“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.”

- George Bernard Shaw

My earliest fondest memories of a garden are from some twenty years ago. This garden, next to a nondescript one-bedroom house in a College staff quarters, was the result of its owner’s relentless hard work, proudly ramped up the aesthetic quotient of its otherwise grey surroundings, and ultimately came to be the neighbour’s pride. Maintaining the garden wasn’t easy, but in fact, painstaking work. Just the act of watering all the plants and trees each day would take at least an hour. In-depth knowledge of the individual growing patterns, flowering seasons, watering and manuring needs were critical and required thorough planning and thought. It needed extensive care and hands-on maintenance that was not just time-consuming but also required the owners, my parents, to be vigilant and attentive.

"No!" Aisha giggled. Mark checked his speed-o-meter again. "No? You sure?" He asked her, sticking his tongue out even more. "Daddy, noooo." Aisha giggled again. "Still no doggy," she said, flapping the large ragged doll in her hands for emphasis. "Okay, No." He laughed. "What about a horse?" Checking the rear-view mirror, he cautiously overtook the slow trailer in front of him. She watched as they sped past the trailer. She stood on her knees and looked at it through the rear windscreen as it got smaller and smaller, finally disappearing completely.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
They say travel teaches you more than anything else can. I have known this to be true and personally enjoy travelling. The experiences that it offers and the learnings it imparts are unmatched and cannot be compensated for by reading. This belief was reiterated and reinforced on my short trip to Sikkim, a small state on the north-eastern corner of the country. For someone who loves travelling so much, I rue the fact that I am not able to travel frequently enough due to budget constraints. So despite my recent travels to Pune, Mumbai and Alibaug , I was looking forward to another trip already. This one was a family vacation and so our dates and duration were decided in accordance with the availability of leaves my parents could avail from work.