Washington,D.C.

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A city with a profound history, a city that brings to life a dreamer’s imagination, a city which has the most interesting stories to tell. Yes, it is the city of Washington,D.C. Hubby and I had been trying to find the perfect place for a small vacation from months and we both wanted to explore DC given its rich history and we did just that this weekend.

DC had me at first sight! At touch down, I couldn’t help but notice what a stark difference it was to our own Chicago. DC is lush!! I was lucky to have found a window seat and to have witnessed a breathtaking sunset just as we were landing and I got luckier when our little one decided to sleep all through the flight. Talking of window seats, I never seem to be able to understand those people who shut their windows tight and doze off, or even worse, have their windows open and yet snooze?? Okay, you think they are frequent travelers and are used to the splendor below? Really? Even then,I could never NEVER do that. Flying never loses its allure to me and I do not think there has ever been a day same as another since the time the world was created. Let’s now however move on to a cup of some sort of new drink and stop sipping from my favorite cup of tea. Although I am tempted to tell you how adventurous a start we had to the holiday with us forgetting little one’s diaper bag at home and going straight to shop at DC or seeing a plane which caught fire at O’Hare, I will not do so. Lets go straight to the National Mall on Saturday!

The National Mall here is quite the paradox! It is not a shopping mall. It’s where you must go to witness the beauty of DC . It is where all the memorials, monuments and museums are. The epic Lincoln memorial, the National Monument and the Capitol are aligned in a straight line, at a distance of 1 mile exact from each other with the war memorials and museums on either side. I was always amazed by the giant sculpture of Abraham Lincoln when I saw it in movies or pictures, but to actually see it in person was a beautiful experience. If it hadn’t been for the thronging people around me, I might have been a little spooked by the stern look of Abe with his left hand clenched in a fist and his overpowering gaze which seems to follow you to every corner of the great memorial building. Every word of the great orator’s famous eloquent speech is etched on the wall of this beautiful memorial architecture.


After bidding adieu to Abe, we walked to the Korean war memorial. This memorial was one of my favorites. The sculptures of the soldiers from the Korean war which killed more than 54000 US soldiers leave you heavy-hearted and I cannot promise you that they may not appear in your bleak dreams in the night, leaving you haunted with the look in their young innocent eyes. The Vietnam war  memorial which we visited next had the same effect on us with thousands and thousands of names of the men and women who lost their lives or went missing in the war inscribed on the walls made of black granite which were imported from Bangalore, India. I wondered how gruesome it must have been to witness such a massive loss of lives when just looking at so many names on the walls leaves you feeling dejected.

We waddled along next making our way through the crunchy fall leaves on the ground to the National Museum of American History which kept us hooked with stories of the American presidents and a wide display of the dresses the first ladies wore and the china they used. The security guard at this museum surely gave me strange looks when he caught me running back to admire Jackie Kennedy’s dress every five minutes. I have always harboured a fascination for her and her off-shoulder silk gown in pale yellow was clearly the highlight of my evening.We ended our tour to the mall with the Capitol Hill which lived up to our expectations. The majestic architecture basking in the balmy sun with the bright blue sky above certainly did not disappoint us.


Our visit to the Arlington Cemetery at Virginia on Sunday was disrupted by the Marine Corps Marathon which had close to 30,000 people running enthusiastically. With this sudden change of schedule we decided to tour the Holocaust museum which we had initially decided against given its atrocious background. We finished just in time for our flight in the evening. Washington DC has so many stories to tell that we left with a promise to return someday to explore each one of it’s museums, to walk around the beautiful Arlington Cemetry, to stroll in the neighborhood of Georgetown. As our flight took off at twilight, I looked down at this beautiful city one last time with its proud monuments which has an important message for all, that Freedom is not Free.

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A room definitely with a view!!

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I woke up this morning with an unimaginable fervor to write. Yes, we all need to do this, find a source of inspiration and I have kind of found mine. No it’s not coffee, its my window!! I have this trick of keeping the blinds slightly open, at the right angle,so that you are able to see from the inside, but it appears shut from the out. Why do I need them open?? Well, it’s a long story, but who is in a hurry,right? So I like seeing the planes fly by in the night!! I sound like an eight year old? I feared it!! But wait till you judge me with all the prejudice of childishness.

When I was a kid, and there was the sound of an aircraft flying by, we ran to the backyard to get a glimpse of the tiny dot up in the air and when I say we, I mean my parents too. No, I was not born in an age when aviation was new, ain’t that old! No, I do not belong to an underdeveloped nation either, but airplanes in the sky wasn’t really a common occurrence then. It’s funny how we got to say hello to our neighbors at such occasions when they got to their respective backyards or porches too. Okay, before you convict me of going astray,let me come right back to what I am trying to mean here. I think it makes me smile,it makes me happy, excited and grateful all at once when I see planes fly by one after the other. It makes me smile when I dwell a little in the past, and I think to myself, thats not something I had imagined when I was a kid. I had never thought I would have a window which would give me such splendid views night after night.

Anyway, so what got me inspired in the morning is the the damned view again. Pardon the profanity, but really, damn the view! How can one remain calm when one has such a lovely view? L.M. Montgomery said, she was glad she lived in a world where there were Octobers! and boy!! do I know what she means!! Our room is a burst of red in the mornings and may this sweet little tree by our window be the absolute last tree in the world this fall to have its pretty little leaves wither off.

With this overwhelming prettiness all around us, we are heading to a beautiful city on a mini vacation this weekend which they say isn’t too bad for a fall visit☺️. I shall not tell you where it is as yet, let’s just say it’s not too far away, perhaps the perfect place to start off what we hope is the beginning of a series of vacations 😉. The weather being a lot warmer there than it is here, I think I might have to redo my packing and pull out the sweaters from the suitcase(No,it’s not california😜 and yes, I do have a couple of tempting knit wears to choose from). Wait till my next post for pictures of the place and of what I finally hope to make up my mind on wearing!! Until then, have a fab weekend you gorgeous people❤️.

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Here is a pic of that tree I have been raving about,


 

 

 

October fling…

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What are your two absolute favorite fall things? This being our second fall here, we paid a visit to the pumpkin patch and did some apple picking. I enjoyed both as much as the little one did and I must say fall is fast becoming my favorite.

When you have a toddler, one of the advantages is being able to go on the fun rides with your little one,pretending he doesn’t  sit on the rides without you 😂. While we were trying to decide what ride would be the safest for the LO at the pumpkin farm, our boy kept running to the carousel giving it adoring looks. Once on the ride though, he sat for one round of the carousel and for the next, the horse rode alone! 😆 Daddy who had bolstered our way up,behaved like he din’t know who we were 😏. 

This month has been good and it certainly looks like it’s going to get better. We have some jolly trips planned ahead and some cozy sweaters to snuggle into. Although a part of me is holding onto summer a tad tighter than usual, a teeny tiny part is already dreaming about how beautiful the winter is going to be. I have some exciting new books stacked up to keep me company through the winter, I just hope they suffice and winter seems easy breezy while my books last.

So apart from the field trips, we also went to the Botanic Garden this past weekend. It’s so close home that all our friends who come visiting are not allowed to leave Chicago without a guided tour to this place. We take pride in showing them around. Of all the times we have been here, this October visit has been the prettiest. The garden looks postcard worthy. 

Here is a pic of me from the garden, I couldn’t stop drooling at the beautiful blend of colors. Let me know what you think of it.

I am wearing turtleneck sweater from Old Navy(a winter weakness I cannot shrug off of- the turtleneck)

Leggings from Zara

The green bag to add a pop of color is from Zara

And my good old Cathy Jean boots

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When I was at Paris…

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Okay, so let’s be honest here. Go over to your kitchen and stand facing the fridge. No, I do not want you to open the freezer and ogle at the ice cream! Just look at those fridge magnets and tell me how many of those places you have been to? All of them? Niceee!! You are honest, pat yourself on the back. And the others who have that sheepish smile on, that’s okay!! Those were gifts from good natured friends, or those magnets are actually bottle openers, right? So, u aren’t completely lying. What about me you think? Well, my fridge never drew covetous glances from anyone. I just had two magnets up there, one was from Holland(a place in neighboring Michigan😬) which my little tyke promptly broke. I would not have corrected anyone who thought I had been to the Holland in Europe 😬😬. What?? Come on, technically that’s not lying. The other one is actually a bottle opener, it’s up there to serve a purpose!

Okay, let’s keep the honesty game on yet. Have you ever bought a souvenir to remember a place by,even if you were only transiting through the particular airport? 😬😬😬 so I have this little planner/notepad which says “I was at Paris”. Too tacky?? Frankly now, contrary to what my hubby thinks, I did not buy it for what it said, I always always carry a small notepad and a pen in my bag. You think that’s oldschool? Well, maybe!! But I do like jotting things down when I am on the move. So, when I was transiting through Paris years ago, and had a little time on my hands when I was done miserably trying to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from all the windows, I noticed to my horror that I had left my notepad behind and that’s when I made the prestigious purchase. A little flaunting hurt no one anyway. 

What got me to write this post is my abject state from not being able to flaunt my new sweater! I have this adorable sweater from LOFT which I can barely wait to put on. A week ago, it looked like we would have to skip the sweater weather and  go straight to the jackets. I know I should have waited given the ever so capricious weather here. Hubby found me gawking and floundering my way through the sweater section at the store and finally gave me the go ahead. It has been hot ever since!! I do nothing more than give longing looks to the sweater lying in the closet. I promise it will be out soon! In the meantime, have a look at what I wore today while the sun shone bright and I went places(just to the nearby grocery store 😜). 

The top is from H&M

Sunglasses from Nordstrom 

Pants from Chemistry-India

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 Fall love…

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What do you call a person who has shamefully neglected her writing for weeks and weeks? You call her a lazy bum! You know, it’s an act of utter indelicacy to call someone you barely even know a lazy bum. What if I have been busy and unavailable? Yes, it’s true. I was away, visiting India, too busy checking things off my list.

I was at the helm of affairs, meeting good natured uncles and aunts most of whom saw our baby for the first time. For those of you out there who are mothers, does it ever bother you when your husband’s side of the family see an uncanny likeness of your baby’s best features with those of your husband’s? And then there was this tussle for power between my people and his, contemptuously trying to brand our little boy’s nose(which some say isn’t his best feature) on either side of the family! God! I really really miss being a part of that madness. There is nothing more pleasing than meeting your husband’s dancing eyes across the hall when an aunt laments on how our baby boy hasn’t got his father’s aquiline nose!

We are back home now, after a sumptuous holiday, after a formidable never ending flight with our little tyrant, back home to a beautiful onset of fall. Slightly colder and windier than when we left, the leaves have dreamily begun to change color. After a week-long struggle of trying to get back to the normal grind(the struggle including dinners at 2am and play time at 3), we got out today and I am glad I picked up this dress last month in burgundy, which blends beautifully  with the weather outside. 

I never let go of an opportunity to wear a scarf, I have a thing for them and I dare say you will see a lot of scarves in my future posts. I also got to use my new umbrella today as it was drizzly.

The dress and umbrella are from H&M

The scarf is from Charming Charlie.

Let me know what you think of the look and have a beautiful dreamy week ahead you all!!

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Are you sane enough?

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The ‘Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho in a strange way changed my life. I remember reading it a day before my big presentation at work(I was reading a book instead of preparing for the presentation). That’s because weirdly, getting too involved in things I get nervous about, have a history of getting jinxed. So in order not to jinx my important days, I pretend not to be bothered about them. I have an exam tomorrow, you will find me watching a movie today. I have to deliver a baby tomorrow, you will find me calmly reading a book. The calm is a facade, deep down(you won’t even have to go too deep), I am a messy wreck, so nervous that one could start a butterfly sanctuary with the number of them in my tummy. To calm my nerves which were adept at taking leaps and lunges like Simone Biles that particular evening, I began reading the Alchemist. Something just clicked. It helped me see life with a fresh perspective, helped me brave the storm and I became an overnight fan of Paulo Coelho. I tweeted Paulo Coelho after my presentation(which obviously got buried with the million other tweets he receives everyday). I owed him in a big way for how the presentation turned out and also for so many good things which I was sure would come my way.

His words make me see life with a new kind of wonderment, a new light. One of his books has a very interesting story in it, which never ceases to amaze me every time I think of it. He says there was a King whose subjects began going mad after drinking the water from a well which was contaminated. There came a day when everybody in the kingdom had gone mad. Only the King and the Queen remained sane. Alas, what is the use of a sane King who needs to run a mad empire? What do you think happened next? The King drank the water from the well because he believed that was the only way he could serve his people well, the only way his world could somehow make sense. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong, a collective thought is often deemed right. Collective madness is often called Sanity.

The world of fashion is a little like our King’s story. There is a norm one is expected to follow to be fashionable. No, I am not calling it a farce. It’s just how the world functions and like the King’s sacrifice, there is no harm in giving in to the temptation to have your life make sense😊. While the world was going crazy about the off-shoulder style this Summer, I waited till I could take it no longer to plunge into the bandwagon of lost shoulders. So here I am being a part of the collective madness in my new cold shoulder top. Just let me know how mad you think I actually am☺️.

 Have a lovely Sunday and a lovelier week ahead you guys!

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Hello Old Friend!

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Have you ever been so obsessed with something that it becomes a menace to the people around you? I have been at both the giving and the receiving ends of this kind of obsession. Let’s begin with the receiving end first. Hubby here is a sports fanatic, sometimes I wonder if he would realize if I just left the room(or even the apartment) while one of his matches is on. Each year on our marriage anniversary, he remembers the match that he missed the day we got married. He remembers when my mum had kidney stone and had to be taken to the hospital and he missed an important match(did I hear you chuckle?)! Now with the Olympics on, the tv, phones, tablets are all on the brink of choking with Rio images and I am writing this post on borrowed time(he wants my device too). No, it’s not funny and yes it is a menace.

I had this kind of obsession too. I had caught the reading bug. I always slept with a book beside me, woke up to read the book, went to sleep having read the book, my text books concealed my current reads and I took suspiciously long hours finishing up my toiletries. I was eventually caught and threatened mercilessly, the threats vaguely bordering on withdrawal of funds for future books to be bought(I was not one to give in to fears and never renunciated my position as troublemaker). This was years ago, and although I love reading as much as I did then, somehow there isn’t enough time. I will tell you why.

So having gone late to bed because of the Olympics, someone at home thrust all the phone chargers into their bag in a hurry to get to work. I realized all the devices showed up ‘low battery’ and not too long after that, went completely dead. What do you think happened then? Nope, I did not panic, I just spent a blissful day with my book and reprimanded my obstinate self for having neglected my old best friend for some new ones. I consciously want to make an effort now to stay away from my phone. Would you all dare to do it? The transition could be bumpy, but would surely be worth a try.

Speaking of transitions, looks like it’s time to enjoy summer while it lasts. It is almost time for me to dig out my boots from the closet. It will be our first Fall at Chicago, and I cannot wait for the colorful foliage to paint my days a tad brighter! 

A pic from earlier today, I said hello to my jeans after a while.

I am wearing 

Jeans : Abercrombie and Fitch 

Tank Top – TargetStyle

Shoes & Sunglasses – Guess

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So long…

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I remember being very very young and being surprised that people spoke different languages. A language other than what they spoke at home. I am assuming I just sang along to the ABCD tunes and rhymes and thought they were an advanced level of my mother tongue. When I gradually began discovering the world of English, I found this world to be enticing and sweet!! It sounded nice and rich especially when it came from my favorite aunt’s pretty little mouth.

My aunt played a vital role in my upbringing. That’s the great thing about Indian families. It’s not just the parents who mould you and give you the great shape you are in right now. My aunt(my father’s sister) was one of my favorite people in the world. She pampered me just the right amount(gave me the chocolates and surprisingly lost them when I asked for more). My mother and her being very good friends, accompanied me to school one day. I remember hearing a new word  for the first time. My aunt proudly told my headmistress, she is my ‘Niece’. I liked the sound of Niece.

They lived just a stone’s throw away from us. Her kids were my favorite cousins, we always spent the most glorious times together. When mum or dad couldn’t be there for me or when I was overwhelmed by the tyranny at home, I became my aunt’s responsibility. There was a play from the dance classes I attended back then. I played a King (don’t fret, you haven’t been following a girl blogger who is actually a boy!! I am a girl!!). But yes, I played a King(King Janak to be precise). Auntie took me to the town hall, got me changed into my royal robes and realized she had forgotten the pins to hold the robe in place. She rushed to the store to buy the pins and came panting back. I loved her for it. I couldn’t say my lines right till I spotted her in the audience that night. King Janak was a smashing hit and I saw how her eyes shone with pride.

I was homesick when I went away to college. Auntie’s office was close to my boarding place. She came visiting almost every week, and brought me pastries so often. No matter how fat I got, I was always her scrawny niece  who din’t eat enough. She hugged me close in my darkest hour of need, kept me strong when I wanted to wither away. She cried for each one of my losses in life and  jubilantly celebrated every success I had. She probably knew I loved to read, but I wish I had told her the writing bug had caught me. 

She was one of the most beautiful,selfless people I knew. She believed the world could not be conquered on an empty stomach and always, always worried about eating right and feeding everyone she met. And her humor!! She had the skill to turn any unpleasant, complex problems into something funny. And she was one person I knew who was as fond of clicking pictures as any of us these days. Thanks to her, we have beautiful memories in abundance. There are pics of us being fat and funny, there are pics of us being happy, there are pics of us after having had too many drinks and not remembering laughing so hard. 

Life brings you morbid days sometimes and I had one such day last week. I am glad I said I love you when we spoke last. I am just sorry I dint say how much. 

Surprise!!!!

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What’s your current read? I am reading ‘The Moonstone’ by Wilkie Collins. It’s a delicious classic mystery about this huge diamond which gets stolen. It’s so good that I cannot wait for the little one to take his daily naps 😬. You are judging me now, aren’t you? Come on, I am allowed a few pleasures!! 

So while I was reading this book, I had an unexpected epiphany! I love mysteries!! Only after a heart wrenching, fuzzy, mushy romance of course! I loved how especially in this book, there is a surprise element at the end of almost each chapter. I looove surprises!! So tell me, have you met someone who is a dunce at giving anyone anything even remotely surprising? Duh!! You haven’t met me! I cannot, for the life of me figure out how to give little surprises to anyone but my mom every first of April! And I have a strong hunch that she either pretends to be surprised or is a bigger fool than I am. 

I order something great for anniversaries or birthdays and I simply cannot pretend! I smile way too much, I flutter my eyes way too often and ultimately the cat is out of the bag with the screechiest meow one ever heard! I ordered my hubby a birthday gift, took great pains to edit the credit card details on Amazon, but forgot to edit the confirmation notification phone number! Yeah I know!! I know! He, on the other hand never ever ceases to surprise me. And what’s worse, it need not be an occasion too! 

So we went out today and found this cute little package awaiting us when we got back. I look at him, and he has the straight-est of faces. Ohh it’s so infuriating! He never lets the cat out you know! You would think the cat is smothered to death or something! Anyway, so I open the package and surprise surprise, it’s a pack of macaroons shipped all the way from New Jersey! Because apparently they make the best ones there!! And yeah he smiled when I smiled. I had told him how I hadn’t tasted them macaroons before. 

So here are a few pics, you would think I am smiling way too much after the surprise package arrived, funnily this was before I got it, so just imagine how it must have been after!! 😝

Hope you all had a nice mushy weekend!!

I am wearing :

Shorts – American eagle 

top – rue 21

shoes – guess

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Some more, please? 

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I wonder if we are slowly, unknowingly getting sucked into the ‘I want more’ mayhem as a mankind. Do you remember the last time you were completely, blissfully happy with something you got or bought? Humph!!! That little thinking taking more time than you thought it would eh?

I do not know how or when it all began, the feeling crept in inconspicuously. I just know I used to be different. I remember being at school and being supremely restless all day long, because Dad was coming home with our new car. I rushed home and couldn’t contain my excitement at seeing the little beauty. You know what I did after that? I fetched a blanket and a book and made the new car my abode for the evening. I dint step out till it was dinner time and mom got into an abominable preaching session with dad on how he had pampered me into becoming a frivolous person(that was just her opinion back then, I am very dependable now!).

Small things made us happy, din’t they? Like watching a movie after school at the big movie hall, eating masala dosa at the famous restaurant(at East End for those of you who know), buying a copy of the latest Nancy Drew, getting a phone connection for the first time(I memorized our phone number right away and nonchalantly gave it to all my friends at school the next day, behaving like it was no big deal at all). Now don’t get me wrong! I am not saying I don’t feel happy or content anymore, I do, but somehow it isn’t the same, is it? 

I buy a nice pair of shoes, and I am already thinking what other colors I need them in. I order something online, but always, yes always end up getting it exchanged(and while I am at the store, I may as well buy something else too!!) There is this unquenchable desire for more. Is that good or bad? Some would say it’s good to want more, it keeps you going, it makes you ambitious, but isn’t it also good to sometimes be content with what you have?

Well just so you don’t think I am made of some kind of stone, there are things that make me supremely happy even now. While man is incorrigible on some accounts, thank god for love that is still abundant in the world. Nothing has changed in the way a mother feels when her baby takes his first tiny steps. My boy walked for the first time, and I am sorry I cannot even begin to tell you how that felt. They say LOVE is an abstract feeling, it’s just an idea without a physical existence. I would say, they are wrong! There is nothing more concrete in this world than LOVE.

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