‘Camp -a- break! ‘

I am still so fresh with the camp in my head that this time last week I didn’t know what I was about to feel. All I really knew was that this was it, the ultimate break I was looking forward to! The tents were even better than I had imagined with sleeping bags laid inside, with room for all my stuff just right. It was indeed a pleasant surprise but I am consoling myself that camping won’t always be this organised or my expectations would rise!

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We were just in time for the sunset, and a stroll around the campsite with a cup of tea was what golden moments are made up of. The first round of selfies with Tikona fort in the backdrop and the setting sun made for a wondersight. As we retuned to our campsite, the barbecue was awaiting us and all the more the marinated meat just right. It was a hands on barbeque night, with music adding to the already high spirits and chilled ginger ale to soothe the dry throat. The food got better with every skewer as experience came in and technique got better. Laughter, music and merry along with the occasional barks of our two pet dogs.

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After a heavy dinner and a drop in temperature, a Bonfire was lined up. It was the time when I was filling up on all the beautiful vibrations around me. As we retired for the day and entered our tents, initially it was hard to sleep on ground but the rush of adventure made it worthy. As I woke up to a cold beautiful morning, I grabbed on to my phone and a cup of hot tea to all the possible frames to fit in the valley and the sunrise.

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As I packed my bag and was about to leave I knew I was carrying back much more than I came in with and I am mighty excited about the next one!

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‘Sweets & Smiles’

“Social Animal!!!”, thats me! And so are a lot of you who share the same crazy passion of bonding with new people and rejoicing the old ones. In our Indian culture, we are programmed to be people’s person, and ‘Atithi devo bhava’ is just the apt mantra. Often in the daily routine we are left with no time to really go out of our way and socialise but when it comes to festivals its an altogether different story. Here we are so gregarious, that we make it a point to meet all our near and dear ones. It’s galore brings us all together and it’s just a small reminder that celebration is all about adding smiles.

The festivals that we celebrate have a mythological story that some of us are well versed with but do you know that there’s also a deeper science engraved in it. For instance the festival of Gudi Padwa is celebrated with a lot of merriment as it is the beginning of a New year. Neem jaggery is offered as it signifies the bitter sweet start and improves the immune system as given in ayurvedic text. Also in Holi there is preparation of a special concoction “Thandai” which is made up of ingredients which act on our body to give it a soothing effect in the hot climate. Diwali is a grand festival, but the numerous rituals are sequenced to restore the good health. The tradition of oil message followed by rubbing of Ubtan is yet another leaf out of Ayurveda and its effects are noteworthy if continued throughout the cold season. In the same way various rituals have a significant value which we probably are not aware of but simply follow it to please our elders and if you plan to question them, then let me tell you its all got science behind it. There is such a spread of positivity when people come together that I believe half the purpose is already achieved.

The western culture has left us so fazed with thier festivals that we want to know all about it and be a part of the cool celebration but I wish we could use the same search engine to know more about our customs or better still talk to our living encyclopaedias, “our grandparents” I am sure they will have the best stories to tell.
TIP: Drink water stored in copper vessel to get its fortified effects.
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‘All in the same game’

Energised and charged with volts of positivity! Its indeed the best kick start Sunday! I am sure, I have lead you all to believe if I am high or in hangover, for it was Saturday night yesterday, but No, I wasn’t partying. Now you must be guessing, what was I upto? Well I attended a Speaker session last evening. Now you must be thinking, oh! how boring,who on earth wants to listen to others when we already are equipped with so much in life, why do I listen to people’s stories. Honestly, I had no idea as to who exactly these people are, but the outline of the programme interested me.

The session was about “Entrepreneurship” and had three speakers from varied sides of it. It began on a very technical note with Mr. Pillai, founder of an advertising firm. He spoke so much about the different aspects of investment and the start ups, discussed case studies of different companies, that for a minute I actually thought I am studying business management! I guess the minute the word “entrepreneur” comes in I become ecstatic.
The next talk was by Shipra Khanna, winner of master chef India. She spoke about the hardships of being a woman chef and the highs she experienced after winning masterchef. I couldn’t contain myself in the Q & A round, and asked her if she enjoyed cooking at home too, after cooking all that fancy food, so she said that she can’t remember when she isn’t cooking, she’s constantly doing one thing or the other,thats how passionate she is about her job.
The last and my favourite speaker of the evening Mr Ketan Bhagat, was outstanding. Yes, you read it write “Ketan” and not “Chetan”, he is the brother of the very famous IITian turned writer and is set to carve a niche in the most unusual way. He spoke about a subject very close to my heart and that perhaps won me over. “Life” is one big word although the spelling is short and to listen about its tales through the eyes of Geeta was wonderful. I am not being religious or advocating Hinduism but I am sure all our scriptures hold the same message but only if we unravel them. Somewhere in the grind of life we forget to stay in touch with ourselves and that’s where sessions like these are an important reminder. And then how can “Ayurveda” stray far in this discussion. Although the speaker didn’t realise as he spoke about” Tamas, Rajas and Sattvik ” Manas, me here in the audience could relate incredibly. In his version, he spoke of Tamas as the phase of ignorance, where one doesn’t understand what is right and  wrong, Rajas as Passion and Sattvik where you reach a balance and become selfless, going on to the path of Moksha or liberation. I am indeed feeling much blessed and grateful.
TIP: Witness a session where you can encompass the enwegy of true people and get inspired. Reap the fruits of our holy scriptures and try to understand the meaning, implementation will be by default.