Thursday, 24 December 2015


            Another beautiful year is coming to an end amidst celebrations and fireworks and here I am...juggling words and trying to stack them up into a blog post. I have been splashing around in the pool of poetry for some time now...but things have changed in the past year. I seem to be going somewhere; hopefully in the direction that I have always intended to. In Sep 2015 my first blog completed its first year online...and it is all set to walk the serene pathways of blogosphere. It is basically anything and everything that comes to my nerdy mind and not usually bound in genres. I also managed to make a mark in blogging activities on #blogadda and #indiblogger but it is still a very long way ahead.

        I also launched a poetry blog this year @  dedicated to Hindi poetry and it is doing fine too. The year 2015 has seen it all; be it bitter or sweet, or rise and fall. Here’s how I expressed it in one of my blog posts...

कुछ खट्टा कुछ मीठा

के ख़ूब रहा ये साल,

कुछ क़िस्से हैं, कुछ कहानी हैं ; 

कुछ बीत गया, कुछ बाकी है ,

कुछ बातें हैं जो बतानी हैं ;

पा लिया कुछ, तो कुछ ख़्वाब ही हैं,

के इसी का नाम तो ज़िंदगानी है;

कभी ख़ुशी मिली, कभी आँसू,

के तक़दीर बड़ी सयानी है;

कभी जीत मिली, कभी सीख ,

कुछ मंज़िलें हैं, जो अभी पानी हैं;

कोई छूट गया, कोई साथ रहा,

के तस्वीरें कुछ धुँधली, तो कुछ जानी-पहचानी हैं;

कुछ याद रहा, कुछ भूल गया,

के बातें कुछ कहनी हैं, कुछ छुपानी हैं;

जो बीत गया, वो फसाना था,

के तस्वीर तो अभी बनानी है;

क्या ख़ूब रहा ये साल ,

और क्या ख़ूब ये कहानी है,

क्या ख़ूब ये कहानी है…

            Well! That’s it for my blogs, you will have to check them out yourself to know more and please spare some time to give your valuable feedback. But the brighter side is that the story has just begun and there are ‘n’ numbers of milestones yet to be achieved. I hope to try new things, learn, live and feel each moment, push & change myself to become a better being, a better person and a better writer & blogger in the coming year. I can’t resist but share the lyrics of the most inspirational song I ever came across “It’s the climb”- By Miley Cyrus.

" There's always gonna be another mountain,
I'm always gonna wanna make it move,
Always gonna be a uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose,

Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side,
It's the climb..."
             Whenever you feel down, just listen to this song and keep going...just like me. So, let us keep our fingers crossed and see what lies behind these doors...

I’m sharing my #TalesOf2015 with BlogAdda.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The pursuit of love: #ItsStillOkay

            I loved the movie #BajiraoMastani but I will refrain from turning this post into another movie review. You may already know about the highs and lows of the epic from reviews or the movie itself by now, so let’s sail higher and see the big picture. And if you are still sceptical about Shrimant Peshwa Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat, this post may just add to it.

           When the movie took off I saw #BajiRao as the ultimate warrior who seemed invincible. At the zenith of his raging expedition he wanted only one thing...uprooting of the #Mughals and unifying India under one rule i.e. #Maratha, which is completely understandable. But as the reels turned, the warrior turned into a fanatic lover. How did that happen or what he actually wanted? Was it power, peace or love?
     Power is a definite yes but may be because he was brought up that way. He was molded to be a warrior and he turned out to be one of the best of that era, a #Maratha’s paradigm. He not only sought power but he achieved it. He became the peshwa of the Maratha empire at the tender age of 20 years. His sword was his first love indeed. He fought to win & fought till his last breath and died ultimately of war wounds.

       Peace! I mean peace of mind with a less complicated life. He may but he chose otherwise. He espoused #Mastani going against his religion, family, his own wife and the truck load of expectations everyone had for him. That too amid all the wars & religious stubbornness, so peace was never on the cards. 

        Love? Love is all that we seek. Even the mightiest of warriors fell to it; be it #BajiRao, #Prithviraj Chauhan, #Salim or someone else. Something on the Indian subcontinent caused a serious heart-brain wiring malfunction which drew them to love, it’s still unknown but definitely there. It was love or lunacy that a man, Shrimant Peshwa Baji Rao Ballal Balaji Bhat himself, who had it all  at his service, including a beautiful and loving wife, fell for someone who could never be more than a concubine. It could only have been love that he couldn't resist it, especially after being aware of the aftermath. I feel that it was #Mastani's love frenzy which dragged him into it but she was also the one who suffered the most. 

                 We have seen many lovers in the history of Indian anecdotes who succumbed to the intricate fallacies of love, #BajiRao was one of them. He won 41 major battles only to fall at the hands of love. Well! Falling in love and not getting through has a legacy of its own in India, with the khaps and all continuing with it. 

            So the word is that the mightiest of heroes, even of the likes of peshwa, shehzada, warrior or even the king himself may have a hard time with love and destiny; even the religion doesn’t seem to matter here. But as long as the pursuit of love goes on...#it’s still okay.

This post has been written for #Indispire Edition 96: Write a short-story/poem/one-liner or anything to capture your thoughts and end it with "Its Still Okay!" #ItsStillOkay

Saturday, 19 December 2015

नारी शक्ति : #KnowYourRights

             Crimes against women have been rising without any check and it’s a shame that the capital city is among the front runners. It is time to wake up and start fighting in our own capacity without waiting for something to happen to someone known to us. The least we can do is being aware ourselves first. The first misconception that we must strive to dilute is that sexual abuse is not always rape. The mere obscene gesture or language amounts to sexual assault. Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code describes sexual assault in detail which has been divided into 4 subsections, namely:—

354 A: Sexual harassment which includes—
  • physical contact and advances involving explicit sexual overtures; or
  • demand or request for sexual favors; or
  • showing pornography against the will of a woman; or
  • making sexually colored remarks.
354 B: Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe.

354 C: Voyeurism-Any man who watches, or captures the image of a woman engaging in a private act.

354 D: Stalking or following a woman to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest by such woman.

It is important because even voyeurism and stalking falls under its ambit and are liable for punishment. Rape cases are only the tip of the iceberg and incidents like these forms the bulk of sexual assault cases which if reported and penalized will drastically reduce the number of severe cases.

3 reasons why it is important to encourage reporting sexual violence:-

1. Because it is the right thing to do, because staying back will only encourage the criminals to take a step further and each of their steps will bring them closer to the innocent. 

2. Because each case reported will raise the possibility of getting them prosecuted. It’s a pity that many of such criminals walk right through our ailing judicial system but it is all the more reason to nab them. Recently, the Delhi high court refused to rule on extending the three-year stay in reform home of the juvenile convicted in the 2012 Delhi gang rape and murder of the paramedical student #Nirbhaya. Yes, he will walk free even after being part of one of the most heinous crimes of modern times in Delhi so buckle up.

3. Most importantly, because we need to create an environment where criminals and not women live in fear. Fear of police, prosecution and punishment will help create a protective shield around the women. The criminals should bear the brunt of social stigma and not the victims. But in today’s times the identity and dignity of rape victims is raped again and again in public media and the criminals are being protected. It is this discrimination that we have to fight. However, it is not only the victim’s responsibility, but the onus lies on each one of us to stand together with the victims and make them feel strong and safe and keep the movement against sexual abuse alive.

" मैं नारी हूँ मैं सबला हूँ, समरूप हूँ मैं पर हीन नहीं,
आकाश में उड़ना है मुझको, पर नसीब मुझे क्यूँ ज़मीन नहीं ;

इन आँसुओं पे ना जाना तुम,
के प्रगाढ़ हूँ मैं, गमगीन नहीं ;

दरकार नहीं सहारे की मुझे,
के शोषण से टकराए जो, बलवान वही-और वीर वही ;

बात इतनी सी है, गर समझ पाए कोई,
के तुम मुझसे हो मैं तुमसे हूँ , और एकाकी हम फ़रदीन नहीं ;

एकाकी हम फ़रदीन नहीं..."

I’m writing this blog post to support Amnesty International’s #KnowYourRights campaign at BlogAdda. You can also contribute to the cause by donating or spreading the word.

Friday, 11 December 2015

#ResponsibleTourism Summit 2015

                 Going to the #OutlookTraveller #ResponsibleTourism summit 2015 was the best thing happened to me in the last week. All the big names and bigger ideas together at the same place; a delight for the eyes and ears, especially the address by Prof. Harold Goodwin. The Eco-travel collection by Anupama Dayal showed how colorful responsible tourism can be. As much as it was enjoyable, it was informative too and I could feel the new me.

               I came to terms with the fact that I can be a responsible tourist for a few days or weeks only but for rest of the days or even my entire life I can be a responsible host. The number of people coming to my city is far more than the number of cities I could possibly ever  visit. We must acknowledge the uniqueness of our own neighborhood and play our part, however small it may be, in preserving the rich cultural heritage that lies around us. I have always been a history seeker (well! Not during school days) and I was pleasantly surprised to read about the history of Delhi and how the historical marvels scattered all around us tell a story for themselves. I feel proud to be living around them or to be a part of their history. But it’s a pity I was unaware about all this for so long and I am afraid I am not alone. In the run for our daily living, we often tend to ignore the palace, the fort and the gardens where the rulers of Delhi once strolled. What we can do is embrace the beauty of it and pass it on to our next generations. If each one of us can do that, I am sure we can make our city a better place for us and our guests. In a nutshell, if we are a responsible host...I am sure we will be a responsible tourist. I have written a few posts about Delhi and its prodigious history myself; hope it can make a difference.

              Another important point that the summit instigated in my mind was the fact that tourism is not an industry in itself but it is a bridge that connects all others be it transport, small/local industries, archaeology, hospitality, sanitation, advertising, food, medical and much more. For responsible tourism to take effect each of the industry will have to play their part. It makes this movement of #ResponsibleTourism a herculean task and its impact even bigger. I can only imagine if we can ever achieve it but one thing is certain that even a partial victory would make a monumental difference. So, let’s just buckle up and get started...

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

The Nature Traveller: #ResponsibleTourism

Photo Credit:
                   As much as I love travelling, I love being close to the nature. I have been to a lot of places but never away from the natural and scenic beauty. The serene landscape nourishes the soul and rejuvenates the torn out mind.  Now that we are old enough, it’s our turn to take care of the Mother Nature.

पाँव सूखे हुए पत्तों पर, अदब से रखना ज़रा,
के धूप में माँगी थी, पनाह इनसे कभी;

के ये पेड़, ये पौधे, ये झरने - पहाड़,
बेआबरू से खड़े हैं,  झोली फैलाए सभी ||

                  There is no running from the fact that the Mother Nature is getting older and falling ill with each passing day. It’s even hard to miss the hue and cry of global warming. It is not just a coincidence that a new city is falling prey to the wrath of the ailing nature every year, be it #Mumbai, #Kedarnath, #Srinagar or #Chennai. Looking at the present state of affairs, the best day to get started would be yesterday. Getting started may not be enough; we will also need a plan and it is amazing how simple and little things can make a big difference.

Photo Credit:

                  Travelling responsibly is a lot many small things and not just a big word. The crux is to not do any harm and let the environment breathe easy. We must also look for ways to curtail the toxic wastes be it gases, plastics or any other thing. The problem is that most of these toxic materials have found a comfortable place in our daily routines and keeping them away would mean changing our habits and eventually our lives. But the day we realize the gravity of it, it wouldn’t be that impossible. Here is what you can still do to travel responsibly...

  •  Travel light: Well it is not just a travel tip but the fact that less stuff would mean less waste adds responsibility to it.
  • Use public transport as far as possible: Yes! It is not a typo. Getting out of the comforts of a SUV may be messy but using public transport will help cut the carbon emissions and also give you the opportunity to mingle with the locals. Even if you are using a car or your own transport, at least make sure it is properly serviced and get a PUC certificate. You can also carpool without compromising your own safety.
  • Avoid packaged snacks and use fruits: We have a very annoying habit of leaving more than just footprints at natural abodes. Left out wrappers are slowly becoming omnipresent. Besides the fact that many of these snacks are unhealthy, we forget that these wrappers are plastics and will never disintegrate or decompose. It is simple to keep them in a bag and dispose in the nearest dustbin. We should never leave them behind in any case but at least leaving fruit-skins would do less harm to the surroundings than plastics. You see fruits are healthier for the environment too.
  • Refill water bottles: Carrying your own water and getting it refilled would limit the number of useless but toxic bottles left behind. Even if you end up doing it, just drop the empty bottles at a local vendor for recycling instead of leaving it in open or even in the dustbin.
  • Plant more trees: You may feel there are already enough trees while going to a hill-station or something but planting a tree now will bear fruits for your children. Think of it like leaving a greener tomorrow for them. Remember the fruits you were eating on your trip, yes they have seeds too.  Take a moment to plant them anywhere you like and the nature will water them for you. Voila!!!
  • Live close to the nature; go camping, trekking etc.: It is good for bonding and the caring will come naturally to you. If you can see the beauty beyond the natural landscapes, you will do anything to preserve it.
  • Volunteer: Whenever you see a bottle...put it in the dustbin. It is that simple.
  • Don’t just do it...motivate others too... 

I am a sapling, I am a tree,
Plant some more and set me free;

I am a river, flowing to the sea,
Play as you want, just don’t hurt me;

I am the land, I am mother earth,
Be a good son and prove your worth...

Don't be a tourist, Be a Responsible Traveler.

I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda.
It also happens to be my 50th post, so cheers to that too.