“My extravagance is my garden – it’s the first thing I look at every morning when I wake up. It gives me so much pleasure.”Ina Garten
I have seen my mother literally living these words. Every morning while walking on my terrace, I see her going straight to her garden and closely inspecting plants and trees. Gardening work as a therapy for her. Since childhood, I have been seeing my mother spending considerable time in growing various plants and trees, which include flowers, fruits and vegetables. In our earlier home, we used to have plants of cotton, lady finger, turmeric, ginger, onion and garlic along with lemon, papaya, pomegranate, jack fruit trees to name a few.
Continuing the same, my mother has maintained a terrace garden in our current home. She has been organically growing her garden by using kitchen waste and natural fertilisers only. Her constant efforts are now visible in her garden, which boasts of many beautiful flowers, vegetables and few fruit trees.Some of the plants and trees we are currently having in our terrace garden:
Aparajita (Asian Pigeonwings)
Neelkalmi (Japanese Morning Glory)
As Robert Rodale has said, “In almost every garden, the land is made better and so is the gardener,” just like with this garden my mother has honed her gardening skills for sure. Whereas, I have started praising God’s creation more than ever. All thanks to my mother’s terrace garden!
Since childhood, I knew that I was fascinated by nature. Somewhere, this love has deep connection with me belonging to the hill state Uttarakhand. Various family trips made during childhood ended up in my unbreakable bond with nature.
In this blog, I am sharing my experience of discovering those places.
The first day after visiting the ashram in Kainchi, I left for Garam Pani which was about 12 kms. Private cabs are available from Kainchi to Garam Pani but the owner of the restaurant, where I often used to have my meals, advised me to take a bus. One can easily get buses or shared jeeps from Kainchi, which are available in every 10-15 minutes and the fare is also reasonable.
The main road outside Kainchi Ashram
Like any other place, buses here are usually overcrowded in morning and evening. Since, it was already half past noon, the bus I took was less crowded. The journey to Garam Pani was comfortable. One thing I strongly experienced during my entire Kainchi trip was that people there were so decent and helpful.
I reached Garam Pani in almost 20 minutes. After deboarding the bus, I simply walked towards the local market area. I can’t recall the last time when I strolled so freely in my city life. I was just walking down the road purposelessly. It was the month of September and the weather was little hot but overall I enjoyed it.
Shops in Garam Pani
While returning, I again chose to walk a little. After some time, to my sheer surprise, I found a place where I saw zip lining activity being performed. So, that was it. This adventurous soul tried her hand at the thrilling activity. 😎
Then, I went down towards the stream and spent some time there soaking my feet in the cold water. After some time, I left the place and took a bus to my hotel.
Next morning, I was waiting for a bus to travel to nearby places. There I met Monika, a doctor from Delhi, who was staying in a homestay close to my hotel. Soon, we gelled with each other and decided to visit the nearby tourist sites together. We took the bus for Kamal Tal and within an hour we were there.
Like me, Monika turned out to be a great nature lover. So from there, we both set for a leisurely walk towards Naukuchiatal adjoining Kamal Tal. The views we came across during our nature walk left us awestruck.
Such enchanting views kept coming our way.
On our way back, we stopped at Cafe by the Lake. What attracted us about the cafe was its outer decor.
When we entered the cafe, we were equally struck by its interior beauty. The ambience, lights, music, books, furniture; all were complimenting one another. Food at the cafe was too amazing. Just sitting there was so relaxing.
Monika and I decided to leave together for Delhi by train the next day. Her friend arranged for our train tickets. Somewhere, we were not yet done with our sightseeing thing. So, the next morning both of us left for Sattal. We had only an hour to explore the place. Tourists at the lake were trying their hands in kayakaying and other activities while we two were busy in capturing the wonderful aspects of nature.
We got so engrossed with the beauty of the place that we ran short of time. Both of us skipped our lunch in order to make for the lost time. We left the place in a hurry and took a bus to Kathgodam Railway Station. Luck was on our side that day. Both of us were literally running carrying our luggage but somehow we reached there just on time. Finally, I boarded the train with Monika cherishing many beautiful memories of Kainchi trip with me.
And yes, we finally had our dinner in the train. 😛
We all had many expectations with 2020. Some may have planned for a career or job change. Some would have thought of finally getting hitched. Many must have prepared their fresh travel bucket list while people like me were all set to join yoga classes. Everything seemed to be going well until the villain – Coronavirus – made its entry and brought everything to a standstill.
This must be for the first time ever when almost the entire world is under a pandemic’s grip. Developed countries are worst affected with huge numbers of casualties and crashed economies. Thankfully, the situation in India is not that bad and together all of us are waging this war against the Covid-19 virus fiercely.
So now the question is how can we stay positive amid all this environment of fear and anxiety? Well, I have applied following things in my life to keep myself mentally strong.
Go for your favourite hobby or find a new one
For me, music has always been the best way to unwind myself. Apart from that, watching good movies and reading good stuff, it could be anything not necessarily books, have helped me in destressing myself. I have also started doing meditation, yoga and other physical exercises to keep myself mentally and physically fit. Sometimes I watch motivational videos as well. Painting, gardening, cooking, writing, indoor games, photography are some activities which anyone can indulge in at the comfort of their homes.
Sketches by my sister – the good result of lockdown
Keep negative news at arm’s length
When the lockdown started, I used to daily surf the internet regarding coronavirus news updates in morning. This resulted in me as anxiety and fear. So I immediately stopped this for few days. Once I felt better, I started the same but this time more carefully. I google news during daytime just for the sake of staying updated.
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels
Stop worrying about things
Breathe easy. Don’t overburden yourself with things. We all are going through trying times but this too shall pass. Have faith. When the going seems to be difficult, talk to your spouse, friends or parents. And when your loved ones are scared, comfort them with your love and soothing words. Problems are about sharing burdens and caring for your near and dear ones. The journey of life has never been easy and facing problems head on will only boost your morale eventually making you stronger like never before.
This is the best time to hone your existing skills or learn some new. Many of us, due to our busy work life, could never really focus on polishing them. Don’t let this opportunity just go like this and start working on it today.
Photo by Gabby K from Pexels
Praise the beauty of nature
How many times have you ever noticed the natural beauty around you? When was the last time you saw the rising sun or listened to the chirping of birds or enjoyed the melodious singing of cuckoo? No worries. Now is the time. Come out of your air-conditioned rooms. Go to your home’s balcony or terrace and let the wind caress you. Behold the beauty of star-lit night with a splendid moon. You will feel the healing within you the same way nature has started showing since the implementation of lockdown.
Adding the medicine of laughter to life
Don’t suppress your feelings. Open up and embrace the laughter therapy. This stress relieving exercise amazingly benefits our mental, physical and emotional being. Laughter helps in improving immunity, increasing lung capacity through deep breathing and enhancing oxygen delivery to all body parts. It provides internal massage to our digestive tract and improves blood supply to our internal organs.
It’s okay to goof up. The most valuable life lessons come from bad experiences. They make you wiser and help in having an easy, less-complicated attitude towards life. In addition to this having gratitude for the blessings we have, encourages us in developing a positive bent of mind. Therefore, we attract more positive things in life.
Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash
Each adverse situation always brings something good with it. Same is with this #Coronavirus ordeal. Whatever may be the current scenario, this time is going to be one of the most life-changing experiences for all of us.