Friday, 17 March 2017

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini the perfect Holiday Destination

Yes you read the title of my post right. There is no typo. Traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini in particular can be a memorable experience.
Ships have long been used to transport goods and people from one place to another. However in today's world luxury Cruises represent the epitome of luxury and comfort. I experienced this first hand when I got the opportunity to travel on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini.

To begin with it is a luxury cruise liner that can accommodate over 1500 passengers.
To make this journey comfortable they have a staff 1:2 ratio who manage the ship and look after the guests and keep the cruise liner in top shape.

Different people have different reasons to take a cruise and I found people from various nationalities and age groups.

There were families with children, young couples who had chosen this cruise as part of their Honeymoon and there were Senior Couples who were enjoying a leisurely life that SuperStar Gemini has to offer.
Life on the ship can be luxurious as well as rewarding. Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini offers a number of activities, food and entertainment options to its guests. I found the game of Bingo “Go for gold Jackpot Bingo” was not just easy to play but also quite rewarding as I witnessed quite a few guests walk away with winning the Bingo games .If you want to try your luck there is a full-fledged casino.
The best part is that I found that this cruise offered something for everyone. For those traveling with children there is a full-fledged activity center. It has a care taker and a large number of games and activities to keep the young ones productively occupied. It is an experience that every child should have for a positive Impact on their lives.

Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini Activity Centre

Apart from this there are regular activities like Cake Decorations ,Pizza Making,ice cream party ,paper art, Pajama Party and the list goes on and there are enough activities to keep the young ones not just occupied but they can also learn a new skill and enhance their knowledge about the ship and the world.
For the entire family there are game shows that the entire family can play, experience the Chinese Tea making demonstration or simply go to the deck and enjoy breathtaking view of Sunrise and Sunset.
For the honeymooners and the young couples there are plenty of opportunities to bond and spend quality time together. If you want to spend quality time with your loved ones then Star Cruise SuperStar Gemini is the place to be.

You could laze on the deck 11 breathe in that fresh air that is so refreshing.
Go for a Jog together on deck 7 or maybe request a song as the live band plays peppy music at various places and locations of the ship. One can request a song and if the band knows it then they eagerly play it for you. I heard beautiful Bollywood song renditions by the various artists on the ship.

The cruise lays a lot of emphasis on entertainment. So there are a number of shows lined up for you when you are on board.
These add to the charm of being on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini and without attending them the experience would never be complete.

Food: Star Cruise SuperStarGemini has a number of restaurants and places to eat and drink. They offer a wide range of cuisines to suit its various guests. They serve Indian , Chinese ,Asian  and Western Cuisines.
There is so much food with so much variety to suit each palate that one cannot possibly go hungry if one is looking in the right places. If you are a vegetarian or a Jain, do not get worried these meals are readily available.
I have listed the restaurants on board Star Cruise SuperStarGemini. These specialize in different kind of foods. The restaurants on board are of two type’s  all inclusive restaurants that one can go to and eat without paying anything extra. You can go and eat here and your meal cost is covered in the ticket. The restaurants not in the inclusive list are the ones that one can go eat and pay.
For each day you can check the list of inclusive restaurants in the Navigator which is the Navigation tool or map to follow the activities for the day on the ship. This is the daily sheet of paper delivered to you in in your cabin.
For the early risers there is Observatory Lounge/KTV on Deck 12 Fwd
Mariners on Deck 9 Mid offer International & Indian Cuisines (Pork and Lard Free)
Dynasty Deck 11 Aft
Bella Vista
Blue Lagoon is the 24 Hour Open restaurants
Taipan: Chinese and A La carte
Topsiders Bar : They offer some wonderful Wraps and Hotdogs

So when you are traveling on Star Cruises SuperStar Gemini be prepared for having a fantastic experience on board the ship.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Listen To Your Heart

From the moment our heart begins to beat, it becomes our constant companion for the rest of our lives. However we seldom take any care of the organ that beats for us 24X7.Little do we realize that all it takes is a few #ChhoteKadam to keep it up to 50% healthier.

When life gets busy, prioritizing your health is a must..
6 Common Unhealthy Eating Habits that come in the way of keeping our heart healthy are.
Eating in front of the TV or computer
Eating when you are stressed, depressed or in a rush
Dining out (especially late dining)
Going grocery shopping while you’re hungry
Not being cautious of servings and portion sizes
Rewarding yourself with food

We put our jobs and other related commitments first, rather than health. We need to understand that our health is a priority and if we do not keep ourselves healthy, then we won’t be able to enjoy with our family and keep up with work targets. Goals should be realistic and fit into your lifestyle.

Eating Better so that the heart stays healthier.
Try healthy substitutes.
Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter. Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt. Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying, instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk. Prepare vegetables, eat a balanced meal. Eating your veggies will ensure you get the nutrients you need and will help fill you up so you don’t overload on the foods your body needs less of, such as rolls, stuffing and pie.

Staying Active is a very important step to keep your heart healthy.
Increase physical activity. Go for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Play catch with your kids. Take just 40 minutes for yourself and go to the gym to release endorphin's your body needs to stay healthy. Keep stress to a minimum. Plan ahead  with time management. Focus on one thing at a time.
Taking  out time to relax. Get enough sleep. Quality of sleep can impact your hearts health. Life is a balancing act, but your health should always come first. Now is the time to build heart-healthy habits. That means living a healthy lifestyle, including eating healthy, getting lots of physical activity and a full night’s sleep. Long-term stress causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure that may damage the arterial walls. Learn helpful stress management techniques for you to reduce stress at work or to reduce stress at home in order to soothe your mind and body. These techniques include deep breathing exercises, daily meditation and finding time each day to do something you enjoy. Find physical activities you enjoy and stick with them. Jogging and yoga are great activities to keep you heart healthy. Regular heart screenings are important for maintaining a healthy heart.
Being Happy is also important for the well being of your heart.
Being Happy enhances the quality of you life and makes the heart healthier.
Just like food is a necessity in our life so is “Being Happy”
We must make an effort to stay in a happy state of mind. If we are happy then we are positive and this gives our immune system a boost. It increases our disease fighting capability.
Things that can do to be and remain happy are as follows.
List the things that give you happiness
It could reading, going out with friends, Playing a musical instrument, taking part in dramatics or theatre or any other activity that involves you positively and gives an outlet for your emotions to keep you happy.


 “I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji so it needs #ChhoteKadam Initiative

Hey is that not a phrase from a popular song? Yes it is but in a lot of ways our Heart needs to be taken care of like a child is taken care of by the parents.You need just three small steps or  #ChhoteKadam to make your heart 50% healthier.
Why do I say this?
Before I answer that let me tell you what does the heart do for you.
To begin with it starts beating for you even before you are born. It keeps pumping oxygen rich blood to every part of your body so that it can function properly.
It works even when you sleep.
Every time we are angry, excited,stressed, afraid on in a pressure situation the Adrenalin levels in our Blood rises and our heart begins to work that much harder.
In fact it works relentlessly throughout our lives and what do we give it?
1) We make it overworked by remaining stressed all the time.
When we are running the rat race of life running after dead lines and getting more stressed. Even being stuck in traffic jams adds to our stress levels and the brunt of all that is borne by our heart.
As our stress levels are high we are more stressed and our breathing gets shallow. Less oxygen gets into our system and we get feel tired and fatigued.
To top it we lead a sedentary lifestyle. We do not exercise and simply slump on to the couch and watch TV. To make things even worse instead of taking a healthy diet we gorge on junk food. Our regular and healthy hunger has taken a hit due to our craving for processed foods that are high in fats, sugars and are unhealthy for our bodies and heart. It is a vicious cycle. We are stressed so we just sit idle doing nothing .Then to feel better we fill our tummies with junk food that is neither good for our body nor our heart. It raises our LDL Cholesterol levels and all this leads to deposits in our arteries and thickening them this leads to hypertension and heart related complications. This increases our stress level further and the vicious cycle is repeated.

So the simplest thing that we can do is remain happy and cheerful.Happiness increases our positivity and our positive attitude leads to happiness.When we are happy our body functions better. Think of all those things or activities that give you happiness and make them an integral part of your daily routine. By doing so you are doing a great service to your heart. These activities can be like going out with your family on outings. Following a hobby. It can be anything that is close to your heart and gives you happiness.You may not be a great singer but still singing for yourself is a great therapy and keeps you happy.

Our body is a self repairing machine. The moment it finds the stress and strain levels going down the body's repair mechanism gets triggered. It boosts the bodies immunity system and prepares us better for a future stressful situation.

A very simple way to help our heart is a stress free brisk morning walk in the morning. The morning breeze is oxygen rich and refreshing and a walk in the park lowers our stress levels and puts us in a healthier frame of mind to face the day ahead. Going for a jog can do wonders for your health and the heart.
Do you know a long relaxing shower can be a great stress buster.
Spending time with a pet or pursuing a hobby or listening to soothing music can do wonders for your heart and health. A 20 minute daily exercise regime, yoga deep breathing and Pranayama are the must do things to take care of our hearts and health.

Eating healthy diets and at regular intervals goes a long way in helping our heart. Replace the processed foods and junk foods with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables, Pulses and other sources of protein like milk and dairy products can do wonders for our heart and health.

 The simple and basic #ChhoteKadam of "Stay Active" ,"Eat Better" and "Be Happy" are decisive steps in the direction of a healthy heart.

 “I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association with BlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Shop Till You Drop in Jaipur

Jaipur is a mix of the old and the new, traditional as well as modern. On one side there are the glitzy malls and on the other side the traditional bazaars where the locals as well as the tourist can shop till they drop.Here you would find plenty of traditional designs and ethnic color schemes.
My search for authentic Rajasthani designs and traditional leharia work led me to Bapu Bazaar Jaipur.

It is a market made with the traditional pink stones that gives Jaipur its name.
Standing at the entrance I wonder from where to  start shopping as the market is lined with shops selling all kinds of things from traditionally designed Saris for the women to finely crafted jackets for the men.
After comparing the rates and the designs I head towards a shop with the most exhaustive designs and very reasonable pricing.
I am here to buy a Sari for my mom and my second stop would be bangles and foot wear for my sister.
I begin to see the Sari's. Each one is more beautiful than the earlier one.
The shop keeper painstakingly shows, opens and displays each saree one after the other. Every time he does that a plethora of traditional designs and color combination flash before my eyes.
After every display He asks me if he should add the Sari to the shortlisted set of garments? So that I may make a final selection later on.

Now I find this to be a very difficult question to answer for each garment is like a piece of art vying for my attention and I am finding it increasingly difficult to pick one over the other.
I came to this shop with the idea of picking up one Sari but refusing so many beautiful garments is going to be a very difficult task. The Shopkeeper is very patient and helps me go through the short listed set of Sarees . The list has come down to over 25 Sarees. I must admit it has been a brutal decision to pick these and leave the others out .
This shop has a very fine collection of garments. I take a break and look around. They have bed sheets and spreads. Children's garments and traditional suits for ladies
Then my eyes got fixed on a beautiful Lehnga  and I begin to think this would be perfect for my sister.
The choice of Lehnghas are fit for a princess or perhaps a new bride.

 After this refreshing break I get back to work that is to reduce my set of selected sarees further down. I try very hard and trim my selection down to 10.
I do not have the heart or the energy to further reduce the number of sarees so instead of one I ended up buying ten !
I try to reason with my self that one does not come to Jaipur every day and  this wide collection of garments would be hard to find elsewhere.
Since the quality is good and the prices are reasonable I have every reason to complete the purchase.
Before I make the final purchase and leave my eyes get fixed on a traditional bright jacket . Though bright red is not my color and I have never tried it but what is the harm in trying it?
So I give it a try and Hey ! I seem to like it
So it gets added to my list of purchased items.
I ask the shopkeeper where can I find traditional  bangles for my sister and luckily the shop just adjutant to his sells all kinds of bangles.

That is not all a guy is selling the traditional foot wear as well.
Shopping for footwear completes my shopping for the day.
Before I leave I have to note the shopkeepers address so that on my next visit to Jaipur I can do some more shopping.
I can vouch for the designs and pricing. As for the quality the sarees after several uses and regular washing and dry-cleaning are going strong so are certainly made up of high quality material
This is a must visit shop in Bapu Bazaar and within its compound one can get ample variety of not just garments but also bangles and foot wear .

Sunday, 28 August 2016

The dream catchers

The dream catchers

From the past few days I was getting these weird dreams. I would find myself in these strange places invariably at night and then floating dark shadows would surround me.
They would hover around me and make strange sounds. They never had anything much in terms of a face but only red or bright yellow eyes.
Their mere presence scared me and I would wake up next morning feeling tired and drained.
I tried getting help. My doctor prescribed me medication but it did not help.
I even consulted a psychiatrist but even that did not seem to help.
It had started some 15 days back and in these past 15 days the experiences of my dreams had turned my life upside down…..

Dreading the fall of night

It was evening time and I was dreading the fall of night. Maybe I should go away for a couple of days or try not to fall asleep maybe that would help. The clock was ticking away and I was afraid that at some point my eyes would begin to droop despite the innumerable cups of black coffee that I had gulped down. Sleep would still conquer me and open the doors to the dark shadows that would feast on my peace and energy and drain me of all strength. Then suddenly the doorbell rang….

Neighbors had come a visiting
It was evening and I was not expecting anyone. Who could it be? I wondered. Even before I could gather myself and go to open the door the bell rang for a second time.
I opened the door and found my next door neighbor standing there. They were an elderly couple and that is all I knew about them. Even though we had been neighbors for a number of years I hardly knew them. Once in a while I would notice them entering or exiting their property in their old gray colored station wagon but that is all I knew of them. Other neighbors gossiped about them that even the oldest of the neighbors had seen them since childhood yet they had not aged beyond a point. I thought that beyond a point your age cannot make you look any older. How old and shriveled can you look?
So I dismissed the rumors about the childless couple as mere myth.
I was lost in my thoughts and did not even ask them in. Suddenly the words “Having trouble sleeping at night lately?” jolted me. I noticed that the old lady spoke in a rather soft voice. It is now that I noticed that they were both dressed in black. Before I could answer or ask them in both of them brushed past me and entered my living room.
They glanced at my living room and this time the old man spoke. “Being bothered by dark shadows?”
I was perplexed as to how could these total strangers know about my predicament?
Before I could answer the old lady picked up a slip of paper and scribbled something on it and handed it to me.
“Go there” and give the slip to them and your troubles would be taken care of.
I must have looked really perplexed listening to all this.
Before I could say anything the old gentleman patted my shoulder reassuringly and spoke “You know, when you let the chimney left open and unattended these things can happen”
Not knowing what to say I nodded in the affirmative.
The old couple left just as quickly they had come.
Chimney what chimney a voice in my head spoke? My house had none.
I was confused and looked at the paper…..

The Piece of paper has an address of a place that was some 10 Km’s away and below it was some gibberish which I could not understand or comprehend let alone read it. I raised my head as I wanted to ask them what was written on the paper below the address. Before I could even ask the couple walked past me and exited my living room just as unceremoniously as they had come. My question was still unanswered. Then just as they stepped out of the main door the elderly gentleman turned back and there a was a faint smile on his wrinkled face and he said “Do not worry Give the slip to the person whom you find at that address and he would know what to do”
The word he would know what to do brought some relief and the fact that the elderly gentleman had mentioned “He” made me believe that I was going to meet a guy.

Time for a Quick Trip
I hurriedly got dressed and clutched the paper in my hand as I did not want to lose it at any cost. It is said that desperate times call for desperate measures and I was indeed facing a desperate situation. Having no hope I was holding the piece of paper that appeared so dear to me. I realized that I was nervous and sweating when I found the piece of paper that I was holding getting wet.
Not wanting to lose it I safely put it in my top pocket of my bush-shirt close to my heart!
It was the beginning of November and partly chilly yet I was sweating partly due to anxiety and partly due to the excitement of finding a solution to my problems.
My stressed and energy sapped body has found a new found energy as I headed towards the required address.

Getting around a strange Place
Looking back I remember getting of a Tram! A tram a voice in my head spoke since when has a Tram service started? It once plied but that was over 50 years ago! My mind tried to reason that perhaps as  I got relaxed so the combined effect of all that caffeine and the alprazolam were kicking in.

I had read in med school that Alprazolam binds to stereospecific benzodiazepine receptors on the postsynaptic GABA neuron at several sites within the CNS (central Nervous System), including the limbic system, reticular formation.
What it meant was something that I was experiencing right now. However I was not dizzy and there were no side effects of Alprazolam.
I quizzed myself as to what is the date today and I quickly answered it Nov 19th
I looked at my wrist watch and the fluorescent date dial glowed with the date 19th Nov.
Second question what is so the most awaited occasion in November?
I answered 20th is my parents wedding anniversary. Bingo that is correct
I stood on one foot without losing balance I was not dizzy.
I touched all my fingertips one by one as I counted to check if my brain was fully functional
Momentarily I even stopped at a shop with a large display window in which I could see my reflection I raised both hands pulled out my tongue and rolled it from side to side a test to check if a person is suffering from stroke. I passed even this test. I moved on till I found myself standing at the entrance of lanes and by lanes with hardly any markings or numbers.
I pulled out the paper and asked a shopkeeper for directions. He looked very suspiciously towards me before guiding me to go into the next lane.
The lane was dusty and there was little that could be called as a road. I marched on with full pace as I wanted to reached there before the closing time.

Alas! I am late
When I reached the required destination I found an old Chinese curios shop. Through its glass pane I could see stamps, lamps, old urns and all sorts of lucky charms.
The main door was closed and there was a temple like bell with intricate work on the entrance.
 The door was closed when I tried to enter. I thought of leaving but then I saw some light filtering out from the bottom of the door. Hesitantly I rang the bell. There was no response I tried one more time and stepped back disappointed. I thought of walking away. Then the window above the shop opened and there appeared the face of an old Chinese lady. She questioningly asked me “What do you want”.
By now I was completely drained,my mouth was parched and I could hardly speak. I showed her the piece of paper and all I could speak was “Help”

The lady stepped back without saying a word. The window closed once again. Even though she never said anything I waited perhaps something told me that the door to the shop would open for me.

The door opens
As I waited the door finally opened and I found myself face to face with a very old Chinese gentleman. He gave me way and I stepped in. Even though the shop was of a decent size it was packed with all sorts of items from scrolls to wooden sticks with symbols carved on it. I felt mesmerized with all this mystical stuff .I quietly followed him till he led me to the remote part of the shop. There was hardly any exchange of words and when he made eye contact with me I just passed on the slip of paper to him.
He cleaned his round spectacles before putting them on and then he began to read. “For how many days has this been happening?” He asked?
“About fifteen days” I replied.
He went inside to another room and what he brought out was quite unexpected.
It was a large brass cage and inside was a bird that looked like a large parakeet.
I am not much into pets and do not have the time to look after them so I was not keen to buy something I did not need.
I tried to make small talk. “So is this a Parakeet?” I asked
No and I agreed I was far more colorful then had every possible color in its feathers.
It is a bird from another land “Do not bother about its name. It can help you” He said.
He continued “You should keep this with you for a few days and then bring THIS THING back”
I was not sure why he referred to it as “THIS THING” so forcefully but the thought that this purchase would come with a buy back option came as a great relief.
He instructed me that every day I should take out a portion of my food and feed the bird that food and never feed the bird after mid night. When I heard that I remembered the movie Gremlins and the ill effects of feeding the bird at night. He gave me a ceramic urn with some holy water. The water was drinking water for the bird and it was also to be sprinkled around my bed.
The bird’s cage was to be kept by my bedside.
I asked him how much I was to pay him for the bird as it seemed a rare exotic bird. I was expecting to hear a hefty price. I was not carrying much cash but the credit card was in my wallet and I hoped that this guy would have a credit card swipe machine.
You came for help and that is what you are getting. Get well soon and take care. Come back when everything is normal again.
Before I left he said. “Sleep Well Tonight there would be no visitors tonight. The real work would begin tomorrow”.
These lines were reassuring as I headed back home.

The Help is beginning to work
I followed all the instructions and almost after 15 days I slept well undisturbed without any dreams.
Next morning I felt much better and I fed the bird as instructed.
Next night I had a dream in which I saw myself sleeping in my room and those black shadows coming in through what appeared to be a large chimney.
They got close to me but then I heard sharp shrieking sounds of the bird. Terrified by the shrieks of the birds the shadows scooted and disappeared.
Next day when I got up I was feeling better but the bird seemed very quiet.
The same sequence continued for the next 3 nights. I was getting better but the bird was getting weaker and it began to remain very quiet.
Day four
When I got up the bird was very weak and I got worried for it. I fed it and gave it the holy water to drink this made it look better. Then the doorbell rang and at the door was a courier boy with a packet for me. I signed the receipt and took the packet. Inside was a pack of nuts and a note which read
Feed these nuts to the bird all of them and get ready for the final battle.
When I took the pack of nuts to the bird there was a strange reaction from its side at that point I could not comprehend what it was trying to convey was it excited, scared or getting battle ready. I simply failed to decipher anything.

As if it had read the note, it ate all the nuts right to the last one. In the evening when I put its food into the cage it gently approached my hand and rubbed the smooth tip of its beak onto my finger. It was an action that conveyed a lot of solidarity. I felt a bond between me and the bird. It was no longer a pet but a friend who was fighting my battle for me. I did not want any harm to come to it and I do not know what prompted me that I reached my neck and untangled the black string which had two identical talismans that my mother had given me. I removed one and with the help of a piece of thread put it around the neck of the bird. It did not resist my move. Now we both had the protection of the talisman’s that my mother had given me.

It is time to sleep
I was awake till almost midnight sitting by the cage and the bird chirped a few times and took small sips of water it had consumed almost 3 times the daily dosage of water. Maybe it was building up on its strength. I do not know when I fell asleep. Then the familiar dream or shall I say nightmare occurred with the black shadows entering through a chimney in the roof of my room.
This time something was different about my dream. This time the number of shadows was a lot more. As I tried to call for help the bird began to shriek and this time the shadows attacked the bird in the cage as well. The bird was shrieking and its cage was shaking violently as a result it fell on the ground and the bird escaped. The bird flew out and spread its wings and for the first time I realized how beautiful it was. But that appreciation of beauty lasted hardly for a moment and then began a violent battle between the bird and the black shadows. Initially the bird was strong but it was being outnumbered by the black shadows. The battle was getting long drawn and I do not know what was causing it but the things in my room being my bed or the heavy almirah were levitating. For a moment the bird appeared to become weak just then it dodged its attackers and reached for the floor where the holy water was kept in an open metal pan. It drank it and flew high. This time it had grown sharp dragon like teeth and it spewed fire. I am sure if Darwin had seen this site then it would have classified it as a dragon and not as a bird.
Just as I thought the bird was going to win the battle more black shadows entered the room through the chimney and attacked it with venom. They bit its wings and the whole room was covered with its multicolored wings, it was a gory site. It tried to escape its clutches and reach out for the holy water. However this time the dark shadows were far too strong. It looked at me helplessly I felt numb but still tried to gather my strength and reached out for the ceramic vase  that lay on the ground with its lid open and all the holy water dripping away. I felt guilty for not protecting the source of strength of my savior.
Still I reached out for the urn and surprisingly there was a spoonful of holy water inside. I took it in my hand and threw it in the direction of the bird. It opened its mouth wide I call it a mouth and not a beak because it did not resemble anything like a beak. From its mouth came out a long forked tongue like that of a rattle snake with which it collected every drop of holy water thrown at it.
For a fraction of a second we made eye contact and then it gathered all its strength and pulled itself out of the chimney reversing the path taken by the black shadows.
As the black shadows were clinging to it they too were pulled out of the room through the chimney.
I was scared but still tried to look up through the chimney through which some light was coming in. Then I saw the familiar image of the bird one more time at the edge of the chimney. Then it closed the lid of the chimney with its beak and heard the sound of a latch. The bird had closed the chimney and put a latch.
Next day when I woke up I was surprised to find my room in an orderly condition. I was relieved that it was only a nightmare. Then my sight fell on the bird’s cage and my heart skipped a beat. The door to the cage was open and the bird was nowhere in sight. The going away of the bird seemed as a personal loss. I had lost a friend a companion. 
I did not know what became of the bird was it killed or eaten by the dark shadows? These thoughts consumed me as I lay on my bed tossing and turning mourning the loss of my best friend.
So what would I return to the Chinese gentleman at the curios shop was another worry eating me?

Next day brings a New Sunrise
Next day I gathered myself and picked up the cage. Today I decided to drive to the destination as I headed to meet the Chinese gentleman. I parked my car at a parking lot and covered the empty cage with a cloth. I did not know as to how I would break the news that I had lost the precious bird. I am sure that he is going to get mad at me. These were some of the thoughts that occupied my mind but at the same time the loss of a close one seemed like a throbbing pain in my heart.
I reached the shop and rang the bell. The same old gentleman came out and escorted me inside. Once inside he asked me “So your troubles have left you?”
I nodded my head in the affirmative and tried to speak in almost a choking voice
I could not speak any further so I removed the cloth covering the cage and showed him the empty cage.
The old man’s expressions did not change nor did he reprimand me.
He just said thanks for bringing “THIS THING” back “and the bird” I asked?  Its journey got over and besides it has done its job. My heart sank hearing that? So did it die I wanted to ask.
“I will get someone to pick this up” he said and disappeared through a narrow doorway to another part of the shop.
I waited for him to come back as I had many unanswered questions. However instead of the old gentleman came out a young lad about my age. He was smiling at me and he shook hands with a lot of warmth. As he picked up the empty cage and turned to walk away. I saw a familiar sign on him.
I saw that same talisman being worn by him. I wanted to ask him but he did not seem to speak my language.
He soon disappeared from sight and it is now I realized that he had passed on a slip of paper while shaking hands.
It read
Whom you seek may have gone away
As going is part of coming
You may meet him
If you keep looking with
The eyes of your heart

I went back home and resumed my normal life. Time it is said is a great healer as it helps memories fade away but I did not want to lose the memories of the time spent with my dear friend
I sat on my desk penning down the occurring of the days gone by. I was overwhelmed with emotions and the pen slipped from my hand and rolled under the bed.
I bent down to pick it up and my hand touched something soft.
I realized it was the multicolored feather of the bird.
I sat on the desk examining it .It was multicolored and beautiful but its edges were soaked in dried blood. The sight of blood on the feather reminded me of the epic battle. I do not remember when but tears began to roll down my face and drenched the feather.
This did a strange thing to the feather it made the blood drenched part turn golden.
A cool breeze entered my room and along with its coolness it brought in a familiar sound of chirping.
It was the chirping of the same bird.
I tried to look out but could not find it but I was relieved that the bird was well wherever it was or in whatever form it was in.

I still hold the feather as a prized possession a reminder of a friend who would always remain dear to me.

 This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.’