Every year during October – November months, we plan a trip to Shirdi and then Saptashrungi. We have been doing this for a few years now barring two years of Pandemic.
For my trip a month before the pandemic broke, there was a huge pooja planned and I had bought a fancy new saree. I packed my new saree, jewellery , makeup and the works! I wanted to really dress up for the Mahapooja at Saptashrungi. Married women come decked up there. But while leaving for the trip , my husband forgot to put my bag in the car. He still denies it and says I was supposed to take care of it! But no! He forgot!
That was a bit of a shock as we realised it after reaching there. We drove for 7 hours and the temple is on a hill and has no shops. Fortunately we were travelling in a big group and the ladies loaned me the saree and jewellery. I was really put off with my husband as I had really done lots of prep and I couldn’t use any of it.
Last week we went on this trip again. This time I had made no prep. I didnt even pack that well as my brother had just passed away two weeks back and I was really not in my best spirits. It was just meant to be a simple temple visit. My sister and her husband were with us. First we went to Shirdi temple. Now this place has undergone a change in the last two years and many shops and eateries have popped up. One of the shops had beautiful sarees on display. I rarely shop for sarees but this time I just wanted to check it out and ended up buying two sarees one blue and the other black . I was really surprised with myself and passed it off as post trauma retail therapy.
After that we headed for the Saptashrungi temple and while we were checking in our rooms. The priest there told us we can do the evening pooja and aarti but we have to be in a saree. I was taken aback. This time we were not travelling in a big group, but I had a brand new saree that I could wear. I wore the blue saree and gave the black to my sister . We bought bindi and some fake jewellery there as we were not carrying anything. I had to drape the saree on my top and trousers which was very uncomfortable and I was very close to a wardrobe malfunction. The goddess literally saved me from that though.
It is uncanny that I had a Saree story for two consecutive visits . The last trip I had to wear a loaned saree and this trip I loaned one to my sister. I am curious what the next trip has in store for me.
I am back to blogging after almost a year. I joined work after a long break and wanted to write about my experience but I never got to do it. But today I finally got the motivation.
By 3:30 PM on Friday I was feeling exhausted. It had nothing to do with work but due to sheer fatigue because of things happening in my personal life. I am back at witnessing what my life was 3 years ago, thankfully this time I am not the patient but it is still hard. To see all these things happening and the times are hard .
At work I attended a session on Mindfulness and it kind of got me motivated. While going through the session I realised , I am already doing many things but wasn’t calling it a mindfulness practice. One of the activities described was journaling , which I do on a daily basis but it is too honest and explosive to be published 🙂
At this moment I do not have a specific topic on which I would like to write but I just want to be back on popular demand! Yes!!! A lot of my readers are asking me to write again and here I am. They have kept my blog alive. I have been getting constant hits so I am happy.
Since my blogging started with my kidney disease I want to give an update on my kidney. I am in my fourth year of transplant and feeling great. Life is great! I have few limitations like losing balance – I have had few falls in 3 years and right now my shoulder and right toe are injured. I continue to gain weight but at the same time my parameters are also healthy.
My old boss got me back in the workforce and I am loving being back, interacting with people , feeling occupied. It is great.
My darling daughter will be finishing school this year and I am very emotional about it. She continues to be the light of my life and a hug from her is all I want everyday. My husband is creating new challenges for me to keep the marriage sparkling 😁!
My siblings -they continue to enchant me. The brother who gave me a kidney is battling for life and needs a liver. My sister has offered to donate hers. Once that happens we will be connected by an organ each! I am praying for it.
I feel life is a puzzle and we are always stuck at that piece which is crucial to solve it but cant get it right. The last piece!
We all have heard about magic 10000 steps a day to keep the body and heart healthy. But how many of us have actually tried to do it every day? I personally have aimed for 10000 steps daily for as may days I can but not for an entire month at a stretch.
So when my coach Arpita Boyd of Mind & Body Personal Training, announced the 10000 steps challenge in our group, I participated with all the determination. I am not a stickler to any program. I am one of those many who do everything 80% and then blow up in the most crucial 20% last leg. To make it easier to understand, I do strict diet on weekdays and when the scale is about to move to left I blow it up all on weekend.
In my nutrition program “Transform” by Arpita Boyd , we have to do 10000 steps every day and it didn’t feel like a big deal doing this challenge. I knew this was going to be tough for me as I get tired easily and apart from the 10000 steps we also had to do our daily workout as planned for us. There was no way we could skip our workout for getting the steps.
The challenge was designed in different way. The step count was increasing every week :
Sept 1st to 7th – 10000 Steps
Sept 8th to 14th – 11000 Steps
Sept 15 to Sept 21. 12000 Steps
Sept 22 to 30. 13000 Steps
For me the last week seemed challenging with 13000 steps. Nevertheless I decided to give my best shot to complete the challenge.
The week 1 was easy breezy as it was normal 10000 steps and It was quite doable
Week 2 however had its own challenges. Ganesh festival was in this week and it gets really busy with preparations. Guests, cooking and celebration. For the first time in my life ever, I woke up early on that day and I finished my workout to ensure I will get those steps. By evening I was around 8000 and supremely tired but I still walked around the house till I got 11000 steps .That whole week was tough. By the end of that week I was pretty exhausted but still very much determined to be in the race.
Week 3 was better than week 2 but it was getting harder for sure as I didn’t have rest day. My body needs at least one day of complete rest and I didn’t get any for two weeks and exhaustion was setting in. But I decided to do it and kept going . In week 3 Leslie sanson helped me a lot. She has these bubbly 10-15 minute Youtube videos which you can do in between. I also found a video which promised 10000 steps in an hour but I had no patience for it. There was a day in this week where my feet badly ached. I was sure I was going to give up but thankfully I made it.
Week 4 – The homestretch is often the toughest and it had two extra days to make things tougher. For 13000 steps, apart from my workout I did an extra walking workout to get these steps. But I had become smarter and planned my activities accordingly. For instance it was easier to get steps on cardio days than on strength workout days. So on strength days I planned my errands and grocery shopping that made me walking necessary and didn’t feel like exercise. This was hard week for sure but I made it! Yay! I actually walked 3,35,000 steps in September!
When I reflect on this challenge I learnt many things about the challenge and myself.
First to give the credit to my coach Arpita Boyd, she designed the challenge in a very interesting manner and gamified it with a buddy assigned to each participant and declared an additional prize for the winning duo. She would cheer us up every morning and we were supposed to post the screenshot with the number of steps and the date on that message. It was fun to check who was posting it first and motivating their partner. Being responsible to someone’s success makes it easier for you to try harder. So having a partner cheering me up and community jointly doing this challenge was really fun.
Secondly, it gave a huge boost to my morale. I have never won any competition in my life or completed any challenge so it made me really feel good about myself especially getting up early on busy days to get these steps. Now I am ready to participate in these fitness challenges more.
Third, I can move much more than I thought I could and now it has become a habit. While on this challenge, I was constantly thinking about the ways of how to increase my step count and now it has become a habit. So now I walk while talking on the phone, brushing my teeth, watching some TV show, walk after every meal and even while lunch or dinner being cooked and while tea is brewing and even when i am using Microwave oven for a minute! In fact while writing this blog, I have stood up twice and took a small walk around the table. No kidding!
In terms of results, I checked my weekly weight log and see I have reduced 1.2 kgs over a month so I am very happy about it.
After the challenge finished , I took a day off and rested as I really needed that but now I am back on track. I am doing 10000 steps again and they feel so easy and good!
Being a Mumbai girl I was more used to travelling by public transport. So I never knew cycling, riding or driving.
I moved to Delhi after my marriage and its was a vastly different city than Mumbai. It had a pathetic public transport. Also anyone who moves from Mumbai to Delhi is sceptical about travelling in public transport. In general Mumbaikars find Delhi unsafe and it is. So a car was a necessity and we bought a car within three months of our moving.
I enrolled in a driving school and my driving instructor’s name was Sujan Sharma. A middle aged local man and he was sweet and strict at the same time. I called him Sharmaji!
The car in which I was being trained had two sets of gear box so in case I was not able to control the car then the Sharmaji would to avoid accidents.
I still remember that feeling of being in a driver’s seat. It makes you feel so empowered! Driving opens up so many possibilities. You can be on your own. Its like being a bird. Your movements are not restricted.
In the beginning I was definitely scared but enjoyed my sessions. Gurgaon, where I was staying was not as densely populated place as it is now. So it was easier to practice.
During one of my session, sharmaji was on leave and I had another instructor and he decided to take me to a crowded area . Since he was new and didn’t know much about my practice, he gave me few instructions which I didn’t understand and ended up bumping a car ahead of me. It wasn’t a huge thing. The car wasn’t even dented but so many people gathered around. The new guy said don’t worry and he got out of the car and just left. I was dumbstruck and didn’t know what to do. I was scared. The other car owner started shouting at me and I tried to pacify me. He realised I wasn’t a local and calmed down and he said its ok! Don’t worry! you can go!
My great instructor reappeared with another guy and seeing the situation in control just said to me , you handled it well! How magnanimous of him!
That incident kind of put me off driving but I finished my lessons anyways.
Talking about to learning to drive I certainly learnt! But did I drive? Not really! The car was mostly with my hubby and since it was the first car he ever bought and since I bumped a car while taking lessons, he was not very keen of giving me the wheels. So I have driven on and off in the past but now I have completely stopped due to health issues and in the interest of public safety!
Every evening Bela sat in her large patio overlooking a green hill and surrounded by greenery. A beautiful view for sure!
Bela enjoyed this hour with her coffee while winding up her day. Highlight of the coffee hour was surely the large gathering of crows that would start making a noise as if they are in a round table and trying to come at a resolution. Hearing them the parrots, the peacocks and sparrows would join them. Bela didn’t exactly mind the cacophony but would be all ears and wished she could get them to chirp in symphony!