Making Memories

October is on its way out and how rewarding it has been!

I began the month at the gorgeous Guleria Kothi in Varanasi in the company of 14 wonderful bloggers/vloggers. If you follow me on social media you couldn’t have missed the deluge of my posts but bear with me please because I cannot let the memory go just yet.

Early this year as part of my make-myself-dispensable-to-the-children campaign I signed up for a bloggers’ retreat organised by Blogchatter, a wonderful blogging group I keep finding myself going back to.

The biggest plus was that Varanasi was just five hours away from Lucknow and I could drive over and spend the week with my parents.

As the day drew closer, doubts started to creep in.

  • It would my first solo trip.
  • I had no clue what one was supposed to do at a writing retreat, specially since I had no writing project in mind.
  • I wondered what I would do with a group of strangers, people I knew only vaguely through their writings, most of them not even that.
  • Also, I would be sharing a room after decades!
  • And then there was my old familiar foe — travel anxiety.

Let me not take you through all the whining and complaining I indulged in. Let it suffice to say that by the end of it, I had built myself into such a state that had it been possible I would have got a refund and stayed home.

Fortunately, that option was closed and I found myself on the flight, hopping from Pune to Delhi to Varanasi.

As it turned out I had an experience I shall remember for a long long time. It’s amazing how one could feel so comfortable, how I could feel so comfortable, with people I barely knew. I, who have come away with a headache from many social situations despite having had a good time. 

I loved the instant easy camaraderie, the lack of self-consciousness, the insignificance of pleasantries, the utter irrelevance of being anyone else than just me. It felt good.

It was like finding my kind of people, even though everyone was so very different.

We listened to stories, sketched and painted, learnt to make pot-pourrie but most of all, we talked and talked and laughed at silly things and connected in the warmest way possible.

There was lots of dressing up and picture-clicking, as expected in the company of vloggers and Insta-savvy bloggers. And I found myself wanting to save up the memories too. I loved how much thought and effort, expertise and enthusiasm the girls put into their pictures. It’s a skill, I realised.

A lot has been said about the obsession with pictures and that one should be in the moment and enjoy it and I agree wholeheartedly. However, when we got back and I was asked for a selfie for a group video the team was making, I realised I hadn’t clicked a single selfie, not one!

Although I love taking pictures I take barely any of myself. I miss that sometimes. I miss seeing myself in the memories, I miss seeing myself with the children and with friends.

That’s something I need to set right.

Last weekend I went for a lit fest with a friend (also part of the make-myself-dispensable-to-the-children campaign). The venue was a book-lovers delight and we had the most fun posing and laughing at ourselves and clicking away happily. 

I cannot believe it could be so much fun :-).

I totally recommend clicking lots of pictures of yourself as a way of getting more comfortable in your skin. Of course, you need to make only the good ones public, but the others are a great way to laugh at yourself.

Leaving you with one of mine at the Litfest, a good one, of course.

PS: Since I got back, I raved so much about Varanasi that my mom is now planning a trip.

2 Replies to “Making Memories”

  1. Sounds so much fun, Tulika. I am happy to know that you decided against your travel anxiety and joined the team in Varanasi. But I understand that anxiety you went through. When I meet up with a parent of my kids’ friends for a playdate for the kids, I get into this anxiety. I don’t even know for what. And every singe time I had a good time.
    I like the sound of make-myself-dispensable-to-the-children campaign. I am going to plan a few for myself. Thank you for this, Tulika.
    And of course, you look fab in the good photo. 🙂

  2. Love your pic! Let’s ‘see’ you more often! And good for you on the Varanasi trip. God willing it’s the first of many!

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