Tag Archives: Rajasthan

Hard Work, Determination And Dreams Succeed: A Short Story

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By Ganesh Subramanian

It was a hot and dry afternoon in Laxmangarh in the Sikar district in Rajasthan. Rampal was driving a nail into one of the legs of the broken wooden chair which he was trying to repair. Oblivious to the beads of sweat forming on his forehead, Rampal was focused on mending the chair.

“Dharampal, Arey, Oye Dharampal”, echoed a voice from the gate. Rampal shifted his gaze towards the gate in the direction of the voice which had called his father’s name. He saw the landlord Dharamveer entering the compound pushing the wrought-iron gate.

Dharampal, Rampal’s father came out of the house. He was a frail man in his early sixties and wore a pair of spectacles right on the edge of his nose that it threatened to fall down at any moment. “Namaste, Dharamveer Ji, Aayiyae” said the old man.

“It has been two months since you paid the rent. I am not leaving this place unless you pay me now”, Dharamveer said with a firmness in his tone. “Give me a week’s time, Dharamveer. As I told you, business had been dull for the last 2 months. Our regular buyers have not placed their orders yet” pleaded Dharampal.

Before Dharamveer could say anything, Rampal interjected, “We have been paying the rent regularly without delay for the last 2 years. It is only now that we are asking you to give sometime. As Papa says, give us a week’s time”.

Dharamveer thought for a moment. “Alright. If I don’t get the money in a week’s time, you better look out for a new house to move into” said the landlord and left the place.

Now Dharampal makes and sells handicrafts like jute bags, purses etc. to mostly foreign tourists who visit Laxmangarh. These tourists repeat their purchases either for new designs or they buy products for their friends and family. Due to the hot weather, Dharampal’s business suffered a dip in the last two months.

“Father, why don’t you pay the rent with the money that you have set aside for my education?” Rampal questioned his father.

The old man gave a weak smile. “Son, the money that I have saved for your higher education will be used only for that purpose. We will find another way to manage the rent. You are the brightest graduate in our whole town. Let all these troubles besieging our family go with me. I want you to do your post graduation and get a good job so that you will have a comfortable life thereafter.”

Rampal quietly nodded. He decided against saying anything that would cause displeasure to his father. Rampal is a science graduate and has been hailed as the brightest student in his college. Now Rampal’s dad and the family believed that with a post graduation, he will well be on his way to leading a trouble-free life.

Next day, Rampal was sitting in the footsteps of his house reading a newspaper. He saw a small group running past his compound gate. When he asked a person in the group, the person replied that Vikas met with an accident and before he could be rushed to the main hospital in the city, he died. Rampal could hardly believe his ears. Vikas is his closest friend and hails from a not-well-to-do family. He was sincerely preparing for his Civil Service exams and was hoping to get a good posting so that he could wipe away all the problems in his family.

Rampal rushed to Vikas’s house along with the group. The scene there was nothing short of traumatic. Vikas’s parents and sisters were wailing in grief. When Vikas’s mom saw Rampal, she hugged him and started sobbing uncontrollably. Rampal’s heart sank. His initial sorrow turned to anger. Why should this happen everytime? Is basic medical facility a luxury to be afforded only by the rich? Questions kept flooding his mind like a torrent.

He was determined to start a hospital in his town so that no one faces the same situation ever again. Rampal’s dad vehemently objected. His mom shouted at his foolish decision to be an entrepreneur. Rampal started speaking to bigger hospitals in the main city for tie-ups. He lobbied with the government agencies. After two years of struggle, his efforts bore fruit. People from nearby towns also visited his hospital for excellent facilities at a very cheap price. A year later, the hospital was one of the most thriving businesses in the town. The national newspaper carried an article about Rampal citing his resilience, never-say-die attitude and hailed him as a visionary. Rampal’s father read the article and was proud of his son. Tears flooded his eyes. He apologised to his son for not listening to him earlier. Rampal smiled a contented man.

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Rajasthan Royals: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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Having had its best year in the last five years, the Rajasthan Royals definitely won many a hearts during IPL 6, even with Spot-Fixing allegations initially surfacing from their own premises. 

Rahul Dravid was very clear from the outset that they were the underdogs and moneyball team in front of the mighty Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier. The fact that his team actually stretched the game to the last over from a position of losing it says much about a side which on paper look rank underdogs in front of the might of some teams in the tournament. There had to be some highlights of the team, some good and bad. Let’s look at them one by one. 

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1. Home Advantage: If there is one team which actually took the home advantage seriously, it has to be Royals. With that kind of a team winning 8 out of 8 at Jaipur is phenomenal. No matter how much we stress on home conditions, to be fair, no ground except for crowd support, which we know is how hollow sometimes during the IPL, can actually be called home to any team. All the teams being Indian and most players coming from India, makes real advantages like knowledge of pitch, weather etc redundant. Rajasthan though played like they know Sawai Man Singh more than any other team, any other captain. The results are there for all to see.

2. Inspiring Captaincy: Frankly if you ask me one highlight of the IPL, it has to be seeing Rahul Dravid cross bat and heave deliveries over mid-wicket. No one could have made him do that in his international career and he actually customized himself to suit the format. He came out at the top like a role model to his players as to how to take the challenges front-on. He created stars like Share Warne did and am sure players like Sanju Samson will be indebted for life to him. His strategies where-in he made his superstars wait till the threat of new ball was off paid off more times than one. All-in-all we know his was a stint cut-to-made to suit an underdog side.

3. The Good Things: Start counting 

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– Sanju Samson: Fabulous batting and what a find

– Stuart Binny: No one thought he is a threat, he proved everyone wrong

– Dravid’s tactics: Wrote about that above

– A brilliant seam attack – That came out of nowhere.

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– Team Effort: Someone or the other stepped up, raised his hand and did it for them. Kemon Cooper, Brad Hodge, Samson, Binny and even Trivedi.

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– Shane Mighty Watson: Do we even need to name him. He is one rockstar that always proved his mettle for the RR.

4. The Bad Things: A few of them are here

– No quality spinners: They always lacked one and especially at the business end because of wrong reasons. In fact in their last two games, on spinning tracks they actually went in with an all-seam attack and actually won one of them. Speaks some thing about confidence, doesn’t it. To add to this RR lacked a very threatening bowler and though Shaun Tait was in the squad, it would be correct to assume he is well past his prime.

– The rate of scoring: This is one area that the Royals struggled all-through. Except sometime when Watson got going, they hardly had a net run-rate of 8 plus to boast of. Even Rahane who otherwise has been seen as someone with a more than decent T20 strike-rate looked like playing safe this time more often than not.

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5. The Ugly: Enough has been spoken of the spot-fixing saga and for the sake of Rahul Dravid, let’s keep the ugly to only the three of the so called “Rotten Eggs”. We hope and pray not any other of that side is involved in the rut.

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6. Best Player: Without a doubt this could have gone to either Watson or Hodge. While Watson kept playing good cricket through, it was Hodge who proved what he is capable of in the all important eliminator when he took upon the mantle of cracking down on the best bowling attack on display and winning the game for his side, all this after his name was also being discussed in the fixing saga. Some mettle these Aussies are made up of, isn’t it? And yes, while we keep talking of the batsmen because of the format, we should not forget, it was James Faulkner who won all our hearts with some supremely good bowling in the tournament. Not many end up with two five-fors in the same IPL, do they? Faulkner actually did it. My prize for best player goes to the Purple Cap holder Faulkner.

This team has always been a surprise package and it would be extremely interesting to see what and who they buy next year when everyone goes under the hammer for only the second time. They though cannot afford to let go of the fact that they first need an inspiring captain to lead them like Warne and Dravid have done. 

 

 

B’n’B Facilities @ Bharatpur, Rajasthan

The Eastern Gateway to Rajasthan is well equipped with hospitality facilities to ensure that your stay in the city is comfortable. This is a list of some of the most well-equipped bed and breakfast facilities in the city.

(The list of B&B is subject to the number of user reviews we get from visitors of Bharatpur.)

Iora Guest House
(54,Gauri-Shankar Colony)

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A quaint, neat little place, Iora maintains a stunning degree of cleanliness, taking into account the fact that it’s a budget accommodation (Rs.450/night and above). The food offered is nothing short of excellent – in fact, this factor is exactly what makes Iora a home away from home. Furthermore, the bird sanctuary is at a 10 minutes distance from the guest house.

All in all, Iora is an absolute value for money! Another reason for a wonderful experience is the owner, Devendra Singh’s, resourcefulness in catering to visitors’ travel needs. Mr. Singh is a professional photographer and wildlife conservationist.

User Rating: 4.9/5

Royal Guest House
(B-15, Civil Lines)

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If you do not wish to stay near the noisy highway, this is the best place B&B to put up in. The high point of this place is that the food is cooked by the caretaker’s wife from vegetables grown in the kitchen garden. Meals have to be ordered an hour in advance because they start chopping the veggies only after you place the order J

Additionally, the sanctuary is just at a 10-minute walking distance. Royal Guest House facilitates money exchange and internet facilities (free of charge). The room rent starts at Rs.400/night.

User Rating: 4.2/5

Jungle Lodge
(Gori Shankar Colony)

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Situated just half a kilometer away from Keoladeo National Park, the Jungle Lodge is known for its sprawling gardens. There are rooms in two different sizes, therefore priced differently – the bigger rooms are for Rs.400 and the smaller ones are for Rs.300. The rooms on the second floor have access to a lovely veranda.

The owner of Jungle Lodge, Ashok, is a naturalist and proves to be a very helpful guide for the sanctuary. His wife, Indu, is an excellent cook. Most of the food cooked in the lodge is grown in the garden itself.

User Rating: 3.8/5

Attractions in Bharatpur, Rajasthan: Part 2

This is the second of the three blog series delineating the unmissable attractions of Bharatpur. This post will talk about the Deeg Palace and fort.

Deeg Palace

Deeg Palace and Fort

While this is another proof of Maharaja Suraj Mal’s fort-building spree and aesthetics, Deeg is also a nature lover’s hotspot. This town lies north of Bharatpur and boasts of a beautiful garden township

IMG_3420and a meticulously-laid palace which displays the engineering skills of the era at its best. Probably, the Deeg palace draws its charm from the fact that it was the idyllic summer retreat of the royals. And like most vacation homes, the palace is replete with spectacular fountains, well-preserved garden, imposing arcades and spacious pavilions.

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What’s spectacular about the fountains? The Deeg palace fountains are still in working condition and they emit colorful water. Despite the reservoir supplying water to the fountains is the same, every jet spews out water of a different color. These fountains are turned on only twice a year.

IMG_3400Deeg Palace houses several bhawans or mansions by the names of Gopal, Suraj, Kishan, Nand, Keshav and Hardev. All these mansions form a quadrangle. Gopal Bhawan is the largest of the mansions and is divided into two smaller sections, called Sawan and Bhadon.

IMG_3393An interesting feature of the bhawan is that while a front view gives the feel of a single storey, the rear view clearly shows an additional storey submerged in water. This architecture served two purposes – it lends a cooling effect in the summers, while creating an illusion of a lake palace.

Another curious feature is that this mansion has a hollow ceiling and pillars, equipped with iron spheres. Water was engineered to flow through the ceiling and the columns. When the iron spheres would collide with each other, they would produce a sound very similar to that of rain. The mansion walls also have small apertures through which water can flow sufficiently to form a curtain. Running fountains, sounds of thunder from the ceilings accompanied with pleasant sprays from the water curtain, the Maharajas would never feel the dearth of monsoons in Deeg.

If you wish to visit the Deeg Palace, the best season would be February. Not only would Rajasthan be more pleasant in that month, February 4 is also the day when the fountains are turned on.

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Quick Facts

  • The best time to visit Deeg is between October and March.
  • Deeg is at a distance of 32kms from the Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
  • Bharatpur is 200kms from Delhi, 270kms from Jaipur and 70kms from Agra.
  • It is always recommended to stay in Bharatpur, which has a large number of hotels and guest houses – government and private, forest resthouses, budget motels and dak bunglows. (Check this). You can stay in any of these accommodations and take a jeep or an auto-rickshaw to visit Deeg.

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