Lucknow Diaries!!

It had been 11 years since I last went to lucknow so when I was told that we would be going there for a family function I walked down the memory lane. Lucknow has always been one of my fav places, cause of my nani. She had just enough love to give everyone, be it her kids or grandkids. There is something about the air, the people, the food, I’m sure some of you might just think of Lucknow as a place but for me, its so much more.

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Spending the summer holidays, eating amazing delicacies, exploring the historical monuments, was a part of my growing up years. I used to wait for June to come so that all of us would meet at nani’s place and have fun. My maternal family is probably the coolest ever, everyone is given importance and respect regardless of the age. Nanajis, nanis, mama, mami, mausajis, mausis and all of us have always had a great time together.

I was extremely close to my nani, so 11 years back when I went for her funeral, I was very depressed. She was the reason I started believing in God, nani would explain to me the importance of family which I never understood back then. I would always sleep with her whenever she was around and she would patiently listen to my lame stories. After she passed away, I just couldn’t go to Lucknow, either the plan didn’t pan out or we weren’t free but mostly because I couldn’t imagine lucknow without her.

After the tickets were booked, I began googling the places I wanted to explore cause I had made up my mind that I wouldn’t be staying at home much as it might depress me. I scribbled down 9 places that I wanted to see and kept the paper in my bag. Almost all my family members were coming but since all the kids had grown up, I guessed they wouldn’t want to hang out with me since I was the eldest so I told my mom to go around lucknow with me and not leave me alone.

Throughout the journey, I kept wondering how would I react, what would I say but as soon as I reached our home, I felt so much at ease. Everyone was gearing up for the function, the kids were running here and there, the teens were busy on their smartphones (snapchatting, sorry had to mention it. Hehe) and the mausis were deciding what to wear. It didn’t feel that I had come after 11 long years.

 

It was my chote nanaji’s and nani’s 50th marriage anniversary wherein all of our relatives had come from different cities. Our mums were busy meeting people after ages and introducing us. The oohs and ahhs could be heard from a distance I guess. Hehe. “Oh she looks just like you” was the thing I heard the most. The music, the sound of cameras clicking, the giggles had set the ambiance perfectly. Everyone had made efforts to make the timeless couple feel special on their day, the kids had made a video and a card which was such a cute gesture. I guess when you enjoy, you don’t realize how time flies by cause by the time we wrapped up, it was more than 1 am.  After returning home, my cousins decided to play dumb charades, I joined them since I didn’t know what else to do. But boy oh boy, I have to say, I havent laughed this much in the longest time!! Even though I am more than 6-7 years elder to all of them, I felt like a part of the gang. I’m smiling reminiscing how crazy we must have looked while enacting the most insane of movies. We slept at 5 am which speaks volumes about the fun we must have had that day.

In the morning, my mausis and mami asked me to get ready for shopping as all the ladies were heading out. Can you guess what my answer was???? Well, I refused!! The people who know me or follow me on any social media platform know what a big time shopaholic I am, I’m out shopping every weekend so for me to refuse to leave the house meant huge deal but since I wanted to spend time with my cousins I stayed back. Mausaji, mama and my cousins decided to teach me to ride Royal enfield that day, which was such a adrenaline rush and also soooo cute. The cousins who taught me were the ones who would sit on my lap and pull my cheeks, I have given them piggy back rides and today they had grown up so much that they were teaching me something. Too much awwww happened that day. Hehe.

Over the next two days, we rode the bike, went for midnight drives, strolled around, pulled each other’s legs, clicked a million pictures, argued who gets to be Chandler Bing ( which we all eventually agreed was me) talked till 6 am, watched movie (VIP seats) hehe, made funny videos, we even invented games. I had come with a mindset that they wouldn’t like me hovering around and that’s why I had made an itinerary but they made sure that I didn’t feel left out, which meant the world to me.

Lucknow might be a place for everyone but for me it was, is and will always be home. No matter how old I get, no matter where I go, lucknow will always be my happy place. My family is undoubtedly the best, from my nanaji to the youngest cousin!

Thank you for teaching in your own sweet way what family truly means , the kid back then didn’t understand what you meant but the girl writing this, knows.

Love,

Aakanksha

Cause I’m a phoenix!!

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Everyday I come across so many women writing some amazing blogs about fashion, travel and life. It’s such a pleasure to read them & know their stories. Some are amazing, witty & some are exceptionally inspiring. Women rising & coming out of the closet is such a wonderful thing. So I thought to myself why not write about the amazing women I know.

I come from a lineage of strong, independent, confident & empowered women. My maternal great-grandmother became a widow at a tender age but she was determined never to let this come in the way of her life. She became the head of a temple in Kanpur where she would take care of her daughter and also manage the daily chores of the temple. She was a very strong woman who, even in those days, stood on her feet. Her daughter & my maternal grandmom (naani) was a very simple woman, she took care of her entire family & never compromised on anything. She raised her three kids into mature & independent adults who knew the difference between right & wrong. My naani was very impartial, if she allowed my uncles to do something, the same was permissible for my mom. Naani managed the whole house perfectly & never left a chance for any complaint. There were times when people pushed her to marry off my mother but she didn’t let the pressure in. Today, she’s no more but everyone who knew her has just fond memories of her.

My mother is the strongest woman on this planet! No, I’m not saying this for the heck of it, I mean it from the core of my heart. My mom has invariably been a go-getter throughout her life. She started writing when she was 16 & someone read her write-ups and liked them so much that he published them. After that till her marriage, mom’s articles were published in local magazines in Lucknow. People would write appreciation mails to her & she would always oblige them with letters & thank you notes. Mom was a senior under-officer in National Cadet Corps & would always bag awards & shields. Despite being the basket ball captain of her school, she never compromised on her studies. She was enticed by media & journalists immensely so she became one unfortunately after marriage she had to leave her job as she had to relocate. After my brother & I were old enough to take care of ourselves, mom began working again, this time as a teacher. Soon she paved her way to become the Vice-Principle (mind you she doesn’t have a B. Ed degree which is absolutely necessary to become a teacher so reaching this position was all because of her hard work & perseverance) but she managed her house & school flawlessly. For work dad wasn’t in town for 6 years & she raised us all alone. But as luck would have it, mom became very sick & had to leave her job. There were times when she would be admitted in ICU for days & I would dread thinking what if she never came back home. I have spent days thinking that I might lose her & that fear would get to me but being the daughter of a fighter, I never showed my fright and anxiety to anyone. After years of struggle my SUPER MOM fought the battle & sailed through the tides. She is perfectly fine today apart from the regular check ups she has to go to. Now she is gone back to the good old days of writing is currently a freelance writer & blogger. Her articles & short stories have been published in coveted magazines. 🙂

These women are the epitome of grace, compassion, love, determination & courage. Whenever I feel like my world is crashing or that I can’t take it anymore, I remind myself that I’ve to carry forward the legacy, I’ve to be the woman my family raised me to be, the woman everyone admires, the woman who is a PHOENIX like her mother.

I’ve been raised to be a person who is strong & empowered but who also carries immense love in her heart & knows how to spread it around. Unlike the stereotypical notion of being tough from outside, my mom has taught me to have a soft exterior & to be rock solid from within so that nothing in the world can break my spirit. She knows exactly when I need a hug & when a kick on the butt. 😛 She has taught me to let of the bad & hold on to the good. I’ve never had a fight with anyone till now, I don’t scream at people, that’s not me. I know how to deal with a situation my way & snap out of it. I have no place for negative, conniving, deceitful, sadistic people in my life.

Every single woman according to me is an inspiration. All of us fight battles daily,  we win some we lose some but every single day, we rise & gear up for the next struggle & give our best shot!

I will fall down & at the battle end I’ll be torn, the scars & bruises would leave me worn.

But I have the strength to endure the pain, I’m a PHOENIX, from the ashes I shall rise again!

Love,

Aakanksha 🙂

Cause I’m thankful

 

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2014 was quite a ride for me. Experienced quite a lot of emotional upheavals, physical pain, mental stress. But I SURVIVED. Just the other day, while talking to a dear friend, when I realized that even though I faced a heartbreak, major back injury and unemployment, I’m still breathing. That’s a sign from the Almighty that nothing lasts forever.

My back injury healed in due course of time, for someone who found it difficult to walk, I’m teaching dance to kids. From unemployment, I’ve landed myself a job that involves writing which has always been my calling. As for the heartbreak, there’s no wound that can’t heal. All it needs is time. 🙂

On the last day of 2014, I want to thank everyone who have in some way or the other helped me this year.

I’m thankful to the Lord, for giving me the gift of life. 🙂

I’m thankful to my Parents, for always loving me unconditionally & supporting me even when I screwed up pretty bad. 🙂

I’m thankful to my Brother, for always being my pillar of strength and my partner in crime. For giving me suggestions and listening to me whenever I needed someone to talk to. For being my best friend all these years. 🙂

I’m thankful to all my Friends, for always being there for me, be it at 3 in the morning or at midnight. For lending me a shoulder to cry on, for encouraging me to write, for making me laugh, for making me happy. 🙂

I’m thankful to my Employer, for giving me a Job when I needed it the most, for teaching me everything from scratch, for encouraging me for petty things, for believing in me when I lost faith in myself. 🙂

I’m thankful to the Kids to whom I teach dance, for always making the child in me alive, for making me smile and look at things from a different perspective, for making me realize that one is as old as one feels. 🙂

I’m thankful to the Blogging Fraternity, for accepting me such warmth and encouraging me by liking & commenting on my blogs. 🙂

I’m thankful to my Ortho & Physiotherapist for healing me. 🙂

I’m thankful to Everyone, who in some way helped me become the person I’m today. 🙂

I’m thankful to God again, for an extremely cute boy in my office who unintentionally makes me want to come to office daily. Just a glance at him gives me immense happiness. 😛 😉

Thank you everyone.

Here’s wishing everyone bucket loads of good wishes for 2015!! Have a prosperous and joyous year!! God bless you all 🙂

Much love,

ASP 🙂

Born to Stand out

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Being born in a family of educators, I was predestined to be a doctor. My Grandpa wanted my dad to become a surgeon which he couldn’t so I was the next in line to fulfil his dreams.
When I was small I wanted to be a pilot, basketball player, a teacher & what not. My parents always encouraged me to do whatever I liked. They were very supportive of my decisions even if I changed them the next minute. My dad always said “Be whatever you want to be but make sure you’re happy being that”.
That always stuck with me. My main aim was to be happy and then think about the things that followed.
I was a bright student throughout. After I completed my master’s I knew I had to go for Ph.D as my dad was a Ph.D in cancer biology. Just saying this makes me perspire! 😛 I applied for an internship at a highly reputed hospital. But after working there for two months, I realized that this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. This job didn’t make me happy.
I discussed it with my parents and they supported me. For 2 long years I was unemployed, trying to find a place in this world. My friends had landed themselves great jobs & were earning great while I was still trying to figure out my life. Then one day my mom asked me why I had stopped writing & I had no answer. I remembered how much I loved reading & writing but cause of the time crunch I stopped writing all together.
I started writing again & soon I got an offer to write a brochure for a company. They liked it so much that they hired me! 🙂 Now I’m working as their Social Media Manager. My boss is the most humble and helping guy I’ve ever met!
I know this incredible girl who blogs (you can read her amazing blogs here) & taking inspiration from her, I started blogging. I’m very much into fashion & travelling, I started my blog where I talk about fashion, travel stories & food (these being my avocations). Currently I manage 4 blogs (you can read them here, here & here) & I can’t tell you how much happy it makes me when I write. My parents are so proud of me. I chose not to become a doctor but instead chose to follow my mom’s footsteps (She’s a freelance writer).
So don’t do what others want you to do instead choose something that doesn’t make you feel that you’re working. Do something that gives you the life you wanted to lead when you were a kid. The life that gives you immense happiness and contentment.

DON’T TRY TO FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT!

Much love,
ASP 🙂