Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year That Was

A pictorial journey through the year 2008.

The year started on a very pleasant note when we flew down on a sight seeing trip to south India in January 2008.

On board a low flight aircraft overlooking the nilgiri hills
Visited various places like Ooty, Mysore,


and Kanya Kumari -- seen below is the the southern most tip of Indian peninsula.

Celebrated twenty five years of our marriage in May 2008

Attended famous Durga Puja celebrations of Calcutta, (view of a Puja Pandal at College Street )

and idols of 'Ma Durga' and other gods and godesses inside the pandal.

Navratra festival --

Jeet treating the 'Kanya' (young girls ) on ashtami during 'Navratras'

'Navratras' were followed by 'Karva Chauth' -- a fast observed by ladies in devotion to their husbands. They wait for the moon to break their fast.

And there she came out after much wait, shining bright in the dark sky.

And my moon on the earth was all smiles as the wait ended.

Next was the festival of Diwali. Hustle and bustle of Diwali shopping in one of the Delhi markets

We all traveled to Shimla to celebrate Diwali there.
Dilraj, Mahak and Malvika with their nanny enjoying the swing at Shimla.

Romancing Jeet on the famous Ridge at Shimla

Shimla on the Diwali night.

And back to work at Calcutta

in the office and at home

Some days were bright

and some dull

and my regular friends kept me company, having their daily morning meal on my terrace.

The tragedy struck the country towards the end of the year.

Candle light tributes to those killed during Mumbai Carnage.

But life goes on. A song and dance programme held at a club in Calcutta to mark the year ending celebrations.

I will be failing in describing the journey through the year 2008 without mentioning about the blogger friends that i made during the year , though i have been blogging since 2005. Although i have not met any of them except Ashwani, who is my colleague, but i have already started feeling their presence in my life. The list of their blogs is :-
JP's randomthoughts
Pinku-Enchanted Life
Overdrive ... :)
A Quest.....!
The Life and Times of an Indian Home Maker
La Belle Dame Sansmerci
जाने भी दो यारो........
Shobhaa De
What we obtain too cheap, We esteem too lightly.
JP's philosphicalthoughts
A point and a view
Stand Up India
Leadership - My Experiences and Understanding
my space
ਕਾਗ਼ਜ਼ ਦੇ ਕੁਝ ਪੁਰਜ਼ੇ / Kaaghaz de Kujh Purzei
Gazal's Blogs

2008 also brought back a long lost friend Hari Sandhu from school days -- courtesy my blog.

Seen below is Hari Sandhu's picture of school days. I mailed it to him as a New Year's gift

I received an SMS on new year which i would like to share here.

"While 2008 was a great teacher, let us hope that 2009 will be a great healer".

And I wish you all a


J P Joshi said...

Hi Balvinder: You really had a wonderful year -Kanya Kumari to Simla, Kerala to Kolkata - really went round the country. Envy you. I remember writing somewhere on your blog that you have motivated me to do this trip - it will be done in 2009, God willing. Beautiful pictures and captions. Is Karela on purpose, or typo? God bless and very happy and prosperous new year to you and yours.

Usha Pisharody said...

This is really a lovely tour by pics... of a year gone by. Nice captions too!

And I hope that 2009 will be just as special too! Warmest wishes to you and your family!

Balvinder Singh said...

Thanks Joshi, yes the journey around the south Indian states was enchanting. Please go ahead with your tour because this is the right season. Yes Karela (Kerala) was a typo , have corrected it. Hve added some more details after your visit. can have a relook.

Usha, thanks for the compliments. And thank you for the wishes for 2009. Have another look at my post as i hv added some more pics and text.

Indian Home Maker said...

This was a lovely post!!! And you had a great year ... loved the pictures, and I loved the message at he end .. let's all hope that the lessons learnt in 2008 are never forgotten and that 2009 heals.

Aapko aur aapke parivaar ko naye saal ki haardik shubhkamnayein :)

Mampi said...

Beautiful wrap up,
Thanks for your wishes.
I wish the same for you and your family.. Hope life becomes even better in the coming year.

Usha Pisharody said...

Oh that is lovely addition to the post :) Thank you once again for the honour and the affection bestowed through it :)

Indeed, one of the high points of life this past year has been the number of persons one has been touched by through their words in blogosphere!

Beautiful way to close the post too!

Pinku said...


Your post was a mini Bharat darshan...not just geographically but also through the festivals.

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful year ahead...

It is truly great to know you. :)

Renu said...

Very nice way of capturing the whole year:), And the ridge at Shimla...I havent seen it:(, this is one place on my list for a long time, but due to settling down in south,it has become mighty difficult.
Thanks for the wishes and i wish u the same, hope this year brings happiness in abundance for everyone !

Balvinder Singh said...

IHM thank you, aapka Nav Varsh bhi shubh aur mangalmaya ho

Manpreet thanks, yes lets wish that the sanity prevails during 2009

Usha, thank you once again. I had left out the important part before so asked u to come again.

Yes Pinku, in fact India's diversity can not be expressed by words alone so i chose pictures. Thanks for the wishes and compliments.

Renu, it is sad that you have not seen Shimla, the queen of hills. In fact i will be writing more about it in my forthcoming posts which includes a tag by you (about earliest memories, i was born and brought up at Shimla)

Reflections said...

U really had an eventful year:-D.... Nice pics!!!!!!

And thank U for the special mention in ur blog....very happy to have met U in our blogworld.

Wishing U a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

J P Joshi said...

Agree with you and also pray and wish that 2009 is a great healer.

Thank you for the honour of beinh called a blog friend. The blog world is a curious place, and like you said, you donot meet but your presence is felt.

Happy blogging.

Renu said...

Actually with my H working in private co.s, leave was always a problem and still is:(
Once we had all our reservations done evn, but then leave got cancelled, and the time nevr came again:( That time my Mausi was living in Solan.

Balvinder Singh said...

Nancy thanks for the compliments. Same here, it is nice knowing you.

Joshi, thanks once again.

Renu, that's sad but try again and go little further when you visit Lucknow or some other place in the north.

my space said...

Hi Balvinder..Happy New Year to you too...wish you n your family a peaceful and joyful 2009..
I loved the way you chronicled the year..beautiful pics.. Jeet would be thrilled to read romantic mush like..."my moon on earth ;-)".

Yeah I had been out of action..lost my mil ..that was very depressing...then had exams -m doing MPhil..
But I hope to see you all lots more this year..and thanks for listing me as your friend..

How do we know said...

Wonderful! Happy New year to you! Great post!

hitch writer said...

Whew seems you had quite an eventful year, from kanyakumari to shimla to kerala !!!

Hope 2009 is even better..

yes even i hope 2009 will be a healer !!

thanks for educating on the kiyangs !! incase you want to see mroe pics of ladakh and re-kindle ur memory here is our album :

cheers !!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Dear Mr Singh

Thanks very much for visiting my space and leaving me with a very encouraging comment which is very appreciative.

I'm glad that the year that was, was indeed good for you and your family and hope and wish that this year brings you the very best!

Warm Regards and Wishes!


Balvinder Singh said...

Arti, sad to hear about the demise of your MIL. May her soul rest in peace. Yes hope to see more of blogger friends in the new year. No Jeet does not read my blog.So i have to keep giving her such romantic punches verbally.

Hitch writer, thanks for the link. the pictures are too good. I will post some Ladakh pics on my blog. In fact they were clicked in early eighties. So have to scan them first

Rakesh you are welcome and thanks for the wishes.

Keep in touch

Inexplicably said...

Happy new year B !

Thanks for acknowledging me as your friend - I reciprocate heartily !

Lovely pics - may the happiness in yr family pics last many lifetimes.

Balvinder Singh said...

Gurpreet, long time no see. Thanks for the wishes. Keep in touch.