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Sandesh fed the monkeys!

So we were on our way to Sanjay Gandhi National park; a beautiful forest in the middle of Mumbai – it’s a preserved natural jungle which looks amazing in the Monsoon. We had to go there to go to the Kanheri Caves and to go on a safari – but because we were late we didn’t actually get round to properly doing anything – instead we went through a highly traumatic monkey battling experience. 

We were sitting in our cars when Sandesh, our driver, fully aware of what he was doing, rolled down the windows and started beckoning the monkeys that were perfectly fine being left alone.

He started feeding some of them and god, it was so adorable the way they would take the food out of his hand and start asking for more – yes, it was the cutest thing, but then, things started to get feisty. These monkeys were so enthusiastic! One of them climbed on top of the car bonnet – and another one was on top of the rear-view mirror stealing from Sandesh’s hand…

The worst one though was when a completely unexpected monkey climbed on the window on our side of the car and started reaching inside the car for the food from Sandesh – I mean, the monkey was friendly – but jesus-freaking-Christ!

 Photo Credits (Aayushi Parikh) IMG-20140725-WA0002

IMG-20140725-WA0004

Sandesh fed the monkeys!

So we were on our way to Sanjay Gandhi National park; a beautiful forest in the middle of Mumbai – it’s a preserved natural jungle which looks amazing in the Monsoon. We had to go there to go to the Kanheri Caves and to go on a safari – but because we were late we didn’t actually get round to properly doing anything – instead we went through a highly traumatic monkey battling experience. 

We were sitting in our cars when Sandesh, our driver, fully aware of what he was doing, rolled down the windows and started beckoning the monkeys that were perfectly fine being left alone.

He started feeding some of them and god, it was so adorable the way they would take the food out of his hand and start asking for more – yes, it was the cutest thing, but then, things started to get feisty. These monkeys were so enthusiastic! One of them climbed on top of the car bonnet – and another one was on top of the rear-view mirror stealing from Sandesh’s hand…

The worst one though was when a completely unexpected monkey climbed on the window on our side of the car and started reaching inside the car for the food from Sandesh – I mean, the monkey was friendly – but jesus-freaking-Christ!

 Photo Credits (Aayushi Parikh) IMG-20140725-WA0002

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Global Vipassana Pagonda

Last week we visited a beautiful Buddhist meditation centre in Mumbai. This meditation centre was, ironically, situated near a  famous theme park, Essel World. yYs, it was in the middle of absolutely no where and it was surrounded by mountains and valleys and what not, but it was also next to a very big noise-making machine… We could actually hear the screams from Essel World. Great meditation guys, I can really feel the enlightenment. 

But that critiqued, I have to say, it was simply beautiful. The minute we stepped out of the car and looked up at humongous statues of lions, and brass gates covered in gold, it was just amazing… if we tilted our heads a little more, we could see a huge funny-shaped building, like an upside-down V. It stood magnificently above the evergreens.

For a while, I felt like I was getting smaller- that I was in a place that was too great to imagine. I was suddenly aware of my own insignificance, as you do when you look up at the stars in the night and find yourself looking millions of lightyears into the past.
So we walked inside, and started walking around the building and past gold embroided red pillars. I felt as if I had suddenly shifted to Tibet. It was all very royal, and I later found out that the use of gold was to signify that Buddha’s body turned to gold.
One the side of the building, there are quotes from Buddha’s teachings. One particularly stood out for me as I truly believed in it – it was my life motto.

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After that, we were allowed to view inside the building. I was in absolute awe! It was a pillar-less dome made of Burma Stone… there was a little bit of lighting but it was mainly a very relaxing – we weren’t actually allowed to enter the dome… so we stood outside. We also went to a “model” pagonda (pagonda is a word for meditation centre)… and were allowed 20 mins of meditation, which for some reason instead of relaxing me, highlighted all of the body aches in my body!

Feminism Rant…

Okay here’s the deal – I’ve been hearing a lot of jokes and insults about feminism and I think it’s very interesting people are arguing against feminism – almost like it’s just an anti-male, greedy group that needs to be made fun off. 

For one thing, feminism isn’t about giving women more rights than a man – it’s absolutely not about telling people that females need more attention, more pay, more opportunities. It’s just so interesting how quickly the feminist movement has been taken as a “negative” thing. Feminism is about equality for men and women. 

And I’m not just talking equal pay/ paying for dates and stuff… I don’t think it’s good enough to just give up after you’ve given equal pay – “here you go now, are you happy?”. It’s just condescending. 

The other thing is, feminism should not just be a female led group. Feminism should be predominantly male as it is the male population that’s responsible for all the problems in the first place (mainly)… 

It’s just so interesting that people just scoff at the idea of a feminist. I think everyone should be a feminist. We’ve got to start somewhere to get people to change their mindsets towards women, otherwise it will never change. 

 

And… the rant is over. I’m done. 

 

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Lonavala Weekend Trip

Imagine your favourite holiday home and put in in the middle of the shire. Lonavala was that beautiful… Firstly it was fog… in the monsoon everything is covered in fog. You can’t even see the headlights of the cars coming towards you until they have come 5 meters. When the fog clears, everything around you is simply breath taking. 

We arrived on Friday evening and spent the rest of the evening celebrating my grand ma’s birthday and relaxing. The next day we went to a waterfall – We were driving up a steep hill but we couldn’t exactly see anything so we just placed our bets and hoped for the best really. When we walked down to the waterfall, we had the best time. I would say the best thing about it was the fact that you could just sit in the waterfall and eat onion bhajis and “bhutas” (corn on the cob) – absolutely amazing. 

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Most of the evening was spent relaxing – just relaxing – I continued writing and reading and we played cards and charades.

The next day we went to a water park in Karla – which was amazing and we had a lot of fun (especially because there were loads of water slide) but we really should have gone to the Karla caves. The next time I visit I’m actually going to go to hiking in Lonavala – it seems like an amazing place to hike! 

 

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