My Idea of a Peaceful Dream Vacation

A group of ducks enjoying the peaceful life of Mysore (Infosys Mysore Campus)
A group of ducks enjoying the peaceful life of Mysore (Infosys Mysore Campus)

We come across so many beautiful people, places and moments in our life. At times, we feel to revisit those moments, to relive the amazing past. Such nostalgia occurs to me every now and then. The memorable moments of my life I spent in Mysore.

Yes, it is my dream vacation destination where I want to spend some quality time again. Away from the chaos of daily life, a place with still lower level of pollution, a place housing one of the best corporate campuses on earth- Infosys Mysore.

It should be at least 1 month long vacation. I would leave from Delhi Airport to land in Bengaluru and from there I would take a cab to Mysore, the city of peaceful life. I can imagine the cool breeze entering my car and touching my face. The weather is amazing throughout the year.

I want to book a guest house, not a typical hotel, but an independent villa-type house, slightly outside the main city, entirely for my use during the vacation duration. It would be a place where I would feel like home. It would be a place where I would not have room service to disturb me or next room neighbors to create any noise.

I will spend the first week roaming around the city everyday and visiting the beautiful places like Mysore palace, Chamundi hills, Vrindavan Garden etc. The city is known for yoga and I want to practice it too while connecting with the people who passionately practice the art of yoga.

A very nice place near to Mysore is Ooty. A beautiful hill station known for its huge expanse of tea farms. It is such a beautiful place that one can forget everything while visiting this heaven. The views from some of its points is so breathtaking that one can sit there and enjoy for hours just by looking at the natural landscape and enjoying the cool breeze. I will visit there for at least 3-4 days hiring a cab service for daily commute.

Two things which are very famous in Ooty are homemade chocolates and tea factory. The tea factory manufactures so many varieties of tea including chocolate flavored tea. One can buy a ticket to even visit the factory and witness the whole production process. At various points, they offer you sample tea of different flavors which is a delight to taste. I will not be able to leave that place without buying at least a few kilos of tea powder.

Another place in Mysore I want to visit is Infosys Mysore campus. It is a beauty in itself. I spent 6 months in training while staying in the campus and next 6 months working while living in Mysore city and the memories of this whole year are still so fresh. One can take days to completely roam the campus on foot and golf carts and parked cycles are a must to expedite the exploration. A day or two there will freshen me up a lot.

For the remaining 2 weeks, I would rather chill out and enjoy the weather, place, people and the life in Mysore. I am sure it would completely recharge me to get back to the same energy level I had when I first visited this place and while going back to Delhi and arriving at the Delhi Airport, the smile on face would be the shiniest of all.

To book your flight ticket, cabs, hotels etc. easily, you may log on to Yatra.com and get great deals on domestic air tickets on Domestic Airlines.

Beyond the Illusion of Real Togetherness

Real Togetherness

There would be hardly anyone who would want to be alone in life. We always need family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, neighbors, pets and even unknown people around us. It is human nature to be together and seek happiness and being with others. But has it changed these days?

In old days, the only way of being together was to sit together. Telecommunication was still a distant dream usually practiced in fantasy movies by fictional characters. But everything has changed now. With the advent of 24/7 connectivity through small pocketable handheld devices called mobile phones, togetherness has got a new meaning.

Earlier it was telephony where people used to talk for several hours a day. But with the introduction of internet, smartphones and apps, connectivity is now 24/7. People remain available all the time and remain busy in reading and responding to text messages. And it is so much consuming that they hardly get any time to think anything else.

This connectivity is virtually connecting us to millions of people, but is it real togetherness? I cannot “new-pinch” my friends when they wear a new dress, I cannot dance with them on latest dance numbers, I cannot hug them when I feel lonely, I cannot hold their hands when I feel afraid. Whoever I am connected to using this technology, I am still sitting alone in a 10×10 room holding a smartphone in my hands. This is not togetherness. Rather, this is an illusion of togetherness which is taking away the real togetherness.

The real togetherness is when we are actually together laughing on jokes, dancing on tunes, playing hide-and-seek, caring when someone is sick, cooking new dishes, traveling to new places, solving riddles, drenching in the rain etc. The list is endless and it is so much different than sitting in a room and imagining all these things.

We all are slowly forgetting the joy of being close to nature and we prefer the comfort of sitting in our beds. And it is true that even being alone, we are technically not alone as we are constantly connected through technology. But we need to break free from these and get back to real life.

Kissan has released a nice commercial showing how planting some tomato seeds bring a group of people together belonging to all ages. It shows how we are still those nature loving humans who truly enjoy when they are together, who still recognize the power of togetherness.

We need to do something similar to make things better. There are so many things we can do like enjoy the sunrise every morning on our roofs, walking on the green grass barefoot, singing along with the birds, watering the plants in the garden etc. There is so much we can do.

We are slowly going away from the real life which we need to stop, and being closer to nature is a great way to achieve that.

You can visit the Kissanpur to learn more about above campaign here: http://www.kissanpur.com/

Togetherness without being together

We have fun loving people all around us, but very few of them love people more than fun, and that makes all the difference.

I always wonder the meaning of being together. Is it about being able to look at each other, talk or even touch each other? Save the “touch” part, looking and talking is now-a-days possible no matter you are physical near to each other or not, thanks to the technology in the form of Skype or Hangout.

But, I believe that being together is much more than this. It is when we are together even if we are unable to hug, see, hear, or touch the other person. It is when our hearts are together, our heartbeats are in sync even if we are away, our memories make us feel as if we are still next to each other. This, I believe, is true togetherness.

Usually, in one’s life, family and close friends are the main source of strength and motivation. I am no different. Even while living at different places, unable to meet many of them for months, even years, we are still together. Many times, when I felt low, they inspired me, took my hand and made me stand up to the challenges of life.

Once I was unable to visit my home for 8 long months. I was working thousands of kilometers away from my home while also preparing for MBA entrance exam. Sometimes it became very hectic but my family stood together and kept me going, even though they were so far away from me.

My closest friend lives in my hometown and we are friends from our school time. We rarely chat on line and once in a while on phone. Even then, when we meet even after long duration of time, we feel as if we are meeting each other every day for the last so many years. The bond is unaffected by distance because it is nurtured by love and care.

When I was in Hyderabad, working in a very hectic job on weekdays, preparing for CAT on weekends with no time to spare for roaming around or parties, my roommates helped me out in every possible way. Even away from home, with them I found a new home. I feel lucky to be there, together with them at that time. Sometimes I felt as if they were more worried about my exam than I was. And it all worked out pretty well.

Love and care are the main ingredients of togetherness, mixed with goodness of heart. In the absence of these ingredients, there is no meaning of being with someone. It is as if one is alone even when surrounded by crowd. We have fun loving people all around us, but very few of them love people more than fun, and that makes all the difference.

Housing.com is encouraging people to be #together. You can visit them here: housing.com

The change that fueled life

When I was about to graduate from my engineering college, I felt the uneasiness created by the upcoming change in my life. I felt sad by the thought that soon my college life will be gone. At that time, a very good friend of mine told me that “change is the norm”. And moreover, some changes are irrevocable and one has to accept them anyway.

Very soon my work life began. I was excited to begin a new life. But at the same time, I was little bit skeptical about going 2500 kms away from my home. “Is it worth it?” I asked myself. And guess what, yes, that change in my life was for good. I will cherish those memories for life.

As a matter of fact, I believe most of the changes in our life prove to be good at some point of time or other. When I moved to Southern part of India, I got a chance to experience an entirely new life, to learn so many new things, get familiar with a culture totally different from mine and meet people who are different yet same as I.

When I was in my hometown, I never liked South Indian food, or I can say that I never liked South Indian food cooked in North India. I was prejudiced that I will get the same food there. And fast forward to 1 year later, it became a norm to eat dosa in breakfast for me. I literally loved some of the South Indian dishes.

I am from Northern part of India where we experience extreme weather phenomena throughout the year. There are too much hot dry summers, too much humid summers, excessive rainy season, pleasant spring and extremely chilly winters. It is good to experience all types of weather but all this in a single year sometimes make it difficult.

In South India, I found that weather can be uniform as well. While Mysore and Bangalore were so pleasant throughout the year, Hyderabad only got somewhat hot only for 4 months. That was a new experience and I realized that it was good too in its own way. However, it seemed monotonous to me after being in North for such a long time.

Gradually, all my prejudices were gone and I enjoyed my stay there. And finally, one day, I had to leave that place too. I still remember the day I left that place. I felt really bad. Remember, this was the same place which was thousands of kilometers away from my home and I was feeling bad when leaving it.

This taught me that sometimes some changes in life seem really big and our inner inertia may obstruct us from committing to that change. But most changes are for good and we should overcome that fear and take the opportunity to experience something new. I took my chance and it was definitely worth it.


A company named Housing.com has changed for good. You can visit Housing.com to experience the good change.

When a stranger made me smile

Image Source: www.forangelsonly.org

 At a certain point of time, we start believing that there is nothing good left in this world. But, there are those little moments in life which make us realize that we are wrong, that there are still so many good people in this world and it brings smile to our face, a relief in our heart.

In the present day life where everyone is running around aimlessly, competing with others to win some race, everything seems full of pessimism. At a certain point of time, we start believing that there is no one with a good heart left in this world. But there are those little moments in life which make us realize that we are wrong, that there are still so many good people in this world and it brings smile to our face, a relief in our heart. And I found those moments a few months ago while travelling in Delhi Metro.

It was the evening of a very hectic day full of surprises and I did not want any more surprises. I still had so much to do and I wanted to be at peace. The overly crowded Delhi Metro is no more a place for peace lovers. You can find people fighting for seats, boys leching on girls or people holding their pockets tightly, trying to avert pickpockets.

I got a seat after 4-5 stations. But I still had 30+ stations to go and had to change metro at on place. The battery of my mobile was down so I could not play any games on it to kill time. Suddenly, I noticed that the passenger sitting next to me was watching a movie on his mobile phone. I started watching it though I could not hear the sound.

This went on for a while. Suddenly, that passenger looked at me, smiled and offered me one of the ear buds of his earphone and turned the phone’s screen towards me so that I can also watch the movie. I was surprised. But I had nothing to do. So, I accepted his offer and put the earbud in my ear. The man politely explained me the story of the movie which I missed till that point of time and then we started watching the movie. I felt really good as if my tiredness was gone.

In between, we talked about various things, though I was not much interested in trivial talks. Also, I was a little bit skeptical about him. How can someone be so friendly with a stranger in the present day world? But he was an exception. I double checked my wallet and phone, everything was at its place.

I started enjoying the movie with him and did not even realize that I was just 4 stations away from my destination. At that station that man deboarded the train. Before leaving, he said a very nice good bye and greeted me with a smile which I reciprocated. We never asked each other’s name and we may never recall each other’s faces even if we meet in future. It made me sure that the man did all this without any expectation of gaining something from me. He was just sharing his happiness with me. And someone has rightly said, happiness is multiplied when shared with others.

It made my day. I was no more skeptical about the world. There are still so many affectionate people who smile at strangers without any bad intention. From that day onwards, everything around me looked even more beautiful. more positive. I realized that world is full of optimism if we are willing to look at it. And once we start looking at it, life becomes more beautiful.

The memories of that heartwarming journey will always be there in my heart and I will contribute towards making this world a happier, more beautiful and optimistic place.

You can visit Housing.com/lookup to see how Housing envisions a world filled with positivity.

When Pilot Pen was a precious possession

PilotPenThe other day, I was resting on my bed after a stressful day in the office just when I felt a familiar fragrance. I felt delighted and opened my eyes and found some new books which had just arrived and were kept on my bed side table. I turned the pages of one book and smelled the soothing air rushing out of the turning pages. That fragrance reminded me of the beautiful childhood days when I was at my home.

During school days, each year, when the new session started, I eagerly waited for the new syllabus books. I enjoyed the visit to the bookseller with my father and buying all the books. I loved to read all the stories in the English and Hindi books as soon as I got home. The pleasure of holding the new books, with new plans for the new class cannot be expressed in words.

The course books were given to binders to get them binded with rexene paper. The decision of rexene colour (black, grey, blue, maroon) was a hard one.

After the course books, came the turn of the notebooks. My mom and dad covered the notebooks by brown papers. Selecting from among the beautiful cartoon nameslips was my task. Deciding which slip to paste on which notebook was a tough task, atleast for a kid. Then it was covered by plastic sheets, kind of laminated.

Likewise came the practical files, drawing files, and stationery like new geometry box, Stick pens, Natraj HB pencils, Natraj sharpener (we used to call it cutter), Apsara eraser, Natraj ruler (we used to call it scale) and pencil box. Most of the times, a new school bag too.

New class meant new school dress. Choosing from the colours which best matches the colour prescribed by our school was again a challenge. They said grey trousers and I dont know why somehow my grey was always different from their grey. It was a burden to keep those white shirts white till the school got over in the afternoon. New shoes, new white socks, tie and school belt.

I remember that my school was even more important to my parents and they stopped all their work to prepare me for the school. Ironed dress, polished shoes, tiffin full with delicious hot food it was all ready before I even woke up. When I went to school, my mom used to bade me bye till my rickshaw disappeared from the view.

It was a tradition that I lost atleast one water bottle every year. Sometimes the cap of water bottle had a game of small steel balls where the balls were to be put in the middle ring of the maze. I loved playing that game on my way from school to home by the rickshaw.

I feel amazed to realize that at that time, how important was each and every thing to me. Owning a Pilot pen (Gifted by my father on my birth day) and using it for writing in examinations was a moment of pride. The cardboard pads with clips for exams, with cartoon characters were awesome possessions.

Suddenly my mobile rang. A reminder to wake up. I came back to present. Some work to do. I have to read a report which is on my laptop. As we all use technology now-a-days, with environmentalists loudly appealing to minimize the use of paper, I wonder will it be a real life for the new generation to read and learn without the fragrance of new books.

I still feel delighted to remember old days, not just because of the memory, but also due to some stimuli like fragrance of paper which is still the same as it used to be. Sensing these things today, I feel like reliving those moments for a while. But if the present generation kids will not have any fragrance attached to their memory, all they will know is the silicon based material (used to make computing devices) for everything they do. In that case, when they will grow up, how will they embrace and cherish the golden moments of their childhood as much as we can do today…