Monday, December 30, 2013

Come Full Circle

I guess the long aimless walk is all I wanted to get me penning down a few lines which I have been itching to do in the past few days.  My eyes are still tired....for a fact, I have been staring at my laptop screen non-stop for a good part of the past week. 

I have to start this one with the quote I had read and favourited. Sometime ago, may be a year now,  was when I was feeling down. Nothing seemed to cheer me up, I could not have what I wanted and on most occasions I did not know what I needed. This feeling of 'low' stayed with me for a long long time. I had messed up way too many things, I was losing too many good friends - some for my own fault, some for the circumstances, some because they probably decided I was not good enough for them and some more for they got so busy and pre-occupied in their lives that they just forgot that someone like me existed. 

I had decided then that I am going to keep myself occupied with things...simple as it may be, silly as it may sound but I would have a list of things to do, things not to do and I would stick to that and get so drowned in it that I don't feel as low. 
I can't say I have been entirely successful at this- there are many many times when I miss my friends, miss the company, feel low, down and depressed but the feeling stays for a while and goes away and I go back to my list. The 'peaks' and 'troughs' exist in my life as much as the sun and the moon do, as much as summer and winter does. It's become a part of me. 

It's been a while now, at least a good year and I have had those 'ups' and 'downs' but now as this year closes down I am back at being slightly on the low but holding up just so I can wait for the peak to happen. 

As the year has gone passed there's one thing that I have noticed... I love to have company - be it in new people I meet, old friends, cousins, family, new friends -that is one of the key things I need in life to move on. But I have also realized that all this cannot be wished for as the other person needs to wish the same and as much as I yearn for that togetherness, I can't have it. 

I am learning to be 'ok' with my own company and there are times when I am so comfortable at it that it is worrying.... it's worrying me a lot. I don't want to be this way, but it's just turning out this way...

Just like how all this I have scribbled so far is not making sense, this thought of what I enjoy  - 'the being together' and what I am doing  - 'the being with myself' , the contradiction that it brings is making me go slightly insane.....but, I am positively waiting for the 'peak' again - this time it's been a while since it has met me. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

London Diaries - Market Hop - Camden Town

Camden Town is perhaps that one place I have frequented the most in London, so much that if I have missed going there for a while it's like withdrawal symptoms that takes me back. 
I firmly believe that I would have been a hippie if not for the 'normal' sort of family and upbringing I had. I am so much a hippie in my way of thinking, what I like and enjoy and I most definitely feel that we all have a bit of that in ourselves. Too bad if you don't. 

Something about the place makes me go back every time. There's always this unexplored part, a new pop-up stall, a new musician that gives me the push that there is a new place to see and a new thing to do in Camden. In fact I am happy re-visiting the same parts again and again if not for the new. 

I can't speak for everyone, but I can say for sure that I have always enjoyed going out window shopping. In fact, more than buying something, I like walking through shops, market stalls, browsing the various items on display. I enjoy the crowded market areas bustling with life. I don't end up getting a lot of things, which is good, as it would purely be impulse shopping and most of the stuff are not really needed. But it puts me to wonder the extent that a cottage industry can go. 

The Camden Market is not just a street market. 'Camden Town' is a huge market place in itself. Camden brings me closest to the 'life of a hippie' fantasy that I have. It's a place with little shops of all kinds, handicrafts from different parts of the world, home grown small businesses selling all kinds of little trinkets, clothes which you don't usually see in high street shops, food and drink of all kinds, a  juice bar on a barge, a little cafe under the staircase and organic this and that food. 

The main highlight of course is the part of the Regent's canal (Grand Union Canal) that cuts through Camden. The Camden Lock being that point where you can see many narrow boats making their way across the canal by operating the locks. It's amazing how the mechanics of this system was designed years before anything was a part of the modern world. 

The banks of the canal are great to hang out...relishing the market food or just sipping a drink or reading a book. The best thing about Camden Market is that it has a bit of everything in every part of it - Food, Drink Stalls, Clothing, Trinkets, paintings, art work, old antique items, goods made by reusing other things - it's the biggest flea market I have ever seen with a huge variety of all things. 

I remember just walking along the little rows of shops getting completely lost in them and suddenly there I see a cafe, once I have had my fill of caffeine I have another set of shops lined up - you can spend all day here! 

And it's not a market where you hear a lot of noise instead something you constantly hear from one side of camden to another is Music  - whether it's Bob Marley playing or John Lennon or hip-hop or rock, or the classics to the reggae beats there is constantly some music you hear and it seems to perfectly fit the setting of the shops. So very unique!

When in London a visit to Camden Town is a must, either during the day to browse through the market or for an evening meal or to experience the night life - This is one place not on the tour bus that circles around London. Go find the hippie in you... Camden is waiting! 

Monday, December 09, 2013

Random Notes - It's that time of the year

Alright, just so we like to write random things about what's happening and what's not with life in general. 

It's that time of the year.....when you leave work its so dark that you want to hit the bed straight away, wearing a few extra layers still makes you feel cold to the bone, you may have a few too many clothing items on you that one minute you are hot as a freshly baked potato while in the tube or can't feel your fingers the minute you are out on the streets,  a day starts and ends by looking into the weather report for the next 24hrs and you'd need another hot drink even after sipping through 6-7 cups of tea or coffee a day...Well, I'll take it that you're getting the swing of things. 

I am being my own moody self and there's no changes on that end. I am uber happy and super excited about the simplest of things on one day and have a completely grey, sulky, sad, cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat-day just the next time the moon went around the earth. 

It's that time of the year which makes me the most emotionally drained when compared to any other time of the year- looking back on things unaccomplished, undone, unchanged in the past year there is a disappointment of some sorts on one end while the other end seems to be alright with the little new pleasures, new thoughts that took shape this year. 
It's a time to look forward to much more than any other time for that new year, for the new challenges, times and projects that I can take over and get at in the next year to come. It's like another chance in life to do something that you always wanted to, to change that annoying habit of yours that stuck like a parasite to you and to try and correct those mistakes that you repeated ....yet again. 

The drive to learn is still bubbling from within,the constant go to a new place even if its just a new street in the same city, or click a new picture, learn a new tone,read a new note, make someone happy, a little gesture to change a little thing for someone - This "do something" is what I have heard my inner voice sing to me, shout at me to keep me on the go. 

The restlessness to keep at something, not getting what I really want is constantly trying to take over me so easily. I am prodding along..... the 'Kat Rahi hai Zinadagi'....feeling, is not keeping me as positive as I would like to be. But I am trying, trying to hold myself together, to stay happy, to think ahead and leave the rest to dear God thanking him for those days when I neither feel too happy nor too sad but count the little blessings and stay just content.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

London Diaries - Time for a Cuppa - White Mulberries

Any time is a good time for Coffee - whoever said this (if at all), said it right. I am a coffee person during the day and a tea person during the late afternoons and evenings and would not mind spending a free moment at a coffee shop. Ask to meet me at a coffee shop and I am ever ready.

This cold winter's day in London, having a day off, I set out to gallivant around the streets of the city. I made up my mind to pick a warm little coffee shop to spend the afternoon. St. Katherine's docks was one of the first few places I had visited in London and had fallen for the place instantly.
White Mulberries is tucked away amongst other cafes, delis and shops bang in the middle of the docks.
Having had a rather heavy meal with a friend this afternoon I decided on coffee and a sweet treat.  Flat white was my pick and it was well worth it.

The simple d├ęcor with exposed brick and views over the dock makes you wanna sit there forever sipping the warmth. Ideal place with a book or to browse.

It was perhaps the first time I had toasted banana bread, the right amount of sweet, crunch and buttery goodness - I would give my vote for the best I have had so far in London. The other cake loaves looked yumm too.

Lunch was not on my mind, so I didn't bother much, though there were no veggie options for the sandwiches and rolls the ones that were displayed looked freshly made and full of fillings - I bet it would be good.

The staff were friendly, pretty much every one who walked in had a chat with the barista.

I would definitely go back to this one and oh! I also have a loyalty card!