She is mine!

So this time around my ramblings are not about Mumbai, the rains or the current craze – period. Its about her. She stands tall amongst her peers, dressed  in a black little dress with some beautiful frills at the end. She is from the Europe and travelled miles to be with me in Mumbai. She is my umbrella !

A couple of months ago, when the company that I work for decided to send me for training to Spain (Seville). I did my usual research on the internet about the climate during my visit, the necessary things that I should be carrying etc. Google did help me out with a lot of information but it forgot to let me know that it rains or rather drizzles in Seville during the said period and that I should be carrying an umbrella. I have no grudge against Google since I would have never had her, if I knew about the rains since I would have carried an umbrella from India.

So on the first day of office at Seville, dressed in a white crisp shirt and a nice formal skirt I set off to the office which is about 15 minutes’ walk from the flat where I stayed. The climate was cold but I loved it after the heat that I was enduring in Mumbai. The day went well. On my way back as I was enjoying the sights around, it began to drizzle. Confused with the climate change and partly angry with Google for not letting me know of the rains, I took shelter at a coffee shop. I definitely did not want to wet my new white shirt and more importantly fall sick.

After some time I set off to find a shop where I can buy an umbrella. I was disappointed to know that the only shopping market I knew of did not have umbrellas. Tired, exhausted and drained of (a) walking (b) trying to explain that I need an umbrella in broken Spanish I ended up at a medical store. Out of desperation I asked the lady at the medical store if she sells umbrella. Though surprised, she gladly pointed out to a tiny shop across the street and indicated that I will get an umbrella at that shop. Thanking her profusely (‘muchas gracias’ – hundred times!!), I set off to the said shop. And behold my eyes fell on her – the minute I stepped into the shop. I did not ask for any other options. Within a few minutes she was mine!

She helped me through the rains in her hometown. At the end of the training, as I was packing my bag, I was sure she shall travel back with me to India even if I had to leave many other things behind. And so she travelled back with me from Seville – Madrid – Dubai – Mumbai tagged as ‘fragile items’ so that she is well taken care of. But as I was reunited with her at the baggage counter at Mumbai I realized that she has suffered some injuries like a little bent. Nevertheless I was happy that she was with me.

In Mumbai she was safely tucked inside the cupboard until rains began. Now with the onset of rains, she is my constant companion wherever I go.Her beauty has been appreciated by many. I forgot her in a Meru cab a month before. I tried my level best to hide my disappoint of loosing her since I was with someone.  Thankfully the driver took pains to come back and return the umbrella.The other day as I was walking up the stairs in the train station she slipped off my hand and had a very bad fall. Thanks to the stranger who saved her from more injuries. She is with me despite all the trouble and she is safe.

She shall definitely remain with me through the monsoons and I hope to use her for the coming monsoons as well.

I believe in not having any attachments to materialistic things. Guess she is an exception to it! After all, she is mine!

Seville como yo lo veo!- Interesting sights! – (XVI)

3.p.m (Spain), December 2, 2012 , Seville

I wrote this sitting in the airport. Posting it today. This may be one of my last blogs on the trip!

As I was walking through the Seville Airport on my way back  I saw a number of hoardings which read as follows:

If you have not seen the Opera in Seville you must come back!

If you haven’t seen the holy week in Seville you must come back!

If you haven’t seen the Christmas in Seville you must come back!

If you haven’t seen the April Fair you must come back!

If you loved the city you must come back!

More than one reason why I should come back!!!!

However for now, before the trip ends some more interesting sights in no specific order:

A. Alcazar:When one speaks of the Cathedral of Seville, the Spanish “Reales Alcázares de Sevilla” or “Royal Alcazars of Seville” must never be forgotten. It is a beautiful piece of architecture and the Alcazar along with the Cathedral create an atmosphere so royal that just walking through the alleys makes you feel like a princess.

Wikepedia tells me that: “The Alcázar of Seville is a royal palace in Seville, Spain, originally a Moorish fort. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe, and it was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, along with the Seville Cathedral and the General Archive of the Indies.”

I am not going to delve too much into the history behind it. However some of the frames that caught my attention as I  walked through this castle:

Lamps:Most of the pictures of the lamps that I have uploaded in my earlier post is from the Acazar.However is so beautiful and royal that it deserves another look!

Lamp 1The architecture: The intricate designs on the walls and the doors are hard to ignore.

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The Baths of Dona Maria De Padilla: Legend holds that Maria De Padilla, Peter l’s Mistress asked the king to use it for her personal use. In the 16th Century it used to be completely open to the sky and received a lot of sunlight . However the works carried out after the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 resulted in the present state. Not that it is any less beautiful!

I think the sheer vastness, eeriness of the bath and the fact that it was built for someone just  for her personal use made it more intriguing for me.

BathGardens: The place has number of amazingly beautiful gardens which is very different from each other in the way it is maintained. Peaceful and serene –one can spend a whole day enjoying the beauty of the nature.

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Painting: Every bit of this place has been done with so much of detailing that even the steps that you take are masterpieces in it self.

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B. The Giralda: Though it forms a part of the Cathedral of Seville it needs a specific mention because of the view of the town that it gives. One of the most beautiful sights ever.

Giralda

C.  Across the Sevilla riverfront on a Sunday evening: A very quiet part of the town, where you get to see elderly couple taking the evening walks, young couples out with their babies, people relaxing and reading after a hectic week.Was there for a bit and got some beautiful frames on the camera. Though the lamps still form a high light of the picture , I couldn’t help posting this for the sheer beauty of the sunset.

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D. General : It did look interesting and pleasing to the eyes.

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E. Road side shows: On weekends some very interesting and eye catching shows happen on the streets in and around the Cathedral of Seville. It is mainly intended to capture the attention of the children but from what I saw the people across all ages enjoyed the show!

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I have seen similar ones in London on the banks of River Thames, but these seemed to be more fun and interactive!

 

F.   Cinderella and her carriage – Prince Charming and the glass shoes are missing though ! : This is one of the most lovely sites in the city – just outside the  Cathedral of Seville. I may not have been able to capture the beauty in all its splendour  due to my not so great photographic  skills.

A beautiful ancient church in the background, men in suits ready to take you on the horse driven carriage across the cobbled streets of Seville. Straight out of a fairy tale!

I also managed to get a glimpse of a wedding happening at the cathedral. The bride along with her bridesmaids walking down the aisle was indeed worth the watch. I was so dumbstruck by the beauty and the royal look that I missed out on clicking a picture!

Talking of wedding – the various wedding gowns that I saw in the city did catch my attention. An earlier post of mine  captures a few of them.

The church, the palace, the horse driven carriages, the beautiful gowns – Cindrella and her story  seems to be a realty !

Cind Cind 2 Cin

Torre Del Oro :  Back to Wikipedia for a brief history of the monument. That as it may be the sheer size of the building and its location right beside the river front made it beautiful to look at. Wikepedia tells me that  the Torre del Oro (English: “Gold Tower”) is a dodecagonal military watchtower in Seville, southern Spain, built by the Almohad dynasty in order to control access to Seville via the Guadalquivir river.Constructed in the first third of the 13th century, the tower served as a prison during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the golden shine it projected on the river, due to its building materials (a mixture of mortar, lime and pressed hay).

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H. Narrow Streets so Seville:The cobbled narrow streets of Seville had been built for the horse driven carriages. Maintaining it that way and not allowing any vehicles into that part of the town has helped to maintain the charm of the place. I got lost innumerable number of times in these streets. I blamed my lack of sense of direction until one of my colleagues who live in the said area told me that despite of living there for so many years she still gets lost!

Cobbled streets

I: Random!
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Current craze – period

8.00 p.m , November 16, 2012 , Seville

Talking about my current craze –period – Fahadh Fazil, an exciting news I heard the other day. One of my close friends from college is a part of the film which has Fahadh as the lead actor- Annayum Rasoolum. My happiness knows no bounds!

It’s more like knowing from Facebook that he and I have a mutual friend  or knowing through Linkedin that you are   ’1 connection’ away from him! This just shows how much I am addicted to the internet and the social networking sites during the past one month!

In the passing I must mention that I have expressed to the close friend my interest in watching the premier show of the movie and may be getting to see a glimpse of him! Definitely not being selfish or taking advantage of the friendship 🙂 .

I have also started calling her my ‘best friend’ from a ‘close friend’. Just clarifying to those who might think otherwise – it was the flow of emotions and not with any particular agenda in mind :).

The close friend and her exciting  career graph calls for another post in itself. She is one of the most creative people I have come across.

I am keeping the thoughts about her for another post. Let’s see if the premier show ticket for  the movie works out :).

 

Seville como yo lo veo!- Sunday Evening ! – (XV)

Today evening  I was seated in one of these coffee shops drinking a cup of coffee and intently trying to figure out where I was–as per the map.

Across the bench was seated a very elderly couple (Grandpa/Grandma if I could call them so!) After watching me intently for about 15 minutes – the Granpa spoke up.

GP : “Lady, Do you like Sevilla?”

Me : “Oh yes. I do! It’s beautiful!!!” (I was very happy that he knew how to speak English! May be I could ask him a few directions!!)

GM: “Are you a Christian?”

Me: “Yes. I am!” (Double whammy! Even grandma knew English)

GM: “Did you go for the mass at the Cathedral?”

Me: “No. I visited the Cathedral. Did not attend the mass”

GM: “Ohh. Its wrong. You must go for the mass. You are a Christian.” (I was not so happy that she knew English).

GP: “Where are you from? What is your name?” (While Grandma was looking at me with displeasure – for not attending the mass).

Me: “I am from India and my name is Sarah!”.

GP: Beautiful!

Me: Wondering whether he attributed beauty to India, my name or me?! I did not ask him. Sometimes in life you have to take the credit 🙂

I did not wait for more conversations as Grandma seemed mighty unpleased with me for not attending the mass.

I took my cup of coffee, map and scooted from there in order to find another place to sit down and read the map. Oh! I hadn’t still figured out where I was as per the map .

Hyderabad Blues

1.a.m (Spain), November 23, 2012 , Seville

Evenings at Seville are usually spent doing nothing! By evenings I mean the time from 8.P.M to 11 P.M before I go to sleep. Yesterday as I was making good use of the high speed Wifi and watching some interesting interviews of my current craze (period) – Fahadh Fazil on You Tube, I came across some parts of this movie called Hyderabad Blues.

I recalled watching it a many years ago. It was one of my favourite movies at that point in time. I decided to watch the movie once again just to assess if I would still like the movie.

About the movie – The movie revolves around a south Indian NRI from Hyderabad who comes to India after 12 years. His parents and extended relatives are on a mission to find a ‘suitable’  Indian bride for him. He, on the other hand detests just about everything connected to India-  be it traditions, functions, rutuals, way of life. Life leads him to meet the leading lady who is a doctor, feminist to some extend and someone who believes in tradition and Indian values. The story then proceeds to narrate their different point of views on every subject, mutual attraction, love and lastly the inevitable – marriage!

I was a huge fan of Nagesh Kukunoor after watching this movie. And so did I like the heroine –Rajshri Nair.I find her very beautiful. Surprisingly google had nothing to tell about her. I intent to do more research on her movies. I felt she played her role to perfection and would love to see more of her movies.

Back to the movie – The movie is interesting because the dialogues, the narration, the cinematography are all kept very simple and normal. People, places and incidents look very real life except for the ending which need not have been so dramatic!

I also realized that choices in life don’t change so easily. I can still count this as one of my favourite movies.

Seville como yo lo veo!- María Luisa Park ! – (XIII)

In Mumbai, I live at Dadar West and that’s just a stone’s throw away from Shivaji Park Mumbai. I have also  lived for a year in central London having access to some of the beautiful parks around the city. Despite the same I have never taken keen interest in nature!

That as it may be, lack of company and boredom led me to this Park in Sevilla.History tells me that the Parque de María Luisa (María Luisa Park), is a monumental park built for the 1929  Word’s Fair held in Seville, the Exposición Ibero-Americana. Courtesy : Wikipedia .

Some interesting frames that I captured there!

Seville como yo lo veo! – Path to office – (V)

I walk to office every day. Quite unlike me. Though I can choose to take a bus – I prefer the walk. The bridge as seen in the picture has been built by the company I work for.A sense of ownership as I walk through it!

Reminds me of the Mattanchery Bridge  in Cochin, Kerala built by Gammon (my ex- employer). The last time I crossed the bridge , I experienced the same sense of ownership. Just leads me to think  does  Mr. Rajan (Chairman and Managing Director –Gammon India Limited) feel the same ?!

Seville como yo lo veo! – The View – (III)

The view: The apartment overlooks one of the most interesting part of any town – a junction. You get to see movement of vehicles, people! Feels beautiful to sit near the window with a cup of coffee, listen to good hindi music (‘paani da’ – being my current favourite) and watch the commotion through the glass window!

The view also reminds me of the CCD at M.G road, Cochin which also overlooks a junction. Remembering the times I have spent there with good friends!