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Trip to The Taj

This weekend, we were taken to Agra by our company. It was a family event so all the employees brought along their spouses and kids. 🙂

While thinking of Agra, none of us were very excited. Add to it the hectic release schedule that stretched on till the last minute. The offsite is an annual thing which they do at our company. Every year, there are lot of preparations and fun things that happen before the actual offsite. So, you find people busy preparing dance items, fun activities before the real 3-day break. This time, everyone was so busy with release work, no one had time. 

So, people were least enthusiastic even till the last day before the offsite. They were all just drained.

But, the moment we boarded the bus, the energy and enthu- started coming in. And, it was all-fun after that. 🙂

The best part about company off-sites are the luxury hotels. ITC-Mughal was no exception. And, I give it full marks for the hospitality, service, facilities, food. Basically, everything that you would wish and expect in a good hotel. 

And, the sprawling area, the beautiful gardens, the spa. They all just add to your experience. There are around 3 different swimming pools for you to enjoy. The Spa is totally worth the money they charge. And, having experienced the spa from Taj Hotel, Gwalior, I would say way better. I can go to Agra just for getting that spa done again. It’s that good! 🙂

Then came the trip to the Taj Mahal. 

Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. We all know that. For the foreigners, it is a must visit. For some of them, it is perhaps the reason to visit India. But, for Indians, especially ones living in North India, and that too Delhi-NCR!? Well, people from Delhi-NCR already have a hard time finding a place to getaway over weekends so Agra is one of the few places they have as the only option. So, anyone who is above 18 has already visited Taj Mahal at least once in their lifetimes. 

Our group was no different. Our trip’s itinerary was so packed that the only time we had to visit Taj Mahal was Saturday Morning, 7.00 AM. Since there was no other place planned to visit in Agra, many people enrolled for the trip. Almost all of them did half-heartedly. 

Having said all of this, let me tell you, the experience totally reversed my opinion.

We missed our bus because we couldn’t leave without giving Anay some breakfast. Thankfully, Taj Mahal was only 2 kms away from our hotel so we decided to go later, solo. The Autowallah that he hired from hotel, was very helpful. I don’t know if he was helpful so that he could get us to call him back for some other trips, or he was genuinely helpful. Nonetheless, his advice helped us. I paste the same here for the general public.

1. Don’t hire a Guide from outside the Ticket Office. They tell you they will charge only 100-200 but when they return, they con you into paying Rs 300-400

2. Don’t buy anything from the Taj shopping area. The stuff there is all duplicate and heavily over-priced. The shopkeepers even use abusive language if you browse in their shops but don’t buy anything.

3. Take the guide from inside the Taj premises. If you have to buy souvenirs, buy from UP Tourism Ministry shops. You’ll get authentic things, authentically priced.

I didn’t buy anything. Neither did I hire any guide. So I have no way of proving or disproving the veracity of the above.

Coming to the Taj Mahal. 

I don’t know if it was the timing of my visit, or it was the beautiful sky, or they cleaned up the Taj. I don’t know what it was. But, in my multiple visits to the monument, it was my first time.

I thoroughly, completely savored watching it. I saw it in a different light. I saw what makes it one of the wonder of the world. 

We visited the monument at 8.00 AM. We were advised in reaching early. It is very less crowded. I saw the Taj of the photos. The edited, beautified version of Taj, right in front of my eyes. It was so beautiful. Breathtaking. Totally.

I really think they did some cleaning of the marble. The white marble was really white. The times I had visited it earlier, it was much paler because of the industrial pollution. The Government had taken some steps to remove the industries around the area. The Yamuna river flowing behind the Taj was actually clean. I remember it being extremely polluted in my previous visits. Now, sitting on the benches, you could actually feel the tranquil, the soothing breeze. You can feel the peace in the air. You enjoy the whole experience and take back a bit of it with you. It’s not one of those where you visited and forgot by the time you reached back hotel. 

So, if you’re a NCR-ite and if you have visited Taj Mahal before, I would suggest you visit it again. Once. Visit it in the morning. For the sake of India. For the sake of seeing what only 6 other places on this Earth have. Coz, it’s totally worth it. 

 

 

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Smart Smart Anay

Anay still drinks milk from his bottle. While he’s very much capable of drinking water, cold-drink etc from a glass, he refuses to leave bottle for milk. So, all people in our house keep trying to convince him to take up glass. Normally, our regular technique is enlisting the benefits of drinking milk in glass.

1. All adults drink milk in glass.

    Anay’s answer: Anay to abhi chhota hai na! (Anay is small right now)

2. Wow! The sipper (kid’s small glass) has such beautiful pictures on it! There’s an animal there too! 

    Anay: My bottle has cartoons on it. Bottle is so nice!

3. Adi (Anay’s cousin brother) also drinks milk in glass.

    Anay: Anay to abhi chhota hai na!

Tired of all these, his dad decides to try a new technique.

Tarun: I’m the Tiger. I’m gonna eat you, the Rabbit. <charging towards Anay>

Anay: <comes and fights his Father away>

Tarun: <dramatically> Ohh, this Rabbit is strong. I’ll drink milk in glass and become strong. <animates drinking from the water bottle lying there.> 

<comes and overpowers Anay>

Tarun: If the Rabbit wants to win, it needs to drink milk from glass. Then only it will become strong like me.

Anay: <goes to the same water bottle, animates drinking from it>. I’ve drunk milk from the glass and now I’m strong too. Ha!

Me and Tarun stare at each other dumbfounded.

Hahahah! So much for imbibing values into kids. 

 

 

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Self- analysis of a Mother

Life’s been going busy, just as I mentioned. Now, there are moments, like right now, when I can feel my fingers aching due to too much typing, or too fast typing since too long. But, for writing a blog post….you can always find some energy. 

After long while, I was talking to a friend of mine, where I was telling her about how my life was going great but the family thing is missing. Anay is taken care of but there’s no ‘me’ in his care-taking. I feel a lot is missing.

I spoke to my Mom. She has been a working woman herself. She said that it’s a temporary phase where your work demands are more and your career needs attention. Once it’ll pass, you can get back to your son. And, he’s well taken care of in the meanwhile. He won’t miss a thing.

I saw a post shared on FB where a man sleeps peacefully with his daughter and feels like he’s the best dad in the world. But, the Mom, on the contrary, has all those negative thoughts on how she’s not doing a good job of a mother. How she’s on a guilt trip all the time. 

I talked to a friend. She explained how these guilt trips are part n parcel of a working woman’s life. Rather, I should look for specific things that I wish to do with Anay and then try to create time space for him.

Perhaps that’s the closest I am to a solution. Perhaps that’s the key. But, none of these provide me with peace. 

My heart keeps countering that perhaps I could have spent better time with him if we were alone, separate. Right now, he finds too many people as an alternate to me. That’s why he doesn’t come to me. 

But, deep within my heart, I know these are all excuses. There are always some positives and some negatives of any kind of setup, whether nuclear or joint. So, the real problem is that ‘I’ need to find ways to spend time with him. ‘I’ need to create work and time which I can do with him. 

I hope am able to work on those. And, find the peace within the mother’s heart.

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Life is busy

Life is going crazily busy at the moment. Lots n lots n lots of work at office. 

For the first time in life, for the first time in my career of 7 yrs now, I’ve come to the point when my day is totally full with meaningful work. I can feel my mind’s CPU running at 100% (seems like 200% actually) speed. There are times when I have people asking me something and my mind goes totally blank or clueless. It takes a minute to process his question and answer. 

😛

I’ve been meaning to get back and write about so many things- family, Anay, work etc etc. But, never got to.

But, over all, am loving it. Every single minute of it. Every aspect of it. It feels like I’m challenging my boundaries. My mind’s processing capabilities.

“Dekhna hai zor kitna baazue-quatil mein hai”

Life’s going fine at home. I have felt more peaceful at home now, ever since I returned from my trip to Udaipur n Mt. Abu. Nothing happened on the trip but I can feel the difference. I’m no more fighting inside me for space at home, or with MIL. I’m more in harmony with my surroundings. There are jitters once in a while but nothing major. 

Anay is doing fine. Tarun’s grandmother is visiting and Anay spends most of his time with her. Voluntarily. Ignoring everyone else in the house. He never sits silent with any of us but lies down with her, in her bed and keeps talking to her over something or the other. No clue what he’s talking of. But, watching him enjoy her, and watching her enjoying him, is a very beautiful sight. 

They say that kids behave the same way with you as you behave with them. He’s never silent or calm with us. He’s mostly jumping like a monkey when he’s around us. Perhaps, the child is a mirror image of you. 

So, you can understand who’re the monkeys in the house 🙂

Take care. God bless all.

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Life-inspiring. Worth giving a thought. Worth remembering

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away” -Henry David Thoreau in ‘Walden’

 

Another one:

 

And, if it doesn’t look like an over-dose, check this one out too, from zenpencils.com

http://zenpencils.com/comic/80-henry-david-thoreau-on-happiness/

 

Take Care!