Sundarban

“The Sundarbans is a vast forest in the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal, considered one of the natural wonders of the world, it was recognized in 1997 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site”

This puja me and my brother went on a trip to Sundarban. We took a package tour from a tour agency called Jupiter travels. It costs 4500Rs per person, which is quite reasonable. You can choose the more expensive package which would mean better boat/hotel/food, for us this was just fine.

The bus picked us from Science City and dropped us to Godhkhali, from there it was another 2 hours of a leisurely motorboat ride to our resort. One of the main fun of the tour is the travel around on the boat enjoying the picturesque natural beauty of Sundarban. If you have sea sickness you can be sure to avoid the trip, because the whole trip will be about traveling in the boat. There are no cars, no roads, there are just multiple small islands of forests and the only way to travel is by the boat.

The great attraction of Sundarban is to see the tiger, the tiger here is so famous that they have a special name for it, they are called “Royal Bengal Tiger”, some of these tigers have even earned the reputation of being “man-eater”. Unfortunately, in India, some people have to risks their life to earn a living. So people here goes in the jungle(illegally) to get honey, catch fish etc few of them are attacked and killed sometimes by the Tigers.

If you travel to Sundarban in hope of seeing these increasingly rare animals, you will most likely be disappointed. Sighting tiger is incredibly difficult, first, the forest is huge and dense and you will have access to only very small portion. Then the tiger population is around 100, so your chance to see one in action is minuscule. Of course, the guide here will play it up and try to keep you excited at the prospect of seeing one :).

The other interesting point of interests are alligators, dolphins, deer, many different migratory birds. We were able to sight some birds and a deer in the wild, which caused considerable excitement in the boat :). The chances of more sightings depend on the time you go. There was also a cultural programme of folk dance at the resort by local artists. Which was enjoyable to watch, the style of dance and song was very local which becomes very different what we usually see.

In summary, if you enjoy nature then Sundarban is great to place to go, even if you do not see the animals you will enjoy the sight of the dense forests, the ride in the boat, the freshness of the natural environment.

https://500px.com/hsushenon/galleries/sundarban

Bucket list

Bucket list- “a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.”

Here is my current list

  • Visit China
  • Watch Arsenal play live at the Emirates Stadium
  • Visit Africa (wanna see the Safari)
  • Learn Mandarin (already had two go at it without success)
  • Learn to play an instrument (had one go at Guitar without success)
  • Own a home near river/hill (it’s a toss up between the two )
  • Have my own farm (what to grow is yet to be decided)

to be cont…

GoT

In my opinion Games of Thrones is the best TV drama series ever. The seventh season just started with a bang just as it left last season. While watching the first episode starting scene, I got puzzled at what was happening, and I am a person who has watched all the episodes before. I thought I might have been watching something of last season, I recheck and it was season 7, then maybe this is a recap cause the guy died last season how come he is there in the scene!! Of Course, in few moments, it is explained with more killings. GoT captivates you just like this every time, you get instantly hooked even after watching just for few moments.

The story is great, a lot of credit goes to George R. R. Martin for writing such a great series of books. Which has so many interesting characters and plots. Many people including me had never heard of the book till the TV series started, the adaptation of the novels to the TV has been perfect. A huge credit to David Benioff and D. B. Weiss for creating the epic drama series. You cannot point to one particular thing as to why the drama is so good. The casts, locations, directions, videography, music are all great.

Its one of the show that everyone is talking about it, even those who have not watch it has heard about it. It’s everywhere, many newspapers, websites have dedicated sections to just analysis the show. One of the things to watch out for are the spoilers and there are plenty. If you have not watched the last episode then you got to stay away from anything which talks about GoT, even your friends and family cause inadvertently they will give away a plot that would have been interesting to watch.

There are many ways to follow the show. There are many fan sites, Youtube channels dedicated to it and fans really go crazy there. They discuss every scene, every plot to the minute detail. I generally stay away from them because they give out too much detail. I like to watch the show and enjoying what unfolds there. One place I like to read about it is in theVerge. They have series of articles about it, and generally writing is very interesting( Its great place to get tech news also). Every year they conduct an online game in Fantasizr and I like to participate in it. Rules are simple you choose your team from the show in the start of the season. After every episode, a writer writes an article about it in theVerge, and gives out points depending on the happenings in the episode. Like if you have Arya Stark in your team and she kills someone, you get points.

There have been many memorable moments in the show for me which is one reason I consider it the best. One scene stands out for me, the “Red wedding” episode, it totally shocked me. I have watched many TV shows/movie which has lots of violence in it but this one was so chillingly done that it’s one of the few times I got shocked while watching TV/movie.

After this, there is only one more season left, up till now the TV drama was closely following the books but now we are in new territory which makes it more exciting as to what is going to happen. One thing is for sure the show has been able to constantly shock us and so I think the ending might not be what we suppose it will be.

Trump

Schadenfreude: It is pleasure derived from the misfortune of others

Like a lot of people in the world, I too have been obsessing about Trump since he started running for president. I thought after his lost I would forget about him but to my and world’s horror a big portion of Americans voted for him and he became the President of United States!

Suffice to say I absolutely loathe the guy. He is an example of a bully, racist, sexist, narcissist, and more. A look at him and his behavior and you know the guy is not genuine. It is beyond me how a section(not small) of public continue supporting him even now!

I describe my current obsession with Trump as like watching gladiators. You know it’s bad, but you just can’t take your eyes off it. It’s so entertaining, it’s almost like he is on a stage and the world is the audience. He has become one of my favorite topics to read, and every day there seems something interesting is happening.

One of a good way is to follow him is to watch Morning Joe on YouTube. Here the hosts gives a very good analysis of the political scene of US, plus there are often very good guests who talk sense. As I write this, Trump has used Twitter to insult the hosts of the show with shameful language. It’s very unbecoming of the president to talk this way, but by now we all do not expect much better from him.

As difficult as it is to understand why people would support him there is some good reason why he has become very popular. He is very unconventional, he will say and do things which normally nobody will say/do, this agrees with a lot of people who feel the conventional/established ways have hurt them. He is very good at tapping into the fears of the people. So he will go after Muslims, immigrants, Mexicans etc. He has mastered the art of using Twitter, in some ways, it’s because of Twitter he was able to win. He has currently a very strong base who will support him no matter what he says or does. It’s incredible how much he has got away with so far. Every time a controversy happens and you think he will not recover but he seems to bounce back. What will be interesting is to find what is the one thing that eventually brings him down.

I do hope sooner rather than later he does go. Since to hope for him to change his way is foolish, the guy is never changing. He is currently single-handedly destroying many values of America before long he will start to have the real effect on the world itself.

Book sharing

I love reading, it’s one of few things that can keep me engaged for a long period.
Since buying originals is expensive I usually buy second-hand books. I used to go to New market where there is a store which works like a mini library. I go there and pay 20-30 Rs for a novel, usually John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child. I finish it, return it back and take a new one. Now that bookstore has stopped that scheme so I go to College street and buy a second hand for 70-100 Rs which is still pretty cheap. Since I love reading I like it when other people have the same habit, so sharing book for me is a great idea.

There was a post recently in my Facebook feed which was interesting and a concept which could potentially be great for book lovers. Here is the exact post:

“I am looking for people to participate in a large-scale book exchange. You can be anywhere in the world! All you have to do is buy your favorite book or give one you already had (just one) and send it to a stranger (I’ll send their details through private message).
You will potentially receive around 36 books back (for your personal collection) to keep – they’ll be favorite books from strangers around the world, which is pretty exciting.
If you are interested in taking part, please comment below and I will send you all the details!
Please don’t ‘like’ … you need to tell me clearly in comments that you are IN.
Happy reading! ”

When you reply to this post saying you are interested, then the person sharing it sends a private message to you.

“Thanks for taking part in the project. So the rules of the book exchange are as follows:

#1. Please copy & paste my Facebook status about the project on your timeline (to find the next participants)

#2. You only need to send a book you like/love to this person:

Address of a friend from which he/she got the idea.

Write your name, your address and a message on the inside of the book, so people know who and where their book is from.The book doesn’t have to be a collector’s item, just whatever book you enjoy and in English!

#3. Finally, send this message to the people who commented on your status, and give them my address:

Address of your friend from which you got the idea.
So that they can send a book to me.

#4. Then those who comment on your friend’s status will send you books, and that’s all how it works! When you send the message to those who comment on your status remember to put my address in #2 & put in your address in #3.
Happy reading! P.S. Please let me know when you send your book!

If you decide not to participate, please let me know so I can find a replacement. Since everybody made a little financial effort, it wouldn’t be fair to disrupt the chain. I think giving a book to a stranger is a really exciting idea and you will receive several books in return of just one! I hope you enjoy!
Look forward to hearing from you!”

The idea works well if there are more people who are interested, so it spreads. Only one flaw in it is that you are sharing address with a stranger, but if this was not the case then this would not work. Of course, this works on trust system, like I would trust my friend to send my details only to those who they trust. I did send a book to a friend of a friend. So it does work but it will depend on the response you get. I do like the idea though it is limiting as with anything popular in social media eventually it dies down. It would be great to find a better way so that people keep sharing books.

30 days without Youtube

Last month was Lent, during that period many Christian do sacrifice of some sort. Most common around me is not eating meat for a day of the week. For my family that is on Friday. I would have done the same usually, if not for an idea my brother put in my head. His family has a tradition where they sit together and everyone picks something to give up during Lent. For my brother, the kids picked a clever one, since they know how much my brother loves Youtube. So my brother was not going to watch Youtube for the whole period of Lent.

I thought that was a great idea even for me. Of late I find myself addicted to Youtube, like most people it is very easy to get sucked into Youtube’s endless loop of watching videos. Its an incredible piece of tech, where almost everyone from a baby watching animation videos, to an elderly watching an old classic song video has something for them.

For me, every night I open Facebook and then check anything new interesting is posted. It takes about 5-10 minutes, then I move to Youtube and before you know it 1 hour has passed. Ever since Trump came into the picture I and the whole world has become obsess into any news related to him. You just cannot take your eyes off him. To understand him and analysis him, I found a talk show called ‘Morning Joe’ very interesting. The hosts does a balance job of showing both sides view, also they have good guests. Apart from those videos, I watch late night shows snippets which are always fun. Like “Jimmy Kimmel”, “Jimmy Fallon”, “Conan”, “Ellen” etc. Then I can check music, comedy, tech videos and so on.

As you can see I find myself sucked into it. So during Lent I followed my brother into banning myself from watching Youtube. The month has passed, and I can say apart from few days, it was easier than I thought. Giving up on something can sometimes be a very refreshing experience. It also proves self-control, in this day and age I can probably say if I had to I could live without tech for long period and that is reassuring to know.

P.S : I have gone back to the old habit of watching Youtube, now i follow a partial ban of Tuesday and Thursday, let see if that works out.

Why I won’t hit somebody else’s child

Here is the story, some years ago while I was helping in my dad’s shoe shop I went to a tea shop to buy tea. This tea shop is a very old one, and we have been going there for many many years, so I know them pretty well. Previously the owner was an old man after he passed away his sons took over.

So that day I went to buy tea, I was waiting while the guy was making it. In comes, a crying child followed by his dad. The dad is the brother of the tea maker. An argument started between them, apparently, the tea maker who is the uncle of the crying child had hit the boy. It was because the boy had misbehaved and after the uncle had tried to correct him, the child had used foul language. This pissed off the uncle and he then hit the boy.

The crying boy went to his dad to complain, and so his dad came to confront his brother in the tea shop. The tea maker argued that he had the right to correct the boy as he was misbehaving. The father and here is the main point of the story, went on to say, ‘When you become a father, then you go and correct your own child, stay away from mine,’ He went away after that, but the words affected the tea maker so much that he had tears in his eye.

It’s quite another feeling you get when you see a grown-up cry. I can sort of understand how he felt. So i decided not to hit someone else child, even if the kid is really misbehaving. I remind myself if my brother told me what the father said to his brother, that would totally kill me inside.

Simple life rule, if you are not a parent, don’t try to be one.