The trip to the Ganges

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In the serenity of nature, at the banks of river Ganga with a pinch of adrenaline rush for river rafting & cliff diving in the Ganges. The trip was filled with a lot of lessons and first time experiences.

But, let’s start from the beginning because Indian Travel stories would be incomplete and unauthentic without the drama of our parents. It’s one of the most tiresome tasks: convincing one’s parents for a road trip with friends to a river rafting site or anywhere in this world, especially if you are a girl. Firstly, the unfamiliar people aka your friends accompanying you will bother them to the endless skies even though they might have met those unfamiliar people. Secondly, it was the location, the mountains, hilly roads & river banks, etc.

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However, Introvert me was adamant about making a change in my life & start to take risks. And yes, I had to engage myself in too much self-talk to finally encourage myself to go on this trip & for the war to convince my parents. I needed this trip!

Before I could sink further into depression, my friend came to my rescue. She & her school friends were planning a trip to Rishikesh and they had an open seat for 1 more person. That was my cue, without a second thought I made up my mind and decided to venture out on this trip. Initially, I was scared and skeptical of how things would turn out cause I knew nobody except my friend on this trip and everyone else was either an acquaintance or a stranger.

Once, I had made up my mind, my parents had no control over me, after 3 days of constant fighting and arguing they gave in but, mind it Indian parents don’t give up that easily, the most frequently used tool is emotional blackmail & it works wonders for them. Even I had bowed down to this tactic of theirs for years now, but not this time. I was adamant about going on this trip.

solo trip, river rafting, trip memes, travel memes, travel memesThe most difficult task was over and I had decided to go on the trip even though my dad had stopped talking to me. Well, I am as stubborn as he is & I am going on this trip! I had read enough articles and watched enough movies to hope for a life-changing road trip it could be. Scared, confused and a little skeptical about the whole plan I sat patiently in the car with everyone else, mostly I kept to myself but now and then someone or another would talk about something and I would add to it. It was a long journey as one of our friends fell sick, vomited and had some serious stomach issues all the way till we finally reached Rishikesh. 

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I had never been so happy to reach in the middle of nowhere than here! Our campsite was located in Shivpuri 16 kilometres from Rishikesh. The car was parked at an extension of the hillside road and then the camping site was 2 hours down trek at the bottom of the adjoining hill. Not an easy one, it was not a zig-zag or circular path, in fact, there was no path at all. Most of it was a straight down trek, way too risky. It was a steep down trek and then a hand-made bridge connecting the two hills somewhere between their valleys. We all picked our luggage and walked hand in hand down the hill towards our camp, we had a few slips here and there. Our heartbeats fastened every time someone slipped or a pebble fell in the depth of the hill.

There were moments when I thought I might die and my last conversation with my parents was an angry one. You do get these thoughts when it’s the first time in your life taking a risk on your own terms. Well by our very patient and humble group of friends we reached our camp safe and sound, we all had gotten comfortable with each other by now. It had become dark and we were hungry as hell, so we lit a campfire ready and quickly changed into comfy clothes & in no time everyone was singing, dancing, drinking, eating. The night was calm and the moon was shining on the still river water, I couldn’t help but bury my feet into the sand of the icy cold water. It was chilling but it had the most peaceful feeling.

The next morning we woke up early and sunbathed in the Ganges, just floating on our back in the shallow area of the river, now we could see the hilltop and the distance and the height of the hills we trekked down from, it was massive and beautiful; The water of the Ganges was sweet like you had never tasted before, just perfect. We lay in the Ganges enjoying the sun over us, till it was time for us to trek back up the hill and reach our rafting campsite in Shivpuri.

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After 2-3 hours of the deadly climb, we reached our car and left for the rafting site, there they gave us a brief training session on how to, not get ourselves drowned. After that we were all geared up for it, we took our positions and oars on the raft and started. It was a little scary at first because I am not a swimmer but as we proceeded I had forgotten about it and started enjoying it way too much ;), the beautiful scenic view combined with the sudden adrenaline rush, an amazing feeling. It was so much fun that I didn’t want it to end at all but it did.

Once we reached Lakshman jhula in Rishikesh, the 13 white water rapid rafting came to an end as we got down from our rafts, there were a lot of food stalls located on the right bank of the river, we got down and before gorging on all the food we took another traverse on our adrenaline by finishing this trip with cliff diving. We were wearing life jackets so nobody was scared and we got in the long queues to reach the cliff, as we reached the cliff the panic in others started gripping us. I was unsure if I would be able to jump or if the guard would have to push me over like the other people on the cliff but when I reached the cliff, I looked down and jumped, no thoughts, my mind was completely calm, a sense of nothingness & I jumped.

I jumped!

In that minute, that second, that moment it was this sense of stillness, so quiet, so peaceful, I was calm. The mind was clear, empty, white spaces, no regret, no pain, no self-loathing. a moment where my joblessness, my fight with parents, my so-called character, others perception towards me, nothing bothered me, nothing mattered, all I knew was just existence, my existence, the river, the water hitting my body, the calm.

As I submerged into the river water and was contained in my thoughts, the life jacket brought me back up on the surface and I swam across to the banks, to one of the food stalls, reunited with my friends who were waiting for me. 

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We all came out, walked towards the food stalls and crammed down on all the food we could find. Once full, we left for our camp. After reaching the camp, we played some music and talked and danced and just lay there on the riverbank of Ganga watching the stars. Like everything else, it had to come to an end and we left back to our home. The return journey was fun, filled with random games and blissful music. However, as we started nearing my home, I had a sinking feeling within me. That peace, the wholeness that we left behind, once I was home everything was going to be as it had always been, except me. I had left behind a home that I was never born in but longed for. Something in me had changed and it was a good change!

ganga river, serenity, trip, travel solo, trekking

ganga river, serenity, trip, travel solo, trekking

A Love Letter To My Best Friend

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A Love Letter To My Best Friend

To,

My Beautiful Bestie

PSA: This will get cheesy, more cheese-filled than the bottom shelf of the mini-fridge.

I wanted to write to you to tell you something, about Us, about You & about Our Friendship.

Sometimes when you’re venting to me about a mistake you made or how you can’t find anything to wear that looks good on you, I’m baffled. I’m baffled because I don’t see those things. You have these insecurities that I know about because we’re best friends!!!! To me, I see this incredible person who amazes me on a daily basis. Someone who is generous and kind and compassionate. I see a mother giving it her all—day in and day out. No matter what. And I just wanted to take a second to acknowledge what a gift you are to me.

Too often, we girls focus solely on the love we project onto our boyfriends or husbands & we don’t take the time to show and express our love to our backbone, our girlfriends, who have been by our side through EVERYTHING, like literally everything.

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So this Valentine’s Day, I’m throwing my love to you. Because ridss, you so deserve it. I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship and our sisterhood.

You are the ultimate love of my life. When the boys that have come and gone left me heartbroken, you were my first call. Even though we are separated by miles, I know you will be there for me always. You always remained a constant unlike those big dummies we call boys; for that, I am beyond grateful. You have been there for me in situations when my family could not be; for that, I am beyond grateful. You have been my rock, and so much more; for that, I am beyond grateful.

Thank you for all the midnight cries and laughs over stupid Instagram posts, and memories we reminisce over and over, time and again. Thank you for all the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the ridiculously silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes (U kNOw YOU SHOULD!). Thank you for laughing with me. Thank you for the endless memories that will never ever be forgotten.

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More than anything, I want you to know that I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.

You are the family I get to choose, the one I go to when I have nowhere else to turn. You have picked me up off the ground, tidied me up, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I sure am going to try endlessly. You are the one I know I can always run to, whether we saw each other yesterday or haven’t seen each other in a year. Even if it means hopping on a plane to get to you. You have played a huge part in molding who I am as a person, and I am so grateful for having such an amazing person affecting my life in such a positive way.

LOVE YOU RIDA!

With all my love,

Shruti Bansal

valentines day, valentine thoughts, friends forever, best friends forever, galantine, friendship goals

The Three Musketeers

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The Three Musketeers

I went to a hostel when I was 14 years old, I had never thought that the weirdos I will meet in my boarding school will become my best friends for life.

From the three boys from room no. D-10 to The Three Musketeers, we raised each other, we discussed everything, we helped each other from homework to the difficult decisions of our life (at least at that time). We had no access to any kind of media, communication devices, we found fun and happiness in the smallest of things, we all lived in the moment.

From a journey of making fun of each other to supporting each other, we grew up. And, now that my boarding school days are over, we don’t get to meet that often or meet at all. But we stay in touch over video calls, we meet once a year. We might be Far apart now, but you both will stay close to my heart always. I hope our friendship flourishes more as the years pass by.

How I met my girlfriend?

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How I Met My Girlfriend?

Our first meeting was very dramatic, full lovey-dovey Bollywood style or probably Tollywood. But let me start with how we connected.

 

It was 1st Jan 2016,  I had just enrolled myself for Post Graduation in Pune. I was excited as a new chapter was about to start but god had also planned something for me. I was having my breakfast, thinking about my future plans when my phone pinged, “YOU LIVE IN MY CITY”. I looked at the sender’s name and was surprised, too many questions ran through my mind, I had heard her name many times but never had a conversation directly. After taking a long time like probably 5 seconds, I replied “YES” & that was it. It was a beginning, a beginning of something, something I had not planned for, but isn’t it how love is supposed to be? Sudden & unplanned, it hits you exactly when you are not expecting it at all.

 We started talking, our small talks converted into late-night chats and our chats got converted into long late hour calls. She was very supportive of my decision to pursue post-graduation. Sometimes I feel like if she would have not been there for me at that time, I would have never completed it. I had given up hope for my placement too, I wanted to come back home but she stood by me through it. She was never there physically with me but mentally, she was always there, she gave me all the help I needed in times of crises. And, finally, I got placed in a good company and before joining it, I wanted to see her, so we decided to meet in Bhopal. 

I was so happy & excited to finally meet her. I reached the bus station before time and was first to board my bus but its engine broke down in the middle of the journey, I was furious. After 2 hours of delay & exhaustion, I finally reached my destination. I got off the bus and when I saw her, all my fatigue disappeared. She was wearing a grey top and blue jeans, with her hair, flowing with the wind looking with curious & hopeful eyes, at every bus passing by her. Her eyes glittered as she noticed me standing on the other side of the road, by then all her exhaustion was long gone. I could see her smile which I’ll never forget in my life. The stress of the first meeting was gone as her happy face made me calm down. We greeted each other with a simple “Hi” and with no time our conversation started from how your journey was to “You A*hole, kitne late ho gaye sare plan ki watt laga di, tumne” (You are so late, the whole schedule is ruined).

 

We ate at a nearby famous food joint, with never-ending conversations. Not realizing fast enough that we were way too late to catch our train back home, we booked our cab and kept asking the driver to drive faster, the driver turned and said “bhaiya aap didi ko bhaga ke leke ja rahe ho kya ? (Are you eloping?)” & we both burst out laughing. We caught our train just in time and were seated, it was when she placed her head over my shoulder that I realized what I had been missing in my life. I looked at her and she fell asleep, looking so innocent, just like a baby, I would have kissed her but I stopped my thoughts. We were about to reach, so I tapped her on her shoulder to wake her up, at that moment our eyes met, we both zinged. She said “I don’t want this journey to end ”, I could see a tear roll down her eyes and feel her heart; The wait, the meeting, the separation, it was all too soon. We finally hugged each other and waved each other goodbye, as I deboarded the train, she stood by the door. I couldn’t move till the train disappeared from my site.

It’s been a couple of years now, we have been standing by each other rock-solid, we meet each other at every chance we could get, I wish & hope the time comes soon when you are here with me forever & always. I Love You, My Girlfriend.

valentines day, valentine thoughts, how i met my girlfriend

I love you 3000

valentines day, valentine thoughts

I love you 3000

The time we started dating & now, a lot has changed. We have changed, our relationship has changed and our responsibilities have changed but what has not changed is our friendship, our bond and understanding that we developed being friends, lovers, a married couple and now parents.

I still remember the time when we started dating a decade back, it was not a decision I would have made at that time but now I am glad I did. You have always been my best friend from the time I can remember, I can just come to you anytime for anything.

You are my emotional support and you are the reason for my tears too (sometimes), you make me laugh, you make me blush but you are the only one I want to see when I am in trouble. Thank you for being there for me and understanding me all these years.

Happy valentine’s day, I LOVE YOU 3000

It’s Peace In Your Arms.

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It’s Peace In Your Arms

I know you from the time I was born, actually a little before that, MOM. You have always been my best friend & guide from my childhood. I could talk to you about anything. We had one of the most fun times when you came to visit me in Ireland.

 

Those little things we did on that trip, one of my most memorable trip. The time we spent watching random movies, cooking, embracing what we love and taking you on trips far across the island gave me so much joy.

 

You are the best mom one can have. I specifically remember your face when we went on those hikes together or places which were unreachable, you were tired but just to watch the view you would walk. That is the type of strength you are in my life.

 

Thank you mom for being with me and standing by me. Love you so much.

Two Bodies, But One Soul.

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Two Bodies, But One Soul.

Our journey began from being high school sweethearts to newly weds in #2020. The road has been full of experiences, happy and sad, high and low.

I have known him since my childhood days, basically I have spent more than half of my life up until now, with him & wish to spend it with him till the end. He is someone I can bare it all with, he understands me the most, he is always there for me whenever I need him, I trust him more than anyone.

After 13 years of courtship & countless struggles to get married, the auspicious fate arrived in 2020 & I cannot explain how happy I am. Finally to enter this new phase of our life. Everyday is a new beautiful day with him. We have faced our own hardships, fights & settlements. Through thick and thin, we have sorted it out with mature conversations & understanding. 

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He makes me feel special, he makes me feel happy to be alive when he is around. He is my everything, every breath I take.

We Make Each Other Happy. It may sound tacky, but we are like Two Bodies One Soul.

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Apes Together Strong

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Apes Together Strong

I met her in my college, it was more of a love at first sight from both sides. At the same time, we both had emotional baggage of our past relationships. So, things didn’t work out between us for some time until I realized & was kneeling down to confess my feelings outside her hostel at the dawn of 24th of August, 2016. She was surprised, scared and more than happy at that time but she said ‘NO’.

 

Then it took us more than a year of being in an on-off situation when she finally confessed her feelings on the 31st of December 2017. Since then we are together through all the ups and downs holding each other tightly. Our philosophy is “Apes Together Strong”.

 

However, when talking about Love. How can I not talk about my first love. It has always been stage & theatre arts. And she has been very supportive throughout, during my pursuit of creating, writing, and acting for stage there were no obstacles from her side. She understood & guided me towards achieving my dreams and I can’t thank her enough for that. Her enthusiasm towards Korean culture & language also got my support.

 

Understanding each other’s space & dreams helped us to enter a more mature phase of our relationship.



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Travel Is My First Love

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Travel is my first love, Self- Love is second & PARIS is both.

Being single in my late 20s has never bothered me, I have seen a lot of friends and people around me get into the so-called trap of society and getting married. I have always been in love with travel, to explore and learn a new culture, new cities, it takes me into this beautiful world of mine that makes me at peace.

I planned a trip with my mother to Europe, to make my childhood dream of celebrating my birthday in PARIS. It was a time well spent, good mother-daughter time. The trip also transformed me, made me more responsible, more realistic & more at peace in my heart.

Love life, Love yourself, Take your time, nothing is more important in this world than your SMILE.

A Love That Has Been Growing Stronger Ever Since

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A Love That Has Been Growing Stronger Ever Since

My story is something which started with we’re just friends then more than friends then suddenly I realised I love this man & I want to spend my whole life with him.

 

I talked to him about it and it all goes well but no love story is complete without family objections, especially in India. But we passed through that hard phase with flying colors & also I am glad we saw all those days because it made us stronger, the way we understand each other now & the way we stand for each other now, it has made our relationship even more beautiful and stronger than ever.

 

I have been in love with him for as long as I can remember, We dated for 3 years & have been married for 5 years now, since Jan 2016. We have seen so many ups & downs together, but we never left each other. He is my biggest support system, he has always encouraged me to follow my passion and always stood by me.

 

I really love him. It’s been 8 yrs, but nothing has changed between us and I think with time our bond has become stronger. I never said that out loud but this man has my heart ❤️ forever I love him madly deeply and can’t even imagine my life without him. And I really want him in every birth that I take upon this earth. I love you so much Varun kumra.

 

Thank you so much #DivazThoughts for giving me a chance to express my love and giving me the opportunity to share my story with you.