I want my days to be filled with…


more joy, less regret

more peace, less negativity

more gratitude, less taking everything for granted

more love, less bitterness

more compassion, less prejudice

more reading, less attached to my digital devices

more writing, less thinking about it

more deep-diving, less drifting

more laughter, less anger

more giving, less holding back

more forgiveness, less nursing grudges

more natural products, less chemicals

more walking, less driving

more relaxing, less puttering about

more doing things that matter, less procrastinating

more curiosity, less being nosy

more discovering new places and cultures, less sight-seeing

more making dreams come true, less being realistic

more passionate living, less existing

more learning, less worrying about grades or applying what’s been learnt

more childlike wonder, enthusiasm and abandon, less ‘trying to act my age’

more meaningful conversations, less gossip

more investing in experiences and things that matter, less shopping

more sharing stories and thoughts, less publishing another post

more action, less focusing on the ‘fruits’ or the fruitlessness of my actions

more ME, less trying to be someone else

more making today the best day ever, less planning for an unknown future






Tenerife, a Canary Island

Canary Islands in Spain are the best places to visit between October and March if you don’t want too much crowd and if you are looking for pleasant temperatures between 20 and 25 deg C. We have already been to Mallorca and Gran Canaria, so this time we decided to visit Tenerife for a week. Tenerife, also known as the Volcanic island is the largest and the most populous of Canary Islands.

The 4 hour flight to Tenerife was uneventful. Neel slept off during the flight. Everyone suggested I feed him or give him a pacifier during take off and landing but he seemed to be fine without them. We found out that we were allowed to carry a stroller and car seat for Neel, so we did not have to book another one while renting a car. It is highly recommended to rent a strong motorized vehicle as the island is very hilly. Our Rental car was a BMW 116d rented from Hertz.

Day 1

Ride through El Teide to Puerto de la Cruz

El Teide (Pico del Teide) is not just the highest mountain in Canary Islands but, at a height of 3718 m, the highest in all of Spain. It is an active volcano. The drive from our AirBnB in Las Galettas to the mountains was breathtaking and picturesque. We drove up to the car park in El Teide which is almost at 2200 m height. We made sure to drive slowly and carefully, as it is not recommended to take the baby to such heights. We made stops in between to check on Neel. From the car park, tourists can take a 10 minute cable lift to the top (27€ per person/return). From the top there is an amazing view of the island. (We did not make this trip because of Neel). A lot of hiking paths are also indicated.

From there we drove on towards Puerto de la Cruz. After lunch we walked around the city and the sea promenade while enjoying ice cream.

Day 2

Drive through West coast of Tenerife

The next day we drove around Santiago del Teide, Parque del Drago, Los Silos, Masca, Garachico, the lighthouse at the Punta de Teno and back to las Gallettas to our apartment. It was one of the best drives we took on this island. We passed many tiny beautiful towns and villages. One of them was Masca. We had to drive through many winding roads and hairpin bends to get there. Unfortunately, the village was crowded with tourists and no parking was available and so we could not stop and walk around the village.

Day 3


We met our friends from Switzerland who were staying in one of the hotels in Adeje. Located in the South-western part of the island, Adeje is a famous tourist spot with beaches, hotels and malls. We ate amazing lunch at a restaurant called Limoncello by the beach.

Day 4

Loro Parque (Spanish for “Parrot Park”)

Loro Parque is a zoo in Puerto de la Cruz. Since its inception in 1972, Loro Parque has created the most diverse genetic reserve of parrots that exists in the world, attaining more than 4,000 specimens of 350 different species and subspecies. Along with these parrots, Loro Parque is home to many other birds and animals including Penguins, flamingos, swans, cranes, chimpanzees, gorillas, lions, tigers, killer whales, dolphins, to name a few. There are some interesting shows like dolphin shows, parrot shows, orca show. We spent one whole day at the zoo. Neel enjoyed watching the animals and the birds. Entry fee costs 35 Euro for adults and 24 Euro for children between 6 and 11. Free entry for children under 6 years old.

For an additional 11 Euros per person, we enjoyed Discovery tour where a tour guide took us around the zoo explaining about the animals and their habitats and also took us inside some of the animal enclosures to show how they are fed and taken care of. If you are in Tenerife, do visit this zoo. It is totally worth it!

Day 5

Playa de las Americas

It is a popular holiday spot in the Southwestern part of Tenerife and features bars, nightclubs, restaurants and beaches. We took a walk along the coast enjoying lovely warm weather. We ended up eating burgers at Hard rock café.

Day 6

Los Gigantes

Los Gigantes is a resort town in the Santiago del Teide municipality on the west coast of the island. It is one of the most attractive natural wonders on Tenerife. The town is protected by impressive rock cliffs up to 800 m high. Taking a walk around is the best way to explore this beautiful town.

Day 7

El Medano / Flight Home

On our last day in Tenerife, we drove to El Médano, on the south east coast of Tenerife very close to the south airport. The town is very popular with windsurfers.


As we had heard a lot of good reviews about Airbnb, we decided to give it a try. This was our apartment in Tenerife.

Located in a small village called Las Galletas, our apartment had 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. All the amenities like TV, fridge, washing machine and air conditioning were available. They even had a crib for the baby. In the vicinity of the apartment there were cafes, supermarkets, pharmacy and various other shops. The owners Luca and Alina made sure that we were comfortable and happy with the place.

Right next to our apartment we found a small bakery called Café Del Pan that offered nice varieties of croissant, coffee and freshly pressed orange juice for very reasonable prices. This was our daily breakfast joint. Also, just few minutes’ walk from our apartment, we found one of the best Indian restaurants called Bobby’s 2 Indian Tandoori Restaurant.

Las Galletas has a small beach of black volcanic sand and rocks. The sea front promenade is lined with restaurants and cafe bars where you can relax in the sun overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Things we carried for our baby

As it was our first trip with the little one, we made sure to carry everything that Neel liked and felt comfortable with. From the soft toys, the mobile he loves, we even took the swing he likes to sleep on (though we did not use it as he slept in the crib). Extra diapers, clothes, thermometer, oils and all his medicines. It is better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to take sun screen and some shawls or swaddling cloths to cover the stroller from the sun.



A Day in my Life

This is an account of a day in my life right now.

It is something to look back upon down the lane, when I’m older. I already had so much fun going through this older post and that. 

So, here goes:

6 am – Woke up to find that Prasad had already left for work. He was going out of town very early in the morning and didn’t want to disturb my sleep. There was a big pot of tea waiting for me. As it boiled, I got Medha’s boxes of fruits and nuts ready for school. She was going to collect her corrected answer scripts. Sipping my Ginger Chai I made a list of things to do and wrote in my daily journal.

7:30 am – Got Medha ready, fed her some breakfast and left for school. We walked. After dropping her off, Madhav and I went to the market to buy some veggies and to meet my friend, Sila.

8:30 am – Had my second cup of tea. Don’t know if it was the walking or the caffeine, but my mood simply lifted and I felt ready to tackle Medha’s closet. It needed reorganizing. But before that, I had to have some breakfast. Madhav and I ate dosas while watching PawPatrol (The story of my life!)

9 am – Madhav practised addition while I controlled the urge to check my phone for Whatsapp messages every few minutes.

9:30 am – It had been long since I spoke with my grandma. So I called her up and inquired  after her and others in Mangalore.

10:30 am – Finished editing and publishing our blog post for Monday.

Cleaned cobwebs around the house with my domestic help. Started cleaning Medha’s Closet.

12 pm – Brought Medha back home. She was so glad that the year was over and that the next school year she’ll have new friends. This girl loves change!

Went through her answer papers. She scored well in Hindi which was a shocker and less in Math and English- a bummer!

They ate lunch and so did I – Rice with Gujarati Dal and Cabbage curry.

3 pm – Finally finished cleaning Medha’s cupboard. I got rid of a lot of books, clothes and accessories. It looks light and clean now.

Took a nap to recover from the exhaustion.

3:30 pm – Prepared Lemongrass tea and a stuffing for Cabbage Paratha.

I sat and drank my tea and read “The Paris Wife”. When Madhav woke up, at 4, we both read from his phonics reader.

4:30 pm – Kids ate the parathas I prepared and we left for their Taekwondo lessons. After dropping them I went to Sila’s home, where the whole Jena clan was happily going through Omm’s papers. He’d scored well. As much as I felt happy for them, I felt a knot over Medha’s score. I had to remind myself that it wasn’t fair to compare her score with her friend’s. He was in a smaller class after all. Plus, Medha had worked so hard. And that’s what matters, right? “Give your best and leave the rest”

Sila and I went to a parlor. I needed to look presentable for our trip to Goa!

6:30 pm – It was time to pick the kids up from their class. Sir complained a bit about Medha crying over every little thing, which I attributed to the kids being too pampered at home.

Ate Dinner and finished jotting down the things we did. Prepared some green tea and settled down to a night of reading and resting….

– Manasa.

Neel at 4 months

Neel Mueller at 4 months-


  • Can recognize his mama and papa, even from a certain distance.
  • Observes what goes on around him.
  • Talks a lot in his own language.
  • Is able to hold many things with his hands like his toys, clothes, our  fingers and very recently his feet as well. And of course whatever he holds, he puts them into his tiny mouth.
  • Is able to keep his head straight. We are encouraging Tummy time almost every hour for at least 5 minutes (which he is not such a big fan of!!).
  • Can turn left and right.
  • Is able to sit for sometime in the baby chair without falling.
  • Loves watching TV even though I try hard to stop him!
  • There was a time when he hated going to people other than his mama and papa, but now it seems like he actually enjoys company!  Whenever we meet someone, he automatically catches their attention with his big, beautiful smile! But 5 pm is his deadline. Beyond that, he cannot stand being with anyone other than his mama! Poor Mike had to struggle a bit to get him to sleep when I was gone for my body training in the evening.
  • Hates sitting in his car seat.
  • Tries to lift his head while holding our hand as support.
  • Has already started to teethe and because of that we are having sleepless nights and fussiness. He fell sick too for a couple of days.
  • Has already taken his first trip on a flight. And has also been on many road trips.


So far everyday has been a learning experience as a mother. Sometimes it is challenging. My frustration level goes up when my baby wakes up every hour or so at night. It took me a while to understand that this is just a phase and it will pass (Like Manasa tells me “If everyday is not a Sunday, then everyday is not Monday either”). Also, I have learnt some tricks and ways to make my life easier (which I will soon share with you all) and most importantly I have a powerful support system in my husband, my parents and my sister.


Close Encounters with the Wild

It was our third visit to Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve. (You can read about our first here and here) Shruthi, Ashwin and little Shristi (who were visiting us from the US) joined us along with other family members. We needed a couple of SUVs to carry us all to our favorite Jharana Lodge. After the welcome drink (refreshing), lunch (delicious) and watching a few resident male Turkeys woo a female (noisy and endless), it was time for one of our favorite parts of visiting a jungle – Tiger Safari.

We’d booked 2 jeeps into the core area. No sooner did we enter the Jungle than we spotted a couple of bears foraging on grass and insects. They were huge and it seemed funny that they were feeding on bugs instead of something that would suit their bulky frames!


While we were too busy describing the bears to one another, we barely caught sight of a Leopard, who crossed our jeeps and made a leap into the thickness of the Jungle, before we managed to click a picture of him.


We were on a roll! Thanking Goddess Luck, we drove on, now wishing we spot the Big Gun, a Tiger. By the shimmering lake, basking in the winter sun, who do you think we spotted?! No, not a Tiger, but a huge Crocodile!  We were exhilarated!


There’s something about visiting a jungle- all your senses come alive! There’s nothing to distract- no phone calls, messages or TV. If you stay longer, your sensations are only heightened. You’ll listen to the warning call of a Sambar deer and know that the Tiger is around. You’ll see pugmarks on the ground and figure out which direction he’s gone. You’ll smell the carcass of a dead animal and prepare yourself to the possibility of spotting him. Digression aside, Luck favored us once again.  Around a bend we spotted a couple of Tigers with their prey. One of them was tearing at it (It looked like the limb of a Deer) , while the other seemed to have had his fill. This one stretched and ambled down towards us.


He sharpened his claws on the bark of a Tree and sat upon a stone wall. He was close enough to give us a high five! The other one finished his lunch, licked his paws and regally made his way towards the ‘throne’ the other Tiger was seated upon. We learnt that they were 2 brothers- Tarachand and Chota Matka, the cubs of Choti Tara and Matkasur. It was adorable to watch them pat one another and unwind after a hard day’s ‘work’!



A long queue of Jeeps and Tour buses had formed by now and the cubs seemed to be enjoying all the attention! We had taken several trips into the jungle before and went on multiple trips thereafter- into both the Core and Buffer areas, but never did we experience such a spectacle! It was a First Day First Show for Shruthi and Ashwin and they were absolutely elated!


Prasad and I had to manage the kiddos who were all loaded into our jeep and now were clambering atop its railings to get a better view of the cubs. Their excitement (and ours) knew no bounds! We’d spotted almost all of the Big 5, except Wild Dogs, on a single trip! Did it lessen our enthusiasm to continue exploring the jungles of India? Not at all. It has only intensified our passion for Wildlife and Nature.

So long, wilderness…

– Manasa.

PS- Photographs were taken by Shruthi and me..

A day in Papiliorama

On a cold, depressing morning, Mike decided to take us to PapilioramaLocated in Kerzers, in the Canton of Fribourg, the French part of Switzerland, Papiliorama is a Botanical Garden with exotic butterflies, birds,  insects and nocturnal animals. More than 60 species of butterflies from all over the tropics can be found in this garden.

Here, visitors can observe the complete life cycle of Butterlies from egg to a vibrant adult, and the stages of caterpillar and pupae in between.


One of the highlights of Papiliorama is the Jungle Trek. Papiliorama has reconstructed an exact copy of a jungle in Belize. Once you enter this area, you feel like you are walking through a Central American Forest (I haven’t been there yet, but watch the movie “Rio”, and you will know what I am saying). You can spot birds like Toucans and  roseate spoonbills spreading their wings alongside fascinating reptiles like the Iguana.

The plants, the humidity and the temperature is set to help the wildlife survive in this frigid country.

Another interesting feature of this place is The Nocturama, in which an artificial moonlight is created for the nocturnal animals like night monkeys, bats, tree porcupines. Visitors are allowed to wander freely here, while bats fly right at them… Don’t worry, they are harmless!!

 My 2.5 month old was quite mesmerized with this place and so was I. I carried him around in the baby carrier I use, so that even he could enjoy the sights and sounds. Papiliorama is a family-friendly place with a restaurant serving simple yet delicious meals. Entrance fee costs CHF 18 for adults and CHF 9 for children between 4-15 years of age. I highly recommend visiting this zoo (with or without kids).



What’s up folks?

I’ve been off blogging for so long, I’ve completely forgotten what it feels like to post! What do I post about anyway? My kids? Our travels? This mundane life? If I do post, would anybody be interested to read? Anyways, I’ve decided to give all these thoughts a rest and just go with it! Here I am…

If you are new to this blog here’s a bit about me: I’m almost 32, a mom of 2 lil monkeys, still in love with my man after almost a decade, a homemaker, a journal-keeper, a spiritual person, a voracious reader, a sewing enthusiast, a dabbling writer and a mental. (Seriously)

I’ve been blogging on and off for a long time now. There have been many a blogs before this one, all of which I must have deleted. I blog because I love to write. I write even when I’m not blogging.

I live in India in a calm and beautiful neighborhood. Ours is a joint family with 4 adults and 2 kiddos. Medha is almost 8 and Madhav is almost 5. We are in the midst of their exams- Both have Maths coming up. I’m busy taking turns teaching them one at a time. Madhav picks up his subjects quickly while Medha takes a bit longer. They both go for Taek Won Do lessons every evening. My days are busy, but they are a good, satisfying kinda busy that never fails to make me thankful. God knows how many don’t make it from one day to the next…

Along with writing, sewing has been my passion for a while. Beautiful fabrics entice me; Sewing how-tos and Diys leave me itching to get my hands ‘dirty’. I joined a sewing class and learnt as much as I could. Now I practice at home, whenever I can.


I read all the time. When I’m done with my chores I treat myself to a good book. This year has been good so far, reading-wise. In less than 2 months I’ve read more than most read in a whole year. Now I’m in the thick of 2 books – “Eligible” by Curtis Sittenfeld and “An Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahamsa Yogananda (I love to read a fiction as well as a non-fiction at a time) and I can hardly wait to go back to them when I’m done blogging for the day.

I (and Maddy) plan to be more consistent hereon, but who knows what’s around the bend? Right now, this moment is all that matters…

So, what’s up with you all?