Saturday, 28 March 2015

Talking Tours (5) - Imliakum (Akum)

Here is the 5th edition of "Talking Tours". This time, I met Imliakum Kichu (popularly known as 'Akum') who hails from beautiful northeast region of India (Nagaland). Akum is a passionate writer, a travel enthusiast, hardcore metal fan and play drums for a Metal Band during weekends. During Interview, he was spontaneous & very friendly.  I enjoyed having this little discussion with him. Hope you like it too.

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. It's good to know thoughts of different people - what they think on various topics, what keeps them ticking. May be there is a learning for us somewhere in these thoughts. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.


Let's start this interview......to know about Akum.


Tell our readers something about yourself.
Am a travel enthusiast, a music lover and a Royal Enfield fan, though I get to travel once every two months (blame it to my job) and pursue my other two passion during the weekends. Plus, am also the occasional day dream.


What is in your personality which you like the most?
I guess, am very friendly.


What is in your personality which you dislike?
In one word ‘Laziness’


What are the qualities in a man which you like?
Open minded, respect for women and someone who stick to his words.


What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Someone who can speak what she feels, pursue her dreams and stand up for her rights no matter what all the stuck up close minded people says.


What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
I have been to lot of places...... and it’s very difficult to pick just one destination. But if I really have to pick one, it would be Hampi in Karnataka. The mysticism of all the ancient ruins and the laid back ambiance of the entire area make it quite unique from all the places I have been.


Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
I took an awesome bike tour of North East India and it was an experience of a lifetime. You can check out about my tour here www.travelawait.com


Can you share some photographs of your recent bike tour?
Here are these:





Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Some of my favorite hangout spots in Delhi would be Paharganj (because of the inexpensive bars), Hauz Khaz Village, India Coffee House in CP and Majnu ka tilla (awesome food).


Are you a foody? Which food you like the most?
I think I can safely say am a big foodie. Some of my favorite dishes are:
  • Well Done Steaks with brown Sauce in Sam’s CafĂ© (Paharganj)
  • Barbequed Pork Rib in Nagaland Stall in Delhi Haat
  • Mutton Rara in Karim’s (Any Location)
  • Juicy Lucy Burger in Delhi Heights (Gurgaon)


Tell us something about your hobbies?
I love to travel but unfortunately I can’t pursue that hobby as often, blame it to my 10 to 6 job. Besides traveling, am a hardcore fan of Metal Music. I play drums for a Delhi based metal fans and I try my best to squeeze out atleast 8 hours of jam sessions with the band every weekend, plus play live as often as we can. Seriously, I can’t imagine my life without my music.


If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
Well with all fairness, one day I would love to be a zillionaire and own a small 10 bed room villa located in a private island somewhere in the Bahamas, a garage with some American muscle cars and a small beer brewery next door to quench my thirst. But jokes apart, One day I would love to be a travel writer. Earn a decent living by traveling and writing about it. Am trying everything I can right now to achieve that. Let’s see what fate has in store for me.


How you cope up pressure situation?
Normally I don’t let my work pressures take up my time, because am a firm believer in ‘It’s Just a Job, not the end of the world’, besides, every time a hurdle shows up, I try to face it with my head held high and tackle it. I never want to be among those who worry about life’s problem or scared to face life’s challenges.


What is your mantra of life?
Live and Let Live


How you start your day?
I start my day with a visit to the loo (haha!!), followed by a cup of tea with some nice music in the background.


Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
I am a big fan of Lemmy Kilmister, the front man of the Rock/metal band ‘MotorHead’.. His approach toward life has always been an inspiration for me.


Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
I have always been inspired by Martin Luther King Jr,  his work and how he dedicated his life to fight for a race that was oppressed to the very core. Even in India we need someone like him to stand for all the minorities and their rights.


Your favorite movies/shows?
Well, this is a very tough question. Scar Face, Ragging Bull, Sholay, Taxi Driver. Defiance and the Longest Day are some movies I can watch anytime. I am also a big fan of Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Sons of Anarchy and Breaking Bad.


What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
Economy wise we are improving, we are getting more politically aware, technology we are a very advance country but when it comes to our social life, we are very backward. Especially how women are treated and the general outlook towards how a women should be, what she should do and don’t. To me, this is the biggest area of improvement in our beautiful, diverse country. 


Do you cast your vote every time?
I do cast my vote, two years back, I traveled almost 2500 kilometers to cast my vote.


Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
If this is the only life that we get, then why are we not doing everything that we wanna do.!


Thank you Akum for sparing time for this interview. We wish all the best in your life.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Concept of Langar in Sikh Gurudwaras

Last week, I got the opportunity to pay the visit to one of the most famous Sikh Temple in Delhi NCR - Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Number of people have asked me about the concept of Langar (food for everyone) & during my visit to Gurudwara, I decided to cover it in my blog post. Here you go:

Sikh Langar is based on Sikh religious principals of Seva (Voluntary service of community) and ‘wand ke chakhna’ (share one’s food around).  The principal dictums of Sikh living are “to earn one’s living by honest labour.  Remember Almighty Lord or Supreme Being – Akal Purakh all the time and “Share with others what you can afford to give”. Thus for Sikhs to serve in Langar for cooking, cleaning, distributing or donating are fulfillment of their religious obligation.


Sikh believes in existence of “One Supreme being” for the whole universe and also that all humans are children of same one supreme being which is formless, not subject to life and death, Omnipresent.  Thus service all humans without any inhibition on account of cast, color, financial status is compliance of Sikh religious code. 

Here are some of the pictures of langar hall from Delhi's Gurudwara Bangla Sahib (famous Sikh Temple)..

Outside Langar Hall - Waiting for their turn (Inside the hall, another round of langar is going on). People come in large group, they eat and then another set of people arrive for Langar. And this cycle goes on every half an hour 365 days in the year (people come and eat food without any cost). Amazing. For me, this is Truly some Blessings of Guru!

Inside Langar Hall - waiting for food to be served while some people are chanting prayers

God's food with HIGHER Taste!

People volunteer themselves to perform Seva (Voluntary service of community). In this image, volunteers serving devotees the Amrit or medicinal water of the kund (water pool).

Some other images from the Gurudwara:


People gathered outside in standstill to pay respect to the Guru (God) as prayers are going on inside Gurudwara

Camera quality isn't that great because I wasn't carrying my device, but will make up in next post. Hope you like this post on Sikh Langar.

Will continue on this post someday soon.....

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Talking Tours (4) - Ashish Kumar

It gives me immense pleasure to mention that "Talking Tour" is back after a gap of couple of weeks. I love this series because it gives me the opportunity to interact with different people and know their views on different topics. In the 4th edition of "Talking Tour", I interviewed Ashish Kumar who works in an IT company in Delhi NCR. Ashish is an open minded person, a go-getter, possess strong opinion and never mind sharing them with others. I found him quite genuine person who is very clear in his thoughts.

Talking Tour is a series of personal interviews about those who does posses thoughts of their own. It's good to know thoughts of different people - what they think on various topics, what keeps them ticking. May be there is a learning for us somewhere in these thoughts. Each one of us, has some attributes which are unique some times and common most often.



Tell our readers something about yourself.
Hello everyone! I am Ashish. I live a very simple life but at the same time don't miss any moment to laugh and make others laugh. I believe in giving 100% in everything that you do. Traveling is my passion as well as obsession and am always ready to explore new places whenever I get time to. I am very open-minded person and like to talk with new people; always very curious to know about their culture, languages, way of living etc. At the time of schooling I always hated the History subject but as I grew up, my interest in knowing about the historical places and people, things related to History increased and increased. I can not tolerate people with double-standards, liars and arguing on wrong things or mistakes they have made. If you want to know more about me then let's talk.


Perfect. Let's start then. 

What is in your personality which you like the most?
Smile and honesty


What is in your personality which you dislike?
I sometimes get very impatient and short-tempered on little things, but when I sit and think over it I realize that it was unnecessary.


What are the qualities in a man which you like?
Respect for women


What are the qualities in a woman which you like?
Their mental strength and the ability to control and solve complex situations calmly. Very responsible and reliable. It is rightly said that "there is a woman behind every successful man". Only a woman can work without expecting anything in return. She is a mother, a wife, a sister, a lover and without her life is not a life.


What places you have traveled so far? What is your favorite place & why?
I have traveled to:
Kullu-Manali (including Rohtang Pass, Solang Valley, Manikaran),
Chandigarh,
Shimla,
Jaipur,
Chitrakoot (MP),
Munsiyari (UK),
Shipki La (HP on Indo-Tibet border),
Chopta (UK),
McLeod Ganj/Triund (HP),
Imphal in Manipur and
Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu).

Of all these, I enjoyed visiting Manali/Rohtang Pass the most and I have been there 3 times. But the most memorable experience was the drive to Shipki La (HP).


Which place you have traveled recently and how was the experience?
On New Year 2015 I went to McLeod Ganj/Triund (Dharamshala, HP). The best experience was the Triund Trekking and it was an awesome experience when I reached on top of Triund after a tiring trek.


Can you name some of your favorite hangout places in the city you live in?
Every place becomes favorite when you go out with your family and friends and enjoy a lot. So, there is no particular favorite place.


Are you a foody? Which food you like the most?
Yes, I am. I like to eat healthy food especially Karela ki subji, Capsicum subji, Dal-Churma (i.e. Daal Bhati), Sarson/Palak da Saag with Makke di Roti with Gud and Makkhan, Meethi Lassi, Dal-Chawal and just anything that is prepared with love. I eat whatever that's available at that time without any 'Nakhre'.


Tell us something about your hobbies?
Stamps and Coins Collection (have got a collection of stamps from India and UK and Coins dated pre-Independence). I also like to play and watch Cricket and Football the most. I am an athlete and likes to take part in such activities even though I don't get much time now a days. I like to do physical activity as and when I get time and also like to play games which require the use of my grey cells (if there is any left ;)), racing games and solve puzzles.


If not in your current role, what would you want to be?
Either a Backpacker or an Athlete.


How you cope up pressure situation?
Just Stay Calm and think over the situation in detail and I am sure there is a way to come out of such situations. Or better take a break for some time and then try to work on it.


What is your mantra of life?
There are few quotes that I follow in my life:
 - Live and let live: If you can not bring happiness in anyone's life then at least do not bring sorrow in their life
 - Never regret anything in your life because at that time it was exactly what you wanted to do
 - Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today.


How you start your day?
Frankly speaking from past few years there is no such specific thing that I do to start my day due to odd shift-timings of office. But I would really like to start my day with some physical activity, be it just jogging or stretching, if not more.


Who is your reel life hero/heroines?
Amitabh Bachchan - he is perfect in every role that he plays and he has such a great command over English and Hindi languages.


Which character in history (or current life) inspire you the most?
Chanakya & his Niti's and Shri Krishna (He is neither History, nor Present, but truly inspiring)


Your favorite movies/shows?
Any Comedy, Horror or Drama movies/shows. I like to watch Discovery, National Geographic, History Channel, Comedy Central, Kapil ka Show, News channels, FRIENDS program, Khatron ke Khiladi (any program with Adventure activities involved) and Sports channels. I don't like watching Romantic movies, Saas-Bahu serials.


What do you think are the biggest areas for improvement in our country?
The inequality among the people of India i.e. Rich people are becoming richer and Poor people are becoming poorer and Education to every child and that too for free until Matriculation at least.


Do you cast your vote every time?
Yes, I do.


Anything which you want to share with readers who read this interview?
Chinta or Chita me sirf ek Bindu ka fark hai. So, Live the life to the fullest before it's too late.

Thank you Ashish for this candid discussion. We wish you best of luck in your life.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Process of Evolution - Bud to Flower

Nature Photography: I got this idea of capturing process of transformation from bud to flower. It took 6 days of waiting but result was beautiful. Check this out below:

9-March-2015 | Google Nexus

 10-March-2015

11-March-2015


 12-March-2015

 12-March-2015

 13-March-2015

14-March-2015

Monday, 16 March 2015

71 years old Nun gang rape: 'Inhuman'


Hard to believe this news!! Disheartened to realize that it happened actually.

As per reports - "The 72-year-old nun was allegedly gangraped by dacoits at Gangnapur in Nadia district in the early hours on Saturday after which a CID probe was ordered into the incident."

Another Report says - "Battling her pain at the Ranaghat hospital, she kept saying: 'Dil mein dard hai (My heart is broken)'. Throughout Sunday, she was more concerned about the security of the school and its students than the trauma she was in, hospital superintendent Atindranath Mondal said. Visitors could not hold back their tears when she prayed that the men who harmed her be forgiven."

Are we living in a society, where no one is spared, not even elderly people?

This is another heinous act of shamefulness.  No more words of description....but thoughts of national shame, fear & anguish. Hope administration will find the culprits (they should have traced until now) and give them hardest punishment for such barbarian act. Strong action is what nation wants.

Over 31000 'reported' rape cases are pending in India. The incident happened, just days after 2011 Park Street rape victim had died of multiple organ failure due to lack of timely treatment. She was still looking for the justice and died.

Surely, it requires a National Policy to address such issues which bring down the country image.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Mother Nature: Wheat Panicle

After seeing this picture, the thought of paying respect for Mother Nature has grown many-fold within me. I wish - no one in this world should ever be deprived of food.

Thanks to: 
- Mother Nature, for providing food for life.
- Farmer, for putting his hard work to grow the crop and thus serving us food.



Photo courtesy: Mahesh Pandey

Place: Vindhyachal near Varanasi (India)


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Movie: Dum Lagaa ke Haishaa - Must watch

Last weekend, on the eve of Holi festival, we all family members decided to watch the latest released movie: “Dum Laga ke Haishaa”. We booked the tickets through BookmyShow.com. Initially some members were quite hesitant as this movie got only 2.5 stars in leading newspaper but I have heard good reviews from those who watched this movie, so we decided to watch it. As we were in the middle of the movie, we realized it was worth to watch it compared to other releases.


The film revolves around two characters:  Prem (Ayushman Khurana) and Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar). Prem family wants him to marry Sandhya as she is graduate and school teacher. However, Prem has his own hesitations because Sandhya is oversized and doesn’t match to his portray of dream girl. However, as he is Xth class fail and it’s hard to get a match of his likings and also because of family pressure, he gets married to Sandhya. The story moves forward from here, as Prem starts maintaining distance from his wife inside and outside home. In a social function, he shares his embarrassment with his friend - why he thinks his life is ruined? Sandhya hears this and decides to part ways from Prem. The story picks a new turn from here and finally a regional sports competition bring them both together and they develop the sense of affection / love / togetherness which was missing earlier.

There are number of scenes in the movie which makes you laugh. For e.g. in a scene where Prem's mother makes remark to her husband while hearing the sounds of bed springs (from her son’s room)- “Sunte ho, Sayaana ho gaya humra Lappu……….. Zara Jaya aur Rekha ko bhi bata doon, mann halka ho jayega”. Another beautiful scene is when both Prem & Sandhya took turns to play their choice of songs (of 90’s) one after another. There are number of such moments in the film which make you feel connected to the film instantly.

The entire movie is shot in Haridwar & has been staged as mid 90’s era. This was the time dominated by Kumar Sanu voice. The main lead actor of the movie Prem works in his father Audio cassette shop and loves playing songs of Kumar Sanu. In fact, Kumar Sanu is not only a voice in this movie but very much present in the movie through his songs and at the end he plays a little cameo as well. His songs bring back the unique charm of of 90s. Anu Malik and lyricist Varun Grover have created some very good compositions. Film music is nice and melodious.  All songs brilliantly match the situation and don’t seem as added deliberately.


Talking about the performances, both Ayushman and Bhumi played their characters with full passion. While Ayushman looked like a real UP boy with rural accent and an embarrassed husband who always avoids his wife and hesitant to be seen with her in public. Bhumi on the other hand, brings the energy in the movie. Never ever in the movie she looked like feeling sorry about her weight, but mostly confident with her body, her skills and her academics. She is superb in the movie. In fact, all characters justified their roles by getting into the skin of their limited roles. But, Bhumi simply steals the show with her remarkable performance.

Sharat Kataria direction is great, which lets every character to play their part in the movie. He has been brilliant in dishing out different moods of a newly married couple. Direction was so strong, that after watching the entire movie, you might say why it ended so soon? The film has the speed, never really looks like getting slowed down or dragged unnecessarily. Screenplay is also very good. Their home near Ganga river, narrow roads, old structured homes, makes you feel like in Haridwar.  Cassette playing scenes, regional dialect, Kumar Sanu songs, will bring back the lost charm of 90’s and production unit seems to be successful in their efforts to create such piece of entertainment.

I like the movie, in fact all my family members liked it. The movie has the message that physical appearance doesn't matter much if there is love in relationship & good tuning. After a long time, we have seen a movie which is very simple & charming. Go watch it once :)