Doing that thing you do

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Hi all,

Hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Christmas season. The year has almost wrapped up & honestly I couldn’t be more thankful for that. I think I’m otherwise a kind person, so when I say 2018 has beaten the shit out of me, you should believe.

Anyway now that I’m glad it’s coming to an end, to keep some distracting thoughts away I started thinking about plans for the coming year. Not resolutions per se, but more like a bucket list. In the past I’ve attempted making a list of things I’d like to accomplish but I’ve somehow put it away after drafting 2-3 points. Maybe I should’ve tried after chugging some chilled beer, well it’s never too late!

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Bucket list for 2019:

– Visit Pondicherry in South India. I’m keen on exploring those French colonies on bicycles and seeing the beautiful Auroville ashram. I will be picky about whom I go with here because honestly I wanted to do a solo trip.

– Take up a new class. There are a couple of things that seem interesting but I need to figure how feasible it really is with my work timings. I’m thinking of contemporary dance, learning a musical instrument, or even attending a bar tending workshop.

– 2018 has damaged my hair (and me) and by the looks of it, it’s beyond repair. I’m thinking maybe Hair spa? Need to do a little research on how this works.

– Here’s a fact that I often use to get away from the marriage topic. I cannot cook. And that’s 100% true, I don’t know how to prepare a single dish from scratch, let alone an entire meal.  No plans of marriage for me, but it certainly wouldn’t harm to learn some easy to cook recipes.

– Commit to a charitable cause. It’s been on my mind for sometime now. I want to spend my time with the old & the lonely, with under privileged kids, with cancer patients. And I do not want it to be a Birthday or a Lenten or a Christmas deed. I want to definitely commit to this. If possible, I request you to add this to your bucket list too.

– A tattoo. For close to 2 years, I’ve pushed the thought away. But maybe the tattoo was destined to happen in 2019. Hint : It will have a musical sign for sure.

– Take mom on a holiday, whether domestic or International doesn’t matter, but a nice pampered vacay is what we need. Look at us from the recent Goa trip!

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– Post a lot more here on the blog

– Maybe get a life!

I’ve tried to keep my bucket list as basic and achievable as possible.  I really don’t care about things like Bungee jumping off a cliff or sky diving or scuba diving or seeing the Eiffel Tower. Maybe at some point I did, but with time these things have changed.

Let me know what do you look forward to in 2019.

Anyway wishing you all a fantastic end to 2018. Be happy, be safe. Travel a lot, read and blog a lot more!

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas

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Hello all,

This is not really a blog post, but just a quick way of reaching out to everyone possible and wishing you and your loved ones – Merry Christmas!

Christmas is so much more meaningful when you are with near & dear ones, when you spend it with people who are a huge part of your life. My personal request to all of you would be that this Christmas, pick up the phone and speak to that one person who at some point in your life meant a lot to you but for whatever reason (or simply with time ) you both have lost touch. Even if one person is reminded / inspired by this post, and is able to restore a relationship, I’d be delighted!

We live in a tough world any which way, let’s add some Christmas cheer to it! The world really needs it.

Stay happy everyone.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,

Franchua D’Souza

 

Seasons in the Sun

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When we look at social media today, everything is about the happy and perfect life, isn’t it? About Holidays, weddings and babies. We aren’t used to people actually displaying their real life, their real struggles. Today I’ve decided to share some real thoughts about my own life. #NotAshamed

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Have you ever felt like you don’t belong to your generation? Like you take things very seriously as compared to others? Like everything around you is moving at lightning speed? Like The music we have today is rubbish? Like Relationships & equations today are really a joke? I always felt I was a little too mature amongst my peers. I don’t have a dramatic story and it has got nothing to do with a rough and difficult childhood, or some traumatic event I went through or anything like that. That’s just the way I’ve been. As a child I didn’t enjoy watching cartoons, I still don’t know anything else besides the names of Tom and Jerry, Scooby doo, Aladdin, Jasmine, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Don’t even get me started on Harry Potter/ Twilight or the recent Game of Thrones. I never gave into or for that matter even found double meaning jokes funny where people around me laughed their butts off. I always calculated my thoughts, always kept my head on my shoulders and thought I had everything planned out for myself. In fact I even planned at what age I would let myself actually consider a relationship. I had decided that at the age of 28 I’d settle down. I didn’t enjoy the clubbing scene as much as people my age did, honestly I still don’t. I enjoyed English classic music thanks to my parents who introduced me to that genre of music since I was a kid, I enjoyed going to dances where people waltzed and jived the evening away. When it came to romance, I actually enjoyed the attention while being wooed, while being flirted with, rather than putting myself out there directly. Not that I expect it, but even today I find chivalry very impressive.

I wonder if there are people out there who feel the same way. I may have joked about it many a times about how I actually belong to the generation before mine, but I honestly feel like that. I don’t give into latest trends easily whether it was the blackberry phase or now the Iphone phase, Hotstar or Netflix. I know as I’m writing this that I may be judged and will probably be considered the mood dampener among the young and lively ones. Boring too maybe. Not that it makes a difference anyway.

The reason I’m putting this down is not because I want to show or prove something. Not like these are my life’s success theories that have made life special. Today I’m a 28 year old woman, who’s life is far from sorted. Even far from married. Thanks to the personality I have, I struggle a lot more with this fast paced world. Words affect me. Things that people say casually, get imprinted on my mind & memory for the longest time. I easily believe when someone looks me in the eye and says something. I do go on face value. I do not go about befriending every second person for any benefit, but once I do have a connection or a bond with a person, I value it for life! This brings me to discussing things I absolutely fail to understand, like “How do people suddenly cut off from those that mattered to them all along?” , “How do people let go off all the good times, memories, all the love and friendship they shared, and actually treat the other as though dead or as a stranger in life?”, Even lyrics like “Now you’re just somebody that I used to know” astounds me! I can’t seem to fathom how it’s done like a breeze for some.

This week 2-3 people at work pointed out to me that I always have a smile each time they see me, like everything is great. It’s ironic actually as this week has been one of my worst weeks in the recent past. Overall the last one year has been the most exhausting year for me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. It’s taught me a lot about myself, about how stubborn I am, how stupid I am, about my strengths & weaknesses, about how much I can and will do for my people if I put my heart to it etc. I know one should never say never but I’ve have actually sworn against a number of things for my own good too, even if that rips my heart apart.

This particular post as well as some of my recent insta posts may appear as though I’m depressed. I’m unsure about “depressed” but it’s true that I’ve been in a very pensive mood for the longest time I’ve known. I’ll try to come up with more vibrant and happy posts next, I assure you. Be patient. If you’re still reading this, I really wish you well. Life is no cake walk I know, I’m certain you have own challenges too, I just hope you choose your battles well and fight them even better.

Until next time,

Yours truly,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

Take a sad song and make it better

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This line from the famous song “Hey Jude” strikes a chord with me. Love how it inspires to improve whatever it is that’s not good.

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2017 so far has been an eventful year for me personally. It started with bringing in the new year in beautiful #Thailand. In case you have missed out on that post, you can check it here. I’ve even completed my swimming classes, have learnt enough to enjoy picnics at water parks and resorts. There’s still room for improvement though. Then, I’ve moved into a new challenging role on the work front. It’s something that keeps me occupied 12 hours on weekdays (which is why my blogging has taken a back seat, sorry).

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Call it growing up, getting mature, caring a damn or anything you’d like.. But I’ve even become calmer in my ways of dealing with life and it’s pressures. There used to be a time when I’d get hyper at the drop of a hat, but now I’ve learnt the art of letting go or simply ignoring all unwanted mess. ‘Keep calm’ is my new mantra.
In fact I’ve even reduced my social media usage altogether.

The travel bug has definitely bitten me and in fact I’m even open to exploring places as a solo traveller. Can’t wait for my next trip whenever and wherever that is.

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Of course l enjoy writing and that’s why this blog came into existence in the first place, but lately I tried my hand at getting poetic too. Here’s something I had recently put up on my Instagram account. In case you aren’t already following me on Instagram, follow @franchuadsouza now!
The intention is to get better at whatever I do and improve the overall quality of my life.

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Wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay happy always.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza.

The tide is high

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Recently while baby sitting my 7 year old neighbor , I found a smart way of keeping her occupied by giving her the #Colgatemagicalstories exercise and I was blown away by her imagination.

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After helping her cut out the pictures from the Colgate pack, I asked her to weave a story around the cut outs for me. And she did, beautifully.

Here goes her story :

Many many years ago merchants used to travel from one place to another by ship. As their journey used to last for days, they would keep all their treasures in an allotted place and would only unload it on reaching their destination. During the day they enjoyed watching the blue waters and the beautiful sea creatures. Some loved watching the Dolphins while some were excited seeing the gold fish and the breathtaking sun sets.

One night when everyone was asleep, as a Dolphin was taking its routine jumps, it bumped into Little Gold and they got talking.

Little Gold : Ow! That hurt Dolph! Why do you keep jumping around? Aren’t you sleepy?
Dolph: Hey Little Gold, I’m sorry about that. And no I’m not sleepy, I enjoy my night jumps. Watching the stars makes me happy.
Little Gold : (looks up towards the sky) Yes, the night sky looks gorgeous.

While they were talking they heard a strange sound from somewhere nearby. 

Little Gold : What was that sound Dolph?
Dolph : I don’t know Little Gold. Let me take another jump out of the water and look around. (Dolph took a jump and looked all around)
Dolph : There’s a ship approaching in this direction, but I don’t know anything about that sound we heard.

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While they were talking, Mr Star came rushing towards them.

Little Gold : Oh hello Mr Star. How are you?
Mr Star : Hello Little Gold. I’m a little worried. As I was resting close to the ship, I heard a thud from the ship and woke up.

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Dolph : Oh you heard it too? We were just discussing it. Did you see anything?
Mr Star : (sounding a little worried) Yes, I saw a man dressed weirdly try to get onto the ship. I don’t know why he was awake this late and why he was dressed like that. He looked dangerous.
Dolph : Oh no! That doesn’t sound like good news.
Little Gold : Why do you say that Dolph?
Dolph : Have you heard of Pirates? They’re robbers. They capture everything they can, threaten the people, take all the treasure and escape. I hope this is not a pirate we’re dealing with.
Little Gold : Oh no.. I’m scared now.
Dolph : Hey little gold, don’t be afraid. Maybe we’re wrong. Let’s head towards the ship and see for ourselves. All of us need to stick together, okay.
Mr Star : Dolph is right. We’ll stick together.
Little Gold : Okay.

By the time they headed towards the ship, Dolph took another jump to see if he could spot anything.

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Dolph : Oh my! We were right. The man is a pirate. He’s packing away all the treasure from the ship. Those poor merchants will lose everything they have. We need to do something. Mr Star : Just what I feared.
Little Gold: What do we do now?
Mr Star : I have a plan. You two stay together. I will go find my friend who might be able to help. Don’t do anything until I’m back.

Mr Star left them and went to his sleepy friend Octopus.

Mr Star : Hey Octopus, wake up, wake up! We need your help.
Octopus : Wake up for what? The whole world is sleeping, let me sleep some more.
Mr Star : Oh no, you cannot sleep some more right now. We need your help. Otherwise those poor people will be looted by that Pirate.
Octopus : (Opens eyes wide) Pirate? Where? What are you saying?
Mr. Star : Come with me, I’ll explain everything on the way.

As Mr Star and Octopus were heading towards Dolph and Little Gold, Mr Star explained the whole story to him.

Octopus : We won’t let him get away. This is our environment and we won’t let crimes like this happen until we’re around.
Mr Star: Yes, we can’t let these incidents happen. We need to save those people’s treasures.
Dolph : But what are we going to do? He’s packed almost everything there.

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After packing everything, the pirate decided to first jump into the water and then put the loot  the with the net he put everything in. As soon as he jumped and was about to pull the net down, Octopus immediately used one of his tentacles to grab the pirate, the other to snatch the treasure from him, and the remaining tentacles to hi-five Mr Star, Dolph and Little Gold. The 4 of them threw the Pirate into the deep waters and he knew he had no way back. Octopus even made sure to keep the loot safely back in its place.

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Mr Star, Dolph, Little Gold and Octopus together saved the night for all those on the ship without them even knowing anything.

And after that adventurous swim, they called it a night and fell asleep.

If you’re as amazed with this story as I was, let me know. It brings back fond childhood memories.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer

Franchua D’Souza

All my bags are packed

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It had been a new year resolution for many a years now. I had thought I’d start with baby steps and gradually move towards the big one. Indeed the past couple of years, baby steps it was, starting with domestic trips to Udipi and Mangalore, and then last year a trip to Ahmedabad. Of course these aren’t at the top of “travel lists” but for someone who has only traveled to Goa annually, it was quite a big deal. And they were definitely lovely places, there’s no denying it. However the passport made last year still remained un-stamped.

This June what started off as a general discussion with a friend about travel, suddenly turned into full-on planning within days! Well they say unplanned trips are the best , and that’s how we wanted it. After some hasty ticket bookings, and getting our visa just a day before the travel date (scary as hell), and last minute forex woes, we were on our way to Singapore!

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With no much time for excitement plus the fear of our own excitement jinxing it, we tried our best to keep calm. Having travelled via Terminal 2 (T2) a couple of times for domestic travel, this time it was a whole novel experience travelling internationally with immigration formalities and duty-free etc. However it had still not sunk in, that I was actually going Abroad for the very first time. Not even when I was seated in the flight with the International cabin crew around me. Considering it was a 2am flight, as soon as the flight took off, my droopy eyes took over me and I was asleep..

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Somewhere in the morning my eyes opened to this view. 

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I’m leaving this post at that.. hoping you come back to read my Singapore Ventures and all the feelings attached to it. Until then..

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer.
Franchua D’Souza

Summer of 69

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Actually, Summer of 2016.

What is your ideal summer style? Ideally I would have loved to sport crop tops and hot shorts with my hair tied up in a bun/ high ponytail (nothing screams summer louder than that, right) , but my not-so-toned body won’t let me.

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That doesn’t deter me from going the Tank top way though. Tank tops are awesome. They’re casual, sporty, smart,and  can be dressed up or down accordingly. They even come in a wide variety of shades and prints. While stepping out to chill with friends/ going for a movie, or just an evening walk I prefer pairing them with jeans. However I make sure, the jeans are not low waist (I hate low waist pants).

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A great method to style a tank top so that you don’t look like you’ve not just stepped out of the gym is to accessorize it with beads or other forms of fashion jewelry. With the black tank top here, I’ve used my mom’s century old necklace, love that wooden looking chip there on the pendant. And on the green tank top, I’ve used mom’s.. err.. the whole green top is hers actually. She was quite thin and hep back in the day! 🙂

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For outings or social gatherings, since I do not consider tank tops wearable then, I prefer dressing in using all those lovely floral print dresses / skirts , and bring out all those bright hues that are in my cupboard. We’ll talk about that another day. Let’s just say my cupboard is a beautiful mess 🙂

What are your summer basics? And how do you style it. Let me know, maybe  I’d experiment over the weekend.

Aso, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Photography: Nolasco Alphonso

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza

Karma Chameleon

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It’s summer here in India and it gets crazy hot during the day. I remember how last year it was impossible to shoot this post without perspiring which was a total put-off .

Summer or not, during the week I prefer wearing tops and dresses with sleeves to work, sometimes saving the sleeveless formal tops for Fridays. While at home, you will find me chilling in the shortest pair of cotton shorts and a tee or a super comfy loose shirt that lets me breathe. I happily borrow clothes from my mom’s closet sometimes just because they’re lose and comfy! She doesn’t mind.

Over the weekend while stepping out to visit a friend, I decided to go the simple yet chic way of wearing a tank top and jeans. Something I could lounge in for hours on end. What was meant to be just a visit to a friend’s place ended up being a photo shoot for this post. I loved the fact that the green tank top matched the environment around me, maybe even camouflaging with the grass and trees in some pics (Hence the post title).

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There really were a lot of pictures, but I’ll share just these for now. I’m sure the rest will see the light of day on the blog soon too.

Lost in thought

Pushing boundaries

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Wind in my hair

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One thing I’ve come to realize about shooting pictures for my blog is, it’s very important to share a great rapport with your photographer as it let’s you just be yourself, totally natural and candid. There are some blogs I’ve seen online, where it’s easy to tell that the model/ blogger is not at ease as yet with the photographer. You don’t want your blog/ pictures to come across like that. It’s best you find someone you can be comfortable with and then go clickity-click!

OOTD Details:

Green Tank top: Mom’s closet (I said she doesn’t mind)
Denims: Tokyo Talkies
Orange Ballerinas: Zovi
Watch: Gift
Hairband: Hill Road, Bandra

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How are you coping up with the weather out there? What is your go-to for summer? Any blogger/ photography tips?
Let me know in the comments below and follow the blog to stay updated on my musings.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Photography: Nolasco Alphonso


Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer.
Franchua D’Souza

Walk like an Egyptian

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As a Fashion Blogger in Mumbai, one of the many feathers that you’d want in your hat is to attend a Fashion show at the Lakme Fashion Week. Though I’m a blogger, I’m practical enough to know that Lakme Fashion Week invites won’t be sent out to me at this stage.
But hey, just because I do not receive a personal invite doesn’t me I can’t arrange for passes right? Of course, it’s not that easy, but certainly worth the try.

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I had pre-arranged an outfit (in my head) in advance, you know, just in case I did manage to arrange for passes. But as the week progressed, with no sign of passes, hopes became bleak. And to be honest, I was Okay with it (nothing is the end of the world, no?). On a Friday evening however, when I was at work anticipating the restful weekend ahead, just about 3 hours before the show by the designer Amit Aggarwal, I received my very own Lakme Fashion Week pass! Considering it was on such short notice, after some serious contemplation, whether I would make it on time to the show or not, will it be worth it or not, is my office outfit decent enough to go the Lakme Fashion Week or not, I decided to hell with everything, I was going!

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Here are a few of my musings from the #LFW experience:

I’d been to the Hotel that was hosting the Fashion week quite a few times prior to this event, but never had it been this glamorous. As soon as the elevator door opened, I was transported to a fashion filled world. There were lean and tall people everywhere, the wackiest hairstyles (like literally ponytails defying gravity), the funkiest and weirdest clothing, glittery make up, cropped tops, cropped shorts, fringes and tassels, cool Keds and metallic shoes etc.
The first 5 minutes there I spent in fascination and astonishment. I may have even dropped a jaw a couple of times. Yes, that girl staring at you as though you were a ghost, was me!

I saw people walk in and about comfortably like they owned the place, but when it came to me, the security guard felt the need to confirm I’m an invited attendee and asked me for my pass. I happily flaunted it and walked by 🙂
Once my eyes adjusted the not-so-regular surrounding, I happily brought out my camera and started clicking away. Not selfies, but the set up, quirky things etc

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Amit Aggarwal’s show was a pleasure to watch. Some of those designs were eccentric. His show had frills, puffs, color-blocking, A lines, high-low dresses etc.
Take a look at the pictures to know what I mean:

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The show was done in 10mins, but with the exploring of other flashy stuff around, I stayed on for 2 and half hours altogether.

All in all, attending the Lakme Fashion week was one good experience. A little over rated I may say. The first few moments you spend in awe, but later it’s pretty easy to adjust as everyone’s busy doing their own thing and no one really bothers you. If you’re the type who gets starstruck easily like me , you will enjoy your time here.

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Hope you enjoyed the post and pics. Would love to know what you thought of it.

Pictures: Nolasco Alphonso

Also, follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Lots of Love,

The Silent Hummer
Franchua D’Souza

 

Desert Rose

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Floral exhibition

When was the last time you visited a garden? Even if you did, were you there to just stand and admire it’s beauty? Did you stop by to smell the flowers? Did you notice how the birds flock around particular types of plants and trees? It’s exactly these things that make venues like gardens so peaceful and calming.

If you have read the previous post, I had mentioned that I’d visited a beautiful flower exhibition over the weekend. This was solely to see and admire the blossomy beauty. The entire corporate complex in South Mumbai, was full of over 10,00,000 flowers (no exaggeration) varying in colors, sizes and structures and uses. Little gardens were set up to particular themes ranging from the Rajasthan desert garden , the Portugal garden, St. Nicolas’ garden, to the Victoria Orchid Hunter’s garden etc. Not just that, they even had a sparrow garden, which actually had sparrows happily flying around it.

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Up for a climb

There were huge installations which were marvelous. My favorite flower installation was the Tea- set, I mean you have to see it. The quarter plate even had biscuits and sugar cubes! Simply marvelous.

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It is impossible to name all the flowers I’d seen but just the names of a few that I recognized are Asters, Carnations, Chrysanthemum, Daisies, Hibiscus, Lilies, Marigold, Orchids, Roses.

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My tram ride

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I had pre-decided to take just a few pics at the floral exhibition, but it was challenging to not capture everything. The garden, the water fountains, the navy band, the trams.. everything was spectacular and click worthy! Who wouldn’t be mesmerized, I wonder. I’m glad Nolasco had accompanied me, I didn’t have to bother at all about photography or the quality of my pictures. He’s such a pro, I didn’t even have to tell him what to click or at what angles I want my pictures. He’s fab at what he does. Glancing through the pics, I’m certain you will agree.

This exhibition was beautiful enough to make us feel like we were out of Mumbai on a mini vacation. Sadly this vacation got over quicker than we would have wished for.

Let me know if you enjoyed reading the post or simply liked Nolasco’s photography of my floral experience. We would love to know what you think.

Lots of love,

The Silent Hummer,
Franchua D’Souza