When I go walking..

One of my favourite bits of living in the UK, has to be the ease of walking here. One of the few things that I missed when I was in India.

In India, of course, even the weather makes it difficult to walk as much as I do here. Of course, that wouldn’t deter serious walkers, but people like me, who just need an excuse to laze around instead, will grab it. The excuse, that is.

One of the things I started right away was walking. Of course, I can find excuses/reasons for not walking, and I did that too, but I do walk. Sometimes, it is just 10 mins, sometimes, I skip it altogether, but when I do walk, I love it.

Today, I went on a rather long walk. I haven’t been walking in the last few days. I had a horrible attack of hay fever, and I get a never-ending streaming nose as soon as I am outdoors. Can’t think of a fate worse than that, to be honest. Lovely, gorgeous weather outside and to be forced to be indoors. Not that I stay indoors for too long though. The other day, I spent some time gardening and had to pay heavily for it. I spent the next two days sniffing into tissues. Sigh! There, I went off on a completely different track.

So as I was saying, this morning. I was feeling slightly better, and I had a birthday present to buy. ToysRUs is just a mile away from daughter’s school. What better than combining my walk with the work? I found the route on the map, Google Maps, of course. RM’s warning rang in my head, but then, Google Maps have always been very reliable for me:)

The place was about a mile from where I was, and according to the map, it would take me 23 minutes to get there. Not bad, I thought. Gives me some exercise, and I get there in decent enough time. Off I went. The walking directions were clear and easy. The walk was wonderful. A nice and warm morning. I passed some lovely neighbourhoods. One of the roads was called Bronte Farm Road. Cute, isn’t it? My imagination goes wild when I come across names like these.

Suddenly, I realized that I was on a road, that was supposed to be a dead-end. Or not? Because the sign looked like it had seen better days, and looked like the dead-end sign was scratched out. And according to Google Maps, I had to keep going. I was in two minds. Then decided to take a chance. At max, I would reach a dead-end and would have to turn back. At worst, I would have to call for a taxi. So I plodded on.

It was looking more and more like a dead-end. No sign of traffic and an extremely peaceful road. I finally reached the end, and was just about to call the taxi, when I noticed a little walkway, between two houses. There was a way indeed!!! A cute little pathway, connecting this part of the road to another. Have I told you how I love finding these little hidden walkways? Every time I come across one of them, connecting two roads for pedestrians, it still feels just as magical as it when I first came across one.

image

I have to say, Google Maps did redeem my faith in it 🙂

And for the record, I covered the distance in 17 minutes instead of 23. That made me even happier:)

Invasion of technology in our lives..

..daughter sings,’ 1 2 3 4 5, once I caught a fish online

When virtual has become more real…. … She was about to go to a birthday party at bowling place, and she explains to her dad,’its a real bowling place, not the bowling you do on your phone’. Husband has a bowling game on his phone.

..when in doubt, you can always google, says the 6-year-old.

..that black book that is not a book, what is it that Daddy reads? A Kindle! I should just be grateful that she is more excited at the sight of her real books.

.. Can you just pause the TV while I go and get something. Husband records loads of programmes. Watching him pausing whatever he watches, she has developed a fascination for it. One day I mentioned that when I was her age, we did not have TV, and she was stunned – she couldn’t imagine a time before TV.

In fact when I look back, I find that quite amazing as well. So many gadgets that I can’t live without today, was nowhere in the scene just a few years ago. I did not have a mobile phone until a few years after I started working. There was a time we used pagers at work. And today, if I leave my phone at home accidently, I actually feel uncomfortable. So much so that one of my to-do things is to ask my cousin to get me a sim card so that I can have a working phone as soon as I land in India.

People talk about feeling liberated without their phones ringing.. but for me, I find being connected comforting. Knowing that if any of my loved ones need me, I am just a phone call away. For that, I shall forever be grateful for the invasion of technology in our lives..

Captured memories.. Post 21

Every time I browse through old pics, I can’t help be amazed at how different life was even a few months back. So when I think of life as it was when I was growing up, I can’t believe how different it was from what my daughter experiences today.

To just take one simple example, we are so lucky to be able to capture so many memories on camera. I remember how different it was when we were growing up. My parents certainly did not have half as many pictures as we have. The exorbitant costs of taking photographs reduced photographs to a ‘special events thing only’. Most of our childhood pictures are awkwardly posing pictures in photo studios or during some wedding or holiday. Even then, it would not be random clicks like we have today. No options for mistakes, developing a roll, was not a cheap thing at all, was it?

Today, thanks to technology, we just click to our heart’s content. We take all sorts of pictures, of anything that catches our fancy..  We fill up our memory sticks with anything and everything. All we need is a hard disk big enough. Not even bothering to delete pictures that are not taken well. Anything that helps us capture the moments that matter to us. Little moments spent together with loved ones. When I go to India, I come back with so many pictures with random things.. Some of them sweet memories, some just moments captured..

After daughter was born, of course, cameras and pictures took a different meaning. We would have the camera ready at all times.  Especially when she was younger, it used to be a race to capture everything she did. Her smiles, her cries – I actually have videos of her crying – yes, crazy first time mother, I know… Although as I was going through the pictures, I do realize that I don’t take as many pictures of her as I used to. Yes, she is getting bigger. The ‘aww’  moments are different. And not so often, as they used to be. And we have far less time together in comparison too. Which I guess makes me all the more nostalgic..

Now, let me show you the picture that started off this post ….

This was a picture taken in 2008 on our annual holiday to India. Daughter dotes on my dad. She would copy everything he did. One morning, he was reading the newspaper, when she grabbed a paper, and copied him. She sat there, pretending to ‘read’ as long as dad sat there reading his news.

Every time I come across pictures like this, I can’t help be glad that technology has improved to the point where we can capture everyday moments like this, to relive years later..