Namaste India

“I believe that there are days in our lives when we feel defeated in our efforts but not in our intention.

I believe that there can be no bigger God than the One within Us.

I believe there can be no bigger Buddha than that of Universal Peace.

Join in my good karma and welcome to my blog !!!”



Friday, November 9, 2012

Rosewood Table Memories...Vidya Niwas, Dharamsala !

 In all the furniture in the house, there is a certain feeling of ' lived in ', they all have played center stage in our daily life. Most important I have seen my pets almost all of them, develop their own rapport and bond with favorite rosewood table has seen many journeys made by it tells you..

" A birthday celebration was always something to look forward to, on any day. It was special not just for the person for whom the cake was decorated, but also for me as I was stocked with gifts, food, wine and laughter. 

It was on one such occasion, when along with all the gifts my Mistress received a beautiful gift of  life in a sparkling bag..a dancing gold fish Mandaline, who peered at us from her water screen. The immediate task of getting an aquarium took some time, but she soon had her own home which I think gave her more space to antic around than a water jar. Soon there were many others of her own species who joined her company.

The coming spring was like a rush of adrenaline, with "Handsome', a beautiful gold fish, to romance around with Mandaline. They were like a whirlpool in the aquarium..running around the corners, hiding in the bush plant, riding atop a bubble and racing for food..!

Alas ! the good days did not last, Handsome tragically passed away and left a void in Mandaline's life. Everyone tried to cheer her up but she griefed in her sorrow by hiding under the stone. Other gold fishes were brought along with  the best  of  aquarium toys which she loved, but even the best worms did not appeal her or bring her happiness in her solitude. We gave up and I could see the Mistress was worried. 

One fine day, the little master brought the Black Moore called the Black Prince. No one accepeted him in the aquarium. He was a different hue altogether, till this her solitude and with the passing of time, Mandaline was slowly loosing her say inside the water politics...she was often brushed aside by the other younger gold fishes, but come this day, the Black Prince came to her rescue and shooed them away..from then on they becoame the best of friends..a companionship which only comes in the muted sunset of our life... Mandaline once again had found joy in her soulmate...!

Like the many seasons of our life, every association has its own flavor n joy..!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Memoirs of a Rose Table..Tea with the Gods !

" The best part of my Mistress was, that she lifted the mundane to the spiritual...I , a rosewood table  was never just a piece of simple furniture lying in the house.  I was nurtured, polished with loving hands and always repaired on time as the years crept by..the children grew but, till today I remember the High Tea of the Gods and the little girl who, with the genius of the Divine, created a new perception of the Almighty.

I often with envy, wished myself to be with the children of the house, in a garden tea party. The mindless chattering and playing of the kids, made me leave behind my gathering years..and so one mystical afternoon when the sun was low and there was the sound of thunder in the yonder hills, I found myself in the midst of a chidlren high tea party.  There were small baby sandwiches, french pastries straight from the Barbie oven, little tea cups n tea pot..teddy bears, dolls and glow worms as guests, along with our pet dogs..! There was so much preparation and excitement, that my Mistress with her kind humor told the children that she was expecting the Gods for tea today.

As the evening crept by, much was forgotten..a half cleared table and spilled food crumbs..the children had gone and everyone was busy with their evening chores. As can happen a sudden crash of thunder and the rain poured in !  With a loud rumbling of the clouds, the power crashed in too and for some  miraculous moments there was darkness..till the little girl in the house suddenly chirped " Oh Mom ! look the Gods have come for tea and sure enough almost like magic,  there I was glowing with the glow worm toys, beautifully lighted and comforting in the dark..! "

..Very often, the perception of God for children is innocent of all image..anything or anyone that can give comfort n laughter can warranty patronage from them..!

                                                    For a Himalayan Tea Buzz...Click Here !

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Memoirs of Rosewood Table..Of Food & Pets, 2012 !

There is so much which centers around the dining table which, has seen many hungry and happy faces reach a state of fulfillment, pleasure and happiness..

" While there are many moments which I will never forget with the Gurung family, I cannot but help remember the old chief of the Vidya Niwas pet family..Tabu !

From what I can remenber..Tabu alias Tumba got his name from the children due to his great  fondness and should I say 'greed' for good home food. The rising aroma  of  melted cheese on minced lamb, chicken and mashed potatoes, very often drifted into a home surrounded by guests, children..not to forget the other pet members..Bozo !

I speak of a day with great pride because no one could have received better attention and a guard on duty, like I did. It was a sunday and there was as usual, a spirit of expectation among all children and pets alike, for the good food to come on the table. Alas ! the little white dog,  Bozo could not resist the good appetising smell of a loaded table with  an array of delicious food. He tried to jump on the table even as we waited for everyone to arrive for dinner...What a commotion..the black dog, Tabu guarding the food table like a baby sitter, suddenly sprang into action which such speed and aggression...Till today, it is difficult for all of us here in Vidya Niwas, to get him away from his old guarding habit when there is food on the table...Iam truely honored and treasured, not just by the Gurung family but, also by my beautiful black Himalayan dog..Tabu, truely mountain in his spirit..!!"

*Memoir dedicated to our dear and loving dog..Tabu.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rose wood Memories of Music, 2012

A Rosewood table has so many things happening on it.....Water as it serinades collected pools of rain, stumbles down running streams of pebble and the monsoon gathers steam, so does the melody,almost deafening the song of the cuckoo, in its sudden rush of bubble and  fall.....surely the first musical must have been born in the divine lap of nature..

" I,  a Rose Wood Table was born in the wilderness of the Woods, lulled to sleep every night in the silence of the forest with only the high and low notes of the running streams as they did their journey ,calendering different seasons in their musical flow.....Now you can well imagine when one day I heard some of the same sounds come alive all over again....

I must say, it is very creditable for mankind to capture in a room, the essence of nature... Yes, I must tell of a day when, those empty bowls filled with perfumed water spilled forth into the surrounds, with all the notes of my childhood.. as the bearded musician played in harmony..with his magical sticks tapping  in all the water bowls, an orchesthra of symphony n sound,  soothed our ears.

The 'Jal-Tarang' as the instrument is known, is based on the concept of different levels of water, producing a variety of musical notes, as the wooden sticks strike on the bowls ! Such magic can only be the 'song of abandon', a gift of unkempt nature as it passes its seasonal journey, in a gush of eternal youth..!"

Some of the best music, can only be heard when and where the soul is pure and giving, in its compassion..!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Memoirs of a Rosewood Table..Bumble Bee Ramblings, 2012 !

 "I knew one day, there would be problems... This fondness of the children for a beehive in the house garden very near to me and the mistress's passion for trying new dining experiences with her guests! This was a lazy Sunday afternoon which went totally berzerk... Recently the children had introduced a bee box under a hidden twist of heavy spring wines and flowers in a seculaded corner of the garden... Who knew one day the old bumble bee alarm clock could actually be an invitation for a buzzing bee swarm..."

"I was fully enjoying the attention I was getting for a much awaited and noel cuisine afternoon of  honey tasting himalayan recipes... There I was completel y intune with the spirit of the afternoon, all abuzz with expectation of my first guests... "

 "Suddenly the clock announced its time with a buzz and a flutter which was very much like a swarm of honey bees humming in harmony while they worked...
This caught the attention of a bee who decided to investigate on his new found friend... We were suddenly in the company of our garden bees who obviously were not liking so many human beings sharing in the 'honey' of their hardwork... From those laughing sun flowers to smudgy cream and cakes, there was little on the table which was not visited by the bumble bee... A bee carnage on the table and the silence of a quiet afternoon recked by shrieks and screams,
scrambling dogs and spilled food!... We tried to chase our buzzing visitor but with ominous vengeance all it would do, was settle itself on the nearest bush and wait for its next onslot... "


  "New experiances can very often be the best learning lessons for each one of us as to how the great big outdoors can suddenly creep into our lives without a warning... "

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Moods, 2012..Rosewood Table Memoirs

What we remember about our selves is not often what others recollect in their moments of humour about us. On a day when the haven of my kitchen was exuding the invigourating essence of cinnamon & lime,brewed with honey...asound of a whisper from the creaking corners of my table,the merry tinkle of suger spoons,the spice of forgotten moods,it was all there in the memoirs of my old rosewood table,calendered as per floral creations....

"The Gurungs were special to me, not for the old lace tablecloth which was gifted to me which put behind me all my days of negligence but also for the many moods of the mistress, which I found truely funny, in their childish petulence. There were days of great adamance, when my brown table top, was ablaze with colors of the old barks of the wild set aflame with spring blossoms and the lush greens of the garden.

Her favorite on a sunshine day when everything was as per her liking, were the blooming sunflowers which she always mingled with the brown wood, lest the evil eye caught their laughter..

But I remember a day when the sun was down, there was a soft pitter patter on the window, signs of a gathering the thunder came in, so did the anger of my mistress..boy ! such wrath on broken promises..maybe be a delayed payment or just her favorite piece of crystal broken..who knows, what made a bad day ?? All I know is, that she did not take too well, to human beings erring on keeping their word. As her anger translated on the table, there was a creation of dried 'ikebana leaves' with a touch of yellow spring in it..!"

The spring of yellow blossoms was to her mind the rising sun of hope, because like I said, the Gurungs were special in many ways..most of all, for their inherent faith in mankind, which always gave them a tomorrow to dream about..!!..( Memoirs of the Old Rosewood Table.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dharamsala Miniguide..Memoirs of an old rosewood table..!

It was indeed a great feeling to be out of the back yard of a house, to the buzz of an office..however, this was not to be for long, as I soon found my way to the rented home of the Gurungs at Tapovan, Dharamsala.

The home had a furnished dining room, so as an old rosewood table I was not needed there. After much contemplation my mistress shifted me to the sun porch facing the kitchen garden..above all I became privy to all the pigeon chatter and garden gossip. I relate to you now my first hand experience of the courting romance of the Himalayan white pigeon.

"It was the day the children in the house, the little master Chinkoo and the little girl Nunu, were told strictly not to litter the table top with toys and crayons, as my mistress had kept her precious pickle jars for a sun bask..the fragnance of the mango n chilly ripening in the Himalayan sunshine, a golden yellow was a little intoxicating for me. Early morning, I saw the master fix a strange wooden box on the wall of the porch. My curioisity was fulfilled the next day as, two small pigeons, snowwhite and pure, were very gently put inside this box..a present from the master to my mistress.

Soon, there was laughter, cooing, chitter chatter as the kitchen garden played host to a rising number of pigeons. Much to the dismay of many homes around us, the homing pigeons found this pigeon haunt an interesting hop over to an overnight stay. There was Raja n Rani, my initial white chicks, who were now setting new romance tales a buzz and being the focus of much attention ! A lazy afternoon and then the new generation had arrived..!!"

Many many years later in Vidya Niwas, warm with food inside the dining room, I still miss the chitter chatter of those pigeons of Tapovan and the sun basking pickle jars..!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On a Khaki Trail..Dharamsala India Miniguide, 2012

As we went up in Dharamsala on a mountain trek, the sound of the rustling leaves brought back memories of those much forgotten college days, on a khaki trail!

The old corridors of Indraprastha College in Delhi, the beautiful surrounds and the sound of merry giggles and buzzing classes. Summer can hit you high and bring with it the sudden desire to chill out on your wardrobe..Fashion, at that time and till today has for me only meant running after a personalised conception of my interests. Something on the table and on the road which, speaks of you and what you are.

I do not remember which book it was or, what triggered it, but I desired so much, a summer khaki pants with a loose shirt..It was what I wanted to wear going on a jungle safari at the Dudhwa National Park (On the Lucknow/Nepal border). There was so much in the market to buy, brown khaki pants of all sizes and shapes, but not to my liking, the rough almost gandhian cotton touch was not there.

..and then on my holiday my mother throwing out a trunk of old clothes of my father in his Roorkee Univ days, so slim while following his passion for billiard. It was magic..there was the khaki pants and shirt I was looking for, so right to the touch..! The 'Wizard of Oooz', my tailor master from the lanes of Lucknow got it right on me.

I still can get into them today, like I said some things never change..!!

For your own furore in the Himalayas, view the video..

Rustle of the Leaves..Himachal Pradesh,India. from arvind gurung on Vimeo.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Nostalgia of Home Flavors..!

Much after we have moved on in our lives, the home we have lived in, is almost like a second skin, in whose memories we often, carry ahead all what we have learnt.

..Cooking at Vidya Niwas, Dharamsala, was only carrying on the tradition of good hospitality and sharing of food and recipes. On Many occasions, I have served the 'roast' on the table and allowed my guests the honor of garnishing and tasting the meal has taught me, to understand not only, the flavors which favor the tongue of many global travellers, but also somewhere deep left a desire.

As the days go by, we hope the young, who have visited us and my children, will carry this pleasure and teaching on the table is an exercise of the heart, which can heal you and others with its thanks giving joy..!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dalai Lama Dharma Chat..India Miniguide, 2102

07th January, 2012.." You could do with my warmth, said the Chimney to 'The Chair' !

The laughing Karma at Vidya Niwas, Dharamsala is many times, the underlying enjoyment of our guest's vacations in the Dalai Lama's town. While we always talk of technology and a courageous spirit, which can face the storms of life and move on, towards its by no means undermines the permanence of human bondage whcih is, sweetened by love, laughter and sharing concerns. An old shawl, ancient in its design, eternity in its memory of my mother who gifted it to me, can still on a cold day warm me up with its love.

India travel will no doubt, bring for each one of you, its own moment of 'nirwana'..however, what will stay for eternity are the human relationships you make on your journey and which we hope, will warm you forever..!!

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India Travel - Spiritually Energizing Holidays in India, Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Mystic Moments..India Miniguide, 2012

There are many moments in our life, where our experiences go beyond the mundane, day to day travelogue. India as a country, always evokes images of spiritual mysticism, but in all reality, like any other part of the world, it can at some invisible stroke of night, touch you beyond the dark !

Years ago as a child, when my father was posted in Agra (UP), we had a colonial house completely out of a victorian romance. In the sun porch facing the beautiful sprawled garden, where every old tree had its own history, there was in the corner an old piano..a left behind from the British Raj.

It was also the time, when I was learning classical music, studying in one of the oldest convent schools of India, St. Patrick. There were scenes every day with my music teacher as, my Hindi was nothing to write home about ! My teacher in exasperation, would throw up his arms and ask for the blessing of the muse for me, every time I struck a wrong note !..Then one day late in the night, when I was all alone with my grandfather, we heard the melody of the piano. It seemed very close to Raag 'Behrawi', which was not my favorite, as I always chose the more ambivalent 'Raags'- 'Bahaar n Malhar'. This happened nearly everyday and I was soon scripting to all my friends of a 'haunted house', which chose to educate me in my musical skills.

Then one day,as I was reading in the sun porch, I heard an almost beseeching 'meow' behind me..and lo and behold, there was our house cat sitting on the piano playing with the keys..the mystery was solved but, a mystical moment was etched in my life forever !

The comical mysticism of my childhood has found, place in my website..,Dalai Lama , Dharamsala Travel - Spiritually Energizing Holidays in India, Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet. , as my mystic moments. We hope you can enjoy them as you pen a few of your own.