10000 steps in Kaziranga


We are shivering in the morning cold in Kaziranga. We are on pins to get started on the Elephant Safari that will take us through the thick bushes and grasslands, to see the famed One-horned Indian Rhino.

Nearly a hundred people await the arrival of 32 elephants. The sun has started its journey across the sky; the early morning mist is slowly clearing.

Soon, the four of us are on our elephant, a beautiful and majestic creature. ‘Tara’ is her name, which translates to star.

Our Mahout has been with Tara for nearly 15 years. Man and elephant are one. He gently prods Tara into the grasslands, as she stops to pull out grass with her trunk, on and off.

We soon see the beautiful One-horned Indian Rhino, majestic, graceful; and oblivious to all of us. Some of them busy chomping down their breakfast, while some others are staring away into the distance.

Enroute we also see deer, jungle fowl, eagles and huge water buffaloes.

We enjoy the safari thoroughly and get back to base, after two hours in the grasslands.

We are famished, and get back to the hotel and settle down to a heavy breakfast and many cups of hot Assam Tea.

As we prepare to get back to our room, I casually glance at my phone.

My pedometer shows 14550 steps walked, and the day had barely started. I am puzzled. My first reaction is that the App has stopped working.

I try walking with the phone, and the App updates the steps taken just like it always does.

Aha…..then it strikes me, the pedometer has also counted the steps taken by Tara, our dear elephant.

I laugh out aloud, and realize that my 10000 steps for the day are yet to begin.

The Smart Generation


There was a time, long ago, maybe not so long ago, when smartphones did not exist and videogames used to be faraway things that you only saw in the movies!

There was a time when happiness could be contained within a chocolate given to you by your parents.

These days, it is difficult to motivate children with simple things, those things that made up our childhood. 

From what I observe all around me, today’s children love the games on their iPads and their parents’ smartphones. They are easily motivated and enthusiastic about these games, much like we were about chocolates and picnics.

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         Courtesy – http://www.ctvnews.ca

My son is no exception. He loves this game called ‘Minecraft’ (hope I’ve got the name right! 

We spend a lot of time talking to him about the ill-effects of playing continuously (exaggerating sometimes, for good measure).

To reach a win-win without his getting addicted to these electronic devices, we have worked out a system where he gets to play the game thrice a day, for 10 minutes each. This seems to be working very well.

Last week, while we were at the airport, we heard an announcement that our flight was delayed by two hours. I went back to my book, while my husband napped. My daughter and her grandma were busy chatting. My son paced the airport floor, back and forth.

After a while, his constant pacing got to me. I called him and asked him why he was pacing?

He said, “I am actually working out how to move to the next level in Minecraft.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “Is this game all you can think about?”

He knows I get irritated by game-talk, so he worriedly asked me, “If I am only thinking about the game in my mind would that count as strategic planning or as an addiction to the phone?”

Hmmm..Strategic planning eh? I quietly went back to my book.