Monday, March 21, 2016

A Night Train Journey to Remember

The one who understands that life is all about making memories while enjoying every minute, makes the most of the limited time in hand.

With just about 20 minutes to go for the train’s scheduled departure, the taxi dropped me at a side-entrance to CST adjacent to Platform 18 where the Duronto Express stood. I was expecting to see some known faces and rushed through the platform in search of my coach and entered to find my seat.

It had actually been a big coincidence when two weeks ago, during the Kalavantin Durg trek, Arpit- our guide and trek leader- had informed me about the Tadoba Tiger Reserve trip that MASK group was taking and that their tickets were booked on the same day and in the same train as mine. The bigger surprise was discovering that even the coach and compartment were the same. Arpit invited me to join in the trip, but the eagerness to head home and enjoy some good food and sleep overpowered the excitement of the possible tiger safari.

It was a night train journey to remember, aboard the Mumbai-Nagpur Duronto Express, March 2016

As I entered to find my seat, Radhika- the lady with the DSLR during last fortnight’s trip- sat there with two guys- Vinit and Kuntal- who I was soon introduced to.

‘I didn’t know you were joining us for the trip,’ Radhika exclaimed.
‘Well, I am not. I am headed home. We just happen to have adjacent seats,’ I said.
‘I don’t believe that,’ she laughed at the 'coincidence'.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

The Cold, Raw and Heart-warming Night Trek to Kalavantin Durg

Arpit and Harsh had already climbed down. I asked Gaurav to wait for me to get down first.
I looked down the cliff and could feel my heartbeat increasing. How am I ever going to get down from here? Get me a helicopter or at least tie some ropes to hold!

It all began the previous week when Stuti (from The 16th Hour fame) dropped me a text with the words ‘Night trek’ being conducted by the MASK Group. Those two words had me intrigued, and on Saturday afternoon I saw myself heading to Panvel station for the trek.

A trip with absolute strangers. A destination I had absolutely no idea about. An experience which I never had before. This had to be fun!

The 11 of us assembled at Panvel station and got the first instructions from our trip coordinator and guide Arpit, after a quick round of introduction. So here we were- students to working professionals, regular trekkers to first-timers, husband and wife to absolute strangers- all set for the adventure to begin.

When the night is dark, we create light. The 12 of us ready to kick-start the trek:
Thakurwadi Village, Raigad Dist, Maharashtra, March 2016
We reached Thakurwadi Village at the base of the hills. This is where the night trek was to begin. With backpacks ready, torch lights on, and careful instructions to be aware of snakes and other wild animals in the absolute dark night, we began ascending.

Friday, March 04, 2016

medECUBE- India’s first asset-less healthcare venture

A 16 year old boy residing in a small village in Punjab (Khanna) was first diagnosed with a form of cancer in 2009. He was treated with Radiation and Chemotherapy but the tumor recurred. Unfortunately, the prognosis, under normal circumstances, after the recurrence of Medulloblastoma is very bleak. He is now getting treated with medECUBE. medECUBE will be able to help this boy and his family and add a few months/years to his life if not cure him completely by giving specialised and personalised treatment to the patient.

So what is medECUBE and how is it different from the normal treatment in hospitals in India?

Most parts of urban India have best in class infrastructure to offer elaborate and specialised healthcare services, yet the gap between demand and supply leads to inefficiencies in the system and leave patients disgruntled. Having spent over two decades both on the clinical and management side of the profession, Dr. Dilpreet Brar understands all key pain-points of the consumer as well as the healthcare practitioners.

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