New Year’s Eve 2020 at the Water Palace:

The highlight of visiting Jaipur in Rajasthan, India was seeing the Jal Mahal (Water Palace). Built for the Raja (king) as a hunting lodge, the palace was submerged after a dam was built in the 1500s, and to this day remains underwater. This intricately carved palace contains five stories, only the topmost of which remains visible — like an eerie island of stone floating on the water as if weightless.  

At an early age, I decided to channel my burgeoning authorial skill (more desire, then, than actual skill) into a personal blog, Divyawanders, which I still write today. With a focus on travel, both international and domestic, as well as on food, I am able to create poetic odes to my two favorite activities. My blog is the perfect venue for my extracurricular interests and is something I will continue to engage in while at college. Even though I plan to pursue medicine as a career, I will not give up writing as a passion.

Many times when I find myself between too much school work and too little sleep, my blog suffers. I rarely view writing as a burden, but when I have to choose between sleep and my next post, “composition” becomes that. Writer’s block strikes, I can’t think of new ideas, can’t edit photos, can’t compose catchy titles — all I can do is sleep. 

I dislike that this happens so often, yet soon, I find myself again in my happy space on the internet, writing a post to rhapsodize about Portland’s Multnomah Falls, New Delhi’s Qutub Minar, and Fullerton’s La Chicana Vegana, a local vegan Mexican restaurant, which will hopefully motivate readers to visit. 

A gap between posts only shows my life has become hectic. That makes reflecting on my experiences later all the better. Being able to recreate the minute details from my desk, all of which illustrate the value of personal experience — such as the piece I did on the ghostly floating Jal Mahal — in a post others find enriching is a goal worthy of pursuit.