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Amarnath in the times of article 370

Even after thinking about doing something daily, one ends up doing it, achieving it, finishing it only in the head. In the head is good, as it creates enough compound interest in head but it is not good enough.

I have had ups and downs, and have been away from home for some time. I was in Kashmir when article 370 was taken off. I was one of the last person to have trekked the majestic Amarnath ji this year. Without any plan or any inclination to have wanted to do it but surrendering to flow of life is such it takes you along on the paths, and you would enjoy. I fell in love with the harmony of the few people who walked along, some saints barefoot, and two without a leg who finished approximately sixty kilometres in as many days as I did. Food, sweets, tea, love and the name of shiva.

But the feeling was erratic even then. Tents, people were leaving a month before. And many had already left. The way was completely empty of any pilgrim coming from the other side. Probably that also made it count. It was quiet and you walked with your own self, slowly, quietly.

Phone lines and internet was called off a day after I arrived back home in Srinagar. I couldn’t get time to make any arrangements of leaving as it had become intense to stay over. It was a very vulnerable time in the valley and who knows what is going on even now. It took me nine more days to come out of the valley. I found a punjabi driver from Jammu early in the morning almost ready to leave. It was a beautiful morning over Dal. You could see clouds gathering over the ancient waters and over the Mahadev hill. The way back was as tense. We were stopped numerous times even before Banihal came, because on the other side, you would not imagine how many trucks, cadres, were filling in the valley. Testing time for a government who had just arrived three weeks ago and even before anyone could have blinked on something as mammoth an article as 370, which had probably made Kashmiri’s, laddakhis, Pandits, Punjabis as special and as vulnerable of their identity for all these decades after independence.

I had worked myself as a researcher and teacher in the border villages, in the most gruesome winters and thus have an idea of how the minds of local authorities work in contention and sometimes not in harmony with the army. How people can never almost challenge the claims and information that these authorities gather.

Things are bound to change.

I am sitting in a mud room in the outskirts of Laddakh. Writing after so long on my blog even though I wrote it daily in my head. I hope I present myself daily. Because this blog is not for me. This is for you. And if you are reading this right now, you may let me know.

Two weeks have passed. Two weeks are to come. The nights have become colder. Laddakh has been very kind. It’s the land of awakening. I came here in 2007 on my bike when rivers still went through roads. And somebody then had told me the full form of Leh that I took seriously then but I have never forgotten it. Life Ends Here. Or it starts again.

I am working on my first photo book here. On the work that I did in Cambodia. I will share more news soon but before all that comes out, I will be hitting the road again. May be to Zanskar, or may be to meet my children again to the village I taught 8 years ago.

Till then,

A very warm hello to you all again.

In Omni to Hanley

Starless night
winter
Old Donkey
barking
at the new comer

Scan156

To zojila, to Leh, to Hanle, to tso moreri, to i don’t know what pass that came after hundred’s of horses ran to take left, we took towards sky- a concrete river bed on top of a conical mountain which went all afternoon. Many called it a road. Through a broken bridge, through the ditches connecting another ditch on the Yoga day. While laughing at others. While laughing atourselves. While stopping before every loop to the mountain up. The dancing carrier. The nostalgia of the petrol fumes over six days. As every bicycle left us behind. Our omni made it across the Rohtang. But always carry two people to push it through. We needed many only once.

On the road with Omni | July 15.

Why Do I Like Gandhi?

Because he was an admirable Walker, to start with.

2nd of October is imprinted in each Indians heart. Not only because it is M.K Gandhi’s birthdate. But to us growing up in India this day was always a holiday till we knew why?

From my last year’s Essay on Knowing Gandhi and Learning from Mahatma, I myself have come a long way in understanding Politics and Public Service. I have taken small steps in sharing my Yoga dhyana and health as a class, and as much speaking about many issues with children and parents at School and otherwise.

I have long admired MK Gandhi. But not only for the usual reasons, some of you may know from previous year’s essays. But Something where I connect with him. He was a great walker; indeed one of the hardiest, most determined walkers of all time. I acknowledge it because I love walking myself and I can say with authority that no day has gone empty where I hadn’t spend an hour or more taking time out to walk or play. Even though I haven’t taken strides like walking the length and breath of India in one go but I do have ideas and projects that If the universe and the circumstances permit, I would really like to make walking happen.

For Gandhiji, Walking was both an exercise and a great political tool. He walked as a child, instead of playing cricket, which he disliked. In London as a student lawyer he would walk eight to ten miles each day, and was convinced that it kept him healthy despite the privations of a vegetarian diet in a carnivorous country; in Bombay as a young barrister he would walk one and a half hours each day. In Paris, as an Eiffel tower-hating tourist, visiting the great exhibition of 1890, he walked almost everywhere. On the salt March of 1930, he walked more than two hundred and forty miles as an act of political and economic protest against British rule; and he died walking at the age of seventy-eight, supported by his two great nieces, abha and manu; whom he referred to as his walking-sticks. His last steps from his bedroom in Birla house through the garden are immortalised in stone. One hundred and eighty two foot shaped concrete lozenges, each one in thick ink, have been cemented into the pathway, as if his feet had been divine and had left terracotta weal upon the paving stones. Impiously, I had once as a child many years ago stepped upon those lozenges, one by one, counting them, tracing the final seconds of his life.

The Gandhi Smriti Museum in Neu Delhi


In his remarkable 1942 pamphlet key to Health, Gandhi declares that a brisk walk in the open is the best form of exercise. During the walk the mouth should be closed and breathing should be done through the nose. The nose, he points out is an air filter that requires daily cleaning and suggests this alternative to the widespread sub continental and British practice of public nose picking. He even draws my attention as soon I learnt that his knowledge was rooted deeply in Yoga. For when he talks about practicing one Yogic Kriya called Neti that I myself do on regular basis, Drawing saline water up through one nostril, as the other remaining closed, and expel it through the other by opening it and closing the former. In Yogic rituals it is one of the six kriyas to clean ones nasal system. It almost takes away any headache or heaviness one may have of the head. It brings freshness to the mind, better vision to the eyes, a whole lot of clarity and sharp focus; if anyone continues it for even a short period of time.

While talking about Health in general, one thing that I particularly liked, and was made to do as a child for a brief period was, when he talks about cultivating the habit of sleeping in the open under stars. The fear of catching a chill should be dismissed from the mind. Cold can be kept out by plenty of covering. And this covering should not extend beyond the neck. If cold is felt on the head, it can be covered with a separate piece of cloth. The opening of the respiratory passage – the nose – should never be covered up. And interestingly he continues to speak as a matter of fact no clothes are necessary at night when one sleeps covered with a sheet.

Even though Gandhiji In Key to Health, speaks on almost every food, drink, intoxicants, condiments and the five his experiments with the five elements in his ashram in Gujarat, I particularly want to share his views on Food and milk products because in India and may be elsewhere it had been a topic of talk amongst public and intellectuals, other health experts on his vows and choices.

He says, “I have always been in favor of pure vegetarian diet. But experience has taught me that in order to keep perfectly fit, vegetarian diet must include milk and milk products such as curd, butter, ghee etc. This is a significant departure from my original idea. I excluded milk from my diet for six years. At that time, I felt none the worse for the denial. But in the year 1917, as a result of my own ignorance, I was laid down with severe dysentery. I was reduced to a skeleton, but I stubbornly refused to take any medicine and with equal stubbornness refused to take milk or buttermilk. I could not build up my body and pick up sufficient strength to leave the bed. I had taken a vow of not taking milk. A medical friend suggested that at the time of taking a vow, I could have had in my mind only the milk of the cow and buffalo; why would the vow prevent me from taking goat’s milk? My wife supported him and I yielded. Really speaking, for one who has given up milk, though at the time of taking the vow only the cow and the buffalo were in mind, milk should be taboo. So I may be said to have kept merely the letter, not the spirit of the vow. Be that as it may, goat’s milk was produced immediately and I drank it. It seemed to bring me new life. From then on I picked up rapidly and was soon able to leave the bed. Hence on the account of this and several similar experiences, I have been forced to admit the necessity of adding milk to the strict vegetarian diet.”


He was known never to take a vow in haste, he used to think and feel about it. But once it was taken, we know it apart from some mischievous theories that he had broken any vow.

He also recommended hot water, honey and lemon as a healthy nourishing drink, which can well substitute for tea or coffee. He was also a proponent of the scientific collection of honey in a way that did not kill any bees. And also something that I read in his most popular autobiography ‘My Experiments with Truth” which I took seriously and ongoing, there he had mentioned- Never give up the practice of writing a diary once you have resolved to do so. If not immediately, you will certainly realize its advantages later. This habit itself will guard us against many of our shortcomings, as the diary will be a permanent witness of these. Must remember that All the slips must be noted in the diary as soon as you get back to your desk, because there should be no need to condemn them. Criticism is always taken for granted.

He for Indians of twentieth century was a living, walking god.

His final walk while he was walking to his place of evening prayer and discussion, where large crowds would gather each day, when he was shot dead- his last words, as he went down, he remembered Rama, the ancient warrior king Lord, who himself thousands of years ago had traversed the whole of India, first to keep his words for his vow to his father and further to find his love of life, mother Sita walking all the way to Sri Lanka.

Now tell me Why should not I like this man?

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Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

Like this post? Please Sign up or subscribe to email. You’ll not like to miss any Road to Nara post.

If you follow Road to Nara and love what you read here, your contribution will more than help me to be on the road.

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

: ँ :

Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

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To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
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Image Source – Internet
Cover Image – Getty Images


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Mother, Man and the Queen: A Short Photographic Tribute to September

Old Sanskritam Shloka : Rtusandhishu vyadhayoh jayante that means
Diseases arise at the junctions of the seasons.

In India the monsoon is retreating and the cool season is beginning; in the temperate zone summer is shifting into autumn. These external shifts induce similar shifts within us, and if we are not properly prepared our bodies will not be able to adequately adapt, which can lead to internal disharmony.


Ancient Indians remarkably created rituals around some specific moon cycles that even today completely, scientifically sit with the seasonal change like the on-going nine nights, Navaratri.

World is one family, as we are taught here in India; is an extension of worshipping the mother nature, and how? In Simple words, mostly abstaining from high calorie food, meat, wheat based products that in one way help start calming our bodies for such seasonal junctures via our daily routines, or dinacharya.

In addition to the limited eating habits, it is a great time to sit for long hours of dhyana or meditation. In early days when activities happened amongst nature or outside home, this time was taken out by most people as a period of self-observation with observing the change in all elements around us. After rains, insects and all kind of diseases would come trying to take over the environment and our bodies hence a ritual of attending to the body was must each night before sleep. Like using rose water drops for the eyes, any local oil- mustard or even one drop of Desi Cow Ghee/ in the nose, cleansing of the mouth, tongue and teeth, and simple oil massage of the skin), Navaratri is a fine time to enlist the Mother Goddess in this endeavour, that is our inner feminine nature.

As you exhale during your early morning breathing, expel all imperfections, mental disturbances, unhealthy proclivities, undigested experiences and all other forms of ‘dark energy’ with your out-going breath, with you incoming-breath welcome light, vitality, affection and enthusiasm bringing it within for rejuvenating each cell. Offer all your imperfections to the Universal Mother, and accept from Her in return Her vital, loving, maternal energy.

: ँ :

September also brings with it completion of my yearly cycle here on mother Earth. One year wiser or is it? And to tell you, its been a blessing. Nothing else. Pure and humbly. With a family like you to share my few tid-bits. It has been an exciting, loving, caring and sharing, a home which has let me practice and experiment with my writing. And above all one that has made me travel to those places that I might never be able to wander. Even though I ll still try.

You, this world has been my nectar to say the least, and some jewels, sunshine that entered my life here, strangely and unbelievablly some which have come together to be co-life travellers.

Some images of the day, I decided to celebrate it with children at school. Joanna’s cake made it till here.
It is unthankable. But please accept my Love.


: ँ :


Lastly, my heartfelt tribute to an era that left us, this world in September. The Queen. We Indians have known her closely and well. But to my own surprise, I had no idea that she was such an important part of people’s lives. A pillar that everybody had quietly looked up to all their lives. Such outpouring of love on streets, social media, I really was not expecting it. And it was around this time I came across something so special that showed me a side of her which could be anybody’s, and how much she valued small things, it is called life.

Shared by a man named Andy, he writes and I quote:

“My father worked in the Buckingham Palace mail room for a short while in the 1970s. It was a period when letter bombs were being sent to prominent figures in the UK by the IRA and it was his job to inspect the queen’s mail for any potential explosive devices. The man he worked with, a fellow ammunition technician, himself was a stamp collector. And He couldn’t believe his luck. He, out of hundreds of people was offered a job where envelopes, with exotic stamps stuck on them, were coming in from all over the world. The man would inspect the mail and then promptly tear off the stamp for his own collection. He even brought an exotic box to keep the stamps safe and well. Little did he know about the queen. It must be the fourth or the fifth day when a note quietly made its way down from the queen. ‘Please do not remove my stamps.’


Rest in Power Queen Elizabeth the II.



: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

Like this post? Please Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

: ँ :

Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here

: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
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Ten Hard Truths a Student Must Know For Life

Last week while taking a round in school, I felt someone is sobbing somewhere. I tried to find the source of the sound. Up and below as it lead me to the basement. One student sat under stairs in darkness, his head down between his legs. He got scared the moment he saw me, stood straight and hit his head hard on the stair roof above him and went down again like a cloth falling from a string. Sobbing out loud.

Pandemic fenced my travelling like anyone’s and it turned my attention towards my school. Taking Yoga classes, developing students skills around arts and photography, teaching conversation and language skills. Later when I asked Akshat, the crying boy, what he said took me by surprise. He told me that he fears his mother will die soon, that he cannot bear he will be all alone. His had already lost his father years ago.

That evening back home, I decided that I will introduce my children to the wisdom of the ancients. Once a week I will carry them to their edges, something that schools rather teachers do not recognise. Some truths that they may remember all their lives. Because we know that hard times will come.

The next day as i entered the class, I asked them to close all their books and take out a paper. One loose paper. Today’s class might be the first most important class of your lives. Today when this paper fills, carry it with you to home and paste it in front of your study tables.

Because what you will learn today, it is going to help you prepare for life, as it helps me still.

Children were anxious. Silent. Super Attentive. And we started talking about some of the most important things that might even be helpful to my co-travellers here :-


1. Take care of your health, and it includes everything : I cannot pressurise enough as one must take it seriously that this one thing will determine your happiness and your productivity throughout your life. A good fit body will only work to its potential when a good mind will assist it. Health is not how one looks from the outside. It is a mix of food choices and habits.

Even though I tried giving them some examples from the Secret Ways of Yogic Living but it was too early for them to grasp it.

2. Write daily and Run or Play daily : One doesn’t know but one’s breath is accounted for. And to have a balanced life one must keep an account of one’s daily activities. And one should make sure to Sweat daily.

3. Nobody will ever love you more than your parents : They are our cheerleaders. We are their everything. Never take them for granted.

4. Practise Focusing Daily : This is one of the most important aspect that the world does not want to teach you or they do not themselves know how to. But you are young and if you can start practising sitting with yourself daily, by the time you are twenty or twenty four, it will make you sharper, smarter and might just start surprising you more often than not.

5. Patience is a virtue : We are living in a world which breeds on your attention. Short attention spans severely limits a person’s ability to be patient, but the more able you are to wait for the good things in life, the better they will be. As you will grow, have some setbacks, heartbreaks, failures in life, you would realise if only you had listened to the good advice that was always there, you wouldn’t have spent too much time on many things. Slow down, start breathing deep. And take all your time to decide your path. But when you do give your all.

6. You are responsible for yourself : Do not think that the world is going to be good to you all the time. Your actions, your decisions will determine your path of life. Do not let anyone else decide for you but be open for suggestions.

7. Do not fear : Always go for it if it is making you weak from within. Making you afraid to achieve it. Go for it because that obstacle is your way to life.

8. Choose your Friends : One of the most important aspect that you will carry along all your life will be the people you will start spending your time with. Your associations. Because remember, you can only become as good as them. Hence strive to surround yourself with people who inspire you, who value you, make you think better and motivate you to do good things in life.

9. Be Frank, choose Truth and speak with honesty : It is something the world, individuals are losing. They want comfort. They would rather like to escape taking any responsibility. But if you can work on this skill out, it in turn will build your character, you inside out.

10. Travel : And how can I not ask to travel. Travel as you will. Alone if you can because it is only thus you are going to learn your most profound lessons.

: ँ :

It were beautiful thirty-five minutes with children and the attention they showed throughout was uplifting.

As I am putting out these in front of you all, please share what do you all think and If there are any important truths that I’ve forgotten? Please share them in the comments section. I will keep taking such classes. It will help me learn from you just as much as you learn from life.

: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

Like this post? Please Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post.

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

: ँ :

Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here

: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at narayankaudinya@gmail.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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NATURE and What We Humans Can Learn From the Inner Life Of Trees?


Trees do more than sustain us.

They are our family. Its easy to forget how inseparable we are from the wider realm of nature but in the grand scheme of things our very nature binds us to everything else. Its this dissociation that causes us to lose touch with our very roots.

Reconnecting with our environment, and therefore ourselves must be the foundation of all our work.

“You and the tree in your backyard come from a common ancestor. A billion and a half years ago, the two of you parted ways.

But even now after an immense journey in separate directions that tree and you still share a quarter of your genes.


I recently came across the works of Richard Powers, an American Novelist who instantly lured me as soon as I peeked into his vision of the world. For the longest time ever since I learnt about the Redwoods I have yearned to be amongst them. And one such walk amongst the Redwoods changed Richard’s life from a computer science and a music writer to writing about the old growth forests and why they were being cut down? Why humans are disconnected today with the natural world?

The Overstory, which was Richard’s twelfth novel, won him a Pulitzer prize for fiction. He said in an interview given to a news channel that Before writing “The Overstory,” he stuck to a fairly rigorous routine of writing anything in between 3 to 12 hours for almost a third of a century.

Talking about his walk on that extraordinary day and its background Richard says, “I was teaching at Stanford, in the heart of Silicon Valley. I lived within a couple of miles from the headquarters of Google, Apple, Intel, HP, Facebook, Netflix, and dozens of other companies that had created the present and were busy creating the future. When I needed to get away from that future, I would head up into the Santa Cruz mountains above the valley, where I could reconnect to the long past by hiking under the second-growth redwoods. One day I came across an escapee, a redwood that had somehow evaded the loggers when they cut down these forests to build San Francisco and lay the track for the transcontinental railroad that joined California to the East. This single monster tree was as wide as a house, as tall as a football pitch was long, and almost as old as Jesus. It struck me that Silicon Valley had sprung up down there because these gigantic trees had been up here, helpless resources to be sacrificed. The human story of that region had been written in part by these creatures who operated on an entirely different scale of time and space. And it was at this moment I came down from the mountains and I began to read”.

Also read: How Travelling can elevate you to become a better being?


But what brought my attention to this subject was his choice of words while describing his favourite book, “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” by Crockett Johnson. Published two years before he was born. He says, the book was among very first stories I ever read. It gripped me then, and it has never really let me go. The line which also struck me as he said them out loud, “If you want to walk in the moonlight, you might have to draw your own moon. If you can’t find a way back home, you might have to draw your own trail. I sometimes think I became a writer because of this book”.

Even though I haven’t read any of his books yet but researching and reading enough on the internet gave me more than an insight of how he has lived with and for the nature and that was what he advised to the fellow writers when asked;

“I’ve profited endlessly from not screwing down my plans and outlines too tightly but by leaving myself open to serendipity and happy accident. Be present, practice attention, and the story you are working on will feed on everything in front of you”.



I hope to read this writer someday whom I found just by chance, even though nature tells us nothing is by chance, everything is connected. Like the tree stump and the human fingerprint.


: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

: ँ :

Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here

: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

: ँ :

Mine Against the World of Elon Musk: Some Secrets on High Performance and Thoughts on Artificial Intelligence

Then why not breathe as deep and fill lungs as you never did before. And why not keep the body devoid of extra food. Only when it will remain in hunger it will start performing more, Only if you are not constantly thinking of food to fill it with again. Which is easy, which is the norm, which in all cases could and should be done to an extent. To be mindfull. Mind? Well, Never mind.

It has been said only a little tweak is enough to give a new direction. Musk reads. And was known for reading a book or two a day in his teenage years.

He is voracious and loves to read on almost any topic. Once someone asked how did you get an idea to build a rocket. He replied,

I read books.



But, he also stressed not only to consume any knowledge, but to be aware of what content are you consuming. As this makes all the difference that day and soon in Life.

Musk says Shower; frequent showers is the biggest reason which has had the most positive impact on his life, which could be really true. Showers do change the mindset and even the heart or direction set. I myself have experienced it though in Indian Cities where I live, my mind was groomed to always save water. So somehow it is tuned to make showers short. And not that it works shortly. It works as effectively well.

But he wants to leave Earth and go to Mars. Why? May be because he is haunted by future. May be he fears the machines. Humans becoming humanoids and Robots, super robots. More intelligent than Man. And there are proofs. And by the day Robots are proving themselves pretty efficient in almost walks of life. Recently they were in the news for punishing a little kid just too hard during a game of chess. The AI pinned his index finger down for he played twice in one turn. This certainly wouldn’t have happened had the administrator was a human.

During a conversation chinese businesman Jack Ma disagreed with Elon Musk on moral grounds. Musk who is dreaming of an Earth outside Earth on planet Mars wants to experiment carrying people to Space, to the planets. And Jack Ma didn’t mince his words who felt that the need to work with humans to make Earth a better place is much more now than ever. And we should not think to leave Earth because there is no gurantee if the new place or the planet will be left in peace. The cycle of exploration and destruction will repeat just how and what has been done to our planet Earth. And which will be worse for the coming generation. Even though Jack Ma is naturally right but I do not know how to react when a businessman like Musk admits that one Super Robot has become Sentient. That is a machine has attained Nirvana, Moksha, Heaven. He himself is alarmed. And thus wants to leave Earth at the prospect of Machines ruling Humans.

Yes, it is scary.

But Sentience is impossible in the mechanistic domain, or so I would like to think. Can something as personal as pain be programmed? I imagine NO! It is a metaphysical quality, spritual if you would like to say. And Spritual is nothing but caring and sharing in simplistic language.

Consciousness is not a computational artifact. Computation produces numbers, never anything more. Though Computational intelligence is quite possible. Computational consciousness is not.

For most of us, our understanding of robots and artificial intelligence (AI) is drawn more from science fiction than from fact. But it is true that the world of intelligent machines is opening up. And as we approach this brave new world of human-level machine intelligence, we may need to reassess what it means to be human.

I would really like to know your thoughts on what all you think future holds for us and the coming generations ?

: ँ :

Thank you.

If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste

: ँ :

I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Learnings from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.

 

: ँ :

Also, You will be happy to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday that you must, you will be heartily welcomed here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here

: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.

To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Road to Kali Ka Tibba Chail; One monsoon day around Shivalik Hills in Solan: A Photographic Essay

Reaching Mother Kali’s abode in Chail was an experience earlier this month. She, the mother is regarded as the deity of time and change. And change was ongoing with the ones I was travelling with. My friend Pluto, with whom I had walked for days to find the Brahma Kamal in the Pandava Mountains last year. And his two beautiful mountain dogs Bhalu- the bear and Munkey were leaving the mountains where they had grown old with and lived all their lives. We four were on the road for five long days. But this story of those days needs rare care and more; more than I can give it now. And from here it must be kept for another rainy day.

When the migration ended. Pluto and I decided to spend our last day here. Walking for an hour or more admiring, gaping but reflecting what was there and all around us.

Pluto standing, looking may be at himself

Chail at an altitude of 2,250 meters is at a higher altitude than Shimla which is 2,213 meters above sea level. Shimla and Kasauli can be seen from Chail. Kali ka Tibba Temple is an ideal destination for those who are looking for a secluded destination away from tourist crowds. The best time to visit this place is when we were called. In the monsoons between August and November. Calling is important, as the thick forest cover around the temple can fill ones heart with chlorophyll itself.


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Thank you.


If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste


: ँ :


I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Lessons from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.



: ँ :


Also, You will be to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday, that you must, you will be heartily welcome here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here


: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.


To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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The STORY OF INDIA in 75 Independent Years



Today is 15th August. It is a date with destiny. A total of 6 countries got Independence on this date in different years. You can say they were destined too.

Bahrain
Congo
The Two Koreas
Liechtenstein

and my country, India.
The largest and the most vibrant democracy in the world. A country that is diverse in every single sense.

Geographically, Socially, Culturally, Linguistically.

Since Colonial Rule, a nation of 1.3 Billion people will celebrate the fact that they have proven wrong every Western Commentator who predicted doom upon a young country in the late 1940s, all the way up to even 1970s.

75 Years ago at midnight India made tryst with destiny. An independent India was born.

Drained and Divided but desperate to make on its own.

How would one describe this journey of seven and a half decades?

Its been a staggering, astonishing, colossal and a monumental journey this past 75 years. And no what foundations, morals a man or a country shows; it all boils down to

ECONOMY

The British crown looted 45 Trillion dollars from India. From raw materials to the Kohinoor diamond. The British took it all. The thumbs of weavers were cut off. Indian peasants were crushed. The brightest jewel in British crown was left with a prospect of a dim future.

Dr. Verghese Kurien, Milk Man of India


At the time of Independence the per capita Income of India was Rs. 230/- i.e 2.89 dollars. The average income was 1/15th of what an average American earned. There was poverty, hunger. The task before India was to lift itself.

And it did.

There was rapid Industrialisation. Three successful revolutions.

Green revolution (1960) – India saw an increase in food grain production.

White revolution (1970) – India began the world’s largest dairy development program. Today India is world’s largest milk producer.

Blue Revolution – Rise in Aquaculture production


India opened itself to the world in 1991. The economy opened its doors for Free Trade with the Foreign investors. Globalised its Economy. Privatised its banks. And 75 years later India is one of the world’s largest leading economies.

From less than 3 dollars, India’s global per capita income has grown to almost 2000. Its share in the world GDP is 3.28%

7 Decades back India was an import dependent country. Today more and more global companies are Making in India or want to make in India.


GEOPOLITICS


India somehow successfully navigated the cold war. It became a political force for decolonisation.

India liberated Bangladesh. It reached out to Africa, successfully de-hyphenated Israel and Palestine. Struck strategic partnership with the gulf.

Today world powers see India as an important partner. A leading voice in International politics and forums.

The Face of Peace.

Indo-China War
Indian Soldiers patrolling Indo-Sino border 1962
Dalai Lama – Nehru and his coming over to India in 1959


Of course the journey has been more than just hard. There were huge security issues right from the day go, almost moving along like a shadow.

In 1948 – Pakistan’s incursion into Kashmir
In 1962 – The war with China over Tibet and Dalai Lama crossing over into India three years ago then.

1965 – Weakened India tested again by the Pakistan forces.
1971 – The major war with Pakistan to liberate what today is known as Bangladesh.
1999 – The Kargil War with Pakistani troops
2020 – The stand off with Chinese forces in Doklam, later Galwan and which is still very much ongoing on the Border in Eastern Laddakh.

But on every single occasion India showed the world that its capable of defending itself. Capable of resisting any attempt to redraw its map.

India taught the world tolerance, Universal acceptance and none of it was easy.

Churchill on Gandhi


Winston Churchill, former UK PM had dismissed India’s experiment with self-governance, why? Because India was socially diverse.

More than 22 languages,
20,000 dialects
numerous religions and numerous regions.

Churchill said, India is merely a geographical expression. It is not a single country than the equator. He was convinced that the Independent India wont be able to stay together. And well,

Churchill was wrong.

India remains united and grows stronger with every passing year. Its success as a secular state has surprised many. Of course there have been ups and downs.

India survived partition. Assassinations of its three prime leaders. One outside India. Operation Blue star and many small and big riots. But which country does not go through any of this, and which country can even claim to be this diverse.

None on this planet.

Polio Vaccinations



In the initial years post independence it was tough keeping such a huge country together. One of the biggest challenges was public health or the lack of it.

In 1947, the average life expectancy in India was 32 years. There was a rampant spread of communicable diseases like malaria and Tuberculosis.

In 1947, India registered 75 million cases of Malaria. Its total population was 330 million. Almost 23% of its population had malaria.

By 1964, the numbers came down but then Polio arrived. Until mid 1990s everyday around 500 children were getting paralysed. But India fought it. And was declared Polio free by 2014. Today, eradication of Polio is a case study of healthcare success for the world.

India also eradicated Small pox and as we read this, India is running one of the largest vaccination program.

India’s health care system is one of its biggest achievements. We hardly appreciate it because there’s lot that is not right. But when you look where we started, the achievements look astounding.

The life expectancy since Independence has gone over 100% from 32 years to 70.19 years. This is one of the most important Indecators of human development. Today India is called the world’s pharmacy. She exports medicines to almost 200 countries and regions.


Also most notable achievements came in TECHNOLOGY.

India decided to go to space just 17 years after Independence. It set up Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). India’s first rocket launch happened in 1963, from a town called Thumba. The rocket parts were transported in bicycle and bullock carts. Today, India is a well established space power. It has reached Mars.

Rocket parts being transported I
Rocket parts being transported II


India was also the first country outside the permanent UNSC members to test a nuclear bomb. And it did this despite the world’s best efforts to derail it. Reports say, that the CIA killed an Indian Scientist only to road block the nuclear journey. But as children growing up in poor India, the stories we learnt was the ‘How’ we conducted the nuclear tests.

The US had deployed a satellite over India to spy. Every 12 hours it would return. So the work done on the nuclear site was done during the night and equipment would return in the morning to its original place to evade the detection by the US satellites. Code names were used. The thermonuclear device for example was placed in a shaft named ‘White House’.

On 18th May 1974, India took the world by surprise. Out of nowhere the news of success of the nuclear tests arrived. India became a nuclear power. And the operation was called ‘Smiling Buddha’.

The director of the India Nuclear Research Institute, Raja Ramanna told the then PM Indira Gandhi, Buddha has smiled.


Also read : The Sins of America

PM Indira Gandhi inspecting the Site
Smiling Buddha
Site after the nuclear test


How did India achieve all this? First, Democracy and second, Literacy.

From the very first day after Independence every adult in India had the right to vote. And just for reference it took the US 150 years to adopt Universal Adult franchise. In the last 75 years Indian population has grown from 370 million to 1.3 billion. States have been reorganised. But the sanctity of elections have never been compromised. They are chaotic yes, even controversial but they are held without fail every five years.


Also read: At War with the Truth. Afghanistan and her Killers

Voting in Kashmir


There have been dark periods like the emergency in 1975, Operation Blue Star, Riots somewhere or the other but it did not last and that is the thing about India’s story. Its far from perfect. There is corruption, inefficiency and everything else that we keep complaining about yet India’s democracy has delivered.

It has elevated poverty, built world class infrastructure and sent Indians to space. To winning beauty pageants, gold medals and to lead world’s biggest companies.


Also read: One time at a Rural School in India


Literacy has played an important role here. When India became independent 4 out of 5 people could not read. The literacy rate was around 9%. For India to grow it had to educate its people. It made free education a fundamental right. Schemes like

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (Educate All Mission)
Mid Day Meal

insured that the children found their way to schools. India expanded its infrastructure. In 1947, India had only
28 medical schools,
4 Dental Colleges,
33 Engineering Colleges

Today, they are over 6000.

Metro in India
Gurgaon Cyber City
Double Flyover in Delhi

Today, the India that could neither read or write is now the world’s biggest talent pool. Top Engineers, doctors, Indian origin CEO’s all bear testimony to India’s growth and transformation.

Today India is home to 1.4 Billion people. Its progressive yet rooted in its Culture and Values. It is home to the world’s youngest population, World largest democracy, World’s largest Film Industry, World’s largest diaspora population, World’s largest Road network, Leader in Climate Action. A market that every company wants to enter and a strategic force that every government wants to partner.

Today as India celebrates its historical achievements. It also has a clear vision of the future.

This is India at 75


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Thank you.


If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste


: ँ :


I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, my Ten Lessons from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.



: ँ :


Also, You will be to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday, that you must, you will be heartily welcome here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here


: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.


To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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Research and Content from various Sources and Publications


Making of a Capital : A Short Travel Poem and a Photo Essay

And now we move to the rhythm of this restlessness
On these streets many people dead they drive with recklessness

8% growth has some people flex with lexuses
In South ex shop for Rolexes and diamond necklaces

Land developers come down hard build power nexuses
They build more malls and shopping complexcesses

State militia vacate villages – next exodus
So you can cash checks of sensex indexes.

Many narrators refer to Delhi as be-dil(heartless). They say the city is cruel, treacherous, ungrateful, selfish and a whore.

Prior to the Muslim rule, Delhi’s most popular name was Yoginipur, City of Yoginis. Jain texts and Prakrita literature mentioned the city as Yoginipur. Yoginis are lesser goddesses; some texts say they numbered 12 while others put the figure at 64. Yogmaya, the presiding deity of Yoginopur, reigned over all the Yoginis.

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Excerpts and Images from an Ongoing Project on Delhi


Thank you.


If today is the first time you have arrived on The Road to Nara, you are heartily welcome ~ Namaste


: ँ :


I will take this opportunity to introduce you to About me and importantly;

As a co-traveller, will take you through the Ten Lessons I learnt from several years on the roadbefore you coarse on youown Road to Nara.



: ँ :


You might also like to know about My Little School Project. If you wish to come over for a visit someday, that you must, you will be heartily welcome here

If you would like to contribute to my travels, you can please do so here


: ँ :

If you have anything to share, or feel like saying a hello, please feel free to write to me at nara@road-to-nara.com

To visit other long-term photographic works, please visit here.


To follow my walks through the rural Indian Subcontinent, find me at 
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter