My thoughts, Travelling, Volunteering

What Difference Can a 15-Minute Video Call Make?

Well, to these widow mothers of Vrindavan it can mean the world. Yearly thousands of widows flock to Vrindavan in seek of shelter and refuge. They are socially prejudiced against and are abandoned by their families. They have no means of making money, but in this city, they are at least guaranteed one meal a day. Unfortunately, their living conditions are awful, and very few have access to good medical care. On the bright side, there are many devoted NGOs who are determined to change this. They have set up refuges for them in the form of ashrams, where they provide food, clothes, and medical care. One such NGO is the Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust. I visited them 2 months ago, and today I would like to share my experience with all of you. 

Paramhansa Yogananda Trust takes care of almost 5000 out of the 10,000 widows of Vrindavan. 

They provide them with food, and medical assistance, they have even set up ashrams for them to stay. 

Out of all the organizations, I have visited, this one just felt very special. Probably because they have a very loving, and joyful atmosphere. Even the sevaks who work there are always smiling and joyful. It is like you can see the materialization of the famous principle, “ What goes, comes around.” They are serving but I can see they are getting so much in return because they are abundant with love, joy, and bliss. It is because they are serving with expecting nothing in return. It is like they have become channels through whom the divine is actually helping the Mothers. Somebody I know used this analogy when “water flows through the pipe, the pipe cannot help but get wet.” One of my other friends, who is a Brahmachari and has been meditating for several years, said ‘I can see the reflection of the divine on their faces.’ 

Jayeeta Mam who runs the trust and overlooks everything is a wonderful and loving soul. I had the honor of staying with her the entire week.

Jayeeta Aunty(Left) with Divya JI

I think I should tell you a bit of a backstop also of how I ended up there in the first place. I had attended a ‘Seva retreat’  and Jayeeta mam had come to give a talk there about their work in Vrindavan. And also to invite everybody to a Seva Pilgrimage which they were conducting on Janmashtami. So a seva Pilgrimage is like a group of volunteers will go there for like a week, and there will be activities like visiting the ashrams, the mothers, talking to them, sitting with them, etc.

There will also be a little bit of Pilgrimage like visiting the temples, kirtan, satsangs, etc.

Anyways, coming back to the story, I just felt so inspired, and I knew I had to ask my dad for permission. I had no hopes though, he would say yes, since it is very far, and I would be traveling alone, my exams were coming, etc. But he was very excited, even more than me! We talked to Jayeeta Aunty, I call her aunty, and she was just so welcoming, that we booked the ticket instantly after reaching home. I stayed in her house the entire time as I mentioned earlier and she looked after me like a mother, I didn’t feel like once I was in a stranger’s house. Not to mention, she also fed me like a mother, I gained weight in only a week! Anyways I am getting distracted again Jayeeta mam is a kind, magnetic, and wonderful soul.  Some other people who are part of the team, Radha Mam, Rama mam, Tripti Mam, Rajesh Sir, so many more, but the amazing thing about these people are some of them have terrible backstories, almost all of them face domestic violence, some of them are single mothers, coming from poverty, but not once you will hear them complaint. Jayeeta Mam was once telling us a story of a sevak, she was holding a dirty diaper in her hand. Some of our mothers who are paralyzed are dependent for everything on the staff. So this sevak she was on her way out to throw the diaper. Jayeeta Mam was visiting the Ashram then, so as soon as the sevak saw her, there came a huge smile on her face, and greeted her with a very excited greeting. Completely oblivious to the diaper in her hand.

When it comes to resilience nobody beats the Widow Mothers. These are people who have lost everything in their lives, thrown out by their children, faced extreme poverty and social discrimination, but they stand strong. In fact one of the mothers, the trust found, was living in a box! Then there is the story of Pushpa Dasi MA who was also found by our staff in extremely bad condition. But when you meet these mothers in the Ashram, how can I even describe it, they were just so blissful. Like not a single tear, no complaints, no reminiscing of the past. You sit and talk with them, they will talk very happily, they will feel very grateful if you give them a massage. 

The motto of the Trust is ‘ Restoring the dignity and divinity of widow mothers’ ; they have taken up numerous initiatives to do so. Some of them are organizing regular kirtan with the mothers, reading scriptures with them, doing early morning exercises, coloring, etc. They are not only providing them with a place and food but also helping in their spiritual and emotional upliftment. Plus, they are also fighting the social stereotypes attached to widows for so long. 

One such initiative in which you can help out is the ‘Circle of Love’. Circle of love is a weekly 15-minute Whatsapp video call, with one of our mothers. The main aim of this is to provide the mothers with loving companionship but also to promote the spiritual upliftment of all the volunteers doing the call. How does this help the mothers you might ask, these mothers have experienced abandonment, humiliation, and loneliness. This call helps them emotionally, they feel less lonely and are happier. In fact they look forward to it a lot. Jayeeta aunty once told me they will fix their hair and stress about their appearance. Another question you might ask is what will I say to them, actually there are many things, you can read to them, sing bhajans with them, they will share stories of Krishna with you, some recipes they love, etc. I was a bit hesitant to do this call too since I am not that great 🙄 when it comes to talking to people. But I had absolutely no problem talking to Pushpa MA, we clicked instantly, she is always so cheerful and talkative. In fact I cannot skip it now! 

Circle of Love is a perfect name because that is exactly how I felt, when I went there, when I do my calls, I feel surrounded by a Circle of Love. I invite you🙏to be a part of it too, So what do you say, can you spare 15 minutes weekly? 

Some Important Links

Widows Of Vrindavan – Feminisation Of Old Age In India Rekha Pande :-

Status of Widows of Vrindavan and Varanasi : A Comparative Study By The Guild of Service :-

Forgotten Widows of Vrindavan by Soumya Pillai in The Hindu :-

Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust :-

Circle of Love :-

Travelling, Uncategorized

The Best Surfing Spot in India

Pack your bag and catch a bus to Mamallapuram, a.k.a The best and the cheapest surfing spot in India. The town is a tourist attraction and is just 80 km from Chennai. Serene beaches and ancient temples mark this quiet city.

As for the food, I have simply no words. The quality and taste were just amazing. 

Go to the beach when the tide is right, and you will find smiling people surfing and having fun. Enticed, we decided to give it a try too. Just right by the beach was Mumu Surf School. 

Run by Mumu, a very friendly and welcoming person. He is not only passionate about surfing but is using it as a way to help his community too. As we were talking to him, he told us about a program he runs called “Surfing for Healing”. Where they teach children from backward backgrounds to surf. 

You can find them here Even though I didn’t go in the water, my dad did, and this is what he has to say about it – “ Amazing, a simply amazing experience, must for everyone at least once.” Their studio has a beautiful aesthetic Bohemian touch to it. 

shopping, Travelling

5 Must Visit Street Shopping Destinations in Bangalore

We all love street shopping. Street shopping is a great way to get an idea of the local market and the regional prices. Everybody should be in tune with their district market. 

I always make sure to see the marketplace of the city I am visiting. Obviously living in Bangalore for so many years, I know many fashion street destinations. Let me share them with you today:-

Jayanagar 5th Block

Located only 2 kms from the historical Lalbagh Garden, Jayanagar 5th block and 4th block  is a renowned shopping destination. One storeyed houses, and showrooms mark the neighborhood. 

One of the most interesting things about it is its diversity.  On the same road you can get jeans for 5000 rupees and another one for just 100 rupees.

 If you want to visit branded shops then 4th block has it all from H&M to Zinc London. But instead if you are in mood for some bargaining then Jayanagar Shopping Complex is a haven for everything from fake jewelry to casual clothing. 

Silk shops and jewelry stores are also a trademark of this place. 

Mahatma Gandhi Road 

Mahatma Gandhi Road; definitely one of the most developed areas in bangalore. It is a great destination for a day outing with your friends or family. Cafes, restaurants, pubs, cloth shops, vendors give this place its special appearance. If you are in Bangalore this is definitely a must visit.

Despite its posh appearance, MG road has many affordable clothes shops as well. The experienced shopper knows. Just take a left turn, into a small lane, sprinkled with pubs and female attire stores. Heads up; it’s only cheap if you are an expert at bargaining. 

So grab your best friend, dress up, and get down at MG road Metro Station, shop and take some cool photos!


Chickpete is basically a wholesale market of clothes and dress material, located near the city market. City market has other wholesale areas of utensils, electrical stuff, motor parts, etc. Though I recommend going there with an expert, since it requires a lot of bargaining. One should also be familiar with the shops. Though you can also go there to simply visit. It is a very interesting place. It also has junk jewelry and western wear shops. Plus many food stalls. 

Many of my friends go there at least once a month, to buy household stuff. Since it is available for really cheap there.

Jyoti Nivas College Market

Jyoti Nivas Is a girls degree and PU college in Koramangala. Outside it there are many Street style clothes shops, footwear shops, food stalls, etc. It is very centrally located. JNC is only 1km from Forum Mall. The entire area is very good to roam and walk. There are shops of all kinds, plus many cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

Commercial Street

Commercial Street is one of the oldest and busiest shopping destinations of bangalore. It is famous for clothes, footwear, food joints, and electronic items. Buy cosmetics, purses, bangles, dinner sets, household items, and much more at this place. Since it is very centrally located there are also many retail shops surrounding it. If you are tired of bargaining, you can always head over there for some rest and air conditioning. 

Some food items you can find there are Chaat, dosa, idli, sandwiches, etc. There is also an abundance of aesthetic and old cafes there. Some of them being 

MDP Coffee House

Lakeview Milkbar


Cafe Azzure

There are many things to do there beside shopping also, like;

Cubbon Park

Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum

Mahatma Gandhi Road

So, these were some of the most famous and best shopping destinations in Bangalore. I have been to almost all of them. Though, I have to say since I have also seen the markets of Bombay, Delhi, and Ahmedabad, Bangalore doesn’t even compare with them. To name a few, Janpat, Sarojni Nagar, and Karol Bagh in Delhi, Rani no Hajiro, Law Garden, Ratan Pole In Ahmedabad, Hill Road, Causeway, Linking Road in Bombay.  

Street shopping is not only good for your budget but also your street smartness. Shopkeepers though not always but frequently do try to fool their customers. I have personally learned a lot from going to local markets. One should take their kids to markets like these because there is a lot to learn from there, plus it is also really fun!

Do you enjoy street shopping too? Tell me in the comment section below.

Travelling, Uncategorized

Reached home today!

Reached home today!

After 40 and half hours of traveling we finally reached home. We came by train and it was one of the best journeys I ever had. 

The girl on the lower berth was exactly my age, so we instantly became friends. There was going to be a really big architecture event in bangalore, so there were many college students who were traveling to attend it. We made friends with students from ‘The Hindu College’ and ‘IIT Roorkee’.   

We all played chess, cards, and talked a lot. Thus, the journey was filled with laughter, smiles, and jokes. It is a wonder how much we tend to enjoy when we put down our phones and connect with the people around us. 

My thoughts, Personal, Travelling

Gender Bias in My Village

As you know I am in my hometown in Uttar Pradesh. I want to address an issue which I have noticed while walking in my village. Anybody coming over here after staying in a metropolis or a city will clearly notice that the ratio of boys to girls on the streets is too abstract. 

This is one of the major reasons for violence on women. The number of men and women should be equal on the streets so no gender will be at a disadvantage. If there is a healthy and equal ratio on streets, crime rate will reduce automatically. I personally believe if family members restrict sending the women out they should do the same to men too . 

It should be equal right? What is your take on this? Do you think I am right or wrong? Please tell me in the comment section below.