Monday, August 24, 2015

Europe Diaries : Austria

To be honest, I was not too keen on a trip to Austria since the trip sounded like a costly affair. Thankfully, I had a sound mind to say yes to the trip and join my colleagues (how come there is no cool term for colleagues who are more like friends).

Being the last one to hop into the trip, the flight turned out quite costly - around two hundred euros for a return trip. To my surprise, I discovered that the flight was not full and still they chose not to cut back on last-minute rates. Hmpf.

Landed at the Vienna and took a high speed metro train which took me to the heart of Vienna and to my relief, my friends were there to pick me up. I promptly handed them my luggage (it was pretty heavy!!) and dropped them off to the hotel.

Vienna has a pulse which can be heard. It can be heard in the numerous bars and restaurants which line up the riverside. The river itself had lit up in fiery orange with the setting sun and was soon reflecting the bright colours which are so characteristic of the riverside cafes.

 The plan was to cover three cities - Vienna, Salzburg ,Innsbruck in three days which meant that we spent a considerable amount of time travelling. We found the Vienna City Card a welcome convenience since it saves the hassles of purchasing tickets for short distance. Plus, it also provides free entry or reduced prices for entry into museums and other tourist spots :)

Our plan was Vienna --> Innsbruck --> Salzburg --> Vienna and each city is around two hours of train ride away from each other. We preferred catching the early morning trains so we had sufficient time to explore.

Austria awed me with its efficient transport system. The public transport is well-connected plus there is so much information available to plan out your trip. Trip highlights were going all bling at Swarovski Museum, visiting Mozart's birthplace, siesta on riverside after a particularly heavy meal, getting drenched by Trick Fountains at Hellsbrunn palace and absolute calm after reaching the top of the mountain.

Austria will always remain special because it was my first trip outside of Belgium since I arrived. And it literally opened my eyes to the world. It is hard to express what I felt at that moment.. I would be belittling my emotions if I tried to describe it...I leave you with pictures to help you understand my state of mind :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

And... We are Back!

I am going to act as if nothing has happened , that two years flew by without me realising it, that I found my soulmate and got married and that I now believe in the concept of eternal love.

Too mushy? Well, pardon me for still being lovestruck a year into my marriage. My last two years were filled with travel to the places I always longed to visit and places I never heard of! I am going to patiently catalogue all of them which means I have to spend a considerable amount of my time on Facebook revisiting my memories. Paris, Amsterdam, Switzerland, French coastline, Austria, Germany and many more. Sounds good? Watch this space for more :)

Short Story - A Few Steps More

I know I can move a little bit closer to the sun, close enough to revel in the sunshine and not get burnt. I know that it is time to move ahead from the past, to let go of the phantom hand I believed would never let go of me.

The truth is, I knew it would not last. The last time we saw each other I could read that in the  resigned look you gave me, those eyes saying the final goodbye. But every time I convinced myself that it was over, that one phone call or a simple 'hi' in the chat message would give me hope which I clung on to desperately.

I know I can move away from you easily, there is so much hurt that I do not need any more reason to step away. I have so much to look forward to in my life, I know I can make my place in the sun.  Truth is, I was always scared that the closer I move to the sun, I would move farther from you.... That I would turn back and not see you there. But now, there is no reason to.

Monday, November 11, 2013

...Changed Her Profile Photo

Yes, I am talking about Facebook after realising that I spend significant hours on this social platform ever since I moved to another country. No, I do not spam everyone's timelines with photos of signboards and drunk parties, I belong to the category who goes through old photos and likes them so that they get trending (it is more fun when the photos are highly embarrassing. Yes, I am going to rot in hell).

Speaking of photos, have you ever noticed how the nature of the profile photo changes as the person goes through different stages of life? Check out the profile of a teen and it will most probably be inundated with photos of their favorite band or English serial. They also tend to post more photos of cartoon heroes. It speaks of their own aspirations - to be as famous as the rock-stars and to have powers like their superheroes.

Next comes the college crowd - think about group photos at college canteens, kattas and railway stations. It is the 'I don't care' age group and they do not bat an eye before sporting a silly pose in a public place. Oh, I so love those photos, mainly because of they remind me of myself ;)

Moving out of college and into a new job comes with its own sense of entitlement. You are not yet out of college atmosphere and still easing into the work environment. You finally have the money to do things you absolutely wanted to! I am talking about road trips, adventure sports, holiday destinations. Brace yourself because your timeline would be full of trip albums getting updated at weekly intervals. Gah!

The next wave of photographs is what I fear the most. Mushy quotes, hugs, smiles and filmy locations is what characterizes the to-be-married or married crowd. Henceforth, at least for a while, profile photos would constitute of two people with a romantic location as the backdrop.

Bring in a kid and that would stay the profile photo till they grow old - it remains the most adorable phase of photos for me. I am talking about cute smiles, cuddly poses, kids with Rajnikanth-styled glasses and fancy dress photos. The center of their universe wrapped up in one small bundle. All in all, you can plot someone's life graph by looking at their profile photos and in the end, the pattern is always the same!

And you say social networking is a waste  of time? I think not :)

Monday, July 8, 2013

.. Is In Europe

There has been so much going on, I do not know where to start; let me try summarizing it for you. Over the past five months, I have left the comfort of my beloved city to land n Belgium, learned to cook, suffered from direction dsylexia (go google it), gaped at the lovely blue sky and   danced a bit every time I walked on a cobblestone street.

There is so much beauty around it is hard to describe; the change I was craving for was finally granted. Every Friday, I used to sit and ask myself, "What next?". This one question has took me places which made me go through a roller coaster ride of emotions. I was happy, excited, overwhelmed, lost - all at the same time.

Over the past five months, I have visited five countries and every time I told myself it could not get better, I was proved wrong. With just a month remaining, I have been acting all greedy and soak in Europe as much as I could. There is so much to update here, but I think I will just wait until I am settled. Watch this space for more :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Letter To The Past

Dear 16 year old Me, 

I may be interrupting your deep thoughts and serious contemplation about the future, after all you are at a point wherein you have to make the all important decision to choose your stream for junior college. And while you spend hours surfing the Internet and consulting countless people, I can only throw back my head and laugh heartily at the scale of the decision you had to take. Trust me, it is only the beginning - over the course of time, you will have to take decisions that are antagonistic to your nature yet essential at that moment. And since you have such a short attention span (I am sure you have switched windows to surf Orkut), I have listed some advice for you. Read, lady, read.

1. It is okay to get older, after all it happens only once a year, right? It is not wise to spend all of your birthday moping over the fact that time is flying by without you doing anything worthy of your life; you after all have the whole life ahead to think over this. Birthdays are going to get better if you choose to spend them with people who do not just want to have an extra helping of the cake but also your happiness.

2. While you keep hoping for a slight weight gain so that people stop calling you underweight, I advise you to be happy the way you are. The next few years you will gain quite a few kilos and then people will start calling you 'healthy'. Then you will make an attempt to shed some flab and then people will ask you if you are unwell. Opinions change, you should not.

3. Do not give up writing. Ever. It is one of the things that will keep you sane.

4. It is okay to get your heart broken; all you got to do is pick up the pieces, wipe your tears and vow never to cry for the same reason every again. Shit happens, you move on.

5. It is easy to separate the black characters from the white ones; it is the grey ones you should be wary of. You know, the two faced variety.

6. Click lots of photos, it does not need a great camera but a good eye to capture precious moments. Years from now on,when you stumble upon such photos, you would be grateful that you clicked them.

7. Tell people that you love them even though they might dismiss you as slightly(or certified) crazy. Call them out of the blue saying that you miss them, write them cute notes and make them feel wanted. There is no greater joy in the world than being told that someone loves you. 

8. Dance like no one is watching, dance like you do not care!

9. While you may not realize this now, it is very important to be yourself. Trust me, you cannot act like someone all your life, a point will come when you will realize the futility of this whole exercise. You are a bad actor so just quit the stage now.

10. Forgive. Because circumstances change and people do not always live up to your expectations. You will realize why it is important to give someone a second chance when you will need one yourself.

11. It is important for you to know that discovering new places does not require money; it is about teaming up with like-minded people who are willing to give you company  to survive on a shoe-string budget. Know this and you will be witness to some of the most lovely sunrises and sunsets.

12. Always laugh, sometimes it is all that you can do :). You do not have to be in control of every situation in your life, there is a certain sense of contentment in letting things go, to sit back and watch how things turn out. And they sure do turn out well.

13. 'This too shall pass', repeat this to yourself every time you are at a dead end. You will look back on the past and think how much you have sweated over the small things in life and regret the time wasted. Bad phases never last, it is your bad attitude that fuels the negative situation. You have to keep looking for signs telling you that it is enough and that the worst is over. What won't hurt you, will only make you stronger.

14. Do not have the Spicy Chicken from McDonalds; you will weep hot tears. Also, trying multiple flavors of Naturals ice-cream on the same day is not such a good idea.

15. Do not spend too much time on Facebook, but this advice is totally useless knowing that I am still have a window open right next to this one. :D

16. Lastly, never feel guilty about making yourself happy. There may come a choice when you have to choose between your own happiness and someone else's, but you do not have to be the martyr every time, do you? Everyone thinks about their own happiness and it is high time you did too, even though it means taking some hard decisions.

There, it is not that tough advice to stick to is it? You will continue to ignore many of them and make mistakes and I am glad that you will do so. After all, what is life without a few bruises and scratches? ;) ;)  


What would you want to tell your sixteen year old self? 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Untold Story

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 32; the thirty-second edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'An Untold Story'
"I did not tell him, if that is what you want to know."
"I know you are unsettled after meeting him, but it has been five years Disha. Don't you think he has a right to know that you still love him?"
"Riya, he has gone through enough since the time he heard about my marriage.  I do not want to drag him back to the depressing phase he went through. He has suffered enough because of me."
"But.... is he not the reason why you called off the engagement? Is he not the reason you waited patiently waited for him to return back to India so that you would be together? And for heaven's sake, what are you smiling about?"
Disha was smiling at the memory of seeing a flash of gold and it became clear later that the precious piece of metal was on his ring finger.
"Well, that will always remain an untold story", Disha sighed softly, knowing that she must learn to live with the loose ends throughout her life.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Nikhil Patokar, Participation Count: 02