Monday, 12 February 2007

And it rained....

Its raining! I mean...actually raining here, not just drizzling and its beautiful. Another of nature's wonders! The view from the window is nothing great as such but I love it nevertheless. I can see a tree in the distance and for some reason I seem to connect with it. I have seen it now for the past 3 months in various circumstances...when its bright & sunny, when its snowing heavily, when its just cloudy & gloomy and now when its raining heavily. I see that the tree looks the same in all these climates if seen alone but the moment you take in the climate in the background, you get a whole new picture every time.

When its cloudy, it seems to be sad; when its sunny, the branches seem to look up towards the sun; when its snowing the tree is totally covered & its as if the snow is a part of the tree. Now when its raining it just seems to be enjoying the downpour just as I would have if it wasn’t so cold outside!

Although right now, the tree has nothing but bare branches, it still looks beautiful to me and I am waiting for spring, (as I am sure the tree would be too) so that I get to see another beautiful aspect of nature's wonders!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

(Weather) it will rain or not!

Well, to continue with where I left last time, I will now try to describe the weather here in London. I think the title of the post says it all! It really is rainy throughout the year & you are never sure when its going to rain.

As usual I go comparing with the Bombay weather which I was used to & which was quite regular & routine. By that I mean you can define that it will be hot in some particular months, & rain during some specific months. I wont say Bombay has a winter season...:) Actually even here you can be pretty sure about the cold & when it is going to be pleasant or a little warmer. But the one thing that you can never predict is the rains. One minute it is bright & sunny and the next it starts drizzling. Oh...yes I wouldnt call them 'rains' here, as I am accustomed to the heavy rainfalls of Bombay where the whole city would get flooded inspite of the drainage system in place.So all you get in London is a drizzle..meaning you cant say its not raining but at the same time its nothing much. But it is bothersome nevertheless.

But the commendable part is the weather forecast system these guys have here. The BBC site gives out accurate forecast with the timing! And believe it or not it is correct almost always. So if I check the site for the forecast in the morning, I know that it is going to rain at about 2 in the afternoon & avoid going out at that time. If the site mentions that it is going to be sunny by 4 o'clock the same day, it does happen. For someone who is used to jokes targetting the meteorological Dept in India, this was an amazing discovery.

Then theres the cold....starting from September lasting till even March/April. The cold was at its peak when I first came here in December. So naturally I was hoping that I would get to see some snowfall (Not just hoping I was quite eager for it!).But apart from some stray flakes falling down in Dec end, there was nothing much. Finally got to see some substantial snow (not 'snowfall' but 'some snow', mind you) in the month of March, now thats when the cold is supposed to be subsiding!

Having lived in Delhi for more than 10 years, I didnt have much of a problem adjusting to the cold here. But yes getting ready to go out somewhere is really tedious what with all the 'gear' you have to don - sweater, jacket, hat, gloves, scarf, socks, shoes, the list goes on. Finally once you are ready, you almost feel like an astronaut going for a space mission!

Summer is the best time to be around here. The weather is warm & pleasant. There are flowers all around you. London has a lot of gardens & parks and July/Aug is the best time to visit them. They are all bursting with flowers of all imaginable colours, greenary all around and a general cheerful atmosphere. The best thing would be a walk along the river Thames in the evening. This is my favourite part of London anyway, even if it is biting cold! The next would be a cruise in the river...

I am now experiencing my second winter here in London and its no different from last year. We still havent seen any snow for this season and it rains anytime. Infact its a very cloudy dull day today & it has been drizzling since morning....typical British weather, they say.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

The 'Substantial' one!

I am back with what I called a 'substantial' post in my last post. Well, I gave it a lot of thought about what to write & then decided to go ahead with the things that I would have written if I had persued this Blog when I had first thought of it. That was last year when I had recently moved to London after my marriage and didnt have too much to do with my spare time. The blog didnt materialise & I ended up whiling away the time surfing the internet & god knows what.

I still remember the day we landed in Heathrow & were driving down towards the house. The city didnt seem very alien to me & I almost felt at home instantly. The roads, traffic etc seemed a lot like Bombay only without the chaos and the pollution. This was the first thing I noticed as it was already dark by then. In many ways I always tend to compare London with Bombay & find both the cities very similar to each other, ofcourse London is a little more refined as in it is more organised.

It has been more than a year for me here now, but I still see & think about the analogies between the two cities. For one, both the cities are home to a lot of diverse people. In Bombay you will find representatives from each state of the country. There are Gujratis, South Indians, Bengalis, Punjabis...practically everyone. Similarly in London you will find people of almost all Nationalities. Indians, Pakistanis, Polish, Americans, Germans, Chinese...again practically everyone.

Then theres the food. You can find almost all the international cuisines easily here in London as you would in Bombay (international as well as national). Then theres the public transport angle. The local trains, called the Tube here, are so similar to the local trains in Bombay or should I say it the other way..:) In more than one ways the Bombay local trains structure seems to have been built on the same model as is the Tube here. The first time that I went inside a station, I found the platform uncannily similar to the ones in Bombay, maybe cleaner, but nevertheless. But then there are some differences as well. The crowd for example. No its not at all lesser than Bombay, infact much more if thats possible. But the crowd behaviour is so mature & organised that you dont feel the stress of travelling as you would in Bombay. I still remember those days when I used to struggle to get into the train during peak hours & barely managed to hold on to a bar, handle or anything that I could get hold of till I reached Dadar from Ghatkopar. Because of that even that 15 minutes journey seemed like a big deal & was very tiring & exhausting. Repeating the same feat in the evening after you have worked the whole of the day was just a nightmare.

But here the crowd is more managed as the No of trains running is a lot more. Also there are a lot of 'Lines' as compared to only Central, Western & Harbour in Bombay. In Bombay if anyone enquired about how to reach a particular station, a regular train traveller will have the information on the tip of his tongue as to which train or line to take. But here even daily travellers have to carry a Tube map to get around because of the large No of lines (almost 15! within London itself & there are more lines for travelling to the counties) and also the stations.

Another point of difference is the timing. The Tube here is so accurate that the indicators actually have the time remaining for the train to arrive & it does arrive in that time. Compare this with Bombay where you are used to announcements such as 'Platform No 2 pe anewali Dombivili ke liye dheemi local anishchit kaal se deri se chal rahi hai' ! and you are left wondering if the train will even arrive & how will you get back home!

But the major difference between the two cities that I had to face was the climate! But more of that later....

Monday, 8 January 2007

Taking the first step....

No its not about my baby as a lot of people (who know that I am pregnant) would think, looking at the name of the post. Also they might wonder as to when the baby actually arrived! Well, to calm them down, the baby has not yet arrived, (there is quite sometime for that) & so its not about that.

Its about MY first step into the Blog world. I had been thinking of writing down my thoughts on a Blog for a long time now. I had even opened a couple of accounts but never actually got down to write anything. So what is it that triggerred this blog now? The credit goes to my friend Swaps (Swapna to those who dont know what she is called by most of her friends). I received an invitation to view her blog & reading that, shall I say, inspired me to actually write down something.

A few words of warning to all those who will read my Blog, now or in the future. I will be writing about anything & everything that comes to my mind. I will not even try to put down any categories right now because I know that sooner or later I will be exceeding those & writing about something way out of the range!

Another point is that the name of my Blog will remain what it is till the time I think I am still starting or till I figure out how to make changes to it on this site...:)

I will be back with something substantial in a short time, but for now I am happy that I atleast made a start, even if it is nothing but my random thoughts!