Thursday, November 12, 2015

Married life wishes - secrets from the hills - #madeofgreat


This may be easy to relate like other things in life but hard to implement like many things in life.  On one of my recent visits to Shimla  ( yes, I do visit this place when I am not in Jaipur ) I came across a beautiful couple whom I have been seeing for years now but never really got a chance to meet or know them .

Shimla as we know is crowded so  Mashobra is the place for people like me who appreciate serenity . They live in this beautiful area atop a hill with a home ( I am not allowed to call a house ) designed and done beautifully by the two of them . You meet them ( though they don’t  like to be discussed or talked about and prefer living peacefully ) and you will know what it takes to be in a relationship ,  be married , raise kids and more importantly be with that one person all throughout thick and thin and yet everything stays afresh . 

Whenever I used to go to Mashobra all we did was to exchange some smiles and hand waving . Bad on my part , I never even said a hello or a good morning to them .  But this time , I feel now when I back to my base I wanted to talk to them , know them and just be with them for some time.  So , I did wish them during our morning walk and yes ( not because I am the sweetest of the lot ) they invited me for breakfast .




As I entered their abode , I saw the HOME name as sheetanchal ( comes from their two daughters – Sheetal and Aanchal , who are in the US . No further details please : ) )

The home is done so beautifully with simple pieces of furniture that look so elegant  . I could feel the positive vibes all over the place with ample sunshine , fresh air and everything you would ever want from a hill side home .  They have a helper but Aunty does the cooking herself while uncle ensure the garden looks manicured 24*7  since he does organic farming as well .

She made us a lovely breakfast with fruits , salads , milk, honey and fresh French breads .  Over food they talked about how they met and the life till date and ow Mashobra happened.

Surprising, both are former seniors executives who worked for top notch MNCs during their working years .  





They met while working and hated each other from day one. Interestingly, things fell into place and both of them got married and moved to the US . It was a typical corporate life but both of them managed it so well that they did everything they wanted to . Aunty learnt dance ( kathak to be specific , published articles , did a Ph.D and most importantly went for an Himalayan expedition ) . Uncle learnt cooking, changing diapers , swimming and above all something he cherishes  - being patient ( a trait he says he cultivated by being with his wife ).

Their daughters too were brought up independently yet groomed in tradition but having a modern outlook .

I can go on and on and it’s something which I may not be able to pen down completely so I will stick to key parts .

Success – they say is something you don’t get unless you work very hard for it . Forget what people say ,  destiny holds .

Marriage -  It’s a bond that you will be bonded till the time you are here on this earth .  Only a lucky few get this .

Children -  The most precious of all the gifts your wife can give to you . Priceless , that’s why wife’s are always superior :P

Secret to a happy life -  Have no expectations from others .  Believe in this and then see how people go to any length to do the world for you.




You are right , many of the above I have  reworded as well to ensure you appreciate me as a good writer .  But leaving all this aside , see and read and implement what they have been doing so well .   

I know it’s hard to find someone like them but life would be so much simple if we stopped making it complex like for most other things that we do.  You never know when the call will come and then you will have no time to go back to that same person you once left & that one thing you wished to learn may be .

Some people are #madeofgreat . These are people who are really strong from within and aim to be happy no matter how hard life is. What drives them from within is sheer dedication , will to do good and never giving up on small petty issues yet being simple at heart and spirit. 

So while you start becoming nice and understanding from today , also make it a point to take breaks . After all , I do keep sharing lots of stuff for you all .  I am also learning from them in this entire process. 

The 'cute part' in all of this was when uncle told me that & I quote- " karan ,you must be a good son to your parents and I am sure you will be amazing husband and a doting father '' :) 

Felt nice !

**

This blog post is an inspiration to all those folks whom we meet , have met or will meet in times to come . Truly #madeofgreat .

Did you know ace footballer Lionel Messi will endorse Tata cars and utility vehicles (UVs) in India and globally . Visit this link to find out more  and check the new TVC here they created. 

The above also make me think and wonder how did this association happen . 

You can comment with your thoughts as well on "What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?" Hear from you. 

Love and Listen by being Good

Paragliding :  In case you haven't done till now , step - out and fly . This can be both a recreational or competitive sport besides being classified as an adventure in itself of flying para-gliders .   

Not everyone can do it , that's what the pilot shared. And I echo the thought . Its not easy for starters like me . And the Bir-Billing area in Himachal Pradesh is a popular destination for ecotourism and adventure my all time pick would be paragliding over the bay of Portonovo, Ancona ,Italy.

While this post is not on the do's and don't of para-gliding , this is more of a share on what you can do for resolving a conflict , in anything where two people are involved : this can be two separate individuals or your outer self and inner self. 

For example : A person like me who was not 'into' paragliding or the use of it ,actually had to be sat down and told by someone whom I can listen to for hours on some key aspects .

Focus on the good :  We , as humans are wired in such a way that our negative thinking moves exponentially in line with the positive one . When thinking of doing para-gliding , I did not think of the fun part of it but thought what if I die or get injured or if the wing or harness become defective.  That's how we are . For us to do anything big or small , we need to channelize our energies onto the positive side of the light . Just by doing so you can change so many events in your life.

Take for a moment a couple in a relationship - Remember the reasons you fell in love in the first place. Remember the good times, the fun, and the joy you share. When you’re ready, try to see the good in your partner's position right now. A person who cares enough to fight with you is still a person who cares.

Yet , we fight with the same person and bleed them red.  And afterwards , we realize what mess we have created .

Speak with Love :  Had it not been the sweetness and ample patience in my instructor , I wouldn't have done at the first place . Remember when the time comes for you to speak, tell the truth, but tell it with love. Without love, the most persuasive speech is nothing but noise. Try changing your way of sharing or even talking and see how people respond to you . Love is a powerful ingredient and believe me , it can do wonders unimaginable. 

Listen : After reading all this , what you did was just to listen . Listening well is one of the most important skills in resolving any conflict. Yet all too often, we find ourselves plotting our next point, rather than actively listening .To answer before listening— that is folly and shame .

Next time you argue or fight with your partner , friend or instructor try to remember these three pointers and plug them in. Remember, time is slipping away any which way so ensure you fill your life and the life of everyone around with some light and positive thoughts . 


Monday, November 9, 2015

Bihar Elections 2015 : There is more than just a win

178 /  58 ; everyone in India and around the world would know what I am intending to say or imply. Bihar defeat is not a defeat for BJP but a defeat for all those people who think power is perpetual and humans of today's digital age can be taken for a ride.



In the weekend gone by , besides the usual cleaning for the festivities I was also keeping a close track of the elections in Bihar in parallel to my travel schedule . After being on calls and messages from people across the spectrum everyone was keen to hear few initial thoughts from me ; both as a local citizen of this country and also as a person who keeps a track on the political system of India.

First thought ; Again ! This was the exact word which I said over and over . Delhi elections were an eye-opener for the ruling BJP led NDA consortium . The Delhi elections did gave away key learnings  :  the importance of a local state leader whit whom the masses can identify and look up to ; the importance of going door-door and meeting people and gunuinely hearing them and preparing an agenda from them , for them .  Active but intelligent use of digital as a media for reaching out to more social audience and thereby gaining the social word of mouth  . And lastly , giving power to not just one person or parliamentary board but having a structure where people feel involved and part of the entire process .  Lastly ,  being extremely careful with choice of words being shelled out .


If you closely look at the Bihar Results , BJP as a leading NDA partner failed or if I can say mis-read all of the above.

India , as a country has a pulse where a leader who 'belongs' to their area , 'speaks'  in a language they speak in and 'understands ' in a way like noone else can  , is 'the ' neta of these people.  With the RJD emerging as the single largest party in the state , this statement cannot be more than true now.

Besides the above , one more thing which I personally fail to understand is if you use your 'charm '  more than once or over and over again ,  it will fade out and also lose its sheen and relevancy .  Same is the case with overdoing the Modi card .  Why , in a state like Bihar where BJP has an array of local leaders good enough to work up , we have hoardings across of Modiji and Amit Shah ji .

While its good to re-iterate as a thought that the center is with you but you need to have a local touch and it doesn't matter if it gets more space than the national leaders on the marketing walls.

People of India are smart and with each passing day make a choice noone can think about . If they were clear that they needed BJP led government at the national stage they did all out. If they were clear they preferred Arvind Kejriwal and Nitish Kumar in Delhi and Bihar , they again went all out.

What needs to be seen is not how fast Bihar will grow but how fast everyone learns these hard lessons and implements them .  For me as an Indian , I would love to see our state BIHAR progress ahead and sheds its not-so-good tags which have sticked onto it in the decades gone by.

As a true warrior , jo jeeta wohi sikandar....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

10 things to do in Kodaikanal

There is something about rains and open spaces that make me a little more than hilarious . And not only me , couple of others as well . 

Today , rains in Delhi bought back the festive cheer killing the week long SMOG clouding all around Delhi / NCR . As I up for an early morning catch-up breakfast with a few special folks , we decided let's step out and drive away to a place far from the traffic snarls yet has a festive cheer .


The thought came to go to Kodaikanal . While you may think I am crazy and my rest of the gang mad but then this is how life should be - unplanned , unbiased and unimaginable yet positive . 





Known world over as the princess of hill stations this place has made me fall in love all over again . My first thought on reaching here was , this can't be in India . This has to be a foreign location.   Pristine surrounding ,  lovely people to talk to and spend time with and not to forget the bicycles that can be rented to take a ride or two around the famous Kodaikanal Lake .  

Believe me this 5 kms path that goes around the periphery of this lovely lake is a favourite walk for the locals and tourists . Head up for an early morning walk or take a casual stroll in the evening and see the stars twinkle when they come ; its all worth it . Area is kept neat and clean and people make a conscious effort to ensure they do not litter. 

We took a flight from Delhi to Chennai and then a Chennai - Madurai connecting flight . From Madurai airport its a clsoe 3.5 hours drive for 130 kms all through Palani hills and its scenic  . You can stop on way to relish a good coconut water break or just click some pictures while you are on the move.  

While there are a whole lot of places that you can visit and drink and dine in while at Kodai , I am sharing my top picks  for you . Happy to help you plan your trip in case your visting as I have other hidden gems as well . 


1. Coffee at Cafe Cariappa :  Enter onto the P.T. Road and tilt your head slightly up and you  see a small coffee place . Its known all around as the place for a superb cappuccino and home made cakes .  The one many show run by Ms.Latha is a delight to watch as she prepares your meal and in parallel chats up on your queries.  Try the Tosca and the Carrot cake  . And yes, you may meet some interesting travelers - solo or couple or group and they can be good buddies in the long run . 




2. Sunday Market :  There is a weekly market which happens on Sunday . You have to be here to catch the action. 

3. Kurinji Andavar Murugan temple : For the religious you ,  this temple which is famous for its Kurinji flower which blossoms in the area only once every 12 years. The deity here is called Sri Kurinji Easwaran, who is in fact Lord Murugan. 



4. Stay : We stayed at the heritage yet elegant , the only property band on the Kodai Lake - The Carlton. Majority of the hotel's room overlook the blue lake and at times you may not want to step out only.   The rooms , food and service are all very good and I liked the Silver Oak restaurant and the in-house bar called as  - The End of The Road bar.   And this is not all . 



5. KIS : The famous : Kodaikanal International School (KIS), also known Kodai School is a proud neighbor of the Carlton and a landmark of Kodai . While you cannot enter as a visitor since its restricted , in case you can pull some strings , its worth a visit . The canteen and the global students are really good and will take you back to your school days. 

6. Green Valley View, (formerly called Suicide Point) offers an excellent panoramic view of the plains overlooking the Vaigai Dam to the south. The picture perfect place .

7.Pastry Corner Kodaikanal : The icecreams here are soft and melt in mouth kind.   There is a counter inside Spencers as well but I would suggest you visit the main outlet. 

8. Cottage Craft Shop : This place sells incense, embroidery, hats, bags and other goods crafted by disadvantaged groups across India, with about 80% of the purchase price returned to the makers. Located on PT road . The cause caught our eye .

9: Sacred Heart Natural Science Museum : A little detour in the grounds of a former Jesuit seminary , this museum has an array of flora and fauna put together over more than 100 years by priests and trainees. Displays range over bottled snakes, human embryos, giant moths and stuffed animal carcasses. Not everyone's interest but done pretty neat. 

10. Bhuttas ( Corn )  : On the Kodai lakeside ,  you should drop by and grab a healthy bit of awesome corn done pretty fast in a way you may not have seen earlier. 

Delhi Diaries & More

I got a severe firing from one of my dear followers & a fellow blogger for not updating or as she says posting my thoughts on my blog ...