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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Choices in life - WE make

It was a nice surprise . We all have a sweet tooth and I am no exception.  Given it’s a festive air all around with EID and today being Teej , I was craving for ‘ghevar ‘ .  You get this superb thing this point in time and it’s a no miss .

To top it all I got a beautiful email and a tweet followed from one of my readers . Though out of the many things she asked me and shared , one thing which stood apart , is what I am going to share or write today .

She candidly asked me that how do I deal with choices . Choices to write on my personal webpage, choice of not writing and a choice of writing and not sharing .Huh ! Too many choices , you see. 

I will start by sharing an interesting thing which I read a while back during my trip to Jaipur.

“You always do what you want to do. This is true with every act. You may say that you had to do something, or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do, you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for yourself."


Life is like a road. There are long and short roads; smooth and rocky roads; crooked and straight paths. In our life many roads would come our way as we journey through life.

Just like any road, there are corners, detours, and crossroads in life. Perhaps the most perplexing road that you would encounter is a crossroad. With four roads to choose from and with limited knowledge on where they would go, which road will you take? What is the guarantee that we would choose the right one along the way? Would you take any road, or just stay where you are: in front of a crossroad?

My situation was like this a while back.  And then I did something which one of special ones shared .The enlightened person said - ‘Keep a balance between your head and your heart – you don’t want to throw logic out of the window, however it’s important to listen to your gut.’ And I took a strong step in this direction.

Choices are something that we get every day . Waking up is a choice and marrying someone you don’t want to is also choice . Changing for someone whom you love is also a choice and taking a step back from doing something wrong is also a choice. What is important is that where in life you stand and at that point what is it that matters you most , positively.  At times , choices you make effect not only you but also your surrounding and the people associated with you .  A decision once made should have one persons’ full buy-in and that person is – YOU.

Now that you have made a decision, be ready to face its consequences: good and bad. It may take you to a place of promise or to a land of problems. But the important thing is that you have chosen to live your life instead of remaining a bystander or a passive audience to your own life. Whether it is the right decision or not, only time can tell. But do not regret it whatever the outcome. Instead, learn from it and remember that you always have the chance to make better decisions in the future. Give , like I always say and do  - your 100% . 

As for me, I chose to share this with you all :)  . So go ahead ,  make choices that not only make you happy but also your near and dear ones smile.  And in case , it didn't work well , its OK. Learn and move on but never forget.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Inspire a fragrance - Mussorie & Chakrata

This may be a bit surprising but then Jaipur is something that I have explored enough. And now it was time to step-out of the Delhi heat ( which is never ending ) and head to the mountains.

Mussorie 

Being from a hill state myself , its an awesome sight to visit any hill state or a hill station . So ,it was Mussorie . People know it as the   "Gateway" to Yamunotri and Gangotri Shrines of Northern India . My take - it used to be beautiful but now its a lost charm unless and until you are either staying at a place outside Mussorie or may be in cantonment area. Crowded to hell , hotel and resorts , half of the folks are from Punjab and Haryana and not to forget the traffic stuck which happen right from Dehdradun.

To escape all this , try staying at the beautiful The Claridges Nabha Residence, summer retreat of the erstwhile Maharaja of Nabha, the heritage hotel set amid 13 acres of private cedar and silver oak forest and only a single-storey colonial building, opens out into a central courtyard and provides a sweeping view of the garden and the rolling green hills.


Nabha Palace , Mussorie 
It was love at first sight .  

My pick of the two key places to visit in case you are a first timer here are: 


  • Kempty Falls
  • Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration
  • Camel Back road
  • Dhanaulti



Chakrata

A far better pick than Mussorie would be Chakrata which can be reached from Dehradun via Mussoorie or Vikasnagar. Both routes pass through beautiful mountainous road. Travelling in the monsoon can be quite tricky as the area sees frequent road blockages due to landslides.






The area has an abundance of conifers, rhododendrons and oaks. The red rhododendrons are the most abundantly found in this region. A key attraction near Chakrata is the waterfall named Tiger Fall. A secluded -nearby, leafy hamlet of Deoban offers a panoramic view of the Himalayas stretching from Kinnaur to Garhwal and Kumaon.

It rains almost everyday here and with its limited population its a place you would love to stay around more than you thought of. 


**

Plan a vacation and I am sure besides unwinding you would love to breathe in some fresh air .  And , I am a message away in case you need any further details on any of the above. 


**

What's more ?  Thats what I think every-time I come back from the hills . What is that one thing I can bring back with me to remind me of the calmness and the sheer happiness which I experience . And I always thought of a 'fragrance '  . Inspired by hills which has a cooling effect on you and soothens you everytime you breathe in. When it rains in the hills and the connect which the droplets have with the ground and smell that raises from the ground - That ! Only if I wish folks from the Godrej ( http://www.godrejaer.com/ ) who really do an awesome stuff with creating fragrances that connect with your senses , create something unique from this experience. #InspireAFragrance as we call. 


**


Connect with me on :

Personal webpage – www.karankumar.com
Twitter handle – @karansayz

Instagram - http://instagram.com/karansayz

Friday, June 27, 2014

FASTING



Just came back from a lunch. An amazing one though.
And the occasion was ~ an Engagement party.
With two of the most beautiful people I know playing the hosts.


It's not even two days since I came to Delhi and I can hear wedding bells all around. Wow!! {Is February still on :)}


Well, it seems like a long time, may be ages back that I used to keep fasts on Sundays.


Why? I'll explain later.


Fasts on Sundays usually comprises of anything and everything that is "sweet". I know you are already salivating. Hold that thought.


You are not allowed to eat "ann" . So, believe me you can't be having sweets the day long. By the time it's night you already start hating anything and everything which is sweet. Even people: P


I couldn't take it anymore. One Sunday and I puked.Over it was. Forever.


In our Indian tradition people observe fast. Earlier it was the 'women' clad who skipped meals for anything and everything .Be it connected with their husbands , "would-be" husbands ,children,"would be" children or just about something which they thought was important .


Now, both males and females alike keep fasts. The concept of [Navgraha] and the related gamut of Indian gods are such that there are weeks when people go on fasting. This at times, may include no water no food.


Why FAST?


Well, there is an ancient Hindu story behind this. I'll tell the long story short. You fast or skip a meal when you really want to connect with god and do something which is not being done by many people. It means that you come in this world to do your karmas. This includes eating. Eating is considered to be a very pious deed. To feed someone or being fed by someone is very holy. After all, all that we work for is that [do waqt ki rotti]. And not having that means sacrificing yourself to God to make him hear you.


It's a strange world. Strange beliefs. Strange rituals.


Does FASTING helps?


Well if you're looking for a six-pack then there are better ways to achieve that.Jokes apart it all boils down to your [shradha] / faith. If you really believe in yourself and your deeds, things would happen accordingly. Never play a win-win game with God.i.e. If I fast you give me "this". If I come and visit you "you get me that".


You can't hide away from God. So make sure you never do any "Shaartein" with God.


It can have dire consequences.I know this for sure.

Some thoughts....


I know what Arushi always used to say."Karan-it should come from within. I know about 'karva-chauth'.But you can't force me to keep one. If I feel that I should I will. That is love. That is faith. That is what "real fasting" is about".


No one should ever force you to fast. If you want to, make sure you know the "why" part. There is no harm in keeping the fast and praying to god to grant your wish. We are humans after all.


But as I always say - "mangne ka bhi tareeqa hota hai".


~happy fasting.......

Friday, June 20, 2014

Gift of sharing

You like gifts  . I like gifts and would be tough to find someone who hates gifts.  A flip to this will be people , rare people  who giveaway their gifts to someone else . At times someone more needing than them.

Very few people know that I visit Jaipur as frequently as may be the localities going home. Last time when I went along with my key people ( or gang in our daily usage language  ) as we call , it was fun but of a different level .

Ashi , is a dentist by profession and a good one at that. She has studied very well and then moved countries for some specialization as she calls. Dentist at the first place and specialist in that  :P ( in love with teeth's or as she says with smiles :) 

As a person she is in one word - the best . A charm that is contagious, a voice that when used feels more than melodious and an attitude that is on a higher level of being positive.  Having lived life on her own terms and being independent in taking decisions she has come a long way. I can write more about her but would focus on her different side which not many people know.



Cold Delhi winters,  when not so good to do people on the roadside try to sleep away in a not so comfortable ecosystem , she steps out and wraps up blankets upon them . In Jaipur we have a blind school where she , almost every week sends across gifts to the folks at the school irrespective where in the world she is . And if she is there in person , it’s a big celebration which starts . Every year , in Delhi she puts a camp by partnering with leading doctors to give a free dental check up to the needy . And there is more .  She hardly spends on things for herself and usually gifts / buys things for almost everyone she knows or she is close enough.

Yours truly is an example and my personal cupboard is a testimony to the above.

She says , when God gives you things its usually because you are the chosen one and hence its your duty to ensure it reaches to the right people. Blessed I am and even more she is with what she does.

Believe me,it’s hard to find someone do that in today’s day and age and that too on a regular basis . She touches so many lives by way of her profession and even more by doing these small deeds. The best part being that she never tells or shares this with anyone and most often these things happen secretly.



Words are tough to fill –in and who in world cannot adore her for the person she is. You may have the best education, best living and may be the best of everything but if you don’t have the mind set you will never be able to create a difference to anyone let apart yourself. It’s kind of bell which rings in your head when you meet someone like her  .  Some would say she is perfect . I would she is the master of imperfection .Views , as we call .


So , in short, the next time you get something from  / for someone , think . There may be a person who may need that more than anyone else you may have imagined for. It’s not called being futuristic , it’s called being human. 


**

Song of the month w/t any doubts - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejRRtVzPKe4

**

Monday, May 19, 2014

Surprises are better than promises

It’s fun to get something free. More so,as a surprise.And that too w/t you even knowing who made that gesture.

Something similar happened to us on a Saturday gone by . We were dining in Jaipur and it was a beautiful sight with the outdoor seating overlooking the JLN street and candle lit tables all around. Perfect setting .

Once we were through our meal and asked for the cheque our server informed that the same was already paid.  And I was like – really?  How ?  And the sort of questions that run in your head.



For the curious creatures that we are ( both of us ) we went up to the manager and asked him what exactly happened.  He smiled and said that someone settled our bill and also left a short note for us .

‘ Someone ‘   here , we found out later was a lady not sure on who she was or her age or why in the world she would pay for our dinner .  The note was something that set us thinking . It was handwritten and read as below :

Dear
At times in this life , we often forget the small happiness that life bestows upon us each day .  Today , as I saw you two I just felt you were indeed celebrating a moment .  May be we won’t ever meet or may be we would but I thought why not make you smile a bit more and hence the gesture . It’s not about the money being paid for its all about making you think that surprises are a part of life and we must take time to cherish them . May be someday, you too will pass this on in a way you feel best.
Enjoy the evening!


I am still searching for words and by way of this post I am wanting to thank the lady whom I call as the smiling lady  . Not many think of such small steps which have such an impact .Often , we don’t realize the value and the power of these small steps  . People ,  who say the world is filled with not so nice people have actually not got a chance to meet the  real nice  ones . 

I smiled all through the way back home and then back to Delhi .  It was a thought which is still on my mind and I am sure will continue for sometime  . Would have been great if I could have met her in person and thanked her for giving us this wonderful moment .

This also relates back to the fact that often we complicate life so much that we forget that so many people who love us and care for us are no longer with us  . The simple reason to this is because of our attitude.  Remember ,  there is a limit to amount of hard work people will put in for you . You rarely find such people who go the extra mile since they genuinely care for you .  And we , for the humans we are take them for granted .   And then we are left all alone with our own self realizing what we have lost.



Not everyone gives you a second chance and not all things in life should be dependent upon chances. Life cannot be lived alone with family and friends   . It’s easier said than done but after all for the believer I am , what is yours will be yours but you need to make a genuine effort. If you really want someone in your life go all out and ensure that you give your 100% . I am sure , basis my own experiences you will get what you want and more so the best  .

-We- here is me and a dear friend . May be more than a friend .....

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