Oriental Peace of Mind

While travelling through the Orient, you cant help but notice the affinity the people have towards inner peace. Nobody needs to tell you about it, for actions do speak louder than words. From the moment you set foot off the subway, all along your journey you will notice the love the people have for nature.

I honestly felt that people in the Orient are far happier than in India. It probably has a lot to do with the climate too I guess. Nobody would prefer to be out at noon in the blistering heat! Whereas the climate in northern China is extremely pleasant during autumn and its literally a paradise.

I saw many people performing Tai Chi, in the gardens with soulful music playing in the background. People were happy to be all by themselves in the lush green lawn. The atmosphere was peaceful and I saw many people smiling and at peace.

I was delighted to be able to experience such a beautiful feeling. I see that the Oriental people do take massive efforts in keeping their traditions and customs alive. I absolutely love that about them. The astounding wisdom they posses about healing themselves from within is admirable. For they practice tai chi with dedication and love, its a transcended lifestyle.

The young, the not so young, almost everyone absolutely enjoys tai chi. It’s a great form of relaxation and I guess that the elixir of peace. For no matter how many hours you spend at the gym, it’s the soul we need to fix in the first place.

Inner tranquility is of prime importance, to be in harmony with our outer self.

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Infinity and Beyond!

I had seen infinity pools only in movies and pictures up until I visited the Maldives. I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the infinity pools at one of the worlds best locations ever! What a way to start – in fact it was a fabulous opening to an endless experience of infinity swimming.

The view is picturesque, a postcard panoramic view, of immaculate Beauty. Every single expanse of the beach is an epitome of pristine beauty. I dint expect to see this view, because my imagination or assumption of how the infinity pool would look completely failed me 🙂

I reached in time for the sunset, the fragrance from the lounge nearby was infused in the atmosphere around the pool. Now every time I smell the sweet fragrance of Grapefruit, it reminds me of the view I saw that day.

Studies suggest that the Olfaction – sence of smell, located in the Hippocampus of the brain has strong ties to the area where memory is stored. Odor information is stored in the long-term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. It’s the same when I smell a particular perfume as well 🙂

The water was warm, calm, soothing and I had the whole pool to myself that day. I saw the sunset, immersed in the warm equatorial waters, the deep blue sky, and the coconut palms reflecting in the pool. I was swimming and admiring the view, I witnessed the transition of the deep blue sky inching towards twilight, the sky a deep orange-red and the big fire-ball was ready for the days spectacular show!

The reminiscence of the Infinity Pool could only improve over time. This pool strategically placed here makes every soul entering the waters smile, takes their imagination to Infinity & Beyond.

Gardens at the Lama Temple – é›Ťĺ’Śĺ®®

Beijing witnesses immense colorful foliage during autumn. I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of colors, being splashed by the canopy of tress. It’s like an artist decided he would paint each boulevard with a different shade of green or with various shades ranging from yellow to red.

The lush green foliage of early Autumn is refreshing and looks exuberant. Not only does the canopy of the trees provide solace from the sunlight, but it also is a splendid delight to any onlooker. The vivid colors fill you with a sense of calm & imbibes a sense of appreciation towards the wonders of nature.

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Lush green canopy adorns the boulevard at the Lama Temple.

When I walked along the Boulevard at the Lama Temple – i could not resist but notice the lush green foliage at the immaculately manicured garden. The strategically placed tress along the path, with brown trunks had centuries of stories embedded in them. It looked as though several years ago a gardener with an immense foresight was meticulous in designing the landscape, and visualized how the imperial gardens would eventually span out over the decades.

CanopyAutumn Colors at the Tibetan Lama Temple.

Apart from the enticing 16th century architecture – these colored luscious trees effortlessly draw the attention of the photographers and nature lovers.The birds camoflaged within the foliage, make a surprise appearance. The chirping of the  birds is music to the ears, the version of the songs they sing take prominence over the faint but persistent chants resonating all around.

Lantern

Giving is extremely healing to the soul. Transferring an object without the expectation of receiving anything in return, the act of giving itself, is altruistic. In fact, it has a healing streak and feels peaceful. I once read that you gain by giving rather than receiving. I never quite understood this – how could I gain by giving away something?

As the days went by, I realized that the feeling of altruism associated with giving is much more valuable and therapeutic than collecting things from others and keeping a vicious tab of the people who owe you!

When I first started giving I sensed I felt happier. You could gift someone just to bring a smile, as there is nothing more beautiful than the feeling that you are responsible for that joy. 🙂 Pleasantly surprising someone with a bunch of flowers could make their day. It would be wonderful to see their reaction, astonishment mixed with surprise & gratitude.

My friend Guitanyali gave me this beautiful lantern, it looks beautiful, it is artistic and I loved the detailed artwork of dried flowers on the lantern. It is simple yet elegant, beautifully handcrafted at the ends with handloom twines. The warm, bright yellow incandescent lamp illuminating from within, radiates beauty, warmth, and an undying sense of affection with which it was passed on to me.

When you give a token of appreciation in the form of a thoughtful gift, you can sense the positivity the inanimate object brings to life. For, even after years I can feel the genuine warmth, love and affection that was passed on to me – what better way than to seal these beautiful gestures in the form of a lantern?

This lamp doesn’t just adorn my balcony, but also brings a smile to every passerby on the street as they slow down to see the yellow fire like glow radiating from within. This lamp invokes the element of creativity in me. As I write, I have a desire to try to emulate this piece of art 🙂

It lights up the house and radiates love, warmth and affection. I have a thing for fine art & this is one among them. A lamp is always the winning horse when it comes to light up my life!

Ever wonder what could be an ideal gift to someone special? A friend you appreciate? A neighbor you want to express your gratitude to? A simple, elegant and beautiful lamp would be a good choice.

Dream Wedding

Every since I was young, I remember plotting the scene for an ideal wedding. This was a plot that would keep improvising every few days, the ideas effervescent and minute details would be prominent game changers in the theme. The girls would  gather around the dressing table and we would try new hairstyles, and drape a secretly acquired white wedding veil. We would actually be so happy to pretend to be brides. 

As the days went by, we eventually saw destination weddings  through several media networks. We would all sit around and discuss our own version of the imaginary wedding in our minds. 

From the fairy tales to weddings in the family, it was always a dreamy affair. This was a topic that was always a matter of constant R&D. 

When I saw for real, what a beach wedding looked like, the documentaries aired on the telly suddenly transformed into a live play. A bride radiant on her wedding day, the glow on her face could not be emulated by any make up artist, the immaculate wedding gown draped around her chiseled body, the groom setting up the tripod to capture a private moment – all of it was a total bliss to anyone looking at them. 



A alter on the beach, awaiting the arrival of the Bride & Groom.

It was scenic, elegant, simple, the couple laying on the beach posing for the camera in complete bliss, provoked every passerby to smile, every person walking on the sugar sands would only wish the best for the couple on a day they would cherish forever. 

Cultural Splash in Beijing – ĺŚ—京市

Beijing the capital of China, is the nation’s Political, Educational and Cultural capital. Located in Northern China, Beijing literally means Northern Capital. The name was coined during the Ming Dynasty to distinguish the city from Nanjing, the southern capital.

Before I could land in Beijing, I did a through detailed study of the Subway lines, cross  checked the interchange station & which station to get off at. The airport transfer train is very efficient, it was effortless to reach my Travellers Hostel at Qienmein.

The moment I got off at the Qienmein station – I was pretty surprised by what I saw! Just outside the station, a group of small kids were warming up for their early morning classes of Kung Fu. I was not expecting this – I wanted to see a scene like this but dint actually expect to see this the moment I set foot in the city. I was ecstatic to see this scene. I next saw a guy, practicing some lethal kung fu chops on a tree trunk! As I approached him, he saw that I was a tourist and needed help and greeted me with a warm NiHao. I showed him the address on my phone and he guided me with the best sign language there is! He instructed me to cross the street, walk up to the signal lights and take a right turn 🙂

Coming from a tropical country like India, low temperatures never fail to amuse me. It calms me and brings a smile no matter what. The people were totally amused to see a non-Chinese walking admist them. I got several second looks. I even saw a child run up to his friends and they came to see me 🙂 LOL

My first morning in Beijing was by far the most memorable. It filled me with a sense of calm and comfort. I was not apprehensive at all, I strangely felt safe in a foreign land and I absolutely loved the city.

I stayed at a Hutong – a traditional courtyard residence. My days in the hutongs of Beijing were beautiful, the days bustling with eateries, serving steaming hot dumplings, the nights alight with people walking about, pleasant music playing in Hutongs, the residents out in the courtyard enjoying a game of badminton. Several evenings I would sit on a patio at the hutong with a smile, immense gratitude in my heart to be able to witness a beautiful cultural interaction such as this.

Beijing is rich in the Cultural heritage and you can immerse yourself in the various flavors the city generously offers.

Tsongmo Lake

While in India, if ever one needs to witness a gorgeous untouched marvel of nature, the place is Sikkim. From the moment you enter Sikkim you will see its a place so different from others. The army administrative folks are organised, your ID and travel documents thoroughly checked, shoes you walk on & the tires of the vehicle are disinfected.

This is a serene place, climate cool and pleasant, I say that because I love it when it’s slightly cold and not too hot. I love places that have a strong Buddhist influence too. People went about their daily routine with a smile, the atmosphere relaxed and calm. The whole area has an aura of positivity.

Tsongmo Lake is one of the delights Sikkim has to offer. Its en route the Natula Pass, the famous Silk Route connecting India to China. The Chinese border is just 5kms away! The terrain to scale the Nathula Pass is an adventure, famously built by the BRO – Border Road Organisation & they are mighty proud of it. The army has a camp at the Nathula and their base camp is at the Lake Tsongmo.

The lake is immaculate, pristine and untouched. I love the fact that it is so damn clean and pure. It is a very famous glacial lake and the view is breathtaking. We were staring at the lake and its beauty despite the biting cold for over an hour. As you wait, there are Yaks you could take rides on, and lovely dumplings to savor just off the streamer.

Sikkim is a beautiful state and its capital Gangtok is very well planned. I loved the main shopping area, MG Road where the traffic is cut off, to enable people to walk about and there are benches installed in the middle of the road, with gorgeous flowers from hanging pots and Gangtok has beautiful parks.

Its a place one has to visit to witness this beauty & to relax your mind.