It really has been such a pleasure having Namaste from Ananya linked here on Cider with Rosie throughout the past month. There’s something special about Ana’s blog that always leaves me feeling a little calmer, a little more reflective, and always, always inspired. Ana blogs about her culture, her passion for travel, and the moments of joy in her life, all with such passion and with such beautiful writing that I know you’ll fall in love the minute you click through to her site!
So, enough from me. Over to Ana!
1. Will you tell us a little about how you got started writing Namaste from Ananya?
When I first started blogging, I just wanted a platform to express myself, particularly my Indian heritage and so back in late 2012, The Asian Destination was born! I loved sharing travel advice, sharing the meaning behind much of the Indian traditions and festivals I’d be celebrating whilst adding in a few messages of inspiration my friends have dubbed the ‘Ana Cheesy quotes’!
With experience though comes wisdom and insight. Back in 2014, I was going through a transition period in my life; I realised I was missing out on opportunities simply because I was too scared to try something different. I wanted my blog to be an authentic reflection of who I was and be able to encompass all that I loved about life…and thus, renaming it Namaste from Ananya, seemed fitting.
2. What three words would you use to describe your blog?
Personal, life reflections.
3. Would you tell us a little about your blogging process? What comes easiest to you- the words, or the pictures?
Though I’m rarely without a camera in my hands, I’ve always found I can express myself much more coherently through writing. That said though, in terms of blogging every post is quite different for me!
Sometimes if there’s been an event, an organisation or book that’s really resonated with me then the words usually haunt me until I’ve written them down! Then it’s a case of finding or taking an appropriate photo. Other times though it’s the other way around.
4. Do you have a favourite type of post to put together? I love your writing *so* much, it’s just beautiful!
Bless you, that’s so lovely to hear! I usually love to share what’s on my mind or what’s affected me recently. At the moment for me, time just feels to slip past these days so I have made more of an effort to try and document the little day-to-day treasures which are often overlooked or forgotten in months to come. I have your blog to thank for inspiring me to start a little Happiness Jar of my own!
5. You write often about your love for travel. Is there a country or destination you’ve travelled to that captured your heart more than any other?
Maybe I’m heavily biased but India! I feel lucky to be able to experience India through the eyes of both an Indian and as a tourist. There is life in every corner and that’s what I love about it. Like every country, there are darker areas but the vibrancy and colour is like no other place I’ve experienced….yet! Though I go to India every year to see family, I’d love to take a couple of months to explore every inch of the place since each region is so diverse and different.
6. What might Cider with Rosie readers be surprised to learn about you? Any secret skills or party tricks?
Sadly I don’t have any impressive party tricks to boast about unless you mean demolishing a jar of cashew butter in record speed? ;) (I recommend Meridian Cashew butter for anyone interested!) Aside from that though, most people are surprised to hear that my PhD research involves seeing a lot of placentas. My PhD is in reproductive biology and focusing on trying to prevent babies being born too early. This basically means that aside from being an eternal student, I use the placentas donated by women after their deliveries to experiment on. So if in the future any ladies reading this are approached after their delivery to donate their placenta just know the research student most probably receiving it, is very grateful!
7. Since the year’s drawing to a close, would you share with us what your highlights from 2015 have been?
I can’t believe how fast 2015 has gone!
My 2015 highlights include:
- Some very special birthday presents – this year I asked my loved ones to write down the answer to a few questions, including: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt to date? What advice would you give for the future? Over the course of the year, I’ve found myself reading through them all and just feeling so warmed by such priceless words of wisdom.
- Being part of my friend’s wedding; being part of the preparation and going through the motions, her fears and hesitations made it all the more emotional to see her whole family come together from Canada to be a part of it here in the UK.
- Visiting India is always lovely but this year, one highlight was to see my cousin, after 18 months. She continues to be the ‘miracle baby’ of our family and is such a touching reminder of why I went into reproductive research!
Above all though a personal ‘acceptance’. I look back at this year and feel content, something which is pleasantly surprising for me since usually I’m quite hard on myself. I really wanted to ensure I used every opportunity to face more fears this year. Although I may not have gone travelling around the world solo or jumped out a plane (on my list after the PhD, don’t worry) what I’ve learnt in the process is that fear is relative and doesn’t necessarily mean tackling the huge fears. It might also mean just saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ more often.
8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!
It’s hard to choose only 2 books but I think I’d have to narrow it down to:
The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo
The Nanny by Melissa Nathan is also a great favourite.
For films, I’d have to take The Pursuit of Happyness – I’ve rewatched this film so many times but I love it.
Music: Ludovico Einaudi & Beyonce – Bit of a random mix but I love both (maybe not together though!)
Above all other ingredients, a supply of mangoes and I’d be happy!
My luxury item would be a film camera – I’d want to document at least some of time there and I like the idea of leaving the film undeveloped, just waiting to be discovered!
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