Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the category “Think tank”

Promises to Myself

It’s been a few months since I’ve written a blog post. Though I’ve been active on Instagram (@sharmi86) and have been posting pictures from my recent trips on my Facebook page (SharmiOnTheTrot), I guess I’ve been feeling lethargic to pen down a post. I honestly don’t know why though because I write for a living.

But, with the new year I’ve decided to stop the laziness. In just a short span of time, not only have I become more active I’ve also started to eat healthy and on the whole become more positive about things. It’s important, I think, to wake up in the morning feeling happy.

A friend recently said something which completely made sense to my wandering mind. He missed a flight and had to shell out a huge amount of money to book a new one that very day. “The time is now. I want to do it now. So what I  missed a flight. What will I do with all that money saved up?” So true. I was really lucky to have been able to travel almost every month last year despite my full-time job. And every time I thought I would write about something, I kept putting it off. Tomorrow would become day-after, then day-day-after. You get the drift. But, not any longer.

So, not only do I promise to be more active on social media with a host of new recipes, travelogues, photographs and anecdotes, I’m planning to bring in some changes to the existing blog format. Suggestions are welcome dear people. It’s high time I stop being so technologically challenged and instead, start embracing social media!

One of the most beautiful sunsets I've seen. It was taken in Egypt last December. I have recently posted it on Instagram

One of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen. It was taken in Egypt last December. I have recently posted it on Instagram

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Oh wanderlust, please never cease

I’m happiest when I’m about to travel. I really am. I revel in the anticipation of the place I’m going to, to immerse myself in its history, taste delicious cuisines and all that have influenced them. Every time I have one of my most treasured possessions in my hand, I know the coming days will be exciting because an immigration stamp always gives me the biggest smile. Last night as I sat in the airport lounge, waiting impatiently to board, it reconfirmed what I had believed in for so long – I have wanderlust and it’s here to stay.

My treasured possession

My treasured possession

It all began when my parents decided to whisk me off to Assam when I was just barely a year old. Though I don’t remember the adventures (due to obvious reasons), my parents insist that I stopped crying the moment I saw a gigantic elephant. With a toothy grin I stared at the animal, and then almost leaped out from my mother’s arms to touch the trunk. A memory which I do recollect, albeit vaguely, is when I was four years old, the parents decided I needed to see India. So a month long summer break turned into a hot desert adventure in Rajasthan. The next year it was cold Madhya Pradesh.

I think I have to thank my parents because they had never stopped me from travelling even during my teen years. Not once would they say ‘you can’t go’. In fact, since I and then my sister moved out, they’ve travelled more than the two of us have managed to! When I call them, I sometimes find out that they are somewhere in the wilderness of the Bengal jungles or lying on some sandy beach soaking up the sun.

I do get to travel a fair bit thanks to my job. It really is fascinating I assure you because not many people can get to do what I do. I write on sports in newspapers which can be fun. You get to meet interesting people, visit exotic countries, cover different kinds of sports… so there really is nothing to complain about. But at the same time, unlike many people, I love to live out of a suitcase. My backpack or suitcase (whichever can be applicable in different trips) is always packed. When I travel I can stay anywhere as long as I get to soak in different cultures, eat like the locals, meet friendly and warm people… I often think if I could do it full time. Maybe? Who knows what the future holds, right?

As the plane touched down at the Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok early morning, I smiled to myself. During immigration when I got my first Thai stamp, I knew it wouldn’t be my last. I just keep my fingers crossed that the wanderlust never ceases.

The organic debate

I recently received an invite for an organic event in Calcutta (or Kolkata). That got me thinking about the wave of free-range and organic produce found in the markets today. If you like Jamie Oliver’s cooking shows as much as I do, you’ll know that he promotes organic produce for the benefit of the consumers.

I started reading up on ‘why organic’. Yes, I won’t buy ready-to-eat meals or packaged soups and pastas but I would buy ingredients, say like eggs, without really thinking whether they were free range or not. I spoke to a friend who owns an organic food/retail company called Living Free. “It’s the question of the choice one makes,” she said when I questioned why would someone pay a lot more to buy free range eggs. “The idea is to reduce packaged food consumption and increase the intake of fresh produce. It’s about getting people to understand there are healthy options. We are here to spread awareness about holistic living,” she said.

A simple google search will give you thousands of reasons why people are choosing to go organic against the processed and packaged. But of course you will find skeptics calling this a fad. When one describes organic produce, one believes they have been obtained without the use of chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Though there are claims of organic food tasting better, I honestly haven’t consciously gone shopping keeping in mind that I must buy such products. But as a keen student of food, I would definitely love to try it out.

I wish I was there but for all you in Calcutta (Kolkata), if you have the time and are keen on checking out organic produce and fashion, do drop in at Jhaal Farezi (near Park Circus) on January 12!

What do you feel about the organic- non-organic debate?

The important why

I’ve often been asked why don’t I blog? Am I lazy? Don’t I want to share my travels, interests, life online? Well, to be honest, I created this account last year with an aim to blog every opportunity I get. And going by the dates from the first post, I can definitely say it hasn’t happened as per my wishful thinking. 

However, it’s never too late is it? I started out with a goal but unfortunately, took a bit of time to actually make the effort.

I have a question though. Why do people blog? There are friends and colleagues who blog almost everyday, talking about their interests and passions, sharing stories with the world which has become so interconnected thanks to the internet. But then, have blogs replaced diaries? The leather-bound or even out-dated calendar ones, with ruled or white sheets,  carefully filled with memories and incidents jotted down by young hands. I shared a very personal relationship with my diary. 

It was my mother who told me, “Write what you feel. But write. It will be your journey, your words. And you’ll look back years later and smile.” I religiously wrote in my dairy till I was 18. Anne Frank’s dairy motivated me too, I think. A young girl hiding in Amsterdam during a dreadful period, all she had was a dairy to pen down her feelings and thoughts. However, once school ended, so did my diary ritual. Looking back, all seven of them held my inner most thoughts, from the first crush to the first kiss, the break up to new friendships, feelings on days my self esteem was low to when I felt I could conquer the world. Now, would I want to share them with the everyone? No, most definitely no. 

But then, why should I blog?

To be clear, I want to share things which I find fascinating. I love to travel. I can’t live without food. Music and books play an integral part of my life. And I can’t not watch sports. So, I’ve decided on certain parts of my life which I would love to share. Call it compartmentalization if you want. And I shall try not to be lazy to leave another year go by.

So, here goes nothing…

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