Part 3: Jaisalmer – The Town

Jaisalmer is called the golden City. Just like Jaipur is called the pink city and Jodhpur called the blue city. The names come from the general colour theme of the city. Here in Jaisalmer, most houses are painted gold, in fact it’s not paint, it’s the colour of the stones used in construction. On our list of things to see, we had the Jaisalmer fort and the Gadisar lake. Our list was mostly curated from online research and you can probably guess that things didn’t go per plan.

Jaisalmer Fort

We set off from our desert camp after breakfast and reached the Jaisalmer fort in half an hour. There is no special place for parking, so we parked on the street against the wall of the fort. As soon as we parked and started walking towards the fort we were hounded by guides and auto drivers who wanted us to show around. As the natural response we shoo-ed them off and started walking in a general direction towards the fort. Soon after, we gave it a little thought and decided to hire a guide – and it really did pay off.

Jaisalmer Markets

The guide, like most guides spoke many languages including ours. He walked at a brisk pace and simultaneously spoke of the history of the fort. The Jaisalmer fort is the only living fort, meaning there are people who live in the fort. About 3000 families reside inside the fort, since the fort was actually a garrison of a king, the aids and support staff of the king also lived inside the fort. As generations passed, the property was passed down, and even after all royal families lost their property to the union of India, the servants of the king still retained their properties within the fort. Today, these homes sport small stores and cafes. The cafes, handicrafts, leather bags and boots, souvenir shops and numerous clothing stores all have a hippy vibe around it.

The Live Fort

The guide  showed us a tall building which was supposed to be the seat of the king. For some unexplained reason, this building was out of bounds for tourists. He then took us to two temples. First the Lakshinath temple, which was a Hindu temple. It was bustling with tourists, but like any Hindu temple, yet the priest managed to give every visitor the holy water and an orange-red tika on the forehead – and tried to subtly ask for donations. Moving on we were taken to the more famous Jain temple within the fort, the Chandraprabhu Jain temple dedicated to Sambhavanatha – the third Jain tirthankara. Though the King was a Hindu Rajput, he had sanctioned to build this Jain temple as a major section of his subjects were Jains. Mobiles phones are not allowed in this temple, hence some of us waited outside while one party went inside with the guide. This temple was a little quieter, but was just as crowded. The guide went on to tell us about the history of how the temple came into being – which we conveniently let fly past our heads and we were immersed in the beautiful yellow and white stoned architecture. We did pick up on his theory of how to identify the different idols based on the animal inscription at the base of the idol.

Chandraprabhu Jain temple

Post the temple visits we took a small break to appreciate the different souvenir shops and indulged in buying a few fridge magnets – our guide suddenly got protective of us and told us not to buy anything as these were the markets for the “foreigners” and he would take us to a trusted shop which had legit merchandise all made by widowed and estranged women. Perhaps he had a cut?

The last stop in the fort is a high view point on the wall of the fort. It has a view of the town beneath it and has an old canon on display. Like everyone else, we took photos, many photos, and then reluctantly moved on as there were more people wanting to take photos. The view point also had a few home-turned cafes with some elegant rustic furniture – we could’ve ventured into some of those – at least to get good color graded photos – but we moved on as we still had to see the Patwao ki Haveli, do shopping, have lunch and all this in 2 hours – impossible. We were in Jai-sal-mer!

The Patwao ki Haveli has an interesting story behind it. Apparently the Patwas were a normal struggling trader family trying to set up business in the city. The priest at the Jain temple in the fort had prophesied that the Patwas would be more successful if they left Jaisalmer. So the family left the town and in time became one of the biggest and richest names in the province. They set up many businesses including fabrics, finance, opium and precious stones. They made a fortune and after some time made a come back into the city. The father partitioned his wealth among his 5 sons who set up their own mansions each facing the fort. As fate would have it, their fortunes turned again and they starting losing money and market. Fearing the generation old prophecy, the family fled the town a second time leaving the mansions in the name of the town. Today the mansion has been turned into a museum and is open to public. A nominal fee of 15 rupees is charged for the ticket. Cameras and phones are allowed inside at no extra charge

A tricycle used by the children of the Patwas

Finally, it was time for shopping. We were literally salivating at when we would get to shop. The fort and the places around it are literally brimming with things one can buy. With simple tourist merchandised t-shirts to designer hand made fabrics, bed sheets and table cloths to ancient looking antique metals and porcelain articles. The leather articles were also really attractive. Orange-brown leather bags, satchels, wallets, shoes and sandals were all really tempting. Not all leather articles are camel leather as they also sold goat leather bags – which also looked orange in color and were just as stylish. We shops for cloths – mostly for friends and family. Some of us indulged in buying the holy looking(read hippy) cloths that foreigners buy to feel Indian. Some of the sarees are so silky and light that they could be packed into a small soap box – of course they are also very expensive.

Camel and Goat Leather

We said our goodbyes to the guide and paid him his due – which felt really easy as he had told us a lot of stuff and we really enjoyed his knowledge and company. The guides here are government certified and sport a badge that has a seal and an ID. He charged us just 500 rupees for spending almost 3 hours with us. We took an auto back to the fort entrance where we had parked our cars. A North Indian vegetarian lunch wqs followed by the long ride to Jodhpur in the dark.

Next up – Part 4: Jodhpur – The Blue City

Also Read
Part 2: Jaisalmer – The Desert
Part 1: Rajasthan – The Land

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Part 2: Jaisalmer – The Desert

Jaisalmer has to be right up there! one of the most beautiful experiences in India. The dunes, the vastness of the desert, the chilly night and the beautiful buzzing fort of Jaisalmer all of this is a package to experience once before you die.

Our tour started in an early morning flight to Ahmedabad. The flight took less than 3 hours to reach Ahmedabad, just before sun rise. Since it was January, the early morning was cold, we had to wait for the rentals for an hour or so at the airport and since it was our first brush with hiring rentals, we were extra cautious, making sure the agent knew the bents and scratches on the car.

We had 2 good-looking hybrid SUVs to ourselves for the next 5 days to drive through the great Thar desert of India. Our first drive was the longest – from Ahmedabad to Jaisalmer. This was about 600 Km and google said it would take us 9 hours to get there. We strapped in started by 7 AM as the early morning Gujaratis came out for their morning routines. Ahmedabad is beautiful, the main roads are big and wide, there is a separate bus lane in the center of the road and the autos here also are green and yellow. They have a very different meter – like a water usage meter. it looked like it needed some manual winding and showed distance/fare in digits, not sure how the driver read it, but we couldn’t figure it out.

https://youtu.be/J5yHbeirZMM

We drove two hours on the route showed by google before we started feeling hungry. We stopped at a small town on the way called Mehsana at a road site cafe that was surprisingly so well decorated that it could pass off for a quint cafe in one of the bigger cities. We had refreshing Poha and tea there and pressed on. Of course, there was dosa also available and some of us did indulge in the Gujarati take on dosa – not bad at all.

The roads were wonderful, but it was clear to us that we were in the dry lands. There was no sand, but large areas of barren hard brown ground passed us. If you are not from this part of the country, you are generally used to seeing agricultural lands or forest run past your window – not here in Gujarat – Rajasthan. By 2 PM we crossed into Rajasthan, paid the state toll for our rentals and moved on. Rajasthan initially was similar, except the change in the script of the sign boards and ads. More turban clad people and more desert vegetation. The first sighting of a Peacock crossing the road had us excited but then sighting Camels and Peacocks became common.

https://youtu.be/rMi2MCyAwNA

We also saw Army equipments being transported on the route – which again got us excited.

Without further breaks we entered the city of Jaisalmer. Like any tourist spot in was buzzing with vehicles and petty shops. Our accommodation – the Winds Desert Camp was about 30 Km out of the town and into the desert. It was already dark and well past 8. Some of us were starting to get scared of the vastness of the void. Every sign board seemed like a ghost until we started seeing huge white creatures that were sure to be ghosts – luckily they were the wind mills – wind energy producing turbines along which they had built out desert camp.

The Desert camp is a place in the middle of the desert, and your room is a tent – made of fabric and the bathroom is just another partition in the fabric. The tents though not sound proof had all conceivable amenities – lights, fans, furniture, porcelain and brass bathroom fittings, numerous plug points and what seemed like a heater/cooler. And not to mention clean sheets and blankets along with hard wood flooring.

We were welcomed to the open air theater where they had organised a performance by native folk artists who sang songs and performed native folk dance forms to entertain the guests. There were a couple more groups with us. The show was good, including the servings of assorted starters and a mini bar that served hard liquor. After the outdoor entertainment performance in the bitter cold of the desert we were ushered to the indoor dining room for dinner. We ate well – there was standard north Indian veg spread along with the native daal bati. We had a scrumptious dinner and planned for the next morning. The camel safari and the safari on the dunes was included in our hotel package so we just confirmed our numbers and the time to start – it was going be an open jeep.

The morning was chilly, the jeep driver, like all drivers was complaining we would miss things if we didn’t leave soon. He was right, the sun rise wasn’t going to wait for us was it? We hopped into the Jeep and he tore into the desert. We clung to each other as music blasted from the speakers and freezing cold desert winds were blowing our heads off. When we went off road we saw the awesomeness of desert dune riding. The jeep fell and sank into the sand as the driver kept on accelerating. It was like riding a boat, one side you’re going up and on the other the jeep is sinking in the sand. He brought us to the sun rise view point and complained a little. We saw the desert sun, massaged to heat ourselves and took the many photos.

Just when we had begun relaxing, the driver barked at us to get on the jeep. We still had the camel ride. We got on, sailed through the ups and downs of a couple more dunes before we were brought back onto level ground. That’s where the camels came out. They were beautifully decorated and were buck toothed. They didn’t stink as much as they are generally known to stink in pop culture. Two people were made to sit on a camel and once all of us had found a seat, the man – one single man leading 4 camels made a sounds with his mouth and the camels rose. The first time a camel rises is no short of an experience on a roller coaster. The camel stands its hind legs first while standing up, hence the unexpected and sudden rise from the back feels surreal. Once it starts walking – in its camel like wonky walk, you start to feel like you are constantly being thrust forwards. If you don’t find a comfortable posture then the ride is going to be a nightmare. We rode the camels for 10 minutes before we stopped for some photos, another 10 minute ride and we were in the middle of nowhere, its where he asked us to get down and take as many photos as we wanted. We did. On our way back many more camel men came and offered us to make camels race – none of us were interested – either we were scared of the menacing visuals of a running camel or had had enough of the camels – city dwellers right?

Our ride was waiting for us as we made our way back to the starting point of the camel joint. It was around 8:30 AM, some of us had a cup of chai while shivering in the bitter morning chills. We got back to the camp, washed ourselves up and got down to the complimentary breakfast. It was an all vegetarian spread with omelettes made available on demand. Along with the side, there was a special green veggie called desert beans, this was supposed to a specialty of Jaisalmer – it was a little less succulent, but was longer.

We paid up, and said our goodbyes – we had a tight day ahead of us – see Jaisamler fort, shop, have lunch and leave for Jodhpur which was going to be a 6 hour drive. Target time – 2 PM. Time we actually left 4 PM.

Next up:
Part 3: Jaisalmer – The Town

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Part 1: Rajasthan the Land

Rajasthan is the largest Indian state by land area and the seventh largest by population. It is the state of princely kingdoms in the great Thar desert of the Indian subcontinent. Rajasthan is an ancient land dating back to days of the Indus Valley civilization. As time rolled on, the region’s history has interwoven with the colorful history of India. The current shape and dimensions of the state are an effect of the States Re-organisation Act, 1956, but it took a lot, I mean a lot of work to get there. In fact, it is said the unification of Rajasthan happened in 7 stages, and 18 kingdoms together united to form the state as we see now.

The biggest cities that we identify with Rajasthan today are remnants of their respective kingdoms or princely states. Each of these big cities have their own culture, architecture, people and lifestyle – and they are beautiful. Huge forts and palaces, beautiful silent lakes and the all engulfing golden sand of the desert – makes anyone want to see this land once in their life. We were no different. ‘We’ are a group of friends who grew up together – some from preschool and some from college – but the friendship is strong and so is the desire to travel and experience the beauty of this diverse land called India.

Mehrangarh Fort

The plan was simple, – scratch that, there are no simple plans. For starters Rajasthan is a huge place and practically every district has a fort or a palace and a beautiful story to tell. How do we pick and choose in our 5 – day long trip? We broke our heads for hours, weekend poker nights ruined in the name of planning, hotels booked, and then cancelled, native Rajasthan friends and contacts pestered and then negated. All this and finally came up with something that was so tight that there were no time for sleep – at least not for the drivers. Come to think of it, we don’t regret it now – so Ill take you through our plans and other things that you can plan based on your time and convenience.

The Thar Desert

Modern day travel has become a lot easier with the availability of internet and capital. I remember the tours we took as a family, we looked for budget accommodations or religious institutions to stay in, read up on the bus and train facilities and always carried a map. Today we still carry maps, just that we aren’t as worried about finding budget hotels or dependent on public transport. We wanted freedom – freedom to accommodate our lazy ass attitudes – hence we decided the best way forward was hiring rental cars and find our own way using google maps.

Plan A

Plan A

Jaipur is the capital and the biggest city in Rajasthan. Naturally most trips start or end at Jaipur. Since we lived quite far from Rajasthan, travelling by air made most sense. We would fly to Jaipur, hire the rental cars, travel around Rajasthan and fly back from Jaipur – only that it didn’t feel right. This plan meant we would have to pass through both Jaipur and Ajmer twice – and we were not in favor of that. Like all middle class Indians we wanted to maximize our travel. Also this plan didn’t work out well because we had only 4 nights and 5 days.

Tigers at Ranthambore

Before going to the plan that we went with, lets take a look at the places in Rajasthan that are worth the visit.

  1. Jaipur – The Pink city: Palaces, forts, museums and the Hawa Mahal
  2. Jodhpur – The Blue city: Palaces and Forts
  3. Jaisalmer – The Golden city: Dunes of the Desert, Patwa haveli, the living Fort
  4. Ajmer – Darga of Khawaja Gharib Nawaz
  5. Udaipur – The White City: Palaces, Forts, Lakes, zip line, lake palace
  6. Pushkar – Temples, ponds, and other places of religious interest
  7. Chittorgarh – Asia’s largest fort, other palaces and forts
  8. Bhilwara – Forts, palaces and religious places of interest
  9. Mt Abu – Hill station in the desert, lakes, view points and temples
  10. Ranthambore National Park – Tiger reserve, animal safari
  11. Bhangarh – Historical ruins, haunted places

The above list is just a ‘top of the head’ categorical mentioning and each of them have so much more to offer. There are other places like Bikaner, Kota, Barmer, Pali, Baltora etc etc that have their own unique architecture and cultural offering for the enthusiastic traveler, but time and money are generally the determinants of how well the middle class travels.

Money

Its not The most important thing in a trip, but money is money, so we wanted to plan this trip at an affordable rate – that is at a max of 20% of the average monthly salary of the group. This needs to include the food, lodging, travel, fuel, shopping and any maintenance we would come across. It is during this discussion on Money that we found Jaipur may not be the best place to start our tip. Ahmadabad, which is the capital city of the neighboring state of Gujarat is a bigger city and offers lucrative deals on flights and rental cars. As per our calculations, it would cost us 2000 rupees less per person – a grand total of 16,000 lesser than the plan starting from Jaipur. Even with the state toll to pay and recalculated distance, we would save a cool 12,000 rupees. Hard to overlook such a delicious discount – hence we reworked our plan.

Plan B

With the new Plan, we had to drive a little longer, but we cut lose a few places on the Plan A. We voted for the following:

  1. Jaisalmer – obvious choice because its the only place that’s right in the middle of the desert and offers camel rides and dune safaris.
  2. Jodhpur – the place has the most famous fort – the Mehrangarh, other associated architecture and a famous Umaid bhawan Palace and a minor point that my cousin served at the Airforce Station in Jodhpur.
  3. Ajmer – the famous Khwaja Garib Nawaz darga that we really wanted to visit
  4. Jaipur – because, well its the capital of Rajasthan and has some of the most famous forts and palaces, including the Hawa mahal
  5. Udaipur – the coolest of all the desert kingdoms, the land of the lakes and palaces, and its just a 5 hour drive to Ahmedabad.
  6. Since we were flying to and from Ahmedabad we also wanted to see a few places in the city – this didn’t happen.

We saved a lot of money by changing the Start and End point from Jaipur to Ahmedabad. We could’ve saved a bit more if the rentals could be hired at Ahmedabad and signed off at Jaipur. Maybe it wasn’t available in 2018 and the times have changed now.

Below is a short video of the trip. We plan to cover all of this on the blog. Enjoy!


Next up:
Part 2: Jaisalmer – The Desert

Negative Affirmations

Affirmations are positive thoughts and self confidence boosting coping mechanisms. In the second half of the 20th century many a motivational speaker made his buck using this technique. Spiritual gurus and wellness practitioners also preached about affirmations.

I am a good blogger

People want to read my blog

I will motivate people

Sorry for the tasteless examples, but this is how positive affirmations look like. If you were a pre teen in the 90s you would remember the episode of the power puff girls where Buttercup starts to think she’s a good crime fighter because of her green blanket which she uses to practice her affirmations – end of the episode showed she was a good crime fighter with or without the affirmations.

Now let’s not get into a debate on whether affirmations are real or have any real effect on us. This post is about something grey called Negative Affirmations. What does it mean?

Negative affirmation isn’t really a word – atleast not yet. We haven’t recognized and labelled it as we so love to do these days, but all of us have seen, experienced and practiced this. The simplest and most common example of this is I told you so.

I told you so

What is this sadistic line that we love so much? Most of us are waiting for our turn to say I told you so. We relish it, the feel of rubbing it in. Why do we do this?

Let’s take a simple example to visualize it. When I got back from the hospital after I was sick for a couple of days, I wanted to go straight up to my room. But my aunt wanted me sit in the living room for a while and then go up. I didn’t listen to her and went up. Naturally I was a little exhausted and started coughing vigorously. Her first reaction – I told you so. I couldn’t react, I knew I was wrong but I couldn’t say anything. I just lay on the bed breathing deeply.

Would she leave it at that? Noooo. She kept saying it again and again you should’ve stayed down, I told you you should’ve. See what happened.

I didn’t know what to say. Actually I didn’t say anything. Did she want me to say sorry? Did she just want to hear me say yes you were right?

It happens many times in our lives, when someone makes a mistake, we hold no restraint in letting them know they’ve made a mistake. In cases like our example the mistake cannot be undone, I couldn’t go down and sit in the living room to please her could I?

Her constant harping of my mistake doesn’t help make the situation any better, the only thing it does is make me feel worse. Is that what she wanted?

Many times when people do this – pull the I told you so for too long, I ask them, what are you trying to do? Make me feel worse for longer? Their response is: no but if I don’t say it you will repeat the mistakes. It’s more of a rationalization on their part – they have no way of knowing I will repeat the mistake.

Long back I had read in a Paulo Coelho book that our words are generally meant to convince ourselves more than it is to convince others. So in I told you so perhaps the Negative Affirm-er is trying to convince himself that he has it in him to know or do the right thing?

And who are these people who say I told you so? The ones that can’t actually get their word out in the first place and hence wait to say I told you so? OK maybe that’s a little harsh but the point is, Negative Affirmations – saying I told you so, or harping about the mistakes that can’t be undone are completely unnecessary and the people who do that you are actually trying to prove to themselves that their worth something and doesn’t really have to do much with you.

There’s no need to harbor any prejudice, they are not sadists who want to point out your mistakes. They’re just trying to get better, strangely using Negative Affirmations on you.

Its sad, talk to them about this.

~*~

Tour de North East

A comprehensive guide to my tour in the beautiful North East of India in the the December of 2018.

Part 1 – The shortlist
A brief about how to plan your North East trip. The NE has 8 states and many many beautiful places. How to pick and choose, and what we did

Planning be Legendary

Part 2 – The Big Cities
Write up on Guwahati and Shillong. The weather, public amenities, transport facilities available, economy, business, brands, tourism, people and culture.

Kamakhya Temple

Part 3 – Khasi hills of Meghalaya
Khasi is one of the three major tribes in Meghalaya. The Khasi hills are a geographic distinction in Meghalaya and is famous for the many tourist attractions including Cheerapunji and the many root bridges.

Tawang – Not in the trip

Part 4 – Dawki and Jaintia
Asia’s cleanest village, followed by a kayak ride on the river Dawki, Bangladesh border and stories of a 14 year old boat man by the sunset.

Part 5 – Nagaland
First visit to Nagaland, how to get there, legal requirements, history, tourism, transportation, people, language and culture.

The Hornbill Festival

Part 6 – The Naga Conversations
Myth busting conversations up close with the Nagas, demystifying pop culture beliefs and dogma about the Nagas. People, Language, culture and Food.

Bonus – Getting to Cheerapunji
Travel options from Shillong to Cheerapunji. Embarrassing true stories, Cab fares, Accommodation options and Deals.

Dialysis Tomorrow

There was no easy way to break the news. The doctor gave it straight and I tried to do the same. He said I think we’ll start the Dialysis on Monday. The first day we’ll do it in the ICU because it’s a high risk business the first time, but the second and third day you can stay in the ward and we’ll take you to the dialysis unit for the process. I tried to do the same to my friends and family that I wanted to keep in the know, but they were literary blown by the news. Those who had other family members on dialysis or had some medical history took it better but the rest were really finding it hard to find a footing.

The biggest problem being a patient is not the bad kidney or the ordealing dialysis or the sudden rush of emotions and reminiscences of life, but the questions of the not so close friends and acquaintances who want to know everything – including what are the options for transplant. They don’t mean bad, it’s just that they don’t realise that it’s already too much to take in and pointless questions around the same things will do more harm to the mental state of the patient than help cope with the situation.

I made a few phone calls to close family and left text messages to a few close friends who deserved to know the situation incase things went sideways. The biggest challenge with your first sitting of dialysis is going to be your fear and apprehension towards the whole process. Although the first dialysis can have unexpected changes in the chemical composition on the body, it is the fear and anxiety that makes it worse. So this post is about my anxieties and what happened because of that.

The first day, I was a victim of misinformation. I believed that the two dialysis needles would be pricked into a vein and an artery. Hence I was scared, as arteries are high pressure pipes and deeply placed. So I thought this was a huge challenge and was anxious about it. I was wrong – the pricks are made on the single vein created by the AV Fistula.

Since I didn’t know this, I was scared, and once the dialysis was complete and the technician removed the arterial cannula, I so thought my artery was bleeding and went into hypotension. It felt like a medical TV show where everyone surrounded my bed and we’re shouting things like BP is falling! there’s no pulse! 3 cc of dopamine! The doctor yelled at me to cough as I started going out – I coughed – once, twice, thrice and a 4th time when I could see my eyes brighten – the BP suddenly rose and I was coming out of the hypotensive shock. All this could’ve happened either way – but if I wasn’t scared the chances of it happening was very less.

So remember this:

They are not poking your artery, arteries are deep and are high pressure tubes. Poking it would send blood 2 floors above ground. The high pressure bleeding is due to the Fistula and it stops if a piece of gauze is help up tight at the point of the prick.

Second day, I learnt this and was much relieved. I had parted ways with my phone, hence was much at peace. But there was yet another apprehension, the first day they pricked using local anaesthesia, will they do that today as well? And what off the swelling? My arm was swollen from the dialysis.

Answer:

If the hospital is good enough, they always give you local anaesthesia for cannulation. Or atleast till the vein increases in size enough to not give you much pain even without the local.

Swelling is ok, the dialysis is not dependent on it, unless it’s a huge swell, the technicians can perform the cannulation vis a vis the swelling.

This done, I was much less apprehensive or scared for my third sitting. But not entirely as there was another problem.

I couldn’t perform a full stretch of my arm as it was sore from the previous dialysis. So I was scared they might make me stretch it and hurt me. But luckily, the technicians are so well trained that they can perform the cannulation with a half streched hand and after the cannulation they even let me fold my hand and place it on my belly for the entire dialysis sessions.

So as we saw, there are lot of apprehensive situations that may arise from time to time. But it’s important to remember to keep your cool. You are in the hands of professionals who know what they are doing.

That said, the most important thing to be able to handle things is to have a support system. It’s essential that you talk to your friends and family about your condition. Because eventually the truth is there are only 2 treatments to this,

1. Dialysis

2. Transplant

Dialysis is a process that people can handle and make a part of their daily lives – in the words of my technicians we become like family members – that said, it’s still an ordeal and ties you down to a place and definitely changes your life to a less flexible and less comfortable situation.

Transplant is hope, if you receive a perfect match kidney then you can get back to your life as it was in less than 18 months. Finding a donor is the key – which is why you need to talk about your condition with people. You may never know when or where you might find your donor.

The downside of talking is most people would be taken completely unawares and wouldn’t be able to react in a stable or mature manner. This is worse if you are a middle aged patient. Hence prepare yourself mentally to be bombarded with questions about your “future” and “long term solution”

The only solution that I’ve seen working for myself is to take one day at a time. As in case of my apprehensions on the different days of my dialysis sittings or about planning for the future. Take one day at a time – it makes it really easy.

What else?

Support system. All of us need a coping mechanism. I’ve been doing better for myself and it’s because I believe I have the following 4 things nailed to perfection and that has made all the difference.

1. God’s grace

2. Family’s unconditional support

3. Well meaning Friends and well wishers

4. Confidence in self to face challenges

These are all you need to cope with CKD and Dialysis for now.

Ofcourse, don’t forget – one day at a time.

~*~

PS : sorry this post doesn’t have a descriptive account of my experience, can make a post for it if anyone wants.

10 Reasons why Pigs are Going Yellow

Let me cut to the chase right at the beginning. The headline is a sham. Pigs are not yellow, and they’ll never turn yellow. Unless they jaundice like humans ( and they don’t) so why the stupid headline? Simple, to hold out a mirror and show that we would give anything a click if it had a title like this.

I’m serious, how many times have we seen headlines like 4 reasons for a healthy mind, or 6 reasons why the Chinese love math, 8 reasons to have children before your first marriage. Yea sorry I went a little overboard with the examples, but these are the kinds of blog posts we as bloggers are putting out there. Why? Well simply because these are the kinds of blog posts that we think and are told that readers like to read.

How to run a successful site? How to write catchy blogs? And how to engage the reader? These are the basic questions every blogger has while starting or running a blog. The most common answer recieved is have empathy; who reads long posts anymore? While it may make sense and actually seem to be common sense, we would all also agree that common sense is generally inadequate.

All of us have long stories to share, all of us are full of theories and concepts but we can’t expect the reader to read every line and every word of our long scripts and monologues. Hence the gurus suggested listing. Make lists, highlight content, categorise, compartmentalize, and then expand. This would do two things:

1. The not so interested reader won’t miss the gist of what you want to say

2. The interested reader – well actually it doesn’t matter to them, they’re interested so they read on.

And let’s be honest, not all bloggers are great and not all blogs are interesting, and most blogs these days are long. So the listed points help. But the lists may not always be accurate. If you notice, most of the listed blogs are not about factual topics. If someone said 5 points in the bill of rights that needs amendment. It makes sense – because it’s factual. 6 reasons why teenagers don’t want to invest in stocks is pure fantasy (unless based on a survey)

Ok did I write this to say the numbered points type blogging is good or bad? I’m sorry dear reader if you expected a black and white post. The world is in black and white only for the ignorant. In reality, while there are good things about the listed writeup, the problem arose because the classic “too much is too bad” situation.

All bloggers have started writing – why bloggers, even mainstream media houses and reputed columnists have fallen prey to this novel cause of making it easier for the reader. But the reasons on the list are completely subjective and have been conjured in the mind of the blogger. (Unless it’s a factual post)

So the next time you see a headline like 3 reasons democrats like pork or 6 things you should do before sleeping, just ask yourself: can I guess the items on the list? Or can I think of items to add to the list? If yes, then you know what to do.

Easy because we are lazy

Being able is not the reason,
Neither is it our wisdom,

Not that we care,
Not that we are scared,

The uncertainty of our ability,
The certainty of the infeasibility,

The mind takes a guided course,
Of which, it itself is the source,

Which it does frequently,
Carrying it out eloquenty,

Doing things because it’s easy,
Promoting the ignorant and the lazy.

#Easyway #BeingIgnorant #BeResponsible #poem

The Paradox of Vocab

Cat one: Aren’t you too drunk already?
Cat Two: Bro, do you know what happens when I drink more?
Cat One: What?
Cat Two: My hands shake more; and what happens when my hands shake more?
Cat One: I don’t know
Cat Two: I spill more!
Cat One: Okay?
Cat Two: And the more I spill the less I drink
Cat One: Yes?
Cat Two: And so you see Dear Watson, the more I drink the less I drink, and in order to drink less I need to drink more.
Cat One: uh! I need another drink.

Kitty Party

Cat One: That’s balderdash.
Cat Two: What the hell’s a balderdash??
Cat One: It means nonsense, I meant you don’t make sense.
Cat Two: Oh, why didn’t you say so?
Cat One: I did, and I used less words in doing that, it’s called using your vocabulary.
Cat Two: And how do you earn this vocabulary?
Cat One: By reading – by learning more words
Cat Two: So you mean to say, I have to learn more words so that I can speak in less words?
Cat One: Yes!
Cat Two: Isn’t that just like my drinking paradox, my Watson?
Cat One: Balderdash!

~*~

Inhuman or Insensitive

I feel all of us go through some tough times and we have no option but to be strong. There can be a clear mismatch as to what our mind and what our heart wants us to do. I wrote the below lines, keeping this in mind.

Let me know if you can relate to it and answer the below questions:

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When the moments are frozen in the heart,

When the tears are frozen in the eyes,

When the mind dodges the emotions,

When the gestures betray the feelings,

Are we living the moment?
Are we becoming more mature?

OR

Are we becoming more inhuman?
Are we becoming more insensitive?

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