Monday, 29 June 2015

Leadership when Chips are Down

Leadership is all about motivating the team. Building each team member's self-confidence.
Leader's presence is reassuring not only in the times of success but also when the chips are down.
A leader never abandons his/her team in difficult times. And this is precisely what we saw in the picture below of a steep slope and two goats. Location: Bhongir Fort, Telangana, India.

This post is a resumption of our Picturesque Quotes (PQ) series.
Some of the previous PQs are:

When men and mountains meet
Life is like a bicycle
Humility is...

Thanks for browsing.

    - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 29th June 2015

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Toddler on a Trail

Toddler on a trail-- sounds like Fiddler on the Roof?
Well, the latter was a musical based on a book written by Joseph Stein 110 years ago. Whereas, the former-- the toddler, is a real life story.

It is about Mana-- a two year old toddler who very sportingly completed a four-mile (6.4 kms) trail around a lake at 5600 ft above MSL in California. That's why the name 'Toddler on a Trail'. And those readers who are worried about 'child labour', just relax. It was a family hike and not a commercial activity.

Just in case you have missed our previous post on Picturesque Pinecrest, click here. It gives you a pictorial tour along with details of the location, reservations and camping facilities. 

This picture story set around the Pinecrest Lake in California, USA, portrays how the toddler took us on a trail. Mana the toddler slept, woke up, hiked, sat down, again slept but neither cried nor gave up! She showed us how a two year old can be a leader!

We had earlier shared the exploits of another two-year old Anuva, our grand daughter. We guess, the era belongs to them.

Now Toddler on a Trail for you.

Those discerning readers who have a question 'Why not steel' for utility poles, get your answer

Special thanks are also due to Mana's parents Satyam and Anchita who live in California. You guys rock! Keep hiking.
And yes, Ghumakkad's outing would not have been possible without Ankur our son-in-law and Akanksha,  our daughter and family who also reside in California.

Hope you enjoyed the trail as much as Ghumakkad did last summer.
More on California's flora would follow.

Thanks for browsing.

   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 24th June 2015

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Yoga India's gift to the World

Yoga योग benefits everyone-- young and old, men and women, from East or West.

Yoga benefits
  • People who are stressed in life
  • People with hypertension, diabetes and such life style diseases
  • Children-- their yoga-practicing-parents may become more patient
  • Sportsmen and sportswomen-- improves their focus and persistence
  • People running against time-- teaches them to control their pace of life
  • People who have lost a loved one in life
  • Students- improves their power of concentration
  • Politicians-- hoping they would become more honest and less self-centered!
Yoga therefore, benefits just about everyone on this planet. It enhances your self-control and self-discipline.

Talking of self-discipline, we can take a lesson or two from tiny creatures like caterpillars. Click to see how disciplined the caterpillars are!

Some time back, we had linked Yoga and Golf . Many of you had liked the comparison including Ghumakkad's golfing buddies.

On a lighter side, we had also carried a real life story Learn Yoga and find the right Life Partner . This picture story struck a chord worldwide and we had hundreds of readers from across the globe. It showed the real power of Yoga!

Based on an appeal by India's Prime Minister, United Nations has declared June 21st as International Day of Yoga.

To learn yoga, you need not spend thousands of Rupees or Dollars. There are many yoga ashrams आश्रम - which teach the practice of yoga. Schools, Colleges, Clubs, Residents' Welfare Societies-- all make an endeavour to spread the knowledge and practice of Yoga in India.

So, if you are a yoga practitioner, share your knowledge with others. If you wish to learn yoga, join up with like-minded people in your neighbourhood. You can browse a list of seven well known Yoga Centres spread across different states in India. Further internet search would give you many more yoga schools/centres.

Yoga has been practiced in India for centuries. However, if we do not make an endeavour to spread it among masses, we may soon lose our preeminent position. In contrast, take a look at growing popularity of yoga in USA.
  • A whopping 2 crore (20 million) people practice yoga
  • Revenue from Yoga crossed $ 30 Billion last year i.e. like combined turnover of top-five IT companies in India
  • More than 50,000 yoga studios in USA and counting
Therefore, on this International Day of Yoga, let us spread the awareness about Yoga amongst our family, neighbours, friends and colleagues. We should work together to retain India's leadership in spiritual and wellness domains worldwide.

A word of caution: Learn yoga from someone who has been trained earlier.
But once you start doing yoga every day, even your dog would know its time for yoga. Click here to see how?   

On a lighter side, some people might land up in yoga-like posture by accident! We do not recommend yoga practice this way.

Wishing you happy yogasanas योगासन (postures and exercises) to take control of your life!

   -  Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 21st June 2015- International Day of Yoga

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Picturesque Pinecrest

Pinecrest Lake California- An ideal camping site.

4th of July is USA's Independence Day. It is observed as a long weekend with all offices closed. Schools are already closed for summer recess. Last summer, we camped at the Pinecrest Lake during the 4th of July weekend with Ankur and Akanksha, their friends and children. This is the picture story of all the friends and the camping.

Location: Pinecrest Lake is approx 240 kms (150 miles) north-east of the Bay Area in California. It is a 3-hour drive. See map from Milpitas where we were staying.

Facilities: It has 300 camp sites with independent grill-cum-campfire ring, table, benches, and camping ground. No electricity. Piped water and rest rooms at walking distance. An amphitheatre for screening movies. On-line booking with US Department of Agriculture website.

The Lake: Situated at 5600 ft above MSL, it is a 300 acre lake in Stanislaus National Forest with Strawberry Dam on its western side. Managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the dam feeds a hydro electric station built in 1913. The department of fisheries periodically populates the lake with rainbow trout for fishing. The lake has an easy four mile (6.5 kms) trail for walking. The lake is surrounded by pine and connifer trees. The lake has a marina for hiring motor boats/kayaks/pedal boats/party boats. It also has a ramp for jettisoning/hooking the trailers for motor boats. See sketch below.

We drove from Milpitas in Tesla, an all electric car. Let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Hope you enjoyed being part of the camp. The Pinecrest lake does remind us of similar sites in the Himalayas in India. But the camping facilities for the public are lacking. Of course for those who can afford, most hill stations in India have enough resorts. But staying in a tent with no electricity has its own charm. Like Ghumakkad's friends from the military would say "Oh, we have slept in the jungles/tents all our life!" They are a blessed lot.

In the next part we will take you on Pinecrest National Recreation Trail with a toddler. If the toddler could do it, you sure can!

Thanks for browsing.

     Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 18th June 2015