July 18, 2007

To Himachal..again.

It is now time to throw in a few clothes and bare essentials in my backpack and take a flight to Delhi. Once there, I intend to head to HP and J&K as soon as possible.

I found some pictures taken about 8 years back using an ordinary camera around the misty outskirts of Shimla. The pictures here, of course, do not do justice to the actual beauty of the place. Not that my pictures turn out great today, but sometimes *sigh* I wish I were a good photographer; nevertheless, I am a happy person clicking away to glory.

The greenery I see looks refreshing. It's lovely to recollect the good times. This time, with a simple digicam, I am setting out to Manali and Leh, Ladakh and if possible, beyond.

I have a few things in my mind right now that I would have liked to write on this blog. However this much needed break I am taking will mean a 'netless' life which is sure to do me a whole load good. I shall return with a fresher body, mind and spirit and post more upon return. Till then, everyone, hold the floor. ;)

Faces of Sikkim

Arpan, the porter, on the way to Kokchurang

Tashi, the guide, in Tshoka

Bhaila, the guide, on the way down from Dzongri-La

Bhaila at Lake Samiti

Sikkimese mother and her children at Tshoka

Porters at Tshoka Village

Bhaila at Saachen Lodge
Sikkimese mother and son at Tshoka

Nimatashi with his grandfather

Jest for Pun

All pictures courtesy google

I love puns. It's a figure of speech. It is playing with words, consisting of intentional confusion of similar words meant for rhetorical effect, whether humorous or effect. I like to use puns for humor.

"Puns are the last refuge of the witless." —another way of stating the above
"…but the height of wit." —common rebuttal to the above

"A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself." — Doug Larson
"…but poetry is much verse." — original source unknown


Online Bulletin Board

Burning a CD

  • Heard about the musician that robbed the bank? He made off with the lute!
  • Mark Twain at one time was arrested but got off scot-free because the judge was in a good mood. He decided to offer Samuel Langhorne clemency.
  • An elevator operator kept calling every boy as 'Son'. Once a rude teenager tried to talk him back and said, "Do remember that I am NOT your son and YOU are NOT my father." The operator calmly said, "I brought you up, didn't I?"
  • A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."
  • The wife sent her husband, who was on a trip to the Middle East to find some prospects for oil, a 'Get Well Soon' card.
  • Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says: "Dam!".
  • Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
  • Four fonts were insulted in a bar as the barman asked them to leave immediately as their 'type' was not allowed there.
  • Cinderella was out of the basketball team because she ran away from the ball.
  • And finally, there was this person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did!

July 16, 2007

Hello Bangaloreans

Can you figure out where was this picture shot?



Today I'll spend the day with you
Walking along the banks of wondrous Amazon
Glistening sweat on our bodies at the Pyramids
Viewing the world from the mighty Himalayas
Admiring the inexplicable beauty of the Alps
Walking bare feet in the green carpeted Prairies

It may sound inconceivable to your logical mind
To my amorous idealistic mind it is imaginable
Because for me everything is a possibility
All in my dreams and I love to daydream

My dreams are pretty, have wings like butterflies
Fluttering in the gardens, happily and endlessly
Like a kite, flying very high, without a string
Soaring up in the sky, gliding into infinity

My dreams are my very own ideas and thoughts
Easing me into warm comfort zones of my brain
Daydreams give me a break, and console me
Of bygone past and memories so sad and sweet

Dreams of rosy future, reflecting optimism
Of hope, desire, and expecting the best to come
In these beautiful dreams, just as it is in love
There are no limitations, and no impossibilities

None can stop me from dreaming on and on
If that's what I truly wish for ceaselessly
My dreams are my world of hope and solace
I live in that world, and retain my sanity

If you say this world is not meant for dreamers
Can you reckon a life without any dreams?
I do not need to dare to dream, just close my eyes
And surrender myself to the sweetest of dreams

So, today I'll spend the day with you, my love
Walking along the banks of wondrous Amazon
Glistening sweat on our bodies at the Pyramids
Viewing the world from the mighty Himalayas
Admiring the inexplicable beauty of the Alps
Walking bare feet in the green carpeted Prairies


July 15, 2007


My niece, Karen

Fall asleep, my baby, I’ll sing a little lullaby for you,
It’s a simple song but filled with beautiful dreams and hue,
I know the words do not really matter to you,
As you feel it well that my song is all about loving you true.


July 12, 2007

River Rangeet

The River Rangeet is a tributary of the Teesta River, the largest river in the Indian state of Sikkim. The river originates in the Himalayan mountains in West Sikkim district. A perennial river, it is fed by the melting snow of the Himalayas in early summer, and the monsoon rains in July-August. It is popular among rafting enthusiasts for its turbulent waters. The tortuous river joins the Teesta at Teesta Bazaar on the border of West Bengal and Sikkim. During its final few kilometres, it forms the boundary between these two states.

I shot these pictures as I was passing through the town of Jorethang.


A couple of months back, just for the heck of it, I sent in one of my poems in the short poetry contest online. And then I received an email followed by another email that read:

Dear Celine,
Several weeks ago, we informed you by mail that our editors have certified your poem "Despair" as a semi-finalist in our International Open Poetry Contest. I'm writing to remind you that your poem will automatically be entered into the final competition held in Fall 2007. As a semi-finalist, you now have an excellent chance of winning one of 104 cash or gift prizes--including the $1,000.00 First Prize. You may even win the $10,000.00 annual Grand Prize! We wish you the best of luck as you compete for these prizes in the coming weeks.

Wow. I have a chance to win $10,000.00 in the annual Grand Prize! Would someone actually give me that amount if I win?

I receive a large number of emails in the office mailboxes (and personal boxes also) everyday, some of which is spam. I have got so used to sorting and distributing these emails that, over a period of time, with one quick glance, I am able to categorize which ones are official and which are not.

This experience though, has made me quite skeptical about the genuine ones too, as far as emails are concerned. I, therefore, did not bother to reply to the International Open Poetry Contest organizers to pursue the matter further. Alas! By not responding, I have lost a golden opportunity that had come knocking at my door to win the Poetry Contest. My chance to win $10,000.00 is gone, straight down the drain!

I am sad. I am disheartened. I am inconsolable. I am sorrowful. I cannot endure this pain, it’s unbearable, and I am in agony. This is unbelievable…haha!

Now jokes apart, did that email help me in any way? Oh yes, it did. I got all the encouragement I needed and started writing furiously. I felt like I was Shakespeare reincarnated and started writing not just poetry but literature too. But sadly, the works resembled my own style and not Shakespeare's! Never mind. I guess I am not too bad either. That's not me; it's my modest voice speaking:P I have a few poems now. What do I do with them? Oh no, not another online contest. I have a better idea! Guessed it? Yes, absolutely right. With a glint in my eye, I am directing my gaze at my new friends on this community of bloggers here..haha - you can't escape now!

On a serious note, the ‘Despair’ that I felt while writing this poem in those days was genuine. It was an intense emotional stage I was drowned in and an attempt to express those feelings was made in this poem and in the subsequent ones too. Thankfully, the devastating phase in my life that I went through sometime back has passed. I guess I should also add that today, I am fine..well, almost there!

So, my dear readers, if I share that poem here, will you give me an award? A few words of your thoughts on this would be a fitting accolade.

Here’s my MILLION dollar worth poem:


In despair, disenchanted,
Sorrowful and disillusioned,

Like slaps on my face, this pain,
Didn't expect to hit me again,

I hurt, I cry, henceforth all alone,
'Cause near me, there's no one,

Forsaken and abandoned,
For loving you – is this my award?

Cannot endure, its unbearable,
This agony, unbelievable,

Torment, suffering, excruciating pain,
I must suffer this, for someone else's gain.


July 7, 2007


Feeling nostalgic today. I guess it's something to do with the need for another holiday. For most of my weariness from monotony or low moods, a quick break from routine almost always helps.

I pine to get back to my home country for another break. Is it nostalgia? Or is there a hint of melancholia in there?

Right now, I miss my hometown. It must be raining over there. It rains for three months almost in the monsoons there. Cool breeze blows at these times and the ground turns into a green carpet that's a soothing feast to the eyes.

I miss my parents. Papa and Mama had many children. I recall the time when I was young and simple, and when my parents shouldered all our responsibilities and I was free - without a care in this world, unaware and unaffected of the complicated world around me. My father was an expert in the science, art and business of cultivating on soil, producing a variety of crops, and raising livestock and farming. He was an agriculturist. I realized upon growing up, we may have been in dearth of other worldly possessions but there was always plenty of food to eat. Tall, handsome, slim and strong, fair but tanned, he toiled hard in the 16 acres of land we had. Mama was a marvellous mother, ever so caring. I still recall how wonderful she used to smell throughout the day. She had such amazingly soft skin.

Each child's birthday was celebrated every year in some special way. Every child was precious to them. How they managed to make each one of us feel special is a mystery to me. Memories of a happy childhood. Young and easy. One large family and we were all content.

So, there we were growing up on that farm. Merrily roaming around the rice fields bare feet, climbing trees, plucking fruits from trees and devouring them, teaming against neighbouring kids to play new self-styled games, running through the jungles chasing rabbits, strolling through them so often to pick up wild berries, enjoying the lush greenery, swimming in the nearby ponds and lakes, playing in the gushing waters of the overflowing streams, frolicking under the waterfalls, playing with the farm animals, hugging and kissing the grazing ones, getting wet in the rains, never fearing but enjoying nature – the flora and fauna, listening to the birds chirp, identifying which bird it was that made such a sweet sound. We took it all for granted, little did we realize then that these times would be cherished so dearly in days to come.

Sometimes two or three of us used to compete as to who would first reach the top most part of the hill seen far away in the apparent horizon. The starting point would always be the big black rocky boulder that was next to our farm house, on which the spectators would be perched. The end point was quite evident to those who did not participate - a tiny silhouette against the sky on top of the hill far in the distant horizon. Boy, our agile feet would take us to the top of the highest hill in a matter of minutes! We used to particularly try such games when our cousins from the city used to visit us and spend weeks, sometimes months, in our farm. They used to be in awe at our agility and speed in maneuvering through those hills and jungles.

Sitting here now, I close my eyes briefly and I can feel the sights, smells and tastes of the farm I grew up in. Those were happy days indeed when I had very little need in this life. Food, water and sleep was probably all that I needed. I cannot recall feeling in want of anything or lacking. Security was taken care of by our parents. I did not know the complications of human mind and emotions then. I did not know then what it was to get hooked to the luxuries of life and then getting hopelessly dependent on it. I did not analyze words such as self-confidence, achievement, or morality. It was all in-built and was just there naturally. In those days, I did not know the meaning of terms like prejudice, sexual orientation or xenophobia. Is this a case of ignorance is bliss?

Those memories are of happy and content times. I know I can never pursue those vanished times. I miss them. Those memories evoke nostalgia.

Now my parents are no more. The farm is no more either. The entire villages around the area have been converted into an industrial region. MRPL. I wonder what do I miss more: is it the lost place or the lost times?

I need a holiday now. I must travel. To seek some solace from this disheartening feeling.

I'll pass by Himachal Pradesh again. This time I'll go to Manali. I've got Leh, Ladakh in mind. At almost 12,000 feet above sea level, I hope my spirits can soar. I wish to go to Kargil too, if possible. That it is an area of conflict does not deter me.

I spoke out my thoughts to my Arab colleague here, who immediately discouraged me saying I'd come back without an arm or even an eye, let alone come back in one piece at all. When I spoke to her about the beauty of nature and the wilderness there, she feared and questioned me: what if a monkey molests you? (A monkey, of all animals, frightens her; if only she was aware of how many fierce animals are out there in the wild and uninhabited areas). The hapless girl spends most of her life cowering about some phobia or the other. So, according to her, in order to prevent the occurrence of being impregnated by a primate, I should avoid all sorts of adventure travels. Poor girl, what does she know of the spirit of adventure and the thrill of a holiday in such places?

So, I shall go to Leh, Ladakh and if I can manage to see any other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, then that would be a bonus.

Travelling is one of my passions. India tops the list.

July 5, 2007

Jai Hind

Indian Embassy, Kuwait
Photograph courtesy google

I just got back from the Indian Embassy in Kuwait. Had gone there to apply for a new passport early this morning and the token number I got was 207. Presumed I will get my turn after at least a couple of hours, so I risked going to office instead of waiting and quickly completed some urgent work, and in an hour and half went back to the Embassy and there it was - token 204. Within 5 minutes I got my chance at the counter, and in another 5 minutes I was out of the beautiful Embassy grounds.

It is said that the Embassy grounds is the first introduction of a country in another country. Am not qualified to comment on the architecture of a building, yet I can say with certainty that the Indian Embassy here is a unique structure that depicts the image of India. It is situated close to the Arabian Sea and is tucked in the embassies protected area of Kuwait. It has an intriguing design and the fine way it has been constructed makes it stand apart from the rest of the buildings around it.

Is it Indian architecture, or is it local architecture or is it a blend of both? Am not quite sure, but it does look very neat and modern with its fascinating red tinge and seems to be truly reflecting the personality of India to the outside world – seems private and secure yet invitingly open to the public, especially to the people who want to learn more about our incredible India.

I would like to commend the excellent services of the embassy staff, in general, and the person who attended to me today at the counter, in particular. He was polite and concise, he clearly conveyed information, went in for a couple of minutes to seek permission from higher authority with regard to my special request, accommodated me as I paused for a few extra seconds just prior to making a critical decision, and with a smile was done with his business. Quite efficient I must say.

I’ve heard a few people here carelessly complaining about the Embassy’s inefficient services, but I have mostly noticed that those are the very people who do not follow instructions and then it is a nerve-testing experience for them as well as the Embassy staff to complete the transaction they started out with. Such people should understand that the Embassy caters to a huge population of Indians in this country. Come on folks, let’s stop complaining, instead, let us cooperate and make everyone’s life simpler.

As for me, I shall get my new passport next week. It shall be a jumbo size passport that is normally issued for frequent travellers.

So, now it’s time to make some plans to get out of this place for another short summer break. Temperature is shooting up like crazy. It is 49 degrees Centigrade today. By the end of the month it’s likely to touch 60. A furnace.