A Couple Who Inspires To Travel Through Living Their American Dream. An Interview With Sanjay & Riya -GV’s Talk – Blogwithgokul.

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, Sanjay & Riya! Merry Christmas to you both!

Let’s Kickstart the interview. 

Can you guys tell me about your first trip that you went together since the Trip Couple was born? Anything special about that place? 

S– Merry Christmas Gokul! We started off our first trip for Trip Couple by visiting the WTC.

R– Oh my god! It’s been almost two years since that trip. August 2nd week Trip Couple turns two years old.

G– Congratulations on that!

S– There is a reason why we chose World Trade Center initially because Riya arrived first in the United States in December on 29th 2015. She hasn’t been to New York before so I wanted to show her this brimming multicultural magnificent city and also this to be her first US destination to explore.

R– Moreover, my college was nearby and also Sanjay’s workplace was just opposite to WTC. For the video perspective, we found this place to be best because we already had prior knowledge about its history and also it was just a 30 mins ride on the train from home. We even knew what spots we should select for good visuals.

S– When we watched our first video on WTC we felt that we wanted to recreate in a better way. Initially, we just went around the WTC and shot the video but on the remake which we did a few months ago we had gone up to the 100th floor of WTC and have tried to get much better visuals.

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Are you guys inherited with lots of money to frequently travel? What do you guys think? Is it necessary to be rich to go on a trip? 

S– Haha! Absolutely not. I have a full-time job and Riya studies at the university and we live in New York. It is damn expensive to live in New York. Most of the places we travel around are in New York. Places like the NW upstate could be reached around in 3-4 hrs drive. So, it’s all in our vicinity.

R– We really don’t believe that being a traveller means you need to have frequent international trips. Exploring nearby destinations is more than enough to keep yourself educated with history and lets you know more about it. We encourage our followers to start exploring from their hometown and it could change the stigma of thinking that a traveller means a person who only does International trips. We had to turn down a lot of opportunities to do International due to financial constraints.

S– We are really not into splurge. We live a modest life so whatever extra penny we could save we use it for our trips and creating videos.

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Riya Overlooking the New York City.

People say once you’re married or if you have kids or get occupied with work they never find time to travel. Is it just our state of mind that holds us back from travelling? What do you guys think about it? Of course, you guys are proving it wrong but still… 

R– Yay! We have proven it wrong!

S– We believe that if you believe in your passion you will definitely find time to accomplish it. Saying that you don’t have time is just an excuse I believe.

R– We also split our responsibilities. Now that I am working too it is quite a task but we make sure that the job is equally split among us for instance, for a trip if Sanjay is busy with the editing stuff I take in charge of the planning the itinerary and we help each other. I believe I am lucky enough to find my soulmate who shares the common interest. Eeee.

We even make sure that we go to the movies and watch at least two movies in a month. So I believe its an excuse people make if they do not have time to travel.

S– Yes, if you are really passionate about travelling you would definitely find time for that.

R– Talking about travelling after having kids. We have examples from our trip couple community. We recently had a family coming all the way to the US from Dubai with three little kids all around the same age and they rented a car to see around the country!

S– Yes, we had Anand from Muscat who arrived in the US along with kids. There was another family who came along with kids too and travelled to Vermont and they even tried ski diving! So these all examples!

R– So yea! we don’t think these are travel barriers anymore.

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Packing bags is a nightmare for many. I personally hate them though. I often do get confused about what to take along with me. How do you guys pack your travel bag? 

S–  I am really not interested in packing travel bags. What I always check on is whether there is a pair of dress and charge in my camera, rest all is done by Riya.

R– I don’t really hate packing maybe because I am used to it. We only have an extra pair of dress for shooting videos. Like if its a 5 days trip we carry 6 pairs. We have almost everything geared up in the trunk of our jeep. We make sure there is first aid ready for long trips and so on. We care the camera bag the most while flying. We really don’t want someone to dump heavy baggage onto the top of it. We are always on the lookout. Our clothes luggage would be somewhere else which we usually don’t worry about. Unpacking and cleaning it up after the trip is a mess but! lol!

Sanjay is it true that travel is all about unexpectedness? What would you have to say to people who do not travel in the fear of not working out as planned? 

S– Many people do have fear for that.

R– Unexpectedness can happen everywhere not just while travelling. We must set our mind to be flexible. We had a lot many issues while travelling, last time we were on a tight budget and that was the time when we got charged 500 dollars for speeding ticket.

S– While visiting Grand Canyon we had to skip one part of it to reach our hotel on time and catch the flight the next day. We were quite sad for skipping that part of Grand Canyon but to our surprise, we were able to witness a great sunset on our way back which we showed on our Youtube channel. It was mesmerising!

R– On our trip to San Francisco our bag was stolen and we lost our passports and green card. We had to wrap up our travel to 5 days. So whenever you plan, plan for the unexpected and be a little flexible and have a backup if you cannot visit a particular place.

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Hersley’s love!

I have heard that people have misconceptions about a particular place until they visit them. Have you guys ever been astonished about a place that turned out to be just the opposite to your thoughts? 

S– Yes, that has happened much time. Riya did some research and came up with a place called Catskill mountains. She said we can have a train ride through the woods. It’s fall time so we could see colours but I wasn’t much fond of the place like I was thinking why should we travel this far to have a train ride? So yea I was hesitant first but then when we actually got to the place it was so beautiful that the colour was so stunning in green, yellow, red and so on. The mountaintop view was absolutely breathtaking. Anybody could actually drive all the way up there.

R– To the contrary, we drove a lot to a place to witness some Christmas lights.

S– It was a place called Coastguard Christmas Village.

R– We drove pretty far and it did not really meet our expectation.

S– Yea we had both experiences, but usually it turns out well!

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Imagine a fairy rings your doorbell and says that she can either offer 10000 Dollars or a trip to visit a place which you have dreamt about for ages. What would you guys choose? 

S – We would choose 10,000 dollars. Haha! We could really have a European trip. Maybe an Iceland trip first. Then go around Finland, Norway and so on with the remaining money.

R– We could go three to four countries with our budget plans with money. If the fairy would have said that she would give 1000 dollars and then a trip. I would have chosen the trip for sure.

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Tell us about your worst trip ever! 

S– We haven’t had any worst trips yet. Its been only two years since we started travelling so we are still experiencing everything one by one. Our trip to Las Vegas has been one of the most memorable trips ever. We almost spend 2500 dollars for that but it was worth it.

R– Yes, the most memorable trip to cherish forever.

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What you like the most and the least about Sanjay as a travel companion? 

R– I think what I lack is what Sanjay has in him. So we balance each other. They have been examples. He is always cool and carefree and tries to make me happy when I get worried. I was so terribly worried when we lost our passports but he was still happy about it. Haha.

S–  I tried to be cool unless it’s a dead situation. We had a trek which scared the hell out of us.

R– Maybe that’s the worst trip we had?

S– Yes! that’s it. This happened when we were so confident about doing hikes. We did 4 to 5 hikes in Pennsylvania and New York so we were pretty overconfident about doing hikes. We went to see crystal caves and then explored the caves and we started to hike around 5 in the evening. All of the sudden, it became dark and we never expected it to get so dark. The sun was setting on the other side of the hill. Soon after it became pitch dark and we had almost hiked for two hours up the hill.

R– We were so unprepared that Sanjay was just in his shorts, tees and boots whereas I was in casual wear and sports shoes.

S– I carried a lantern that was the only source of light and Riya was walking in front of me. Soon after, we heard a hissing sound and to our surprise, Riya found a rattlesnake right in front of her. She jumped backwards and fell onto me. We both were lying down with rattlesnake beside us. Riya is so scared of snakes that she almost fainted. Then we realised we have to get back to our car immediately when we found out warning signs to look out for bear attacks. We gathered our courage and kept running downhill until we reached an electric post. We stood there back to back to see if anything comes to attack us. We could hear spooky sounds and howl. I only had five per cent battery on my cell phone when I tried calling 911 for help.

R– We literally stood beneath the post for half an hour waiting for help. Believe me, it was like waiting for three hours. Thereafter, the firemen arrived and helped us reach our jeep. I was scared as hell and getting inside the jeep was heaven to me.

S– We drove for 2 hours back home and that night Riya couldn’t even sleep. We slept with lights on. Yes Gokul, this could be the answer for both the questions. Phew! A scary trip.

R– We always say don’t underestimate the nature be all prepared for the worst or at least have boots while on a hike! Haha!

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Tips to have a perfect American trip? 

S– I believe that the road trip is different for everyone. It depends on the time you visit. The east coast and west coast is totally different.

R– The thing you have to keep in mind is to do a bit of research on the internet. Everything is available there. You just have to spend some time on it. Make sure if your travelling on a tourist visa to the US then you have your medical insurance, medical care is so expensive here. Just a precaution. Talking about food, every kind of food is available here from Italian to Indian. Internet connectivity is great that you have access to it everywhere touristry. Another thing people should keep in mind is that do not carry heavy baggage. Most domestic flights have limitations and you have to pay extra. So carry less. People always keep in mind the terrorist interventions that have happened in the country so the security is vigilant and strict. Any unseen situations can lead the flight to be cancelled to that area. Get note of the emergency numbers and you are all going to go for the American adventure.

S- You see almost all landscapes in America that you will never go back disappointed.

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Your dreams and expectations for Trip Couple in future? 

S– Our greatest dream is just like all the travel lovers to travel all around the world. I always wanted to break my fear. I was always scared of heights so last time I went to a zip line which is the highest in North America. That’s the first step.

R– My fear for snake haven’t gone yet, Haha!

S– Haha! Also, create good quality contents on travel on Youtube and also spread positivity.

R– Pray for good health to travel more and spread good vibes.

 

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

Blogwithgokul©

You can follow Trip Couple on their Instagram handle.

Instagram: Trip Couple


To watch their Youtube videos and to subscribe head onto Trip Couple


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©

****


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 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!

The Love Bond #7

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Majdanek Camp (Right Gas chamber)

Chapter-8

 

The Love Bond

Insight

Peter gave Madeline a pouch of gold coins as rewards for coming over to help. She thanked him and with joy she left home. But she or her family wasn’t lucky enough. As the World War II was in its heights of battle to depress the German power on Europe and abolish Nazism for ever. Jews were searched and found out from hooks and nooks of the city and were send to camps. Madeline and family became the victims of this as well .One week after, They were caught red-handed by the Germans and was deported to camps. They were split to three Madeline was send to one, children to another and her husband to another one. In huge coaches of train without even a proper ventilation the were loaded like goods and were taken to the concentration camps that where build for them. Madeline and her family where taken to Majdanek, a death camp which was constructed in the city of Lublin, Poland.

The huge bogeys of goods train unloaded large number of people to the camps. From there woman’s, children and men where separated. They are send to three different blocks painted in green.

They formed long queues, in the beginning and they waited for their turn to enter the a barrack, which was concreted completely. They were greeted with so much of politeness by the Schutzstaffel or the popularly known SS men with words like “Ma’am could you move forward ?” but who knew what actually was waiting for them the next minute ?

Inside the barracks they saw benches that are long and cemented. They were asked to strip themselves before advancing to the next block.

They removed there dress and was said that they could have it back once the bathing or the purification was over. They moved forward in queues, a huge board written ” bad Un Disinfecktion” welcomed the naked fearful live bodies.

What they saw is a concrete room with no possible ventilation, twice the size of bath houses. Tiled walls which contained numerous holes which had pipes projecting outwards. Puzzled victims stood their rubbing and touching the naked bodies to others assuming the flow of water from the pipes any moment. They were filled up to the maximum that it was not even possible to properly tilt their body from side to side. The doors went closed leaving behind not even a ray of light except a small opening on the ceiling and a keyhole which is possibly 2 cm in diameter. It was absolute dark and hot with these people breathing on each other.

As soon as it went dark warm water leaked into the room for a while, and then pale blue crystals of zyklon B was released which immediately vapourized in the hot humid atmosphere. Who knew that it would cause them suffocation. Wondering it to be a cleansing agent they kept quiet but after a while they all were dead with suffocation.

Naked dead bodies piled one above the other. They went in turns woman’s, men and and even children.

In one of the Queue Madeline kept stood high in her spirits. A telegram arrived at her residence in Slovakia. It was lying on the floor in front of the door. Lara opened it. It said

INFORMATION NOTICE

 “The members – Madeline Aatami (28),Abdiel Aatami(35), Abel Aatami (14) and Aaron Aatami (11). Deported and vergasted (which eventually means ‘gassed out’ at Majdanek,Poland.Confirmation Death”.

SCR- 1000072385678, Germany.

 Lara read the telegram and tears started to roll down her cheeks. She kept the telegram closed to her heart and prayed to god in a murmur.

After a year of Sofia’s birth the Russian red power over threw the German power from Slovakia and thus the Czech republic and Slovakian republic was once more joined together to form the Czechoslovakia. In 1993, Dec 31st Czechoslovakia was reborn.

The communist rule of the Soviet power was in its heights all over the nation. Red flags waved in the streets of Bratislava.

The Hornik households finally began to witness some peace. There business started to grow higher and bringing them all the luxury and money once again.

Couple of years past by, Sofia turned eight. She was as adorning as a doll. Maids kept all the attention to her. She was perhaps naughty than her brothers. Peter loved her than anything. She was presented precious gifts which the cities other children would dream for. A gold bordered fabricated pink frock was her gift for her eighth birthday. She wore that for the entire day and walked around with so much of courage along the corridors of her mansion. Maids surrounded her all time pampering her. Sylvia asked the maids not to pamper her so much that she would be spoiled of excessive pampering.

The beautiful young girl was smart in her studies and was just as good in anything even helping out with her dad’s business at this age!

On a bright sunny day, Peter was sitting at his office solving his accounts, it was then Peter discovered this………..

Thanks for reading,

To be continued….

Copyright by Gokul Vijayan.

The Love Bond #6

Chapter- 7

    The Love Bond
Henchman

Lara kept walking and then running for a while consciously without getting into the sights of the German troops.

Her skirts where held high with one hand and the other holds the black umbrella, she did not wanted to get tripped. In a blurred vision on the opposite side of the road she saw the lights of a vehicle approaching her. She immediately sheltered herself in high bushes and waited impatiently for the vehicle to pass by. She threw her umbrella not to get noticed. The vehicle came closer and closer. At a point it passed by and moved forward. She pulled her skirt up again and started to move and then she realised that the vehicle had stopped at a distance. She stood still and looked back. The reverse light of the vehicle glowed as shivers of fear ran down through her body. It was an army vehicle and it came closer to her and stopped. A tough young man in his boots with thick mustache got down the car and looked at her fiercely with his eyebrows raised.

He said ” Get into the car now!, you are going nowhere! ” in his masculine tone.
Lara shook with fear and pleaded ” Please! Don’t take me away! I am not Jewish and I am no harm to your nation. Please let me go. Please I beg you” tears came through her eyes as she said.

” Lady! We shall discuss that at the camp. Now I say, get in the car or else……” said the young German soldier with a higher tone.

” Please listen to me, I swear to god I am not lying to you. My mistress she is about to give birth and I am on my way to call the Mid wife who lives downhill. Please let me go…. ” Begged Lara.
All of a sudden his heart began to melt in her words. He felt sympathetic, there is a very peculiar reason for this. A year back he lost his beloved on her delivery due to complications, leaving behind a a smart young boy with him, she left to eternity.

He felt for her ” Stop crying and listen to me. I shall take you to the midwife, sacrificing my life I understand your situation because I have lost my wife in a similar situation” he said.
” No Sir, just let me go that would be the kindest thing you could do” she said.
” Are you scared of me ? Don’t you trust me? ” said he.
” Sir please, what if I am guiding you to a Jewish house? You shall take them to the concentration camps? That would be the cruellest thing that I am doing to that family, I can’t do that for gods sake” she said in shattered voice.

” Don’t be so judgemental mistress ! All Germans are not nazist, we have hearts too. I am working for them to feed my family. I have to obey them, I have no other go but I will give you my word, I shall not harm you or your Mid-wife’s family. I would take you safe downhill anyhow you have no guarantee that you will reach their by foot” He said.

Lara trusted his loyalty and accepted his offer to take her to the Mid-wife’s house. She got into the jeep and hid herself under the seat.
They drove towards the midwives house in a hurry. They got down the jeep. Lara rushed to ring the doorbell. She rang the bell continuously but no one came out.

They kept hidden them self in the basement f the house fearing the German invaders. The doorbell made them feel terrible and their hearts kept pounding as they heart the voice of the door banging.
Lara shouted ” Madeline! It’s me Lara please come out no ones here, I need your help!”
Please come out!!

The knob of the door tilted and then came out Madeline.Her face reflected her inner fear.
” Don’t worry Madeline, This men helped me to come over here. Mistress Sylvia is in need of you, the pain has started, please do come with us to the mansion.” said Lara.

She immediately went inside and asked her husband to take care of her kids and told him that she will be back very soon.

They got into the jeep and the army men drove them uphill. They reached home.
As they walked into the house,Sylvia’s voice was clearly heard outside. She cried in pain. Madeline immediately rushed and asked Lara to bring a basin of warm water and pieces of cloths along with some candle sticks.

Lara bought all the things that she told and got into the bedroom and then closed the door.
Peter waited outside with so much of anxiety. Simon and Samo woke up from their sleep hearing the cry of Sylvia.

Simon and Samo are twins.They turned five last month.
Simon asked ” Dada… why is mom crying? ”
” You are going to have a little baby brother or sister very soon” said Peter.
All of a sudden they heard the voice of the baby crying. After a while Madeline came out of the room with the baby wrapped in a soft towel.
She said “Both are fine, It’s a girl”
Tears of joy ran from Peter’s eyes.

He took the baby from Madeline and showed it to the happy little twin brothers
“It’s a little sister for both of you! ” he said with joy.

“Sweet she is, I will call her dolly.She is like a doll” said the big brother Samo with excitement.
Simon, the calm one among the twins kept looking at his little sister.

“Well my boys we will call her Sofia, Sofia Reznik Hornik” said Peter.
“Sofia, the princess woooaow” the boys agreed to the name.
She was red like a strawberry, soft and beautiful. Born with a smile on her face.

Meantime Peter handed over the baby back to Madeline and went downstairs to thank the German soldier.

“I really don’t know how to thank you. You reached them here on time, please let me know what help I can do to you? ” Said Peter.
“Absolutely nothing, I understand the situation you went through because I had gone through the same a year ago….but..but god loved her so much that he did not give her back” tears fell from his eyes as he said.

” Brother, why is all these things happening around us. Why are these people fighting for ? When will all this come to an end ? Your are such a good soul, a messenger from god who came in boots. Please don’t feel sad about your past. I am sure you and your boy will do great in your life” said Peter from his heart.

“I am assigned duties, I must leave. Take care and don’t leave home unless everything calms down” warned the Army men.
” What is your Name? I forgot to ask you” said Peter.
“Sergeant Carl Benedict” he said.

“Carl please feel free to come over anytime here, You are always welcome. Please visit us once these calamities are over.”

He smiled and got onto his jeep and drove away. Peter thanked god for sending him to help him with this situation. He realised that not all men are bad nor everybody have the same intentions it’s there circumstances which leads them to do the job that they don’t like. Good souls did lived under their skin.

He kept staring at the Vehicle unless it vanished from his eye sight.

To be continued…
Thanks for reading,

Copyright by Gokul Vijayan

The Love Bond #4

Chapter-5

The Love Bond
The Beginning

They arrived at Mr James apartment that night. He welcomed them with hot cup of chocolate to get rid of the cold.
Mervin left immediately after a while telling James that he would arrive to pick Ayush to Krishna Inn as he is invited to have breakfast.
James showed Ayush his room. All Ayush can remember was him getting undressed and lying on to the bed, he was dead tired.
The chirping of the birds from the trees, the sun rose late across the horizon of the mist filled atmosphere.
Ayush woke up by the knock of the door. He opened the door and fond James with a cup of coffee .He took a long sip to get himself comfortable in the cold morning.
” why don’t you have a walk to the nearby gardens? It’s beautiful” said James.
“Yes, I think I give a stroll in the gardens before Mervins arrives to take me the Restaurant for breakfast, need to get some Slovakian air” replied Ayush.
Ayush unpacked his bags and took his sweaters out and made himself ready for the morning walk. He took the stairs and came down towards the entrance of the building and opened the door. Beautiful looked the morning seen. The architectures of the buildings amazed him. Rich and elegant in style. He did not go around much indeed he has to get ready before Mervin arrives and it’s his day to join the Midway school for work.
He got back to his apartment and freshened up and soon he heard the calling bell ringing aloud. James had already left for work. It was Mervin arrived sharp at 9:00 am. They both drove to Krishna Inn just after. As they parked there car in the parking lot the old lady Mrs Sofia came out from the restaurant.
” Come in my son’s, did you get a good sleep Ayush? ” asked her in a greater voice.
“Yes, very well” said Ayush.
” Have your breakfast, do you want idli and sambar or chappathis?, whatever you want want have it” said Sofia.
A young girl who looked in her twenties to him, very beautiful but a little bit obese came from the room inside with tears in her eyes came and sat in one of the tables. Mervin immediately walked towards her and asked her something. Ayush was noticing all these while having his breakfast. Then what he saw was the girl was crying and Mervin was comforting her by wiping her tears and hugging her. Their interactions actually created a sense of discomfort to Ayush eyes thinking why should Mervin be so close to someone who is so grown up that too a lady.
After a few minutes of comforting that young lady Ayush saw him taking a some tablets from a box and asking Sofia to have it on time and giving out some advice for her regarding her health. Some words were in english which helped Ayush to understand a little bit. It was later when Ayush realised that the young girl who he saw was the grand daughter of Sofia Reznik her name is Leah. That she was so upset to go to school that day because some of her friends made fun of her due to her over weight and she was just 15 years old, which made Ayush realise that the girls in Europe looked much older compared to the girls in India who are fifteen.
Ayush was comforting her and was giving mental strength to believe in oneself and let go all the unwanted comments and see the world with positively and head to school.
Ayush had a splendid breakfast and thanked Sofia for the invite and told that he must leave immediately to reach school on time to begin his duty as a teacher. On their way to school Ayush was so curious to know about Sophia and the reason for the good relation that Mervin and other staff show towards her and her family after all they are foreigners to him. About the bond of love that holds them.
And finally he asks about it to Mervin.
Mervin laughs mildly and says ” Love and affection do not have nationality or religion, it’s just an emotional attachment between two souls”
“The old lady who Invited you today, My boss Sofia Reznik her story will give you the answer to you curiosity” said Mervin.
Then Mervin begin telling the story as they car cruised through snow covered roads of Slovakia heading to the Midway Elementary School in Bratislava.
The story dates back into the 1940’s when Slovakia was Czechoslovakia, the time communism was wide spread across the city and was a part of the soviet union.

To be continued……

Copyright by Gokul Vijayan

Thanks for Reading.

The Love Bond #3

3357738-bratislava-kapitulska-street-in-winter-morning

Chapter-4

The Love Bond

The First Impressions

The train kept moving leaving behind the alps,mountains and the snow covered fields nearing to the Slovakian capital. The two men started to have conversations to run off the time. Mervin, is a very smart and an energetic person and a very good orator, some people do possess this good quality of charisma who can take over other hearts.

Mervin told Ayush about this beautiful country and its past from being Czechoslovakia to Czech and Slovakia. Well, Ayush listened to his talk with great interest. Twenty minutes of their time past by and Mervin stood up and moved away to make a call. In the mean time Ayush took the brochures of the train which was kept behind the seats and went through its pages. The temperature was -2 degree Celsius outside. Dark, cold and snowy but the cozy cuisine seats and the heaters in the train made them comfortable.

The speakers in the train said the next station is Brastislava Hlavna Stanica station. In about 5 minutes the train would approach the Slovakian capital.Mervin ended his call and came towards Ayush and asked ” you might really feel Hungary for sure apart from the little meal you had on the flight, I guess”.

“Yes, i am but its absolutely OK i would just go to the apartment and Mr James would be their waiting for me” said Ayush.

“I was talking to my mom and she is asking to bring you home for having dinner, its nearby” said Mervin.

“Oh thanks, but not this time it’s really late and i am tired just wanted to have some good sleep” reluctantly replied Ayush.

“No, please feel free. Do come or my mom would be upset” said Mervin with distress.

“Mom ? do you live with your family here ?” curious Ayush asked.

Smiled Mervin nodded his head and said ” Please do come, if you could give me Mr James number i will inform him and i will drop you to the apartment”.

Upon so much of request, even though Ayush was tired he accepted his offer to have dinner along with him late night and not to make Mervin’s mom waiting for them unhappy.

The train stopped at the Bratislava station, They took their luggage’s and got down their train.It was cold has hell, and the intensity of cold was much felt in their skins. They walked along the pavements that was filled with the midnight snow. They could hear the wolves hollowing in the dark. Some streets were dark and empty and felt like they were nobody living in that place for decades. Slovakian building looked so much ancient and beautiful and rich in architecture to Ayush’s eyes. They kept walking, the strong cold winds kept blowing onto their face which was the only part that they did not cover up.

Ayush kept following Mervin, it was a little bit difficult for the new young Indian man in Slovakia to catch up with the speed of Mervin in this cold but they kept walking along the low lit streets of Bratislava.

The time was 1:00 am. The shops were all closed down but at the end of the street Ayush could see the lights from a hotel which was still kept open at this time of the day. As they approached closer Ayush saw a old white Slovakian lady Covered in mufflers and sweaters sitting on a bench in-front of the hotel in the blistering cold as if she was waiting for someone.

Mervin said ” Ayush ! we are almost here. The woman that you see is my mom. She is waiting for you, i work in this hotel”

” Your mom ? you work here ? Why is see suffering this cold just tell her to go inside” replied Ayush with a little bit of confusions.

The woman got up from the bench and hugged Mervin and Ayush and asked her guest ” How was your journey my son ?”.

She spoke good English which actually fascinated Ayush. He said ” Oh well its was comfortable, I am so delighted that i met Mervin or else i would have been a bit worried.”

Ayush gave a look at this beautiful hotel from outside and the name really made him so surprised, it was written “Krishna Inn”. He taught to himself, a hotel named Krishna Inn in Slovakia. Absolutely surprising.

Mervin said ” This is Sofia Reznik, 75 years old. She is the owner of this hotel and i work here in this hotel. She is like my mom not just for me for every employ here  “.

Ayush asked “How many employees here ?”

“There are fifteen here, all Indians” Said Mervin.

It was really surprising for Ayush to know that a Slovakian woman running a Indian restaurant and all of the employees where Indians and they loved her and took care of her as their own mom.

“Son, you can have any kind of Indian food you want here” Said Sofia with so much of love in her hearts.

Ayush was so much delighted and felled home. He had his stomach full with those Indian delicacies. It was getting late and was time to leave.

“Son, do come tomorrow morning to have your breakfast, i will get you something special” Said the old woman to Ayush.

Ayush thanked her so much and Mervin.

Sofia asked Mervin to drop Ayush to his apartment were Mr James is. She insisted Mervin to take her luxurious Cadillac from her garage and drop him at his place. Mervin did as she said.

Ayush thanked her for the dinner and told her that he will come for breakfast tomorrow and got in the car along with Mervin to his apartment. He kept looking from the rear view mirror and saw that woman kept looking at them in the cold drive by until they vanished from her vicinity.

So much of taught’s kept lingering in his mind. Why does that woman waited in that harsh cold for someone she hasn’t seen so far ? Why does this woman invited me over and treat a stranger like me so well ? How did she have a hotel named Krishna Inn ? What makes her so special to her employees ?  Why did she give her Cadillac ? so much of questions in his mind but he was tired and all he wanted was to get to the apartment and fall asleep as soon as possible.

 

Thanks for reading,

Copyright by Gokul Vijayan

To be continued soon……….