40 Days of Kindness

Forty is a significant number, I’ve been told. Women become naughty at forty, men have mid life crisis, then. As an act of romance, at fourteen one kept a ‘chillia’ akin to Lent ( 40 days of abstinence from non veg, which may seem like nothing to some but from the way we’ve been fed, it’s one of the hardest things to do). This was all SC, by the way, whose very traditional, SB would probably turn the tables and starve a man for forty days!

This year to celebrate 40 years of existence on this Earth, one has taken up the 40 days of kindness challenge. Considering how vile SB can be, it’s going to take some effort but I begin today- the 22nd of April, as God knows where I will be later. If one documents it, like most people usually do, for me it will defeat the purpose. But as a suggestion for anyone who wants to do this, the rough outline for my plan works like this- Charity begins at home. So, the first is going to be towards myself. Forgiveness eliminates many a burdens from the heart, so over the course of the next forty days, many people would be hearing from me. The list could be longer but reconnecting with married exes isn’t my cup of tea ( I’m a fatu, I avoid cat fights like the plague).

My list starts within and goes without. So on it are loved ones, society at large, animals and the environment. Yours can be inspired by your own life or from the fabulous lists, you can find on the net. Take it up, it May not be as great as the ice bucket challenge, or as awe inspiring as the Kiki challenge ( I’m not being sarcastic, there’s merit in being ridiculous, it brings lots of appreciation from the herd) but I’m sure it won’t do you any harm.

P.S- A few hours after having begun, I really have no clue, how good an idea this is! As I check off people from my people I need to make amends with before I hit forty list, I wonder if by the end the forty days, there’s going to be a restraining order against this crazy lady?

Solo Date #63- -Daawat, Srinagar

After one of my evening strolls, I dropped in for dinner at the Welcome Hotel. The meal was decent, of course for Mughlai food, Shamyana is a better option. But it was a nice change from the usual, the ambience better, the place quieter and the staff was extremely courteous.

Solo Date #62- Peerzoo Island Restaurant, Srinagar

A photographer’s life is full of adventure. But it’s physically trying and a lot of the times, risky. On this particular day it was cake walk, as it was the launch of Jammu Kashmir People’s Movement. It’s nice to bump into all the photographers, who one usually only meets under more strenuous circumstances. But hanging around fraternising isn’t my cup of tea!

So after the launch I took a stroll on the Bund and eat at the island restaurant. There’s seating on the deck but there were a group of boys busy taking pictures of themselves…I didn’t want to spoil their frame. So I sat inside, which was quite interesting. I ordered some noodles and watched couple after couple, walking in. Part of the room had demarcations between tables made with cane which were like small cubicles, that give the utmost privacy to young adults who don’t want the entire city to know, who they are hanging out with. It reminded me of my first solo, horrific trip to Srinagar. So some fellow (like I always say, if you don’t want trouble stray clear of the wealthy men in Kashmir) who had apparently visited the Osho Ashram, was taking me around town. After a trip to Shalimar, we went to some restaurant to eat. Of course it had this kind of privacy and of course the meal and conversation was meant to flatter me but they didn’t.

Surrounded by water, the landing for speed boats makes it accessible from various parts of the city. I should have been on one of them, rather than strolling through the busy Sunday market and then walking up towards the Jhelum.

Solo Date #61- Safa sweets and Veg Restaurant

Nestled inside the Akbar Residency in Sonwar, is Safa, a vegetarian restaurant, which I chanced upon on one of my walks. At eight in the evening, one would expect more people but unfortunately there were hardly any tourists in Srinagar.

If you’re vegetarian and want to skip the overcrowded Krishna Dhaba, this is a decent option. The ambience is better, the service too, as for the food, it’s quite decent.