Category Archives: contentment

100th Post & 7 Best Reasons to Celebrate!!

Yes dear readers, followers and friends, this is my hundredth post on this blog. I just kept on writing and suddenly realized that today my post is going to be the 100th! Its in deed a time to celebrate and to thank you all for the love and support. There are actually a hundred reasons to celebrate, but I limit myself to listing the 7 best reasons and revel in being a part of the great Blogging Community. These are the reasons that contributed in my personal growth as a writer and also as a human being. Here they go-

  1. A Lesson in Being Persistent: In my first few posts when I had just started blogging I had expressed my joy and excitement for becoming a part of the blogging community. Someone commented that it was very easy for the initial excitement to wear off and he hoped that this did not happen to me. I agreed with him as blogging is actually a labour of love and back breaking (and neck breaking) at times. I took that comment really seriously, tried to remain as persistent as possible to continue to follow my blogging dream. So here I am with my hundredth ( 100th) post! img_5612
  2. A Global Platform: There have been times when due to travelling, problematic internet connectivity or other reasons I neglected my blog for certain periods of time. My ranking may have gone down a bit during those times but the imprint of my thoughts through my articles and posts was now a permanent part of the internet and blogging firmament. My blog ‘riturang’ continued to get views from far off places and as many as at least 76 different countries. To be able to get a global platform for sharing your thoughts is indeed laudable.
  3. Outlet for self Expression: Ever since I started my blog, there just has been no looking back. I have become a happier and more contented person. My lap top is my best companion and my fingers itch to type. There is never a dull moment, as my mind is always working and observing. Earlier I used to scribble my thoughts down on paper ( do that even now sometimes), but now I straight away type on the keyboard with confidence. The best thing about my blog is that all my work is saved and organised at one place,offering me easy access to it as and when I need. I no longer need to save pieces of fading paper and its goodbye to bulky diaries. ca31dffe51fadb735ff85dedc2e92f60
  4. Closer to Becoming a Better Writer: One of the first advice pieces one gives to becoming a better writer is to write more. To get into the writing habit, as this eventually improves the writing style , vocabulary and grammar. The more you write the more you wish to learn. The universe then listens and helps you to imbibe all that you wish for and takes you closer to your goals. The various writing prompts and participation in writing challenges like NaBloPoMo polish one’s writing further.
  5. Becoming More Knowledgeable: This is one great perk of good  writing! In order to write an article or story on your travels or any other topic, one needs a certain amount of research for the piece to be authentic and true. I always research and clarify any doubts I may have before posting my article. As I mentioned earlier, I have also consciously become more observant of the happenings around me. I have also become a better listener, because as they say, everyone has a great story inside them. My fellow bloggers too have also contributed immensely to my knowledge. I remain engrossed and hooked to the writings posted by them for hours learning about various cultures, cuisines and getting an insight into opinions from all over the world.
  6. Developing the Reading Habit: I must thank my desire to write and to blog for developing the reading habit. Actually read I always did, but what blogging did was to push me toward quality reading. Now I read the best books across various genre and really enjoy being surrounded by books. Never a dull day or moment for me as books are my best friends.img_5611
  7. The Colours of the Rainbow: My 7th best reason to celebrate! Over the past 2 years I have written blog posts on various topics akin to the lively colours of the rainbow. I have written on travel, food, blogging, nature and book reviews. I was grateful for my family and talked about relationships and found a suitable audience for some heartfelt poetry. I became interested in photography and used my own pictures as far as possible. Feeling grateful for all these rewards! Cheers!

A Walk through Rose Garden, Chandigarh

The mere mention of the Rose Garden fills the air with romance!.Undoubtedly its like paradise for a leisurely walk as a tourist or a brisk walk or jog in order to keep fit.

As one enters the garden, walking through the canopy of orange showers, along with the tall and stately silver oak treesIMG_1219 lining the path, you are greeted with thousands of roses of different hues bobbing their pretty heads in the breeze. You breathe deeply – mesmerized by their sheer beauty. The Dr. Zakir Hussain Rose Garden in Sector 16 of Chandigarh was established in 1967 under (late) Dr. M.S. Randhawa, Chandigarh’s first Chief Commissioner. It is the largest Rose Garden in Asia spread over an area of about 4000 acres and has around 825 varieties of roses and more than 32,500 plants.

Continuing with our walk along the periphery of the garden, we cross several bottle brush trees and walk along side the majestic eucalyptus trees. Walk further and you come across a cluster of Bael trees laden with fruit around the time of  ‘Shivratri’. Walk a few steps more and you can see trees like Fiddle wood (a tree with fragrant flowers and useful for making sound boards of musical instruments) and Kachnar (ever tried making ‘raita’ from Kachnar buds ?) Several other trees like Amaltas, Gulmohar, Burr, simbal, Devil’s trees, Koelreuteria (golden rain tree) and Pride of India dot the garden either individually or in small clusters. As you complete your round, you meander through rows of neatly planted roses with fancy names such as President Giri, Queen Elizabeth, Iceberg, Pink Perfect etc. Kiss of Fire is a vibrant yellow rose with a fusion of blushing pink and Arabian Nights; a red rose that makes me sing from John Boyle O’Reilly’s poem, ‘A white Rose’,

“The red rose whispers of passion,IMG_1222

And the white rose breathes of love;

O, the red rose is a falcon

And the white rose is a dove”

The Rose Garden is home for several birds too like parrots and Great Indian Hornbill. It is fun to chase a little squirrel nibbling away at a seed and watch it vanish into its abode in the great Jamun tree. The coloured water fountains add to the joyous mood of the place. The garden is very well maintained, thanks to the annual feature of the Rose Festival in February. The lawns are perfectly manicured and there is sufficient lighting for walkers to feel safe during their evening walk. There are three solar arrays to meet some of the electricity requirements. There is also an open air stage to host quizzes during the festival. The garden also boasts of well–maintained toilets and a play area for children.

One word of advice, dress properly as it’s a busy place and you may meet many acquaintances (sometimes four times in two rounds, if walking in opposite directions) along with the usual tourists!

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All pictures are by Anil Nanda and Ritu Nanda

A Walk through Leisure Valley

Chandigarh is home to some beautiful gardens and by far one of the ???????????????????????????????greenest Indian cities. No wonder it is called ‘City Beautiful.’ I love going for my morning walk, and one of my most favourite places is Leisure Valley. Let me take you on a virtual tour through this garden from the perspective of a walking enthusiast!

The moment one steps into the garden, a palpable difference in ???????????????????????????????temperature can be felt, being a few notches below the outside temperature. A whiff of air from the scented trees fills the nostrils and the lilting song of the Koel (Cuckoo bird) welcomes you; immediately lifting the mood and making one feel light and happy.

The leisure valley, sector 10, is a part of an 8 km long stretch around??????????????????????????????? the eroded valley left by a seasonal rivulet (choe) which was retained by the great French architect, Le–Corbusier.The jogging track is flanked by temple plant trees, the ornamental Yellow Oleander trees (peeli kaner) and some young silver oaks. As we walk along we come across an assortment of trees like Amaltas, Bottle brush, Dhak flower trees and Peepal. During April–May, when these trees are flowering, one can see a myriad of colours which is a sight to behold. The Devil’s trees are planted in large numbers.

Walking through the canopy of these trees, a grey hornbill swishes IMG_2769past overhead and settles on a branch above. Several other birds like hoopoe, woodpecker and parrots are often seen. The babbler can be seen hopping on the grasses in small groups creating quite a cacophony.

The topography of the Leisure valley is uneven and that perhaps

Beautiful open spaces of Leisure Valley
Beautiful open spaces of Leisure Valley

adds to the beauty of the place.One  can see vast stretches of green from a distance, having a balming effect on the eyes. In the interior of the garden more varieties of trees such as Golden trumpet and Jarul can be spotted. At times I have bumped into a sahtoot tree (mulberry) and got rewarded by its succulent fruit or picked some mogra from the gardenia shrubs for the morning puja! Neatly planted rows of seasonal flowers too dot the garden. My favourite spot in the garden is the Bamboo grove . According to Feng Shui, a wish made under a bamboo shrub is fulfilled. Needless to say, I have my daily quota of wishes to be granted! The picturesque bamboo grove is inspiration for many renowned painters and photographers!

After walking around the garden it is worth while to sit for a few minutes on a  favourite bench, breathe deeply and focus on “Pranayam” or sit back and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the place. To quote William Henry Davies from the poem, ‘Leisure’.

“What is this life, if full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass?’

The Leisure valley is a laid back place, quite suitable for people who ???????????????????????????????do not wish to wake up too early in the morning for their walk. It is also not very crowded, so its almost like your own personal farmhouse! I, for one could happily spend the whole day here walking, meditating or simply sitting in a corner reading my favourite book.

It is heartening to note that of late the Chandigarh Municipal corporation is taking pains towards further improvement of the garden. New jogging tracks have been laid and care is being taken to maintain the garden.

All the pictures used in this article are original clicks by Ritu and Anil Nanda

Romancing The Moon

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She went for her usual evening walk by the side of the lake.It was slowly getting dark as twilight gave way to the dark grey skies.She trudged along feeling exhausted and thirsty.It was hot and misty. She paused for a while, and took a sip of water from the small bottle she always carried with her.Then suddenly her eyes shone ,wide open and bright, the reflected light of the full moon shining through.She felt like running after it , mesmerised by its beauty. She quickened the pace of her walk feeling energized by the very presence of the beautiful moon.She kept her gaze fixed on it ,but it played hide and seek and eventually,seemingly got gobbled up by the trees as if a huge ‘Rasgulla’ swallowed by the monster.Disappointed she turned towards the lake and sat down on the embankment overlooking the water.The water was still ,awash with a shimmering jewel glow ,thanks to the moonlit light.It  was so still,she was tempted to walk on it. Then, she saw the beautiful ballerina, fairy like,almost angelic, swirling and leaping joyfully, running on the waters in blissful abandon.Her flowing tresses and pristine robes glistening in the moonlight. She looked closely -zoomed in on the pretty dancing figure in her mind’s eye, and saw her own self. It was the personification of her own feelings at that moment.Happy,at peace,one with nature and contented in the moonlight.

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