Monday, 29 August 2016

Vacations Recharge Our Batteries

We all need a break from our routine life.
Students need a break from school/college, employees from workplace, businessmen from tension and housewives from daily chores. We need to recharge our batteries so that we can perform well till the next recharge, the next vacation.

Ghumakkad was invited to speak at the Annual Conference of Telangana State Chapter of the Cardiological Society of India (TS-CSI). The topic-- "Doc, What is your new holiday destination?" 

The conference brochure and part of the two-day program is reproduced below. It was a nice blend of technical sessions and topics of general interest :

The conference venue looked very sleek at a new hotel in Hyderabad.

The audience consisted of practicing cardiologists in Hyderabad-- some 100 of them! Picture below shows some of the MD student delegates.

Harsh being introduced in the picture below:

Ghumakkad gave the talk as a picture story starting with a short quiz 'Spot the Location'. If you are a Hyderabadi or have visited Hyderabad, check out the pictures below without seeing the bottom title. Did you get all correct?
You may click to browse a picture story of a hike to Gunrock with few teenagers.
Moula Ali hike consists of gradual climb 500 steps uphill. If you make it before sunrise, the view from the top is superb. Click to browse the picture story of an earlier climb with children.

Every time we need not plan for a long vacation to far off places. Most cities in India offer number of getaways. How many getaways from Hyderabad have you seen? Pictures below.

Bidar in neighbouring Karnatka is brimming with history. Read the complete story here.

The architecture and tinted glass panels of Medak Cathderal are admirable indeed.

For a complete picture story on Bhavani Island, click here.

Suryalanka is also called the Goa of the East. Read the full story here.

There is a growing trend on adventure tourism. Adventure thrills everybody. Hyderabad offers many options. 
There are many agencies which offer adventure activities in Hyderabad. Some of these are:
GHAC- Greater Hyderabad Adventure Club- Mr Dinayat Ali
ACAP- Adventure Club of Andhra Pradesh- Mr Appa Rao
India offers such rich variety to a traveller. From the forts and palaces to tea gardens in Nilgiris and Assam, temples across the country, wildlife parks and bird sanctuaries, trekking in the Himalayas or Western Ghats, deserts of Thar and Hundar in Ladakh, backwaters of Kerala, sandy beaches, snowy peaks and its people-- India is truly incredible.

 Readers interested in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, may read the earlier stories here.

Although Kolleru lake has been heavily encroached, yet the metallic towers with cages have been well adopted by migrating birds such as Spot-billed Pelicans seen nesting in the picture above. Browse this link for full picture story.

India has its very own Niagara Falls!

For the interest of overseas travellers, Ghumakkad gave some practical tips.

The above picture of iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur was taken against an overcast sky. Made of steel, the towers are shining in bright afternoon sun as if lit at night!

My talk was followed by Swami Bodhmayananda of Ramakrishna Mission Hyderabad on 'Human Excellence'. Swamiji's expose on 'awaken yourself' and service to humanity was simply outstanding. India needs more scholars like him. I doff my hat to him.

Ghumakkad thanks the cardiologists of the organising team pictured below for a wonderful opportunity.

Ghumakkad gave the following parting thought to the cardiologists- superimposed on a picture of Tiger's Nest- a hiker's dream in Bhutan (click here for complete picture story).

Am sure many of you have been to the places pictured above. Do share your experiences to enhance the fun of being on a vacation.

Thanks for browsing

   - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 29th Aug 2016

Friday, 19 August 2016

Pictures speak louder than words

World Photography Day 2016

"A picture is worth a thousand words" goes the old English idiom. On the eve of World Photography Day 2016, Ghumakkad reinforces the power of pictures. Taken from recent posts in this blog, each picture tells its own story. 

Let the pictures speak.

 Violin Mantis which resembles a violin!

 Even a nine year old can shoot incredible pictures!

To all fellow shutter bugs and those who appreciate photography-- cheers!

Thanks for browsing,

   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 19th Aug 2016
   World Photography Day

Monday, 15 August 2016

Are we really Independent

Are we really 'Independent'?

As we enter the 70th year of Independence, it is time for celebration as well as some introspection.

We attained independence from the British rule, but 69 years later let us ask ourselves—have we really become Independent? Independence has to be viewed in many dimensions such as:

Intellectual Independence—Are we dependent upon borrowed theories, concepts and techniques- be it engineering, science, management or medicine? Has such dependence increased in last 70 years?
Creative Thinking—When shall we become independent and original in finding creative solutions? Why do we lack creative thinking? When will our own product such as Android, iOS or Windows be produced?

Ghumakkad is not being cynical. In fact in the area of classical dance forms, meditation techniques, yoga, architecture—our global leadership goes back many centuries ago. But why have we stagnated as a civilisation?

In the business sector take insurance, retail or logistics services, once again foreign MNCs bring the intellectual part. Can we then really claim to be independent?

A silver lining here is the banking sector. Indian banking software products are used not only in India but exported globally. That I would say is being truly ‘independent’. Something for which we all can be proud of.

Take the electronic media. Whether it is a reality show, dance contest, musical talent hunt or quiz contest—our shows are ‘copies’ of western originals. Surely we can do better. But do we want to do better? Do we take pride in being original? Or, do we just pay lip service to ‘Independence Day’?

Food Independence? We still import edible oils and lentils.

Petroleum Independence? Oil subsidies continue to be a big burden. Why not make renewable energy such as solar power more affordable and attractive? More electric cars would solve multiple problems of pollution, fossil fuel consumption, carbon emissions etc.

So, this Independence Day let us think how can we achieve ‘real’ independence? Of course in today’s globalised economy, we can not remain isolated. But with rich natural resources and ample trained manpower, we should collectively work to make most dimensions of our life ‘independent’.

This post is not driven by any political ideology or allegiance. All that Ghumakkad is propagating—let us not lose our national pride. Rather, let us build on it. We should be proud to be Indians— not just for shouting slogans or showing posters on the social media— but in our thinking and in our deeds.

We firmly believe “Yes, we can!” as the school girls in the picture taken this morning seem to be conveying.

Jai Hind and Happy Independence Day!

   -Harsh-The-Ghumakkad/15th Aug 2016

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Convocation Excitement

Convocation signifies achievement as also freedom from classes, assignments, tests and exams.
But you enter a phase of life where bigger tests are yet to happen.

Tests which have no syllabi.
Tests which will always be full of surprise.
Tests where you can't look over the shoulder of another student in the exam hall.
Tests which only you have to answer.
Test of life.

Ghumakkad attended the 5th Convocation of Hyderabad campus of BITS Pilani earlier today.
Glimpses of 2nd convocation held in 2013 can be browsed in our earlier post titled 'Convocation- A Day to Rejoice'.

Pictures of today's convocation follow.
Although it was a cloudy day yet the dullness was overcome by the excitement of the graduating students and their families.

The auditorium was all decked up with students wearing shining gowns.

The Chief Guest

Oath: "On this solemn occasion, Convocation 2016 at Hyderabad and in the presence of my teachers and my family, I pledge to use my knowledge and experience gained at BITS Pilani and elsewhere in the service of the people of my country and of the whole world. I will do so while adhering to the highest ethical standards, in harmony with the environment, and with utmost humility, honesty and devotion, and thereby bringing glory to my family, my alma mater, my profession and my country."

And then came the moment everyone was waiting for!

The following picture is courtesy my wife Neeta.
Am sure the readers will recall their own past when they attended their convocation. Even if you did not attend it physically, the thrill of graduating from your institute remains etched forever.

Thanks for browsing.

   Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/ 14th Aug 2016