Some thoughts and observations - during my trip to India in 2018

< to be updated , continued … >

Some thoughts and observations - during my trip to India in 2018

Thought #1.

Talking to the older generations -you realize the common theme of the degradation in the value system. No, it is not that the older generations are complaining about good old days which many disregard, but what I am talking about is my own personal observation!!! ( and I do like to observe people and cultures).

I don't know what exactly may have created this but in general lying, cheating, cursing people, being mean and rude is a norm now on the streets. People think you are a fool if you are honest.. I think you can relate.. People think they are smart when they bypass the system or bypass the problems of the common man by throwing money..

Don't you think that is sad??

Watch some old movies or read about their lives..

I would like to ask folks from India, for example - how many times have you stood up against paying a bribe to get a driver's license or a traffic violation or a train ticket, . List goes on.. That's where the cycle can be broken... if at every step we have the courage to do what is right...

But its not easy, sometimes impossible, because the other guy can be very strong. So instead of confronting directly some other way around has to be found, like exposing the corruption in a tactful way somehow.


Thought #2.

When I posted on Facebook that customer service in India sucks.

Some folks started bashing me saying since I grew up in India and got my education in India that I should not complain about India.

I feel i always have the right to complain whether I grew up here or not. I have the right to complain (or post on FB) either about India or about the US and it should not matter as it is my point of view.

My trip to Dharamshala , Himachal Pradesh, India in April-May 2018

< to be updated , continued … >

My trip to Dharamshala , Himachal Pradesh, India in April-May 2018

Made a decision this year in 2018 to quit my job and travel around for a while. 

The major idea for this trip was to spend time volunteering, learning, practicing, exploring options for yoga, meditation, wellness etc particularly in Dharamshala /McLeod gunj where the Dalai Llama and the rest of the Tibetans were exiled and they  settled here since late 1950 and early 60s.   It is in the state of Himachal Pradesh surrounded by the snow capped peaks of the Himalayas.

I flew to New Delhi via a local airlines Vistaara (Tata and Singapore air venture) on a Sunday 4/22.  From the Delhi airport took an Uber rental to go to my aunt (Pisi) house in Tilak Nagar/VikasPuri area. We went out for lunch at the Hobby/Heritage center during the day . In the evening I took Uber again to the Tibetan area and bus stop at Majnu-ka-Tilla area for the long distance overnight bus to Dharamshala.

The bus boarding episode was quite an ordeal:
The bus boarding episode was quite an ordeal because of the location of this place called Majnu-ka-tilla and the travel agent Tibetan Tours and Travel where I was supposed to pick up the ticket. The Uber driver dropped me off in the general area where there was a a huge sprawling crowded market of Tibetan and Nepalese and local merchants with narrow lanes and a labyrynth of shops with lanes.  I waited there with my 2 suitcases attracting a lot of attention from the local pick pockets and criminals it seemed as they all started standing around me while I was frantically calling the Tibetan Tour bus operator. Finally the guy arrived and took me back to their office and then the bus stand.

Another issue at the bus stand -  the rude rough bus operator for one of the bus asked me for the ticket and just took it from me and kept in his pocket and then asked me to sit in the bus. I asked him for my copy but he said once he took my ticket he would not give me back and I would just sit there in the bus….. Then the bus started off with just one passenger that was me all by myself…and there were 3-4 helpers with the driver in the bus. It was a little pinicky situation ! I asked the guys about other passengers and they said ' do not worry we will get other passengers in a little while'… With the crime situation in Delhi it was scary and I called my cousin in Delhi that I was alone in the bus and they also kinda panicked..They said it is not good and asked me to get down but by that time I saw that the bus stopped and a few foreigners were boarding. That was quite re-assuring.  I saw some harassment and extortion of some foreign tourists also as they were asking for fresh payments although some of them had tickets ….

Anyway the bus started for the long 10 hour long overnight travel.  Mosquitos in the bus…tried many things like covering with blanket but finally used a peppermint scent that I had and a couple of drops resolved it.

Reached Dharamshala around 5 AM and then McLeod Gunj is about 9 Kilometers uphill on the mountains.  Took a taxi from the bus stand to the hotel  Kailwood Guest House ( which the taxi driver did not know the exact location ) .   The guest house is on Tipa road ,close to the main crossing called the 'Times Square' which is an intersection with 7 small streets intersecting.

Interesting name I thought given that the streets are just wide enough for a car and a person squeezing along the side of the road along side the shops  with no pavements…

My guest house or hotel called Kailwood was one of the recommended ones by the organization where I was volunteering for called LH

Common Grounds cafĂ© - next door to my guest house was one of my favorite hangout places out there…
A Charitable Trust for Tibetan refugees.



Some local meditation , art, Spirituality places :