Whenever I think about spending a romantic day with my better half, I imagine ourselves mostly in the lap of nature; hearing the waves splashing on the shore in a beautiful beach; sipping on hot coffee while overlooking a snow covered landscape; hand in hand, walking down a small and cozy green hamlet amidst mountains; sitting quietly before a flowing rivulet; seeing ripples and vanishing trails formed by a boat while cruising on a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains or laying under a thousand glittering stars on a dark night in a desert.
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Information crisscrosses across the globe every quarter of a second; we crisscross real and virtual worlds with the tip of our fingers; the age of no unknown and the age where cloud is no longer limited to those visible collections of particles of water in the air. And we all owe these to the beautiful, bright and the best minds of the Silicon Valley, which is located in the northern part of the U.S. State of California.
Hanauma Bay in Oahu, Hawaii greets you with a dash of bright green and blue and sends gusty winds to give you company. And then when you see the boundless ocean, it sends small waves and if you continue standing there for some time, the waves splash against the mountain in such a way that the scene spans the summits of your mind. Slowly and steadily, it casts a spell on you so strong that even if you are restless in your rest, you will yield to its vibrancy.
Whenever mundane reality clogs my thoughts, invades the realm of the senses, shrinks me and shakes the tranquility of my mind, I gear up to travel to new places if time and situation permit or else I just open an unread book. Both of them comfortably take me afar from the present. And then, I find myself all charged up again like a phoenix. Books and travel, two of my favorite companions in life merge into one whenever I visit a library – the storehouse of thousands of years of knowledge.
Whenever the calendar marks the start of December in a year, my mind and heart automatically switch to a festive mood. Twinkling lights all around, big Christmas trees and discounts in shopping malls signals that Christmas is on its way. It is not only on 25th, but every day in the month of December becomes a celebration in small and varied ways. I celebrate in December mostly by seeing a new place every year. Once I went to Goa in India, once to the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, once to a Christmas village in Switzerland and another year I explored the Christmas market in Strasbourg in France, which is one of the oldest and biggest Christmas markets in Europe. Today I will share with you all my experience of visiting the Christmas market (or as the French say “Marche de Noel”) in Strasbourg.
I have a very simple prescription for an idyllic life; fill your life with some spectacular sunrises and serene sunsets. I have been following this for long. Sunsets never cease to amaze me. A resplendent sunset can put a sparkling end, even to a dull and chaotic day, and promise a new dawn. Nights no matter how long and dark, slowly melt away with the rising sun, and we all live anew. I feel that the past is accumulating more and future is receding fast. Let me look back to the bouquet of beautiful sunsets that are etched in my heart forever.
The incandescent Sunday morning of 7th December, 1941 on the shores of O’ahu started like any other day but ended in despair. The morning stillness was broken by the roar of Japanese aircrafts. It was a surprise military strike by the Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii territory. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” were the Japanese code words that signaled the surprise is complete; The first wave of low flying planes attacked just before 0755 and the second wave struck an hour later. By 0955 the attack was over and so were the lives of thousands. Today, 7th December, 2016, exactly 75 years after the attack, I am remembering the day of infamy.
When I explore different facets of nature I find myself exude nothing other than unalloyed joy. These experiences are unparalleled to any. Today I will write about one such experience in Phang Nga Bay which is a Ramasar site, located in the Andaman sea between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. An extensive section of the bay has been protected as the Ao Phang Nga National Park, famous for its classic karst (landscape underlain by limestone) scenery and is a network of 42 islands and islets.