Visit to Fort Kumbhalgarh

We visited Fort Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan in September 2013. Drive is enchanting. Rains had fallen, so it was all the more beautiful.

Our stay was at Club Mahindra. The reception was warm and the room allotted was good. However, the room service was a great disappointment. Same goes with the restaurant – the buffet dinner which we had was not up to the mark. In the evening we walked around the resort and watched the puppet show. The layout is in the Rajputana style.  There were a lot of activities offered, which could engage a family.

Another thing that disappointed me was that no one was aware about the environmental initiatives taken by the resort even though the certificate was displayed prominently in the reception and other common areas.

Next day the visit to the Fort was enthralling. We had asked a resort personnel for directions to the Fort, and he had said, “Take left from the tri-roads”. We started and were set wondering where were the trisecting roads as there were many twists and turns before reaching it. The long wall of the fort made me wonder, how it had been constructed, as even now the climb looked strenuous. The temples located in the fort are beautiful and so is the palace at the top. The length and width of the outer wall is amazing.  The history is most interesting as described in the light and sound show in the evening.

Lunch we had at “The Dera” resort located nearby. The open restaurant was very welcoming with a beautiful view of the natural greenery around. The food was simple and good. The was a touch of diffusing into the environment in the resort. One interesting feature that I noticed was that empty colored glass bottles were used for natural lighting in the washrooms.

Evening, we went around the activities centre – played badminton, saw the pottery section, gift centre and the gymnasium. But people not knowing about the environmental initiatives, even in the marketing and reception areas, was a sore disappointment to me.

Next day we started our return journey visiting the Shreenathji, Eklingji and Delwara Jain temples en route. The architecture of the Eklingji temple and Delwara temples is very intricate and would like to spend some more time understanding it the next time hopefully.

The care which must be taken is to pack all the groceries, if you plan to cook at the resort at Kumbhalgarh as there are no stores at Kumbhalgarh.

A powerful but peaceful fort surrounded by natural greens, is the memories that I carry of the Fort.

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Do unto others as you would wish others unto you???

There was a joke going around on driving attitude in Ahmedabad –

A person is driving a car and……

Scene 1: another car overtakes him – the reaction – what rash driving?

Scene 2: there is a car in front which is going slower – the reaction – he does not know how to drive…

At first I found it amusing. But after sometime, I realized that it also showed a deeper psychology of people.

Whatever the person does is correct – full stop. No other views are allowed. The speed at which the driver was going was the perfect. And it is not limited to the joke. Some parents feel that their children should have been born with all the manners (not reviewing their own childhood), In-laws imagine that their daughter-in-law has been brought up in the same culture and so should blend immediately, bosses believe that their work style is the best…..

Even nature has created diversity. All five fingers are not same and all have different functions. Had nature made clones, there would have been dullness in the world with people behaving the same, agreeing to the same view….

People need to respect and at least listen to other peoples view / behaviour. The adage ” Do unto others as you would wish others unto you” need not be always true. One might like spicy food and some other sweet. The definition of spiciness is also relative!!!

Most of the respected people that I have seen, are so, because of their broad-mindedness and their readiness in listening to the other persons view.

So the next time you comment on a persons taste or actions – THINK!!!

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Review of Shiva Trilogy – environmentalist viewpoint

The Shiva Trilogy is beautifully conceptualized and detailed. This review is from environmental viewpoint . One can relate it to today’s environmental scenario.

The story emphasizes on what is evil and how to remove it from the equation? And what was evil???the chandravanshis, who were diverting the Saraswati river?  the Nagas – the deformed sons and daughters of Suryavanshis? the plagues of branga??

No, the evil was the Somras – a chemical taken by the Suryavanshis to increase their life span. And how? only saraswati water could be used to make the chemical, so with the increasing numbers of suryavanshis (thanks to Somras – adding to the vicious circle of doom), more water was being withdrawn resulting in thinning out of Saraswati. Another effect were the nagas, deformed children born to people consuming the Somras, maybe due to bioaccumulation of some chemicals present in Somras. Then there was the plague of Branga, its occurrence rising in summer. This is cited to be because of the toxic wastes produced during the manufacture of Somras was disposed off in the cold waters of a river in Tibet, not knowing that it formed the Brahmaputra ultimately finding its way to Branga. The toxic waters when consumed caused the plague. Another effect was the rise in impotency in Suryavanshis.

The beauty of the story is that it understands that when Somras was first discovered it was considered a boon, but over a long period of time the same boon became bane for the whole earth. The effect are also shown to be global.

And the solutions described are also very apt – experiments to replace the saraswati waters / or reduce the quantity required and developing an altogether new way of manufacturing somras.

The story covers all the aspects of manufacturing a chemical – raw material procurement, manufacturing and the resultant wastes and finally the long-term effect of chemical and its waste on humans. Shouldn’t we learn from our past, for what is history for?

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on human bonding

As a child, I grew up in a cosmopolitan world. Many of them were not localites.

However, when I was in Mumbai, I first noticed that whenever I traveled in the western suburbs and heard someone speak in Gujarati, my heart would be filled with happiness and feel bonded.

Then when I started working in Gujarat, I saw how at the end of meeting, people would discuss from which area of Gujarat (south, central, saurashtra, etc) they were and bonded on it. It was the same if a person was from another state – Odiya, Rajasthani, north/south Indian, etc.

I believe the same situation is in other states.

Many a times, a person from another region says that in my area things are good in so and so ways. But shouldn’t the person consider that he has been accepted by the current region and given him work, food and shelter? It also works the other way round that one shouldn’t discriminate a person from different region and give him equal opportunities.

And, if we go a step further, any Indian in a foreign country would feel bonded seeing another India (be it Gujarati, Maharashtrian, South Indian…).

So. ultimately everyone forgets their geographical differences at some point of time. So shouldn’t we understand that we need to leave as one in this world and forget our differences.

I would also extrapolate it further as us, the humans and the living creatures which are meant to live together on earth, shouldn’t we live as “vasudhaiva kutumbakam“??


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crossing a cross road has never been so advantageous

I don’t know if any study has been done to assess the advantages of crossing the crossroads in Ahmedabad.

I pass through a cross road daily on my route to work. What is remarkable (pls see the diagram), at any point, a person faces vehicles from 3-4 directions and as you navigate to your destination, the directions of vehicles constantly change.

And how is it assured that accidents don’t occur?? by mutual understanding and that too only through eye contact. There is only a split second eye contact and it decides who will cross first. A small contribution may also be attributed to “survival of the fittest” / “law of the jungle”??

My assessment says – two advantages, firstly, one becomes more alert and secondly, increase in mutual understanding with a stranger…

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Women at work

Just a passing thought that occurs to me whenever I hear someone say that some particular female has got promotion because she is a female. Now that hurts because I work hard for all my projects and there are others too, so the statement shouldn’t be so generalized.

Secondly, if males feel so – who is responsible for it – some male??Thirdly, if the person who has commented were the boss, he would also have done the same. So, I feel let women come to top, then someday, maybe, men can get advantage of being men…

Another comment is that they are never at work on time or do not work as much and the burden shifts to their male colleagues. I don’t agree on it as I have found similar males too who do come to office but waste time.

Agreed, that many females do not work beyond the office timings – but that’s because they have a household to hold in the male dominated society. If that is shared and the view is broadened, I don’t think there would be any problems.

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eco-friendly traditional india

The more I am understanding the environmental problems, the more I am respecting the traditional Indian practices which were eco-friendly.

Everyday, I pass by ponds – beautiful when approaching, but unsightly and stinking, on reaching. The reason – municipal wastes borders the ponds. That’s when it occurred to me that the traditional practice of feeding the leftovers to cows / dogs was indeed a good practice. It doubly benefits from the fact that the role of plastic bags which are used to hold the garbage in modern India is removed. So less garbage and less plastic bags.

There is the case of tooth cleaning too. We use a plastic toothbrush and a chemically formulated toothpaste, for keeping our teeth healthy. Traditionally neem sticks were used, which did the job of both the tooth – brush and paste. And now we are researching for biodegradable plastic (as we need to replace the toothbrush almost every two or three months) and advertising the ayurvedic extracts contained in the toothpaste. Wasn’t the original better?

The list could go on and I would be adding on it later on. There can be many counterarguments which are welcome, one of which is that of convenience and the appeal. But I feel that a broader point of view will lessen the weightage of it.


I love travelling by BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System). I commute a part of my journey to work through BRTS. It has reduced my time taken and stress of travelling through public transport.

Moreover, I get a glimpse of daily life which touches me.

….a young person giving seat to an elderly – reinforces my belief in goodness

….a driver, not deterring from his schedule, inspite of being threatened of contacting some big shots if not delayed by a minute

….a very young couple, standing in the crowd, unaware of the crowd

It gives me time to stand and stare…..


Earth provides …

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.

Mahatma Gandhi

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Slow is the new fast

Yesterday I read about the slow movement in ToI, and I was very happy. I was very slow for everything from childhood – eating slowly, taking a long time to bath, making rotis slowly and what not…

And I never understood what the others had problem about it. I was never short of time for anything.

There are lots n lots of advantage being a slowie….

  • some friends had told me that chewing food 36 times was good – at the cost of friends leaving me alone at canteen – which I have realized is actually true
  • recently I had also understood that the decisions or work I do slowly were much better than those which were taken speedily and had to be redone again by others.
  • also I find that the people who work fast, also get tired fast and they need high cooling

So cheers to all Slowies!!!!



Slow Movement: