10 Reasons to Explore the enchanting Rann Utsav

– Nisha Yadav, 2nd Year, MC

“Winter is coming” is the slogan past by as we’ve officially entered the hard months. If you are not a home-sit person and are tired of cursing these months; guess what? Its time to pack your bags and head to the white land of Gujarat as the Rann Utsav (1st Dec to 7th March) awaits your presence. I got some lifelong memories during my trip and following are 10 reasons why you should not miss it either:-

1. Best time to visit Gujarat

This is the best time to embark the long-planned journey to catch a glimpse of the state in its microcosm. The great Runn Mahaotsav is a favourite haunt of overseas tourists as there is so much to see and do that people find it hard to pick and choose from the plenty of options at hand.

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2. The Unending Expanse of Moist Salt

It is reputed to be the largest salt desert in the world. The breathtaking landscape of the Great Rann of Kutch- The White Dessert, shimmering in the moonlight- will leave you enchanted. So, be ready for some goosebumps. Also keep your camera ready, it’ll be a time for some heavy clicking!

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3. The irresistible Gujarati Thali

The aroma of delicious Kutch food will surely drag you.

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4. The dance, music and drama

The impulsiveness with which people, wearing traditional Rajasthani attire, joyously break into folk songs and folk dances is the underlying beauty of this fest. So, unless you want your ears to get immune to anything but Honey Singh tracks, its high time that you lend your ears to the melodious instruments like Surando, Bhorr & Bhorrinbo, Khanjari and more!

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5. The Patang Baazi

With great enthusiasts and competitors around to make you play real hard, this is the right place to raise your colorful patang up higher in the blue sky, over the expanse of the heavenly white dessert.

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6. Jewellery, clothes and handicrafts

Embroidery, Suf, Khaarek, Paako, Wooden Carving, Mud Painting, Sea Shell toys; all waiting for you around the corner. Need I say more?

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7. Hospitality like none other

Gujarat is living upto the famous proverb “Atithi Devo Bhava”. There’s a reason why Gujarati community is well known for its hospitality.

8. Magical Tents to relax yourself

Grand Tent City of 400 tents, consisting of both air- conditioned and non-air-conditioned tents has been set up which looks no less beautiful then the restroom of Alladin’s Gini. So, say no to worries of finding the correct place to stay and choose the package that best suits your needs.

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9. Time for some Adventure

Camel ride, Bike ride, tandem bicycle, para motoring, valecro wall climbing, Hot air balloons will surely give you unbounded happiness along with a tight night sleep.

10. Special Activities on special days

If all the above wasn’t enough, It’s time to give you even something more. The following days await your presence –

31st December – New Year Celebration

14th January 2015 – Kite festival

26th January 2015 – Special arrangements for Republic day

14th February 2015 – Gala Dinner on White Rann for Valentine’s day

For further details, do check out the website – http://www.rannutsav.com

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The Dilli Metro Feel

By: Chirag Arora, 2nd Year, ECE

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The pride of Delhi. The lifeline of Delhi. The only project other than AC buses, that earned the overturned government consolatory “Atleast Ye To Sahi” votes. In a city that lives in a hurry, it flows like a calm river. All kinds of devotees come to take a plunge. All of them are of course, going from point A to B. But for most of them , the frequency or the length of the journey is such, that it’s hard to keep the eye of observation shut. The metro journey becomes an experience. It’s always there, when you need it or atleast 0-8 minutes from when you need it, and the familiarity with the whole experience is somewhat endearing. Somewhat.

From an assorted collection of idiosyncrasies, that sprinkle a little annoying and ridiculous into the endearing mix, I’ll start where all Indians love to start.

  • Over-Population: – An exhibition of perfumes and body odours is in place. The metro also prepares you to be a fabric salesman, giving you firsthand knowledge of what’s soft and what’s irritating. Remedy? Act like you’re calling a friend to ask for the best medicine for skin and hair infection. Voila ! You now have the most space in the whole coach.Enjoy.Delhi-Metro-Rajiv-Chowk-Station

  • Rush Hour 4: – India may not do particularly well in Athletics, but the speeds with which Delhites run to grab their seats is encouraging. Then there’s the sheer madness at the junctions, with Rajiv Chowk worth a mention. Now this station is the only instance other than the climax of Main Hoon Na, where the opening of gates unites large masses of people on both sides, who hug each other in brotherly love before crossing over. Also if the all too familiar metro pre-door closing chime is heard, the two parties immediately shift to a Sunny Deol flick. Now this the moment when the ungainly baggage you had been dragging along your journey is the greatest weapon. Hold it at an awkward height and push through, your opponents are done for.

  • Packing Efficiency : -At peak hours, the way we considerately rearrange for the extra passenger who wants to get on can put the FCP and HCPs of 12th class to shame. Distribution isn’t uniform though. There is a neck to neck competition between the entire ladies coach and the male counterparts in the tiny coach intersection next to it. It is only at this intersection, in the 6 or 8 coach train there are zero awkward stares as you approach your position, for eyeballs are busy gazing elsewhere, and no one cares what you are wearing. After all, there isn’t much scope left for being judgemental

  • For the rest of the train, it’s all about Judgement: – Smartphone bearing youngsters are well equipped to kill time, but for the aunties and uncles, you’re their only fun apps. Your head banging to music, bad fashion teamed with chappals, to whether your perpendicular distance from the centre of mass of your opposite gender friend has voyaged past the cape of good culture, they are all good gossip starters. Cold stares ensue. And if you think that being lost in your own world is fool-proof, make sure no one is looking over your shoulder while cheesy-texting. Remedy? Type in something ridiculous, criminal, or simply some Delhi expletives while referring to your reader’s presence and wait for the priceless expression. The reader would probably walk off to a corner in embarrassment or fear.

  • Etiquette: – What’s that? Being skinny maybe the “in” thing, but there’s always that one future model who tries to fit in the non-existent gap between two seats. And then there is that one crying baby with delusional parents who consider the awkward smiles as a token of appreciation for their child’s cuteness. While the IT crowd is busy with their professional tablets and blackberry, the Delhi Traders make their presence felt. The words of the John Green novel in your palms get overwritten by the knowledge of number of cartons getting unloaded at Chandni Chowk.15_1399629523

  • Whose Seat is it Anyway: Do the women seats actually belong to women? What about the coach? The battle continues. Your tired expressions v/s their steady gaze right at you. If eyes could speak the most popular phrases would be “Get the hell up!” and “Oh c’mon!”. The “Please give your seat” yellow stickers happen to be a colossal wastage of money. They are as ignored as the warnings in a C++ code. For exactly the same reason. And then we have the typical Delhi Uncle , the embodiment of chivalry , not only willing to give up his own seat but would also embarrass any living male younger than him to give up his, too. The white knight will get off at the next station with a sly smile, while you are left with 10 stations and silent curses.

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  • The Veer Zara moment: This is my personal favorite of all Metro moments. It happens all the time and the confusion is hilarious. 2 people try to get in, and the door closes just at the right moment, subjecting the two to sudden separation. The solution is universally obvious, the one who got in is to get down at the next stop. But for some reason there is always a frantic discussion in multiple attempts at sign language, and the look on the faces is that of a final goodbye.

The list could go on, after all cribbing happens to be the national pastime .Especially during the journey. When we do reach our destination, the whole experience just melts away and we get on with our daily schedule. But no matter how much we crib, any mention of this oddball train service is a ticket to a big smile. In Delhi Metro, we believe.

Haridwar and Rishikesh: Gateway To Divinity

Shashwat Kishore, 2nd year,PSCT

 

Haridwar, an ancient city where the holy river, Ganges, enters the Indo-Gangetic plain after its origin in the Gangotri glacier. It is a city that holds tremendous traditional importance for all Hindus as it is believed to be one of the four places where drops of Amrit, the elixir of immortality, were accidently spilled over from the pitcher carried by the celestial bird, Garuda. Millions of Hindu devotees travel every year to this holy city to bathe in the river Ganges, which is said to absolve you of all your sins.photo_0044_by_thereddevile-d5smmwd

I travelled from Delhi to Haridwar by road, the distance between these two cities being approximately 210 km. The roads are smooth and the traffic is generally fast, so the journey should not take more than 5-6 hours. Visiting Haridwar has had a deep impact on me. Taking a dip in the holy Ganga and watching the display of the devotion and beliefs of thousands of people in the famous Ganga Aarti at the Har ki Pauri(which literally means ‘the footsteps of the Lord’, famous as the spot where the Amrit actually fell); visiting the famous Chandi Devi, Mansa Devi or Dakheswara Mahadev temple, or just walking along the city watching people immersed deep in the worship of God made me feel the depth of human belief and the significance of being a Hindu. Haridwar has the power to take you closer to God, making you feel content and removed from the negativities of everyday life. It is a place where you can feel the enormous power of religion and faith, which cannot be explained by any scientific parameter but can only be felt by your consciousness.12

After visiting Haridwar, I went 20km ahead to Rishikesh. The roads between Haridwar and Rishikesh are generally jammed so take care not to travel on them during rush hours(maximum traffic is during the evening Ganga Arti time, turning your trip into a nightmare). Rishikesh is an ideal location for people who are looking for adventure. The river rafting in Rishikesh is amazing. Even for those of less experimental natures, Rishikesh has a lot to offer. Due to the nearby Himalayas and the flowing river, it has great scenic beauty. You also understand the sheer extent of the Ganges through this city and how this magical river influences our lives. The tourist attractions in Rishikesh include the Lakshman and Ram Jhula (which have a traditional significance in our culture) and the various ghats along the river.

I insist that one must visit Haridwar and Rishikesh at least once in their lives. These cities tell us about the enormous power of religion and belief and also illustrate how powerful faith is in our lives. They also prove to be relaxing, taking us away from the problems of everyday life to a realm of peace and contentment.

You’ve got company!

Aradhana Gahlaut, 3rd Year, ENE

Have you ever embarked on a holiday with a large group, be it a joint family, friends or colleagues? Considering you have, dear reader, have you ever shared a room with more than two individuals apart from your majestic self? If you have, you will be letting out fervent “gah!”‘s and “oh God, yes!”‘s at various points in this article, mentally thanking me for penning down what you have as of now merely thought of(and screamed about, pulled out your hair at etc). If not, consider it a friendly word of caution of what is yet to come.

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We know it takes all types to make this world, and some of these types, though perfectly amiable when dealt with at regular-yet-short durations, can succeed in being the most annoying co-vacationers the universe has ever seen. So much so that Zeus himself would fail to keep calm and would whack them on the head with a divine lightning bolt, given the chance. Below are listed the most common of these types of vacation terrors, and some that I alone seem to have had the misfortune of travelling with.

  • The Bathroom Hog – Always the last to wake up, always takes the most time to get ready – this type succeeds in delaying the whole team, with abuses and threats having no sort of effect whatsoever.
  • The Fussy Eater – This specimen is so rigid with their eating habits that it is almost impossible for you to experiment with the local cuisine. At the end of the day, your ‘iron-walled stomach’ has to go back to digesting butter chicken and naan, wondering about its real purpose in life.
  • The Party Animal – Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when their excessively late nights lead to them snoring till noon and having a perpetual hangover, all you wish is for them to resist activity of any kind and stay put. Speaking of which…
  • The Sloth – This being hates to leave the Hotel premises. It can be found either watching reruns on Telly or soaking in some sun on the beach beds next to the pool, or lying in it. Getting them to leave the Hotel is like taking steak from a lion – you may lose a hand.
  • The Paranoid Android – That being who just WILL NOT go even to the beach without half a litre of Hand Sanitizer and the same amount of Odomos covering every exposed part of their skin(“Hey, it’s mentioned on the pack!”). This person will just REFUSE to try anything new, visit an attraction that is even a tiny bit off the beaten track(or requires a little bit of physical exertion) and thinks they’ll get kidnapped, never to be found again, if they visit a club.
  • The Eternal Hippie – It starts off as fun but suddenly, you realise that it just won’t stop! This person is perpetually intoxicated, so much so that you tend to forget what they were like sober. Apart from not being able to walk and leaving you constantly worried that they’ll either break a few bones on the stairs or die of alcohol poisoning, their condition doesn’t let them wander too far from the starting point(mostly the resort’s Bar), thus leaving you stranded and not able to carry on with all the wonderful exploring you had looked forward to. The party animal and the Hippie are usually interrelated.
  • The Worrisome Granny – Similar to the Paranoid Android, but this species is worse as it not only restricts itself but also your activities for fear of death or worse, completely overriding the fact that you are a responsible adult and perfectly capable of making your own decisions.
  • The Tired Kid – One of the most annoying things about travelling with people is when you’re all set to go on climbing to the top of that pretty hill and all they want is to stop right where they are and plop themselves under a tree, crying about how they can’t go on. And it’s even more frustrating when you’re supposed to be the physically unfit one. But it doesn’t have to be ’cause they’re tired; they may just have the attention span of a teaspoon.
  • $crooge McDuck – Like its namesake, this specimen sits like the figurative snake on its wallet and refuses to spend money, thus forcing you to forgo the rare, pampering luxuries that you are so fond of and go for boring economical options throughout the trip.

And last but definitely not the least,

  • The Bear Grylls – That one ray of hope whose enthusiasm for exploration and adventure makes you see them enveloped in a celestial halo but soon proves to be nothing but a death wish, dragging  you into perils you had scarcely envisaged and dangers you had definitely not thought yourself capable of surviving.

Whatever categories your fellow travellers fall into and the plethora of inconveniences they may cause, vacations with groups are always a test of will(and nerves), but they leave us with some great memories and prove to be a lot of crazy fun, in retrospect.

God’s Own Country: Kerala

-Vaisakh Nair, 2nd Year, EP

 

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It all started in 1497, when Vasco Da Gama, the great Portuguese explorer, landed in Calicut in Kerala. That small step by him was indeed a giant leap for putting Kerala on the global map. Thereafter, many other explorers and saints from different parts of the world came to Kerala and got mesmerized with its beauty. All this led to the sobriquet that Kerala earned: ‘God’s Own Country’.

But many Indians still ponder the fact as to why Kerala is hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. There are many other states in India as well as other countries which are known for their natural charm and tourist appeal. So why has Kerala been called ‘God’s Own Country’? Here are six reasons to support this sobriquet:

  • Kerala is beautiful from its northern most point in Kasargod district to southernmost tip in Trivandrum. Every district in Kerala has tourist spots that attract millions of people from all over India as well as the world. These include the popular backwaters, hills of Munnar, forts of Tipu Sultan in Bekal and Palakkad, Athirapally Falls (which featured in various movies like Guru, Raavan etc.), beaches of Kovalam, Kochi and Calicut among others.
  • Nature in Kerala can be found in its most pristine form. Most of the villages are still untouched by industries which hamper the blissful environment of villages. Yet, the development in Kerala is unparalleled. The country’s largest IT hub (Techno Park) is now in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. This city is expected to overtake the position of Bengaluru as the next IT hub. The airports at Trivandrum, Kochi and Calicut cater to the needs of more than 1 million people flying to various parts of the world, especially the Middle East.
  •  Kerala is also known for its cent percent literacy rate. Education is given utmost importance in Kerala. With the establishment of various higher educational institutions like IIM, IISER, IIST and proposals for the creation of IIT, AMU and AIIMS, Kerala is definitely a leader in higher education. The remarkable feat lies in the fact that in the year 2013, 45% of the students admitted through various medical exams were from Kerala. Also, Keralites mark their presence in the top 10 list of civil services rank list every year.
  • Kerala is also present in the list of states having lowest unemployment rates in India. The governance of Kerala is also highly commendable.  The ‘Jan sampark’ programme launched by the Kerala government earned laurels even from the U.N. ,  winning the award for the best programme by a state government for the benefit of the people. Several pension schemes bestowed upon the rural population ensure that they are at par with their urban counterparts.
  • Kerala is the cradle for various forms of music, dance and food. Kathakali, mohiniattam and koodiattam are the typical dance forms of Kerala. Kerala has also proved its mettle in the field of music by producing legends like Swati Thirunal Maharaja, Chembai and Dr. K.J. Yesudas among others. Kerala is also the birth place of Raja Ravi Verma , the world renowned artist. Martial art Kalaripayattu also found its roots in Kerala.
  • Kerala Kalamandalam is a unique institution totally dedicated for development , teaching and propagation of various cultural forms pertaining to Kerala and other states.

There are several other factors that makes Kerala such an amazing place such as the nature of Keralites. They are so friendly and warm that they even allow other states to own their dams. The people are tourist friendly. The cost of living too is very low in Kerala.

These factors work together and justify the sobriquet ‘God’s own country’. So next time, make sure you visit Kerala in your vacations and cherish each moment spent in the lap of God.

(The writer is not being paid by Kerala tourism development board for this but is writing his heart out from his recent visit to Kerala.)

FACE! SEMBLANCE! FRONTISPIECE!

Siddharth Khajuria , 2nd Year, MCE.people-web

When I take a stroll on the busy streets of the national capital, I get smeared with ‘Faces’.
Some chiseled, craggy, and fine, but mostly furrowed, of the nature I don’t expect them to be.
Of all the guise and showing, I hardly look for any indigenous species or for a nationality. I nary find a being with conscience. It’s just me and ‘Faces’ with their eyes hovering over me.


You could give a plausible argument, or counter people down. But how do we get through this pandemic called ‘Faces’? The answer is a clear and resounding, “We can’t.” Seamed and sculpted by the almighty, ‘Faces’ depict the entire picture of a man, starting from his personal self to his professional well-being. A face is an RFC, metaphorically. Statuses flash over the body’s mirror. Statuses such as ‘Informational’; ‘Historic’; ‘Experimental’ and even ‘Unknown’.

We surely get a good blend, rather a fine blend of expressions on the ‘map’ of oneself. Unknowingly, we say, chatter and mumble. But where do all the grimaces appear? I comprehend with the situation, and I’m starting to know and understand the meaning of life. Life is no good without a ‘Face’. It’s all that ‘Face’ which matters. We meet and greet each other. Probably, most of the time it’s the recesses of our mind that meets people and not us. ‘Face’ does all that. A unique, appalling, peculiar yet satisfying appearance on the screen does the job. Off the record, it drifts our life in a certain direction, irrespective of what destiny has in for us. The megawatt smile often gets replaced by a half-pout, half-grimace of dismay. The ‘Face’ has a bearing over it, particularly a Mask. Beneath the mask is multi-faceted human. But in today’s monotonous world, the ‘Face’ is no more a face, it’s just muscles and bones underneath. The bloodless skull remorse back to a corpse, in wasteland. What isn’t latent can be made vivid with a ‘Face’. Lucid approach, I suppose, is what eyes do as mind’s interpreter.

Speaking in the flesh, a man finds room in the few square inches of face for the traits of all ancestors; for the expression of all his history, and his wants. Not that face’s beauty cannot be riddles into the heart. But a submerged feeling is a Virgo’s way of explaining guilt and pain. Which is why, I have nothing more than a ‘Face’ in me.

The fourth dimension

Shashwat Kishore, 1st year, PSCT.4thDim cmt-medium

Sometimes, engineering students have so much work to be completed within a week that they feel that it will most likely be completed by them by their fourth year. After learning about the four assignment submissions in the next week, I realized that we were in for a rough time. Dreading the coming week, I glumly boarded the metro at the Rithala station and started listening to one of my favorite tunes. I closed my eyes in the hope that this would divert me from the thoughts of the adversities ahead. After sometime, I opened my eyes to check whether I had reached Kashmere Gate or not. I was stunned. I saw that the metro train was completely deserted! I thought that I had been asleep for 5-6 hours and the train was finally going to its depot. But, my wristwatch showed that it was 6:30pm! This made me realize the absurdity of the situation. On observing the surroundings of the train, I saw nothing except utter emptiness and an infinite space! Slowly the emptiness outside was replaced by a white fog which was accompanied with a beautiful melody, which filled me with warmth and energy. That energizing and rejuvenating sound could have only been compared to the phoenix song. The train progressed and after some time the white fog was replaced by a dark smoke, and the rejuvenating melody was drowned in the ominous voices of the birds of prey. But, the train kept on moving resolutely with complete indifference. And at that moment, I heard a familiar voice which said,” Uth bhai, kitna soyega! Kashmiri Gate aa gaya!” The three flights of stairs at Kashmere Gate passed quickly with me being deep in thought. I could not believe that this experience was an ordinary dream. I could not! That trance or premonition or whatever you would call it could not be linked with anything ordinary!

I pondered over what the experience meant and realized that it was the story of our lives! The metro represents the passage of time and the initial emptiness represents the incidents of our life. The white fog and the phoenix song represent the happy times that we experience in our lives whereas the darkness represents our hardships and tribulations. But, the lesson to be learnt is that the metro train or the passage of life moves in an unchanged manner irrespective of our incidents in life. Thus, what we should glean from this is that the amount of time we have in our life is pretty limited. We are all actors in this huge play of life and different incidents in our lives are just those parts which the almighty has written for us. The biggest secret is to move with the same rigor and righteousness even after facing the most difficult problems. This realization can be called as the fourth dimension of life, which gives a purpose and meaning to all the other three dimensions and which also gives us the strength and perspective to deal with even the most vexing problems with fortitude. Always remember this, and always try to retrospect about this dimension. That is the only true secret to peace and contentment in life.