Tag Archives: States and territories of India

Uttarakhand Floods: Nature’s Fury or Have We Dug Our Own Graves? – Part VIII

In the penultimate part of the Uttarkhand Floods series, Chandan Das wonders about why India can’t foresee a terror strike or a natural disaster! Why do Indians act only after lives are lost, and even after that, simply engage in blame-games instead of learning lessons?

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold – William Wordsworth

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Wanna hear some numbers?

# Over 50 tourist buses queued up. Suddenly, stones started raining on the buses. Continuously for 12 hours.

# Four-storey, 52-room hotel cave in in front of your eyes.

# Before the disaster, the number of mules in Gaurikund was estimated to be 8,000. Now there is no word on how many animals have perished or the conditions of those that have survived.

# 500 roads have been damaged and 200 bridges washed away makes the problem of rescue even bigger.

Oh no, the Man didn’t dig his own grave, it was just the Nature’s “Fury”!!

When will we learn our lessons?

Last year, we Indians were ruing shortage of rainfall and this year, they have been rattled by a fast advancing monsoon. The way various north Indian states have been crippled by the onslaught of monsoon, especially Uttarakhand, it raises one pertinent question: Is Life in India so cheap ? Why is to so difficult to understand the basics of a security culture. Whether there is a terror strike or a natural disaster, it is only after  blood is spilled and lives are lost that we decide to act. Just feeling proud of being a an emerging super-economy and the biggest democracy isn’t enough. We also need to get our basics right. But so ill-prepared are we to cope with the smallest deviation from the normal that lives are lost and property destroyed, year after year, even when the rainfall in this ecologically fragile region does not exceed the norm. But we aren’t helpless: we’ve failed because, though we’ve done our homework on how not to fail, we haven’t actually turned these lessons into practice. But it would leave behind a significant lesson that messing up with Himalaya’s eco-sensitive zone is just filled with dangers !!

So was it just a nature’s fury or have we dug our own graves?

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Exploring Goa: The Rail Trek to Dudhsagar – I

Kartik Kannan writes on his photographic journey – and this time it is to Dudhsagar!

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Dudhsagar, translating to sea of milk, is a tiered waterfall located on the Mandovi River in the Indian state of Goa on Goa’s border with Karnataka state. It is four-tiered. It is 60 km from Panaji city by road and 46 km from Madgaon railway junction by train. It’s a wonderful journey on the South Western railway as you walk along the railway track, exploring pristine nature at its best.

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The Rail trek begins, once you get inside the tunnels. It’s a chill world inside there, and in the darkness you need to carefully traverse the tracks. Some of your conversations stay longer than the time you took to speak them, with the echo inside the tunnel, creating re reruns of your conversation. The best part however is the point where you have light seeping into both ends of the tunnel, which illuminates the track as you go in/come out.

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And if you happen to have an express train travelling with you, do pamper it by giving it space and a photo opportunity. This place inside the tunnels is the best place to have some long exposure shots if a train is passing by. The feeling of the breeze caused by the train’s motion is an exhilaration that needs to be experienced, even as you struggle to balance yourself on the rocks that lie on either side of the tracks.

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You will pass an abandoned building, as you walk along the railway track before the first tunnel. You can use this place to change into something comfortable. This place presents some wonderful photo oppurtunities before you get started into the arduous trek.

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Wave back to the passengers with a smile! You are about to embark on one of the best railway treks in India!