Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Goa: History, name and a little bit more

Even though it’s the smallest Indian state, Goa has always been a prominent part of the region, thanks to it being a major center of trade. Being an important port, it was the main point of entry for all kinds of people - traders, aggressors, artists as well as monks who were on a mission to spread the word of the Lord to the world.

goa history story

Through the history, Goa has had numerous names, including Gomanta, Govapuri, Gomantak, Nilkinda and Sindapura. It’s present name could be based on the Konkani word ‘Goyan’ is which means tall grass as per an answer on Quora.

The history of Goa that we commonly know of now is the Portuguese history which started in the early 16th Century. Interestingly the first Portuguese mint of the east was started in Goa. It was a prized procession for the Portuguese and Goa was actually granted the same civic status as Lisbon. Even after India’s independence in 1947, the Portuguese refused to leave Goa and entered formally into a war with the Indian Union to retain Goa. Of course India won the war, but the Indo-Portuguese relations plummeted though they are fine now.

Today Goa is the smallest, but a full fledged state of Indu and a hugely popular tourist destination. The capital of the state is the centrally located city of Panjim.

Reaching Goa

Goa is well connected with the rest of India through air, railways as well as roads.

However, if you live in Mumbai like me and love traveling to Goa for big and small breaks, there is something new coming up next month onwards which will add a bit more fun to your travels. I am talking about the Mumbai - Goa ferry service starting soon! Stay tuned on my travel blog to know more.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Goa in the monsoon!

Starting a new series on this blog and with this I hope to review it as well. The series is going to be a simple one - I will share one photo-story everyday!

The first story comes from a small yet significant state, Goa. I actually visit Goa more than once every year - sometimes for work, and on other occasions for leisure. This is a picture from early this year when the monsoon was in full force and everything looked like heaven.

goa in monsoon
Goa in monsoon

By the way, while you are in Goa, do explore it's beaches, churches and other heritage sites.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Myshkin Ingawale and ToucHB - an innovation that inspires

So where do I start? The story I am sharing here is one of inspiration, and also of perseverance, and a dedication to see an idea through to an actual working product, which is ready to change lives and make some very impactful changes to our society.

Before I talk about the idea and the product, let me talk about the story behind it. This is no simple story, its a story of death and pain and sorrow, but it ends with hope. Lata is a 21 yrs old woman in a small village in Maharashtra who is ready to deliver her baby. The baby is born at home, but for some reason, after child birth she continues to bleed. The midwife fails to control the bleeding and manages to call a doctor from a neighboring village.

However, after a couple of hours both Lata and her little angle are no more. The immediate cause of her is 'post partum hemorrhage', but its underlying cause is actually anemia or lack of iron in Lata's blood. The problem of Anemia is huge in India and most of the developing world.


The above was the sad part of the story, but let me here introduce you ToucHb - the hope for Lata and many such women in towns and villages across India.

ToucHb is the brainchild of Myshkin Ingawale who came across a story very similar to Lata's and decided to do something about it. Thirty two iterations later, he is now ready with the device which is launch ready and ready to change the map of Anemia in the world over the next seven years. Lofty targets, but one can't help but commend and support him and his team in this novel endeavor.

ToucHb is a hand-held needle-free battery operated device that enables screening for anaemia and simplifies monitoring of treatment on a regular basis. Learn more here.

See this video to know more about the device, its working principles as well as Myshkin's personal journey. The simplicity of this young entrepreneur is not just inspiring, but also very humbling. This idea is truly an investment for tomorrow, a tomorrow where many more lives can be saved with some very simple innovations.

I will also tell you why Myshkin and ToucHb are so exciting to me. I am also an Industrial Designer who designs and builds medical devices, especially for pregnant women and neonates and I understand extremely well the need for checking Anemia and taking steps to correct it before its too late. We also ordered and I have also personally tested a couple of these devices in our office and the experience was pretty good. There is still some fine tuning to be done on design, but the idea is absolutely fantastic!

I have spent weeks in the field (primarily villages in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh), and I do hope to see ToucHb during my next visit to some the remotest areas in these states :)

This inspirational video is a part of TEDxGateway. Google and see more of these if you ever find life dull and need any inspiration. 

Franklin Templeton Investments partnered the TEDxGateway Mumbai in December 2012.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 ode to loveliness...

I was just not impressed with the trailers of the movie doing the rounds for a while now on TV. The movie looked...boring to me and I was willing to skip it.

Now I am glad I didn't. Because Lootera is not a movie to be missed. Its a movie to be savored, to be enjoyed like you would enjoy a slow and delicious meal which ends with a delectable dessert.

The opulence in the movie is not overbearing, and I could connect with it right from the first frame. Every frame is beautifully planned and executed, I could feel the director's love for his masterpiece. But its not just the beauty of the movie that transfixes you, its actually the content that goes far in connecting with you. Not even for a moment I was disappointed with the relaxed pace, or the time the movie took to develop its principal characters. In fact, for me that was one of the most beautiful aspects of the movie. The pace of the movie slowly build up, reflecting in part the lives of its key protagonists.

The movie helps you connect with the characters, you do not see Sonakshi Sinha or Ranveer Singh, but just see two people in love with each other. For the first time (to me at least) Sonakshi looks absolutely lovely in some of the shots, beautiful and very child like; and the star is thankfully missing. Similarly Ranveer the star is missing and the actor takes his place, though I would make him dub a few of his lines again (his diction gets blurred sometimes).

And Vikramaditya Motwane (the director, for those who still don't know him) is simply brilliant. He is a master storyteller as well as a master visualizer. I can't imagine how extraordinary his future movies will be, if his second movie itself is like this. But whatever he does next, I am surely gonna lap it all up :)

Please guys do yourself a favor. Watch Looetra!

Image ref: Wikipedia,

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Kidnapped/ missing/ killed

I remember looking at the smiling faces as they looked out of posters near the entrance of Wal-mart, and it always scared me, pained me immensely. Some even had last seen dates back from the nineties. I could only think about the pain the families would be going through as they would meticulously take these prints year after year, over and over again and paste them at every possible place. The lack of closure is what drives all the pain, and keeps the hope alive. The living hope often kills more than the death itself.

AP/ Dave Pickoff, file

A sudden rush of emotions engulfed me today as I sat in the bus and read the story of Etan Patz, a six year old who went missing in 1979 as he walked from home to the school bus stand alone for the first time. The search went on for years and years, and is in fact still going on. There have been numerous sightings, including one in Israel, but he was never found. And maybe he will never be found, like so many others like him who were snatched and robbed of their childhood.

I am not a parent, but I feel completely empathy to the parents who lose their young ones, never fully knowing what actually happened to their kids. Many of them would even die without knowing the answers, and what a life would that be. A hope that some miracle would happen someday...

Equally taxing to my senses was the documentary 'The Children of Taliban', and I had to actually stop it for a while to get a good grip on myself. Using the kids as sacrifice, can't still digest the thought...

Makes me think of Pink Floyd. Adults molest, abuse, rape and murder kids, is that even being human? Why can't they just leave the kids alone?
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