Chapter 2.0 : Creative Content Writer

Chapter 2.0 : Creative Content Writer

After a month long hiatus, am back with a post, not just as a blogger but as a creative content writer for an amazing adventure travel company adventuresindbad.

Here’s the story of the start of this new chapter, my learnings and my writings.

My foray into the blogosphere was primarily driven by my love to write, about issues and topics that interested me or I had an opinion on, also, I had wanted to build a platform to gauge my skills or to improve it. So, thanks to all my readers for some amazing positive feedbacks, I decided to give a shot at content writing and posted in Sheroes, and am glad that my first prospective employer took the chance, let me weave stories befitting the beautiful photographs of his travel in the Western Himalayas. The travel bug in me got excited at the prospects and the past month has been a journey of words through the amazing land of Ladakh, India’s very own shangri-la.

The very first write up is photowalk of the trek to the 6000+m Mt. Stok Kangri. I am really excited to share the first 10 of the 30 photographic travel series.

I just hope that all my fellow bloggers and the readers take this as an expression of my passion, a pinboard for my writings and nothing else.

www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ From today we will be posting the Stok Kangri Climb series taking you along our acclimatization walk and climb to the summit of Stok Kangri in Ladakh – a peak which has become the common man's Everest over the years. ⠀ ⠀ The lung ta prayer flags at Matho La Pass symbolises the balance of natural elements as one views the Stok Kangri Peak(6153m)⠀ ⠀ For the adventure enthusiast, seeking a High Altitude Mountain summit, Stok Kangri Climb offers a surmountable challenge as it is one of the ‘Highest Trekkable summit’ in the Indian Himalayan Range. The trek of its steep slopes tests the physical tenacity and resilience of the trekker and not their mountaineering/climbing skills. The craze of the Stok Kangri is fuelled by this achievability. A short 40 mins to an hour's drive from Leh, its ease of reach is an added advantage for the trekkers. The entire trekking expedition is wrapped up in 9-10 days, the first few days it is necessary to get acclimatised to high altitude and rarefied oxygen in order to avoid AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). For the acclimatised, the trekking exercise – reaching the base camp (3 -4 days of trekking) followed by the attempt to reach the Summit and the final descent (1 day) just about takes 5-6 days.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://buff.ly/2pHdEwu⠀ ⠀ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #ladakh #leh #ladakhdiaries #stokkangri #stokrange #stok #climb

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The Matho Gonpa – Standing tall overlooking the Indus and the Matho Village, enveloped by the deep gorges of the Zanskar Range.⠀ ⠀ The Trek to Stok Kangri starts from the Matho Village, adjacent to the Stok village. The trek is along a small trail on the side the Matho Chu river, which is primarily a Shepherd’s trail. The trek to Matho la is a preparatory trek to get acclimatized to the high altitude of 4900m, the same as the Stok Basecamp. It helps Adventure Sindbad trekkers to reach the Stok base camp with better temperament and physical readiness needed for the Summit night. The first day is a short trek of 2-3 hours, and then resting at the campsite next to the Matho chu river. A visit worthy site is the Matho Monastery en route the Matho la (pass) and for the culturally inclined, the monastery is home to a 600-year-old Buddhist painting on cotton or silk called Thangkas which are elaborately detailed. Also popular for the Oracle Matho Nagrang Festival, it is celebrated to welcome the oracle spirit god "Rongstan" who inhabits the body of the monks, and through a ritualistic dance foretells the events that would play in the life of the Ladakhi people in the year that follows. ⠀ ⠀ It is befitting to start the Stok Kangri trek from this temple of spirituality, a place to surrender the Ego and Be humbled. For the trek to the summit is not a conquest but a submission to Nature's Magnanimity.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://buff.ly/2p0wBey⠀ ⠀ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASstokkangri #ladakh #leh #ladakhdiaries #stokkangri #stokrange #stok #climb

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The ascent to Gangpoche from Matho Chu campsite, takes us through arid, sun-scorched slopes of the Matho Valley that reflect off a beige sandlike hue.⠀ ⠀ The next leg of the trek takes us across many small streams and through vegetation of willow and sea-buckthorn shrubs, leading to a steep slope, from where it is an hour to hour and a half trek. This stretch of beige, sand like hue of the mountains is the first of the many hues the trekkers get to see throughout. This steep ascent flattens out to the vast expanse of the Gangpoche – the next campsite.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://buff.ly/2pLOzPa⠀ ⠀ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com . . . . . #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #ladakh #incredibleladakh #aridlands #colddesert #summer #trekking #Himalaya #adventuretravel #matho #yolo #optoutdoors #laceup #getout #livetotrek #livethelifeofyourdreams #bluejackets #trekker #dry #sunscorched #tripoto #picoftheday #lonelyplanetindia #natgeoindia #stokkangritrek #landofbuddha #stunningview #solo

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The Aurora Borealis of the Himalayan mountain range, as seen from the immensely vast expanse of flat land that is Gangpoche.⠀ ⠀ The burst of purple with patches of green reminds us of the Northern lights (Aurora Borealis). There is a dance of colours, a feast for the eyes of the trekkers who climbed up the barren slopes. Gangpoche campsite offers an astounding view of the various mountain range surrounding it. The grounds of Gangpoche are dotted by the stone enclosures called 'Doksa' that the shepherds put up to safeguard themselves and livestock against the unforgiving cold of the mountains during the night. At crack of dawn, the shepherds take their sheep and goats to the higher areas of the mountains for fresh grazing lands and only return at dusk to their Doksa. Apart from the domesticated livestock, chances of sighting a 'Bharal'- a blue sheep, are many in the campsite of Gangpoche.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ ⠀⠀ Talk to an expert⠀⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #ladakh #incredibleladakh #summer #trekking #himalayan #adventuretravel #india_gram #nofilter #hiking👣 #tripoto #lonelyplanetindia #cntravelerindia #instagood #coloursplash #shepherdsofinstagram #arid #auroraborealis #naturetrail #indiashutterbugs #ig_india #earthpix #_soi #aridlands #instaventure #mountainlife #bluesheep

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ The shepherdess of Gangpoche, is distinctly recognizable by their hard sunburned exterior and the warmth of kindness in their eyes!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ At the Gangpoche campsite, the trekkers get to taste a bit of the local lifestyle, that of the shepherds and their families. The women stay back at the Doksa, taking charge of their homes and family. Although shy to speak, they are courteous and invite trekkers to enjoy a cup or two of the 'butter chai' – a salty buttery tea, the salt helps with altitude sickness, and the butter is to avoid chapped lips :). If possible, we should not forgo the chance to savour some of the local dairy products like fresh goat milk, Chupri (cheese from Yak's milk). Also, not be missed is Chhaang – the local brew, made from barley. ⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ ⠀⠀ Talk to an expert⠀⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #ladakh #hiking👣#india_gram #tripoto #adventuretravel #humansofladakh #picoftheday #ig_india⠀⠀ #nofilter #shepherdess #kind #warmth #hardlife #chasethedream #locals #cntravelerindia #instagood #beinghuman #mountainlife #atpeace #himalaya #storiesofindia #homeawayfromhome

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ Morning at the Gangpoche campsite is the time to 'soak up the sun' before the day's activities begin!⠀ ⠀ Adding patches of colour to the landscape is the ensemble of camps and the campers. The small white tent is of the Horsemen's, the big military green tent is usually the kitchen or dining tent, and the rest of the colourful ones are the camper's tent. The morning at the campsite is a hustle and bustle, very uncharacteristic to the mountains. The campers pack up their tents for their next stretch of the trek, the kitchen party serving them some tea/coffee, untethered horses and mules grazing and waiting by the Kitchen tent for some leftover veggies and their skins, are all part of the commotion in an otherwise quite plateau region. The Adventure Sindbad trekkers move forward to cross the Matho La, and descend towards Swankormo or Yuruley.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at  http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #ladakh #hiking #hikinggram #morningcoffee #soakupthesun #india_gram #tripoto #adventuretravel #picoftheday #ig_india #lonelyplanetindia #greenmeadows #quechua #campsite ⠀ #nofilter #cntravelerindia #instagood #mountainlife #himalaya #storiesofindia #horses #indiaclicks #lifeinthemountains #altitudetrekking #folkgood #underthestars #sustainability

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ From the arid plateau of the Gangpoche campsite, to the juniper shrubbery, the terrain contrasts as we walk along a not-so-difficult slope to cross the Matho La(4900m) ⠀ Adventure Sindbad trekkers walk on to their next pit stop with their heaving back packs and trekking poles. This leg of the trek is not a steady steep slope but is a less taxing gradient which can be covered within 4 hours. The descent after crossing the famed 'high pass' of Matho La at 4900m surely culminates with a prize that gratifies the tired soul of the trekker.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #ladakh #hiking #hikinggram #india_gram #tripoto #adventuretravel #picoftheday #ig_india #lonelyplanetindia #campsite #nofilter #cnn travelerindia #instagood #mountainlife #himalaya #seabuckthorn #_soi #wilderness #walkaway #natgeoindia #travelgram #wanderlust #inthewild #incredibleindiaofficial #decathlon #camelbak #liveoutdoors

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The prize at Matho La is an astounding and breathtaking view of the Stok Range. We truly comprehend the comparison of Mountains to obstacles in our life. For climbing one or overcoming the other, leads to a view so spectacular even an atheist would exclaim – Oh! My God!⠀ ⠀ We get to view all the hues and shades of the various mountains in the Stok Range (Stok Kangri is not seen) from Matho La. The brown with green merging into greys and the white of the snow-crested peaks is a sight to behold not only with CMOS sensor but also to be etched in our memory. Adventure Sindbad trekkers get to see the actual silhouette of shadows that the clouds cast on the Mountain ranges. It is not that often a city dweller gets to view an expansive layout as such to observe them.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #travelwithus #ladakh #ladakhdiaries #heavenly #OMG #stokkangri #lonelyplanetindia #cntravellerindia #natgeoindia #incredibleindiaofficial #instaclick #ig_india #Passionpassport #earthpix #tripoto #picoftheday #folkgood #photographersofindia #_soi #travelgram #canon #canonpowershot #nikon #nikon5300 #landscapephotography #pictureperfect #magnificent #hikingculture

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The Matho La(4900m) is adorned by the Wind horse prayer flags, strung onto a pile of rocks – a rudimentary Chorten (Stupa). The wind that flutters the flags is believed to carry the prayers of compassion and wisdom to the people in the valleys. Hence most high passes and summits of mountains are adorned with prayer flags.⠀ ⠀ Matho La (La-pass) is like a horse saddle – that allows movement of people and animals through the mountains. The passes are the lowest points of passage in the mountains. The significance of the passes is highlighted by the presence of the stone Stupa (Chorten) believed to symbolise the 3 aspects of enlightenment – compassion, wisdom and power. The prayer flags colours also symbolise a similar aspect of Buddhism. The five colours – yellow (earth), green (water), red (fire), white (wind) and blue (space) stand for the 5 basic elements and their balance needed to attain enlightenment. For the dog lovers, the powerful Tibetan Mastiffs are the local shepherd dogs, which sometimes follow the camping party for the leftovers they offer before returning back to their masters.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ ⠀ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #stok #ladakh #ladakhdiaries #ladakhdiaries #prayerflags #tibetanmastiff #windy #Buddhism #enlightenment #peace #compassion #wisdom #hiking #hikinggram #indiaclicks #canon #canonpowershot #nikon #nikonD90 #lonelyplanetindia #natgeoindia #cntravellerindia #stupa #mountaineering #ig_india #_soi #wanderlust #caravan

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www.adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ The (almost) unstoppable horse train kicking up the dust along the descending slopes leading to Yuruley.⠀ ⠀ A common sight and a joy to watch on the slopes of the Ladakhi Mountains are the horse caravans, lugging camping equipment, kitchen items, trekkers luggage and various other climbing gear that support and help sustain the trekkers through ascent and back.⠀ ⠀ The first to break camp and leave are the Adventure Sindbad trekkers with their backpacks along with the trip leader and an assistant. Rest of the crew (the kitchen staff, camp boys and helpers) load up the horses and lead the horse caravan. They usually and always catch up to the trekking party, who would have to make way for the caravan lest they get engulfed by the dust. The caravan and the crew accustomed to the terrain walk faster and reach the next campsite at Yuruley. They set up camp, ready to welcome the trekkers to the homes that the shelters have become.⠀ ⠀ Adventure Sindbad has a fixed departure to Stok Kangri between Aug 23rd to Sep 2nd, 2017. More details at http://www.adventuresindbad.com/adventures/stok-kangri-climb/ Talk to an expert⠀ +91-9886022521 | info@adventuresindbad.com⠀ ⠀ #adventuresindbad #ASStokkangri #stokkangri #stok #ladakh #ladakhdiaries #hiking #hikinggram #indiaclicks #canon #canonpowershot #lonelyplanetindia #natgeoindia #cntravellerindia #mountaineering #ig_india #_soi #wanderlust #caravan #horses #travelwithus #incredibleindiaofficial #instaclick #Passionpassport #earthpix #tripoto #picoftheday #folkgood #horsecaravan #mountaincolours

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Walnut Stores – India’s Smart Grocery Store.

Walnut Stores – India’s Smart Grocery Store.

I was using Namma Metro after a long time and was taking the ride back to Byappanahalli from Trinity. There I saw the stall of ‘Walnut Stores“, I was pleasantly surprised by its presence there. The surprise was not because it was a novel way to shop for groceries, but more so for the parallels, I drew immediately with another such shopping idea from a different country – Korea.

Some time back, not sure how long, I had seen a video that was shared on Whatsapp about how the people taking the subways had a virtual store presented on the walls of the subway platforms. They looked like the regular store racks that displayed food items to scale. And while one is waiting to board the train, they could scan the respective QR codes for the food and grocery items, add them to the cart, pay for it and it gets delivered just after one reaches home.

home-plus

This was done by TESCO in Korea, which rebranded itself to HomePlus and brought on this novel way to shop to increase their sales no’s without actually opening any new physical stores. They became #1 online store and came a close 2nd in the offline market.

I had thought of this as a very unique and an innovative idea. And someday would find its place in India as well. And this is what was so pleasantly surprising for me.

 

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Stock photo

 

The Stall was full of little pockets that held staples in handful quantities and a QR code next to them. They mainly displayed staples like rice, dals, pulses, cereals.  An added Ah-ahh moment was that they haven’t just displayed staples but actual staples, that one could touch and feel, to gauge its quality before buying. I just smiled to myself thinking that the novel style has arrived in our own country.

The story behind the Walnut stores is detailed in a post by Indiannewz. Their main claim-to-fame is that most of their staples are sourced directly from the farm. They only deal with staples and dry fruits. They have stayed clear of easily perishable fruits and vegetables and no FMCG or packaged food items.

I haven’t yet tried the store but would like to shop once at least, to extend support to a novel idea.

Note: Photos courtesy 123rf.com, adsoftheworld.com

 

A Sky full of Stars, A Heavenly View!

A Sky full of Stars, A Heavenly View!

images (30)In Chris Martin’s Voice – “A Sky full of stars” takes you through the ebb and flow of emotions one feels gazing at the night sky!!

 

 

This post is inspired and written in response to IndiSpire Edition 164:

Indispire edition 164

Each of us,  the young, the young-at-hearts and the ever-young have a connection to the night sky. There is a magic in viewing the night sky, scattered with stars and for the more involved – the constellations they make. Amazing glitterati in the backdrop of a clear black sky! Is a sight to behold and takes you away into a different realm, even if it is only for few moments. Continue reading “A Sky full of Stars, A Heavenly View!”

First Engineering and Then What Else?

First Engineering and Then What Else?

A question to all the engineers out there – Were you passionate about the subject of engineering, much before you pursued it as an education?

How many of you took to engineering coz;

  • You liked the idea of doing engineering.
  • It was the proven success path to a well-earning job
  • It was the only thing you knew you could pursue apart from medicine, for that respectable career path

And, how many of you took to engineering coz;

  • More than interest, there was love to make things work and build systems.
  • A natural problem solver wanted to learn how all things worked. Actually get down to the nitty gritty’s.

Continue reading “First Engineering and Then What Else?”

The Experience of Reading!

The Experience of Reading!

A good part of my childhood was spent in reading, mostly the weekly library books which included children tales, bedtime stories and fables. The knowledge series – tell me why and the World book encyclopaedia. I just loved to read, it didn’t matter to me whether it was just information gathering, learning how something worked, why something was, or the history of our civilisations or books with a lot of illustrations that retold stories that I already knew.  I would read just about everything, and so these books and stories have intertwined themselves into a visceral memory of my childhood and the particularities of an individual book, that I could say- was my first is lost in the labyrinth of titles! Continue reading “The Experience of Reading!”

Music – The Science and Memories!

Music – The Science and Memories!

Music- All of us love music, it is an indisputable fact. All of us love different kinds of music. Our playlists could give insights into our personality, to someone carefully going through it. Music has a special place in lives and we have rejoiced our happiness, celebrated our success, found solace at some of our worst times, channelled our angst and helplessness through music. There is a song for every occasion.

So what is the science behind this effect of music in our lives? Research  ” reveals how wide networks in the brain, including areas responsible for motor actions, emotions, and creativity, are activated during music listening”. Listening to your favourite music releases neurotransmitter – Dopamine the ‘motivational molecule’ (laughter also releases this) and listening to live music, or playing music with others releases Oxytocin the ‘trust molecule’ in our brain. Professional musicians brain scan reveals a more symmetrical brain and thicker corpus callosum – the band of nerve fibres that enables communication between brains hemispheres.  For more facts on how music affects our brain visit bebrainfit.

What is more amazing is that one would never forget to play an instrument, just like one can never forget to ride a bike after they have learnt it. I kinda witnessed it this afternoon, at my neighbour’s. They had an expensive keyboard tucked away in a corner and on asking, I came to know that their son had won the top prize in his school for playing a Bollywood number. After much cajoling, he did play the starting few notes to the song, it was as if his fingers knew where to go. It had been more than 5 years since he last played. This made me wonder, what makes us not forget.

Excerpts from human-memory.net, explains how the memory of learning to play an instrument like guitar or piano, embeds itself as a muscle memory. So one can always start playing a tune from the procedural memory, just vaguely at first and after a little practice to playing the song completely.

Long-term memory is often divided into two further main types: explicit (or declarative) memory and implicit (or procedural) memory.

Declarative memory (“knowing what”) is memory of facts and events, and refers to those memories that can be consciously recalled (or “declared”). It is sometimes called explicit memory, since it consists of information that is explicitly stored and retrieved, although it is more properly a subset of explicit memory. Declarative memory can be further sub-divided into episodic memory and semantic memory.

Procedural memory (“knowing how”) is the unconscious memory of skills and how to do things, particularly the use of objects or movements of the body, such as tying a shoelace, playing a guitar or riding a bike. These memories are typically acquired through repetition and practice, and are composed of automatic sensorimotor behaviours that are so deeply embedded that we are no longer aware of them. Once learned, these “body memories” allow us to carry out ordinary motor actions more or less automatically. Procedural memory is sometimes referred to as implicit memory, because previous experiences aid in the performance of a task without explicit and conscious awareness of these previous experiences, although it is more properly a subset of implicit memory.

Also, anterograde amnesia effects only the declarative memory and not the procedural memory. So even an amnesiac could play an instrument even when they have completely forgotten all other information related to the who they are. An article talks about how the musical ability and the musical memory of a British Conductor were intact, even after he had contracted a brain infection that left him with a memory span of only 10 seconds.

Another aspect of music is the nostalgia it brings with it, Christopher Bergland writes in psychology today about the clear vivid memories that a favourite song evokes of faces, emotions and locations. A study conducted shows that music can elicit strong responses from people with Alzheimer’s disease. ” A piece of familiar music serves as a soundtrack for a mental movie that starts playing in our head. It calls back memories of a particular person or place, and you might all of a sudden see that person’s face in your mind’s eye” says the author Petr Janata, associate professor of psychology at UC Davis’ Center for Mind and Brain.

The first time I heard 91.1 FM radio city in Bangalore, the first private radio channel. It was a song from the movie “Fiza” and the memory of what I was doing at the moment and the joy I felt listening to it for the first time on Radio, is forever etched in my mind.  Sharing a pair of earphones and listening to Lenny Kravitz’s ‘Again’ on our sony walkman phone in the college canteen. That is always gonna be with me. On a bad day, within the first few days of starting work caught between missing the care free days of college and standing on the threshold of adulthood, remember listening to Rammstein’s “Nebel” and just feeling lighthearted. I definitely remember all the concerts. Conversation with friends and the emotions felt during a concert all are still clearly visible. An acapella group singing Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal”  in ‘The Sunday Jam’ and the happy gratitude one of member showed to me for being ‘such an enthusiastic listener’. The song ” Ennodo Nee Irundhal” from movie ‘I’ was the lullaby for my son for many days, humming it to ask for it.  The first song a special someone sang for me “Vennilave” from ‘Minsara Kanavu’ over long distance call, make up for some unforgettable memories.

Music is magical. Keep listening and keep living and loving!!!

Summer’s here: what cha gonna be doing?

Summer’s here: what cha gonna be doing?

The countdown to Summer holidays has started. Although it is for the kids, am sure, parents also wait for them just as eagerly. No school for another 2 months!

Aint that awesome! It’s two months of no studying and lots of play, of vacations and trips, of summer movies, of visiting family in different cities or within the city. Summer is all about being in the sun, hanging with the friends and eating everything cool and chilled!

For those families with both parents working, it’s either leaving the kid at the grandparents or having them attend Fun Summer activities.

And a little search online gives a plethora of options for kids and toddlers aged 2-15. From the basic, general learning, arts and crafts, music and dance, there is enhanced learning with robotics, Vedic maths, learning through experiments, a hands-on approach to science. There are the various sports like football and swimming. Nature and outdoors activities like adventure camps that take kids out for a hike, spending a day or two outdoors observing nature, the animals and also learning photography. Dramatics and theater camps. For all those interested in cooking and helping your budding chef, there are various camps that teach baking cupcakes, fixing little snacks for themselves. Do check out the buzzingbubs site for all the summer camp activities near you.

Although, these camps are good for kids to spend their holidays in constructive ways. They should also be having an unorganised holiday  – hanging with the extended family, bonding with cousins, making new friends through cousins, just hanging around with grandparents in the kitchen, in the garden, spending time with them helping with their activities. To hang with friends, without any agenda as to how the day would go, making up games and activities. Picking up some house chores. Time for self-exploration. And most importantly, learning to deal with boredom.

Boredom, kids need to learn to keep themselves occupied, even if it is just gazing into empty space, throwing a ball at the wall, make-believe play, holidays are the right time to learn that fun can be achieved without spending money!

How many of us lament, that our children don’t enjoy their childhood like we did, How holidays meant being on the streets, playing what-not – chuchand and laggori, playing hide-and-go-seek, statue, hopscotch to name a few, Cycling all day long within a defined perimeter, hopping from one house to another, showing up at home only for meals and if there are generous neighbours, then not even turning up for lunch.  Summer meant just hanging out on someone’s compound wall, talking nonsense and sometime being scared by older kids. Summer meant playing with everyone’s games and toys,  not bothered whether you owned them or not. If someone’s got something new, then everyone is gonna play it all summer long. Summer meant a meet up of all cousins in grandma’s house, sleeping under the stars, eating under the moon, loitering the streets, flying kites, chasing one another all over the place.  Summer meant, mangoes, panagam (musk melon and jaggery juice) and watermelon, everything chilled and cold was allowed, no restrictions.  Summer meant complete abandon. Summer always meant enjoying childhood.

Summer holidays should be best spent having an adventure like the kids in Enid Blyton’s ‘The Famous Five‘. If not, the next best is to have a summer like we did.

Let’s try to give our kids, a Summer that is full of what is now and what was then.