Tag Archives: Diwali

Give wings to your wanderlust in 2016!

Travel Bonanza, 12 Long Weekends in 2016

It’s the end of the year, and many of us travel freaks are busy with some last minute travel plans. No sooner the calendar for the New Year is out, we start checking on which holidays are giving us long weekends. And here’s the good news for all you travel enthusiasts. There are 12 long weekends in 2016, which means you can plan quick getaways – both to domestic holiday spots and international getaways – well in advance, without having to take too much leave. Here’s a list of holidays and places that you can check out.

  1. New Year’s Day: Friday January 1 – Sunday January 3

2. Sankranti / Pongal – Friday January 15 – Sunday, January 17
Republic Day – Saturday, January 23 – Tuesday, January 26 ( take leave on January 25 – Monday)
3. Holi / Easter Weekend Thursday March 24 – Sunday March 27
Ambedkar Jayanti – Ram Navami – Thursday April 14 – Sunday April 17
4. Independence Day – Saturday August 13 – Monday August 16
Janmashtami – Thursday August 25 – Sunday August 28 ( Take leave on Friday, August 26)
 5. Ganesh Chaturthi – Saturday September 3 – Monday September 5
 6. Bakri Eid – Saturday, September 10 – Monday September 12
Diwali – Friday, October 28 – Sunday October 30
7. GuruNanak Jayanti – Saturday, November 12 – Monday, November 14
9. Eid Milad – Saturday, December 10 – Tuesday, December 13 ( take leave on Monday December 12)

Preferred holiday destinations could be: Goa, Bangkok, Hampi, Dubai, Chikmangloor, Kodaikanal, Matheran, Manali, Hong Kong, Mathura for Holi, Uttarakhand, Indonesia, Madagaskar, Mauritius, Meghalaya, Tanzania, Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, Istanbul, Gangtok, Seychelles, Jaipur, Jodhpur and many more!

So get set going, start looking for getaways!!

Diwali: Teri Dhoom Apaar!

Gwalior Gharane ki Hungamedaar Diwali se aamchi Mumbai ki Khaas Diwali

November 11, 2015: Diwali, festival of lights, always had special significance in my life; I love the festival beyond limits. My mood completely transforms during these days, as I come in great festive moods, when my mind is surrounded by thoughts of Diwali and Diwali only. This Diwali was special in many ways, quite different from others and yet…to be cherished forever!

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Read on to know it all…
…I had changed the job and celebrated my first Diwali (Dhan Teras) at my new office, MCHI with my office colleagues. This was the only job in my entire career, where I took longest to adjust. I feared each day; I will not survive here more than few days. I kicked myself everyday for making this career choice. But not only I survived; I survived well, mixed with my colleagues like sugar in the milk. Celebrating Diwali with them was quite an experience! Though I missed very much the Diwalis celebrated in my earlier office, Apnapaisa.com. Still, this Diwali celebration was no less! We celebrated Dhan Teras with great fervour in office with celebrations at home for my brother Prabhat’s birthday. Not to mention, Magnum ice-creams given by office, this added to the celebrations. What challenge it was to bring that box of ice-creams in local train, but I loved it when family relished it.

With new job, many things changed, like new office timings, new train timing, new set of train friends, new office colleagues, new office vendours, new boss…everything. But one thing which remained same was my fighting spirit to counter all these new changes in my life which had thrown new challenges. I promised to me, I will not run away without giving a tough fight to all this and more. I will quit when I am at peace with myself and as a well-thought move, not giving it up all, and today I am completing one year here.

Fun time with pretty colleague Jaya Sawlekar.
Fun time with pretty colleague Jaya Sawlekar.

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On personal front, the challenges were not less; daughter Tanya had boards, and career choice entrance exams, anxiety paramount. Encountered & endured all, Tanya passed with flying colours, got selected in many design schools and made a choice of UPES Dehradun. Things looked up after a long period of turmoil. Sending her that far was very tough decision, and it happened…whatever was to happen, happened.

For the first Diwali, Tanya was not with me as she could not come over for Diwali holidays from Dehradun. I missed her badly, but was satisfied that she enjoyed Diwali with the family of my childhood friend in Dehradun. I am indebted to Bijalwans for all my life, for giving such happy moments to my daughter and making her Diwali truly special.

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I fondly remembered last Diwali, when many of Tanya’ friends were at our place for Diwali celebrations who took charge of the kitchen, decorated the house with Rangoli, did Puja…what not. I also fondly remembered Diwali when Papa was around who loved to celebrate Diwali with all his family members in Gwalior and did so year after year. It was almost a ritual to visit city of Gwalior and Gwalior Fort to enjoy the lighting after Dinner. It was so much fun with all buas, chachas, chachis, phoophas, cousins…Dadi & Baba. So many people, so many festivities, so much confusion…near mayhem. But it was great fun! The days look like part of history…where everybody has moved on in their respective live. With papa no more, most of his sisters & brothers gone, Diwali will no longer be same for “Gwalior Gharana” as we addressed ourselves. I also remembered my Diwali in Lucknow when I, Prabhat and Mummy made lavish preparations for Diwali, I used to drive mummy to many shopping sojourns just before Diwali. Now she is ill and can’t be part of festivities like that still her presence is a great force who keeps telling us what to do and what not to do on Diwali, year after year.

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This year Diwali is particularly peaceful. I did Puja peacefully, lit up the entire household and made elaborate Puja preparations and kept talking to Tanya, friends and relatives wishing them happy Diwali throughout the day.

The only thing which has not changed is Diyas in my aangan, which luxury I had in our house in Gwalior, now in Mumbai too!

बचपन का वो घरौंदा करे फिर से रोशन
आओ सजाएँ खुशियों से घर आँगन
धन की फ़िक्र छोड़
सजाएँ खुशियों से जीवन
सुख शांति और समृद्धि से जगमग
करे पर्व ये पवन

‘51 diyon ki deepmala’ in my aangan is a visual treat and I get so many compliments for my Rangoli and Diyas from all my building people. I loved it then also, I love it now also.

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Though, the ritual of shopping was missing this Diwali, as I wanted to make someone else’s Diwali special. It gave me so much joy – The joy of giving!

Hopefully, shopping ritual will spill over of my birthday on November 29.

Till then, may Goddess Laxmi showers her blessings to all my followers, friends, fellow bloggers & family!

Last but not the least, special thanks to Blogadda team for making this year truly special for me when I was part of many contests for which I won many prizes and WIN 15.

Thanks Blogadda for keeping the child in me alive!