Solo-tripping across Sikkim!

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Earlier this year, I decided to embark upon a new adventure – a solo trip to Sikkim!
My 15 day journey involved hopping in and out of shared jeeps, switching multiple trains, living in home-stays and budget accommodations, experiencing nature in all its glory, meeting the most amazing people and gorging on the most delicious food! To call the experience exhilarating would be an understatement.

I would be lying if I said that I was not apprehensive about travelling alone. But having successfully managed to complete the trip all by myself, I am filled with a sense of liberty and independence! Travelling alone has filled me with a sense of empowerment and also helped me connect with myself in so many ways. I took so many decisions that I never thought I could take, and discovered the courage that I never thought I could possess. Most importantly, travelling alone helped me truly appreciate the significance and culture of the place.

Needless to say, I will be writing extensively about my experiences in Sikkim. However, to begin with, I would like to share with you a brief interview that Breakfree Journeys conducted with me to know more about my experience as a female solo-traveller. It gave me a great platform to share (a part of) my experience, apprehensions, preparation and thoughts at the time of travel; And I would love to share it with you!
So here’s the link:

http://breakfreejourneys.com/conversation-kalindi-manek-travelling-solo-sikkim/#

Will soon update this space with more stories from visit to Sikkim 🙂

 

Distance

It is a relaxed Saturday evening, just the way it should be. With pretty much nothing to do, but recuperate from the effects of a long and tiring week, I wait to hear from my brother who is out on a holiday. Even as I wait for him to text me of his whereabouts, I find my fingers slipping on to the Facebook app on my mobile phone and even before I know it, I am browsing through my brother’s profile on Facebook.

Distance makes the heart grow fonder.

I feel an inexplicable urge to know more about his college life. I want to see the posts that he has been sharing. I find myself wanting to know who his new friends are. I want to read all the comments on his posts to see what his friends talk about. I find myself eagerly running through his timeline – wanting to read about events scheduled to happen at his college.. or maybe about something funny that happened during a lecture that are all joking about..or some mention about something that they’re all looking forward to. I continue to browse further, with lighted eyes, hopeful of finding a photo or two of him with friends. I can sense myself trying to look for indications that he is indeed having a good time away from home.

I find myself yearning to know how he spends his time there – Which part of the campus is he staying on, what his new room looks like, how many more dogs has he petted in his campus, who are these new friends whose names keep appearing on his timeline – and suddenly I am flooded with a strange emotion. How does he feel about all of us back home? I want to know if he feels homesick sometimes…or at all. I am also trying to look for ways to confirm that misses our ‘ghar ka khaana’ 🙂

It’s funny how just a Facebook profile can invoke so many thoughts inside my head. Until a few years back, every time I saw my friends get too emotional while seeing off their siblings, I couldn’t really understand what the fuss was about. But I did find myself weeping away after seeing my brother off at his hostel for the first time. So I guess I do have a fair amount of clarity about what a big deal it is to part ways with your sibling just when you’re beginning to develop a bond with him and getting to know him better.

Even as I finish with my endevour to try and keep updated with all the happenings in his life, I realise that distance does make the heart grow fonder… and Facebook helps me confirm that 🙂

Alive and kicking! :D

Hello All!

I know I have been terribly late with this blog update.
I know I haven’t filled this space in the longest time (The blog archive speaks for itself).
I know I have had this writer’s block. Again.

It has been very disappointing for me, too…not writing and all.
So here I am, filling you in with all the happenings of the last two months and letting you know that I *am* very much alive, and kicking! 😉

So while I was combating the writer’s block, there was another form of creativity that I (re)ventured into – Art.
Having not touched a paint-brush or crayons or paints for almost six years now, taking to art was a welcome change!
I could feel the creativity inside me and even after all this while and it just made me so happy to get back to doing something that I always loved back in my school days!

I ain’t no photographer (which means the photos are unedited and badly clicked), but here are a few photos of what I managed to do during the last few days! Dekko Dekko!

 

My first work, after six long years :)

My first work, after six long years 🙂

 

 

A mug and a marker is all you need!

A mug and a marker is all you need!

 

 

And finally...diwali cards and goodies!

And finally…diwali cards and goodies!

 

 

So maybe you should try getting back to doing something that you really loved, once upon a time? A few years back, or maybe when you were a kid? Cooking, sewing, playing a sport that you no longer play, photography, feeding stray animals…just about anything!
Because when you do that, the flow of creativity will be unhindered…and the happiness that you feel will be real! 🙂

 

Creatively, until next time (which will be soon!)
Kalindi

Sleep!

sleep

 

Every day, hour after hour
you travel, you pray, you eat, you talk, you study, you work.
But sometime, take the time
and sleep…because
that is when you meet yourself
you meet the real you..
No false promises, no fake smiles, no pretense
no worries about how you’re dressed
or if your shoes match.
sleep…because
that is the window to your soul
and you know
who you are and what you want.

 

And I think you should sleep…because
that is when your thoughts come alive
your thoughts and feelings, yes the very ones that you had buried
deep, deep inside the darkest corner of your heart.
Sleep…because
suddenly, your life has meaning
you are in your truest form
unconscious, but yet so full of awareness
and your body,
it thanks you for the love and the peace.

 

Sleep…because
that is when you dream from your heart
you dream every dream
no you don’t analyse how it is
big or small, meaningful or meaningless, happy or not
you just dream
because every dream is in its purest form
Sleep…because
it gives you the courage you always lacked
and you dream
and you hope for your dreams to come true
if not all, then at least one.

 

Sleep…because
it stops your head from racing
temporary, but it is rare
it gives you the solace you sometimes crave
Sleep…because
it teaches you
that after every night,
there will always be another day.
Live  in the present, 
for just like your dreams,
the past, no matter how good or bad,
you will always forget.

Late…

He rushed out of the bathroom.  Five past nine. Gosh! He was late.
He couldn’t miss meeting her today. It was an important day at work, but she was his lucky charm. He glanced at the clock from the corner of his eye as he brushed his hair.
9:15!! Time was flying today…faster than it usually did. But then time always played these sly games with him every time he had to meet her. Conspirator!
He couldn’t be late today, no. She hardly ever waited for him. She had left him and gone alone in the last two days. He couldn’t make it three days in a row. No, he just couldn’t.

The wall clock seemed to be glaring at him, as he began to hunt for a decent pair of socks. 9:25! Shoot. Why did hostel life have to be so messy? He made a mental note to clean the room up and re-arrange his cupboard. Grabbing his bag and the keys, he raced out of the building.
9:28. He was too late for his daily share-a-cab routine, he realised. He’d have to hail a private cab. Over-budget by Rs.10 early in the morning, he thought. Sigh. These calculations always played at the back of his mind. He hated it.

He briefly glanced at the sea that he was used to seeing. Perhaps the only posh thing about his hostel was its location. He couldn’t help but think about her as he continued gazing at the vast expanse of blue water on his left. Honestly, her usual maroon-red dress code was so repetitive. He was bored. He hoped to see her in another attire sometime.
9:35! Oh no! This Pizza by the Bay traffic signal always played a foul game with him. Hmpf. He’d have definitely jumped the signal had he been driving, the angry thought occurred to him. Maybe that is why he wasn’t, he smiled to himself.

9:37. He was racing against time. As he waded through the sea of office goers at Churchgate station, his head was throbbing, too. Will she be there, or won’t she? Will she? Won’t she?
Running past the overly crowded ticket counter, he stopped abruptly to look for her. Panting, he was trying to suck in all the oxygen he possibly could. But the strong aroma of coffee made it so difficult for him to breathe. His shirt dripping with sweat, he stood there. Defeated. Still panting. Bending to hold his knees.
She had left.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Andheri ke liye 9 bajhkar 38 minute ki 12 dibbon ki jalad local aaj deri se chal rahi hai. Yaatriyon ko hone waali asuvidha ke liye hume khed hai. (The 12 coach fast local for Andheri, leaving at 9hrs and 38minutes is running late today. Inconvenience caused to passengers is highly regretted Continue reading

Life and Death

The tired eyes looked around
Hatred and darkness was all they found
To be alive again, was his only cry
Was it that difficult a task for God, he’d always sigh

“You can stay here or get back your life;
But be wise, for your decision can end in strife
The world is here for you to see with your eyes
Be careful, for what you see may be less of truth and more of lies”

The tiny eyes looked around expectantly with a spark
Had the world lost its light? Or was it really so dark?
What made the man kill another man?
Had they forgotten each other while each for his ambition ran?

Crumbling was the relationship between mother and child
Here was a world where nobody was nice and no one kind
All he could see was battle scars
Everything was mine, nothing was ours

The weary eyes still looked about
In case a deed of goodness, they could manage to spot
A choice they had to make on that night
But all they could see, was dejection and fright

There was an option, there was a choice
But deep down inside, he heard that one voice
“Do not pity the dead, pity the living”, was all He said
“Do you wish to live a life that you already dread?”

This is a poem I wrote for The Rotaract Club Of NM College (RCNM’s) October bulletin – And So They Said..
The theme of the poem is based on the quote – “Do not pity the dead, pity the living”, from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I hope you liked it!

Photo credits : http://www.mallady.wordpress.com

The mask.

 

He wears a mask everyday
The mask has now become a part of his face

Meticulously, he plans which one will fit in when and where
The mask is his sole respite and yet, his only friend

The mask knows whether to be happy and when to be sad
It knows just when to be good and when to lay a trap

The mask conceals his feelings and covers his flaws
Doesn’t it make him look perfect? More than he can ever be?

He says that his mask is only for others, only a comrade
What he cannot see is that the mask has made him forget himself.