Friendship, Investment, Life, Relationships, School Days, School Friends, travel

Friendship

10-May-2016 

“What a beautiful start of the day!” Ayush exclaimed while munching cashews and enjoying the mesmerizing view from Monkey point. 

“Couldn’t agree more. Trekking and morning view from the hills is a pure bliss.” avowed Ajay, “I am just missing my coffee. Sipping coffee, while enjoying the view would certainly have added to the pleasure.” 

“Here you go my friend”, Ayush revealed joyfully, while taking out a thermos full of Ajay’s favourite “Black Coffee” from his backpack. 

“You are full of surprises man!!!” affirmed Ajay with a broad smile. 

Both Ajay and Ayush were on a family trip to Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, to celebrate Ajay’s 37th birthday. 

Ajay and Ayush were friends since they were in 3rd standard and now even their wives were best of the pals. However, their friendship had its own share of ups and downs and there was a phase when they had even started avoiding each other. 

3 Years Ago

24-Mar-2013

“Your phone is ringing Ajay”, shrieked Sapnaa while doing Yoga in the spacious balcony of her high-rise apartment. 

“Who’s missing me so early in the morning!” sulked Ajay with a yawn. 

Ajay picked his mobile only to put it on silent mode and slouched on his comfortable couch in the living room. 

“Who was it?” asked Sapnaa curiously while wiping sweat from her forehead. 

“Ayush……….., must be calling just formality’s sake, to invite me on his mom’s 65th birthday. I got to know from Pankaj about the party……” Ajay said with his eyes closed, still lazing on his couch. He stopped for a while and then continued, “…..there used to be a time when we would plan everything together but now, I get to know about things from others and usually I am the last one to know about it. It feels as if …… as if we are just dragging our “FRIENDSHIP.” 

“Who told you to “drag” it? You can always put a “Full-Stop”, if you don’t feel it is going anywhere.” She grabbed a towel and continued, “you are either “in” or “out”, be 100% a part of it or part your ways; and now please don’t give me that crap that he’s my childhood friend and all that non-sense. I know that you guys are friends since you were in 3rd standard; however, what I also know is that you both have grown apart and both of you should also accept the fact.” 

Ajay murmured, “…But Sapnaa, I just can’t le….” Sapnaa interrupted by saying, “I am not telling you to leave your friend, all I am saying is either start working on your friendship or accept the fact that things between two of you have changed. My only suggestion to you is, either change it or accept it” 

Ajay was not able to digest Sapnaa’s words, nonetheless somewhere he knew she was right. Conflicting thoughts started taking rounds in his head; He didn’t want to leave his friend however, what she said also made perfect sense. There is no point travelling if there’s no destination to reach; no point being into a relationship if none is comfortable.  

The Sunday had started on a terrible note. He picked up the newspaper to divert his mind and give his thoughts a break, but all he could see was negativity all around, maybe newspaper was a wrong choice. Then he did what most of us would do when in problem, he called his mom and spoke his heart out. She heard him patiently and then instead of offering him the solution, she simply asked, “You being a banker tell me, how do you decide the rate of returns that you give to your investors?” 

“Simply basis the amount of money that they put in. The one who is most regular and invests higher gets the higher returns.” replied Ajay almost instantly 

Relationships are also like accounts, son and like any other bank account there are two key things to earn great returns – Regular and Long-term deposits. When you show affection, you make deposits and when you break a promise or hurt the other person, you make withdrawals. Therefore, it is essential that your deposits are much higher and regular as compared to the withdrawals that you make.” She took a small pause and then continued, “If you have a large reserve, the other person is likely to give you more grace and forgiveness when you make a withdrawal. However, if you have a very low balance or are overdrawn, you have little room for another withdrawal.” 

Those profound words had given him the way to mend his shattered friendship. All he needed was to start “investing” and “stay invested” for long-term for superior returns.  

As they say “Today is always the best day to start investing”, hence as a proficient banker he took his first step immediately. Not only did he reach at Ayush’s party an hour early to help him with last minute arrangements but also, he was the last person to leave. 

He followed her advice and religiously kept nurturing his friendship like one takes care of a plant by watering it every single day and ensuring it gets appropriate sunlight, etc. He would phone him regularly just to know if everything is ok or sometimes only to discuss some trivial things like weather or a trending YouTube video. He would even discuss things like what phone he should buy or what should he gift Sapnaa on their anniversary. 

He kept investing without thinking about immediate returns however, Sapnaa’s initiative speeded things up and the investment stream progressed towards a favorable course. She planned a trip to Ajay’s hometown Nainital on Ajay’s birthday and secretly invited all his school friends. It was more of a reunion than a birthday celebration. The party went on until 5 in morning with all the friends reliving good old school days. Spending time with school oldies and relishing those memories not only made everyone feel nostalgic but also triggered the start of another inning of Ajay and Anshu’s friendship.

It took time but his efforts eventually paid-off, as they say with regards to any other investment. 

Life, photography, travel

Nature through my eyes

Life is when surrounded by nature.

Its bliss to wake up to the chirping of birds, 

And not to the honking of crazy berserks. 

Always wondered about Nature’s marvel, 

Whether a chivalrous man or some pretty damsel. 

I now know for sure it’s a stunning dame, 

As it loves dressing up and adores the fame. 

Sun and moon take turns to adorn the charm, 

Just basking in its vibrant hues keeps one calm. 

Horizon is not where the two ends meet, 

It’s there just to give us the visual treat. 

Me and my camera are in love with nature, 

We attempt to add its frames to our treasure. 

She 🌎 loved getting “all dressed up” and he was madly in love with her. So he ☀️ himself became her make-up and gave all the hues, to colour-up her mornings, evenings and brighten up the days.
It was only when they parted for a while they came even closer … 
Boundaries couldn’t keep him away from her, he simply spread his wings and flew over to catch her glimpse.
Friends forever !!!
She painted his world silver, made things look just a little more perfect and alive more than ever….
Life, travel

Holiday

It’s been exactly one year since my last family holiday. We had travelled to Ooty (Tamil Nadu, India) and stayed there for about 5 days and believe me those 5 days were so much full of fun, laughter and enjoyment.

View of Nilgiris with “Toy Train”

It’s such a beautiful hill station and rightly named as “the queen of hills”. We all had so much fun that even after a year its memories are absolutely fresh and vivid. I clearly remember the excitement we all had, right from the time when we were shopping for our vacation to the rainy morning of 1st Sep 2019, when we finally commenced our journey. There are so many memories from that holiday that we as a family keep going back to; from going for a walk in the rains, to visiting the tribal village, to shooting birds (with a camera 😊) and many more.  

Our flight was scheduled to reach Coimbatore at 11:20 am, but owing to a late start from Mumbai, we touched-down at 11:50. Since Coimbatore is a smaller airport and therefore cabs were not readily available. After waiting for half-hour, the cab arrived and we made ourselves comfortable in the car and excitedly started our second leg of the journey. We took a break at around 2pm for lunch and enjoyed “authentic” South Indian food, served on banana leaves.   

It took us close to 4.5 hours to reach Ooty from Coimbatore. We all were really tired as we were travelling since morning; nonetheless, the moment we stepped out of the car, we were greeted by the cool breeze of the mountains which brought a pleasant smile to our faces. We were welcomed at the resort with a warm and refreshing lemon tea. Within a minute’s time we all felt completely recharged, I don’t know whether it was the “Tea” or the “beautiful weather” of Ooty, which took our tiredness away so quickly.  

We were very clear with our holiday plans. Even though we had about 5 nights and 6 days with us, we intended to be in Ooty only, for the next five days and therefore we hadn’t planned to cover any other nearby location like Coorg, Mysore, etc., as our idea was simply to unwind and spend next couple of days there only, exploring just the nearby spots or maybe lazying around in the resort itself. We came across a lot of surprised faces when we told them about our idea of staying at one place for 5 days, as if we were committing a big mistake by staying at one location for these many days. I think Rain-Gods were also listening to our thoughts and they took us quite seriously as it continuously kept raining throughout our stay 😊, because of which we anyway couldn’t have gone to any other location.  

Beautiful flowers in the resort

Fortunately, the property was really amazing and flora inside the resort itself was no less than a botanical garden. Our favourite place in the resort was the holiday activity centre, which each one of us enjoyed fully. My daughter loved playing carrom or air-hockey with her grandmother while two of us sharpened our Table-Tennis skills.  

Adyar Ananda Bhawan

Despite non-stop rains, we managed to explore a couple of nearby spots. Although all the locations in Ooty were so very beautiful, however it is not possible to move ahead without mentioning a few of them, like the vibrant botanical garden whose roots go back to 1848, mesmerising “Dolphin’s nose”, serene Tea-gardens of Coonoor and the slow and romantic “Toy -Train”, which gives you the view of “Divine Nilgiris”. Apart from the majestic locations of Ooty, one more thing that I and my wife very fondly remember is the amazing dessert, “Kesari Bath” that we had at Adyar Ananda Bhawan. Every time we crossed the restaurant, we made sure to stop-by and have it, we convinced ourselves by repeating this statement to us” Holiday calories doesn’t count”. It was so really delicious that even while writing also I could feel its taste in my mouth. 

Now, about a little over 4 months being home-bound, we as a family have got a chance to spend some quality time with each other, since a lot of time is being saved that I used to spend commuting to and from office. Although an important aspect of a holiday is spending some quality time with family, but that’s not all, I believe the beautiful surroundings contribute a lot to it. I feel I am quite fortunate to have travelled with my family to a lot of beautiful locations like Shimla, Nainital, Mussoorie, Goa, Tehri Garhwal, Mahabaleshwar, Ooty and many more. I believe every holiday gives us lot of memories to be cherished forever and further strengthens our bond. I reckon, similar to getting our cars serviced at constant intervals, it is quite important to take a break from our regular routine and give each other a quality time at a “beautiful location”. 

View from Dolphin’s Nose

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