Saturday, 28 December 2013

A White Christmas in the Unlikeliest of Places

Ready to run for Udayan Care

The past month has been filled with busy work deadlines, music festivals, running a marathon, several “lasts”, and many goodbyes to friends who were leaving Delhi. I have also been on a couple of excursions “out of station”, as they call it here!

My roommates and I ventured to Khajuraho for a well needed break and sun a few weeks ago. Khajuraho boasts the famous “Kama Sutra” temples, a set of 27 temples over 1000 years old, which are intricately adorned with erotic carvings. The details are spectacular, but portray tantric images that probably aren’t conventionally found in the Kama Sutra, such as elements of beastiality. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop every vendor from selling Kama Sutra books to every tourist!

My next trip took some co-workers and I to Mussoorie for a pre-Christmas celebration. We snagged the train after hitting up an Indian Street Food Festival and stuffing ourselves with incredible eats. Our train ride was an adventure of its own – as it happens, a criminal was being transported from Delhi, and ended up sitting in our cabin. We literally “slept” in the same vicinity as a convict chained to a policeman’s belt…but chalked it up to the unpredictability of India! Mussoorie, better known as the Queen of the Hills, has been a summer retreat since the British invaded, as well as a popular honeymoon spot. The city boasts activities that are generally more suitable for the outdoors (unless you are a recently wedded couple), but we did the best we could considering the near freezing temperatures. We woke up to Sunday morning to freezing rain, and heard that it was snowing about 30 km away! Our curiosity got the best of us – who would have thought that we would have a white Christmas in India?!

Although I missed being home for Christmas, I made up for it with my own celebrations here. A dinner with my household on Xmas Eve, followed by opening presents by our Xmas bush the next morning, and a couple more Xmas get togethers made for some great time spent with good friends in India. We also made personalized stockings for the girls in the foster home that I tutor at, as well as decorated sugar cookies. 

Taking a page from this guy's book! 
With 2014 quickly approaching, I’m taking some time to reflect back on this past year. I’ve graduated university, held two internships, moved to another country, and made countless incredible new friends. I’m also taking some time to think about my steps forward, and how to better myself for the New Year. Resolutions for me, and I’m sure for many of you, last maybe till the middle of January if we’re lucky. I recently read an article about the concept of New Year Themes; adopting various themes to implement in your life instead of one particular behaviour. This year, I’m choosing to adopt mindfulness, contentment and compassion. I want to be present and focused in everything I do, committing to actions that I care about, and omitting the negative from my life. On that note, Happy New Year!

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