L is for Letter!!

LThough it’s 26th April today, and it’s a no alphabet day today. Due to my work schedule, I have missed lots of alphabets. So, I will try to attempt missed out words today. I choose alphabet ‘L’, and word is ‘Letter’. Even in this techie world of ours, I prefer letters over emails. Letters have always remained close to my emotions. No matter how bad the handwriting is, no matter how bad the grammar is, but the emotions or words poured out on a piece of paper are priceless. Moreover, the letters received can be kept as treasures. And when someday, in the lower layer of your cupboard, beneath your clothes, you find an old letter written by someone special, it makes your day.

Letters are special. But this one is more special as Zafirah has written this letter to herself.

25th April 2014

Dear Zafirah,

I’m writing this letter to myself. Why am I writing it? I don’t know. May be I wanted to write it to someone to share something. So I decided to be that someone myself. Kabir and I know each other from 5 years, and it’s  been 3 years of friendship. I always have cherished each and every moment of togetherness. Not even a single day passes when I have not thought of him. I have explored new places with him. We have enjoyed savoring different food.  Still something was missing in our relationship. Till date I’m not able to make out what is missing. But something is missing. Whenever I visited mosque with him, I prayed only and only for his success and our togetherness. Togetherness! a word which is not just a word but my world with him. A word that is just a word for Kabir. I don’t know what I mean to him but I have admired him from the first day I saw him. And with every passing day, I have loved him even more. Many times, I have told this to Kabir and I have always got a loud laughter in return. A laughter that is sweet because he is smiling but painful because he is making fun of my feelings.

Anyways what he has done or what he does, doesn’t matter! Because I have and will always forgive him. I have and will always pray for his success. I’m heart broken today. And I want to take a decision for myself. But damn! it’s so tough for me. It’s like giving your life. Yes, traveling is dream of my life. I want to travel, meet people, capture moments and write stories. I started traveling with him or you can say we have traveled together. I always made a point not to travel without him. But today for myself, I want to take this decision. I cannot think of traveling without him. So I decided to quit traveling, at least for sometime. Aah! I know heart aching decision for me. There’s a drop of tear on the keypad. I know this decision will not matter to him. But I will keep praying for his success always and always.

Love,

Zafirah

 

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P is definitely for Portraits!

PToday’s alphabet is ‘P’. And the word for P cannot be any other than “Portraits”. Buying a camera, traveling, as well as this blog happened because I like to click people. I like to capture moments. I somewhere read people don’t enjoy moments while capturing it. I say I enjoy the moments more when I see the photographs.

Here are few Portraits which I have managed to click over time.

Beautiful eyes!

Beautiful eyes!

Innocence!!

Innocence!!

Naughty Monk!

Naughty Monk!

Dancing with faith

Dancing with faith

Bengali eyes!

Bengali eyes!

 

O is for Ode!!

Though I’m trying to keep up with the pace of A-Z challenge. I still miss some days. I’ll try my best to come up with those words whenever I get time. Here’s a little Ode for today’s alphabet ‘O’.

An ode to Ma Baba!

OThere is a warmth in Ma’s hug,
And there is a sense of protection in Baba’s touch.
On achievement, Ma hugged me tightly,
Baba remained silent and smiled slightly.
On failure, Ma wiped my tears,
Baba helped me to come out of my fears.
Sometimes I came back home with shattered hopes,
Ma mended my broken heart with her love,
Baba built my hope with his words.
Ma got worried when I told her about my solo traveling,
Baba supported me to follow my dreams.
I might have a brittle day, and nothing seem right,
Ma Baba made sure I sleep with ease at night.
Ma taught me to be humble and kind,
Baba taught me to be strong and not lose my mind.
They helped me to raise my mind above daily strife,
I’m thankful to them for every moment of my life.
I’m nothing! But Ma’s love and Baba’s trust.

Note – Ma means Mother and Baba means Father.

K is for Kaur!

So, alphabet for today is ‘K’. My word for K is Kaur. Well! my blog name says “The Traveller Kaur, and my name is GurPreet Kaur. No! Kaur is not a surname, it is a middle name. Let me take you back into the time to tell you the importance of it. It’s a very long story but I’ll try to cut it short.

KBack in 17th century, India was being ruled by Mughals. There were lot of caste issues (which are apparent even today) along with gender discrimination. The females were considered weak and of inferior race.  On 13th April, 1699, the tenth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, commanded all Sikhs to be baptized (to eradicate cast ism). The collective body of all baptized Sikhs was coined as “Khalsa”, which means “free” or “pure”. All the Sikh males were commanded to adopt “Singh” with their forenames as surnames. And all Sikh females were commanded to use “Kaur” as their surnames. This custom confirmed the equality of both the genders. Unfortunately, with time Singh and Kaur has been adopted as middle names and surnames are back with the forenames, bringing back the caste ism. Not getting into the details of the above said issue. I would rather concentrate my post on my word.

Kaur means “pure” or “princess”. It was intended to give women a sense of self-respect. It provides Sikh women with a status equal to men. Sikh principles believe that all men and women are completely equal. Therefore, a woman is a princess and can lead her own life as an individual, equal to men. She does not need a man’s title to raise her own status. Saying this would go against the principles stated in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the religious text of Sikhism.

Now you know why the name “The Traveller Kaur” was chosen. 🙂

H is for Hug!

Yesterday’s word was ‘H’ and here is a short story for it:

Zafirah is a single child, raised in a joint family. Though she is a pampered child but she has been raised into a strong spirited girl. She had a carefree childhood and joyful adolescent years. She always had many people around her but deep inside she longed for a brotherly love.

Recently her eldest cousin got married. They have not talked much in recent years as he has moved to US. This is her favorite cousin; for two reasons. One, he is the eldest and secondly, he is the simplest.

The mere thought of traveling excites her. She is super excited today, with a big smile on her face, as she is going for a short trip. She packs her bags, gets ready and goes to the newly married couple to say bye. She hugs her sister-in-law(which is more like a sister now). Her brother comes forward, gives her a tight hug, blesses her by keeping his hand on her head. Tears roll down from her eyes. For a moment, she wants to cry out loud. But as of her nature, she controls her emotions and says bye with a big smile and a flying kiss.

Her longing for a brotherly love is satisfied with an emotional hug. Her heart is full of love.

G is for Gökotta!!

G Today’s alphabet is G and my word for the challenge is gökotta. Whenever I get time I hop on to various travel sites searching for unexplored places or surfing sites in search of new words. Basically, I surf net to feed something informative to my tiny grey matter.

I’m an early riser and I love watching the sun coming up. The view of breaking of dawn gives me good vibes and energy to spend my day with full zeal. As I walk down the narrow lanes of Indian Agriculture and Research Institute for morning walk, I hear chirping of birds. Listening to chirping of birds at breaking of dawn is a bliss.

Courtesy - Google

Courtesy – Google

One day I was hopping various sites and came across a word called – gökotta. It is a Swedish word which means “the act of rising early in the morning to hear the birds sing at sunrise and appreciate nature”. What a marvelous word to describe the first feeling of every day.

 

So who is an early riser and enjoys dawn picnic? Who enjoyed gökotta today?

F is for Fernweh!!

Today’s word is “F” and here is a short story for today’s A-Z challenge.

FShe took out two shirts from her wardrobe – a red shirt with sequence and a white plain top to team up with her navy blue jeans. Confused what to wear, she calls out her mother. Ma! (Hindi version for mother). Why are you shouting Zafirah?, says her mother. Ma! I’ve to go to meet Kabir today and I’m confused about what to wear. Please help me choose from these two shirts. Her mother picks up her white shirt and says, I’m fed up with your behavior Zafirah! Ignoring the scolding of her mother, she goes to get ready.

It’s not that Zafirah will be meeting Kabir for the first time. She knows Kabir from 5 years. They first met at her previous working place and have become good friends with time. But she gets excited whenever she is suppose to meet Kabir. It’s because of the freshness of exploring the world together. This brings newness in every meeting.

Anyways, she reaches the decided meeting point on time. Kabir was waiting for her. As they walked inside the restaurant, they started looking for a window seat. Zafirah loves to sit near the window, and look at the outside world while having a peaceful time on the other side of the window. (Handing over the menu) So what will you like to have?, asks Kabir. You order today, says Zafirah. Ohh!! I don’t like doing that, you decide and order, says Kabir. This was the start of conversation every time they met. So what’s up?, she asks, as she places the order. And the conversation went on.

Zafirah had a soul of a traveler and she always dreamt of far off places. She was bitten by a travel bug. Kabir knew of her dreams and accompanied her in almost all of her trips. They both had common interest of exploring things around them. They both loved to listen to each other. Though Kabir was an introvert, but he had opened up with her with time. She found a great companion for traveling and exploring in him, and he had found someone to share his loneliness.

You remind me of “Fernweh“, says Kabir, as he pays the bill for food. Fernweh!! sounds good, but what’s that, asks Zafirah. Find out yourself, says Kabir. Please tell me na, she insisted like a child, but Kabir was adamant. They hugged and said goodbye for the day.

Courtesy - Google

Courtesy – Google

Zafirah boarded an auto to her place, hurriedly opened Google to check the meaning. The net wasn’t working. She grew more impatient. Bhaiya jaldi chalo (Drive fast) please, she says to the auto driver. As she reaches home, she rushes to her room to access laptop, before she forgets the word. She types Fernweh, she is happy to see its meaning. Fernweh is a German word which means ” a crave for travel; to feel homesick for a distant place you’ve never been”. Kabir knows me so well, she thinks and smiles.

*Zafirah is an arabic name which means victory.

B is for Bhangra, Balle and Brruaaaahhhhh

Though I have missed 3 days of A-Z challenge. Before I try to attempt fifth day’s challenge, I will first complete my second, third and fourth day’s challenge. The word for second day of challenge is Bhangra. It’s a Punjabi folk dance. Earlier only boys use to perform it. These days it is common among both genders and I’m myself very fond of it.

Punjabi’s express their happiness through Bhangra. You cannot stop a Punjabi from doing Bhangra if you have played Punjabi music. There’s an automatic vibration in their feet which makes them feel like dancing. Yes! I too feel that vibration and there is a popular saying – “Ek bari Punjabi gane lagado fir to Punjabi generator ki awaz pe bhi naach lenge”, which means Play punjabi music once and then a punjabi can dance to a generator’s voice too. Funny! That’s not true. But yes Punjabi’s are fun loving and they don’t need reasons to celebrate happiness. They are Happy go lucky types. And when a Punjabi is happy, he will do Bhangra and say Balle! or Brruuaaahhhh!!!

Balle or Brruuuuaaahhhhh is said when a Punjabi is very happy.

Punjabi 1 – I got a car!
Punjabi 2 – Oye Balle!

Punjabi 1 – I got hitched!
Punjabi 2 – Oye Balle!

Punjabi 1 – Finally! I’m flying to Canada.
Punjabi 2 -That’s a very good news. Brruuuaaaaahhhh!!

Now you got it when to use Balle or Brruuuaaahhh with a Punjabi :).

 

A is for… Attraversiamo

Let's cross over

Let’s cross over

As I sit down to write for the first day of  A-Z challenge which I have taken, the day has almost retired and a new day is at the verge to kick start giving a new ray of hope. I have taken up this challenge to explore the hidden creativity which lies deep inside me.

The word chosen for the first day of challenge is “Attraversiamo”. I fell in love with it when I first heard it. Eat Pray Love is a novel by Elizabeth Gilbert and it is beautifully adapted into a movie by the same name. The lead role has been played brilliantly by Julia Roberts. It is a story of a woman where she gives herself an year to heal her soul. She travels and explores the world around her. This movie is close to me as I myself was going through an emotional wave in my life. My soul needed some healing miracle, and I happened to watch this movie.

The first part of the movie was spent in Italy. Roberts spends time in Italy learning Italian language as she thinks it is a beautiful language. She instantly falls in love with a word – attraversiamo when she first listens to it. She liked the sound of it. And I fell in love for it’s symbolism. It means let’s cross over. People say it to each other when they are walking down the street. It’s like the person walking with you knows you so well that if you are walking down the street and want to cross over a bridge, without you saying anything, the person walking by your side would say, Attraversiamo! Let’s cross over. The moment of Euphoria in your life. The moment of togetherness. Isn’t that beautiful?

I loved the word and its meaning, and contemplated it in my own way to let my soul heal with the power of this word. I was stuck in a situation where my mind and my heart were not in sink. Mind knew that it was all over, but heart was still hung with the last string of attachment. No scissor could cut it, no words could break it. The aftermath of this heart and mind strife was that I was broken, devastated. Attraversiamo had a miraculous effect in healing my broken soul. It worked like a ray of light in a dark room.

Let’s cross over – I commanded my heart. And within days I was able to end, the heart and mind strife. Life was at peace now. And attraversiamo was added to the bucket list of favorite words.

With this I end my first day challenge of A-Z, preparing myself to come up with a new word starting from “B”.