Sunday, December 28, 2014

Friendship

Three days and it will be 2015. Today is the last weekend of the year 2014 and the last post for the year. Nostalgic? Certainly I am. 
And a little excited as well because I’m looking forward to the next year. I’m hopeful that 2015 would be even better. 

On a lighter note, this post is not about my ramblings which I normally do. This post is  dedicated to my two friends. It’s about a tradition we have. It’s about the lives we have had thus far. It’s about my two girlfriends, Dechen Wangmo and Pema Choki. It’s about our friendship. 

As adults it’s so difficult to make friends. I’m sure everybody agree to this. It’s even more difficult to make friends when you are an introvert. Every individual is different. We have our own priorities, tastes and preferences in life. And especially for me, if it doesn’t click, I immediately step back and withhold my friendship with that person. Because friendship for me is everlasting. For a lifetime.

But. But I’m glad that I have these two lovely ladies whom we run to each other whenever we suffer heart break from our love interest and from the husbands. These two women are the ones I run to and cry on their shoulders like a baby. In happiness and in sorrows, in good days and in stormy weather, we have been there together. The warmth of each others' shoulders are forever meant to be there. 

with Pema
with Dechen
Pema and I have known and been together since undergraduate days. We were roommates in our freshman year in college. And even in PG days we became roommates. 9 years is a long time to have known each other. And our friendship has become like old wine, the older it gets, better it becomes. 

Pema and I met Dechen during our PG days, as roommates again. A heart of a gold she has. With twinkling eyes, she is a sexy momma to a year old toddler and is always full of enthusiasm and positivity towards life. A fitness and health enthusiast, she is creative and inspiring. You can follow her on instagram to get some dose of inspiration and creativity. 

Apart from the regular catch ups, we have this tradition of meeting for a brunch before the year ends every year. Thus, this tradition happened last weekend. We met up, hunted for some warm and cozy coffee shops and spent hours catching up on each other's lives.

My life has been the same and boring like last year and the years before. But these two women have moved so far in life already. They have tied their knots, had a baby and juggles life between work and home and family. And me? The coward me? I have remained where they left me. Nonetheless, I hope to gather some inspiration and the strength from these bold women, take some lessons and follow their footsteps in 2015. Bless me, O Lord. 

I thank you for your part in my journey. Friends indeed are the sunshine of life. Thank you for being my sunshine, Pema and Dechen. I'm incredibly lucky to have you ladies in my life.

As the year comes to an end, I would also like to thank my dear readers for being with me throughout the year. Reading my ramblings and sometimes leaving a comment inspired me a lot to keep blogging thus far. And I hope you will be with me in the years to come. I wish you a marvelous and a blessed year ahead. See you in 2015.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

2014 // The year to reading




So we are in the last leg of the year 2014. Isn’t it the best time to contemplate on your goals and challenges? As I started this year I had one challenge set; to read and read. Well, if you ask me if I achieved it. I did. Definitely. There is nothing like setting a goal and working towards it. 
 
I challenged myself to read these 9 books. I did cheat a little though. I skipped Inferno. When I got hold of it, I realized that I had past the age of Dan Brown’s books. It no longer excited me. After making it to a couple of pages, I immediately stopped. It wasn't juicy and ripening any more to keep me hooked. There are certain authors’ that no longer mesmerize me. It could be an indication that my taste for books and literature have changed. I couldn’t get a copy of The Messenger though.

Nonetheless, I read 14 more books which pretty compensates for missing on the above said books. In fact, it more than compensates. So here’s the total list of books I read in 2014:
  1. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini 
  2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 
  3. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty 
  4. The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty
  5. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  6. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 
  7. Looking for Alaska by John Green 
  8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 
  9. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 
  10. Palpasa cafĂ© by Narayan Wagle 
  11. Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan
  12. Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg 
  13. Matilda by Roald Dahl 
  14. Heidi by Johanna Spyri 
  15. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami 
  16. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger  
  17. A Leaf in the Wind by Jean O’Hart 
  18. Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner 
  19. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  20. The Gold Finch by Donna Tart 
  21. David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell 
Some of the reviews can be found here and here. Number 20 and 21 are audiobooks which I listened to while commuting to work, before going to bed at night and whenever I was free. Listening to audiobooks changed my life. I can never get bored because there’s always something that occupies me. Since I listen to it from my cellphone (now who stays away from your phone? I don’t.),it’s a lot easier. It sometimes makes you feel that you are conversing with the author in real. And of course it improves your vocabulary ten times more. 

This year has been the busiest work wise, especially during the second half of the year. It was so difficult to make time for reading yet I could finish 21 books. I’m proud of my achievement. The old adage rings a bell? Where there’s a will there’s a way. 
I have a long way to go though. Since I made this 30 before 30 list I have finished reading 32 books in 2 years and still counting. Another mile to go and I’m pretty confident that I will achieve it. What better way to dedicate to another year of reading since Bhutan has declared 2015 as National Reading Year to commemorate the 60th birth anniversary of our beloved 4th Druk Gyalpo.  

I’m sure that when I could read these number of books you definitely can. So I encourage you to take to reading in 2015 especially the young minds. Parents can always read bed time stories to your children to inculcate the habit of reading in young minds. After all a child who reads, thinks. I’m sure we all can manage 20 minutes from our daily 24 hours clock to dedicate it to reading. 

So I’m focusing the year 2015 to reading literature, though fiction will somewhat be in my daily reads.  I will be starting with The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. If you have any recommendation on the books on literature, I’d love to hear in the comments section below.

Were you able to achieve your goals in 2014? And what do you plan on doing in 2015? 


P.S: I’d like to thank the lovely Rima for sending me The Happiness Project, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and Gone Girl all the way from Singapore, my friend Kunga for sending me A Leaf in the Wind which was personally signed by the author herself from Australia. Indeed, life is so much better when friends understand your love for reading and send you books as birthday gifts. Thank you lovelies. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Celebrating Autumn : the year's last loveliest smile

I like to wear my heart on the sleeve when it comes to autumn. And it isn't a secret here in this little blog.

Plenty of warm sunshine, the crisp air, clear blue skies and blankets of golden leaves on the ground makes my heart flutter.
On days like these, I like to go to the park, read a book under the sun and take a nap, which I did last weekend only to attract weird stares from people at the park. At the risk of not seeming too creepy I quickly picked up my things and headed home. Tomorrow is officially the end to this glorious season. 

This morning when the sun played hide and seek, I was nervous thinking that I wouldn’t be able to go out to bask in this glorious season for the last time. Hopefully, Mr. Sun came out and we didn’t waste a minute in heading out. It was truly breathtaking to go out and take photos in different parts of the capital. I couldn’t help but pose in almost all the photos at the risk of looking narcissist. And the inner child in me came out and I tried catching the falling leaves, played with the leaves (as seen in the pic below) and mistook a wild nut for hazelnut and ate it. Thank God, I'm still breathing. Thus this post. :)


Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

What I love about Autumn

What is there not to love about autumn? The year’s last loveliest smile.


The fall of the sunburnt leaves adorning the earth in all its mellowed beauty
The crisp air
The sweater weather
Large and chunky scarves
Crunchy leaves
Snuggle/reading by the fire
The flushed cheeks
Dressing in layers and leggings
Eating bathup and making that slurping sound


Autumn has always been my favorite season and I can’t stop obsessing over all things autumn. It’s the time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. I’m so glad I live in the world where there are autumns.  
So I took a little walk in the park this afternoon and got to take these gorgeous pictures. 


Tell me what do you love most about autumn?


 
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

An update and a Book Review // Eleanor & Park


Things have never been busy like this before.Between moving houses, relocating to a new office (temporarily), traveling for work and the amount of reports and essays I have been shoving up my face at work is completely draining me out. Literally.
That’s why I have been MIA and this little blog has been ignored for some time now. Man, blogging is tedious sometimes! Huge commitment is required which I’m miserable at. Kudos to all blog buddies who never is on writer’s block. 

Well well,what made me come back to do a little update? My love for books. 
I just finished reading Eleanor & Park. I had to share it with you here because if I don’t, uh…nothing will happen. 
Duh. 

On a recent travel overseas I quickly picked this book on an impulsive shopping spree. Well, I’ve heard of Rainbow Rowell’s books before and had wanted to read Fangirl but this book’s cover caught my attention. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover. That’s clichĂ©, I tell you. Because I picked this book by its cover, I mean look at the cover, isn’t it CUTE? A red head girl and a boy, sharing a headpiece. So simple yet beautiful. 

I finished the book in two days straight. Why? Because it kept me hooked. I couldn’t go to bed without telling myself ‘Just one more chapter’ and run late for work with large prominent eye bags. I had to shut myself in the room and cut off human contact because I couldn’t put down the book. It has been long since I read a good book. Eleanor & Park, a 2013 young adult novel tells a beautiful, haunting love story of two sixteen year olds in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1986. 

Eleanor is the new girl, the girl with the crazy red hair and strange clothes. She comes from a very dysfunctional family. Every moment at home for her is terrifying as she lives in constant fear of offending her abusive alcoholic stepfather. She shares a cramped room with her four siblings where toothbrush is a luxury and she has to go to school in wet crumpled clothes. 
Park is a half-Korean kid who has a more stable family life but constantly has a conflict with his father. 

Eleanor and Park bond over comic books and music and falls in love on their school bus but deals with domestic abuse, child abuse, racism, bullying and body image. Then the kick-ass plot reveals and immediately I fell in love with the characters. It just blew me away. 
The writing is as soft and silky as creamy butter that melts right away as you put it in your mouth. Like this quote: 

"Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something." 

The fact that the story is told from both Eleanor and Park’s perspectives makes the character overwhelming. The way they speak to each other, about everything makes me renew my faith in love. It reminds you of your high school teenage love, that’s if you had one. 

Throughout the book, one word that constantly came out of me after each chapter was “CUTE.” Frankly, I giggled all the way towards the end of the book and craved for more. It’s a light read with just 325 pages. Rowell definitely left me craving for more. I wouldn’t be able to pick up another book for a while now. 

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hello September


As I pulled the window blinds from the bed this morning, my half opened eyes were greeted by the most spectacular blue skies with white fluffy clouds. Instantly, my heart bubbled and the sleep went out the window. I felt something marvelous in the air. 

With a slight chill in the air, I opened my door to the room for more air, watered my plants and set the teakettle on to boil for a good cup of chai. Mornings like this comes with the onset of autumn. And today was the perfect beginning to many more of it. 

The summer heat will slowly start to withdraw. It will be profoundly replaced by slight chill in the air and finally give way to cold dreadful winter. On my way to office, I noticed that tress have slightly started to turn mellowed yellow in color, signifying its time closer to death. Alas! 

It may rain for a little while, but I wouldn’t mind it as long as autumn has stepped in. It’s that time for a perfect little stroll in the evening wrapped in your favorite cardigan and feel the crisp autumn breeze. It also means hiking to the nearest hilltop towards the afternoon with a book, and lying and reading on the crisp golden leaves till the evening. Staying till the evening to watch the marmalade sunset. 

Darkness seeps in a little early which means I get to see the stars a little early too in the evening. 

Oh September, what is there not to love about thee? Because you bring in on autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile. A symbol that we have survived another year. And when it gets crisp in the fall, life starts all over again. 

Welcome September, I’m ready for you. Please be good.
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why I need to visit Amsterdam again

How was your weekend guys? Mine was spent binging on a lot of readings and movies in bed.

I may be the last fan of The Fault in Our Stars to see the movie since its release in theatres in June this year. Unlike other book movies, I’m mildly surprised that it meets the expectations. 
More importantly it kindled fresh memories of my abrupt trip to Amsterdam earlier this march since some of the scenes in the movie are in Amsterdam. It was an abrupt trip because I didn’t get to see the city in daylight. 

I squeezed out a couple of hours from my work to make a quick trip to the city and got back by the last train home for a quick catch up for another trip to Brussels the next morning. Phew, it was such a hectic time!

So, it was the night trip to Amsterdam. And for the obvious reason, to visit the infamous Red Light District. This explains why. 
Normally Amsterdam is portrayed with the quintessential canals with lots of bikes parked along, the boat tour, the famous Anne Frank House, Van Gogh museum, windmills, cheese…Unfortunately, I had to miss these. 

So we took the lesser road travelled and visited the red light district. Soon after we hopped off the train, we grabbed a quick coffee and headed straight to the district. There, the air reeked of weed, sometimes becoming quite grim for a normal breathe. 
It was a different experience, an eye-opening and a good one of course. It’s so amazing what travel can do to you. It makes you explore and connect with people and other cultures. At the same time it helps you learn new things and grow. It makes you realize how special your culture is and help you to appreciate yourself, the people you love and the place you live in so much more.

It’s rightly said ‘the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.’ 

For a history enthusiast, it was such a great loss for me to have missed the Anne Frank House and Van Gogh museum since going to these places meant I had to have a whole day which was impossible. Nevertheless, I believe in next time. So next time these two are on my must- see place in Amsterdam. That's why I think I need to go to there again some day hopefully.

Excuse the blurry photos from the peek into the night.


Have a lovely week ahead and yeah don't forget to watch the movie if you are plain lazy to read the book.
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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rain:The Art of Being Alive

Image via pinterest
As I stepped out of the house this evening, a mild roar of thunder was heard across the south Thimphu sky. Like huge eye bags, the clouds loomed ahead. I did not bother to get hold of the umbrella. The thought of an umbrella seem least important to my already crammed thoughts from the day. 

Before summer ceases, I’d like to take in as much as the heat and cool summer breeze. I’d like to get up before the sun and remember the smell of early mornings. I’d like to inhale in the fresh air and exhale all the toxins out of my life. 
Because some days I think I’m going to die from an outburst of passion and an excess of imagination. 

I’d like to go on solitary long walks; to hear only my heartbeat and no one else's. I wanted to immerse myself in this solitude. Thus, I headed left from my apartment towards the south. Down the highway towards the woods I took the trail less trodden. 
The warm summer breeze touched the cheeks of my face. Like silk it passed by leaving that lingering feeling of the touch of a man. 
My heart did small leaps of faith. Leaps of faith which is abstract for now. 

It started getting a little chillier as I plundered deep into the woods. Far beyond the branches of the tall trees, heavy laden clouds hovered right above me. Like a watchful pair of eyes, it lingered. 

Then without a warning, in a flash of second, it started pouring down. 

Like a shower, the rain came down, resurrecting this feeling of longing, being loved and the freedom afterwards. I quickly ran down to the nearest tree for shelter. After some good five minutes, it poured harder. 

Without a second thought, I immersed my feet first into the poodle of water. I looked up and the rain pelted on my cheeks. It was that gentle twinge which at times irked my inner soul waking me up from that deep slumber of permanence. 
With my arms stretched, I let the rain beat me down. My mascara melted and washed down the cheeks. It slowed down my tired and beaten heart. The rain went into the unfathomable depths of my soul. Deeper it sunk in, right down to the core. 

I noticed the potential in the air. Felt the ground beneath my feet and breathe it all in.
And allowed the butterflies to escape from the deepest part of my belly.

Things never remain the same. It never lasts, it never, ever lasts. 
People  love us and don't love us anymore. We have something beautiful and then it's gone. 
There are endings and endings and endings more than the beginnings.

That I'm a constant work at progress. It’s not the toughest species that survive but the ones who has the adaptability to change will. 
Things fall apart. For good. Like this rainfall. 
It brought me an opportunity to lose myself and find the freedom my soul craves. Gradually, and all at once, life seemed a much better place when I returned home,  drenched completely in the rain.  

More musings on the rain can be found here in this post .
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Friday, August 1, 2014

As we travel life’s journey // One Summer Road Trip

We lay there, atop a hill, overlooking the valley adorned with luscious green paddy field. The cool summer breeze on our face and everything around so abundant. The Almighty indeed was gracious enough this summer to bless us lavishly. 

The mountain winds sounded exactly like ocean waves, with its deep ebb and flow. I felt pampered. 

Until the wee hours of the dusk, we stayed there. Such a blissful summer evening it was! 

It always feels so rejuvenating to get out of the city once in a while and bask in the glory of nature. And this break came timely when I badly needed a break after a stressful week at work. So we headed on a road trip to Paro. 

Like a true blogger, cameras slung on the shoulders, multiple stops were made to take pictures. Weeds were rolled in the paddy fields as squeals of excitement were made when the eyes met such stark grandeur scenes.

Caution: This post is picture heavy!


I love how Dantak road signs are simple and amusing. Like this one. Life is a journey. 
I'm still in it and hope to complete. How about you?

Picture courtesy: The un-named photographer 

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