This Monsoon Vacation Escape Into A Tranquil Tree-House Hideout In Munnar, Kerala- Ela Ecoland Nature Retreat.

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Blossoms along the way to munnar.

Thinking about a quick trip to do on your short vacation for a week? Is your Indian blue humble passport holding you back from your plans to travel to International destinations?

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The lovely curve roads for a perfect drive.

I have often felt lost for myself trying to figure out the visa procedures for a quick escape and have looked upon my fellow mates who hold the US, UK passports jump onto Skyscanner and book tickets and fly the next day. Well, there is nothing we can do about rather get yourself in a tour package spending a lot of money or dedicating an entire day at the embassy.

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That lush greenery

But I have wondered, it could be because we have a world within us.

Spreading from Andaman & Nicobar Islands to Kashmir & Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh exhibit a whole lot of difference in culture and language.

Kerala- a land blessed with coastal and hill ranges have never disappointed its visitors. In this blog, I am introducing Ela Ecoland, a quick hideout in the Hill ranges of Munnar that I visited last summer.

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Enjoying my evening on the balcony of the tree house.

Ela Ecoland is a nature retreat than a resort. I found the retreat to be so close to nature that I did not find anything artificial or non-biodegradable used in its premises.

Ela Ecoland offers three types of accommodation.

  • Rock house rooms
  • Luxury Tents
  • Treehouse

Treehouse stay is unique in his style. They aren’t many treehouses in Munnar only a couple of few countable on fingers. I was lucky enough to stay in one among them.

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Getting my works done on a tree house in the woods.

Golden tip: If you’re interested in Treehouse then book them at least one week in advance and to be noted Treehouse is couple friendly which accommodates two comfortably.

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The view of the tree house from below.

The view from the Treehouse is stunning that it overlooks a small pond with falls and to add to the natural beauty they have a bamboo raft which can be used to move around in the pond.

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The bamboo raft 

As the sun goes down begins the chirping of the birds that you feel you are totally lost in the jungle having nothing to worry about your chaotic life and is best if you want to disconnect yourself from the hectic life you have back in the city.

The stream flows by that adds to the beauty and serene environment. Imagine laying on your cosy bed in the cool weather where the temperature drops to as low as 15 °C listening to the chirping of the birds and stream, reading your favourite book. Perfecto!

If you want to stay connected then internet wifi facility is available at the reception. Mobile networks go on and off. Idea and Bsnl networks often work but are not stable.

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Benjamin with his friend.

Run by these two nature lovers Benjamin and his friend would never leave you disappointed. So, this monsoon vacation head to Ela!

Excuse me! Don’t forget to take your camera with you! You may come across some beautiful spots to capture nature photographs.

You can also watch my Youtube video on Ela Ecoland for some visuals.

Do visit to get connected to the nature retreat to book your stay through this website.

Happy Vacation!

Blogwithgokul©

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For Nature retreat website: www.elaecoland.com

For booking call: +91 9400946800


Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

Make sure you also follow Benjamin on his Instagram YouTube Channel.

This Malayalee Couple Vlogger Is Set Out To Explore Dubai- An Interview with Midhun and Vasu -Blogwithgokul (GV’s Talk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Midhun and Vasu!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Midhun- We live in the United Arab Emirates lately. We are natives of Kerala, The beautiful south Indian state of India. We grew up there and after marriage, we moved to Dubai.  That is when the idea of vlogging struck right into our minds. I tried my luck and people seem to like it. Yes, that’s why we are here now!

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‘Vloggers’ The term that could describe you both. Right? How did your journey as a vlogger begin?

Midhun- I am a persistent viewer of Mo Vlogs. I watch that almost all day. Then I started to watch Casey Niestat Vlogs. I admired their way of presentation and editing. I understood that it would be quite popular and accepted by the English viewers but was doubtful about the regional viewers. After a while, I came across the videos of vloggers from Kerala. So, that’s when we thought it’s time to start vlogging and the journey begun. 

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Vlogging could be tough I assume especially when you’re in the middle of the street and when people stare at you while speaking to the camera. Is it true? If yes, how do you tackle it? 

Midhun- Anybody can buy a camera and edit videos without much prior knowledge in them but I guess the real challenge that arises is the one you said ‘dealing with the people around you’. Not only in the Middle East but in India as well when you walk around the streets talking to your camera they are chances that people get offended especially if it’s a woman near you. They might think that you are trying to capture them, they wouldn’t know if your a vlogger or a youtuber. I make flights reviews often and it’s an absolute challenge to record video in a confined space without spoiling the privacy of other passengers. I mostly turn my camera towards the window and shoot.

Vasu- For me overcoming the fear and shyness was the major challenge. Initially, I felt really awkward to talk to a camera which was a non-living thing, I felt weird but later I got accustomed to it. I was a person who had stage fears and whenever we had a stranger on the vlog I prefer to be silent but now things have changed after our 90th video. I am more comfortable to interact with people and talk to our travel companion which is our little camera.

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‘A turning point’, one vlog that you could mention that just blew your expectation? 

Midhun- Well the turning point was, While I was vlogging all the way to India from Dubai Actress Swetha Menon was in my same flight and I met her and told that I am vlogging and requested her to say ‘Hi’ to my subscribers and then a thumbnail for my video. The video just went viral crossing 1 lakh views. That was the video which made me realise that even I can achieve one lakh views being a regional language video creator, it was unbelievable. If Shwetha Menon reads this blog we both take this opportunity to thank her from our heart. Thank You Swethaji!

I went through your vlogs on YouTube and when I scrutinized through the comments. Most of them are so eager to know about this and have asked ‘Midhun and Vasu! What are your jobs?’ Haha. Yes, what do you do for the living? Full-time vloggers? 

Midhun- Yes! I Think it is one of the questions which I get often asked. Most of the Youtubers from Kerala like Sujith Bhakthan, Ebadu and so on would have answered this about them almost every month. I have income through three sources presently. I run a start-up company in Dubai, then I also work as a director for a US-based company.

Vasu- I work for a travel company.

Midhun- We have also started to earn quite a sum of money through Youtube recently as well.

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Vasu it’s your turn first. What makes Midhun a good travel companion? And then Midhun how about you?

Vasu- Actually, whatever I say he listens…

Midhun- Hey! When in Kerala, Whenever I ask her to hang out she jumps onto the bike and keeps blabbering throughout the journey. Haha! A chatterbox in short.

Vasu- See it works like this, I believe that one should be talkative and other should be silent. So, I belong to the former one while chettan (Midhun) belongs to the latter one.
He keeps listening to me throughout our travels. I think that’s what makes him a good companion. Haha! Thanks for bearing me.

MidhunOurs was a love marriage but even then we never talked or imagined that we will turn into vloggers. All we wished is to buy a house and get settled in a peaceful place and lead a good family life. I would say Vasu is the backbone for me. She became really familiar with vlogging and she is the one who insisted me to buy Canon G7X when I said I will go with something that is cheaper and would do the job now. Her attentiveness makes her a good companion.

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‘Vloggers On Rise’. Young generation looks to you on YouTube. How can you impact the society being an influencer? 

Midhun- Let me not narrow down into vloggers alone. I believe the social media itself has influenced the young generation a lot. In the forms of trolls, vlogs, blogs, memes, live streams and more people are being aware of the happenings without spending time reading newspapers. Each persons opinion matters. So imagine each person voice their stance through online platforms and then the overall voices play a very important role in the end, it could be an issue that is political or social. Moreover, Sharing of information has improved rapidly. Networking takes place in a blink of an eye. You are able to connect people of similar likes and beliefs. Be a part of initiatives, connect to eminent personalities and this itself is a great example being a part of GV’s Talk by you Gokul. I believe India is going to witness a massive change by 2019 elections and social media influencers will be a great part of it.

Vasu- I would say just like the young generation, people in their old age too are viewers of Youtube. Living all their lives and being in the retirement age and when young people bring out something different to watch they seemed to be curious. I wanted to influence them in a way that saving money, building a house or buying a car is all a necessity but above all, we have to travel, see things that are new to us, learn about other customs and tradition.

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Tips for upcoming young vloggers? 

Midhun- My suggestion would be I think almost all of you should have a youtube channel. Earlier days advertisement was done through local media and newspaper but now most ads are through google and facebook and its reach is on a global level. Money circulates through the global market so if we can cluster it in our market it would be a huge revenue. Create a channel and start promoting your business or whatever. Bring positive contents.

How do you manage to travel frequently? Do you take a day off for vlogging

MidhunIt’s not possible to travel around for 365 days a year while working but certainly you can have a balance between both. Keep aside a day in a week for travelling and that is enough for vlogging. It need not be a trip to a foreign country it could be a walk to an open market down the streets.

Most of your followers are from Kerala. What do you guys have to tell them at this moment? 

Midhun Let me thank everyone for supporting us so far. Please keep supporting.

Vasu- Live your life, keep your worries aside and create some memorable moments so that once you reach your old age you will have something to cherish about always. Keep supporting us.

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can subscribe to Midhun V Sankar & Vasu’s Youtube channel.

Youtube channel: Midhun V Sankar


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

A Young Artist and A Social Media Fame: An Interview with Akhilshah-Blogwithgokul (GV’s Talk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Mr Akhilshah!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Akhilshah: I’m Akhilshah. My friends call me Akku. Well, I come from the Perinthalmanna district of Kerala. A high school graduate and all set to begin a college life. I’m so passionate about arts and love to sketch portraits of people. I make dubsmash videos which made me popular on the social media. Yeah! That’s why I am here! Haha.

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Akhilshah with the portrait of Malayalam Actor Jayasurya

Let’s talk about art first. Okay. Who was the first person who found your talent to become an artist?

Finding out the talent in me. Yes, I would say my parents are the one who found my talent in arts. My mom, she always encouraged me to pursue my interest in arts from a very young age.

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His galore of art collections

Have you had any formal training in arts?

No, I haven’t. I could say I always loved drawing on papers and that is how I grew a passion for it. Like the more you practice the more perfect you get. I figured out the ways in which one can create a great art. During school days, We have an hour dedicated to the arts. My school art teacher helped me during that hour giving me certain guidelines.

A young man who graduated from high school. Right? What are your plans for the future?

Yes, graduated from high school. I wanted to be an Architect. That’s my ambition. I have taken NATA exam to qualify for Architecture colleges in India. Yea, waiting for the allotments to be published. I would definitely work on creating more sketches.

Akhil at this young age you were able to meet a lot of celebrities but tell us how many celebrity sketches have you done so far?

I have sketched a lot of celebrities portraits, I haven’t taken the count but in person, I got the opportunity to create portraits for nine celebrities. They include actress Sruthi Lakshmi, Nyla Usha, Surabhi, Abhirami, Rimi Tomy, Bhama, Honey Rose, Mamta Mohandas & Chakochan (Kunchako Boban).

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Akhilshah with Mamta Mohandas and Kunchako Boban

Who is the dream person that you want to present a sketch for?

I have been a hardcore fan of our ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar since childhood. I would love to meet him and gift him one. If it happens I would be in cloud 9.

Recently I saw your performance on the television in which you created an art within the limited time period of a song! Which is absolutely mind-blowing. How challenging was it?

Yes, I drew the sketch of Lalettan. It’s called stencil art. It was my first time performing on stage, I was very nervous as well. The audience was so supportive that I completed it on time. I hope I did my best.

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Presenting an art to actress Surabi

Amazing talent in acting as well. Do you wish to try your luck in the film industry?Yea I love to act in films. It’s been one of my dreams from childhood. I am not much into lead roles in a movie but I would love to play a role of a supporting character in which I can explore more in acting. Yes, I love to, let’s see wants in stock for me. Haha.

Which was the video that led to your popularity?

My first video that went viral was the one I did from the Malayalam sitcom M80 Moosa. I enacted the characters of Pathu and Moosa in a double role. When I posted it on Facebook I realised that it was gaining many views in a short span of time. Later, it started circulating on Whatsapp and Youtube. The lead Actress Surabhi who plays the role of Pathu, Indian National award winner by chance saw the video and shared it on her fan page.

In most of your Dubsmash videos, your sister had a huge involvement? How fun is it to make videos with her? What does she do?

Haha! Yes, We always fight each other and the only time we stand cheek by jowl is when making a dubsmash video. She is in 5th grade and I love collaborating with her. She has a whole lot of a humour in her and the positive vibe we get when we spend time with kids is boundless.

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With his sister during the making of a dubsmash video

To watch dubsmash click here: Dubsmash

Who is your biggest support or the backbone who drives you to move forward creating videos or draw sketches?

I have to thank my parents first for helping me pursue my passion along with my studies. Then comes friends. I have to mention my uncle, he has been a constant support, encouraging me to do more arts and videos. He is always there for me.

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A portrait of Neymar and Messi

Before we wind up the talk Akhil what do you have to tell to the people who supported you by sharing your videos and made it a great hit?

When I did my first video I never imagined that people would appreciate and promote it. I am so grateful to everyone who helped me come to the limelight.  Thank you so much and I wish to have them in the future as well. 

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can follow Akhilshah on his social media handles:

Facebook: Akhilshah


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

Insight Into a Travel Vlogger’s Life: An Interview with Sujith Bhakthan – Blogwithgokul (GV’sTalk)

Hello! Ladies and Gentlemen, I happily welcome you all to GV’s Talk – a series of interview with inspiring people across the globe.

Gokul: Welcome to GV’s Talk Mr Sujith Bhakthan!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. Tell us about yourself.

Sujith: I’m Sujith Bhakthan. I grew up in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. I am a graduate in Engineering. I started blogging in 2008 and have been a full-time travel blogger for about 10 years. I own the channel  Tech Travel Eat on YouTube. It’s all about the latest trends in social media, technology, travel & food. Yes, a social media freak!

‘Kerala’s own travel vlogger’ What goes through your mind when someone addresses you in that way?

I would be extremely happy! Malayalees have always been a regular audience of prime travelogues namely like ‘Sancharam‘. I aimed out to bring something different from the conventional travelogues by introducing the concept of vlogging. Initially, people compare my videos with Sancharam and give a lot of criticism like ‘we really don’t want to see you talking on screen rather we would love to see the beauty of the place’. Now it has changed and people have accepted vlogging. Yes of course, who wouldn’t love being addressed that way! I’m honoured.

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Feeding the tiger in Thailand. Astonishing.

Vlogging as a whole hasn’t been that long since it bloomed among the Indian audience. How far has YouTube been popular among people?

I would say Youtube has become more popular after the launch of JIO services, It revolutionised the Indian market when the internet began to be available even to a common man for no cost. I assume that earlier people logged onto Youtube to watch movie trailers, gossip videos and so on. Now, they appreciate and spend the time to watch videos of content creators and are viewers of YouTube just like the national television. The massive number of viewers from a small community like the ‘Malayali’ itself is a great example of Youtube gaining popularity.

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Paragliding in Kullu Manali, India

Congratulations on crossing 2 lakh subscribers on YouTube. Looking back into your journey how do you feel?

Thank you, GV. It’s actually on Facebook that I crossed 2 lakh followers and on Youtube, I crossed 1.3 lakh subscribers. As far as a Youtuber is concerned achieving 1 lakh subscribers is a milestone in his career. The target was to acquire one million subscribers in a year but I had to spend almost 1.5 years. I’m still figuring out why people are reluctant to hit the subscribe button. Haha! Well, the fact is I gain a good amount of watch time on YouTube, in actuality the number of loyal subscribers matters. For instance, if you have ten thousand subscribers for your channel and around six thousand are your fans then you’re a winner!

What could be the hurdles that can come across to a person while vlogging? Any situation to remember as such?

 When I started vlogging sometimes as I walked along the streets talking to the camera people used to laugh, tease and I have even overheard people say that I am mad. It was quite embarrassing. Later, I found a solution to it. I realised that it could be overcome by boosting up one’s self-confidence. Other than that would be restrictions in certain places for videography. I haven’t faced anything else so far. Now, I am all set to vlog in any situation in the best possible way I can. 

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Snow sledging with his brother.

The one video which turned out to fuel up your success rate as a Youtuber?

A resort named Rainforest Ayurcounty that rain for 365 days in Kottayam district of Kerala was the first video that became popular. It was an experimental video that I vlogged. Then I think the video about Kochi metro and T3 international terminal in Cochin airport were the turning point in my career. These videos reached the viewers profoundly. 

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Roadtrip to Goa, India. 

What would be the proudest moment in your life that vlogging as brought you?

I had the golden opportunity to meet the French President Emmanuel Macron on an invite. The unbelievable thing is that I got the permission to capture a selfie video with him. I would always cherish that moment. Furthermore, I get extremely happy when I come to know that people had an amazing experience and express their words of gratitude for suggesting resorts and new destinations through my vlogs. I feel contented.

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French President meet in Bikaner, India.

How can a vlogger influence the society? How impactful can one be?

Yes, Uhhmm… This is how it works. People are keen observers. Even if I have a scare or bruise on my face or body they notice it very quickly and you can see many commenting them on my video. This is certainly the case with the outfit I wear for vlogging, the types of equipment I use, the accessories and even the objects on the screen is been scrutinized and observed closely by the viewers. These are the reasons why companies consider us as influencers and approach for various marketing strategies. A Youtuber can certainly influence a society in many ways be it political or so on and it’s certainly up to the person. Yes, they are quite impactful.

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Dabbling with some scorpions in East Asia.

What made your transition from a blogger to a vlogger? Is it because people are more keen towards watching rather than reading these days?

Yes, the number of readers have dwindled in the recent years. It’s a fact. People are more towards videos these days. We need to catch up with the trends right? I think It’s already late when I started to vlog. I should have started off earlier but nevertheless, I believe it’s Ok. Furthermore, I am too lazy to write blogs now. Haha! I feel that I am able to establish an intimate connection with my viewers through visuals and express much more than words. This is absolutely an added advantage than blogging. 

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Time for some adventure.

‘Tech Travel Eat’ What are your dreams and expectations?

I wanted to travel to many places and explore different cultures, traditions, document visuals and reach them out for my viewers. Apart from that, I need to work on to have a consistent revenue model than now. ‘Travel with Sujith Bhakthan’ is on its way. It’s a long-term dream I have and I’m working hard for it. 

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Travel with Sujith Bhakthan

A large portion of your followers is from Kerala. What do you have to tell them before we wind up the conversation?

Wherever you go around the world you would definitely stumble upon a Malayali. Haha! Malayalees are passionate about travelling to places. It is always wise to travel around when you’re younger and healthy. There is no point in saving a lot of money when younger and keeping your savings aside to see the world at an older age. That is the time when you realise that your health doesn’t catch up with your passion. So, travel when your healthy and explore this amazing world as much as you can!

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At a press meet for promoting positive and informative content on the internet.

“Travel the world when your healthy and explore as much as you can” – Sujith Bhakthan

That’s a pretty good advice! Sujith.

Thank you so much for having your time. Wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Blogwithgokul©

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You can follow Sujith Bhakthan on his social media handles:

FacebookTech Travel Eat by Sujith Bhakthan

Instagramtechtraveleat

YouTube:   Tech Travel Eat


Hola! So keep reading as I bring new guests to the hot seat of GV’s Talk. You can also write to me on gokulvijay484@gmail.com for business inquiries and suggestions.

Make sure you also follow me on my Instagram, Facebook Page & YouTube Channel.

“The ghost of the past that haunts me” -when she opens up her heart.

(Note- my friend finally decided to pen down her terrible experiences growing up.) share if you think it is worthy. Thank you.

I am a very blessed person.I have an amazing life, wonderful friends,

the best possible husband and such a naughty darling for a kid. Yet my

childhood haunts me.People think, I had it all good being an only kid,

brought up in the middle east but it wasn’t so. My grandmother had

succeeded in drilling into my dad’s head that he would be less of a

man if he loved his wife or kid. To him, family was his mother,

siblings and their kids. Mom was simply his maid, and I, the maid’s

daughter.

Of course my mother was hurt, and this hurt, and anger at my dad, she

decided to send my way. To him, she was the perfect ‘parinitha’ (wife)…always

nodding her head in agreement no matter what he decided, never asking

for anything- not even the necessities. The more distance my dad

showed her, the more frustrations she would release on me. Being

pinched till the skin came off, being hit with anything in her arm’s

reach- wooden spoons, tennis racket, fly swatter, sandals, cable

wires, comb, hanger, metal ladle, rulers- anything.Any thing from

burning me to smearing me with fish innards. And i wasn’t allowed to

cry out loud or beg to stop. No matter how hard I tried, somewhere

around halfway into the torture session, i would beg and that was when

i would be thrown into a corner and kicked (with her slippers on) till

no energy was left in me to beg. I could really sense my unconditional

love for them disappear over time. I was always warned that if I dared

confess what happened then no one would ever love me. I strived hard

to please my parents, but they were never satisfied. My dad showered

expensive gifts on my cousins while i was given nothing. I believed it

was because of me- I was the bad egg. They never failed to insult me

in front of others. My talents in acting painting drawing clay

modeling etc were all discouraged. I was only allowed the academic

stuff and there too, inspite of being one of the best students, they

weren’t pleased. I was always told that i was a punishment to my

parents.Slowly it started sinking in me that i was unloved. I tried to

commit suicide a couple of times in between 6th – 8th grade. My

parents weren’t bothered. It broke me. I was constantly compared to

anyone and everyone. My mother would always say, she was going to ask

my friend to save some of her poop so i could feed on it and at least

be as worth as her poop. I was told that i was under a special

supervision and anyone who sat next to me was the teacher’s spy. I was

afraid to be friends with anyone because of the fear of having to eat

someone’s poop. I thought my mother was my friend. My mother loved me,

she was an overprotective parent until she would let loose the monster

in her. So I thought hostel and college was a new start and became

very close with my room mate.I didn’t believe my roommate when she

told me my mother called her and talked ill about me. My world came

crashing down when my roommate put her phone on speaker the next time

my mother called her. When I got amazing opportunities to work, my

parents denied it and forced me into a marriage. My dad never failed

to state how ugly i looked. Even a week before my engagement, my dad

asked me how I had guts to get up on the stage and stand next to a

handsome guy. I tried to call it off, but my then, fiance wouldn’t let

me. Nothing was my choice, not the sari, not the jewelry, nor how much

jewelry. After getting married, I was amazed as to how people buy

things of their like, how parents treated kids with respect and love

and most of all how being wanted makes you confident. I have gained a

lot of weight, but i have never felt more confident. I have had enough

confidence to go out and make friends. I have realized that I am worth

it. My parents still behave the same, my parents, always pointing out

how I am not a good mother, and my dad always trying to create fights

between my husband and me. Calling me names when my husband isn’t

around, treating me like a worthless piece of shit. But the difference

is I have decided to not let it bother me any longer. It is not easy,

when you have someone behind you, always reminding you, you are a

failure. I am still afraid to leave my dream , I am still waiting for

a good word from them which I know might not even come, but I am

fighting. I am fighting the feeling of being good for nothing, of

being someone no one can ever love. The only reason I wrote this is

because I want the people who have entered into the world of parenting out there to know how each thing you

say can contribute to your kid’s confidence. How those tender hearts

gets hurt and worst how certain incidents are branded into the brain.

I remember the pinching, beatings and kicking, right from when I

was around two years old to the time when my dad almost would have cut

my lips off,had my mother not intervened. Pain is difficult to forget,

be it physical or emotional. I need to forgive them to leave my past

behind but now that I have a kid of my own, it seems impossible. I

need to forget it all because the ghosts of my past surfaces once in a

while and creates issues in my smooth life now. A little patience you

show to your kid, might be their stepping stone to success , a little

praise might be their confidence.

-anon

PS:

( This is a guest post from one of my friend who wished to bring out her experiences she had while growing up)

Share if you think it needs to reach more people.

-Blogwithgokul

The Tale Of Tipri- Lesser Known Places.

Have you ever been taken into a different world when someone narrates you about his life? If not, let me try telling you the tale of Tipri, A village in the Northern Himachel Pradesh.

By Gokul Vijayan

The engine of the boat started with a thump. His face seems to be filled with happiness. I was captivated by the beauty of the nature surrounding me across the Chamera Dam reservoir.The dam is situated in the northern Himachel Pradesh with a close proximity to the Jammu Kashmir. The Ravi river flows towards Pakistan through the reservoir. Visitors gets an opportunity to have a motor boat ride during the tourist season.

As the motor boat kept moving more deeper into the reservoir Mr Muneesh Kumar began his narration.

“There you see that mountain!” said he. Yes I replied.  That is the village Tipri.

As the boat seem to approach nearer to the village he said. The people of Tipri live a different life. This gave me a curiosity to know more. I asked upon excitement why do you say so?

People over there are so isolated from the mainland because they do  not have access to the town via road. The only way of transportation for them is through the boat in which you and I are travelling now.

Adults and school children travel to their workplaces and schools through this boat every morning and evening. The reservoir is approximately 70mtrs depth. Travelling daily across the reservoir puts up risk.

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70 Meters deep Chamera reservoir

The children sometimes have to walk upto 5Kms a day to reach school.

Don’t they have schools in Tipri? Yes there is an elementary school for classes till 5th grade but most of the time it remains closed due to absence of teachers.

Have you ever imagined how fortunate we are to have our school bus to pick us from the door step of our house?

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Can you see the steps which leads to the boat dock? Villagers board the boat from here to the mainland.

The most interesting fact that got my attention was the wedding ceremony of the villagers. Have you ever wondered how wedding would like to be in a boat?

Yes, the villagers in Tipri hire boats during the wedding ceremony to bring the Bride or Bridegroom to the village when we on the other hand opt for a BMW or Mercedes-Benz to show luxury, class and pride.

The entire boats would be decorated with beautiful flowers and garlands picked fresh to welcome the Bride/Bridegroom.

Opposite to the village Tipri across the reservoir is another mountain with dense forest in which wild animals like the bears, leopards, deers etc reside.

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Overlooking the Chamera Dam

I was lucky enough to spot a deer that came down to drink water from the reservoir. The scene was beautiful but unfortunately couldn’t click a picture.

They do not have access to proper medical facilities in the village, if at all they need to go to a good hospital they must reach the nearby town in Dalhousie or Chamba approx 15 Kms after waiting for quite a long time for the boat and then a hilly ride on a private rickety bus. Note a 15km ride is much longer since it  is  a high range.

Every time he kept saying his miseries I kept thinking again and again how fortunate we are? And still not happy! I found some villagers waving there hands at me with a smile on their face. Tourists means income, more income means more food to the family. I could read that on their faces from a far distance. Villages dependent daily on Roti and Dhal Chawal.

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Mr Muneesh Kumar- Has he kept narrating. 

I waved them back.As the winter falls by the first week of December. It starts snowing bringing the temperature down to minus degrees. Hey! take a moment and imagine the pictures above filled with snow?! How beautiful it could be. I took a moment to imagine as he kept saying.  Tipri and the surroundings of Chamera dam has a different face in winters he said. But poverty strikes then. The boating would not be allowed and hence the income through them stops. Sad.

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The landslide that happened for the first time two days ago in the nearby mountain. On right Tipri.

If a landslide like that happens to Tipri then the entire village would get vanished said he. They could be homeless too. They pray that it would not happen to them. It was huge.

He kept saying the life in Tipri so passionately. He kept asking me ‘Did you like the place? Sir’ a hundred times after every sentence. How on earth could I say I don’t! I loved it so much keeping the miseries apart.It was at the end that he told me that he belonged to Tipri too. He grew up, lived his entire life in Tipri. The government has given him the job as the boat driver.

My half an hour ride came to an end. But I really did not want it to get over. I have no clue where my imaginations went through in this half an hour of time. I imagined a whole different way of life. I thanked him for telling me about Tipri. I said bye with a hope that I will come back once again not just for a transit visit but to stay and experience Tipri for a couple of days.

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The Beauty!

I made sure that I would write a blog post so that more people would know about Tipri. To let people know that some live in a very different way in a very different parts of our country. Isn’t it true that each travel is an experience?. Yes, it is. As I walked away he kept staring over to the mountains for someone else to come and have a ride.

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Boat ride!
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Tipri, Google Image.

Thank You so much for reading. Share.

Love,

Gokul Vijayan

Blogwithgokul

Note: The boating would cost you around Rs 3000 for 10 members but its worth it!

A Stay At The Best 3-Star Luxury Hotel At Dalhousie – Hotel Mongas.

Dalhousie, A Hill-Station situated above the 5 hills in the district of Chamba, Himachel Pradesh. Often referred to as the Mini-Switzerland of India. The mild cold afternoons with rays of sun falling on to your skin, the chilly mornings and the opportunity to stroll out into to the Tibetan markets for shopping during evenings makes Dalhousie a perfect holiday destination for Families and Honeymooners.

Every vacation turns out to be a memorable one if you find a perfect place to stay especially when you are planning a trip with your family. Let me share my experience with this hotel that I found out in Dalhousie.

Hotel Mongas, Creatively furnished and maintained 3-Star hotel was truly a perfect choice.

The hotel resides on a beautiful location overlooking the hill station giving a magnificent view of Dalhousie once you step out into your balcony from your room.

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Way To Reception

The room is so cozy and comfortable with all the basic amenities including toiletries, blankets, coffee makers and hot water which are the facilities most travelers look for on trips to hill stations.

They have wide range of room categories starting from Deluxe rooms to Maharaja Family rooms & Honeymoon special rooms.

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My Attic with private sit-out Room

Once you wake up in the morning the view  room offers is astonishing, the mist coming down the mountain peaks is so magical to see.

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A View From My Balcony!

The walkaways of the hotel are crafted with flower hangings and are clean and well maintained adding to the aesthetic beauty.

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Walk ways

The hotel also arranges a musical evening which is amazing to listen while your sipping a hot chocolate or having a beer. Which no other hotels provide.

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Musical Night

The restaurant posses a multi continental cuisines ranging from South-Indian to Chinese on a buffet system so you can eat your heart out!

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The Restaurant

The hotel as got great accessibility to the Gandhi Chowk  Market and the Tibetan Market in a walk-able distance. Hence making the stay more convenient .

My overall ratings would be:

  • Comfort: 8.5/10
  • Value For Money: 8:5/10
  • Cleanliness: 9/10
  • Services: 9/10
  • Dinning: 9.5/10
  • Location: 10/10
  • WiFi: 8/10

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Ratings
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Great Ambiance
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Coffee, Mist and Cold a perfect combination.
For Contact: 

MONGAS
THE MALL
Gandhi Chowk, Dalhousie,
Himachal Pradesh,
Pin Code -176304
India

Contact Numbers:

+91-9418180000,+91-9418180101,+91-9418010927 ,+91-01899-240581

Reservations At:

info@hotelmongas.com
hotelmongas@gmail.com
reservations@hotelmongas.com

PS: The ratings are based on my personal experience.

Thanks,

Gokul Vijayan

(Travel Blogger)