Category Archives: India

Our Story : Good bye and see you again – Part 26

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

As usual, the amazing trip to Bangalore was coming to an end and it is always hard to say goodbye. This time I knew I would see him in a months’ time but it still felt too long.

The day before the flight, he took me for a nice quiet dinner and we talked about our future in Australia. It was an honest conversation where both of us shared our plans, hopes and happiness. I wished the evening would never end but we had to sleep and pack my bags for the next day. When we were got back to our serviced apartment, AS went to take a shower and I was to pack. Instead of packing, I was in panic mode as I seemed to have too many stuff to pack. I was taking AS’s stuff as well as my shopping so there did not seem to be enough space in my suitcase. AS calmed me down and helped me pack and it was done in no time.After packing, it was time for bed.

The next morning the sun rose as any normal day but both of us were a bit emotional when we were having breakfast. We both knew our future ahead but at the same time we needed to say goodbye, hopefully for the last time until we were together for out happily ever after.

After breakfast, we called the same driver and made sure he would come and picks us up in time. Then we had a few hours to kill so we went for a walk to the nearby market. AS decided it was best I had a light snack before I left so he took me to a snack place where I had samosa and rasabri.

The ride to the airport was smooth. After I checked in the baggage, we had a few hours together before I had to go inside to clear immigration and board my flight to Sydney. It was a very sad few hours because both of us were going to part again. We just sat in front of each other and stared without talking for a while. I wanted to say a million things but I had no words and then we heard the announcement to board the flight.

It was an emotional goodbye for a few weeks and after hugging him for the last time I kept walking towards immigration. I didn’t want to turn around because I didn’t want him to see tears in my eyes.

The immigration process was quick and I went straight through the boarding gates to the waiting plane. I am not sure what I did but I was still alive when the plane landed in Sydney.

Human nature is very strange because you feel so much joy when you know you are going to meet someone and suddenly you can be so down when you are back alone.

For us it was not too bad and I know it in my head but my heart was refusing to cooperate.

After coming back to work, I made a countdown card and tore them one day at a time. I got really excited when it was down to single digits. By then AS was back in Nepal and was enjoying his days with his family.

We still talked every day but we didn’t have lot of time to communicate as he was busy saying goodbye to his family and friends in Nepal. And finally it was the day before AS was landing in Sydney.

I was super excited and everyone at my work knew that he was coming. I even bought a nice tiramisu cake for everyone at work to share my happiness and wrote the following email to AS.

Hey baby

How r u doing?

I am so so happy 🙂 🙂 🙂

I got a cake for my colleagues at work to celebrate your coming.

Sorry u couldn’t have a piece but I’ve sent you the pic

Love u love u love

Your,

M

 

I took the next day off as I was going to pick him up and spent the rest of the day home with him. It was one of the most important days in my life and I couldn’t really go to sleep that night. All I could imagine was our future together and couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

Next post will be about AS in Australia so don’t forget to come back.

Till then take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 27

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Our Story: Mysore – Part 25

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

I was excited when AS told me that he was taking me to Mysore which is 140 kms away from Bangalore, where, the grandeur and opulence of the erstwhile kingdom of the Wodeyars left a legacy that has made Mysore culturally extremely rich. Magnificent palaces, well laid out gardens, clean & broad avenues, imposing buildings and majestic temples all add up to make Mysore an interesting city.

The car came to pick us up early morning and we drove to Mysore.

The road from Bangalore to Mysore was pretty good, passing through highways and towns. I was looking out the window most of the time and it was a great experience watching people going to work, street vendors selling lots of food and lots of shops and markets everywhere.

Mysore Maharajah’s Palace (Amba Vilas)

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Mysore Palace or the Mysore Maharaja Palace is located in the heart of the city. And its one of the largest palaces in the country, also known as Amba Vilas Palace, was the residence of the Wodeyar Maharaja’s of the Mysore state.

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The original palace built of wood, got burnt down in 1897, during the wedding of Jayalakshammanni, the eldest daughter of Chamaraja Wodeyar and was rebuilt in 1912 at the cost of Rs. 42 lakhs. The present Palace was built in Indo-Saracenic style and blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic styles of architecture. It is a three-storied stone structure, with marble domes and a 145 ft five-storied tower. Above the central arch is an impressive sculpture of Gajalakshmi, the goddess of wealth, prosperity, good luck and abundance with her elephants. The palace is surrounded by a large garden designed by the well-known British architect, Henry Irwin. The palace is a treasure house of exquisite carvings and works of art from all over the world.

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When we went inside the place I was in awe as it was so massive that I couldn’t imagine some people used to call this place their home. I could easily get lost in this big space with so many rooms and such wonderful decorations of exquisite carvings, paintings and works of art from all over the world.

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While the palace can be photographed from outside, cameras are banned within the palace premises. They also ask to take off our shoes. We took the options of self-guided audio tours and there was so much information to take in.

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Looking from one of the balcony on the palace, I was also amazed by the view where you can see the massive and beautiful garden and water fountains.

Once we were done with the palace, we went outside and explored the garden. There were many people but it didn’t deter us from taking heaps of photos outside the palace.

St. Philomena’s Church

I was amazed to discover beautiful churches in India and one of them is St.Philomena’s Church, which was built in 1956 and is one of the largest churches in the country. Its inspiration is from Germany’s Cologne Cathedral.

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The twin spires of the Cathedral, 175 feet in height, are seen from miles around making it a distinctive city landmark. The main hall of the cathedral can seat up to 800 people and is as exquisitely conceived as the ornately crafted exterior with beautiful stained glass windows depicting scenes from the birth of Christ, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ.

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When we entered the church, mass was in progress so we didn’t disturb and left quietly and instead went around outside the church, it was really beautiful.

Chamundeswari Temple

The driver of the car seemed to know all the attractions in Mysore so he made sure we got to see all the major attractions. The next stop was Chamundi temple, which has always been patronised by the rulers of Mysore. In 1659 Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar built 1,000 steps and a huge Nandi, Lord Shiva’s Bull. This colossal Nandi is one of the largest in India, 16 ft. (4.8 meters) tall at the front and 25 ft. (7.5 meters) in length.

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The magnificent pendent bells around its neck are exquisite. Nandi and the temple beside it are located at the 700th step of the Chamundi Hill. Krishnaraja Wodeyar III repaired the shrine in 1827 and built the present beautiful forty-meter seven storied Gopura (tower at the entrance) with gold finials and set up statues of his and his three queens.

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There are two other temples dedicated to Lakshmi Narayana Swamy and Mahabaleswara. Sri Mahabaleswara temple – dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of Linga is the oldest temple on the hill.

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As we were coming out, we saw a vendor who was selling idols of Hindu gods. I bought a few and I still have them in our puja area.

Sri Ranganatha Temple

Sri Ranganatha Temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganathaswamy an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The Sri Ranganatha Temple is located on the banks of the river Cauvery in the historical town of Srirangapatna. A remarkable fact about this temple is that Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, two of the great Muslim kings of India were Lord Ranganatha’s devotees.

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The architecture of Sri Renganathaswamy Temple follows the style of Hoysalas and Vijaynagara Empire. The main entrance is beautifully engraved with 24 forms of Lord Vishnu.mysore (13)

We also have similar temples in Sydney as well.

There is a sculpture of a couple of well-ornamented and majestic elephants standing guard at the entrance. As we enter the queue to get into the main temple, we noticed thee a Gold Plated Garudavahana and Nagashesha. The temple has several other deities including that of Lord Venkateshwara, Narasimha and Panchamukha Anjenaya.

I was a nice feeling visiting the temple and the place was well organised.

Tipu sultan’s tomb

Tipu Sultan, the great warrior who fought with the British empire, built tombs for his father Hyder Ali and mother Fathima Begam (Fakr-Un-Nisa). This spectacular black and white marble mausoleum is the final resting place of not only his father Hyder Ali and Mother Fathima Baigum but also of Tipu Sultan himself amongst others.

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The inside of the dome is spectacularly decorated and the curators will turn the lights on for photographs for a small donation to the fund. The structure is very beautiful standing on a high and wide platform with an open verandah of polished pillars all round. The highlight of the Gumbaz structure are well shaped large dome, ivory inlaid doors, and carved stone windows of fine workmanship. The chamber is painted with the tiger stripes.

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Adjacent to the tomb is the nearby mosque, still in operation, “Masjid-E-Aksa.” One can enter the mosque although it is necessary to cover your head. We decided against it as there were many people praying there.

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Lalitha Mahal

Lalitha Mahal is the second largest palace in Mysore. It is located near the Chamundi Hills, east of the city of Mysore. We didn’t plan to visit this palace but our driver took us there as we had time and we are glad we did.

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It was great place from inside and outside. Some part of the palace is converted into a hotel. For visitors it was restricted to just a few area of the huge mansion. We were informed that the palace was used in lots of movies as well.

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I managed to take a pic one of the guard wearing traditional outfit.

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After our last stop, we headed back to Bangalore. One the way back we went to a Sari shop and bought Silk saris for my mum and MIL. They both loved it when we gave it to them.

mysore (26)The ride back felt very long as it rained and I couldn’t enjoy the view.

More in the next post. Till then take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 26

Our Story : My trip to Bangalore – Part 24

This is a continuation of my previous posts. Please read the previous posts here.

Once it was planned that I will be going to Bangalore to meet AS, I was in a super good mood. The few remaining weeks just passed by planning the trip. I had been to India couple of time before but Bangalore was a different story. First of all AS was there and everyone had told me that Bangalore is a nice place to be. I was not quite sure what to expect but it didn’t matter as AS was there and I was sure everything will be fine.

Finally, the day arrived. I had a flight from Sydney to Thailand and Thailand to Bangalore. In my excitement, I couldn’t eat much on the plane. I was so pumped to see AS again after so many months.

When I landed in Bangalore International Airport, all I wanted to do was collect the bag from the carousel and run to find AS outside. It was hot in the airport but I didn’t care about anything at all. I passed the immigration, picked up my bad and went to find AS.

There were so many people there and the airport was really big. Everywhere there were people patiently waiting for their loved ones to come out and in the middle of this chaos I spotted AS. I just ran to hug him. I was so happy to hold him again and I was over the moon.

I know I was in India and PDA is not common but I couldn’t hold my excitement. In all this excitement, I left my baggage trolley a few meters from us. Once the initial meeting was done, AS hurried to get the baggage as it not safe to leave it without anyone looking after it.

AS had a car booked with a driver and he took us to our hotel. I really didn’t care what happened after that because for the next 2 weeks AS was going to be with me and we were going to have heaps of fun.

The serviced apartment he booked was in a quiet street with only a few rooms. I didn’t know much of the Bangalore but AS lived there and I trusted him completely to plan of the days and take us around. We went to a nearby restaurant for dinner and just talked till late. I don’t know when I fall asleep but I had a very good rest.

Rest of my time in there was fully planned by AS. There were so many things I wanted to do and see and AS was making sure they happened. He took me to many attractions around Bangalore for the next few days.

Bangalore Palace

The Bangalore Palace was built by a Wodeyar King in 1887 on the 400 acre space. Inspired by the Windsor castle, this palace was built in the Tudor style, complete with Gothic windows, foiled windows, battlements and turrets resembling the Daria Daulat Palace in Srirangapatanam

 We bought our ticket and were given an audio guide to take us around. The ground floor consisted of an open courtyard containing granite seats covered with fluorescent blue ceramic tiles. It also contained a ballroom for holding private parties. I wished I could take some of the furniture and paints home as they were really beautiful and I am sure very expensive.

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The first floor, containing an elaborate hall known as the Durbar Hall, can be reached by climbing a decorated staircase. This is a sprawling hall where the king used to address the assembly. The walls along the staircase are adorned with paintings and the Durbar Hall has a massive elephant head mounted in it.

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One side of the hall contains stained glass windows in Gothic style. The yellow colour is used profusely and the walls and the sofa set in the hall are in yellow. A screen on one end separates the area where the ladies used to sit and watch the assembly proceedings in relative privacy. Some paintings of Raja Ravi Verma are also displayed here.

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The interior walls of the palace are adorned by old paintings belonging to the mid-19th century, including some Greek and Dutch paintings. Some of the other attractions include a dining table belonging to the Diwan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail. This table contained a mother-of-pearl inlay with Chinese lacquer work.

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The maharajah’s courtyard has a bench and a fountain which was a gift from the King of Spain Don Alphonso. I loved that bench so much that we ended up taking many photos there.

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According to the audio guide, when he was deposed of power in year 1931 he visited Bangalore and found solace in this courtyard, because the columns and arches were of Moorish Architecture which were from back home. The Wadiyar’s gracious hospitality made him present this fountain and bench made of bright coloured tiles by the leading art deco ceramicist Seville.

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I was really amazed by the palace and could imagine how the rich and famous lived their life. When we exited the palace, we were in a big beautiful garden.

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Lalbagh Botanical Gardens

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I was surprised to see such a green open space in the middle of a city full of hustle-bustle. Spread over 96 acres of landscaped terrain, Lalbagh or the Red Garden was laid out in 1760 by Hyder Ali, and is now one of Bengaluru’s most famous greens. A beautiful glasshouse, modelled on the original Crystal Palace in London, is the venue for flower shows and we were lucky to be there during one of the shows.

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The garden has trees that are over 100 years old. It also has an aquarium and a lake. Rose garden is one of the other attractions.

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It seemed like a nice place for lovebirds to date as we saw them everywhere.

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It reminded me a lot of the zoo in Nepal where young people date hiding from preying eyes of society.

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Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple)

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Dodda Basavana Gudi (the Bull Temple) is situated in the N.R. Colony, Basavanagudi area of South Bangalore. The Hindu temple is inside a park called Bugle Rock.

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The bull referred to is a sacred Hindu demi-god, known as Nandi; Nandi is a close devotee and attendant of Shiva. Dodda Basavana Gudi is said to be the biggest temple to Nandi in the world. The stone cult image of Nandi is continually covered with new layers of butter, benne in the local language of Kannada.

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The majestic structure of Nandi, 15 feet tall and over 20 feet long, has been carved out of a single granite rock.

Outside the corridors of the Bull Temple, there is huge 20 ft high pillar which has its base adorned with relief figures on all sides. One figure is of special interest which shows a male playing a string instrument facing the Big Bull.

Legends abound regarding the origin of the magnificent bull carved in a crouching position. The surrounding area of the temple was inhabited by groundnut growing farmers and a bull used to graze on the flourishing groundnut crop. Enraged at the loss caused by the bull, a farmer hit the bull with a club and the bull was was transformed into a stone. Stunned by this event, the worried farmers built a temple to appease the bull of Lord Shiva, Nandi; thus originated the practice of farmers offering their first crop of groundnut as an offering to the bull. The occasion gradually metamorphosed into the famous the Kadalekayi Parishe (The Groundnut fair), which is held in the month of November. Every year, during the fair farmers offer their first crop of groundnut to the sacred bull of the temple.

I went to a few more temples in Bangalore but the thing that impressed me the most was the shopping mall in there [OBVIOUSLY!!!]. We went to a few different shopping malls every day and I did find a few items I liked to buy. AS also took me to the market where they sell accessories like chura and tika and a street where they sell saris only.

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At the end, I bought a few saris for our mums and few for me, a lehenga set and few accessories. I wish I can go back and shop again as they have so much variety.

In addition, we spent some time with AS’s friends. Some of them were really nice inviting us to their home for lunch while we met some in restaurants for dinner.

It was nice to know his friends and see him in his environment. They seemed to be nice people and just happy for AS and me. Before I left, they gave me some gifts as well and I was really touched.

From Bangalore, we went to Mysore and I will write about it more in my next post.

Till then take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Go to Part 25

Chicken gravy means chicken gravy only, no chicken please

I know the title is very confusing but I will try to explain it.

Last night, AS and I were out and so we decided to eat out. We were discussing what to eat when we saw this South Indian restaurant. I like Indian food so it looked like a good choice to both of us.

We went inside and were given a six sitter table as they didn’t have any empty table for two. I didn’t know much about South Indian dishes expect Dosa so I asked AS as he had spent 5 years in South India.

Anyway, finally we decided to eat Chicken 65 and set meals. AS ordered Anjappar popular non veg  meal which comes with Chappati, rice, chettinad chicken, mutton gravy, fish gravy, rasam, kootu, poriyal , curd and appalam.  For me, I decided to go with Anjappar regular meals that comes with rice, chicken gravy, mutton gravy, fish gravy, rasam, kootu, poriyal , curd and appalam. I knew I couldn’t finish all that but I wanted to try the meal. We got extra chicken as AS told me, from his experience in India, that the meal would have only a few small pieces of meat.

While we are waiting for our food, one of the waiters came and asked if they could sit some other customers on our table too. Don’t get me wrong, I am all up for socialising but not when I am out with my husband trying to enjoy dinner together, I really didn’t want a total stranger on the same table sitting next to us listening to our conversation. So we said Sorry but we wouldn’t be comfortable to have others on the same table. I know it seems rude but they still had tables available in the restaurant but it seemed they didn’t want to use another six sitter table for just three people.

I was actually shocked to see that they even asked about it but AS told, me that it is common in dhabas in India but not in a proper restaurant.

I have eaten North Indian meals before so I was thinking this would be similar but I was so wrong. Firstly, the food was so spicy that I knew I couldn’t eat it all and to top it off, the chicken gravy, fish gravy and goat gravy were just that, gravy, no meat. When I was reading the menu, I had thought it meant chicken with gravy but, no it actually meant just gravy.  I am sure I am not the only one who would be confused by the menu. It seemed quite funny to both me and AS. I was just glad that we had ordered a separate chicken dish which was good but quite spicy.

During the meal, one of the waiters came and tried to put some more dishes on the table. We told him that we hadn’t ordered any more food and he left. He was going around the restaurant and had no clue which table the food he was carrying was for. The tables had numbers but I guess because they put more than one customer in one table, the waiters were getting confused.

Seriously, they are running a nice looking restaurant in Sydney but it was a bit chaotic. AS was telling me that he felt like he was in India with loud South Indian music from the TV, the Bollywood music from speakers and waiters running around in every direction.  But even if their idea was to create an authentic South Indian restaurant environment, they should have given a customer like me a choice to go for a medium spicy meal so that I could at least eat my food. Or maybe I am asking too much from them. I guess I will stick with my favourite dosa when I visit a South Indian restaurant. Anyway I ended up eating only around 1/3 of my meal as it was too spicy. I do eat spicy food but this was super spicy.

The other thing I observed while having dinner was the waiters. I saw one waiter dressed so inappropriately. Sorry I do not want to make fun of him but he is in a customer service business and he was wearing a Wallaby hat (bright yellow), multi coloured jacket and a sunnies while he served and the other waiter was wearing a black shirt with sequence embroidery as if he was going to a club. I seriously think they need a dress code so that the customer can identify the wait staff. I am not really judging people but the business definitely could have used some rules in place.

Please let me know what are some good South Indian dishes (not too spicy though), if you know any. I am always up for trying new food  🙂

Please share you different experience trying new food.

Have a great weekend everyone

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

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Our Story: LOVE – Part 9

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6 , Part 7 and Part 8

The first time I heard the words “I love you” from AS I really couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to say so I was quiet for a while. As we were on the phone, AS was worried that he might have misjudged the situation and thought I was offended.

At my end, I had butterflies in my tummy and it seemed my heart stopped and was bursting with so much happiness. I was so happy and confused at the same time that I didn’t know what to say for a while. I wanted to scream aloud with happiness but my parents were in the same room asleep so I couldn’t do anything like that. Instead I said, “I love you too.”

As I uttered those words, tears wear running from my eyes. I was sure they were tears of happiness but I couldn’t hold them back. Something I never thought could ever happen to me had just happened, AS just expressed his love for me. I’m sure there are plenty of you that have experienced that wonderful moment of utter joy in the knowledge that the person you will spend the rest of your life with has just committed himself to you.

Sitting on the bed in the hotel in Sikkim, I could have never thought I would ever hear those words ever but there I was holding the phone, crying like a baby.

I could hear the relief in AS’s voice once he heard those words. I knew he was crying as well even though I couldn’t see his face. For a long time, both of us were silent and I could feel that AS was really happy as well. When he spoke again he told me that this will be the best day of his life forever.

I was so glad that we had reached that point and after some serious conversation started asking silly questions.

Me: So tell me honestly from when did you love me?

AS: From the first day I saw you at school.

Me: No way. Come on tell me the truth.

AS: I am serious.

Me: Then why didn’t you tell me before.

AS: I always thought I am not your type so held back.

Me: Actually a few of my friends told me that you like me but I always told them not to be silly. But I am just very happy that you told me finally.

AS: Me too. I was so scared for a while when you didn’t say anything.

Me: Ohoo sorry. I was just too surprised. Why were you worried anyway?

AS: I thought you don’t love me and saying those words I was going to lose our friendship as well.

Me: Ohoo I am so sorry. I was lost for words. I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I didn’t expect you would ever say it.

AS: I was planning to tell you when we met in Kathmandu in a few weeks. But I was woried you would be engaged to some random guy by then and I would be too late. I didn’t plan for it but it felt right to say it today. I am just glad with the result. M, you are my only love. I have never loved anyone like I love you and even all those year when we hardly talked, I always remembered you and loved you with all my heart.

Hearing those words from his mouth was the best of all. He felt at that moment like he couldn’t go another second without telling me how much he loved me. It was very authentic, and true to our relationship.

We talked for another couple of hours and both of us were so happy and it seemed crazy to hang up. I had so many questions for him and I am sure he did too. But it was really late for me and he insisted that I go to bed. We were still talking and I don’t remember when I fell asleep but the last thing I remember was his voice before I fell asleep.

The next morning when I woke up, the mobile was still on my hand. I recalled what happened last night and was beaming with happiness. When I checked my mobile, I had another message from AS that says,” M, I have never been this happy in my life. Thank you for being the reason for my happiness and I love you.”

The message doubled my happiness and I was just over the moon that whole day. As I was getting ready for breakfast, my phone rang. Without checking, I knew it was AS so I answered.

Me: hello (with big grin on my face)

AS: hello my love. How are you, did you sleep well?

Me: Yap I did (still grinning)

AS: So what are you doing today?

Me: Dad told me that we got the permit to go to Changu Lake so heading there soon.

AS: That is good news. Have fun and take care.

Me: I will. BTW there may not be network reception there so we won’t be able to talk.

AS: I am going to bed soon so I will call you when I wake up. By then you should be back.

Me: That sounds good. Sleep well.

AS: Ok take care. I love you M. I wish you were here with me so I can give you big hug.

Me: I know. I wish we can meet soon too. I love you too A. Hope your ticket will work out so I can see you when I get back to Nepal.

AS: Ok go now and I will call you later. Love you dear.

Me: Love you too.

I went to eat breakfast and went to explore the beautiful lake. For me everything was looking more beautiful, greener and more amazing. I was so happy about our conversation from last night and the next morning, I was literally day dreaming. Then I got another sms from AS. It made my day even better and then he sent two more before I got the last one that said have a good day and he is off to bed now. I send him a few messages with some nice words. At that stage, I was in an internal euphoria and I was not able to write many lovey dovey things. There were millions of things I wanted to write in those messages but always decided against them.  By the time we got to Changu Lake, I could see there was no reception at all on my mobile.

The journey there was very interesting. The ethereally beautiful kilometre long 15 m deep Tsomgo / Changu lake is nestled at an incredible altitude of 12,400 ft. TSO means lake and MGO means head in Bhutia language. The vast expanse of crystal clear water is situated on the Gangtok-Nathula highway and is revered by the Sikkimese as sacred. The Nathula pass was part of the famous Silk route connecting the plains of Bengal with Tibet and from thereon China.

Changu Lake (4)The lake is also of special significance for the Jhakris [faith healers] of Sikkim who congregate here annually on Guru Purnima from all over the state to offer prayers.

Around the picturesque Tsomgo Lake is woven a rich legend; Sikkimese folk-lore narrates that Tsomgo was initially at Laten, several km away from the present Tsomgo (lake). One night an old woman of Tsomgo dreamt that the lake at Laten would shift to Tsomgo. She was warned to leave the place as soon as possible. The old lady hastened to inform her other yak herder friends but they paid no heed.

She hurriedly milked her dri (female yak) and poured the milk on the ground for good luck and left the place with her yaks for Lhachungkar near Thegu. Just before leaving, she saw an inordinately fair lady with gleaming grey hairs, entering Tsomgo. Immediately the earth turned into water and formed Tsomgo lake. The two obstinate yak herders are believed to have been submerged in the lake along with their yaks.

In the times gone by, lamas (Buddhist monks) are said to have foretold the future by observing the color of the lake’s water. If the water had a dark tinge, it foreshadowed a year of trouble and unrest in the state.

Changu Lake (7)Nathula area has three lakes – Memonchu, Kupup and Tsomgo – and out of three, reports have shown that the Tsomgo Lake is heavily polluted. Tsomgo wetland is amongst the most productive & biologically rich ecosystems and also amongst the most endangered. This wetland is a lake complex joined by some other water bodies Manju I and Manju II.

Changu Lake (1) Changu Lake (3)

While we were there, we got an opportunity to ride a yak and go around the lake. It was one of the most amazing things I have done and my parents were happy about the ride as well. The ride was slow but very interesting as the Yak owner was trying to direct the obstinate yaks in the right direction every few minutes. Some paths were so narrow that I was scared that both the yak and I would fall off.

Changu Lake (2)

The lake was so bluish green and beautiful. The air was crisp and pleasantly cold and we saw lots of snow melting around us.

Changu Lake (6)I have to say it was one of the most beautiful places I have seen.

Changu Lake (5)After we were done we went to the main area. There were several shops selling snacks, souvenirs, warm clothes and snow boots along the periphery of the lake. We had our lunch (momo) there, bought some souvenirs and got back in our jeep to get back to hotel.

Changu Lake (8)On the way back, when we reached the area where there was mobile reception, I got 3 messages in my mobile one after another. All of them were from AS and all of them were equally heart melting. I guess I had not had those feeling for so long then that I felt like crying reading those words. But I had to stay composed in front of my parents.

As soon as we reached the hotel, I messaged him back and when we all had dinner and everyone went to bed, he called me.

Again we talked for hours. He gave me the good news that he would be coming to Kathmandu on the 1st of January. It was a relief because I was booked to go back to Sydney on 15th of January which meant we could spend 2 weeks together. I was not even sure what the future held for us at that stage but I was ready to give it a go. I hadn’t felt so good about anything for so long that I was scared to think it might just be a dream. But every time I spoke to AS, he made me feel so good each and every moment that I began to relax and was slowly accepted that good things were really happening to me. All of the things that were happening were real and AS loved me.

Every time he utter those four words,” I love you M”, I was over the moon. I have to be honest; until this day when he utters those words to me, I can feel the same feeling I had the first time. I know it sounds crazy but I love him more every day and my life would be empty without him.

We talked about so many things that evening and I fell asleep while on the phone.

I will continue more soon. Until then, take care.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 10

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*10 Questions from Yatin on my “Our Story “post *Our Story : The Beginning – Part 1

*Our Story: Good friends again – Part 4

Our story : The Proposal – Part 8

This is a continuation of my previous post. Please read the previous posts here, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 , Part 6  and Part 7

As I boarded the plane to Bhadrapur airport, I was just relaxed and excited to start the holiday. But at the back of the mind, I knew that it would be impossible to keep in touch with AS via chat. The flight was not long and it was still afternoon when we touched down at Bhadrapur airport.

Our guide/driver was there to pick us up and it was going to be another couple of hours in a car before we crossed Nepal India border. He was going to be with us for the next 10 days throughout our trip in India and Nepal. We planned it that way so that we wouldn’t have to travel in public transportation and we would know we are safe with him.

I asked the guide if they have prepaid sim cards with data plans that I can buy easily. He told me that prepaid sim are easy to get but data is very expensive and the speed may not be very good. I decided to get the sim anyway and send AS a message with my new number.

That day we reached Darjeeling late at night. All of us were very tired after a long flight and the ride after so went to bed early. I was watching TV while my parents were asleep and my mobile rang. I was surprised and picked up thinking that it was our guide but it was AS. I was happy to hear his voice and glad he called.  He had just woke up and decided to call me before he went to work.  He told me that he was just checking the number so he could send me messages later. We talk very briefly and hung up. I went to bed after that.

The next day was fully planned with sightseeing in Darjeeling so we got up early. As I woke up and checked my mobile, I had a message from AS.

It said, “Good morning. Enjoy your day and have lots of fun. Will call you later.” It was a nice way to wake up in the morning. We had breakfast at the hotel and went out to see the beautiful Darjeeling.

For me Darjeeling was meant to be the clean, green and beautiful place but was a bit disappointed to see so many people and so much pollution. But I have learnt travelling to so many places not to be disappointed from any place but to do and see as much as possible.

So we visited the Peace Pagoda. The place was not only peaceful as the name suggested but beautiful, clean, elegant and impressive.

Darjeeling (5) Darjeeling (6)

We spent some time there and then went to Bhutia Busty Gompa Monastery. From there went to a temple nearby and then visited Darjeeling Toy Train museum.By then it was afternoon so we had lunch and after lunch went to ride the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway.

Darjeeling (2)

We took the Joy Ride which was a 2 hour ride starting from Darjeeling Railway station, stopping for 10 min in Baptesy Loop and then going to Ghoom station. There it stopped for 20 minutes where you can visit the small Museum and then the train comes back to Darjeeling Station. The coaches were very old. It was a novelty and was interesting.

By the time we were back, the sun has set so we met our guide at the train station and went for dinner. I was having great time with my parents and my parents were enjoying the trip as well. As we were going to view the sunrise at Tiger Hill the next morning, all of decided to go to bed early and were back at the hotel by 7.30pm. As I was about to get ready to sleep, my phone rang.

It was AS who had just woken up. Because of time difference I was not expecting much communication with him but it was nice of him to call. We had our normal chat for a while. I am not even sure what we talked about after that but he was talking to me while getting ready for work and having breakfast. And then I was still on the phone when he went to work. Only when he was at his office, we hung up. I didn’t realise at the time that I was on the phone with him for over an hour.

After I hung up, my mum asked me who I was talking to and I just told her that it was AS. She didn’t ask me anything more so I went to bed.

Next morning, I was up again at 4 am to watch the sunrise. It was really cold but we had our quick breakfast and hopped into the car to go to Tiger Hill for the amazing sunrise. It was worth the wait when the sun finally rose and the sky turned orange. The view was astounding and as the sun rose, the mountains became visible and their colour changed from red to orange to yellow.

Darjeeling (1)

After sunrise when we were going to the tea garden, AS called me again. We had a short talk as he was going to bed. I wished him good night and we hung up. The tea garden was really nice and we had a great time in Darjeeling for next few days doing all the touristic things.

My parents and I enjoyed every moment we spend together.

Darjeeling (3)For the next few days, AS called me in the morning and evening and send me text messages in between.

I was wondering at that point if AS meant anything more than friendship but again the same thought kicked in that there is no way AS would think of me as more than a friend and I would look silly if I thought anything else as well.

Darjeeling (4)

From Darjeeling, we went to Sikkim. I really liked Sikkim as it reminded me a lot of Kathmandu. Even though we were in India, I didn’t feel like I was outside Nepal while we were in Darjeeling and Sikkim as everyone there spoke Nepali and we didn’t have any language problem.

Every time AS called, I would tell him our plan for the day and he would update me about his flight ticket issue. Then we would talk for hours about anything and everything. One of the topics we always talked about was marriage and finding a suitable partner. As my parents kept bringing that topic up every now and then, I needed someone to talk about it and AS was perfect as he was in the same boat as me.

I am sure he must have spent lots of money during that period as an overseas call doesn’t come cheap. From time to time I would tell him not to call so often but I loved his calls too. I have to admit, all the talks and texts had made us very close. I really liked him and was so glad I had someone to talk to.

One evening when AS was on the phone, I was telling him about our plan to go to Lake Tsongmo or Changu Lake, a glacial lake in the East Sikkim,  some 40 kilometers (25 mi) away from Gangtok at altitude of 3,780 m (12,400 ft). We were having bit of trouble getting a permit to go there as it is China – India border crossing. Everyone had told us that it was a beautiful place so we really were looking forward to going there.

As we were talking, the topic changed from my trip to our school days. We were laughing remembering silly things we did in school and how it was so much fun going hiking and going to libraries. There were so much of memories from those days.

It was very early morning for AS so he was just walking in a park near his place. He was describing me how the sun had just started to rise and how beautiful it looked. He was really into the moment and describing very thing he could see and taking me there with him. I was lying on the bed after dinner as it was evening for me. When I closed my eye, I could imagine everything he was describing. I can’t remember how long we had been talking for but it was the first time, he said the words that stopped my heart. I really couldn’t believe what I heard.

He said, “M, I love you. “ 🙂 🙂 🙂

I will continue soon so do come back. Till then take care.

XOXO

M from nepaliaustralian

Go to Part 9

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*10 Questions from Yatin on my “Our Story “post

 

*Our Story: Back to Sydney – Part 3 *Our Story: Good friends again – Part 4