Raj Kumar Singh - Being Good, Rickshaw Driver, Mumbai

While getting off a rickshaw saddled with a few heavy bags last afternoon, I heard a sound of something dropping and so turned to look back into the rickshaw. I checked the seat, the floor and around the rickshaw. Not finding anything and wanting to relieve myself of the weight I was carrying, I hurriedly rushed into my building. It was then that I realised, that it was the sound of my phone that I had heard being dropped. 

I ran, calling out to the receding rickshaw but to my dismay he was far gone despite my enthusiastic sprint. I didn't take the rickshaw number and obviously didn't know the driver's name. I reached home all huffed up and dolefully narrated the incident to my son. We quickly tried calling my phone but it rang for a few minutes and after that a pre-recorded message from the service provider said that the phone was switched off or unavailable! My battery was at 1% before I had got off the rickshaw - so clearly the battery had died out. 

"Don't worry…

Musa Qadri - Being Good, Rickshaw Driver, Mumbai

In search of the divine, we lose ourselves, when all we need to do is look within!
I was scheduled for a meeting in Bandra,and since I was unsure of parking there I decided to take a rickshaw. I tried hailing one and got rejected by over 10 of them. The sun was beating down and making me anxious as I looked at my watch. A rickshaw driver turned into my building to drop off a passenger. I called out to him, 'Bhaiya, Bandra?' He nodded indicating that he would return shortly and disappeared into one of the wings of my building. Meanwhile, I continued to try my luck to hail down a rickshaw, but to no avail. I covered my head with my dupatta to save myself from the sun and just then a rickshaw stopped on the opposite side of the road and the driver stuck his head out and looked at me, 'Bandra?' Before he could respond, I heard some desperate honking behind me and I see that it was the same rickshaw driver that had gone in to drop off the passenger.
'Madam, I rushed to ge…

Being the mother

A mother has an intrinsic hunch about her child's needs, be it nourishment for the body or the mind, and she provides naturally knowing what is best for her child. 
As a child I would wonder how my mother knew that I was up to mischief even though I would take all the care to hide my act. So, whether it was stealing money from her purse to go and buy myself an ice cream from the local tuck shop or lying to stay over at a friends place for homework when actually it was for a party, mama somehow managed to get wind of things and quiz me in such a manner that would slowly but surely confess.  What was awesome was that she never punished me. Yes, she reprimanded me. And then proceeded to counsel me asking me w hy I did what I did and what the consequences could be for me to deal with. Eventually we would collectively conclude that I would not to do whatever I did again; and a lesson was entrenched for life!
When I became a mother I adopted the same philosophy of upbringing and added to t…

India wants more

Indians are a curious people. They have an unquenchable thirst for more. We believe in the word MORE, more than any other nation. This is because we are used to plurality. Take for example the number of languages, cuisine, cultures, clothing, Gods & Goddesses, customs, terrain, colour of skin etc. Clearly, variety is the name of the game and the people of this expansive subcontinent despite their  strong individual beliefs have been accepting of the variety that co-exists because there are just so many types of Indians and Indianness! And because there are so many types more often than not, in an average day you will witness or experience something new. This typically Indian trait of wanting to see more has been captured beautifully in the #Amazon campaign "Aur Dikhao Aur Dikhao" 

This desire for more amongst Indians has grown multifold with the opening of markets and the internet. 

Today even the lower income group Indian is suddenly in touch with the world through their …

Carnival Colors

Spectacular floats adorn the streets with people dancing without inhibition in their brilliantly coloured costumes while rainbow coloured masks and feathers adorn the faces of passers-by. Scores of entertainers from diverse lands and color are aplenty and the atmosphere is that of merry making twice over. Eager tourists can’t believe their luck as they take to their hand held smart phone cameras trying to capture the perfect ‘SELFIE’ and update their joy on social media saying – ‘It’s that time of the year again!’ We’re not describing the popular festival Mardi Gras in New Orleans. We’re talking about our own version of it, here in our very own backyard – The Goa Carnival.
Easily the biggest festival and unique and exclusive to Goa since the 18th Century, The Goa Carnival is celebrated before the commencement of the 40 days of Lent; which is a period of fasting, abstinence and spirituality. It was introduced by the Portuguese, who ruled over the state for more than 500 years.
Although t…

Beautiful Strokes

It is common in the US and Canada for artists to hone their craft by going to different locales, which inspire them in different ways. They also find the exercise more interesting and inspiring, and hence when they find locations in other countries, the trip becomes a holiday too. Suzanne Northcott, an artist from Canada, recently conducted one such art workshop for a motley group of art learners at the Aashyana Lakhanpal, Goa.
The group largely spent most of their time painting and doing yoga at the beautifully set Yoga Pavillion but when their schedule permitted and their curiosity got the better of them, they toured the culturally rich and social hobnobbing spots of the city where people from across the world took on the gay and languorous vibe of the city.
The experiences they enjoyed were many; they particularly enjoyed the performance of a RUSSIAN SINGER, whocrooned beautiful renditions of Mozart, Bizet etc. on the very first evening of their stay at Aashyana Lakhanpal. The WEDN…

Nesting of a different kind

North Goa, has become synonymous with crowded beaches, hippie markets and a crazy nightlife, and it is usually difficult to find a quiet, homely and comforting space around it. And yet, in the milieu is an oasis like no other that intrigues the curiosity of the keen traveler.
In the early 80’s, Ajai Lakhanpal bought a home for himself in the inimitable North Goa, and over the years, has meticulously added science and magic to it, to create a paradise so inspiring and beautiful that he was compelled to share it with the world. Over a decade ago the treasured property, opened its doors to travellers that were looking for a unique escape from the mundane, and ever since, guests have poured in from all over the globe, to experience the harmony within themselves and that of AASHYANA LAKHANPAL.
The property inherited its name from Ajai’s family homes named ‘Aashyana’ in Jallandhar and Mumbai – the meaning of which in Persian is bird’s nest. Just as a bird builds its nest with precision and…