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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 
 Its 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. 


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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. 


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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. 


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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. 


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

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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 .....

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Purity over impurity

Most you already know , that Jaipur is a place close to my heart . Yesterday evening when  it started to rain in Delhi , we made a plan to drive all through and head to Jaipur .

After all what are plans if they aren't spontaneous and on the spot . En route with a soothing breeze and light drizzles , I felt there is nothing more beautiful than seeing the drops fall on your hands . They are so fresh and so pure. Pristine to be precise. 

However ,  me being me , a thought that was floating for a while in my mind just came back . Do we need everything pure  ?  Everything fresh ? First right of use ?

And , I linked it back to something not so nice . Of late , in my life journey till date I have meet a decent number of people ( females and males )  who have openly shared with me that they have been in multiple relationships in the past ( and have had sex to be more specific and in some cases , early abortions as well !! ) and they have no guilt whatsoever , neither in their mind nor in their heart . 




Ask them why did they need to do this and pat comes the reply .  Everyone is mature enough to do and understand what is right and wrong . Everyone is proud of themselves and that is the way to accept them . 

Well , while people can debate , discuss and argue on this , my only thought always is - there is a timing for everything . You cannot be writing your board exams  in class 1 . Similarly even if you are 6 years old using aftershave will only lead to burning and nothing much .  Wearing heels in schools is not the right thing to do when you are an eleven year old girl.

Then why can't these things wait ? Just because you couldn't control the urge and got carried away and now its a past thing , doesn't make you the nicest of the lot. 

Ask them , if you get married tomorrow would you be open enough to make it all black and white -  be it relationships ,  be it what you did in those relationships with your future partners ? The answer that comes is - NO . 

Isn't this called as cheating ?  Being unfair ?  When you plan to spend and settle down in life with someone ( be it your own love or someone your family chooses )  isn't he / she entitled to know you ? To know what has happened and why it all happened ?  The basis of any relationship in this world is - trust . Being honest with that one person in your life . 

For me its difficult to digest . When you hug someone , kiss someone or hold hands - I am sure there is more than friendship that reflects these actions but when you give yourself to someone ( physically and emotionally ) its not just friendship , its more than that. Its your soul  which you share with someone. 

I find it weird why people ( of our generation specifically  ) want to hide everything .  It seems and feels as if - we , as people cannot say the truth .  We in-built it in such a way that even if we don't want to - it is wrapped in a lie. 




Ask these people , are you in touch with your so called - ex's ? The answer is No .  Do you know where are they? The answer is- married , married with kids or I just don't care. 

Really ? Isn't this call being as selfish . What is the world coming to these days.

And , the sad part in all of this - are those future partners who would never come to know about the pasts of their would be's  ?  No . 

Yes, the answer is - No . Remember, people who believe in God and believe very strongly are always protected . Even if you think you have made a fool of them , God will ensure that he protects these people.   I have seen live examples where - engagements have been called off , marriages cancelled ,  people moved apart and every time - the nice one out of the two remains protected. 

And I am not saying this due to my knowledge and belief in astrology .  Such people who have made and done all these things in the past , have a different pulse rate .  Whenever you ask them about relationships and what happened in those , their eyes and eye brows move in a certain way . The lips do change colors.

I know , not everyone is equipped to notice these changes and it requires a lot of practice but be rest assured and take my word -  if you are truthful and sincere , God will  make sure you stay protected always. You will come to know and then the only thing you need to do is - move out and move on.  You deserve far better people and you will get that ' one ' for you for sure.

And my message to these people -  honestly , I hate liars . Not because you did a bad karma for which you would need to pay in this birth but because you couldn't control yourself at that moment and you put at stake - your family , your values ,  your culture and most importantly your soul . 




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PS - I am sure this post is way different from what I usually share but then , if I felt strongly on something , I need to voice out.  I haven't taken any names and I have tried to kept it as simple and basic as it can be so that most of us are able to relate . Don't assume anything  :) 

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On a lighter side , I watched a special screening ( just for me ) by my Jaipur gang of the movie - The Lunchbox   .  I liked it. 

Not only this ,  in the week gone by - I have seen Queen ,  Revolver Rani and 2 States and I must say -  Kangana is an actor par excellence. 


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To lighten your mood - listen to this song . 


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