JACK OF ALL TRADES

Perhaps, it is good to always be curious and seize. Seize the nuances of a new art form, the precision of an artistically challenged individual and the success mantra of the invincible. Perhaps, if there’s nothing to learn there’s nothing to live for and thereby, nothing to die for.

Coronation of someone as a Jack of all trades has come at the cost of being master of none from times immemorial. Literature dictates how someone holding a sturdy command over myriad arenas falls like nine pins in front of the one who’s immaculate in exactly one thing.

Raising fingers at adages seems cool unless you’re an old school. But bereft of sounding all cool and wayward, let’s derive some logic to counter this one. Putting it across simply, you just CAN’T be a master in one without being a Jack of all trades. Say, you want to hone your skills precisely in cricket. What do you do? Hit a ball all around the park throughout the day? Bowl over to three pale stumps infinitesimally? Definitely not!

You start with athletics. You run and run till you realize that the challenge isn’t to beat anyone else less the little voice in your heart that wants to give up. You boost your stamina this way. Then, you exercise and learn that every push up, squat, lunge and plank are important. Strengthening of core is inevitable. Nutritious diet plan is extremely significant. You toil in the sun, in rain and in storm to push your limits up. Not undermining the fact that you abhor every drop of sweat drenching your body yet you do it all. And ultimately, when you take field after such meticulous efforts, you see the silver lining!

Your throws are now like arrows on the dart board: accurate and quick. Your ball races up with pace too, swinging here and there at will, and the focus and the consistency to hit the deck hard again and again at right areas springs up from under your sleeves like a genie. While batting, your endurance to see the bowlers through under the scorching sun becomes less perturbing and hand-eye coordination notches up as well. And, that’s how winning is done.

You see, for being a Virat Kohli you need not be another Bolt or Tyson. You just need to be a Jack who can run decently and is fairly strong. And this is merely the physical context we’ve covered up by now. High tensile mental strength is a necessary condition to be fulfilled too, if you want to win it big. Soaking up all the pressure like a sponge, battling illnesses at times, overcoming losses of things and people near and dear, humility, benevolence all contribute to your success. One way to achieve this is meditation and from where I can see, probably, the only way.

In addition to this, travelling to different places for various tournaments can be invigorating too if you’re not accustomed to changes and a minimalistic lifestyle. Eventually, a lot of mental, physical and personal training remains an ongoing process throughout the journey.

Conclusively, being a master in one turned out to be a process comprehending sparse parts of an extremely larger universe.

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UDAIPUR

From being the hush of a locomotive engine, it creepily crawls into an uneventful conundrum: “Am I the zenith? The murmur of the chirpy aerial characters? The grandeur of the villas? And the silvery spark of the lakes?”

“Or, the perennially oscillating advanced apes hopping in/out the city? The motion of the chaotic engines? The vividness of shoppers’ paradise?”

“It is an autocrat with plutocratic souls resting in its palaces and forts: all international. It is a peasant housed with herds of guides and travel agents and camel riders: all local”, is how I mull about my sojourn with remarkable difficulty.

Anyway, whoever you’re, whatever you’re, I hope you’re, you just are… Immortally like an always and never like a yesterday. May you always envelope your crisply edged Aravalis in the darkness of the sky as the naughty moon attempts to mar its beauty. May the sun Gods always embellish your scars with intricacy and placidity as the blackness gets dispelled, every single time.

The city of lakes retains its perplexity unlike the iridescent travelers, tourists, backpackers or whatever you summon yourself/others. May its paradigm smoothen all irregularly curved turmoils of your life, your own universe in the compactness of Earth’s infinity.

5 Things to see in the pink city – Jaipur

It is breath taking, swashbuckling, nerve wracking, spine tingling and what not?  The pink walled desert capital has got it all! It won’t be too many words, if I say that the pink city of India richly illustrates the Indian heritage of a bygone era.

The Rajputs, the mahals, the vibe and the tranquillity beats the heat of the city hands down.

Check:

  1. Amber Fort and Palace

amer

Set on the banks of Maota lake, the fort was an abode to the Rajput royalty, stationing myriad halls, gardens and temples. It covers four square kilometres and is eleven kilometres away from the city centre. Sans the staircase, the elevated entrance of the fort is the reason behind lurching elephants, incessant jeep rides and pedestrian walks through the gateway.

Anokhi Museum and the evening sound and light show, comprise the inevitable to-do list. “Amber by Night” offers the delightful experience of plunging into the historic era momentarily, under the guiding lights of the city in the evening. Sheesh mahal, Mansingh mahal, Diwan –i-aam all seem to be picturesque after the dusk. A must visit for people interested in the artistic block printing.

  1. Hawa mahal

hawa mahal

The palace of the winds, is humongous and perhaps, the most popular. The five storey palace, situated on the main street of the exuberant Jaipur’s old city offers a vivid view from the top floor.

The story runs that in the prehistoric times, the women of the palace could glance at several ongoing proceedings on the street through these innumerable windows which even provided a breezy ambience during the festivities.

Much to the disappointment of contemporary travellers, most of the windows are now shut but the architecture is still mesmerising.

  1. Jantar Mantar

“Jantar mantar” is the Hindi parallel to calculation instrument. Constructed by King Jai Singh II, the 90 feet tall observatory is home to the famous Samrat Yantra sundial.

It is a rich collection of 19 astronomical instruments that deploys all three ancient coordinate systems of the 5 heavenly bodies. Built in 1734, it is the largest stone observatory of the world. With a meagre price of 20 INR, it is a must visit for all the astronomy buffs.

jantar mantar

  1. Nahargarh Fort

nahargarh

On the rough terrains of the gigantic Aravallis, the Tiger fort (Nahargarh Fort) offers a panoramic view of the pink city. It was built in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jaisingh II.

The fort has now turned into a picnic spot, with a café in the vicinity. It calls for especially all the night people in pajamas, basking in the glory of sinking sun and galloping beer till 10 pm. Set magnificently under the night lights, the place is bewitching yet placid. With tourists from USA travelling all the way to Nahargarh in large flocks, say it all that why Indians shouldn’t be far behind.

It has got classy hotels and resorts mobbed nearby, for luxurious accommodation and comfortable travelling. With films like Rang De Basanti being shot over here, the fort is growing in name and fame, quite aptly.

  1. Monkey Temple

galta temple

The Galta temple, renamed as the monkey temple due to the omnipresent monkeys in the campus is adjusted between two granite cliffs in the pink city. It is built within the Aravali hills. From the three sacred water pools, one is completely taken over by the ‘monkey’ empire that swims and bathes in it.

The poor maintenance of the temple, and the filthy premises can turn the mood sour of the travellers but around the sunset gangs of monkeys, perched on temple walls are a sight to watch at the divine place.

Beware of monkey thieves in the arena!

If the seemingly endless tiring walks took you over, then Chokhi Dhani isn’t a bad bet to savour the delicacies and relax.

Kerala: God’s own country

KERALA: GOD’S OWN COUNTRY

Brood over crystal clear water. Add brackish lagoons and parallel lakes on the Malabar coastal lines. Is this all that you can ponder about when your soul is quenching over the resplendently alluring Kerala? If yes, then shed that clichéd notion. Now, put exhilarating trekking trails and waterfalls to feed your hungry soul. Sprinkle this vividness with tea planted hills and wildlife sanctuaries. Finally, wholesome Kerala is ready to be gorged down.

From around half a ton scenic hill stations embellishing the state, picking only 5 is no mean task! Truth be told, I really tried giving my best shot to jot down the below mentioned list.

Check:

  1. Thekkady

The spice-scented plantations adorning this hill station in the Periyar forest is very assuredly going to leave you aghast. With plethora of vagaries in the name of treks and mountain walks, the wildlife reserve has much to offer. Lying in the Idukki district, from boat cruises on the Periyar lake to plantation tours and elephant rides, Thekkady is spoilt for choices. Mangala Devi Temple, Murikkady, Chellarkovil and Kumily are some of the places that shall comprise the ‘must visit’ section of the bucket list of the eleutheromaniacs.

thekkady

  1. Munnar

The most sought after hill station in South India held the unique distinction of being the summer resort of the erstwhile British imperialists. Situated at an altitude of 6000 feet above sea level, the town is laden with unceasing tea plantations. In the rain shadow village lying in the eastern side of the Western Ghats, hails Marayoor, also known as the hub of sandalwood trees. Neelakurinji, an exotic flower that blooms once in 12 years increases the mesmerisation thousandfold. Nilgiri Tahr(caprine ungulate) in the Nilgiri hills and Kundala lake are the bountiful beauts. With placidity reigning the ambience, this place is undoubtedly one of the finest destination to head on to.

munnar_photo

  1. Ponmudi

Malyali word ‘Ponmudi’ runs parallel to “golden peak” in English. Located in the capital city of Kerala, the hill station rests at an elevation of 945m above sea level. Layered with the enchanting arrays of mountain flowers, exotic butterflies and tiny rivulets, the place is emerging as a sought after travel destination at an impressive pace. Agasthyakoodam is an abode of rare medicinal herbs, and is the highest peak of the district. Peppara wildlife sanctuary, deer park and golden valley are some of the pristine locations that will leave you convoluted with the problem of plenty.agasthyakoodam20131114155513_245_1

  1. Lakkidi

Located at the crest of serpentine Thamaraserry ghat pass, Lakkidi is an idyllic destination to gaze at monkeys frolicking through the Vythiri roadside with a heavy chain anchored to the ground and tied around the stout branches of the tree. This lush green vantage point offers mind boggling views of cliffs and valleys. Lakkidi boasts of tranquillity at a height of 700m above sea level. Expensive resorts in the vicinity have led the way in industrialising tourism as flocks of foreigners loll in serenity.

lakkidi

  1. Peermedu

The small hill station was named after Sufi Saint Peer Mohammad. Wide vistas of tea and cardamom interspersed with silver cascades, sculptural rocks and meadows are what makes Peermedu, a delightful experience. Peeru hills, Grampi, Pattumala and tribal settlements in the area make the view panoramic. With a proportionate amalgamation of religious harmony and landscapes, kuttikkanam is an undeniable spot for the adrenaline junkies.

pmd_t0

Lost your breath? Want something for your parched throat? Perhaps, just gulp down the endemic coconut water and savour the indigenous meals on a banana leaf!

The perpetual chains of hills in kerala are a guaranteed monotony breaker where the air is redolent and a whiff of freshness propagated everywhere. Paradise is certainly the permanent suffix of this state. I am not sure which gods live in this paradise. Smallest, largest, biggest, rarest or oldest but these superlatives surely reside here.