What Ghar Wali Diwali means to me

Do you remember this post from 2013? I keep telling people how Diwali isn’t the same for me any more. For the first 20-21 years of my life, I have seen the Diwali of only one city. All of us cousins live in different parts of India but on Diwali, we all used to gather at our grandfather’s house to do the Puja together. It used to be the highlight of my entire year. We looked forward to meeting each other on Diwali every year. This tradition is slowly fading away. Although the bond among us cousins is as strong as ever (touchwood!), it is not a mandate now that we meet every year on Diwali. I am not even exaggerating if I say that each one of us wants to meet on Diwali still. However, now we are ‘mature adults’ or in the process of becoming so. 😀 We understand how we have our own houses now where it should be taken care of that we light earthen lamps and worship Goddess Lakshmi on Diwali.

For me, Diwali would always mean that. What we had in those years. I am so lucky to have experienced that. I really, really thank God that he gave us the chance to experience those wonderful Diwali years. My grandfather’s house is in Churu, a place in Rajasthan. Trust my words on this, the commercialized Diwali of the metro cities doesn’t even compare to the beauty of the Diwali of these small cities. Especially when we are talking Rajasthan where the people are so, so innocent. Although I am a Punjabi, due to the interactions with my neighbors from my grandfather’s place, I have learnt that the people are very innocent and nice. I would always miss my beautiful Diwali years and they will be written in my mind forever. This is what Ghar Wali Diwali means to me. This would always remain my favorite, close-knit Diwali. 🙂

I would always remember the laughter we shared, the lipsticks we put on as kids to seem dressed-up, the chants we sung together during the Puja as one big family, the toy guns we played with, the judgement we passed on other people’s Rangoli and clothes and most importantly, I will always remember when at the end of the Puja, my grandfather used to light one fire-stick (phooljhadi) in front of the Gods and we all held his arm and sang Diwali-Diwali till it burned. This memory is one of my most cherished treasures. 🙂

This post is written as a part of Indiblogger’s happy hours campaign of #GharWaliDiwali. You can check out further details at https://www.gharwalidiwali.com/. Here’s a video of PepsiCo #GharWaliDiwali  film:

PS: Although I wrote this post when I got to know about this campaign, this is one post I wanted to write since forever. It is a very heartfelt post and I am so glad that I finally managed to write it. 🙂

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Kashmir Diaries 2013

Hi guys! 🙂

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I know I am doing too much posts about things that happened in 2013 like this post but I guess that’s fine if the things are as beautiful as Kashmir, right? Well, truth be told, I might do more posts about 2013! 😛

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Those white things are mountains 🙂

Talking about Kashmir, who doesn’t know that it is heaven on Earth? Indeed, it was very beautiful. No wait. Very, very beautiful. However, might I add, I am sure there are other places in the world (and in India) which are extremely beautiful, somehow they are not treated in the same league as Kashmir. Maybe, when I visit them, I will be in a better position to decide. I loved Kashmir but I think there are other places just as beautiful?

I would like to talk about a few things about Kashmir:

1. The highlight of the trip for me was Dal Jheel. It is a long stretching lake in Kashmir dotted with house boats and Shikaras.

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 Shikaras are cutely adorned beautiful boats for tourists to roam around and enjoy the beauty of the lake. The most unexpected part was that these Shikaras were also used by shopkeepers to sell things on the go in the lake itself! Like, we had hired one Shikara and while we were roaming in it, out of nowhere used to appear another Shikara every once in a while selling Jewellery, herbs, nuts and other knick-knacks for which the area is known for.

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Also, there is a huge market selling Kashmiri clothes and wooden stuff located on the lake itself. Its very beautiful and a different experience altogether. 🙂 I loved the Dal Jheel experience the most during my whole trip. Did I mention that the houseboats were E.X.T.R.E.M.E.L.Y. beautiful with carved wooden walls and all?

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2. We visited Pehalgam, a small village on the outskirts of Srinagar, which is famous for certain tourist points and apple fields that lead to it.

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This place in Pehalgam was called Chandanwadi.

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  This cozy little cafe in Chandanwadi served us maggi and desi style hot chocolate. Heavenly it was!


This cozy little cafe in Chandanwadi served us maggi and desi style hot chocolate. Heavenly it was!

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This is a valley where the shooting of a Bollywood movie ‘Betaab’ was done.

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3. We also visited Gulmarg, which is like the heart of Kashmir, it is very beautiful and the snow there glitters making it such a perfect sight.

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Sledges were available here to have fun on the snow, sledges did not look very exciting though!

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4. As most already know and must have observed, Kashmiri people are very beautiful, be it a girl or a boy. They have very sharp features, perfectly carved. 🙂

5. When in Kashmir, drink the original Kashmiri Kahwa. It is a type of tea that is big on dry fruits and is supposed to provide warmth. There’s absolutely no way that you won’t like it, doesn’t matter whether you are a tea person or not.

6. Kashmir is famous for dry fruits like Walnuts and almonds and for Kesar (Saffron) too. However, it is very easy for tourists to get fooled into buying fake stuff. So, either be sure or don’t buy in huge quantities at one go. Definitely buy Kashmiri clothes like shawls, warm suits and sarees, jackets, kaftans etc. There are some big markets in Srinagar called Lakkad Bazaar and Lal Chowk.

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7. There are two things which were very striking about the life there. People are always wearing this thing called phiran over whatever they are wearing to provide comfort. The picture in the link is a very fashionable type, the ones that people wear there in routine are very rugged and even men wear them, the ones for men are usually of plain or tartan print. Secondly, they always carry this fire-pot called Kangdi with them to keep themselves warm.

8. We couldn’t visit the famous Mughal gardens and this place called Sonmarg due to lack of time. Hoping that I would visit these places some time! 🙂

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Oh, and, just because we are discussing travel, I would mention that I love clicking people, emotions, streets and culture more than I like clicking nature. So, I love Shimla a lot because there are people, there are markets and there are the British buildings. You get me? For the same reason, I love Rajasthan, I loved Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur. Well, Jaipur is one of my favorite cities. 🙂   For the same reason, I want to visit Pushkar, Lucknow and Kolkata. I think street photographers will get me? 😀

Take care & stay happy,

Srishty 🙂

Life Instagrammed #3

Hi guys! 😀

Ok, so this one is spread over two weeks because I did not click much last to last week. 😛

Aaand, here you go:

1. Auto with ‘adornments’. Indian autos are fun, no really, you haggle and you get such funny reasons as to why they won’t decrease the amount (though when you are in the situation, its ridiculous!). These autos usually have such funny pictures of bollywood stars. inside, and sometimes, these super flashy seats and all.:D However, I think this auto looks very cute with this gift adornment!IMG_20140122_131232

2. Flower stall selling flowers for temples. Winter evenings.IMG_20140124_180042

3. Again, office washroom decorations. I can’t seem to get enough of these.IMG_20140127_092106

4. It is a brownie that I made in a ceramic mug. It did not come out perfect. I learnt the recipe from here.IMG_20140129_230252

5. Breakfast.IMG_20140131_113358

6. New books received from Amazon.IMG_20140201_000757

7. These days, Meru cabs are giving this ‘breakfast’. Marketing, way to go!IMG_20140201_001258

8. Midnight popcorn by my brother.IMG_20140201_233226

9. Midnight instant pastaIMG_20140202_004409

10. Sunday afternoonIMG_20140202_134338

11. Sunday afternoon breakfast if you wake up almost at lunch time!IMG_20140202_134729

12. New lipbalm. Totally digging this one! Just don’t like the smell that much, but pigmentation and moisture-provided are very impressive.IMG_20140204_210654

13. Windy mornings. Waiting for office cab, wearing my lace bellies from Westside.IMG_20140207_075549

14. New Watch! New Watch! New Watch! Totally loving it ❤IMG_20140207_125952

Take care 🙂

Diwali 2013

Ok, you must be like, why is she posting about Diwali after 2 months! I am sorry, for a post that clearly belongs to a different time slot. However, I wanted to share my Diwali clicks anyway. 😀

For the uninitiated, Diwali is one of the biggest festivals in India. It was primarily a festival celebrated by Hindus to celebrate the return of Lord Ram with his wife and brother from exile of 14 years and to celebrate his victory over evil, as per our Holy book, Ramayana. It is also believed among us that on this auspicious day, our Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth enters our houses if they are clean and well-maintained. So, we clean and prep-up our houses for her welcome. 🙂 These days, Diwali has become such a huge festival in India that it is celebrated by people of almost all religions. People clean their houses, beautify them, light them up, gobble up amazing food and burn crackers (not a huge fan of them, they cause so much pollution)! Anyway, I wanted to share my clicks from this year’s Diwali on the blog, better late than never. 😀 Have a look!

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Look how the city is decked up in Lights! 🙂

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And we are ready for the Pooja (prayers)

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Rangoli Colors

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This Diwali was quite different for me and my brother. I am 22 and for the first 20 years of my life, I have celebrated Diwali in only one way, being at my grandparents’ house in our hometown. The whole family used to gather there and we cousins used to have a blast. Diwali used to be my one of my favorite days of the year. With my grand dad passing away, things started to change a bit. Now our elders feel that it is ok to celebrate Diwali in our respective homes. However, last year, all my cousins visited us on Diwali as per my mum’s request. She told them that year that they should come to our new house to initiate the tradition of Diwali at this new house too. So, although, last year’s Diwali in a different house after all these years was a big change, it did not feel all that bad because the people who made that day awesome for me were still with me. However, this year, we all celebrated Diwali at our respective homes. Wow! What a change! It doesn’t mean the same to me. Probably, that is why I clicked a lot to divert my attention from this fact. Well, Diwali isn’t going to be the same anymore.

Life instagrammed! Week #2

Finally a proper post is up. Trust me, there are.more posts with interesting content to follow. Here’s to week #2 of life captured!

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Beginning from left (going across):

1. Reading the weekly Sunday magazine – HT Brunch by Hindustan Times. It has this amazing article on places to explore in Delhi without paying a single penny, that is what the cover page is about.

2. My old converse: This is my favorite picture out of the lot. I have memories attached to these shoes, and I love them, even though they are quite worn out.

3. Winter Sunshine: I was coming back from an exam whose center was in a remote area, I saw this field on my way back. It looked beautiful in reality, the picture hasn’t come out that good.

4. Cooking Spring Onions and Potatoes: This happened on a Saturday afternoon.

5. Cooking Papad ki sbzi: This happened right after point 4, I tried to make a dish out of this Indian crunchy! Its funny that it looks like pasta. 😀

6. Shopping the sales: I shopped from westside over the weekend, and I love the ballerinas so so much.

7. Garnier body cocoon: Bought this as I couldn’t find the one from Himalaya, which is cruelty-free, I wanted to try this any way, so bought this one anyway. Pleasant but artificial smell. Not good for extremely dry skin.

8. Office washroom: One of the washrooms in Office which is done up nicely.

9. Currently Reading: City of Djinns by William Dalrymple. I am also starting my brunch book challenge with this one. Opinion will be up soon on the blog!

Here are some more:

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1. Fuzzy socks: Who doesn’t love them? I love them completely.

2. First lipstick: This is my first ever lipstick. Its crazy! I am so embarrassed about it, but still wanted to buy one. haha! Its an influence of all the beauty blogs reading. I’ll probably share my opinion in a post soon?

3. Flower arrangement: Again, in the office washroom.

Take care. 🙂

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