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Coorg – Amidst Nature

In Karnataka lies this beauty of a city called Coorg. Enjoyed a 3 day vacation with friends. The idea when visiting Coorg is that you first find a Home Stay, it actually means you stay at someone’s home, except that you pay for it. Browsed through my contacts and my friend suggested that we visit this beautiful home in the middle of a jungle. This is where we stayed.

Yellow Gate Homestay – the hosts are a very friendly middle aged couple, very hospitable. Uncle especially has many stories and experiences to share. Aunt was magical with her Kodava cuisine.

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Coorg is a 6 hour drive from Bangalore, we were a group of 6 and decided to travel by renting a self drive car. I was always keen on going on a long drive in a beast of a vehicle. As a group we decided to get a XUV 500 from Voler. I was astonished by the way this machine could rip on the highway.  Mahindra really knows how to make a Crossover Utility Vehicle.

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We decided to leave Bangalore by about 9 AM and reached Coorg by 3 PM. We took Tumkur road to take a turn near Nelamangala. As we approached Coorg, we were welcomed by this tropical forest.

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Staying in Bangalore, I could get a welcome of concrete replacing the trees. For a city dweller, this is the closest we could get to nature. How wondrous if we could stay at a home like this. That person must be blessed by the almighty himself. You wake up everyday to this. What else could one ask for.

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A 10 Km drive from here would take us to Yellowgate Home Stay. The stay cost us Rs 1000 per person, it includes stay with Breakfast and Dinner. It was a fair deal for us as we were not looking for anything luxurious. The door of the Home stay opens to this view:

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Since we traveled during the day on Saturday, we decided to stay put. We enjoyed the view, each other’s company, good food and lots of laugh. The hosts also would talk to us and suggest which are the places to visit, as most of us had been to Coorg, it was a wish that we visit places where regular tourists don’t visit. For the evening we were accompanied by the hosts and their 3 Dogs.

A wise, old and golden retriever.

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An Indian bred dog. Again, very wise, calm and loving. He could solely take you on a trek to a nearby hill. All you have to do is follow his lead.

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The 3rd one is a small Lhasa Apso, not very friendly. Does not mean he will bite, it is just that it does not want you to take him for granted, to maintain the doggie lable, it would growl and scare you. Could not get a picture of it 🙂

It was a long night, actually we stayed up the whole night. Just talking and sipping a peg or 2 (not exaggerating).

Day 2 was all about driving through the greenery. On the way to a friend’s place we found a water-body this beautiful. This place is near Murnad. Shallow water, clean and not crowded. When we visited, there were kids who were playing in the water.

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My friend’s place at Balmuri, again, it was in the middle of a coffee estate. Nature all over, even if we accidentally click a photo, you will just find lush greenery everywhere. This is the house in the making.

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Spent a good 2 to 3 hours here and then decided to visit the legendary Raja seat. The story behind Raja’s seat is that the Kings and Queens of Kodagu would visit Raja’s seat to view the Sunrise and Sunset. The place was filled with people in the evening to witness the Sunset. Although we could not get a clear picture of the Sunset as the sky was cloudy, I just could get a glimpse of the Sun hiding behind a cloud.

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We decided to call it a day and head back to the warm home stay. Again for a adventurous night with friends and many other things. Our hosts decided to light a camp fire for us.

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On such travels, your mind gets to think clear and get out of the stress caused by the materialistic world. At many instances I felt that my life is meant to be close to this nature and not in this chaotic concrete jungle (read Bangalore). How I wish I could be a permanent resident at a place so peaceful in Coorg. With many such thoughts and bonding over friendship, it was end of day 2.

Day 3 and last day at Coorg. Our plan of the day was to visit Mandalpatti, pastoral landmark to view the Sunrise and Sunset. The peak is located at a height of 1600m. It is situated 18 kms away from Madikeri. One can take an early morning Jeep ride to the hill-top viewpoint. It is a tricky ride, 4*4 drive is mandatory.

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Coorg is the unsung hero in Karnataka. This city not only contributes towards tourism but is also a proud Indian child who sends many soldiers to the borders. I just wish that the governments realize how precious this city is for this country. Through the stories read and understood, I come to an understanding that the Kodagu district is running on its own without much help from the governments.

I am coming back soon, Kodagu. A destination now close to my heart.

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The Big Political Game:

India! The world’s largest democracy is witnessing nothing less than a battle. We citizens were active soldiers in this war. We were fighting among ourselves to prove our ideology is right.

My country is a political joke. People that are capable to make informed decisions claim they aren’t interested in politics. Meaning, the less capable ones get the power to vote a moron to power. The youth of my country would rather go on a vacation when their respective offices declare a holiday on the election day. Then for the next 4-5 years the same youth will sit and complain about how bad our system is. Irony!

The next bunch of jokers are the political leaders themselves. Very few of them talk about development. It is mostly bashing when they talk. I want to know what you as a leader will offer to change. What this nation can expect out of you. Instead, I hear them talking gibberish. Offering free money to the voters is the easiest task on hand. Remember I told you that the capable ones hand the power to the incapable ones, these are the people who vote for money.

Next comes the influencers. These guys are the print media. The most biased, corrupt, unprofessional bunch of liars. They are labelled as prestitutes. They have been habituated of favors. The older government would fill their pockets so that the news speaks just good of them. Free money, free foreign tours, liquor and what not. These powerful people can make anything into headlines, an actor’s infant just farted and it comes up on the headline. The readers feel like they are a part of the actor’s family. Come on! Don’t we have better things to do?

There is one iconic leader who’s name I would like to take. He is a 50 year old youth leader of the opposition. He belongs to the elite Gandhi family. He is a Messiah of the minority. He could go to any level to keep them happy. Good leader signs? Right! We all know how he would want to get votes. Offer free money! He would offer a 25 year young youth pension for the whole of his life. Just get the guy into power and your money is credited. Game on! This so called Messiah can stoop to any level. He calls the current prime minister a theif, while he himself is out on bail. He has presstitute friends, he goes on the stage and says I just shit my pants. The media would put in a headline “The youth leader shat his pants for the well being of the poor”.

If I have not already mentioned enough negative influencers, I would like to add the so called pseudo liberals. These bunch of self proclaimed intellectuals fight for the rights of the oppressed so much so that it makes you want to hate them. Pakistan is an oppressed state according to them and staying here they favor Pakistan, they stick with those who love Pakistan, China and all our enemy countries. Then they go ahead and disrespect our country, the national anthem, the people who support the current government etc.

After the list of scams under the nose of the previous government, it is not a difficult task to understand who is not to be favored. Why wouldn’t I give a government another chance to run good governance which thinks of the future and not offers free things. Opportunities are created for you to find and make a career for yourself but no. I want things free!

I would just want a leader who will recognize the potential of this country. The scientists, the armed forces, the engineers. India is a talent house, if my government recognizes and gives the youth opportunities to show their skills, we will be a developed country very soon.

What is worthy of appreciation is how a small country like Maldives is shown its importance, visiting a nonislamic country like Israel considering how important that Nation has been to India, not once had a PM visited Israel because they didn’t want to spoil the relationship with the Islamic countries. So this government actually visited Islamic countries at the same trip as Israel. Diplomacy at its best.

The nation is now recognized globally as a super economy with remarkable control over inflation. Yet my countrymen complain and expect miracles over couple of years.

India is looking at new beginnings, new governance brings in a wave to appease the youth to be involved in the political debates. Thankfully appeasement towards minority isn’t a priority. Equality is the main agenda. Progress for all, together.

This country with all the problems is still one of the best place to be in. I ask my countrymen to contribute towards development, not by declaring your taxes. Basic responsibilities like keeping the roads clean, be civilized, do not spit on the road, do not smoke in public places. Do not bribe, use social media responsibly. Voice out what is wrong and what is right. Just complaining on social media isn’t enough, talking about things which are going right is also as important.

I am positive that the country sees a better few years. I wish the opposition parties switch ideologies and think about making the country a better place. Think development model and not divide and rule like the British. Let’s unite people keeping progress in mind. Keep progress as the key attributes in the manifesto. Not talk about lessening the power given to the armed forces in terror hit areas. A jawan didn’t sign up to die, he offered to protect the country.

Jai Hind!

Tendency!

Don’t we all have a list of things we ‘tend’ to do?

While you lead your routine life, your subconscious tends to do things on auto pilot. Is this really a tendency or habitual occurrence?

Over the years, it has been evident that the brain is so strong that it is hard to be a constant. My question is when we can’t have a constant thought, how is it that we have a constant routine?

If my brain is capable of treating a person differently every other day, why is the brain agreeing to do the same routine in the same way from so many years.

Let us talk with examples: I am at work, I am required to start my day early, I am in office at 7 am. So the annoying ‘routine’ starts at 5:30 am. You wake up do the same things 5 days a week. Meaning, from your 5:30 am alarm to the time you leave office at 5 pm is the same. It has become so monotonous that the brain is running parallel thoughts about the surroundings, while it is instructing me on how to complete the given task at work.

I am bothered by thoughts, new thoughts now and then. But the work, the style of completing responsibility hasn’t changed.

This is when I feel I am not challenging my mind enough. Your work no longer requires your creative side. It is more robotic, instead of a machine being fed codes, our brain has been mapped to follow instructions.

We as humans get comfortable and pacify ourselves, we do not want to take risks, jump hurdles. We sit there everyday doing the same things over and over again.

What stops us? Should I blame the tendency?

Let’s think about it!

Brainy emotions!

Is that even a possibility? Can our brain process emotions or does it give the heart instructions to feel?

The positive aspect about Bangalore’s traffic is that you can feed your brain some thoughts. You can answer some questions which life throws at you.

While riding my bike, I did exactly that. We meet new people, we suddenly notice the good things in them. We get attracted to the goodness and neglect the bad in them. Is it just that or does our heart choose to neglect the bad in any person. Does the brain weigh the good vs the bad and decide to stay good with the good?

The friends that left good memories embeded in you suddenly are remembered, you learn a lesson from your previous encounters with friends who are no longer in your life. You remember how your heart instructed you to befriend them ignoring their flaws. You liked the good in them. You remember the same decisions you took previously and become aware if you should really be close to the new semi kind friend.

There is a constant fear, a phobia. Philophobia to be precise. You try to keep yourself safe from a probable wound. You suddenly have trust issues. You choose to stay away. You are walking the lonely road out of nowhere.

That road is scary for a person who likes socializing, however, a person who gets addicted to the lonely road is a fearless, brutal and ruthless human, who has very less space for feelings or empathy.

The choice is tough. The social person takes the risk and finds comfort in the new friend, the question is, for how long?

It is up to life to take care of the person who chose his/her heart over his brain. To be practical or to be emotional.

Nonstop nonsense!

A smile!

It is such a pleasant emotion. A smile. I normally smile when I see someone familiar. I smile when I watch kids play on the road. I smile when I hear a mother console her kid about a toy she couldn’t buy for him. There is a rush of happiness when you smile but have you thought about how positive that smile makes your day?

I remember somebody close to my heart and think about how sweet that person is. How many moments of joy we have shared in the past. Again, do you stop at that moment and wonder how long that joy is going to be in your life?

As humans we tend to just live in the moment and when we go back in time and wonder. We miss all that was in the past. We wish it never stopped.

Life reminds us of how time is so unpredictable. What we held yesterday is long gone today. We feel we are in total control of things around us, when we actually observe, there are a very few things that we can control.

You build a whole story in your head about your future and the people who you would want in it. The best people who just match your thought process and personality. You would dedicate your today thinking about how things would be tomorrow with XYZ person. How long were you able to drag that thought along before a wave of uncertainty (read reality) hit you hard. You decide to live that moment again without the worry about tomorrow.

I have never been able to maintain consistency. There is so much uncertainty. In terms of most aspects in life. The only certain thing in life is food, sleep and your job.

I am not sure why these thoughts are roaming in my head but it all started when I thought of a smile!

Ego Wars – Barriers of Communication

It was a promise made to myself and all the people that were in my life – I will abstain from thinking in terms of ‘I’

Most of my acquaintances, friends, relatives and colleagues always start a story with I. For a listener it is a learning experience to understand what happened with them. It is really nice to hear stories. But at a certain point you suddenly realise how this ‘I’ can go on and on about themselves. As long as the stories are humorous, it is pleasant. What happens when this ‘I’ start complaining about how life has been difficult and God has not bestowed his blessings?

Most of us have a friend / friends who keep complaining about how nothing goes right in their life. Do they even think about how many unfortunate people are there in this world and their misery is of such a huge magnitude than ‘I’s?

A conversation is interesting for me even though I am to listen to a person is narrating his/her sob story. I would think in terms of a solution to the problem but are they telling it to find a solution or just to get some sympathy?

They give you 100s of problems that they face and you are able to provide apt solution to the problem, does that work for them? Hell no! They have convinced themselves that they are the chosen ones. Not in a positive way 😛

What happens when this ‘I’ comes between those 2 who are in a relationship? Where both are to think in terms of ‘We’ but they think in terms of ‘I’?

Life is not easy here! Imagine a couple who has been single for most of their life and suddenly they decide to be in a relationship. They both are used to think in terms of individuals. Their thought process has been alligned to think and survive as a ‘I’.

If the guy in the relationship wants to do something, he tells his girlfriend that he wants this. The girl thinks in her point of view and says why are you doing this, shouldn’t we be doing this together?

The guy would do that activity alone all these years and he never thought of it in her point of view.

It is a change of habit, an I has to become we instinctively. Everyday, every minute.

The definition of I changes to egoistic approach towards life. Also can be termed as self centered.

This little seed of ego keeps growing. The girl would always think that the guy is thinking only in terms of himself and doesn’t contribute to the relationship.

Every small talk turns into an argument because both are not convinced that they are doing anything for the relationship but for themselves.

This is how Ego works. It grows and comes in between every conversation.

The boy no longer wants to listen to what the girl says because he has his mind thinking she is going to fight or disagree or argue over whatever he has decided to do. The girl on the other hand has made up her mind that the boy is never going to listen to her or share anything with her.

The Ego has grown into a big monster between two people who were supposedly in love.

How does a person get rid of this monster that is coming between 2 well deserved youngsters?

Either of them won’t stand down. Their muscular ego won’t let them to. The individual thinks it is a matter of self respect. The definition of self respect is changed.

The differences keep growing between the two. That is how they drift apart.