Over a stream
Posted on November 11, 2009 1 Comment
Any travel break is welcome especially when the whole year one spends at home, mostly on bed, dragging rather than walking, struggling to keep up with a 3 yr olds incessant demands, wailing away almost every night and many more such combats with a son in the tummy who is hell bent to prove he will be a sure-shot footballer someday. Though we had PhantasiaLand break some couple of months back but it already seems ages now. Although a long holiday is soon nearing (yay! Goa calling) during Christmas and New Year, we still like to savor on short trips too. So we book Hotel Zugbrücke, a four star known for wellness and sports, 180 kms away from our place near Koblenz.
Every year our staff gets surprise gifts from us for Christmas, last year we took all of them along with their families to Hotel Mercator which is just in our town, for one whole day stay, food, drinks, wellness all inclusive. It was great fun and we all enjoyed to the core. So this time over, we planned it differently with different gifts for all like cameras, iphones etc. But Christoph and family gets to spend with us on this surprise weekend trip.
We met at 9.00am at Janses Mattes restaurant situated at a main crossing, thats mostly a meeting point for any road journey for people around here. They were supposed to follow us (not blindfolded) along through the beautiful scenic landscapes which is spread all over germany with the onset of autumn. For them the journey seemed unending as Raj had told them that we were to drive just about 80 kms so the surprise already had begun as they drove for 100 km extra. And we finally reach our destination by 11.00am.
Hotel Zugbrück is one of its kind specially for table tennis lovers, has a bowling alley, a disco, wellness with sauna, swimming pool, whirlpool, babysitting facility, a large kids playroom too. It is such a wonder that this small hilly area produces world class table-tennis players like Lucjan Blaszczyk, Tomas Pavelka, Patrick Baum and Matiss Burgis. So our surprise destination was duly acknowledged by all, kids were already jumping, dying to do so, more into the swimming pool.
We first wanted to have lunch so we proceeded to the restaurant which was connected to the hotel by a channel or sort of bridge. And the buffet had just begun. We opted for the window corner from where we could see a stream passing, the bridge that we crossed was just above that. This explains the name of the hotel Zugbrücke (zug is a train and brücke means bridge).
After lunch we took a short rest and then spent good three hours in the swimming pool area. Kids were having a ball of a time screaming and splashing away. Cappucino was welcome at this point. Now the idea of having the whirlpool out in the open only added to the charm of the wholesome experience with cold mist almost enveloping and the tall trees overlooking you while a glass of champagne just complimented the hot water massages. We just ran out of time for tennis as bowling was booked for 6.30 pm which was absolute fun after 12 yrs approximately. Wondering how much we lose out on smaller joys when we think nothing but work, work and work all our life. With kids we are now reliving those forgotten golden days.
It was time for dinner now. I loved all in the elaborate menu which consisted of onion soup, variety of salads, pork and deer was main course food, knödel, grilled champignons, zucchini, aubergine, rosemarine potatoes, paprika and fettucini, thunfish with teriyaki sauce and many many more. I am not even getting to the dessert area, besides I am still dieting. As the kids were tired and sleepy they had to be put to bed, so I say goodnight to all. I also slept as early as 10.30pm and Raj came back to room at 1.00am.
Got up at 7 in the morning, it was drizzling outside and no one wanted to wake up. We definitely wanted to stay for the Sunday as well, but cannot. At 9am we had to meet for breakfast and then by 11am we aimed at checking out, as a short and sweet, well spent holiday came to an end, kids were seemingly upset. So next time it will be a at least good three days for us, promise :).
PS: Christoph and family however wanted to spend sometime more around the hill top, trekking upto the castle.
Google logo 04/11/09
Posted on November 4, 2009 Leave a Comment
I would like to compliment Google art team on having created a superb logo to commemorate 20th birthday of Wallace and Gromit. Kudos to you.
Your heart outside you
Posted on November 1, 2009 Leave a Comment
Undoubtedly, the most fulfilling experience of my life is motherhood, though it came late but i’m glad and feel immensely honoured that it did come. I find my kids as an extension of me or they are me myself. We are not separate. And i cannot live without or see myself away from them howsoever. Now, something that I fail to fathom eversince is why and how can some parents stay away from their kids and send them to boarding schools? How are they able to bring themselves to do this to their own child who needs them each minute of the day and also when they are asleep. Our child has ONLY US to look upto. How can we part with them? God sent these angels to us to shower all our love to them, isn’t it?
My question to all those parents who send their kids to boarding schools – Is it worth all the sacrifice and loss of being together with your child during those precious, never-to-return childhood days?
Their explanation probably: Well! we feel it is just convenient, cos we don’t have to drive them to and from the school, don’t have to cook for them, don’t have to do their laundry, cut their nails, take them to barber, take them to playgrounds, take them for shopping, teach them traditional values of the family, celebrate festivals together, read bed time stories, see them growing, answer their querries, take care of when they are suffering in sickness. Also because we are too busy and have too much money and we are selfish, heartless, we can be blind to what exactly is going with our child out there. We can further hide behind these words – they will learn to take care of themselves, will get discliplined, responsible, mature, self independent, develop interests in sports and extra curricular activities.
Isn’t doing all these a privilege of each parent. To me it is an experience which is unparalleled. Not only does it strengthen your relationship with your child, it is an adventurous learning journey for the parent too – of patience, of grit, of sacrifice, of selflessness, of humility, of management, and reliving your own childhood. There is nothing that cannot be taught by parents.
Aren’t you doing this to them as they are wholly innocent & helpless? They are still in such tender age where they cannot even protest, they don’t know what lies ahead – A life devoid of parents love, caressing, hugs, kisses and warmth even if it is for just few years, that time is lost forever, the time when kids build that special bonding & trust with you which should’nt in any circumstance be robbed away from them.
From all our experiences, don’t we know that life is already a tough battle, with God knows what all kinds of people they will encounter, what all situations they have to confront, so why can’t we simply pour all our love and be with them so much more specially in those building years to ease it out just a bit from our side for them, from the otherwise cruel world and give a marvelous beginning. And… continue till we rest in peace.
Will end with something profound which i think – Nobody on this earth loves you more than your own parents.
Found some quotes would love to share with you:
You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once. ~Polish Proverb
Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn’t. ~Mignon McLaughlin
In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time. ~Unknown
PS: I will try to understand those parents who has genuine genuine disability to take care of their kids.
PPS: Would like to dedicate two songs of my choice especially to all the mothers in this world. Song 1 is apt to the topic I touched. Song 2 is which touches me the most.
Song 1 from movie Taare Zameen Par (2007), experience.
Song 2 from movie Daadi Maa (1966), just dive in.
Unsporting & shameful
Posted on October 7, 2009 Leave a Comment
PT Usha, once the golden girl of Indian track, nations’ pride, once a Padmashri, once a recipient of Arjuna Award, but more than once insulted, humiliated by her own countrymen.
Just the latest, the sprint queen was reduced to tears in Bhopal at the National Open Athletics Championship, after the organizers failed to give her and her athletes a decent accommodation for the stay. Aptly she said “If I get this type of treatment, you can imagine what other athletes get. That is why parents are not encouraging their children to go in for sports and that is why we are not getting any medals at international levels. I feel insulted.”
The last time I remember was when the country conveniently forgot to include her as one of the torch bearer for Olympics 2004, Athens, instead Bipasha Basus, Viveik Oberois were seen running with it. The irony of Indian sport is the ‘use and abuse theory’. It’s not surprising then, that Indian sport barring a few, is nowhere in the international scenario.
Another much recent incident which I remember now what happened with Renu Gora, three time Boxer champion, bronze medalist in World Boxing Championship 2006, who is still jobless, was seen serving tea to the media and other officials in NIS, Patiala. The other girls who get training there were also meant to be washing utensils and obeying the orders of these shameless officials. Now c’mon Renu you are a boxer..show them you are. Will someday Vijendra Singh salvage them from such conditions? Hmm, just a bleary hope.
Another shameful incident when a national level athlete was forced to become a prostitute thanks to all the miseries which led her to poverty,…still remains in jail for not having money to pay for bail.
Such similar incidents must be endless, thousands unheard, living in obscurity in their meagre pension in some stenchy rat-hole of the society. Will there be a saviour someday, a desi superhero for the Indian sport (cricket excluded)? Cricketers these days, after retirement make more money by commentating than what they earned otherwise. Can there be more of Dr. Vijay Mallyas’ to not only encourage new sporting avenues but also to uplift the existing, degenerating ones?
I pray for such a day. Till then, Chak De India!!! We live in hope.
Great print campaign
Posted on October 4, 2009 1 Comment
Damn hilarious. Indeed one of the best campaigns i have seen so far.. Courtesy: Fightclub
Posted on October 4, 2009 4 Comments
I see my latest topics taking birth from some controversy being discussed on twitter. So this time it is the Mumbai-Bombay dialogue issue which came into news as soon as the movie Wake up Sid produced by Karan Johar released. Had to be Raj Thackeray, the MNS chief who thought it was an apt issue to pick up and time for some footage. Saying Bombay instead of Mumbai was the questionable crime which hurt the Marathi pride according to him. Will somebody please take a poll on how many marathis were hurt!
Well! some people want to throw their weight around or create news so that they remain in news which so ever way..and this time so they succeeded too. KJ took no time to kowtow or else he better as easily forget his 40 crores too. So best solution is to give in to the gundaRaj.. so what if the gesture has only encouraged their guts multifold in gundaism, forever. A disclaimer was then added in the beginning of the movie.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, may be Bombay word was used just for correct creative effect in certain context. Well I anyways don’t expect these blokes to understand creativity. If something were detrimental to the society, to protest makes sense. No one protests movie to be openly abusive titled Kaminey. I refer it Bombay still so many times as in Germany many people are not familiar with the new name.
Why can’t these people use their power in right direction rather than wasting energy in trivial something? How about stopping the monumental waste of 350 crores by the Maharashtra Govt in erecting Chhatrapati Shivaji statue in the middle of Arabian Sea? Can he change the registered movie title Bombay by Mani Rathnam, or Bombay to Goa? Incidentally Bombay was released in the same year 1995 when the changing of names took place.
So finally something so ironic, any case against him or any mumbaikar for that matter will and goes to BOMBAY High Court (the institution which did not follow suit in changing its name). Thankfully mortals can’t get bigger than the law.
ps: Would like to add another fabulous article by Hansal Mehta
A tweet gone awry
Posted on September 24, 2009 4 Comments
Twitter: That’s my latest fad exactly as was Facebook an year back. Though I am still loyal to the latter but I see myself going to former first. You get a sense of being served with the first hand news right from the horse’s mouth (Yes you read horse and not cow ;)). Of course, I still read online news but get most of the confirmations right here. Have most of the top journalists, bollywood biggies, tennis stars, and friends on my list. Looking forward to more and more meaningful people joining in as we all need authentic news.
What instigated me to write about Twitter is the latest infamous controversy of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for External Affairs, Govt of India, tweeting about austerity drive that had reached ridiculous heights. Let me briefly take you to where it began.
KG: @ShashiTharoor Are you flying cattle class to Ghana/Liberia? Hopefully you won’t use VIP lounge where coffee, tea are served free…
ST: @KanchanGupta absolutely, in cattle class out of solidarity with all our holy cows!
ST: learned belatedly of fuss over my tweet replying to journo’s query whether i wld travel to Kerala in “cattle class”. His phrase which i rptd.)
KG: Were your words distorted? I don’t think so. You were quoted verbatim.
KG: And frankly I didn’t quite expect you to say, ‘His phrase which i rptd’. Pity you can’t stand up for what you say.
Well! that were some of the conversations that took place though ST replied only once. Now people expect to get explanations in 140 characters, firstly they expect response/replies and when they get one they try to extract hypothetical hidden meanings in it. My take on it is that journalists take liberties of the free press to morally assassinate anyone and everyone cos they know they won’t be held for it. Who is this KG? Some insignificant rattler in Pioneer which doesn’t even have as much number of readership as many twitter followers ST has and growing.
Really liked the article by Chetan Bhagat on the same Timely tweet: Gimme performance, stop posturing. Brilliant one by Karan Thapar Oh, to be poor. Shobhaa De had another point of view Twitter less, work more, all will be forgiven. She probably isn’t on Twitter and obviously is not following him to know what all he is doing. As i said in my tweet too it’s like saying do not sms, do not grow, do not fall for technology, do not keep pace with the world. All but incidently ST is also a journalist with great sense of humour which landed him into this. Had he not been a politician, all these fellow journalists would have applauded at his great ability for impromptu wit.
Dear Indians, Our country needs intelligent, well educated, modern politicians like him. He at least has the guts to say it all loud of that he is doing. Let me enlighten you a bit that Mr. Governer Schwarzenegger who is also on Twitter even posts pics and videos of what he is doing. Does it mean that he is doodling around in his office? So does Prez. Obama. Well! Whom am I talking to.
So finally what will happen is Mr. Tharoor will get choked by the bureaucratic farce of sorts. I am afraid this episode might just force him to withdraw or definitely cut down on his interactions out here. We certainly hope not. Oh! Will this reflect on his blog too????
Posted on September 21, 2009 1 Comment
My paper was blank and I gaped at it for long before I penned and in no time there were rambles on it exactly as each moment, each day is like a dab or a splash of colour on the canvas of my life. And when the canvas is complete, I shall be no more to see how it came about, leave alone will there be any buyers. I am trying each day so that the final image is a pretty one. Though there were some wrong strokes, which I have erased by applying fresh paint over it and have done it successfully so.
Thank God some errors were amendable.
New blog address
Posted on September 21, 2009 2 Comments
Have been thinking since long long to revive my blog so finally here i do. Had to move my loyalties from Google blogger to wordpress even though it does not allow you to make your own design unless you pay for it. Therefore I choose the most loud and brightest of the design templates available. This somewhat reflects me as I am not the one who is serene, plain and boring. Though red might be synonymous to loud, pompous and boastfulness I still embrace it for I would choose bright colours over pale anyday. WordPress had many features that I wanted and seems very easy too. Anyways I am always open to trying out new things.
Have imported my older entries too which you can see right under. Can’t throw my belongings. They are a part of me and shall move alongwith. I hope to be regular hereon as I will need all of them as refreshners when I am anyways in the process of forgetting most of them, so i better jot them on the move.
Have started with the most cliché q for the poll as this was the first one, by and by will try to put up better ones 🙂 Will make it ‘poll of the month’. Will be adding more and more links which I regularly read, mostly blogs. Shall be using more widgets too.