Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Lovely days in Lovedale!


Plum     Redwolf      Croma

Lovely days in Lovedale!

The stay at the Zoestal was fascinating and a first time experience sharing the place with young tourists of different nationalities enjoying their stay in this beautiful hill station. We too loved the place, the weather and the atmosphere and the curious people around. Set amid the rolling hills  and the greenery with a lovely view of Doddabetta mountain, this modest hostel is a 12-minute walk from Lovedale train station and 5 km from Ooty's Government Rose Garden.

Com And Hosting

A couple of years ago on my visit to Bangalore after almost a decade, a long-drive was planned as a sight-seeing trip. I wasn’t informed of the final destination or the place where we were proceeding to. It was supposed to be a surprise destination. As we commenced our journey looking around the towns and new places we passed on the way, we reached Mysore. We had a look around the city, including the Mysore Palace. A lot has changed since my last visit many years ago. And after a brief break and some tasty snacks, the drive continued with the approaching view of the beautiful Nilgiri hills in the background. 

Once we crossed the Karnataka border and entered Tamil Nadu, got a strong feeling we are heading towards some cool holiday spot in Tamil Nadu.  May be Coonoor or Ooty? After driving ahead for some time, we approached the popular hill station, Ooty. Had a delicious south Indian breakfast and drove further to Lovendale, the surprise destination. And here we were to spend a couple of days in a Zoestal. It was an unique experience with the combination of chilly weather, beautiful scenery and the tea gardens around giving an impression of carpeted hills.

The stay at the Zoestal was fascinating and a first time experience sharing the place with young tourists of different nationalities enjoying their stay in this beautiful hill station. We too loved the place and the atmosphere and the people around. Set amid the rolling hills with a lovely view of Doddabetta mountain, this modest hostel is a 12-minute walk from Lovedale train station and 5 km from Ooty's Government Rose Garden. 

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As we approached the hostel, it appeared like a beautiful colonial villa or a quiet homely cottage. Inside, the place has been creatively designed and nicely converted into a spacious hostel for the young tourists and bag packers on the move. It’s affordable, comfortable and convenient too; an ideal place to relax and chill with other occupants. The food too is decent and good prepared by the inhouse cook. If you wish to prepare something for youself, the kitchen is available. You can either eat here or have it at the restaurants nearby serving excellent South Indian food and other cuisine.

It offers you the choice of rooms, bunk beds and tents. One has to amke a choice and book in advance. Apart from the well laid out two cosy private rooms with double beds, colonial type furniture, arte facts and spacious bath, the bunk beds for bagpackers, simple tents with cots for the outdoor types are available with a nice view of the distant mountain and nearby tea gardens, free Wi-Fi and shared bathrooms. 

Straight forward mixed-gender dorms feature comfortable bunk beds, lockers and other facilities. Linens are included, and towels can be rented. Parking is complimentary. There's an airy communal lounge with colourful accents and an oversized chess board. Breakfast is available for a fee. The place is buzzing with tourists arriving and others departing after their comfortable stay, promising to be back. Even tourists and bagpackers meeting again after havinf met earlier in some other city. The atmosphere is friendly and casual.

It allows you to relax and enjoy and pursue your interest like photography, painting, shooting or sketching. Offers an ideal location to meditate or exercise in the open with beautiful natural environment.

I would recommend this place and suggest one should certainly experience a stay in a Zoestal. It’s different and satisfying. Its almost like a home away from home, relaxing, affordable and comfortable.

Room with a view -The rooms offer a wide view of the scenic beauty around. One can relax and enjoy the nature sitting by the windows.


Well laid out interior, neat and clean. The space has been creatively designed with sitting area, with lot of open space to move around.

 

Tents with bed and basic requirements offer a open stay with a view of natural beauty for outdoor lovers.



Local and other artefacts, handicrafts and masks add to the cool look. The collection is interesting and provide the occupants something to ponder about!



Spacious and comfortable sitting for relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. An ideal atmosphere for reading, sketching, painting or music.




Tourists and bagpackers coming here throughout the year love to scribble their thoughts, feelings, suggestions or even at random writing something about their experience.


Lovedale station nearby with the trains add fun to the outing. The station reminds you of the good old days, a small platform with trees around.


On our way back a few km ahead is the old Chocolate Museum which offers a good view of how chocolate was made and what all ingredients go into making of choclates. They also have an interesting counter offering different types of choclates.


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Also read:

Does India need ICBM?

How to Checkmate your Opponent ?




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Fiji

Set in the tropical South Pacific, an archipelago of 333 islands is surely the essence of a tropical island paradise. It boasts of white sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees, pristine ocean and waterways and a wide range of things to do and see that will appeal to the most discerning traveler. Snorkel, dive, surf or kayak its pristine waters, or enjoy the white water raft. Cruise the ocean around the main land and outer islands, trek its rain forests, backpack the outer islands. Also visit the simple villages and experience the sustainable living or immerse yourself in Fiji’s unique culture, tradition and history. A life time experience! 

Fiji officially called the Republic of Fiji is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. Fiji is an archipelago in the Oceania region in the southern Pacific Ocean. As an island country, Fiji is surrounded with water in all directions. It's famous for rugged landscapes, palm-lined beaches and coral reefs with clear lagoons.

Its major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, contain most of the population. Viti Levu is home to the capital, Suva, a port city with British colonial architecture. The Fiji Museum, in the Victorian-era Thurston Gardens, has ethnographic exhibits. 

Fiji is a mixed society with most people being Christian (64.4% of the population), with a sizable Hindu (27.9%) and Muslim (6.3%) minority, according to the 2007 census. India has close links with Fiji because of the Indian Diaspora. Most Indians still follow the Indian tradition and culture and maintain close link with their country of origin.

MamaEarth     Myntra     Samsung
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Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple,
Kerala, India
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Tuesday, 22 March 2022

How to Checkmate your Opponent?


Arata     Redwolf      Plum

How to Checkmate your Opponent?

Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict I have been seeing a lot of interesting reports online, giving different views and reasons for the conflict and its outcome. And also provide detail analysis as to how the war affects different countries in different continents. Once again a vivid reader has sent me an interesting report. It is thought-provoking and logical too. I am not aware of the author, but the content seems to tell us a lot about the other economic and political strategies that come into play. If it is true, one should delve deeper to understand the full impact and truth about it.

I would like to share this interesting report with the readers. It will give you an idea how the major players and countries with power, funds and influence play politics, make economic moves and plan strategies to suit them and their interests. Everyone seems to gain or lose something. It’s akin to the game of chess. Make the right move at the right time.

New Domains     

CHECK AND MATE

What is "Shit luck"?

All over the word, airlines mostly don't own their aircrafts. They simply get it on lease.

The European Union has imposed sanctions on Russia and directed European leasing companies to take back all leased aircrafts from Russia by 28th March. That's a total of 520 planes!

1.  The Russians say, since you've terminated the lease, take them back yourselves! Now, how can EU get 520 air-crews into Russia when the airspace in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine is closed?  They can't fly them in!

2.  Assuming they somehow do, then as soon as the handover takes place in various Russian airports, the planes will no longer be Russia-leased. And a non-Russian plane is not allowed to fly in Russian airspace. They won't be able to fly out! 

3.  Now, the European leasing companies are the initiators of the termination of leases. Calculating the cost of fines that Russia will then impose for parking 520 European-owned aircraft on Russian soil, they will all be bankrupt at once.

4.  Russia now has to pay the lease for the month of February. Russia is willing to pay but cannot pay because it is excluded from SWIFT. On the contrary, the leasing companies have to pay fines to Russia because of the terminations, but due to the lack of incoming payments from Russia, they have no money to pay the fines! 
Medibuddy     Boat store     Croma

5.  Despite all this, and assuming they take back their planes, what are they going to do with them? They don't need them, and nobody else wants them!   

 6) The Boeings of American leasing companies are not affected, because Russia hasn't leased any. If Europeans take their planes away from the Russians, the Americans will immediately supply Russia with Boeings and become the world's No. 1 aircraft leasing company, thus completely bankrupting the European leasing companies anyway.

This is called "Shit luck".

*Check and Mate*

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Also read:

Does India need ICBM?

Why the West keen on India support in the Russia-Ukraine war?


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The joy of giving:

There is no greater joy than the joy of knowing one can make a difference. Giving is a privilege. It's one of the greatest contributors to personal happiness. It gives life a purpose and helps build good karma, making you feel empowered. It not only makes you feel happy, it also has a healing effect. In fact all religions encourage giving and helping others.

Your helping hand may have touched someone knowingly or unknowingly. Knowing or even meeting whom you have helped, and seeing them improve their and their family's life is a satisfying experience. The acknowledgement and smile on their faces have a true healing effect. It also makes you feel satisfied and gives a sense of joy.

Help the less privileged in a small way, like supporting education of children from poor family background. Or by giving things and gadgets you don’t need. It could be a valued gift to the needy. Like gifting your old cycle or an old smart phone to children, help them study online during lockdown and study from home.   A small effort can bring about a big change. Empowering others to live their small dreams and aspirations is inspiring. You don't have to have lots of money to give. In fact you don't have to give money at all. You can give what you can, your time, kind or inspiring words or even guide them. And that means every one can make a difference. Enjoy the joy of giving someone in your local area and bring about a small change in their lives.

MamaEarth     Tata CLiQ Store

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Iconic Taj Mahal hotel, Mumbai,
 India
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Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Why the West keen on India support in the Russia-Ukraine war?


Redwolf     Arata     Beardo

 
Why the West keen on India support in the Russia-Ukraine war?

The Russia-Ukraine war is raging with devastation all around, and loss of life and property. Russia claims it went to war due to Ukraine and western countries provocation, who went back on their promise on Nato. And the west says, Russia started the war and is the aggressor. The war has put many other countries and India in a tricky situation. Though friendly with the west and USA, and due to India’s historical ties with the then Soviet Union and later Russia, India thought it fit to abstain from voting in the UN general assembly. But the west and USA are putting pressure on India to take a stand and toe their line. Declare Russia has the aggressor and invader of Ukraine territory. It’s a tight rope walk for India which compelled it to abstain and remain neutral in the current conflict. And there are reasons behind this move.

But the west and USA is bent upon asking India to support them. India’s Foreign Minister Jaishankar addressed the assembly and presented facts and history, and also reminded them of some earlier decisions made by the west, putting them in a tight corner. Here too the reasons spelled out for the war is not as simple as it is made out to be. There are political, economic and strategic considerations.

I received an interesting report sent to me by a reader. I am not aware about the author or the date and where it was published. The content is thought-provoking. I wish to share it with you, readers to understand the situation correctly. I am not endorsing it or opposing it. Draw your own conclusions. War is always bad and the last resort. But sometimes other considerations come into play. Soon we will know the actual cause of this war.

Com And Hosting

Why the West is pretending to need India for the war in Ukraine. Why is West keen on India support in the Russia-Ukraine war?

What is India doing for European security?”

This is the exact question that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was asked point blank at the Munich Security Conference last week. One can think of any number of responses, none of them as civil as what the minister chose to give. Most of all, seriously? After 70 years of arming and supporting Pakistan, the West really wants to ask this question? You just looked the other way on China and Covid. You looked away as Chinese troops brutally attacked India in the middle of a pandemic. And you just left a huge cache of weapons, even attack helicopters and transports for the Taliban in Afghanistan. The smaller of those weapons have already made it into the hands of terrorists in Kashmir.

And now you dare ask what we are doing for your security?

But the West is not kidding. Over the last one month, the West has hit us with almost everything they have, demanding that we join their war. Governments, think tanks, foreign policy experts, newspaper columnists, even sundry comedians and internet influencers. They are pleading, they are threatening, they are hysterical. Come on, India. You must condemn Russia, or else.

The other day, ambassadors of all EU countries met in Delhi in a show of solidarity for Ukraine. That is their business, of course, but why Delhi? Was no other capital city on earth available to them? It was yet another tactic to put pressure on India.

Meddibuddy     Plum     Boat

So far, our government has refused to buckle under pressure. And, by most accounts, the vast majority of Indians are with the government on this one. Should we spoil relations with a long time ally and number one weapons supplier to make the New York Times happy? No way.

But it does not end there. We have to dig deeper behind the motivations of the West. Why this extreme focus on India all of a sudden? What big difference would it make to the Western effort if India were to condemn Russia? I have to be skeptical here. We all know that India has been climbing the global power ladder for a while now. Did we become a superpower already without actually realizing?

Suppose for a moment that India agrees to make Washington happy. Or as think tank experts like to call it, decides to stand up for “democracy and freedom.” Suppose that our External Affairs Ministry released the most blistering statement condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine. What happens next? Will the Russians retreat immediately, terrified of the fearsome power of the Indian Army? Will Russia and China, fearing sanctions from India, fold like wet tissue? Will they start celebrating with Indian flags on the streets of Kyiv? I doubt this.

Then why is the West so desperate to have us on their side? Here is one possibility. They are not seeking our help. They are just trying to demonize us. They understand India’s interests and compulsions perfectly. They know that New Delhi will not toe their line, and India will not condemn Russia. That is why they have drawn a moral line in the sand and are shouting from the rooftops that India is on the wrong side of it. Who hates freedom? India. Who supports aggression? India. Who is hypocritical and against a rule based international order? India.

And here is the real subtext of what they are saying. Which is the country that does not deserve any support from the world? India.

My mistake. It is not subtext at all. In fact, they say it quite openly. Indians are hypocrites. Because India won’t go against Russia over Ukraine, the Indians deserve nothing from the world in their struggle against China.

Again, they are not seeking our help. They are manufacturing an excuse for them-selves to stay out in case of Chinese aggression against India. If something were to happen between China and India tomorrow, the West would like to stay out. Of course they would. While placing sanctions on Russia, they couldn’t even bring themselves to give up the chance to sell expensive watches and jackets to Russian oligarchs. You think they would be willing to give up trillions of dollars of trade, and their entire supply chains, to make a point against China and in support of India? Ha!

But nevertheless, it would look bad for the West. The supposedly democratic West siding with the Chinese Communist Party dictatorship against a democratic India.

How to get out of this tangle? The answer is obvious. Demonize India on all fronts. Go label the Indian government as genocidal and Nazi. They do this behind the facade of “experts” and “civil society organizations,” of course. So they get Freedom House and Swedish V-Dem or whatever to declare that India is not even a democracy any more. When war breaks out in Eastern Europe, they get the New York Times and Wall Street Journal to tell the world that Indians hate freedom.

China likes this, of course. They understand that India derives tremendous moral authority from the fact that we are a democracy. There are only two ways for China to blunt this advantage. One, China could transform itself into a democracy, which the Communist Party obviously doesn’t want. The only other option is to vilify India internationally, so that India is also seen as an authoritarian and genocidal state.

Which is exactly what the global media, the experts, the think tanks have all been saying for eight years now. The West needs this narrative against India. China needs this narrative against India. And both are presumably willing to pay. What a wonderful coincidence that “experts” worldwide have come to exactly this conclusion: India is evil.

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Also read:

Why did Malaysia fall in line?

Does India need ICBM?






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The Romance of Writing

Writing may be old-fashion, but it has its own charm. Many famous writers still prefer to write the first draft by hand. People who still prefer to write by hand realize the romance of writing and a sense of satisfaction.

From typewriter to desk top to laptop, notebook, etc; the good old days of writing by hand is just a memory. The romance of writing is gone. Years after typing on the pretty Remington regular and later Remington portable and then years later came the desk top and after a few years arrived the laptop; I find I can hardly write by hand. My writing has gone from bad to worse. With the introduction of ATM card, even writing self-cheque seems stone-age! The neat and cute writing has gone for a toss and now I scribble like a doctor’s prescription note, though I still love to write the first draft of my writing or article by hand.  I may sound old-fashioned. And then technology takes over in the form of laptop, with neatly formatted text.

Apart from this most writers relied on the Oxford or Webster dictionary. And even this has been replaced by the know-all Google which at times tends to re-educate you. Even kids refuse to touch the good old bulky dictionary and trust the Google. Earlier one had to just have paper and pen to express one’s thoughts or ideas. It gave a sense of achievement. Then came the typewriter, often messing your fingers with the black ribbon ink, trying to set it right, with strokes and markings on the face as a camouflaged commando on a mission. Even the pretty young secretaries were done away, with no distraction to the bosses!

Then years later arrived, the new age of technology in the form of desk top, PC for short, with the CPU unit, monitor, keyboard and mouse. It was a bit confusing for the un-initiated, but much faster and smart. As one is about to get hold of the working of this gadget, lappy, the laptop made a grand appearance. Like the old portable typewriter, it is small and a compact unit encompassing the CPU, screen, keyboard and mouse. And the beauty is the sleek devise can be easily carried around. You can play games or listen to music too while sitting on your table or travelling. Now we have the tablets which double up as the laptop too.

No doubt the technological  inventions have brought in progress and change with internet, emails etc; but the present generation will truly miss the romance of writing, and also the art of expressing in letters which conveyed one’s feelings of love, happiness, anger and sadness. The gadgets have made things easy and fast, but writing by hand is different. The romance has gone forever.

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Picture Post

Shree Padmanabhaswamy temple,
Kerala, India
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If you feel that Aneela Nike Post is making a difference to your life, do take a minute to consider a comment or contribution. We would also value your suggestions as how to make ourselves more relevant to you. Please write to akn929@yahoo.com to give your valuable feedback.