So I live in Uttarakhand & the husband decided to take me along on one of his work trips to the hills. Though not a fan of the winding roads that you must go on to get there, I’m a big lover of mountains & the cold. Having lived in Chennai for almost all of my life, you can imagine how ridiculously excited I get about any weather below 20 degrees C! It was April and the summer was just starting to set in in the plains, but the hills we heard were still a little chilly. Aside: Never take at face value the judgment of a pahadi on what “little chilly” refers to. More on that later, though.
It was to be a three day trip covering Pithoragarh, Almora & Kausani, in that order. We started bright and early at around 8-ish from Rudrapur, estimating that it would take us around 5-6 hours to reach, not including stops. You would be well-advised to pack up your own food basket, because the options for food are not great on the way up. We found a small halwai where we ate decent chole-bhature and massive aloo parathas. These are extremely popular breakfast items in this part of the country, to be enjoyed with a hot cup of chai. We though, had them with badly made machine coffee. Ugh. Breakfast done, we drove on and started to climb up at around 11-ish. And here begins the WORST uphill drive of my life (and I’ve had a fair number of them, mind you!) To call what we were driving on roads, would be a gross exaggeration. We felt like gumballs in a gumball machine – you know, when they’re hurled all around that dome! To make things worse, we didn’t even have a view. It was all dry and barren and so not pretty. We bravely chugged on, not daring to stop for lunch because it would soon be out of our tummies, and not in a good way. We made it to Pithoragarh in one piece, at around 4.30 PM, haggard and ravenous.
So the last time I wrote here, I was still a student, very green and somewhat confused about life. I wrote only because this blog was such an important part of my late teenage years and I wasn’t ready to let it go. But then, I kind of did.
Here I am now, writing in this same space, unsure if anyone even follows this now. Anyone? 🙂
Not much is different from the last time I wrote, except that I went to B-school, got married, quit a huge-ass corporate job to be with my husband (a decision I don’t regret at all!) and am still somewhat confused about life.
I’m a person not easily driven and who needs a lot of push to focus on even things that I LOVE. These past few months, I’ve really introspected on the things that matter to me and things that I want to be doing 10 years from now. No, I’m not prepping for one of those “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” questions from prospective corporate employers. You see, that’s not where my heart is – it’s all very exciting, the money is obscene (!) la la la but it doesn’t call out to me.
But what does call out to me? That’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. What is it I love doing endlessly? If I have to put it down in a word, then it has to be – food. Of course, I love other things – writing, travel, taking pictures but when it really comes down it, I love all of those things mostly in the context of food. So here it is Universe, I’m putting it down in writing. They say the internet never forgets. Well, I sure hope I don’t and that writing this down makes me feel guilty enough to get on with my life!
Meanwhile, I’ve started a new blog – here’s the link! Of course it’s about food – food stories, specifically. I’ve been married 3 months and that gentle reader, is how long my cooking tenure spans. Not to say that I have the cooking expertise of a potato, nope. I will be writing about the food I cook & eat, stories behind that food and all the food-ly things I’m obsessing over! There’s no fixed agenda, really. Ooh, you can also follow my food journey on my Instagram, which has been overtaken…you get the idea, don’t you?
As for this blog, I’m not sure if I will be writing long, rambling posts about my life anymore (hello, twitter!). Thanks to the husband’s work, I get to travel to many quaint places no one’s even heard about and I really want to write about the great places I see. So hopefully that will happen on this blog!
I fantasize about a massive, pristine convenience. Brilliant gold taps, virginal white marble, a seat carved from ebony, a cistern full of Chanel Number 5, and a flunky handing me pieces of raw silk toilet roll. But under the circumstances I’ll settle for anywhere.
Luca once called something chic, and I asked him why, or rather what “chic” was exactly. He sighed and said despairingly, “Chic is the most impossible thing to define.” He thought about it. “Luxury is a humorless thing, largely. Chic is all about humor. Which means chic is about intelligence. And there has to be oddness — most luxury is conformist, and chic cannot be. Chic must be polite, but within that it can be as weird as it wants.”
I see you. In secret smiles, in the dog-eared pages of English, August. I see you too. In the flaming orange bloom of our Gulmohar tree, earth-scented, tasting the first drops of warm rain. You love, lose and you love again, each time as if it were the first.
What does it take, I wonder?
Disturbing. Very disturbing. Not the visuals, but the eccentricity of the idea behind them. It’s fantastic, really. Even as I consciously ingested the macabre nature of the narrative, I couldn’t bring myself to walk away from it. It’s not quite rational. And you know why? Because, however alarming, you WANT to watch what happens next.