HNY

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Last year, I wrote about my year in review and set goals for this year too. This year, I thought of checking how I’ve fared. 

What I intended to do in 2011:

  1. Attempt all the recipes in my Italian Cooking cookbook – I’ll consider this done! The only things I haven’t attempted in this cookbook are the recipes for making pizza base.
  2. Complete at least one of the novels swirling in my head – Not done, but got around 10k done as part of Nano. You can check out the first page here.
  3. Call up a piano teacher and resume the lessons that I dropped 15 years ago – Haha! In my dreams!
  4. Break into five new markets. I say this every year and last year I managed three – Managed two, both for fiction which was my focus this year.
  5. Write/complete at least one short story per month – Shockingly, I’ve written 9, count them, NINE, brand new full-fledged short stories this year, and two more that I’ve started. I’ve astonished myself with my output!
  6. Work out in gym minimum 3 days a week – I have done this fairly regularly, except for weeks in between when the cold/cough/viral/flu got the better of me. 

What I didn’t intend to do but did anyway:

  1. Visited three new places this year – Kashmir, Goa and Jodhpur/Jaisalmer.
  2. Rode a horse for the first time
  3. Jet-skied in Goa
  4. Rode a camel in Jaisalmer – never had so much backache in my life!
  5. Attended a Writing Workshop hosted by the awesome amazing Anil Menon! Two weekends full of writing and discussions related to writing – best experience ever!
  6. Prepared some of Nigella’s recipes, including her meatloaf and back-from-the-bar snack, among others.

 

That’s all for 2011! Here’s to hoping 2012 is awesome and inspiring for everyone!

 

How Green is your Valley

I’ve set a world record this time by not posting for exactly two months. But I can plead a worthy excuse.

Remember in my last post when I mentioned I’d be off to ‘Delhi and surrounding regions’? What I neglected to mention was the name of the ‘surrounding region’ – Kashmir. 

I know what you’re thinking – disputed territory, terrorist attacks, how did I come back alive and most importantly, did I bring back any AK-47s for any of you? The answer, sadly, is no. 

Tourists are not thronging the place at this time of the year, though I suppose only the terrorist threats put them off. In terms of weather, this is the perfect time to visit, as day temperatures hover around 25 degrees Celsius and the night is cool enough to require a thin quilt. 

This is one of those posts where pictures will naturally speak a lot more than words. So here goes.

First up, here’s the view from the airplane:

 

 A peaceful boat-ride on the Dal Lake: 

 Opulent house-boats we didn’t stay in: (note their innovative names)

 

A few of the majestic Mughal gardens that we roamed around in:

 

 

How nice the flowers in our hair look:

  To prove that I really did horse-riding:

 And played with a snowball:

  

And enjoyed a ride on the highest cable car in the world:

 

 After all that excitement, I returned to find this ad sizzling on the airwaves. Isn’t it totally awesome!