The adventurous descent

via Daily Prompt: Descend

The word descend conjures up a mixed feeling of exhilaration and excitement.I vividly recall my trip to Gangtok in the state of Sikkim in India.Sikkim is one of the states of India,known for its natural scenic beauty and picturesque glaciers.We had planned a trip to the Nathu La pass  on the Indo-China border.After obtaining  security clearances we headed for the pass  in a jeep driven by a local experienced driver .The trip was indeed adventurous as we ascended to the pass surrounded by snow and glaciers and frozen lakes.We passed through a very undulating terrain and hair pin bends.

After an enjoyable trip up the mountains,we started our descent towards late afternoon.While on our way back we got caught in a blizzard and the visibility became very poor.All of our team were indeed nervous and anxious as to whether we will be able to reach the base safe and sound.It was adventurous since our driver was the coolest person who kept assuring us that there was nothing to worry and that we were in safe hands.The innumerable hair-pin bends .at times blind ends and the thick blanket of snow would have deterred anyone.We all prayed for our safe descent.However despite all the gloominess our driver who was a Gorkha proved his mettle as a expert driver who could almost drive blinfolded in that route.It was as if he knew those trecherous routes like the back of his palm.It was a big relief for all of us when he brought us back safe and sound to Gangtok.We heaved a sigh of relief as we entered the town.We immensely thanked our driver friend and were full of praise for his driving skill and prowess and expressed our deep sense of satisfaction and gratitude for having made our trip memorable and adventurous.


Some pictures taken by the author at Gangtok and Nathu La Pass


Conserving water-a precious resource

              The life sustaining fluid – water-has come to occupy centrestage in the present times.Conserving water should receive the highest priority by individuals,governments and the society at large.Increased deforestation and urbanisation have taken a heavy toll on our water resources.The rapid depletion of water table has meant an increased focus on adopting ways and means of preventing loss of water.Some of the small but important steps that we can take are detailed below:

  1. A lot of water gets wasted during brushing and shaving.Turn off tap when not actually required.
  2. Do not use dishwasher unless very much required.
  3. Practice  conserving the use of water while washing vessels as also while swapping floors.Instruct, teach and supervise  domestic helps to do the same.Turn off taps when not in active use.
  4. Teach children the importance of conserving water in day to day activities.
  5. Change the bathroom fittings such as shower heads,faucets and taps which are not water efficient.Fix leaks.
  6. Practice rain water harvesting wherever possible.
  7. Ensure that overhead tanks and sumps do not overflow .Install water level controllers to automatically stop at the desired level.
  8. Avoid  washing cars at home with hose.Use recycled water if possible.better still go to a car wash.
  9. While serving water in glasses for drinking do not pour full .Use only as much as required.
  10. In washrooms flush with less,wherever possible.
  11. If using half load of clothes in washing machine,do not use the full load option.

At a macro level ,there is a paramount need to revive the dying lakes and rejuvenate the acquifers.We also need to urgently undertake efficient rain water harvesting and conservation methods.It would not be improper to state that water conservation should become an integral part of our lifestyle.

Water and sanitation have been declared as a fundamental right according to a UN General Assembly declaration of 2010,It has acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of human rights.In the Indian Constitution the right to water is not declared as a fundamental right.The right to life as per Article 21 however, is interpreted by the courts in several cases as encompassing the right to safe and potable drinking water and sanitation.

    It would be pertinent to recall the words of Mr Kofi Annan the ex- UN Secretary general that  “Access to safe water is a fundamental human need and therefore a basic human right.”It is to be hoped that all countries would take appropriate steps to make this dream a possibility.



Judicial overreach vs activism

     The judiciary constitutes  an important pillar of democracy apart from the legislature and the executive.In the Indian context,we have been witness to several interventions of the judiciary in matters pertaining to governance,  the rule of law as also environmental issues.Some of these interventions have nudged the executive into action.While it can be argued that judicial intervention is not necessary in a democratic set up,it has been seen that there has been  inaction and apathy in implementing executive action on the ground even on issues where the legislature has debated,discussed and passed the necessary legislation approving governmental action on these issues.It appears that without judicial interventions there would have been no action on the ground whatsoever.Under these circumstances the judiciary appears to be the only hope for the common man.

      Many bills have already received legislative approval by the parliament of the country.However the necessary executive action has been tardy and indifferent.The executive cannot be seen to trivialise important legislation by delaying tactics often on the most flimsy pretexts.

  In some cases there has been an overreach of the judiciary into what truly constitutes the domain of the executive.An alert and and agile executive sensitive to public sentiments must ensure that important pieces of legislative decision are quickly translated into executive action.There is an urgent need for judicial reforms.Some of the archaic laws need to be revisited and removed or modified in light of the contemporary realities brought about by societal transformation as also technological advances.As part of a global family our laws must keep pace with other countries of the world.While legislative and executive action are needed the real test would be to ensure effective implementation on the ground.Ultimately the law of the land should be supreme and must prevail.The debate over activism and overreach would cease to matter in an ideal scenario wherein the executive is sensitive and proactive, and good and effective governance is paramount.

                                                                                            Image courtesy

Kindness of strangers

         We experience several incidents in life,which leave us for the better or the worse.Some of these experiences leave an indelible mark on us.They get so deeply etched in our sub-conscious brain that it is almost difficult to entirely eliminate them.One such incident which I had experienced was the honesty and integrity of a cab driver .I had rented a cab to attend a function at my cousins house.While alighting from the cab at reaching my destination I had left my expensive cell phone in the rear  seat.I did not ever  imagine that I could have left the phone since I am very careful in ensuring that items are not lost.

      It was after a full two hours that my cousin informed me that someone wants to see me at the main gate.When i went towards the gate i could see the familiar driver who had just dropped us.With a beaming smile he returned my cell phone intact.It was only then that I realised that i had left the phone in the cab.I thanked him profusely for his kind gesture and requested him to wait in order to reward him suitably.i went inside to get some cash.When I came out,I could not find the cab driver.All my searches inside and outside proved futile.Here was a total stranger who showed integrity and honesty with no expectation of anything in return.Kudos to him and may his tribe increase!

Symbiotic relationships

via Daily Prompt: Symbiosis

    The humankind has become so interdependant that unless there is cooperation among the different nations no worthwhile common goal is achievable.The strength of one nation can be of use to another nation.A mutually beneficial relationship needs to be forged,whether it is for tackling global warming or the looming threat of terrorism .In a similar vein some countries may be blessed with abundant natural resources,which might be of use to another nation not so richly endowed.

























Labels and Perceptions


via Daily Prompt: Label

         Whatever label we give a person creates a public perception .You would agree that perceptions do matter.A person perceived to be efficient ,meticulous ,creative and innovative is expected to be the same.The perceptions about a person can make or mar his prospects in a job.Therefore we need to be able to create perceptions .It is quite likely that labels are not the yardstick to assess a person.However, the perception born out of a label can be one of the many considerations.Therefore perceptions arising out of a label do matter.

Immerse and transform

via Daily Prompt: Immerse

         I immerse myself in books that inspire and motivate in achieving the best .These books have impacted me in a big way in transforming myself through a shift in my attitudes,thinking and beliefs.Anyone who aspires to achieve something in life needs to do devote some amount of time to read and keep updated whether in the profession or otherwise.There are several authors who are adept with words that it is truly an immersive experience to  peruse their work,be it fiction or non-fiction.Anecdotal evidence suggests that a daily reading habit for 30 minutes to an hour makes considerable   difference to shape our outlook and attitude.

    In a similar vein immersing oneself observing nature with all its myriad hues can be a very relaxing experience.Whether it is the gradual change of seasons or inhaling the pure and pristine air from a mountain top,one needs to experience the same ,revel and marvel at the beauty and wonder of nature.

   Similarly,it is indeed an out of the world experience to look inwards and immerse oneself in meditation.It is now scientifically proven that a daily dose of meditation can do wonders to keeping good health.It is not only stress relieving but also helps us focus better,We are living in an age of distraction,be it checking our inbox for mail or updating our status on Facebook,or reading our messages.Daily meditation enhances our ability to handle stress which has become such an integral part of our lives.

Observing nature can be an immersive experienceimmerselanternwords