I didn't really get excited for my birthday this year, since God has already presented me my favorite gift who tolerates my mood swings with all smiles, who pampers and spoils me to the core, who believes wishing at 12 is overrated but still surprises at 12 :-), who I am sure will read this status with a smile and think how filmy I am, yet again. But I don't mind @Ranjay ;-)

Still I would like to thank you guys for such warm wishes at 12 in India when it was still 2nd here :-D, changing DPs and title in watsapp groups for me, thankyou for all the voice notes, especially from my Kaju, my niece. Thanks to my brother-in-law and Maa-in-law for making the day even more special today ;-) Thank you Mark Zuckerberg for reminding my birthdays to some. Infact thank you to some people whome I always forget to wish but they never fail to do so. Seriously, thanks to all of you.

Missed my parents like hell, especially chicken curry n rice maa makes today, but the surprising card was enough to make my day, Maa n baba.
Missed my cousins who always used to give me a doorstep surprise at 12. 

A big thank you to everyone again.
The day has just started here.

It is very difficult to express my feeling in one word or even a sentence. I don’t know what does this feeling name as, but you undergo a melody of emotions. It really feels “ajeeb” that only a bride-to-be can understand.

Sometimes some says I am lost, some says I am naturally blushing or glowing, some consoles that it happens and it's pretty normal, whereas some says I am simply acting strange , however still wondering how to sum-up this fountain of emotions in one word or a sentence.

I think we all live two lives: One before marriage and one after marriage. Presently, this is the beginning of my transition phase from a pampered-little-girl (before marriage) to a grown-up-responsible-lady (after marriage), this is the change. Although the journey I am passing through is indeed beautiful, but I keep wondering what to react and how to react, moreover when you are doing two most inevitable things at the same time: joy of spending your entire life with the person you love as well as getting departed from the ones you have spent decades with.

Difficult for me to express this emotion in one word: Joyful as well as Painful, that’s what I am feeling now-days.

Life is different when you are just a couple, you dedicate time only for your partner and love the time you both share. It feels really exciting to go on date secretly with your guy, that time is all about you and him along with the fun, laughs, phone calls you shared, but the moment you both decide to get married and once the date is fixed, everything gets inclined from 'him' to 'his family', 'my family', 'rituals', 'wedding planning' etc.

It is a BIG change, at least that’s what happened to me, since the date is fixed.

And wedding planning is a full time job. Believe me, once the planning started my head had become a platform of innovation, where every moment a new idea is popping up, be it early morning 8 or midnight 3. I used to note it down, all the minute ideas, starting from the wedding hall to the earring I would like to wear on that day.

Sometimes I wonder, am I the only one to feel this way or every bride-to-be feels like this? I don’t know. There are so many things going in my head right now, my mind is constantly thinking: Anxiety about the wedding day, shopping list, obeying different rituals, and if you are working then need to focus on work as well, then worrying about the future life ahead, etc. This is just a blue-print of my thoughts, so you can imagine, how does a bride-to-be mind's works...lol.

Sometime it becomes so hard for me to accept the fact that I am getting married, that too being the youngest daughter hitching to the eldest son, and believe me with that “eldest daughter-in-law” term , had given me some sleepless night too. Moreover, the toughest time to deal with is when both of you know (you and your parents) that departure time is arriving soon and your stuffs are given a tag as “yours” instead of “ours”. 
Especially wrapping up 25 years of memories and belongings in 3 bags in just two days is very very difficult. I know it’s the saddest truth but I do not want to be upset being knowing that I am soon to be departed from this house, instead decided to laugh and smile every moment I spend with my parents because I understand their pain is no less than mine. 

Because you also know you will not get this time back, be it at your home with your family, office colleagues, with friends, this is a limited time you have got with them. So, try to spend as much quality time as possible with them: this will be my first message to all the to-be-brides. 

But the most lucrative perk you receive for getting married is to do unlimited shopping, you become the centre of not only attraction, but also love, pamper, and attention. From the time the lady made me wear the wedding jewellery to try for which looks the best till the first time I saw the printed card with my and his name, I can't express it in words how does it feel, but yes, indeed I was elated, a subtle elation this time, may be that's maturity where it started growing in me.

But I guess, this is the phase every girl goes through, and makes every daughter the most wonderful and strongest person in this world. Because believe me, taking such life-time step is a big decision and wedding is indeed will be your biggest event of your life. I am living each moment, trying to capture the moments with my writing, photographs and short videos. Enjoy this phase: this will be my second message to all others to-be-brides.

Hushhhh!! I am really excited, sometime scared, and sometime sad…this is like All-in-One phase for me.Well, indeed this new journey will be an awesome roller coaster ride with my love. Wish to seek your blessing and good wishes so that I and he can step into this ride of our life together with love, grace and courage.

PS: Since I belong to a pre-wedding phase right now, I can relate to this time. However, hopefully will pen down my post-wedding phase experience as well, someday down the lane :). Stay tuned till then.

Just a random thought I felt like sharing it with you all ;)

“The groom always smiles proudly because he's convinced he's accomplished something quite wonderful. The bride smiles because she's been able to convince him of it.”

― Judith McNaught, A Kingdom of Dreams
Blue sky and green farms, that’s all I was gawking at while getting carried by a moving serpentine: returning back from the city of Joy, Kolkata. Even though I am not grounded to this city, but somehow a string of my soul is still attached to its wind, to its food, to its road, and to its people.

Kolkata seems to be a black and white city to me but with colourful winds. Something like 'vintage city' word would go. From the yellow coloured ambassador taxis to old tea joints with historical wooden benches, from the British influenced architectural buildings to same usual transport fares, from the hand-pulled rickshaws to the music from the tracks of the local trains (Yes, music, it doesn't hurt my ear at all), from the tram track amidst the road to awesome chaa/tea in small earthen pots (called as bhar), from the early morning riyaaz or Rabindra sangeet records played in evening almost from every house to the same puchka taste and same pukur depth, from the continuing trend of putting muffler and monkey caps even in mildest winters to the same old narrow and congested lanes, Kolkata has many reasons to mesmerise you.

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Altogether, it offers a charm and an unusual beauty to this city, a place where you can still taste the history in your present, a perfect blend of ancient and modern times.

Stepped down in Howrah station at around 7:00 pm. It was a picture perfect, illuminated bridge over the Ganges and the cool soft breeze, wow! what a peaceful moment, felt as if Kolkata is welcoming me with open arms. Took a taxi, and must say this is the place where you know you can never be lost, because you are surrounded by enormously helpful people who will always be happy to guide you to your destination.

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Next morning, I was quite surprised to see life starting here at 10. All the shutters are closed till 10 am and then again closed from 12 noon to 5 pm. Wow, when do they work and earn? Here, people do not seem to have any tension in their lives, and the most funny thing is that people of Kolkata do not compromise with a siesta, as if they can’t afford the extra earning over a tight after-food sleep.The famous siesta break: bhaat ghoom, the break which they can't live without.

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PC: Google Image

You will also notice that their day is incomplete without adda. Be it politics, new generation, Mamta Banerjee, football, sports, world cup, Saurav dada, Pujo committee, anything. This adda session goes on till late night as well, since I have seen a bunch of youngsters and elders playing carom-board placed on a pedestal under the street light at 11:30 in night. In a way, you could almost feel the silent roads during afternoon whereas crowded and noisier during evening till night. 

The day started with a brush of light rain. It was 3 in the afternoon and the roads were silent, a rickshaw puller taking nap under the plastic shade, smell of wet mud, youngsters playing football in the ground, all these things made me to feel and touch the rain if it is any tastier than my native, Delhi. I took out my face out of the running taxi window and let the droplets touch my sense. Trust me, the scene was no less than filmy.

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After a long hectic day we reached home: tired and hungry. You know you will find food stalls in almost every corner of the street that too in such an economic price. I was taken aback with ladies preparing and selling atta made rotis worth 50p. Imagine, 50p, do you even have those coins? I can’t believe 50P still runs in this state. And, for obvious reasons, Kolkata is the epitome of good authentic Bengali foods, like Fish Kalayi, Fist Fry, Mughlayi, Egg Roll, Kosha Mangsho-Roti, Shingara, Ghoogni, Aloo Kabli, Chop/Tele-Bhaaja and Moori, along with different and unique sweet delicacies: Roshogolla, Kachagolla, Mishti doi in earthen pots, Shondesh, Langcha, and many more for which I do not even know the names.

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College street: our next day destination, where we couldn't resist ourselves from getting the famous mouthwatering street food: jhaal moori. Guess the price we paid for that, FOUR rupees, that was all.

Daarun”, I said after gulping the first puchka in my mouth, and one of the couples standing beside me said, “See Jyotsna, that’s the word for puchkadaarun.” I grinned looking at them. This is what I really like in this city, you don't feel like a stranger here, be it for the common language or the warmth the people share with each other, everyone seems to know each other, like a big family. Everyone is either dadadidi, maashi, or boudi to each other, which reminded me something really funny said by the great artist Rituporno: "For us, there are no Gujratis, Punjabis, Martahis, it is either Bengalis or Non-Benglais", well absolutely true...lol. 

I have never been to Kolkata during Durga Pujo, they say if you really want to enjoy it try to come during Pujo. That’s the time when Kolkata celebrates for being Kolkata. 

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Now comes the shopping part, visit Borrobazaar you wont believe you are in Kolkata and trust me, if you do not get it there you will find it nowhere. It is an amazing place to shop with lucrative offers.

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In evening we planned to have tea in Goriyahaat, and the tea vendor was located exactly at the end of the median strip, which was constructed little broader. It had a sitting arrangement, which seems to be a very unique presentation of a tea stall. But what I was amazed to see was the open air chess club on the guard rails for anyone, doesn't matter whether you know the person playing with or not, just play and enjoy. It was the place where you don't hear the traffic or road noise, instead was a place to relax and see some happy faces around. Well I do not find such things anywhere else in this country, including the hand-pulled rickshaws, which was never any less antique-live-piece to my eyes, as if meeting an actor face to face.

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Trust me, in Kolkata, everything seems to be so raw and natural around, I found nothing artificial or flashy in anything around. Simplicity and elegance lies in Kolkata’s people, streets, foods everywhere. I wish Kolkata never changes, let it be for another 60 years, let my child experience the same joy I felt here.

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Because, Kolkata is always more than just Maach and Mishti.
Indeed it is city of joy, where happiness lies in every corner and part.
People here literally believe in Eat, Pray and Love.

Thank you, Koltata for giving me such beautiful experience.