Only when I bent down to fill Ganga jal ( water ) from the Ganga at Gangotri did I realize how colossal the river was ! Its stupendous flow and gurgling roar bought a shiver to me and I hesitated a bit -such is the gigantic holy river at its source .According to legend ,it is here that Goddess Ganga descended when lOrd Shiva released the mighty river from the locks of his hair .People of Uttarkashi address it as the Bhagirathi .At 10,200ft it has the most picturesque sights and a photographer can get confused which angle to take first -such is the royal beauty of this region .It is one of the Chota char dham and pilgrims throng Uttarkashi in the season .At this time of the year ,it is serene with a few sadhus walking past you on the highway !
The exorbitant greenery is so lush that I wish I could bring it back with me to Delhi ! There is nothing petite and slender on this side of Uttarakhand .Mountains are humongous and the Ganga-inordinate ! There is plentiful of fresh fruits and vegetables-so organic that one tends to gorge on them all the time .The happiness quotient of the locals is very high -maybe I have not met more happy people in India .Nobody is complaining ! There are adventure camps for the nature enthusiasts ,organized treks for the brave hearts and lovers of the green mountains and tiny hotels all over to take a break .What more can one ask for when the clouds are on the road itself and its drizzling? The heart sings a merry song ,many a times creating a new symphony !!
Harsil is a picture perfect village where one can camp before heading to Gangotri .That drive from Harsil to Gangotri can beat any Swiss holiday .May I suggest more people visit these hidden jewels in our country and promote tourism in the state !
The environmentalist in me kept a keen eye on how the Char Dham Highway was being made and whether the taming of the mountains to make broader roads was safe enough as to not cause landslides and flooding in the future .It is quite clean but tourists litter it with plastic majorly and the locals do not have a organized disposal and recycling system .I did come across the mountain deer and exquisite bees and birds and promised myself to keep working for the environment -saving forests and wildlife ! A must visit – Uttarkashi -Gangotri !
This is not just a throwback !
Many of us feel nostalgic about how diplomatic relations used to be between India and Pakistan .Whatever happened at the borders, there was a minimal grace between the officials .Today India -Pakistan relations are churning and curdling after the revoking of Article 370 and 35A .
With US and China trying not to step in ,the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been solely addressed by Prime mInister Modi ,Home Minister Amit Shah and the cabinet .Indians here and all over the world are brimming with self respect as they feel proud of the firm stand the PM has taken ! I have received many messages and calls from NRI’s feeling triumphant about this historic move !
Critics name it the beginning of “anarchy “,while Mehbooba Mufti ,Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah are struggling to get their act together .In his first speech after the Kashmir decision Modi promises to rid India of terror and separatism .
We will have to wait to see how the story rolls . Im sharing a great memory of the farewell dinner at the High Commission Pakistan for Salman Bashir , Ambassador to India .Taranum his wife hosted many a beautiful evenings and the food was beyond gourmet ! The chemistry in the diplomacy is changing ,as is the energy at the border .
Jai Hind .
The youngest Cabinet Minister in Haryana at the age of 25 ,seven times MP and former Foreign Minister of India ,Sushma Swaraj ji passes away leaving a void of excellent leadership in Indian politics .Her aura ,so peaceful and composed was felt across the world when she held discussions and negotiations with utmost ease in the most complicated scenario .
There came a time when if Sushmaji was going for solving an international issue ,India knew she would come home victorious .Such was the enigma .
Words fall short for such a stalwart of Indian politics .I feel blessed to have known her ,however trivial it may seem to mention at this time .I will always cherish her calm composed demeanor and wise words .Rest in Peace Sushmaji .
What is a life -rich or poor when one is gasping for breath ! Yes we are talking of cities in India where citizens are running short of breath ,kids missing school ,older parents rushed to hospitals ,asthma shooting up and allergies galore !!
A strong central government and a confused Delhi government ,the challenges are many ! Its not Delhi alone that I represent here ,it could be Kanpur ,Bangalore ,Jaipur ,Mumbai ,Gurugram or a tiny industrial town shrouded in darkness .Nobody breathes .
Blame game is on ,answers being dodged on television as we ask the politicians whats the value of our votes ? Where are the promises they made ?
The causes of pollution have been discussed dime a dozen times ,I have debated a hundred times myself ,be it at IIT or Harper Collins -nobody gives a responsible solution .
Environment activists like me will make noise till it is heard !
While the world celebrated the World Environment Day on 5 th June with huge events and the UN dedicated a whole day to it ,my little NGO Tree For Life celebrated
it in a humble manner in Delhi ,the national capital .With the kids of government schools we organized a days event full of action and fun .
It wasn’t one of the political gimmicks where we see netas planting a sapling and the media goes clap clap .It was all work plus a lot of play too .
Little champions spoke about how they see their world ,what challenges they see and what can they do to bring a change ? We were surprised at the awareness these school kids had about pollution and global warming .litttle girls spoke about planting more trees around home and in school ,boys promised not to litter ,stop using plastic etc .It was an eye opener for me too -the society is aware already ! We need leadership to streamline it with volunteers and campaigns like the Swach bharat ! Draw and paint your world of nature I said to the students, what we got was amazing -an array of thoughts ,out of the box ideas and smiling faces .
To encourage these young stars we gave away prizes to participants followed by a hearty snack party .Then we got our hands dirty with real plantation in the huge school premises .
I slept so well that night ,thinking that this world is waking up to climate change ,global warming and love for the environment .A successful day !
Kudos to the BJP government ,finally the Muslim woman can breathe in peace .Triple talaq has been pending in the parliament since years and nobody dare make a move ,till Modiji proved his women empowerment speeches were not in vain !
A man in Mathura has been booked for giving talaq to his wife days after triple talaq bill was passed in the parliament .The Muslim Women protection of Rights on Marriage Bill prescribes upto 3 years of imprisonment for men giving instant triple talaq to their wives .President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to the bill which was passed in the Rajya sabha with 99 to 84 votes .Opposition had walked out in the lok sabha .Members of the Congress ,Samajvadi party and NCP plus the AIADMK walking out ahead of the voting explains their tangent to women rights !
Triple talaq is a crime today and women all over the country are more confident when the BJP talks about women rights ,Ujjwla ,Beti bachan beti padao and other schemes because we see true promises not a maze of words !
India Ahead News took the Delhi Chief minister Mr Arvind Kejriwal to task after he proposed a very rosy picture of how the Delhi government would give full subsidy to anyone consuming upto 200 units of electricity .There are more reductions of 400 units and so but it does not seem like a free package -Yes because there are no free lunches .
The rich and middle class ,the tax payers are overburdened in the Indian economy .The vote bank still lies with the poor and that is what he is trying to encash .As a socio-political activist I would love to believe this theory but let him not use the Robinhood syndrome on us Delhites .Take it from one hand and give it to the other !
I am unwilling to be fleeced anymore -be it subsidy or not .Honest taxpayers ,service class are bent backwards in any case , exhibit a theory of economics where all sections are benefitted . Vote banks are ghosting the very fabric of the nation .