Sunday, 21 December 2014

Yes No Definitely No

Jacky (name changed to protect privacy) who lives two blocks away from my house has done it. Maya (name changed to protect privacy) indulges in it all the time.Then why should I wait till marriage to experience Sex? This question bothers so many youngsters  so what is the answer?
Before I can arrive at an answer I have to explore the reason of my existence, my being. However before the  question arises as to who am I, am I the body or am I the soul. If I am the soul then what is the relevance of this question and If I am the body alone then how does it matter as  conscience resides in the soul that guides us with the sense of right & wrong, Yes & No
I am of the opinion that we human beings are embodiment of the soul in the body. That is we are here on this earth for a purpose but what is it remains a mystery for a lot of us .However an emotion that we have all experienced is the emotion of Love. Right from childhood we all want to be loved this is an emotion embedded in the psyche of every human being. The reason could be that finding true love is one of the goals of every human being.
Coming back to the question of  a Yes or No to Pre-Marital Sex there does not seem to be a definitive answer so let me take the help of the scriptures where human life is divided  into four parts or ashrams. It is believed that living according to these guidelines a human being can live up to hundred years or more .
Based on this the first part is Brahmcharya . It is the first part of the life up to the age of 25 when a person grows up devoting his or /her life to gaining knowledge and preparing for the life ahead. It is during this part that a person is advised to maintain celibacy .
The term BrahmCharya consists of Brahm i.e god and Charya means deeds or way of living. However both Love and Sex are important parts of  human life. The role of a person is not to be fearful nor give in to the urge of sex but to channelize the energy and focus to develop intellect and skill set required for the next stage of life. The next part is the  or Grahasth Ashram or the married life . This is the part of human life when a person gets married . As part of the married life person enjoys sex and has children.

The basis of every action is thought and so the act of sex also begins with a thought. Sigmund Freud the father of psychoanalysis is also known for his study of human sexuality. He was of the view that all mental energy is derived from the body and human beings have limited energy. There is a cause for all human behavior and the goal of human behavior is to reduce stress. Human behavior is a result of impulses. These impulses are of two types Sexual impulses or life affirming impulses as he described them . Here Libido or libidinal energy becomes the source of the energy . As an impulse increases it forces a person to act accordingly which will reduce the need. On the utilization of mental energy he was of the view that the life affirming impulses or Libido is invested by a person towards various tasks and activities to achieve objectives and goals.
This view seems to be in accordance to the theory of Brahmcharya that has been an integral part of Shaivite Hinduism.
The institution of marriages in its originality and uncorrupted form seemed to believe that for every soul their was and is a soul mate and its our job to find that special person.
Moreover since the act of marriage seems to be designed for a long span of life or beyond. As in Hinduism the marriage vows seems to be an agreement  of togetherness  for “Saat Janmas” or seven lives .
Even marriages vows in Christianity suggest that the man and woman would be husband and wife till death does them apart.
Whatever the religion marriages seems to be designed for a long inning. Marriages seems to be a very old institution of Human civilized society. They have stood the test of time, well more or less. The institution of marriage seems to be designed to find that perfect partner or soul mate for one self. Delving into Hindu astrology ,the idea of match making takes into account matching of 36 points or parameters between the bride and the groom. The more points that match  better is the compatibility between the would be bride and the groom. Perhaps this again is a mathematical tool of elimination or selection that could help us  in finding the soul mate. However  there is a huge population and finding true love of the soul is a difficult task . It would require all our energy and focus to reach our true love, our soul mate.Taking a note from Dr. Sigmund Freud who said human bodies have limited energy and if we waste it by indulging in pre-marital sex then true love may just pass us by while we are experimenting with premarital sex. The biggest reason for it is that just as we crave for true love and search for our soul mate, our soul mate too is pursuing this search.

Pre-Marital sex can cause us to end up in a relation that may not last a lifetime or it may be just a passing fling. The other side of the coin is that if we accept pre-marital sex as the accepted norm then our soul mate could also get into meaningless relationships and this would prolong the wait time of our union or we may not meet at all.To those who do not believe in rebirth my argument is that considering the fact that human life form is precious and you have only one life then why be trapped in a meaningless relationship and why not spend it with your soul mate, a life full of love and fulfillment. To those who believe in rebirth and great Indian mythology and the Vedas I must remind them that Human body is acquired by the soul after it has traversed 84 Lacs Birth in various species. Incidentally Jacky and Maya whom I mentioned in the beginning are the names of a pet dog and a cat who live in my neighborhood and ours is perhaps the only species that has the institution of marriage, a species that has the intellect and reasoning power ,one that can put the mind over the body and let logic and reasoning prevail over desire.If we let go of  this search of our true love and soul mate then   perhaps we may not even unite in our entire life. So Like Arjuna who with his perfect concentration and focus could channelise his energy and  could see only the eye of the fish and nothing else , we should focus finding that special someone who would help us complete our live and fulfill the purpose of our life filling it with true love. 

Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Magical Vacation

I am of the view that no vacation is complete without children . Their energy and curiosity is infectious. They ask questions about even little things and have an eye for detail and a unique perspective about almost every thing. They want to explore new things and form an opinion after exploring ,collecting facts and analyzing. That’s the reason I prefer to go on family vacations to places that have plenty to explore. Places that have open spaces and if these places have natural surroundings like gardens,beaches,and hills  they get extra brownie points from me as a choice of a vacation spot with kids.

Activity center's for kids where they can learn new things in a playful way does catch my attention. However activities in which kids as well as parents can participate together would definitely be at the top of my list. The reason for this is the magic that is created when parents and children do an activity together. Actually these vacation moments invariably become the highlight and the most cherished moments of the vacations. The magic happens when children and parents spend time together away from the hustle and bustle and the grind of their daily life. What ever they do together is a great way to know each other and strengthen the trust. An activity as simple as lying with your child on a hammock and read out a story under the blue sky, or running after butterflies together with your little daughter can be magical. This is my take on a magical vacation. Another aspect is when children can be given a safe care free environment to explore the surroundings. They learn a thing or two in  the new location. Maybe just be one with nature or explore a new sport or just a game of carom with a new friend and when we are witness to their moment of growth as an independent individual that creates magic and makes the vacation magical . Another aspect of making a magical vacation with kids is when we can just let them be what they are that is kids. Let them run on the merry go round or that swing. Make houses in the sand or play with water anything that they fancy without the risk of any bodily harm. Being witness to their playful activities and seeing them enjoy while we are either reading a book or walking hand in hand with one's spouse can bring about the magic in a vacation. For me the magic of a vacation also starts when the child in me comes out and enjoys ,explores and unwinds with the children . It is like reliving childhood once again. Doing things that we used to do and even those that we never got to do. When we do all this with our children . It becomes magical and precious for them as well as for us.

Monday, 15 December 2014

On The Road to Road Safety

For every one who is on the road safety should be a prime concern. Safety of self as well as others should be of equal importance for every driver and commuter on the roads. There are two types of people in this world who follow traffic rules because they believe in them. They know that they are made to keep everyone on the road safe. For the other category they follow rules only under the influence of the Danda or the rod . What I mean is that the second category will stop at the red light or follow the rules only when they see a cop standing otherwise they wild flout every rule in the book from jumping red lights to talking on the phone.Whatever their type I feel their life is important and I have a few things to tell my fellow commuters.
 I find that people on the roads can be classified as the the following types
1) Always talking on the phone types as they drive
My message to them is : Talking on the phone is one of the worst distractions . It can be fatal for you and others on the road.
2) Never wear seat Belt types:My message to them is that sear belts are  there to help your body & soul stay’s together .They protect you from jerks and physical damage during accidents

3) Never wear helmets type: If you have anything up there protect it with a helmet.If not then wear a helmet to protect yourself for those who love you. This is my message to all those not wearing helmets.

4)The Red Light Jumpers: If red makes your blood boil and turns you into a bull ready to charge then look away,relax take a deep breath and go green.  Its good for you.
6) Full beam light users who never use low beam at night. Others on the roads are no
The message I want to give is 
Your Car lights are to show the path on the road and not to turn other commuters blind as bats. As a high beam falls on our eyes it makes seeing the road extremely difficult for the driver facing the high beam from your car.
We should use high beam only on dark stretches of roads and  turn it to low beam when we see a another vehicle coming in our direction.

7) The speed Devils: my message to those who over speed and indulge in zigzag driving:
Life is not a race . By over speeding you are only leaving your life behind

8) The drink and drive types: Dear friends please don’t drink and drive . If  you believe in one for the road then let it be Tea,Coffee ,Water or Juice
Social media could be used to propagate road safety , Pictures of traffic rule offenders should be displayed on Facebook and hoardings. It is a good way to use social pressure to cause  the repeat offenders to fall in line
Engaging people through social media and creating a dialog would be a wonderful way of making more people aware about their role and social obligations on the road.
One of the best things that we can do to improve the road sense amongst the people is to hold awareness drives and workshops. One good way would be to catch them young. School children are receptive and eager to learn. Workshops to educate them about road safety,road signs and how to read and interpret can be a good sign. Car racing games can be designed where a player is rewarded for following the rules.

NSDF or the Nissan Safety Driving forum is a forum that promotes road safety. It is actively involved in promoting caution and safety while on the road. It is involved in bringing in a change in the mindset of the masses.
The forum is conducted by the Nissan Co. Limited and promotes safety driving activities across a number of cities. It was started in 2012 and intends to spreads awareness about road safety acoross the country. Uptil now it has covered cities like New Delhi,Mumbai and Chennai. This year it would cover 8 new cities i.e Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi
More information about NSDF and its activities can be found here The Nissan Safety Driving Forum

Friday, 12 December 2014

Swachh India beyond the photo Opp

Hygiene and Sanitation has always played an important role in our lives . In the medical profession it can make the difference between life and death. In our homes  washing hands helps us get rid of disease causing  germs and bacteria. The journey to good health starts with that one drop of sanitizer  or that antiseptic  soap . Good hygiene and Sanitation  are the lampposts that show  us the path to good health. Every day we encounter thousands of germs, bacteria with disease causing organisms

About a month back I  attended  a Swachh India drive near my office. It was a drive started with great fervour. All the civic authority workers with their crisp uniforms were present in full attendance  .Sweeping the roads in full gusto, as their senior  officers  were present to witness and supervise. Some of us residents including me were also witness to this event after all we were expecting our cities and the entire country to be clean thereafter.
Returning back home I  scrubbed my hands clean properly with a anti bacterial disinfectant soap and my thoughts drifted to how  Dr  Ignaz Semmelweis was  one of the first persons who advocated the washing of hands when he observed a connection between not washing hands and perpetual diseases. He observed that the cases of perpetual fever and deaths of mothers in obstetrical clinics was greatly reduced if doctors  and hospital staff started washing hands . However disease causing germs are presentlyeverywhere that we go, even in our homes germs are raging a battle against us humans and the only way to beat them and win this war is to practice proper hygiene and sanitation.
Even the garbage that we throw travels a large distance before it is sorted and disposed off. In this journey it still provides a fertile ground for organisms to grow.
It is often sorted by workers who do not wear any protective gear. I doubt if they are even provided with any disinfectants, soaps etc to clean themselves after they have finished their job or take a break for lunch or tea.
It is important to reduce the time to handle the garbage and what can we do with all the organic waste that is produced every day . It stinks and rots on its way to disposal.
Can we do anything to break this vicious cycle?
I keep all my organic and non organic waste separate so that the sorting time is reduced.
But can the organic waste be disposed off safely closer to the site of creation i.e our homes rather then transporting it. As this process consumes time, manpower and transportation cost. To find out the answer I did a small experiment.
Instead of throwing all those vegetable peels,tea leaves and other organic waste I colleted it in a bag and filled them in a pot and topped the pot with mud.  In one of the pots I have even planted  a plant that I water every day. In a few days time all that waste gets turned into compost that too  without any bad odour or any cost to me,,my city or country.
When I have excess compost either I can useit to nourish my plants or scatter in the neighbouring  park. All this can be done without any cost to me ,my city or my country. I did not require any technical know how  for this either.
And by growing that plant or  using it in our neighbouring park we are only helping plants grow organically that would play their part in making the air and eventually making India more Swatch with cleaner air.
Though there are still a lot of issues that need to be addressed We will have to ensure that domestic garbage is packed  separately inorganic and organic . It would be even better if the recycle able items are not thrown as trash but straight away  sent to recycling units. The local garbage collectors and the kabariwala can be roped in as part of the drive. This will save the nation huge costs incurred in garbage disposal .There is so much recyclable material that can be used again and it can bring down the raw material costs and make us globally more competitive. What if all the plastic that we throw away could be recycled into waste bins that line the cities of every city and village of the country. When people begin to use them and throw the garbage as presorted recycleable and organic only then will India become truly Swatchh
Till that happens we have to face and deal with the reality of today i.e

Cows feeding on waste. 

Garbage & Leaves being burn as there is no proper disposal 

Pet Poop can be found on the roads.
Rain water drains getting clogged with litter

Heaps of garbage not properly disposed.

All images belong to me. They  have been taken by me in various parts of delhi 

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The places to see before its time

The places to see before its time

The places to see before its time to say goodbye

Whenever travel planning is done there are lots of details have to be taken into consideration. The prime topics are booking the tickets and a place to stay. Even before we book our tickets we search for options of the various places which are available to us as tourist. There are many hotels, bread & breakfast lodges available all over the world but there is always an apprehension about  the quality and the service we would get. The ideal situation would be if we could have a house wherever we go. The next best solution is provided by Airbnb which is a community marketplace of people willing to rent out their homes in full or in part. The other part of this community are travellers who wish to use these properties for the listed price. This marketplace connects the two via mobile or online. It is a vast community which offers over 34000 listings in over 34,000 cities spread over 190 + countries. To get a head start in your next stay use this link to get Rs 1545 i.e about $25 as my contribution towards your next stay booked through Airbnb
London is one of the most expensive cities  to stay in .However it is the top destination for any world traveller. For Indians it holds a special charm. The queens palace, the London bridge and the big Ben hold a special charm for me. Living in a home in the heart of London would be a dream stay. So I have chosen this partrticular apartment as it was the workplace of the famous English author Charles Dickens.

 In this very place he founded the magazine ‘All The Year Round’ in which he used to publish his stories.
This apartment is a prime location property in central London.
It is an apartment with two beds and can accommodate four people .
This apartment has one bedroom furnished with a king size bed. The original chimney  breasts with mantle remind you of its old world charm. Its big windows from the floor to the ceiling give ample view of the shops and cafes .

 It comes with a kitchen equipped with oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, toaster, stove, washing machine, water kettle, and a coffee machine .Its is a fully functional kitchen with utensils cooking pots, knives and  cutlery.
The bathroom is equipped with a power shower and toilet.
The Location advantage of the property: It is situated in the heart of the Convent Garden and on its left is the 

Lyceum Theatre and to the right side is  the Royal Opera House and in front of the apartment is the quirky London Transport Museum.
More details can be found here

2) Domus Civita, a unique home rental
Civita, Lazio, Italy
Dream Stay in an Italian Hill Town at the foot of Civita di Bagnoregio

A dream home designed by its architect owners . Its a home in a town preserved in time. To access the town one has to walkover  the  footbridge . The golden  tufa rocks with its color to the cliffs and the homes and the silver basalt paved streets make the town look as if made up of silver and gold .
Civita was the home to  the philosopher Saint Bonaventure
Walking the streets of this ancient town one is sure to be transported back in time .
It is a fine example of man living in harmony with nature . This is a perfect place for a peaceful holiday
Staying at a real Italian Villa would be quite an experience .This property has three bedrooms and can accommodate up to eight guests.  
What makes this property worth considering for a stay is that it offers an interesting set of features that would help the persons staying there experience the sweet Italian lifestyle "La Dolce Vita"
The amenities include (and I quote from the listing )
A hot tub and heated pool
Formal italian garden 
Outdoor kitchen & bbcue 
Gazebo & al fresco dining 
Private wine cellar and Cheese tasting experience
Of course the biggest charm would be the view .
more details can be found here

3) Beautiful Handcrafted Cottage ,Portland, OR

I used to thing that only doll house are made like this .However the beautiful home changed my view of a comfortable stay in a wooden home away from a brick & mortar hotel.
A beautiful property in North Portland this Hand crafted cottage offers wood floors ,skylights and high end appliances to make the stay comfortable. The amenities includes a gas stove,flat TV and Wi-Fi.
The neighborhood is bike friendly . The property is very close to the bus lines, MAX line, I-5, and there is parking available.A person staying here can walk or bike to nearby Mississippi Ave district, N Williams, and Alberta neighborhoods and enjoy the food from the food carts,restaurants ,beer gardens or buy everyday need stuff from the local grocery stores 
More details can be found here

4) Unique place in the heart of Cph : Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark
Looking at the picture of this Bread and Breakfast rental facility in Copenhagen Denmark, my first reaction was it is for real or am I looking at a home in a story book.
The exterior looks so inviting .It has one bedroom and can accommodate up to three people.

Its a neat and clean room with two beds and extra mattress for children. It is actually a well maintained hundred years old house. More information about this charming property can be found here

5) Traditional Egyptian Farm stay

If I were to offer you a stay on a farm or better still in an Egyptian Farm then what picture would you conjure up?
Would it be like these

Or like these?
Probably not. However these are the actual picture of a place in Alexandria, Egypt. This is a bread and breakfast facility that has six bedrooms and accommodate up to sixteen people.Staying at the farm one can enjoy riding lessons, riding holidays or farm stay holidays. It also offers SPA and treatments. This is a fully functional farm and a guest can opt for either self catered  or fully catered option in what would be probably the only agro-tourism facility in Egypt. They strive to be self sufficient and grow their own organic food for the humans and the animals on the farm.They encourage recycling and aim to reduce their carbon footprint. the guest can enjoy facilities like a swimming pool ,secluded gardens and of course fresh farm air . The entire list of amenities and more information can be found here 

All images have been taken from

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Lufthansa's A380 for a bigger better Travel experience

If you are offered a ride on a small coupe or a luxury SUV fully equipped with all the luxurious amenities then which will you prefer?
The answer to this question is a no brainer as we all like to travel in luxury, comfort and with utmost safety.
That’s just the opportunity that Lufthansa brings to India with its brand new A380 fleet of planes.
The new A380 #LufthansaA380
These planes are equipped with the latest technology that ups the safety quotient of your next flight by several notches. Airlines typically are known to pack as many seats in their planes so that they can carry larger number of passengers. This means reduced leg  room. There is a perpetual struggle to find luggage space in the overhead baggage holds and a never ending traffic jam while trying to navigate past other passengers  in the aisle’s of planes or waiting in a queue outside the airplane loo is a common sight.

However Lufthansa has a long tradition of putting the comfort of passengers foremost and their safety and well being is up most in its list of priorities.  #LufthansaA380
Lufthansa has decades of experience in aircraft maintenance and it uses its world class expertise in this field to make each aircraft flight ready before it is ready to undertake a flight

That’s the reason that it has introduced the A380 aircraft's in India.
For the Indian aviation industry and the air passengers of India it offers a great opportunity to savor the best in aviation luxury, comfort and safety that the world of air travel has to offer.
Long distance air travel involves sitting in your seat for long hours. Even a few extra inches of legroom a better ergonomically designed entertainment console and seats that are more comfortable and better  suited to support the body against the stress and  rigor of air travel  are bound to enhance the travel experience. That’s just what the people designing the Lufthansa’s A380 aircraft had in mind when they were designing these planes.

India has a population in excess of 1.25 billion people and at any given point in time a couple of hundred thousand are embarking on journeys to foreign lands. The A380 is the plane designed keeping the  needs of Indian air travellers in mind.
The plane has plenty of space to seat passengers of every class of travel like economy,business and first class.
business class seats that give the passengers the option to sit,recline or lie down almost flat or select a position in between.
A bigger plane of the size of A380 would ensure that there are plenty of seats . The advantage would be that if you book early you could get good price for the premium travel experience and plenty of seats to choose from. Even for the last minute travellers the possibility of getting a  ticket would be higher as there are more number of seats on the plane.

The A380 are especially suited for long haul flights so the latest in aviation technology has been put to use. This means lesser requirements for fuel refilling and reducing actual flying time .Cutting edge technology makes  the pilot sitting  in the plane aware of every  minute detail that they need to know about the plane and the high-tech cockpit making them better equipped to fly these giant planes more efficiently. For the passengers this translates to smother take off and landings and these planes are designed  to handle air pockets  much better. Passengers would experience lesser turbulence through rough weather . Even  those who are prone to air sickness would find their air journeys more comforting.
Travellers of long distance flights and frequent flayers often complain of  flight related discomforts. Lack of space to move their feet or walk often results in swelling specially in the lower limbs. In A380 seats offer more leg room and the seats are cushiony and there is vast design improvements to reduce  stress. Even the aisles are broader and there is quite a distance between different seating areas, so those who like to keep their circulation going by walking along the aisle will have more space thanks to the bigger cabin size of the aircraft. They experience roomy ness, openness and a sence of travel without confinement.
Spacious cabin in business offers plenty of space and legroom

A long haul flight would no longer mean that you are tied down to your seat instead the flights would offer an enhanced ,enriched comforting experience that the body of every passenger will cherish and of course the undying spirit of the Indian passenger would like to travel the world in Lufthansa’s A380 planes. 
More information about Lufthansa A380 can be found here  the Lufthansa India website
Enjoy the visual experience of A380: A380 Timelapse video

All images have been taken from the Lufthansa India website