Author Archives: Manisha Rathi

Red Kidney bean flowers–Indian Himalayas

While trekking to yet another destination in the Indian Himalayas, I came upon a leafy plant with delicate white flowers. It was a whole field of red kidney bean plants. The kidney beans grown in the mountains is one of tastiest and healthiest, The plant later produces pea like pods, laden with stacks of kidney beans, which are dried and opened to get the hardened, dark red beans,IMG_4305 IMG_4306 IMG_4307

It is not difficult to imagine that anything grown in these picturesque surroundings and in the rich soil in these areas would be of the best variety. 

 


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The Great Hornbill-Nagaland, India

How can one visit Nagaland and not see the legendary Hornbill??? All we saw were pictures and sculptures that depicted this glorious bird…finally, at a secret location, we saw several of them……this one was my first………….he was the most impressive……the most captivating and fascinating bird, ever!!!


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The Simplest washroom

The North-Eastern part of India has, like most places, the richest and the poorest…in terms of material wealth. In the remote areas, it was a pleasant sight to witness the recently constructed, government-aided, free and clean washrooms. We were offered an inside look into a thatched home…..it was clean, and had a bathing area, a kitchen, tiny bedrooms, with wooden partitions and wooden beds. The huts are generally made at an elevated level on the hilly slopes. The washroom has stored water, and a window which faced into the forest over the hill. The floor was made of bamboo sticks, with gaps in between, to allow the water to drain on the slope below!!!

Luckily, there is no shortage of land in the hilly areas where running water is not present in some homes…..


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Auli- world’s highest man made lake

Auli, located at an altitude of 2500-3050 metres above sea level, is a popular skiing destination. it boasts of the world’s highest man made lake, which is used to make snow and fire it from ski guns along the ski slopes. The lake is bordered by beautiful flowers, and the location offers a panoramic view of mountains all around, including the Nanda Devi peak.

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It is a location that inspires real meditation…..the feeling of connecting to the universe….


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Flowers Bloom undisturbed

When you trek in the mountains, be sure to look at the wonders around you…the stream which comes straight from a glacier, the tiny bird that sings uninhibitedly, the clouds that smile and dance, the butterflies that romance the flowers, the tiny buds ready to bloom……the journey is even more enjoyable than the destination. You may even see all the stages in the life cycle of a flower, the tiny bud, the half opened bud, and the flower itself.

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Survivors

Winters are harsh in some countries, with heavy snowfall and months of subzero temperatures. While travelling on the roads of Kazhakstan in minus 15 degrees, we were enjoying the stark landscape of snow and barren trees. The locals were gearing up for a long and tough winter while tourists like us revelled in the fresh snow that was steadily falling all around us. From the windows of the heated car, it looked like a Christmas card. A lot of effort was being done to prevent the dangerous ‘black ice’ form forming on the road. Vehicles which were blowing steam to melt the ice were closely followed by others which scooped and scraped the snow off the road. All of a sudden, rows of trees caught my attention. Dark, tall, leafless trees on either side of the road with a multitude of bird’s nests, thriving, though exposed to the harsh weather. The trees come back to life after each winter with leaves greener and more beautiful than before. The bird’s nests get covered by foliage once again. The birds live through the winter and emerge when the conditions are right. A few birds could be seen hovering or flying to the nests, too quick to be captured on film through a car racing through to get to its destination.

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Sure, some birds migrate in the winter to warmer regions, but these are the ones that stay on. Inspiration comes not only from human beings, but the animal kingdom too…….


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Frailty of humanity

We strut about, thinking the universe revolves around us and our loved ones need us…..all it takes in a bout of acute gastroenteritis to realise that we have no control of our body and health….

What does one do??

Ask for help!!!! one can pass out in the washroom if the condition is severe….

Lots of oral rehydration solution

Antibiotics and antacids/ antispasmodics as and when required

Monitor BP, blood sugar, electrolytes…..

Make sure a loved one is with you

Eat, replenish fluids……and hope for the best

One episode of any sudden illness can force us to face our frailty, our expiry date and our priorities…..stay well, stay safe…..


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Medical doctors do not like to hear these:

Just because we followed our passion and dreams and try our best to help the ill….does not mean that we are infallible and indestructible …..The large majority of patients I have seen have been wonderful and I am grateful for them. But there are others…..here is what people have said to me over the ages…..

  • How can you be Ill???? you’re a doctor!!!!!!
  • You are an ophthalmologist…hmmm…..so , I have this pain in my shoulder..!!!!!!
  • Why don’t you try herbs for healing cataract??????
  • Why were you on leave the last time I came for a consultation???
  • There is a Guru who heals by a touch…..
  • I just googled my symptoms, now tell me…
  • Why did you not ‘make’ your son a doctor???
  • I want your opinion on this prescription I got…..
  • Just explain what you study in Ophthalmology…..

And so on……

Apart from this, they expect us to be on duty 24/7, 365 days a year, for our whole lives!!!!

We are not supposed to party/ travel/ have a life….

We are supposed to answer ALL phone calls at all times of the day or night….

 


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The benefits of ‘maturity’

Oh, what a joy is an age that is beyond youth…..I enjoy the age where we have people elder than us and younger than us…some of the joys are:

  1. Being able to pretend you don’t remember someone or something
  2. Pretending you can’t life a heavy load
  3. Pretending you can’t read without your glasses
  4. Being abrupt and direct
  5. Laughing uninhibitedly and saying what you want 
  6. Dancing and singing in an extremely non-gifted manner ( by now, one knows that nobody is watching )
  7. Being the first on and the last off a dance floor!!!
  8. Getting drenched in the rain
  9. Wearing comfortable shoes and clothes ( yup, comfy is now a good word)
  10. Exiting whatsapp groups, blocking, stalking, talking ….

The list is endless, the joys are too….explore, indulge, work hard, play hard…..


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Envy?Jealousy?????

Aren’t we all envious/ jealous of somebody at some point in our lives????

I envied the characters with superpowers, still envy them a bit……Have we ever wondered what it would be like to be someone we secretly envy????????????

  1. Those with superpowers…….would it not be realllllyyyyy frustrating to be so awesome and pretend to be below average to hide that secret super identity????
  2. The girl/ guy with the perfect physique……maybe they work very hard to look like they do and just maybe they envy us for being able to hog and laze around……….
  3. The smartest kid around….maybe it is a little lonely if people are afraid to open their mouths in front to you …..maybe the super-smart are afraid they’ll slip up, maybe they keep looking over their shoulder to see if the rest are catching up 🙂
  4. The child with the best parents…..maybe the parents keep pressuring the child to be as good as them……
  5. The most popular kid….maybe others want to be with them because they want the ‘cool kid tag’ too……maybe nobody really cares who they are or what they think 
  6. The over-privileged kid…maybe they have no incentive to work hard or to reach their full potential…..
  7. The naturally gifted….maybe they wonder if they will do well enough to make a living out of their talent
  8. The one with the spotless complexion….maybe they wonder if all they have is something that’s only skin-deep
  9. The fearless….maybe they have nothing to lose….
  10. Heart of gold….maybe they feel other’s suffering so much they can’t enjoy what they have…….                                                                                                                                                      And so on and so forth….enjoy what you have, put your physical, emotional, intellectual qualities to their maximum use and be grateful for what you have……you are a unique blend of flaws and perfection………………

 


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