“What we are ………….” Wednesday! (February 22, 2017)

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Reading: “Under a Cornish Sky”  by Liz Fenwick.
Watching: Nothing specific. Just Random comedy shows.
Eating: Pizza!!!
Making: Plans for our long weekend in March.
Wishing for: A beautiful sunny week.
Learning: To manage work and home efficiently, especially when it comes to cooking.
Thinking: That it is a wonderful life!
Listening: To all the adventures Mike had on his trip to Panama.
Loving: That the weekend is not too far!!
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading: “After the Night” by Linda Howard and enjoying the ride!
Watching: a movie tonight, any random movie, until whatever time it takes to finish it. There’s no need to get up early tomorrow as exams are finally over! YAY!
Eating: Cool Foods- mostly Cereal with lots of fruits and cold milk. Yummm!!! It’s getting so hot lately.
Making: Plans to go shopping.
Wishing for: a nice long nap in the afternoon.
Learning: to let go of things that are not on my top priority list right now.
Thinking: Of unwinding with my friends, sipping Masala Chai, while the kids have a good time with their own buddies.
Listening: To this and feeling strong and confident. The hymn invokes Goddess Shakti, calling her by different names, all the names given to girls of Indian Origin, including my name. And when I listen to this hymn, with the music given by none other than the maestro, A. R. Rahman, I feel like a Goddess myself. Now, please don’t laugh. Don’t get me wrong too. I don’t consider myself powerful or invincible or as good as the great Goddess herself. I simply am not. Period.
I just feel like we all have this Goddess within us, each one of us, who is mostly hibernating. And I think we need to nurture her, wake her up and bring her out, to shine some light on the World, Just as we chant prayers to invoke the true Goddess Shakti.
I hope this makes sense.
Loving: having long sunny days ahead with nowhere to go and nothing big to do.
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.

“What we are ………….” Wednesday! (February 15, 2017)

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Watching: Kapil Sharma show and Koffee with Karan.
Eating: Some nice South Indian foods like “puliyogre” and “bisi bele bath”.
Making: Decorations for my sister in law`s baby shower.
Wishing for: My husband to come home safely from his trip.
Learning: To cook more easy and quick recipes.
Thinking: About ways to keep myself busy this week without my husband.
Listening:  to some old Kannada songs.
Loving: The warmth of the sun pouring through my office window.
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading: “Thea Stilton and the Journey to the Lion’s Den” to Medha and “Where Animals Live” to Madhav.
Watching: Medha try to read a book by herself. She’s getting better and better at it. Sadly, Madhav doesn’t like being read to by his big sister! He only prefers his mama’s stories.
Eating: Anything I can get my hands on, which isn’t a good habit, I know! But what to do!?! I’ve been feeling so hungry lately! Change of weather, maybe? Oh no no! It’s absolutely not what you are thinking!
I’ll have to prepare some healthy snacks for the whole family, so that we don’t resort to munching on junk, like we normally do!
Making: Medha memorize Multiplication tables! Oh God!
Wishing for: a Coffee and Cake Date with my husband.
Learning: how not to let anybody bring me down. Like I’ve said before, Meditation really helps. Plus,  a poor memory makes it easier to forget and forgive! 🙂
Thinking: about my new haircut and what my friends told me about it- “Please don’t let it grow long! You look so young with short hair!” How sweet! And I do feel like a new woman- a bit more confident about myself! 🙂 I wonder what it is about a haircut and the boost in confidence!
Listening: to this and wanting to have a good cry, not because I’m sad or anything. It just feels like the right thing to do, sort of like casting a burden aside. It is just so calming!
Loving: this blog as I’m spending more time with it. As they say, Long Distance Relationships are really hard; The longer I stay away from my blog, the harder it is for me to get back to it and show it some TLC. We hope to stay more connected…
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.
 

The Elephant Safari, Corbett National Park

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The Elephant Safari at Corbett National Park is one of the most happiest, most blessed times of my life! It happened last October when we visited the park and its neighboring beauties- Binsar and Nainital. I’m sorry to say I don’t remember the details of the trip; Anybody who knows me, knows all about my poor memory! But thanks to the journal I kept during the trip, fragments of that journey are still recorded for me to look back on, and for you to, hopefully, savor. Here’s what I wrote in my journal-

It (The Elephant Safari) felt so earthly, so primal; I felt as if I was one with nature. An Elephant Safari is much better than a Jeep Safari. With every footstep of the Elephant, every brush of a tree branch, every poke of a thorny shrub, every breath of fresh air inhaled. every grunt of the swaying elephant, I felt more and more connected with Mother Earth. I couldn’t stop looking at Laadli, the Elephant behind us. She looked so lovely and divine, I fell utterly in love with her. We were seated upon Kalina. They both sucked the juice out of sugarcane sticks as they trudged on. And they kept pooping too… Heaps of it. Some floated right across the river we crossed. Ah! Crossing the River! It was an adventure in itself! You should see how an elephant steps on a boulder, ensures she has a firm grip on it, and then moves on. She is onerously careful as she crosses the river. You find yourself rooting for her as she does that!

We went all over Seethavan. We spotted some birds stirring up in the early morning Sun. We heard Distress calls by a Sambar too, which meant a Tiger must have been nearby. And we felt the presence of a male Elephant, as Kalina became too excited and kept veering off to where she wasn’t supposed to go! “Thwack!”, went the Mahout’s stick upon Kalina’s spiky head. Whenever that happened, Medha felt so bad for her. She was almost in tears. She wasn’t enjoying the ride as much. And when we asked the mahout why he punished her so, he explained how an Elephant needed to be brought back on track with a bit of spanking, just the way a kid needed a bit of discipline now and then, and it didn’t mean that he loved her any less! And believe me, I felt his love for the mammoth. He kept telling the other mahout that they needed to come back to clear the web of tangled branches to make it easier for the Elephants to pass.

Medha kept mumbling about how she felt the Elephants looked like Lord Ganesha himself and as soon as we got down, she simply bowed in front of them. And I too couldn’t hold back. I hugged and kissed Kalina and Laadli both!”

For all those of you who need more information, other than just the ramblings of a romantic fool, here are some details I found in the mail the proprietors of the Safari sent us (We booked the Safari days (months?) in advance)-

1. Only Sitavan (Sitabani) Zone is available for the Elephant Safari.

2. Morning – 8:00 am to 10:00 am (We had it changed to 6-8 am as we had to head towards Nainital the same day.
Plus, we love to explore the jungle early in the morning)

3. Boarding place – Dhikuli Village at 7:45 am 
4. 2 Elephants for 8 Pax. We were 8 passengers, including 4 kids.


Terms & conditions for Safari advance booking

 (Subject to availability & approval from forest department and weather conditions)

 1. Safari permits are booked in 100% advance payment basis.

 2. To book the safari will require name, age, gender of All the passengers, Photo ID and details Issued by GOVT. 

 3.As per jungle safari regulations, once confirmed and booked, the booking amount of Elephant Safari is Non-refundable and non transferable. 

 4. Maximum four persons are allowed to sit on an Elephant.

 5.In case of any natural calamity ( rain, flood etc) there will be no refund.

  6. Timing Might change because of Weather Condition & Season.

  7. When You Reach ( Corbett City Ramnagar / Resort / Hotel ) Inform Us.

 8. Cost of Elephant Safari – Rs. 3500 per Elephant for 1 to 4 Indians Inclusive of Elephant Fee And all taxes. (2 Elephants x Rs. 3500 =Rs. 7000 for 8 Pax.)

Love,

Manasa

“What we are ………….” Wednesday!

We’d like to share what we are doing this Wednesday, hopefully, every Wednesday from hereon, as a way of documenting our Everyday Life. Hope you like reading such posts!

Here’s what Madhurya had to say:

Reading: I just finished Eleanor and Park and started reading my favorite, Agatha Christie`s murder mystery “Taken at the Flood”.
Watching: the weather get better slowly, the “Big bang theory series” when i need a laugh and the pictures of my nieces and nephew.
Eating: whatever possible 🙂
Making: my next crochet project. I guess I will finish it in 2 weeks.
Wishing for: a stress-free work life.
Learning: to be more patient and relaxed. And to be thankful for what I have in my life.
Thinking: about my next visit to Dubai and meeting my entire family 🙂
Listening: to the “tap tap” of my computer keypad and the “yakety yak” of my colleagues talking.
Loving: my husband, my parents, my sis and bro, my very sweet nieces and nephew, and my life 🙂
Here’s what I had to say:
Reading:“The Woman on the Orient Express”, by Lindsay Jayne Ashford on my e-reader.
Watching: Madhav looking at his baby pictures and giggling away.
Eating: A slice of eggless Banana and Chocolate cake I baked.
Making:a list of post ideas, so I can be more consistent in posting.
Wishing for:a bit more time from our busy schedule to visit a store called, Chunari, an Indian Wear store, about which I’ve heard such good things!
Learning: more about myself with each passing day, as I’ve committed to meditating and journaling every single day.
Thinking: about how my sister and I would study all the time and our mom had to ask us to stop!
Listening: to MS Subbulakshmi’s Vishnu Sahasranamam on Gaana.com
Loving:my busy, everyday life.
Love,
Madhurya & Manasa.

30 Things to do in 2016- Final Review

Hey, It feels nice to be back! We’ve been gone, like, forever! Hopefully, we’ll be more consistent in 2017!

I decided to try 30 new things to do in my 30th year and by the end of the year, I finished only 22. Here’s what I accomplished-

1. Buy a sewing machine 
2. Learn basic stitches
3. Sew a summer dress/ skirt for Medha 
4. Paint a wall hanging for our hall

5. Scrapbook with Medha of her cousin’s visit. 

6. Make a photobook with Medha’s pictures.

7. Make a photobook with Madhav’ s pictures
8. Turn the spare room into craft/reading room
9. Post before/after pictures of craft/reading room project.
10. Bake a cake and decorate it with Medha

11. Throw a handmade birthday party at home for Medha and Madhav- 
13. Read a kannada book
14. Read the photography book Prasad gifted me
15. Complete Spark ecourse
16. Complete Onward and Upward ecourse
17. Have pictures taken with my sister for the blog
18. Write thank-you letters to the most important people in my life ( I know who they are)
19. Volunteer at Madhav’s playschool 
20. Write to a magazine/ newspaper.
21. Visit a National park
22. Learn to drape a saree beautifully
24. Add 10 new followers to the blog ( to make the count 90)
25. Change the blog’s “about” page
26. A weaving project with Medha 

27. A plush doll with Medha

28. A garland with Medha- 

29. Visit a historical monument/palace with the kids
30. 365 days of journaling

I failed to achieve all the things I set out to do. Yet again. Procrastination, as usual, is the biggest culprit; setting unrealistic goals, like journaling 365 days, is yet another; other reasons too contributed to my less than successful endeavor- inefficient time-management, horrible mind-management etc. Ugh! I failed.

Or… Did I? 22 isn’t so bad after all, is it? It is more than half the number of goals I set for myself! If I never set 30 tiny goals or pushed myself to accomplish them, I wouldn’t have tried a single novel thing- I wouldn’t have gained the courage to invest in a sewing machine nor would I have learnt to hammer nails onto a wooden board from my dad, to make my weaving loom.

I’ve learned so much about myself (I love weaving so much! Reading Kannada books- not so much!) and creativity because of this exercise. I would never have learnt that creativity comes with practice, had I not read the book, “Big Magic”, or tried my hand at sewing, even though I had never even fixed a button or stitched a tear myself.

When I announced my intention to the world, my near and dear ones came forward to help me reach it. My sister created a Pinterest board of craft room organization ideas for me. In fact she was the one who suggested I set 30 goals in the first place. She kept motivating me through the whole thing. My sister-in-law designed and bought the photobooks of my kids. My grandma taught me how to sew and weave.

Despite my higher rate of failure, I won’t stop goal-setting anytime soon. So watch out for more for the brand new year!

Love,

Manasa.

30 Things to do in 2016- May & June update

The beginning of school year has been crazy. We are still getting used to longer days at school, packing 2 boxes, Weekly tests and lots of other novel stuff. It feels like my life is totally revolving around the kids and their schools and classes and I am running around in circles all day long, without being able to lift my head up and look at the big picture. And by the end of the day (or even during the day), I have no time or energy or enthusiasm to do just the things that perk me up like crafting or reading or simply enjoying a cup of Tea. Hmmm…

I keep telling myself, like everything else in life, nothing lasts forever; these crazy, busy, fleeting days will pass too. So “hang in there Manasa. You’re doing Great! Just Don’t drive yourself and everyone else up the wall, Please!” 

Hey, here are the things we still got accomplished, despite the craziness called LIFE-

1. Buy a sewing machine 
2. Learn basic stitches
3. Sew a summer dress/ skirt for Medha 
4. Paint a wall hanging for our hall

5. Scrapbook with Medha of her cousin’s visit. 

6. Make a photobook with Medha’s pictures.

7. Make a photobook with Madhav’ s pictures
8. Turn the spare room into craft/reading room
9. Post before/after pictures of craft/reading room project.
10. Bake a cake and decorate it with Medha – We baked a cake for Medha’s Birthday. To make the process easy, I bought a Cake mix from Pillsbury. I made costumes out of newspapers for the kids and we got baking! All 3 of us took turns mixing and folding the ingredients. The kids had fun decorating the cake with frosting and gems. And guess what, the cake tasted great too! 

Delicious Cake
11. Throw a handmade birthday party at home for Medha and Madhav- It wasn’t all handmade, to be frank. I didn’t cook all the food or make the return gifts myself, like I wanted to. I bought Poster colors, Paint Brushes, Coloring books and Stickers as party favors so the kids could “Make their own MAGIC”. But still, I enrolled Medha and Madhav in making the decorative banners and wraps for candies. And our friends all had a great time. It was one of the best parties we’ve ever thrown. 

12. Read “Big magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
13. Read a kannada book
14. Read the photography book Prasad gifted me
15. Complete Spark ecourse
16. Complete Onward and Upward ecourse
17. Have pictures taken with my sister for the blog
18. Write thank-you letters to the most important people in my life ( I know who they are)
19. Volunteer at Madhav’s playschool 
20. Write to a magazine/ newspaper.
21. Visit a National park
22. Learn to drape a saree beautifully
24. Add 10 new followers to the blog ( to make the count 90)
25. Change the blog’s “about” page
26. A weaving project with Medha 

27. A plush doll with Medha

28. A garland with Medha- Medha, Madhav and I together made a few garlands as part of the decorations for the kids’ birthday party. I wanted to sew a fabric garland, but couldn’t. I will try to make one soon.

29. Visit a historical monument/palace with the kids
30. 365 days of journaling

So guys…. do the best you can with the time and resources you have. And please…. remember to have fun along the way!

Love,

Manasa.

 

Medha at 6

Medha at 6 –

Medha at 6

  • is a fun girl (has always been one), ready to socialize (she’s called a “social butterfly”) and willing to go anywhere, anytime.
  • now has a scooter (a gift from the grandparents) which she rides like the wind, telling me she feels like singing “Kitna maza…” as cool breeze hits her face! She has never played with anything else this long (Touchwood!). Always flitting from one thing to another, it’s a wonder she’s still excited about it!
  • is very athletic, always ready to walk, ride, run, dance, whatever! I wonder where she gets all that energy from. And I also wonder how powerful that idiot box called TV must be to keep such an energetic person sit glued in front of it for hours!
  • may seem too detached, carefree and easy-going. But know her better, you will see her sensitive side, the side that wants everyone to love her; the side that is capable of comprehending complex thoughts; the side that speaks words beyond her age. For eg: “I feel like a woman when I wear this!”!

She simply stumps me with her dialogues. Grandpa thinks she’s well-suited for the movies, but, with her restless nature, she’ll just be jumping from one project to another without completing any, he despairs!

  • loves to dance and tells me she doesn’t need a teacher to teach her the steps; says she can come up with her own, thank you very much!
  • will not stop dancing till you’re bored to sleep; so please ask her to display her skills at your own risk!
  • is a complete foodie, tasting everything and insisting upon helping me in the kitchen. I let her. She washes and peels veggies, tosses salads, mixes ingredients and even helps with cleaning the dishes! I wonder why I used to be so worried about her eating habits. Things keep changing, you see…
  • is getting better and better at Reading. At the end of a reading session (of not more than a few pages, by the way!), we are so exhausted, we take a nice long break!
  • isn’t too impressed with my stitching or other creative projects and asks me why I struggle when it is SO easy to buy stuff!
  • is Madhav’s “Little Mama”, keeping an eye on him at all times, making sure he doesn’t stray far, ensuring his safety on lifts and escalators. She does a better job than I do, seriously! My favorite pastime is to just set everything aside and watch the duo converse or play or fight with one another! They’re one hilarious couple! 🙂

Love,

Manasa.