Sunday, July 15, 2018

80. Buddha Park of Ravangla

Sikkim has a number of Buddhist attractions, the most famous of them being the Rumtek monastery near capital Gangtok. Not many people are aware that South Sikkim also has a lot to offer. One beautiful destination here is the Buddha Park of Ravangla which has a 130 feet high statue of Buddha. The place is surrounded by green hills and offers a really spectacular view. There are also some hotels adjacent to the Park where one can stay.  

Sunday, July 01, 2018

173. Cost

I have everything -
A good house,
A luxury car,
Gadgets of all types,
A fat bank balance.

I throw parties
On smallest pretext,
I go abroad
On biennial vacations.

My big farmhouse
Is beside the lake,
I have a summer home
In cool climes.

What I lack is
A good night's sleep
And some peace of mind,

Can someone answer,
What is the cost?

Monday, April 30, 2018

79. Visit to Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is one of the best tourist attractions in the country. With onset of winter, migratory birds from various parts of India and abroad flock to this place. It is a heavenly experience to see them all at one place. Manual rickshaws ply in the sanctuary to bring the tourists closer to the birds. The proximity of Bharatpur to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri enables tourists to get close to nature and also see some of the best monuments that the country has to offer.

Sunday, April 08, 2018


City gets up early,
Skips warm-up,
Starts running straightaway.

No bird in sight,
No melody of chirping,
Only cacophony of horns,
Devouring each and every sound.

People walk busily,
Have no time to talk,
No time to look around,
Not even to think.

I want to stop them,
I want to ask them,
Why are they so busy,
Are they dying soon
Or are they going to live forever?

Saturday, March 24, 2018

78. Gangaur Festival in Jaipur

This week, Rajasthan observed Gangaur, the festival during which women worship Gauri, the wife of Lord Shiva. It is the celebration of spring, harvest and marital bliss. Unmarried women worship Gauri seeking a good husband while married women do so for a happy married life. 

The festival commences on the first day of Chaitra, the day following Holi and continues for 16 days. Fairs (Gangaur Melas) are held during this period.Images of Shiva and Gauri are made of clay and decorated with colourful dresses for the festival. Ladies decorate their hands and feet by drawing designs with Mehndi. On the conclusion of the Gangaur festival, the idols are immersed in a  well, pond or river. 

The Gangaur procession of Jaipur is famous  all over the world. The procession, with the image of Gauri, commences from the Tripolia Gate of the City Palace. Passing through various areas, it concludes near the Talkatora. People from all walks of life including  foreigners come to witness the colourful procession. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

77. Amazing stepwell

Chand Baori is an amazing stepwell situated at Abhaneri village in Dausa district of Rajasthan.  At a distance of about 95 km from Jaipur off the Jaipur-Agra road, it was built in AD 800. Chand Baori consists of 3,500 narrow steps over 13 stories. It goes about 100 ft into the ground making it one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India. Chand Baori is awe-inspiring and amazing at the same time.

Monday, January 29, 2018

187. Do we need a Ministry of Loneliness?

Trust Britain to come up with new ideas. Recently, they  appointed a Minister for Loneliness. The rationale came from a 2017 report of the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness which revealed that about 9 million people in the country suffered from loneliness sometimes or all the time. It will be interesting to see how this new Ministry handles the issue of loneliness.

The problem  seems to be quite acute in India too. With joint families breaking down, many more people suffer from loneliness today than ever before in the past. Millions of old people are living alone. They find nothing to look forward to and are just waiting to die. A large number of teenagers and youngsters are also feeling lonely, as pressure for success in studies and careers mount on them. Growing incidence of suicide among young people indicates the gravity of the problem.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be much awareness about the impact of mental condition on one's physical health. While we hear a lot about the need to tackle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cancer and so on, there is hardly any understanding that unhappiness caused by loneliness can lead to diseases or aggravate them.

What seems to be important is imparting of skills to people to deal with their loneliness. If one knows how to keep oneself busy and how to deal with one's emotions in a reasonable manner, one will not experience much loneliness. It is a good idea to develop some hobbies at an early stage. These may include drawing, painting, music, gardening, reading ... whatever. Also, one must understand the necessity to invest time and effort into building a circle of friends and well-wishers.It is also important to appreciate that with right attitude, one may not feel loneliness even if one is alone, and without such attitude, one may feel very lonely even if surrounded by many people. Basically, it is the way one handles oneself. 

I don't think, we need to emulate the example of Britain and set up a Ministry of Loneliness. Launch of a nation-wide, well-targeted and effective programme of education designed by experts can be a good beginning.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

171. On new year

An old year goes,
A new year comes-
Unbroken remains the chain.

Each year is filled
With same number of months,
But no two years are the same,
Some years pass too quickly,
Some just won't go away.

Each year has to be lived
Until a new one arrives,
And no year will stay,
Because you don't want it away.