Golfer’s Oasis: A day in the Splendid city of St.Andrews

The city of St. Andrews is approximately two hours away from the city of Edinburgh. So behind the wheels, we were off to explore the Golfer’s Oasis!

The “home of golf”, the city of St. Andrews is most famous for the its Old Golf Course because the most popular links course is the frequent host of The Open Championship, which is one of the four main championships. The sandy beach just along the course is famous for the song “Chariot of Fires” running scenes.

So with two crazy golf fans we headed straight towards the Golf Course in the city of St. Andrews. And I must tell you not knowing much about golf in particular I loved the environment and the vibe of the whole place. We spent the morning exploring the golf course, with a lot of history filled in the place we completed about an hour on the ground. Walking on the ground we headed to a small stone bridge which is very cute and famous in respect of it’s history. A very famous player had clicked a photo on the bridge when he had completed his game way before everybody which makes the bridge a photographic place to click photos.

After clicking numerous photos, we moved on to the club house to shop. So spent some time there and decided to head to the beach! Tired and hungry we did not want to delay our lunch so, we cut short our time at the beach and headed in the city to eat some delicious food.

We went to a food joint named “St. Andrew’s” and had the most delicious meal of our lifetime. Okay, so one very interesting story that happened was, we ordered our food, and it was taking little bit of time so we slept, then the food came! We had ordered the typical English meal. We enjoyed our meal and asked for the bill, as we were sitting a level above, they were taking some to get us things, so we all slept again! We must have slept peacefully for an hour so and then realized that they had not brought the bill to us yet, so we all freshened up and went down, paid the bill and left. Now after such a nice sleep, we all wanted coffee, so we headed to a nearby coffee cafe and had amazing coffee.

But our day was not over yet. After the coffee, we again headed to the beach to take in the last view of the beautiful ocean. Sat in the fresh air, watching the people go by, some playing with dogs, some group of friends enjoying themselves and some just taking a nice walk! We sat there taking in the culture of the place, which was relaxed, laid back and yet interesting!

Taking the last few moments on the beach we headed out of the city and went back to Edinburgh!

There is not much to say about the place, except for the feeling and vibe you get in the place. So here are some pictures that you can enjoy and hopefully get the essence of what we felt, while we were there!

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When In Neoclassical Capital of Scotland: Edinburgh

Our next destination was the city famous for its stone-like structures! The city itself is known as the Stone of Destiny!

Let me take you on a tour of this beautiful city of Edinburgh, and this might also calm your curiosity of how to spend a day in the city of Edinburgh.

As we reached Edinburgh, we first met our host in Haymarket (a wonderful attraction of Edinburgh) who treated our palates with amazing Indian food, the traditional dal chawal! Oh what lunch, a saying came to my mind after that, “A girl can leave India, but India will never leave a girl!” That was exactly the scenario. Anyways,  after having the most wonderful traditional lunch we headed out to explore the city of Edinburgh!

We first went to the Edinburgh Castle, which is located on a small hill, much above the skyline of the entire city. We noticed on the way to our castle, that there were a lot of people and a lot of police on the streets. We found it unusual even for a city like Edinburgh. So after we parked our car while walking towards the castle we asked a kind policeman about the situation. On conversing with the policeman we found out that there was a concert, which is about to start in the premises of the castle. So we hurried up the stairs to see, if we could still go inside the castle. Just outside the castle gates, the government of Edinburgh has built a stadium like structure where people can attend concerts and other events! Which I thought was quite clever.

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When we reached the entrance of the castle, we saw the mighty stage which was set-up for the concert. Also, we caught a glimpse of the band which was going to perform, rehearsing they were known as “Il Divo”, never heard of them, but they sounded very good. Though they were setting up for the concert, the tourist were allowed to go inside the castle and visit. So we did that, there is only a certain distance you can go to without a ticket, after that you need a ticket. So we did not buy a ticket and went till where it was allowed without a ticket. We did not have much time and it was already evening time so we passed. If you have time and want to visit the Castle, you certainly can.

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Attached to the Castle is the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is One mile long streets, forming the main street of the Old Town. This street ends near the ocean. The street is filled with all the major points of attraction in the city of Edinburgh. So if you start walking down on this street you will find everything! Along the streets are numerous eating joints, souvenirs shops and much more! Weather, permitting you can spend all day on this street!

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When you go further down the street you can find St. Giles Cathedral which is a wonder in itself! Along the street there are numerous street artists that are constantly entertaining with some or the other twists and turns, its a great fun to watch!

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Just parallel to the Royal Mile is the Princes Street. This street is famous for shopping, name a brand and it is there, don’t name a brand that is also there! Want to shop head to the Princes Street!

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We were very very tired of walking from the Royal Street to the Princes Street, and now we were ready to head back, but the biggest obstacle in front of us was how to go back to the car! We did not want to walk all the way back because it was quite a distance, we could see the castle from Princes Street but did not know how to take a short cut! Stuck with the decision on what to do we decided to take the part less known. And boy, am i glad we took that path!

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When on the path, we entered a beautiful garden, I have no idea, if google enlists it on the attractions of Edinburgh, but it was worth a look! We were tired so to give our legs a little bit of rest we stopped on a bench and attempted to sleep, but thanks to the rains, we did not have it in our destiny. So we started walking further, it was raining but not so much, and thank the heavens, we reached our car without getting drenched.

After reaching the car we headed out to the ocean and spent sometime there before heading back home.

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We also visited the University of Edinburgh, just a drive through, and the Holyrood Palace, which we visited on the last day of Edinburgh. The Holyrood Palace, is a palace for the Queen of England, its known that this Palace is her favorite place to stay in.

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Charming Canterbury

The tiredness of the day prior had not even worn out and we were back on our feet to explore the Charming Canterbury!

Our beloved Captain, Araf Ali took up the responsibility to drive us to the town of Canterbury, which was about 2 hours from the vibrant city of London.

Our prime motive for visiting the town of Canterbury was to visit the Canterbury Cathedral which is a renowned cathedral because of the famous Saint Thomas Becket, around whose name mystery still revolves. And we were there for a special purpose and met 20 other familiar people with the same purpose!

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As soon as we stepped into the town of Canterbury our eyes were left in awe-struck! The town probably had the least people but it also could be because it was a Sunday and we reached quite early in the morning. After walking a while we decided to get a cup of coffee. We stopped at Cafe Nero the cafe which probably serves the best coffee in all of United Kingdom. In that cafe we got acquainted with a couple who came into town every Sunday. They lived a little outside the town of Canterbury, for more than 30 years. This kind couple pointed us in the direction of the best offset and the most unplanned places we went to, Herne Bay!

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Let me come to that a little later.

We had our coffee’s said our goodbyes’ to the wonderful couple and headed to the Canterbury Cathedral as we were there to attend the service and it was time. Standing at the gates of the Cathedral we greeted the ones who had reached us, and as we turned around we saw some more familiar faces. We greeted them and walking from far away were some more familiar faces approaching us. Every face that we greeted had a smile ear to ear and we were all delighted to be in each other’s company. We weren’t family, but it was the best family reunion one could every imagine or ask for.

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After catching up with our beloved familiar faces we headed inside the Cathedral. The magnificence of the Cathedral left us all in awe! The beautiful Canterbury Cathedral surprised us with every step we took. The service was a beautiful setting with soulful prayers being sung in chorus. We sang too!

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After leaving the service we all headed to explore the Cathedral. It possess too much history and mystery! You have got to visit it to believe it! The most fascinating story of all was of the Saint Thomas Becket. He was given the title of ‘Saint’ after his assassination which was apparently falsely been ordered by King Henry the second of England. The exact order of the events are still under speculation.

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After exploring the beauty and the mystery of the Cathedral we all headed out to our different respective destinations. The wonderful couple had suggested us to visit Herne Bay. Initially we were supposed to go to Cliffs of Dover but we decided to take the advise of the aged couple. And thank God we did! Taking the advise felt like serendipity because we cruised into a place which was the least touristy and the most jaw-dropping of all! The beach couldn’t be more pure and the wind in our hair just re-assured of our moments there. We calmed our heads and rested our eyes beholding the vision which was in front of us!

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The voices of our stomach broke our meditative state, and our captain showed us the was to Mushy Pea which was probably the place where we had the best Fish and Chips!

The wonderful day ended on an amazing note when we came back to London with memories which will definitely have a special place in my autobiography!


 

Hello all. Thank you for taking the time to read!

I hope you all like it! Do visit my other blogs if you have not read yet!

Comments are most welcome and sharing the link is encouraged!

Thank you all, have an amazing day ahead! 🙂

Pictures: Taken by Shaheen (the Author of the blog) and Zainuddin Aarif (the authors uncle)

Lost Hopes

Background:

There is no background as such, it was just a thought process.

Hope you enjoy it


Lost Hopes

I lie like the dead sea, still, lifeless.

The night sky, full of stars, full of hope.

Lingers above me.

But I lie still, just like, the dead sea.

The sun rises, it shines,

Here comes tomorrow,

Here comes endless new possibilities

Here comes the summer

But I lie still, still, just like yesterday.

I sit at the window

Looking at the seasons pass,

The rains, washing away the dust,

The autumn stripping the trees naked

The spring, blooming the flowers

But I lie still, just like the trunk, watching the days go by.

Is there no hope?

No hope for a better tomorrow?

Because,

Hope for me,

Is like the rain in a drought

Like a silver lining on the darkest cloud.

Like a light at the end of tunnel

Hope is what I need, it’s the sun that I need.

My faith in good is lost

My faith in a better tomorrow is lost

There is no strength

To carry on, to see thing through to go on.

How to rise above this?

How to go on without faith?

How to go on without hope?

Because I still lie like the dead sea, lifeless, don’t know how to go on…..

– Shaheen.


Etching Happiness: Uroli

 

I was travelling again, alone again, in the train again but this time to Delhi, the capital of India. My mom was very scared and happy as well, as a matter of fact she gave me a name also, vagabond. While the train was heading towards Delhi, I was sitting quietly in my seat which was thankfully near the window. I had mixed feelings about this trip. I was laughing to my self, feeling proud and having fun by myself. This is when I conscientiously realised that I in fact do love my own company, I love to stay with myself.

So, this was it, I was on the road yet again, this time ready to experience and learn. What came as a surprise were the amazing friends that I made, which I am very proud of. It all started out in Delhi, I reached Delhi during early afternoon and was in the hotel by lunch time. I saw a lot of familiar faces as well as new friendly faces who were very welcoming. I was sharing a room with another instructor named Sonia. We became relatively friendly and after a while I found myself with her and 3 other instructors on the metro train on our way to Decathlon.

After the alarm went off at 3 o’clock in the morning me and Sonia got up and got ready as we had to leave the hotel by 3:30 with other instructors. The meeting point for the kids was the Delhi Railway station. After sometime we found ourselves on Shatabadi Express honking our way to Kathgodam station. I was put in a different coach, but because of the kids had to constantly make my way through 2 coaches to keep the kids entertained. Which was fun as its better to get acquainted to kids before hand. Then the camp is nothing else but a lot of fun. When we reached the Uroli campsite, I was awestruck! It was nothing but pure beauty which existed in reality in front of my eyes. All the tiredness from the 12 hour journey just vanished and i was ready to conduct the camp.

The first programme was only of 6 days. I wanted to stay a little longer, and right then a miracle occurred and I stayed back for one more programme in the same campsite. I adored the camp with all my heart. Along these 6 days of the first programme, I learned a lot. I was thankful to be working with the best team there was, with Tony sir as my team leader, who I had already worked with. Our team was like a well oiled machine, everybody knew their own parts, no tiff’s no grudges and we carried out the activities very very smoothly and somewhat very humorously.

During these 6 days I was with the backpacking team. I wanted a little bit of a change and for one day I changed my team to that of rock climbing. There was this kid who wanted to be with me for very long. When she found out that on that day I was not going for backpacking she lost her cool. Thankfully she did not cry, but she made a huge scene even with my team leaders, nothing major. But that act was very emotionally touching in a certain way. Moreover, I could see that my team members also did not want me to leave, I mean that’s what I felt. But I went with rock climbers anyway.

All in all when these 6 days were over the kids took away with them a lot of memories and bonds were created with us as well. We all had a day’s break before the next group was going to come. The whole camp was to ourselves, there were no kids to watch over, no one to wake us up in the morning and on top of it, it started raining. All of us were more than happy to crash out early after dinner and sleep in late.

The next set of kids were a bit older than the previous lot. They made themselves at home as soon as they entered the camp. Though tired from the the long journey, their energy level was still as high as the Everest! they were welcomed with heavy rain, very heavy rain. After they were all allotted to their respective tents, they were made acquainted with us as we all were to spend 8 days with each other. Might as well spend it peacefully. :p

So, I was in the backpacking team again with two new members and two old members including me. This time each group would stay with us for 3 days and then the next group would come again for 3 days. These 3 days also included a night out in the wild. I adored my first group very much. On the first day we took them to our usual route and the usual lectures that we conduct. During the course of day one, we all became very close to each other. Which put my mind at peace that the next two days will be good, especially the night out. To my surprise all the kids of my team were crazily excited about the night out. In no time, on day two, we were packed and ready to go. Because there were a lot of girls and it was a night out I insisted on taking one more lady instructor with me. The night out which we were a bit scared of went off very smoothly. Kids did see a baby fox there, but they were not scared at all. We had a campfire which the kids thoroughly enjoyed. From that day on wards I was known as the “Chuha” didi, because I did a rhyme which they absolutely loved. I was also known as the “Haryali” didi because of a power up I conducted.

Oh! The night out for the kids was a total hit, but the night out for the instructors…… It was no doubt amazing, but we had no tents, we had to sleep under the tarp. Which was indeed amazing, but then it started raining, and to top it all the tarp was not big enough to fit 6 instructors. But the night past and we all came out of the tarp alive. That night changed the equation between me and the kids. We all became much much closer to each other. They adored me and I returned their love with all my heart.

When we came back from the night out in the morning, the kids were in for a surprise. We took them for a bath, in the stream. It was the coldest water I had ever been in till date, on top of that, there was rain with hailstorm. That day was unforgettable, it will always be etched as a perfect memory in my brain.

The next day the groups were switched and I switched with my group to rock climbing. But sadly, it did not last very long, I injured my self and was not able to go with my group for remaining 2 days. Though, I kinda left the kids, the kids of group 1 did not leave me. The kids would come to me to talk about their day, show me their talents, and then we would start singing songs. And of course the chuha rhyme followed. The most special thing was 3 of the kids, made a lovely get well soon card for me. I was emotionally touched, with all the love I was getting.

On the last day, I did not want to leave the camp site, but I had to go back, I had to come home. The kids cried because they didn’t want to leave the camp, some actually cried because they did not want to leave me. But they had to, everyone had to go. And so did I.

And this way, another wonderful camp came to an end, and I was home again. This trip was nothing but a wonderful journey of friendship, love and happiness. I made friends with the instructors who are still very much in touch with me. I created memories with the kids, which will always be ingrained in my brain, and always hold a special place in my heart. Uroli was the best camp of this summer, hands down. I tell this very honestly and very truthfully. The lessons I learned, the love I received, the bonds I created are beyond anything in this world. This trip was all about discovering yourself and it made me realise there is so much more to this world and with just a simple smile and politeness we can touch so many lives and hearts.


 

Thank you for reading.

All the pictures in this blog which do not have me in it are clicked by me.

Everything in this blog is written through experience. I hope you all like it. Please like this blog so that i receive your encouragement. Since you are here please comment, criticism is most welcomed.

Thank you!

P.S- The featured image does not have me in it, but it describes my exact feelings for this camp.

Mindset Of a Traveller!

Time to Travel people!

The season of travelling has arrived and I am here to give you tips on how to travel.

We travel for two purposes:  a.) Luxury.     b.) Because we love travelling.

Personally in my lifetime (whatever lifetime I have had) I have travelled with family, without family, international school trips and also spontaneous alone drives (not far off though :P). I have experienced luxury travelling, but not luxury as in staying ONLY in the hotel room, with luxury travelling I have experienced actual travelling, like sightseeing and stuff. Contrary to this I have also slept nights in a temple floor, with freezing temperature outside and also on the surface of the Earth (literally) with nothing but a small sheet separating us from the ground and all the mud (but legs still being in mud).

So I can safely say that I have had my share of experiences with travelling. 😛

In this post I will be covering the LUXURY mindset of a traveller. And hopefully the next will follow soon.

Now lets see how to start of when you are aiming for Luxury travelling:

1.)  Have a nice Hotel room to go to.

When you are planning your luxury travelling, always remember that while you are booking a hotel room, to where ever your destination maybe, always book a room with a nice view and jaw dropping facilities.

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Having a nice view from the Hotel room and awesome facilities, you can experience the actual luxury that you have come to experience. The view from the room keeps you entertained while the facilities make you lazy. A beautiful view of snow-caped mountains or a river gushing at its full pace or a sunny beach whose waves can be heard constantly, will be all the adventure you will need. This is a small getaway from the reality, where you can meditate and shop till you drop.

2.) Shopping Therapy.

Believe it or not, shopping is a therapy. It is indeed a stress buster. You are free to ask any psychologist in the world, or even refer to books about it.

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When it comes to destination shopping, there is a sudden rush. We want to take as much as possible, because we feel if we leave out things, we are not coming back for them. This is a one time thing. Buy as much as you want if you don’t have space buy another suitcase, enjoy shopping. Be creatively greedy and shop your minds out. Have a smile on our face when you have paid for something. I know it is a wrong advice, but do it, feel that rush. Once in a while, it’s okay!

3.) What to carry.

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Don’t let your closet leave you in dilemma. Take control! If your goal is to solely enjoy on this vacation then why carry the weight of sports shoes. Your motto should be “dress to impress”. You maybe with your family, your friends or with anybody, dress like everyday is a red carpet day. Carry heels or simple pair of footwear which goes with any dress. Also one pair of comfortable footwear, just in-case you are feeling adventurous! 

4.) Planning of events.

Plan events according to your time and convenience. If you want to then do it, otherwise you can leave the adventure. You don’t have to rush into everything, get up late and plan the day ahead with a calm mind. If you want to laze around during the day, you re free to do that, don’t feel guilty about it. Planning is not an issue. You can either go on a one day safari ride, or just take a cable car and sit on the snow caped mountains or even explore all the trendy restaurants. You are there to relax, do not go on an adventure spree, unless that’s what you are there for. 😛

5.) Mode of Travelling

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Mode of travelling- according to your convenience! 😛 

These are few tips to travel when you are on a luxury travel. Even when you are on a luxury travel, you can still explore the city and country side. Trust me sitting in a hotel room is very boring. The basic aim for luxury travelling is to not rush it means to have a quiet get away, be it for a week, a day, 10 days or 7 days. You are there to enjoy, so do that. This does not necessarily has to be in an exotic foreign location, when you are travelling luxury, go where you have been (that is just my tip). But don’t ever forget to ENJOY!

Dear World: An Open Letter.

Body shaming is not appropriate. Period. 

There is no explanation is to why you should or can body shame anyone in this world. I mean anybody be it someone close to you or someone you just saw on the street walking or eating in a restaurant.

Some people give you an explanation that we are doing it out of love or it is just for fun. NO! Body shaming is body shaming be it out of love or just for fun. It needs to stop. Period. 

As children growing up, we have a social pressure to look and to behave in a certain way. Why? Why is it that, if we look or behave or dress in certain way then and only then we will be accepted by the world and the society that we live in. Nobody looks at you for the work that you are doing, the society will judge you by the way you look. Nobody and by this I mean nobody teaches you to be you. To be yourself and not worry about the way you look or the way you dress but to improve on your talents and be known for that. And not be pointed out everyday for being too fat or too skinny or ugly. Nobody has the nerve to accept an imperfect person for the way they are. Accept yourself! Don’t let people bother you.

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As a personal victim of body shaming I feel like a balloon full of emotions ready to burst out into tears the next time someone body shames me. But I hold back, I fight everyday against the body shamers. When you are body shamed on DAILY BASIS you just feel not good enough. You feel useless and start doubting yourself and your capabilities. The people who body shame other people don’t know how demotivating it is for that person and how damaging it is to their confidence. 

People who are body shamed fight, they fight everyday to even put a foot out of their home. They fight a battle inside that nobody knows of. They fight to be the person the society wants them to be. They strive endlessly to be beautiful looking person, which I think they already are. Look beyond their looks, have a peak inside their heart you won’t find anyone nicer than them. 

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When people laugh, make jokes on you everyday, tease you for the way you look everyday countlessly you just don’t feel good enough. The wish to exist just disappears. (By this I mean not to die, but just failing to exist, meaning to not go in front of anybody because you know they will body shame you.) The people who do it don’t know what all the other person has to face they laugh on you and move on. Easy. But what about the person who has been body shamed, what about their tears, their struggle? Think. Have Empathy. Feel their emotion. Recognize and Realize their tears. Don’t sympathies or feel sorry for them, because they don’t need it, they are much stronger than you think.

Do you all know that story, where in an island somewhere in the world people don’t cut the trees, they go to the tree everyday and curse them and one day that tree automatically falls down. That’s what all the body shamers are doing. If you are telling a person close to you everyday that they don’t fit the criteria of a perfect looking person set by the people of the society, that person will one day go. Not necessarily die but leave, just go away from your life. And when they are gone what will you miss their body, their not so perfect body or their heart, mind and soul? 

So instead of wasting your time in telling them how to fit the criteria of a perfect person, or body shaming them every step of the way, tell them you love them, tell them how much they mean to you, let them know that you accept them as they are because if they are gone they will never come back. And you will know who’s fault will that be. 

Stop Body Shaming! Be a good person! Don’t put anybody down, instead help them rise and strive to the best that they can. Stop Bullying! Stop Body Shaming! Find Beauty in Imperfection! Because it exists, it sure exists and it is the most beautiful thing one can know and see.