The Tranquility in Beauty

A walkthrough of the Global Vipassana Pagoda.

(Gorai, Mumbai, India)

6:36 am
Local Train

It seems like twilight. There is just one star following me. The only artificial source of lights are the buildings which light up in a chess board fashion.

The buildings at the far end of the skyline pierce the vermilion break of dawn.
Only the announcements echo at the railway stations with the occasional horn of trains. Other than that, there is dead silence.

6:49 am

Orange forces into the blue defences, a survival of the fittest colour to reign over the temporal skies.

Yellow protudes into the palette and now, the sky is marble white.

7:31 am

The sun is a big sphere of yellow juxtaposed with orange, like the sky has condensed all its colours into a definition.

We got down at the Borivali railway station and took an autorickshaw until the Gorai creek.

8:09 am

Reached the ticketing counter for the jetty that takes us across the Gorai creek to the Pagoda.

We waited for some time for everyone else to come and purchased the tickets. Rupees 50 per person for going to and fro the creek.

And our trip begins!

First, we walked amidst a beautiful view of the Gorai creek to board our jetty.

You can see the Pagoda at the far end

Pagoda from the jetty

Then, we got off the jetty and started walking onward to the Pagoda-Essel World Amusement Park Complex. Again, we were surrounded by a breathtaking view of the creek.

When you reach the complex, the path gets diverted. In order to go to the Pagoda, we took a left turn and continued walking.

There was a refreshing trail of flowers with different hues that accentuated the Golden Pagoda.

At the end of the trail, towards the entrance of the Pagoda complex, there were enchanting and pristine traditional dragon-like figures.

Then, we entered through the gate which had a beautiful design on the ceiling, climbing closer and closer towards the Pagoda.

On the ground level, there was a message regarding the Dhamma (Dharma) on both the sides.

(The Drum was gifted by Thailand)

(The Bell is a gift from Myanmar)

Then, we had breakfast in the cafeteria. Outside the cafeteria, there was a beautiful monolithic marble statue of Gautam Buddha, which was around 22ft.

Then, we climbed up to the second level, where the Global Vipassana Pagoda stands. The tour guide enlightened us about various interesting facts regarding the Pagoda.

Level 2

(The main Padoga is surrounded by other four little Pagoda)

We were not allowed to take pictures inside. We viewed the dome of the Pagoda from the visitors gallery. Lord Buddhas corporeal relics are enshrined above the Wheel of Dhamma on top of the first dome. There has been no cement used to hold the rocks of the Pagoda together. Nor there are pillars. The entire structure is made by artistic mastery. The artisans shaped the carefully selected stones in such a manner that they interlocked.

We also got to see an offspring of the sacred Bodhi tree.

A little history behind the sacred tree

The Tree

The fringes of the dome were flanked by beautiful pillars and golden ceilings.

The Gate No. 1 of the Pagoda had a beautiful door which consisted of panels from Myanmar.

The panels show Green Tara (female Buddha) in different mudras.

There were other smaller gates too:

View from level 2

The Ashoka Pillar

A statue of Saya Gyi U Ba Khin

Something about him:

The Mumbai structure (Pagoda) was built under the guidance of late Satya Narayan Goenka, popularly known as S N Goenka (January 30, 1924-September 29, 2013), a foremost guru of Vipassanā meditation. He was trained in Vipassana by Saya Gyi U Ba Khin of Burma, the principally known as a leading 20th century authority on Vipassana meditation and an influential leader of the Vipassana movement. Goenka and his wife, Elaichidevi, also a co-teacher of meditation, who is reverentially called Mataji, are credited with bringing Vipassana back in a big way in India.

Deccan Herald

After touring Level 2, we headed to Level 1 and meditated. We were all shown a video clip which spoke about the construction and importance of the Pagoda.

It is a very special place as in most other Stupas one can meditate around the structure and here one can meditate within.
Its traditional Burmese design is an expression of gratitude towards the country of Myanmar for preserving the practice of Vipassana. The shape of the pagoda is a copy of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Golden Pagoda) in Yangon, Myanmar. It was built combining ancient Indian and modern technology to enable it to last for a thousand years. (Wikipedia)

After that, we visited an Art Gallery where there were more than 120 huge paintings that highlighted the events in Lord Buddha’s life in a chronological order.

We had lunch in the cafeteria.

A glimpse of the cafeteria

We spent almost half a day in the tranquility of the Pagoda. Then, it was time to leave. The exit-side is also an architectural beauty to behold.

We also went to a souvenir shop that had some amazing statues, keychains, t-shirts and much more pertaining to Buddhism.

Time to take the jetty again!

The water level of the creek had risen.

So that was about my trip to the Global Vipassana Padoga.

It’s a really beautiful place that one should definitely visit.

For more facts about the Pagoda click on the links below :


Special Features : Pagoda of Peace in Mumbai (Deccan Herald)


Songs used :

We Go! (One Piece)

2 minutes of relaxing music (YouTube)

Spaced Out Buddha – 5 minute trance meditation (YouTube)

Kokoro no Chizu (One Piece)

We Are! (One Piece)

Thank you for checking out this blog!

Do leave your views and suggestions in the comments!


Stingy Fangirl Art

On 28th October 2018, I started drawing a collage of some of my favourite One Piece Characters.

This was motivated by the fact that I needed a poster of the same, but they were too expensive. So I decided, why not just draw it myself?

Thus began my ‘Pirate Alliance Project’, because this drawing consists not only of the Mugiwara Pirates, but also Portgas D. Ace, Sabo, Trafalgar D. Water Law and Eustass Kidd.

My progress from 28/10/18 to 5/1/19 :

Till 19/1/19 :

After this, I covered the drawing with transparent gelatin paper and taped a cardboard behind it. Passing a thread through the cardboard, I hung it on the wall.

What you see besides it is a glimpse of the Bushidō scroll (which I created a year back, again due to being stingy.) I’m not too good with drawing and colouring but I’m glad that these things gave me the opportunity to immerse in art and discover a new side to myself 🙂


Thank you for checking out this blog!

Click here for the previous post (Nautical Musings.)

Nautical Musings

Writer’s block. I know it is something that we all who love writing detest. And no, it is not a poor ‘excuse’ for inability, rather a sabbatical to rendezvous with inspiration. I had been searching for words, I had been searching for ideas but just like a mocking hawk, they flew right over the top of my head.

I’ve always been acquainted with the sea by virtue of living in a coastal city. But I actually fell in love with the sea due to the anime One Piece. The adventures that they embark on, the friendship that they harbour, is all that gives my heart warmth. I search for them at the sea. The best feeling ever is sitting on the coastal promenade with headphones blaring One Piece music.

Being in an institution which is right by the sea, now I have the sea within my reach at anytime. I usually go along with classmates but I also enjoy solitude. Today, I had several free lectures unlike my colleagues which prompted me to go by myself. It was just a spontaneous decision with a tangible concern for not being able to write well lately.

A hoodie to fend off the cold weather and nice music to accompany.

I sat on the promenade, my eyes looking ahead at the unknown. The air of the seven seas hitting my face. I felt free. Like I have nowhere to go back to, no deadlines to report to. It is just me, and the sea. At that moment, I didn’t belong anywhere but the sea. Looking at the possibilities that the blue horizon could lead to.

Everyday, looking at people and cars smothers me. I feel like the world is a cramped place. But at that moment, the world was something more. A sphere of infinite adventures. Maps cannot trace dreams and horizons. The sea is so fluctuating. There is so much more to its every move. The sea has a purpose for which it always keeps on persevering. Yet it is not tied down by anything. The sea is alive. It can feel. If you love it, it loves you back.

I looked at my watch. More than an hour to go. I decided to walk till the end of the promenade. I felt adventurous. Like my bag carried some kind of compass. I kept walking, albeit cautiously, staring at my watch again and again to make it back on time for the lecture. As I walked ahead, I saw the sea change colour. Earlier, it was a darker shade of blue, now, it turned into a lighter hue. The gradations were perfectly demarcated. Such is the play of sunlight.

I saw seagulls soaring. They flew in flocks right overhead. Their pristine white feathers perfectly contrasted with the blue sea and subsequently the blue sky.

I sat there for some time, taking in their flight, contemplating whether I should go back or continue my journey. I looked at my watch again. One hour. I started walking again, determined to go until the end.

Amidst people on my right and exquisite buildings on my left, I directed my gaze only at the sea. Ignoring a call or two, I kept moving. Because at this moment, it was just me and the sea. A clandestine meet with only the seagulls as confidants.

I always believed that the promenade ends abruptly with a ‘do not go ahead’ sign. But when I reached there, I was surprised. There lied an extended platform, which harboured an exhilarating view of the sea from all the three sides. The positioning of the sun was picture perfect. I gave up looking at my watch and just lived in the moment. Took a picture or two.

I turned heels and started tracing my way back, a spring in my step. Sometimes being alone can take you to new places. As I neared my institution, I looked at my watch. Twenty minutes to go. I started making my way back to reality, eyes heavy with the fantastical lull of the sea. I learnt two things. One being that I underestimate my walking speed too much.


Somehow, it strikes a chord. I believe ‘colors’ here does not imply physical associations like blue or black or orange. How can we even say that? The sea is free. It cannot be tied down by any associations. The ‘colors’ imply the spirit of the sea. The wild, spontaneous and liberal soul of the sea. The heart to never give up and embrace change. We rage and mellow just like the sea. Just like the end of the horizon, no one knows our future. The sea is mischievous. It mimics the whimsical hues of the sky whilst mocking the immobile beauty of the same. Just like the sea, with a little spunk and strong resolve, we keep moving ahead. We don’t know the whereabouts of the air we breathe in. The sea is indiscriminate. No one knows where the sea begins and ends. Just like so, our desires can’t be marked.

We all are connected to the sea. In our behaviour and desires. Our heartbeats too rise and fall like the waves. Every wave is different, so is every heartbeat. Cessation is stagnation and death.

The sea has existed eons before us and will keep on existing until the end of time. We are the protégés of the sea. It is upon us to borrow the best of it’s teachings and make the best of our time in the world.


And then, I also realized that the sea is my muse.


Thank you for checking out this blog!

This is my first post of 2019, a personal experience along with a quote interpretation 🙂

Happy New Year!

Fear Of being Missed Out.

FOMO : Fear of Missing Out.

This is something that we’ve heard all along. Life is all about that plunge. If we cower in our shell and give excuses, we’re sacrificing memories to thrive on yada yada yada.


But have you ever thought about the tide of time? What if we want to be remembered, but time covers up for our presence?

Imagine one of those objects which dents in when we poke it. As long as our finger applies pressure on it, the dent sustains. But once you pull back your finger, slowly but steadily, the dent rises and eventually, the object gains its original shape.

Life is just like that.

People are going to forget you if you don’t reinforce your presence. The culprit here being time. And sometimes, even if they do remember you, your essence has already been replaced by someone else.

You just exist.

Just like an idea. It’s there, the image. But there are no feelings to complement the image. Time slowly brings in a better substitute, pushing you into the backstreets.

There’ll always be someone better than you.

And then we’re relegated to the third person position. Looking forlornly at the person who now stands where once you were, probably in a better position, slowly sucking out the essence of your existence in the eyes of the concerned individuals.

What do we do?

I say, pay no mind. You might feel betrayed, lost, tired, lonely, but as long as you know who you are, others don’t matter. They never did. If someone cares enough to never forget you, essence and all, keep them. Rest of them, let it go.


The above is just a little rant that I felt like writing. Do you have a similar experience? If you do, remember that it’ll be all be fine. It is difficult when people get into the niche that you worked hard to create. But don’t let people bring you down. You just need to go out there and carve a niche for yourself; just enough for you and only you to fit in.

Thank you for checking out this blog!

I’m planning to do a quote interpretation next, do suggest if you have any ideas!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 13 – Day 15

Day 13

25th May’18


Woke up late, had to go to my cousin’s place. We left after breakfast. We talked, had fun and after lunch, me and my cousin went to the Kamla market just for killing time. We roamed around the market. It had very awesome stuff, good dresses, artificial jewellery and many other things. (I also saw a Naruto keychain and a Totoro purse there hehe) I purchased a set of pretty oxidised bangles at the suggestion of my cousin. Yay! Now this is a thing to show off, “I purchased this from Delhi!” *Ahem* Self-souvenir.

At night we went for dinner at Nandos and the food there was really amazing. I was full till the brim, but for the sake of dessert, we decided to go to the 24Seven store and got some very yummy waffles from there, the taste of which I will never forget.

It was a fun day. I enjoyed a lot!


Day 14

26th May’18

Towards Home

7:30 am

I woke up early today because we had to do the final packing. It’s time to leave. I am a little sad that this trip is ending but not exactly very sad, because I miss my room, my posters and anime. I belong to that couch-bed, among those posters.

Amidst breakfast and speaking about nostalgia, time flew by. It was soon time to call a taxi to leave for the railway station. It was quite tensing as we got stuck in the traffic, but somehow we made it at the last moment.

2:27 pm

We reached the station. The train moved 5 minutes later and I was already feeling motion sick. No matter how much I love travelling, after 13 days of road travel, I’m finally at my limit. I said near the window and started writing.

8:46 p.m

Still writing. Got down at the Kota station for some time to get fresh air when the train stopped there for a break. It is completely dark outside. I couldn’t write real-time stuff as I had to complete the log for the past 3 days. If I don’t write, I will forget the little things and if I do write, I miss the real time view. *Sigh* But I did note down a few stuff to elaborate on.

The stretch initially was buildings, fields and villages. Then began Rajasthan. You can see a vast desert spread out before you. Sandy rocks. They look like they got their shape over the ages. At 6:36 p.m., I could see the moon. The sun did not even set by then. A lake flowed calmly, temples on the bank. The desert didn’t have any concrete roads; several cars travelling from one road over and over again have created a natural path. Around 7:08 p.m., one could see sunset on one side and the moon on the other. Plateaus and plateaus full of green trees, but these were unruly, not like the Shimla Pine; lined up on both the sides. There were rocks over rocks, sprinkled with sand. They created hills with their own will. The whole scene until darkness was filled with deserts and mountains farther away.

A View of the Desert from the Train

The train was violently shaking and that didn’t help my apparent motion sickness at all. So I decided to sleep. I put on my earphones and played calm anime music to music help me sleep faster. But then Pop played and my eyes opened wide. I had to stop the shuffle and play Itachi’s theme on loop. Then I slept. I woke up again realising I did not switch off my phone music, I did so and went to sleep.


Day 15

27th May’18


When my eyes opened, people were leaving. I thought we reached already. It looked a little bright, but I saw that no one from our family had woken up. To make sure, I checked the time, 2:11 a.m. I had to squint to re-check. Oh no. I looked outside the window. At first, I thought it must be the curtain but it was the sky; pitch-black. I shut my eyes so that time passes soon and I reach home.

The next, I opened my eyes around 6 a.m. Everyone had almost woken up. I sat up and looked outside, it was so calming. There was greenery everywhere. We’d reached Maharashtra. This greenery is always unique. Far off, there are mountains, full green. The forests too are a profound green. A river, very calmly flows around the mountains. The sun, still not totally awake for the day, lazily hid behind the clouds.

After we reached the station, we got off the train and it took us some time before we could get a taxi to home.


2:45 pm


Completing my diary. Last few things to write about. An overview. Conclusion.

I do feel a little sad that the trip ended. But I am happy to be home. Now, until the new academic year begins, I am just sleeping and watching anime. I loved Shimla the most. I felt really calm there.

The train rides were fun, but I enjoyed actual road trips more. We could put on music and stuff. But both were good. Better than going in an aeroplane and missing all the scenery. Every travel has its own fun.

I thank everyone in my family for giving me all the tickets and pamphlets, even when I forgot about it. Thanks to that, my diary is colourful. Good relief from my stupid train handwriting.

This diary is inspired by a travelogue I wrote when I went to Delhi 6-7 years ago. It motivated me. Reading that little travelogue makes me happy. So I thought, why not give my future self a full diary of 15 days? There you go future me. Hope you improve your handwriting and get inspired more. Hope you’re in Japan.

Live in the moment and look forward to more.


Thank you for checking out this blog!

I had to include three days in one post as there was not a lot of material to write about because towards the end, we were spending time with our relatives.

(Sorry for the frequent fluctuations in the tenses. I wrote different things at different times with different feelings.)

So with this, my diary series is complete. I’ll see you with my usual random posts from the next time!

Do comments your views on this series!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 12 (2)

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 12 (2)

24th May’18

Agra Fort

When you stop your car in the front of the entrance, you can see the majesty of the Agra Fort. It is so symmetrical and is made of red/brownish-red stones. The style of carvings was very similar to the Taj. While entering, the grills were very pretty with a honeycomb like design. I can’t describe stuff well cause I don’t know the specific architectural terms.

When you stop your car right outside

Entering the Fort

As we walked inside, the colours within the arch-like rooms were painted a darker shade of orangish red. There were many beams as well.

Towards the uphill entrance

Reaching uphill

We proceeded towards the Jahangir Palace after entering and climbing a bit uphill. Wherever I look, either there is greenery or buildings related to the fort. It is so beautiful.. I can’t…no words. As I walk in the palace, I feel the historic vibes; a mere peasant like me, walking on the path where the kings passed from. The doors have protuding stuff to protect from intruders. Inside, the dome has amazing patterns and the symmetry is perfect. Arches face each other, stones are equidistant.

The Jahangir Palace

Walking ahead, we entered the courtyard. The king sat on a high podium. The ladies stood / sat in the little arches.

From the arches ahead in the open, one could see the Taj Mahal. It was far away, but clearly visible. The ‘jaali’ filtered sunlight and those shapes were reflected on the ground. We entered the marbled area, where the Diwan-i-Khas, Roshan Ara Pavilion, and Jahan Ara Pavilion were. The Roshan Ara Pavilion and Jahan Ara Pavilion had a good view of the Taj Mahal. They were like open balconies. Inside the Khas Mahal, the inner dome inlay work so intricate, it had geometric patterns and flowers. The Muthamman Burj was very, very beautiful, with intricate carvings of flowers and hollow designs. The beams were all full of designs. Several stones seemed chipped due to age but it was still a perfect fit. It all fits like a cog. Doesn’t look like they were fixed as a design. Looks like a single tile. The entire stretch has a royal feel.

View of the Taj Mahal

We saw the Diwan-i-Khas, which was meant for the VIP guests of the King. It had double arches and square like designs, like a chocolate bar. This area overlooked the entire floor and the greenery below. It was like a box.

View from the Diwan-i-Khas

The Diwan-i-Aam was on the ground floor. Unlike Diwan-i-Khas, the whole thing was not covered with designs. The king sat on a high podium and the people below. Only where the king sat were carvings. It was big, because it was for common people, unlike Diwan-Khas which was a small, royal place because the amount of VIP at one time is less. But seriously, I want to go back in time or project the past here… Where does the king sit? What was the reaction of the people?

We went to the Anguri Bagh. There were green and red plants/flowers there. The area looked like puzzle pieces. One could see a wide view of several buildings of the Fort from here. The alignment of the arches is what always takes my breath away.

After exiting, I had lemon soda which was very tasty. It is called as ‘Goti soda’. I’ve gotten a sort of addiction to it now.

5:20 p.m.

We left for home. The way is long, we stopped for tea and snacks and zoomed off. 6:17 p.m. was around sunset and we were still travelling. We reached the city area very late, around 9 o’clock. Before the city, we travelled extensively across the Yamuna Expressway with several toll booths. We reached our relatives place at around 10:00 p.m. After dinner, I watched my cousins play cricket and then slept like a log.


Music used:

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Did you all like the videos? Let me know in the comments!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 13 – Day 15

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 12 (1)

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 12 (1)

Day 12

24th May’18


6:50 a.m.

Left for Vrindavan. Everyone was talking about how the Delhi roads are so clean and green. There are many open fields and trees on both the sides, but they all line up behind the barricade. The roads are huge and the mountains peek through the far horizon. We can also see the Yamuna river.

10:07 a.m.

Reached Vrindavan. On the way, we were discussing about Mirabai, Krishna, his childhood, Radha etc. the ‘gallis’ (lanes) in Vrindavan are very small and almost everyone keeps on chanting ‘Radhe Radhe’. All the cars also have the same phrase written on them. Many shops lined up one after the other selling Petha and and clothes. There were many temples there. We just went to one temple, the Banke Bihari Temple. There was a lot of rush. In the midst of the crowd I could hardly get a glimpse of the idol.

After that we left for Taj Mahal soon, because we had a long day ahead.

12:27 p.m.

We reached the Taj Mahal area. There is a certain radius where our car drops us. It is to prevent the polluted air from destroying the Taj Mahal, which is an International Heritage. After that, battery operated buses take the podium. As we went closer we could see several Petha shops, shops selling hats, books, idols and stuff. We went to purchase tickets. (For those planning to go, don’t forget to take an ID proof along with you.) It was scorching hot.

We hired a guide who told us various interesting stories regarding the Taj Mahal. There there are four Gates around for entry. We entered from the West Gate. We started walking to the North gate and as I was walking, I could see the Taj Mahal right in the front. I was far but it seemed so close.

The North Gate/Main Gate/Great Gate

Inside the North Gate, there were paintings/carvings of flowers on the marble part and symmetrical lines on the half sized domes. It’s like, if you would put them together, they’d fit perfectly. People kept on going in and out. But my eyes were fixated on the Taj Mahal. We took some pictures there. There are well maintained trees on both the sides of the pool. The Taj Mahal is beautiful, it stands in all glory, a telling of a love gone by which is eternal in our hearts. The Yamuna river lies behind. And far off, you can see the Agra Fort.

Taj Mahal from the North Gate

View after you reach the other side of the North Gate

Then we went through the outer arches of the ‘Mehman Khana’. The carvings of flowers outside were still intact and beautiful. The Mehman Khana looks very regal. We walk inside and the inner part of the Dome again has many patterns, some of which seem worn out. When we came out, we could see the layout of the Dome of the Taj Mahal on the ground.

Images of the Mehman Khana (guest house)

Layout of the Dome

The Taj Mahal from the Mehman Khana

Across the other bank of Yamuna, lies the Mehtab Bagh, which was actually a site for Shah Jahan to create the black Taj Mahal.

View from the back side of the Taj Mahal

There are two tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz; real and fake. The fake ones are on the top and the real ones are underground. The ones above are the replicas of the real tomb. We reached the entrance. Photography and videography were not allowed inside. So I took a few pictures of the entrance. We had to either take out our footwear or put a cover on the footwear. (There are footwear covers one can buy for a good price before buying the tickets.)

The entrance again has a very beautiful design. There were many things written in Persian (or Arabic) I am not sure about the language, but it seems very important. From the Taj Mahal podium one could see the entire complex.

View from the Taj Mahal podium

Entrance of the Taj Mahal

We went inside, it was like a roundabout. The main mausoleum was so beautiful. There were 9 corners 5 fully covered and 4 with a ‘jaali’ (# – something like this) design, maybe for sunlight to filter in. And while walking, I saw the stairs to the real tombs underground. They were covered with a net. I walked out and saw similar calligraphic carvings. There were floral designs and several repetitive motifs. The minaret also had a way to go in but they were locked. I heard they tilt a little outside so that they don’t fall on the main monument during earthquakes.

It was so hot, my cheeks were burning. I could hardly keep my eyes open. Walking out, I saw arches again. I actually love them and through them, I clicked the pictures of the Taj Mahal.

Once outside, I didn’t have lunch. I was surviving on ice cream and soft drinks. I couldn’t eat in all this sunlight. Then, we purchased various kinds of ‘Petha’ for ourselves and our relatives. The ‘paan’ flavoured Petha especially was really good. The battery operated buses were full so we walked all the way back to the car.

4:10 p.m.

We left the Taj. The experience was really good. I love architecture and would want to know more about these things.

*Next we proceed to the Agra Fort


Music used :

Hello everyone! I know I’ve been on a very long break but I’m back! There is a lot of stuff for both Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, so I’ve divided Day 12 into two posts.

Thank you for checking out this blog!

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 12 (2)

Excerpts From My Diary : Day 9 – Day 11