Scotland of India – Captivating Coorg

“Go where you feel most alive” ..

The “Scotland of India” really invited us and helped build the intention to travel to a place which made us feel “alive”. Clearing the air, the “us” refers to me and my brothers. Yes, we did that epic sibling trip and furthermore you are going to learn about our charming experience at a place which is nestled in the lap of nature in the state of Karnataka.

The touchdown at Mangalore was the most beautiful sight we’d ever seen. Mangalore airport is on the top of a hill with two table top runways, so along with the typical airplane touch down anxiety, there was also an excitement of witnessing this crazy breathtaking location. And ofcourse the cloud gazing was quite an adventure too all because i was not bored at all and my soul was literally flying through the clouds and kissed by the sun.

So, not drifting away we welcomed ourselves to Mangalore with a lavish South Indian breakfast and then started our journey to Coorg. Those grey clouds overhead were a sign of heavy rains and eventually it did rain. So, on the the first day at Coorg we explored “Raja’s Seat” which is a garden of seasonal flowers located on a high level ground with a commanding view over the valley and cliffs. The first night at Coorg was cold and we ended up making it cozy with some Hot Lemon Tea which is a staple beverage of Coorg.

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View from Raja’s Seat, Coorg.

The second day at this charming place and not anticipating how much more beauty was in store, we explored the Omkeshwara Temple, Abbey Falls, Mandalapatti, the Spice Market and lastly the Beeticad Estate’s Coffee and Pepper plantations.

Abbey Falls was quite a spectacular scene to behold. The magnificent waterfall cascading down from 70 feet is located between private coffee plantations with stocky coffee bushes and spice estates with trees entwined with pepper vines. This waterfall gave out a hip happy and soulful feeling.

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Abbey Falls, Coorg.

Mandalpatti was a perfectly fascinating experience. To get to Mandalpatti, we had to take an off road jeep ride which was completely enthralling. This off road journey was completely worth for the view that was coming our way. It was an amphitheater view of the cliffs from the top and the calmness that was there made us forget what city life is.

Later that afternoon, we treated ourselves with authentic traditional Coorg food at “Coorg Cuisine” because as a part of every travel itinerary trying traditional food of every place we go to is a must hence this. The food did good justice to our taste buds and we came out happier than ever. After that we shopped for Pepper and Cloves at the Spice Market and then leading our way to the Beeticad Estate. Here, we did a tour of the entire estate amongst the coffee and pepper plantations.

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Entwined Pepper Vines over a tree at Beeticad Estate.

Coffee Arabica Plant(left). Coffee Estate, Beeticad (right)

On the third day, we visited the Namdroling Monastery in Bylakuppe (a place in the district of Mysore).

Since we were visiting the Tibetan Monastery, we had to try the Tibetan food at a place called “Potala Kitchen” where we had the experience of one of the best Tibetan food and come on, who isn’t happy with good food around? After a good lunch we visited the Namdroling Monastery which is a house to upto 5000 lamas (monks and nuns) and also the largest teaching center to the Nyingma lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

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Namdroling Monastery, Bylakuppe, Mysore, Karnataka.

So that was quite what we did in Coorg. Now certainly everyone travels to places with a reason, for some it is rejuvenation, for some just pure leisure, for some it could be work. Well, for me it was rejuvenation and that I could learn something from this trip. So, what did I learn?

  • Find your wild, embrace it, love it and let it kill you.
  • Gazing at nature, clouds and all the beautiful things in life is never a waste of time. Except food because you got to eat it.
  • To achieve complete ecstasy in life you have to travel to the summit even if it is at the cost of your time and energy because who would know maybe that is where you would find your wild. JUST KEEP GOING!
  • Maybe you have not been everywhere but it should always be on your list.
  • Lastly, I traveled with all of my heart, it did leave me speechless but here I am, a storyteller, narrating each moment word by word.

Adventures and traveling is the best way to learn and trust me you won’t be able to get enough of it.

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Checkmate!

Chess is probably the only game that has no element of second chance in it, life is kind of like that too. Wouldn’t you agree? Why would we say that chess is a metaphor for life..

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Lets say that the 16 white pieces of the Chess are yours and its ‘You’ who is directing and deciding each move while the 16 black pieces on the other side is ‘The Dark Side’ of life; say the biases, the temptations and all the uncertainties.

Interpreting the existence of each piece:

The Queen: Being the power of nature and reflecting the light of the King, the Queen represents your long term life goals. A good game shall happen only when you focus well on your long term goals. Also, there is absolutely no point in playing the game without the Queen. How do you go through life without making goals? They are just dreams with deadlines, just don’t forget to reach to them.

The King: This piece is your greatest asset. Your character, your deeper self and the divine spark within you. The most powerful yet the most vulnerable to attack. Just like our thoughts. Thought creates character. And well sometimes character is higher than the intellect. A great soul shall live long and think strong.

The Pawns and The Rooks:  In everyone’s life there are assets that play a role, a role smaller or greater but vital enough to mark its existence. For some, Time is one such asset that is loved, cared and used well. Similarly there is health, family, education, art that leaves its own sweet mark on an individuals life. Generally, Pawns are the ones that help you grow, lead your way through life without turning back and once you are there on the other end, you shall transform in the Queen. Whereas the Rook takes only the straight path. Sometimes we tend to take the road that is comfortable to us, we seldom hatch a plan and stick to it. We don’t want to be thrown off or get unsuccessful and find something for ourselves that sets our life well. It is to be pondered upon that straight paths only take us so far and sometimes it may call for us to venture down a side road and see what is in store.

The Bishop: Staying on their own color throughout the game, these pieces could be on the other side at this instance and suddenly back in its own block. Life is full of uncertainties, unexpected things can happen. Just as quickly as people come into your life, they can be gone in a heartbeat. So while they are there; make the most of those moments.

The Knight: This one can make moves even which the Queen can’t. Its got the power, the madness and the tag underdog. And this is the secret to their success. So, tell me are you the Knight of your life?

 

Continuing with the game board, what if ‘The Dark Side’ invades ‘You’? Are you finished? That is where the hero steps in, that is the forethought. The right foresight and the thought shall take you really far because the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and most importantly the correct one. Since you are the one with the white pieces and you get make your first move, think smart and think right because in life and chess there are no take backs.

Eventually to win chess or the game of life, you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with knowledge and insight. You may never really know when you are winning or losing until you keep learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way. To be the smart ‘You’ and not let the dark side invade you, you have to be each and every piece within the game called life which shall lead you to a definitive victory. But you shall learn much from defeat too. Because,

“In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.”
– Issac Asimov.

YOU.

“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
– William Shakespeare.

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Have you created a narrative of yourself in your head, of your life events? If not, do you know that this is the one and only most important and influential things in your life that can make all the difference! De-coding what Shakespeare has said, you exactly know what you are but do you know what you could be? If you acknowledge what mistakes you’ve made and what difficulties you’ve faced and seek redemption, you’ll feel a much greater sense of agency over your life.

What is the soul of a human made of? Too heavy of a question to be answered? I’ll make it really simple for you. It is all the roads that you’ve walked on in your life or the books that you’ve read, all the breeze that has gently touched your face or the songs that are stuck in your head, all the smiles that you’ve witnessed around, all the tears that have rolled down your cheek and all that you’ve wiped off others’. Your soul is is a combination of all the things that has touched your life and been with you.

So, do we ponder often enough on the things that have been a part and parcel of our lives? Many of us might not even realize who we are because we don’t go through the pain trails or just the trails. They say that one should never go back to the places that didn’t give you enough smiles and just tears. But hey, why not just walk there to pick up some goodies and get back with happy feet? It is easier said than done, but then you have the most powerful weapon in the world and nothing can stop you from using it and conquering the world. That’s your ferociously beautiful mind. Its actually all in the mind. Trust me, the sky is not the limit, your mind it. What you give power to, has power over you. Always remember, you might be poor and your clothes might be torn and tattered but your mind is a palace 🙂

So now tell me, who really are you? ❤

The world wants you to be vanilla.

What comes to your mind when i say V-A-N-I-L-L-A. The vanilla orchids, the sweet smelling flat leaved vanilla, the scintillating vanilla essence, vanilla custard, vanilla latte or just plain white and snowy vanilla ice cream? What out of all these options did you think of, something that made your mouth water; something like vanilla custard. That same vanilla custard with chocolate mousse and cherries on top. Or did you think of plain vanilla ice cream that you are gobbling down.

Accelerating on the thought of vanilla custard, you see there is so much to that dessert in comparison to the plain white and snowy vanilla ice cream. The vanilla custard with chocolate mousse and then lots of cherries on top. See how it makes you feel? There is just so much to this vanilla custard. Whereas not that much to the snowy vanilla ice cream.

Welcoming this analogy, to probably guide yourself to life we come to the part “The world wants you to be vanilla”. The people around you shall always push you to be the snowy looking plain vanilla, same as everyone else and eventually it is totally up to you if you want to stand out and be the rich tempting flavorsome vanilla custard or the plain vanilla. I’m sure you must be wondering what it is to be the full of flavor custard. I’ll fill in the gaps for you.

Be completely unapologetic about who you are, comfortable in your perfect imperfection, a good person but never waste your time in proving it to the world. You are just as wonderful as the lip smacking vanilla custard or double chocolate chip ice cream with gummy bears and tangerine zests sprinkled over it; just how you like it. Once you’ve decided what you should be, strive to achieve that  because that is exactly why your soul was put on this Earth for. Find the truth, live that truth and you shall never hear someone saying there should have been more cherries on the custard. One of the greatest challenges in this life is being “yourself” and being accepted that way in a world that is trying to make you like everyone else. Every change is a challenge and if you take that leap of faith, you’d be at the top of the world. And trust me, from the top the view is beautiful 🙂

Just be yourself, let people witness the fabulous, quirky, weird magical person you are. Be unstoppable and go grab that custard and instill it in yourself before the world tags you to be a plain vanilla ice cream cone.

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Summer, oh summer!

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Days seem like a marathon run, so exhaustive. We rarely have any time to breathe in the fresh air, let alone the drama around and deal with the crying campers. Also keeping our standards high and achieving a perfect dark tan, because what else does summer have to offer? Oh wait, lots of things! 🙂

Looking at the sunny side of everything, I have been noticing people a lot these days. People and their different kind of energy. People and not just an individual are used to the intense pressure and achieving the “good grades” but we all know that there is a difference between the good graders and those who are smart. Unboxing it, the smarties focus on the learning and well the good graders have a piece of paper justifying their grades. Now, tell me whats good enough? 

Summer : “Everyday you do something better than the day before.” People strive to be talented in whatever they do in order to accomplish their goal. But what is actually accomplishment of your goal? Here too, there are two kinds. One, living for the compliments and the other for the accomplishments. Its okay if you fall; fall once or even twice. But, it is important that you get up after that fall and walk towards your goal. Just let the passion, faith and hard work in you keep you going. 

“Summer’s filled with breaking the rules, standing apart, ignoring your head and following your heart.” Self confidence is one of the most attractive qualities one can have. Why? Because if you cannot see your own greatness, how do your expect someone else to see it? So, while the sun shines so brightly, quit being like the rest of them and break all the rules effectively and confidently but trusting your gut instinct because that baby of yours can never go wrong. 

SO,
“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair and let us huddle together as darkness takes over. We are at home amidst the birds and the trees, for we are children of nature.
– Susan Polis Schutz. 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness (n) :
The state of being Happy.
Happy(n) :
Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
Four words, easily described what happiness is. So, are you in that state of being? Do you feel or show the pleasure of contentment? Lets find out maybe?
How do you feel about this life? Do you wake up every morning, look out of your window and smile while the sun shines at you? No, that probably just happens in movies. Does waking up make you jump out of the bed thinking “I am going to conquer it all today”. Well, this does happen with me. If you aren’t a part of this league then its okay because to be joyous and grateful, you need to go through pain. So good things are just round the corner.
So, this life. What is this life all about?

This four letter world has a lot hidden behind it, in it. It is actually how you make it, how you want it to be, how you fight it and how you embrace it. If you dream about a life where you want to wake up with a smile through the shining sun, get your perfect coffee brewed; ready to conquer the world, you will. You will do it all! Why? Because that is your state of being and that is what makes you happy. This way you shall spread happiness wherever you go and get that feeling of pleasure and contentment.

Walking through your perfect dream, you will encounter quite a few hurdles and park walks, let it not stop you from going ahead. If you stop, you shall lose your state of being and we don’t want that, do we? You and only you have to build your own path and also make sure that you keep the dirt off. Sometimes, you will have to do things for the audience, who might be self centered and illogical but always love your audience. The good you do today, might be forgotten tomorrow, I say do it anyway. Let nothing in life stop you. Always remember to not compromise on your state of being and you’ll never leave any stone unturned.

We seldom meet people who are always Happy, no matter what. Its not cause they have the best of everything but they make the best of everything. Make each little part of you life “Happy”. Call each moment as the happy moment because this pursuit of happiness is a chase of lifetime. You have to participate in the event of your own blessings then only you shall achieve that dream, that state of being and everything. But if you lax over what you have achieved, you’ll find your self just slowly moving towards that road, being laughed at, made fun of and the worst part will be that you will not be able to do anything about it. Everything that glitters isn’t always going to be gold but just don’t stop in your pursuit of happiness. Your state of being, your feeling of pleasure and contentment is at the summit and once you get the glitter, it all is going to be good.

Just don’t forget to be happy, the reason will come along on its own. ❤

The woman – Chaos makes her beautiful.

Who is a woman?

The real architect of the society. The hero of her own life. The one who looks at challenges straight into the eye and gives it a wink. Someone so determined, you cannot underestimate the power of. Someone who let goes her inhibitions, pushes her boundaries, explores her limitations, finds what stimulates her and says “watch me”. So, to keep it simple, a woman is someone that amazes.


As you become more clear about who you really are, you’ll be better able to decide what is best for you – the first time around.
– Oprah Winfrey
Every woman needs to know, understand, gulp down and adapt to the fact that she is capable of the whole purpose-driven-warrior-princess-save-the-world type of vibe. She isn’t someone who’d get lost in fire but instead is made from fire; call her the Phoenix because she exactly knows how to resurrect. You may put her down seven times but she’ll stand up eighth. She is surely a breathtaking mosaic of the battles she’s won. She clearly knows that in the test of life, in the battles she fights, in the ups and the downs, while climbing the mountain her legs are going to get stronger and stronger and stronger.
So on this day, that’s women’s day.. wait but why do we celebrate this day? Any clues?
A day celebrated to honor women and their achievements, throughout history and across nations. This day is an opportunity, a day in the calendar to celebrate the remarkable contribution of women in our society. It is no group in particular but just various organizations, governments, societies coming together and rejoicing the phenomenally phenomenal woman, and yes that’s her. Look around you, your sweetest sister or your feisty girlfriend. Your caring mother or your over-pampering grandmother all are those women that have made the difference. You are blessed, because she is both fierce and magnificent.

Yes, she is magnificent. She is the Kalpana Chawla soaring through space or Mother Teresa full of compassion and dedication. She is the Anne Frank writing a diary in the attic or Rihanna singing her way through Umbrella when life is raining on her. She could be Maria Sharapova owning her game or Malala Yousufzai surviving the Taliban. OR she could be just HER. Name it and she’ll be that, have it, conquer it and achieve it. She is the woman, the free soul, the mighty phoenix and the everything. Remember, she is the diamond and you can’t break her.

Picture Courtesy: Nen Photography