Monday, September 30, 2013

Journey to the Mars and the victory of the "Greater Good!"

It is the year 3210. The epidemic is spreading quickly. After the fifteenth world war it has become tough to see hope and happiness on earth. Mayan's prediction finally is coming true. It sure looks like life on earth is about to end not due to natural calamities but due to the deeds of the earthlings, to be precise of humans. Rapists are still roaming freely on streets. Terrorists are still flourishing. Corruption is still prevalent and crimes are rampant. Killing each other for power , money and jealousy has become very common. Law and order has gone to dogs. People have lost control. Every one started taking law in to their own hands."The crusaders" started fighting and killing unconditionally to become powerful. "The governmentalists" tried and failed in peacemaking. They appointed a special squad with the name "The greyhounds" to deal with the crusaders. Greyhounds could curb the destruction by putting a check on the pursuits of crusaders but they couldn't totally eradicate them. Unfortunately many supported crusaders as they lured them with temporary perks and wealth. People lost hope on government and started following the path of crusaders.

On one dull afternoon Jacob the astronomer who works at UK SETI Research Network was having a late lunch after some brain storming on how to track the extra terrestrial signals. As he was angry and frustrated at work he took a large bite of the hot dog to quickly finish the lunch, when he heard some disturbance in transmission in the near by machine. When he walked to the desk he realized that its not a normal disturbance. He could hear voices more like grunts and groans in the machine. When he adjusted the signal he realized that aliens were trying to send some messages. The translator in the machine read the messages.

"Hi. We are calling from space shuttle MARSTRO20. We come from Mars." It was the text on the computer after translation.

Jacob typed, "Hello. What do you want from us ? Where are you actually?"

Alien : "My name is Juper. We are right now nearing the earth. We should be there in an hour or two provided your aerial traffic is clear. We have a proposal for you."

Jacob: "What proposal is it?"

Juper: "We need man power , resources and knowledge from earth to establish our planet. In return we can provide you advanced technology , weapons and battleships. We know that you are fighting against the crusaders. We can help you if you can help us."

Jacob: "But if you have access to advanced technology why don't you do it yourself?"

Juper : "Because we are very less in number. We can make space ships , advanced weapons, battle ships but not able to organize things in our planet. For that we need your help. We heard that the organisational skills of earthlings are commendable. We need some of your resources till the initial set up is over. If I say in the earth-slang we need technical support. Of course you will be trained in our technologies. We will give knowledge transition about our machines, way of life,so on so forth.We would love to learn the languages of Earth and the way a government is formed and all that. In return we will lend our warships and weapons to you to fight against the crusaders."

Jacob was tempted by the offer but he was not very sure why the aliens were so confident that they should get help from them. Some thing seemed fishy to him. What if aliens are bluffing and want to occupy the earth! Jacob was lost in thoughts when Juper spoke up as if he was reading Jacob's  brain.

Juper: "We are not here to cheat you. Unlike you people our brains are corruption free. We never had wars and never really used our battle ships. I just want to take the "good learning" from the earth back to Mars with us." He replied startling Jacob.

Juper's wisdom silenced Jacob but he still had his doubts and was not able to trust the aliens.

There was a booming sound in the near by cricket stadium which halted Jacob's stream of thoughts. No one on the roads bothered about the sound due to the ongoing war. Jacob went to stadium along with his higher authorities to receive the aliens.
Juper and his fellas getting down the space ship.
Image source : "here"
After a day long discussion Jacob and his bosses, co- workers , the grey hounds and govern-mentalists came to conclusion that this is the best option they have to eradicate crusaders. They brainstormed and prepared a war strategy. The war between Crusaders and the Aliens & Greyhounds lasted for about a fortnight. By the end of it Greyhounds tasted the victory. Crusaders tasted the wrath of the advanced weapons and didn't struggle much to continue the battle.

Peace was restored again on earth. Aliens or rather Martians were honored by the Queen and the U.K. Prime Minister. A grand party was thrown to celebrate the success. However Martians didn't relish the lavish food spread.

Juper: "We only have the Mother tree from where we get food. We bought some food with us in the space ship."

Jacob: "Awesome man. I cannot wait to visit your planet!" Replied Jacob in an overexcited tone.

By the next dawn Jacob and the team which included Charlie, Mary , Robin and few others boarded the space shuttle along with all other Martians. They got all the food supplies , water and all other essentialities packed for 3-5 months. As the earth was springing back to life Jacob and team zoomed in to the skies to help the Martians.

In a week's time they reached Mars. The team from earth was spell bounded by Mars's beauty! The two asteroid shaped moons of the Mars adorned the sky and the sight was gorgeous. The team was given special armors to be worn on top of their space suits to stay safe on the Mars. The land was mostly barren other than the mother tree and few shrubs here and there.


Man on the Mars. Jacob exploring the Mars.
Image source:"here"
All together there were 150 Martians residing on the planet.  The number was too small for such a huge planet. Unless until you keenly observe you won't be able to see life on the planet.Mary and Robin joked that they can start real estate business on Mars and buy and sell lands. Mother tree acted as a house to many strange birds and animals. Each insect was the size of a sparrow. Charlie joked that MARS-quitoes are very strong and they might need 5litre blood on an average. Thankfully they had the protective armor given by Juper and Co which acted as a shield to marsquitoes and other strange insects and birds. It still was stifling due to the new atmosphere. The gravity of Mars is 62% of the earth. Walking is not that easy but with the special boots provided by Martians , the Terrans(Earthlings) could walk smoothly!
Jacob and team crossing the Mother tree. To their right you can see
the huge Mars-quitoe and the space ship which just landed. You can also see the distantly visible earth in the sky.
Click on the image for a better view!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Ladakh"-God made it with precision

Originally published at "Half Baked Voices Blog"
Please leave your comments on the link above!

Getting clicked at the Pangong Lake is in my wish list. Bollywood does impact our wishes and desires. After Ladakh is shown in many movies like 3 idiots and Jab tak hai jaan I started loving it more. Not that I liked Jab tak hai Jaan but the part of the movie shot in Ladakh was a delight to eyes. The pristine blue water is a rare vision in India. The lake is heavenly and huge. It extends from India to Tibet.  Ladakh means “land of high passes.” It is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir inhabited by Indo-Aryans and Tibetans. Leh is the largest town of Ladakh.  Reaching Ladakh via road is challenging. People who go on a trek to Ladakh carry heavy luggage which comprises of huge canvas tents and collapsible string beds as well. Trekking to Ladakh is the most adventurous trip in India. People residing in Delhi and nearby areas travel to Ladakh even on bikes. The journey is naturally challenging due to dangerous and slippery narrow roads flanked by ice chunks on the sides, reckless driving by many due to steep lanes and foggy vision but if you go by bike you may get a chance to find unexplored hamlets and people. For instance my friend went on a bike along with a group and they could stop where ever they wanted to and explored many new places. People frequently suffer from illness due to acute mountain sickness. I have experienced it during my trip to Rohtang Pass. The same highway connects to Leh. It starts from Manali. Other than the Manali-Leh highway two other roads which connect Ladakh are Zoji-La Pass and Kargil route from Srinagar in the Kashmir Valley. The below pic is taken by my friend who went from Srinagar to Ladakh along with fellow bikers. It was clicked on the way.
They had faced many challenges during the journey due to bad roads, flat tyres and mountain sickness but they made it to Ladakh. The sense of accomplishment which one experiences on reaching Ladakh can’t be explained in words. It’s more special when you travel all by yourself on road. If you take the road from Srinagar you get a chance to visit dal-lake, Kargil and many more beautiful places which you would have seen in TV all the time.  In peek winters the roads get closed due to heavy snow fall.  Khardong-La Pass to Nubra valley has an alternate day schedule. It is closed on Mondays and it usually gets closed by snow for several days in winter and spring. Nubra valley is to the north east of Ladakh valley. We were told by our driver that even in Rohtang pass snow falls up to a height of five feet from the ground level in winter. Biking surely rushes the adrenaline and the trip becomes more exciting. Bikers can explore many areas leisurely. For instance my friend visited a village called Gondla and had to stay in a hospital as there were no hotels or rooms to stay! They interacted a lot with villagers and made friends.


The above image is of a gorgeous girl from Gondla village!
I am listing down few things which one has to do during their trip to Ladakh:
  •      Don’t miss visiting the monasteries of Shey, Hemis, Alchi, Thikse and Lamayuru and many more. A visit to monastery is always peaceful.
  •     White water rafting and trekking are the major adventurous activities.
  •     Watching the sunset at Nubra valley feels divine.
  •   Drass war memorial in Kargil is a must visit. After all saluting our jawans should be in our to-do list. It will surely be a heart-warming experience and a moment of great pride!
  •    There are many lakes other than Pangong Lake. Tso Moriri is one such heavenly lake!
  • There are many valleys and highest passes to trek in Ladakh.



Each spot in Ladakh looks like God made it with high concentration and precision. Divinely places are tough to reach but once you reach them you forget your hardships!

The trip will surely make you experience another dimension of Mother Nature.  At the same time you will also realise that it is intertwined with many challenges.  Altitude sickness, frost bites and getting migraines is common. You will learn patience and co-operation during such strenuous trips. While climbing to Khardungla top my friend’s palms were frozen. A local Nepali boy helped him to recover and offered him tea and biscuits free of cost. Hospitability is something you can experience only when you travel to such places. Even at Drass when their bikes broke down an army unit offered juice, biscuits, jalebi and even invited them to stay there. Great travels always give you great experiences!

Lastly a click of the majestic Pangong Lake.


Images courtesy: My friend Piyush’s album at – “ Piyush's Ladakh Trip

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Can we counter the stereotypes now?!

Felt like writing this after reading Purba Ray's post here - "A dark cloud over Nina Davuluri's win"

Nina Davuluri is a house hold name now. More than her Miss America 2014 title it's the twitter which made her victory more special. She is the first Indian to be crowned Miss America. Nina tasted the victory just after September 11th which in the history of America , is a sad day. To that matter it is a sad day for all of us. Few ignorant folks imagined that she is an Arab , a terrorist or a member of Al-Qaeeda and got offended by her victory in the beauty pageant  . The hate tweets followed like below.
How ever Nina didn't flinch. She says  that she’s grown up with so many stereotypes about her culture that she just knew that it was something that she needed to advocate for. Even if she was slammed by tweeple it didn't effect her much. Few nincompoops can't take her title away. She sure made us all proud but the fact which I felt funny is few Indians raising their voices against the ignorant Americans. The same Indians who always stereotype others by what they wear , what they eat or how they look. We get united when we have to fight  the foreigners but in our own country we have many stereotypical images strongly imprinted in our brains. 

Every one who hails from North East is a chinki. If you are from Saawth you have to be dusky / black with a flat nose coz Dravidians were believed to be short , stout , dark with flat nose where as Aryans who are descendants of the Northies are supposed to be tall , fair and beautiful. I myself have faced this question in college , office , in the neighborhood and every where. Are you a Punjabi? Are you from North ? The only reason is I am fair/ white. When I say that I am from Andhra Pradesh people stare at me due to two reasons. One is my complexion and the other is my fluent Telugu. I am a Muslim and it is a norm to not understand Telugu and speak a broken language as per few ignorant souls who surround me! I am "used to" these kind of questions. If you are from Saawth you are a Madrasi. If you are from North you are mostly a Punjabi. It doesn't matter if you are from Mumbai , Bhubhaneswar or Goa. They all come under North in the customized maps hanging on the hazy walls of many fellow Indians. Their visions are blurred by their ignorance which is a pain in others asses!

There are many more age old beliefs people have which if I discuss here it may become a sensitive topic. One example I can give here is about Indian marriages. Various places have various cultures. Ultimately every one is getting married to start a new life. I was asked many times by many puzzled Indians that if mother in law is tying kalipoth (an ornament worn as part of the wedding ritual) then how will that marriage hold good ? Seriously other than giving a "I pity you" look I can do nothing when I am asked these questions! In a land of diversities it is a very common scenario to come across a bunch of people who believe that their traditions are sensible and everyone else's are weird! 
I love exploring and understanding others traditions. Different beliefs and rituals never cease to amuse me and my smile broadens when ever borders vanish during marriages. I enjoy attending a inter religious or an inter-regional wedding but I can never say , "Oh ! You do this like that. Will that hold good?"  Gosh! I sound XS- Xtra stupid even when I type it here :) 

A country where fair is considered as beautiful and dark is considered beautiful only when it is a mole that shines on the fair skin it is astounding to see the way every one supported Nina Davuluri. Had she not won the Miss America title she would have been pitied by fellow aunties and uncles that a little fair complexion would have helped her. I have a strong feeling that she would have faced such comments in her life. Nina Davuluri smashed all the stereotypes and won the title of Miss America 2014 which anyway will not change the attitude of many towards black / dark complexion and the practice of stereotyping a person by his appearance.

Nandita Das is running a "Dark is beautiful" campaign to imbibe sense in to people. We have to wait and see how much change this campaign will bring! 

From centuries the fairness cream ads are ruling the TV where a girl uses the cream , becomes fair in ten days and wins the Miss India title. The above campaign is also protesting against the un-fair ads.

I hope people like Nina Davuluri should act in an ad and show it to people that it's not just the complexion which helps one to win the crown. The other skills do matter. 24 year old Nina Davuluri is from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh and I felt glad to see that she is born on April 20. No I am not stereotyping that all Aprilites are witty and charming ;)

Nina's Bollywood fusion dance - 
Have a good day
PS: All images are googled. I don't own them

Friday, September 20, 2013

Cricket is our religion and Sachin is our God!

My third article on " Half Baked Voices "


Almost every Indian who has access to media and cricket would know the declaration by many die-hard fans that, “Cricket is their religion and Sachin is their God.” There is no denial here. The three things which always flourish in India are religion, Cricket and movies. Of course weddings can also be added to the list. Be it legendary players like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil dev, Mahendra singh Dhoni , Rahul Dravid or the master blaster  Sachin Tendulkar, people worship all of them. Even if hockey is our national game its cricket which strikes chord with the nation. People celebrate if the team wins and don’t mind using profanities and burning the effigies of their favourite players if the team loses. Our country is obsessed with their cricket stars and celebrities.  The coca cola caption works for most of us in India which is – Eat Cricket, sleep cricket. Drink only Coca Cola.


Not long back, when I was in high school I remember my dad pasting the newspaper cut out on the cupboard. At first I thought it must be something related to office. Later I realised it is the time table of the test match series of that season. I was surprised seeing how much my dad adored the game. The love for game was contagious at home. My mom who doesn’t know the C of the Cricket started learning the match. She understood what it means by no ball, run-out, clean bowled and many more things. We also understood what it means by body line bowling and match fixing. Our hearts always race when India plays with Pakistan. I still remember the news program where Kapil Dev shed tears like a baby when he was accused of match fixing. Anything related to cricket is hot shot news and sells not for days or months but for years and centuries including Sreesanth’s controversies !
Read the rest of the article here and leave your comments and opinions on the   "Half Baked voices blog"

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Team work

Team work in a typical software company

click on the Image for a better view

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Life becomes light with the "Lightning Delivery!"

Riya opened her mail box on one dull morning. She monotonously checked the date on her tablet. It showed 05-09-2030 . She jumped off the sofa as she remembered that Ganesh chaviti is just 2 days away. The client meeting which was in UK kept her busy the entire last week and she totally forgot about the Ganapati festival which she devotedly celebrates every year and performs pooja for all the nine days. She panicked and couldn't decide what to do as she had a day long client meeting that day and the next day near Lonavala. The smart watch around her wrist blinked red and started ringing in Bob Marley's "don't worry be happy" tone. One line in that song---  in every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double always rises her spirits. The bio censors in her smart watch detect her mood and play this song whenever she is upset or panicky and on request it always lists down the reminders  she has set one by one. The song calms her down even if it is an old one. Few things never change :)


The reminder list had things she wants for the festival with neatly listed details of where to buy them quickly in case she gets stuck in last minute emergencies like client meetings.  Once she had a quick breakfast made by Mike in the kitchen which worked with nano-technology she plonked on the sofa and thought of the to do list for the week when the humanoid robot which she bought as the household help got her a cup of steaming coffee. She dictated orders to the robot whom she fondly called Mike.
Mike working in the dining room! Image source : "here"
Mike took her orders instantly and started implementing everything on his machine. Mike used the special provision of "the lightning delivery" on ebay.in site which gives the live glimpse of the show room to Riya. There are humanoid robots installed in the show rooms too who can assist in the online as well as offline shopping. Every humanoid when contacted by any person or any other humanoid robot, receives the request and gives you a live screening of the show room and displays all the products you want. There is no waiting as there are many humanoids installed for this purpose. One can choose from the wide array of products in no time. The showrooms even have mobile mannequins for demo trials. Not only this, the humanoid also captures your image and creates a snapshot of you wearing the sari so that you can check out how it looks on you. Riya ordered a beautiful green coloured designer silk saree which she felt is the best option after Mike projected her image in which she wore that saree on the near by wall. After that she ordered watches to gift to the clients, fashion foot wear and many more accessories which she can wear on the day of festival. She was satisfied by her shopping and packed her hand bag and hummed the song don't worry be happy during her bath. 

She received the order in just 20min. She was getting ready for the office when the calling bell rang and Mike received the order. The service was so quick that she sing-songed again and grabbed the packets and conveyed thanks at least 10 times to the humanoid robot which delivered them. The lightning delivery came to her rescue the whole day and she ordered what all she wants for the festival sitting in office. She bought an eco-friendly clay model of Lord Ganesh, coconut , jaggery and even modakas from quickfestival.com and   flowers and vegetables from freshlikefarm.com.

She was impressed by herself as she could do all the shopping in midst of a series of conference calls and endless meetings. She programmed Mike well in advance so that he understands and receives when someone delivers the package. By next morning she was well equipped for the Ganesh festival with the stuff she bought online. They were as good as the stuff which she goes to the shop and buys when she has time.


The following day she gifted watches to the clientele. They all seemed impressed by her choice. She looked ravishing in the green saree. They performed Ganesh Puja at office. She realised that they fell short of modakas but she was at ease as she could order them any time she wanted. Modakas and other refreshments were immediately replenished and everyone was in a jubilant mood. The celebrations lasted till late in the night and the happy clients dispersed after thanking Riya for her wonderful treat! Riya let a sigh and felt happy as she planned everything in the nick of the time with the help of speedy shopping sites like ebay and all the smart devices she had at home!
Robocob in a shopping mall. Image source - "here"


Mike comes to her rescue whenever she lands in a tough situation. She can't imagine her life without Mike. Mike manages her calendar, cooks for her, cleans the house and does everything which can lessen her burden!

In fact the robots installed in many malls have cut down the human activity to less than half. Humanoid robots started ruling the earth but they can make decisions only when programmed. Every person has an easy access to humanoids and everything happens in a stipulated time frame. If you want to book a flight ticket or a train ticket and if you want to pay your current bill or want even a pizza to get delivered you have robots for your assistance. Tasks are implemented with lightning speed and people are able to use their time for more important works. Issac Asimov would never have dreamt today's happenings.

Life definitely became happy with the intervention of advanced technology. People are able to spend more time at work and less time for mundane tasks like visiting super mart every week. As much as the online Shoppe and quick deliveries are beneficial they have a downside too! When one gets used to online shopping on a regular basis he/she loses interest in going out and buying or exploring. Getting used to online shopping a lot may lead to a scenario like below!
The shopomaniac cartoon by me with the help of toondoo.com
click on the image for a better view
The scenario can be like below too when a girl uses too many offers and free coupons on online shopping sites. This is the saturation stage of online shopping :)

Online shopping at kaboom.com click on the image for a better view

If you want to shop online you should steer clear of the offers which only lure you. Not every shopping experience can be a happy one like the one on ebay.in


Please visit --  "THE OFFICIAL EBAY INDIA GOOGLE CHROME EXTENSION"

This post is submitted for the contest "Future of Shopping" by Indiblogger.in in association with ebay.in

Friday, September 13, 2013

Digital Revolution and the generation "Y" Kids


Bill gates said “We are changing the world with technology.”  Douglas Carl Engelbart an American inventor, and an early computer and internet pioneer quoted that , In 20 or 30 years, you'll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world".

 Keeping aside the rapid progress in knowledge and the way digital revolution made life easy, if we discuss how it impacted the childhood and adolescent life it most of the times doesn’t seem very positive.
In 70s and 80s researchers termed the modernisation caused by TV in Germany as “Television Childhood” and “Loss of childhood.” Parents are always insecure and fear that television may affect their kid’s personality development. Not that Television hasn’t been educational but it is famously phrased as “Idiot box” the way it influenced everyone’s life. Even cartoons are provocative at times. Instead of playing in the ground nearby kids started watching TV a lot and there are extreme scenarios which came in news long back where a boy had put his younger brother in washing machine to make him white/fair. Kids believe everything and hence false news can be a bad impact on them. There’s a kid in our neighbourhood who disobeys his mom and beats the maid as he wants to imitate Shinchan, a cartoon character. The cartoon is hilarious but the after effects are far beyond our imagination.
Image source:"here"

The actual digital revolution occurred in late 90s with the advent of computers, mobile phones, Dig-cams, CD players and Internet. This is called second wave of modernisation. The generation Y kids and teens grew up with a mouse in one hand and mobile phone in the other.

Please read the rest of the article and share your valuable comments at  "Half baked voices blog" 

Monday, September 9, 2013

I want to experience the paradise on earth and God's own country :-)

It is extremely tough to write about that one place which I would love to visit with my family or friends. There are many places through out the world and in India which I want to visit provided I have enough money in my bank account. From London to Paris to Egypt to the U.S.A. I want to roam around the world if not in 80 days , at least in 800 days. Before roaming around the world I would love to cover the beautiful places from my own country - INDIA. As they say India is incredible. The cultures , colors , festivals and anything about India never ceases to fascinate me. I would love to do some job in travelling and travel around the country but alas! I am stuck with many other things and hence can't even think of it. The two places which come to my mind right now are Kerala - God's own country and Kashmir- the paradise on earth. Being in the company of nature gives solace and you don't even need any company when you are in the God's company!

Kerala is on my hit list from long. Probably we will be going by the end of this year and I am damn excited about it. KERALA . The very name soars my spirits. The lush greenery , boat houses , the coconut trees and serenity surrounding you where ever you go is for sure heavenly. If I plan a trip it will be with my hubby.

One of the most exhilarating experiences in Kerala is staying in a house boat. It's a dream I have from long. The back waters of Alappuzha and Allepey are famous. Riding on boat with hot fish curry being served and a beer to chill is heavenly. You can even spend the night in the mid of the water surrounded by palm trees. The thought it self is exciting. I have seen many of my friends' pictures from Kerala and it sure became one of the top 5 places I want to visit as soon as possible. There is a movie in tamil and telugu where they show the picturesque Kerala which just sets the ambiance to be in a romantic mood :) The heroine (Samantha) belongs to Allepey and the hero (Nagachaitanya) goes to visit her. More than the songs and the music it is Kerala which makes the movie more romantic.


Boat house in Allepey back waters. Image source : "here"




                            
The above video is a romantic song from yem maya chesave movie shot in Kerala back waters under a moon lit sky. This movie and the song are two more reasons to get attracted to Kerala :)

Next place which comes to my mind is Munnar which is a beautiful hillstation in westernghats. To see the plantations , to enjoy the natural beauty of  foggy hills and wildlife I want to visit Munnar.  There is always some thing mysterious about the hills and those beautiful hamlets. You can just get lost and have a conversation with your self sitting in midst of the hills and hamlets. One more attraction of Munnar are the beautiful home-stays which no one wants to give a miss. I would love to just rest in nature's lap. I am sure I will fall in love with the place.
Beautiful and mystic Munnar . Image source : "here"
As I never dared to do paragliding till now, I would love to try either rock climbing or paragliding with my husband's encouragement of course. The last time I tried paragliding in Solang valley- Manali I was not successful . I climbed till some point and got back down as I couldn't muster enough courage!


Wayanad is another scenic spot in Kerala. It is called the "Land of Paddy fields" . The lofty peaks and the fields make the place look straight out of a wall poster. I would love to go trekking here to Chembra peak. Banasura peak and Brahmagiri are other important mountains of this district. The wild life sanctuaries and waterfalls here and there are the special attractions of this place. I remember reading about "Vythri resort" in Wayanad and since then I am just dreaming about staying there!


The place is perfect to unwind and get seduced by nature. The tropical rain forests and breath taking views are beautiful. I am sure it would be painful to leave the place once the holiday gets over. I also want to experience the Ayurvedic spa and aroma therapies of Kerala which are world famous. What can be more better than being pampered in midst of the dense greenery ?:)


Glimpse of Vythri resorts :Image courtesy: http://www.vythiriresort.com
Varkala beach or the Papanasam beach is located to the north of Tiruvananthapuram. Its a calm, sparkling beach which is believed to have medicinal properties. A dip in holy water is believed to purge the body impurities.There is a two thousand year old shrine the Janardhanaswamy temple on the cliff over looking the beach. One can climb down the steps to reach the beach. A paved foot path runs along the cliff and the view is breath taking. Varkala for sure is one of the best beaches of India. Like the mountains and cliffs beaches are also endless and mysterious. The shacks and the quaint beach houses make the place more scenic. I would love to watch the temple festival which happens around April.

Birds eye view of Varkala beach. Image source: "here"
I am sure I will have a grand time with my better half in a scenic place like Kerala by staying in the  Boat houses in the back waters of Allepey , visiting various churches, temples, bird sanctuaries (Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary) , Periyar National Park and by enjoying the traditions and cuisines of the place!! India is a mysterious land and I always love exploring the various cultures of our country. The fact that one travels in a Car with Haryana license plate talking Bengali and listening to Kolaveri di always amuses me keeping aside the fact that we have regional or any other kind of conflicts. Travelling surely detoxifies us. 

Kashmir is also on my hit list and I am sure I will go there atleast once in my life time. Travelling to Ladakh and getting clicked at Pangong lake is in my wish list. I want to watch the snow caps and ice glaciers and experience the himalayas to the fullest.

Pangong lake . Image courtesy -"here"
I am glad to say that I went to Manali and Rohtang Pass and touched Himalayas for the first time in my life some where around july in the last year. That sure was one of the happiest days of my life. Below is a snap taken at Rohtang Pass.
Me standing at the Rohtang Pass
I dont know how long this post will get If I start listing out all my travel desires. I want to enjoy the food and art in Italy. I want to sense the freedom in the USA. I want to see the calanques in France and even cover all the seven wonders :) I am glad I visited one of the seven wonders which is the "Taj Mahal."

If wishes are trains and planes I want to board them all ;)
I want to end this post with an incredible video showing incredible India!

Few stanza's from a poem I wrote for the mother nature during one of my journeys.


The colour of the sky and water is pure white and at times deep blue.
Gazing at them makes you feel godly and true!
Where do these vast creations start and end, we have no clue.
The sky and sea merge at some point blending the hue!


The withered leaves of a tree are so brittle and brown.
They no longer breathe life, they always fall down.
Indicating that past should be forgotten saving a frown.
A new memory and a new journey helps rather than a mourn!


God’s nature has different hidden lessons to learn.
To just sit and watch it is a great treasure one can earn!
When you cross the phases of life and wherever you take a turn,
The things which will always be with you are stars, sky, sea moon and the sun!


This post is written for  Indiblogger’s Creating Happy Traveller’s Contest sponsored by Yatra.com.

Please visit Yatra.com's website at   http://www.yatra.com

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Jodha meets Maham Anga- An untold episode from the Mughal era :)

"Salaam-a-lekum Malika-e-Hindustan. This is your room," the maid showed Jodha Bai her room in the huge palace. The room was regal. Every corner of the room exuded richness. Jodha Bai was impressed even if she was feeling low as she moved to a new place and has to live among new people. The beauty of the "Mariam_uz-Zamani" palace stole her heart

"This palace  is so stunning." Jodha said in a low voice.

"Maham Anga ji wants to meet you Mallika," another maid came hurriedly to inform Jodha.

Jodha bent her head down so as to show respect to Maham Anga who is the foster mother of Akbar.

"Namaste Maham Anga ji," Jodha greeted Maham Anga.

"Namaste! What kind of greeting is it? When you are in this palace you have to follow the ways here! You got to greet every one with salaam!" said Maham Anga in an authoritative tone.

All the maids bent their heads down as they feared the glare of Maham Anga. All of a sudden there was a pin drop silence. Only distance cooing of a koel could be heard.

Jodha mustered the courage and replied to Maham Anga.

" From where I come we were taught to greet others with Namaste Maham Anga ji. I am sure both Salaam and Namaste mean the same but I will try to greet every one with a Salaam from next time!"

Maham Anga was furious. No one has the guts to confront her in the whole palace including Akbar.

"How dare you question me ? No one ever questions elders here. Is that what you are taught at your place?" fumed Maham Anga.

Jodha was shell shocked by her furious response. She tried to explain that she was just letting her know that Namaste is also a greeting but by the time Jodha spoke Maham Anga walked out of the room.

"The first day at palace did not go well at all," thought Jodha.

She wanted to discuss this with Akbar but thought otherwise. How can she go to the emperor and ask him to resolve her petty problems?

The next day Jodha got up early , offered her prayers to Lord Krishna and went to the royal kitchen to plan something different that day. The cooks were surprised to see Jodha in the kitchen.

"Today I want you all to cook whatever Maham Anga likes." Jodha ordered the cooks.

All the cooks exchanged glances on hearing the weird request. Jodha repeated what she said and no questions were asked and  the menu was ready in no time. Kaddu ka Kheer and Sevayya were among them which Maham Anga relished a lot.

Jodha poured the hot Kaddu ka Kheer in a bowl and took it to Maham Anga's room.

Maham Anga was stunned to see her.

"Why did you come here? " She questioned.

"Namaste. I mean Salaam-a-lekum Maham Anga ji. I thought I would come and greet you as we did not exchange pleasantries properly yesterday." replied Jodha.

"Please have this kheer as a token of my respect. I ordered it in the kitchen specially for you. Having a sweet dish on a happy occasion is a ritual anywhere I guess!" continued Jodha.

Maham Anga first hesitated but later took the bowl from Jodha's hands. She tasted a spoonful of kheer and was impressed.

"But how did you know that I like kheer?" asked Maham Anga who was clearly puzzled.

"I came to live here Maham Anga ji. I believe in showing respect and love by my gestures rather than by mere words. I would be happy to see that every one is happy here due to me." replied Jodha.

Maham Anga was perplexed by Jodha's words. She was surprised by her wisdom even if Jodha is just half her age.

Maham Anga muttered a thanks and Jodha left the room only after bending and acknowledging her thanks.
Aishwarya Rai as the beautiful Jodha. Image source :"here"


This is purely a  piece of fiction written by tweaking a scene from "Jodha Akbar" movie :-) The message of the story is that the language used to greet people is not important. What is more important is the feeling and the gesture. When the feelings can be understood no language is an obstacle to greet each other !

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Just for Fun

Caution: It’s a real life incident. Resembling anyone living or dead is quite possible.

Inside gym, in mid of the happening bustle I finally found a free cycle. Caught hold of it. After all the settings started my cycling .There was a guy on my left who was pedaling vigorously at a speed of 20 and a girl came settled just to my right. She was setting the level and speed. There was a huge mirror in front of me. Obviously everyone was checking their own reflections [eagerly to see if they lost a chunk from a cheek or a thigh ]

The girl next to me was checking her reflection. She was very chubby but pretty!!

I gave a glance at her!

The way she slowly continued her setting and resetting process made me feel she will take one hour to finish her 15min of cycling and 3hrs to finish the rest of her cardio (treadmill + cycle + cross-trainer)  but whatever pretty girls do is cute to boys! So there he was glancing at her, smiling, pedaling, checking his sweat on the brow and his muscular hump under the shoulder (not spectacular like john abraham's though)
Now don’t ask me if I checked him out so much?  Yes I obviously did! Not him, but his reflection J

Then the pretty damsel was setting her weight. I got a bit mischievous and was giving a side glance. The strong built lad gave a straight glance at her. She was about to set the weight but then gave a disapproving "hmppf" look at the boy and then reduced 2kgs!

LOL! I was about to roar with my loud laugh but tightened my lips and again looked at his reflection.

He was smirking at my reflection.

It was a joke silently passed just between our images. I never bothered knowing who he is but I will remember the moment :) 
Image source : "here"


Monday, September 2, 2013

Kids can be cruel too :-|

Kids are god sent, adorable, cute and kissable. A small smile can make your day but sometimes some strong revelations and questions they pose can mar your day too! A kid used to stay in the fifth floor of my apartment at Hyderabad. He is so damn cute that I always used to wish to bump in to him every day whenever I come out. He used to take the school van and he is the cutest of all the kids. Chubby,  chirpy,  funny and a happy kid he is! We both talk. Talk in the sense, we actually talk.
Every day morning he used to go to Taekwondo and I used to go for my morning walk. In the first round I always used to come across him, he wearing a cute taekwondo dress tightened with a belt shouts with all his energy that he is going to Taekwondo and that he is better than his big bro. Big bro is very handsome and smart with a gentle approving smile whenever this champ talks. No. BIG BRO is not in his teens or twenties! He must be some 10yrs old and this little champ must be some 6yrs old. So one fine day after a long day at office I went home and pressed the elevator's button. I saw that the lil champ is also waiting there to get in to the lift. My face was lit up. I pulled his cheek and said hi. As we were waiting for the lift a handsome bespectacled boy also joined with some plastic covers having groceries. Don’t know in which company he works but ya he seemed a bit dignified among all boys who stayed in that bachelor's flat!!
We exchanged a formal smile.
Lil champ started talking: “ Akka. In which floor do you stay?”
I didn’t understand why suddenly he asked that.
Me: “2nd . Why? “
LC: “If it is second you can take stairs na. It will be good. It’s just like an exercise.”
Believe me friends, I felt so tiny being preached by the kid at that second that too with a grown up boy suppressing his smiles by my side . I suppressed my malice on LC for what he just spoke.


Image source:"here"

I narrowed my eyes and looked threateningly at him
LC looked here and there and replied: “You seem too tired. You came back from office no?”
With puppy eyes I nodded hoping to gain more sympathy and concern. We all got in to the lift.
LC: “ No problem! In other times you can take stairs!!”     *Bouncer again*
I wondered which teacher/master (Taekwondo) taught him all this which lead to a pravachan and made me a victim. I wanted to win in the entire conversation.
I questioned: “Why don't you take stairs?” [heheheha *evil grin in my mind*]
LC: “I stay in 5th floor na. If it was 2nd I would never have taken the lift.”
I imagined instantly learning one of the taekwondo techniques and kicking myself for interrogating him.
I felt terrible, offended and what not. Lift stopped at my floor. While getting down I looked back and saw that the elder of the two boys was grinning broad. Ideally he was not  elder as I felt the little rascal lot elder than me or the other boy at that time.
I had no other choice than to grin back and give one last malicious look at the little rascal !!

This is my second post written for  Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st – 7th September 2013. As part of this challenge I am writing seven random incidents which happened to me or others :) Do acknowledge if you read.  Find more posts here - "Day 2" 

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