So it’s been really this long..

since I posted anything to this blog. Not even a pic?¬† I took loads with the comment “Aah need it for my blog”.

Apologies for my long absence to my non-existence fans ūüėȬ†

Who am I kidding? Probably no one is looking to see a notification from Hira. Meh!

PS: Am fishing for some Missed you sort of comments, welcome back is also fine. Or just Hi!

PS: WordPress updated editor during my absence. Where is my strike-through gone? Why do I have a feeling am not gonna like what wordpress has done?

So the reason for me being missing in action is LIFE.

I was away for a while, gone home aka Assam, remember the most amazing place on earth , doing NOTHING. Two blissful weeks on vacation.Among near and dear ones. And then I was back to the city which is my nest now. And then I quit my job aka my job of 10 years to join another job that is almost a lifestyle change for me. I was out of my comfort zone. 

There were too many changes in my life, all taken at the same time. Actually just three. Or two, if you don’t count the change in weather. (PS: Winter is here and I love it)

Am still adjusting to the new job, so far it is good. I have so much to learn aka read, am short of hours in a day to read. Am adjusting to the change in schedule. Am reading all the time. Technical, not legendary stories and that explains my absence from this space. 

But today, I wanna take you back to the morning of October, when I woke up to the sounds of birds, clear blue sky outside my window and the sight of green! Assam in October is amazing. The paddy is everywhere, getting ready for harvesting, presenting a landscape of green and plenty of shades of it. The sunshine is just of the right dosage. Not too strong to burn neither too soft to give a chill. It is magical. Yup…Aaah I wish I was there at this hour. Or every hour for the rest of my life.¬†

So, I woke up and decided for a morning walk. The paddy was inviting. The village had a new road, thanks to the govt. The road was from the corner of my house. It bends into the village, even further into the green. 

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And then that is what am talking about

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And this.

 

And then I met Turbo. If you have a child, who is into animation movies, you will know what am talking about. I touched the thing, it was slimy. 

 

And the road is lined with these. 

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And that is why it is called Amazing Awesome Assam ūüôā

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And it’s too late here. Past midnight and tomorrow begin a new week. Monday Puff!¬†

Good night, Sleep tight and Have a fun Sunday .

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Tso Moriri – Feast your eyes!

My better half did it again. One trip to Leh in a lifetime isn’t enough. He has to go again. and again.

Me: But why Leh again? This will be your third… you were there less than a year ago.

Him: Yeah but it wasn’t raining then? I want to see rain.¬†

But, When a man got to go, he got to go. So, up he goes..to Leh, on this Royal Enfield.

The Only change next time be-  #solobikeride will be #nosolobikeride

These pictures are from Tso Moriri. This is a mountain lake.  The lake and surrounding area are protected as the Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve. This was his de-tour, and he was out of mobile reach for two whole days.

I don’t blame him to go incommunicado … This is so bloody gorgeous!¬† Feast your eyes ‚̧

Me: let’s pack our bag and move here. People actually live here!¬†

 

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Puff! Just LOOK at that! 

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Blue sky and blue water.

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The nearest village.

 

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His home stay ūüôā

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The nearest Karzok Village

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The man himself!

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These were his local guides ūüôā The girls accompanied him to lake Arent they cute?

Happiness is…

Reading book on the beach. Next to mighty ocean , the waves never letting anyone come close… And

Don’t we all miss Home?

Last December, I was home. Am now approx 3000 Kilometers away from home. Too far to be away from home, for anyone, Isn’t it?

My home is Assam and is part of North East India. It is one of the seven sisters and is a beautiful place.

It is my cynefin. Being there, I feel, am exactly where I need to be, among people and nature I wish to be always. Just bring in my husband and son here and the scene will be complete.

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My father, after retirement settled at his native, an indistinguishable small village, fulguri, 17 kilometers from Guwahati airport. Guwahati is the biggest city in North-east and is the pseudo- capital of Assam.

I have memories of spending my school vacation there.At least those were a month long. Ever since life caught up, I could only visit for two weeks in a year. I remember looking forward to my visit every year during school days and I was so determined that I will be more frequent when I will have my own money and time.

Hmm, Don’t I have enough money and time now?

Honestly, It is sort of unreal. My longing for this place. What possibly could be the reason for loving this place so much? I have actually never lived there, at least for any time longer than a month. I have no real friends there. No childhood chadi-badi. I cannot speak the language correctly. Am no expert in its cuisine or culture. Assam and I have nothing in common! I shouldn’t fall for it..fulguri ! Sign!

But, it feels like a big part of my heart is left there, the part refuses to come with me, miles away, where am settled with my husband and son.

Perhaps it is the people – my parent, sibling, all my cousins, relatives, uncle, aunt, niece-nephews whom I probably won’t recognize anymore.

Or perhaps it is the place- the air, the language, the culture, the cuisine, the lahe-lahe attitude, the laughter, the curated smiles, the music, the raw, the freshness, the incessant pour, the early sunset/sunrise, the terrible heat of hot summer, the bonfire in chilly winter, the warmth of winter sun, the orient eyes, the shiny hair, the makela-sadar- dress, the fashion, the nail-art , the dekhi-local grinder, the mighty river, the hills, the green, the tea-garden, the mountains.Everything.

May be it is my mother’s kitchen garden or the pukhuri.

Enough of sob story.

So, As I was saying, I was home at the end of Dec, last year. Most of the time was spent in visiting new places and meeting relatives. I was hardly home. But one day was special, between all busy schedule and slipping vacation, the day I remember the most was when my husband decided to try fishing in our pukhuri. Pukhuri is a small pond next to my father’s house. Where my mother dumps all left-over food for the fishes. It isn’t too romantic or clean. It is actually muddy water.

I forgot, how relaxing this corner of my home is.

Some of the pictures from that day below.

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Early morning, I spotted my hero ūüôā when I was looking for the warmth of winter sun after a hot-water bath , almost ready for my winter-sun-nap !.

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The morning tea-cup . This was surely an indication of a relaxing day ahead. Pls spot my mother’s kitchen garden, beyond which is the pukhuri..

And there was my little pumpkin. Trying to see how good fisherman his father is.20171230_104133.jpg

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I just settled my butt at one place and then I looked up.

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He was in for a long haul ūüėČ trying to find perfect location where fishes will fall for this bait.

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The expert joined us , immeditely at work..

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He did manage to catch one fish. And many more.

Moral of the story.

I miss my home. I miss pukhuri . So am gonna build one, right next to the swimming pool in my apartment. Throw in some fishes, get a fishing net and settle my butt right there…some 3000 miles away from where it wants to be.

Aha..By the way, Today is my Ma’s birthday ūüéā..Happy Birthday Ma. I terribly miss you.

Shit happens, On a train , Jokes fell flat, train moves on .. husband at his best!

Husband and I , traveling by train. Sitting  , side-by-side.

He is reading a newspaper ,  and am looking out of the window.

Utterly bored. 

Me ( with 1000 watts smile , when an idea worth 1000 watts stuck me) :

Let’s just pretend , we don’t know each other. Am with my son and you are a stranger. And here is the fun part¬†–You are hitting on me! Imagine that. I will pretend to frown , roll my eyes , ignore you , but you will persist , push conversations..smile. blah blah

After 2 minutes , I have already improvised , and continue blabbing . 

Better, I will script it. We will start when I will ask you “What is the time , Sir” , and you will take it as a¬†cue …you will answer but continue talking..ask personal questions, play with my son.. ..¬†..¬†blah blah …be really friendly … try to impress me … try to make a joke … funny line .. act intellectually .. hoping I will be impressed .. nervous to ask me ..

After 2 minutes ,More blah blah…¬†

So , are you ready? Shall we start the act?

I adjust my dress , hair , take a sip , pretend to be super -busy and ..

Light , Camera , Action

Me: Hello Sir, what is the time?

Husband (wtf-who-the-hell-are-you ) :I DON’T TALK TO STRANGER.

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The end of the conversation where he was gonna impress me and I was gonna ignore him 

Shit happens, on train , jokes fell flat, train moves on ….And am like..

wehadadeal

Husband , at it again!

I think he is crazy. Spending hours with his microlens trying to capture the tiny winy flower/insect/bug. Sometimes other stuff, larger than 10mm might catch his fancy..and be lucky to be immortalised in the digital world.

My husband. Love of my life, with the love of his life – Camera , Bike Ride to Madhe Ghat. I wonder when did I slip from number 1 position .

Isn’t this beautiful?

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Tawang

I first read about Tawang in an in-flight magazine. It was one of the location in the list of 10 virgin places in the world. ¬†A place , so beautiful , soclose to my home. I should visit it once.¬†The dream is still a dream ūüė¶

But , my husband is lucky. He should be , he has me as his wife ūüôā

He is also lucky because he got chance to explore this virgin place , on his Thuderbird. Deal was that he drops me and my son off at my parent’s house , stay with us for customary 2 days and then proceed to his freedom for 5 days on his Royal Enfield Thuderbird , And Boy! He did enjoy his freedom at paradise.

Tawang is at Arunachal Pradesh , my sister state. It is about 500 km from Guwahati. Won’t say much , will just let the pics do the talking..

Welcome to Tawang and enjoy!

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I love the colors, just look at the canvas…

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That lucky bird .. !

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The frozon lake, partially.

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Mountain dogs .. six feet under!

 

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This road is so inviting .. isnt it. Just keep swimming..

 

 

Frozon Sela pass , some 4170 meters sela_frozen_lake

Icy cold water…

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Road to the mountains..

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Don’t you wish you were born here …? Hell , I wont mind if I die here..

Wedding and cross connected brain..

I attended a wedding, a fulguri wedding , a small  awesome in distinctive village where I spend 15 days every year.
Didn’t get an invitation , They invited my parents before I arrived , now are too busy arranging for big event¬†to send a word out for me¬†but who care’s for an invitation. It was my nephew’s wedding. That translates to wedding in family , must attend.

Wedding was at next village , actually 3rd next. Assamesse have big yards, plenty of space to carry out an event as big as wedding. The house is surrounded 3 sides by paddy fields , no street light and in-frequent commutation. It gets pitch dark at 6 in evening or 3 during winter and someday and sometimes walking is the only way to reach.
I do not know what kind of picture you get from that one line , but (with a dramatic effect) I Love that description , There is no way anyone can stop me from visiting it even  if it means gate crashing a wedding.

And¬†wedding means fish. Not that am sucker¬†for fish(he he he evil laugh). But I also like the mixed veg curry , sometimes accompanied by tok -the ultimate tomato chutney served on banana leaf or rather it’s stem .

This is on the way to their home. Unfortunately I was so engaged during wedding , it didn’t dawn on me to take photos until I was back home to write post about it. Aaaah

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But finally , I didn’t have to gate crash wedding, coz I was invited by at least 3-4 family relatives. To think of it now , who-ever saw me that morning , asked me to¬†go. They were perhaps wondering I will skip it coz I wasnt invited. They do not know about my love for fish and that I was feeling special.¬†The mother of the groom sent a message with my brother. ¬†eeespecially for me.

I thought¬†I will spend only an hour. ¬†I dressed in my 3 year old peacock blue sari. I think it should be a unique color , not-in-vague considering its almost 4 years old. My¬†head pictured everyone saying ¬†wow-that’s-a-different color sari. In the end me , my son , ma and pa loaded into car and reached the venue. My eyes were surely happy , green is my favorite.

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Mother of groom was happy to see me.She is my cousin. This was her son’s wedding. All my cousin’s , spouse , kids ..were there..Aunts /Uncle’s . Senior , Juniors. Newly wed.
I met all of them , I mean ALL of my paternal relatives . I met many after decades. I realized the awkward shy kids are not kids anymore , but young , pierced-ear , SUV driving lads and glads!
Wow .. All of them beautiful and the chit chat. They were curious about me and I about their life.

I met A’s kids – 2 girls and 1 boy. Boy with crew cut and pretty girls .
I met C’s kids – One was wearing nice dress and the other one in Indian traditional dress.
I already know N’s son. ¬†I met him at home. Shy , but big boy.

I returned many smiles and hellos thinking¬†very very very well that this hello face is¬†one of my¬†close relative but no idea who she/he was.¬†I was so damn happy that I do not need to address all of them by name , just “Boa” or Dada!
I met B’s husband. Both are skinny. Match made in heaven.
I tried to memorized where they live , what they do.
All of them , A to Z invited me to come to their place. I said I will try. One said I can come with Kobi , another said I can drive with Dhoney.

Am sure you are bored of reading this , but I wanna tell you
1. That’s why the Indian population is touching a billion. My father are 8 bro and 2 sis. I ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†have 8 cousins from only one uncle.¬†Others- dont get me started.
2. Am not that old even though am an aunt and the fact is am at my nephew’s wedding. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Pa’s eldest brother’s eldest son is about his age. Both got married about the same ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†time…
3.Am so so happy to see so many so many of my relatives… I can imagine my family tree. Huge wide banyan tree.

An hour was already gone and I was still there.I looked around the surrounding.  Wind was flowing in and out non stop and am pretty sure they never ever need air conditioning here.

Wedding is a day-night event here. Come for lunch ,have some snacks anytime of day and leave after dinner. After lunch, we decided to visit another cousin living across the paddy field. . She was also at the wedding. She invited a bunch. I wondered how we are gonna go. SUV kid was there with his SUV. He could drive us. Seeing the crowd and playing safe, I took the seat next to driver. The back seat was filling up soon and very soon it was jam-packed, Then someone suggested that I could fit in one more person with me and a kid. God has plans to outdone mine.

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It was getting dark and finally time to go home. Am sure I was smiling all the day back home , re-playing chats and events of the day.

After the wedding.

  1. My brain now knows all relatives , their spouse and kids.
  2. But everything is cross connected ūüôā
  3. Was it A  who had  2 girls and a boy or 2 boys and a girl?
  4. Who asked me to come to place with Kobi and which one mentioned to drive with Dhoney? Where the hell do they live!
  5. Fun fact -every third lady was wearing peacock blue. Turned out the fashion of color blue was back after 4 years!

And the best thing. I got the best part of the fish in meal and they served the tomato chutney.

Writing this today , a week since the event, I do not remember any of spouse or kids name. If only there was a wedding in family every vacation every year making us the largest Banyan tree!

 

How we pack ..re-pack .

 How I pack my bag.  

  1. hmm , am going for 15 days , means at-the-least 10-12 dresses.
  2. Then a sari .. what if I have to attend a wedding or family function… (PS : My Ma has truck load of Sari and all I need to do is carry a nice¬†fitting¬†blouse) ¬† But , I have to carry one of my own. (PS : each sari easily qualifies for more than 500 gms and a kilo with accessories and side dress..and my Ma has better collection than me.¬†) ¬†But I look good in this ¬†red one of mine (PS: trust me when I say , each and every girl on this planet earth will look good in sari , in any sari ,no matter what is the figure which means I should look good in any of her sari and skip¬†500 gm ¬†)
  3. Then it sure gonna be hot during march , so I should pack some light cotton dress for hot nights.
  4. Or who knows , it might still be cold during nights. So pair of good woolen socks.
  5. hmm , will it be cold during evening definitely.. Should take a shawl.  (PS : believe me when I say my mother also has truckload of shawl AND socks at home at my disposal)
  6. Perhaps a jacket .. for rides on bike ūüôā
  7. ¬†I should get few dresses… to visit my immediate neighbors. Should not be very fancy , ¬†casual…like I just walked out of my home and visited them. “Oh , this dress , I just ….sorry I forgot to change .. very old
  8. Dress to visit my family relatives who live in the town.
  9. Dress¬†to visit my family relatives who do not live in the town. Well , one doesn’t visit them often , so when one does should try to leave good impression with one’s ¬†new good dress. (PS : The “one” is me needing a new good dress , as if I-meet-them-once-a-decade relatives have seen all my old dresses!)
  10. I have to carry my denim for all comforts of denim pants.. so , hmm 4-5 tops with it.
  11. What if we decide to visit a fine dine.. hmm. none of these qualify.. I should pick a dress…
  12. Well, we sure are planning to go picnic . A picnic dress.
  13. ..

PS: I bet most of you just skimmed through my list. Didn’t read it fully. Do not be asshole .. read it.

And then comes the shoes , sandal , heels , and accessories , gold jewelry , BAGS! and how can I forget my lotions , creams … perfumes..ear-rings !

And then gifts – for all , of all kinds.

And then comes stationary – My diary , a pen ..what if I need to write¬†something , my mother’s house surely may not have a pen and paper. Duh!

Total weight = 14.9Kg . Oh my , just what my airline will allow.

Oh wait , 7 kg allowed as cabin baggage. Hurrah..!

Let me pack my loafers ..so comfy. And an extra pair of pajama. And some nuts for journey.. and this small purse for small occasions..

Time taken : Months of analysis , weeks of shopping , hours of packing , re-packing. And then I might as well miss  my eye-wear!

How my husband packs his bag.

Open up wardrobe. Picks up 5 T-Shirt randomly and 2 pants.

Done.

I insist on carrying a shirt for formal occasion. Open up wardrobe again  , Picks up a shirt.

Done.

I insist on buying new T-Shirt .

Says his 2 year old tees are just as fine as new.

Done.

I insist on carrying something light woolen for nights.

Says he is … done. Done.

Total weight: 5 kg or less?

Time taken : 10 minutes.

How my 3.6 year old car-crazy son  packs his bag.

  1. Red hot-wheel car.
  2. Blue hot-wheel car.
  3. Yellow car.
  4. Mc Queen car.
  5. Blue Jeep
  6. Black truck.
  7. Green car .Mummy , cannot leave it ..Sad ho jayega na (will be sad)

Done.

He thinks this is all he needs for his trip to Nanu ke ghar. Cute , Isnt he ?

Magic of festivals

Now is the time to be in India.

Coz now is the time in calendar when all our God’s said¬†“Lets have some fun ” and ¬†decided to have¬†one party after another.It’s the unofficial festive season ; the last quarter of the year. Started with¬†Ramzan , Ganapati ,¬†Durga Puja , Diwali and then finally Christmas ,new year and ending sometimes in March with Holi. Hell of a party time here.
Am an atheist , slowly getting there , Influence of my atheist husband. What he could not put off is my love for celebration during festival . I love the air of festivities , anything . Colorful Holi or the lights of Diwali. Love for Biryani makes every Eid delicious. Durga Puja is the time when my east indian hormones are at full bloom and out comes all mekhala Sadar from my wardrobe.

Festival is magic time.

The magic that works on everyone and uplifts everyone’s mood. Everyone plans for new dress , sweets , rituals , leave plans! ¬†and hmm, some boring , very boring rituals. ¬†I hate rituals , I never believed that is the way to connect to God, if there is one. But I love to attend rituals

Why ? Oh Boy !

Haven’t you had prasad any time?

I remember as teens , I would love to go to Gurudwara to have the yummiest tastiest prasad – Ghee wala halwa .What a treat for sweet-tooth. Halwa -I miss you so much . I was fortunate to attend langar (the community meal) 2-3 times and Gosh¬†the food !¬†Awesome will be an insult to the food. It’s heavenly and surprising its veg! The only time
when I would say vegetarian food could satisfy the non veg body cells of mine.

Holi in airforce campus is the best. All ladies will make special sweet , place it on the table and leave the door open. Like a dog smelling a bone from far distance , we will hunt each house , have lump sum sweets to our stomach  satisfaction and then proceed to next hunt. Would gather and discuss which home is serving what and what did I miss.

diwali

Diwali РThe biggest festival in India is a noisy affair , but a treat to eyes and belly of course. I remember helping Ma to light diya and distribute sweet plate to every home and looking forward to plate in return.

Ma and Me , preparing the diya's
Ma and Me , preparing the diya’s

Bihu , Bihu and Bihu

Assamese are little less creative with names . Every festival is called Bihu, even the dance form is called Bihu.W hat’s in the name anyways ūüôā ¬†The fun is Bihu is celebrated thrice a year and then we have mother¬†of all festivals¬†– Durga Puja. Aren’t we more simplistic? Name all festivals as Bihu and make same sweets in every Bihu. ¬†Of course , there is more than that but who cares ? Eat laddu and wear new dress!

Durga Puja is time for shopping and shopping. Bihu is about everything else.

Now my current favourite is Ganesh Festival

Ganapati is the only idol who is depicted in thousand different forms , always up-to-date and following the latest trends . Ganapati playing cricket or saving farmers or whatever is cool today. Isnt he the coolest God?

It is celebrated widely in western India , where I reside currently and ¬†My apartment society celebrates with games and fun for everyone – Salad decoration , Master Chef , Drawing competition , race , drama , song , dance , dinner , prasad … list is endless!

The housing complex atmosphere just lights up !

And the sweet Modak! Ganapati is not only cool but lucky God. Modak offered to him is so very delicious. Thanks to you Ganapati , we get to eat modak. Check out the pieces from Kaka Halwai – absolute divine!

Eid

Am lucky to enjoy Hindu and Muslim festival. After my wedding into a muslim family , I had my first ramzan fast . Fast for one full month.. By end of the day , I could eat anything that is in my sight , my voice decibel will go down and chit chatting will be reduced to half. But am amazed at the tolerance of my in-laws family who weren’t dying by hunger by evening. ¬†But over years , I understood the importance of Roza for building my¬†tolerance and I could survive roza .. I could never understand the true meaning of all religion

The best part of Roza is the Eid /Ramadan . ¬†It’s a family union. The biryani is awesome and it is the time to try my culinary skills and act like a “bahu”.

And the photo sessions , family photo sessions , am no less than a model that day ūüôā

Biryani

Growing up it was about food,  But later it was about  dressing up.

Food is sidelined , now it’s about “what should I wear on … ” . All my sari which never see daylight , are out of box and glittering in night. Whatsup and call discussion is about when to what and when to wear¬†sari and¬†jewellery.

And this list is only of major festival , India has plenty of festival and billions of people to celebrate with.

Moral of the story

Eat , dress like a queen ,pose like a model and enjoy , its magic time!