My mind couldn’t fathom the immense profundity at the end of the Initiation day. All it said again and again- ‘I should have tapped on Inner Engineering much before I did Engineering!’ Phew! Probably I had to tread the hard way before I could cherish the Inner Way!
Well let me give you a glimpse of how my life has changed post Inner Engineering. Before that I want to be very clear, I am not writing this post to propagate a line of Yoga / any Foundation / Guru! I am simply sharing my experience as a person who has tapped into the beauty of Life and much more. I am sharing this so that it can reach any person (atleast one) who wants to know more about life, cherish it in the best possible way and who is willing to take on this journey of exploring oneself ‘The Inner Way!’
It is almost two years since I completed the Inner Engineering program offered by Isha Foundation. It is a 7-Day Program(3 hours every day with one day being the Initiation day which runs for 12 hours) where one is taken through learning a Kriya- Shambhavi Mahamudra.
What the Program Offers:
Enlightening interactive sessions
Asanas, simple yoga postures
Shambhavi MahaMudra, a powerful, 21-minute energy technique that brings your entire system into alignment so that your body, mind, emotions and energies function in harmony
Post the Inner Engineering program which I completed in Jan 2017, I took to regularly doing the Kriya everyday which runs for 21 mins. There have been significant changes in my Physical, Mental and Emotional well-being!
To describe a few,
I feel an amazing sense of enthusiasm in carrying about my work day in and day out.
It has been a overwhelming experience of Exploring myself inwardly and trust me I wait for each day so that I can learn more about myself and be a better being!
I can multi-task several activities in varied fields at ease, be it writing, photography, social media management of my clients and learning anything new in a day. And I am not that tired or exhausted. Believe me- I am surprised! Because I used to get bogged down with maybe 1/2 tasks a day!
My take on Life or perception of Life has changed and more so confirmed that there is something more than the mundane which we fail to grasp; there is something more than studies, work, marriage, children, family, materialistic aspirations, keeping up with the societal norms!
As I hike in the Himalayas every year, I now see a tremendous change in my stamina and energy levels. With falling sick on a mountain and being exhausted all the time to now being a person who is truly happy and overwhelmed that my stamina holds me up throughout the trek in high altitudes. Fingers crossed, I haven’t fallen sick in the last three Himalayan treks since I have been regularly keeping up with my practices (Yoga).
Though I haven’t tapped into the secrets of life and have an answer for each of my problems, I surely have some sense of clarity in things that I am doing and certain clarity in the confusion! (That’s something quite right! 😉 )
I have had opportunities where I stepped in as a Volunteer at the Foundation and otherwise where it has certainly helped me grow as a better human-being. I am very grateful for that.
I have always pondered on religion, culture and wondered where I belong because I didn’t have a clear cut answer to ‘Do I believe in God?’ I was all muddled up but now I do have some clarity that ‘I don’t know!’ So, I choose to be a Seeker – neither a ‘believer of God’ nor a ‘non-believer of God,’ treading on a way of exploring myself than God!
The best part of my Journey so far in these two years have been my networking with people from various walks of life! It is an amazing way to learn things and you never know when you are meeting a person who is going to be a part of your life or a person who is going to be your mentor! It is always a joy to interact with people who are on this journey but also otherwise. Needless to say, I have had some amazing conversations and connect with people on my travel.
Well, if you want to get into Inner Engineering and want to know more about it, here is the link: Inner Engineering
And there is an upcoming program on the 15th and 16th December. The best part of this program is that – initiation and completion of the program will be with Sadhguru! This is designed in a different way than the 7-Day Program. In this one has to take 7 Online sessions and the Completion Program runs on 15th and 16th December 2018. Special discounts running online now!
It was dark and a chill air ran through my spine…. The walls of the caves were damp. It was eerie! I have a phobia of caves and more so this intriguing cave was getting on my nerves with each step. We were 5 of us venturing into the darkness with a head torch, phone flashlight and our indomitable spirit. After a while of carefully meandering through the caves, stalagmites…. we decided to head back as it was totally spooky and we didn’t know where our next step would land us in.
Two days prior we had reached Shillong via Tezpur from Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. It was quite a ride and we headed to our hotel to get some rest and figure out on our trip around Meghalaya. Luckily, after a few phone calls and chance meets we had found our man-friday who would take us on a tour of Meghalaya for a week.
So it began….
Day 1: Shillong- Mawlynnong- Shengpendong
It was a bright sunny day when we started on our tour of Meghalaya. We first went to the Elephant falls just on the outskirts of Shillong city. The Falls can be seen from various points as it is multi-tiered and one can traverse to the Falls along a short trail of steps.
Our next point was to the Single root bridge which are over 100ft long and are roots from Rubber Fig trees and can withstand 50 people on the bridge!
We then headed to the cleanest village in Asia-Mawlynnong. It is situated on the border of India and Bangladesh. One can see the border atop a stilt tree-top. It is a lovely village and one can walk along the clean alleys and engage with the warm villagers. Many tourists and travelers stay at well furnished home stays of the villagers. After spending some time on tree tops and a simple sumptuous meal, we left for Dawki.
Dawki is a town in West Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya. It is at the border of India-Bangladesh. A crystal clear river, Umngot flows through the border. The main highlight of this place is the boating along the river which is beautiful to look at as one can see through the water and the bottom of the river!
An hour’s boat ride along the clear waters was quite an experience.
We later headed to Shengpdeng village alongside the river. We managed to hire a tent for the night and spent our time playing random games way into the night!
In the morning, we crossed a bridge and reached the other shore and spent considerable time listening to music and the waves.
One can also enjoy various water activities like scuba-diving, kayaking etc. at this place.
Day 2: Shengpdeng – Krang Suri- Cherrapunji
We bid goodbye to Shengpdeng and went to a small village, I forget the name. At the end of this village was a forest. As we walked about 500m into the forest, we were standing face to face with an old cave. We carefully walked into the dark caves with the support of a torch light and the flashlights from our phones. The villager who accompanied us mentioned that the cave runs for 20km. Without a constant source of light along the cave, we headed back thinking it would be too risky and stupid to go along the narrow, unlit paths of the cave.
Must say it was an intriguing experience added with my fear of caves and we headed straight to our next point- the gorgeous Krang-Suri Falls. As we drove through winding mountain roads, many a limestone quarries added to the landscape on the way.
The Falls is a treat to one’s mind, body and soul! The sparkling aquamarine waters beckons one to swim, get drenched and enjoy the beauty of the place. A life-jacket is compulsory which one can hire at the Falls and anyone can swim, spend as much time in the cool shimmering waters and bask in the rainbow in all its entirety!
After playing and swimming in the water, we added some fuel to our tummies and off we went to our stay for the night, Cherrapunji!
Day 3: Cherrapunji-Mawsmai Caves-Nohkalikai Falls
Cherrapunji, locally known as Sohra is a town in the southern part of Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. Known for being the wettest planet on Earth after Mawsynram, it is a beautiful place with numerous living root bridges, falls, caves and of course forests.
Our first stop for the day was at Mawsmai Caves. These are beautiful caves, maintained by the Govt. The caves are well-lit and one can explore the caves without a guide. There are a few narrow paths where one has to squeeze themselves to move ahead. But it is quite an adventurous one and less scarier than the caves we had visited on the previous day.
Later on we went to our next pit-stop Nohkalikai Falls. As it wasn’t the season of rains, there wasn’t much water. Thanks to that that we could explore the path of the Falls.
Nohkalikai Falls is the tallest waterfall (1115 feet) in India! It is fed by the rainwater which gets collected in a plateau. We were excited to visit this plateau.
A small trek down through a forest takes one to this mesmerizing plateau. One can see spellbinding rock formations across the plateau. I was in awe of this place. We went to the small falls ahead which was truly vibrant and something which I hadn’t seen at all.
A walk on the opposite side of the Falls leads one on the path of the Nohkalikai Falls. As there wasn’t enough water, we traversed along the splendid huge boulders like monkeys. The path was utterly adventurous and a bit scary as we had to squeeze ourselves into natural rock tunnels. After quite some time we went to the edge of the Falls. The view is spectacular and this was something of a first I had done- getting to the mouth of the Falls.
We went back up the forest only to find one of our friends waiting for us. She had had a bad fall and had maybe broken her leg. We had a couple of villagers called for who helped carry her along the trail. Post that we drove back to Shillong to get her leg checked at the hospital.
Doctor says, ” I need to put a cast as there is a fracture but you can start walking in 10min and probably visit places from tomorrow onwards!”
This was too much of news but we had suspected a fracture beforehand.
After the necessary procedure we headed back to Cherrapunji where we hit the sack after a long day!
Day 4: Double-Decker Living Root Bridge
After a long day and more so a painful one for my friend, we woke up late and relished our breakfast.
Our friend stayed back to rest her leg much to the hospitable folks at the stay and the two of us headed to Double-Decker root bridge!
We drove from Cherrapunji to a village called Tyrna. There we started our hike down 3000 odd cemented steps. We reached a village along the way and then a couple of single root bridges. After crossing Iron bridge made of rusty cables, we reached a Chai point where we refreshed ourselves with a gulp of hot tea and chocolate cookies.
After treading ahead for about 15 mins we reached Double-Decker Root bridge! It was quite a view but we headed further ahead to reach the Rainbow falls.
As we hiked further, we came upon an empty football field and then trudged our way along a steep trail of steps. After a few twists and turns we came to the gorgeous Rainbow Falls. We were too excited to get to the tip of the boulder below.
As we went to the very end of the Boulder, we could see the Falls falling almost upon us and it was an amazing feeling to be at the behest of the Falls!
A nap and light snack completed the amazing moment at the Falls. We headed back on the trail and now to explore the Double-Decker root bridge. It was quite an amazing spectacle of the strong roots of the tree as they stood still embracing us fellow beings we we walked upon them.
With a couple of hours left for the sunset, we headed back up a shorter forest trail to reach back.
Day 5: Weisaudong Waterfalls- Nartiang Durga Temple- Monoliths- Garden of Caves -Shillong
Weisaudong waterfalls is beautiful but it is quite a hassle to get to the bottom of the falls as one as to walk through narrow forest trails. We were happy to get to the Falls but we carefully walked on the rocks as it was very slippery and we managed to stay put in a spot and enjoy its beauty rather than monkeying around!
Later we headed to Nartiang in the West Jaintia hills. It has a Durga temple- Jainteshwari and is one of the Shakti-peeths. The temple is around 500 years old.
We paid our respects at this beautiful abode of the Devi and headed to the Nartiang Monoliths, which are a complex of stone monoliths erected by the Jaintia empire in 1500 AD.
We later visited Garden of Caves (touristy spot) and a few Falls along the way. 😉
Day 6: Shillong- Mawphlang Sacred Forest- Shopping at Police Bazaar
The next day we headed to the much awaited Mawphlang Sacred forest. Legend says that nothing should be taken out from the forest, not even a leaf or a stone, nothing!
We were intrigued by the stories and after a mind boggling tour into the forest along with the guide, we were even more mesmerized of the story! It is quite a tour to experience!
After lunch in the city, we went to Police Bazaar for shopping. Apart from hardly shopping a few clothes, we took to buying and relishing the Mulberries!
I think the delicious highlight of the Meghalaya trip were the lip-smacking Mulberries and Raspberries!
Meghalaya is splendid and offers a wide range of places to visit – be it Falls, Forests, Caves, Root Bridges, Stilt-tree tops, Mountains, Rivers and of course with the clouds playing hide and seek.
Well, when are you heading to Meghalaya?
PS: This is the number of our Taxi Bhaiya who drove us all over Meghalaya- Addy – 09774749839, a decent chap, very helpful and a wonderful guide all along.
This is a Window at my Grandmother’s place! And it was a window to the world for me!
The Summer holidays at my Grandmother’s place used to be fun; climbing Mango, Jackfruit trees, eating Kulfis whenever my Uncle would buy, listening to deafening music from my Uncle’s massive Music player, playing games with my sisters and cousins and of course loitering around the house running away from my Grandmother’s dog – Raksha!
Apart from this the window in my Uncle’s room was my favorite place; I used to sit by the window ledge listening to the wind blowing, the trees humming a soft tune and obviously enjoying the pitter-patter of the rain! If not for these, I would stare at the passers-by on the street and the myriad of vehicles.
On one occasion, there was a congregation probably some ceremony which I don’t remember now. Being the introvert, I stuck to the room, sitting by the window and watched the innumerable guests passing by the lovely garden and engaging in amusing conversations. I lost track of time and I remember Mom coaxing me to meet the guests and at-least have Lunch. So the Window happened to be my silent companion!
As I ponder, Windows have surely kept me company and have given magnificent views. I do remember a Window at my house years ago. The three of us Sisters shared a room and the window opened to the street by our house. As soon as I woke up, I would stare at the blue sky, the swaying trees and the weather would certainly set my mood for the day! Many of my creative works then used to happen by the window!
Lately, I am getting back to the mode of creating pieces of Art by the Window at my present home now! Wonder, if Nature beckons to this Soul to create a piece of Art which defines her and the language of the Universe! Well hope to decode it completely one day!
I have always loved watching Cartoons since my childhood days. Though the urge to watch has obviously subsided over the years, I do get a peek into the cartoon characters and shows through my nephews!
Lately, there is a routine watch of a few shows with my nephews! Thanks to their summer holidays, I do get the opportunity to roll in the fun of their leisure activities!
I do remember watching DuckTales, Talespin, Aladdin, Mr. Bean videos(thanks to my Uncle for making me an ardent fan), Starwars, Shaktimaan, Captain Vyom and of course Tom and Jerry. It was in my early teens that I started watching Popeye, Scooby Doo, Dexter’s Lab, Powerpuff Girls, supersonic, Simpsons and maybe a few more… The joy of watching these cartoons surely helped me with my reasoning capabilities and of course being creative with my drawings and paintings back then. But they certainly helped me improve my diction and a glimpse of the world in a way!
There were a few which I used to watch a few years back Oswald, Spongebob Squarepants, Noddy- a favorite one of my 4 year old nephew then.
Well the shows that I watch now or have a peek into are Peppa Pig; a cute preschooler who learns and does a lot of activities along with her brother George and her loving family, Paw Patrol; here Ryder, a gadgety boy takes on rescue missions along with six tech talented puppies, Dora the Explorer/ Go Diego Go(the boy version)- where an 8-year old goes about exploring the world and learning the mundane things in a beautiful way, Masha and the bear; is my 3 year old nephew’s favorite cartoon thanks to the versatility of the circus bear and the innumerable adventures that Masha has with him and they are adorable, Max and Ruby; brother-sister duo take on their everyday adventures with utter cuteness. Other cartoons they often watch are Shiva, Winnie the Pooh and Rusty Rivets.
Well you know I am thoroughly refreshed everyday with the innocence and beauty of these shows and it is great fun to watch along with my 3 and 5 year old nephews. These shows truly have a moral, a learning and I can see my nephews take on a few words and use it while conversing with us. It is splendid and it is really nice to see them relate to things, of course there are a few cons to that as well pertaining to toys and gadgets! 😉
Well thanks to my nephews, I have grown through the cartoons and probably growing again with more morals and learnings! It so happened once that when these kiddos weren’t there I have gone ahead and watched these cartoons at the respective times. Funny me!
There was a phase when I used to watch Anime / Manga series. They used to play on Animax Channel. They were quite interesting. I recently watched one series ‘The Death Note’ – it was quite a thrilling story and I was glued to it for about a month.
Well it is an adventurous journey along with these cartoons over the years. I am sure we as adults would love to watch no-nonsense cartoons once in a while curled up in bed with a hot drink/soup to go with. Or maybe just about cut off from the reality with these cute little characters! The child in us never dies.
So what have you watched recently, I mean cartoons / animes / animated movies?
Let me know if there are any intriguing Anime series for adults or an educational cartoon for the kids!
‘Keep traveling while you are single! I don’t think I can’
‘You are young, travel more!’
‘You are freelancing, right? You have the time! I don’t have the time with work’
Hmmm, these are a few of the responses/ quip I get from strangers, acquaintances and friends!
These are quite amusing yet annoying at times because it is not big a deal!
So here goes, I am going to give away the other side of the story….. not to make it sound boring or scary but for the fact that traveling is possible by anyone and you need not be lucky but passionate!
For starters, being single doesn’t mean I don’t have responsibilities, family, commitments and work. At the end of the day, I have to work around these for being able to travel. My toughest times have been at convincing my folks for my travel! 😉
I am not rich that I can afford traveling now and then. I have to work, earn and save for being able to travel and explore the places galore. Trust me, my bank account balance hasn’t seen a decent amount in the past couple of years! I am not kidding! Security is far far away!
Being a freelancer, doesn’t mean I am free! It means that I take up work according to my pace, situation and variety and the amount of work involved etc. And of course it is not a fad and is more than a 9-5 job; considering multiple commitments, clients, projects and being a one-woman army is quite tasking!
Age doesn’t have to do anything with travel! If you are interested and want to really explore a place, just get out of your comfort zone- you will surely be able to do it! Well I have seen elderly people from across the globe take to traveling from all walks of life. The smile and gratitude on their face, inspires me to keep traveling forever- like even when I am way tooooo old!
Frankly, I am not lucky. I am grateful for the things I have and work towards making the best of what I can do and go traveling- for it is my passion! If you are passionate about traveling and exploring the unknown- I am sure, you already know- Luck doesn’t have anything to do with it!
So, I haven’t written the above because I found the statements/responses offensive but for the fact that ‘I am not lucky’ but I do work towards getting what I want.
I am blessed and grateful to make the best of what I have with utmost passion and reverence!
Or in other words, we are all lucky that we are in this beautiful world! What you make of it or how you explore all depends on what you really want!
Well, next time you think about wanting to travel, think of how passionate and focused are you for wanting to do it(nah nothing about luck) and just get on with it!
It has been a while since I blogged. Well, a lot many events, travels and work have kept me away.
Well here I am today pouring my heart out!
Lately, I am feeling that I am back to the same point where I started ? That is a question on my mind and I can’t find the answer.
I know I have grown a lot, changed mentally, spiritually, even physically and understanding life in a completely new perspective or must I say experiencing life in a different way.
But somewhere deep down I feel I have come back to the starting point, it feels like I am starting everything anew and now. It does feel great!
From a spiritual perspective, we tend to grow and move ahead spirally transcending into the dimension unknown! Well, this is something entirely intriguing and gives room for more exploration.
Well, maybe I am moving ahead; my understanding of life has changed, the way I lead my life has changed, relationships/friendships (some have nurtured, some I have let go, some I am beginning to understand the shallowness/depth), the dilemma between reality and illusion or in another words thinking illusion as reality still boggles me about living my life. Well all of these sound very complex but trust me the way I look at things are somewhat clearer.
Well, you must be thinking what gibberish is this all! But I can only hope that you reach a point in your life when all of this makes sense.
Well, I don’t think I have answered the question I started the blog with. Because I am still unsure but all I know is I am better equipped to take on another circle of life.
What has your journey been like? Have you ever felt this way before?
With a week left for my friend’ and my birthday, we decided that Munnar is the place to go. We found a decent stay in Suryanelly, 20 km away from the Munnar town, through Airbnb. After an exhausting travel of 14 hours from Bangalore, we reached Munnar only to be welcomed by the lush tea estates and bountiful rains.
Lush tea estates enroute Suryanelly
Lush tea estates enroute Suryanelly
A quick breakfast at Saravana Bhavan gave us the energy to get to our home-stay in Suryanelly. We found a warm friendly Share-Auto person who took us to the home-stay and enlightened us with places to visit in Munnar. The ride was beautiful. The tea estates were a treat to the weary eyes. After a quick picture and two we reached our home-stay. It was more than what we saw in the pictures on Airbnb and we were elated.
Home-stay at Suryanelly
Home-stay at Suryanelly
We enjoyed rest of the day, lazing around, watching TV, drawing and reading books. The next day we ventured out to explore the Suryanelly town and we had to book a ride to Kolukkumalai tea estate which happens to be the World’s Highest Organic Tea Plantation. We found a very genuine person(a travel guide cum driver) who gave us a short itinerary on the things that can be visited in and around in a day. After much contemplation, we gave a positive nod for him to take us along in his Jeep.
Before heading back to the stay, we explored the nearby tea estates and had a lovely stroll through the scenic roads.
Beautiful rolling mountains
A trail to the mountains
Lush tea estates
When trees add to the panoramic tea estates
The following morning we left quite early so that we could catch the sunrise at Kolukkumalai mountain range. The ride was pretty eventful as it was a bumpy ride all throughout. We did get a massage naturally.
Well, as we reached the mountain ridge, there the sun was climbing its way up and we were mesmerized by the spectacle. I felt on top of the world to start my birthday filled with wonder. After taking a few shots of the sunrise and the mountain ridges we took to a spicy breakfast as in spicy Maggi noodles and omelette.
After a while atop the scenic mountains, we hiked to the Meesapulimalai mountain. With winding paths and ridges we made it to the gorgeous peak. We were on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Us at the Mountain ridge
The Meesapulimalai range
The panoramic views, the gushing wind and the mind boggling silence had us glued to the place. We then trudged back to the jeep.
Atop the mountain
The Birthday dudettes
Soaking in the silence of the mountains
We went about a tour of tea-making at this beautiful estate. A guide told us about the entire process and also involved us in few of the steps. It was quite heartening and hilarious as well.
Post lunch, we headed to our home-stay to freshen up. An evening of Kathakali was waiting for us. We were happy to be the curious audience at this program. I had always felt scared seeing those colorful faces on TV as a kid but today I was here, right in front enjoying their performance.
The Kathakali performers
Us with the performers
After the lovely performance we headed to our stay for a relaxing night by the stars.
The next morning we went towards Thekkady and visited the Spice garden. We were educated on the various benefits of the spices. The short trail in the garden mesmerized us in a spicy way. Later on, we whizzed past lovely bridges between the tea estates.
It was a nice tour and after some shopping we headed for our bus to Bangalore.
Well all in all, it was a beautiful trip where we rejuvenated our tired souls 🙂
The beauty of the mountains spell binds any traveler any day.
It has been a year already since the gorgeous Parvati valley happened to me. Situated in Himachal Pradesh, it is one of the beautiful valleys along the mighty Himalayas!
The trip to Himachal Pradesh last year was an adventurous one in every way- a road trip across the state, stopping by the scenic woods at Dalhousie, soaking in the serenity at Parashar lake, hiking up the Dhauladhar ranges and Parvati valley with thoroughly enjoying the roar of Parvati across Kasol- ‘Amsterdam of India’, Manikaran and quaint Tosh.
The trek to Kheerganga which is at 9700 feet is a beautiful one. The trek starts from Barshaini, a small town near Manikaran in the Kullu district at a height of about 7200 feet.
The trek of 14 km starts near a hydel project at the confluence of Parvati and Tosh rivers. The trail passes through small villages and cafes.
The vista opens upto the gorgeous Parvati valley lined with pine trees and one can hear the roar of Parvati all along the trail.
The Beautiful Parvati valley
Along the Kheerganga trail
The View below 🙂
Along the Kheerganga trail
After a lemon drink at one of the cafes we( my friend and the guide) hit the trail with a zing of energy.
As I saw the last of the villages lined with wheat fields, the trail opened up to a small clearing which happened to be the Rudranag waterfall.
A small bridge ahead paved way to a steep trail. The woods were spooky yet beautiful. After trudging up the rocky spiral trail amidst the woods which had a fairy-tale wonder to it, we had reached the famous Kheerganga.
Kheerganga, is a spectacular meadow where Shiva- the Adiyogi happened to have meditated for about 3000 years. The meadow is surrounded by lush green and snow clad mountains.
The hot springs of Kheerganga are best known for their healing properties and there are two separate hot springs area for men and women.
After a trek of about 3-4 hrs one can relax in the spring and rejuvenate oneself. The meadow is a bit commercialized with camps, cafes and stays. It could turn off any trekker looking for a tranquil space in the mountains.
After spending the night in a tent, viewing the splendid mountains, we were off to Barshaini to head to Tosh. More on Tosh at Quaint little Tosh
The trail is absolutely beautiful lined with pine trees, serene captivating meadows and that makes this trek all the more worthwhile!