The waft

“Tell me more about you” he said.

“Like what?” she asked, adjusting the sheet around her body.

“Like…are you the kind of woman who….” his voice trails off as he sees her reaching for a cigarette, kept on the night stand next to her bed.

“The kind of woman who…what?”

“The kind who smokes after sex?” he finishes.

“I’m the kind who smokes whenever. And the kind who’ll be whatever you want me to be, as long as you’re not a nutcase!” she smiles while taking a drag.

His eyes rest on her face for a minute, taking into account every little detail of that irresistible face and deadly smile.

“In that case how about you give me half of that death wish you’re puffing away?” he asks.

She never touched a cigarette after that day.

Europe – Part 1: Rome, Italy

I had the amazing opportunity of touring 4 Countries in Europe, a little over 2 months ago. The vacation started with Rome and ended with Berlin, with Switzerland, Milan, Stockholm & Potsdam in the midst of it all! I’d like to share, in pictures, the beauty of these places and a little bit of facts and history I learned during my trip

1st stop – 4 days in Roma! (Rome, Italy)

The welcome board at the airport 🙂

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Our first stop on the rainy day was but obviously at The Vatican. The museum displays works from the immense collection built up by the Popes throughout the centuries including some of the most renowned classical sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world.

The Sistine Chapel with its ceiling decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael are on the visitor route. We weren’t allowed to take photographs or shoot videos in those areas. 

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The beautiful & timeless paintings took my breath away!

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And who would believe what efforts it took to create these fantastic & artistic ceilings!

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A look inside the St. Peter’s basilica inside The Vatican:

Day 2: I walked around the Piazza Navona square

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I’ve always been an awkward poser…

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One of the many art forms you get to see on the streets of Rome

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No idea how this man was sitting ON air! I actually went close to have a look and it did seem like he was sitting on thin air..

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Happened to walk in to the Campo-dio-fiori area as I had read in one of the travel blogs. Et Voila! The place is a treasure hunt for an avid traveller..there was a fruit market, a flower market, souvenir stalls etc.

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Next stop was at the St. Angelo Castle (Castel Sant’Angelo) which means Castle of the Holy Angel. It is a towering cylindrical building in which was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The Castle was once the tallest building in Rome.

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The locks on the bridge of the castle as a sign of love and unity forever (P.s. the red one is mine):

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Music at the Castle…and a view of the bridges surrounding it:

Day 3: The Colloseum & other important places!

The Colosseum also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome. Built of concrete and stone, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built and is considered one of the greatest works of architecture and engineering. The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 & 80,000 spectators & was used for gladiatorial contests & public spectacles such as mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, & dramas based on Classical mythology. It was devastated by the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64.

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Next we visited The Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) also known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II(National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) which is a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

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The Vittoriano features stairways, Corinthian columns, fountains, an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel and two statues of the goddess Victoria riding on quadrigas.

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One can see almost the entire city of Rome from the roof of the Monument:

The second last stop in Rome before we headed off to the Airport to catch our flight to Zurich, was the ‘Spanish Steps’. The Spanish Steps are a set of steps climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna (the small pond with a fountain) the at the base and Piazza TrinitĂ  dei Monti, dominated by the TrinitĂ  dei Monti church at the top.

Piazza di Spagna:

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The Spanish Steps:

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We headed off to the airport, and to kill time, we stopped at the Fumicino Beach near by, as a last stop before saying good bye to Rome 🙂

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Whoever said “Rome was not built in a day”, was justified in saying so. One of the most architecturally beautiful places I have ever been to. So long Roma!

Furry Tales

I had always considered myself to be a “dog” person. For me being an animal lover meant that you have to be in love with dogs!

As a kid, whenever I used to demand for a pet, my parents use to say “first grow up and learn to handle your responsibilities on your own”. Needless to say, my parents didn’t keep their promise. And I was ‘that’ person in the group who would squeal every time a furry being was seen around. Finally, when i started living alone, one of my friends convinced me to foster a kitten. That’s when my journey as a failed foster parent began. Not because I wasn’t caring enough, but because I would end up keeping not one, but 3 of the kittens I had brought in to just foster. I am proud to say, I am mother to the most beautiful and loving felines ever. They taught me that being an animal lover means loving animals of all sorts.

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Having established that, Let me assure you it wasn’t as smooth a journey to begin with. People always tell you about the licks and the cuddles when they talk about adopting pets. No one tells you about a hundred other things you need to be prepared for, when you adopt a furry baby.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts from my amateur experience:

1. Ensure that you read up well on the feline family.This will help you be mentally prepared and also keep in stock, the required things when you bring the kitten home.

2. Unlike dogs, cats do NOT need to go outside. Cats are almost always naturally housebroken and can be litter trained at an early age. If left unattended to go outside, cats might get lost or hurt and sometimes get killed. I had to learn this the hard way when I lost my first cat to a freak accident.

3. Cats need to be fed good, nutritious food regularly, at least once to twice a day. They also need plenty of cool and fresh water. What they do not need is milk. Unlike the popular myth that cats survive on milk, adult cats can get diarrhea, skin rash and liver problems due to milk intake. Pls consult your vet before giving your kitten any milk as well.

4. Have your cat spayed or neutered by a vet once it reaches maturity (usually around six months of age). Otherwise you may have to face issues like them peeing outside of the litter box to mark their territory, mewing all night and signs of aggressive behaviour on their part. Neutering will ensure that your cat enjoys a longer, healthier life & there’ll be fewer strays on the streets.

5. Though cats are known to be more independent than dogs, they thrive on your company and love. A responsible pet parent should spend at least one hour every day giving ample attention to their cat. This may include training, grooming, and playing or even just some lap time on the couch.

6. Cats do NOT need to be bathed. A healthy cat keeps the self clean and well-groomed. However, for people like me who are particular about hygiene, I would suggest using a shedding comb on your cat every once in a while to tae care of all that fur which is likely to be present everywhere in the house if the cat isn’t groomed well. And instead of bathing the cats, use a wet wipe on them gently to clean their body. Be careful while you do so, else you may end up getting scratched by them if they’re not in the right mood.

7. To prevent your cat from scratching or tearing your furniture, trim it’s claws regularly (if you can) and provide them with a small rug or scratching post. Verbal scolding at an early age can help prevent such behaviours. It did, on at least one of my cats. You could try vinegar or vicks as the hacks to keep them away from destroying any furniture.

8. It’s in the cat’s nature to sleep 16-18 hours a day. That being said, it’s always better to make them play and run with the use of toys, laser light etc. around the house so that they are active and don’t put on too much weight. Who doesn’t love a chubby furry? But we would love for them to live longer with us. Hence, it’s better to keep them agile.

9. Pets come with their own set of expenses. Getting one home might mean having to re-calculate and amend your monthly expenses. Here are a few mandatory items  you will need to spend on, for your cat:

  • Food & special treats
  • Routine veterinary care
  • Kitty litter and box
  • Basic grooming equipment and supplies

10. Last, but not the least – If you’re adopting a cat, it’s always better to adopt them in a pair. A single kitten will get lonely when you’re not around if you’re working and may resort to aggressive behaviour or be depressed.

Everything said and done, there is no better reward than coming home to be greeted with paws, whiskers,licks and purrs! You don’t get to choose your family, it just comes to you. And my feline family brings me immense joy!

Proud to say, I adopted a stray 🙂

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