Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Travel far and wide, interesting quotes, very thoughtful ..

Travel, to places far and wide, is one of the best ways to get knowledge and exposure to events and happenings around the world. I have been to a lot of places within the country and even spent a good part of my life staying at these places. I have been able to appreciate the culture and life of the different people in the country. My outlook on the country changed very much. 

I am planning to do foreign trips soon, not done any yet. My son and daughter both are already global travellers. By traveling I hope to understand other countries and their culture much better. No amount of reading can give you the knowledge and exposure as a visit or trip once.

India being part of one of the oldest civilizations of the world along with the Chinese with an age of more than 6000 years, there are lot of places to visit in these two countries. 

Lot of my friends, who are abroad, have never made a trip to one of the seven wonders of the world from India, the Taj Mahal in Agra. Being in the country I made it a point to visit the place in 2014 with my daughter. It was a great experience and I was humbled standing in front of one of the greatest monuments and wonders of the world done artistically in about 50 years, about 4 centuries back in white marble.

A couple of years back, I got a chance to visit the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Trivandrum, the richest temple of the world, now being valued at about a trillion US dollars. Though I studied in Trivandrum for my Engineering degree and had many friends who lived in East Fort and in the vicinity of the Sri Padmanabha Swamy temple, I never understood the great impact and the historical importance this temple had on the living and dormant history of Trivandrum (now called Thiruvananthapuram).

Having gone through all these places, I sometimes sit back and think what the people at those places where I have visited are doing presently ?
  • Are they grazing cattle or going on their daily chores or greeting tourists?
  • Are the places still impeccably neat as it was then ? 
  • Are the airports and railway stations in the same manner even now ?
  • What is the driver of my vehicle then doing now ?
  • Has any new construction come up at those places ?
  • Have any new historical findings been revealed ?
The first travel I went on my own with a group was with my Engineering classmates from Govt College of Engineering, Trivandrum on a South India study tour. Though it was a two week tour programme, covering Madurai, Chennai, Kodaikanal and Bangalore, the impact it left on me in understanding the variety and diversity of culture in my country and how the people of the different regions in South India ate and worshipped and practiced as customs and traditions was very baffling.

At Madurai, visiting the Madurai Meenakshi temple, one of the largest temple sturctures in the world with its thousand pillar hall was really a wonderful experience for me in 1983. The visit took me back in time by 1400 years of Madurai and India spiritual history. The TVS Madurai factory visit and the visit to Integral Coach factory in Chennai along with HAL in Bangalore gave good industry exposure.

The All India tour in 1985 which took us to Kolkata, Darjeeling, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore etc was another 21 day trip with friends I can never forget. When I fell sick in Kolkata and got treatment at the famous Ramakrishna Paramahamasa hospital in Kolkata, it was a great experiences for me. It gave me added insight into the life of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamasa and his very famous disciple Swami Vivekakananada.

My attempts by recalling all these experiences is just to bring home one point, it is experiences and exposures to new cultures which open your mind and eyes to new customs, traditions and people.

My sister who presently hlds a very senior and responsible position in Indian corporate environment has visited numerous countries on numerous occasions. All these visits have changed her outlook as a person and I always look upto her in times of crisis asking her advice on how to go ahead.  Travel gives you exposures and insights one has never ever encountered in life.

After joining my present University, i have not missed any opportunity they have provided me to interact with students and oparents from across the country. Been to Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Bihar, Jharkhand many times and each visit has made me richer and mature than before, also more modest.

Nature is one of our greatest teachers. Just observe nature and the people with the flora and fauna, one gets to understand and learn a lot in life.


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