The Sheep and the Shepherd

Its been more than a year and half since I last visited Ladakh. Had been wanting to do that ever since I saw my dad's photographs and visits. Must say, its all about the roads. There are close to 2000 photographs which we clicked. By the end of it all, we were so tired clicking. Everything was just so beautiful. But I maintain one regret. Actually two. Missed visiting the Nubra Valley and thanks to procrastination, never got around to working on those photographs. 

Before showing one of the photographs, I would like to give a little bit of a background around it. This photograph was taken en route from Srinagar to Leh. We had decided not directly landing in Leh, cause we had wanted to explore the awesome scenic beauty of the route, which was highly recommended to us. This pic was taken multiple times from different mountains and different vantage point. Although I might add, the final picture which was taken was not by default. It was an effort to capture in a speeding vehicle!!!

If you see closely, you can see little specks of white on the green patch, well those are sheep!!!

This is from another mountain, a top logically if there are sheep, there should be a spheherd :-). I was looking out for him...

I zoom in more, and there - I am able to locate him...running after one of them...trying to get it back in the flock!

And while I use my minimalistic photoshop skills, I give you this :-)

All pics displayed here are under (c) Meghna Garg
With this trip, I realized the importance of travelling. So essential. So necessary. So fruitful.

Working on some other pictures as well, will post them as and when the opportunity arises!!!!

The smile

My father ,with respect to his work, has travelled in many a nook and corner of the country. . During his 3rd and recent visit this summer, I heard him complaining about how Ladakh has become so 'touristy'. He complained about so many people, so many vehicles and of course being an active environmentalist, the garbage that came along with the package.

(C)J K Garg, Aryan Valley, Ladakh

 This picture was taken at the Aryan Valley, Ladakh about 7 years back during his 2nd visit to that region. It was not 'touristy' then as it is now thanks to the movie 3 Idiots :-). At that time, I was doing my masters in college. Was truly enthralled by this picture. The smile on her lips. The rosy cheeks. Reminded me of a nursery poem way back in kindergarten. I guess, this is one of the best pictures he has ever taken and every now and then, whenever I look at the picture, I see the happiness in the little girl's smile, sitting in her grandfather's lap with a plastic doll in her hand posing for a stranger and smiling away to glory!!!!


Its been a crazy crazy weekend. Thanks to KarwaChauth I was busy - infact crazy busy !!! The pre-festival preparation, getting the mehendi done, getting the saree, bangles and all the tam jham ready took a toll on my time management skills.The D-day was as busy as ever. All that fasting and waiting for the moon in a cloudy sky took a lot of my time and energy that finally when the festival did get over, I did not have the time or the energy or the initiative to blog. On top of that, my brain was not giving any output. All it could dream of was my bed. 

Sometimes I think as to how festivals give a different persona to a person. In this case, a girl / woman. The modern, working and the ah-too busy woman, leaves all that she has to do, pause a day or two, turn into a traditional Indian wife / D-I-L, wear a saree, sindhur, bangles, - the works, wait for the moon - the almighty before even touching a drop of water or a morsel of food. Sometimes, I wonder, how we live dual lives. Not sure, if I am putting it correctly, but on one side there is this ultra modern, independent woman who is an office going ultra busy professional or a traveller or a socialite or a  novelist or a chef or an army person and on the other side, she is this 'bahu' / 'biwi'!!! 

 Not wanting to sound a feminist (hate being on either extremes), the duality in our traditions and our society amazes me and shocks me even.

Hmmmm....I guess, each one of us have their own point of views and thoughts about this. True - we enjoy the change, the festivities in the air, the dressing up, the delicacies, et al.... but all this leaves me brooding....

The Bar

Previous Link: Friday Evening

They say dreams are born from the strongest desires hidden away in the deepest recesses of the brain. At times you feel, that dreams emulate real life and sometimes it seems that real life emulates dreams. Both of them are so hopelessly intertwined that it becomes difficult to decipher which is the origin. Dreams can make you laugh, cry and even plead. Dreams work in mystical ways and hold out a beacon that lights up the road to the future. They explain themselves to only those who are keen and accept them without trying hard to understand their message.

- Anita Menon, Dazzler's Diary

Prateechee sat opposite Amit on a high bar stool wearing a skirt that ended somewhere above her knees. She knew guys like him. Men like Amit. Tired of the wife sitting at home. Might as well enjoy a fling at the work place. And of course with trainees like her!!! She knew the symptoms. But she needed this training period to convert into a job. Badly. Yeah - she knew she had stars in her eyes. But she was not stupid. Well - atleast she thought so. 

She came from a humble background. Doing her masters via an education loan. Her parents insisted on paying for her education, but she knew it would burden them financially. She wanted to make it big. Be on her own. Somewhere deep inside she knew she had it in her. To make it big. And for that, well - she needed 'jerks' like Amit. Well, if you google up the meaning of jerk, it really gives an interesting definition!!! And Amit, he just fits into that definition so perfectly. 

Its so easy to be at two places at once. She thought while looking at the last remains of her Bloody Mary. Its so easy to be in her own thoughts while nodding mechanically at the slob, sitting opposite her, blabbering away about God knows what!!!

Friday Evening

The corner most glass cubicle. The best corner. Entire view of the floor. Amit sat staring intently in his laptop in his office. Looking at the pictures of the previous evening's party. Pretty girl she is...the new summer trainee...stars in her eyes and a dream to make it big. Showed in her behaviour...yes - in her clothes too, especially the short skirt. It would be nice taking her out for a drink, especially with today being a friday. Whats her name - ya -Prateechee!!!! Niiiiice...he thought to himself....He called Meena. His wife. He's going to be late. A total "guy" thing. 

She understood. He needed his space. Meena decided to make herself a quick Greek Salad and catch up on the latest Twilight movie on HBO. She liked to call herself the Homemaker. Used to work before marriage. Couldn't find a decent job upon shifting cities. Been 6 years now. Somewhere in between, she lost the will to work. Realized that she enjoyed staying at home. Doing this and that. Working on a novel actually. It would be a big surprise for Amit. She intended to gift him, her first published copy. Now THAT would be something. 

Till then, she's might as well enjoy the vampire movie that everyone's so gungo about these days!!!!Till then, she's waiting....patiently...for her day to arrive... Till then, she decided, she'll wait it out...

P.S. [To be continued- MAY BE]. First attempt for a short story as a part of Blogging Challenge. And as one can obviously see, I have been a big fan of M&B in my teenage :-P. 

Cleaning and Dusting

With festivals round the corner, I have been breaking my back over cleaning and dusting my place. Here, I take this opportunity to thank God who has gifted me with a such a wonderful househelp - Padma Kaki. She has been actively helping me out - no, she I have been lazily helping her out to clean up our home. I just had to tell her my intentions, and KABOOM --> the plan was set...and the execution even severe. Tomorrow shall be last day of cleaning. YAY!!!!! 

Cleaning and dusting is a very therapeutic activity for me. Very relaxing. I feel a lot of positivity in a a clean place. It frees you of the clutter in your home, in your space and hence it positively affects the corners of your mind too. Although, hubby dearest does not approve :-P... he likes things a bit messy...a bit scattered...his favourite quote is 'We live in a home, not a hotel'... 'I like things being imperfect...out of place'... Me- I am old school. Firmly believe, everything has an appointed place...and that - only that - is its right place. If its not that 'that' right place, then its out of place. If its out of place, then its -MESSY, - SCATTERED....

Hmmmm... With time, I would like to believe ;-), that we've found a middle ground, especially with Padma Kaki to the rescue for the annual, pre-Diwali, cleaning, I chew his brains a little bit lesser!!!!

Cleaning has its advantages... Have packed 2 cartons of old clothes to be given away. No books. I don't give away books as a rule. They are sacred to me. I discovered some old letters. Went through them again. Will post about them sometime :-). Some pieces of junk jewellery :-). Yeah - that too. Finally getting rid of them. And yes - that pair of old college jeans - when I thought, I could get back into them once again :-P...I kept them for 5 long years...yeah, am smiling about that....I yet dream about going to back to that size. Some nicks and pieces. All neatly stacked and packed ready to be given away. There's so much space created. Off with the old and the new is awaited (Applicable for old, non usable, crapy things only :-)). 

Tomorrow or perhaps day after shall be last day of cleaning and I truly have only Kaki to thank for that :-). 

Musical ache

Exasperated... I put my guitar fingers hurt from the all the trying to get it right... but no - I miss the point. Like my teacher said, the technique is important, you'll get it everything right eventually. 10 months and 2 teachers later, its been quite sometime with my personal struggle with the instrument. So much so that it gives me a muscial heartache. I don't want to leave mid-way. I want to be able to play. Play simple songs, soulful songs...good songs... where everyone can humm along!!!

I guess, to quote Robert Frost... 'I have miles to go before I sleep'.

Currently practicing 'Knocking on Heavens door' by Avril Lavigne. Got it partially...yet not there....


I am not overtly fond of festivals in a religious way... actually I am not really a religious person...think I am an agnostic person. But Yes - I do celebrate festivals. Not for their connection to the God Almighty, but simply for the reason that its a one big family activity, happiness is in the air, the shops are in their full splendour, there is  a change in routine, one gets dressed up in a traditional attire (not a fan of wearing saree) and of course the hogging of anything delicious and sweet. 

I think I really am a homesick person. Always missing home. Always on an nostalgic trip. Of course, you can read my post on Navratri HERE and also the happiness when I tick something off my list
The next festival on my list *eyes rolling* is Karwachauth. Yeah....I know...dharam patni and all... sometimes, traditions just do not leave you. I am not trying to demean a tradition / festival , but sometimes, people just don't understand the logic why it is celebrated. These days, the movies and the soaps have made it so fashionable to have a KarwaChauth PARTY *eyes rolling again* that even the people who have not celebrated it before, start following 'tradition'.

 Hmmmm......I actually asked one of the learned astrologers who teaches in Gujarat University about the logic of the festival. 'Pati ki lambi umar' and all is really good, I want hubby dearest to have a long  and a happy life.......but...FAST....sigh!!!! 

Okay, the logic goes, in the old days, traders (read businessmen) used to travel far and wide to sell their wares or conduct their business. The wives were left alone at home. So they wished well for their husbands and prayed that no harm comes to them. It was tradition to celebrate Diwali at home and perform the Lakshmi Pooja, so it was evident that they come before Diwali...and this day being the last full moon before Diwali. Since, they were coming from so far, all the 'chappan bhog' was cooked and prepared and food was consumed only when one saw the face of the 'pati'.....Hmmmm...

There, thats it... and this thing has been followed for ages and ages....Hubby dearest is just a phone call away... does not travel far and wide...even if he does, he is just a phone call away... and the biwi - she is also working....just a phone call away.... even if she travels far and wide...even she is just a phone call away....but celebrate Karwachauth - we must...for the lambi umar of our pati!!!!!

P.S. Personally I think, half the festivals or traditions were made or followed to keep the biwi at home busy x-)

Your warmth

Your Warmth, 
Protects me from the cold
Around Us!!!

List - less!!!

Ya... its that time of the year, when I make a list of lists...A list for each festival. A list of things to shop for each festival, things to do, things to wear, things to get sorted. Hmmmm....crazy!!! Ain't I???

Well to give you a hint, the first list was for Navratri. As per our tradition, 

1. Buy 'Jowar' and two earthen pots
2. Sow Jowar in the pots
3.Water it for all days except on the 7th day.
4. On the 8th day, celebrate Ashtami by serving 'chana', 'puri' +  'halwa' to young girls. 
5. On day 10, celebrate Dussera. Look at Curd and the silver coin in the morning. 
6. Prepare the prasad
7. Do the Pooja and well - eat :-) the good food that I have PREPARED EARLY in the  MORNING!!!
and not to mention, shopping for all the things required for the Pooja. 

Hmmmm... tough....Next is Karwa Chauth, then Hoi Ashtami, then Diwali!!!! *eyes rolling*.

Now, I am not an overtly religious person per se, and nor I do bother much about the intricacy of the festivals celebrated, but yes - I guess this part comes with the package - of being 'married'. It is this time of the year, where I go bonkers shopping for trivia ...not to forget the not so trivial shopping of gifts for the family....but yes - after going bonkers, I go nuts!!!!! 

But, but, but..... but of all buts...(no pun intended), I also enjoy the end result....after all the hard work and cleaning and dusting, preparing lists, their execution, shopping and blah blah blah.... at the end of it all, I really enjoy the outcome. There's a happiness and satisfaction :-) 

I guess Festivals do that to you!!! Snap you of your mundane existence where your better time is spent running from pillar to post, where you struggle daily for your bread and better...festivals pull you out of that rut and let you enjoy some family time together...something which is not routine, not mundane and gives you a good excuse to just sit back and relax...and yes - give that odd phone call to your far flung relatives!!!! Now thats a good thing to add on your 'Phone call to relatives' list ;-).

The Caliph's House

Came across this blog while I was 'blog' click led to another and I landed here.... dedicated to Morocco...Its a photo blog and while randomly browsing through the archives, the writer referred to a book - Yes, you guessed it right - The Caliph's House by Tahir ShahOrdered this book from Flipcart (*eyes rolling*)...yes the website is burning a hole in my pocket, and immediately got down to reading it. 

Its a wonderful wonderful book. It paints a vivid picture of the life in Morocco. About the writer's struggles to settle down, about the Jinn....yes :-).... about the locals, their idiosyncrasies and wise and not so wise happenings.... It also talks about the writer sticking it out there, when everything was against him. The exasperation of the author with his day to day dealings is well depicted. Some of the instances depicted in the book are actually hilarious. It also gives a message about complex problems having simply solutions!!!! At the end of it all, it will bring a smile to your face and make you dream of visiting Morocco...:-) atleast once!!!!

Review: 4/5, Recommended

My city...BESTEST !!!!

Yeah, I know the title is not the best example of proper English. But heck - I just borrowed it from a popular  advertisement tag line of 'My Daddy Strongest'. 

Mumbai - one city that makes me feel at home. Its been a little above 5 years, since I moved here. It was on my priority list since I was in school when I had come here for the first time for my architecture exams. That was the time, when I decided that I want to come back here. Be here. 

This city is vibrant. Full of energy. Of a mad rush yet one can feel the calm in it. There is so much noise in the air...of the people, corporates, stock markets, festivals, Gods and Politicians and not to forget the bourgois....I guess with so much around, you just need to find your favourite corner. Mine is at Marine Lines. Sitting there....watching the waves crash with the stones. The city lights turning bright. Your back towards the noise, of the people, of the traffic, behind. Just watching the skyline...of the Queen's necklace...sipping the chai that a chai wala sold to you for like Rs. 5 which is definitely not the best tea in the world. Its extraaaaa sweet and the plastic cup is too small. Its down in just two gulps. Yet, the sugary cup of tea added to my calmness...that I feel when I just sit watching the sea....

As much as you can fall in love with the city, its also very easy to hate it. For the population, pollution,  crowds, commuters, the distances,  the noise, people stepping on each other's toes and lives...everything...However much, I crib about it, I think of  leaving this city and going anywhere else.  

I can go on endlessly about Mumbai. It has its own personality. You can either love Mumbai or hate just cannot be indifferent to it. :-) I guess, its my favourite city in the world. 


My mind is blank. Wondering what to write. Refuses to cooperate. Number of things going on. Practically last day at work. The Navratri celebrations at work. Phaphada Jalebi. Raas Dandiya. Last night of Navratri. Drum beats in the atmosphere. Friend at my place. Lot of conversation happening. Heart to heart. Mind filled with thoughts. But not enough to motivate. Not enough to write. Scanned the newspapers. The articles, Google, Twitter....searching for ideas, searching for issues. Still, not enough to form an idea. Not enough for a motivation. A blank mind. Clueless. Waiting till the last minute. Waiting for a spark. Still, something is lacking. My mind is not ticking. Its waiting for an inspiration. But right now, the only thing it stares at is Nothingness...

Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster

Had been planning to catch up on a movie since quite sometime...After successfully avoiding Ready, Bodygaurd, Singham and Mausam, decided to watch Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster. A tribute to Guru Dutt's Saheb, Biwi Aur Ghulam, this version with the Gangster is quite the opposite to Dutt's romance in the Classical.

For starters, its set in the royal and a rustic town of Rajasthan with a fading haveli and a Raja only by entitlement, his Rani and the Driver cum small time gangster. The theatrics are perfect. One can actually see the poverty of the Raja in fading haveli and lack of finances,  the desparation of the Raja to maintain his status along with the stints with his mistress while the Biwi goes frolicking with the Driver cum Gangster. A gripping movie, if you want to watch something different and are tired from the regular dose of testosterone and munnis & sheilas. The end almost justifies the means!!! Well - almost. While not letting out the story line, to me, there is many a twist and a turn which somehow makes me disinterested towards the end. The end could have been more refined...or maybe  I was looking towards a more dramatic ending...

The performances by Jimmy Shergill, Mahie Gill and Randeep Hoonda were simply fabulous. Every character played their role to a hilt. The costumes, the gait, the language - all added to the rustic charm of the movie. Must watch if you are looking for 'something different'.

My rating: 3.5/5
View: Must Watch

Happy Birthday Ma!!!

Its my mom's birthday today. Wish I could have done something special for her. But it seems not. Since the time, my folks have shifted from Ahmedabad to Delhi, she misses her garden the most. Totally in love with her plants as if they were her own blood, own children. There are plants, which we have been carrying from one house to other and are now 20 years old. Yes, there is especially one Jade Plant which is that old. Almost everyone in our neighbourhood in Ahmedabad has it. So now that particular Jade plant has siblings all over.

I remember whenever there used to be a house party or if small children were expected, she'd be on her toes. Not wanting even one leaf out of place. And if she has planted a new sapling, she'd go everyday to stare at it... see how much it has joyous over the new green leaves...

She had planted a papaya tree as well. And almost everyone, from our friends to neighbours have had a taste of it. She prides herself in her papaya tree. She even got 2 papayas for us in Mumbai when she came visiting us here.

Although I must admit, the gardener sure must be having a tough time with her. He gets good gardening lessons from her and sometimes from my dad. Botany was his major. Even now, when the house is rented out and my folks stay in Delhi, she sure has the gardener in control. Calls him up every fortnight to inquire about the health of her green 'children'....

The link to the garden pics at our home in Ahmedabad:

:-) She sure misses her garden... I hope, in the new place, she atleast gets a small patch to do something with it. Chances being rare in the capital but I hope nevertheless. BTW, I always wanted to play her the 'Mumma' Song from the movie Dasvidaniya. Someday, when I shall be confident of myself strumming and singing....I shall sing....for her...

Happy Birthday Mom...

Gandhi Jayanti

It is Gandhi Jayanti today. Birthday of the 'Father of the Nation'. Man who played an instrumental role in getting freedom for India. Although there is a difference of opinion about that. A lot has been written about him. This post is not about that difference of opinion but about what he stood for - his principles - Truth and Non Violence. In this capitalistic and material world, in the daily grind of earning one's bread along with good amount of butter / cheese / mayo / veggies  and salt :-). Gandhi is an idea. An idea which gives strength to many a movement in the country, the latest one being Anna Hazare's movement. Its also an idea which is used as a shield hide behind it...while doning the 'Gandhian' garb and simultaneously being active under the table!!! Truth and diplomacy go hand in hand. How much of the truth is important and how it should be dispensed, to whom it should told and in what measure. This ensures are acceptability to a large extent at our work place. We call it Diplomacy!!! This 'Diplomacy' helps us maintain our professional / personal relationships and maintain sanity at a lot of places. Non violence is another idea. Promoted - but hardly practised. Promoted by a lot of politicians but its practice leaves me in doubt. In the 'Land of the Mahatma', there have been many a riot and many an instance of violence...against innocent, against the women, children...I guess thats the way the rioteers earn their bread...

On another note, its a National Holiday. No official, Government or otherwise, are supposed to be open or working. The offices, banks, government - everyone shuts shop and enjoys the day off. And if clubbed with the weekend, becomes more enjoyable. One of the reasons, why I look forward to Gandhi Jayanti (yeah - kick me!!!)  This time the holiday is on a Sunday...Shucks!!!! Thats the reaction everyone gave at work - ek chutti ka nuksaan ho gaya!!!! Sadly enough, thats Gandhi Jayanti has become for the office goers!!!

Though its a Sunday and a Gandhi Jayanti, the maid is always on time. Does not realise its Gandhi Jayanti today. Does not bother. Gives a blank look and carries on with her work. Dusting, cleaning, washing... has her daily cup of tea and leaves... She is more excited about her Diwali bonus though :-). Because that is something which will make her Diwali brighter.

Us - we are enjoying our Sunday. Watching Singham on TV. Not aware of any 'Gandhi' movie on TV. Plus might go for a Garba night since its Navratri or an evening at a nearby mall and good amount of shopping will be good enough....

Sigh!!!! Happy Gandhi Jayanti!!!!

In between Jobs

Ya.... I shall be in between jobs pretty soon!!! Well - not really. I have resigned from my current organization couple of days back and shall be joining another organization from mid - Nov. Since I had accumulated leaves of the last year and current year, my boss and company have been kind enough to just let me utilize them in my notice period which will result in a holiday of 1 month and 10 days!!!! Yay!!! Yipee!!!! Think its after eons I shall be having such disposable time with me, during the best time of the year and so many ideas in my head so that even if I come around to finishing half of them, I shall be a satisfied person :-). Here goes the list:

1. I shall be blogging on a daily basis. Which means, hopefully not, sometimes, my posts will suck due to lack of ideas or inspiration. I just hope, I don't find myself in the following situation:

Source: http//

2. I shall be cooking / baking. Which means, there shall be culinary disastors or NOT...*grins* but you shall have to definitely hear my sob stories.

3. My guitar sessions will pick up. I shall be more proactive and hence shall be chewing the brains of my teacher. BTW, he is a wonderful wonderful teacher I have found and I just hope I am able to keep the pace.

4. I shall be spending more time with my camera and learn photoshop to some extent. I have been meaning to join a weekend workshop, but I think I am ducking out for the simple reason that its 6 hours on a Sunday :-P. What do you think? You know of any crash course I could attend during the week and not spend much time running to and fro...

5. Ah... now this is also interesting... I shall be shopping and  dusting and cleaning for Diwali. Shall also be spending 2 weeks in Delhi with my parents and in-laws!!!

6. I shall try to follow a healthy regime and start off with my morning walk / jog, whichever is feasible...*am a bit lazy in this department* 

7. I have scanned some old photographs and got loads of digital ones too. I wish to put all of them into albums. Ya, I know its a wee bit old fashioned, but yet, I enjoy flipping through an album and enjoy the photographs rather then seeing them online. 

8. I intend to work on the plants. The ones that I have, have lasted simply because they need less amount of care and nourishment. 

9. I intend to read more. Sensible stuff. Not romantic fiction. But just hoping for something sensible. Suggestions in this area are more than welcome. 

10. Last, but not the least, I really really want to do all of it :-). I am going to give myself one big pat and a party if I am even able to accomplish 8 /10. Well point 10, is not really an activity, but just wanted to complete the number :-)

I know, I shall not be getting this time again... correction - this kind of a paid holiday again. I just  want to make the best of it. 


Blogger Challenge

Been wanting to upgrade my blogging skills since a long time. Many a times, I have been short of ideas, don't know what to write about. I read such wonderful blogs and wish many a times about having a blog like that one or this one!!!! Sigh!!!! 

Well, my dilemma came to a pause when on twitter, Supriya was contemplating on joining a monthly blogging challenge. My thoughts precisely and I tagged along with her. Slowly, the group had 8 members :-). Shall be introducing them gradually through my posts but if you want to know more about that in detail, please go to this link

Shall by posting on another topic as a part of the blogger challenge subsequently. Hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I shall enjoy writing!!!!