Confessions of a Tea Lover!

“A cup of tea would restore my normality.”― Douglas Adams

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There are two types of people in this world, one who love tea and the ones who don’t. Well! I should not be judgemental but my mind certainly starts distancing from people who think sipping tea is a crime. This post is all about my love for tea and tea madness that runs in all the tea lovers. I am sure if you are a one, you will be able relate here as well. So pour in your magical sip and read on to get on this tea trip worth every sip.
  1. We are officially up only when we have had our cup of morning tea (bed tea/tea with breakfast/tea after breakfast). Until then, everything in life seems upside down and our ability to manage a busy and fast paced life comes to a halt.
  2. A 12am tea ( But you had your breakfast tea comes a voice from your tea police conscience), but how am I supposed to gear up for rest of the day? I need this one right now (says your tea addicted conscience).
  3. The rustling of the winds outside, a drizzle or a hurricane outside, your heart starts yearning for tea depending upon how the weather fares outside. (It’s raining, you need tea. It’s foggy; you need an extra cup to warm you inside).
  4. You bond over with tea lovers instantly. And the more tea preferences you have in common, the more likely they will end up becoming your best buddies from tea buddies.
  5. Every time you see tea quotes anywhere, your heart skips a beat and every atom of your body screams, that’s me, that’s me, that’s so me! You can even pull in jokes around tea.
  6. Tea is your lifeline. Evening, morning, day or night, you are there whenever your love calls you!

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The name’s Bond, Ruskin Bond!

“A Quiet Mind Lord, give me a quiet mind, That I might listen; A gentle tone of voice, That I might comfort others; A sound and healthy body, That I might share In the joy of walking And leaping and running; And a good sense of direction So I might know just where I’m going!”
― Ruskin Bond, Rain In The Mountains
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A time when I should be snuggled up in bed and should be having my so-called 8 hours of much-needed sleep, here I am sitting, writing, cherishing and sharing this post! There are all types of people in this world, the ones who have no limit over their crazy side when it comes to the people and things they fall in love with, or the ones who may go on in life balancing their emotions and keeping them under a check every now and then for whatever reason it is. This particular post is just to let out my craziness, call it obsessiveness, or name a form of love that I share with Mr. Bond’s words. I surely regret that why I got introduced to his world so late in life but better late they say than never! And guess what, there has been no looking back. The more I have read him, the more I adore him, the more I have started worshipping him.
I seriously had no answer until now when I was asked this question who is your writing inspiration? And I went blank not knowing if I ever had any. But today, as I look at the year that has just passed by tossing my life upside down, I can’t thank enough this gem of a writer for being my inspiration, my mentor (as I end up having conversations with him while reading! And I give a damn if you might be thinking that’s some sort of maniac that I have become). And just a day before, when a new reader friend of mine told me how much she loved and enjoyed reading The Room on the Roof, it was such an overwhelming and peaceful thing for me to hear. As I have become more active on instagram these days, it feels so good to come across the world of bibliophiles immersed in reading and this goes without saying, every time I see Mr. Bond’s book in someone’s hands, my heart just takes a crazy trip and I am delighted and overjoyed even at the mere sight of his books. My favourite one out of all his books is The Room on The Roof and I guess that shall always be! I can’t get over the world of Rusty.
There is so much love, towards people, towards nature, towards every damn thing in his books and how simply and beautifully it all is weaved still leaves me in awe every time I take up his book. Going further, now that I have read a couple of his biographical tales, the joy of knowing the books he loved is beyond words. There are so many writers that I got to know through his works. I actually googled all those names and their works and that’s one more reason why I have fallen even more in love with this beautiful writer and his words. I was always astounded to see those people who went crazy after their favourite film-stars or sports persons but never did I know that I was going to be one of them soon. And here I am talking about him, not being able to postpone this post until tomorrow as his books should be read and devoured. Even if that’s just one person who might stop by and pay attention to what I am rambling right now and cares to pick his book, I will have a happy sleep tonight thinking that there will be one more person in this world who will read him and maybe fall in love with him.
“Until death comes, all is life.” Ruskin Bond, A Little Night Music
PS, it’s a 3am happy Reverie from an ever so crazy and never getting over Bond admirer!
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A call of Hope!

As Mother Teresa once said “Kind words can be easy and short to speak but their echoes are endless.” Not just the words, even little acts of kindness go a long way in making someone’s day a little easy and have long lasting impact that you wouldn’t even have thought of. Life as they say is not a bed of roses for most of us, but yes, we can help each other in making ours as well as lives of those around us a bit better and all it takes is just a simple smile, a phone call, or even that act of staying silent by someone’s side to let them know that somebody is there for them.
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In times when mobile phones have become an inseparable part of our lives, my heart goes out for each one of those who don’t get a call back when they make a call to someone. No matter how busy you are, do make it a point to call the person back as you never know in what situation that call was made to you, or do drop in a message that you will call back as soon as you will get free. If you think what difference it will make, it’s going to make a very big difference my friend. That message will be carrier of hope and assurance that you have heard the person and that you will respond back.
I remember the anguish and pain that I personally experienced when I called up a very close friend who never cared to call back at a time when I was going through a very difficult phase in my life and I had called up to pour my heart out. That day has passed, but the lesson still remains afresh in my heart and mind and that is to always pay a due attention to those who call you. I felt so disheartened that the very thought of doing something similar to those who call me up made me even more resolute not to take away someone’s hope with that phone call. And life is too short not to give a damn about a missed call.

 

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Of pitter-patter joys that pour along!

“And the earth itself. It smells differently in different places. But its loveliest fragrance is known only when it receives a shower of rain. And then the scent of wet earth rises as though it were giving something beautiful back to the clouds—a blend of all the fragrant things that grow in it.”
― Ruskin Bond, Rain In The Mountains
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True isn’t it? Right from the moment when those clouds above start playing hide and seek winking down at you, showering hints that your favourite forever pals are soon going to come knocking down your windows and will hit right your heart and senses, no qualms about it, Rains at any time of the year are super exhilarating. At least for some crazy rain lovers, they totally are! I don’t know if there is anyone who doesn’t get happy about the thought of rains and monsoons but who cares? Well! I love them and probably you love it too when these chaste raindrops come to surprise and leave us on such a refreshing and beautiful note making the whole earth come alive with that charming fragrance which fumes out once they hit the ground.
So it’s this time of the year which makes my little heart go cheery and crazy no matter what is going on in life! A cuppa of my kadak and masala chai in hand, I can stand in my balcony admiring them for hours. It was different when I was a kid, the rains would mean stepping out and getting drenched and singing and dancing right there in the sloshing rains. And of course! That paper boat madness! How much I wished to be carried along? Now that I have grown up, though my heart still dances and sings along when it’s pouring outside, I am more than happy and giggly adoring this wonderful time of the year in a rather peaceful way.
There is something special and worth cherishing about every season but, my love for monsoons has just got better with time. Though I want them during the daylight hours when I am able to see and witness the magic drops, but they take you to some another world altogether when you are snuggled in the bed and hearing all the pouring that’s happening outside. There is this stream of emotions and feelings that just click you at that very moment.
The silence,
The stillness,
The commotion,
The accompanying breeze,
The rain sloshed street lights,
The hush-hush of the clouds seeking attention,
The weather gets into me, right from its mention!
Now that July is almost coming to an end, my tea cups have drained out waiting for the clouds to shower some love. It did rain for a day two here leaving me even more quenched for these little big drops of joy, I hope the monsoons arrive soon and dip our hearts in them. Can’t wait more! Be here super soon, Please!
PS, your every so crazy drippy-dropsy admirer and Pulviophile (a lover of rain;someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days).
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For you, a thousand times over!

I have been reading quite a lot of books these days and I can’t thank books enough to keep me sane as my mind usually starts taking flights to some tormenting places whenever I get some free time. I am happy to be lost in a world of books and pages, words and their power to bring my misty wandering heart back to me.  And the book that I am going to talk about in this post should have been my first pick when I read Khaled Hosseini but as luck and time would have it, after years of lying in my to be read list, I am finally done with it. And to your no surprise I was equally shattered and broken as were you if you must have read it.
Title: The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini

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I don’t know if I will be able to justify my thoughts about the book in this very post as I can talk about every single chapter with all the details and emotions that I felt turning the pages and to my surprise, every single page left me with a heaving sigh, the flow of events running in my head like a never-ending journey. The story is about two friends, Amir and Hassan, if one might be able to tag them as friends alone as there’s a lot more to their relationship than just being friends.
Amir happens to be the son of a wealthy businessman while his friend (if you can say so) and servant, Hassan, belongs to the socially inferior group of Shia Hazaras who looks after Amir with all his heart just as his father Ali has been serving Amir’s father as a servant. The two of them share a very quaint and heart touching bonding and the way Hassan stands up for Amir clearly brings out how mature and wise he is for his age. But Amir is somewhere jealous for all the love and care that his own father showers on a servant and goes to any extent to win his father’s love whose cold demeanour towards Amir is beyond his comprehension. The book grips and hooks you the moment you start with it and the hitting lines that strike right at your soul freezing and warming you at the same time. Then one fine day, Amir and Hassan become the shining stars of the kite flying tournament, Amir is happy to have found something to win the love of his father and make him proud. Just then, Hassan goes missing as he wanders along the streets to get the winning Kite for Amir, but gets hauled up and tortured by a couple of brats and what happens there, I literally have no words to bring that here and the amount of agony, anguish and sadness, all that hovered around me reading that scene still sends shivers down my spine. The flow of events change from thereon, the friendship if at all there was starts crippling under the guilt of Amir who saw and witnessed everything that was inflicted upon Hassan but still remains mum and didn’t turn up to save and help Hassan’s tortured soul.
The book is the story about this guilt and its redemption, an attempt to overcome this and efforts to give oneself a chance to try to fix up things that happened in Amir’s childhood. From his journey to America where Amir and his father’s relationship finally starts to fall in place, to his getting settled with the love of his life, the guilt accompanies Amir in his insomniac nights and his heart often wonders about Hassan and his life until one day he receives a call from his father’s friend Rahim who is on his death-bed and wants to see Amir to reveal things that are again going to change the world around him. But during all this, the way Amir finally stands up to untangle what he did some years back is really heart wrenching and in between will come another adorable character—Hassan’s son who will leave you flabbergasted and frozen again just as his father Hassan did in the beginning.  The book seems like a journey in which you become a silent and mute spectator accompanying Amir where you even feel a tint of hatred towards him for being so mean initially but as the character develops and evolves, you are painfully haunted to think of a situation had you been on any of the character’s place and develop an affinity towards him. The way one gets to know about the tensions between Afghans and Talibans leaves you with questions regarding morality and humanity. But this thing is for sure, the book also makes one question so many things apart from what you are reading, right from the society we live in to the demons that live within us. Your soul lays bared right in front of you leaving you with some serious choices to dwell upon and giving no clue as to how you would have reacted had you been there at protagonist’s place. I don’t know if the book will have an equal liking by those who might feel the content to be a sad one but I am sure it is a must read if at all you have the courage not to put the book down until you are through with it. Goes without saying, you won’t be the same person once you are done reading it. It will haunt you at some point in time and will test the amount of pain that you can take in but it’s really a beautifully written tale and you must read it at least once to know for yourself why I have not been able to stop myself from going on and on about it.
And as I always do, have a look at all these beautiful lines that I came across on almost every other page and couldn’t miss sharing with you all. Here we go:
For you, a thousand times over.
People say that eyes are windows to the soul. Never was that true with Ali, who could only reveal himself through his eyes.
Children aren’t colouring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favourite colours.
And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.
But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.
When you kill a man, you steal a life. You steal his wife’s right to a husband; rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness.
Somewhere a dam has cracked open and a flood of cold sweat spills, drenches your body. You want to scream. You would if you could. But you have to breathe to scream.
I didn’t remember what month that was, or what year even. I only knew the memory lived in me, a perfectly encapsulated morsel of a good past, a brush stroke of the colour gray, barren canvas that our lives had become.
Sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.
She said, ‘I’m so afraid.’ And I said, ‘why?,’ and she said, ‘Because I’m so profoundly happy, Dr. Rasul. Happiness like this is frightening.’ I asked her why and she said, ‘They only let you be this happy if they’re preparing to take something from you.”
A true redemption is when guilt leads to good.
There are bad people in this world, and sometimes, bad people stay bad. Sometimes, you have to stand up to them.
I want to tear myself from this place, from this reality, rise up like a cloud and float away, melt into this humid summer night and dissolve somewhere far, over the hills. But I am here, my legs blocks of concrete, my lungs empty of air, my throat burning. There will be no floating away.
I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
It was only a smile, nothing more. It didn’t make everything all right. It didn’t make anything all right. Only a smile. A tiny thing. A leaf in the woods, shaking in the wake of a startled bird’s flight. But I’ll take it. With open arms. Because when spring comes, it melts the snow one flake at a time, and maybe I just witnessed the first flake melting.
In the end, the world always wins. That’s just the way of things.

 

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Broken Strings!

To read the works of this Indian author has been in my list since a long time (In fact, every book I am reading these days have been on my list since ages but I am glad the list is finally going somewhere and I am equally happy and thrilled about it). So talking about this particular book, all I can say is there are books that are not everyone’s cup of tea and this book to some extent falls in that category and needs patience on the part of the reader.
Title: An Equal Music
Author: Vikram Seth

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As the name suggests, the story is about music. The story revolves around music and won’t catch your interest if you are not much into music. Even I have no prior knowledge about western classical music, so there were pages where I had to stop and actually research what is being talked about as it was all alien to me. And without much ado, I finally move to what made me to go ahead with the book, in spite of my little knowledge about the world of classical music. It was the love story between the two main characters, Michael Holme and Julia McNicholl. One might find it a heavy read as it revolves pretty much around the sub conscious web of emotions these two go through. The moment when Michael sees Julia after ten long years just turns the entire plot and then begins the episode of their rekindled love, unfolding of Julia turning deaf leaves one speechless. For someone, who breathes music, first turning deaf and then still continuing to play left me even more flabbergasted.
Apart from the love story between Julia and Michael where I found them helpless and confused about the situations and the direction where their relationship was heading, what really moved me was the relationship between Michael and his violin. The part where they were almost getting parted, Violin being the most significant part of his life and existence, a tear almost tickled down my eyes. And as I mentioned earlier, the book is all about emotions and music, and if you fail to match up to the scale and intensity with which the emotions have been penned down, the book has got nothing for you. I really loved the opening lines of the book right from the note that was written for Philippe Honore to that small excerpt by John Donne. The lyrical prose that runs in between is again something that I liked about this book.
And yes! I am not done with this post without giving a sneak peek to all those lines that pierced right through my heart and soul. Here we go:-
Pen, Paper, ink and inspiration,
Peace to the heart with touch or word,
Ease to the soul with note and chord.

 

*  He always told me “to sustain”, and sustain I did.
*  Sometimes her thoughts run ahead of her words, sometimes it’s the other way around.Days pass, I  cannot bear to be in the company of others, but when I am alone, I am sick with memory.
*  When your own body rebels against you and then suddenly decides it doesn’t want to any more.
*  You connect me to the greatest happiness-and unhappiness-I have ever known.
*  My violin, I am sad like you, and yet I thank the moon for these few months of grace. Your strings are true. How will the chartered surveyor smile on you?
*  Winters will pass, and lips will remain unkissed, and heart unsoothed, and hands and ears unlinked. No mystery must remain.
* Music, such music, is a sufficient gift. Why ask for happiness; why hope not to grieve? It is enough, it is to be blessed enough, to live from day-to-day and to hear such music-not too much, or the soul could not sustain it-from time to time.
* What is the difference between my life and my love? One gets me low, the other lets me go.
* What I lost there I have never come to retrieving.
* There are the embraces, the “how long it’s been”s, and the “you look just the same” s. But underneath, all this are the swift ellipses of the earth, and the awkward knowledge that it is all quite different.
If I didn’t love you, things would be quite a bit simpler.
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When things go wrong…!

I believe everyone has a right to deal with their broken or strong self in their own ways, no matter how bizzare or surprising they might come across. Life breaks each one of us at some point in time, be it bit by bit in breaks or all at once, just like a storm at an unimaginable speed. No matter how much you try to save yourself, you are swirled around and in to time, the roots of your being are shaken down. Feel it, experience it, take your own sweet time to deal with it. Grow from it, learn from it. Show it that every second you spent thinking and fighting with it taught you something. It’s okay to cry it out if that makes you feel better, paint it out if that soothes you, do anything that calms you. The idea is to find something. Look for that one thing that can help you through it and get on it. Do it. Think it. Live it and the world will become a much brighter place from that grey world that has scattered itself around you off lately.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
 
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow.
 
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
 
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
 
—Anonymous
 
There are times when the words penned in this poem blur out in front of me and everything around me falls upside down. But somewhere deep, somewhere in that sturdy corner of my heart’s shelve, these words have stayed with me since the time I read it for the first time many years ago. And today is that day again, when I need this poem the most. To remind myself to stick to the fight. To remind myself to find something. To remind myself to get on with it. To remind myself to find the bright side. And how can I forget to mention my favourite conversation that brings a smile on my face every time I read it. Here it goes:
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne

 

Wishing each one of us happier and brighter days! And the strength to endure your bad days!

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