Growing up in India, I’d never actually seen a dandelion. Only read about it in books written by Western authors. Yeah, maybe there are dandelions growing in India too, in the mountains perhaps, but being a city girl, I’d never actually come across one.
A dandelion was one of those things, such as scones, or say, a jackdaw, which at 26, I still haven’t seen one. But I remember well, that the Famous Five used to relish piping hot scones for breakfast and there was always an annoying jackdaw in their barn. But I was an Indian kid without Internet. In fact, despite all the international travelling that I do now, I still haven’t tried scones. (Must put that on my bucket list.) Nor seen a jackdaw.
So yeah, I was glad to come across this ethereal dandelion, after seeing numerous pictures of it on Pinterest. This was at Grousse Mountain in British Columbia, Canada. The flower was exactly as I had imagined it to be – light and magical.
Anyone here know if I can, and how to plant dandelion at home?
I’ve always thought that helicopters are way cooler than planes. They lend a sense of urgency to the surrounding, in the manner of which you have to board a chopper and I associate a VIP feel to them, thanks to its smaller seating capacity. I also love it how you need to crouch and hurry and be mindful of the strong wind that the blades churn up. Now compare this to how you board a flight. Yawn.
It was last month in Canmore (close to Calgary, Canada), where I participated in heli-yoga, run by the guys at Kananaskis Heli Tours. The concept involves being taken atop a secluded and spot on the Rockies and amid that calm and lush surrounding, practice yoga to vitalise your soul. Yoga guru Kristen Stuart – who by the way, has the most magnetic personality – accompanies you (and the small group) up the mountain to train you in yoga.
Down at the office, before the short flight, we were briefed on the chopper etiquette by owner, the jovial Ralph. We were supposed to bend low, move around only when asked to, and generally be more aware of the surrounding. Upon landing, it’s possible that the wind from the blades cause a yoga mat or a personal belonging to be flung away, but we’re not to make a run for it, and remaine crouched till the chopper leaves, and retrieve the item later.
The ride in the chopper was uber cool, as we put on large earphones with mics and could only communicate with each other through them. I’d only seen people in films do that and have always wanted to do it! The experience of practising yoga in a spot that we chose in the Rockies was one that will inspire me during low times. But as far as memories go, the helicopter ride wins all the way!
A snowy winter is a way of life for many. But for someone like me, who has lived all her life in a tropical country (India), snow can pretty much be a bucket list item. My first brush with snow happened last week, on a trip to Switzerland. I enjoyed a lovely train ride from Zermatt to reach up to Gornergrat. From this peak, I was told, I could afford stark views of the steep Matterhorn.
I was looking forward to feel snow on my hands since childhood, and finally, my dream came true. The train chugged higher from Zermatt, and I could see snow around in bits, and gradually, it was a vast carpet. I was so excited by this point, that I was having trouble deciding which side of the train I should look out from, frequently running over to the other side, to see more snow. Sounds silly, I know, but if you’ve waited 25 years of your life for an experience, it can be pretty overwhelming when it actually happens.
I step on snow as I get off the train. I’m told to be careful, as the ice can be slippery. I’m glad I’m wearing my Wellingdons as they offer a sturdy sole and some friction. I walk along, hugging my jacket tighter, taking small steps, mindful of the ice that I tread on. And then in a few steps, ice makes way for snow! I put my foot ahead on soft, soft white fluff and it sinks in a bit to make an impression. I go ahead a few more steps, a smile on my face, my feet digging deeper. And then I look around myself, and all I see is more and more snow and I turn into a child on expresso.
I run, fall and jump about and make snowballs and throw them on my friends. And then I walk further towards the valley where there are no foot marks, and slide my hand in, to come up with a pristine fluff of white sitting on my palm.
I had fallen in love with crushed ice at a young age, when kids used to buy ‘gola’ from a street vendor. A gola is a clump of crushed ice on a stick, doused in flavoured syrup. Something similar to the ‘kachang’ in Singapore.
I pressed my palm shut and the snow hardened a bit. I put it in my mouth, closed my eyes and waited for it to dissolve. My hands were trembling due to cold but when I put the snow in my mouth, it just felt warm. And familiar. And nice.
My former neighbour in Goa used to call my apartment ‘Sosha B&B,’ for I always had guests over. Weekends, weekdays, my friends, couchsurfers, sister’s friends, friends of friends, everybody! It was one never-ending party. It’s only recently, now that I have moved houses, that I am no longer able to host people. I presently live with 5 other friends, filling up the 2-BHK to its maximum capacity.
I only realised I’ve stopped hosting people while I was discussing it with a friend last night. I miss having guests over a lot and it made me go through old pictures. I wish I had taken more pictures, with everyone who came over. These are just a few pictures that were taken on my camera.
‘Darlings, thank you for ensuring that I have a terrific Goan monsoon!