Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dear Nicholas Sparks.....

Reading is my passion. I love to read. I love the roller coaster ride of emotions I get to experience while reading. For now, my favorite author is Nicholas Sparks.

Known for writing romantic fiction, he has been a bestselling author for long. Mainly known for his novels, 'The Notebook' and 'A Walk To Remember'. Going to the bookshop a few days back, I decided to buy something different. I bought the novel - 'True Believer'. Moved by the story and thoughts, I decided to read the next part of the story.

The story continued in the novel - 'At First Sight'. The story had moved me so much that when I neared the end of the novel, I was crying my heart out.
It was then that I decided to write letter to my favorite author and inspiration.

Nicholas Sparks, a great writer with an amazing thought. His novels deal with the sufferings of a relationship, getting a hold of life, dealing with life's happenings with a strong mind and finally a miracle. His novels help find a new direction of thought, of dealing with things that seem impossible. I always find myself laughing, crying and smiling along with the flow of the book.

I just want to propose one request to this great novelist. Dear Nicholas Sparks, please bring back Lexie Darnell Marsh to the life of Jeremy Marsh, Claire Marsh and Doris Darnell. A continuation to the story, maybe just by a miracle. And, I assure you, when this novel comes out, I would be the first one to buy it off the shelves.

I hope this little message gets through to my most favorite author and the artist of a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Captivating Canada, Bewitching Belgium and N'ticing Netherlands

A few month back, I got an opportunity to go to Canada with my mom. It was an amazing tour where I got to learn about the different culture and lifestyle.

We landed in Montréal, Canada in the evening and made our way to the hotel - Château Versailles. The feeling of clean roads and such less traffic was very difficult to absorb in at first. That day we just walked down the streets of Montréal and discovered the shops and of course ; where to get our food from!

The next day, we went on a full day tour of Québec city. They are French speaking area, and so, I even got to try out my French speaking skills there! Québec city still had some melting snow and my most fav

orite part of the trip was Montmorency Falls. Running white along snow capped areas, it was a marvellous view.

On the third day, I went to the conference on domestic workers with my mom at McGill University. It was nice because I got a lot to learn via the conference. Professor Adelle Blackett, under whose guidance the event took place, was very friendly, kind and supported my coming there. I did get to learn how the conditions of the domestic workers are around the globe and how people are trying to improve it.

The next day was fun with a with a three hour trip of Montréal city in the morning. During this trip, my most favourite view was of the Olympic Stadium that I captured easily in my camera! Later in the afternoon we enjoyed going around the city taking long walks. That evening, we made our way ta a restaurant for a pizza and for the first time I actually saw teenagers on the streets!

A prominent difference is the number of poor people. Since Canada is a developed country, the amount of people below poverty line is very less, but, India being a developing country country, has a large amount of its population below the poverty line.

When I went to the café, there was one thing I was shocked to see. The Lays chips that we get in India for Rs 20 were for 2 dollars, which when converted to the Indian currency was suddenly quite expensive.

By the next day, we had sat in the bus that took us through the lovely towns of Canada, into Scarborough, Ontario. There was a sudden change in culture from French to Indian. As you know, Toronto is also called the second home of Indians and Scarborough is nothing but an outskirt.

At Scarborough, I enjoyed my first few days at the ashram. Shatrupa Baiji was very kind, helpful, funny with an endearing personality. I still remember the mouth watery pizza I ate there! I also got to make many friends along the way. My closest friends were Hina, Richa and Nidhi. All were very accepting.

The funny incident that happened once was :- we were waiting for a bus on the station. Soon the bus came and we went inside. We discovered shocking scene. All the passengers in the bus were Indian and the driver was Canadian!

We went to visit Toronto the next day. C.N Tower was the most breathtaking views of my trip. At a height of 553.3 meters it was just amazing! We reached the topmost story from a high speed lift and saw the whole city beneath us while standing on the glass floor. We even took a harbor ride from which we could see a wonderful view of the C N Tower and Toronto Stadium.

Moving our journey forward, we went to the most famous Canadian attraction - The Niagara Falls. On our way, we had a stop at the wine yard, where my adult bus mates got an opportunity to taste the Canadian special Ice Wine. Oh, and I got a tingy grape juice.

We also aw the whirlpool made by the Niagara River during the ride. Niagara Falls were a stunning view. One could see three rainbows together! From Canada, we even saw the Niagara Falls from New York. For the New Yorkers', there was a raised platform like structure made to view these astounding Falls.

We enjoyed a trip of Behind The Falls and missed The Maid of The Mist ride by just a day. Then we made our way to the restaurant with a grumbling stomach. I got to go to Wendy's which was really yummy! We even went to Louis Tussuad which was a parody or copy of Madam Tussuad.

Before going ahead with my journey let me tell you one of my favorite places places. Favorite scenic places are a lot but something other than beauty is food. I loved Timmy Horton's! I rally wish it opens in India.

I also stayed in Brampton for two days. There, I got to sty with my relatives. They were friendly and very welcoming. They took us out for a scrumptious dinner at Chopstix where I got my very first fortune cookie! The Mehta family made our stay very homey and comfortable.

Another fun part was going to the Eaton Centre in Toronto - The biggest mall in Canada. But, let me tell you, it wasn't as big s Ambiance Mall in Gurgaon, India.

Step by step, we were moving towards the end of our journey. But don't worry, we still have five days left!

The next station of our flight was The Netherlands. It was an outstanding place. Landing in Amsterdam, moving to Hoofddorp and then enjoying the tour of the countryside was stupendous. The charm of Netherlands was the tulips that grew about everywhere along with their shoes!

In Amsterdam, a pleasing welcome was given to us from my grandfather's friend and himself lawyer, Jasbeer uncle. He made our stay exciting by taking us on a very enjoyable journey of Holland. He along with his wife and kids made us enjoy every moment of our stay.

We also visited the fishermen's village in Holland which was spell bounding. I got a taste of the true city there. Hoofddorp, where we stayed was an incredible place. Separated by small streams, it had a charming view ; something that a person fantasies in fairy tales.

On the tour of the Amsterdam city, we got to visit Madam Tussuad and got to click pictures along with many leaders, actors and sportsmen. We did the famous ship ride and saw the spectacular view of the seven canals.

Our next stop was Belgium. We sat in a bullet train and entered the beautiful country. A bus ride showed us the phenomenal viw of the parliament as well. Stopping at the Atomium - The atomic structure made of nine atoms we saw the spectacle of beauty shimmer. On the inside, it had steep escalators making us reach to the various floors with their exhibitions.

On coming out of the Atomium, we went to look at Mini Europe, made in Brussels, Belgium. Miniature models of all important places stood there. Most favorite of them were the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Here was the end of my educational and fun tour. Yup, I almost forgot...I got loads of Belgian chocolates as well!

On my next tour, I wish to see all the beautiful places in the world. And, because everything and everyone is beautiful, I want to see each and every part of this amazing and beautiful paradise!