indian accents. I loved the songs. And I liked Arjun Kapoor the best. His face had such a lost puppy look to it that you would immediately want to run and hug him. He didn’t seem like a quintessential “hero”, but a very normal guy who has his  ambitions and apprehensions mixed up.

Another reason I also loved this movie could have been because H and I also faced a lot of opposition when we decided to get married. Somehow, I was transported back to those years when we were the boy and girl in love. When we just had to get married to each other or no one else. When there were lots of tears, emotions and melodrama. And suddenly, all those emotions which I thought I had lost came back to me. I had a lump in my throat. I wanted to cry, I wanted to meet him and say the I love you. I wanted to be with him right then.

And then the movie ended. The ear phones came off. And the little one woke up.

But there is this song “Chaandaniya” (from the movie) that I have been playing in a loop ever since. It’s my favorite song these days.

Disclaimer: If you are missing a loved one, hear the song at your own risk. It will make you all sad and mushy.

 

 

V values Valentine!

I know many people, including myself, who are not a big fan of “days” like the Valentine’s, Mother’s, Father’s etc.
Why choose a single day to express love when you can do it any time and any day of the year? And better still, all the time and all the days of the year. I was pretty cynical too. But this year, I got a reason why such days are celebrated.

This was our first Valentine’s day after the birth of our daughter. But as first time parents, we were dealing with our own struggles – some personal family issues, a demanding 2 month old and a recovering mother i.e. yours truly. All these didn’t really give us any space or time to even think about celebrating the V day. I had become way too cynical. It seemed to me that these days were celebrated by people who had the time and energy and do it. And not really the people with real problems at hand.

The husband got me a spa reservation at a five star and informed me only in the morning of V day so that I could not cancel as I was wont to do because of the work pressure. He not only helped me finish the chores, but drove me to the place, took care of the baby while I enjoyed my full body massage replete with a sauna. Needless to say, I fell short of words. I had not planned anything for him. And he gave me what I really needed. Some alone time, and some pampering.

And that day I realized that V days are not all useless. Even though he might not say the I love you everyday. Sometimes we might not even talk for days altogether. But days like this tell us that it’s not all that bad as it looks. He might still be angry at me for something that I don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t love me. That even though we can say the I love you everyday, but the truth is we don;t. So what better than the Valentines’ to say it and declare it?

 

H hails the Heart!

It’s always funny when it’s happening to someone else. And in matters of the heart, it’s always melodramatic. But then it happened to me. And it was no longer funny or dramatic.

When I fell in love with my husband a couple of years ago, I was all rosy eyed. Like it happens with the first real love. Head over heels type. I had never thought I could love someone so much. It was like I had given him a piece of my heart. He could make me happy, sad, anxious, angry, anything. He could play with my heart. I had willfully given him the permission. And every gesture was love. And then we got married 😉

When we spoke of children, I always thought of them as people who would come in our way. In between us love birds. I always sneered at those who said that children brings the couple closer. Or that a child can melt your heart, can you make you do the impossible yada yada. I was cynical of those statements. I was too cool for those emotions.

And then, 4 months back, our darling daughter entered this world. And today, I feel silly for the cynicism. I feel all those things are, infact, understatements. There is no way I can describe my love for this tiny being. Someone who is always demanding, crying, throwing tantrums and yet, she has the biggest space in my heart. It’s like a piece of my heart is out there for the world to see and admire. So beautiful but so vulnerable. And so easy to hurt. No wonder women are such a huge pile of emotions and mush.

 

Another milestone! Or is it?

It’s our second Wedding anniversary. What’s wrong with time? Forget the “Time flies” adage, I think time is travelling in one of those Japanese bullet trains. Before you know it, you hear a “Whooshh” and that’s another milestone passing by. It feels like, before I know it, I’ll be a dadi/nani, recounting stories of of romance, love and commitment hamare zamaane ke, you know.

But, on a serious note, it’s been a fabulous journey so far. I have been so happy at times, that I wanted to pinch myself to believe if it was true! And then there were times, when we have fought like there was no tomorrow. But we always make up. Not because we have to, but because we really want to. After a full fledged screaming match and calling each other names, we do get the feeling that the issue wasn’t really worth a fight. But then, a good scream and fight here and there, doesn’t hurt anyone right? In fact I feel, doing that sometimes is almost therapeutic. But yeah, you gotta underline that “sometimes”, ok? And whoever says and believes that “I love you for what you are” is completely bullshit and you should know that. Spouses keep trying (mostly unsuccessfully and therapeutically ;-)) to change each other and do succeed a little. Only to be faced with a “tum badal gaye ho” a little later. Married life is full of such and many other clichés. And yet, each journey is so different from the other.

H and I started ours on this day, two years ago. By far, it has been the most important, the most special and the most romantic day of my life. I had waited for it, yearned for it and was lucky enough, to get to live it.
Just like time, our equation too is changing everyday. At 2 years, I have learnt to cook, as much as a survival meal for two. Now that’s an achievement if you know my disapproval for cooking. And H has learnt that to get me to cook, he has to say this in the most pleasing way, “Don’t worry babes, we’ll order from outside”. Likewise, H hates to oil my hair (an activity which I emphasize must be carried out religiously 4 times a week). And so, I have learnt that I can almost (ALWAYS!) get it done if I top with a hot chocolate. So, there.

We both have our quirks. We love some of it. We try and change the rest. But as long as I can fit my head snugly in the nook of his arm at the end of a long day, I am not worried. I know we are moving in the right direction. Growing up. Having fun. Fighting it out. Most importantly, together.
Babes, I know you will agree to whatever I said above. If you don’t, well, we can always talk it out over a cup of hot chocolate, can’t we?

Hail the Bond couple! 😉