A birthday holiday

It was my birthday in August! And we (a bunch of close friends) went on a holiday to Goa for five days surrounding my birthday. We had a wonderful time there, particularly given the fact that mobile phone connectivity was poor and we hardly had any access to internet. It was such a refresher not to think about work or have any urges to check fb/mails/instagram.

Some fun facts about Goa and a few favourite snapshots from our lovely time there:

Of potted plants and lavender toe nails

It was such a nice change to experience little or no traffic in Goa. Unlike most other places in India, we did not find ourselves stuck even in a single traffic jam.

People in Goa are sweet, kind and friendly. I don’t remember anyone behaving rudely with us. May be because they’re so much used to tourists and outsiders being part of their everyday life?

Tunnel after tunnel in the train to Goa

The 3 arches in Goa

It was quite a mission to find proper Indian chai in Goa. After 4 days of hunting, we stumbled across a coffee shop which served Mumbai-famous ‘masala cutting chai’. Monsoon and chai…Mmmmmmmm 🙂

Masala cutting chai in Goa

Cakes and hot cuppas at Mocha, Goa

On my birthday, I decided to ride a motor bike! I wasn’t sure how long I would take to learn riding one. But after a short lesson which lasted less than a minute, I took control and voila! I drove like I always knew how to drive. It was so much fun! This is a definite addition to my happy corner (#9).

Driving a motorbike in Goa

While we waited for the rain to stop

It rained all day on my birthday. So while we waited indoors for the rain to take a break, I blew some bubbles in the air. Blow a bubble, watch it float in the air, chase it and then finally watch it burst. Repeat ‘n’ number of times. I promise it never gets boring.

At sunset time, we rushed to Fort Aguada to see the sunset (one of the things on my birthday wish-list). But alas, dark clouds => no sun => no sunset. But I got to do something fun (also one of the things on my birthday wish-list) while we stood on Fort Aguada at the sea. I wrote a short message on a piece of paper, folded it, put it in an empty bottle, sealed the bottle and swung it into the open sea. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 (I know this makes it two additions to my happy corner (#10) in this post but hey! This HAS to go into that diary).

The message in the bottle carried one of the biggest epiphanies of my life. My most favourite part of this little act: not knowing what will happen to the message and the bottle.

Waiting to swing the 'message in a bottle' into the Arabian sea

Watching the bottle vanish

There were three other things I had on my birthday wish-list but unfortunately, the rain did not make it happen. The three unfulfilled things were: climb a tree, etch my name on that tree and watch the sunset at the sea. Adding them to my future birthday wish-list 🙂

Coming back home after the holiday made me remind myself of how much I love travelling. Sigh.

 

 

Close a door and open another

As I take off in my flight back to home from Mumbai after wishing good-bye to all my work colleagues, I see the crowded roads, some impressively tall buildings and some patches of flat roof slum settlements. And further along during take-off, I can see a couple of lakes and too-green-to-believe patch (which is really hard to find in Mumbai) which turns out to be a golf course. And much further along, I can see a peaceful line-up of hills covered in dark green vegetation creating a border to finally throw a nice view of the Arabian Sea. And then, as the hills, trees and buildings become just a bunch of tiny dots, I see endless calm clouds some of which politely give way for some sunlight to stream through.

My journey through one of the companies that I recently worked for has been somewhat similar. When I joined the company, I joined with an open mind, just looking forward to whatever was in store for me. Surprisingly, I did not have much apprehension about how my first job back home would be. I guess the excitement and the ‘looking forward to’ over-shadowed any anxiety that I’d normally have in such circumstances.

The first few months have turned out to be really hard and sucked the life out of me – mentally, physically and in every other way possible. Those few months made me repent heavily about my decision to leave “everything” behind and take the plunge to move cities to join the company. Had it not been for my insanely supportive family and one hell-of-a-friend who I met on the day I joined the company, I wouldn’t have been able to look back on those times and smile now.

The first dozen of weeks in Mumbai were very strenuous crowding my mind with a lot of thoughts, questions and negative emotions. After that initial period, there was a teaser phase when I went through ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ – the ‘ups’ being the teasers where I found hope. And then time stretched into longer periods of ‘ups’ with short bursts of ‘downs’. This is time when I was convinced that I have finally found my place in my first job back home – let’s face it, there’s no “perfect” place with 100% ‘ups’ alone. To me, with its little imperfections, this was the “perfect” place to be. Further along, I entered the time when there were lengthy ‘ups’ going in parallel with unexpected endless long ‘downs’. The lengthy ‘downs’ had quite an impact on me. After months of debate on acting on them (the ‘downs’) Vs. accepting them, I decided to leave.

I decided to leave in a hope to make way for something better to come in. A quote from someone wise goes like this – “Good things fall apart so that better things can fall together”. I sure hope that the wise man is right. The timing of all this is a pleasant coincidence with the new year, new job, old best friends coming back to the city for good, new ideas and newly gained wisdom.

A toast to old times: for the lessons learnt, look-back-and-smile memories and finding good friends to walk away with.

And a toast to new times: for a chance to evolve further, for peace and for hope to be able to live in the moment.