The Essence Of A Woman

One of the questions most often asked in any beauty pageant is, “What is the essence of a woman.” So when I had a chance to be a part of a beauty pageant I wanted to get the answer just right. The wheels in my mind worked overtime and had me thinking – “Is it right to lay down the parameters within which a woman has to define and prove her being? Is it not enough that she is a person who is what she is? But then I realised that it was my thinking that needed a little adjustment. The thought behind the question was actually to understand what makes a woman stand separate from a man. Well yes, any fool could say her physical appearance, in fact, that is the first statement which anyone would make. So yes, she is a woman and so physically she has feminine attributes. And alas, she has much more than just that.


The essence of a woman does not lie in what she looks neither does it lie in what she lets others see. Her essence lies in her soul. She is warm and caring, yet fierce and strong. She is tender and sentimental yet trusting and loving. She is an innocent girl at heart who will always be her fathers princess. She is a devoted friend and wife who will always be there no matter what. She is a mother who teaches caring and sharing, falling and standing, loving and letting go.

A woman is a pool of emotions. She has her highs and lows just like any man. And she is definitely more sentimental. She believes in cleansing her soul through tears so that she can start afresh. Letting go, regrouping and starting anew is her second nature. Life and society binds her tightly in invisible bonds that define the various roles that she plays but grace and compassion still bear her name. Her essence is her very nature and all that she encompasses. She is the balance of a family and the building block of society. Her true essence is her strength of character which is tested time and again.

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Kannur – A Gem Of Kerala

Holidays are meant for good times and enjoyment. And when hills are your home, the beaches are bound to be your holiday destination of choice. So searching for a place to unwind and relax was a no-brainer.

Almost 235 km away from Wellington via NH181 and 260 Kms via NH66, in the Gods Own Country lies a hidden gem known as Kannur. As a holiday destination and vacation spot it is bound to bewitch and amaze you with its pristine beaches and awe inspiring views. If you are looking for a place like Goa sans the overflowing tourists, shacks on beaches and over budget resorts, then your search for some peace and tranquility should lead you here. It is a perfect place for spending quality time with friends and family.

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Also known as Cannanore during the British rule, this beautiful place has a rich and vibrant history. As one of the three most important cities of the western part of the Indian sub-continent, Kannur was not only an important trading center but also served as the headquarters of the British Military on the western coast of India until 1887. The old city of Kannur was ruled by Arakkal Sultanante, the only Muslim Royal Dynasty of Kerala, while its adjoining areas were under the rule of the Kolathiri Kings.

Today  St. Angelo’s Fort is the only standing witness to the immense history of Kannur. Overlooking the magnificent  Arabian Sea, the fort is built on a cliff by the side of Mapila Bay. It was built by the first Portuguese Viceroy of India, Dom Francisco de Almeida, in 1505.

  

  

The fort houses an epitaph of Susanna Weyerman who was the wife of the Dutch Governor Godfried Weyerman . She died on 28th March 1745 A.D. and was just seventeen and half years at the time of death.

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Coming back to the nearby attractions of Kannur, in the present time, one cannot miss the drive in beach that is at Muzhappilangad, a mere 14 km away from Kannur. This unique beach, and only one of its kind in India, is located between Kannur and Thalassery. Driving your vehicle on the beach with the Arabian Sea lapping beneath your wheels is an absolutely thrilling experience. During low tide one can cover a distance of approximately 5 km driving on the beach.

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If you are looking for recommendation of a resort for staying then try the Club7 Beach Resort on Kizhunna Beach. Its only drawback is a hardly 50 mts stretch of bumpy mud road that finally leads to the resort. Apart from that little detail, the place offers complete value for money accommodation. Cleanliness is at its best, the food is appetizing and good and the staff is extremely pleasant and friendly. And the best part is that the beach is just 30 steps away from the resort.

 

So next time when you decide to plan a beach holiday, don’t just rush to Goa. There is much more that our incredible country has to offer. Searching out these hidden gems will not only make your vacations more exotic but pleasurable as well. Kannur is just a proof that good holidays can be had within the limits of a tight budget.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY VACATIONS!

 

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The Wicked Mother-In-Law

Very often I have wondered – “Why is it that the mother-in-law is wicked? And how come your own mother is the best in the whole wide world, even if she is somebody else’s mother-in-law? Aren’t we just prejudiced based on what our mothers suffered and carry it somewhere in our hearts”?

Out of sheer curiosity I studied the dynamics between the partners of this so called abusive and repulsive relationship. My friends and their respective wicked mother-in-law’s or maybe I should say monster-in-law’s were my unsuspecting subjects. So first and foremost, I want to apologise to them for digging in their lives, but fear not as I do not mention any names. This article is just a report of my findings.

Mostly, a monster-in-law does truly exist BUT only in the mind of a bitchy daughter-in-law. The culprit here is not just one party but both. This is because neither wants to apologise. Sometimes I wonder how a small word like “sorry” can be so difficult to utter. The plain and simple reason is “Ego”. Once ego comes into play its all a downhill road from there on. Neither person is willing to accept defeat and what ensues is an ugly war of words.

Power play is yet another reason that leads to the downfall of this relationship. And the poor victim in this epic clash of titans is the son or the husband (depending on which party you represent). I really fail to understand how todays women can even think of playing this tug-of-war. It’s like asking the man to choose between food and water. In any scenario the result will be death by either starvation or dehydration for the unsuspecting man.

To conclude, a little understanding from both parties will go a long way in establishing a loving and warm relationship. And yes, there do exist a handful of mother-in-laws who are real monsters but they are just that, too few, to paint all others in the same colour. So keep an open mind and don’t take offence at every minute detail. Also remember that your husband is not asking you to choose between your own mother and him so why put him through this wringer.

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A Note To Myself

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When I was young, a teenager, I had many dreams. I wanted a career, wished to travel and see the world, hoped to do whatever I wanted to without a single care. Now that I am grown and more mature, I realize my naivety. Had I been a man most of what I dreamt could have been easy to achieve or at-least work towards. As a woman I comprehend that my upbringing and society has laid such invisible chains around me that it is impossible to break through.

Once I started working I knew that I was not much of a career woman. Although, while I worked I delivered my best I also came to figure out that my soul was a wanderer and as such my heart was never into becoming a full time professional. So, post marriage giving up my job was one of the easiest decisions that I had to make.

As life went ahead, I was blessed with two children. I got to travel some, even though within the country, the places were new and the experiences enlightening. In all, I was happy and satisfied. At first I had no clue that something was missing, but the unrest within started becoming more and more obvious as each day passed. Maybe the fact that my youngest one too would be starting school very soon had me wondering what I would do with all the time on my hands. My irritation and frustration with life started reflecting in my behavior. I could not blame anyone else for my decisions as they were my own. It was time to change.

Change never comes on its own, you have to work towards it, a step at a time. I started looking for work that I could do in my free time without overlooking my family and its needs. The search was frustrating. With so many websites offering work from home opportunities, I never knew which were real and which frauds were. Finally, after months of searching my efforts paid off and I started working as a freelance content writer. The initial hiccups wanted me to just give up, sit back and have a good cry. A quitter I am not, so I decided to take the bull by the horns. By no account were my earnings even satisfactory, but I was not in it for money. I was working so as to make myself feel more useful , productive and important. My work made me feel valued and needed.

As life tends to do quite often, it sent me in a tailspin yet again and I had to give up my job temporarily. And yet my short stint in freelancing has made me more aware of how pivotal a person I am when it comes to my family.

A note to myself :

“I might not have seen the whole world yet, but I still have time. There is a long way ahead and my family needs me more. They may not show it every day in words or action how I bind them but my absence makes them feel lost and unprepared. I might not be happy everyday but most days I am so why just concentrate on those few bad days. I am important and my work as a homemaker is more important than any other job in the world. Tomorrow will be a bright, new and shiny day and will bring a whole horde of new opportunities. I just have to grasp them when they cross my path. Life shall go on and I will have to remember each day that staying at home does not make me any less important … still a little appreciation now and then would go a long way in making my days even brighter”.

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Silence Under The Blue Sky – Book Review


Usually I don’t do book reviews, but sometimes your conscious just forces you. One such push came from my conscious when I read “Silence – Under The Blue Sky”. First and foremost, let me tell you that “Under The Blue Sky” is a series that reflects the lives of the men and women in Blue – the Indian Air Force.

“Silence” is a true story of resilience and the indomitable spirit of a lady in Blue. It is an account of incredible misfortune and the battling soul of an air warrior. This true story arises the feelings of compassion and empathy but never pity.

The premise of this story is set against the backdrop of an unfortunate incident, wherein, two helicopters of the IAF had a mid-air collision on 30 August 2012, at Jamnagar. It was fatal and there were no survivors.

The author, Rajlakshmi Prithviraj, recounts her ordeal and the unconditional support and respect that she got from her extended family of the IAF. A small peek into the future tells us of her aspirations for her children. Her strength of character and dedication for the organisation is eminent in each and every word. She is a pillar of strength and a woman of infallible spirit. All she wants in life is respect and a chance to live it on her own terms, without being judged.

I have had the good fortune of knowing her as well as her husband and let me tell you that the lady today is no different. Her twinkling eyes and ever present smile are always there to make you feel at ease. I do not use the term “late” for her husband as he continues to live in her thoughts and memories. The only thing different, now, is my respect for her and the love of her life – her sweetheart, her husband.

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Shopping Therapy – Changing Parameters 

 

Just like bread was meant to be buttered, women were meant for shopping. If cooking is not your forte then understand the paradigm by, “what cardio is to men, shopping is to women”.They are most happy and content when their inner shopping beast is satisfied. To that extent it is mandatory for ever husband and boyfriend to bear in mind that – Men go shopping to buy what they want, while women go shopping to know what they want. 

There was a time not so long ago in our history when going to the market was the only way possible to harass both the husband and the shopkeeper, in equal measure. But somebody up there was not happy with this approach. They thought if the men folk have to suffer so much then why not let them be in a place where they do not have to bear the indignity of public embarrassment and hence decided to bring about the existence of E-commerce. Now the suffering of the the male human mortals is restricted to their diminishing bank balance. The main dilemma, for the women now, is which website is the best and offers the most competitive prices. Obviously online shopping does not give the satisfaction of haranguing the seller until, in the literal sense, he drops down on his knees and begs for mercy. In other words, you make bhaiya (brother) and padosi (neighbour) of him so that he agrees to your prices.

If the lady cannot pester the website then what can she do to satisfy her fast talking beast? The answer is very apparent – obviously, torment the customer service executives. This harassing can range from ranting over pricey products to not having good enough variety, colour mis-match to quality deterioration. In all, the aim is to let the website know that by gracing them with your presence you are indeed offering a big service to their flagging image.

On a serious note, gone are the days of visiting markets and running shop to shop trying to find that elusive item on your shopping list. Everything is now at your disposal and just a click away. All you need is the arsenal of Internet banking or credit card login ID and password. The best thing is that shopping can now be done at any time and from any place. There are no working hours as websites operate 24×7 and there is no inconvenience of travelling. You can shop in your most rudimentary and comfortable attire and yet there is no one around to judge you based on how you dress and carry yourself. All you need is an Internet connection and Voila! You are all set to SHOP TILL YOU DROP!!!

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The Joy Ride In Toy Train

A quaint little station, nestled in the heart of Nilgiris, surrounded by lush greenery and architecture right out of the British era – this is how one aptly describes the Wellington Railway Station. It is a tiny station that reminds you of the old world charm. Usually quiet and draped in nonentity the station fails to attract much attention. But all that changes as the train whistle is heard coming closer and closer. The gentle rumbling sound of the train is an omen for the station to leave behind its lethargy and come to life. The excitement in one and all present at the station, be it old or young is equally eminent and contagious.

The Blue colored toy train graces the Wellington Railway Station with just one minute of stoppage. But the entire staff on board is extremely helpful and will get you seated before the train moves forth. The train itself is a reminder of the fact that journey in hills is best enjoyed through wide eyes and open windows.

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As the train chugs onward from the Wellington Railway Station, a little cheer goes up from the crowd as the true journey into the Nilgiris actually begins now. Between Wellington and Ooty the train stops at Aravankadu, Ketti and Lovedale respectively. The spread of nature that is presented before eyes is breathtaking and awe inspiring. Small hamlets, green tea gardens, tall trees and dense foliage presents an interesting collage of different shades of green with a splatter of colors thrown here and there. The rolling landscape is not only pleasing to the eye but refreshes the soul as well with its abundance of beauty. At every curve and bend, the entire length of the train can be seen easily. This makes for many little heads popping out of the windows.

Before reaching Ooty the train passes through two tunnels. The sudden darkness encountered is evaded by the twinkling yellow lights in the interior of the toy train. For kids especially, this aspect of the journey is most beguiling. The slow climb uphill is hardly felt barring the dropping temperatures.

 

When the journey is exciting, adventure is bound to happen. Our adventure commenced at the Wellington Railway Station itself where we (me, my mother-in-law, my friend and our four kids) came to know that the train was coming full and we might not get tickets. The children were upset and disheartened to hear that. But thankfully, our guardian angels were doing overtime and hence saved the day for us. To top it all, the children managed to find window seats where there were none available. The moment we reached Ooty, we saw a never ending line of people already waiting to board the train. Alas by now our angels were also tired and decided to call it a day.

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The next order of business was to find transport back to Wellington. Stepping out of the Ooty Railway Station we saw the bus stop just across the road. Armed with the knowledge of English we identified a nearly empty bus leaving for Coonoor. Our ride back in the local state transport bus was much quicker. At Coonoor we hailed an auto rickshaw to take us till Wellington. Once there we retrieved our parked car and went home with lighter bags ( since the children had managed to make extensive headway into the stash of snacks) and tired children.

 

Our joy ride in the toy train had become a lesson for our kids in the different kinds of transport on wheels. We started from the train and moved to a bus, an auto rickshaw and finally a car. But come what may, the excitement in children for the toy train remains unfazed. They want to go travel in it one more time (although not necessarily the last one). Through their never ending enthusiasm and eagerness, we too shall live our childhood once again.

 

Give me some sunshine,

Give me some rain,

Give me another chance,

I want to grow up once again.

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