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Friday, October 31, 2014

Do Ghosts Really Exist?

They flow in air, with either inverted feet or no-feet at all like a genie. They have supernatural powers and can do anything they want to from making you fly to entering in your body. When you feel a cold air passing through your body in warm summers, it is a soul/ghost as they are the cold things on earth. You can not see them because humans and ghosts have different vibration patterns. The ones who see them almost vibrate at the the speed of Ghosts. We all have heard of people who claim that they call the ghosts of the dead and talk to them. Have you heard/read all this and more?
The idea or stories of ghosts are quite intriguing. I heard the word Ghost for the first time when I was in 5th standard. Before that I was oblivious of what a Ghost really means! Being a tough kid with no fixed habits my parents used to scare me off with idea of a “Watchman”. Outside our home on a road a watchman used to stroll during fixed hours. But in his absence whenever I showed a reluctance to sleep, my father used to wear a shawl, take a stick and used to move outside the room of our bungalow with that “thak-thak” of hitting of wooden stick on the floor. My mom used to ask me to hide and sleep else the watchman outside will take me with him. That used to frighten me a lot to sleep on time, letting my parents get enough sleep before going to work next morning. It was almost a ritual, till I developed a normal sleep cycle. During that time a watchman was 'the Ghost' for me.
After listening to ghost stories(people claiming them to be real) I once asked my mother about what exactly a Ghost is! To which she calmly replied, “It is a matter of your faith. If you will have faith in God, you will see God. If you have faith in Ghosts, you will see Ghosts.” I never questioned her again. I developed strong faith in God (and that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the theory of evolution).
The idea of Ghosts terrified me after seeing some of the Ghosts movies during childhood, and famous serial 'Aahat' later on. But I told myself what my mother told me years back and I didn’t believe in Ghosts  again.
Two years back during one of the philosophical and spiritual dialogues with a friend, Saumya, the topic of Ghost came in a full swing. We were very casual about the discussion when clock striked 1 O’clock at night. She said,” you know I have read ghosts are active from midnight till 4 am.” Listening that for the first time a chill ran through me. I told her that it did scare me this time. She continued, “ You know when you feel scared, there is an actual ghost around you.” I bid farewell to her for the night and waited for my fear to go away before using the restroom. Later I told myself once again, I trust my God more and if ever I will have an encounter with a ghost, it will be on a pleasant note. I don’t believe in interfering till then.
P.S. Once in the state of insomnia I thought of checking if we can see a ghost in a dark room. When I thought about ‘what if a ghost actually comes before me’, I quickly took a blanket on my face and slept. I was petrified. Was there a ghost?
P.P.S. I don’t discard the experiences that people share and I respect them of what they saw and I didn’t. Somewhere I am glad I didn’t.
HaPpY Halloween!!!
Do you have a ghost story? Have you ever experienced a ghost in your life?
I am glad my mother didn’t scare me that time when I was young, which made me stronger. What would you tell your child, if s/he asks the same?

Friday, October 24, 2014

7 Creative Rangoli Designs I came across this Diwali. #HappyDiwali

Wish you all a very happy Diwali (Belated). As a ritual every year I share here the rangoli I make (from the time I have started making decent rangolis). This year I would like to showcase a few designs by people around me that added more beauty to the Diwali decoration (along with mine). If you too like them, post your views in the comment section. Here I go:

This was the first rangoli I saw, made by a friend Manisha along with her friends. She has become an expert with creative sketches of Lord Ganesha and she chose the same for her rangoli. Isn't is creative and beautiful?
 Made by: Manisha Raj and her friends, Software Engineer, Delhi.

I loved the use of mirrors in this Rangoli. With a big diya in the center, Pratima has artistically designed the surrounding space. Innovative!!! What do you say?
Made by: Pratima Tulsian, Owner at Parchment Corner,
I was looking at this charming & modern design again and again. Maitri has created an appealing design by wiping off colors at regular intervals. The color combination is striking too. Isn't it?
Made By: Maitri Chaturvedi, Physiotherapist, Wardha.
Who can miss looking at this attractive & vibrant corner of the house! Soviaa's rangoli looks amazing with lighted diyas around!
Made by: Soviaa D Mehta, 3D visualizer, Delhi
Arti shared her neihbours work that she made around the planted pots. Lord Ganesha's another depiction. I liked it.
Aarti Gandotra, Prof. at Ansal University, Delhi, shared her neighbour's artistic work.
Akshat shared the rangoli that bagged first prize in his office. You just can't stop looking at this mesmerising work. 
Shared by: Akshat Sharma, Software Engineer, HCL, Delhi.

 Manisha shared her friend's work. Next year, I would love to decorate a corner of my house with such beauty... Simple and elegant!

Made by: Amit Kumar and his wife Manisha, Doctors by Profession.
And this one is made by me this year.

Goddess Lakshmi holding Lord Ganesha.
I hope like me, you also enjoyed these artistic designs above.
Wish you all again a very Happy Diwali...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

World Food Day- What if there was no food!

Today is 16 October and World Food Day. We all know how significant is food for our survival. But what if there was no food in our lives?

1. People who live-to-eat would not be here.

2. The famous 'way' to a man's heart would not be through his stomach.


3. People had lesser tasks and world had been free from the national/worldwide issue of "What to cook in the next meal".


4. There would be less expenses and more disposable income for other needs and luxuries.

Average US Citizen spends $302 and average Urban Indian Rs.2,630 per month on food: Source Google.

5. We had only four senses. No Food, No Taste!!!


6. There would not be any lunch/dinner/coffee dates.


7. Earth had been over-burdened without food cycle, though there had been no mass killing for production of meat.

8. There would be absence of kitchen in homes which would mean some more space for other things you love except food.


9. Source of energy was from small regular naps throughout the day, sunlight or may be through electric-shocks- Ouch!!!


10. No birthday cakes, no pies/chocolates/muffins in gifts i.e. no grand sumptuous celebrations!

Since life had been colorless, odorless and tasteless without food, I am glad we are blessed with tastes, taste-buds and food.
Eat healthy and stay healthy and remember:
“We are what we eat'!!!


P.S. If you can think of more points please add on to the list!

Author's Note: There is plenty of food on earth for every being here yet many suffer with hunger badly. While some struggle with what they will choose to eat today, others suffer with what will they eat. Talking about India here, a vast population sleeps on hungry stomach. We all see beggars begging for food on streets and have heard the stories of people turning into criminals for one loaf of bread. We all internally feel miserable when we deny them for the money they ask for from us but we have been advised not to give them money, reason being mafia working behind them. If you see a beggar and want to give them something- give them things in kind. You see a hungry soul while walking and if you have money, buy him some food. You want to do charity- either donate in an institution or distribute packets of biscuits or something else to the needy. Though some beggars throw away the food you hand over to them but not all do so.

Let no body die of hunger. Spread the word. A very happy world foods day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ichneumon Wasp

Ichneumon wasp (pronunciation: ich-new-mon)

I clicked this picture in October, 2013 in Kausani, Uttarakhand. It looked very photogenic to me hence I decided not to miss this shot. Since I saw this insect for the first time, it became more important for me to take it back home in my camera and find more about it. Somewhere I was scared too thinking, 'what if it bites and is poisonous?'  I came back and started digging the internet to find it's name and more about it.
According to the information available online a typical Ichneumon is only interested if you’re an appropriate host for its eggs - and humans are not its target species. This wasp lays its eggs on or inside another insect species like flies, beetles etc. As these larvae grow and develop, they kill their hosts. Ichneumons are beneficial to humans as they are natural pest controls and save crops and provide economic assistance to us. Their stings are harmless, and if they bite, one can wash the area with plain water.

Probably next time if you see this insect you know that these heartless species are safe and beneficial for us humans.
P.S. This is an awesome time to plan the tours in India. If you are planning to visit Uttarakhand- I hope these posts help you!

Monday, September 15, 2014

GREEN DELHI- A Photo Story

The story is an old one; it plays repeatedly on self-loop, only thing that changes is the people and the environments that are affected. Despite numerous laws around the protection of trees, the rampage never ceases. The cause is as old as ages, and there is zero will to implement these laws by the law enforcers.

It all started last year when MCD was constructing cemented roads in our society in Pitampura, Delhi. These people forgetting their duties and feeling omnipotent with their machines of destruction started destroying everything that came in the way, setting a model, an example before the other phases of construction. Despite our repeated pleas and reminders of the laws governing tree felling, MCD upon insistence of one of our neighbours –Prem Lal Khanna and his family felled numerous trees, and when we said we would file complaint, they hid the trees, and then quickly towed them away:
Step 1: When you are MCD, you savagely destroy anything in your way
(Contract in the hands of some Mr. Khan)

 Step2:  Hide in the park until tow truck comes

Step 3: Load it up, hide under dry branches and tow away

We made repeated calls to forest department, to the chief conservation officer, two representatives from this department came and said that at least the trees in front of our house would be protected, and we were pacified with this assurance and forest department itself took no action against these people.

A year passed, our neighbours forever unsettled, were waiting for any excuse to fell the trees in front of our own house, their youngest son even declared that “I’m not my father’s son if I don’t get this tree cut off”.  Few weeks before today, some branches of one of our tree, started drying up, these were towards the side of this neighbour’s house, so anyone can guess what might have happened. Under pretext of some renovations, one day in the quite of a hot and humid afternoon, these people cut down two of  the trees that forest department so assuredly vouched for only a year before and created a shameless scene, embellished with all the name calling and vulgar obscenities as is the character of such people. 

 Fell in a moment what took years to grow

 On lodging complaint, the police has forwarded the case to horticulture department as this case is their prerogative. Quoting chief conservation officer, forest department Mr. A. K. Shukla, “Since the trees were not on your property, I can do nothing about it”. We had high hopes in these guardians of trees, reading glorified reports in the newspapers, but today, I’m disappointed, slowly turning impassive regarding any good change, I agree with forest officer, we really can do nothing about it. Delhi is definitely going green and greener.
 About Author:
Rochana Chaturvedi is a Professor of Computer Science in Delhi University since past three years. In her free time, she enjoys arts, nature, traveling and reading amongst many other. Besides being a good singer, she enjoys writing poetry though seldom publishes them on her blog. However, she can be caught blogging sometimes at