26 Nov 2013

More Sparrow Time


Some more cute moments with the little birdies.






After taking a little flight, it was resting in its home, an old light shade in my front yard. It is always an attraction to watch these cute birdies.

This picture post is shared in Thursday Challenge.

17 Nov 2013

A Travel to Paradise - Welcome To Bangkok


Travel means different things to different people. For some it is an adrenaline rush while for some it is just a break from routine. It makes people happy, ecstatic or just keeps some entertained. Since I haven’t got much chance to explore places, I have to wait to realize what it is to me...

When the leading online travel portal Airasia.com announces the World’s Best Online Travel Fair, I realized this is the apt time to travel to my dream destination.

I was in class two back then, we had this Geography chapter on Thailand and I remember how I used to boast that my father was staying in its capital city at that time. And same year I got a chance to travel to that beautiful country. Now when thinking of those days, I am only left with some wonderful pictures and a vague memory of my first international holiday.

Sitting here with my old album as the rain pouring outside, I discuss at home about family tour. Thanks to the unbelievable Airasia ticket fares, it makes my job easier to get a nod from my people. Everyone is very excited and then the question pops out 'Where?' So we decide to pick one destination of our choice. No. wait.. We are not influenced by Zindagi Na Milege Dobara!

Keeping our budget in mind and of course with this tempting ‘just grab’ Airasia fair opportunity, we all come up with wonderful locations around Asia including SriLanka, Malaysia, etc. while my obvious choice is Bangkok. After all, I truly want to relive my childhood memories.

It is so unfair. How can one country have it all - Picture postcard scenery, amazing food, beautiful architecture, ancient culture and arguably the world’s best malls? And if that country is Thailand, it beckons you just catch the next AirAsia flight and go.

My father always talks about Bangkok as a city of different shades and infinite layers which needed to be explored better to find its hidden secrets. They say some are spoken of only in whispers and others take years to discover, as secrets are always fun to explore, in Bangkok, he says, they are plentiful. Amazing Thailand Always Amazes You.

He starts to list down some must-dos in Bangkok. Besides temples, shopping malls and naughty nightlife, the city has much more to offer in terms of sightseeing and attractions. And here I am already sketching my plans on how to spend my days in that beautiful city. Being a curious traveler, I make sure I shouldn't miss visiting any of these and even more. While I sit here dreaming, I can see Bangkok is inviting with widespread arms beholding some unforgettable experiences for me.

Welcome To Bangkok


The Grand Palace and Wat Prakaew - Palaces always intrigue me with its fine architecture and intricate details and Wat PraKaew, the oldest Buddhist temple, enshrines the Emerald Buddha - the sacred Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of emerald. Wow. and for my architectural interested mind, I certainly looking forward to visit these ancient places.

Wat Arun – the temple of dawn which is magnificently located in the banks of Chao Praya River is one of the most stunning Buddhist temples in Bangkok.
                                                                                             
Chao Praya River - The riverside, reflects a constantly changing scene day and night, set against a backdrop of glittering temples and luxury hotels, is one of the most scenic areas to sight see in the city. And I would love to visit this place at night time to enjoy the shimmering river.

Floating Market offers an authentic experience despite its increasing tourist atmosphere. Imagine dozens of wooden row boats floating by, each laden brimming with farm fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. Among all my old trip memories, this is the only thing that remains with me till now. And for sure it is a visual treat for our eyes.

A must for any art lover, the Museum of Contemporary Art houses the most comprehensive collection of modern painting and sculpture inside a strikingly contemporary gallery. I can’t wait to refresh myself exploring some of the country’s classic arts.

One of the most endearing features of Bangkok is the city's numerous parks and among them Benjakitti Park has noteworthy scenery which overlooks one of the most picturesque views of the downtown city skyline.

Khlong San Saeb – Ornate Italian Rocco bridges and old wooden homes aplenty, this is the closest ‘Venice of the East’. Best place to explore some wistful charm of the old city.

Crocodile farm – although I am afraid of these creatures, I certainly don’t want to miss my chance to visit this farm once and see how they perform.. perhaps that will get over my fear as well.

Siam Ocean World – my wild fantasy is to try scuba dive and see those under water beauty. But if not, I would love to visit this one of the largest aquariums in South East Asia and waiting to get immersed in their beautiful colors underneath.

Flight Experience - a simulation flight is an extra gift to every one who visits Bangkok. Who would not want to dream of being a pilot at least once? ;)

Jim Thompson Museum – a vast collection of Thai art and antiques is on display here. This place itself is a lovely complex of Thai style teak wood houses preserved to their original glory.

Chatuchak Weekend Market is huge and with its diverse collections of merchandise will bring any seasoned shoppers to their knees. And I am eagerly looking forward to shop..shop and shop till my luggage gets heavier to carry home.

Asiatique – a combination of two most popular shopping experiences in the city - Night bazaar and a Mall. I am very amused by the idea of night shopping where I’m waiting to have fun browsing some 1000 boutiques under one roof, picking up gifts and stuff for me too and of course to eat to my stomach’s delight. Apart from shopping and eating out, I want to see the Thai Puppet show.

Chinatown is a colorfully exotic area, packed with market stalls and it is filled with spirit of celebration almost everyday. Would I dare to miss my chance to witness this pleasing yet a chaotic place? No way!

Bangkok's Spas are the best inner city gateways to the seventh heaven. Its tranquility helps to pamper the body. Spas are for sure a better place to rejuvenate my travel tired body and to captivate my senses.

Tuk Tuk  (Thai Auto) service that are available almost anywhere waiting to take you around along with inspiration for sightseeing and recommendations for shops and restaurants to discover in the area and to make our ride delightful.

Each of these places has an intriguing story to tell. If the palaces, museums, spas and temples can be described as a lady with calm aura who lives her life at her own pace having ‘the world can wait’ attitude, the market and shopping arena wake you up with a jolt as a bubbly girl next door which brings you the instant connection with its exotic and hustle bustle environment - Carpe Diem.

In other words, all I wish to walk into the shopping mall... fall in love and live happily ever after. J

Talking about Bangkok would be incomplete without mentioning their exotic cuisine. My father mentions the taste about Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles) and Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green Chicken Curry). Well, now that I can't wait to feast my taste buds too.

Atlast... the only thing I have to do now is to book our tickets online and pack our stuff to make use of this World’s Best Online Travel Fair and fly to see the treasures that has given this city an iconic status. I think I prefer.. well, I wish to travel to my content.


Once I land there, my dream comes true and I know I am going to say...  'In Paradise, I am'.

Cool.. Now why don’t you check out World's Best Online Travel Fair? You may not want to miss this amazing opportunity to travel to Bangkok or Kuala Lampur... with their awesome and tempting discount fares.

Happy Flying! Happy Travelling! Thank You Air Asia!


12 Nov 2013

Is This What They Call Love?


Tomorrow is my cousin’s wedding and her friend Nifla came from UK to attend the function with her family. After the Mehindi Ceremony while my other cousins and I are catching up with her as our henna dries, the topic travels to the actual married life after the big wedding day. I ask her, 'Hey Nif, Why don't you to tell us about your experience?'  'Sure Meera.. It's a long story...' That's when she shares about her wedding halla balloo and how she fell in love with her husband.

'It was about two years ago...' She starts to narrate.

‘Nifla, wake up..’ my mom’s voice stirred me from my deep sleep.

The weather was so cold in that early morning and as I still wanted to snuggle inside my cozy duvet, my mom said that my aunt has invited us for a get together. 'What's so special today, mom?' Even before I finished my question lazily my mom left the room. However, I was very amused as it was always fun to travel there where I can have a nice time with my cousins.

I was in Sri Lanka back then in between my jobs. As we were heading to my aunt's place in Kandy from my hometown Nuwera Eliya, the drive was good and I was enjoying the pleasant weather until my mom said that few people were coming over to see me. My amusement vanished and I felt so tensed and upset for they were informing me in the last minute. It was a very awkward moment and I simply remained silent in the rest of my travel being so grumpy.

As we reached the place I found out the family was already there waiting for us. I was mortified and so not in the mood for all this. I was annoyed with all of them even though it was not their fault. Then I was been called to the living room where I simply had to sit with them. Family seemed nice and that’s when I saw the guy for the first time. He looked rather good and we exchanged few words even though I was not in a mood to talk.

You know, these arranged marriages are more like - every member in the family is supposed to express the same happy nod to make sure that the proposal is successful. It is like not alone the boy and the girl getting married but their families too. And somehow it works perfectly fine.

After they had left, we returned home that evening thinking not much of the situation apart from feeling a little annoyed. I didn't say much when my mom asked me if I liked the guy. Well I really didn't have anything to say. Did I like that guy? ‘I don’t even know him. How could I just say yes?’ I wondered. My aunt had given him my number because she had a ‘feeling’ that he was the ‘one’ for me.

The next day my mom said they wanted to come over and confirm. I felt restless to even think that I was going to get married just like that. After 2 days he called me and we spoke for an hour or so and then found we had no reason to go against our family’s decision. Now there was a wedding to prepare for, as we got engaged in that following weekend.

I was neither in love with him nor did I fancy him but I just felt it right. I didn't know what he had in mind but I couldn't understand why we both said yes so soon. Maybe we both found good reasons to tick the boxes that we were looking in our spouses at that time.

The date was set and only 2 weeks for the big day. Yeah, it was one hurry burry wedding. Since there was no much days left we were too busy with wedding arrangements which I had no interest in what so ever, I didn't get a chance to speak to him after our engagement and I was not very keen to it either. Surprisingly, he didn't call me too after that day. Perhaps he was not keen as me as well. I always had a dream of what it likes to be ‘falling in love’ and to know how that true kiss tastes like that it comes in fairy tales. But then I knew my ideas of my marriage was about to be shattered.

Even before we get to know each other, our wedding happened. Our families were so delighted but to me it was like standing next to a stranger in my bride’s costume. Hiding all the tensions, my only job was to smile and pose as a perfect bride for those flashing cameras.

After the wedding, I moved with him to London where I thought I would have ample time to get to know him better. Our newly married days went on normally by spending out and visiting his family and friends there. Life was more practical than romantic, I would say. And I started to get adept to my new locale as well. But unfortunately, in less than 2 months he had to travel to US for a project. When he said he had to be away for a period of 6 months, I didn't feel any of those newly married ‘missing’ moments. But the day after we sent him off in the airport, suddenly of all these years I realized for the first time that I felt lonely even with my people around. I didn't know how to explain my feelings but I started to wonder ‘Is this what they call love?’ That night I cried a lot.

Ever since he left, he called me every day and we exchanged texts via SMS. Well, that's how we started to get to know about each other. We were simple individuals who enjoy family life and had some common interests to talk about. We discussed about anything and everything that made it feel so right and real. We even had petty fights. He became my best friend. Weeks went on and my day didn't feel complete without talking to him. He gave me butterflies whenever I saw his name on my phone calling or his texts blinking in my mobile. I started to wait for his calls and messages. But in my heart I wasn't sure if we were truly in love with each other.

I have heard that people can fall in love through chats and feel the words through those messages. I always wonder how one can feel the love if you can't see it in his or her eyes? After all, love has to be felt not merely told, isn't it? But my married life thus started in communicating through chats and messages and at that time I was glad that technology did somehow manage to redefine my ‘feeling’. I feel so ‘Me’ whenever I talk to him.

'Am I in love?'  'Are we made for each other?' I often asked myself but I couldn't find my answers... until the day he returned home.

I was nervous and thrilled to see him, for he is no more a stranger to me. I didn't know when and how I fell for him but all I know was he is the 'one'. I wondered if he feels the same with me. My heart skipped a beat and I couldn't control my blush as I met his searching eyes. He came to me straight away, took my hands and hugged me without saying anything. The touch and that one hug was more than some million words spoken.

I slipped my fingers through his cold palm as he caressed my henna-ed hands and held it tightly. He walked me to the balcony and there we stood in silence watching the beautiful night sky. I leaned on his shoulder with a tinge of contentment and love reflecting in my eyes while he took my fingers and slipped 'this' ring and gently whispered in my ears, ‘I love you...’ for the first time.



Today...

Nifla shows us the Platinum ring brilliantly adorning her finger and says, 'And that’s how we both discovered our most precious moment. Since then our life is nothing but a fairy tale, by God’s grace'.

After finishing her love story, she pats her little girl who is sleeping on her lap and holds the hands of her loving husband with much happiness in her glistening eyes. While I sit here in my own mystical world dreaming of my Mr. Charming and enjoying the aroma of henna, I am waiting to relish my platinum day of love.

5 Nov 2013

My Latest Addiction


Its been more than a week I scribbled in my dear blog. And when today I sat to write, my mind went totally blank. So without another thought I decided to share with you all my new found interest - Scrapbooking. (or should I call it an addiction?) (Like I always say, I don't know how long will it last... but I am indeed having so much fun...)

Now many of us are aware that Limeroad.com is an online shopping portal for women. So what is this scrapbook all about? First, sign up with Limeroad. Then have a look around. Fall in love with the products. Click.. Drag.. and create your own style. Voila..! It is quite user friendly.. also with very reasonable price range.. and that's the main reason I totally fell for it.

Yes, lately I feel like I am getting addicted to this. In less than two weeks, I already completed some 30+ looks. Duhh.. it looks like I am having hell lotsa free time in my hands. :-/  Now don't ask me.. 'Are you that jobless?'.  Hmm, I can't say much about it but I enjoy doing it in my own way. And no.. its not jobless but serves as a new job to me.

You know, I may not be the 'Fashionista' who is so up and trendy but like every woman I too have my own dressing sense to appear good and presentable. Like how I choose my outfit to suit me, how I mix and match my dresses and dupattas, how I pick my accessories... well, now all this come in handy while I explore some cool dresses n accessories to create the look which eventually makes me a designer.

Actually, I wasn't very keen when Bushra suggested me to try this. But then one day I was bit curious and decided to give it a try. After first few looks I tried, I got a call from Limeroad.com. The girl who spoke to me was too polite to say that they liked the sets I have done so far and asked me to create more so they'll add it in their blog (or do they call every scrapbookers to welcome to the team and asking to create more? Possibly, hmm...Also she reminded me that after the first 30 looks, they will add my Limeroad (LR) credit 1500 Rs. Wow.. and that's when I started doing it more often than earlier. But hey wait.. not alone for the first 30 but for every 20 looks and every month you have a chance of earning minimum 1000 Rs worth shopping.

Create & Earn. Isn't it cool? Now I finished my first 30 looks and waiting for the credit to add in my LR account, so I can make some purchase. :P 

There’s also Style Council in their site where they conduct some trending fashion contests. It is more fun as well as challenging too. It is all about discovering the designer in us.

Btw, this may sound like a 'vague' review post to you. So does that mean I am shifting my blog towards fashion and shopping side? Nah.. this is one more of this Rat’s nibbles. J

Here are some of my favorites from my scrapbook @ limeroad.




And if you are interested in this, register in limeroad.com and then drop me a word in the contact form at the end of this page, to join for this scrapbook program. 

Limeroad in Facebook - Love. Create. Share. Shop.

Btw, today is the first day of Islamic New Year. So my wishes  to you all - Muharram Mubarak..!

So that’s it for now. Have fun. Enjoy your day.

God bless...!




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