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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Memorable Trip To Goa

So, today we said goodbye after spending the most memorable four days in Goa..'Me' time (as promised,) was spent eating, drinking, dancing with thirty two single women. (er..not single actually, some of them have large demanding family at home, but they decided to spend some ‘Me’ time with friends whom they had not met for a very long time) They all lived in Mumbai (once upon a time) when they were in school but now scattered all over the world, North, South, East ,West of India and also far away places like USA and Canada. There was not a moment of silence (how could that be.??.Women always have much to share)

Most of the women I was meeting for the first time, although I had interacted with many of them on social media and on private chat. I had climbed into a cabin of close knit friends, (who were class mates some forty odd years) and were celebrating their class reunion. But, although I was odd person out, the love and warmth that I received was monumental.

The friendship started two years ago, when I was invited by a close friend for a short trip to Lonavala with her small group of school-friends. Some people are destined to be the part of your life, so although, I was a stranger,(a student from another school, with no friends of my own ) I was able to squeeze in (they were very generous) and I found a comfortable corner for myself. I became a part of their group (pretending to be their classmate) and started attending their parties. I was invited once again for a bigger trip to Goa with a larger group of friends from different parts of country. (I was hesitant at first, since it was their class reunion, but many had become my good friends too and insisted that I join them, so I checked in on their last call)

It is not easy to organise such a big event single-handedly, thus the most talented persons in the group, took upon themselves to come forward and work in the interest of everyone. It was excellent arrangement and they have to be applauded for the efforts they had put in to make this the most memorable trip for all.

The days were planned meticulously, attention paid to every detail, so as to get the best deals with maximum comfort. The team took trips to Goa (at their own cost) and explored the city for best deals for place to stay, eating places to dine and places for shopping and entertainment. The air and train tickets were booked in advance, few months ahead, knowing not if the trip would materialise (some doubts about health problems and family responsibilities are likely to arise). Luckily, everybody was able to come, and surprisingly, many of them, finding a helper to do their chore, stole time to spend their ‘Me’ time with their friends.

The fun started at the train journey itself. We were separated into smaller compartments, scattered all over, but that was resolved as soon as the ticket-checker arrived. Some shuffling with other passengers seats, and we huddled together again. It was a night journey, but most part of it was spent chatting, eating and celebrating (birthday of our team member).

Aguada Anchorage, a beautiful resort was chosen for our comfortable stay. Surrounded by lush greenery and neatly paved path, I was happy with my 3-bedroom villa, that was closer to the dining area and to the main large 4-bedroom villa with attached swimming pool, where we assembled during our lazy hours for chitchatting, swimming and for interacting with each other.

First evening was spend at Chalston, a restaurant closer to the beach. After a light snack of sandwiches, cakes, puffs and a cup of coffee, I found a comfortable seat closer to the beach to spend the rest of the evening. Many of the girls went for a long walk closer to the sea shore to wet their feet in water, I just basked in cool breeze, laying stretched on an easy chair, watching the sunset.

The darkness set in, the whole place lit up with hundreds of twinkling bulbs hanging down the branches of the trees in the large garden, and the live music started, clear and loud. The girls hopped on to an uneven floor and swayed with fun and laughter. There was dance, drinks and dinner.  Everything was forgotten, family, home, pets, the friendship reached its peak.

Second day, morning was planned purely for individual entertainment and outdoor activities. Some chose to tour around the city, some for a swim at the resort pool and then go for local food (Fish Curry is the the speciality of Goa and everybody loved it)  and some went for shopping. Due to the pain in my ankle, I had limited movements, but I was so grateful to a friend, who drove me in her car through this shorter distances while rest of the girls walked. Thank you Universe for blessing me with good people!!

Second day, evening was dinner at Chinese, (with menu previously planned) vegetarians dined at separate tables to avoid the confusion by the waiters. It was the best meal we had, I loved the TomYum soup and after a satisfying dinner, I walked over to an open kitchen to watch the chef fry ice-cream.

Third day, morning was a Sunshine day. All the girls planned to dress in yellow, we had a photo-shoot and then went for a boat ride to watch dolphins. There was so much excitement during this morning, the yellow color reflecting on all faces with pleasant smile that was so infectious. The cameras must have clicked thousand times and moments captured in every mobile.

Third day, evening was to mark the closure of the trip. We walked few blocks away(some shuttled in a buggy) to the large general bar by the pool at the centre of the resort. We feasted on drinks and snacks (and another birthday celebration of our team member). Together we played entertaining games like DumbShera, passing the parcel (each one of us had brought a secret gift for a person wrapped in brown paper with a punishment inside)  and opening our hearts (all of us had sewed a heart on a patch of cloth, that would further be joined to form a warm rug, and these hearts were presented to the moderator of the Watsapp group, it was a thoughtful show of appreciation to one, whose sincere efforts had brought all school friends from different parts of the world together)

During our moments together, we chatted freely, picking up the missed moments, sharing our ideas. We learnt the beauty tips, the cooking tricks, the sewing techniques, all women from different walks of life came under one roof and  they shared their talents. There was laughter, joy, companionship and a promise that there would be lonely moments no more.

It was the most memorable trip of our lifetime. Here was the group of matured women, who listened attentively, talked freely and extended their friendship joyfully. This week there has been much excitement over Powerball in America (I kept getting messages from my cousins telling me that I would get a share if they won) and that had raised their expectation to win and become millionaires, BUT, here I was, already RICH with most lovely friends that I had been blessed with. Truly grateful to the persons behind the scene, the most talented organising team amongst us, who had spent nine months planning and bringing us all together...

Thank you Universe for providing me with such happiness………

PS: See the Video of this trip on U_TUBE at Memories Of Another Day

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Year That It Was - 2015

I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my present moment is good. Sometimes it is good to do a little churning of the brain, especially at the end of the year, to understand the trials and triumphs that I have experienced during the year. Therefore I am very happy that Blogadda has created this opportunity for me to talk about it. , 

“I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.”

My memory was refreshed when I visited #2015BestNine to see the most liked Instagram messages.

I started my year  2015 with the pain in my ankle that appeared in December 2014 and was due to a fall on the slippery and broken roads of Mumbai. Suffered the pain for first three months of the year, went for operation in April and the pain continued post operation till the end of the year.

I have written many poems on pain during this year, especially when it was severe and I could not bear its dominance over me.

Pain came..
like an unwanted guest
stayed for few days then
away it went
I didnt care
I had better things to do
didnt get time to pamper it
nor was there enough room
to accomodate it in my mind
I went on with my life
as if it were not there
it pinched my ribs
hammered my bones
left rashes all over my skin
like rowdy child
it created much uproar
starved of attention
it finally left
I am hoping
Pain never comes back...

Also cross-posted on my poetry blog at ‘Random Thoughts’

However, it did not succeed in stopping me from enjoyments.

I made a trip to Pondicherry in month of January 2015 to attend the yoga camp. With one hand on a walking stick and other hand on friend’s arm for support, I attended many Yoga events and also visited places of interest. I could have cancelled the trip, but I was eager to meet a friend after thirty years, that was the incentive for my courage to bear the pain. Friend did not disappoint because she was by my side making my stay comfortable. Had I not taken this trip, I would have been home bound nursing my pain.

cross-posted at my blog

March 2015 was memorable month when I took 40 Special Children and staff from Swami Brahmamnad Pratishthan for three-days-Camp to Poona at my family owned old-age-home, The children had the best holiday ever touring around the city of Pune. It turned out to be a religious trip because they went to many spiritual places. Lodging and boarding was free and they came back with gifts and lots of good memories.

Cross posted on my Blog

In April 2015, My good friend from Indiana came to visit Mumbai, my friends and I planned a trip to Mahableshwar. Although my movements were restricted due to my ankle pain, we did share good times together. The weather was good, air fresh, lots of greenery and seasonal fruits made the trip enjoyable.

June 2015, I decided to go for ankle surgery hoping that I would be free from pain

July 2015, post operation, my cousin from Lagos invited me to go to USA with her. This was mainly a family bonding trip. My cousin was undergoing knee surgery in Chicago and she needed some rest. We came to her rescue by taking over her responsibilities of looking after the management of her home. My family is spread over different parts of America. During my four months stay, I visited cousins, travelling by road or air to Chicago, Indiana, Atlanta, Dallas, McAllen, Houston and New York.It was a great trip, trying out various cuisine and seeing points of interest.

So, most of 2015 was spend travelling around with family and friends. I have realised that people are most happy in their own home town. Living in Mumbai offers me the comfort of having helper at home, ready take-away meals on my lazy days and loads of friends and social events to keep me entertained. I felt my family living abroad lead a very boring life, with just few selected friends, most of their time is spent cleaning the house, cooking the meals and watching TV all day, Most of the social events were either spiritual meetings or celebrating an Indian festival. A place I found it impossible to live. I felt there was too much work to do. But they seemed happy living in America and complained about India being too crowded and polluted.

Another good news I must share is that two of my students from our Special School at Belapur, CBD, represented India at special Olympics at Los Angeles and came back with one Gold and one Silver in aquatic sports, making us proud. This gave our school a brownie point and we have made plans to go ahead with our plans of starting a residential centre for Mentally Challenged.

Cross posted on my blog

During this year, we were also able to get funds for buying a plot of land at rural area of Raigad district at Uran and building a school for Mentally Challenged. Hopefully, the building will be completed by next year and we will have one more centre in Uran in addition to the school building we have at Belapur. 

We also hope we will be able to find a philanthropist who will help us buy another plot of land at Kharghar to fulfil our dream of constructing a residential-cum-sheltered workshop for special adults..

Looking back, 2015 has been a very blessed year. The pain in the ankle continued throughout the year,(sometimes more, sometimes less) but it was not allowed to dampen my spirit of enjoying every moment.

Grateful to my Lord for blessing me with caring family and friends who helped me ignore my pain. I take this opportunity to thank the universe for blessing me. Time has arrived to say goodbye to 2015. Looking forward to 2016 ready to accept whatever is there in my destiny - no expectations, no disappointments,

Que sera sera!

No new year resolutions for me, I live each day and will try to enjoy the moment as it comes. I am aware, all days cannot be rosy and beautiful, there will be dark days too-of misunderstanding and disappointments....somedays writing will come to a halt..somedays I might pull my hair to let the words fall....there will be days when everything go wrong and some people will be unkind....

But everything is temporary....

I plan to pay more attention to good things in life and there are many.I take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy New Year and happy times ahead....

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The Year That It Was - 2015

I have poor memory therefore I tend to forget the good and the bad times easily. What is past is forgotten, each day I try my best that my ...

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....

"I shall seize the fate by its throat....
"I shall seize the fate by its throat....It shall certainly not bend nor crush me completely"

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