#tragedy #Machester

It is sad, really sad to see, we get hurt & don’t learn.

I don’t watch, read, hear news by any direct means. I used to be news hogger but then I realised it all in vain. However I get to know things in this high tech – high speed times by people anyway. In my Facebook feed, over heard while travelling, as part of conversation from somebody, major events anyway come to my notice as I heard about #Manchester #tragedy and then could not help but google it and checked on people who I know in Manchester & UK mostly.

So there is continues new report flooding and suggesting it was a #suicide #attack means somebody set him/her/them selves off the bomb, so they can killed few innocents. Its tragic & sad that innocent people are dead but do we learn? Are not we, as human race, self destructive mode?

We hope, those get strength to endure, grieve !

Asato Maa Sad Gamay

Tamaso Maa Jyotir Gamay

Mrityor Maa Amritam Gamay

Jyväskylä – A Quaint Little, Superb, Town

When you are thrown a question like what time do you like most in your lifetime?

Generally people remember moments and not the whole period because every period holds something special, when we go through our time we realise we have left our pug- marks every where. We as an individual might not be significant for world to know, we might not have long fan following or beat it, we might have really closed attitude towards our surrounding but, as usual this “but” always comes I guess, so but,

these lesser known individuals are what make this world what it is.

Ain’t they? Similarly this lesser known town of Finland where not every body goes but sometimes might pass by on their way to Northern Finland (for watching Northern Lights) carries a history, a geography and last but not least ( though surprisingly for a Finland country – side town) social science.

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History

Did you think I am going to tell you about the history of the city? oh c’mon certainly not, that job is very well done by the 4 museums and couple of art galleries those are prominent feature of city and can be reach by walking around the town, it is pleasure walking around the town marked with so many lakes, you cant count by going around as you never know when one started and other went by on your other side. If you are done with the museums then comes the Railways Station which looks like an old patriarch waiting for your to come and get blessings.

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Character

When you land by air at Jyvaskyla airport, you would be lucky if you see more then 15 people including flight crew and airport staff. So if you are looking to spend a quite time away from any noise this place might only be beaten by “The Outer Space”. A twenty mins drive to city lends you in heart of the city and you can book or pre book any kind of stay which ranges from luxury hotel to hostels. People, if at all you spot them on roads, are reserved but friendly. You start to feel the character of the city right there, when its architecture which is more prominent than number of people, Finland’s majority population lives in the capital Helsinki and rest of the country is sparsely populated, red brick buildings which line the main market which is just big enough to make you feel this place is habitable and you are still not in tundra apart from catering to local social needs. Most public places and restaurant are decorated with bright colour to fend of gloomy feel which natives feel due to really long winters which last 7 – 9 months of a year.

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Feel 

After spending couple of days which is enough to make you feel quite, relaxed and peaceful, you start to get a grip on the city pulse which tells you ain’t ready yet, as you need to go around the city, spend some time by lakes or may be any art gallery, eat your heart out, specially if you are fish lover as the city is home to numerous fresh water lakes those are home to number of fishes, big or small. If you are lucky you might get a invite to a local party where youngster throng the place, new relations blossoms and some get new meanings. This will be a golden chance to make local friends and feel the city pulse more alive.

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Rhythm  

Jyvaskyla, makes you fall in love with her, not instantly but this is the love which matures with days you spend there and reach its peak when you are about to leave. Having experienced this city, you feel the rhythm of yourself as you are most near to yourself, your own thoughts, your own soul. City gives you enough space to live and never burdens your senses with anything which you have sensed in any other big cities. It does not need a reason to go to Jyvaskyla as you would never have one beside just being. So just be….

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When I thought of being with colour Yellow – 3

I have been little, okay damn lazy for updating this pace, however there you go with third and last installation of my date with Amritsar.

I felt “hypnotisingly” happy, if Queen allow this word, the moment I set my eyes on the dome of the temple. It’s colour, Golden, mesmerised me and I sat down at a spot to just watch it for some time. It was peaceful. After marvelling on beauty of the place for some time which I did not realised became 2 hours or so. I decided to go and have a talk with the holy seat.

Taking a bath right before the teté a teté with the Primal Seat in the Gurudwara Sarovar was great experience which made me awakened me from a trance. I went right in front of Sahib and spent some time.

When I came to my senses, Sun was already on its way to glory and my stomach started asking for the day’s installament. I headed out towards lane of the eatery right outside the gurudwara and quenched my need with a Patiala style glass of Lassi which is great Indian yogurt based sweet drink.

During the Lassi time, It was a great conversation time with the guy who managed that place. I came to know how much this place was inportant for local economy as well. Tourist viait thia place from every part od the globe and they some try his Lassi. His generations had been doing it and how it was honour to be in vicinity of the Holy Seat.

I took leave from him and went to Jallianwala Bagh which has a tragic history. Spent some time there breathing in the history,one can watch informative movie administration showcase there and get to know details of the place and event took place there.

Then on it was time for some dramatics filled with Nationalism, Yes, I am talking about the daily ritual at Vagha Border Post, where one of the most thrilling event happens as closing ceremony of the Border Gates between India & Pakistan.

I reached there oblivious to the fact that the place get full of people in no time and its difficult to get a good seat if you are little early for the ceremony. Nonetheless I knew how to make my way in that crowd as usual and I got to watch whole ceremony with a weird feel good sense.

The whole ceremony portrayed many aspect of both of the sides including rivalry, common history, recent conflicts etc. Both the sides want to outmatch each other in the way they perform the ceremony.

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Ceremony @ Vagha Border

Ceremony @ Vagha Border

It took me few good ten minutes to recover from the euphoria I was engulfed in by the whole ceremony and to realise my date with Amritsar was coming to an end and I needed to head back to Delhi. I took same PunBus state service which safely transported me back to daily life from an usual day filled with spiritualism, nationalism, history, cuisines and what not. Memory worth archived. Thank you Amritsar.

A City of Smells – Kolkata

Yes, you read it right but there is nothing to be judgemental about it trust me on that, every city has fair share of smells but so far in my wandering tales, Kolkata triumphs them all. I have been to few cities by now and one of them, Mumbai tops the TNT magazine list of smelliest city and ranks seventh in GQ list of smelliest city though I would think these guys probably missed Kolkata in their search.

Being smelly is one thing but is it for good or bad that arguable topic among masses. I would rather not get there but let see how Kolkata become stinky city for me. What, do I have a story, well I have many stories but here I would put a summary which won’t take long of your time.

The moment you are entering Kolkata by any means that Jal ( Water), Thal ( Earth) or Nabh ( Air) you smell it off ( Ok, technically little later when entering by Air ) a distinct smell of crap welcomes you ( however it is true for many other big cities in India) but dont be afraid this is just the starting. You get down by bus/ train station platforms are decked with fruits stalls, eatable and you catch whiff of all the delicacies you possibly won’t indulge in due to hygiene issues.

All the picture is not dark though try entering any eatery and aroma of food served on other table will catch your imagination. There are many gardens in the city which will be good visit and of course will serve the purpose of nice fragrance.

Local Vegetable Market!

After getting this grand welcome you have already planned to roamed around all over the cities and probably suburbs as well. If you are a budget traveller and decide to take local trains to commute with in the city you are in for battle of smells. Every station ( well, I have not checked all of them but most of them I have been personally ) has fish/chicken market right before the entrance. Every body knows how fish smells, enter the train and due to being a humid city all the people including your self will be shedding gallons of sweat. Ah again, smell.

Whatever kind of smell you encounter during your stay, pleasant or unpelasant, at the end of the day it won’t matter, as you would breathing in Kolkata  and exhaling it out too. This smell of being Kolkata is amazing and unforgettable which you make a joyous and in the city of joy. You would certainly think of coming back to Kolkata.

Why every one should try and travel at regular intervals?

Looking at some places in real is different then looking at them in pictures apart from making you nostalgic, these activities tend to fire a train of thoughts which later have a chain effect in your mind.

Trail

Trail

Traveling is therapeutic. It is meditation when one can loose all the monkeys on one’s shoulder and changing landscapes & surroundings help as to assimilate newer information for day to day life mind tend to get busy in processing new information rather then being in auto-pilot mode with all known surroundings.

Some says it is an escape, I disagree. It is similar when I disagree if one say yoga is escape. An exercise to keep to mental and/or physically fit is merely an effort to live life in a more healthy and enthusiastic manner should not be called escape, whether it is travel or Yoga. With changing life, times, life style has taken very weird and contradictory situation as to destroying our mind, body and soul. Contradictory in a sense, things those claim to give us strength in any sense, food items in health, media in entertainment and so on, are actually performing opposite effect and sad state of affair is people are not realising it, being busy in watching the drama & being part of it.

Wandering one gathers honey

                                                                 ~YHAI

This quote has inspired many and continues to do so. However how many are really able to do it real time and real life. Every body is busy attending to Grihasthashram or Family Duties Wandering is clearly not a feasible options for everybody.

Decluttering of mind and soul is one of essentials for living a healthy life and travel help in that immensely. There are many type of travellers around and you can find your own style as well. There is this video which showcase normally lethargy for travelling and leaving the comfort zone objectively.

World would so much more fun to live in when everybody understand themselves, about their passions, desires and things they really want to do. Travel will help you do that.

Kolkata Chronicles – Inception

There are times when we think and there are times we think again, again and again and again. There topics can be bone of contention, happy memories, future plans and so on however the topic which we tend to think more often then not are things/activities we always wanted to do but could not for some or other reason!

Kolkata has been one such topic for me and here I go to Kolkata now! I have been to rustic city twice before once for work and once just for visiting and aquatinting the city, however it had been long time now like 3-4 years and I am not willing to write those experiences anymore for obvious reasons.

When I visited Kolkata, I found the city can not be described in word howsoever one can try. Albeit try we will for same. Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta is a city in ruins which used to be centre of attraction from each and every possible way, be it Politic, Economic, Art or Culture and arguably remained so for long time span that was 700 – 900 years.

Kolkata I saw had old and frail buildings, some new one though too far & few, comparatively. Only City in India so far where I saw soccer grounds in centre of residential complexes. It felt like I was talking to old granny who had seen a lot many autumns then anybody could imagine while having a grace which only comes with spending time surrounded with gracious things art, literature, wealth, wisdom and of course character.

I wanted to come to the city again but for what I did not know ( as usual ) but there came one of the friend to save me when he offered to host me for my Kolkata sojourns and expressed his desire to participate in #FreedomRUN2015 being organised in Kolkata on Aug 16, 2015 as part of Independence Day celebration. I could not smiling on the timing of the opportunity as I was already thinking about going there following reasons:

1. Rain Rain Rain : West Bengal is drenched with rainfall and weather has become awesome, I hear.

2. #FreedomRUN2015: Well, what a way to celebrate Independence of my country.

3. Train Reservation: Yes, this can be a reason for going anywhere as it is difficult to get reservation in time with Indian Railway. Any doubt about that? Try booking your tickets.

4. I have been organising travellers meet ups and one such meet up is now in Kolkata which Kolkata Couch Surfing people has welcomed, it would be a great opportunity to meet more travel minded people.

5. Traveller or not, everybody should visit Kolkata at least once just to watch the grandeur it used to be.

The picture from my first journey

Ah! Kolkata!!

Ah! Kolkata!!

So Kolkata, here I come!