Tag Archives: travel

When the bucket list meets #TheBlindList

Dear ‘The World’,

When you invited me on The Blind Date I was puzzled. Should I accept the invite or not.  How could I go on a blind date with The World, which never happened so far in history?

Bucket List

Those who travelled the world, they travelled with a purpose. The Vikings were pirates. Columbus and Vasco de Gama sailed in search of the spices.  The three Magi followed a new star in search of the newborn and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea to settle in the land flowing with milk and honey. Lord Hanuman went in search of Sanjeevani.

There are many fictional places, in novels. Alice falls into a hole and discovers a Wonderland.  Gulliver lands in Lilliput. There are other famous fictitious places like Erewhon and Utopia.

Bucket List

The boy in ‘The Alchemist’.  He had a dream and sets out in search of a treasure. And what a fantasy-filled, mystic journey it was. Was it you, The World, who came in his dream and cajoled him to go on a blind date on paths unprecedented.

I was just joking. I know these places are just in fantasy and they do not exist in reality…… Or do they exist somewhere? The World, you are too tricky. The mankind is yet to unravel you completely.

Can you just spot one person who has been on a blind date with you? Not even Otzi, the Iceman. He was out on a mission, probably a soldier, killed in action and preserved for posterity by you. Were the Mountaineers, who discovered, Otzi, 6000 years later, on a blind date with you?

Bucket List

My World

I got ‘My World’. A world comprising the people I know; the world that I read; and the world of my dreams, aspirations and hope. What I see and hear and whatever I fantasy they become part of my world. And the world that I have not seen, heard or experienced is your world. Do you have anything to offer me on the blind date which is not already part of my world?

You are a little late, I have seen it all. What I want to see are all over the Media. The television and the social media takes me to the unseen world. I have seen the underwaters, the deep forests and the Outer space.

Can you surprise me?

There is nowhere in this world where you can take and surprise me. Since I am not a big fan of surprises, let us reach an agreement. I will let you know my bucket list of places I want to visit. And I will share with you my likes and dislikes; and my dreams and wishes. You will have a fair idea on how to plan the blind date.

How I like to travel

I don’t like group tours. I like to travel with friends or family in a small group. Even if I can visit only a few places it is Ok. I want to tap the essence of the places that I visit. I want to meet the local people. Have food with them and enjoy a few cultural events. If you go for a group tour, they take you to popular destinations and the tour is time bound.

Bucket List

The popular tourist places are mostly customised – a dream world which is a bit away from reality. I would like to visit a normal family in any place and eat what they eat normally and enjoy the cultural activities they enjoy normally. That is the real culture of a place.

You are full of surprises

Remember, Abhilash Tomy, who sailed solo. He met with an accident at a remote location in the Indian Ocean.  A location unexplored by mankind. Even now there are places on earth, unexplored. You still have many surprises for us in your kitty. You have many places still secretly kept and yet to be unfolded to mankind. Are you planning to take me to one such undiscovered place? Then I am ready for the blind date. Maybe I can meet people there who have their tradition, customs and recipes original and fresh.

My Bucket List meets #TheBlindList

Let me share with you my bucket list. That will give you an idea about how to plan the blind date:

Bucket List

The Holy Land

I want to visit the Holy Land so as to tour all the places mentioned in the Bible. Do you have any Biblical places which are not known to the people? Then please take me there on our blind date.

The land of Wordsworth

Can you take me to see the golden Daffodils and the lonely moor where the leech gather worked dedicatedly? Those are perfect places for a blind date. We can read the romantic poems of Wordsworth and pluck a few golden daffodils as a memento.

Iceland

The biggest attraction of FIFA 2018 was Iceland. The highest temperature of the country is 25-degrees Centigrade and that happens rarely. The average temperature is 12-degrees Centigrade. How Cool! Can you take me on a blind date to Iceland? I saw the images of Iceland.  Auroras, glaciers, blue lagoons and much more. Do you have anything to offer me in Iceland which is unexplored by man?

Europe

Off late there is growing interest in European tours. Some countries in Europe like Croatia, Czech Republic and Greece are becoming favourite tourist destinations. European countries that were known for modernism are now searching for their tradition. They are exhibiting the traditions from the past. Can you help me discover one of the forgotten traditions of Europe on our blind date?

The United States

I want to visit The United States because everyone who goes there never wants to return.  I want to see why the country in so attractive. Everyone knows everything about The United States. But still you, The World, may have something hidden to surprise me on our blind date.

I am sorry if I disappointed you. I am such a fuzzy person. You will take me on a blind date and we will end up arguing. So I just made my stand clear.

I like to keep my world pure and pristine. Crystal clear like Diamond. Every place I visit, every person I meet, every story I hear and every food I eat becomes part of my World. I am sure you will understand my likes and dislikes and plan accordingly. I am waiting with excitement to go on the blind date with you. After all who can be a better companion to travel the world than you, The World. Hope that after this blind date my World encompasses the whole of The World.

I know you won’t reveal the whole world to me. You will still have some hidden surprises so that you unravel The World, during Blind Dates, to the mankind in thousands of years to come.

This Blog is written for Luftansa’s #SayYesToTheWorld #TheBlindList Campaign

Images Courtesy: Manu Stephen

Recollecting the visit to Kuala Lumpur in 2008

Recently, while planning for a tour abroad I recollected how tour itinerary was so different ten years ago. In those days travelling abroad was a luxury and we made sure to inform everyone (friends, and relatives) about our foreign trip before and after the travel.

After the tour, there used to be a souvenir of the place, proudly displayed in the showcase at home. When someone goes to Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, they will buy a miniature replica of Petronas tower as a souvenir. The twin towers were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004.

A few of my friends travelled to Kuala Lumpur in 2008, via Singapore. I could not make the trip so they shared some pictures of their travel.
Unseen Malaysia | 41 Bucket-list-worthy Destinations

Unseen Malaysia | 41 Bucket-list-worthy Destinations. View the interactive version here

Today I opened the Malaysia tour file of 2008 and compared them with pictures available, on websites, of Malaysia today. The concept of travel has changed in the past 10 years.

In those days the purpose of the tours was to visit important tourist destinations in a country. There used to be a guide who took the tourist around to the important travel destinations in the city and the suburbs. While visiting a tourist destination the main activity was to take pictures posing in front of the famous buildings to show to friends and relatives back home.

Visiting the famous marketplace of the tourist destination is a must. Malaysia is famous for colourful silk shirts. When someone wears those silk shirts or skirts in their hometown people know that he visited Malaysia.

Those were before the selfie, camera-mobiles, and FaceBook days. And we used to share pictures via pen drives…… or floppy discs (I can’t recollect).

Today a lot of importance is given to food. Tourists want to know were to get exotic food, local food, street food and affordable food.

Tourists are interested in activities other than just visiting theme parks and enjoying rides. They like to paraglide, snorkel, and hike. And of course, take selfies of all the activities and upload on Social Media.

Here are a few pictures from Kuala Lumpur tour, of my friends in 2008. The place, Malaysia in general and Kuala Lumpur, in particular, was beautiful and attractive then and now.

Many new attractive ‘must visit’ destinations have come up in the past 10 years. Now the nature of tourism has evolved and involves a lot of activities other than time-bound sight-seeing.

The tourist destinations that my friends visited in Kuala Lumpur in 2010 are still popular tourist destinations. Check out the picture from my friends’ memoirs of 2008.

Petronas Towers

The iconic Petronas tower is the first thing to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Selfies in front of the towers in a must nowadays. Petronas was once the world’s tallest twin tower, until 2004.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers, Morning View
visit to Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers, night View

Tugu Negara

Tugu Negara is a National monument, in memory of the soldiers who laid down their life for the freedom of the country. There is a beautiful fountain in front of the monument.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Tugu Negara
visit to Kuala Lumpur
Beautiful fountain in front of Tugu Negara

Genting Highlands theme park

I was a bit confuses whether the pictures were of Theme park in Singapore or Malaysia. My friend confirmed that the pictures are of the Theme park in Genting Highlands. Theme parks provide a lot of entertainment. The hill station of Genting Highlands is known as the resort town. You can stay at the Genting Highlands hotels and enjoy the varied range of entertainments and activities in this popular tourist destination.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Genting Highland Theme Park

 

visit to Kuala Lumpur

Genting Highlands

Thean Hou Temple

The large temple is of the Chinese Sea Goddess Mazu. It is a popular tourist destination in Kuala Lumpur.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

A historic building, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, was used as Offices during the British regime. Now the building is of Ministries of Tourism and Ministry of Communication and Multimedia.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Batu Caves

Batu Caves is an important Hindu Shrines outside India. There are a number of Caves and temples on the Hill. Lord Murugan is the main deity here.  My friends could not climb the 272 steps and visit the caves and temples. They took the picture of the huge Murugan Statue (140ft) from a long distance.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
Sri Murugan’s Statue at Batu Caves

K L Lake Gardens

K L Lake Gardens is a splendorous group of gardens. There are different gardens like the rock garden, butterfly garden, deer park and so on. There seems to be no monkey park, but they are the star attraction of the garden. The carefree attitude of the Monkies makes them a tourist attraction and the favourites of shutterbugs.

Visit to Kuala Lumpur
K L Lake Gardens

visit to Kuala Lumpur

Walk through History

There are so many well preserved historic buildings and well-kept roads. You can take a stroll through the road for fresh air and enlightenment.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
A walk through Kuala Lumpur
visit to Kuala Lumpur
A walk through Kuala Lumpur

Overhead  view from Petronas Towers

To have an overhead view of Kuala Lumpur, you must go to the Sky bridge on the 41st floor of Petronas Tower. You can view and take pictures from the sky bridge.

visit to Kuala Lumpur
View of Kuala Lumpur from Petronas Skybridge
visit to Kuala Lumpur
View of Kuala Lumpur from Petronas Skybridge

Keralites penchant for travel contributes to Kerala model of development

Exposure to the various cultures of the world helps you become a better person and encourages you to bring positive changes around you. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s exposure to various cultures and interactions with people of different communities influenced him tremendously.

After fighting against injustice and class division in South Africa he returned to India to deliver the country from subjugation. He used to dress in the impeccable well-tailored suits, in England, later became a ‘half-naked fakir’ in a dhoti. Thanks to his exposure to the world he returned to lead the country to freedom.

There are so many stories of great men in the ancient and modern days whose travelling changed their life. Prince Siddhartha who travelled to see his kingdom was enlightened and became Sri Buddha.

A woman from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu was astonished that I did not know Tamil. She asked ‘how can anyone survive in this world without knowing Tamil’. She is one of the millions of people in the world who have never travelled out of their hometown. For them, there is nothing beyond their town, which is their world.

The Britishers who dared to leave their native town and travel to India during colonisation returned wealthy. Travelling makes you rich in terms of the wealth of knowledge, treasured memories, financial benefits and so no.

Travelling not only benefits the person but his/her community as well. Perhaps his/her State as a whole.  For instance the story of the State of Kerala. You might have heard of ‘Kerala model of Development’ which happened as a result of Keralites penchant for travel in search of greener pastures.

The travelling stories of Keralites did not begin with the Gulf Exodus around four decades ago. Keralites travelling history is dated back to the Maritime trade with Mesopotamia.

As you can find Keralites in every nook and cranny of the world, so you can find the reminiscence of various countries and cultures in Kerala.

Reminiscence of ancient cultures in India

The Uru, the large dhow type wooden ship made in Kerala, has been used by the Arabs for trade. The relation between the Uru, Beypore in Kerala, and the Arabs dates back to thousands of years old. It is said that the boats were used even in Roman sea fares.

Keralites penchant for travel

The arrival and departure of ships brought with it many historical people and cultures that shaped the history of Kerala. St Thomas the disciple of Jesus came to Kerala by the ships from Gulf. He came to work as a carpenter for a King. Vasco de Gama the first of the European coloniser, from Portuguese landed in Kerala, on 20th May, 1498. So did the Muslims and the Jews, who were fleeing their country.

Keralites penchant for travelRemnants of Buddhism are also found in Kerala. In my hometown, Mavelikara, there is a Statue of Buddha. Some temple traditions have a resemblance to the bygone Buddhist tradition.

It is said that Colombus discovered America while he was trying to find the spice route to India.

Keralites have always been migrating and they have always welcomed foreigners to Kerala. Whoever comes to Kerala and stays back becomes a Keralite and contributes to the society. Rev. Dr. Hermann Gundert, a German Missionary, who stayed in Kerala for two decades compiled the first Malayalam grammar book.

Laurie Baker a British-born India architect built low-cost, high-quality houses in Kerala. The low-cost houses not only benefitted the poor, but the rich also built low-cost Laurie Baker houses for its beauty and environment benefits.Keralites penchant for travel

 

Fast forward to the Modern days

Keralites have been always going out to other states and countries to work. In 1640’s and 50’s, they went to Burma and Singapore. By the 1960’s they started emigrating to the Gulf countries.

Some say that it was poverty that drove the Malayalees to abandon they native place.

Keralites never abandon their homeland. They come back with the mission to improve the state of affairs in Kerala. And it was not the poorest who left their homes. It was the well to do and the educated who wanted to explore better opportunities to harness their talents and skills.

What makes Kerala so unique?

The success of the Kerala model of development is because they #SayYesToTheWorld. Kerala has 94% literacy and Human Development Index (HDI) on par with many developed nations.

Wherever they went Keralites contributed to the development of that country. The render their dedicated services as Nurses, Doctors, Engineers, Accountants and so on. Wherever I travel people tell that Malayalee people, unlike me, are friendly, sincere, trustworthy, hardworking and loyal.

How Kerala evolve over the past few decades

Food has changed

My grandfather who had a staple diet of rice started having wheat flour roti for dinner in 1985. And now in 2018, my elderly parents have Oats for breakfast and atta roti for dinner. Rice only for lunch.

I remember my aunt, who has hardly travelled outside Kerala and used to abhor anything other than Kerala’s authentic food. In the last two decades, she has changed. She enjoys pastries, cakes, shawarmas and colas.

Dressing has Changed

In the early 90’s my cousins used to wear only the sari when they go to college. In school, they wore long skirt and blouse. In pre-college half sari and sari in college sari, that was the order. By 1993 churidar or salwar kameez became the trend in colleges. Yet you could never dare to wear Jeans. Now 25 years later no one cares what the other person wears.

Travelling in the Night

Traditionally Keralites wake up at 4 in the morning, have supper at 7 in the evening and sleep by 8 in the night. After the Keralites started staying abroad and in the cities, where the day starts only at 8 in the night, the night travelling culture is routine now.

Minding one’s own business

There was a time in Kerala when if a car came to your house neighbours will be asking or guess the reason for the arrival of the guest. If you walk on the road we have to give a valid reason for the purpose of the walk to every person you meet. If you eat out you have to give a reason why no food was made at home. And if you go out as a family you have to mention the occasion.

For those who stay abroad, such questions are irritating. Now Kerala has changed. Since most of the families are exposed to the world in one way or the other, they do not ask uncomfortable questions anymore.

No more Cultural Shocks

The exposure to various cultures has reduced their cultural shocks. They have become open-minded.

In the 1990’s if a foreigner came to our village people gathered around them as if they were Aliens. And they feared that if they touch them they will get AIDS

Now many families are providing home stays and they are ok with the arayum muriyum (scantily) dressed foreigners.

Keralites have a very conservative family value system. Yet now our elderly uncles and aunts accept their foreign guest as they are without meddling with questions about their family life.

Keralites penchant for travel

How change came to the Kerala Society?

The change in the Kerala society came because Keralites became world travellers for work and for leisure.

There is hardly any home in Kerala which does not have someone working abroad. Most of the Keralites have travelled abroad or at least to another state because their children or siblings are working there.

Travelling to other countries and welcoming foreigner in Kerala, has made Keralites more understanding to other cultures. When they go to a hospital, school or a mall in Europe or Gulf, they want the same facilities in their hometown. The rich and enterprising ones will invest their money and build world-class facilities in their hometown.

If we do not travel we are like a frog in the well. We think we are the best and there is no scope for improvement. When we travel we understand our deficiencies. We can learn and improve our standard of life.

(Kerala State was born on November 1, 1956, with the union of Travancore and Kochi Kingdoms.  In the ancient time, there were several kingdoms like the Cholas, Cheras and the Pandyas. But Kerala has some unifying factors which kept them united from the ancient to modern times.) 

Celebrating Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri


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Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri was celebrated by organizing a Diwali Mela organized on the weekend before the festival from Oct 13th to 15th.  A lot of Diwali shopping could be done at the stalls. Especially at the stalls by NGOs who sold Diwali items made by the underprivileged and visually handicapped children. Children participated in competitions and enjoyed in the play area.  And there was a lot of food and entertainment.

Dilli Haat Janakpuri celebrates all the festivals with lots of entertainment for people of all age groups. Dill Haat Janakpuri opened two years back and during every religious, national or state festivals there is all-around entertainment.

One of the highlights of the at the Diwali celebrations were the lamps and decoration items made by:

  • Underprivileged children
  • The visually impaired
  • Traditional artiste in villages

Painting competition

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Painting Competition

There was a painting competition for children for FREE!!. Children of any age group up to the 12th standard could join. And they could win prizes and scholarships.

Diwali decoration by Underprivileged Kids

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Lotus-shaped Diya made of disposable spoons

There was a stall of Nidaan Foundation (an NGO) which sold  Diwali decorations made by the underprivileged kids. There were little clay pots painted and decorated colourfully. One star attraction was the Diwali lamp or Diya which looked like a lotus. Priyam Mathur of Nidaan Foundation said that the Diya was made from disposable spoons. Another decoration was a wall hanging with icecream sticks and a Ganesha statue on the frame.

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Clay pots painted and decorated by underprivileged children.

Two in one light and scent

Fragrance oil lamps

This was really cute. When the electric blub is lit and the lamp gets heated then the oil, poured on the top, emanates beautiful scent. There was also the candle version instead of the electric one, where you can place a candle inside the electric bulb.

Wooden crockery from Nagaland

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Wooden crockery from Nagaland

There was beautifully polished wooden crockery made from Teak wood. The crockeries were carved by local artisans in Nagaland. There were also trays made from jute.

Khadi wears for women

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Khadi dresses at affordable rates

The khadi dresses are affordable with prices from the range of Rs 500 – Rs 1200. The Khadi wears are manufactured and sold by a lady entrepreneur.

Diwali lighting made by visually impaired kids

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Beautifully carved diyas made by visually impaired children

There was also a stall of Diwali items made by the students of Akhil Bharatiya Netrahin Sangh – a school for the blinds. There were beautifully carved and painted diyas. The entire Diwali decoration shopping can be done here as there are Candles, lamps, dhoop aggarbattis and pooja items.

Songs and entertainment at the Amphitheatre

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Music being played at Amphitheatre

All the while the amphitheatre played loud music that kept the Haat lively. 

Kids play area

Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Children playing at the Dilli Haat

To keep the children entertained there are a few play items.

Overall the Dilli Haat in Janakpuri is a good place to hang out with family during the Diwali holidays. The vast expanse of the Dilli Haat has got unique architectural buildings. To beautiful landscaping and the amazing architects is a beautiful blend of nature and architectural skills.

Related Posts:

Nonstop festivity at Delhi Haat Janakpuri

Journey of a Traditional Kerala House from Kerala to Delhi

A 300-year-old traditional Kerala house, beautifully built with stones and wood was moved,1300 km from Kerala to Delhi. The house that belonged to a traditional agrarian family, was handed over from one generation to another to the youngest son of the family. And so the house finally was inherited by Oommen George, an Architect and Artist who now stays in the US. He had no plans to stay in his ancestral home.

What he wanted to be done with the house…..

When Mr. Oommen tried to sell the house, called Meda, in Mepral, Thirvulla, he realised that everyone was interested in the plot and the wooden antiques in the house which could be sold. None was interested in restoring and staying in the house. There was only one option before him which was to dismantle the house which was in a dilapidated state.

Traditional Kerala House

Who came to his rescue……….

His friend and Famous architect Pradeep Sachdeva came to his rescue at this moment. Well known for his projects like the Delhi Haat and the Garden of five senses. He is also the architect of offices and hotels like Taj.

How could Sachdeva dismantle the building unscathed?

What Sachdeva did next was to get the local traditional carpenter, Narayan Achari who knew about the wood works.  Commonly known as Achari, the Acharis are carpenters and they pass on their tradition from generation to generation. Narayan Achari and his local group of workers worked like professionals to systematically remove all the wood pieces of Meda and to number them and to pack them in groups.

What is unique about the traditional Kerala house?

Traditional Kerala House
Meda in 1900

Fifty years back in Kerala there used to be only a few pucca houses in a village, and the rest will be thatched huts. Hence the entire village had an emotional attachment to the palatial landmarks of their village. The arapura,  is the wooden room which is a granary, and has a granary box (pathayam) and ostensibly built at the entrance of the house with wooden carved door, gold platings and sophisticated locking system. The arapura was the storing place for the rice and other food items.

Why are Keralites emotional about traditional houses?

Every village has some kind of traditional stories related to the tharavad (ancestral home) and to the arapura of the tharavad. In my grandmother’s childhood home, a tradition is followed even now. The preparation for the temple celebration begins from that village ( know as kara) only after the karnavar (head of the family) of the tharavad opens the arapura and gives two bottles of coconut oil to the temple authorities. ‘Meda’, it is said was located above sea level, hence the villagers found shelter here during floods.

Traditional Kerala House

 

 

 

 

 

Role of an Acharis’ in the construction of a traditional Kerala house

The acharis, have got an important place in the Kerala architecture. They hand down their trade secret to the next generation. The role of an Achari is immense in traditional Kerala house construction. In olden days they were the consultant architects, engineers, carpenter and astrologer for any construction project.  Narayan Achari started mastering the skills at a very young age.

Features of a wooden room or Ara………….

Traditional Kerala house rooms of woods are known as Ara and Nira. Nira means panels. The walls, ceilings and the floors are made of wooden panels which are joined without nuts and bolts. The wooden panels are joined like jigsaw puzzles.Traditional Kerala House

Achari’s role in dismantling the house…….

Naryan Achari, dexterously removed the panels and packed them in groups so that when the package reached Gurugram, the panels could be easily unpacked and joined.

Did they use new materials in reconstruction in Gurugram?

Some of the wood was unusable, so Pradeep Sachedeva made a few new panels using similar wood in Gurugram. And only the wooden rooms of upstairs was brought to Delhi. Instead of the stones used for the ground floor walls, bricks were used in gurugram.

How long was the reconstruction……

Achari and his team were brought to Gurugram where the assembling and reconstruction were done within six weeks.

Traditional Kerala House

Traditional Kerala House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What were the additions made to the traditional building?

John Bowman, a British architect created a cast iron spiral steps to the upper floor. Initially, the staircase was of wood. In addition, a bathroom and a kitchen were constructed on the ground floor. In addition, electricity and plumbing were installed.

How is the house after eight years of shifting………..

Mr. Sachdeva says the house seems to belong to the place, and wood will be fine for a long time.

Is the upkeep of the wood structure difficult

He says maintenance of the structure is not difficult and the house is cleaned and kept well maintained.

How economical is it to shift a traditional house?

Mr. Sachdeva says that shifting the house is not a costly affair.

Traditional Kerala House

What is the house being used as in Gurugram?

Meda is being used as a weekend home by Mr. Sachdeva and it is also  used as  a guesthouse.

What do the guests say about the house?

They are absolutely thrilled!!!

Bharat parv festival at Rajpath to celebrate Independence day

When Delhites have to plan for a quick outing, they will say Chalo India Gate Chale (Let us go to the India Gate). India Gate and the Rajpath in famous for the Republic Day parade, oflate a number of events are being conducted at the Rajpath Lawns which are both entertaining and informative. The events like the Bharat Parv are the best outing for all age groups where apart from delicacies from various parts of India, you can have feast for ears and eyes.

Sometime back Shauyanjali was organized to commemorate the 1965. Now to celebrate the 70th year of India’s Independence, Bharat Parv has been organised at the Rajapath Lawn. With over 50 pavilions there are food courts, exhibition from states, cultural programs, and a photo exhibition by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

The entire stretch for the event is decorated with various artefacts like puppets, masks and ribbon that replicate various cultures of India. Apart from the cultural programs from different parts of India at the stage, various groups perform randomly on the lawns and lanes of Rajpath. At any time at the even you can enjoy colourful entertainment programs at every corner of the Rajpath.

You have ample opportunity for Instagram pictures, videos and selfies of the melodious and colourful dance, martial arts and other programs at the Bharat Parv.

Bharat parv which began on Aug 12th, Friday, is a six days program to commemorate the Independence day.

Bharat Parv 8

Bharat Parv 2

Bharat parv 6

Bharat Parv 5

Bharat Parv 7

Indian Standard time or Singapore Standard Time

The only time I went on a group trip was on a Singapore-Indonesia tour ten years ago.  It was arranged by a travel agent and there were atleast 20 families in the group. A friend took all responsibility of the trip, so we hardly had any worries except to do all the shopping about the trip and brag with friends and relatives. In those day very few people went on international tours, so we felt proud.

At a destined time we reached an assigned spot to take the Tourist bus to Kochi Airport. After Picking up friends at various points we bagan the 2 hour road trip. We enjoyed a enjoyable ‘picnic’ trip to the airport, singing and joking. At the airport also we enjoyed 3 hours of masti, as we had an agent to take care of the paper works, we only had to enjoy the trip.

Most of our friends were first time travellers so when the flight took off there were  humorous experiences; one 25 year old guy cried for his Mom.

Everything was fine until we reached the Singapore Airport. Then we were ‘handed over’ to a Singaporean Guide, I thing her name was Mary. Then we understood why Singapore is much ahead of ‘time’.

Mary was particular about time unlike we Indians. In India we reach a place atleast an hour after the designated time. The only person I know to be punctual is Big ‘B’ – Amitabh Bachchan.  Mary took us around on a tourist bus to tourist destinations like the Mirlions and Botanical Garden. While we de-board the bus she gives us strict instruction to come back at a sharp timing ; say for instance 4:00 PM.

Most of the time we all messed up with the timing. We used to get even half an hour late and then Mary got even more strict. She said next time she will not wait for anyone and just move on.

We had to obey because non of us had a local SIM, so she was our boss for the trip.

The next day we were all on time and Mary praised us for mending our manners. From then on she used to say “come back at Singapore Standard Time and not Indian Standard Time”

Next day we went to Sentosa Island, Singapore Zoo, Chinatown and various other places.  We saw the four different ethnic groups – Chines, Malaya, Indian and other staying together and working in unison for the betterment of their own self and of the country. All religious groups Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam stay together in harmony.

Singapore is like a well kept home, not a single piece of paper or a bit of dust could be found anywhere. All the cars were less than 15 years old so they shined like new cars. And above all the same water was used in the wash room and for drinking. You can take water from the wash room and prepare tea.

By the end of the tour Mary became friendly and she learned a few malayalam words and promised to visit Kerala very soon. We bought some tokens to remember the Trip.

Finally we were handed over to the Indian Guide at the Airport, we were much relieved because we could now follow the Indian Standard time. Just like at the beginning of the trip we were dropped home from Kochi Airport by Bus.

We came back with lots of memories and learning . If we follow Singapore Standard Time (Punctuality) we can have success in life and we can contribute a lot to our society.