This is how we can tackle most of the problems transgenders face

Transgender

The world over transgender people faces a lot of unique challenges that straight persons will never understand. However, we can put ourselves in their shoes and try to understand their issues. However, this may not be a complete understanding of the subject but can be an ice breaker for starting a discussion about the need for transgender rights. Before we delve into the topic, we need to understand the distinction between the terms as ‘SeX’ and ‘Gender’. Sociologists differentiate these two as the first being biological construct of a human body and second being a sociological construct of one self. In simple terms, ‘SeX’ of a person is determined by one’s X and Y chromosomes whereas ‘gender’ shows how that person wants to be identified as.

We refer to one as a transgender person when one feels the mismatch between one’s biological self and social self. This mismatch leads to one being identified as a transgender person. This identity still comes with a lot of social taboos in countries like India, where society do not accept these people as they are. Coupled with this, the prevailing gender norms make things worse. Such gender stereotypes, however, destroy many children when they can’t fit suitably to their gender roles.

Researchers of Gender Identity Project (GIP), A project to help understand transgender basics, classifies gender as a fluid concept rather than being a binary (M/F) concept. According to this concept, one’s gender is determined by various psycho-somatic factors and hence can’t be considered as binary. So, most of the normal persons like us are ‘Mostly Males’ or ‘Mostly Females’ instead of being ‘males’ or ‘females’.

Since one’s gender identity is governed by psychological factors, it is accepted by psychologists that such S3XUAL Orientation Identity may change throughout one’s life.

Social psychologist Darryl Bem of Cornell University showed that our gender identity needs confirmation in our childhood by existing social norms of acceptable gender behavior. When the existing social gender norms create a sense of mismatch in a child’s mind, one will become se*xually non-conforming child and will feel ‘different’ from his own gender. This will eventually lead to him getting se*xually attracted to the people of the same gender. Sociologist Peter Bearman of Colombia University has shown that same se*x attraction can be created by presenting enough socially structured opportunities.

Childhood abuse, parental alienation, single parent children etc. are sighted by many psychologists as one being homose*xuals or a bise*xual. So, it’s not only the chromosome issues (XXY or XYY chromosomes) that make one a homo or bi se*xual. There are a lot of social parameters as well.

In developing countries like India, there is one more factor associated with this transgender behavior. People (mainly men) act like transgenders without being one, for earning easy money. In a research based Bengali Documentary film, ‘Jenana’, Barshali Chatterjee has shown the story of a poor man from a WB village turning to a Jenana (one class of transgenders, who are males but live like women).

In conservative societies like India, the first challenge a child face is to communicate to his parents about his Trans identity. In one such case in WB, when the child told her parents that she identified herself as a male instead of having female organs, her parents tried to force upon her the female gender identity. There were family feuds, daily quarrels, and social obstruction before she was accepted by everyone as a male. She is a successful ‘male’ lawyer in WB now.

The challenge is more for boys who identify themselves as girls. Their ‘feminine’ behavior scares other boys away. Not only they are bullied by stronger boys but also ostracized by the society more for their typical ‘feminine’ acts.

For these people, getting into any socially acceptable role and excel in that is a major challenge. Society does not accept them like other ‘normal’ persons, they are considered incapable and always discriminated against. Our workforce needs to be specially trained to accept such people with open hearts. This is the reason the transgender people may be seen as excelling in Individual contribution roles (like filmmakers, hair stylist, fashion designer, artists etc) but not in normal office based CXO roles.

This is why transgender people live in their own community, their own way. Here others don’t shame them and they learn typical hijra culture.

With increasing acceptance, more people are openly identifying themselves as transgenders. The list of successful transgender people is also very long. However, this is not all that we can do for them. If we want to stop them extorting money from male train passengers or male bikers in every crossing, we need to not only educate them with mainstream population but also we need to induct them in our workforce with proper dignity. Many MNCs operating in India are embracing diversified workforce and training their employees in the same. But it is only restricted to few known MNCs. If we want to change the situation for transgenders then we first need to give them financial freedom and that can come from inducting them in our workforce. If we can bring them to mainstream population and economically empower them (not by extortion but by employment generation) rest of their issues can easily be tackled.

***

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Not free, this is the price you pay for your selfie obsession

The selfie you take on your mobile, is not free. Selfie obsession is a form of psychological disorder that psychologists worldwide are concerned of. The mobile camera revolution that brought a front camera was taken well by the younger generation as it made taking self-images so much easier. There was a time when taking a selfie and posting the same on social media and getting instant likes was a craze among the youth. In fact, even India’s Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) has also created a campaign called ‘Selfie with daughter’ to promote ‘save the girl child’ campaign. US president Barrack Obama’s selfie once taken Twitter on storm.

Taking selfie and posting them on social media was such a craze that certain mobile manufacturers specially cashed on the same craze and brought mobile phones specifically for taking selfies. There is one mobile brand that has even separated cameras for taking self-image and a group selfie. However, psychologists have warned that this obsession of taking selfies shows a form a psychological disorder.

The term selfie denotes picture of one’s own self. This is very useful in today’s world of lonely people and sole travelers. Selfie stick is another innovation that has made the job even easier. Now a photo can be shot without any help and with better clarity and angle.

The Selfie Disorder

Psychologists say that one’s selfies obsession comes with a greater price as it denotes self-obsession. In their ‘Dark Triad’ study, Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M has studied Narcissism, Psycopathy and Machiavellianism along with self-objectification and found that such people are manipulative in their dealing with others.

To understand how selfie obsession and posting them on social media denotes psychological disorder we need to understand certain psychological terms. ‘Narcissists’ are those who are highly obsessed with themselves and always need to be admired by others. They have a sense of superiority. Pasycopaths are those who lack empathy for others and want to take the hardest revenge. Machiavellianism is manipulating others without trying to understand others’ needs.

Fox, J., & Rooney, M. C. have tested the correlation between Dark Triad and Selfie obsessiveness in 2015. This study revealed that both narcissism and self-objectification were associated with spending more time on social media and with more photo editing. Posting a lot of selfies on social media was associated with both narcissism and psychopathy.

One interesting fact that came out in this study was that people high in psychopathy didn’t care much about editing their selfies online. Researchers felt that was because they lacked self-control.

There are other psychological studies that showed that people high on self-esteem may be associated with narcissism and those who are low in self-esteem, they do self-objectification. These people tend to not only edit their photos but always try to look good to others.

Another study showed greater Facebook use may be related to narcissism and low self-esteem. Some researchers in Poland has found a distinction in selfie posting behavior and narcissism. According to them women who post more selfies may be admiration seeking people.

So you understand that the selfie you take on your mobile actually come with a higher cost associated with it. This is related to your mental health concerns. However, researchers have so far only found moderate correlation between selfie obsession and psychological illness. They say that more research is needed in this area to establish these facts with good statistical significance. So, until that happens, don’t blame your friends for their selfie obsession. We still need to be cautious about that.

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How being Indian helped my family

It was 2006 when my grandfather diagnosed of diabetes. He used to drink moderately but his chain smoking was said to be the cause.

Since ours was a joint family where my uncles lived with us, we were always self-reliant. Everyone was available during emergency situations. Though we were very upset of this, we were confident that he would be cured by best of medical access that we had.

Initially the treatment started with local doctors and soon he had to start going to Kolkata for better treatment. Doctors curtailed his smoking and food that increased blood sugar levels. Apart from this, he needed to take insulin injection daily.

Four years have passed like this when in 2010 we realized that his situation was not improving but deteriorating with age. By then he had developed heart problems, eye problems, and knee joint problems. He was more than 80 years of age and these came with additional issues.

By that time, we had already started expecting his death anytime. It was painful for us as well. Being asthmatic from an early age, his heart problems added to his painful life. I still remember those nights when he used to wake up and gasp for breathing. Soon he would start feeling very hot and sweat all over. None of us could withstand those sights and some of our family members started praying for his death, too.

This was the time when in April 2010 one of my cousin sister got married. Her in-laws were ardent followers of Ayurveda and Naturotherapy and great follower of Baba Ramdev. Her father in law suggested we visit Baba’s healing camps to see if this could be cured.

Food
Patanjali Swatwik Ahar

It was difficult for us to wait for a camp in Kolkata, rather we decided to visit the Patanjali Ashram in Haridwar and accordingly in Nov 2010 we landed up in Haridwar.

Our aim was to be in Patanjali Ashram for two weeks and get the healing done and then continue with the medication and treatment at home. Truly speaking none of our family members expected complete cure but we wanted alleviation of pain.

Steam Bath
Patanjali Water jet center

In the ashram it was a completely unforeseen diet for him. Bitter Gourd juice, Gurmar leaves, bael were some of the herbs he was given. There were other herbs and vegetables added too but I don’t remember them now. What I remember is he was forced to get up at 4:30 every day and go out for brisk walk and pranayama sessions in the morning. After morning pranayama and yoga session his diet included fruits, leafy vegetables, sprouts etc. Something that we could never follow in home.

In addition to change in diet there were some other therapies that he had undergone. These included hydrotherapy and mud therapy. He liked that massage with mud and hot water jet treatment the most. Therapists told us that both were for removing his body toxins and improving blood circulation.

Patanjali Mud Therapy
Mud therapy

My father and I accompanied my grandfather there so we used to attend the pranayama and yoga sessions as well. We thought of learning some of the Asanas ourselves and practice them for a better living. As Babaji says often, some of these Pranayams like Kapalbhati, Anulop-Bilop and Bhastrika Pranayam can cure any disease and I still practice them daily.

After coming back to Kolkata we found significant improvement in grandfather’s life. We all became very happy and relaxed after his cure. But we could not follow the Ashram diet for long. It was very difficult for the city dwellers like us to continue. But Yoga and Pranayams kept him healthy for long. Soon he could stop taking daily dose of insulin as well.

After that he lived for exactly three more years. My grandfather passed away in early 2014 under normal circumstances. The lessons we learnt from traditional Indian therapies taught us how to live healthy and relaxed life throughout. Today, I have made it a yearly practice to visit Patanjali ashram and rehears the good habits that traditional Indian lifestyle teaches us.

Indian culture and traditions can help us win any adversaries. Even German Airliner Lufthansa realized that. This TV commercial tells us more on why we should strive to retain that indianness that is very close to our hearts –

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Your kids’ desire to seek Everest adventure ends here

Everest
Now get FB likes sitting under the Himalayas

Now your kids can tour to Mt. Everest, instantly upload breathtaking images en-route on social media and get likes sitting under the picturesque snow clad mountains.

There are six-year-old kids enjoying their summer vacations this way. They are trekking to Everest Base Camp (EBC), enjoying hot Himalayan tea and boiling soup in tea houses while being connected to their friends in rest of the world on social media.

Everest1
Picturesque valleys and terrain awaits you in Himalayas

If your children can communicate well and are good enough to communicate early problems of high altitude sickness and are accommodating enough about different harder life habits, they can easily tour to EBC and enjoy the authentic Himalayan beauty or take a plunge in Kushi river.

The rules of thumb in these Himalayan expeditions are staying together, being light and being accommodating. Chocolate may be considered a luxury item there as it costs a bomb. But since they are instant energy bundles you need to stack your own pack of chocolates.

Everest3
Camping under the mighty Himalayas

Journey and excitement of EBC trek start from Nepal’s capital city Kathmandu as you board the flight to Lukla. Your trek starts after that and on your way to base camp you can discover Nepalese tea houses, secret monasteries, small villages and their culture and tradition.

People throng to Mt. Everest almost all through the year but most conducive for trekking is the time between March-May and from September-December. For amateur tourists and adventure seekers harsh weather trekking in winters or during monsoon is better avoided.

Everest2
Snow filled peaks and priceless clear sky near the range

There are many best practices listed here that you can follow while trekking to EBC. This link also gives the experienced tour operators who can take care of all your travel related requirements. These tours normally range from 14 to 18 days.

The best part of this trek is it does not have any narrow cliff or path en-route the base camp. That is why even kids can take this trek.

Everest4
When they just come alive for your children

The best part of this amazing trek is your kids can enjoy their social media connectivity and upload latest pictures en-route. Local mobile operator N-Cell provides 2G and 3G services there and all you need to have is a sim from that operator. You can buy that sim card in Kathmandu.

You might have traveled all around the globe but to experience world’s biggest and mightiest surprise you just can’t miss this Himalayan expedition. For any further assistance, you can always visit Mojhi.com.

***

All images courtesy – Mojhi.com

 

Vive la vida en grande

grand-hotel-kolkata
Image courtesy – The Oberoi Grand

It was a hot summer morning in Kolkata. I was married just two weeks ago and it was time for me to leave for Chennai – my workplace with my newly wedded wife. It was a lot of excitement and suspense ahead of us. Both of us were thrilled to share a new life away from our parents. For me it was a lot of added responsibility in a not so known city.

That day we got up at 5:30 am. We had to be ready for departure by at least 7 am to reach airport by 8. We had more than 7 luggage with us. I have booked our tickets six months in advance in January so we just needed to land up at Kolkata Airport.

Our flight was at 10 am. Main concern for us was the number of bags we were carrying and we didn’t want any delay.

After struggling with the small mountain of luggage and the nearly not functioning two trolleys at Kolkata airport, we finally reached the Air Sahara counter by 8:30.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the counter empty except one single staff. Lucky me, I thought. When I approached the counter with a print out of my air ticket in hand and showed that to her, she was looked at me as if I were a ghost. Well, it is worth mention here that my wife was very beautiful at that time and as a newly-wed she was wearing some gold jewelry too. In short, she was looking ravishing and I couldn’t tolerate another woman ogling at her.

Soon my misconception about that weird look has gone as she clarified that Air Sahara had suspended their Chennai operation six months ago.

Now it was my turn to give her that weird look back.

Surely enough my wife was even more nervous and I knew that her jewelry had added to her concern. The Air Sahara staff informed us calmly that we needed to go back home. I started fighting with them as we were not informed about the suspension of their operation and demanded they did book us in an alternate flight.

The staff claimed that they had informed every person and clearly I was not informed. So they asked me from where we came and I told them that we came from a village. Well, I had to tell them a lie as otherwise they would have sent us back to our home in Kolkata. I thought they would then be forced to give us another flight quickly, which they did but it was only in the evening that day.

We were not sure how to spend the 10 hours, one male staff of the airline approached us. He helped us to keep our luggage in their office and leave with him. They were giving us an accommodation for the time.

Soon, we were seated in a luxury sedan and heading towards The Oberoi Grand. We were soon heading for a royal treat.

There were very less formalities at the reception and soon we were in a honeymoon suit. Both of us were very amazed with this unexpected treat. ..and Our honeymoon started.

In the room, we first made a few phone calls to our family members informing them that landed up in The Grand and they were happy at the unexpected turn of events, too.

Soon we were very hungry as both of us took breakfast very early that day. So we didn’t want to waste much time before we headed towards the restaurant.

As soon as we arrived there all eyes were on us. People easily understood that we were a newly wedded couple. Some people wished us and some others just smiled from a distance. It was a celebrity like feeling.

We were given two different choices of menu that included alcohol menu. We were not very sure if there was any restriction in food, so we wanted to restrict our choice. After a lot of dilly-dallying and maneuvering through tongue twister names, we decided to order two fancy named pizzas. We could not utter the name, just pointed at them while ordering. We were almost dying in hunger so ordered two pizzas first with a thought that we will order something else later.

My heart almost came out of my mouth when one pizza was delivered. It was a real shocker. It was jumbo pizza that we had not seen before. Our hunger was almost dead by then. Canceling the order was not possible so we had get the other one packed for night.

One pizza was so heavy for two of us that after finishing that we had to order a mocktail to help digest the food. The amazing taste of food, amazing warmth of the people around and the overall ambience were making us feel like a royal couple. We both were feeling very romantic.

Needless to say that after our lunch we didn’t want to go around the hotel. There was some invisible force that sucked us into our room and onto the bed. The royal experience also included our first royal sex in the honey moon room of The Grand.

I still wish if our love express could sustain longer but we were given a time to report at the lounge to be taken back to the airport. So we had no choice but to restrict ourselves.

Our waiting at the hotel lobby was made special by the warm greetings of the hotel staff and we wished the experience did not end there. But our car arrived soon.

This time it was even a higher end luxury car. I don’t remember the make now but I was not able to believe in my eyes when the chauffer opened the door and smiled at us.

As we were leaving the grandeur palace, someone whispered in my ears – “Vive la vida en grande”. I looked around, it seemed that The Grand was waiving at us and whispering those words. Vive la vida en grande – “Live a Grand life”.

Inside we were romantic again.

***

“I am blogging about my luxury stay experience for an activity at BlogAdda in association with MakeMyTrip

Magic of warmth

child-and-father

Tears rolled down his cheeks as he wept silently.

He realized, his daddy no longer loved him. His daddy was angry. His papa’s rolling big eyes, stubborn tough face showed him the terror. Little Piku knew he had done something that he always wanted to do and his parents have always restricted him to do. He was only two years old and only sometime ago he started running around. In his view their two bed room flat was not big enough. There were restriction too. There was one room that had been always restricted to him.

Little Piku never understood why that room was prohibited for him. He was allowed to peek inside the door while his parents worked inside. Whenever he tried to enter, either of his parents had prevented him or took him outside.

Running around, jumping on the chair or banging his tricycle against the wall were all allowed. Even relentless jumping on the bed and disturbing parents’ sleep in the morning was also allowed but not entering this room. He had climbed onto his small cupboard, he threw away mobile phones to his neighbor’s house, he pounced on his father’s laptop and taken out a key and was never rebuked so hard.

Piku never understood why access to that one room was prohibited for him. One day when his mother was sleeping in the afternoon, he got up early and tried to venture into this room. But his mama had kept the door closed. The latch was too tight for him to open. He tried hard but failed. Piku only wished he was stronger.

His parents called him a naughty boy so everyone else called him a naughty boy too. They never understood that boys were supposed to be like that – ever active, ever filled with energy, enthusiasm, joy. He also mastered some tricks to melt his angry parents. Just a tight hug, a light peck or a sweet sounding mama or papa would have been enough.

But nothing worked that day.

His papa was very angry with him and Piku really didn’t do much.

That day his papa forgot to close the door of that room tightly. Little Piku got a chance to sneak into the room when his papa was taking bath. Inside the room was a very different world. He silently pulled a small stool inside and tried climbing up when something fell down with a thud spilling his milk and breaking a glass.

His father was quick to come out of the bathroom and ran towards this room.

Yes, as a father I had to scold Piku hard that day because he had not only entered our kitchen but spilled the hot milk and could have met with a serious accident that we always feared.

When I came out after cleaning the kitchen, I saw him sitting silently on our bed. Face down, tears still rolling down his cheeks. He was really upset as I had never scolded him so hard before.

I went to him and gently took me on my lap. He started crying loudly on my shoulder while clinging onto my neck. The magic of warmth of his tender touch melted away all my anger.

***

Dear Zindagi

Dear Zindagi,

It feels great to connect with you at this crossroad of life. You are like an uncertain train journey for me, it has a start point and so far it followed different tracks to reach where I am today. You are still uncertain to me as I am not sure of my destiny.

I have started my journey with you four decades ago. As every train journey takes time to gain top speed, you were initially slow moving for me too. That’s is why, dear Zindagi I think you were awesome in my childhood. But once you have taken up speed like a real life express train you have hardly stopped. But this does not mean you had not stopped or slowed down at all. Those pauses were much needed breaks in my life. It was more like express trains stopping at railway junctions.

I remember that until 6 years of age you were very slow. At the age of six when I started going to school you took up speed. Still you were awesome. As it happens at the initial part of train journey we try to know our co-passengers. Everything and all strangers we meet in train brings a surprise to us and the same happened to me once I stepped out of my home. The world was new to me and I was trying to know every new friend or person I met. All of them taught me some lessons.

From the start of my journey I noticed that whenever my track crossed someone else’s track either one of us paused for a while as it happens in every level crossing. Sometimes a passenger train coming from opposite direction but sharing the same track stops while another passes by. Pedestrians and other vehicles stop at level crossing to allow the faster trains to pass by. Sometimes trains are stopped at different stations to allow those vehicles. In my life too I have waited for others at different cross roads. There were people who waited for me too. Many of these people who waited at those cross roads didn’t even know me. Most of them I didn’t know. Still we gave way to each other to avoid mishaps. Probably that is your rule – dear zindagi.

A train stops at important junctions to refill essential supplies. Like dear zindagi you stopped when I passed my class X board exams. The three months gap I got before I got admitted to higher secondary education passed in a jiffy. It was like a long haul in an important junction. When my zindagi’s train started again it went in a direction I never thought of.

Some of other important life events where my zindagi stopped for a while. When my grandma died, when we shifted to a new house, when I got into engineering, when I got into a prestigious institute, when I got my first job, when I got married, when my child was born, when I got divorced – were all important cross roads. These were like stations where my life stopped for sometime to collect important supplies. These supplies were important life lessons I learnt.

Dear zindagi, you have many other similarities with a long distance train journey. Very often we look at you like we look through the small windows of train. So our vision becomes narrow. We don’t realize how BIG and varied the outside world is. Some of us keep the window closed and do not try to realize that there exists a large and mighty world. They think that the world is as small as they can see inside the train coaches.

Dear zindagi, sometimes our life’s train gets derailed and we meet with accident. In real life train journeys there is hardly any chance of a derailed train to come back on track, but you dear zindagi allow us to come back on track. If it gets derailed permanently we may lose your company for good.

Dear zindagi, you run on many tracks for different destinations. You change your course while running and I don’t know where you are destined to for me and I love you for that, because if I knew my destiny probably my journey with you would have been boring.

Please be awesome like this forever. Dear zindagi, I am yet to see complete you and I am loving this.

Yours truly..

***

Take the Chaliyar Kayaking challenge

দাও ফিরে সে অরণ্য, লহ এ নগর..

What Tagore realized almost a century ago is changing our lives today. Our tiring metro life is leaving us search for happiness in nature. But more we are building sky scrapers and cutting down trees more we realize how true were Kaviguru’s lines.

In the quest for mental peace and in my thirst for natural beauty I ended up in Kerala many times. And truly so, it always reminded me why Kerala is called God’s own country. God here is the mother nature –

If Kerala backwaters give us thrilling views of sunset and monsoon then maneuvering through its rivers and lakes give us some of the most fascinating views.

Chaliyar 1

When you get these breathtaking views, you realize how blessed are people in Kerala to live within this absolute natural bliss. The mother-nature plays Holi with colors early in the morning. Birds, animals, insects join humans to enjoy the natural. This awe inspiring nature brings heaven on this earth.

Life of Malayalis is surrounded by rivers. Among them Chaliyar is the fourth longest river in Kerala. The Chaliyar river is also known as Chulika River or Beypore River as it nears the sea. Nilambur, Edavanna, Areekode, Kizhuparamba, Cheruvadi, Edavannappara, Mavoor, Peruvayal, Feroke and Beypore are some of the towns/villages situated along the banks of Chaliyar.

Kayaks

Kerala rivers that connect lives of people living on its banks, reminds me what Tagore once said –

খেয়া নৌকা পারাপার করে নদীস্রোতে ;

কেহ যায় ঘরে, কেহ আসে ঘর হতে ।

The ‘Kheya’ (or small boat) he referred to here connects the lives of people.

The Chaliyar river originates in the Western Ghats range at Elambalari Hills in the Wayanad Plateau of Kerala and flows through Malappuram District for most of its length and then for around 17 km it forms the boundary between Malappuram District and Kozhikode District before entering the city of Kozhikode for its final 10 km journey and finally empties into the Indian Ocean.

Chaliyar river is also famous for its boat races. Races that give many reasons to bond, and a sport that breaks free from the monotony of life. Running through the picturesque valleys of Western Ghats this river attracts thousands of tourists to its boat races every year.

Boat Race

Boat race in Chaliyar river- Flickr

We Hindus believe God exists in nature. God is present in our animals, trees and also in human beings. That is why we Hindus don’t believe in going to temples for our worship. When we conserve our nature, when we take others along the development route then we thrive as a species. That becomes our best offering to the nature.

Boat Race Chaliyar1

Source

Like famous snake boat race, there is another sport which is catching up fast in Kerala rivers. It’s Kayaking. Every year Chaliyar Kayaking event brings professionals and amateur adventurists to one place.

The reason Kayaking is becoming a famous sport in Kerala are many. Calm and scenic Kerala rivers flows through most of the picturesque waterscapes of our country. Other than the fact that Kayaking gives much needed physical exercise, it also gives us a reason to celebrate life as the Kayaking event is held for river conservation.

Pledge for river conservation

People take pledge to conserve Chaliyar river

As the Chaliyar river connects the lives of people on both sides of the river it also gets polluted by the polluting industries and human waste. Thus it becomes a necessity to work for the cause of saving the waterway.

group-kayaking

Thus the agenda of the sports event is simple. Promote the waterway as a popular sports destination and when people engage in this popular sports and start experiencing the ravishing beauty of the river they will stop polluting the river.

In fact this will also help spread a message to everyone about keeping our rivers clean and restore our waterways. The sports event can also bring more tourists to the area making these places popular tourist destinations. This can also improve the financial condition of the people around.

The event not only reminds us that green is god but also gives us a reason to celebrate life.

So what are you thinking? Wanna take #ChaliyarRiverChallenge?

Click here to join and celebrate life.

It is another reason by joining the event you will bolster the voice to conserve our rivers and preserve nature.

Kayaking

***

An unfinished story

It was a hectic and tiring life crippled by mundane daily work. I felt tired. My mundane and boring life gave me energy only to eat and sleep on weekends. When most men go out with their families, I felt better by sleeping my day out.

It was a lazy afternoon. After a heavy meal my eyes were automatically shutting down. I tried reading a novel lying down on my sofa.

I did not know when I slept off. In my dream I saw I was in a BIG warehouse of abandoned goods. It was completely dark and no one was around. I could see an old teak wood table at one corner under a Fluorescent bulb.

wowbadge

A 5-6 years child was writing something in his small diary. I was not able to see him as he was turning his back to me. I was curious to know what he was writing in the abandoned warehouse at that hour of the day. I snatched the diary from him. It was written in Bengali –

“Today, Nilu didi was sad. She was hiding behind bushes all day along. I know Golu was the main culprit. He might had again fought with Nilu di. I don’t know why pinku or Chi Chi don’t scold him. I will ask mom not to give any food to Golu today. He is very naughty.

But the problem with mom is she won’t understand. She will give food to everyone. I have seen, this morning Nilu didi didn’t eat that food. Sad, mom still gives food to everyone.

One day I will punish Golu. Yes, I myself will punish him. When I am a BIG man and can hold Golu in my hands, I will throw him away. I myself will go into the bushes and find out where does Nilu didi hide at times. I will…”

I recognized my handwriting. I recognized the story written in my childhood. I noticed those torn pages, blue ink mark on the cover page and those reddish pages. This was a notepad thrown away by my father. I picked it up in my childhood to write my diary. But how did this child get it?

I looked around to find the child. But he was nowhere to be found. I got scared. Hurriedly came out of the warehouse, scared and sweating like hell.

For those who do not know Nilu didi, she was a fish in our aquarium. In my childhood I used to play with her and others in the aquarium. It was fun. Nilu, Pinku were names given by me because of their colors. Golu was a fish round in shape. All of them were my friends and I wanted to write about them but could not finish my story.

When I woke up from the afternoon nap I was all drenched in sweat. There was a power cut in my house.  The mid-summer Kolkata heat had forced me to wake up. I hurriedly went to our attic. In a long closed dark room we kept all our discarded things. I rushed to the heritage teak wood table at the corner. It was not neat, there was a pile of other unused stuff on the table. I searched hard in the books and finally I got my diary. My little old bunch of childhood joy.

It was a challenge for me to complete the unfinished story. I was emerged in those sweet childhood memories when Ravish, one of my long term friends called up. Among many exciting things what we planned together was a trip to Goa and after that trip I could finish my incomplete childhood story. The remaining part of the story goes like this –

“I will explore the world where Nilu didi belonged to and take on eye to eye with all those who were like Golu.

Today, after 35 years I went into Golu’s world. Not the makeshift world of home aquarium but the real world of marine aquarium thanks to Mojhi.com. During our Goa tour a boring and unfit person like me tried his luck in scuba diving in Goan beach to experience the real thrill of the marine world. The world that belonged to Nilu didi, Pinku and Chi Chi. It also belonged to Golu but I didn’t know real marine Golus are beautiful and hard to find in Indian marine life.

In this real world aquarium, sharks are the Golu dada. But divers say it is not easy to find sharks in Indian sea shores. The divers who do find them are luckiest ones. My Scuba trainer in Goa told me that he saw sharks only two times in his diving career.

Scuba1
Image from Mojhi.com

Even though I knew swimming, there were many in my training group who didn’t know swimming. Actually scuba diving do not need swimming knowledge and one do not need to be very fit either. So thanks to Mojhi.com when I met people who could take me to the real world of Nilu didi and Golu mastan I felt great. I explored flora and fauna and checked inside the beautiful marine bushes to find Nilu di’s home.

I didn’t know that there are so many wonders awaiting me in their homes. I realized probably Nilu di used to enjoy that ravishing world rather than being afraid of Golu dada. I learnt real Golu dada of marine life is not that dangerous. I promise, try Scuba diving in Goa once and you will write your own complete stories of amazement”.

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The best curator

Gone are the days when we had to visit places to curate stuff for our need. Now the things that we wish to buy are available at our fingertip in our drawing rooms. When many of our purchases are moving to online buys, many of us are also turning to websites that can curate products of our need from different websites. Zap Store is one such website and our job is made easy by this site by comparing price of different online stores and giving us best deals available online.

The concept used by Zap Store is social selling concept. Buyers create their online zap store profile by collating products from various online stores and their followers buy products based on these information. One can also share the product information on Facebook with one’s friends.

Social sharing

To create a profile on the Zap store, one can either use one’s FB credentials or signup with the site using email and phone number. After signing up one is asked to select products of one’s choice from the available categories –

Pick category

One needs to select at least five categories to begin with. Icons on the website are self-explanatory and one can pick and choose their categories according to their preferences.

Products are compared between several online stores including the following which gives us a sufficiently reasonable data to compare and pick products of our choice. This comparison in a way ensures that a buyer from Zap Store gets only the best deal available online–

Choos brands

What makes it more rewarding experience for a buyer is the reward points one get once a purchase is made from one’s zap store. The website displays the reward rates like this –

Reward

One can create a store by selecting products from Zap and share on social network. The website provides very simple navigation with two tabs – Social and E-Commerce. Social tab gives selected products from the Zappers in the social network of the person. The e-commerce tab gives selected products that one wants to buy online. This depends on the categories one select while creating one’s zap profile.

The E-commerce tab also gives best offers on various products. One can pick and choose from those products. If one likes any product one can share the same in social media. The website also gives easy sharing options on computer browser and through its mobile app. Instructions available on the site shows how easily one can be a social media referrer of a host of products.

I have selected some products and created my own store of a few products that I found suits my choice and need. My store has products that I need the most now. You can visit my zap profile (https://zapstore.com/s/parthasadhukhan) to have a look –

My zap store

Even though the website has a good concept on social marketing and a very easy navigation to help anyone browse through products of one’s need, creation of the store and comparing prices from various e commerce sites are still not perfect. For many products I did not find comparison between more than two sites. Also I felt that categories listed on the website are very few. In our daily life we need more categories and I hope that those will be added soon.

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I am making my own store for the #BestZapStore activity at BlogAdda in association with Zapstore.