Author Archives: Senbaga Poonguzhali

A Surprise!

Well, it has been more than 2 years since my last post here. Thanks to my ever busy daughter , I did not have a single second to myself, let alone blogging. She is in the happiest, exciting and wonderful phase of her life ( she is just 3 yrs old!) and seeing her grow up has given me and my husband so much happiness! So no regrets for the long absence here.

A surprise meeting of a good friend – a strong, independent woman triggered some of my happy memories. And I just had to blog about it!

This blog has many posts about my life at Ooty. And those who have read them will surely remember the beautiful little house where I lived . It was a chance meeting between the owner and my husband that led to us live in that house. The owner had her own construction business and she had been living in Ooty, for quite some years, with her teen daughter and a faithful dog, Steffy.

She took up residence on the first floor and we had the ground floor. Owing to her daughter’s studies in Coimbatore, she used to visit Ooty during the weekends. She was a strong-willed, independent and a bold woman. She was such a help to us in many ways and her advice helped us a lot during our stay in Ooty. There were some flaws in her too  but then I always saw the better side of a person.

Before she could rent a place in Coimbatore that allowed dogs , she had no other choice but to leave Steffy with us. What happiness it was having that beautiful girl at home! Steffy was an ideal dog. I had  my own dog at that time – Shaggy – a wild fella. Steffy and Shaggy got along well but as Steffy was the senior, Shaggy had to be disciplined most of the times. Steffy was a senior ( almost 12 yrs) and Shaggy was a totally unruly kid ( 6 months). Steffy moved silently and gently through the house while Shaggy was like a runaway wheel.Despite the age gap, the two cuddled up together, shared their food and got along well. I had always dreamed of having dogs running in my house and that dream had become real.  However, my landlady got a house in Coimbatore and soon Steffy moved down with her.

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Steffy

 

I missed ‘Steffy-girl’, her welcome home licks. But there was Shaggy to make up for all that. He drowned me with his love. Life was going good when fate intervened. The husband had to move to Coimbatore for a job transfer. We had to move out of ‘ my dear little home’! A good friend agreed to take in Shaggy as we could not bring him down to Coimbatore. That was the end of one happy phase of my life.

We moved down to Coimbatore in May 2012 and soon got busy with each other’s work. Home – office -home- office – that was the monotonous routine. But then we had another wonderful celebration to look forward to, yes I was expecting! Our little princess came to us on July 2013 and from then on life became been super-duper interesting.

Coming to the present – September 2016 :

I was taking my daughter to the play area in our apartment for her regular evening playtime and guess who I met there? My Landlady of the pretty little house! Whatte a surprise!

Although we got along well with her during our stay in Ooty, the relationship became strained over time. ( I have no idea why this happened!)  The last day in that house was bitter and the last conversation hurt. That was the last time I saw or spoke to her.

I was totally at a loss of words when I saw her and her daughter after all these years. I was not even sure if she would recognise and talk to me. But I made the first move and spoke to her. It was a very formal talk and it lasted not more than 5 minutes. In that small conversation, I managed to find out that Steffy girl was doing well!  But I was flooded with memroies of the ‘ beautiful house’. I am always thankful, grateful to my landlady – the strong, bold woman for being the reason for those happy memories. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and this sudden surprise meet after so many years may not be just to trigger my memories.Who knows?

#FingersCrossed

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Living alongside the Ooty Roses.

When our move to Ooty was confirmed, the first thing that we did was to look out for a cosy house. As it was only the two of us, we were looking for a 1BHK house in a proper residential area within the city. Finally, we fixed one that was located at a walkable distance from the Rose Garden. Unfortunately, this house was too big for us and it was as cold as a refrigerator. We survived there somehow for 3 months when we luckily got another beautiful house. This was a few houses down the old house so we were still in close proximity to the Rose Garden.

Roses reminded me of Daffodils!

It was a bright Sunday morning in February when me ,my husband along with my in-laws walked in to the Rose Garden.As the Ooty season was approaching, the workers were busy cutting, pruning, weeding, watering. I could see every color of a rose!

” Ten thousand saw I at a glance

Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance”

Wordsworth’s daffodils flashed in my inward eye. Every rose was the size of the large saucer and their freshness and fragrance was so bewitching!

Roses and Romance

Inspite of living close to the Roses, me and my husband had never been there except for the first trip with the in-laws. On one of our Sunday strolls, we decided to check out the roses. It was the peak time of the Ooty season and I saw more people than the roses. I was literally pushed through the pathway and managed to get a glimpse of the pretty roses, by peeping over people’s shoulders! So much for a romantic trip! We were out of the garden within 15mts.

A Unique Friendship with a beautiful GSD

There was a shortcut to the Rose Garden from my house and I loved taking this route.During my solitary sojourns, I befriended a GSD girl who was the guard of a big house located on the way to the garden. I learnt that the inmates of the house were only the caretakers who lived in  a small out-house. She used to lie curled up near the gate among the bushes. She barked at everyone who passed the gate. This girl was deprived of company. My love for dogs made me stop every time at the gate just to look at the beautiful girl. At first, she barked at me. Seeing that I was undeterred, she slowly approached me. I began to speak to her softly – she cocked up her ears, listened to me. Slowly she began to trust me and I could see her tail wagging. That was the beginning of our beautiful friendship!

She rushed to the gate as soon as she saw me, allowed me to stroke her and pat her through the bars of the gate. Her big, brown eyes followed me till I turned the corner of the road.

I wanted to see her, stroke her, say goodbye to her one last time before we shifted from Ooty. With continuous packing and seeing to other work, I did not get the chance. Whenever I think of roses, the picture of the solitary GSD comes to my mind more than the beautiful rose garden.

Ever since I came away from Ooty, I have not had the chance to make a trip to the place I loved. I am sure I will visit Ooty sometime and when I do, I will check on my four-legged companion for sure. No excuses.

In Sparrowland !

I had long intended to blog about the fat and plump sparrows that I saw daily, during my one year of happy life at Ooty. As it the #WorldSparrowDay today, I jumped on the occasion to dedicate a post to my little friends.

Sparrows and Ooty

At home

My house was located in a residential area that had a lot of houses clustered together. In spite of this, there was a good amount of greenery around and lots of nook and corners. As a result of this, a variety of birds, especially the House sparrow was seen. Every morning, I would wake up to the chirping of a pair of these sparrows that had built a nest in the EB Box located outside my bedroom window.They were my natural alarm clock! The alarm of a clock would irritate me but these little birds’ chirping was such a delightful sound. I would wake up, go to the window and watch the pair go about their morning duties silently. Unaware of my presence,the birds would rest on the window sill, bump and peck at the glass pane of the window. A day thus begun was always eventful!

Fat sparrow!

One of the pair that nested near my bedroom window – My natural alarm clock!

As I buzzed about in the kitchen, another set of sparrows would pay their daily visit. A creeper grew on the wall next to the kitchen window and the this was a favorite haunt of these birds. They would jump from one branch to the other, chirping to each other. Suddenly one of them would swoop down to the kitchen window and peep in. I would go into silent mode once these sparrows are on the creeper, just to induce them to come into the window. Once they were confident that there was no danger in peeping through the window, I began to leave rice for them to peck. My happiness knew no bounds when finally one of the fat little sparrows, flew in and pecked the rice!

At work

My desk at work was opposite to a window and there were big bushes nearby. These bushes were constantly abuzz with the little birds flying in and out. To work alongside these busy buddies was always a delight!

I would walk back home from work in the evening and I always enjoyed this walk immensely. With the chill air biting at my face and the sun slowly disappearing down the hills, I would walk back home. Very often it rained, but I loved to walk in the rain. As I dragged my tired body up the winding road to my home, the fat little sparrows perched in the bushes and trees nearby would cheer me up considerably. The birds will be there always, no matter if it rained or the sun blazed down.Their chirp-chirp would liven up my spirits and I would forget my worries instantly, I would just stand there and gaze at the fat little busy-bodies – I can never bring about that feeling in words!

Sad state of affairs

Ooty being a hill station had a suitable environment for many birds and that was one reason why the sparrows flourished there. The plains ( especially Coimbatore) are a sharp contrast with regard to the sparrows. Only in the outskirts of the city, far from the congestion of concrete structures, that we are able to sight these tiny birds. People do not want trees anywhere – how will these birds build their nests? Sparrows are fond of nooks and corners in our house verandahs and other such places in the house. But how many of us open up our homes? Almost every home is shuttered up tightly as they prefer privacy and also as every room is air-conditioned. How the hell will these birds survive then?

#WorldSparrowDay is being celebrated by many nature conservation organizations in the city. Rallies, dressing up children as sparrows, distributing pamphlets to create awareness about the need to conserve sparrows are a total waste of resources and time. All I would say is “Open up your hearts and homes to the little birds”. They are an important and integral part of our ecosystem.

Memories of the Himalayan trek – Photo series

Proud Moment in my life – Reaching the Source of Beas river – Beaskund

A big SORRY to all those who were following my trek to the Himalayas, via my blog. Being a mom of an 8 month old girl takes much of my time and I was not able to finish my blog post. Here is the climax of the Himalayan trek!

Subsequent days had the same routine – waking up early by 6 am, tucking in hot tea with breakfast, trekking till afternoon ,exploring till sunset, playtime till dinner and then snuggling into the cosy warm sleeping bags. Every day we gradually climbed to higher altitudes and we could see the snow-covered peaks getting closer to us.

The route was interspersed with little streams and pretty flowerbeds. At times we had to cross across the stream by jumping over the big boulders of rock.

In the process of crossing a stream!

In the process of crossing a stream!

It was a totally different world – it was us and nature, nothing else. We stopped when we felt live having a snack or a drink, took small naps on the grassy slopes without any single worry!

Witnessing an avalanche

Avalanche – I first came across this term in Tintin when Captain Haddock used to bring down the avalanche by shouting at his enemies. I never thought I would witness the same in my life. in our fourth day of the trek, the climate took a turn and it rained during the night. We were all frozen numb and had very little sleep. However the next morning dawned bright and clear. The moment I stepped out of my tent I was stunned – the mountains all around were all glittering with snowy white cloaks. It was such a sight! Suddenly there was a loud rumbling noise and a part of the slope on the mountain opposite to my tent began to tumble-down.

After the avalanche!

After the avalanche!

Yes! I had just witnessed my first avalanche. It was all over in a minute!

At Beaskund – Proud moment!

We were close to our destination now, but it was a tough climb. And a long one too! We cheered each other up on the way and this took us to BeasKund . The youngest member of our team held the Indian Flag proudly upon reaching the source of R.Beas. The river trickled down from the mountain and formed a green pool before flowing down as the Beas river.

Crystal clear, green water of R.Beas.

Crystal clear, green water of R.Beas.

I am at a loss to express my feelings at that particular moment ! Even as I am typing this out, my heart flutters happily with the memories. All of us were elated and soon were clicking pictures to treasure this splendid moment of our lives!

Our team with the Indian Flag!

Our team with the Indian Flag!

Back to earth

When we returned to camp, our guide and the helpers had got pretty little bouquets for each of us!

Beautiful gesture to congratulate on completing the trek!

Beautiful gesture to congratulate on completing the trek!

It was a beautiful gesture and this was followed by a feast ! We were all totally fagged out after the arduous trek and the food vanished like magic! The return journey did not take much time for it was all a descent. We reached Solang Valley, from where we started out, in 2 days. We were back in earth. Yes, I felt that I was in an enchanted fairy land, all those days that I trekked up the mountains. No worries about people, work, study or materialistic things – we never had a bath during the 7 days ! I was in a world where everything around me was beautiful and happy! Nothing gives me more happiness than losing myself in nature and its beauties!

This post is the last of the Himalayan trek series. Hope you have enjoyed the trek as much as I had ! Meet you soon with another interesting travel experience 🙂

Women – From home makers to change makers

Women – From Homemakers to Changemakers

Present generation Indian women are brought up with ‘Study-work-marry-family’ mindset. Right from their childhood, they learn about the important role that they play in a family, from their mothers and women of their family. They are taught to manage their career –family lifestyle; but are never taught as to their important role in shaping the society.

Sarojini Naidu once said that every woman has a duty to perform, apart from her family & job, which is that of serving the society. It need not necessarily be an action that will make the headlines; it can even be a small deed – educating people, creating awareness about social evils, planting trees, caring for the abandoned etc, which will make an impact on the lives of the others in the society. This was said many decades ago, but sadly, even today we do not see many women working for social causes. Movies do come up with women- centric theme that showcases the heroine fighting all odds to stand up for the injustice in her society. But when it comes to reality there are only a very few women social activists in India. When it comes to politics, the number of women can be easily counted.  Why is this trend in our country? Are our women incapable?

Typical Indian Girl

When a girl child is born, the entire family begins to plan her future. They dress her up in pretty frocks, get her stylish accessories in gold, diamond and whatnot, get elegant dolls and kitchen sets. Right from day one the baby girl is exposed to every ‘typical-girl- things’. She learns music, art, dance, cooking, baking,oregami and all that is classified as ‘soft’ and ‘just for a girl’ activities. There are parents who train their girls in sports, martial arts but then they are just a minority. Rest of the girls are condemned to school books and soft activities. Once the girl enters her teenage, her world changes – it is all about fashion, dressing up, music, partying and Facebook.  Our society has defined and restricted a girl’s life to just these elements and the girls are just fine with it.

Current generation girls are highly talented, can multi-task and can be revolutionary if the situation arises. They no longer want to be ensnared in a cage. They want to explore every field and excel men in almost every sphere. However, this is a changing trend only in the higher strata of our society. .  And this minimal change will in no way help to improve the lives of other women in India. They need to think beyond New Year parties, birthday parties, kitty parties. They have so much of talent, ability and power that could be put to much better use. They need to shift their focus from being just beautiful damsels who spend a majority of their time in dressing up, shopping, TV and Facebook .

Change in the grassroots level

Women, especially, homemakers are well capable of coming up with solutions for the most common, day-to-day problems, in a quicker way. This is because they are the ones who come face-to-face with them. This does not mean that they have to become civil servants or contest the elections. Women need to get-together to handle the social issues that are happening at their doorstep.

Here are some ways by which every woman can contribute to the society, right from their homes. This is how I am trying to bring about a change in my society.

  • The women-folk of a colony can come together and organise waste management, increase the green cover and ambience of their colony. All they need to invest is a bit of their time for all other resources are available at their homes – water for trees, waste bins for waste management etc.
  • The educated women can teach the less-privileged children and illiterate women in their locality for free – Education is the basic solution for almost every social issue. Apart from spending time learning to weave, sew, bake etc , home makers can spend their leisure hours after their daily chores in learning about the laws of their country, the rights that they are entitled to as citizens . This will help them stand up against any injustice meted out to them.
  • They can do this at the comfort of their homes without compromising their family, children. They can take turns to represent their colony’s demands to the local corporation and get facilities for their colony.

If every street, colony has this kind of a contribution from its women-folk, it will be very easy for the Government bodies to function. For all that they have to do is co-ordinate with the women team of every colony to effectively implement the government policies. We have a lot of self-help groups that have helped women to become financially independent. But here again, it is through their culinary and craft skills that they make money. They need to think beyond that.

Be the change you wish to see

Be the change you wish to see

Women as change makers

Women in the middle and lower strata of the society are bound by superstitions and traditional customs.  Their family and their children are top priority and they devote their entire life towards the family’s happiness. That is what their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers have done, so they are doing the same.  There is absolutely no wrong in this mindset but then they need to think a little bit about their society, their country too.

Home makers need to come out of this shell and turn as change-makers of their own society. They need to understand their vital role in bringing about a change. This needs a lot of support from the men-folk of the family also. Just as Sridevi’s husband jokes -“ Sashi was born to make ladoos”- in the movie English Vinglish, majority of men opine that women are born only to cook and keep family. This mindset is a major deterrent to those women who struggle to juggle their lives between family and society.

Mothers are the best example for children – A hard-working mother who stands up for her own family and the society will serve as an inspiration for the child. Here is how a mother can go about it.

  • Set an example to your kid. Let them see you being actively involved in transforming the society for betterment. Practice and then preach.
  • Talk to your children – both girl and boy about politics, history of our country and the great leaders who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  Tell them stories about our freedom struggle and of our brave kings and queens, inculcate a strong sense of patriotism right from their childhood. This is what my parents did to me and my sister and I am sure we will carry it on to our successive generations. When we are facing brain drain with most of our talented youth benefitting other countries, it is the mother who can put an end to this trend.
  • Teach them about our Constitution, the current political trends. Allow them to voice their views on politics. Encourage them to discuss and debate on social issues at home with other family members. Being able to interact with kids due to my role as a part-time teacher, I make sure that they learn some amount of interesting facts about our Country’s history and politics. Narrating anecdotes, short stories related to our freedom fighters helps them to develop interest in a subject that had been deemed to be otherwise boring.
  • Discourage family members from discriminating between a girl and boy’s bringing up. If a girl is interested in world affairs and politics, encourage her. She has just the same rights, capabilities and talents as that of her brother.

No point in complaining or lamenting about the evils and injustices meted out to women. We need to be the change that they wish to see in this world.  This change in the mindset of Indian women, right from the grassroots level will propel India to greater heights.

Up in the mighty Himalayas – On the way to realizing my dream!

All of us piled into a local jeep and were dropped at a place called Solang valley. This place was the starting point of our trek and our campsite for that night. We had a team of locals headed by a guide accompanying us.They took care of setting up our tents and also keeping our tummies full.

Camping out!

Camping Out!

Acclimatization

Sparkilng white, icy cold water of Beas River

Sparkilng white, icy cold water of Beas River

Since we were exposed to a sudden drop in temperature overnight – from Delhi to Manali, it was very important to acclimatize our body to the local temperature. This was a daily routine during our trek as we began to gain altitude gradually. By the time the tents were put up, we had gobbled up steaming rice and dhal. As it was late afternoon, we decided to just relax and explore Solang Valley.

Solang Valley 

The Himalayan mountains surrounded this valley and the snow-covered peaks towered in the distance. Beas River was gushing nearby – it was a gentle stream here with sparkling white water and it was pouring over mighty boulders of rock. I gingerly put one foot in the water and took it back at once – it was ice-cold ! Soon all of us were splashing the water on each other and squealing gleefully! It was great fun. We all lazed around and watched the sunset before heading back to camp.

Experiencing the Himalayan Climate

The warm evening suddenly changed to a chilly, cold one. I felt the chill on my face and shivered. It was biting cold. I covered myself up in layers of warm clothing, pulled on gloves and cap – now I felt a little warm! Darkness soon set in and the place was all quite.

We had a separate tent for dining and since it was not yet supper time, we were all engaged in a game of cards. Soon, a wonderful aroma came from the kitchen tent and that was the end of our game! Hot Rotis and Kuruma – What a combination to feast upon in  a cold place! We gulped down the delicious food amidst a lively chatter.

Solang valley was the only place in our trekking itinerary that had a mobile network tower. I called up my father and fiance ( I was engaged during this trek), rattled on about everything – from the journey to the food.That was the last conversation for we would be in total isolation, from the rest of the world, in the next seven days.

First night on Himalayan Soil

It was only 8 P.M and too early to go to bed. So we lit up a campfire and huddled around it. We played games that involved physical activity as to keep ourselves warm. In spite of the warmth from the fire and thick jeans, I was shivering . It was the same for everybody else on the team. We were longing to snuggle into our sleeping bags. Four of us had to share our tent and it was fun setting our bags and zipping ourselves into it. It was terribly warm inside the sleeping bag!

I was actually realizing my childhood dream ; I lay awake for a while listening to the eerie silence outside, taking it all in and then dozed off to sleep.

The real trek starts now. Read about it in my next post!

Up in the mighty Himalayas!

Thanks to my parents, books were part of my life from a very young age. For every birthday, every good performance in school exams and for every holidays, my parents gifted me books. This was how I began to read Enid Blyton. I was so thrilled to read about the hiking,cycling ,trekking that the famous five undertook often; longed for the picnic lunches and exciting adventures! My mother used to pack picnic lunches and join me and my friends in the garden. That was the only part of the famous five life that could be imitated!

I continued to dream of hiking along bubbling streams, camping out in tents and cuddling down in warm sleeping bags…Yes, the world of imagination was a fantasy land and I loved and lived (still love and live there! ) there very often.  Dreams such as these never come true – that is what I thought!

We used to trek small hills and hillocks near Coimbatore with one of  our mountaineer friend. These trips gave us an insight of how a real, proper trek would be. However, my dream was all set to become real when my mother planned to take us on a trek to the mighty Himalayas! Himalayas – the Abode of snow – I was always fascinated by this young yet towering fold mountain range. I would always attempt this question – Write about the ranges of Himalayas in my Geography exam. Now, I was actually going to trek up this mighty mountain! Yes, I was in the seventh heaven of delight as our team of trekkers packed and planned for the trip.

Day one :

September 28,2009 was the D-day! Our rucksacks were all packed and bulging with thick woollen clothes and my excitement level was soaring . Our team of trekkers included our mountaineer friend and 3 of his friends,my mother, sister and myself and 5 other children. We took an evening flight to Delhi and halted at the airport for the night, as we had to catch an early morning flight to Kulu. We made friends with a woman from Israel at the waiting lounge and the night was well spent by exchanging hordes of interesting facts about the cultures of both the countries.

Well spent night!

Well spent night!

The next day dawned bright and clear. We were all eagerly awaiting to fly to Kulu. The plane resembled a toy plane and it had only limited seats. The plane zoomed casually between the towering mountains and I could hear my heart skip a beat every time the plane came closer to a hill-side. Finally we landed at a tiny airstrip – Kulu Airport. Phew! From there we took a local bus to Manali; refreshed at our hotel . Now we were all set to start on our trek.

Toy plane, Thrilling Ride!

Toy plane, Thrilling Ride!

Want to read more about my trek to Beaskund ?? Watch out for my upcoming posts!

How I survived the rainy season at Ooty!

The new house that we moved into was a cosy and comfortable one. It was a single mini-bungalow type with a small garden and neat, little rooms. It kept me warm, shooed away the bitter cold. It was the best house! And I loved the Kitchen for it was so neatly planned. And I loved the many, many happy days when me and my husband tried experimenting new dishes there.  It was so much fun in that house!

Rain,Rain, When will I ever see you again?

Now to the rainy season, it rained almost throughout the day. I like to see the bright sun when I wake up in the morning, but here it was dark, grey rain clouds everyday. It simply drives out all your mood and energy. I would get ready for work in spite of my very bad and irritated mood. Here comes the next dreadful part! The rains would start coming down hard only when I set foot out of the house. Till then, it would have been a slight drizzle! Yeah, just because I detested the rains, they took their revenge on me this way!

Anyway, going on a two-wheeler ( we did not have a car back then) in the heavy rain would leave us drenched and soon shivering  will set in.  Imagine getting drenched in a place where the temperatures are already well below the normal and having to go to work shivering!  So I walked to work with the rains pounding on my umbrella. I loved to get wet in the rain, drive in the rain, but this was totally different. Although I had to walk only a short distance to work, by the time I reached office, my feet would be cold ( I used to wear shoes also!) .

After warming up myself, I will then pull myself to work.Getting back home after work was also the same way as in the morning. This was the daily routine for almost 3 months! Weekends were totally boring for I could not venture out at all.
The rains never bothered about my irritation but continued to come down in buckets. The only best thing about this season was that  I read so many books cuddled up inside warm rugs! After a month of it, I slowly began to enjoy it. I would just lie down on the bed listening to the sound of the rain falling on the windows, watch the little sparrows huddled up together for warmth – I was experiencing something different, a revelation of one of nature’s abundant joys!

Gloomy Skies!

Washed Clean after the rains!

True that I hated this season last year, but now I am missing it. I miss watching the rain through the windows, miss the thrill of getting drenched just for fun, miss the warm,cosy rugs, miss everything. It really surprises me when I begin to miss those things that were once on my ‘I-don’t-like’ list. I realized that I had fallen in love with those big, black rain-clouds that hovered over Ooty!

 

 

 

My Life at Ooty

Life always springs up surprises when we are least expecting it.  I never thought that I would actually live in Ooty! Yeah! Being so near to this hill station, I have traveled many times there just for the summer vacation. I used to get bored with the climate after a day or two. I used to wonder how people managed to live there during the rains and the dreadful winter season. I did not know back then that fate will bring me up here!

At Ooty

It was a job transfer of my husband’s that brought us here. I was thrilled at the idea of living in Ooty in spite of  my childhood dislike. We moved into a very uncomfortable house in mid Feb of 2011. Only the hall and the bedroom had some bit of what you can call as ventilation and the rest of the house was always like a dungeon!  But it was fine as it was just the two of us there. We were located in an area that had an easy access to all main places in the town. So it was all going good!

Me down with chilblains

I would wake up exactly after midnight with stinging pain in my toes. I felt that my nerves were about to burst open. I would toss about in bed, give a hot water bag massage to the toes but to no effect. The pain never allowed me to sleep and I rushed to the doctor after a month of this agony. She told me very calmly that I had chilblains and gave me medicines that will help reduce the pain. Finally I was able to get a good night’s sleep!

Although it was well into the middle of February, early mornings and nights were extremely cold. We had only one or two sweaters and some light sweatshirts. Those were of very little help. So a trip to the popular woollen store had to be made for I felt it hard to do all the work in such cold conditions, with  less warm clothing.

Settling down in Ooty

Summer was such a merry time in Ooty. I had landed a job by then and so both of us were busy in our own ways throughout the week. Weekends were fun as there were so many restaurants to eat out ( How I loved those weekends! ) and the town was always full of activity. I always like to be amidst hustle and bustle, Ooty had this combined with a wonderful climate. After a brief stay of four months in that dungeon-house, we moved into a very beautiful house. It holds a special place in my life and I can never forget those happy days spent there.

Waking up to the busy,continuous chirping of sparrows was my daily routine( Got to dedicate an entire post to those little sparrows!). Looking out, I would find greenery everywhere. If it had rained during the night, then the hills would look as if they had been to a water-service. Oh, I used to be so excited to experience all this.

Getting up early to catch a glimpse of this was the first thing that I did everyday!

Greenery all around!

 

Bird’s eye view of Ooty !

The timing of our shifting to this new house was perfect, for the monsoons were out in full fury. I was looking forward to my first ever rainy season in Ooty, the one season that i detested and dreaded.Catch up with my experiences on that in my next blog post!