Can a Husky live in India?

Yes, YES! Well atleast mine has been able to do it perfectly since the last 1.5 years. Yes, this blog post is all about my darling pet Sasha, but I thought why not address the most frequently asked question first.

The thing is, if we wanted to keep a dog at home, it clearly means we are dog lovers. And if we are dog lovers, we obviously would not want the dog to suffer at any cost, keep away the survival issues. When papa decided to bring her home, the first question he asked the breeder was if she would be able to survive in this climate. And the breeder informed him that she is the third generation of her type to be living in India and the previous ones have been doing just fine.

How and why we brought Sasha home is a long story which I’ll let my readers know in a few words. Before Sasha, maybe when I was 9-10 years old, we had a Labrador named Zak. (Since me and my dad were super fond of dogs.) Muma never liked dogs but Zak changed everything, he became a part of the family. But at that time, she had to look after the home, take care of the two already small kids and then there was Zak to contribute even more in the trouble. We didn’t get him trained and eventually he grew out of control, so much that we had to give him away to a family friend.

But now that she was majorly free from her responsibilities and had pretty idle time, we had been thinking of getting a dog. And considering that she too was getting old, we wanted a small breed. (Oh my god what did we end up with!) But she always wanted to have a big one like a German Shepherd or St. Bernard, a rough and tough breed. Still sticking to the point, we decided to get a beagle. And when papa had gone to get one, he saw this current family member of ours, with her pretty blue eyes and in less than a minute he changed his mind and brought her home. Yes, that’s what precisely happened, we were expecting a beagle and he brought a husky home!

To be honest, I am not the right person to answer questions about her favourites, her likes-dislikes because I have been staying in Chandigarh for most of the time since she was here. Muma has looked after her, taken care of her and they bond crazy good, she is literally around muma always. Only now have I actually spent some quality time with her, all thanks to the pandemic! But yes, my family members had started making fun of me that I started visiting home frequently or did many video calls because I wanted to see or meet her and not them.

Sasha is a super moody dog when it comes to food, moody to the extent that it got muma worried and she finally joined a husky group on facebook to see habits of other huskies. She gets her crazy play-with-me moods at night when she is jumping from one bed to the other in super fast speed (makes us realise that it’s a wild breed and we googled this thing too, turns out this is what all huskies do.) She has this “please don’t cuddle with me but please don’t go away from me” nature where she doesn’t like to be patted (only when she herself is in the mood for it) but starts howling when any member of the family leaves the house and waits at the door until they come back.

And trust me she is muma and papa’s favourite child, she is forgiven for all her mischiefs in one go, be it destroying the furniture, scratching the doors or whatever. And one time when I was home and was completely fed up of the mess that she creates and started blabbering that she shouldn’t stay , I got a reply from papa (and I quote) “Tum yahan thode din ke liye aate ho, ye yahan rehti hai, isne kahin nahi jana ab.” (You both (me and my sister) come home for some days, but she is the one who actually stays with us so she won’t leave.) Another reply that I frequently hear from both of them is “Shararat hi karti hai na, hai to bacha hi ” (So what that she does mischiefs, she is still a kid.)

Oh my god, am I ranting? No, I too love her. She has that pretty face that can makes anyone’s heart melt. But jokes apart, one day I heard papa saying that it was Sasha that kept the both of them entertained and the environment lively during the lockdown phase or else it would have been tough to pass the all-day-sit-at-home phase with nothing to do and no kids around.

Yep, that’s all about my cutie. Do let me know in the comments section if you too are a dog lover and share some fun stories of your pet. Please keep reading and sharing my blog, it keeps me going.

Hitches in families we don’t say out loud

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

“Family” is a beautiful positive word. Family is your comfort zone, where you can be yourself with no pretense and nobody judges you. It’s made up of people you come home to after tussling against the world for earning your living, people who stay with you in all your highs and lows and fuel you up with all the warmth and happiness in the world.

But no matter how beautiful any word is, it has some problems. And no I am not talking about the big social problems families face like physical abuse or dowry or child marriage, rather the teeny tiny ones present in all families in some way or the other, which make your easy-peasy life complicated but can be easily overcome by a little bit of thoughtfulness.

We live in the past, hold grudges and do not sort them out “Usne mere saath aise kiya tha isliye ab mai usse baat nahi karta” (He did this to me, that’s why I don’t talk to him now.)

Sometimes, something wrong happens to us, we hold it and keep it with ourselves and spoil our present and future. We keep remembering the wrongdoing, the ill that happened to us so much that we do not realise we are letting it affect something which is fresh, something which can be made even more beautiful and worthy now.

But what is required is to let go the past, to decide to make the present beautiful, to communicate and make an effort to sort things out by letting the other person know instead of holding it to ourselves which just ends up affecting our mind and body.

– We run towards a particular goal crazily and neglect our family “Diwali par agle saal ghar chala jaunga, iss saal chutti nahi leta” (Will go home for the festival next time, work is important)

The goal can be to earn loads and loads of money or to reach any particular social status. But we forget that life is all about balance, it’s about having everything in equal proportions instead of having something in excess. It’s meaningless to sit back and realise that we missed a part of life because we were busy chasing a particular goal.

– We forget that respect is a two-way process “Tu chota hai na, tu beech mein mat bol, tujhe nahi pata” (You are young, you don’t know how the world operates.)

We know that the younger ones are always expected to respect the elderly, to not answer back but sometimes the process becomes one-way. However, the elderly must realise that no matter how much experience they have, the younger ones can too be right sometimes. There should always be a room for healthy discussions where the younger ones not only listen and do what they are asked to, but give suggestions or speak their heart out.

We unknowingly work according to the convenience of the society “Log kya kahenge” (What will people say)

We do so many things to please the people who can never be pleased, whose remarks are temporary, short-lived and change very frequently. We try to function according to what the society tells us to, decide children’s professions, spend loads of money on children’s weddings instead of utilizing it in a more better way and what not.

But what is required is that we realise that it is family that matters and not the society. Our own sense of judgement about what is right and what is wrong should be brought out instead of blindly accepting what the society tells us to do.

We forget the practice of self-love “Uska kaam ho jaye, mera na bhi ho to koi baat nahi” (His thing is important, mine can wait)

No matter at what stage of life you are, you must always love yourself and never keep yourself after others. No, I do not say to do nothing for your family or become selfish, do what is required, do what your duty is and what you want to do, but don’t forget that you too are an individual who deserves love. One must never end up with the thought that he did so much for others but his efforts never got reciprocated or he forgot loving himself in the process.

We compare “Uski life sahi chalri hai, mai kuch nahi kar raha” (It’s just me who is unproductive, rest everybody is doing good.)

As goes the beautiful quote, Comparison is the thief of joy. We think that somebody else is leading a blessed life and we aren’t. All thanks to social media, this comparison has become even more toxic. But comparison leaves us with nothing. Nobody’s life is perfect, everybody has their share of joys and sorrows. What we need to do is to compare our lives with what it was before, to try to improve, grow and make it even more wonderful place to live in.

Concludingly, I am pretty sure there may be more teeny tiny flaws which one can always work on. And I am also sure the ones I have listed along with what can be done to solve them sound ideal and impractical. But a little bit of mindfulness here and there does wonders. Family ties are the strongest. We face the biggest of highs and lows and still stick around. But the ride would be even more beautiful if we try to keep in mind these small things. 🙂

Do let me know in comments section any point that I missed or any opinion of yours which conflicts mine.

Travel 101 : My trip to Udaipur

The pandemic has brought the world on a halt and we don’t know when our next vacation would be. So here I am, recalling my family trip of 2016 to Udaipur, Rajasthan. And since it’s been 4 years, I will try my best to recall the peculiarities of the places.

Why did we pick Udaipur? My Dadu wanted to see “the city of lakes” for a very long time and to fulfill his wish, me and my father started planning and doing the bookings for the trip.

Udaipur trip is the most cherished one for me because this is the one in which I was old enough to understand the relevance of the touristy places and my parents were young enough to accompany us to them. Udaipur has beautiful lakes, palaces and temples all of which have some historical value but I’d love to share my personal experience of visiting those places. (you can google the historical values, duh.)

It was a 5 days, 4 nights trip in the month of September. We travelled the distance via train. (there are other options of travelling by road or by air too.) It was roughly a 12 hour journey, we started in the evening and reached early morning. From the Udaipur station, we hired a taxi to drop us till our hotel, Hotel Golden Tulip. As every Indian father does, my father too started chitchatting with the driver about the places to visit, what the driver charges and took his number once he dropped us off.

We checked in the hotel, got our rooms, went for our complimentary buffet breakfast (isn’t that the most fun part of vacays?). The hotel was a pretty decent one and we were highly satisfied by it’s service. After our breakfast, we went to the hotel’s travel desk to know more about the places a tourist must visit and what facilities the hotel offered.

We finally ended up calling the driver who dropped us. Since I am not sure exactly what places we saw on which day, I am listing all the places you must strike off in your list if you plan a trip to Udaipur.

Lake Pichola was our first stop. Our driver told us that summers are not the right season to visit Udaipur since most of the lakes have dried up (and lakes is what Udaipur is famous for). We went for a boat ride which was roughly of 15-20 minutes.

The guide while showing us the prominent places near the lake was referring to all bollywood movies, “this is the place where Ram Leela was shot, this is the hotel where Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani was shot, this is where Raveena Tandon got married” to which my mother joked and said we were expecting some historical references too. Jokes apart, he showed us the city palace, hotel Jagmandir which was just in the centre of the lake and many other things.

boat ride at Lake Pichola

Jagdmandir temple near Lake Pichola was our next stop. You reach the temple via a cable car and apart from the religious point of view, the location offers a complete and mesmerising view of the whole of Udaipur. One can see all the white houses (and understand why it is also called the white city) and beautiful lakes Udaipur has.

A sweet incident happened with us at Jagmandir temple. Papa lost his mobile phone and we were worried we won’t be able to get it back. However when we called on his number, one of the person’s managing the boats at lake pichola informed us that papa forgot his phone there and asked us to collect it back. We were so surprised as this is not something you expect these days. On a whole on our trip too, we concluded that people of Udaipur were too humble.

view from Jagmandir temple

Saheliyon ki badi (Garden of Maidens) and Fatehsagar Lake were next that we visited. As the name suggests, the queen came with her friends in this garden to spend some leisure time and then returned to her palace in her chariot through the road which has Fatehsagar lake running just parallel to it.

Currently, on one side of the road is the Fatehsagar lake and on the other side are stalls selling street food with tables and chairs in front of them for people to enjoy both the lake view and the street food.

FatehSagar Lake

City palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions of the city and is a must visit with a guide. The guide lets you know all the details about the construction of the palace, the history of the kings who ruled, the secret escapes the kings had constructed (and also tells you the perfect places to get your photos clicked with just the right angles). It takes about 30-45 minutes to cover the entire palace.

There is also a light and sound show in the evening which we could not watch because we had more places to visit. (Just like Bunny and Naina from YJHD, we missed it too.)

City Palace

Jagdish temple is the next stop which is near to city palace. There are too many stairs to reach the temple but trust me the temple is so pretty that it’s worth the climb.

Jagdish temple

Haldighati is another prominent place to visit. It is about 40 kms from Udaipur and is the place where the battle between Kingdom of Mewar and Mughals took place.

Our driver told us that the soil here is still red in colour because of the bloodshed of battle. Best way to know all about the battle is through the Haldighati museum which has been wonderfully constructed. Also, there is a memorial for Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak who is said to have sacrificed his life for saving his master’s by jumping from one big cliff to the other. (I am an animal lover, can’t help mentioning this one.)

While we were just about to leave Haldighati, we had lunch at a mansion turned into a restaurant and surprisingly it was all run by ladies- from cooking to the management. The food there just tasted like ghar-ka-khana, super delicious. However, even after a lot of googling, I am unable to find it’s name. Just in case any one of you knows about it, please let me know in the comments section.

Sajjangarh Fort is about 10 kms from Udaipur and is not as grand as City palace but is also known as the Sunset point, has a scenic route to reach and offers the complete view of Udaipur city from a distance. It is also called the Monsoon palace since it was originally built to watch the monsoon clouds.

– On the outskirts of Udaipur are Ekling and Nathdwara temple which are about 30-40 kms away from Udaipur. We went there as my cousin praised a lot about them because the route to reach the temples is picturesque. If you are visiting Udaipur for a less number of days, then I suggest to keep this one as optional unless you have deep sentiments for the deities.

Well the list can go on but this is the list of places I visited in Udaipur. Apart from the places we visited, we had Kachoris at the local market, did shopping from the famous Hathipole market, bought Bandez suits for ourselves and our relatives. Our driver let us know that the market is called Hathipole because the Kings used to park their elephants in that area.

My dadi also wished to visit Mount Abu and we thought we could materialize a one day visit to it. However the driver informed us that the area is not very safe to come back on the same day and a one day stay there is thus necessary. But because of the already made hotel bookings, we cancelled that plan.

Well, let’s just hope the world again becomes a place to travel anywhere freely. Do let me know in comments section if you have already visited Udaipur and how you found the place.

Link to Hotel Golden Tulip : https://udaipur.goldentulip.com/en-us/

Link to Udaipur’s page on Rajasthan tourism’s official website : http://www.tourism.rajasthan.gov.in/udaipur.html