The gigantic, majestic and mesmerizing waterfall


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October 2012 – it was the first year of Durga Puja without Ma being around and cajoling T and me to try coming back to Bengal at least for a week during the pujas. We had decided to go for a small trip to Kerala instead. Our three days trip had three places on our itinerary – the backwaters of Alleppey, the Chinese fishing nets of Kochi and the majestic waterfall of Athirapally.

Athirapally falls
Athirapally falls

Athirapally was our last destination before returning back to Mysore. When we drove down from Kochi through Challakudy to reach this place, we had only heard about this place because the movie ‘Ravana’ by Mani Ratnam starring Aishwarya Rai, Abhishek Bachchan, and Vikram was shot here. However, when we witnessed the 80 ft fall in front of our eyes and heard the sound that the water generated, we stood mesmerized.

Athirapally
Athirapally

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Go Big’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

A perfect world by an imperfect individual


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2008 – I was in my first year of B-school. Four of us took an all-girls trip to Chennai followed by Pondicherry. The trip was my first sojourn with my girlfriends and the city mesmerized me with its beauty, cleanliness, and calmness. The sea was both rough and serene here. And the environment of the Aurobindo ashram had a deep impact on my thoughts.

2011 – After the sudden demise of my mother, grief had engulfed my life in a way that rendered me static at Mysore.

2012 – this was the first city that my husband had coaxed me to visit. He insisted that a change of location was needed for my mental health.

Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This picture was clicked from the room of the hotel in Pondicherry where we had been put up. The balcony had the most gorgeous view of the sea. I sat out for hours gazing at the sea. Probably it was the enormity of the sea here that absorbed some of my pain during that phase.

Today when I look at this picture, I see a perfect frame of a beautiful world captured by a person in the most imperfect state of mind, fighting her inner demons.

(195 words)

This is the twelfth and last post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the previous eleven posts here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Our World’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Occupying a corner of my heart

Delhi is the first city that gave me a feeling of responsibility that comes along with freedom. I had spent three years at the Presidency College Girls hostel in Kolkata during my graduation. But, in 2002, when I moved out to Delhi for my first post-graduation, it was also for the first time that I realized the state of being very far away from home. During my two-years stay there, I made some wonderful friends and was exposed to multiple cultures, languages, cuisines, and festivals.

My friend Alexa
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

After moving out to Bangalore in 2004, I never had a chance to return back here. Two months back, my husband had an opportunity to visit the city for his official work. Knowing my attachment to Delhi, he booked tickets for both the toddler and me. When we checked into the Taj hotel property, little did I expect the room to become a personal favorite! It wasn’t just the huge glass window pane that provided a gorgeous view of the Delhi sky but also the corner of the room dedicated as a working space that stole my heart. In the game of peek-a-boo between light and darkness, I sat down to write my second detective thriller.

(199 words)

This is the ninth post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the seventh flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the eighth one here. For the first six posts, you can click here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Light and Dark’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Mesmerized by the beauty of nature

My son has been traveling since he was 1.5 months old. We have taken him to various beach destinations. But I have always loved mountains a little more than the sea. Last October, after he turned two, my husband and I came up with the idea of a vacation to Shillong and Cherrapunji. Our memorable stay at Ri Kynjai resort, opposite Umiam Lake was followed up by the experience of walking among the clouds in Cherrapunji. The boy loved everything about the trip.

Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This picture was taken on the way during our road trip from Shillong to Cherrapunji. The windswept Kansh grass caught my attention. I stopped the car and walked outside to get soaked in the beauty of nature. A small house surrounded by hills and slopes was a soothing sight. I stood transfixed for a while before capturing this moment through my lens. This picture is no less than frozen memories of witnessing nature’s beauty at its best for me.

(161 words)

This is the sixth post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the fourth flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the fifth one here. For the first three posts, you can click here.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

The history and mystery surrounding the steps

This January, I decided to work on a travel diary based on the rich historical background of my home district Murshidabad in Bengal. I had moved out of my hometown Berhampore in 1999 for higher studies. For sixteen long years, I stayed in different cities owing to education and job assignments. When we moved back in 2016, Kolkata had become our new home. In the backyard of my memories, Murshidabad always had a strong influence. I extended my stay at my in-laws for a month this time. Every alternate day, I visited places of historical significance in Murshidabad to understand the folklore surrounding it, read up history books, listened to a tourist guide’s version of its history and clicked numerous snaps. This series formed a part of my BlogchatterA2Z challenge based on the theme ‘A dollop of Bengal”(letters H – M).

This photo was clicked at Nasipur Rajbari (Palace). This palace used to be the court of Debi Singha – the tax collector (in)famous for his atrocities towards the poor. A portion of this property has now been converted into an art museum and library. These steps with a tainted history of bloodshed and pain evoked a feeling of eeriness in me.

(198 words)

When the steps decide between right and wrong
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This is the third post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the second one here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Backyard’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Lift me up as I touch the zenith of joy

My husband (T) and my toddler (also T) are the best of friends. Senior T is posted in a city far away from Kolkata. He travels back to the city only over the weekends. Whenever Senior T is at home, Junior T doesn’t leave him even for a minute. With the onset of monsoon seasons, Junior T has been suffering from recurring viral fever. A couple of weeks back, he was still in the recovery process and had been missing his father a lot. His father decided to surprise him by turning up a day earlier than usual. On spotting his father after waking up, the surprised toddler jumped on him out of joy while senior T instantly lifted him up higher leading to a moment worth capturing.

Lift me up as I recah the zenith of joy
The father-son reunion

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Lift’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

Thirty things that bring happiness to my life

wowbadge
WOW Post badge

If someone asks me what makes me happy, I can probably recollect only a couple of things that really make me feel like I’m on top of the world. But till date, I have never really sat down and listed them. This prompt gave me an opportunity to take a break from the usual routine and reflect instead. I started remembering moments, people and things that made me happy. So here’s my most precious thirty –

30-things-that-make-you-happy
30 things that make you happy – BlogAdda WOW prompt
  • The three men in my life

My toddler, my husband and my father bring out the best in me. I am the happiest when I am around them. Spending time with my father, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and cuddling my toddler always bring a smile to my face. Also, the story time that I have with my toddler before he sleeps every night last is our moment of togetherness and bonding.

  • Friends

I have a handful of friends but I am grateful for their presence in my life. Conversations with them really lift up my spirits.

  • Writing

I quit my job as a Banker to chase my passion for writing last year. And till date, I consider this to be the best decision of my life. When I write, I am the happiest.

  • The tag of a published author

This year in the month of May, I published my debut novella ‘Deal of Death’ on the Blogchatter platform. Until then I was a blogger but this opportunity made me an author. While I am still giving it finishing touches before putting it up on Amazon, I will always consider the moment of transitioning into a published author as one of the happiest ones of my life.

  • Rains

I love the rainy season, especially if I have the option to stay indoors. The smell of the earth after rains is probably one of my most favorite ones.

  • Books

Purchasing and reading them, especially thrillers gives me a high. I am still orthodox in the way I read my books. I prefer to hold them while reading instead of the e-book version. Also, the smell of a new book is beautiful.

Continue reading “Thirty things that bring happiness to my life”