INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY – REMEMBERING DEVIKA RANI AND SAHIR LUDHIANVI

International Women’s Day (IWD) It started in early twentieth century. The industrial era had brought with it problems of aspiring needs of milling populations. Amongst these, the one problem that came to fore was oppression of women and gender inequality. For the first time in the year 1908, 15000 women marched through the streets of New York demanding equality with their male counterparts. This led to National Women’s Day being […]

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RIVER RAFTING DOWN THE GANGES

I had never done this before even though I always wanted to. I have spent 37 years in the Navy; but, that’s like a person joining the air force on the strength of his having travelled on the upper deck of a double-decker bus. My wife and I were visiting Haridwar and Rishikesh after our Course Get-together at Dehradun. The day before attempting to make true our fantasy we visited […]

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HIMACHAL THE BEAUTIFUL STATE, PART IV – RENUKA LAKE

My Fantasy Place It is within three hours of drive from my place in Kandaghat (Please read: ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is – Kandaghat In Shimla Hills’) and yet, I hadn’t been there except with my parents when I was small. It is my fantasy place. My fantasy is all about a boat in a lake on a moonlit night with a partner. So what if this time the […]

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HIMACHAL THE BEAUTIFUL STATE, PART III – RAJU BHARTI GUEST HOUSE, GUSHAINI (KULU-MANALI), TIRTHAN VALLEY

When my wife and I planned to visit Kulu-Manali, a friend who runs a travel agency in Shimla recommended that we should spend at least two days at Raju Bharti Guest House. I put it away in my mind at that time. Later, when I checked about the Guest House on the net I came across dozens of excellent reviews and pictures about it; most of them calling it amongst the best guest-houses […]

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HIMACHAL THE BEAUTIFUL STATE, PART II – MANDI

This is the place wherein I spent seven years of my childhood and early boyhood. I studied in the then Vijay High School Mandi from 2nd to 8th standards, from the years 1959 to 1966. During our recent trip to that side of Himachal, my wife and I just skirted Mandi on our way to Manali from my present hometown in Kandaghat, Shimla Hills. My first reaction was that it has now grown into […]

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HIMACHAL THE BEAUTIFUL STATE, PART I – REWALSAR (TIBETAN SHRINES)

In my earlier article: ‘Himachal The Beautiful State, Part I – Rewalsar’, I had brought out the journey to this beautiful lake town, 24 kms from Mandi. I had also brought out that Rewalsar is a confluence of three religions: the Hindu, the Sikh and the Buddhist. I had covered the Guru Gobind Singh Gurudwara of the Sikhs and the three main temples of the Hindus: the temple of the […]

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HIMACHAL THE BEAUTIFUL STATE, PART I – REWALSAR

I stay in Kandaghat, Shimla Hills, Himachal Pradesh (Please read: ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is – Kandaghat In Shimla Hills’). Earlier because of my job (I served as an officer in the Indian Navy and retired as a Commodore and then took up job as a Senior VP in RIL) I was able to spend only my leave holidays in Kandaghat. But, now that recently I am fully retired […]

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YAAD KIYA DIL NE GROUP MEET AT WHISPERING WINDS, KANDAGHAT

Four years ago, when I wrote an essay about my home-station Kandaghat, titled ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is – Kandaghat In Shimla Hills‘ little did I know that it would be the venue for a meet of our Facebook Group ‘Yaad Kiya Dil Ne‘, on the 24th April 16; and that, I would be writing another photo and video essay about this meet. There are many Song and Music […]

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NAVY IN THE HILLS?

My father was posted in Shimla when I joined the Navy. It was a story of ‘From the Hills to the Sea’. During those days, as perhaps now too, no one in our parts of the world was very familiar with the Navy. The only Navy that they could think of was the merchant navy. But, that, anyone could go to sea in order to fight was as unbelievable to […]

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TRAVEL LIGHT IF YOU MUST BY AIR

Suddenly, the age old adage has come alive for the airlines: ‘Travel light, if you must’; not the lean-and-hungry look but the lean-and-mean look. Heavy weights may be alright in politics; they may be of immense value in industry and bureaucracy. But, they are a big No No for the airlines. Reminds you of the Blue Jeans revolution of the sixties and seventies. Until then, the clothes were tailor-made for […]

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A FLEETING VISIT TO SILVASSA AND DAMAN

We (my wife and I) recently went to Silvassa, the capital of Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, the erstwhile Portuguese colonies, which joined the Indian state in 1961. My company has a Polyester Texturising Plant there. Lyn, my wife, went around in Silvassa looking at the parks, dams and lakes whilst I busied myself in my job. Silvassa, derives its name from the Portuguese word “silva”, which means wood. Silvassa is just […]

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THE LURE OF GOING ON A LIMB

Yesterday was a sad day indeed; Shailendra Singh Bisht, a 26 years old mountaineer crashed to death whilst rappelling down the 14 storey Great Adventure Mall, which had just been inaugurated in Greater NOIDA by the union minister Subodh Kant Sahay. Shailendra was a professional stuntsman who had performed this feat several times. Little did he know, however, that the rappelling rope was almost 100 feet short of reaching the ground. At the speed at which […]

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LORD KRISHNA BECKONED – WE VISITED DWARKA

First about the title of this post. I have come to believe, through actual experiences, that whilst we are reputed to have ‘Free Will’, there are things beyond our control. One of these is visits to holy places; I believe that we are called or invited by God to visit them at times selected by Him. Let me relate an incident. I was second-in-command of India’s aircraft carrier Viraat in […]

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HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS – KANDAGHAT IN SHIMLA HILLS

Photo Essay about my Hometown Kandaghat in Shimla Hills:Kandaghat in Shimla Hills is paradise for me. If you start from Chandigarh, after Kalka (Haryana), you enter Himachal or Shimla Hills at Parwanoo. My home station – Kandaghat – is 55 kms from Parwanoo and 14 kms from Solan. I was born in my Nanaji’s (maternal grandfather’s) house at Village Urapur, District Jalandhar, Punjab. I was just twenty days old when I was brought to Kandaghat (where my dad was posted) by […]

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CAN MUMBAI BECOME ANOTHER SHANGHAI?

Indians are great ones at comparisons and at imitating, in their own characteristic style, what people abroad have discovered or invented or made. We are also good at making words that never existed originally in the ‘foreign’ language. For example, if the English have a word called postpone, we feel that pone must be a word by itself and can be used with both post and pre. (Thank God, we don’t […]

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