Kill the small screen

hulu-msg-theaterI am sure you all will agree that our life was far better when we had only a ‘Big Screen’ in our life. We go to movie theater occasionally may be once or twice in a month with our family.

It was just like a festival for us.  We analyze, criticize and discuss in threadbare and also we wish to recreate our own version of the movie. The effect of the movie always lingering in our mind for a long time.

The day the small screen called TV  attacked our home the enjoyment we derived from big screen came to an end.We become addicted to the small screen that killed all our out door activities and we have become couch potato.

We lost our creative ability, imagination and analytical mind as we are being fed with illogical, uninspiring content everyday. There are lot of movies being telecast but it never gives a thrilling enjoyment.

The attack of smart phones in our home further deteriorated the atmosphere.  Smartphones reduced the human beings to  ‘virtual beings’. The present generation of children never go out to play and  the pity is that they don’t even know what is called the ‘outdoor games’.

The small screen completely stopped the interaction of the family members as they always interested in virtual relationship. They are too much addicted to the small screen and tempted to see the screen every two minutes.

It is not only affecting their eye sight but also their concentration. To rescue the human beings , I wish to kill the ‘small screen’  !

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Trip to North East, India

elephant falls shillong_Main_800When I decided to visit North-East of India in Apr 2009, I had a lot of apprehensions in my mind due to our pre-conceived notion arising out of adverse media reports about North East. Yet I was so determined to visit as I felt that it was a god sent opportunity. To add fuel to my apprehensions, a bomb blast incident took place at Guwahati just one day prior to our departure. But it never deterred our enthusiasm and we boarded the Air India flight as per the schedule. It was a morning flight from Delhi. Air India served us a hot and delicious breakfast. While relishing the breakfast, we had an opportunity to see the aerial view of beautiful tea gardens of Bagdogra where our flight landed on our way to Guwahati. When we reached Guwahati airport, a cool breeze welcomed us. On the way to our Guest House, we were passing through beautiful buildings of the city. We were able to spot Guwahati University, High Court and other important landmarks of the city. Finally, we reached the famous Kamakhya temple. We were stunned to see the huge crowd standing on the queue to pay their obeisance to God. What we really surprised that the previous day bomb blast never had any impact on the life of Guwahati citizens as the whole city looked as usual as any other normal day.

Next day early morning we proceeded to Shillong. Our journey from Guwahati to Shillong was not only memorable but also a feast to the eyes. When we reached Shillong, we were completely awestruck over the beauty of Shillong. Its unique buildings, neat and clean roads, people with colourful attire added more beauty to the city. Initially we had difficulty in pronouncing the names of the roads of Shillong as it all resemble Chinese names. On our sight seeing trip, from Shillong peak we could able to see the whole city of Shillong. It was a breathtaking experience. Elephant falls not only enthralled us by its beauty but also its serene surroundings. We felt fresh and got rejuvenated after our boating at the most beautiful Wards Lake. Musical fountain at this place was simply superb. I was amazed to see 18 holes Golf Course the biggest Golf Course in Asia. I became spellbound over its lush green lawns. Our only disappointment in Shillong was that I could not able to see the famous Don Bosco Museum as it was closed due to Easter holidays. The climate of Shillong really soothed both my mind and body.

After my sight seeing trip to Shillong, I proceeded to our dream destination. Yes it was Cheerapunji, the wettest place on earth (this record has now been snatched away by a village called Mawsynram just 10 kms away from Cherrapunji). I joined with a conducted tour to Cheerapunji in a Meghalaya Transport Corporation Bus. The moment we boarded the bus, the guide welcomed us and started briefing us about the significance of Cheerapunji in tolerable English. After his briefing, we really got exited to see our dream destination. Cherrapunji is full of huge mountains, beautiful valleys and pleasing water falls. Certainly it is the most picturesque place we have ever visited. Noh-ka-Likai falls was an absolute beauty. We could not take our eyes away from it as long as we stand there. Gushing sound of water and reflection of rainbow at the end still lingering in our mind. It was really a scenic beauty and worth to watch. If you are bit adventurous you can visit Mawsmai caves. You may underestimate its deepness while entering the cave. Before coming out of the caves, you would miss few heart beats on the way. We were completely excited to see the seven sisters where seven water falls appeared in a row. We could not believe our eyes as we witnessed the Bangaldesh border from Cherrapunji. It was really a life time opportunity.

I enjoyed the whole trip. It is really a lovely place and it was one of my best holidays which I will remember for ever.

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My first encounter with Winter

652039-delhi-fog-1 Since winter is fast approaching in Delhi, it brought me back the memories of my first winter in Delhi. When I came to Delhi  I knew nothing about the season called ‘winter’ as I belong to South India, where the climate is hot, hotter and hottest. When everybody talk about winter, I thought that they are just exaggerating the things.

One morning in the first week of December, when I woke up at around 6 a.m,  I just pushed the window screen to get the outside view and also sun light as I usually do. The moment I pushed the screen, I saw a white wall. I could not believe my eyes. Even balcony of my flat was not visible.  I immediately rushed to the main door of my flat and opened the door. What a beauty ! The whole area covered with heavy fog  and wherever I look I could see only white, white everywhere. It looked as if Delhi is wrapped with a white envelope. I really enjoyed the atmosphere and started walking into the fog. While walking I could not see who is coming in the opposite direction. I could not even presume whether it is a human being or an animal.  White fog coming out of my mouth and nose. It looked as if everybody is smoking. It was really a funny sight.

You feel more energetic during winter.  It is time to get more green vegetables and relishing fresh fruits.  It is the best time to roam around Delhi and enjoy its beauty. No matter how long you travel, walk you never get exhausted. That is the beauty of Delhi’s winter.

Winter is the best thing that could happen to Delhi. It looks afresh durng winter. Suddenly people of Delhi appear rich with their winter clothing like sweaters, scarfs, overcoats and caps. During this season, it is very difficult to differentiate between an officer and  peon in offices by their appearance. Children become so cute with their winter attire. It is really feast to your eyes when you see them walk in groups while going to school in the morning.

Quilt is the one of the greatest invention to tackle winter. This I have realised after experiencing the Delhi’s winter. Once you are inside your quilt, you would forget about the temperature outside. Nobody would like to come out of their quilt. Once you come out you feel as if you have come out from heaven to hell.

It is the time Delhi used to become so vibrant with lot of activities. It hosts plenty of sports and  international events.  Winter has always boost the tourism industry as many foreigners visit Delhi during this season. There was a saying that Delhites need not go to any hill station as the hills visits them every year.  What an apt statement !

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FIFA 2018 World Cup as I see it…………..

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I am basically a cricket fan, may be because India plays cricket! I also watch other sports for a change. My interest to watch football matches developed only during world cups.I really enjoy the extravaganza on TV.

Though I have not much knowledge over football, other than Messi and Ronaldo, still I enjoy the game for other reasons. That is the way I see a football match!

I am amazed to see the colourful football stadium. The vast green field with players in colourful attire with white shoes.The men at goals with different shades. Referees with a whistle  in their hand also in stunning colourful attire.

Spectators of respective countries also exhibit their loyalty with their team by wearing the same shades as their team mates. Few spectators also wear very colourful head gears and that attract other spectators.I don’t think any other playing area has such a colourful surroundings.

Once the play starts, it is amazing to see the players continuously running, kicking and heading the ball for 90 minutes. Really we have to salute their endurance. Goal keepers who normally relaxed, get stressed when the ball come to their side! In no other game referees have this much work out as in the football match. They also keep running with the players throughout the match.

When two players during the course of the match indulged in a scuffle, and one player always roll down on the ground with unbearable pain, but to my surprise within few seconds he himself stand up and resume his play is really awesome.

It is always interesting to watch actions of coaches of the rival teams. They can not sit on their seat not even for a minute, as either got excited or irritated over the performance of their team that force them always get out of their seat and come to the edge of the playing area and advise the players through their actions how to handle a specific situation in the middle !

Yeah for the 90 minutes it is always unlimited entertainment !

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Hey monsoon, come soon !

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It is natural everybody like monsoon no matter which part of the globe they are. But for the people of Delhi it is a boon !  Because whole Delhi turn in to a frying pan during summer and the temperature will reach up to 45 degrees Celsius. Just shut your eyes and touch any object, I am sure it will be hot .

Even during night you won’t get any respite from heat. Thanks for the occasional dust storm, that give us much needed relief, though only for a brief period!

The biggest dilemma once monsoon arrive is whether to carry umbrella to office or not. If you carry it, it won’t rain. If you don’t carry it, certainly you will get stuck either in office or in metro station !

Having umbrella does not mean that you can reach your home safe. Due to wind force  your umbrella suddenly change its angle towards sky thereby making you wet as well as make you embarrassed due to curious onlookers. Some times you have to jump like Kangaroo to avoid puddles on the road.

It is better to keep your distance from speeding car to avoid muddy wash ! Fly overs and elevated metro tracks serve as a community umbrella for the two wheeler riders as well as  pedestrians.

Irrespective of the above troubles, I enjoy monsoon every year. The thunder storm and  appearance of the  cloudy sky,  trigger my imagination and creativity and urge me to write more. News paper report say Delhi’s pollution level comes down during rain. I enjoy the drizzle while walking. I always cherish the heavy rain when I am in the comfort of my home.

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The day when I touch the sky

636867-goairI was craving for air travel since my childhood. Whenever I see a flight in the sky, I always used to imagine how passengers inside the plane would be enjoying their flying. But unfortunately air travel in India was meant for rich only. Few years back only national carrier Indian airlines dominated the whole field and its fare was beyond the reach of a common man. It was a time, only top bureaucrats, business men and politicians used to travel by air.

Now the whole scenario has changed drastically. Thanks to invasion of private airlines in the Indian sky. Their competitiveness in service and pricing has a significant effect on the domestic scene and that leads to even a common man like me started thinking of realizing my dream of traveling by air.

I was waiting eagerly for the right opportunity. One fine morning when I opened the news paper, my eyes straight away glued to an advertisement given by a private airline offering unimaginable low fares to Chennai. For a moment I could not believe my eyes. I just rubbed my eyes and again gone through the advertisement. Yes it was a god sent opportunity for me to fly.

I immediately dialed the airline numbers and enquired to know whether ticket is available or not. To my joy, they informed me that tickets are available. Without any hesitation I immediately booked my dream ticket for the dream journey. I felt as if it all happened as fantasy. Yes, the countdown starts. There is no need for me to dream now as I am going to realize my dream.

On the appointed day, I was so brisk in packing my things. Though it was more than eight hours for the journey I started flying now itself. Since I have to be in the airport two hours before, I booked a taxi. It was a rainy day and it was raining cat and dogs, but it failed to dampen my spirit.

The taxi arrived. Still it was raining. I took by suite case and a bag and locked my home. First I took the suite case and got down from the stair case of my apartment and kept in the back seat of the taxi and I closed the door to avoid rain water seeping inside the car and again came to the staircase and took my bag and got down to board the taxi. To my shock, the taxi was not there. I was started looking all the directions, but I could not find the taxi. One minute I felt that my dream run has ended abruptly. I became so tense. I did not know what to do? I tried driver’s mobile number. Unfortunately the phone was engaged.

To add fuel to the fire, I got a call in my mobile from the airline informing that the flight timing has been advanced by 20 minutes. What a pathetic situation. I never heard in my life advancement of any timing whether it is a bus, train or airline. After fifteen minutes again I dialed driver’s mobile number. This time he responded. I asked him where he is going. I was really stunned on hearing his reply. He told me that he is going to airport. Going to airport without passenger? I told him that I am the passenger how can you go to airport without me. After a brief pause, he told me that he is coming back. In this process almost 30 minutes was wasted.

Rain was still continuing. I became restless. The car back again. The driver told me that he thought that after putting the suitcase on the back seat he thought that I also would have sat. There was no time for me to scold the driver for his irresponsible behaviour. I asked him to rush to the airport. Due to heavy rain throughout the day led to water logging everywhere and that led to traffic jam en route airport. This also added to my tension and still I was not sure whether I would be able to make it to the airport.

To my surprise after reaching airport I came to know that the flight timing was actually postponed by 30 minutes. The flight which was supposed to land did not land in time. We were told that due to heavy traffic congestion at the Delhi airport the flight landing is delayed. Since most of us are first time flyers naturally every body was so anxious. After seeing their condition I just said that though the airline is named as ‘go air’ it seems it will never go. After hearing my comments everybody laughed a while forgetting their tense moment. The bus arrived to take us near to the flight. After getting down from the bus when I look at the flight at a close range, I was completely spellbound by its beauty.

This was the first time I could able to see a flight in such a close distance and was completely amazed to see the wonderful carrier. After entering inside the flight I felt as if I entered into a big auditorium. Now we were waiting for the great moment. Yes to take off. There was an announcement that passengers must wear their seat belt as the flight is going to take off in few seconds. We were waiting with bated breath. All lights inside the flight are switched off. For a minute the entire passengers were silent waiting for the exciting moment. We felt a jerk and the flight just started cruising into the sky like a big bird.

It was an unimaginable experience that no words can explain my feeling fully. When the flight was on its high altitude and with high speed, I felt as if I am sitting in a room of a five star hotel. When we all started settling down fully after the take off experience, there was an announcement again that flight reached Chennai and very few seconds from now the flight is going to land. I could not believe this. Within 2 ½ hours I crossed more than 2000 Kms whereby I used to travel the same distance by spending 36 hours in train. I felt as if I traveled just from one part of Delhi to other.

Really it was a wonderful experience which I will never forget as long as I live.

A pilgrimage to Allahabad & Varanasi

A trip to holy city

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On a long week end in 29 Mar 18 scheduled our visit to Allahabad and Varanasi. Our train reached Allahabad early morning. First day we proceeded to Anand Bhavan. Anand Bhavan is a historic house museum focusing on the Nehru Family. It was constructed by Motilal Nehru in 1930s to serve as the residence of Nehru family. Here we saw rare photographs of Nehru’s family and snaps of pre-independence activities.    Jawahar Planetarium is  also located here.

Next day we proceeded to Triveni Sangam to have a holy dip. Here three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati mingles.

A place of religious importance and the site for historic Kumbh Mela  held every 12 years, over the years it has also been the site of immersion of ashes of several national leaders, including Mahatama Gandhi in 1948. After the holy dip at the Sangam, we visited Hanuman temple and very Adi Shankracharya temple.

Hanuman Mandir, Allahabad is a unique temple situated near the Allahabad Fort. Hanuman Temple, Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh in India is famous for being the only temple where Lord Hanuman is seen in a recline posture.

Adi Shankracharya temple is the only temple in Allahabad, built by Shri Kanchi Kamkoti Peeth, in south Indian style of architecture. This magnificent temple is four storeys high and is standing on 16 strong pillars attaining a height of 130 feet. The construction of the temple was started in 1970 but could only be completed in 1986 . At every floor of this temple adobe of different Gods and Goddesses have been constructed. Idols of Sankaracharya, Kamakshi Devi (with 51 Shaktipeetha around), Tirupati Balaji (with 108 Vishnu around), Yogshashtra Sahasrayoga Linga (having 108 Shivas around) are installed in the temple. Inside walls of this temple have paintings of pictures of various scenes of Ramayan in decorated manner. Regular puja in the temple is performed by a group of priests from south India

After our trip to Allahabad we proceeded to Varanasi the holy city. We got rejuvenated over the the very sight of ghats (the place where the pilgrims take bath). We engaged a boat to go to Kasi Viswanath temple.  It was a evening time. The sun was about to set. The whole atmosphere was so serene and divine. While on the boat we could see the entire stretch of the beautiful ghats. It was so mesmerising. We reached the temple after crossing so many narrow lanes. After return from the temple we got an opportunity to witness evening arti of Ganga. It is being conducted daily one hour in the evening at 7.30  pm to 8.30 pm.

Kashi Vishvanath Temple is one of the most famous Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple stands on the western bank of the holy river Ganga, and is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, the holiest of Shiva temples. The main deity is known by the name Vishvanatha  meaning Ruler of The Universe. Varanasi city is also called Kashi, and hence the temple is popularly called Kashi Vishvanath Temple. Taking a holy dip is an important event as the Hindus believe that if you take a holy dip here you will be free from rebirths. We had a holy dip at Tulsi Ghat as well as Dashashwamedh Ghat

We also visited Banares Hindu University to have a darshan of  Kasi Viswanath Temple inside the campus. The temple is so serene and very peaceful.

Next day we  visited the famous Durga mandir, Kamkya Mandir. Though both are small temples, I surprised over large devotees thronging these temples.

We also visited Sarnath, located just 12 km from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, is the site of the deer park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma after his enlightenment. Sarnath is one of four holy Buddhist sites sanctioned by the Buddha himself for pilgrimage.After his enlightenment in Bodhgaya, the Buddha went to Sarnath seeking his five former companions. He found them, taught them what he had learned, and they also became enlightened. This event is referred to as “the turning of the wheel of the Dharma”. When we were walking around various Budhha temples here, we felt mental peace. That is the influence of Lord Buddha.

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