Notes from Sikkim Trip

I visited Sikkim in May this year. I liked every single day of my stay there. Every single day was full of fun & excitement.

I have tried to summarize my overall experience in simple notes.

1. People speak Nepali, Sikkimese, Hindi & English

2. Buddhism, Hinduism dominates the population.

3. Sikkim is natures paradise, especially north Sikkim [Lachen/Lachung], it’s mostly untapped and full of beauty.

4. Sikkim has beautiful monasteries, wide variety of flora & fonna.

5. People are soft spoken, hard working, honest & brave.

6. Smoking is illegal in capital i.e Gangtok.

7. Every 5th shop is a liquor shop in Gangtok, thanks to various tax exemptions.

8. A visitor should definitely indulge in local non-veg cuisine & local wines.

9. One of my favorite egg fry wai wai curry.

Network Alert: Vodaphone works well along with 2G in most part of the state. 

Some random clicks

 

Local Wine, made of maize & rice. Popular in Nepal
Local Wine, made of maize & rice. Popular in Sikkim & Nepal
On way to Lachen, North Sikkim.
On way to Lachen, North Sikkim.
Young Lamas from Rumtek monastery.
Young Lamas from Rumtek monastery.

 

Young school girls returning home.
Young school girls returning home.

 

An Old Shiva Temple.
An Old Shiva Temple.
Yaks & ice on way to Guru Dogmaar lake.
Yaks & ice on way to Guru Dogmaar lake.
Gure Dogmaar Lake.
Gure Dogmaar Lake.
Water stream created after heavy rain on way to lachen.
Water stream created after heavy rain on way to lachen.
Flag flying high with holy mantras on it.
Flag flying high with holy mantras on it.
death
Samadhi of some Buddhist priest on way to Guru Dogmaar.
Mutton with thick gravy cooked by local chef.
Mutton with thick gravy cooked by local chef.

 

 

Happiness

I spent quite some time wondering why some of us are always worried, tensed, scared.

1. Why can`t we all be happy?

2.What it takes to attain that state of happiness?

For me everything chalks down to a single thing “NEED”

To most psychologists, need is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a goal, giving purpose and direction to behavior. [Wikipedia]

Every human is different & hence our needs are different, we are happy as long as all these needs are on track.

That state of being happy.
That state of being happy.

How not to be an ASSHOLE.

I am writing this out of my previous experience & yes, that makes me asshole at some point of time.

 

asshole

 

Stop giving free advice : No one gives a fuck to your advice if you’re giving it for free.

No help unless someone asking for it : If you offer help without someone asking for it, you’re not helping him/her instead making an ass of yourself.

You don’t have to be good for everyone: It’s good to be bad at times, just make sure your actions are not hurting someone else & you have your ass covered.

Stop chasing : You don’t have to make someone else’s life miserable because you need help from him/her. Someone has to respond to you it will happen if it has to running after it every fucking day will not help.

Stop taking free favors: Pay for the service & someone else’s time.

 

 

 

 

Notes from Rajasthan trip

I visited Rajasthan on many occasions, this is the first time am writing about the overall experience.

The state has one of the best roads & the state transportation system. [1]

Rajasthan tourism has kept  most of the palace & forts in shape. The tag line says “Padharo mare Desh” — Please visit our country. [2]

Best time to travel to Rajasthan is November to February, it gets hotter in summer.

I have spent most of my time in Ajmer, Jaipur & Jodhpur. I am hopeful of visiting Jaisalmer in November later this year.

Rajasthan is also famous for mouthwatering food, mostly made of milk products.

In Ajmer i visited Ajmer Sharif & also went to Puskar the only Brahma temple we have. 🙂

Jodhpur i visited the Mehranghar fort & spend good hours with the Flying Fox Zip Tour  & I  did not like Umaid bhavan palace. 🙂

Jaipur has always only been about eating, eating & eating, last month i came to know Hawa Mahel is there so next trip i will visit there.

Mobile Provider Check : Vodaphone works seamlessly & 2G works most of the places.

Some Random Clicks

Welcome to Jaipur.
Welcome to Jaipur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dal Bhati Churma.
Dal Bhati Churma.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jalebi & Gulabjmun.
Jalebi & Gulabjmun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kachori
Kachori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tired band troupe
Tired band troupe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performers inside Mehranghar Fort.
Performers inside Mehranghar Fort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MehranGhar Fort
Mehran Ghar Fort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jodhpur city, as seen from Mehranghar Fort.
Jodhpur city, as seen from Mehranghar Fort.

Dear Engineering Students, Comp Sc/IT from India.

A disclaimer:  This is not for you If

1. If you’re from IIT or XYZ or blue star ranked college with a 100 % placement [I mean really].

2. You have all it takes to get into companies beyond TCS/Infosys/Wipro or other c

shops from India without caring for campus placement.

Let’s begin :

According to Wikipedia India has a total of 5672 engineering colleges.

S.No State/Union Territory Number of Engineering Institutes[5]
1 Andhra Pradesh 900
2 Arunachal Pradesh 3
3 Assam 22
4 Bihar 30
5 Chandigarh 9
6 Chhattisgarh 75
7 Delhi 37
8 Goa 10
8 Gujarat 120
9 Haryana 342
10 Himachal Pradesh 54
11 Jammu & Kashmir 28
12 Jharkhand 33
13 Karnataka 400
14 Kerala 198
15 Madhya Pradesh 285-310
16 Maharashtra 739
17 Manipur 2
17 Meghalaya 4
18 Orissa 1000
19 Puducherry 21
20 Punjab 221
21 Rajasthan 338
22 Sikkim 3
23 Tamil Nadu 934
24 Tripura 2
25 Uttar Pradesh 466
26 Uttarakhand 4
27 West Bengal 155
Total 5672

Now if we do a small calculation assuming every engineering college will have 60 seats for IT & another 60 for Computer Science. Every year we produce 120*5672= 6,80640 engineering graduates with degrees in IT & Computer Science.

Let’s do some more calculation:

Scenario 1

1. Who are the mass recruiters from Campus Freshers?

Infosys, TCS, Wipro Others..

2. What are their selection criteria?

60% through out 10/12/Engineering [Ask honestly, how many IT/Comp Sc engineer has it]

Appear in the Aptitude test

Appear in a written test

Appear in a face to face interview

3. Do these companies care about your majors while hiring?

Mostly NO

4. What does that mean?

Even mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Electronic Comm engineer can apply for these college placements.

Adding more numbers assuming only 25% of these departments are interested in joining these IT company so the number becomes (15+15+15+15) * 5672 = 340320

5. So the total pool of Freshers for chop shop becomes

3,40320+ 6,80640 = 10,20960

WTF these many engineers are waiting for campus recruitment.

6. Let me be more genuine

Assuming half of these students are not qualified for one or the other reasons, still will the Indian MNC by any means going to hire 500,000 Freshers?

NO FUCKING WAY, You cannot hire us all.
NO FUCKING WAY, You cannot hire us all.

 

Also

  • Our engineering syllabus is so outdated that we are still reading Fortan & other old age languages.
  • So once we are out of college on the basis of the college degree you are not getting a job.
  • Even if there is a job the pre conditions like marks or aptitude test will be another barrier
  • Some even ask for money like CMC computers & others to give you a job.

But their is a BIG WILD WORLD open for You.

Do it yourself

You can easily add your skillset while you’re in college, by enrolling in online courses from.

UDACITY

coursera.org

edx

codecademy

khanacademy

& Others.

Most of these classes are free of cost & you even getting certificates for participating.

Also get into Open Source Software

Get familiar with the tool chains needed to get into Open Source world contribution quora is your friend 

I have my own story how i got into the Open Source contribution, I have contributed a chapter to Open Advice Book, its free download.

Also

Your contribution will get you Internship like:

https://wiki.gnome.org/OutreachProgramForWomen

https://developers.google.com/open-source/soc/?csw=1

Also, most of these internship will end up with  getting you a  job where your recognition will not be determined on the basis of your marks, aptitude test, race, color but contribution upstream on  your github page.

Also

1. Blog

2. Tweet

3. Read, participate, help [how/where]?

— news.ycombinator.com [Keep updated with the latest technology trends, announcements]

— Mailing lists, Quora

— Forums, IRC channels

— Local technology Meetups, conferences

4. Recommended Readings

How to become a hacker

How to ask questions the smart way

Open Advice

Time is now!!
Time is now!!

Following Above steps will guarantee :

1. You will have sufficient time for your G/F or hobby without worrying for the campus placements.

2. You won’t end up regretting WTF I did engineering from this shitty college where no company is coming for campus placement.

3. You won’t end up making excuses for masters from abroad or wasting another 2 years doing MBA.

Still,some of you will not agree to what all am saying, still I will not stop trying. :
Some of you will not listen to what am saying. 🙂

 

 

Notes from Srinagar trip.

I visited Srinager while returning from Ladakh. It was a frantic ride, crossing Drass, Kargil, snow filled road & rain. I reached Srinagar early morning & got a room right across Dal Lake. Most people are friendly & they know tourists are bread/butter for them.

I have tried to summarize my overall experience in simple notes.

  • Dal Lake is more beautiful during winter, although summer is peak tourist season.
  • Shikara ride is hugely recommended  & if you want more fun spend a day or two in house boat.
  • I was not lucky to enjoy Wazwan because none of my local friends were getting married at the time of my visit. 🙂
  • Spend one complete day visiting all the beautiful gardens.
  • Do visit Hazratbal shrine & feed the pigeons, if I remember correctly, you are not allowed to carry your cams.
  • An evening walk at Lal Chok is another great way of seeing and meeting locals.
  • Mughal Darbar at Lal Chok makes excellent kebabs.
  • Do drink Kahwah[local chai] from roadside shop.
  • I spent 4-5 hours at Shankaracharya Temple, its a good walk. The temple is very small & easily gets crowded so try visiting early morning. 
  • Also, thanks to Mir Nazim & iKraft team for Gulmurg trip I was unlucky so could not enjoy Gandola Ride. Although I enjoyed the whole trip. 🙂
  • Last not the least you can either take flight, train from Delhi to reach Srinagar or like me take state roadways bus.

Some Random Clicks

Dal Lake, romantic as ever. :)
Dal Lake, romantic as ever. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mughal Garden
Mughal Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow capped mountains, on the way to Gulmarg.
Snow capped mountains, on the way to Gulmarg.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another pic from Mughal garden.
Another pic from Mughal garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They call this place mini Switzerland.
They call this place mini Switzerland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jamal, my local guide, auto driver who took me around the city.
Jamal, my local guide, auto driver who took me around the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local horse pullers in Gulmarg.
Local horse pullers in Gulmarg.

Notes from Hometown

I am home with my parents after 4 years, so i have decided extend my stay whole June. I don’t remember when was the last time i spent 30 days with my parents after leaving home in year 2000. I have added my thoughts on few things i have noticed over my stay, i will keep updating it.

  • Most of the sweet shops are gone & the new ones are not that good.
  • My school has new owner, real owner i.e principal moved back to Kerala.
  • Most of my friends are outside hometown & are happily married.
  • Enjoying delicious home made food, fresh fruits & vegetables.
  • Lucky to be here at this time to enjoy mango & lychee.
  • More children’s started attending schools.
  • Road & power/electricity situation has improved.
  • My tuition master is retired &  has moved village.
  • All our playgrounds are replaced by concrete buildings.
  • City is crowded & traffic is getting worst.
  • Mobile service has improved & that is how am connected via 3G.
  • My milkman, barber, washerman & domestic maid tells me am all changed.
  • Joined parents for evening walk & crossing through every street reminds me of my golden childhood days.

 

Some Random Clicks

Lychee, one of the popular seasonal fruit.
Lychee, one of the popular seasonal fruit.
Peda, a dry sweet made out of milk.
Peda, a dry sweet made out of milk.
Groundnut, we call it timepass :)
Groundnut, we call it timepass 🙂
Deep fried chicken with some aloo & khira
Deep fried chicken with some aloo & khira 🙂
My friend Amit, we met after i left my school in class 6. :D
My friend Amit, we met after i left my school in class 6. 😀
My only friend in town since Amit left last evening.
My only friend in town as Amit left for Dehradoon as well.

 

 

Life of average Indian middle class

Life of average Indian middle class :

life

1. Become an engineer.
2. Get a job
3. Repay the study loan
4. Get married
5. Buy house & car
6. Die paying EMI.
7. Keep running after school for kids admission.
8. Force kid to become Engineer
9. Get old
10. Stay dependent on kids
11. Die with pain of what all could have done with this precious life and how it ended.

I know a lot of you will agree & some of you might not & some of you are already in this life-cycle. This is what i have seen happening to most of my friends & hence this post.

My Travel Notes

This blog is in continuation with why i love traveling & preferably alone.  I have a checklist which i am sharing it here, i follow it most of the time. 🙂

  •  Make friends with locals

I know when we are traveling to a touristic destination a lot  of  travelers feel they are going to get ripped at every single transaction from boarding on taxi to ordering food. This is not always true at times you will find locals helping you by giving you good suggestions & if your lucky might end up drinking spicy tea or delicious lunch.

  • Try all local cuisine and drinks

Every state/region has its own local cuisine & brew, do try it. Like when i was in Dimapur i one of the best Pork Fry & vegetable soup. I liked the local Green Tea brand so much that i bought 4-5 packets back in Mumbai for myself. Similarly if your in Gangtok you should try local white/red wine & momos/fried rice/mutton curry.

  •  Respect local tradition & practice

Please be good & don`t get irked by local tradition and practice. I know for you it might look weird but the local folks been doing it for ages. You don`t like it, stay away from it, don’t crib.  I am not big god believer but visiting Madurai & watching priests performing puja/aarti was experience of a kind.

  • Tip & treat well

Everyone who is providing you service from waiter to driver are humans as well. They are working their ass off to keep you happy, be nice to them, be generous & tip well. During my North Sikkim trip in Lachen, i could not find chicken curry in dinner & i was unhappy. Once i reached Gangtok my driver invited me over for dinner & yes he cooked chicken curry for me. It was freaking awesome, much better than Copper chimney & Great Punjab food joint of Mumbai.

  •  Keep environment around clean

What i meant by this is please don`t throw wrappers and water bottle randomly anywhere. You would be surprised as per the guidelines of Sikkim tourism every commercial vehicles should keep a bin so all these can be kept there instead dumped randomly on the street.

  •  Buy books [folk tales] not souvenir

This might sound stupid but whenever i have traveled i bought folk tales of the local province, that has been only shopping. I know a lot of my friends who go buy souvenir, call me stupid but

  • Best trips are unplanned ones

Well this does not mean you will not read in length about place you are visiting. What it means is your not calling the travel agent and booking entire trip 3 months in advance.  For me planning trip in advance takes whole fun out of the trip. 🙂

Some Random Clicks

Dimapur market sells these tasty snails, locals love it. It found it salty i had a raw one though.
Dimapur market sells these tasty snails, locals love it. It found it salty i had a raw one though.
Met krishna at a juice shop in Hyderabad. If you can see the note on refrigerator, he is employee of the month. :)
Met krishna at a juice shop in Hyderabad. If you can see the note on refrigerator, he is has been quoted as “hard worker”.

 

Dinner at Lal Bahadur`s [trip Driver] house in Gangtok. He cooked it.
Dinner at Lal Bahadur`s [trip Driver] house in Gangtok. He cooked it.
Local Wine, made of maize & rice. Popular in Nepal
Local Wine, made of maize & rice. Popular in Nepal
Plastic bottles on way to Yumtang Valley.
Plastic bottles on way to Yumtang Valley.
Local Sikkim made wine, too sweet but happy that i tried.
Local Sikkim made wine, too sweet but happy that i tried.
Paan is a mouth freshener & very popular along the north-east/north india.
Paan is a mouth freshener & very popular along the north-east/north india.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes from Mathura-Vrindavan-Govardhan trip.

I visited Mathura –VrindavanGovardhan with my parents in February. 

  • Its advised to take the Yamuna expressway if traveling from Noida, it takes few hours & road trip across paddy/sugarcane fields looks lovely.
  • Other way is to travel via DTC bus from Kashmiri Gate or Local train.
  • All the 3 locations are nearby(when in personal vehicle) to each other & you can expect bumpy & crowded ride.
  • Prem Mandir in Vrindavan is totally unique its built by guru Kripalu Maharaj. They have a clean canteen with food in reasonable price. We had our food here once we were done with our entire trip.
  •  I loved Banke Bihari Temple for its uniqueness & honestly it added more faith in Lord Krishna after seeing all those devotees in big queues. I always avoided visiting temple where i have to wait for darshan. I am in Mumbai & yet to visit Siddi Vinayak because of it.
  • Sweets especially Petha/Peda is must try along with chai in kullhar.
  • Krishna Temple is mathura has major security around because of the disputed mosque next to it.
  • Govardhan also has many temples & its famous for the 21 KM parikrama(walk) which i happily escaped.
  • Also there is a Van(forest) which everyone believes even  now Krishna comes every night for his ras leela with Gopis
  • I also visited banks of Yamuna, i wish government could care more about it.
  • Last not the least, stay away from the pandas(priests) who claims to perform special puja for you and your ancestors. Most of them are touts.

Some Random Clicks

Yamuna Expressway, early morning.
Yamuna Expressway, early morning.
Tea Kullhar (earthen pots) before entering to Mathura Temples.
Tea Kullhar (earthen pots) before entering to Mathura Temples.
Banke Bihari Temple
Banke Bihari Temple
Sweet shop with Petha, Samosa & others in display.
Sweet shop with Petha, Samosa & others in display.
temple with priest
Little priest on one of the krishna temple on Yamuna bank.
Parents taking much needed  rest in Govardhan temple.
Parents taking rest in temple.