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.

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All images courtesy – Mojhi.com

 

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

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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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Responsible Tourism – 11 Ideas that can change the world

Many a times even though we fight for green planet we forget the same while traveling. Here are some tips that can help us travel green and change the world around us.

Many a times even though we fight for green planet we forget the same while traveling. Here are some tips that can help us travel green and change the world around us.

  1. Travel by train –

Electric Train

Well, as much as possible. That does not mean you need to travel to Andaman by train. There is one fun way of planning any train trip, especially in India. When you please your trip plan it in a round path. Every stopover should be overnight journey. This is discussed in detail later. But train journey adds to the comfort and reduces the load on your pocket, besides being environment friendly. Oh yes, don’t litter the railway track and only dispose you litter in proper bins. Let others enjoy the ride, too.

2. Travel light –

Travel light

It is a well-known fact for every traveler. This is advised not only for a comfortable journey but also for an environment friendly one. Well, your travel load is less, less fuel is needed for your transportation hence less pollution. Your comfort also adds to the comfort of the nature.

3. Plan well –

Round trip

As I just said in point #1, plan your route in a round path and make every stopover a journey of one night, maximum 10 hours. See the fun. You spend your travel nights in train, get the required travel and also reduce your travel expenses in hotel booking. Plan is check out from your hotel in the morning, have a sight seeing local tour the whole day and then in the evening move to your next destination while sleeping. Perfect use of your time.

This also becomes environment friendly as you travel by train while you move around.

4. Local travel –

Sight seeing

Local travel by cab is unavoidable in many places. Even in India only in some destinations you find tourist buses. Also these buses have fixed routes and you may not be able to enjoy off beat destinations.

But even when you travel by cab make sure you choose a new and a cab in good condition. That will automatically reduce pollution directly. Also when tourists reject cabs in bad condition those owners also get discouraged to abandon those cars. Indirect environment friendly work.

5. Dispose waste responsibly –

Waste management

It’s simple, don’t litter everywhere. Let the nature breathe. I spoke about it during your train travel, also during local sight seeing trips, dispose your waste only in bins. I know India is lacking in even having waste bins in designate places, so you may have to carry your waste back to your hotel of stay to dispose. Remember, you will not like a littered place.

6. Avoid plastic, use jute or paper bags –

Paper bags

It is more easily said than done. Even today, with all awareness we have we can’t avoid plastic bags. So we need to be responsible in disposing them if they become inevitable to use. You may however reduce the use of plastic bag (when it is inevitable) by using the same bag time and again for disposing waste (like skin of banana, orange, biscuit wrappers, etc).

7. Remember your music may be others’ cacophony –

Headphone

I know many of us are not even aware of this. Even when you are traveling by your own car please keep the music low. Even animals get disturbed by our music.

8. Being wild in the wild is a wild idea

Teasing animals

Source of the image

Have you heard of a man trying to offer garland to a tiger in Kolkata zoo. No, he was not a traveler but he wanted to perform a stunt that went really bad. Irritating wild beasts in their habitat in any manner will not only make them hate men, but also may endanger your life.

9. Learn, accept, respect new culture –

Foreigner in India

When we visit to other places we need to accept a different and unknown culture with open heart. Our travel becomes enjoyable only when we do that. But how does the environment gets benefit? You will learn great things about how different communities save the nature around them. Follow them when you are in there and also propagate the lessons learnt. Simple yet powerful.

10. Explore not deplore –

Explore

No matter how silly new thing you see (that may not match your culture) in the new place adapt to the changes or just avoid them silently if you don’t like them. If you criticize any of the practices that the locales have not only they will not like it, you will be deprived of learning more lessons from them. May be some other things could be useful for you. You may also understand that they are preserving their nature by following some of those customs.

11. Remember, Money Spent is Money Earned

Money spent is money earned

You may already know this proverb but how is this helpful in saving nature? The money you spent in traveling helps the locales build their locality. They earn money through tourism and that is they give back to their area of residence. This helps nature as the locals save them and more tourists visit that place. So do travel. Many people survive on your travel.

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Spoilt for choice

Indiblogger has Airbnb brought a unique opportunity to the bloggers to explore the world using airbnb and at the same time earn through their unique services. Airbnb bring us this unique couchsurfing opportunity.

We were asked to create a wishlist of five most interesting places I would like to visit from the Airbnb website. But when I logged in to their site I found all places very interesting and I felt like exploring all of them. Even after being very critical about the destinations I could not stop before I have added 25 places around the world to my wish list. I could have done more but it was late at night and I was tired imagining the thrill of going to those destinations without actually setting out immediately. Yes, Airbnb is so attractive.

However, listing down five unique places out of my wish list of 25 destinations is really tough task for me. I will still try to list down top five places that I would like visit below –

  1. Adventure in the snow – Igloo night

When I look out for a travel I look for amazing experience and not just mediocre one. Today the choice of any destination is decided by the facilities it offers. Thanks to internet and thanks to websites like Airbnb travellers are spoilt of choice. Many a times we can’t decide what to choose and what will be best because we have so many choices for us that we find it very difficult to choose one over another.

I have seen many offering Igloo night on the site but the one in Kuthai, Tirol, Austria attracted me the most. Reasons are many –

1. It’s beautiful locale

Igloo 12. It’s awesome interior –

Igloo 23. It’s aesthetic sleep quality

Igloo 34. It’s amazing outdoor activities

Igloo 4

Even though the above pictures speak thousand words and anybody can see for oneself the quality this place has to offer. Since this is located amidst the breathtaking mountains of Kuthai ski resort it is central to many activities like – snow hike, descend on sleds, Husky workshop, traditional Tyrolean curling and much more. Truly speaking I have no idea what the last two activities are and I would like to explore them when I am in Igloo hut. I find this place ideal for travel of small family of four to six people.

2. Coming second is the Sea-Shell house – Casa Caracol

The reason I had to choose this place is I felt that it is second to none in terms of aesthetics. Holidaying for me is to get a different experience, an experience that I will not get otherwise and this place brings that awesome experience to me.

To start with the house has its awesome design that can attract anyone’s attention even at a first glance –

Seashells 2

Its surroundings are very other reason to choose this place over others. When we see the sea overlaying its borders we imagine only of an amazing vacation in this house with our family and friends. –

Seashells 1

Then comes the interior of the house which is aesthetically designed and each artwork kept their speaks for their value –

Seashells 3

Coming to the sleep quality it has to offer we get mesmerized when we unique designed sofa, window curtains or other artwork. Sleep here is sure to be a lifetime experience for anyone –

Seashells 4

The unique design of the bathrrom and the fittings used there speaks volume about our bathing quality and attracts the travellers to experience the facility at least once in their lifetime.

Seashells 5

Last but not the least is an experienced and sensitive host Michelle who is from the background of five star hotels. This speaks volume about the quality services we can expect from this facility. It is also to be noted that this place held number 1 position on Tripadvisor and that speaks volume about what we can expect there. Only a passionate traveller and enthusiast host can ensure that world class services to us. This place being uniquely designed holds keen attraction from nearby residents and sudden gaze of intruders makes the inhabitants feel like celebrity at times. This is yet another reason for me to be at sea shell house.

3. Cabin in Redwood Giants

I always like to be close to the nature. Nature itself brings so many challenges and solutions that it becomes a great pleasure when I play with nature. Cabin in redwood giants in Mendocino, CA brings that awesomeness to us.

The reason I have chosen this place in my wish list is due to the opportunity to stay closure to the nature. –

Cabin in Redwood giants

The closeness to the beautiful blue ocean and a clean sea beach is a plus to the amazing experience this place has to offer. –

Cabin in Redwood giants 2 Cabin in Redwood giants 1

Naturally when we are close to the forest and sea there is no dearth of outdoor activity there and this is a sure shot reason for me to include this in my wish list.

4. Casananda-jungle home in Platanillo, Costa Rica

This place feature in my list as this has abundant nature and ample scope of outdoor activities. Morning times of the day here can be enjoyed with other tropical flowers, animals and birds.

Jungle Home - Costa Rica1

This place being close to nature it offers amazing relaxation at all times –

Jungle Home - Costa Rica 4

Being closure to nature it offers relaxation to our body and mind through different activities –

Jungle Home - Costa Rica 3 Jungle Home - Costa Rica

The beautiful dusks and amazing dawns brings those moments of smile in our heart that creates everlasting happiness in our minds.

Last but not the least the sea surfing and other adventure sports brings an extra edge in terms of celebrating our vacation to the fullest –

Jungle Home - Costa Rica 2

5. URCA Amazing Loft, Rio

Living at a pace with an amazing view of a ever youth city is my dream. Vibrant RIo thus makes a place in my list –

URCA Amazing Loft, Rio2

Not only in terms of offering the best view of the Rio city this place is located far from cities more dangerous areas of Rio city –

URCA Amazing Loft, Rio

The night view of the city is also awesome from this place –

URCA Amazing Loft, Rio1

Other than the crime Rio has many more positive things to offer. Security guards of this place screen people 24 hours before they let anybody in and that is the reason this place is still safe for outsiders. If I ever get to go there, I would love to stay in Rio and celebrate my vacation there.

For me, my wish list is never near complete with these five places. As I see the places listed on Airbnb website, I feel like visiting everywhere. I can make my vacation enjoyable anywhere I travel. No matter what the place has to offer if I find value in the same I will, if I see the place having unique values proposition I will definitely choose that location. I am sure that as long as I with Airbnb I do not have any problem in finding these awesome places.

Now, let me give a god news to all my readers, friends and followers. if you use my referral link to make your booking anywhere in the world through Airbnb, you will get a free discount of Rs. 1545 or $25. So click the referral link below and make it your day today.

Disclaimer – All images in this post is taken from Airbnb website

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