With great advancement in technology, connectivity in all forms has increased by leaps and bounds. Connectivity through transport, media and social media have improved making life easier for people across the world. Smartphones have emerged as the biggest contributor in connecting people across the world. Twitter, facebook and whatsapp are a rage in the present age. Everyone you meet is engrossed in connecting with the world through social media day in and day out.
Whatever is happening in life and around, must be posted on the net. Right from cooking, travel, to losses and gains in life, every bit of the information must be declared to the world. They must be liked, shared and commented upon be as many people in the list as possible. Such things were unthinkable in the past. People were free to meet whosoever they wanted and whenever they wanted to. Population was less and people were glad to have visitors, as it was enjoyable to entertain guests. But even in these intrusions into privacy, private matters remained strictly private. It was considered improper to tell others what one did and what one ate, or how well off one was or wasn’t. There are people who are less fortunate than others and it is improper to make people feel distressed over the lack of fortune in one’s life.
The selfie age has emerged as an age of selfish thoughtless people. People who are too self-engrossed to think over anything other than their own petty issues. Selfie addiction has seen addicts take innumerable selfies in a day and posting them for comments and likes by people who are as self engrossed as themselves and do not care a bit about others but their own looks and lives. The selfie addiction has seen cases of hallucination, in which people find themselves looking at their smartphones every now and then, imagining message tones even when there are none.
Addiction to smartphones is such that the present generation is unable to focus in their work with full potential. Several fatal accidents have occurred due to recklessness during taking selfies. Half of the valuable time and energy is spent in useless scrolling through social media peeping into the lives of others; only to develop a complex about their own lives by comparing the lack of innumerable things which others possess, but they don’t. Surprisingly, the comparison stops at good things. Nobody is interested in the sufferings, pains and problems that others have to endure.
It is difficult to face the reality, look into one’s eyes and find a solution to the numerous problems that crop up in day to day life. It is easy to escape from reality and spend time engrossed in the virtual world which is now taking the place of reality. People, especially the young generation prefers to connect with their friends through the social media even when they are within their affinity. Scenes of friends and family sitting together and surfing through social media or the net has become a common sight. There is no confrontation, no responsibility, and no labour to bog one down and make life difficult. There is also an adequate release of Dopamine to make one feel good.
The end result of lack
of responsible behaviour will however be reflected in the next generation, who
are being brought up in a misbalanced manner of overindulgence and neglect.
They are pampered with unnecessary elements on one hand; while on the other
they are deprived of the essential care and nurture, which will help them to
become a balanced person to live a happy life.
The kite teaches us to fly high, while staying connected to the ground. Otherwise we are lost.
Therefore the need of the hour is to connect with real people over games and conversations which will make people stay grounded and face the difficulties of life with élan and ease. It is also necessary to connect with nature, because the farther we move from nature the greater our problems will be. So, one must stay connected in the real sense. Talk and spend real time with family and friends to improve the quality of life, and really be there for people who mean the world.
The art of simple living is a forgotten art. There once was a time when leading a relaxed life was the norm. Life used to be the same for generations. The peasant’s son would be a peasant and a blacksmith’s son a blacksmith. Talent in profession was often inherited and hence easily acquired. The outputs were also of exceptional quality as the techniques were time tested. The furniture or sculpture would be flawless; as, the minutest details were emphasised on by the trainer who was usually the father, grandfather or some acquaintance.
Leisure was ample, manufacturing being a time consuming job was limited to requirements. Possessions were handed over by generations and were much valued. Extras being limited did not pollute the land which beamed with health and reflected it back on its inhabitants.
In short, life was simple. Less things, meant less hassle and less stress. With the change in times, we have lost the mind-set to live a simple life and enjoy the journey called life. The society has developed an atmosphere where a relaxed life almost seems like a crime. If a person likes to live a life of ease he would definitely go into depression, as the world around him is moving at an extremely rapid pace. The work accomplished per day has multiplied ten times over in the last three generations. Most of the time, the work is simply done because it will fetch money to spend on new acquisitions. It would also mean that the old acquisitions will have to be discarded as there is hardly any space or need to keep them all.
Now where would these things, which cannot be kept in the house go? Naturally they would end up as trash in mountains of garbage that are being piled up upon Mother earth without any fault of hers. These piles are non bio-degradable, and will not vanish with time. Each and every item that we buy with our hard earned money; sacrificing health, relations and priceless time, will end up in creating trash for the world.
The more you have, the more occupied you are. The less you have, the more free you are.
We will be leaving behind a world without fresh air water or anything worth living for. The diversion from simplicity is taking us to a destination where we don’t want to go. Yet, we are helpless… being socially pre-conditioned with an absurd set of expectations.
The huge skyrises, sleek cars, flyovers, industrial buildings will become an eye sore when they are obsolete and old. Many couples dread bringing children to this uncertain world. Yet, everyone contributes to the trash mountain in his or her own way…Every year, every month, every minute of the day.
It is the other living beings, the plants and animals, who are the major sufferers in spite of living the simplest life possible. They do not waste water, add to carbon footprints, yet they have to die or become extinct because of effects of climate change.
The solution to a bleak future is adopting the lifestyle of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Simple living and high thinking.’ Eating simple food, doing physical work, reading a lot, doing good for the world; will not only keep us healthy and happy but will act as a balm for the earth’s malady.
Industrial and infrastructural development is not the only form of development. True development will be eco-friendly and reverse the harm done in every sphere of the earth. This will only be possible if we lead a simple life and take from the earth only that much, which is essential for life. We cannot and should not go back to lifestyle of the olden days, but for the sake of our own well being, we should adopt the minimalist approach towards life.
Development is fine and necessary but it should not go beyond rationality. Every freedom comes with some duty. We should also remember out duty towards the earth, where we are merely the guests of time. If simplicity of life can bring about wellness for all. We are all winners. If we don’t spend much on unnecessary things we would also save a lot. Saving a lot would result in stress free life, resulting in good health.
One small positive change can bring about a chain of positive changes, and the end result will be bliss for all. Let the chain begin, by adopting a simple and happy lifestyle, which will be a boon for the generations to come.
Chandrayan- 2, created by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), is the 1st space mission to conduct a soft- landing on the moon’s South Polar Region, a region that is yet unexplored.
The moon being our closest cosmic body for space discovery is the best testing place to demonstrate the technologies required for future deep- space missions. It will also provide an invaluable linkage to Earth’s early history. The moon also contains an undisturbed historic record of the inner solar system environment. The Chandrayan -2 mission will therefore bring forth valuable data regarding space research. It will also look for evidence of water molecules below the lunar surface and atmosphere.
Chandrayan – 2 mission was approved by the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh on 18th September, 2008. It was launched on 22nd July, 2019 at Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Second Launch Pad. The lander Vikram was programed to soft land on moon’s South Polar Region on 7th September, 2019. and conduct scientific experiments for 1 lunar day, or 14 earth days. The orbital experiments were to continue thereafter for 1 year.
The lunar South Pole has long remained undiscovered, something that this mission is about to change. The South Pole is much larger than the lunar North Pole and there is an exciting possibility of presence of water in the permanently shadowed areas of the region. It also has craters that are cold traps and may contain a fossil record of the inner solar system. This mission will not only give a clearer picture of the earth’s past but will also pave the way for future deep space missions.
Chandrayan – 2 attempted to soft land Lander Vikram and Rover Pragyan in a high plain between two craters, Manzinus C and Simpelius N at latitude of about 70o South. However, at 1:51 am, Saturday, The lander Vikram went incommunicado just minutes before it was to land on the lunar surface. the communication was lost 2 km away from the moon. The lander had hard landed very close to the scheduled touchdown site. On Sunday the orbiter found the lander and clicked images of it in a tilted position but still intact. Though the signals remained elusive, efforts were on to establish communication.
ISRO Chairman K.Shivan announced on the 7th , that 90- 95% of the missions objective has already been achieved. The orbiter will now have a life span of over seven and half years and not a single year as there is still a lot of fuel left. Isro may later decide to lower the orbiters altitude to get better views of the lunar surface.
This mission is a remarkable example of ISRO’s technological sufficiency as it completely depends on home –grown technology.
The launcher used was GSLV Mark III, (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle). The GSLV Mark III is ISRO’s most powerful launcher, often hailed as ‘Bahubali’(The strong armed one).
The orbiter is placed in a 100 x 100 km lunar orbit.
The Lander, Vikram,( named after Vikram A. Sarabhai the father of Indian space program) was designed to execute soft landing on the lunar surface and was supposed to communicate with ISDN (Indian Deep Space Network) at Byalalu, as well as with the orbiter and the rover.
The rover – Pragyan (wisdom in Sanskrit)– was a 6 wheeled robotic vehicle that could travel upto ½ km and use solar energy. It was programed to conduct in–situ payload experiments.
technology and algorithm are all proudly indigenous.
The ISRO and its missions have come a long way from the days when rocket parts were transported using bullock carts. It is a wonderful representative of the will to overcome all underpriviledges and emerge shining. In its ingenuity and self sufficiency, the mission of Chandrayan -2 proudly displays the fact that, as we reach for the moon, our future lies beyond the stars.
“Take up one idea, make that one idea your life. Think of it, dream of it, Live on that idea let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.”
Concentration is a vital aspect of any major achievement, along with consistency and perseverance. Swami Vivekananda, a great patron of humanity, went to America to speak at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1893. There, he met a couple of boys trying to shoot some egg shells blobbing on the river. The boys were unable to hit their targets because of the choppy water. Swami Vivekananda watched their game for a long time. The boys invited him to give it a try. Vivekananda took the air rifle, aimed at the eggshells and shot twelve eggs shells with twelve shots. The boys were amazed, and asked him if he was a professional. Vivekananda surprised them by saying that he had never shot before. He was able to do so because he concentrated, only on his shooting…such is the power of concentration.
is the ability to take the mind off from all distractions and focus it on a
single thing. It helps in increasing the effectiveness and productivity of a
person. Concentration increases with practice. Just as exercise builds up
muscles of the body, similarly, practicing meditation and attention building
techniques will help in improving concentration.
“Meditation can turn fools in to sages but unfortunately fools never meditate.”
method to improve concentration is through meditation. Meditating for
concentration involves closing the eyes and focusing on one single thing. It
maybe your breath, a single sound, or focusing on the centre of the forehead
without letting the mind wander. Meditation should be done initially for a few
minutes and increased with practice.
2) PLACE FOR
for study should be without any audio/visual distractions. The area should be
peaceful and calm. Digital equipments should not be kept in the study room; if
they are required, notes regarding the same must be made and a separate time
must be kept for referring through the digital media. This will ensure that
time allotted for a particular topic is not wasted.
must be made for 30 to 45 minutes time slots. Each time slot must be followed
by a break time of 5 minutes. Some activity like a walk, a snack, listening to
music, or simply taking rest will help in retaining concentration.
We are what we eat. To function efficiently the brain needs a nutritious diet. Drinking plenty of water, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, almonds,walnuts, green tea, dark chocolate, help in improving concentration.
healthy body, lives a healthy mind.’ For developing concentration, it is
important that the brain receives adequate oxygen through blood circulation.
Walking in nature for 30 minutes would ensure a stress free mind and a healthy
body. Keeping in touch with nature helps in relieving tension and brings about
calmness of mind.
In spite of
a busy schedule and a packed time table, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep is a
must to increase efficiency and concentration. Sleep helps in restoring the
memory and relaxing the mind. Sleep also helps in improving the immune system
which is essential for performing well during exams.
plan for every subject and topic is necessary to be able to focus on priority
topics. The plan would help in knowing how much time is available for which
topic. A regular routine and time would train the mind to increase
concentration at that specific time.
various techniques to increase concentration. Like putting a black dot on a
paper and looking at it for 5 minutes at a stretch. Time slots may be increased
with practice. Focusing on a gong or a single sound also helps in increasing
9) THE 5
concentration span the 5 more rule may be followed. Whenever you find that
concentration is wavering and you cannot focus on studies use the five more
rule. It means whatever you are studying or doing, do five more of it.
Gradually the concentration span will increase and you will be able to do a
little more of your work.
leads to distraction. It is important to focus on a single task to get the
maximum output. Whenever you feel like there is something else which is to be
done, write it down in a sheet as a reminder, so that the work can be completed
during the break time. That way the task on hand would be completed and the
other work will also be remembered and completed at a later period.
Attention is like a muscle. The more you use it the better it gets. Training the mind to focus on a single thing helps in greater efficiency and effectiveness. It is better to focus on one thing at a time. To increase interest in a topic glancing through the chapter and the question answers at the end is advisable. You can also go through audio or video uploads of the topic to get an idea of the content. Reward yourself on completion of a task with something you like. Take power naps to boost your concentration and memory. Distractions will occur. Use spider web technique to avoid being distracted. If a spider’s web is stimulated it will attend to the stimuli to see whether an insect has been trapped. If the stimuli is continuous it will not pay attention. Similarly if you train your mind that there will be distractions, and you must ignore them, the mind will cease to be distracted and concentration will increase. Learn to say no to distractions and don’t try to please everyone. When you don’t feel like studying at all and are unable to concentrate, take a break and be kind to yourself, your mind will reward you with better concentration when you need it the most.
“Arise awake and stop not until the goal is achieved.”
Darjeeling, (meaning the land of thunderbolts) is a hill
station in the foothills of the lower Himalayas. Darjeeling is immersed in a beauty
that has mesmerised visitors for time immemorial. Ruling over India, the
British had made Darjeeling the summer capital for its pristine beauty and snow
to visit Darjeeling during February as the winter beauty of Darjeeling leaves
one breathless. The best time to visit this hill station in West Bengal,
(India) is Feb-Mar and Sep-Nov. It is best to avoid visiting during June-July
as the area is prone to landslides during the monsoon.
We took the
Darjeeling mail 10:05pm from Howrah station near Kolkata and reached New
Jalpaiguri station(NJP) at 8:00 am after an overnight journey of 570kms. From NJP
there are two options to reach Darjeeling – 1) The toy train, and 2) By road.
THE TOY TRAIN
The toy train was established in 1881, and is enlisted as one of UNESCO World Heritage sites. A ride in the toy train is one of the unforgettable experiences of one’s life. The panoramic view throughout the ride of the breathtaking hillsides will leave everlasting pictures in the mind. One can visit the Ghoom monastery or enjoy local delicacies in Kurseong while sightseeing. The Batasia loop is a famous railway loop that offers an amazing view of the mountains. It goes around an open air Gorkha memorial, with a beautiful garden.
As we were
not able to purchase tickets for the toy train we booked a SUV for reaching
Darjeeling. There are also buses, shared jeep or vans available from NJP. It
took us 2 h 55 min to reach Darjeeling via Matigara- Kurseong Rd, one can also
go through NH10 which takes 3 h 12 )min.
If you wish
to travel by toy train (diesel engine), it leaves NJP at 9:00am and takes about
7 hours to reach Darjeeling. From Darjeeling to Kurseong steam Engine toy
trains are available.
Darjeeling we stayed at The Darjeeling Tourist lodge which offers a stunning
view of Kanchenjunga. There are heritage hotels like the Windamere, Cedar inn,
Ramada, Hermitage which are upscale hotels and offer a good view of the
Kanchenjunga. There is also numerous mid range and budget hotels and home stays
available. After enjoying a hot lunch and taking some rest, we decided to take
a walk around the Mall.
road is a mountain walkway with serene mountain scenery where one may enjoy a
leisurely morning or evening walk. The Darjeeling mall is a loop of about a kilometre,
starting from Chowrasta going around the Observatory hill and returning to the
mall itself. The mall road is shaded with trees with rhododendrons scattered
along the slopes adding to its beauty. Walking along we saw a huge white
building with a golden dome. It is the Bhanu
bhavan or the Ranga Manch. It is
an auditorium which is used for public functions. Opposite to the Ranga manch
is St. Andrews Church dating back to the British era (1843). The Raj Bhavan
which is the summer residence of the governor of West Bengal is also a landmark
along the mall road. There are three viewing areas on the mall road for viewing
the beauty of Kanchenjunga. We took a stroll along the road while children
enjoyed pony rides. Coming back to the Chowrasta we enjoyed piping hot tea, local
alu bhurji and roasted peanuts.
The walk along
the Mall and shopping at the Chowrasta had made us hungry so we decided on
having dinner at the Glenarys. The Glenary’s is owned by the Edwards family in
Darjeeling and is over 100years old. It has a wonderful Bakery and café and a
restaurant. The food is excellent and view exquisite.
nights rest we woke up in the dark for viewing sunrise from the Tiger hill. We had
booked an SUV for the entire day, which took us to the Tiger Hill which is
about 12 kms from main Darjeeling. We trekked up a little to find that a lot of
tourists had already arrived before us. In the biting chilly morning we enjoyed
steaming Darjeeling brew sold by ladies carrying huge flasks. We were lucky to
have a clear weather, we watched mesmerised as the sun spread its golden rays
in various hues across the majestic Kanchenjunga.
stop was the Ghoom monastery, built in 1850. The clay statue of Buddha was made
with clay brought form Tibet. The two huge lamps are kept burning throughout
the year. The intricate work and paintings are worth watching. There is a
serene spiritual ambience, which leaves a lasting impression in the mind.
The Dali Monastery
the Batasia loop and enjoying the serene view, we went to the Dali Monastery.
The Dali monastery was built in 1971, and is the residence of the supreme head
of the Kargypa sect of Buddhists. The structure and paintings of this monastery
are awesome. The prayer room has five cylindrical golden drums, which elderly
monks were rotating and offering prayers. The chants create a spiritual
atmosphere in which one can immerse oneself.
Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
The 67.56 acre
zoo was made in 1958 at a height of 7,000 feet. The zoo is a breeding centre
for endangered species like Siberian tiger, Himalayan wolf, snow leopard, red
panda. There are about 60 species of orchids and some oak trees are more than
100 years old. All the animals and birds looked bright and healthy in the
natural surroundings. The huge trees and mists floating around created a
After looking around the zoo we went to the
Everest museum situated within the complex of The Himalayan Mountaineering
Institute. The museum displays a chronological history of the attempts on Mt.
Everest. The display starts from 1852 when Radhanath Sikdar measured Mt.
Everest for the first time. It was named after Sir George Everest the then
survey General of India. The personal gears and equipments show how difficult
it was for early climbers to mount the Everest. The equipments of Tenzing
Norgay and Edmund Hillary, the first Everest conquerors are also on display.
Natural History Museum.
Natural History Museum showcases animal and bird life in the Darjeeling hills.
The stuffed animals, fishes and birds looked so fresh that they seemed to be
stop was The Tenzing rock which is a fun place for amateur climbers. A pair of
natural rocks is used for practising climbing. People are assisted as they
climb up and down the rock. It is a great place to boost up your skills as a
rock climber. Although initially it seemed impossible we actually managed the
daunting task with some help.
green tea garden gave us the feel of life in the tea gardens. It is spread over
177 hectares and is situated 3 kms north of Darjeeling. The estate produces
hand rolled tea which is as exquisite as it is expensive. We bought some tea for
ourselves as well as gifts for friends and family.
another popular tourist Destination plying from ‘North Point’ in Darjeeling
town and ‘Singla’ on the banks of the Ramman river. The journey was exciting
and offered us beautiful views of the valleys and hills in Darjeeling.
stop was the Darjeeling Peace Pagoda which is designed to help people around
the world to unite for World Peace. It houses the four avatars of Buddha. It is
situated in the slopes of Jalapahar hills and offers a peaceful and spiritual
surrounding; which the hills, trees and mountain mists enhance. The driver
dropped us at the mall where we enjoyed mouth watering, piping hot momos which
are hard to resist. After a stroll and a lot of shopping of woollen garments,
we wound up for the day.
The stay in
Darjeeling was made even more appetising with the local delicacies like
steaming hot momo and Tibetian Thupka. These are must haves in Darjeeling along
with Darjeeling tea which is low in calorie and high in caffeine giving you
energy to climb the slopes. As we drove down to the plains, the mist covered
mountains seemed to beckon us for another visit.
Why do the corrupt pray so hard? Why do they thrive if they are bad? Why do the good, even if they pray, Hardly ever find their way ? Why are the kind thought to be weak? Why does the world hurt the meek? Why do the cunning always win? In spite of being drowned in sin?
The gentle people of this world; Must speak up for rights and be bold, Take strong stands and fight for right ; Fight for justice, with all their might. Till faith and peace, regains the throne And belief in goodness is reborn.
Thousands lived without love, but none without water.
Water woes My throat was parched, My lips were dry, Water! Water! Was my cry. I squeezed my eyes, Far to see. To find some water, Or find a tree. Not a drop was there, Nor a plant, nor tree. For rivers and forests, Were history.
Water is life. Without water life is not possible. Every living being needs water for survival. We all know that three fourths of the world is covered by water. Of this 97% is found in oceans and salt lakes as saline water , and only 3% of it is sweet water. Most of this sweet water, about 2%, exists in the form of glaciers at the poles ,as perma-frosts, ice-caps, water vapour in the atmosphere as well as soil moisture. That leaves 1% of the earth’s water resources fit for consumption. This water is found on land in forms of rivers, lakes, ponds , wells and as underground water in aquifers. This 1% sweet water is the source of life not only for humans, but for all forms of life that exists on land. Humans have been using this water for ages for cooking, cleaning, washing, bathing as well as for agricultural and industrial use. As long as machines weren’t invented for pumping out water wastage of water was limited. As people had to labour hard to draw water from wells and ponds, they used water judiciously.
With the invention of advanced pumps and drilling machines. Pumping out water has become an easy task. With the press of a button or a switch, water is readily available for use . In cities and towns, the corporations provide water through out the year, so people do not think twice before using, more than the required amount of water. Washing our hands in running water wastes 27 litres of water which can be done with 1 litre water using a mug. If we turn off the tap while soaping our body we save 50 litres of water. Using a bathtub wastes 110 litres of water. Washing cars uses 150 litres of water , which can be minimised to 50 litres using bucket and mug.
Advancement should be actual, not superficial. The water that we are wasting today belongs to the next generation. Depletion of underground water is a harsh reality , that we are ignoring for the present. Most waterbodies are polluted to such an extent that the water is no longer fit for consumption. This includes seas and oceans, where marine animals and creatures are facing extinction due to chemical and plastic pollution.
The glaciers in the mountains, which are the prime source of water for permanent rivers are also melting fast due to global warming. This means that these rivers would also dry up within a decade or two. It would mean that there would be no source of water, either over the ground or underground. Trees would perish due to lack of water and agriculture would be impossible. The coming generations would bear the burnt of the deeds of the present generation. Through exploitation of nature, we are paving the way towards a dreadful future for the generations to come. The children are aware of the adverse effects of the so called development of the present generation. But, being brought up in comfort, they are not equipped for dealing with the impending adverse situations. It is for us to see that our children and living beings at do not suffer due to our irresponsible and callous lifestyle. They would need sweet water , healthy food and fresh air, and bearable atmospheric temperature to survive. Water is the tastiest thing that God has made. Let us save water and be thankful for the best things in life…. Which are always free. Save water , every drop counts.