Stockholm gets it’s spring

It’s been eons I have been away from writing. Ok, may be not that long. Writing snippets for my Instagram posts took the better of my time. (Does that even count? Haha :)). But honestly we all did get caught up in the unforeseen, with this deadly pandemic. I hope everyone is holding up well. Today I feel inspired to write and share with you my readers, the beauty I have been witnessing all around in Stockholm. The seasons of Scandinavia have always elicited the artist in me, propelling me to get out there in the nature and create some memories to keep for a lifetime.

And if I am completely honest, this diversion is keeping me from constantly thinking about the trying times my friends and family are experiencing back home in India. I pray for everyone to get back the pink of their health and the spring of their lives very soon.

In my earlier posts I have expressed my thoughts on the enchanting autumns this place unfolds each year, and have also taken opportunities to share the winter experiences, but never got a chance to share what a garden Stockholm becomes during spring! I realized we were always travelling to other countries at this time of the year. Being in Sweden this year gives me a reason to explore more, with all the heart, the place where I live.

I have been taking a lot of spring walks during past couple of weeks, looking for some blooming trees and budding flowery corners. Up until 2 weeks ago, I didn’t find a single leaf of the trees (I live in Stockholm! It takes long for the weather to warm up :)) While the temperatures are still quite low, the city is starting to be blessed with some spring foliage.

Sharing some captures with you all.

Chess, anyone? 🙂

Read more:

Message from the autumn leaves đŸ
The breeze of autumn..
Visit the ‘Garden of Europe’ in April

How does spring look in your city? Would love to see!

Tutor locks

A little more love,
A little less judgement,
Times are tough,
And the beautiful lovelocks show us the way.
❀

Fill your heart with kindness and love for the world and it’s people, and let it stay there forever. The key to your heart lies with you, and you alone. 🔑 💖

Leaves begin to fall

Woah, that was a long break. I haven’t seen my lovely readers in a little over 2 months. Caught up in such whirlwind, pointing all fingers back at myself for this disappearing act, and having gobbled up high doses of guilt tablets (honestly!) , I’m now ecstatic about getting back to the thing I love doing the most – write about my experiences and sharing them with you! And what better time to find my resurrection than while I witness this gorgeous transformation of the nature turning from emerald to gold. Earth is peeling away a layer of its brilliance and green beauty, and emanating the glow of its fire within. Every leaf is a flower, cozying up to its own warmth, and in turn presenting a sight to behold.

Autumn in Sweden is such that I always fall short of names to aptly describe the colors that so delicately and beautifully unfold. Ochre, mustard, buff, amber, sienna, crimson and scarlet are a few that I feasted my eyes on this weekend, along with the familiar tones of yellow, gold, orange, red and brown. Every step in the woods, and on the little streets drawn out as a carpet studded with jewels, gifted our hearts with precious moments of joy and pleasure.

How much I’d like you partake in this happiness!

Read also : The breeze of autumn

Happy autumn! 🙂

Swan symphony

This gorgeous swan couple had me engaged for a long time while walking along this beautiful canal in Bruges, Belgium. Their fascination for each other was so evidently palpable in their gestures and movements, that I really wanted to capture a moment between the two that I could take along with me as a happy memory.

I waited for about 15 minutes in anticipation of a sync of their long, slender and beautiful, though extremely swiftly turning necks. And finally, for a fraction of a second, I got this one. If you watch closely, the swan on the left is facing her front, while the swan on the right has his head twisted behind to pair up with his partner. But the elegance is such that it makes the difference less noticeable!

I love the symphony of elements in the image – the harmonious blend of the green landscape with the sweet exhibit of affection. It subtly stirs up feelings of being in unison with one’s partner, having a common direction of vision, hope and love. The feelings of being at peace.

Via Photo Challenge : All-time favorites

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Envious waters

The pink within

A Bollywood Bite

I grew up in the 90s, and akin to innumerable fellow Indians (may be wiser to say, females;)) belonging to my age group, I see myself completely enchanted by the romantic Bollywood of that era. A simple wandering thought of the 90s cinema brings to me vivid stills of the gorgeous Yashraj heroines – Sridevi, Juhi, Madhuri and Kajol, clad in chiffon sarees of plain bold colors, their beautifully ‘lehraata pallu‘, and their famous dance duets, which made every young heartbeat remain glued to the small screen. And then, like so many of us, my fascination for sarees grew organically looking at my mom getting dressed every day. There was no color, no fabric and no style that was missing from her wardrobe.

I absolutely do not endorse that Bollywood by any means is synonymous with the Yashraj style romance. It’s just that I loved this style to bits back then. And earlier this year, this admiration came effusively gushing out during a visit to Switzerland, which is considered to be one of the ambassadors of glamorous natural beauty. The strikingly spectacular rolling green pastures, the breathtaking Alps, colorful brush-stroked smiling and swaying flowers, and the quaintly lined Swiss chalets made for a perfect backdrop to live the Bollywood moments. Not to forget the ones so artistically created on-screen with the use of those quintessential flowy chiffons. ‘Tere mere hothon pe’ from Chandni and ‘Tujhe dekha toh’ from DDLJ are some of the pure classics of that era, that projected Swiss beauty in a way that swept our hearts away. If you’re still thinking why I recall these memories and paint such a delightful picture of this place, that’s because I was so charmed by the exquisite landscape that I couldn’t help but create some moments for myself!

fullsizerender 165fullsizerender 109fullsizerender 46When we arrived, it was S who watered this excitement in me every day, looking for suitable spots (read: with no one around to see him clicking) to capture my over-the-top drama. If you’ve watched ‘Shaadi ke side effects‘, you sure know how many jumbo points this act can drive home for the husband, despite the fact that I was asked to maintain a 50m distance from him throughout while being clad in a saree, so we are not spotted together.

 

Of course, this time I’m not complaining ;);)

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For me this was a subtle exhibit of a deep influence, unabashed love for 90s big screen, and a road to making new memories. The whole dramatic put-up turned out to be such a rejoicing, that I will revel in it for times to come. (And S would probably want to wipe it off his memory, like it never happened 😉 lol)

Much more than photography, I award him with countless ‘patience credits’! Feel free to redeem, dear 😉

With exquisite locations like these, Switzerland also makes for one of the most popular destination photography location and is quite popular among couples for their wedding photoshoot. I was overjoyed to see an Asian couple in their wedding attire creating some fond photo memories for themselves in such picturesque locations.

If this makes it to your ”fancy list” by any chance, I’d be glad to offer tips for shooting spots :);)

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A cup of Kenyan Kilimanjaro is all you need..

No sooner did we return from a meeting that prolonged, than my colleague Mr.C and I reached out for the jar that his mother had sent. It was time for a soul-stirring, mood-uplifting, senses-awakening drops of delight, yes, the coffee! Well, it’s hard to not pick up this ONE pleasure (read: addiction) living in Europe, and especially in Scandinavia. Well, you gotta find ways to keep yourself warm and kicking! A ‘coffee lovers group’ can possibly outnumber a ‘beer lovers group’ here. But hey, resist the urge to quote me anywhere, I referred to no statistics 😉

But what do we see here? Not even half a spoonful left! Blame it on the meetings that overstretch everyday. A sigh of exasperation and we made our way to succumb to the no- aroma, no-appeal coffee available in the cafeteria.

So what befitting can replace this empty jar now?  One of the popular supermarket chains in Sweden – Hemköp – had an answer. A casual trip to one of their stores revealed that they didn’t just have the normal packaged coffee, they had LARGE barrels full of fresh coffee beans, lined in disciplined rows, with products from different parts of the world! Those who love coffee might already begin to imagine the aromatic pull of that section. A coffee lovers’ haven I would call it.

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Among the Irish Cream, Indonesian Vanille, Ethiopisk Mocca, and several others, Kenya Kilimanjaro clearly won the battle of fragrance, and was the first one to be picked up. We have more varieties on our desks now, and I think trying them all sounds like a super fine ‘winter project’.

Now, what good are the coffee beans if you don’t have a grinder at home or your work place? Here’s where Hemköp scores big again. Two immensely user-friendly machines with clear instructions printed on the level of granularity to be chosen for different forms of coffee, the most common ones being espresso, filter coffee and boiled coffee, are installed in their stores for customers.

Isn’t it absolutely wonderful to be able to enjoy a cup of freshly ground coffee, whenever your heart desires?!

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Do you also like coffee? Will be glad to hear your experiences!

 

The breeze of autumn..

Gosh! It’s October already! Summer has slipped through the fingers, and harsh winter is pushing its pedals to make it here in no time. The thought of longer hours in darkness and cold may already have begun to send a chill to those in the northern hemisphere, especially the likes of us living in the far north, where a beautiful warm summer is no less than a guest of honor. And if you happened to trade your fortune in search of greater pleasures, a warm summer may sometimes remain an unfulfilled dream.

But to share honestly, while the climate has really cooled down here (you won’t go too wrong even if you imagine warm down jackets, hats and gloves on people), the shrinking daylight has not started to take away all the joys.  Even before we begin to mull and brood over the fact that earth has just revolved a bit more away from the sun, nature unwraps yet another of her gift and splashes the most gorgeous and warmest colors all around. And we all soak in the inexplicable exquisiteness of the changing portrait around us. The autumn is here, so rich and abundant in beauty. It’s not for nothing that we call nature our mother!

”She lays a crimson carpet of leaves,
that twirl with the slightest breeze,
Golden birches or maple reds,
All for us to cherish along
Before we snug in our cozy beds..”

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I must admit having lived in India for most of my life thus far, I never consciously gave a thought to the changing seasons. It is warm, rather hot, in India most part of the year, and living a city life usually obstructs your window to the greater secrets of nature. Most of the poetry I read as a student drew references to a warm sunny afternoon to create an atmosphere of joy and positivity, and I never quite understood why. People can really thrive in scorching climates, I used to think.

Setting foot in the life of Europe a few years ago, and especially in Sweden last year, I realized why I was so wrong. The answer was the same skin-deep principle – To appreciate something more, it has to be scarcely available to you.  For an Arctic country like Sweden, that experiences really long winter, and sometimes four seasons in a day – common ones being rain, snow, wind and hail, it is perfectly understandable what a ‘warm sunny afternoon’ can do to the spirits and strength of its people. My husband and I ( I prefer to call us S&S :-)) never imagined that we could jump in excitement over a 20°C weather forecast, but now we do! 🙂

Sharing some happy pictures of the happy season in Stockholm 🙂

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