Friday, November 23, 2012

A Star in the Sky

She was the eldest grand daughter to someone who remembers and take pride in her cooking attempt. She was the most pampered kid in house at whose will even the strict and angry men at home have a smile at the corner of the lips. She was the eldest daughter to the luckiest parents who could never understand what she exactly wanted. She was the most lovable niece to 3 aunts who have showered their full motherhood on her. She was the little sister for a guy who shows a strong face in all phase of life. She was the eldest sister to many cousins who don't miss to mention her resemblance at people they come around. She was the closest friend to someone who can do anything for her and who can also do exactly the same thing she did.

She was so curious in everything and liked to listen to stories recited by her aunts. She was so beauty conscious that she kept on combing her hair for long hours standing in front of the mirror. She was a violent fighter with cousin brothers when they don't treat her equally in boys' games. She would climb the big gates just like how they do. She also played the sweet little girl's games like kids cooking and indoor games with her cousin sisters.

The brave cum timid girl who did what she thought was right but never once thought how she would make others cry. She no more makes people dance to her tunes. She can be seen only in the lost photographs and in non-recordable dreams. Though many years passed she stays and will stay forever young in our hearts and memories. Not all days remind her but some moments are just like flashes of lightning which can neither be predicted at what moment they come and what second they leave.

She has taught us how to live and move on in her absence. She taught us never to do the grave mistake by herself doing it. The apple of our eyes is no more in this world but a star in the sky shining ever bright.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Singapore trip

My earlier travelogues were quite long and kind of boring. I hope I don't end up writing a similar one this time. Planning for an overseas trip was always there in my mind right from the day when Trip packages advertisements were being put up in newspapers. I had checked the tour packages to Europe, London alone, Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, North East India, Himalayan tour and what not places in the globe. I remember writing in my diary long time back the major cities in the world to be visited. One such wishlist city is Singapore and I am so grateful to my life to have fulfilled this.

Planning for Singapore started when me and my cousin(Abhi) used to chat in FB. It was our plan to visit either of our residing cities - Dubai or Singapore and this time his city took preference as according to him, it costed me less than for him to visit Dubai. Also I had a 5 day holiday weekend during which I can travel and get back to work without applying for any leave. The week when I searched for the lowest possible air price was just mind blowing with too many wavering in my mind - Should I go? Should I actually spend this much? Will I be able to make it alone? Is it absolutely necessary? What will mom say? What will dad say if at all he comes to know? :P Too many questions and finally only one answer - Yes I am going and I am not going to step back. The day or the time when I booked must be definitely a good one, coz my Singapore trip was so lucky to me. The reason for this will come in a different post may be in a month or so :)

Tickets booked, accommodation arranged by cousin and the next thing is Visa. It gives me jitters for no reason if I had to go to an embassy. Thanks to VFS Global which processed my Singapore Visa in just 2 days. The atmosphere of the visa agency was close to a military headquarters{purely my imagination} with so much formalities and security.  To my surprise I received a 2 year multiple entry visa to Singapore. A small shopping in Dubai for the Singapore trip and the currency exchange - all went smooth and I was on the plane set to fly for the holiday.

The onward flight journey had nothing interesting except for a good food and a long sleep. With so many trips to airport, my fear about airports and being over alert at all times in the airport has reduced a little. As usual enjoyed my own space in the airport with my iPhone watching 2 movies - The accidental husband and The Lake house. Both the movies were awesomely romantic - thanks to my friend who sent me a list of must-watch movies. During my return journey I had this chance to meet a russian co-traveller who was so kind enough to give me a Luck-bringing coin as a souvenir of our meeting. His name is Sergey and he took so much pain to communicate with me with his less knowledge of english by making all sorts of action with his fingers. This was all perfect for a person who go on a holiday and meeting strangers on the way. I am blessed to have a life like this.

And coming to those 5 days in Singapore - each and every day was so special in its own ways. Just like a foreign tourist, my cousin had plans to take me to major tourist spots in the city. The NUS campus where I stayed was totally green with so many trees and it reminded of my college campus. The lawns were superbly trimmed and one night we were just lying down on the bed of grass. I can never get back such a beautiful moment in my life. The thing I missed most at that second was the stars in the sky as it was too cloudy. Seeing so many research graduates talking about their thesis, papers, labs, professors, books - I felt sad a little that I was just a tourist and not went to study there.

Day 1:
The emirates flight was so comfortable that the day I arrived itself I could go on a night walk along the lake side to Clarke Quay - a different night life area. The city being connected in all corners via MRT train system was easily accessible at an affordable rate.

Day 2:
Another tourist friend of my cousin joined from India the same weekend. So we had good company to go places. In the Jurong bird park, the intelligent birds gave a warming show to us doing exactly what they are said to do. I was immediately attracted to the colorful birds - parrots, pigeons, swans, macaws  swans, cranes and so on and thoroughly enjoyed visiting each section in the park and clicking so many photos. What   I loved the most is personally feeding those birds with a small cup of bird's food.
From the bird park we headed to Jurong shopping mall and a had a nice lunch post which we went to an another shopping mall - IMM where we shopped some silly things for 2$ each. The day2 evening saw me in the Gardens by the bay where artifically created chilled garden and pouring waterfalls welcomed us. Enjoyed well in the chillness after a humid day long walking. Had a beautiful view of the city from an unimaginable height of 56 floors at the Marina Bay Sands. For the first time in life I was standing at such a height{Never been to the Burj Khalifa top yet} and my ears blocked while in the lift. When I looked down the whole city was in front of me brightly lit and with the giant Flyer wheel appearing so short. This photo was shoot at that place. Really brightly lit isn't it?
The day didn't end here - Yes it was a very long night. From the Marina Bay sands, we went to the Casino - my first time visit to such a place where so many people were religiously placing their bets and hopefully waiting for their number to come. One hall itself was so big and the casino spanned 4 such floors and every seat was occupied by all sorts of people across the globe. Sigh ! photography was prohibited in the casino - but luckily I was above 21 to have at least a glimpse of the place after getting my age verified via my passport.

From the casino, headed to have dinner @Swiss restaurant - Marche where I tasted crepe and some wierd sort of mushroom. The picture below with the wine racks was shot there.

The night walk in the orchard road was so funny and so entertaining with everyone in the gang pulling each others' legs and I had a great hearty laugh after a long long time. Some happy snaps on the way were taken. One such for my blog is here.

The night of the day 2 got complete visiting the Majestic MerLion - the icon of singapore. The story why the lion became the icon and how did it reach at this place - all can be found in WIKI - saving my blog.

Day 3:
The plans were made so well that after a lengthy day, the next was quite relaxing. We went on to visit a soothing and calm place - the Buddha tooth relic temple on day 3. A typical chinese architecture in the middle of ever bright China Town was a pleasant place to just wade away the time.
I did buy a lot of cute souvenirs in the china market after which we went to Mustafa shopping centre - which was not upto its standards and its much hype. The whole place was too crowded and was rightly named as Little India as everything you find in India can be bought here. I didn't enjoy much as I was mostly waiting for my friends to finish their electronics shopping. I got hold of a foot massager from this place - it was quite handy and powerful to relieve pain. That day we had booked tickets for the Night Safari. Trust me, the place was so so jam packed with all the tourists in Singapore. The tram journey took us through the rain forest and we also had to walk a number of rails. I felt little scared to walk amidst those trees in that pitch black forest, but it was a different experience to cherish. The night ended there with all of us exhausted so much - may be because of the weather and the crowd at all places.

Day 4:
It saw me as a totally changed person enjoying all the rides in the Universal Studios of Singapore so enthusiastically and with full energy. 3 roller costers, the mummy ride,  one 3d transformer ride, a 4d experience with Shrek, The lost world dinosaur ride, Madagascar ride with all the animals, Steven Spielberg's stunt workshop, photos in front of the Hollywood, Disney land carricatures and losing my way in the crowd once. Yes I missed my way all of a sudden and searched for my gang for nearly 5 minutes after which called my cousin from a stranger's phone. Got really upset and my anger shooted up very well, but I had the sense to calm me down by staying silent for a while. These things apart, the day was so good that I almost forgot that in a matter of minutes and went with enjoying the rest of the time. I have a lots of memories in universal studios through too many photographs shot with different poses. One here for my blog.

After a whole day walking in Universal Studios, we went to Sentosa and a few minutes in the Silosa beach relieved my legs from the pain. True it is,  that the salt water soothes your feet. I loved the relaxing time at the beach and the night ended watching Songs of the Sea - a laser show at the shore of the beach. It was a different show combining technology, music and nature. The rabbit cloud at the horizon of the sea was the highlight of the night. All of us interpreted the cloud in our own imaginations - bull, open mouthed lion, rabbit and so on. What do u readers think of it? Isn't a wonder of nature to look upon for hours together?

Day 5:
The last day of the trip - I went to another electronics market in Singapore searching for Kindle which I could not buy even after a long search. Another local market was the one by the side of Burgis station where I saw all kinds of chinese local things. It was a simple place with so much liveliness and a wide variety of goods. Good to walk through the shops and get a feel of the Singaporean culture. As I had to leave early for the airport, not much was planned for the last day. Also I had covered most part of Singapore in the 4 days. Packed my bags, took the train and was at the right time in the airport. Time came to bid bye to the superb city and the lovely friends who made my stay comfortable and more cherishable. All together a very good trip to smile about even years after.