October 29, 2013

Some adventure on a weekday!...

What did I do today?
Kayaking, rafting, rappelling, aerial rope slide and even tried my hand at swimming(given that I only learnt swimming during a summer vacation as a kid and then never tried to check if I had learnt anything at all).

While rappelling, I was very nervous to even come close to the instructor as I was scared to look down. I asked him to first tie the rope and then speak to me, so that I can pay attention to the instructions! And after this, midway I felt so confident, I was giving instructions to the girl next to me about the right posture! The instructor told me politely to focus on what I am doing(and stop giving fundas to people) :P

Am I such a water baby or what!? I was in a small raft all by myself for a long time watching other people kayak, raft, swim and rope slide. Drifting idly on water and changing direction only when I was out of the shaded area or too close to a leaning branch from a near by tree. It was just amazing, idling on the water i.e.

During a conversation, I felt a strong desire to try and feel what it feels like for a non swimmer to attempt swimming. In a moment of inspiration, got into water. I kept my limbs up and it felt good to be afloat and then suddenly I realised I was quite far and panicked! Then I had a feeling am drowning. See how thinking and feeling and actually what happens are all connected. A moment ago, I was a supremely confident floating being and in a moment of doubt, I had a feeling of drowning despite the life jacket! Most of these are mind games to be won inside the head before you actually even attempt to try these!

How was the experience?
Wow, enjoyed a great deal.
Where?
At an adventure club about 50kms from Bangalore.
Would I want to do all these again?
YES, of course!

October 26, 2013

Life lessons from Leh...

When I look back at my cycling adventure in Leh,Ladhak I have the greatest memories. But everyday cycling about 40 kms for 5 days was not vanilla fun as I can distinctly remember my thoughts of those time, while I was actually doing it. The mornings were wonderful to cycle, but if it was uphill it was a struggle. The high altitude was not helping. The scorching heat of the afternoon sun, the shade-less stretches of NH1, the chilly winds of early evenings making you want to wear a thin jacket - and ofcourse the fatigue that comes with physical exercise in extreme conditions - every evening I would wonder if I could cycle the next day. And the next morning I would wake up all fresh and would have the enthusiasm like it was my first day of cycling. In spite of all the things that were not easy, the trip is easily one of the best things I have done in life.

So what was so wonderful about it? Here I am, days after turning 31, realizing my dream of being able to explore Leh which I have wanted to do for so long. I love cycling and cycling in the mountains is so awesome. I was not sure if I had the physical stamina to do such things. I wanted to check. And I did it, and quite impressive indeed. I seem the happiest I have ever in past few years going by the pictures taken in Leh! The sense of accomplishment is immense.

That is my bike! :)


Very importantly I learnt a few life lessons:
1. To conquer the mountains you need to be in good shape, more so mentally. It is so tough to believe when going gets tough. But thats pretty much the only way to do it - believing that you can.
2. If you have chosen to explore the mountains with a mountain bike, well knowing that the fuel would be your energy and it takes greater time and effort to cover the given distance compared to a motor bike - you would have put in a deal of thought and chosen the trip for yourself. Believe it. Dont wonder why do you even do such things to yourself. It mostly seems stupid midway. May be on the way, exhaustion sometimes gets the better of you and there are low times when you wonder what the heck you are doing in the middle of nowhere in that hot sun, gulping glucose water like crazy and cycling so slow that a rock at the distance is your reference for a whole hour. Think well about what you want to do before doing it. Questioning your decision after starting or mid way is a bad idea. Drop the doubts. Stick to the decision, if you thought you could do it, you mostly likely can. So, just do it.
3. Journeys are about exploring yourself, as much as they are about exploring places. Enjoy. Take your time to smell the roses, soak in the warmth of the sun, breathe, meditate, day dream, share, care. Experience. Life is but a journey!
4. Uphills are tough. But if you wanted a view, you would have to climb the mountains. Thats why you are there to begin with. If you reduce the resistance by keeping the gears at their lowest, all you need is patience and persistence to get there. Uphills are there for a reason. And a little bit of practice and right perception can get you wonderful views that you will cherish all your life. So, hang in there, and go 1-1, 1-1, 1-1 (thats the gears!) and keep at it.
5. Downhills are fun, but they last a few mins! "Fun" in life cannot be forever. "Forever" fun may not be so much fun. But to get that fun feeling - of feeling the wind in your hair and cycling like the brakes had failed and singing at the top of your lungs and being so happy - you got to climb uphill. So it is just a part of the road, you cannot have downhill all the time, if you weren't pedaling enough why even cycle. You could put yourself in a drum and role down the road or something like that! Dont expect every piece of road to be downhill. Fun journeys are not made of that stuff.
6. Interesting people add to the joy of journeys. Choose whom you go with carefully. Although cycling is a very personal journey, there are times when having someone look out for you gives a nice feeling. When you take breaks to have lunch or to energise it is nice to have people who believe in the same things as you do, and say a kind word or give you motivation or just a knowing smile. The energy drink can re-energise your body, these other things energise your spirit. And tough terrains test your spirit more than your physical stamina. You need the right kind of people around to have your batteries charged, else it may just be a tough terrain struggle you signed up for.
7. The bigger picture is what you get when you have completed it. So wait. You cannot have those great abs, toned arms and legs till you complete it. You cannot understand what you have achieved bypassing anything on the way. You have to beat the heat, climb all the uphills, enjoy all the downhill rides, take in the great views, stop and enjoy the scenarios, click snaps initially at every beautiful sight and then get tired of doing it - there is a great scenery around every corner - so instead just stop enjoy the view and then cycle on, you have to keep focusing on that next peddle when you are totally exhausted and until you can find that shade and then wonder why you are here! :P You have to do it all. Only then you know what the whole deal is. So if you havent got the big picture yet, "picture abhi baaki hey dost!" :P
8. As it turns out, when you look back you carry only the memories of the good stuff, not so nice stuff erases gradually. Tough people last, no one can take away the sense of accomplishment from you. Only you know what you are doing, because no one else can understand you and tell you what you would enjoy doing the most. 

October 24, 2013

Practicing gratitude – 2


1.      For Bangalore’s nice weather day after day – cloudy, drizzling, overcast dark in the day weather, oh-do-i-really-have-to-getout-of-bed kind of good weather. Thank you!
2.      For that quiet cup of tea I had watching the beautiful surroundings from the big window. Quiet prevailed in the day. Glad. Thank you!
3.      For the nutritious breakfast and the nice company. Thank you!
4.      For the regularizing, thank you!
5.      Downloaded some fun apps. Good job developers. Thank you!
6.      A friend shared Robin Sharma’s book. Read a few pages on my tab, some beautiful thoughts. I tried applying some. To sharing, and for trying. Thank you!
7.      For taking a chill pill, having a lazy evening with a book. Thank you!
8.      For the evening conversation. After a pretty quiet day, talking was fun and nice, interesting conversations are always welcome. “When life is tough we have to go easy, like while cycling uphill keep the gears at the lowest “1-1, 1-1, 1-1” “. :)  Thank you!


 

October 22, 2013

Gratitude - 1

Things am grateful for, today :

1.      The sound nap I had during the morning bus ride while listening to the magical voices and words on my phone! Thank you!
2.      That beautiful morning drizzle I sat watching while enjoying breakfast and the strong cup of filter coffee. Thank you!
3.      The Google Nexus 7 tab that was delivered today, I bought it online a few days back. Wonderful. To all my teamies and friends who enthusiastically participated in configuring it and giving helpful suggestions about the “do”s and “don’t”s – a big Thank you!
4.      For being able to keep the tea –date with a friend. I have become notorious these days for being a “ditcher”. I say I will come for tea or breakfast or a movie or weekend outing and somehow end up not being able to do those. I was not like this a few weeks back, either I would say “yes” or a clear “no” and stick to whatever I had said. I want to get that reputation back and so am off with my first success! J Thank you!
5.      For convincing myself to go out for a walk despite the gloomy weather and then jogging for almost 2kms to avoid getting drenched! It was amazing, sweating and feeling my sweatshirt getting heavy, while the cool breeze and that light drizzle trying to soothe me. I was initially wondering if am panting and if its audible. I wanted to remove my earphones and check, instead my hand went to the volume button. I “up”ed the volume and continued jogging. Wow. Thank you!
6.      For my stereo earphones that make anything, even my own breathing not audible when am listening to music. It made the jog so good. Thank you!
7.      For soothing my anxiety and giving me some wisdom. For trying to make things better. For trying to understand. For striving. Thank you!
8.      Finally, and very importantly for the internet that works and enables me to post! Thank you!
 
 

To The Universe...

All those books, articles and inspirational talks keep emphasizing on positive thoughts. Is day dreaming, wanting something not the same? I do not really know how to keep thinking positively all the time. “Thoughts become action”. Yes but how can you control thoughts and feelings, amplify only positivity in them and go on. It would take a lot of awareness on every second of one’s life to do so. I am not sure how to practice that also. I wish I could be given a few trail runs with some hand holding from the Universe on how this bloody thing actually works. Then I could myself tweak the settings of the Universe and get what is best for me from there on.

I am not sure where The Universe looks for, so an open letter here. Hope The Universe reads it and acts upon:

Dear Universe,

I am not sure if I know how to dream boundlessly. Give me the wisdom to know what is really good for me and then the courage to want it with all my being. Help me forgive easily, smile more often and have a good time while am alive and kicking. I would like myself to expect less from people. I could do with a good dose of clarity of thought. I am thankful for all that I have, the thing is, I need more. And since I am told I can want all that I want and have it too, I am sending out that request to you, The Universe, so that you can conspire to give me all that I am looking for. Patience is a virtue and as you know, I already have it, so please make it fast. J

Also please help me understand this secret of how to train my thoughts and make life an amazing experience. I want to be the best person I can be, help me with that. And yes, having a good time while I am at these is important. Kindly note this. I sound a tad bit demanding, but then I am told, that the Universe gives you anything that you have the courage to ask for. So PLEASE help me out. 

Sincerely,
Pratibha

October 20, 2013

Apricots!

This was a pic I had taken after having a bite of one of those yummmm juicy fresh apricots in Leh, Ladhak. I love that yellow color and their taste is fresh in my memory!



Ladhak memories make me smile from ear to ear. In the office elevator recently, I saw this man wearing a T-shirt that had "Juley" written on it("Juley" is "hello"/greeting in Ladhaki)  and something like "Heaven on earth - Ladhak" written below. I dint know the person, but I just started smiling uncontrollably at the person, and he must have wondered why! :)

I am just so happy I got to see this heaven on earth - the natural beauty of the Ladhak region with Indus, the dust/sand mountains, the rocky landscape, the azure skies and all of it. It had been a long cherished dream to explore Leh, Ladhak and am so happy I could do it this year, feeling blessed. :)

October 16, 2013

Cleansing...

After watching “Gravity”, I am wondering about “letting go”…

I let go of a couple of “materials” that were bothering me when I looked at them. I cleansed – my room I mean – and metaphorically on some level the cleansing seemed of a few things in my mind as well. I want to let go of a few more things, some irritations I have, by writing them down I want to get them out of my system. Here they go –

1.      If you are watching a movie with me, please don’t make unnecessary comments, I am hoping for the movie to entertain me, so you don’t take the trouble please. Moreover, I enjoy watching movies, so back off J
2.      If I buy something from your retail store, don’t charge me Rs.500 on my credit card and give me a bill for Rs. 499. If you want that 1 more rupee, put that on the bill. If you cannot, then key in 499 instead of 500 on your POS machine! Don’t cheez me off.
3.      Don’t give me fashion advice if you don’t know me too well(in other words if you do not matter to me so much). a) I buy what I like b) I wear what I buy. c) if I don’t care for you, what makes you believe I will care for your advice. I wear what makes me feel good, I aim to please myself, not you. Sorry if that was blunt!
4.      Please don’t make jokes about people because of their gender, ethnicity, age or background, you may do it with people who are very familiar with you, excuse me.
5.      Don’t act overly familiar with me, if you were, there was no need to act.


P.S: The below are not applicable to close friends, as they would already know these by now and in case they forget, I can comfortably express my displeasure!
P.P.S : And I heard from a good friend, that it is a good day to cleanse.. :)

October 15, 2013

Gravity...

Watched the movie “Gravity” today. The 3D effects were amazing. It is a sci-fi movie. A couple of astronauts space walking and fixing a few issues suddenly have to face a shower of debris speeding towards them (why was there a debris - again, aaah it had something to with Russians trying to destroy an old satellite or something, which back fired causing more collisions leading to the cosmic debris…something on those lines may be). Suddenly the hunky dory stuff stops and you get a grip of how very dangerous it can get in outer space. It is a movie about how humans feel, hold on to things – emotionally and how everything is life has to be sorted out in the head first, to get better, in reality.  Sandra Bullock(as Dr. Ryan Stone – yeah Clooney’s character makes fun of the name “Ryan” J ) and George Clooney(as Matt Kowolski)  play the two astronauts who survive the accident. Then what happens, do they actually make it back to earth,  makes up for the second half of the 90 mins movie. It is wonderful, go watch it.

October 11, 2013

Duaaa

I was cycling in Leh, and I heard this song while resting for a while around noon time. It so happened that a fellow cyclist had stopped to rest and I too was looking for some shade and so stopped to rest for a while. During the conversation, he just asked me if I have heard this "Duaaa" song from the movie - Shanghai. I had not, and so he played it for me. It was so soothing and nice. I instantly copied the song and ever since keep listening to it almost once a day. Check it out if you have not heard it yet...

October 07, 2013

mmmmmm...

You know why babies need someone to rock their cradles while they sleep? Rocking is not just a lulling action, its a bit more than that. The world is too new for them and they rely heavily on the mother or another family member, like a doting aunt(like me! :P) to give them that comfort that everything is okay with the world, that the baby is being taken care of.

As we grow up, some part of us still craves for that reassurance from someone familiar and trust worthy to tell us everything is ok with the world. We cannot always expect ourselves to be rational beings. Caring and needing to be cared for is ingrained in us. Being vulnerable is not always a sign of weakness, it is being human too.

October 03, 2013

Lemons and lemonades!

Office bus came 30 minutes late due to some technical issues. Once we(another person who gets in the bus along with me at the same stop) got to know that, we went to a near by darshini, had an idly, vada and by-2 coffee! Then came back to the bus stop and enjoyed a nice ride to office.

Well, so what does one do when life gives you lemons? Chill. Enjoy fish biryani with lime soda in the company of friends! What else? :)

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