Love it or hate it , 2015 has been , without a doubt , the year of the “Selfie”. Whether you were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or showing off your new haircut, everyone across your social media platforms knew exactly what you were up to in 2015. And now with the invention of this notorious selfie stick , it seemed that the selfie is for better or worse here to stay.
No matter where you go or what you do, there’s no getting away from death , taxes and yes of course selfie stick . Phewwww!!!!I am serious………Death is something which you cannot escape and till the time we are alive we end up paying taxes for everything . Wonder why selfie stick have been so indispensable for millions who own a smartphone and can hold a smile for 10 sec.
Though taking photos of yourself with your dinky camera has been around for a few years – “Selfie” was the Oxford Dictionary word and the trend is riding the social media wave. Notorious might be a bit of stretch , but a device that started as a harmless tool to help to share vacations has snowballed into a many controversial issue, with selfie sticks increasingly banned around the world for reasons that range from safety to privacy to just plain obnoxious behavior.
Read somewhere the other day , Walt Disney World ban on selfie sticks earlier this year .The main reason they did this is because it has become a safety concern for guests . Even though selfie stick were never allowed on roller coasters and rides………..but people would still bring them in. Also for that matter, National Gallery in London issued a statement banning selfie sticks as part of its promise to protect paintings and for the overall visitor experience.
But that is not the case everywhere, there are many companies (especially travel and hotel industry )who are capitalizing on the selfie trend as a marketing and promotion tool, realizing it can be a brilliant promotional strategy since guests who show themselves having a wonderful experiences offer priceless free publicity by inspiring their friends and family back home to have similar experiences. We all love the ‘selfie movement ‘ because it gives a glimpse into what people love about the particular brand and what they are experiencing and feeling deep insight about them.
Nevertheless, the selfie plays a big role in spreading the word about their experience……….as the selfie was about sharing those experiences and telling that story. But many questions also arise whether it is pulling travelers out of “the moment” and more onto internet , just to show that they can alert everyone at home to what they are doing , without actually taking to enjoy.
Is Travel nowadays becoming all about the “Selfie Moment”??????????
What Next??? I think next would be such companies would be wanting to find a way to reward people for continuing to post and share these lovely moments on their page. Using the hashtag #AdoreTheSelfie, participants post a selfie and are automatically entered to win loads of prizes.
A selfie it’s way of capturing a moment that could be of relevance may be socially, economically or emotionally. What they don’t know is that it also tells a world a lot about them. It tells people which traits you want to highlight(party/sporty/geek/nerd)…….your insecurities( may be obsessed with how you look)……your interests (places visited/ things u do) etc.
It isn’t necessarily that the selfie or the selfie stick is wrong-headed, but it has helped somewhere to foster a culture that is obsessed with constant connection, hashtags and followers, seeing the world through a smartphone screen rather than through their own eye in the moment that they are actually experiencing it.
You may love them or simply hate to love them, but selfies are here to stay . Like everything else it only becomes a problem when misused or overused.
The fascinating Leh, Ladhak trip was undoubtedly was on the cards sooner or later. I had heard a lot about the beauty of this place and was fortunate enough to visit this place. The beauty of Leh Ladakh made me spellbound. The moment I stepped foot into the place I was completely enthralled by the magnificence of this exotic location. The final call had to be taken. An initiative from my husband (Nikhil Naik) set things in place and yes we booked flight to Ladakh in the early July 2015.
The view from the plane was as beautiful as you can imagine. While planning my journey to Ladakh, the first question everyone asked us was whether we are going by road or air. We were told the scenic beauty of the place could be best enjoyed while travelling by road. But for me, the experience was equally enjoyable as we flew down. With a blanket of snow on the mountain range, my entry to Leh-Ladakh was truly promising. Having returned from Leh, many inhibitions have changed for me. Inhibitions in terms of challenge this place has by way of living, breathing, surviving at a such high altitude.
Getting around inLeh – Leh town itself is hilly and dusty. If you are flying in to Leh, you may experience altitude sickness. We were asked to rest for a day, letting the body to adjust to the climate and environment, and not to venture into any physically straining activities. On reaching early morning to Leh, nice breakfast was on our platter along with refreshing coffee after which we took some rest and later in the evening started exploring the place.
An evening at Shanti Stupa and a stroll at the local market left me drained out with the remaining energy. What caught my eye, were these white structures through out the town of Leh. These structures are called ‘Stupas’ or ‘Chortens’ and could be seen everywhere in the town. These structures were actually graves of the deceased. Monasteries always fascinate me for their vibrant colors and their quaint atmosphere. Monasteries are ancient and world-renowned. They are visited by both local and international followers of Buddhism in large number every year. Ladakh known for its mountain beauty and eminent Buddhism and Tibetan culture is often called as “Little Tibet” as the place is in high dominance and influence of Tibetan culture.
Next Day we set out to explore Leh…………………
Gurdwara Pathar Sahib – Gurudwara Pathar Sahib stands at the place where Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is believed to have vanquished a demon. Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikh religion and the first guru, is well respected by Tibetans, who consider him a saint. Gurudwara Pathar Sahib is also worshiped and venerated by Buddhists. Tibetan Buddhists venerate Guru Nanak as Guru Gompka Maharaj and as Nanak Lama. The gurudwara is maintained today by the Indian Army. It is a tradition for all vehicles to stop and pay obeisance at the temple. Unfortunately we had missed the langar, as it is held between 1 pm to 2 pm daily.
A Miracle! called Magnetic strip – Like I said, green is not the predominant color of Leh. One of the few tourist spots in Leh, the Magnetic strip attracts people for its unique ability to defy the laws of gravity. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road the vehicle slides up & further .Scientists have failed to deduce the reason behind this and yes it is miraculously true!
Hall Of Fame – The Hall of Fame is one place that will make every Indian feel patriotic . A museum, dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in the war between Indian and Pakistan. The Indian army maintains this museum. Also known as ‘Museum of Ladakh Culture and Military Heritage’ and houses of war memorial .Situated next to Leh Airfiled. Plaques with inspiring quotes gives visitors a feel of what it is to be part of the brave hearted group that protects the country. One touching quote reads, “If I die in battle zone, put me in a box and send me home, pin my medals, tell my MOM I did my best”. A visit to the museum will leave one with a much deeper appreciation and respect for the army and every solider who risks his/ her life for the safety of all other Indians. A documentary about Operation Vijay(Kargil War) is worth watching. Visiting this place is certainly a thrilling and proud experience.
Khardungla Pass – Khardung La – here I come! Atop arguably the world’s highest motorable road at 18,380 feet ! As we ascended towards Khardung La, I could observe whole of Leh town and the homes built in the old Leh town too. The view was astonishing! Khardung la is one challenge for every driver. An early start would ensure that one reaches Khardung La without encountering lot of traffic. Its a half-a-day trip from Leh. Khardung La is one of few “passes” on the way from Leh to Nubra valley. There is some charm in riding atop what is claimed to be the highest motorable road of the world! The weather at Khardung La can be really tricky Also, once here, do follow the basics – do not stay for long and don’t exert too much in excitement. It can be fatal.
Nubra Valley(Leh To Nubra Valley – 125 Kms / aprx. 06 hrs)
After an early breakfast we drive to NUBRA VALLEY which approach was through Khardungla pass. Nubra Valley is popularly known as Ldorma or the valley of flowers. Nubra is part of the legendary old “Silk Road”. This is where you can see double-humped camels here! Visit SAND DUNES to enjoy a camel safari. It is situated to the North of Ladakh between the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges of the Himalayas. Afternoon visit to Hunder Monastery, Hunder is one of the remote villages in the Ladakh district of India’s northernmost State of Jammu and Kashmir. Lying close to the border between India and Pakistan in the north-western part of Ladakh, the village of Hunder comprises settlers that include Ladakhis and Tibetans. Overnight stay at Nubra. Nubra Valley was supposed to be a dessert after a sumptuous meal. Nubra Valley Dessert after a meal or a real dessert as it was, Nubra valley turned out to be the best outing. In fact, as a tourist, you can also enjoy a ride upon them, of course at an interesting price. Our stay was booked at a campsite called Hunder Sarai, a campsite that housed a flowing stream of water.
Pangong Lake (My Favourite spot ……….though it’s a filmy one)
After an early breakfast we left for Pangong Lake through Changla pass 5380 Mtrs. Pangong Lake, situated at 14,000 feet.This was probably my favourite spot in the entire trip — The Pangong Lake. Pretty apt for romantic setting. A must visit in ladakh. Serene blue waters on the backdrop of mountains are treat to watch. The place gained popularity post the shooting of Aamir Khan’s 3 Idiots climax. However, that is not only the best part about the place. The lake’s surface brimming with pristine water reflected three distinct shades of water from blue-purple-green during the sunlight and reflection of magnificent mountains in to the lake water. Pangong lake is a huge lake extending further to china. 70 percent of the Pangong Lake stretches in China and the remaining 30 percent in India. A close encounter with crystal clear waters of Pangong Lake …….Awesome is no word for it.
Though Pangong Lake, being last on the itinerary but there were more places to explore…..and we were short of leaves and also the climatic conditions were not suitable for long stay we thought of coming back again in future. In the end I would say that do plan a trip to Ladakh. It is fantastic experience which you will always remember. If you planning India travel , do include Leh and Ladakh in your bucket list.
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What can make one’s birthday more meaningful than to celebrate it with the less fortunate ones? Sounds Good !!Yayyy !!! Well , indeed it was my first initiative……….. but the happiness and joy which I felt from within was tremendous . Celebrated my joyous with 130 childern’s from Orphanage by providing them whole day meal. In turn, I received lot of blessings and literally tears roll down my cheeks when they together …….loudly n clearly sang “Happy Birthday” theme song for me. It really touched my SOUL. A truly wonderful idea of sharing by my husband on my birthday and what more can a wife ask for!!! Have grown always seeing my father helping the needy kids sometimes by giving them notebooks so that they can read and write or sometimes by providing meal . I am proud of him and today indeed he felt proud of me. Proud Moment for any daughter:-)
Giving is one of the best investments you can make towards achieving genuine happiness. True giving comes from the heart, with no expectation of reciprocation. You’ll find that the more you give, the more you’ll receive. If you find yourself feeling unhappy, try making someone else happy and see what happens. If you’re feeling empty and unfulfilled, try doing some meaningful and worthwhile work and see how you feel. The catch is that you must do this work with passion and enthusiasm. When we give, we reap the joy of seeing a bright smile, laughter, tears of joy and gratitude for life.
The rewards of giving are priceless. If you want to have happiness, you need to give happiness. If you want love, you need to give love. If you want appreciation , you need to learn to appreciate others. These are some of life’s most precious gifts and they don’t cost you anything.It is only in giving that you receive. No matter what your circumstances in life, you have the ability to give. The intention behind your giving is the most important thing. The intention should always be to create happiness for both the giver and the receiver.
When you meet someone, you can silently send them a blessing, wishing them happiness, joy and laughter. This kind of silent giving is very powerful. Do this, (with no thought of return) and you will suddenly find people around you opening to you in joy and happiness.
Your life is like a river of energy, continually flowing. What happens when a river stops moving? It get very muddy, and stagnant. A fast flowing river is full of life and clear water. Where would you rather drink?
The acts of giving and receiving are a continuous process of circulation that continues the flow of your life’s energies. For one person to receive someone else has to give. It’s a cycle of energy that flows continually onwards.
Pause for as moment as you read this, and take a big, deep breath. Hold it for as long as you possibly can. As you hold it inside, notice how uncomfortable you begin to feel when you are holding on to something that is meant to be released.
Now, breath out, completely and hold your breath with your lungs fully emptied. Feel how uncomfortable you feel when you are resisting taking in something that you need.
Isn’t there plenty of LOVE in your heart to share it with those you care about; isn’t there a smile on your lips to offer to those who presently think they’ve got none? There are so many things we can all offer to those around us and believe it or not many of these things are free. If you have material things you would like to give away to those who have less than you do, give it and if you feel like you don’t have any material possession to offer, give them your time, your knowledge, your love and support and many of the things you have that cost you nothing but they value a lot. Just a small initiative if each one of us start sharing what they have excess with them, then this world would be better place to LIVE!!!
The world is upside down! Count your blessings!! They are endless. I encourage you to bless someone today, and that you would be blessed with the true joy of giving! The gift of joy will come to you when you give of yourself to others. That’s what life is all about. Let’s practice and commit our lives to giving joy. Try it! It works!