Climate change is a transformation in the distribution of weather patterns over long periods of time that range from decades to millions of years. Since the formation of the earth 4.54 billion years ago, the earth has undergone 5 major extinctions, mostly due to these climatic changes i.e. a cyclic pattern between the ice ages and the warmer ones. And we are heading on towards the current Holocene extinction event very fast. Most of us shoo off this topic as merely an exaggeration about global warming, but it is actually happening, and if we visualize the situation in the terms of a country like India, the situation is worsening with each passing day. It is indeed a shame for us that Chennai has overtaken Delhi as the most polluted city of the world.


India puts a great pressure on its existing natural resources, even more profoundly than its counterparts because it is a developing nation. The water table is depleting fast, the summers are getting longer and hotter, and the rain spells are getting erratic. The sea levels are rising due to the polar ice caps and glaciers melting at a pace like never before.


The biggest crisis of India is that its population is dwelling in ignorance. Most of the people have no idea about global warming, and even if they have, they are not bothered about it. And our nation has a plethora of other problems, which need greater attention than the climate. Illiteracy and lack of basic education and health facilities in many parts of rural India top the chart.


Most of the people in our country do not have the purchasing power for food and fuel. Immigration to the cities in the search for a better life adds to the pressure on the existing limited drinking water and electricity. However, the pollution contributed by the richer nations should not be compared with the pollution coming from the poorer ones; the former use it for the increasing lifestyle of luxury and comfort, while the latter utilize it for their survival. Today, necessity has become a luxury, due to the ever increasing greed of humans. And global warming is the perfect example of this phenomenon, disrupting  forests, lives and livelihoods.

Nearly 60% of the population is agrarian in nature, and our country has more than a billion mouths to feed. Agriculture takes up nearly 90% of the fresh water resources of our country, and with depletion of the water table and with the increase in the production of water demanding crops like rice and wheat, the situation is getting grim. We are facing the aftermath of the Green Revolution. Frequent drought spells are getting common mainly in the central and the eastern parts of the nation. Denganmal, a village in Maharashtra, where people keep more than one wives just to fetch water from long distances should be an eye opener for all of us. Latest statistics report that India will run out of drinking water by the year 2040.  Farmer suicides are a reminder for us that the provider of food has himself no food security.


The change in the sea levels is leading to powerful cyclones, hurricanes and tsunamis every year.  Salt water intrusion in low lying agricultural plains could lead to food insecurity , spread of water related diseases and lack of fresh water.

India houses 3 biodiversity hotspots from 32 present: the Indo-Burma region, the Western Ghats and the Himalayas. The endemic amphibian species of the Western Ghats are fast dying out. The rare and exotic plants of the Himalayas are fast disappearing even before we get to know about their astounding medicinal properties. India has now only 23.07% of its forests left. Illegal logging for agriculture, grazing lands, urbanization and commercial plantation are the major causes of deforestation.


Destruction of the wild habitats is leading to a more exposed interaction of humans and animals, and hence, strange and often incurable diseases are cropping up from the warmer parts of the planet. The maladies are spreading on to the colder regions too, due to the gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth, which has increased by 0.6 degrees in the last century.


Greater political and bureaucratic attention is needed to diversify the livelihoods of the poor people to reduce their vulnerability. We need to have a significant increase of targeted investments in crop production and management e.g. crop rotation, mixed crop production and organic farming and advanced irrigation systems like drip irrigation and water sprinkler approaches, which should be given to smaller farmers at a subsidised rate. We need to utilise the maximum amount of our existing agricultural lands by using genetically hybrid crops which are more tolerant to the environmental stresses like droughts and floods. There is an immediate need for placing water meters in every Indian home for checking the water usage.

Afforestation will not only help in conserving forests and decreasing desertification, it will also help restoring the water table, in tackling natural disasters and in regaining the livelihoods of the people who are dependent on forestry. Crop pollination needs mutual coordination between the plants and the pollinators like honey bees. Hence, this would ensure maximum food production naturally.

It takes about 10 kgs of grain to produce 1 kg of meat. This contributes to the global warming and our failing health. Hence, people need to shift from a non vegetarian to a vegetarian diet. Buying fresh produce would lead to the practice of rooftop hydroponics, which is cheap and easy to produce, and would definitely act as a combat towards excess plastic packaging layers. Use of plastic bags need to be banned immediately. People need to use cloth/jute bags for getting their groceries.


The good old 3Rs : Reduce, Reuse and Recycle still hold true. We need to reduce our usage of packaged materials. We need to buy less. We need to reuse old clothes, books, toys and stuff. And finally, newspapers, bottles and scrap should be recycled. Scrap materials from used automobiles and e wastes should be treated properly and can be re used. Instead of recycling, we can burn the waste materials in waste incinerators and can generate electricity.


The development of a country largely depends upon the growth of the small scale industries. Amount of carbon produced is the benchmark of development. The small scale industries cannot cope up with the Clean Development Mechanisms initiated by the international communities. Hence, the laws enforced for the national and the international giants in the markets should not be imposed on these units. Rather, the government should bring on some innovative solutions in collaboration with the national leading institutions at a subsidised rate so that they can both thrive and prosper under the new laws, without compromising their income.


More number of nuclear power plants need to be setup in our country. And most importantly, the myths associated with the nuclear effects need to be sorted out first. Solar based water pumps in certain areas of Sambalpur district in Odisha has led to the efficient utilisation of water with the demonstration of an excellent use of solar energy. The Canal Solar Power Project launched in Gujarat, uses 19,000 Kilometers long network of Narmada canals across the state for setting up solar panels to generate electricity. Energy efficient systems are the need of the hour. Our country is a fast growing economy, with a lot of business opportunities. Hence, alliances with powerhouses can serve as a blessing for those 400 million people who do not have a proper access to electricity. Biogas is being implemented by village people since long, and is a perfect example of utilisation of organic farming. Using natural products is only possible if sustainable development is undertaken hands on with technologically feasible solutions for the environment.


India, being an affordable holiday destination for many, can serve as a heaven for ecotourism.  It leads to the preservation of the nature as well as works towards the protection and enhancement of job opportunities for the forest loving communities.


When we consume less energy, we spend less on energy. Hence, it is cost effective. Thus, we need to create laws for automobile and aviation industries, furnaces and miscellaneous factories to keep a check on their emissions, as per the standard norms decided by the governing bodies. By purchasing energy efficient gadgets, we can reduce our carbon footprint.

Awareness is need to be created amongst people for safer practices for nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, so that people are alert towards their changing environmental conditions and get more health conscious. More number of nutrition programs and clinics need to be functional in the rural areas for the proper diagnosis and the treatment of the people in a short period of time. Telemedicine and Any Time Medicine technologies can bring radical changes in the history of treatment.


There is a need for more number of people who can enhance sustainability development like agricultural scientists, ecologists and biotechnologists. People need to be more aware of their opportunities as scientists and the role they have to play in the society. Extra amount of the country’s budget needs to be spent on the research and development sectors to bring on more innovative and challenging solutions for tackling the environmental issues.

Keeping the frequent natural disasters in view, there is an urgent need for advanced weather forecasting systems and their timely broadcasting in our country to ensure minimum damage to lives and property.

We need to promote cities with excellent public transport facilities and need to encourage them to use ethanol and CNG. We need to convince our farmers to grow bio fuel crops like jatropha, camelina, switch grass and willows; along with normal food crops. These grow well in poor soil and use up less fertilizers. These are high in cellulose, and produce low carbonic fuels.


The solutions to these challenges are definitely not simple, and are not at all possible if they are only implemented by the government. Participation of the common mass is equally important to make these projects a success. More awareness is needed to be created amongst the public about their role towards the environment and their future. There is so much of positivity around us. We just need to make them happen.




As we stand today, miles apart

I am beginning to miss your presence

Now, I realise, an important fragment of my life has been lost

Lost to the universe

I never had thought of you in such a manner, Aiee

It had never occurred to me that people depart

Such intensity of sadness, a void, has been created back here

I wish you could come back

Everything I do,  reminds me of you

The way you walked. The way you talked. The way you ate. The way you behaved funny.

The way you loved us more than we did.

My eyes, fighting back the tears,

While I see our selfies.

Were we destined to stay for such a short period together?

This cruel decision of fate has left me shattered

I have lost my faith

There are things which only grand moms can teach their grand kids

I could hardly learn any.

I wish I could see you laugh again

I wish to have spent more time with you

I wish to have been cuddled by you harder

Because the world would have been a better place for everyone;

Its true if everyone, everywhere had an aiee as nice as you.


I still can’t believe that you have departed from the earth.

I couldn’t believe my ears the moment mummy broke out the news to us. I had my design paper the next day and was tensed about it as such. But when I saw her crying uncontrollably, bursting out speeches in between of her tearful episode, I felt terrible. I can never see my mum cry. Nor she could see her mum lying still.

I had never witnessed any deaths in the family before. You passed away first. I wish you hadn’t done this to me. I am a person who always took pride in saying that “Thank God I have my both sets of grandparents for me!” Not anymore.

You left me, just like everyone else does, but this time, you have moved on forever 😥

But you do remember the moments we have shared, don’t you?

You must have felt amazing when you’d have got the news about the arrival of your daughter’s daughter to this world; and would have held me in your arms for the first time. I hope that I would not have done anything stupid on you at that moment and if I had done, then I am sorry. Too late to beg apology but yes, I am sorry.

I take pride in saying that my aiee makes the best tomato chutney and fish curry. I would insist to eat the freshly caught fish from your backyard pond, and would set off with Aja to catch some small ones. When you fed me with your soft hands, the food became ambrosia. Summers were always fun with you. Our afternoon sessions of watching Odia movies were the best. When you used to come home, we used to savour on dried mango pieces with sugar. Our favourite meal was a yummy snack of chicken roll.  And you got all excited when you were left alone in the house. You got the freedom to eat anything sweet available in the kitchen; despite a hundred warnings from every one of us; despite of the knowledge that you had diabetes.

Ludo, ludo and ludo. More ludo, but not less. You must have been the undisputed champion of the indoor game of this century. You had a way of pulling the game in your favour every time. You always got the number you wanted on your die and if not, then you still would manage to put your token in the block you wanted. Awesome playing strategies. Our much-loved past time.

It seems that everyone except me has borrowed your genes for obsession with style. Nail and feet paint, powders, bangles, gorgeous saris…… all used to be your prized possessions. It is no wonder that you were so beautiful. A clear hearted soul, that’s what you were, Aiee.


Paan used to be your greatest companion. When the shopkeepers used to ask me about the brands of various ingredients used in your paan while you sent me to buy some, confusion clearly showed up on my face. You always kept it within you, literally. Even though chewing paan was just a daily routine, It won’t be an exaggeration to say that it was your soul mate.

We used to sit on your tummy and play. Had there been a tummy contest, yours surely would have won a position for its absolute roundness, fairness, smoothness and size. The coinage of the term moti bou for you still holds relevant.

Nobody could match the humorous way in which you spewed angry words on us. It was a delight to trouble you and listen to all those Odia slangs. It never hurt. While I am writing this, your dialogue “tu kebe ama gharu jibu, tu kaha ghara bhangibu lo” is echoing in my mind.

Aiee, I loved to talk to you. During these informal talks I discovered a different person inside you, completely different from the funny and casual lady altogether: a small girl, who had lost both her parents when she was only four, and had since been raised by her step mother. You never showed pain in your eyes, nor grief in your words, Aiee, you were so strong. My mummy has derived all her strengths from you. You have never complained against your step mom. You had merely said “How harshly she might have treated us, she still loved us and gave us food. I am today alive only because of her.” No person can ever say this kind of statement. It takes huge courage and even a bigger heart to say so. You were hardworking and have raised five children who have grown up to be counted in the percentage of that few good people the world currently holds now. Thank you for taking care of all of us. We hope to inherit your potentials and make you proud.

One day we shall meet at the other side of the horizon. May your soul always be our guide and support us through the tough times.


Nickie and Nishi




The whole kingdom was waiting for the golden moment.
The queen was expecting a child.
The Emperor sat anxious, praying for his heir………………
On that bright morning, she was born
Much to the disgust of the Emperor. He sat forlorn,
With his head downcast,
Was there no one to rule his kingdom by caste?

He barely looked at his daughter’s face
And not even at the mother. The queen was unconscious
In her pain, but not in her fate
Tears rolled down from her eyes
When her glances met that of her child.
The baby was cute, her face was radiant
She had features that would make any parent feel triumphant;
But not her father
Who was rather disgusted with the queen and left her side
Whilst all this, the queen did dutifully abide
Her Royal Husband, His Highness
Even though she had fallen from his grace
Still she adorned herself daily, with the choicest of garments,
Ornaments, lauded with precious stones and jewels,
His favorite scent, his favorite flower on her wetted hair;
To seek his attention, she did what
She did what not……….
But alas! The King, he forgot
That once upon a time he had a charisma towards his first consort……………..

He was free to marry as many times as he chose
He loved many, he loved none
He wedded princesses one after the other
It was definitely not a happy family, together, forever!
The new queens and their sons, plotted continuously
To get the throne
The princess, however always remained behind her veil.

She had no say in the stately matters
And was always compelled to remain in the women quarters.
Slowly and steadily, she grew up to become a breathtaking beauty
At the same time, lovely and pretty…….
The queen took great pride in the princess
Who was cheerful even at the time of distress
Her dainty feet never announced her presence at the fort
But her voice did.
Her songs, happy or tragic
Captured a great set of audience.
One day as she was sitting alone by the pond
Someone stopped by to hear her singing.

He looked on, amazed
While she sat gazing him behind her shroud
Tall and handsome that he was
She had seen many like him before
But none of them had ever stolen her heart………….
She tried, with all her might
But could not stop thinking about him, day or night
Same was the case in the opposite side
Even though both of them knew the end of their story would be tragic
They secretly hoped for a magic
A magic, which would change their lives forever
Then they could stay forever, happily and ever after………….

But alas, some dreams do never come true……
In the quest for supremacy
Her love was seized by her own brother
Who ruthlessly killed her lover
Her heart was ripped apart
“How could he do this to me?
My brother, my own brother?”
She realized her destiny
Was not all glittery as it looked to be
The thirst for power had surpassed all blood relations
Human beings killing God’s own creations!!!!
Her kohl rimmed eyes
No longer held the same gaze,
Her soul had been wrenched
Drenched, in blood
Her identity was lost amidst the crowd
She was now just a face of the Harem, as she used to be
She was a Mughal. A White Mughal.


I was inspired to write this poem after reading about the Women of the Mughal Empire. The term ” White Mughals” symbolizes two things. First, white color is usually associated with beauty and purity. White is also the color of the dresses the widows wear. Sadly, the Mughal princesses were living in the biggest of the ironies of the world. Most of the Mughal princesses were unwed, and were living their lives in the darkness of the voids their destiny had created for them. To eliminate more people who were eligible to get the throne, the princesses were banned from entering into matrimonial alliances. Usually in the Mughal family, there used to be marriages inside the same family i.e. cousins marrying one another. But after Shah Jahan came to power, he had already killed his brothers and cousins so there was no one who could marry his sisters. And the trend continued down for Aurangzeb as well.

Read this beautiful blog piece about the Mughal princesses.


Sorry, folks! I kept you waiting for so many days…….actually I was really busy with my studies……..but now I won’t allow it to overcome my passion to write!
As usual, you need a lot of patience and time to go through this. [I write less, but still I write more. I have the biggest mouth in the whole world.]
Let me tell you about my recent trip to New Delhi. It’s not recent, really, as I had been to the place in the month of June, but the artistic impressions of the city still remain vivid in my mind.
The historic city of Delhi or New Delhi has seen many a great rise and fall of kings and queens, emperors and empires. Well now we stay in a democratic country, so we don’t have kings or kingdoms anymore; but they have left their monuments for us perhaps as their legacy. They may be dead, but their memories live on.
Some months back I used to watch a TV program on DD National titled as the Forts of India. I’d really like to thank to Indian Government for producing such an educational show. It used to show about all the Mughal as well as the Rajput forts. Some of the Rajput forts even have their descendants residing there. I had been really fired up by this show as I had been after seeing Maharana Pratap, so when Daddy announced that we were going to visit the glorious Indian capital, my excitement knew no bounds.
The day we reached the place, we were too tired to make any trips. So, as expected, we went to KFC for dinner :p [Quite thrilled about KFC as KFC Bhubaneswar hadn’t opened then] [Born to eat] ;] :p
The next day, we started at 7.30 a.m. The traffic laws had been made stricter because just a day back then Rural Minister Gopinath Munde had expired due to a car accident and doctors had written in his biopsy report that he could have been alive if he had his seat belt on. So we back seated passengers were obliged to put on the seat belts. We had completely left on our driver to guide us around the place. So he was doing all the directing part. I quite do not remember the dates and order of our visits, so I’m presenting here a random account.
We first halted near the famous Birla Temple. I wish we had clean temples back in Orissa here! It is a  beautiful temple and has a very peaceful atmosphere. It is large and has white marble flooring and has been maintained nicely even though it is so old. The sound of the temple bells would fill your hearts with a sense of tranquility.

Our next stop was at the National History Museum. They provide you a free guide. My God, the museum is huge! But we were rushing like a Superfast express. We missed out everything. The history museum showcases Indian history from the beginning of the Harrapan and Mohenjo Daro Civilisation. I do not know where it ends. For a history fanatic like me, it would require a week’s time to see all the items on display and take notes. We went through the civilizations, then the Mauryan, Gupta dynasties, birth and growth of Buddhism and Jainism………and then daddy was such in a hurry that we had to miss out the other things. I still managed to take a quick peek on the Mughal miniature paintings. If you are a CBSE student, then you must have studied history in 6th and 7th standard. All the pictures in the books have been taken from the Museum’s display only.


We need more Indian historians in our country. It is really a shame that Indian World Heritage sites have been mostly studied and deciphered by foreign historians. Well, what can I do. There isn’t any other job here except Engineering. All hail Science!
There was a female skeleton on display. Even turtle shell bangles were intact on her hands. Pottery, coins, paintings, idols, relics……..if any day the museum’s security is breached, then the thieves will be billionaires :p

Our guide, Mrs Neena Jain, was a sweet old lady and was explaining us like a professor. She had the light and the feelings in her eyes while speaking about our history. Since we were visiting from Odisha, she showed us the Sun God idol preserved carefully. The Konark Sun Temple does not house it. It was really a proud moment! She reminded me of my dearest Bio teacher Reena Madam.
Bidding a sad adieu to the place, we moved on our journey further and spent a short time at Jantar Mantar.


Then we stumbled across one of the oldest monument of Delhi, the Qutub Minar. It had been built in the year 1193 by Qutubuddin Aibak. He had built it for his daughter. Standing at a height of 72.5 meters, it is the second highest minar in the world. The minar has suffered a lot of damages due to natural calamities like earthquakes. An archway has already broken from the top. was repaired by Iltutmish and many other emperors who ruled next. The famous Iron pillar- the metallurgical marvel of India stands in front of the Qutub Minar. It belongs to the Gupta dynasty and it is always wrongly referred to as the Ashokan pillar due to architectural similarities between its style and that from the Ashokan era. When you enter the place, you can see the tombs of Qutubuddin Aibak and his successor Iltutmish on the right side. There is a marked difference between the tombs of Mughal Emperors and the Delhi Sultans. The tombs of the Delhi Sultans are not covered by arched forts like that of the Mughals. They are lying in a dilapidated state.

qutub minar
Now let us get a little bit of patriotic as well as historic. We had paid a visit to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Amar Jawan Jyoti and the India Gate. Rashtrapati Bhavan is the home of the President of India. Amar Jyoti Jawan is a flame which is kept burning continuously in the memory of the soldiers who have died fighting for our motherland.   I salute to all those brave hearts who have died fighting for our country, and are still fighting for our betterment and want to give us justice.



I could not quite understand the importance of visiting Lotus temple. We went and sat inside. That’s it. It is a peaceful place where seats have been made up of marble. The room is so cool and it almost lulls you to sleep :p But I must admit that the place has been very well constructed. An architectural marvel indeed. Doesn’t it remind you of the famous Opera House at Sydney?


Our final destination at Delhi was the place from where the Prime Minister hoists our National Flag every Republic Day. You guessed it right…its Red Fort! Built by Shah Jahan, it is a real beauty. The fort has got a Meena Bazaar which is functional till today. We purchases some key rings and purses as materialistic memories, but they were too expensive :[ The fort even houses a small museum in it which we had to see in just two minutes, as it was already curfew time. The museum has a dress preserved carefully of that of a princess. Really, the craft work of that era remains unmatched with that of today’s time. Other stuff included swords, utensils and other things we couldn’t go through. A light and sound show is also being organized in front of the Diwan-e-aam[ironically!]
Here I would like to distinguish between Rajput forts and Mughal forts. During the Mughal reign, there were a lot of invaders who were thirsty for the royal blood, hence for extra protection, the forts have thick and large walls, which go missing in the forts at Madhya Pradesh. Take, for example, the Gwalior fort. The ruling Sindhiyas had made Gwalior a princely state during the British rule. Hence they had no requirement of such huge walls for security. The windows of both types of forts also show marked differences. But there are some similarities too. The minars are a mixture of both Islamic and Rajput architectures. I need to see some Rajput forts to give an extensive report on this.

Pooh! Enough of this Delhi talk…….now let’s move our eyes on to Agra!
Our first stoppage while visiting Agra was at a Gurudwara. I had never been to a Gurudwara before. It had been made up of white marble. [ Marble, marble everywhere, no another stone in the brink XD ] The persons there were preaching us not to eat meat and love all animals. How could I have ever explained to them that I love everyone but Chicken is my favorite? ;] I wished they had a langar :[

Then I met Sahenshah-e-Hind, Jalaluddin Mohammed Akbar…….not in person actually, but at his tomb. After seeing the movie and the ongoing show Jodhaa Akbar, I was delighted to meet the greatest emperor of the Mighal Empire, even though it was at his gravesite :p

The tomb is a real huge one. It had been built by Emperor Jahangir in the memory of his father. The tomb has no lighting system like that of the Taj Mahal hence it is very dark. But it is really cool inside. Just to think, we are alive and we are being troubled by the scorching heat, on the contrary Jalal is dead and he is sleeping in a permanent A/C room like condition. Now I’m real jealous of him.
The fort has a ground where some deer are residing. It is indeed a great way to utilize a place and save two diminishing things together: flora, fauna and history.

Agra Fort, here I am!

Agra Fort had been built by Emperor Akbar when he shifted his base from Delhi to Agra for security concerns. It is smaller than The Red Fort. You can see the Taj Mahal from here. Shah Jahan had been under home arrest at Agra Fort and he died seeing his creation from a distance. It has a small room where it is said that Shan Jahan offered his daily prayers. Most of the rooms were locked but I chanced to see one open. The rooms are small and the walls of the room have carvings where decorative items would have been put once, but now they are absolutely empty. The Britishers have taken away most of them, mostly from the Red Fort, where the British soldiers resided. They had remodeled the place, destroying the original designs.
Finally the time has come for me to introduce you to the Taj Mahal…even though the 7th wonder of the world needs no formal introduction. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his youngest wife Arjumand Banu Begum or Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal had bore 14 children of Shah Jahan and had died during childbirth just at the age of 38. She had made him promise not to marry any other begum after her demise. People say the Empress Consort was prettier than the moon, and the Emperor could never resist her temptation.

The Taj has been completely been built out of pure white marble. It took 16 years to build it. I got goose bumps when I reached the scene. History can get on to your nerves at that place. You can almost feel the romance……..but not in the scorching heat.
We had been to Agra on the day it was 47 degree Celsius. Poor we :[
Wikipedia even tells you that Shah Jahan had cut the hands of his 22000 workers, who had come all the way from Persia to build this magnificent beauty; but it is not true. We had a guide with us from the Govt. Tourism Dept., who said that this is completely a hoax and no one knows why this has become widespread and strong. According to him, the workers were allowed to build rooms for them to stay. During the construction of the Taj, the workers felt that it was necessary to build a mosque nearby so that they could offer their daily prayers. Hence, a mosque was built. To maintain equilibrium for the structure, a guest house was made on the opposite side. It is difficult to distinguish between them, as both have been made as Xerox copies to each other. Shah Jahan gave the workers huge amount of money and gifts. Some of the descendants of the workers still stay in the neighboring areas and do the same work their forefathers did: crafting of stones.
We needed to wear a special kind of covering on our shoes so that the tomb would not get dirty. The central part of the tomb has got a mausoleum where both the bodies of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan have been placed in separate coffins. Actually the one that we see is fake. The real bodies are below the fake ones, where once people were allowed to go, but now it has been closed.
Shah Jahan wanted to make his own tomb too. So he had started making the Black Taj, which overlooked the White Taj over the river Yamuna. But then Aurangazeb had already come into power, and he had ordered to put his father at house arrest. Hence, Shah Jahan’s dream could never be fulfilled. On the top of that, Aurangazeb had brutally killed Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s eldest son who was worthy of the throne, and his family. Dara Shukoh was the emperor’s most beloved son. In this grief, Shah Jahan’s health had started to fail, and even under the intense care of his favorite daughter Princess Jahanara, he could not be saved. His last wish was to be buried near his beloved Mumtaz, who had died years ago, but their love has not died. It will exist as long as the Taj will, and I believe it is for ever. On full moon nights, when the moonlight falls on the Taj, you can see inside it from outside at a distance. In other words, the monument is translucent. Fees: Rs 500-/- to see this mystery being unrevealed.
When the construction of the Taj Mahal ended, Shah Jahan had distributed a kind of sweet called Panchi Petha, which is native to Agra to the whole public, to express his happiness. We were so much impressed by the musings of the guide that we purchased a packet from Bikanerwalas. I would like to give you a free piece of advice: Never ever eat a Panchi Petha. They are even made up of pumpkin. Gross!

The Taj mahal has been beautifully maintained, but the pollution from the refineries at Mathura has not spared it. This splendor has started turning yellow in color due to the reaction of Calcium Carbonate [white marble] with the oxides of nitrogen and sulphur. Acid rain also adds fire to it. We need to save our heritage. After all, its our legacy.

My visit to Delhi and Agra was not a piece of cake. In the middle of the summer season, the temperature varied from 45 to 47 degree Celsius. I had nearly fainted while walking back from the Taj Mahal. The climate of Delhi is quite dry. We were continuously making up for our lost body fluids by drinking water, lemon juice, cola, cucumber and ice creams. Life in Delhi is harsh. The traffic is so intense and the place is so heavily populated, that you feel like a lost grain of salt in a heap of sand. The expense on top of that is heart rendering. We could only manage to eat Thalis. Food consisted of only paneer, rice, dal, dahi and a salad. Back at home, we have so many veggies. I have always created a fuss when mummy cooks them. There I realized I have been so lucky to get proper food to eat. The result of AIPMT was declared the day before our return and my mood had become completely off.

I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings towards the Indian Government and UNESCO for the excellent work they have undertaken towards the protection of our glorious cultural heritage. Also, tourism is a booming industry and it provides employment for thousands of people. Foreign tourists love coming to India because for them it is a cheaper destination than other countries. I hope that this good work will always continue and will extend towards my state as well. Odisha has a plethora of temples, mostly belonging to the time of 9th-12th century. But they fail to get recognition due to the lack of government funds and they always remain unclean. I hope that my article sends a message to all the people of Odisha so that we all can work together to protect our Odia culture.
Good or bad memories…..memories are memories; and they lie in your brain but never clog it, when you think about the past time, they are magically revived instantly, placing a smile on your lips and tears in your eyes. I wish I could go back to Delhi again. I have missed out so many places of visit.
My dream list has expanded: now I want to go on a historical tour of India. I know that will cost me a lot, but I will. This dream has to be fulfilled.  And I hope that someday it will.

CONFESSION: All the theories which I have written are purely based upon my knowledge with due reference to my history textbooks, Wikipedia and Agra Tourism Department. No fact should be challenged publicly as it is just a travel memoir. However, I’ve tried to put my sincere efforts in collecting real details as far as possible. I have provided numerous links for further studies.


Debashrita ;]


Reviewing events of 2 years back……………………….
12th boards. Fearful and nasty. Just before D-Day, came the Happy Practicals’ Week in the month of Fantastic February. Exam bells are heard around the corners. Questions are anticipated and answers are discussed. Revisions are in a full swing. How awesome.
Most of the students love practicals, but not me. I am very afraid of them. One single mistake and you have to start it all over again. And repeating that stuff back home in the Lab manual is another headache. We do not have time as such, and then when we pupils see those dusty old manuals on our desks, we find it even nauseating.
During lab classes every Thursday and Friday, our teachers divided us into groups for the lack of time and instruments. But during exam, no such luck. We have to be on our own. When with my friends, I try to do everything correctly but when I perform them alone all the experiments go horribly wrong. And I think you should not know about my handwriting. With each page and diagram, it turns worse. So in short practicals suck for me and I hate it.
But Man proposes and God disposes. Soon came my Physics Exam. I was a bundle of nerves. When my turn came, I bent to pick up a paper from the lottery system and I had been assigned Meter Bridge experiment. I thanked God and started writing.
Everything was okay, until I started the practical. My observations looked alien to me. Most of my friends had learnt the observations from the earlier version of the experiment, but not me. You can say that I’m somewhat honest, but I’m pretty lazy too XD
I must have looked confused. My teacher came to me.
“What happened? Aren’t you able to do this easy practical?”
“Ma’am, I’m so sorry, it’s just that I’m unable to correct some of my observations……………..”
“You are performing the experiment? Now? At this hour? Oh my God, manipulate them, fast!”
Surprise was building on surprise. I was thinking that I was a good kid. I do not know the art of manipulation. But I had to do it. All the waters of sincerity and honesty finally went down the drain.
Don’t ask about the viva. I got 4/5 questions right, and the teacher on inspection must have thought what a silly kid I am.
Fast forward 3 days. Chemistry practical exam. Smarting with excitement, I was handed my own set of organic compound for detection. I did it without any help. But still, I had my Salt chart with me. At the last moment ever Sir allowed us to have a little peek into the book……………
Biology exam was the best. I was able to answer all the questions and did my experiments with perfection. I mean, you can call me as a perfectionist because the rest of the class copied down my work when Ma’am was not in the room. Well, what do they say? The mice play while the cat’s away.
I’m definitely not against manipulation. It is actually required sometimes, because theory can never carter fully to the needs of the Lab conditions and vice versa. Manipulation saves time and marks [And of course, a good spank from the teacher :p ] It’s just that I can never forget the lines from a Lab manual that I had:
“As a science student, you should treat your subject as your religion and your Lab as your place of devotion and worship. Manipulation by any means is wrong and disrespectful towards your subject.”
Try explaining it to a modern Indian teenager who watches IPL like crazy and has made Cricket his faith.


I’m not much of a story writer, but well at least I can try…….


Not considered much as a success……..That’s what people feel………

They are the guys, who surely did have a past but are completely uncertain about their future…..

Some days back I was waiting for my bus when a man and his daughter came by a bike. The daughter was to travel by the bus. When the bus didn’t turn up for quite some time, that uncle asked me:

“Where are you going, beta?”



Oh God! Why don’t people mind their own business? And I had only thought that I have the biggest mouth on this planet.

“For AIPMT Coaching.”


Awesome. Really. He has no idea about Medical Entrance Exams. Is he really an educated Indian?

“So you are in which class?”

“I dropped a year.”

“So that means you are in 12th class?????”

Uncle totally confused :p

“No, that means I’ve completed my 12th class.”

“That means you are not studying anything now?????”

I swear I could have shown him all my books and notes, but I didn’t. I wanted to explain him, but……….let it be.

I could have told him that his daughter is jobless after her graduation and is now doing random courses and taking random exams for a decent salary.

But still he pinpointed me :[

Wait! There’s more to it………

We feel sad for ourselves when we see our friends getting ahead of us in education, but pat ourselves on our backs when we realise that NOT EVERYONE IN MY FRIEND CIRCLE WANTED TO BE AN ENGINEER…………..

The same case with my cousin. When she says that she’s dropped 3 YEARS for IAS preparation, guess what people say???

“You are married now. If you are not getting any job, then stop this fuss and raise a family.”


We get happy with each mock test result and anticipate for more.

We are greedy. We are fierce competitors.

We forget about friends and relatives [ though its difficult for me to leave FB 😀 ].

We are told to study 18 hours a day.

We are reminded about our current status everyday.

We tend to get more sympathy than others.

We get more nervous than freshers. They are definitely one year ahead of us……

We are the ones who have sacrificed a year of our lives [of course no one has forced us]

Our parents are more tensed for us because we are unsettled.

We try to remain positive despite of all the depression.

We just want that rank………….

And we do not want to blame the ALL INDIA QUOTA SYSTEM FOR RANKING [please don’t let me get started]

We are neither bookworms, nor losers……..

We just want another chance!!!!!

That’s the story of a dropper.

That’s the story of me.


I had started off like this:

Life is short       

But the journey is long

To sustain all along

You gotta be strong

Its difficult to cover the path

All the time facing the fate’s wrath

But still there is a need to grow

There are still a thousand miles to go.

You need an aide by your side      

Who assists you during this bumpy ride

That person is none other than your best friend

Guiding you through all upcoming trends

Without whom life is monotonous

Together all your achievements become synchronous.

My heart aches when I see you sitting lonely

While others’ minds remain jolly

I know how it feels when left all alone, tarnished with pain

And when all of them term you as insane

When you gulp down your tears

Your best friend is there to make you cheer.

I’ve been pushed down the cliff hundreds of times

I strive endlessly, but still there’s hope

That someone might just throw down a rope

So today I’ve brought that rope for you

Signaling friendship;

I’ve extended my hand; now its your turn

To make the best out of this

Don’t think of your past which you’ve left behind long ago

Because there are still, a thousand miles to go……………………

…………………and ended up like this:

My dear friend,

Its the moment we meet the last time to make amends;

To clarify your nagging doubts about me

Yes, I was concerned for you

And I got too, my reward

A slap on to my sincerity

A treacherous look onto my honesty

But let me make it clear to you that

Reinforcing my thoughts into yours was not my idea

I can’t change myself for you in a day…….

I’m just…….being me!

Is this wrong?

I know both of us are indifferent, yet different

Similar, but not the same

I realized the fact

Though a bit late;

So no need to get torrent

While I remain insane.

I still love to remember the first day

When we had met

I was happy beyond imagination

The wildest of my dreams were coming true

I had got a cool friend: Brand new!

At an unknown place, where all I had was my own disregards for self respect

I had believed that you, my friend, would come to my aid

What else do I need, in this transitory world?

Your faith and attention……….

Relieved me from all my tensions

You have no idea, my friend; that you do the placebo effect on me

Lighting up hope on my destiny as far as my eyes carry me;

Although I do need your peace of mind for my mental stability,

I’m not thriving upon your courtesy.

 I can’t wait for you anymore.

 I’ve just got sick of explaining my inspirations to you……..

Dipped in cries, I now try to pick them up alone.

Yes, alone, as I was always;

On frequent hangouts with depression.

But now, I can’t just stand around in life

I need to accomplish something

I need to move on………

So please, wake up and realize that

You can’t have 2 choices at the same time

The time of making the crucial decision has come.

Either you are choosing me or losing me…………………

The choice is completely yours

But whatever you choose, you must do it well

Don’t keep me hanging, buddy

Or else I’d never be able to get strong and sturdy.

So if you have the guts

Say it straight on my face

“You silly girl, you have no idea about what it takes to be a friend………..

So just get lost from my life; you are unwanted……………………”

Just getting a feeling that my mind isn’t as stable as it used to be…..

But I’ve learnt my lesson…..never to put your heart, soul and trust on people you barely know…..they hurt you because you are not like them… a taste of that… I keep on cursing myself…..WHY AM I SO DIFFERENT???? Still, I thank you, friend, whose name I’d like to keep anonymous, for making me realise the complexities of life when I joined college….that precarious moment when all the advices of parents were falling on deaf ears….you made me understand that its time to grow up. So thank you, TORCHBEARER.