Me, my niece and the bedtime rituals…

Babies are those small bundles of joy that spread happiness with their smiles. With them around everyone is either in their playful moods or just happy. You forget all your worries at just the sight of your baby.

My regular readers would know that I have a deep attachment with my niece.

She was this cute small baby who had just begun to crawl when I was in school. As soon as I would reach home, I would throw my bag away and take her in my arms and play with her for some time before even changing and having my lunch.
Everyone in the family was in the same habit. As if she was the stress buster and mood lifter of our house.

I vividly remember every part of her childhood. And the part that I enjoyed a lot was the bedtime. My bhabhi ( sis in law) would cleanse her with warm water, change her diapers, feed her and then would tell her stories of fairies, Santa Claus and angels. It was as if I was in a different world of magic.

I once asked my bhabhi why she would do this every night before she sleeps. It’s not that she really understood the stories.

She said like us, it is very important for babies to have a good night’s sleep. If they don’t get a sound sleep they wake up irritated next day which affects their health.

“She may not understand the stories but it has a calming effect on her. She has gotten used to the sound of my voice when I tell those stories. She relates that sound with sleep.”

“And not just that. It is also very important that babies don’t wet themselves in their sleep. If they do, they is high chance they catch cold if they aren’t changed immediately. Also this disturbs their sleep. They wake up crying which is not good for their health either.”

“So that’s why the diaper change every night right?”

“Right. But the diaper should have a good absorbency and should be dry from inside as well. Some diapers are dry from the outside but you find the baby wet from inside which causes rashes to their soft skin.”

And that is why I remember why she was so particular about the brand of the diapers she bought. It was pampers always.

Throughout her childhood I saw the same pampers packets in her bedside drawer. Just the size changed over the months but the label remained same.

It became a routine for me now. To go her room every night, sometimes I helped bhabhi in cleansing the baby, I would then drift off to my fairyland with her stories only to find out a happy me tucked in the bed beside my niece.

These bedtime rituals have made me and my niece’s bond so strong that even today when I visit them she would ask me to tell her stories of fairies and would sleep with me that night.

This post has been written for Bedtime rituals happy hours contest sponsored by pampers in association with indiblogger.

Four surprises for four years of togetherness…

My husband is a very busy man. Being a businessman is not all roses as it seems from a distance. Busy schedules, stressful days and sometimes no weekends.. Yes, that’s the life of a business owner.

But Even in his this hectic schedule, my husband always magically finds time for me, have celebrated every occasion with me and went out on late night long drives and what not.. He has never missed a single chance of letting me feel loved and special..

So this valentine’s day I have decided to make this day so special for him that he will remember it and cherish it for his lifetime..
Afterall men deserve some pampering as much as we women do…Don’t they?

So when I was given a chance thanks to Baggout, to write about my dream valentine day and that too with me blessed with some Super Powers!!! I pounced on this opportunity right away. Thats what I would really need, Super Powers… to make a super special day for him. Else the day would go by and he would continue giving orders, discussing rates and shouting in the phone as he always does.

Using my super powers I would solve all his business related issues for the day and have him and his cellphone free.
Now that he would be with me with an undivided attention, I am all set to sweep him off the floor and magically teleport him to a place away from the city’s hustle bustle right in the lap of the nature.
Yes, Panchmarhi it is for us. The perfect place for us. Not too far away but far enough from the stress and pace of the city.

I would love to watch him wake up in a comfy bed of one of the resorts of Panchmarhi to the smiling sun and chirping birds.. A perfect start to a very romantic day…
I have decided to give him four gifts throughout the day celebrating the four years of our love and togetherness.

To the start the day, I would order room service and serve him breakfast at bed myself..
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Ofcourse with a gift nicely wrapped and placed on the breakfast tray along with the food.
I could totally imagine the look on his face by now.. Confused, happy and at peace.. Oh How I would love to watch it in real. After a sumptuous breakfast at bed we would head on to the swimming pool to chill.

It’s kind of an unwritten rule for me and my husband that no holiday is ever complete without a dive in the pool. That’s the best place for us. He teaches me some of his strokes and I love it.

After a refreshing swimming session I would lead him to a spa treatment which I would have booked already. Nothing is more of a stress buster than a divine head and body massage. I hope this will relax and invigorate his body and mind.

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As we would enter our room after spa, he would be surprised by a gift again, waiting on the bed for him. It would be a pair of denims and a tshirt which I want him to wear that very day..

We would then head on to indulge in the splendours the place has to offer. From the scenic view of satpura ranges to buying souvenirs for our dear ones from the local market, the day would be spent with gazing at the nature’s work together, hand in hand walks and smiles and love galore..

In the evening I would take him to a cafe for a cup of coffee where the waiters would greet him personally and there would be a band ready to sing for us..20150208-163249.jpg
And there on the table, reserved for both of us lies my third gift of the day. 

A Rado watch which I have been saving up for a year to gift my husband on this special day.

I would leave no stone upturned to make him feel as special as one could.

Afterall everything that he does for me, for the way he makes me feel when I am with him, the way he makes me forget everybody and everything but him, he truly deserves an evening of this kind.

“Ek shaam mere hubby ke naam”

By now we would be eager to return to our room and spend the night in each others’s arms. As we would enter our hotel room, a large picture collage of both of us would welcome us from the wall behind our bed.
20150208-160610.jpgMy fourth and the final gift of the day.

A proof that our love is eternal….
A reminder of the years spent well in love….
Special moments captured in a frame to cherish forever…
A perfect trip down the memory lane…

After discussing and reliving every moment showcased in the picture we would give in to the night with a smile on our faces. A smile that can only come when you know there will be someone to wake up with on your side every morning for the rest of your life.

Yes, that’s how I would love to spend my valentine’s day this year. A day of love where I can make my love feel special as he makes me feel every other day…

Ps: I haven’t disclosed my first and third gift of the day because they are really special and personal which I would want to share only with my love:)

This post has been written for Baggout’s blogging contest for Valentine’s Day. Baggout provides awesome deals on Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, Snapdeal, Amazon and 100+ other online stores.

By- Sweety Pateliya

Darlings “Take Care”

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Once upon a time I,
used to be a famous dame,
Guys wanted to be with me,
Girls wanted to be me,
All because my skin was
as clear as porcelain.

Being stared at my flawless face
Was something I secretly loved,
The attention, the pamper, the love
That I got, said I was beyond the race.
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One day I woke up all rise and shine,
And went on to admire my beautiful face,
Noooooo…. I screamed, it can not be me,
But The pimple on my face just mocked at me.

Not even in my wildest imagination,
Had I thought, how a teeny weeny pimple
Can cause a hell lot of problems, everyday
Every second, a pimple is working
To feed on your reputation.

 

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“How can a pimple affect you?”

Asked my mom, worried.
“What real problems can it give at max
And I started counting my hardships…

 

Guys who once praised me,”20150129-213622.jpg
Looked at me with a shock at first,
Slowly they stopped even noticing me.

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I was just an ordinary girl now
Not the famous lass that I was,
I slowly was turning into a clam,
Scarves, hats or open bangs,
Just Didn’t add up to my glam.

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Makeup brushes and concealer,
Became my best friend, shrouded my
Originality under layers of makeup,
But even they defied me after a few hours,
Cracking open and revealing the bulge.

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I looked older
and sad,
Losing my confidence did not help,
The important meeting and presentations
were spent not thinking about my facts and figure,
But worrying about my pimply face.

Multani mitti, lemon, tulsi, Chandan
I tried all but in vain,
even the treatments that cost me a bomb,
Just couldn’t ease my pain.

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I want my fame back,Mom,

My face and confidence too,
And when she realised how her princess
Has been affected by a lowly pimple,
She gave me a face wash with natural ingredients

Said, it will help me in worst of times.

It’s been a year and I have never had
a pimple or any skin problem so far,

The goodness of neem has finally worked,
finally I have No Pimple No Marks!!!

Thank you Garnier, thanks a ton,
For giving back my beauty, my fame,

All you beautiful people out there,
If you ever have a problem like mine,
Don’t panic dont cry and no don’t you whine,

Do what Garnier tells you to do
Darlings just “Take care”

Disclaimer: All the pictures used have been searched from the Internet and edited by me.

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The great Indian litterbug.

Chewing the tobacco is my favourite pass time,
Rubbing it with some chuna, gives me a high,
Rub rub and clap, toss into the mouth,
Find the nearest wall to spray,
Paint it red and see it sparkle.

I am the great Indian Litterbug
I love all the muck.

Yahan Peshaab karna mana hai they write,
To kahan karna I ask with pride,
Nature’s call waits for none,
I water the wall with good intention.
Me relieved, the wall warmed up.

I am the great Indian Litterbug
I love all the muck.

Oh that candy wrapper is sticky,
Throw away I say to my kid,
Dirty the roads, lanes and alleys
But remember, never mess your
House and hands, and out goes the
Sticky paper.

I am the great Indian Litterbug
I love all the muck.

I clean and sweep and dust my house,
Mop the floor and scrub the loo,
And I collect the waste and throw it out,
Where else can I find a place,
Heaped with plastic, peels and the scrapes?.

I am the great Indian Litterbug
I love all the muck.

Hello everybody. I am the great Indian litterbug. I am a very generous person by heart. So generous that if eat a banana and throw the peel on the road for a cattle to eat. After all they too need something to eat.

I believe in sharing and that is why I throw the garbage of my house on to my neighbour’s roof. After all sharing is caring.

I am an artist and love all things artistic. So whenever I see a bare sad wall I paint it red and boosts its spirit instantly. After who/what doesn’t like a pop of colour? And I am so good at it that I can do it with just my mouth.
Sometimes on a cold chilly night or even day, when I see a wall shivering with cold I do not hesitate to warm it up. Yes, I water it with my warmth.

Not only this. I love children and how they used to make paper boats and play in the rains. Nowadays I do not see that happening. So whenever I get the chance I spit on the roads forminfpg small puddles of after in the potholes of indian roads. Now the children can easily play with their paper boast in my pools.

Sometimes when I go to someone’s place and their furniture is too blah! I pick my nose and add my jewels on to the sofa. Instantly its all shiny and blingy.

See, I am such a giving person. And a kind hearted one at that. If you ever want anything just come to me. I am sure you will never go empty handed. Because you see,
I am the great indian litterbug.
And I love all the muck.

A journey from a compromise to choices

I have always been a feminist even before feminism was in vogue if you know what I mean. And by a feminist I do not mean men hater or only a woman supporting kind of person. No. I believe in equality of both sexes.

This is me:

Woman,

Someone who stands true to her beliefs. Who doesn’t live by the rules made by the society.

But even I have faced the consequences of the stereotypes we have for women today.
Even I have faced people’s doubts on my abilities just because I was the so-called fairer sex. There have been times where I had to choose one thing OR the other. Career OR family, good daughter-in-law OR a writer.

This is my story of some compromises that I made (which eventually made me a stronger woman) and choices that changed my and someone else’s life for good.

~

Like every other students, I too joined my engineering college with a dream of being a successful engineer one day. I was good at studies and passed with fairly good marks. I also bagged a job through our campus placement to a multinational company.

Everything was going according to the plan and I couldn’t be more happy with the way my life had turned out. But they say every light of the day has to see the darkness of night.

~

It was the year 2008. The year that changed my life. A global recession hit the economy hard and soon IT companies were downsizing their staff. Many people went jobless. But my future company was considerate enough to not only keep their present staff but also make place for their newly recruited trainees. However they reduced the salary package considerably.

Money they say is the root of all evil. It changed my fairytale life to a unplseant reality.
My big rich conservative joint family didn’t find it good enough for her daughter to work for someone else for an amount much less than they give to their employees.

The decision would have been different of corse if I was a boy.
According to my family I need not work because I had everything one could ever want in life. Money, Power, Looks.
They refused me to accept the job and instead proffered to join the family business which I had no interest in. I didn’t know a thing about construction and I was an electronics engineer. Not a civil one. I wanted to do something in my field.

I protested, argued, cried but in vain. They would blackmail me.

“You either become a good daughter by doing as we say OR take up the job and prove we are nothing to you.”
“What will you do after marriage? Do you want to be a good wife and a homemaker OR a working women who has to struggle for a work life balance all her life.”

I wanted to scream that I can handle both. That its high time these scathing labels for women be changed. I wanted to tell them:

‘I can be a good homemaker AND a good working women. That I can be a good daughter AND a professional.’

I was the so-called “bade baap ki bigdi beti“. It was the first time I had gotten a no for something I wanted. I just couldn’t cope up with the refusal. Instead of talking to them and making them understand, I just got angry and started keeping to myself. I was hurt but couldn’t hurt my family.

That was the only point in my life where my decision was not what I wanted for me. I had failed my own values. I am a person of strong opinions and stand up to my beliefs no matter what.
So it affected me to such an extent that I went into depression.

It was then when I took up writing. It kind of liberated me when my feelings took form of words and smiled back at me from the pages of my diary.
Short articles and poetry were my new-found passion and I forgot everything and immersed myself in it.

Slowly I realised I was actually loving it!
It helped me face the reality. I picked up the broken pieces of my dreams and moulded them into a completely new one. To be a successful Writer.

Becoming financially independent was still my agenda and writing came to me like a ray of hope in a dark dungeon. If I couldn’t go to office, I brought office to home. I started earning through freelance writing and was happy about it.

~

I got married in the year 2011. When I came to my new family, I saw my history repeating itself. This time with my husband’s sister. She had completed her engineering and wanted to go to Pune for a job. My in-laws wouldn’t allow her, as again her package was less.

Apparently girls of Gujarati families had to earn very high. Doesnt matter if you are just starting your career. That’s not important. It’s degrading for gujju parents if their daughter’s income is less than their expected standards. Which is usually more than 30,000 per month at the minimum. Either that or get married to a highly successful businessman.

So there was my sister-in-law facing the same problems that I had only a couple of years ago.

I was new to the family and was confused if I should involve myself in this matter or not.
I was advised by many not to because I was newly wed and should invest my time in making a good impression in front of my in-laws. Not counteract them. Friends and family said, I had to be a good daughter in law first.

But my conscience didn’t allow me to do that. I may have acted a bit immature when my career was at stake but I had learnt my lesson. I could not allow another girl, my husband’s sister for that matter compromise in her life just because she was a woman.

I stood firm against it. I sat her parents up and made them understand that their daughter wanted to carve her own path. May be she had everything in life but nothing of her own. She is a talented girl and should be allowed to make her own decisions.

They were not very sure about it but they couldn’t say no to their very new daughter in law.

That day I felt I had succeeded in life. There was this feeling of content and happiness that I wouldn’t have felt even if I had convinced my own parents for my job back then. You will know this feeling only when you do something for someone else or give a person exactly what he/she needs desperately at that very moment.

~

Today she is working in an IT company as a java developer in Pune. I have finally become independent financially through my freelance writing. Initially I had to struggle to find time to write amidst my responsibilities. (Working from home has its own pros and cons).

Of course the money is not huge but it brings me happiness and satisfaction.
My own personal cabin awaits me in my husband’s company but I am content with my iPad and bedroom cum office.

This is how I turned my OR to my and someone else’s AND.

Its high time people realised we women can no longer be labeled in one dimension.

We can be good daughters, daughters in law and good professionals.
We can be fashionable writers, artistic programmers AND be awesome in different and limitless roles that we play in life.

The day every woman steps out of the box, crumble these fallacies and do things and everything that they ever wanted to do in life, in their own way, the world will know the power of a woman.
That will be the beginning of a new era. The era where people will say, “Once upon a time women were considered the weaker sex”

“This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus“.

By- Sweety Pateliya

Are you a girly girl or a plain Jane? Somewhere in the middle?

 

 

 

 


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Meet a girl for the first time and before she even opens her mouth and utters a word we start comparing her to the unwritten but well known social standards of a girl.
Is she wearing a fashionable dress? Aah she is outgoing and intelligent. Wearing makeup? Just confirmed my conjectures.

Is she bare face? No makeup? She is not a modern day woman. Under confident probably.

A girl is often judged by her looks. She is either a fashion junkie (Were you expecting a diva or a fashionista? Today fashion has become so addictive to many that junkie seems the perfect word for it) or a plain Jane.

Our brain categorically puts every girl we see on either section. And since first impression lasts forever if you happen to see a fashionista in her bad skin/hair day that is that what you make of her all your life? No matter how high she wears her heels on your next meeting how she totally rocks her makeup.
Needless to say the vice versa.

What about other hundreds of girls who have strong personalities and either of the two categories are just not enough to describe them?

Take me for example.

Looks wise I am not a 34 28 36 piece of a perfect body. Neither do I put myself on constant programmes to achieve that. I eat healthy, live healthy and appreciate my curves.
As a person, I am not one of those who cry in the last scenes of romantic movies, or who hold hands with their partner and sit under a tree or go mad at their husband/boyfriends for not spending enough time with them. (we do argue a lot, me and my husband. We are humans after all!!)
I instead enjoy my me time with a book, or a pedicure at home.

I never drew hearts in my notebook neither did I fill my books with initials of me and the ones I had crush on. I don’t like all things bling and shiny.

I am just not wired that way. In school and college, I was a tomboy. ( Now that is again a new category!! how could I forget??)
Not a short hair-jeans-tees-sneekers kind of tomboy. Lets settle with a fashionable one. I took up fights, argued, bunked classes, went shopping, studied hard during exams but chilled out all the year.

Makeup is something I love but wear it as and when needed. I don’t hide under layers of it. I rather use it to accentuate my best features. (No not for people like you to put me into the fashion junkie section.But for myself. )

Mostly I am without makeup when I am grocery shopping or running errands. Presentable always. Nice clothes, nice shoes, nice personality, nice smile a lip balm (tinted mostly) and I am usually good to go.
I don’t wear makeup while going to the parlour for a makeup session!! Or even worse at the gym or at my badminton club!! Like you would expect from what you call a fashionista.

So yes you get the idea. I am not a girly girl!! Not a plain Jane either. Then how would you describe me and thousands of other women alike?
Who love to dress up yet are not afraid to show their bare faces?? Those who love their souls more than their looks?

I am not against fashion or makeup. In fact I am all in favour of it. But I don’t fall under society’s pressure. On its definition of a perfect girl. I value myself more than that.
So here’s a suggestion to those wondering which category do I fall into??

Stop judging a girl by her looks I say. Or how she chooses to make an appearance in public.

If you can’t force your judgmental brain to rest, at least get to know her better. The real her. And only then give your not so needed judgement.

By- Sweety Pateliya

Melbourne: The Inside Story with a twist

My phone buzzed twice and when I saw the name of the caller I was happy and jealous at the same time.
It was my friend AS. He had just returned from melbourne last week after completing his MBA and we were to meet today for all the catching up to do.

I was jealous because I knew my foreign returned friend would go on and on about Australia, melbourne and I would have to listen to him in amazement like an eager child.

Being a fan of Masterchef Australia series, Australia was in my mind for quite some time now. And I was eager to know all about it from the eyes of someone who has been there already.

I was waiting for him in the cafe when he arrived waving from the entrance as I saw him.

“Hey m-ayee-t” he said teasing me with his newly acquired Aussie accent.

“So Mr. Melbourne!! How have you been?” I asked

“Sweety you have to go to melbourne at least once in your lifetime. It’s fabulous!
I have fallen in love with the people, place, the environment. Do you believe I really wanted to fail my last exams so I could stay one more year there?”

“Okay I am exaggerating” he said looking at my questioning look. “But you have to see the place girl!!

“Okay okay calm down AS and tell me all about it. What is in this place that other metropolis haven’t?”

“Everything…
It is a city that is cosmopolitan, modern and has its good old english charm alive at the same time. It has not gotten its name “the most livable city” for nothing.
Sports, culture, art, dining or just people watching it has something in store for everyone.

I loved to sit down on a roadside cafe and immerse myself in the rich cream aroma watch various street plays and dance while enjoying your coffee. There is always a laid back corner on every street where one can take a break and unwind. ”

“That sounds interesting… ” I would totally love to read a book and have a coffee while people watching all at the sametime!!

“So how was it when you first stepped into the city of Melbourne?”

“Okay let me answer that with a question. Generally what do you see when you step out of a railway station in any city?”

“Unwanted crowd… Bevy of small restaurants and street vendors? Mostly a lot of hustle bustle .. “I answered with disgust.

“But not in melbourne.” I was surprised.

“When you step out of the Flinder’s station, opposite to it you see a tall building, standing with pride.

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That’s the Eureka sky deck. The tower gives the 360 degree awe inspiring view of magnificent Melbourne skyline. And it is the only observation deck that gives you an experience of standing on the edge!! I mean literally. There is a glass cube on level 88 that sticks out of the building with you inside!!

Just imagine you standing on glass viewing the teeny tiny city sprawled under you. It’s like flying in the sky…

That’s really something… I got goose pumps by just listening to that.
So there is a tourist attraction near a railway station!! That’s weird and interesting at the same time..

Of course the station itself with its old clock tower is a sight so interesting.

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The street is buzz with amazing local food.
My favourite was a small joint named ‘The Lord of the fries’ where you get the best burgers and fries in the whole world. I made it a point to grab a bite every time I went to any place nearby. You are sure to fall in love with those burgers being the foodie that you are!!

“This reminds me I am famished.” I called the waiter and ordered sandwiches and coffee for us.
I had started enjoying the conversation by now, feeling less jealous and more intrigued. His excitement was contagious and I started to feel I was right there breathing the Melbourne air.

Tell me all about it..
I want to know all about Melbourne. The inside story if you know what I mean…

Ofcorse..
At first the city seemed historic. Trams still run there. In fact it has the largest tram network in the whole world. The museums and art galleries of Carlton showcases Australia’s indigenous culture. The diverse collection and exhibits takes one into a completely different era.

There was a laid back atmosphere in the city that exuded peace and serenity.

But do you remember I always told you how the best way to visit a city and know its soul is take a walk across its lane?
I did that later on the second week of my sojourn. And it amazed me!
The streets and lane ways are inundated with some awe inspiring art I have ever seen.

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Street art!!! I exclaimed in wonder!!

Exactly. Now tell me where can you find a city’s streets as a means of attraction?
See I clicked some pictures to make you jealous..

“Wow!! Isn’t this amazing… I can spend a whole day out on the streets like wanderer..”I said, obviously feeling jealous.

The city itself is an epitome of art and culture by day and it goes crazy by night. People party hard here. And it is one of the city that has invented its own dance style!! If I am not wrong you love dancing right? You won every dance competition you ever participated in school?

“Oh well yes!!” I fluttered my eyes and tried being modest.
“But I haven’t invented any dance style for sure.”

“Melbourne has its very own dance form THE MELBOURNE SHUFFLE. It is a rave and club dance style that found in late 1850s..”

“Wow!! Melbourians are indeed talented people!!” I said all excited to know about the people there.

“They are they are!!” He said again teasing me with his Aussie accent.

“They are sports buff too. The horse race in flemington, melbourne popuralary known as The Melbourne Cup is a race that literally stops the nation! It is declared a national holiday.

But being an indian I was more into cricket than horse racing. I watched an IndiaVs Aus at MCG. The thrill of watching a match up close, the roar in the crowd, the madness in the people there for sports is out of the world.

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Then there is Rod laver arena for the tennis lovers as well. But the stadium opens itself to other sports like basketball and also becomes a stage for live concerts or musical performances on some days.”

I was already imagining myself on the front row in the audience watching Federer play…

“Do you know one weekend I was really homesick” He continued obviously pulling me from the Rod laver Arena to our local cafe. Ah if only dreams were true…

“My local friends took me out on a drive at the Great ocean road. I tell you nothing beats the experience of driving with the windows down along the sandy beaches. The incredible panorama of blue ocean waters and the smell of crisp salty air is invigorating.
Nature at its best.”

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I so wanted to walk on those beaches holding hands with my husaband. It was getting difficult not to fall in love with Melbourne.

“We stayed in the Port Campbell on our way. Surrounded with a horseshoe shaped bay this seashore village is in itself a tourist attraction. I was in awe when I saw some lovely accomodation, adventure sports and other entertainments this small place had to offer. It had everything one seeks in a fun filled holiday trip.
Even the local food was delicious. It was so fresh, I could smell the sea in their fishes.

Next day we reached the 12 apostles and took a helicopter ride. The scene of the beautiful landscape from up above was breathtaking.

It is the one place where the journey and destination both are equally beautiful and worth each second spent.

By the time I was back to my apartment I was feeling energised and blissful by all of Melbourne’s beauty”

I could just smile at the way he got all nostalgic and went back in time…

And suddenly he fished out a packet from his jacket’s inside pocket. “Hey I brought these for you all the way from Melbourne!!” He said, handing me a jar of strawberry sauce.

I love strawberries and I just couldn’t resist it. I opened it immediately and licked it. Yummm…

“It is handmade from Kookaberry strawberry farm in Yarra valley.

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Yarra valley has some fresh fruits and berries farm and wine yard. We hand picked some berries, tasted wine and even went for a hot air ballon ride there. Rising slowly away from the ground, your spirit soars with the balloon. I just can not decribe that feeling of flying on the sky at sunrise, golden rays illumination your whole experience. It was serene, beautiful. You have to have that experience once in your lifetime.”

“Hmmm… Sounds great…  and tastes heaven too..” I said licking the sauce again.
“But seriously you and berry picking? Doesn’t sound like you at all.”

“I told you just went there for a visit. But I had my fare share of entertainment you know.”

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“There is this Philip island, a couple of hours from melbourne. the penguins, whales, koalas and other wild life was a treat to watch.

For shopping and fine dining, the Chapel street was our go to place. From upmarket designer boutiques to street style fashion store, one would be spoilt for choices here.

They have some fine restaurants that serve authentic Italian food. My favourite Italian restaurant was Amigos. The best I have ever had.

Then on weekend we would head to Crown casino, one of the largest complex in Southern Hemisphere  for full on entertainment. Do you know it is the first which introduced rapid roulette? An electronic version of the classic one?
Even the entertainment section has some superb shopping malls and food joints.

The night life is so active and lively there. I loved each bit of it.”

“But hello? Is it safe? Like how did you usually drive back?” The caring friend in me asked with concern.

“You know melbourne has night rider buses especially for late night travels. The transportation facilities is so good you can find your way out to and from any place anywhere anytime in the city.
It has a world class infrastructure. The road, rail, tram and marine networks are well integrated and major infrastructures are connected to freeways for easy access.

The city is so well connected that even a newcomer like me never had a problem ever.”

“I don’t think you missed a single street of Melbourne. You went there to study or for a vacation there?”

“Kind of both” he said mischievously and winked.
“But what could I do? I was bowled over with Melbourne’s charm. It’s culture, art, history, chic  everything made me fall in love with it.”

“I am sure you must be convinced by now that Melbourne is above any other metropolis, you have ever been to or should I go on and on about my Melbourne praises.”

“I am totally convinced AS. And by the way you described the city I have fallen in love with it.

I cant wait to pack my bags and explore the city myself. Have high expectations the way it sounds. Lets see if Melbourne lives upto them.”

We hugged and left the cafe. He with a smile on his face. A smile of nostalgia.

Me with dreams of future. Future in which I was in the world’s most livable city!!

Now comes the twist and fun part.
Dear readers,
I am sure by now you must be as eager as me to visit this AMAZING city of Melbourne.
Now here is a little surprise for you. You can win a Rs.500 shopping voucher for free!!
All you have to do is answer this simple question in the comments below. ” Which of these places would you want to visit in Melbourne and why?” The best answer wins a shopping voucher worth Rs.500.

Visit Tourism Victoria Website http://www.visitmelbourne.com/India for information about Melbourne tourism

Ps: AS had really been to Melbourne and this was actually a phone conversation. I have changed the scene to make the reading experience better. Some parts have been researched and added by me for a detailed information.