Thursday, 1 August 2013

Wanderlust diary: Taal Volcano, Philippines

Back from a gorgeous holiday in the Philippines. The food was good, the people were friendly and the views were jaw dropping. Especially on this lake-inside-volcano-inside-another-lake-inside another-volcano, called the Taal Volcano. I know most people would just head to Boracay or Palawan beaches when in Philippines, but I enjoy mountains and greenery more than beaches. I guess it's because I don’t like the sun (blame it on the melanin levels in my skin combined with the scorching summers I have grown up in). I don’t know how to have fun at the beach either – I am too scared of open water and seas.

Back to the holidays, and the volcano, I was quite amazed to see people living in near-permanent houses there, and some developers even building high-rise apartments - all on the ridge of the outer volcano. Taal volcano is an active volcano - the last eruption it saw was in the 1977. Beauty does dazzle you blind!

Monday, 22 July 2013

"A friend that turns its back on the shelf, and still remains a friend"

The answer to the riddle above: Books!

Books were my first love ever. I don’t think I ever liked anything as much as devouring a good book. I read all sorts , but I enjoyed fiction the most. Depending on my age and stage of life, different genres have enthralled me and mesmerized me. I remember I asked my parents to get me a membership to the British Library in my little hometown, given that I was extremely shy and never demanded anything form them. That was the kindling of a relationship that has outlasted every other relationship in my life. Books were my best friends, my mentors, my philosopher and my guide, literally! I could always count on a book to drive away my boredom. I learnt the ways of the world (whatever little I know) through them. Books taught me to dream, to reach out to places in the world which wouldn't have been possible in the otherwise sleepy town that I grew up in. Books inspired me, to step out of the cocoon life that I was brought up in. Books dared me to work harder and aspire higher. Books entertained me, with the rich creative imagination from the minds of the authors.

I carried a big carton of books with me to every part of the world I lived in, sometimes books weighing more than all the other belongings put together. I loved buying books, reading them and displaying them, with pride in my heart that I have seen the world through the eyes of many different people.

My last move across continents (North America to Asia) was time for a reality check, once again. I couldn't be carrying my ever-expanding heaps of books with me everywhere. With a reluctant heart, I bought a Kindle – just to try it out. Of course an electronic device would be no match for the scent of fresh print and the joy of turning pages. As expected, it wasn't. But the one thing I had to admit was that it was practical. Immensely practical and easier and lighter and cheaper. So my love has evolved, from books to eBooks. I still horde books, but only the ones in the e-format. I have taught myself to love the efficiency of spotting a book on the websites, and begin the all too familiar journey of opening Chapter 1 within seconds. It works, and am reading even more now. Still reading, like a wide-eyed school-girl, trying to understand the matrix of the world by resting on the shoulders of the wise and the intellectual, who understand things a wee bit better than I do.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

"The beginning is the most important part of the work" - Plato

Its so hard to make a beginning. There's always something thats not right yet, not perfect yet. Hence we wait, and possibly wait forever. A perfectionist like me needs a reminder now and then that there's an alternative, perhaps a less perfect but happier one.

This is a snapshot of the City Girl's life. The City Girl is a complicated entity. She wants a lot. She wants everything. She wants good clothes. She wants smart shoes. She wants beautiful hair. She wants lots of money! She wants a dazzling career. She wants a house. She wants holidays and travel. She wants to click amazing photos. She wants to play the piano. She wants to swim like a fish. She wants to speak like a dream. She wants to be fit and healthy. She wants to be sharp, and she wants to be soft and feminine. She wants to be elegant and graceful, and lead a luxurious life. She wants to love and be loved. I told you, the list could go on..

She may not have everything, but she tries. She may not know everything, but she learns. City Girl wasn't born one, but she has evolved.