If you think,you are too small to make a difference…
Try sleeping with a mosquito… 🙂 🙂

– Dalai Lama

Happy weekend awesome people!!

— Happy Weekend

Does Hard Work Really Pay??

The Poor CollierPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K |

Early Illegal Coal Mining Photo courtesy:

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” -Sam Ewing

At a production rate of over 300 million tonnes (MT) per year, India is the third-largest coal miner after China and the US. Until the 1980s, much of India’s coal was extracted from the eastern coalfields (Jharia and Raniganj) in Jharkhand/West Bengal. Now, with the thrust on industrial development, besides intensifying extraction in existing projects through increased mechanization, other coalfields have opened up around India, in particular, the central coalfields of north Karanpura, stretching across Jharkhand (once south Bihar) to the west of Dhanbad, the ‘coal’ capital of India, located on the Jharia coalfields. The Raniganj–Jharia coalfields are still significant, producing about 25 MT per year.

Regardless of this, a major section of jobless people in the mining areas of Jharkhand do not have any choice but to support the illegal trade. They often risk their lives to enter into dangerous mines to earn some bucks to feed their families. It is said that hard work is the yeast that raises the dough. But, when I saw these colliers (koyla cycle wallahs), wobbling and pushing their bikes laden high with stolen coal, slowly making their way through the steep and twisting forest roads on my trip to Jharkhand this time, I saw and felt the pain they go through every single day in their life! They push bicycles carrying huge loads of crudely-coked coal in jute sacks for approx 70kms every alternate day! Their life is typical of that of many thousands of Jharkhand illegal coal miners. The irksome job they do everyday just leaves them with all the tiredness, diseases and a huge hole in their hearts. To grow up here is to know that death, massive and swift, can come at any time.

Life of a collier starts early around 3:00 am. They pack their tiffins and leave their home by 3:30 am. Reaching the colliery and mining the coal takes around 4-5 hours of tough hard work. They have to finish this as soon as possible fearing the police raids. But it doesn’t stop here for them. Once the coal is mined and is taken out, it is packed in large sacks and is then tied on their bicycles. Each collier travels 70km approx carrying around 1-5 quintal (1quintal=100 kgs) of coal every alternate day. The sacks are heavy and their body is thin… The hectic job of dragging these bicycles for so long takes a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 24 hours depending on their strength. They pant: they rest, they chat: they smile: they sing, they laugh… its certainly not a bed full of roses for them. Carrying so much weight for such long hours, affects their lungs the most. Most well known is a condition called pneumoconiosis, which is the name given to a group of lung diseases caused by the inhalation and retention of dust of various sorts. It’s also called industrial dust disease. In miners coal dust is to blame and the condition is also known as black lung disease or anthracosilicosis. They are also very much prone to diseases like Tuberculosis (TB), emphysema and chronic bronchitis at a very early stage of their life. It is not surprising that most of these colliers die in their early 40’s and 50’s. A day of hard work, mining, carrying, selling takes a toll on their body, mind and heart. They work a day and are not able to move the next day. Their body gives up! But they have to survive in this cruel world. So, they rise again and repeat the same story every alternate day! All these hard work and at the end of the day what they earn is rupees 500 – 1800!

Indira Gandhi once said –“My grandfather told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.”

Similarly, my father told me a very interesting story about them this time. He said that there are often police raids for such illegal activities and people who are caught are severely punished. But this time, the DSP did a strange thing which changed the perspective of these colliers towards the police totally. Generally, during such police raids, they catch the colliers who ride bicycle as it is easy to catch them riding on vehicles. The bigger mafias who carry such illegal activities in big trucks, bikes and other vehicle for carrying coal, generally escapes. They have a big group and somehow they get the news and it doesn’t take much time for them to fly away on their respective vehicles. But these colliers who carry the coal on bicycles are not able to do so and hence are caught easily.

So, this time when 10 of them were caught, they were stopped and were asked to drag their bicycles to the police station. When the DSP saw this, he ordered some of his policemen to drag the bicycle instead as most of the colliers were old men. Surprisingly, none of the police man was able to drag the heavy bicycle for more than 10 steps. They were badly panting and were not in a position to move the bicycle an inch more. Seeing this, the DSP said -“Young people like you are not able to move these bicycles for 70 meters, think how these old men drag it for 70 kms every alternate day! Think about the real hard work they do just to buy two meals per day for their poor families. If you really wanna do something, catch hold of them who carry this illegal trade on vehicles. They are the real culprits! He let the old colliers leave.

Now, some of you may ask.. if it is illegal why they have to do this? Why can’t they search for some other job? When they are aware of the risks of coal mining why can’t they save themselves? The answer can be many. But the main answer is unemployment and illiteracy! These people are generally very less or not literate at all since most of them start helping their parents at a very early age. The age can vary between 4-12. Often, they aren’t allowed to go to school as they have hungry and sick people at home to feed and cure. Medicines are expensive and the food prices have increased. They can’t opt for other jobs as most of the shops need a literate worker. They can choose to work in fields which they generally do during the monsoons as the mines get filled with water and it is not possible for them to enter it. But what they earn is maximum 120/- per day for 8-9 hours of hard work according to the going Jharkhand labor rate. So, even if they work for a week what they earn will be 840 rupees. Is this sufficient for a family to survive in today’s economy? The answer is a big NO! The income doesn’t even compare, so it is clear why someone with no employment opportunities would choose this work, despite the dangers.

These colliers by no means want their children to follow their path. They want them to study and become a “BIG MAN“. So that they don’t have to do such hard work and they too can have a good life! They can support their families better. This leaves me with the thought that does hard work really pay? Just for their sheer strength, determination and endurance (despite back-breaking experience), I admire them, if not endorse. In their context I guess the saying: “If hard work was the key to success, donkey would have been the king of the jungle” is absoutely correct!! To me they are the real HE-MEN, rather than COAL-BLOODED HE-MEN!! I hope some day their dreams come true and they lead a much more healthier and happier life


You can view the sad story of this koyla cycle wallahs beautifully captured by Sophie Gerrard here.

World Anger Day vs World Happiness Day

World Anger Day vs World Happiness Day

“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” ― Ambrose Bierce

Today (August 28) is World Anger Day (did we need a reminder?). Seriously, had never heard about this day until today…! So, are we supposed to tame or unleash the devil within today? Grrrrrr!!!… I guess if we see someone shouting or being angry we know what’s the reason behind it >.<

Today, what is of concern is that this loss of control over the anger handle seems to be happening to people who are not usually considered angry or aggressive. Something seems to be driving even the calm and civil amongst us towards anger and aggression.

What is anger?
Anger is an emotional response to an obstacle or a threat. It is a burst of energy, a compulsive reaction to anything that threatens to obstruct what we wish to do. We react with anger if we perceive a threat – to our plans, to our identity, to our Ego.

What drives us to anger?
Several instances like – hurt, humiliation, and injustice (real or presumed); loss of control and our inability to cope with a situation. When we feel pressed, pushed and pressured, we react with anger.

But anger is really a secondary reaction – behind it and behind all the instances that drive us to anger, lie two root emotions – fear and frustration.

Today, we live in a time when everything is controlled by technologies. Everywhere there is speed and so is pressure. We are no longer following the normal rhythm of our body. Instead, we are becoming more and more mechanical in our ways. All these tools, technologies, gadgets are determining our life and so our moves. This leads to more and more frustration, stress, fatigue and fear.

Here the question is do we really need this day?? Isn’t there enough hatred, fights, anger and inhumanity already prevailing?? In the Buddhist tradition, Anger is always anger, and just that. It is a mental poison, and no reason, however good it may seem, can justify the aggressive expression of anger. Finally, anger, expressed as anger, is a reaction to a threat. A reaction. What we need to do is not react but rather to respond. “Respond” etymologically from “Responsibility”. That’s the key.

Won’t this world be a better place if everyone is happy?? Be it in any way. Oh! yes… indeed it will be a much better place to live in. The United Nations has declared that March 20th each year will be the International Day of Happiness – and it wants everyone to join in the fun of being happy. “The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal,” said the resolution, which was passed by consensus in the 193-member assembly. I guess this day will be worth celebrating… what do you say??? Or should I say that lets celebrate each and every day of our life making it a HAPPY DAY!! Help others, eat well, remain healthy, explore, do whatever you like…. make this world a happy place.


New Facebook Timeline Cover :)


I promise I haven’t given up on my blog and I know my blog needed some love! Lately I’ve been just too busy with work, shopping for family, cleaning, traveling aah… there is a long list… But nevertheless I enjoyed doing everything 🙂

Last week I got some breathing time and I made this FB timeline cover for my Gulmohar Doodles fan page. I wanted to do this for a long time but somehow it was always getting postponed but hey… I finally managed to make it… 🙂 Here is a snapshot of the cover.

New Facebook Timeline Cover

If you’d like to have a sneak peak of my Facebook fan page here is the link please do visit it because I keep on updating it with the latest things 🙂 So tell me what you think of my new cover page? And don’t forget to comment… I would love to hear from you all.

I hope everyone is enjoying the Bangalore weather and had a great weekend 🙂

Dear Web User: Please Upgrade Your Browser

I am no wonder a big fan of Smashing Magazine. So as usual today when I was going through it, I got to read this article on upgrading browser by Louis Lazaris. Being a UI developer, I know what a big pain it is making websites which work and functions properly in the old browsers specially Internet Explorer. A huge amount of time is consumed and wasted in making sites functional for this particular browser.

So, dear web users, it is my humble request to all of you who are using such vintage browsers, please please read this article and upgrade your browser so that we can help in making the web a better place.

Happy upgrading!! 😀

My Vintage Wallpapers

Just some good old memories of my year 2009 smashingmagazine published wallpapers (Smashing magazine is one of the best online magazines which delivers useful and innovative information to web designers and developers). I was still learning photoshop at that time and was always eager to try the new brushes, effects and online tutorials. And all those lead to the creation of these wallpapers… Looking at them now, after three years, I feel it to be a little weird…but then this is how it all started 🙂 Here is the list:

The Demonic Divas
The Demonic Divas

Happy Friendship Month
Happy Friendship Month

Darkness with Rays of Light
Darkness With Rays Of Light

Glamour Girls
Glamour Girls


HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY Photo courtesy: Prakash Bajracharya

“One by one each month flew by, since we both said “I do”…Twelve months of memories, shared by the two of us. From big events and holidays to simple daily pleasures,Some tearful times along life’s way, some joys that can’t be measured…One by one each month now is gone, but still they’re ours forever…Each and every memory, of one year together! Happy Anniversary to us!!” ♥♥

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on 19th June! Rewind to an year ago, the most important day in our life so far!! My life seems complete and I couldn’t ask for anything more but to add more happiness in this little family we’re building now… Once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life, love does gives us a fairy tale!!

Tradition says that your first wedding anniversary is called a Paperversary. You are supposed to exchange simplistic gifts made of paper; like a sentimental card or notebook, a printed picture or a small paper sculpture. The reasoning behind this tradition is little confusing, but here is the gist of what I’ve found out: The first year of marriage is supposedly the hardest. A young couple who is struggling to make ends meet, while trying to build a strong and a solid relationship, home and family foundation all at the same time. Regardless of how long a couple has been dating, living together, or known one another, their first wedding anniversary is both a sacred and special one. It is an anniversary of new beginnings, new bonds and new feelings – because no matter how you slice it, things ARE different once you get married…

“We’re all a little weird and life is also a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness – and call it love – true love.” – Robert Fulghum

I met my husband in 2007.. he was my senior at my office and at that time none of us even dreamt that we both will get married… but love and faith mostly brought us together as husband and wife, and gave each of us a best friend for life… Being one of those couples who are from totally different part of the same country, with vast differences in language, tradition, thinking and cooking, it was really a tough time for us to get adjusted to one another thought and like process… But am happy to say that despite of all the struggles we went through in this one year, it has only brought us more close and more loveable to each other… and I give all the credit to my dear husband who was with me in all my tough times… in my laughs and in my tears… in my anger and in my patience, in my boredom and in my joy…. Believe me there is no feeling more comforting and consoling than knowing you are right next to the one you love…. So, here it is… Happy First Wedding Anniversary to me and my dearest husband Bala, the north lady and the south hero 🙂


Why Gulmohar Doodles?

Why Gulmohar Doodles?

Why Gulmohar Doodles?

Yes! This was a question asked to me frequently when I announced the name of my blog. Often I was suggested to change ‘gulmohar’ to roses, lilly, lavender etc which was more popular and fancier. Reason: Gulmohar is not a popular or favorite flower. Blessed souls, they didn’t know what I was thinking about…

The flower ‘gulmohar’ is very close to my heart. I remember the summers of my childhood, that tree with rich and vibrant flowers always attracted me a lot! Fiery red against the contrasting green backdrop used to fill me with happiness and loads of energy. Those summer evenings were divine and unforgettable. When the sun got ready for its usual nap my heart was looking forward for the magic to unfurl. Yes, the ground under my foot turned into a bright and fiery red sea with dashes of golden yellow all around due to the rays from heaven.  There I was…playing for hours under the beautiful tree! That was the time when I had dreamt about many things that I want to do in life… that was the place which fuelled my thoughts for wants in my life. My favorite tree to draw was not to mention, gulmohar. Lolz! I have tried so hard to capture the beauty of such mesmerizing beauty! Playing and dreaming under this tree brought the artist out in me who was slumbering for a long time. Back then I didn’t know that art is such a vast field…. but things happened and I graduated with flying colors in a degree in multimedia and animation. Thanks to everyone who helped me in fulfilling my dream. So, here I am… working as a UI Developer. 7 years have passed and I have walked on the paths of being a graphic designer, e-learning course maker, 3D modeller, visual FX generator.. and the list goes on.

Now that’s first part of the story, the Gulmohar story. The other part ‘doodle’ was given because I started doodling at a very young age (3 years old). I loved scribbling and making different things on paper, wall, floors. Possibly every place I saw empty and could draw upon. Until now most of my notebooks are doodled in one way or another. It is such a good way to use your free time. And so creative too… Oh! how I love doing that… So, since I wanted to start my own blog, I discussed with my husband about my idea and likes. I told him that this blog is gonna be what I think and what I want to share with others (in one word my doodles). And this was one of the names suggested by him and luckily it suits my blog so well! Thanks a lot my love to help me in my dreams come true 🙂 … So readers, Welcome to Gulmohar Doodles!

P.S. In India this flower derieves its name from ‘Gul’ which means flower and ‘Mohr’ which means peacock, which in a way compares its brilliant colors to those of the peacock.

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