Thursday, August 16, 2007

10 places I wish to visit - India

1. Chikmagalur Hills
I was reading some article on Kudremukh Iron Ore Company which is carrying out mining activities near this place. The writer found such an activity outrageous since after visiting the place he was convinced it would ruin the heavenly beauty of Chikmagalur. I could percieve that whatever he wrote, was coming from his heart.

2. Banjar
50 Km short of Kullu, there is this place which hardly attracts any tourists. Yogi said 'its in the middle of nowhere' - a phrase which means its a must visit.

3. Kalimpong
Part of the rich and unspoilt Sikkim natural heritage, its a delightful place. The famous Tshongu lake is along the way. I don't remember who inspired me to put this in the list but a collegue, Neeta, confirmed that its a beauty.

4. Yercaud
14 Km from the industrial city of Salem, this place is another secluded heaven for nature lovers. I was at Salem last May and still regret the fact that I didn't have time to move on.

5. Auli
While passing through Joshimath, on our way to Badrinath, we came to know that this place is 12 Km away. One of the longest ropeways in the world, 3.9 Km long, takes 25 min to take visitors to the top. I am told that the view from Auli is unmatched.

6. Valley of Flower
Looks like Joshimath is a strategic location. You can go to Badrinath, Auli and Valley of flowers from here. And who hasn't heard of the Valley of Flowers.

7. Patal Bhubaneshwar
I remember Ruchi told us about this place with natural beauty and some kind of unique structure in a temple while we were in Mukteshwar. Pithoragarh, the host city, has a historical significance.

8. Kottayam
In the god's own country, one would certainly wish to go to the capital first. This place is forerunner in the list of beautiful beaches in Kerala. Varun, an old friend, told me about the beauty of this place.

9. Kaziranga
It is famous for the Rhinoceros. And if I am not wrongly informed, there is a better chance to see the wildlife at this place than looking for tiger at Corbett or lion at Gir.

10. Pangong Lake
The scenic beauty of this lake is awesome even in photographs. I remember Hardy first referring to this place after he came back from the *ss numbing trip of Ladakh.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

the winnning strategy

The movie Finding Forrester has many memorable moments. I quote a dialogue by Sean Connery to Rob Brown when Rob is not clear how to win the heart of the girl he likes. Sean says:

"The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time."

When I heard this line for the first time, the first thing that struck me was the confidence with which these lines were delivered. Nobody can be so sure about women. I mean it could have been a conversation or a discussion or a suggestion. It was a statement.

Surprise has an element of fascination that charms men and women alike. What may possibly set women apart is the alacrity to accept gifts and the penchant for adventure.

So next time when you have to win a heart, remember these two things. Unexpected gift. Unexpected time.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Autobiography: Entry 2

I moved to APJ, Noida in 1998 to complete my high school. I was already missing my childhood friends. There were two people who made my life easy at APJ. One of them was Piyush. I remember him as a witty boy with a childish smile and a big heart. The other one was a plain faced, quiet, fair girl with specs.

I never tried to appear well at school. I looked shabby and ungainly. Some classmates used to comment that I don't look like a student. I had a ferocious competitiveness and the soul aim of my life those days was to get into IIT. Everything else was a minor affair.

I was in biology section because the principal refused to give me admission in the engineering section. I guess I proved him wrong by being the only person from my batch to actually get into a prestigious engineering college. He had a funny accent. His idea of a long morning assembly never suited me and even prompted me to leave the school bus so that I reach school when the class started. Tiwari Sir, our Class Head and Biology teacher, always had a biased opinion towards me and used to show his generosity now and then.

All my good friends from APJ, except Piyush, became friends after I left school. The reason was simple-I never talked. I used to do well in my class although I can never forget that my English teacher failed me seven times and I still hold a grudge against her.

My classmates at APJ remember me as a strange yet good person - something that suits me well.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ware is the place?

I never told anybody but I didn't sleep on 3rd August. You may say that who the f**k is anyway interested in knowing. Still I will tell because its my blog. I can write anything here and it is this independence that drives me to write one blog after another.

So I never slept on 3rd August. I started early morning on 4th from Rotherham taking a 5.41 AM train to London. I kept reminding myself that this was a stupid idea until I reached a place called Ware to meet an old school friend. I had come to meet him because I really like this guy. Ware sounds like warehouse and somehow I could not relate a beautiful place with this name. Of course I was wrong.

It was with this state of mind that I reached Ware at noon. Its 35 minutes by train from Liverpool Street. Ketan took me around. It was some experience and since I was not expecting it, the place looked all the more beautiful. The little town had a lot to offer. A sunny day, uncrowded street, numerous pubs and a pleasant walk on the banks of River Lee. All the words like cool, calm, serene, tranquil and peaceful could be related to this one place.

There were overgrown trees under which a pathway went alongside the river for a mile or so. The place had a charming effect. We had our share of eventful afternoon.

I was on plane on my way back to India and hence couldn't sleep on 4th August also. I watched three movies on board. Hence I broke my own record with 52 continuous sleepless hours. And that is something to talk about.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

idol worship

धर्मग्रन्थ सब जला चुकी है, जिसके अंतर की ज्वाला,
मंदिर, मसजिद, गिरिजे, सब को तोड़ चुका जो मतवाला,
पंडित, मोमिन, पादिरयों के फंदों को जो काट चुका,
कर सकती है आज उसी का स्वागत मेरी मधुशाला।।१७।

Can someone tell me the logic behind idol worship? I know the same question has been asked by greater minds since time immemorial. Yet the kind of resource in terms of man-hours and money is engaged in the maintenance of idols across India is mind boggling. The market-size would definitely go in Billion dollars.

I remember our family trip to Gangotri-Yamunotri-Kedarnath-Badrinath. At Badrinath, we faced a 4 hour long queue to the temple. We had letters from some high dignitaries and hence were able to go through the holy place in minutes. I was feeling guilty later. I mean God must have deducted some marks from our expected score of 'Punya' that we were supposed to get from this visit after such manipulations.

And what did I learn from this manipulated holy visit? That few stones have been endowed with the power to command life. I forgot to tell that even we had to wait for an hour along with other people albeit for a genuine reason. The Shankaracharya was visiting the temple and no other soul was allowed to get near the holy stones.

That's what I would definitely call holy shit.

I need you

Time and again life has reminded me that everything is driven by need. It is the engine that rotates the world. Everything and everyone is dispensable except the one that is needed.

I believe that it would have been the most difficult task for God to create various kind of needs. Creating life would have been easy. Engaging them would have been as difficult.

I remember an advertisement where a small girl is not able to put the thread in the hole of the needle. She is innocent enough to take help of her grandmother who has a weak eyesight. Yet the grandmother tries and after few attemps, is successful in putting the thread in the needle. The old lady realizes that she is still needed even though its her little granddaughter.

Try to make your loved ones realize that you need them. It would have a much powerful effect saying I need you instead of I love you.